Church Council Controversy

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Church history has been marked by good times and by bad, and these periods were heavily influenced by the decisions of the popes and Church councils, as well as the examples set by the saints. The papacy has been tainted throughout the ages with the pope’s lust for power and wealth, but even in the worst of times for the Church, excellent papal leaders emerged. The Church councils also struggled at times to properly address issues in the Church, but out of most of the Church councils came important lessons for the Church and founding doctrines that would make the Church stronger. Saints, the pillars of Christianity who all people should strive to be like, influenced the Church through the examples of their holy lives. St. Athanasius is an …show more content…

The Council of Florence was a continuation of the Council of Ferrara, called nearly a year earlier but moved when the plague hit the area (Catholic Online, “The Council of Florence”). With much of the Byzantine Empire occupied by the Ottoman Turks, the Council proposed that the Church reunify to fight off the Muslim threat to Europe as one. The Church council attendees included many Western clergy as well as a few notable people of the Eastern Empire, including the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Byzantine Emperor John VIII (Majeska, “Council of Florence”). A short-lived union with the Eastern Church was established with the East’s acceptance of several points of contention (New Advent, “The 21 Ecumenical Councils”). However, both the council and the union were short lived because the council began to dissolve into reformist conversations with pressure from many Eastern Christians. The Eastern Church began arguing about elections and divine service, as well as about synods and provincial councils. The Western Church lashed back, and the unity between the Churches was over (Catholic Online). Despite the fact that this unity was short-lived and seemed relatively insignificant at the time, the Council of Florence was the first …show more content…

Athanasius, Pope Leo XIII, and the Council of Florence all have had significant impacts on the Church throughout history. St. Athanasius aided in the eradication of Arianism, an early Church heresy that taught that Jesus was not divine, and The Life of Saint Anthony was a key component to establishing monasticism in the Church. Pope Leo XIII promoted Catholic social teaching by encouraging increased social justice among Catholics and all people of the world. He also moved the Church into the modern era, preparing it for the aggiornamento movement of the Second Vatican Council, in his encyclical Rerum novarum. The Council of Florence addressed the split between the Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic Churches, and although the reunification result was brief, the Church had successfully performed ecumenism for the first time since 1054. Additionally, several doctrines and Church beliefs of the Council of Florence that pertained to the future Reformation would be used in the Counter-Reformation movement at the Council of Trent. The practices developed in the council and the examples of these two remarkable people provide us with a strong set of principles on which we should base our lives to better the

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