Convened by Pope Martin V, the council opened on 23 July 1431 in Basel, where the first 25 sessions took place until 7 May 1437. Fearful of the conciliarist turn that was emerging, the new Pope Eugene IV decided to move it to a nearer and more controllable area. On 18 September 1437, the new phase of the council thus opened in Ferrara, while the conciliarists who remained in Basel declared Eugene IV decayed and elected in his place, as anti-pope, the Duke of Savoy Amadeus VIII under the name of Felix V (who would spontaneously put down the tiara only in 1449). The council remained in Ferrara until 1 January 1438. From there – partly because of an epidemic that struck Ferrara – it was transferred to Florence on 16 January 1439. The last phase of the council was held in Rome from 25 April 1442. The first goal of the Council consisted of the unification between the Latin and Orthodox Churches. The results of the council were not ratified: pressures from the Byzantine communities and a general hostility from the anti-Latin front led many of the countersigners of the unionist pact to retract. The emperor did not ratify the agreement, and only his successor, Constantine XI, promulgated it in 1452. A few months later, Constantinople fell into the hands of the Ottomans. In 1472, a synod held in Constantinople rejected the union of Churches.
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