An ecumenical council is a meeting of the bishops of the whole church convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice. "The whole church" is construed by most Eastern Orthodox Christians as including all Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions in full communion with each other. This does not include the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics, on the other hand, take the whole church to mean "only" those in full communion with the (Roman) Catholic church. However, both churches do recognize the validity of all of the early councils before the Great Schism, with the exception of the Fourth Council of Constantinople (which occurred in either 869-870 or 879-880, depending on whether one is Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, respectively).
First Ecumenical Council
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