The Sygillion of the Pan-Orthodox Council of Constantinople, 1583.


of the Pan-Orthodox Council of Constantinople, 1583
To all the genuine Christian children of the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ of the East in Trigovyst and in all places, be grace and peace and mercy from Almighty God.

Not a little distress took possession of that Ark of old, when, storm-tossed, it was borne upon the waters; and if the Lord God, remembering Noah, had not in His good will calmed the water, there would have been no hope of salvation in it. In a like manner with the new Ark of our Church, the heretics have raised up a relentless war against us, and we have deemed it well to leave behind the present tome against them so that with the things written in it you may be able more surely to defend your Orthodoxy. But in order that the document may not be burdensome to simple people, we have decided to set forth the entire subject to you in simple speech as follows:

From old Rome have come certain persons who learned there to think like Latins; and the bad thing is that from being Byzantines born and bred in our own parts, they not only have changed their faith, but they also battle the Orthodox and true dogmas of the Eastern Church which Christ Himself and the divine Apostles and the Holy Councils of the Holy Fathers delivered to us. Whereupon, having cut them off as rotten members, we order:

I) Whosoever does not confess with heart and mouth that he is a child of the Eastern Church baptized in an Orthodox manner, and that the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, essentially and hypostatically, as Christ says in the Gospel, although He proceeds from the Father and the Son in time, let such a one be out of our Church and let him be anathematized.

II) Whosoever does not confess that in the Mystery of Holy Communion laymen should commune from two kinds both of the precious Body and Blood, but says that it is enough to receive only the Body, for the Blood is also there, even though Christ has spoken and has given each one separately, and they do not keep it, let such be anathematized.

III) Whosoever says that our Lord Jesus Christ at the Mystical Last Supper used unleavened bread as do the Hebrews and not leavened bread, that is, raised bread, let him be far from us and under the anathema as one who thinks like a Jew and as one who introduces the doctrine of Apollinaris and of the Armenians into our Church, on which account let him be anathematized a second time.

IV) Whosoever says that when our Christ and God comes to judge the souls together with the bodies, but comes in order to decide only for the body, anathema to him.
V) Whosoever says that when they die the souls of the Christians who repented in this life but did not do their penance go to purgatory – which is a Greek myth – where fire and torment purify them, and they think that there is no eternal torment, as did Origen, and give cause by this to sin freely, let such a one have the anathema.

VI) Whosoever says that the Pope is head of the Church and not Christ, and that he has authority to admit into Paradise with his letters, and can forgive as many sins as will be committed by one who with money receives an indulgence from him, let such a one have the anathema.

VII) Whosoever does not follow the customs of the Church which the seven Holy Ecumenical Councils have decreed, and the Holy Pascha and calendar which they enacted well for us to follow, but wants to follow the newly-invented Paschalion and the new calendar of the atheist astronomers of the Pope; and opposing them, wishes to overthrow and destroy the doctrines and customs of the Church which we have inherited from our Fathers, let any such have the anathema and let him be outside of the Church and the Assembly of the Faithful.

VIII) We exhort all pious and Orthodox Christians: remain in those things which you learned and in which you were born and bred, and when the times and circumstances call for it, shed your very blood in order both to keep the Faith given us by our Fathers and to keep your confession. Beware of such people and take care, that our Lord Jesus Christ help you. May the blessing of our humility be with you all. Amen.

The 1,583rd year from the birth of the God-man, Indiction 12, November 20th.
+JEREMIAS of Constantinople
+SYLVESTER of Alexandria
+SOPHRONIOS of Jerusalem
And the rest of the bishops of the Synod who were present

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