Council of Chalcedon

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The Council of Chalcedon was a church council held from 8 October to 1 November, 451 AD, at Chalcedon (a city of Bithynia in Asia Minor), on the Asian side of the Bosporus. This was a highly influential council and marked a key turning point in the Christological debates that broke apart the church of the Eastern Roman Empire in the 5th century.[1] It is the last council which many Anglicans and most Protestants consider ecumenical.[2]

The Council of Chalcedon was convened by Flavian's successor, Anatolius, at Pope Leo I's urging, to set aside the 449 Second Council of Ephesus, better known as the "Robber Council". The Council of Chalcedon repudiated the idea that Jesus had only one nature, and stated that Christ has two natures in one person. The Chalcedonian Creed describes the "full humanity and full divinity" of Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity. The council also issued 27 disciplinary canons governing church administration and authority. In the famous 28th canon passed by the council, the bishops sought to raise the See of Constantinople (New Rome) in stature, claiming that Constantinople enjoyed honor and authority similar to that of the See of (the older) Rome. Pope Leo's legate opposed the canon but in 453, Leo confirmed all the canons, except the 28th.

The Council is considered by the Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, the Old Catholics, and various other Western Christian groups to have been the Fourth Ecumenical Council. As such, it is recognized as infallible in its dogmatic definitions by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches (then one church). Most Protestants also consider the concept of the Trinity as defined by these councils to be orthodox doctrine to which they adhere. However, the Council resulted in a major schism, with those who refused to accept its teaching, now known as Oriental Orthodoxy, being accused of monophysitism. The Oriental Orthodox churches reject the "monophysite" label and instead describe themselves as miaphysite. This council is the last council that is recognised by the Anglican Communion.[citation needed]


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