Portal:Ecumenical Councils

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Ecumenical Councils
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An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice in which those entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world (οικουμενη) and which secures the approbation of the whole Church.

The Church of the East (accused by others of adhering to Nestorianism) accepts as ecumenical only the first two councils. Oriental Orthodox Churches accept the first three. Both the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church recognise as ecumenical the first seven councils, held from the 4th to the 9th century. While most Eastern Orthodox Churches accept no later council or synod as ecumenical, the Roman Catholic Church continues to hold general councils of the bishops in full communion with the Pope, reckoning them as ecumenical. In all, the Roman Catholic Church recognises twenty-one councils as ecumenical. Anglicans and confessional Protestants accept either the first seven or the first four as ecumenical councils.

The first seven ecumenical councils.

First seven ecumenical councils[edit]

The first seven ecumenical councils, from the First Council of Nicaea (325) to the Second Council of Nicaea (787), represented an attempt to reach an orthodox consensus and to establish a unified Christendom as the state church of the Roman Empire.

  1. First Council of Nicaea (325)
  2. First Council of Constantinople (381)
  3. Council of Ephesus (431)
    • Second Council of Ephesus (449; convened as an ecumenical council but later denounced as a Robber Council by the Chalcedonians (Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestants).)
  4. Council of Chalcedon (451)
  5. Second Council of Constantinople (553)
  6. Third Council of Constantinople (680-681)
    • Quinisext Council (692; also called Council in Trullo; the ecumenical status of this council was repudiated by the western churches.)
  7. Second Council of Nicaea (787)

Further councils recognised by the Catholic Church[edit]

  1. Fourth Council of Constantinople (869–870)
  2. First Council of the Lateran (1123)
  3. Second Council of the Lateran (1139)
  4. Third Council of the Lateran (1179)
  5. Fourth Council of the Lateran (1215)
  6. First Council of Lyon (1245)
  7. Second Council of Lyon (1274)
  8. Council of Vienne (1311–1312)
    • Council of Pisa (1409; was not convened by a pope and its outcome was repudiated at Constance)
  9. Council of Constance (1414–1418)
    • Council of Siena (1423–1424; generally not included because it was swiftly disbanded)
  10. Council of Basel, Ferrara and Florence (1431–1445)
  11. Fifth Council of the Lateran (1512–1517)
  12. Council of Trent (1545–1563)
  13. First Vatican Council (1870)
  14. Second Vatican Council (1962–1965)

Further councils recognized by some Eastern Orthodox churches[edit]

See Also[edit]