Defending Universal Papal Jurisdiction with the First Seven Ecumenical Councils

These are some passages and stories from the first seven ecumenical councils that I think can be used to defend the universal jurisdiction of the pope. Please let me know what you think, and if there are any other passages that could be cited, please let me know.

The First Ecumenical Council

There are several things that may indicate papal headship at this council. For one, it is my understanding that Pope St. Sylvester specially appointed Hosius of Cordoba (Spain) to lead the council on behalf of Rome. The Catholic Encyclopedia says: “The Council of Nicaea lasted two months and twelve days. Three hundred and eighteen bishops were present. Hosius, Bishop of Cordova, assisted as legate of Pope Sylvester.” (source) In another article, it says, “The actual president seems to have been Hosius of Cordova, assisted by the pope’s legates, Victor and Vincentius.” source

In addition, this article cites evidence that First Ecumenical Council explicitly based its decree about the jurisdiction of various churches on a decision of the Roman Church.

The Third Ecumenical Council

Session I - “[If] your holiness * have not a mind to [accept] the limits defined in the writings of [Pope] Celestine, Bishop of the Church of Rome, be well assured then that you have no lot with us, nor place or standing among the priests and bishops of God.” source

This quotation is from a letter from St. Cyril to the heresiarch Nestorius. The letter was accepted by the Council in Session 1. The text of the letter suggests that papal authority can be universally binding, and the historical context of the letter makes this case even stronger. It appears that St. Cyril’s letter to Nestorius was a result of an earlier letter (source) from Pope Celestine to St. Cyril. In that letter, the pope instructs St. Cyril to depose the heresiarch Nestorius from the see of Antioch in the name of the pope, if he does not repent of his heresy. In that light, I think St. Cyril’s letter commanding Nestorius to submit to the pope or be deposed is a slam-dunk in favor of the pope’s authority over the other sees of Christendom, and the fact that this deposition was approved by the Council of Ephesus makes it that much more significant.

Before the papal legates arrived at the council, the pope gave them these instructions: “We enjoin upon you the necessary task of guarding the authority of the Apostolic See. … [In] the assembly, if it comes to controversy, it is not yours to join the fight but to judge of the opinions [on my behalf]." (Letters 17) source

When they arrived at the council, the legates announced that this was their right and privilege, and the council accepted it:

Session 2 - “[W]hen the writings of our holy and blessed pope had been read to you…you joined yourselves to the holy head also by your holy acclamations.” “[We now] ask that you give order that there be laid before us what things were done in this holy Synod before our arrival; in order that according to the opinion of our blessed pope and of this present holy assembly, we likewise may ratify their determination.” source

Theodotus of Ancyra responded, apparently in the name of the council, saying that this announcement was made “very reasonably.” (ibid.) Later the Council confirms this:

Session 7 - “For it is [Rome’s] custom in such great matters to make trial of all things, and the confirmation of the Churches you * have made your own care. [And] since it is right that all things which have taken place should be brought to the knowledge of your holiness, we are writing of necessity [about our Synod]. … And that you may know in full all things that have been done, we have sent you a copy of the Acts, and of the subscriptions of the Synod. We pray that you, dearly beloved and most longed for, may be strong and mindful of us in the Lord.” source*

cont’d next post*

The Fourth Ecumenical Council

Session 1 - “We received directions at the hands of the most blessed and apostolic bishop of the Roman city, which is the head of all the churches…that Dioscorus is not to be allowed a seat in this assembly, but that if he should attempt to take his seat he is to be cast out.” source

This passage indicates the pope’s headship over the whole Church, his right to command a council, and the subjection of other sees to the Roman see. (Dioscorus was patriarch of Alexandria.)

Session 3 - “Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome…has stripped [Patriarch Dioscorus of Alexandria] of the episcopate, and has alienated from him all hieratic worthiness. Therefore let this most holy and great synod sentence the before mentioned Dioscorus to the canonical penalties.” source

This passage indicates that the see of Alexandria is subject to the see of Rome, that the pope has a right to depose bishops of other sees, and that ecumenical councils are at the pope’s service.

