Thursday, September 16, 2010

Christ's Two Wills: Constantinople III's Dogmatic Definition and Condemnation of Monotheletism


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Celebrating the 1329th Anniversary of the Closing of the 3rd Council of Constantinople 
From Denzinger, Sources of Catholic Dogma, nos. 290-293.
Online Source: Catechetics Online

COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE III (AD 680-681)
Ecumenical VI (against the Monothelites)
Definition of the Two Wills of Christ *

290 Besides both in Synodical letters which were written by blessed Cyril against the impious Nestorius and to the oriental bishops, following also the five holy ecumenical councils and the holy and trusted Fathers, and defining harmoniously with them it confesses: that our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God, one of the holy and consubstantial Trinity and giving forth the origin of life, perfect in Godhead and the same perfect in humanity, truly God and truly man, Himself of a rational soul and body; it confesses the same consubstantial with the Father according to Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to humanity, through all things like to us except in sin [Heb. 4:15], before ages, indeed, begotten of the Father according to Godhead, in the last days, however, the same for us and for our salvation of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary properly and truly the mother of God according to humanity, one and the same Christ, the only begotten Lord God in two natures recognized unfusedly, unchangeably, inseparably, indivisibly, never the difference of these natures destroyed on account of union, but rather the property of each nature saved and in one person and in one substance concurring, not into two persons portioned or divided but one and the same only begotten Son of God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, just as formerly the prophets taught us about Him, and our Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us [Conc. Chal., see n. 148].

291 And so we proclaim two natural wills in Him, and two natural operations indivisibly, inconvertibly, inseparably, unfusedly according to the doctrine of the holy Father, and two natural wills not contrary, God forbid, according as impious heretics have asserted, but the human will following and not resisting or hesitating, but rather even submitting to His divine and omnipotent will. For, it is necessary that the will of the flesh act, but that it be subject to the divine will according to the most wise Athanasius.  For, as His flesh is called and is the flesh of the Word of God, so also the natural will of His flesh is called and is the proper will of the Word of God as He Himself says: "Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of my Father who sent me)," [cf. John 6:38], calling the will of the flesh His own. For the body became His own. For as His most holy and immaculate animated flesh deified has not been destroyed but in its own status and plan remained, so also His human will deified has not been destroyed, but on the contrary it has been saved according to the theologian Gregory who says: "For to wish of that one an entire deification, which is understood in the Savior, is not contrary to God."

292 But we glorify two natural operations indivisibly, inconvertibly, unfusedly, inseparably in our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, our true God, that is, the divine operation and the human operation, according to Leo the divine preacher who very clearly asserts: "For each form does what is proper to itself with the mutual participation of the other, that is, the Word doing what is of the Word and the flesh accomplishing what is of the flesh" [see n. 144]. For at no time shall we grant one natural operation to God and to the creature, so that neither what was created, we raise into divine essence, nor what is especially of divine nature, we cast down to a place begetting creatures. For of one and the same we recognize the miracles and the sufferings according to the one and the other of these natures from which He is and in which He has to be as the admirable Cyril says. Therefore we, maintaining completely an unconfused and undivided (opinion), In a brief statement set forth all: that we, believing that He is one of the Holy Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ our true God, and after the incarnation assert that His two natures radiate in His one substance, in which His miracles and His sufferings through all His ordained life, not through phantasy but truly He has shown, on account of the natural difference which is recognized in the same single substance, while with the mutual participation of the other, each nature indivisibly and without confusion willed and performed its own works; according to this plan we confess two natural wills and operations concurring mutually in Him for the salvation of the human race.

293 These things, therefore, having been determined by us with all caution and diligence, we declare that no one is permitted to introduce, or to describe, or to compare, or to study, or otherwise to teach another faith. But whoever presumes to compare or to introduce or to teach or to pass on another creed to those wishing to turn from the belief of the Gentiles or of the Jews or from any heresy whatsoever to the acknowledgement of truth, or who (presumes) to introduce a novel doctrine or an invention of discourse to the subversion of those things which now have been determined by us, (we declare) these, whether they are bishops or clerics, to be excommunicated, bishops indeed from the bishopric, but priests from the priesthood; but if they are monks or laymen, to be anathematized.

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