Held in Constantinople in 680. Under Emperor Constantine IV. 170 Bishops were present.

The Monothelite Controversy

It concerned the last attempt to compromise with the Monophysites. Although Christ did have two natures (divine and human) He nevertheless, acted as God only. In other words, His divine nature made all the decisions and His human nature only carried and acted them out. Hence, the name: "Monothelitism"  ("mono" one and "thelesis" will.)

The Council's Pronouncement

"Christ had two natures with two activities: as God working miracles, rising from the dead and ascending into heaven; as Man, performing the ordinary acts of daily life. Each nature exercises its own free will." Christ's divine nature had a specific task to perform and so did His human nature. Each nature performed those tasks set forth without being confused, subjected to any change or working against each other. The two distinct natures and related to them activities were mystically united in the one Divine Person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Defender of Orthodoxy

St. Maximus the Confessor (580-662)

A simple, but enlightened monk; died in exile (Caucasus).

St. Andrew of Crete (+740)

Participated in the deliberations of the Council; author of the famous "Canon" which is read during Great Lent.

Read about the other Ecumenical Councils: