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Author Topic: Chalcedon-EO vs. OO  (Read 2635 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasia1
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« on: November 22, 2012, 01:38:51 AM »

How much does our differing view of the Council of Chalcedon and the miaphysite vs. dophysite nature of Christ matter?
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 01:51:25 AM »

Ooooooooooh, my dear lady...
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 01:58:26 AM »

You are newly illumined, Anastasia, and this issue can be both spiritually and mentally grieving. So I recommend you put it off for at least a few months.
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 11:09:23 AM »

How much does our differing view of the Council of Chalcedon and the miaphysite vs. dophysite nature of Christ matter?

I've really regretted studying the Chalcedon issue. My advice: don't study it too much, or at all really.
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 11:27:02 AM »

How much does our differing view of the Council of Chalcedon and the miaphysite vs. dophysite nature of Christ matter?

I've really regretted studying the Chalcedon issue. My advice: don't study it too much, or at all really.
This.
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 02:08:05 PM »

This came up in conversation with an Antiochian friend. If the churches positions are basically the same, and the OOs accept the idea or philosophy behind Chalcedon but object to the wording, why do the OO churches not just accept the council? I did not know how to reply.
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 02:13:18 PM »

If the churches positions are basically the same, and the OOs accept the idea or philosophy behind Chalcedon but object to the wording, why do the OO churches not just accept the council?

If the churches positions are basically the same, and the EO accept the idea or philosophy behind St. Cyril's one incarnate nature of God the Word, but object to the wording, why don't the EO just deny Chalcedon.

See, this works both ways.

Besides, I doubt whether the OO accept the 'idea' of Chalcedon. Chalcedon had the chance to accept a more conciliatory 'from to natures' but they went with the more controversial 'in two natures' because they were forced by the emperor and because they didn't really like Pope Dioscorus.

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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2012, 02:21:11 PM »

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

How much does our differing view of the Council of Chalcedon and the miaphysite vs. dophysite nature of Christ matter?

This was written by a favorite priest of mine who blessed me last Epiphany, it should clear up a lot of the Oriental perspective because as much as we all wish it didn't matter, it really and fundamentally does.  However studying Christology is not an obstacle, it is a powerfully moving opportunity to explore Jesus Christ and our relationship with who He is.



http://www.gorgiaspress.com/bookshop/showproduct.aspx?isbn=978-1-60724-528-5

stay blessed,
habte selassie

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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2012, 03:53:56 PM »

lets see if i can do it in less than 200 words...
ok, in 451AD the roman emperor wanted more power. he was trying hard to hold onto influence in egypt, realising it had been very powerful for many centuries and may break away. there were lots of other agendas but i can't remember them now.
there were several Christians in powerful state positions (on both sides) who were tempted to compromise on their faith to get favour from the state.
the churches had a few heresies to sort out, and wanted to get together to agree on stuff.
the various agendas clashed a bit, most people were not 100% Godly and people decided to disagree.
in 1990AD, many of them realised they had made a mistake and decided they were all truly orthodox.
ref: http://orthodoxunity.org/
(website by an orthodox priest who is very educated in these matters)
1.5 millenia of hate and mistrust takes some sorting out and we are working on it.
 Wink
have a look at the discussions on the 2 patriarchs called theodore 2nd for more tips on how we can love each other and work towards unity.
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2012, 04:15:48 PM »

Chalcedon had the chance to accept a more conciliatory 'from to natures' but they went with the more controversial 'in two natures' because they were forced by the emperor and because they didn't really like Pope Dioscorus.

Or because it's more accurate. angel

If the churches positions are basically the same, and the OOs accept the idea or philosophy behind Chalcedon but object to the wording, why do the OO churches not just accept the council?

If the churches positions are basically the same, and the EO accept the idea or philosophy behind St. Cyril's one incarnate nature of God the Word, but object to the wording, why don't the EO just deny Chalcedon.

See, this works both ways.

I find this logic a little faulty. It's different thing thing to say "I don't have reason to object X so I accept it" and "I don't have have reason to object X so I discard Y in favor of X".

So no, it doesn't work both ways.
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2012, 04:41:13 PM »

Chalcedon had the chance to accept a more conciliatory 'from to natures' but they went with the more controversial 'in two natures' because they were forced by the emperor and because they didn't really like Pope Dioscorus.

Or because it's more accurate. angel

2. When all had taken their seats in front of the rails of the holy
sanctuary, the most magnificent and glorious officials said: ‘Please make
known to us what you have determined about the faith.’

