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Question: Do you believe that OO and EO together are truly the same church?
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After reunification - 35 (31.5%)
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Author Topic: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)  (Read 30031 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2010, 01:42:16 PM »

I read that in an EO church council, they decided that one could either have St Cyril's miaphysitism, or the duophysitism(I forget the word) that many EOs had/have.

So either view might be technically acceptable in EO.

Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?
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« Reply #46 on: October 31, 2010, 01:47:29 PM »

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #47 on: October 31, 2010, 02:44:31 PM »

Mia physis, properly understood (and the OO have always properly understood it) is mandatory for all Orthodox Christians.

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« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2010, 03:29:19 PM »

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Iconodule,

So in other words, the position of the ecumenical Orthodox Church is that that when St Cyril spoke of Christ's "one nature", he was referring to Christ's person or "hypostasis", just as we commonly say one person and two natures?

Is there a short article I can read to confirm that when St Cyril spoke of Christ's "one nature" he was referring to the hypostasis?

Thanks.
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« Reply #49 on: October 31, 2010, 03:35:00 PM »

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Iconodule,

So in other words, the position of the ecumenical Orthodox Church is that that when St Cyril spoke of Christ's "one nature", he was referring to Christ's person or "hypostasis", just as we commonly say one person and two natures?

Here is St. John Damascene's explanation of St. Cyril's phrase, "One Nature of God the Word Incarnate":

http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/exactiii.html#BOOK_III_CHAPTER_XI



Note: "subsistence" is the English word for hypostasis.
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« Reply #50 on: October 31, 2010, 04:28:36 PM »

Iconodule,

Your explanation of our Orthodox position matches St John Damascene's understanding of St Cyril's words.

St John Damascene wrote in the passage you gave:
Quote
the blessed Cyril(2) says this: "The nature of the Word, that is, the subsistence, which is the Word itself."


So it appears here that St Cyril says that when he refers to the nature of the word, he means the subsistence, like you said.

St John Damascene comments:

Quote
the blessed Cyril(2) says this: "The nature of the Word, that is, the subsistence, which is the Word itself." So that "the nature of the Word" means neither the subsistence alone, nor "the common nature of the subsistence," but "the common nature viewed as a whole in the subsistence of the Word."


Of course, there is a possibility that St John Damascene mistakenly took Cyril's words out of context or misunderstood them, and after all, the theologians often write confusingly.

Further, there is the possibility that, as on many other questions like the idea of Original Sin, a few Orthodox saints like St Cyril could actually have taken positions opposite to other saints. Maybe if you really got into it, you would discover that a few Orthodox saints really did have the Oriental position.

Personally, I accept the idea that Christ has two natures, and that His one person has two natures. (duo-phys-itism?) His one person has both natures.

I don't know if I can take the extra step of saying that the two natures combine into one new nature.

So while I can take the Chalcedonian Orthodox point of view, I can't dismiss the Oriental point of view as heretical.

Does our Chalcedonian Orthodox Church officially declare that the Orientals are heretics based on their understanding of Miaphysitism?

Do the Oriental Churches say that St John Damascene's understanding of the two natures- our Chalcedonian Orthodox understanding- is a heresy?



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« Reply #51 on: October 31, 2010, 05:44:52 PM »

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Iconodule,

So in other words, the position of the ecumenical Orthodox Church is that that when St Cyril spoke of Christ's "one nature", he was referring to Christ's person or "hypostasis", just as we commonly say one person and two natures?

Here is St. John Damascene's explanation of St. Cyril's phrase, "One Nature of God the Word Incarnate":

http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/exactiii.html#BOOK_III_CHAPTER_XI



Note: "subsistence" is the English word for hypostasis.

How about this?
Quote
<- BOOK III CHAPTER IX ->
In reply to the question whether there is Nature that has no Subsistence.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For although(5) there is no nature without subsistence, nor essence apart from person (since in truth it is in persons and subsistences that essence and nature are to be contemplated), yet it does not necessarily follow that the natures that are united to one another in subsistence should have each its own proper subsistence. For after they have come together into one subsistence, it is possible that neither should they be without subsistence, nor should each have its own peculiar subsistence, but that both should have one and the same subsistence(6). For since one and the same subsistence of the Word has become the subsistence of the natures, neither of them is permitted to be without subsistence, nor are they allowed to have subsistences that differ from each other, or to have sometimes the subsistence of this nature and sometimes of that, but always without division or separation they both have the same subsistence--a subsistence which is not broken up into parts or divided, so that one part should belong to this, and one to that, but which belongs wholly to this and wholly to that in its absolute entirety. For the flesh of God the Word did not subsist as an independent subsistence, nor did there arise another subsistence besides that of God the Word, but as it existed in that it became rather a subsistence which subsisted in another, than one which was an independent subsistence. Wherefore, neither does it lack subsistence altogether, nor yet is there thus introduced into the Trinity another subsistence.

I would like to know what the EO reject of St. Cyril's "On the Unity of Christ." What do the OO reject of it? What do the EO accuse the OO of rejecting of it? What do the OO accuse the EO of rejecting of it?
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« Reply #52 on: October 31, 2010, 07:19:07 PM »

Quote
I don't know if I can take the extra step of saying that the two natures combine into one new nature.

Hi rakovsky.

If you think that the OO think that two natures combine into one new nature then you have not yet understood St Cyril or the OO position which follows him.

So there is no need for you to be concerned that you have to take that step. The OO would not ask you to.

The humanity of Christ never ceases to be what it is, even when the Word of God becomes incarnate without ceasing to be what He ever was and is. Yet He is one incarnate nature, not because there is a confusion of humanity and Divinity, or because the humanity is swallowed up in the Divinity. God forbid. But because even after the incarnation there is one nature, one identity, one subject. It was the Word of God who died on the cross. There were those at Chalcedon and those who accepted it who could not say such a thing.

