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Author Topic: Oriental Orthodoxy vs Monophysites  (Read 21946 times) Average Rating: 0
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Byzantine Christian
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« on: December 14, 2003, 04:18:22 PM »


I am just wondering how many people on here would call
them Oriental Orthodox and how many the other.
Answering this can tell alot about some ones views
on Other things, at least i think.

In Christ
Byzantine Christian
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2003, 04:20:44 PM »

Any Additional Thoughts or Comments?

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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2003, 04:25:35 PM »

Well, we don't adher to the monophysite heresy, so I don't see how that's in any way an accurate discription of us.  It's not even a name, it's a heresy, so I don't see how it could actually be our name without us knowing it.
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2003, 04:37:45 PM »

I'm not a monophysite and I don't know any monophysites - they were all excommunicated by my church in the 5th-6th centuries.

If anyone calls me a monophysite it is because they either have not considered what I believe or will not listen to me explain what I believe. It is a polemical term that should never be used.

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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2003, 05:21:28 PM »

How come you guys arnt in communion with any other branch of Orthodoxy, or are you?

Ive been told be alot of Orthodox  Clergy that you guys are not Orthodox, and still subscribe, to the Monophysite Heresy.

You dont regonize the 7 ecumenical councils so you are not Orthodox.
In My opinion.

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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2003, 05:35:56 PM »

How come you guys arnt in communion with any other branch of Orthodoxy, or are you?

I could ask you why you are not in communion with our Church, the Orthodox Church.  So why aren't you?

Quote
Ive been told be alot of Orthodox  Clergy that you guys are not Orthodox, and still subscribe, to the Monophysite Heresy.

You certainly haven't been told that by our clergy.  

What is the Monophysite heresy, according to the clerics you have spoken with on this subject?

Quote
You dont regonize the 7 ecumenical councils so you are not Orthodox.
In My opinion.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php?board=3;action=display;threadid=2422

I hope you will write, in response to that thread or this one, a post giving the reasons why we are supposedly heretics.
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2003, 05:43:06 PM »

You dont regonize the 7 ecumenical councils so you are not Orthodox.

I note that you don't mention anything about the content of the councils? Are you aware of what they teach?

Since we confess that Christ is perfectly and completely Divine and perfectly and completely human, without confusion or mixture, and that he is consubstantial with the Father according to His Divinity and comsubstantial with us men according to His Humanity in what sense is this not what Chalcedon was teaching?

Since we anathematised the Three Chapters over 100 years before the Chalcedonians did how is this not what 5th council was teaching? Indeed I might ask why the Chalcedonians took so long to discover that the Three Chapters were heretical? Why were heretical documents accepted for 100 years?

Since we also teach that Christ is perfect in His human will as well as His Divine will, so that the incarnate Word wills according to His Divinity and according to His humanity, and since we teach that the human and Divine will are in perfect agreement and that neither is diminished by the incarnation then how is the not what the 6th council was teaching?

And since we also have churches filled with icons and venerate them without offering to them any of the worship which is due to God alone, how is this not what the 7th council was teaching?

So since we teach what the latter 4 councils were teaching I would be very interested to know where our supposed heresy lies?

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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2003, 06:45:40 PM »

You dont regonize the 7 ecumenical councils so you are not Orthodox.

I note that you don't mention anything about the content of the councils? Are you aware of what they teach?

Since we confess that Christ is perfectly and completely Divine and perfectly and completely human, without confusion or mixture, and that he is consubstantial with the Father according to His Divinity and comsubstantial with us men according to His Humanity in what sense is this not what Chalcedon was teaching?

Since we anathematised the Three Chapters over 100 years before the Chalcedonians did how is this not what 5th council was teaching? Indeed I might ask why the Chalcedonians took so long to discover that the Three Chapters were heretical? Why were heretical documents accepted for 100 years?

Since we also teach that Christ is perfect in His human will as well as His Divine will, so that the incarnate Word wills according to His Divinity and according to His humanity, and since we teach that the human and Divine will are in perfect agreement and that neither is diminished by the incarnation then how is the not what the 6th council was teaching?

And since we also have churches filled with icons and venerate them without offering to them any of the worship which is due to God alone, how is this not what the 7th council was teaching?

So since we teach what the latter 4 councils were teaching I would be very interested to know where our supposed heresy lies?

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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2003, 07:20:46 PM »

Is the gist of the Oriental argument that since you were not involved in the heresies condemned in the later councils, why should you have to accept those councils which corrected those errors?

I don't know if he'd put it in writing, but my priest holds the Orientals to be Orthodox. There's hope...
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2003, 09:40:43 PM »

Is the ghist of the Oriental argument that since you were not involved in the heresies condemned in the later councils, why should you have to accept those councils which corrected those errors?

I don't know if he'd put it in writing, but my priest holds the Orientals to be Orthodox. There's hope...
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2003, 02:30:30 PM »

Ill be part of the Orthodox Church offically with in the year. I didnt mean to be disrespectfull to the Oriental Christians, in here I just know what ive been told, by a traditionlist Orthodox Monastic, who is my Spiritual Father and Teacher. Students are modled after there teacher. I was truley intrested because I have heard them called Monophysite Christians and Oriental Orthodox Christians, so I got a little confused and wanted your guys opinion, sorry for the confusion and no disrepect indended.

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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2003, 05:47:12 AM »

First of all OO churches are not Monophysite.

OO churches believes in the Trinity, that is one God, subsisting in three separate persons called the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The three being of one Essence, of one Godhead, have one Will, one Work and one Lordship. The special aspect of the First Person is His Fatherhood, that of the Second Person His Sonship, and that of the Third Person His Procession.
Now what is Monophysite?

The monophysite dogma is an extreme version of the one nature Christological doctrine put forth by Eutyches. It claims that Christ has one nature only and that the divine nature subsumed the human nature. Adversaries have accused the OO Church of the monophysite position. However this dogma has always been rejected by the OO Church. It is unfortunate that this term is still used by some scholars.

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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2004, 01:04:29 AM »

I would be hesitant to paint such a rosy picture of agreement between the Orthodox and the Non-Chalcedonians.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_mono.htm

It's a matter of an entire Christology, and we do have disagreements.
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2004, 01:45:20 AM »

I find the orthodoxinfo.com site to be a bit extreme on this issue.  Have you ever been to an Oriental Orthodox liturgy?  I was amazed at how close we are based on listening to their prayers.

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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2004, 12:08:09 AM »

I actually have not been to an Non-Chalcedonian liturgy, but the reader at my church has, and did tell me that it was extremely similar to ours, so I agree there.
But similarities in practice are not the same as similarities in theology. If our theologies were similar, we would not be split for centuries now.

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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2004, 12:12:35 AM »

Monarhist,

While there are serious issues dividing Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, such as the ecumenical councils, the Oriental Orthodox reject the idea that Christ's human nature was absorbed into his divinity which means they reject monophysitism.  I think we need to focus on the real issues and not be caught up in things that are already agreed upon.

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« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2004, 10:39:43 AM »

as similarities in theology. If our theologies were similar, we would not be split for centuries now.

monarhist

Lex orandi, lex credendi.

Our respective theologies are borne in our respective liturgies and hence, in our practice.  Perhaps a thorough reading of the Oriental liturgical books by those who would call them monophysites should occur before any such accusations of that heresy are thrown?
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« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2004, 10:53:30 AM »

Lex orandi, lex credendi.

Our respective theologies are borne in our respective liturgies and hence, in our practice.  Perhaps a thorough reading of the Oriental liturgical books by those who would call them monophysites should occur before any such accusations of that heresy are thrown?

No offense, but the accusations of heresy have already been thrown by the Orthodox Fathers.

Were they wrong?

Did they, as native koine Greek speakers, misunderstand Christlogical terminology that we now understand better?

Or could it be that they were right and that we moderns have been infected by the environment of pluralism and ecumenism in which we now find ourselves?
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2004, 10:55:55 AM »

Sorry, but that third line should read Christological.

I miss the edit function.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2004, 11:12:04 AM »

No offense, but the accusations of heresy have already been thrown by the Orthodox Fathers.

Were they wrong?

Did they, as native koine Greek speakers, misunderstand Christlogical terminology that we now understand better?

Or could it be that they were right and that we moderns have been infected by the environment of pluralism and ecumenism in which we now find ourselves?


Christologically speaking, yes, they were wrong in the sense that both sides were talking about two different things when words such as hypostases were thrown about in an effort to explain who Christ is.  Those in Alexandria meant something different as opposed to those in Antioch.  I think that's been well established, I think, due to our environment of pluralism, which allows both sides to use a third language to explain each other, one that forces both sides to use other words.

I think it's possible that the Fathers are being raised up almost to the status of demigods, that their words should easily be understood by all in the exact intentions they had whilst writing them.  But remember, St. Peter told the recipients of his First Letter (I think it was the First) that the words of St. Paul were difficult to understand for most.  I think that's the case here.  The Early Fathers were men and had to use the tools at their disposal, an imperfect human language.  

A case in point was Stavro's comment re: the Tome of Leo that he posted in the other thread.  I read that passage and did not come to the same conclusions he did regarding its supposed Nestorian comment until he pointed them out.  I can see, from his point of view, how a Nestorian POV can be construed, but I did not come to that realization by myself; I needed Stavro's help to see how he actually saw it.  I don't share his brain and therefore cannot even being to wonder what his point of view on things are unless he tells me and I accept what he says at face value.  Part of our Christian teaching is that we accept what people tell us, especially fellow Christians.  We are to "say what we mean and mean what we say".

We must never forget that the Fathers, while highly esteemed, were human beings, capable of misunderstanding their brothers across the sea.  Even though they all may have spoken koine Greek, the cultures in which those who lived in Alexandria as opposed to Constantinople were different.  Culture affects language like no other factor.  As Peter has pointed out a number of times, if I told him I was wearing suspenders, he'd think I was a transvestite.  Same word, different meaning due to the cultural divide.  While Alexander forced his Hellenism upon the various cultures he conquered, by the time of Christ, the native cultures were reasserting their own identity, even if a common language held the remnants of Alexander's empire together.
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« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2004, 01:44:02 PM »

Well, we obviously disagree.

The passage from St. Leo's Tome that Stavro found to be Nestorian was language that St. Leo borrowed from St. Cyril.

There is an interesting article entitled, "St. John of Damascus and the 'Orthodoxy' of the Non-Chalcedonians," by Protopresbyter Theodore Zisis, a professor at the University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

An English translation of it can be found here.

It seems to me that our task as Orthodox Christians is to learn the faith of the Fathers and to preserve it and pass it on.

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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2004, 10:37:27 PM »

It is sad that this thread was even started.  I have never met an Eastern Orthodox priest, bishop, or theologian who would call us "monophysites".  My experience has been quite the opposite.  I thought that it was already demonstrated years ago that we share the same Orthodox Faith regarding the Incarnation of Our Lord and Saviour.  This has been what every Eastern Orthodox clergyman I have ever spoken with has said to me, not to mention what I have read of the dialogues.  Far from calling me a monophysite, they have told me that we share the same Christology expressed in different terms, and that only the enumeration of the Councils and issues concerning certain saints now separate us.  In fact I have only ever heard this hurtful, offensive, and downright incorrect appellation thrown at us by internet know-it-alls who have yet to demonstrate to me that I am a "monophysite".  I am a Coptic Orthodox Christian.  I denounce the heresy of Eutyches.  I cling to the Faith of St. Cyril, as my Ethiopian brothers say, "Tewahedo".  Please show me how I am a monophysite, if you truly believe this.
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« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2004, 11:01:54 PM »

It is sad that this thread was even started.  I have never met an Eastern Orthodox priest, bishop, or theologian who would call us "monophysites".  My experience has been quite the opposite.  I thought that it was already demonstrated years ago that we share the same Orthodox Faith regarding the Incarnation of Our Lord and Saviour.  This has been what every Eastern Orthodox clergyman I have ever spoken with has said to me, not to mention what I have read of the dialogues.  Far from calling me a monophysite, they have told me that we share the same Christology expressed in different terms, and that only the enumeration of the Councils and issues concerning certain saints now separate us.  In fact I have only ever heard this hurtful, offensive, and downright incorrect appellation thrown at us by internet know-it-alls who have yet to demonstrate to me that I am a "monophysite".  I am a Coptic Orthodox Christian.  I denounce the heresy of Eutyches.  I cling to the Faith of St. Cyril, as my Ethiopian brothers say, "Tewahedo".  Please show me how I am a monophysite, if you truly believe this.

I don't know about showing you that you are a Monophysite, but certainly there is the expression of at least a moderate form of Monophysitism in some of the recent remarks of Non-Chalcedonian leaders.

Take this statement from Pope Shenouda, for example:

Quote
"We believe that the Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ is perfect in His Divinity and perfect in his Humanity without confusion, without change, without separation and we are not talking about two natures after the mysterious union of our Lord". ("Episkepsis" #442, 7/1/1989, p. 10).

