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Author Topic: EOx-OOx Differences  (Read 9109 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 04, 2004, 12:45:32 PM »

These boards often seem to spend much time discussing the fundamental, dogmatic, and doctrinal differences between the EOs and the RCs, but it seems as if when the differences between the EO and OO communions are discussed, we focus solely on Chalcedon and sub-issues of whose saint is "saintlier".

Are these above mentioned issues the ONLY ones - the ONLY points on which non-communion in the East is based? Are others looming to be addressed later. (Sort of like if the EO and RC can get beyond the first big two of their dispute, something might happen to address the remaining many issues.)

{I am not looking for the RC viewpoint except where it displays an issue or issues on which the OOs have "no issue" and where the EOs do, or vice-versa.}

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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2004, 03:37:11 PM »

My view is that there isn't any theological disagreement (Romanides himself said so, and that's good enough for me!).  I think that what remains are cultural matters, the pragmatic issues regarding saints and so forth, the pragmatic issues relating to the formal formulations of the remaining councils (ie, whether the OOs have to sign on to these), cultivating a welcoming place for liturgical diversity within the EO world, etc.  There are remaining items but I believe that the main theological item is behind us (as it is also between the OOs and the RCs, it would seem).
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2004, 05:52:10 PM »

As I see it (and this is only my opinion), the primary issue was Christology (whether EO and OO Christologies were equally Orthodox).  The next issue is closely tied to all this, IMO, and that is the recognition of councils, and how that is to be resolved.  Both EO and OO liturgical texts anathematise the other (I've seen examples from both sides), and this extends to certain saints, and that is also an issue, but I think that could be the easiest to resolve once the first is definitively taken care of.  I am not sure there are any others.  The second and third are definitely not resolved yet; the first is there, or almost there, and I praise God for that, since it is the biggest hurdle.  

Is "cultivating a welcoming place for liturgical diversity within the EO world", as Brendan put it, really an issue for the EO to solve before any reunion?  From the EO I've spoken with, clergy and laity, it doesn't seem like the EO would have a problem with differing liturgical rites; but does the almost exclusive use of the Byzantine Rite throughout EOxy render the EO unable to allow other rites?  I would think the existence of a "Western Rite" in Eastern Orthodoxy argues against this, but perhaps it isn't well received?  "Byzantinisation" has happened in the past (Alexandria and Antioch, for example), but is it a real possibility in the present day?  Would the wider EO communion really take issue if, for example, the Greek Patriarchate of Antioch adopted the Syrian Rite that the Syrian Orthodox use, even if they tweak it a bit (deleting certain saints, adding others, etc.)?  Would they insist on Oriental Orthodox adopting the Byzantine Rite?  Is this really a significant issue?  I would not have thought so, but I am not EO, so I wouldn't know.
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2004, 06:07:56 PM »

+Irini nem ehmot

Some other things need to be sorted out, in my opinion.

It seems to me that the Byzantines, or particularly the Greeks, are a little bit less stringent than ourselves on matters of things like marriage and divorce. The latter is hearsay, but I know many and of many Byzantines that married non-Orthdox in their church, all done in "economia" - this is something that the Coptic Orthodox church does not do. I wonder what would happen if our priest refused to marry a couple, and they choose to go get married in a Byzantine church to avoid hassle... It's an issue that can be resolved easily, but it is one.
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2004, 06:17:04 PM »

I agree that the primary issue is Christology. The next issue is the status of councils. I sometimes feel that some EO have backed themselves into a corner in this respect, but great theologians such as Fr John Romanides give me confidence that a more flexible approach is possible.

I would like to see the OO take the documents of the latter councils, with an explanatory gloss, and declare those documents with explanations to be Orthodox. I would like the EO to take the same documents and confess them to be the substance of the latter councils. This seems to me to be the important thing.

Of course there will be some EO who will never accept reconciliation under any circumstances, and I have met a handful of OO with the same view, but I really do believe that God asks more of the majority of us.

The issue of the saints is another problem, but the disputed figures are quite small and indeed this would be an issue with the EO/RC and OO/RC as well.

But we already have shared saints. St Theodora was a supporter of the non-Chalcedonians and was catechised by St Severus, and it was due to her support of St Jacob Baradeus that the church in the East was saved from physical destruction under Imperial persecution. And of course two of the non-Chalcedonian patriarchs lived in her palace for decades after being exiled and threatened with death. But both EO and OO venerate her.

The hymn 'O monogenes' was written by St Severus when he was called to the capital by Justinian in 535 AD. It is used in the OO and EO liturgies, though in that context under the name of Justinian himself. It is impossible that a hymn written by Justinian would have been used in the OO, absolutely impossible, he had killed too many OO christians.

So there are post-Chalcedon people and praxis we have in common.

Nor is it the case at all that all local churches have the same saints. We just need to pray hard, be a bit imaginative and work out these differences.

I cannot conceive that our communions could come to an understanding that on every point they are in doctrinal agreement save for the relative status of Dioscorus and Leo and reject reconciliation only because of that. I know that I couldn't dare reject EO brethren solely on that basis.

I'm sure an answer will be found, I know that Cyril, Dioscorus, Timothy, Severus and many other OO fathers are praying for it.
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2004, 07:29:44 PM »

Quote
Both EO and OO liturgical texts anathematise the other (I've seen examples from both sides), and this extends to certain saints
I am not sure about other OO churches, but the Coptic Liturgy following St.Cyril, St.Basil or St. Gregory does not anathematize EO saints, explicitly.
In the commomeration of Saints, we mention St.Athansius, St. Cyril, St. Severes, St. Dioscorous as Champions of Faith who have perserved the true Orthodox Faith.
The OO, I think, have no problem if EO will mention Leo among their saints, but OO will not recognize him as a saint nor will they by any means anathematise St.Severes or St. Dioscorous.
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2004, 07:46:17 PM »

What about the primacy of Rome ? I will quote from other threads and other topics.

Deacon peter:
Quote
The teaching of Leo of Rome, for instance, has not changed. He is one of the foundational teachers of much of the papal developments, yet Eastern Orthodoxy was in communion with him, and with all of the West for 500 years more.

We do need to ask the questions that Linus7 has been asking, because many of the fathers he has referenced do teach more than many of us will allow. Yet if the West has held many of these things, implicitly at least, for 1500 years or more then Eastern Orthodoxy has allowed this as an acceptable interpretation.

gbmtmas
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I do strongly agree with the very high regard that the Orthodox have/had for St. Peter and the primacy of the Roman Church (that is, primacy with a punch)--on the condition that the same Church holds to the Faith of Peter.