Session 4 calls the pope “Archbishop of all the churches.” This indicates his universal jurisdiction. source

Letter to Pope Leo - “[Pope Leo has] been charged with the custody of the vine by the Savior.” source

The Sixth Ecumenical Council

Letter to Pope Agatho - “Christ our true God…gave [us] a wise physician, namely your [self], to drive [heresies] away…by the remedies of orthodoxy, and to give the strength of health to the members of the church. Therefore to you, as to the bishop of the first see of the Universal Church, we leave what must be done, since you willingly take for your standing ground the firm rock of the faith, as we know from having read your [letter] to the most pious emperor: and we acknowledge that this letter was divinely written as by the Chief of the Apostles.” source

By saying that the pope has been given to the Church for the purpose of driving away heresies and giving strength to the Church, this letter supports the view that the pope has a power that is intended by God to be exercised over the whole Church. The letter also calls the pope “O venerable and sacred head” and says, “we pray your paternal sanctity to confirm our decree by your honourable rescript.” source

Session 4 - Calls Rome “[our] spiritual mother and the mother of your God-sprung empire.” Because this affirmation is accepted by an ecumenical council, it follows that the Roman see is over the whole Church as a mother. source

The Seventh Ecumenical Council

Before the Seventh Ecumenical Council, St. Theodore the Studite called upon the pope to call the council, saying, “it is to Peter, that is to say, his successor, that one ought to submit every innovation which is made in the Catholic Church by those who turn aside from the truth… [For the heretics] have dared to convene a heretical Council, while those who follow [the] ancient custom, have not even the right of convoking an orthodox one without your knowledge.” “[Therefore] it seems absolutely necessary, we dare say it to you, that your Divine Primacy should call together a lawful Council, so that the Catholic dogma may drive away heresy…” (To Pope Leo III Written from Prison Against the Iconoclasts)

Session 2 - “[T]he Lord set [Peter] as chief over all…who first sat in the Apostolic See.” “[He] left the chiefship of his Apostolate, and [the] pastoral care, to his successors, who are to sit in his most holy seat for ever. And that power of authority, which he received from the Lord God our Saviour, he too bestowed and delivered by divine command to the Pontiffs, his successors.” “[Therefore] the holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church, your spiritual mother…[is] the head of all Churches.” source

biblicalcatholic.com/apologetics/CouncilNicaeaSixthCanon.htm

More on the sixth canon from the Council of Nicea.

No pope called any of the ecumenical councils. No pope attended any of the ecumenical councils. Most of the councils were presided by the Archbishop of Constantinople in whose jurisdiction the councils were held.

The Seven Ecumenical Councils were all called together at the commandment and will of Princes; without any knowledge of the matter on the part of the Pope in one case at least (1st Constantinople)4 ; without any consultation with him in the case of I. Nice, so far as we know5 ; and contrary to his expressed desire in at least the case of Chalcedon, when he only gave a reluctant consent after the Emperor Marcian had already convoked the synod. - The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers

Constantinople I

Was called without the knowledge of the pope and was presided by a bishop who was not in communion with Rome.

Ephesus

The council fathers ignored the pope’s sentence against Nestorius and tried him themselves. “The Pope had pronounced in the affair of Nestorius a canonical judgment clothed with all the authority of his see. He had prescribed its execution. Yet, three months after this sentence and before its execution, all the episcopate is invited to examine afresh and to decide freely the question in dispute.” - Bishop Maret

Chalcedon

Was called against the expressed wishes of Pope Leo. The council received Leo’s famous Tome only after breaking to study Leo’s letter to insure it agreed with Cyril. After the council fathers determined Leo’s letter agreed with Cyril they exclaimed “Leo and Cyril taught the same thing!”

Also Canon 28 was passed which laid out the reason Rome was granted its privileges, “because it was the imperial city.” It then granted Constantinople the same privileges. The council also granted Constantinople the right to hear appeals in ecclesiastical cases even from the Church of Rome itself and if the dispute involved the metropolitan the case could be brought directly to Constantinople. No canon grants Rome that same authority.

If any Clergyman have a matter against another clergyman, he shall not forsake his bishop and run to secular courts; but let him first lay open the matter before his own Bishop, or let the matter be submitted to any person whom each of the parties may, with the Bishop’s consent, select. And if any one shall contravene these decrees, let him be subjected to canonical penalties. And if a clergyman have a complaint against his own or any other bishop, let it be decided by the synod of the province. And if a bishop or clergyman should have a difference with the metropolitan of the province, let him have recourse to the Exarch of the Diocese, or to the throne of the Imperial City of Constantinople, and there let it be tried. - Canon IX

Constantinople II

Excommunicated Pope Vigilius.

