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Quinisext Synod

QUINISEXT SYNOD

A synod convoked in 691 by Justinian II to furnish disciplinary measures for the 5th and 6th (hence Quinisext) Ecumenical Councils of constantinople ii (553) and III (680681), which had dealt only with doctrine. It was known also as the Synod in Trullo from the hall in the imperial palace in Constantinople where it was held. It was attended by 165 Oriental bishops with no duly appointed Western legates. Of its 102 canons, several were directed against Armenian, Latin, and specifically Roman legislation (3, 12, 13, 16, 29, 30, 55): clerical celibacy was repudiated (3 and 13); canon 28 of Chalcedon, rejected by Pope leo i as inimical to the patriarchates by giving Constantinople second place after Rome, was reasserted (36); excommunication was prescribed for fasting on Saturdays in Lent (55); and the use of blood and suffocated animals was forbidden (67; Acts 15:29). The majority of canons, however, had a beneficial purpose, reaffirming the true faith and the authority of apostolic ordinances, patristic traditions, and previous canonical legislation and condemning abuses mainly among clerics (339), monks, nuns (4049), and laity (50102), particularly in regard to superstitions and matrimonial impediments (5354).

To the signatures of the Oriental prelates, Justinian requested that that of the pope be added. When sergius i (687701) refused, the emperor sent Count (the protospatharius) Zachary to Rome, but he was maltreated by the papal attendants. Pope john vii (705707) refused to explain Roman objections. Pope constantine i (708715) journeyed to Constantinople to reach a compromise, and adrian i (772795) quoted the synod and canon 82 in a letter to Patriarch tarasius of constantinople. anastasius the librarian attests that john viii (872882) approved the canons "except those which were opposed to the good faith, correct morals, and customs of the Roman Church." Many of the canons are cited by medieval canonists and by Pope sixtus v (158590).

Bibliography: k. bihlmeyer, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buchberger (Freiburg 193038) 10:312313. j. d. mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio (Graz 1960) 11:9211006. c. j. von hefele, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux (Paris 190738) 3:560581. p. joannou, Discipline générale antique (IIe -IXe s. ) (Rome 1962) 1.1:98:241, a rev. and crit. ed. of fasc. 9, Fonti CICO.

[f. x. murphy]

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