Poll

Do you believe that OO and EO together are truly the same church?

Yes
77 (52.4%)
After reunification
49 (33.3%)
No
21 (14.3%)

Total Members Voted: 147

Author Topic: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)  (Read 70289 times)

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Offline Alkis

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #315 on: June 02, 2016, 06:10:08 AM »
Hm Mina I read your post and your response of the link you have posted. I agree with you. Me I am persuaded now that there is no difference in faith between OO and us EO. Just different terms to describe the same. One of my friends studies theology at school, in which one can be a priest after studies, and his teachers taught him that there is no difference in faith between us and Copts, Armenians etc... They say that we need a council again for reunification and lift anathemas.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #316 on: June 02, 2016, 05:57:37 PM »
Thank you all.  For completeness' sake though, I will finish with one more post as we wind down to the end of the seminarian's paper.

The One Will and the One Act:
There is only one area in this section where once again leads me to question the seminarian's intelligence, where the seminarian writes, "the mind does not become consubstantial with the mind of Christ".  This paper was written more than ten years ago.  The Lord knows where this man is right now or what he is doing.  One can only hope he matured, and would be able to look back at this paper and criticize himself.  Anything else however I am inclined to be sympathetic with.

As I mentioned in my previous post, from the other article I've written, I provided quotes elucidating what St. Severus of Antioch, the pillar of OO Christology, meant by "one will".  In this same article, I also provided a quote from St. Cyril of Alexandria who also confesses "one will".  It goes without saying also that the Pseudo-Dionysian quote of a "new theandric energy" has been accepted even by Maximus the Confessor, who interpreted it as "two energies", even though the word "energy" is singular.

Recently, His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damietta gave his own Coptic explanation of the "one will".  He saw no difference between the expression of "one will" in the Coptic Church and "two wills" in the Byzantines, as he interpreted the former to be pertaining to the prosopon of Christ whereas the latter pertains to the nature.  The seminarian may have a point in his criticism of HH's attribution of the will to the prosopon, since even St. Severus of Antioch did not teach this.  I do not have enough knowledge of how the subject of the "wills/energies" of Christ was handled by later OO fathers, but based on St. Severus of Antioch, it is safe to say that Maximus the Confessor agrees with St. Severus more than anything, even if he is under the illusion that there is disagreement.  However, we also need to acknowledge other scholarly voices, such as Fr. Richard Price's recent thoughts on the possible historical red herring of Monotheletism (i.e. that it might not have been dogmatically different from diotheletism).  One can also see in HH's (and Metropolitan Bishoy) explanation as nothing but very simplistic, and lacking the more sophisticated and complete answers provided by St. Severus of Antioch.  However, I found nothing "wrong" in what they say.  The only "wrong" thing they may have said is not represent St. Severus' theology correctly, but otherwise, they are free from heterodoxy in their explanations of "one will".

Let's first look at HH's Scriptural references:

"My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work." (John 4:34)
"Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner." (John 5:19)
"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." (John 6:38)
"I and My Father are one." (John 10:30)
"Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?" (John 8:46)

Christ, who by nature is one in will with the Father becomes incarnate, and reveals to us the divine will through His incarnate form.  Everything Christ does or desires in humanity is a manifestation of the divine will, just as everything incarnate about Christ is a communication of His divine nature.  Now, before we get to understanding HH's theology, there is something that nags at my heart in this discussion.  We should not look at the gospel of John through the lens of Chalcedon or anti-Chalcedon, but through the lens of first century understanding of the will of the Father.  What is the will of the Father?  Is it some sort of ontological uncreated "thing" or "part" of divinity?  Or is a plan or desire or action of God through Christ?  I do not want to be splitting hairs, since I know there is no real contradiction, but the nuance here is that there is a possibility the word "will" was understood differently century after century, and culminated into a seventh century war of words that, in my opinion, should not have occurred.  St. John the Divine teaches us and tells us exactly what this "will" of the Father is:

"And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40)

If we use this definition, then we can go back and understand that everything that Christ did and everything that the disciples of Christ did manifested this SAME EXACT WILL.  If my job is to do the will of the Father, I too have one and the same will according to St. John, "that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and He will raise him up at the last day."  The will of the Father has always been to believe in His Son and to partake of eternal life, leading to the resurrection of the dead.  Therefore, we all must have THAT WILL.  There's nothing "created" or "uncreated" about this will.  No pre-Chalcedonian father wasted their time in Aristotelian or Platonic logic to try to figure out what "will" is.

Does the Father have the same will as the Son and the Holy Spirit?  Yes!  Does the Son, even in incarnate form have the same will as the Father and the Holy Spirit?  Yes!  Does the Church, which is the Body of Christ, have the same will AND MIND as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?  YES!

We need more research into the word "will" and "energy" and find out how these terms evolved over time.  Frankly speaking, neither HH Pope Shenouda nor the seminarian Nicholas Vester have a bigger picture that truly encompasses the whole patristic tradition from the first century on.  What we have is both simplistic theologians who interpret these verses through a very restrictive lens.  Overtime, we do start to see these terms take on a more ontological character that is connected to "ousia".  However, before that, I am willing to bet no one really cared about what the manner of "existence" of "will/energy" was, whether it be prosopon or physis, but rather whether I am doing the will of the Father, which is to do my very best to believe in His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, that through Him, I may have eternal life in the bosom of His Father.  By the participation of the Spirit we are knit into the Godhead. (St. Athanasius, Discourse Against the Arians, 3.24) That's it!  That's all that we should concentrate on.  Everything else that causes controversy is fluff and an obfuscation of the bigger picture, or at best an elaborate clarification of this purpose that although Orthodox, may confuse minds.

If the anti-Chalcedonian tradition professes "one will", it simply says that the Church follows the divine will in incarnate form.  If the Chalcedonian tradition professes "two wills", it simply says that the Church protects the integrity of humanity and divinity, that we do not lose our own essence when we are adorned with divine uncreated glory.  Both these traditions complement each other.  And When we read both HH and the seminarian's explanations, they do not contradict at all.

So back to the verses HH used.  HH teaches that sin makes a contradiction of wills.  But Christ not only committed no sin, He is God Himself incarnate, which is to say the incarnate form of "without sin".  Therefore, Christ uses human nature in order to manifest the oneness of wills, which we can then accomplish as we are engrafted in Christ's body.  In this sense, every single Johannine verse quoted above is not merely the testimony of Christ, but the testimony of every single Christian doing the will of Christ, which is essentially, the will of the Father.  Here Christ speaks as the Church speaks, since both Christ and the Church are one.  We all represent Christ in our daily lives now.  It behooves therefore to understand that these are not messages of hope, but commandments of personal spiritual growth and evangelism.  Eventually, we also in the day of Judgment will become "one with the Father" if we have perfected our wills in conformity to Christ, so that the Father may see His Only Begotten Son in us

Therefore, HH's argument is that if you split the wills, there can never be unity between us and Christ, and eventually, between us and the Father.  Therefore, the term "one will", like "one nature" is a salvific term.  It pertains to our spiritual lives and goals.  The terms of oneness was not meant to be a metaphysical system of consistency as the Chalcedonian tradition is.  For a Chalcedonian, like this seminarian, he searches for metaphysical consistency between Trinitarian and Christological terms.  That's a good complimentary approach that does not contradict the soteriological approach of OO theology.  And to quickly summarize, HH did not ignore the distinction of human and divine wills, but by analogy, even alluded to the saints conforming to the will of the Father.  Therefore, it can be implied that what the saints have is fully consubstantial with Christ's humanity, which includes nature, will, and energy.  Because He is fully consubstantial with us, we could then say that we can have "the same mind of Christ", not by nature, but of course, by grace.  It is also silly to assume HH believed our minds are co-essential with the uncreated mind of Christ, just as the term "theosis" does not mean we become co-essential with God.  Provocative terminology should be embraced with open and spiritual minds, and not the cold-heartedness of heresy-fishing.

And before I get to the conclusion, I invite you again to read my other paper, which proves St. Severus believed that Christ assumed our human fear, our human struggles, our human sufferings, so long as they are presented blamelessly and for a divine purpose.  He took our human fear that we may partake of the divine courage.  He took our human grief that we may partake of the divine cheerfulness.  In every blameless human will Christ partook of, Christ manifests in this human will the paradoxical divine will.  Therefore, in this section of the seminarian, none of the quotes or the arguments he makes contradicts anything theologically from St. Severus, and if I may add, HH himself, who would probably imply the protecting of the integrity of "divine and human wills" in Christ.

