On the Place of the Gospels at the Ecumenical Councils

Fr. Georges Florovsky 1893-1979

With so much controversy over who presided at the Ecumenical Councils, with so much written on that subject, one reality is often lostneglected, or forgotten. In the middle of the assembled clergy something special lay upon a desk or table. That something special held a special place and had a special significance at all councils. On that desk or table lay an open copy of the Gospels. It was there not only as a symbol but also as a reminder of the real presence of Christ in accordance with His promise that where two or three are gathered together in His name, He will be present. In a very real sense it was the presence of the open Gospel, which presided. Christ is the Truth. The source and the criterion of the truth of Christianity is the Divine Revelation, in both the apostolic deposit and in the Holy Scriptures. (The Byzantine Fathers of the Fifth Century)