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Catholic Dictionary




A heresy that began in the seventh century out of an attempt to conciliate the Monophysites. The latter confused the idea of personality with the undivided activity of a single will, claiming that there was a kind of divine-human operation in Christ. The Monothelites recognized the orthodox doctrine of Christ's two natures but taught that these two natures had a common will and a common activity. This view was urged by Sergius (d. 638), Patriarch of Constantinople, who had brought Pope Honorius to support his cause. The East was divided in controversy for over a half century, until the Sixth General Council held at Constantinople condemned Monothelitism in 681. (Etym. Greek monos, single + thelein, will.)