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Author Topic: Syrian and Indian Orthodox Christians on the ACE?  (Read 3035 times) Average Rating: 0
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minasoliman
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« on: January 13, 2007, 09:32:31 PM »

Dear Syrian Orthodox, Syrian Indian Orthodox, and Indian Orthodox members,

What are your views concerning the Assyrian Church of the East?  What are some heirarchs' views?

What is going on presently in the community between the two churches, ACE and the churches of Syriac and Malankara tradition, where the ACE is to be found?

Thank you.

Mina
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2007, 10:44:35 PM »

Dear Mina,

   Relations between the two jurisdisdictions of the OO and the Church of the East in India  are cordial. Lot of good work is being done in the field of Syriac studies at SEERI in India.  I have heard that Church of the East deacons and seminarians do drop in sometimes at the Old seminary of the Syrians in Kerala. Also in Syraic studies some work is also going on together at pro oriente.

However that is about it.  Any discussions for reunion will obviously take place at a higher plane, the Indian churches IMO will not go forward in isolation from the broader communion. Also people to people contact is very rare, the Chaldeans( as they are known in India) are mostly concentrated in one district of Kerala.  The other predominant Church in that area is the East Syrian Uniate Church, although we do have some churches. Yet I have come across only 2-3 Assyrians in my life.

 
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paul2004
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2007, 06:56:13 PM »

Our Church, the Orthodox Syrian Church (which you call dearly as Indian Orthodox), invites the Metropolitan of Church of the East in India for public functions and maintains good relationship with that Church. But no communion yet. We share a major part of Church history with the Church of the East. Mar Aprem, the Metropolitan of Church of the East is a prolific writer and can play Sitar (Indian Classical instrument). He is the author of 'A bishop's book of jokes' (I have a copy of this book). He is also the author of a book on the history of the Church of the East. Check some photos:
http://www.stmaryassyrianchurch.com/component/option,com_zoom/Itemid,30/catid,27/
http://www.nestorian.org/h__e__dr__mar_aprem_metropolit_0.html

Paul
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2007, 07:03:54 PM »

Thank you both.  The main point that I am trying to get at, although I was trying to do it subtly, is that has there been any indication by your churches or heirarchs to regard the Assyrian Church of the East as Orthodox, that, as they say, many agree there might have been a theological misunderstanding in our history? 

There are rumors flying around that the Syrian Orthodox especially are disappointed that they cannot continue dialogue with the ACE without the Coptic Church's involvement (or some consider it "approval").  My understanding was that the Syrian Church found the dialogues very "fruitful" until interrupted by an Oriental Orthodox meeting where HH Pope Shenouda requested that we work together on making ecclesiastical decisions rather than separately.

Thank you.

Mina
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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2007, 07:19:01 PM »

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HH Pope Shenouda requested that we work together on making ecclesiastical decisions rather than separately.

Which is ofcourse a wise direction to pursue.

Just look at the conflict within the EO Church over the issue of dialogue with us. The only real stumbling block to unity (or at least to a clear-cut conclusion that there can be no unity) is the lack of a unified voice within that Communion. If we allow the Syrian Orthodox to continue independent dialogue with the Assyrians, then we are leaving our own Communion open to the same internal and ecumenical dilemmas.
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2007, 07:22:27 PM »

Which is ofcourse a wise direction to pursue.

Just look at the conflict within the EO Church over the issue of dialogue with us. The only real stumbling block to unity (or at least to a clear-cut conclusion that there can be no unity) is the lack of a unified voice within that Communion. If we allow the Syrian Orthodox to continue independent dialogue with the Assyrians, then we are leaving our own Communion open to the same internal and ecumenical dilemmas.

Absolutely, I never disagreed with the Pope's decision, and I'm glad the other two churches, the Syrian and Armenian churches, agreed to begin having a unified voice rather than working independently.  I'm very curious however at the views shared by Syrian and Indian faithful.

God bless.

Mina
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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.
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2007, 11:43:53 PM »

Dear Mina and EA,

  Regarding the Church of the East, I cant say for the Syrians but the Indians will certainly move along with the others.  There are many who suspect that the Assyrians are really Nestorian , Babai the Greats Christology notwithstanding?

 We have good relations with them but not many of the real Christological stuff is being handled on the ground.
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2007, 01:14:06 AM »

What exactly in the substance of the faith makes the Assyrian Church Nestorian ? Do they have a creed that clearly separates the natures of Christ as separate centers of action or synodal letters that contains a clear denial of the one incarnate nature of the Lord Jesus Christ ?

Now that every dogma is open for reinterpretation and reformulation, and as such the history as lived by the ancestors is being rearranged, why not extend the same courtesy to the Assyrian ? The link that Paul2000 included in his post does not at any point deny the hypostatic union but rather the confusion of attributes between the two natures. The names that they venerate are of course not favorable for us, Theodret, Nestorius, Theodore, Diodore, ... but let us not forget that Theodret, Ibas and Theodore are fundamental to Chalcedon's history as well and Leo of Rome, Juvenal of Jerusalem and others are not so much loved among us as well.

I feel that what the Assyrian Church ask from us to pursue unity, and we reject it, is not much different that we ask the Chalcedonian to do.

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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2007, 03:40:04 AM »

Quote
I feel that what the Assyrian Church ask from us to pursue unity, and we reject it, is not much different that we ask the Chalcedonian to do.

