Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Synodikon of Orthodoxy


Whosoever, therefore, shall confess Me before men, him will I confess before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I deny before My Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32-33).

The term synodikon is applied to an official definition promulgated by a synod or council, or to a statement which has synodical origin or conciliar authority. The present synodikon was approved and issued by the Synod of 843 which restored the veneration of icons, i.e., it upheld and re-imposed the authority of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod which had fallen into abeyance during the intervening second period of Iconoclasm (815-842). In the manuscripts, the titles are various: The Synodikon of Orthodoxy, The Synodikon Confirming Orthodoxy Read on the First Sunday of Great Lent, The Synodikon Confirming Orthodoxy, The Synodikon Against All Heresy, and different combinations of all the above. In the printed Triodion, the synodikon is titled The Synodikon of the Holy and Ecumenical Seventh Synod for Orthodoxy. Although not entirely correct, we have retained it because the Synod of 843 did not form any new definitions, but was concerned to proclaim again the authority of the Seventh Council and to re-establish the definition of the Faith propounded there.

SYNODICON OF THE HOLY AND ECUMENICAL SEVENTH COUNCIL FOR ORTHODOXY

We have received from the Church of God, that upon this day we owe yearly thanksgiving to God along with an exposition of the dogmas of piety and the overturning of the impieties of evil. Following therefore the sayings of the prophets, honoring the exhortations of the apostles, and being instructed by the histories of the Gospels, we celebrate this day of consecration. For Isaiah says: "Be consecrated to God, ye islands," intimating the churches from the nations. The churches being not simply the edifices and the embellishments of the temples, but rather the congregation of the pious, therein and those who there serve the Divinity with hymns and doxologies. The Apostle advises the same thing, exhorting us, "to walk in newness of life" and that the "new creation in Christ" be renewed. So too, the oracles of the Lord prophesied our condition. "The consecration," they say, "was in Jerusalem, and it was winter"; that is, either a spiritual winter because of the storms of bloody murder and tumult which the nation of the Jews raised against our common Saviour, or that winter which troubles the bodily senses by making the air colder. For indeed, there came upon us a winter, not an ordinary one, but one of truly great evil, brimming over with harshness; but there blossomed forth the first season, the spring of God's grace, in which we have come together to give thanks for the harvest of good things, or as we would say from the Psalms, "Summer and spring hast Thou fashioned, be mindful of this Thy creation." For verily, those enemies who reproached the Lord and utterly dishonored His holy worship in the holy icons, were both arrogant and high-minded in impieties, and were cast down by the God of marvels, and He leveled to the ground their insolent apostasy.

Nor did He overlook the voice of those crying to Him: "Remember, O Lord, the reproach of Thy servant which I have endured in my bosom from many nations; wherewith Thine enemies have reproached, O Lord, wherewith they have reproached the recompense of Thy Christ." The recompense of Christ is those who have been purchased by His death and who have believed in Him, both by the preaching of the word and by the representation in icons, whereby the redeemed know the great work of His Economy, both the Cross and all His sufferings, and miracles both before the Cross and after it; from which the imitation of His sufferings passes over unto the apostles and thence to the martyrs, and descending from them to the confessors and ascetics. This reproach wherewith the enemies of the Lord reproached, where with they reproached the recompense of His Christ, was remembered by God, Who was besought by His own compassion, and Who yielded to the prayers of His Mother, and moreover His apostles and all His saints who, with Him, were rendered of no account by the insolent defamation of the holy icons, so that even as the saints suffered in the flesh, so might they, as it were, suffer with Him the insults directed against the holy icons. God then wrought later that which had been counseled today, and He subsequently brought about that which He had previously performed; previously, because after many years during which the holy icons were spurned and dishonored, He re-established true piety. But now, for a second time, after a short thirty years of harassment, He has delivered us unworthy ones from adversity, redeeming us from those who afflicted us, and establishing the free proclamation of piety, the steadfastness of the worship of icons, and this Festival which brings all of us salvation. For in the icons we see the sufferings of our Master for us - the Cross, the grave, Hades slain and pillaged - the contests of the martyrs, the crowns, that very salvation which our First Prize-giver and Contest-master and Crown-bearer wrought in the midst of the earth. This festival we celebrate today; we rejoice together and are glad with prayers and supplicatory processions, and we cry out with psalms and hymns:

Who is as great a God as our God? You are our God, who alone does great wonders.

For Thou didst put to scorn those who slighted Thy Glory, and didst show forth as cowards and fugitives those who were audacious and impudent against the icons.

But thanksgiving unto God and the Master's trophy of victory against the adversaries is proper here; as for the contests and struggles against the iconoclasts, another discourse written more fully will declare them. Therefore, as a kind of rest after the desert sojourn, on the journey to reach the noetic Jerusalem, and not only in imitation of Moses, but also in obedience to the Divine Command, we considered it right as well as obligatory to inscribe on the hearts of our brethren, as on a pillar constructed of large fitted stones smoothed for the reception of inscriptions, both the blessings which are due to those who keep the law, and also the curses under which transgressors put themselves. Wherefore we say thus:

To them who confess with word, mouth, heart, and mind, and with both writing and icons the incarnate advent of God the Word,

Eternal Memory (3)

To them who acknowledge in Christ one Hypostasis, with different essences, and attribute to the one Hypostasis both the created and uncreated, the visible and invisible, the passible and impassible, the circumscribable and uncircumscribable; and then who apply on the one hand, to the Divine essence uncreatedness and the like, and, on the other hand, acknowledge with word and icons that the human nature has the other attributes accompanying circumscription,

Eternal Memory (3)

To them who believe and preach, that is proclaim, doctrines by means of writings and deeds by means of forms, and link them in a single proclamation, whereby the truth is affirmed in word and icon,

