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« on: January 06, 2011, 03:04:53 PM »

I'm interested in finding out from those from the Oriental Orthodox Church, is that, if our Churches agree that both ways of expressing Christ's natures are basically the same, then what, as Oriental Orthodox, is still standing in the way of full communion between our Churches?

I'm also interested to hear what the monastics of the Oriental Church say about the EO, especially those in your Church who are spiritual descendants of the Desert Fathers.

So, what if, our Churches agree that our positions are basically saying the same thing.
As I understand it, the Oriental Orthodox say that Christ has one nature, which is both fully human and fully divine. The Eastern Orthodox say that Christ has two natures, both fully human and fully divine, both united in one hypostasis.

So if our Churches agree together that the difference is only in semantics, then what barrier is there to full communion?

(I'm honestly interested, and I request that both sides refrain from blanket accusations and attacks. Lets keep it clean and constructive.)
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011, 04:53:01 PM »

Not OO, but from what I gather the main bulk of what separates us still is the question of the Ecumenical Councils, specifically Chalcedon (it seems that the latter three are acceptable and of course the earlier three). 
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011, 05:13:51 PM »

Not OO, but from what I gather the main bulk of what separates us still is the question of the Ecumenical Councils, specifically Chalcedon (it seems that the latter three are acceptable and of course the earlier three). 

I would think the issue of Chalcedon might be solved if (for example) our Churches agreed that both languages are illustrating the same Christology. (not that I personally condone/condemn this) then is there a lot standing between us?
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2011, 05:32:45 PM »

Not OO, but from what I gather the main bulk of what separates us still is the question of the Ecumenical Councils, specifically Chalcedon (it seems that the latter three are acceptable and of course the earlier three). 

I would think the issue of Chalcedon might be solved if (for example) our Churches agreed that both languages are illustrating the same Christology. (not that I personally condone/condemn this) then is there a lot standing between us?

I believe the main sticking point with Chalcedon is the Tome of Leo.  The OO might be willing to accept the Chalcedonian definition since it was clarified by the Fifth Council, but it's the Tome that they outright reject.
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2011, 07:48:01 PM »

Not OO, but from what I gather the main bulk of what separates us still is the question of the Ecumenical Councils, specifically Chalcedon (it seems that the latter three are acceptable and of course the earlier three). 

I would think the issue of Chalcedon might be solved if (for example) our Churches agreed that both languages are illustrating the same Christology. (not that I personally condone/condemn this) then is there a lot standing between us?

I believe the main sticking point with Chalcedon is the Tome of Leo.  The OO might be willing to accept the Chalcedonian definition since it was clarified by the Fifth Council, but it's the Tome that they outright reject.

The Tome is explicitly recognized in the Chalcedonian definition, and thus any OO who is not being a false ecumenist (which seems to be not so many these days) will recognize that the Chalcedonian definition cannot be accepted.
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2011, 07:49:56 PM »

The basic problem is that though the confessions that we observe in each other at this point appear to be orthodox, we still agree on whether the Council of Chalcedon itself was orthodox, and thus whether it can be accepted. The EO, it appears, are not willing to relinquish their confession of Chalcedon, and most OO are still not willing to confess it.
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2011, 08:07:35 PM »

The basic problem is that though the confessions that we observe in each other at this point appear to be orthodox, we still agree on whether the Council of Chalcedon itself was orthodox, and thus whether it can be accepted. The EO, it appears, are not willing to relinquish their confession of Chalcedon, and most OO are still not willing to confess it.

If the dyophyisitism proclaimed at Chalcedon is recognized as Orthodox by your church, and the miaphysitism of your church is recognized as Orthodox by our Church...then can we not simply recognize them as two sides of the same coin, and maintain Chalcedon? What is truly so objectionable there, according to your church, if our Christology, derived therefrom, is considered Orthodox?
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2011, 08:08:56 PM »

Chalcedon and the number of councils are the biggest issues and then there are other issues also.  I'm going to just quote something I wrote in another thread instead of just repeating it:

Quote
Our theologians admit we all believe the same thing, but these other issues are pretty big and need to be resolved.  I think it is fair to say the EO's define themselves as the Church of the Seven Councils.  Setting aside any of those councils, or redesignating them as local, is not going to happen.  The OO's, on the other hand, will not accept any councils beyond Ephesus.  The reasons for this are not only doctrinal, but also historical and psychological, as it's really hard to accept a council in the name of which your ancestors were persecuted, slaughtered, etc.

