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Question about Receptionism and EC Councils

byhisgrace

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If the ecumenicity of a council is determined by whether it is received by the whole Church, then how much of the Church needs to accept a teaching in order to meet that criteria? If it is determined by the majority of bishops, then will be a simple majority (i.e. 51%) be good enough?
 
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There is also the oft-stated requirement that it be recognized as such by a successive council.

And it must be received by the Churches, not simply by the bishops.  Hence the eventual rejection of the Council of Florence in the 15th century despite its near-universal acceptance among the episcopacy.

I think that the 2016 Great and Holy Synod will be one of the first Orthodox councils in history, if not the first, where unanimous assent is required.  (Note that I am not, nor could I, use the word "ecumenical" here).

 

byhisgrace

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Then will a simple majority (51%) of the Churches (bishops, clergy, laymen, and all) be good enough to meet the criteria of reception? Does the Orthodox Church have a successive council that confirms the ecumenicity of the first seven?
 

TheTrisagion

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Its not like a vote type deal. It is more a matter of consensus. If it doesn't have consensus, it isn't ecumenical. It's a rather vague way of defining it, but the Church has never been a neat, tidy package. Think of it like this. If a President makes a decision, it may be controversial, but once the dust settled (and that may be 10, 20, 50, 100 years later) there is generally a consensus of whether the decision was right. Woodrow Wilson decision to join the war in 1917 was highly controversial. With the benefit of a 100 years of retrospection, we can see that he made the right decision. We can also see that the Treaty of Versailles was a poor treaty that eventually caused WWII. This is how a council is received. At the time it takes place, it might consider itself to be ecumenical, but it requires time to see if what was decided is received and accepted by the Church.
 

Asteriktos

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I have yet to see an account of the calling, reception, or acceptance of ecumenical councils which applies across the board, and doesn't have serious issues. That is--if you are asking for precise criteria. Such things involve matters with a tremendous amount of factors (from language differences, to theological nuances being taken in a different ways, to politics, and all sorts of other things), and are ultimately rooted in mysteries.  What we really have through history is what we had in the beginning; which is to say, the rather imprecise, faith-requiring and trust-requiring standard of: "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us" (Acts 15:28).
 

Volnutt

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Justin Kissel said:
I have yet to see an account of the calling, reception, or acceptance of ecumenical councils which applies across the board, and doesn't have serious issues. That is--if you are asking for precise criteria. Such things involve matters with a tremendous amount of factors (from language differences, to theological nuances being taken in a different ways, to politics, and all sorts of other things), and are ultimately rooted in mysteries.  What we really have through history is what we had in the beginning; which is to say, the rather imprecise, faith-requiring and trust-requiring standard of: "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us" (Acts 15:28).
Yeah, this is probably the best that anyone can do.
 

byhisgrace

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TheTrisagion said:
Its not like a vote type deal. It is more a matter of consensus. If it doesn't have consensus, it isn't ecumenical. It's a rather vague way of defining it, but the Church has never been a neat, tidy package. Think of it like this. If a President makes a decision, it may be controversial, but once the dust settled (and that may be 10, 20, 50, 100 years later) there is generally a consensus of whether the decision was right. Woodrow Wilson decision to join the war in 1917 was highly controversial. With the benefit of a 100 years of retrospection, we can see that he made the right decision. We can also see that the Treaty of Versailles was a poor treaty that eventually caused WWII. This is how a council is received. At the time it takes place, it might consider itself to be ecumenical, but it requires time to see if what was decided is received and accepted by the Church.
I have no problem, in and of itself, with believing that "standing the test of time" is the true test of Ecumenicity, but my question is: Does that mean that the First Council of Constantinople was not Ecumenical until Chalcedon confirmed that it is? (It was not mentioned in Ephesus.) 
 

byhisgrace

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Justin Kissel said:
I have yet to see an account of the calling, reception, or acceptance of ecumenical councils which applies across the board, and doesn't have serious issues. That is--if you are asking for precise criteria. Such things involve matters with a tremendous amount of factors (from language differences, to theological nuances being taken in a different ways, to politics, and all sorts of other things), and are ultimately rooted in mysteries.  What we really have through history is what we had in the beginning; which is to say, the rather imprecise, faith-requiring and trust-requiring standard of: "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us" (Acts 15:28).
I can accept that in good faith. 
 
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