By Bishop Cyprian of Oreoi & Bishop Klemes of Gardikion of the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Greece & Edited by Subdeacon Nektarios, M.A.
For the majority of Orthodox Christians, the first introduction we receive into the history of the Orthodox Church is reading the classic work entitled The Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware). In this well-known and widely read beginner's text, we read that "the life of the Church in the earlier Byzantine period is dominated by the seven General. Councils" . However, within the history of the Orthodox Church, and largely buried in the Greek language, are the not so well-known but equally authoritative and equally important 8th Ecumenical Council (879-880) held in the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and the 9th Ecumenical Council which consisted of three different synodal gatherings (1347-1351).
The Cathedral of Hagia Sophia at the Time of the 8th Ecumenical Council
The 8th Ecumenical Council
The Eighth Ecumenical Synod was convened in Constantinople in the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia in the years 879-880 (November 879-March 880), during the second Patriarchate of Archbishop Photios I of Constantinople (877-886), in the reign of Emperor Basil the Macedonian (867-886). This council was called by the Saintly Patriarch "for the purpose of accomplishing the restoration, on the one hand, of peace and unity in the Church of Constantinople, and on the other hand, of full communion between the Churches of Old and New Rome" .
However, restoration of full communion between the Churches of Constantinople and Rome could not be attained, owing to previous decisions directed personally against St. Photios the Great by the Roman Popes Nicholas I (858-867) and Adrian II (867-870) and, especially, the decisions of the false Latin Synod of Constantinople held in 869-870. This false synod has never been recognized by the Orthodox Church, although ever since the eleventh century the Roman Catholics have regarded it as the s0-called "Eighth Ecumenical Synod."
The unjust and uncanonical decisions issued by the Papists against Patriarch Photios in Rome (863 and 869) and in Constantinople (869-870) had provoked a schism. Since that accursed schism was lifted by the true Eighth Ecumenical Synod (879-880), the Orthodox therefore called it a “Synod of Union,” and there is no doubt that, as President of this unifying Synod, “St. Photios the Great contributed greatly to the restoration of peace.”
"Without doubt, the Synod of 879-880, which convened in the Church of the Wisdom of God, under the presidency of the great and most wise Patriarch Photios, with official representatives of all the other Patriarchs in attendance, and which deliberated freely and decided, according to precedent, on very important matters, bears ‘not only the external, but also all of the internal hallmarks of an OEcumenical Synod,’ issuing momentous decisions for the entire Church" .
The Synod convened under the saintly direction of the Ecumenical Patriarch Photios with three hundred and ninety Bishops and Episcopal representatives who took part. Pope John VIII appointed three delegates and representatives of the three Patriarchates of the East also participated. The proceedings of the Synod commenced in November of 879 and concluded in March of 880 with seven sessions held in all. The transactions of this historic Synod in the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia have been preserved to the present day Previously published in Greek in 1705 by Patriarch Dositheos of Jerusalem from a manuscript that is held at the Holy Monastery of Iveron on Mount Athos, they are currently being translated into English for the first time by Uncut Mountain Press for publication in 2023.
The Eighth Ecumenical Council of 879-880 is one of the most important Synods in the history of the Orthodox Church. Comprised of three-hundred and ninety Church Fathers from both the Eastern and Western Church, representing all of the original five Patriarchates, it presented an imposing event not seen since the time of the Fourth Ecumenical Synod of Chalcedon. What are the markings of this specific Synod that make it an Ecumenical Council in comparison to the most well-known seven?
These canonical elements which identify this as, in fact, an "illustrious and clearly anti-Papist Synod of Constantinople bring together in:
1. “Its convocation as an OEcumenical Synod, at which the five ancient Patriarchal thrones were represented”;
2. “its convocation by Emperor Basil I the Macedonian (867-886),” who “in fact, together with his sons, was the first to sign the dogmatic decree (Ὅρος) of the Synod and its Acts”;
3. “the large number of its members (338-390 Bishops)”;
4. “the functioning of the Synod in conformity with the traditional canonical functioning of the OEcumenical Synods”;
5. “its canonical regulations” (it promulgated three Canons);
6. “its stipulations about matters of Faith,” wherein, on pain of anathema, it designated that the Sacred Symbol of Faith (the Creed) was unalterable and inviolable;
7. “Its clear awareness of its authenticity as an OEcumenical Synod,” as this is expressed “in its decision to number the Seventh OEcumenical Synod with the preceding OEcumenical Synods, which only OEcumenical Synods were entitled to do”;
8. and “the decisions made in this Synod, which were consonant with the decrees of the previous OEcumenical Synods, in accordance with the Tradition of the Church.” .
