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Author Topic: Current status on EO and OO relations?  (Read 6736 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: June 26, 2009, 11:04:32 AM »

I think that the EO's are closer to the OO's than to the Catholics when it comes to actual beliefs.  There are therefore those who think reunion between EO's and OO's is more likely than reunion between the EO's and Catholics.  That being said, there are still significant hurdles to be overcome, such as some very bad history, as well as anathemas of each other's saints, the issue of acceptance or rejection of councils, etc.  There are times when I look at the situation and think it is impossible.  However, we know that what is impossible for man is still possible for God.  That is why I and others are still able to hope and pray for this.   Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: June 26, 2009, 01:07:39 PM »

Actually I have been wondering if there is not more scope for reunion between the OO and RC in the future. The RC would need to reflect on their present doctrine and practice, but the things which would be asked of them are in fact in their own past, and they would only be asked to return to their own tradition rather than adopt someone else's.

I have been to quite a few RC/OO events where the RC could not be more friendly and interested in the OO, and many of the RC scholars seem quite well informed on the OO positions.

It seems to me that the vocal minority in the EO against any dialogue with anyone will always be a problem in the EO/OO conversation. I am not sure how they are to be reconciled, as I have found that in conversation, even as issues are resolved, they simply find more and more obscure issues to retreat behind. The fact is that they do not want reunion on any terms, and will resist the ecumenical activity of anyone else using bogeymen like the WCC.

Last year I was invited to participate in a theological workshop in Geneva at the WCC which was examining the use made of the Bible by different Christian groups in the face of chaos and disasters. I went with some concern that I would be immersed in a liberal environment which had no respect for the scripture of tradition, but to be honest I had to repent of a lot of bad attitudes. When I arrived I was a little early for the first session and went into the chapel. The staff were there for their regular morning devotions. I was bristling ready for heresy, but the staff were all praying for the people of Azerbaijan, I think. I wondered how many other Christians around the world were praying for Azerbaijan that day? Not so many I guess. Then there were some prayers. I criticised one in my mind, and then shamefully realised it was a traditional Ethiopian Orthodox prayer.

Later on I spent several days studying the bible with some serious and committed Christians from around the world. Certainly many of them seemed to be activists and it would not be wrong to criticise their respective traditions as failing to provide them with the spiritual resources found in Orthodoxy, but I left with a great deal of respect for them all. Yet even yesterday on an EO forum I read the usual stereotypical blanket condemnations of the WCC as the fount of all ecumenical evil. I have to say that I have not found it so.

But how many of the vocal EO minority ever speak with OO, ever study OO primary and secondary sources. Not many.

I had to leave a major EO forum last year because it was made plain that I was not welcome because I was OO. I was told that I could not refer to the OO as the Church or even a Church, and I had to recategorise myself as a guest, after I had contributed many hundreds of messages over several years and had become one of the top ten posters.

So I am not overly positive about the prospects for union between the EO and OO in the short term and as far as human actions go. With God all things are possible. I wonder if the OO needs to spend more time working hard to bring about a greater sense of union among our own Churches. I would like to see in the UK many more activities which naturally include all Oriental Orthodox, and I would like to see Copts and Syrians considering Armenians and Ethiopians as members of the same Church, not a sister Church. Of course we know this but I hope we can live it more and more in the next decades.

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« Reply #47 on: June 26, 2009, 01:46:11 PM »

I know communion between the two Churches will take time, but is it likely to happen? I know from the EO side people pray for communion with the CC but (not to be pessimistic) I don't see this ever happening. How likely is communion between the EO and OO? I realize that it has to take time to prepare but will it at some time happen?

Please do not deny the Holy Spirit working as He deems needed, despite all our expectations.
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« Reply #48 on: June 26, 2009, 09:56:12 PM »

I wonder if the OO needs to spend more time working hard to bring about a greater sense of union among our own Churches. I would like to see in the UK many more activities which naturally include all Oriental Orthodox, and I would like to see Copts and Syrians considering Armenians and Ethiopians as members of the same Church, not a sister Church. Of course we know this but I hope we can live it more and more in the next decades.

