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Author Topic: Re: Questions about the Chaldean Church  (Read 3196 times) Average Rating: 0
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Stundist
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« on: March 24, 2008, 10:14:48 PM »

(This topic was split off from a thread about the Church of the East, in the OO section:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15134.0.html

I am putting it here in the hope that our Eastern Catholic friends may be better able to answer questions about the Chaldean Church.

Thank you.
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The Chaldean church is in communion with the Roman Catholic church.  The Assyrian church of the East has a signed intercommunion agreement with the Chaldean church, under certain circumstances.  (The cired.org website is down or I'd post the link).   So there is a loose association with the Roman Catholic church.
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2008, 11:29:07 PM »

The Chaldean church is in communion with the Roman Catholic church.


Yesterday during the agape meal after Liturgy I was talking with a friend who was raised Roman Catholic and later converted to Orthodoxy.  We were discussing the Assyrian church of the East, and I mentioned that they are basically Nestorian in their Christology.  Then the subject of the Chaldeans came up... and I mentioned what someone on this thread recently said: that the Chaldeans are basically "Eastern Catholics" (Assyrians who have entered into communion with Rome).  He first made a very confused expression, then asked "Didn't you just say they were Nestorian?"  I affirmed that this was the case.  He then went off on a short rant: "So, we [Rome] don't really care what you [Nestorians] think about Christ, what's your position on the pope?"  At this point we both had a good laugh and changed the subject. 

But really, all joking aside, the fact that Rome is currently in communion with Nestorians is... well, shocking... not unbelievable, but still quite shocking nonetheless.  It just baffles me to see Rome's continual willingness to compromise the absolute unadulterated Truth... just so they can add another group to the list of Rome's subjects.  Lord have mercy.


(Edited to replace "U" word with "Eastern Catholics.")
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2008, 12:05:00 AM »


Yesterday during the agape meal after Liturgy I was talking with a friend who was raised Roman Catholic and later converted to Orthodoxy.  We were discussing the Assyrian church of the East, and I mentioned that they are basically Nestorian in their Christology.  Then the subject of the Chaldeans came up... and I mentioned what someone on this thread recently said: that the Chaldeans are basically "Eastern Catholics" (Assyrians who have entered into communion with Rome).  He first made a very confused expression, then asked "Didn't you just say they were Nestorian?"  I affirmed that this was the case.  He then went off on a short rant: "So, we [Rome] don't really care what you [Nestorians] think about Christ, what's your position on the pope?"  At this point we both had a good laugh and changed the subject. 


I think the Chaldeans are ethnically Assyrian, but not necessarily Nestorian. 
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2008, 12:07:40 AM »

But really, all joking aside, the fact that Rome is currently in communion with Nestorians is... well, shocking... not unbelievable, but still quite shocking nonetheless.  It just baffles me to see Rome's continual willingness to compromise the absolute unadulterated Truth... just so they can add another group to the list of Rome's subjects.  Lord have mercy.

I wouldn't say that is true.  In their liturgical books, mentions of Nestorius and his Christology have been "corrected" within the Chaldean Catholic Church.  I have a friend from school who is a lapsed member, I can double check.
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2008, 12:40:36 AM »

I know of one chaldean who teaches sunday school in her church. There not neccesarily nestorian at the same time shes not too familiar with the RC feast days pertaining to the Theotokos. When i asked her if she believe in the Immaculate Conception, she never heard of it, and had to check some catechism to find out what it was.
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2008, 02:27:06 PM »

Quote from: Salpy
(Edited to replace "U" word with "Eastern Catholics.")
Salpy


Sorry, I always forget.

I think the Chaldeans are ethnically Assyrian, but not necessarily Nestorian. 

Um, I'm confused again.  I thought "Chaldeans" and "Assyrians" were two words for the same ethnic group... but the terms have become two distinct titles for the two distinct churches found within this same ethnic group... the only real difference between the two being whether or not they are in communion with Rome.

