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Author Topic: Oriental Orthodoxy vs Monophysites  (Read 21711 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 .......
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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,
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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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