« PrethodnaNastavi »
dominion and revenue of his chair. It is plain that he could not hope that the Emperor and the Patriarch would agree to such a large concession unless they received a due consideration; and it is equally obvious that the only consideration which the Pope could offer, was to consent to the consecration of Photius, and crush by the weight of his authority the schism which was so seriously distressing the church of Constantinople. Notwithstanding his severe animadversions on the uncanonical elevation of Photius, he intimated that this was not an insuperable difficulty; if his delegates brought back a satisfactory report, matters might be arranged. It is perfectly clear that Pope Nicolas proposed a bargain, in the interest of what he calls ecclesiastica utilitas.
It is impossible to say whether the Imperial government took into serious consideration the Pope's proposal. But there were at all events some, probably among the moderate section of the Photians, who thought that the best solution of the ecclesiastical difficulty would be to agree to the bargain, and Photius was so gravely alarmed that, in a letter to Bardas, he complains bitterly of the desire of persons who are not named to deprive him of half his jurisdiction. It would seem that there was a chance that the diplomacy of Nicolas might have been successful. But if Michael and Bardas entertained any idea of yielding, they were persuaded by Photius to relinquish it.
The two legates of the Pope were won over to the Photian party by cajolements and threats. A council assembled in May (A.D. 861),4 remarkable for the large number of bishops
1 It is not, I think, without signi- ueba. The meaning was seen by ficance, as indicating the Pope's idea, Lebedev, loc. cit. that this phrase is used in the letter 3 On their arrival at Rhaedestos to Michael in reference to the restitu- they had received costly dresses from tion of the provinces (“vestrum impe- Photius. They were kept in isolation riale decus quod in omnibus ecclesia- for three months, so that they should sticis utilitatibus vigere audivimus”), have no converse with the Ignatian and also in the letter to Photius (“ec- party, and only hear the Photian side. clesiasticae utilitatis constantiam ”), Threats of exile and insects (“longa where the suggestion seems to be exilia et diuturnas pediculorum comethat Photius can prove his devotion stiones”) induced them to transgress to the interests of the Church by their instructions and acknowledge complying with the wishes of the Photius. Nicolaus, Epp. 6 and 9. It Pope. Lebedev (op. cit. 48-49) has was the Emperor who threatened and apprehended that Nicolas was pro- Photius who cajoled. Stylianos, Ep. posing a deal."
429. 2 Ερ. 157, p. 492 αφαιρείται αφ' ημών 4 In the Church of the Apostles. το ήμισυ της αρχής and το ήμισυ αφηρή- This synod was called the First and Pope Nicolas observes this (loc.
who attended. The Emperor was present, and Ignatius unwillingly appeared. Seventy-two witnesses, including both highly-placed ministers and men of humble rank, came forward to prove that Ignatius had been appointed to the Patriarchate, not by free election, but by the personal act of Theodora. We are in the dark as to the precise circumstances of the elevation of Ignatius. There is no doubt that he was chosen by Theodora, but it is almost incredible that the usual form of election was not observed, and if it was observed, to condemn his elevation was to condemn the elevation of every Patriarch of Constantinople as uncanonical. For virtually every Patriarch was appointed by the Imperial will. In any case at this synod—if we can trust the accounts of the supporters of Ignatius—the government exercised considerable pressure. The assembly, including the representatives of Rome, whether they were convinced or not, confirmed the deposition of Ignatius, and declared him unworthy. The authority of Photius was thus established by the formal act of a large council, subscribed by the legates of the Roman see.S
was a coincidence. Ignatius had been brought back to Constantinople some time before, and was permitted to reside in the Palace of Posis which had belonged to his mother, the Empress Procopia. He unwillingly resigned himself to appear before the synod, where he refused to recognize the authority of the Papal legates.
Second (TTPútn kai devrépa), of which perhaps the most probable explanation is that suggested by Hergenröther (i. 438), that it resumed and confirmed the acts of the synod of 859 held in the same church.
1 We must suppose that he had been condemned on the same ground in A.D. 859 at the local council ; but this charge does not seem to have been mentioned in Michael's letter to the Pope, who indeed points this out in his letter of A.D. 862 (Ep. 5): “omni. bus accusationibus remotis . opponentes tantummodo quod potentia saeculari sedem pervaserit.” Seventytwo witnesses (for the number cp. Hergenröther, i. 426, n. 38), including men of all rank's—senators, artisans, fish-merchants—were produced to give sworn evidence that Ignatius had been uncanonically appointed.
