Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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Church government by councils of bishops. In Orthodox theology this is said to be the highest form of ecclesiastical rule, excluding, on principle, the primacy of the Pope. Eastern Orthodoxy recognizes only the first seven general councils, from I Nicaea in 325 to II Nicaea in 787, as truly ecumenical.