Greek: monos, single; thelo, will

A heresy which, in the 7th century, began within the Church out of an attempt to conciliate the Monophysites. The latter, confusing the idea of personality with the undivided activity of a single will, held that there was a kind of divino-human will and divino-human operation in Christ, the Man-God. The Monothelites admitted the orthodox doctrine of the existence of the two natures but claimed that these natures had a common will and a common activity. This view was strongly urged by Sergius, patriarch of Constantinople, who had enlisted the sympathy of Pope Honorius in his cause, and combated by Sophronius, a Palestinian monk, later patriarch of Jerusalem. After dividing the Eastern Church for over half a century, the controversy was brought to a close by the Sixth General Council (Constantinople, 681) when the doctrines of the Monothelites were formally condemned.