Cp. Vit. Ign. 237. The acts of the Council were burnt at the Council of A.D. 869; and our knowledge of its proceedings is derived chiefly from the Libellus Ign. and the Vit. Ign. There were 318 bishops, etc., present, the same number as at the Council of Nicaea, as the Photians noted with satisfaction : Lebedev (op. cit. 53) thinks that this
3 Seventeen canons, passed by this Council, remained in force, and are preserved (Mansi, xvi. 535 sqq.). Canons 16 and 17, forbidding for the future the consecration of bishops in the circumstances in which Photius had been consecrated, and the sudden elevation of a layman to the episcopate, were calculated to conciliate the canonical scruples of the Pope. Canons 13-15 were aimed against schismatics and intended to strengthen the hands of Photius. Most of the other rules dealt with monastic reform, and by one of them (204), prohibiting members from leaving their cloisters at their own caprice, it is thought that Photius hoped to prevent the Ignatians from travelling to Rome. Cp. Lebedev, op. cit. 63.
The legates had exceeded their instructions. When they returned to Rome in the autumn, their action was repudiated by the Pope, who asserted that they had only been directed to report on the whole matter to him, and had received no power to judge the question themselves. There is no doubt that they had betrayed the interests of their master and suffered themselves to be guided entirely by the court of Byzantium. An Imperial secretary soon arrived at Rome, bearing a copy of the Acts of the Council with letters from the Emperor and the Patriarch. The letter of Photius could hardly fail to cause deep displeasure to the Roman bishop. It was perfectly smooth, courteous, and conciliatory in tone, but it was the letter of an equal to an equal, and, although the question of Roman jurisdiction was not touched on, it was easy to read between the lines that the writer had the will and the courage to assert the independence of the see of Constantinople. As for the ecclesiastical provinces of Illyricum and Calabria, he hypocritically threw upon the government the entire responsibility for not restoring them to Rome, and implied that he himself would have been willing to sacrifice them.”
The Imperial secretary remained in Rome for months, hoping that Nicolas would be persuaded to sanction all that his legates had done in his name. But the Pope was now resolved to embrace the cause of Ignatius and to denounce Photius. He addressed an encyclical letter to the three Patriarchs of the East, informing them that Ignatius had been illegally deposed, and that a most wicked man (homo
1 This is proved by the Pope's letter which they carried to Michael, and it is useless for Lebedev (op. cit. 54) to contest it.
2 It may be noticed here that according to Vit. Ign. 241, some time after the Council, new attempts were made to extort an abdication from Ignatius by ill-treatment. He beaten, starved for two weeks, with no dress but a shirt, in the Imperial mortuary chapel (Hêrôon) of the Holy Apostles, where he was stretched upon the sarcophagus of Constantine V., with heavy stones attached to his ankles. These tortures were inflicted by Theodore Môros, John Gorgonites, and Nikolaos Skutelops. When he was perfectly exhausted, one of them,
holding his hand, traced his signature
paper on which Photius afterwards wrote a declaration of abdication. The other sources which mention this, are derived from Vit. Ign. ; Hergenröther is wrong in supposing that the account in Gen. 100 is inde. pendent; see Hirsch, 159. Photius, however, seems to have made no use of this document. The sufferings recorded and probably exaggerated in the.Vita may be briefly referred to at the end of the Libellus Ign. (év értà γάρ ούτω κολασθέντα ημέραις άσιτον, άυπνον, ακάθιστον διαμεϊναι εβίασαν), but nothing is said of the signature.
3 Ep. 3.
4 Till March 862, the date of the replies of the Pope (Epp. 5 and 6).
scelestissimus) had occupied his church ; declaring that the Roman see will never consent to this injustice; and ordering them, by his apostolical authority, to work for the expulsion of Photius and the restoration of Ignatius. At the same time he indited epistles to the Emperor and to Photius, asserting with stronger emphasis than before the authority of Rome as head and mistress of the churches, and declining to condemn Ignatius or to recognize Photius.
