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discover the truth, nor has it much interest except for ecclesiastical historians, who, if they are members of the Latin Church, will readily credit Photius with a wholesale and barefaced scheme of deception, and if they belong to the Greek communion, may be prepared to maintain that at the Eighth Ecumenical Council mendacity was the order of the day.1 In either case, those who stand outside the Churches may find some entertainment in an edifying ecclesiastical scandal.
That the Emperors were acting in concert with Photius is, if there could be any doubt, definitely proved by the fact that Lewis was solemnly acclaimed as Basileus and Engelberta as Augusta. No Council, no Patriarch, could have dared to do what, done without the Imperial consent, or rather command, would have been an overt act of treason. The Patriarch sent a copy of the Acts of the Council to Engelberta, with a letter in which, comparing her to Pulcheria, he urged her to persuade her husband to drive from Rome a bishop who had been deposed by an Ecumenical Council.2
The schism between Rome and Constantinople was now complete for the moment. The Pope had anathematized the Patriarch, and the Patriarch had hurled back his anathema at the Pope. But this rent in the veil of Christendom was thinly patched up in a few months, and the designs of Photius for the ruin of his antagonist came to nought. On the death of Michael, the situation was immediately reversed. When Basil gained the sovran power, one of his first acts was to depose Photius and restore Ignatius. It is probable that his feelings towards Photius, the friend and relative of Bardas, were not over friendly, but his action was doubtless determined not by personal or religious considerations, but by reasons of state. We cannot say whether he was already
the proceedings, this cannot be taken literally. They cannot (unless they lied) have been the men whom Photius suborned; they must be the men whom those men impersonated. This question is not elucidated by modern ecclesiastical historians. Cp. Hergenröther, ii. 110 sqq., 118 sq.; Hefele, iv. 394-395.
1 Lebedev, op. cit. 102-103, rejects the evidence of Anastasius, Vita Hadr.,
Vita Ign., and Metrophanes against
The messengers were recalled before they reached Italy, see above, p. 201, n. 4.
forming projects which rendered the alienation from Rome undesirable; but his principal and immediate purpose was assuredly to restore ecclesiastical peace and tranquillity in his own realm, and to inaugurate his reign by an act of piety and orthodoxy which would go far in the eyes of the inhabitants of Constantinople to atone for the questionable methods by which he had won the autocratic power.
Nothing proves more convincingly than Basil's prompt reversal of his predecessor's ecclesiastical policy, that this policy was generally unpopular. Unless he had been sure that the restitution of Ignatius would be welcomed by an important section of his subjects at Constantinople, it is incredible, in view of the circumstances of his accession, that it would have been his first important act. Photius had his band of devoted followers, but they seem to have been a small minority; and there are other indications that public opinion was not in his favour. The severe measures to which the government had resorted against Ignatius and his supporters would hardly have been adopted if the weight of public opinion had leaned decisively on the side of Photius. There was, however, some embarrassment for Basil, who only a few months before had co-operated in the council which excommunicated the Pope, and there was embarrassment for many others who shared the responsibility, in turning about and repudiating their acts. The natural instinct was to throw all the blame upon Photius; Basil's signature was officially declared to be spurious; and most of those, who had taken part willingly or unwillingly in the condemnation of the Pope, were eager to repudiate their consent to that audacious transaction.
The proceedings of the Eighth Council, which procured a temporary triumph for Rome, the second patriarchate of Photius, and his second dethronement, lie outside the limits of this volume. He died in exile,1 almost a centenarian. Immediately after his death he was recognized as a Father of the Church, and anathema was pronounced on all that Councils or Popes had uttered against him. The rift between
A. D. 897. See PapadopulosKerameus ὁ πατρ. Φώτιος, 647 sqq. In the Synax. ecc. Cpl. p. 448 (date: middle of tenth century, see Bieliaev,
in Viz. Vrem. 3, 437), Feb. 6 is distinguished by the μνήμη τοῦ ἐν ἁγίοις πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ ἀρχιεπ. Κπόλεως Φωτίου.
