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					                          THE ECUMENICAL COUNCILS

               THE ECUMENICAL COUNCILS - By Fr. John W. O’Malley, Ph.D.
               LECTURE NOTES – By Dr. Walter A. Marshaleck, Jr. Ed. D
                     “The Best way to learn is to prepare to teach”

* MONTH ONE - WEEK ONE:            ”Introduction: The List”
WEEK TWO:                          ”Introduction: The Preview.”
WEEK THREE:                        ”The First Four” 325 - 451
WEEK FOUR:                         ”The Second Four” 553 - 869
*MONTH TWO - WEEK FIVE:            ”The Next Seven – Movement West” 1123-1313
WEEK SIX:                          ”Settling the Great Western Schism” 1414 -1418
WEEK SEVEN:                        ”Popes and Councils in Conflict”          1431- 1517
WEEK EIGHT:                        ”Council of Trent Part One”               1545 - 1551
*MONTH THREE - WEEK NINE: ”Council of Trent Part Two”                        1551 - 1563
WEEK TEN:                          ”First Vatican Council”                   1869 - 1870
WEEK EVEVEN:                       ”Second Vatican Council, Part 1”          1870 -1962
WEEK TWELVE:                       ”Second Vatican Council, Part 2”          1962 -1963
*MONTH FOUR - LESSON THIRTEEN:”Second Vatican Council, Part 3” 1964 -1965

                               Instructions for each days study
                1. Review the “Why Study? 2. Review the previous portion.
           3. Read the daily portion slowly three times. 4. Recite the prayer slowly.
     5. Make up questions about the passage and answer them. 6. Go about your daily tasks.

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                          THE ECUMENICAL COUNCILS

MONTH TWO - WEEK FIVE:               ”The Next Seven – Movement West”           1123-1313
Why Study? Because: The differences from the previous eight are significant. The East was in
trouble, so the West took control. The issues now became rules and laws, not Doctrine. The
Doctrine issues were thought to be solved. Some of the concepts declared then, remain in
effect even today.
   1- (MONDAY) The Popes are now in charge. It is their defining moment.
      The Pope is the only one who can convoke a Council.
      The early Council dealt with deep Theological and abstract issues.
      Now the issues are concrete and deal with the Church as an institution.
      These Councils were less doctrinal and had little debate.
      They were also all convoked and run by the Popes.
      Lateran One, Two, Three, and Four were all held in Rome and in the Pope’s Cathedral.
      The move was to the West due to: Arab conquest and weakness of the Emperors,
      The Schism of 1054 in which the East and the West excommunicated each other.
      The revival of the Papacy, the revival of Cannon Law, The recovering from Barbarianism,
      The growing European Culture, and the protection from the Holy Roman Emperor.
   2- (TUESDAY) The Lateran Councils were all short.
      They were only later considered Ecumenical. The most important was number four.
      It was convoked by Pope Innocent III at the peak of Papal power.
      The Pope also approved the Franciscan and Dominican Orders during this time.
      Fourth Lateran Council, 1215, Attendance included:
      400 Bishops, 800 Abbots, the Royal Ambassadors, and all the heads of religious orders.
      The written reports from the Bishops of the World were also included.
      A pre-council was held to make preparations.
      All decrees must begin with the Creed. The creed must include the sacraments.
      Transubstantiation was declared, (This will become controversial later).
      There were 21 new Cannons (Laws).
   3- (WEDNESDAY) Examples:
      “All the faithful of both sexes must confess their sins at least once each year”.
      “The Eucharist must be received at least once a year, on Easter Day”. (The Easter Duty).
      “If communion is not received, you must be
      barred from entering a church and denied Christian burial.”
      Books were printed on how to confess.
      40 pages of Cannon Laws were distributed all over the Western World.
      Other things included were: Tithes before taxes, taxes must be paid,
      Regulation of Bishop’s behavior, restrictions on Jews, “Usury” sinful,
      And the society must be kept in order.

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                          THE ECUMENICAL COUNCILS

   4- (THURSDAY) Other rules: Promote Crusades, Punish Heretics, Determine the type of
      clothing Jews or Muslims can wear, Enforce the Civil Law, Punish Priests, Priests may not
      wear RED or GREEN, Priests must be educated, civil authority may not select clergy,
      Bishops must be elected, Simony forbidden, clergy may not interfere with civil law,
      no multiple benefices, the Pope must be elected by the Cardinals.
      Missing is rules about faith. It was considered that Doctrine was set.
      Now the focus is changed away from Rome and toward the French.
      First Council of Lyons, 1245, 150 Bishops attended.
      The agenda was set by the Roman Emperor (German King).
      The Pope crowns the Emperor. The Emperor tries to take over the Church.
      He becomes friendly with the Muslims to strengthen his position.
      He was excommunicated twice; but, also reinstated twice.
      The council deposed Fredrick and ratified the Papal Bull.
   5- (FRIDAY) Second Council of Lyons, 1274,
      500 Bishops and 1,000 leaders attended. It was an attempt to reconcile with the East.
      The East was troubled with Emperor Charles and needed the West’s power.
      Several Greek Bishops attended. But, they could not agree on “Filioque”,
      (proceeds from the Father and the Son), so the union lasted only a short time.
      Gregory the Tenth was elected after years of bickering by the Cardinals.
      At that time he was not even a priest.
      Therefore, he had to be ordained prior to being installed.
      Later he declared all elections to be in “Conclave”,
      locked in; to prevent any possibility of a long election in the future.
      Council of Vienne, 1311-1313,
      the Patriarchs, 300 Bishops, and 3 Kings were present.
      It was a sad affair, under distress the entire time.
      Conflicts raged on between the Pope and Emperor.
      The Emperor, Phillip, wanted the Pope to be declared a Heretic.
      As a compromise, the Pope suppressed the power of the “Knights Templar”.
      The problems between Church and State continued to grow.
      However, the Council did establish: The Easter Duty, Conclave Elections,
      The pattern of future Councils, Papal control,
      and Papal fear of convoking future Councils.