We would not normally say that there was one person with two natures because this is in fact what Theodore of Mopsuestia, Diodore, Ibas, Theodoret and Nestorius all said. We would also sense that such language did not in fact confess the inner union in identity of humanity and Divinity strongly enough.

But after Constantinople 553 it does seem to us that the Chalcedonians excluded many of those ambiguous positions which we believe Chalcedon allowed. After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance.

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« Reply #53 on: October 31, 2010, 07:22:40 PM »

ialmisry,

I think we would say that Chalcedonians before Constantinople 553 are not the same as Chalcedonians after 553. We especially reject the position which we believe Chalcedon endorsed. We do not reject the position as revised by the Chalcedonians in 553.

The issue seems to me to be that some Chalcedonians would like to say that there is no difference between Chalcedonians before and after Constantinople 553 and therefore that Chalcedon says the same thing as Constantinople 553. We do not believe it does. I won't go into details as that will detract from the thread. But in general this seems to me to be one of the main issues.

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« Reply #54 on: October 31, 2010, 08:00:28 PM »

I personally do not support any reunion. I will not accept Leo's Tome nor Leo I, who supported Theodoret a heretic thereby making Leo a heretic. I think they should admit that in the 4th council they rejected our definition, which is clearly the definition of St. Cyril in the 3rd council, and that they were wrong in doing so. They should accept St. Dioscorus as a saint and denounce Leo I as a heretic, who also started the papal primacy which is probably why he sought to oust the church in Alexandria.
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« Reply #55 on: October 31, 2010, 08:11:28 PM »

After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance.
That's odd. How can we explain the phrase in accordance with the "official" Orthodoxs' statement that Christ has two natures in one person?
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« Reply #56 on: October 31, 2010, 08:15:33 PM »

After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance.
That's odd. How can we explain the phrase in accordance with the "official" Orthodoxs' statement that Christ has two natures in one person?

In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).
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« Reply #57 on: October 31, 2010, 08:16:45 PM »

I will not accept Leo's Tome nor Leo I, who supported Theodoret a heretic thereby making Leo a heretic.

I heard that there are some actual monophysite saints in the OO church, not just Miaphysite ones. So there are probably many people who were heretics that orthodox bishops in the church supported in some sense.

It's important to remember that the argument between the Byzantines and the Orientals is largely an argument along the lines of fine Greek philosophy, mentally difficult to millions of people.

It could possibly be just a semantic argument like whether a glass is half empty or half full.

So it is important to work together to solve a mutual mind-problem.
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« Reply #58 on: October 31, 2010, 08:20:51 PM »

After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance.
That's odd. How can we explain the phrase in accordance with the "official" Orthodoxs' statement that Christ has two natures in one person?

In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).

OK, thanks, Iconodule.


Better to say:
"After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the Chalcedonian understanding of St Cyril's phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance."

I am not sure that is right, either, because I heard that there was a council decision that one could take some sort of miaphysist position or some sort of non-miaphysist position.

edited post:
HERE IT IS:  
Quote

Just as the Second Council of Constantinople (known as the "Fifth Ecumenical Council") condemned a certain understanding of the Dyophysite formula introduced at the Council of Chalcedon, it likewise condemned a certain understanding of the Miaphysite terminology of Cyril of Alexandria introduced at the Council of Ephesus, thus leaving room for other orthodox understandings for both Dyophysitism and Miaphysitism. A certain understanding of Miaphysitism thus was affirmed as acceptable doctrine among the Chalcedonians.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miaphysitism
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« Reply #59 on: October 31, 2010, 08:31:39 PM »


In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).

Obviously it wasn't so simple, or Constantinople II wouldn't have been necessary.  As has been pointed out numerous times, there were different interpretations given the language at Chalcedon, and Con. II eliminated the ambiguity.
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« Reply #60 on: October 31, 2010, 08:33:49 PM »

I will not accept Leo's Tome nor Leo I, who supported Theodoret a heretic thereby making Leo a heretic.

I heard that there are some actual monophysite saints in the OO church, not just Miaphysite ones.

I have no doubt you have heard that, but that doesn't make it true.   Smiley  Do you recall specifically which ones were called Monophysite?
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« Reply #61 on: October 31, 2010, 08:37:44 PM »

If you think that the OO think that two natures combine into one new nature then you have not yet understood St Cyril or the OO position which follows him.
OK, maybe I have it wrong, but that is how I understand it best.

Quote
So there is no need for you to be concerned that you have to take that step. The OO would not ask you to.

The humanity of Christ never ceases to be what it is, even when the Word of God becomes incarnate without ceasing to be what He ever was and is. Yet He is one incarnate nature, not because there is a confusion of humanity and Divinity, or because the humanity is swallowed up in the Divinity. God forbid. But because even after the incarnation there is one nature, one identity, one subject.

Now I am even more concerned, because you haven't specified that there ever were two natures involved at all. You suggested that there is only one nature involved in the conversation, which is both his pre-incarnate AND incarnate nature, he has one nature before and "even after" the incarnation.

You will probably say I understand you wrong. Either way, I am concerned about the failure to mention the two natures and their relation to one another.