Constantinople III

Anathematized Honorius for teaching the monothelite heresy.

So really there are lots of good arguments for the papacy but the ecumenical councils are not one of them. :wink:

As for Chalcedon, the move to increase Constantinople’s prestige was politically-motivated and had to be based on such reasons, as there was not a huge notion of this being a church from ancient, apostolic origins like Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria.

This is what the Patriarch himself said to Leo:

As for those things which the universal Council of Chalcedon recently ordained in favor of the church of Constantinople, let Your Holiness be sure that there was no fault in me, who from my youth have always loved peace and quiet, keeping myself in humility. It was the most reverend clergy of the church of Constantinople who were eager about it, and they were equally supported by the most reverend priests of those parts, who agreed about it. Even so, the whole force of confirmation of the acts was reserved for the authority of Your Blessedness. Therefore, let Your Holiness know for certain that I did nothing to further the matter, knowing always that I held myself bound to avoid the lusts of pride and covetousness. – Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople to Pope Leo, Ep 132 (on the subject of canon 28 of Chalcedon).

Rome’s authority was widely acknowledged as coming from her being the See of Peter, which Chalcedon calls the “foundation of the Catholic Church”:

“Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice-blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the Rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, hath stripped him (Dioscorus, Bishop of Alexandria) of his episcopate, and hath alienated from him all hieratic worthiness.” – Acts of Chalcedon, Session 3

Chalcedon knew who was head of the Church and why:

Knowing that every success of the children rebounds to the parents, we therefore beg you to honor our decision by your assent, and as we have yielded agreement to the Head in noble things, so may the Head also fulfill what is fitting for the children. – Chalcedon to Pope Leo, Ep 98

You are set as an interpreter to all of the voice of blessed Peter, and to all you impart the blessings of that Faith. – Chalcedon to Pope Leo, Ep 98

Right, and as the council made clear Rome’s position was due to its political influence. And if Rome’s authority is as you say why did the council break in order to study Leo’s letter? Why wasn’t it just accepted because of who wrote it?

This seems to be pretty serious, if true.

Yeah. :rolleyes:

By the way, could you provide a link to a post where you mentioned what religion you are a member of? Or just take a quick second to tell us?

[SIGN]FOURTH REQUEST[/SIGN]

Thanks.

When you say “Right,” what are you affirming? My points were that Constantinople’s rise in the Church was politically-based whereas Rome’s fundamental basis was its Apostolic origin, being Peter’s See.

Both before and during the council, the Pope and his See was considered to hold the primacy not simply because of political or geographical-historical reasons.

It was all about Peter.

St. Peter Chrysologus, Archbishop of Ravenna, tells the heretical monk Eutyches, who promoted Monophysitism, to submit Leo’s famous Tome:

“We exhort you, honorable brother, that you obediently listen to what has been written by the blessed Pope of the city of Rome, since blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own see, offers the truth of faith to those who seek. For we, in our zeal for peace and faith, cannot decide questions of faith apart from consent of the Bishop of Rome.” – Peter Chrysologus of Ravenna to Eutyches, Ep 25

The reason is that the Bishop of Rome is Peter’s successor, and as such, questions of faith cannot be decided “apart from the consent of the Bishop of Rome.”

During the so-called “Robber Council,” the council at Ephesus that promoted Monophysitism and was held before the Council of Chalcedon, Patriarch Flavian of Constantinople was physically abused. He writes to Pope Leo in appeal:

“When I began to appeal to the throne of the Apostolic See of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, and to the whole sacred synod, which is obedient to Your Holiness, at once a crowd of soldiers surrounded me and barred my way when I wished to take refuge at the holy altar. …Therefore, I beseech Your Holiness not to permit these things to be treated with indifference…but to rise up first on behalf of the cause of our orthodox Faith, now destroyed by unlawful acts. …Further to issue an authoritative instruction…so that a like faith may everywhere be preached by the assembly of an united synod of fathers, both Eastern and Western. Thus the laws of the fathers may prevail and all that has been done amiss be rendered null and void. Bring healing to this ghastly wound.” – Patriarch Flavian of Constantinople to Pope Leo, 449

The Patriarch asks Pope Leo to “rise up” and bring about healing, as he is seated at the “See of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles,” to whom the whole synod is “obedient” to.

