Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More on Councils

Continuing for a while where I left off yesterday/earlier today...

Yet another such post deals again with the Council in Trullo/Quinisext Council. This is supposed to be "inconvenient" because of questions whether it was recognized by the Pope. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the Church never accepted this council; this would seem to be borne out by the fact that Doctor of the Church St. Bede the Venerable (d. 735) described it as "a reprobate synod" (ibid). Turretinfan suggests that it was "allegedly endorsed" by a few popes, but this seems unlikely given the fact that some of the canons overturn established Catholic practice. Unfortunately (as seems to be his habit with these "council" posts) at least part of the "inconvenience" is that he hasn't documented all of his sources for the material, so it's impossible to say much about it.

At any rate, given that canon law is not a matter of dogma and is certainly subject to revision, there doesn't appear to be any inconvenience here whether this council was ever approved by the popes or not (as seems more likely).

Another inconvenience is supposed to be found in the fact that Vatican I never formally closed. Given the political circumstances (described in the Catholic Encyclopedia article he quotes) it's obviously understandable why it was suspended, but once again I can't think of a reason why the absence of formal closure ought to be regarded as some sort of inconvenience. Does the authority of a council rest in its closure? Or does the validity of the papal recognition it receives only stand upon proper form in its conclusion? Of course not.

More on the way, hopefully...

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