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Author Topic: OO Monophysite or Miaphysite?  (Read 3503 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 06, 2013, 08:31:48 AM »

I understand this can be a controversial topic but are there any OO's that are happy to be described as, or who self-identify as, being Monophysite? How many are content that Miaphysitism is generally seen as a sub-category of Monophysitism?

It occurs to me since the lifting of the mutual anathemas that from the EO perspective there are interpretations of Monophysitism that are acceptable to Chalcedonians. Yet from what I've seen from publications on the net OO authors seem to be insisting that OO's are not Monophysite at all?

In short can I get a Proud Monophysite Grin

Monophysitism Reconsidered
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 08:43:24 AM »

Calling someone Miaphysite instead of Monophysite is a bit like calling someone a person of colour rather than a coloured person. They mean pretty much the exact same thing, but one has a pejorative connotation (in this case it is associated with a particular heresy) while the other does not.

As long as 'monophysite' continues to imply that Christ was only divine, that His divinity swallowed up His humanity, or that the two were mingled or altered as a result of the hypostatic union, most OO will probably continue to insist on being called 'miaphysites'. It hasn't completely worked though. I recently read a paper in the Cambridge History of Early Christianity where the author, keen not to offend, used the term 'miaphysite' rather than 'monophysite'. The problem was that she was using 'miaphysite' to mean the belief that Christ was only divine and not human. So perhaps better to make the distinction between orthodox monophysitism (or 'moderate monophysitism' as academics often use) and heretical monophysitism, before 'miaphysite' simply ends up taking on the old heretical/pejorative definition.
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 09:33:54 AM »

As I always say, if you're comfortable calling St. Cyril "Monophysite", then we're comfortable with being called that too.  The whole point is to point to the source of our beliefs, who is revered as a Church father by all.
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 09:40:15 AM »

Calling someone Miaphysite instead of Monophysite is a bit like calling someone a person of colour rather than a coloured person. They mean pretty much the exact same thing, but one has a pejorative connotation (in this case it is associated with a particular heresy) while the other does not.

So theres a prejudice implied and thats how it's perceived by OO's but it would be unusual for no one to turn around and say, well hey I'm a Monophysite and I'm proud of it!

As long as 'monophysite' continues to imply that Christ was only divine, that His divinity swallowed up His humanity, or that the two were mingled or altered as a result of the hypostatic union, most OO will probably continue to insist on being called 'miaphysites'. It hasn't completely worked though. I recently read a paper in the Cambridge History of Early Christianity where the author, keen not to offend, used the term 'miaphysite' rather than 'monophysite'. The problem was that she was using 'miaphysite' to mean the belief that Christ was only divine and not human. So perhaps better to make the distinction between orthodox monophysitism (or 'moderate monophysitism' as academics often use) and heretical monophysitism, before 'miaphysite' simply ends up taking on the old heretical/pejorative definition.

As you said above it means the same thing 'One Nature' and however that one divine nature, or monophysis, is explained and defined it will allways amount to the same thing because the humanity of Christ, and whatever is meant by that, exists only in relation to and in the context of his absolute divinity.
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 09:47:51 AM »

As I always say, if you're comfortable calling St. Cyril "Monophysite", then we're comfortable with being called that too.  The whole point is to point to the source of our beliefs, who is revered as a Church father by all.

One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate
I don't have a problem seeing this as a Monophysite statement but then I don't mean the term in a pejorative way and don't wish to offend.
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 09:50:36 AM »

One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate
I don't have a problem seeing this as a Monophysite statement but then I don't mean the term in a pejorative way and don't wish to offend.

Mia Physis tou Theou Logou Sesarkomene
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 03:40:49 PM »

As I always say, if you're comfortable calling St. Cyril "Monophysite", then we're comfortable with being called that too.  The whole point is to point to the source of our beliefs, who is revered as a Church father by all.

One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate
I don't have a problem seeing this as a Monophysite statement but then I don't mean the term in a pejorative way and don't wish to offend.
You may have no problem with it, but there's a hypocritical approach from scholars to call OOs Monophysite, but St. Cyril Orthodox, as if this phrase never existed in his slew of writings and thought.

It's why OOs take a stand and just say, "We're not Monophysite, get your malarkey together."
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 03:44:39 PM »

Just pronounce the o as an a and its cool.

This is Mina my monaphysite.
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 03:47:47 PM »

Just pronounce the o as an a and its cool.

This is Mina my monaphysite.

That just makes me sound black...

holla @ yo monaphysite?
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 04:13:12 PM »

If "monophysite" were used as a categorical term like "dyophysite" is sometimes, then I don't think there would be so many problems.

Dyophysite Christologies:
+ Chalcedonian
+ Nestorian
etc.

Monophysite Christologies:
+ Non-Chalcedonian (Miaphysite)
+ Eutychian
etc.
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 04:21:16 PM »

If "monophysite" were used as a categorical term like "dyophysite" is sometimes, then I don't think there would be so many problems.

Dyophysite Christologies:
+ Chalcedonian
+ Nestorian
etc.

