Author Topic: What makes a council and ecumenical one?  (Read 1107 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline john_mo

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 890
What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« on: June 28, 2014, 04:57:20 AM »
Note: I am almost certain this topic has been heavily discussed, but I searched and can't find anything.  Feel free to point me to a previous thread dealing with this.  I am writing from the perspective of an Antiochian Orthodox.

Met. Kallistos Ware says the following in his book The Orthodox Church:

"To the question how one can know whether a council is ecumenical, Khomiakov and his school gave an answer which at first site appears clear and straightforward: a council cannot be considered ecumenical unless its decrees are accepted by the whole Church. Florence, Hieria, and the rest, while ecumenical in outward appearance, are not truly so, precisely because they failed to secure this acceptance by the Church at large."

If a council is only deemed ecumenical once the whole Church has accepted it, how does this work with Chalcedon? The OO, who were at the time still in communion with the EO, did not accepted this council, yet it is considered ecumenical by the EO, myself included.

The only way I could think of is if the OO decided to leave the Church over this, rather than merely not accepting it.

Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.

—G.K. Chesterton

Online Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,059
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2014, 12:13:18 PM »
Note: I am almost certain this topic has been heavily discussed, but I searched and can't find anything.  Feel free to point me to a previous thread dealing with this.  I am writing from the perspective of an Antiochian Orthodox.

Met. Kallistos Ware says the following in his book The Orthodox Church:

"To the question how one can know whether a council is ecumenical, Khomiakov and his school gave an answer which at first site appears clear and straightforward: a council cannot be considered ecumenical unless its decrees are accepted by the whole Church. Florence, Hieria, and the rest, while ecumenical in outward appearance, are not truly so, precisely because they failed to secure this acceptance by the Church at large."

If a council is only deemed ecumenical once the whole Church has accepted it, how does this work with Chalcedon? The OO, who were at the time still in communion with the EO, did not accepted this council, yet it is considered ecumenical by the EO, myself included.

The only way I could think of is if the OO decided to leave the Church over this, rather than merely not accepting it.



Or the EO decided to leave the Church in favour of Chalcedon.
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Toumarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,201
  • Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2014, 12:17:26 PM »
The only way I could think of is if the OO decided to leave the Church over this, rather than merely not accepting it.
Is that really the ONLY way you could think?  Is it perhaps you're thinking a bit too out loud and not being knowledgeable enough?  Perhaps, the "other" way you could think is you're not thinking enough?

Here's something to help you "think":  What makes the patriarch of Constantinople ecumenical?  What makes the imperial guard ecumenical?
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 12:20:03 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Antonis

  • "The Most Honourable The Morquess of Something"
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,713
  • Ένας Νέος Θεοτόκος
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: GOA - Direct Archdiocesan District
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2014, 12:28:56 PM »
The only way I could think of is if the OO decided to leave the Church over this, rather than merely not accepting it.
Is that really the ONLY way you could think?  Is it perhaps you're thinking a bit too out loud and not being knowledgeable enough?  Perhaps, the "other" way you could think is you're not thinking enough?

Here's something to help you "think":  What makes the patriarch of Constantinople ecumenical?  What makes the imperial guard ecumenical?
This is precisely why I think the OO view is preferable. It is both historical and logical. Unfortunately, only a minority of vocal Orthodox prelates (such as HE Hilarion Alfeyev) and practically no laity have this understanding.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 12:29:08 PM by Antonis »
As I dissipate, Christ precipitates.

Offline Nephi

  • Monster Tamer
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,762
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2014, 12:36:38 PM »
The only way I could think of is if the OO decided to leave the Church over this, rather than merely not accepting it.
Is that really the ONLY way you could think?  Is it perhaps you're thinking a bit too out loud and not being knowledgeable enough?  Perhaps, the "other" way you could think is you're not thinking enough?

Here's something to help you "think":  What makes the patriarch of Constantinople ecumenical?  What makes the imperial guard ecumenical?

This is more how I feel. The first three are truly ecumenical as in universal, but the latter four (or more) are ecumenical as in imperial. As such they are more than a mere local council, but not the same as a universal council. As such, they needn't be binding on others.

However, even that doesn't take into account St. Cyril's treaty with... John of Antioch? I can't remember the name, but he didn't even require him to officially ascribe to a universal council (Ephesus).

