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Constantinople, Fourth Council of

Constantinople, Fourth Council of, 869–70, regarded as the eighth ecumenical council by the modern Roman Catholic Church. It has never been accepted by the Orthodox Church, which instead recognizes the council of 880 that supported Photius. The council of 869 was convoked at the suggestion of Basil I, the new Byzantine emperor, to confirm the restoration of St. Ignatius of Constantinople to the see that Photius had resigned. Only 12 bishops attended at first, and attendance never exceeded 103. The legates of Pope Adrian II presided. Photius had already been condemned, without a hearing, at a Roman synod. At Constantinople his defense was cut short, and when he refused to sign his own condemnation, he was excommunicated. The result of these councils was to intensify the bitterness between East and West.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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