Moderated Forums => Oriental Orthodox Discussion => Topic started by: Father Peter on May 18, 2004, 04:46:02 AM

Title: Why was Chalcedon rejected
Post by: Father Peter on May 18, 2004, 04:46:02 AM
This is a bit long but I do like Father John's writings, even when they are critical of the OO because he is self-reflective about the EO as well. These passages should all be read to see part of why Chalcedon was rejected with good cause at the time. Criticism is not the same as rejection. Nor is acceptance of the substance of a teaching the same as rejecting it. Since I confess the double consubstantiality of Christ as do all my brethren it is a caricature to say the we reject Chalcedon.

A few words from Father John Romanides about why Chalcedon was rejected:

" In regard to the welcome remarks of Father Borovoy I would like to add that my paper is not a defense of Chalcedon, whose short comings I try to indicate, nor is it a defense of the non-Chalcedonian position. Rather it is an attempt to understand how the two traditions survived the complexities of history while always maintaining essentially the same Orthodox faith. Such a study so obviously calls for the tracing in history of the common central intuition of faith and doctrine which could not be distorted by the tragedies of our respective histories. This fact is living testimony to the meaning of continuity in truth which is not imposed by any external authority but which is the fruit of communion with the source of truth. To try to avoid the complexities of history when dealing with each other can lead only to a false sentimentalism which can never and will never lead to unity and can be no more effective than an ostrich burying her head in the earth to solve her immediate problems. Whether we like it or not we are christologically the Church of Cyril because Cyril's Christology is that of the Bible, the Fathers, and the Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Ecumenical Councils. The anti-Cyrillian works of Theodoret on Christology were condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council and Leo' s Tome was never accepted as a definition of faith. Cyril's Twelve Chapters are definitions of faith."

"There is no doubt that Leo tended to separate or distinguish the acts of Christ in such a way that the two natures seem to be acting as separate subjects, a tendency explainable by what he imagined Eutyches was teaching and by his Latin formation wherein Greek Trinitarian terms used in Christology were not available to him. He so obviously failed to understand how the term One Nature was being used in the East, and especially during the Endemousa Synod of 448."

"It is even more important to keep in mind that during its reading at Session II the three now famous Nestorian sounding passages were each one challenged as the document was being read."

"In the light of his [Theodoret's] strong hesitation at Session VIII to anathematize Nestorius, a hesitation which infuriated the assembly, one wonders about his sincerity, especially since he tried to defend his former acts by an exposition of how he never taught two Sons. He was interrupted by shouts of "Nestorian."

"Theodoret got the upper hand in Antioch and pro-Nestorian activities increased seriously. Evidently at Theodoret' s instigation several Nestorians were ordained bishops, including the notorious Nestorian fanatic Count Irenaeus the twice married. Thus the Church was faced with a resurgence of a Nestorianism hiding behind the formulary of reunion and Theodoretan Christological double-talk. Again we must keep in mind that these people not only professed faith in the formulary of reunion, but also in the Nicene Creed, both of which they interpreted in their own way. "

"It is important to note that Theodoret's profession of the faith of Cyril and the Third Ecumenical Council at session VIII of the Council of Chalcedon was accompanied by much hesitation on his part and Episcopal cries of "   Nestorian"   against him. This is a clear proof that had Dioscoros accepted to appear before the Council and face Theodoret his accuser, he would have certainly been cleared in his fight against this Nestorian enemy of Cyril. He would have been found at least doctrinally, if not canonically, excusable for his excommunication of Leo for his support of this Nestorian. Dioscoros and his bishops excommunicated Leo upon approaching Chalcedon and learning that the legates of Pope Leo were insisting that Theodoret must participate as a member of the Council. Leo insisted upon this in spite of the fact that Theodoret had never yet accepted the Third Ecumenical Council, the Twelve Chapters of Cyril, the condemnation of Nestorius, nor the re-conciliation of 433 between John of Antioch and Cyril of Alexandria. It seems that the Chalcedonian Orthodox must let these facts sink into their heads and take them seriously."