Theodoret of Cyrus, an Eastern bishop deposed after the “Robber Council,” appealed to Pope Leo, saying:

We hasten to your Apostolic See in order to receive from you a cure for the wounds of the Church. For every reason it is fitting for you to hold the first place, inasmuch as your see is adorned with many privileges. I have been condemned without trial. But I await the sentence of your Apostolic See. I beseech and implore Your Holiness to succor me in my appeal to your fair and righteous tribunal. Bid me hasten to you and prove to you that my teaching follows in the footsteps of the Apostles. – Theodoret to Pope Leo, Ep 113

Another bishop, Eusebius of Doryleum, said to the Pope:

“The Apostolic throne has been wont from the beginning to defend those who are suffering injustice. I entreat Your Blessedness, give me back the dignity of my episcopate and communion with yourself, by letters from you to my lowliness bestowing on me my rank and communion.” – Eusebius of Doryleum to Pope Leo

These Eastern bishops give witness to both the understanding that the Bishop of Rome’s authority and primacy is derived from Peter. The jurisdiction of the Pope is also evident here, as orthodox faith and communion is sought from the Pope.

*Forgot to include my source. biblicalcatholic.com/apologetics/a35.htm

How do you explain what was posted above:
Constantinople II
Excommunicated Pope Vigilius.

Constantinople III
Anathematized Honorius for teaching the monothelite heresy.

I am not well-read on either of these cases. I only know enough of the Pope Honorius case in the situation that he is often brought up: papal infallibility. So if that is a concern to anyone, then it should be noted that the the pope was not teaching the heresy in any official manner, especially not in an ex cathedra manner.

But with regard to even teaching the heresy:

"Even a quick review of the records shows he simply decided not to make a decision at all. As Ronald Knox explained, ‘To the best of his human wisdom, he thought the controversy ought to be left unsettled, for the greater peace of the Church. In fact, he was an inopportunist. We, wise after the event, say that he was wrong. But nobody, I think, has ever claimed that the pope is infallible in not defining a doctrine.’ "
catholic.com/tracts/papal-infallibility

They seem to be rather serious objections to universal papal jurisdiction.

I don’t think the pope has to initiate something for it to support his authority. What do you think?

No pope attended any of the ecumenical councils.

He sent legates, right? I think I must be missing something. From your post, I’m guessing you think that the pope would have attended the council if he had universal jurisdiction, is that right? Because I think sending legates makes that a moot point. What do you think?

Most of the councils were presided by the Archbishop of Constantinople in whose jurisdiction the councils were held.

Do you think that means the pope didn’t have jurisdiction? I ask because I don’t want to misunderstand you. I think it makes sense that the council president would be the bishop whose diocese it’s in, with the pope having veto authority. I think that’s a reasonable thing for a person in a papal position to do. What do you think?

Also, it is my understanding that at least the first ecumenical council was presided over by the pope’s legates, and I mentioned evidence for that in my OP. What did you think of that evidence?

The Seven Ecumenical Councils were all called together at the commandment and will of Princes; without any knowledge of the matter on the part of the Pope in one case at least (1st Constantinople)4 ; without any consultation with him in the case of I. Nice, so far as we know5 ; and contrary to his expressed desire in at least the case of Chalcedon, when he only gave a reluctant consent after the Emperor Marcian had already convoked the synod. - The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers

Are you saying that the pope would have convened the councils himself if he had jurisdiction? Again, I’m asking because I don’t want to misunderstand you. Because I think that the pope had jurisdiction over these councils, even though he didn’t convene them. Do you think that’s reasonable?

Also, re: Chalcedon, see a couple of paragraphs below. My sources say the pope did desire the Council, and I’d like to know what evidence there is to the contrary.

Constantinople I Was called without the knowledge of the pope and was presided by a bishop who was not in communion with Rome.

It is my understanding that the council had several presidents, including the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople, as well as St. Gregory Nazianzen. Which one are you saying was out of communion with the pope?

Ephesus…ignored the pope’s sentence against Nestorius and tried him themselves. “The Pope had pronounced in the affair of Nestorius a canonical judgment clothed with all the authority of his see. He had prescribed its execution. Yet, three months after this sentence and before its execution, all the episcopate is invited to examine afresh and to decide freely the question in dispute.” - Bishop Maret

I’ve never heard of Bishop Meret, but when I googled him I found this page in which he is quoted as saying that the pope presided over the Council of Ephesus by means of representatives. Is that your understanding as well? Who is Bishop Meret?

