Skip to main content

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]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Quinisext Synod." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 21 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Quinisext Synod." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (January 21, 2019).

"Quinisext Synod." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved January 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.