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Author Topic: Theological Differences Between Assyro-Chaldean and Greek Catholics  (Read 29965 times) Average Rating: 0
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ronyodish
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« on: June 12, 2008, 03:18:18 AM »

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I consider Ronyodish to be a Latinized Easterner.

Apotheoun,

Now, that is not a fair statement.  Just because I am not a Greek-Catholic, and therefore do not express the Faith in accordance with Byzantine theology, does not make me a Latinized Easterner.

I am an Eastern Chaldean Catholic.  I try to express the Faith in accordance with the Assyro-Chaldean tradition.  The East is more than Byzantine, my brother.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2008, 06:21:09 AM »

Yes, and based upon your comments at CAF, and your failure to distinguish between the Spirit's origin from the Father, and His manifestation from the Father through the Son, we do not share a common faith.
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2008, 07:48:24 AM »

Quote from: ronyodish
Quote from: Apotheoun
Quote from: ronyodish
Quote from: Apotheoun
The book you referenced (i.e., "Three Letters of Philoxenus") says that the Spirit ". . . is also men keyana, that is, that He proceeds from the nature of the Father and the Son" (page 76), but this teaching is problematic, because the Spirit's subsistent procession, according to the Cappadocians (and the other Eastern Fathers), is from the Father personally, and not from the divine essence.  Now, if one holds that the Holy Spirit proceeds existentially from the nature common to the Father and the Son, it follows that the Holy Spirit proceeds existentially from Himself, because the divine nature is also common to Him, which is utter nonsense; or it means that He does not have the same nature as the Father and the Son, which means that He is not true God.

That said, . . . if your views are an accurate representation of your particular sui juris Church's position, I would have to say that we do not share a common faith as it concerns the Trinity.
Todd,

Before I discuss this, I want to ask you a question on this following statement on the Son, in that, He is:

Son of the nature of His Father

Would you say that this statement is heretical?

God bless,
Rony
Yes it is heretical, because the Son is not the Son of the divine nature, but of the person of the Father, who communicates His nature to the Son.

In looking at more of your posts in that thread, I am concerned that we do not share the same Triadological faith.
Todd,

Did you read these posts?

http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=3716713&postcount=336

http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=3723429&postcount=350

If so, do you still consider the statement heretical?

God bless,
Rony
I read both comments and because you fail to distinguish between the Spirit's hypostatic procession of origin (i.e., His ekporeusis), which is from the Father alone as sole font of divinity, and the Spirit's progression (proienai) as energy, but not as person, which is from the Father through the Son, I can say unequivocally that you and I do not share a common Trinitarian faith.

The Spirit can never be said to proceed from or of the essence that is common to the Father and the Son, because the divine essence is common to all three persons, and not merely to the Father and the Son, and to say otherwise is to posit two God's (i.e., the Father and the Son taken together, and the Spirit taken alone as essentially distinct from them).  Moreover, if you try to avoid ditheism by saying that the Father and the Son share a common essence, and that the Spirit proceeds (ekporeusis) from that common essence, which is also His essence, that would be like saying that the Spirit as person proceeds from Himself, which is utter nonsense.  Now, if you, and all Chaldeans (i.e., if your comments are truly representative of the Chaldean tradition), really hold to these theological ideas, it follows that you (and all Chaldeans) are making the same Sabellian error as the Scholastics on this issue, and I cannot in good faith assent to anything that confuses the Spirit's procession (ekporeusis) of origin from the Father alone, with His manifestation (phanerosis) or progression (proienai) as energy from the Father through the Son.  His procession of origin and His manifestation are two distinct realities, which if confused lead to either Sabellian modalism or ditheism (or even tritheism) depending upon the particular circumstances of the case.

Ultimately, your comments appear to negate the Cappadocian principle that anything common to two persons of the Trinity is by definition common to all three, because anything common is by its very nature essential to God, while anything unique, is absolutely unique to one, and only one hypostasis, for to say otherwise is to confuse the three divine persons with the divine nature or essence (see St. Basil's – actually his brother St. Gregory's – Letter number 38).

Now I will address some of your specific comments.

You said:
Quote
But, we also certainly make a distinction between the Son and the Father, the Son has His own Divine Qnoma (particular or singular Nature/Essence), and the Father has His own Divine Qnoma, though both are of one inseparable Divine Nature/Essence (the Divine Kyana).

The Son does not have His own particular nature / essence, but is one in nature / essence with the Father, receiving the divine essence from the Father alone through generation (gennasin).  The Son is only distinct as person (hypostasis and prosopon), and His hypostasis is eternally caused by the Father alone as the sole personal font of divinity.

Then you also said: 
Quote
ܒܸܪ bir - Son
ܕܸܟܝܵܢܵܐ di-kyana - of the nature (or essence)
ܕܒܵܒܹܗ d-babeh - of His Father
The essence here referring to the general essence (or kyana in Eastern Aramaic).
What do you think?

I do not agree, the Son is generated by the Father personally, that is, the Son is from the Father's person, receiving in the process the common divine nature / essence.  Generation (and procession) are personal properties proper to the Father's hypostasis and not to the common (what you called "general") divine essence.  Once again your comments betray a confusion of person (hypostasis and prosopon) and essence (ousia), which – as I see it – is nothing more than a form of Sabellianism. 

Essences do not act in any sense, only persons act.

To continue with the comments from your public posts at CAF:
Quote
Likewise, in the Incarnation, we make a distinction between Christ's Human Qnoma, and the human Qnome of other men, even though both Christ and other men are one by Human Nature/Essence (the Human Kyana). Of course, the other difference between Christ and other men is that Christ is a Unity of the Divine and Human, God and Man, in one Parsopa (Person).

Sadly, based upon the above comment, you appear to be embracing a form of the heresy of Nestorianism.  Christ is not a human person (prosopon or hypostasis) at all, but is a divine person (prosopon and hypostasis) who has assumed a complete human nature (ousia or physis).

