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61

I don't think there is anyone who doubts whether the Lord passed through the birth canal.  Most of us who assume that ever-virgin means "never had sex," but there are some who also clearly add to that, "and her hymen remained intact throughout the birth."  I'm not sure that the latter is necessary, but there are those who assume that statement as part of "ever-virgin."  I consider myself agnostic on it, and don't really care to know - it doesn't affect my faith one bit.

I agree it seems a rather odd point to insist on, but it seems intrinsic to the "without corruption" we sing in the axion estin and other hymns.
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Liturgy / Re: My thoughts on calendar issue
« Last post by schismhater on Yesterday at 11:30:03 PM »

What is "Unity of the Church"?  What does it look like?  What is essential to this unity and what is not?

I will just say that when you have Orthodox Christians in the same locality, sometimes in the same household (yes, I know of one) and right now some are celebrating the Nativity as I am, and others are still in fasting and preparation, that is a problem.

But is it a problem for the "Unity of the Church"?  It's certainly inconvenient at the local levels to which you refer, but in what way does it impede unity?

Again, when some Orthodox are feasting and others are fasting at the same time, that seems to me a problem for unity of worship. I don't know else to say it.
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Hello, Mina!

I like writing with you, because I find you to be reflective and open to considering the EO POV.

There are three issues here:
Whether violence was inflicted at Ephesus II itself, were declarations threatening violence used, and was Ephesus II and its leaders responsible for Flavian's death.

The only moment I noticed at Chalcedon alleging violence there was where eastern bishops announced " force  was  used,  force  with  blows."

Regarding the demands for violence, you wrote:
You just answered your question.  Curiously, none of the hearsay participants mentioned that Eusebius was "cut in two" or "burned".  Dioscorus used similar language against Eutyches in Chalcedon when the charge of Monophysitism was implied.  These are hyperbolic proclamations by men to prove how seriously Orthodox they were.  But that's it.  They were noise, not blood.  The allegations of violence were all refuted in Chalcedon.  The best they could do was depose Dioscorus of the triple summons rule.  That's it.  The charges of murder or violence were unfounded.

Did you know Nestorius was deposed to the harshest desert in Egypt?  All of his works burned, and retaliations were all boisterous.  If Nestorius died along the way to Egypt, perhaps he too would have been a martyr to the cause, and people would have cried foul against Cyril's "violence".  Oh but instead of Nestorius, let's use the case of Hypatia against Cyril as well.
What I see you saying is that when Ephesus II collectively shouted "Destroy and burn Eusebius. Let him be burnt alive. Let him be cut in two. As he has divided, let him be divided", they only announced this as hyperbole, and didn't intend for their opponents to be scared into submission on hearing the threats. Likewise, when the OO St. Barsaumus said " "He who says two natures should be cut in two", he didn't believe that the EO heretics were actually deserving of being literally killed.

If I accept this, wouldn't it imply that the Chalcedonians who claimed they were scared by these words into signing were lying or exaggerating, since they would have understood this as hyperbole?

Chalcedon recorded this discussion and refutation of the threats made at Ephesus II collectively:
Quote
Theodore  the  most  devout  bishop  of  Claudiopolis  in  Isauria  said:
‘Dioscorus and Juvenal and all those who signed first .... to  frighten  us,  they  invoked  as  similar  the  heresy  of
Nestorius, shouting at us, ‘Cut into two those who say two natures! Cleave, kill, and drive out those who say two!’ – so that, out of fear of the Nestorian heresy, we would not be judged orthodox but condemned as heretics.
... Dioscorus  and Juvenal – accompanied by a mob of disorderly people, with a mass of them shouting  and  making  a  tumult  and  disrupting  the  council.  ... They made sport of our lives. ...  They  terrified  us.