It didn't seem that any of the EO objected to the Primacy of Rome, and it is definitly an important point for OO who always rejected this Primacy.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2004, 03:51:43 AM »

Thank you for all replies thus far. I think Starvo has provided a "breakout" post with the Primacy issue. Are there others? To use a 'short list' of EO/RC differences as a guide or example:

Definition of Original Sin/Inherited Guilt
Energies/Essence of God
Definition of "Grace"
Purgatory (or other eschatological differences, if any)
Divorce (discussed further?)
Procession of the Holy Spirit.

I could go on but I'm not into RC bashing, but wish to see the OO/EO comparison with a wider angle lens than just the Christological issues.

Thanks,
Demetri
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2004, 10:31:18 AM »

Peter --

I think that the liturgical issue is a significant cultural one in the EO world.  We were once liturgically diverse, of course, and now we really are not -- we are more or less uniformly Byzantine with a few very minor differences in usage.  In theory, of course, other rites can be equally "Orthodox", and our own history testifies to this -- but there is a significant cultural issue that results from having been more or less uniformly Byzantine for so long.  There are many Orthodox who, because of this, see the Byzantine was as being coterminous with the Orthodox way.   The Western rite has not been well received -- both for reasons relating to this (ie, the Byzantine-uber-alles tendency) as well as the problem of the inorganic source of that rite as currently served (an issue that would not be the case with the OO rites, of course).

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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2004, 11:23:07 AM »

Hi Brendan

I appreciate that point. I think that in practice many OO feel as though their liturgical practice is the 'right' rite Smiley but at least we have the opportunity, especially in the West, to visit other traditions. I have been to a local Eritrean Orthodox community a few times, and they have been on pilgrimage with us to a local shrine of an Old English saint, I've also been to Armenian liturgies, and the enthronement of Patriarch Mesrob II, and of course to liturgies in Egypt which are different again to our BOC use of St James. I think that the Byzantinisation as an attitude can be dealt with through exposure, and there will always be those in all traditions who think they way is not only the best way but the only way. Sad

I'm sure that this is something the hierarchs would/could give the lead in with public visits to different traditions after a reconciliation.

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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2004, 03:49:27 PM »

Thank you for all replies thus far. I think Starvo has provided a "breakout" post with the Primacy issue. Are there others? To use a 'short list' of EO/RC differences as a guide or example:

Definition of Original Sin/Inherited Guilt
Energies/Essence of God
Definition of "Grace"
Purgatory (or other eschatological differences, if any)
Divorce (discussed further?)
Procession of the Holy Spirit.

I could go on but I'm not into RC bashing, but wish to see the OO/EO comparison with a wider angle lens than just the Christological issues.

Thanks,
Demetri
Neither do I wish to bash our dear RC, but the promacy of Rome is a big point of difference. Luckily it does not seem that we will have to deal with this issue soon, for various reasons.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2004, 10:57:22 PM »

Thank you for all replies thus far. Although I do not see the "rite" issue as a big one from the EO side, if it is one at all, I had not considered the 'divorce' one at all before. Something to ponder.
And I found the 'primacy' comments something I had not explored from the OO side, both from 1500 years ago and today's vantage.
Again, while I am not seeking argument, I am interested in what else may separate OOs and EOs. Do the postings above encompass ALL there is?

Demetri
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2004, 04:39:05 AM »

Hiya Demetri

I don't think that there are any other issues unless they are made issues by people on either side who do not wish to see reconciliation.

I think it is about time these matters were dealt with once and for all.

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2004, 09:27:40 AM »

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Mor Ephrem: the primary issue was Christology

How can that be the case if, as I see constantly maintained on this web site, the EO and OO have the same Christology?

Don't you mean the primary issue was a misunderstanding of christological terminology?

If there were real differences in Christology, what has happened to them?

Who changed?

Personally, I do not think the EO-OO schism can be reduced to Christology. Certainly a misunderstanding of christological terminology was involved, but it took on an inflated significance as part of a complex drama of imperial and ecclesial politics; ethnic, linguistic, and cultural differences; and personal ambition and pride.

I have no desire to become embroiled in a protracted argument on this thread.
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2004, 12:25:32 PM »

Hiya Demetri

I don't think that there are any other issues unless they are made issues by people on either side who do not wish to see reconciliation.

I think it is about time these matters were dealt with once and for all.

Peter Theodore

I certainly cannot disagree with either statement, Peter Theodore!

Quote
Linus7:
I have no desire to become embroiled in a protracted argument on this thread.

Nor do I, my friend. I am just seeking a simple enumeration of differences. No need for the dreadnaught 'H.M.S. Farrington' and the main line battleship 'U.S.S. Linus' to unleach any more salvos from their 16-inch main deck batteries. Grin Cheesy Wink

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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2004, 03:16:52 PM »

Dear Linus,

I should've been more careful with my words.  From my vantage point, I would agree with you: the division was not caused by Christology, per se, but a misunderstanding of Christological terminology.  To say that it was caused by Christology is, for me, only a shorthand.  Certainly, the other factors (political, cultural, etc.) you mention were also a part of it on both sides.  

I haven't read the entire thing, but this article by a member of the Indian Orthodox Church seems interesting:

http://www.monachos.net/patristics/christology/severus_chalcedon.shtml
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2004, 06:48:34 PM »

Quote
ethnic, linguistic, and cultural differences; and personal ambition and pride.
Ethnic, linguistic and cultural differences have been present in the Early Church since the age of the Holy Apostles and the Holy Fathers.They fought off the heresies successfully, in unity. It should not be a reason for the schism, because it was not for 400 years till Chalcedon 451.a.d. Me being Coptic should not prevent me from Communion with a Greek if we agree on the common faith.

Personal ambition and pride were the driving force for the schism, I agree, and they remain so till today.
 
Quote
I don't think that there are any other issues unless they are made issues by people on either side who do not wish to see reconciliation.

I agree with Deacon Peter.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2004, 11:57:31 PM »

Perhaps someone would care to address the following remarks 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 above is mine for emphasis.

Fr. Verghese had already said in his speech that the OO accept the content of the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th councils.

But here we see him rejecting the content of both the 4th Council (Chalcedon, 451) and the Sixth (Constantinople, 680-81).

Are his remarks representative of OO opinion?

How can one interpret them in any other way than as Monothelite?

What are we to make of his reference to Pope St. Leo the Great as a heretic?