"The Council of Chalcedon upheld the excommunication of Theodoret by the Ephesine Council of 449. Therefore, Dioscoros was legally and canonically correct by excommunicating Leo for his support of Theodoret before the Council of Chalcedon. Ephesus 449 was still before the Council of Chalcedon a part of Roman Law in spite Leo of Rome. From a purely doctrinal viewpoint the Pope of Rome was guilty of supporting a Nestorian and a vigorous enemy of the Twelve Chapters, which were the basis of the doctrinal decision of the Third Ecumenical Council."

"Theodoret's heretical Christology is especially clear in his attacks against Cyril's Twelve Chapters. These attacks were indeed considered heretical by all the fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council except by the legates of Pope Leo of Rome. This is clear from the fact that the fathers of Chalcedon accepted Theodoret's condemnation by the Council of Ephesus 449 in spite of Leo's refusal to accept it."

"The question is now raised whether there were substantial grounds for Dioscoros' excommunication of Leo of Rome. It would further seem possible to argue that this excommunication was somewhat like that of Cyril's excommunication of Nestorius when the latter refused to subscribe to the Twelve Chapters. Cyril did this with the full support of the Pope Celestine of Rome. But in the case before us in 451 we have Pope Leo of Rome himself who is being excommunicated by Pope Dioscoros of Alexandria. The reason behind this is the simple fact that Pope Leo was in reality repudiating His predecessor's support of Cyril's Twelve Chapters by supporting a fanatic enemy of Cyril and his Twelve Chapters."

"Theodoret was a heretic before Leo got involved with him and he remained a heretic all the time that he was being supported by Leo. Just after Chalcedon Leo wrote in a letter to Theodoret about their common victory they had won at the Council of Chalcedon, yet in the very same letter complained about Theodoret's tardiness in rejecting Nestorius. In other words Leo supported Theodoret during all the time that he had not one confession of the Orthodox faith to his credit. The first time that he came close to a confession of the Orthodox faith was when he became a member of the committee, we have already mentioned, which found that Leo's Tome agrees with Cyril's Twelve Chapters. Evidently he was made a member of this committee in order to create grounds for satisfying Leo's insistence that he must have his way about Theodoret or there will be no Council of Chalcedon."

"The backbone of the Orthodox tradition is the fact that the Logos became consubstantial with us. There can be no doubt that Dioscoros agrees with this fact and so could never be accused of being a monophysite along with Eutyches."

"One may conclude that Dioscoros can be defended in his actions against Leo. He is to be fully complimented for his fight against Theodoret. His actions against Flavian and Eusebius can be explained as primarily motivated by his desire to defend the faith against Nestorianism to such a point that he came at least very close to abandoning Cyril's reconciliation of 433 with John of Antioch. The use of the Alexandrian formula "   One Nature or Hypostasis Incarnate"   by Flavian and Eusebius were technically wrong as such, since they used it not in its correct historical context."

"One must emphasize that acceptance of the Three or Seven Ecumenical Councils does not in itself entail agreement in faith. The Franco-Latin Papacy accepts these Councils, but in reality accepts not one of them. In like manner there are Orthodox, since Peter the Great, who in reality do not accept the soteriological and Old Testament presuppositions of these Councils. On the other hand those of the Oriental Orthodox, who have not been Franco-Latinised in important parts of their theology, accept the first three of the Ecumenical Councils, but in reality accept all Seven, a fact which has now become clear in recent agreements."
"The non-Chalcedonian Orthodox reject the Council of Chalcedon and accuse it of Nestorianism because it accepted the Tome of Leo, two natures after the union, and allegedly omitted from its definition of faith such Cyrillian expressions as One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate, hypostatic or natural union, and from two natures or from two One Christ. The failure of Chalcedon to make full use of Cyril's Twelve Chapters, to condemn the Christology of Theodore, and its acceptance of Theodoret and Ibas throws suspicion on it. Then there is the weighty accusation that the very act of composing a new definition of the faith contradicted the decision of Ephesus (431) which decreed that, It is unlawful for anyone to bring forward or to write or to compose another Creed besides that determined by the Holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Spirit in Nicaea."

