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Author Topic: Theological Differences Between Assyro-Chaldean and Greek Catholics  (Read 29316 times) Average Rating: 0
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ronyodish
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« on: June 12, 2008, 03:18:18 AM »

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I consider Ronyodish to be a Latinized Easterner.

Apotheoun,

Now, that is not a fair statement.  Just because I am not a Greek-Catholic, and therefore do not express the Faith in accordance with Byzantine theology, does not make me a Latinized Easterner.

I am an Eastern Chaldean Catholic.  I try to express the Faith in accordance with the Assyro-Chaldean tradition.  The East is more than Byzantine, my brother.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2008, 06:21:09 AM »

Yes, and based upon your comments at CAF, and your failure to distinguish between the Spirit's origin from the Father, and His manifestation from the Father through the Son, we do not share a common faith.
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2008, 07:48:24 AM »

Quote from: ronyodish
Quote from: Apotheoun
Quote from: ronyodish
Quote from: Apotheoun
The book you referenced (i.e., "Three Letters of Philoxenus") says that the Spirit ". . . is also men keyana, that is, that He proceeds from the nature of the Father and the Son" (page 76), but this teaching is problematic, because the Spirit's subsistent procession, according to the Cappadocians (and the other Eastern Fathers), is from the Father personally, and not from the divine essence.  Now, if one holds that the Holy Spirit proceeds existentially from the nature common to the Father and the Son, it follows that the Holy Spirit proceeds existentially from Himself, because the divine nature is also common to Him, which is utter nonsense; or it means that He does not have the same nature as the Father and the Son, which means that He is not true God.

That said, . . . if your views are an accurate representation of your particular sui juris Church's position, I would have to say that we do not share a common faith as it concerns the Trinity.
Todd,

Before I discuss this, I want to ask you a question on this following statement on the Son, in that, He is:

Son of the nature of His Father

Would you say that this statement is heretical?

God bless,
Rony
Yes it is heretical, because the Son is not the Son of the divine nature, but of the person of the Father, who communicates His nature to the Son.

In looking at more of your posts in that thread, I am concerned that we do not share the same Triadological faith.
Todd,

Did you read these posts?

http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=3716713&postcount=336

http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=3723429&postcount=350

If so, do you still consider the statement heretical?

God bless,
Rony
I read both comments and because you fail to distinguish between the Spirit's hypostatic procession of origin (i.e., His ekporeusis), which is from the Father alone as sole font of divinity, and the Spirit's progression (proienai) as energy, but not as person, which is from the Father through the Son, I can say unequivocally that you and I do not share a common Trinitarian faith.

The Spirit can never be said to proceed from or of the essence that is common to the Father and the Son, because the divine essence is common to all three persons, and not merely to the Father and the Son, and to say otherwise is to posit two God's (i.e., the Father and the Son taken together, and the Spirit taken alone as essentially distinct from them).  Moreover, if you try to avoid ditheism by saying that the Father and the Son share a common essence, and that the Spirit proceeds (ekporeusis) from that common essence, which is also His essence, that would be like saying that the Spirit as person proceeds from Himself, which is utter nonsense.  Now, if you, and all Chaldeans (i.e., if your comments are truly representative of the Chaldean tradition), really hold to these theological ideas, it follows that you (and all Chaldeans) are making the same Sabellian error as the Scholastics on this issue, and I cannot in good faith assent to anything that confuses the Spirit's procession (ekporeusis) of origin from the Father alone, with His manifestation (phanerosis) or progression (proienai) as energy from the Father through the Son.  His procession of origin and His manifestation are two distinct realities, which if confused lead to either Sabellian modalism or ditheism (or even tritheism) depending upon the particular circumstances of the case.

Ultimately, your comments appear to negate the Cappadocian principle that anything common to two persons of the Trinity is by definition common to all three, because anything common is by its very nature essential to God, while anything unique, is absolutely unique to one, and only one hypostasis, for to say otherwise is to confuse the three divine persons with the divine nature or essence (see St. Basil's – actually his brother St. Gregory's – Letter number 38).

Now I will address some of your specific comments.

You said:
Quote
But, we also certainly make a distinction between the Son and the Father, the Son has His own Divine Qnoma (particular or singular Nature/Essence), and the Father has His own Divine Qnoma, though both are of one inseparable Divine Nature/Essence (the Divine Kyana).

The Son does not have His own particular nature / essence, but is one in nature / essence with the Father, receiving the divine essence from the Father alone through generation (gennasin).  The Son is only distinct as person (hypostasis and prosopon), and His hypostasis is eternally caused by the Father alone as the sole personal font of divinity.

Then you also said: 
Quote
ܒܸܪ bir - Son
ܕܸܟܝܵܢܵܐ di-kyana - of the nature (or essence)
ܕܒܵܒܹܗ d-babeh - of His Father
The essence here referring to the general essence (or kyana in Eastern Aramaic).
What do you think?

I do not agree, the Son is generated by the Father personally, that is, the Son is from the Father's person, receiving in the process the common divine nature / essence.  Generation (and procession) are personal properties proper to the Father's hypostasis and not to the common (what you called "general") divine essence.  Once again your comments betray a confusion of person (hypostasis and prosopon) and essence (ousia), which – as I see it – is nothing more than a form of Sabellianism. 

Essences do not act in any sense, only persons act.

To continue with the comments from your public posts at CAF:
Quote
Likewise, in the Incarnation, we make a distinction between Christ's Human Qnoma, and the human Qnome of other men, even though both Christ and other men are one by Human Nature/Essence (the Human Kyana). Of course, the other difference between Christ and other men is that Christ is a Unity of the Divine and Human, God and Man, in one Parsopa (Person).

Sadly, based upon the above comment, you appear to be embracing a form of the heresy of Nestorianism.  Christ is not a human person (prosopon or hypostasis) at all, but is a divine person (prosopon and hypostasis) who has assumed a complete human nature (ousia or physis).

The Byzantine tradition, following the teaching of the Cappdocians, holds that a prosopic (to use the Greek term) distinction between the Father, Son, and Spirit, taken alone is insufficient to safeguard the distinct reality of the persons, and that a hypostatic distinction (i.e., a distinction of hypostases) is also necessary in order to avoid Sabellian modalism in Triadology and Nestorianism in Christology.  In the Trinity hypostasis / prosopon together distinguish the persons, while that which is common is ascribed to the divine essence (ousia) or nature (physis) alone.  Energy is also common to the persons, because it is the essential energy of the Trinity, and in this sense it is singular, but it is manifest in multiform fashion because it is enacted by the persons in distinct ways, and that is why the divine energies are not merely essential, but are also enhypostatic.

Next you said: 
Quote
The Qnoma of the Father is the eternal cause/source of the Kyana of the Trinity, and the eternal cause/source of the Qnoma of the Son and the Qnoma of the Holy Spirit. Son of the nature of His Father means one in the Divine Kyana.

Now if Qnoma meant hypostasis, this statement would be orthodox, but since you seem to connect it to a concept of "singular" essence, which ultimately is a confused notion that appears basically Sabellian and Nestorian, I cannot hold the comment to be truly Orthodox.  The Son is not the Son of the divine essence, but is the Son of the Father, who – as the Father’s Son – is proper to the divine essence because He is generated (gennesin) from the Father’s person.

You then go on to say:
Quote
My understanding of the eternal generation of the Son and eternal procession of the Holy Spirit is in this way:
- The Qnoma of the Son eternally receives the Kyana and Qnoma of the Father.
- The Qnoma of the Holy Spirit eternally receives the Kyana and Qnoma of the Father from/by/through the Qnoma of the Son.

But this comment fails to really take into account my ongoing criticism of your position, since you have – all throughout your posts – failed to make a real distinction between the Spirit's hypostatic procession of origin (i.e., His ekporeusis) from the person of the Father alone, and His progression (proienai) or manifestation (phanerosis) not as person (hypostasis or prosopon), but as energy, which is from the Father through the Son.  The Son is not a cause within the Godhead, nor do the Father and the Son share a common nature that is somehow separate or different than the nature of the Holy Spirit, for that would lead to ditheism.  Now, even if I were to reinterpret your last bullet point in an Orthodox fashion, I would still have to say that the comment is false, because the Spirit does not receive His existence from or through the Son, but is only made manifest through the Son, not as person, but as energy.  Thus, based on everything that you have said so far, I do not believe that we share a common Triadological faith, and – in fact – some of your more recent comments make me believe that we also do not share a common Christological faith.

Todd
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2008, 12:32:56 PM »

What happened to my post in which I defended myself against Apotheoun's statement that I was a Latinized Easterner?

Mods, if you're going to delete my post which was a charitable response to Apotheoun, and not in contradiction to the rules of this forum, then at least delete Apotheoun's post about me as well.

I haven't been given a reason for the deletion of my post.  I merely stated that I did not not think Apotheoun's statement on me was a fair statement, and that since I'm not a Greek-Catholic, then I don't express the Faith in accordance with Byzantine theology, and so I can not be accused of being a Latinized Easterner just because I'm not a Byzantine.

I also stated that I am a Eastern Chaldean Catholic, and that I try to express the Faith in accordance with the Assyro-Chaldean tradition, and that the East is more than just Byzantine.

What rules does this post break, so as to have it deleted with no explanation?

Rony
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2008, 12:41:43 PM »

What happened to my post in which I defended myself against Apotheoun's statement that I was a Latinized Easterner?

Mods, if you're going to delete my post which was a charitable response to Apotheoun, and not in contradiction to the rules of this forum, then at least delete Apotheoun's post about me as well.

I haven't been given a reason for the deletion of my post.  I merely stated that I did not not think Apotheoun's statement on me was a fair statement, and that since I'm not a Greek-Catholic, then I don't express the Faith in accordance with Byzantine theology, and so I can not be accused of being a Latinized Easterner just because I'm not a Byzantine.

I also stated that I am a Eastern Chaldean Catholic, and that I try to express the Faith in accordance with the Assyro-Chaldean tradition, and that the East is more than just Byzantine.

What rules does this post break, so as to have it deleted with no explanation?

Rony


Actually, it's board policy not to delete posts, even at user request, except in cases of inadvertent double posting.  Every once in a while, we'll have database issues that result in lost post, but the moderators do not remove posts.
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2008, 12:43:51 PM »

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Actually, it's board policy not to delete posts, even at user request, except in cases of inadvertent double posting.  Every once in a while, we'll have database issues that result in lost post, but the moderators do not remove posts.

Oh ok, I was just confused.  Thanks for the clarification.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2008, 01:07:08 PM »

I just found out via PM that my post was moved here.  Mods, the last two posts of mine that have been merged to this thread are redundant, since I can see now my original posting. I don't see the reason for my last two posts to be merged here, but if you want to keep them it's up to you.  If it is possible to put a link in the original thread that points to this thread, I would appreciate it, but if not that's ok.

I will look into Apotheoun's statements shortly.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2008, 01:15:47 PM »

I just found out via PM that my post was moved here.  Mods, the last two posts of mine that have been merged to this thread are redundant, since I can see now my original posting. I don't see the reason for my last two posts to be merged here, but if you want to keep them it's up to you.  If it is possible to put a link in the original thread that points to this thread, I would appreciate it, but if not that's ok.

I will look into Apotheoun's statements shortly.

God bless,

Rony

I have added a note in Apotheoun's post in the old thread referring to the fact that it is responded to in this thread:
See: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13287.msg235494.html#msg235494

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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2008, 01:18:41 PM »

Thanks George.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2008, 03:30:54 PM »

Quote
Yes, and based upon your comments at CAF, and your failure to distinguish between the Spirit's origin from the Father, and His manifestation from the Father through the Son, we do not share a common faith.

Apotheoun,

Since you still maintain, after my objection, that I am a Latinized Easterner, then I consider you to be a Triumphalist Easterner, and that you are a proponent of Byzantine Uniformity, in that, your attitude is one of uniforming all Eastern Catholics into expressing the Faith in accordance with Byzantine theology.  I see no difference between you and a Latin Triumphalist.  I reject your uniformest mentality, and I accept the concept of pluriformity of complementary theologies in the Catholic Communion of Churches.  If you retract your statement towards me, then I will retract this my statement towards you, otherwise this is my response to your statement.

