Constantinople, First Council of

Constantinople, First Council of,

381, second ecumenical council. It was convened by Theodosius ITheodosius I
or Theodosius the Great,
346?–395, Roman emperor of the East (379–95) and emperor of the West (394–95), son of Theodosius, the general of Valentinian I.
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, then emperor of the East and a recent convert, to confirm the victory over ArianismArianism
, Christian heresy founded by Arius in the 4th cent. It was one of the most widespread and divisive heresies in the history of Christianity. As a priest in Alexandria, Arius taught (c.
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. The council drew up a dogmatic statement on the Trinity and defined Holy Spirit as having the same divinity expressed for the Son by the Council of Nicaea 56 years earlier. That statement has been lost, but the work of the council established the orthodox teaching of the Trinity as it is held today. The traditional belief ascribing the present form of the Nicene Creed (see creedcreed
[Lat. credo=I believe], summary of basic doctrines of faith. The following are historically important Christian creeds.

1 The Nicene Creed, beginning, "I believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and
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) to this council has been questioned by modern scholars. The council condemned all varieties of Arianism along with a new heresy, ApollinarianismApollinarianism
, heretical doctrine taught by Apollinaris or Apollinarius (c.315–c.390), bishop of Laodicea, near Antioch. A celebrated scholar and teacher, author of scriptural commentary, philosophy, and controversial treatises, he propounded the theory that Jesus
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. The sessions, which were attended only by bishops of the East, lasted two months. Gregory NazianzenGregory Nazianzen, Saint
, c.330–390, Cappadocian theologian, Doctor of the Church, one of the Four Fathers of the Greek Church. He is sometimes called Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory Theologus. He studied widely in his youth and was from his student days a friend of St.
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 was reinstated as bishop of Constantinople and then made president of the council when its first president, MeletiusMeletius, Saint
, d. 381, Catholic bishop, leader of the Meletian faction in the Antiochene schism. Meletius became (361) Catholic patriarch after the Arians deposed Eustathius.
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 of Antioch, died. Gregory resigned when the council disregarded his wishes and elected Flavian of AntiochFlavian of Antioch
, d. 404, Catholic patriarch of Antioch. He succeeded St. Meletius. A rival claimant to the patriarchate, Evagrius, was illegally consecrated, but when Evagrius died Flavian was recognized (c.398), ending the Antioch schism.
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 as Meletius' successor at Antioch.
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