The term council, whose origin is found in the Latin word concilium, refers to a meeting that takes place with the aim of dealing with some matter of interest. The documents that emerge from this meeting are also called council.
For example: “The Uruguayan businessman will join the World Council of Organizers of Musical Shows”, “The Council of Carson will meet tomorrow with the aim of resolving the conflict”, “From the opposition they raised the need to create a Council of Representation of Retirees and Pensioners ”.
The idea of council usually refers to a board of ecclesiastical authorities of the Catholic Church that has the purpose of analyzing and deciding questions related to dogmas.
The Catholic Church, from its creation until the year 1054, held eight ecumenical councils. From that date, there was a division between the West and the East and since then the councils were summoned by the Western Church. Between 1054 and the present there were another twelve councils, summoned by the pope.
The most recent ecumenical council of the Catholic Church took place between 1962 and 1965 in the Vatican. Known as Vatican Council II, its convocation was carried out by John XXIII, in charge of presiding over the first stage, while the last sessions were led by Paul VI.
According to DigoPaul, the national councils (which are held by permission of the pope and are oriented to the episcopate in a region) and provincial councils (headed by a metropolitan bishop) are other councils developed by the Catholic Church.
One of the most significant ecumenical councils in the history of the Catholic Church was that of Trent, which took place over twenty-five sessions that took place between 1545 and 1563 in the city of Trento, north of today’s Italian territory. (At that time it was a free imperial city, run by a prince-bishop).
Pope Paul III made his first attempt to hold this council in 1537, in Mantua, and then in Vicenza, the following year, while seeking to reach a peace agreement for Francis I and Charles V in Nice. After various obstacles that forced him to postpone the meeting, he decided to convene a General Council of the Church at the end of 1545, which served to draw the alignments of the reforms of Catholicism (later called “counter- reforms “).
Five superiors general and twenty-five bishops were present at this session. The fundamental idea of the Council of Trent was shaped by the management of Francisco Torres, Alfonso Salmerón and Diego Laínez, three prominent Jesuits; Pedro Guerrero, the bishop of Granada, was the main exponent of practical norms; The inspiration for the council’s philosophy, on the other hand, came from Cardillo de Villalpando, an important theologian from Spain.
The last meeting of the Council of Trent was held in the time of Pope Pius IV. Throughout all those years, decisions of the utmost importance were made for the Catholic Church, and one of the most relevant was increasing the requirements of excellence for candidates for the bishopric: bishops should have impeccable conduct, a record free of any attitude immoral and a very high theoretical level.
To achieve this last objective, seminaries were created especially dedicated to the education of future priests. Other highlights were the requirement of clerical celibacy, the imposition of bishops to reside in their dioceses, and the inability to accumulate benefits. The Council of Trent also imposed the need for the Church to mediate to achieve the salvation of the human being and reaffirmed the position of the Pope as the highest authority.