That is not the extremism of Eutyches, but it is not Orthodox either.

It is the mirror image of the statement of Dioscorus at Chalcedon:

Quote
Dioscoros said: from two natures I accept, of two natures I do not accept. (Council of Chalcedon).

There is an interesting, if somewhat lengthy, article from the Catholic Encyclopedia here that deals with this subject.

If one scrolls down to the heading "Orthodoxy", he can read its conclusions.
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« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2004, 12:08:48 AM »

Linus,

Yes but Pope Shenouda means the same thing we mean.  Fully God. Fully man.  That's all that matters.

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« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2004, 12:16:04 AM »

Linus,

Yes but Pope Shenouda means the same thing we mean.  Fully God. Fully man.  That's all that matters.

anastasios

Not to argue needlessly, but if he really meant what we mean he would have no reason not to acknowledge the Seven Councils.

Two natures that lose their distinction after the hypostatic union is not what we mean when we say "Fully God and fully man."
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« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2004, 01:40:40 AM »

Linus7,

Yes, but he doesn't mean they loose their distinction which is why the Copts profess, "one nature without confusion."

Also, agreeing on Christology doesn't automatically  mean he should be ready to accept the last 3 councils.  From his vantage point, if we really agree, we should be willing to ditch the last 3.  The issue of councils is one of the issues that will be hardest to work through--I am one who believes that we share the same faith, but the practical issues will be the hardest to work through.

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« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2004, 02:02:55 AM »

Well, we obviously disagree.

I don't believe we share the same faith.

In fact, I don't think the Non-Chalcedonians have really changed their position at all in 1500 + years.
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« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2004, 12:05:21 PM »

Well, we obviously disagree.

I don't believe we share the same faith.

In fact, I don't think the Non-Chalcedonians have really changed their position at all in 1500 + years.

This last statement is correct: We Oriental Orthodox have not changed out position in the last 1500+ years.  This is because we know it to be the Orthodox position.  We did not change it for the pagan Romans, for Justinian and his crew, or for the militant Muslims, so why should we change it now?  You and I agree at least about one thing, we do not want reunion under false pretenses.  First we must work out all of the issues which truly separate us.  We Oriental Orthodox are not lost sheep returning to the Byzantine fold.  We have always maintained the Orthodox Faith and will continue to do so.  Thanks be to God, most of the Eastern Orthodox hierarchs and theologians I have talked to and read about acknowledge this truth.  This gives me hope that an honest reunion can take place between equals.

Linus, I am grateful to God that you and I can continue this discourse in a spirit of mutual love and understanding however much we may disagree.  However, I do not think that we shall change each other's minds because we are looking at this thing through different spectacles as it were.  For example, there is the quote that you posted attributed to my Patriarch H.H. Baba Shenouda.  I find it to be an expression of an Orthodox Christology.  Of course it mirrors St. Dioscoros' confession, because St. Dioscoros, who was St. Cyril's deacon and protege, was parroting his mentor who said 'Mia Physis tou Theo Logou sesarkoumeni ' not "Dia physis tou Theo Logou sesarkoumeni".  As Anastasios has indicated, we declare Our Lord Jesus Christ to be fully God and fully man.  We do not deny either nature, or say that one swallowed up the other, so we are not monophysites of any stripe.  That moderate form of monophysitism which you think you are detecting is actually Miaphysitism.  Due to the different connotations inherent in the Greek terminology, there is a world of difference in these classifications.  Fr. Romanides, H.H. Patriarch Ignatius of the Antiochian Church, and a host of other eminent Eastern Orthodox hierarchs and theologians recognize this.

I don't mean to be nit-picky, and I really don't want to argue with you, but I also find fault with your logic which states that if we are in agreement about our Christological forumulas, then we should acknowledge the councils which occured after Ephesus.  I don't see how the one is incumbent upon the other, as these later councils (5-7) dealt with issues other than Christology, issues such as iconoclasm, etc., which were never problems in the Oriental Orthodox Church.  I would like to end on a positive note, however, and say that I agree with you that we have to discuss these issues openly and honestly in order for any real unity to be achieved.  A false reunion is no reunion at all.  I hope that the blessings of the Fast will be yours.  Please pray for me as I pray for you.

In XC,

Nick
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« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2004, 12:23:36 PM »

Again, we disagree.

The statement of St. Cyril that is often quoted in support of "miaphysitism" was clarified in his own writings. He did not mean that Christ had only one nature after the hypostatic union.

That is made clear in Anastasius' Doctrine of the Fathers as well in the work of St. Maximus the Confessor against the Monothelites.

Best not to argue at length, however.

I have referred Orthodox Christians to two links for informative articles on this topic.

They are: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_mono.htm

and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10489b.htm .

I will end this post with a quote from the recently departed Patriarch of Jerusalem, Diodorus I, of blessed memory:

Quote
[Likewise, optimism is expressed about the "positive"—as it is asserted—outcome of the dialogue with the Anti-Chalcedonians, who have repeatedly been condemned for their persistence in heresy and false belief. Our Most Holy Church of Jerusalem abides steadfastly by the decisions of both the Holy Ecumenical Synod of Chalcedon and the subsequent Holy Ecumenical Synods, and neither setting aside any of the definitions nor subjecting them to fresh inquiry, she has broken off the theological dialogue with the non-Chalcedonians.

She does not, however, exclude the possibility of their return and re-inclusion in the bosom of our Most Holy Orthodox Church. In what way the heterodox are received is known. They must fully accept—without any exception—the teaching of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which is formulated in the definitions and decisions of the Ecumenical Synods.

The partial acceptance of the teaching of the Orthodox Church, that is, the exception of certain definitions of the Ecumenical Synods, as is being done by the heterodox according to what pleases them and serves their interests, as in this case by the Anti-Chalcedonians, cannot constitute a sign of their contact with our Most Holy Orthodox Church. On the contrary, it will entangle her in vicissitudes and divisions, which will weaken her healthy body. For this reason we are bound to inform you, our Most Blessed brethren, in this fraternal Assembly, that our Most Holy Church is abstaining also from this dialogue. For, despite the positive estimate of its progress that it is going to develop further to the better, it will be of no benefit, unless it presupposes the full acceptance of the Orthodox Teaching. (1992)
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« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2004, 01:10:27 PM »

Take this statement from Pope Shenouda, for example:

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"We believe that the Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ is perfect in His Divinity and perfect in his Humanity without confusion, without change, without separation and we are not talking about two natures after the mysterious union of our Lord". ("Episkepsis" #442, 7/1/1989, p. 10).

That is not the extremism of Eutyches, but it is not Orthodox either.


Dear Linus,

Back when Peter used to talk to you, he'd often say that you were missing the substance of the faith in looking for the "identicality" of terms and expressions (or something along those lines...and I don't think "identicality" is a word, but I couldn't think of the word I wanted to use).  This seems to be one example of that.  In zeroing in on "we are not talking about two natures after the mysterious union of Our Lord", you ignore "perfect in His Divinity and perfect in His Humanity without confusion, without change, without separation".  What is not Orthodox about this?  But because two natures after the Incarnation are not confessed, you presume that "one nature" is not Orthodox, even if "one nature" is understood in the way in which Pope Shenouda explains it?  

Dustin is right regarding the councils.  EO and OO share the same faith.  That does not necessarily demand that we recognise your post-Ephesian councils as ecumenical (and not just because it is apparent the EO don't know exactly how many of them are ecumenical).  It is a difficult issue, and will take time to resolve, however it is resolved.  No one is looking for a quick fix, I think, but yes, many are looking for, hoping and praying for, a solution.  

Quote
I don't believe we share the same faith.

If you honestly believe this now, then, with all due respect, there are much more important things you need to be evaluating.  Their Holinesses the Patriarch of Antioch and the Greek Patriarch of Antioch have an agreement (which can be read at the OrthodoxInfo site) regarding intercommunion and even concelebration in certain circumstances.  Similar agreements (though not with concelebration, IIRC) are in place in Alexandria.  I know of a few EO jurisdictions in America which would (and often do) commune OO, whether officially stated, or informally but regularly done.  If you believe that we are not Orthodox, then your Orthodox hierarchs (or at least ones with which you are in ecclesiastical communion) are concelebrating with and/or communing non-Orthodox as Orthodox.  It's serious business, and I would be interested in knowing your view on this: is this kind of economia, and to this degree, justified in spite of our being heterodox (since you say we don't believe the same, we obviously are to be considered heterodox by those who believe as you do)?  I'm not suggesting that you need to join one of these fringe old calendarist groups or anything, but if you really believe that OO and EO don't share the same faith, then your view on this is more consistent with those groups than it is with many of the bishops you are currently under/in communion with (regarding this issue, at any rate), and there is something problematic in that.        

Christology is hard enough as it is, without having to deal with two Christologies that confess the same thing in different ways.  I'm glad to see that you are beginning to research the Oriental Orthodox position.  I hope that you will continue to do so (and thoroughly), and to invest a lot of time in reading our fathers, our liturgies, and our modern writers with an open mind and heart, and I trust you will learn much, whatever you conclude in the end.
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« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2004, 03:39:12 PM »

Again, we disagree.

The statement of St. Cyril that is often quoted in support of "miaphysitism" was clarified in his own writings. He did not mean that Christ had only one nature after the hypostatic union.

That is made clear in Anastasius' Doctrine of the Fathers as well in the work of St. Maximus the Confessor against the Monothelites.

Best not to argue at length, however.

I have referred Orthodox Christians to two links for informative articles on this topic.

They are: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_mono.htm

and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10489b.htm .

It is interesting that you put the term Miaphysitism in quotes as if I made it up when the phrase on which we base our Christology begins with the words "Mia physis..." not "Mono physis...".  Anyway, I am aware of the fact that St. Cyril goes on to clarify the meaning of this famous sentence in his writings.  I do not deny either nature of Christ after His Incarnation, and neither does my Church.  We simply believe that the two natures are perfectly united in Him, a belief which is Orthodox.  Do you think perhaps that we have only read the one sentence and are not familiar with the rest of the writings of our Coptic Father and Pope St. Kyrillos?  Which nature is it that you think we deny, the human or the Divine?  It is clear that we deny neither, whether before or after the Incarnation.  Do we have to describe it in precisely the same terminology as you in order to be considered Orthodox?

I am also familiar with both of the websites to which you posted links.  Regarding orthodoxinfo.com, I will be kind and say that anything coming from there should be taken with a grain of salt.  The opinions posted there often border on the paranoid, and I am loathe to take them too seriously.  But then again, I don't believe that there is an insidious ecumenist/masonic/phanariote conspiracy seeking to undermine Holy Orthodoxy, which is only truly practiced by two guys in the Ukraine and three guys on Mt. Athos.

I take this site as seriously as its creators might take as site run by the Armenian Apostolic Church.

The other site is Roman Catholic, and I wonder how it is that we are to accept their teachings regarding the subject of "Monophysites" and yet reject their teachings concerning Eastern Orthodox "schismatics" who are in need of the leadership of the Pope of Rome and the embrace of Holy Mother Church?

As to the opinion of Patriarch Diodorus I, it is precisely that, his opinion.  I am glad that you have posted it here because it demonstrates that not all of the Eastern Orthodox hierarchs are pro-reunification.  We should strive to get as accurate a perspective on this matter as possible.  There seems to be a divergence of opinion on the subject among the Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions.  I wonder if the late Patriarch and those of his thinking view those Eastern Orthodox who commune us as Orthodox as being guilty of communing heretics?  If so, then what action should be taken against them?  Should they be excommunicated themselves?  

Linus, do you mind if I ask to what jurisdiction you belong?  What is the official stance of your bishop on this matter?
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« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2004, 03:51:30 PM »

There is no point in continuing to argue.

If the Non-Chalcedonian position is truly Orthodox, and if the Non-Chalcedonians truly desire union with the Orthodox Church, then there should be nothing stopping them from accepting the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Church.

The articles at the web sites I linked are not by extremists.

The fact that the one from the Catholic Encyclopedia was written by a Catholic does not automatically render it historically or even theologically inaccurate. It should be read with discretion and evaluated on its own merits.

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« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2004, 04:37:58 PM »

I thought we were discussing, not arguing, but I respect your right to bow out if you feel that the discussion is not productive.  

Obviously, we continue to disagree on a great many things.  You continue to make strong statements about our acceptance of your later councils, but have not advanced any compelling arguments as to why this should be so.

I did not say that the Catholic article should be discounted in its entirety, but I don't see why it should have any more validity than a Catholic article concerning the Byzantine Church which refers to the "...the schism that produced the separated, so-called "Orthodox" Church."  (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13535a.htm)  Naturally, a Roman Catholic article from a Roman Catholic encyclopedia will reflect a Roman Catholic perspective.

