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« on: January 11, 2011, 12:09:42 PM »

I have a very simple historical question which I'm having trouble finding information about. The Coptic Orthodox Church calls its heirarch:

"Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa on the Holy See of St. Mark the Apostle"

The Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria calls its heirarch:

"Pope and Patriarch of the Great City of Alexandria, Libya, the Pentapolis, Ethiopia and All Africa"

Pope is a title taken up by the Archbishop of Alexandria since Pope St. Heraclas in the 3rd century, and the title is perserved in both titles of the Greek and Coptic churches there. However, we usually refer to our heirarch there as "Patriarch _____." The Copts continue to call their heirarch "Pope _______."

Why did the common usage of "Pope" die out amongst the Chalcedonians, and when did this happen? Or do have just have an incomplete picture, and we do sometimes use "Pope" in reference to the Chalcedonian heirarch?
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2011, 12:42:14 PM »

Perhaps, it's not that it has died down (as is seen in the official title used) but rather heavily used by the Copts due to centuries upon centuries of struggle, and how the Coptic patriarch became such an important national figure and representative of even all Christians up until today that the word Pope has a specific meaning of strong relationship and trust to the Patriarch as our "Papa."  Especially when one has been through a lot for his flock, people revere the Coptic Patriarch very highly.  You see this happening today with HH Pope Shenouda, and even more so as he is nicknamed "Pope of the Arabs."
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2011, 12:48:06 PM »

I think it might have to do with the hellenization of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church, which also resulted in the loss of the Alexandrian Rite that still survives in the Coptic Orthodox Church. I personally prefer to call our first hierarch in Africa Pope Theodore, but most of my Byzantine friends refer to him as Patriarch Theodore.
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2011, 01:17:48 PM »

I think it might have to do with the hellenization of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church, which also resulted in the loss of the Alexandrian Rite that still survives in the Coptic Orthodox Church. I personally prefer to call our first hierarch in Africa Pope Theodore, but most of my Byzantine friends refer to him as Patriarch Theodore.
This is not a problem in Egypt, as we Chalcedonians refer to the Pope as "pope."  Outside of Egypt (or maybe outside of Africa), the fear may be confusion with the Vatican, or the simple fact that almost everyone else has a patriarch and not a pope.  Then there is the issue that in many languages (Greek, Russian, Romania) "pope" is the usual term for priest.
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2011, 01:21:09 PM »

You aren't alone. I love the title, and I'm glad that the Copts have preserved "true" Alexandrine traditions. It will definitely be something I greatly welcome and anticipate when (not if...when...I'm convinced) our churches resume communion.

This is not a problem in Egypt, as we Chalcedonians refer to the Pope as "pope."  Outside of Egypt (or maybe outside of Africa), the fear may be confusion with the Vatican, or the simple fact that almost everyone else has a patriarch and not a pope.  Then there is the issue that in many languages (Greek, Russian, Romania) "pope" is the usual term for priest.

So, the Chalcedonians call their first heirarch "Pope Theodore" in Egypt?
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2011, 01:25:17 PM »

You aren't alone. I love the title, and I'm glad that the Copts have preserved "true" Alexandrine traditions. It will definitely be something I greatly welcome and anticipate when (not if...when...I'm convinced) our churches resume communion.

You aren't alone. I love the title, and I'm glad that the Copts have preserved "true" Alexandrine traditions. It will definitely be something I greatly welcome and anticipate when (not if...when...I'm convinced) our churches resume communion.


This is not a problem in Egypt, as we Chalcedonians refer to the Pope as "pope."  Outside of Egypt (or maybe outside of Africa), the fear may be confusion with the Vatican, or the simple fact that almost everyone else has a patriarch and not a pope.  Then there is the issue that in many languages (Greek, Russian, Romania) "pope" is the usual term for priest.

So, the Chalcedonians call their first hierarch "Pope Theodore" in Egypt?
LOL. From what I've been told. When I was last in Egypt, we called him "Pope Parthenius." I never met HAH, but I met his predecessor, Pope Nicholas VI, and his collegue, Pope Shenoudah III.
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2011, 01:28:17 PM »

You aren't alone. I love the title, and I'm glad that the Copts have preserved "true" Alexandrine traditions. It will definitely be something I greatly welcome and anticipate when (not if...when...I'm convinced) our churches resume communion.

