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Author Topic: Would a Council Be Necessary?  (Read 23783 times) Average Rating: 0
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Antonious Nikolas
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« on: May 10, 2004, 06:06:49 PM »

I'm not interested in whether you think it should take place, or what conditions would be necessary for one side or the other to meet before it could take place, but if the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox were to work out all of their differences and reunite, would an Ecumenical Council be necessary to make the reunion a reality?
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2004, 06:27:52 PM »

I chose the Ecumenical Council option because it best reflects my opinion that only some sort of general council encompassing both Churches would be necessary in order to bear witness to any reunion.
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2004, 06:29:23 PM »

I chose the Ecumenical Council option because it best reflects my opinion that only some sort of general council encompassing both Churches would be necessary in order to bear witness to any reunion.  

I agree.  With a division having been in place for this long, it's not a union which could have the full support of both Churches without an Ecumenical Council. And even then, many would refuse it.
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2004, 07:47:55 PM »

I agree.  With a division having been in place for this long, it's not a union which could have the full support of both Churches without an Ecumenical Council. And even then, many would refuse it.

I agree that an ecumenical council would be helpful.

I also agree that many will refuse it unless it is the work of the Holy Spirit. If it is the work of the Holy Spirit, it will not run counter to any of the previous councils.

Of course, an ecumenical council is not absolutely necessary. The Acacian Schism, for example, was ended by a reunion document, The Formula of [Pope] Hormisdas, to which the bishops of the East agreed.

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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2004, 08:22:57 PM »

Yeah, it's gotta be a Council. Which, unfortunately, guarantees that this issue will never be resolved.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2004, 08:29:03 PM »

Yeah, it's gotta be a Council. Which, unfortunately, guarantees that this issue will never be resolved.  Roll Eyes


Why do you think that there will never be another Council, Tom?
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2004, 08:33:50 PM »

I agree that some sort of council, likely ecumenical, will be necessary.  Rather than significant theological substance, the main roadblocks are the anathemas of Chalcedon of men the OO consider saints.
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2004, 08:36:13 PM »

Why do you think that there will never be another Council, Tom?

Because the Church is too divided. The only reason it worked in the past was because the Emperor could make it happen. Even if one was to occur -- it would not be accepted by all the Churches.

Anyway -- now that I think more about it, I don't think that an EC does need to be called. The NC's just need to repudiate their earlier non-acceptance of the Council and then I would think that the EP would be happy to restore communion.
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2004, 08:48:51 PM »

I agree that some sort of council, likely ecumenical, will be necessary.  Rather than significant theological substance, the main roadblocks are the anathemas of Chalcedon of men the OO consider saints.  

I think there is more to it than that, theodore.

For example, the writings of the men to whom you refer do contain real differences of theological substance, which is why they were anathematized in the first place.



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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2004, 11:06:55 PM »



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The only reason it worked in the past was because the Emperor could make it happen.


Ah, so perhaps you see the logic in having a Pope? Wink

Quote
Even if one was to occur -- it would not be accepted by all the Churches.

For the first time, I actually agree with Tom.

I think it would take a long time for all of the Orthodox Churches or jurisidictions, all Orthodox individuals for the matter, to accept the Council as Ecumenical. Some say there as been an 8th and 9th Ecumenical Council...if so, look how long it's been....and still no answer.....as to whether they are, or they aren't. I agree with Tom, that without an Emperor or some authority figure, it would take a long time for the Council to be considered Ecumenical.

Quote
Anyway -- now that I think more about it, I don't think that an EC does need to be called. The NC's just need to repudiate their earlier non-acceptance of the Council and then I would think that the EP would be happy to restore communion.

Once again I agree with Tom  Shocked this can't be good!
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2004, 08:32:37 AM »

Ah, so perhaps you see the logic in having a Pope? Wink

I have never disputed the idea that a type of Pope in Orthodoxy would be a good idea. The problem is that power corrupts.

For the first time, I actually agree with Tom.

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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2004, 09:33:26 AM »


Ah, so perhaps you see the logic in having a Pope? Wink

Indeed we do, Ben.
Which is why ALL Orthodox bishops are, technically, popes.

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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2004, 09:37:30 AM »

I agree with Tom, that without an Emperor or some authority figure, it would take a long time for the Council to be considered Ecumenical.


I think Byzantines are completely hung up on 'ecumenicity'. It means 'Imperial Council' or 'Council of the Empire'. I am reading some of the essays by the Assyrian bishop Mar Bawai Soro and I actually agree with many of his conclusions. His community were outside the 'Oecumenos' <sp?> long before the issue of Nestorius. They were unaware of Nicaea for instance until some 80 years after it took place. And when the other councils took place, as far as the Assyrian church was concerned these were local synods of the Western Empire not councils at which they had any representation or participation.

It is a great weakness in the Byzantine position that it is not clear how many ecumenical councils there are. I have already produced historic documents from the Byzantines and pointed to the EP website which all count more than 7 ecumenical councils. What is required is for Byzantines to admit that there is some need for reconsideration of what ecumenicity means rather than for converts to jump up and down demanding that everyone accepts 7 councils. If the EP accepts 8. If the united Patriarchs of the 19th century accept 8 (but a different eighth) then insisting on 7 must surely be flawed.

If the Byzantines work out what they actually mean by ecumenicity then there may be scope for them accepting another.

As for the Oriental Orthodox, I believe their position is much more pragmatic. It is the content of a council which has authority. It is not given authority because it is later called ecumenical. And I do not find the same demands all the time that councils be repudiated or accepted. Rather that the content and substance of councils be understood and accepted. If there were a council then I believe that the issue of 'ecumenicity' wouldn't come up for the OO. They would simply ask was it representative of the mind of the Church - which is the same thing. But I am sure the EO would be hung up on the issue for ever. Something has gone wrong somewhere in EO ecclesiology because the same hangups would not have occurred in the controversial period.

There must be something wrong if, after both sides possibly come to an agreement that they have the same faith, everything falters because the EO cannot decide if a reconciliation council should be their 8th, 9th or 10th ecumenical council, while the OO accept it without such problems.

If we look at Ephesus II 449. It seems to me that the OO are able to accept it as authoritative without demanding its acceptance by the EO. This is partly because the EO eventually came to accept most of its conclusions 100 years later at Constantinople II, and we are dealing with each other 'where we are', not replaying centuries of controversy. At least this seems to me to be the more flexible position that the OO are adopting. I have the Acts of Ephesus II 449 here and I am sure that most of the Byzantines who repudiate that council have no idea at all what the Acts say.

So I think a council will be useful but I am not sure that the EO are able to handle a new one since they have some problems dealing with old ones.

As for accepting Chalcedon, that is a fair demand by the EO, but it requires more effort on their part than I have generally seen. The OO may also fairly demand that the EO explain what they mean by Chalcedon, and may fairly ask that the reasonable objections which we raise to that council be examined and positively dealt with. While the EO may doubt our Orthodoxy if we cannot deal with Chalcedon honestly, we may equally doubt the Orthodoxy of the EO if they are unable to deal honestly with our objections.

Perhaps until that honest and sincere desire to examine, explore and explain the past is more evident then the prospect of some new council remains unlikely.

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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2004, 09:38:34 AM »

Which is why ALL Orthodox bishops are, technically, popes.

The head of my church was Pope before that of Rome used the title.

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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2004, 09:52:22 AM »

The head of my church was Pope before that of Rome used the title.

Peter Theodore
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Historically accurate. But this does not obviate the fact that in English "Pope" is from the Latin "Popa" which is from the Greek "+á+¦-Ç+¦-é" (Papas) and simply means "Father". So to emend my post, technically ALL parish priests are popes as well.

(What's the Coptic word for Pope and Father?)

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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2004, 10:25:19 AM »

Priests are generally 'Abouna', bishops are 'Anba'.

But in Coptic hymns have, for instance:

'Peniout ethouwab Papa abba Shenouda'

My own bishop is Abba Seraphim.

I have the book about Papa Nicholas Planas so I do agree with you, in that he is also a Papa.

Is that the same word a child would use of his/her father?

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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2004, 10:32:54 AM »


Is that the same word a child would use of his/her father?

Thanks for the info. And that's a good question. I have heard +á+¦-Ç+¦-é used for 'father' in a sense like 'daddy"-  as an endearment. I was taught to use +á+¦-ä+¦-ü+¦-é (Pateras), also 'Father' more formally in my parent's home however.

+ö++++++-ä-ü+¦++-é
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2004, 10:36:09 AM »

That's interesting, that it has the endearing sense of 'Daddy'.

So you call your own priest "papas"?

Thanks for that.
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2004, 10:37:49 AM »

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peterfarrington:
I think Byzantines are completely hung up on 'ecumenicity'. It means 'Imperial Council' or 'Council of the Empire'.

That's not what it means. It means a council representing the "whole world," i.e., the entire Christian Church.

If we "Byzantines" are "hung up on 'ecumenicity'," then you Non-Chalcedonians are hung up on its rejection.

Quote
peterfarrington: I am reading some of the essays by the Assyrian bishop Mar Bawai Soro and I actually agree with many of his conclusions. His community were outside the 'Oecumenos' <sp?> long before the issue of Nestorius. They were unaware of Nicaea for instance until some 80 years after it took place. And when the other councils took place, as far as the Assyrian church was concerned these were local synods of the Western Empire not councils at which they had any representation or participation.

I'll bet I can find some Pentecostals in some hollow of the Appalachians who have yet to hear of Nicea even now.

Does that render it a "local synod?"

Quote
peterfarrington: It is a great weakness in the Byzantine position that it is not clear how many ecumenical councils there are. I have already produced historic documents from the Byzantines and pointed to the EP website which all count more than 7 ecumenical councils. What is required is for Byzantines to admit that there is some need for reconsideration of what ecumenicity means rather than for converts to jump up and down demanding that everyone accepts 7 councils. If the EP accepts 8. If the united Patriarchs of the 19th century accept 8 (but a different eighth) then insisting on 7 must surely be flawed.

And it is an even greater weakness of the Non-Chalcedonians that their spiritual forefathers took their churches out of the Church after Council #3 by rejecting Council #4. Thus you have really nothing to contribute to the discussion of whether there are 7 or 8 ecumenical councils.

The debate (if there really is one) over whether there are 7 or 8 ecumenical councils pales to insignificance next to the rejection of all of the councils after the third.

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peterfarrington: If the Byzantines work out what they actually mean by ecumenicity then there may be scope for them accepting another.

And if the Non-Chalcedonians repent and accept the ecumenical councils, perhaps they might no longer be called Non-Chalcedonians and could be present at the next council.

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peterfarrington: As for the Oriental Orthodox,

I object to the term "Oriental Orthodox."

In fact, I believe it is a sin for Eastern Orthodox Christians to refer to Non-Chalcedonians as Orthodox.

One CANNOT be Orthodox and reject the Council of Chalcedon.

If we are to refer to Non-Chalcedonians as "Oriental Orthodox," then we should refer to Roman Catholics as Occidental Orthodox, and to Protestants as Protestant Orthodox.

If Non-Chalcedonians are "Orthodox," then Orthodox is a cheap, watered-down word that has little meaning.

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peterfarrington: I believe their position is much more pragmatic. It is the content of a council which has authority.

What is a council but its dogmatic content?

This argument appears to be a subterfuge that allows one to pick and choose what he or she likes or doesn't like about a particular council.

Quote
peterfarrington: It is not given authority because it is later called ecumenical. And I do not find the same demands all the time that councils be repudiated or accepted. Rather that the content and substance of councils be understood and accepted. If there were a council then I believe that the issue of 'ecumenicity' wouldn't come up for the OO. They would simply ask was it representative of the mind of the Church - which is the same thing. But I am sure the EO would be hung up on the issue for ever. Something has gone wrong somewhere in EO ecclesiology because the same hangups would not have occurred in the controversial period.

If we EO have so many problems, why the apparent obsession with being accepted by us?

BTW, ecumenicity and "representative of the mind of the Church" mean pretty much the same thing.

Quote
peterfarrington: There must be something wrong if, after both sides possibly come to an agreement that they have the same faith, everything falters because the EO cannot decide if a reconciliation council should be their 8th, 9th or 10th ecumenical council, while the OO accept it without such problems.

We do NOT have the same faith as the Non-Chalcedonians, Peter!

You wish to be "reconciled" if we agree to allow you to continue to reject Chalcedon (and the subsequent councils) and venerate the same set of heretics who caused the schism in the first place.

That is not the "same faith" nor is it at all acceptable.

Only the ignorant and the sentimental among the Orthodox desire "unity" under such conditions.

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peterfarrington: If we look at Ephesus II 449.

Are sure you want to do that?

Actually examine the infamous Robber Synod, the synod at which the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, St. Flavian, was shamefully beaten to death by order of "the Pharaoh," Dioscorus?

Quote
peterfarrington: It seems to me that the OO are able to accept it as authoritative without demanding its acceptance by the EO. This is partly because the EO eventually came to accept most of its conclusions 100 years later at Constantinople II, and we are dealing with each other 'where we are', not replaying centuries of controversy. At least this seems to me to be the more flexible position that the OO are adopting. I have the Acts of Ephesus II 449 here and I am sure that most of the Byzantines who repudiate that council have no idea at all what the Acts say.

As long as the Non-Chalcedonians accept the Robber Synod as authoritative and do not repudiate it, there can be no reunion with them for Orthodox Christians.

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peterfarrington: So I think a council will be useful but I am not sure that the EO are able to handle a new one since they have some problems dealing with old ones.

Now that's entertainment!

We have trouble "dealing with the old ones?"

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peterfarrington: As for accepting Chalcedon, that is a fair demand by the EO, but it requires more effort on their part than I have generally seen. The OO may also fairly demand that the EO explain what they mean by Chalcedon, and may fairly ask that the reasonable objections which we raise to that council be examined and positively dealt with. While the EO may doubt our Orthodoxy if we cannot deal with Chalcedon honestly, we may equally doubt the Orthodoxy of the EO if they are unable to deal honestly with our objections.

Perhaps until that honest and sincere desire to examine, explore and explain the past is more evident then the prospect of some new council remains unlikely.

Peter Theodore

Your "objections" have been dealt with over and over and over again by the Fathers and Saints of the Orthodox Church.

Your great strength is that so few Orthodox today are aware of what they had to say, or that they seem to think we moderns are so much more "civilized."

There are some of us, however, who don't think we today know better than the Fathers.

We will simply stick with them, regardless of what the rest of you do.
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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2004, 11:03:44 AM »

Linus, what you have said is what so many Orthodox priests have told me, and what so many Eastern Orthodox Christians seem reluctant or afraid to admit. I'm sure few will agree with you, but I applaud your courage and faithfulness to true Orthodox teaching.
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« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2004, 11:17:30 AM »

Actually examine the infamous Robber Synod, the synod at which the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, St. Flavian, was shamefully beaten to death by order of "the Pharaoh," Dioscorus?As long as the Non-Chalcedonians accept the Robber Synod as authoritative and do not repudiate it, there can be no reunion with them for Orthodox Christians.Now that's entertainment!

Linus7 I wonder if you have actually seen the Acts of the council?

I wonder if you are aware that Flavian was writing letters 6 months after you have him beaten to death.

I wonder if you are aware that the Imperial commissioners present to witness the proceedings reported to the Emperor that everything had been done in a decent and Christian manner.

I would suggest that your sources are deficient since you do not seem to be aware of any of these things but merely repeat the usual polemical materials.

No-one at Chalcedon mentioned that Flavian had been beaten to death by Dioscorus' orders. How could that have escaped attention?

I can find copies of the letters which Flavian wrote after he had been "beaten to death" if you like?

Are you aware of what that Council discussed? If not then I suggest that you spend some time studying it before you make pronouncements which have no basis in fact.

Are you aware that the Council rejected the Letter of Ibas written to Maris? Are you saying that that judgement should be repudiated? Strange, since the EO came to the same opinion 100 years later and nearly split the Chalcedonian community into two because the West all believed that in fact Chalcedon had declared the letter Orthodox. Do you repudiate the condemnation of Theodore of Mopsuestia? Strange because the EO came to the same opinion 100 years later after half the Chalcedonians had been teaching that he was Orthodox. Do you repudiate the condemnation of Theodoret? Yet he refused to anathematise Nestorius, and if we repudiate his condemnation for refusing to anathematise Nestorius then we must say that it is not necessary to anathematise him.

So which bits should we repudiate? The condemnation of Ibas' letter? The condemnation of Theodore? The condemnation of Theodoret? I don't see how you can demand that since if I did repudiate these condemnations then I would fall foul of Constantinople II, which you wish me to accept, which says:

"If, then, anyone shall defend this most impious Theodore and his impious writings, in which he vomits the blasphemies mentioned above, and countless others besides against our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, and if anyone does not anathematize him or his impious writings, as well as all those who protect or defend him, or who assert that his exegesis is orthodox, or who write in favour of him and of his impious works, or those who share the same opinions, or those who have shared them and still continue unto the end in this heresy: let him be anathema."

Now you are asking me to repudiate his condemnation so that I can be united with you, but I cannot repudiate his condemnation because it would mean that your own council would declare me anathema for failing to confirm his condemnation.

The question must surely be "why will you not accept this part of Ephesus II 449"? Why do you wish me to repudiate something that is manifestly in accord with later EO opinion?

I will not be lectured to about the councils by someone who cannot even tell me how many ecumenical councils there are. Go find the answer to that one - and we already know that your patriarchs offer a different judgement than you - and then I will be more inclined to listen.

You are also mistaken if you think that OO are desperate to be reunited with the EO. On the contrary, since we understand ourselves to be Orthodox and the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church there is no need to be united with anyone, save for the fact that we seek to obey the wish of Christ - that they may be one. And as far as is possible we wish to see if we can be reconciled with the Byzantines. We do not NEED to be reconciled except that it would be a sin not to try.

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« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2004, 11:22:36 AM »

Your "objections" have been dealt with over and over and over again by the Fathers and Saints of the Orthodox Church.


Linus7, I'd be grateful if you could list what the objections are. Or you Ben. Are you aware of what the objections to Chalcedon and the Tome are?

Have you ever thought them through, the way I try to speak and understand the EO pov? It doesn't come across in any of your posts that you have done. I am well aware of the EO objections to the OO position, but are you aware of the other way round? Or do you think it doesn't matter.

Ben, you congratulate Linus7, but do you know what I believe? How is it different to what you believe about Christ? Since you are glad to keep the wall of separation standing shouldn't you know how my faith in Christ differs from yours?

Please tell me Ben where what I believe about Christ is defective?

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« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2004, 12:00:50 PM »



Quote
Ben, you congratulate Linus7


I congratulated him because he was clear to state that the Oriental Orthodox, are NOT Orthodox. So many Orthodox priests have told me this, yet I find many Orthodox Christians reluctant or scared to say this, or those who just don't believe it, I have noticed this a lot, as has Linus, esp around here.


Quote
but do you know what I believe?

I do not know you, I mean because I know that you are a Christian, I could guess, but I'd rather have you tell me, than me make false assumptions.

Quote
How is it different to what you believe about Christ?


Perhaps it isn't at all, we'll have to see though.

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Please tell me Ben where what I believe about Christ is defective?

Please do no misunderstand me, or take my comments the wrong way. I am not condemning you, or calling you some crazy heretic, nor do I calim your faith in Christ to be defective. However, it is disturbing to see so many Orthodox Christians not willing to admit that the NC's are, in fact, not Orthodox, which is the teaching of the Orthodox Church- that is what Orthodox priests have told me again and again. It is also disturbing to see NC's communed at Orthodox churches, which I have seen done on more than one occasion. There is a schism between the Eastern Orthodox and the NC's, and it seems that so many Orthodox Christians are willing to ignore the differences between the two for the sake of unity. This is why it is refreshing to hear Linus state what orthodox Orthodox priests have told me for years.

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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2004, 12:21:33 PM »

Ben

I think the issue is that we have made tremendous progress in our discussions with the OOs.  In the context of this dialogue, our *own* EO delegates, including some "harder" ones like Fr. John Romanides, have referred to us as the two "families" of the Orthodox Church already!  At the level of the dialogue, a fundamental agreement has been reached that there is no longer a *theological* difference between us, despite what some lesser-informed EOs and OOs alike may think (not everyone is well apprised of the official EO-OO dialogue, after all).

There is certainly much more that needs to be done before we can be fully one, but many of us take great joy from the progress that has been made to date and do not denigrate our Oriental Orthodox brothers and sisters as "non-Orthodox", but embrace them with joy in the confidence that, having reached the understanding that we share the same faith, we will surely overcome the remaining hurdles, if even with some difficulty, and reunite these two families.
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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2004, 12:27:27 PM »

Dear Ben,

If you would be so kind as to show me when the Byzantines started called themselves the "Orthodox Church" and when the NC's stole that title for themselves?  

I really would appreciate it since all my history books I have call the Christians of Egypt "Orthodox" for centuries before and after Chalcedon???

As a matter of fact, the Christians who killed us (under the Emperor) were called many other names but not Orthodox???

I really need help with this!

Also, please explain to me on what basis, authority, principle, etc...can we be denied the term "Orthodox" if it has been standard usage for those Christians in places like Egypt both before and after Chalcedon.

I look forward to your response.

In Christ,
Raouf

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« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2004, 12:37:38 PM »



Quote
If you would be so kind as to show me when the Byzantines started called themselves the "Orthodox Church" and when the NC's stole that title for themselves?  

I really would appreciate it since all my history books I have call the Christians of Egypt "Orthodox" for centuries before and after Chalcedon???

As a matter of fact, the Christians who killed us (under the Emperor) were called many other names but not Orthodox???

The NC's are called Orthodox, but I have been told by Orthodox priests and bishops, that they are Orthodox, only in name, not in faith. Perhaps the NC's and the EO's do hold the same faith, but the fact that the NC's reject Councils that the EO's believe to be infallible and guided by the Holy Sprirt, presents a huge problem, in my opinion, and those Orthodox priests that I have spoken with.

There can only be ONE true Church, and it can not be divided up by schisms, with one hald believing this, and the other half believing something different. The Church is ONE, the NC's are in schism from the true Church, therefore they are not Orthodox, for they are in schism from the Orthodox Church. They may call themselves Orthodox, but if they are in schism from the Orthodox Church, then they are not truly Orthodox. This is what I have been told, and it seems to make the most sense!
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« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2004, 01:39:30 PM »

Dear Ben

I have no ill will towards you at all, but I call you Orthodox only out of economy. I know that I belong to the Orthodox Church and I hope that you do to, but we are separated from each other.

Would it be helpful if I started saying how you should not be called Orthodox because you are not in visible communion with me?

How does it help? The fact is that we both consider ourselves Orthodox. Trying to prevent the other side using the term is pointless and offensive. The fact is that we should address each other as we would wish to be addressed.

Today I sent an email to the Assyrian bishop Mar Bawai Soro. I wrote to him respectfully and addressed him as Your Eminence. I described his Church as Assyrian rather than Nestorian. I told him that rather than merely repeating wornout polemics I actually wanted to be referred to someone in his community who could help me understand their Christology better. In no sense have I committed myself to considering his community as Orthodox but I have not been rude, I have not addressed him in a manner that he would find offensive and I have put myself in a position to seek to learn from him so that he can explain what he believes rather than have me tell him polemically that I already know everything that there is to know.

Why do many EO here not seem able to take that approach?

If you say that the Church cannot be divided then you need to explain what you mean. Even modern history is full of Eastern Orthodox failing to preserve unity. This is again an issue I have with some EO (you see I call you EO, I don't dredge out polemical terms), this rose-tinted approach to history. Since modern EOxy is riven with divisions how do you define the necessary unity? It seems to me that division at the human level is merely a sign of our fallen humanity and does not affect the one-ness of the Church, but some EOx seem to need to ignore real life.

What is the present situation between the Church of Greece and the EP and all those who have signed the excommunication? What is this if not a division? What about ROCOR? What about the Greek Old Calendarists? What about the Bulgarian churches, the Ukrainian Churches, the jurisdiction in Estonia - all of these produced and still produce division in the visible Church. What about the fact that the EP says there are 8 ecumenical councils but I bet you say there are 7? What about Fr John Romanides of blessed memory who says that are 9?

The Church is not so fragile that it cannot subsist in the midst of our humanity.

Are you aware that the reason the Anti-Chalcedonians walled themselves off from the Chalcedonians was because they were being persecuted to extinction? Have you been told that on one day alone 10,000 faithful Orthodox were killed by the Chalcedonians. Did you know that for 100 years after Chalcedon half of the Chalcedonian population believed that the letter of Ibas, which had been condemned in 449, had been declared Orthodox in 451? There were plenty of reasons for walling ourselves off, no less than ROCOR and the Chalcedonian Traditionalists have done.

Would it also surprise you to know that Eutyches has never been a theological figure among the Anti-Chalcedonians. In fact he has constantly been anathematised. Or that those who rejected Chalcedon never failed to confess that Christ is perfect God and perfect man, without confusion, mixture, division or separation? That his humanity was not absorbed by His Divinity and His Divinity was never changed nor subject to suffering?

Are you aware that Chalcedon does not condemn Dioscorus for any heresy?

There can only be one Church, but the one Church is not harmed by merely human divisions, if it were then Eastern Orthodoxy would already have failed the test. But it does subsist in all those who believe rightly - not about how many councils there are, but what the councils teach. And the chanting of 'accept the 7 councils' just won't wash because that just shows an ignorance of what the councils teach. It is almost Pharasaical to be honest.

I am an Oriental Orthodox. I would have thought that if you wanted to know what I believe you should ask me, not an EO priest.

I believe the Creed.

I believe in the Holy and Consubstantial Trinity.

I confess Christ as God the Word incarnate.

I confess Christ as perfect God and perfect man.
God the Word uniting to Himself real and particular humanity
without changing His Divinity from what it was, nor His humanity
from what it is.

I confess that the humanity is perfect and complete, consubstantial
with us in everyway yet without sin, with human will and rational soul.

I venerate icons and the saints represented in them.

I anathematise the Three Chapters, and I have already described how my community did this 100 years before the EO started to.

