With the addition of the twenty-two canons of the ecumenical council of Nicaea (787), this will give us the whole contents of the official collection of the Greek Church; since then it has remained unchanged.
At the council of Nicaea, and at the ecumenical councils which followed, the idea of an infallible episcopate giving authoritative and permanent utterance to apostolic and therefore divine truth, found clear expression, and has been handed down as a part of the faith of the Catholic Church both East and West.
Emanating from an assembly without a head, which could not possibly be an ecumenical council without the assent of one of the popes (of whom one was necessarily the legitimate pope) - enacted, in opposition to the cardinals, by a majority of persons for the most part unqualified, and in a fashion which was thus distinctly different from that of the old of John councils - they can only be regarded as a coup de XXIII.
The struggle between these two systems continued well into the 10th century; and, though episcopalism was not infrequently proscribed by the curia, it still survived, and till the year 1870 could boast that no ecumenical council had ventured to condemn it.
Other councils of the first period now recognized as ecumenical by the Church both East and West are Constantinople I.
Scholars like Langenstein, Gerson and Zabarella, evolved a new theory as to ecumenical councils, which from the point of view of Roman Catholic principles must be described as revolutionary.
Leo I., although he recognized the council as ecumenical and confirmed its doctrinal decrees, rejected canon xxviii.
In 325 the first general or ecumenical council, representing theoretically the entire Christian Church, was held at Nicaea.
As a result the ecumenical council came into existence especially for the purpose of settling disputed questions of doctrine, and giving to the collective episcopate the opportunity to express its voice in a final and official way.
He displayed his freedom from ecclesiastical prejudices, if also his utter ignorance of ecclesiastical history, by agreeing, on the payment of a large bribe, to grant to the patriarch of Constantinople the title of an ecumenical bishop, but the general indignation which the proposal excited throughout the church compelled him almost immediately to withdraw from his agreement.