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Interest in the recent encyclical of our Holy Father has induced speculation upon the possibilities of a council of the Church for the jubilee year. In this connection our N. C. W. C. News Service supplies data upon councils in which bishops have taken part, which is of interest. The doctrines defined by them are also summarized.

In all there have been twenty general or Ecumenical Councils of the Church such as suggested by the Pope may be held in 1925. The first was the Council of Nicea in the time of the Emperor Constantine, when the infant Church had just emerged triumphant from the early ages of persecution. The last was the Council of the Vatican, convened in 1869 which was still in session when it was interrupted by the fall of the Temporal Power of the Papacy in 1870. It was prorogued indefinitely by the Pope and has never been reassembled. The general councils were:


(1) First Ecumenical Council, or Council of Nicea. Convened 325 and lasted ten months and twelve days. Emperor Constantine and Bishop Hosius of Cordova, legate of Pope Sylvester, were present with 318 Bishops in attendance. Drew up the Creed of Nicea, defining Divinity of the Son of God, against Arius, and fixed the date of Easter.


(2) Second Ecumenical Council or First General Council of Constantinople, Convened 381 under Pope Damasus and Emperor Theodoisus I. Attended by 150 Bishops, Defined Divinity of the Holy Ghost, adding to the Nicene Creed the words "quisimul adoratur" and all that follows.


(3) Third Ecumenical Council or Council of Ephesus. Convened 431, presided over by St. Cyril of Alexandria, legate of Pope Celestine I. Over 200 Bishops present. Defined true unity of Christ, declared Mary the Mother of God, and renewed condemnation of Pelagius.


(4) Fourth Ecumenical Council or Council of Chalcedon (451). Under Pope Leo the Great and Emperor Marcian, 150 Bishops present. Defined two natures in Christ and excommunicated Eutyches who taught contrary.

II Constantinople

(5) Fifth Ecumenical Council or Second General Council of Constantinople (533). Under Pope Vigilius and Emperor Justinian I, 165 Bishops, condemned writings of Origen and others and confirmed validity of first four general councils.

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III Constantinople

(6) Sixth Ecumenical Council or Third Council of Constantinople (680-681). Pope Agatho, Emperor Constantine Pogonatus, Patriarchs of Constantinople, and Antioch, and 174 Bishops attended. Put an end to Monothelism, defining two wills in Christ.

II Nicea

(7) Seventh Ecumenical Council or Second Council of Nicea (787). Convoked by Emperor Constantine VI and his mother Irene. Presided over by legates of Pope Adrian I. Between 300 and 367 Bishops attended. Regulated veneration of Holy Images.

IV Constantinople

(8) Eighth Ecumenical or Fourth Council of Constantinople (869). Under Pope Adrian II, and Emperor Basil, Three Papal Delegates, 4 Patriarch, and 102 Bishops. Burnt proceedings of the irregular council convened by Photius against Pope Nicholas and Ignatius, the legitimate Patriarch of Constantinople. Photian schism triumphed in the Greek Church, however, and no other general council was held in the East.


(9) Ninth Ecumenical or First Council of the Lateran (1123). Under Pope Callistus II. About 900 Bishops and Abbots present. Abolished right of investiture by lay rulers and dealt with church discipline and recovery of the Holy Land.

II Lateran

(10) Tenth Ecumenical or Second Council of the Lateran (1139). Under Pope Innocent II and Emperor Conrad. About 1,000 prelates present. Its object was to put an end to teachings of Arnold of Brescia.

III Lateran

(11) Eleventh Ecumenical or Third Council of the Lateran (1179). Under Pope Alexander III and Emperor Frederick I, attended by 302 Bishops. Condemned Albigenses and Waldenses.

IV Lateran

(12) Twelfth Ecumenical or Fourth Council of the Lateran (1215). Under Pope Innocent III. Marks culminating point of ecclesiastical life and papal power in Middle Ages. Patriarchs of Constantinople and Jersusalem, 71 Archbishops, 412 Bishops, 800 Abbots, the Primate of the Maronites, and St. Domonic, present. Published 70 reformatory degrees and an enlarged creed against the Albigenses.


(13) Thirteenth Ecumenical or First General Council of Lyons (1245). Innocent IV presided; Patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, and Venice, Emperor Baldwin II of the East, and St. Louis, King of France, present. Council deposed the Emperor Frederick II and ordered a new Crusade under St. Louis.

II Lyons

(14) Fourteenth Ecumenical Council Convened at Lyons in 1274 by Pope Gregory X. Patriarchs of Antioch and Constantinople, 15 Cardinals, 500 Bishops, and more than 1,000 other dignitaries present. Effected temporary union with the Greek Church. Added the word "filioque," to the symbol of Constantinople, sought means to recover Palestine, and laid down rules for papal elections.

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(15) Fifteenth Ecumenical Council (1311-1313) at Vienne, France. Called by Clement V, first of the Avignon Popes. Patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria, 300 Bishops (some authorities say 114) King Philip IV of France. Edward II of England and James II of Aragon, attended. Dealt with crimes imputed to Knights Templars, Fraticelli, Beghard, and Beguines, reformation of the clergy and the teaching of Oriental languages.


(16) Sixteenth Ecumenical or the Council of Constance 1(1414-1418). Held during the Great Schism of the West and became legitimate only after Gregory XII formally convoked it. Council ended the schism by securing election of Martin V. Was ecumenical only as to latter sessions and such acts of earlier sessions as were approved by Pope Martin V.