In addition to all these elements, this Holy Eighth Ecumenical Council was again affirmed as an Ecumenical Council at the Synod of Constantinople in 1484 in which it is stated, "an ecumenical council, which indeed assembled in the Queen of Cities under the blessed Photius, the president of Constantinople, and subjected to everlasting anathema those who babble that the worshipful and all-holy Spirit has existence also from the Son and who would add perhaps a word to the Symbol" .
St. Photios & The 8th Ecumenical Council
"The work accomplished by the Holy Eighth Ecumenical Council of 879-880 was momentous both for that troubled period and for the future of the Church: it functioned in a unitive spirit on the basis of dogmatic Truth and canonical Tradition; condemned the alteration of the Symbol of Faith through the addition of the Filioque; ratified the Sacred Symbol (Nicaean Creed) as it was handed down to us by the first two Ecumenical Councils; and rejected the distortion of the simple Primacy of Honor due to the Bishop of Rome, who had transformed this into an administrative Primacy of Power over the entire Church which later developed into the heretical Papal doctrines which we have today. St. Photios the Great also acted in a unitive spirit, refuted the heretical concept of Papal Primacy of Power and the adulteration of the Symbol of Faith with incontrovertible arguments, set forth the Orthodox positions with candor and clarity, and called upon the representatives of Pope John VIII to renounce their errors, which had led to the schism of 867.
St. Nektarios of Pentapolis states emphatically that:
"The Eighth OEcumenical Synod has great importance [because] in this Synod Photios was triumphant..., his struggles for the independence of the Eastern Church were crowned with total success, and the Truth of Orthodoxy, for which he had toiled so hard, prevailed.... In a word, the triumph was complete: it was a political, an ecclesiastical, and a personal triumph" .
"Our awareness that the great Synod of 879-880 that met in Hagia Sophia was the work of the inspired and far-sighted Patriarch Photios of Constantinople, the Confessor and Equal to the Apostles, the great Father and OEcumenical Teacher of the Church, impels us to believe that “the most fitting honor for the Saint...is that this Synod be reckoned as the Eighth, together with the other seven OEcumenical Synods” .
The 9th Ecumenical Council
Before we deal in brief with the Hesychastic Synods of the fourteenth century, it is necessary to highlight a few facts concerning St. Gregory Palamas. He was born in Constantinople in 1296 to aristocratic parents who were devout. Steeped in piety from his earliest years, he developed his natural and acquired gifts to the utmost. He studied philosophy and was destined for a brilliant worldly career in the upper echelons of the government. However, his yearning for God, which consumed him, guided his steps towards monastic renunciation. He lived the ascetic life with self-denial and profound awareness on Mount Papikion in Thrace, on the Holy Mountain (his main abode), and in the Skete of Beroia. He lived in obedience, humility, prayer, repentance, abstinence, self-control, study, and service. He was purified and illumined by the Divine Light, for which he had been searching from his youth with true spiritual thirst. (“Enlighten my darkness” was his constant prayer!) He gave blood and received spirit.
He received the charism of theology from on high, becoming an unerring theologian of Tradition. As a Prophet of the New Grace, he truly was able to be a spokesman of God, a herald of Grace, and a scourge of heresies. He also proved to be a Confessor of the Faith. Imprisoned in 1343 and deposed by those sympathetic to heresy in 1344, he was released, vindicated, and consecrated a Hierarch in 1347. Reposing in the Lord in November of 1359, his sanctity was proclaimed shortly thereafter in 1368 through an appeal to his many and impressive miracles.
"St. Gregory Palamas is renowned as a Hesychast theologian and as a champion of Hesychasm. Hesychasm was not something new in the Church, formed a posteriori and supposedly under the influence of alien principles, systems, and sources. Hesychasm exists in the essence and at the core of our Evangelical Faith. It is Orthodox piety, the way and method of man’s inner purification and his return to God. It is the ascesis and struggle against the passions through repentance and virtue. It is the attentive and persistent expulsion of evil thoughts and the guarding of the heart lest they enter into it. It is watchfulness, that is, the gathering of the mind (νοῦς) in the heart, primarily through the monologistic [literally, a single-worded prayer continuously recited] prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!” It is mourning (πένθος), self-condemnation and self-reproach, exertion, bodily pain, and a change of orientation towards a correct course and choice of life, so as to elicit Divine mercy. It is sharing in the joy of worship, Eucharistic and liturgical participation, and union with God and men in Truth and Grace. It is a healthy social life of self-sacrifice and self-giving.
