What are the different types of Church Councils?


I know that there are Church Councils that issue dogmas, pastoral Councils like Vatican II; but I was not aware of all the different types of Church Councils. Are there any other kinds, and what are they called?


A Church Council may be defined as a legitimate assembly of the Pastors of the Church for judging and legislating in matters of doctrine and ecclesiastical discipline. Such a council is described as provincial when there are present at it bishops of a single province, under the presidency of its Archbishop or Metropolitan; plenary (at one time called national) when composed of the bishops of one nation; general or ecumenical when representing the Universal Church, with the Roman Pontiff presiding, either personally or through his representative. The decrees of provincial and plenary councils are not, of themselves, infallible; they may, however, become embodied in the rule of faith, if they are so regarded by the Bishops throughout the world, or are ratified by the Pope with his full teaching authority; as happened, for example, with the decrees of the plenary council of Carthage (418) and the second council of Orange (529).


Thanks, Tomster.:slight_smile:


A Council is called to deal with an emergency. They are not regular meetings. Examples are to combat a heresy, to organise a military expedition, to deal with real or perceived corruption, to decide on rules for church membership. Depending on the nature of the emergency, the Council will issue documents of different character.

An Ecumenical Council is a council of the whole Church. a provincal coucnil one of bishops in a more local area.


Thanks, Malcolm.:slight_smile:


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