Eternal Memory (3)

To them who with words sanctify their lips, and their hearers by means of those words, and who both know and preach that the eyes of the beholders are similarly sanctified through them, the mind is lifted to God-knowledge, as well as by the divine temples also, the sacred vessels, and the other precious ornaments,

Eternal Memory (3)

To them who understand that the rod and the tablets, the ark and the lampstand, and the table and the censer, from aforetime depicted and prefigured the All-Holy Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, and that these things prefigured her and not that she became these things; for she was born a maiden and remained a virgin after giving birth to God, and that for this reason she is represented as a maiden in the icons rather than obscurely depicted by types,

Eternal Memory (3)

To them who know and accept and believe concerning those things which the choir of the prophets saw, and narrated, that the Divinity Himself formed and imprinted these prophetic visions, and to those who hold fast by the venerable icons, and that hold fast both the written and unwritten tradition which extends from the apostles to the fathers, and who for this cause depict and honor holy things in icons,

Eternal Memory (3)

To them who understand Moses saying, "Take heed to yourselves, that in the day when the Lord God spoke in Horeb on the mountain, ye heard the sound of words, but ye saw no likeness" and who know to answer correctly that if we saw anything, truly did we see it, as the son of thunder has taught us, "that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, and which our hands have touched, concerning the Word of life, to these things do we bear witness"; and again as the other disciples of the Word say, "that we both ate with Him and drank with Him, not only before the Passion, but even after the Passion and Resurrection"; to those therefore, who have been strengthened by God to distinguish between the commandment in the Law and the teaching which came with Grace, and between that which was invisible in the former, but both visible and tangible in the latter, and who for this cause depict and worship in icons these visible and tangible realities,

Eternal Memory (3)

As the prophets have seen, as the apostles have taught, as the Church has received, as the teachers have set forth in dogmas, as the whole world has understood, as Grace has shone forth, as the truth was demonstrated, as falsehood was banished, as wisdom was emboldened, as Christ has awarded; thus do we believe, thus we speak, thus we preach Christ our true God and His saints, honoring them in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in temples, and in icons, worshipping and respecting the One as God and Master, and honoring the others, and apportioning relative worship to them, because of our common Master for they are His genuine servants,

This is the Faith of the apostles, this is the Faith of the fathers, this is the Faith of the Orthodox, this Faith hath established the whole world.

WE NOW TAKE OCCASION TO ACCLAIM FRATERNALLY AND WITH FILIAL AFFECTION THE PREACHERS OF PIETY UNTO THE GLORY AND HONOR OF GODLINESS, FOR WHICH THEY STRUGGLED, AND, WE SAY,

To Germanus, Tarasius, Nicephorus and Methodius who are truly high priests of God and champions and teachers of Orthodoxy,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Ignatius, Photios, Stephen, Anthony, and Nicholas the most holy and Orthodox patriarchs,

Eternal Memory (3)

All that was written or spoken against the holy Patriarchs Germanus, Tarasius, Nicephorus, and Methodius, Ignatius, Photios, Nicephorus, Anthony and Nicholas,

Anathema (3)

All that was innovated and enacted, or that after this shall be enacted, outside of Church tradition and the teaching and institution of the holy and ever-memorable fathers,

Anathema (3)

To Stephen the New, the righteous martyr and confessor,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Efthymios, Theophilos, Emilianos, the ever-memorable confessors and archbishops,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Theophylactos, Peter, Michael and Joseph, the blessed metropolitans,

Eternal Memory (3)

To John, Nicholas, and George, the thrice-glorious confessors and archbishops, and all the bishops who were of one mind with them,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Theodore, the all-righteous abbot of the Studium,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Isaakios the wonderworker, the confessors Theodore and Theophanes the Branded, and Ioannikios the most prophetic,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Hilarion, the most righteous archimandrite and abbot of the Monastery of the Dalmatians,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Symeon the most righteous stylite,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Theophanes the most righteous abbot of the Monastery of the Great Field,

Eternal Memory (3)

These acclamations, like blessings of fathers, are inherited by us, their sons, who zealously emulate their piety; but likewise do the curses seize upon those parricides and disdainers of the Master's commandments. Wherefore, we in unison, since we constitute the plenitude of piety, lay upon the impious the curse which they have put upon themselves.

To them who in words accept the Economy of the Incarnation of the Word of God, but will not tolerate its representation by icons, and thus in word they make a pretense of accepting, but in fact deny our salvation,

Anathema (3)

To them who because of a mistaken adherence to the term uncircumscribed, wish not to depict in icons Christ, our True God, Who like us partook of flesh and blood, and thus show themselves to be Docetists,

Anathema (1)

To them who accept the visions of the prophets, albeit unwillingly, but who do not - O wonder! - accept the images seen by the prophets even before the Incarnation of the Word, but vainly say that the intangible and unseeable essence was seen by the prophets, or even concede that these truly were revealed to the prophets as images and types and forms, but still cannot endure to depict in icons the Word become man and His sufferings for our sake,

Anathema (1)

To them who hear the Lord Who said that "If ye believed in Moses, ye would have believed in me" and who understand the saying of Moses, "The Lord our God will raise up for you a prophet like unto me," but who, on the one hand, say that they accept the Prophet, yet on the other hand, do not permit the depiction in icons of the grace of the Prophet and our universal salvation such as He was seen, as He mingled with mankind, and worked many healings of passions and diseases, and such as He was crucified, was buried, and arose, in short, all that He both suffered and wrought for us; to those, therefore, who cannot endure to gaze upon these universal and saving deeds in icons, neither honor nor worship them,

Anathema (3)

