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Author Topic: Did the OO's ever condemn Eutyches?  (Read 4734 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 04, 2011, 10:20:46 PM »

I was talking with an Ethiopian Orthodox friend on facebook who said that there is no documents supporting the idea that he was condemned.

Is this true? Is there really no evidence?
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2011, 10:36:02 PM »

The Armenians condemned him at the Council of Dvin, at the same time they condemned Chalcedon.

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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 10:44:09 PM »

Christ is risen!

IIRC, Father Peter Pfarrington posted something about the anathemas of Pope Dioscoros against Ibas, which are also IIRC part of the same against Eutyches.

I suspect that part of the reason why the OO do not consider Ephesus II as ecumenical is because it exonerated Eutyches (like Chalcedon restored Ibas and Theodoret).
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2011, 11:04:23 PM »

Thanks! I will let him know what I found here
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2011, 11:09:25 PM »

The second council of Ephesus clearly shows Eutyches was not heretical, sure he had difficulty understanding the wording of the nature of Christ. Yet St. Cyril clearly accepted both definitions on the nature of Christ. Where are the historical sources for these claims the Eutyches was condemned?
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2011, 11:46:26 PM »

The problem with Eutyches is that no one knows exactly what he believed.  The minutes of the Synod held by Patriarch Flavian at Constantinople records him saying something along the lines that Christ had heavenly flesh, or some such heretical thing; however, when Eutyches read the minutes he claimed he was misrepresented and denied having said such things.  Later, at Ephesus II, he made the statement that Christ was consubstantial with his mother.  It was for that Orthodox statement that Eutyches was exonerated by St. Dioscorus.

Yet at some point later, we do see Eutyches being condemned by the Oriental Orthodox.  I'm not sure what happened.  It could be that after Ephesus II he made another statement that was heretical.  It's been argued that he was confused.  I suppose only God knows what Eutyches really believed.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 11:48:43 PM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2011, 12:05:02 AM »

I seem to recall that Fr. Peter used to have a link on the internet to his paper on Eutyches.  I can't find it now, though. 

If you have a copy of his book, Orthodox Christology, the article on Eutyches is in there.

It's been a while since I read it, and I'm too lazy right now to find my copy of the book.  If I misstated anything in the summary I made above, I guess Fr. Peter can correct me.   Smiley

Here is a link to the book:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/orthodox-christology/10969273
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2011, 12:23:50 AM »

Christ is risen!
I seem to recall that Fr. Peter used to have a link on the internet to his paper on Eutyches.  I can't find it now, though. 
It was http://www.britishorthodox.org/Eutyches.pdf (http://www.britishorthodox.org/Eutyches.pdf
but the link seems to be dead.
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2011, 12:28:30 AM »

Salpy, I do have that book and I will go through it. The consensus is that Eutyches was condemned after Chalcedon by St Dioscorous. However I am unable to find any such thing in any historical source. Even at Chalcedon Eutyches admitted that he did not give this much thought because he found the debate between which definition of the nature of Christ is right to be very confusing. The way the Orientals were treated at the 4th council was down right disgusting, calling everyone into question, all the while, Theodoret, a heretic sat amongst them. Eutyches may have said un-Orthodox things but was admittedly confused, as are most people, by this subject.

All I want is a historical reference.
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2011, 12:36:03 AM »

I was talking with an Ethiopian Orthodox friend on facebook who said that there is no documents supporting the idea that he was condemned.

Is this true? Is there really no evidence?

All of the accounts of Ephesus III and the Henotikon that I have seen have indicated an official condemnation of Eutyches.
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2011, 12:37:08 AM »

I suspect that part of the reason why the OO do not consider Ephesus II as ecumenical is because it exonerated Eutyches (like Chalcedon restored Ibas and Theodoret).

Probably not, because the same do not consider Ephesus III ecumenical either.
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2011, 12:38:32 AM »

The second council of Ephesus clearly shows Eutyches was not heretical, sure he had difficulty understanding the wording of the nature of Christ. Yet St. Cyril clearly accepted both definitions on the nature of Christ. Where are the historical sources for these claims the Eutyches was condemned?

Ephesus III, the Henotikon, and Saint Severus all explicitly labeled Eutyches a heretic after the fact of Ephesus II.
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2011, 12:41:03 AM »

Salpy, I do have that book and I will go through it. The consensus is that Eutyches was condemned after Chalcedon by St Dioscorous. However I am unable to find any such thing in any historical source. Even at Chalcedon Eutyches admitted that he did not give this much thought because he found the debate between which definition of the nature of Christ is right to be very confusing. The way the Orientals were treated at the 4th council was down right disgusting, calling everyone into question, all the while, Theodoret, a heretic sat amongst them. Eutyches may have said un-Orthodox things but was admittedly confused, as are most people, by this subject.

