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Author Topic: Why no more councils  (Read 1573 times) Average Rating: 0
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johnmac
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« on: September 15, 2008, 08:42:45 PM »

Let me put this out there.

Correct me if I am mistaken.

As Orthodox you recognize 7  councils and claim to have the original faith from the Lord.

Has there not been any more councils? Would not new issues need to be discussed?

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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2008, 08:57:40 PM »

It was debates about the very essence of the Faith that brought together the Ecumenical Synods of the first millennium, that resulted in doctrinal definitions, such as, as to the nature of Christ.  Such issues are not in dispute today, thanks, probably, to the soundness of those doctrines.

There are administrative disputes, however, that should be dealt with, i.e. the overlapping of jurisdictions outside the territories of the individual Holy Churches of God, the Calendar, and more.  Since 1923, they've been planning a "Great and Holy Synod [Council]of the Orthodox Church," convened most of the pre-conciliar commissions for it in the '80's, much to the credit of Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios, of Thrice Blessed Memory.  Haven't heard a word about it in 15 years.
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2008, 09:06:30 PM »

As far as I understand it, the ecumenical councils were called primarily to settle controversial teachings concerning or affecting Orthodox Christology - and the outcomes of those councils are "set in concrete". Beyond that, other matters might be a question of personal belief and are not governed by council degree, but the collective opinions of Church Fathers; ancient and modern. The Orthodox Church doesn't dogmatise each and every possibile theological idea or "new issue" - and therefore we might have varied opinions on matters that are not dogmatic.
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2008, 09:15:04 PM »

There have been several post-Schism councils that would fit under the definition of being ecumenical, but not officially. The Palamite councils in the 14th and 15th century would fall into this category. The Synod of Jerusalem (17th century) dealt with what little Calvinist and Reformed theology there was in the East. Other than that, I don't know of any post-Schism councils on the universal scale dealing with theology. There were many local councils dealing with heresies that were only in certain regions, but I don't know of many universal ones. There were many universal councils held to deal with political issues. One example would be during the Old Rite Schism (Raskol), in 1666 (*GASP* the number of the beast!), where all the patriarchs met in order to "fire" Patriarch Nikon (he wasn't a very nice man). They did affirm his liturgical reforms, because they were already using them anyway!
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2008, 10:49:26 PM »

The answer is quite mundane: no more ecumenical councils because there is no more empire.

Councils though continue to occur when needed.
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2008, 01:08:16 AM »

The answer is quite mundane: no more ecumenical councils because there is no more empire.

Councils though continue to occur when needed.

There was an empire when Constantinople IV and V took place in it.  Yet they are not seen as Ecumenical.
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2008, 01:11:17 AM »

There have been several post-Schism councils that would fit under the definition of being ecumenical, but not officially. The Palamite councils in the 14th and 15th century would fall into this category. The Synod of Jerusalem (17th century) dealt with what little Calvinist and Reformed theology there was in the East. Other than that, I don't know of any post-Schism councils on the universal scale dealing with theology. There were many local councils dealing with heresies that were only in certain regions, but I don't know of many universal ones. There were many universal councils held to deal with political issues. One example would be during the Old Rite Schism (Raskol), in 1666 (*GASP* the number of the beast!), where all the patriarchs met in order to "fire" Patriarch Nikon (he wasn't a very nice man). They did affirm his liturgical reforms, because they were already using them anyway!

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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2008, 01:24:15 AM »

The answer is quite mundane: no more ecumenical councils because there is no more empire.

Councils though continue to occur when needed.

There was an empire when Constantinople IV and V took place in it.  Yet they are not seen as Ecumenical.

Probably because the councils were not approved by Rome, while Rome and Constantinople broke communion in the 11th century, it took a while longer for the other patriarchates to do so and a few would enter in and out of communion with Rome for centuries. As one could guess from Balsamon, Zonaras, and Arestenos' writings there was long understanding that an 'oecumenical synod' could not be summoned without the approval of the five patriarchates...thus everyone settled for imperial councils that carried the weight of the Empire, but not necessarily the approval of the entire Christian world.
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2008, 06:13:24 AM »

The answer is quite mundane: no more ecumenical councils because there is no more empire.

Councils though continue to occur when needed.

There was an empire when Constantinople IV and V took place in it.  Yet they are not seen as Ecumenical.

On the day we proclaim some of post1054 Councils as Ecumenical, we will shut the door for Rome's return. Otherwise, Orthodox could do that already.
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2008, 07:08:35 AM »

The answer is quite mundane: no more ecumenical councils because there is no more empire.

Councils though continue to occur when needed.

There was an empire when Constantinople IV and V took place in it.  Yet they are not seen as Ecumenical.

Probably because the councils were not approved by Rome, while Rome and Constantinople broke communion in the 11th century, it took a while longer for the other patriarchates to do so and a few would enter in and out of communion with Rome for centuries. As one could guess from Balsamon, Zonaras, and Arestenos' writings there was long understanding that an 'oecumenical synod' could not be summoned without the approval of the five patriarchates...thus everyone settled for imperial councils that carried the weight of the Empire, but not necessarily the approval of the entire Christian world.

That doesn't explain Constantinople IV.
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2008, 08:59:42 AM »

The answer is quite mundane: no more ecumenical councils because there is no more empire.

Councils though continue to occur when needed.

There was an empire when Constantinople IV and V took place in it.  Yet they are not seen as Ecumenical.

Probably because the councils were not approved by Rome, while Rome and Constantinople broke communion in the 11th century, it took a while longer for the other patriarchates to do so and a few would enter in and out of communion with Rome for centuries. As one could guess from Balsamon, Zonaras, and Arestenos' writings there was long understanding that an 'oecumenical synod' could not be summoned without the approval of the five patriarchates...thus everyone settled for imperial councils that carried the weight of the Empire, but not necessarily the approval of the entire Christian world.

Wasn't the privileges of Rome 'transferred' to Constantinople? I recently read "You are Peter" by Olivier Clement and I recall him pointing that out in one of the later chapters.
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« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2008, 09:37:42 AM »

The answer is quite mundane: no more ecumenical councils because there is no more empire.

Councils though continue to occur when needed.

There was an empire when Constantinople IV and V took place in it.  Yet they are not seen as Ecumenical.

Which councils do you mean specifically as there is a Latin anti-Council of 869.

The 879 council and the Hesychast councils are considered ecumenical by some (such as me).

Other councils were local always though, such as Blacharnae, but its statement of faith is the faith we accept.
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