Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Synod, Psalms 33, Acts 6:1-7, John 6:16-21, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Be Not Afraid . Pope St Martin I, Lateran Council of 649, Byzantine Papacy, Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Article 2:5 Minister of Confirmation

Saturday,  April 13, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Synod, Psalms 33, Acts 6:1-7, John 6:16-21, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Be Not Afraid,  Saint Pope Martin I, Lateran Council of 649, Byzantine Papacy, Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Article 2:5 Minister of Confirmation

Good Day Bloggers!  Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Prayers for Today: Saturday in Easter


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis April 13 Homily :

Mass at Santa Marta: Be Not Afraid

(2013-04-13 L’Osservatore Romano)
To solve the problems of life it is necessary to look reality in the face, ready like the goalkeeper of a football team to grab the ball whatever side it comes from. And without giving in to fear or to the temptation of complaining, because Jesus is always beside every human being, even and especially in the most difficult moments. Pope Francis said this at the Mass he celebrated on Saturday morning, 13 April, in the Domus Sanctae Marthae Chapel.

Among those participating were Domenico Giani, Director of Security Services and Civil Protection, with his relatives, officers of the Gendarmes Corps and of the Fire Brigade, Mons. Alfred Xuereb's mother and several disabled people who were taking part in a Vatican congress.

In the passage from the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-7), proclaimed in the First Reading, “there is ”, the Pope explained — a piece of the history of the Church's early days: the Church was growing, the number of disciples was increasing”, but “it was at this very moment that the problems arose”. Indeed, “those who spoke Greek murmured against those who spoke the Hebrew language because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. “Life”, he continued, “was not always calm and beautiful”, and “the first thing they do is to murmur, to gossip about each other: “But look, the thing is …”. But this does not lead to any solution”.

“The Apostles”, on the contrary, “with the help of the Holy Spirit, reacted well. The summoned the group of disciples and spoke to them. This is the first step: when there are difficulties, it is necessary to examine them closely, to take them up and to talk about them. Never hide them. Life is like this. Life must be taken as it comes, not as we would like it to come”. “It is”, the Pope said, using an effective metaphor that is dear to him “a little like the goalkeeper of the team, isn't it?  He grabs the ball wherever it comes from, This is the reality”. Thus the Apostles “spoke to each other and came up with a lovely proposal, a revolutionary proposal, for they said: “but we are the Apostles, those who Jesus chose”. However, that was not enough. They realized that their first duty was to pray and to serve the Word. “And as for the daily assistance to widows, we must do something else”. This is “what the deacons decided to do”.

Pope Francis ended his homily with the invitation to ask “the Lord for this grace: not to be afraid, and not to use cosmetics on life”, in order to be able “to take life as it comes and to try to solve the problems as the Apostles did. And also to seek the encounter with Jesus who is always beside us, also at life's bleakest moments”.


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope: April–May

Vatican City, 3 April 2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father in the months of April and May, 2013:

7 April, Second Sunday of Easter, or Divine Mercy Sunday: 5:30pm,Mass in the Basilica of St. John Lateran for the Bishop of Rome to take possession of the Roman cathedra.

14 April, Sunday: 5:30pm, Mass in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls

21 April, Sunday: 9:30am, Mass and priestly ordinations in St. Peter's Basilica.

28 April, Sunday: 10:00am, Mass and confirmations in St. Peter's Square.

4 May, Saturday: 6:00pm, Recitation of the Rosary in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

5 May, Sunday: 10:00am, Mass for Confraternities in St. Peter's Square.

12 May, Sunday: 9:30am, Mass and canonizations of Blesseds Antonio Primaldo and Companions; Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya y Upegui; and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala.

18 May, Saturday: 6:00pm, Pentecost Vigil in St. Peter's Square with the participation of ecclesial movements.

19 May, Pentecost Sunday: 10:00am, Mass in St. Peter's Square with the participation of ecclesial movements.


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 04/11/2013.


April 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:"Dear children, I am calling you to be one with my Son in spirit. I am calling you, through prayer, and the Holy Mass when my Son unites Himself with you in a special way, to try to be like Him; that, like Him, you may always be ready to carry out God's will and not seek the fulfillment of your own. Because, my children, it is according to God's will that you are and that you exist, and without God's will you are nothing. As a mother I am asking you to speak about the glory of God with your life because, in that way, you will also glorify yourself in accordance to His will. Show humility and love for your neighbour to everyone. Through such humility and love, my Son saved you and opened the way for you to the Heavenly Father. I implore you to keep opening the way to the Heavenly Father for all those who have not come to know Him and have not opened their hearts to His love. By your life, open the way to all those who still wander in search of the truth. My children, be my apostles who have not lived in vain. Do not forget that you will come before the Heavenly Father and tell Him about yourself. Be ready! Again I am warning you, pray for those whom my Son called, whose hands He blessed and whom He gave as a gift to you. Pray, pray, pray for your shepherds. Thank you." 

March 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:
“Dear children! In this time of grace I call you to take the cross of my beloved Son Jesus in your hands and to meditate on His passion and death. May your suffering be united in His suffering and love will win, because He who is love gave Himself out of love to save each of you. Pray, pray, pray until love and peace begin to reign in your hearts. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

March 18, 2013 Message to the World via Annual Apparition to Mirjana:
"Dear children! I call you to, with complete trust and joy, bless the name of the Lord and, day by day, to give Him thanks from the heart for His great love. My Son, through that love which He showed by the Cross, gave you the possibility to be forgiven for everything; so that you do not have to be ashamed or to hide, and out of fear not to open the door of your heart to my Son. To the contrary, my children, reconcile with the Heavenly Father so that you may be able to come to love yourselves as my Son loves you. When you come to love yourselves, you will also love others; in them you will see my Son and recognize the greatness of His love. Live in faith! Through me, my Son is preparing you for the works which He desires to do through you – works through which He desires to be glorified. Give Him thanks. Especially thank Him for the shepherds - for your intercessors in the reconciliation with the Heavenly Father. I am thanking you, my children. Thank you."


Today's Word:  Synod  syn·od  [sin-uhd]  

Origin: 1350–1400; Middle English  < Latin synodus  < Greek sýnodos  meeting, equivalent to syn- syn- + ( h ) odós  way

1. an assembly of ecclesiastics or other church delegates, convoked pursuant to the law of the church, for the discussion and decision of ecclesiastical affairs; ecclesiastical council.
2. any council.


Today's Old Testament Reading -   Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19

1 Shout for joy, you upright; praise comes well from the honest.
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on the ten-stringed lyre.
4 The word of Yahweh is straightforward, all he does springs from his constancy.
5 He loves uprightness and justice; the faithful love of Yahweh fills the earth.
18 But see how Yahweh watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his faithful love,
19 to rescue them from death and keep them alive in famine.


Today's Epistle -   Acts 6:1-7

1 About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews: in the daily distribution their own widows were being overlooked.
2 So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them, 'It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food;
3 you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom, to whom we can hand over this duty.
4 We ourselves will continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word.'
5 The whole assembly approved of this proposal and elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
6 They presented these to the apostles, and after prayer they laid their hands on them.
7 The word of the Lord continued to spread: the number of disciples in Jerusalem was greatly increased, and a large group of priests made their submission to the faith.


Today's Gospel Reading - John 6:16-21

That evening the disciples went down to the shore of the sea and got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the sea. It was getting dark by now and Jesus had still not rejoined them. The wind was strong, and the sea was getting rough. They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming towards the boat. They were afraid, but he said, 'It's me. Don't be afraid.' They were ready to take him into the boat, and immediately it reached the shore at the place they were making for.