Monophysite Christologies:
+ Non-Chalcedonian (Miaphysite)
+ Eutychian
etc.

Exactly!
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2013, 05:00:57 PM »

Just pronounce the o as an a and its cool.

This is Mina my monaphysite.

That just makes me sound black...

holla @ yo monaphysite?

What ever happend to those monofists?
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2013, 05:25:03 PM »

Just pronounce the o as an a and its cool.

This is Mina my monaphysite.

That just makes me sound black...

holla @ yo monaphysite?

What ever happend to those monofists?

monafizite wut?
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2013, 07:02:20 PM »

Just pronounce the o as an a and its cool.

This is Mina my monaphysite.

That just makes me sound black...

holla @ yo monaphysite?

What ever happend to those monofists?

Is that like what they do in a kung-fu movie?
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2013, 09:14:12 AM »

monafizite wut?

a little humor from the private forum.
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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2013, 09:14:57 AM »

Is that like what they do in a kung-fu movie?

Yes, but without the bad lip-syncing.
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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2013, 09:19:21 AM »

Does anyone know when the term "Miaphysite" started to be used and by whom?  Would using "Henophysite" been the better way to go?
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2013, 10:17:39 AM »

As I always say, if you're comfortable calling St. Cyril "Monophysite", then we're comfortable with being called that too.  The whole point is to point to the source of our beliefs, who is revered as a Church father by all.

One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate
I don't have a problem seeing this as a Monophysite statement but then I don't mean the term in a pejorative way and don't wish to offend.

This phrase is always translated so badly. It should be, "one incarnate nature." The standard interpretation according to the Chalcedonians, like the Leontioi, Maximus the Confessor, and John of Damascus is that this formula is not monophysite at all.
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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2013, 11:11:29 AM »

Does anyone know when the term "Miaphysite" started to be used and by whom?  Would using "Henophysite" been the better way to go?

What would the difference be? In Greek the number and noun have to agree in gender. Mia is 'one' feminine. For example, in the Creed we say "hena Theon" and "hena Kurion" but "mian, agian, katholiken kai apostoliken Ekklesia"* since the word "ekklesia" is feminin. Switching to the masculine or neuter doesn't change the meaning.


* Apologies for Erasmian rather than phonetic spelling.
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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2013, 11:30:56 AM »

monafizite wut?

a little humor from the private forum.

Less humor from the rest of the world.
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« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2013, 11:37:40 AM »

You may have no problem with it, but there's a hypocritical approach from scholars to call OOs Monophysite, but St. Cyril Orthodox, as if this phrase never existed in his slew of writings and thought.


Actually, during the theological debates of 523, one of the Chalcedonian representatives, Hypatius of Ephesus, believed that all the references of "one nature" in St. Cyril's writings were "...the result of interpolation by heretics".

From "Nestorius was Orthodox" by Milton V. Anastos, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Vol. 16 (1962), pp. 117-140

http://www.jstor.org/stable/1291160

The footnote on p. 120 reads:

In 532, Hypatius of Ephesus, a strict Chalcedonian, denounced the Apollinarian forgeries. He refused to believe that the highly revered Cyril could ever have been duped by them and preferred to regard the frequent appearance of the Apollinarian formula in Cyril's works as the result of interpolation by heretics: Acta conciliorum oecumenicorum, ed. Eduard Schwartz (cited infra as ACO), 4, 2 (Berlin, 1914), 171.40-173.2, 179.38-180.3; cf. note 8 infra.
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« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2013, 11:49:07 AM »

What would the difference be? In Greek the number and noun have to agree in gender. Mia is 'one' feminine. For example, in the Creed we say "hena Theon" and "hena Kurion" but "mian, agian, katholiken kai apostoliken Ekklesia"* since the word "ekklesia" is feminin. Switching to the masculine or neuter doesn't change the meaning.

* Apologies for Erasmian rather than phonetic spelling.

My impression, if I'm not mistaken, from those posters here knowledgeable in Greek is "Miaphysite" is a distinction without a difference from "Monophysite".  But Henophysite may more clearly indicate the intent of the union of natures. I think I came across that point from something Fr. John McGuckin wrote.
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« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2013, 11:57:12 AM »

Does anyone know when the term "Miaphysite" started to be used and by whom?  Would using "Henophysite" been the better way to go?

But then the reference to St. Cyril would be lost.
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« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2013, 12:10:44 PM »

My impression, if I'm not mistaken, from those posters here knowledgeable in Greek is "Miaphysite" is a distinction without a difference from "Monophysite".  But Henophysite may more clearly indicate the intent of the union of natures. I think I came across that point from something Fr. John McGuckin wrote.

I don't see the reasoning behind it. 'Mono' and 'mia' are numerically the same, but at least they're different words - 'only/single' and 'one' - 'hen' and 'mia' are the same word, just different genders, so I don't see what it would change.
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« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2013, 12:11:14 PM »

Does anyone know when the term "Miaphysite" started to be used and by whom?  Would using "Henophysite" been the better way to go?