3. Asclepiades deacon of the great church of Constantinople read out
the definition, which it was decided not to include in these minutes.

4. After the reading, while some raised objections, John the most
devout bishop of Germanicia, {coming across to the centre,} said: ‘The
definition is not a good one and needs to be made precise.’

[...]

6. All the most devout bishops apart from the Romans and some of the
Orientals exclaimed: ‘The definition satisfies us all. This is the faith of the
fathers. Whoever holds a view contrary to this is a heretic. If anyone holds a
different view, let him be anathema. Drive out the Nestorians. This definition
satisfies everyone. Let those who do not anathematize Nestorius leave the
council.’

10. The most glorious officials said: ‘If it seems good, let us – taking six
of the most devout Oriental bishops, three from the diocese of Asiana, three
from Pontica, three from Illyricum, and three from Thrace, accompanied by
the most holy Archbishop Anatolius and the most devout men from Rome –
retire together into the oratory of the holy martyrium. When they have
examined everything in order, their recommendations concerning the holy
faith will be reported to you.’

11. The most devout bishops exclaimed: ‘The definition has satisfied
everyone. [Report] our statements to the emperor. This is the definition of
the orthodox.’

13. The most magnificent and glorious officials said: ‘Dioscorus said
that the reason for Flavian’s deposition was that he said there are two
natures but the definition has “from two natures”.’

14. Anatolius the most devout archbishop of Constantinople said: ‘It
was not because of the faith that Dioscorus was deposed. He was deposed
because he broke off communion with the lord Archbishop Leo and was
summoned a third time and did not come.

15. The most glorious officials said: ‘Do you accept the letter of
Archbishop Leo?’

16. The most devout bishops exclaimed: ‘Yes, we have accepted and
signed it.’

17. The most glorious officials said: ‘Then its contents must be inserted
in the definition.’

18. The most devout bishops exclaimed: ‘Another definition must not
be produced. Nothing is lacking in the definition.’

19. Eusebius the most devout bishop of Dorylaeum said: ‘Another
definition must not be produced.’

[...]

21. The most glorious officials said: ‘Your acclamations will be
reported to our most divine and pious master.’

22. Our most divine and pious master [=Emperor Marcian] has issued the following commands.
Either, in accordance with the decision of the most magnificent and glorious
officials, six of the most devout bishops of the diocese of the Orient, three
from Pontica, three from Asiana, three from Thrace, and three from
Illyricum, in the company of the most holy Archbishop Anatolius and the
most devout men from Rome, are to go into the oratory of the most holy
martyrium and produce a correct and unimpeachable definition of the faith
so as to please everyone and leave not a single doubt. Or, if you do not
approve this, each one of you is to make his faith known through his
metropolitan so as likewise to leave no doubt or disagreement. If your
holinesses do not want even this, you are to know that the council will have
to meet in the western parts, since your religiousness is unwilling to issue
here an unambiguous definition of the true and orthodox faith.

23. The most devout bishops exclaimed: ‘Many years to the emperor!
Let the definition be confirmed or we shall leave. Many years to the
emperors!’

24. Cecropius the most devout bishop of Sebastopolis said: ‘We
propose that the definition be read out and that those who dissent and will
not sign it should leave. For we are agreed with what had been well defined,
and raise no objections.’

25. The most devout bishops of Illyricum said: ‘Let those who dissent make themselves known. The dissenters are Nestorians. Let the dissenters
go off to Rome.’

26. The most magnificent and glorious officials said: ‘Dioscorus said, “I
accept ‘from two natures’, but I do not accept ‘two’.” But the most holy
Archbishop Leo says that there are two natures in Christ, united without
confusion, change or separation in the one only-begotten Son our Saviour.
So whom do you follow – the most holy Leo, or Dioscorus?’

27. The most devout bishops exclaimed: ‘We believe as Leo does.
Those who object are Eutychianists. Leo’s teaching was orthodox.’

28. The most magnificent and glorious officials said: ‘Then add to the
definition in accordance with the decree of our most holy father Leo that
there are two natures united without change, division or confusion in Christ.’

29. At the request of all, the most glorious officials went into the oratory
of the most holy martyr Euphemia together with Anatolius etc.