Earlier I alluded to "metaphysical consistency".  What do I mean by metaphysical consistency?  The seminarian attacked HH by saying that if you believe in "one will" as personal, then you inevitably have to believe that the Trinity has "three wills".  In another debate I once had with another Chalcedonian, he also attacked St. Severus by saying that if you believe Christ is "one nature", then you inevitably have to believe that the Trinity is 3 natures.  OO theology was never concerned with making consistent the terms of nature between Christology and Trinitarian theology.  Just because we believe Christ is one nature or one will DOES NOT MEAN we believe the Trinity is 3 natures or 3 wills.  OO theology, like St. Cyril himself, is very flexible with terminologies. 

Chalcedonians on the other hand developed a tradition of rigidity with terminology to keep some sort of metaphysical consistency.  If you notice the seminarian's whole paper, he completely fails to mention one glaringly important point of St. Cyril's theology.  The seminarian never seems to admit that the term "one nature" is a valid part of Orthodox theology.  That is completely different from the other paper I replied to, where Dr. Nicholas Marinides admits to the orthodoxy of the expression "one nature", but tried to argue that OOs defined the term differently from St. Cyril (which I have shown was ridiculous and was simply a means of fishing for heresy and contradiction where there is none).  Unfortunately, the seminarian cannot be taken seriously at all in his research because in the whole paper, he took a position where he attacks the terminology "one nature" completely and pretends that St. Cyril himself would have agreed with him the whole way through.  Based on the few letters I have referenced, it is clear to me that St. Cyril would have been quite annoyed at him, and would have asked his newfound friend John of Antioch to explain to him that he never changed his mind about "one nature", but simply was pastoral enough to recognize the theological equivalence of "two natures".  That is also not to mention that the Council of Constantinople in 553 also acknowledges the same as well.  So I find it troubling that the seminarian seems to not only be biased, but at best ignorantly misleading, if not at worst deceptively.

I have one criticism of the terminological rigidity of Chalcedonians, and that is not a theological criticism, but a criticism of anachronism.  I find it unfortunate that there is this assumption that whatever terminology they use, this was meant the same way by more ancient Church fathers.  This is why the debates become so confusing when we discuss terms like "ousia", "physis" and "hypostasis".  These three terms have been used differently in different times and different places and traditions.  For instance, Chalcedonians have developed a tradition that we do not partake of the divine "ousia" but rather the divine "energia".  The intentional meaning of this, I accept, but this formula was not always consistently held in history.  Symeon the New Theologian as well as other more ancient fathers did not shy away from saying "partake of the divine essence".  So either Symeon is a heretic or he meant something different with the word "ousia".  Given the great veneration of this man, I do not think any Chalcedonian would dare accuse him of heresy. 

A while ago, when I was explaining the terminology of St. Severus, I explained how he saw, in Christology, that "ousia" was abstract, that is only actualized in "hypostasis".  Once again, St. Severus was attacked by presuming he believed the divine ousia of the Holy Trinity is "abstract".  It becomes rather frustrating at this point to try to put some sense into the heads of people who think in a particular way, but I hope by now we understand that we need to think differently with humility.  Just like analogies, terminology is weak in describing the holy mysteries of our theological traditions.  We can do the best we can with what we have, but we should not ignore the differences in how these analogies and terms were used.  We all speak different languages.  Rather than say that Coptic or Greek are the only holy languages we have, let us in the grace of the Holy Pentecost, break down the curse of Babel and embrace all the theological languages in history that we have, so that when we hear the voice of St. Peter on that glorious day of the tongues of fire, we hear the same faith expressed in Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian languages, in Coptic, Aramaic, Armenian, Ethiopian, Greek, Slavic, and Latin traditions.

Post Scriptum instead of a conclusion:

The seminarian accuses the Coptic church in emphasizing the Divine nature and person.  So that when we say God suffered, he thinks HH (and Copts in general) teach that somehow we believe that the bleeding come from and the nails went through His divinity.  I think I wrote more than I required when it comes to understanding the different languages and intentions of both Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians.  What was emphasized was not the divinity, but the unity of divinity and humanity, which is called by us "one nature".  The Word Himself indeed suffered and died on the Cross, not in His divinity, but in His humanity.  The emphasis however on the "one nature" is that this is no mere man who died.  But His deified humanity died so much so that this human death becomes paradoxically life-giving.  That is the point of the most important hymn, "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death!"  Therefore, if paradox and terminological flexibility exists in our hymnology, rather than being rigid in terminology and making illusions and assumptions about those who use different terminologies, why cannot our brother the seminarian open up his mind to this in non-Chalcedonian language?

And why does he pretend St. Cyril never confessed "one nature"?  What patristic consensus does he have in "two natures"?  Most of his quotes already come from post-Chalcedonian fathers, and the pre-Chalcedonian fathers rarely, if ever, made any numerations on the natures of Christ.

I have already explained HH's weaknesses in theology regarding the Scholastic influence he received.  I think the Coptic Church is beginning to turn the tide on this, learning from the mistakes of Chalcedonians who also had Scholastic infiltrations in their theological traditions not too long ago.

May the Lord have mercy on us all and lead His Church in all truth and divine uncreated grace.

Appendix:  Joint Commissions Statements

Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Alkis

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #317 on: June 02, 2016, 06:37:02 PM »
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it" and still believe that Oriental Churches are heresies. At least there are from both sides many well educated and apen minded people that I hope one day as soon as possible will reunite the Church. We all need it. There are many enemies of Christ in our days and we must be ONE. Thank you Mina for your time and your responses. You solved my questions. :p I was trying for months to inform about Oriental Orthodoxy and why we have schism with you. The first sties I visited were EO and said that OO is a heresy but we make dialogues etc... And then I read the site you posted now as appendix and I was curious to learn the truth and the christology of both EO and OO. I realised now after your posts and my own research that we are family with the same faith and many similarities but also some differences in tradition and this is beautiful for me because each rich culture is still alive and in harmony with Christianity.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #318 on: June 02, 2016, 09:20:13 PM »
St Severus is clear that Christ has both a human and a divine will, and Pope Shenouda says the same. But these act as a unity because Christ is one. The human will is present and active but is moved by the divine will, and is his own human will.

So it is the same as us. Human will is submitted to the divine. Ok. It is impressive. I mean that our faith is absolutely the same. Maybe traditions differ but his is logic due to cultural differences. I didn't know in the past that Copts, Armenians etc... are the same like us and I realised it some months ago when I read in the news about Copts. I said "ah yes I remember that church" and I started to search about you. I pray for unity. Your theology is the same with Armenians, Ethiopians, Syrians...? Assyrian Church is different?

Here is a quote by St. Severus on the wills of Christ that Mina shared a couple of weeks ago:


"Even less is Christ divided into two natures. He is indeed one from two, from divinity and humanity, one person and hypostasis, the one nature of the Logos, become flesh and perfect human being. For this reason he also displays two wills in salvific suffering, the one which requests, the other which is prepared, the one human, the other divine. As he voluntarily took upon himself death in the flesh, which was able to take over suffering and dissolved the domination of death by killing it through immortality—which the resurrection had shown clearly to all—so in the flesh, whose fruit he could take over—it was indeed rationally animated—he voluntarily took upon himself the passio of fear and weakness and uttered words of request, in order through the divine courage to destroy the power of that fear and to give courage to the whole of humanity, for he became after the first Adam the second beginning of our race." (Contra Grammarian III.33, Hovorun 26)

As far as the Assyrians are concerned, I'm not an expert on them and I have a soft spot for them, but some of them are almost pretty much Chalcedonians in their christology and others seem to be a bit Nestorianizing. There was an Assyrian Deacon on this board not too long ago and his arguments were frank Nestorianism. Nevertheless, I don't think most of them are what this Deacon presented. I've also heard that some of the Assyrians were coming closer to us when we had dialogue with them. Mina knows better than me regarding this subject, he also is of the opinion that their doctrine of Theosis in their tradition is deficient because of the influence from Theodore of Mopsuestia's theology. Their original problem was that in refuting Arianism, back in the 4th century, some of them developed a tradition that went overboard with the seperation of the two natures that they seemed like two people, or at best, a schizophrenic Christ, God forbid! If it was hard for God to trul participate in humanity and do human things, then it is also hard, even impossible, for us humans to become one with God. But that's my own weak 2 cents on them.