So in what way is the faith I have received, and I have received it from my bishops and priests and the teachings of Severus, Timothy, Cyril, and others, in what is this faith different to yours?

If your faith is different then that is important to recognise.

Don't say, as Linus7 does, that it doesn't matter even if my faith is exactly the same as his except I do not class the latter councils as ecumenical. Don't say, as he has done, it doesn't matter if I believe what they teach as long as I don't call them Ecumenical then I am further from Orthodoxy than Roman Catholics. Because I will then have to mention again that you cannot tell me how many councils must be called ecumenical. Is it 7 as Linus says or 8 as the Ecumenical Patriarch says. If I must accept 7 then you must accept 8 or you are as far from Orthodoxy as I apparently am.

Don't get sucked in by simplistic arguments that ignore what others actually say they believe themselves. An EO bishop is not an authority on what I and my own Orthodox church believes.  Take time to understand and then disagree by all means, but don't assume you know what I believe - and I am speaking generally of an attitude not criticising you at all - without letting me - and I am speaking generally of my community - speak.

Best wishes

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2004, 04:48:57 PM »

There can only be ONE true Church, and it can not be divided up by schisms, with one hald believing this, and the other half believing something different. The Church is ONE, the NC's are in schism from the true Church, therefore they are not Orthodox, for they are in schism from the Orthodox Church. They may call themselves Orthodox, but if they are in schism from the Orthodox Church, then they are not truly Orthodox. This is what I have been told, and it seems to make the most sense!


Ben, aren't you Roman Catholic?  If so, then by your own logic you are also outside of the "true church" (i.e. the EO Church).  You say that one half of the Church cannot believe something, and the other side believe different.  You mean like one half believeing in the filioque and the other rejecting it?  Or one side believing that the bishop of Rome is infallible when speaking ex cathedra and the other denying this?  The list goes on...

Your not deluding yourself that the EO and the RC are one Church now that the anathema's of 1054 have been removed, are you?  If that were the case, I'm sure that the big fight wouldn't have occured in the local OCA Church around my way when a Catholic priest wanted to concelebrate at a wedding of an Orthodox guy and a Catholic girl.  There was quite a ruckus, and he was forced to back down by the EO priest, and sit in as an observer.  But you know what, now I'm becoming part of the problem by participating in this off-topic discussion.

BTW folks, way to hi-jack my thread.  I said I wasn't interested in hearing if any of you blowhards thought we were Orthodox or not, just whether or not a Council would be necessary for reunification.  This was clearly stated at the beginning.  Are you unable to carry on a discussion with any of us Oriental Orthodox without making these allegations?  If you want to discuss why we are not part of the "true Church" in your eyes, please start you own thread.  Deacon Peter's defence was most eloquent, but would have been unnecessary if you polemicists would have stuck to the topic and resisted the urge to tell us whether or not you think we're Orthodox.  Again, that wasn't the purpose of this thread.  Please take that diatribe somewhere else.
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« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2004, 04:55:46 PM »

Lol!! I didn't know Ben was RC. That would have changed my post somewhat.

Ben you should still find out what we believe before condemning us for things we don't. And I mean that generously. Come and learn.

PT
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« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2004, 05:11:29 PM »

Peter......

I truly corssed the line. And for this, I sincerely apologize. I'm not even Orthodox, so why should I have the right to say who is and isn't Orthodox?! The views I expressed were those expressed by Orthodox priests I have spoken with about the issue, I tried to make that clear.

I am not an expert in this area, I was merely exppressing what has been told to me, and what made sense.

Having said that, I would like to address my idea of the One true Church. I typed out a munch of stuff, trying to explain my thoughts, but I ended up confusing myselg. Perhaps,  I just can't explain myself as well as I thought I could or I could just be brain dead today. So, let me quote St. Philaret the Confessor:

"Those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ's Church is divided into so-called "branches" which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all "branches" or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema!"

This is exactly how I feel about the Church. And I think this sums up the traditional and correct view of the Orthodox Church, though I could be wrong here.

The true Church is not divded up like branches, there is one true Church and all else is schismatic and heretical. This may seem like a narrow view but if there is really only One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, then it can't be divided up into a much of groups or branches.

So, I personally think that , if both the EOC and OOC are the one true Church, then either there really is no schism, or the Church isn't one. There seems to be much that still seperates the two Churches, they are not the same Church, so are we prepared to say they are each one half of the true Church? Or are we bold enough to say one is the true Church, and the other is in schism? These are honest questions.

These days it seems as if so many people are so obssesed with unity that they dangerously forget that there really is only one Church founded by Christ. People seem to be so willing to dismiss schisms, ecumenical councils, confessors of the Church, and just say "we all believe the same thing, who cares about the past, lets fixs things up."

The faith and the rich and complex Hisotry of Christianity must not be ignorned and compromised for the sake of unity.
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« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2004, 05:23:58 PM »

Antonios,
I think a council nowadays is just the official declaration of the decisions taken in private talks. In old times, the 4th and 5th century, there was a necessity that bishops come together and dicuss the matter, as the communication methods were not developed. Maybe a council now is that to make it authoritive for the next generations, although if a schism (after the proposed union) is to happen it will happen anyways.

Peace,
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« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2004, 05:41:27 PM »


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Ben, aren't you Roman Catholic?


Yes, I am.

Quote
You say that one half of the Church cannot believe something, and the other side believe different.  You mean like one half believeing in the filioque and the other rejecting it?  Or one side believing that the bishop of Rome is infallible when speaking ex cathedra and the other denying this?
 

I never claimed that the RCC and the EOC were both the same Church. If you look through my posts in the Orthodox and Catholic discussion forum, you will find I frequently argue that there are profound theological and dogmatic differences between East and West, and that one of them, not both, is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Quote
Your not deluding yourself that the EO and the RC are one Church now that the anathema's of 1054 have been removed, are you?
 

I never said that the EO and RC are one Church! Where did you get that?

Quote
I said I wasn't interested in hearing if any of you blowhards thought we were Orthodox or not, just whether or not a Council would be necessary for reunification.


Well this isn't a dictatorship, and you're not the dictator, so the thread got a little off track, what can you do about it? I am sorry if I am responsible for this, but I think whenever you bring up union between the EO and the NC's you are bound to end up debating if both are really Orthodox.

Quote
Are you unable to carry on a discussion with any of us Oriental Orthodox without making these allegations?


You need to relax!

The discussion got a little off track, big deal, I think it was good, I know I learned a bunch!

Quote
If you want to discuss why we are not part of the "true Church" in your eyes, please start you own thread.


I am starting to think you should go form your own forum where you can control everyone's posts, and no one can ever go off topic, where everyone just scratches the surface and that's it.

 
Quote
Deacon Peter's defence was most eloquent

It most certainly was!!

Quote
but would have been unnecessary if you polemicists would have stuck to the topic and resisted the urge to tell us whether or not you think we're Orthodox.
 

I think it was necessary, at least it was for me. I have never seen a defense of the NC's, within the scope of an email or message, that was so eloquent and articulate, I would think going off the topic would be worth it to you,  just for Peter to post that!

I am sorry if I have offended you, but it was never my intention to do so.
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« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2004, 05:49:53 PM »

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peterfarrington: Don't say, as Linus7 does, that it doesn't matter even if my faith is exactly the same as his except I do not class the latter councils as ecumenical.

Your faith is not exactly the same as ours.

Here is proof in a direct quote from you:

Quote
peterfarrington: So in what way is the faith I have received, and I have received it from my bishops and priests and the teachings of Severus, Timothy, Cyril, and others, in what is this faith different to yours?

"Severus" and "Timothy" were Monophysite heretics, anathematized by the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

Such men actually did believe that Christ has but one nature, the divine, and that, consequently, He has but one will, energy, and activity. The latter is the heresy called Monothelitism.

St. Maximus the Confessor's Letter 12 is a detailed refutation of the errors of Severus of Antioch.

There are reasons NCs do not accept the councils after #3.

They don't believe in them!

If they had the same faith we have, they would accept those councils.

Quote
peterfarrington: Don't say, as he has done, it doesn't matter if I believe what they teach as long as I don't call them Ecumenical then I am further from Orthodoxy than Roman Catholics. Because I will then have to mention again that you cannot tell me how many councils must be called ecumenical. Is it 7 as Linus says or 8 as the Ecumenical Patriarch says. If I must accept 7 then you must accept 8 or you are as far from Orthodoxy as I apparently am.

That is your favorite chestnut right now, the bit about whether the Orthodox recognize 7 or 8 councils as ecumenical.

Again it pales to insignificance beside the rejection of ALL of the councils after #3!

If you actually believe what the councils teach, as you claim, then you should have no problem repenting of your current rebellion against the Church, accepting them, and becoming Orthodox.

Quote
peterfarrington: Don't get sucked in by simplistic arguments that ignore what others actually say they believe themselves.

Good advice.

I would also caution everyone against getting sucked in by sweet-sounding deception disguised in the language of "unity" and "orthodoxy."

Quote
peterfarrington: An EO bishop is not an authority on what I and my own Orthodox church believes.  Take time to understand and then disagree by all means, but don't assume you know what I believe - and I am speaking generally of an attitude not criticising you at all - without letting me - and I am speaking generally of my community - speak.

I've read plenty of what you have had to say.

I also know what the Orthodox Fathers had to say, and I know the history of the efforts to appease Non-Chalcedonians without insisting that they repent and accept the Council of Chalcedon and the subsequent councils of the Church.

Each time that has been tried, it has resulted in tragedy and schism.

No, we Orthodox must insist that you accept the faith of the Fathers.

Until you do, it is a sin to call you Orthodox.

I can be courteous, but I should not have to lie to you to do it.
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« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2004, 05:53:22 PM »

Lol!! I didn't know Ben was RC.


The Saint Rafka avatar and the quotes from Saint Therese of Lisieux and Saint John of Cross didn't give it away?
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« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2004, 06:06:36 PM »

Dear Ben

I do agree with you that the Church is one, but I believe that it is incorrect to require of this unity that it be always manifested as a visible unity. That seems to me to deny the human aspect of the Church.

When the Western part of the Chalcedonian church and the Eastern part often fell into schism with each other did this permanently injure the ontological reality that each was the Church? Or in fact were these schisms more often that not based on politics and misunderstandings?

If there was an ontological failure in one party to remain the Church simply because of political discord and division, or misunderstanding then why was there never any demand by either party that the other party be considered as being reconciled from heresy and requiring at least chrismation.

Nor does it seem to me to deal with the presence of error within a community that exhibits and external unity. The West held to the teachings of Ibas - for example - as being Orthodox for 100 years between 451 and 553. After 553 much of the West went into schism because it had ALWAYS believed that the heretical letter of Ibas had been declared Orthodox at Chalcedon. In fact I have a major theological work in front of me by one of the leading Western Chalcedonians of the day called 'In Defense of the Three Chapters', and I also have the letter of St Columbanus where he rejects the 5th council and puns that "Vigilius should have been more vigilant". And Pelagius, who became Pope after Vigilius died also wrote in support of the Three Chapters as being Orthodox and accepted by Chalcedon. Now this is error according to the 5th council but it was the position of the West for 100 years, and some of the West held onto that position until 700 AD. It was that rooted in the West's understanding of history and Christology.

But the West was in complete unity with the East.

Yet on this important matter the East condemned while the West defended the Three Chapters.

So we have visible disunity which does not seem to have damaged the ontological reality of communities being the Church despite such visible disunity, and we have visible disunity where a major part of that unity actually has a completely different understanding of the faith.

That being so I cannot simply accept that because the EO and OO are not in communion we must either accept the branch theory or decide that the EO are not Orthodox.

I reject the branch theory. But if I find that EO brethren believe as I do then I cannot ignore that. I also reject the idea that a visible unity is necessary to the mystical unity of the Church - and I don't accept the Protestant notion of an invisible union with complete organsational chaos either.

But would ROCOR cease to be part of the Church if everyone else broke communion? Is the Church of Greece now not part of the Orthodox Church because its primate has been excommunicated and thereby all who communicate with him should canonically be excommunicate?

I believe that Christ's Church is more resilient than that and not dependent on mere human relations. What if several patriarchates get involved in the EP/Greece affair and excommuicate one or other party? At what point would a party cease to be The Church even if not one doctrine had changed? Surely even if the Church of Greece were competely isolated for a time, if her bishops and people were faithful there membership of The Church is not dependent on communion with others but with faithfulness?

These are not answers to anything but I do not believe the branch theory, or an invisible unity, but in a visible unity that is constantly challenged and broken and which all faithful Orthodox are called to. I do not believe that membership of the church is determined by communion between bishops - what if every other bishop in the world became convinced that one Church was in error over something - and in fact it was not but had been misunderstood and had misunderstood others - would that Church cease to be ontologically the Body of Christ gathered around right believing bishops just because other bishops THOUGHT that her bishops taught error?

I don't believe so.

But of course this requires effort since we fallen humans must make every effort to bear witness to a real unity of faith and life if it exists, this requires overcoming misunderstandings and church politics. Unfortunately the perpetuation of division comes easier to us all, this sinner included.

Sincere best wishes

Peter Theodore

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« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2004, 06:11:30 PM »

Such men actually did believe that Christ has but one nature, the divine, and that, consequently, He has but one will, energy, and activity. The latter is the heresy called Monothelitism.

What a load of cobblers.

I have most of the writings of St Severus here which remain to us and he never teaches that. It's just a lie, a deception of the evil one because it is the opposite of what St Severus teaches.

You have been blinded I'm afraid because once again you are telling ME what I must believe and its a crock of rubbish.

I don't believe Christ hasn't got a human will, nor did St Severus nor does anyone I know. Nor do I believe nor St Severus that Christ was not perfect man.

So you are lying. You may not mean to but you are. It isn't true.

You know EO are the only people who insist that they know what others believe even when others - like me - state repeatedly that what you accuse me of is a heresy I would rather die than blaspheme my Lord by professing.

Yet of course you know that despite me saying that, despite me having studied the writings of St Severus and also finding it vehemently repudiated, YOU must know best what I believe.
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« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2004, 06:53:12 PM »

So, Peter, if you have the same faith as the Eastern Orthodox, do you have any objections to the tome of St. Leo? If so, you do not share in the same faith as the Eastern Orthodox. Not because Leo was a Pope or a Saint, but because his Tome is a wonderful expression of the Orthodox teaching on Christ, to this day I know several Orthodox priests who give it to catechumens when questions come up regarding Christ's nature. Furthermore do you have ANY objections to any of the declarations of any of the 4 Ecumenical Councils that the EO's accept, and you reject? I'm not trying to be offensive..I just want to learn.
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« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2004, 07:08:05 PM »

Quote
peterfarrington:
What a load of cobblers.

Merely your opinion.

I will refer others to this article and this one, as well.

They can judge for themselves who is assembling "cobblers."

Quote
peterfarrington: I have most of the writings of St Severus here which remain to us and he never teaches that. It's just a lie, a deception of the evil one because it is the opposite of what St Severus teaches.

Have you read all of those writings, which I assume you have in their French translations?

According to some pretty learned experts (see the two articles from the Catholic Encyclopedia referenced above) Severus did indeed teach that Christ had one will, energy, and activity.

That is also the opinion of the scholar Hans Urs von Balthasar in his book, Cosmic Liturgy: The Universe According to Maximus the Confessor.

St. Maximus seemed to have a problem with Severus, since he took the trouble to refute him in his Letter 12. Von Balthasar says St. Maximus saw the writings of Severus as one of the sources of the Monothelite heresy (Cosmic Liturgy, p. 78) and of the Ekthesis specifically.

If Severus was so Orthodox, why was he anathematized by the Church as a heretic?

All just a mistake?

Quote
peterfarrington: You have been blinded I'm afraid because once again you are telling ME what I must believe and its a crock of rubbish.

I won't be blinded by you anyway.

It took you longer to begin personal attacks last time.

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peterfarrington: I don't believe Christ hasn't got a human will, nor did St Severus nor does anyone I know. Nor do I believe nor St Severus that Christ was not perfect man.

Your reading of Severus must differ from that of some of the NC leadership.

At least one NC Metropolitan I know of has said you all have more of a problem with the 6th Ecumenical Council (the one that condemned Monothelitism) than you do with the 4th. He referred to the Orthodox as "Ditheletes." Odd things to do if he really believes Christ has two wills.

St. Maximus the Confessor, who gave first his tongue and right hand and then his life standing against Monothelitism, evidently thought Severus was a Monothelite.

Quote
peterfarrington: So you are lying. You may not mean to but you are. It isn't true.

You should have waited a bit longer before resorting to personal attacks.

But you didn't.

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peterfarrington: You know EO are the only people who insist that they know what others believe even when others - like me - state repeatedly that what you accuse me of is a heresy I would rather die than blaspheme my Lord by professing.

Yet of course you know that despite me saying that, despite me having studied the writings of St Severus and also finding it vehemently repudiated, YOU must know best what I believe.

No, I don't know squat.

But the Orthodox Fathers knew a lot.

I'll rely on them.

They haven't steered me wrong yet.
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« Reply #38 on: May 11, 2004, 07:28:39 PM »

Ben,

Perhaps we have gotten off on the wrong foot.  As you yourself have said, your earlier  posts were not articulated clearly.  Perhaps because they were so convoluted, I got the wrong idea.  Let me tell you where I was coming from. You said:

I never claimed that the RCC and the EOC were both the same Church. If you look through my posts in the Orthodox and Catholic discussion forum, you will find I frequently argue that there are profound theological and dogmatic differences between East and West, and that one of them, not both, is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  

I never said that the EO and RC are one Church! Where did you get that?

Where I "got that" was from this quote, and others like it:

There can only be ONE true Church, and it can not be divided up by schisms, with one hald believing this, and the other half believing something different. The Church is ONE, the NC's are in schism from the true Church, therefore they are not Orthodox, for they are in schism from the Orthodox Church. They may call themselves Orthodox, but if they are in schism from the Orthodox Church, then they are not truly Orthodox. This is what I have been told, and it seems to make the most sense!

This seems to imply (if not directly state) that the Eastern Orthodox Church is the one true Church, and that the Oriental Orthodox Churches are not Orthodox, and are in fact schismatic.  I was wondering how you, as a Roman Catholic, could believe this.  I would think that as a Catholic you would believe that the Roman Catholic Church was the one true Church, otherwise, you would have converted to Eastern Orthodoxy.  Then I figured, maybe he thinks that the EO and the RC are really one Church and there is no longer a separation between them since the anathemas were lifted.  I have heard some Catholics articulate this.  What I was trying to say was that you can't have your cake and eat it too.  The Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church can't both be the one true Church despite all of their differences, while the Oriental Orthodox are branded as schismatics.  

Your viewpoint is still somewhat murky to me, perhaps because you are still working things out for yourself.  I'll just ask directly: In your opinion, what is the one true Church, the Roman Catholic or the Eastern Orthodox? (I know you don't think it is the Oriental Orthodox.).

I think it was necessary, at least it was for me. I have never seen a defense of the NC's, within the scope of an email or message, that was so eloquent and articulate, I would think going off the topic would be worth it to you,  just for Peter to post that!

I agree with this 100%.  If you have indeed learned something here, then it was worth it.  And it is always worth it to hear what Deacon Peter has to say.

Well this isn't a dictatorship, and you're not the dictator...You need to relax!
I am starting to think you should go form your own forum where you can control everyone's posts, and no one can ever go off topic, where everyone just scratches the surface and that's it.

nyah nyah nyah!  I told you!  Sounds like you could use a time out yourself, Ben!  No big deal though.  You haven't offended me, and I hope I haven't offended you.  If I have please forgive me.  I'm not trying to control everyone's posts.  Its just that I have participated in this forum for a long time, and it seems like whenever there is any discussion between the EO and the OO at all, it turns into a "You're not Orthodox!" pissing contest, and that was not what I wanted from this thread.  Also, I have noticed that when someone starts a thread and it gets hi-jacked and taken off topic, either the person who started the thread or one of the mods will bring it back on track by pointing this out, and the others are usually corteous about it.  Perhaps I took the wrong tact by calling people "blowhards" etc., its just that I found it arrogant that a Roman Catholic would see fit to lecture people on who is Orthodox.  That would be like me telling Benny Hinn who is truly a "Born Again" Evangelical.

No hard feelings!  Hope we can communicate better with one another in the future.

Nick

P.S. - I also believe only in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  I'm not a "branch theorist".  Obviously, we would disagree about what constitutes the one Church.
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« Reply #39 on: May 11, 2004, 07:51:34 PM »


Quote
Perhaps we have gotten off on the wrong foot.  


We agree!  Grin


Quote
This seems to imply (if not directly state) that the Eastern Orthodox Church is the one true Church

Ah! I see the source of confusion, let me try to explain.

I wasn't making a case for the Orthodox Church being the true Church. I was trying to get the point acorss that if the Orthodox Church is the true Church, than the NC's aren't, because the NC's are in schism from the Eastern Orthodox Church. And notice at the end I state "This is what I have been told, and it seems to make the most sense!". And that is what some Orthodox priests have told me, and it does make sense.

I admit I could have articulated myself way better, but I typed it up in rush, without checking over it, I apologize about that.

Quote
Then I figured, maybe he thinks that the EO and the RC are really one Church and there is no longer a separation between them

You obviously haven't read any of my other posts in some of the other threads.

Quote
I have heard some Catholics articulate this.
 

I know, and it is quite disturbing!

Quote
The Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church can't both be the one true Church despite all of their differences

Amen! And the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Church can't both be the one true Church.

Quote
Your viewpoint is still somewhat murky to me

I am sorry, let me know if there is any way I can make it clearer!

Quote
perhaps because you are still working things out for yourself

That's for sure!

 
Quote
I'll just ask directly: In your opinion, what is the one true Church, the Roman Catholic or the Eastern Orthodox?


OH, THATS A TUFF ONE!!! Hehehe, you had to ask didn't you?! Angry Wink

I am stuck between East and West, and even though I'm leaning to the Catholic side, I can not say I am 100% sure which Church is the true Church. As I said, I'm leaning to the Catholic side, but I don't know just quite yet.

Quote
(I know you don't think it is the Oriental Orthodox.)

Ah, but thats not true. I plan on visiting a Coptic parish soon, and speaking with the priest there. Who knows, maybe a year from now I'll be a non-Orthodox Heretic and schismatic like you  Wink Cheesy

Quote
I agree with this 100%.


 Smiley

Quote
Sounds like you could use a time out yourself, Ben!
 

Perhaps, today has been a rough day.

Quote
No big deal though
.

 Grin

 
Quote
You haven't offended me

And you haven't offended me.

Quote
"You're not Orthodox!" pissing contest

But this is my first "You're not Orthodox" pissing contest...can't I have a *little* fun? Wink

Quote
I found it arrogant that a Roman Catholic would see fit to lecture people on who is Orthodox.
 

After I thought about it, I did too! Thats why I stated in an earlier post "I'ver crossed the line".

Quote
No hard feelings!  Hope we can communicate better with one another in the future.

Same here  Smiley
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« Reply #40 on: May 11, 2004, 07:53:34 PM »

I think the only way there can be unity is this:

1) Sign an all-encompasing document at a council called with representatives of both sides, that explains the theology of both sides and their historic interpretations of Chalcedon, etc etc etc.

2) On the basis of this agreement now, the Non-Chalcedonians will retract the anathemas against St Leo and Chalcedon.

3) On the basis of this agreement, the Chalcedonians will retract the anathemas against the persons of Severus and Dioscorus, and explain the anathemas against them at the ecumenical councils to be anathemas against what they perceived to be their teachings (which if they were their teachings would indeed be heretical).

4) The Non-Chalcedonians would accept the councils #4-7 on the basis of the agreed statement of faith, with the understanding that they would not have to commemorate them liturgically.

5) We can live happily ever after.

If there is no acceptance of Chalcedon, Constantinople II, Constantinople III, and Nicea II, there can be no union; it just wouldn't work in Eastern Orthodox Ecclesiology.  All in all, if we agree that we are saying the same thing with different words, then it should present no problem for these councils to be acknowledged as long as they are acknowledged in the context of the joint agreement signed by all the bishops in the reunion council.

Non-Chalcedonians will not be asked to make much of such councils liturgically, etc.

anastasios
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« Reply #41 on: May 11, 2004, 08:02:23 PM »

Ben,

I'm really glad we could work that out.  Please pray for me, as I pray for you! Grin
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« Reply #42 on: May 11, 2004, 08:11:01 PM »

Ben,

I'm really glad we could work that out.  Please pray for me, as I pray for you! Grin

I am also glad, and I thank you for your prayers.
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« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2004, 08:22:54 PM »

I think the only way there can be unity is this:

1) Sign an all-encompasing document at a council called with representatives of both sides, that explains the theology of both sides and their historic interpretations of Chalcedon, etc etc etc.

2) On the basis of this agreement now, the Non-Chalcedonians will retract the anathemas against St Leo and Chalcedon.

3) On the basis of this agreement, the Chalcedonians will retract the anathemas against the persons of Severus and Dioscorus, and explain the anathemas against them at the ecumenical councils to be anathemas against what they perceived to be their teachings (which if they were their teachings would indeed be heretical).

4) The Non-Chalcedonians would accept the councils #4-7 on the basis of the agreed statement of faith, with the understanding that they would not have to commemorate them liturgically.

5) We can live happily ever after.

If there is no acceptance of Chalcedon, Constantinople II, Constantinople III, and Nicea II, there can be no union; it just wouldn't work in Eastern Orthodox Ecclesiology.  All in all, if we agree that we are saying the same thing with different words, then it should present no problem for these councils to be acknowledged as long as they are acknowledged in the context of the joint agreement signed by all the bishops in the reunion council.

Non-Chalcedonians will not be asked to make much of such councils liturgically, etc.

anastasios

Nice post, anastasios. Very clearly, logically, and succinctly arranged.

It sounds good, too, except for point #3, which, it would seem to me, to amount to a repudiation of the Orthodox Fathers.

They believed that Dioscorus and Severus really were heretics, not that their writings were merely perceived as heretical.