Is this correct?... or am I still not understanding something here?
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2008, 02:33:51 PM »

In their [Chaldean] liturgical books, mentions of Nestorius and his Christology have been "corrected" within the Chaldean Catholic Church.  I have a friend from school who is a lapsed member, I can double check.

So, if its that simple, why don't the OO and EO do the same thing with the Assyrians?  I guess I just have a problem understanding why RC can accept the Assyrians/Chaldeans (granted, maybe with some Catholic theological editing), but both OO and EO still willingly remain outside of communion with them.  Why don't the OO and EO also accept the Assyrians with a little Orthodox theological editing?  What is the crux of the matter?... what is the determining factor here?  Please help me understand.  Thanks everyone for your patience.  God bless
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2008, 02:45:51 PM »

I know of one chaldean who teaches sunday school in her church. There not neccesarily nestorian at the same time shes not too familiar with the RC feast days pertaining to the Theotokos. When i asked her if she believe in the Immaculate Conception, she never heard of it, and had to check some catechism to find out what it was.

To me, this kind of situation makes me think twice about all the churches/denominations Rome is "officially" in communion with.  How can all these various groups with their various beliefs and doctrine all actually be in real true communion with each other?  I mean, really, someone is in communion with Rome and they have no idea what the Immaculate Conception even is?  (Granted, from an Orthodox perspective that's not such a bad thing).  Please understand I am in no way attacking this woman, she does the Lord a great service by volunteering her time to help teach children about God.  However, her particular situation reveals a lot about the bigger picture.  It seems to me like so much "union" with Rome has taken place on the official leadership level, but this "unity" hardly seems to actually affect the lives of the laity in any tangible way.  Unity "on paper," but that's about it.
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2008, 02:50:13 PM »

I'm less than an expert, but I'm pretty sure the Assyrians are the ethnic group.  Members of this ethnic group may belong to different churches, one of which is the Chaldean Church (in communion with Rome) and another of which is the Church of the East (Nestorian.)  There are also Assyrians who are Armenian Orthodox (usually through intermarriage with Armenians,) Russian Orthodox, and Protestant.  The thing about the Chaldean Church and the Church of the East is that their membership is mainly made up of ethnic Assyrians.  Hence their close association with the Assyrians.


Why don't the OO and EO also accept the Assyrians with a little Orthodox theological editing? 

Because the theological editing would include condemning Nestorius and Theodore, as well as accepting the Third Council, the term "Theotokos," and the Theopaschite formula.  These are things the Church of the East won't do.  If they did do these things, the OO's would probably accept them.
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2008, 03:03:40 PM »

Because the theological editing would include condemning Nestorius and Theodore, as well as accepting the Third Council, the term "Theotokos," and the Theopaschite formula.  These are things the Church of the East won't do.  If they did do these things, the OO's would probably accept them.

Please forgive me if I seem to be asking the same thing over and over...
So, is it therefore true to say that Rome was willing to enter into communion with the Chaldeans even though the Chaldeans refuse to "condemn Nestorius and Theodore... accept the Third Council, the term 'Theotokos,' and the Theopaschite formula"Huh

Or... did the Chaldean group accept these conditions but the Assyrians who are in the "church of the East" did NOT accept them?  Were the Chaldeans simply the first Assyrians to become willing to reject Nestorius' teachings, and they just happen to come into contact with Rome before OO or EO?  I hope I'm not the only confused about this matter. 
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2008, 03:09:53 PM »


Or... did the Chaldean group accept these conditions but the Assyrians who are in the "church of the East" did NOT accept them?   

