Council of Chalcedon

Council of Chalcedon
Fourth ecumenical council of chalcedon - 1876.jpg
Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, 1876 painting by Vasily Surikov
Accepted byEastern Orthodox Church
Roman Catholic Church
Old Catholic Church
Anglican Communion
most other Protestants
Previous council
Council of Ephesus
Next council
Second Council of Constantinople
Convoked byEmperor Marcian of the Byzantine Empire
PresidentAnatolius, Patriarch of Constantinople; A board of government officials and senators, led by the patrician Anatolius
AttendanceApprox. 520
Topicsthe judgements issued at the Second Council of Ephesus in 449, the alleged offences of Bishop Dioscorus of Alexandria, the definition of the Godhead and manhood of Christ, many disputes involving particular bishops and sees
Documents and statements
Chalcedonian Creed, 28 canons
Chronological list of ecumenical councils

The Council of Chalcedon (n/)[1] was a church council held from 8 October to 1 November, 451, at Chalcedon. The council is numbered as the fourth ecumenical council by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and most Protestants. Oriental Orthodox Churches do not agree with the conduct and the proceedings of the Council, commonly calling it "Chalcedon, the Ominous". Several Oriental Orthodox Church historians have viewed the Council as a power dispute by the Church of Rome of having special patriarchal status among other Churches. The Oriental Orthodox Churches have seen this as the key factor contributing to the Great Schism.[citation needed]

The Copts consistently repudiate the Western identification of Alexandrine Christianity with the Eutychianism which originated in Constantinople and which they have always regarded as a flagrant heresy (monophysitism) since it declared the complete absorption of Christ's manhood in his single divine nature whereas the Copts clearly upheld the doctrine of the two natures, divine and human - mystically united in one (miaphysitism) without confusion, corruption or change. As a strictly traditional church, its religious leaders have sought biblical justification for this interpretation of the Nicean Creed and the Cyriliian formula, but meanwhile have restricted the substance of their variance to interpretation. Those who can read the Coptic sources[2] both in Coptic and in Arabic, rather than study their doctrinal outlook through secondary works by members of the opposite camp (i.e. the Western Churches) are left wondering whether political and ecclesiastical authority was not behind the unnatural exaggeration of existing differences between the two professions; that the East, or more precisely, the Alexandrine Fathers of the Coptic Church, had led the way in the first three crucial ecumenical councils, seems to be a foregone conclusion which needs no elaboration. That a fourth meeting, at Ephesus, should again be dominated by the Coptic element appeared to strike a note of alarm in the imperial cities of Rome and Constantinople. The subsequent fury of the West over the Second Council of Ephesus was demonstrated in its rather impulsive description of it as a "robber council".[3]

Followers of the Council believe its most important achievement was to issue the Chalcedonian Definition, stating that Jesus is "perfect both in deity and in humanness; this selfsame one is also actually God and actually man."[4] The council's judgments and definitions regarding the divine marked a significant turning point in the Christological debates.[5]

Chalcedon was a city in Bithynia, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus; today the city is part of the Republic of Turkey and is known as Kadıköy (a district of Istanbul).


The Council of Chalcedon was convened by Emperor Marcian, with the reluctant approval of Pope Leo the Great, to set aside the 449 Second Council of Ephesus which was named the "Latrocinium"[6] or "Robber Council" by Pope Leo. The Council of Chalcedon issued the Chalcedonian Definition, which repudiated the notion of a single nature in Christ, and declared that he has two natures in one person and hypostasis. It also insisted on the completeness of his two natures: Godhead and manhood.[7] The council also issued 27 disciplinary canons governing church administration and authority. In a further decree, later known as canon 28, the bishops declared that the See of Constantinople (New Rome) had the patriarchal status with "equal privileges" ("τῶν ἴσων ἀπολαύουσαν" in Greek, "aequalibus privilegiis" in Latin) to the See of Rome.[8][9][10][11] No reference was made in Canon 28 to the bishops of Rome or Constantinople having their authority from being successors to Peter or Andrew respectively. Instead, the stated reasons in the actual text of the Canon that the episcopacy of these cities had been granted their status was the importance of these cities as major cities of the empire of the time.[8][a]

Other Languages
Bahasa Indonesia: Konsili Kalsedon
Simple English: Council of Chalcedon
slovenščina: Kalcedonski koncil
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Halkedonski sabor
Tiếng Việt: Công đồng Chalcedon