As to the orthodoxinfo article, yes it was definitely authored by extremists.  Just browse around the website and check out their self-righteous judgements as to which Eastern Orthodox Churches are "in resistance" and which ones are mason-infiltrated, ecumenist, bastions of modernism and heresy.  All of "World Orthodoxy" seems to be going to hell in a handbasket, according to them, and His All Holiness is leading the pack.  But I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion...

I did have a few questions in the last post that went unanswered, and I don't understand why you are hesitant to reveal your jurisdiction, etc., but in the interest of keeping this discussion from degenerating into an argument or something personal, I shall not press the issue.

In the end, this matter will not be settled by us here on the internet, but by our learned fathers the bishops, who hopefully are guided by the Holy Spirit.  So I guess maybe we should just let it drop for now.  It will most certainly start up again in its own time anyway.
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« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2004, 05:41:47 PM »

I thought to call for a timeout in this heated discussion and greet a fellow Coptic brother, Antonious Nikolas. Greetings, Antonious (what a great neame).
xere .......
Stavro
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« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2004, 05:48:17 PM »

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This last statement is correct: We Oriental Orthodox have not changed out position in the last 1500+ years.  This is because we know it to be the Orthodox position.  We did not change it for the pagan Romans, for Justinian and his crew, or for the militant Muslims, so why should we change it now?  

That is our pride, heritage and legacy, mixed with the blood of millions of martyrs.
As a Copt, and this applies to all OO, I may say that we did not deviate from the Orthodox Faith since St. Mark blessed us in Egypt in the first century. As it was, it shall be, from generation to generation and into the age of all ages.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2004, 06:09:30 PM »

Hi Stavro!  Thanks for the shout out!  You have a great name too.  It reminds me of the guy from Kojak, Stavros, the one who was Telly Savalas' brother in real life.  That was my favorite show for a while!  Grin  You are right to call for a time out.  Apparently things have become heated.  I'm going to be cutting down on the internet starting on the 16th anyway.  May the blessings of the Fast be yours and mine.
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« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2004, 06:22:37 PM »

It seems that it will be a "lent -related" internet cut. I guess we will wlecome you back on the 11th of April then. An early "Christos Anesti" from me , in case you don't show up till then.
May the God bless you and all with all heavenly blessings.
Xere,
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« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2004, 09:13:00 PM »

Thanks Stavro, I won't be cutting the internet out entirely, but I certainly will be cutting back!  You'll definitely be hearing from me before its time to say "Alithos Anesti!".

But I do think it is time that we put this particular thread to rest.

Peace


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« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2004, 01:49:17 PM »

Before we put this thread to rest - which I agree is a good idea - perhaps you would like to recommend a web site or two with some pertinent articles from the Non-Chalcedonian perspective?

I am certainly willing to read them.

I disagree that the articles at orthodoxinfo are written by extremists. Some were written by monks of Mt. Athos and another by Protopresbyter Theodore Zisis, a professor at the University of Thessalonika in Greece.

Regarding the article from the Catholic Encyclopedia: again, it should be read with discretion and judged on its own merits. You probably won't like its conclusions, but the Catholic Church, like the Eastern Orthodox Church, accepts Chalcedon as an ecumenical council.
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« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2004, 03:48:04 PM »

Linus, I truly appreciate your candor, however much we may disagree.  Open discussion is necessary for any real unity to be achieved.  I agree that this discussion is best left alone for now, and in truth I was done posting here until this last request of yours.  I would like to say that I wish you would have answered some of my questions regarding what is to be done about those Eastern Orthodox who commune us as Orthodox, what is your bishop's stance on the matter, etc., and you have yet to prove to me that my Faith is that of a monophysite.  Also, I do not understand why you wish to keep your jurisdiction a secret.  But nevertheless...

As per your request, I have posted a few sites that articulate an Orthodox perspective on the matter:

The first is from the orthodoxunity website and is the first agreed statement on Christology between the Orthodox Church and the Byzantines:

http://www.orthodoxunity.org/state01.html

Next is a commentary on some of the agreed statements by H.G. Bishop Youssef of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria

http://www.suscopticdiocese.org/messages/agreedstatements.html

Next is an excellent article outlining the Orthodox concept concerning the nature of the Christ

http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theology/nature_of_christ.pdf

I am sure that you will review them on their own merits, but you will probably disagree with their conclusions even as I disagreed with the Roman Catholic article.  We also still disagree about the orthodoxinfo article.  I do feel that most of the views articulated there are those of extremists, wherever they may reside, on Mt. Athos or anywhere else.  But this is not the only issue on which I disagree with them.  The whole "Churches in resistance" thing smacks of self-righteousness to me, and some of the authors there seem to be willing to excommunicate the EP as an ecumenist/modernist for saying "Hi" to an Anglican at the airport, but that is another matter...

As to the Catholic article, you will remember that I did not dismiss it without reading it, or say that it is inaccurate in its entirety, merely that it reflects a Roman Catholic perspective, and I don't think that we can be so arbitrary as to take the Roman Catholic perspective on the Oriental Orthodox as authoritative while dismissing out of hand their views on the Byzantine "schismatics".

Peace
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« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2004, 09:47:03 PM »

Thanks, Atonious. I will check out those web sites. That is only fair.

There is another Catholic Encyclopedia article which I would like to recommend at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05633a.htm .

It makes a reference to the Greek Orthodox Church as "schismatic," but that is what one should expect of a consistently RC article. Otherwise, it seems to be a pretty well-rounded and well-documented treatment of the subject.
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« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2004, 06:13:01 PM »

By the way Linus, "On The Unity of Christ", written by St. Cyril and published in English translation by SVS Press, was a work written AFTER the formula of reunion, one of the last of St. Cyril's writings.

In that text you will find several references to the ONE nature of Christ, and nowhere will you find the expression "in two natures".

The question is: What did St. Cyril mean by using such expressions? What do we mean by using such expressions.

If all we do is forever insist on one side adopting the other's formula, exclusively, we shall never go anywhere.

I think most EO and OO recognize this which is why progress is being made.

In Christ,
Raouf

p.s. Praying that all have a fruitful Lent and asking for everyone's prayers for myself.
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« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2004, 12:00:07 AM »

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Raouf: If all we do is forever insist on one side adopting the other's formula, exclusively, we shall never go anywhere.

There aren't any "sides."

There is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and there are those outside her.

We cannot compromise the truth to accomodate those whom the Orthodox Fathers and their councils consistently found guilty of heresy.

There is no arguing about Chalcedon, no revisiting of this council or that council.

All Seven were holy, ecumenical, Spirit-inspired and infallible. They are not up for negotiation or subject to criticism.

To turn back and say that the Fathers might have made a mistake is to undermine the faith.

To do such a thing to accomodate the Non-Chalcedonians or the Nestorians or anyone else would be to invite ruin and the withdrawal of God's grace.

The compromisers and ecumenists are dead wrong.

The truth is an all or nothing proposition.
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« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2004, 09:34:34 AM »

Okay, here we go again....

Linus, I think that what Raouf is saying is that St. Cyril said one nature, and we say one nature.  We both mean the same thing.  We do not deviate from St. Cyril's formula.  If you can accept the saying from him, why not from us his children in the Coptic Orthodox Church?  We do not depart one iota from his teaching or his interpretation.  He is, after all, our beloved Father, Pope, and Patriarch.  We realize that one can distinguish in his mind between the human and the Divine in the one united nature after the Incarnation, even though they cannot be separated for a twinkling of an eye.

You say there is no revisiting of this council or that one, which leads me to ask the question, what of the Three Chapters?  We have always rejected them, but the Chalcedonians told us that they were acceptable.  Then one hundred years later at another council which you would term ecumenical, the Three Chapters are suddenly declared heretical.  Is that not a change in position?  How is this rationalized?  

Do not feel that we are trying to get you to compromise your Faith.  I would never compromise my Orthodox Faith to placate anyone on the Byzantine side, or to see this reunion achieved.  As you said, the truth is an all or nothing proposition, and we Orthodox have always clung to the truth.  Please don't make the mistake of thinking that we are banging down the doors trying to gain entry into "your" church.  Of course we would like to see this painful schism end.  But there is no question that we have remained Faithful to the Orthodox teaching for more than 1500 years, and we will certainly not change now for the sake of a false unity.  If there is going to be a reunion, it must be on open, honest, terms.  

I have to say one last thing: I have never had a face-to-face discussion like this with anyone from the Byzantine Church, in which I have dear friends.  It has always been loving and peaceful, even when we come to topics on which we disagree.  This internet is an impersonal forum in which people, myself included, can get up on their cyber-soapbox and pontificate ad naseum.  The lent is here for us, and it is coming for you.  Let us please allow this thread to die soon, as we have been saying we should do for the past several posts.
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« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2004, 10:32:19 AM »

One comment.

Nature for Cyril and non-Chalcedonians usually, dependening on context means hypostasis. That is why the phrases 'one incarnate nature of the Word' and 'one incarnate hypostasis of the Word' are synonymous in his and our writings. It never means 'one ousia'.

Nature for the Theodorans at Chalcedon also means hypostasis. So there were plenty of folk who confessed that Christ was in fact 'in two hypostases'. That is, after all, why Nestorius considered the Tome to describe his Christology, and why Chalcedonians accepted the Three Chapters for 100 years, and several hundred years longer in places.

There were other moderate Chalcedonians who interpreted nature as synonymous with ousia, although that introduces its own difficulties. Their position was promoted at Constantinople II after which there was a great deal of schism in the West where it was rejected.

Nevertheless simply parroting terminology isn't communication.

Use of a terminology doesn't say anything about the substance of faith. 'In two natures' is used by Theodoran heretics, 'one incarnate nature' is used by Eutychian heretics. Both terms can be and were and are used in an Orthodox sense.

A refusal to deal with meanings in communication is less than a waste of time.
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« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2004, 10:57:45 AM »

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peterfarrington: A refusal to deal with meanings in communication is less than a waste of time.

The refusal to accept Orthodox teaching and the councils of the Church is worse than a waste of time. It is what the Church has consistently called it: heresy.

A "communication" in which one party believes the holy ecumenical councils are subject to criticism and revision is no communication at all.

The claim that "Chalcedonians" (translation: the Orthodox) "accepted the Three Chapters" is false.

Might as well claim that those who accepted Nicea I accepted Arian writings because of the presence there of bishops who had been Arians and had produced such writings (and who, in fact, would later relapse).

I am perfectly willing to let this thread die. In fact, I don't normally post on this forum and don't plan to in the future.
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« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2004, 11:32:56 AM »

Now that the skirmish has subsided, can someone in the OO community please provide me with:
1) How the date of celebration of Pascha is determined; and in each church, if different.
2) Are there differences in the liturgical calendar within or among the OO communion?

Thanks,
Demetri
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« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2004, 11:48:15 AM »

The claim that "Chalcedonians" (translation: the Orthodox) "accepted the Three Chapters" is false.

Thank you for point that out, Big Brother.
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« Reply #48 on: February 17, 2004, 11:56:47 AM »

Thank you for point that out, Big Brother.

Perhaps you would care to explain that remark?

How does taking an admittedly unpopular (at least in this forum) stand on the Non-Chalcedonians cause me to resemble in any way Big Brother in George Orwell's 1984.

You might want to read the Catholic Encyclopedia articles on Monophysitism, Eutychianism, the Council of Chalcedon, and Ephesus, the "Robber Synod" at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/ before you commit yourself too enthusiastically to union.

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« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2004, 12:14:02 PM »

My comment has nothing to do with any union between the OO and EO.  It has everything to do with your seemingly disregard for history and attempt to rewrite it.

Chalcedon accepted the letter of Ibas as orthodox.  The Fifth Council, after reviewing the letter, declared "that the letter which Ibas is said to have written is, in all respects, opposed to the definition of the right Faith, which the Council of Chalcedon set forth.  We all say this; the letter is heretical."

Yet you claim that the Church did not accept the letter for 100 years.  The Fathers of the Fifth Council were honest.  They admitted that the Chapters "slipped through the cracks" so to speak, in the efforts of reconciliation.  

You seem to be saying that any acceptance of the letters never took place.

In the words of Winston, "Thank you, Big Brother.  Thank you."
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« Reply #50 on: February 17, 2004, 12:34:43 PM »

Now that the skirmish has subsided...

Looks like you spoke too soon Aristokles!  It seems that the discussion has degenerated into a seemingly endless spiral as follows:

Poster A: "You are monophysites!  The Fathers say so!"

Posters B: "You are ignorant of the facts.  Here is my Christological definition.  Show me where it lapses into the monophysite heresy."

Poster A (seemingly unable to do so): "Ummmm....You are not Orthodox because you do not accept all Seven Councils!"

And so it goes!  If nothing else, it makes for colorful discussion.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #51 on: February 17, 2004, 12:35:54 PM »

Thanks for your honesty Schultz.

