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Author Topic: Representation at the earlier councils  (Read 708 times) Average Rating: 0
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deusveritasest
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« on: August 08, 2010, 10:22:55 PM »

I came to wonder this when thinking about some comments I have seen made about the 1965 Addis Ababa Conference.

"What makes this historic conference so unique is these sister churches had their last common council at Ephesus in 431 A.D. After 15 centuries of mutual isolation, they met in Addis Ababa in 1965." - http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/gallery/todaysphoto/1965addisababaconference/index.htm

"Although these five Churches have all along recognized one another officially as sister churches holding full Eucharistic fellowship with each other, they have not had a common council or synod after the fifth century."

"For it was at Ephesus in 431 A.D that these churches had their last common council." - http://orientalorthodox.blogspot.com/2008/12/oriental-orthodox-churches-addis-ababa.html

These comments seem to betray the assumption that, beyond the obvious and apparent reality that all the Oriental churches accept and adhere to the Three Councils, they were even all represented at them.

Now, I am a little skeptical of this assumption. Is it true that all of these churches had representatives at these councils? I am particularly curious about the Armenians.
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Salpy
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 10:33:49 PM »

Are you sure they meant that all the OO Churches were physically present at Ephesus 431?  To say it was our last common council is not necessarily saying that we had actual representatives there.  I know the Armenians did not have anyone there, and only accepted it after it happened.  

I think that Ephesus 431 was our last common council in that it was the last one that all of the OO Churches officially accepted.  

Later on, the Copts had Ephesus II and III, but the Armenians never officially accepted those.  I don't think we objected to them, rather we just never had reason to officially accept them the way we did Ephesus 431.  Likewise, I don't think the Copts ever officially accepted the Council of Dvin.  I don't think they objected to it;  they just didn't have reason to accept it.

Consequently, the last one that all of us have in common is Ephesus 431.  It doesn't mean we all had people there.  It just means that it is the last one we all officially accepted.
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2010, 11:03:08 PM »

Are you sure they meant that all the OO Churches were physically present at Ephesus 431?

Not really. That was the impression that I got, but I could be wrong about that.

I know the Armenians did not have anyone there, and only accepted it after it happened.

There was not Armenian representation at any of the Three Councils?

I think that Ephesus 431 was our last common council in that it was the last one that all of the OO Churches officially accepted.

That's a reasonable enough interpretation.

Later on, the Copts had Ephesus II and III, but the Armenians never officially accepted those.  I don't think we objected to them, rather we just never had reason to officially accept them they way we did Ephesus 431.  Likewise, I don't think the Copts ever officially accepted the Council of Dvin.  I don't think they objected to it;  they just didn't have reason to accept it.

Could you explain further? I'm trying to understand exactly what you mean by "didn't object" (simply didn't comment, didn't analyze, or actually analyzed and found nothing objectionable) and "didn't have reason to accept it"?
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 01:12:40 AM »

There was not Armenian representation at any of the Three Councils?

One of the sons of St. Gregory the Illuminator (I think Aristakes) represented the Armenians at the First Council.  The Armenians were not present at the other two, but accepted them later.


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Could you explain further? I'm trying to understand exactly what you mean by "didn't object" (simply didn't comment, didn't analyze, or actually analyzed and found nothing objectionable) and "didn't have reason to accept it"?

I'm actually not sure.   Smiley  Considering the geographical and political separation between the various Churches, I'm not even sure to what extent they were aware of each other's councils.
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2010, 01:16:07 PM »

I think you're right, Salpy.  A church not having a presence at, or declaring an official acceptance of, another church in the same Communion's local council doesn't imply a rejection of said synod.
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2010, 05:38:54 PM »

A church not having a presence at, or declaring an official acceptance of, another church in the same Communion's local council doesn't imply a rejection of said synod.

I hope I did not give the impression that I was asserting otherwise.
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 05:38:54 PM »

The Armenians were not present at the other two, but accepted them later.

Could you say exactly when the Armenian church ratified the councils (I'm assuming at councils of your own)?

I'm actually not sure.   Smiley  Considering the geographical and political separation between the various Churches, I'm not even sure to what extent they were aware of each other's councils.

Ah! Ok. Could we not, however, choose to retroactively and officially accept those councils of the other churches which were orthodox for the sake of the clarification of the truth?
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2010, 08:44:43 PM »

The Armenians were not present at the other two, but accepted them later.

Could you say exactly when the Armenian church ratified the councils (I'm assuming at councils of your own)?

If I recall correctly, they were mentioned as ecumenical councils at the Council of Dvin.  So it would have happened by then.  I'm not sure if we really know exactly when it happened though, or if there are records of it before Dvin.

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I'm actually not sure.   Smiley  Considering the geographical and political separation between the various Churches, I'm not even sure to what extent they were aware of each other's councils.

Ah! Ok. Could we not, however, choose to retroactively and officially accept those councils of the other churches which were orthodox for the sake of the clarification of the truth?

I guess it could be done, but I don't think it is necessary.  Usually Churches don't move to do those sorts of things unless there is a specific reason.  At least that is my understanding.
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2010, 01:35:08 AM »

If I recall correctly, they were mentioned as ecumenical councils at the Council of Dvin.

First Council of Dvin?
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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2010, 01:42:08 AM »

That's my understanding.  I'm getting this from H. H. Karekin I's book, The Council of Chalcedon and the Armenian Church.  It's in a footnote on page 204 of the edition I have (printed in 1975.)  It indicates that this was the first time the Three Councils were mentioned together in an official context.
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2010, 07:34:55 AM »

There was not Armenian representation at any of the Three Councils?

One of the sons of St. Gregory the Illuminator (I think Aristakes) represented the Armenians at the First Council.  The Armenians were not present at the other two, but accepted them later.

Not exactly representation of Armenia, but the Second Council was opened by St. Meletius of Antioch, who came from Roman Armenia.
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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2010, 03:05:19 PM »

There was not Armenian representation at any of the Three Councils?

One of the sons of St. Gregory the Illuminator (I think Aristakes) represented the Armenians at the First Council.  The Armenians were not present at the other two, but accepted them later.

Not exactly representation of Armenia, but the Second Council was opened by St. Meletius of Antioch, who came from Roman Armenia.

As far as I know, the Armenians from Armenia Minor (or Lesser Armenia or Roman Armenia, as you call it) had representatives at the third and even fourth councils too. But they belonged to the Byzantine Church, the Cappadocean Church, more precisely. So they did not represent the Church of Armenia. I was always thinking that maybe because this part of historical Armenia which had been conquered by the Roman Empire in early times was mainly inhabited by the Armenians, in the minds of the Armenians of the so called Persian or Greater Armenia the representation of their brothers of the other part of their historical homeland at the second and third councils was somewhat equal to their own representation, that is why they did not care much about sending anyone to those councils. Well, maybe this is a naive opinion, but who knows?
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2010, 06:21:55 PM »

That's my understanding.  I'm getting this from H. H. Karekin I's book, The Council of Chalcedon and the Armenian Church.  It's in a footnote on page 204 of the edition I have (printed in 1975.)  It indicates that this was the first time the Three Councils were mentioned together in an official context.

OK. Thanks!  Smiley
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