My comments at CAF are fine, as I try to explain the Faith from an Assyro-Chaldean theological perspective in as much as I know, and in as much as I do my research.  As far as the last part of your sentence, I explained that the Father is the origin of the Son and the Spirit, and that the Son receives from the Father the Kyana of the Trinity and the Qnoma of the Father, and that the Spirit receives from the Father the Kyana of the Trinity and the Qnoma of the Father from/by/through the Qnoma of the Son.  If this is a failure to you, and if this means to you that we do not have the same Faith, then there is nothing I can do about it.  This is my understanding so far, as I continue to do more theological research.  I do think that this is an allowable difference among the Catholic theologies, and not an obstacle to the essence of the Faith.

We believe essentially, as Mar Odisho teaches, that the "The Mind (the Church) has called Father and Begetter, because He is the Cause of all, and First. The Son (She) has called Wisdom and Begotten, because He is begotten of the Mind, and by Him everything was made and created. The Life (She) has called, the Holy Spirit and Proceeding, because there is no other Holy Spirit but He" (Book of Marganitha, Part I, Chapter V).  I think we can at least agree that this the essence of the Faith, despite the theological elaborations that are based on it.

I will look at your other statements shortly, but I might not finish it today.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2008, 03:57:26 PM »

Sorry if my post offends you, but your theology involves a confusion of the divine persons and the divine essence, and that is why I see it as basically Sabellian / Nestorian.  If my comments appear triumphalist to you, so be it. 

Based upon your comments up to this point I can only say that we do not share a common Trinitarian and Christological faith.
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2008, 04:38:30 PM »

Quote
Sorry if my post offends you, but your theology involves a confusion of the divine persons and the divine essence, and that is why I see it as basically Sabellian / Nestorian.  If my comments appear triumphalist to you, so be it.

Based upon your comments up to this point I can only say that we do not share a common Trinitarian and Christological faith.

Apotheoun,

If you would wait a little bit, I will go through your posts.  I will be explaining you that unlike Byzantine theology, we do not in our theology just have Divine Persons and a Divine Essence, rather, we have a "tripartite" of Kyana (general essence), Qnome (singular/individuated, but not personalized essences), and a Parsopa (Person).

Just give me some time.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2008, 04:50:32 PM »

Apotheoun,

If you would wait a little bit, I will go through your posts.  I will be explaining you that unlike Byzantine theology, we do not in our theology just have Divine Persons and a Divine Essence, rather, we have a "tripartite" of Kyana (general essence), Qnome (singular/individuated, but not personalized essences), and a Parsopa (Person).

Just give me some time.

God bless,

Rony

It might be better to either start a new thread or rename this one, since the issue is not "Latinization" but rather a difference in theology between Eastern & Oriental Catholics.
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2008, 04:52:24 PM »

Rony,

Clearly, you have all the time in the world to post a response.

The Cappadocians also have a tripartite structure:  essence ( which corresponds to nature), energy, and hypostasis (which corresponds to face or person).

With the foregoing information in mind, unity in God corresponds to ousia / physis (essence / nature), which is common to the three divine hypostaseis, while distinction corresponds to hypostasis / prosopon (subsistence / face or person).

That said, I am concerned by what you have posted so far, because it appears to have affinities with the theology of Sabellius and the christology of Nestorius.  
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2008, 04:58:25 PM »

It might be better to either start a new thread or rename this one, since the issue is not "Latinization" but rather a difference in theology between Eastern & Oriental Catholics.
I would support the name change, because as I related to you in a message earlier:

Quote
It is not my intention to offend anyone, and if in my posts with Ronyodish I have in any way offended against the rules of this forum, my posts should simply be censored or deleted.  I wish to remain charitable to Rony, while also stating firmly why I do not accept his position as Orthodox.

Finally, it could be that I have mistaken some of his comments for Latinizations when in fact they are simply erroneous and cannot be conformed to the Orthodox faith as expressed by the Cappadocian Fathers.

God bless,
Todd (a.k.a. Apotheoun)
**The italicized portions of the quote above have been amended for the sake of clarity.

Apotheoun
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2008, 08:42:33 PM »

Quote
I read both comments and because you fail to distinguish between the Spirit's hypostatic procession of origin (i.e., His ekporeusis), which is from the Father alone as sole font of divinity, and the Spirit's progression (proienai) as energy, but not as person, which is from the Father through the Son, I can say unequivocally that you and I do not share a common Trinitarian faith.

Apotheoun,

Mar Odisho says "Now in the manner of the soul which is possessed of three-fold energy; mind, word, and life, and is one and not three; even so should we conceive of the THREE IN ONE, ONE IN THREE" (Book of Marganitha, Part I, Chapter V).  The three-fold energy are the 3 Qnome, (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in one Kyana (general essence).  We equate energy with Qnoma, and so an energetic progression is the same as a Qnomic procession.  We do not make a distinction between one procession as Qnoma, and another progression as Energy.

In other words, we do not have "Essence, Energy, and a Triad of Hypostases" as Greek Theology teaches.  We have one Kyana, and a Tleethayutha (Triad, Trinity) of Qnome (= three-fold energy).  One in three, three in One.  That is my understanding so far.

Quote
The Spirit can never be said to proceed from or of the essence that is common to the Father and the Son, because the divine essence is common to all three persons, and not merely to the Father and the Son, and to say otherwise is to posit two God's (i.e., the Father and the Son taken together, and the Spirit taken alone as essentially distinct from them).  Moreover, if you try to avoid ditheism by saying that the Father and the Son share a common essence, and that the Spirit proceeds (ekporeusis) from that common essence, which is also His essence, that would be like saying that the Spirit as person proceeds from Himself, which is utter nonsense.  Now, if you, and all Chaldeans (i.e., if your comments are truly representative of the Chaldean tradition), really hold to these theological ideas, it follows that you (and all Chaldeans) are making the same Sabellian error as the Scholastics on this issue, and I cannot in good faith assent to anything that confuses the Spirit's procession (ekporeusis) of origin from the Father alone, with His manifestation (phanerosis) or progression (proienai) as energy from the Father through the Son.  His procession of origin and His manifestation are two distinct realities, which if confused lead to either Sabellian modalism or ditheism (or even tritheism) depending upon the particular circumstances of the case.

As I explained, the way we understand "The Holy Spirit's Procession from the Father" means the Holy Spirit receives from the Father, the Divine Kyana and the Father's Qnoma, from/by/through the Qnoma of the Son.  This is the same meaning of the phrase "Dmin Abba w-abra" (from the Father and the Son) used by our Council of Seleucia, and I see the same meaning in Philoxenus Of Mabbug when he says "min kyana d-abba w-abra" (from the essence of Father and Son).  Don't read too much into it.  We do not posit two Gods, and the Spirit as a third inferior God.  We do say that the Spirit is distinct from the Father, and distinct from the Son, but we do not say that the Spirit is separated from the Father, and separated from the Son.  There is one God.

We do not make a Sabellian error simply for the fact that Sabellian modalism is Unitarian, and not Trinitarian.  In Sabellianism, there is no distinction between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  We, however, do confess a Trinitarian God, a God of three Qnome.  Each Qnoma is individuated but not separated from the other.

Quote
Ultimately, your comments appear to negate the Cappadocian principle that anything common to two persons of the Trinity is by definition common to all three, because anything common is by its very nature essential to God, while anything unique, is absolutely unique to one, and only one hypostasis, for to say otherwise is to confuse the three divine persons with the divine nature or essence (see St. Basil's – actually his brother St. Gregory's – Letter number 38).

Anything common to the two Qnome is common to all three (Divine Kyana), I have no disagreement with that.  Anything unique is unique to eachQnoma (Begetter, Begotten, Proceeding), again no disagreement here.  No confusion between the Kyana and Qnome.  By the way, we read mostly the Aramaic Fathers for our primary theology, and any Greek works that have been translated by our Fathers into Aramaic, we read them.

Quote
The Son does not have His own particular nature / essence, but is one in nature / essence with the Father, receiving the divine essence from the Father alone through generation (gennasin).  The Son is only distinct as person (hypostasis and prosopon), and His hypostasis is eternally caused by the Father alone as the sole personal font of divinity.

According to our theology, the Son has His own particular/individuated/singular essence, which we call Qnoma.  He is one in Kyana (Divine Essence) with the Father.  He receives from the Father, through eternal generation, both the Divine Essence of the Trinity and the Father's Qnoma.  The Son is distinct as Qnoma, and His Qnoma is eternally caused by the Father alone (Since the Father is the cause of all).

Quote
I do not agree, the Son is generated by the Father personally, that is, the Son is from the Father's person, receiving in the process the common divine nature / essence.  Generation (and procession) are personal properties proper to the Father's hypostasis and not to the common (what you called "general") divine essence.  Once again your comments betray a confusion of person (hypostasis and prosopon) and essence (ousia), which – as I see it – is nothing more than a form of Sabellianism.

"Bir d-kyana d-babeh" is the equivalent of "homoousious" for you guys.  This is how we speak in the Creed, which literally is interpreted "Son of the essence of His father", which we equivalently interpret as "One in essence with the Father".  In this part of the Creed, we're simply saying that the Son is one with the Father by Kyana.

In the earlier part of the Creed, we say the Son is "the only Son of God and First-Born of all creatures, who was begotten from his Father before all the ages and was not made", and this is the specific reference to the Son being eternally generated from the Father.  I agree that the Son is from the Father's Qnoma (which is your hypostasis, or the English "person", though this is an English limitation, and does not convey the full sense of Qnoma which is distinct from the term Parsopa-Person.  Its ok, though not preferred, in the Trinity, but specifically in the Incarnation we definitely don't equate the terms Qnoma with Parsopa-Person).

I agree that generation and procession is the Father's, that is why I spoke earlier of the Son being eternally generated from the Father, which means to me that the Son eternally receives from the Father the Divine Kyana and Qnome of the Father, and the "Holy Spirit's procession from the Father", means that that Holy Spirit eternally receives from the Father, the Divine Kyana and the Father's Qnoma by the Qnoma of the Son.

We don't equate the Parsopa (what you call prosopon) with the Qnoma (what you call hypostasis).  This is what I meant by a "tripartite" in the above post in that we have Kyana (what you call Ousia), Qnoma, and Parsopa, and each means something.  Kyana as the General Essence, Qnoma as the individuated essence, and Parsopa as the Person.

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Essences do not act in any sense, only persons act.

The Father (who is subject of His Qnoma) acts, the Son (who in the Trinity is subject of His Divine Qnoma, and in the Incarnation as Parsopa subject of His Divine Qnoma and Human Qnoma) acts, and the Holy Spirit (who is subject of His Qnoma) acts.  In other words, The Divine Kyana does not act.

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Sadly, based upon the above comment, you appear to be embracing a form of the heresy of Nestorianism.  Christ is not a human person (prosopon or hypostasis) at all, but is a divine person (prosopon and hypostasis) who has assumed a complete human nature (ousia or physis).

The Byzantine tradition, following the teaching of the Cappdocians, holds that a prosopic (to use the Greek term) distinction between the Father, Son, and Spirit, taken alone is insufficient to safeguard the distinct reality of the persons, and that a hypostatic distinction (i.e., a distinction of hypostases) is also necessary in order to avoid Sabellian modalism in Triadology and Nestorianism in Christology.  In the Trinity hypostasis / prosopon together distinguish the persons, while that which is common is ascribed to the divine essence (ousia) or nature (physis) alone.  Energy is also common to the persons, because it is the essential energy of the Trinity, and in this sense it is singular, but it is manifest in multiform fashion because it is enacted by the persons in distinct ways, and that is why the divine energies are not merely essential, but are also enhypostatic.

The understanding of the Church of the East as regards the Incarnation is as follows:

In Christ, there are two Kyane (General Essences), two Qnome (Individuated, but not personalized Essences) in one Parsopa (Person).  This theology has been declared orthodox in the Common Christological Declaration between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East.  Here is a diagram that explains it, and which led to the acceptance of this theology as orthodox:


This is not Nestorianism, in how this has been defined through the centuries.  Nestorianism has been known to mean that Christ is two Parsope-Persons, the Parsopa of the Son in a moral union with the Parsopa of a Man, thus diving and separating Christ.  This is not what the Church of the East teaches, in that there is only one Person in Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ, a true inseparable and indivisible Union between the Son and a Human Qnoma, therefore the One Person, the Lord Jesus Christ was born, and the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross. 

So, we say that the Son did not merely assume the concept of the general human essence (Kyana), but that He assumed a real humanity (a particular human body and a human soul - Qnoma), and united it to His Divine Qnoma, and was born as the one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, with division, without separation, without confusion, and without change.

