Reply To: [Orthodoxy] Ecumenical Councils

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[quote:2ihj25y0]That link didn’t work for me, so I don’t know if it will help… but what I’m looking for is a few of the most recent Councils and what they added to the EO faith.[/quote:2ihj25y0]

The link certainly worked when I posted it but the site does appear to be down at the moment. It’s probably worth checking back every now and again – the article isn’t terribly long but it does give an overview of the other two councils.

I’ll try to help you with the sorts of things you’re looking for, but I have to warn you that if you’re looking for what we ‘added’ to the faith, meaning what it sounds like you mean, then you won’t find anything at all.

It sounds like what you’re interested in is whether we Orthodox do develop doctrines or not. Our argument would be this. New dogmas cannot be developed because the whole faith was revealed to the Apostles and we cannot change it (we don’t hold to the ‘seed of the faith’ idea). Some development, however is legitimate if it is convined to a development in our understanding of or the language used to describe an existing doctrine. This is, we contend, exactly what the 7 ECs we hold in common did. We do not believe that at Nicea people didn’t know that the Holy Spirit was a co-equal Hypostasis of God simply because they chose to end the Creed with ‘And in the Holy Spirit’, but that this was discovered before Constantinople (and I’m sure you don’t either). We just believe that by the time of Constantinople, heresies had forced the Church to elaborate on the languaged used to describe what had always been believed.

The reason we oppose doctrinal development as (perhaps only seemingly) espoused by the RCC is not that we oppose such development as was made in the first 7 councils, but because at least some of the post-Schism (and one pre-Schism) doctrinal developments held by the RCC seem to be of a different kind entirely (especially in their most extreme expressions which, from discussing things with you, the RCC seems to have developed back to a position closer to ours). We simply cannot find any basis in Scripture or Holy Tradition for doctrines like Papal Infallibility or the Immaculate Conception so, to us at least, they look like inventions rather than legitimate developments (I accept that they probably look different from your side). If it is new dogma being defined at an Orthodox council that you are looking for, you simply won’t find it – but then you won’t find it in the first 7 ECs either.