Which Church Councils are Valid?

2 Responses

  1. It is common to find misconceptions about the Orthodox Church among Catholics, and one of these is unfortunately repeated here. Although the Orthodox Church is often said to be the Church of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, this is not entirely accurate and there is no reason – at least in theory – why there could not be another ecumenical council. Indeed, there are currently plans afoot for a Great and Holy Council to be held in 2016. Whether this will materialize, and whether it will be received as ecumenical, remains to be seen. But it could certainly happen in theory.

    It is sometimes said that the Orthodox Church has not held further councils since Rome’s departure from the Church out of respect for her, and there may have been something to this, just as she did not set up rival sees in western Europe out of a certain respect for Rome’s original position. However, there is no intrinsic reason why she could not do so according to Orthodox ecclesiology. The Orthodox Church does not “need” the participation of Rome because it was the see of Peter. Although she accorded it a certain honour and primacy, Orthodox ecclesiology views each bishop as the successor to Peter.

    It is also worth noting that there are some Orthodox who argue that there are in fact eight or nine ecumenical councils and that the Fourth Council of Constantinople, (879-880) and the Fifth Council of Constantinople, (1341-1351) should be viewed as ecumenical.

  2. Jonathan says:

    I am quite sad that the first Orthodox council in years was not the complete success it could have been. May we be one!