Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ecumenical Council of the Orthodox Church

(photo from Archon website)

The “Great” or “Ecumenical” Councils, accepted by both East and West, and adopted by a large part of Christendom inasmuch as they defined and defended the fundamental doctrines of the Christian Church, were held either in or near the city of Constantinople.

I. Nicaea 325
Main Teaching: formulated the first part of
the Symbol of Faith, known as the “Nicaean Creed,” defining the divinity of the Son of

II. Constantinople 381
Main Teaching: formulated the second part
of the Symbol of Faith, defining the divinity
of the Holy Spirit. The “Nicaean-Constantinopolitan Creed” remains
unchanged in the Orthodox Church since the fourth century. It is recited at every baptism
and repeated during each Divine Liturgy.

III. Ephesus 431
Main Teaching: proclaimed Jesus Christ as
the Incarnate Word of God and Mary as the Theotokos.

IV. Chalcedon 451
Main Teaching: proclaimed Jesus Christ as
fully divine and fully human, two natures in
one person.

V. Constantinople 553
Main Teaching: confirmed the doctrines of
the Holy Trinity and the person of Jesus

VI. Constantinople 680–681
Main Teaching: affirmed the full humanity of Jesus Christ by insisting on the reality of His human will.

Penthekti (or Quinisext) 692
Main Teaching: completed the doctrinal teaching of the fifth and sixth Ecumenical Councils.

VII. Nicaea 787
Main Teaching: affirmed the use of icons as genuine expressions of the Christian faith in
the doctrine of the divine Incarnation .

Source: Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

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