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THE 14th ACTION. — (A Pope's Writings
ordered to be burnt.)
The Holy Synod said, let the devout deacon George, the keeper of the records of this great and holy church, bring here before us the books which he mentioned, and other papers relating to the present doctrinal disturbance, that, when we have examined them, if we find them contrary to orthodoxy, we may order them to be destroyed in a fitting manner. And let the same George deliver the Latin Epistle of Honorius, formerly Pope of Rome, which he said he had just found and has in his possession, together with the interpretation of it; to be read, in order that we may have knowledge of these things. And this Latin Epistle of Honorius was produced ....
Η αγία σύνοδος είπεν ούσπερ έφησε Γεώργιος ο θεοσεβέστατος διάκονος και χαρτοφύλαξ της ενταύθα αγιωτάτης μεγάλης εκκλησίας λιβέλλους, και έτερα χαρτία εις την παρούσας δογματικήν φερόμενα κίνησιν, εις μέσον αγαγέτω, προς το ταύτα διασκεπτομένους ημάς, ει εναντία της ορθοδοξίας εύρωμεν, των αρμοδίων υποβληθήναι αφανισμα επιτρέψαι. ήν δε επί του παρόντος ευρηκώς είπε μετα χείρας έχειν και αυτός θεοσεβέστατος χαρτοφύλαξ Γεώργιος, Ρωμαϊκής “Ονωρίoυ γενομένου πάπα Ρώμης επιστολήν μετα της αυτής ερμηνείας επιδότω προς ανάγνωσιν, προς το την τούτων λαβείν ημάς είδησιν. και προεκομίσθη η τοιαύτη Ρωμαϊκή Ονωρίου επιστολή ....
The Holy Synod exclaimed, after having examined the books and papers and other compositions presented to us by George .... We find that they all relate to one and the same impiety; and we direct that they be immediately burned, as profane and hurtful to the souls of men. And they were burned.
Η αγία σύνοδος είπετων προκομισθέντων ημίν παρά Γεωργίου ..... λιβέλλων τε και χαρτών, και ετέρων συνταγμάτων την είδησιν λαβόντες έγνωμεν εις μίαν και την αυτήν ασέβειαν φέρεσθαι. και συνείδομεν ταύτα ως βέβηλα και ψυχοφθόρα παραχρήμα προς τέλειον αφανισμών πυρί παραδοθήναι. και εκαύθησαν.-Conc. vi. 967–971.
FROM THE 17th Action. — (A
.... They all exclaimed . . . anathema to the heretic Honorius!
Όνωρίω αιρετική ανάθεμα,
..... έξεβόησαν πάντες .... κ. τ. λ.-Conc. vi. 1010.
NOTES TO THE CANONS.
Canon 4, PAGE 26.
The necessity for the Bishop of Rome's confirmation of the appointment had not yet entered the imagination of the Bishops of the Catholic church.
Canon 6, PAGE 27.
There is nothing here to favour the claim of the Bishop of Rome to ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the British Islands, unless it can be shown that he exercised it prior to the Council of Nice. But it is admitted by learned members of the Roman Communion, that, at that time, his jurisdiction extended no further than the lower part of Italy, and the islands of Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia. See Bingham's Ecclesiastical Antiquities, and the authorities there cited, book ix. chap. i. $ 9, 10, 11, 12. And even if the exemption of the rest of Europe from his jurisdiction could not be proved, the freedom of the British churches is placed beyond all question, not only by the answers of the British bishops to St. Augustine, that they owed no submission to the Bishop of Rome : but by the conduct of St. Augustine and the other Anglo-Saxon bishops of Roman extraction, who, in a manner, excommunicated the British bishops, for their independence, and for the difference of their customs. At the Council of Chalcedon, (See Labbé and Cossart, iv. 811), an attempt was made on the part of the representative of the Bishop of Rome to substitute a spurious edition of this canon, beginning thus,“The Church of Rome always had the primacy,” &c. But the attempt was defeated at the time by a copy of the canon belonging to the Archdeacon of Constantinople; and none of the Greek codes countenanced it; so that it has been universally rejected. Even if the reading had been genuine, it would have implied no more than a primacy of rank, which was never denied to the See of the chief city of the Roman Empire.
In the very ancient manuscript collection of the canons belonging to Justel, this disputed canon stands thus, and plainly points out the extent of the Roman jurisdiction, and the equality of authority which all other Metropolitans at that time enjoyed with him.
De primatu Ecclesiæ Romanæ, vel aliarum civitatum Episcopis.
Antiqui moris est ut urbis Romæ Episcopus habeat principatum, ut suburbicaria loca et omnem provinciam sua sollicitudine gubernet; quæ verò apud Ægyptum sunt, Alexandriæ Episcopus omnium habeat sollicitudinem : similiter autem et circa Antiochum : et in cæteris provinciis privilegia propria serventur Metropolitanis Ecclesiis," &c.—Bibl. Jur. Can. vet., Paris, 1661, vol. i. p. 284.
History, PAGE 29. Compare the wise resolution of the Nicene bishops, with the 3rd and 21st canons of the first Lateran; and the 6th and 7th of the 2nd Lateran.
Canon 2, Page 30. It is difficult to conceive how any laws or canons could more precisely and peremptorily have provided beforehand against the usurpations which afterwards were practised by the Bishop of Rome. Let any one, after reading these decisions of the Catholic Church, turn to the Roman Council of Lateran, or to the Oath of
Obedience to Rome, required to be taken by all bishops and metropolitans, as given above; and then judge how openly and manifestly the Roman Church has departed from the Catholic rules.
Canon 3, PAGE 31. Here we may see how little ground in antiquity and authority the Bishop of Rome can find for his claim to universal supremacy by Divine appointment, as the successor of Peter. It was to him, as Bishop of the seat of government, that the Fathers of the Catholic Church allowed, not authority, but rank. When Rome ceased to be the seat of the government of the world, even the honour allowed by the early church fell, as of right, to the ground. Still, if the Bishop of that See will content himself with asking, out of respect to antiquity, that the same precedence should be allowed to him, as was of old, there can be little doubt, that that request would be readily granted by the Bishops of the rest of Christendom.
Canon 6, PAGE 31. By this canon the adherents to the Bishop of Rome in the British dioceses, “who have separated themselves " from the British churches "and made congregation contrary to our canonical bishops,” would stand condemned, not of schism only but of heresy, even if they had kept the Catholic faith pure and inviolate. How much more then when they have corrupted that faith with their new and unauthorized additions!
Synodical Epistle, PAGE 32. As Theodoret (Hist. v. c. 9), and Labbé and Cossart (ii. 960), insert this letter among the acts of the second General Council, and modern writers (Bishop Taylor and others) refer to it as such, I have thought it right to give it a place here. But in point of fact it is not, strictly speaking, the act of the same council: but of most of them, (oi alkiotou tovrwv, Theodoret. v. c. 8.) who re