YES!

I have already found that my very humble and weak efforts in this respect have been much more edifying and fruitful, particularly for myself, than any of the time and efforts spent looking into and discussing Chalcedon. Though I am glad I had the opportunity to have done such study in the first place because it was essentially, inter alia, the springboard for my greater general interest in my OOxy in the first place.

I think especially in the Diaspora where one's personal sense and attachment to their ethnic/culutral identity is, particularly for generations so born and raised in the Diaspora, already heavily absorbed/diluted in the cultural identity of the relevant society, it is more efficient and expedient for a particular OO Church to be open to the idiosyncrasies of another. Most western societies, being largely multicultural, already drill into us the sentiment that we should be open to other cultures and ways of thinking, and I think it's in the Church's best interest to replicate some sort of unified sense of multiculturalism within herself--the difference being, not that we are open to anything and everything the world offers, but that we are being open to everything divine the world offers--Orthodox cultures being the earthly crucible for a divine life.

I am actually amazed by how receptive people of my own church have been to the practices and ways of other OO churches. As much as many of the things brought to their awareness are foreign to them, there is a sense in which they are all too familiar to them as well.  I've shared the same experience myself. I can only best describe the experience with a fiction-type hypothetical: almost like meeting your best friend whose mind and soul have been realised by a completely different body. You don't recognise them at all at first; their appearance is completely new to you, but once you begin receiving them and exploring their inner depths, you slowly get a sense of "hey, I feel like i've known this person my whole life."

I'll stop there before I get carried away.  Cheesy
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« Reply #49 on: June 27, 2009, 11:27:42 AM »

I agree we need to do something to encourage a greater sense of unity and awareness among the OO's.  I think being geographically separated from each other for so many centuries has lead to a feeling that it is OK to be isolated.

Here in the Los Angeles area, we will have get-togethers for the youth of the Syriac, Coptic and Armenian Churches, maybe a few times a year.  It's not enough, but I guess it's a start.

Then there's SCOOCH.  It would be nice if they could get their own website, though.   Smiley

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21627.0.html

 
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« Reply #50 on: June 27, 2009, 12:47:59 PM »

I think we should ask all the bishops of both churches to pile into the Relient Center (Houston) to meet for a "friendly" conference.  Then, when they are all inside, bar the doors and turn off the AC, and leave them there with half a loaf of bread and a glass of water, and a copy of all the councils with a sticky note pinned to it saying "SOLVE THIS!"

Seriously, methinks it's stubourness that perpetuates the rift.  I've asked OO's what they believe and it sounds exactly like my own beliefs as an EO.  Either side has points, but in the essentials the faith are the same. 

It seems in this time, where Christianity is becomeing irrelevant in the concious of the world due to perversions, the people of the faith should be more willing to work together. 

This needs prayer, I think.  "God, Thy will be done".  And we listen.     
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« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2009, 01:07:33 PM »

Here in the UK we have the Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches, to which I have rather surprisingly just been elected to the office of Secretary. I am hoping and praying that as the number of OO bishops, priests and lay people has grown rapidly over the last decade the COOC can be a facilitator for encouraging a genuine experience of unity.

A comprehensive directory website of all the parishes, priests and bishops of all the OO Churches in the UK seems to me to be an early requirement, with news being published from all the Churches, and events being advertised to all faithful as a matter of course.

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« Reply #52 on: June 27, 2009, 01:19:37 PM »

Seriously, methinks it's stubourness that perpetuates the rift.  I've asked OO's what they believe and it sounds exactly like my own beliefs as an EO.  Either side has points, but in the essentials the faith are the same.      

Indeed, but this is not only a question of differences in faith. We both confess there to be but one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Unless we adhere to some kind of branch theory (in which case restoration of communion would be little more than a nicety) a reunion essentially requires one side to acknowledge that it has been in schism for 1500 years, thereby undermining 1500 of its Christian life and witness, her saints and her martyrs. It is a tragic situation, and certainly contrary to the mind of God. But to dismiss it as simple stubbornness seems unfair. Our Christological differences might have been overcome, but if a reunion necessitates a heterodox ecclesiology, we would just be accepting one heresy in place of another.