From their own experience, informed by the Holy Spirit, the Hesychast Saints, and especially St. Gregory Palamas, knew that God, as He Himself promised, becomes accessible to man, dwells in him, unites Himself with him, and imparts to him His Divine Life, making him God by Grace and deifying him. God acts, and His Divine and Uncreated Energy, which proceeds naturally from His Essence, becomes participable as Light, divinizing man. This Light is that very Light of the Transfiguration which shone through Christ on Mount Tabor. It is infinitely beyond human knowledge and comprehension. From this it follows that in God we have a distinction between Essence, which is completely inaccessible and incommunicable to His creatures, and Energy, which is accessible and communicable, deifying and sanctifying man.
The Onslaught of the Latin-minded Barlaam of Calabria
This treasury of good things deriving from the experience of the Saints was not only doubted but also disparaged and insulted by a “Greek Uniate,” Barlaam the Calabrian, a Scholastic theologian and philosopher, who came to teach in the East, employing logic and speculation to the detriment of the vision of God. He did not delay in his onslaught against the monks, against prayer, and against the distinction in God between Essence and Energy. He derided noetic prayer, rejected the distinction between Essence and Energy in God and the idea that His Energy is Uncreated, denounced as deluded those who received the Divine Light, and regarded the Light of Tabor as being within our understanding. In contrast, he considered the speculations of our minds as incomparably superior, thereby ascribing a “redemptive” significance to philosophy.
However, if there is no distinction between Essence and Energy in God and if the Energy of God is created, as Barlaam maintained and as Roman Catholics maintain, then there is no possibility of salvation. If the Noetic Sun of Righteousness exists, but does not shine on the world and ourselves with His Divine rays, in order to vivify us and draw us away, through repentance, from the depth of our falls to the Light of holiness, then He has no connection with us, has no direct influence on us, and thus we remain unredeemed in the fetters of our agnosticism. The lack of such a distinction as this led Papism to the Filioque, to legalism, to moralism, to the conception of the Pope as an intermediary between earth and Heaven, to his twofold authority as “super-bishop” and king or emperor of a temporal state, to the devaluation of the material world, to general and compulsory clerical celibacy, to aspersion at Baptism, to a divergent theological conception of the Incarnation (in terms of expiation) and of the Cross (in terms of forensic satisfaction), to many forms of secularization, etc.
This incursion from the West essentially represented a blow against the heart of the East, namely Hesychasm. But Hesychasm, by God’s Providence, had as its champion, at this moment of great need, its most eminent representative, St. Gregory Palamas. The Saint bore the brunt of the struggle against Barlaam’s machinations and played a leading rôle in the resolution of the dispute through traditional ecclesiastical means. The struggle was not personal or opportunistic. The Faith needed to be defined and safeguarded from every similar assault in the future, and the means to this end would be the Church’s familiar and customary procedure: an ecclesiastical Synod.
The Necessity of a Synodal approach
The Orthodox Church regards a major Synod, and an OEcumenical Synod at that, as the supreme criterion of ecclesiality. Such a Synod deals with serious problems of faith and order in the Church, especially when salvation is at stake. That is, it concerns itself with vital issues, which have a direct bearing on man’s salvation in Christ. In the case in question, since Barlaam, and later his supporters and continuators Akindynos and Gregoras, created a conflict between East and West by attempting to transplant an heretical and alien Western mentality to the East, this crucial problem needed to be addressed at a Synodal level, if not more broadly.
The principle issue was dogmatic and pertained directly to our salvation. Just as the ancient Arian heretics professed, a millennium before, that the Word of God was a creature, so also Barlaam taught that the Energy of God was created. This issue was a continuation of the teaching of the Sixth OEcumenical Synod concerning the wills and energies in Christ. Just as the human nature in Christ had a created will and energy, so also His Divine Nature had an Uncreated Will and Energy.
The First Hesychastic Synod of 1341
The First Hesychastic Synod assembled on June 10, 1341 in the Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. Emperor Andronicos Palaiologos III convened and officiated at the Synod. Patriarch John XIV Kalekas (1334–1347), Bishops, Archimandrites, Abbots, senators, and other dignitaries, as well as a multitude of the people, took part. The sessions were open to everyone, and there was intense interest on the part of the general public. The accusations of Barlaam against the Hesychasts were directed against the Light of Tabor and the Jesus Prayer. St. Gregory Palamas, as an Athonite Hieromonk and leader of the Hesychasts, defended the correct belief on these subjects.