                                           Ending Prayer:

                              BLESS OUR CHURCH AND MAKE IT HOLY

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                          THE ECUMENICAL COUNCILS

WEEK SIX: ”Settling the Great Western Schism”            1414 - 1418

Why Study? Because: The Papacy had three contenders. The Church was said to be rudderless.
Some kind of solution was necessary. Past actions just made it worse.

   1- (MONDAY) This Council was by far the most suspenseful.
      Its legal standing was challenged from the beginning.
      But, they did depose two Popes and force one to resign, which ended the Schism.
      It is considered today as the Council that saved the Papacy.
      This schism lasted for 40 years while nations began to take sides.
      Cardinals declared each other illegitimate.
       A Council became the only way to solve this problem.

   2- (TUESDAY) Council of Constance, 1414 – 1418, was given three major duties:
               1- End the Schism, 2- Reform the Church, and 3- Stamp out Heresy.
      In 1378, under mob threat, Pope Urban VI was elected.
      His behavior was scandalous and he was considered mentally unbalanced.
      Some even called him the Anti-Christ.
      The Cardinals asked him to resign.
      He refused, so they deposed him and elected another.
       The new Pope moved to Avignon
      and this started the Rome vs Avignon conflict.
      It was known as the “Babylonian Captivity”.

   3- (WEDNESDAY) Many tried to solve this issue. Even the Saints were involved.
      The debate had failed. Four possible solutions were presented:
      1- One resign, 2- Both resign, 3- Fight it out by force, or 4- By Council.
      In 1409, the Cardinals from both sides deposed both Popes.
      The Cardinals then convoked a Council.
      The Emperor convinced Pope John XXII to convoke it as well.

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   4- (THURSDAY) By 1414, the requested Council was still not held
      because some considered it illegitimate.
      The Pope of Rome, when elected, was not a priest.
      He was a Military General and had to be ordained immediately.
      They needed it convoked by the other two Popes as well.
      Finally convoked by the Cardinals, the three Popes,
      and the Emperor it met under the name:
      “The Holy Council for Christ”.
      It was convened to discuss matters of faith,
      settling the schism, general reform, and punishing Heresy.

   5- (FRIDAY) The English clergyman, John Wycliffe was declared out of grace
      because he challenged “Transubstantiation” and was declared a heretic.
       Jon Huss was invited to testify and was found guilty and then burned at the stake.
       In 1999, Pope John Paul II asked forgiveness for this horrific action.
      Pope Gregory XII resigned and gave his blessing on the Council.
      The other two were deposed.
      That is why Pope John XXIII’s name was removed from the Pope’s list.

       The results: Councils must be held within 5, 7, and thereafter, every 10 years.
       They successfully ended the schism.
       The decrees were considered binding.
       The Cardinals were cleared to elect another Pope.
       And the Church reforms were officially started.

       Two issues remained: The treatment of Jon Huss and the Number of Pope John XXIII.

                                            Ending Prayer:

                             “Help our Church keep Christ at its center.”

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WEEK SEVEN:           ”Popes and Councils in Conflict”     1431 - 1517

Why Study? Because: Politics sometimes overshadows the need for reform. The lesson needs
to be learned that TRUTH should triumph politics. But, lessons learned are hard to implement.

   1- (MONDAY) The threat to Papal claims came to a head at Constance
      by deposing two Popes and forcing one to resign.
      It became a vote of no confidence and called for reform from the “Top”.
      Popes became afraid of Councils; therefore, they wanted to limit their power.
      Pope Martin V accepted a council but continued to resist its power.
      He was busy rebuilding Rome. He was elected by the Council;
      therefore, he had to obey the frequency issue and convoke the next Council.
      And he wanted to reconcile with the East.