Ecclesiology seems to be what hinders reunion, not Christology. Perhaps those engaged in the honourable endeavour to end the schism between our two churches should shift their focus to the ecclesiological implications of union, which is a subject I rarely see discussed.
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« Reply #53 on: June 27, 2009, 01:33:00 PM »

I think we should ask all the bishops of both churches to pile into the Relient Center (Houston) to meet for a "friendly" conference.  Then, when they are all inside, bar the doors and turn off the AC, and leave them there with half a loaf of bread and a glass of water, and a copy of all the councils with a sticky note pinned to it saying "SOLVE THIS!"   
LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!Grin
But seriously, it may take more than this, or we might end up worse off.
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« Reply #54 on: June 27, 2009, 02:26:02 PM »

Orthodox History is full of periods lasting even over centuries in which groups were not talking to each other and then came in to communion relatively straightforwardly.

I do not see that it is necessary for any one side to submit itself to another. We believe in ONE Church but clearly through history the ONE Church has been fragmented for various reasons and without lasting harm to the possibility of later reconciliation.

The Photian Schism, the Acacian Schism, the decision of the Georgian Church to reunite with the Byzantines, the schisms associated with the Three Chapters. These were all resolved within an Orthodox ecclesiology because schism does not necessitate any loss of grace, it just shows that the Church is a divine-human organism. Orthodox ecclesiogy is essentially rooted in the congregation gathered around its bishop, relations between bishops are secondary.

No-one as far as I am aware, is asking the EO to submit to the OO, indeed the OO has offered her own reflection on the state of the EO and considers that it is already the ONE Church, not that it must become part of the one Church. The nature of the Church is found in the inner quality of spiritual life not in outward organisation.  There will be schisms and arguments that interrupt communion between different communities but this does not mean that one group should claim to be the only Church, it may well be that both are the one Church - this has nothing to do with the branch theory at all. It merely faces the fact of human weakness. It is quite possible for the one Church to be in schism with itself.

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« Reply #55 on: June 27, 2009, 02:44:14 PM »

My experience with priests and many laity within the Serbian American and OCA churches is quite the same as Father Peter's. There seems to be an unwritten understanding that they have, which implies a unity between them (EO/OO) yet a division of the Bishops. Why would the Bishops keep apart what the body of Christ (the Church) would rather mend? What precaution is left? What tincture is left to clean the wounds?
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« Reply #56 on: June 27, 2009, 03:07:36 PM »

Bless Father,

Thank you for your input. Would you be able to direct me to any studies that discuss these issues in more detail? When the Georgian Church reunited with the Byzantines they did so by accepting Chalcedon. I'd be interested in seeing how these various schisms were resolved and what, if anything, was required by either side to facilitate such a resolution. Also, are there examples of anathemas issued by Ecumenical Councils being reversed by anything other than a subsequent Ecumenical Council? If yes, by whom, and by what means did such a decision become universally accepted throughout the Church?

Thank you.

P.S. Is your paper on Eutyches available anywhere online, or is it yet to be published?
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« Reply #57 on: June 27, 2009, 03:42:45 PM »

My paper on Eutyches will be published soon in the BOC Glastonbury Review and will be on line.

I am not sure that there are clear precedents to deal with the OO/EO situation beyond a generous openness to the work of the Holy Spirit, and to discerning the fulness of the Body of Christ in each other. There are always reasons which can be produced to prevent reconciliation between people and communities, but we are called to go beyond our human weakness, which has prolonged this mutual schism, and seek the wisdom of God. It can be shown that the anathema against St Dioscorus of the 6th council is based on no evidence, and is merely a stereotypical condemnation. St Dioscorus clearly confessed the integrity and reality of the humanity of Christ in the incarnation.