The most devout Egyptian bishops and those with them exclaimed:
‘A Christian fears no one. An orthodox fears no one. Bring fire, and we shall learn. If they had feared men, there would never have been martyrs.’
The refutation here, of the EOs' claim of fear of the mob shouting for their deaths, is that a real Christian shouldn't fear anyone because then there would have been no martyrs, and that the OOs will withstand fire.
So this raises some questions:
Did they mean their refutation literally, as if a true Christian truly fears no one, even fire and martyrdom, or did they just see their ability to withstand martyrdom as mere rhetoric? In other words, aren't they trying to show their dedication to their doctrines by saying they would withstand real martyrdom, and contrasting it with their opponents' declarations of fear of their mob threats? If the mob had only meant it as nonviolent hyperbole, wouldn't they have chosen to explain that in their refutation instead?
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Liturgy / Agnus Dei
« Last post by mcarmichael on Yesterday at 11:12:38 PM »
It's ocurred to me that I literally know next to nothing about the Latin Rite.

So, what are some good (read: English) places to get started?

I trust that everyone here is a scholar of Rome, besides myself.
65

I don't think there is anyone who doubts whether the Lord passed through the birth canal.  Most of us who assume that ever-virgin means "never had sex," but there are some who also clearly add to that, "and her hymen remained intact throughout the birth."  I'm not sure that the latter is necessary, but there are those who assume that statement as part of "ever-virgin."  I consider myself agnostic on it, and don't really care to know - it doesn't affect my faith one bit.

Lord, have mercy.
66
I added some things about the OO saint Barsaumas to my previous message.

Here is a place at Chalcedon where participants of Ephesus II talk about violence there:
Quote
The most devout Oriental bishops and those with them exclaimed: ‘No  one  concurred,  force  was  used,  force  with  blows. We  signed  blank paper. We were threatened with deposition. We were threatened with exile.
Soldiers with clubs and swords stood by, and we took fright at the clubs and swords.  We  were  intimidated  into  signing.  Where  there  are  swords  and clubs,  what  kind  of  council  is  it? This  is  why  he  had  soldiers  with  him. Drive out the murderer. The soldiers killed Flavian.’
...
 Stephen the most devout bishop of Ephesus said: ‘That it all took place  by  force  and  constraint,  God  is  witness,  and  that  we  signed  the deposition of the blessed Flavian unwillingly, God is witness. As bishop, I received  all  his  clergy  who  had  come  to  Ephesus,  held  communion  with them, and showed them every kindness. I  received  into communion  the  presbyter  Helpidius  and  the  other  deacons  and  Bishop Eusebius – Bishop Eusebius himself knows that I received them. But then Helpidius and Eulogius, with soldiers and Eutyches’ monks, about three hundred persons, came to me in the episcopal palace, and were about to kill me, saying, “You received the enemies of the emperor, you are an enemy of the emperor.” I said, “I am hospitable; I have nothing to do with the matter. I  cannot  excommunicate  those  who  come  in  communion.”
...
[At Ephesus II]  I was not allowed to leave the chancery of the church until I had signed the sentence of Dioscorus
My question here is: If Bp. Stephen signed Ephesus II's excommunications voluntarily under no threat, why did he take the excommunicated EOs like Bp. Eusebius into communion against their opponents' wishes?

Bp. Theodore explained how the threats worked:
Quote
to  frighten  us,  they  invoked  as  similar  the  heresy  of Nestorius, shouting at us, ‘Cut into two those who say two natures! Cleave, kill, and drive out those who say two!’ – so that, out of fear of the Nestorian heresy, we would not be judged orthodox but condemned as heretics. Each of  us  was  afraid  that,  if  expelled  as  a  heretic,  he  would  ruin  those  he  had baptized

Bp. Basil felt himself responsible for Flavian's death, telling Dioscorus:
Quote
you drove us to such a murderous crime by means of the threats of the mob after  the  deposition  of  the  blessed  Flavian.

EO theologian Fr. John McGuckin cites Chadwick's article on Flavian's death to say Flavian was killed, but Chadwick's article isn't online: The exile and death of Flavian of Constantinople (http://jts.oxfordjournals.org/content/VI/1/17.extract)
67
Faith Issues / Re: Strange icons
« Last post by Iconodule on Yesterday at 09:55:43 PM »
I dig it.
68
Faith Issues / Re: Blessings and Holy
« Last post by mcarmichael on Yesterday at 09:54:03 PM »
"Holiness" is something different.