Yes, I am more than willing to be very open-minded to Assyrian Christians, and there's some cautious optimism in this.  However, the Assyrian Church seems to have a stronger history in condemning deification and keeping separately far apart any idea of communion between divinity and humanity.  As far as I am aware, the Coptic Church reveres two saints who were part of the Nestorian Church, St. Isaac the Syrian and St. John (Saba) of Dalyatha.  It seems to me the Assyrian Church condemned St. John for ideas of seeing the uncreated light and deification.  A good question would be what do Assyrian theologians and bishops today think of events like this and of theology surrounding deification in general?
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Tonedawg

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #319 on: June 03, 2016, 01:47:45 AM »
As promised, here is the quote from St. Cyril himself, from "On the unity of Christ":

“B. But they say, how can the same one both suffer and not suffer? [They is referring to the Antiochians theologians]

Cyril: He suffers in his own flesh, and not in the nature of the Godhead. The method of these things is altogether ineffable, and there is no mind that can attain to such subtle and transcendent ideas. Yet, following these most correct deductions, and carefully considering the most reasonable explanations, we do not deny that he can be said to suffer (in case we thereby imply that the birth in the flesh was not his but someone else’s), but this does not mean that we say that the things pertaining to the flesh transpired in his divine and transcendent nature. No, as I have said, he ought to be conceived of as suffering in his own flesh, although not suffering in any way like this in the God-head. The force of any comparison falters here and falls short of the truth, although I can bring to mind a feeble image of this reality which might lead us from something tangible, as it were, to the very heights and to what is beyond all speech. It is like iron, or other such material, when it is put in contact with a raging fire. It receives the fire into itself, and when it is in the very heart of the fire, if someone should beat it, then the material itself takes the battering but the nature of the fire is in no way injured by the one who strikes. This is how you should understand the way in which the Son is said both to suffer in the flesh and not to suffer in the Godhead. Although, as I said, the force of any comparison is feeble, this brings us somewhere near the truth if we have not deliberately chosen to disbelieve the holy scriptures.”


I find it extremly ironic that John of Damascus would ask the Mia-Physites the same questions centuries later, which in a sense, comes to show you that Chalcedon was more Antiochian in language and terminology.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #320 on: June 03, 2016, 01:52:59 AM »
Let's try not to label any controversial comments about the council to avoid sending this to the private forum.

Mina
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Tonedawg

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #321 on: June 03, 2016, 02:17:55 AM »
Let's try not to label any controversial comments about the council to avoid sending this to the private forum.

Mina


My bad, I wasn't trying to say anything controversial, but rather historical and factual. "In two natures" was Antiochian, and Roman, terminology that eventually won the day at that council.
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #322 on: June 04, 2016, 11:04:58 AM »
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it"
I am glad and sympathize with your ecumenical attitude about EOS and OOs, Alkis.
On the other hand, I think that it is not an issue of being selfish. I try to look at Chalcedon as objectively as possible and think that at Chalcedon the EOS were faced with a tough situation. They sincerely believed Christ had two natures and the EO Patriarch Flavian had been condemned for teaching this at Ephesus II, which was intended to be  and was sometimes called by its organizers an ecumenical council. So the EOs' solution to Ephesus ii was to call a council of at least equal authority in order to say that " in two natures" was correct.

The result of these two councils was the schism that you, I, and many others do not want. So I am open to considering the decision to call a council in response to ephesus ii to teach in two natures a mistake, but at this point I also have to say that the EOS were in a tough situation about what to do and that it isn't a question of selfishness for me.

If you do feel this way, I would invite you to discuss this on the EO OO private section further.
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« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 11:08:20 AM by rakovsky »
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Offline Alkis

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #323 on: June 04, 2016, 11:20:58 AM »
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it"
I am glad and sympathize with your ecumenical attitude about EOS and OOs, Alkis.
On the other hand, I think that it is not an issue of being selfish. I try to look at Chalcedon as objectively as possible and think that at Chalcedon the EOS were faced with a tough situation. They sincerely believed Christ had two natures and the EO Patriarch Flavian had been condemned for teaching this at Ephesus II, which was intended to be  and was sometimes called by its organizers an ecumenical council. So the EOs' solution to Ephesus ii was to call a council of at least equal authority in order to say that " in two natures" was correct.

The result of these two councils was the schism that you, I, and many others do not want. So I am open to considering the decision to call a council in response to ephesus ii to teach in two natures a mistake, but at this point I also have to say that the EOS were in a tough situation about what to do and that it isn't a question of selfishness for me.

If you do feel this way, I would invite you to discuss this on the EO OO private section further.
Kindly,
Rakovsky.

Oh I didn't say it correctly. I mean that in OUR days there are selfish theologians that say OOs are monophysites and hereticals just because in the past some Fathers claimed that. I meant that we realise now that it is not true. Where is this section? I would like to read posts.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #324 on: June 04, 2016, 11:55:37 AM »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #325 on: June 04, 2016, 09:23:35 PM »

Oh I didn't say it correctly. I mean that in OUR days there are selfish theologians that say OOs are monophysites and hereticals just because in the past some Fathers claimed that. I meant that we realise now that it is not true. Where is this section? I would like to read posts.
[/quote]
This gets into the question of whether if someone misunderstands an orthodox conciliar formula and then rejects it, does such rejection make him a "heretic"?

My preference is to say like Mina has been saying, that it is really the substance of issues that matters. But still I think it is a good question.

The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline IBelongtoChrist

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #326 on: July 15, 2016, 04:12:31 AM »
I am Coptic Orthodox but have always believed the EO Church is equally Orthodox and have learnt a lot from it via Ancient Faith Radio and a few Russian Orthodox books. I also believe that Chalcedon can be interpreted in a way that's compatible with the OO faith, however I'll never accept its anathemas against the OO fathers.

Unfortunately, I still struggle with being attentive in and enjoying the liturgy, mainly because I didn't attend many liturgies when I was young, and so I've been looking for an Orthodox church (whether Eastern or Oriental) that gives you liturgy booklets as you enter the church so that you can participate and understand what's going on, just like Catholic & Protestant churches do. I heard OCA churches are like that but I live in Sydney, Australia not in the US.

I realise this last paragraph is a bit irrelevant to the topic and so I completely understand if the admin wants to move it to another section. This is actually my first post on the forum.
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Offline wgw

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #327 on: July 15, 2016, 04:18:56 AM »
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it"
I am glad and sympathize with your ecumenical attitude about EOS and OOs, Alkis.
On the other hand, I think that it is not an issue of being selfish. I try to look at Chalcedon as objectively as possible and think that at Chalcedon the EOS were faced with a tough situation. They sincerely believed Christ had two natures and the EO Patriarch Flavian had been condemned for teaching this at Ephesus II, which was intended to be  and was sometimes called by its organizers an ecumenical council. So the EOs' solution to Ephesus ii was to call a council of at least equal authority in order to say that " in two natures" was correct.

The result of these two councils was the schism that you, I, and many others do not want. So I am open to considering the decision to call a council in response to ephesus ii to teach in two natures a mistake, but at this point I also have to say that the EOS were in a tough situation about what to do and that it isn't a question of selfishness for me.

If you do feel this way, I would invite you to discuss this on the EO OO private section further.
Kindly,
Rakovsky.

Oh I didn't say it correctly. I mean that in OUR days there are selfish theologians that say OOs are monophysites and hereticals just because in the past some Fathers claimed that. I meant that we realise now that it is not true. Where is this section? I would like to read posts.

Selfish isnt the word I would use; misguided might be more apt.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline wgw

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #328 on: July 15, 2016, 04:27:27 AM »
I am Coptic Orthodox but have always believed the EO Church is equally Orthodox and have learnt a lot from it via Ancient Faith Radio and a few Russian Orthodox books. I also believe that Chalcedon can be interpreted in a way that's compatible with the OO faith, however I'll never accept its anathemas against the OO fathers.