I have no problem with the way you explain your Byzantine theology, as I do not consider it heretical, but I am required to accept the way the Faith is expressed by my particular Church of the East.  I can not always make you understand or make the equivalents of how you describe the Faith using your Greek theology, and in those instances that I try, I may miss something or make something sound heretical to you (thus having labeled me and my tradition as Latinized, Sabbelian, and Nestorian).  The Fact that we are in full communion presupposes that we have the same Faith, though we do not often fully comprehended each others' expression of the Faith, I trust that our Churches know fully well why they are in full communion with each other, and that the differences in our theologies are no obstacle to full communion.  And, since I'm still studying my heritage, then I might not always give the best explanation of it (and thereby lead you and others to misunderstandings), and so if I truly make a mistake and I find out about it, then I will correct it.

Quote
Now if Qnoma meant hypostasis, this statement would be orthodox, but since you seem to connect it to a concept of "singular" essence, which ultimately is a confused notion that appears basically Sabellian and Nestorian, I cannot hold the comment to be truly Orthodox.  The Son is not the Son of the divine essence, but is the Son of the Father, who – as the Father’s Son – is proper to the divine essence because He is generated (gennesin) from the Father’s person.

In the Trinity, Qnoma is equivalent to your Hypostasis, but not in the Incarnation, because your definition of Hypostasis is that of Person, whereas for us, Qnoma is defined not as Person, but as Singular Essence according to the teaching of Mar Bawai the Great (our Christological Church Father who formulated the Christology of our Church of the East).  So, in order for both of us to be speaking on the same level on the Incarnation, your Single Hypostasis (your One Hypostasis in Two Physis - One Person in Two Natures) would be equivalent to our Single Parsopa (Two Kyane, Two Qnome, One Parsopa - Two General Essences, Two Singular Essences, One Person).  Essentially, you'd be saying that Jesus is One Person, God and Man, and we would be saying the same thing that Jesus is One Person, God and Man.  And since we also both agree that there is no division and no separation in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Quote
But this comment fails to really take into account my ongoing criticism of your position, since you have – all throughout your posts – failed to make a real distinction between the Spirit's hypostatic procession of origin (i.e., His ekporeusis) from the person of the Father alone, and His progression (proienai) or manifestation (phanerosis) not as person (hypostasis or prosopon), but as energy, which is from the Father through the Son.  The Son is not a cause within the Godhead, nor do the Father and the Son share a common nature that is somehow separate or different than the nature of the Holy Spirit, for that would lead to ditheism.  Now, even if I were to reinterpret your last bullet point in an Orthodox fashion, I would still have to say that the comment is false, because the Spirit does not receive His existence from or through the Son, but is only made manifest through the Son, not as person, but as energy.  Thus, based on everything that you have said so far, I do not believe that we share a common Triadological faith, and – in fact – some of your more recent comments make me believe that we also do not share a common Christological faith.

And I have explained above.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2008, 09:08:25 PM »

By the way, there is a typo in the sentence that I wrote which reads "with division, without separation, without confusion, and without change", and should instead read "without division, without separation, without confusion, and without change".

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2008, 09:12:35 PM »

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It might be better to either start a new thread or rename this one, since the issue is not "Latinization" but rather a difference in theology between Eastern & Oriental Catholics.

ozgeorge,

I would support the name change, but its up to you.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2008, 09:17:37 PM »

I would support the name change, but its up to you.

Done!
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« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2008, 09:49:01 PM »

In the Trinity, Qnoma is equivalent to your Hypostasis, but not in the Incarnation, because your definition of Hypostasis is that of Person

Actually, that's not correct. There is a distinction between Hypostasis (Subsistence) and Prosopon (Person).
For instance, a tree has hypostasis, but it has no prosopon.
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« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2008, 09:58:13 PM »

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The Cappadocians also have a tripartite structure:  essence ( which corresponds to nature), energy, and hypostasis (which corresponds to face or person).

Apotheoun,

I'm sorry, I may have confused you here.  That is not what I meant by the "tripartite".  By the tripartite, I meant the terms Kyana, Qnoma, and Parsopa.  We only use Kyana and Qnoma in the Trinity, but we use all three in Christology.  So, to correct my mistake, when I initially mentioned the "tripartite" I was thinking of Christology, while you were thinking of Trinity.  I'm sorry.

When I mentioned "unlike Byzantine theology" I was referring to the Physis (Nature) and Hypostasis/Prosopon (Person) that is used, while we use Kyana (general nature), Qnoma (individuated, but not personalized nature), and Parsopa (Person).  You see, we make a distinction between each of the three, we don't interchange Parsopa with Qnoma, nor Qnoma with Kyana.

And as I mentioned, based on my reading of Mar Odisho (our last great theologian before the decimation of the Church of the East), we equate three-fold energy with the Qnome in the Trinity.

Quote
With the foregoing information in mind, unity in God corresponds to ousia / physis (essence / nature), which is common to the three divine hypostaseis, while distinction corresponds to hypostasis / prosopon (subsistence / face or person).

The is how we would say it:  Unity in God corresponds to Kyana (general essence/nature), which is common to the three divine Qnome, while distinction corresponds to the Qnome (individuated essences/natures)

Quote
That said, I am concerned by what you have posted so far, because it appears to have affinities with the theology of Sabellius and the christology of Nestorius.

And as I mentioned, we do not confuse the Kyana with the Qnome (Sabellian), and we do not accept a two-Person Christ: "a mere man in a moral union with the Word" therefore, we are not Nestorian.  But as far as Nestorius, many of us do not think that he himself was Nestorian, neither do we think that Theodore the Interpreter and Diodore of Tarsus were Nestorians.  I do think that Nestorius made the mistake of speaking against the title: Mother of God, but I do not think His preferred title: Mother of Christ, is in itself heretical.  The Common Christological Declaration says that both Mother of God and Mother of Christ are acceptable titles.  The Assyrians have always confessed:  Mother of Christ, our God and Savior.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2008, 10:01:38 PM »

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Actually, that's not correct. There is a distinction between Hypostasis (Subsistence) and Prosopon (Person).
For instance, a tree has hypostasis, but it has no prosopon.

ozgeorge,

Thanks.  When you say Christ is One Person in Two Natures, how do you put it in Greek (just the terms)?

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2008, 10:04:25 PM »

ozgeorge,

Also, in the Trinity, when you say One Ousia, Three Hypostases, how do you translate this into English?  Do you say One Essence, Three Persons?

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2008, 10:18:45 PM »

Thanks.  When you say Christ is One Person in Two Natures, how do you put it in Greek (just the terms)?

One Prosospon, Two Physis.
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2008, 10:25:28 PM »

Also, in the Trinity, when you say One Ousia, Three Hypostases, how do you translate this into English?  Do you say One Essence, Three Persons?

No, the more correct term would be "One Essence, Three subsistences."

"Hypostasis" comes from "Hypo" (under/beneath) and "Stasis" (standing). So literally it would translate as "Under-standing" or "sub-stance", but it means something different (although related to) these terms.
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« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2008, 10:55:00 PM »

Who are the Oriental Catholics being referrenced in this thread?
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« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2008, 11:09:46 PM »

Who are the Oriental Catholics being referrenced in this thread?

Sorry, my fault. I didn't think of that!
How about "Theological Differences Between Chaldean and Eastern Catholics"?
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« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2008, 11:11:14 PM »

That might be more accurate.  Thank you.   Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2008, 11:28:44 PM »

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Who are the Oriental Catholics being referrenced in this thread?

Salpy,

It's supposed to be referring to me, a Chaldean Catholic, but technically we don't really call ourselves in English as Oriental Catholics, because that usually refers to the Antiochene, Armenian, and Alexandrian Catholics.  We Assyro-Chaldean Catholics are not of those traditions, and our traditional terminology is to speak of our Church as simply the Church of the East, and we often just call ourselves Eastern Catholics (not to be confused with Greek-Catholics).

Our theology on Christ (or Christology) is quiet unique to us and the Syro-Malabar Catholics (and Assyrian/Ancient Churches of the East) and is not even exactly similar to the Christology of the Antiochenes, even though they make use of the Syriac language like us.

Unless the Orientals (Antiochene, Armenian, and Alexandrian Catholics) would also want to chime in on this discussion, its up to them, but it seems that this thread was put together as mostly a discussion between Apotheoun (a Greek Catholic), and me (a Chaldean Catholic).  So, the title of this thread would probably be more specifically titled as "Theological Differences Between Assyro-Chaldean and Greek Catholics", unless I guess the Orientals want to participate.

God bless,

Rony

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« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2008, 11:37:20 PM »

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One Prosospon, Two Physis.

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No, the more correct term would be "One Essence, Three subsistences."

"Hypostasis" comes from "Hypo" (under/beneath) and "Stasis" (standing). So literally it would translate as "Under-standing" or "sub-stance", but it means something different (although related to) these terms.

Thanks.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2008, 04:43:53 AM »

Rony,

As I see it, it is impossible to reconcile your position to the teaching of the Cappadocians on the Trinity, and the Council of Chalcedon on Christology.

Christ is one divine hypostasis and prosopon in two natures (physeis).

I cannot accept the orthodoxy of the following comment:  "We don't equate the Parsopa (what you call prosopon) with the Qnoma (what you call hypostasis)," because this is basically the teaching of the heretic Nestorius, who said that there is one prosopon (face / person / countenance) of Christ, but two hypostaseis (subsistences) and two physeis (natures).

Our theological views are clearly different, and I do not believe that they can be reconciled, either as it concerns the Trinity or the Incarnation.

God bless,
Todd
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« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2008, 04:52:20 AM »

Decree of Chalcedon

Therefore, following the Holy Fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one essence with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one essence with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the Theotokos; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person (prosopon) and subsistence (hypostasis), not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
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« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2008, 05:35:52 AM »

Apotheoun,

[. . .]

In the Trinity, Qnoma is equivalent to your Hypostasis, but not in the Incarnation, because your definition of Hypostasis is that of Person, whereas for us, Qnoma is defined not as Person, but as Singular Essence according to the teaching of Mar Bawai the Great (our Christological Church Father who formulated the Christology of our Church of the East).  So, in order for both of us to be speaking on the same level on the Incarnation, your Single Hypostasis (your One Hypostasis in Two Physis - One Person in Two Natures) would be equivalent to our Single Parsopa (Two Kyane, Two Qnome, One Parsopa - Two General Essences, Two Singular Essences, One Person).  Essentially, you'd be saying that Jesus is One Person, God and Man, and we would be saying the same thing that Jesus is One Person, God and Man.  And since we also both agree that there is no division and no separation in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The teaching of Chalcedon is that the incarnate Logos is one divine prosopon and one divine hypostasis in two natures (physeis), divine and human.  This means that Christ is not a human prosopon or human hypostasis, while what you are advocating appears to conform to the teaching of Nestorius, who accepted the fact that in the incarnation Christ was one prosopon, but who then went on to deny the unity of His hypostasis, asserting instead that Christ had a human hypostasis and a divine hypostasis, and a human physis and a divine physis.  Now prescinding from the christological problems inherent in your posts, as I see it our positions are still not compatible in triadology (any more than they are compatible in christology), because even though you argue that the qnoma corresponds to hypostasis in trinitarian theology (but not in christology), the problem of the procession (ekporeusis) of origin of the Spirit remains, because the Son is not a cause or principle in the origination of the person (understood as both prosopon and hypostasis) of the Spirit; instead, He (i.e., the Son) only participates in the Spirit's manifestation (phanerosis) as energy (cf. St. Gregory Palamas, "Dialogue between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite," no. 49).
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« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2008, 05:47:37 AM »

One Prosospon, Two Physis.
Christ is, according to Chalcedon, one prosopon and one hypostasis, in two physeis.
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« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2008, 05:59:03 AM »

Apotheoun,

[. . .]

And as I mentioned, we do not confuse the Kyana with the Qnome (Sabellian), and we do not accept a two-Person Christ: "a mere man in a moral union with the Word" therefore, we are not Nestorian.  But as far as Nestorius, many of us do not think that he himself was Nestorian, neither do we think that Theodore the Interpreter and Diodore of Tarsus were Nestorians.  I do think that Nestorius made the mistake of speaking against the title: Mother of God, but I do not think His preferred title: Mother of Christ, is in itself heretical.  The Common Christological Declaration says that both Mother of God and Mother of Christ are acceptable titles.  The Assyrians have always confessed:  Mother of Christ, our God and Savior.

