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the Fourth Ecumenical Council had met a century earlier. The pope finally published the excommunication of Menas and Theodore, but they and other prominent Eastern bishops responded by solemnly declaring their allegiance to the four ecumenical councils and all letters (including those of Pope Leo) written concerning the orthodox faith and by declaring null and void anything written against the 'Three Chapters'.55 Vigilius lifted his ban against the Eastern bishops, and returned to the capital.

Justinian, however, now wanted a council to complete ecclesiastical reunification. The council opened in the hall of the Hagia Sophia on 5 May 553; about 150 bishops were present, but not Pope Vigilius. Only a few handpicked Western bishops attended. Complying with the emperor's request, Vigilius and his supporters worked in a parallel meeting on a lengthy theological declaration they completed by 14 May 553. The resulting Constitutum censured sixty excerpts (capitula) from Theodore of Mopsuestia's writings, but did not denounce the man himself.56 The Constitutum also refrained from personally condemning Theodoret of Cyrus, while assuring the emperor that any of his writings containing Nestorian or Eutychian errors stood condemned. As regards the letter of Ibas of Edessa, the Constitutum argued that Chalcedon had found it orthodox.

By not denouncing the 'Three Chapters', the pope broke his agreement with the emperor. Justinian's council ignored the Constitutum. In the seventh session, an imperial official revealed the full extent of the pope's secret commitment to Justinian's religious policy. The emperor ordered the removal of his name from the diptychs. The assembled bishops endorsed the emperor's letter.57 In the final session of the council (2 June 553), all bishops subscribed to a lengthy sententia synodica together with fourteen anathemas including the condemnation of the 'Three Chapters'.58 Opposing African bishops were exiled. Vigilius capitulated and on 23 February 554 published a second Consti-tutum endorsing the substance of the council's decisions: the condemnation of Theodore of Mopsuestia's and Theodoret of Cyrus' writings; an anathema against Theodore himself; and the denunciation of Ibas' letter, now declared a forgery.59 Vigilius was thoroughly discredited but allowed to return to Rome; he died en route in Sicily on 7 June 555.

55 Collectio Avellana 83.3-9 (CSEL 35: 230-2).

56 Collectio Avellana 83 (CSEL 35: 230-320).

58 ACO 4.1: 207-20, 240-4. As to the council's other theological decisions, see chs. 2 and 19, below.

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