You know, I am not the world's greatest theologian, but I suspect there were good reasons why the old Fathers and teachers of the Church did not solve this conflict in their day.

I think the differences between us are more fundamental than we are willing to admit.

I know I will be accused of being divisive and hateful, but how loving is it sell the truth cheaply for the sake of a mere window dressing of false unity?

I also know that some here don't think much of the following web site, but everyone here should read the articles there before jumping on the reunion bandwagon:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_share.htm



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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2004, 12:06:49 AM »

The link I supplied above was to a single article.

The following link has links to several articles and other sources:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_mono.htm
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2004, 02:30:52 AM »

Linus7,
While I very much appreciate your scholarly research and posts on the crucial Chrsitological difference which may yet continue to defeat reunion, you assume that reunion is the thrust of my opening this thread. It was not.
I had hoped to uncover additional differences beyond or additional to the most important one and had hoped to avoid the continual replaying of the main 1450+ year argument (or the 'war' here on this one, albeit GREAT, difference).
Where have I been trying to go with this?

Actually, in private posts with some esteemed members here, we have broached the question, "Of the churches (or communions) -  Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholic - which are closest to each other?"

As we have no 'three-way' board here, I was going to pose the question elsewhere in these boards after getting some more input here. But before we start arguing Christology again, I will ask it here. I realize it's a hard question with subjective answers probably being the only possible ones. It may well be that some think the main OO/EO argument is greater than the very many EO/RC differences or that the OOx and RCC are really closer to each other than each to the EOx.  I don't know...

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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2004, 09:06:31 AM »

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Aristokles: I had hoped to uncover additional differences beyond or additional to the most important

Okay.

But it seemed to me - through no fault of yours - that the thrust of this thread had become "there are really no differences between us other than a minor disagreement over history and a few saints."

For quite awhile I've had this nagging sense that there must be a real something behind this conflict; otherwise, why wouldn't all of those great Orthodox saints - like St. Leo, St. Maximus the Confessor, etc. - have resolved it by now?

The real danger here seems to me to lie in the fact that the OO look and sound so much like the Orthodox that we are easily lulled into forgetting that we are not the same and that some important differences separate us, differences that cannot simply be ignored or negotiated away.

Quote
Aristokles: "Of the churches (or communions) -  Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholic - which are closest to each other?"

Interesting question.

I'll have to think about that one.

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« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2004, 11:14:46 AM »


The real danger here seems to me to lie in the fact that the OO look and sound so much like the Orthodox that we are easily lulled into forgetting that we are not the same and that some important differences separate us, differences that cannot simply be ignored or negotiated away.Interesting question.
 


I think there's also a real danger in forgetting all that we share in common and celebrating it as a means to bring us closer together.
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« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2004, 12:06:30 PM »

I think there's also a real danger in forgetting all that we share in common and celebrating it as a means to bring us closer together.

In the present age I think that is a danger from which we have little to fear. We're all too ready to find common cause with just about anybody.

The Donatists were very "orthodox."

Did St. Augustine and the other Fathers look for the things they had in common with them or call on them to repent?
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2004, 12:12:42 PM »

In the present age I think that is a danger from which we have little to fear. We're all too ready to find common cause with just about anybody.

The Donatists were very "orthodox."

Did St. Augustine and the other Fathers look for the things they had in common with them or call on them to repent?


I believe the Donatists taught a different version of the Faith and one that is at odds with basic tenets of Apostolic teaching (namely that only the totally blameless belong in the Church and that the validity of the sacraments depended upon the personal holiness of the priest).  Our good friends Peter, Stavro, Mor and others have consistently shown us that they adhere to the same faith and Christology that Orthodoxy teaches, if expressed a bit differently.  Also, St. Augustine and the rest of the Fathers were not facing the human divisions of the Body of Christ that we face today.
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« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2004, 12:57:17 PM »

I think the article that Linus posted shows why I was critical earlier of EO-OO reunion. Every article I've read from the OO side makes it clear that they will not waver when it comes to accepting councils 4-7, the Tome, and believing in certain saints as heretics, and vice versa. Therefore, in order to reach those demands, Chalcedonian Orthodoxy must change its faith somehow-and, from  an Orthodox perspective, that's what raises questions.

Also, I've heard that openess to the OO increases the further south one gets towards the Mediterranean-the Greeks, (like the infamous Fr. Romanides) are much more willing to jettison the Tome, for example, than Russians.

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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2004, 01:01:22 PM »

In the present age I think that is a danger from which we have little to fear. We're all too ready to find common cause with just about anybody.

The Donatists were very "orthodox."

Well, Donatism is a special case because it is, by implication, a heresy of polity. In practice it is the most frequently reinvented heresy because it gets dragged out again whenever someone does something which supposedly invalidates their sacraments. Donatism is schizmatic, and in practice is utterly so. Every group that isn't using a sort of limited Donatism to justify their own schism from their parent ends up rejecting it, because its acceptance means institutional self-destruction.

But what one sees happening all too often is that plenty of institutions think that their ministers are sinless enough.
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« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2004, 01:36:15 PM »

Quote
Schultz:
I believe the Donatists taught a different version of the Faith and one that is at odds with basic tenets of Apostolic teaching (namely that only the totally blameless belong in the Church and that the validity of the sacraments depended upon the personal holiness of the priest).

Otherwise they were orthodox.

The OO apparently also have a different version of the Faith but are otherwise orthodox.

Quote
Schultz: Our good friends Peter, Stavro, Mor and others have consistently shown us that they adhere to the same faith and Christology that Orthodoxy teaches, if expressed a bit differently.

Did you read any of the articles at the links I posted?

If, for example, the words of Fr. Verghese are representative, then the difference is more than one of expression.

"We are unable to say what this council [the Sixth] says when it affirms 'two wills and two operations concurring most fitly in him'...." involves more than a mere difference of expression.

"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" is not a difference of expression either.

It is monothelitism for sure and even looks a lot like monophysitism.

How are we to see this expression?

"We regard Leo as a heretic . . ."

Quote
 Also, St. Augustine and the rest of the Fathers were not facing the human divisions of the Body of Christ that we face today.  

Can the Body of Christ be divided?

If anything, what St. Augustine and the Fathers faced was far worse.
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« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2004, 01:47:39 PM »


Also, I've heard that openess to the OO increases the further south one gets towards the Mediterranean-the Greeks, (like the infamous Fr. Romanides) are much more willing to jettison the Tome, for example, than Russians.