"Of course Cyril prefers to speak of One Nature or Hypostasis of God the Logos Incarnate and become man, since this better safeguards the union and the attribution of all things pertaining to Christ to the Logos as the subject of all human and divine actions. For Cyril Physis means a concrete individual acting as subject in its own right and according to its own natural properties. Thus the One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate, having by His second birth appropriated to Himself a perfect, complete and real Manhood, has as His Own both the ousia and natural properties common to all men, whereby it is the Logos Himself Who is Christ and lives really and truly the life of man without any change whatsoever in his Divinity, having remained what He always was. To speak about two natures in Christ would be somewhat equivalent to a Chalcedonian speaking about two Hypostases in Christ. In this respect 'a Chalcedonian would accept and does accept everything Cyril says but would use Cyril's One Hypostasis of God the Logos Incarnate, since for him Physis means Ousia."

" The Theodoretan crypto-Nestorianism, whose danger loomed so large in Alexandrian circles, was not at all grasped by Leo. In a similar fashion the danger of Eutychianism was not handled properly by Dioscoros. We must always keep in mind the serious imbalance of attitudes toward issues on each side. While the Chalcedonians concentrated on the confusors of the ousiai in Christ, the Alexandrians were still fighting the separators of natures or hypostases. In the light of this it would be wise to make allowances in terminology while none whatsoever in faith. I would suggest that serious consideration be given to the Fifth Ecumenical Council, not as one which modified Chalcedon, but as one which interprets it correctly. If we agree on the meaning of Cyril's Christology, we should also be as pliable as he on terms. In this regard the non-Chalcedonians should accept all of Cyril, including 433, and the Chalcedonians must stop overemphasizing the Cyril of 433."

Title: Re:Why was Chalcedon rejected
Post by: Father Peter on May 18, 2004, 05:51:56 AM
Of course the other reasons why Chalcedon was rejected are:

Ibas - he had been excommunicated in 449 for heresy. He was received back at Chalcedon and the Acts of the council record,


For over 100 years, and up to 250 years in some places, the West believed that this was the case and that Ibas' letter was Orthodox, indeed that it had been declared Orthodox by Chalcedon.

Likewise the West also believed that Theodoret and Theodore had been commended by Chalcedon and their writings and persons should be considered Orthodox because they had been received by Chalcedon.

Was this the case? Well all the Church in the West thought so. That is why when Pelagius returned from Constantinople after 553 he could only find 2 bishops who would commune with him - both suffragans in Rome, and had to be consecrated by just 2 bishops and a priest.

Indeed up until he was offered the position of Pope of Rome Pelagius had himself broken communion with Vigilius over the matter and was writing books defending the Three Chapters as having been received at Chalcedon.

So there were a lot of Chalcedonians who thought for a long time that Chalcedon had received Ibas' letter - not just his person. No wonder then that Alexandrians might also believe this is what happened.

St Columbanus writes in letters condemning the 5th council as having overturned Chalcedon, as does the leading bishop of North Africa - Facundus - whose works I am reading. He ended up in prison rather than accept the Three Chapters because his whole Church had always understood that the Three Chapters had been received at Chalcedon as Orthodox.

'in two natures' - of course this was understood as saying 'in two hypostases'. Father John Romanides recognises this, saying:

"To speak about two natures in Christ would be somewhat equivalent to a Chalcedonian speaking about two Hypostases in Christ."

The writings of the Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox are filled with comments about this passage as being the main objection. It is ridiculous to assert that it had no force as an objection, since this was the objection. Add this to the reception of Theodoret and Ibas, and it is very easy to see why it might appear to be a crypto-Nestorianising council.

