First Council of Constantinople

From Academic Kids

Template:Ecumenical council The First Council of Constantinople (second ecumenical council) was called by Theodosius I in 381 to confirm the Nicene Creed and deal with other matters of the Arian controversy .


The Council of Nicaea did not end the Arian controversy which it had been called to clarify. By 327 Emperor Constantine had begun to regret the decisions that had been made at the Nicene Council. He granted amnesty to the Arian leaders and exiled Athanasius because of Eusebius of Nicomedia. Even during numerous exiles, Athanasius continued to be a vigorous defender of orthodoxy against Arianism. The Cappadocian Fathers also took up the torch of orthodoxy. Their Trinitarian discourse was influential in the council at Constantinople.

Up until about 360, theological debates mainly dealt with the Son, the 2nd person of the Trinity. However, because the Council of Nicaea had not clarified the divinity of the Holy Spirit, it became a target for heretics. The Macedonians denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. This was also known as Pneumatomachianism.

The proceedings

Pope Timothy I of Alexandria, Meletius of Antioch, Gregory Nazianzus, and Nectarius successively presided. Gregory Nazianzus was made patriarch, but soon resigned from the position of See a few months later, and Nectarius was then put in his place.

The council affirmed the Nicene formula of faith as true and accurate explanation of Scripture. This council also developed a statement of faith which included the language of Nicea, but expanded the discussion on the Holy Spirit to combat heresies. It is called the Constantinople creed and was a commentary on the Nicene formula. It expanded 3rd article of the creed dealing with the Holy Spirit. About the Holy Spirit the article of faith said he is Lord, the giver of life, proceeds out of the Father, and with the Father and Son is worshiped and glorified. The statement of proceeding out of the Father was significant because it established that the Holy Spirit must be of the same essence (ousia) as the Father. This is a reference to the homoousia language of Nicaea.

Seven canons, four of these doctrinal canons and three disciplinary canons, are attributed to the Council and accepted by both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches; the Roman Catholic Church accepts only the first four.

The Bishop of Rome was not invited, thus sometimes this council is called the unecumenical council. However, it was affirmed as ecumenical at the 4th Ecumenical council in Chalcedon in 451.


This council effectively handled Arianism and it began to die out with more condemnations at a council by Ambrose of Milan in 381. With the discussion of Trinitarian doctrine now developed and well under agreement to orthodox and Biblical understanding, it led to Christology. Christology would be the topic of the 3rd Ecumenical Council and 4th Ecumenical Council held in 431 at Ephesus and 451 in Chalcedon, respectively.cs:1. konstantinopolsk koncil de:Erstes Konzil von Konstantinopel fr:Ier concile œcuménique de Constantinople ja:第1コンスタンティノポリス公会議 pl:Sobór Konstantynopolitański I zh:第一次君士坦丁堡公會議


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