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Author Topic: John Paul II and the Assryian Church of the East  (Read 13944 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 11, 2004, 10:57:29 PM »

http://www.cired.org/photos/church_1.html

Can anyone tell me the sigficance of this document?
What did it exactly say?
Are the RCC and ACE (Assyrian Church of the East) any where near formal union?


I know the Assyrians aren't OO's...well I don't think they are, but I didn't know where else to ask this.

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2004, 11:05:12 PM »

Oh never mind...I found it..... http://www.cired.org/cat/03_Common_Christological_Dec.pdf
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2004, 11:13:17 PM »

Arent they Nestorian ?? Shocked
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2004, 11:18:36 PM »

lol.....I don't know...but if you click on the link in my second post...and read the comon declaration, the top of the second page states that both side respect the way they address the Blessed Virgin, and both sides share in the same faith on the matter.

It is interesting that the OO's aren't heretics, but the Assyrians are? You Orthodox sure are confused, no offense!
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2004, 11:18:51 PM »

My understanding of this is that the RC's, after dialogue with the Assyrians, recognise that Nestorius wasn't a Nestorian (the former being the individual, the latter being the heresy bearing his name), and so those following Nestorius' actual teaching are not Nestorian either.  Assyrians, in turn, recognise the validity of calling the Virgin Mary "Theotokos", even if they don't explicitly use that terminology (I've heard that they refer to her as "Mother of Christ our God", but I don't have a source for that).  

There is great cooperation between Catholics and Assyrians today, especially after the Common Christological Declaration.  Perhaps Dn. Lance or Amadeus could tell us more about their Church's perspective on the Assyrians?
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2004, 11:21:49 PM »

It is interesting that the OO's aren't heretics, but the Assyrians are? You Orthodox sure are confused, no offense!

Well, there is a difference.  From what I've gathered, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, in dialoguing with each other, have come to realise that, in spite of different ways of expression, they share substantially the same faith.  However, in dialoguing with Assyrians, both EO and OO have com to realise that, in spite of different ways of expression, they share substantially a different faith.  Again, no source for that, and I should've been in bed twenty minutes ago so I'm gonna make this quick.  Others are free to correct me on this.
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2004, 11:28:35 PM »

Mor the comon declaration does state that the Assryians do call Mary, "Mother of Christ our Lord and God." However, they do commemorate Nestorius on their Litrugical Calendar. I have heard that the Hallowing of Mar Nestorius is actually quite beautiful.
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2004, 11:31:21 PM »

Well, there is a difference.  From what I've gathered, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, in dialoguing with each other, have come to realise that, in spite of different ways of expression, they share substantially the same faith.  However, in dialoguing with Assyrians, both EO and OO have com to realise that, in spite of different ways of expression, they share substantially a different faith.  Again, no source for that, and I should've been in bed twenty minutes ago so I'm gonna make this quick.  Others are free to correct me on this.  

In what way is the Assyrian faith different from the Coptic Faith? Or the Greek Orthodox Faith? You say that the EO and OO have a different faith than the Assyrians, so I am wondering what exactly is so different?
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2004, 11:34:40 PM »

"THE HALLOWING OF MAR NESTORIUS, patriarch of Byzantium, which is the city of Constantinople, the unbloody martyr, persecuted for the truth of the orthodox confession." - http://www.cired.org/liturgy/nestorius.html


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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2004, 11:36:17 PM »

The case of the Assyrians is much different than the Oriental Orthodox.  But if you want to read up on the Assyrian theology, go to the cired website and read these documents: http://www.cired.org/east.html

I think a reading of Nestorius makes it clear that his theology, while not what he was accused of, was still wrong.

I like the Assyrians but the fact they commemorate Nestorius bothers me.  Also, they base their Christology on Theodore of Mopsuestia, who was actually a very good theologian, but who was condemned posthumously at Constantinople II (the Three Chapters--I don't think that was really the moving of the Holy Spirit but the moving of St Justinian!).  Anyway, Theodore I think can be understood "in an Orthodox manner" but it's a stretch to do that for ol' Nestorius.

