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Author Topic: OOs Accepting the Latter Councils of the EOs  (Read 4777 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2011, 02:36:31 AM »

@Deusveritasest Well... let's just say this... the tome is a going to be somewhat of a speed bump on the road to reunion. Now, I'm not asking anyone to change the text of the tome itself, but, I think it's best the EOs clarify what Leo meant when he said:
Quote
"the activity of each form is what is proper to it in communion with the other: that is, the Word performs what belongs to the Word, and the flesh accomplishes what belongs to the flesh. One of these performs brilliant miracles; the other sustains acts of violence."
If we could, let's say, sign a document which says: "What Leo really meant was..." then that would be sufficient. The issue of the tome has to be dealt with. *Sigh* but even a wimpy ecumenist like me (haha) admits that this passage is highly problematic. If Leo had just said:
Quote
"the activity of each form is what is proper to it in communion with the other: that is, the [divinity] performs what belongs to the [divinity], and the flesh accomplishes what belongs to the flesh. One of these performs brilliant miracles; the other sustains acts of violence."
It would still have been problematic, but, it would be easier to bring it in line with Orthodox Cyrillianism which emphasizes the oneness of the subject of the incarnation.
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« Reply #46 on: July 08, 2011, 03:07:06 AM »

It is ambiguous at the least.

Therefore it needs explanation if it is to be received in any manner by the non-Chalcedonians.

What would be received would be a document based on the Tome, even the words of the Tome with explanatory material, but it would not be receiving 'the Tome of Leo' because that is and has always been considered deficient as a clear statement of Christology.
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« Reply #47 on: July 08, 2011, 03:11:07 AM »

Well, I'm off to bed, but, before that I'm going to reread the tome, highlight the passages I find most controversial and in the morning we can discuss how to resolve the issues surrounding said passages.

God bless,
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« Reply #48 on: July 08, 2011, 03:30:54 AM »

On the matter of St Severus...

My understanding is that it is much more complex, and that a party within the Armenian Church was influenced by Julianists, but that the whole community was not Julianist.

Most Armenian saints are not commemorated on the Coptic calendar, this does not mean they are not saints.

The Explanation of the Faith by St Nerses IV Schnorhali, written in 1166 says..

..He received from her (the Virgin Mary) flesh which was corruptible and mortal as is ours. The soul, the spirit and the flesh were united with His flawless essence, free from corruption, and made one in an indivisible manner. He did not change the physical nature of His flesh into an immaterial nature, but from a sinful body he made, as He willed, a perfect body; from corruption, incorruptibility; of what was mortal, immortality, conserving in this union the divine nature and the human without confusion.

He says in the same document..

...He who died is none other than the one who triumphs over death, but it is the same who is both dead and alive, and life-giving, and the one and the same Jesus Christ, both man a mortal nature and God a immortal nature.

It is also noteworthy that at this point in history the Byzantine Emperor imposed a list of conditions on St Nerses (who I do not think is in the Coptic calendar but is no less a saint.. which shows that we exclusion from a list is not the same as a lack of veneration) for union with the Empire. This included the insistence that St Severus be condemned. Clearly at this time in the 12th century the Armenians did not condemn St Severus.

Clearly also from these quotations, the Armenians believed that the humanity of the Word was mortal and corruptible, and that He truly suffered on the cross.
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« Reply #49 on: July 08, 2011, 03:32:44 AM »

If you are going to read the Tome, which of course you should, then you also need to study the criticisms of it by our Fathers.

Both St Severus and St Timothy wrote extensively against the Tome, and it is necessary for us to have their criticisms in mind when considering positive ways forward.
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« Reply #50 on: July 08, 2011, 08:11:05 AM »

It is ambiguous at the least.

Therefore it needs explanation if it is to be received in any manner by the non-Chalcedonians.

What would be received would be a document based on the Tome, even the words of the Tome with explanatory material, but it would not be receiving 'the Tome of Leo' because that is and has always been considered deficient as a clear statement of Christology.

