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The Ecumenical Councils

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Councils are assemblies of clerics belonging to the Church hierarchy and/or theological experts. They discuss and regulate matters of Church doctrine and discipline. The most well-known such assemblies are the so-called "Ecumenical Councils" which gathered bishops from the whole Christian "oikoumene", decrees of which were of great importance to Christendom and were approved by the pope. The term "council", generally, may also apply to Church meetings of lesser importance. In such cases, the meetings are termed another way: "general synod of the East (or the West)" in case the meeting gathered the bishops of the western or eastern Church only; "patriarcal (or national, or primatical) council" when the meeting is about a patriarchate, a nation or the provinces submitted to a primate; a "provincial council" is gathering the suffragan bishops of the metropolitan of one ecclesiastical province, as a "diocesan synod" gathers the clerics of a bishopric see. On a other hand, one can note that the Canon right of the time, though stabilised, was still fragmented by imperfect collections

The following list is summarizing the ecumenical councils which occurred from the early Church to the Carolingian times

The ecumenical councils which occurred from the early Church to the Carolingian times:

All the following ecumenical (from a Roman Catholic point of view) councils took place in the western Christendom only, as the eastern Church eventually definitively severed any link with the western one in the middle of the 11th century

Website Manager: G. Guichard, site Learning and Knowledge In the Carolingian Times / Erudition et savoir à l'époque carolingienne, Page Editor: G. Guichard. last edited: 11/3/2017. contact us at
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