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89. Who presided at the Council of Nicaea? Were they Catholic Bishops or Evangelical Ministers?


On Facebook there are many adversarial groups speaking against the Catholic Church.  One individual, in one of these groups, puts forth this historical question.

“I would ask our Romanist visitors to name, please, a single bishop at the Council of Nicaea who believed as the Pope believes on each of these topics: Marian dogmas (Perpetual Virginity, ...Immaculate Conception, Bodily Assumption), Papal Authority (infallibility), Purgatory, transubstantiation?”   

What he doesn’t seem to realize is that in asking this question this way, he is unwittingly testifying to the fact that the Catholic Church is the Church of history.  Notice that he is not talking about Evangelical Baptists meeting in a Protestant council. He is talking about a Catholic Council with Catholic Bishops.  I am sure he didn’t mean to inadvertently testify to the fact that the historical Church is in fact Catholic.  Apparently he didn’t like the fact that I pointed this out and his response was to kick me out of the group. 

As far as the topics he mentions, they were not dealt with at Nicaea.   They were dealing with the nature of God, the Arian heresy, the day we celebrate Easter and other related topics.   I also asked him a question using some of his own language.  “I would ask our Evangelical visitors to name please, a single Baptist minister at the council of Nicaea who believed in such topics such as faith alone, Bible alone or grace alone?”  

He had no answer because these topics were not discussed and the attendees were not Baptist ministers.  Neither were any of these topics discussed in the first Church Council in Jerusalem mentioned in Acts 15.  They were dealing with works of the Law and whether it was necessary to be circumcised in order to be saved. But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will (Acts 15:11). 

This again is why, when I studied the Church through its adversaries, I became even more Catholic.  They could criticize my Catholic Church for historical Church councils, because they existed. However, I couldn’t criticize their councils since they did not exist and so the various non-Catholic and Evangelical churches could not have been the Church of history.  They have a real problem when they talk about the Church between Biblical times and the time of Martin Luther.  How do you talk about the Church without using the word Catholic?  

“To be deep in History is to cease to be Protestant” CARDINAL JOHN HENRY NEWMAN