I may be wrong, but don't think accepting the Tome has been a condition of re-union. The Tome of course was received by Chalcedon together with the synodical letters of St. Cyril, so, from the perspective of Chalcedon, it should be read in a way consistent with St. Cyril's Christology.
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« Reply #51 on: July 08, 2011, 08:58:50 AM »

Iconodule, I guess it depends on who is speaking for the EO. I know some EO convert types and 'hardliners' who insist that there must be a complete and utter repudiation of every aspect of the OO tradition and historical narrative, and that this would include not only accepting all aspects of all EO councils, but also genuinely accepting and believing that St Severus, St Dioscorus etc are God-hated.

I personally believe that all important documents must be presented and glossed with whatever explanations are necessary so that the Tome+Explanations are accepted as Orthodox, but not ecumenical, and the Definitio of Chalcedon+Explanation are accepted as Orthodox, but not ecumenical.

This is necessary because if it is the case, as I believe, that an EO can accept the Tome of Leo and be Orthodox, then there must be an Orthodox way of reading the Tome. This does not mean that the Tome cannot also be understood, and even was understood, in an ambiguous and even heterodox manner, not even that Leo may have understood his own Christology in a deficient manner in some sense. But it does mean that it is possible to read it in accordance with the Orthodox Faith.
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« Reply #52 on: July 08, 2011, 09:02:07 AM »

I note that St Nerses,

..wrote a new letter to the emperor, in which he emphasized the need to restore unity, not as "master and servant," but as equals on the basis of scriptures and tradition.

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« Reply #53 on: July 08, 2011, 11:34:46 AM »

I note that St Nerses,
..wrote a new letter to the emperor, in which he emphasized the need to restore unity, not as "master and servant," but as equals on the basis of scriptures and tradition.
Unfortunately, too many EOs will not tolerate that. St Nerses was certainly unsuccessful with a unity of equals.
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« Reply #54 on: July 08, 2011, 11:36:53 AM »

Father, can you give me specific writings of Sts. Severus and Timothy Aelurus where they scrutinized the tome? I remember the fromer grealty disliking it, and I have unfortunately not had any access to the latter's works as of yet.
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« Reply #55 on: July 08, 2011, 11:42:50 AM »

Here's an example of St Severus' criticism of the tome:
"Again the Tome of Leo says: «For each of the natures preserves its own property without diminution» 21, distributing the properties to the two natures severally, as one who divides the one and only Christ into two natures. For the property of the natures of which Emmanuel consists, which is shown in the natural characteristics, continues constant and fixed, as the holy Cyril also says in the second letter to Succensus: «But, while each of them both remains and is perceived in the property which is. by nature, according to the principle which has just been enunciated by us, the ineffable and incomprehensible union has shown us one nature of the Son, yet, as I have said, an incarnate nature»22. But God the Word did not permit his flesh in all things to undergo the passions proper to it, in order that its |11 property might be preserved undiminished, as the impious disputer said. For observe what the wise doctor Cyril says, in answer to the objections made by Theodoret, in the defence of the tenth anathema: «When the lowness arising from the exinanition seems hard to you, wonder greatly at the love of the Son toward us. For, what you say is a mean thing, this he did voluntarily for your sake. He wept in human fashion, that he might take away your weeping. He feared by dispensation, inasmuch as he sometimes permitted his flesh to undergo the passions proper to it, that he might make us valiant»23. If he sometimes permitted his flesh by dispensation to undergo the passions proper to it, he did not preserve its property undiminished: for in many instances it is seen not to have undergone the things which manifestly belong to its nature; for it was united to the Word, the Maker of nature. The Word therefore who had become incarnate walked upon the sea, and after his death under the wound of the lance caused a stream of salvation to well forth from his side: again, after the Resurrection, he came in while the doors were shut, and appeared to the disciples in the house; whom he also allowed to touch him, showing that his flesh was tangible and solid, and of one essence24 with us, and was also |12 superior to corruption; and thereby he subverted the theory of phantasy. It belongs therefore to those who part the one Christ into two natures and dissolve the unity to say, «For each of the natures preserves its property unimpaired». But those who believe that, after God the Word had been hypostatically united to flesh that possessed an intelligent soul, he performed all his own acts in it, and changed it not into his nature (far be it!), but into his glory and operation, no longer seek the things that manifestly belong to the flesh without diminution, to which flesh the things that manifestly belong by nature to the Godhead have come to belong by reason of the union. But, if they senselessly divide it from God the Word by speaking of two natures after the union, it then walks in its own ways following its nature, and preserves its properties undiminished on the principle of the impious men. But these things are not so (how could they be?), but indeed very different: for union rejects division, as the holy Cyril said: «For, though it is said that he hungered and thirsted, and slept and grew weary after a journey, and wept and feared, these things did not happen to him just as they do to us in accordance with compulsory ordinances of nature; but he |13 himself voluntarily permitted his flesh to walk according to the laws of nature, for he sometimes allowed it even to undergo its own passions»25. For from Cyril's words, as from a sacred anchor, I do not depart"
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« Reply #56 on: July 08, 2011, 11:44:30 AM »

It is ambiguous at the least.