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Toumarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,201
  • Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2014, 01:05:44 PM »
Even then, I would say the first 3 councils are imperial councils accepted universally by all Christians (with perhaps the minor exception of Ephesus).  But yes, with John of Antioch, he was content with the faith and the condemnation of Nestorius.  He was flexible in regard to the Antiochian tradition.  He even went so far as to not require condemnation of Theodore and Diodore.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Nephi

  • Monster Tamer
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,762
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2014, 01:27:25 PM »
Even then, I would say the first 3 councils are imperial councils accepted universally by all Christians (with perhaps the minor exception of Ephesus).

You're right, my bad, I should have phrased it more clearly since I also strongly affirm reception-based authority rather than an inherent authority, like Met. Kallistos in the OP or Met. Hilarion in his paper on the subject. So they're universal in that they're accepted as such, not because they were universal by nature.

Ephesus is a tricky one for the Assyrians...

Quote
But yes, with John of Antioch, he was content with the faith and the condemnation of Nestorius.  He was flexible in regard to the Antiochian tradition.  He even went so far as to not require condemnation of Theodore and Diodore.

That's right, I couldn't fully remember.,

Offline Antonis

  • "The Most Honourable The Morquess of Something"
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,713
  • Ένας Νέος Θεοτόκος
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: GOA - Direct Archdiocesan District
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2014, 02:10:43 PM »
Inherent authority breeds an unorthodox ecclesiology, I think. It denies that the Catholic Church is essentially local.
As I dissipate, Christ precipitates.

Offline Nephi

  • Monster Tamer
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,762
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2014, 02:39:10 PM »
Inherent authority breeds an unorthodox ecclesiology, I think. It denies that the Catholic Church is essentially local.

Agreed.

It's also worth mentioning that a council can be universal without having had universal participation, since ecumenicity is reception-dependent. Likewise, all of this helps safeguard against robber synods claiming ecumenical status.

While not directly relevant, Rome shows the issues of having "ecumenical-by-nature councils" that we as Orthodox, especially those EO that insist on the councils in an unhealthy way, need to try to avoid. Too often we hear EO specifically speak of having "all the Churches come together in an ecumenical council to solve all of our problems," which could be a problematic view of councils to say the least. Councils can be helpful and binding without being "ecumenical," which is something we EO tend to forget. "Is that dogma from an ecumenical council?" "Has an ecumenical council said anything about this?" Etc.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 02:41:17 PM by Nephi »

Online TheTrisagion

  • The Purple Demon is gonna get you if you don't watch out!
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,094
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2014, 02:46:28 PM »
Note: I am almost certain this topic has been heavily discussed, but I searched and can't find anything.  Feel free to point me to a previous thread dealing with this.  I am writing from the perspective of an Antiochian Orthodox.

Met. Kallistos Ware says the following in his book The Orthodox Church:

"To the question how one can know whether a council is ecumenical, Khomiakov and his school gave an answer which at first site appears clear and straightforward: a council cannot be considered ecumenical unless its decrees are accepted by the whole Church. Florence, Hieria, and the rest, while ecumenical in outward appearance, are not truly so, precisely because they failed to secure this acceptance by the Church at large."

If a council is only deemed ecumenical once the whole Church has accepted it, how does this work with Chalcedon? The OO, who were at the time still in communion with the EO, did not accepted this council, yet it is considered ecumenical by the EO, myself included.

The only way I could think of is if the OO decided to leave the Church over this, rather than merely not accepting it.



Or the EO decided to leave the Church in favour of Chalcedon.
Your like the OO version of Isa.  :laugh:
Quote from: Mor Ephrem
Why can't you just take your spiritual edification like a man? 

Online Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,059
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2014, 03:00:19 PM »
Note: I am almost certain this topic has been heavily discussed, but I searched and can't find anything.  Feel free to point me to a previous thread dealing with this.  I am writing from the perspective of an Antiochian Orthodox.

Met. Kallistos Ware says the following in his book The Orthodox Church:

"To the question how one can know whether a council is ecumenical, Khomiakov and his school gave an answer which at first site appears clear and straightforward: a council cannot be considered ecumenical unless its decrees are accepted by the whole Church. Florence, Hieria, and the rest, while ecumenical in outward appearance, are not truly so, precisely because they failed to secure this acceptance by the Church at large."

If a council is only deemed ecumenical once the whole Church has accepted it, how does this work with Chalcedon? The OO, who were at the time still in communion with the EO, did not accepted this council, yet it is considered ecumenical by the EO, myself included.