{BIG SIGH}
It is not surprising to me that the OO/EO dialogue has the most import in the areas where the original schism occured a full 500 years before the Rus had Orthodox Christianity.  Don't know about "jettisoning" the Tome, either. I do welcome Moscow's independent review of the dialogue to date, however. They would appear to be hard critics but perhaps more impartial.

That said...

My original question was OO/EX differences beyond the Christologial. I expanded that to "who is closer to whom" considering the RCC/EO/OO?
I guess that question is a bit too thorny to take on or perhaps has no answer.


{I note with some interest that Linus7's quoted then Fr. Verghese opinion dated 1970. That was very near the start of the current rapproachment efforts.  Is that opinion an "official" position? Then? or Now?}

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« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2004, 01:52:14 PM »

Quote
Aristokles: {I note with some interest that Linus7's quoted then Fr. Verghese opinion dated 1970. That was very near the start of the current rapproachment efforts.  Is that opinion an "official" position? Then? or Now?}

That is a valid question and one I have wondered about myself.

Were Verghese's remarks representative (he became a Metropolitan after having made them, BTW)?

If so, have the OO moderated their stance at all?

Didn't you mention something once before about the Orthodox Church of Georgia having recently rejected some sort of OO reunion proposal?

Maybe you can fill us in on the details or provide a link?
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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2004, 01:58:31 PM »

I'll see if I can dig that story up about the Georgians, Linus7. It's been about a year or so, I think, but I definitely recall reading the report (perhaps on the old OCL news page).
I think the "agreed statements" displayed some moderation, but the statements alone are relatively meaningless.
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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2004, 02:20:30 PM »

The OO apparently also have a different version of the Faith but are otherwise orthodox.Did you read any of the articles at the links I posted?

Please enlighten us all as to how Peter, Stavro, and Mor have a flawed version of the FAITH.  Not in how the faith is expressed through councilar decrees and canons, but the FAITH itself.

You've yet to do this.


Quote
Can the Body of Christ be divided?

Note I said human divisions, caused by human sin.  How typical of a polemicist to glaze over qualifying words.
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« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2004, 03:43:03 PM »


Didn't you mention something once before about the Orthodox Church of Georgia having recently rejected some sort of OO reunion proposal?

Maybe you can fill us in on the details or provide a link?

Whew! A bigger search task than I thought it would be...it's the lead article here from the Oriental Orthodox News Service:

http://www.uk-christian.net/oons/january_1999.html

Not that recent perhaps, but it is so.

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« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2004, 05:39:23 PM »

Quote
Schultz:
Please enlighten us all as to how Peter, Stavro, and Mor have a flawed version of the FAITH.  Not in how the faith is expressed through councilar decrees and canons, but the FAITH itself.

This thread is entitled Re:EOx-OOx Differences not "Linus' personal evaluation of the faith of particular individuals."

What business would I have making comments on the personal faith of the individuals you named?

Please show how the faith as expressed in the comments of Fr. Verghese, who ultimately became an OO metropolitan, is the same as the faith of the Eastern Orthodox.

If Verghese comments are representative, then the EO and OO have some significant differences.

Quote
Schultz: You've yet to do this.Note I said human divisions, caused by human sin.  How typical of a polemicist to glaze over qualifying words.


I'm not going to do it either.

What you've asked me to do is to find fault with particular members of this web site.

That is not what this thread is about.

This thread is about the doctrinal positions of the EO and OO communions.

I am not a "polemicist."

I am a person who is concerned about the truth.

And I am certainly not the one doing the "glazing over."
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« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2004, 05:46:15 PM »

When are you going to move to Colorado and join ROAC?
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« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2004, 05:53:37 PM »

This thread is entitled Re:EOx-OOx Differences not "Linus' personal evaluation of the faith of particular individuals."

What business would I have making comments on the personal faith of the individuals you named?

The aforementioned folks are members of the OO communion, therefore any comments you make regarding their "flawed faith" you make about their personal faith.  Please try to keep up.


Quote
Please show how the faith as expressed in the comments of Fr. Verghese, who ultimately became an OO metropolitan, is the same as the faith of the Eastern Orthodox.

If Verghese comments are representative, then the EO and OO have some significant differences.

Nope, not my job.  I'm not OO and therefore don't have to defend its expression of faith to you or anyone else.  Nice try, buddy.

But while we're on the subject, I'm sure Peter or our other friends would love to answer this question when you answer his regarding the EO bishops who accept 8 or 9 councils as "ecumenical".  A bishop is an official representative of Orthodoxy, therefore there must be some "significant differences" between their expression of the Faith and your own, who only accept seven.



Quote
I am not a "polemicist."

I am a person who is concerned about the truth.

And I am certainly not the one doing the "glazing over."

A polemicist, by definition, is more concerned with differences than with commonalities, and more concerned with being proved "right" than trying to heal wounds.

You, my dear sir, have done nothing but point out differences, left and right, up and down, to and fro.

I believe the Donatists were concerned with "the truth", too, in their day.
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« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2004, 06:35:46 PM »

Quote
.........even looks a lot like monophysitism
Are you telling us that we are monophysits but we don't know this fact about ourselves ? We condemned Eutechyus and all monophysits heresies and have been doing so since 449 a.d., by our blessed Father and Saint Pope Discorous and out blessed Church fathers, in case anybody missed this point.

Muslims keep saying that christians have three Gods, even if we swear that it is only One we worship. Don't know why I remembered this now.

Peace,
Stavro

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« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2004, 06:38:14 PM »

I will respond to the issues raised by our dear Linus, regarding the Tome, Leo and Chalcedon, as well as our position on the 5-7 councils. Got to go now.
Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2004, 08:30:00 PM »

When are you going to move to Colorado and join ROAC?  

Are such remarks supposed to bother me?
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« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2004, 08:42:11 PM »

Are such remarks supposed to bother me?
I agree, Linus7. Where's that comment coming from and what does it have to do with the two questions posed in this thread?
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« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2004, 08:42:18 PM »

Quote
Schultz:
The aforementioned folks are members of the OO communion, therefore any comments you make regarding their "flawed faith" you make about their personal faith.  Please try to keep up.Nope, not my job.  I'm not OO and therefore don't have to defend its expression of faith to you or anyone else.  Nice try, buddy.

Not true.

If I make a statement about the beliefs of a particular communion, I am not singling out its individual adherents.

The discussion is not about them as individuals.

Yet you asked me to comment on the faith of a particular set of individuals.

What you are trying to do is to make this discussion personal by saying, "Go ahead, attack our friends."

In that way you attempt to discredit my point of view. If I disagree with the OO I am then seen as assaulting certain well-liked members of this web site.