The Acts of Chalcedon show:

"....the representatives of Leo, who had become prelate of the church of the Romans, pronounced him blameless, making the following declaration -½Pascasinus and Lucentius the reverend bishops and Boniface the presbyter representing the apostolic throne said by the mouth of Pascasinus, 'From the reading of the documents , and from the statement of the reverend bishops we know that the reverend Hiba has been shown to be innocent. For, when his letter was read, we recognised that it is orthodox and therefore our decision is that the episcopal rank also and the church from which he was wrongfully ejected in his absence be restored'-+. And to these things the whole synod assented; and they promulgated the same decision."

And when the decision was reversed in the 6th century most of the West and North Africa rejected the council, and excommunicated Pelagius. Even St Columbanus wrote to the Pope, Boniface IV I think, and said that Vigilius should have been more vigilant and had agreed with error.

Does this make the world fall to pieces? Only if we have a very fragile faith.
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« Reply #52 on: February 17, 2004, 01:03:12 PM »

Looks like you spoke too soon Aristokles!  It seems that the discussion has degenerated into a seemingly endless spiral as follows:
Thanks for noticing.
Indeed, too soon. I forgot about time zones. Over two separate threads the running battle continues, but the 'signal to noise" ratio has been dismal. When I started the other thread which apparently spawned this one, all I wanted was OTHER differences enumerated.
Hence, I am going to go do something more worthwhile- like make some lentil soup for din-din or go clean the rugs at church :-

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« Reply #53 on: February 17, 2004, 01:33:44 PM »

My comment has nothing to do with any union between the OO and EO.  It has everything to do with your seemingly disregard for history and attempt to rewrite it.

Chalcedon accepted the letter of Ibas as orthodox.  The Fifth Council, after reviewing the letter, declared "that the letter which Ibas is said to have written is, in all respects, opposed to the definition of the right Faith, which the Council of Chalcedon set forth.  We all say this; the letter is heretical."

Yet you claim that the Church did not accept the letter for 100 years.  The Fathers of the Fifth Council were honest.  They admitted that the Chapters "slipped through the cracks" so to speak, in the efforts of reconciliation.  

You seem to be saying that any acceptance of the letters never took place.

In the words of Winston, "Thank you, Big Brother.  Thank you."


You have bought into the Non-Chalcedonian rhetoric, especially as it has been presented here too often of late. The fact that they are still putting forward the same old arguments is proof positive that they are not Orthodox.

Chalcedon did not endorse Ibas' letter or the rest of the "Three Chapters." It accepted the repentance and Orthodoxy of Ibas and Theodoret of Cyrus as persons.

The Three Chapters were later condemned in an effort to placate the Non-Chalcedonians and to demonstrate that the only possible correct understanding of Chalcedon was a Cyrillian understanding.

At Nicea I there were at least 7 bishops who had been Arians and had produced writings that were Arian. They were allowed to attend the council and affirm their Orthodoxy. No one felt the need to ferret out their previous writings and make their condemnation a matter of conciliar record.

Why then don't the Non-Chalcedonians object to Nicea I for the same reasons that they object to Chalcedon?

Are you denying that Chalcedon was a holy ecumenical council, Schultz?

Are you saying the Fathers assembled there were in error?
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« Reply #54 on: February 17, 2004, 01:36:52 PM »

If a Byzantine Catholic may enter the fray...

Most seem to today recognize this as a language/philosophy problem.  The Catholic Church seems willing to accept the Orientals and Assyrians at face value and deem neither one Monophysite nor the other Nestorian.  I think the same can be said of the majority of Orthodox Churches but I am unsure if we can say all, I have in mind Jerusalem, Georgia, Mt. Athos, ROCOR.

On the otherhand I am disappointed, at least by the Copts, who seem to me hypocritical in that even though their definition is not that of Chalcedon they want Chalcedonians to accept them as orthodox while denying the same courtesy to the Assyrians, who while not accepting the definition of Ephesus claim orthodox belief as well.  In otherwords the same rigidness the Copts are denouncing here, they would in turn impose on the Assyrians.

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« Reply #55 on: February 17, 2004, 01:41:31 PM »

Looks like you spoke too soon Aristokles!  It seems that the discussion has degenerated into a seemingly endless spiral as follows:

Poster A: "You are monophysites!  The Fathers say so!"

Posters B: "You are ignorant of the facts.  Here is my Christological definition.  Show me where it lapses into the monophysite heresy."

Poster A (seemingly unable to do so): "Ummmm....You are not Orthodox because you do not accept all Seven Councils!"

And so it goes!  If nothing else, it makes for colorful discussion.  Roll Eyes

That is your take on things.

I have produced quotes from modern Non-Chalcedonian leaders that are both Monophysite and Monothelite.

That I refer to the findings of the Fathers of the Orthodox Church is only fitting, as they were wiser than I am - than any of us are - and they recognized the heresy of the Non-Chalcedonians.

You may not like the argument that one cannot be Orthodox without accepting the full Orthodox teaching, including the ecumenical councils . . .  but of course you would not like that argument!

You're not Orthodox!
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« Reply #56 on: February 17, 2004, 02:27:44 PM »

My dear friend in Christ Linus,

The Fathers of Chalcedon were indeed in error, in a sense.  They did not clarify, at that time, the welcoming of Ibas back into the Church.  The Acts of Chalcedon read that the letter to Maris was read to the assembly and that "after anathematizing Nestorius, Ibas [was] received by the holy Council."

Nowhere did it say "but the letter was not".

An error of omission, one the Alexandrians and such jumped on.  An error that was corrected at the Fifth Council.  If it was not an error, why did it need correcting?  The simple fact remains that for 100 years, the Church accepted the Three Chapters because Chalcedon was not express in condemning it.  In ancient thought, especially to a Greek speaker, a person's writings were the same as the person himself.  By accepting Ibas, the Council, unintentionally, accepted his letter because it did not expressly say otherwise.  To the rest of Christendom, the letter was okay, including to the bishops not present, and especially the Nestorians who continued to rock the Church.  It took one hundred years before Justinian said, "Hmm...this ain't right.  We need to talk about this more and fix this."

You continue to deify the Fathers, forgetting that they were in fact human beings who forgot things and couldn't quite get things right the first time around.  Were they pronouncements heretical?  No.  But they failed in the regard that they needed clarification.
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« Reply #57 on: February 17, 2004, 02:31:17 PM »

You've not really presented anything Linus

Just quotations that not only do you misunderstand but you will not even grant others the courtesy of listening to how they should be understood.

As for Ibas and Chalcedon, it was nothing like Nicaea. Read the quotations from the Acts again. The letter of Ibas, not only Ibas, was received as Orthodox. And that's why Vigilius and Pelagius got into so much trouble. The West and North Africa believed that the letter of Ibas had been received.

That's history.

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« Reply #58 on: February 17, 2004, 03:08:19 PM »

First of all, thank you Schultz for your intellectual honesty.  Now then...


I have produced quotes from modern Non-Chalcedonian leaders that are both Monophysite and Monothelite.


No you didn't.  All I saw was a perfectly Orthodox statement by H.H. Pope Shenouda.


You may not like the argument that one cannot be Orthodox without accepting the full Orthodox teaching, including the ecumenical councils . . .  but of course you would not like that argument!

You're not Orthodox!

Grin Zing!  You got me there, pal!  Now what am I to do?  Linus, the one man holy synod of the Byzantine Church has declared me to be anathema!  I suppose that you are more fit to speak for the Byzantine Church than Frs. Romanides, Meyendorff, Borovoy, et. al. ?Thanks be to God, your perspective isn't held in common by the majority of the people in your communion, or even by more than 9 of the folks who took the above mentioned poll.  Or did I speak out of turn by speaking of people who might be "in your communion"?  We don't know because you act like you can't read when someone asks a question that you don't feel like answering, like what is your jurisdiction, or what does your bishop have to say about all this, or what is to be done about the Byzantines actively communing Syrians, Copts, and Armenians as Orthodox.  But then again, that is not surprising since you also act like you can't read when someone advances a compelling argument as to why their Christology is not monophysite or how the Byzantine Church made an error of omission concerning the Three Chapters.  You ignore the things you can't deal with and move on.  You really picked a great name for yourself Linus, 'cause you cling to your narrow definition of what constitutes the Orthodox Church like a little blue security blanket.
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« Reply #59 on: February 17, 2004, 08:45:04 PM »

You're wrong, Peter. Ibas and Theodoret were found to be Orthodox because they repented of their Nestorianism and accepted the Orthodox doctrine of the Incarnation. Their earlier writings were not endorsed at Chalcedon.

Chalcedon was about correcting the wrongs of Dioscoros and the Robber Synod of Ephesus in 449. It was not about the business of ferreting out heretical writings.
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« Reply #60 on: February 17, 2004, 08:49:31 PM »

Schultz -

You are wrong, too.

Ibas and Theodoret were accepted as Orthodox because they repented and accepted the Orthodox teaching.

As I said before, at Nicea I there were at least seven bishops present who had been Arians and who would later relapse into Arianism. That council felt no need to ferret out all Arian or semi-Arian writings for specific condemnation.

Does that mean Nicea I was a faulty council?

If you find fault with the Council of Chalcedon, then, obviously, you have a view of the ecumenical councils that differs from the Orthodox view.
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« Reply #61 on: February 17, 2004, 08:56:54 PM »

Here is a quote I produced earlier by Fr. Paul Verghese, who later became Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios of the Syrian Orthodox Church of India, made in a speech given in Geneva in 1970 at the third consultation of EO and OO theologians and printed in the Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Vol. XVI, nos. 1 and 2, 1971, pp. 133-143.

Quote

Here, as earlier in the decree, the Tome of Leo is expressly affirmed. The decree actually calls the Tome "the pillar of the right faith." You can perhaps understand that all this is rather difficult for us to accept. For us Leo is still a heretic. It may be possible for us to refrain from condemning him by name, in the interests of restoring communion between us. But we cannot in good conscience accept the Tome of Leo as "the pillar of the right faith" or accept a council which made such a declaration. The council approves explicitly what I clearly regard as heresy in the Tome of Leo: "Each form does in communion with the other what pertains properly to it, the Word, namely doing that which pertains to the Word, and the flesh that which pertains to the flesh." If one rightly understands the hypostatic union, it is not possible to say that the flesh does something on its own, even if it is said to be in union with the Word. The flesh does not have its own hypostasis. It is the hypostasis of the Word which acts through the flesh. It is the same hypostasis of the Word which does the actions of the Word and of his own flesh. The argument of the horos [dogmatic definition] in this Sixth Council is basically unacceptable to us (Review, p. 139; Does Chalcedon, p. 133).

We are unable to say what this council says when it affirms "two wills and two operations concurring most fitly in him"....

To summarize: Acceptance of the Sixth Council is much more difficult for us than the acceptance of Chalcedon. The following are the chief reasons:...

b) We are unable to accept the dithelete formula, attributing will and energy to the natures rather than to the hypostasis. We can only affirm the one united and unconfused divine-human nature, will and energy of Christ the incarnate Lord.

c) We find that this Sixth Council exalts as its standard mainly the teaching of Leo and Agatho, popes of Rome, paying only lip-service to the teachings of the Blessed Cyril. We regard Leo as a heretic for his teaching that the will and operation of Christ is to be attributed to the two natures of Christ rather than to the one hypostasis. The human nature is as "natural" to Christ the incarnate Word as is the divine. It is one hypostasis who now is both divine and human, and all the activities come from the one hypostasis (Review, pp. 140-141; Does Chalcedon, pp. 134-135).

The bolding is mine for emphasis.

As I asked before, are Mar Gregorios' remarks representative of Non-Chalcedonian opinion?

They are, at the very minimum, Monothelite and certainly appear to be Monophysite.

 
 
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« Reply #62 on: February 17, 2004, 09:09:52 PM »

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Deacon Lance:On the otherhand I am disappointed, at least by the Copts, who seem to me hypocritical in that even though their definition is not that of Chalcedon they want Chalcedonians to accept them as orthodox while denying the same courtesy to the Assyrians, who while not accepting the definition of Ephesus claim orthodox belief as well.  In otherwords the same rigidness the Copts are denouncing here, they would in turn impose on the Assyrians.
Labeling the Coptic Church as hypocrites is a very unfortunate use of expression on your part, "Deacon". Not for the Copts, as the glorious history of christianity in Egypt under the leadership of our blessed Popes and Bishops in the Coptic Orthodox Church is not subject to your approval.
It is unfortunate for you as you reflect your ignorance.
We have a very glorious past, millions of martyrs, being blessed by thousands of saints. People forget that St.Athanasius, St. Cyril and the other Saints who enlightened the whole World with their Orthodox Theology, are Copts.
Quote
even though their definition is not that of Chalcedon they want Chalcedonians to accept them as orthodox while denying the same courtesy to the Assyrians
YOu can refer to other topics which discussed the reason for Chalcedon rejection by the OO. I won't recite all the reason again, but please point out where the OO theology diviates from Orthodox theology, the theology of Cyril, Athanasius,.........