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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2004, 11:37:09 PM »

Not being an expert on the Assyrians, I cannot tell you what the differences are.  I know what I've been taught; I also know that in the RCC's official theological opinion, what I've been taught about them is not entirely correct.  What I want to know is on what basis Catholics have concluded that the Assyrians are not heretics, and on what basis, if at all, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox still insist, contrary to what the RC's now believe, that Assyrians are Nestorians.
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2004, 11:37:27 PM »

In what way is the Assyrian faith different from the Coptic Faith? Or the Greek Orthodox Faith? You say that the EO and OO have a different faith than the Assyrians, so I am wondering what exactly is so different?

Nestorius taught that the Word took a human and that the properties of divinity and humanity WERE NOT SHARED in reality (communicatio idomatum).

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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2004, 11:43:59 PM »

But aren't there OO Saints that were condemned by Ecmenical Councils? Isn't OO christology based on those who were condemnd by the Church?

I'm asking cause I really don't know, not to start some anti-OO thread.
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2004, 11:44:38 PM »

I found this REALLY interesting - http://www.cired.org/east/0303_nestorius_of_constantinople.pdf

All you EOs out there.....when you get chance read the article...its kinda long but very informative and interesting. lol....don't think I'm trying to turn you all in Nestorians, I just think it's an interesting article worth reading.

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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2004, 11:49:13 PM »

Nestorius taught that the Word took a human and that the properties of divinity and humanity WERE NOT SHARED in reality (communicatio idomatum).

anastasios

Then the Assyrians aren't Nestorians....read the comon declaration of faith between the Assyrians and the RCC.
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2004, 11:52:57 PM »

Right, but they commemorate a heretic nevertheless.

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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2004, 11:53:26 PM »

PS I am interested in dialogue with the Assyrians but AFTER there is a union between EO and OO--no need to spread ourselves too thin!
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2004, 11:57:54 PM »

Right, but they commemorate a heretic nevertheless.

anastasios

Back to one of my previous questions, don't the OOs commemorate those who were condemened by the Ecumenical Councils? Aren't some of the OO saints considered heretics by the EO?

Once again, I'm asking because I don't know, not because I want to create some anti-OO thread
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2004, 01:23:18 AM »

Ben

You inquired about how the EO and OO view the Assyrian Church. You also wanted to know how the EO view certain OO saints and theologians, since both these churches are in the process of uniting.

First, please read the OO’s view of Nestorius and the Assyrian Church: http://www.britishorthodox.org/nestor.php

Next please read the article about the unfruitful dialogue between the OO and the Assyrian Church. In it is also mentioned the dialogue between the RC and the Assyrian Church  which the OO were invited to witness:  http://www.britishorthodox.org/assyrian.php

Regarding the dialogue between the EO and the OO, they have issued a declaration on common faith stating that each Church recognized that the other is a true Apostolic Orthodox Church that has maintained the faith. Here is the link of their joint decleration:
http://www.britishorthodox.org/2church.php

Note this section that allowed the two Churches to declare that they have the same Orthodox faith:

Quote
Throughout our discussions we have found our common ground in the formula of our common Father, St. Cyril of Alexandria : mia physis hypostasis (he mia hypostasis)[1] tou Theou Logou sesarkomene, and in the dictum that "it is sufficient for the confession of our true and irreproachable faith to say and to confess that the Holy Virgin is Theotokos" (Hom : 15, cf. Ep. 39).

Great indeed is the wonderful mystery of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one True God, one ousia in three hypostases or three prosopa. Blessed be the Name of the Lord our God, for ever and ever.

Great indeed is also the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, for us and for our salvation.
The Logos, eternally consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit in His Divinity, has in these last days, become incarnate of the Holy Spirit and Blessed Virgin Mary Theotokos, and thus became man, consubstantial with us in His humanity but without sin. He is true God and true Man at the same time, perfect in His Divinity, perfect in His humanity. Because the one she bore in her womb was at the same time fully God as well as fully human we call the Blessed Virgin Theotokos.

When we speak of the one composite (synthetos) hypostasis of our Lord Jesus Christ, we do not say that in Him a divine hypostasis and a human hypostasis came together. It is that the one eternal hypostasis of the Second Person of the Trinity has assumed our created human nature in that act uniting it with His own uncreated divine nature, to form an inseparably and unconfusedly united real divine-human being, the natures being distinguished from each other in contemplation (theoria) only.