The Byzantine tradition, following the teaching of the Cappdocians, holds that a prosopic (to use the Greek term) distinction between the Father, Son, and Spirit, taken alone is insufficient to safeguard the distinct reality of the persons, and that a hypostatic distinction (i.e., a distinction of hypostases) is also necessary in order to avoid Sabellian modalism in Triadology and Nestorianism in Christology.  In the Trinity hypostasis / prosopon together distinguish the persons, while that which is common is ascribed to the divine essence (ousia) or nature (physis) alone.  Energy is also common to the persons, because it is the essential energy of the Trinity, and in this sense it is singular, but it is manifest in multiform fashion because it is enacted by the persons in distinct ways, and that is why the divine energies are not merely essential, but are also enhypostatic.

Next you said: 
Quote
The Qnoma of the Father is the eternal cause/source of the Kyana of the Trinity, and the eternal cause/source of the Qnoma of the Son and the Qnoma of the Holy Spirit. Son of the nature of His Father means one in the Divine Kyana.

Now if Qnoma meant hypostasis, this statement would be orthodox, but since you seem to connect it to a concept of "singular" essence, which ultimately is a confused notion that appears basically Sabellian and Nestorian, I cannot hold the comment to be truly Orthodox.  The Son is not the Son of the divine essence, but is the Son of the Father, who – as the Father’s Son – is proper to the divine essence because He is generated (gennesin) from the Father’s person.

You then go on to say:
Quote
My understanding of the eternal generation of the Son and eternal procession of the Holy Spirit is in this way:
- The Qnoma of the Son eternally receives the Kyana and Qnoma of the Father.
- The Qnoma of the Holy Spirit eternally receives the Kyana and Qnoma of the Father from/by/through the Qnoma of the Son.

But this comment fails to really take into account my ongoing criticism of your position, since you have – all throughout your posts – failed to make a real distinction between the Spirit's hypostatic procession of origin (i.e., His ekporeusis) from the person of the Father alone, and His progression (proienai) or manifestation (phanerosis) not as person (hypostasis or prosopon), but as energy, which is from the Father through the Son.  The Son is not a cause within the Godhead, nor do the Father and the Son share a common nature that is somehow separate or different than the nature of the Holy Spirit, for that would lead to ditheism.  Now, even if I were to reinterpret your last bullet point in an Orthodox fashion, I would still have to say that the comment is false, because the Spirit does not receive His existence from or through the Son, but is only made manifest through the Son, not as person, but as energy.  Thus, based on everything that you have said so far, I do not believe that we share a common Triadological faith, and – in fact – some of your more recent comments make me believe that we also do not share a common Christological faith.

Todd
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2008, 12:32:56 PM »

What happened to my post in which I defended myself against Apotheoun's statement that I was a Latinized Easterner?

Mods, if you're going to delete my post which was a charitable response to Apotheoun, and not in contradiction to the rules of this forum, then at least delete Apotheoun's post about me as well.

I haven't been given a reason for the deletion of my post.  I merely stated that I did not not think Apotheoun's statement on me was a fair statement, and that since I'm not a Greek-Catholic, then I don't express the Faith in accordance with Byzantine theology, and so I can not be accused of being a Latinized Easterner just because I'm not a Byzantine.

I also stated that I am a Eastern Chaldean Catholic, and that I try to express the Faith in accordance with the Assyro-Chaldean tradition, and that the East is more than just Byzantine.

What rules does this post break, so as to have it deleted with no explanation?

Rony
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2008, 12:41:43 PM »

What happened to my post in which I defended myself against Apotheoun's statement that I was a Latinized Easterner?

Mods, if you're going to delete my post which was a charitable response to Apotheoun, and not in contradiction to the rules of this forum, then at least delete Apotheoun's post about me as well.

I haven't been given a reason for the deletion of my post.  I merely stated that I did not not think Apotheoun's statement on me was a fair statement, and that since I'm not a Greek-Catholic, then I don't express the Faith in accordance with Byzantine theology, and so I can not be accused of being a Latinized Easterner just because I'm not a Byzantine.

I also stated that I am a Eastern Chaldean Catholic, and that I try to express the Faith in accordance with the Assyro-Chaldean tradition, and that the East is more than just Byzantine.

What rules does this post break, so as to have it deleted with no explanation?

Rony


Actually, it's board policy not to delete posts, even at user request, except in cases of inadvertent double posting.  Every once in a while, we'll have database issues that result in lost post, but the moderators do not remove posts.
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2008, 12:43:51 PM »

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Actually, it's board policy not to delete posts, even at user request, except in cases of inadvertent double posting.  Every once in a while, we'll have database issues that result in lost post, but the moderators do not remove posts.

Oh ok, I was just confused.  Thanks for the clarification.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2008, 01:07:08 PM »

I just found out via PM that my post was moved here.  Mods, the last two posts of mine that have been merged to this thread are redundant, since I can see now my original posting. I don't see the reason for my last two posts to be merged here, but if you want to keep them it's up to you.  If it is possible to put a link in the original thread that points to this thread, I would appreciate it, but if not that's ok.

I will look into Apotheoun's statements shortly.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2008, 01:15:47 PM »

I just found out via PM that my post was moved here.  Mods, the last two posts of mine that have been merged to this thread are redundant, since I can see now my original posting. I don't see the reason for my last two posts to be merged here, but if you want to keep them it's up to you.  If it is possible to put a link in the original thread that points to this thread, I would appreciate it, but if not that's ok.

I will look into Apotheoun's statements shortly.

God bless,

Rony

I have added a note in Apotheoun's post in the old thread referring to the fact that it is responded to in this thread:
See: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13287.msg235494.html#msg235494

George
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2008, 01:18:41 PM »

Thanks George.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2008, 03:30:54 PM »

Quote
Yes, and based upon your comments at CAF, and your failure to distinguish between the Spirit's origin from the Father, and His manifestation from the Father through the Son, we do not share a common faith.