I am not OO, so obviously I must disagree with them in some way.

That does not mean I hate individual OO or wish to pass judgment on them.

Quote
Schultz: But while we're on the subject, I'm sure Peter or our other friends would love to answer this question when you answer his regarding the EO bishops who accept 8 or 9 councils as "ecumenical".  A bishop is an official representative of Orthodoxy, therefore there must be some "significant differences" between their expression of the Faith and your own, who only accept seven.A polemicist, by definition, is more concerned with differences than with commonalities, and more concerned with being proved "right" than trying to heal wounds.

I already answered the questions to which you refer and which have absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.

If you see me as "polemicist" because I am not ready for a false union based on sappy sentiment and the modern affinity for ecumenism, then so be it.

Quote
Schultz: You, my dear sir, have done nothing but point out differences, left and right, up and down, to and fro.

Baloney.

I have disagreed with PeterFarrington.

That is my "crime."

Someone needs to point out the differences in this case.

They are very real.

Quote
Schultz: I believe the Donatists were concerned with "the truth", too, in their day.

Would you have been arguing for a cheap "reunion" with them, too?
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« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2004, 08:50:48 PM »

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Stavro:
Are you telling us that we are monophysits but we don't know this fact about ourselves ?

Read my post.

I was commenting on a specific statement by Fr. Paul Verghese of the Syrian Orthodox Church of India.

I made no general remarks about all OO as "monophysites."

I said his statement was monothelite and looked a lot like outright monophysitism.

Quote
Stavro: We condemned Eutechyus and all monophysits heresies and have been doing so since 449 a.d., by our blessed Father and Saint Pope Discorous and out blessed Church fathers, in case anybody missed this point.

Okay. I was aware of the condemnation of Eutyches.

Quote
Stavro: Muslims keep saying that christians have three Gods, even if we swear that it is only One we worship. Don't know why I remembered this now.

Peace,
Stavro

Can't think why you should have mentioned it either, since it has no bearing on this discussion.


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« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2004, 09:52:18 PM »

Schultz,

The remark about Linus joining ROAC was irrelevant and uncalled for.  

Linus,

I'm not asking you to sugar coat your position, but the way you present it at times leaves something to be desired.  Please be mindful of that.
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« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2004, 09:58:03 PM »

Schultz,

The remark about Linus joining ROAC was irrelevant and uncalled for.  

Linus,

I'm not asking you to sugar coat your position, but the way you present it at times leaves something to be desired.  Please be mindful of that.


Okay.

That is something I need to work on.

Sometimes it's not easy to see how something sounds to others.
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« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2004, 09:58:32 PM »

Can't think why you should have mentioned it either, since it has no bearing on this discussion.

With regard to Stavro's remark about the Muslims, I read it to mean that just as Muslims allege that Christians worship three gods, we know that this is not what we believe.  In a similar way, you may think this or that about the Oriental Orthodox position, but that doesn't necessarily mean you know what you're talking about, and that the people in question actually believe what you think they believe.  Stavro may not have been able to voice why he thought of the Muslim example, but perhaps this interpretation isn't too far off?  I think it has a lot of bearing on this discussion, viewed from this perspective.  

The problem with EO, as I've experienced it in speaking with them about this (online, anyway...real life is always much more enjoyable), is that they don't seem to want to listen, only pontificate.  When both sides listen, it is always profitable, even if the two parties leave still in disagreement.  

With regard to H.G. Paulos Mar Gregorios, I don't know his writings very well.  Some of the things I've heard him teach on other topics are things I wouldn't agree with, and I don't think a lot of our Orthodox brethren would agree with them either.  Whether the passages you cited are the official position of the Oriental Orthodox, I don't know.  I do know that, for as much as he is praised by many, many Indian Orthodox, there are things he is supposed to have taught that I am not comfortable with.
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« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2004, 10:07:44 PM »

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Mor Ephrem: With regard to Stavro's remark about the Muslims, I read it to mean that just as Muslims allege that Christians worship three gods, we know that this is not what we believe.  In a similar way, you may think this or that about the Oriental Orthodox position, but that doesn't necessarily mean you know what you're talking about, and that the people in question actually believe what you think they believe.

Except in this case I was referring to specific remarks made by a specific OO leader.

I wasn't speculating about what the OO believe.

Quote
Mor Ephrem: Stavro may not have been able to voice why he thought of the Muslim example, but perhaps this interpretation isn't too far off?  I think it has a lot of bearing on this discussion, viewed from this perspective.

Such remarks like the one Stavro made have an unwritten component. By comparing my post to a mistake made by Muslims, I become like them. That is the intended psychological effect of such comments.

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« Reply #45 on: February 11, 2004, 11:04:50 PM »

I agree, Linus7. Where's that comment coming from and what does it have to do with the two questions posed in this thread?
Demetri

It comes from his absolute refusal to actually listen to what our Oriental Orthodox friends have to say about what they believe.

Listening to Linus argue is strangely reminiscent of listening to members of ROAC argue, that's all.

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« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2004, 11:55:06 PM »

When are you going to move to Colorado and join ROAC?  


Please don't speak like that.

Thanks,

Anastasios
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« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2004, 03:42:10 AM »

Okay.

That is something I need to work on.

Sometimes it's not easy to see how something sounds to others.

Just try and read through what you type a couple of times before you click on 'Post'.
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« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2004, 09:03:36 AM »

It comes from his absolute refusal to actually listen to what our Oriental Orthodox friends have to say about what they believe.

Listening to Linus argue is strangely reminiscent of listening to members of ROAC argue, that's all.



What refusal to actually listen?

I have listened.

I have also done some further reading and investigating.

If you will look back at my posts, you will see that I quoted an OO leader regarding what they believe.

If what he said is representative of OO opinion - and it may not be - then we do not have the same faith.

For one thing, it is impossible for an Orthodox Christian to deny that our Lord has two wills; for another, no Orthodox Christian would call St. Leo a heretic.

I do not understand why anyone would insist on framing this discussion in terms of Orthodox Christianity vs. "our friends."

That is not what this is about - naming particular individuals who are OO and claiming that I am finding flaws in their faith as individuals.

BTW, I never used the term "flawed faith" in any of my posts; yet it appears in quotes as if I had.

Even after being warned, a certain individual insists again on associating my opinions with ROAC.

ROAC is not OO.

I am not OO.

Does that make me ROAC or ROAC me?

Are all those who are not OO members of ROAC?
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« Reply #49 on: February 12, 2004, 10:42:43 AM »

I apologize for my misanthropic comments towards Linus.  I ask for his forgiveness.  Once again, I show how much of a jacka$$ I can be.