As far the Assyrian church, they are Nestorian. If the refused to accept EphesusI for improper conduct by bishops or because there were heretics sitting in the councils, but accept the Orthodox faith, it would not be an obstacle for reunion with them. However, Assyrian churches are Nestorian. They are not orthodox. Nestorius, Theodret and Ibas are saints in their churches.

It would be very helpful if you enlighten us with your opinion about the Three Heretic Chapters and how it was accepted by a "holy" council of Chalcedon.

Have the most blessed day,
Stavro
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« Reply #63 on: February 17, 2004, 11:40:04 PM »

I ask you all, how is it possible to carry on this discussion?  Schultz and Deacon Peter have posted source material relevant to their positions pertaining to Ibas, the 3 Chapters, and Chalcedon, and yet Linus ignores it simply saying "you are wrong".  He also refuses to answer any questions about:

1.) His jurisdiction - For all we know he could be Assemblies of God
2.) His bishop's position on this matter
3.) What is to be done about those Byzantines who commune us as Orthodox, and the writings of those highly respected Byzantine theologians who recognize us as professing an Orthodox Christology.

Linus, how can you expect us to respond to your questions when you ignore ours or dismiss them out of hand?  This can hardly be called a dialogue.  I would like to comment on the writings of Paulos Mar Gregorios, but will not do so until you respond to the above mentioned points.  If you choose not to, just ignore this post and I will exit from this discussion (unless called back to answer a question or point made by someone else).

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« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2004, 12:12:10 AM »

Antonious -

I did respond regarding Ibas and Theodoret, yet you apparently do not read my posts, only those of your friends.

Once again, Chalcedon did not endorse the Nestorian writings known as the Three Chapters. Theodoret and Ibas were found Orthodox because they repented of their errors and accepted the Orthodox doctrine.

The arguments against Chalcedon are the same ones the men you regard as "saints" and "fathers" - men anathematized as heretics by the Orthodox Church -  produced long ago.

Repudiation of the ecumenical councils in and of itself is rebellion against the true Church of Christ and amounts to an heretical viewpoint.

Mar Gregorios' remarks are consistent with the moderate Monophysitism of Severus of Antioch. His views also led him to attribute to Christ one will and energy - the error known as Monothelitism.

Why would anyone who is truly Orthodox object to any of the ecumenical councils of the Church?

And why would anyone who does object to them desire union with the Orthodox?

 I agree with the Orthodox Fathers and their councils concerning the Non-Chalcedonians.

There will be no union without the full  acceptance of the Orthodox Christian faith.

I would rather not continue to discuss anything here.

Many of the pious elders of the Gerontika would not even consent to speak with Non-Chalcedonians until the Non-Chalcedonians repented and agreed to accept the Orthodox faith.

Now I no longer wonder why.

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« Reply #65 on: February 18, 2004, 12:33:00 AM »

Linus,

I didn't say you didn't respond to the posts about Ibas, the Three Chapters, and Chalcedon, I said that you dismissed them by simply saying "you are wrong" to Schultz and Deacon Peter.  They cited source material do back up there assertions, you did not, you just stated what you believe to be the case.  

It was my questions which you ignored and continued to ignore, oh man of mystery.  The anonymity of the internet is quite a shield for you isn't it?  Just like that blue blanket...anyway, until you are willing to be forthcoming and answer the questions I have put to you I am done answering your questions.  

You said:

"Many of the pious elders of the Gerontika would not even consent to speak with Non-Chalcedonians until the Non-Chalcedonians repented and agreed to accept the Orthodox faith.

Now I no longer wonder why."

This is the best news I've heard from you all night!  Please take a cue from them and clam up.  This discussion, and I use the term loosely, has been flogged to death.
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« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2004, 02:12:38 AM »

Stavro,

I am well aware of the glorious past of the Coptic Church.  I was not impuning the entire Coptic Church only their stance on the Assyrians which from my view point is hypocritical.

Please understand, I do accept the Oriental Orthodox as orthodox.  However, I also accept the Assyrians as orthodox as well.  Neither accept Councils or definitions my Church accept and both claim to hold the same faith despite this.  Since my experience of both is that they are good and holy and the Spirit is at work among them, I can accept this.  As well, my Church has signed common Christological statements with both.

What I find hypocritical is that what you ask of us, you refuse to the Assyrians, namely to hear them out and understand them as orthodox despite differing definitions and formulas.  I admit to not being an expert in Greek, Coptic or Syriac but it seems that Orientals, Assyrians and Chalcedonians all use different formulas to arrive at the same conclusion: Christ is fully God and fully man without division or confusion.

Please accept my apologies if it seemed I was condemning the entire Coptic Church, I was not, only one of its positions.

Fr. Deacon Lance

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« Reply #67 on: February 18, 2004, 06:35:51 PM »

I can not vote in this poll, because, while I am not convinced that "monophysite" accurately describes the christology of the non-Chalcedonians, neither am I comfortable with the term "Oriental Orthodox," which to me, suggests that they are, then, a branch of the One Holy Orthodox Apostolic Catholic Church.  I fail to understand how this could be true of those who refuse to recognize three of the seven Ecumenical Councils.

If they are truly Orthodox, then those were not truly Ecumenical Councils.  If those are truly Ecumenical Councils, then those who refuse to recognize them are not fully Orthodox.

And, coming from the American South, dominated by Protestant iconoclasts, I would be distressed by the idea of the Church downgrading the 7th Council from ecumenical status.
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« Reply #68 on: February 18, 2004, 06:53:51 PM »

Not bad! ambrosemzv, not bad! Good post.
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« Reply #69 on: February 19, 2004, 01:54:35 AM »

I will respond only to the last statement, because the other stuff is refuted above in this topic and in other topic.
Quote
ambrosemzv:And, coming from the American South, dominated by Protestant iconoclasts, I would be distressed by the idea of the Church downgrading the 7th Council from ecumenical status.
We hope your distress will ease when you know that Oriental ORTHODOX were never iconoclasts and we had never to deal with such a heresy and this is just irrelevant to us.
We also didn't discuss the Gender of the Angels like other churches and this would be an irrelevant discussion to us as well.

Quote
neither am I comfortable with the term "Oriental Orthodox," which to me, suggests that they are, then, a branch of the One Holy Orthodox Apostolic Catholic Church
We are not a branch, we are THE HOLY ORTHODOX APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC CHURCH.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #70 on: February 19, 2004, 04:52:05 AM »

Hi Ambrosemzv

Surely what matters is the content of the faith. As Stavro has said, we have not been iconoclasts and we have never accepted the Three Chapters. These councils have been necessary for the EO which has suffered from these heresies, and those councils should be rightly considered authoritative among the EO. The OO who have never accepted these heresies do not need the authority of these councils to preserve them from them. It is enough that the be considered Orthodox.

It is surely to miss the point of the Christian life if communion is refused with Communion B, those who have never held Heresy X or Heresy Y, have indeed consistently rejected Heresy X or Heresy Y, simply because they do not consider that they need to declare authoritative a council held by Communion A which fell into these heresies and needed a council to exclude them from their understanding of the Faith.

It was the Eastern Orthodox who failed to anathematise the Three Chapters for over 100 years, and in the West there were large groups of bishops and faithful who refused to anathematise the Three Chapters for 250 years. There was a clear need for the EO to come to a decision about the Three Chapters, but I cannot for the life of me see why the OO should consider it ecumenical since we have never accepted the Three Chapters and had been anathematising them for 100 years.

In fact there would be a real legitimacy in the OO demanding that earlier anathematisations on our part of the Three Chapters must be accepted as ecumenical by the EO.
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« Reply #71 on: February 19, 2004, 05:21:53 AM »

In fact there would be a real legitimacy in the OO demanding that earlier anathematisations on our part of the Three Chapters must be accepted as ecumenical by the EO.

Sounds reasonable, peterfarrington.
But I still take issue with 'no iconoclasm' in the OO communion. Perhaps not in the Coptic Orthodox Church, that's true, but certainly within the Armenian Church there was.

Demetri
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« Reply #72 on: February 19, 2004, 08:06:18 AM »

Hiya Demetri

Do you have any reading references or suggestions for iconoclasm among Armenians, i can't find anything on the net or in the Cath. Enc. which is usually a good source for Bibliography even if I disagree with it's positions.

Thanks
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« Reply #73 on: February 19, 2004, 08:38:06 AM »

Looking through a variety of text books on questia.com I see that there was an ascetic sect on the borders of Armenia which deprecated images, but this is not the same as saying that the Armenian Apostolic Church was iconoclast. There have always been sects and even theologians in most areas who deprecated images for most periods of the church's history before the Seventh Council. That isn't the same as saying that it became a dominant policy as it did in the 8th century in the areas under Constantinople and Charlemagne.

There are Copts who from time to time develop heretical ideas. These are dealt with on the basis of the authority of the Church. If the bishops themselves introduced these ideas then that would be different and it could then be said that the Church had been infected with them. But I am sure somewhere there might be an Orthodox who believes Christ was a spaceman. That means that he is in error it doesn't mean that his ethnic Orthodox community is in error or needs a council to repudiate him. Now if a Patriarch and bishops say the Christ was a spaceman then that might well need a council. The Armenian ascetic sect was just that, a sect, and I note a letter from an Armenian bishop repudiating their position.

There is what looks like a good article on the subject by Dr Brock which I'm trying to locate.

As ever

Peter
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« Reply #74 on: February 19, 2004, 10:51:31 AM »

Looking through a variety of text books on questia.com I see that there was an ascetic sect on the borders of Armenia which deprecated images, but this is not the same as saying that the Armenian Apostolic Church was iconoclast. There have always been sects and even theologians in most areas who deprecated images for most periods of the church's history before the Seventh Council. That isn't the same as saying that it became a dominant policy as it did in the 8th century in the areas under Constantinople and Charlemagne.


I know, I know, Peter Theodore, no one likes to claim a heretic Wink
I did not state the heresy went rampant, did I? No, I said the Armenians handled it alone. The heresy was there, dominant policy or no. It seeded what the soon-to-follow-Moslem-prodded fertilizing helped infect the Church of Constantinople.  Are not the Armenians known even today to have very spare use of icons (nothing wrong with that, by the way) and that this use began to be less than other churches at just about the time of the Paulicans? I did read this in "History of the Church in Armenia" by an Armenian professor of history. I'll see if I can dig up the reference which I have bookmarked (I think) under sites I got from you when we discussed icons in the OO tradition back when you first joined us.

Demetri
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« Reply #75 on: February 19, 2004, 11:35:26 AM »

Who exactly were the "Paulicians" and what did they believe?  I read a book (The Pilgrim Church) which claimed that this was just a group of bible-believing Christians which adhered to a simple New Testamant faith in the face officially sanctioned "idolatry". Of course, having read much since then, I have a hard time with the whole premise of The Pilgrim Church as it seems to be ahistorical.  So who were these people, and were they simple schismatics or were they also heretics?
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« Reply #76 on: February 19, 2004, 12:33:54 PM »

Hiya Demetri,

Thanks for the wink. I'd appreciate that reference if you find it. I'll see if I can find the book myself as well.

Cheers

Peter
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« Reply #77 on: February 19, 2004, 12:46:12 PM »

Who exactly were the "Paulicians" and what did they believe?  I read a book (The Pilgrim Church) which claimed that this was just a group of bible-believing Christians which adhered to a simple New Testamant faith in the face officially sanctioned "idolatry". Of course, having read much since then, I have a hard time with the whole premise of The Pilgrim Church as it seems to be ahistorical.  So who were these people, and were they simple schismatics or were they also heretics?
DT, you serve your namesake well!
You may find a short synopsis of many of these obscure early cults at the site below. It has some minor errors, I think, but does specifically reference the Paulicans and the "Armenian iconoclasts". Elsewhere, if I can locate it, I read a document from the Armenian Church specifically stating they has no problem with our 7th Council as it corrected the same error their own church had dealt with in the 700's. Of course, the fact that the iconoclastic Emperor happened to be "Leo the Armenian" sometimes makes drawing lines difficult  :-

http://www.sain.org/window/Cults2.txt

Read on!
Demetri
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« Reply #78 on: February 19, 2004, 03:03:00 PM »

Hiya Demetri,

Thanks for the wink. I'd appreciate that reference if you find it. I'll see if I can find the book myself as well.

Cheers

Peter

+Ü+¦++++ -â-Ç+¦-ü+¦, Peter,

The book is :
"Armenian Church Historical Studies" by the late Archbishop TIRAN NERSOYAN

A relevant excerpt may be found at:

http://www.ancientsites.com/aw/Post/33496

Looks interesting, to say the least.

Demetri
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« Reply #79 on: February 19, 2004, 04:09:30 PM »

Thanks for that Demetri, I think I'll ask some Armenian friends about the status of Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan, the book does look interesting.

I agree with you about the complication of Leo the Armenian but I also note that many heretical initiatives actually gained their force at Constantinople where the ear of the Emperors was often turned to many an error and then imposed it as wide as he could.

