Council of Bari

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During the brief period of rapproachement between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Pope, in the course of the First Crusade the Council of Bari was called by Urban II in 1098 in a stated attempt to deal with the Great Schism between the Western Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church and to resolve the filioque dogmatic dispute that was one of the main contributors to the schism. The council was presided by the Pope and was attended by more than one hundred and eighty Catholic bishops,[1] including a noticeable theologian Anselm of Canterbury,[2] the founder of scholasticism who delivered the main speech defending the Latin doctrine of the Procession of the Holy Spirit. The council also dealt with local church issues and supported Anselm in his dispute with the king William II of England.[3]

On the other hand, no high profile Orthodox theologians of the time, opposing the amendment of Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed by the Pope, such as contemporary Theophylact of Ohrid had participated in the council, even though the sources suggest the presence of a few Greek bishops and monks from the Southern Italy. It is also not clear how much discussions actually took place, if any,[4] and most likely the real goal of the event was simply to provide additional legitimation to the position of the Pope in the dispute with the Eastern Churches.


The Catholic-dominated council backed up the Anselm's positions, supported the filoque clause and anathemed those who were opposed to it.[5] By doing so it contributed little to healing the Schism and failed to reach the purposed objective of resolving the dogmatic dispute just as would Lyon and Florence councils a few hundred years later. The rift between the Churches is not mended to this day.


  1. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia
  2. ^ Gasper, p. 174
  3. ^ Matthew, p. 279
  4. ^ Gasper, p. 180
  5. ^ Fleury, op. cit., t. XIII, p. 625