First Council of Constantinople

**Does anyone know when the canons of this council became binding on Catholics? **

For example, the Council of Constantinople 1 (381 A.D.) had the third canon which stated:

*“The Bishop of Constantinople shall have primacy of honor after the Bishop of Rome because Constantinople is the new Rome.” *

However, the Bishop of Rome never accepted this council until Pope Hormisdas (512-23). If I’m not mistaken, Catholics never accepted the third canon? Were Catholics bound to the other canons of that council before Pope Hormisdas recognized the council?

Thank you.

From what I’ve seen, Canon 3 of the First Council of Constantinople was never accepted by Rome, not because it diminished Rome’s authority, but because it attempted to diminish the authority of the other ancient Petrine Sees of Alexandria and Antioch:

The third canon was a first step in the rising importance of the new imperial capital, just fifty years old, and was notable in that it demoted the patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria. Jerusalem, as the site of the first Church, retained its place of honor.
Baronius asserted that the third canon was not authentic, not in fact decreed by the council. Some medieval Greeks maintained that it did not declare supremacy of the Bishop of Rome, but the primacy; “the first among equals”, similar to how they today view the Bishop of Constantinople. Throughout the next several centuries, the Western Church asserted that the Bishop of Rome had supreme authority, and by the time of the Great Schism the Roman Catholic Church based its claim to supremacy on the succession of St. Peter. When the First Council of Constantinople was approved, Rome protested the diminished honor to be afforded the bishops of Antioch and Alexandria.[citation needed] The status of these Eastern patriarchs would be brought up again by the Papal Legates at the Council of Chalcedon. Pope Leo the Great,[24] declared that this canon had never been submitted to Rome and that their lessened honor was a violation of the Nicene order. At the Fourth Council of Constantinople (869), the Roman legates[25] asserted the place of the bishop of Rome’s honor over the bishop of Constantinople’s. After the Great Schism of 1054, in 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council declared, in its fifth canon, that the Roman Church “by the will of God holds over all others pre-eminence of ordinary power as the mother and mistress of all the faithful”.[26][27] Roman supremacy over the whole world was formally claimed by the new Latin patriarch. The Roman correctores of Gratian,[28] insert the words: “canon hic ex iis est quos apostolica Romana sedes a principio et longo post tempore non recipit” (“this canon is one of those that the Apostolic See of Rome has not accepted from the beginning and ever since”).

In general, the First Council of Constantinople was originally a local council of Eastern Bishops, most of whom were Arian, but Emperor Theodosius, a westerner, forced orthodox Nicene Christianity on them. The First Council of Constantinople became recognized as an ecumenical council by the Pope at the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451.

The canon was accepted by Rome when it was politically expedient for them to do so, that is, after the fourth crusade was diverted by the Doge of Venice (Enrico Dandalo) to Constantinople. In the ensuing sack of Constantinople by the crusaders, the Orthodox Patriarch fled and the Latin crusaders placed Tommaso Morosini on the throne.
It was during this period of Latin captivity of the patriarchate that Rome recognised the canon.

Canon 3 is political by nature, since it bases the importance of a church on where the capital of the empire happened to be.

Did the Rome ever officially accept that Canon? I know they accepted the council, but I am of the understanding that canon was excluded.

Rome adopted a similar ranking of the ancient sees (Rome 1st, Constantinople 2nd, Alexandria 3rd, Antioch 4th and Jerusalem 5th) at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 and the Council of Florence in 1439, but from what I understand, Rome never officially accepted the Canon 3 that was written at the First Council of Constantinople in 381.

From the Fourth Lateran Council:

5. The dignity of the patriarchal sees

Renewing the ancient privileges of the patriarchal sees, we decree, with the approval of this sacred universal synod, that after the Roman church, which through the Lord’s disposition has a primacy of ordinary power over all other churches inasmuch as it is the mother and mistress of all Christ’s faithful, the church of Constantinople shall have the first place, the church of Alexandria the second place, the church of Antioch the third place, and the church of Jerusalem the fourth place, each maintaining its own rank. Thus after their pontiffs have received from the Roman pontiff the pallium, which is the sign of the fullness of the pontifical office, and have taken an oath of fidelity and obedience to him they may lawfully confer the pallium on their own suffragans, receiving from them for themselves canonical profession and for the Roman church the promise of obedience. They may have a standard of the Lord’s cross carried before them anywhere except in the city of Rome or wherever there is present the supreme pontiff or his legate wearing the insignia of the apostolic dignity. In all the provinces subject to their jurisdiction let appeal be made to them, when it is necessary, except for appeals made to the apostolic see, to which all must humbly defer.

From the Council of Florence:

We also define that the holy apostolic see and the Roman pontiff holds the primacy over the whole world and the Roman pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter prince of the apostles, and that he is the true vicar of Christ, the head of the whole church and the father and teacher of all Christians, and to him was committed in blessed Peter the full power of tending, ruling and governing the whole church, as is contained also in the acts of ecumenical councils and in the sacred canons.

Also, renewing the order of the other patriarchs which has been handed down in the canons, the patriarch of Constantinople should be second after the most holy Roman pontiff, third should be the patriarch of Alexandria, fourth the patriarch of Antioch, and fifth the patriarch of Jerusalem, without prejudice to all their privileges and rights.

Thanks Pluniaz!!

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