I am sure it is clear to you that I don't 'have a problem' with the substantive content of the 7th council, i am just not convinced that there is a difference between accepting it's substantive content as Orthodox and considering it ecumenical, except in the rather strange use of the term ecumenical that many EO, especially converts, use it.

If something is Orthodox it is to be accepted, that is the substantive content. There may be many other historical circumstances surrounding a council that preclude it being considered ecumenical. Among those of the 7th council is the condemnation of Dioscorous and Severus. Since neither Dioscorus nor Severus deny that Christ is perfect God and perfect man the council erroneously condemns these two it cannot be accepted in its entirety.

The material about the veneration of icons seems to be completely in accord with OO teaching from the beginning.

But since, as I have said, iconoclasm was not something that required an ecumenical council of the OO to deal with it there does not seem to me to be any reason for the 7th to be considered as binding on the OO, save as far as it is in accord with the Orthodox Tradition, in which cases it has the authority of the Orthodox Faith and needs none other.

When I venerate an icon it is not because the 7th council tells me to, it is because it is the constant practice and teaching of the Church even when heretics troubled particular provinces, and is in accord with the Traditional Christology of the Church which teaches us that Christ truly became man and may therefore be represented as man.

I'll try to get hold of the book.

Peter
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« Reply #80 on: February 19, 2004, 04:31:29 PM »

The book was pretty expensive most places $90+ but then I found it for $20 from http://www.stvartanbookstore.com where there is also a book on Art in the Armenian Orthodox Church with a picture of an icon on the front. I may get this book as well.

Thanks for the pointer

Peter
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« Reply #81 on: February 19, 2004, 06:21:04 PM »

Greetings, Peter.

I'm not convinced by the logic of this position.  I personally have never been tempted by the Arian, monothelite, and various other heresies rejected by the Great Councils, but if I were to have refused, on that basis, to affirm their conclusions or recognize their status as Ecumenical Councils, I could not have been received into communion with the Orthodox Church of America.  Or rather, I would not have been able to affirm such a communion, which would obviously have precluded my participation in its sacramental celebration.

It is enough for me to know that the Church has faced such heresies, has rejected them, and formulated dogma partly in response to them.  In that sense, I, as a member of the Church, have faced them, too, and rejected them as part of the Church, which is One.

Many, perhaps most, of the Oriental, non-Chalcedonian, non-Nestorian churches are apparently prepared to recognize both themselves and the Chalcedonians as being of the Orthodox Church.  Then why not recognize that, inasmuch as we are (on the hyposthesis) One Church, you, too, have faced these heresies, inasmuch as certain Byzantine Christians, united (presumably) with you in the Communion of Saints, did, and affirm with us the consequent dogmatic definitions?  

To refuse to do so, it seems to me, is tantamount to rejecting that fellowship, that commonality within the Communion of Saints; in which case, celebrating Communion together, or claiming that we both represent the One Church, is, at best, to glaze over things.

I look forward to your response.

-Ambrose/Marvin
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« Reply #82 on: February 19, 2004, 07:18:04 PM »

Dear Ambrose,

I think Peter already answered it...a council that condemns Sts. Severus and Dioscorus as heretics is at least in error in regards to this. The teaching on icons is Orthodox but the council did more than just set forth Orthodox teaching on icons...it clearly erred in condemning two men who's teaching is 100% Orthodox as heretics. That is an error. There is no way around that.

In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #83 on: February 19, 2004, 09:34:37 PM »

Who exactly were the "Paulicians" and what did they believe?  I read a book (The Pilgrim Church) which claimed that this was just a group of bible-believing Christians which adhered to a simple New Testamant faith in the face officially sanctioned "idolatry". Of course, having read much since then, I have a hard time with the whole premise of The Pilgrim Church as it seems to be ahistorical.  So who were these people, and were they simple schismatics or were they also heretics?

According to Jaroslav Pelikan, the Paulicians were a sect that were closely related to the Manicheans -- dualists, if you will.  They apparently did not hold trinitarian beliefs.  They rejected the Old Testament in its entirety, and taught that the God of the Old Testament was actually the devil.  They thus came up with a worldview where there was an evil, OT, God, and a good, NT, God.  They apparently thought that the physical world was a creation of the evil God, and thus lived very ascetically, as if snubbing the physical world they lived in.  Because they disdained the physical, the eucharist meant nothing to them.  It sounds like they were kind of a recycled gnosticism.

Not really early Baptists, except maybe in their view of the eucharist.  Roll Eyes

James
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« Reply #84 on: February 20, 2004, 04:26:57 AM »

I always found it slightly odd that some Protestant writers would jump from heretical group to heretical group through the ages trying to claim a secret Protestant succession from the earliest times. It was only possible by actually ignoring the heresies that they were guilty, and assuming that their 'protest' against the Church was enough to make them brother Protestants.
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« Reply #85 on: February 20, 2004, 04:56:50 AM »

Hi Amrbosesv

Raouf has confirmed my point. We would struggle to accept Ephesus I, despite its Orthodox content, if it also came with a condemnation of St Cyril. We would have trouble accepting Nicaea I, despite its Orthodox content, if it also came with a condemnation of St Athanasius.

The doctrinal content of Nicaea II is Orthodox, but that is not the same as saying for us that the council is ecumenical. To say that the content is Orthodox seems to me to be saying that it is true and must be believed. To say that the council is ecumenical doesn't seem to add more to my faith.

I'd be interested, Ambrosesv, in what you think calling Nicaea II ecumenical would add, rather than considering it an EO council? I am struggling a little to see how my faith would change. My Church already teaches the same as Nicaea II, it hasn't needed Niceae II to enforce a position in the face of Imperial error.

And there is the issue of the condemnation of Sts Dioscorus and Severus for teaching they absolutely didn't hold. I have spent the last 10 years studying St Severus' writings and there is no sense whatsoever in which he denies the perfect humanity and perfect Divinity of Christ, therefore I cannot consent to the error of judgement in the 7th council which says that he does deny them.

Since the writings of St Severus had been destroyed in Greek in the 6th century I am not even sure that anyone at the council would have ever seen any of his writings.

This is not to try and trash the council but to point out an obvious difficulty. I cannot say something is so when I have pages and pages of explicit primary evidence, i.e St Severus' writings themselves, which shows it is not true.

Could the EO admit that the justifiable condemnation of those who reject the perfect humanity and Divinity of Christ, which we all agree in condemning, was misapplied due to the circumstances of the time?

Peter Theodore

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« Reply #86 on: February 20, 2004, 09:23:35 AM »

Thanks for your reply, Peter.

I understand that you are concerned about the condemnations of Dioscorus and Severus, though I am not familiar enough with their writings or the history of the Councils to make any personal judgment on the matter.  Reading your posts, I have come to respect and admire your historical and theological knowledge, and so I am inclined to suspect you have some reasonable grounds for concern.

I wonder, though, if it would be correct to consider the condemnation of individuals to be of binding matter within the decisions of an ecumenical council.  I would think the binding matter would concern the heresies addressed, not the (presumably always fallible) judgment about whether so-and-so truly held such a position.

If that is so, and if the Orthodox who adhere to Chalcedon were to make it clear that that was their position, would you then be able to affirm the ecumenical nature of the last three Councils?

I am still troubled by your desire to draw a distinction between affirming the "Orthodox content" of these Councils, but unwillingness to recognize their ecumenical nature.  It still strikes me as a reticence to affirm full unity and Communion with the Eastern Orthodox.

If some Orthodox experienced heresies which led to their holding Orthodox councils, at which they affirmed Orthodox judgments rejecting said heresies; if you, too, are Orthodox, and affirm the Orthodoxy of those judgments, then you should be able to embrace those Councils as Councils of the Orthodox Church, no?
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« Reply #87 on: February 20, 2004, 09:45:19 AM »

Hi Ambrosesv

I think that one problem is that it is not clear what EO mean by 'ecumenical', neither is it clear what content of the councils EO mean to be considered 'ecumenical'.

Would you like to comment on your position?

I have not found that there is a consistent approach among EO to this issue, nor, as already detailed, to even the number of ecumenical councils. There seems to be a problem here that there is a requirement to consider a certain mumber of councils ecumenical for 'full unity', and I do understand your point there, but on the EO side there is not a uniform teaching about what ecumenicity means, to what it applies, and how many ecumenical councils there are to which it should apply.

Agagin, I'd value your comments to help me think these thrings through.

As ever

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #88 on: February 20, 2004, 12:15:37 PM »

I always found it slightly odd that some Protestant writers would jump from heretical group to heretical group through the ages trying to claim a secret Protestant succession from the earliest times. It was only possible by actually ignoring the heresies that they were guilty, and assuming that their 'protest' against the Church was enough to make them brother Protestants.

Of course, some Protestants (such as Broadbent, the author of The Pilgrim Church) claim that these groups really didn't espouse the heretical beliefs as charged by their accusers.  Nevermind the historical documentation to prove otherwise is non-existent--it must have been burned by those wicked "Catholics" to hide the evidence Grin. Or so they say...
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« Reply #89 on: February 20, 2004, 12:16:34 PM »

JamesB,

Thanks for the info.   Smiley
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« Reply #90 on: February 20, 2004, 02:42:44 PM »

I remember buying The Pilgrim Church some years ago when I was starting my voyage into Patristics and I couldn't read more than a chapter or two. I'd been reading Penguin History of the Church series at the same time and couldn't cope with the difference in scholarship, well the difference between scholarship and not much scholarship.

PT
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« Reply #91 on: February 20, 2004, 04:33:34 PM »

Dear Ambrosesv,

Hypothetical situation - The so called Oriental Orthodox Churches in the 13th century met to repudiate a heresy called "Raoufism". This heresy was prevalent only in countries that the OO existed. They condemned the heresy and cut-off the heretics and began mentioning this great council in its liturgical services.

Would the EO, who never had to deal with Raoufism in its history, and yet agreed with it's rejection, add this as their 8th Ecumenical Council.

If no, then why not?

In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #92 on: February 20, 2004, 05:22:45 PM »

Dear Raouf,

In all honesty, I can't imagine why we should not.

Presuming, of course, that no schism had seperated the two sides prior to the hypothetical council, if the heresy had a serious following (i.e., so serious as to cause all the jurisdictions you mention to meet in council), if bishops from every jurisdiction of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church were invited (and, indeed, while this would be the ideal, I'm not sure it would be a sine qua non of ecumenicity), if it won recognition among the Byzantines and all other jurisdictions as being of Orthodox nature . . . , then, I can't think why we should not gratefully acknowledge the work of such a Council, and its ecumenicity.
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« Reply #93 on: February 20, 2004, 05:28:08 PM »

Sorry...let me clarify. In the 13th cent. after the split over Chalcedon. If the OO accepted all the councils in an effort to reconcile and re-unite, would the EO accept this council from the 13th century which happened after the split, assuming they agreed with its Orthodoxy?

Further assume - there would be no benefit whatsoever for EO to accept this as ecumenical other than the fact that the OO considered it Ecumenical.

Would it indeed become the 8th Ecumenical council for you?

In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #94 on: February 20, 2004, 05:39:04 PM »

Woops, I missed the "13th Century" part.  Therein lies a little slight-of-hand, no?  For that would not at all be analogous to the situation at hand, since the Oriental bishops were, in fact, invited to the First Council of Chalcedon.  Clearly, the Eastern Orthodox would not have been invited to the hyopothetical "Council against Raoufism"  Smiley  You will no doubt ripost that the Oriental bishops were not invited to the Fifth through Seventh Councils, but that is not quite the case.  In a sense they had an open invitation to embrace the fourth ecumenical council, which would, of course, entail their participation in all subsequent ecumenical councils.
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« Reply #95 on: February 20, 2004, 05:57:19 PM »

But the question (I thought) for us today is whether or not we could embrace the councils 4-7 as Ecumenical Councils. Assuming we reconcile our differences over Chalcedon and assuming we agree on the Orthodoxy of the remaining councils, would you require of us to list 7 ecumenical councils?

If so, then my hypothetical council is appropriate becuase now, in order for their to be true reconciliation would you not likewise need to recognize "our" council on Raoufism (that wretched evil heresy Grin) also as Ecumenical? Or could you simply state that the EO would continue to count 7 Ecumenical Councils and simply agree that Raoufism is a heresy and the 13th council is Orthodox?

Don't expect from us what you are not willing to likewise do.

In Christ,
Raouf, heresiarch of Raoufism!
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« Reply #96 on: February 20, 2004, 05:58:53 PM »

Correction - "13th Council" should read "13th century Council"

Raouf
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« Reply #97 on: February 20, 2004, 08:32:13 PM »

Quote
Deacon Lance: Please understand, I do accept the Oriental Orthodox as orthodox.  However, I also accept the Assyrians as orthodox as well.  Neither accept Councils or definitions my Church accept and both claim to hold the same faith despite this.  Since my experience of both is that they are good and holy and the Spirit is at work among them, I can accept this.  As well, my Church has signed common Christological statements with both.
What is your church ?
Can you refer us to the official site of the Assyrian church, or the statement of their Holy Synod lead by their Patriarch, which would contain their belief on Christology ?
I appreciate your help on this issue, because it is not a problem of council to my understanding, it is a christiological dispute regarding the Nature of CHrist.
Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #98 on: February 21, 2004, 11:45:58 AM »

Stavro,

I am a deacon in the Byzantine Catholic Church.