Unfortunately, I still struggle with being attentive in and enjoying the liturgy, mainly because I didn't attend many liturgies when I was young, and so I've been looking for an Orthodox church (whether Eastern or Oriental) that gives you liturgy booklets as you enter the church so that you can participate and understand what's going on, just like Catholic & Protestant churches do. I heard OCA churches are like that but I live in Sydney, Australia not in the US.

I realise this last paragraph is a bit irrelevant to the topic and so I completely understand if the admin wants to move it to another section. This is actually my first post on the forum.

The Coptic Diocese of Los Angeles puts Euchologions containing the liturgies of Ss. Basil, Cyril amd Gregory, the Filling of the Chalice, the Morming and Evening Raising of Imcense, and the Fractions and Seasonal Praises in the pews, along with an Agpeya.  You should ask Abouna for a copy of both.

Failimg that, kf you have an iPad, the CopticReader app is a freely downloadable Agpeya that you can extend through add on modules so that it includes the entire liturgy.  It also updates automatically and gives you the proper hymns and praises for each day in tje Coptic calendar, both the movable chcle of feasts around Pascha and the fixed feasts   So it is the best solution...it provides the text in English Arabic and Coptic.  To fully load it costs like US $30 whereas buying a Euchollgion, Psalmody, Khiak Paalmody, Paschal Service Book and Agpeya costs $200; I know, because before CopticReader came oit I bought most of those items, except for the Euchologion, which was given to me by a deacon as a gift.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline Remnkemi

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #329 on: July 19, 2016, 03:03:51 PM »
I wish I could answer your question, but I don't know the answer.

This Coptic dictionary on page 98 sas that nature is associated with a fashion or something laid down. I can't read coptic, but it looks like they are saying it is the word ko or sipko. But I may easily be totally off.
http://www.tyndalearchive.com/TABS/crum/
sinko ehrei is Sahidic Coptic. Jinko ekhrei is Bohairic Coptic. Crum 98b, as you quoted, states Bohairic Amos 66 (I assume that means Amos 6:6) says "in the day of thy jinko ekhrei soma" meaning "the day of your laying down body". Unfortunately, Bohairic Amos does not have this phrase anywhere. I am not sure what the dictionary is referencing. I will say that jinko ekhrei is not "nature" as you are thinking. You should understand it as in, the laying down design plans for a house. This could be understood as "the nature of a house" but not nature as in physis.

I also checked the rest of the Bible. 14 times the word nature is used in the English Bible translations. Almost always the Coptic bible uses "divinity" or "humanity" every time the English versions translate nature. On 2 or 3 occasions, the Coptic uses the Greek loan word physis. The best example is 2 Peter 1:4 "partakers of the divine nature" is literally "partakers of the divinity's physis". Hebrews 1:3 Greek, Sahidic and Bohairic Coptic have "hypostasis" but the English translations are all over the place (nature, substance, person, being, essence), etc.

I also check some writings of St Shenoute the Archimandrite who is the most prolific Coptic writer of late antiquity. His corpus is very large, all Coptic. He always uses physis for nature when discussing christology.  If I consider St Shenoute as an exemplar of Coptic christological works, then he expresses the "nature" of things with context, not terminology. So when one wants to say the divine nature is timeless, one would use "God who is timeless" or "eternal divinity". If one wants to describe the nature of Christ's humanity, one would use "Christ the Victorious" or "Christ the powerful on the Cross", etc. Another way Coptic describes christology is with "negative" adjectives. So we would describe God's essence as "the immeasurable" or "the uncircumscript" or the "timeless", etc.

Finally, looking at current Coptic liturgical rites, nature, essence, hypostasis and prosopon are always Greek.

Conclusion: Jinko ekhrei is really an aberration, not the norm. There are no Coptic words for specific christological terminology. If terminology is used, it is always the Greek loan word. I'm gong to the International Association of Coptic Studies meeting this week and I'll ask around.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #330 on: July 19, 2016, 06:35:53 PM »
Dear Remnkemi,

Thank you for your eply. I will be excited to hear what you find out.

I put my reply to you on another section of the forum:

Connections between pre-Christian Egyptian religion and Coptic Christianity

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,68492.msg1410186.html#msg1410186
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Offline Justin Kolodziej

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #331 on: July 19, 2016, 06:50:44 PM »
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it"
I am glad and sympathize with your ecumenical attitude about EOS and OOs, Alkis.
On the other hand, I think that it is not an issue of being selfish. I try to look at Chalcedon as objectively as possible and think that at Chalcedon the EOS were faced with a tough situation. They sincerely believed Christ had two natures and the EO Patriarch Flavian had been condemned for teaching this at Ephesus II, which was intended to be  and was sometimes called by its organizers an ecumenical council. So the EOs' solution to Ephesus ii was to call a council of at least equal authority in order to say that " in two natures" was correct.

The result of these two councils was the schism that you, I, and many others do not want. So I am open to considering the decision to call a council in response to ephesus ii to teach in two natures a mistake, but at this point I also have to say that the EOS were in a tough situation about what to do and that it isn't a question of selfishness for me.

If you do feel this way, I would invite you to discuss this on the EO OO private section further.
Kindly,
Rakovsky.

Oh I didn't say it correctly. I mean that in OUR days there are selfish theologians that say OOs are monophysites and hereticals just because in the past some Fathers claimed that. I meant that we realise now that it is not true. Where is this section? I would like to read posts.

Selfish isnt the word I would use; misguided might be more apt.
And I would say that said Fathers and those theologians, far from being misguided or (oh the calumny!) selfish, are the ones who are correct; the anathemas still apply in 2016 as they did when they were written; Non-Chalcedonians need to accept seven Ecumenical councils to be Orthodox; those who say otherwise mock the very Church Fathers they claim to honor.
Quote from: Nun M.
The dread Pantocrator...is also "Christouli mou", (my little Christ), who really listens when you run in to your neighborhood church on the way to work to cry and light a candle because your daughter is in trouble at school. The untouchable and all-holy Mother of God is also "Panayitsa mou", who really will take your part before the court of heaven because, just like your own mom, she’ll always stick up for her children, no matter how badly they’ve behaved.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #332 on: July 19, 2016, 06:52:56 PM »
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it"
I am glad and sympathize with your ecumenical attitude about EOS and OOs, Alkis.
On the other hand, I think that it is not an issue of being selfish. I try to look at Chalcedon as objectively as possible and think that at Chalcedon the EOS were faced with a tough situation. They sincerely believed Christ had two natures and the EO Patriarch Flavian had been condemned for teaching this at Ephesus II, which was intended to be  and was sometimes called by its organizers an ecumenical council. So the EOs' solution to Ephesus ii was to call a council of at least equal authority in order to say that " in two natures" was correct.

The result of these two councils was the schism that you, I, and many others do not want. So I am open to considering the decision to call a council in response to ephesus ii to teach in two natures a mistake, but at this point I also have to say that the EOS were in a tough situation about what to do and that it isn't a question of selfishness for me.

If you do feel this way, I would invite you to discuss this on the EO OO private section further.
Kindly,
Rakovsky.

Oh I didn't say it correctly. I mean that in OUR days there are selfish theologians that say OOs are monophysites and hereticals just because in the past some Fathers claimed that. I meant that we realise now that it is not true. Where is this section? I would like to read posts.

Selfish isnt the word I would use; misguided might be more apt.
And I would say that said Fathers and those theologians, far from being misguided or (oh the calumny!) selfish, are the ones who are correct; the anathemas still apply in 2016 as they did when they were written; Non-Chalcedonians need to accept seven or eight or nine or ten or eleven or twelve or thirteen or fourteen or fifteen or sixteen or sixteen or seventeen or eighteen Ecumenical councils to be Orthodox; those who say otherwise mock the very Church Fathers they claim to honor.

Fixed.   ::)

EDIT: Now fixed. 
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 07:04:48 PM by Mor Ephrem »
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline wgw

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #333 on: July 19, 2016, 07:31:32 PM »
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it"
I am glad and sympathize with your ecumenical attitude about EOS and OOs, Alkis.
On the other hand, I think that it is not an issue of being selfish. I try to look at Chalcedon as objectively as possible and think that at Chalcedon the EOS were faced with a tough situation. They sincerely believed Christ had two natures and the EO Patriarch Flavian had been condemned for teaching this at Ephesus II, which was intended to be  and was sometimes called by its organizers an ecumenical council. So the EOs' solution to Ephesus ii was to call a council of at least equal authority in order to say that " in two natures" was correct.

