Spirituality for Today – March 2013 – Volume 17, Issue 8

The 79th Pope
Saint Agatho

An image of Pope Agatho, the 79th PopePope Agatho, the 79th Pope

Pope Agatho(678-681) – Finally, the imperial love affair with Monothelitism (Jesus possessed one will - divine) and with it the ill will between Eastern and Western ecclesiastical sentiment.

Emperor Constantine IV offers the possibility of a gathering of theologians in a synod to discuss and settle the question of wills in Jesus. The result was the condemnation of Monothelitism. The Third Council of Constantinople (680-681), held through the initiative of the emperor, was convened in the emperor's palace. Pope Agatho died some months before the end of the Council. During his discussions with the imperial court, the Pope obtained agreement regarding Rome's ecclesiastical authority regarding the See of Revenna, a lowering of Church related imperial taxes, and more respect for imperial approval of papal elections and the time of consecration.

Pope Agatho also reconciled territorial challenges and pressed for episcopal responsibility in the area of liturgical discipline.

Accounts record that Pope Agatho was both a very pleasant and a very kindly individual. He is buried in the Basilica of Saint Peter.

Habemus papam