a meeting of the bishops of the world
a Roman Catholic kind of procedure
a synod of the whole church
(or Oecumenical Council) - A gathering to which all of the bishops of the whole inhabited world (in Greek, " oikumene") are called to address the common needs and concerns of the entire Church militant here in earth. To date, there have been seven ecumenical councils: Nicea (325), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431), Chalcedon (451), Constantinople (553), Constantinople (690), Nicea (787). There have, of course, been no ecumenical councils since the schism between the Eastern and Western churches in 1054; certain councils of the Western church (including four held at the Lateran Palace in Rome) are sometimes, but inaccurately, called "ecumenical."
In Christianity, a worldwide gathering of leaders of the Christian church convened to rule on teachings within the church.
An assembly of representatives of the Church legally convoked for the settlement of ecclesiastical affairs, formulating dogmas and making rules of faith and morals. Seven Ecumenical Councils are recognized by the Orthodox Church.
church assembly theoretically representing all catholic countries and peoples, but that ideal was not achieved at the Lateran Council (1512-1517) nor at the Council of Trent (1545-1563). (p. 458)