I'm assuming that is what happened.  I know very little about the history of their church, but I am assuming that at some point in time (The Crusades?) some Assyrians chose to go into union with Rome.  The Chaldean Church would have then been formed and I assume the Assyrians who joined it condemned Nestorius and Theodore, accepted certain councils, the term Theotokos, etc.
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2008, 03:18:08 PM »

I know Wikipedia is not the best source for anything, but they certainly know more than I do about this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaldean_Catholic_Church

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaldean_Assyrians



There are probably Eastern Christians on this forum who know more about this.  You may want to post a question about this in the Orthodox/Catholic section.  As it is, this topic is a little out of place here in the OO section, although the Assyrians have interacted greatly with certain OO groups and have affected our history.
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2008, 08:06:52 PM »

Quote
So, is it therefore true to say that Rome was willing to enter into communion with the Chaldeans even though the Chaldeans refuse to 'condemn Nestorius and Theodore... accept the Third Council, the term 'Theotokos,' and the Theopaschite formula

It is not true. When the Chaldeans entered union with Rome, Nestorius and Theodore were struck from the calendar and as being attributed as authors of the 2nd and 3rd Anaphorae, they accepted all the Councils, and accepted use of the term Theotokos. They did not accept the Theopaschite forumla as Rome didn't accept either. 

Romes current position on the Theopaschite formula is that if the Trisagion is directed to Christ the clause is acceptable, if it is directed to the Trinity it is unacceptable, so the Latin, Byzantine, Chaldean, and Syro-Malabar Churches do not use it as they consider the Trisagion Trinitarian. The Maronites have reintoduced it and while I am not 100% sure I belive those Catholic Churches descended from the Oriental Orthoodx have reintoduced it.

Quote
I know of one chaldean who teaches sunday school in her church. There not neccesarily nestorian at the same time shes not too familiar with the RC feast days pertaining to the Theotokos. When i asked her if she believe in the Immaculate Conception, she never heard of it, and had to check some catechism to find out what it was.


The Chaldean Church has inserted several Latin Feasts into its calendar including that of the Immaculate Conception, one catechist's ignorance isn't really good to go on.

The Chaldean Diocese of San Diego has a nice website:
http://www.kaldu.org/index.htm

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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2008, 09:12:45 PM »

Thank you.  That explained a lot.  I'm glad I put the topic up here.   Smiley

I think what was meant by "accepting the Theopaschite formula" was not necessarily putting it in their Trisagion, but rather just accepting the truth of the phrase.  If the Chaldeans accept Constantinople II, that would mean they accept the phrase "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh," even if it is not in their Trisagion.
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2008, 09:47:31 PM »

Quote
It is not true. When the Chaldeans entered union with Rome, Nestorius and Theodore were struck from the calendar and as being attributed as authors of the 2nd and 3rd Anaphorae, they accepted all the Councils, and accepted use of the term Theotokos.

The Assyrian Church of the East is also known to be somewhat iconoclastic.  When the Chaldeans entered into communion with Rome, they also accepted the use of images and had them installed in their churches.    Just a confirmation of Deacon Lance's point of they accepted the decrees of the councils.
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2008, 09:17:45 PM »

I think the iconoclastic tendency is more because of their Islamic surroundings. It would have been dangerous to have such images in the heart of a once Islamic Empire. The most ancient christian church in China dating to 638 a.d. is Assyrian and frescos are still preserved inside it (google Daqin pagoda). Other nestorian monuments remain in china which include paintings.
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2008, 10:57:57 AM »

Um, I'm confused again.  I thought "Chaldeans" and "Assyrians" were two words for the same ethnic group... but the terms have become two distinct titles for the two distinct churches found within this same ethnic group... the only real difference between the two being whether or not they are in communion with Rome.

My understanding (for what it's worth) is that "Chaldean" and "Assyrian" don't mean the same thing: they refer to the peoples of modern day Iraq and Iran, respectively.
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« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2008, 11:03:59 AM »

Why don't the OO and EO also accept the Assyrians with a little Orthodox theological editing?