Then there is the issue of saints.  Both sides have condemned saints venerated by the other.  I don't think that is as formidable a barrier as the councils, but it is still sticky.  This was discussed in this other thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10408.0.html

There are other issues having to do with liturgical practice.  The EO's tend to be more uniform in their liturgical practices, while the OO's allow more diversity.  I don't see this as being as big an issue as the others, but it's still something to deal with.

There are other issues that are more administrative in nature, like the way the EO's rank their patriarchs, etc.  Again, these issues are not as big, but they are there to be dealt with.

So, while I believe that in a spiritual sense we are really one Church, there's a lot to be overcome before that becomes more of a concrete reality.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12549.msg170688.html#msg170688
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2011, 08:22:52 PM »

The basic problem is that though the confessions that we observe in each other at this point appear to be orthodox, we still agree on whether the Council of Chalcedon itself was orthodox, and thus whether it can be accepted. The EO, it appears, are not willing to relinquish their confession of Chalcedon, and most OO are still not willing to confess it.

If the dyophyisitism proclaimed at Chalcedon is recognized as Orthodox by your church, and the miaphysitism of your church is recognized as Orthodox by our Church...then can we not simply recognize them as two sides of the same coin, and maintain Chalcedon? What is truly so objectionable there, according to your church, if our Christology, derived therefrom, is considered Orthodox?

I think some OO historians and theologians would argue that your present Christology is not so much derived from Chalcedon as it is from the teachings of St. Cyril, and that your Christology is Orthodox not so much because of Chalcedon, but in spite of it.   Smiley

The EO's, of course, would disagree with this.

In any event, the language in the Tome of Leo is such that the OO's will never accept it, and as Deusveritasest pointed out, it is enshrined in the councils of the EO Church.  The EO's won't give it up, and the OO's won't accept it.  I think the only way unity will be achieved is if  Oriental Orthodox acceptance of Chalcedon is not a precondition, and Eastern Orthodox rejection of Chalcedon is also not a precondition.  I don't know how such a thing can happen, but if it is God's will, it can.   Smiley   
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2011, 08:28:41 PM »

If the dyophyisitism proclaimed at Chalcedon is recognized as Orthodox by your church,

This is precisely the problem. Many revisionist OO will now tell you that Chalcedon was actually orthodox. But in fact, the dyophysitism of Chalcedon itself has never been recognized as Orthodox by the Church. It still stands condemned as heretical. It is only the dyophysitism which we see you now professing that we recognize to be orthodox, which most of us still agree is not a correct interpretation of Chalcedon itself.

and the miaphysitism of your church is recognized as Orthodox by our Church...

The problem here is that you are much more free to recognize our Miaphysitism, because in doing so there is only the implication of accepting what we currently confess; there is no attachment in it to the definition of any particular historical council, save one you already yourselves accept, Ephesus I.

then can we not simply recognize them as two sides of the same coin, and maintain Chalcedon?

We can recognize our current confessions as two sides of the same coin, but we still do not recognize your interpretation of Chalcedon as correct, and thus recognition of your current confession does not amount to recognition of Chalcedon. So no, there still will be no "maintaining of Chalcedon", which, officially speaking, is still considered heretical in our Tradition.

What is truly so objectionable there, according to your church, if our Christology, derived therefrom, is considered Orthodox?

There is another problem. We actually do not view your Christology as strictly derived from Chalcedon. And really, we don't even view Chalcedon itself as internally consistent. So it's not much a leap to believe that the adherents of a council that was not internally consistent are not consistent with it.
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2011, 08:37:28 PM »

The basic problem is that though the confessions that we observe in each other at this point appear to be orthodox, we still agree on whether the Council of Chalcedon itself was orthodox, and thus whether it can be accepted. The EO, it appears, are not willing to relinquish their confession of Chalcedon, and most OO are still not willing to confess it.

If the dyophyisitism proclaimed at Chalcedon is recognized as Orthodox by your church, and the miaphysitism of your church is recognized as Orthodox by our Church...then can we not simply recognize them as two sides of the same coin, and maintain Chalcedon? What is truly so objectionable there, according to your church, if our Christology, derived therefrom, is considered Orthodox?

ME: Sort of a benign neglect? I love it! Seriously though, I would like to see this separation end because it is not right that we are not in communion. I am tired of fighting old fights, with old arguments. THe question should be "are we now in agreement?" and not "how can we get around our past disagreements?"

