Talk:Ecumenical Councils

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Maybe the idea of "nine councils" should be removed to a footnote rather than be so prominently featured on the page. It's my understanding that the vast majority of Orthodox would understand themselves to be part of "the Church of the Seven Councils," although the others would certainly be understood as having some authority, just not the same status.

-- User:FrJohn

You think so? I figured representing the controversy would be useful, especially since some pretty prominent voices are among the "minority" position. There also seems to be some pretty clear evidence that the notion of Orthodoxy being the "Church of the Seven Councils" is possibly something either only relatively modern or perhaps relegated to only one part of the Orthodox world. (See the Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs.)
My experience has been that most Orthodox haven't even heard of the councils in question (of course, I also know a priest who tells me that in more than 20 years in the priesthood, he's been asked about the Trinity only 3 times; I also don't know many Orthodox who could even name when, where or what the first seven councils were about), yet in the 19th century the patriarchs of all 4 ancient sees all publicly referred to the "Eighth Ecumenical Council," and major figures amongst Greek theologians of our time all support the notion that there are more than only seven. Even Rome counted the council of 879-880 to be the 8th EC until the 11th c.
I did make sure to put the other two councils set apart and explicitly mention the fact that their acceptance as ecumenical is in question by some. Given the "big guns" who have come out in favor of the notion, I think it's worth keeping it as it is -- not uncommented upon, certainly, but not relagetd to a footnote, either.
Mind you, that bit is only at the top of the page temporarily. That certainly doesn't serve as a good introduction! I mean to put a good deal more here in the future (or hope that someone else might). That's why I included the {{stub}} notice at the top.
--Rdr. Andrew
Is the {stub} notice still required? This seems a rather large stub to me. — edited by sτévο at 01:28, June 30, 2006 (CDT)


Isn't it the case that some within the EOC would number the Ecumenical Councils to 8? If this is the case then why are only the 7 and 9 theories featured? Deusveritasest 22:09, March 17, 2009 (UTC)

Is there a written source by a notable author which makes the case for eight? —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 01:26, March 19, 2009 (UTC)
The numbering in the 1848 "Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs" appears to be eight. Deusveritasest 03:07, March 19, 2009 (UTC)


I think there were decisions of ecumenical councils, like iconoclasm, that were explicitly rejected by later ecumenical councils many years later? That makes me think that a council widely considered ecumenical could made a mistaken decision, and therefore not be infallible. Obviously the ecumenical council that accepted iconoclasm was not infallible. Likewise, if the decision was not received by much of the church, like the article describes about the Council of Chalcedon, then receptionism would say it probably wasn't really an ecumenical council. So would it be a protestant heresy to say you or I don't consider the ecumenical councils infallible? Maybe not really- Luther accepted the councils' decisions on which books to put in the bible and how to make the Nicene Creed, so he must have thought those particular decisions were infallible. If he thought the decision on bible-book selection was fallible, he would not consider the bible to be infallible. Oh my, there is another example of Luther's confusing theology, just as he did not use the term "justification" the same way he thought that St James did. Rakovsky 08:14, March 12, 2010 (UTC)

So, can Orthodox accept the decisions of all the ecumenical councils, and yet allow the possibility that they may have been wrong, like the Council fo Chalcedon, based on receptionism, etc.? Rakovsky 08:14, March 12, 2010 (UTC)

In reality, it is the Church that is infallible. And the Church’s infallibility is expressed chiefly through the seven Ecumenical Councils. I suppose the article should make more clear what is meant by an Ecumenical Council. Bishops can err, and councils of bishops can err. What cannot error is the Church. An Ecumenical Council, is a council of bishops that has borne witness to the faith of the Ecumenical Church, not for any other reason. Ecumenical Councils are the councils that the Church believes teach the truth. A council would not be called Ecumenical by the Church if it was in error. - Andy 16:21, March 12, 2010 (UTC)