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Author Topic: A Question from IrishHermit Concerning Chalcedon  (Read 1526 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 20, 2010, 10:25:26 PM »


No. The Council of Chalcedon was heretical.

If the Oriental Churches and the Church of Rome have agreed that both Churches proclaim the same Christology, how can Chalcedon be heretical?

It is generally agreed by many OO I have talked to that the standard expression of Christology that you Chalcedonians espouse now is (usually) perfectly orthodox, but in fact that it is different from that which was espoused at Chalcedon, which was a messy compromise of Cyrillianism and Nestorianism.
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2010, 11:55:38 PM »


No. The Council of Chalcedon was heretical.

If the Oriental Churches and the Church of Rome have agreed that both Churches proclaim the same Christology, how can Chalcedon be heretical?

It is generally agreed by many OO I have talked to that the standard expression of Christology that you Chalcedonians espouse now is (usually) perfectly orthodox, but in fact that it is different from that which was espoused at Chalcedon, which was a messy compromise of Cyrillianism and Nestorianism.

How can the churches that accept Chalcedon still accept the council as being ecumenical, still accept its definition, still use the terminology used at the council, and yet hold a different Christology than the one defined at the council?
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2010, 12:14:06 AM »

I think the belief of many is that there was language used at Chalcedon that could be read different ways.  Some people at the time gave the Council a Theodorean reading and others gave it an Orthodox one.  Constantinople II (your Fifth Council) eliminated the possibility of a Theodorean interpretation, which is why many now believe the OO's and EO's have a common Christology.

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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2010, 02:28:47 AM »


No. The Council of Chalcedon was heretical.

If the Oriental Churches and the Church of Rome have agreed that both Churches proclaim the same Christology, how can Chalcedon be heretical?

It is generally agreed by many OO I have talked to that the standard expression of Christology that you Chalcedonians espouse now is (usually) perfectly orthodox, but in fact that it is different from that which was espoused at Chalcedon, which was a messy compromise of Cyrillianism and Nestorianism.

How can the churches that accept Chalcedon still accept the council as being ecumenical, still accept its definition, still use the terminology used at the council, and yet hold a different Christology than the one defined at the council?

I don't know that the Council even had that unified or integral of a Christology, TBH, because it was an attempt to compromise Cyrillianism and Nestorianism, and just created quite a mess of a confession.

The interpretation of the Council has always been mixed. In the beginning a more Nestorian interpretation was much more popular. Gradually it shifted back towards a Cyrillian interpretation, of which Constantinople II is the pinnacle.

As a matter of fact, there are still significant numbers in the Chalcedonian churches who hold a Nestorian Christology. Even some on this very site.

The important thing for the OO to realize is that though we can encourage the Cyrillian Christology we see in many of the Byzantines, we should not and cannot lead us to conclude that Chalcedon was indeed perfectly orthodox, and simply "misunderstood" (unfortunately I hear this interpretation quite commonly among OO now).
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 02:39:00 AM »

Just a warning to keep this from getting into polemics.  I know you wanted to answer a point made by Fr. Ambrose, and since he is not a member of the private forum I let the answer stay here.  If, however, you want to have a polemical discussion you need to take it to the private forum.  Among other things, please refrain from calling our EO friends on this forum Nestorian.  Since they are not allowed to call us Monophysites, it would be nice if we can show them that courtesy. 

In other words, giving basic information and points of view about Chalcedon is allowed.  Getting into a heated discussion and name calling is not.
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 04:48:44 PM »

Chalcedon as a "compromise" I do not accept.   The Lord Jesus Christ is man and God.   Man is a wholly different nature or essence than God (granted, the 5th Ecumenical is the one who clarified this conciliarly).   A soul and a body, even though of created nature are distinct in relative sub-natures, exist in man without the soul being absorbed into the body.   It really should not be a surprise that the body and soul of Christ were not absorbed into the divinity.   
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 05:37:08 PM »

Chalcedon as a "compromise" I do not accept.   The Lord Jesus Christ is man and God.   Man is a wholly different nature or essence than God (granted, the 5th Ecumenical is the one who clarified this conciliarly).   A soul and a body, even though of created nature are distinct in relative sub-natures, exist in man without the soul being absorbed into the body.   It really should not be a surprise that the body and soul of Christ were not absorbed into the divinity.   

