7th Ecumenical Council & Icons

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Dave, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This would be the purpose of the Councils made up of Bishops from all quarters. The main questions at Nice would appear to be Christological, therefore the Bishops would answer on the principal of what they had been taught by earlier bishops and compared to what scripture was in 1325. (Tradition).

    Archbishop Laud, said in his,'Reply to Fisher the Jesuit' , (I think, ) that those general councils , that are freely called, freely accepted and honestly organised, after being freely studied and accepted by the particular churches, without any pressure are to be deemed infallible.

    This was probably, from Laud's reply to Fisher! He had three other replies though to Accusations made in the Lords, when he was on trial for his life. Unfortunately , though I have them from Google, they are on sony e-readers and I'm having trouble with repairs.
     
  2. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Roman Councils after the 9th Cent, are not considered as Ecumenical by the Catholic Church . The Seventh is the last one to have universal acceptance,universal that is by those churches who claim Catholicity,i.e. Anglican, Roman and Orthodoxy!
    In fact all the stuff that is quoted by our bishops from the 18th, cent about Councils and such are a sign of the fear felt by non Romans concerning Trent!It was what in antiquity had been referred to as a ,'Robber Council.'

    The Church in England was present at most of the "Seven Councils" and many more in the early centuries. Most of the Councils of the middle ages so an English presence and further, the Church in England was accorded accolades for being founded by an apostle, in this case S.Joseph of Arimathea.

    During the Reformation, the Bishops & Clergy in Convocation affirmed the Councils 1536/7 as well in Parliament 1559, and 70.
    1. " That they ought and most utterly refuseand condemn all those opinions contrary to to the said Articles, which were of long time past condemned by in the four holy councils , that is of Nice, Constantinople, Ephesus and Chalcedonense and all others sith that time in any points consonent to the same. ( Kidd. 39 Articles . Oxford Church press.) In this book Kidd laims, as do others that the Articles should be read through the prism of the Councils.)
    2. The basis of the Seven Councils show our status as Catholics and the Catholicity of our Church!
     
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  3. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    The Anglican formulations do not give a neat and tidy number of ecumenical councils to which the Anglican churches adhere. However, the Articles do provide us with a definition of what Anglicans accept as a definition of an ecumenical, or general, council and the limits of said councils' validity and authority:

    "General Councils may not be gathered together without the commandment and will of Princes. And when they be gathered together, (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God,) they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture." --Article XXI

    From this article we can learn to things which the Anglican reformers manifestly rejected:

    1. The Roman contention that ecumenical councils get their status by either being called or ratified by the Bishop of Rome. History of course rather handily does away with that argument as well. The first ecumenical councils were called by Roman/Byzantine emporers.

    2. That ECs acquired some sort of mystical gift of infallibility in their own right separate and distinct from the infallible authority of Holy Scripture. There is no special gift of the Holy Spirit that preserved them from error from the outset. Anglicans look at the outcome of the council, if the work product agrees with scripture, then it is only logical to assume that good fruit comes only from good trees, thus the council was valid.

    The tradition of affirming the validity and verity of the first four councils has always been a part I'd our Anglican heritage, both before and after the reformation. In the latter period, however, it is because the work produced by those councils, ie, the creeds and the chalcedonian formula, can be proved by "most certain warrants of scripture" that they continue to hold sway.
     
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  4. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    i don't mean to hide in bushes and snipe, but i don't have an answer!
     
  5. Classical Anglican

    Classical Anglican Active Member Anglican

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    Let me take a crack at it! I think we have to drill down to a more precise meaning of catholicity, and plainly say we accept catholic (lowercase "c") councils unqualifyingly. We thus aren't grounding our adherence to councils SIMPLY on special subjective authority or on the idea of "plain scripture."

    If we were to pick a time when a true catholic consensus existed, we would have to point to a time when all 5 patriarchal sees were in communion with one another. What are these five sees? Since Nicaea and Constantinople I (two councils that we all accept) name these 5 patriarchal sees as the basis of catholic unity (probably because of their noteworthy foundations and their geographical coverage), they are the five. Now, when we say "undivided church," we should be referring back to the time around Chalcedon, when Alexandria, Antioch/Jerusalem, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Rome were all visibly and doctrinally in communion with one another.

    When most people say "undivided church," they are pointing us to a later time when Rome, Ephesus, and Constantinople were in communion with each other but OUT OF communion with Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Antioch--and Antioch was out of communion with Alexandria. This is a weak understanding of catholicity.

    If you say that the seven councils define catholicity, you HAVE to put the Orientals outside of the catholic church (unless, tomorrow, those churches publicly stated that they accept all seven councils--but I don't think that will happen).

    The fact of the matter is that Anglicanism does not consider councils 5-7 truly ecumenical (as Robinson has pointed out) so this now has to be properly explained. I think the best way forward for us is to explain it in terms of the "undivided church" (as properly defined above: when the patriarchal sees all shared communion). We do not claim any special authority to determine what councils we accept, nor do we claim special interpretive authority of the scriptures--we simply do not acknowledge the claims to special authority on the part of a faction of the church (councils 5-7)!