Therefore it needs explanation if it is to be received in any manner by the non-Chalcedonians.

What would be received would be a document based on the Tome, even the words of the Tome with explanatory material, but it would not be receiving 'the Tome of Leo' because that is and has always been considered deficient as a clear statement of Christology.

I may be wrong, but don't think accepting the Tome has been a condition of re-union. The Tome of course was received by Chalcedon together with the synodical letters of St. Cyril, so, from the perspective of Chalcedon, it should be read in a way consistent with St. Cyril's Christology.
I don't mean to be rude to you, but, I can't find a single Cyrillian phrase in the tome.
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« Reply #57 on: July 08, 2011, 11:52:23 AM »

I've searched through the letters of St. Severus that I've found on tertullian.org and I've heard of him calling the tome "wicked" and "impious" amongst other things, but, I can't find him analyzing a specific passage of the tome and commenting on it (well except for what I had already posted above).
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« Reply #58 on: July 08, 2011, 11:57:29 AM »

If it means anything, here are what I consider the most 'eye-opening' passages of the tome:
Quote
Without detriment therefore to the properties of either nature and substance which then came together in one person
St Severus criticized this passage, furthermore, I would say that speaking of one "person" (personum in Latin) is not enough to emphasize the oneness of Christ. But then again, may be in Latin "personum" can also mean hypostasis? If anyone knows if that is the case please say so.

Quote
one and the same Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, could both die with the one and not die with the other.
It seems fine, but once again, there is nothing explicitly anti-Nestorian. All it says is that "Christ Jesus" died in accordance with one nature and remained incapable of death in the other. In order to repudiate Nestorianism the Word must be the center of action, not "Christ Jesus".

Quote
as the form of God did not do away with the form of a slave, so the form of a slave did not impair the form of God.
This is okay, but once again, nothing anti-Nestorian about it.

*Drum roll* the tome's most infamous passage:
Quote
For as God is not changed by the showing of pity, so man is not swallowed up by the dignity. For each form does what is proper to it with the co-operation of the other ; that is the Word performing what appertains to the Word, and the flesh carrying out what appertains to the flesh. One of them sparkles with miracles, the other succumbs to injuries.
This passage has been discussed to death before, so I won't even bother, this is clearly flawed.

Quote
The nativity of the flesh was the manifestation of human nature: the childbearing of a virgin is the proof of Divine power.
He makes the flesh the subject of the nativity, not God the Word, which is clearly anti-Cyrillian.

Quote
And thus Him whom the devil's craftiness attacks as man, the ministries of angels serve as God.
This reminds of St. Dioscorus' letter to the monks of the Hennaton where he says: "Behold Him walking on the earth as man, and behold Him creator of heavenly angels as God. Behold Him sleeping in the ship as man, and behold Him walking on the waters as God." Meaning that the "he" who is tempted by the devils is the same "he" as the one who is served by the angels. This is a start, but, even Theodore could agree to this.

Quote
For although in the Lord Jesus Christ God and man is one person, yet the source of the degradation, which is shared by both, is one, and the source of the glory, which is shared by both, is another.
Once again, one person sharing both natures is not anti-Nestorian.

Quote
Therefore in consequence of this unity of person which is to be understood in both natures
This is practically a paraphrase of what Nestorius said: "You should not accuse me as if I did not confess a single person in two natures.."