If the the reality of the humanity of Christ were ever denied then it could be said that the Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox indeed do reject what the modern EO understand of Chalcedon, but since the real humanity of Christ has never been denied then to assert that it must have been is of no value at all as an argument.

Peter Theodore
Title: Re:Why was Chalcedon rejected
Post by: Linus7 on May 18, 2004, 08:31:32 AM
Fr. Romanides, a 20th-century priest, not a Church Father, looms large in many of these arguments.

Much of what has been quoted from him - if accurate - is false.

I am not sure what Fr. Romanides' motivation was.

We have been through all this stuff about Ibas and Theodoret and the "Three Chapters" before.

The Council of Chalcedon did NOT endorse the Three Chapters. It merely did not bother to condemn them.

Chalcedon addressed the heresy of Eutychianism and the travesty of justice committed at the Latrocinium (the Robber Synod of Ephesus) in 449.

Ferreting out every document with even a hint of Christological heresy was not its task.

Theodore of Mopsuestia and his writings had not been condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431. That council was specifically tasked with dealing with Nestorianism and was chaired by none other than St. Cyril himself.

Does the failure of the Council of Ephesus to condemn Theodore's writings (part of the Three Chapters) render that council invalid or unacceptable?

Surely it must, if the same sort of thing invalidates Chalcedon.

Ibas and Theodoret (known to the Orthodox Church as Blessed Theodoret) both repented of any Nestorianism at Chalcedon, and confessed the Orthodox doctrine. Both of them died in the peace of Christ's Church.

Their writings were not endorsed at Chalcedon; their persons were, based upon repentance and confession of faith.

Peter has in the past misquoted the papal legates at Chalcedon, having them say that they found orthodox the letter of Ibas to Maris the Persian.

But that is not what they said. The papal legates said they examined Ibas' letter again and found him (Ibas, not his letter) orthodox. Even if one wishes to read that as an endorsement of Ibas' letter by the papal legates, one remark by the papal legates is not the Council of Chalcedon.

Neither the letter of Ibas nor Theodore's nor Theodoret's questionable or heretical writings are endorsed in the dogmatic statement of the Council of Chalcedon. In fact, NOWHERE are they endorsed by the Council.

Unfortunately, I must work for a living and cannot spend all day parked in front of a PC.

When I do get the time, however, I will attempt to answer these sorts of erroneous claims.
Title: Re:Why was Chalcedon rejected
Post by: Father Peter on May 18, 2004, 09:00:53 AM
The Council of Chalcedon did NOT endorse the Three Chapters. It merely did not bother to condemn them.

I'm sorry Linus, but you miss the point. The West DID believe that the council of Chalcedon endorsed the Three Chapters. There is a mountain of primary evidence to show this is the case. What matters in this context is not what happened but what the perception was of what happened. The West believed that Chalcedon had accepted the Three Chapters.

It was the Western Chalcedonians who insisted that the letter of Ibas had been received.

This is just history. It is beyond revisionism.

Why did Facundus, the senior North African bishop and theologian, end his life in prison for insisting that Chalcedon had accepted the Three Chapters if this was not the tradition of his Church? It certainly wasn't something he made up. He believed it to be true. So did all his fellow bishops since they all went into schism from Pelagius. So did all of Gaul. Indeed parts of Gaul remained in schism over the matter until 700 AD. They insisted that the tradition of the Church had always been the Chalcedon had accepted the Three Chapters.

They may have been wrong.

But that is what they believed. Therefore it is not reasonable to say that the Non-Chalcedonians were unreasonable in asserting that the Three Chapters had been received at Chalcedon. There were plenty of Chalcedonians insisting on the same thing.

And as for Ibas' letter. I think you are only using the much edited and abbreviated CCEL edition of the Acts which misses most of the Acts out. The Catholic Encyclopaedia, a source I know you trust, says:

"At the Council of Chalcedon the Patriarch Maximus of Antioch and the Roman legates declared: "Having read his letter again, we declare that he is orthodox."