To them who persist in the heresy of denying icons, or rather the apostasy of denying Christ, and are not counseled by the Mosaic law to be led to their salvation, nor are they convinced to return to piety by the apostolic teachings, nor are they induced by patristic exhortations and explanations to abandon their deception, nor are they persuaded by the agreement of the Churches of God throughout the whole world, but once for all have joined themselves to the portion of the Jews and Greeks; for those things wherewith the latter directly blaspheme the prototype, the former likewise have not blushed to insult in His icon Him that is depicted therein; therefore, to them who are incorrigibly possessed by this deception, and have their ears covered towards every Divine word and spiritual teaching, as already being putrified members, and having cut themselves off from the common body of the Church,

Anathema (3)

To Anastasios, Constantine and Nicetas, who, being unhallowed guides to perdition, were the originators of heresies during the reign of the Isaurians,

Anathema (3)

To Theodotus, Anthony and John, mutual instigators of evils who succeeded each other in their impiety,

Anathema (3)

To Paul, who turned back into a Saul, and to Theodore, surnamed Gastes, and to Stephan Molytes, and furthermore to Theodore Crithinus and Leon Laloudius, and. to whomever shares the like impiety with the aforementioned, whatever his rank might be, in the clergy or in some office or in whatever occupation he pursues; to all such who continue in their impiety,

Anathema (3)

To Gerontios, who, having his origins in Lampe but vomiting forth in Crete the venom of his loathsome heresy, called himself the anointed one for the overturning - fie! - of the saving Oeconomy of Christ, and to his perverted doctrines and writings and to those who agree with him,

Anathema (3)

THE ELEVEN CHAPTERS AGAINST JOHN ITALUS

To them who attempt by whatever means to introduce a new controversy or teaching into the ineffable Economy of our Incarnate Saviour and God, and who seek to penetrate the way wherein God the Word was united to the human substance and for what reason He deified the flesh He assumed, and who, by using dialectical terminology of nature and adoption, try to dispute about the transcendent innovation of His divine and human natures,

Anathema (3)

To them who profess piety yet shamelessly, or rather impiously, introduce into the Orthodox and Catholic Church the ungodly doctrines of the Greeks concerning the souls of men, heaven and earth, and the rest of creation,

Anathema (3)

To them who prefer the foolish so-called wisdom of the secular philosophers and follow its proponents, and who accept the metempsychosis of human souls or that, like the brute animals, the soul is utterly destroyed and departs into nothingness, and who thus deny the resurrection, judgment, and the final recompense for the deeds committed during life,

Anathema (3)

To them who dogmatize that matter and the Ideas are without beginning or are co-eternal with God, the Creator of all, and that heaven and earth and the other created things are everlasting, unoriginate and immutable, thus legislating contrary to Him Who said: 'Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words will not pass away'; to them who thus speak vain and earthly things drawing down the Divine curse upon their own heads,

Anathema (3)

To them who maintain that although the wise men of the Greeks and the foremost of the heresiarchs were put under anathema by the Seven Holy and Catholic Councils and by all the fathers that shone forth in Orthodoxy as ones alien to the Catholic Church because of the adulterations and loathsome superabundance of error in their teachings, yet they are exceedingly more excellent, both here and in the future judgment, than those pious and orthodox men who, by human passion or by ignorance, have committed some offense,

Anathema (3)

To them who do not accept with a pure and simple faith and with all their soul and heart the extraordinary miracles of our Saviour and God and of the holy Theotokos who without stain gave birth to Him, and of the other saints, but who attempt by sophistic demonstration and words to traduce them as being impossible, or to misinterpret them according to their own way of thinking, and to present them according to their own opinion,

Anathema (3)

To them who undertake Greek studies not only for purposes of education but also follow after their vain opinions, and are so thoroughly convinced of their truth and validity that they shamelessly introduce them and teach them to others, sometimes secretly and sometimes openly,

Anathema (3)

To them who of themselves refashion creation by means of mythical fabrications and accept the Platonic ideas as veritable, saying that matter, being self-subsistent, is given form by these ideas, and who thereby clearly calumniate the free will of the Creator Who brought all things into being out of non-being and Who, as Maker, established the beginning and end of all things by His authority and sovereignty,

Anathema (3)

To them who say that in the last and general resurrection men will be raised up and judged in other bodies and not in those wherewith they passed this present life, inasmuch as these were corrupted and destroyed, and who babble empty and vain things against Christ our God Himself, and His disciples, our teachers, who taught that in the very same body in which men lived, in the same shall they also be judged; furthermore the great Apostle Paul in his discourse concerning the resurrection distinctly and with examples restates the same truth more extensively and refutes as mindless those who think differently; therefore, to them who contravene such dogmas and doctrines,

Anathema (3)

To them who accept and transmit the vain Greek teachings that there is a pre-existence of souls and teach that all things were not produced and did not come into existence out of non-being, that there is an end to the torment or a restoration again of creation and of human affairs, meaning by such teachings that the Kingdom of the Heavens is entirely perishable and fleeting, whereas the Kingdom is eternal and indissoluble as Christ our God Himself taught and delivered to us, and as we have ascertained from the entire Old and New Scripture, that the torment is unending and the Kingdom everlasting to them who by such teachings both destroy themselves and become agents of eternal condemnation to others,

Anathema (3)

To those pagan and heterodox doctrines and teachings introduced in contempt of the Christian and Orthodox faith or in opposition to the Catholic and blameless faith of the Orthodox, by John Italus and by his disciples who shared in his ruin,

Anathema (1)

AGAINST NILOS

To those doctrines impiously dogmatized by the pseudo-monk Nilos and to all who share them,

Anathema (3)

AGAINST THE BOGOMILS

To them who do not confess one nature in the holy, coessential, undivided and coeternal Trinity, of one honor and of one throne, that is, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but who affirm that the Son is some adventitious angel called Satanael or Amen; and furthermore, who say that the Holy Spirit, equal in power with the Father and the Son, is different from or inferior to Them in nature; to such men, therefore, be

