Ferrara, Council of

Ferrara, Council Of

(Concilium Ferrariense), falsely styled oecumenical. Eugene VI having published a bull Sept. 18, 1437, for the transfer of the Council of Basle (q.v.) to Ferrara, a few bishops and abbots assembled Jan. 8, 1438, viz. cardinal Julian, who presided, five archbishops, eighteen bishops, ten abbots, and some generals of the monastic orders; of these bishops only four had left the Council of Basle, which continued its sitting, justly regarding the pope's bull as illegal, and passing sentence of suspension on him Jan. 24, 1438. Charles VII, indeed, forbade any of his subjects to attend at Ferrara. On Jan. 10 the first sitting was held, in which the translation of the council from Basle was pronounced to be canonical, and therefore the oecumenical Council of Ferrara lawfully assembled. Pope Eugene presided in the second session, March 15, at the head of seventy- two bishops, and promulgated a decree against the fathers at Basle. The Greek emperor, John Manuel Paleologus, and the patriarch of Constantinople, Joseph II,, arrived Feb. 9 at Venice, and were received with great pomp, together with Mark, archbishop of Ephesus; twenty-one other prelates (among whom was Isidore, a Russian bishop, and Bessarion of Nicaea), and other ecclesiastics, amounting in all to seven hundred persons. Before holding the first session with the Greeks, a scheme was drawn up of the different questions to be debated: 1. The procession of the Holy Spirit; 2. the addition -"filioque" to the creed; 3. purgatory, and the intermediate state; 4. the use of unleavened bread in the holy Eucharist; 5. the authority of the Roman see and the primacy of the pope. These questions were debated in thirteen sessions, up to the sixteenth, Jan. 10, 1439, when it was proposed to transfer the council from Ferrara to Florence, and, this being agreed to, publication was made of the change.-- Labbe, Concil. 13:1-222, 825-1031; Landon, Manual of Councils, p. 242; Mosheim, Ch. Hist. cent. 15:pt. ii, ch. ii, § 13; Mansi, t. 29:xxxi; Ffoulkes, Christendom's Divisions, Lond. 1867, pt. ii, ch. vii. SEE FLORENCE, COUNCIL OF.

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