The main site for the Assyrian Church is:
http://www.cired.org/
Under Relations with the Catholic Church you will find the Common Christological Declaration signed by Pope John Paul II and Mar Dinkha IV.
Under Pro Oriente Syriac Dialogue you will find many articles about their theology vs that of the Oriental Orthodox.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #99 on: February 21, 2004, 07:27:27 PM »

Thanks Deacon Lance.
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« Reply #100 on: February 22, 2004, 10:37:33 AM »

To Peter and Raouf:

My conversation with you has made me realize something:  Eastern Orthodox/Catholic actions may have contributed powerfully to the withdrawal of the Oriental churches from Communion with us.  Clearly I need to investigate this more.

If the condemnations of Dioscoros and Severus, and the inclusion of the Three Chapters, were, in fact, as you say, then the Oriental churches deserve, at least, a profound, formal expression of regret from the Eastern Orthodox.  If such an expression were forthcoming, would this make it easier for the Oriental churches to contemplate accepting Councils 4 -7 as ecumenical?

Let us assume, too, that recognizing these Councils as ecumenical need not require that the Orientals make liturgical changes or additions of any sort.

I would think this issue of ecumenicity would be difficult for the Eastern Orthodox to just "let go."  I think that, for many of us, "downgrading" the latter councils from ecumenical status would appear tantamount to declaring, "Well, assent to the essential matter agreed on by these councils--not the condemnation of specific individuals, but of the heresies they are (perhaps erroneously) believed to have held--is no longer a prerequisite to Orthodox identity.  One might reject them, but remain Orthodox."  That conclusion the Eastern Orthodox would not be able to reach, I suspect.

Raouf, I would think it important that any Council termed "ecumenical" have extended invitations to all those jurisdictions who have not cut themselves off from Communion with those calling the council.  It seems to me fair to ask the Oriental jurisdictions to demonstrate their Communion within the One Church by affirming the 4th Ecumenical Council, the essential matter of which they profess to recognize as Orthodox, since they were, in fact, invited to that Council.  Consequently, it seems to me fair to ask them to do likewise with respect to the 5th through 7th Councils, since the Oriental bishops were not invited (unless I am mistaken), only because they had made it clear that they no longer held themselves to be in Communion with the Byzantine jurisdictions.

So, Raouf, the hypothetical situation you present is not really analogous.

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« Reply #101 on: February 22, 2004, 12:07:12 PM »

Hi Ambrosesv

I believe that following the spirit and some of the suggestions of your eirenic posts would indeed facilitate a reconciliation based on agreement in the substance of the faith.

I believe that it could be possible for the OO to accept the documents of the latter councils as a start, with modifications to some anathemas that do not apply to those they were applied to. If such a large combined document were produced by both OO and EO with explanatory glosses to explain that certain phrases should be understood in a certain way and not in an heretical sense then such a combined document could be accepted by both sides as a statement of common faith.

This might well not be the last stage in reconciliation, but it would have required a recognition on the part of the EO, not always present, that there were real objections to Chalcedon which need to be answered, and it would require a recognition, already present in the synodal reception of the Joint Statements of the Dialogue, that the EO must be able to understand even Chalcedon in an Orthodox manner or there could be no possibility of their being considered Orthodox.

The actual historical event of Chalcedon remains problematic because although the document could be received, with an explanatory gloss, what is being asked seems to skate along the edge of the line of historical revisionism. If the EO were as honest as Fr John Romanides had been and studied this period with a view to exposing those issues which justified the OO rejection of Chalcedon, and if the OO sought to expose those issues which led to a misunderstanding of the OO position, and if both sides made clear where and when there were real heretics hidden under the cloak of pro and anti-Chalcedonianism then there may well be a way forward even on the historical value of Chalcedon.

One last thing. I think it needs to be remembered that the OO did not 'cut themselves off' as though there were a one-sided breach. Until 518 AD the Patriarchs of three of the great Sees were non-Chalcedonian, but after this period a severe and prolonged persecution of the non-Chalcedonians, with the deaths of tens and even hundreds of thousands of bishops, priests, monks and lay-folk, showed clearly that the Byzantine church authorities were willing to be complicit in the attempted ecclesio-cide which took place. At one point the patriarch of Constantinople urged more military activity against the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox so that they would be wiped out if they did not submit and even the Emperor had had enough of killing Christians and refused.

The OO of this period received Chalcedonians as easily as was consistent with their position, even clergy were on only a years probation, but the EO at this period insisted that none of the orders of the non-Chalcedonians were valid. I am not sure then that it is fair to say that the OO had separated themselves. They had no choice at all because the aim of the Chalcedonian party was the elimination of the non-Chalcedonians by any and all means including massacre.

I accept your point about Chalcedon, and it is important, but I think that a degree, a marked degree, of self-criticism by the EO is required to show that they are aware of the historical defects of Chalcedon, and that it was used as a cover for many folk who had heretical opinions, that it did indeed cause a major and mutual schism in the Church. On the OO side it would be necessary to look at the council with the sort of perspective of Fr John Romanides and find the best motives among the most bishops present. It will be difficult without honesty on both sides.

How would you feel about a document collecting together the material of the latter councils, removing the anathemas by using writings from those Fathers to show that they were not guilty of what they were accused of, and adding explanatory materials to answer the objections and difficulties of both sides.

If this document were made ecumenical by the OO so that all of these teachings were made necessary how would that seem to you.

Of course, unless you are posting under cover, I do not believe either of us are bishops or even priests, but we should still be interested and have informed opinions on these things.

Best wishes

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #102 on: February 22, 2004, 06:42:41 PM »

I do not believe either of us are bishops or even priests . . . .

 :)Thanks be to God!  (Speaking strictly in relation to myself.)

Again, I don't know enough about the condemnations, or inclusion of the Three Chapters, to have an informed opinion.  But, if these appeared to honest and well-informed Eastern Orthodox scholars as they appear to you, then I would think such a document would be entirely called for.

If the condemnations (or writings of those condemned) could legitimately be interpreted in different ways, and tended to be so, according to the ecclesiastical allegiance of the scholars on both sides, then what about a document which laid bare these differences of opinion, without imposing either one?
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« Reply #103 on: February 24, 2004, 12:43:29 PM »


One last thing. I think it needs to be remembered that the OO did not 'cut themselves off' as though there were a one-sided breach. Until 518 AD the Patriarchs of three of the great Sees were non-Chalcedonian,... <snipped>

This partial paragraph got my notice. I need to explore this period in greater depth.
One source I use extensively (and which does not quite support the above, I think) is:

http://www.friesian.com/popes.htm

which is a large page, apparently well-researched despite some phrases ("the Imperial Church being the "Roman Catholic", etc.).

For a full blown chronolgy with short history the FULL page is:

http://www.friesian.com/popes-2.htm

which is HUGE, but well worth reading in my most humble opinion.

Demetri
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« Reply #104 on: February 24, 2004, 01:50:47 PM »

Quote
If the condemnations of Dioscoros and Severus, and the inclusion of the Three Chapters, were, in fact, as you say, then the Oriental churches deserve, at least, a profound, formal expression of regret from the Eastern Orthodox.  If such an expression were forthcoming, would this make it easier for the Oriental churches to contemplate accepting Councils 4 -7 as ecumenical?

What "inclusion of the Three Chapters?"

The only writings specifically endorsed at Chalcedon were those of St. Cyril that were mentioned, the Tome of Pope St. Leo the Great, and - if I recall correctly - the formula of union written by Theodoret of Cyrus and signed by St. Cyril and the Antiochenes.

The Council of Chalcedon was not summoned to deal with Nestorianism, although it did reiterate Ephesus' condemnation of Nestorius. The Three Chapters were not the focus of Chalcedon's agenda; Eutychianism was.

Nestorianism was the focus of the Council of Ephesus in 431, yet that council did not condemn those elements of the Three Chapters extant at that time, i.e., the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret's Pentalogium.

Dioscorus and Severus were anathematized as heretics by the Orthodox Church because that's what they were. Both of them denied that Christ has two distinct natures and two wills. They understood the language of the Orthodox teaching and yet argued against it.

What has the Orthodox Church to regret about any of her ecumenical councils?

That the Arians did not like the first one?

That the "Spirit-fighters" did not like the second?

That the Nestorians did not like the third?

That the Monophysites object to the rest?








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« Reply #105 on: February 24, 2004, 06:56:03 PM »

Quote
Dioscorus and Severus were anathematized as heretics by the Orthodox Church because that's what they were. Both of them denied that Christ has two distinct natures and two wills.
St.Dioscorus was not anathemized for heresy in Chalcedon. That is clear. He was excommunicated for disposing Leo for his support of Theodret and the heretics. He could not defend his decision in a council where Theodret was sitting and rendering judgement about theology, and he was under house arrest when summoned. Nestorius could not have done a better job than Theodret and his supporters.
So if the Chalcedon members didn't find anything heretical about St.Dioscorous teachings, although they were well prepared to do so and wished it, how can you dare declare that he is a heretic ? Where are his writings that say that ?

Just repeating the fabrications will not make them true, unless you have a proof.

The same applies to the St.Severus, may his blessings be with us.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #106 on: February 24, 2004, 07:26:55 PM »

What "inclusion of the Three Chapters?"

Dear Linus,

The conversation has made it clear that there was ambiguity in the language of Chalcedon, ambiguity which left it open to doubt whether the Letter of Ibas was being received, or not.

On reflection and further study, I agree with you that we must give the benefit of doubt to the fathers assembled in Council, and not assume that they were accepting what would later clearly be recognized as heretical.

I regret the lack of clarity in my own language, which may have made it seem that I was conceding that the Council had "accepted" heretical writings.

But, an explicit recognition of the ambiguity, and an acknowledgment of the difficulties which this presented for the Oriental churches, would hardly seem too great a price to pay if it made it possible for them eventually to recognize the ecumenical status of the Council.

Quote
Dioscorus and Severus were anathematized as heretics by the Orthodox Church because that's what they were. Both of them denied that Christ has two distinct natures and two wills. They understood the language of the Orthodox teaching and yet argued against it.

Again, is it not possible that the condemnations of the men, themselves, is not central to the conclusions of the Sixth or Seventh Councils, that what really matters is the definition of heresy, not conclusions about who exactly embraced them?

I understand the repugnance you rightly feel at the idea that we should "second guess" the fathers and the Councils.  But, I would think we might be able to distinguish, among the affirmations of a Council, between primary matter, clearly of ecumenical import, and secondary matter, not necessarily of ecumenical force.  If that allowed the Oriental churches to embrace what were clearly the central affirmations and definitions of the latter Councils, and even to acknowledge them as ecumenical in status, then wouldn't that be a good thing?

On the other hand, if the Oriental churches insist that the only path to shared communion is through our declaring that the Byzantines must have been in error on each disputed point (in spite of the demonstrated ambiguity of each), then it begins to look like a sectarian spirit prevails, which in my view, itself indicates the absence of fully Orthodox faith.  But the rejection of sectarianism cuts both ways . . . .
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« Reply #107 on: February 24, 2004, 09:18:02 PM »

St.Dioscorus was not anathemized for heresy in Chalcedon. That is clear. He was excommunicated for disposing Leo for his support of Theodret and the heretics. He could not defend his decision in a council where Theodret was sitting and rendering judgement about theology, and he was under house arrest when summoned. Nestorius could not have done a better job than Theodret and his supporters.
So if the Chalcedon members didn't find anything heretical about St.Dioscorous teachings, although they were well prepared to do so and wished it, how can you dare declare that he is a heretic ? Where are his writings that say that ?

Just repeating the fabrications will not make them true, unless you have a proof.

The same applies to the St.Severus, may his blessings be with us.

Peace,
Stavro

From Session I of the Council of Chalcedon:

Quote
And at this point of the reading, Dioscorus, the most reverend Archbishop of Alexandria said, I receive "the of two;" "the two" I do not receive (to ek du'o de'chomai: to du'o, ou de'chomai). I am forced to be impudent, but the matter is one which touches my soul.

Dioscorus' own words at Chalcedon.

Here are the words of Severus of Antioch:

Quote
"The formulae used by the Holy Fathers concerning two Natures united in Christ should be set aside, even if they be Cyril's" (Patrologia Graeca, Vol. LXXXIX, Col. 103D. Saint Anastasios of Sinai preserves this quote of Severos in his works; quoted in The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics, p. 12).

