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Milton V. Anastos

Constantinople and Rome

A Survey of the Relations between the Byzantine and the Roman Churches.

M. Anastos, Aspects of the Mind of Byzantium (Political Theory, Theology, and Ecclesiastical Relations with the See of Rome), Ashgate Publications, Variorum Collected Studies Series, 2001. ISBN: 0 86078 840 7.

10. The arrest of Pope Martin Ι in 653 and the condemnation of Pope Honorius Ι by the Sixth Oecumenical Council (680-81)

The cordial relations Phocas established with the papacy were soon forgotten, and a new estrangement (640-80) came about as a result of the con-flict over monotheletism, during which no names of popes, except for that of Vitalian Ι (see below), appeared on the diptychs of the Byzantine Church. In the course of this dispute the ire of the Byzantine Emperor was kindled against Pope Martin Ι (649-53), whose election was never approved by the Emperor Constans II. The breach was widened still further as a result of the Lateran Council of 649, which, under Martin's leadership, not only reaffirmed the Chalcedonian Creed of 451 and condemned monotheletism but also repudiated the imperial edicts known as the Ekthesis of 638 and the Typus of 648, for which, however, the patriarchs, not the emperors, were held responsible.(118)

But the Emperor Constans II, who was not mollified by this attempt to exculpate his predecessor and himself, accused Martin of treason, and dispatched the Exarch Olympius in 649 to arrest Martin and conduct him to Constantinople. This Olympius failed to do, and was suspected of conspiring with Μartin against the Emperor. At length, in 653, a new Exarch, Theodore Calliopas by name, carried out these orders and delivered the Pope to the imperial capital. There Martin was condemned,
ostensibly as a traitor to the Empire, and sent into exile to Cherson in the Crimea,
where he died in 655.

Despite this brutal treatment of Martin, the Byzantine government permitted
mention of the name of Pope Vitalian Ι (657-72)(119) in the liturgical prayers of the Byzantine Church. Friendly relations thus having been re-established, Vitalian received the Emperor Constans II courteously when the latter visited Rome in 663. On his departure from Rome, however, Constans II ordered the removal of all plates of ornamental bronze to be found on the ancient monuments of Rome, including the gilt-bronze tiles of the roof of S. Maria ad Martyres (the former Pantheon), which Phocas had presented to Rome in 609. He assaulted the papal dignity once again in 669, when he made the bishopric of Ravenna autocephalous, and thus freed its archbishops from the metropolitan jurisdiction of Rome, which had formerly enjoyed the right of confirming their election and consecrating them.

Rome soon reasserted its rights over Ravenna, and the Emperor Constantine IV (668-85), the son and successor of Constans, became reconciled with Rome. He also convoked the Sixth Oecumenical Council, which, after meeting in Constantinople for almost a year, 680-81, put an end to monotheletism once and for all by promulgating the doctrine that Christ had two natures, wills, and operations. The Roman Pope Honorius Ι (625-38)(120) was anathematised and condemned by this Council, as well as by some later popes, for the evasive language he had used with regard to this doctrine.

Actually, Honorius did declare himself an adherent of the view that there was only one will in Christ, although his apologists contend that his statements on this point are sound if properly interpreted and that his error, if any was committed before the theology on this point had been formally defined. Others, however, maintain that Honorius's utterances on this subject were indisputably heretical, and seriously compromise the Vatican doctrine of papa infallibility as promulgated in 1870.


118. - Mansi, Concilia, 10, 1175-76Ε, 1177Α (in Greek and Latin), Liber pontificalis, 76, ed. L. Duchesne, 1, 336-40; PL, 77, 113, 114, 200, 201; 87, 119; Jaffe-Wattenbach, Regesta, annο 649, n. 2157 f.; Ρaul Peeters, "Une vie grecque du Pape S. Martin Ι," ΑΒ, 51 (1933), 225-62; Erich Caspar, "Die Lateransynode vοn 649," ZKirch, 3. F. 2=51 (1932), 75-137; idem, Geschichte, 2, 553 ff., 564-73. See Ottorino Bertolini, Roma di fronte, 329-465, 733. Cf idem, "Riflessi politici delle controversie religiose con Bisanzio nelle vicende del sec. VII in Italia," Settimane di studio, 5, 2 (Spoleto, 1958), 733-89, cf. 791 ff.; Ρaolo Lamma, "Ιl mondo bizantino in ΡaoΙo Diacono," in Atti del 2o Congresso internazionale di studi sull'alto medioevo (Spoleto, 1953), 199-215, n.b. 207 ff.; Kidd, Churches of Eastern Christendom, 117; Έ. Αmann, DTC, 10, 1, 182-94; Hefele-Leclercq, Conciles, 434 ff., 454 ff.; Amedeo Crivellucci, "La Chiesa di Roma e l'Impero nella questione monotelitica," Studi Storici, 9 (Pisa, 1900), 351-88, 417-47.

119. - Liber pontificalis, 78, 80, 82, ed. Duchesne, 1, 343-45, 348 f., 360 f.; Mansi, Concilia, 11, 200; Dolger, Regesten, 1, no. 233; MGH SRL, 350. Cf. Έ. Αmann, DTC, 15, 2 (1950), 3115-17; Bertolini, Roma di fronte, 355-83, 416; Caspar, Geschichte, 2, 580 ff, 780.

120. - Mansi, Concilia, 11, 537C-543C, 579A-581D (Honorius's two letters on dogma, in which he affirms one will in Christ [540BC] and rejects references to either one or two energeiai); 556C, 621Α, 636Α ff., 656C, 684Ε, 709Ε-712Α (oecumenical anathematization of Honorius); 732D-733A (Pope Leo II's endorsement of the Sixth Council and its condemnation of Honorius, in which Liber pontificalis, 82, ed. Duchesne, 1, 359.6-12 accedes). Cf. Bertolini, Roma di fronte, 307-13; Caspar, Geschichte, 2, 531 ff., 602 f., 608 ff.; Kidd, Churches of Eastern Christendom, 108 f., 122, 124; E. Amann, DTC, 7, 1, 93-132; Hefele-Leclercq, Conciles, 3, 1, 515 ff.; Ρ Goubert, Settimane di studio, 5, 2 (Spoleto, 1958), 806: defends Honorius.

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