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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.

11. The Constantinopolitan Council in Trullo (692)

After a short period of harmony, a dispute arose over the 102 canons on discipline and administration enacted in 692 by the Council in Trullo ("Dome"),(121) which was so called because it had been held under the dome of the imperial palace in Constantinople. It was also known as the Penthekte (Quinisextum in Latin = Fifth-Sixth) because the Byzantines regarded it as a continuation of the Fifth and Sixth Oecumenical Councils, which had dealt exclusively with dogma and had not issued canons on any other subject. For this reason the Byzantines included it in the oecumenical series, as participating in the authority of the Fifth and Sixth councils.

These canons were approved by the legates of Pope Sergius Ι (687-701) But several of the canons were anti-Roman in intent, like the first (which repeated the anathematisation of Pope Honorius Ι), the thirteenth (which condemned the Roman
insistence on a celibate clergy), the thirty-sixth (which reaffirmed the twenty-eighth canon of Chalcedon), the fifty-fifth (which attacked the Roman practice of observing a fast on Saturday), and several others. For this reason, Sergius refused to affix his signature in the space left vacant for him immediately following that of the Emperor Justinian II (685-95, 705-11) and preceding those of the other patriarchs.

The Emperor then dispatched the protospatharius Zachariah to arrest Sergius
and conduct him to Constantinople. But the Italians rose up in defence of the pontiff, and when they stormed the gates of the Lateran Palace, Zachariah hid under Sergius's bed and was at length ejected from the city.

Negotiations with the Popes John VII (705-7) and Constantine Ι (708-25) the latter of whom visited Constantinople and conferred with the Emperor Justinian II in Nicomedia, were inconclusive, although they seemed to have led to some kind of tacit papal approval of the canons. Later on, Pope Hadrian (772-95) acquiesced in the Patriarch Tarasius's view that the canons should be attributed to the Sixth Council. But Pope John VIII (872-82) was more hesitant about this ascription, and gave sanction only to those canons which were not in conflict with papal decrees or Roman morals. Nevertheless, as time went on, the Latins, including the canonist Gratian in his Decretum, followed the Byzantine lead in associating the legislation of the Quinisextum with the Sixth Oecumenical Council.(122)


121. - Liber pontificalis, 1, 372.19-374.9, 378, 385.13-386.3, 387, cf. 391.1 ff., 396.7-11; Mansi, Concilia, 12, 3 (Sergius), 12, 982 (John VIII), 13, 219 (Tarasius); PL, 98, 264 (Hadrian). On Sergius and the other popes involved, see G. Fritz, "Quinisexte," DTC, 13, 2 (1937), 1581-97; Hefele-Leclercq, Conciles, 3, 1, 560 ff., 578 ff.; Α. Burg, "Paus Johannes VIII en Constantinopel," Het Christelijk Oosten en Hereniging, 5 (1952-53), 269-78; 6 (1953-54), 24-32; Franz Gorres, "Justinian II. und das römische Papsttum," ΒΖ, 17 (1908), 432-54.

122. - Gratian, Decretum, ed. cit. (in note 62 above), 76, Distinctio 22, c. 6 (quoted in note 62 above); ibid., 114 f., Distinctio 31, c.13; ibid., 1 Ι9 f., Distinctio 32, c.7; ibid., 157, Distinctio 44, c. 3; ibid., 330, Distinctio 93, c. 26.

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