Pope Agatho

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Pope Saint

Agatho
Agatho.jpg
19th century depiction of Pope Agatho
Papacy began678
Papacy ended681
Predecessor Donus
Successor Leo II
Orders
Created cardinal5 March 676
by Adeodatus II
Personal details
Birth nameAgáthon
BornPossibly Palermo, Eastern Roman Empire
Died10 January 681 [1]
Rome, Exarchate of Ravenna, Eastern Roman Empire
Previous postCardinal-Deacon (676-77)
Sainthood
Feast day
Venerated in
AttributesHolding a long cross
Patronage Palermo

Pope Agatho (died January 681) served as the Bishop of Rome from 27 June 678 until his death in 681. [2] He heard the appeal of Wilfrid of York, who had been displaced from his See by the division of the Archdiocese ordered by Theodore of Canterbury. During Agatho's tenure, the Sixth Ecumenical Council was convened which dealt with the monothelitism controversy. He is venerated as a saint by both the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Eastern Orthodox Church Christian Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 200–260 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.

Contents

Life

Little is known of Agatho before his papacy but he may have been among the many Sicilian clergy in Rome at that time, due to the Islamic Caliphate battles against Sicily in the mid-7th century. [3] He served several years as treasurer of the church of Rome. He succeeded Donus in the pontificate. [4]

Caliphate Islamic form of government

A caliphate is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph, a person considered a political-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire ummah. Historically, the caliphates were polities based in Islam which developed into multi-ethnic trans-national empires. During the medieval period, three major caliphates succeeded each other: the Rashidun Caliphate (632–662 ), the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750) and the Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258). In the fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, the rulers of the Ottoman Empire claimed caliphal authority from 1517. During the history of Islam, a few other Muslim states, almost all hereditary monarchies, have claimed to be caliphates.

Pope Donus pope

Pope Donus was Bishop of Rome from 2 November 676 to his death in 678. He was the son of a Roman named Mauricius. Few details survive about the person or achievements of Donus, beyond what is recorded in the Liber Pontificalis.

Papacy

Shortly after Agatho became pope, Wilfrid, Bishop of York, arrived in Rome to invoke the authority of the Holy See on his behalf. Wilfrid had been deposed from his see by Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, who had carved up Wilfrid's diocese and appointed three bishops to govern the new sees. At a synod which Pope Agatho convoked in the Lateran to investigate the affair, it was decided that Wilfrid's diocese should indeed be divided, but that Wilfrid himself should name the bishops. [5]

Wilfrid 7th-century Anglo-Saxon bishop and saint

Wilfrid was an English bishop and saint. Born a Northumbrian noble, he entered religious life as a teenager and studied at Lindisfarne, at Canterbury, in Gaul, and at Rome; he returned to Northumbria in about 660, and became the abbot of a newly founded monastery at Ripon. In 664 Wilfrid acted as spokesman for the Roman position at the Synod of Whitby, and became famous for his speech advocating that the Roman method for calculating the date of Easter should be adopted. His success prompted the king's son, Alhfrith, to appoint him Bishop of Northumbria. Wilfrid chose to be consecrated in Gaul because of the lack of what he considered to be validly consecrated bishops in England at that time. During Wilfrid's absence Alhfrith seems to have led an unsuccessful revolt against his father, Oswiu, leaving a question mark over Wilfrid's appointment as bishop. Before Wilfrid's return Oswiu had appointed Ceadda in his place, resulting in Wilfrid's retirement to Ripon for a few years following his arrival back in Northumbria.

Rome Capital city and comune in Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Holy See Episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy

The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, refers to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome, and the universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholics around the world. As a sovereign entity of international law representing papal jurisdiction, the Holy See is headquartered in, operates from, and exercises "exclusive dominion" over the independent Vatican City State enclave in Rome, Italy, of which the pope is sovereign. It is organized into polities of the Latin Church and the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, and their dioceses and religious institutes.