The ambassadors of the Pope, during their visit to Constantinople, had heard only one side. The authorities had taken care to prevent them from communicating with Ignatius or any of the Ignatian party, and they also attempted to hinder any one from repairing to Rome in the interests of the Ignatian cause. Theognostos, however, who was an ardent partisan of the deposed Patriarch, succeeded in reaching Rome in disguise, and he carried with him a petition setting forth the history of the deposition of Ignatius and the sufferings which he endured, and imploring the Pope, who was humbly addressed as “the Patriarch of all the thrones,” to take pity and arise as a powerful champion against injustice.
1 Ep. 4, 168.
2 The words in which he asserts that the laws and decrees of the Roman see must not be set aside by subject churches, on the plea of different customs, are strong: “Et ideo consequens est ut quod ab huius Sedis rectoribus plena auctoritate sancitur, nullius consuetudinis praepediente occasione, proprias tantum sequendo voluntates, removeatur, sed firmius atque inconcusse teneatur.” Ep. 6, 174.
3 He was an archimandrite of the Roman Church, abbot of the monastery of Pêgê, skeuophylax of St. Sophia, and Exarch of the monasteries of Constantinople. See the title of the Libellus Ign.
4 The Libellus, stating the case of Ignatius, was written by Theognostos, but in the name of Ignatius, with whom were associated fifteen metropolitan bishops, and an “infinite number” of priests, monks, etc. Perhaps, as Hergenröther suggests (i. 462), it was the knowledge of this despatch to Rome that prompted the government to make another attempt to force Ignatius, this time by reading
aloud his sentence in the ambo of St. Sophia. Soldiers surrounded his house on the eve of Whitsunday, May 25, 862 ; but Ignatius escaped, disguised as a porter, and wandered for some months from island to island in the Propontis, eluding the pursuers who were set on his track. In August and September Constantinople was shaken by terrible earthquakes for forty days, and the calamity was ascribed by superstition to the unjust treatment of Ignatius. To calm the public, the Emperor, caused a declaration to be made that Ignatius would be allowed to remain unmolested in his cloister. Ignatius revealed himself to Petronas, the brother of Bardas, who gave him as a safe-conduct an enkolpion (probably a jewelled cross) which the Emperor wore on his breast. He then had an interview with Bardas and was dismissed to his monastery. See Vita Ign. 241 sqq. The earthquake referred to is probably the same as that described in Cont. Th. 196-197. It did great damage in the southwestern part of the city (Hexakionion). The earthquake in Vita Ign. 249 seems to be different.
It was probably the influence of the representations of Theognostos and other Ignatians who had found their way to Rome, that moved Nicolas a year later (April A.D. 863), to hold a Synod in the Lateran." Neither the Emperor nor the Patriarch had vouchsafed any answer to his letter, and as it was evident that they had no intention of yielding to his dictation, he punished the Church of Constantinople by the only means which lay in his power. The synod deprived Photius of his ecclesiastical status, and excommunicated him unless he immediately resigned the see which he had usurped ; it pronounced the same penalty upon all ecclesiastics who had been consecrated by Photius; and it restored Ignatius and all those bishops who had been deposed and exiled in his cause. A copy of the proceedings was sent to Constantinople.
It was impossible for Constantinople to ignore the formal condemnation pronounced by the Lateran Synod, and Photius was prepared to assert the independence of his see, by dealing out to the Pope the same measure which the Pope had dealt out to him. In August 865, Nicholas received a letter from the Emperor assuring him that all his efforts in behalf of Ignatius were useless, and requiring him to withdraw his judgment, with a threat that, if he refused, the Emperor would march to Rome and destroy the city. The document, which was evidently drafted under the direction of Photius, must have been couched in sufficiently provocative terms; but the threat was not seriously meant, and the writer did not expect that the Pope would yield. The real point of the letter was the repudiation of the papal claim to supreme jurisdiction, as the real point of the Pope's long reply was the assertion of the privileges of the chair of St. Peter. The Pope indeed makes what may be represented as a concession. He offers to revise his judgment at Rome, and demands that the two rivals shall appear personally before him, or if they cannot come, send plenipotentiaries. The concession was as nugatory as the Emperor's threat, and it assumed, in an aggravated form, the claims of the Papacy as a supreme court of appeal.3
synod of Nov. 864, which condemned his fellow, Rodoald.
3 The tenor of Michael's letter is only known from the reply of Nicolas, Ep. 8, who describes it as “tota blas