II Lyons and Florence were the fourteenth and seventeenth ecumenical councils. They were both about restoring unity between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The decisions made at these councils are written down and I’ve been able to find those, but I would like a kind of narrative version, discussing any saints who were involved, any records we have of the proceedings, controversies that were happening at the time, and stuff like that. Anybody have any good recommendations? Thanks!
Is this what you already have?
Yes, and a similar one on Florence. I have a friend who used to be an Orthodox catechumen, and decided to convert to Catholicism instead. He says that his Orthodox friends occasionally bring up these councils and discuss figures who were at them such as Mark of Ephesus, who was an Orthodox “hero” (in their view) who opposed the decisions of the Council of Florence. According to my friend, they seem to have their narrative figured out, and it’s a very simplified view: the Muslims were coming, the Byzantine emperor freaked out, he called the council, he pressured his bishops into agreeing with the West, but the “hero” Mark of Ephesus wouldn’t cave, and through his influence the council didn’t have much effect in the East. I’m confident there’s more to the story, here, and my friend and I would like a Catholic perspective on these events that goes into more detail. Any suggestions?
Maybe a seminary prof who specializes in Church history?
I don’t know. :shrug:
They probably have better books than laypersons can find.
Perhaps something here…
BTW we don’t have such a simplistic narrative as suggested by the OP… The Church in Rome was in an absolute mess at the time of the council of Florence, with two rival factions claiming to represent Rome.
Thank you. And I understand that the real story isn’t simple, things in history often aren’t. But I would like to have something to offer my friend and research on my own. The book you provided, prodromos, looks valuable, though in that form I wouldn’t want to give it out, it’s got some anti-Catholic material in the preface and I expect more in the body of the text. But it is very valuable and contains a nice chapter on resources for the history of the council. Thank you.
After some research, I found this book:
The Council of Florence by Fr. Joseph Gill, S.J.
It’s a well-reviewed book that goes into the background of the council, the proceedings (including selections from the actual documents), some of the “major players,” and the results of the Council. All from a Catholic perspective.