Apotheoun,

Since you still maintain, after my objection, that I am a Latinized Easterner, then I consider you to be a Triumphalist Easterner, and that you are a proponent of Byzantine Uniformity, in that, your attitude is one of uniforming all Eastern Catholics into expressing the Faith in accordance with Byzantine theology.  I see no difference between you and a Latin Triumphalist.  I reject your uniformest mentality, and I accept the concept of pluriformity of complementary theologies in the Catholic Communion of Churches.  If you retract your statement towards me, then I will retract this my statement towards you, otherwise this is my response to your statement.

My comments at CAF are fine, as I try to explain the Faith from an Assyro-Chaldean theological perspective in as much as I know, and in as much as I do my research.  As far as the last part of your sentence, I explained that the Father is the origin of the Son and the Spirit, and that the Son receives from the Father the Kyana of the Trinity and the Qnoma of the Father, and that the Spirit receives from the Father the Kyana of the Trinity and the Qnoma of the Father from/by/through the Qnoma of the Son.  If this is a failure to you, and if this means to you that we do not have the same Faith, then there is nothing I can do about it.  This is my understanding so far, as I continue to do more theological research.  I do think that this is an allowable difference among the Catholic theologies, and not an obstacle to the essence of the Faith.

We believe essentially, as Mar Odisho teaches, that the "The Mind (the Church) has called Father and Begetter, because He is the Cause of all, and First. The Son (She) has called Wisdom and Begotten, because He is begotten of the Mind, and by Him everything was made and created. The Life (She) has called, the Holy Spirit and Proceeding, because there is no other Holy Spirit but He" (Book of Marganitha, Part I, Chapter V).  I think we can at least agree that this the essence of the Faith, despite the theological elaborations that are based on it.

I will look at your other statements shortly, but I might not finish it today.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2008, 03:57:26 PM »

Sorry if my post offends you, but your theology involves a confusion of the divine persons and the divine essence, and that is why I see it as basically Sabellian / Nestorian.  If my comments appear triumphalist to you, so be it. 

Based upon your comments up to this point I can only say that we do not share a common Trinitarian and Christological faith.
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2008, 04:38:30 PM »

Quote
Sorry if my post offends you, but your theology involves a confusion of the divine persons and the divine essence, and that is why I see it as basically Sabellian / Nestorian.  If my comments appear triumphalist to you, so be it.

Based upon your comments up to this point I can only say that we do not share a common Trinitarian and Christological faith.

Apotheoun,

If you would wait a little bit, I will go through your posts.  I will be explaining you that unlike Byzantine theology, we do not in our theology just have Divine Persons and a Divine Essence, rather, we have a "tripartite" of Kyana (general essence), Qnome (singular/individuated, but not personalized essences), and a Parsopa (Person).

Just give me some time.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2008, 04:50:32 PM »

Apotheoun,

If you would wait a little bit, I will go through your posts.  I will be explaining you that unlike Byzantine theology, we do not in our theology just have Divine Persons and a Divine Essence, rather, we have a "tripartite" of Kyana (general essence), Qnome (singular/individuated, but not personalized essences), and a Parsopa (Person).

Just give me some time.

God bless,

Rony

It might be better to either start a new thread or rename this one, since the issue is not "Latinization" but rather a difference in theology between Eastern & Oriental Catholics.
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2008, 04:52:24 PM »

Rony,

Clearly, you have all the time in the world to post a response.

The Cappadocians also have a tripartite structure:  essence ( which corresponds to nature), energy, and hypostasis (which corresponds to face or person).

With the foregoing information in mind, unity in God corresponds to ousia / physis (essence / nature), which is common to the three divine hypostaseis, while distinction corresponds to hypostasis / prosopon (subsistence / face or person).

That said, I am concerned by what you have posted so far, because it appears to have affinities with the theology of Sabellius and the christology of Nestorius.  
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2008, 04:58:25 PM »

It might be better to either start a new thread or rename this one, since the issue is not "Latinization" but rather a difference in theology between Eastern & Oriental Catholics.
I would support the name change, because as I related to you in a message earlier:

Quote
It is not my intention to offend anyone, and if in my posts with Ronyodish I have in any way offended against the rules of this forum, my posts should simply be censored or deleted.  I wish to remain charitable to Rony, while also stating firmly why I do not accept his position as Orthodox.

Finally, it could be that I have mistaken some of his comments for Latinizations when in fact they are simply erroneous and cannot be conformed to the Orthodox faith as expressed by the Cappadocian Fathers.

God bless,
Todd (a.k.a. Apotheoun)
**The italicized portions of the quote above have been amended for the sake of clarity.

Apotheoun
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2008, 08:42:33 PM »

Quote
I read both comments and because you fail to distinguish between the Spirit's hypostatic procession of origin (i.e., His ekporeusis), which is from the Father alone as sole font of divinity, and the Spirit's progression (proienai) as energy, but not as person, which is from the Father through the Son, I can say unequivocally that you and I do not share a common Trinitarian faith.

Apotheoun,

Mar Odisho says "Now in the manner of the soul which is possessed of three-fold energy; mind, word, and life, and is one and not three; even so should we conceive of the THREE IN ONE, ONE IN THREE" (Book of Marganitha, Part I, Chapter V).  The three-fold energy are the 3 Qnome, (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in one Kyana (general essence).  We equate energy with Qnoma, and so an energetic progression is the same as a Qnomic procession.  We do not make a distinction between one procession as Qnoma, and another progression as Energy.

In other words, we do not have "Essence, Energy, and a Triad of Hypostases" as Greek Theology teaches.  We have one Kyana, and a Tleethayutha (Triad, Trinity) of Qnome (= three-fold energy).  One in three, three in One.  That is my understanding so far.