Huh? Why are you bringing up Synousianism?
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 07:39:55 PM »


No. The Council of Chalcedon was heretical.

If the Oriental Churches and the Church of Rome have agreed that both Churches proclaim the same Christology, how can Chalcedon be heretical?

It is generally agreed by many OO I have talked to that the standard expression of Christology that you Chalcedonians espouse now is (usually) perfectly orthodox, but in fact that it is different from that which was espoused at Chalcedon, which was a messy compromise of Cyrillianism and Nestorianism.

Dear Chris, thank you for answering my questionm.
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2010, 09:37:25 AM »

which is why many now believe the OO's and EO's have a common Christology.

Including myself.
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2010, 10:01:23 AM »


No. The Council of Chalcedon was heretical.

If the Oriental Churches and the Church of Rome have agreed that both Churches proclaim the same Christology, how can Chalcedon be heretical?

It is generally agreed by many OO I have talked to that the standard expression of Christology that you Chalcedonians espouse now is (usually) perfectly orthodox, but in fact that it is different from that which was espoused at Chalcedon, which was a messy compromise of Cyrillianism and Nestorianism.

Since Nestorius and Nestorianism was explicitely condemned, and Pope St. Cyril and "Cyrilianism" a/k/a Orthodox Catholicism was explicitely praised, what explicite compromise was made by the Fathers at Chalecedon? (Text please).
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2010, 11:15:15 AM »

Nestorius was condemned, but there was no discussion of Nestorianism, no condemnation or even mention of Theodore of Mopsuestia. Theodoret had refused to condemn Nestorius for 20 years, and did so only with very bad grace at the end and with no conviction. It did not change his Theodorean Christology. Ibas had been busy spreading the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, and was not asked to condemn any of his ideas. Indeed we know that he was willing to condemn Nestorius for foolishness while also elevating Theodore of Mopsuestia as Teacher of the Church. Therefore his condemnation of Nestorius at Chalcedon means absolutely nothing. Theodoret also was willing to allow the use of the phrase 'Theotokos' because it was in common use, but he never meant by it what St Cyril meant by it.

After Chalcedon Theodoret was very clear that his Theodorean Christology had been preserved.

Although St Cyril was praised, in fact his Christology was rejected. St Dioscorus said no more than St Cyril had done. The fathers of the Council produced a Definition which used St Cyril's Christological terminology, but this was rejected by the Romans and they insisted that a Definition using the terminology of Leo of Rome and Theodore of Mopsuestia should be substituted.

It was a confusion - as the Fathers of the time recognised - because it left many things entirely ambigious. This is why staunch Chalcedonians could keep a feast of Nestorius, could continue to translate and distribute the works of Theodore of Mopsuestia, and could insist that the Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret and Ibas was canonised at Chalcedon.

It is a matter of fact that Nestorius had been invited to attend Chalcedon but death prevented him. The Imperial aim was to restore the Church to the pre-431 position.

This in no way means that every bishop at Chalcedon was a Theodorean, but the Theodorean language and ideas were certainly given breathing space, which is why Constantinople 553 had to deal with them all over again. Indeed so ingrained were these ideas that most of the Western Church went into schism rather than accept their condemnation, and leaders of the Churches in the West were willing to be put into prison by the Emperor rather than condemn what they believed had been canonised at Chalcedon.

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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2010, 02:01:19 PM »


No. The Council of Chalcedon was heretical.

If the Oriental Churches and the Church of Rome have agreed that both Churches proclaim the same Christology, how can Chalcedon be heretical?

It is generally agreed by many OO I have talked to that the standard expression of Christology that you Chalcedonians espouse now is (usually) perfectly orthodox, but in fact that it is different from that which was espoused at Chalcedon, which was a messy compromise of Cyrillianism and Nestorianism.

Dear Chris, thank you for answering my questionm.

No problem.  Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2010, 02:04:34 PM »


No. The Council of Chalcedon was heretical.

If the Oriental Churches and the Church of Rome have agreed that both Churches proclaim the same Christology, how can Chalcedon be heretical?