• Today’s Gospel narrates the episode of the boat on the agitated sea. Jesus is on the mountain, the disciples in the sea and the people on the land. In the way of describing the facts, John tries to help the communities to discover the mystery which envelopes the person of Jesus. He does it by recalling texts from the Old Testament which refer to the Exodus.

• At the time when John wrote, the small boat of the communities had to face a contrary wind both on the part of the converted Jews who wanted to reduce the mystery of Jesus to prophecies and figures of the Old Testament, and on the part of some converted Pagans who thought that it was possible to have an alliance between Jesus and the Empire.

• John 6, 15: Jesus on the mountain. In the face of the multiplication of the loaves, the people conclude that Jesus is the awaited Messiah, because according to the hope of the people of the time, the Messiah would have repeated the gesture of Moses: feeding in the people in the desert. For this reason, according to the official ideology, the crowds thought that Jesus was the Messiah, and, because of this, they wanted to make him King (cf. Jn 6, 14-15). This request of the people was a temptation for Jesus as well as for the disciples. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus obliges the disciples to get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side of the lake (MK 6, 45). He wanted to avoid that they get contaminated with the dominating ideology. This is a sign that the “yeast of Herod and of the Pharisees”, was very strong (Mk 8, 15). Jesus faces the temptation with prayer on the mountain.

• John 6, 16-18: The situation of the disciples. It was already night. The disciples went down near the sea; they got into the boat and directed themselves toward Capernaum, on the other side of the sea. John says that it was already dark and that Jesus had not arrived as yet. On the one hand he recalls the Exodus: to cross the sea in the midst of difficulties. On the other, he recalls the situation of the communities in the Roman Empire: with the disciples, they were living in the dark, with a contrary wind and the sea was agitated and Jesus seemed to be absent!

• John 6, 19-20. Change of the situation. Jesus reaches them walking on the water of the sea of life. The disciples are afraid. As it happens in the account of the story of Emmaus, they did not recognize him (Lk 24, 28). Jesus gets close to them and says: “It is me! Do not be afraid!” For those who know the story of the Old Testament, here again he recalls some very important facts: (a) He recalls the crowd, protected by God, crossed the Red Sea without fear. (b) He recalls that God, when calling Moses, he declares his name saying: “I am!” (cf. Ex 3, 15). (c) He recalls also the Book of Isaiah which presents the return from exile as a new Exodus, in which God appears repeating many times: “I am!” (cf. Is 42, 8; 43, 5.11-13; 44, 6.25; 45, 5-7).

• For the People of the Bible, the sea was the symbol of the abyss, of chaos, of evil (Ap 13, 1). In Exodus the People goes across toward liberty, facing and conquering the sea. God divides the sea with his breath and the crowds cross the sea which is dry land. (Ex 14, 22). In other passages the Bible shows God who conquers the sea (Gen 1, 6-10; Ps 104, 6-9; Pro 8, 27). To conquer the sea means to impose one’s own limits and to prevent that it swallows all the earth with its waves. In this passage Jesus reveals his divinity by dominating and conquering the sea, preventing the boat and his disciples to be carried away by the waves. This way of evoking or recalling the Old Testament, of using the Bible, helped the communities to perceive better the presence of God in Jesus and in the facts of life. Do not be afraid!

• John 6, 22. They reached the desired port. They want to take Jesus into the boat, but it was not necessary, because the boat touched the shore to which they had directed themselves. They reached the desired port. The Psalm says: “He reduced the storm to calm, and all the waters subsided. He brought them overjoyed at the stillness, to the port where they were bound”. (Ps 107, 29-30).

Personal questions
• On the mountain: Why does Jesus seek to be alone to pray after the multiplication of the loaves? Which is the result of his prayer?
• Is it possible today to walk on the water of the sea of life? How?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Pope Saint Martin I

Feast DayApril  13

Patron Saint:  
Attributes:  n/a

Pope Martin I was pope from 21 July 649 to 16 September 655.[1] He was born near Todi, Umbria, in the place now named after him (Pian di San Martino). He succeeded Pope Theodore I on 5 July 649. He was the only pope during the Byzantine Papacy whose election was not approved by a iussio from Constantinople. Martin I was abducted by Emperor Constans II and died in the Crimean peninsula. He is considered a martyr by the Catholic Church.

He was the last apocrisiarius to be elected pope.


He had previously acted as papal apocrisiarius or legate at Constantinople, and was held in high repute for his learning and virtue.

Papacy (649–653)

One of his first official acts was to summon the Lateran Council of 649 to deal with the Monothelites, whom the Church considered heretical. The Council met in the church of St. John Lateran. It was attended by 105 bishops (chiefly from Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia, with a few from Africa and other quarters), held five sessions or secretarii from 5 October to 31 October 649, and in twenty canons condemned Monothelitism, its authors, and the writings by which Monothelitism had been promulgated. In this condemnation were included not only the Ecthesis (the exposition of faith of the Patriarch Sergius for which the emperor Heraclius had stood sponsor), but also the typus of Paul, the successor of Sergius, which had the support of the reigning Emperor (Constans II).

Abduction and exile (653–655)

Martin was very energetic in publishing the decrees of the Lateran Council of 649 in an encyclical, and Constans replied by enjoining his exarch (governor) in Italy to arrest the pope should he persist in this line of conduct and send Martin as a prisoner to Rome of Constantinople.

These orders were found impossible to carry out for a considerable space of time, but at last Martin was arrested in the Lateran on 17 June 653 along with Maximus the Confessor. He was hurried out of Rome and conveyed first to Naxos, Greece, and subsequently to Constantinople, where he arrived on 17 September 653. After suffering an exhausting imprisonment and many alleged public indignities, he was ultimately banished to Chersonesos Taurica (a city in present-day southern Ukraine in the Crimea region), where he arrived on 15 May 655 and died on 16 September of that year.

Place in the calendar of saints

13 April is the optional memorial of St Martin I.[2] He is also venerated as a saint and martyr in the Eastern Orthodox Church.


    1. Mershman, Francis (1910). "Pope St. Martin I" in The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company.


      Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane



      Today's Snippet I:  Lateran Council of 649

      The Lateran Council of 649 was a synod held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran to condemn Monothelitism, a Christology espoused by many Eastern Christians. The council did not achieve ecumenical status in either East or West, but represented the first attempt of a pope to convene an ecumenical council independent of the Roman emperor.

      According to Ekonomou, the irony of the Council was that the denunciation of the theology of Constantinople came from the "collaboration of a Greco-Palestinian pope and a Constantinopolitan monk employing a style of theological discourse whose tradition was purely Eastern". Although Pope Martin I and Maximus the Confessor were abducted by Constans II and tried in Constantinople for their role in the Council (Martin I being replaced as pope before dying in exile), their position was ultimately endorsed by the Third Council of Constantinople in 680.


      Most members of the contemporary Roman clergy would have been too uneducated in theology to "grasp even the fundamental issues presented in the Monothelite controversy" due to centuries of decay in both religious and secular learning in the city. However, Rome had been the beneficiary of a brain drain of the Eastern empire, as Greek monks like Maximus the Confessor fled from Africa and the Middle East to Rome. Although the position of the council was substantially similar to that espoused by the Council of Chalcedon, "for the first time in well over a century, the church of Rome would be in a position to debate theological issues with Byzantium from position of equality in both intellectual substance and rhetorical form".