Quote
The Spirit can never be said to proceed from or of the essence that is common to the Father and the Son, because the divine essence is common to all three persons, and not merely to the Father and the Son, and to say otherwise is to posit two God's (i.e., the Father and the Son taken together, and the Spirit taken alone as essentially distinct from them).  Moreover, if you try to avoid ditheism by saying that the Father and the Son share a common essence, and that the Spirit proceeds (ekporeusis) from that common essence, which is also His essence, that would be like saying that the Spirit as person proceeds from Himself, which is utter nonsense.  Now, if you, and all Chaldeans (i.e., if your comments are truly representative of the Chaldean tradition), really hold to these theological ideas, it follows that you (and all Chaldeans) are making the same Sabellian error as the Scholastics on this issue, and I cannot in good faith assent to anything that confuses the Spirit's procession (ekporeusis) of origin from the Father alone, with His manifestation (phanerosis) or progression (proienai) as energy from the Father through the Son.  His procession of origin and His manifestation are two distinct realities, which if confused lead to either Sabellian modalism or ditheism (or even tritheism) depending upon the particular circumstances of the case.

As I explained, the way we understand "The Holy Spirit's Procession from the Father" means the Holy Spirit receives from the Father, the Divine Kyana and the Father's Qnoma, from/by/through the Qnoma of the Son.  This is the same meaning of the phrase "Dmin Abba w-abra" (from the Father and the Son) used by our Council of Seleucia, and I see the same meaning in Philoxenus Of Mabbug when he says "min kyana d-abba w-abra" (from the essence of Father and Son).  Don't read too much into it.  We do not posit two Gods, and the Spirit as a third inferior God.  We do say that the Spirit is distinct from the Father, and distinct from the Son, but we do not say that the Spirit is separated from the Father, and separated from the Son.  There is one God.

We do not make a Sabellian error simply for the fact that Sabellian modalism is Unitarian, and not Trinitarian.  In Sabellianism, there is no distinction between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  We, however, do confess a Trinitarian God, a God of three Qnome.  Each Qnoma is individuated but not separated from the other.

Quote
Ultimately, your comments appear to negate the Cappadocian principle that anything common to two persons of the Trinity is by definition common to all three, because anything common is by its very nature essential to God, while anything unique, is absolutely unique to one, and only one hypostasis, for to say otherwise is to confuse the three divine persons with the divine nature or essence (see St. Basil's – actually his brother St. Gregory's – Letter number 38).

Anything common to the two Qnome is common to all three (Divine Kyana), I have no disagreement with that.  Anything unique is unique to eachQnoma (Begetter, Begotten, Proceeding), again no disagreement here.  No confusion between the Kyana and Qnome.  By the way, we read mostly the Aramaic Fathers for our primary theology, and any Greek works that have been translated by our Fathers into Aramaic, we read them.

Quote
The Son does not have His own particular nature / essence, but is one in nature / essence with the Father, receiving the divine essence from the Father alone through generation (gennasin).  The Son is only distinct as person (hypostasis and prosopon), and His hypostasis is eternally caused by the Father alone as the sole personal font of divinity.

According to our theology, the Son has His own particular/individuated/singular essence, which we call Qnoma.  He is one in Kyana (Divine Essence) with the Father.  He receives from the Father, through eternal generation, both the Divine Essence of the Trinity and the Father's Qnoma.  The Son is distinct as Qnoma, and His Qnoma is eternally caused by the Father alone (Since the Father is the cause of all).

Quote
I do not agree, the Son is generated by the Father personally, that is, the Son is from the Father's person, receiving in the process the common divine nature / essence.  Generation (and procession) are personal properties proper to the Father's hypostasis and not to the common (what you called "general") divine essence.  Once again your comments betray a confusion of person (hypostasis and prosopon) and essence (ousia), which – as I see it – is nothing more than a form of Sabellianism.

"Bir d-kyana d-babeh" is the equivalent of "homoousious" for you guys.  This is how we speak in the Creed, which literally is interpreted "Son of the essence of His father", which we equivalently interpret as "One in essence with the Father".  In this part of the Creed, we're simply saying that the Son is one with the Father by Kyana.

In the earlier part of the Creed, we say the Son is "the only Son of God and First-Born of all creatures, who was begotten from his Father before all the ages and was not made", and this is the specific reference to the Son being eternally generated from the Father.  I agree that the Son is from the Father's Qnoma (which is your hypostasis, or the English "person", though this is an English limitation, and does not convey the full sense of Qnoma which is distinct from the term Parsopa-Person.  Its ok, though not preferred, in the Trinity, but specifically in the Incarnation we definitely don't equate the terms Qnoma with Parsopa-Person).

I agree that generation and procession is the Father's, that is why I spoke earlier of the Son being eternally generated from the Father, which means to me that the Son eternally receives from the Father the Divine Kyana and Qnome of the Father, and the "Holy Spirit's procession from the Father", means that that Holy Spirit eternally receives from the Father, the Divine Kyana and the Father's Qnoma by the Qnoma of the Son.

We don't equate the Parsopa (what you call prosopon) with the Qnoma (what you call hypostasis).  This is what I meant by a "tripartite" in the above post in that we have Kyana (what you call Ousia), Qnoma, and Parsopa, and each means something.  Kyana as the General Essence, Qnoma as the individuated essence, and Parsopa as the Person.

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Essences do not act in any sense, only persons act.

The Father (who is subject of His Qnoma) acts, the Son (who in the Trinity is subject of His Divine Qnoma, and in the Incarnation as Parsopa subject of His Divine Qnoma and Human Qnoma) acts, and the Holy Spirit (who is subject of His Qnoma) acts.  In other words, The Divine Kyana does not act.