I'll continue my analysis of the tome after reading the materials I was given by Father Peter.
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« Reply #59 on: July 08, 2011, 12:09:14 PM »

The two main writings are:

St Severus - The Philalathes
Severe d’Antioche, Le Philalèthe, ed. and trans. R.Hespel, CSCO 133 (text) and 134 (trans.), Louvain: Secrétariat du CorpusSCO, 1952.

and

St Timothy - Against the Definition of the Council of Chalcedon
Ebied and Wickham in Laga, Munitz, Van Rompay: After Chalcedon
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« Reply #60 on: July 08, 2011, 12:17:43 PM »

Thanks, I'll reread St. Severus letter to Philalethes. I'll also try to find St. Timothy's work.
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« Reply #61 on: July 08, 2011, 12:28:37 PM »

St Severus' Philalathes is not a letter, it is a major theological work.

You can get it here...

http://www.peeters-leuven.be/boekoverz.asp?nr=853

It's in French, unless you can read Syriac! I am in the process of translating it into English.
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« Reply #62 on: July 08, 2011, 12:51:07 PM »

St Severus' Philalathes is not a letter, it is a major theological work.

You can get it here...

http://www.peeters-leuven.be/boekoverz.asp?nr=853

It's in French, unless you can read Syriac! I am in the process of translating it into English.
Yes, I realized that shortly after my post, then my computer froze and I couldn't edit my post. My dad knows fluent French so maybe he can translate it for me, albeit an ancient document like this might be a bit tough for him. Thanks Father.
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« Reply #63 on: July 08, 2011, 12:52:12 PM »

It's in modern French, lol! St Severus didn't write in French!

I can understand it fairly well.
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« Reply #64 on: July 08, 2011, 12:57:05 PM »

It's in modern French, lol! St Severus didn't write in French!

I can understand it fairly well.
Great, then my dad should be easily able to translate it. When I said 'ancient document' I meant that it might retain some archaic words not too often heard of in modern French. I have encountered many archaic English words in St Severus' writings that I have never heard of before in my life.
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« Reply #65 on: July 08, 2011, 03:39:52 PM »

Just a reminder that polemics about the Tome and Chalcedon belong in the private forum.  Thanks.   Smiley
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« Reply #66 on: July 08, 2011, 03:44:08 PM »

Just a reminder that polemics about the Tome and Chalcedon belong in the private forum.  Thanks.   Smiley
So far everyone seems to be behaving themselves. Do you think things are starting to get polemical? Sorry if I started to get controversial. Arrgh! Why was I cursed with such an argumentative nature!?! Lol. Okay then guys, please, if we want to discuss the tome let's do it on a separate thread. I want to keep this thread public.
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« Reply #67 on: July 08, 2011, 03:55:26 PM »

The thread has not crossed the line yet, but experience tells me it's getting close.  Hence the warning.

The Tome and everything that is wrong with it has already been discussed ad nauseum on this site.  To be fair, if we are going to go into lengthy discourses on how horrible and heretical the Tome is, then we should allow the EO's to respond with their point of view.  

Then the arguing starts and it never comes out pretty.  People on this site have actually lost their faith and given up on Christianity because of the polemics over Chalcedon.  That's how bad it can get, and that is why the private forum exists.  There is nothing wrong with succinctly stating what our problems with the Tome and Chalcedon are, but going on and on about it always leads to trouble.  

There are OO websites, such as Tasbeha.org, which are probably better places for a public discussion of this sort of thing.  
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« Reply #68 on: July 08, 2011, 06:17:23 PM »

The thread has not crossed the line yet, but experience tells me it's getting close.  Hence the warning.

The Tome and everything that is wrong with it has already been discussed ad nauseum on this site.  To be fair, if we are going to go into lengthy discourses on how horrible and heretical the Tome is, then we should allow the EO's to respond with their point of view.  

Then the arguing starts and it never comes out pretty.  People on this site have actually lost their faith and given up on Christianity because of the polemics over Chalcedon.  That's how bad it can get, and that is why the private forum exists.  There is nothing wrong with succinctly stating what our problems with the Tome and Chalcedon are, but going on and on about it always leads to trouble.  

