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A future Ecumenical Council
http://forums.avemariaradio.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=169853
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Author:  Jack3 [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:47 am ]
Post subject:  A future Ecumenical Council

I remember Doom saying that there would be difficulties to call a new ecumenical council, since there are a large number of Bishops in the world and it's difficult for all of them to come together (my rough paraphrase).I can't find that thread now though.

There was also some thread were Mrs Timmy/kage_ar (can't remember who) responded to a proposal for a new Vatican III - "Are they tired of misinterpreting Vatican II?" :D


Not all Councils were participated in by all Bishops, were they?

1. Is it theoretically possible that it would be impossible to hold an EC?
2. Is it practically possible? More precisely, if Pope Francis wanted to call an EC in, say, April could he?
3. Can an EC be held in a "federal" way, with the issues being discussed in Bishops' Conferences and then Presidents sending reports to the Vatican?
4. Is there any restriction on the topics that may be discussed or documents that may be promulgated? Is there any restriction on the duration of an EC? More specifically, if the Pope wanted to hypothetically call an EC in which the Council Fathers simply put their signatures below the (edited versions of) documents of the recent Orthodox Ecumenical Council (see here) and fly home the same evening?

Author:  Riverboat [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

Why should it be any harder than to attend a UN meeting? People all over the world gather on a regular basis without any insurmountable barriers, as long as the headphones/mikes are plugged in.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

1) It's possible.
2) I think there would need to be more lead time.
3) Uncharted waters, at best.
4) They can promulgate all sorts of things (e.g., the date of Easter, establishing seminaries), but only things on faith and morals can be infallible.

Author:  Jack3 [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

Riverboat wrote:
Why should it be any harder than to attend a UN meeting? People all over the world gather on a regular basis without any insurmountable barriers, as long as the headphones/mikes are plugged in.


If all Catholic Bishops were to attend the EC, the no. of attendees would be vastly larger than in a UN meeting, I suppose. There are 5000-odd Bishops. There ought to be discussions between them.

Author:  Doom [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

It took three and a half years of preparation and negotiation with the various governments around the world before they could hold a single meeting for Vatican II. It is safe to assume that today it would take at least a song if not longer to do the same.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

Any song in particular? :P

St. Peter's can hold over 60,000 people, so they say, so there would be a place to meet, but in addition to governmental issues, they'd also have to find places for that many people to stay.

Author:  Riverboat [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Any song in particular?

Just about any Allman Brothers or ELP song should do.

Author:  Doom [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

Riverboat wrote:
Why should it be any harder than to attend a UN meeting? People all over the world gather on a regular basis without any insurmountable barriers, as long as the headphones/mikes are plugged in.


For one thing, the UN, by definition, has universally acknowledged diplomatic immunity, that right there solves the problem of 'legality', secondly, UN meetings only last for a few days, whereas an Ecumenical Council will likely last at least 3-5 years. Trent took 18 years (on and off) and there were years between sessions because of the difficulty involved in setting them up.

First, they have to set the agenda, which will take at least a year and probably longer. Then, they have to talk to all the governments where the Church is persecuted, such as China, North Korea, and Russia, and try to convince them to allow the bishops of those lands to participate. Those two things alone will likely take at least 2-3 years.

Then, they have to find a place to hold the council, it would probably take place in Vatican City, but it doesn't need to and that may not be the most convenient location. The question of location will have to be debated and decided at some point. It may be that holding a council in, say, Geneva might be better than Vatican City, this is a point that will have to be debated. And then they need to find a place for all the bishops, of which there are thousands, to stay for the several years that the council will be going on, an ecumenical council is likely to last at least 3-5 years.


These are some very significant obstacles, and it would likely to take a significant period of time to resolve.

It is nothing like a conclave, which is attended by around 100 cardinals and which lasts for only a couple days, and even then, there are always cardinals that are unable to attend.

Author:  Jack3 [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

Doom wrote:
Then, they have to talk to all the governments where the Church is persecuted, such as China, North Korea, and Russia, and try to convince them to allow the bishops of those lands to participate. Those two things alone will likely take at least 2-3 years.

Can't this be easily done away with? - Not all Councils were participated in by all Bishops, right?

Author:  Doom [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

Jack3 wrote:
Doom wrote:
Then, they have to talk to all the governments where the Church is persecuted, such as China, North Korea, and Russia, and try to convince them to allow the bishops of those lands to participate. Those two things alone will likely take at least 2-3 years.

Can't this be easily done away with? - Not all Councils were participated in by all Bishops, right?


By that logic, we might as well have only the Italian bishops have a meeting over a weekend, call it an Ecumenical Council and be done with it.

Author:  Jack3 [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

Is that theoretically possible? This is among what I was aiming at in the op.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

There is no hard and fast list of rules, but anything that could make a Council look illegitimate would be a very bad idea.

Author:  Jack3 [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

If a Pope approves it, then it won't be considered illegitimate (if it doesn't say anything controversial).

Author:  dcheney [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

Just a note that the UN general assembly is under 200 people.

There are over 5,000 bishops in the world.

Author:  Jack3 [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

Force-fingered.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

Jack3 wrote:
If a Pope approves it, then it won't be considered illegitimate (if it doesn't say anything controversial).

I don't think that's correct.

Author:  Jack3 [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

On further thoughts, I retract that and agree with you.

Author:  Peregrinator [ Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A future Ecumenical Council

Jack3 wrote:
Is that theoretically possible? This is among what I was aiming at in the op.

Of course it's possible and it's happened many times in the past. We don't call the First Council of Constantinople illegitimate, do we?

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