The hypostasis of the Logos before the incarnation, even with His divine nature, is of course not composite. The same hypostasis, as distinct from nature, of the Incarnate Logos, is not composite either. The unique theandric person (prosopon) of Jesus Christ is one eternal hypostasis Who has assumed human nature by the Incarnation. So we call that hypostasis composite, on account of the natures which are united to form one composite unity. It is not the case that our Fathers used physis and hypostasis always interchangeably and confused the one with the other. The term hypostasis can be used to denote both the person as distinct from nature, and also the person with the nature, for a hypostasis never in fact exists without a nature.

It is the same hypostasis of the Second Person of the Trinity, eternally begotten from the Father Who in these last days became a human being and was born of the Blessed Virgin. This is the mystery of the hypostatic union we confess in humble adoration - the real union of the divine with the human, with all the properties and functions of the uncreated divine nature, including natural will and natural energy, inseparably and unconfusedly united with the created human nature with all its properties and functions, including natural will and natural energy. It is the Logos Incarnate Who is the subject of all the willing and acting of Jesus Christ.

Especially important to your question Ben about the Assyrian Church is the following from the joined declaration of faith between the EO and the OO:

Quote
We agree in condemning the Nestorian and the Eutychian heresies. We neither separate nor divide the human nature in Christ from His divine nature, nor do we think that the former was absorbed in the latter and thus ceased to exist.

In their second agreed statement (also found in the article I linked to above) the two Churches had this to say about the Nestorian teachings:

Quote
2. Both families condemn the Nestorian heresy and the crypto-Nestorianism of Theodoret of Cyrus. They agree that it is not sufficient merely to say that Christ is consubstantial both with His Father and with us, by nature God and by nature man; it is necessary to affirm also that the Logos, Who is by nature God, became by nature Man, by His Incarnation in the fullness of time.

6. Both families agree in rejecting interpretations of Councils which do not fully agree with the Horos of the Third Ecumenical Council and the letter (433) of Cyril of Alexandria to John of Antioch.


 Regarding your question as to how the EO will view certain OO theologians and saints that were declared heretics, here is their agreed upon declaration:

Quote
9. In the light of our Agreed Statement on Christology as well as of the above common affirmations, we have now clearly understood that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition, though they have used Christological terms in different ways. It is this common faith and continuous loyalty to the Apostolic Tradition that should be the basis for our unity and communion.

10. Both families agree that all the anathemas and condemnations of the past which now divide us should be lifted by the Churches in order that the last obstacle to the full unity and communion of our two families can be removed by the grace and power of God. Both families agree that the lifting of anathemas and condemnations will be consummated on the basis that the Councils and Fathers previously anathematized or condemned are not heretical.

We therefore recommend to our Churches the following practical steps :

A. The Orthodox should lift all anathemas and condemnations against all Oriental Orthodox Councils and Fathers whom they have anathematised or condemned in the past.

B. The Oriental Orthodox should at the same time lift all anathemas and condemnations against all Orthodox Councils and fathers, whom they have anathematised or condemned in the past.

C. The manner in which the anathemas are to be lifted should be decided by the Churches individually.

Again please read their entire joint declaration of faith that details how the two Churches came to these conclusions: http://www.britishorthodox.org/2church.php

Here is also a progress report on the joint commission between the EO and the OO: http://www.britishorthodox.org/progress.php


I hope this answers your questions Ben.
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« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2004, 04:53:46 AM »

Hi Ben

I emailed the author of many of the articles at www.cired.org yesterday, Mar Bawai Soro, and I hope he is able to reply to me.

I found many of his articles stimulating and I believe his proposed methodology of seeking to get behind particular terminology and discover what is actually believed is necessary for all and any dialogue to be conducted in charity.

Although I find much of the information quite encouraging, really encouraging I mean, nevertheless, as I wrote to Mar Bawai, the use of the phrase 'two natures, two hypostases and one person', in whatever language it is presented is problematic.

But it is problematic because I am reading it with my understanding of what I think he means, not with his understanding of what he means. It may well be that we do have different Christologies, but there may also be many areas where disagreement is based on misunderstanding, and I'd like to take the time and effort to make sure that I at least am not perpetuating a stereotype of what a 'Nestorian heretic' should look like when in fact the reality is much more complex.