Quote
We would not normally say that there was one person with two natures because this is in fact what Theodore of Mopsuestia, Diodore, Ibas, Theodoret and Nestorius all said. We would also sense that such language did not in fact confess the inner union in identity of humanity and Divinity strongly enough.
If this is just a big semantic debate, then Chalcedonians would argue back that saying he is "one person with one nature" does not confess the two natures' distinct-ness strongly enough


Quote
Metropolitan Bishoy of the Coptic church had used some of Cyril's quotes about the nature of Christ, as follows:
In his Epistle to Acacias (40) section (15):
"When we analyze the way of incarnation accurately , the human mind sees -without any doubt- the two natures resembled together with untold way and without mixing in the unification. The mind doesn't separate them at all after the unification but he believes and confesses that one from two is God and son and Messiah and Lord"
http://www.monachos.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-6424.html

Some of St Cyril's quotes can be read either way. Maybe he himself did not split the hair.
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« Reply #62 on: October 31, 2010, 08:49:30 PM »

If they were to reunite, what type of tangible differences would we expect to see between EO and OO? Would things really be that much different than they are now?
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« Reply #63 on: October 31, 2010, 08:54:09 PM »

A polemical post was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.msg487520.html#new

Iconodule,

Please keep the rhetoric down, and please avoid picking fights you and others have already picked and failed to win several times in the private forum.
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« Reply #64 on: October 31, 2010, 09:05:42 PM »

A polemical post was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.msg487520.html#new

Iconodule,

Please keep the rhetoric down, and please avoid picking fights you and others have already picked and failed to win several times in the private forum.



In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).

Obviously it wasn't so simple, or Constantinople II wouldn't have been necessary.  As has been pointed out numerous times, there were different interpretations given the language at Chalcedon, and Con. II eliminated the ambiguity.

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« Reply #65 on: October 31, 2010, 09:09:28 PM »

1. This quote of St Cyril (from my last post) speaks of two natures, so it seems that any definition should mention Two natures.

2. It also suggests that the two natures are either combined/unified into one nature, since the phrase "one body from two natures" doesn't seem to fit.

Quote
"When we analyze the way of incarnation accurately , the human mind sees -without any doubt- the two natures resembled together with untold way and without mixing in the unification. The mind doesn't separate them at all after the unification but he believes and confesses that one from two is God and son and Messiah and Lord"

Maybe St Cyril believed the Oriental way, but other Chalcedonian saints believed another way, and they are both saints in our Byzantine Orthodox church, so it's all good.

So expressing some kind of dyophisitism and Oriental miaphysitism is ok in our church.

Sorry, one obstacle I have with the Oriental church is that I can't necessarily rule out one view or the other, but it looks like the Oriental church makes its view mandatory and sharply rejects the Chalcedonians, whereas the Chalcedonians allow for some diophysitism and for St Cyril's view.

But maybe I am also wrong about this and the Chalcedonian church has in fact rejected St Cyril's view, which could turn out to be the Oriental view. Of course, maybe this "real" view of St Cyril could turn out to be wrong and the Byzantine position turn out to be right?

I am confused about the churches' view on "Miaphysitism" and risk getting excommunicated by everyone. (joke) Maybe so does everyone else (joke).

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« Reply #66 on: October 31, 2010, 09:20:43 PM »

So apparently we agree he has one "essence" with the father. But then he also has two "natures". Natures (physia) might be like physical properties? Like how someone can be tired and peppy at the same time?

Essence vs. natures?

The possible unification of the natures?

Greek philosophy = Confusing?
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« Reply #67 on: October 31, 2010, 09:49:37 PM »

You're way over-thinking this.  Just know that both our Churches today believe that Christ is perfectly divine and perfectly human, without confusion or division.  
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« Reply #68 on: October 31, 2010, 10:23:42 PM »

A polemical post was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.msg487520.html#new

Iconodule,

Please keep the rhetoric down, and please avoid picking fights you and others have already picked and failed to win several times in the private forum.



In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).

Obviously it wasn't so simple, or Constantinople II wouldn't have been necessary.  As has been pointed out numerous times, there were different interpretations given the language at Chalcedon, and Con. II eliminated the ambiguity.


I'm sorry, are you trying to say something here?
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« Reply #69 on: October 31, 2010, 10:31:43 PM »

It speaks for itself.
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« Reply #70 on: October 31, 2010, 10:34:15 PM »

Saying what?
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« Reply #71 on: October 31, 2010, 11:05:12 PM »

It speaks for itself.
Stepping in to back up my colleague here (with her permission):

Iconodule, what you did was in response to a green-text moderatorial directive. I therefore charge you to come right out and tell us clearly what you intended to say by quoting that directive as you did. Stop beating around the bush.
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« Reply #72 on: October 31, 2010, 11:29:25 PM »

I'm not playing, kids. Do what you like.

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« Reply #73 on: November 01, 2010, 12:15:45 AM »

Another polemical post, this time by a different poster, was moved to the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.0.html

Everyone,

I'd like to keep this on topic.  If you read the original post, it asks whether unity will happen in the lifetime of a 17 year old, and whether the OO's venerate icons.  

It is also permissible to address Rakovsky's question at the top of this page ("Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?") since that was what brought this thread up again.  

I'd like to have this thread narrowly address these issues and not go off on tangents about what happened at Chalcedon, etc.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 12:19:16 AM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #74 on: November 01, 2010, 10:36:24 AM »

I appreciate everyone's input, including yours, Iconodule!!!! Thanks everyone.

It is a mind problem, like the kind of mind games you might have thoughtabout as a teenager.  Let's please work together to figure it out!!!!
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« Reply #75 on: November 01, 2010, 02:15:27 PM »

So expressing some kind of dyophisitism and Oriental miaphysitism is ok in our church.

Sorry, one obstacle I have with the Oriental church is that I can't necessarily rule out one view or the other, but it looks like the Oriental church makes its view mandatory and sharply rejects the Chalcedonians, whereas the Chalcedonians allow for some diophysitism and for St Cyril's view.

You bring up a good point, Rakovsky.

Can our Church officially accept (or has it officially accepted) "in two Natures" and by that I mean accepting the Horos of Chalcedon as an Orthodox statement of Faith not to the exclusion of "one incarnate Nature" but along with it as a paralell to what Justinian did in Constantinople II.
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« Reply #76 on: November 22, 2010, 08:15:20 PM »

So expressing some kind of dyophisitism and Oriental miaphysitism is ok in our church.

