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Photius the Great

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Photios now obtained the formal recognition of the Christian world in a council convened at Constantinople in November 879. The legates of [[Pope John VIII]] attended, prepared to acknowledge Photios as legitimate patriarch, a concession for which the pope was much censured by Latin opinion. The patriarch stood firm on the main points contested between the Eastern and Western Churches, the demanded apology to the Pope, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction over [[Bulgaria]], and the introduction of the [[filioque clause]] into the [[Nicene creed|creed]]. Eventually Photios refused to apologize or accept the ''filioque'', and the papal legates made do with his return of Bulgaria to Rome. This concession, however, was purely nominal, as Bulgaria's return to the [[Byzantine rite]] in 870 had already secured for it an autocephalous church. Without the consent of [[Boris I of Bulgaria]], the papacy was unable to enforce its claims.
During the altercations between Basil I and his heir [[Leo VI the Wise|Leo VI]], Photios took the side of the emperor. Consequently, when Basil died in 886 and Leo became senior emperor, Photios was dismissed and banished, although he had been Leo's tutor. Photios was sent into exile to the [[monastery]] of Bordi in [[Armenia]]. From this time Photios disappears from history. No letters of this period of his life are extant. The precise date of his death is not known, but it is said to have occurred on [[February 6]], [[893]].
Photios was long the standard-bearer of the Church in its disagreements with the Pope of Rome. All agree on the virtue of his personal life and his remarkable talents, even genius, and the wide range of his intellectual aptitudes. Pope Nicholas himself referred to his "great virtues and universal knowledge."

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