The only way I could think of is if the OO decided to leave the Church over this, rather than merely not accepting it.



Or the EO decided to leave the Church in favour of Chalcedon.
Your like the OO version of Isa.  :laugh:

You pay me a great compliment of which I am unworthy.

Anyway, if I'm the OO version of Isa, what does that make john_mo? 
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.

Offline Salpy

  • Moderator
  • Toumarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,069
  • New Martyrs of Libya pray for us!
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2014, 03:05:19 PM »
Where's the maps?

Offline Antonis

  • "The Most Honourable The Morquess of Something"
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,713
  • Ένας Νέος Θεοτόκος
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: GOA - Direct Archdiocesan District
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2014, 03:12:42 PM »
Inherent authority breeds an unorthodox ecclesiology, I think. It denies that the Catholic Church is essentially local.

Agreed.

It's also worth mentioning that a council can be universal without having had universal participation, since ecumenicity is reception-dependent. Likewise, all of this helps safeguard against robber synods claiming ecumenical status.

While not directly relevant, Rome shows the issues of having "ecumenical-by-nature councils" that we as Orthodox, especially those EO that insist on the councils in an unhealthy way, need to try to avoid. Too often we hear EO specifically speak of having "all the Churches come together in an ecumenical council to solve all of our problems," which could be a problematic view of councils to say the least. Councils can be helpful and binding without being "ecumenical," which is something we EO tend to forget. "Is that dogma from an ecumenical council?" "Has an ecumenical council said anything about this?" Etc.
In my experience, this unhealthy outlook is universal among EO laity who essentially view the Ecumenical Councils as "our pope." What's difficult is that this outlook is pretty much reinforced in the limited catechesis people have experienced and for many it's a much easier and more straightforward concept to grasp than a reception-based view.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 03:13:18 PM by Antonis »
As I dissipate, Christ precipitates.

Offline Nephi

  • Monster Tamer
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,762
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2014, 03:19:56 PM »
In my experience, this unhealthy outlook is universal among EO laity who essentially view the Ecumenical Councils as "our pope." What's difficult is that this outlook is pretty much reinforced in the limited catechesis people have experienced and for many it's a much easier and more straightforward concept to grasp than a reception-based view.

That does seem unfortunately true. I think there's a tendency, especially among converts, to just want an "easy answer," and the councils do make for an easy, even if over-simplified, answer.

Offline Justin Kissel

  • Formerly a *, now a ☆
  • Protospatharios
  • ****************
  • Posts: 30,998
  • Faith: Agnosticish
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2014, 03:31:09 PM »
In my experience, this unhealthy outlook is universal among EO laity who essentially view the Ecumenical Councils as "our pope." What's difficult is that this outlook is pretty much reinforced in the limited catechesis people have experienced and for many it's a much easier and more straightforward concept to grasp than a reception-based view.

That does seem unfortunately true. I think there's a tendency, especially among converts, to just want an "easy answer," and the councils do make for an easy, even if over-simplified, answer.

But now it is you who are over-simplifying ;) For example, it is usually the traditionist cradles who get worked up about it to the point of creating splinter groups over ecclesiology and such, because they cannot countenance anything other than a simple, black and white POV.

And now I am oversimplifying.
"Christian America is finally waking up to what fraternities and biker gangs have known for years: hazing works!"

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Toumarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,201
  • Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2014, 03:33:47 PM »
I think it's okay now that there are laity that learn about ecumenical councils in such a fashion. It's a form of piety more than anything.  God knows we Copts have our fair share if pious infallibility in the Coptic pope.  This seems to be slowly improving today.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Nephi

  • Monster Tamer
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,762
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2014, 03:40:18 PM »
I think it's okay now that there are laity that learn about ecumenical councils in such a fashion. It's a form of piety more than anything.  God knows we Copts have our fair share if pious infallibility in the Coptic pope.  This seems to be slowly improving today.

