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COUNCIL – A group of Christians gathered to deliberate and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to administer the Church and decide on various doctrinal, moral, and liturgical questions. The Orthodox Church is conciliar (operating by councils) on all levels, from a parish to a worldwide council. While councils are not seen as infallible, their decisions become part of Church life when they are received by the entire Church. Besides the Jerusalem Council recorded in Acts 15, the Church counts Seven Ecumenical Councils in her history.

Besides the seven ecumenical councils, there are other local church councils whose decisions have also received the approval of all Orthodox Churches in the world, and so are considered to be genuine expressions of the Orthodox faith and life. The decisions of these councils are mostly of a moral or structural character. Nevertheless, they too reveal the teaching of the Orthodox Church.