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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2011, 08:39:00 PM »

In any event, the language in the Tome of Leo is such that the OO's will never accept it, and as Deusveritasest pointed out, it is enshrined in the councils of the EO Church.  The EO's won't give it up, and the OO's won't accept it.  I think the only way unity will be achieved is if  Oriental Orthodox acceptance of Chalcedon is not a precondition, and Eastern Orthodox rejection of Chalcedon is also not a precondition.  I don't know how such a thing can happen, but if it is God's will, it can.   Smiley   

If we believe that the Tome was indeed heretical, why in the blazes would we desire a union which does not require its rejection?!
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2011, 09:14:39 PM »

In any event, the language in the Tome of Leo is such that the OO's will never accept it, and as Deusveritasest pointed out, it is enshrined in the councils of the EO Church.  The EO's won't give it up, and the OO's won't accept it.  I think the only way unity will be achieved is if  Oriental Orthodox acceptance of Chalcedon is not a precondition, and Eastern Orthodox rejection of Chalcedon is also not a precondition.  I don't know how such a thing can happen, but if it is God's will, it can.   Smiley   

If we believe that the Tome was indeed heretical, why in the blazes would we desire a union which does not require its rejection?!

All right, I'm new to the EO/OO re-unification stuff, so go easy on me, but...what in the Tome is so heretical? I've read it. Not in the original Latin, but I've read the English...and I only see one part that could be understood as "heretical" by your church. That is:

"When you cross-examined Eutyches and he replied, "I confess that our Lord was of two natures before the union, but I confess one nature after the union", I am amazed that such an absurd and corrupt declaration of faith was not very severely censured by the judges; and that an extremely foolish statement was disregarded, as if nothing whatever offensive had been heard."

I could see how this might upset someone who believes that Christ has one nature. Yet, the context in which this statement is set, I think, makes it clear that Pope St. Leo is attacking the monophysitism of Eutyches (who you also deem a heretic) and not the miaphysitism of Pope St. Cyril and the Oriental Orthodox Church. Chalcedon, of course, proclaimed the writings of St. Cyril and the tome of St. Leo to be compatible. Perhaps this is what you find "inconsistent"? Yet, I don't see that as true (of course, coming from an EO). In his Tome, St. Leo was specifically attacking the idea that Christ was only divine, and not human. That Christ's humanity was swallowed up in his divinity. He says things like:

"So the proper character of both natures was maintained and came together in a single person. Lowliness was taken up by majesty, weakness by strength, mortality by eternity."

and

"So without leaving his Father's glory behind, the Son of God comes down from his heavenly throne and enters the depths of our world, born in an unprecedented order by an unprecedented kind of birth."

These statements affirm the unity of natures, human and divine. They were "maintained came together in a single person." Christ is fully human and fully God. He contained the fullness of "his Father's glory" and yet also "enters the depths of our world." This is not Nestorian theology! Yes, St. Leo does say:

"So it is on account of this oneness of the person, which must be understood in both natures, that we both read that the son of man came down from heaven, when the Son of God took flesh from the virgin from whom he was born, and again that the Son of God is said to have been crucified and buried, since he suffered these things not in the divinity itself whereby the Only-begotten is co-eternal and consubstantial with the Father, but in the weakness of the human nature."

Is the bolded statement objectionable? That he is a single person yet of two natures? Again, this is not Nestorius! For we do not proclaim two persons reside within Christ, the human Jesus and divine Son of God...never! For as I already quoted, St. Leo proclaims him "a single person." He is one man. One man who is God, and God who is man. They are insuperable, yet without confusion. St. Leo's attack against the heretic's response is not to attack a dogma that proclaims Christ maintains humanity and divinity without confusion, mingling or alteration. What St. Leo finds so repulsive is that Eutyches denies Christ is full humanity...yet St. Leo does not rob him of his single personhood. He is one man of full humanity and divinity.

And so, please help me, what is truly so objectionable concerning the Tome of St. Leo?
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2011, 09:26:09 PM »

I would be happy just signing a common statement of faith, that fully affirms the content of all 7 councils without naming Chalcedon or any controversial people (Dioscorus, St. Leo, etc.)