You're right, it's not necesarily bad just as more literal understandings of the Bible by undercatechized cradles is not going to immediately turn them into Protestants or anything. It has its place and use, but in regards to the EO-OO divide it sadly creates problems even on the level of average individual laity.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 03:47:59 PM by Nephi »

Offline Antonis

  • "The Most Honourable The Morquess of Something"
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,713
  • Ένας Νέος Θεοτόκος
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: GOA - Direct Archdiocesan District
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2014, 03:42:07 PM »
To the OP's question:
Sorry to continue my monologue ( :P), and I know I'm preaching to the choir, but another impediment are the titles of our Hierarchs. For instance, the "Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia" is certainly not the bishop of Russia, nor a "bishop of bishops." The subtext of such titles would be something like "Patriarch of Moscow and primate of all Russia," but that is not obvious to a casual observer. Although this does not directly apply to Ecumenical Councils, it is a significant part of misunderstandings about ecclesiology that relate to them and the Church as a whole. To understand the nature of councils we must understand the very nature of the church itself.

An excellent resource for the OP would be Fr. Thomas Hopko's podcast series on bishops, which can be found here on Ancient Faith radio:

http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/series/bishops_a_series_on_the_structure_and_leadership_of_the_church

The name of the series doesn't do it justice, it is much more encompassing than just bishops and well worth the listen. He covers the entire history of church origins and structure. You will be hooked!
As I dissipate, Christ precipitates.

Offline Antonis

  • "The Most Honourable The Morquess of Something"
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,713
  • Ένας Νέος Θεοτόκος
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: GOA - Direct Archdiocesan District
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2014, 03:45:05 PM »
I think it's okay now that there are laity that learn about ecumenical councils in such a fashion. It's a form of piety more than anything.  God knows we Copts have our fair share if pious infallibility in the Coptic pope.  This seems to be slowly improving today.
It can become an issue as well, though. For instance, I was once asked by an Orthodox girl where I could find an ecumenical canon that said homosexuality was not an acceptable practice. She would not accept any other source, as she believed only the E. Councils were a source of absolute Church belief. This is of course incredibly ridiculous.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 03:49:40 PM by Antonis »
As I dissipate, Christ precipitates.

Offline john_mo

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 890
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2014, 03:58:16 PM »
Yikes!  I seem to have given the impression that I meant my post to be a challenge to the OO Church.  This was not my intention.  On the contrary, I was gently challenging my fellow EO to explain how the schism after Chalcedon fits in with our view of ecumenism.  So I'm also challenging my own understanding.  This is what I was trying to make clear when I said that I was writing from the EO (or Antiochian) perspective, which does view the OO as having schismed.

This has been something that has been perturbing me for several months now, so I appreciate the input.

I'm still mulling over the responses. Who is "Isa"?
Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.

—G.K. Chesterton

Offline Nephi

  • Monster Tamer
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,762
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2014, 04:03:17 PM »
I was writing from the EO (or Antiochian) perspective, which does view the OO as having schismed. 

I don't believe our Patriarchate of Antioch holds to such a notion in black-and-white terms anymore, and rightly so, although the N.A. Archdiocese certainly seems to at times. I believe our Patriarchate paves the way in this regard, seeming to view the OO as always having been Orthodox, which is why it has treated the situation with the Syriac Church of Antioch as more of an "internal affairs" issue within the Church of Antioch itself (encompassing both Greek and Syriac Patriarchates).

Offline john_mo

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 890
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2014, 04:06:42 PM »
I was writing from the EO (or Antiochian) perspective, which does view the OO as having schismed. 

I don't believe our Patriarchate of Antioch holds to such a notion in black-and-white terms anymore, and rightly so, although the N.A. Archdiocese certainly seems to at times. I believe our Patriarchate paves the way in this regard, seeming to view the OO as always having been Orthodox, which is why it has treated the situation with the Syriac Church of Antioch as more of an "internal affairs" issue within the Church of Antioch itself (encompassing both Greek and Syriac Patriarchates).

...which could explain why I have always felt that the OO were part of the same Church and have treated them accordingly.  Thanks for the info.
Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.

—G.K. Chesterton

Online Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,059
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.

Offline john_mo

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 890
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2014, 03:30:31 PM »
So my follow up question would be how the OO sees the EO.  Does the OO view the EO in the same way as the EO view them?  Or perhaps they make distinctions between EO patriarchates.
Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.

—G.K. Chesterton

Online Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,059
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2014, 03:32:26 PM »
So my follow up question would be how the OO sees the EO.  Does the OO view the EO in the same way as the EO view them?  Or perhaps they make distinctions between EO patriarchates.

LOL, how do the EO view the OO? 
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.

