Which is greater Popes or Councils?

Actually, only a Pope can convene a plenary or ecumenical council. Papal approval is required to give authority to conciliar decrees, and this must be subsequent to conciliar action unless the pope, through his personal presence and conscience has already given his official sanction.

However, the Pope can, even without an ongoing Council proclaim Dogmatic definitions like Pius XII did in 1950 when he proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin, 12 years before the Second Vatican council convened.

Actually, only a Pope can convene a plenary or ecumenical council.

This is a matter of canon law, not a doctrine. The Early Church had councils that were summoned by Emperors, who had the most influence in the world in terms of organizing and compelling people to participate in such discussions. I think the current set-up is best, and definately most reasonable, but it’s important to remember that it could just as easily be that a Council is summoned by a majority vote of Bishops, or whatever else you can think of.

Peace and God bless!

Its true it isn’t a doctrine, but still it is a body of legislation governing the Church. Canon Law in fact is based on what earlier Popes, and/or councils united with him have enacted, as well as what we may call Divine Law. In any case, this power of the Pope to summon Councils has always been exercised at least since the late middle ages.

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