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Sadly, based upon the above comment, you appear to be embracing a form of the heresy of Nestorianism.  Christ is not a human person (prosopon or hypostasis) at all, but is a divine person (prosopon and hypostasis) who has assumed a complete human nature (ousia or physis).

The Byzantine tradition, following the teaching of the Cappdocians, holds that a prosopic (to use the Greek term) distinction between the Father, Son, and Spirit, taken alone is insufficient to safeguard the distinct reality of the persons, and that a hypostatic distinction (i.e., a distinction of hypostases) is also necessary in order to avoid Sabellian modalism in Triadology and Nestorianism in Christology.  In the Trinity hypostasis / prosopon together distinguish the persons, while that which is common is ascribed to the divine essence (ousia) or nature (physis) alone.  Energy is also common to the persons, because it is the essential energy of the Trinity, and in this sense it is singular, but it is manifest in multiform fashion because it is enacted by the persons in distinct ways, and that is why the divine energies are not merely essential, but are also enhypostatic.

The understanding of the Church of the East as regards the Incarnation is as follows:

In Christ, there are two Kyane (General Essences), two Qnome (Individuated, but not personalized Essences) in one Parsopa (Person).  This theology has been declared orthodox in the Common Christological Declaration between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East.  Here is a diagram that explains it, and which led to the acceptance of this theology as orthodox:


This is not Nestorianism, in how this has been defined through the centuries.  Nestorianism has been known to mean that Christ is two Parsope-Persons, the Parsopa of the Son in a moral union with the Parsopa of a Man, thus diving and separating Christ.  This is not what the Church of the East teaches, in that there is only one Person in Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ, a true inseparable and indivisible Union between the Son and a Human Qnoma, therefore the One Person, the Lord Jesus Christ was born, and the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross. 

So, we say that the Son did not merely assume the concept of the general human essence (Kyana), but that He assumed a real humanity (a particular human body and a human soul - Qnoma), and united it to His Divine Qnoma, and was born as the one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, with division, without separation, without confusion, and without change.

I have no problem with the way you explain your Byzantine theology, as I do not consider it heretical, but I am required to accept the way the Faith is expressed by my particular Church of the East.  I can not always make you understand or make the equivalents of how you describe the Faith using your Greek theology, and in those instances that I try, I may miss something or make something sound heretical to you (thus having labeled me and my tradition as Latinized, Sabbelian, and Nestorian).  The Fact that we are in full communion presupposes that we have the same Faith, though we do not often fully comprehended each others' expression of the Faith, I trust that our Churches know fully well why they are in full communion with each other, and that the differences in our theologies are no obstacle to full communion.  And, since I'm still studying my heritage, then I might not always give the best explanation of it (and thereby lead you and others to misunderstandings), and so if I truly make a mistake and I find out about it, then I will correct it.

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Now if Qnoma meant hypostasis, this statement would be orthodox, but since you seem to connect it to a concept of "singular" essence, which ultimately is a confused notion that appears basically Sabellian and Nestorian, I cannot hold the comment to be truly Orthodox.  The Son is not the Son of the divine essence, but is the Son of the Father, who – as the Father’s Son – is proper to the divine essence because He is generated (gennesin) from the Father’s person.

In the Trinity, Qnoma is equivalent to your Hypostasis, but not in the Incarnation, because your definition of Hypostasis is that of Person, whereas for us, Qnoma is defined not as Person, but as Singular Essence according to the teaching of Mar Bawai the Great (our Christological Church Father who formulated the Christology of our Church of the East).  So, in order for both of us to be speaking on the same level on the Incarnation, your Single Hypostasis (your One Hypostasis in Two Physis - One Person in Two Natures) would be equivalent to our Single Parsopa (Two Kyane, Two Qnome, One Parsopa - Two General Essences, Two Singular Essences, One Person).  Essentially, you'd be saying that Jesus is One Person, God and Man, and we would be saying the same thing that Jesus is One Person, God and Man.  And since we also both agree that there is no division and no separation in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Quote
But this comment fails to really take into account my ongoing criticism of your position, since you have – all throughout your posts – failed to make a real distinction between the Spirit's hypostatic procession of origin (i.e., His ekporeusis) from the person of the Father alone, and His progression (proienai) or manifestation (phanerosis) not as person (hypostasis or prosopon), but as energy, which is from the Father through the Son.  The Son is not a cause within the Godhead, nor do the Father and the Son share a common nature that is somehow separate or different than the nature of the Holy Spirit, for that would lead to ditheism.  Now, even if I were to reinterpret your last bullet point in an Orthodox fashion, I would still have to say that the comment is false, because the Spirit does not receive His existence from or through the Son, but is only made manifest through the Son, not as person, but as energy.  Thus, based on everything that you have said so far, I do not believe that we share a common Triadological faith, and – in fact – some of your more recent comments make me believe that we also do not share a common Christological faith.

And I have explained above.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2008, 09:08:25 PM »

By the way, there is a typo in the sentence that I wrote which reads "with division, without separation, without confusion, and without change", and should instead read "without division, without separation, without confusion, and without change".

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2008, 09:12:35 PM »

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It might be better to either start a new thread or rename this one, since the issue is not "Latinization" but rather a difference in theology between Eastern & Oriental Catholics.

ozgeorge,

I would support the name change, but its up to you.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2008, 09:17:37 PM »

I would support the name change, but its up to you.

Done!
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« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2008, 09:49:01 PM »

In the Trinity, Qnoma is equivalent to your Hypostasis, but not in the Incarnation, because your definition of Hypostasis is that of Person

Actually, that's not correct. There is a distinction between Hypostasis (Subsistence) and Prosopon (Person).
For instance, a tree has hypostasis, but it has no prosopon.
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« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2008, 09:58:13 PM »

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The Cappadocians also have a tripartite structure:  essence ( which corresponds to nature), energy, and hypostasis (which corresponds to face or person).