Just this:
1. An Orthodox explanation of St. Cyril's "one nature of God the Word Incarnate."
2. An Orthodox explanation of "one hypostasis in two natures" with two wills and energies.
3. Exposition of the Orthodox theology of icons.
4. A comprehensive rejection of Eutychianism and Nestorianism/ Theodoreanism.

St. Cyril was able to bring the Antiochenes back into the Church without forcing them to accept Ephesus and his 12 anathemas, and without asking them to condemn Theodore, and I think his approach can be helpful here. So, while some of us might not be happy with the OO's venerating Dioscorus and Severus, we can overlook this if the OO's nevertheless express orthodox faith.
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2011, 09:29:32 PM »

Benjamin- The language in the Tome that really bothers the OO's is:
Quote
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.
For some of the OO's, this is heretical terminology which divides Christ into two. For us it is really the embryo of our teaching on "two energies." I think the OO's will really have to decide whether they can live with this language or not, since it isn't going away.
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2011, 09:37:30 PM »

Chalcedon and the number of councils are the biggest issues and then there are other issues also.  I'm going to just quote something I wrote in another thread instead of just repeating it:

Quote
Our theologians admit we all believe the same thing, but these other issues are pretty big and need to be resolved.  I think it is fair to say the EO's define themselves as the Church of the Seven Councils.  Setting aside any of those councils, or redesignating them as local, is not going to happen.  The OO's, on the other hand, will not accept any councils beyond Ephesus.  The reasons for this are not only doctrinal, but also historical and psychological, as it's really hard to accept a council in the name of which your ancestors were persecuted, slaughtered, etc.

Then there is the issue of saints.  Both sides have condemned saints venerated by the other.  I don't think that is as formidable a barrier as the councils, but it is still sticky.  This was discussed in this other thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10408.0.html

There are other issues having to do with liturgical practice.  The EO's tend to be more uniform in their liturgical practices, while the OO's allow more diversity.  I don't see this as being as big an issue as the others, but it's still something to deal with.

There are other issues that are more administrative in nature, like the way the EO's rank their patriarchs, etc.  Again, these issues are not as big, but they are there to be dealt with.

So, while I believe that in a spiritual sense we are really one Church, there's a lot to be overcome before that becomes more of a concrete reality.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12549.msg170688.html#msg170688

Salpy, do you think the OO's will ever be able to accept the councils beyond Ephesus (if indeed it is simply a matter of semantics [as I've been told by an OO friend])?
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2011, 09:52:29 PM »

Benjamin- The language in the Tome that really bothers the OO's is:
Quote
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.
For some of the OO's, this is heretical terminology which divides Christ into two. For us it is really the embryo of our teaching on "two energies." I think the OO's will really have to decide whether they can live with this language or not, since it isn't going away.

I see how that could be disturbing to them. And yet, while reading it over again to find that which could be so objectionable, I skipped this completely!

I stand by my previous argument, however. St. Leo's tome is meant to prove the full humanity and full divinity of Christ, and so he states that Christ does that which is of God because he is God and Christ does that which is of the flesh...because he has flesh. There is no "division" of these two, as if there are two separate persons, I have already quoted St. Leo's denial of this claim, which also asserts that Christ maintains all which is "proper" to the two natures. Would not the statement you quoted go in the same vein especially as the Church, at Chalcedon, declared the writing of both St. Leo and St. Cyril as compatible, therefore by ecumenical proclamation of the Catholic Church, St. Leo could not be Nestorian.

I guess I just don't understand how Chalcedon can declare Leo and Cyril Orthodox, and that one can believe that to mean those in agreement with it are simply inconsistent Nestorians?  Huh

I love the OO, but I've got to scratch my head at that.
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2011, 10:03:48 PM »

Chalcedon and the number of councils are the biggest issues and then there are other issues also.  I'm going to just quote something I wrote in another thread instead of just repeating it:

Quote
Our theologians admit we all believe the same thing, but these other issues are pretty big and need to be resolved.  I think it is fair to say the EO's define themselves as the Church of the Seven Councils.  Setting aside any of those councils, or redesignating them as local, is not going to happen.  The OO's, on the other hand, will not accept any councils beyond Ephesus.  The reasons for this are not only doctrinal, but also historical and psychological, as it's really hard to accept a council in the name of which your ancestors were persecuted, slaughtered, etc.

Then there is the issue of saints.  Both sides have condemned saints venerated by the other.  I don't think that is as formidable a barrier as the councils, but it is still sticky.  This was discussed in this other thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10408.0.html

There are other issues having to do with liturgical practice.  The EO's tend to be more uniform in their liturgical practices, while the OO's allow more diversity.  I don't see this as being as big an issue as the others, but it's still something to deal with.

