Wednesday, August 26, 2015

St. Theodore the Studite, and the “Synod of Adultery”

“The Synod of Adultery” an assembly of Bishops in the 9th century, made history when they wanted to approve the praxis of  a second marriage after the repudiation of a legitimate wife.  St. Theodore the Studite, (759-826) was the one who opposed it the most vigorously and for this was persecuted, imprisoned and exiled three times.

It all started in January 795, when the Roman Emperor of the East (Basileus) Constantine  VI (771-797) had his wife Maria of Armenia locked up in a monastery and began an illicit union with Theodora, the lady-in-waiting to his mother, Irene.  A few months later the Emperor had her proclaimed “Augusta”  Theodora, but being unable to convince the Patriarch Tarasios (730-806) to celebrate the new wedding, he finally found a minister willing to do so in the priest Joseph, hegumen (head) of the Monastery of Kathara on the Island of Ithaca, who officially blessed the adulterous union.

St. Theodore, born in Constantinople in 759, was at that time a monk in the Monastery of Saccudium in Bithynia, where his uncle Plato was the Abbot.  He was also venerated as a saint. Theodore reports that the unjust divorce produced great perturbation in the entire Christian population  (more...)

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