The result of these two councils was the schism that you, I, and many others do not want. So I am open to considering the decision to call a council in response to ephesus ii to teach in two natures a mistake, but at this point I also have to say that the EOS were in a tough situation about what to do and that it isn't a question of selfishness for me.

If you do feel this way, I would invite you to discuss this on the EO OO private section further.
Kindly,
Rakovsky.

Oh I didn't say it correctly. I mean that in OUR days there are selfish theologians that say OOs are monophysites and hereticals just because in the past some Fathers claimed that. I meant that we realise now that it is not true. Where is this section? I would like to read posts.

Selfish isnt the word I would use; misguided might be more apt.
And I would say that said Fathers and those theologians, far from being misguided or (oh the calumny!) selfish, are the ones who are correct; the anathemas still apply in 2016 as they did when they were written; Non-Chalcedonians need to accept seven Ecumenical councils to be Orthodox; those who say otherwise mock the very Church Fathers they claim to honor.

Please, I beseech you, do not accuse us of mocking the Church Fathers; I have a devotion to all pre-Chalcedonian saints and to almost all post-Chalcedonian saints, and I greatly admire many Roman Catholic saints.  We actively desire unity and many of us have a very high opinion of some parts of subsequent ecumenical councils.  I consider myself fully Orthodox and will receive the Eucharist from any EO who will give it to me as well as from the OO, and indeed, will receive it from a Catholic priest under the terms of the Code of Canon Laws of the Eastern Churches which allow Oriental Orthodox to receive the sacraments from the RC where no Orthodox church is available and if they are properly disposed to do so...a Syriac Orthodox priest at are convention in 2013 in Anaheim told me I should do this if Inwas ever in that situation and my confessor later verified it.  I have also heard reports that the Syriac Orthodox priest in Constantinople has provided communion to local Catholics; if this is true it might make us the only Orthodox church which has reciprocated the Vatican's Eucharistic hospitality.  Other OOs and probably most EOs would never do that and I dont think my local priest would do that, but it is interesting if true, especially if his Metropolitan approved.

Also, your own Church has examined our Christology and found it to be correct and free from error.

Food for thought as you continue to practice Catholicism while looking ad orientem.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 07:32:23 PM by wgw »
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline Justin Kolodziej

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #334 on: July 19, 2016, 07:33:39 PM »
heh. For the record that is part of why I am leaving the Roman Catholic Church, if they ever were the true Church they blew it since they don't even care that Trent happened anymore. Now the Pope's going to celebrate 500 years of Protestant heresy?

Just like it appears most of you don't seem to care that Chalcedon happened anymore. I will stick with Pope St. Leo over you or an army of not-so-Orthodox non-theologians saying it's all a big misunderstanding. ::) ::) ::)
Quote from: Nun M.
The dread Pantocrator...is also "Christouli mou", (my little Christ), who really listens when you run in to your neighborhood church on the way to work to cry and light a candle because your daughter is in trouble at school. The untouchable and all-holy Mother of God is also "Panayitsa mou", who really will take your part before the court of heaven because, just like your own mom, she’ll always stick up for her children, no matter how badly they’ve behaved.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #335 on: July 19, 2016, 08:53:51 PM »
I believe that Chalcedon provided an accurate statement regarding Christology. I don't presume to condemn people who have the same belief, but view it from a different angle. Both EO and OO proclaim that Christ was fully God and fully human. Unless you can show me how they differ, I will refrain from any condemnation.
God bless!

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #336 on: July 19, 2016, 10:13:46 PM »
heh. For the record that is part of why I am leaving the Roman Catholic Church, if they ever were the true Church they blew it since they don't even care that Trent happened anymore. Now the Pope's going to celebrate 500 years of Protestant heresy?

Just like it appears most of you don't seem to care that Chalcedon happened anymore. I will stick with Pope St. Leo over you or an army of not-so-Orthodox non-theologians saying it's all a big misunderstanding. ::) ::) ::)

i·ro·ny
ˈīrənē/
noun

a not-at-all Orthodox, disgruntled Roman Catholic judging Orthodox theologians as inferior to himself 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline wgw

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #337 on: July 20, 2016, 02:03:27 AM »
heh. For the record that is part of why I am leaving the Roman Catholic Church, if they ever were the true Church they blew it since they don't even care that Trent happened anymore. Now the Pope's going to celebrate 500 years of Protestant heresy?

Just like it appears most of you don't seem to care that Chalcedon happened anymore. I will stick with Pope St. Leo over you or an army of not-so-Orthodox non-theologians saying it's all a big misunderstanding. ::) ::) ::)

I have no problems using either Chalcedonian or Miaphysitenexpressions of faith, which is why I believe that this schism should end.  Indeed, it has nearly or partially ended many times before, for example, the attempted reunification of the two Patriarchates of Alexandria, rejected by the Albanian Khedive, in the 19th century (divide et impera and all that).  There is also the matter of the joint agreement between the Antiochian and Syriac churches...in Syria, a state of limited intercommunion has existed between the EOs ans OOs since 1992, the two churches agreed not to convert each others members and to communicate intermarried spouses, and to work towards a long term goal of reunification wherein the Syriac and Greco-Arab heritage of the two churches would be preserved.  Any remaining antipathy was crushed by the abduction of both of the Metropolitans of Aleppo as theynwere travelling back into Syria together, and the two churches have added prayers for their safe refurn to each others services, ongoing since 2013 now.

No other autocephalous canonical Eastern Orthodox church has condemned or severed communion with Antioch over this issue.  The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and the Ecumenical Patriarchate appear to be supporters; the Alexandrian churches have a similiar understanding, and I have heard reports that in Egypt, if not in the diaspora, of Copts receiving communion in EO parishes and vice versa, and of both sides being welcomed and communed at the Monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Catharine of Sinai.  I cant verify this, but more food for thought.  The Mscow Patriarchate is also developing exceedingly warm relations with the Armenian Apostolic Church.

So it seems to me there are three groups that may be of interest to you, all of which reject ecumenical reconciliation: the Greek Old Calendarists, the SSPX, or if you really want the Byzantine Rite, the SSPX Society of St. Josaphat, which is a traditionalist group that broke away from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church over the removal of Latinizations from the Byzantine Rite liturgy, like the Stations of the Cross, the Sacring Bells, and so on.  The latter group would give you Trent, if that council is particularly important to you.

In any case, God bless gou, and I hope you find what you are looking for.  You will find many EOs whomagree with your views but the EO concept of "You are what you are in communion with" which I suspect you agree with means you would be in communion with many Eastern Orthodox who are either unaware of the schism or want it to end, and with the leadership of several EO churches which have actively pursued ever closer union with their Oriental counterparts.  It remains probable that OO-EO reunion will predate EO-RC reunion (although I think the latter is slightly more urgent because of increasing instability in the Roman Church; we nearly reunited with the Anglicans, but the process took too long and in 1979 it became apparent there was nothing much left with which we could actually reunify, tragically).   The OO, EO and Assyrian churches are the only churches dogmatically stable enough to be able to last long enough in their current form for reunion to be, if not a certainty, very likely.

By the way, a question I like to pose to those who object to EO-OO reunification: are you familiar with, and do you agree with, the theology of the hymn Ho Monoges, written by St. Severus based on the writings of St. Athanasius and inserted into the Byzantine Rite liturgy by St. Justinian?   This hymn opens the Syriac Orthodox liturgy,  and in the Byzantine Rite liturgy is on most or all occasions part of the Second Antiphon, following the Typical Psalm or alternative Psalms or Antiphons on certain occasions.  It represents the EO concession to a correct form of Theopaschitism which avoids Monophysitism or Patripassianism, by saying, as I read it, that God died for us in the flesh put on by the person of the Son, the incarnate Word, albeit expressed in more eloquent terminology.

The confusion resulted from actual monophysites like the Eutychians, who became Tritheists, eventually teaching that God has three natures, one dor each person, and this cult I think became extinct in the Dark Ages; there were also related heretical groups and individuals who everyone disowns to varying degrees; the writings of John Philoponus for instance start out on a high note before descending into some unpleasant ideas the OOs and EOs reject.  You had some Copts who embraced Monothelitism, an attempted reconciliation, and others who stayed clear of it, and the Maronite Schism.  There was much confusion, and in the midst of this I think St. John of Damascus just did not have enough reliable information on the actual faith of the OOs. 