Sorry, one obstacle I have with the Oriental church is that I can't necessarily rule out one view or the other, but it looks like the Oriental church makes its view mandatory and sharply rejects the Chalcedonians, whereas the Chalcedonians allow for some diophysitism and for St Cyril's view.

You bring up a good point, Rakovsky.

Can our Church officially accept (or has it officially accepted) "in two Natures" and by that I mean accepting the Horos of Chalcedon as an Orthodox statement of Faith not to the exclusion of "one incarnate Nature" but along with it as a paralell to what Justinian did in Constantinople II.

We might be able to accept "in two natures" as defined at Constantinople II, but that does not mean that we can accept the Creed of Chalcedon as having been purely orthodox. The latter I do not believe can be done without compromising precisely what OOy is about in distinction to EOy.
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« Reply #77 on: January 03, 2011, 10:29:11 PM »

I've not really poked my head in this forum before, but I've thoroughly enjoyed looking around and now, seeing this thread, makes me very happy to look at the results above! I desire greatly the unification of our churches, and hope to see it soon!
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« Reply #78 on: January 03, 2011, 10:33:46 PM »

Feel free to poke your head in any time!   Smiley
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« Reply #79 on: January 04, 2011, 11:13:42 AM »

Feel free to poke your head in any time!   Smiley

Thanks!

I've got some questions for folks, as I've been interested in OO and EO re-unification for some time and have been reading up on the history of the councils which ended at Chalcedon, causing our parting, and the recent history of discussion between the OO (mostly from the Copts by Pope Shenouda) and the EO and RC. So, here we go:

What, in your opinions, remains in the way of full communion between OO and EO?

How should these be dealt with?

When do you think these barriers will finally be removed so that communion is restored?

The questions, of course, pre-suppose the belief of the repondant in the theological unity of the two churches. This brings further questions to light:

If the two are genuninely the Church, then how as the Church divided against itself? If there is only "one Church" how can it exist as two?

If you do not believe they are one Church, then what differences remain? How can they be resolved? Should they be resolved?

I appreciate the responses from everyone. Thanks in advance!
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« Reply #80 on: January 06, 2011, 09:01:29 PM »

To all Chalcedonians :

" One nature of God the Son, the incarnate Word " =

Union Without Mingling, Confusion, Alteration or Transmutation

BY " one Nature ", we mean a real union. This does not involve mingling as of wheat and barely, nor confusion as of wine and water or milk and tea. Moreover, no change occurred as in the case of chemical reaction. For example carbon dioxide consists of carbon and oxygen, and the nature of both changes when they are combined ; each loses its properties which distinguished it before the unity. In contrast, no change occurred in the Divine or Human nature as a result of their unity. Furthermore, unity between the two natures occurred without transmutation. Thus, neither did the Divine nature transmute to the human nature, nor did the human nature, transmute to the Divine nature. The Divine nature did not mix with the human nature nor mingle with it, but it was a unity that led to Oneness of Nature.

The Example of the Union of Iron and Fire

St., Cyril the Great used this analogy and so did St. Dioscorus. In the case of ignited iron, we do not say that there are two natures: iron and fire, but we say iron united with fire. Similarly, we speak about the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate God, and we do not say " God and man ". In the union of iron with fire, the iron is not changed into fire nor fire into iron. Both are united without mingling, confusion or alteration. Although this situation is not permanent in the case of iron, and here is the point of disagreement, but we only want to say that once iron is ignited with fire, it continues to retain all the properties of iron and all the properties of fire. Likewise, the nature of the Incarnate Logos is One Nature, having all the Divine characteristics and all the human as well.

The Example of the Union between the Soul and the Body

This example was used by St. Cyril, St. Augustine and a large number of ancient and recent theologians. In this simile, the nature of the soul unites with the physical earthly nature of the body to form a union of one nature, which is the human nature. This united nature does not include the body alone nor the soul alone but both together are combined without mixing, confusion, alteration or transmutation. No transmutation occurs of the soul into the body nor of the body into the soul, yet both become one in essence and in nature, so we say that this is one nature and one person. Hence, if we accept the idea of the unity between the soul and the body in one nature, why do we not accept the unity of the Divine and the human into one Nature ?! Here we’d like to raise an important question regarding the One Nature and the Two Natures : Do we not all admit that the nature which we call Human Natures contained before the unity two Natures: the soul and the body ? yet, those who claim that there are two natures in Christ : a divine and a human, do not mention the two natures of manhood i.e. the soul and the body but consider them one. If we go into details we would find ourselves before three natures in Christ !!! the Divinity, the soul and the body, and each of them has its distinct entity and essence ... Of course, this is unacceptable on both sides. When we accept the union of the soul and the body in one nature in Christ, and when we use the expression theologically, it becomes easier for us to use the expression " One Nature of Christ " or " One Nature of God, the Incarnate Logos ". Just as we say that the human nature is one nature consisting of two elements or natures, we can also say about the Incarnate Logos, that He is one entity of two elements or natures. If the Divine nature is claimed to differ from the human nature, how then do they unite ? The reply is that the nature of the soul is fundamentally different from the nature of the body, yet it is united with it in one nature, which is the human nature. Although man is formed of these two natures, we never say that He is two, but one person. All man’s acts are attributed to this one nature and not to the soul alone or to the body alone. Thus when we want to say that a certain individual ate, or became hungry, or slept, or felt pain, we do not say that it is his body which ate, or became hungry, or got tired or slept or felt pain. All man’s acts are attributed to him as a whole and not only to his body. Similarly, all the acts of Christ were attributed to Rim as a whole and not to His Divine nature alone ( independently ) or to His human nature alone. This was explained by Leo in the Council of Chalcedon and we shall give further explanation to this point later on, God willing. The union of the soul and body is an intrinsic real union, a Hypostatic one. So is the union of the Divine nature of Christ with the human nature in the Virgin’s womb. It is a hypostatic union, self-essential and real and not a mere connection, then separation as Nestorus claimed. Though the example of the union of the soul and body in the human nature is inclusive, still it is incomplete as it does not explain how the soul departs the body by death nor how they reunite again in the resurrection. But as for the unity of the Divine and human natures of Christ, it is an inseparable union as the Divine nature never departed the human nature for one single moment nor for a twinkle of an eye.