You aren't alone. I love the title, and I'm glad that the Copts have preserved "true" Alexandrine traditions. It will definitely be something I greatly welcome and anticipate when (not if...when...I'm convinced) our churches resume communion.


This is not a problem in Egypt, as we Chalcedonians refer to the Pope as "pope."  Outside of Egypt (or maybe outside of Africa), the fear may be confusion with the Vatican, or the simple fact that almost everyone else has a patriarch and not a pope.  Then there is the issue that in many languages (Greek, Russian, Romania) "pope" is the usual term for priest.

So, the Chalcedonians call their first hierarch "Pope Theodore" in Egypt?
LOL.

Why did you laugh at me?  Sad

Nvm. I see why. I did NOT type that twice. IDK what happened...

From what I've been told. When I was last in Egypt, we called him "Pope Parthenius." I never met HAH, but I met his predecessor, Pope Nicholas VI, and his collegue, Pope Shenoudah III.

Interesting. Thanks for the info!
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2011, 02:40:57 PM »

Good to know! In Ethiopia and Kenya the Alexandrian Orthodox (a mix of Greeks and Kikuyus at the parishes I attended) always referred to Pope Theodore's predecessor (of blessed memory) as "Patriarch Peter," but I'm glad to hear that's not the custom amongst the Alexandrian Orthodox in Egypt :-).
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2011, 04:43:48 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The Greek Alexandrian Patriarchate is mistaken and it has not legitimacy within the See of Tekle Haimanot in Ethiopia, as aside from being autonomous since 1958, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has always been under the See of Mark the Apostle since the 300s AD and those Ethiopians who are affiliated with the Greek Patriarchy in Egypt, much like those Ethiopian Roman Catholics under the Vatican, are schismatics and heretics in the traditional sense.  However, in the EOTC organization has always been rather loose, not so strictly centralized, and as such many regional parishes function relatively on their own. As a result there is a bit of diversity in Ethiopia, and a confusing mix of "Orthodox" and "Catholic" and "Pentecostal" denominations, but the One, True, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church of historical and current Ethiopia has been the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, who was initially under the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria, the Pope of All of Egypt and Africa of the Holy See of Saint Mark the Apostle, currently held by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, who is in full communion with the EOTC Patriarch in Addis Ababa His Holiness Abune Paulos, and also grants recognition to the relatively newly independent Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, but those others, and there are dozens across Ethiopia, are not official or legitimate in the historical sense.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selasie
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2011, 04:50:13 PM »

The Greek Alexandrian Patriarchate is mistaken and it has not legitimacy within the See of Tekle Haimanot in Ethiopia, as aside from being autonomous since 1958, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has always been under the See of Mark the Apostle since the 300s AD and those Ethiopians who are affiliated with the Greek Patriarchy in Egypt, much like those Ethiopian Roman Catholics under the Vatican, are schismatics and heretics in the traditional sense. 

If they're "schismatics and heretics" then so is the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, so why do you care what territorial claims they makes? (BTW I didn't know there were Ethiopians under the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch, what rite do they use?)
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 05:45:37 PM »

(BTW I didn't know there were Ethiopians under the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch, what rite do they use?)

Yeah, the Roman Patriarchate of Alexandria has an Archdiocese of Axum. I'm guessing that they use the Byzantine rite.
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 06:11:58 PM »

The Alexandrian Orthodox Church has parishes in Addis Abeba, Diredawa, and Asmera. All were founded for Greek immigrants to the Ethiopian Empire and all remain, to my knowledge, Greek-speaking. My personal experience comes from St. Frumentius' Cathedral in Addis Abeba, the cathedra of Metropolitan Petros of Axum, which is primarily Greek with a number of Greek-heritage Ethiopians as well and a handful Ethiopians who attend for reasons unknown to me. I was never particularly welcome at St. Frumentius' (I'm not Greek), but from what I could see the metropolis functioned more as a representation to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church than as a living diocese. The Greek community in Ethiopia has been shrinking since the Revolution (as has the once significant Armenian community) and although it may have recovered somewhat since the fall of the Derg, very few of Addis' Greeks actually attend services.