The Coptic parish I attended for many months had a pre (or post, I forget which) communion prayer by St. John of Damascus printed in laminated paper in English and Arabic in all the pews, for the congregation to say I think after they received the holy mysteries, and this is fairly typical.  I have never met an OO who doesnt want reconciliation with the EOs or else is unaware of the details of the schism, I believe since it was established that the EOs are not Nestorian rather clearly all OOs support reunion.

On the other hand, I have never met an Assyrian with kind words for the Copts and only one Copt (minasoliman) with anything nice to say about the Assyrians.   I met a chap at the Greek St. Anthonys at once who was an Assyrian taxi driver from the Bay Area who attended an Antiochian parish..lhis accent suggested he was largely a speaker of Arabic but he knew East Syriac liturgical phrases, and discussed with me at length about how Copts are not trustworthy, how  one cannot believe what they say in their theological declarations,et cetera, and on the other hand the Coptic Church blocked the Assyrian Church of the East from joining the Middle Eastern Council of Churches, which was perhaps a bit harsh especially in light of the cordial relationship between the Syriac Orthodox and Assyrian churches; I think it would have been better to keep the Pentecostals out myself.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline CoptoGeek

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #338 on: July 20, 2016, 09:11:04 AM »

On the other hand, I have never met an Assyrian with kind words for the Copts and only one Copt (minasoliman) with anything nice to say about the Assyrians.   I met a chap at the Greek St. Anthonys at once who was an Assyrian taxi driver from the Bay Area who attended an Antiochian parish..lhis accent suggested he was largely a speaker of Arabic but he knew East Syriac liturgical phrases, and discussed with me at length about how Copts are not trustworthy, how  one cannot believe what they say in their theological declarations,et cetera, and on the other hand the Coptic Church blocked the Assyrian Church of the East from joining the Middle Eastern Council of Churches, which was perhaps a bit harsh especially in light of the cordial relationship between the Syriac Orthodox and Assyrian churches; I think it would have been better to keep the Pentecostals out myself.

There are a lot of things changing that distrust between the 2 communities. It will take time, of course, but things are now headed in a positive direction.

some small examples:

SECRETARY OF THE HOLY SYNOD MEETS WITH SYNOD SECRETARY OF THE COPTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
http://news.assyrianchurch.org/secretary-of-the-holy-synod-meets-with-synod-secretary-of-the-coptic-orthodox-church/

Assyrian Bishop and ACERO send letter thanking ACM for raising funds for refugees.
http://www.auscma.com/2014/09/assyrian-bishop-and-acero-send-letter-thanking-acm-for-raising-funds-for-refugees/

Assyrian community stands with Egypt’s Copts
http://www.auscma.com/2015/03/assyrian-community-stands-with-egypts-copts/
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #339 on: July 20, 2016, 10:06:50 AM »
I consider myself fully Orthodox and will receive the Eucharist from any EO who will give it to me as well as from the OO, and indeed, will receive it from a Catholic priest under the terms of the Code of Canon Laws of the Eastern Churches which allow Oriental Orthodox to receive the sacraments from the RC where no Orthodox church is available and if they are properly disposed to do so...a Syriac Orthodox priest at are convention in 2013 in Anaheim told me I should do this if Inwas ever in that situation and my confessor later verified it.  I have also heard reports that the Syriac Orthodox priest in Constantinople has provided communion to local Catholics; if this is true it might make us the only Orthodox church which has reciprocated the Vatican's Eucharistic hospitality.  Other OOs and probably most EOs would never do that and I dont think my local priest would do that but it is interesting if true, especially if his Metropolitan approved.
Both Antiochian patriarchates are tragically very open eucharistically in Brazil and, God forgive me if I'm wrong, I believe both Dom Damaskinos and Mor José are part of it.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2016, 10:08:08 AM by RaphaCam »
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #340 on: July 20, 2016, 10:57:17 AM »
heh. For the record that is part of why I am leaving the Roman Catholic Church, if they ever were the true Church they blew it since they don't even care that Trent happened anymore. Now the Pope's going to celebrate 500 years of Protestant heresy?

Just like it appears most of you don't seem to care that Chalcedon happened anymore. I will stick with Pope St. Leo over you or an army of not-so-Orthodox non-theologians saying it's all a big misunderstanding. ::) ::) ::)

I have no problems using either Chalcedonian or Miaphysitenexpressions of faith, which is why I believe that this schism should end.  Indeed, it has nearly or partially ended many times before, for example, the attempted reunification of the two Patriarchates of Alexandria, rejected by the Albanian Khedive, in the 19th century (divide et impera and all that).  There is also the matter of the joint agreement between the Antiochian and Syriac churches...in Syria, a state of limited intercommunion has existed between the EOs ans OOs since 1992, the two churches agreed not to convert each others members and to communicate intermarried spouses, and to work towards a long term goal of reunification wherein the Syriac and Greco-Arab heritage of the two churches would be preserved.  Any remaining antipathy was crushed by the abduction of both of the Metropolitans of Aleppo as theynwere travelling back into Syria together, and the two churches have added prayers for their safe refurn to each others services, ongoing since 2013 now.

No other autocephalous canonical Eastern Orthodox church has condemned or severed communion with Antioch over this issue.  The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and the Ecumenical Patriarchate appear to be supporters; the Alexandrian churches have a similiar understanding, and I have heard reports that in Egypt, if not in the diaspora, of Copts receiving communion in EO parishes and vice versa, and of both sides being welcomed and communed at the Monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Catharine of Sinai.  I cant verify this, but more food for thought.  The Mscow Patriarchate is also developing exceedingly warm relations with the Armenian Apostolic Church.

So it seems to me there are three groups that may be of interest to you, all of which reject ecumenical reconciliation: the Greek Old Calendarists, the SSPX, or if you really want the Byzantine Rite, the SSPX Society of St. Josaphat, which is a traditionalist group that broke away from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church over the removal of Latinizations from the Byzantine Rite liturgy, like the Stations of the Cross, the Sacring Bells, and so on.  The latter group would give you Trent, if that council is particularly important to you.

In any case, God bless gou, and I hope you find what you are looking for.  You will find many EOs whomagree with your views but the EO concept of "You are what you are in communion with" which I suspect you agree with means you would be in communion with many Eastern Orthodox who are either unaware of the schism or want it to end, and with the leadership of several EO churches which have actively pursued ever closer union with their Oriental counterparts.  It remains probable that OO-EO reunion will predate EO-RC reunion (although I think the latter is slightly more urgent because of increasing instability in the Roman Church; we nearly reunited with the Anglicans, but the process took too long and in 1979 it became apparent there was nothing much left with which we could actually reunify, tragically).   The OO, EO and Assyrian churches are the only churches dogmatically stable enough to be able to last long enough in their current form for reunion to be, if not a certainty, very likely.

By the way, a question I like to pose to those who object to EO-OO reunification: are you familiar with, and do you agree with, the theology of the hymn Ho Monoges, written by St. Severus based on the writings of St. Athanasius and inserted into the Byzantine Rite liturgy by St. Justinian?   This hymn opens the Syriac Orthodox liturgy,  and in the Byzantine Rite liturgy is on most or all occasions part of the Second Antiphon, following the Typical Psalm or alternative Psalms or Antiphons on certain occasions.  It represents the EO concession to a correct form of Theopaschitism which avoids Monophysitism or Patripassianism, by saying, as I read it, that God died for us in the flesh put on by the person of the Son, the incarnate Word, albeit expressed in more eloquent terminology.

The confusion resulted from actual monophysites like the Eutychians, who became Tritheists, eventually teaching that God has three natures, one dor each person, and this cult I think became extinct in the Dark Ages; there were also related heretical groups and individuals who everyone disowns to varying degrees; the writings of John Philoponus for instance start out on a high note before descending into some unpleasant ideas the OOs and EOs reject.  You had some Copts who embraced Monothelitism, an attempted reconciliation, and others who stayed clear of it, and the Maronite Schism.  There was much confusion, and in the midst of this I think St. John of Damascus just did not have enough reliable information on the actual faith of the OOs. 

