Ecumenical council

An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) [1] is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice in which those entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world (oikoumene) and which secures the approbation of the whole Church. [2]

The word "ecumenical" derives from the Late Latin oecumenicus "general, universal", from Greek oikoumenikos "from the whole world", from he oikoumene ge "the inhabited world (as known to the ancient Greeks); the Greeks and their neighbors considered as developed human society (as opposed to barbarian lands)", in later use "the Roman world" and in the Christian sense in ecclesiastical Greek, from oikoumenos, present passive participle of oikein "inhabit", from oikos "house, habitation." [3] The first seven Ecumenical Councils, recognised by both the eastern and western branches of Chalcedonian Christianity, were convoked by Christian Roman Emperors, who also enforced the decisions of those councils within the state church of the Roman Empire.

Starting with the third ecumenical council, noteworthy schisms led to non-participation by some members of what had previously been considered a single Christian Church. Thus, some parts of Christianity did not attend later councils, or attended but did not accept the results. Bishops belonging to what became known as the Church of the East only participated in the first two councils. Bishops belonging to what became known as Oriental Orthodoxy participated in the first four councils, but rejected the decisions of the fourth and did not attend any subsequent ecumenical councils.

Acceptance of councils as ecumenical and authoritative varies between different Christian denominations. Disputes over christological and other questions have led certain branches to reject some councils that others accept.

Acceptance of councils by denomination

The Church of the East (accused by others of adhering to Nestorianism) accepts as ecumenical only the first two councils. Oriental Orthodox Churches accept the first three. [4] Both the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church recognise as ecumenical the first seven councils, held from the 4th to the 9th century. While the Eastern Orthodox Church accepts no later council or synod as ecumenical, the Roman Catholic Church continues to hold general councils of the bishops in full communion with the Pope, reckoning them as ecumenical. In all, the Roman Catholic Church recognises twenty-one councils as ecumenical. Anglicans and confessional Protestants accept either the first seven or the first four as ecumenical councils.

Other Languages
العربية: مجمع مسكوني
беларуская: Сусветны сабор
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Сусьветны сабор
български: Вселенски събор
bosanski: Ekumenski sabor
Esperanto: Koncilio
Frysk: Konsily
한국어: 세계 공의회
hrvatski: Ekumenski sabor
Ido: Koncilo
Bahasa Indonesia: Konsili Ekumenis
Kiswahili: Mtaguso Mkuu
македонски: Вселенски собор
Bahasa Melayu: Persidangan Kristian
日本語: 公会議
Simple English: Ecumenical council
slovenčina: Ekumenický koncil
slovenščina: Ekumenski koncil
српски / srpski: Васељенски сабори
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ekumenski sabor
svenska: Koncilium
українська: Вселенські собори
中文: 大公會議