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Landon77
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« on: January 25, 2007, 02:56:54 PM »

I was wondering if there would be any objections in the EO Church for an EO Christian using Oriental Orthodox icons of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.
I think the Oriental look is just more appealing than the Byzantine style.  Of course, I already have icons, so I'm not going to rush out and buy new ones, but I am wondering.
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2007, 03:08:21 PM »

I'd imagine that there is leeway within EOxy to adopt such a practice given the Agreed Statements of the Joint Commission that testify to a common life of the Spirit stemming from a common fidelity to the Apostolic Tradition. Those who don't concur with the conclusions of the Joint Commission would opine otherwise, but the greater weight of authority ultimately stands against them.
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2007, 09:05:22 PM »

I don't think the style matters, personally. Its the same people.
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2007, 03:36:22 AM »

Quote
I don't think the style matters, personally. Its the same people.

I don't think style is the concern here (nor should it be, since an Icon is not merely religious art). The main concern would be that Icons, being a concrete expression of Holy Tradition, must reflect the Mind of the Church, and that the work of the Iconographers themselves must be pursued within the spirit of Holy Tradition.

To those of us who acknowledge the highest authorities of our Church (which, in the case of the EO's, are at a local level, and in the case of the OO's are at an Ecumenical level) who have in effect agreed that the other's Church has always maintained true and genuine fidelity to Holy Tradition, it would thus be no problem to utilise the Icons of the other's Church.
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2007, 05:01:08 PM »

I was wondering if there would be any objections in the EO Church for an EO Christian using Oriental Orthodox icons of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.
I think the Oriental look is just more appealing than the Byzantine style.  Of course, I already have icons, so I'm not going to rush out and buy new ones, but I am wondering.

As far as I am aware, there is nothing wrong with EOs using OO icons. There is even a Coptic icon of Christ and the Virgin hanging in the Greek Old Calendarist monastery I sometimes visit. So if they're happy to have them..... Wink

There is certainly nothing theologically or stylistically wrong with OO iconography. In fact, the icons of the Georgian Church, which is EO, is a lot closer to Syrian or Coptic iconography than it is to the Byzantine style.

The only problem I can see is that icons should traditionally be painted by faithful members from within the Church. Therefore one could argue that its not appropriate to use icons painted by schismatics; even if they're stylistically identical to the icons produced by those within the Church, as would be true in the case of Uniate Catholics for example.
But I don't really see this as a valid reason to not use an icon. Especially since the vast majority of people will have prints rather than hand-painted icons in their homes. There are even stories of prints streaming with myrrh. I don't think a printer can be considered to be within the Church, nor do I think there was a huge amount of prayer involved as it was glued onto a piece of plywood.
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2007, 05:33:54 PM »


The only problem I can see is that icons should traditionally be painted by faithful members from within the Church. Therefore one could argue that its not appropriate to use icons painted by schismatics; even if they're stylistically identical to the icons produced by those within the Church, as would be true in the case of Uniate Catholics for example.
the priest of our Western Rite Church here was once told to get rid of one of his icons that adorned the back wall of the church (I can't remember what it depicted) because it was from Monastery Icons which is an Eastern Catholic group.  I asked him if the icon itself included elements that were untraditional or distorted the theology of the Orthodox, to which he replied no, but said that this order came from the bishop when he noticed it on a recent visit.  So, if icons written by schismatic Catholics are taboo, would not the same be for icons written by OO Christians, despite the work and finding of the joint commission?

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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2007, 05:48:33 PM »

Monastery Icons are not an Eastern Catholic Group but a vagante group using the name Light of Christ Monastery and formerly Holy Protection Gnostic Orthodox Monastery.

On the otherhand, I know of Orthodox parishes that continue to use icons painted by Greek Catholics when they were still Greek Catholic parishes or bought churches off Greek Catholics and used the church, including icons, as is.

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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2007, 05:59:34 PM »

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So, if icons written by schismatic Catholics are taboo, would not the same be for icons written by OO Christians, despite the work and finding of the joint commission?

The Agreements of the Joint Commission do not seem to envisage either party as being outright "schismatic". They testify to two "families of Orthodox". One need only look at the practical steps taken by the Alexandrian and Antiochian Patriarchates in response to the Agreements of the Joint Commission to confirm what the already clear implications of the wording of the Agreements of the Joint Commission are.
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2007, 06:07:04 PM »

Monastery Icons are not an Eastern Catholic Group but a vagante group using the name Light of Christ Monastery and formerly Holy Protection Gnostic Orthodox Monastery.
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Thanks for the correction, Fr. Deacon!

