What Happened at the Council of Chalcedon? | Church History

Though the Council of Chalcedon had political elements to it, the convened bishops dealt with theological, jurisdictional, and pastoral matters. The Council of Chalcedon is credited with universalizing the acceptance of the Council of Constantinople I’s authority which was not universally recognized prior. The council coined a substantial list of canons assisting in Church governance. The council also deposed Eutyches on theological grounds given his vacillatory behavior, which was expressed before and during Ephesus II (449 AD). Negative elements of the council are seen in framing Dioscorus as the sole responsible individual for all misconduct that took place in Ephesus II despite the council being headed by both Dioscorus of Alexandria and Juvenal of Jerusalem. When Dioscorus saw the way he was framed, he refused to appear before the council. As per the protocol of ecclesial councils, he was deposed after having been summoned three times and refused to appear before the council. Dioscorus as such was deposed on procedural grounds rather than theological grounds as it became apparent in the Council that he did not share the heretical views of Eutyches. Another negative element of the Council was its leniency toward Theodoret of Cyrus and Ibas of Edessa who were readmitted into communion and rehabilitated as bishops despite their Nestorian tendencies. Finally, the Council endorsed Leo’s tome which he sent to Flavian as the authoritative definition of faith despite several bishops finding ambiguous statements in the Tome. There was yet another definition of faith composed by the Council in 451 which goes as follows,

Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.