EWTN Catholic Q&A
Pastoral vs. Doctrinal Council
Question from Anthony on 04-03-2006:

Would you please give the specific differences between a pastoral ecumenincal council, and a doctrinal ecumenical council. Vatican 2 was pastoral, and all previous ecumenical councils were doctrinal. Please tell me what canon law has to say. Thank you.

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 04-04-2006:

This is a line of balony. There is no such distinction.

The Second Vatican Council was an ecumenical council. It issued both DOGMATIC constitutions and PASTORAL constitutions, as well as DECREES and DECLARATIONS. It was both doctrinal and pastoral.