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« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2004, 10:49:52 AM »

I apologize for my misanthropic comments towards Linus.  I ask for his forgiveness.  Once again, I show how much of a jacka$$ I can be.



You're not one of those.

I enjoy your posts.

All of us here are going to disagree now and then.

I apologize if I have offended you and likewise ask your forgiveness.

You have mine already.
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« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2004, 06:12:30 PM »

Peace,

Let me clarify these issues first:
Quote
Linus: I can't think why you should have mentioned it either, since it has no bearing on this discussion
I meant what Brother Mor figured out. The attitude is the same in both cases, and sorry if it offended you or if I made a wrong judgement about you.
Quote
Linus: I was in this case I was referring to specific remarks made by a specific OO leader
The position of the OO leaders regarding the issues related to unity with EO and RC or even the Assyrian churches can be found in the protocols regarding the joint meetings. As far as the Coptic Orthodox Church , there official position about theology and the union with the other denominations are expressed by HIS HOLINESS POPE SHENOUDA, Pope of Alexandria.
Quote
Linus to Schulz: I enjoy your posts
I too enjoy Schulz's post and want to thank him for his spirit.


Regarding the union: To my understanding, that the OO and EO are past the theological part which caused the schism in Chalcedon. In fact, the excommunication of St. Discorous was due to canonical (from Calcedonian side of course) and not theological issues. The EO cleared their position regarding the way they understand the question of the Two Natures and proved they are non-Nestorian and never were.The OO clarified their position regarding the monophysite heresy and showed that they never did adopt such heresy, and a common declaration of faith was put together.
The problem is in the questions of the Councils and the Saints.

So raising up doubts about the belief of the OO regarding theological matters relating to Chalcedon would lead to questioning the ability of EO leaders, Patriarchs and Bishops, to point out a heresy in the OO belief system. It is either they don't know or, with all due respect, conspiring against the EO "faith" for false union.  
This is of course not the case and I am sure they are in this union talks because there is nothing wrong with the OO theology.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2004, 06:41:46 PM »

Peace,

the following posts are my own research regarding different issues like Chalcedon, The Tome of Leo, Leo ....... . I might not be very articulate or not very updated on this issue, and I don't claim to be a historian or theologian. I would appreciate very much if any of the OO brothers would correct or add any missing points.

Regarding Councils 5-7 from OO point of view:
We don't have issues with dogmas clarified in these councils (I think this is the official OO position). We can look at them as sources as long as they interpreted in an orthodox way by the EO.
But we will not sign on them because:
1- Our approval was not required in the first place to make these councils valid. Why should we sign now ?
2- These councils fought heresies that crept into the Chalcedonian church and they were never an issue in our Church. They are irrelevant to us.
Suppose for the sake of argument that the EO had a council to discuss the gender of the angels, for example, and they condemned every "heretic" who said that they are men. Are we required to sign on those councils ?
3- The position the EO church takes on this issues is a position of enforcing primacy on the OO and acting as the "Orthodox" part who puts conditions to accept the "prodigals", which is not the case. A union is between equals only.
4- Would the EO agree to sign on the councils of the RC after 1054 a.d. in order to have a union ? The same assumptions and conditions apply in both cases.
5- Would the EO sign on local meeting of the OO church, like Adessa Baba in 1965 for example and every other Holy Synod decision of the Coptic Church, for example ? We don't ask EO to do so, and we ask the same from them. Anything else is hypocrisy.

Peace,
Stavro

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« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2004, 06:59:40 PM »

Tome of LEO:
We understand that the EO are not nestorian, and that they interpret the Tome in an orthodox manner. But if we look at a paragraph like the following :

There is nothing unreal about this oneness, since both the lowliness of the man and the grandeur of the divinity are in mutual relation. As God is not changed by showing mercy, neither is humanity devoured by the dignity received. The activity of each form is what is proper to it in communion with the other: that is, the Word performs what belongs to the Word, and the flesh accomplishes what belongs to the flesh. One of these performs brilliant miracles; the other sustains acts of violence. As the Word does not lose its glory which is equal to that of the Father, so neither does the flesh leave the nature of its kind behind.

1- Now, this on/off switch between the Word and the Flesh, each doing its own "thing", the Word being glorified by the power of divinity (miracles), and the Flesh being humilated as humanity (acts of violence), is very Nestorian. Reports about Nestorios accepting the Tome may have its validity, after all.

2- No way that such a weak piece of document could be taken as a pillar of faith. Champions of Faith don't invite heresies to creep through their writings, and specially if it supposed to be the definitive piece of teaching on an issue.

3- I am not accusing EO of being Nestorian, they say and I believe them that they interpret the Tome in an orthodox way, but we can definitly understand why such a Nestorian piece of writing was refused and totally rejected by the OO and by our blessed and Holy Pope St.Discorous, who the heavy burden of fighting Nestorians and other heresies fell on his shoulders after the departure of the Pillar of Faith , St. Cyril and the change in Antoich and Rome.

4- Accepting the Tome will never happen on the OO side, and if it is a condition from the side of EO, the union will fail. We don't compromise on faith related issues.

5- Was Leo sound in his theology ? Very questionable because of his wording in the Tome and because of his relation to Theodret.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2004, 07:30:54 PM »

Leo :
The disagreement with Leo is about his teachings:

1- The Tome: Very Nestorian in Language
2- Primacy teachings : Not the place to discuss it here, but he is the founder of the Primacy teachings
3- Relation with Theodret:
- Theodret was a heretic as evident by his attacks against the Twelve Chapters of St.Cyril, and these attacks were elevated after the deaprture of the Pillar of Faith St.Cyril. The Synod in Chalcedon, except Leo and his delegates to Chalcedon, condemned him.
- He was allowed to sit in the council and be an active part and render decision on the theological matters, after he was given -miracleously- a chance to repent. His name appears in the minutes among those who approved that Tome of Leo was OK. Here we are faced with a clear Heretic, supported by Leo, taking part in theological decisions.
- Leo insisted upon having the Heretic Theodret as a member of the Council, before the council began. At that time, this Heretic rejected The Twelve Chapters, Ephesus I, the anathema of Nestorius, the reconciliation between Alexandria and Antoich. So he is both condemned by Ephesus I and Ephesus II which was not yet annulled by Leo.  

I wonder how can anybody claim that St. Discorous was wrong in excommunicating Leo after his support of an heretic ? Can Leo be regarded as an Orthodox if he supported such vigouros enemy of Cyril ?

