THE ANATHEMAS OF THE SECOND COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE (553 AD)


The Second Council of Constantinople was called to resolve certainquestions that were raised by the Definition of Chalcedon, the mostimportant of which had to do with the unity of the two natures, God andman, is Jesus Christ. The Second Council of Constantinople confirmed the Definition of Chalcedon, while emphasizing that Jesus Christ does not justembody God the Son, He is God the Son.


I. If anyone does not confess that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spiritare one nature or essence, one power or authority, worshipped as a trinityof the same essence, one deity in three hypostases or persons, let him beanathema. For there is one God and Father, of whom are all things, and oneLord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and one Holy Spirit, inwhom are all things.

II. If anyone does not confess that God the Word was twice begotten, the firstbefore all time from the Father, non- temporal and bodiless, the other inthe last days when he came down from the heavens and was incarnate by theholy, glorious, God-bearer, ever-virgin Mary, and born of her, let him beanathema.

III. If anyone says that God the Word who performed miracles is one and Christwho suffered is another, or says that God the Word was together withChrist who came from woman, or that the Word was in him as one person isin another, but is not one and the same, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Wordof God, incarnate and become human, and that the wonders and the sufferingwhich he voluntarily endured in flesh were not of the same person, let himbe anathema.

IV. If anyone says that the union of the Word of God with man was onlyaccording to grace or function or dignity or equality of honor orauthority or relation or effect or power or according to his goodpleasure, as though God the Word was pleased with man, or approved of him,as the raving Theodosius says; or that the union exists according tosimilarity of name, by which the Nestorians call God the Word Jesus andChrist, designating the man separately as Christ and as Son, speaking thusclearly of two persons, but when it comes to his honor, dignity, andworship, pretend to say that there is one person, one Son and one Christ,by a single designation; and if he does not acknowledge, as the holyFathers have taught, that the union of God is made with the flesh animatedby a reasonable and intelligent soul, and that such union is according tosynthesis or hypostasis, and that therefore there is only one person, theLord Jesus Christ one of the holy Trinity -- let him be anathema. As theword "union" has many meanings, the followers of the impiety ofApollinaris and Eutyches, assuming the disappearance of the natures,affirm a union by confusion. On the other hand the followers of Theodoreand of Nestorius rejoicing in the division of the natures, introduce onlya union of relation. But the holy Church of God, rejecting equally theimpiety of both heresies, recognizes the union of God the Word with theflesh according to synthesis, that is according to hypostasis. For in themystery of Christ the union according to synthesis preserves the twonatures which have combined without confusion and without separation.

V. If anyone understands the expression -- one hypostasis of our Lord JesusChrist -- so that it means the union of many hypostases, and if heattempts thus to introduce into the mystery of Christ two hypostases, ortwo persons, and, after having introduced two persons, speaks of oneperson according to dignity, honor or worship, as Theodore and Nestoriusinsanely have written; and if anyone slanders the holy synod of Chalcedon,as though it had used this expression in this impioussense, and does not confess that the Word of God is united with the fleshhypostatically, and that therefore there is but one hypostasis or oneperson, and that the holy synod of Chalcedon has professed in this sensethe one hypostasis of our Lord Jesus Christ; let him be anathema. For theHoly Trinity, when God the Word was incarnate, was not increased by theaddition of a person or hypostasis.

VI. If anyone says that the holy, glorious, and ever-virgin Mary is calledGod-bearer by misuse of language and not truly, or by analogy, believingthat only a mere man was born of her and that God the Word was notincarnate of her, but that the incarnation of God the Word resulted onlyfrom the fact that he united himself to that man who was born of her; ifanyone slanders the Holy Synod of Chalcedon as though it had asserted theVirgin to be God-bearer according to the impious sense of Theodore; or ifanyone shall call her manbearer or Christbearer, as if Christ were notGod, and shall not confess that she is truly God-bearer, because God theWord who before all time was begotten of the Father was in these last daysincarnate of her, and if anyone shall not confess that in this pious sensethe holy Synod of Chalcedon confessed her to be God-bearer: let him beanathema.

VII. If anyone using the expression, "in two natures," does not confess thatour one Lord Jesus Christ is made known in the deity and in the manhood,in order to indicate by that expression a difference of the natures ofwhich the ineffable union took place without confusion, a union in whichneither the nature of the Word has changed into that of the flesh, northat of the flesh into that of the Word (for each remained what it was bynature, even when the union by hypostasis had taken place); but shall takethe expression with regard to the mystery of Christ in a sense so as todivide the parties, let him be anathema. Or if anyone recognizing thenumber of natures in the same our one Lord Jesus Christ, God the Wordincarnate, does not take in contemplation only the difference of thenatures which compose him, which difference is not destroyed by the unionbetween them -- for one is composed of the two and the two are in one --but shall make use of the number two to divide the natures or to make ofthem persons properly so called, let him be anathema.

VIII. If anyone confesses that the union took place out of two natures or speaksof the one incarnate nature of God the Word and does not understand thoseexpressions as the holy Fathers have taught, that out of the divine andhuman natures, when union by hypostasis took place, one Christ was formed;but from these expressions tries to introduce one nature or essence of theGodhead and manhood of Christ; let him be anathema. For in saying thatthe only-begotten Word was united by hypostasis personally we do not meanthat there was a mutual confusion of natures, but rather we understandthat the Word was united to the flesh, each nature remaining what it was. Therefore there is one Christ, God and man, of the same essence with theFather as touching his Godhead, and of the same essence with us astouching his manhood. Therefore the Church of God equally rejects andanathematizes those who divide or cut apart or who introduce confusioninto the mystery of the divine dispensation of Christ.

IX. If anyone says that Christ ought to be worshipped in his two natures, inthe sense that he introduces two adorations, the one peculiar to God theWord and the other peculiar to the man; or if anyone by destroying theflesh, or by confusing the Godhead and the humanity, or by contriving onenature or essence of those which were united and so worships Christ, anddoes not with one adoration worship God the Word incarnate with his ownflesh, as the Church of God has received from the beginning; let him beanathema.

X. If anyone does not confess that our Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified inthe flesh is true God and the Lord of Glory and one of the Holy Trinity;let him be anathema.

XI. If anyone does not anathematize Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Nestorius, Eutyches and Origen, together with their impious, godlesswritings, and all the other heretics already condemned and anathematizedby the holy catholic and apostolic Church, and by the aforementioned fourHoly Synods and all those who have held and hold or who in theirgodlessness persist in holding to the end the same opinion as thoseheretics just mentioned; let him be anathema.


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