Here is an excerpt from one of the Catholic Encyclopedia articles I referenced above at this link:

Quote
But though Severus went so far as this, it is shown elsewhere (see EUTYCHIANISM, MAXIMUS CONFESSOR, and especially MONOTHELITISM) that he did not avoid the error of giving one activity to our Lord, one will, and one knowledge. It is true enough that he had no intention of admitting any incompleteness in the Humanity of Christ, and that he and all the Monophysites started merely from the proposition that all activity, all will, and intelligence proceed from the person, as ultimate principle, and on this ground alone they asserted the unity of each in Christ. But it was on this ground that Monothelitism was condemned. It was not supposed by the best Catholic theologians who attacked the doctrine that the Monophysites denied Christ to have exercised human activities, human acts of the will, human acts of cognition; the error was clearly recognized as lying in the failure to distinguish between the human or the mixed (theandric) activity of Christ as Man, and the purely Divine activity, will, knowledge, which the Son has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and which are in fact the Divine Nature. In speaking of one activity, one will, one knowledge in Christ, Severus was reducing Monophysitism to pure heresy just as much as did the Niobites or the Tritheists whom he certainly held in horror; for he refused to distinguish between the human faculties of Christ-activity, will, intellect-and the Divine Nature itself. This is no Apollinarianism, but is so like it that the distinction is theoretical rather than real. It is the direct consequence of the use of Apollinarian formulae. St. Cyril did not go so far, and in this Monothelite error we may see the essence of the heresy of the Monophysites; for all fell into this snare, except the Tritheists, since it was the logical result of their mistaken point of view.


How could we say that Severus, for example, was only "perceived" as heretical when we have the writings of saints like Maximus the Confessor that tell us that perception was a reality?

Wouldn't we be implying that St. Maximus was, at best, mistaken, or, at worst, a liar?

And St. Maximus isn't the only one.
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« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2004, 08:28:55 PM »

Nice post, anastasios. Very clearly, logically, and succinctly arranged.

It sounds good, too, except for point #3, which, it would seem to me, would amount to a repudiation of the Orthodox Fathers.

They believed that Dioscorus and Severus really were heretics, not that their writings were merely perceived as heretical.

Here is an excerpt from one of the Catholic Encyclopedia articles I referenced above at this link:

How could we say that Severus, for example, was only "perceived" as heretical when we have the writings of saints like Maximus the Confessor that tell us that perception was a reality?

Wouldn't we be implying that St. Maximus was, at best, mistaken, or, at worst, a liar?

And St. Maximus isn't the only one.

An Orthodox Christian using a Catholic Encyclopedia to defend Orthodoxy?!  Shocked Cheesy Wink
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« Reply #45 on: May 11, 2004, 08:34:19 PM »

An Orthodox Christian using a Catholic Encyclopedia to defend Orthodoxy?!  Shocked Cheesy Wink

Good scholarship is good scholarship, and the period in question predates the East-West schism.

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« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2004, 08:58:04 PM »

Hi Linus,

I have some qualms with the Catholic Encyclopedia because its scholarship dates to 1913 and much has transpired since then, but I use it too since it is convenient.

I think that it is a bit unfair to accuse Severus of monothelitism because that is anachronistic: monthelitism evolved about one hundred years after him, and outside of his theological trajectory: Monothelitism evolved in a neo-Chalcedonian milieu (c.f. Leontius of Byzantium and friends), which was concerned with maintaining a unity in Christ; monthelitism tended to an extreme which was condemned by St Maximus.

For Severus, unity in Christ was accomplished by his "composite hypostasis", a theological idea completely unique to him.  This composite hypostasis was for Severus the principle of unity of Christ, and was the guarantee that his full humanity and full divinity were united.

Maximus stressed two wills because in his theological system, a nature could not be real without a will to animate it.  Severus was not talking about natures but a composite hypostasis, which was a different term altogether if I am not mistaken.

The question of repuidating a condemnation is a "hot topic" among theologians these days.  I think if it can be shown that a person's teachings were not heretical after all then they should be "uncondmened" in person while the teaching associated with them will of course still be anathatized (i.e. monophysitism).  A condemnation of Severus for instance never said anything about his personal status (i.e. that he was hell-bound) but rather that his teaching strayed from the Orthodox path.  I think if new evidence comes to light, he can be aquitted.  I don't think that that in any way says anything negative about the conciliar fathers: they acted within the information available to them, under imperial constraints, etc.  No one would be "overturning" their decision but refocusing the condemnation to monophysitism in its true sense (a la Julian of Halicarnasses, Eutyches, and friends) and away from the person of Severus.

I think the Church has the power and authority to do this if guided by the Holy Spirit, and I don't think it in any way undermines the authority of an ecumenical council; we would in no way be saying the fathers of long ago were wrong because they were not: they acted on the knowledge they had and in a constrained way.  We have different evidence.  Does that mean we "know more" than they did? No.  But we are as much the Church as they were.  They are guidposts for us but ultimately if the Holy Spirit in an ecumenical council moves the condemnations to be reapplied, I think it should happen.

I am sorry to be rambling on and on.  I have a test on patristics tomorrow in fact and this stuff always confuses me Smiley

Ciao!

anastasios
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« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2004, 09:23:32 PM »

I follow you, anastasios, and I know you must study and probably will not be able to reply tonight.

It seems to me that Severus' attribution of will to the "composite hypostasis" and not the natures is the essence of his error and what made him a Monothelite.

According to Hans Urs von Balthasar (Cosmic Liturgy: the Universe According to St. Maximus the Confessor, p. 78), St. Maximus saw Severus as a source of the Monothelite heresy and addressed Severus' errors in his Letter 12. Although Severus himself lived before Monothelitism became a controversy for the Orthodox (at the instigation of the Emperor Heraclius), Monothelitism was a consequence or product of Severus' theology. It seems to me that it still is a problem for Non-Chalcedonians.

Personally, I can see allowing theologians some leeway in the ongoing development of doctrine. Even those with orthodox intent can make mistakes.

That is why I am not a proponent of condemning and anathematizing dead men who (obviously) are not around to defend themselves, as was done at the 5th Council at the insistence of the Emperor Justinian.

I do think, however, that when living men are confronted with their errors by the Orthodox Catholic Church, and they refuse to recant, that is an entirely different matter, and rehabilitation becomes extremely problematic if not impossible.

Such, I believe, is the case with men like Severus, Dioscorus, and Timothy Aelurus.
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« Reply #48 on: May 12, 2004, 02:33:51 AM »

I think the only way there can be unity is this:

Hi Anastasios

I agree entirely with you. This is my own view also of the necessary way forward.

Good post.

Peter
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« Reply #49 on: May 12, 2004, 02:37:16 AM »

Linus

Are you saying that is Anastasios followed through his methodology with me you would class him as a heretic?

And if you really believe that because a man is a saint he could not be mistaken then you are yourself mistaken.

It is not worthy responding to you. And do not accuse me of personal attacks. I said that you were deceived and telling lies because what you are saying about ME is not what I believe. But you have said of me shameful things, that I am trying to use nice words to deceive people about what I really believe.

If you think that then you do not even consider me a Christian and I find that very distressing.
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« Reply #50 on: May 12, 2004, 02:54:49 AM »

So, Peter, if you have the same faith as the Eastern Orthodox, do you have any objections to the tome of St. Leo? If so, you do not share in the same faith as the Eastern Orthodox. Not because Leo was a Pope or a Saint, but because his Tome is a wonderful expression of the Orthodox teaching on Christ, to this day I know several Orthodox priests who give it to catechumens when questions come up regarding Christ's nature. Furthermore do you have ANY objections to any of the declarations of any of the 4 Ecumenical Councils that the EO's accept, and you reject? I'm not trying to be offensive..I just want to learn.

Hi Ben

But you see here is the problem, YOU have read the Tome and find it great. So you cannot even imagine how anyone could have a problem with it. That isn't reasonable in any circumstance. It would be like me giving you a new contract at work and saying 'sign it, it's a great contract!'. And you say, 'hang on, there are some bits here I need clarification on'. And I say, 'if you can't accept this contract then you are fired!'.

There is no problem with raising issues. This is how we come to a common understanding. It may well be that you read the Tome and believe it teaches A+B+C. What if I read the Tome and believe it teaches A+B+D, and D is error. Does that mean that either of us believe D? Surely it merely means that we have a difference of opinion about whether or not the Tome teaches D. In fact a discussion would show that we both believe A+B+C.

You are suggesting that if I have a problem with the Tome it must be because I reject what you believe it teaches, A+B+C, but that does not follow at all.

Why is Linus constantly insulting me by telling me that I must believe A+B+E+F, if not because he, and other EO, have the same issue of thinking they know what documents mean.

That is why we need to go beyond terminologies and documents to try and understand what we believe, then we can return to such things with a clearer knowledge of what is meant.

Are you aware of the criticism of the language of the Tome from a variety of sources, both Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant? I don't say this to damage the reputation it holds in your heart, but you need to be aware of why it is criticised before you can judge that anyone who has a problem with it must be a heretic.

I am quite capable and willing to go through the Tome and show that much/most of it is very well composed and useful, but there are several passages which have always caused problems. These need to be explained by the EO, just as the reasons for any objections also need to be explained.

A brutal resistance to offering explanation is not Orthodox, it is not Christian even, and we shame the saints by pretending that they would also refuse to explain and understand in our circumstances. If they are saints as we believe then we can be sure they would go an extra mile in understanding others, and it was surely because of the lack of communication and not because of a lack of will that so much misunderstanding was easily spread.

There are also objections to some parts of the latter conciliar documents. But again you must understand why and deal with that, not merely repeat as a meaningless mantra 'accept the councils'.

In another post I will perhaps list the major obstacles in the conciliar documents. There are not so many, and I am convinced that Orthodox of good will and integrity will be able to present the councils in such a way that they can be accepted in some sense. What is required is explanation on both sides, not abuse.

Might I also ask in return what you consider the defects in my faith to be. I know that you can do this charitably. Do you have some things in your mind that you think I believe?

Best wishes

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #51 on: May 12, 2004, 08:03:49 AM »

Here is something I quoted here once before, but it bears repeating in this context. It is a statement made by Fr. Paul Verghese, who later became Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios of the Syrian Orthodox Church of India, in a speech given in Geneva in 1970 at the third consultation of EO and Non-Chalcedonian theologians and printed in the Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Vol. XVI, nos. 1 and 2, 1971, pp. 133-143.

Quote
Here, as earlier in the decree, the Tome of Leo is expressly affirmed. The decree actually calls the Tome "the pillar of the right faith." You can perhaps understand that all this is rather difficult for us to accept. For us Leo is still a heretic. It may be possible for us to refrain from condemning him by name, in the interests of restoring communion between us. But we cannot in good conscience accept the Tome of Leo as "the pillar of the right faith" or accept a council which made such a declaration. The council approves explicitly what I clearly regard as heresy in the Tome of Leo: "Each form does in communion with the other what pertains properly to it, the Word, namely doing that which pertains to the Word, and the flesh that which pertains to the flesh." If one rightly understands the hypostatic union, it is not possible to say that the flesh does something on its own, even if it is said to be in union with the Word. The flesh does not have its own hypostasis. It is the hypostasis of the Word which acts through the flesh. It is the same hypostasis of the Word which does the actions of the Word and of his own flesh. The argument of the horos [dogmatic definition] in this Sixth Council is basically unacceptable to us.

We are unable to say what this council says when it affirms "two wills and two operations concurring most fitly in him"....

To summarize: Acceptance of the Sixth Council is much more difficult for us than the acceptance of Chalcedon. The following are the chief reasons:...

b) We are unable to accept the dithelete formula, attributing will and energy to the natures rather than to the hypostasis. We can only affirm the one united and unconfused divine-human nature, will and energy of Christ the incarnate Lord.


c) We find that this Sixth Council exalts as its standard mainly the teaching of Leo and Agatho, popes of Rome, paying only lip-service to the teachings of the Blessed Cyril. We regard Leo as a heretic for his teaching that the will and operation of Christ is to be attributed to the two natures of Christ rather than to the one hypostasis. The human nature is as "natural" to Christ the incarnate Word as is the divine. It is one hypostasis who now is both divine and human, and all the activities come from the one hypostasis.

Now if Non-Chalcedonians really have the same faith as the Orthodox and are not Monothelites and Monophysites, then perhaps someone could explain the quote above from a Non-Chalcedonian prelate.

I realize it dates from 1970. I would be happy to see a more current statement from a Non-Chalcedonian leader affirming the Orthodox doctrine as proclaimed by the 6th Council (namely, that Christ has two wills, divine and human) and repudiating the beliefs expressed by the Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios above.

Perhaps it is wise to let a Non-Chalcedonian metropolitan tell us what Non-Chalcedonians really believe.

The bolding in the quote above is mine, for emphasis.


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« Reply #52 on: May 12, 2004, 08:51:30 AM »

It is clear, Linus7, that you are not aware of what is being said. You are posting words assuming that your understanding must reign supreme.

You are wrong. You have misunderstood what is being said.

This is from the Second Agreed Statement:

"Both families agree that the Hypostasis of the Logos became composite (sunqetoj) by uniting to His divine uncreated nature with its natural will and energy, which He has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit, created human nature, which He assumed at the Incarnation and made His own, with its natural will and energy.

Both families agree that the natures with their proper energies and wills are united hypostatically and naturally without confusion, without change, without division and without separation, and that they are distinguished in thought alone (th qewria monh).

Both families agree that He Who wills and acts is always the one Hypostasis of the Logos incarnate."

With which of these passages do you disagree, and thereby condemn your own bishops? It seems to confess a complete human will to me, andit has been synodally accepted by all the Oriental Orthodox and is therefore an official position.

Do you wish to understand what Metropolitan Paulos means? I can explain to you if you wish.

Peter Theodore

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« Reply #53 on: May 12, 2004, 10:16:00 AM »

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peterfarrington:
It is clear, Linus7, that you are not aware of what is being said. You are posting words assuming that your understanding must reign supreme.

You are wrong. You have misunderstood what is being said.

No, Peter.

I did not misunderstand.

Shall I quote Mar Gregorios again?

Quote
The argument of the horos [dogmatic definition] in this Sixth Council is basically unacceptable to us.

We are unable to say what this council says when it affirms "two wills and two operations concurring most fitly in him"....

To summarize: Acceptance of the Sixth Council is much more difficult for us than the acceptance of Chalcedon. The following are the chief reasons:...

b) We are unable to accept the dithelete formula, attributing will and energy to the natures rather than to the hypostasis. We can only affirm the one united and unconfused divine-human nature, will and energy of Christ the incarnate Lord.

c) We find that this Sixth Council exalts as its standard mainly the teaching of Leo and Agatho, popes of Rome, paying only lip-service to the teachings of the Blessed Cyril. We regard Leo as a heretic for his teaching that the will and operation of Christ is to be attributed to the two natures of Christ rather than to the one hypostasis.

Seems pretty plain, especially this part:

"We are unable to accept the dithelete formula, attributing will and energy to the natures rather than to the hypostasis. We can only affirm the one united and unconfused divine-human nature, will and energy of Christ the incarnate Lord."

That is pretty much a textbook definition of Monothelitism.

Quote
peterfarrington: This is from the Second Agreed Statement:

Please provide the context of the "Second Agreed Statement."

Who agreed?

What is your source for this statement?

Quote
peterfarrington: "Both families agree that the Hypostasis of the Logos became composite (sunqetoj) by uniting to His divine uncreated nature with its natural will and energy, which He has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit, created human nature, which He assumed at the Incarnation and made His own, with its natural will and energy.

Both families agree that the natures with their proper energies and wills are united hypostatically and naturally without confusion, without change, without division and without separation, and that they are distinguished in thought alone (th qewria monh).

Both families agree that He Who wills and acts is always the one Hypostasis of the Logos incarnate."

With which of these passages do you disagree, and thereby condemn your own bishops? It seems to confess a complete human will to me, andit has been synodally accepted by all the Oriental Orthodox and is therefore an official position.

Do you wish to understand what Metropolitan Paulos means? I can explain to you if you wish.

Peter Theodore

The statement you quoted above runs counter to Mar Gregorios' statement in that it attributes wills to the natures of Christ rather than to the hypostasis alone.

I am not sure about the line "they are distinguished in thought alone."

I have reservations about the statement. It seems to me to arrive at a Monothelite conclusion by reducing Christ's human nature to an abstraction "distinguished in thought alone."

Your post implies that all Orthodox bishops have accepted the statement you quoted.

I doubt that very much.

Anyway, recall that in each Emperor-inspired attempt to appease the Monophysites, many - perhaps the majority - of the Eastern bishops went along with the program. In each case it was the remnant of Orthodox Catholics who stood their ground and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, ultimately prevailed.
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« Reply #54 on: May 12, 2004, 10:33:43 AM »

Linus it isn't worth talking to you.

May God have mercy on you.
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« Reply #55 on: May 12, 2004, 10:57:15 AM »

Everybody:

Feel free to quote the Catholic Encyclopedia because, not only is its scholarship good as Linus7 observed, but, more importantly, it is published by the "One True Church!" Grin

(BTW, the CATHEN is currently being updated on-line, by volunteers, topic by topic, page by page! I think it is about 10-15% done. )

Now, back to our "regular" pissing contest. Tongue

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« Reply #56 on: May 12, 2004, 11:18:21 AM »

The Cathen is a good starter but it is limited by its age and by the naturally Roman perspective.

I use it for an overview of a subject and for bibliographic material, but it is a mistake to rely on it, as some do, when it deals with controversial matters. On the subjects I do know something about it is not always reliable. But that is the case with most/all sources.

Hooray for the volunteer updaters.

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #57 on: May 12, 2004, 11:48:24 AM »

Peace Deacon Peter,

welcome back . I was afraid that your lent "sleep" will take
you through the Holy Resurrection and 50 days after.

By the way, congratulations on establishing the First Coptic Monastary in England.

Stavro
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« Reply #58 on: May 12, 2004, 11:55:02 AM »

Peter...Linus provides quotes and poses questions..you dimiss them with a "May God have mercy on you". Why won't you address his last post point by point? The quotes from Mar Gregorios? If the NC's consider the decrees of any of the Ecumenical Councils Heretics or any of the celebrated EO Saints, such as Leo. Then EOs and OOs don't have the same faith! If Leo is a heretic, then his teachings are heretical, and if that is so then how can you say you have the same faith as the EO's? I'm not attacking you, I'm trying to ask honest questions, that you don't seem willing to answer.
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« Reply #59 on: May 12, 2004, 11:55:28 AM »

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Linus: Anyway, recall that in each Emperor-inspired attempt to appease the Monophysites, many - perhaps the majority - of the Eastern bishops went along with the program. In each case it was the remnant of Orthodox Catholics who stood their ground and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, ultimately prevailed.
By Emperor-Inspired appeasement, do you mean Justinian Murderer, who killed the OO in millions or the rest of the Murder Emperors like Hercules, who ordered the torture and persecution of the OO ? Or did you mean Marcan and his bed companion Pulcharia, who by the order of LEO the Nestorian did kill 300,000 Copts in a matter of months after Chalcedon ?

You should be ashamed of your black post-Chalcedon history and pray to true God to forgive your Patriarchs, Bishops, Emperors, and your ancestors all together.

Stavro
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« Reply #60 on: May 12, 2004, 01:16:01 PM »


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Hi Ben

Hey Peter!  Smiley

Quote
But you see here is the problem, YOU have read the Tome and find it great.


Not only I read the Tome of Leo and find it great, but an Ecumenical Council, guided from ALL error by the Holy Ghost, thought it was great. And to this day the RCC and EOC think the document was a correct expression of the orthodox faith. I'd be shocked if I ever found a RCC or EOC bishop saying the Tome of Leo wasn't great!

Quote
So you cannot even imagine how anyone could have a problem with it.


I never said this. But I do have a problem with somone having a problem with something that was declared correct, great, etc. by an Ecumenical Council.

Quote
It would be like me giving you a new contract at work and saying 'sign it, it's a great contract!'. And you say, 'hang on, there are some bits here I need clarification on'. And I say, 'if you can't accept this contract then you are fired!'.

But, we are dealing with something much more serious here than a contract. We are dealing with an Ecumenical Council, and the one true faith. If the EOs and OOs do indeed have the same faith, then there should be absolutely no problem with the Tome of Leo, from an OO prespective. Please correct me if I am wrong, but if you have the same faith as an Orthodox Christian or even a Catholic Christian in Christological matters, then there shouldn't be a problem with the Tome of Leo, for if the EO faith is the same as yours, then your faith must be the same as that of the Tome of St. Leo.

Quote
You are suggesting that if I have a problem with the Tome it must be because I reject what you believe it teaches.

Well if you have a problem with the Tome of Leo, then you have a problem with the orthodox faith - notice the little "o".

Quote
Why is Linus constantly insulting me

I have yet to see Linus insult you.

Quote
That is why we need to go beyond terminologies and documents to try and understand what we believe, then we can return to such things with a clearer knowledge of what is meant.

Yes, and once this happens there should be no difficulty on your part to except all 7 Councils that are considered Ecmenical, Infallible, and foundations of the orthodox Christian faith - and again little "o".

Quote
Are you aware of the criticism of the language of the Tome from a variety of sources, both Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant? I don't say this to damage the reputation it holds in your heart, but you need to be aware of why it is criticised before you can judge that anyone who has a problem with it must be a heretic.

I realize that many have issues with the language of the Tome of St. Leo, but an Ecumenical Council declared it a perfect expression of the orthodox faith, and as I said to this day the RCC and the EOC uses it to express their faith in Christ.

Quote
I am quite capable and willing to go through the Tome and show that much/most of it is very well composed and useful, but there are several passages which have always caused problems. These need to be explained by the EO, just as the reasons for any objections also need to be explained.

I agree, things need to be discussed and agreed upon, but when both sides come to an understanding what prevents you or any other NC from excepting the Tome of St. Leo and the Ecumenical Councils that your currently reject?

Quote
they are saints as we believe then we can be sure they would go an extra mile in understanding others, and it was surely because of the lack of communication and not because of a lack of will that so much misunderstanding was easily spread.

I agree.

Quote
There are also objections to some parts of the latter conciliar documents. But again you must understand why and deal with that, not merely repeat as a meaningless mantra 'accept the councils'.

The Ecumenical Councils are infallible, they were guided by the Holy Ghost, and prevented from error. To reject any of what the Ecumenical Councils declared is to reject orthodoxy. Now, there may be misunderstandings that must be cleared up, of course, but, in my opinion, you must accept the Councils to be an orthodox Christian -notice the little "o" again, I'm not going to go into who's Orthodox and who isn't again, for I am in no place to do so.

Quote
In another post I will perhaps list the major obstacles in the conciliar documents.


Please do!

Quote
Might I also ask in return what you consider the defects in my faith to be
.

As I have said, I am trying to learn more about your faith. But if you reject the Ecumenical Councils, then our faith IS different, perhaps these differences are only on the surface, but they exist. As a Roman Catholic I could point out tons of defects in your faith, but how about you ask Linus what defectys exist in your faith, since he is Orthodox and not too fond with the NCs.

In Christ,
Ben
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« Reply #61 on: May 12, 2004, 01:49:57 PM »

But if you reject the Ecumenical Councils, then our faith IS different, perhaps these differences are only on the surface, but they exist. As a Roman Catholic I could point out tons of defects in your faith, but how about you ask Linus what defectys exist in your faith, since he is Orthodox and not too fond with the NCs.

Hi Ben,

I am rather at a loss reading your post. You actually have many more ecumenical councils than the Byzantines and yet you are defending Orthodoxy which must be heretical by your own consideration. And if it is heretical then how can it matter whether or not I agree with it.

Your argument about the Tome is not at all conclusive since you actually ignore any criticism that might be made of the Tome rather than actually stop to defend it. This is just a circular argument. "The Tome is beyond criticism therefore any criticism is not worth considering".

What you are saying is the same as Linus, which is strange since he is a heretic by your own position since he does not accept all the ecumenical councils. You are saying that it doesn't matter what I actually believe what is more important is what I believe ABOUT a document. You never once ask how what I believe compares with what you believe the Tome says.

What is the point? This isn't a discussion. It would be like me saying that because you venerate Leo there is no point me discussing anything with you until you repudiate him, except that I wouldn't take that position since it is completely fruitless.

Why am I trying to discuss Christology with the Assyrians? Why don't I just insist they accept Ephesus 431 before I will listen to them? Because that wouldn't be Christian. It is demeaning others by saying that I do not need or want to hear what they believe - I KNOW IT ALL ALREADY. Except that this is rarely true.

Your unwillingness to explain what the Tome means, and that is what your insistence it must be accepted without discussion means, suggests that you do not feel very comfortable or secure in discussing it. Are you aware that Father John Romanides, felt quite able to criticise the Tome without failing to accept it? This lack of self-reflection is very worrying when I find it in EO, especially converts. If we are all unable to reflect on our own communities and see where errors and faults occurred then we are unable to relate to others in a charitable manner because we cannot even begin to see ourselves as others see us.

Since I have confessed, as have my bishops in Synod, the double consubstantiality of Christ. etc etc etc. What is missing? The mere detail - and it is a mere detail unless we are Pharisees - of how we deal with historical documents and events bound up in the controversial period.

If someone is not interested in what I believe then there is no point responding. Is there Ben?

I am at a loss to see how someone who is a strict Roman Catholic and must view both EO and OO as heretical can spend so much time defending that heretical EO position. Again, if all the ecumenical councils must be accepted to be Orthodox then how can you defend Linus who only accepts 7 when the EP teaches there are 8, and all the Patriarchs and many bishops in the 19th century also defined 8. You can't have it both ways.

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #62 on: May 12, 2004, 02:13:43 PM »

Again, if all the ecumenical councils must be accepted to be Orthodox then how can you defend Linus who only accepts 7 when the EP teaches there are 8, and all the Patriarchs and many bishops in the 19th century also defined 8. You can't have it both ways.

Peter Theodore
Your argument was pretty good until this last paragraph.
I guess I must assume that you now wish  us to include the 8th Council of 879 and the "9th" Council(s) of 1341 in the list to be accepted?
We've been through this before on these councils -they were ecumenical (called by the emperor) and have been universally received by us (the last by virtue of "no objections"). That they lack the formality of being declared ecumenical may in fact be the only reason they are not so included in the OO/EO dialogue. You appear to want a bigger cake to eat!