All I want is a historical reference.

I might remember having read a letter of Saint Dioscorus from after Chalcedon that stated that Eutyches was a heretic. I will try to find it. But either way, I listed three major other sources of post-Chalcedon OO condemnation of Eutyches. If you are skeptical I'll collect the sources.
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2011, 12:46:47 AM »

The second council of Ephesus clearly shows Eutyches was not heretical, sure he had difficulty understanding the wording of the nature of Christ. Yet St. Cyril clearly accepted both definitions on the nature of Christ. Where are the historical sources for these claims the Eutyches was condemned?

Ephesus III, the Henotikon, and Saint Severus all explicitly labeled Eutyches a heretic after the fact of Ephesus II.

Yes!  I was going to mention Ephesus III, St. Timothy Aelurius, St. Dioscorus' direct successor, lead this council of 500+ bishops.  Both Ephesus II and III though may not be considered as "ecumenical" as the first three hold some ecumenical weight.  Ephesus III for Copts and Syrians can be analogous to Dvin for the Armenians.  (Consider also the fact that this was the first OO source of claiming the Council of Constantinople at 381 as ecumenical.)
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2011, 01:11:12 AM »

Salpy, I do have that book and I will go through it. The consensus is that Eutyches was condemned after Chalcedon by St Dioscorous. However I am unable to find any such thing in any historical source. Even at Chalcedon Eutyches admitted that he did not give this much thought because he found the debate between which definition of the nature of Christ is right to be very confusing. The way the Orientals were treated at the 4th council was down right disgusting, calling everyone into question, all the while, Theodoret, a heretic sat amongst them. Eutyches may have said un-Orthodox things but was admittedly confused, as are most people, by this subject.

All I want is a historical reference.

I might remember having read a letter of Saint Dioscorus from after Chalcedon that stated that Eutyches was a heretic. I will try to find it. But either way, I listed three major other sources of post-Chalcedon OO condemnation of Eutyches. If you are skeptical I'll collect the sources.

Please.
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2011, 01:13:18 AM »

Salpy, I do have that book and I will go through it. The consensus is that Eutyches was condemned after Chalcedon by St Dioscorous. However I am unable to find any such thing in any historical source. Even at Chalcedon Eutyches admitted that he did not give this much thought because he found the debate between which definition of the nature of Christ is right to be very confusing. The way the Orientals were treated at the 4th council was down right disgusting, calling everyone into question, all the while, Theodoret, a heretic sat amongst them. Eutyches may have said un-Orthodox things but was admittedly confused, as are most people, by this subject.

All I want is a historical reference.

I might remember having read a letter of Saint Dioscorus from after Chalcedon that stated that Eutyches was a heretic. I will try to find it. But either way, I listed three major other sources of post-Chalcedon OO condemnation of Eutyches. If you are skeptical I'll collect the sources.

Please.

I'm guessing you mean yes to both. It'll be much easier to find the other three. My imagination of the letter of Saint Dioscorus might not pan out, though. I'll try to retrieve these sources for you and post what I find.
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2011, 01:17:50 AM »

thank you deus
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« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2011, 02:49:29 AM »

I've copied the article on Eutyches back to here...

http://www.britishorthodox.org/Eutyches.pdf

Hope it is useful to people.

Father Peter
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« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2011, 10:24:12 AM »

thanks very much for all that hard work  Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2011, 01:50:02 PM »

Thanks Abouna
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« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2011, 02:07:58 PM »

Ioannes was the one I was talking to on facebook.
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« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2011, 02:47:26 PM »

I recommend "The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined" by Fr. VC Samuel to everyone here.
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« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2011, 02:50:06 PM »

It's available here...

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-council-of-chalcedon-re-examined/194480
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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2011, 06:43:57 PM »


Great book
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« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2011, 02:11:47 AM »

I've copied the article on Eutyches back to here...

http://www.britishorthodox.org/Eutyches.pdf

Hope it is useful to people.

Father Peter

Thank you, Father.   Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2011, 09:20:34 AM »

Came across this and wanted to add for future reference:

Quote
"Then again, we also punish with the same anathema those who from another side have been moved by error against the true faith:

and I mean Valentinus, Basilides, Marcion, Mani, Apollinaris, the senseless Eutyches who stumbled many times into the same snares and became a leper with a leprosy enduring and incurable;

and those who after him were sick with this feebleness aggravated the disease as they took pains to defile the true and redemptive sufferings of Emmanuel as it were with abscesses, with an impassible and immortal body;

and in their several ways they were dismayed, as the prophetic utterance declares (cf. Ez 36:32), since they were unaware of the straight road of truth which proclaims that our Lord and our God and our Saviour Jesus Christ is one and alone, who suffered in flesh which was capable of suffering until it destroyed death and utterly trampled it down by means of the resurrection;

and he the same is impassible in divinity, as it has been affirmed."