Rome and Constantinople, which Photius had widened and deepened, was gradually enlarged, and after the final rent (in the middle of the eleventh century), which no subsequent attempts at union could repair, the reputation of Photius became brighter than ever, and his council of 861, which the Pope had stigmatized as a pirate synod, was boldly described by Balsamon as ecumenical. It was recognized that Photius was the first great champion of the independence of the see of Constantinople, and of the national development of the Greek Church, against the interference of Rome. He formulated the points of difference between the two Churches which were to furnish the pretext for the schism; he first brought into the foreground, as an essential point of doctrine, the mystery of the procession of the Holy Ghost.1
The members of the Latin and the Greek Churches are compelled, at the risk of incurring the penalties of a damnable heresy, to affirm or to deny that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son as well as from the Father. The historian, who is not concerned, even if he were qualified, to examine the mutual relations which exist. among the august persons of the Trinity, will yet note with some interest that on this question the Greeks adhered to the official doctrine of the Church so far as it had been expressed by the authority of Ecumenical Councils. The theologians of the Second Council at Constantinople (A.D. 381) had distinctly declared the procession from the Father, and against this pronouncement it could only be argued that they had not denied the procession from the Son. It was not till A.D. 589 that a council in Spain added the words "and the Son" to the creed of Nicaea, and this addition was quickly adopted in Gaul. It corresponded to the private opinions of most western theologians, including Augustine and Pope Leo I. But the Greek Fathers generally held another doctrine, which the layman may find it difficult
1 His chief work on the subject, "On the Mystagogia of the Holy Spirit," was not written till 885-886. In it he seems to have taken account of the most important contemporary vindication of the Latin doctrine, written (probably after 867) by Bishop Ratramnus of Corbie (Contra Grae
corum opposita, etc., in Migne, P.L. 121, 228 sqq.), for which see Dräseke's article, Ratramnus und Photios, in B.Z. 18, 396 sqq. (1909), where it is suggested that though Photius did not read the treatise itself, its points were communicated to him by Greek friends.
to distinguish. They maintained that the Third person proceeded not from, but through the Second. In the ninth century, the Popes, though they repudiated the opposite dogma, hesitated to introduce the Spanish interpolation into the Creed, and perhaps it was not adopted till the beginning of the eleventh. The Reformed Churches have accepted the formula of the Creed, as it was revised in Spain, though they acknowledge only the authority of the first four Ecumenical Councils. It can hardly make much difference to the mass of believers; since we may venture to suspect that the majority of those who profess a firm belief in the double procession attach as little significance to the formula which they pronounce as if they declared their faith in a fourth dimension of space.
The beginnings of the antagonism and mutual dislike between the Greeks and Latins, which are so conspicuous at a later stage of history, may be detected in the Ignatian controversy. In the correspondence between Pope and Emperor, we can discern the Latin distrust of the Greeks, the Greek contempt for the Latins. The Emperor, probably prompted by Photius, describes Latin as a "barbarous and Scythian language.1 He has quite forgotten that it was the tongue of Constantine and Justinian, and the Pope has to remind him that his own title is "Emperor of the Romans" and that in the ceremonies of his own court Latin words are daily pronounced. But this childish and ignorant attack on the language of Roman law shows how the wind was blowing, and it well illustrates how the Byzantines, in the intense conviction of the superiority of their own civilization—for which indeed they had many excellent reasons-already considered the Latin-speaking peoples as belonging to the barbarian world. It was not to be expected that the Greeks, animated by this spirit, would accept such claims of ecclesiastical supremacy as were put forward by Nicolas, or that the Church of Constantinople would permit or invite a Pope's interference, except as a temporary expedient. Photius aroused into consciousness the Greek feeling of nationality, which throughout the Middle Ages drew strength and nourishment from bitter antagonism to Roman Christianity, and the modern 1 See Nicol. Ep. 8.
Hellenes have reason to regard him, as they do, with veneration as a champion of their nationality.'
The Ignatian affair has another aspect as a conspicuous example of the Caesaropapism which was an essential feature in the system of the Byzantine state. Ignatius was removed, because he offended the Emperor, just as any minister might be deprived of his office. It may be said that the Ignatian party represented a feeling in the Church against such an exertion of the secular power; and it is doubtless true that the party included, among its active members, some who inherited the traditions of the opposition to the Patriarchs Tarasius and Nicephorus and considered the influence of the Emperors in ecclesiastical affairs excessive. But we may hesitate to believe that the party as a whole supposed that they were protesting on principle against the authority of the autocrat over the Church. It is more probable that they were guided by personal ties and considerations, by sympathy with Ignatius who seemed to have been most unjustly treated, and by dislike of Photius. It is to be observed that the Emperor made his will prevail, and though the policy of Michael was reversed by Basil, this was simply a change in policy, it was not a change in principle. It was a concession to public opinion and to Rome, it was not a capitulation of the State to the Church. It was a new act of the autocrat as head of the ecclesiastical organization, it was not an abdication of the Caesar-pope.
It is hardly necessary to speak of the canonical irregularities of which so much was made in the indictment of the Pope and the Ignatian synods against Photius. In regard to the one fact which we know fully, the sudden elevation of a layman to the episcopal office, we may observe that the Pope's reply to the case which Photius made out is unsatisfactory and imperfect. The instances of Tarasius and Nicephorus were sufficient for the purpose of vindication. In regard to
1 The Photian spirit was curiously caricatured in the recent struggle between the two language parties in Greece. The advocates of the literary language (ʼn kalaρevovσa), who, headed by Professor Mistriotes, carried the day and secured the ultimate doom of the popular language, asserted that
foreign influence was behind their opponents, the vindicators of the vulgar tongue (known as οἱ μαλλιαροί), and that the object was to undermine the Hellenic nationality and the Orthodox Church. Foreigners can only gape with wonder.