Good posts Ialmisry.
How was Constantinople II accepted? No-one in the West knew what it was about. The great saint Columbanus had got completely the wrong end of the stick.
For a receptionist like myself, and I would say the Orthodox Church, it doesn't matter. Receptionism answers the criticism
Theologians such as Fr. John S. Romanides have argued, however, that the councils universally regarded as ecumenical within the Orthodox Church seemed of themselves to have no sense of requiring a reception by the Church before they went into effect. Their texts do indeed include self-declarations of their ecumenicity, and in most cases, their decrees immediately were written into Roman imperial law. No condition of later reception is reflected in the councils' texts. http://orthodoxwiki.org/Ecumenical_council
Further, the question of when exactly one may say that the Church has received or rejected a council is not answerable by receptionist theory. Another ecclesiological problem is also created by receptionism: Why is it, for instance, that the Fourth Ecumenical Council may be said to have been "received by the whole Church" while significant numbers of Christians apparently within the Church rejected it, leading to the schism which even now persists? Such reasoning is circular, because whoever accepts a council is therefore inside the Church, but any who reject it are outside. In other words, such councils are ecumenical essentially because those who hold to their decrees declare themselves exclusively to be the Church.
with that fact that Ecumenical Councils are called to answer an existential crisis, forcing a choice. Neither Ephesus II nor Chalcedon (nor, for that matter the Iconoclasts' council of Hieria, nor the Arian council of Sirmium) contain any "sense of requiring a reception by the Church before they went into effect. Their texts do indeed include self-declarations of their ecumenicity, and in most cases, their decrees immediately were written into Roman imperial law. No condition of later reception is reflected in the councils' texts." In contrast, the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople I was convened as a local Council, no representative of Rome attended and no bishop from the West and, because of Pat. Meletius opening the Synod, Rome was in schism with the participants. If anything, its decree was writting Roman imperial law (the Edict of Thessalonica) into dogma. And yet the Council had the greatest number of saints of any Council, and is universally accepted as Ecumenical by everyone except for aberrant heretics far from the mainstream of Christianity. IOW, simply put, the detractors of "receptionism" want something external to Church to relieve them of the burden of taking a stand. Sorry, no such thing exists, despite what the Vatican says.
How is Ephesus II accepted?
Ultimately, it wasn't: the Emperor signed its decrees into law, and immediately he used the power of the state to enforce it, but it was nearly all undone within a matter of years, the only exceptions being that the three patriarchs Pope Dioscoros by Ephesus II put in power remained in power and sat at Chalcedon, deposing Pope Dioscoros, and that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem remained a Patriarchate, a decision ratified at Chalcedon. Except for the backdrop for Pope Dioscoros' high tide, it passed from the memory even of the OO.
I am not sure it is in the way you seem to be meaning. Indeed I am not sure that the OO developed the same dogmatic/polemical view of councils which developed after Chalcedon.
oh, it is displayed quite openly at Ephesus II about Ephesus I.
Ephesus II was considered an ecumenical council, but I don't see the OO using it as a stick to beat Chalcedonians with.
It may be labeled "Cyrillian," but its there.
The important ones were (and are) Nicaea and Ephesus I.
All the later conciliar activity hopefully adds clarification to the Faith, and if not then as far as I can see the OO have moved on. Ephesus III included many hundreds of bishops. That is also not well known. It is surely an aspect of the Church to gather synodically but not every synod or council ends up being of lasting value to the Church.
yes, we have the same idea of Ecumenical Councils, Pan-Orthodox councils and locals councils, and the distinction between them.
So Ephesus II is important from an ecumenical, and historical truth point of view, but the Faith of the OO communion does not depend on it, rather it is illustrated by it.
You have to paint a picture to make an illustration, and Ephesus II seems quite blank, barely more than a name. One cannot even say that its decisions are held, as its main aim, the rehabilitation of Eutyches, has been edited out in view of subsequent events. Even its deposition of Theodoret and Ibas, given the manner of its procedural defects, has nothing to speak in its favor.