(17) Seventeenth Ecumenical or the Council of Basle (1431), afterwards transferred to Ferrara (1438) and Florence (1439). Effected a short-lived union with the Greek Church, the Greeks accepting the council's interpretation of controversial points. Ecumenical only in so far as approved by Eugene IV.

V Lateran

(18) Eighteenth Ecumenical or the Fifth Council of the Lateran, sat from 1512 to 1517 under Popes Julius II and Leo X. Maximilian I was emperor. Fifteen Cardinals and about eighty archbishops and bishops took part. Decrees chiefly disciplinary. Planned new Crusade which was frustrated by revolt of Luther.


(19) Nineteenth Ecumenical or the Council of Trent. Lasted eighteen years (1545-1563) under five Popes: Paul III, Julius III, Marcellus II, Paul IV, and Pius IV; and under the Emperors Charles V and Ferdinand. Was convoked to examine and condemn the errors of Luther and other Reformers. Lasted longest, issued most reformatory and dogmatic decrees, and produced most beneficial results of all the councils. Was attended by 5 Cardinal Legates of the Holy See, 3 Patriarchs, 33 Archbishops, 235 Bishops, 7 Abbots, 7 Generals of monastic orders, and 160 Doctors of Divinity.


(20) Twentieth Ecumenical Council, summoned byPius IX, met at the Vatican December 8, 1869, and lasted until July 18, 1870, when it was adjourned and never reassembled. Is still unfinished. In all 803 ecclesiastical dignitaries attended. Council decreed the doctrine of the Infallibility of the Pope when speaking ex-Cathedra on matters of faith or morals.


THESE "twelve anathemas," as they are called, do evidently refute the Nestorians and later heretics. Evidently, therefore, we must assign this document to another author. And, as frequent references are made to such tests, I subjoin a list of OEcumenical or Catholic Councils, properly so called, as follows:--

1. JERUSALEM, against Judaism,[1] A.D. 50.

2. NICAEA, " Arianism (1),[2] A.D. 325.

3. CONSTANTINOPLE (I.), " Semi-Arianism (2), A.D. 381.

4. EPHESUS, " Nestorianism (3), A.D. 431.

5. CHALCEDON, " Eutychianism (4), A.D. 451.

6. CONSTANTINOPLE (II.), " Monophysitism (5), A.D. 553.

7. CONSTANTINOPLE (III.), " Monothelitism (6),[3] A.D. 680.[4]

These are all the undisputed councils. The Seventh Council, so called (A.D. 537), was not a free council, and was rejected by a free council of the West, convened at Frankfort A.D. 794. Its acceptance by the Roman pontiffs, subsequently, should have no logical force with the Easterns, who do not recognise their supremacy even over the councils of the West; and no free council has ever been held under pontifical authority. The above list, therefore, is a complete list of all the councils of the undivided Church as defined by Catholic canons. There has been no possibility of a Catholic council since the division of East and West. The Council of Frankfort is the pivot of subsequent history, and its fundamental importance has not been sufficiently insisted upon.


The "vision of Constantine" is dated, at Treves, A.D. 312.

The Labarum became the Roman standard thenceforth.

The Dominical ordinance dates from Milan, June 2, A.D. 321.

He founds the city of Constantinople A.D. 324, convokes the Council of Nicaea A.D. 325.


E-23 Looky here in Acts 2, when the a--holy apostle Peter, and James, and John, and all were together; the Bible said they spoke in tongues. And they screamed, and even act so--and so filled with the Spirit until they act like they were drunk. And even to the outside world asked, "Are not all these drunks?"

And then Peter, the apostle, the holy Saint Peter, when he stood up and he said, "Men and brethren, these men are not drunk, but they're filled with the Spirit as the--as the Bible said they was."

Now, that was the early Catholic Church, according to their teaching. Now you see, after about two hundred years, the dignified begin to get into the church. Then what did they do? They made their first organization at the Nicean Council, A.D. 606. They made their...

And when the Nicean Council was held at Nicaea, Rome, they begin to get all the great dignitaries in. And they just formed a church. They made a church.

After that, it broke four or five times. They went in--they went from that to the bishop, from the bishop to a pope. And from that there come the Greek Orthodox and different ones, till they just broke it up to where you see it today. It's just in all kinds of breakups.


E-55 Now, what are you waiting on? Why are you going to turn the prescription down? The Doctor's here, the Holy Spirit. He was the One Who wrote the prescription. They used it all through the Testament, on down for three hundred years or more, unto the Nicean Council. Then they begin to get men into it, and begin to meddle here, and sprinkle and pour, all other kind of forms and things, but back to the original prescription. There's the prescription. The reason people's so full of sin, they don't take God's prescription. They join church instead of being borned into it. Try to take something else besides Acts 2:38. That's God's prescription.


E-71 Now, I'm not a... don't... And I say... And some people say, "He's a 'Jesus Only,'" You're mistaken there. I wouldn't have that kind of a spirit on me. There that dogmatic, ungodly thing that... No, sir. I'm not Oneness. Not at all. I'm not trinity either. I'm a Christian. I believe in God. I believe in God manifested in three offices. Now His office is in my heart, in your heart. Not another God somewhere else; another God somewhere else; another God somewhere else. That's as pagan as pagan can be. Never one time was that even thought of until the Nicean Council. Find it in the Bible, or find it in history--till that time. It's not there.

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