The OO have shown that they are willing to rescind the anathemas upon Leo of Rome, and I make it a point not to refer to him as an heretic, even though I believe it is possible and reasonable to criticise much that he taught. The issues as far as I can see are EO ones. St Severus was never a heretic, St Dioscorus was not a God hater nor was he hated by God. The EO need to deal with these misrepresentations. If they are unable or unwilling to then there will not be reconciliation. The OO are willing to deal with the anathemas against Leo not least because removing anathemas does not mean making any figure a saint. But it seems the EO are unable to move forward. That is not said polemically but it seems to be the facts of where we are.

There are certainly things the OO need to do to facilitate the process, not least to deal properly with the later councils of the EO, but in my opinion the EO also need to refect on the context of these later councils much more than I have yet seen. What does it mean that Vigilius of Rome was kidnapped by the Emperor and held in prison for years until he signed up to the 5th council? In what way does that reflect on the council? What does it mean that the Emperors viewed the Church as a department of State and treated it likewise? What value should be given to
anathemas against figures whose documented teaching is actually far removed from the representation provided at various councils? How can Chalcedon be considered ecumenical when half the Church rejected it? Indeed what does ecumenical mean in context since many councils were convened as being ecumenical?

Even I, as a completely amateur student of these things, can easily and comfortably criticise the history of my own anti-Chalcedonian community as part of a process of reflection, but I have found that Father John Romanides of blessed memory seems almost alone in being able to reflect critically on the pro-Chalcedonian history. If one side is unable to accept that it also has matters to deal with which require some degree of repentance then reconciliation will not be possible.

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« Reply #58 on: June 27, 2009, 03:54:55 PM »

A tangent dealing with the OO's and Catholics was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22049.0.html
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« Reply #59 on: June 27, 2009, 04:19:53 PM »

Bless Father,

Certainly the various misrepresentations of teachings needs to be dealt with. However, from my own experience, while Fr. Romanides might have been one of only a few EO authorities who offered a critical analysis of EO history, the vast majority of EO clergy I have come into contact with have been quite open to the idea that Dioscoros and Severus were essentially Cyrilline, and therefore Orthodox. Reading the works of people like McGuckin and Mayendorff, the OO are generally criticised for not being open to Chalcedonian language, not for any actual heresy. Thus, to a large extent, I think a lot of ground has been made on this issue.

What you say about the nature of an Ecumenical Council seems like the more difficult issue. The anathemas of the OO churches were made on a local basis, and can therefore be overturned on a local basis. But those of the EO church were made by an Ecumenical Council, which puts the EO in quite a difficult position. Also, for the EO to unite with the OO without their acceptance of Chalcedon would mean accepting that, however valid its defence of orthodoxy, it was not an Ecumenical Council. That is the implication of such a union. And if the OO have indeed been part of the Church of Christ all along, how could the 3 subsequent Synods be deemed Ecumenical?

So one would have to ask, what makes a council Ecumenical? You mention that Chalcedon was rejected by half the Church, but wasn't Nicea followed by a period in which the Church was dominated by Arians and the orthodox party were in the minorty?

Is an Ecumenical Council infallible?

Is the acceptance of an Ecumenical Council necessary for being part of the Church? If, for example, the Assyrian Church of the East clearly and unambiguously affirmed an orthodox christology, repudiating anything perceivably Nestorian, but refused to accept the Council of Ephesus, could they be admitted into communion with the Church?
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« Reply #60 on: June 27, 2009, 04:23:21 PM »

Criticising my own community..

I think we must go through all the latter EO councils including Chalcedon and line by line say what we have a problem with and why, and what we accept and why. Constantinople 553 is more or less entirely acceptable, for instance. We need to consider any issues with Ephesus II, as well, although I do think it is important.

It is not enough just to pass over the councils which mean so much to the EO, but we do need to express why there are issues and invite a response - not polemically but self-critically and with reflection.