Apotheoun,

I'm sorry, I may have confused you here.  That is not what I meant by the "tripartite".  By the tripartite, I meant the terms Kyana, Qnoma, and Parsopa.  We only use Kyana and Qnoma in the Trinity, but we use all three in Christology.  So, to correct my mistake, when I initially mentioned the "tripartite" I was thinking of Christology, while you were thinking of Trinity.  I'm sorry.

When I mentioned "unlike Byzantine theology" I was referring to the Physis (Nature) and Hypostasis/Prosopon (Person) that is used, while we use Kyana (general nature), Qnoma (individuated, but not personalized nature), and Parsopa (Person).  You see, we make a distinction between each of the three, we don't interchange Parsopa with Qnoma, nor Qnoma with Kyana.

And as I mentioned, based on my reading of Mar Odisho (our last great theologian before the decimation of the Church of the East), we equate three-fold energy with the Qnome in the Trinity.

Quote
With the foregoing information in mind, unity in God corresponds to ousia / physis (essence / nature), which is common to the three divine hypostaseis, while distinction corresponds to hypostasis / prosopon (subsistence / face or person).

The is how we would say it:  Unity in God corresponds to Kyana (general essence/nature), which is common to the three divine Qnome, while distinction corresponds to the Qnome (individuated essences/natures)

Quote
That said, I am concerned by what you have posted so far, because it appears to have affinities with the theology of Sabellius and the christology of Nestorius.

And as I mentioned, we do not confuse the Kyana with the Qnome (Sabellian), and we do not accept a two-Person Christ: "a mere man in a moral union with the Word" therefore, we are not Nestorian.  But as far as Nestorius, many of us do not think that he himself was Nestorian, neither do we think that Theodore the Interpreter and Diodore of Tarsus were Nestorians.  I do think that Nestorius made the mistake of speaking against the title: Mother of God, but I do not think His preferred title: Mother of Christ, is in itself heretical.  The Common Christological Declaration says that both Mother of God and Mother of Christ are acceptable titles.  The Assyrians have always confessed:  Mother of Christ, our God and Savior.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2008, 10:01:38 PM »

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Actually, that's not correct. There is a distinction between Hypostasis (Subsistence) and Prosopon (Person).
For instance, a tree has hypostasis, but it has no prosopon.

ozgeorge,

Thanks.  When you say Christ is One Person in Two Natures, how do you put it in Greek (just the terms)?

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2008, 10:04:25 PM »

ozgeorge,

Also, in the Trinity, when you say One Ousia, Three Hypostases, how do you translate this into English?  Do you say One Essence, Three Persons?

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2008, 10:18:45 PM »

Thanks.  When you say Christ is One Person in Two Natures, how do you put it in Greek (just the terms)?

One Prosospon, Two Physis.
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2008, 10:25:28 PM »

Also, in the Trinity, when you say One Ousia, Three Hypostases, how do you translate this into English?  Do you say One Essence, Three Persons?

No, the more correct term would be "One Essence, Three subsistences."

"Hypostasis" comes from "Hypo" (under/beneath) and "Stasis" (standing). So literally it would translate as "Under-standing" or "sub-stance", but it means something different (although related to) these terms.
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« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2008, 10:55:00 PM »

Who are the Oriental Catholics being referrenced in this thread?
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« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2008, 11:09:46 PM »

Who are the Oriental Catholics being referrenced in this thread?

Sorry, my fault. I didn't think of that!
How about "Theological Differences Between Chaldean and Eastern Catholics"?
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« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2008, 11:11:14 PM »

That might be more accurate.  Thank you.   Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2008, 11:28:44 PM »

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Who are the Oriental Catholics being referrenced in this thread?

Salpy,

It's supposed to be referring to me, a Chaldean Catholic, but technically we don't really call ourselves in English as Oriental Catholics, because that usually refers to the Antiochene, Armenian, and Alexandrian Catholics.  We Assyro-Chaldean Catholics are not of those traditions, and our traditional terminology is to speak of our Church as simply the Church of the East, and we often just call ourselves Eastern Catholics (not to be confused with Greek-Catholics).

Our theology on Christ (or Christology) is quiet unique to us and the Syro-Malabar Catholics (and Assyrian/Ancient Churches of the East) and is not even exactly similar to the Christology of the Antiochenes, even though they make use of the Syriac language like us.

Unless the Orientals (Antiochene, Armenian, and Alexandrian Catholics) would also want to chime in on this discussion, its up to them, but it seems that this thread was put together as mostly a discussion between Apotheoun (a Greek Catholic), and me (a Chaldean Catholic).  So, the title of this thread would probably be more specifically titled as "Theological Differences Between Assyro-Chaldean and Greek Catholics", unless I guess the Orientals want to participate.

God bless,

Rony

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« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2008, 11:37:20 PM »

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One Prosospon, Two Physis.

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No, the more correct term would be "One Essence, Three subsistences."

"Hypostasis" comes from "Hypo" (under/beneath) and "Stasis" (standing). So literally it would translate as "Under-standing" or "sub-stance", but it means something different (although related to) these terms.

Thanks.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2008, 04:43:53 AM »

Rony,

As I see it, it is impossible to reconcile your position to the teaching of the Cappadocians on the Trinity, and the Council of Chalcedon on Christology.

Christ is one divine hypostasis and prosopon in two natures (physeis).

I cannot accept the orthodoxy of the following comment:  "We don't equate the Parsopa (what you call prosopon) with the Qnoma (what you call hypostasis)," because this is basically the teaching of the heretic Nestorius, who said that there is one prosopon (face / person / countenance) of Christ, but two hypostaseis (subsistences) and two physeis (natures).

Our theological views are clearly different, and I do not believe that they can be reconciled, either as it concerns the Trinity or the Incarnation.