The Coptic parish I attended for many months had a pre (or post, I forget which) communion prayer by St. John of Damascus printed in laminated paper in English and Arabic in all the pews, for the congregation to say I think after they received the holy mysteries, and this is fairly typical.  I have never met an OO who doesnt want reconciliation with the EOs or else is unaware of the details of the schism, I believe since it was established that the EOs are not Nestorian rather clearly all OOs support reunion.

On the other hand, I have never met an Assyrian with kind words for the Copts and only one Copt (minasoliman) with anything nice to say about the Assyrians.   I met a chap at the Greek St. Anthonys at once who was an Assyrian taxi driver from the Bay Area who attended an Antiochian parish..lhis accent suggested he was largely a speaker of Arabic but he knew East Syriac liturgical phrases, and discussed with me at length about how Copts are not trustworthy, how  one cannot believe what they say in their theological declarations,et cetera, and on the other hand the Coptic Church blocked the Assyrian Church of the East from joining the Middle Eastern Council of Churches, which was perhaps a bit harsh especially in light of the cordial relationship between the Syriac Orthodox and Assyrian churches; I think it would have been better to keep the Pentecostals out myself.

Wait isn't the Assyrian Church of the East Nestorian?  the Copts probably did a good thing by not letting the ACOE join the Middle Eastern council of Churches.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2016, 11:26:50 AM by seekeroftruth777 »

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #341 on: July 20, 2016, 11:19:29 AM »
Wait isn't the Assyrian Church of the East Nestorian?  the Cops probably did a good thing by not letting the ACOE join the Middle Eastern council of Churches.

I didn't read wgw's post, so I'm not sure what he said, but considering the current membership of the MECC, I'm not sure letting the Assyrians join would've been a bad thing.   
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #342 on: July 20, 2016, 11:46:20 AM »
Wait isn't the Assyrian Church of the East Nestorian?  the Cops probably did a good thing by not letting the ACOE join the Middle Eastern council of Churches.

I didn't read wgw's post, so I'm not sure what he said, but considering the current membership of the MECC, I'm not sure letting the Assyrians join would've been a bad thing.

I see what you mean, there a lot of Evangelical Churches apart of MECC, so the ACOE should fit right in.

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #343 on: July 20, 2016, 11:56:31 AM »
Wait isn't the Assyrian Church of the East Nestorian?  the Cops probably did a good thing by not letting the ACOE join the Middle Eastern council of Churches.

I didn't read wgw's post, so I'm not sure what he said, but considering the current membership of the MECC, I'm not sure letting the Assyrians join would've been a bad thing.

I see what you mean, there a lot of Evangelical Churches apart of MECC, so the ACOE should fit right in.

Not exactly, but yeah, if we can tolerate Evangelicals, we can tolerate Assyrians. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Remnkemi

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #344 on: July 20, 2016, 12:16:33 PM »
By the way, a question I like to pose to those who object to EO-OO reunification: are you familiar with, and do you agree with, the theology of the hymn Ho Monoges, written by St. Severus based on the writings of St. Athanasius and inserted into the Byzantine Rite liturgy by St. Justinian?   This hymn opens the Syriac Orthodox liturgy,  and in the Byzantine Rite liturgy is on most or all occasions part of the Second Antiphon, following the Typical Psalm or alternative Psalms or Antiphons on certain occasions.  It represents the EO concession to a correct form of Theopaschitism which avoids Monophysitism or Patripassianism, by saying, as I read it, that God died for us in the flesh put on by the person of the Son, the incarnate Word, albeit expressed in more eloquent terminology.
The EO position is that Ho Monogenes was written by St Justinian, not St Severus or St Athanasius. Additionally, the EO version of Ho Monogenes does not have the Trisagion additions that the Coptic version has (and I'm not sure if the Syrian and Armenian versions have it either). Thus, Ho Monogenes does not represent any concession from the EO. How could it since Canon 81 of Trullo forbids any form of Theopaschitism or additions to the Trisagion?

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #345 on: July 20, 2016, 12:28:39 PM »
The EO position is that Ho Monogenes was written by St Justinian, not St Severus or St Athanasius. Additionally, the EO version of Ho Monogenes does not have the Trisagion additions that the Coptic version has (and I'm not sure if the Syrian and Armenian versions have it either).

Neither the Syrians nor the Armenians have "the Trisagion additions that the Coptic version has".  The hymn is more or less identical among the Byzantine, Syriac, and Armenian traditions. 

That is not to say there's no connection at all.  "Only Begotten Son" is sung in close proximity to the Trisagion.  While there is a little space between the two in the Byzantine and Armenian Liturgies, the Trisagion follows "Only Begotten Son" in the Syriac Liturgy, though it is not considered part of the hymn.   
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #346 on: July 20, 2016, 12:40:49 PM »
I am a little confused. I open an online Badarak and find that the Trisagion is sung as a Christological hymn with additions. And the additions ORIGINATED in the Syrian church in Antioch and were used by Chalcedonians as well as non-Chalcedonians..
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #347 on: July 20, 2016, 12:50:39 PM »
I am a little confused. I open an online Badarak and find that the Trisagion is sung as a Christological hymn with additions.

Yes.  I'm sorry for the confusion, I didn't mean that the Trisagion itself lacks the concluding phrases which demonstrate their Christological nature. 

Quote
O only-begotten Son, the eternal and immortal Word of God; who for our salvation did will to be incarnate of the holy Theotokos (and ever Virgin Mary)

Who without change became man and was crucified, the Christ God. Trampled down death by death. One of the Holy Trinity, who is glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.

Holy God, who being God, for our sake, became man without change.

Holy Mighty, who by weakness showed forth what is greater than power.

Holy Immortal, who was crucified for our sake, and endured death in His flesh, the Eternal and Immortal.

O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us.


http://tasbeha.org/hymn_library/view/149

What I meant was that the bolded portions are not part of the hymn in the Byzantine, Syriac, and Armenian traditions. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Remnkemi

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #348 on: July 20, 2016, 06:05:39 PM »
That is not to say there's no connection at all.  "Only Begotten Son" is sung in close proximity to the Trisagion.  While there is a little space between the two in the Byzantine and Armenian Liturgies, the Trisagion follows "Only Begotten Son" in the Syriac Liturgy, though it is not considered part of the hymn.   
I should correct something. The Coptic version actually has two Trisagion hymns after "Only Begotten Son". One was attached to "Only Begotten Son" and the second (the common) Trisagion follows immediately after the first Trisagion (at least on Great Friday).

This leaves us with four (possibly independent?) developments of the hymn "Only Begotten Son". (1) Following Only Begotten Son, in the Byzantine tradition, there is some space before the Trisagion and there are no additions to the Trisagion. (2) Following Only Begotten Son, in the Armenian tradition, there is some space before the Trisagion with the common additions to the Trisagion. (3) Following Only Begotten Son, in the Coptic tradition only, a separate Trisagion with uncommon additions was combined into Only Begotten Son. (4) Following Only Begotten Son, in the Syriac and Coptic traditions, the Trisagion with the common additions is said immediately after.

It seems that the Coptic tradition may be a combination of the Syriac and Armenian traditions, i.e., Following Only Begotten Son, in the Coptic tradition, there is a space (of one additional Trisagion) before the common Trisagion is said. The difference between (2) and (3) is that the Coptic tradition merged the space/uncommon Trisagion into Only Begotten Son, while the Armenians did not merge anything into the Only Begotten Son hymn, and the Syrians did not leave any space.

Is this correct?

My original point remains. The EO never conceded to anything regarding theopaschitism in the Only Begotten Son hymn. 

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #349 on: July 20, 2016, 06:40:04 PM »
It seems that the Coptic tradition may be a combination of the Syriac and Armenian traditions, i.e., Following Only Begotten Son, in the Coptic tradition, there is a space (of one additional Trisagion) before the common Trisagion is said. The difference between (2) and (3) is that the Coptic tradition merged the space/uncommon Trisagion into Only Begotten Son, while the Armenians did not merge anything into the Only Begotten Son hymn, and the Syrians did not leave any space.

Is this correct?

It sounds like a generally correct summary of what we have today, yes. 

Did the Coptic tradition ever have a tradition of Communion on Good Friday, be it with the standard Liturgy or a Presanctified Liturgy? 

Quote
My original point remains. The EO never conceded to anything regarding theopaschitism in the Only Begotten Son hymn.