H.H Pope Shenouda III


Brothers, we are Christians, and we believe that Christ is fully Man and fully God. We must stop to divide us about that. There must be a new council where this formula must be adopted " One Person, Christ, fully Man and fully God, without mix, change, or confusion. " POINT. We must stop to speak about one nature or two nature, for the well-being = unity, of the Church.

Selam.
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« Reply #81 on: January 06, 2011, 09:04:30 PM »

The Henotikon has come up elsewhere.  I would say that it is fully Orthodox from an EO viewpoint. What would the OO say (I know that both EO and OO have in the past said "no," hence why where we are today).
Since the Formula of Hormisdas was formulated in response to the Henotikon decree, its text might be helpful
Quote
THE emperor Caesar Zeno, pious, victorious, triumphant, supreme, ever worshipful Augustus, to the most reverent bishops and clergy, and to the monks and laity throughout Alexandria, Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis. Being assured that the origin and constitution, the might and invincible defence of our sovereignty is the only right and true faith, which, through divine inspiration, the three hundred holy fathers assembled at Nicaea set forth, and the hundred and fifty holy fathers, who in like manner met at Constantinople, confirmed; we night and day employ every means of prayer, of zealous pains and of laws, that the holy Catholic and apostolic church in every place may be multiplied, the uncorruptible and immortal mother of our sceptre; and that the pious laity, continuing in peace and unanimity with respect to God, may, together with the bishops, highly beloved of God, the most pious clergy, the archimandrites and monks, offer up acceptably their supplications in behalf of our sovereignty. So long as our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who was incarnate and born of Mary, the Holy Virgin, and Mother of God, approves and readily accepts our concordant glorification and service, the power of our enemies will be crushed and swept away, and peace with its blessings, kindly temperature, abundant produce, and whatever is beneficial to man, will be liberally bestowed. Since, then, the irreprehensible faith is the preserver both of ourselves and the Roman weal, petitions have been offered to us from pious archimandrites and hermits, and other venerable persons, imploring us with tears that unity should be procured for the churches, and the limbs should be knit together, which the enemy of all good has of old time been eagerly bent upon severing, under a consciousness that defeat will befall him whenever he assails the body while in an entire condition. For since it happens, that of the unnumbered generations which during the lapse of so many years time has withdrawn from life, some have departed, deprived of the laver of regeneration, and others have been borne away on the inevitable journey of man, without having partaken in the divine communion; and innumerable murders have also been perpetrated; and not only the earth, but the very air has been defiled by a multitude of blood-sheddings; that this state of things might be transformed into good, who would not pray? For this reason, we were anxious that you should be informed, that we and the churches in every quarter neither have held, nor do we or shall we hold, nor are we aware of persons who hold, any other symbol or lesson or definition of faith or creed than the before-mentioned holy symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers, which the aforesaid hundred and fifty holy fathers confirmed; and if any person does hold such, we deem him an alien: for we are confident that this symbol alone is, as we said, the preserver of our sovereignty, and on their reception of this alone are all the people baptised when desirous of the saving illumination: which symbol all the holy fathers assembled at Ephesus also followed; who further passed sentence of deposition on the impious Nestorius and those who subsequently held his sentiments: which Nestorius we also anathematise, together with Eutyches and all who entertain opinions contrary to those above-mentioned, receiving at the same time the twelve chapters of Cyril, of holy memory, formerly archbishop of the holy Catholic church of the Alexandrians. We moreover confess, that the only begotten Son of God, himself God, who truly assumed manhood, namely, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is con-substantial with the Father in respect of the Godhead, and con-substantial with ourselves as respects the manhood; that He, having descended, and become incarnate of the Holy Spirit and Mary, the Virgin and Mother of God, is one and not two; for we affirm that both his miracles, and the sufferings which he voluntarily endured in the flesh, are those of a single person: for we do in no degree admit those who either make a division or a confusion, or introduce a phantom; inasmuch as his truly sinless incarnation from the Mother of God did not produce an addition of a son, because the Trinity continued a Trinity even when one member of the Trinity, the God Word, became incarnate. Knowing, then, that neither the holy orthodox churches of God in all parts, nor the priests, highly beloved of God, who are at their head, nor our own sovereignty, have allowed or do allow any other symbol or definition of faith than the before-mentioned holy lesson, we have united ourselves thereto without hesitation. And these things we write not as setting forth a new form of faith, but for your assurance : and every one who has held or holds any other opinion, either at the present or another time, whether at Chalcedon or in any synod whatever, we anathematise; and specially the before-mentioned Nestorius and Eutyches, and those who maintain their doctrines. Link yourselves, therefore, to the spiritual mother, the church, and in her enjoy the same communion with us, according to the aforesaid one and only definition of the faith, namely, that of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers. For your all holy mother, the church, waits to embrace you as true children, and longs to hear your loved voice, so long withheld. Speed yourselves, therefore, for by so doing you will both draw towards yourselves the favor of our Master and Saviour and God, Jesus Christ, and be commended by our sovereignty."