How could anyone read his letter and declare him Orthodox? Let us see what Constantinople II says about the letter:

"In the third place the letter which is said to have been written by Ibas to Maris the Persian, was brought forward for examination, and we found that it, too, should be read. When it was read immediately its impiety was manifest to all."

Now how can the one council read the letter and declare on the basis of it that Ibas was Orthodox, and
the latter council read the letter and declare that its impiety is obvious to all?

I have not misquoted the legates, as the quote from the Cath. Enc. shows. The letter was read and with that in mind Ibas was declared Orthodox.

This seems a reasonable question.

Again, the Cath. Enc. also states that resistance to any condemnation of the Three Chapters was the general position in the West:

"The bishops of Aquileia, Milan, and of the Istrian pennisula all refused to condemn the Three Chapters, and excommunicated the Popes for their subscription. Since these bishops were subjects of the Lombards, they were beyond the reach of both the Pope and the Exarch at Ravenna, and maintained their dissent into the 7th century. The see of Milan renewed communion with Rome when its bishop Fronto died about 581. As he had fled from the Lombards to refuge at Genoa, his successor was dependent upon the Byzantines for support, and was induced to subscribe to the condemnation.

On the death of Severus, the Archbishop of Aquileia in 607, the Byzantines made a vain attempt to install a favorable prelate in that office, which only severed to deep the schism along Lombard-Roman lines. Columbanus was involved in the first attempt to resolve this division through mediation in 613.

The remaining primates ended the schism only after the Lombards embraced Catholicism in the 7th century, formally at the Synod of Aquileia in 698. This extended period of independence contributed to the evolution of the independent Patriarch of Venice from the Archbishop of Aquileia."

It is also a reasonable question to ask what standing Father John Romanides has in Eastern Orthodoxy since on the one hand he is referenced in many of the EO books I read as an authority, yet here he is condemned as being a false teacher. I can assure you that all the quotations are taken directly from his own website.

Title: Re:Why was Chalcedon rejected
Post by: Father Peter on May 18, 2004, 09:28:00 AM
A bit more digging, using Cath. Enc.

This is to show that many bishops and patriarchs thought that to condemn the Three Chapters was to attack Chalcedon. In response to Justinian's edit of 542 condemning the Three Chapters.

"Mennas, Patriarch of Constantinople, first protested that to sign was to condemn the Council of Chalcedon".

"Stephen and Dacius, Bishop of Milan, who was then at Constantinople, broke off communion with [Mennas when he signed]. Mennas had next to coerce his suffragans. They also yielded, but lodged protests with Stephen to be transmitted to the pope, in which they declared that they acted under compulsion."

"Ephraim, Patriarch of Alexandria, resisted, then yielded and sent a message to Vigilius, who was in Sicily, affirming that he had signed under compulsion."

"While the resistance of the Greek-speaking bishops collapsed, the Latin, even those like Dacius of Milan and Facundus, who were then at Constantinople, stood firm. Their general attitude is represented in two letters still extant. The first is from an African bishop named Pontianus, in which he entreats the emperor to withdraw the Three Chapters on the ground that their condemnation struck at Chalcedon. The other is that of the Carthaginian deacon, Ferrandus; his opinion as a most learned canonist was asked by the Roman deacons Pelagius (afterwards pope, at this time a strong defender of the Three Chapters) and Anatolius. He fastened on the epistle of Ibas-if this was received at Chalcedon, to anathematize it now was to condemn the council."

"An even stronger use of the benevolence of the council towards this epistle was made by Facundus at one of the conferences held by Vigilius."

"Finally Viginius succumbed, confirmed the council, and was set free. But he died before reaching Italy, leaving his successor Pelagius the task of dealing with the schisms in the West. The most enduring of these were those of Aquileia and Milan."