- Acts of the Council of Chalcedon, Richard Price and Michael Gaddis, volume 2, session 5, pp. 196-200



« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 04:46:58 PM by Cyrillic » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2012, 05:54:11 PM »

I moved part of this thread to the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,48167.msg839628.html#top

Those who want to experience the horrors of the private forum can pm Fr. George for admission.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Get off the internet and eat something.
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2012, 06:31:33 PM »

This came up in conversation with an Antiochian friend. If the churches positions are basically the same, and the OOs accept the idea or philosophy behind Chalcedon but object to the wording, why do the OO churches not just accept the council? I did not know how to reply.

Studying about Chalcedon can be difficult, to put it nicely.  Without going into detail, there was a lot of behavior exhibited in relation to that council that was unChristian, and the council resulted in the split between the Chalcedonians and the OO's that exists to this day.  I know of people who completely lost their faith after studying about Chalcedon.

When asked the question posed by your Antiochian friend, I usually respond:

1.  Why should we accept another council when the three we have already completely express the Orthodox Faith?  We believe in using as little language as possible to describe God, since He is a great mystery.  In our Faith, more is not necessarily better.  We do not like to over-define God.  Using the least language possible to describe God is best.  

^This is something I heard from an Armenian deacon.  I know the "least language is better" sentiment expresses the feelings of the Armenian tradition.  I suspect the other OO Churches are similar in that regard.


2.  We can say we believe the same thing as the EO's because of another council they held one hundred years after Chalcedon (their 5th council.)  During their 5th council, the Chalcedonians made it clear that Chalcedon was not to be used to support a heresy called Nestorianism.  Prior to their 5th council, it was not quite so clear, and people who held a Nestorian Christology were using Chalcedon to support their point of view.  (This was despite the participants at Chalcedon condemning Nestorius.)

So we believe as the EO's do, but it is not because of Chalcedon itself.  It's because of things done after Chalcedon, including the EO's 5th council.  


3. Chalcedon itself is still problematic to the OO's, partly because it incorporates the Tome of Leo (a letter written by Leo I of Rome.)  The Tome, in addition to using the "in two natures" language and other expressions favored at the time by Nestorians, also condemned the "one nature" language which was used by St. Cyril and which the OO's have always upheld as Orthodox.

Again, it can be said that in light of the Chalcedonian's 5th council, the Tome of Leo can only be read in an Orthodox way, but the OO's will not accept a document that we consider to be so problematic on its face.


4.  Lastly, we have to consider some very bad history surrounding Chalcedon, and following Chalcedon.  I don't want to go into too much detail, as that is more appropriate for the private forum, but for centuries after Chalcedon the OO's did suffer persecution for their rejection of that council.  For the Armenians this would include mass deportations during the time of the emperor maurice (early seventh century.)

It's hard to embrace a council that was used to persecute your people.  That may be a psychological, rather than a theological, reason.  However, it is important and may be one of the biggest obstacles to our ever accepting Chalcedon.
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2012, 07:56:32 PM »

Those are some good answers.
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2012, 10:23:29 PM »

Another post was moved to the private forum.  I'd like people to stick to answering Anastasia's questions.  Thanks.
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2012, 10:33:43 PM »

It matters enough that our priest here in Albuqerque has said that we will under no circumstance commune EOs (there is no conceivable circumstance in which this might arise, as they have their own OO churches here, but I guess he felt it needed to be said), and that we are not to commune with them. Before I was even able to commune with the Copts when I was still not yet baptized, I mentioned to the priest over the Agape meal that I might like to visit the local OCA back home when visiting family over Christmas vacation and was told in quite blunt terms by some of the laity "Don't commune with them; that's not something we do", so apparently the laity feel it very important, too. In my catechesis, which was very informal, the priest sat me down and explained to me the Coptic view of the council and why the Tome, in his words, was "full of heresies" (e.g., certain language in it seems to go against St. Cyril's anathemas), and that we will never believe in it.

So I can't pretend to know the controversy backwards and forwards, but I definitely received the message that it is quite important, or at least that we did not separate for any of the rather shallow reasons that have been popularly advanced by some non-OO (e.g., budding ethnic nationalism, pure stubborn rejection of imperial authority, etc.), but due to substantial and real concerns over what we were being asked to accept in the council and as a result of the council.

I'm with everybody else that this is probably the kind of thing you can go crazy studying. I am glad to study the minimum of Christological controversy (read: NOT Christology, which at least can be approached on its own, and is quite beneficial), as I find it has basically nothing to do with my everyday life and worship.