It would be nice were the Church of Alexandria to transfer its parishes in the Horn of Africa to the Addis Abeba Patriarchate, but no formal union has taken place, so for the time being that is impossible. There is no particular fervor amongst the Alexandrian Orthodox in Addis, so were I Ethiopian Orthodox I would not worry about them proselytizing for Chalcedon :-).
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 06:12:45 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
The Greek Alexandrian Patriarchate is mistaken and it has not legitimacy within the See of Tekle Haimanot in Ethiopia, as aside from being autonomous since 1958, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has always been under the See of Mark the Apostle since the 300s AD and those Ethiopians who are affiliated with the Greek Patriarchy in Egypt, much like those Ethiopian Roman Catholics under the Vatican, are schismatics and heretics in the traditional sense. 

If they're "schismatics and heretics" then so is the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, so why do you care what territorial claims they makes? (BTW I didn't know there were Ethiopians under the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch, what rite do they use?)

Well, it is a historical matter. In Ethiopia, the Archbishops came exclusively from Alexandria for 1600 years, and as such, there has been a lot mix ups.  There have been countless false and pseudo-Bishops sent to Ethiopia claiming with fraudulent documents and authority that they are from the See of Alexandria, and have in fact caused quite a bit of problems for the unity of the indigenous Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.  To maintain our own EOTC integrity, we must be clear about who is who and from where.  We respect the Greek Patriarchate and even the Roman Catholics who operate within Ethiopia, so long as they do not revert to their historic tendencies to cause open division and even rebellion and civil war within Ethiopia by interfering in domestic matters.  Again, as I said where there was once simply ONE EOTC in Ethiopia, now there are several confusing and competing churches which variously call themselves "Orthodox" and thrive on confusion, particularly of language and geography.  Further, if I am correct, isn't the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria Chalcedonian?



It would be nice were the Church of Alexandria to transfer its parishes in the Horn of Africa to the Addis Abeba Patriarchate, but no formal union has taken place, so for the time being that is impossible. There is no particular fervor amongst the Alexandrian Orthodox in Addis, so were I Ethiopian Orthodox I would not worry about them proselytizing for Chalcedon :-).
History begs to differ, it seems every century some Chalcedonians come to Ethiopia to thrive on the confusion of a land of vast geographic, linguistic and cultural diversity. Many rural Ethiopians have been deceived in the past, and this should be for shame to the various Chalcedonian Orthodox and Catholics who have come to such a humble and pious land for spiritual plunder.  That being said, the EOTC is understandably defensive about such matters.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2011, 06:32:00 PM »

Further, if I am correct, isn't the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria Chalcedonian?

Yes, it is the ancient contingent of Alexandrian Christianity which accepted Chalcedon.
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2011, 07:04:15 PM »

Correct me if I am wrong, but I am not aware of any history of Chalcedonian interference in Ethiopia. The Roman Catholics have certainly had a long and sordid history in the country, but the Alexandrian Orthodox only operate churches for faithful of their own ethnic heritage - I have never heard anyone in the Alexandrian Orthodox Church challenge the legitimacy or the jurisdiction of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. We have not proselytized or established Ethiopian Rite parishes either in Ethiopia or in Diaspora, both things that the Roman Catholics continue to actively engage in. Our Alexandrian Orthodox metropolitan attends Ethiopian Orthodox festal services like T'imqet just as the Armenian Orthodox bishop responsible for St. Kevork's in Addis does. Where is the problem between us? We have a schism over Greek-language theological terms that needs resolution, but we are not active in provoking you and I see no reason for you to be attacking us.
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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2011, 09:04:03 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Correct me if I am wrong, but I am not aware of any history of Chalcedonian interference in Ethiopia. The Roman Catholics have certainly had a long and sordid history in the country, but the Alexandrian Orthodox only operate churches for faithful of their own ethnic heritage - I have never heard anyone in the Alexandrian Orthodox Church challenge the legitimacy or the jurisdiction of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. We have not proselytized or established Ethiopian Rite parishes either in Ethiopia or in Diaspora, both things that the Roman Catholics continue to actively engage in. Our Alexandrian Orthodox metropolitan attends Ethiopian Orthodox festal services like T'imqet just as the Armenian Orthodox bishop responsible for St. Kevork's in Addis does. Where is the problem between us? We have a schism over Greek-language theological terms that needs resolution, but we are not active in provoking you and I see no reason for you to be attacking us.

