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Photius the Great

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The conflict between Rome and Constantinople reached a climax. Photius not only was defending the autonomy of the Eastern church, but also vital interests of the empire. With the full support of Emperor Michael III, he sent a letter to the pope demanding that he withdraw his decision against Photius. In 867, a council was held with over a thousand clergymen attending. This council excommunicated Nicholas, condemned the pope's claims of primacy, his interference in Bulgaria, and the innovative addition of the [[filioque]] clause to the [[Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed|creed]]. The letters of both Nicholas and Photius were read at this council. The situation was additionally complicated by the question of [[Papacy|papal]] authority over the entire Church and by disputed jurisdiction over newly converted [[Bulgaria]]. It pronounced that the Latin interference in the affairs of the Byzantine Church was unlawful. The German Emperor Louis II was asked to intervene and depose Pope Nicholas, but he died that same year.
{{cleanup}}There were two Emperors emperors in the East at the time Michaal , Michael II and Basil I. Michael plotted to kill Basil , but Basil found out about the plot and murdered Michael. Photios Photius refused to accept the murder of Basil and refused him communion on a [[great feat feast]] day. This angered Basil , so he held him in prison had Photius imprisoned in a monastery. He then reinstated Ignatios Ignatius in 867.
This state of affairs changed with the murder of PhotiosPhotius' patron [[Bardas]] in 866 and of the emperor Emperor Michael in 867, by his colleague [[Basil I the Macedonian|Basil the Macedonian]], who now usurped the throne. Photios Photius was deposed as [[patriarch]], not so much because he was a protegé of Bardas and Michael, but because Basil I was seeking an alliance with the Pope pope and the western emperor. Photios Photius was removed from his office and banished about around the end of September 867, and Ignatios Ignatius was reinstated on [[November 23]]. During his second patriarchate, Ignatios Ignatius followed a policy not very different from that of PhotiosPhotius. This perhaps helped improve relations between the two, and in c. circa 876 Photios Photius was suddenly recalled to Constantinople and entrusted with the education of the emperor's children and became , becoming an advisor to IgnatiosIgnatius. On the death of Ignatios Ignatius in October 877, PhotiosPhotius, after the requisite show of reluctance, and being having been recommended by Ignatios Ignatius prior to his death, was restored to the patriarchal throne.
Photios Photius 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 Photius 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 eastern and Western western Churches, the demanded apology to the Popepope, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction over [[Bulgaria]], and the introduction of the [[filioque clause]] into the [[Nicene creed|creed]]. Eventually Photios Photius 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 made 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 Photius took the side of the emperor. Consequently, when Basil died in 886 and Leo became senior emperor, Photios Photius was dismissed and banished, although he had been Leo's tutor. Photios Photius was sent into exile to the [[monastery]] of Bordi in [[Armenia]]. From this time Photios Photius 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 Photius was long the standard-bearer of the Church in its disagreements with the Pope 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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