Congratulations on being received into the Orthodox faith, by the way. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2012, 10:54:47 PM »

I just need to mention that the Armenian Church is more liberal than the Copts on the issue of communing EO's.  Our priests do commune them in recognition of the fact that we do believe we have the same faith.

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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2012, 10:59:40 PM »

we did not separate for any of the rather shallow reasons that have been popularly advanced by some non-OO (e.g., budding ethnic nationalism, pure stubborn rejection of imperial authority, etc.),

I'm glad you brought this up.  Anastasia will probably come across this assertion sooner or later.  It absolutely is ridiculous when used against the Armenians.  We rejected Chalcedon in the early 500's (we didn't hear about it until then.)  At that time in history, the Byzantine Emperor Zeno had enacted the Henoticon, which was a decree downplaying the importance of Chalcedon.  The Armenians, if anything, were going along with imperial policy when they rejected Chalcedon.  There was nothing rebellious about such a rejection at that time.
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2012, 11:19:48 PM »

It's too late to edit it, but I did just notice that I wrote "they (Chalcedonians) have their own OO churches here", when obviously I meant that they have their own EO churches here (Greek and OCA, if I recall correctly).

Probably nobody noticed, but dang it...that sort of thing still bothers me. Haha.
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« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2012, 12:03:16 AM »

Our priests do commune them in recognition of the fact that we do believe we have the same faith.
Do any EO priests do that with us?
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« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2012, 02:02:23 AM »

I enjoy learning about this sort of thing.
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« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2012, 07:40:53 AM »

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

How much does our differing view of the Council of Chalcedon and the miaphysite vs. dophysite nature of Christ matter?

This was written by a favorite priest of mine who blessed me last Epiphany, it should clear up a lot of the Oriental perspective because as much as we all wish it didn't matter, it really and fundamentally does.  However studying Christology is not an obstacle, it is a powerfully moving opportunity to explore Jesus Christ and our relationship with who He is.



http://www.gorgiaspress.com/bookshop/showproduct.aspx?isbn=978-1-60724-528-5

stay blessed,
habte selassie


I would love to buy that book. What a shame it is so expensive.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 07:41:06 AM by Severian » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2012, 07:55:55 AM »

Our priests do commune them in recognition of the fact that we do believe we have the same faith.
Do any EO priests do that with us?

With the permission of their Bishop IME on a case by case basis.
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« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2012, 01:46:36 PM »

a while back, i asked my confession father (a hegumen, which is a senior priest), if i could take communion when i visited a country with no OO churches. he said yes, and he was coptic.
i also know at least one OO priest who will give communion to EO laity (not to clergy as we are supposed to wait to our patriarchs to agree before that).

so different priests / bishops have different approaches.
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« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2012, 03:11:21 PM »


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



How much does our differing view of the Council of Chalcedon and the miaphysite vs. dophysite nature of Christ matter?

This was written by a favorite priest of mine who blessed me last Epiphany, it should clear up a lot of the Oriental perspective because as much as we all wish it didn't matter, it really and fundamentally does.  However studying Christology is not an obstacle, it is a powerfully moving opportunity to explore Jesus Christ and our relationship with who He is.



http://www.gorgiaspress.com/bookshop/showproduct.aspx?isbn=978-1-60724-528-5

stay blessed,
habte selassie


I would love to buy that book. What a shame it is so expensive.

Indeed!  The Father let me photo copy of the meatier portions  angel, but I wish I had it in its entirety its one of the most crucial books on my shelf.  While it is specifically Ethiopian and uses Ge'ez and Amharic theological language and terms, it is also comparative, exploring the Syrian and Coptic Fathers insights as well as a thorough explanation of what exactly Oriental Fathers imply by Miaphysis, because in truth the EO also accept this term, but clearly we all mean different things by the same word. Kesis Mebaratu is a great man with a delightful sense of humor aside from being a Christological genius Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie

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« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2012, 04:39:59 PM »

so different priests / bishops have different approaches.