Online TheTrisagion

  • The Purple Demon is gonna get you if you don't watch out!
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,094
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2014, 03:38:18 PM »
So my follow up question would be how the OO sees the EO.  Does the OO view the EO in the same way as the EO view them?  Or perhaps they make distinctions between EO patriarchates.

LOL, how do the EO view the OO? 
In my particular parish and actually in the OCA parish in our area that I have attended, when I have asked people about Oriental Orthodoxy, most of them gave me blank stares and said they're Orthodox and we are just waiting on another counsel to make it official. Most people I know IRL just assume at the upcoming Great Counsel, it will be made official. When I first came on here and saw that there actually were strong responses between OO and EO, I was rather suprised.

I'm sure you will find that response quite humorous and perhaps similar to the RC view of reunification with EO.
Quote from: Mor Ephrem
Why can't you just take your spiritual edification like a man? 

Offline john_mo

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 890
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2014, 03:38:34 PM »
So my follow up question would be how the OO sees the EO.  Does the OO view the EO in the same way as the EO view them?  Or perhaps they make distinctions between EO patriarchates.

LOL, how do the EO view the OO? 

Um...some believe them to be monophosite.  There were some anathemas given, were there not?  
Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.

—G.K. Chesterton

Offline john_mo

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 890
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2014, 03:41:12 PM »
So my follow up question would be how the OO sees the EO.  Does the OO view the EO in the same way as the EO view them?  Or perhaps they make distinctions between EO patriarchates.

LOL, how do the EO view the OO? 
In my particular parish and actually in the OCA parish in our area that I have attended, when I have asked people about Oriental Orthodoxy, most of them gave me blank stares and said they're Orthodox and we are just waiting on another counsel to make it official. Most people I know IRL just assume at the upcoming Great Counsel, it will be made official. When I first came on here and saw that there actually were strong responses between OO and EO, I was rather suprised.

I'm sure you will find that response quite humorous and perhaps similar to the RC view of reunification with EO.

I would say that this is my understanding, i.e. that it they are pretty much just a temporarily estranged member of the family.  I suppose one could say it's more of a feeling than an understanding.
Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.

—G.K. Chesterton

Online Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,059
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2014, 03:56:18 PM »
So my follow up question would be how the OO sees the EO.  Does the OO view the EO in the same way as the EO view them?  Or perhaps they make distinctions between EO patriarchates.

LOL, how do the EO view the OO? 
In my particular parish and actually in the OCA parish in our area that I have attended, when I have asked people about Oriental Orthodoxy, most of them gave me blank stares and said they're Orthodox and we are just waiting on another counsel to make it official. Most people I know IRL just assume at the upcoming Great Counsel, it will be made official. When I first came on here and saw that there actually were strong responses between OO and EO, I was rather suprised.

I'm sure you will find that response quite humorous and perhaps similar to the RC view of reunification with EO.

Not necessarily.  I think the RC's are rather unrealistic when it comes to reunification with the EO.  Your Antiochian parish might simply reflect the attitude of its mother Church.  I see that as two different things. 

But I guess it highlights my issue with john_mo's question.  I'm not sure you can say the OO view of EO is comparable to the EO view of OO because there's no one view held by everyone in Eastern Orthodoxy (unless you restrict yourself to what you find in canonical and liturgical sources).  For instance, your parishioners feel a certain way about the issue, but they will sing liturgical texts this Sunday that expressly proclaim the opposite.  I suspect it's not because they are stupid, I believe (along with others on both sides of the divide) that there is a way to reconcile these, but there it is: two different views.  Different EO Churches have different views, both officially and unofficially.  There really isn't a "how EO view OO" that is consistent unless you stick to certain "documents" and ignore a lot of other things. 

I suspect that the OO view EO, overall, in a more consistent way across the board than the other way around.  But this, too, is not without issues.     
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.

Offline john_mo

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 890
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #29 on: July 09, 2014, 04:01:40 PM »
So my follow up question would be how the OO sees the EO.  Does the OO view the EO in the same way as the EO view them?  Or perhaps they make distinctions between EO patriarchates.

LOL, how do the EO view the OO? 
In my particular parish and actually in the OCA parish in our area that I have attended, when I have asked people about Oriental Orthodoxy, most of them gave me blank stares and said they're Orthodox and we are just waiting on another counsel to make it official. Most people I know IRL just assume at the upcoming Great Counsel, it will be made official. When I first came on here and saw that there actually were strong responses between OO and EO, I was rather suprised.