Thank you for the update, I may be a bit more historically focused in events that may even be as far back as 1400 years ago.  In regards to the influence of Chalcedonian Christians in Ethiopia it has not been so much official.  Many individual Chalcedonian priests and teachers have found their way into Ethiopia and have influenced several indigenous Ethiopian heresies over the centuries, though obviously the Roman Catholics have  been both the most recent, most organized and more impacting in relative terms.  I will put together some historical info for you when I get the time.  This was by no means intended to be an attack on the current Greek Patriarch in Alexandria, I misinterpreted the titles in reference to Africa to include incursions into Ethiopia, where several groups have attempted over the years.  So long as folks are sincerely Christian and sincerely reverent towards Ethiopia's own EOTC, we have no problem at all with extending the hand of fellowship. It is indeed true that for over a thousand years, many Greeks and Armenians have been not only welcome, but highly favored and loved dearly in Ethiopia.  I would not want the few acts of a few scoundrels to discredit those good Christians of different persuasions who have always been and continue to be welcome in Ethiopia.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2011, 09:22:31 PM »

I hope you are not placing Greeks and Armenians as of a "different persuasion" from the EOTC in the same sense. The EOTC is in communion with the Armenians but not the Greeks.
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2011, 12:10:32 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I hope you are not placing Greeks and Armenians as of a "different persuasion" from the EOTC in the same sense. The EOTC is in communion with the Armenians but not the Greeks.
Of course not, my mistake for not elaborating the distinction. Some Armenians and Slavs and Syrians and other folks from these areas may have been affiliated with Chalcedonian Churches and may also have found their way into Ethiopia.This is also complicated by the fact that the terms in Ethiopian history are at times loose, and sometimes may also include other general Eastern Europeans who found their way to Ethiopia To this day the Ethiopians refer to all white people as "ferenj" after the Franks who they first encountered around the Crusades in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

I had not consulted enough materials, though I was out of line to insinuate that aside from the obvious Roman Catholic saga from the 1500s-today, that the false bishops and priests and trouble makers were Chalcedonian.  A particular vacuum existed after 918-1004 when two Syrian monks who had been dismissed from the Monastery of Saint Anthony went to Ethiopia with forged credentials claiming to being the Alexandrian Archbishop, and then concocted a coup scheme which resulted in a civil war and the death of the sitting Alexandrian Abun Petros.  As a result, the Egyptians refused to send any bishops for a century, and the Ethiopians had to readjust.  There were many mistakes in that time and misunderstandings, which also coincided with a devastating war with the Ethiopian Jews under Judith when many churches were burned and destroyed and many Christians martyred.  In such circumstances there can easily be a lot of confusion.  During this time the Sultanates even sent Muslim impostors claiming to be priests and even bishops who secretly built mosques and sabotaged the Church through cadres and outright deception.  The See of Alexandria herself was not immune to the dangerousness of this time period, and Pope Cyril was martyred!

It is very complicated to piece out who may have been who in the context of these impostors, but there were often periods of scarcity for Ethiopian in receiving Bishops from Alexandria, and these always created temporary vacuums, which various folks manipulated, either out of sincerely mistaken good will or outright evil intentions, but it is a confusing aspect. 

The Roman Catholics starting with the Jesuits in the 16th century, were just following a long standing tradition of trying to dupe the Ethiopians, and in the long run it worked out as disasteruously for them as it did for many others who tried over the centuries.

Again my apologies to any brothers I unintentionally offended in this confusion, I was not implying a pan-Chalcedonian conspiracy against Ethiopia, nor trying to question to good will of many many people who have come to and loved Ethiopia as well, Chalcedonians included Smiley


stay blessed,
habte selassie

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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2011, 09:57:05 AM »

Further, if I am correct, isn't the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria Chalcedonian?

Yes, and from our perspective, we have every right to establish churches in Ethiopia.
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2011, 12:03:37 PM »

Every right, but precious little reason - the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is strong and has a much better grounding in Ethiopian culture and life than the Greek community in Ethiopia will ever have.
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« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2011, 12:06:25 PM »

Every right, but precious little reason - the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is strong and has a much better grounding in Ethiopian culture and life than the Greek community in Ethiopia will ever have.