Anathema (1)

To them who do not confess that God is the Creator of heaven and earth and of all creatures, the Maker of Adam and the Fashioner of Eve, but say that the Adversary is the ruler and creator of all and the fashioner of human nature; to such men,

Anathema (1)

To them who do not confess that the Word and Son of God was begotten from the Father without change before the ages, and that in these latter times out of His abundant loving kindness, He became incarnate as a man from the immaculate Theotokos Mary, taking upon Himself for our salvation all that pertains to us save sin, and to them who consequently do not partake of His holy and immortal Mysteries with fear, inasmuch as they consider them as mere bread and common wine rather than the very flesh of the Master and His holy and precious Blood shed for the life of the world; to such men,

Anathema (1)

To them who do not worship the Cross of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ as the salvation and glory of the whole world and as that which annulled and utterly destroyed the machinations and weapons of the enemy, and thereby redeemed creation from the idols and manifested victory to the world, but hold the Cross to be a tyrannical weapon; to such men,

Anathema (1)

AGAINST EUSTRATIOS AND LEO OF CHALCEDON

To them who introduce a heretical, new understanding concerning the ineffable Economy of the Incarnation of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, and say or think that Christ's human nature, like a servant, worships the unapproachable Divinity and everlastingly retains servitude as an essential and inseparable mark,

Anathema (3)

To them who do not employ with all reverence the division made in pure thought for the purpose of showing only the difference between the ineffably conjoined two natures in Christ - which natures are united in Him without confusion and without division - but employ this distinction improperly, and say that this human nature which Christ has assumed is different not only in nature but also in dignity, and that it worships God and offers a servile ministry, and is obliged to honor God, in the same manner as the ministering spirits which serve and worship God as servants; and to them who identify the great High Priest with the assumed human nature itself, rather than with the Word of God Who became man, and by such means they dare to hypostatically divide the one Christ, our Lord and God,

Anathema (3)

AGAINST BASILAKI, SOTERICHOS, AND OTHERS

To them who say that the sacrifice of His precious Body and Blood offered for our salvation by our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ at the time of His world-saving Passion was offered up by Him to God the Father, and that He thus fulfilled the ministry of High Priest for us in His humanity (inasmuch as He is at the same time God and Sacrificer and Victim, according to St. Gregory the Theologian), but who then say that He, the Only Begotten, along with the Holy Spirit, did not Himself accept the sacrifice as God together with the Father; hence by such teachings they estrange from the divine equality of honor and dignity both God the Word and the Spirit, the Comforter, Who is of one essence and of one glory with Him,

Anathema (3)

To them who do not accept that the sacrifice which is offered daily by those who have received from Christ the priestly service of the Divine Mysteries, is in fact offered to the Holy Trinity, and thereby contradict the sacred and divine fathers, Basil and Chrysostom, and other God-bearing fathers who all agree in both their words and writings,

Anathema (3)

To them who hear the Saviour saying concerning the priestly service of the Divine Mysteries delivered by Him: "Do this in remembrance of Me," but they do not understand "remembrance" correctly, but dare to say that the daily sacrifice offered by those who perform the sacred service of the Divine Mysteries, just as our Saviour, the Master of all, delivered to us, reenacts only symbolically and figuratively the Sacrifice of His own Body and Blood which our Saviour had offered on the Cross as a ransom and redemption of our common human nature; and for this reason, since they introduce the doctrine that this is a different sacrifice from the one originally consummated by the Saviour and refers to it merely symbolically and figuratively, they bring to naught the Mystery of the awesome and divine priestly service whereby we receive the earnest of the future life; therefore, to them who deny what is staunchly proclaimed by our divine Father John Chrysostom who says in many commentaries on the sayings of the Great Paul that the sacrifice is identical, that both are one and the same,

Anathema (3)

To them who invent and introduce intervals of time into the reconciliation of human nature with the Divine and blessed nature of the lifegiving and wholly inviolate Trinity, and legislate that we were first reconciled to the Only-begotten Word by His assumption of humanity and then afterwards to God the Father during the salutary Passion of the Saviour Christ; and thus they divide what is indivisible according to the divine and blessed fathers who taught that the Only-begotten reconciled us to Himself through the entire Mystery of the Economy, of the Incarnation and through Himself and in Himself to God the Father and, it follows necessarily, to the all-holy and life-creating Spirit; therefore to them who invent these new and strange doctrines we say,

Anathema (3)

To them who do not correctly understand the divine voices of the holy teachers of the Church of God and who attempt to misinterpret and pervert those things clearly and manifestly spoken in them by the grace of the Holy Spirit,

Anathema (3)

To them who accept, among other interpretations by the holy fathers, that the words of our true God and Lord, our Saviour Jesus Christ, 'My Father is greater than I' also appertain to His humanity, wherein He suffered, as the holy fathers distinctly preach in many places in their God-inspired words; to them moreover who say that the same Christ suffered in His own flesh, be

Eternal Memory (3)

To them who understand and speak of the deification of the assumed nature as implying a change of the human nature into the Divine Nature and do not believe that, because of this union, the Body of the Lord shares the Divine rank and majesty and consequently is worshipped with one worship of God the Word Who assumed it, nor do they believe that it shares in the one honor, glory, and throne, being life-creating, and equal in majesty with God the Father and the All-Holy Spirit - not that it became coessential with God so as to lose its natural properties, of creaturehood, circumscription, and of the other properties seen in the human nature of Christ - but they believe rather that it is changed into the very essence of the Divinity and, by this, imply that either the incarnation and passion of the Lord were not true, but a fantasy, or that the Divinity of the Only-begotten suffered passion,

Anathema (3)