The Light of the Transfiguration was not material or transitory; it was not some external glory of the body, but the glory and radiance of the Godhead hypostatically united with the body. In addition, it was not the Essence of God, but His Energy and Grace, accessible and communicable to those worthy of it. Thus, the “ineffable distinction” between and “preternatural union” of Essence and Energy in God was solemnly recognized and the indictment of St. Gregory on the alleged ground of ditheism was rejected. The Jesus Prayer was given its Scriptural and Patristic foundation and every accusation against it was rejected.
Barlaam, finding himself in a difficult position, asked for forgiveness and pleaded ignorance, but, as became evident in what followed—since he again spewed forth the venom of his heresy and sought refuge in Italy, where the Pope consecrated him a bishop—his remorse was hypocritical and feigned.
After Barlaam’s flight, the anti-Hesychast struggle was prosecuted by Gregory Akindynos, who questioned whether the dogmatic issue of the distinction between Essence and Energy in God had been resolved. For this reason, a new Synod had to be convened, as a continuation of the previous one, in August of 1341, once again in the Church of Hagia Sophia. This time it was under the presidency of the Great Domestikos [the supreme military commander in the Byzantine Empire—trans.], John Kantakouzenos, the regent of Emperor John V Palaiologos (who was still a minor), in view of the sudden death of Emperor Andronicos III a few days after the earlier Synod in June. Again Patriarch John Kalekas took part, as did all who had participated in the preceding Synod. The Synod condemned Akindynos and those of like mind as being of the same belief as the heretic Barlaam.
Following this, a Tomos of what is reckoned to be the common Synod of June and August of 1341 was drawn up,20 the greater part of it being devoted to the dogmatic issue of the Light of Tabor and expressing the views of St. Gregory Palamas. Prior to this, around the end of 1340, St. Gregory Palamas, in order to bolster his impending struggle against Barlaam, went from Thessalonica to the Holy Mountain, where he composed the renowned “Hagiorite Tome on Behalf of the Sacred Hesychasts,” a dogmatic text which had decisive significance in the development of the conflict, in terms of ensuring the ascendancy of the Orthodox viewpoint. It contains a superb summary of Hesychastic theology. On account of this, St. Gregory declared in retrospect: “The ‘Hagiorite Tome’ and Synodal Tome are our confession.” After the Synod of 1341, all of those in high positions called St. Gregory “a teacher of piety, a yardstick of sacred dogmas, a pillar of right belief, and a champion of the Church.”
The Second Hesychastic Synod of 1347
In the ensuing period, a grievous civil war broke out in the Empire, owing to interference by Patriarch John Kalekas [in affairs of state—trans.], and the so-called “Hesychastic controversy” recommenced. The Patriarch and St. Gregory disagreed with regard to the warring factions; Akindynos returned to the forefront and resumed his anti-Hesychast activities under the aegis of the now fallen Patriarch; and the Saint, having broken communion with the Patriarch, was imprisoned (1343) and was allegedly excommunicated (1344) by the Akindynist Patriarch, who had become extremely dangerous. The Saint paid no attention to this excommunication, deeming it—as indeed it was—utterly null and void.
However, the constant increase in the prestige of the Saint, who continued his anti-heretical struggle primarily through writing, and also by composing outstanding spiritual works, the erroneous and capricious activities of the Latin-minded Patriarch, and the change in the political situation led to the convocation of a new Synod in the imperial palace in Constantinople on February 2, 1347. Empress Anna Palaiologina officiated at this Synod, together with her young son, John V Palaiologos. Patriarch John Kalekas, the accused, did not take part, but Hierarchs, senators, the Protos of the Holy Mountain, monks, and senior government officials did participate. The Tomos of 1341 was confirmed, the writings of Patriarch John Kalekas were examined and proved to be cacodox, and thus Akindynos was decisively condemned, St. Gregory was extolled, and the misbelieving Patriarch was deposed for his deviation from Orthodoxy “towards the cacodox doctrines of the Latin Church, among which was recognition of Papal primacy,” and also for his unjust condemnation of St. Gregory and for having ordained the heretic Akindynos a clergyman. The Synod held other sessions and issued a Tomos, which was signed by thirty Bishops in all.