Demetri

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« Reply #63 on: May 12, 2004, 02:53:42 PM »

Hi Demetri

Personally I'd be happy if you wanted to. Smiley They all need dealing with, just as the EO need to deal with OO history.

I'm don't think I'm convinced (but I'm always willing to take note of what you say) by the fluidity of your definition of ecumenicity since it seems to allow for the EO to accept whatever they want how they want. If it is acceptable for the EO to only accept the 8th and 9th without declaring them ecumenical then why is it not acceptable to 'accept' the 5th, for instance, by virtue of not raising objections, without declaring it ecumenical?

I still don't see how Linus and now Ben's demands that a council must be just declared ecumenical, no questions asked, can be consistent with EO literature all over the place having different numbers of councils declared ecumenical. If all your patriarchs (I know I'm rehashing what was said before but I am constantly trying to think through conciliarity and I am not at all sure that the EO have it sorted) declare an 8th council in the 19th century then I don't see how Linus' declaring 7 as ecumenical is consistent with that.

I mean that genuinely now not playing argument games.

What you say is important because it opens the opportunity of 'accepting' a council without declaring it ecumenical. But I wonder how far you consider that goes? Bearing in mind that from my pov Chalcedon and the latter councils have not yet been received by the Church but only be imperial force excluding those who raise objections.

What I have in mind is a long document that contains all the doctrinal and canonical material from Chalcedon to 1341 if you want, which glosses all the controversial bits so that the EO can explain how they are really Orthodox, and then that this document, which represents accepting the councils as documents is received.

How would that play with you?

PT

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« Reply #64 on: May 12, 2004, 08:29:58 PM »


Quote
Hi Ben,

Hey Peter, and God bless!

Quote
I am rather at a loss reading your post.


I'm sorry about this, I will try to make this one a little less confusing...I don't do it on purpose Smiley
Quote
You actually have many more ecumenical councils than the Byzantines and yet you are defending Orthodoxy which must be heretical by your own consideration. And if it is heretical then how can it matter whether or not I agree with it.

Yes, the Catholic Church has 21 Ecumenical Councils:
http://www.catholicism.org/pages/ecumenic.htm

However, the Catholic Church recognizes the important status of the first 7 Ecumenical Councils, because the same 7 are considered Ecumenical and Infallible by both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. So, the first 7 are really a foundation of orthodox teaching on Christ and the Trinity, and unity, for all 7 were held before the split between East and West.

I do not think I was "defending Orthodxy", I was was defending Christian orthodoxy and my opinions, but I don't think I was defending Eastern Orthodoxy, and if I did, it was totally by accident. I was defending the first 7 ecumenical Councils, 4 of which you reject, and that they are essential to the faith, but you must remember these are Catholic Councils too, so what RC wouldn't defend the Tome of St. Leo? Or the first 7 Ecumenical Councils of Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?

Quote
Your argument about the Tome is not at all conclusive since you actually ignore any criticism that might be made of the Tome rather than actually stop to defend it. This is just a circular argument. "The Tome is beyond criticism therefore any criticism is not worth considering".


I have read the tome of St. Leo, I even have it posted on my MSN group, I would be glad to discuss every sentence of it with you.

My point is not that "the Tome is beyond criticism", but that it is a good and faithful representation of the orthodox faith, which both Catholics and Orthodox share on the matters addressed in the Tome, and if your faith is the same as the Eastern Orthodox faith, then you faith must be the same as that represented in the Tome of St. Leo, this is just logic!

If the Tome of St. Leo = Eastern Orthodox teaching
and Eastern Orthodox teaching = Oriental Orthodox teaching
then it is only correct to conclude that
the Tome of St. Leo = Oriental Orthodox teaching.

This same logic applies to the declarations of the Ecumenical Councils, that you and the rest of the OO's reject.

Quote
which is strange since he is a heretic by your own position since he does not accept all the ecumenical councils.


I never called Linus a heretic, I leave such things up to Holy Mother the Church. And as you might know, I am a little confused as to which is the true Church, so who knows, some day I might be an EO, or heck I might go Nestorian and call him a Heretic for rejecting the teachings of the great defender of the true faith, Nestorius  Wink Cheesy

Quote
You are saying that it doesn't matter what I actually believe what is more important is what I believe ABOUT a document.


NO, THIS IS *NOT* WHAT I AM SAYING.

I am saying that it is more important what an Infallible Ecumenical Council and Holy Mother the Church, both guided by the Holy Ghost, say about the document. Your opinion, to me at least, is nothing next to that of an Ecumenical Council or the Church, I am just be honest here, I don't mean to offend you.

Quote
You never once ask how what I believe compares with what you believe the Tome
says.

I am sorry about this. As I said I would love to go through each sentence, if ya like, of the Tome, and discuss it until there is nothing left to discuss.

Quote
What is the point? This isn't a discussion
.

But I would love to have a discussion on the matter.

Quote
Why am I trying to discuss Christology with the Assyrians?

I dunno, beware of the those Nestorians Wink

And just in case.... I'm *not* being serious, I do not believe the Assryians to be Nestorians.

Quote
Your unwillingness to explain what the Tome


My God, we've been on the topic of the Tome for only a few posts! There are still things in this thread that you remain unwilling to address....how about you address those and then we will talk the Tome of St. Leo?

Quote
Are you aware that Father John Romanides, felt quite able to criticise the Tome without failing to accept it?


Ah, but do you accept the Tome of St. Leo?


Quote
What is missing?


Ask an EO for what is missing to be "Orthodox".....hmm but maybe not Linus, because you're not going to like what he'll say.

But as a Catholic....you are missing 18 Ecumenical Councils and submission to Rome...lol however, I have a feeling you aren't going to fix that  Wink Cheesy

Quote
If someone is not interested in what I believe


I am interested, but just because I won't say it's ok for you to reject Chalcedon, and the other Ecumenical Councils, doesnt mean I'm just interested in bashing your faith!

Quote
I am at a loss to see how someone who is a strict Roman Catholic and must view both EO and OO as heretical can spend so much time defending that heretical EO position.


The first seven Ecumenical Councils of the RCC, are the same as the 7 Ecumenical Councils of the EO. Both East and West share the exact same faith in those Christological matters addressed by the Ecumenical Councils.

In Christ,
Ben
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« Reply #65 on: May 13, 2004, 01:58:07 AM »

Hi Demetri

Personally I'd be happy if you wanted to. Smiley They all need dealing with, just as the EO need to deal with OO history.
Indeed they do. In fact, on the last two threads we had over these issues, I asked for an enumeration of what you call OO history and I call your local councils needing examination by us---and got no reply. Do I assume there are none after 431?
Now for reference:
Quote
Fourth Ecumenical Council in Constantinople - Eighth Ecumenical (Imperial) Council 879-880 AD
Resolved scandals between East and West regarding Bulgaria. Expelled those who did not recognise Nicaea II as Seventh Ecumenical Council. Outlawed and repudiated local councils of Rome and Constantinople against Saint Photius. Established that the Symbol of Faith from Constantinople I (the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed) was to be forever 'un-innovated' and 'immutable'. Required those excommunicated by Rome to be treated as such by Constantinople and vice-versa. (Accepted by all five patriarchates, including Pope John VIII)

Council at Constantinople - Ninth Ecumenical (Imperial) Council, 1341, 1349, 1351 AD
Convened regarding Barlaam the Calabrian and Acindynus. Condemned Barlaam the Calabrian and Acindynus. Condemned those who think the light of Christ's Transfiguration was an apparition, or the essence of God and those who do not believe the divine light is the uncreated grace and energy of God which proceeds from God's essence; those who do not recognise the undivided distinction between God's essence and his energy; those who deny the energy of God is uncreated; those who say the distinction between energy and essence implies that God is not simple and uncompounded; those claim the term 'Godhead' should only be applied to the essence of God, and not to the divine energy; and those who maintain the Divine Essence can be communicated.

Now, to carry on:
Quote
I'm don't think I'm convinced (but I'm always willing to take note of what you say) by the fluidity of your definition of ecumenicity since it seems to allow for the EO to accept whatever they want how they want. If it is acceptable for the EO to only accept the 8th and 9th without declaring them ecumenical then why is it not acceptable to 'accept' the 5th, for instance, by virtue of not raising objections, without declaring it ecumenical?

I am not sure I am convinced you understand my definition, whether fluid or no. You seem to feel that once a Great Synod has concluded - that the Holy Spirit has worked through the churchmen to an agreement- that the Holy Spirit packs His briefcase and goes away and we are free to pick and chose from that point on. I call that a rather thin view of the Church itself. Indeed, as the Councils are the highest authority, their validation  and continued acceptance is also guided by the Holy Spirit. The great synods of bishops are the highest authority, the WHOLE Church (including us, the +++¦++-é, the laity) constitute the breadth of authority. You seem to deny or ignore that we all defend and discern the Truth under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Or do you disagree?

Quote
I still don't see how Linus and now Ben's demands that a council must be just declared ecumenical, no questions asked, can be consistent with EO literature all over the place having different numbers of councils declared ecumenical.

And I find NO inconsistency in the position of Linus And Ben. We have 7 Councils declared as ecumenically received and accepted. There has been no selective acceptance. On the basis of these 7 discussion between the EO and OO have been based. None of this denies or lowers the last two councils which lack only some "official" stamp, usually given by the next council (but not always 'by' then).
And I really don't think that the Eastern Orthodox communion is going to hold a Great Synod merely to formally declare these last councils as being what they in fact they are by all other criteria- Ecumenical Councils- and then insist they be added to the OO/EO discussion. Nor do I think YOUR bishops are ignoring them either. I would bet they are being considered (or have been commented upon in the last few centuries).

Quote
If all your patriarchs (I know I'm rehashing what was said before but I am constantly trying to think through conciliarity and I am not at all sure that the EO have it sorted) declare an 8th council in the 19th century then I don't see how Linus' declaring 7 as ecumenical is consistent with that.

Again, Linus is taking a strictly legal approach. I have no  problem with that. And I AM sure we have sorted it out as well. Perhaps not all internet historian-theologians are clear. That's understandable to a degree - the Pedalion only exists, without Latin editing,  in Greek on Mt. Athos and in the Phanar (hopefully it's there and not hostage with the achives at Halki). We, you and I, are handicapped to start here.

Quote
What you say is important because it opens the opportunity of 'accepting' a council without declaring it ecumenical. But I wonder how far you consider that goes?

You flatter this sinner who is unschooled in theological matters. Obviously, by definition a council is deemed ecumenical - before (by virtue of its being called as a Great Synod), during (by virtue of the nature and scope of its work), and AFTER (by virtue of its broad acceptance by the entire church over time after the council concludes). Thus, a council CAN be accepted as ecumenical BEFORE (not WITHOUT) declaration.

Quote
Bearing in mind that from my pov Chalcedon and the latter councils have not yet been received by the Church but only be imperial force excluding those who raise objections.

I understand your point of view above. You see mine above. We've had no emporer to cloud these issues for us for quite a while now and the councils still hold.

Quote
What I have in mind is a long document that contains all the doctrinal and canonical material from Chalcedon to 1341 if you want, which glosses all the controversial bits so that the EO can explain how they are really Orthodox, and then that this document, which represents accepting the councils as documents is received.

How would that play with you?

I am not sure. I AM sure I don't have access to real documents and  that my Greek is too poor even if I had those documents to put anything meaningful together.
I have been awaiting a similar list of OO councils (local or otherwise) for over 4 months on this forum and can only conclude from not seeing any that there are none (which I doubt).
Anyway, I think a better approach is for those who deny the 4th+ councils to explain why they are NOT Orthodox. Wink

Demetri
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« Reply #66 on: May 13, 2004, 09:03:12 AM »

Quote
Anyway, I think a better approach is for those who deny the 4th+ councils to explain why they are NOT Orthodox.

Just a quick note because I am off site supposed to be fixing a sales mans VPN connection to work.

I have no problem with this and will do it. I have been away over Lent so that may be why I didn't respond to your requests.

It is not so much that we deny the Orthodoxy of the latter councils, indeed we do accept their Orthodoxy since we have synodally stated that the EO are Orthodox and therefore these councils must be liable of an Orthodox interpretation otherwise you would be heretics.

It is the status as ecumenical which we deny, since we have, for instance, rejected the Three Chapters long before the Chalcedonians and never needed a council, or an Emperor, to encourage us to.

It cannot be necessary that we accept Constantinople II as absolutely authoritative since we reached the decisions that it did 100 years earlier, but it is necessary to confirm the Orthodoxy of its documents.

I will go through these councils and the Tome and pull out all the problematic passages - passages that need EO explanation so that it is possible for OO's to read them in the same way. This is necessary because some of these passages are liable to heretical interpretations and we have always considered that they had been written and meant to be understood in an heretical manner.

You understand my point?

Later on I'll do the list.

Peter
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« Reply #67 on: May 13, 2004, 10:00:20 AM »

Linus it isn't worth talking to you.

May God have mercy on you.


I fail to see anything in my last post to merit such a response.

Thanks for wishing God's mercy upon me, though.

Personally, I think you find me "unworthy" because you are unable to support many of your assertions, and I have this annoying habit of making that fact pretty clear.
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« Reply #68 on: May 13, 2004, 10:04:21 AM »

Just a quick note because I am off site supposed to be fixing a sales mans VPN connection to work.

VPNs - "fun" :-

Quote
I have no problem with this and will do it. I have been away over Lent so that may be why I didn't respond to your requests.

This I would very much appreciate.

Now, below let's call Quote A:
Quote
It is not so much that we deny the Orthodoxy of the latter councils, indeed we do accept their Orthodoxy since we have synodally stated that the EO are Orthodox and therefore these councils must be liable of an Orthodox interpretation otherwise you would be heretics.

This Quote B:
Quote
It is the status as ecumenical which we deny, since we have, for instance, rejected the Three Chapters long before the Chalcedonians and never needed a council, or an Emperor, to encourage us to.

This Quote C:
Quote
It cannot be necessary that we accept Constantinople II as absolutely authoritative since we reached the decisions that it did 100 years earlier, but it is necessary to confirm the Orthodoxy of its documents.

ISTM that that Quote A above makes Quote B moot, and possibly Quote C as well.

You seem to want to take each council alone and roll back the clock in order to re-examine these councils back in time- which will again lead you into "possible" vs actual interpretations (which is where you seem hung up).

Take the Church of Georgia (one of my favorites, in fact). This church rejected Chalcedon from 451 until 601 with the same reasoning of potential interpretation. After 601, and WITHOUT imperial influence, the Church of Georgia accepted Chalcedon (and the Tome and the resolution of the "Letters") and re-joined the communion. Not many are aware of their pedigree, so to speak, and today they are one of the stanchest defenders of Orthodoxy and are complaining heavily about the dialogue with your church.
But, again, you also seem to think we are asking an acceptance of each, instead of all. I see a difference.

Quote
I will go through these councils and the Tome and pull out all the problematic passages - passages that need EO explanation so that it is possible for OO's to read them in the same way. This is necessary because some of these passages are liable to heretical interpretations and we have always considered that they had been written and meant to be understood in an heretical manner.
If you wish, but I've no need to re-hash the discussion you and Linus provided over the last few months. Indeed, Quote A questions needing that.

Quote
Later on I'll do the list.


If not a problem, I prefer the list sooner rather than later.

Demetri
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« Reply #69 on: May 13, 2004, 10:09:31 AM »


It is the status as ecumenical which we deny, since we have, for instance, rejected the Three Chapters long before the Chalcedonians and never needed a council, or an Emperor, to encourage us to.

It cannot be necessary that we accept Constantinople II as absolutely authoritative since we reached the decisions that it did 100 years earlier, but it is necessary to confirm the Orthodoxy of its documents.

The Church is one.

How can there be a separate part - a "we" - that can reach conclusions that obviate the need to accept councils regarded by the Church as ecumenical?

If one believes the councils are Orthodox, then one should accept them as ecumenical.

Rejection of the ecumenical councils is in and of itself heretical.

Anyone who claims to be Orthodox and yet finds some reason - whatever it is - to reject
the ecumenical councils, not only renders his claim highly suspect, he makes it ludicrous.

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« Reply #70 on: May 13, 2004, 12:49:51 PM »

I agree with Linus on this one.

If one believes the Councils are Orthodox, then why do you insist on rejecting them, Peter? If they are Orthodox, why are you a member of a Church that doesn't accept these Councils, which you claim to be truly Orthodox? It just doesn't make sense to me, please help me understand.
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« Reply #71 on: May 13, 2004, 01:04:18 PM »

Just a note to Ben.

While you may agree with Linus, he doesn't think you're a member of the Church either. Smiley
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« Reply #72 on: May 13, 2004, 01:33:18 PM »

Just a note to Ben.

While you may agree with Linus, he doesn't think you're a member of the Church either. Smiley

Well of course! How could a little Nestorian-lovin Papist like me be a member of the true Church?  Wink
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« Reply #73 on: May 13, 2004, 04:10:01 PM »

Ben

You are mistaken if you think that not calling a council ecumenical means not believing what it teaches.

It is quite easy for me to read the documents of the 5th council and agree with them all - especially since I am aware of the context. I can easily consider that what it says is Orthodox and describes the faith.

I do not see that it is necessary to then declare it ecumenical. I have said it is Orthodox.

It seems to me that Linus and you are saying that it doesn't matter if I consider it Orthodox, I must declare it ecumenical.

I don't see what that adds in this controversy. It seems to me to ignore the more important matter of agreeing in the faith by concentrating on a matter of order.

This is not a dogmatic statement, just a discussion point. But are you saying that if I accept that the statements and documents of the 5th council describe the faith of the Church and indeed my own faith and are to be considered Orthodox but I do not call the council ecumenical then I am rejected?

Don't you think that is rather an odd pov? It says that it doesn't matter what I believe about Christ I must have the same view of history or I am not in the Church. I don't think I believe in that kind of God.

Peter
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« Reply #74 on: May 13, 2004, 04:29:14 PM »

Hi Demetri

I appreciate you ordered thoughts.

If I might respond, I think you downplay the real objections to Chalcedon at the time which I am describing as a matter of perception but actually which I believe were real errors believed by some parties within the Chalcedonian community. I think, as just one example, of the incontrevertible fact that most of the West believed that the letter of Ibas had been accepted as Orthodox at Chalcedon.

Now I don't doubt that the more Cyrilline and Eastern community of Chalcedonians didn't believe this - although there were supporters of Ibas in the East in the Three Chapters controversy. But almost all of the West schismed from Vigilius when he finally signed up to the condemnation - and he had to be imprisoned to get him to agree - because for 100 years it had been believed that the letter of Ibas was Orthodox.

Now as far as I am concerned I am not so interested in the issue of whether or not the letter of Ibas was accepted as Orthodox (I can show that many THOUGHT it had been). But this does make it quite reasonable that the Anti-Chalcedonians would have seen these supporters of Ibas and taken this to be the actual and definitive outcome of Chalcedon.

What I am interested in is the two communities that exist now. Do THEY believe the same. And I am not so interested in forcing a uniform and partisan view of history, I am interested in discovering if the same substance of faith exists and then reflecting on the past to see how we got where we are.

So I do not want to rereun the controversy at all. I never refer to Leo of Rome as a heretic for instance. I might want to say - with Father John Romanides - that the Tome is ambiguous, or that Leo had little understanding of the Eastern situation. But even that is not what seems to me to be most important. Rather it is that the Tome should be read, the OO should explain what seems to them to be objectionable and the EO should explain how they understand it. The OO should then say that if the Tome, and Chalcedon and the other councils are read with THAT understanding then they agree that this understanding is Orthodox and describes the OO faith and being an Orthodox understanding is worthy of universal acceptance.

If you think that Quote A makes Quote B moot then I think that is good. I do not think we will use the term ecumenical of those events in a particular controversial context. But I think that we could use ecumenical to describe a document which brought together the contents of these events together with a clear understanding of how they should be understood and how they should not be understood.

The 5th council is very well written in respect of making clear in each canon how the canon should be understood. If Chalcedon had been presented in the same way then it might have made a later process easier.

But if we turn to history then we have problems. St Columbanus DID reject the 5th council. He DID believe it denied the dual consubstantiality of Christ. Most of his compeers also rejected it, and worse they had received the Three Chapters for the previous 100 years. No wonder the Anti-Chalcedonians believed that Chalcedon was a 'Nestorian' plot. And I don't mean that in a polemical sense.

I can equally quite easily see why the Antiochean Chalcedonians found the Cyrilline Christology of the Alexandrians difficult to stomach.

In fact history merely provides ammunition for all of us to prove that everyone is wrong except us Smiley

So I'd like to start with the substance of the faith of the EO and OO and see where that goes.

In brief:

Double consubstantiality of Christ - perfect God and perfect man - without division or confusion - I accept that
Reject the Three Chapters - well the Anti-Chalcedonians have always done that
Human and Divine will of Christ - I accept that
Veneration of Icons - of course I accept that

So Ben, I do accept the substance of the latter councils. To not call them ecumenical is not the same as rejecting their content

Peter
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« Reply #75 on: May 13, 2004, 04:43:17 PM »

If one believes the Councils are Orthodox, then why do you insist on rejecting them, Peter? If they are Orthodox, why are you a member of a Church that doesn't accept these Councils, which you claim to be truly Orthodox? It just doesn't make sense to me, please help me understand.

Hi Ben

You are confusing Orthodox with ecumenical. Something may be Orthodox but not ecumenical. Otherwise you are saying that unless a council is ecumenical it is not Orthodox.

The council of Ephesus 449 condemned Theodore of Mopsuestia. Yet that council is not treated very intelligently by most Chalcedonians - almost all of whom have never read the acts of that council.

Constantinople 553 condemned Theodore of Mopsuestia. Of course I agree with that action. But his condemnation had already taken place 100 years earlier at a council rejected by the Chalcedonians. So for 100 years the Chalcedonians reversed the condemnation of Theodore of Mopsuestia and then only condemned him under Imperial pressure.

My point is that you are saying that not calling a council ecumenical is the same as rejecting it. This is patently not true. Since the Anti-Chalcedonians had always condemned Theodore of Mopsuestia I cannot see why you then say that I should become part of a communion that accepts this condemnation since I already am a member of a Church that has always condemned Theodore of Mopsuestia.

It would make more sense for you to say that since the condemnation of Theodore is a matter of ecumenical authority and therefore at the level of dogma, what does this mean for the Chalcedonians who had reversed the decision of 449 which was ecumenical because Orthodox and allowed the restoration of the teachings of Theodore of Mopsuestia?

I am not saying this polemically because I am more interested in what WE believe now.

But if it is ecumenical to condemn Theodore then how did the Chalcedonians allow him to be praised for 10 years and only suddenly discover his writings were obvious heresy in 553. Someone might say that his writings were of no interest to the Chalcedonians during that 100 years but that is counter to the facts and to the writings of a great many Chalcedonians who write in favour of him between 451 and 553.

So I am trying to say that not ecumenical is not the same as not Orthodox, but Orthodox is equally not the same as what modern EO polemicists are demanding either.

Peter
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« Reply #76 on: May 13, 2004, 04:48:36 PM »

Dear Ben,

If I list some councils that took place after Chalcedon, and you agree they are Orthodox, will you count them as Ecumenical?  I assume you will since that is what you are demanding of me...

If not, then why not?

Do you see how your presuppositions are blinding your ability to see a different point of view?

You are starting with the presupposition that we are in need of proving ourselves to the EO and in need of their councils in order to affirm our Orthodoxy.  Such a position is a non-starter.  If our own councils, history, saints, writings, can affirm our Orthodoxy and can be used to show that the teachings of such sources are the same as the EO, then shouldn't that be the focus?

Pay close attention to what Sub-deacon Peter is saying...first focus on the substance of the faith and see what that tells you.

In Christ,
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« Reply #77 on: May 13, 2004, 08:12:26 PM »

Rejection of the ecumenical councils is in and of itself heretical.

Anyone who claims to be Orthodox and yet finds some reason - whatever it is - to reject the ecumenical councils, not only renders his claim highly suspect, he makes it ludicrous.

Of course, when you ask how a council becomes ecumenical, the answer usually given is that it is ecumenical when it is received by the entire Church.  It seems that this answer, coupled with the quote above, is enough to have us chasing our tails until the Second Coming.  

Demetri (I think), either in this thread or in another, spoke of a council being ecumenical before (when it is called as such), during, and after its convocation.  This is an interesting view, and one that should be explored.  If a council is ecumenical before it actually gathers or during its meeting, then what space is there for not accepting it after the fact?  Who has the authority to summon an ecumenical council, both in imperial times and in our post-imperial world?  If a council is ecumenical because after it is held, it is received by the whole Church, how long does this process take and what allowances are there for not accepting it?  What are the logistics of acceptance or non-acceptance?
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« Reply #78 on: May 14, 2004, 12:06:34 AM »


Quote
You are mistaken if you think that not calling a council ecumenical means not believing what it teaches.

I am not saying this, but I understand why, if you believe these other councils to be truly Orthodox, you do not accept them as Ecumenical and infallible Councils, that were prevented from error by the Holy Ghost?

Quote
It is quite easy for me to read the documents of the 5th council and agree with them all - especially since I am aware of the context. I can easily consider that what it says is Orthodox and describes the faith.

This is wonderful.

Quote
I do not see that it is necessary to then declare it ecumenical. I have said it is Orthodox.

But why not Ecumenical too? I mean you admit it to be Orthodox, but aren't you willing to list 7 Councils as Ecumenical, rather than just 3?

Quote
It seems to me that Linus and you are saying that it doesn't matter if I consider it Orthodox, I must declare it ecumenical.

Well, I am not saying this. I just understand why you'll say they're Orthodox, but not Ecumenical Councils of the one true Church.

Quote
This is not a dogmatic statement, just a discussion point. But are you saying that if I accept that the statements and documents of the 5th council describe the faith of the Church and indeed my own faith and are to be considered Orthodox but I do not call the council ecumenical then I am rejected?