   2- (TUESDAY) The first council at five years was not included in the Church Wide List
      because it was considered only local.
      The next Council in seven years was convoked by the Pope
      but the site was chosen by the Council to be Basle.
      It later moved to Ferrara and then to Florence, but not all agreed.
      Now the new Pope Eugene, a good and honest Pope, was still being challenged.
      The attendance was so poor that he dissolved it.
      The reaction was so severe, that he rescinded his order and moved it to Ferrara.
      The Council declared that the Pope must attend; but, the Pope refused.
      The Pope became so unpopular that he had to flee to Florence.
      The Council then abolished all Papal taxes.
   3- (WEDNESDAY) The Emperor supported the Pope, so the Council moved to Florence.
      The Greeks needed help to stop the Muslims, so 700 from the East attended as well.
      Since the Pope had financial problems, the Emperor agreed to pay for the Council.
      Council of Basle / Ferrara / Florence, 1431 – 1439.
      They discussed Papal authority, Frequency, and leaven vs unleavened bread.
      The Greeks wanted unleavened, so the Council decided that it didn’t matter.
      The Greeks agreed to the expanded Creed; but. In the end refused to unite.
      Constantinople fell to the Turks a few years later.
      The Popes changed during the Council’s meeting.
      The relationship between the Council and the Popes continued to be troubled.

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   4- (THURSDAY) Learning Greek became a fad in the West.
      Soon all Universities were teaching both Latin and Greek.
      Now Pope Julius II was elected.
      He was the one famous for being the Vatican Patron of the Arts with Rafael
      and Michelangelo. The Council received bad press.
      Only 100 were reported attending, when the truth was that over 500 attended.
      Actually, Bishops also attended from all the European Countries.
      The King of France was against the Pope
      and several of his Cardinals denounced him.
      Then, the Reformation breaks out.
      (How sad?)

   5- (FRIDAY) Fifth Lateran Council, 1512 – 1517,
      Chiefly disciplinarian, but it also resolved that the Council is
      not superior to the Pope
      and created reforms on:
      Simony, Usury, Church property, false preaching,
      false reporting, political interference,
      and the plans for a new Crusade.
      But, they were still politically not able to agree.
      (Can it get worse?)

                                              Ending Prayer:

                                      “Help our … through the … ”

                                UNBELIEF / WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

                              FAITHLESSNESS / FAITHFULLNESS OF JESUS

                               FEARFULNESS / COURAGE OF THE CHRIST

                            UNDERTANDING / EXAMPLES OF HOLY PEOPLE

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WEEK EIGHT:           ”Council of Trent Part One”          1545 - 1551

Why Study? Because: Religious authority was in crisis. Some basic scriptural truths were being
challenged. Since the Papacy was insecure, some believed the Papal authority should be
changed. Countries had taken sides. How was this to be settled? The “Gates of Hell” were
ready to crush the Church.

   1- (MONDAY) It eventually became a very important Council.
      However, it took 17 years and was filled with large time gaps.
      It did not discuss Catholicism, that is:
      not missions, not Orders, not Confraternities, and not schools.
      There were three periods: 1545-1547,
      then four years later 1551-1552,
      and finally ten years later 1562-1563.
      Consider, 1417 ended the Council of Constance.
      And in one hundred years the “Reformation” began.
   2- (TUESDAY) Luther had a problem with Efforts vs Grace.
      Are you saved by grace alone?
      Are the requirements of grace found in scripture alone?
      Since the Papacy is in decay, is it necessary to continue the Papacy?
      A Council was necessary to settle the issues of Doctrine and Reform.
      Is “Faith” not related to “Behavior”?
      How bad was it?
      There were abuses in appointments, and salary problems,
      and permission given to be exempted from some Cannon Laws.
   3- (WEDNESDAY) Political background:
      In 1518, Charles, King of Spain, elected the Emperor.
      France did not agree and in 1521, France and Germany declared war.
      Pope Clement VII tried to solve the problem.
      King Charles wanted a Council, but the Pope feared a Council.
      Then in 1536, Pope Paul III did convoke a Council,
      but no one showed up.
      After three more failures, finally in 1545,
      34 Bishops attended; but, they were all from Italy.
      (Can it be saved?)

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   4- (THURSDAY) Why Trent? It was in the German lands of Northern Italy.
      Finally in 1547, 80 Bishops organized the council;
      however, it took 18 months to get it accepted.
      Some of the attendees became Popes later.
      The main questions were:
      council operations, scripture alone or philosophy,
      and scripture alone or traditions as well.
      It was acknowledged that some traditions were not described in scripture,
      but all came from the Apostles.

   5- (FRIDAY) Reforms: Finally the following reforms were agreed upon:
      1- Bishops must live in and know the people of the Diocese.
      2- They may only collect funds from the Diocese assigned.
      3- Because of free-will, actions are a sign of your faith.
      4- One cannot be saved by works alone.
      5- Some were saying that “works” cause grace.
      6- But, the Council stated that “Works alone are anathema.”
      7- The Sacraments are affirmed as “Seven”.
      8- But, not all are equal.
      9- Baptism is the most important.
          Some Bishops died at Trent due to the Plague.
          It was transferred to Bologna in the Papal States.
          Charles was furious, so some Bishops remained.
           In 1549, the Pope suspended the Council.

           Was this the end of the Church?
           Confusion ruled.

                                             Ending Prayer:

                            “Thank You Lord, that this was not the end.”

                          “Thank You Lord for Your promise of protection.”

                          “Thank You Lord for Your personal intervention.”

                            “May God be praised and our Church thrive.

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