- Second Council of Constantinople
Second Council of Constantinople Date 553 Accepted by Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Previous council Council of Chalcedon Next council Third Council of Constantinople Convoked by Emperor Justinian I Presided by Eutychius of Constantinople Attendance 152 (including 7 from Africa, 9 from Illyricum, none from Italy) Topics of discussion Nestorianism
Documents and statements 14 canons on Christology and against the Three Chapters. 15 canons condemning the teaching of Origen and Evagrius. Chronological list of Ecumenical councils
The Second Council of Constantinople is recognized as the Fifth Ecumenical Council by the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, and a number of other Western Christian groups. It was held from May 5 to June 2, 553, having been called by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. Participants were overwhelmingly Eastern bishops; sixteen western bishops were present (including those from Illyricum). The main work of the council was to confirm the condemnation already issued by Justinian in an edict of 551 against the so-called Three Chapters, that is, the person and writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia (d. 428), and the attacks on Cyril of Alexandria and the First Council of Ephesus written by Theodoret of Cyrrhus (d. c. 466) and Ibas of Edessa (d. 457). The purpose of the condemnation was to make plain that the imperial, Chalcedonian Church was firmly opposed to all those who had either inspired or assisted Nestorius (condemned at the earlier council of Ephesus I in 431). Justinian hoped that this would contribute to a reunion between the Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians in the eastern provinces of the empire.
The Council was presided over by Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople, assisted by the other three eastern patriarchs or their representatives. Pope Vigilius was also invited; but even though he was at this period resident in Constantinople (to avoid the perils of life in Italy, convulsed by the war against the Ostrogoths), he declined to attend, and even issued a document forbidding the council from preceding without him (his 'First Constitutum'). For more details see Pope Vigilius.
The council , however, proceeded without the pope to condemn the Three Chapters. And during the seventh session of the council, the bishops had Vigilius stricken from the diptychs for his refusal to appear at the council and approve its proceedings, effectively excommunicating him personally but not the rest of the Western Church. Vigilius was then imprisoned in Constantinople by the emperor and his advisors were exiled. After six months, in December 553, he agreed, however, to condemn the Three Chapters, claiming that his hesitation was due to being misled by his advisors. His approval of the council was expressed in two documents condemning the Three Chapters, on his own authority and without mention of the council.
In Northern Italy the ecclesiastical provinces of Milan and Aquileia broke communion with the Rome. Milan accepted the condemnation only toward the end of the sixth century, whereas Aquileia did not do so until about 700 The rest of the Western Church accepted the decrees of the council, though without great enthusiasm. Though ranked as one of the ecumenical councils, it never attained in the West the status of either Nicaea or Chalcedon.
The unhappy story of the conflict between the council and the pope, and its lack of immediate and obvious fruits in reconciling Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians, should not blind us, however, to its weighty theological contribution. The canons condemning the Three Chapters were preceded by ten dogmatic canons which defined Chalcedonian Christology with a new precision, bringing out that God the Word is the one subject of all the operations of Christ, divine and human. The 'two natures' defined at Chalcedon were now clearly interpreted as two sets of attributes possessed by a single person, Christ God, the Second Person of the Trinity, Later Byzantine Christology, as we find it Maximus the Confessor and John of Damascus, was built upon this basis. It might have proved sufficient, moreover, to bring about the reunion of Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians, had it not been for the severance of connections between the two groups that resulted from the Muslim conquests of the next century.
The original Greek acts of the council are lost , but an old Latin version exists, possibly made for Vigilius, of which there is a critical edition in Acta Conciliorum Oecumenicorum, Tome IV, vol. 1 (Berlin, 1971), and of which there is now an English translation and commentary—Richard Price, The Acts of the Council of Constantinople of 553, 2 vols (Liverpool University Press, 2009). In the next General Council of Constantinople (680) it was alleged (probably falsely) that the original Acts of the Fifth Council had been tampered with (Hefele, op. cit., II, 855-58) in favour of Monothelitism. It used to be argued that the extant acts are incomplete, since they make no mention of the debate over Origenism. However, the solution generally accepted today is that the bishops signed the canons condemning Origenism before the council formally opened. This condemnation was confirmed by Pope Vigilius, and its full conciliar authority has only been questioned in modern times. See Price, op. cit., vol. 2, 270-86.
