The Council of Constantinople in 869–70: A Minority Council

In: Annuarium Historiae Conciliorum
Evangelos Chrysos Professor Emeritus, Department of History, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Athens Greece

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The Council of Constantinople of 869 was convoked by Emperor Basil I on the demand of pope Hadrian II aiming at concluding the causa Ignatiana et Photiana, actually at the definite condemnation of Patriarch Photius and his followers. The Council in Western historiographical and canonical tradition labelled as the Eighth Ecumenical Council, was in fact a minority council. The instruction of Pope Hadrian II to his representatives in Constantinople that they should collect handwritten libelli emendationis or satisfactionis by all invited bishops as a conditio sine qua non for being permitted to participate at the Council, forced hundreds of invited bishops to choose – with the exception of merely 102 of them – to abstain from participation.

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