Peace,
Stavro

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« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2004, 07:46:16 PM »

Chalcedon:
Note that it didn't hold anything against the OO, theologically.

The theological problems with Chalcedon from OO point of view are:
1- Accepting the Tome of Leo and not trying to even change its wording to be more definitive in fighting off the Nestorian heresy.
2- The Question of the Three Chapters, which were realized to be blasphemy by the OO and contributed to the refusal of OO to accept the Council. The question which has to be dealt with : If the Chalcedonian took about a century to realize that the Three CHapters were blasphemy, how can they accept this council themselves ? In between, were they heretics ?

Canonically:
1- Having a heretic sitting in the council and render decisions like Theodret is a joke.
2- Excommunicating Pope St. Discorous without giving him a chance to defend himself and although he was under house arrest. Should we pretend that the council did not know this, or that Leo did not know such a fact, being the friend of the Emperor and Theodret.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #56 on: February 12, 2004, 08:06:36 PM »

Post Chalcedon:

This is also a point often neglected , intentionally or not, by the Chalcedonians. They undermine the horror of the crimes and mass murders committed by the Chalcedonians against the non-chalcedonians. I will speak about the Coptic Church and the Persecution it was subjected too by the Chalcedonians and their political alliances (Emperors).
1- Disposal of the Alexandrian Popes at numerous incidents and having a Puppet Chalcedonian Bishop reporting to the Popes of Con. and ROme and to the Emperor , at the same time. Leo is the inventor of such "tradition".
These Puppet Bishops were also the rulers of Egypt, and they manifested this authority by wearing the full military clothes on the Bishop's attire during liturgies.
2- Killing of millions of Copts . Nobody paid any attention to this fact or even comes out loud and condemns it, and I hope it is not because of racial prejudice. I wonder whether the EO Church were negligent of this fact, or did they endorse it ? If not, why didn't they do anything about it, at least condemn it ? Killing is not a theological issue to be debated.

That leads us to the question of Saints:
I wonder why is it important to be orthodox to confess that Leo is a saint ? If you want to make him one, OO will not object, but I think it is clear why OO will never ever think of putting him in such a high regard.  
Speaking about saints, what about Justianian !! It raises questions about the process of venerating saints by the EO. He killed millions of OO. Is he a "must-have saint" also ?

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #57 on: February 12, 2004, 09:12:35 PM »

Stavro -

Thank you for taking the time to post your perspective.

I disagree, but thanks anyway.

It seems to me your posts - if typical of OO opinion - make it very clear that we are very far from any kind of union and that at present such a union would be highly undesirable.
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« Reply #58 on: February 13, 2004, 02:43:43 AM »

Stavro -

Thank you for taking the time to post your perspective.

I disagree, but thanks anyway.

It seems to me your posts - if typical of OO opinion - make it very clear that we are very far from any kind of union and that at present such a union would be highly undesirable.

Although I will try to make a specific response to Stavro's posts by tonight, I am afraid I must agree with Linus7. Other than a Christological agreement, it does seem as if each side here sees a "poison pill"  required of it by the other.
Everything I see in Stavro's posts seems discussed before. When I started this thread as, at first an OO/EO-thing, I was looking for other differences such as, for example, possible CALENDAR differences that lurk as future impediments.

Demetri
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« Reply #59 on: February 13, 2004, 05:47:28 PM »

Quote
Although I will try to make a specific response to Stavro's posts by tonight, I am afraid I must agree with Linus7. Other than a Christological agreement, it does seem as if each side here sees a "poison pill"  required of it by the other.Everything I see in Stavro's posts seems discussed before. When I started this thread as, at first an OO/EO-thing, I was looking for other differences such as, for example, possible CALENDAR differences that lurk as future impediments.
I see that my posts brought the opposite effect of what I intended. I wanted to make clear that many OO will not accept Chalcedon and the issues related to it for the reasons I mentioned, and we don't see it as an issue necessary for unity as long as we confess the same faith. Again, these are personal views and I believe they are common among OO, but not necessarily the only perspective.  

What is common among OO also is a desire for unity, a unity between equals.

Sorry Demetri for deviating from the original subject. Forgive me.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #60 on: February 16, 2004, 03:53:47 PM »

Quote
Stavro:
Regarding the union: To my understanding, that the OO and EO are past the theological part which caused the schism in Chalcedon. In fact, the excommunication of St. Discorous was due to canonical (from Calcedonian side of course) and not theological issues. The EO cleared their position regarding the way they understand the question of the Two Natures and proved they are non-Nestorian and never were.The OO clarified their position regarding the monophysite heresy and showed that they never did adopt such heresy, and a common declaration of faith was put together.

This seems an accurate description of the agreements to date.

Quote
Stavro:
So raising up doubts about the belief of the OO regarding theological matters relating to Chalcedon would lead to questioning the ability of EO leaders, Patriarchs and Bishops, to point out a heresy in the OO belief system. It is either they don't know or, with all due respect, conspiring against the EO "faith" for false union.

I do defer judgment to my bishops and trust them to faithfully pursue this dialogue.

Quote
Stavro:
Regarding Councils 5-7 from OO point of view:
We don't have issues with dogmas clarified in these councils (I think this is the official OO position). We can look at them as sources as long as they interpreted in an orthodox way by the EO.
But we will not sign on them because:
1- Our approval was not required in the first place to make these councils valid. Why should we sign now ?
2- These councils fought heresies that crept into the Chalcedonian church and they were never an issue in our Church. They are irrelevant to us.
Suppose for the sake of argument that the EO had a council to discuss the gender of the angels, for example, and they condemned every "heretic" who said that they are men. Are we required to sign on those councils ?
3- The position the EO church takes on this issues is a position of enforcing primacy on the OO and acting as the "Orthodox" part who puts conditions to accept the "prodigals", which is not the case. A union is between equals only.
4- Would the EO agree to sign on the councils of the RC after 1054 a.d. in order to have a union ? The same assumptions and conditions apply in both cases.
5- Would the EO sign on local meeting of the OO church, like Adessa Baba in 1965 for example and every other Holy Synod decision of the Coptic Church, for example ? We don't ask EO to do so, and we ask the same from them. Anything else is hypocrisy.

1) Without being quickly dismissive here, every time I see words to the effect of “We don’t have a problem with these councils, but as we were not involved in the heresies, why should we have to accept councils correcting them” I am taken with the logic until I see that this in effect is saying: “We cannot accept that which we do NOT DISAGREE with”.