      The synod has its roots in a series of correspondence between Pope Theodore I and Maximus dating to 646, before the latter's arrival in Rome. The momentum for the Council was almost extinguished when Patriarch Pyrrhus of Constantinople in late 646/early 647 denounced Monothelitism before the Roman clergy and laity. However, Pyrrhus changed his mind upon leaving Rome and arriving in Ravenna, and his successor Paul II of Constantinople was of the same mind.

      Emperor Constans II issued the Typos in 648 which prohibited any discussion of the issue of "one will and one energy, or two energies and two wills" in Christ. The Typos was viewed as an unacceptable threat to the legacy of Chalcedon, and thus hardened the determination of Theodore and Maximus to convene a council. Maximus and other monks from his order did all of "planning, preparation, and scripting" of the Council. In contrast, there is little evidence that Pope Theodore did much to prepare for the Council.

      Ecumenical status

      Pope Theodore I
      Maximus and Theodore did not regard the Council as merely a meeting of the Roman church, but rather one "in the nature of a general or ecumenical council". In a letter to a Cypriot priest, Maximus referred to the council as the "sixth synod, which through the divine inspiration of God set forth with all pure piety the doctrines of the holy Fathers".

      Never before had the pope—or any prominent Christian leader—challenged the authority of the Roman emperor alone to convene an ecumenical council. Even Athanasius, the virulent opponent of Constantius II's Arianism had conceded this to the emperor he regarded as a heretic. The papacy also had long regarded ecumenical councils as the prerogative of the emperor; for example, when Pope Julius I convened a synod to rehabilitate Athanasius (condemned by the First Synod of Tyre), he defended the practice by claiming the synod was not meant to be general or ecumenical. Although the Council planned to send its canons to Constans II for ratification, there was little doubt that this would be viewed as "form without substance". Theodore and Maximus were undoubtedly aware that they were "claiming nothing less than a revolutionary role for the Papacy".

      Later popes would de facto repudiate this usurpation by allowing the emperor to convene the Third Council of Constantinople (680). Nevertheless, the Lateran Council of 649 constituted a watershed moment in the history of the primacy of the Roman pontiff. In an attempt to legitimize the council, neither Maximus nor Theodore attempted to innovate further with its methodology.

      Death of Theodore

      Pope Martin I, the first pope since 537 consecrated without imperial approval
      Pope Theodore died on May 14, 649, while preparing for the Council. His death left Maximus without his patron and collaborator of the last three years and the "Papacy vacant at one of the most crucial times in the church's history". The Roman clergy was faced with the impossible dilemma of finding a successor with the intellectual reputation to convene the Council who would not be denied the iussio of the emperor required for consecration.

      Due to the influence of Maximus, on July 5, 649, a deacon from Todi was consecrated as Pope Martin I, the first (and only) pope consecrated without imperial approval during the Byzantine Papacy. Although he was the former apocrisiarius to Constantinople and well respected in the East, Martin's election was an indisputable "battle cry against Constantinople". Martin's stature and proficiency in Greek are attested to by Theodore's offer to appoint Martin as his personal representative to an earlier proposed synod in Constantinople.

      News of the impending council reached Constantinople as Martin prepared for it during the summer and fall, but the empire was "far too occupied with crises in the East to divert its attention". Far from being spontaneous or extemporaneous, the Council had been meticulously prepared and rehearsed over the previous three years. Despite Martin's nominal role in presiding over the Council, none of its participants were ignorant of the decisive influence of Maximus in bringing it about. According to Ekonomou, the Council was "in form as well as substance, a manifestly Byzantine affair".


      The Council was one of the first of the Lateran Councils, held in the Lateran Basilica (18th century facade pictured).
      The Council was attended by 105 bishops, all but one from the western portion of the Byzantine Empire. Stephen of Dor, a Palestinian, was the only bishop whose See was not in Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, or Africa. Transalpine Europe, Spain, Greece, and Crete—despite lying within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Rome—were not represented. One-fourth of the bishops were (as indicated by their names) likely of Eastern ethnicity or origin and thus probably Greek-speaking.

      The most prominent speaking roles were taken by (in descending order): Pope Martin I, Bishop Maximos of Aquileia, Bishop Deusdedit of Cagliari in Sardinia, Bishop Maurus of Cesena (in lieu of the archbishop of Ravenna), Sergius of Tempsa, Benedict of Ajaccio from Corsica, and Leontios of Naples. With the exception of Leontios, these were also the highest-ranking bishops present. The other ninety-eight bishops were essentially spectators, speaking (allegedly) in unison only five times, present only to bolster the Council's claim to ecumenical status. Most of these were not well-educated enough to understand the complexities of the Monothelite controversy, with many knowing only that Monothelitism diverged from the Council of Chalcedon.


      First session

      The Council was convoked on October 5, 649 by the Greek cleric Theophylaktos, the principal notary of the Apostolic See, chief of the papal chancery and library, invoking the regnal year of the "august and most pious lord Constantine". Pope Martin I then read a pre-prepared speech criticizing Monothelitism (a view held by the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria), denouncing the Ekthesis and Typos, and claiming for Rome the apostolic authority to weed out heresy. Martin quoted five Greek authors and two texts by Pope Leo I. The bishops of Aquileia and Cagliari spoke next, with remarks in much the same fashion, followed by representatives of the archbishop of Ravenna (himself absent). The entire convocation together assented to the previous remarks and recessed for two days.

      Second session

      The second session was convened on October 8 by Theophylaktos, who acknowledged the presence of late arrival Stephen of Dor, the papal vicar in Palestine, deputized to depose the Monothelite clergy of Sergius of Joppa. Bishop Stephen had arrived to deliver his own tract against Monothelitism, which was translated 
      from Greek to Latin by papal notary Anastasios. The pope endorsed the speech upon its completion. A delegation of Greek abbots, priests, and monks (many of whom had been resident in Rome for years) were then admitted to the synod by Theophylaktos to present their own tract denouncing Monothelitism. As the bishop of Aquileia insisted, Theodoros translated these remarks into Latin. The tract was signed by thirty-six monks, among them Maximus the Confessor. These presence of these Easterners was designed to bolster the claim to ecumenical status of the Council, anticipating that Constantinople would decry it as a regional assembly.

      Third session

      the third session took place on October 17 and consisted of Pope Martin responding to eleven excerpts of pro-Monothelite arguments by Theodore of Pharan's letter to Sergius of Arsinoe, and the citing of Eastern patristic sources in response. Martin appealed to a text of Cyril of Alexandria to rebut the arguments of Cyrus of Alexandria and Sergius I of Constantinople.

      Fourth session

      On October 19, the synod referenced the two letters of Gregory Nazianzen and a text by Anastasios Sinaites.

      Fifth session

      The last session of the council took place on October 31, relying on florilegia from various Greek theologians. An excerpt from the Fifth Ecumenical Council on how to determine appropriate authority of texts was read at the suggestion of Leontios of Naples. Excerpts from fifty-eight texts by twenty-one authors (sixteen Greek and five Latin) were then read. After more texts were read, the Council proclaimed its adherence to the five previous ecumenical councils and condemned all those who disagreed. Al together 161 texts were quoted to the fifth session, 27 from Maximus's Tomus Spiritualis, with the vast majority originating in the East.


      The council's acts and decrees were disseminated along with a papal encyclical claiming the "faith of the universal church" by virtue of having "exercised the collective power of the episcopate". Of course, as Martin and Maximus were aware, all the previous councils regarded as ecumenical were convened by the emperor, not the pope. This encyclical itself was likely written by Maximus.