Primarily, it is an aspect of God: "Be holy, as I am holy."
69
Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus sounds like the Alex Jones of Eastern Orthodoxy.
70


Find me where in YOUR minutes of Ephesus 449 do you see brutality and violence.

Dear Mina,

Hello! I checked the Acts of Ephesus II and of Chalcedon. The EO records of Ephesus II say:
Quote
all the Egyptians and the monks accompanying Barsaumas and the whole crowd rose up and began saying, "He who says two natures should be cut in two.

p. 160
http://ixoyc.net/data/fathers/624.pdf

The Acts of Ephesus II read at Chalcedon also say:
Quote
"The holy council [Ephesus II] said: "Destroy and burn Eusebius. Let him be burnt alive. Let him be cut in two. As he has divided, let him be divided."
Dioscorus bishop of Alexandria said: "Do you allow this language speaking of two natures after the incarnation?"
The holy council said: "Anathema to whoever says this!"
Disocorus bishop of Alexandria said: "Since I need both your voices and a show of hands, let anyone who is unable to cry out raise his hand."
Page 221
http://ixoyc.net/data/fathers/624.pdf
Immediately after this record of Ephesus II was read at Chalcedon:
Quote
The most devout Egyptian bishop [Dioscorus] said: "We said it then and we say it now"

Participants of Ephesus II related how at Ephesus II Dioscorus used "counts", imperial agents with chains, to threaten dissenters:
Quote
Onesiphorus the most devout bishop of Iconium said... After the reading of
this  canon [about deposing bishops]  he  immediately  said,  “Send  the  notaries  here”,  and  the  decree
deposing  the  blessed  Flavian  was  produced  and  read.  Taking  some  other bishops with me, I went up and clasped [Dioscorus'] knees, while I said, “No, by the presence of your religiousness; [Flavian] has done nothing to deserve deposition. If he deserves reprimand, let him be reprimanded.” But, rising from his seat and standing on  his footstool, he said, “Are you stirring up faction against me? Call the counts.” At this we took fright and signed.

Marinianus  the  most  devout  bishop  of  Synnada  said:  ‘When  he [Dioscorus] was about to pronounce sentence, I myself, the lord Onesiphorus, the lord Nunechius of Laodicea and others went up and clasped his feet, while we said,  “You  too  have  presbyters;  the  lord  bishop [Flavian]  ought  not  to  be  deposed
because of a presbyter [Eutyches].”

Then [Dioscorus] said, “Even if they cut out my tongue, I will  not  pronounce  a  different  sentence.”  Then  a  crowd  burst  in,  while  we continued to clasp his knees and entreat him. He uttered these words, “Where are the counts?” – as I love the truth. The counts entered, and they led in the proconsul with fetters and with a great crowd, and then each of us signed.

SOURCE: Acts of Chalcedon
I should note however that in Chalcedon's minutes Dioscorus denied that he said the words "Call the counts" to pressure the bishops.

The deacon Ischyrion wrote to Chalcedon about Dioscorus that he:
Quote
ordered  Arpocration  to  kidnap  me;  for  Arpocration  had  always been an assistant to his fury, along with Peter the aforesaid deacon, as was shown  by  what  happened  at  Ephesus  to  Flavian  of  sacred  memory,  late bishop  of  Constantinople,  and  [what  happened]  to  many  of  his  men, including the most devout Nestorius, who is now a bishop but was at that time  presbyter  and  administrator  of  the  church  of  the  great  city  of Alexandria.

I was locked up in a hospital for the maimed, although I was in no way answerable to anyone, and no charge, as I have said, had ever been brought against me. But even to this hospital Dioscorus again sent people to kill me, as is known to all those who live there: it is surely their hatred of evil that spurred them to help me, which is why I am alive to this day. And he did not release me from this unlawful imprisonment until I promised, despite my
bodily condition, to leave great Alexandria...

I also request, in proof of what I have said, that Agorastus, Dorotheus, Eusebius, Didion, Arpocration, Peter and Gaianus be detained and also the keeper of the bishop’s baths, who has accompanied him abroad in a private
capacity and who can give a precise account of everything.
It sounds like what the deacon is saying is that Dioscorus' agents locked him up in Egypt and exiled him like Nestorius and Flavian had been imprisoned.

