Orthodox: What makes a council ecumenical?

What makes a council ecumenical in eastern orthodoxy and is your position shown in the 7 ecumenical councils?


Wow not one person has attempted to answer yet? :confused:

Orthodox believe for a council to be truly ecumenical it would have bishops from the entire world. The great schism made that impossible.

It is not possible in Orthodox teaching for the Partriarcharte of Rome to have an ecumenical council alone.

Oh boy… let’s see what happens


It would basically have to be called by the Roman Emperor. It would be attended by representatives of at least the majority of the Church (the church of Rome would not be necessary as we don’t even consider it a part of the Church). It would have to come to be accepted as authoritative after the fact. People put way too much stress on this title of “ecumenical”. The seven councils were “ecumenical” because they were called by the Emperor, attended by some sort of representatives of the Church in the “ecumine” (the world) and not repudiated later. A pan-Orthodox Council wouldn’t necessarily be less authoritative whether it’s called “ecumenical” or not. It’s all way more boring than the mythology built around it.

We held four Ecumenical councils without the inclusion of the miaphysites.

I’d like to ask why the Council of Florence was not ecumenical (since the orthodox were present, accepted it and we had reunion with them for ten minutes.) :slight_smile:

Because the rest of the eastern churches (laity, clergy) rejected the council?

It was repudiated when the Eastern Bishops returned home, by themselves and the laity.

I wonder when the laity start rejecting the male only priesthood, will they roll over and say “OK”? Rejecting abortion as immoral, will the bishops roll over and say “OK?”

The Bishops have the authority from God, not the laity. They made their decision to do what was right, and then repudiated that because of pressure from the laity? Absurd.

It certainly appears that when the Eastern Bishops who had attended the Council returned home, the other bishops (who had not bothered to attend and who did not have first-hand knowledge of the proceedings) over-ruled the judgment of those who had been present.

“Had not bothered”? Do you have any idea of the financial burden their travels would place on their parishes? As it was, most of the Orthodox bishops attending were there at the Pope’s pleasure and did not even have the means to return home unless the Pope provided it (as had been promised). The few bishops that had their own means left before the voting took place.

We don’t have those problems. Those are your problems. Funny how the church with the strongest central authority which discounts the part of the laity in such matters has the greatest number of dissenters and struggles the most to maintain orthodoxy of any sort. Then here we are, guided by the Holy Spirit.

Before Nicaea and Constantinople, weren’t like 80% of the laity and bishops Arian? Hmmm…that was a lot of dissenters :slight_smile:

Where are they today? The Holy Spirit ultimately protects the Church in more ways than one. The following isn’t meant to represent the beliefs or teaching of the Orthodox Church in any way, but… It’s rather amazing that against all odds, the Church of Rome, the Orthodox Church and the Orientals continue to exist. I in now way subscribe to any “branch theory” or anything of the sort, it’s just interesting. The Church of Rome seems to be the one which has added more novelties than any other since even the first schism, and it demands the most of those Apostolic Churches it says it wishes to reconcile with. Meanwhile, it has the greatest problems regarding orthodoxy as defined by itself. I’d much rather it bothered to clean up its own house before it comes looking for reunion and making demands of anyone else.

I can’t see how any Apostolic Church could look at the state of the church of Rome today and feel it imperative to reunite, or that its infallible Bishop is somehow the center of unity it claims. All the historical and theological back flips in the world don’t make that appear reasonable.

Well to be fair, I wouldn’t blame the Catholics to have some of the laity be dissenters (after all with how Western culture is in somewhat disarray socially, with racism/reverse racism, feminists and extreme reaction to, rise of secularism, modernism, state of Christianity with Protestantism, etc.). All of these ultimately have an influence for the rather unorthodox view of the Catholic faith, hence why it’s not too surprising there is dissension among the laity.

To address the issue of laity saying this, and bishops then agreeing, I would assume it goes both ways. If none of the laity/clergy accept something, and the Bishops see it as the holy spirit moving the church in this direction, then the bishops can then pronounce finally with their authority. Likewise, what the bishops pronounce and continue to adhere to with their authority should be followed by the laity. So in this case, it’s not that the laity control bishops, but instead all final authority rests with the bishops. However, this is not from a book or something but application from what I do know about the church, so take this with an extreme grain of salt.

The Catholic Church is far, far, far, far larger than all of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches combined. Its membership is spread across virtually every nation on the planet and includes representatives of every tongue and culture. You can’t paint it with once brush. The problems you cite are problems of Western society in general. The Catholics you have encountered (I am assuming you live somewhere in the West) are members of Western society and thus, with the exception of the particularly devout, tend to be influenced by the society in which they live. This is nothing new. The average Christian in ancient Rome was formed by his society as well. The truly pious and devout have always been a minority of the masses of baptized on the registers.

Do you think the average baptized Russian lives by Orthodox teaching? Do you know what the death rate is in Russia for alcohol abuse? People in glass houses…

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