Quinisext (or Quinisextine)
i.e., Fifth-and-Sixth or rather say

The Sixth Ecumenical Council

The Holy and Ecumenical Council was assembled in the imperial and lustrous palace called the Troullus in the reign of Justinian II, who was the son of Pogonatus ad was surnamed Rhinotmetusin the year 691 after Christ. The number of Fathers who attended it numbered 327, according to Balsamon and Zonaras, but 340 according to the author of the Conciliar booklet, of whom the leaders were Paul of Constantinople; Basil the Bishop of Gortyna, a province in Crete, a certain Bishop of Ravena who acted as the legate of the Pope of Rome, Peter the Patriarch of Alexandria, Anastasius the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and George the Patriarch of Antioch. It was assembled at the command of the Emperor, not in order to examne into any special heresey, not in order to settle questions of faith, in such a way as to warrant its being called a special and separate Council, but for the purpose of promulgating necessary Canons relating to correction of outstanding evils and the regulation of the internal polity of the Church. Which Canons are the following, as confirmed by 3 Popes, namely, Adrian I, Gregory II, and Innocent III, by Gratian, by the legates of the Pope who were present a the Seventh Ec. C., by the so-called First-and-Second Council, who mentions its c. XXXI in its own c. XII. They are also confirmed or attested by Cedrenus, by John of Damacus, who says, "consult the definitions of the Sixth Council and you will find there the proof." They were also confirmed or attested by the imterpreters of the Canons, by Photius, by the personal signatures both of the Emperor and of the legates of the Pope of Rome, as well as those of the Patriarchs and the Fathers who attended it. Thus, summarily speaking it may be said to have been attested and confirmed by the whole catholic Church, notwithstanding that the modern Latins calumiously traduce them because they censure and controvert their innovations. Adrian I in his letter to Tarasius has left us this admirable testimony cncerning these Canons in the following words: "I accept the decisions made by the same holy Sixth Council, together with all the Canons it has duly and divinely uttered, wherein they are expressed." In certain inscriptions of the venerable icons is to be found added also the whole text of its eighty-second Canon. Pope Gregory in his letter to St. Germanus says in reference to this same Canon of the present Sixth Council: "Wherefore the assembly of the holy men have delivered this chapter to the Church by God's design as a matter of the greatest salvation. Note, too, the fact that he called the Council a holy assembly and said that its Canons were issued by God's design. But the testimony of Patriarch Tarasius concerning these Canons is sufficient to shut and gag the mouths of the adversaries. In fact it is rather the testimony of the entire Seventh Ecumenical Council and runs word for word as follows: "Some men who are painfully ignorant in regard to these Canons are scandalized and blatantly say, 'We wonder whetherthey really are canons of the Sixth Council.' Let such men become conscious of the fact that the holy and great Sixth Council was convolked in the reign of Constantine against those who were asserting the energy and the will of Christ to be a single energy and a single will, and that the bishops who attended it anathematized the heretics and stated clearly and empatically the Orthodox faith, after they left for home in the year fourteen of Constantine's reign. Thereafter, however, let it not be forgotten that... the same Fathers gathered themselves together in the reign of Constantine's son, Justinian and promulgated the aforementioned Canons, and let no one have any doubt about them. For those who signed their names in the reign of Constantine are the same ones as those who signed their names to the present paper in the reign of Justinian, as becomes plaily evident from the exact likeness of the respective signaturesas written b their own hands. For it was incumbent on them after declaring an Ecumenical Council to proceed to promulgate also ecclesiastical Canons (Act 4 of the Seventh Ec. C., p. 780 of the second volume of the Collection of Canons)." In the same Act 4 of the 7th it is written that thus very same identical and origial paper, which had been signed by the Fathers of the present Sixth Council, was read alod to the Seventh Ec. C. Peter the Bishop of Nicomedeia stated, though, that there was also another book containing the present Canons of the Sixth Council.

Contains 102 Canons.

For many reasons the present Council is called and is an Ecumenical Council. Firstly, because if the Salutatory address which it makes to Justinian, as well as in its third Canon, it labels itself Ecumenical. Secondly, because the Seventh Ecumenical Council in its Act 8 and in its first Canon also call it an Ecumenical Council.

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Canons 1 - 13

Canons 14 - 34

Canons 35 - 60

Canons 61- 80

Canons 81 - 102

Online Version
2005 - Most Rev. Victor Prentice
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