Showing posts with label Infallibility. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Infallibility. Show all posts

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The heretic pope

Edit: I'll bet there are more than two. This passage really grabbed my attention:

Monothelitism, prevailed for over forty years in the Byzantine Empire.  At that time the most vigorous defender of the faith was the monk, Maximus, known as the Confessor, who took part in a Synod convoked at the Lateran (649) by Pope Martin (649-655), to condemn Monothelitism. Both the Pope and Maximus were forced into exile. Maximus’s tongue and right hand were cut off as he refused to subscribe to the Monothelite doctrines.  Sophronius, Maximus and Martin are today venerated by the Church as saints for their indomitable resistance to the Monothelite heresy. 

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
December 30, 2015

The case of Pope Honorius is one of the most controversial in the history of the Church. As the Church historian, Emile Amann, rightly notes in the large entry he dedicates to the Question d’Onorius in Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique (vol. VII, coll. 96-132), the problem needs to be treated in an unbiased manner and with the serene impartiality which history owes to past events (col.96).

At the center of the pontificate of Pope Honorius who reigned from 625-638, was the question of Monothelitism, the last of the great Christological heresies.  In order to please the Byzantine Emperor, Heraclius, desirous of guaranteeing religious peace inside his kingdom, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Sergius, sought to find a compromise between Catholic orthodoxy, according to which in Jesus Christ there are two natures in one person, and the Monophysite heresy, which attributed to Christ one person only and one nature only. The result of the compromise was a new heresy, Monothelitism, according to which, the double nature of Christ was moved in His action of one operation only and one will only. This is semi-Monophysitism, but truth is integral or it is not, and a moderate heresy, is always heresy. The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius, was among those who intervened with the greatest vigor in denouncing the new doctrine which rendered the humanity of Christ futile and led to Monophysitism , condemned by the Council of Chalcedon (451).  

Sergius wrote to Pope Honorius to ask “in future that no-one be permitted to affirm the two operations in Christ Our God” and to receive his support against Sophronius.  Honorius unfortunately assented to the request. In a letter to Sergius he affirmed  that “the will of Our Lord Jesus Christ was one only (unam voluntatem fatemur), for “the fact that our human nature was assumed by the Divinity” and he invited Sophronius to be silent.  The correspondence between Sergius and Honorius is conserved in the acts of VI Ecumenical Council (Mansi, Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima Collectio, vol. XI, cols. 529-554) and was republished in Latin, Greek and French by Arthur Loth   La cause d’Honorius. Documents originaux avec traduction, notes et conclusion, Victor Palmé, Paris 1870 and in Greek and German by Georg Kreuzer, Die Honoriusfrage im Mittelalter und in der Neuzeit, Anton Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1975).