It is generally agreed by many OO I have talked to that the standard expression of Christology that you Chalcedonians espouse now is (usually) perfectly orthodox, but in fact that it is different from that which was espoused at Chalcedon, which was a messy compromise of Cyrillianism and Nestorianism.

Since Nestorius and Nestorianism was explicitely condemned, and Pope St. Cyril and "Cyrilianism" a/k/a Orthodox Catholicism was explicitely praised, what explicite compromise was made by the Fathers at Chalecedon? (Text please).

Nestorius and Nestorianism were condemned in claim alone, in simply saying that they had done so, without actually condemning the substance of Nestorianism. One of the most obvious examples is the fact that Chalcedon defined there to be two natures after the "union", a union which Ephesus had defined as a natural union, making it impossible for there to be two natures after it.
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2010, 10:28:36 PM »

Nestorius was condemned, but there was no discussion of Nestorianism, no condemnation or even mention of Theodore of Mopsuestia. Theodoret had refused to condemn Nestorius for 20 years, and did so only with very bad grace at the end and with no conviction. It did not change his Theodorean Christology. Ibas had been busy spreading the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, and was not asked to condemn any of his ideas. Indeed we know that he was willing to condemn Nestorius for foolishness while also elevating Theodore of Mopsuestia as Teacher of the Church. Therefore his condemnation of Nestorius at Chalcedon means absolutely nothing. Theodoret also was willing to allow the use of the phrase 'Theotokos' because it was in common use, but he never meant by it what St Cyril meant by it.

After Chalcedon Theodoret was very clear that his Theodorean Christology had been preserved.

Although St Cyril was praised, in fact his Christology was rejected. St Dioscorus said no more than St Cyril had done. The fathers of the Council produced a Definition which used St Cyril's Christological terminology, but this was rejected by the Romans and they insisted that a Definition using the terminology of Leo of Rome and Theodore of Mopsuestia should be substituted.

It was a confusion - as the Fathers of the time recognised - because it left many things entirely ambigious. This is why staunch Chalcedonians could keep a feast of Nestorius, could continue to translate and distribute the works of Theodore of Mopsuestia, and could insist that the Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret and Ibas was canonised at Chalcedon.

It is a matter of fact that Nestorius had been invited to attend Chalcedon but death prevented him. The Imperial aim was to restore the Church to the pre-431 position.

This in no way means that every bishop at Chalcedon was a Theodorean, but the Theodorean language and ideas were certainly given breathing space, which is why Constantinople 553 had to deal with them all over again. Indeed so ingrained were these ideas that most of the Western Church went into schism rather than accept their condemnation, and leaders of the Churches in the West were willing to be put into prison by the Emperor rather than condemn what they believed had been canonised at Chalcedon.

Father Peter

I can see that it can be looked at that way, Father, particularly by those with beliefs that prompted the OP. The question was what was this explicit "messy compromise of Cyrillianism and Nestorianism?" Beyond that is going to land us in the private fora.

Nestorius was invited by whom to Chalcedon? Throughout the acts of Chalcedon, I see no thought of entertaining the idea of reopening that issue. 431 wasn't on the agenda. As for the West, not having Nestorians, and no account of any discussion of his "thoughts" at Chalcedon (the Acts were not fully translated and available in the Latin West until the Fifth Council), defense of Nestorius played no part in the West's problem with Constantinople II.
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2010, 10:29:56 PM »


No. The Council of Chalcedon was heretical.

If the Oriental Churches and the Church of Rome have agreed that both Churches proclaim the same Christology, how can Chalcedon be heretical?

It is generally agreed by many OO I have talked to that the standard expression of Christology that you Chalcedonians espouse now is (usually) perfectly orthodox, but in fact that it is different from that which was espoused at Chalcedon, which was a messy compromise of Cyrillianism and Nestorianism.

Since Nestorius and Nestorianism was explicitely condemned, and Pope St. Cyril and "Cyrilianism" a/k/a Orthodox Catholicism was explicitely praised, what explicite compromise was made by the Fathers at Chalecedon? (Text please).

Nestorius and Nestorianism were condemned in claim alone, in simply saying that they had done so, without actually condemning the substance of Nestorianism. One of the most obvious examples is the fact that Chalcedon defined there to be two natures after the "union", a union which Ephesus had defined as a natural union, making it impossible for there to be two natures after it.