In fact the pov of the Assyrian Church is most interesting as it was reflected in the opinions of many of the Chalcedonian party between the time of St Cyril and into even the 8th century. I cannot understand this controversial period without seeking to understand those who still maintain what was an important thread in the doctrinal developments of that time.

Of course polemics would be easier but not so rewarding.

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« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2004, 12:30:24 PM »


Quote
You inquired about how the EO and OO view the Assyrian Church. You also wanted to know how the EO view certain OO saints and theologians, since both these churches are in the process of uniting.

Are they truly in the process of union? Will we see the union in our life time? And is there opposition to the Union? I am wondering how some of the more conservative jurisdictions, like ROCOR And the Orthodox Church of Greece - synod in resistance, views the process of union between the NCs and EOs.

Quote
First, please read the OO’s view of Nestorius and the Assyrian Church: http://www.britishorthodox.org/nestor.php

I don't have time right now, but when I get a chance I'll check out these links that you posted.

Quote
Next please read the article about the unfruitful dialogue between the OO and the Assyrian Church. In it is also mentioned the dialogue between the RC and the Assyrian Church  which the OO were invited to witness:  http://www.britishorthodox.org/assyrian.php

Will do....I'll read it as soon as I can...can't wait!  Smiley

Quote
Regarding the dialogue between the EO and the OO, they have issued a declaration on common faith stating that each Church recognized that the other is a true Apostolic Orthodox Church that has maintained the faith. Here is the link of their joint decleration:
http://www.britishorthodox.org/2church.php

Thanks for all the links!  Smiley Smiley

Quote
In their second agreed statement (also found in the article I linked to above) the two Churches had this to say about the Nestorian teachings

But the Assyrians are not Nestorians, read the comon Christological declaration between the Assyrian Church of the East and the RCC, I posted the link to it in this thread.

Quote
Regarding your question as to how the EO will view certain OO theologians and saints that were declared heretics, here is their agreed upon declaration:Again please read their entire joint declaration of faith that details how the two Churches came to these conclusions: http://www.britishorthodox.org/2church.php

Nestorius is an Assyrian Saint, and he was declared a Heretic, so can we hope that some day that won't matter because the Assyrians obviously don't follow his teachings  - again I refer you to the comon Christological declaration between the Assyrian Church of the East and the RCC.

Quote
Here is also a progress report on the joint commission between the EO and the OO: http://www.britishorthodox.org/progress.php

Thank you for all fo thinks, I really can't wait untill I have the time to check them all out!

It is interesting though that the Assyrian Church of the East and the Catholic Church can make a comon Christological declaration, but the Assyrian Church of the East and the Orthodox Churches can't.

In Christ,
Ben
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« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2004, 01:29:09 PM »

It is interesting though that the Assyrian Church of the East and the Catholic Church can make a comon Christological declaration, but the Assyrian Church of the East and the Orthodox Churches can't.

I would suggest that is because the West was always much more sympathetic to the Theodorean terminology which the Assyrian Church also uses. And the West also resisted the condemnation of the Three Chapters, a further indication of the underlying sympathy with what became the Assyrian mode of explaining Christology.

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« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2004, 05:40:30 PM »

I just received a very kind reply from Mar Bawai Soro of the Assyrians who has pointed me towards a knowledgeable member of his community with whom I hope to correspond.

I will try to go through the main issues that are problematic for the OO in relation to the Assyrians and maybe I'll post some of the fruits of my discussion here.

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« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2004, 06:27:17 PM »

Ben,

If the Assyrians do not follow Nestorius's teachings then why are his 12 anathemas against St Cyril posted on their website?

Those anathemas are blatently heretical.

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« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2004, 07:47:18 PM »

Ben,

If the Assyrians do not follow Nestorius's teachings then why are his 12 anathemas against St Cyril posted on their website?

Those anathemas are blatently heretical.

anastasios

Well either the Assryians are orthodox in their Christology or their Church leaders lied.

Read the comon Christological declartion of 1994, between the Assyrian Church and the Catholic Church. As I said either they're not Nestorians, or they are Nestorian liars. Please, read the comon declaration and tell me if there is anything un-orthodox there, because if there isn't, and the RCC and the ACE really do share in the same faith, regarding Jesus Christ, then they are not Nestorians.

I have always thought that the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church were in agreement on Christological matters. This is why I am surprised that Rome can agree with the Assryians on Christ, but the EOs can't.