- ^ The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, L. D. Davis VI 242-248.
- ^ : a letter to Eutychius of Constantinople, 8 Dec., 553, and a second "Constitutum" of 23 February, 554, probably addressed to the Western episcopate,
- ^ Mansi, IX, 424-20, 457-88; cf. Hefele, II, 905-11.
- ^ Hefele, op. cit., II, 911-27.
- ^ See the judgment of Bois, in Dict. de théol. cath., II, 1238-39.
- ^ Price, op. cit., I, 73-5.
- Second Council of Constantinople in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers
- Second Council of Constantinople
Ecumenical councils — (See also First seven Ecumenical Councils) Councils recognized by:Councils names (with year) West & East
E. Orthodox, Roman Catholic & Old Catholic
only & partly recognized
Roman Catholic only Reformed (Calvinism) only History of Christianity Jesus and the Apostolic Age Ante-Nicene Period Christian Empire Eastern Christianity Middle Ages Protestant
Protestantism · Erasmus · Five solas · Eucharist · Calvinist v. Arminian · Arminianism · Dort · Wars
Lutheranism · Martin Luther · 95 Theses · Diet of Worms · Melanchthon · Orthodoxy · Eucharist · Book of Concord
Reformed · Zwingli · Calvin · Calvinism history · Scotland · Knox · TULIP · Dort · Westminster
Anglicanism · Timeline · Henry VIII · Cranmer · Settlement · 39 Articles · Common Prayer · Puritans · Civil War
Anabaptism · Radical Reformation · Grebel · Swiss Brethren · Müntzer · Martyrs' Synod · Menno Simons · Smyth
Catholicism Modern Christianity
Industrial Age Age of Ideologies
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Second Council of Constantinople — Second Council of Constantinople † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Second Council of Constantinople (FIFTH GENERAL COUNCIL). This council was held at Constantinople (5 May 2 June, 553), having been called by Emperor Justinian. It was… … Catholic encyclopedia
Second Council of Constantinople — noun the fifth ecumenical council in 553 which held Origen s writings to be heretic • Syn: ↑Constantinople • Hypernyms: ↑ecumenical council … Useful english dictionary
Council of Constantinople — can refer to: Council of Constantinople (360), a local council First Council of Constantinople, the Second Ecumenical Council, in 381 or 383. Synod of Constantinople (543), a local council which condemned Origen. Second Council of Constantinople … Wikipedia
Second Council of Nicaea — Date 787 Accepted by Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Previous council (Catholic) Third Council of Constantinople (Orthodox) Quinisext Council Next council (Catholic) Fourth C … Wikipedia
Second Council of Ephesus — Date 449 Accepted by Oriental Orthodoxy Previous council First Council of Ephesus Next council Council of Chalcedon (not accepted by the Oriental Orthodox … Wikipedia
Second Council of Nicaea — The Second Council of Nicaea † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Second Council of Nicaea Seventh Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, held in 787. (For an account of the controversies which occasioned this council and the… … Catholic encyclopedia
Second Council of Lyons — Second Council of Lyons (1274) † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Second Council of Lyons (1274) The Second Council of Lyons was one of the most largely attended of conciliar assemblies, there being present five hundred bishops, sixty abbots,… … Catholic encyclopedia
Council of Constantinople (382) — Council of Constantinople (A.D. 382) † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Council of Constantinople (A.D. 382) In the summer of 382 a council of the oriental bishops, convoked by Theodosius, met in the imperial city. We still have its important… … Catholic encyclopedia
Second Council of Lyon — The First Council of Lyon, the Thirteenth Ecumenical Council, took place in 1245. Ecumenical council|council name=Second Council of Lyon council date=1274 accepted by=Roman Catholicism previous=First Council of Lyon next=Council of Vienne… … Wikipedia
Council of Constantinople (815) — The Council of Constantinople of 815 was held in the Byzantine capital, in the Hagia Sophia, and initiated the second period of the Byzantine Iconoclasm. Shortly before it convened, the iconophile Patriarch Nikephoros I was deposed by Emperor Leo … Wikipedia