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« Reply #61 on: June 27, 2009, 04:51:53 PM »

That's a good post, but just as it is hard to see how the EO can accept a communion based on the non-consideration of Chalcedon as ecumenical, so the OO can hardly imagine a communion based on the consideration of Chalcedon as ecumenical. I can imagine the Definitio being possibly accepted as liable to an Orthodox interpretation, but not ecumenical. Is it more important for something to be Orthodox than Ecumenical? To me Orthodox means True and Truth is Truth. The concept of ecumenicity adds little IMHO and especially if it is taken to mean an a priori impossibility of human weakness and error. All of the imperial councils were called ecumenical since they were all councils of the empire. Some councils became authoritative but that seems to me to be different to what is claimed for them.

BUT... it is entirely possible to imagine that both sides could agree that the other side held to the substance of the faith (apart from that group of EO who insist that the EO account of history must also be accepted without reservation).

I am not sure that we need to go further. Let us just do that work and see where God takes us. Even if we reach the place where we see that each other holds to the Faith and we don't know how to resolve the situation is better than allowing members of our churches, priests and bishops, to simply stereotype others.

I think the whole issue of ecumencity is very important, and I am not convinced that what I read from some modern EO polemicists is the same as the historic and patristic view. It seems to me that in the past people were asked to profess a faith and not councils. It would be useful to see how people were reconciled in past times, after Ephesus I for instance.

Personally I would not push the issue of Ephesus I if there was the prospect of reconciliation with the ACE, as long as there was a definite exclusion of all heresy and heretics, and a confession of the substance of the Orthodox Christology. It does seem to me that there are questions about the confused progress of Ephesus I which might justify some inhibition in terms of accepting a single historical perspective. Of course what would be good (ISTM) would be a unified historical narrative which comprehends the various positions and seeks to understand more fully the context in which the councils took place.

There is a difference with the ACE compared to the EO/OO. I do believe that Nestorius, Theodore, Diodore and Theodoret were heretics. I do believe that Leo can be shown to have been ambiguous rather than heretical (and I believe if he was an heretic it was because of his ecclesiology in any case), and of course Severus and the other Fathers were not heretics at all. The OO do not venerate Eutyches, or Apollinarius. But the ACE do venerate Nestorius, Theodore and Diodore.

I do think that we need to continue to work with the substance of what we believe, and see how far we get. There are those among the EO who think that not even this is acceptable. This is what cause me so lack of confidence about future developments. I have personally been told that there can be no discussion of the faith, I must just accept the Seven Councils, that seems to me to be cultlike. But we must engage with the questions that the more positive elements/majority of the EO have.

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« Reply #62 on: June 27, 2009, 06:58:30 PM »

I think the whole issue of ecumencity is very important, and I am not convinced that what I read from some modern EO polemicists is the same as the historic and patristic view. It seems to me that in the past people were asked to profess a faith and not councils. It would be useful to see how people were reconciled in past times, after Ephesus I for instance.

I would be very interested in seeing how the Coptic or Armenian views of the first three Ecumenical Synods (their nature, their importance, etc.) differed from that of "modern EO polemicists", not to mention that of the Fathers actually present at Chalcedon.
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« Reply #63 on: June 28, 2009, 04:07:12 AM »

I think that there is a difference, but I need to research it.

I do not have a sense that St Cyril ever said to John of Antioch, 'Accept X number of councils'. I sense rather that he was much more concerned about finding a unity in the substance of faith and himself said that he was willing to be as tolerant as he felt able to allow the Easterners to come back into communion.

Certainly I can find no evidence that Theodoret ever 'accepted' the Cyrilline council of Ephesus. He did not change his Christology throughout his life and after Chalcedon his letters show that he had the same essentially Theodorean objections to Cyril, and simply interpreted Chalcedon to suit his own Christology. I am getting ready for the liturgy so I will not write more, but I cannot recall that Ibas ever accepted the Cyrilline Ephesus either. An anathema on Nestorius is not the same thing at all. Quite clearly many Theodoreans were able to anathematise Nestorius while never ceasing to be disciples of Theodore.

