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This post is somewhat related to On the End of the Patristic Era as Considered by the Catholic Church

The First Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church was the Council of Nicea in 325.

Did any of the Fathers of the Church (say, from the Apostolic Fathers up to St. John Damascene in the 8th century) have anything to say about the authority of Ecumenical Councils? If so, what? Did any Church Fathers deny the authority of such councils?

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Remark: According to CHURCH FATHERS (36) – Rufinus of Aquileia Tyrannius Rufinus is a Father of the Catholic Church.

The following is taken from St. Francis de Sales' The Catholic Controversy. The excerpts are from the Chapter on "How Holy and Sacred is the Authority of Universal Councils"---

Athanasius says (ad Episc. Afric.)} that "the word of the Lord by the Ecumenical Council of Nice remains for ever."

S. Gregory Nazianzen, speaking of the Apollinarists who boasted of having been recognised by a Catholic council:---"If either now," says he, (ad Chelid.) "or formerly, they have been received, let them prove it and we will agree, for it will be clear that they assent to the right doctrine, and it cannot be otherwise."

S. Augustine says (de Bap. Contra Don. i.) that the celebrated question about Baptism pressed by the Donatists made some Bishops doubt, "until the whole world in plenary council formulated beyond all doubt what was most wholesomely believed."

"The decision of the priestly Council (of Nice)," says Rufinus (i.), "is conveyed to Constantine. He venerates it as settled by God, in such sense that if any one were to oppose it he would be working his own destruction, as opposing himself to God."

And I would like to point out that the author (Doctor of the Church) St. Francis de Sales (though not a Church Father), adds: "But if any one supposes that because he can produce analogies, texts of Scripture, Greek and Hebrew words, he is therefore allowed to make doubtful again what has already been determined by General Councils, he must bring patents from heaven duly signed and sealed, or else he must admit that anybody else may do as he does, that everything is at the mercy of our rash speculations, that everything is uncertain and subject to the variety of the judgments and considerations of men. The Wise Man gives us other counsel: Eccles. xii. 11, 12. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails deeply fastened in, which by the counsel of masters are given from one shepherd. More than these, my son, require not."

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