I am sure I am missing something, and I do admit that the Pope can be a little too much of an ecumenist at times, but if the Assyrians are in fact Nestorians then what is the signifcance of the comon Christological declaration with the RCC? Gosh, I sure hope the Catholic Church isn't teaching Nestorianism? Perhaps I should have named this thread "JOHN PAUL II IS A NESTORIAN!!!". Wink

In Christ,
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« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2004, 08:08:55 PM »

Ben,

I have read the document.  The point I am making is one document that glosses over some serious issues (such as Nestorius's anathemas) does not a "unified Christology" make.

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« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2004, 08:18:29 PM »

Read the comon Christological declartion of 1994, between the Assyrian Church and the Catholic Church. As I said either they're not Nestorians, or they are Nestorian liars. Please, read the comon declaration and tell me if there is anything un-orthodox there, because if there isn't, and the RCC and the ACE really do share in the same faith, regarding Jesus Christ, then they are not Nestorians.

Dear Ben,

I must admit finding it very hard to discern what your actual position on the issues is based on your posts, because I see you say different things at different times.  For instance, I think it is very interesting that, while you seem to side with the EO on the question of Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo and their acceptance by Oriental Orthodox in the other thread in this section, and this all being key to sharing the same faith, you are quite willing to accept, based on some Common Christological Declaration between Rome and Chicago, that the Assyrians are not Nestorians and share the same Christological faith as RC's (and thus, EO's), even though they venerate Nestorius as a saint, promote his twelve anathemas against Saint Cyril of Alexandria, and have not submitted to the Third Ecumenical Council or called Mary the Theotokos (and I have not heard anyone demand this either).  How do you justify looking at the substance of the belief of Assyrians and affirming their orthodoxy without asking any more, while not doing such for the Oriental Orthodox, but instead insisting on a council and  a papal bull (and I suppose the Tome would count as such to RC's)?
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« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2004, 08:44:56 PM »

Ben,

I have read the document.  The point I am making is one document that glosses over some serious issues (such as Nestorius's anathemas) does not a "unified Christology" make.

anastasios

I am glad that you read the document.

My point is that if the Assyrians are truly Nestorians, then John Paul II wouldn't have signed a comon declaration of faith with them. I mean come on! Kissing the Qu'ran is one thing, but signing a comon declaration of faith with those who openly teach heresy?!

I realize that there is MUCH that still seperates the RCC and the ACE, but I do not think they are really divided on Christological matters.

If so, I do not think John Paul II would have signed that document, and I don't think the Vatican would premit Chaldean Catholics to recieve communion at Assryian churches and Assyrians to recieve communion at Chaldean Catholic churches in cases of emergency and nesscity (http://www.cired.org/cat/12_Addai_and_Mari_Anaphora_2001.pdf), if the Assyrians were really Nestorians.
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« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2004, 09:25:07 PM »

Quote
For instance, I think it is very interesting that, while you seem to side with the EO on the question of Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo and their acceptance by Oriental Orthodox in the other thread in this section, and this all being key to sharing the same faith, you are quite willing to accept, based on some Common Christological Declaration between Rome and Chicago, that the Assyrians are not Nestorians and share the same Christological faith as RC's (and thus, EO's), even though they venerate Nestorius as a saint, promote his twelve anathemas against Saint Cyril of Alexandria, and have not submitted to the Third Ecumenical Council or called Mary the Theotokos (and I have not heard anyone demand this either).
 

The diference here is that I don't think anybody thinks that the NC's are monphysites. So why would I waste my time going on and on about how the NC's are in agreement with the reast of Christianity on matters of Christological beliefs?

My problem with the whole NC problem is that they claim to be Orthodox, yet they reject 4 Ecumenical Councils. I have always been told that 7 infallible Ecumenical Councils hold Orthodoxy together.  Even Bishop Ware says this in this book "The Orthodox Church". Eastern Orthodoxy is based on 7 Ecumenical Councils, they are the foundation of Orthodoxy, and I think there is a problem to call the NC's Orthodox if they reject what so many have told me is ESSENTIAL to the Orthodox faith.

However, the Assyrians don't claim to be Orthodox, they don't demand to be called "Orthodox". So why would I argue that the Assryaians aren't Orthodox, if they don't claim to be Orthodox? I'm just trying to get the point accross that the Assryian Christians of the East are not Nestorians, just as I would argue with anyone who says the NCs are Monophysites.


