BAR 38:02, Mar/Apr 2012
How many ecumenical councils have been held by the Catholic Church?
For a period of more than 1,600 years, the Catholic Church has assembled at ecumenical councils its patriarchs, cardinals, bishops, abbots of male religious orders, and others nominated by the pope to discuss issues of faith, church doctrine and discipline, often defining heresies within the church. The pope must approve the decisions of the council. The first was the First Council of Nicaea (or Nicea), convened in 325 after Christianity came under the protection of the Roman emperor Constantine, which produced the original Nicene Creed, still used (with some modifications) as the Christian profession of faith today. The First Lateran Council of 1123 was the first to be held after the Great Schism between the East and West; it also …