If you accept the statments and documents of the other 4 Ecumenical Councils, which, along with the first 3 that you reagrd as Ecumenical, are a foundation of the true faith, then I wouldn't think you'd have a problem with admiting that they are in fact Ecumenical Councils of the Church of Christ.

Quote
Don't you think that is rather an odd pov? It says that it doesn't matter what I believe about Christ I must have the same view of history or I am not in the Church. I don't think I believe in that kind of God.

It does matter what you believe, it is more important than accepting these councils as Ecumenical, I never said otherwise, but I just don't understand how you can consider these councils Orthodox, yet reject them to be Ecumenical....lol I've probably said that like 5 times in this post already.. Tongue I think you get my question though......why Orthodox and not Ecumenical?
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« Reply #79 on: May 14, 2004, 12:13:32 AM »

Double consubstantiality of Christ - perfect God and perfect man - without division or confusion - I accept that
Reject the Three Chapters - well the Anti-Chalcedonians have always done that
Human and Divine will of Christ - I accept that
Veneration of Icons - of course I accept that


Peter, on Christological matters, we agree.

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« Reply #80 on: May 14, 2004, 12:21:00 AM »


Quote
If I list some councils that took place after Chalcedon, and you agree they are Orthodox, will you count them as Ecumenical?


I am in agreement with Holy Mother the Church as to which Councils were Ecumenical and which were not. I have no authority to declare councils Ecumenical or not, I can only put foward what the Church teaches.

Quote
If our own councils, history, saints, writings, can affirm our Orthodoxy and can be used to show that the teachings of such sources are the same as the EO, then shouldn't that be the focus?

This is a very interesting and thought-provoking questions. I'll have to think on that one. But it seems that the whole Church would be united in the same Ecumenical Councils. Yes the faith is the most important, but if you faith is the same as EOxy then the other 4 Ecumenical Councils should be a perfect expression of your Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #81 on: May 14, 2004, 02:51:07 AM »

Demetri (I think), either in this thread or in another, spoke of a council being ecumenical before (when it is called as such), during, and after its convocation.  This is an interesting view, and one that should be explored.  If a council is ecumenical before it actually gathers or during its meeting, then what space is there for not accepting it after the fact?  Who has the authority to summon an ecumenical council, both in imperial times and in our post-imperial world?  If a council is ecumenical because after it is held, it is received by the whole Church, how long does this process take and what allowances are there for not accepting it?  What are the logistics of acceptance or non-acceptance?      

OK, Phil, I willing to explore this more:
Quote
Obviously, by definition a council is deemed ecumenical - before (by virtue of its being called as a Great Synod), during (by virtue of the nature and scope of its work), and AFTER (by virtue of its broad acceptance by the entire church over time after the council concludes). Thus, a council CAN be accepted as ecumenical BEFORE (not WITHOUT) declaration.

What I am pointing out are the various uses of the adjective "ecumenical"- the application of which seems to be tripping many into confusion and excessive legal-like definitions. While the context of the above quote was in relation to the 8th & 9th Councils and the formal declaration Peter Theodore seems to require of these, I think I can expand the point generally.

1) BEFORE: as in "universal"- meaning called by the emperor, sometimes, but not always at papal or patriarchal request (at other times called by the emperor alone to settle issues for the good of the community. Remember, by then church and state concerns were nearly inseparable). Hence 'ecumenical' here is used to mean 'official' , but no guarantee that the work of that particular council will ultimately be received, and upheld, as valid.   Examples- the two false unia councils.

2) DURING: 'ecumenical' in that the intent is to do work of universality to the entire Church (not to address some local issues or variances)- the intent is univeral application. Participation is important here to some degree. The annulled council of 869 began with a scant 12 bishops and I don't think exceeded 100 and that for but a very short time. Size is not a requirement but a good indicator of future acceptance, but even that is a maybe.

3) AFTER: I have a hard time improving on my own quote above. At this point the work of a council stands the test - the test of general acceptance. You ask how long this takes? It's not like secular jurisprudence where challenge, comment, and appeal is limited to a statutory time period after which debate is cut off. The Holy Spirit continues to work through the entire Church. Ever heard the phrase, "ecumenically received, accepted and upheld"? After the documents are signed and the bishops return to their sees to present their work, does this mean the Holy Spirit stops working? When Christ told the apostles He would send the Holy Spirit from the Father to guide them, do you think he imparted a rigid structure to His Church that only the 12 were so blessed, or the 200, only succeeding bishops, or the entire Church?
AFTER is when the real test comes. If you ask me to point to "where that is written" I can only say that this is how it has happened. The whole Church eventually accepts or affirms the Truth of the work of the council (or not). Valid by universal consideration and acceptance. Held to be true over time the work of the council is eventually upheld by a formal declaration in a succeeding council.
This does not imply that before this point the council had no effect or truth, but merely affirms what has already happened.
Phil, many of the rest of your questions make me think I'm in law school! How long? In the case of 1270, it was universally ignored and had no effect. In 1439, universally rejected as soon as announced. In the case of 325 and 381, it took a long time for the Truth to be recognized.

I do realize that many of my friends here take the view that the Councils are the highest authority. I tend to view the councils as evidence of the Highest Authority which guides the Church. To reduce the Church to a set of documents complete with rules for amendments and ratification just seems somehow wrong. It seems to make the Church much less than the Living Church of Christ. I see the entire Church as an ecumenical council constantly being guided, if we quiet ourselves in prayer and ask for the Helper.
I recently read that in Eastern Empire in the early middle ages, everyone was a theologian- artisans, sailors, farmers, shopkeepers, vinters, tailors, deacons, elders, bishops. Everyone was conversant with the burning church issues of the day. This atmosphere no longer exists (even on the internet!). The constroversies and heresies that were rampant in the early church have been resolved (in Orthodoxy, at least). Hence, I understand why our 7 Councils are viewed now having withstood all the early rigors and the succeeding centuries. As a distinct body taken as a whole, together, am I ready to fall on my sword over them? You bet! Am I qualified to debate each one, or any of them? Certainly not.
Hope these rambling helped. (Those with slings, arrows, and flamethrowers, please queue up).

Demetri
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« Reply #82 on: May 14, 2004, 07:14:55 AM »

I do realize that many of my friends here take the view that the Councils are the highest authority. I tend to view the councils as evidence of the Highest Authority which guides the Church. To reduce the Church to a set of documents complete with rules for amendments and ratification just seems somehow wrong. It seems to make the Church much less than the Living Church of Christ. I see the entire Church as an ecumenical council constantly being guided, if we quiet ourselves in prayer and ask for the Helper.

Excellent post Demetri. It expresses many of my own thoughts, especially the latter passage. I believe that the view you mention above is an erroenous ecclesiology, or is at least liable to mis-emphasis. I prefer your approach.

You approach fits the ecumenical councils into a continuum of conciliar and grace-filled activity, it does not set a particular historical ecclesiogical event above the church.

I find that some EO are like Protestants and Roman Catholics in this regard. They want an infallible authority and it isn't the Pope or the Bible it is the 7 councils (or 8 or 9). So for these people I do insist on a strict enumeration of councils. How many are there?

But I would not wish to apply that argument to you. Because I agree with your approach and believe it to be more patristic.

My issue however is about the reception of a council. From my pov the latter councils HAVE NOT been universally received, in fact they have only been received by those who have received them. This seems a circular logic. The work of reception - it seems to me - must go on, and those who merely bang the table about 7 councils (or 8 or 9) are missing the point and the present activity of the Holy Spirit. How can Chalcedon be said to have been received when the only way of removing objection to it was an attempt at genocide? That's not your fault of course. But it would be like asking everyone inmy family where they wanted to go on holiday and saying good we are all agreed we are going to France by ignoring those who wanted to go to Belgium.

If we are in fact looking for an ecumenical agreement on the faith then there is much scope and hope for spiritual fruit to be borne, but banging polemical drums on either side (and there are polemical OOs) isn't part of the work of the Holy Spirit, nor is it promoting the reception of the councils, it is not even Christian.

I believe that it is possible for the EO councils to fit into a wider ecumenicity, I mean as you seem to describe, a wider Holy Spirit led activity of the whole Church. The issue seems to be partly the narrow and exclusive definition of ecumenicity which some/most modern EO's use. I don't find that in the past. There seemed to be a greater desire to deal with substance at that period.

I find it strange that some EO's are unwilling to see the possibility for reconciliation as an act of the Holy Spirit in the Church? It would be like falling out with my wife and then when I tried to make contact she kept saying 'I have a list of things you must admit you are wrong about before we can talk'. And everytime I try to explain that she has misunderstood some of these things she keeps saying 'I will not talk to you until you admit you are wrong'. I think there would be something wrong with her if she took that course. We would certainly end up less than we should be together, and that isn't branch theory. I mean that there is something wrong with a Christian community that does not wish to expend every ounce of effort to be reconciled with others or win them to the faith.

Your temperate attitude would win me, being bashed over the head all the time by others just turns me off.

Peter
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« Reply #83 on: May 14, 2004, 07:17:47 AM »

Yes the faith is the most important, but if you faith is the same as EOxy then the other 4 Ecumenical Councils should be a perfect expression of your Orthodoxy.

What parts of the proceedings of a council are ecumenical in your view? Are all parts equally ecumenical?

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« Reply #84 on: May 14, 2004, 08:05:41 AM »

Just a note to Ben.

While you may agree with Linus, he doesn't think you're a member of the Church either. Smiley


That's not exactly true, Schultz.

I do not judge whether or not someone who is not a member of the visible Church (the Church I can see) is a member of the Church in some way known to God alone.

And that includes Non-Chalcedonians, as well as Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Nestorians.



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« Reply #85 on: May 14, 2004, 09:36:22 AM »

I have been awaiting a similar list of OO councils (local or otherwise) for over 4 months on this forum and can only conclude from not seeing any that there are none (which I doubt).

Anyway, I think a better approach is for those who deny the 4th+ councils to explain why they are NOT Orthodox. Wink

Hi Demetri, there are obviously many synods which took place after Chalcedon, and indeed Ephesus 449. But I do not find that rigidity which the EO manifests. It seems to me that OO can both place a council in context and value its substance without necessarily tying ourselves to dealing with the EO as if we were still in that context.

There are of course many councils which condemn you as a heretic, but I believe that the intent of those councils was to exclude heresy not label Chalcedonians forever as heretics. I believe that this is also the OO approach. A certain faith that the Holy Spirit has brought us here to this opportunity and that we need to rely on the Holy Spirit now, without failing to comprehend all that has gone before, but also without a narrow understanding of what went before.

I could easily keep saying 'Reject Chalcedon and you can be considered Orthodox'. In one sense that is the conciliar position of the OO. But in another very real sense the councils are not set above the Church but they are expressions, as you have already stated, of the activity of the Holy Spirit in the Church, who HAS NOT CEASED TO BE ACTIVE in the Church.

So I rely on our bishops to have in mind a wide variety of authorities, and teachings, and history, and much prayer and see where we go from here. I do not ask you to 'Reject Chalcedon'. Rather I believe the OO wishes to see how the Holy Spirit can bring us both to understand even Chalcedon in an Orthodox manner.

So I won't go through all the history. With the Byzantine persecution of the Church it was hard enough for bishops to remain out of prison and escape death, but we do have many letters between bishops which have authority as part of the tradition.

Putting aside the rejection of Chalcedon by my Fathers - as being somewhat tied to a context - I would neverthless expect and demand that Chalcedonians were reconciled on the basis of their having a faith at least substantially in accord with the teachings of our Fathers.

Why do we reject the latter councils?

Well firstly I am not sure that the latter councils 5-7(8-9) were rejected. The Church had by that time walled itself off from the Byzantines and had to set up a separate jurisdiction just to survive persecution. There may be comment about the 5th council, I'll try and have a look. But by the 6th and 7th these were only EO local councils. (Of course that doesn't mean not-Orthodox as some will imply I mean).

i. The Tome of Leo is rejected because it seems to set up an independent activity of the humanity. It seems to remove the Word of God from any engagement in the passion. Of course the Divinity does not suffer, but the Tome seems to prevent the Word suffering in the flesh. This is no more than many modern Chalcedonians, including Father John Romanides state.

Here's a few passages in English translation, the Latin would be better but I don't have it. But they present phraseology that needs explaining - especially since the Tome was written in a Western context supportive of Theodore of Mopsuestia's terminology. Of course I can see how an EO could understand them in an Orthodox manner, but there were plenty who didn't - not least Nestorius himself. And these are just off the top of my head.

"Accordingly while the distinctness of both natures and substances was preserved, and both met in one Person, lowliness was assumed by majesty, weakness by power....."

(What is the term translated person? Did the West understand person as hypostasis or prosopon? The Antiocheans taught a prosopic rather than hypostatic union, and a hypostatic union was insisted on at the 5th council IIRC)

"By "ours" we mean what the Creator formed in us at the beginning and what he assumed in order to restore;"

(Does this mean he took on pre-fall humanity rather than our fallen humanity yet without sin?)

"For each "form" does the acts which belong to it, in communion with the other; the Word, that is, performing what belongs to the Word, and the flesh carrying out what belongs to the flesh; the one of these shines out in miracles, the other succumbs' to injuries. And as the Word does not withdraw from equality with the Father in glory, so the flesh does not abandon the nature of our kind."

(The Word is the eternal Son of God, if he only performs what belongs to him in his divinity and does not perform what belongs to him in his humanity then who is performing the works of the humanity but some other Son? And if the Word shines in miracles and the humanity does not then who raised Lazarus? It is Orthodox to confess that both the works of the flesh and the works of divinity both belong to the Word of God who performs them in his humanity and his divinity without division. When Christ walked on the water it was not divine to walk at all, not human to walk on water, but God the Word works always in his humanity and his divinity in union with each other. If the Word did not suffer on the flesh in union with his own humanity then who did suffer there?)

"Accordingly, on account of this unity of Person which is to be understood as existing in both the natures"

(I'd like to see the language here, both the Latin and Greek.)

"it does not belong to the same nature to say, "I and the Father are one," and to say, "the Father is greater than I.""

(Persons speak. This sounds like one person saying one thing and another person saying another)

ii. Chalcedon

Main theological issue is 'in two natures'.

(This sounds like, and was accepted by Theodoreans as meaning - in two hypostases, not as the individuation of two ousia. Cyrilline terminology had been 'of or from two natures' meaning a union of two distinct and different subsistences. 'in two natures' was taken to mean a prosopic, external union in which two distinct subsistences were not united in a substantial or hypostatic union at all).

iii. Constantinople II

I can accept all of this with just a couple of glosses to ensure a correct understanding. (I think this council could be accepted as ecumenical)

iv. Constantinople III

The sudden ecumenical description of Dioscorus as 'hated of God' when he hadn't been called such at any of the councils closer to his period - even Chalcedon did not condemn him for heresy from even its own pov. Con III was 230 years after he had died and it is unlikely that any member of that council had ever read anything that he had said or written.

The description of Severus' 'mad and wicked doctrine' when in fact it does not represent what he wrote or taught.

"And these two natural wills are not contrary the one to the other (God forbid!) as the impious heretics assert"

(I have had many EO insist that the wills WERE contrary to each other and when I describe 'one will' as meaning a union of human and divine will, as this council seems to teach, I have been accused of heresy.)

"For it was right that the flesh should be moved but subject to the divine will, according to the most wise Athanasius."

(When I say something like this I am accused of monothelitism. I think that many EO converts think they know things when they don't.)

"His will [i.e., the Saviour's] is not contrary to God but altogether deified"

(This quote from St Gregory is also used by Severus, but he is accused of denying what he plainly teaches)

"We recognize the miracles and the sufferings as of one and the same [Person], but of one or of the other nature of which he is and in which he exists"

(Of course I do not deny that Christ is perfect God and perfect man, but this seems to deny the union of humanity and divinity. When Christ walked on the water it was neither only in his humanity, nor only in his divinity. It is not correct, it would seem from our pov, to say that these events take place in one or other, rather than in both according to their own manner. rather we believe that while humanity acts in accordance with the nature of humanity, and divinity in accordance with the nature of divinity, nevertheless in Christ these always act in union with each other. Christ does not wake up some mornings (to speak foolishly) and find that his divinity is having a day off. When Lazarus was raised from the dead was the divinity of the Word acting or the humanity of the Word? Or was he acting appropriately in and through both in union with each other?)

(These are not absolute objections, but places that have caused problems. And without an explanation, with just a constant banging on about 'accepting the councils' these things won't ever get resolved.)

"....the difference of nature which must be recognized in the same Person, for although joined together....."

(Again, 'person' and 'joined together' what are the underlying words? Nestorius (and he stands for that whole school) taught a union in the person rather than the hypostasis. What is meant here?)

v. Nicaea II

"the Council of Ephesus has already defined when it cast out of the Church the impious Nestorius with his colleagues, because he taught that there were two Persons [in Christ]."

(Well he didn't did he. He taught rather that the humanity had a greater degree of independence than Orthodoxy could allow. he never taught 2 prosopon but he did teach 'in two natures'. In fact that is half the problem with 'in two natures', those who accepted it were not uniformally Orthodox. Of course the same could be said about 'one incarnate nature'. This just means we need to explain better)

Rejection of Dioscorus and Severus is unacceptable.

The rest of the material about icons is fine. Without the references to Dioscorus and Severus this would be completely OK and I think could be received as ecumenical even.

So the bulk of the material is acceptable, easily made clearly understandable if the EO willed to assist in its right understanding. The 6th is slightly more complex, not least from the fact that many EO I have dealt with over the last 10 years seem to fail to actually teach what it teaches.

Does any of this help? As I said, these are not absolute objections, just things that stick out. Of course I can understand how an EO would read them but what is needed to wipe away the stains of controversy is for EO to explicitly explain how these things should be understood.

best wishes

Peter
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« Reply #86 on: May 14, 2004, 09:38:06 AM »

That's not exactly true, Schultz.

I do not judge whether or not someone who is not a member of the visible Church (the Church I can see) is a member of the Church in some way known to God alone.

And that includes Non-Chalcedonians, as well as Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Nestorians.

That's not the way it seems and that's rather a cop out.
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« Reply #87 on: May 14, 2004, 09:53:21 AM »

That's not the way it seems and that's rather a cop out.

There is often a difference between reality and the way things seem.

That is a good thing to keep in mind when reading all this sweet-sounding talk of "unity."
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« Reply #88 on: May 14, 2004, 10:08:27 AM »

You seem very bitter Linus. I am truly sorry you find no pleasure or joy in Christians growing closer together.
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« Reply #89 on: May 14, 2004, 10:23:46 AM »

You seem very bitter Linus. I am truly sorry you find no pleasure or joy in Christians growing closer together.

Another thinly-veiled personal attack in the name of "Christians growing closer together."

Christians truly grow closer together when they share the holy Orthodox Catholic faith of the Fathers of the Church and not otherwise.

The trouble in dealing with the Monophysite/Monothelite question is that the subject is very complex and the history is almost as difficult. Most Orthodox and Catholics can't understand or won't trouble to try. They see Christians very much like us and think, "Why these divisions?" In their good-hearted sincerity to heal a deplorable breach, they inadvertently betray the Fathers and the Faith.

Ideas - even complex ones - do matter.

And the Fathers understood the Monophysites better than we do, not the other way around.


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« Reply #90 on: May 14, 2004, 10:58:46 AM »

"And the Fathers understood the Monophysites better than we do, not the other way around."

Or maybe I understand me better?

May the Lord have mercy on you Linus. What you are continuing to do is deeply uncharitable.
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« Reply #91 on: May 15, 2004, 04:47:05 AM »

As a Roman Catholic I have been taught........

- that Jesus Christ is the second member of the blessed trinity, who became man for our salvation.

-He is fully God, and fully Human, meaning He is no more God than Man, or no more Man than God. So, put simply; there are two perfect natures in Christ (Divine and Human), but only one Person.

-Our Lord is of two wills (divine and human), which are in perfect accord within the one person, Jesus Christ.

Now, is this the teaching of the Coptic Christian Church?

Just want to make sure that what I have been taught is the same as what you have been taught, Peter.
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« Reply #92 on: May 15, 2004, 05:08:36 AM »

Hi Ben

Of course I read what you say and I know what you mean and I agree with what you mean, what you mean is what my own communion has always taught.

Peter
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« Reply #93 on: May 15, 2004, 05:12:08 AM »

How is what I say and what I mean different?
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« Reply #94 on: May 15, 2004, 08:35:56 AM »

This is where you are missing much of the whole point of the controversy in the 5th-7th centuries.

When you say 'in two natures' I can take it in a variety of ways. Most of which are heretical. I am assuming you do not mean to be heretical therefore I am reading 'in two natures' in an Orthodox manner. Just because you use the words 'in two natures' does not mean that you mean it in an Orthodox manner.

A Muslim can begin the Creed - I believe in One God - does that mean he means it in the same way as us just because he uses the same words.

What we mean is MUCh more important than what we say.

Does your president wear suspenders? If you say that he does then I will think you are saying he is a transvestite! Do you mean to say that he is a transvestite though?

That is why you and I must not merely assume we KNOW what each other is meaning just because of the words we use.

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #95 on: May 15, 2004, 10:33:27 AM »

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Linus7:
"And the Fathers understood the Monophysites better than we do, not the other way around."

Quote
peterfarrington: Or maybe I understand me better?

Pardon me for asking, but who are you?

Since when has this discussion ever been about you?

This is about the differences between the Orthodox, who accept Chalcedon and the subsequent councils, and the Anti-Chalcedonians, who do not. The thread asks if it would take an ecumenical council to resolve these differences, or if they can be resolved in some other way.

Quote
peterfarrington: May the Lord have mercy on you Linus. What you are continuing to do is deeply uncharitable.

Well, I deeply disagree.

I think it is extremely charitable to tell the truth, even when one knows it will make him unpopular.

It would be far easier to jump on the jolly ecumenical train, which is painted in the festive colors of "getting along" and loaded with happy passengers.

But where is that train bound?

Not anywhere I want to go.
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« Reply #96 on: May 15, 2004, 11:23:16 AM »

Quote
It would be far easier to jump on the jolly ecumenical train, which is painted in the festive colors of "getting along" and loaded with happy passengers.

Nor do we want to jump on a union train with the heathen, unless the Chalcedonian  realize their crimes against the OO and give up their false pride. A church that has on a continous basis killed the true christians and persecuted them by the order of Popes of Rome and Patriarchs of Constantinople are not an easy companion.

While Stavro is understandably being put on the defensive, this does not justify some of the comparisons he made which I have now deleted.  anastasios
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« Reply #97 on: May 15, 2004, 11:30:19 AM »

Linus this discussion is about PEOPLE.

The discussion has ALWAYS been about people. I am a person and the Church is made up of people. People believe things.

So when you decide that you don't need to worry what I believe because I just belong to some faceless group called Anti-Chaledonians, then again it is about ME.

Maybe that is the root of your problem, you don't want to engage with real people and with what real people believe, you prefer to deal with impersonal abstractions and categorisations.

Maybe I don't fit into your abstraction of what an Anti-Chalcedonian should be like, but you cannot ignore me, I am just proof that your abstraction is a straw man, you are raging against something that doesn't exist.

Every time you go on and on insisting I believe what I don't then it is you who are acting uncharitably. It is about ME because I am a member of this group of PEOPLE that you have classified in some neat manner and will not allow anyone to disrupt your classification.

You only shame yourself when you dismiss the sincere efforts of people who love the integrity of Orthodox truth as 'getting along'.

Once again, may the Lord have mercy on you.
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« Reply #98 on: May 15, 2004, 11:33:31 AM »

Nor do we want to jump on a union train with the heathen, unless the Chalcedonian  realize their crimes against the OO and give up their false pride. A church that has on a continous basis killed the true christians and persecuted them by the order of Popes of Rome and Patriarchs of Constantinople are not an easy companion. Your "Holy" Fathers are nothing less than Hitler, Ghangis Khan or Khaled Ibn El-Walid.

Sons of Nestorius and Leo are not welcomed back to the True Church.

I appreciate your honesty, Stavro.

It is refreshing and to be preferred to a lot of the other stuff that gets posted here.

Your view of history is a bit one-sided, however.

Byzantine emperors often favored the Monophysites and persecuted the Orthodox.

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« Reply #99 on: May 15, 2004, 11:41:18 AM »

Linus this discussion is about PEOPLE.

The discussion has ALWAYS been about people. I am a person and the Church is made up of people. People believe things.

So when you decide that you don't need to worry what I believe because I just belong to some faceless group called Anti-Chaledonians, then again it is about ME.

Maybe that is the root of your problem, you don't want to engage with real people and with what real people believe, you prefer to deal with impersonal abstractions and categorisations.

Maybe I don't fit into your abstraction of what an Anti-Chalcedonian should be like, but you cannot ignore me, I am just proof that your abstraction is a straw man, you are raging against something that doesn't exist.

Every time you go on and on insisting I believe what I don't then it is you who are acting uncharitably. It is about ME because I am a member of this group of PEOPLE that you have classified in some neat manner and will not allow anyone to disrupt your classification.

You only shame yourself when you dismiss the sincere efforts of people who love the integrity of Orthodox truth as 'getting along'.

Once again, may the Lord have mercy on you.

Another amazing post.

Why not address the issues and refrain from discussing me, "my problem," my lack of charity, etc. ?

Stavro called me ignorant a post or so ago, but fairly quickly deleted it.

You cannot seem to avoid making judgments about my character and then posting them.

I disagree with you, so I must be "uncharitable."

This is NOT about people; it's about doctrine.

I would appreciate it if you would remember that.

You do NOT know me, and I do not know you.

What right, therefore, do either of us have to make public judgments about the other?

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« Reply #100 on: May 15, 2004, 11:45:24 AM »

Quote
Your view of history is a bit one-sided, however.

Byzantine emperors often favored the Monophysites and persecuted the Orthodox.
Just like that ? Marcan, Hercules, Justinian and the others killed millions of OO, and martyrs were more in numbers than the age of Diocletian and Maximinus Dasa.

Emperors don't concern me, the Patriarchs and the Popes of the Chalcedonian , venerated as saints in the Chalcedonian tradition, are merely thugs.
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« Reply #101 on: May 15, 2004, 11:46:06 AM »

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peterfarrington: Maybe I don't fit into your abstraction of what an Anti-Chalcedonian should be like, but you cannot ignore me, I am just proof that your abstraction is a straw man, you are raging against something that doesn't exist.