To them who say that the flesh of the Lord is exalted by this union and that it transcends every honor since by this complete union it became immutably one with God, without change, without confusion, and unaltered by reason of the hypostatic union, inseparably and continuously abiding in God the Word Who assumed it, and that it is honored with a glory equal to His and worshipped with one worship and is established on the royal and divine Throne at the right hand of God the Father, and is endowed with the attributes of Divinity, while the properties of the two natures are preserved,

Eternal Memory (3)

To them who reject the teachings which were pronounced for the establishment of the true doctrines of the Church of God by the Holy Fathers Athanasios, Cyril, Ambrose, Amphilochios the God-proclaiming, Leo the most holy Archbishop of Old Rome, and by all the others, and furthermore, who do not embrace the Acts of the Ecumenical Councils, especially those of the Fourth, I say, and of the Sixth,

Anathema (3)

To them who do not accept the saying of our true God and Saviour Jesus Christ, 'The Father is greater than I' as the saints have diversely interpreted it, some saying that it refers to His Divinity because of His generation from the Father, and other saints saying that it refers to the natural properties of the flesh, assumed by Him and which is enhypostatic in His divinity, namely creaturehood, circumscription, mortality and the other natural and blameless passions because of which the Lord called the Father greater than Himself; but who contrarily say, that the Lord's words are only understandable when the flesh is considered in abstract thought as separated from the Godhead as though it had never been united; therefore, to them who do not receive this method - that is, the conceptual division in abstract thought - as used by the holy fathers who employed it only whenever servitude and ignorance are mentioned, since they could not endure that the flesh of Christ which is one with God and of the same honor be blasphemed by using such words, but who instead say that the natural properties are to be understood merely conceptually by an act of abstract thought although the natural properties truly belong to the Lord's flesh which is enhypostatic to His Divinity and remains united indivisibly, and they dogmatize the same concerning things unsubstantial and false, as they do for the substantial and true,

Anathema (3)

AGAINST CONSTANTINE THE BULGARIAN

To Constantine of Bulgaria, who was metropolitan of Corfu, who evilly and impiously dogmatized concerning the saying of our true God and Saviour Jesus Christ, 'The Father is greater than I,' and did not believe and say that the holy and Godbearing fathers understand this saying in diverse pious senses, as well as in this sense: that the flesh which was assumed by the Only-begotten Son of God from the holy Virgin and Theotokos and which subsisted in His Divinity without confusion after the indivisible union, retained its own properties, and for this reason the Lord called the Father greater than Himself; Who with His assumed human nature (since it is at one with God and of the same glory as God) is in one worship both worshipped and glorified together with the Father and the All-Holy Spirit; but Constantine maintains that this saying must not be applied whenever the Lord is considered to be one hypostasis having the two natures united, but applied only when the flesh is considered to be separated merely conceptually from the Divinity so that what belongs to His humanity can be comprehended (but the supremely theological Damascene clearly taught that this purely abstract distinction is not used whenever a statement is made indicating some natural property of Christ's flesh, but rather when a statement manifests either servitude or ignorance); therefore to Constantine who was not willing to follow the Holy and Ecumenical Fourth and Sixth Councils, which dogmatized rightly and piously concerning the two natures united unconfusedly in Christ and which taught the Church of Christ to believe rightly, and who thus destroyed himself in diverse heresies,

Anathema (3)

To all them who are of one mind with this same Constantine of Bulgaria and who suffered and lamented over his deposition, not out of pity, but because they have been led astray by his impiety,

Anathema (3)

AGAINST JOHN IRENICUS

To the most unlearned John Irenicus the champion of falsehood and vanity, and to those things composed by him against the writings of piety, and to them who embrace his words and who believe and say, that not because of the humanity which our Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour and God holds within Himself, and which is enhypostatic and united inseparably, indivisibly and unconfusedly with His Divinity, did He, as perfect man, say in the Holy Gospels; 'The Father is greater than I,' but they say rather that this phrase is to be considered as being spoken by Him according to His humanity in the same manner as when, by an act of abstract thought, His humanity is divested and entirely divided from His Divinity, and as if it had never been united thereto and as it it were like our common nature,

Anathema (3)

To the conclave that raged against the venerable icons,

Anathema (3)

To them who consider the declarations of Divine Scripture against the idols as referring to the venerable icons of Christ our God and His saints,

Anathema (3)

To them who knowingly have communion with those who insult and dishonor the venerable icons,

Anathema (3)

To them who say that the Christians draw near to icons as if they were gods,

Anathema (3)

To them who say that another besides Christ our God delivered us from the deception of idols,

Anathema (3)

To them who dare to say that the Catholic Church at one time had accepted idols, and thus they overthrow the entire mystery, and blaspheme the Faith of the Christians,

Anathema (3)

Whoever would defend an adherent of any heresy which disparages the Christians, or would defend someone who died in that heresy, let him be,

Anathema (3)

If anyone does not worship our Lord Jesus Christ depicted in the icons according to His humanity, let him be,

Anathema (3)

To all the heretics,

Anathema (3)

To Barlaam and Acindynus and to their followers and successors,

Anathema (3)

THE CHAPTERS AGAINST BARLAAM AND AKINDYNUS

To them who at times think and say that the light which shone forth from the Lord at His Divine transfiguration is an apparition, a thing created, and a phantom which appears for an instant and then immediately vanishes, and who at other times think and say that this light is the very essence of God, and thus dementedly cast themselves into entirely contradictory and impossible positions; to such men who, on the one hand, raving with Arius' madness, sever the one Godhead and the one God into created and uncreated, and who, on the other hand, are entangled in the impiety of the Massalians who assert that the Divine essence is visible, and who moreover, do not confess, in accord with the divinely-inspired theologies of the saints and the pious mind of the Church, that that supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God,

Anathema (3)