There are other issues that are more administrative in nature, like the way the EO's rank their patriarchs, etc.  Again, these issues are not as big, but they are there to be dealt with.

So, while I believe that in a spiritual sense we are really one Church, there's a lot to be overcome before that becomes more of a concrete reality.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12549.msg170688.html#msg170688

Salpy, do you think the OO's will ever be able to accept the councils beyond Ephesus (if indeed it is simply a matter of semantics [as I've been told by an OO friend])?

Definitely not Chalcedon.  The other councils I am not sure about since they contain anathemas of some OO saints.
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2011, 10:45:35 PM »

Benjamin- The language in the Tome that really bothers the OO's is:
Quote
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.
For some of the OO's, this is heretical terminology which divides Christ into two. For us it is really the embryo of our teaching on "two energies." I think the OO's will really have to decide whether they can live with this language or not, since it isn't going away.

I see how that could be disturbing to them. And yet, while reading it over again to find that which could be so objectionable, I skipped this completely!

I stand by my previous argument, however. St. Leo's tome is meant to prove the full humanity and full divinity of Christ, and so he states that Christ does that which is of God because he is God and Christ does that which is of the flesh...because he has flesh. There is no "division" of these two, as if there are two separate persons, I have already quoted St. Leo's denial of this claim, which also asserts that Christ maintains all which is "proper" to the two natures. Would not the statement you quoted go in the same vein especially as the Church, at Chalcedon, declared the writing of both St. Leo and St. Cyril as compatible, therefore by ecumenical proclamation of the Catholic Church, St. Leo could not be Nestorian.

I haven't studied Pope Leo as well as some others here, but it is my understanding that if you look at all of his Christological writings, he comes off as being more Orthodox than he does in the Tome.  I've heard other OO's express the opinion that he was not a Theodorean.

However, the phrase quoted above by Iconodule is very Theodorean.  In the above phrase, there are two Actors:  the Word and the flesh.  That is how the Theodoreans expressed themselves at the time. (Theodore was the teacher of Nestorius and the Christology associated with Nestorius is often called Theodoreanism.)

From the OO point of view, the fact that Pope Leo rejected the idea of two persons didn't adequately correct the Tome, since Theodore himself rejected the phrase "two sons."  Nestorius himself read the Tome before his death and stated that it supported his beliefs.  The Church of the East today cites it as being consistent with their Christology.  What Pope Leo really meant when he wrote his Tome is something that only he and God knows.  However, it is too easily interpreted in a Theodorean fashion to be acceptable to the OO's.  


Quote
I guess I just don't understand how Chalcedon can declare Leo and Cyril Orthodox, and that one can believe that to mean those in agreement with it are simply inconsistent Nestorians?  Huh

At the time of Chalcedon, there was a widespread erroneous report that St. Cyril had abandoned his Christology and adopted that of Theodore.  This report was contained in the Letter of Ibas, which was read aloud at Chalcedon.  The OO's argue that the Theodoreans present at Chalcedon were OK with declaring St. Cyril Orthodox because they had that erroneous understanding of him.  The EO's of course have their counter-arguments to this and it's one of those things that has been debated, argued about and discussed ad nauseum.


OK, now that I've typed the words "debated, argued about and discussed ad nauseum," I'm reminded that I should tell you that the subject of Chalcedon is very sensitive and it has a history here at OC.net of occasionally getting very polemical and nasty.  To handle the polemical discussions about Chalcedon, we have a private forum where specifically this sort of thing is supposed to go.  

If you want to just ask some basic questions about the OO's and our position on Chalcedon, that's OK here.  However, if you want to get more in depth it goes into the private forum.  If you want to have access to the private forum, just pm Fr. Chris and he'll let you in.
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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2011, 11:05:04 PM »

I know this is more of a question for fellow EO... But are Ecumenical Councils necessarily infallible (at least in their entirety?)? Or are "line vetoes" technically feasible?
(again, not that I'm encouraging such, just wondering)
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« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2011, 11:48:50 PM »

I know this is more of a question for fellow EO... But are Ecumenical Councils necessarily infallible (at least in their entirety?)? Or are "line vetoes" technically feasible?
(again, not that I'm encouraging such, just wondering)
Only the Definition of Faith possesses infallibility. The rest (e.g. canons) are authoritative.
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« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2011, 11:52:29 PM »

I know this is more of a question for fellow EO... But are Ecumenical Councils necessarily infallible (at least in their entirety?)? Or are "line vetoes" technically feasible?
(again, not that I'm encouraging such, just wondering)
Only the Definition of Faith possesses infallibility. The rest (e.g. canons) are authoritative.