      Until recently, the predominant historical view was that the acts and proceedings of the Council were written in Latin and then translated into Greek; Ekonomou's more recent analysis of the texts suggests the opposite to be true. None of the Council's prime movers were native Latin speakers, including Pope Martin and Maximus the Confessor.

      The Council's formal pronouncements amounted to 20 canons. Canons X and XI are the ones with specifically take up the subject of Christ's two wills and two energies, based predominately on Maximus's earlier disputation against Pyrrhus while in Carthage.

      The Council's canons were promulgated widely in Western Europe, being sent to: bishop Amandus of Maastricht (to arrange for Sigebert III to convene a Frankish synod), bishop John of Philadelphia, bishop Theodore of Esbas in Arabia, bishop Anthony of Bacatha, archimandrite George of St. Theodosios's monastery, bishop Pantaleon of Dor, bishop Paul of Thessalonica, and the Christian communities of Jerusalem and Antioch.


      A coin of Constans II, who had Pope Martin I and Maximus the Confessor abducted and tried in Constantinople
      The Roman public, independent of their distaste for Monothelitism, harbored a "growing resentment toward Byzantine political domination", as expressed by the recent revolt of Mauricius against the Exarch of Ravenna Isaac. Two years later, Theodore I took the "bold and unprecedented act of presuming to depose" Patriarch Paul II of Constantinople, one of the leading proponents of Monothelitism. Neither Theodore nor the Roman public desired political independence from Constantinople, but Theodore calculated that "the time was now particularly propitious to press Rome's position against Constantinople on the Monothelite question with even greater vigor".

      Theodore did not believe his own authority ex cathedra nor his attempted deposition of the Patriarch to be sufficient to defeat Monothelitism; rather he hoped that the strength of the argument of the council itself would win the day.

      Trial in Constantinople

      Within four years of the closing of the Council, Pope Martin I and Maximus the Confessor were arrested and brought to Constantinople for trial, for violating the Typos's prohibition on discussing the subject. During his first trial in June 654 Maximus was asked by sakellarios Troilus where he had condemned the Typos, he replied "at the synod of Rome in the Church of the Savior". Demosthenes exclaimed in reply that the Roman pontiff had been deposed, Maximus responded that the validity of the argument of the Council did not depend on the legitimacy of the pontiff that convened it.

      Martin I was exiled, eventually arriving in Tauric Chersonese in May 655. In an unusual move, a successor to Martin I was elected in 654 while he still lived and his name retained its anathema, escaping mention by even any of his successors for 75 years. Pope Eugene I normalized relations with Constantinople, and although he avoided pressing the issues of the Christological controversy, he ceremonially refused a letter from the Patriarch of Constantinople.


      • Ekonomou, Andrew J. 2007. Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes: Eastern influences on Rome and the papacy from Gregory the Great to Zacharias, A.D. 590-752. Lexington Books.


          Today's Snippet I:  Byzantine Papacy

          The Byzantine Papacy was a period of Byzantine domination of the papacy from 537 to 752, when popes required the approval of the Byzantine Emperor for episcopal consecration, and many popes were chosen from the apocrisiarii (liaisons from the pope to the emperor) or the inhabitants of Byzantine Greece, Byzantine Syria, or Byzantine Sicily. Justinian I conquered the Italian peninsula in the Gothic War (535–554) and appointed the next three popes, a practice that would be continued by his successors and later be delegated to the Exarchate of Ravenna.

          With the exception of Pope Martin I, no pope during this period questioned the authority of the Byzantine monarch to confirm the election of the bishop of Rome before consecration could occur; however, theological conflicts were common between pope and emperor in the areas such as monotheletism and iconoclasm.

          Greek speakers from Greece, Syria, and Byzantine Sicily replaced members of the powerful Roman nobles in the papal chair during this period. Rome under the Greek popes constituted a "melting pot" of Western and Eastern Christian traditions, reflected in art as well as liturgy.


          Origins (534–638)

          The Column of Phocas, the only extant public monument erected in seventh century Rome by the Byzantines
          After his invasion of Italy, the Gothic War (535–554), Emperor Justinian I forced Pope Silverius to abdicate and installed Pope Vigilius, a former apocrisiarius to Constantinople in his place; Justinian next appointed Pope Pelagius I, holding only a "sham election" to replace Vigilius; afterwards, Justinian was content to be limited to the approval of the pope, as with Pope John III after his election. Justinian's successors would continue the practice for over a century.

          Although the Byzantine troops that captured Italy called themselves Romans (the Byzantine Empire was still known as the Roman Empire through the entirety of its existence), many inhabitants of the city had a deep seated mistrust of Greeks, and Hellenistic influence more generally. Before long, the citizens of Rome petitioned Justinian to recall Narses (who captured Rome in 552), declaring that they would rather still be ruled by the Goths. Anti-Byzantine sentiment could also be found throughout the Italian peninsula, and reception of Greek theology in Latin circles was more mixed.

          The continuing power of appointment of the Byzantine emperor can be seen in the legend of Pope Gregory I writing to Constantinople, asking them to refuse his election. Pope Boniface III issued a decree denouncing bribery in papal elections and forbidding discussion of candidates for three days after the funeral of the previous pope; thereafter, Boniface III decreed that the clergy and the "sons of the Church" (i.e. noble laymen) should meet to elect a successor, each voting according to their conscience. This abated factionalism for the next four successions, each resulting in quick elections and imperial approval.

          The prestige of Gregory I ensured a gradual incorporation of Eastern influence, which retained the distinctiveness of the Roman church; Gregory's two successors were chosen from his former apocrisiarii to Constantinople, in an effort to gain the favor of Phocas, whose disputed claim to the throne Gregory had enthusiastically endorsed. Pope Boniface III was very likely of Greek extraction, making him the "Easterner on the papal throne" in 607 (many authors incorrectly regard Pope Theodore I, who reigned from 642 to 649, as the first Eastern pope of the Byzantine papacy). Boniface III was able to obtain an imperial proclamation declaring Rome as "the head of all the churches" (reaffirming Justinian I's naming the pope "the first among all the priests"), a decree Phocas intended as much to humiliate the Patriarch of Constantinople as exalt the pope.[9]

          Phocas erected a column of himself in the Roman Forum only three weeks after Boniface III's consecration, and in 609 by iussio authorized the conversion of the Pantheon into a Christian church, the first pagan Roman temple so converted. Boniface III himself attempted to outdo Phocas's efforts to Christianize the site, collecting twenty-four cartloads of martyr bones from the Catacombs of Rome to enshrine in the temple. A 610 synod ruled that monks could be full members of the clergy, a decision that would massively increase the hordes of Greek monks about to flee to Rome as the Slavs conquered much of the Balkan coast. At this time Salona in Dalmatia, Prima Justiniana in Illyricum, peninsular Greece, Peloponnesus, and Crete were under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Rome, and Constantinople was one of "the last places to which one could turn for refuge in the early seventh century".

          Another wave of monastic refugees, bringing with them various Christological controversies, arrived in Rome as the Sassanid Empire ravaged the eastern Byzantine possessions. The following Arab conquests of the seventh century in effect reversed the "avalanche of ascetics to the East" and the "brain drain of ascetic emigrations to the Holy Land" that followed the Gothic invasions of 408–410. Although the immigrating monastics were relatively small in number, their influence was immense:
          "Amidst an atmosphere that warmly welcomed them, the small force of monks and clerics who came to Rome at this time would combine their zeal for Chalcedon, their intellectual acument and higher learning, and the spiritual authority of the Roman church and the Papacy to mobilize the battle and win the war against the last of the great Christological controversies to confront the church."

