Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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  1. Is it true that all the Bishops (including H.H Pope Shenouda III) of the Coptic Orthodox Church meet annually is for a council? If so, what is discussed in these annual councils?

  2. Do these councils make any canons? If so, are these canons considered infallible and beyond correction?

  3. Are these yearly councils considered ecumenical councils?

  4. Does the Coptic Orthodox Church recognize only three ecumenical councils (Nicaea 325, Constantinople 381 and Ephesus 431) since the Lord Jesus Christ had established the Christian Church till today?

  5. Is it possible to have a new ecumenical council in the future? If so, what Churches would have to participate in order for the council to be ecumenical?

  6. Are the canons of the three ecumenical councils (Nicaea 325, Constantinople 381 and Ephesus 431) considered infallible, beyond correction?

  1. It is true that there is an annual Coptic Orthodox Holy Synod (council) attended by H.H. Pope Shenouda and all the Coptic bishops. This council discusses various issues related to the faith, pastoral and liturgical affairs, ecumenical relations, monastic affairs, faith, ethics, and diocesan affairs.

  2. The Synod makes new canons every year. These canons are subject to change only by the consensus of the Holy Synod.

  3. The Ecumenical Council, by definition, is the meeting of all the bishops from all the Churches; and which takes place usually if the Church (the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church) is facing new challenges or heresies as for example, those introduced by Arius, Nestorius and others in the first centuries. The Holy Synod's meetings are not considered ecumenical since they do not fit the criteria.

  4. Yes the Coptic Church recognizes only these three councils as ecumenical.

  5. In order for the council to be ecumenical, all the Apostolic Churches should participate in it.

  6. The canons of the Ecumenical Councils are considered as one of the most authoritative sources of faith in the Coptic Church
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