I believe that has happened:

Quote from: Kallistos Ware
The Nestorians are today very few in number — perhaps 50,000 — and almost entirely lacking in theologians, so that it is difficult to enter into official negotiations with them. But a partial union between Orthodox and Nestorian Christians has already occurred. In 1898 an Assyrian Nestorian, Mar Ivanios, bishop of Urumia in Persia, together with his flock, was received into communion by the Russian Church. The initiative came primarily from the Nestorian side, and there was no pressure — political or otherwise — on the part of the Russians. In 1905 this ex-Nestorian diocese was said to number 80 parishes and some 70,000 faithful; but between 1915 and 1918 the Assyrian Orthodox were slaughtered by the Turks in a series of unprovoked massacres, from which a few thousand alone escaped. Even though its life was so tragically cut short, the reconciliation of this ancient Christian community forms an encouraging precedent: why should not the Orthodox Church today come to a similar understanding with the rest of the Nestorian communion? (When visiting a Russian convent near New York in 1960, I had the pleasure of meeting an Assyrian Orthodox bishop, originally from the Urumia diocese, likewise called Mar Ivanios (successor to the original Mar Ivanios). A married priest, he had become a bishop after the death of his wife. When I asked the nuns how old he was, I was told: ‘He says he’s 102, but his children say he must be much older than that’).
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« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2008, 12:05:15 PM »

I think Seraphim was referring to the reestablishment of communion between the Orthodox and the Church of the East, rather than the conversion of groups of Assyrians away from the Church of the East to Orthodoxy, which is what Bishop Ware was talking about.  The latter was discussed a little bit in this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14879.html#lastPost

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« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2008, 12:15:15 PM »


Yesterday during the agape meal after Liturgy I was talking with a friend who was raised Roman Catholic and later converted to Orthodoxy.  We were discussing the Assyrian church of the East, and I mentioned that they are basically Nestorian in their Christology.  Then the subject of the Chaldeans came up... and I mentioned what someone on this thread recently said: that the Chaldeans are basically "Eastern Catholics" (Assyrians who have entered into communion with Rome).  He first made a very confused expression, then asked "Didn't you just say they were Nestorian?"  I affirmed that this was the case.  He then went off on a short rant: "So, we [Rome] don't really care what you [Nestorians] think about Christ, what's your position on the pope?"  At this point we both had a good laugh and changed the subject. 

But really, all joking aside, the fact that Rome is currently in communion with Nestorians is... well, shocking... not unbelievable, but still quite shocking nonetheless.  It just baffles me to see Rome's continual willingness to compromise the absolute unadulterated Truth... just so they can add another group to the list of Rome's subjects.  Lord have mercy.


(Edited to replace "U" word with "Eastern Catholics.")
Salpy





Rome is not in communion with all Chaldeans. It's no different than her communion with other "Eastern Catholic uniates".




Also I think the Assyrian Church of the East(those not in communion with Rome) is trying to distance itself away from Nestorius.

The last I checked....they said they follow the Christology of Babia the great.   I could of spelled his name wrong.





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« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2008, 12:20:10 PM »

I think the iconoclastic tendency is more because of their Islamic surroundings. It would have been dangerous to have such images in the heart of a once Islamic Empire. The most ancient christian church in China dating to 638 a.d. is Assyrian and frescos are still preserved inside it (google Daqin pagoda). Other nestorian monuments remain in china which include paintings.


I disagree. The Shi'ite Muslims have Icons.....so I doubt if the Shia Muslims  tried to stop them from having Icons. No....I think it was because they were in Iraq and Iran.


They froze in time before we froze in time. They split way before the Iconoclastic contraversy.







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« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2008, 01:52:16 PM »

Thank you everyone for helping me to better understand this topic.  All your feedback is very appreciated.   Smiley
God bless
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« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2008, 04:42:42 PM »


I disagree. The Shi'ite Muslims have Icons.....so I doubt if the Shia Muslims  tried to stop them from having Icons. No....I think it was because they were in Iraq and Iran.


They froze in time before we froze in time. They split way before the Iconoclastic contraversy.


Yes, there are pictures used in Islam but only there variety, only what they approve, they also kiss a black meteorite. But muslims shun frescos and any image not to their absolute likeing, Frescos and icons are still preserved on the walls of Assyrian Churches found in China and Japan and even India.  Even the iconoclast controversies in the Byzantine Empire was fueled by the fear of the spread of Islam.



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