How true are these words!  I have similar feelings myself as well concerning this.  While my feelings on Nestorius might be different from those of Leo, I don't see the consistency behind our actions in rejecting dialogue with the Assyrians while running after dialogues in seeking unity with the Chalcedonians.

But repeatedly, I have heard that there were scandals among the ACE on us, in that they were supposed to accept Ephesus and condemn Nestorius, which they later "changed their minds" about.  I still want to validate these accusations made against them by our bishops.  It is probably in this type of ill-will that we justify ourselves in rejecting the dialogues with the ACE.

God bless.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 03:42:09 AM by minasoliman » Logged

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.
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2007, 04:03:08 PM »

Dear all, The Assyrian church of the East already accepted the council of Chalcedon.  Our OO Churches are almost (to some extent) reconciled with EO.

I hope we can wait till our theological scholars engage in dialogue with Assyrian Church of the East. But I believe it doesn't hurt to maintain good human relationship with them, especially inviting them to public functions etc. 

See below some photos of Catholicos-Patriarch of the East of Assyrian Church and Catholicos of the East of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church - two Patriarchs keeping the succession of Apostle Thomas.

http://www.1church.org/Picture_06/Bava%20Thirumeni's%20Visit%20to%20Chicago/Album2.htm

Paul
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2007, 10:48:40 PM »

I don't see the consistency behind our actions in rejecting dialogue with the Assyrians while running after dialogues in seeking unity with the Chalcedonians.


Actually, while the EO's and the Church of the East have quite a bit in common (both accept the language of Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo) there are also differences between them.  It is those differences which make the EO's Orthodox from our point of view, but not the Assyrians.

The EO's accept the Third Council, while the Church of the East doesn't. 

Also, the EO's, since their "Fifth Council", have rejected Theodore of Mopsuestia, have stopped celebrating the feast day of Nestorius (some EO's used to celebrate it prior to that council) and have accepted the belief that God in the flesh suffered on the Cross.  The Assyrians, on the other hand, still celebrate Theodore and Nestorius as saints and will not say that God suffered on the Cross.  I think they prefer to say the Christ's human nature suffered on the Cross.

Also, although there are Assyrian theologians who accept the phrase "Mother of God," they will do so only if it is surrounded with qualifying language to make it clear that she is no more than the the Mother of Christ's human nature.  The Tome of Leo is an example of this.  It calls St. Mary "Mother of God," but evidently the other language in the Tome allows the Assyrians to believe it means something other than what we believe "Mother of God" means.  The EO's on the other hand, since their Fifth Council, mean what we mean when they say "Mother of God" and use the phrase without reservation.

So you see, even though the EO's share the Church of the East's Christological language, the EO's actual beliefs about Christ are the same as ours, while the Church of the East is in some way different.  Even my priest says the Assyrians are "heretics" and he is very ecumenical in his outlook. 
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 10:53:15 PM by Salpy » Logged

EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2007, 11:03:13 PM »

Quote
But repeatedly, I have heard that there were scandals among the ACE on us, in that they were supposed to accept Ephesus and condemn Nestorius, which they later "changed their minds" about.  I still want to validate these accusations made against them by our bishops.

H.E. Metropolitan Bishoy has evidenced this in his latest book written against a certain Monk Athanasius. In fact I think his work is titled Against Monk Athanasius.

As far as the idea of consistency in our approach to the EO's and the Assyrians goes, I would have to concur with Salpy. Were it not for Constantinople 553, we wouldn't even bother having dialogue with the EO's and would probably expect them to renounce Chalcedon altogether. However, since in light of that Council their Christology seems properly qualified, we see hope in unity with them. Such proper qualification has not been exercised by the Assyrians as of yet, who, as far as I can tell, continue to promote the crypto-Nestorian Christological tradition of Theodoret of Cyrus.
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2007, 02:33:15 AM »

H.E. Metropolitan Bishoy has evidenced this in his latest book written against a certain Monk Athanasius. In fact I think his work is titled Against Monk Athanasius.

Is this a different book than "The Assyrian Church of the East"?
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2007, 12:13:04 PM »

To All

I am very interested in finding out more about the Assyrian Church community.

Is it Orthodox?

I have read various books on the subject including the Malankara. I must admit that their is so many turns and twists in the Malankara history and origin (from what I have read) it is still the only community I will not discuss with people since I can not be sure of what to say. I want to once and for all be certain on the basic heritage of this important Christian communion.

Suggestions!

Deacon Amdetsion
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2007, 01:00:11 AM »

Amtedesion,

  I think you are confusing the Syrian identity of the Malankara Church with the Assyrian church.

Are there twists and turns yes, but primarily because of the influence of the Latins who managed to create two uniate churches, and the protestants whom we were foolish enough to trust who went on to breed heresy and caused two schisms.
From the East syrian uniate Church some went over to the Nestorian patriarchate and formed what is now the Assyrian community in Kerala.

Then last of all, the OO church in India split over the question of how much authority the Patriarch of Antioch has in India. One group continues to be part of the Antiochene Church, one group under the  Metropolitan and Catholicos.
 
This is in brief, ask if you have specific questions

Suraj
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Tags: Assyrian Indian Orthodox Syriac Orthodox nestorian Church of the East Christology Chalcedon nestorianism 
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