The First Ecumenical Council convened by Constantine in Nicaea was held in AD 325 in an attempt to unify and resolve disputes that had arisen through interpretations of the holy scriptures within the Eastern and Western churches. The Council declared that Jesus and God were equal as the ‘same substance’ (known as homoousian). This declaration rejected the claims by the Priest Arius that Jesus, the man, was born or ‘begotten’ and therefore could not be God incarnate but was instead a man who became Christ incarnate on Earth. It was proposed that the Second Coming of Christ would be as the raising of the Christ Consciousness within the hearts of all mankind. Arius met with an untimely and violent death on his way to a council meeting to support his outspoken claims.
Six hundred years ago in AD 1415, Pope Gregory XII resigned, through political pressures, to avoid a major split within the Catholic church between the differing views of the Eastern and Western Churches. The Council of Constance was convened in an attempt to resolve this and was the last time, before today, a previous Pope had resigned from the position.
To date, the teachings of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodoxy remain divided recognising the need for a further Ecumenical council only if a major crisis arose within the church.
Propria Persona - John Fisher