Ok, here’s a direct quote, from ccel.org’s online thing of Calvin’s Institutes. Just ordered my copy, been putting it offfff for the longest time! Please help, I’m unaware of any of the Constantinoplean Councils addressing what he mentions.
- Moreover, why should I review the contests of council with council? Nor is there any ground for whispering to me, that when councils are at variance, one or other of them is not a lawful council. For how shall we ascertain this? Just, if I mistake not, by judging from Scripture that the decrees are not orthodox. For this alone is the sure law of discrimination. It is now about nine hundred years since the Council of Constantinople, convened under the Emperor Leo, determined that the images set up in temples were to be thrown down and broken to pieces. Shortly after, the Council of Nice, which was assembled by Irene, through dislike of the former, decreed that images were to be restored. Which of the two councils shall we acknowledge to be lawful? The latter has usually prevailed, and secured a place for images in churches. But Augustine maintains that this could not be done without the greatest danger of idolatry. Epiphanius, at a later period, speaks much more harshly (Epist. ad Joann. Hierosolym. et Lib. 3 contra Hæres.). For he says, it is an unspeakable abomination to see images in a Christian temple. Could those who speak thus approve of that council if they were alive in the present day? But if historians speak true, and we believe their acts, not only images themselves, but the worship of them, were there sanctioned. Now it is plain that this decree emanated from Satan?
That’s from Book 4, Chapter 9, “Of Councils and Their Authority”
Ok, the version of the Church Council’s I’m reading, from dailycatholic.org, “Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils” by Norman Tanner says that Constantinople I in 381 was called by Emperors Gratian and Theodosius I, Constantinople II (533 A.D) was called by Emperor Justinian and Pope Vigilius, and Constantinople III, the one Calvin is probably referring to, was in 680, and was called by Emperor Constantine IV, Pope Donus, then Pope Agatho, and then Patriarch George of Constantinople held the council. Nothing about Emperor Leo. I haven’t gotten to Constantinople 4 yet. But it was actually after Nicea II, so that can’t be it!!
Ok, so is this some non-authoratative Constantinople council that Calvin is referring to? I know it’s Nicea II, the one that’s pro-icon and veneration of relics and icons and stuff that he’s saying was a bad council.
And what statement of Augustine was he talking about?