The Long View of an Anathema

I was doing some research on Origen (c. 185-254) and his views.  It led me to review the ecumenical church councils.  The Second Council of Constantinople (the fifth ecumenical council), held in AD 553, issued 15 anathemas against Origen.  The third anathema was interesting to me in light of a recent news stories.  Here’s how the anathema reads,

If anyone shall say that the sun, the moon and the stars are also reasonable beings, and that they have only become what they are because they turned towards evil:  let him be anathema.

The Emperor Justinian issued an anathema in kind declaring (his sixth anathema),

If anyone says that the heaven, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the waters that are above heavens, have souls, and are reasonable beings, let him be anathema.

The reason these parallel anathemas struck me is because of the recent discussions about assigning rights to Mother Earth, led by The Pachamama Alliance, as if “she” were human.  This includes a proposal by the Bolivian President to create a “‘Mother Earth Ministry’ to promote the planet’s rights”.

Certainly seems to me that the anathemas pronounced by the Second Council of Constantinople had a long view; perhaps much longer than they, or we, ever imagined.


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