If you don't want to accept it as important then I'd want to know why not
Of course, in a historical sense, it is important. As a theological statement, it has no importance at all: for the Chalcedonians, it is void. For the non-Chalcedonians, where is its statement of faith?
and if your rejection of it describes a different Faith, but counting councils in itself is not a guarantee of the Faith.
which is exactly the point: it doesn't matter whether you accept 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 21 or 22 councils, but what Councils you accept. When the EO say seven, we know which 7 we are talking about, and what they said. I recall a theologian being examined in Greece, when he was asked to recite the Creed, rattled off the Definition of Nicea and Constantinople. When he was told to preface that with "I believe", he began to try to explain his theology. The bishops, however, would have none of it: if you cannot confess the Nicene Creed, we have no interest in anything further you want to say (Theodoret tried the same trick at Chalcedon).
There are EO who haven't got a clue what the 7, 8 or 9 ecumenical councils taught, and even believe things that are condemned by these councils.
There are plenty of US citizens who haven't a clue what is in the constitution, and plenty of British subjects who could tell you what is in Magna Charter, but I wouldn't ask to have their citizenship revoked. There are those OO who haven't a clue about Councils 1-3 taught. The question is do they differ to the bishops, who should know what they teach, and accept their correction.
WHat is meant by 'accepting' in such cases? What is meant by rejection in terms of Chalcedon.
Not knowing what Chalcedon taught is one thing, refusing to recognize what Chalcedon taught is another.
Rather than comparing apples and oranges, we can pick the creme of the crop and compare them as to what the Councils taught and the issues about their reception and rejection.
I certainly don't consider the Definition of Faith or the Tome of Leo of lasting value to the Church. I appreciate respectfully that you do. But neither point of view in regard to the Definition or the Tome says anything exact about what we actually believe (as I know you know).
That is an issue, in particlar for the Definition of Faith, because it does, as the title says, define the Faith. If we are to compare the OO Faith and EO, whether to see that they are the same or to declare them different, ipso facto, the Definition of Chalcedon, as the definition of the EO Faith (amongst others), is involved and of lasting value to the Church.
John of Antioch needed to accept certain aspects of the teaching of Ephesus I to come into communion with Cyril, but I don't believe he ever considered that Cyril's council was an ecumenical one, nor undoubtedly did Theodoret or Ibas ever consider it ecumenical.
Neither of us have any interest in Theodoret or Ibas' opinions on these matters, nor is John of Antioch's determinative. I don't believe for a moment that his reservations about the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus make you, Father, or any OO doubt the ecumenical status of Ephesus I.
And in regard to the last point, well I guess I am not asking you to remove your landmarks, nor willing to remove my own. Is it not important that after Constantinople II clarified Chalcedon and excluded various heretical positions we find ourselves in the same place? Does it matter absolutely that there is disagreement about certain aspects of history?
That is sort of like asking if we can depend on the synotics and do away with St. John's Gospel. Finding oursevles in the same place is a problem crying out for a solution.
I don't think it absolutely matters to me. I will always consider Chalcedon problematic,
LOL. More problematic than Ephesus II, Father?
and you may well always consider the anti-Chalcedonian response to Chalcedon problematic. But does that matter if on the substance of the Faith we are in agreement? If someone were to say that it is a matter of dogma that Chalcedon be 'accepted' or 'rejected' I would think that they didn't really understand the Faith at all.
I'm afraid this is a rather odd statement, Father, given the OO spin on Theodoret and Ibas' anathematization of Nestorius and embrace of the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (I).
I dare say, that if Eutyches had not "returned to his vomit," as someone quoted Pat. Sevrius (IIRC) later, and had Chalcedon not occured, the OO position on the council of Ephesus II would be quite different, more like the EO reception of Councils. To the EO who know that you have not canonized Eutyches and not embraced his heresy, it bewilders us how exactly you "receive" Ephesus II, which seems to be the template we are being asked from the OO side to embrace.