Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Council, a meeting together for consultation, and also the body of persons so meeting. There are almost as many councils, therefore, as there are human interests that need mutual consultation. A special use of the word is to denote ecclesiastical consultations, which may be diocesan, provincial, national, general, or oecumenical. Those only which were general or oecumenical are of permanent importance, the difference between them being that those only whose decisions have met with universal acceptance are called oecumenical. While the English Church only allows the first four general councils to be of binding authority, the Greek Church admits seven, from the 1st of Niceea in 325 to the 7th of Niceea in 787, and the Roman Church regards as authoritative, in addition to these, the five Lateran councils, the Council of Trent (1545-1563), and the Vatican Council which met at Rome in 1869, and whose session is not yet terminated. To be made a member of the Sovereign's Privy Council is one of the highest, honours an English subject can receive, though in the majority of cases the appointment is only complimentary, since few are called upon to take part in deliberation.