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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2007, 10:00:45 AM »

I have been told that certain icons are NOT allowed in the EO church, from the OO church. 

Mainly they are Icons of saints which the EO does not accept as saints.  Also the OO does not accept some of the EO saints. 

Like some have said before.  If certain "fathers" do not follow an agreed upon concept of Holy Tradition (etc.) then they are not "accepted" as saints. 

I wonder if any of you have anything further on this....??

p.s.  I think Christ and Mary are not amongst those in contention (this has been my understanding, but I could be wrong). 
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2007, 06:26:53 PM »

serb1389,

Quote
Like some have said before.  If certain "fathers" do not follow an agreed upon concept of Holy Tradition (etc.) then they are not "accepted" as saints. 


Even in regard to using icons of Fathers and Saints of the other's Church subsequent to the division at Chalcedon, I would similarly appeal to the Agreements of the Joint Commission--which, as I have already stressed, are advocated by the highest authorities of the EO Church (that is, in the absence of any declaration by an EO Ecumenical Council) i.e. Local Synods--to make the point that there seems to be leeway within EOxy to pursue such a practice. In the First Agreed Statement (1989) it was agreed that:

Quote
We have inherited from our fathers in Christ the one apostolic faith and tradition, though as Churches we have been separated from each.


Here the common Apostolic Faith and Tradition is said to be rooted in our very Fathers, rather than in spite of them.

In the 9th point of the Second Agreed Statement (1990) it was agreed that:

Quote
In light of our Agreed Statement on Christology as well as of the above common affirmations, we have now clearly understood that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition.

Again there is this tacit affirmation of the Orthodoxy of our Fathers of the past in the clear affirmation that the agreed upon mutual sharing of the "same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition", is something our Church's have "always loyally maintained"--it is one that was loyally maintained in the age of our very Fathers, even those who are at the heart of the controversey.

The Chalcedonian Orthodox Church of Antioch goes even further in its 1991 statement regarding its relationship with the Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Church of Antioch, stating:

Quote
We affirm the total and mutual respect of the spirituality, heritage and Holy Fathers of both Churches.


The next point affirms the practical step to be taken in response to the above, at least until full re-intercommunion can be established:

Quote
The heritage of the Fathers in both Churches and their traditions as a whole should be integrated into Christian education curricula and theological studies.

In the end, our Saints will not formally be recognised as your Saints, nor your Saints formally recognised as our Saints until full re-inter-Communion is established. Nevertheless, when, and if (and that's a massive if) full inter-Communion is to be restored, the reality of the matter is that that point of re-inter-Communion will not be the point of officially deeming your Saints to be true Saints and vice versa as if they were not beforehand, but rather it will be the point of officially recognising that your Saints have been Saints all along, and vice versa. The path that is being pursued and envisaged by those advocates of the Agreements of the Joint Commission is one of a mutual realisation of the other Church's true and authentic Orthodoxy, and hence the faithfulness of each Church's Fathers.

The fact of the matter is that re-inter-Communion will never happen any other way; the OO Church's celebration and defence of Her Fathers--even those central to the Christological contoversies of the early centuries, has not watered down or diminished an iota. Severus of Antioch, for example, has authored quite a substantial amount of our Liturgical texts that form a large part of our day to day worship, and of those Liturgical texts which he is not responsible for authoring, he is held in the highest esteem--before Sts. Athanasius and Cyril even, second only to St. Mark the Evangelist who founded the See of Alexandria. In fact Severus of Antioch is given over 18 different titles of esteem in our Liturgical texts.

Anyway, I regress, albeit for the purpose of making--what I believe to be--a more substantial point, which is: if you adopt the position of the Agreements of the Joint Commission (which is in fact a position grounded in high authorities of the EO Church--Local Synods), you in turn accept the fact that the mindset being adopted there is one of a mutual recognition that both our Saints and Fathers have, and have always had, an "agreed upon concept of Holy Tradition".
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2007, 07:34:12 PM »

EA,

Thanks for the response!  I would like to start off by saying that I really appreciated you using the Joint Commission as your quotes.  It really irkes me when people have no idea that our 2 churches have even spoken! 

Anyway, I have some further thoughts on the matter: 

Quote
Quote
In light of our Agreed Statement on Christology as well as of the above common affirmations, we have now clearly understood that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition.