When this had been read, all the Alexandrians united themselves to the holy catholic and apostolic church.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/evagrius_3_book3.htm

Quote
Thw Henoticon (“act of union”) was a document issued by the Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno in 482 in an attempt to reconcile the differences between the Chalcedon and non-Chalcedon supporters in the aftermath of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. The document was prepared by Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople...The items that the Henoticon endorsed included:

  • the faith defined at the First and Second Ecumenical Councils;

  • the condemnations of Eutyches and Nestorius that had been issued at Chalcedon;

  • an explicit approval of the twelve anathemas of Cyril of Alexandria; and

  • avoidance of any statement whether Christ had one or two natures, in an attempt to appease both non-Chalcedonian and Chalcedonian Christians.

The document failed to satisfy either side. All church leaders took offense at the emperor's open dictate of church policy. After two years of prevarication and temporializing by Acacius, the Pope of Rome, Felix III, in 484, condemned the document and excommunicated Acacius. Acacius in turn removed the name of Pope Felix from the diptychs, effectively beginning the Acacian Schism. The excommunication was largely ignored in Constantinople, even after the death of Acacius in 489.

Zeno died in 491. His successor Anastasius I, as emperor, was sympathetic to the non-Chalcedonians, but he accepted the Henoticon. However, Anastasius was unpopular because of his Miaphysite beliefs, and Vitalian, a Chalcedonian general, attempted to overthrow him in 514, but failed. Anastasius attempted to heal the schism with Pope Hormisdas of Rome, but this failed when Anastasius refused to recognize the excommunication of the now deceased Acacius.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Henoticon

"nor do we or shall we hold, nor are we aware of persons who hold, any other symbol or lesson or definition of faith or creed than the before-mentioned holy symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers, which the aforesaid hundred and fifty holy fathers confirmed; and if any person does hold such, we deem him an alien: for we are confident that this symbol alone is, as we said, the preserver of our sovereignty, and on their reception of this alone are all the people baptised when desirous of the saving illumination: which symbol all the holy fathers assembled at Ephesus also followed; who further passed sentence of deposition on the impious Nestorius and those who subsequently held his sentiments: which Nestorius we also anathematise, together with Eutyches and all who entertain opinions contrary to those above-mentioned, receiving at the same time the twelve chapters of Cyril, of holy memory, formerly archbishop of the holy Catholic church of the Alexandrians. We moreover confess, that the only begotten Son of God, himself God, who truly assumed manhood, namely, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is con-substantial with the Father in respect of the Godhead, and con-substantial with ourselves as respects the manhood; that He, having descended, and become incarnate of the Holy Spirit and Mary, the Virgin and Mother of God, is one and not two; for we affirm that both his miracles, and the sufferings which he voluntarily endured in the flesh, are those of a single person: for we do in no degree admit those who either make a division or a confusion, or introduce a phantom; inasmuch as his truly sinless incarnation from the Mother of God did not produce an addition of a son, because the Trinity continued a Trinity even when one member of the Trinity, the God Word, became incarnate. Knowing, then, that neither the holy orthodox churches of God in all parts, nor the priests, highly beloved of God, who are at their head, nor our own sovereignty, have allowed or do allow any other symbol or definition of faith than the before-mentioned holy lesson, we have united ourselves thereto without hesitation. And these things we write not as setting forth a new form of faith, but for your assurance : and every one who has held or holds any other opinion, either at the present or another time, whether at Chalcedon or in any synod whatever, we anathematise; and specially the before-mentioned Nestorius and Eutyches, and those who maintain their doctrines."

the boldface being somewhat determinative for both EO and OO, who agree, I believe, on them.
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« Reply #82 on: January 06, 2011, 09:25:46 PM »

The Henotikon has come up elsewhere.  I would say that it is fully Orthodox from an EO viewpoint. What would the OO say (I know that both EO and OO have in the past said "no," hence why where we are today).

The Henotikon is orthodox in doctrinal content but traitorous in spirit, for it sought to suppress or overlook the Church's confession against Chalcedon.
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« Reply #83 on: January 06, 2011, 09:26:43 PM »

Brothers, we are Christians, and we believe that Christ is fully Man and fully God. We must stop to divide us about that. There must be a new council where this formula must be adopted " One Person, Christ, fully Man and fully God, without mix, change, or confusion. " POINT. We must stop to speak about one nature or two nature, for the well-being = unity, of the Church.

The Church is united. You sound like a Branch Theorist.
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« Reply #84 on: January 06, 2011, 10:44:35 PM »

Brothers, we are Christians, and we believe that Christ is fully Man and fully God. We must stop to divide us about that. There must be a new council where this formula must be adopted " One Person, Christ, fully Man and fully God, without mix, change, or confusion. " POINT. We must stop to speak about one nature or two nature, for the well-being = unity, of the Church.

The Church is united. You sound like a Branch Theorist.

The Church is an assembly of people. The assembly which constitutes the members of what we call " the Oriental Orthodox churches " are considered to be united. We are speaking, dear, about EO and OO, not only OO or not only EO. I'm not saying that the formulas which have been enounced by the Holy Oriental Fathers were wrong ( in no way I am saying that ), but I am saying that those who wish unity between EO and OO must stop to speak about one nature or two natures, but they must speak a common language, Christ one Person fully Human and fully Divine, since this simple definition is correct in both sides.
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« Reply #85 on: January 06, 2011, 11:38:53 PM »

Brothers, we are Christians, and we believe that Christ is fully Man and fully God. We must stop to divide us about that. There must be a new council where this formula must be adopted " One Person, Christ, fully Man and fully God, without mix, change, or confusion. " POINT. We must stop to speak about one nature or two nature, for the well-being = unity, of the Church.

The Church is united. You sound like a Branch Theorist.

The Church is an assembly of people. The assembly which constitutes the members of what we call " the Oriental Orthodox churches " are considered to be united. We are speaking, dear, about EO and OO, not only OO or not only EO. I'm not saying that the formulas which have been enounced by the Holy Oriental Fathers were wrong ( in no way I am saying that ), but I am saying that those who wish unity between EO and OO must stop to speak about one nature or two natures, but they must speak a common language, Christ one Person fully Human and fully Divine, since this simple definition is correct in both sides.