I do not sense that the anti-Chalcedonians insisted on the acceptance of Ephesus II, though it was certainly considered an Imperial/Universal/Ecumenical council. Indeed the prayers used to reconcile Byzantines show that although it was necessary to reject Chalcedon. On the positive side, when St Timothy sends a confession of his faith to the Emperor he does not say how many councils he accepts, he states rather that he believes the confession of the fathers of Nicaea.

This seems to me to be a different attitude, which we can research further. But to accept the faith of a council is not the same as stating, as many EO have to me, that everything said or done at an ecumenical council is infallible and directly attributable to the Holy Spirit.

I do not believe that Leo of Rome ever accepted the 28th canon, I do not believe that Ibas and Thedoret ever accepted the Cyrilline Ephesus, or his 12 anathemas which were received there. Nevertheless they were received at Chalcedon. But nowadays it seems to me that many EO would not wish to accept an OO into communion without them accepting everything that has been said and done at each council. This does not seem to me to be the most ancient attitude.

I sense that St Cyril wanted to accept John of Antioch irrespective of his opinion of Ephesus, as long as his faith was substantially sound. But Councils became a tool in the Imperial will to impose a unity and uniformity of faith. You lived or died depending on how you responded to them. The beginning of this situation seems to me to be Nicaea and the Arian controversy. It is Imperial intrusion into Church affairs which skews the process of internal Church discernment and government.

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« Reply #64 on: June 28, 2009, 10:42:55 AM »

A post about the Coptic Church and theosis was split off and added to the latest thread discussing that topic:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20713.45.html#lastPost

Let's please keep this thread on topic.  Thanks.   Smiley


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« Reply #65 on: June 29, 2009, 03:42:27 AM »

Orthodox11,

I have put my paper on Eutyches here .. http://www.britishorthodox.org/Eutyches.pdf

and I don't know if you have seen my paper on Ibas here .. http://www.britishorthodox.org/Ibas.pdf

They are not academic papers as they were written for my Church members, but I hope they are serious.

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« Reply #66 on: August 10, 2009, 05:08:25 PM »


Thanks for all the insight. - I guess we've got a lot of talking left to do. I didn't realize we condemned eachother's saints. I was aware of Nestorious' works being cast out (lack of the proper terminology) but I know the OO did the same thing later anyway.

There was no difference in the timing of the condemnation of Nestorios between the EO and OO. I think you are thinking rather of Eutyches.
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« Reply #67 on: August 10, 2009, 05:09:35 PM »


Couldn't the OO accept the Canons made by the councils without accepting the Anathemas placed on certain saints? Would that be acceptable and still maintain the infallibility of the Council Decisions?

Beyond canons and anathemas, even the definitions of those councils are not even fully agreed upon.
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« Reply #68 on: August 10, 2009, 05:13:03 PM »

I think it was mentioned in one of the threads to which I linked above that the EO Church pretty strongly identifies itself as the Church of the Seven Councils.  If I am wrong about this, someone correct me.  Since the EO's view the seven councils as foundational to their Church, they have a hard time with the idea of accepting the OO's without the OO's first fully accepting all seven councils as ecumenical.  I don't think that their leadership will be OK with the OO's just accepting some of the canons, much less just a demonstration that we essentially have the same faith.  The OO's, on the other hand, would be more likely to accept reunion based upon a demonstration that we have the same faith.  At least that is how I understand the situation. 

There are some who strongly identify us EO as "the Church of the Seven Councils," but this is usually in the context of EO-OO or EO-RC polemics.  In reality, there would be more to accept than "just" the 7 Ecumenical Councils; I don't see reunion without acceptance of also at least the 8th (Photian) and 9th (Palamite) Ecumenical Councils.

As someone who identifies rather strongly with the Christological tradition of the OOC, I can say that personally I don't really have any problem with the ideas that either Photios or Palamas are famous for.
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« Reply #69 on: August 10, 2009, 05:15:41 PM »

The OO's, on the other hand, would be more likely to accept reunion based upon a demonstration that we have the same faith.  At least that is how I understand the situation.

No, they will have to accept the Three Ecumenical Councils.

