Theodore I, Pope

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Pontificate: Oct. 12, 642, to May 14, 649; b. in Jerusalem of Greek ancestry. He came to the papal throne amid the political and ecclesiastical disorder consequent upon the promulgation of the Ecthesis by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius. The Ecthesis, composed by sergius i, Patriarch of Constantinople, and his successor, pyrrhus i, affirmed the existence in Christ of only one will, proceeding from the Person of the Word Incarnate without prejudice to the integrity of either the divine or the human nature. Theodore condemned the document and insisted upon the canonical deposition of Pyrrhus. The exiled patriarch found refuge in Carthage where he defended monothelitism in a public dispute with maximus the confessor, who proved that the doctrine of one will denied the integrity of the two natures in Christ and destroyed the doctrine of the Incarnation. Pyrrhus abjured his errors and made a public profession of faith at St. Peter's in Rome. Theodore reinstated the patriarch, but the latter, for political reasons, apostatized. Theodore convoked a synod at St. Peter's to pronounce against Pyrrhus the sentence of excommunication. The declaration was signed by the pope at the tomb of St. Peter, where Theodore is said to have dipped his pen in the Eucharistic Blood of Christ. In 647 Emperor constans ii ordered the removal of the Ecthesis and promulgated the typos, an edict forbidding discussion on the subject of one or two wills in Christ. Both documents were condemned by the Council of the Lateran in 649.

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[p. j. mullins]

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Theodore I, Pope

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