Again there is this tacit affirmation of the Orthodoxy of our Fathers of the past in the clear affirmation that the agreed upon mutual sharing of the "same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition", is something our Church's have "always loyally maintained"--it is one that was loyally maintained in the age of our very Fathers, even those who are at the heart of the controversey.


My guess is that this type of statement was passed in order to take a more clear look at Nestorius and his followers?  (you know me...not beating around the bush.. Wink)

However, there what about the earlier heretical fathers who were called Origenists at Constantinople II??  (more on this below)

Quote
The Chalcedonian Orthodox Church of Antioch goes even further in its 1991 statement regarding its relationship with the Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Church of Antioch, stating:

Quote
We affirm the total and mutual respect of the spirituality, heritage and Holy Fathers of both Churches.


The next point affirms the practical step to be taken in response to the above, at least until full re-intercommunion can be established:

Just because we RESPECT your spirituality and HERITAGE of the Holy Fathers of your church, doesn't make them a non-problem.  That's a lot of years of being a heretic.  Hence why I think you bolded the "IF" in the question of communion. 

I think a specific example will help here: 

(st.) Evagrius of Pontus is a saint in your church.  Whereas he is an origenist in the EO church.  Now here is a guy who will probobly NEVER end up in the EO church as a saint.  Not saying that he doesn't deserve it, just too polemical.  What are your thoughts on this as an example for our discussion?

I would write more but i'm pressed for time.  ttyl. 
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2007, 10:21:00 PM »


In the end, our Saints will not formally be recognised as your Saints, nor your Saints formally recognised as our Saints until full re-inter-Communion is established. Nevertheless, when, and if (and that's a massive if) full inter-Communion is to be restored, the reality of the matter is that that point of re-inter-Communion will not be the point of officially deeming your Saints to be true Saints and vice versa as if they were not beforehand, but rather it will be the point of officially recognising that your Saints have been Saints all along, and vice versa.


Cont. from before...

Can we really affirm that YOUR saints (OO) have been saints all along, especially if we have realized that some of your saints are heretics?  How would that happen?  Obviously its a lot of concessions, but I was wondering what your thoughts are on this (especially concerning my example above = Evagrius)

Quote
The fact of the matter is that re-inter-Communion will never happen any other way; the OO Church's celebration and defence of Her Fathers--even those central to the Christological contoversies of the early centuries, has not watered down or diminished an iota.

I honestly don't see the Christological controversy "saints" as a problem.  Our two churches have had SOO many dialogues about these controversies that to go over it again would be totally redundant. 

------------------------------------------

I would have no problem just flying with the Joint Commission.  I would have no problem of us accepting each other's saints....for the MOST PART. 

However, not to be sacraligious, but I wonder if it might be better to go through and make sure the ones who are heretics, are so for both churches...? 

I think this would be the greatest catalyst for discent in terms of reunification. 

Let me know what you think.   Wink
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2007, 10:59:11 PM »

serb1389,

Quote
Thanks for the response!

And thank you for the consistently displayed spirit of genuineness, honesty and gentleness that mark your posts. It’s always a joy and comfort to engage in dialogue with people like your good self.

Quote
I would like to start off by saying that I really appreciated you using the Joint Commission as your quotes.  It really irkes me when people have no idea that our 2 churches have even spoken!


Something that irks me even more is that many who do have an awareness of these Agreements are nevertheless so quick to dismiss them, in spite of the fact they are supported by three Local Synods (Alexandria, Antioch, and Romania) of your Church, the EP, and in turn being warmly considered by other Local Synods (Moscow). I'm sure some (if not most?--who am I to judge) have good intentions nevertheless, but I would hope they would be more open to understanding how such authorities interpret their Tradition and the implications thereof, rather than hastily deeming them ignorant of their own Tradition.

Quote
My guess is that this type of statement was passed in order to take a more clear look at Nestorius and his followers?


I honestly have no idea how Nestorius or the Assyrian Church fits into that statement. Nor does there seem to be any indication in the documents and comments written after to suggest that this statement is concerned with anything but the very relationship between the OO and EO Churches.

Quote
Just because we RESPECT your spirituality and HERITAGE of the Holy Fathers of your church, doesn't make them a non-problem.


If our respective Churches of Antioch (i.e. "Antiochian" and "Syrian") thought that each other’s respective Fathers were heretics, then how could they agree to mutually respect heresy? What “spirituality” in heresy is there to respect? What is it about the “heritage” of an heretical position that our Churches feel compelled to mutually agree to respect?

