Constantinople, Fourth Council of

Constantinople, Fourth Council of,

869–70, regarded as the eighth ecumenical council by the modern Roman Catholic Church. It has never been accepted by the Orthodox Church, which instead recognizes the council of 880 that supported PhotiusPhotius
, c.820–892?, Greek churchman and theologian, patriarch of Constantinople, b. Constantinople. He came of a noble Byzantine family. Photius was one of the most learned men of his time, a professor in the university at Constantinople and, under Byzantine Emperor
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. The council of 869 was convoked at the suggestion of Basil IBasil I
(Basil the Macedonian) , c.813–886, Byzantine emperor (867–86). His ancestors probably were Armenians or Slavs who settled in Macedonia. He became (c.856) the favorite of Emperor Michael III.
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, the new Byzantine emperor, to confirm the restoration of St. Ignatius of ConstantinopleIgnatius of Constantinople, Saint,
c.800–877, Greek churchman, patriarch of Constantinople. A son of Byzantine Emperor Michael I, he was castrated and shut up in a monastery (813) by the man who deposed his father, Emperor Leo V, to prevent his succession to the throne.
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 to the see that Photius had resigned. Only 12 bishops attended at first, and attendance never exceeded 103. The legates of Pope Adrian II presided. Photius had already been condemned, without a hearing, at a Roman synod. At Constantinople his defense was cut short, and when he refused to sign his own condemnation, he was excommunicated. The result of these councils was to intensify the bitterness between East and West.
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