Quinisext Council

Last updated
Council in Trullo (Quinisext Council)
Date692
Accepted by Eastern Orthodoxy
Previous council
Third Council of Constantinople
Next council
Second Council of Nicaea
Convoked byEmperor Justinian II
President Justinian II
Attendance215 (all Eastern)
Topicsdiscipline
Documents and statements
basis for Orthodox Canon law
Chronological list of ecumenical councils
Facial Chronicle - b.13, p.443 - Council in Trullo.gif

The Quinisext Council (often called the Council in Trullo, Trullan Council, or the Penthekte Synod) was a church council held in 692 at Constantinople under Justinian II. It is known as the "Council in Trullo" because, like the Sixth Ecumenical Council, it was held in a domed hall in the Imperial Palace (τρούλος [troulos] meaning a cup or dome). Both the Fifth and the Sixth Ecumenical Councils had omitted to draw up disciplinary canons, and as this council was intended to complete both in this respect, it took the name of Quinisext (Latin: Concilium Quinisextum, Koine Greek: Πενθέκτη Σύνοδος, Penthékti Sýnodos), i.e. the Fifth-Sixth Council. It was attended by 215 bishops, all from the Eastern Roman Empire. Basil of Gortyna in Crete, however, belonged to the Roman patriarchate and called himself papal legate, though no evidence is extant of his right to use that title.

Constantinople capital city of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the Latin and the Ottoman Empire

Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire (1204–1261) and of the Ottoman Empire (1453–1923). In 1923 the capital of Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, was moved to Ankara and the name Constantinople was officially changed to Istanbul. The city is located in what is now the European side and the core of modern Istanbul. The city is still referred to as Constantinople in Greek-speaking sources.

Justinian II Byzantine emperor

Justinian II, surnamed the Rhinotmetos or Rhinotmetus, was the last Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian Dynasty, reigning from 685 to 695 and again from 705 to 711. Justinian II was an ambitious and passionate ruler who was keen to restore the Roman Empire to its former glories, but he responded poorly to any opposition to his will and lacked the finesse of his father, Constantine IV. Consequently, he generated enormous opposition to his reign, resulting in his deposition in 695 in a popular uprising, and he only returned to the throne in 705 with the help of a Bulgar and Slav army. His second reign was even more despotic than the first, and it too saw his eventual overthrow in 711, abandoned by his army who turned on him before killing him.

Third Council of Constantinople synod

The Third Council of Constantinople, counted as the Sixth Ecumenical Council by the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches, as well by certain other Western Churches, met in 680/681 and condemned monoenergism and monothelitism as heretical and defined Jesus Christ as having two energies and two wills.

Many of the Council's canons were reiterations. It endorsed not only the six ecumenical councils already held (canon 1), but also the Apostolic Canons, the Synod of Laodicea, the Third Synod of Carthage, and the 39th Festal Letter of Athanasius (canon 2). [1]

Ecumenical council conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice

An ecumenical council is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice in which those entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world (oikoumene) and which secures the approbation of the whole Church.

The Apostolic Canons or Ecclesiastical Canons of the Same Holy Apostles is a 4th century Syrian Christian text. It is an Ancient Church Order, a collection of ancient ecclesiastical decrees concerning the government and discipline of the Early Christian Church, allegedly written by the Apostles first found as the last chapter of the eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions. Like the other Ancient Church Orders, the Apostolic Canons use a pseudepigraphic form.

The Festal Letters or Easter Letters are a series of annual letters by which the Bishops of Alexandria, in conformity with a decision of the First Council of Nicaea, announced the date on which Easter was to be celebrated. The council chose Alexandria because of its famous school of astronomy, and the date of Easter depends on the spring equinox and the phases of the moon.