If you are saying that the Church needs to be united, and by "the Church" you are speaking of both the EO and OO, then that is Branch Theory, which is heresy.
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« Reply #86 on: January 07, 2011, 11:48:55 AM »

That's rubbish frankly.

Church history even before Chalcedon, and after is full of incidents of the Church being divided due to various controversies and then resolving these and overcoming the disunity. At no time were these divisions resolved by one side insisting the other was not the Church and requiring submission.

What you describe, quite often, is just not based on history, it is based on your own personal perspective as someone trying to find an ultra-True jurisdicition rather than the ones that actually make up the Church.

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« Reply #87 on: January 20, 2011, 05:59:35 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Many years ago, His Holiness Vazken I came to Los Angeles and, among other things, engaged in an ecumenical service at a Greek Orthodox Church. 

There have been many many dialogues and discussions between the various jurisdictions and regions of Orthodox, and we are all coming to a serious consensus that essentially we are all saying the same things in different ways, however this continues to divide us as it has, albeit much less vitriolic and vociferously as in times in the past.  It has already been correctly asserted here that the history, the psychology, and the logistics are what currently keep up divided formally, as it is very hard to reconcile some of these dichtomies compared to the relatively minor theological differences of interpretation.  The Synaxarium, the Divine Liturgy, the Calendar, the Lexicon, the Canons, even the Bible is different and hard to reconcile.  I think the best we could hope for is the kind of regional agreements and mutuality that the Oriental Orthodox share and yet also allow for the inherent diversity of these churches.  The Coptic Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church have many many similarities, and yet many many key differences, and we are in full communion, and respect our mutual differences.  This is the best we can hope for in the future between the Orthodox, the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox, once we sort out the theological matters.

That's extremely dangerous ground there. The infallibility of ALL Seven Ecumenical Councils is one of the bedrocks of our faith. Putting ourselves, as Eastern Orthodox, in the position of denying one of the fundamental tenants of our faith in order to speed the process of reunion is ecumenism of the worst kind.

That is simply not true and is merely splitting hairs.  There are many jurisdictions who reject many so-called Ecumenical Councils, and as such we can largely assume that aside from the First Three, the rest are more local than universal, because the definition of universal is unopposed, and if there is even remote opposition than it can hardly be claimed as universal.  Further, some of the East don't even embrace all Three!  We should not then be divided over these Canons and Councils..

The reasons for this are not only doctrinal, but also historical and psychological, as it's really hard to accept a council in the name of which your ancestors were persecuted, slaughtered, etc.

Then there is the issue of saints.  Both sides have condemned saints venerated by the other.  I don't think that is as formidable a barrier as the councils, but it is still sticky.  This was discussed in this other thread:


There are other issues having to do with liturgical practice.  The EO's tend to be more uniform in their liturgical practices, while the OO's allow more diversity.  I don't see this as being as big an issue as the others, but it's still something to deal with.

There are other issues that are more administrative in nature, like the way the EO's rank their patriarchs, etc.  Again, these issues are not as big, but they are there to be dealt with.

So, while I believe that in a spiritual sense we are really one Church, there's a lot to be overcome before that becomes more of a concrete reality.

Excellent points, especially in the cultural/historical emphasis and difference of Saints/Synaxarium issues. Again though, I think that if the Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox learn to embrace each others differences of articulation of the Faith while retaining full and open communion in the same manner that the Coptic Church, the EOTC, the Syrian Church and other Oriental Orthodox mutually commune and yet retain distinctive differences in regards to structure, logistics, liturgy, calendar, etc etc.  If these differing Oriental sisters can get along, surely we ALL can get along so long as that is our earnest and heartfelt desire in God.  Honestly though, I think some folks like to be divided, it is a status symbol and a validating identifier to say "I am part of THEE Church" in opposition to others.



I think this sense of legalism, this claim to a monopoly of God and His Truth, this sense of arrogance which lays claim to knowing, in an almost absolute sense, the workings of God,  was the very problem with the Pharisees, and I cannot help but think that many Orthodox (EO and OO) will be judged side by side with the Pharisees for applying the same mindset in opposition to God's will (simply in different historical stages of God's redemptive plan for mankind.)

^^ Amen Amen, the true spirit of humility has been lost in a lot of this Orthodox chauvinism which is quite prevalent, especially in the more ethnic oriented jurisdictions in the East and Orient where nationalism and cultural pride have intertwined themselves with Church identity, in the exact same way the Pharisees saw their own Jewishness.  We indeed will have to give an account for this unseemly behavior..

It funny was being biased does I was blindly seeing how the miaphysite view can be confused with the monophysite view but I never saw how the EO's view of the diaphysite seems like the Nestorian heresy reworded thanks everyone for the great input.

Exactly! This is the precise benefit of interjurisdictional dialogue and discussions.  Many of us do not understand each other and have many mutual misconceptions which can only be addressed through transparent and friendly dialogue.  Further, many do not even understand their own theology with out examining the differing arguments.  How can a miaphysite fully understand the concept of the Unity of the Natures without examining those who profess a kind of distinction or the potential there of? This is why we are all mutually building straw man fallacies about each other's respective positions, but the past 40 years in particular of dialogue have been quite productive, maybe the most since the 8th century!

I read that in an EO church council, they decided that one could either have St Cyril's miaphysitism, or the diversities(I forget the word) that many EOs had/have.

So either view might be technically acceptable in EO.

Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?
Yes, it is obligatory that Oriental Orthodox Christians embrace the concept of the One, Unified Incarnate Nature of Christ as professed by Saint Cyril, which teaches in the trueness of the One Nature of Christ, being a divine composite of perfect divinity and perfect humanity without distinction, but we in OO find it bitterly hard to use the words "two" in reference to the Nature(s) of Christ, because after the Union in the Incarnation we simply can not speak of such things as being so. 

