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Author Topic: Oriental Orthodoxy vs Monophysites  (Read 21815 times) Average Rating: 0
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Linus7
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« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2004, 10:57:45 AM »

Quote
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 :-

Demetri
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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.
Demetri
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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,
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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!
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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

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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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