          Monothelitism conflict (638–654)

          The apse of Santi Cosma e Damiano, commissioned by Pope Sergius I, depicted Christ as a lamb, a practice forbidden by the Quinisext Council.
          It was regarded as mandatory of a pope-elect to seek the confirmation of his appointment from Constantinople before consecration, often resulting in extremely lengthy delays (Sabinian: 6 months; Boniface III: 1 year; Boniface IV: 10 months; Boniface V: 13 months), due to the difficulty of travel, the Byzantine bureaucracy, and the whims of the emperors. Disputes were often theological; for example, Severinus was not consecrated for 20 months after his election due to his refusal to accept monothelitism, dying only months after he finally received permission to be consecrated in 640. When Greek Pope Theodore attempted to excommunicate two Patriarchs of Constantinople for supporting monothelitism, imperial troops looted the papal treasury in the Lateran Palace, arrested and exiled the papal aristocracy at the imperial court, and desecrated the altar of the papal residence in Constantinople.

          Theodore was Greek-Palestinian, the son of the bishop of Jerusalem, chosen for his ability to combat various heresies originating from the East in his native tongue. As a result of Theodore's ability to debate his adversaries in their own language, "never again would the Papacy suffer the sort of embarrassment that had resulted from Honorius's linguistic carelessness". Theodore took the nearly unprecedented measure of appointing Stephen of Dor as apostolic vicar to Palestine, with the intent of deposing the Monothelite bishop successors of Sergius of Joppa. Theodore's deposition of Patriarch Pyrrhus ensured that "Rome and Constantinople were now in schism and at open war" over the Christology that would characterize the Christian empire. A Greek pope excommunicating the Patriarch no doubt proved a "distressing spectacle" for the emperors intent upon restoring religious unity. Theodore's boldness attests to:
          "the strong undercurrent of Roman rancor against such heavy-handed use of imperial force emanating from Ravenna since the Maurikios incident [...] enthusiastic acceptance of imperial political authority exercised with such brutality was perceptibly waning".
          Pope Martin I was abducted by Constans II and died in exile.

          Theodore's successor, Pope Martin I insisted on being consecrated immediately without waiting for imperial approval, and was (after a delay due to the revolt of Olympius, the exarch of Ravenna) abducted by imperial troops to Constantinople, found guilty of treason, and exiled to Crimea where he died in 655. Although Martin I's main crime was the promotion of the Lateran Council of 649, the council itself was a "manifestly Byzantine affair" by virtue of its participants and doctrinal influences (particularly its reliance on florilegia). The council's ecumenical status was never acknowledged, for the time solidifying the idea that the convening of ecumenical councils was an imperial prerogative. Within four years of the council's adjournment, both Martin I and Maximus the Confessor were arrested and tried in Constantinople for "transgressing the Typos".

          According to Eamon Duffy, "one of the worst elements in Martin's suffering was the knowledge that while he still lived the Roman Church had bowed to imperial commands, and had elected a new pope", Pope Eugenius I. According to Ekonomou, "the Romans were as prepared to forget Pope Martin as Constans II was relieved to see him removed to the remote northern shores of the Black Sea". Thirty years later, the Sixth Ecumenical Council would vindicate the council's condemnation of Monothelitism, but not before the synod "ushered in the period of Rome's "Greek intermezzo'".

          Reconciliation (654–678)

          The inhabitants of both East and West had "grown weary of the decades of religious warfare", and the arrest of Martin I did much to dissipate the "religious fever of the empire's Italian subjects". Rapprochement the empire was viewed as critical to combatting the growing Lombard and Arab threat and thus no pope "referred again to Martin I" for seventy-five years. Although the Roman uneasiness of electing a successor while Martin I lived and the Byzantine desire to punish Rome for the council caused the immediate sede vacante to last fourteen months, the next seven popes were more agreeable to Constantinople, and approved without delay, but Pope Benedict II was impelled to wait a year in 684, whereafter the Emperor consented to delegate the approval to the exarch of Ravenna. The exarch, who invariable was a Greek from the court of Constantinople, had the power to approve papal consecration from the time of Honorius I.

          Emperor Constans II, the abductor of Martin I, resided himself in Rome for a period during the reign of Pope Vitalian. Vitalian himself was possibly of Eastern extraction, and certainly nominated Greeks to important sees, including Theodore of Tarsus as Archbishop of Canterbury. Much has been said of Constans II's motives—perhaps to move the imperial capital to Rome or to reconquer large swathes of territory in the mold of Justinian I—but more likely he only intended to achieve limited military victories against the Slavs, Lombards, and Arabs. Vitalian heaped upon Constans II honors and ceremony (including a tour of St. Peter's tomb), even while Constans II's workmen were stripping down the bronze from the monuments of the city to be melted down and returned to Constantinople with the Emperor when he departed. However, both Vitalian and Constans II would have been confident upon his departure that the political and religious relationship between Rome and Constantinople was effectively stabilized, leaving Constans II free to focus his forces against the Arabs. After Constans II was murdered in Sicily by Mezezius,

          Vitalian refused to support Mezezius's usurpation of the throne, gaining the favor of Constans II's son and successor, Constantine IV. Constantine IV returned the favor by refusing to support the striking of Vitalian's name from the diptychs of Byzantine churches and depriving Ravenna of autocephalous status, returning it to papal jurisdiction. Constantine IV, abandoned the policy of monothelitism and summoned the Third Council of Constantinople in 680, to which Pope Agatho sent a representative. The council returned to the Chalcedonian Creed, condemning Pope Honorius and the other proponents of monothelitism. Over the next ten years, reconciliation increased the power of papacy: the church of Ravenna abandoned its claim to independent status (formerly endorsed by Constans II), imperial taxation was lessened, and the right of papal confirmation was delegated from Constantinople to the Exarch of Ravenna. It was during this period that the Papacy began "thinking of the Universal Church not as the sum of individual churches as the East did, but as synonymous with the Roman Church".

          The Greek Popes (678–752)

          Pope Agatho and ten of his next twelve successors were of Greek extraction.
          Pope Agatho, a Greek Sicilian, started "a nearly unbroken succession of Eastern pontiffs spanning the next three quarters of a century". The Third Council of Constantinople and the Greek Popes ushered in "a new era in relations between the eastern and western parts of the empire". During the pontificate of Pope Benedict II (684–685), Constantine IV waived the requirement of imperial approval for consecration as pope, recognizing the sea change in the demographics of the city and its clergy. Benedict II's successor Pope John V was elected "by the general population", returning to the "ancient practice". The ten Greek successors of Agatho were likely the inteded result of Constantine IV's concession. The deaths of Pope John V and (even more so) Pope Conon resulted in contested elections, but following Pope Sergius I the remainder of the elections under Byzantine rule were without serious issue.

          During the pontificate of John V (684–685), the Emperor substantially lessened the taxation burden on papal patrimonies in Sicily and Calabria, also eliminating the surtax on grains and other imperial taxes. Justinian II during the reign of Conon also decreased taxes on the patrimonies of Bruttium and Lucania, releasing those conscripted into the army as security on those payments. Popes of this period explicitly recognized imperial sovereignty over Rome and sometimes dated their personal correspondence in the regnal years of the Byzantine Emperor. However, this political unity did not also extend to theological and doctrinal questions.