Again, to those same men who think and say that God has no natural energy, but is nought but essence, who suppose the Divine essence and the Divine energy to be entirely identical and undistinguishable and with no apprehensible difference between them; who call the same thing at times essence and at times energy, and who senselessly abolish the very essence of God and reduce it to non-being, for, as the teachers of the Church say, "Only non-being is deprived of an energy" to these men who think as did Sabellios, and who dare now to renew his ancient contraction, confusion and coalescing of the three Hypostases of the Godhead upon the essence and energy of God by confounding them in an equally impious manner; to these men who do not confess in accord with the divinely-inspired theologies of the saints and the pious mind of the Church, that in God there is both essence and essential, natural energy, as a great many of the saints, and especially all those who gathered at the Sixth Ecumenical Council, have clearly explained with respect to Christ's two energies, both Divine and human, and His two wills; to those then who in nowise wish to comprehend that, even as there is an unconfused union of God's essence and energy, so is there also an undivided distinction between them, for, among other things, essence is cause while energy is effect, essence suffers no participation, while energy is communicable; to them, therefore, who profess such impieties,

Anathema (3)

Again, to those same men who think and say that every natural power and energy of the Tri-hypostatic Godhead is created, and thereby are constrained to believe that the very essence of God is also created, since, according to the saints, created energy evidences a created nature, whereas uncreated energy designates an uncreated nature; to these men who, in consequence, are in danger now of falling into complete atheism, who have affixed the mythology of the Greeks and the worship of creatures to the pure and spotless faith of the Christians and who do not confess, in accord with the divinely-inspired theologies of the saints and the pious mind of the Church, that every natural power and energy of the Tri-hypostatic Godhead is uncreated,

Anathema (3)

Again, to those same men who think and say that through these pious doctrines a compounding comes to pass in God, for they do not comply with the teaching of the saints, that no compounding occurs in a nature from its natural properties; to such men who thereby lay false accusation not only against us, but against all the saints who, at great length and on many occasions, have most lucidly restated both the doctrine of God's simplicity and uncompoundedness and the distinction of the Divine essence and energy, in such a manner so that this distinction in no way destroys the Divine simplicity, for otherwise, they would contradict their own teaching; to such, therefore, as speak these empty words and do not confess in accord with the divinely-inspired theologies of the saints and the pious mind of the Church, that the Divine simplicity is most excellently preserved in this God-befitting distinction,

Anathema (3)

Again, to those same men who think and say that the name 'Godhead' or 'Divinity' can be applied only to the essence of God, but who do not confess in accord with the divinely-inspired theologies of the saints and the pious mind of the Church, that this appellation equally pertains to the Divine energy, and that thus one Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is by all means still professed, whether one apply the name 'Godhead' to Their essence, or to Their energy, as the divine expounders of the mysteries have instructed us,

Anathema (3)

Again, to those same men who think and say that the essence of God is communicable, and who thus without shame strive to subtly introduce into our Church the impiety of the Massalians, who of old suffered from the malady of this same opinion, and who thus do not confess in accord with the divinely inspired theologies of the saints and. the pious mind of the Church, that the essence of God is wholly inapprehensible and incommunicable, whereas the grace and energy of God are communicable,

Anathema (3)

To all the impious words and writings of these men,

Anathema (3)

To Isaac, surnamed Argyros, who suffered throughout his life with the malady of Barlaam and Akindynus, and though at the end of his life the Church asked, as formerly She had often done, for his return and repentance, he nevertheless remained obdurate in his impiety and in the profession of his heresy, and wretchedly vomited forth his soul,

Anathema (3)

To Arius, the first to fight against God, and the leader of every heresy,

Anathema (3)

To Peter the Fuller and fool, who said 'Holy Immortal, Who was crucified for us,'

Anathema (3)

To Nestorios, the cursed of God, who said that the Holy Trinity suffered, and to the godless and mindless Valentinos,

Anathema (3)

To Paul of Samosata and Theodotion, his like-minded confidant, and to another Nestorios,

Anathema (3)

To Peter the Paltry, the heretic, who was surnamed Lycopetrus, or 'the Wolf,' to the evil-minded Eutychius and Sabellios,

Anathema (3)

To James Stanstalus the Armenian, to Dioscorus the Patriarch of Alexandria, to the godless Severus, as well as to the like-minded Sergius, Paul and Pyrrus, and to Sergius, the disciple of Lycopetrus,

Anathema (3)

To all the followers of Eutychius, to the Monothelites, the Jacobites and the Artzivurites, and generally to all heretics,

Anathema (3)

HERE COMMENCES THE PRAISE OF THE ORTHODOX EMPERORS WHO HAVE GONE TO THEIR REST

To Andronicus Paleologus, our renowned and blessed emperor, who convoked the first council against Barlaam, and who vigorously championed the Church of Christ and that sacred council both by deeds and by words and by marvelous orations to the people with his own mouth; he made steadfast the evangelical and apostolic dogmas, while he both put dawn and publicly denounced Barlaam together with his heresies, his writings and his vain words against our Right Faith; he was blessedly translated from this life and passed to that better and blessed state during these, his sacred endeavors and valiant deeds for the sake of piety,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Gregory, the most holy Metropolitan of Thessalonica, who in the Great Church synodically put down both Barlaam and Akindynus, the leaders and inventors of new heresies, together with their villainous company, men who dared to aver that the natural and inseparable energy and power of God, and in short, all the natural properties of the Holy Trinity, are created, who dared to call the unapproachable light of the Godhead which shone forth from Christ upon the mountain, 'created divinity,' and strive once again to wickedly introduce into the Church of Christ the Platonic ideas and those other Greek myths; to this Gregory, who by means of his writings, words and arguments, wisely and most gallantly led the fight in defense of the common Church of Christ and of the true, infallible dogmas pertaining to the Godhead, and proclaimed one Divinity and one almighty God of Three Hypostases, possessing both energy and will, and untreated in all His properties, as is in accordance with Divine Scripture, and its interpreters the theologians, that is, Athanasios, Basil, Gregory, and John of Golden speech, and Cyril, and together with them, the wise Maximus, and the divinely eloquent Damascene, and moreover all the fathers and teachers of the Church of Christ; to this Gregory, who was manifest by his words and deeds to be the fellow-communicate, companion, ally, emulator and comrade in arms with all these saints,