The Hesychast Isidore Boucheras was consecrated Patriarch, and St. Gregory was elected Metropolitan of Thessalonica. In spite of this triumph of the True Faith, there was a strong reaction on the part of many Bishops and, it appears, a schism was proclaimed. At least twenty-two of the opposing Hierarchs convoked a counter-synod in July of 1347 and issued a Tomos against the “Palamites,” putatively deposing Patriarch Isidore and St. Gregory of Thessalonica as “the author of misbelief”!
The Third and Great Hesychastic Synod of 1351
After the deaths of Akindynos and the former Patriarch John Kalekas, the torch of the anti-Hesychast struggle was taken up by the polymath Nikephoros Gregoras, who already in 1346 had begun to write refutatory discourses against St. Gregory Palamas. Following the repose of the holy Patriarch Isidore and the ascent of Kallistos—an Athonite and likewise a Hesychast, who had clashed with the Akindynists—to the Patriarchal throne (1350), it was judged that a new Synod was required for the sake of restoring peace to the Church and to put a definitive end to the controversy.
The Third Hesychastic “Divine and Sacred Synod” was convened on May 28, 1351, in the Palace of Blachernai in Constantinople by Emperor John VI Kantakouzenos and the holy Patriarch Kallistos. It surpassed the preceding two Synods in terms of the number of Hierarchs, and also erudite and wise men, who participated. Taking part in it were thirty-two Bishops—including Gregory of Thessalonica, of course—prominent members of the imperial family, members of the Senate, magistrates, Abbots, Archimandrites, Priests, monks, and laymen. The opposing faction of Nikephoros Gregoras included the Metropolitans who had been deposed by the Synod of 1347, Matthew of Ephesus and Joseph of Ganos, and other clergy, who were joined by Metropolitan Arsenios of Tyre, representing the Patriarch of Antioch.
The anti-Hesychasts began by registering their opposition to the addition of Hesychastic expressions to the Confession of Faith of newly consecrated Hierarchs and to certain expressions in the refutatory works of St. Gregory Palamas, but their objections were suitably countered. At the second session, in the face of accusations levelled against him, the Saint submitted a “Confession of Faith” in which he set forth his precise dogmatic position and which received the approbation of the Synod. In the ensuing two sessions, the Truth likewise shone forth: the [examined] Tomoi of the Synods of 1341 and 1347 demonstrated the cacodoxy of the anti-Hesychasts and their just condemnation. In a final fifth session the questions posed by the adversaries were discussed and answered concisely and in an Orthodox manner in six dogmatic chapters, which may be summarized as follows:
“1. There is a distinction between Divine Essence and Divine Energy. They differ from each other in this respect, that the Divine Energy is communicated and divided indivisibly, and is named and in some sense comprehended from its effects, albeit dimly, whereas the Divine Essence is incommunicable, indivisible, and nameless, that is, completely above every name and incomprehensible.
2. The Divine Energy is uncreated.
3. This does not give rise to any complexity in God.
4. The Divine and uncreated Energy is called Divinity by the Saints.
5. We know that the Divine Essence and the Divine natural Energy are inseparable. For no energy can exist separately from the essence to which it belongs.
6. The Light of the Lord’s Transfiguration is uncreated.”
The Synod confirmed the Tomoi of the Synods of 1341 and 1347, anathematized Barlaam and Akindynos, and cut off from the Church those of like mind with them, likewise imposing an anathema on those who knowingly communed with the heretics and reckoning the clergy among them to be completely deprived of “all Priestly ministry.” Those clergy, however, who repented and stated that they had been led astray by the heretics they admitted to ecclesiastical communion without bringing up the issue of their Priesthood.
After the end of the Synod, a Tomos was compiled, which was signed in the end by three Emperors, three Patriarchs, and fifty or more Hierarchs. Hesychastic doctrine was incorporated into the “Synodikon of Orthodoxy,” which is read every year on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. The principal dogmatic propositions contained in the “Synodikon of Orthodoxy” that express the Patristic teaching of St. Gregory Palamas are the following:
“1. The Light which shone at the Transfiguration of the Lord is neither a creature nor the Essence of God, but uncreated and natural Grace, illumination, and Energy ‘ever proceeding inseparably from the Divine Essence Itself’ (first anathema).
2. Just as there exists in God an unconfused union of Essence and Energy, so there exists also a distinction without separation, which consists primarily in the fact that the Essence is incommunicable, whereas the Energy is communicable (second anathema).