Quote
How do you justify looking at the substance of the belief of Assyrians and affirming their orthodoxy without asking any more, while not doing such for the Oriental Orthodox, but instead insisting on a council and  a papal bull (and I suppose the Tome would count as such to RC's)?
   

I am not trying to say that everything the Assryains believe is totally orthodox. I'm just trying to make the point that why are not Nestorians. This doesn't mean I don't think they are still seperated from the Church, or that I believe everything they do, and they believe everything I do, but we do share in same Christological faith. And I say this with the intense dialouge that has occured between the ACE and RCC, over the past 10 years, in mind.
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« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2004, 10:05:38 PM »

Some day (maybe this summer) I will investigate this more fully. The Christological debates of the 5th century really interest me, and on a personal level I really like the Assyrians (I have visited their parish in NY 3 times).

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« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2004, 10:16:42 PM »

I also plan on investigating this more fully, but as of now, being a Catholic, I trust the Church.

I trust that the Pope wouldn't sign a comon Christological declaration with Nestorians. And I trust that the Vatican wouldn't allow Chaldean Catholics to recieve Nestorian Sacraments, and Nestorians to reive Catholic Sacraments, even if it was an emergency.

I actually plan on visiting an Assryian parish, and I have recently emailed an Assyrian bishop, I hope to learn more about their faith, but until then, I'll trust the Vatican.
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« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2004, 11:26:31 PM »

Speaking of the Assyrians,

After this Christological agreement was signed, wasn't there a big stink made by some Catholics about there not being an epiclesis in their liturgy?

I seem to remember this, but I could be mistaken.

I think I also heard that they practice an open communion, to any baptized Christian, like the Anglicans do, is that true or am I confusing the Assyrians with another Church?

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« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2004, 12:24:45 AM »

No epiclesis?

I haven't heard this. But this wouldn't be a problem for Rome, for Rome doesn't believe it is the epiclesis that transforms the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, but when the preist says "THIS IS MY BODY"....."THIS IS MY BLOOD".

It may also interest you to know that the Assryian Litrugy is one of the oldest in existence, it predates Nestorius.

I do not think they give communion to any baptized Christian, because as it states in the document I posted a link to, that Chaldean Catholics can recieve Communion in Assryian churches only when there is a pastoral nessecity. But you know that may just be Rome saying that only in a time of nessecity, and not the Assryian Church.

I really don't know...but I'll look into it.

In Christ,
Ben
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« Reply #33 on: May 13, 2004, 12:32:42 AM »

There is an epiclesis--but no institution narrative.
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« Reply #34 on: May 13, 2004, 12:33:13 AM »

Assyrians commune any Christian that believes the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ.  I know this from personal experience.

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« Reply #35 on: May 13, 2004, 12:39:26 AM »

There is an epiclesis--but no institution narrative.

Ah yes I remember hearing this!

That is very interesting, however it makes their Eucharist no less-valid.

Communes anyone who believes in the Eucharistic?
Hmmm interesting.

Thank God it was just a comon CHRISTOLOGICAL declaration, and not one that included all aspects of the faith.
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« Reply #36 on: May 13, 2004, 12:41:10 AM »

Quote
No epiclesis?

I haven't heard this. But this wouldn't be a problem for Rome, for Rome doesn't believe it is the epiclesis that transforms the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, but when the preist says "THIS IS MY BODY"....."THIS IS MY BLOOD".

Rome wasn't the one making an issue out of it, it was individual Catholics, especially those in the Traditional circles.

I was merely asking if it was true that there wasn't one, or merely a slanderous accusation.

Quote
It may also interest you to know that the Assryian Litrugy is one of the oldest in existence, it predates Nestorius.

Yup, that is interesting.

Quote
I do not think they give communion to any baptized Christian, because as it states in the document I posted a link to, that Chaldean Catholics can recieve Communion in Assryian churches only when there is a pastoral nessecity. But you know that may just be Rome saying that only in a time of nessecity, and not the Assryian Church.

I can't say for sure one way or another, I just thought I recalled hearing it, so I was hoping someone here knew.

Anybody?

Quote
I really don't know...but I'll look into it.

K.

Be sure to post your findings here!

