The Eighth Ecumenical Council On Those Who Separate Themselves From Their Heretical Bishops

From here:

Canon 15:’But as for those persons, on the other hand, who, on account of some heresy condemned by holy Synods, or Fathers, withdrawing themselves from communion with their president, who, that is to say, is preaching the heresy publicly, and teaching it bareheaded in church, such persons not only are not subject to any canonical penalty on account of their having walled themselves off from any and all communion with the one called a Bishop before any conciliar or synodical verdict has been rendered, but, on the contrary, they shall be deemed worthy to enjoy the honor which befits them among orthodox Christians. For they have defied, not Bishops, but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers; and they have not sundered the union of the Church with any schism, but, on the contrary, have been sedulous to rescue the Church from schisms and divisions.’

3 Responses to “The Eighth Ecumenical Council On Those Who Separate Themselves From Their Heretical Bishops”


  1. 1 Peter Brown November 22, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    From the 879/880 Council, which also condemned the filioque.

    Nice solid quote, nonetheless.

    Peace,
    –Peter

  2. 2 Sam Keyes November 22, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Too bad GAFCon arbitrarily limited itself to the first four!

  3. 3 zcrabtree December 1, 2008 at 6:18 am

    An Orthodox Council and Canon! Sadly, the Latins don’t realize that Pope John VIII and his legates condemned filioquism and the “imperial papacy” of Pope Nicholas at this last of the Ecumenical Councils. It also restored St. Photios as Ecumenical Patriarch after his unjust deposition by Pope and Emperor.

    As for this particular canon– it’s important with the context. I’ve read somewhere that some scholars think that St. Photios is directing the canon against those monks who were prone to starting schisms– the Studites, especially. Sinful bishops and bishops who break canons should still be commemorated until they are properly judged. But outright, willful heresy, is another matter entirely. Of course, look at the conditions: the heresy must have already been manifestly condemned by the Church through councils and fathers.

    There’s no question that in an application to the Episcopal Church, the canon definitely justifies separation. But why form ones own synod? Come to Orthodoxy! My wife and I did almost five years ago… it’s the real thing.


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