Church in Crisis: A History of the General Councils, 325-1870by Msgr Philip Hughes. A comprehensive survey of the origins, accomplishments and significance of the twenty General Council of the Church. Explains the nature and function of General Councils, and tells how each was called and what it accomplished.
Council of Constance : ConstanceConvened in 1414. It was held during the great Schism of the West, with the object of ending the divisions in the Church. It only became legitimate when Gregory XI had formally convoked it.
Council of Ephesus : EphesusConvened in 431, presided over by St. Cyril of Alexandria representing Pope Celestine I, defined the true personal unity of Christ, declared Mary the Mother of God against Nestorius and renewed the condemnation of Pelagius.
Council of VienneConvened in 1311 by Clement V. The synod dealt with the crimes and errors imputed to the Knights Templars, the Fraticelli, the Beghards, and the Beguines, with projects of a new crusade, the reformation of the clergy, and the teaching of Oriental languages.
Ephesus, 431by Msgr Philip Hughes. Background and history of the General Council of Ephesus, which condemned the heresy of Nestorius, who separated Christ's humanity and his divinity by claiming that Mary should not be called Mother of God but only Mother of Christ.
General Councils of the Churchby John L Murphy. What constitutes a General Council? When are they held? Why? What have been their results and their effects on later times? These are the basic questions which this book answers. It is a brief and compact yet surprisingly thorough and popular presentation.
History and Text : ChalcedonConvened in 451 under Pope Leo the Great and the Emperor Marcian. It defined the two natures in Christ against Eutyches, who was excommunicated.
History and Text : Constantinople IConvened in 381 under Pope Damasus and Emperor Theodosius I. It was directed against the followers of Macedonius, who impugned the Divinity of the Holy Spirit.
History and Text : Constantinople IIThe eleven canons (anathemas) of the Second Council of Constantinople, which was called to resolve questions which had arisen from the Definition of the Council of Chalcedon, dealing with the unity of the two natures of Christ.
History and Text : Constantinople IIIConvened in 680 under Pope Agatho and the Emperor Constantine Pogonatus. It put an end to Monothelism by defining two wills in Christ, the Divine and the human, as two distinct principles of operation.
History and Text : Constantinople IVConvened in 869 under Pope Adrian II. It condemned Photius who had unlawfully seized the patriarchal dignity in an irregular council against Pope Nicholas and Ignatius the legitimate Patriarch of Constantinople.
History and Text : Lateran IConvened in 1123 in Rome under Pope Callistus II. It abolished the right claimed by lay princes, of investiture with ring and crosier to ecclesiastical benefices and dealt with Church discipline and the recovery of the Holy Land from the infidels.
History and Text : Lateran IIIConvened in 1179 under Pope Alexander III. It condemned the Algigenses and Waldenses and issued numerous decrees for the reformation of morals.
History and Text : Lateran IVConvened in 1215 under Innocent III. It issued an enlarged creed against the Albigenses, condemned the Trinitarian errors of Abbot Joachim, and published 70 important reformatory decrees.
History and Text : Lateran VConvened in 1512 under Popes Julius II and Leo X. Its decrees are chiefly disciplinary. A new crusade against the Turks was also planned, but came to naught, owing to the religious upheaval in Germany caused by Luther.
History and Text : Lyons IConvened in 1245 by Innocent IV. It excommunicated and deposed Emperor Frederick II and directed a new crusade, under the command of St. Louis, against the Saracens and Mongols.
History and Text : Lyons IIConvened in 1274 by Pope Gregory X. It effected a temporary reunion of the Greek Church with Rome. The word filioque was added to the symbol of Constantinope and means were sought for recovering Palestine from the Turks
History and Text : Nicaea IConvened in 325. Hosius, Bishop of Cordova, assisted as legate of Pope Sylvester. The Emperor Constantine was also present. To this council we owe the Creed of Nicaea, defining against Arius the true Divinity of the Son of God.
History and Text : Nicaea IIConvened in 787 by Emperor Constantine VI and his mother Irene, under Pope Adrian I, and was presided over by the legates of Pope Adrian; it regulated the veneration of holy images.