The reason for convening the Sixth Ecumenical Synod
Translated by: www.oodegr.com
A few days ago, on the 14th of September - the feast day of the Elevation of the Precious Cross - our Church also celebrated the memory of the Holy Fathers of the Holy and Great Sixth Ecumenical Synod.
The Holy Sixth Ecumenical Synod, which was convened in the year 680 A.D. (November) in the Palace of Trullo in Constantinople, was the result of the fifty-year-long theological and ecclesiastic disputes (7th century) on the subject of whether the God-Man Christ - a perfect God and perfect Man, in His one Hypostasis (one person) - has two energies and two wills, or only one.
The Synod of the Holy Fathers condemned the Christology of the Monotheletes - that is, those who maintained that Christ has only one will and one energy - because that Christology was nothing more than a re-emergence "in disguise" of the already rejected and condemned heresy of Monophysitism (during the Holy Fourth Ecumenical Synod, in 451 A.D.).
The Sixth Synod essentially vindicated the theology and the struggles of Saint Sophrony, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and Saint Maximus the Confessor against the heresy of Monotheletism, and it dogmatized that since Christ's two natures are perfect - both the divine and the human - He respectively has, by nature, two wills and two energies (divine and human), as also apparent in the Gospel's narrations themselves.
Saint Maximus the Confessor (580-662), initially Hegumen (Abbot) of the Monastery of Chrysoupolis near Constantinople, struggled for many years, without any "top-level" ecclesiastic support, whereas the Patriarchates of the East and Rome had already accepted the heresy, under the influence of the Monothelete Emperor Constans II (641-668 A.D.).
Saint Maximus had spanned earth and sea, from Constantinople to Rome, and had provided his assistance in the Lateran Synod (649 A.D.) against Monotheletism, under the Orthodox Pope Martin (649-655). He was eventually arrested and died in exile, in Laziki of Pontus.
When being interrogated - with the heretic Patriarch of Constantinople Peter telling him to join the Catholic (worldwide) Church which had accepted the heresy - Saint Maximus had replied:
«The God of all (Christ), when calling Peter "blessed" for what he had said - when he had appropriately confessed Him - was telling him that the correct and salvatory confession of faith in Him is the Catholic Church» - and not the unity within a heresy, within a false faith. (overall)
The opponents of Orthodoxy, heretical Patriarchs of Constantinople, Sergios (610-638). Pyrrhos (638-641, 654), Paul II (641-653) and Peter (654-666), the heretical Patriarchs of Antioch, Makarios (650-585) and of Alexandria, Cyrus (630-642), the heretical Pope of Rome, Honorius (625-638) and Stephen, Polychronios and Constantine were all anathematized by the Holy Sixth Synod.
Patriarch Sergios, condemned as a heretic, was the one who at an earlier date had actually saved the City from the Avars and the Persians by carrying the icon of the Holy Mother Theotokos around its walls, when the Emperor Heracletus was away on a campaign in Persia (626). It was during this incident that the Akathist Hymn of thanks (the Salutations) to the Theotokos had been composed.
According to the testimony of historians, Saint Maximus - a single person, against the entire "official Church" - was the greatest of theologians, who had sealed with his fighting spirit and his rich literary offer the theological debunking of the Monothelete heresy; furthermore, that "it is difficult for another such theologian to be found, who has influenced the course of Hellenic Orthodox theology more than he did."
"Monotheletism" and "Monoenergetism" are the ingredients in the christology of today's "moderate" (Severus) Monophysites - that is, the monophysite Copts (of Egypt), the Armenians, the Ethiopians, the Syrian Jacobites and the Indians of Malabar. Unfortunately, the contemporary theological dialogue from 1990 onwards has been opining - contrary to the Ecumenical Synods - that the aforementioned Monophysites are Orthodox and that....the Holy Fathers had misjudged them!
The proclamation of the dogma regarding the two wills and two energies of Christ by the Sixth Ecumenical Synod also checks the heretic Latins (the papist- Roman Catholic "church"), who, several centuries later (14th century), and through the mouths of their scholastic, medieval theologians and their anti-Palamas and anti-hesychast philosophers in the East, refused to acknowledge the existence of natural energies in God - contrary to the Holy Fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Synod and the entirety of ecclesiastic teaching.
The condemnation of Pope Honorius by an Ecumenical Synod is also living proof that the theological myth regarding the "infallibility" of the Pope is an ecclesiological falsity and entirely unacceptable.
The legislative opus (the issuing of sacred Canons) of the Sixth Ecumenical Synod, as well as that of the Fifth (553 A.D.), was completed by the Quinisext Ecumenical Synod (Constantinople, 691 A.D.).