          Quinisext Council dispute

          Pope Sergius I's refused to endorse the canons of the Quinisext Council, prompting Justinian II to order his arrest.
          Justinian II's initial acts appeared to continue the rapproachment initiated under Constans II and Constantine IV. However, reconciliation was short-lived, and Justinian II convoked the Quinisext Council (unattended by Western prelates) which settled upon a variety of decrees "calculated to offend Westerners", the canons of which were sent to Pope Sergius I for his signature; Sergius refused and openly flouted the new laws. The key point of contention were the regulations of the Trullan canons, which although primarily targeted at Eastern lapses, conflicted existing practices in the West. Sergius I would have objected to the approval of all eighty-five Apostolic Canons (rather than only the first fifty), various liberalizations of the issue of clerical celibacy, various prohibitions on blood as food, and the depiction of Christ as lamb.

          Justinian II first sent a magistrate to arrest John of Portus and another papal counselor as a warning, and then dispatched his infamous protopatharios Zacharias to arrest the pope himself. Justinian II attempted to apprehend Sergius I as his predecessor had done with Martin I, underestimating the resentment against imperial authority among those in power in Italy, and the Italian-born troops from Ravenna and the Duchy of the Pentapolis mutinied in favor of Sergius I upon their arrival in Rome: not long after, Justinian II was deposed in a coup. However, the thirteen revolts in Italy and Sicily that preceded the fall of the exarchate in 751 were uniformly "imperial in character" in that they still harbored "allegiance to the ideal of the Christian Roman Empire" and harbored no nationalist ambitions for the Italian peninsula. Indeed, rather than capitalize on any anti-Byzantine sentiments in Italy, Sergius I himself attempted to quell the entire controversy.

          In 705, Justinian II sought to compromise with Pope John VII asking him to enumerate the specific canons of the Counsel he found problematic and confirm the rest; however, John VII took no action. In 710, Justinian II ordered the pope to appear in Constantinople by imperial mandate. Pope Constantine, a Syrian, left for Constantinople in 710 with thirteen clerics, eleven of which were fellow Easterners. Crossing paths with Constantine in Naples was exarch John III Rizocopo, who was on his way to Rome where he would execute four high ranking papal officials who had refused to accompany the pope. While Rome's rejection of the Trullan canons remains, the visit largely healed the rift between pope and emperor.

          Greek was the language of choice during this period as countless Easterners rose through the ranks of the clergy. According to Ekonomou, between 701 and 750, "Greeks outnumbered Latins by nearly three and a half to one". Any power vacuum was swiftly filled from Rome: for example, Pope Gregory II came to the aid of the exarchate of Ravenna in 729 by helping to crush the rebellion of Tiberius Petasius and Pope Zacharias in 743 and 749 negotiated the Lombards withdrawal from imperial territory.

          Iconoclasm dispute

          Pope Zachary was the last pope of Greek extraction and the last to seek imperial confirmation of his election.

          Popes of the first half of the eighth century perceived Constantinople as a source of legitimating authority and in practice "paid handsomely" to continue to receive imperial confirmation, but Byzantine authority all but vanished in Italy (except for Sicily) as the emperors became increasingly pressed by the Muslim conquests. According to Ekonomou:
          "Like every Roman pontiff who had come before him, Zacharias considered himself a loyal servant of the imperium Romanum Christianum and a dutiful subject of the emperor who occupied the throne in Constantinople. The empire was, after all, the terrestrial image of the kingdom of heaven. It was a sacred realm of which Rome and the papacy were integral components. It represented culture and civilization. It was the irrefragable chain that connected the present to the classical past and gave his beloved Rome the aura of eternity. Most of all, it was the empire that guarded and protected the holy catholic and apostolic church. The emperor was God's elected representative on Earth. He held the empire in the name of Christ whose instrument he was and from whom he derived his power and authority. To criticize the emperor was sacrilege; to fail to obey and pray for him, whether he was good or bad, unthinkable impiety."
          Although antagonism about the expense of Byzantine domination had long persisted within Italy, the political rupture was set in motion in earnest in 726 by the iconoclasm of Emperor Leo III the Isaurian. The exarch was lynched while trying to enforce the iconoclastic edict and Pope Gregory II saw iconoclasm as the latest in a series of imperial heresies. In 731, his successor, Pope Gregory III organized a synod in Rome (attended by the Archbishop of Ravenna), which declared iconoclasm punishable by excommunication. When the exarch donated six columns of onyx to the shrine of St. Peter in thanks for the pope's assistance in his release from the Lombards, Gregory III defiantly had the material crafted into icons.

          Final break

          Leo III responded in 732/33 by confiscating all papal patrimonies in south Italy and Sicily, together constituting most papal income at the time. He further removed the bishoprics of Thessalonica, Corinth, Syracuse, Reggio, Nicopolis, Athens, and Patras from papal jurisdiction, instead subjecting them to the Patriarch of Constantinople. This was in effect an act of triage: it strengthened the imperial grip on the southern empire, but all but guaranteed the eventual destruction of the exarchate of Ravenna, which finally occurred at Lombard hands in 751. In effect, the papacy had been "cast out of the empire". Pope Zachary, in 741, was the last pope to announce his election to a Byzantine ruler or seek their approval.

          Subsequent relations

          Within 50 years (Christmas 800), the papacy recognised Charlemagne as Emperor. This can be seen as symbolic of the papacy turning away from the declining Byzantium towards the new power of Carolingian Francia. Byzantium suffered a series of military setbacks during this period, virtually losing its grip on Italy. By the time of Liudprand of Cremona's late 10th century visits to Constantinople, despite Byzantium's recovery under Romanos I and Constantine Porphyrogenitus, relations were clearly strained between the papacy and Byzantium. Indeed, he notes the anger of the Byzantine civil service at the Emperor being addressed by the Pope as "Emperor of the Greeks" as opposed to that of the Romans.

          List of Byzantine popes

          The Byzantine Papacy was composed of the following popes and antipopes. Of the thirteen popes from 678 to 752, only Benedict II and Gregory II were native Romans; all the rest were Greek-speaking, from Greece, Syria, or Byzantine Sicily. Many popes of this period had previously served as papal apocrisiarii (equivalent of the modern nuncio) in Constantinople. The series of popes from John V to Zachary (685–752) is sometimes referred to as the "Byzantine captivity" because only one pope of this period, Gregory II, was not of "Eastern" extraction.

          • Pope Vigilius (537–555), former apocrisiarius
          • Pope Pelagius I (556–561), former apocrisiarius
          • Pope John III (561–574)
          • Pope Benedict I (575–579)
          • Pope Pelagius II (579–590)
          • Pope Gregory I, "the Great" (590–604), former apocrisiarius
          • Pope Sabinian (604–606), former apocrisiarius
          • Pope Boniface III (607), former apocrisiarius, likely born in Rome to a Greek father from Antioch
          • Pope Boniface IV (608–615)
          • Pope Adeodatus I (615–618)
          • Pope Boniface V (619–625)
          • Pope Honorius I (625–638)
          • Pope Severinus (640)
          • Pope John IV (640–642), Dalmatian, first pope born and raised east of Italy since Pope Zosimus (417–418)
          • Pope Theodore I (642–649), Greek-Palestinian
          • Pope Martin I (649–653), former apocrisiarius
          • Pope Eugene I (654–657)
          • Pope Vitalian (657–672), likely of eastern extraction (father named Anastasios)
          • Pope Adeodatus II (672–676)
          • Pope Donus (676–678)
          • Pope Agatho (678–681), Greek
          • Pope Leo II (682–683), Sicilian
          • Pope Benedict II (684–685)
          • Pope John V (685–686), Syrian
          • Pope Conon (686–687), Sicilian
          • Pope Sergius I (687–701), Syrian
            • Antipope Theodore (687)
            • Antipope Paschal (687)
          • Pope John VI (701–705), Greek
          • Pope John VII (705–707), Calabrian
          • Pope Sisinnius (708), Syrian
          • Pope Constantine (708–715), Syrian
          • Pope Gregory II (715–731)
          • Pope Gregory III (731–741), Syrian
          • Pope Zachary (741–752), Calabrian


          The Byzantine influenced interior of Santa Maria in Cosmedin
          According to Duffy, by the end of the 7th century, "Greek-speakers dominated the clerical culture of Rome, providing its theological brains, its administrative talent, and much of its visual, musical, and liturgical culture". Ekonomou argues that "after four decades of Byzantine rule, the East was inexorably insinuating itself into the city on the Tiber. Even Gregory would succumb, perhaps unwittingly, to the lux orientis [...] Once the political bonds had been reformed, both Rome and the Papacy would quickly begin to experience, even before the sixth century came to a close, its influence in other ways as well." Ekonomou views the Byzantine influence as organic rather than "an intentional or systematic program" by the emperors or exarchs, who focused more on political control and taxation than cultural influence.