The Council banned certain festivals and practices which were thought to have a pagan origin[ which? ]. Therefore, the Council gives some insight to historians about pre-Christian religious practices. [2]

Many of the council's canons were aimed at settling differences in ritual observance and clerical discipline in different parts of the Christian Church. Being held under Byzantine auspices, with an exclusively Eastern clergy, these overwhelmingly took the practice of the Church of Constantinople as orthodox. [2] It explicitly condemned some customs of Armenian Christians – among them using wine unmixed with water for the Eucharist (canon 32), choosing children of clergy for appointment as clergy (canon 33), and eating eggs and cheese on Saturdays and Sundays of Lent (canon 56) – and decreed deposition for clergy and excommunication for laypeople who contravened the canons prohibiting these practices. Likewise, it reprobated, with similar penalties, the Roman custom of not allowing married individuals to be ordained to the diaconate or priesthood unless they vowed for perpetual continence (canon 13), and fasting on Saturdays of Lent (canon 55). Without contrasting with the practice of the Roman Church, it also prescribed that the celebration of the Eucharist in Lent should only happen in Saturdays, Sundays, and the feast of the Annunciation (canon 52). Grapes, milk and honey were not to be offered at the altar. Whoever came to receive the Eucharist should receive in the hand by holding his hands in the form of a cross. The Eucharist was not allowed to be given to dead bodies. During the liturgy the psalms were to be sung in modest and dulcet tones, and the phrase 'who was crucified for us' was not to be added to the Trisagion. Prelates were to preach the gospel as propounded by the fathers. Priests received special instructions on how to deal with those who were not baptized and they were also given rubrics to follow on how to admit heretics to the faith. [3]

In addition to these, the council also condemned clerics that had improper or illicit relations with women. It condemned simony and the charging of fees for administering the Eucharist. It enjoined those in holy orders from entering public houses, engaging in usurious practices, attending horse races in the Hippodrome, wearing unsuitable clothes or celebrating the liturgy in private homes ( eukteria ) without the consent of their bishops. Both clergy and laity were forbidden from gambling at dice, attending theatrical performances, or consulting soothsayers. No one was allowed to observe the Pagan festivals of Bota, the Kalends or the Brumalia. No one was allowed to own a house of prostitution, engage in abortion, arrange hair in ornate plaits or to promote pornography. It also ordered law students at the University of Constantinople to cease wearing "clothing contrary to the general custom", which some have interpreted as a reference to transvestitism. [4] [5]

Hippodrome ancient Grecian stadium for horse racing and chariot racing

The hippodrome was an ancient Grecian stadium for horse racing and chariot racing. The name is derived from the Greek words hippos and dromos. The term is used in the modern French language and some others, with the meaning of "horse racecourse". Hence, some present-day horse racing tracks also include the word hippodrome in their names, such as the Hippodrome de Vincennes and the Central Moscow Hippodrome.

Eukterion, or eukterios oikos, literally meaning "a house of prayer", was a term used in the Byzantine and some other Eastern Orthodox societies such as Georgia to refer to private churches—oratories and chapels—that were distinct from, or attached to, the main places of public worship.

Brumalia was an ancient Roman, winter solstice festival honouring Saturn/Cronus and Ceres/Demeter, and Bacchus in some cases. By the Byzantine era, celebrations commenced on 24 November and lasted for a month, until Saturnalia and the "Waxing of the Light". The festival included night-time feasting, drinking, and merriment. During this time, prophetic indications were taken as prospects for the remainder of the winter. Despite the 6th century emperor Justinian's official repression of paganism, the holiday was celebrated at least until the 11th century in the Byzantine capital of Constantinople, as recorded by Christopher of Mytilene. No references exist after the 1204 sacking of the capital by the Fourth Crusade.