    This is why we are at liberty to assess what parts of these councils (5-7) are agreeable to us, as is any church. Just as we would be at liberty to accept or not accept what a bishop from Alexandria or Rome says--they don't speak for the catholic church.

    I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  6. Classical Anglican

    Classical Anglican Active Member Anglican

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    If I might add--in this sense we have a stronger claim to catholicity than does Rome, for example. Why?--because we don't proclaim doctrine with a few other presiding bishops (or none at all) and declare that all the world must accept the proclamation if they are to be true christians!

    I read your intro to the forum thread, Robinson, and I see you are looking for the locus of objective truth, having come from Methodism and Presbyterianism. Well, here in our beautiful Anglican Church, we have the once-and-for always deposit of faith, a true claim to catholicity. Jump off that fence, brother!
     
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  7. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    i think this is one of the better answers i've heard. so it all comes down to how you establish "catholicity." i admit that the "five sees" criteria is new and compelling to me.

    very helpful, thanks!
     
  8. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Very well explained Classical Anglican. Arguably, after First Constantinople, there were no more ecumenical councils, since the Church of the East was no longer participating.
     
  9. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    I did not know that.
     
  10. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The late Bishop of Bloemfontein wrote
    'Anglicanism differs from none catholic communions in her avowed adherence to the Catholic Faith as received in primitive and purest ages. She has acted on the universally acknowledged truth that whatsoever is new in the fundamentals of religion must be false
    Writing further, he goes on The `Church is the proper interpreter of Holy Writ, the`Fathers,' were witnesses. These are the immediate successors to the Apostles and those who conversed with them. They were set in their places by the Apostles over the Churches which they established. They must have known all that was necessary to know and what the didn't know was not necessary to believe.
    Bishop Cary's Intro, to Salmon's' Infallibility.' (1940 Ed. )
    .

    `
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
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  11. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    @highchurchman what book is this which you refer to?

     
  12. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It is interesting also that while all, (as far as I can tell,) Liberal or Neo Anglicans hold only Four Councils, the Continuing Anglicans affirm Seven Councils.
     
  13. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    That's becauae they are by and large Anglo-Catholic, some even Anglo- Papist.
     
  14. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I must admit that is quite likely! I'm not however, neither was C.B Moss the Anglican Theologian. Archbishop Laud wasn't Anglo Catholic either. I believe in the seven councils because I was taught it at my confirmation some sixty six years ago. Neither was my parish priest either Anglo Catholic or Anglo Papist, he was a devotee of S.Charles, the Councils and a Highchurchman. We had another priest who taught the faith and at the South India fiasco, left the English Church and ended up a bishop within the poverty stricken Continuing Church in India. Your rush to judgment does little honour, for which I apologise in one way, but I feel it true.
     
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  15. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    It is interesting to note that the Homilies only quote from the first six councils, and the Homily on the peril of idolatry explicitly states that only the first six hold authority for the universal church. Moreover the homilist then takes great pains to show that the 7th council was invalid and opened the door to the kind of Romish worship and adoration of images and relics that was specifically condemned by Article 22.
     
  16. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Homilies were written at a time of great danger for the State in England as well as the Church! Not only had we Roman Trent to contend with but also the Calvinist, or Genevan threat and things were in a state of flux.One threat in particular was the influence the Calvinist opposition had on the Aristocracy and gentry in England .
    These people whilst they dabbled in Calvinist theology out of enquiry saw the Genevan innovation as a means of preserving the theft of Church property which had enriched the upper classes in the preceding two reigns. Even the Queen who was a loyal ,'catholic,' churchwoman was driven to allowing or conniving at the theft of church property to buy off, her leading courtiers from attacking the Anglican Church in its very real extremity. ( See her letter to Parliament written about three years before her death ; an apology).. So poor was the Church in England that the quality of training and developing the knowledge of its clergy and so unsure of their loyalty that they had to ban certain clergy from using the pulpit. Educated men could not keep their families on the poor stipend allowed them in many cases!Oliver Crumwell the English Dictator , when he lost his birthright through gambling and drink had recourse to live annually on £103 ann, looted from Church tithes. (Eng, History Mag. 1963.) The wealthy Gentry and mercantile classes actually paid for Lay speakers to work in the Church, having them ordained where they were forced to, but using anyone interested if they taught Calvinism.
    The Homilies were written, I understand for the ill educated clergy and was written also to placate the Gentry in its fear of High Anglicanism or future Roman, interference in the landed question,i.e. that Church estates 1/3rd, of England, be returned to the Church!
    This is why the Holies were written and printed, as an attempt to preserve the Church from its enemies.
    Too there was a great fear of Trent and the presence of Spanish Troops in the Low Countries as well as the hordes of commissars descending from tthe New Universities across the Channel.
     
  17. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Further more they were of limited short term use. Thanks to the bribes and looting of church resources they kept the trentists at bay, but the Genevan danger was stored up for the next forty years and resulted in the complete collapse of the Anglican Church in England forcing it and some of the loyal clergy to exist only in exile in France subsisting on Queen Mary's pension that she received from her brother Louis 13th.
    Peter Heylin Ecclesia Restaurata. Vol, 1&2 Amazon Books./ Google books,