Why should I feel any compunction to discuss you and what you are or are not like?

Post your views.

I will address them.

My opinion of you - not worth worrying about since I don't really know you - shall remain private.

Your opinion of me, however, is all over these boards.
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« Reply #102 on: May 15, 2004, 11:49:19 AM »

"It would be far easier to jump on the jolly ecumenical train, which is painted in the festive colors of "getting along" and loaded with happy passengers."

This is an entirely PERSONAL comment because it is addressed to ME and anyone who like ME is trying to discuss issues rather than assume that nothing more can ever be said.

It is written in an abusive manner meant to belittle anyone engaged in discussion.

If you wanted to not be offensive and not be personal then there are lots of ways you could phrase things that make them so.

Stavro: Lay off dear brother. Do not allow yourself to become representative of that which we condemn among Byzantines.
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« Reply #103 on: May 15, 2004, 11:51:06 AM »

Your opinion of me is all over these boards Linus. Since when you abuse the Orthodox communion I belong to you abuse me.

How can it not be personal abuse to be constantly reported as believing what I condemn as blasphemy.

You know already what I believe - you will not ever actually respond to it though.
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« Reply #104 on: May 15, 2004, 12:06:48 PM »

Just like that ? Marcan, Hercules, Justinian and the others killed millions of OO, and martyrs were more in numbers than the age of Diocletian and Maximinus Dasa.

Emperors don't concern me, the Patriarchs and the Popes of the Chalcedonian , venerated as saints in the Chalcedonian tradition, are merely thugs.

St Cyril of Alexandria was a thug as was his uncle St Theophilus, who persecuted St John Chrysostom.  St Athanasius was deposed the first time for having the Melitian priest Isychos beat up. Your St Dioscorus persecuted our St Flavian.  The fact of the matter is, back in those days things were different.  We can't judge people based on their cultural context.  People were not as reserved as they are now.

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« Reply #105 on: May 15, 2004, 12:16:11 PM »

Hi Anastasios

But should we try to emulate the manners that were current then? Or has God given us an opportunity to discuss these things without the need for violence and aggression?

If so then why do some abuse people as blindly living in happy land simply for trying to understand each other?

Do some want to go back to those times?
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« Reply #106 on: May 15, 2004, 12:35:46 PM »

Peter,

Please do not misunderstand me--in no way do I think we should return to those practices.  I simply am saying we cannot anachronistically judge those in the past in the way we judge our contemporaries.

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« Reply #107 on: May 15, 2004, 12:52:41 PM »

Commencement is today (no I am not graduating yet) and I am going to North Carolina on Sunday.  So I just still can not give this thread proper attention.  Maybe Phil can, but he doesn't like getting wrapped up in the OO/EO stuff. Hence, if this thread gets out of whack, Bobby is going to close the thread until I arrive. Please, friends, let's treat each other with respect.  We will start overmoderating this forum if we have to, but we DO NOT want to do this.  This discussion is very edifying if conducted properly.

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« Reply #108 on: May 15, 2004, 01:01:10 PM »

Hi Anastasios

I think there is a little frustration that some EO seem to live in a revisionist paradise where no EO ever did anything wrong ever, and indeed to allow such a thought would be heresy and the end of the Church.

I agree with you entirely, that is why I am trying NOT to just do a rerun of the 5th-7th centuries but rather have a discussion.

Others do not want a discussion. I wish they would not participate if that is the case.
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« Reply #109 on: May 15, 2004, 01:48:54 PM »

Well, it is absolutely FUTILE to have this discussion anyway.

Don't ya think it is pretty obvious by now that there will be no "meeting of the minds"? Why persist?

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« Reply #110 on: May 15, 2004, 01:57:33 PM »

On the contrary there are often many meetings of minds. Why is it futile?

Since I doubt that you believe anything substantially different to me why is discussion pointless?
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« Reply #111 on: May 15, 2004, 02:01:20 PM »

I was referring to you and Linus going back and forth.

Whether I agree with you or not, I don't know. I agree with the condemnation as defined by the EO Church Fathers. The question becomes is THAT the correct understanding of the belief that the OO hold?

These type of things are way over my head. And frankly I don't care what anyone chooses to believe --  I guess that is some of my Protestant baggage.
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« Reply #112 on: May 15, 2004, 02:03:29 PM »

Yeah but Linus doesn't want to discuss. I do, with anyone who will discuss.
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« Reply #113 on: May 15, 2004, 02:07:24 PM »

But can you point me to a document that cleary defines the difference between the EO and OO teachings concerning Christ's two natures?

I mean -- isn't this WHY there is still a schism?
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« Reply #114 on: May 15, 2004, 02:17:59 PM »

There is no great difference.

There could be, in the sense that all terminology is liable of being misunderstood, and all terminology is liable of being used in an heretical manner.

Were there some who practically denied the reality of the humanity of Christ and used the terminology of St Cyril - yes. But they were anathematised and excommunicated by the OO community.

Were there some who practically denied the reality of the unity of humanity and divinity in Christ and used the terminology of Chalcedon and the Tome - yes. But certainly by the 5th council there were anathematised and excommunicated by the EO community.

There are no differences.

At least if you confess that Christ is perfect God and perfect man, having united to Himself a complete humanity with reason and will at the instant of the incarnation in the womb of the Virgin.

If you confess the Christ is consubstantial with us in all things except sin according to His humanity and consubstantial with the Father in all things according to His Divinity.

If you confess that one of the Holy Trinity suffered on the cross according to His humanity.

If you confess that the human will of Christ is so united to the Divine will that his human will follows and that not as resisting and reluctant, but rather as subject to his divine and omnipotent will. "For it was right that the flesh should be moved but subject to the divine will".

This is about all the controversial things that come to mind.

The issues are actually dealing with the practical matters which exercise some folk more than they should. That's why there is still a schism.

But to solve the practical problems requires charity, open heartedness, honesty and the will to solve these problems.

If you believe what I believe then I believe that I will be judged a sinner if I do not do everything in my power (and it is not much) to be reconciled with those who believe the same about Christ.

Peter
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« Reply #115 on: May 15, 2004, 02:19:46 PM »

 Wow! I leave the room for a few hours and everything explodes. Is outrage!  Oh, well...think I'll wade in...
Excellent post Demetri. It expresses many of my own thoughts, especially the latter passage. I believe that the view you mention above is an erroenous ecclesiology, or is at least liable to mis-emphasis. I prefer your approach.

You approach fits the ecumenical councils into a continuum of conciliar and grace-filled activity, it does not set a particular historical ecclesiogical event above the church.

Exactly, the Councils are not meant to PROSCRIBE the Church, but to DESCRIBE. And all its councils have done just that all & (or 8, or 9, and the intervening local and general ones now being considered - calendar ones, etc.)

Quote
I find that some EO are like Protestants and Roman Catholics in this regard. They want an infallible authority and it isn't the Pope or the Bible it is the 7 councils (or 8 or 9). So for these people I do insist on a strict enumeration of councils. How many are there?

But I would not wish to apply that argument to you. Because I agree with your approach and believe it to be more patristic.

I appreciate your kind words about my humble musings, but hardly think I have won you over. I have described the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, complete with all councils and including those local ones, now concluded but the work of which is yet being considered. I have not been describing a ‘greater’ concept of the Church.
Quote
My issue however is about the reception of a council. From my pov the latter councils HAVE NOT been universally received, in fact they have only been received by those who have received them. This seems a circular logic. The work of reception - it seems to me - must go on, and those who merely bang the table about 7 councils (or 8 or 9) are missing the point and the present activity of the Holy Spirit. How can Chalcedon be said to have been received when the only way of removing objection to it was an attempt at genocide? That's not your fault of course. But it would be like asking everyone inmy family where they wanted to go on holiday and saying good we are all agreed we are going to France by ignoring those who wanted to go to Belgium.

Genocide:
You seem to be clouding imperial reactions with political resistance among the Copts to the emperor and his mis-use of the Church for his ends. No one I know condones those persecutions just as no “Oriental” Church I know condones the persecutions visited upon the Greek Orthodox of Alexandria by the Arabs in the seventh century (when the Coptic Church was spared these by the Arabs, for a while at least).
Chalcedon has been received as have the others. Those who deny them (or have not yet accepted them) are not in the communion  (or within) within the Orthodox Catholic Church. If you ask me if that means “not in the Christ’s Church”, I must given the Orthodox Catholic answer- “I don’t know”. If you ask me if those who deny the councils are “Orthodox”, well...my answer isGǪ”No”.
Those who reject Chalcedon are, by definition, in schism and MAY be outside the Church.

Quote
If we are in fact looking for an ecumenical agreement on the faith then there is much scope and hope for spiritual fruit to be borne, but banging polemical drums on either side (and there are polemical OOs) isn't part of the work of the Holy Spirit, nor is it promoting the reception of the councils, it is not even Christian.

I believe that it is possible for the EO councils to fit into a wider ecumenicity, I mean as you seem to describe, a wider Holy Spirit led activity of the whole Church. The issue seems to be partly the narrow and exclusive definition of ecumenicity which some/most modern EO's use. I don't find that in the past. There seemed to be a greater desire to deal with substance at that period.

I understand what you are saying and am at pains to demarcate or define this larger “ecumenicity”. I know it’s there but exactly how it works I do not know.

Quote
I find it strange that some EO's are unwilling to see the possibility for reconciliation as an act of the Holy Spirit in the Church? It would be like falling out with my wife and then when I tried to make contact she kept saying 'I have a list of things you must admit you are wrong about before we can talk'. And everytime I try to explain that she has misunderstood some of these things she keeps saying 'I will not talk to you until you admit you are wrong'. I think there would be something wrong with her if she took that course. We would certainly end up less than we should be together, and that isn't branch theory. I mean that there is something wrong with a Christian community that does not wish to expend every ounce of effort to be reconciled with others or win them to the faith.

Well, Peter, despite my high-sounding language, the Church has indeed spoken through all of the councils accepted to date. So, Linus7 is correct to hold them up as a shield.
As to your spousal analogy above, I am not sure that applies or is the approach being taken.

Quote

Your temperate attitude would win me, being bashed over the head all the time by others just turns me off.

Peter

I would hope that we can so continue. We'll both have to try.

Demetri

{Another post to follow, Peter, best wait for it before replying here}
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« Reply #116 on: May 15, 2004, 02:33:03 PM »

To continue, Peter,

Hi Demetri, there are obviously many synods which took place after Chalcedon, and indeed Ephesus 449. But I do not find that rigidity which the EO manifests. It seems to me that OO can both place a council in context and value its substance without necessarily tying ourselves to dealing with the EO as if we were still in that context.

Interesting. I see that indeed your church in rejecting Chalcedon has in fact upheld 449 and that council is in fact your Fourth. So, your church is not the Church of the Three Councils, but of Four and it surely appears pretty rigid about Ephesus - in substance at least, I might add.
Quote
There are of course many councils which condemn you as a heretic, but I believe that the intent of those councils was to exclude heresy not label Chalcedonians forever as heretics. I believe that this is also the OO approach. A certain faith that the Holy Spirit has brought us here to this opportunity and that we need to rely on the Holy Spirit now, without failing to comprehend all that has gone before, but also without a narrow understanding of what went before.

Other than the “heretic” comment, I can’t disagree here  Wink

Quote
I could easily keep saying 'Reject Chalcedon and you can be considered Orthodox'. In one sense that is the conciliar position of the OO. But in another very real sense the councils are not set above the Church but they are expressions, as you have already stated, of the activity of the Holy Spirit in the Church, who HAS NOT CEASED TO BE ACTIVE in the Church.

Yes, the Holy Spirit has guided the Church and continues to do so. That does not mean Chalcedon will be revisited - no reason too. Now help from the Helper in explaining it better to you and yours IS appreciated!

Quote
So I rely on our bishops to have in mind a wide variety of authorities, and teachings, and history, and much prayer and see where we go from here. I do not ask you to 'Reject Chalcedon'. Rather I believe the OO wishes to see how the Holy Spirit can bring us both to understand even Chalcedon in an Orthodox manner.

So I won't go through all the history. With the Byzantine persecution of the Church it was hard enough for bishops to remain out of prison and escape death, but we do have many letters between bishops which have authority as part of the tradition.

Nice barb, Peter. You disappoint.
Perhaps you do not wish to re-visit history, but I do. At precisely the point in time when these Christological issues could have been worked out (thereby obviating the unresolved issues being used by the emperor for other, political, reasons) and  better explained by the Byzantines who had a FULL command of their language to those who obviously did not (and perhaps still do not) - the Pope of Alexandria (remember now, he was up to this point a bishop of the Orthodox Catholic Church, the then undivided Church of Alexandria,  not a “Coptic Pope”), well, to put it bluntly, he blundered.  Pope Dioscoros was critical of the Pope of Rome for over-stepping his bounds only to exhibit nearly identical overstepping on his own part. He allowed Eutyches to set him up as a heretic (even if he wasn’t) and then solidified that charge -Tome or no Tome.
How he allowed Eutyches to be exhonerated by virtue of re-confessing the Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed in 449 and then at that same synod with himself presiding excommunicate the 7 bishops (outside his see) who RIGHTFULLY condemned Eutyches in 448 I will never fathom. Pope Dioscoros backed himself hereby into the seemingly heretic’s corner, seeming to support Eutychiansim by excommunicating the 7 bishops in 449 and then rejecting Chalcedon in 451 based on a potential of the Tome being construed as Nestorian  (as you now know it never was taken in that manner). Pope Dioscoros’ reaction to the Tome seems a dodge. He should have defended why his actions of 449 were not be construed as supporting mono-phytism rather than taking the offense by attacking the ‘Nestorian potential’ of the Tome. Sad really, for the whole Church.

Quote
Putting aside the rejection of Chalcedon by my Fathers - as being somewhat tied to a context - I would neverthless expect and demand that Chalcedonians were reconciled on the basis of their having a faith at least substantially in accord with the teachings of our Fathers.

From this point on here, Peter I may respond later. But I am not likely to do so any time real soon. You seem eager for discussion here and I can appreciate that. But I am not qualified. First, for the reason that I KNOW I do not possess the tools to do this, I cannot. Second, I suspect you lack these same tools.
I have been steeped in the language of the Hellenes all of my 54 years - nearly daily hearing, reading, and trying to speak modern, then Pontic, then Homeric then Attic and finally Koine. It severely taxes my modest intellectual abilities. To think that we can revisit the work done by the Holy Fathers in translation today, with and in  English, is foolhardy and a recipe for an argument the both sides of which may be wrongly stated because of this divide. Linus is again correct, the Byzantine Orthodox had and still have full command of their language and I trust their past and current guidance.

Greek is such a context sensitive language that English translations are full of error due to just plain not having the grasp of language or enough “in between” words to do a proper job. "+Æ’-Ã -â+¦+¦" and "-Ã¥-Ã -â++-é" can be synonyms or not, depending on context and the difference is critical anywhere these two words are used. And I can’t rely on any translation in full confidence.

Another issue : hypostasis. Did I read somewhere that this was translated as “Person”? Where did that come from? The Greek means basically what the Latin translation correctly states - substance - as in underfooting or FOUNDATION.
You allude to this word yourself. I’m not qualified other than to sayGǪI’m not going there. My bishops have done this work.

Another point of difficulty: Pronunciation dictates definition.
Example: +¦++ (en) =one
Aspirate +¦++ , and it becomes ‘hen’ and means ‘in’.
Small word - big effect on meaning.

Good luck Petros!

Demetri

{You may now take up your sword ,er... pen, again, my friend}
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« Reply #117 on: May 15, 2004, 02:53:12 PM »

This is where you are missing much of the whole point of the controversy in the 5th-7th centuries.

When you say 'in two natures' I can take it in a variety of ways. Most of which are heretical. I am assuming you do not mean to be heretical therefore I am reading 'in two natures' in an Orthodox manner. Just because you use the words 'in two natures' does not mean that you mean it in an Orthodox manner.

A Muslim can begin the Creed - I believe in One God - does that mean he means it in the same way as us just because he uses the same words.

What we mean is MUCh more important than what we say.

Does your president wear suspenders? If you say that he does then I will think you are saying he is a transvestite! Do you mean to say that he is a transvestite though?

That is why you and I must not merely assume we KNOW what each other is meaning just because of the words we use.

Peter Theodore

I agree that what we mean is way more important than what we mean. However, I still do not understand how two natures in one person can be taken heretical. Let me explain myself more clearly, to let me represent my faith a little more clearly:

Our Lord and God and Savior and King of us all, Jesus Christ, is perfect God with respect to His Divinity, perfect man with respect to His Humanity. In Him His Divinity is united with His humanity in a real, perfect union without mingling, without commixtion, without confusion, without alteration, without division, without separation. His divinity did not separate from His humanity for an instant. He who is God eternal and invisible became visible in the flesh, and took upon Himself the form of a servant. In Him are preserved all the properties of the divinity and all the properties of the humanity, together in a real, perfect, indivisible and inseparable union.

So when Catholics confess Jesus Christ as one in two natures, they do not separate the Divinity from the Humanity, not even for the twinkling of an eye, but they rather try to avoid mingling, commixtion, confusion or alteration.

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« Reply #118 on: May 15, 2004, 03:00:30 PM »

There is no great difference.

But Peter. You are telling me what YOU believe. There MUST be something different from what your Bishops believed when it rejected the council professing the Truth as defined by the other Bishops of the Church.
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« Reply #119 on: May 15, 2004, 03:18:15 PM »

If I am barbed sometimes it is just frustration. I don't mean it towards you.

I have no problem reflecting on the defects of Ephesus 449 as well as the positive aspects. If you were to read the work 'The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined' by Fr V.C. Samuel, which I have republished you would find that he is also able (or rather I am following him of course) to reflect critically on our own history.

It would have been much better had Pope Dioscorus not dealt so harshly with +Flavian. But that synod also dealt with the teachings of Ibas, Theodore and Theodoret and some of their followers. Are you suggesting that I should reject that aspect of the council.

I have not heard that Ephesus 449 is considered an ecumenical council. It is of course considered a council that bore witness at least in part to Orthodoxy. I can't see how that part of the council dealing with what later became the Three Chapters can be rejected? But it doesn't make me confess 4 councils.

Ephesus 449 was at fault for trying to impose a too exclusively Cyrilline terminology. But from our point of view Chalcedon had the same fault and imposed a Theodoran terminology and excluded the Cyrilline. Ephesus 449 was never ever raised in the primary materials I have studied as being necessary for reconciliation. So I have no sense that I need to insist on it now, other than to ask that it be considered more completely as it actually was, with its faults, rather than as it is mythically presented.

I have an issue with your suggesting that the latter councils are rejected? If you take a descriptive view of your own latter councils then surely if I also state that with a few matters that you need to clarify I believe these documents describe the Orthodox faith, then isn't that accepting the councils?

Surely rejecting the councils is rejecting what they describe? I do not reject the 5th council, I believe that it is substantially in accord with what was decided at Ephesus 449. In what way then am I rejecting the council?

If I say, I have read the Sentence of the 5th council and the Capitula and I agree that these describe the Orthodox faith - perhaps you may need to help me in just in or two places so I can be sure that what you are reading is the same as what I am reading, then how is that not accepting that that council describes the Faith? And therefore is accepting it?

The prescriptive approach - just say that there are 7 councils for goodness sake! - seems to actually ignore the descriptive content.

If I say that the documents of the 7th council truly describe the Orthodox faith concerning the veneration of icons, then how is that rejecting that council?

I would really value some input from you.

Finally I think I disagree with you that to discuss these things is beyond our ken. If we don't know what we believe and cannot find out if we believe the same thing then surely our faith is defective? My own St Severus writes extensively about what he teaches, but he is not writing in a way that only a specialist can understand because he is writing to people exactly like you and me.

If I say that I believe that Christ is perfect God and perfect man, then surely if you say that you believe the same then we have understood each other. If the faith is so complex that it does in fact require a lifetimes knowledge of the most technical Greek then surely something is wrong?

My small Greek understands the difference between +¦++ with or without aspiration, but if I ask what do YOU mean by 'in two natures' you should be able to answer, and when you ask me what I, and St Cyril, mean by 'one incarnate nature or hypostasis' I should also be able to answer.

I am particularly interested in what sense I may be said to reject a council, which as you say is primarily descriptive of the Faith, when I agree with what it says and am happy to say that I agree with what it says?

As for translations, I agree. I wanted a copy of the Henoticon, which was received by St Severus as being Orthodox. But the modern edition I had was a rubbish translation, full of imprecision when I needed great precision. It showed, and I don't mean this disrespectfully of Roman Catholicism in general, that the RC academic who had translated it had little theological understanding of the importance of certain words.

But the issue of Byzantines having a full command of their language is debatable. This is because there is no ONE meaning of any phrase. Nothing taken in isolation is without ambiguity. It doesn't matter if I say 'I believe in one God' in English, Latin, Greek or Coptic. It is always liable of being misunderstood by a Muslim. What is necessary is a conversation to discover what is meant. It is not a matter of translation, it is a matter of interpretation. That requires dialogue in the vernacular not in Greek.

Finally I must disagree that the Tome was never taken in a Nestorian manner. Theodoret wrote to Leo saying that his Christology, that of Theodoret, was victorious at Chalcedon. And the Western and North African Church was convinced that the Three Chapters were received as Orthodox at Chalcedon. This was their position for 100 years. And the Assyrian Church also accepted Chalcedon as Orthodox in their terms. And we know Nestorius accepted the Tome as his Christology.

Not one bit of this means that it must be accepted in that way. The 5th council was a corrective. But it seems to me to be a complete fact that many Chalcedonians DID take it in a wrong way. There were even Chalcedonian monks in Constantinople keeping a feast of Nestorius.

And if I ask the Assyrians today do they accept the teaching of the Tome and Chalcedon as their own, what if they answer in the affirmative? Does this mean it MUST be read in their terms or only that it CAN be read in their terms and HAS BEEN.

Over to you

Peter
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« Reply #120 on: May 15, 2004, 08:24:24 PM »

Chalcedon has been received as have the others. Those who deny them (or have not yet accepted them) are not in the communion  (or within) within the Orthodox Catholic Church.

Then the only option for an EO is to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the Oriental Orthodox are indeed what they were accused of being: Christological heretics.  If the OO can be proven to be such, then yes, Chalcedon has been received by the whole Church.  However, if the OO can be shown beyond reasonable doubt to not be Christological heretics, but rather believers in the same Orthodox faith, albeit expressed differently, then Chalcedon has NOT been received by the whole Church--a whole section of it has not received it.  

Anything else is circular.
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« Reply #121 on: May 16, 2004, 08:11:44 AM »

But Peter. You are telling me what YOU believe. There MUST be something different from what your Bishops believed when it rejected the council professing the Truth as defined by the other Bishops of the Church.

Hiya

Well what I believe is what my Church believes. I have spent the last 10 years studying as hard as I can and I am still working hard on studying the latter Fathers of my communion.

There is no substantive difference in the EO faith and the OO faith.

But it is quite easy to see how in the controversial period there were those who used both the acceptance and rejection of Chalcedon as a front for persisting in heresy.

Chalcedon was rejected quite plainly because it was perceived to be confessing two Christs, not because it was confessing the reality of the humanity of Christ. If we can now see that the majority opinion among Chalcedonians came to exclude that view at the 5th council, then that is the basis on the present perception that we have the same faith.

But at the time Chalcedon was rejected because of the perception that it was Nestorianising not because it was believed to teach the reality of the humanity of Christ.

For instance Dioscorus taught:

"God the Logos, consubstantial with the Father, at the end of the ages for our redemption became consubstantial with man in the flesh, remaining what he was before."

and

"I know full well, having been brought up in the faith, that he has been begotten of the Father as God, and that the Same has been begotten of Mary as man. See Him walking on the sea as man, and Creator of the heavenly hosts as God; see him sleeping in the boat as man, and walking on the seas as God; see Him hungry as man, and bestowing nourishment as God; see him thirsty as man, and giving drink as God; see him stoned by the Jews as man, and worshipped by angels as God; see him tempted as man, and driving away the demons as God; and similarly of many instances."

I have written several quite lengthy articles on this very subject, the confession of the complete humanity of Christ.

Certainly these have been approved by my bishop and have been seen and read by senior bishops of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate who have never suggested that I have said anything incorrect.

So I really don't think that there are substantial differences. Rejecting a council is not the same as embracing what a council might have been trying to exclude as heresy, it can be, and can be shown to be, the rejection of a particular understanding of what a council was teaching.

My bishop knows all of what I confess as my faith here and I know that it is his faith also. And that of all the people I have been at church with this morning, and all the Coptic Orthodox people I deal with on the net on a daily basis.

If I can't find a substantial difference in what I guess you believe then there isn't one. I would not remain a member of a Church I disagreed with on the level of substantial doctrine.

Best wishes

Peter
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« Reply #122 on: May 17, 2004, 08:56:47 PM »

Quote
peterfarrington: There is no substantive difference in the EO faith and the OO faith.

That is not true.

Not only did the Orthodox Fathers believe there were substantive differences, but the Non-Chalcedonians thought so, too.

Nothing has changed since their time.

The Non-Chalcedonians are still saying the same things they have always said and venerating the same founding fathers.

What has changed is that the modern era is an age of relativism and ecumenism, when very real theological differences are papered over in the interests of "unity" and of "Christians growing closer together."

Then there is the "small" matter of the Council of Chalcedon and the subsequent councils.

Quote
peterfarrington: Chalcedon was rejected quite plainly because it was perceived to be confessing two Christs, not because it was confessing the reality of the humanity of Christ. If we can now see that the majority opinion among Chalcedonians came to exclude that view at the 5th council, then that is the basis on the present perception that we have the same faith.

But at the time Chalcedon was rejected because of the perception that it was Nestorianising not because it was believed to teach the reality of the humanity of Christ.

Anyone who has read the Council of Chalcedon realizes that these perceptions or suppositions were and are unfounded.

