Only the Pope can convene a council?


#1

I was reading today and I came across a paragraph by Martin Luther that said, to paraphrase:

The Pope doesn’t exclusively have the power to convene a council, because several councils were convened without his call to do so, begining with the Apostolic Council called in the book of Acts, and on to the Ecumenical Councils, and the Council of Nicea. Some councils were called by other bishops, some even called by the Emporer.

Can someone tell me how do answer such a charge? Basically, Luther was saying this because he felt that the right of the Pope was being used to defend the Pope against Coucils called against him, or something to that effect.


#2

[quote=bengeorge]I was reading today and I came across a paragraph by Martin Luther that said, to paraphrase:

The Pope doesn’t exclusively have the power to convene a council, because several councils were convened without his call to do so, begining with the Apostolic Council called in the book of Acts, and on to the Ecumenical Councils, and the Council of Nicea. Some councils were called by other bishops, some even called by the Emporer.

Can someone tell me how do answer such a charge? Basically, Luther was saying this because he felt that the right of the Pope was being used to defend the Pope against Coucils called against him, or something to that effect.
[/quote]

The Pope does not need to call a council together. Councils can go on without the Pope calling it. However, a council is only ecumenical if it is in full communion with the Pope. The Pope can also call on a council, as it has happened before. Most Councils were not called by the Pope, but were in full communion with the Pope.


#3

[quote=Roman_Army]Most Councils were not called by the Pope, but were in full communion with the Pope.
[/quote]

Did the Church ever argue that only the Pope could call a council? Was that ever a teaching?


#4

[quote=bengeorge]Did the Church ever argue that only the Pope could call a council? Was that ever a teaching?
[/quote]

No, not that I know of. After the council the Pope has to view it and approve it. Let me see if I can find some good literature…


#5

Here: newadvent.org/cathen/12260a.htm

Scroll down to "(3) The Right of Entertaining Appeals in All Ecclesiastical Causes"

and
IV. JURISDICTIONAL RIGHTS AND PREROGATIVES OF THE POPE


#6

Here: newadvent.org/cathen/12260a.htm

Scroll down to “(3) The Right of Entertaining Appeals in All Ecclesiastical Causes”

and
IV. JURISDICTIONAL RIGHTS AND PREROGATIVES OF THE POPE

Sorry, I don’t find what you mean. Did you mean to refer to:

[list]
*]he can legislate for the whole Church, with or without the assistance of a general council;
*]if he legislates with the aid of a council it is his to convoke it, to preside, to direct its deliberations, to confirm its acts.

[/list]Buy that only says the Pope MAY convoke a Council. It does not say that ONLY a Pope may do so.

Anyone can call a Council. I could do it if I wanted. But folks would just laugh at me, so nothing would come of my silly efforts. But, if enough Bishops show up, and if the Pope ratifies it, whaddayaknow - I have convoked an Ecumenical Council!


#7

Canon 338 §1 It is the prerogative of the Roman Pontiff alone to summon an Ecumenical Council, to preside over it personally or through others, to transfer, suspend or dissolve the Council, and to approve its decrees.

§2 It is also the prerogative of the Roman Pontiff to determine the matters to be dealt with in the Council, and to establish the order to be observed. The Fathers of the Council may add other matters to those proposed by the Roman Pontiff, but these must be approved by the Roman Pontiff.


#8

[quote=Catholic2003]Canon 338 §1 §2
[/quote]

Aha! Ok, so here we have it in black and white.

So… If it is the perogative of the Pope alone to call the coucil, then what are we to make of the Ecumenical Councils (particularly Nicene, called by the Emporer)and the Apostolic Council?


#9

[quote=bengeorge]Aha! Ok, so here we have it in black and white.

So… If it is the perogative of the Pope alone to call the coucil, then what are we to make of the Ecumenical Councils (particularly Nicene, called by the Emporer)and the Apostolic Council?
[/quote]

That’s from the Code of Canon Law, not from any infallible, unchangable decree. It’s the current legal practice of the Church, not an eternal teaching. It only applies to the licitness of any subsequent Council that is convoked under this Code of Canon Law, it doesn’t apply to any historical Councils that don’t, nor does it preclude a future change in Canon Law that affirms that DavidFilmer has the right to call an Ecumenical Council. :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

[quote=Ghosty] nor does it preclude a future change in Canon Law that affirms that DavidFilmer has the right to call an Ecumenical Council. :stuck_out_tongue:
[/quote]

I would go to the DavidFilmer Council, but only if DavidFilmer will provide the soda and the chips.

And not Lays. I cannot abide Lays potato chips, all who disagee, let him be anathema!!


#11

[quote=Ghosty]That’s from the Code of Canon Law, not from any infallible, unchangable decree. It’s the current legal practice of the Church, not an eternal teaching.
[/quote]

True, of course. Canon Law can, does, and should change (and those changes are not retroactive). Some folks confuse Canon Law with doctrine, which cannot and must not ever change.


#12

Sorry Ghosty but the confusion over infallibility and what is or is not an eternal infallible decree and Roman canon Law and... and... excuse me, but your logic is akin to running around in a circle, trying to tie your shoes with your hair on fire. True, obvious history just does not support that logic. He didn't need to then but now he does??? Huh? When, how, who... wha?...? But then again, some people can be lead to believe anything if the propaganda is strong enough. Syllabus of Errors and Vatican II ring a bell?


#13

I'm not a cow but the Syllabus of Errors by Pius IX and Vatican II are "udderly" confusing. They are in direct opposition. Which one is correct?


#14

Wow, this thread is almost six years old.

CAF policy suggests opening a new thread to discuss old topics, because many of the original contributors may no longer be active.

And this is pretty old.


#15

[quote="bengeorge, post:3, topic:31321"]
Did the Church ever argue that only the Pope could call a council? Was that ever a teaching?

[/quote]

It is the prerogative of the pope to call a council, i.e. he can call a council if he wishes. This would of course make the council an Ecumenical Council. A council that he did not call but signed off on the canons of it would also be an ecumenical council This, of course, does not preclude councils being called by others, though they would not be ecumenical councils.


#16

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.