While the Orthodox Church widely considers this council an addendum to the Fifth and Sixth Ecumenical Councils, adding its canons thereto[ citation needed ], the Roman Catholic Church has never accepted the council as authoritative or in any sense ecumenical. In the West, Venerable Bede calls it (in De sexta mundi aetate) a "reprobate" synod, and Paul the Deacon an "erratic" one. [6] For the attitude of the Roman bishops, in face of the various attempts to obtain their approval of these canons see Hefele. [7] However, Pope Hadrian I did write favourably of the canons of this council. [8]

Bede 7th and 8th-century Anglo-Saxon monk, writer, and saint

Bede, also known as Saint Bede, Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable, was an English Benedictine monk at the monastery of St. Peter and its companion monastery of St. Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the Angles. Born on lands likely belonging to the Monkwearmouth monastery in present-day Sunderland, Bede was sent there at the age of seven and later joined Abbot Ceolfrith at the Jarrow monastery, both of whom survived a plague that struck in 686, an outbreak that killed a majority of the population there. While he spent most of his life in the monastery, Bede travelled to several abbeys and monasteries across the British Isles, even visiting the archbishop of York and King Ceolwulf of Northumbria. He is well known as an author, teacher, and scholar, and his most famous work, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, gained him the title "The Father of English History". His ecumenical writings were extensive and included a number of Biblical commentaries and other theological works of exegetical erudition. Another important area of study for Bede was the academic discipline of computus, otherwise known to his contemporaries as the science of calculating calendar dates. One of the more important dates Bede tried to compute was Easter, an effort that was mired with controversy. He also helped establish the practice of dating forward from the birth of Christ, a practice which eventually became commonplace in medieval Europe. Bede was one of the greatest teachers and writers of the Early Middle Ages and is considered by many historians to be the single most important scholar of antiquity for the period between the death of Pope Gregory I in 604 and the coronation of Charlemagne in 800.

Synod council of a church

A synod is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word synod comes from the Greek σύνοδος (sýnodos) meaning "assembly" or "meeting", and it is synonymous with the Latin word concilium meaning "council". Originally, synods were meetings of bishops, and the word is still used in that sense in Catholicism, Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy. In modern usage, the word often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not. It is also sometimes used to refer to a church that is governed by a synod.

The Pope of the time of the council, Sergius I, who was of Syrian origin, rejected it, preferring, he said, "to die rather than consent to erroneous novelties": though a loyal subject of the Empire, he would not be "its captive in matters of religion" and refused to sign the canons. [9] Emperor Justinian II ordered his arrest and abduction to Constantinople by the notoriously violent protospatharios Zacharias. [10] However, the militia of the exarchate of Ravenna frustrated the attempt. [11] Zacharias nearly lost his life in his attempt to arrest Sergius I. [12] [13] Louis Duchesne suggests that it was in protest against the Council's banning of representations of Christ as a Lamb that Pope Sergius introduced the singing of the Agnus Dei at the breaking of the host at Mass. [14]

In Visigothic Spain, the council was ratified by the Eighteenth Council of Toledo at the urging of the king, Wittiza (694 – probably 710), who was vilified by later chroniclers for his decision. [15] Fruela I of Asturias (757–768) reversed the decision. [15]

Notes

  1. Canons of the Council in Trullo
  2. 1 2 Ostrogorsky, George; Hussey, Joan (trans.) (1957). History of the Byzantine state. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. pp. 122–23. ISBN   0-8135-0599-2.
  3. Andrew Ekonomou. Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes. Lexington Books, 2007
  4. Canon 71
  5. Andrew Ekonomou. Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes. Lexington Books, 2007
  6. Paul the Deacon, Hist. Lang., VI, p. 11.
  7. "Conciliengesch." III, 345-48.
  8. Schaff, Philip; Wace, Henry (1900). "Introductory Note: Council in Trullo". Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. XIV. Charles Scribner's Sons. Retrieved 2007-07-05.[ dead link ]
  9. Andrew J. Ekonomou, Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes (Lexington Books, 2007, ISBN   978-0-73911977-8), p. 222
  10. Ekonomou (2007), p. 223
  11. Ekonomou (2007), p. 224
  12. Ekonomou (2007), p. 44
  13. Walter Ullmann, A Short History of the Papacy in the Middle Ages (2nd edition, Routledge, 2003, ISBN   978-0-41530227-2), p. 64
  14. Hugh Henry, "Agnus Dei (in Liturgy)" in Catholic Encyclopedia (New York, 1907)
  15. 1 2 Collins, 19.

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References

PD-icon.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton.

See also