The Council anathematized Nestorius and his teaching, affirmed the prior councils, and specifically denied the erroneous notion that there are two persons in Christ.

The original Non-Chalcedonians were aware of these things. They rejected Chalcedon not because the Council was really Nestorian (ridiculous) but because they really did not agree with its Orthodox doctrine. The charge of "Nestorianism" was merely an epithet used against the Council.

I would like to say more, but I'm out of time.





 
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« Reply #123 on: May 17, 2004, 10:20:07 PM »

Peter,

Linus is reinforcing my view about this - you say that there is really no difference between the OO and EO understanding of Christ, but for over a century the REST of Orthodoxy believed (and still does) that there is a difference.

Why is that -- is the rest of Orthodoxy wrong?

And if it just an issue of "semantics" and "misunderstanding" then why doesn't your church admit that they were wrong and accept the Council?HuhHuh
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« Reply #124 on: May 18, 2004, 04:27:34 AM »

Tom, YOU tell me what the difference is then.

If there is one then I will happily concede that the EO are heretics. But I can't find a difference.

What I find frustrating is the you cannot even consider how others might view events in your history.

I am happy to just accept that the EO are heretics and get on with life. I can call you a Nestorian based on the clear witness of Chalcedon etc etc. I know all the polemics. Is that what Christians should be doing?

YOU tell me what the difference is?

Do you not even consider the possibility that the Byzantines have also been wrong and need to admit it?

Peter
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« Reply #125 on: May 18, 2004, 05:54:24 AM »

Quote
+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦++++-é:
Chalcedon has been received as have the others. Those who deny them (or have not yet accepted them) are not in the communion  (or within) within the Orthodox Catholic Church.

Then the only option for an EO is to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the Oriental Orthodox are indeed what they were accused of being: Christological heretics.  If the OO can be proven to be such, then yes, Chalcedon has been received by the whole Church.  However, if the OO can be shown beyond reasonable doubt to not be Christological heretics, but rather believers in the same Orthodox faith, albeit expressed differently, then Chalcedon has NOT been received by the whole Church--a whole section of it has not received it.  

Anything else is circular.  

Ah! I knew we would eventually hear from Mor "Phil". I thought as I hit the post button that someone would take exception here. If I had better stated what I meant - the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church of the East (the canonical name of the Eastern Orthodox communion), would that break you out of the circle, Phil?

Second issue here, I do not recall me accusing anyone of anything beyond stating the obvious - rejection of +º+¦+++¦+¦+¦+++++¦.

Question for Mor Ephrem, PT, or anyone else who may know: Did, and if so, to what extent did those who rejected +º+¦+++¦+¦+¦+++++¦ participate in the councils following it?
And, are we here to equate "rejection" with "not-yet-accepting"?

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« Reply #126 on: May 18, 2004, 06:45:35 AM »

Quote
And, are we here to equate "rejection" with "not-yet-accepting"?

I think that we should not. What is the substantive content of Chalcedon? Surely it is the double consubstantiality of Christ. This has never been denied among those who rejected Chalcedon. What was rejected under the name of Chalcedon was a crypto-Nestorianism.

Again in the words of Father John Romanides:

"One must emphasize that acceptance of the Three or Seven Ecumenical Councils does not in itself entail agreement in faith. The Franco-Latin Papacy accepts these Councils, but in reality accepts not one of them. In like manner there are Orthodox, since Peter the Great, who in reality do not accept the soteriological and Old Testament presuppositions of these Councils. On the other hand those of the Oriental Orthodox, who have not been Franco-Latinised in important parts of their theology, accept the first three of the Ecumenical Councils, but in reality accept all Seven, a fact which has now become clear in recent agreements."

We must ask what 'agreement' and 'rejection' mean.

I agree with ALL of the substance of all the councils and even the Tome, because I read them as a Modern EO might read them, with 1500 years of clarification in mind. I do not read them as a 5th century subdeacon with many other preconceptions in mind and a different context to take account of.

I do not 'reject' Chalcedon, if that means I reject the double consubstantiality of Christ. But I do not 'accept' it either if that means pretending that history didn't happen and that Chalcedon took place in a very different context to that in which we find ourselves now.

Peter


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« Reply #127 on: May 18, 2004, 06:53:20 AM »

Thanks Peter, for answering the last question and for the Fr Romanides op-ed piece.

What about the preceeding question?

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« Reply #128 on: May 18, 2004, 07:31:37 AM »

I don't believe so from any of my reading.

From a non-OO source a brief summary of the situation says:

One of the last possibilities of reconciliation took place in 535 when Severus journeyed to Constantinople. His visit was very successful. He stayed there for 18 months and won over Anthimus of Constantinople to the Non-Chalcedonian.

Justininian was at this time attempting to win back Rome having recovered North Africa. Pope Agapetus made it clear that there could be no alliance with Rome if a critical position vis-a-vis Constantinople were adopted.

Justininian called a local council which banished Anthimus, charged Severus perversely with magic and banished him together with ordering the burning of all of his writings. Severus returned to his monastic retreats in the Egyptian desert.

Worse than the mere failure of these conferences, Justinian then re-inforced his opinion by legal means once more. From another historian and theologian:

"Emperor Justinian ratified the decision by issuing an edict on 6 August, declaring it criminal to maintain a non-Chalcedonian position in the empire, and he ordered the burning of the writings of Severus. Ephraim of Antioch also convened a council of one hundred and thirty-two bishops, which confirmed Chalceaon and condemned Severus and his followers.

The edict of Justinian could not solve the religious problem in the empire. What it did, on the other hand, was to declare the Chalcedonian body alone to constitute the religion of the state, in the same way as the Act of Uniformity of 1662 in British history did with Christianity in England. The edict was indeed injurious to the non-Chalcedonian body at least in three ways. Firstly, churches and other religious establishments in the empire became by law the possession of the Chalcedonian body; secondly bishops and leading clergy of Chalcedon’s ecclesiastical opponents had to spend their days either in exile or in hiding and new recruitments were forbidden. and thirdly, laymen were denied the possibility of obtaining positions of dignity in the state.

In spite of these handicaps, the people followed their non-Chalcedonian religious adherence in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere in the east. Since city churches and other institutions had been made available to the state church, they had to build churches and monasteries outside the cities. The church of Egypt, for instance, had to give up Alexandria and move its ecclesiastical centre to Enaton, where it built up monastic communities,  six hundred of them. The Syrian patriarchs who claimed continuity to Severus had their residence in places like Haran, Callinicus, Edessa, and Mardin in North Syria.  In fact, Michael the Syrian reports that the first time a non-Chalcedonian patriarch of Antioch ever set foot in that city, after Severus had left it in 518, was in 721, when patriarch Elias visited Antioch for the dedication of a church which he had built in the city. "

So after that time it was virtually impossible that there could be reconciliation. If you held to the Non-Chalcedonian position you were a criminal and treated as a criminal.

Early in the 7th century we find:

"John of Ephesus, who lived in Constantinople at that time and who was himself subjected to severe torture, has preserved for us a fairly detailed account of this persecution.  At the beginning of the week before the Palm Sunday of the year 571. he writes, emperor Justin II issued an edict proscribing the non-Chalcedonian body. He ordered their places of worship to be closed, their bishops and priests to be arrested, and all their congregations to be disbanded."

Later on in the 7th century we find:

"Heraclius was again angry, and wrote to all areas of his dominions that ‘those who would not accept the council of Chalcedon should have their noses and ears cut out and their properties confiscated’.  The persecution thus inaugurated lasted for a while, during which the severity of ill-treatment and oppression led many monks to endorse the council. But those who refused to surrender were forced by various methods to conform."

So again there was no likelihood of reconciliation.

After this the Arabs invaded and the Non-Chalcedonian communities were generally cut off from the Byzantines until they too fell under Ottoman control.

So I do not believe that there was even the possibility of reconciliation, nor of representation at the latter councils by virtue of either the political situation in respect of the Arab invasion, or the legal situation in which it was illegal to not accept Chalcedon on pain even of mutilation.

On the positive side the closest point came just after 566:

"Following this incident, unity talks were held between the leaders of the Chalcedonian and the non-Chalcedonian sides lasting for a period of over one year. This was a time when the non-Chalcedonian leadership was keen to accept an honourable settlement, without their having to endorse the council of Chalcedon in a juridical sense. The emperor granted this point, as the edict which he issued as a basis for union sufficiently shows.  It noted the creed of Nicea as confirmed by the council of Constantinople as the only acceptable symbol of faith, and this creed as it had been interpreted by the council of 431 alone as the doctrinal standard of the Church. After incorporating the creed, the edict went on to affirm ‘two births of God the Word, one from God the Father in eternity and the other from Mary the Virgin in time. We confess him to be God the Only Word in truth, who remained unchanging in his Godhead. He suffered in the flesh and performed wonders as God, not as one and another; not that one is Christ and another is God, but one and the same, being composed of two natures of Godhead and manhood one hypostasis, one prosopon; not two hypostases or two prosopa, or two sons, but one hypostasis of God the Word incarnate’. The edict condemned all heretics, among whom were Nestorius and Theodore, as well as the letter of Ibas and the writings of Theodoret. ‘We accept the blessed patriarch Severus and revoke the condemnation that had been pronounced against him wickedly and without reason, and we lift the anathemas declared from the time of St. Cyril to the present time.’

The non-Chalcedonian leaders who saw the edict proposed two amendments. In the first place, they suggested that the statement on the incarnation should be modified from the words. ‘another is God, but’, to ‘read he who is one the same being composed of two natures, namely two hypostases, divine and human, and forming one nature, namely one hypostasis, divine and one prosopon. He is not two hypostases or two prosopa, or two natures or two sons’. Secondly, they asked for the inclusion of the twelve anathemas of Cyril as an accepted document of the faith.

Syrian historians testify that the emperor agreed to adopt the amendments and ordered that copies of the edict be made incorporating the changes, but that the men who undertook the work omitted them. The emperor was annoyed, but later cooled off. The non-Chalcedonian leaders, seeing that their proposals which the emperor had admitted had not been put in, refused to sign the document. Thus the edict could not serve the purpose for which it had been drawn up."

Thankfully things are different now.

Are any of these quotes helpful?

Peter
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« Reply #129 on: May 18, 2004, 07:54:35 AM »

Tom, YOU tell me what the difference is then.

I don't feel I need to and I certainly don't have the knowledge to make these difficult theological decisions.

YOUR church rejected the council -- the burden is on your church.

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« Reply #130 on: May 18, 2004, 08:43:35 AM »

YOUR Church accepted the council - the burden is on your Church.

Show that you are not crypto-Nestorians!

How does that help?

Since we accept the double consubstantiality of Christ, the reality of his humanity and Divinity, there is nothing else to accept as far as I can see.

Lets look at a summary of what Chalcedon taught from the EO perspective:

"Affirmed completeness of the two natures of the Lord Jesus Christ: divinity and humanity (perfect God and perfect man)."

This is entirely what the Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox also affirm.

Therefore how can it be said I have a different faith to you? You are the one saying I have, so it is you who must show that you believe something different to me.

You have plenty of evidence of what I believe on this forum, and I am in almost daily contact with my bishop, this is what he believes, and he is a regular attender and participant in the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate - this is what they believe.

So please, where do you believe something different to me?

It isn't a difficult theological decision at all. It is a simple one. Do you believe differently about Christ to anything you have seen me confess to.

Why would the Patriarchs of Alexandria allow for full inter-communion of mixed community families if not on the basis that they do not believe there is a substantial difference. Why would the Patriarchs of Antioch and Syria allow for full inter-communion in the Middle East of their communities. Do they lack the knowledge to think these thrings through? What of Professor Father John Romanides, did he lack the knowledge to think these things through and conclude that the OO accepted the substance of all the councils?

Your Church accepted the council - your Church enforced it at the political and legal level. Your Church values it highly. It is incumbent upon you to show where my own Orthodox Church teaches something other than the dual consubstabtiality of Christ.

Or perhaps as some of our patriarchs, bishops and theologians are showing, it is incumbent upon all sides to step beyond polemics and find out the substance of what all sides confess. It is not too difficult.

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #131 on: May 18, 2004, 11:47:18 AM »


Are any of these quotes helpful?


I think so, Peter. I assume that the answer then is little or no representation sent to 5th, 6th and 7th Councils.

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« Reply #132 on: May 18, 2004, 01:24:50 PM »

None as far as I am aware. None would have been allowed if it was criminal to be a Non-Chalcedonian and/or if it was liable to mutilation. I don't think I'd have gone along, put it like that.

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« Reply #133 on: May 18, 2004, 06:26:09 PM »

Quote
peterfarrington:
YOUR Church accepted the council - the burden is on your Church.

Show that you are not crypto-Nestorians!

Easily done.

Just read the Council of Chalcedon. It anathematizes Nestorius, as well as Eutyches and Dioscorus.

It specifically condemns Nestorianism and affirms the ecumenical councils that preceded it.

Quote
peterfarrington: How does that help?

Since we accept the double consubstantiality of Christ, the reality of his humanity and Divinity, there is nothing else to accept as far as I can see.

Non-Chalcedonians have always said that.

When one looks at the whole of their Christology, however, a different picture emerges.

What one sees is an incomplete, passive, unfree humanity of our Lord, "the Word expressing himself in a vital, personal way through the instrument (organon) of flesh that he controls and enlivens, bypassing or simply overwhelming the rational soul" (Hans Urs von Balthasar, Cosmic Liturgy: The Universe According to Maximus the Confessor, p. 228).

This is the real reason why for Severus and Coptic Pope Shenouda III and Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios Christ has only one will, energy, and activity (Monothelitism, Monenergism), and why they find the 6th Council even more problematic than Chalcedon.









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« Reply #134 on: May 19, 2004, 01:13:09 AM »

None as far as I am aware. None would have been allowed if it was criminal to be a Non-Chalcedonian and/or if it was liable to mutilation. I don't think I'd have gone along, put it like that.

Peter

I, again, guess this is an answer.

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« Reply #135 on: May 19, 2004, 08:24:52 AM »

Then the only option for an EO is to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the Oriental Orthodox are indeed what they were accused of being: Christological heretics.  If the OO can be proven to be such, then yes, Chalcedon has been received by the whole Church.  However, if the OO can be shown beyond reasonable doubt to not be Christological heretics, but rather believers in the same Orthodox faith, albeit expressed differently, then Chalcedon has NOT been received by the whole Church--a whole section of it has not received it.  

Anything else is circular.  

The post above is puzzling to me.

The Council of Chalcedon was convened to deal with Christological heresy - that of Eutyches - and with the injustices perpetrated at the Latrocinium in Ephesus in 449.

A minority of baptized Christians - albeit a fairly large one -  rejected its findings.

The vast majority of baptized Christians, however, accepted the Council and its dogmatic statement.

The 3rd Council (Ephesus, 431) was rejected by a fairly sizeable minority of baptized Christians. Are we obligated to prove their spiritual descendants Christological heretics in order to validate that council?

The 1st Council (Nicea I, 325) was likewise rejected by a very sizeable minority of baptized Christians, perhaps, for a time, even by a majority (if one includes the Semi-Arians).

Now we are told by the spiritual descendants of those who rejected the Council of Chalcedon (and the subsequent councils) that we must prove they are Christological heretics or Chalcedon is not a valid ecumenical council.

Well, we could produce quotes from Non-Chalcedonian leaders affirming that our Lord has but one nature and one will (and we have produced them); but, we are told, they didn't really mean those things. (Funny thing, though: they keep saying them, over and over and over . . .)

We could even produce evidence that the 6th Council, which proclaimed the two wills of Christ, is as much or even more of a problem for Non-Chalcedonians than the 4th.

Further, we could produce the testimony of the Orthodox Fathers - like St. Maximus the Confessor, who, in his Letter 12, addressed the errors of Severus of Antioch - and of a number of scholars who have pointed out the not-so-subtle differences between Non-Chalcedonian and Orthodox Christology.

Then there are the attacks on the councils themselves.

Since Non-Chalcedonians claim they are Orthodox, and some of them even say they hold the same faith as the Eastern Orthodox, it is time for them to prove it.

How are they to do that?

Through Christological arguments and criticisms of the councils of the Church?

No; been there, done that.

Non-Chalcedonians can once-and-for-all prove their Orthodoxy by accepting the standards of Orthodoxy: ALL of the ecumenical councils of the Church, especially Chalcedon.

Until they do that, all their protests of Orthodoxy are empty.
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« Reply #136 on: May 19, 2004, 12:54:45 PM »

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The Council of Chalcedon was convened to deal with Christological heresy - that of Eutyches - and with the injustices perpetrated at the Latrocinium in Ephesus in 449.

A minority of baptized Christians - albeit a fairly large one -  rejected its findings.

The vast majority of baptized Christians, however, accepted the Council and its dogmatic statement.

Untrue.  The Council of Chalcedon introduced NEW Christological formulas that were contrary to what was expressed by the great teacher St. Cyril and his Church, the Alexandrian Church.  While this may have neen necessary in order to refute Eutychianism, it was done to the EXLCUSION of perfectly Orthodox Christological formulas. I have shown on this list before and can repost that St. Cyril himself continued to use the expression "one nature" AFTER the Formula of Reunion. Therefore, for the council to reject established teaching in favor of new formulas was of course to be rejected by a LARGE part of the Church.  If our Christological teaching is shown to be perfectly consistent with St. Cyril and you agree that St. Cyril is Orthodox then our teaching MUST be Orthodox. Your only argument is that after Chalcedon there is now only ONE school of Christological thought and based on this faulty logic, you must conclude that St. Cyril is outside this framework.

Quote
Well, we could produce quotes from Non-Chalcedonian leaders affirming that our Lord has but one nature and one will (and we have produced them); but, we are told, they didn't really mean those things. (Funny thing, though: they keep saying them, over and over and over . . .)

This is either ignorance or just silliness.  Noone is repudiating the language,  formulas, etc.. used to EXPRESS the Christological teachings of our Church, those teachings handed down by St. Cyril, but rather what we are saying is that these formulas require INTERPRETATION.  The INTERPRETATION of our formulas can be said to be the same as the INTERPRETATION of your formulas.

You see Linus, you cannot simply say that Christ is "in two natures" since Nestorius would agree with you. You have to go further and EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN by that expression.   Again, otherwise you have to conclude that St. Cyril is a heretic since he NEVER used the expression "IN TWO NATURES", not even in the Formula of Reunion.  But what did St. Cyril mean by his expressions? That is what matters and that is where your WHOLE argument fails, because you CANNOT and WILL NEVER be able to show that our teachings are in any way different from St Cyril who you call Orthodox.

Quote
We could even produce evidence that the 6th Council, which proclaimed the two wills of Christ, is as much or even more of a problem for Non-Chalcedonians than the 4th.

Again, the Monothelite controversy was YOUR controversy not ours. We didn't have to deal with. So the burden is on you to explain what exactly you mean when you say Christ is in TWO WILLS? Again, a Nestorian could have a field day with that expression if left on its own...it needs INTERPRETATION.  The same thing is said of an expression of ONE UNITED WILL.  What does it mean when we say that?  When you compare the two interpretations of the two different formulas you come to the same one truth.  Again, this to me is simple logic.

Linus, believe me, the for 1500 years the Copts probably didn't care at all for any reunion with the Byzantine Church. It's only in our current circumstances in the West where those of us who immigrated to places like the US have begun to see how much more of a witness Orthodoxy can be if we are united.  We are both minorities here and I myself have benefited greatly from reading books by EO and visiting EO monasteries etc... But the Copts are in no way in need of proving our Orthodoxy for any other reason.  We are, thanks to 1500 years of blessings from God, the one Church that has proabably given most to Christianity in terms of martyrs, monasticism, theology, etc...  We are, thanks to God, lacking nothing. Try visiting Egypt sometime and go to the ancient monasteries where you can see for yourself the blessings and grace of God at work - miracles, saints, weeping icons, clairvoyant elders, etc... are in abundance.  Please don't come accross as condescnding in your attitude towards us...we need nothing from you to complete our Orthodoxy.  It is love and forginess on our part that drives our quest for unity among Orthodox...please see it only in that light.

In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #137 on: May 19, 2004, 07:52:37 PM »

Peace,
Quote
St Cyril of Alexandria was a thug as was his uncle St Theophilus, who persecuted St John Chrysostom.  St Athanasius was deposed the first time for having the Melitian priest Isychos beat up. Your St Dioscorus persecuted our St Flavian.  The fact of the matter is, back in those days things were different.  We can't judge people based on their cultural context.  People were not as reserved as they are now.

anastasios

1- I find it troubling to undermine the Coptic Fathers they way you do. While disputed figures from your side like St.Dioscoros or St.Severes might be subjected to your criticism , I found it very distressing to label a great saint you don't (because you can't) dispute hisorthodoxy as "thug" . Linus once before accused St.Athansius with cutting deals with Arians. Why do you then venerate these "thugs" ?  

2- St.Theophilos's anathema against St.Chryssostom was a mistake we acknoweldge, and that is why St.John the Chryssostom is a saint in our church. The anathemas were reversed on the time of St.Cyril, who you call thug, as his uncle St.Theophilos (the other thug) rethought his decision . But I wonder , whether based on the false evidence presented by the clergy of Constantinople there could have been any other decision concerning St.John the Chryssostom from any other person......
I wish the Chalcedonians have the same fair attitude towards Pope Leo of Rome and reconsider his position. See the difference ?
 
3- Your accounts about St.Athanasius beating up any person to death are false. I hope you don't bring up the story of the amputation of glands of the same monk which the Arian council used against the greatest of all orthodox Fathers St.Athanasius. Again, just trying to tarnish the history our most blessed Fathers as long as they are Coptic.

4- Patriarch Flavian was a heretic who failed to confess the  Orthodox Faith in front of the Holy Synod in Ephesus II and as such deserved excommunication. Whether he was beaten to death or whatever happened to him afterwards is not the problem of the most blessed and honored St.Dioscoros, you have only your people to condemn. St.Dioscoros did not sentence him to death nor did he issue total anihilation and vicious persecution decress against the people of Constantinople as Pope Leo of Rome did against ALexandria after Chalcedon, a tradition the Vicars of Christ and the Patriarchs of Constantinople were very careful to follow.
It is interesting, however, that diposed Patriarch Flavian wrote letters after his alleged "murder". In addition, the only source we have on this is Leo Of Rome himself. He has interests which conflicted at many times with the truth, and as such is not a trusted source.

5- As for your excuse for the crimes of CHalcedonians, I don't see the logic behind it. The comparison with the notorious mass murderers I made before still holds. Do you excuse Sultan Muhamed El-Fatih for the masacres upon his conquer of Constantinople in 1453 a.d.? Do you think that Sultan Abd El-Hamid's crimes against the Armenians in 1916 are justified because he is just the product of his time ?

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #138 on: May 19, 2004, 07:53:00 PM »

Good post, Raouf.
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« Reply #139 on: May 19, 2004, 08:01:20 PM »

Raouf and Stavro,
Perhaps you OO's should get together with peterfarrington and get your stories straight.
Were the Ecumenical Patriarch not engaged in more pressing matters, I would fax him tomorrow morn and beg him to stop any dialogue with the Oriental communion. That certainly seems to be what you wish.
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« Reply #140 on: May 20, 2004, 07:57:19 AM »

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Raouf: Again, the Monothelite controversy was YOUR controversy not ours. We didn't have to deal with.

The Monothelite controversy arose as a result of an attempt by the Emperor Heraclius, acting through Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople, to appease the Monophysites.

It was not a controversy for Non-Chalcedonians precisely because Monothelitism is not controversial for them - it's what they believe already!

For the Orthodox, however, Monothelitism was the imposition of heresy by a heavy-handed emperor and his lackeys among the clergy.

Pope St. Martin I, St. Maximus the Confessor, St. Anastasius, and their brethren gave their lives defending the Orthodox doctrine of the two wills of Christ.

That doctrine was vindicated by the Holy Spirit at the Sixth Council, in Constantinople, in 680.

But you all don't accept that council either, do you?
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« Reply #141 on: May 20, 2004, 11:55:11 AM »

Raouf and Stavro,
Perhaps you OO's should get together with peterfarrington and get your stories straight.
Were the Ecumenical Patriarch not engaged in more pressing matters, I would fax him tomorrow morn and beg him to stop any dialogue with the Oriental communion. That certainly seems to be what you wish.
Demetri
Not at all, Demetri. It is not our wish to stop any dialogue, and frankly, we, "internet wise", have no influence in this process. We trust out hierarchs , who are led by the HOLY SPIRIT. We know that the way the EO confess their Christology is sound, regardless of the shift in theology between the 4th and 5th council.  

Whether a union or not, it will not affect our Church as the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church of Christ.  The superior attitude from the Chalcedonian is totally unjustified, and it shows that the Chalcedonian did not get rid of the problems that caused the schism in the first place. One cannot ask from the OO more than they already gave and sacrificed for the sake of this union.

As for the problems facing H.H. (right title ??) The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, may the Lord help him out with them. Not doubt these are sad developments, and the way it affects the union dialogue is not certain.  

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #142 on: May 20, 2004, 12:08:42 PM »

Dear Demetri,

I find it amazing that this is the conclusion you reach!  I have posted many times on this forum and on this topic and supplied plenty of insight into where I stand.  

The fact is that the presupposition that we have to prove ourselves, or enter into your Church, or accept your councils, your saints, etc..all the while rejecting our own is simply ridiculous but this is precisely the attitude of most fundamentalist protestant converts into Orthodoxy...it shows a real insecurity.

This "subforum" called "Non-Chalcedonian Discussions" in my opinion is a failure since the only thing we ever discuss is a defense of our position on Chalcedon.  I am done here...God bless all of you and may the Lord remember us all in His Kingdom!

In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #143 on: May 20, 2004, 01:49:01 PM »

Not at all, Demetri. It is not our wish to stop any dialogue, and frankly, I have no influence in this process. We trust out hierarchs , who are led by the HOLY SPIRIT. We know that the way the EO confess their Christology is sound, regardless of the shift in theology between the 4th and 5th council.