God bless,

Rony
If -- as you have indicated -- "qnoma" corresponds to hypostasis, then it appears as if you only accept a prosopic union, and not a hypostatic union, in Christ.  Historically Nestorius also rejected a hypostatic union in favor of a prosopic union, and so your christological position does appear to mirror his position.
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« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2008, 08:32:09 AM »

If -- as you have indicated -- "qnoma" corresponds to hypostasis, then it appears as if you only accept a prosopic union, and not a hypostatic union, in Christ.
I don't think Qnoma corresponds to either hypostasis, prosopon, physis, or ousia by what I can see in Jimmy's explanation of it, but rather, it appears to be something else entirely.
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« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2008, 12:17:25 PM »

I don't think Qnoma corresponds to either hypostasis, prosopon, physis, or ousia by what I can see in Jimmy's explanation of it, but rather, it appears to be something else entirely.
I am merely referring back to what Rony said:
In the Trinity, Qnoma is equivalent to your Hypostasis, but not in the Incarnation . . .
Be that as it may, in the theology of the Cappadocians and the Council of Chalcedon, hypostasis and prosopon are connected, and in fact hypostasis is used precisely in this way in order to avoid Sabellian modalism in Triadology and Nestorianism in Christology.
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« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2008, 12:27:50 PM »

I am merely referring back to what Rony said
I know, but I think he's mistaken.
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« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2008, 01:07:11 PM »

My friend Jimmy is an Antiochene Maronite, and as I mentioned above, our Christology is distinct from that of the Antiochenes, despite our use of Syriac. 

In the Trinity:

1. We Assyro-Chaldeans confess one Kyana, three Qnome.

2. Maronites confess one Kyono, three Qnome.

3. Syriac Orthodox confess one Kyono, three Qnome.

All three confessions are orthodox, and equivalent to the Greek.


In the Incarnation:

1. We Assyro-Chaldeans confess two Kyane, two Qnome, and one Parsopa.

2. Maronites confess two Kyono, one Qnomo, and one Parsopo. (this is the equivalent of the Greek)

3. Syriac Orthodox confess one Kyono, one Qnomo, and one Parsopo.

All three confessions are orthodox for the following reason:

1. The human Qnoma (which the Son assumes) is not defined as Person, rather it is a particularized essence (real human body and real human soul, not just a vague concept of humanity).  The two Qnome, the Son assuming the Human Qnoma, result in the conception of one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son Incarnate, without division and without separation.

2. This is equivalent to the Greek, so no need for me to explain here.

3. The difference here is that they speak of "one out of two natures" rather than "one in two natures" (before the Incarnation two natures, in the  Incarnation one united nature), and so they have one Kyono instead of two Kyono to emphasize the Unity, but they confess that Christ is the God-Man, without confusion and without change, and do not confess that the Divine Word has swallowed up or destroyed the Human nature.

I will be back.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2008, 01:29:18 PM »

Thanks for that explanation Rony.

In the Incarnation:

1. We Assyro-Chaldeans confess two Kyane, two Qnome, and one Parsopa.
This is why Qnome caanot be quivalent to Hypostasis.

1. The human Qnoma (which the Son assumes) is not defined as Person, rather it is a particularized essence (real human body and real human soul, not just a vague concept of humanity).  The two Qnome, the Son assuming the Human Qnoma, result in the conception of one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son Incarnate, without division and without separation.
This makes me think that Qnome cannot be equivalent to ousia either. Like Qnome, Ousia does not exist in the abstract, but must exist withing an hypostasis, yet:
In the Trinity:

1. We Assyro-Chaldeans confess one Kyana, three Qnome.
whereas in the Trinity, we confess One Ousia.
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« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2008, 04:21:03 PM »

All of this (i.e., the christological controversy) is really beside the point. 

The original disagreement between Rony and I stands unaffected by the present dialogue, because I do not accept the idea that the Holy Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) proceeds (ekporeusis) through or from the Son.  Instead, the Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) receives His personal subsistent being from the Father alone, and not from or through the Son. 

Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit as energy (energeia), but not as person (i.e., prosopon and hypostasis), progresses (proienai) from the Father through the Son, but -- as I have already indicated above -- this progression (proienai) does not concern the eternal origin (ekporeusis) of the Spirit, but only His manifestation (phanerosis).
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« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2008, 06:07:37 PM »

All of this (i.e., the christological controversy) is really beside the point. 

The original disagreement between Rony and I stands unaffected by the present dialogue, because I do not accept the idea that the Holy Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) proceeds (ekporeusis) through or from the Son.  Instead, the Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) receives His personal subsistent being from the Father alone, and not from or through the Son. 

Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit as energy (energeia), but not as person (i.e., prosopon and hypostasis), progresses (proienai) from the Father through the Son, but -- as I have already indicated above -- this progression (proienai) does not concern the eternal origin (ekporeusis) of the Spirit, but only His manifestation (phanerosis).

But if, as I suspect, the concept of Qnoma is neither hypostasis, prosopon, ousia, energia or physis, but rather, an entirely different concept which has no equivalent in Greek, English or Latin; then it could very well be that Rony is not talking about a prosopic or hypostatic procession of the Spirit from both the Father and the Son. This is what I am trying to establish by examining the concept of Qnoma in Assyro-Chaldean Christology. If, as Rony says, Assyro-Chaldean Christology holds that the Incarnate Christ has two Qnoma, then clearly they can't mean "hypostases" or "prosopa" unless they are Nestorians. Therefore the "Qnomic Procession" of the Spirit does not refer to a Prosopic or Hypostatic Procession.
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« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2008, 08:00:07 PM »

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As I see it, it is impossible to reconcile your position to the teaching of the Cappadocians on the Trinity, and the Council of Chalcedon on Christology.

Todd,

That's fine, even though I disagree that they are irreconcilable.  I see non-essential differences, but not essential contradictions, and you seem to be seeing essential contradictions.

We express the one Faith using our Aramaic Fathers, and in the Aramaic language.  The Cappadocians and Chalcedon dealt with issues that popped up in the Roman Empire, and were done in Greek.  We were outside the Roman Empire to the East, and these issues essentially had nothing to do with us, though later it affected how were were perceived by you guys and the rest of the Churches, in that, we were perceived falsely as Nestorian.  As part of the Catholic Communion, we appreciate all the Fathers and Councils, but we theologize specifically by looking at the tradition that we received from our particular Aramaic Fathers and Synods.  We reject nothing of what is official in the Catholic Communion of Churches, and we accept the essentials of being a Catholic, but we express what is essential in the language, concepts, idioms, and formulas that we understand.

Quote
Christ is one divine hypostasis and prosopon in two natures (physeis).

We say that Christ is one Parsopa who is a Unity of the Son and a Human Qnoma.

Quote
I cannot accept the orthodoxy of the following comment:  "We don't equate the Parsopa (what you call prosopon) with the Qnoma (what you call hypostasis)," because this is basically the teaching of the heretic Nestorius, who said that there is one prosopon (face / person / countenance) of Christ, but two hypostaseis (subsistences) and two physeis (natures).

Our Parsopa might not be the exact equivalent of your prosopon, if your prosopon in itself is not the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God. Our Parsopa is stronger than merely a "face". Our Parsopa is the Person, who is the the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God.

Quote
Our theological views are clearly different, and I do not believe that they can be reconciled, either as it concerns the Trinity or the Incarnation.

Yes they are different, but our theology is allowed among the major theologies in the Catholic Communion.  With regards the Trinity, we've always confessed 3 Qnome in one God.  And with regards the Incarnation, if the 2 Qnome language were not allowed, then you would not see the Pope signing a Christological agreement with the Assyrian Church of the East!

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2008, 08:22:54 PM »

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Decree of Chalcedon

Therefore, following the Holy Fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one essence with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one essence with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the Theotokos; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person (prosopon) and subsistence (hypostasis), not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.

Chalcedon uses Greek terms, but it is essentially the same as this:

--------------------
Common Christological Declaration:

Therefore our Lord Jesus Christ is true God and true man, perfect in his divinity and perfect in his humanity, consubstantial with the Father and consubstantial with us in all things but sin. His divinity and his humanity are united in one person, without confusion or change, without division or separation. In him has been preserved the difference of the natures of divinity and humanity, with all their properties, faculties and operations. But far from constituting "one and another", the divinity and humanity are united in the person of the same and unique Son of God and Lord Jesus Christ, who is the object of a single adoration.
--------------------

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2008, 08:29:49 PM »

Hi Apotheoun,

The original disagreement between Rony and I stands unaffected by the present dialogue, because I do not accept the idea that the Holy Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) proceeds (ekporeusis) through or from the Son.  Instead, the Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) receives His personal subsistent being from the Father alone, and not from or through the Son. 

What is the difference between prosopon and hypostasis?
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« Reply #45 on: June 13, 2008, 09:05:49 PM »

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The teaching of Chalcedon is that the incarnate Logos is one divine prosopon and one divine hypostasis in two natures (physeis), divine and human.  This means that Christ is not a human prosopon or human hypostasis, while what you are advocating appears to conform to the teaching of Nestorius, who accepted the fact that in the incarnation Christ was one prosopon, but who then went on to deny the unity of His hypostasis, asserting instead that Christ had a human hypostasis and a divine hypostasis, and a human physis and a divine physis.  Now prescinding from the christological problems inherent in your posts, as I see it our positions are still not compatible in triadology (any more than they are compatible in christology), because even though you argue that the qnoma corresponds to hypostasis in trinitarian theology (but not in christology), the problem of the procession (ekporeusis) of origin of the Spirit remains, because the Son is not a cause or principle in the origination of the person (understood as both prosopon and hypostasis) of the Spirit; instead, He (i.e., the Son) only participates in the Spirit's manifestation (phanerosis) as energy (cf. St. Gregory Palamas, "Dialogue between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite," no. 49).

Todd,

For my Christological position, the Assyro-Chaldean theological position (shared by the two Chaldean/Syro-Malabar Catholic Churches of the East, and by the other two Assyrian/Ancient Churches of the East), re-look and study the picture chart I posted earlier.  Based on that chart, you can then determine for yourselve if we are what you think we are: "Nestorians"

As far as the Trinity, and St. Gregory Palamas, he is not a theologian of our Church of the East, and very few Chaldeans have even heard of him.  For Greek-Catholics, he is a great teacher, but for us, we have our equivalent:  Mar Odisho of Soba.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #46 on: June 13, 2008, 09:42:52 PM »

But if, as I suspect, the concept of Qnoma is neither hypostasis, prosopon, ousia, energia or physis, but rather, an entirely different concept which has no equivalent in Greek, English or Latin; then it could very well be that Rony is not talking about a prosopic or hypostatic procession of the Spirit from both the Father and the Son. This is what I am trying to establish by examining the concept of Qnoma in Assyro-Chaldean Christology. If, as Rony says, Assyro-Chaldean Christology holds that the Incarnate Christ has two Qnoma, then clearly they can't mean "hypostases" or "prosopa" unless they are Nestorians. Therefore the "Qnomic Procession" of the Spirit does not refer to a Prosopic or Hypostatic Procession.
I would agree with you, but the Maronite position appears to be perfectly coordinate with the dogmatic decree (horos) of Chalcedon, while the position of Rony's own Church coordinates with that of the position taken by Nestorius.

Now whether Rony (or the Latin Church for that matter) likes it or not, the Greek language has a theological primacy in Christian theology, because it is the language of the inspired New Testament, and as a consequence it has a normative value.  Interestingly, the theology professors I had at the Latin Catholic university that Rony is presently attending insisted upon this fact.

As I see it, it is the primacy of the Greek language that ultimately makes the Latin Church's attempts to justify the use of the filioque in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed problematic, because the fact that in the past the Latin Church has mistranslated the Greek words ekporeusis and proienai with the single Latin word processio is not a sufficient justification for causing confusion in connection with the Spirit's existential procession of origin (i.e., ekporeusis), which is from the Father alone, with His eternal energetic manifestation (phanerosis) or progression (proienai), which is from the Father through the Son. 

Moreover, based upon Rony's own comments in connection with qnoma it appears that the term is related to the word hypostasis, since both terms seem to concern something that is essentially existent, and the Maronite Catholics appear to use the term in this precise fashion in their theology. 

Finally, the Cappadocian Fathers chose the term hypostasis precisely for that reason (i.e., because it conveys the idea of concrete existence), and they used the word in order to complete and make concrete the term prosopon, which when taken alone was open to a Sabellian interpretation (cf. St. Basil's letters 38 and 236).