Then at Constantinople II there were also those there who had come believing that the letter of Ibas had been received at Chalcedon:

"The three chapters were the point in question; that is, respecting Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret's writings against Cyril, and the letter of Ibas of Edessa to Maris the Persian. They examined whether that letter had been approved in the Council of Chalcedon. So much was admitted that it had been read there, and that Ibas, after anathematizing Nestorius, had been received by the holy Council. Some contended that his person only was spared; others that his letter also was approved. "

And Vigilius also wrote:

"Concerning the letter of Ibas, he published the following, that, "understood in the best and most pious sense," it was blameless."

and again:

"Pelagius I., who succeeded him in the See of Rome, likewise confirmed the Acts of the Fifth Synod. The council however was not received in all parts of the West, although it had obtained the approval of the Pope. It was bitterly opposed in the whole of tile north of Italy, in England, France, and Spain, and also in Africa and Asia. The African opposition died out by 559, but Milan was in schism until 571, when Pope Justin II. published his "Henoticon." In Istria the matter was still more serious, and when in 607 the bishop of Aquileia-Grado with those of his suffragans who were subject to the Empire made their submission and were reconciled to the Church, the other bishops of his jurisdiction set up a schismatical Patriarchate at old Aquileia, and this schism continued till the Council of Aquileia in 700."

The issue is not 'did Chalcedon accept the letter of Ibas as Orthodox?'. The issue is 'did people think it had?'. You accuse the Non-Chalcedonians of suggesting such without warrant. But it is clear that history and fact is against you. There were a tremendously large number of people who thought it had been accepted at Chalcedon and were prepared to stand up against Justinian and say so.

That doesn't make them right in their assertion but it proves without a shadow of doubt that it was entirely reasonable for the Non-Chalcedonians to consider also that Chalcedon had accepted the letter - they were surrounded by Chalcedonians who told them so.

They might well ask even in the 550's why Chalcedonians were willing to be spend time in prison for the sake of the letter of Ibas. It was clear that many Chalcedonians felt very strongly about it. Even Vigilius was imprisoned because he found it almost impossible to condemn the Three Chapters and thereby condemn Chalcedon.

What is at issue is not what actually happened at Chalcedon but what large numbers of people on all sides thought had happened.

Title: Re:Why was Chalcedon rejected
Post by: Linus7 on May 18, 2004, 10:08:42 AM
Here is a quote from St. John of Damascus and the ‘Orthodoxy’ of the
by Protopresbyter Theodore Zisis, Professor at the University of Thessaloniki. The entire essay can be found here (http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/zisis.pdf).

      The fictitious and unrealistic picture about our not having differences in faith with the Non-Chalcedonians began to be projected at the beginning of the present century, but was presented in a very alluring and attractive form in recent decades, during which the so-called Ecumenical Movement was at its zenith, before it suffered the inescapable and destructive blows that resulted from the revival and strengthening of the Roman Catholic Unia, and also from the nebulous theological syncretism and relativism of the Protestants, which finally, after its naked and open appearance at the 7th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Canberra, Australia (February 1991), began to trouble the Orthodox.

In any case, a fruit of this theological relativism and syncretism that they have
been cultivating was the prettified picture of our differences with the Monophysites, who are no longer called such, but at first “Non-Chalcedonians,” then “Pre-Chalcedonians” or “Ancient Orientals,” and now “Orthodox,” since we have demolished the boundaries and the frontiers, despite the advice of the Fathers “not to remove the eternal boundaries which our Fathers established,” and have allowed the Monophysites, who have been heretics for fifteen centuries in the conscience of the Church, to become fellow-heirs of Orthodoxy and be called Orthodox after ourselves, without return and repentance. The theological confusion and muddle is really astonishing, as is the demolition of all the boundaries. If someone just ten years earlier were to read or hear the term “Inter-Orthodox Commission” or “Orthodox Churches,” he would surely understand a commission of Orthodox or local Orthodox Churches
that belong to the Orthodox Eastern Catholic Church, which comprises the
autocephalous Orthodox Churches of the East with the Church of Constantinople occupying the first place. However, this is not self-evident now; after many years of organized work by the draughtsmen of Ecumenism an “Inter-Orthodox Commission” can include Non-Chalcedonians, since with our acquiescence the Monophysite Churches of the Copts, the Syro-Jacobites, the Armenians, the Ethiopians, et al., are now numbered among the Orthodox Churches of the East. Before the Protestants the first teacher of theological and ecclesiastical syncretism was the Pope, as is most clearly evident in the institution of the Unia, where the proselytized are allowed to maintain
their own distinctive traits, and even their heresies, the sole requirement being that they recognize the primacy of the Pope.

