The Sixth Ecumenical Council met on November 7, 680, for its first session, and ended its meetings, which are said to have been eighteen in number, on September 16th of the next year. The number of bishops present was under three hundred and the minutes of the last session have only 174 signatures attached to them.
(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VI., col. 609 et seqq.)
THE LETTER OF AGATHO, POPE OF OLD ROME, TO THE EMPEROR, AND THE LETTER OF AGATHO AND OF BISHOPS OF THE ROMAN SYNOD, ADDRESSED TO THE SIXTH COUNCIL.
(Read at the Fourth Session, November 15, at the request of George, Patriarch of Constantinople and his Suffragans.)
(Found in Migne, Pat. Lat., Tom. LXXXVII., col. 1161; L. and C., Tom. VI., col. 630.)
THE LETTER OF AGATHO AND OF THE ROMAN SYNOD OF 125 BISHOPS WHICH WAS TO SERVE AS AN INSTRUCTION TO THE LEGATES SENT TO ATTEND THE SIXTH SYNOD.
(Found in Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VI., col. 677 et seqq., and in Migne, Pat. Lat. Tom. LXXXVII., col. 1215 et seqq. [This last text, which is Mansi's, I have followed].)
(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VI., col. 730.)
THE SENTENCE AGAINST THE MONOTHELITES.
(L. and C., Concilia, Tom. VI., col. 943.)
(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VI., col. 1010.)
THE DEFINITION OF FAITH.
(Found in the Acts, Session XVIII., L. and C., Concilia, Tom. VI., col. 1019.)
THE PROSPHONETICUS TO THE EMPEROR.
(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VI., col. 1047 et seqq.)
LETTER OF THE COUNCIL TO ST. AGATHO.
(Found in Migne, Pat. Lat., Tom. LXXXVII., col. 1247 et seqq.; and Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VI., col. 1071 et seqq.)
EXCURSUS ON THE CONDEMNATION OF POPE HONORIUS.
To this decree attaches not only the necessary importance and interest which belongs to any ecumenical decision upon a disputed doctrinal question with regard to the incarnation of the Son of God, but an altogether accidental interest, arising from the fact that by this decree a Pope of Rome is stricken with anathema in the person of Honorius. I need hardly remind the reader how many interesting and difficult questions in theology such an action on the part of an Ecumenical Council raises, and how all important, not to say vital, to such as accept the ruling of the recent Vatican Council, it is that some explanation of this fact should be arrived at which will be satisfactory. It would be highly improper for me in these pages to discuss the matter theologically. Volumes on each side have been written on this subject, and to these I must refer the reader, but in doing so I hope I may be pardoned if I add a word of counsel--to read both sides. If one's knowledge is derived only from modern Eastern, Anglican or Protestant writers, such as "Janus and the Council," the Pere Gratry's "Letters," or Littledale's controversial books against Rome, one is apt to be as much one-sided as if he took his information from Cardinal Baronius, Cardinal Bellarmine, Rohrbacher's History, or from the recent work on the subject by Pennacchi.(1) Perhaps the average reader will hardly find a more satisfactory treatment than that by Bossuet in the Defensio. (Liber VII., cap. xxi, etc.)
THE IMPERIAL EDICT POSTED IN THE THIRD ATRIUM OF THE GREAT CHURCH NEAR WHAT IS CALLED DICYMBALA.
In the name of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour, the most pious Emperor, the peaceful and Christ-loving Constantine, an Emperor faithful to God in Jesus Christ, to all our Christ-loving people living in this God-preserved and royal city.
"The heresy of Apollinaris, etc., has been renewed by Theodore of Pharan and confirmed by Honorius, sometime Pope of Old Rome, who also contradicted himself. Also Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Paul, Peter; more recently. Macarius, Stephen, and Polychronius had diffused Monothelitism. He, the Emperor, had therefore convoked this holy and Ecumenical Synod, and published the present edict with the confession of faith, in order to confirm and establish its decrees. (There follows here an extended confession of faith, with proofs for the doctrine of two wills and operations.) As he recognized the five earlier Ecumenical Synods, so he anathematized all heretics from Simon Magus, but especially the originator and patrons of the new heresy, Theodore and Sergius; also Pope Honorius, who was their adherent and patron in everything, and confirmed the heresy ( ton kata panta toutois sunairethn kai bebaiwthn ths airesews , further, Cyrus, etc., and ordained that no one henceforth should hold a different faith, or venture to teach one will and one energy. In no other than the orthodox faith could men be saved. Whoever did not obey the imperial edict should, if he were a bishop or cleric be deposed; if an official, punished with confiscation of property and loss of the girdle ( zwnh ); if a private person, banished from the residence and all other cities."