The other thing is that even if we reject the EO's version of events, Dioscorus knew what the practical implications of his labeling the EOs heretics at an ecumenical council were, based on the history of Arius' fate. Emperor Theodosius' edict following Ephesus II was:
Quote
[Ephesus II] has justly condemned Flavian ... for ... adherence to [Nestorianism]. Theodosius endorses the council's decrees and ordered... any bishops tainted by the heresy of Flavian... to be deposed... Writings of Nestorius and Theodoret... are to be burned; no assemblies of their followers are permitted, on pain of confiscation and exile. Anyone who possesses such writings... shall suffer the same penalties.

I am sympathetic to Tonedawg's discussion of EO repression of OOs in Egypt here, and I'll mention in connection with this that the book Acts of Chalcedon notes other violence against EOs:
Quote
Marcian acknowledges receipt of the petition the monks had sent to Pulcheria. He rebukes them for not keeping a suitable monastic solitude, and for the bloodshed and disorder they have stirred up. He has heard that their followers captured Jerusalem, killed a deacon, burned  houses;  killed  Severian,  bishop  of  Scythopolis;  and  even attempted  to  kill  Juvenal  of  Jerusalem.

Quote
St. Severian
As bishop of Scythopolis, Palestine, Severian zealously defended the teachings of the Church at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, ... [An anti-Chalcedonian] monk named Theodosius schemed to get himself chosen for the episcopacy of Jerusalem. Determined to protect his own diocese from heresy, Severian resisted Theodosius, incurring the latter's wrath. A mob of Theodosius' partisans ambushed Severian, dragged him outside his city, and slaughtered him.
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=5720

The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol 5, expresses doubt that Dioscorus struck Flavian, but it notes something curious on p. 495-496 about Patriarch Domnus of Antioch. It discusses the Syriac OO records of Ephesus II and says Ephesus II recorded Domnus as agreeing that Eutyches was orthodox, then leaving the council, then (I think this might be in the Syriac OO records) sending a letter approving of Flavian's banning, after which the Council labeled Domnus "worse than Ibas" and deposed him in absentia.
https://books.google.com/books?id=kwQjAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA495&lpg=PA495&dq=dioscorus+hit++flavian&source=bl&ots=C4dN-_albC&sig=6iaT_J2xGvrVfXCtCn2F53gNxyE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTq9zCsMXRAhXK4iYKHTbkDE8Q6AEILDAD#v=onepage&q=dioscorus%20struck%20%20flavian&f=false

I read that Byzantine writers considered Dioscorus to have struck Flavian, but I highly doubt that Ephesus II's records mention that. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that Ephesus II's records break off at the end where this would have happened.
Based on Nicholas' famous slapping of Arius at Nicea, it's the kind of thing that could have happened to Flavian considering Dioscorus saw him as a major heretic and his council as ecumenical like Nicea, but I would want to see what the Byzantine sources are for this before being sure.

You just answered your question.  Curiously, none of the hearsay participants mentioned that Eusebius was "cut in two" or "burned".  Dioscorus used similar language against Eutyches in Chalcedon when the charge of Monophysitism was implied.  These are hyperbolic proclamations by men to prove how seriously Orthodox they were.  But that's it.  They were noise, not blood.  The allegations of violence were all refuted in Chalcedon.  The best they could do was depose Dioscorus of the triple summons rule.  That's it.  The charges of murder or violence were unfounded.

Did you know Nestorius was deposed to the harshest desert in Egypt?  All of his works burned, and retaliations were all boisterous.  If Nestorius died along the way to Egypt, perhaps he too would have been a martyr to the cause, and people would have cried foul against Cyril's "violence".  Oh but instead of Nestorius, let's use the case of Hypatia against Cyril as well.

And Athanasius!  How many times he was also accused of violence and murder by so-called "eyewitnesses".  Sorry, when you have theological enemies, you will have exaggerations of the events that occurred, and often times fabrications.

Rest assured Rakovsky, the minutes you quoted are the same as we have.
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