The second consequence of this theological relativism and demolition of the
boundaries of the Church was the dulling of the ecclesiastical sensibility and selfawareness of many Orthodox theologians, particularly of those associated with the World Council of Churches, but also of those connected in any way with the enthusiastic ecumenist spirit that had been cultivated over many decades. This dulling, as the fruit of a supposedly objective theological investigation, which is shielded by the high-falutin names of ecumenist Orthodox theologians, is gradually beginning to assail theologians who up to now have been regarded as traditionalist. One finds it striking,
for example, to evaluate and keep track of the attitude of theologians involved with the dialogue, who, on the basis of their own written texts, maintained that the way to union with the Non-Chalcedonians is difficult and that recognition of the Fourth OEcumenical Synod and the other oecumenical decisions is an indispensable condition for union, while they now welcome the union as easy and free of problems, and do not even lay down as a condition for it the recognition of the Fourth OEcumenical Synod and the other oecumenical decisions, very simply because this cannot come about, as has been
declared from the side of the Non-Chalcedonians at an unofficial meeting in Geneva, even though our theologians think that by re-interpreting the decisions of the Fourth OEcumenical Synod they will persuade the Non-Chalcedonians to accept it.

It is, however, not a matter of interpretation, but of altering and overturning the
decisions of the OEcumenical Synods. For example, what interpretation will we give to the definition of faith of the Seventh OEcumenical Synod in Nic+ªa, which recapitulates the entire Orthodox Faith, and says the following about the Monophysites and their saints: “With these Fathers we confess the two natures of Him Who for our sake was incarnate of the immaculate Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary, recognizing that He is perfect God and perfect man, as the Synod in Chalcedon promulgated, when it expelled the blasphemers Eutyches and Dioscoros from the divine fold, rejecting along with them Severos, Peter and their interconnected band with their many blasphemies.”

We Orthodox regard the decisions of the OEcumenical Synods as infallible, because they were reached with the supervision of the Holy Spirit and were recognized by the conscience of the Church of all the ages. Will we, then, assail the prestige and the authority of the OEcumenical Synods with interpretations and theological sophistries, and will we provoke a schism in the perduring unity and catholicity of the Orthodox Church, forcing the Orthodox of the twentieth century to believe differently about the Non-Chalcedonians than the Orthodox of the preceding generations, especially when that faith was fortified and taught by enlightened and holy persons?

Theology is not an easy thing for anyone to be able to speculate and negotiate about with the goal of creating personal and social relations. If you demolish anything, the entire edifice is demolished. The Holy Fathers knew this very well, and for this reason they recommend the renunciation of heresy and the acceptance of Orthodox teaching as the only path and method of union for the heretics.