          Demographic and monastic

          The schola Graeca (also called the ripa Graeca or "Greek bank") refers to the segment of the Tiber's bank "heavily populated by Easterners, including Greeks, Syrians, and Egyptians". The Byzantine quarter quickly became the economic center of Imperial Rome during this period (marked by Santa Maria in Cosmedin, a name also given to Byzantine churches founded in Ravenna and Naples). The portion of the Aventine overlooking this quarter became known as the ad Balcernas or Blachernas, after the district of Constantinople. This region was latter called the piccolo Aventino ("little Aventine") once it developed into a "Greco-oriental quarter" after successive waves of Sabaite monks.

          Byzantine immigrants to Rome included merchants from Byzantine territories such as Syria and Egypt. Refugees from the Vandal persecutions in North Africa and the Laurentian schism accumulated in significant numbers in the early sixth century; a similar phenomenon occurred with the inhabitants of the eastern territories later re-conquered by the Byzantines. Greeks accounted for nearly the entire medical community of Rome and a Greek school of medicine was established during this time. Most Greek inhabitants of Rome during this period, however, would have been members of monastic religious communities, although it is questionable whether any exclusively Greek monasteries were established. However, by 678, there were four Byzantine monasteries: San Saba, Domus Ariscia, SS. Andreas and Lucia, and Aquas Salvias. Constantine IV alludes to these four monasteries in a letter to Pope Donus; Ekonomou suggests there were at least two more Byzantine monasteries in Rome: the Boetiana and St. Erasmus on Caelian Hill. Greek monastics brought with them (in the late seventh century) the institution of monasteria diaconia, dedicating to serving the indigent of the city.

          At the end of the sixth century Easterners remained a minority of the Roman clergy, although they were doubtlessly admitted into it (as determined by the names subscribing to synodical proceedings). Although they constituted less than one percent of the hierarchy at the beginning of the seventh century, the percentage of Easterners was higher for the priesthood. In contrast, a 679 synod convoked by Agatho was predominantly eastern (more than half of the bishops and two-thirds of the priests). These monastics "brought with them from the East an unbroken legacy of learning that, though shattered almost beyond recognition in the West, Byzantium had preserved in nearly pristine form from ancient times".

          Non-monks also emigrated to Rome, as can be seen in the skyrocketing popularity of names like Sisinnes, Georgios, Thalassios, and Sergius (and, to a lesser extent: Gregorios, Ioannes, Paschalis, Stephanos, and Theodoros). Ekonomou cites the appearance of these names, along with the disappearance of Probus, Faustus, Venantius, and Importunus as evidence of the "radical transformation in the ethnic composition of the city".


          Byzantine traders came to dominate the economic life of Rome. Roman resentment against this reality culminated in Emperor Valentian III expelling all "Greek traders" from the city in 440, an act that he was forced to reverse after a famine. Persons from all portions of the Byzantine empire were able to follow traditional trade routes to Rome, making the city truly "cosmopolitan" in its composition.


          Greek speaking prelates also become common in Rome at this time, concentrated around a ring of churches on Palatine Hill, dedicated to Eastern Saints: Cosmas and Damian, Sergius and Bacchus, Hadrian, Quiricius and Giulitta, and Cyrus and John.

          Greek influence was concentrated also in the diaconia along the Tiber, an emerging Byzantine quarter of the city, and the churches of San Giorgio in Vellabro and Santa Maria in Cosmedin. According to Duffy,
          "Even the native traditions of Roman religious art were now transformed by Eastern influence, the monumental realism of the Roman style, represented in the apse of SS Cosmas and Damian, being replaced by the delicate formalism of the paintings of Santa Maria Antiqua, or the Byzantine-style icon of the Virgin now in the church of Santa Francesca Romana. The worship of the Roman Church itself was being transformed by Eastern influence."
          Santa Maria in Cosmedin was given to Greek monks fleeing the iconoclastic persecution, and was built on a Greek plan with three apses and a templon barrier, introduced to the West at this period.

          Literary and musical

          Rome experienced a "short cultural efflorescence" in the early sixth century as a result of the translation of Greek words—"both sacred and profane"—into Latin, with the rise of an intellectual class fluent in both languages. Because traditional Classical education in Rome had declined "nearly to the point of extinction", even learned Latin scholars could not read such works in their original Greek and were forced to rely on translation. Many such texts appeared in the papal library, which was established by Pope Agapetus I circa 535 (moved by future Pope Gregory I to his monastery on Caelian Hill and later the Lateran). The papal library contained only a very few texts in the year 600, but boasted shelves of codices (primarily in Greek) by 650. Moreover, the staff of the papal chancery was thoroughly bilingual by mid-century, with its "administrative apparatus" run by Greeks. Until recently, scholars believed that papal texts were written in Latin and then translated into Greek; however, the evidence regarding the proceedings of the Lateran Council of 649 reveals exactly the opposite to be the case.

          Despite the conquest, the decline of the knowledge of the Greek language continued almost unchecked, and translators remained in short supply throughout Gregory I's papacy. Only at the end of the sixth century did knowledge of the Greek language (and the corresponding supply of Greek texts) undergo a "slightly increased vitality". Conversely, knowledge of Latin in Constantinople was "not only rare but a 'complete anachronism'".

          Pope Vitalian (657–672) established a schola cantorum to train ceremonial chanters, which was almost entirely "in imitation of its Byzantine model". Vatalian also introduced the celebration of the Easter vespers and baptism at Epiphany, both traditions originating in Constantinople. The "liturgical byzantinization" furthered by Vitalian would be continued by his successors. However, the Latin language made a liturgical resurgence—officially replacing Greek—between 660 and 682; Greek again re-emerged during the papacy of Pope Agatho and his successors.

          By the beginning of the eighth century, bilingual liturgies were common place, with Greek taking precedence. Thus, Greek literary customs found their way into the entire liturgical calendar, particularly papal rituals. This period laid the groundwork for Western mariology, built closely after the cult of Theotokos ("Mother of God") in the East, where Mary was regarded as the special protector of Constantinople.


          Many features of the papal court originated during this period, modeled after similar Byzantine court rituals. For example, the papal office of the vestararius imitated the protovestiarios of the Byzantine court, with both responsible for the management of finances and the wardrobe.