In Christ,
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« Reply #37 on: May 13, 2004, 12:51:55 AM »

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Rome wasn't the one making an issue out of it, it was individual Catholics, especially those in the Traditional circles.


I know what you meant. I was trying to point out that this wouldn't be a problem with Rome or it wouldn't contradict offical Catholic teaching, because Rome puts the emphasis on the words of the priest: THIS IS MY BODY...etc. But whether the words of the instituion narrative, or an epiclesis, or both, it doesn't matter. Rome excepts all as a valid way to consencrated the bread and the wine. As long as the priest is validly ordained in a Church that has apostolic succession.
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« Reply #38 on: May 13, 2004, 09:05:06 AM »

But whether the words of the instituion narrative, or an epiclesis, or both, it doesn't matter. Rome excepts all as a valid way to consencrated the bread and the wine. As long as the priest is validly ordained in a Church that has apostolic succession.

But historically, this wasn't the case, was it?  For instance, when the Syrian and Malankara Catholics went under Rome, anaphorae which did not contain the institution narrative were either not allowed, or had it added in.  The same happened with the Malabar Catholics, whose liturgy is based on the Assyrian rite...and I think they had their institution narrative added word for word from the Roman Canon.  It doesn't seem that the attitude you express above is one Rome has always held.
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« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2004, 09:20:10 AM »

I am not calling the Assyrian Church "Nestorian" because I am trying to understand what they teach not impose my understanding.

But Mar Bawai Soro, in his article "Is the Theology of the Church of the East Nestorian?" says:

The question before us - whether the theology of the Church of the East is Nestorian or not - can be quickly answered if one is asking whether that Church holds to the same Christological formulae as the historical figure Nestorius. The philosophical terms employed by Nestorius to describe the incarnate Christ - two natures and two hypostases in one prosopon - are also employed by the theologians of the Church of the East......If the question 'Does the Church of the East venerate Nestorius and continue to employ his theological vocabulary?' then the answer is obvious. However if the question is whether the Church of the East is 'Nestorian' the answer is not so evident. Was Nestorius himself a heretic as that heresy is universally understood and described?"

Later in the article an historic document is referenced which condemns anyone who condemns Theodore of Mopsuestia - in challenge to the 5th EO council.

Now of course it is necessary to look at these things in perspective and context. Although the use of 'two hypostases' rings bells it is important I seek to understand what is meant by that phrase, so I will be studying and hopefull corresponding with some Assyrians.

But I would suggest that the Assyrians themselves consider that they do use Nestorius' terminology and argue that his condemnation was mistaken and based on a misunderstanding rather than on any real error.

I am not sure that the EO and OO have gone far enough in their dialogues with the Assyrians to be comfortable that this was the case.

Obviously either the Pope has gone further in dialogue, or the Nestorian terminology is not so problematic for Roman Catholicism, or the Joint Statement is a marker in the ground not the last word.

The practice of communion is a more definite statement of agreement, but though I have seen a lot of interesting materials by the Assyrians, I am not sure I have read a similarly detailed response to these matters from the RC side. I don't think the Assyrians have been lying. I might think that perhaps things have been rushed by an aging ecumenically minded Pope.

But then there are issues remaining between EO and OO yet intercommunion still takes place. There are issues between EO churches yet communion is maintained, and between OO churches and likewise. Communion is a sign of unity in faith, but it is not an absolute sign otherwise none of us would be in communion. It is a sign of good enough agreement. How far that agreement is necessary is a matter of economy. (I am not advocating communion in disagreement, but if there is agreement in the substance of our faith then some other things can be matters of further dialogue without needing to preclude communion)

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« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2004, 01:03:28 PM »

But historically, this wasn't the case, was it?  For instance, when the Syrian and Malankara Catholics went under Rome, anaphorae which did not contain the institution narrative were either not allowed, or had it added in.  The same happened with the Malabar Catholics, whose liturgy is based on the Assyrian rite...and I think they had their institution narrative added word for word from the Roman Canon.  It doesn't seem that the attitude you express above is one Rome has always held.  