Also, in my OP I quoted a statement where the pope’s deposition of Nestorius appears to be accepted by the Council of Ephesus. What did you think of that?

Chalcedon Was called against the expressed wishes of Pope Leo.

Where are you getting this information? It is my understanding that Pope Leo did want to call the Council, and urged Emperor Marcian’s predecessor to do so, but that emperor refused until he died and Marcian took his place. I think the Catholic Encyclopedia reflects this view and says that after Marcian became emperor, “[he] at once informed Leo I of his willingness to call a new council according to the previous desire of the pope.” source Does your source say something different?

The council received Leo’s famous Tome only after breaking to study Leo’s letter to insure it agreed with Cyril.

I think there is more reason than one that the council could break to study Leo’s letter. For example, the letter made several theological arguments, and I think it would be reasonable to suppose that it was meant to be studied for the sake of gaining a better understanding of the reasons for the Chalcedonian definition. Do you think that’s reasonable?

After the council fathers determined Leo’s letter agreed with Cyril they exclaimed “Leo and Cyril taught the same thing!”

You think they had no concept of papal infallibility, right? Because I think it’s reasonable to expect an affirmation of the document’s truth either way. What do you think?

First, I think Canon 28 supports Rome’s papal status. For one thing, if I understand it correctly, it says that Constantinople “[shall] rank next after [Rome],” and this implies that Rome ranks before Constantinople. Does that seem reasonable to you?

Second, when Canon 28 talks about granting equal privileges to Constantinople as are granted to Rome, I think it’s talking about the privilege of hearing appeals. Since it speaks of equal privileges in this context, I don’t agree with your inference that Constantinople can hear appeals of bishops deposed by Rome, since that would give Constantinople greater privileges than Rome, not equal ones. Does that seems reasonable?

Third, when Canon 28 refers to Rome’s privileges as being the result of its imperial status, I don’t think that implies that that’s the only reason Rome has privileges, just that some of its reasons for preeminence also apply to Constantinople. Do you think that’s reasonable?

Fourth, earlier I provided evidence that the pope had authority over the acts of the Council, and I think catholic1seeks has added to that evidence. In light of that, it seems to me that Canon 28 was implicitly subject to the approval of the Holy Father. If my understanding is correct, the pope did not approve that Canon, and therefore, by my understanding of the Council’s standards, I think that Canon was illegitimate. I don’t know what you think of the points we’ve made in favor of the pope’s authority over the council’s acts, but I’d love to know your thoughts: do you agree that the pope had authority over the acts of the council? If not, what do you think of the evidence we provided? And if so, then doesn’t it follow that Canon 28 was implicitly subject to the pope’s approval?

The council also granted Constantinople the right to hear appeals in ecclesiastical cases even from the Church of Rome itself and if the dispute involved the metropolitan the case could be brought directly to Constantinople. No canon grants Rome that same authority.

Because of the second point I made above, I think Canon 28 itself implies that Rome has that same authority, and does not give Constantinople a right to hear appeals of Rome’s decisions. What do you think of the analysis I provided?

Constantinople II Excommunicated Pope Vigilius.

Where are you getting your information? Because it is my understanding that the Council maintained communion with Pope Vigilius even though the emperor ordered his name removed from the Eucharistic prayers. I think the Catholic Encyclopedia reflects this view when it says, “in the seventh session of the council Justinian caused the name of Vigilius to be stricken from the diptychs, without prejudice, however, it was said, to communion with the Apostolic See.” This also seems confirmed by the acts of the Council, which apparently say the following: …the most pious Emperor has sent a minute (formam), to your Holy Synod, concerning the name of Vigilius, that it be no more inserted in the holy diptychs of the Church, on account of the impiety which he defended. … [And the] holy Synod said: What has seemed good to the most pious Emperor is congruous to the labours which he bears for the unity of the churches. [But let] us preserve unity to the Apostolic See of the most holy Church of ancient Rome, carrying out all things according to the tenor of what has been read. source In light of that, I don’t know how correct it is to say that the Council Fathers left communion with Pope Vigilius. It seems to me that they regarded him as a grevious sinner, but maintained communion in faith with him. Does that seem like a reasonable interpretation to you?

Constantinople III Anathematized Honorius for teaching the monothelite heresy.

