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.
Formerly called plenary council, a deliberative meeting of the bishops of a whole country to discuss and decide on ecclesiastical matters pertaining to the Church under their jurisdiction. Their decisions become law and apply to the entire nations, even though all bishops may not have been in attendance. Since the Second Vatican Council national synods have been replaced by meetings of the national or regional episcopal conferences.