If you’re under the impression that the verb respect here is being used in the sense that one should, for example, respect a Buddhist’s heritage i.e. in the sense of tolerating their freedom and right to adopt and practice a faith one may believe to be an outright lie/heresy/blasphemy, I think you are not taking the surrounding context seriously enough as a tool of clarification as to what is precisely meant.

As I subsequently showed, the next point (which does not immediately follow ad hoc, but clearly immediately follows to spell out the practical implications of the very preceding point) made by the EO Church of Antioch is that the heritage of both our Fathers should be integrated into theological education. Certainly, if our respective Churches of Antioch thought that there was a problem with the Fathers of the other’s Church, they would not want the seminarians and potential future clergy of their Churches to be corrupted by their heretical leanings!

Quote
I think a specific example will help here: 

(st.) Evagrius of Pontus is a saint in your church.  Whereas he is an origenist in the EO church.  Now here is a guy who will probobly NEVER end up in the EO church as a saint.  Not saying that he doesn't deserve it, just too polemical.  What are your thoughts on this as an example for our discussion?

I don’t know enough about (St?) Evagrius or Origenism, let alone St. Evagrius and Origenism, to make any substantial comments in this regard; I can only observe the following facts:

1)   The only Coptic Orthodox work I am aware of that attempts to comprehensively deal with Origenism is Fr. T. Malaty’s The School of Alexandria. In his chapter Origen and Origenism, he undoubtedly treats Origenism as heresy.

2)   St. Evagrius is quoted or referred to quite a few times in the works of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, but on each occasion he is quoted or referred to with regard to basic, practical and non-controversial spiritual matters.

For example, His Holiness quotes St. Evagrius to support the idea that we must fight sin using the commandments as our weapon, or that we must counter evil thoughts with verses from the Scripture, or that we must be prepared and alert at the beginning of prayer to what may befall us—temptations, wandering thoughts, laziness, fatigue etc.

I think, in spite of his official condemnation by your Church, St. Evagrius continues to be quoted in like manner i.e. with regard to basic spiritual matters? I mean I personally only became aware of St. Evagrius’ maxim regarding the true theologian being one who prays through EO sources who quoted him to that effect.

Quote
Can we really affirm that YOUR saints (OO) have been saints all along, especially if we have realized that some of your saints are heretics?

I’m not sure what you mean by this. Which of our Saints has your Church “realised” to be “heretics”, and what do you mean by the term “realise” in any event?

Your Councils as you would know, anathematised Dioscoros and Severos, yet the position encompassed by the Agreements of the Joint Commission recognises that such anathematisations are worthy of being lifted upon the recognition that Dioscoros and Severos are in fact Orthodox.

Quote
I honestly don't see the Christological controversy "saints" as a problem.  Our two churches have had SOO many dialogues about these controversies that to go over it again would be totally redundant.


Okay well apart from Evagrius Ponticus, who I am not familiar enough with to begin pursuing a proper discussion of--but who I can at least as of now say is recognised as a Saint--IF recognised as a Saint--in spite of (rather than because of, or in consideration of, or with tacit acceptance of) any Origenism he may have promoted--who else do you have in mind?

Now that I think about it, we may have a problem with the idea of Emperor Justinian being a Saint, particularly on account of the idea that he fell into (what is known within our Communion as) the heresy of Julianism late in his life.

In the end though, the only bearing that the direction this discussion seems to be headed, to the initial inquiry of this thread is that there may be few exceptions to the general principles inferred from the Agreements of the Joint Commission.
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2007, 11:21:07 PM »


If our respective Churches of Antioch (i.e. "Antiochian" and "Syrian") thought that each other’s respective Fathers were heretics, then how could they agree to mutually respect heresy? What “spirituality” in heresy is there to respect? What is it about the “heritage” of an heretical position that our Churches feel compelled to mutually agree to respect?

If you’re under the impression that the verb respect here is being used in the sense that one should, for example, respect a Buddhist’s heritage i.e. in the sense of tolerating their freedom and right to adopt and practice a faith one may believe to be an outright lie/heresy/blasphemy, I think you are not taking the surrounding context seriously enough as a tool of clarification as to what is precisely meant.

