Sixth Ecumenical Council

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The Sixth Ecumenical Council took place in Constantinople in 680-681 AD, and is also known as the Third Council of Constantinople.


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The sixth of the seven Ecumenical Councils, called together by St. Constantine the New, dealt with the following:

  • Condemning the heresy of the Monothelites

By this point, Arianism had become largely marginalized and many Arians were accepted back into the Church. But a new attack on the Person of Christ emerged in the form of the Monothelites. The Monothelites argued that Christ has only one will, for He is one person albeit with two natures. The Council felt that this "impaired the fullness of Christ's humanity," and that human nature without human will would be incomplete. That affirmed that since Christ was true man and true God, He must have two wills: a human will and a divine will. Monothelitism was condemned as heresy.

In addition to the condemnation of Monothelitism, the council anathematized as heretics Pope Honorius I of Rome and Sergius I of Constantinople, as well as Cyrus of Alexandria, Paul II and Peter of Constantinople, and Theodore of Pharan for their part in propagating the heresy of Monothelitism.


The Holy Fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Council are commemorated on January 23 and also on the 9th Sunday after Pentecost the Sunday of the Fathers of the First Six Councils.

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