The Sixth Ecumenical Council: Constantinople III
The Sixth Ecumenical Council (the third in Constantinople) was held in the year 680 after Christ in the time of Constantine Pogonatus, a descendant of Heracleius, in the secret chamber of the divine palace (which chamber was called the Troullos, its proceedings and transactions being comprised in eighteen Acts (p. 527 of the second volume of the Councils). The Fathers who attended it numbered one hundred and seventy, according to Photius, Nicephorus, Nilus, and Anonymus, or three hundred and eighty-nine according to others. Among those who distinguished themselves as leaders of them were George of Constantinople; Theodore and Sergius, presbyters, together with John, a deacon, who acted as exarchs of Agatho of Rome, Peter the monk who represented the Archbishop of Alexandria, George the presbyter representing the Archbishop of Jerusalem. There were also present three bishops representing the Westerners who were assembled at that time in Rome. This Council condemned Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, and Peter, all of whom were Patriarchs of Constantinople; Honorius the Pope of Rome, Cyrus the Patriarch of Alexandria, a certain man by the name of Theodore who had served as Bishop of Faran, according to Zonaras and Balsamon, or who had been born in Faran, according to Leo II of Rome in what he wrote to the Emperor; Macarius of Antioch, together with Stephanus his disciple, and the infantile-minded old man named Polychronius, who all had dared to dogmatize by attributing a single will and predicating a single energy to and of Christ, respectively. But this Council dogmatized to the contrary that our Lord Jesus Christ, though but one person, after His incarnation possessed two natural wills and two natural energies just as He also possessed two natures — that is to say, in other words, a divine will and energy and a human will and energy, both of them being at the same time indivisible and inconflatable. For neither the Divinity nor the humanity, the two natures of Christ, remained without a will and an energy after the union. For if the peculiarities of the natures should be refuted, which are the will and the energy, the natures themselves should inevitably be refuted too, along therewith. For every nature consists of and is indentical with its natural peculiarities, and without these it could not become existent. Accordingly, this Council dogmatized, in brief, that “in the hypostasis of the God-man Logos each form acted in communion with that of the other one, which it had had as its own.” This means, in other words, that the Logos wrought that which was the function of the Logos, whereas the body performed that which was the function of the body — just as the Fourth Ecumenical Council had dogmatized, that is the say, previously by means of Leo’s letter. For, as most wise Photius says, it was not within the ability of one and the same energy to restore a cripple and to become tired of traveling afoot; to resurrect Lazarus and to weep over him; nor, again, was it within the adaptability of one and the same will to request that the cup of death might pass away from Him and to call it on the other hand His glory, and to want what was unwantable. For the first activities were due to the energy of the Divinity, whereas the second activities were due to the energy of the humanity. And conversely, the first will was that of the humanity, while the second will was that of the Divinity. But this Council too failed to promulgate any Canons.
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