But the Ethiopian church is in schism...
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« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2011, 12:17:30 PM »

It's a mutual schism - we anathematized them for being too protective of Christology and they've anathematized us for being too loose with Christology. We have the same life and faith - there's no reason to be competing anywhere, much less in a country where the overwhelming majority of Orthodox are already part of a local church that rejects Chalcedon's definitions.
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« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2011, 12:56:02 PM »

Why the Protestant ecclesiology is so popular  among the Orthodox?

I don't think it's ethic to proselitise among the religiously uneducated Ethiopian (or any other non-EO) people but I can't say there is no reason. There is one - last part of the Gospel of Matthew. It's the shame that  we are not reunited yet but until we are we are not one Church (despite the funny hats and ethnic food).
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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2011, 01:08:09 PM »

Of course, but that is already being done by the Church of Ethiopia, which understands the situation in the country far better than foreign churches can. The Church of Alexandria has a whole continent to evangelize - Ethiopia is squared away :-).
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« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2011, 01:24:15 PM »

Of course, but that is already being done by the Church of Ethiopia, which understands the situation in the country far better than foreign churches can.

Southern Baptists do it in the USA.
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« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2011, 01:32:16 PM »

Preach their heresies? Totally different situation. This isn't the Russian Orthodox and Episcopalian Churches in the 19th century - this is a schism that has been nearly healed on multiple occasions, but that our pride and commitment to the imperial policy of the late Roman emperors keeps blocking.
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« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2011, 04:25:03 PM »

Further, if I am correct, isn't the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria Chalcedonian?

Yes, and from our perspective, we have every right to establish churches in Ethiopia.

Indeed.
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« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2011, 04:26:24 PM »

Every right, but precious little reason

We being outside the Church is "little reason"?
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« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2011, 04:28:06 PM »

How are you outside the Church? :-)
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« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2011, 04:29:29 PM »

It's a mutual schism

No. Just because both sides blame each other for the schism doesn't mean both parties are actually schismatic.

We have the same life and faith

That is not possible if one side is schismatic or even heretical.

there's no reason to be competing anywhere,

The fullness of the life of the Church should prevail wherever possible.

much less in a country where the overwhelming majority of Orthodox are already part of a local church that rejects Chalcedon's definitions.

From a proper perspective of your tradition, we shouldn't be regarded as Orthodox in the same sense. No one is truly Orthodox save for the Church, not even schismatics who have a sufficient doctrinal confession.
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« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2011, 04:30:26 PM »

How are you outside the Church? :-)

From an EO perspective we are outside of the Church because we are schismatic; we hastily and uncritically refused to accept a council that was truly orthodox and anathematized its adherents.
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« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2011, 04:31:22 PM »

Why the Protestant ecclesiology is so popular  among the Orthodox?

Trust me, it's far more popular among the OO than anything you have seen in your own tradition.  Sad
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« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2011, 04:32:25 PM »

Of course, but that is already being done by the Church of Ethiopia, which understands the situation in the country far better than foreign churches can. The Church of Alexandria has a whole continent to evangelize - Ethiopia is squared away :-).

From the proper perspective of your tradition, the "Church of Ethiopia" is not even really a Church in the same sense as the Church of Alexandria you are referring to.
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« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2011, 04:46:56 PM »

It may not fit our pro or anti-Chalcedonian worldviews and yet we share a common approach to Christology, the mysteries, worship, fasting, icons, and on and on. Our fathers were zealous for different things - yours for protecting Orthodoxy from Nestorianism and ours for reconciling sympathizers of Nestorius with the Church. After centuries of arguing our separation hardened and yet over a thousand years on and we both, in my eyes, preserve Orthodoxy.

To me this testifies to this being an ultimately meaningless, passing schism like the one between the Russian Orthodox Church in the former USSR and the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. For years anathemas and slander were hurled back and forth, but on the ground the faithful and even clergy went back and forth - my godmother was a member of our American Orthodox parish for decades due to logistics while also being a member of the Synodal parish a couple of towns over out of fidelity to its political positions.

In the end I hope and pray that this is how we will see the schism between our two communions - as a protracted conflict caused by misunderstandings and an inability to get over ourselves that, by God's mercy, did not manage to destroy our Orthodoxy.
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