That said, based upon what Rony has said so far in this thread, I remain unconvinced that his christological and triadological views coordinate with historic Orthodoxy.  I also am concerned by his apparent dogmatic relativism in christology and triadology, because it involves what I can only describe as a misguided attempt to make a form of Nestorianism acceptable.
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« Reply #47 on: June 13, 2008, 09:45:50 PM »

As far as the Trinity, and St. Gregory Palamas, he is not a theologian of our Church of the East, and very few Chaldeans have even heard of him.  For Greek-Catholics, he is a great teacher, but for us, we have our equivalent:  Mar Odisho of Soba.
St. Gregory Palamas, great as he is, is personally irrelelvant; while the distinction between essence (ousia) and energy (energeia) or power (dynamis), which goes back to the New Testament itself, and to the Fathers of the first four centuries, is quite relevant.
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« Reply #48 on: June 13, 2008, 09:46:38 PM »

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If -- as you have indicated -- "qnoma" corresponds to hypostasis, then it appears as if you only accept a prosopic union, and not a hypostatic union, in Christ.  Historically Nestorius also rejected a hypostatic union in favor of a prosopic union, and so your christological position does appear to mirror his position.

Todd,

In the Incarnation, the way we understand it is that the two Qnome, the Son and the Human Qnoma, unite, but do not become one Qnoma, rather they become the one Parsopa of the Union, who is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God.

So, since you confess a single Hypostasis, and we don't confess a single Qnoma, then Qnoma can not correspond to Hypostasis.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #49 on: June 13, 2008, 09:50:56 PM »

Chalcedon uses Greek terms, but it is essentially the same as this:

--------------------
Common Christological Declaration:

Therefore our Lord Jesus Christ is true God and true man, perfect in his divinity and perfect in his humanity, consubstantial with the Father and consubstantial with us in all things but sin. His divinity and his humanity are united in one person, without confusion or change, without division or separation. In him has been preserved the difference of the natures of divinity and humanity, with all their properties, faculties and operations. But far from constituting "one and another", the divinity and humanity are united in the person of the same and unique Son of God and Lord Jesus Christ, who is the object of a single adoration.
--------------------
This "common christological declaration" has no dogmatic value, and is simply an agreement signed between the Roman Church and the Assyrian Church.  It certainly cannot be held to have the same value as Chalcedon, which is a binding decree (horos) of an ecumenical council.

The reason that Chalcedon is worded the way it is, i.e., by using the terms prosopon and hypostasis in order to assert the fully unity of the incarnate Logos, was precisely in order to exclude the Nestorians, who could not in good conscience endorse the decree because it contradicted their own theological position.
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« Reply #50 on: June 13, 2008, 09:52:40 PM »

Todd,

In the Incarnation, the way we understand it is that the two Qnome, the Son and the Human Qnoma, unite, but do not become one Qnoma, rather they become the one Parsopa of the Union, who is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God.

So, since you confess a single Hypostasis, and we don't confess a single Qnoma, then Qnoma can not correspond to Hypostasis.

God bless,

Rony

Rony,

I understand your position, I simply do not agree with it, because I do not see how it can be said to be Orthodox in light of the decree of Chalcedon.
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« Reply #51 on: June 13, 2008, 09:55:54 PM »

Hi Apotheoun,

What is the difference between prosopon and hypostasis?

Prosopon means face / mask / or person, and is a less concrete term than hypostasisProsopon is ultimately open to modalistic interpretations and that is why the Cappadocian Fathers used the word hypostasis in connection with it (i.e., prosopon) in order to exclude a Sabellian view of the Trinity (cf. St. Basil, Letter 236).
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« Reply #52 on: June 13, 2008, 10:22:29 PM »

ozgeorge,

Quote
This is why Qnome caanot be quivalent to Hypostasis.

I agree that in the Incarnation, our two Qnome and your single Hypostasis can not be equivalent if we are both using the same definition for Qnoma/Hypostasis.

Quote
This makes me think that Qnome cannot be equivalent to ousia either. Like Qnome, Ousia does not exist in the abstract, but must exist withing an hypostasis, yet:

We say that a Qnoma is a particularized or individuated Kyana (equivalent to Ousia).  So in the Trinity, we say 1 Kyana (Divine Nature) and  3 Qnome (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

In the Incarnation, 2 Kyane (the Kyana of Divinity, and Kyana of Humanity), 2 Qnome (the Son, and the Human Body/Human Soul), 1 Parsopa (The Person of the Union, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God).

Quote
whereas in the Trinity, we confess One Ousia.

But you do say, one Ousia, three Hypostases (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) right?  If so, would you say that the Hypostasis of the Father (or Son or Spirit) is a particularized essence?  By particularized essence, I don't mean a general essence (Divinity, Ousia).  In other words, would you define "that which stand under" as a particular essence?

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #53 on: June 13, 2008, 10:27:13 PM »

Hypostasis means subsistence, i.e., concrete essential existence.  In Greek pagan philosophical thought ousia and hypostasis are used synonymously; while the Cappadocian Fathers, knowing that this is how the terms had been used in the past, reformulated them in order to make them stand for different things.  Ousia, for the Cappadocians, came to stand for that which is absolutely one in God, i.e., His unknowable and incommunicable essence; while hypostasis came to stand for that which is three in God, but understood in a concrete fashion in order to defend the reality of the Father, Son, and Spirit as distinct persons (prosopon).  Thus, hypostasis was connected with the word prosopon in order to avoid modalism.

That said, it appears to me that hypostasis and qnoma are connected.
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« Reply #54 on: June 13, 2008, 10:52:05 PM »

That said, it appears to me that hypostasis and qnoma are connected.

They seem somehow connected to me, but I wouldn't define hypostasis as "individualized ousia" as Rony defines Qnoma.
Another thing I can't get my head around is what seems to me the fact that if Kyana is the One Divine Ousia, and Qnomo is "individualized ousia" then each Person of the Trinity has "two ousias"- the General one, and Their individual one. And of course, this would mean that Christ had three ousias at the Incarnation.
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« Reply #55 on: June 13, 2008, 10:54:17 PM »

But you do say, one Ousia, three Hypostases (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) right?  If so, would you say that the Hypostasis of the Father (or Son or Spirit) is a particularized essence?  By particularized essence, I don't mean a general essence (Divinity, Ousia).  In other words, would you define "that which stand under" as a particular essence?
Rony,

Hypostasis, as used by St. Gregory of Nyssa, is basically understood to be a concrete or particular essence, and so in some sense it parallels (but is not identical to) Aristotle's ousia prote; while the divine ousia, which for the Cappadocians is utterly transcendent and unknowable, tends to be connected with Aristotle's ousia deutera, except that the apophaticism of Basil and the two Gregories means that it (i.e., the divine ousia) is ultimately beyond human thought and predication (cf. Diogenes Allen, "Philosophy for Understanding Theology," pages 66-72).  So it does appear as though there is a connection between the use of the word hypostasis by the Cappadocian Fathers and qnoma understood as a particular essence, which means that the Maronite usage of that term, in both triadology and christology, corresponds to the teaching of the Cappadocians and Chalcedon, while the use of the term by your sui juris Church does not.

Todd
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« Reply #56 on: June 13, 2008, 10:56:19 PM »

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The original disagreement between Rony and I stands unaffected by the present dialogue, because I do not accept the idea that the Holy Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) proceeds (ekporeusis) through or from the Son.  Instead, the Spirit as person (both as prosopon and hypostasis) receives His personal subsistent being from the Father alone, and not from or through the Son.

Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit as energy (energeia), but not as person (i.e., prosopon and hypostasis), progresses (proienai) from the Father through the Son, but -- as I have already indicated above -- this progression (proienai) does not concern the eternal origin (ekporeusis) of the Spirit, but only His manifestation (phanerosis).

Todd,

You should accept what Greek theology teaches you, and since you are already doing that, then it really has nothing to do with me.  I am not a Greek Catholic, nor do I express the faith using Greek theology, but if I was, then this whole discussion would make more sense, because then we would be discussing the correct understanding of Greek theology.

Since I am an Assyro-Chaldean Catholic, then I try to express the faith using Assyro-Chaldean theology.  I am not allowed to be Byzantinzed or Latinized, etc., because our Church is being asked by Rome to restore what we lost in our Assyro-Chaldean theology, and so that we and the Assyrian/Ancient Churches of the East can re-establish full communion.  Some Assyrians have already united with us, and they were not required to abandon their theology.

I do not consider Byzantine theology to be superior to Assyro-Chaldean theology, nor vice versa.  If I should express the faith using your Greek-Catholic theology, then you'd be basically asking me to Byzantine my Church.  I can't do that, because I have no authority to introduce Greek theological concepts into our Aramaic Church.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #57 on: June 13, 2008, 11:06:42 PM »

They seem somehow connected to me, but I wouldn't define hypostasis as "individualized ousia" as Rony defines Qnoma.
Another thing I can't get my head around is what seems to me the fact that if Kyana is the One Divine Ousia, and Qnomo is "individualized ousia" then each Person of the Trinity has "two ousias"- the General one, and Their individual one. And of course, this would mean that Christ had three ousias at the Incarnation.
It should be borne in mind that the Cappadocians are reformulating Greek pagan terminology in order to make it serve Christian revealed theology.  In other words, the Cappadocians are not doing philosophy; instead, they are doing theology.  Problems only arise when one tries to do the opposite, i.e., conform Cappadocian usage to Greek pagan thought. 

ozgeorge,

Your post highlights the reason for conservatism in the use of theological terminology.  The Cappadocians formulated their theology very precisely in order to exclude certain heretical viewpoints.  The problem I have with Rony's position is that it seems to be absolutely relativistic, especially when you look at the Maronites, whose theological viewpoint seems to coordinate well with the teaching of the Cappadocians and the Council of Chalcedon.
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« Reply #58 on: June 13, 2008, 11:10:39 PM »

Todd,

You should accept what Greek theology teaches you, and since you are already doing that, then it really has nothing to do with me.  I am not a Greek Catholic, nor do I express the faith using Greek theology, but if I was, then this whole discussion would make more sense, because then we would be discussing the correct understanding of Greek theology.

. . .

God bless,

Rony
I speak English not Greek, but I recognize the normative value of the Greek language in theology, because -- for whatever reason -- God chose to inspire the New Testament authors by having them use Greek.

Translations of the Greek scriptures, and translations of Greek theological terminology, is fine with me, but the original language always retains its normative value.
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« Reply #59 on: June 14, 2008, 12:13:49 AM »

Thanks for that explanation Rony.
This is why Qnome caanot be quivalent to Hypostasis.
This makes me think that Qnome cannot be equivalent to ousia either. Like Qnome, Ousia does not exist in the abstract, but must exist withing an hypostasis, yet:whereas in the Trinity, we confess One Ousia.

It seems as if the word "Qnome", may have more than one meaning. It would be interesting to see what the word is used for in Assyro - secular literature.

It also seems as if one can "reshape" what "Qnome" means.







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« Reply #60 on: June 14, 2008, 12:19:26 AM »

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I would agree with you, but the Maronite position appears to be perfectly coordinate with the dogmatic decree (horos) of Chalcedon, while the position of Rony's own Church coordinates with that of the position taken by Nestorius.

Todd,

I am not intending to answer for ozgeorge here, I just want to add a few comments.

The Maronites accepted Chalcedon from the beginning, because they were in the Roman Empire.

As for us, who were not in the Rome Empire, we fell out of communion with the rest of the Western Churches (Western meaning West of the Euphrates river) at the Synod of Mar Dadisho in 424 for political, not Christological reasons.  Later, we were accused of Nestorianism.  when we re-established full communion, we were required to revise certain things that seemed to be "Nestorian".  The 1994 Declaration with the Assyrian Church effectively put an end to the accusation that the Assyrian Church was "Nestorian", therefore we Chaldeans are no longer forbidden to reclaim our traditional Christological position.

A small example:

In our liturgy, the traditional way was to speak of the Mother of Christ.  When we re-established full communion, we were required to change it to Mother of God (because we were thought to be "Nestorian").  Now, when our liturgy was recently revised, we have both Mother of God and next to it in a paranthesis, Mother of Christ, to show that both titles are ok.

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Now whether Rony (or the Latin Church for that matter) likes it or not, the Greek language has a theological primacy in Christian theology, because it is the language of the inspired New Testament, and as a consequence it has a normative value.  Interestingly, the theology professors I had at the Latin Catholic university that Rony is presently attending insisted upon this fact.