-Synodical Letter to Theodosius, St. Severus of Antioch.


SEVERUS OF ANTIOCH by Pauline Allen and C.T.R.Hayward, Routledge (pp. 167-168)
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« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2011, 04:57:44 PM »

and in their several ways they were dismayed, as the prophetic utterance declares (cf. Ez 36:32), since they were unaware of the straight road of truth which proclaims that our Lord and our God and our Saviour Jesus Christ is one and alone, who suffered in flesh which was capable of suffering until it destroyed death and utterly trampled it down by means of the resurrection;

Uh oh, did Severus just speak of the flesh as a subject?  Wink
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« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2011, 05:22:53 PM »

and in their several ways they were dismayed, as the prophetic utterance declares (cf. Ez 36:32), since they were unaware of the straight road of truth which proclaims that our Lord and our God and our Saviour Jesus Christ is one and alone, who suffered in flesh which was capable of suffering until it destroyed death and utterly trampled it down by means of the resurrection;

Uh oh, did Severus just speak of the flesh as a subject?  Wink

That's probably a poor translation, because the content beyond the "capable of suffering" part is even more unbelievable to be applied particularly to the flesh. Usually, if anything, the destroying of death and trampling down upon it is applied to the divine power.
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« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2011, 08:26:01 AM »

and in their several ways they were dismayed, as the prophetic utterance declares (cf. Ez 36:32), since they were unaware of the straight road of truth which proclaims that our Lord and our God and our Saviour Jesus Christ is one and alone, who suffered in flesh which was capable of suffering until it destroyed death and utterly trampled it down by means of the resurrection;

Uh oh, did Severus just speak of the flesh as a subject?  Wink

Leo speaks through Severus!   Cheesy

That's probably a poor translation, because the content beyond the "capable of suffering" part is even more unbelievable to be applied particularly to the flesh. Usually, if anything, the destroying of death and trampling down upon it is applied to the divine power.

I believe Pauline Allen is a well respected Syriac scholar, but I guess there could be something lost going from Greek to Syriac to English over some 1500 years.  You'd definitely understand the statement better than me.
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« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2011, 12:40:24 AM »

Otherwise the statement is possibly even more problematic than the Tome of Leo.
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« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2011, 06:56:22 PM »

Anyone want to try and verify as to whether that was a translation error or not?

Oh, btw, Thread resurrection!
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« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2011, 08:21:55 PM »

Anyone want to try and verify as to whether that was a translation error or not?

Oh, btw, Thread resurrection!
Actually, I think there is another passage from St. Severus where he says a similar thing. But even Saint Athanasius says "His own body suffered", in his letter to Epictetus.

This should be the subject of an interesting discussion. Unfortunately, I have to dash right now and finish my studies.
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« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2011, 08:53:58 PM »

Anyone want to try and verify as to whether that was a translation error or not?

Oh, btw, Thread resurrection!
Actually, I think there is another passage from St. Severus where he says a similar thing. But even Saint Athanasius says "His own body suffered", in his letter to Epictetus.

A bit like saying that the flesh does what is proper to it, eh?
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« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2011, 05:56:34 AM »

How could there be a problem saying that the flesh suffered? or that the Word suffered in flesh which was capable of suffering?

This is what the incarnation means surely?

The problem is when it is said that the flesh suffers apart from the Word. Or that the Word does one thing and his flesh another. Naming the flesh is not problematic. St Severus says that the humanity is utterly and completely different and other than the divinity and that this difference remains in the incarnation. It is a property of humanity to suffer, it is not a property of divinity to suffer. But in the incarnation it become a property of the Word of God incarnate to suffer himself in his own humanity.

The issue with the Tome of Leo is where it seems to say that the Word (a person) receives glory, while the flesh receives insults, and this has appeared to personalise and subjectify the humanity.

We would want to say either,

The Word of God himself receives suffering in his own humanity, and is above and far removed from all suffering in his divinity.

or

The Word of God receives both glory and suffering in the unmixed and unconfused union of humanity with his divinity.