Where does this distinction come from?
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« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2011, 12:06:38 PM »

The idea of infallibility is not at all well attested in the early period, and developed as part of the polemics of the time.

Infallibility apart from that belonging to the Holy Spirit alone is very problematic. At the very least we do not find St Cyril speaking in such a way as far as I can see in the controversy with the Theodoreans. What matters is that a statement is true not that it is infallible. And in any case what does infallibility mean apart from the variant manners in which any statement is understood.

The phrase from the Creed - I believe in one God - may be received as infallible by Christians, Jews and Muslims, but how it is understood is what matters, not the actual words. Words communicate meaning. Meaning can be true or false. True meaning is what matters. 

What matters now is a mutual understanding of the meaning and content of our faith, not the continuing and frankly pointless polemics of accepting this. rejecting that, counting this, counting that. The concern with infallibility, which seems to my studies to be a modern phenonemena reflecting Catholic belief in an infallible Pope, and Protestant belief in an infallible Bible, is that it ignores meaning.

Is it better to accept an infallible statement but understand it in a false manner, or to question the relative authority of a statement and hold the truth?

Theodoret signed up to the Chalcedonian Definition but manifestly preserved an heretical Theodorean Christology. In what sense then did he accept the Chalcedonian Definition? And in what manner is it infallible if it can be understood in a false manner?

St Cyril insisted that the Easterners accepted enough of the Truth he did not require them to sign up to Ephesus 431 in the manner in which he did.

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« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2011, 12:29:09 PM »

I know this is more of a question for fellow EO... But are Ecumenical Councils necessarily infallible (at least in their entirety?)? Or are "line vetoes" technically feasible?
(again, not that I'm encouraging such, just wondering)
Only the Definition of Faith possesses infallibility. The rest (e.g. canons) are authoritative.

Where does this distinction come from?

From the fact that the Fathers held the Definitions as eternal Truth not subject to change or economia, while they frankly admit the creation of canons, their change and their falling under the purview of economia.
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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2011, 01:45:58 PM »

Truth is not the same as saying infallible.

It is always more important to ensure that the truth is preserved rather than insisting on a particular set of words. That is why the original Nicene Creed was changed, and that is why Constantinople 553 had to deal with the ambiguities of Chalcedon.

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« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2011, 10:58:04 AM »

So, I spoke with some friends about this issue, all of us are EO but have a great love and respect for the OO, and wish that we become one communion (one of us actually attended a Coptic parish for a while and nearly became Coptic prior to becoming EO.

Anyway, after an hour or so of discussing the issues between the communions, we believed it would be acceptable to lift anathemas on both sides without requiring the churches to glorify each others' saints, to recognize a mutual, Orthodox Christology between us, and have us accept each other's councils as LOCAL councils, rather than Ecumenical. We already don't agree without our own communions on the number of Ecumenical councils, so I don't see why this would be an issue for now.

While this would be a temporary solution, of course, would this not allow communion to be re-established between the two churches while the details are "ironed out" between the heirarchs? And, this would not be restoring communion in order to bring about a uniformity of dogma, as we would already be recognizing each other's dogma as Orthodox prior to the reunification. The issue is history, not doctrine.

I'm sure this is going to get torn to shreds, but, oh well. Thoughts?
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« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2011, 11:12:51 AM »

So, I spoke with some friends about this issue, all of us are EO but have a great love and respect for the OO, and wish that we become one communion (one of us actually attended a Coptic parish for a while and nearly became Coptic prior to becoming EO.

Anyway, after an hour or so of discussing the issues between the communions, we believed it would be acceptable to lift anathemas on both sides without requiring the churches to glorify each others' saints, to recognize a mutual, Orthodox Christology between us, and have us accept each other's councils as LOCAL councils, rather than Ecumenical.

Erm, no. You had me up until this point. It's one thing not to require the OO's to accept our councils as ecumenical, and wholly another to actually deny that they are ecumenical. A statement of reunion between us would have to simply not mention the councils, only discussing the substance of their definitions- unless, of course, the OO's actually decide to accept all 7 councils.