I WAS thinking of respect in the way you mentioned earlier.  Perhaps I should have been thinking outside of the box huh... Wink

As for your first point.  In dialogue there tends to be a lot of concessions made.  So, if your saints were heretics there would be a concession made to consider their spirituality, in order to keep dialogue going.  At least, this is the way I "figure" they would do it...I could be wrong. 

Anyway, I misunderstood.  End of story  Smiley

Quote
I don’t know enough about (St?) Evagrius or Origenism, let alone St. Evagrius and Origenism, to make any substantial comments in this regard; I can only observe the following facts:

1)   The only Coptic Orthodox work I am aware of that attempts to comprehensively deal with Origenism is Fr. T. Malaty’s The School of Alexandria. In his chapter Origen and Origenism, he undoubtedly treats Origenism as heresy.

2)   St. Evagrius is quoted or referred to quite a few times in the works of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, but on each occasion he is quoted or referred to with regard to basic, practical and non-controversial spiritual matters.

For example, His Holiness quotes St. Evagrius to support the idea that we must fight sin using the commandments as our weapon, or that we must counter evil thoughts with verses from the Scripture, or that we must be prepared and alert at the beginning of prayer to what may befall us—temptations, wandering thoughts, laziness, fatigue etc.

I think, in spite of his official condemnation by your Church, St. Evagrius continues to be quoted in like manner i.e. with regard to basic spiritual matters? I mean I personally only became aware of St. Evagrius’ maxim regarding the true theologian being one who prays through EO sources who quoted him to that effect.

Quote

Here is a link to a conversation we are already having on the site about Evagrius:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10964.0.html

Its obviously not authoritative, but it will give you an idea of the issues (some of them). 

Part of the misunderstanding may be that the person who brought Evagrius' sainthood to my attention was Armenian Orthodox (who are in communion with Coptic church) and part of the whole OO church (unless i'm mistaken here).  So if Evagrius is a saint for the Armenians then he is a saint for you as well (right?). 

Also, many of our professors here and bishops, archbishops, etc. have quoted Evagrius.  As long as you do not quote his heretical texts you are ok.  And even then i'm not sure that anyone is going to do anything about it.  His spiritual writings are very critical to understanding the ancient church (and church in general) so they are used widely. 

I think a lot of the Origenists (and Origen himself) are considered "pseudo-heretics" because they were declared heretics after they all died, and could not defend themselves or their positions.  So if there were reunion (and if Evagrius really is an OO saint) then these things would have to be worked out.

Quote
I’m not sure what you mean by this. Which of our Saints has your Church “realised” to be “heretics”, and what do you mean by the term “realise” in any event?

Your Councils as you would know, anathematised Dioscoros and Severos, yet the position encompassed by the Agreements of the Joint Commission recognises that such anathematisations are worthy of being lifted upon the recognition that Dioscoros and Severos are in fact Orthodox.

You hit it on the head.  I was thinking of exactly these two when I was writing.  I totally forgot about the lifting of the anathemas idea at the Joint Commission...my bad.

Quote
Now that I think about it, we may have a problem with the idea of Emperor Justinian being a Saint, particularly on account of the idea that he fell into (what is known within our Communion as) the heresy of Julianism late in his life.
 

I was not aware of this issue.  What is the Julianism heresy?   
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2007, 02:35:55 AM »

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I WAS thinking of respect in the way you mentioned earlier.  Perhaps I should have been thinking outside of the box huh...

The natural tendency of human intellect is to keep within the confines of the box. It was my study of the theology of the three Ecumenical Councils (which for you would be the first three Ecumenical Councils) within the context of much prayer that has since re-configured my “truth radar”. If a certain position sounds very easy to accept on the basis that it satisfies the simplest level of human logic—i.e. it nicely (almost too nicely) fits within the box, then my “truth radar” is inclined to look elsewhere. As far as I’m concerned the root of all heresies was reductionism—the attempt to fit everything inside the box.

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So, if your saints were heretics there would be a concession made to consider their spirituality, in order to keep dialogue going.


Well first of all, I hope you understand that as far as we are concerned, we are not leaving our Saints open to the option of being deemed heretics. From our perspective they are undeniably Orthodox Saints, and their acceptance as such is pre-requisite to any potential future re-inter-Communion. I’m sure your Church approaches us with the same condition regarding those Saints of yours who have been deemed heretics by our Church.