As you've pointed out, they condemn the Christological Trisagion, but "...who were crucified, O Christ our God, trampling down death by death, (who are) one of the Holy Trinity..." certainly sounds like an attempt at theopaschite language.   
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #350 on: July 21, 2016, 02:15:56 AM »
Now chaps do you believe the Chalcedonian statement that our St. Peter Fullo added the Theopaschite clause?

For me, by the way, Theopaschitism is essential to Orthodox.  I can't accept anyone who does not believe God suffered in the flesh and died in his humanity in order to facilitate our salvation after the year 600 or so, by which time this implication of the Nicene Creed had ample time to propagate, as fully Orthodox.  The anti-Theopaschites simply did not realize this and as I see it some tried desperately to avoid it while avoiding Arianism, via Nestorianism.

I can tell you, when debating neo-Arians online, like JWs, the temptation to resort to Nestorian arguments is strong, but I won't do it, because I believe the Only Begotten Son of God is coequal and coessential with God the Father, and that the Word became flesh and died and was resurrected so that we may also be resurrected.  I think the desire to avoid this theopaschitism came from Greek classical theism.

In modern day Protestantism, I think its a crypto-Arian thing, wherein many evangelicals are not strong on dogma and would not say that Jesus == God.

I do accept the EO use of the hymn as Trinitarian, because of its three clauses, but they have to understand our Christological use of the Trisagion.  Its exactly like the Russian Old Believers and the Sign of the Cross: when they make it, its Christological, whereas to other EOs and I think, to us, it is Trinitarian.  Either way, it seems this sort of thing is what the Lutherans would call "Adiaphora" and these hymns and gestures can be Trinitarian or Christological without threatening Orthodoxy.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #351 on: July 21, 2016, 06:35:50 AM »
In Antioch the Chalcedonians were happy to use the Trisagion as the Christological hymn it was and made additions themselves.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #352 on: July 21, 2016, 09:43:48 AM »
In Antioch the Chalcedonians were happy to use the Trisagion as the Christological hymn it was and made additions themselves.

Indeed, before the suppression of the West Syriac Rite and the Greek eauivalents of it by Constantinople around the time of the Fourth Crusade.

One blessing that I get the sense our beloved Antiochian brethren want from the forthcoming reunion is the West Syriac Rite, which we have preserved in its fullest form.  This I envisage would replace the Byzantine Rite in certain Syriac speaking villages in Syria in a phased process, or be hybridized with it.

Since right now, all aspects of why reunification should occur have been presented by various theologians including yourself, I myself am most interested in proposing how it should occur, in a manner that will not make any members of either side in the reunited churches of Antioch and Alexandria unhappy.  In the case of Armenian and Ethiopia this is not an issue; these are separate communities and the only possible diffuclty Imcould see is that the Armenians call their lower ranking autocephalous bishops Patriarchs, and the higher ranking ones Catholicoi, whereas the Byzantine and Syriac tradition was the reverse; I am sure however that it would be understood that the Armenian Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Constantinople were Patriarchs of the Armenians only.  Espeicially given that His Beatitude the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem has been photographed in a long, boring meeting sleeping on the shoulder of his graciously obliging Armenian counterpart (they were seated next to each other and I believe His Beatitude Theophilus simply fell asleep, it was nothing untoward).

Our clergy have become brethren, are people are being reunited through the shared horror of persecution.  I believe if we are lucky, we might get some Catholics to join us as well.   It would be very nice if the Melkite Patriarchate in Syria merged with the Antiochian Patriarchate; in the case of the Syriacs I believe the Syriac Catholics are similiar to the Chaldeans in that that was a schism along ethnic lines, but my dream is for that Patriarch of Antioch, and for the Maronite Patriarch, to be reconciled as well.   

What would be even better then would be if we could actually locate the chancery and cathedral of the patriarchate in Antioch rather than Damascus.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #353 on: July 21, 2016, 10:50:01 AM »
In modern day Protestantism, I think its a crypto-Arian thing, wherein many evangelicals are not strong on dogma and would not say that Jesus == God.
I think Arianism can come to be an archetype rather than only a doctrine, like Gnosticism.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #354 on: July 21, 2016, 01:34:11 PM »
these are separate communities and the only possible diffuclty Imcould see is that the Armenians call their lower ranking autocephalous bishops Patriarchs, and the higher ranking ones Catholicoi, whereas the Byzantine and Syriac tradition was the reverse; I am sure however that it would be understood that the Armenian Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Constantinople were Patriarchs of the Armenians only. 
The Armenian Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Istanbul are not autocephalous. They are autonomous and recognize the primacy and jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin.

The patriarchs do not hold the rank of patriarch; only the title. They are archbishops by rank.

I can honestly say, and I mean this in all charity, wgw... I've spent a lifetime in the Armenian Church. Most of the time, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 01:34:41 PM by Aram »

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #355 on: July 23, 2016, 06:49:26 PM »
these are separate communities and the only possible diffuclty Imcould see is that the Armenians call their lower ranking autocephalous bishops Patriarchs, and the higher ranking ones Catholicoi, whereas the Byzantine and Syriac tradition was the reverse; I am sure however that it would be understood that the Armenian Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Constantinople were Patriarchs of the Armenians only. 
The Armenian Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Istanbul are not autocephalous. They are autonomous and recognize the primacy and jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin.

The patriarchs do not hold the rank of patriarch; only the title. They are archbishops by rank.

I can honestly say, and I mean this in all charity, wgw... I've spent a lifetime in the Armenian Church. Most of the time, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

I respect that...the Armenian church is the OO church I am least familiar with and with Salpy posting less frequently I have very little access to information about it. 

So who appoints the Patriarchs of Istanbul and Jerusalem?  I was under the impression they had their own Holy Synods?  Are they in fact appointed by Etchmiadzin?   And when there was the Soviet-induced schism between Etchmiadzin and Cilicia, did that cause any problems with, for example, pilgrims from the diaspora who were affiliated with Cilicia?
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #356 on: July 23, 2016, 06:49:56 PM »
In modern day Protestantism, I think its a crypto-Arian thing, wherein many evangelicals are not strong on dogma and would not say that Jesus == God.
I think Arianism can come to be an archetype rather than only a doctrine, like Gnosticism.

Agreed.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline Aram

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #357 on: July 24, 2016, 12:36:41 AM »
these are separate communities and the only possible diffuclty Imcould see is that the Armenians call their lower ranking autocephalous bishops Patriarchs, and the higher ranking ones Catholicoi, whereas the Byzantine and Syriac tradition was the reverse; I am sure however that it would be understood that the Armenian Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Constantinople were Patriarchs of the Armenians only. 
The Armenian Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Istanbul are not autocephalous. They are autonomous and recognize the primacy and jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin.

The patriarchs do not hold the rank of patriarch; only the title. They are archbishops by rank.

I can honestly say, and I mean this in all charity, wgw... I've spent a lifetime in the Armenian Church. Most of the time, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

I respect that...the Armenian church is the OO church I am least familiar with and with Salpy posting less frequently I have very little access to information about it. 

So who appoints the Patriarchs of Istanbul and Jerusalem?  I was under the impression they had their own Holy Synods?  Are they in fact appointed by Etchmiadzin?   And when there was the Soviet-induced schism between Etchmiadzin and Cilicia, did that cause any problems with, for example, pilgrims from the diaspora who were affiliated with Cilicia?
The Patriarchs of Istanbul and Jerusalem are selected by the members of their respective monastic brotherhoods. They are not synods. The voting body consists of every monastic from around the world (essentially exclusively priests and bishops) who are members of those particular brotherhoods. For instance, the two bishops in the Eastern Diocese of the United States are both voting members of the Brotherhood of St. James, and travel to Jerusalem whenever there is an election.

It's a bit of a loaded statement to say the "schism" between Cilicia and Etchmiadzin was "Soviet-induced," as if there was no history before the 1950s, but OK. No. It's not a schism as much as it is a disagreement over primacy--and that disagreement is really only relevant in the Americas. There has never been a break in communion. The relationships between the two parties in the places where it's an issue can vary from tolerance and relatively collegiality to outright hostility and vindictiveness, but it does not constitute a formal canonical schism. If I wanted to, I could go to a Prelacy church and receive communion, serve on the altar, etc. I don't as a matter of principle, but I could. Ergo, no problems for pilgrims and all of that.