The Greek language does not have a theological primacy in our Church of the East.  We accept Holy Tradition which we received in Aramaic, as the Pentecost passage in Acts 2 says when the residents of Mesopotamia received in their own language the Gospel, and subsequently when we were evangelized by the Apostolic mission.  We represent a continuity with the early Semitic Christianity which was a non-hellenized Aramaic Christianity, as this form of Christianity spread to the Aramaic East into Iraq and further East.

We also accept Holy Scripture, but we have no original copies of the New Testament, and so it not 100% certain among scholars that the NT were originally written in Greek (Greek Primacy), as there is a minority among scholars that accepts Aramaic Primacy.  Personally, I accept that most of the New Testament was written in Greek, but I do hold that Matthew was written in Aramaic as there is Patristic mentioning of this.  Some Assyrians and Chaldeans hold to Aramaic Primacy.  In any case, we use the Pshytta version of the Bible, an Aramaic Bible, in our theology and liturgy.  Therefore, the Aramaic NT that we have has normative value for our Church of the East.

Of course, the Latin professors would insist on Greek Primacy, as this the majority view.

Quote
As I see it, it is the primacy of Greek language that ultimately makes the Latin Church's attempts to justify the use of the filioque in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed problematic, because the fact that in the past the Latin Church has mistranslated the Greek words ekporeusis and proienai with the single Latin word processio is not a sufficient justification for causing confusion in connection with the Spirit's existential procession of origin (i.e., ekporeusis), which is from the Father alone, with His eternal energetic manifestation (phanerosis) or progression (proienai), which is from the Father through the Son.

This is a squabble between you and the Latins, and has nothing to do with us Assyro-Chaldeans.

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Moreover, based upon Rony's own comments in connection with qnoma it appears that the term is related to the word hypostasis, since both terms seem to concern something that is essentially existent, and the Maronite Catholics appear to use the term in this precise fashion in their theology.

I've explained this above.  Maronites are of the Antiochene tradition, distinct from us.  We are not Antiochenes, and never were, as our Apostolic Succession and See is different from that of the Apostolic Succession and See of the Antiochenes.  They define Qnoma differently than we do.

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Finally, the Cappadocian Fathers chose the term hypostasis precisely for that reason (i.e., because it conveys the idea of concrete existence), and they used the word in order to complete and make concrete the term prosopon, which when taken alone was open to a Sabellian interpretation (cf. St. Basil's letters 38 and 236).

That is good Greek theology, and as I keep saying, I am not opposed to Greek theology, we merely just don't theologize in Greek.

Quote
That said, based upon what Rony has said so far in this thread, I remain unconvinced that his christological and triadological views coordinate with historic Orthodoxy.  I also am concerned by his apparent dogmatic relativism in christology and triadology, because it involves what I can only describe as a misguided attempt to make a form of Nestorianism acceptable.

They are not of that of historic Orthodoxy, because our theology is not that of Orthodoxy, rather, it is that of the Church of the East.  You are seeing relativism in what I am saying because as I mentioned earlier, you've developed a uniformest rather than a pluriformest mind, and so you are uncomfortable with a multiplicity of theologies in a Communion.  I reject relativism, this is not a relativism issue, it is an issue of a multiplicity of complementary theologies that are allowed in the Catholic Church.  We confess two Kyane, two Qnome, one Parsopa, and if you see this as "Nestorianism", then there is nothing I can do about it other than to tell you that it is not "Nestorianism".  This is our heritage in the Church of the East, and I have no authority to change anything of it.  If you want, you can try to contact our bishops and discuss it with them, I highly recommend you to talk with Bishop Mar Bawai Soro, and he will explain this Christology to you.  If you want to buy his book, you can get it here: http://www.lulu.com/content/1670586

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #61 on: June 14, 2008, 12:52:14 AM »

Todd,

I am not intending to answer for ozgeorge here, I just want to add a few comments.

The Maronites accepted Chalcedon from the beginning, because they were in the Roman Empire.

As for us, who were not in the Rome Empire, we fell out of communion with the rest of the Western Churches (Western meaning West of the Euphrates river) at the Synod of Mar Dadisho in 424 for political, not Christological reasons.  Later, we were accused of Nestorianism.  when we re-established full communion, we were required to revise certain things that seemed to be "Nestorian".  The 1994 Declaration with the Assyrian Church effectively put an end to the accusation that the Assyrian Church was "Nestorian", therefore we Chaldeans are no longer forbidden to reclaim our traditional Christological position.
Just as the bishop of Rome does not have the power to unilaterally alter the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed by adding the word "filioque" to it; so too he does not have the authority to authorize any Church to accept a christological position at variance with the teaching of the Council of Chalcedon.
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« Reply #62 on: June 14, 2008, 12:54:05 AM »

The Greek language does not have a theological primacy in our Church of the East.  We accept Holy Tradition which we received in Aramaic, as the Pentecost passage in Acts 2 says when the residents of Mesopotamia received in their own language the Gospel, and subsequently when we were evangelized by the Apostolic mission.  We represent a continuity with the early Semitic Christianity which was a non-hellenized Aramaic Christianity, as this form of Christianity spread to the Aramaic East into Iraq and further East.

We also accept Holy Scripture, but we have no original copies of the New Testament, and so it not 100% certain among scholars that the NT were originally written in Greek (Greek Primacy), as there is a minority among scholars that accepts Aramaic Primacy.  Personally, I accept that most of the New Testament was written in Greek, but I do hold that Matthew was written in Aramaic as there is Patristic mentioning of this.  Some Assyrians and Chaldeans hold to Aramaic Primacy.  In any case, we use the Pshytta version of the Bible, an Aramaic Bible, in our theology and liturgy.  Therefore, the Aramaic NT that we have has normative value for our Church of the East.
I have never heard anyone seriously argue the position that you are advocating.  The New Testament was originally written in Greek, and so the Greek language is theologically normative.  Clearly, we will never come to an agreement on this issue.
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« Reply #63 on: June 14, 2008, 12:56:58 AM »

We confess two Kyane, two Qnome, one Parsopa, and if you see this as "Nestorianism", then there is nothing I can do about it other than to tell you that it is not "Nestorianism".  This is our heritage in the Church of the East, and I have no authority to change anything of it.  If you want, you can try to contact our bishops and discuss it with them, I highly recommend you to talk with Bishop Mar Bawai Soro, and he will explain this Christology to you.  If you want to buy his book, you can get it here: http://www.lulu.com/content/1670586
Rony,

I remain unconvinced that your position is reconcilable with Chalcedonian Orthodoxy.  Thus, as I see it, you are a Nestorian.

Todd
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« Reply #64 on: June 14, 2008, 01:14:52 AM »


The reason that Chalcedon is worded the way it is, i.e., by using the terms prosopon and hypostasis in order to assert the fully unity of the incarnate Logos, was precisely in order to exclude the Nestorians, who could not in good conscience endorse the decree because it contradicted their own theological position.

And yet the Persian Church (the Church of the East) accepted the Chalcedonian definition, at least initially prior to Constantinople II.  The reason why the Armenian Church rejected Chalcedon in the early sixth century is because the Persian Church was asserting that Chalcedon vindicated its position.  Also, Nestorius lived long enough to read Pope Leo's tome and he speaks favorably of Pope Leo in the Bazaar of Heracleides.  So there must be something that allows the language of Chalcedon to be interpreted in a way that is friendly to to Rony's Church.

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« Reply #65 on: June 14, 2008, 01:36:42 AM »

There is nothing inherent to the Chalcedonian decree that would make it amenable to the Nestorians.  Nevertheless, as Grillmeier points out, Leo's tome is somewhat imprecise and can be misread in a Nestorian fashion, but – of course – the Fathers of Chalcedon refused to make Leo's tome the dogmatic horos of the council, while also insisting that the tome had to be read in the light of St. Cyril's theology. 

Fr. Romanides has written about this, and it was brought up and discussed years ago in the Orthodox / Oriental dialogue: 

http://www.orthodoxunity.org/article07.html
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« Reply #66 on: June 14, 2008, 01:43:45 AM »

Fr. Romanides paper, entitled "One Physis or Hypostasis of God the Logos Incarnate," is available at the link below:

http://www.orthodoxunity.org/article06.html
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« Reply #67 on: June 14, 2008, 01:48:31 AM »

There is nothing inherent to the Chalcedonian decree that would make it amenable to the Nestorians. 

And yet it was amenable to the Nestorian Persian Church of the early sixth century.  This is well documented, as that was the reason why the Armenians ended up rejecting Chalcedon. 

A strong argument can be made, however, that Chalcedon read together with Constantinople II is not amenable to the Nestorians.
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« Reply #68 on: June 14, 2008, 01:54:44 AM »

The fact that Persian Nestorians misinterpreted the decree of Chalcedon does not change the Council Fathers teaching itself, any more than a man who misinterprets John 1:14 in an Apollinarian fashion alters the real meaning of the sacred text.

The Fathers of Chalcedon rejected the idea that there is more than one prosopon or hypostasis in Christ, and those same Fathers also insisted that the two natures (divine and human) can only be held to be distinct, but inseparable, tei theoriai monei.
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« Reply #69 on: June 14, 2008, 01:58:17 AM »

A strong argument can be made, however, that Chalcedon read together with Constantinople II is not amenable to the Nestorians.
All the councils must be read together in a holistic fashion.
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« Reply #70 on: June 14, 2008, 02:02:12 AM »

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St. Gregory Palamas, great as he is, is personally irrelelvant; while the distinction between essence (ousia) and energy (energeia) or power (dynamis), which goes back to the New Testament itself, and to the Fathers of the first four centuries, is quite relevant.

Good Greek theology.

We say: "Now in the manner of the soul which is possessed of three-fold energy; mind, word, and life, and is one and not three; even so should we conceive of the Three in One, One in Three" (Book of Marganitha, Part I, Chapter V).

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This "common christological declaration" has no dogmatic value, and is simply an agreement signed between the Roman Church and the Assyrian Church.  It certainly cannot be held to have the same value as Chalcedon, which is a binding decree (horos) of an ecumenical council.

The Assyrian Church of the East officially only accepts the first two Councils of the Roman Empire as Ecumenical, in addition to the acceptance of the Church Synods, and so this Common Christological Declaration is the next step up, and since it was signed by their Patriarch, who, in the Church of the East Ecclesialogy, has Primacy over the local bishops, then this is binding on them.

For us members of the Chaldean Catholic Church of the East, we see this Declaration signed by the Pope as the official acceptance of the orthodoxy of the traditional Church of the East Christology in the Catholic Church.  As regards the Church of the East ecclesiology on the Pope, this is how Mar Odisho (Church Father in both our Church, as well as, the Assyrian Church) teaches about him:

----------------
“. . . . And as the patriarch has authority to do all he wishes in a fitting manner in such things as are beneath his authority, so the patriarch of Rome has authority over all patriarchs, like the blessed Peter over all the community, for he who is in Rome also keeps the office of Peter in all the church. He who transgresses against these things the ecumenical synod places under anathema.” (Memra 9; Risha 8 ).
---------------

And So, this Common Christological Declaration signed by the Pope allows us to Interpret the Christological Councils of the Roman Empire in accordance with the traditional Christology of the Church of the East.  We take what is essential in these Christological Councils, and express them in our Aramaic tradition in accordance with the traditional Church of the East theology.

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The reason that Chalcedon is worded the way it is, i.e., by using the terms prosopon and hypostasis in order to assert the fully unity of the incarnate Logos, was precisely in order to exclude the Nestorians, who could not in good conscience endorse the decree because it contradicted their own theological position.

Ok.  In any case, the Church of the East was outside the Roman Empire, in the Persian Empire, having already fallen out of communion with the rest of the Churches to their west, for political reasons.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #71 on: June 14, 2008, 02:05:02 AM »

The Assyrian Church of the East officially only accepts the first two Councils of the Roman Empire as Ecumenical, in addition to the acceptance of the Church Synods, and so this Common Christological Declaration is the next step up, and since it was signed by their Patriarch, who, in the Church of the East Ecclesialogy, has Primacy over the local bishops, then this is binding on them.

For us members of the Chaldean Catholic Church of the East, we see this Declaration signed by the Pope as the official acceptance of the orthodoxy of the traditional Church of the East Christology in the Catholic Church.  As regards the Church of the East ecclesiology on the Pope, this is how Mar Odisho (Church Father in both our Church, as well as, the Assyrian Church) teaches about him:

----------------
“. . . . And as the patriarch has authority to do all he wishes in a fitting manner in such things as are beneath his authority, so the patriarch of Rome has authority over all patriarchs, like the blessed Peter over all the community, for he who is in Rome also keeps the office of Peter in all the church. He who transgresses against these things the ecumenical synod places under anathema.” (Memra 9; Risha 8 ).
---------------

And So, this Common Christological Declaration signed by the Pope allows us to Interpret the Christological Councils of the Roman Empire in accordance with the traditional Christology of the Church of the East.  We take what is essential in these Christological Councils, and express them in our Aramaic tradition in accordance with the traditional Church of the East theology.

