As an Orthodox, I have some doubts that have been lingering in me for a while. Why hasn't the Orthodox Church been able to have an Ecumenical Council, since 787 A.D.? I find it a little strange that the Church was able to have 7 Councils over the course of 450 years, only to have a long period of no councils for over 1200+ years. Sure, we had the Photian Council of 879 A.D, the Palamite Councils of the 1300s, the Jerusalem Council of 1672, the Council of Crete in 2016, etc, but none of those councils attained Ecumenical status. In contrast, the Roman Catholic Church was able to organize 14 more Ecumenical Councils, since 787 AD (for a total of 21 Councils). It makes me wonder whether the Holy Spirit is really working in the Roman Catholic Church, not the Orthodox Church. For why would the Holy Spirit guide the Church through Councils between 325-787 AD, and then stop there? That just seems a bit arbitrary and inconsistent.
I've heard it said many times that it has not been necessary to have more Ecumenical Councils, for heresy has not penetrated the Church enough so as to require one. I used to find that answer satisfactory, but not anymore, for there are a whole mess of disagreements and controversy in the Orthodox Church that are still not settled, such as the issue of autocephaly and the calendar. Apparently, there are heresies going on with respect to autocephaly and the calendar, and they have been penetrating the Church for over a century. Yet to this day, we haven't been able to settle those issues, not even through a council.
Yes, there are some Orthodox who say that the Photian and/or Palamite Councils were Ecumenical, but that is not the consensus view of the whole Church. Which brings up another doubt: Why do Orthodox disagree on whether the Photian and Palamite Councils are Ecumenical? Do we not even know where the Holy Spirit is? The fact that we are disagreeing on which Councils are guided by the Holy Spirit makes me wonder if the Holy Spirit is even guiding our Church to begin with. It could be that He is instead guiding the Roman Catholic Church, as evidenced by the fact that they continue to have more Ecumenical Councils after us. (I hope I'm making sense; I have a hard time explaining my logic, sometimes.)
I would appreciate any answer someone has for me.
Edited by SeanN, 30 July 2016 - 02:53 AM.