Ah, it's good to see that my friend Stavro keeps a cooler head than his friend Raouf. I figured I would stir this up some and stop the useless polemics.
Quote
Whether a union or not, it will not affect our Church as the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church of Christ.  The superior attitude from the Chalcedonian is totally unjustified, and it shows that the Chalcedonian did not get rid of the problems that caused the schism in the first place. One cannot ask from the OO more than they already gave and sacrificed for the sake of this union.

But of course that "our Church as the One Holy, etc..." is something to which my side would still have to say "We don't know", yet. Wink . And, I would like to know exactly what you have "sacrificed" for the re-union.

Quote
As for the problems facing H.H. (right title ??) The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, may the Lord help him out with them. Not doubt these are sad developments, and the way it affects the union dialogue is not certain.  

I would rather think that without His All-Holiness' support from the Church of Constantinople, the rest of the Greek Orthodox Churches (Jerusalem, Alexandria, Cyprus, Greece, maybe Antioch) would cease dialogue altogether. My read is that the non-Greek churches -Georgian, Slavic, and maybe Romanian already view this with suspicion or a jaundiced eye to say the least.

Demetri
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« Reply #144 on: May 20, 2004, 03:42:07 PM »

Peace,
Quote
Ah, it's good to see that my friend Stavro keeps a cooler head than his friend Raouf. I figured I would stir this up some and stop the useless polemics.
I think you misinterpreted Raouf's position and character. I know him from a different site, and he is resourceful in many areas of christianity. I think he just would not take abuse more than this by Linus and the others.
Quote
But of course that "our Church as the One Holy, etc..." is something to which my side would still have to say "We don't know", yet.
Which is irrelevant, I must say.......
Quote
And, I would like to know exactly what you have "sacrificed" for the re-union.
Simply and foremost,among other reasons, millions were martyred because of their Orthodoxy between 451-641 a.d.. Not even an apology was issued from your hierarchs condemning these persecution periods. Nothing, null. But we hear so many cries about a single person like Patriarch Falvian, a heretic, whose alleged murder we have nothing to do with.
Quote
My read is that the non-Greek churches -Georgian, Slavic, and maybe Romanian already view this with suspicion or a jaundiced eye to say the least.
How much weight do these churches exercise ? Also, didn't Constantinople split with the Greek ?

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #145 on: May 20, 2004, 08:09:51 PM »

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Stavro: I think you misinterpreted Raouf's position and character. I know him from a different site, and he is resourceful in many areas of christianity. I think he just would not take abuse more than this by Linus and the others.

Face it: you folks do not like me (I think you hate me, actually) because I believe we really do not share the same faith.

Any objective observer who looks back on these posts, however, will see that I have abused no one.

I may have addressed the issues and the differences between us very bluntly - perhaps without enough tact - but I have not engaged in personal attacks. I restricted myself to doctrine and history.

On the other hand, I have been subjected to repeated personal attacks.

I have been told that I am "ignorant," "seem bitter," and am "resisting the Holy Spirit."

Very often the topic of this and other threads in this forum seems to be me and my shortcomings as a Christian and a human being.

What can I say?

I have many shortcomings!

 Grin
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« Reply #146 on: May 21, 2004, 12:15:26 PM »

Sorry, Stavro, the facts are as I presented them.  Many fathers on both sides would be considered thugs in our day.  The account of Athanasius's first deposition was a fact.  He was of course restored to his see and is an Orthodox saint that I highly regard, but we can't pretend that these things didn't happen. You seem to want to throw around every little accusation you can find against Eastern Orthodox saints but God forbid the Eastern Orthodox point out the way that your fathers likewise acted in a similiar way in this time frame and you get furious.

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« Reply #147 on: May 21, 2004, 12:18:08 PM »

Stavro,

I also was not discussing massacres but was only referring to ecclesiastical strongarming when I said to judge according to the standards of our time.  Murder is always a sin.

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« Reply #148 on: June 14, 2004, 01:15:33 PM »

Anastasios,
Quote
Anastasius:The account of Athanasius's first deposition was a fact.  He was of course restored to his see and is an Orthodox saint that I highly regard, but we can't pretend that these things didn't happen.
No they are not, and you might check your sources again. It never happened, and one cannot prove a negative as your honored person might know.
There is too much contradiction in your position regarding Orthodox saints. You maintain that they are saints, yet you believe them to be thugs. Note that before they are defenders of faith, they must be christians full of the Holy Spirit first. The fruits of the spirit cannot be killing, conspiracy and deceit.
I understand that the EO venerate Leo of Rome, Theodret and Justianian  Wink and other criminals and heretics and they don't care about the crimes they committed. Neither do I, but leave our OO saints out of this and don't try to justify the shameful acts of YOUR fathers by pretending that this is common in all churches. St.Athanasius, St.Cyril and the rest of the OO saints were NOT thugs.
Quote
Anastasius:You seem to want to throw around every little accusation you can find against Eastern Orthodox saints but God forbid the Eastern Orthodox point out the way that your fathers likewise acted in a similiar way in this time frame
WHat you relate about the OO saints such as St.Athanasius and St.Cyril is false. The standards are different. We don't venerate killers like you do. But at least you acknowledge the crimes of your Fathers, which is a step others can't take. I am also glad that you acknowledge that the EO cannot claim that St.Cyril and St.Athanasius belong to their tradition. They for sure are not Fathers of Leo of Rome and Nestorianism.  

There is too much contradiction in your tradition. Your confess the 4th and 5th synod to be holy, yet they contradict each other and the 5th council anathemizes the leaders of Chalcedon. You have saints, who are thugs. You believe in Rome's SUpremacy and its necessity, yet you don't follow Rome or believe them to be Orthodox for the last 1000 years.

This contradiction shows in the way you run the show. You have a respectful site with plenty of effort invested in it. One cannot deny that. Is it your intention to "market" Orthodoxy ? If so, how does the lies spread about the Orthodox saints like St.Athansius on this site, which you accused of crimes and  Linus accused of heresy work towards achieving this end ?

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #149 on: June 14, 2004, 01:57:53 PM »

Stavro,

So who did order the beating-up of Isychos the Meletian then?

anastasios
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« Reply #150 on: June 14, 2004, 04:30:15 PM »

Anastasios,
is this the best you can do ? "Who ordered the beating then"? Maybe we use different approach to matters when it comes to research.
May the Lord bless your soul.
Stavro
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« Reply #151 on: June 14, 2004, 04:30:52 PM »

Maybe you can answer the question?  I know I'd like to know.
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« Reply #152 on: June 14, 2004, 05:12:17 PM »

Hey Stavro....

A while back in this thread you stated that Flavian was a Heretic and refused to profess Orthodoxy.

Please let me know why he was a heretic. What was his heresy? In what way did he refuse to profess Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #153 on: June 14, 2004, 05:25:38 PM »

Stavro,

I am not going to argue with you.  The case of Isychos the priest is well documented and that's all I am going to say about it.  You call our saints killers and that is purely offensive to me.  You call our site a failure but that's ok, we are not judged by your standards.

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« Reply #154 on: June 14, 2004, 05:34:59 PM »

Maybe you can answer the question?  I know I'd like to know.
Gladly, Schulz. The answer is simply:"It did not happen". One cannot prove a negative, the burden is on the one who makes the claim to prove his claims. St.Athanasius was falsely accused of sorcery as well. Should we spend time searching whether such accusation is true or not, if there is no documents or teachings by the Contra Mundum expressing such things ?

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #155 on: June 14, 2004, 05:41:39 PM »

Hey Starvo....

A while back in this thread you stated that Flavian was a Heretic and refused to profess Orthodoxy.

Please let me know why he was a heretic. What was his heresy? In what way did he refuse to profess Orthodoxy?
He refused to confess Orthodoxy in front of Ephesus II, refusing to accept the Cyrillian language of Ephesus I and favoring a Nestorian one for the two natures.
Consult "Chalcedon Re-examined" for the references.


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« Reply #156 on: June 14, 2004, 05:44:53 PM »

But Stavro, I don't understand.

You can't accept the NCs and their saints being called heretics for refusing to accept Chalcedonian terminology, yet Flavian was a heretic for not accepting NC terminology! It seems that you have a double standard. Your saints are surely not heretics just because they don't accept our terminology, but our saints are because they didn't accept your questionable terminology?! That is absurd!
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« Reply #157 on: June 14, 2004, 05:57:57 PM »

Stavro,

I am not going to argue with you.  The case of Isychos the priest is well documented and that's all I am going to say about it.  You call our saints killers and that is purely offensive to me.  You call our site a failure but that's ok, we are not judged by your standards.

anastasios
1- Nor am I going to argue with you. I made my point and I believe it came across.

2- You find it offensive that your saints are called killers. What about your claims that my saints are killers ? You might say instead: " He ordered him killed", or any fancy language. I use the words bluntly.
And, sure, the insults and lies spread by a distinguished Chalcedonian on this forum does not catch your attention.

3- I didn't say that the whole site is a failure. One has to admit, and with joy, that there is a great effort done to make it a resourceful site for those who seek Orthodoxy.
I said that the forum, meaning the Non-Chalcedonian one, is a failure, and I totally adhere to my opinion. This conclusion is shared by many who left the forum for being abused by the same distinguished Chalcedonian and misrepresented in front of any truth seeker by hate sites, with the full back-up by the site administrators. What conclusion should one draw from this situation ? Being repeatedly put on the defensive draws our energies in what could have been a rather more joyful experience. This was not done in controversial topics only,  but even in simple inquiries about the OO churches. Any member who asks about the Coptic Church has to be confronted with a load of garbage and lies by the distiniguished Chalcedonian to scare him away.
I did not see any actions taken against him to stop him from this attitude, which is disappointing.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #158 on: June 14, 2004, 05:59:55 PM »

He could have adhered to any other terminology as long as it was Orthodox. He choose to follow Nestorius and refused to confess Orthodoxy.

But Stavro, I don't understand.

You can't accept the NCs and their saints being called heretics for refusing to accept Chalcedonian terminology, yet Flavian was a heretic for not accepting NC terminology! It seems that you have a double standard. Your saints are surely not heretics just because they don't accept our terminology, but our saints are because they didn't accept your questionable terminology?! That is absurd!
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« Reply #159 on: June 14, 2004, 06:05:39 PM »

Stavro,

We have chided the "prominent Chalcedonian" you refer to many times, both publicly and privately.  If you read his posts, he has oftentimes said we are unfair to him and threatened to quit, so I don't believe your accuastion holds water.  We try to keep the peace but we have to balance people's freedom to post on a forum such as this that is unofficial with the need for objectivity and truth, and ultimately a search for what is right.

Sometimes posters go over the edge but that can't be helped.  Every time there has been an argument I have always stuck up for my conviction that Non-Chalcedonians are Orthodox, and have drawn fire from my fellow Chalcedonians for it. But I don't care, it's the truth as far as I am concerned.

You are the only Non-Chalcedonian I have ever seen on this forum get so riled up.  I am sure you feel angry when people post against your Church but you fight fire by fire. I have much more appreciation for Raouf who suffered quietly and peacefully left.  That being said, it greives me when people do leave because we have always tried to manage the forum.

When Peter and Linus are not busy fighting each other, usually the discussions are profitable and that's why we keep the Non-Chalcedonian folder open. Perhaps you are right it has been a failure though and just proves the two sides will never be united. I certainly hope that is not the case. Sad  What I do know is that Phil, Bobby, David, Peter, John, Nektarios, and I may just have to come up with a different way of running the folder.

anastasios
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« Reply #160 on: June 14, 2004, 06:11:25 PM »

He could have adhered to any other terminology as long as it was Orthodox. He choose to follow Nestorius and refused to confess Orthodoxy.

What other terminology could he have used? You seem to think he was a heretic just becuase he said Christ was one person in two natures, which is totally orthodox! Christ is fully human and fully God, and his two natures though united into one person, for certainly we do not have two Christs, are not mixed or somehow absorbed by each other. So what is wrong with speaking of two natures? What is heretical about such terminology?!
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« Reply #161 on: June 14, 2004, 06:22:25 PM »

Ben,
but this is not how he confessed the faith. A terminology is orthodox as long as you maintain the unity betwen both natures, and you don't adopt a Nestorian or at a later time a Leonist interpretation, which separates both natures completely. St.Cyril taught us not to talk about the two natures after the incarnation.
This is not double standard. I do not follow the new trend of aquitting heretics of their heresies. He was in front of very able bishops who judged him for what he confessed. He might have been a very good man though, yet he believed in a heretical view of the natures of Christ.
Now, how is that different than the case with St.Dioscoros ? Chalcedon did not accuse St.Dioscoros of any heresy, it was a demotion or whatever it is called from the accusations against him from Theodret and others.

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« Reply #162 on: June 14, 2004, 06:36:18 PM »

Anastasios,
I have my shortcomings, and I do not claim to be right all the time and I might indeed have made mistakes in the choice of language which came across as harsh. I am different than Raouf (using the same example you used), and I acknowledge his more peaceful attitude. For that I ask forgiveness.
In the same time, I hope you really review your policy concerning this forum. Raouf and many other could have really added a lot to all forums.
It was a joy to find a site that advocates Orthodoxy, but there is no need to attack OO. It will not help your cause.
As for unity, nobody knows what will happen. It seems there are positive steps made, but the same old problems will remain a challenge.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #163 on: June 14, 2004, 08:29:51 PM »


What I do know is that Phil, Bobby, David, Peter, John, Nektarios, and I may just have to come up with a different way of running the folder.

anastasios

Amen!  Maybe you should try having a "debate" section separate from the main body of the Non-Chalcedonian forum itself.  But then again, this might not be helpful, because it seems to me that some folks ask questions that they know will be provocative.  They know that some people will jump in and say "This is not orthodox!" and that others will jump in and say "Yes it is!", and then they just get to sit back and watch the fireworks while we tear each other apart like pit bulls.  I guess its easier than actually doing the research for yourself though. Maybe questions like that should be coralled in a debate folder as well, because we all know what the outcome will be.

Also, Anastasios, if you truly do believe that we are Orthodox, why not call this the Oriental Orthodox forum instead of the "Non-Chalcedonian" forum?  Our Churches don't define themselves exclusively by their rejection of that synod.  Our beginnings date to the first century, not the fifth.

And I have to agree with Stavro that a stricter standard seems to be applied to the Oriental Orthodox.  We have to sit and listen to terms like "Latriconium" and allegations that our saints are thugs, etc., and if we respond in kind we get a stern red lettered warning right away.  I used to enjoy coming here, but not any more.  I try my best to stay out of the debates, but it seems that there is nothing else here.  Even Rustaveli's inquiry about the Coptic Church got derailed.


Stavro said: "I said that the forum, meaning the Non-Chalcedonian one, is a failure, and I totally adhere to my opinion. This conclusion is shared by many who left the forum for being abused by the same distinguished Chalcedonian and misrepresented in front of any truth seeker by hate sites, with the full back-up by the site administrators. What conclusion should one draw from this situation ? Being repeatedly put on the defensive draws our energies in what could have been a rather more joyful experience. This was not done in controversial topics only,  but even in simple inquiries about the OO churches. Any member who asks about the Coptic Church has to be confronted with a load of garbage and lies by the distiniguished Chalcedonian to scare him away.
I did not see any actions taken against him to stop him from this attitude, which is disappointing."

This is dead on.  

Hopefully, things can improve in the future.

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« Reply #164 on: June 15, 2004, 01:26:16 PM »

Peace,
Quote
Linus:Your sole support for these claims seems to be a book written (correct me if I am wrong) by a man from the Caribbean who became an Ethiopian priest.
This is the kind of insults Linus has been repeatedly and consistently directing to the OO.
Anastasios,
when I talk about bias, I know what I am talking about. The above racist comment by Linus does not draw your attention. It is freedom of posting, but God forbid anything should be said in a scholastic manner about church history that may dismay you, even if it supported by facts.
Ben,
I don't see you get upset here. You gave yourself the freedom to insult me for what you falsely perceive as a wrong opinion on my behalf, but you pass on racist comments. Talk about double standard !!  
 
Peace,
Stavro

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« Reply #165 on: June 15, 2004, 02:32:32 PM »

Stavro I don't think Linus's statement was racist, and I know he certainly didn't mean it to be taken that way!

I think everyone is just too sensitive right now, esp you Stavro and also Peter, that such comments as made by Linus are turned into something they are not.
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« Reply #166 on: June 15, 2004, 04:14:59 PM »

I'm not going to say that the comment was racist per se (although it had overtones which could be construed that way), but why is it important to mention that Fr. Selassie is from the Caribbean?  Why not just say "Your source is not impartial because it was written by an Non-Chalcedonian priest"?  I could see the same person who made this quote getting offended if someone dismissed a quote by Fr. Gilquist by saying "Your sole source is some book written by an ex-Evangelical born right here in the USA".  Why is the fact that Fr. Selassie is a West Indian "convert" and not an Oriental Orthodox "cradle" important in this context?
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« Reply #167 on: June 15, 2004, 04:53:02 PM »

Dear Anastasios,


the matter of Isychos the priest is indeed very well documented. May i humbly ask if you ever checked out other experts' opinion on the matter? Such as the fact that the reports written for the incident were done by imperial guards(police)? People who sought nothing but brining down Papa Athanasius? Does this not give the situation enough room to doubt that the incident evey happened?

Refer me to better arguments if possible, please.
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« Reply #168 on: June 15, 2004, 05:24:32 PM »

Anastasios,
when I talk about bias, I know what I am talking about. The above racist comment by Linus does not draw your attention. It is freedom of posting, but God forbid anything should be said in a scholastic manner about church history that may dismay you, even if it supported by facts.

Stavro,

It didn't draw my attention BECAUSE I AM OUT OF TOWN AND JUST SIGNED ON TO THE FORUM AFTER 24 HOURS AWAY. I do not spend twenty four hours a day online. Please stop engaging me personally.

Linus, why does it matter if the man is from the Carribbean? Would you like to clarify yourself because it sounded racist to me as well.

anastasios
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« Reply #169 on: June 15, 2004, 05:25:23 PM »

Mourad,

I'll tell you what: when I get back to my home I will speak with my professor and ask him to discuss the sources we used in class for the case of Isychos and then start a new thread.

anastasios
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« Reply #170 on: June 15, 2004, 05:49:40 PM »

Anastasios,
thanks for taking necessary actions to stop the unnecessary comments by Linus.
Stavro
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« Reply #171 on: June 15, 2004, 06:02:33 PM »

Stavro,

What actions did Anastasios take?

All he did was ask Linus for a clarification, something you should have done before jumping to conclusions and assuming Linus meant it in a racist context.
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« Reply #172 on: June 15, 2004, 06:41:47 PM »

Wow guys, is it me or is this all really getting out of hand? I mean, to the point where it seems some of us are losing our peace over this? I think some consideration is necessary before passions start working harder than they already are (scary thing, really).

Pray for me,
mourad
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« Reply #173 on: June 15, 2004, 07:27:03 PM »

Stavro,

...jumping to conclusions and assuming Linus meant it in a racist context.

It did sound dismissive of the man simply because he is from the Caribbean.
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« Reply #174 on: June 15, 2004, 07:33:58 PM »

Stavro,

What actions did Anastasios take?

All he did was ask Linus for a clarification, something you should have done before jumping to conclusions and assuming Linus meant it in a racist context.
Honored and Respected Member of this forum, Ben,
Whatever conclusions you draw,together with your advice, keep it for yourself.
Dismissing one's opinion because of his ethnicity is racism. I don't ask Linus for clarifications, he made his intentions and racist inclinations clear over and over again.

Stavro
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« Reply #175 on: June 15, 2004, 07:34:14 PM »

Quote
It did sound dismissive of the man simply because he is from the Caribbean.


I understand, but the proper thing to do, as Anastasios did, is to ask for a clarification before jumping to such conclusions.
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« Reply #176 on: June 15, 2004, 07:36:28 PM »

Honored and Respected Member of this forum, Ben,
Whatever conclusions you draw,together with your advice, keep it for yourself.
Dismissing one's opinion because of his ethnicity is racism. I don't ask Linus for clarifications, he made his intentions and racist inclinations clear over and over again.

Stavro

I personally think it wise to ask for a clarification first, as Anastasios did. That it my opinion and unless told to by a Admin or a Mod, I will not keep it to myself.

My question still stands, what actions did Anastasios take against Linus? Did he not just ask for a clarification?

And may I ask how Linus has made his racist inclinations clear over and over again? Isn't think all about one comment in one of his posts? I was unaware that he has made statements like that before, could you please direct me to them?
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« Reply #177 on: June 15, 2004, 07:44:47 PM »

I understand, but the proper thing to do, as Anastasios did, is to ask for a clarification before jumping to such conclusions.

I didn't jump to any conclusions.  I just said I see how it could be construed as racism, or at least being dismissive of the man because of his national origin.  It is also ironic coming from a person who doesn't like to hear "cradle" Orthodox make remarks about ex-Protestant converts.  Just my opinion though.  And like you, I have no problem in stating it unless admonished by one of our monitors.
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« Reply #178 on: June 15, 2004, 07:46:43 PM »

Quote
I personally think it wise to ask for a clarification first, as Anastasios did. That it my opinion and unless told to by a Admin or a Mod, I will not keep it to myself.
Don't direct your advice to me. I don't need your attitude. And your double standard , better called hypocrisy, stinks.
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« Reply #179 on: June 15, 2004, 07:46:58 PM »

Antonious I know you didn't jump to any conclustions, but Stavro did. And my post that you quoted was addressed to Stavro.
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« Reply #180 on: June 15, 2004, 07:49:28 PM »

Don't direct your advice to me. I don't need your attitude. And your double standard , better called hypocrisy, stinks.

Stavro....

I am sorry if you think my attitude stinks, I don't mean to offend you, and I don't think you should get so upset. I just honesltly think you should have asked for a clarification first, but thats just my opinion.

Once again, how did Anasatasios take action against Linus? How and where has Linus made his racists inclincations clear over and over again? And please show me where I have embraced some type of double standard.
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« Reply #181 on: June 15, 2004, 08:02:48 PM »

Antonious I know you didn't jump to any conclustions, but Stavro did. And my post that you quoted was addressed to Stavro.

I thought it was addressed to me because you quoted me in the post where you made the statement. Huh
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« Reply #182 on: June 15, 2004, 08:04:32 PM »

Oy....You quoted one of my posts to Stavro, and then I quoted your post in one, and then you quoted that post in a post to me. It all started with me telling Stavro that maybe he should seek a clarification from Linus b4 jumping to conclusions and then quoting me on that. Sorry for any confusion!
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« Reply #183 on: June 15, 2004, 08:15:16 PM »

Ben,
try reading any post by Linus about the Coptic Church, for example.
Your double standard is amplified when you insult me, but jump very quick to point what you perceive as an insult.
And in the end, you are right, maybe Anastasios did not take enough actions.Just asking for a clarification for an obvious racist comment is disappointing, but expected.

And again:"Do not direct your posts to me". This should be simple to understand. I don't see a reason and there is no motive to communicate with you.  
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« Reply #184 on: June 15, 2004, 08:19:24 PM »

I was just saying that I can easily see how Stavro or anyone else would reach that conclusion.  Man, this forum has become little more than a battle royale..... :'(  The Oriental Orthodox really need a place where we can post in peace and not always have to debate Chalcedon.
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« Reply #185 on: June 15, 2004, 08:24:26 PM »

Ben,
try reading any post by Linus about the Coptic Church, for example.
Your double standard is amplified when you insult me, but jump very quick to point what you perceive as an insult.
And in the end, you are right, maybe Anastasios did not take enough actions.Just asking for a clarification for an obvious racist comment is disappointing, but expected.

And again:"Do not direct your posts to me". This should be simple to understand. I don't see a reason and there is no motive to communicate with you.  


Stavro...

I do not see how I have insulted you, all I did was state my opinion that you should seek a clarification from Linus.

And honestly I have seen many of Linus's posts and only one has contained anything that can be taken in a racist context. You have stated that he has "clearly" shown his racist inclinations over and over again. I really want to know if that is true, and if it is a mod needs to do something about it. However, if it is not true and you are just saying that then you have committed slander and should apologize. Please, I am asking nicely, show me where Linus has clearly shown his racism.

As for Anastasios, I think he did the right thing. He is a good Admin and works very hard.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2004, 08:25:56 PM by Ben » Logged

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« Reply #186 on: June 17, 2004, 02:10:29 AM »

Quote
Man, this forum has become little more than a battle royale.....   The Oriental Orthodox really need a place where we can post in peace and not always have to debate Chalcedon.

I wholeheartedly agree.

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« Reply #187 on: June 17, 2004, 05:56:34 PM »

I wish so always. There are forums devoted to Coptic Orthodox like coptichymns but I like having a mix of folk, but not all this aggression. I don't see why we can't post from our pov (and we know it is our pov and is not accepted by everyone) but why can't we post from our pov without having Byzantine opinion thrust down our throats. I already know the Byzantine POV

Could you not introduce a filter so that posts would not display from people in a personal list?
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« Reply #188 on: June 17, 2004, 06:33:30 PM »

I wish so always. There are forums devoted to Coptic Orthodox like coptichymns but I like having a mix of folk, but not all this aggression. I don't see why we can't post from our pov (and we know it is our pov and is not accepted by everyone) but why can't we post from our pov without having Byzantine opinion thrust down our throats. I already know the Byzantine POV

Could you not introduce a filter so that posts would not display from people in a personal list?

Wait a minute.

Nobody bothers you when you stick with non-controversial material.

It is only when you begin badmouthing the Council of Chalcedon and Fathers like St. Leo - while simultaneously attempting to present yourself as the emissary of peace, love, and unity - that you encounter resistance.

Whom did you expect to encounter here?

People wholly without convictions?
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« Reply #189 on: June 17, 2004, 07:20:58 PM »

Linus, why do you feel the need to monitor what we say?  You know that this folder is for Non-Chalcedonian discussion.  You know that views will be expressed here with which you do not agree.  What good  will your attempts to police us do?

You act as if this is an Eastern Orthodox forum, and we are merely tolerated guests.  This is not the case.  Your views are obviously in contradiction to those of the administrators and moderators, who have stated that this is merely an Orthodox forum, and they include us in that definition.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2004, 07:22:15 PM by Antonious Nikolas » Logged

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