          Maximus the Confessor
          Western Christendom during this period "absorbed Constantinopolitan liturgical customs and practices into its forms of worship and intercession". Maximus the Confessor, who was carried under heavy imperial guard from Rome to Constantinople in 654, typifies the theological development of Eastern monasticism in Rome vis-a-vis conflicts with the Byzantine emperors. Maximus and his fellow Graeco-Palestinian future Pope Theodore I lead a synod in Rome of predominantly Latin bishops that stymied Imperial efforts to enforce doctrinal unity (and thus end the domestic strife which much aided the Persian advance) on the issue of Monothelitism.

          As a result of this theological flowering, "for the first time in well over a century, the church of Rome would be in a position to debate theological issues with Byzantium from a position of equality in both intellectual substance and rhetorical form". However, "the irony was that Rome would experience its revitalization not by drawing upon its own pitiable resources, but rather through the collaboration of a Greco-Palestinian pope and a Constantinopolitan monk employing a style of theological discource whose tradition was purely Eastern".

          As early as the papacy of Gregory I, the churches of Italy and Sicily began "increasingly following Eastern ritualistic forms", which Gregory I himself endeavored to combat and modify. For example, Roman churches adopted the practice of saying Allelueia in Mass except during the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost; in a letter, Gregory I acknowledge the development, but claimed it originated in Jerusalem and reached Rome not through Constantinople but through Jerome and Pope Damasus. Similarly, Gregory I claimed an "ancient origin" for allowing subdeacons to participate in mass without tunics (a practice common in Constantinople). Gregory was also keen to distinguish the Latin Kyrie Eleison from the Greek, noting that only Roman clerics (rather than the entire congregation in unison) recited it, and thereafter affixed an additional Christe Eleison.

          Despite his vehement public statements to the contrary, Gregory I himself was an agent of creeping Byzantine influence. As Ekonomou states, Gregory "not only reflect but was in many ways responsible for Rome's ambivalent attitude toward the East". For example, he organized a series of liturgical processions in Rome to "assuage the wrath of God and relieve the city's suffering" from the plague which killed his predecessor, which greatly resembled Byzantine liturgical processions which Gregory I would have witnessed as apocrisiarius. Gregory I's mariology also comports with several Byzantine influences. However, it as after the death of Gregory I that Eastern influence became for more apparent and the adoption of Byzantine practices accelerated.

          Sergius I incorporated the Syrian custom of singing the Agnus Dei and elaborate processions with Greek chants into the Roman liturgy. The "more learned and sophisticated theological interests" of the Greek popes also added a new "doctrinal edge" to the claims of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, "sharpened and fixed" by various confrontations with the emperor. Eastern monastics, if not Byzantine society at large, in the fourth and fifth centuries came to regard Rome as "not just another patriarch" but as a unique source of doctrinal authority. According to Ekonomou, the Dialogues "best reflect the impact that the East exercised on Rome and the Papacy in the late sixth century" as they "gave Italy holy men who were part of an unmistakable hagiographical tradition whose roots lay in the Egyptian desert and the Syrian caves".


          The Byzantine period saw the disappearance of most remnants of classical style from mosaics in Italy, although the process of this transition is hard to follow not least because there are even fewer surviving mosaics from the period in the Greek-speaking world than in Italy. The magnificent sequence of mosaics in Ravenna continued under the Exarchate, with those in the Basilica of San Vitale (527–548, spanning the change of rule) and Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe (549), but no sharp transition of style is detectable from those produced under the Ostrogothic Kingdom or the Western Emperors of the preceding decades. Greek Pope John VII was "by far the most outstanding patron of the Byzantine iconographic style", commissioning innumerable works from "traveling Greek craftsmen".

          Four churches in Rome have mosaics of saints near where their relics were held; these all show an abandonment of classical illusionism for large-eyed figures floating in space. They are San Lorenzo fuori le Mura (580s), Sant'Agnese fuori le mura (625–38), Santo Stefano Rotondo (640s), and the chapel of San Venanzio in the Lateran Basilica (c. 640)

          Illuminated manuscripts show similar developments, but it is difficult to see specifically Byzantine elements in the emerging medieval style of St Augustine Gospels of c. 595, the earliest Latin Gospel book, which very probably passed through the hands of Gregory I. The earliest estimates for the date of the frescos at Castelseprio in northern Italy, which undoubtedly show strong Byzantine influence, would put them into this period, but most scholars now date them much later. There has been much speculation, in respect of Castelseprio and other works, about Greek artists escaping from iconoclasm to the West, but there is little or no direct evidence of this.


          • Baumgartner, Frederic J. 2003. Behind Locked Doors: A History of the Papal Elections. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-29463-8.
          • Dale, Thomas E.A., "Mosaic", in Christopher Kleinhenz (ed), Medieval Italy: an Encyclopedia, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0-415-93931-3, ISBN 978-0-415-93931-7 Google books
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          • Ekonomou, Andrew J. 2007. Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes: Eastern influences on Rome and the papacy from Gregory the Great to Zacharias, A.D. 590–752. Lexington Books.
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          Catechism of the Catholic Church

          Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery, 

          Section Two: The Seven Sacraments of the Church 

          Article 2:56  Sacrament of Confirmation

          SECTION TWO

          Article 2

          1285 Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace.Cf. Roman Ritual, Rite of Confirmation (OC), Introduction 1. For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed."LG 11; Cf. OC, Introduction 2

          V. The Minister of Confirmation
          1312 The original minister of Confirmation is the bishop.LG 26 In the East, ordinarily the priest who baptizes also immediately confers Confirmation in one and the same celebration. But he does so with sacred chrism consecrated by the patriarch or the bishop, thus expressing the apostolic unity of the Church whose bonds are strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation. In the Latin Church, the same discipline applies to the Baptism of adults or to the reception into full communion with the Church of a person baptized in another Christian community that does not have valid Confirmation.CIC, Can. 883 # 2

          1313 In the Latin Rite, the ordinary minister of Confirmation is the bishop.CIC, Can. 88 Although the bishop may for grave reasons concede to priests the faculty of administering Confirmation,CIC, Can. 884 # 2 it is appropriate from the very meaning of the sacrament that he should confer it himself, mindful that the celebration of Confirmation has been temporally separated from Baptism for this reason. Bishops are the successors of the apostles. They have received the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders. the administration of this sacrament by them demonstrates clearly that its effect is to unite those who receive it more closely to the Church, to her apostolic origins, and to her mission of bearing witness to Christ.

          1314 If a Christian is in danger of death, any priest should give him Confirmation.CIC, Can. 883 # 3 Indeed the Church desires that none of her children, even the youngest, should depart this world without having been perfected by the Holy Spirit with the gift of Christ's fullness.

          IN BRIEF
          1315 "Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit" ( Acts 8:14-17).

          1316 Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.

          1317 Confirmation, like Baptism, imprints a spiritual mark or indelible character on the Christian's soul; for this reason one can receive this sacrament only once in one's life.

          1318 In the East this sacrament is administered immediately after Baptism and is followed by participation in the Eucharist; this tradition highlights the unity of the three sacraments of Christian initiation. In the Latin Church this sacrament is administered when the age of reason has been reached, and its celebration is ordinarily reserved to the bishop, thus signifying that this sacrament strengthens the ecclesial bond.

          1319 A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.

          1320 The essential rite of Confirmation is anointing the forehead of the baptized with sacred chrism (in the East other sense-organs as well), together with the laying on of the minister's hand and the words: "Accipe signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti" (Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.) in the Roman Rite, or "The seal of the gift that is the Holy Spirit" in the Byzantine rite.

          1321 When Confirmation is celebrated separately from Baptism, its connection with Baptism is expressed, among other ways, by the renewal of baptismal promises. the celebration of Confirmation during the Eucharist helps underline the unity of the sacraments of Christian initiation.