Council of Chalcedon

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Chalcedon, Council of,

fourth ecumenical council, convened in 451 by Pulcheria and Marcian, empress and emperor of the East, to settle the scandal of the Robber Synod and to discuss Eutychianism (see EutychesEutyches
, c.378–c.452, archimandrite in Constantinople, sponsor of Eutychianism, the first phase of Monophysitism. He was the leader in Constantinople of the most violent opponents of Nestorianism, among whom was Dioscurus, successor to St. Cyril (d.
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). It deposed the principals in the Robber Synod and destroyed the Eutychian party. Its great work, however, was its Definition regarding the nature and person of Jesus. Based upon the formulation given by Pope St. Leo I in his famous Tome to Flavian, it declared that, contrary to the view taken by Eutychianism (see EutychesEutyches
, c.378–c.452, archimandrite in Constantinople, sponsor of Eutychianism, the first phase of Monophysitism. He was the leader in Constantinople of the most violent opponents of Nestorianism, among whom was Dioscurus, successor to St. Cyril (d.
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) and MonophysitismMonophysitism
[Gr.,=belief in one nature], a heresy of the 5th and 6th cent., which grew out of a reaction against Nestorianism. It was anticipated by Apollinarianism and was continuous with the principles of Eutyches, whose doctrine had been rejected in 451 at Chalcedon (see
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, the second Person of the Trinity has two distinct natures—one divine and one human. It was also proclaimed that these two natures exist inseparably in one person. This difference was a major factor in the Monophysite schism that divided the East for centuries. The council produced 28 disciplinary canons important for canon law in both the East and West. However, the Roman Catholic Church did not admit the 28th canon, which made the patriarch of Constantinople second only to the pope in Rome in precedence, until the Fourth Lateran Council (1215).
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