Secondly, again, within the wider context of all the relevant quotations I brought forth from all the various Statements and Agreements, it is clearly not the case that either of our Churches are approaching the other Church’s Saints with the sentiment of, “well they’re heretics, but we’ll let it slide for the sake of dialogue”. How would such a sentiment stand compatible with the agreement to integrate each Church’s Fathers into the theological education of the other’s Church? Or how would such a sentiment stand compatible with the agreement that both our Church’s have always (which means in 5th century, as much as in the 6th, 7th etc. century and till this very day) remained loyal to the Apostolic Tradition?

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Part of the misunderstanding may be that the person who brought Evagrius' sainthood to my attention was Armenian Orthodox (who are in communion with Coptic church) and part of the whole OO church (unless i'm mistaken here).  So if Evagrius is a saint for the Armenians then he is a saint for you as well (right?).


Yes, I can think of no reason why he wouldn’t. But since our Church is clearly opposed to Origenism, I would stress once again that his canonisation is either based upon a denial that he can truly be associated with Origenism in the first place, or the understanding that the significance of his spiritual works suffice in overshadowing any “origenistic” errors he may have adhered to.

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I was not aware of this issue.  What is the Julianism heresy?


Julian was the non-Chalcedonian Bishop of Hericlenacus (sp?) during the early sixth century I believe; he used to be good friends with Severus of Antioch. To cut a long story short, they eventually got into a theological dispute regarding whether Christ’s Humanity was pre-fall or post-fall humanity. Julian advocated the position—which was adamantly opposed by Severus and officially condemned through a number of local Synods both in Alexandria and Antioch—that Christ had pre-fall humanity that was incorruptible and free from the taint of original sin (which he seemed to conceive of in the manner that is typically caricaturised of “Western Christian” anthropology today).

St. Severus, in line with Sts. Athanasius and Cyril, argued that pre-fall humanity was just as corruptible as post-fall humanity, and that Christ's Humanity only received the state of incorruptibility at the Resurrection. He further argued against Julian’s notion of “original sin” by establishing the fact that sin is not a natural characteristic of post-fall humanity, but rather the product of the corrupt personal will (or what Maximus the Confessor would term the “gnomic will”).
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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2007, 04:22:26 PM »

The natural tendency of human intellect is to keep within the confines of the box. It was my study of the theology of the three Ecumenical Councils (which for you would be the first three Ecumenical Councils) within the context of much prayer that has since re-configured my “truth radar”. If a certain position sounds very easy to accept on the basis that it satisfies the simplest level of human logic—i.e. it nicely (almost too nicely) fits within the box, then my “truth radar” is inclined to look elsewhere. As far as I’m concerned the root of all heresies was reductionism—the attempt to fit everything inside the box.
 

I usually do try to think outside the box, but I was too excited..haha.  Also, i'm 100% common sense type of guy.  Hopefully that isn't too reductionist for you   Wink

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Well first of all, I hope you understand that as far as we are concerned, we are not leaving our Saints open to the option of being deemed heretics. From our perspective they are undeniably Orthodox Saints, and their acceptance as such is pre-requisite to any potential future re-inter-Communion. I’m sure your Church approaches us with the same condition regarding those Saints of yours who have been deemed heretics by our Church.

Secondly, again, within the wider context of all the relevant quotations I brought forth from all the various Statements and Agreements, it is clearly not the case that either of our Churches are approaching the other Church’s Saints with the sentiment of, “well they’re heretics, but we’ll let it slide for the sake of dialogue”. How would such a sentiment stand compatible with the agreement to integrate each Church’s Fathers into the theological education of the other’s Church? Or how would such a sentiment stand compatible with the agreement that both our Church’s have always (which means in 5th century, as much as in the 6th, 7th etc. century and till this very day) remained loyal to the Apostolic Tradition?


Totally agree with you.  There has been a lot more ground covered that what i'm alluding to.  I hope you do not misunderstand me.  I'm just trying to figure out the whole Evagrius thing (amidst actually looking at the big question). 

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Yes, I can think of no reason why he wouldn’t. But since our Church is clearly opposed to Origenism, I would stress once again that his canonisation is either based upon a denial that he can truly be associated with Origenism in the first place, or the understanding that the significance of his spiritual works suffice in overshadowing any “origenistic” errors he may have adhered to.

I was not aware that your church also has "condemened" origenism.  However, the Armenians aparantly have not, or at least their definition of Origenism is not the same as the EO's because Evagrius made the list. 

I agree with you though that certain things should be overlooked, or at least looked at again. 