LOL

If that wasn't an implicit polemic, I don't know what is.
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« Reply #70 on: August 10, 2009, 05:17:33 PM »


it was my understanding that it is after the 3rd, that the OO's and us stopped communing. right or wrong?

It is certainly because of Chalcedon that communion was broken, but it didn't necessarily occur in an immediately consistent fashion.
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« Reply #71 on: August 10, 2009, 05:18:14 PM »

The OO's, on the other hand, would be more likely to accept reunion based upon a demonstration that we have the same faith.  At least that is how I understand the situation.

No, they will have to accept the Three Ecumenical Councils.

You mean they would have to reject the latter four?  You don't think our Church leaders would be willing to see them keep the four other councils, with the understanding that we and they disagree as to their status, but still have a common faith?

I was thinking he means that he thinks the EO are not really faithful to Ephesus.
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« Reply #72 on: August 10, 2009, 05:21:51 PM »

The OO's, on the other hand, would be more likely to accept reunion based upon a demonstration that we have the same faith.  At least that is how I understand the situation.

No, they will have to accept the Three Ecumenical Councils.

You mean they would have to reject the latter four?  You don't think our Church leaders would be willing to see them keep the four other councils, with the understanding that we and they disagree as to their status, but still have a common faith?

Hmmm.  I'm wondering if OO leadership would want us to reject Ecumenical councils 5-9, since those are not disputed; now, the debate (ongoing) about Chalcedon, the various Anathemas and definitions included, would likely be lengthy and of critical importance to the discussion, in addition to addressing the situation post-Chalcedon (i.e. persecution of the OOs in the name of the Empire).

5-9 are nowhere near as problematic as 4. But if 4 would have to be rejected, then clearly 5-9 could be accepted as nothing more than orthodox local councils.
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« Reply #73 on: August 10, 2009, 05:24:39 PM »


Let me re-phrase that ( if I've got it wrong tell me)...In a nutshell, there is no dispute between the first three, there is some dispute over the fourth, and at the fifth the Copts and EO's had some disagreement on who's way of expressing the divinity of Christ ( in their own tongue ) was better ( each saying the same thing ). Anathemas were wildly flung at eachother in offense over misunderstanding and everyone stopped talking. Then the sixth and seventh were pretty much a Byzantine issue that didn't concern the Copts and Ethiopians.

Not quite. The "Fourth Ecumenical Council", the Council of Chalcedon of 451, is where the major disagreement you are speaking of came into play. The Oriental Orthodox did not participate in "the Fifth Ecumenical Council", the Council of Constantinople of 553, though are more accepting of it than Chalcedon.
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« Reply #74 on: August 10, 2009, 05:25:50 PM »


Funny thought: Would we not also be the largest Church in the world?

Nowhere near. We still wouldn't even have half the numbers of the RCC.
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« Reply #75 on: August 10, 2009, 05:29:33 PM »


I have no idea what councils 8 and 9 were about, but I suspect they had something to do with the Catholics.

8, the Council of Constantinople of 879, dealt with the filioque clause and the status of the Patriarch Photios.

9, the Council of Constantinople of 1341, dealt with an issue of the perceptibility of God. Gregory Palamas said that God is found in His essence and also His energies, and that while the essence is incapable of us grasping in anyway, the energies nonetheless can be participated in.

Both of these councils are usually used to spite the RC's, and the RC's generally reject them. 


It would make my life easier if someone could tell me how many ecumenical councils the EO's really have.  Is it 7, 8, or 9?  I hear different numbers from different people.  Is there a consensus on this among the EO's, or is it something which is disputed?

It's truly not agreed upon. Most say 7 though.
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« Reply #76 on: August 10, 2009, 05:30:52 PM »


This depends on the jurisdiction in the EO's...Byzantine Catholics, Eastern Catholics from Bosnia, Old Believers & from which Country (not totally sure)...etc. OCA admits to seven in the Orthodox Faith handbook viii Bible and Church History

Byzantine/Eastern Catholics are not Eastern Orthodox. Old Believers are EO, but not part of the mainstream EOC that is usually spoken of.
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