THE FIRST COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE (381)
 Accepted by: Assyrian Church of the East | Eastern Orthodox | Oriental Orthodox |Roman Catholics

 


The First Council of Constantinople was a council of Christian bishops convened in Constantinople in AD 381 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I. This second ecumenical council was an effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom and confirmed the Nicene Creed, expanding the doctrine thereof to produce the Nicene – Constantinopolitan Creed, and dealt with sundry other matters. It met from May to July 381 in the Church of Hagia Irene and was affirmed as ecumenical in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon. 
The council also condemned Apollinarism, the teaching that there was no human mind or soul in Christ. It also granted Constantinople honorary precedence over all churches save Rome.
The council did not include Western bishops or Roman legates, but it was later accepted as ecumenical in the West.

Although the First Council of Nicaea had condemned the Arian belief and reasserted the dogma that the Father and the Son were of the same substance, some theologians believed that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, differed in substance from the other two Persons, being a kind of 'creature' of the second Person. This heresy was called Macedonianism.

 

In May 381 a second Ecumenical Councils was summoned by Theodosius I (378-395) to meet in Constantinople in the church of Hagia Irene to define the nature of the Holy Spirit. He had recognized Christianity as the official religion of his empire a year before. The emperor had done his homework carefully and already instructed the Churches that the object of the council would be the reconfirmation of the Nicene Creed. This time no representatives came from Rome.

The council reaffirmed the Nicene faith in the sense that it reasserted the keywords 'of the same substance', or homoousios and that the Holy Spirit was of the same substance with the Father and the Son. This council brought an end to Arianism, which had already been split into smaller dissensions, within the empire. It continued on among the Goths, who were converted among many other Arian missionaries by Ulfila (311-83), translator of the Gothic Bible, and among Vandals and Lombards.
The most important decision which concerned the Church hierarchy was that to the vexation of Alexandria- 'the bishop of Constantinople should have rank after the bishop of Rome because it is New Rome.' Thus Constantinople replaced Alexandria which until then had held the second place after Rome and also moved above Antioch and Jerusalem.

 

1. COUNCIL. THE FIRST COUNCIL OF NICAEA (325)
2. COUNCIL. THE FIRST COUNSIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE (381)
3. COUNCIL. THE COUNCIL OF EPHESUS (431)
4. COUNCIL. THE COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON (451)
5. COUNCIL. THE SECOND COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE (553)
6. COUNCIL. THE THIRD COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE (680-681)
7. COUNCIL. THE SECOND COUNCIL OF NICAEA (787)

 

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