Question for our eastern orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ

I am asking because I would really like to get a definitive answer to the following questions, and who better to ask than our brothers and sisters belonging to the Orthodox Church.

  1. What is the normal procedure in the Eastern Orthodox Church for calling/establishing an ecumenical council, and would it be considered infallible, as was the case for the first 7 ecumenical councils, when the east and west were, for the most part, united?

  2. Is it true, regarding any potential ecumenical councils in the future, within Eastern Orthodoxy, that it would have to be unanimously accepted as being ecumenical by the assembly of all believers as well as church authority?

Thanks in advance for the help…

**Great question.

Are you referring to the Orthodox Church - or the Eastern Rite?

If you are referring to the Eastern Rite - since they are in communion with Rome - it would not happen without Rome.

If you are referring to the Orthodox Church - my question is how does it concern Universal Catholic Church? Such a council may have part of the truth - however it would not be upheld as an ecumenical councils by Eastern and Roman rite Catholics.**

There is a website called Orthodox Answers. They have a topically organized set of previously answered questions. A few answers touch on your questions, but are probably not specific enough to be satisfactory. If you don’t get what you’re looking for here, I suggest asking there.

Ecumenical Councils are called by the Emperor. Given there hasn’t been an Emperor for a few centuries now, it is virtually impossible to call for an Ecumenical Council as it was in the First Millennium. The Pope of Rome has declared that he has the authority to call an Ecumenical Council, but this is only for those Churches in communion with him. In Orthodoxy the Ecumenical Patriarch tried to claim this authority but hasn’t been granted to him by his brother bishops yet.

Infallability in the East is seen differently from the West. Even when the First Ecumenical Council anathemized Arius, he was exonarated later on and only to be re-anathemized at a much later time. Only God is inffalible and thus the strength of a doctrine can only be proven over the course of history and God makes it so.

Well, getting all the bishops into one place is the first challenge. Those who accept the council with move forward in communion while those who doesn’t are excommunicated. So it doesn’t really need the approval of all per se, but there should be a definite “winner” among the positions on which is the orthodox (true) position. Those who do not accept it are then declared heretics.

Just the Eastern Orthodox Churches not communion with Rome. :thumbsup:

Agreed! It has nothing to do with the Catholic aka Universal Church. :thumbsup:

Thanks for the feedback ConstantineTG. :thumbsup:

Thanks jrtrent. :thumbsup: I will ask them.

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