Fourth Council of Constantinople (Roman Catholic) - Photian Schism

Photian Schism

In 858, Photius, a noble layman from a local family, was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople, the most senior episcopal position save only that of Rome. Emperor Michael III had deposed the previous patriarch, Ignatius. Ignatius refused to abdicate, setting up a power struggle between the Emperor and Pope Nicholas I. In 867, a council in Constantinople excommunicated Nicholas. In addition, his claims of primacy, his contacts with Bulgaria, and the Filioque clause were condemned.

The 869–870 Council condemned Photius and deposed him as patriarch and reinstated his predecessor Ignatius. It also ranked Constantinople before the other three Eastern patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem and anathematized the teaching, supposedly held by Photius, that there are two human souls, one spiritual and immortal, one earthly and mortal.

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