Friday, February 05, 2010

Canon 21 of the Eighth Ecumenical Council

No secular authority shall treat disrespectfully or seek to depose any of the five patriarchs; rather are they to be highly honored, especially the pope of Old Rome, then the patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Nor shall anyone direct against the pope of Old Rome any libelous and defamatory writings, as was done recently by Photius and earlier by Dioscorus. If a secular authority shall attempt to expel the pope or any of the other patriarchs, let him be anathema. And if an ambiguity or controversy concerning the Holy Church of the Romans be brought before a general council, the question should be examined and disposed of with becoming respect and reverence, and no sentence should be boldly pronounced against the supreme pontiff of the elder Rome.

-- Medieval Sourcebook: Eighth Ecumenical Council: Constantinople IV 869-70

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