Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

2.1 Where Councils Come From: An Introduction

By Mike Aquilina ( bio - articles - email ) | Jun 15, 2022 | In Way of the Fathers (Podcast)

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When the Church is in crisis, its bishops meet in council. Since the generation of the Apostles, this has been the customary way of settling major disputes over doctrine and discipline. In the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 15, the Twelve met with certain elders and chosen experts to exercise an authority that was different from the authority that any of them possessed individually. This established a practice for the ages to follow. The councils in the time of the Fathers—the first seven ecumenical councils—are considered authoritative by the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. In this episode, we look at the pre-history of those councils and consider their definitions and authority.


Cyprian of Carthage, On the Seventh Council of Carthage

Canons of the Council of Ancyra (A.D. 314)

Canons of the Council of Necaesarea (A.D. 315)

Paul Senz, Church Councils: 100 Questions and Answers (foreword by Mike Aquilina)

Mike Aquilina’s website

Mike Aquilina’s books

Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed

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Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics. He is executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. See full bio.

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