There are OO websites, such as Tasbeha.org, which are probably better places for a public discussion of this sort of thing.  
Sorry, I should have thought of that. If you would like to remove the posts I made about the tome so as to prevent polemics, go ahead.
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« Reply #69 on: July 08, 2011, 07:02:44 PM »

If it makes anyone feel better, I don't think the tome is heretical per se. I just think it can lend itself towards that interpretation. It's flawed, but, adequately orthodox if explained in context. Setting the tome aside, can anyone give me other specific writings of his where he wrote about christology? Sorry if I offended anyone by my remarks on the tome, forgive me.
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« Reply #70 on: July 08, 2011, 09:36:31 PM »

Don't worry, I'm just being proactive.   Smiley
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« Reply #71 on: July 08, 2011, 10:33:35 PM »

"As to the manner of the incarnation of the Only Begotten, then theoretically speaking (but only in so far as it appears to the eyes of the soul) we would admit that there are two united natures, but only one Christ and Son and Lord, the Word of God made man and made flesh" (1st Letter to Succensus, 7).

I would not say that the Tome is flawed.  I would say that the Tome is in some places ambiguous, but only because it is adapting Scripture with little explanation, such as the famously disputed clause at Chalcedon:  "Each form (cf. Phil. 2.6) effects what is proper to it in common with the other; that is the Word operated what belongs to the Word, and the flesh operated what belongs to the flesh.  One of these shines forth in miracles, the other succumbs to injuries."  Of course, the Fathers of Chalcedon couldn't stand the language of this paragraph as it seemed to allow the possibility of one to interpret that only "part" of Christ was "the Word," rather than being wholly the Word made flesh.  As we see from the Acts of Chalcedon, the fathers of the council, would accept the Tome with a few doctrinal conditions, and only through the Cyrillic lens.   Unlike Ephesus, which simply received St. Cyril's writings as its dogmatic capitula/horoi, Chalcedon drafted its own because it did not like the ambiguities of the Tome of St. Leo, as well as adopting St. Cyril's second letter to Nestorius as a complete expression of Christology to counterbalance any wrong Nestorian readings of St. Leo's tome.  Of course, Constantinople II made things even more clear by simply adopting the language of St. Cyril from his epistle to Succensus into its capitula, that it is only kat'theoria that we see two natures, that they are not divided nor divisible, but ever united, emphasizing one Christ, one prosopon, one hypostasis.   Constantinople III in its Acts would even furthermore affirm St. Maximos' firm affirmation of the one theanthropic physis, when such indicates the one and only hypostasis of Christ our God.  
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« Reply #72 on: July 08, 2011, 10:48:22 PM »

"As to the manner of the incarnation of the Only Begotten, then theoretically speaking (but only in so far as it appears to the eyes of the soul) we would admit that there are two united natures, but only one Christ and Son and Lord, the Word of God made man and made flesh" (1st Letter to Succensus, 7).

I would not say that the Tome is flawed.  I would say that the Tome is in some places ambiguous, but only because it is adapting Scripture with little explanation, such as the famously disputed clause at Chalcedon:  "Each form (cf. Phil. 2.6) effects what is proper to it in common with the other; that is the Word operated what belongs to the Word, and the flesh operated what belongs to the flesh.  One of these shines forth in miracles, the other succumbs to injuries."  Of course, the Fathers of Chalcedon couldn't stand the language of this paragraph as it seemed to allow the possibility of one to interpret that only "part" of Christ was "the Word," rather than being wholly the Word made flesh.  As we see from the Acts of Chalcedon, the fathers of the council, would accept the Tome with a few doctrinal conditions, and only through the Cyrillic lens.   Unlike Ephesus, which simply received St. Cyril's writings as its dogmatic capitula/horoi, Chalcedon drafted its own because it did not like the ambiguities of the Tome of St. Leo, as well as adopting St. Cyril's second letter to Nestorius as a complete expression of Christology to counterbalance any wrong Nestorian readings of St. Leo's tome.  Of course, Constantinople II made things even more clear by simply adopting the language of St. Cyril from his epistle to Succensus into its capitula, that it is only kat'theoria that we see two natures, that they are not divided nor divisible, but ever united, emphasizing one Christ, one prosopon, one hypostasis.   Constantinople III in its Acts would even furthermore affirm St. Maximos' firm affirmation of the one theanthropic physis, when such indicates the one and only hypostasis of Christ our God. 
Interesting point. Not to deviate from the topic, but, FatherHLL whose icon is that in your avatar?
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« Reply #73 on: July 08, 2011, 10:53:54 PM »

"As to the manner of the incarnation of the Only Begotten, then theoretically speaking (but only in so far as it appears to the eyes of the soul) we would admit that there are two united natures, but only one Christ and Son and Lord, the Word of God made man and made flesh" (1st Letter to Succensus, 7).

