Decree enacted by the Council of Constance in 1417, requiring the pope to convene another general council within five years, a second one seven years after the first, and then a council every 10 years. This decree was a deliberate attempt to limit the autocratic power of the popes and to introduce the general council as a representative assembly expressing the general interests of the entire Christian community. It was inspired by the principles of Conciliarism. Although the pope elected at Constance, Martin V, pledged to observe the decree and did actually summon councils in 1423 and 1431, the papacy remained profoundly hostile to this effort to make the council a permanent element in the constitution of the church. After the failure of the Council of Basel, later popes denied the validity of this decree and summoned councils only when they wanted to.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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