Ecumenical Council

An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice. The word "ecumenical" derives from the Greek language "οἰκουμένη", which literally means "the inhabited world", – a reference to the Roman Empire that later was extended to apply to the world in general. Due to schisms, only the two earliest councils can be considered to have included bishops of the entire Christian Church, as it existed before those schisms. Later councils included bishops of only parts of the Church as previously constituted, leading the Christians who do not belong to those parts to reject the actions of those councils.

Acceptance of these councils thus varies between different branches of Christianity. Disputes over christological questions have led certain branches to reject some of the councils that others accept.

Read more about Ecumenical Council:  Acceptance of Councils By Denomination, Infallibility of Ecumenical Councils, Council Documents, Circumstances of The First Ecumenical Councils, Acceptance of The Councils

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    Were it possible so to accelerate the intercourse between every part of the globe that all its inhabitants could be united under the superintending authority of an ecumenical Council, how great a portion of human evils would be avoided.
    James Madison (1751–1836)