I would not say that the Tome is flawed.  I would say that the Tome is in some places ambiguous, but only because it is adapting Scripture with little explanation, such as the famously disputed clause at Chalcedon:  "Each form (cf. Phil. 2.6) effects what is proper to it in common with the other; that is the Word operated what belongs to the Word, and the flesh operated what belongs to the flesh.  One of these shines forth in miracles, the other succumbs to injuries."  Of course, the Fathers of Chalcedon couldn't stand the language of this paragraph as it seemed to allow the possibility of one to interpret that only "part" of Christ was "the Word," rather than being wholly the Word made flesh.  As we see from the Acts of Chalcedon, the fathers of the council, would accept the Tome with a few doctrinal conditions, and only through the Cyrillic lens.   Unlike Ephesus, which simply received St. Cyril's writings as its dogmatic capitula/horoi, Chalcedon drafted its own because it did not like the ambiguities of the Tome of St. Leo, as well as adopting St. Cyril's second letter to Nestorius as a complete expression of Christology to counterbalance any wrong Nestorian readings of St. Leo's tome.  Of course, Constantinople II made things even more clear by simply adopting the language of St. Cyril from his epistle to Succensus into its capitula, that it is only kat'theoria that we see two natures, that they are not divided nor divisible, but ever united, emphasizing one Christ, one prosopon, one hypostasis.   Constantinople III in its Acts would even furthermore affirm St. Maximos' firm affirmation of the one theanthropic physis, when such indicates the one and only hypostasis of Christ our God. 
Interesting point. Not to deviate from the topic, but, FatherHLL whose icon is that in your avatar?

Holy Hieromartyr Haralambos (Haralampij, Charalampous, etc.). 
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« Reply #74 on: July 08, 2011, 10:55:50 PM »

Thanks, it's very nice.
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« Reply #75 on: July 10, 2011, 06:38:06 PM »

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

In regards to the latter Councils being a non-starter for the OO, I suppose perhaps that is not exactly accurate:

Quote
In this spirit, we have discussed also the continuity of doctrine in the Councils of the Church, and especially the monenergistic and monothelete controversies of the seventh century. All of us agree that the human will is neither absorbed nor suppressed by the divine will in the Incarnate Logos, nor are they contrary one to the other. The uncreated and created natures, with the fullness of their natural properties and faculties, were united without confusion or separation, and continue to operate in the one Christ, our Saviour. The position of those who wish to speak of one divine-human will and energy united without confusion or separation does not appear therefore to be incompatible with the decision of the Council of Constantinople (680-81), which affirms two natural wills and two natural energies in Him existing indivisibly, inconvertibly, inseparably, inconfusedly.
From the I. Second Unofficial Consultation Eastern Orthodox-Oriental Orthodox Theologians

AGREED STATEMENT Bristol, England July 25-29, 1967

So long as we clearly elaborate the mutual definitions of these Councils and Canons, anathemas and Saint's aside it seems we may be able to bridge the gap and perhaps settle our differences.

Speaking on the Essence-Energies issue:

Since it seems I can't necessarily speak on the other OO churches, talking around Church today others including the clergy affirmed that we do not deviate the Energies and Essence as concretely in our theological language as does the EO.  It is indeed a rather foreign concept for our Church, rather we attribute much of what EO theology attributes to the Divine Energies to the Holy Spirit.  We do believe mutually in Grace or the Activities of God, however we do not necessarily agree in the ontological interpretations from these theological concepts, specifically in how it plays out in the Divine Mysteries, especially the Holy Communion, and also Christ's Death on the Cross as the Incarnate Word of God, the Second Person of the Trinity Consubstantial as to the Godhead/Essence.

I am going to have a conference with my Confessor either this week or next Sunday to really clarify and outline the Tewahedo perspective and specific interpretations of the Energies/Activities/Grace of God in the context of the EO conceptualization of the same, and also the Ethiopian interpretation of Theosis.

