Archive for the ‘Ecumenical’ Category

False Ecumenicism

April 22, 2009

In this discussion, our undercover correspondent discusses false ecumenicism with someone who tries, initially, to claim that he is not interested in making converts.

(direct link to video)

An Inconvenient Conciliar Truth – Part 12

September 13, 2008

An Inconvenient Conciliar Truth – Part 12

Some folks seem to find relying on councils a comfort. For these folks, there are some inconvenient facts that they must face. This post is the twelfth in what has become a multi-part series.

Council of Constantinople (754) – Ecumenically Rejects Icons Prior to the Seventh So-Called Ecumenical Council

The so-called Seventh Ecumenical Council was held in Nicea in 787. According to some reports, 367 bishops were present. The Council of Constantinople of 754, however, was held about 33 years prior to that, although it apparently had only about 338 bishops present.

As noted in a previous section, though, the council of 754 declared itself to be ecumenical and apostolic:

Canon 19:

If anyone does not accept this our Holy and Ecumenical Seventh Synod, let him be anathema from the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and from the seven holy Ecumenical Synods!

And from the closing:

The holy synod cried out: Thus we all believe, we all are of the same mind. We have all with one voice and voluntarily subscribed. This is the faith of the Apostles. Many years to the Emperors! They are the light of orthodoxy! Many years to the orthodox Emperors! God preserve your Empire! You have now more firmly proclaimed the inseparability of the two natures of Christ! You have banished all idolatry! You have destroyed the heresies of Germanus [of Constantinople], George and Mansur [mansour, John Damascene]. Anathema to Germanus, the double-minded, and worshipper of wood! Anathema to George, his associate, to the falsifier of the doctrine of the Fathers! Anathema to Mansur, who has an evil name and Saracen opinions! To the betrayer of Christ and the enemy of the Empire, to the teacher of impiety, the perverter of Scripture, Mansur, anathema! The Trinity has deposed these three!

(note that the parentheticals are not my own)

Of course, today many icondules do in fact reject the council of 754, deny that it was a valid council, and substitute the council of 787 for that of 754. Why they do that presents an interesting study in ecclesiology and epistemology, but the inconvenient truth is that a purportedly ecumenical council rejected the use of icons in worship before a purportedly ecumenical council affirmed the use of icons in worship.


An Inconvenient Conciliar Truth – Part 03

September 5, 2008

An Inconvenient Conciliar Truth – Part 03

Some folks seem to find relying on councils a comfort. For these folks, there are some inconvenient facts that they must face. This post is the third in what, Lord willing, will be a multi-part series.

Council of Trent (1545 to 1563) – Not Meaningfully Ecumenical

The Council of Trent is often viewed by its proponents as an ecumenical council. It does not deserve this distinction, for several reasons:

1) “The decrees were subscribed by two hundred and fifteen fathers of the council, consisting of four cardinal legates, two cardinals, three patriarchs, twenty-five archbishops, one hundred and sixty-seven bishops, seven abbots, seven generals of orders, and also by nineteen proxies for thirty-three absent prelates. The decrees were confirmed on 26 Jan., 1564, by Pius IV in the Bull “Benedictus Deus,” and were accepted by Catholic countries, by some with reservations. ” (source) Thus, the total number of bishops eventually signing onto the decrees may seem large, but was smaller than the number of bishops at Nicea (about 300 – some say as many as 318).

2) Obviously, the composition of the council varied over its nearly two decade existence. Nevertheless, Italian (the majority) and Spanish (the next largest group) bishops dominated the counsel. According to one report, the breakdown was:

187 Italian bishops
32 Spanish bishops
28 French bishops
2 German bishops

With only four nations represented, large segments of Christianity were clearly not represented at Trent.

3) Specifically, there was essentially no representation of the Reformed Churches at Trent. There were no Swiss, apparently a few Lutheran representatives during a middle portion of the council, and no English presbyters, though they were invited. Given the huge majority of Italian bishops, and the fact that matters were decided by vote, the Italians were able to control the decisions of the council.

4) Furthermore, Eastern Orthodoxy (and the Coptic churches, and the Ethiopic churches, etc.) was not represented. Thus, vast chunks of Christendom were not involved, and consequently – even to this day – the Eastern Orthodox do not regard Trent to be an ecumenical council.

In short, Trent was – in essence – a regional council of Italy. Its endorsement by the Bishop of Rome is no surprise, but ought not be deemed sufficient to convert it into an ecumenical council.

It must, however, be noted that Trent is considered by modern Catholicism to be an ecumenical council, despite these facts.


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