Ok.  In any case, the Church of the East was outside the Roman Empire, in the Persian Empire, having already fallen out of communion with the rest of the Churches to their west, for political reasons.

God bless,

Rony
As I said, we aren't going to agree.  The Pope does not have the power to alter anything taught by the seven great councils.
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« Reply #72 on: June 14, 2008, 02:06:10 AM »

The fact that Persian Nestorians misinterpreted the decree of Chalcedon does not change the Council Fathers teaching itself, any more than a man who misinterprets John 1:14 in an Apollinarian fashion alters the real meaning of the sacred text.


How about all those people at the time of Justinian (including the Catholic Pope and some Eastern patriarchs) who didn't want to condemn the Three Chapters or adopt the phrase "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh" because they thought it would undermine Chalcedon?  Did they also misinterpret the decree of Chalcedon?

I'm not trying to pick a fight.  I just want to see where you are coming from in this.   Smiley
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« Reply #73 on: June 14, 2008, 02:13:39 AM »

Todd and everyone else,

This weekend and next week up to Saturday, I will not be available to post due to my academic commitments in this Summer.  God willing, I will be back not on this Sunday, but next Sunday, and will try to catch up with more postings.  I tend to take a lot of time when posting, and so I'm not as fast in replying as others   Cheesy

Till next time, take care everyone, and God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #74 on: June 14, 2008, 02:14:03 AM »

Salpy,

Anyone can misinterpret things, and that is why one must always return to the original sources.

That said, Chalcedon accepts the miaphysis theology of St. Cyril, while simply rejecting monophysitism, which the Oriental Orthodox also reject.

The canons of Constantinople II make it clear that Chalcedon must not be read in such a way that it causes division in Christ (the Chalcedonian decree is pretty clear about that itself), for the difference of the two natures can only be taken in a "theoretical manner" (canon 7).
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« Reply #75 on: June 14, 2008, 02:14:38 AM »

Todd and everyone else,

This weekend and next week up to Saturday, I will not be available to post due to my academic commitments in this Summer.  God willing, I will be back not on this Sunday, but next Sunday, and will try to catch up with more postings.  I tend to take a lot of time when posting, and so I'm not as fast in replying as others   Cheesy

Till next time, take care everyone, and God bless,

Rony
Have a good weekend.
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« Reply #76 on: June 14, 2008, 02:17:37 AM »

Salpy,

Anyone can misinterpret things, and that is why one must always return to the original sources.

That said, Chalcedon accepts the miaphysis theology of St. Cyril, while simply rejecting monophysitism, which the Oriental Orthodox also reject.

The canons of Constantinople II make it clear that Chalcedon must not be read in such a way that it causes division in Christ, for the difference of the two natures can only be taken in a "theoretical manner" (canon 7).

Thank you for your replies.  They helped me understand where you are coming from.   Smiley
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« Reply #77 on: June 14, 2008, 06:15:48 PM »

Hey guys,

Just wanted to drop by for a quick post.

Go to these videos on Patristic Christology given by Fr. Andrew Younan, a Chaldean Catholic priest.

Part I - History - http://kaldu.org/Theology_Course_2007/03_B_PChristology_01_Video.html
Part II - Councils & Synods - http://kaldu.org/Theology_Course_2007/05_B_PChristology_02_Video.html
Part III - Christ in the East - http://kaldu.org/Theology_Course_2007/06_B_PChristology_03_Video.html

These videos (mostly in English) should explain further the discussions here, and should keep you busy for a little bit while I'm gone for about a week.

God bless you,

Rony
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« Reply #78 on: June 14, 2008, 06:59:47 PM »

Rony,

Hypostasis, as used by St. Gregory of Nyssa, is basically understood to be a concrete or particular essence, and so in some sense it parallels (but is not identical to) Aristotle's ousia prote; while the divine ousia, which for the Cappadocians is utterly transcendent and unknowable, tends to be connected with Aristotle's ousia deutera, except that the apophaticism of Basil and the two Gregories means that it (i.e., the divine ousia) is ultimately beyond human thought and predication (cf. Diogenes Allen, "Philosophy for Understanding Theology," pages 66-72).  So it does appear as though there is a connection between the use of the word hypostasis by the Cappadocian Fathers and qnoma understood as a particular essence, which means that the Maronite usage of that term, in both triadology and christology, corresponds to the teaching of the Cappadocians and Chalcedon, while the use of the term by your sui juris Church does not.

Todd
One further point of clarification in relation to what I said in the post quoted above:  the correspondence between Aristotle's ousia deutera and the divine ousia, according to the Cappadocians, is only by way of analogy, because the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not one in the sense of a species, but are strictly one, and so the divine ousia must not be confused with Aristotle's ousia deutera, which really refers to the unity of a group of beings within a particular species.
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« Reply #79 on: June 22, 2008, 10:31:09 PM »

Hi everyone,

I'm back, and I will try to post a little.  I'm starting another course tomorrow, and so my postings will be limited.

Quote
I understand your position, I simply do not agree with it, because I do not see how it can be said to be Orthodox in light of the decree of Chalcedon.

Todd,

That's fine.  As I said, the Church of the East Theology on Christ is not that of the Orthodox.  It is peculiar to only four Churches (two of them Catholic: Chaldean/Syro-Malabar, and two non-Catholic: Assyrian/Ancient).  Our Christology is not Latin, not Constantinopolitan, not Antiochene, not Armenian, and not Alexandrian.

Quote
The problem I have with Rony's position is that it seems to be absolutely relativistic, especially when you look at the Maronites, whose theological viewpoint seems to coordinate well with the teaching of the Cappadocians and the Council of Chalcedon.

I see why you see it as absolutely relativistic, and I think it is because you are equating the essence of a teaching, with the formula that is used to expresses it.  I don't equate essence with formulas.  I hold that in the Catholic Communion, we are all to accept the essence of the Faith, but we may differ in its formulations, so long as our differentiations are not essentially in contradiction to one another.

I firmly hold and agree that there is One Faith, One Baptism, and One Lord of all.  But, I don't accept that all in the Catholic Communion must be uniformed, that is, using one formulation for all in the expression of Faith.  The Maronites accepted the formulation of Chalcedon.  I hold that it is necessary for all to accept the essence of the Councils, but not necessary for all to use the formulations given.

So, for example, with regards to the members of the Syriac Catholic Church, I do not see a problem with it if they were to expresses the Faith like the Syriac Orthodox Church, in saying one united Kyono in Christ, rather than two (as in the Chalcedon formula of two physeis).

I think our problem boils down to this: When it comes to the Faith, I make a differentiation between essence and form, and to me, it appears that you do not make the same differentiation.

Quote
So it does appear as though there is a connection between the use of the word hypostasis by the Cappadocian Fathers and qnoma understood as a particular essence, which means that the Maronite usage of that term, in both triadology and christology, corresponds to the teaching of the Cappadocians and Chalcedon, while the use of the term by your sui juris Church does not.

There is a difference between the Maronites and us.  They defined Qnoma in the way that you guys defined Hypostasis.  We define Qnoma in the way Mar Babai (Bawai) the Great defines it.  By the way, here is some info. I found on Mar Babai the Great:

---------------------
Babai's christology

The main theological authorities of Babai were Theodore of Mopsuestia and Diodorus of Tarsus. He also relied on John Chrysostomos, the Cappadocian fathers and on Ephrem the Syrian, which were also accepted in the west. In his exegetical methods he synthesized between the rational Theodore and mystical writers like Evagrius.

And most important, instead of breaking with Theodore because of some extreme interpretations of his teachings, like others did, Babai clarified his position to the point that differences with western Christology became superficial and mostly an issue of terminology. His Christology is built in great part on sound exegesis and an interesting anthropology and is far less dualistic than the one Nestorius seems to have presented. Babai in the 'Book of Union' teaches two qnome (hypostasis--not the Chalcedonian use of this term, essence), which are unmingled but everlastingly united in one parsopa (person, character, identity, also "hypostasis" in Chalcedonian usage.). It is essential to use the Syrian terms here and not any translations, because the same words mean different things to different people, and the words must be accepted in the particular sense of each. In Greek Christology, hypostasis is used specifically to refer to what would correspond to Babai's parsopa, and ousion would correspond to qnome. In the period in which Babai and others formulated their respective Christological models, words such as "hypostasis" and "ousion" had less specifically fixed definitions. Thus, it was possible for two individuals to honestly use a single term to mean two distinctly different things.
-----------------------------

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #80 on: June 22, 2008, 11:09:30 PM »

Quote
I speak English not Greek, but I recognize the normative value of the Greek language in theology, because -- for whatever reason -- God chose to inspire the New Testament authors by having them use Greek.

Translations of the Greek scriptures, and translations of Greek theological terminology, is fine with me, but the original language always retains its normative value.

Todd,

I realize that you are English speaking, but you received your theological perspectives from the Greek-Constantinopolitan-Orthodox tradition.  For those of us who are not of the Greek tradition, we prefer that we maintain the normative value of the original Aramaic language of Jesus and the Apostles as handed down to us by Holy Tradition.

As far as Holy Scripture, as I mentioned before, not all Christians agree with Greek Primacy.  In fact, the late Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, HH Mar Eshai Shimun, stated the following:

-----------------------------
"With reference to....the originality of the Peshitta text, as the Patriarch and Head of the Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church of the East, we wish to state, that the Church of the East received the scriptures from the hands of the blessed Apostles themselves in the Aramaic original, the language spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and that the Peshitta is the text of the Church of the East which has come down from the Biblical times without any change or revision."
-----------------------------

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #81 on: June 23, 2008, 12:00:04 AM »

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Just as the bishop of Rome does not have the power to unilaterally alter the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed by adding the word "filioque" to it; so too he does not have the authority to authorize any Church to accept a christological position at variance with the teaching of the Council of Chalcedon.

Todd,

The Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of the non-Chalcedonian Malankara Orthodox Church signed an agreement which basically says that both miaphysite Christology and dyophysite Christology can co-exist in the same Communion:

----------
8. It is this faith which we both confess. Its content is the same in both communions; in formulating that content in the course of history, however, differences have arisen, in terminology and emphasis. We are convinced that these differences are such as can co-exist in the same communion and therefore need not and should not divide us, especially when we proclaim Him to our brothers and sisters in the world in terms which they can more easily understand.
-----------

Now that the Pope has done this (not just with the Malankara Orthodox, but agreements with the other Orientals as well), basically telling the Catholic world that a Church does not have to hold to a Chalcedonian terminological formula of the faith in order to be in the Catholic Communion, how do you perceive this action?

Do you agree that differences of formulas can coexist in the same Communion?

I personally have no problem with it.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #82 on: June 23, 2008, 12:39:15 AM »

Quote
I have never heard anyone seriously argue the position that you are advocating.  The New Testament was originally written in Greek, and so the Greek language is theologically normative.  Clearly, we will never come to an agreement on this issue.

Todd,

Since no one has the original autographs written by the Apostles, then it is not certain they were all written in Greek.  Besides, you and I are not "sola scriptura" Christians (as if we draw our Content of the Faith from the Scriptures alone), and so we would have to account for Holy Tradition as well.

Perhaps you can explain to me how an Aramaic people such as my people would have received the Gospel via Holy Tradition in the Greek language, when Greek is not our language, and never was our language?  Do you think when St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Addai, St. Mari and St. Aggai were evangelizing us, they had interpreters standing by them as they spoke to us in Greek?  No, my brother, they evangelized us in the Aramaic language.  We received the Faith, "once delivered to the Saints", in Aramaic and kept it the same ever since.

We Aramaeans don't need to make a foreign language, such as Greek, the normative language for our theology.  We already have the language of Jesus and the Apostles, Aramaic, as normative for our theology.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #83 on: June 23, 2008, 12:53:55 AM »

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I remain unconvinced that your position is reconcilable with Chalcedonian Orthodoxy.  Thus, as I see it, you are a Nestorian.

"As to the Easterners, however, because they would not change their true faith, but kept it as they received it from the Apostles, they were unjustly styled 'Nestorians', since Nestorius was not their Patriarch, neither did they understand his language" (Book of Marganitha, Part III, Chapter IV).