The major event of his pontificate was the Sixth Ecumenical Council (680–681), following the end of the Muslim Siege of Constantinople, [6] which suppressed Monothelism, which had been tolerated by previous popes (Honorius I among them). The council began when Emperor Constantine IV, wanting to heal the schism that separated the two sides, wrote to Pope Donus suggesting a conference on the matter, but Donus was dead by the time the letter arrived. Agatho was quick to seize the olive branch offered by the Emperor. He ordered councils held throughout the West so that legates could present the universal tradition of the Western Church. Then he sent a large delegation to meet the Easterners at Constantinople. [5]

Pope Honorius I pope

Pope Honorius I was Bishop of Rome from 27 October 625 to his death in 638.

Constantine IV Byzantine emperor (b. 652 d. 685}

Constantine IV, sometimes incorrectly called Pogonatos (Πωγωνάτος), "the Bearded", out of confusion with his father, was Byzantine Emperor from 668 to 685. His reign saw the first serious check to nearly 50 years of uninterrupted Islamic expansion, while his calling of the Sixth Ecumenical Council saw the end of the monothelitism controversy in the Byzantine Empire.

The legates and patriarchs gathered in the imperial palace on 7 November 680. The Monothelites presented their case. Then a letter of Pope Agatho was read that explained the traditional belief of the Church that Christ was of two wills, divine and human. Patriarch George of Constantinople accepted Agatho's letter, as did most of the bishops present. The council proclaimed the existence of the two wills in Christ and condemned Monothelitism, with Pope Honorius I being included in the condemnation. When the council ended in September 681 the decrees were sent to the Pope, but Agatho had died in January. The Council had not only ended Monothelism, but also had healed the schism. [5]

Agatho also undertook negotiations between the Holy See and Constantine IV concerning the interference of the Byzantine Court in papal elections. Constantine promised Agatho to abolish or reduce the tax that the popes had to pay to the imperial treasury on their consecration. [5]

Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word consecration literally means "association with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups. The origin of the word comes from the Latin stem consecrat, which means dedicated, devoted, and sacred. A synonym for to consecrate is to sanctify; a distinct antonym is to desecrate.

Veneration

Pope Agatho depicted in the Menologion of Basil II (c. 1000 AD) Pope Agatho (Menologion of Basil II).jpg
Pope Agatho depicted in the Menologion of Basil II (c. 1000 AD)

Anastatius says, that the number of his miracles procured him the title of Thaumaturgus. He died in 681, having held the pontificate about two years. [4] He is venerated as a saint by both Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. [7] His feast day in Western Christianity is on 10 January. [8] Eastern Christians, including Eastern Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic Churches, commemorate him on 20 February. [9]

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Monothelitism Doctrine in Christian theology

Monothelitism or monotheletism is a particular teaching about how the divine and human relate in the person of Jesus. The Christological doctrine formally emerged in Armenia and Syria in 629. Specifically, monothelitism is the view that Jesus Christ has two natures but only one will. That is contrary to the Christology that Jesus Christ has two wills that correspond to his two natures (dyothelitism). Monothelitism is a development of the Neo-Chalcedonian position in the Christological debates. Formulated in 638, it enjoyed considerable popularity, even garnering patriarchal support, before being rejected and denounced as heretical in 681, at the Third Council of Constantinople.

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References

  1. Mann, Horace. "Pope St. Leo II." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 12 September 2017
  2. Kelly, J. N. D.; Walsh, Michael (23 July 2015). Dictionary of Popes. Oxford University Press. p. 215. ISBN   9780191044793 . Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  3. Jeffrey Richards (1 May 2014). The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages: 476-752. Routledge. p. 270. ISBN   9781317678175.
  4. 1 2 Butler, Alban. "St. Agatho, Pope", The Lives of the Saints, Vol. I, 1866. Butler spells the name of Agatho's predecessor as "Domnus"; according to "Pope Donus" in the Catholic Encyclopedia", this is an alternative spelling of "Donus".
  5. 1 2 3 4 Joseph Brusher, S.J., Popes Through the Ages Archived 6 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine .
  6. Hubert Cunliffe-Jones (24 April 2006). A History of Christian Doctrine (reprint ed.). A&C Black. p. 233. ISBN   9780567043931.
  7. Ott, Michael. "Pope St. Agatho." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 12 September 2017
  8. "Agatho". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  9. "The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church – February". Holy Apostles Convent. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Donus
Pope
678681
Succeeded by
Leo II