[Ecumenical] Councils were convened by the Roman Emperor, beginning with Constantine the Great, in coordination with the Roman Patriarchates of Elder Rome, New Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and finally Jerusalem by 451. These Councils are (1) Nicea 325, (2) Constantinople 381, (3) Ephesus 431, (4) Chalcedon 451, (5) Constantinople 553, (6) Constantinople 680, (7) Nicea 786/7, (8) Constantinople 879 and (9) Constantinople 1341. We have here Eight Ecumenical Councils which were promulgated as Roman Law by the signature of the Emperor after their minutes had been signed by the Five Roman Patriarchates and their Metropolitans and bishops. Then we have the Ninth Ecumenical Council of 1341, whose minutes were signed by only Four Roman Patriarchates and countersigned by the Roman Emperor. Gone was now the Patriarchate of Elder Rome which had been forcefully captured by the Franks, Lombards, Germans and with the help of the Normans. This struggle began in intensity in 983 and was consummated in 1009-1046. After 1045 the Popes of Rome, except for Benedict X (1058-9), were no longer Romans, but members of the Franco-Latin nobility who enslaved the Roman population.
Fr. John Romanides