Sixth Ecumenical Council
The Sixth Ecumenical Council took place in Constantinople in 680-681 AD, and is also known as the Third Council of Constantinople.
- 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.
- During the 50 years prior to the meeting of the sixth Council, Byzantium saw a sudden development in the rise of Islam. Islam's speed was striking, starting with only Hejaz at the Prophet's death (632) and ending with Syria, Palestine and Egypt within the 50 years. Islam was at the walls of Constantinople after this time, and almost captured the city. Within a hundred years, Islam had taken North Africa, went through Spain and "forced western Europe to fight for its life at the Battle of Poitiers." The old Empires were in no position to resist the conquests of Islam. Byzantium lost her eastern possessions and the Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria. Constantinople was now without rival, but was never free from Muslim attacks. It held out only eight centuries more, and then succumbed to invasion. Christendom did survive, but only with difficulty.
- The Orthodox Church, Bishop Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia
- The Sixth Ecumenical Council (GOARCH)
- Canons of the seven ecumenical councils
- Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. XIV
- The Sixth Ecumenical Council: The Third Council of Constantinople (Christian Classics Ethereal Library)
- Sixth Ecumenical Council: Constantinople III, 680-681 (Medieval Sourcebook)
- Sixth Ecumenical Council - a synopsis adapted from an essay by the late Very Rev. N. Patrinacos (GOAA)