Concept

Quinisext Council

Summary
The Quinisext Council (Concilium Quinisextum; Penthékti Sýnodos), i.e., the Fifth-Sixth Council, often called the Council in Trullo, Trullan Council, or the Penthekte Synod, was a church council held in 692 at Constantinople under Justinian II. It is known as the "Council in Trullo" because, like the Sixth Ecumenical Council, it was held in a domed hall in the Imperial Palace (τρούλος [] meaning a cup or dome). Both the Fifth and the Sixth Ecumenical Councils had omitted to draw up disciplinary canons, and as this council was intended to complete both in this respect, it took the name of Quinisext. It was attended by 215 bishops, mostly from the Eastern Roman Empire. Basil of Gortyna in Crete belonged to the Roman patriarchate and called himself papal legate, though no evidence is extant of his right to use that title. Many of the council's canons were reiterations. It endorsed not only the six ecumenical councils already held (canon 1), but also the Apostolic Canons, the Synod of Laodicea, the Third Synod of Carthage, and the 39th Festal Letter of Athanasius (canon 2). The Council banned certain festivals and practices which were thought to have a pagan origin. Therefore, the Council gives some insight to historians about pre-Christian religious practices. As a consequence, neither cleric nor layman was allowed to observe the Pagan festivals of Bota, the Kalends or the Brumalia. Many of the council's canons were aimed at settling differences in ritual observance and clerical discipline in different parts of the Christian Church. Being held under Byzantine auspices, with an exclusively Eastern clergy, these overwhelmingly took the practice of the Church of Constantinople as orthodox. It explicitly condemned some customs of Armenian Christians – among them using wine unmixed with water for the Eucharist (canon 32), choosing children of clergy for appointment as clergy (canon 33), and eating eggs and cheese on Saturdays and Sundays of Lent (canon 56) – and decreed deposition for clergy and excommunication for laypeople who contravened the canons prohibiting these practices.
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