Quote
We already don't agree without our own communions on the number of Ecumenical councils, so I don't see why this would be an issue for now.

On the 7 Ecumenical Councils there is no disagreement in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Everyone accepts them as indispensable expressions of our faith.
 

Quote
And, this would not be restoring communion in order to bring about a uniformity of dogma, as we would already be recognizing each other's dogma as Orthodox prior to the reunification. The issue is history, not doctrine.

This is far from certain and I think, in any statement of reunion, we would have to omit any statement such as "both families have always loyally maintained the Orthodox faith." On this question, I think silence is the best answer.
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« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2011, 11:37:36 AM »

So, I spoke with some friends about this issue, all of us are EO but have a great love and respect for the OO, and wish that we become one communion (one of us actually attended a Coptic parish for a while and nearly became Coptic prior to becoming EO.

Anyway, after an hour or so of discussing the issues between the communions, we believed it would be acceptable to lift anathemas on both sides without requiring the churches to glorify each others' saints, to recognize a mutual, Orthodox Christology between us, and have us accept each other's councils as LOCAL councils, rather than Ecumenical. We already don't agree without our own communions on the number of Ecumenical councils, so I don't see why this would be an issue for now.

While this would be a temporary solution, of course, would this not allow communion to be re-established between the two churches while the details are "ironed out" between the heirarchs? And, this would not be restoring communion in order to bring about a uniformity of dogma, as we would already be recognizing each other's dogma as Orthodox prior to the reunification. The issue is history, not doctrine.

I'm sure this is going to get torn to shreds, but, oh well. Thoughts?

If memory serves me right this is similar to the paths proposed by various dialogue groups among theologians of the OO's and EO's over the past twenty five years or so.
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« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2011, 11:46:04 AM »

Erm, no. You had me up until this point. It's one thing not to require the OO's to accept our councils as ecumenical, and wholly another to actually deny that they are ecumenical. A statement of reunion between us would have to simply not mention the councils, only discussing the substance of their definitions- unless, of course, the OO's actually decide to accept all 7 councils.

You've come a long way.  I remember in discussions with you, you wanted OO's to accept the other four councils.  But to add to your list of four here:

Quote
1. An Orthodox explanation of St. Cyril's "one nature of God the Word Incarnate."
2. An Orthodox explanation of "one hypostasis in two natures" with two wills and energies.
3. Exposition of the Orthodox theology of icons.
4. A comprehensive rejection of Eutychianism and Nestorianism/ Theodoreanism.

I propose a fifth:  what is "ecumenical"?  How should councils be revered?  Like revering saints?  or like revering sacraments?  The question of reverence is important.  It seems to me, "7 councils" have become a dogmatic decree and definition of "Orthodoxy" for some EOs, or as one OC.net forum member here writes under his/her screen name, "Orthodoxy=7, not 3."  I wonder at this, since OO's don't describe Orthodoxy as "3" but as I explained elsewhere, the councils are revered, not literally upheld as dogma.
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« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2011, 11:58:35 AM »

So, I spoke with some friends about this issue, all of us are EO but have a great love and respect for the OO, and wish that we become one communion (one of us actually attended a Coptic parish for a while and nearly became Coptic prior to becoming EO.

Anyway, after an hour or so of discussing the issues between the communions, we believed it would be acceptable to lift anathemas on both sides without requiring the churches to glorify each others' saints, to recognize a mutual, Orthodox Christology between us, and have us accept each other's councils as LOCAL councils, rather than Ecumenical. We already don't agree without our own communions on the number of Ecumenical councils, so I don't see why this would be an issue for now.

While this would be a temporary solution, of course, would this not allow communion to be re-established between the two churches while the details are "ironed out" between the heirarchs? And, this would not be restoring communion in order to bring about a uniformity of dogma, as we would already be recognizing each other's dogma as Orthodox prior to the reunification. The issue is history, not doctrine.

I'm sure this is going to get torn to shreds, but, oh well. Thoughts?

If memory serves me right this is similar to the paths proposed by various dialogue groups among theologians of the OO's and EO's over the past twenty five years or so.

I've heard of some of these things. Some of them have happened already. If this is the proposal, what is the problem with reunification? Just, those who would take stances similar to or more traditional than Iconodule's (on either the OO or the EO side)? No offense to you, Iconodule. I do respect your position.
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