Title: Re:Why was Chalcedon rejected
Post by: Ben on May 18, 2004, 01:02:18 PM
I do not have the time to go through the posts already posted in this thread, and give my own opinions, etc. When I get the time I will be sure to do so. But I did want to say somthing....... Fr. Romanides, whom Peter has brought up several times in different threads, is *not* a father of the Church, he is *not* infallible, and was merely giving his opinions on the issue. St. John Maximovitch, and Fr. Seraphim Rose, believed in "Toll Houses" and wrote in defense of them, does this make "Toll Houses" are official Orthodox teaching or even in line with the teaching of the Church Fathers? Aboslutely not. I think it is futile to use fallible opinions to support any argument, when the Ecumenical Councils, which *are* infallible said otherwise.
Title: Re:Why was Chalcedon rejected
Post by: Father Peter on May 18, 2004, 01:27:18 PM
So what you are saying is that I am a heretic whatever I believe?

That is a very strange opinion, Ben.

and Linus. Since you just ignore anything I post and then just try to perpetuate discord there is no point in me replying to you. Whatever I actually believe is irrelevant to your argument it would seem.

Title: Re:Why was Chalcedon rejected
Post by: Father Peter on May 18, 2004, 01:28:52 PM
Why does the reverend Father, like you Linus, not actually deal with what anyone believes?

Such a practice is neither scholarly nor christian.

If it were a matter of race rather than religion it would be frankly racist.

Title: Re:Why was Chalcedon rejected
Post by: Linus7 on May 18, 2004, 05:45:50 PM
So what you are saying is that I am a heretic whatever I believe?

That is a very strange opinion, Ben.

and Linus. Since you just ignore anything I post and then just try to perpetuate discord there is no point in me replying to you. Whatever I actually believe is irrelevant to your argument it would seem.


I did not ignore you, Peter. I just don't have the time to spend on the internet that you apparently have. I think you misinterpret history to suit your presuppositions, especially with regard to the controversy over the Three Chapters, which you expand beyond its actual importance.

It is a fact that Chalcedon does not endorse the Three Chapters, a fact reiterated by the Fifth Council of the Church.

Speaking of ignoring things, over on one of the other threads, after I provided scholarly opinion that your hero, Severus of Antioch, was in fact a Monothelite as a consequence of his Monophysite theology, you said it was not worth talking to me.

What you may believe is not all that important, Peter. You may sincerely believe that you are Orthodox.

What matters are the actual teachings of the Non-Chalcedonians.

They say some things that sound very Orthodox, but when one looks at Non-Chalcedonian Christology as a whole one sees Christ's human nature reduced, as Hans Urs von Balthasar puts it in his book, Cosmic Liturgy: The Universe According to Maximus the Confessor (p. 228), to a "simply extrinsic instrument, a marionette moved from some transcendent, 'hypostatic' point."

Another thing: constant protests of Orthodoxy ring very hollow when they are accompanied by attacks on the ecumenical councils of the Church.

Title: Re:Why was Chalcedon rejected
Post by: Linus7 on May 18, 2004, 05:52:47 PM
Why does the reverend Father, like you Linus, not actually deal with what anyone believes?

Such a practice is neither scholarly nor christian.

If it were a matter of race rather than religion it would be frankly racist.


You don't like what he has to say, so it is "neither scholarly nor christian."

He deals with what we, the Orthodox, have always believed, what the Fathers taught.

I don't know where that last sentence of yours came from.

I invite everyone to read Fr. Zisis' essay, however, at the link (http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/zisis.pdf) I provided.

Make up your own minds.
Title: Re:Why was Chalcedon rejected
Post by: Ben on May 18, 2004, 08:04:49 PM
So what you are saying is that I am a heretic whatever I believe?

I am sorry, but where in the world did you get that?!

You seem to be a little too defensive on this issue. I simply pointed out that you can't fall back on an Eastern Orthodox priest, who is human and fallible, and expect that his words are comon place in Eastern Orthodoxy and/or represent Orthodox teaching. This applies to a wide variety of issues, not just Chalcedon.

Please don't twist my words.

I really want to learn more about your faith, Peter, and I want to get to know you, but please don't take my words and turn them into something they are not. You want me to ask *you* what *you* believe rather than deciding what you believe for myself, and this is totally fair, but please ask *me* what *I* meant rather than assuming right away that I meant what you think I meant.