2) Specific to the Seventh Council, I must take issue with you. The first rumblings of the iconoclasts began in the Church of Armenia reaching a culmination with the Paulican sect. From there it spread to the Church of Constantinople. While it is true that the Armenians dealt with the heresy alone without involving the other “Oriental” churches, the heresy was there. With the aid of the then-Orthodox Pope of Rome, the Seventh Council vanquished the heresy in the Chalcedonian, and specifically Constantinople, churches.

3) Indeed, I do not see this as a “primacy”-thing. Any re-union based on anything less than 100% concurrence is no union at all. We have a model of an “unia” in the west to show that danger.

4 and 5) Just so! That is exactly what would be required of the EOs and the RCs alike. Failing this - no union. Indeed the EO’s have many councils (beginning with the universally accepted ‘provisionally’ named 8th and 9th) beyond the SEVEN. Many are in response to some Latin new holdings such as use of unleavened bread or the Gregorian Calendar with new paschalion. It is incumbent on both the OO’s and EO’s to fully examine ALL councils.


Demetri

{Continued}
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« Reply #61 on: February 16, 2004, 03:56:03 PM »

Quote
Stavro:
Tome of LEO:
We understand that the EO are not nestorian, and that they interpret the Tome in an orthodox mannerGǪ.

I will quote you no further here. The above statement of yours should be enough unless one is looking for reasons not to re-unite.

Quote
Stavro:
Chalcedon:
Note that it didn't hold anything against the OO, theologically.

The theological problems with Chalcedon from OO point of view are:
1- Accepting the Tome of Leo and not trying to even change its wording to be more definitive in fighting off the Nestorian heresy.
2- The Question of the Three Chapters, which were realized to be blasphemy by the OO and contributed to the refusal of OO to accept the Council. The question which has to be dealt with : If the Chalcedonian took about a century to realize that the Three CHapters were blasphemy, how can they accept this council themselves ? In between, were they heretics ?

Precisely why all acceptance of all Seven Councils, today en-mass versus separately is asked. Indeed, while 5 and 6 dealt with other heresies as well, I do believe making the 4th palpable for the OO’s was an intent.

Quote
Canonically:
1- Having a heretic sitting in the council and render decisions like Theodret is a joke.
2- Excommunicating Pope St. Discorous without giving him a chance to defend himself and although he was under house arrest. Should we pretend that the council did not know this, or that Leo did not know such a fact, being the friend of the Emperor and Theodret.
I honestly think this is your only real issue, my new friend, Stavro. I’ll not bring up similar issues from our side as neither argument can be settled by anything less than mutual forgiveness.

Quote
This is also a point often neglected , intentionally or not, by the Chalcedonians. They undermine the horror of the crimes and mass murders committed by the Chalcedonians against the non-chalcedonians. I will speak about the Coptic Church and the Persecution it was subjected too by the Chalcedonians and their political alliances (Emperors).
1- Disposal of the Alexandrian Popes at numerous incidents and having a Puppet Chalcedonian Bishop reporting to the Popes of Con. and ROme and to the Emperor , at the same time. Leo is the inventor of such "tradition".
These Puppet Bishops were also the rulers of Egypt, and they manifested this authority by wearing the full military clothes on the Bishop's attire during liturgies.
2- Killing of millions of Copts . Nobody paid any attention to this fact or even comes out loud and condemns it, and I hope it is not because of racial prejudice. I wonder whether the EO Church were negligent of this fact, or did they endorse it ? If not, why didn't they do anything about it, at least condemn it ? Killing is not a theological issue to be debated.

You seem to accuse the Church for the sins of men. I’ve no immediate answer and agree it’s not debatable, except that “millions” stretches credulity to me. Not that that matters, however. Even “one” on either side should be condemned.


Demetri

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« Reply #62 on: February 16, 2004, 03:59:51 PM »

Quote
That leads us to the question of Saints:
I wonder why is it important to be orthodox to confess that Leo is a saint ? If you want to make him one, OO will not object, but I think it is clear why OO will never ever think of putting him in such a high regard.

But you’ve yet to convince me that he is not a saint.

Quote
Speaking about saints, what about Justianian !! It raises questions about the process of venerating saints by the EO. He killed millions of OO. Is he a "must-have saint" also ?

Justinian is not venerated as a saint for persecuting Jacobites and Copts, but for recovering in large part the empire in the west and freeing the See of Rome from the Arian Visigoths and, foremost, for his vast support of the Byzantine Social Welfare System of hospitals, poor-houses and churches. That as a man he could and did sin I do not doubt.

Apparently Linus7 is correct; much divides us yet. I do find it strange, however, that when I sit down with my Coptic friends here and converse over a cup of coffee, our dialogue sounds nothing like these exchanges.

This is probably my last post in this thread. Starvo and Nicholas are welcomed to continue off- forum via PM.

Peace to you as well, Stavro

Demetri
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« Reply #63 on: February 17, 2004, 06:19:54 PM »

Dear Demetri,
Peace,
I thank you for your post and for clarifying many issues in you reply.

I think the differences remain, mainly in the councils and saints, and I will not debate it as it will be just rephrasing of previous arguments from both sides and out of respect for your request.

However, I think with your posts, the debate ended on a positive note, from such statements:
Quote
Demetri commenting on theology: I will quote you no further here. The above statement of yours should be enough unless one is looking for reasons not to re-unite.
Strongly agree.
Quote
Demetri commenting on my opinion about Fourth Council:I will not bring up similar issues from our side as neither argument can be settled by anything less than mutual forgiveness.
I agree and you are right, we sometimes get tangled in a discussion on who is right and who got it wrong, but we forget the basic christian values like forgiveness, love,.... . We agree on theology, there are no heresies or false dogmas on both sides, so the union should be realized rapidly, I hope.

Also,
Quote
Demetri:I do find it strange, however, that when I sit down with my Coptic friends here and converse over a cup of coffee, our dialogue sounds nothing like these exchanges.
The dialogue took a heated turn, and I am sorry if my posts contributed to that. I really wanted to make clear why OO have issues with the councils and saints.
We don't think it should prevent the union anyways.
As for your coptic friends, I am glad that you are aquainted with some brothers  Smiley and you have a rather positive impression about them.
The Coptic Church has made positive steps towards the union, and clarified the issue that the EO have a sound theology. Here in the US, in places where there is no OO churches, Copts are allowed to take communion in the EO parishes, if they allow. Most of them (EO) are very inviting and we appreciate this very much.

I hope we see a full union soon.
Peace,
Stavro


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