I'm not asking how you see it, but what was said at Chalcedon. In other words, quotes.
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« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2010, 11:04:06 PM »

The question was what was this explicit "messy compromise of Cyrillianism and Nestorianism?"

Weren't the words in quotes DVE's words, and not Fr. Peter's?  Also, did either of them claim that there was an "explicit" compromise? 

I've heard it said that Chalcedon was a compromise.  I always assumed that was one way of explaining why everyone from the Nestorian Persian Church to the Orthodox Scythian Monks could look upon the council as expressing what they believed.

I don't think, however, that I've ever seen anyone, including DVE and Fr. Peter, say the compromise was "explicit," though.  I've never seen anyone claim that there was a place in the minutes of Chalcedon where the parties sat down and wrote that they were making a compromise.  I think that is just one way of viewing the results of the council.

Of course I'll let DVE and Fr. Peter speak for themselves.  I'm just afraid that you--perhaps inadvertently--are putting words into the mouths of others.  That's the sort of thing you need to avoid if you want to keep this out of the private forum.   Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2010, 01:21:20 AM »

A tangent comparing OO's to Arians and other heretics was moved to the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30720.msg484528/topicseen.html#top
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2010, 01:31:39 AM »

I shouldn't of been censored. What I said was fair and it had everything to do with the topic at hand.
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2010, 01:33:31 AM »

It was insulting and if you continue to question my decision you'll get warned.  As it is, this thread comes very close to being the sort of thing that should be in the private forum.  I know you belong to the private forum, so you can continue your thoughts there.  I'm going to lock the thread if you keep it up here.
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« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2010, 01:36:01 AM »

It was insulting and if you continue to question my decision you'll get warned.  I know you belong to the private forums.  Post there.  I'm going to lock the thread if you keep it up here.

So I can't post here any more? deusveritasest Call Chalcedon heretical. Isn't that against the rules here? Let me ask the main mod to make sure
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« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2010, 01:37:16 AM »

DVE was explicitly warned not to call the EO's Nestorian.  Comparing the OO's to Arians is likewise not OK.  Please feel free to appeal this to Fr. George.
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« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2010, 02:04:56 AM »

DVE was explicitly warned not to call the EO's Nestorian.  Comparing the OO's to Arians is likewise not OK.  Please feel free to appeal this to Fr. George.

No need!

I'm sorry if I was mean to you. I was caught in a train of thought and got a little tipsy.
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« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2010, 02:05:36 AM »

deusveritasest Call Chalcedon heretical. Isn't that against the rules here?

I'm pretty sure it's not.
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« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2010, 02:10:04 AM »

DVE was explicitly warned not to call the EO's Nestorian.  Comparing the OO's to Arians is likewise not OK.  Please feel free to appeal this to Fr. George.

No need!

I'm sorry if I was mean to you. I was caught in a train of thought and got a little tipsy.

It's OK.  I don't think you meant to break any rules.  It's just that the post could be the basis of a heated tangent of its own.
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« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2010, 02:28:47 AM »

deusveritasest Call Chalcedon heretical. Isn't that against the rules here?

I'm pretty sure it's not.

The rules are that no one is obligated to acknowledge "the other side" as Orthodox.  In other words, it's OK to say you believe only your own Church is Orthodox and the other is not.  A recent example is in post 51 here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30360.msg480328.html#msg480328

However, a line is supposed to be drawn when it gets into polemical debate on the subject of Chalcedon.

I would like to allow a little academic discussion of Chalcedon here in the OO section, but when it gets heated it has to go into the private forum.  Those are the rules.  To tell you the truth, your style can be confrontational, and I would like you to tone it down a bit, not just here, but elsewhere on the forum.  This whole thing started because you "hijacked" a thread that had nothing to do with EO/OO relations, and started to debate Chalcedon.  Now we have a somewhat contentious thread in the Free-for-All section, and this thread here, which perhaps should have been already locked or moved to the private forum.  Just try to not be so confrontational.  The same thing can be said in a polemical way and a non-polemical way.  Please try to find a way to be less polemical in how you express things.

I know you can be very nice if you want to be.   Smiley
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