In this thread I cited evidence that Constantinople III declared that the Roman See had never fallen into heresy and never would. In light of that, it is my understanding that Constantinople III did not anathematize Honorius for teaching heresy, but anathematized him for supporting heretics in other ways, especially by urging both the heretics and the Catholics to be silent about the matter for the sake of maintaining unity. Do you think that’s a reasonable interpretation of this point? Because I think that means Constantinople III did not say that Honorius taught heresy, but instead denied it.

So really there are lots of good arguments for the papacy but the ecumenical councils are not one of them. :wink:

From this sentence, I take it that you don’t think the statements I quoted in my OP support the pope’s universal jurisdiction. But how do you interpret, for example, the statements I quoted from the Council of Chalcedon? To me, those quotes clearly support the pope’s universal jurisdiction. How do you interpret them?

Not the Honorius example. On quick reading, the Pope condemned the then-dead Honorius along with the Council, which actually looked to the Pope for the approval:

pope, Leo II, had naturally no difficulty in giving to the decrees of the council the formal confirmation which the council asked from him, according to custom. The words about Honorius in his letter of confirmation, by which the council gets its ecumenical rank, are necessarily more important than the decree of the council itself: “We anathematize the inventors of the new error, that is, Theodore, Sergius, …and also Honorius, who did not attempt to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of Apostolic tradition, but by profane treachery permitted its purity to be polluted.” This appears to express exactly the mind of the council, only that the council avoided suggesting that Honorius disgraced the Roman Church.

newadvent.org/cathen/07452b.htm#VI

In addition:

The modern notion that the council was antagonistic to the pope receives no support form the Acts. On the contrary all the Easterns, except the heretic Macarius, were evidently delighted with the possibility of reunion. They had never been Monothelites, and had no reason to approve the policy of silence enforced under savage penalties by the Type. They praise with enthusiasm the letter of St. Agatho [The pope], in which the authority and inerrancy of the papacy are extolled. They themselves say no less; they affirm that the pope has indeed spoken, according to his claim, with the voice of Peter. The emperor’s official letter to the pope is particularly explicit on these points. It should be noted that he calls Honorius “the confirmer of the heresy and contradictor of himself”, again showing that Honorius was not condemned by the council as a Monothelite, but for approving Sergius’s contradictory policy of placing orthodox and heretical expressions under the same ban. It was in this sense that Paul and his Type were condemned; and the council was certainly well acquainted with the history of the Type, and with the Apology of John IV for Sergius and Honorius, and the defences by St. Maximus. It is clear, then, that the council did not think that it stultified itself by asserting that Honorius was a heretic (in the above sense) and in the same breath accepting the letter of Agatho as being what it claimed to be, an authoritative exposition of the infallible faith of the Roman See.

Like I said, I am not well-read on the exact historical situations. I am no historian. Maybe someone else can chip in.

Examples like these must be seen in light of the entire historical context: The primacy of Rome was affirmed in East and West. Just look at Chalcedon. Even Constantinople increase in prestige as a see needed Rome’s consent. To be especially noted is the early confirmation that Rome receives its authority because of its Petrine ministry. Both West AND East knew that Peter “spoke through Leo” and all bishops of Rome.

Honorius never taught the monothelite heresy. There are at least four passages in his private correspondence which provide clear evidence of this.

There was a big dust-up in the Eastern Catholicism forum last year over this issue. The Orthodox who were accusing Honorius did not carry the day. :nope:

Well we don’t have to accuse him of anything. He was accused and convicted by the Sixth Ecumenical Council and by over 50 popes at their elevation through the eleventh century. His condemnation was still mentioned in the Roman Breviary until the 1500’s. Nothing needs to be added to that.

But not for formally teaching heresy. Papal infallibility is not disproved by the example of Honorius.

Much money, time and effort have been spent by various Protestant bodies in the attempt to find even one formal papal definition which has been proved wrong or to find where one pope, attempting to teach infallibly, contradicted another or an ecumenical council. The records have been diligently searched by brilliant minds. Nothing has been overlooked; not one minor detail has been ignored. The result has been the complete vindication of the Church and the pope.

In this thread I quoted Session 4 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council as saying, “[The Roman see] has never erred from the path of the apostolic tradition, nor has she been depraved by yielding to heretical innovations, but from the beginning she has received the Christian faith from her founders, the princes of the Apostles of Christ, and remains undefiled unto the end, according to the divine promise of the Lord and Saviour himself.” (Citing Luke 22:31-32) source

How do you interpret that statement, if you think the Council condemned the pope for teaching heresy?

Who wrote those words?

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