Macarius of Antioch

From OrthodoxWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Macarius of Antioch was patriarch of the Church of Antioch from 656 to 681, when he was deposed, during the time that the Saracens controlled Syria. As a consequence, the Patriarchs of Antioch, including Marcarius, took residence in exile in Constantinople. Macarius was sympathetic to monothelitism.


Nothing is known of his life before he appeared at the Sixth Ecumenical Council In Constantinople at which he was deposed for his support of monothelitism. After his deposition he disappeared into obscurity in a Roman monastery. During the council, Macarius was responsible for noting Pope Honorius I of Rome's support of monothelitism that resulted in the council's condemnation of Pope Honorius.

During the first session of the council, following the presentation by the Roman legates who described the four successive patriarchs of Constantinople and others as having "disturbed the peace of the world by new and unorthodox expressions", referring to the controversial doctrine of monothelitism. Macarius answered, "We did not publish new expressions but what we have received from the holy and ecumenical synods and from holy approved fathers". He then went through the names given by the legates and added to them that of Pope Honorius.

During subsequent sessions of the council Macarius was unable to find any references to monothelitism among many documents, including three volumes of patristic testimonies as well as those of St. Cyril of Alexandria and St. Leo of Rome. By the eighth session, Macarius read his ecthesis, or "profession of faith", in which he appealed to the authority of Honorius on behalf of Monothelitism. Answering questions by emperor Constantine IV, he declared that he would rather be cut to pieces and thrown into the sea than admit the doctrine of Dythelitism, which states that Jesus Christ had two wills, the divine and human. In this same session and the following one his patristic testimonies were found to be hopelessly garbled. By the close of the ninth session Macarius was formally deposed. The council went on to condemn Monothelitism.

At the close of the council Macarius and five others were sent to Rome to be dealt with by the pope. This was done at the request of the council and not, as Hefele makes it appear, at the request of Macarius and his adherents [1]. Macarius and three others who still held out were confined in different monasteries (see Liber Pontificalis, Leo II).

The date of his death is unknown.


  1. History of Councils, V, 179; Eng. trans.
Succession box:
Macarius of Antioch
Preceded by:
George I
Bishop of Antioch
Succeeded by:
Help with box