3. The natural Energies of God are uncreated, since the assertion that every natural Energy of God is created necessarily leads to the conclusion that the Essence of God is also created (third anathema).
4. The God-befitting distinction between Essence and Energy does not introduce any idea of complexity in God and does not destroy the Divine simplicity, since Energy is a product of nature (fourth anathema).
5. The term ‘Divinity’ is ascribed not only to the Divine Nature, but also to the Divine Energy, without thereby destroying the single Godhead of the Holy Trinity (fifth anathema).
6. Those who maintain that the Divine Essence is communicable fall into the heresy of Messalianism. According to the teaching of the Church, the Essence of God is incommunicable, whereas the Energy is communicable (sixth anathema).
In every one of the foregoing propositions it is emphasized that this teaching is consonant with the Divinely inspired theology of the Saints and the mind of the Church.”
The Synod of 1351 is an OEcumenical Synod
In a relatively recent article, a Metropolitan of the New Calendar Church of Greece, in addressing the dolorous phenomenon of a “nascent heresy” in the [New Calendar] Church, takes the view that the Synod of 1351 is the Ninth OEcumenical Synod [and]... "deserves to be numbered among the OEcumenical Synods of the Orthodox Church, than which it is not in any way inferior as touching the soteriological significance of its theology. This Synod is proof of the continuity of the conciliarity of the Orthodox Church, of its living experience, and of its theology concerning salvation in Christ" .
This asseveration concerning the Ninth OEcumenical Synod was expressed as far back as the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries by Metropolitan Neilos of Rhodes (with special reference to the Synod of 1341); in more recent times great theologians, such as the late Father John Romanides and those who follow his line of thinking, Father George Metallinos and Father Hierotheos Blachos (now Metropolitan of Naupaktos), Father Atanasije Jevtić (now a Bishop), and others, have affirmed and do affirm this view. Insofar as these Synods were convoked through imperial decrees and held in the presence of Emperors and with their participation; dealt with dogmatic and not with canonical issues, with issues that bear directly on salvation and not with theoretical issues; added their conclusions to the “Synodikon of Orthodoxy” and promulgated their decisions with binding force for the entire Church, which in fact endorsed them: they are very clearly OEcumenical in nature....
A formal proclamation of the Eighth Synod under St. Photios the Great and of the Ninth Synod under St. Gregory Palamas as Œcumenical Synods is extremely timely and is manifestly the Will of God, though only for those who long for deliverance from these stifling bonds. The condemnation of the “Latinizing” anti-Hesychasts of the fourteenth century can be directed in general against the Latin-minded and against the “Latin Church,” which to this day upholds the Barlaamite and the other anti-Hesychast teachings, as well as all of the errors and heresies that relate directly or indirectly thereto.
The victory over Barlaam was a victory over the West, of which he was a representative, and over Latinism, and the condemnation of Barlaam was a condemnation of “the Latin Church itself,” which is anathematized also by the “Synodikon of Orthodoxy.”
The Saint indicates to us the Synodal way as the only one suitable for the definitive resolution of controversial issues and especially for the correction of heterodox teachings in the Church. By this means the Truth is attested and confessed, on the basis of the criterion of Orthodox Tradition, and those who deviate are called to repentance or are excised from the Body of the Church, in order, on the one hand, to put an end to tumult and bring peace to the body of the Church, and, on the other hand, that the Faith might be delineated and the love of the Truth might shine forth and triumph. May sound Hesychastic criteria not be lost, at least by all those who represent the conscience of the Church amid the great apostasy of our day. And may these criteria form the basis for a formal proclamation of the Eighth and Ninth Œcumenical Synods, as a testimony of truth and hope and for the condemnation of every false teaching. Amen!" 
. Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1963), 26.
. Pavlos Menebisoglou, Metropolitan of Sweden, Ἱστορικὴ Εἰσαγωγὴ εἰς τοὺς Κανόνας τῆς Ὀρθοδόξου Ἐκκλησίας [Historical Introduction to the Canons of the Orthodox Church] (Stockholm: 1990), p. 494; cf. Blasios I. Pheidas, Ἐκκλησιαστικὴ Ἱστορία [Church History] (Athens: 1972), Vol. II, pp. 102-131.
. Archbishop Chrysostomos (Papadopoulos), The Primacy of the Bishop of Rome (Tὸ Πρωτεῖον τοῦ Ἐπισκόπου Ρώμης) (Athens: Ekklesia 1964),198.
. Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece, "Saint Photios the Great and the