Eternal Memory (3)

To all those men, together with the aforementioned renowned and blessed emperor Andronicus, and indeed, those who ruled after him, who contended for the defense of Orthodoxy in discourse and debates, in writings and teachings, in every word and act, who vigorously championed the Church of Christ, who in the Church confuted and publicly denounced the malicious and multiform heresies of Barlaam and Akindynus and their like, and brilliantly proclaimed the dogmas of piety taught by the apostles and the fathers, and for this very reason were repudiated by the impious, and were defamed and disparaged along with the sacred theologians and our God-bearing fathers and teachers,

Eternal Memory (3)

To those who confess one Tri-hypostatic and almighty God, Who is not only uncreated with respect to His essence and His Hypostases, but also with respect to His energy; to those who declare that the energy of God proceeds from His Divine essence, but proceeds inseparably, and who thus indicate by the term 'procession' the ineffable distinction between the Divine essence and energy, and by the term 'inseparably' their supernatural unity, even as the Holy Sixth Ecumenical Council proclaimed,

Eternal Memory (3)

To those who confess that even as God is uncreated and unoriginate with respect to His essence, so is He untreated and unoriginate with respect to His energy (unoriginate in the sense that the Divine energy is timeless); and to those who declare that God is in every way incommunicable and incomprehensible with respect to His essence, but is communicated to the worthy with respect to His Divine and deifying energy, as the theologians of the Church profess,

Eternal Memory (3)

To those who confess that the light which shone forth ineffably upon the mountain at the Lord's Transfiguration is unapproachable light, boundless light, an incomprehensible effusion of the Deity's resplendence, unutterable glory, the transcendently perfect and praeter-perfect and timeless glory of the Godhead, the glory of the Son, the Kingdom of God, true and lovable beauty which encompasses the Divine and blessed nature, the glory natural to God, and the Divinity of the Father and the Spirit flashing forth in the Only-begotten Son, as our divine and God-bearing fathers have said, Athanasios the Great and Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, John Chrysostom, and moreover John of Damascus, and who therefore maintain this supremely Divine light to be uncreated,

Eternal Memory (3)

To those who affirm the light of the Lord's Transfiguration to be uncreated, and do not assert that this is the super-essential essence of God, since the Divine essence remains in every way unseen and uncommunicated; 'No man hath seen God at any time,' that is, as the theologians explain, as He is in His nature; but who say rather, that this is the natural glory of the super-essential essence, the glory which proceeds inseparably forth from thence and, by God's love for men, shines upon those who are purified in mind, with which glory, as the theologians of the Church teach, our Lord and God will appear in His second and dread Coming to judge the living and the dead,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Michael, our Orthodox emperor, and Theodora his holy mother,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Basil and Constantine, Leo and Alexander, Christopher and Romanos, Constantine, Romanos, Nicephorus, and John, Basil and Constantine, Andronicus, and Romanos, Michael, Nicephorus, Isaakios, Alexius, and John, Manuel, who by the divine and angelic Habit was renamed Matthew, monk, Isaakios, Alexius, and Theodore, who all exchanged an earthly kingdom for the Heavenly,

Eternal Memory (3)

To John Ducas of pious memory, our ever-memorable emperor, who by the divine and angelic Habit was renamed Theodore monk,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Michael Paleologus the New, of pious memory, our ever-memorable emperor,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Andronicus Paleologus of pious memory, our ever-memorable emperor, who by the divine and angelic Habit was renamed Anthony, monk,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Andronicus Paleologus, who is at rest with the pious, our ever-memorable most pious and Christ-loving emperor,

Eternal Memory (3)

To John Catacuzenos, who is at rest with the pious, our ever-memorable, most pious and Christ-loving emperor, who by the divine and angelic Habit was renamed Ioasaph,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Eudokia and Theophano, Theodora and Helen, Theophano and Theodora, Catherine, Eudokia, Maria, Irene and Maria, who by the divine and angelic Habit was renamed Xenia, nun, Euphrosyne, Anna, and Helen, the most pious Augustae,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Irene of pious memory, our pious and ever-memorable queen, who by the divine and angelic Habit was renamed Eugenia, nun,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Theodora of pious memory, our ever-memorable queen, who by the divine and angelic Habit was renamed Eugenia, nun,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Irene of pious memory our ever-memorable queen,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Maria of pious memory, our ever-memorable queen, who by the divine and angelic Habit was renamed Xenia, nun,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Anna of pious memory, our ever-memorable queen, who by the divine and angelic Habit was renamed Anastasia, nun, who by deeds and words with her whole soul struggled throughout her life for the establishment of the Apostolic and Patristic Dogmas of the Church and the overthrow of the evil and atheist heresy of Barlaam and Akindynus and of those who were of like mind with them,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Irene of pious memory, our ever-memorable queen, who by the divine and angelic habit was renamed Eugenia, nun,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Germanus, Tarasius, Nicephorus, and Methodius, the ever-memorable and blessed patriarchs,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Ignatius, Photios, Stephen, and Anthony, Nicholas, and Efthymios, Stephen, Trypho and Theophylactos, Polyeuctus, Anthony, Nicholas, Sisinius, Sergius, Eustathius, Alexius, Michael, John, Constantine, Cosmas, Eustratios, Nicholas, Leo, Michael, Theodotus, Luke, Michael, Chariton, Theodotus, Basil, Nicetas, Leontius, Dositheus, Meletius, Peter, George, Michael, Theodore, John, Maximus, Manuel, Methodius, who by the divine and angelic Habit was renamed Akakios, monk, Manuel who by the divine and angelic Habit was renamed Matthew, monk, the Orthodox patriarchs,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Germanus, who rests in blessedness, the ever-memorable patriarch, who

by the divine and angelic Habit was renamed George, monk,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Arsenius, who rests in blessedness, the most holy and ever-memorable patriarch,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Joseph, who rests in blessedness, the most holy and ever-memorable patriarch,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Athanasios, who rests in blessedness, the most holy and ever-memorable patriarch,