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« Reply #108 on: February 24, 2004, 09:27:46 PM »

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ambrosemzv: But the rejection of sectarianism cuts both ways . . . .

I appreciate the objectivity of your post, ambrosemzv.

But that last comment about sectarianism assumes that both parties involved in these disputes are members of sects or that they each have equal title to the Church founded by Christ.

There can be no sectarianism involved in standing for the truth of Christ's Holy Orthodox Church and her ecumenical councils.

The Fathers understood Dioscorus, Timothy Aelurus; Peter Mongus; Julian of Halicarnassus; Severus of Antioch; and the rest well enough.

There was no mistake.

At the very least, those men were rebels against the authority of Christ's Church. In that sense (and perhaps in others, especially the tendency to fracture into numerous factions), their movement was proto-Protestant.
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« Reply #109 on: February 25, 2004, 01:30:36 AM »

Linus,

review Antonios Nickolas' and Deacon Peter posts earlier as they refute your remarks about St.Dioscorous and H.H. Pope Shenouda theology.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #110 on: February 25, 2004, 01:59:39 AM »

Dear Deacon Lance,
I reviewed the site you recommended for the Assyrian Church. I thank you again as it gave me an overview about their history which was obsecure to me.
Because you raised questions regarding the position of the Coptic Church from the Assyrian Church, it might be helpful to read the following links which explain it better :

http://www.britishorthodox.org/dialogue02.php
http://www.britishorthodox.org/assyrian.php

I would actually regard the position of the Coptic as consistent because of the following:

1- The Assyrian Church does not anathemize or reject the teachings of Nestorius, and they try to aquitt him, which is a tendency now among some Western theologians.
As Orthodox, we refuse this position and we have always refused it since Ephesus I and continued to do so in Chalcedon.

2- We signed a declaration of common Christology with The RC Pope John Paul II in which we anathemize Nestorius. How can we then accept a dialogue or an agreement with a church that venerates Nestorius ?
Of course the union with the RC church is of little importance if compared with keeping the Orthodox faith as declared by St.Cyril and confirmed by our Fathers, but it just shows that the Coptic Church is consistent and faithful to its agreements and orthodoxy.

The question of consistency is not very obvious on the part of the Catholic Church. While they anathemize Nestorius, in the common declaration of Faith, they reconcile with a church that venerates him. Nestorius is a clear case of heresy, just like Arius and Macdonius.

So what is the position of Nestorius in the Catholic church now ? As you might read in the articles, which uses strong but honest language (diplomacy was not really our best skill) , it raises old doubt dating back all the way to 451 a.d. and it might actually endanger the union steps.

We pray that our hierarchs are lead by the Holy Spirit in their efforts.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #111 on: February 25, 2004, 10:08:26 AM »

I appreciate your reply, Linus.

. . . That last comment about sectarianism assumes that both parties involved in these disputes are members of sects or that they each have equal title to the Church founded by Christ.

Well, I don't think it need assume that, and it was not intended to.  One may hold (as I do) that full Orthodoxy requires a willingness to recognize the ecumenicity of all seven Councils, and in that sense, that the ground is not even between the Church which grants that recognition, and those who do not recognize all the Councils, or who have illegitimately proclaimed other councils ecumenical.

And, one may at the same time recognize that some bodies which proclaim all seven Councils can still fall into sectarianism, by insisting on a bipolarized, non-nuanced view of the world as consisting of "the Church" and "not the Church," defining the former in the most rigorous, and consequently narrow terms, and failing to engage in meaningful dialogue with anything and anyone outside that narrow definition of the Church.

It seems to me one has to strike a narrow balance between making light of any of the decisions of the Councils, on the one hand, and, on the other, allowing clearly ambiguous and inessential matters, such as the anathematizing of individuals, or even the debatable interpretations of certain arguably ambiguous writings, to place roadblocks which render unfruitful in advance all conversations with those who might otherwise be willing eventually to receive as ecumenical the later Councils of the Church.
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« Reply #112 on: February 25, 2004, 11:59:42 AM »

And I, likewise, appreciate your reply, ambrosemzv.

I don't  see the refusal to subject the ecumenical councils to criticism, review, and revision as narrow, especially when such criticism, review, and revision has its source in sects clearly regarded by the Fathers as heretical or, at the very least, schismatic.

Why "union" with such groups is thought a worthwhile objective is beyond my comprehension.

The Church of Christ has ever been open to all those willing to repent and to accept her Lord and His teachings.

Compromising the teachings of the Orthodox Church in order to swallow whole groups - groups that have proven indigestible in the past - with their dubious pride intact is too big a sacrifice.

Let everyone come to Christ who will . . .  as repentant individuals ready to embrace the fullness of the Orthodox faith.

There are no "other church families" in need of reincorporation. There is only one Church.
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« Reply #113 on: February 27, 2004, 05:31:07 PM »

Linus,

If the Non-Chalcedonians understand, or at least have come to understand, the language of "from two natures" and/or "one nature after the union" [i.e., after the Incarnation] in a way which rejects any comingling or confusion, and which asserts the full humanity and divinity of Christ, without one being in any sense "absorbed" into the other (and this seems to represent, at the very least, the current non-Chalcedonian understanding); if they are willing formally to affirm that understanding; and, if they have come to understand and acknowlege that the language of "two natures" affirmed in the Council of Chalcedon and thereafter was not, by and large, meant in anything like a Nestorian sense, or with Nestorian implications; then, I don't see wherein lies the heresy.  And, if they were able and willing, furthermore, to acknowlege the the definitions of heresy (albeit rejecting the individual, personal anathemas) of the last four Councils as ecumenical, I don't see the heterodoxy.

I respect and, I think, understand your point:  We must not purchase the inclusion of separated groups at the price of disregard for the Councils and the fathers.  But, could it not be that, by placing particular (and potentially ambiguous) verbal formulae, and/or the anathemas against individuals, over and above the essential agreement on the dogmatic understanding of Christ's full divinity and full humanity, we would be placing the letter of the Councils over its spirit?  It seems to me that that would be to fall away from real allegiance to the Councils and the fathers.
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« Reply #114 on: February 29, 2004, 12:45:32 AM »


Quote
ambrosemzv:
If the Non-Chalcedonians understand, or at least have come to understand, the language of "from two natures" and/or "one nature after the union" [i.e., after the Incarnation] in a way which rejects any comingling or confusion, and which asserts the full humanity and divinity of Christ, without one being in any sense "absorbed" into the other (and this seems to represent, at the very least, the current non-Chalcedonian understanding); if they are willing formally to affirm that understanding; and, if they have come to understand and acknowlege that the language of "two natures" affirmed in the Council of Chalcedon and thereafter was not, by and large, meant in anything like a Nestorian sense, or with Nestorian implications; then, I don't see wherein lies the heresy.  And, if they were able and willing, furthermore, to acknowlege the the definitions of heresy (albeit rejecting the individual, personal anathemas) of the last four Councils as ecumenical, I don't see the heterodoxy.

How can they affirm such an understanding while continuing to revere men as "fathers" and "saints" who did not?

What of the statements of some of their leaders (I quoted Met. Mar Gregorios and Pope Shenouda earlier) that indicate the continuance of genuine Monophysitism and Monothelitism?

Quote
ambrosemzv: I respect and, I think, understand your point:  We must not purchase the inclusion of separated groups at the price of disregard for the Councils and the fathers.  But, could it not be that, by placing particular (and potentially ambiguous) verbal formulae, and/or the anathemas against individuals, over and above the essential agreement on the dogmatic understanding of Christ's full divinity and full humanity, we would be placing the letter of the Councils over its spirit?  It seems to me that that would be to fall away from real allegiance to the Councils and the fathers.

The rejection and anathematization of heresiarchs is an essential part of the spirit of the councils.

Does the fact that some Non-Chalcedonians now seem to acknowledge an Orthodox Christology change the fact that men like Eutyches, Dioscorus, Timothy Aelurus, and Severus of Antioch did not?

How does the seeming Orthodoxy of a group of modern, living humans alter the heresy of men long dead, men who died unrepentant?

Those men are anathema - left to the wise and just judgment of God.
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« Reply #115 on: February 29, 2004, 12:56:12 AM »

Linus,

St Issac of Ninevah died a Nestorian bishop 150 or so years after Ephesus. He is a saint in the Orthodox Church.

I for one believe the anathemas against Dioscorus and Severos should be lifted in exchange for the Non-Chalcedonians accepting councils #4-7.  But that's my opinion.

anastasios
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« Reply #116 on: February 29, 2004, 12:59:29 AM »

Besides the examples that I listed above, there are several other saints that died as "heretics" but who were exhonerated when their Church came into communion with Orthodoxy. See for instance the non-Chalcedonian Georgian saints, and especially check out St Nilus the Goth.

Linus, I think that we can say that there were disputes in the past about language that were exacerbated by political disputes but that this does not wreck the personal sanctity of the individuals in question.

anastasios
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« Reply #117 on: February 29, 2004, 01:01:54 AM »

Linus,

Almost all of the "World Orthodoxy" hierarchs support union with the Non-Chalcedonians and do not call them heretics any more. Do you think that they are just plain ignorant?  I mean taht question with respect.

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« Reply #118 on: February 29, 2004, 01:37:42 AM »

Linus,

Almost all of the "World Orthodoxy" hierarchs support union with the Non-Chalcedonians and do not call them heretics any more. Do you think that they are just plain ignorant?  I mean taht question with respect.

anastasios

I believe that is not exactly correct.

From what I have read, they speak of union with the NCs if: the if meaning "if the NCs acknowledge the full Orthodox teaching, including all seven councils."

Here is an excerpt from a statement made by the Patriarch Diodorus of Jerusalem of Blessed Memory on the Sunday of Orthodoxy in 1992:

Quote
Likewise, optimism is expressed about the "positive"—as it is asserted—outcome of the dialogue with the Anti-Chalcedonians [the Monophysites], who have repeatedly been condemned for their persistence in heresy and false belief. Our Most Holy Church of Jerusalem abides steadfastly by the decisions of both the Holy Ecumenical Synod of Chalcedon and the subsequent Holy Ecumenical Synods, and neither setting aside any of the definitions nor subjecting them to fresh inquiry, she has broken off the theological dialogue with the non-Chalcedonians.

She does not, however, exclude the possibility of their return and re-inclusion in the bosom of our Most Holy Orthodox Church. In what way the heterodox are received is known. They must fully accept—without any exception—the teaching of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which is formulated in the definitions and decisions of the Ecumenical Synods.

The partial acceptance of the teaching of the Orthodox Church, that is, the exception of certain definitions of the Ecumenical Synods, as is being done by the heterodox according to what pleases them and serves their interests, as in this case by the Anti-Chalcedonians, cannot constitute a sign of their contact with our Most Holy Orthodox Church. On the contrary, it will entangle her in vicissitudes and divisions, which will weaken her healthy body. For this reason we are bound to inform you, our Most Blessed brethren, in this fraternal Assembly, that our Most Holy Church is abstaining also from this dialogue. For, despite the positive estimate of its progress that it is going to develop further to the better, it will be of no benefit, unless it presupposes the full acceptance of the Orthodox Teaching.
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« Reply #119 on: February 29, 2004, 01:41:01 AM »

anastasios -

I am not familiar with St. Isaac of Nineveh or St. Nilus the Goth.

One thing I do know, however: neither of them was ever condemned as a heresiarch by an ecumenical council of the Church.
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« Reply #120 on: February 29, 2004, 04:53:33 PM »

Linus,

I have to give you that point, that St Isaac of Ninevah was not condemned by a council, but a council could condemn someone for a view when they did not hold that view (I think specifically of the posthumous condmenation of Origen for teaching "preexistent souls" when he probably did not teach that, if you read his writings carefully).  I would be happy to say that the council condemned what it thought these people represented, and that since we know they did not mean what the council thought they did, that they should be exhonerated by a new Ecumenical Council upon their followers' acceptance of councils 4-7.

anastasios
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« Reply #121 on: February 29, 2004, 07:44:02 PM »

Well, I'm not sure that I can agree with Anastasios that "we know they did not mean what the council thought they did."

From the little I've read by those condemned from both sides, the language appears, though, at least ambiguous (like that of Origen, an interesting analogy).

In many cases, it seems to me quite possible that the full implications of the writings of men such as Leo, or (on the other hand) Dioscorus and Severus, were not known at the time they wrote, perhaps even by the authors themselves; i.e., their writing was, in part, indeterminate.

From those writings, different interpretive threads were to emerge, some of them heretical, some not.  While a Council or other ecclesiastical authority may have rightly condemned the heretical interpretations, it may have overstepped in assuming that that was the only possible interpretation which had emerged.

That being said, I must express gratitude to Linus for forcing me to think these issues through, in the face of much unfortunate vilification.  Reading through the discussion threads in which he has been involved, I have noted that, while he never minces words in explaining his positions, he has rarely engaged in ad hominem attack, but has been the victim of it to a surprising degree.
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