Great Councils Of The Catholic Church

  • 150

    COUNCIL OF JERUSALEM

    Decisions made on conversions and circumcision.
  • 325

    NICAEA I

    Nicene Creed; divinity of Christ, condemned Arianism; Easter observance set.
  • 381

    CONSTANTINOPLE I

    Expanded the Creed; defeated Arianism; condemned Macedonians who the denied divinity of the Holy Spirit.
  • 431

    EPHESUS

    Defended Mary as the mother of God; condemned Nestorianism which held there were two distinct persons in the Incarnate Christ.
  • 451

    CHALCEDON

    Condemned Monophysitism by defining two distinct natures of Christ: Jesus fully human and divine.
  • 553

    CONSTANTINOPLE II

    Confirmed Chalcedon; condemned heresies like Monotheletism that held Christ had only one will.
  • Aug 5, 680

    CONSTANTINOPLE III

    Defeat of Monotheletism by defining two wills of Christ as two distinct principles of operation in unity of purpose.
  • Aug 5, 787

    NICAEA II

    Regulated veneration of holy images; condemned Iconoclasts and defined that sacred images may be honored without idolatry.
  • Aug 5, 869

    CONSTANTINOPLE IV

    Condemned teachings of Photius Bishop of Constantinople. Last council attended by Eastern Church; beginning of the Great Eastern Schism.
  • Aug 5, 1123

    LATERAN I

    First council after the Great Eastern Schism. Condemned practice of lay princes in investiture of bishops. Called for recovery of the Holy Land.
  • Aug 5, 1139

    LATERAN II

    Enacted reforms suggested by St. Bernard of Clairvaux; condemned certain heresies; declared null and void decrees by the deceased antipope Anticletus II.
  • Aug 5, 1179

    LATERAN III

    Established the Sacred Conclave as voting body to elect Pope by 2/3rds majority; condemned the Albigensian and Waldensian heresies.
  • Aug 5, 1215

    LATERAN IV

    Defined ex cathedra: from the chair of Peter and "There is but one Universal church, outside of which there is no salvation." Set in stone the term Transubstantiation for the mystery of the Eucharist. Ordered annual confession and Easter Communion.
  • Aug 5, 1245

    LYONS I

    Called for a new Crusade. Excommunicated and deposed Emperor Frederick II.
  • Aug 5, 1274

    LYONS II

    Filioque clause officially added to the Creed. Attempted reconciliation with Eastern Catholics. Decreed that papal elections should begin 10 days after death of the Pope.
  • Aug 5, 1311

    VIENNE

    Reformation of the clergy and Catholic universities; called for a new Crusade; dealt with the charges against the Knights Templar; defined the relation of the soul to the human body; condemned false mysticism.
  • Aug 5, 1414

    CONSTANCE

    Put an end to the Western Schism (Avignon Popes vs. Rome); issued reform decrees in "head and members", condemned Wycliffe and Hus.
  • Aug 5, 1431

    BASEL-FLORENCE

    Affirmed papal primacy against Conciliarists who said a general council was superior to the Pope; attempted reunion with Eastern church.
  • Aug 5, 1512

    LATERAN V

    Disciplinary decrees-defined the relation of Pope to a general council, condemned philosophers who taught human soul was mortal and only one for all mankind; discussed religious upheaval in Germany caused by Luther.
  • Aug 5, 1545

    TRENT

    Condemned Lutheranism and other errors in teaching that resulted from Protestant movement; proclaimed Bible and Tradition as rule of faith; defined doctrine on the Mass, the sacraments, justification, purgatory, indulgences, invocation of saints, veneration of sacred images, issued decrees on marriage and clerical reform.
  • VATICAN I

    Defined the nature of revelation and faith, the relation of faith and reason; and infallibility of the Pope when speaking ex cathedra in matters of faith and morals. Condemned pantheism, materialism, deism, naturalism, and fideism.
  • VATICAN II

    Convoked by Pope John XXIII "mainly to more effectively preserve and present the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine." Sixteen documents reaffirmed the principles of Catholic faith and morality, authorized numerous changes in the Eucharistic liturgy, the ritual of the sacraments, and in the church's administrative structure. These documents and liturgical reforms defined the Church in the modern age.