I'm sure you will find that response quite humorous and perhaps similar to the RC view of reunification with EO.

Not necessarily.  I think the RC's are rather unrealistic when it comes to reunification with the EO.  Your Antiochian parish might simply reflect the attitude of its mother Church.  I see that as two different things. 

But I guess it highlights my issue with john_mo's question.  I'm not sure you can say the OO view of EO is comparable to the EO view of OO because there's no one view held by everyone in Eastern Orthodoxy (unless you restrict yourself to what you find in canonical and liturgical sources).  For instance, your parishioners feel a certain way about the issue, but they will sing liturgical texts this Sunday that expressly proclaim the opposite.  I suspect it's not because they are stupid, I believe (along with others on both sides of the divide) that there is a way to reconcile these, but there it is: two different views.  Different EO Churches have different views, both officially and unofficially.  There really isn't a "how EO view OO" that is consistent unless you stick to certain "documents" and ignore a lot of other things. 

I suspect that the OO view EO, overall, in a more consistent way across the board than the other way around.  But this, too, is not without issues.     

Fair enough point; there are varying views in the EO (not a shocker I suppose).  In my Antiochian parish we invited the local Copts and their clergy over for a friendly discussion.  To our embarrassment a couple of the Greeks who attended our parish were very judgmental of them, wanting almost nothing to do with them because they were "heretics".  So I get your point.

What I'm trying to get at is, do the similar variations of attitude exist in the OO toward the EO?
Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.

—G.K. Chesterton

Online TheTrisagion

  • The Purple Demon is gonna get you if you don't watch out!
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,094
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #30 on: July 09, 2014, 04:06:53 PM »
So my follow up question would be how the OO sees the EO.  Does the OO view the EO in the same way as the EO view them?  Or perhaps they make distinctions between EO patriarchates.

LOL, how do the EO view the OO? 
In my particular parish and actually in the OCA parish in our area that I have attended, when I have asked people about Oriental Orthodoxy, most of them gave me blank stares and said they're Orthodox and we are just waiting on another counsel to make it official. Most people I know IRL just assume at the upcoming Great Counsel, it will be made official. When I first came on here and saw that there actually were strong responses between OO and EO, I was rather suprised.

I'm sure you will find that response quite humorous and perhaps similar to the RC view of reunification with EO.

Not necessarily.  I think the RC's are rather unrealistic when it comes to reunification with the EO.  Your Antiochian parish might simply reflect the attitude of its mother Church.  I see that as two different things. 

Possibly. Our priest prays for "our bishops", Metropolitans Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulous Yazigi in the Liturgy, making no distinction that one is Oriental and one is Eastern Orthodox. I just always assumed that all Orthodox juridictions viewed it in the same manner, but apparently not, unfortunately.
Quote from: Mor Ephrem
Why can't you just take your spiritual edification like a man? 

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 38,397
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #31 on: July 09, 2014, 04:19:13 PM »
Note: I am almost certain this topic has been heavily discussed, but I searched and can't find anything.  Feel free to point me to a previous thread dealing with this.  I am writing from the perspective of an Antiochian Orthodox.

Met. Kallistos Ware says the following in his book The Orthodox Church:

"To the question how one can know whether a council is ecumenical, Khomiakov and his school gave an answer which at first site appears clear and straightforward: a council cannot be considered ecumenical unless its decrees are accepted by the whole Church. Florence, Hieria, and the rest, while ecumenical in outward appearance, are not truly so, precisely because they failed to secure this acceptance by the Church at large."

If a council is only deemed ecumenical once the whole Church has accepted it, how does this work with Chalcedon? The OO, who were at the time still in communion with the EO, did not accepted this council, yet it is considered ecumenical by the EO, myself included.

The only way I could think of is if the OO decided to leave the Church over this, rather than merely not accepting it.


Khomiakov is right.

On Chalcedon, the reconciliation will be on the order of Pope St. Cyril and Arbp./EP St. John Chrysostom, who in life were violently opposed to each other, but the Church (both EO and OO) canonized both.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 38,397
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2014, 04:20:21 PM »
Note: I am almost certain this topic has been heavily discussed, but I searched and can't find anything.  Feel free to point me to a previous thread dealing with this.  I am writing from the perspective of an Antiochian Orthodox.