IMO this could be much worse than intercommunion. Either bishops have no official policy on this or priests are openly disobeying their bishops.
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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2012, 07:05:18 AM »

i met one priest (EO) who gave communion to an OO Christian. i don't think it was something he did often, as there were extremely few OO Christians in his country.
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« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2012, 10:42:56 AM »

i met one priest (EO) who gave communion to an OO Christian. i don't think it was something he did often, as there were extremely few OO Christians in his country.
Do you mind revealing what country this took place in?
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« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2012, 10:55:50 AM »

will send p.m. so no one gets into trouble!
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« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2012, 02:39:55 PM »

I know a priest who is fine with communing lay Oriental Orthodox, so long as they aren't theologians or especially well-versed, as, essentially, most Orthodox on either side (in this case, the Oriental side) do not understand the christology well enough to make them unorthodox. From an EO perspective, they possess the Orthodox faith because they don't know enough to not be Orthodox. But it is a case-by-case pastoral judgement, of course.
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« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2012, 07:21:41 PM »

i met one priest (EO) who gave communion to an OO Christian. i don't think it was something he did often, as there were extremely few OO Christians in his country.
Do you mind revealing what country this took place in?

It happens in America within the OCA.
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« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2012, 07:38:47 PM »

I saw my parish's former priest give Communion to an Armenian lady. (I say former because he just retired- he didn't get removed or anything.) The lady was the last person in the Communion line. One of the ushers was helping her walk because she was elderly. The usher said to the priest, "And this lady is from the Armenian Church..." The priest quickly said, "Let her come, let her come," and gave her Communion.

I'm not chrismated so I just sat and watched like I do each week. This really made me smile, though.  angel
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« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2012, 08:28:32 PM »

I just put into the private forum some off topic posts, as well as a post by an EO which implied that belief in Chalcedon's terminology is necessary for salvation.  

Again I ask that people stick to posting answers to Anastasia's questions, and that they do so without insinuating that OO's are going to hell.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
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« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2012, 08:52:42 PM »

If the churches positions are basically the same, and the OOs accept the idea or philosophy behind Chalcedon but object to the wording, why do the OO churches not just accept the council?

If the churches positions are basically the same, and the EO accept the idea or philosophy behind St. Cyril's one incarnate nature of God the Word, but object to the wording, why don't the EO just deny Chalcedon.

See, this works both ways.

Besides, I doubt whether the OO accept the 'idea' of Chalcedon. Chalcedon had the chance to accept a more conciliatory 'from to natures' but they went with the more controversial 'in two natures' because they were forced by the emperor and because they didn't really like Pope Dioscorus.


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,48167.msg840519/topicseen.html#msg840519
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« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2012, 02:09:55 AM »

Congratulations on being received into the Orthodox faith, by the way. Smiley
This was to me, right?  If so, thanks. Cheesy

Ok, so Chalcedon seems to take on more importance as people get into it, and the context seems to have shaped the impact it has within each group-EO and OO, both individually as members and organizationally in our inability to easily unite.
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« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2012, 02:18:46 AM »

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

Congratulations on being received into the Orthodox faith, by the way. Smiley
This was to me, right?  If so, thanks. Cheesy

Ok, so Chalcedon seems to take on more importance as people get into it, and the context seems to have shaped the impact it has within each group-EO and OO, both individually as members and organizationally in our inability to easily unite.

To try to stay out of trouble here and readdress the OP..
How much does our differing view of the Council of Chalcedon and the miaphysite vs. dophysite nature of Christ matter?

..it seems from my experience that even very casual Oriental Orthodox seem to be fairly aware about their Christology.  The discrepancies and discussions between Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox about Chalcedon I'd suggest reflect these underlying Christological inclinations more than Chalcedon itself defines them.  Chalcedon is a springboard.  I still personally don't feel that our differences are such that we should be separated into polemic camps of disunion, however I do believe the distinctions are more rightfully substantive than semantic or symbolic.

stay blessed,
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« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2012, 07:19:24 AM »

I moved part of this thread to the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,48167.msg839628.html#top

Those who want to experience the horrors of the private forum can pm Fr. George for admission.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Get off the internet and eat something.


How do I contact him to gain access?
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« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2012, 08:11:43 AM »

I moved part of this thread to the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,48167.msg839628.html#top

Those who want to experience the horrors of the private forum can pm Fr. George for admission.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Get off the internet and eat something.


How do I contact him to gain access?

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?action=pm;sa=send;u=755

or if that doesn't work

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=755
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« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2012, 07:22:16 PM »

I moved part of this thread to the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,48167.msg839628.html#top

Those who want to experience the horrors of the private forum can pm Fr. George for admission.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Get off the internet and eat something.


How do I contact him to gain access?

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?action=pm;sa=send;u=755

or if that doesn't work

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=755


Thank you!
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"If I say, "My foot slips," Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul." Psalm 94:18-19
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