I admit that my knowledge on this issue if very limited, and for that reason, all I will say is that the Catholic Church teaches the Assryian sacraments to be valid. Has this always been taught by the Catholic Church or is it a post-Vat II development? Honestly, I don't know. But I would be interested to see if there are any Papal Bulls on the Blessed Sacrament in those churches that do not have an institution narative in their liturgy.
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« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2004, 01:26:42 PM »



Quote
But I would suggest that the Assyrians themselves consider that they do use Nestorius' terminology and argue that his condemnation was mistaken and based on a misunderstanding rather than on any real error
.

This may very well be the case.

Quote
Obviously either the Pope has gone further in dialogue, or the Nestorian terminology is not so problematic for Roman Catholicism, or the Joint Statement is a marker in the ground not the last word.

I honestly don't think that the Pope would a sign a comon Christological declaration with a Nestorian. And if you read the declaration, you will see that the faith expressed is truly orthodox.....

" Therefore our Lord Jesus Christ is true God and true man, perfect in his
divinity and perfect in his humanity, consubstantial with the Father and consubstantial with us in all things but sin. His divinity and his humanity are united
in one person, without confusion or change, without division or separation. In
him has been preserved the difference of the natures of divinity and humanity,
with all their properties, faculties and operations. But far from constituting “one
and another”, the divinity and humanity are united in the person of the same
and unique Son of God and Lord Jesus Christ, who is the object of a single
adoration."


and further along in the document it states.....

"The humanity to which the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth always was that of the Son of God himself. That is why the Assyrian Church of the East is praying the Virgin Mary as “the Mother of Christ our God and Savior”. In the light of this same faith the Catholic tradition addresses the Virgin Mary as “the Mother of God” and also as “the Mother of Christ”. We both recognize the legitimacy and rightness of these expressions of the same faith and we both respect the preference of each Church in her liturgical life and piety."

and it goes on to say...

"Whatever our Christological divergences have been, we experience ourselves
united today in the confession of the same faith in the Son of God who became
man so that we might become children of God by his grace. We wish from now
on to witness together to this faith in the One who is the Way, the Truth and the
Life, proclaiming it in appropriate ways to our contemporaries, so that the world
may believe in the Gospel of salvation."


Both John Paul II and His Holines Mar Dinkha IV signed this document. And I do not think these two devout and holy men would have signed such a document a document if it were not true.

Quote
I might think that perhaps things have been rushed by an aging ecumenically minded Pope.

I agree with you some what, but even His Holiness has limits. I do not think he would compromise the faith in such a away. And notice nothing in the comon declaration was against Catholic teaching, so if there is anything in there that does not represent Assryian teaching then we have His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV to blame for being a little to "ecumenicaly minded".
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« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2004, 01:53:47 PM »

Dear All:

I am not as qualified as Fr. Deacon Lance in presenting the Catholic Church's perspective on the "Common Declaration" between the RCC and the ACE.

However, I know for a fact that the continuing dialogue between these two Churches have been going on for as long as the dialogues between the RCC and the EOs and between the RCC and the OOs.

The Chaldean Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East share a common theology and history (close relatives are on both sides) and it is not, therefore, surprising that the RCC could sign a "common" Christological declaration with the Assyrians.

Interested parties should read the "Guidelines" issued in 2001, which treats the "orthodoxy" of the Assyrian "Anaphora," at:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20011025_chiesa-caldea-assira_en.html

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« Reply #43 on: May 13, 2004, 02:05:25 PM »



Quote
However, I know for a fact that the continuing dialogue between these two Churches have been going on for as long as the dialogues between the RCC and the EOs and between the RCC and the OOs.

I agree, but there is a very great significance in the RCC making a comon declaration of faith about anything with a Church that many consider to be Nestorian or at least semi-Nestorian.

Quote
The Chaldean Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East share a common theology and history (close relatives are on both sides) and it is not, therefore, surprising that the RCC could sign a "common" Christological declaration with the Assyrians.

Once again I agree, but I think that the issue of the Assryians being Nestorians or not, makes this comon declaration all the more interesting and controversial.

Quote
Interested parties should read the "Guidelines" issued in 2001, which treats the "orthodoxy" of the Assyrian "Anaphora," at:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20011025_chiesa-caldea-assira_en.html

Thanks for the link!

In Christ,
Ben

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« Reply #44 on: May 13, 2004, 02:08:21 PM »

Ah yes...thanks for this link, I posted a link to this same document earlier in this threat, but to the Assryian site. I find it to be quite interesting, to say the least.
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