This sacred Council has several aims in view: The Council therefore sees particularly cogent reasons for undertaking the reform and promotion of the liturgy. For the liturgy, "through which the work of our redemption is accomplished," [ 1 ] most of all in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, is the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives, and manifest to others, the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church. It is of the essence of the Church that she be both human and divine, visible and yet invisibly equipped, eager to act and yet intent on contemplation, present in this world and yet not at home in it; and she is all these things in such wise that in her the human is directed and subordinated to the divine, the visible likewise to the invisible, action to contemplation, and this present world to that city yet to come, which we seek [ 2 ].
See Article History Council, in the Christian Church, a meeting of bishops and other leaders to consider and rule on questions of doctrine, administration, disciplineand other matters.
An ecumenical or general council is a meeting of bishops of the whole church; local councils representing such areas as provinces or patriarchates are often called synods. According to Roman Catholic doctrine, a council is not ecumenical unless it has been called by the pope, and its decrees are not binding until they have been promulgated by the pope.
Decrees so promulgated have the highest authority in the Roman Catholic Church. Whereas the Eastern Orthodox churches recognize only the first seven councils as ecumenical, the Roman Catholic Church adds an eighth before the Schism ofwhich permanently divided Eastern and Western Christianity.
It is the fourth Council of Constantinople —which excommunicated Photius, the patriarch of Constantinople. The Roman Catholic Church also considers 13 later councils as ecumenical.
Within Protestantismsynods, councils, and conferences on a small scale have played a part and, in times of crises, have sometimes achieved more than local or temporary significance. Examples of such are the Westminster Assemblythe purpose of which was the reform of the English Church, and the Synod of Barmenat which Lutheran and Reformed clergy declared their opposition to the distortion of the historic confessions of Christianity by the so-called German Christians.
In the 19th century national and world consultative organizations were established by many Protestant denominations, and in the World Council of Churchesan ecumenical association of Protestant churches, was organized.
In the early church the name council was applied to any church meeting and even to buildings where services were held. During the 3rd century, however, the word council came to have the special sense of meetings of bishops, though not only bishops were present, for the administration of the church.
The earliest known provincial councils were held in the 2nd century, and by the year the meetings of bishops in the provinces had become the habitual mode of church government. After Constantine I proclaimed toleration for the Christians and persecution ended, it was possible for bishops from many provinces to convene in a general council.
The idea of an ecumenical council and its special authority, however, was slow to develop. The term ecumenical council was first used by the historian Eusebius died c.
Such imperially summoned councils and ordinary provincial councils differed sharply, but the distinction was more of size and practice than of defined authority. The decisions of such a council were obviously more binding than were those of earlier provincial councils because the emperor made them effective in secular law.
It was not at first evident, however, that there might be a peculiar sacredness about the decisions of such a council because all councils were believed to be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. After the Council of Nicaeathe idea developed that its decisions could not be reformed, and Athanasius argued that Nicaea was an especially sacred council because it was attended by bishops from all parts of the church.
The councils of Ephesus and of Chalcedon declared that the decisions of Nicaea were unalterable. But it was assumed, rather than formally stated, that ecumenical councils, once recognized to be such, could not err. In practice, the idea of irreformable canons was often confined to matters of faith.
In matters of discipline later councils continued to alter the decisions of earlier ecumenical councils, for changing circumstances often made the old canons irrelevant or unenforceable.
Ecumenical councils recognized by both Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics are: Fourth Council of Constantinople.This page is a minimalist listing of books Dr.
Heiser recommends on various subjects. Inclusion does not mean wholesale endorsement of the contents of any item except his his own work. With respect to his own research, the bibliography for items covered in Dr. Heiser’s book, The Unseen Realm, is voluminous. Dr. Heiser’s personal bibliography for that [ ].
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This page is the translated text of Pope John XXIII's announcement of the Second Vatican Council, in First Vatican Council: Convoked by: Pope John XXIII: President: Pope John XXIII Pope Paul VI: Attendance: up to 2, Topics: The Church in itself, its sole salvific role as the one, true and complete Christian faith, also in relation to ecumenism among other religions, in relation to the modern world, renewal of consecrated life, liturgical disciplines, etc.
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