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Not necessarily, in the Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahedo Church our indigenous Christology uses the Ge'ez language terms which are quite clear.  Hypostasis is understood in Ge'ez not as being synonymous with Nature, rather exclusively with Person.  In the EOTC translations of Cyrilian literature and texts, this distinction is made quite apparent and simplifies our own Ethiopian perspective, which states that Jesus Christ has only one True Nature from One True Person.  This Nature is twofold but perfectly united, and so we can only speak of it in Ge'ez as being one, because in Ge'ez language for there to be a Nature there MUST be a corresponding Person, there can be no abstract Nature without a manifested form in a Person.  So in Ge'ez theology, for Jesus Christ to be considered to be Two in nature, He would have to also be Two in Persons, and this is Nestorianism which Ethiopians categorically reject for centuries.  We easily believe in One incarnate Nature of Christ because of our specific theological language.  We, for technical reasons translate to others our Faith as being Jesus Christ, Two Natures FROM One Person (as opposed to 'in one person which implies the opportunity for division, if two people are IN a place, they can be separate, whereas if two people are FROM one place, it inherently implies a kind of unity, where they are from is what unites them as one, as say two people are FROM America and so are Americans, where as two people who are IN America may very well not be Americans at all, but just so happen to be together IN the same place) but our own indigenous languages do not in any suggest this, rather without any misconception the EOTC embraces the One Nature of Jesus Christ, a Miaphysite Union of Humanity and Divinity so perfectly indistinguishable that we can simply no longer speak of "two".



The humanity of Christ never ceases to be what it is, even when the Word of God becomes incarnate without ceasing to be what He ever was and is. Yet He is one incarnate nature, not because there is a confusion of humanity and Divinity, or because the humanity is swallowed up in the Divinity. God forbid. But because even after the incarnation there is one nature, one identity, one subject. It was the Word of God who died on the cross. There were those at Chalcedon and those who accepted it who could not say such a thing.


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Which is precisely what the good Father Peter has already so succinctly mentioned Smiley

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« Reply #88 on: January 20, 2011, 08:05:08 PM »

That is simply not true and is merely splitting hairs.  There are many jurisdictions who reject many so-called Ecumenical Councils, and as such we can largely assume that aside from the First Three, the rest are more local than universal, because the definition of universal is unopposed, and if there is even remote opposition than it can hardly be claimed as universal.  Further, some of the East don't even embrace all Three!  We should not then be divided over these Canons and Councils
Not that simple.
You are correct, in that the Nestorians (or Assyrian, ACOE, COE, whatever: all espouse dogma on the side of Nestorius versus Pope St. Cyril) oppose Ephesus, while all Orthodox accept it.  The Fathers "divided" over Ephesus, and rightfully so.  We should then be divided over the Canons and Council of Ephesus, which defined the Orthodox Faith.

Rejecting an Ecumenical Council or pseudo-ecumenical council is not a jurisdictional issue, but a dogmatic one.

Constantinople I was the most local of all Councils of the Church, whereas Chalcedon (the one we are divided on)  was the most universal, in terms of representation, number of bishops, etc..

You otherwise see the importance of agreement on Councils, i.e. agreeing with the EO on Ephesus, and disagreeing with the Nestorians.

I read that in an EO church council, they decided that one could either have St Cyril's miaphysitism, or the diversities(I forget the word) that many EOs had/have.

So either view might be technically acceptable in EO.

Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?
Yes, it is obligatory that Oriental Orthodox Christians embrace the concept of the One, Unified Incarnate Nature of Christ as professed by Saint Cyril, which teaches in the trueness of the One Nature of Christ, being a divine composite of perfect divinity and perfect humanity without distinction, but we in OO find it bitterly hard to use the words "two" in reference to the Nature(s) of Christ, because after the Union in the Incarnation we simply can not speak of such things as being so.  

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Not necessarily, in the Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahedo Church our indigenous Christology uses the Ge'ez language terms which are quite clear.  Hypostasis is understood in Ge'ez not as being synonymous with Nature, rather exclusively with Person.  In the EOTC translations of Cyrilian literature and texts, this distinction is made quite apparent and simplifies our own Ethiopian perspective, which states that Jesus Christ has only one True Nature from One True Person.  This Nature is twofold but perfectly united, and so we can only speak of it in Ge'ez as being one, because in Ge'ez language for there to be a Nature there MUST be a corresponding Person, there can be no abstract Nature without a manifested form in a Person.  So in Ge'ez theology, for Jesus Christ to be considered to be Two in nature, He would have to also be Two in Persons, and this is Nestorianism which Ethiopians categorically reject for centuries.  We easily believe in One incarnate Nature of Christ because of our specific theological language.  We, for technical reasons translate to others our Faith as being Jesus Christ, Two Natures FROM One Person (as opposed to 'in one person which implies the opportunity for division, if two people are IN a place, they can be separate, whereas if two people are FROM one place, it inherently implies a kind of unity, where they are from is what unites them as one, as say two people are FROM America and so are Americans, where as two people who are IN America may very well not be Americans at all, but just so happen to be together IN the same place) but our own indigenous languages do not in any suggest this, rather without any misconception the EOTC embraces the One Nature of Jesus Christ, a Miaphysite Union of Humanity and Divinity so perfectly indistinguishable that we can simply no longer speak of "two".
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 08:05:57 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #89 on: January 20, 2011, 09:34:21 PM »

whereas Chalcedon (the one we are divided on)  was the most universal, in terms of representation, number of bishops, etc..

I don't know about that. Chalcedon was not ratified by any Bishop from the Patriarchate of Alexandria of that time. It may have had many Bishops, but I don't know that it's true that it had the broadest representation and acceptance.
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