God bless,
Todd
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« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2008, 04:52:20 AM »

Decree of Chalcedon

Therefore, following the Holy Fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one essence with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one essence with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the Theotokos; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person (prosopon) and subsistence (hypostasis), not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
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« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2008, 05:35:52 AM »

Apotheoun,

[. . .]

In the Trinity, Qnoma is equivalent to your Hypostasis, but not in the Incarnation, because your definition of Hypostasis is that of Person, whereas for us, Qnoma is defined not as Person, but as Singular Essence according to the teaching of Mar Bawai the Great (our Christological Church Father who formulated the Christology of our Church of the East).  So, in order for both of us to be speaking on the same level on the Incarnation, your Single Hypostasis (your One Hypostasis in Two Physis - One Person in Two Natures) would be equivalent to our Single Parsopa (Two Kyane, Two Qnome, One Parsopa - Two General Essences, Two Singular Essences, One Person).  Essentially, you'd be saying that Jesus is One Person, God and Man, and we would be saying the same thing that Jesus is One Person, God and Man.  And since we also both agree that there is no division and no separation in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The teaching of Chalcedon is that the incarnate Logos is one divine prosopon and one divine hypostasis in two natures (physeis), divine and human.  This means that Christ is not a human prosopon or human hypostasis, while what you are advocating appears to conform to the teaching of Nestorius, who accepted the fact that in the incarnation Christ was one prosopon, but who then went on to deny the unity of His hypostasis, asserting instead that Christ had a human hypostasis and a divine hypostasis, and a human physis and a divine physis.  Now prescinding from the christological problems inherent in your posts, as I see it our positions are still not compatible in triadology (any more than they are compatible in christology), because even though you argue that the qnoma corresponds to hypostasis in trinitarian theology (but not in christology), the problem of the procession (ekporeusis) of origin of the Spirit remains, because the Son is not a cause or principle in the origination of the person (understood as both prosopon and hypostasis) of the Spirit; instead, He (i.e., the Son) only participates in the Spirit's manifestation (phanerosis) as energy (cf. St. Gregory Palamas, "Dialogue between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite," no. 49).
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« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2008, 05:47:37 AM »

One Prosospon, Two Physis.
Christ is, according to Chalcedon, one prosopon and one hypostasis, in two physeis.
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« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2008, 05:59:03 AM »

Apotheoun,

[. . .]

And as I mentioned, we do not confuse the Kyana with the Qnome (Sabellian), and we do not accept a two-Person Christ: "a mere man in a moral union with the Word" therefore, we are not Nestorian.  But as far as Nestorius, many of us do not think that he himself was Nestorian, neither do we think that Theodore the Interpreter and Diodore of Tarsus were Nestorians.  I do think that Nestorius made the mistake of speaking against the title: Mother of God, but I do not think His preferred title: Mother of Christ, is in itself heretical.  The Common Christological Declaration says that both Mother of God and Mother of Christ are acceptable titles.  The Assyrians have always confessed:  Mother of Christ, our God and Savior.

God bless,

Rony
If -- as you have indicated -- "qnoma" corresponds to hypostasis, then it appears as if you only accept a prosopic union, and not a hypostatic union, in Christ.  Historically Nestorius also rejected a hypostatic union in favor of a prosopic union, and so your christological position does appear to mirror his position.
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« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2008, 08:32:09 AM »

If -- as you have indicated -- "qnoma" corresponds to hypostasis, then it appears as if you only accept a prosopic union, and not a hypostatic union, in Christ.
I don't think Qnoma corresponds to either hypostasis, prosopon, physis, or ousia by what I can see in Jimmy's explanation of it, but rather, it appears to be something else entirely.
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« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2008, 12:17:25 PM »

I don't think Qnoma corresponds to either hypostasis, prosopon, physis, or ousia by what I can see in Jimmy's explanation of it, but rather, it appears to be something else entirely.
I am merely referring back to what Rony said:
In the Trinity, Qnoma is equivalent to your Hypostasis, but not in the Incarnation . . .
Be that as it may, in the theology of the Cappadocians and the Council of Chalcedon, hypostasis and prosopon are connected, and in fact hypostasis is used precisely in this way in order to avoid Sabellian modalism in Triadology and Nestorianism in Christology.
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« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2008, 12:27:50 PM »

I am merely referring back to what Rony said
I know, but I think he's mistaken.
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« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2008, 01:07:11 PM »

My friend Jimmy is an Antiochene Maronite, and as I mentioned above, our Christology is distinct from that of the Antiochenes, despite our use of Syriac. 

In the Trinity:

1. We Assyro-Chaldeans confess one Kyana, three Qnome.

2. Maronites confess one Kyono, three Qnome.

3. Syriac Orthodox confess one Kyono, three Qnome.

All three confessions are orthodox, and equivalent to the Greek.


In the Incarnation:

1. We Assyro-Chaldeans confess two Kyane, two Qnome, and one Parsopa.

2. Maronites confess two Kyono, one Qnomo, and one Parsopo. (this is the equivalent of the Greek)

3. Syriac Orthodox confess one Kyono, one Qnomo, and one Parsopo.

All three confessions are orthodox for the following reason:

1. The human Qnoma (which the Son assumes) is not defined as Person, rather it is a particularized essence (real human body and real human soul, not just a vague concept of humanity).  The two Qnome, the Son assuming the Human Qnoma, result in the conception of one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son Incarnate, without division and without separation.

2. This is equivalent to the Greek, so no need for me to explain here.

3. The difference here is that they speak of "one out of two natures" rather than "one in two natures" (before the Incarnation two natures, in the  Incarnation one united nature), and so they have one Kyono instead of two Kyono to emphasize the Unity, but they confess that Christ is the God-Man, without confusion and without change, and do not confess that the Divine Word has swallowed up or destroyed the Human nature.

I will be back.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2008, 01:29:18 PM »

Thanks for that explanation Rony.

In the Incarnation:

1. We Assyro-Chaldeans confess two Kyane, two Qnome, and one Parsopa.
This is why Qnome caanot be quivalent to Hypostasis.

