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 Post subject: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:47 am 
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Sons of Thunder
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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?

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:40 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:15 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:37 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:49 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:04 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:52 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Any song in particular?

Just about any Allman Brothers or ELP song should do.

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:02 pm 
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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.

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Last edited by Doom on Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:16 pm 
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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?

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-From the introduction to Our Father, "On the feasts of the Lord and other important feasts", Syro Malabar rite


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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:34 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:37 pm 
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Is that theoretically possible? This is among what I was aiming at in the op.

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:43 pm 
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There is no hard and fast list of rules, but anything that could make a Council look illegitimate would be a very bad idea.

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:21 pm 
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If a Pope approves it, then it won't be considered illegitimate (if it doesn't say anything controversial).

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-From the introduction to Our Father, "On the feasts of the Lord and other important feasts", Syro Malabar rite


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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:18 pm 
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Just a note that the UN general assembly is under 200 people.

There are over 5,000 bishops in the world.

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:23 pm 
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Force-fingered.

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-From the introduction to Our Father, "On the feasts of the Lord and other important feasts", Syro Malabar rite


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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:25 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:16 pm 
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On further thoughts, I retract that and agree with you.

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-From the introduction to Our Father, "On the feasts of the Lord and other important feasts", Syro Malabar rite


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 Post subject: Re: A future Ecumenical Council
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:24 pm 
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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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