From my own opinion, it seems to me that when early Fathers like Saint Cyril, or Saint Basil, or even Saint Gregory the Theologian speak of a difference between God's Energies and Essence, that in light of how the Ethiopian Fathers think, that perhaps these Patristic Fathers are speaking in the same way the EO elaborates that the Energies are responsible for God's physical interactions with the material Universe (ie, both sustaining physicality and also the miracles), but not necessarily connecting these Creation based Activities with more Divine acts such as soteriology, the Incarnation, the Death on the Cross, and the Holy Communion, but I can only speak of my own interpretations at this time, I will talk with my priests soon as possible about their opinions. However, what I have read of the Ethiopian Fathers, and especially how our theology is elaborated in our Liturgies, Hymnals, Prayers, and Commemorations, it seems to me that Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church most definitely agrees with the Orthodox concept of Theosis, but diverges from the EO in regards to the Holy Communion and other ontological interpretations of the Godhead's interaction with us.  Essentially, from the Ethiopian Fathers' perspective, the Incarnation is what has made the Godhead accessible in the context of Holy Communion and soteriology in general.

Could any in the EO please elaborate the EO interpretation of the Real Presence of the Holy Communion and also the Death of the Incarnate Word on the Cross and Descent in Hell in the context of the EO Energies differentiation?  Is the Godhead actually present in consecrated Offering in the EO tradition? Did the Godhead participate jointly, inseparably with the Death and Descent into Hell of the Incarnate Word? I am very very curious so as to better understand the EO perspective to better explain and understand my own.

stay blessed,
habte selassiie
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« Reply #76 on: July 11, 2011, 01:02:22 AM »

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

In regards to the latter Councils being a non-starter for the OO, I suppose perhaps that is not exactly accurate:

Quote
In this spirit, we have discussed also the continuity of doctrine in the Councils of the Church, and especially the monenergistic and monothelete controversies of the seventh century. All of us agree that the human will is neither absorbed nor suppressed by the divine will in the Incarnate Logos, nor are they contrary one to the other. The uncreated and created natures, with the fullness of their natural properties and faculties, were united without confusion or separation, and continue to operate in the one Christ, our Saviour. The position of those who wish to speak of one divine-human will and energy united without confusion or separation does not appear therefore to be incompatible with the decision of the Council of Constantinople (680-81), which affirms two natural wills and two natural energies in Him existing indivisibly, inconvertibly, inseparably, inconfusedly.
From the I. Second Unofficial Consultation Eastern Orthodox-Oriental Orthodox Theologians

AGREED STATEMENT Bristol, England July 25-29, 1967

So long as we clearly elaborate the mutual definitions of these Councils and Canons, anathemas and Saint's aside it seems we may be able to bridge the gap and perhaps settle our differences.

Speaking on the Essence-Energies issue:

Since it seems I can't necessarily speak on the other OO churches, talking around Church today others including the clergy affirmed that we do not deviate the Energies and Essence as concretely in our theological language as does the EO.  It is indeed a rather foreign concept for our Church, rather we attribute much of what EO theology attributes to the Divine Energies to the Holy Spirit.  We do believe mutually in Grace or the Activities of God, however we do not necessarily agree in the ontological interpretations from these theological concepts, specifically in how it plays out in the Divine Mysteries, especially the Holy Communion, and also Christ's Death on the Cross as the Incarnate Word of God, the Second Person of the Trinity Consubstantial as to the Godhead/Essence.

I am going to have a conference with my Confessor either this week or next Sunday to really clarify and outline the Tewahedo perspective and specific interpretations of the Energies/Activities/Grace of God in the context of the EO conceptualization of the same, and also the Ethiopian interpretation of Theosis.

From my own opinion, it seems to me that when early Fathers like Saint Cyril, or Saint Basil, or even Saint Gregory the Theologian speak of a difference between God's Energies and Essence, that in light of how the Ethiopian Fathers think, that perhaps these Patristic Fathers are speaking in the same way the EO elaborates that the Energies are responsible for God's physical interactions with the material Universe (ie, both sustaining physicality and also the miracles), but not necessarily connecting these Creation based Activities with more Divine acts such as soteriology, the Incarnation, the Death on the Cross, and the Holy Communion, but I can only speak of my own interpretations at this time, I will talk with my priests soon as possible about their opinions. However, what I have read of the Ethiopian Fathers, and especially how our theology is elaborated in our Liturgies, Hymnals, Prayers, and Commemorations, it seems to me that Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church most definitely agrees with the Orthodox concept of Theosis, but diverges from the EO in regards to the Holy Communion and other ontological interpretations of the Godhead's interaction with us.  Essentially, from the Ethiopian Fathers' perspective, the Incarnation is what has made the Godhead accessible in the context of Holy Communion and soteriology in general.