1. The human Qnoma (which the Son assumes) is not defined as Person, rather it is a particularized essence (real human body and real human soul, not just a vague concept of humanity).  The two Qnome, the Son assuming the Human Qnoma, result in the conception of one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son Incarnate, without division and without separation.
This makes me think that Qnome cannot be equivalent to ousia either. Like Qnome, Ousia does not exist in the abstract, but must exist withing an hypostasis, yet:
In the Trinity:

1. We Assyro-Chaldeans confess one Kyana, three Qnome.
whereas in the Trinity, we confess One Ousia.
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« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2008, 04:21:03 PM »

All of this (i.e., the christological controversy) is really beside the point. 

The original disagreement between Rony and I stands unaffected by the present dialogue, because I do not accept the idea that the Holy Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) proceeds (ekporeusis) through or from the Son.  Instead, the Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) receives His personal subsistent being from the Father alone, and not from or through the Son. 

Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit as energy (energeia), but not as person (i.e., prosopon and hypostasis), progresses (proienai) from the Father through the Son, but -- as I have already indicated above -- this progression (proienai) does not concern the eternal origin (ekporeusis) of the Spirit, but only His manifestation (phanerosis).
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« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2008, 06:07:37 PM »

All of this (i.e., the christological controversy) is really beside the point. 

The original disagreement between Rony and I stands unaffected by the present dialogue, because I do not accept the idea that the Holy Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) proceeds (ekporeusis) through or from the Son.  Instead, the Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) receives His personal subsistent being from the Father alone, and not from or through the Son. 

Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit as energy (energeia), but not as person (i.e., prosopon and hypostasis), progresses (proienai) from the Father through the Son, but -- as I have already indicated above -- this progression (proienai) does not concern the eternal origin (ekporeusis) of the Spirit, but only His manifestation (phanerosis).

But if, as I suspect, the concept of Qnoma is neither hypostasis, prosopon, ousia, energia or physis, but rather, an entirely different concept which has no equivalent in Greek, English or Latin; then it could very well be that Rony is not talking about a prosopic or hypostatic procession of the Spirit from both the Father and the Son. This is what I am trying to establish by examining the concept of Qnoma in Assyro-Chaldean Christology. If, as Rony says, Assyro-Chaldean Christology holds that the Incarnate Christ has two Qnoma, then clearly they can't mean "hypostases" or "prosopa" unless they are Nestorians. Therefore the "Qnomic Procession" of the Spirit does not refer to a Prosopic or Hypostatic Procession.
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« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2008, 08:00:07 PM »

Quote
As I see it, it is impossible to reconcile your position to the teaching of the Cappadocians on the Trinity, and the Council of Chalcedon on Christology.

Todd,

That's fine, even though I disagree that they are irreconcilable.  I see non-essential differences, but not essential contradictions, and you seem to be seeing essential contradictions.

We express the one Faith using our Aramaic Fathers, and in the Aramaic language.  The Cappadocians and Chalcedon dealt with issues that popped up in the Roman Empire, and were done in Greek.  We were outside the Roman Empire to the East, and these issues essentially had nothing to do with us, though later it affected how were were perceived by you guys and the rest of the Churches, in that, we were perceived falsely as Nestorian.  As part of the Catholic Communion, we appreciate all the Fathers and Councils, but we theologize specifically by looking at the tradition that we received from our particular Aramaic Fathers and Synods.  We reject nothing of what is official in the Catholic Communion of Churches, and we accept the essentials of being a Catholic, but we express what is essential in the language, concepts, idioms, and formulas that we understand.

Quote
Christ is one divine hypostasis and prosopon in two natures (physeis).

We say that Christ is one Parsopa who is a Unity of the Son and a Human Qnoma.

Quote
I cannot accept the orthodoxy of the following comment:  "We don't equate the Parsopa (what you call prosopon) with the Qnoma (what you call hypostasis)," because this is basically the teaching of the heretic Nestorius, who said that there is one prosopon (face / person / countenance) of Christ, but two hypostaseis (subsistences) and two physeis (natures).

Our Parsopa might not be the exact equivalent of your prosopon, if your prosopon in itself is not the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God. Our Parsopa is stronger than merely a "face". Our Parsopa is the Person, who is the the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God.

Quote
Our theological views are clearly different, and I do not believe that they can be reconciled, either as it concerns the Trinity or the Incarnation.

Yes they are different, but our theology is allowed among the major theologies in the Catholic Communion.  With regards the Trinity, we've always confessed 3 Qnome in one God.  And with regards the Incarnation, if the 2 Qnome language were not allowed, then you would not see the Pope signing a Christological agreement with the Assyrian Church of the East!

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2008, 08:22:54 PM »

Quote
Decree of Chalcedon

Therefore, following the Holy Fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one essence with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one essence with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the Theotokos; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person (prosopon) and subsistence (hypostasis), not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.

Chalcedon uses Greek terms, but it is essentially the same as this:

--------------------
Common Christological Declaration:

Therefore our Lord Jesus Christ is true God and true man, perfect in his divinity and perfect in his humanity, consubstantial with the Father and consubstantial with us in all things but sin. His divinity and his humanity are united in one person, without confusion or change, without division or separation. In him has been preserved the difference of the natures of divinity and humanity, with all their properties, faculties and operations. But far from constituting "one and another", the divinity and humanity are united in the person of the same and unique Son of God and Lord Jesus Christ, who is the object of a single adoration.
--------------------

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2008, 08:29:49 PM »

Hi Apotheoun,

The original disagreement between Rony and I stands unaffected by the present dialogue, because I do not accept the idea that the Holy Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) proceeds (ekporeusis) through or from the Son.  Instead, the Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) receives His personal subsistent being from the Father alone, and not from or through the Son. 

What is the difference between prosopon and hypostasis?
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