Met. Kallistos Ware says the following in his book The Orthodox Church:

"To the question how one can know whether a council is ecumenical, Khomiakov and his school gave an answer which at first site appears clear and straightforward: a council cannot be considered ecumenical unless its decrees are accepted by the whole Church. Florence, Hieria, and the rest, while ecumenical in outward appearance, are not truly so, precisely because they failed to secure this acceptance by the Church at large."

If a council is only deemed ecumenical once the whole Church has accepted it, how does this work with Chalcedon? The OO, who were at the time still in communion with the EO, did not accepted this council, yet it is considered ecumenical by the EO, myself included.

The only way I could think of is if the OO decided to leave the Church over this, rather than merely not accepting it.



Or the EO decided to leave the Church in favour of Chalcedon.
Your like the OO version of Isa.  :laugh:

You pay me a great compliment of which I am unworthy.
I'm blushing from the honor I have not earned :laugh:
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Online Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,059
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2014, 04:26:16 PM »
What I'm trying to get at is, do the similar variations of attitude exist in the OO toward the EO?

I think they exist, but percentage-wise we probably are less affected by it than the EO.  Put another way, more of us are on board with one way of looking at things than on the EO side. 
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.

Online Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,059
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2014, 04:27:45 PM »
Our priest prays for "our bishops", Metropolitans Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulous Yazigi in the Liturgy, making no distinction that one is Oriental and one is Eastern Orthodox. I just always assumed that all Orthodox juridictions viewed it in the same manner, but apparently not, unfortunately.

It's interesting to see the juxtaposition of that petition in the litany with misrepresentations of and anathemas against two of our saints in the hymnography for this weekend's Vespers as outlined on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.  ;)
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.

Online TheTrisagion

  • The Purple Demon is gonna get you if you don't watch out!
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,094
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2014, 04:40:48 PM »
Our priest prays for "our bishops", Metropolitans Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulous Yazigi in the Liturgy, making no distinction that one is Oriental and one is Eastern Orthodox. I just always assumed that all Orthodox juridictions viewed it in the same manner, but apparently not, unfortunately.

It's interesting to see the juxtaposition of that petition in the litany with misrepresentations of and anathemas against two of our saints in the hymnography for this weekend's Vespers as outlined on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.  ;)
Hey, if there is going to be reunification, you have to bring some bargaining chips to the table.  Perhaps we can bring heretic trading cards to the Great Counsel and see who you can get unanathemized.

Let's see. I'll trade you a Severus anathema revokation for a statement from Pope Theodoros II saying that Chalcedon wasn't all bad...
Quote from: Mor Ephrem
Why can't you just take your spiritual edification like a man? 

Online Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,059
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2014, 04:44:58 PM »
Our priest prays for "our bishops", Metropolitans Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulous Yazigi in the Liturgy, making no distinction that one is Oriental and one is Eastern Orthodox. I just always assumed that all Orthodox juridictions viewed it in the same manner, but apparently not, unfortunately.

It's interesting to see the juxtaposition of that petition in the litany with misrepresentations of and anathemas against two of our saints in the hymnography for this weekend's Vespers as outlined on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.  ;)
Hey, if there is going to be reunification, you have to bring some bargaining chips to the table.  Perhaps we can bring heretic trading cards to the Great Counsel and see who you can get unanathemized.

Let's see. I'll trade you a Severus anathema revokation for a statement from Pope Theodoros II saying that Chalcedon wasn't all bad...

This is what happened after Mario left the RCC for the Coptic Church:

"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 38,397
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #37 on: July 09, 2014, 05:59:55 PM »
Our priest prays for "our bishops", Metropolitans Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulous Yazigi in the Liturgy, making no distinction that one is Oriental and one is Eastern Orthodox. I just always assumed that all Orthodox juridictions viewed it in the same manner, but apparently not, unfortunately.

It's interesting to see the juxtaposition of that petition in the litany with misrepresentations of and anathemas against two of our saints in the hymnography for this weekend's Vespers as outlined on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.  ;)
Hey, if there is going to be reunification, you have to bring some bargaining chips to the table.  Perhaps we can bring heretic trading cards to the Great Counsel and see who you can get unanathemized.

Let's see. I'll trade you a Severus anathema revokation for a statement from Pope Theodoros II saying that Chalcedon wasn't all bad...
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Online Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,059
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
Re: What makes a council and ecumenical one?
« Reply #38 on: July 09, 2014, 06:14:44 PM »
I like him.  I don't know much about him, but I was impressed with his fluency in Russian. 
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.