An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Theodore of Tarsus

(602-Sept. 19, 690). Scholar and reformer. He was born in Tarsus, Cilicia, in Asia Minor. Theodore was a lay monk when he was chosen by Pope Vitalian to become Archbishop of Canterbury. After he was ordained a subdeacon, Theodore was consecrated the seventh Archbishop of Canterbury on Mar. 26, 668, where he served until his death. Theodore was very effective in using synods to unify the church in England. A canon that called for uniformity in the observance of Easter was adopted by a synod of bishops held by Theodore in 672. At the Council of Hatfield in 680 all the English bishops attested to their orthodoxy by affirming the Nicene faith. A collection of Theodore's judgments concerning penance were collected and called a Penitentiale. The Venerable Bede said Theodore was the “first to whom the whole English church made submission.” Theodore died at Canterbury. He is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Sept. 19.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.