Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Fifth Ecumenical Council. The Second Council of Constantinople.: Historical Excursus on the After History of the Council.
Historical Excursus on the After History of the Council.
Pope Vigilius died on his way home, but not until, as we have seen, he had accepted and approved the action of the council in doing exactly that which he “by the authority of the Apostolic See” in his Constitutum had forbidden it to do. 324 He died at the end of 554 or the beginning of 555.
Pelagius I., who succeeded him in the See of Rome, likewise confirmed the Acts of the Fifth Synod. The council however was not received in all parts of the West, although it had obtained the approval of the Pope. It was bitterly opposed in the whole of the north of Italy, in England, France, and Spain, and also in Africa and Asia. The African opposition died out by 559, but Milan was in schism until 571, when Pope Justin II. published his “Henoticon.” In Istria the matter was still more serious, and when in 607 the bishop of Aquileia-Grado with those of his suffragans who were subject to the Empire made their submission and were reconciled to the Church, the other bishops of his jurisdiction set up a schismatical Patriarchate at old Aquileia, and this schism continued till the Council of Aquileia in 700. But before this the II. Council of Constantinople was received all the world over as the Fifth Ecumenical Council; and was fully recognized as such by the Sixth Council in 680.
The last sentence of the Constitutum, the sentence which the Pope gave and which the council rejected, is as follows: “We ordain and decree that it be permitted to no one who stands in ecclesiastical order of office, to write or bring forward, or undertake, or teach anything contrary to the contents of this Constitutum in regard to the Three Chapters, or, after this declaration begin a new controversy about them. And if anything has already been done or spoken in regard of the Three Chapters in contradiction of this our ordinance by anyone whomsoever, this we declare void by the authority of the Apostolic See.” It is perfectly clear that the Emperor is the “anyone” referred to.
Next: The Sixth Ecumenical Council. The Third Council of Constantinople.
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