Could any in the EO please elaborate the EO interpretation of the Real Presence of the Holy Communion and also the Death of the Incarnate Word on the Cross and Descent in Hell in the context of the EO Energies differentiation?  Is the Godhead actually present in consecrated Offering in the EO tradition? Did the Godhead participate jointly, inseparably with the Death and Descent into Hell of the Incarnate Word? I am very very curious so as to better understand the EO perspective to better explain and understand my own.

stay blessed,
habte selassiie
I am going to refrain from answering most of your questions as I am not EO, but, I think it's only natural their emphasis on the energies-essence distinction is a little different from ours. The EO placed a lot more emphasis on it after their schism from the Roman Catholic Church and naturally our view of the 'energies' of God is going to be different from the view taught by Gregory Palamas.
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« Reply #77 on: October 03, 2011, 06:31:07 PM »

Thread resurrection!

In what ways would these last four councils be "accepted"? How does one "accept" a council? I think I would be willing to receive the definitions of these councils as adequately orthodox statements of faith (so long as the anathemas off of our Blessed Fathers are lifted and the issues surrounding the Tome are solved), but I am not comfortable commemorating these councils liturgically, and I do not think we can accept them ecumenically as they were in their immediate historical contexts. How would the Chalcedonians on this board define "accepting" an "ecumenical council"?

I like Fr. Peter's suggestion of accepting a document based on the Tome without accepting the Tome itself and the wording contained therein. The Fathers and the hymns of our church are clear about Leo and his Tome, they cannot be accepted. I would like to think of lifting Leo's anathema as a case of economia, the same way St. Cyril allowed the Antiochians to revere Theodore so long as they were substantially orthodox in confession. The lifting of his anathema should in no way be interpreted as meaning that our Saints were wrong in condemning him.

What are your thoughts?
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« Reply #78 on: October 04, 2011, 01:43:19 AM »

How would the Chalcedonians on this board define "accepting" an "ecumenical council"?
I would define it as affirming the Orthodoxy of those councils and not acting contrary to the declarations of faith in those councils. (For example, Chalcedon's definition would have to be acceptable, but the Tome of Leo is not the definition of Chalcedon).

It seems logical that if OO representatives assent to the validity of the latter four EO councils, they would gain de-facto ecumenical status in the eyes of the OO.
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« Reply #79 on: October 04, 2011, 03:11:35 AM »

I don't see accepting a statement as Orthodox as being the same as granting ecumenicity.

We had a local synod a couple of months ago. It was entirely Orthodox, but that didn't make it ecumenical.

I also think that the EO will need to come to terms with Ephesus 449. I think that the extent to which you, Nicholas, must come to terms with it, is similar to the way that we might come to terms with Chalcedon.

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« Reply #80 on: October 04, 2011, 03:13:58 AM »

I don't see accepting a statement as Orthodox as being the same as granting ecumenicity.

What about councils 5-7? Wouldn't universal acceptance make them ecumenical?
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« Reply #81 on: October 04, 2011, 03:53:27 PM »

I don't see why. I can consider most of the output of Constantinople 553 as being consistent with my Orthodoxy, but that doesn't require me to consider it an ecumenical council.

Will you consider Ephesus 449 as an ecumencial council, which is what it was described as.

The later councils contain inaccurate and offensive anathemas on our Fathers, how can they be accepted? And I am not entirely in agreement with the 6th Council since it seems to me to not reflect the Cyrilline/Severan understanding of will. And the 7th Council is not really relevant. The OO have not accepted iconoclasm.

Since the OO have already condemned at Ephesus 449 those people condemned at Constantinople 553 why would we need to accept Constantinople 553 as ecumenical? Since we have not taught that the humanity of Christ is without a faculty of will then why do we need to accept that council as ecumenical. And since we have not taught that icons are not permitted why do we need to consider the 7th council as ecumenical?

The issues addressed in these latter councils seem to me to be internal to the EO communion and therefore could perhaps be considered local councils.
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