It is problematic to say that the Word does one thing and the flesh another because we must ask who is this flesh if he is not the Word?
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« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2011, 06:17:56 AM »

Father, did Saint Dioscorus ever formally condemn Eutyches? I know he expressed willingness to anathematize him should he have held to any heretical christological views. But did Saint Dioscorus formally excommunicate the person of Eutyches?
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« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2011, 06:39:13 AM »

On what basis should he have done?
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« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2011, 12:07:40 PM »

How could there be a problem saying that the flesh suffered? or that the Word suffered in flesh which was capable of suffering?

This is what the incarnation means surely?

The problem is when it is said that the flesh suffers apart from the Word. Or that the Word does one thing and his flesh another. Naming the flesh is not problematic. St Severus says that the humanity is utterly and completely different and other than the divinity and that this difference remains in the incarnation. It is a property of humanity to suffer, it is not a property of divinity to suffer. But in the incarnation it become a property of the Word of God incarnate to suffer himself in his own humanity.

The issue with the Tome of Leo is where it seems to say that the Word (a person) receives glory, while the flesh receives insults, and this has appeared to personalise and subjectify the humanity.
I don't agree. From what I've read, the Tome is not saying that the Word does something while the flesh independently does something completely different. It simply makes them into subjects and differentiates what each subject does in accordance with what is proper to it. Much like how you've said that it is a property of humanity to suffer and not one of divinity to suffer. And the Tome of Leo says that each subject works with the co-operation of the other.

It just doesn't seem like a very strong distinction to me.
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It is problematic to say that the Word does one thing and the flesh another because we must ask who is this flesh if he is not the Word?
The flesh of the Word.
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« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2011, 12:09:45 PM »

Well you've said it. He creates two subjects.

That is the error of Theodore, Ibas, Theodoret and Nestorius.

There is only one subject in Christ, God the Word.
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« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2011, 12:17:12 PM »

I still don't get how that's any different from what Athanasius or Severus did.
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« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2011, 02:26:07 PM »

I still don't get how that's any different from what Athanasius or Severus did.

You'd be caught dead before you hear St. Athanasius say "The Word does something, and the flesh does another."  The flesh does something.  The Word does what the flesh does.  That's the difference between Leo and Athanasius.  It is the Word that sustains insults and injuries, and the Word that also works miracles.  The power of the miracles come from the divinity.  We can say the divinity does them.  Sure.  But the Word doesn't do something separate from the flesh.  The Word is the one doing them in the flesh.

So when they say the flesh does something, think of an understood "of the Word" in there after the flesh.  Leo doesn't say the flesh "of the Word" sustains insults (if he did, there might be some who could accuse him of Eutychianism, which was the ridiculous issue in Chalcedon).  He says the Word does one thing, and the flesh another.  That's the difference.
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« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2011, 02:52:05 PM »

Here's how I see it...

If you slam a hammer on your finger, you can say "my finger hurts". If you eat too much at the buffet, you can say "my stomach hurts". But, this is entirely different from saying "my finger hurts, while I do not feel pain". IOW, Christ's body was lashed before his crucifixion, thus, along with Saint Athanasius, we can say "His own body suffered". Christ also says, in the Garden of Gethsemane, "my soul anguishes", but, this is because the Divinity, body, and soul all belong to the self-same God the Word, who is the ultimate subject of the Incarnation.

What Pope Leo implies is that there are two centers of conscientiousness in Christ.
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« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2011, 03:07:41 PM »

Maybe I need to reread the Tome of Leo or something, because I don't really remember him expressing the opinions that you all are imputing onto him.

Like Severian's analogy: "my finger hurts, while I do not feel pain." I don't really get how Leo said anything equivalent to that.
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« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2011, 03:26:23 PM »

Well he said that the Word receives glory while the flesh receives suffering.

So that implies strongly that the Word has nothing to do with the suffering, which is not true. He doesn't say, in that passage, that the flesh of the Word receives suffering, he sets as two subjects - as you described yourself - the Word and the flesh.

If the Word does not receive suffering then it does seem to be like saying 'this body is hungry but I do not feel hungry'. We would be entitled to assume that the body which feels hunger and the one who does not are two different subjects.

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« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2011, 03:32:13 PM »

Is there something intrinsically wrong with talk about "person of Christ"? I rarely address Christological issues in fear of being a heretic of some variation but I can't help feeling that talk about person of Word or that Word being the only subject to be the same as saying that He's not true man after all. Huh
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« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2011, 03:34:54 PM »

Is there something intrinsically wrong with talk about "person of Christ"? I rarely address Christological issues in fear of being a heretic of some variation but I can't help feeling that talk about person of Word or that Word being the only subject to be the same as saying that He's not true man after all. Huh

There's nothing wrong with saying "Christ does this or that". But it must be clear that Christ is the very self-same God the Logos, who is the ultimate subject of action.
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