The ignorance of the Greeks towards us continues... Cry

Rony
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« Reply #84 on: June 23, 2008, 01:20:19 AM »

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And yet the Persian Church (the Church of the East) accepted the Chalcedonian definition, at least initially prior to Constantinople II.  The reason why the Armenian Church rejected Chalcedon in the early sixth century is because the Persian Church was asserting that Chalcedon vindicated its position.  Also, Nestorius lived long enough to read Pope Leo's tome and he speaks favorably of Pope Leo in the Bazaar of Heracleides.  So there must be something that allows the language of Chalcedon to be interpreted in a way that is friendly to to Rony's Church.

Salpy,

The Church of the East was in substantial or essential agreement with Chalcedon, but not in form.  The reason for it was due to the two nature language that was employed, which was considered a vindication of their language over the one united nature language of the Alexandrians.

Here is what Mar Odisho (Abdisho) of Soba says about this Council:

-------------------
After this, tumult and discord went on increasing until the zealous and CHRIST-loving Marcian undertook to convene the great Council of the six hundred and thirty two in the town of Chalcedon, and commanded that both parties should be examined and judged, and that whosoever did not follow the truth and faith as declared by Ecumenical Councils should be expelled from the Church, in order that the Church might be in one accord in all matters of faith. This Council confirmed the confession, that there are two natures in CHRIST each distinct in its attributes, and also two wills, and anathematized all who should speak of mixture, which destroys the two natures. But because in Greek there is no distinction between Qnuma (hypostasis) and person, they confessed but one Qnuma in CHRIST. And when the party of Cyril was not satisfied with the expression “two Natures “, and the party of Nestorius with the expression “one Qnuma” an imperial edict was issued declaring all who did not consent to this doctrine degraded from their orders. Some were made to submit through compulsion; but the remainder maintained their own opinions.

Book of Marganitha, Part III, Chapter IV
-------------------

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #85 on: June 23, 2008, 01:58:57 AM »

Quote
As I said, we aren't going to agree.  The Pope does not have the power to alter anything taught by the seven great councils.

Todd,

Jesus and the Apostles gave us the Deposit of Faith, all of it, the whole public revelation, once and for all in the beginning.  The same Church that convened the Councils can determine for whom the formulations/expressions of these councils are directed.  Our Faith doesn't originate from the Councils, it originates from Jesus and the Apostles.  The formulas that were used in the Councils can be re-expressed from a different angle, if need be, in order to better apply the Deposit of Faith within a particular culture.  The Pope, Patriarchs, and Bishops in full communion with one another have the authority to re-express the One Faith once delivered to the Saints.  The Pope, Patriarchs, and Bishops do not have the authority to give us a different Faith from that of the Apostles.  They can only hand on what they have received from Christ and the Apostles.

There is a difference between the one faith expressed differently among peoples and cultures, versus, multiple contradictory faiths.  I hold the former, not the latter.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #86 on: June 23, 2008, 02:23:36 AM »

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That said, Chalcedon accepts the miaphysis theology of St. Cyril

Todd,

I'm curious, would you then say the following statement is heretical?

The Syriac Orthodox Church (Oriental Orthodox) confesses in Christ: one Kyono, one Qnomo, and one Parsopo.

This is not the phrasing of Chalcedon (Chalcedon mentions two Kyone - physeis).  I personally don't think it is heretical, because I know that by one Kyono, they mean a United Kyono, without change and without confusion, and that the Divine Kyono has not swallowed up the human Kyono.

Are you comfortable with a phrasing/expression such as this of the Syriac Orthodox that is not Chalcedonian?

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #87 on: July 02, 2008, 01:37:30 AM »

I have always felt it best to look not only at the language, but at what is meant by the language.  As I alluded to above, two people can use the same language and mean two very different things.  For that reason, I'd like to ask a couple of questions about the beliefs of the Chaldean Church, rather than perseverating on language.

My first question is, does the Chaldean Church accept the phrase, "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh?"

My second question is, does the Chaldean Church teach that Christ's divinity and humanity ever seperated?  For example, on the Cross, when Christ said, "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"  Do you believe that at that moment Christ's divinity left Him and that is why He said that?

Answers to questions like these do more to tell me what someone believes about Christ than just analyzing Syriac and Greek words.  At least that's how it is for a simple person like myself.   Smiley
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« Reply #88 on: July 02, 2008, 10:03:37 PM »

Quote
My first question is, does the Chaldean Church accept the phrase, "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh?"

Salpy,

Being in the Catholic Communion, we don’t consider that phrase as heresy, since it was accepted as orthodox at Constantinople II, but we would re-express it like this:

One of the Trinity became Man and suffered.

The Chaldean version of the Creed says:  “. . . one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God . . . descended from heaven, betook a body by the power of the Holy Spirit, was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary and became man, who suffered and was crucified in the days of Pontius Pilate, who died . . .”

So you see, the Son, who is one Qnoma of the Trinity, became man and suffered.

Quote
My second question is, does the Chaldean Church teach that Christ's divinity and humanity ever seperated? 

No.  The Union of the Son and the human Qnoma was inseparable.  Christ was always One Person, His Divinity and His Humanity remained inseparable.

Quote
For example, on the Cross, when Christ said, "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"  Do you believe that at that moment Christ's divinity left Him and that is why He said that?

No.  The one Person of the Union, the Lord Jesus Christ, cried that statement out as Man, not because a separation of the Union has occurred, but because the one Christ does certain things as God and certain things as Man.

Here is how Mar Narsai, a father of the Church of the East, describes Christ in the passion/death/resurrection:

------------------------------------------------
the  attendants seized Him and bound His hands, as Man;
and He healed the ear that Simon cut off, as God.
He stood in the place of judgement and bore insult, as Man;
and He declared that He is about to come in glory, as God.
He bore  His Cross upon His shoulder, as Man;
and He revealed and announced the  destruction of Zion, as God.
He was hanged upon the wood and endured the  passion, as Man;
and He shook the earth and darkened the sun, as God.

Nails were driven into His body, as Man;
and He opened the graves and quickened the dead, as  God.
He cried out upon the Cross 'My God, My God,' as Man;
and promised Paradise to the thief, as God.
His side was pierced with a spear, as  Man;
and His nod rent the temple veil, as God.
They embalmed His body and He was buried in the earth, as Man;
and He raised up His temple by His mighty  power, as God.
-----------------------------------------

By the way, in the Peshitta, the way to translate the phrase in Matt. 27:46 (ܐܝܠ ܐܝܠ ܠܡܢܐ ܫܒܩܬܢܝ) might be better done in English like this:
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« Reply #89 on: July 03, 2008, 01:44:58 AM »

Thank you, Rony.  For me, personally, this is more useful than examining obscure terms from a language I don't speak.   Smiley

I'm not at all an expert in these things, but I get a feeling some of what you wrote above may contain some "separatist" (if that's a real word) language that would make the OO's feel uncomfortable.

I'm wondering about the feelings of the non-Chaldean Catholics, as well as the EO's.  Do they feel comfortable with the above?

This is an interesting topic.   Smiley
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« Reply #90 on: July 03, 2008, 02:03:48 AM »

This EO is not 'comfortable with that, no. Especially Christ's quoting the 22nd Psalm from the cross being interpreted in this fashion.
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« Reply #91 on: July 03, 2008, 03:58:47 AM »

This EO is not 'comfortable with that, no. Especially Christ's quoting the 22nd Psalm from the cross being interpreted in this fashion.

Do you mean the quote from the Cross being interpreted as a separation of the Divinity and Humanity? If so, I fully agree.
I think Christ quoting the first line of the Psalm assumes the hearer is aware of the full text of the Psalm.
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« Reply #92 on: July 03, 2008, 06:45:17 AM »

Do you mean the quote from the Cross being interpreted as a separation of the Divinity and Humanity? If so, I fully agree.
I think Christ quoting the first line of the Psalm assumes the hearer is aware of the full text of the Psalm.
Yes, and yes.
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« Reply #93 on: July 03, 2008, 03:18:50 PM »

There was never a separation between the Divinity and Humanity in Christ.  At no time did the Son ever separate from His human Qnoma.  No Apostolic Church and tradition maintains that the Union was separated.  Specifically, the Assyro-Chaldean tradition, or the Churches of the East, vigorously reject a division or separation in Christ.

It is the One Christ who shows us His Divinity and His Humanity.  In the Incarnation, there are not two Sons, but one Son who is God and Man.

Quote
I'm not at all an expert in these things, but I get a feeling some of what you wrote above may contain some "separatist" (if that's a real word) language that would make the OO's feel uncomfortable.

Salpy,

As far as I know (and you can correct me on this), the OO in general seem to be more comfortable with the language of the Incarnate God, rather than God and Man.  At least, that's what Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox says:

-----------
Similarly, we speak about the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the Incarnate God, and we do not say "God and man".
-----------

For us, we speak of the one Lord Jesus Christ, God and Man.  I see this as having the same meaning as Enfleshed God or Incarnate God, just different wording.  The Alexandrians loved to speak in terms of "Word/Flesh" or "God/Flesh", whereas we preferred a "Word/Man" or "God/Man" terminology.

God bless,

Rony
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« Reply #94 on: September 06, 2008, 03:00:18 PM »

Quote
My first question is, does the Chaldean Church accept the phrase, "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh?"

Salpy,

Being in the Catholic Communion, we don’t consider that phrase as heresy, since it was accepted as orthodox at Constantinople II, but we would re-express it like this:

One of the Trinity became Man and suffered.

The Chaldean version of the Creed says:  “. . . one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God . . . descended from heaven, betook a body by the power of the Holy Spirit, was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary and became man, who suffered and was crucified in the days of Pontius Pilate, who died . . .”

So you see, the Son, who is one Qnoma of the Trinity, became man and suffered.

Quote
My second question is, does the Chaldean Church teach that Christ's divinity and humanity ever seperated? 

No.  The Union of the Son and the human Qnoma was inseparable.  Christ was always One Person, His Divinity and His Humanity remained inseparable.

Quote
For example, on the Cross, when Christ said, "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"  Do you believe that at that moment Christ's divinity left Him and that is why He said that?

No.  The one Person of the Union, the Lord Jesus Christ, cried that statement out as Man, not because a separation of the Union has occurred, but because the one Christ does certain things as God and certain things as Man.

Here is how Mar Narsai, a father of the Church of the East, describes Christ in the passion/death/resurrection:

------------------------------------------------
the  attendants seized Him and bound His hands, as Man;
and He healed the ear that Simon cut off, as God.
He stood in the place of judgement and bore insult, as Man;
and He declared that He is about to come in glory, as God.
He bore  His Cross upon His shoulder, as Man;
and He revealed and announced the  destruction of Zion, as God.
He was hanged upon the wood and endured the  passion, as Man;
and He shook the earth and darkened the sun, as God.

Nails were driven into His body, as Man;
and He opened the graves and quickened the dead, as  God.
He cried out upon the Cross 'My God, My God,' as Man;
and promised Paradise to the thief, as God.
His side was pierced with a spear, as  Man;
and His nod rent the temple veil, as God.
They embalmed His body and He was buried in the earth, as Man;
and He raised up His temple by His mighty  power, as God.
-----------------------------------------

By the way, in the Peshitta, the way to translate the phrase in Matt. 27:46 (ܐܝܠ ܐܝܠ ܠܡܢܐ ܫܒܩܬܢܝ) might be better done in English like this:
In the Pascha service we speak of the sun darkening of the sun, etc. as Creation suffering with the Creator.  The "My God, My God why hast Thou forsaken Me?" as the Creator suffering with His Creation.

Thank you, Rony.  For me, personally, this is more useful than examining obscure terms from a language I don't speak.   Smiley

I'm not at all an expert in these things, but I get a feeling some of what you wrote above may contain some "separatist" (if that's a real word) language that would make the OO's feel uncomfortable.

I'm wondering about the feelings of the non-Chaldean Catholics, as well as the EO's.  Do they feel comfortable with the above?

This is an interesting topic.   Smiley
Depends on the context. In a historical context with that was Nestorian, with a separation in the hypostatic union of Christ, I'd have a problem with it.  In the Oriental Orthodox, with no such history, I wouldn't.  Quite the opposite.  In the EO Church there are lots of hymns that dwell on the paradox of the communication of idioms, which is what I think we have here, and would be no problem.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 03:06:00 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Tags: Assyrian Eastern vs. Oreiental Catholic Church of the East Chaldean Eastern Catholic nestorianism Christology 
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