Eternal Memory (3)


To Gerasimus, the most holy and ever-memorable patriarch,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Isaiah, the most holy patriarch,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Isidore, who rests in blessedness, the most holy and ever-memorable patriarch,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Callistus, who rests in blessedness, the most holy and ever-memorable patriarch,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Philotheus, who rests in blessedness, the most holy and ever-memorable patriarch, who unwaveringly struggled for the Church of Christ and her right dogmas with words and actions, discourses, teachings, and writings,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Christopher, Theodore, Agapius, and John, Nicholas, Eliu, and Theodore, Basil, Peter, Theodosius, Nicephorus, and John, the ever-memorable patriarchs of Antioch,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Damian, Basil, Constantine, Nicephorus, Leo and Sisinius, Basil, and Joseph, Michael, and Christopher, Nicephorus, George, Pantoleon, and Alexander, Cosmas, and Constantine, Theophanes, Peter, John, Nicetas, George, Nicholas, and John, the Orthodox metropolitans,

Eternal Memory (3)

To Michael, Metrophanes, Meletius, Ignatius and Maximus, the ever-memorable metropolitans of Old Patras,

Eternal Memory (3)

HERE IS MADE THE ACCLAMATION OF THE KINGS, PATRIARCHS, AND ALL THE LIVING. THE HOLY TRINITY HATH GLORIFIED THEM.

Let us beseech God that we be instructed and strengthened by their conflicts and struggles unto death for the sake of piety and by their teachings, and let us fervently pray to be shown forth unto the end as imitators of their godly conversation. May we be deemed worthy of the fulfillment of our petitions by the compassions and grace of the great and first High Priest Christ, our true God, by the intercessions of our most glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, of the Godlike Angels, and of all the Saints. Amen.

FROM THE COUNCIL OF 1583

From old Rome have come certain persons who learned there to wear Latin habits. The worst of it is how, from being Romans of Rumelia bred and born, they not only have changed their faith, but they even wage war upon the Orthodox dogmas and truths of the Eastern Church which have been delivered to us by Christ and the divine Apostles and the Holy Councils (or Synods) of the Holy Fathers. Therefore, cutting off these persons as rotten members, we command:

That whoever does not confess with heart and mouth that he is a child of the Eastern Church baptized in Orthodox style, and that the Holy Spirit proceeds out of only the Father, essentially and hypostatically, as Christ says in the Gospel, shall be outside of our Church and shall be anathematized. That whoever does not confess that at the Mystery of Holy Communion the laity must also partake of both kinds, of the Precious Body and Blood, but instead says that he will partake only of the body, and that this is sufficient because therein is both flesh and blood, when as a matter of fact Christ said and administered each separately, and they who fail to keep such customs, let all such persons be anathematized.

That whoever says that our Lord Jesus Christ at the Mystic Supper had unleavened bread (made without yeast), like that of the Jews, and not leavened bread, that is to say, bread raised with yeast, let him depart far away from us and let him be anathema as one having Jewish views and those of Apolinarios and bringing dogmas of the Armenians into our Church, on which account let him be doubly anathema.

Whoever says that our Christ and God, when He comes to judge us, does not come to judge souls together with bodies, or embodied souls, but instead comes to sentence only bodies, let him be anathema.

Whoever says that the souls of Christians who repented while in the world but failed to perform their penance go to a purgatory of fire when they die, where there is flame and punishment, and are purified, which is simply an ancient Greek myth, and those who, like Origen, think that hell is not everlasting, and thereby afford or offer the liberty or incentive to sin, let him and all such persons be anathema.

That whoever says that the Pope is the head of the Church, and not Christ, and that he has authority to admit persons to Paradise with his letters of indulgence or other passports, and can forgive sins as many as a person may commit if such person pay money to receive from him indulgences, i.e., licenses to sin, let every such person be anathema.

That whoever does not follow the customs of the Church as the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils decreed, and Holy Pascha, and the Menologion with which they did well in making it a law that we should follow it, and wishes to follow the newly-invented Paschalion and the New Menologion of the atheist astronomers of the Pope, and opposes all those things and wishes to overthrow and destroy the dogmas and customs of the Church which have been handed down by our fathers, let him suffer anathema and be put out of the Church of Christ and out of the Congregation of the Faithful.

That ye pious and Orthodox Christians remain faithful in what ye have been taught and have been born and brought up in, and when the time calls for it and there be need, that your very blood be shed in order to safeguard the Faith handed down by our Fathers and your confession: and that ye beware of such persons as have been described or referred to in the foregoing paragraphs, in order that our Lord Jesus Christ may help you and at the same time may the prayer of our mediocrity be with all of you: Amen.

Done in the year of the God-man 1583 (MDLXXXIII), year of indiction 12, November 20 [O.S.],

Jeremiah of Constantinople
Silvester of Alexandria
Sophronius of Jerusalem

In the presence of the rest of the prelates at the Council.

Please Visit Our Sponsors

BannerFans.com