Thanks for the explanation about the Julian stuff.  Gota run. 
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2007, 09:47:04 PM »


I was not aware that your church also has "condemened" origenism.  However, the Armenians aparantly have not, or at least their definition of Origenism is not the same as the EO's because Evagrius made the list. 


The Armenians don't approve of the heresy known as Origenism any more than the EO's or Copts do.  The thing with St. Evagrius is that it is not even that clear that he was really into Origenism.  I've heard that he never even mentions Origen by name in any of his works.  It is also my understanding that there is a debate among scholars about whether he even really was guilty of that heresy, or if his condemnation at Constantinople II was a case of guilt by association.

Also, even if he were into such heresy, that is not the reason the Armenians venerate him.  As I mentioned in the other thread, the Kephalaia Gnostica was never preserved in Classical Armenian, unlike his other works which are clearly Orthodox.  They say the work of St. Evagrius played a major role in the development of Orthodox spirituality, both EO and OO.  That is the reason why he is venerated. 

We have had other threads about venerating saints despite something about them that makes them less than perfect in the eyes of the church that venerates them.  This is not uncommon in either the EO or OO Churches.  For example, the fact that the EO's venerate Justinian doesn't mean they approve of Julianism.  Also, the fact that the EO's venerate St. Theodora doesn't mean they reject and oppose Chalcedon the way she emphatically did.



 
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« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2007, 09:57:58 PM »


Part of the misunderstanding may be that the person who brought Evagrius' sainthood to my attention was Armenian Orthodox (who are in communion with Coptic church) and part of the whole OO church (unless i'm mistaken here).  So if Evagrius is a saint for the Armenians then he is a saint for you as well (right?). 


Actually, I have heard that St. Evagrius is a saint in the Coptic Church.  I think his feast day in the Coptic Church is sometime in Lent, but I could be mistaken.

A trickier question has to do with the fact that the Georgians, who are EO, venerate St. Evagrius.  I've read that he is very popular there.  So the situation is that they venerate him while the other EO's condemn him.  I guess what I want to know is, what would happen if a non-Georgian EO were to visit a Georgian church on St. Evagrius' feast day?  Would they participate in the veneration, kiss his icon, etc?
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« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2007, 12:29:48 AM »

I just want to make something very clear.

One can find even in the OO Church alone that there are saints in one local church and not another (such as Pontius Pilate, a saint in the Ethiopian Church, not one in the Coptic Church or any other OO Church).

Likewise, we find also in the EO Church the case of Evagrius (the Georgian Church seems to be the only EO Church considering him a saint).

Then you also have the question of each saint's Orthodoxy.  Well, taking Evagrius or St. Gregory of Nyssa, these saints may not be agreeable with everything we teach as Orthodoxy, but certainly their spirituality has inspired most early Holy fathers to add them to the list of saint.  Likewise, in the EO Church, there is a whole controversy concerning St. Augustine.  I am one who agrees with many who wishes to keep the title "St." in spite of the errors he may have written due to his supreme sense of spirituality and exemplary life to all Christians, including myself.

Therefore, these are things to consider.

Now, about the Joint Statements, it is not clear in the Joint Statements that we will venerate one another's saints as our own.  What is clear is that we lift anathemas of these fathers based on the fact that these men have professed Orthodox Christology, to which previously we would think they have taught contrary.  Needless to say, no one is saying to the EO's that you must accept Dioscorus as a saint or the OO's that Leo as a saint.  What one will ask is that you give them the proper respect and justice they deserve based on the Orthodox intentions of their writings and life (assuming that their writings and life have been studied to a necessary point to judge them as Orthodox).

Now, if you like to venerate a saint on the "other" side, the Joint Statements have not spoken against that either.  So, I guess they give a "be-my-guest" type of attitude.  It would be nice though that perhaps a mutual veneration may strengthen these bonds so long as one is informed clearly that these men never liked each other to begin with, and that they do not grow up "shocked" that when venerating both "Severus of Antioch" and "John of Damascus," St. John wrote spitefully of St. Severus.

I personally respect the likes of St. Maximus the Confessor and St. John Damascene, and I sometimes seek their prayers (I also venerate St. Ahmed the Calligrapher, but only because of he is a martyr and does have a unique name  Smiley ).

So if you consider the above comments about the saints that some local churches have that others may not, and consider as well the venerations of other "controversial" figures, then pretty much the Joint Statements tell us it's more of a personal decision for yourself whether or not you want to venerate some other men.

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