But then the reference to St. Cyril would be lost.

Just thinking out loud I guess.
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« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2013, 12:16:27 PM »

I don't see the reasoning behind it. 'Mono' and 'mia' are numerically the same, but at least they're different words - 'only/single' and 'one' - 'hen' and 'mia' are the same word, just different genders, so I don't see what it would change.

Sorry, Orthodox11. This is where my ignorance comes into play. I though "Heno" meant union or joining into one, not just a single one like "mono". 
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« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2013, 12:45:18 PM »

Does anyone know when the term "Miaphysite" started to be used and by whom?  Would using "Henophysite" been the better way to go?

This is what I found using my mad netodox skills:

Footnote 9, p. 262:

S. Brock, ‘The Christology of the Church of the East’, in Tradition and Heritage of
the Christian East: Proceedings of the International Conference (Moscow, 1996), 163–4,
proposes Miaphysite or Henophysite as more accurate alternatives; although the
former has now been adopted by some, Monophysite remains the recognized term.


http://www.carmelapologetics.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/the_late_Geoffrey_de_Ste._Croix-Christian_Persecution_Martyrdom_and_Orthodoxy-Oxford_University_Press_USA2006.pdf
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« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2013, 01:02:47 PM »

Sorry, Orthodox11. This is where my ignorance comes into play. I though "Heno" meant union or joining into one, not just a single one like "mono". 

Perhaps the 'ω' would denote some kind of joining, as in the word ἐνωσις (union). There should be a canon against discussing theology using the Latin alphabet Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2013, 04:11:35 PM »

Again, if it's semantics, I won't disagree.  But the problem again, it's not the semantic nature of it, but the pejorative way it is used.  If your most strict Chalcedonian is willing to call St. Cyril by the same terminology, then I don't mind being called whatever he's called, even a "Monosesarkomeniphysite" if that's what you want to call him.

In the end, people tend to call him "Orthodox" and so do we call ourselves.

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« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2013, 04:16:38 PM »

Again, if it's semantics, I won't disagree.  But the problem again, it's not the semantic nature of it, but the pejorative way it is used.  If your most strict Chalcedonian is willing to call St. Cyril by the same terminology, then I don't mind being called whatever he's called, even a "Monosesarkomeniphysite" if that's what you want to call him.

In the end, people tend to call him "Orthodox" and so do we call ourselves.



mono or mia, either way you're slang for disease or disorder.
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« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2013, 04:47:04 PM »

mono or mia, either way you're slang for disease or disorder.

Oh, mama mia!
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« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2013, 10:04:50 PM »

mono or mia, either way you're slang for disease or disorder.

Oh, mama mia!
Mia lika this movie.
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« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2013, 12:32:22 AM »

This is what I consider to be perhaps the most concise and thorough statement of the Miaphysite Faith from St Cyril:

"Accordingly when we assert the union of the Word of God the Father to his holy body which has a rational soul, a union which is ineffable and beyond thought and which took place without blending, without change, without alteration, we confess one Christ, Son and Lord, the Word of God the Father, the same God and man, not one and another, but one and the same, being, and known to be, God and man. Therefore sometimes he speaks as man according to the dispensation and according to his humanity, and sometimes as God he makes statements by the authority of his divinity.
 
"And we make the following assertions also. While skillfully examining the manner of his dispensation with the flesh and finely probing the mystery, we see that the Word of God the Father was made man and was made flesh and that he has not fashioned that holy body from his divine nature but rather took it from the Virgin Mary. Since how did he become man, if he has not possessed a body like ours? Considering, therefore, as I said, the manner of his Incarnation we see that his two natures came together with each other in an indissoluble union, without blending and without change, for his flesh is flesh and not divinity, even though his flesh became the flesh of God, and likewise the Word also is God and not flesh, even though he made the flesh his own according to the dispensation.
 
"Therefore, whenever we have these thoughts in no way do we harm the joining into a unity by saying he was of two natures, but after the union, we do not separate the natures from one another, nor do we cut the one and indivisible Son into two sons, but we say that there is one Son, and as the holy Fathers have said, that there is one nature of the Word [of God] made flesh."
- Papa Abba St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 45:6 (to Succenus, Bishop of Diocaesarea in Isauria)
 
Emphasis mine.
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« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2013, 02:56:55 PM »

Again, if it's semantics, I won't disagree.  But the problem again, it's not the semantic nature of it, but the pejorative way it is used....In the end, people tend to call him "Orthodox" and so do we call ourselves. 
Agreed. Just look the first post of the thread calling Metropolitan Kallistos Ware a heretic because he communed to "monophysites" which was changed to "Oriental Orthodox". The reason given for censoring the text is that monophysite is a "forbidden epithet". It is forbidden because it is always (or close to always) used pejoratively by Chalcedonian Orthodox. I wonder if it would make sense if the moderators would have changed the sentence in that thread to "[Heretic] Metropolitan Kallistos Ware confirmed in writing in 1984, that he gives Communion to the Orthodox.

I agree with the moderators. They needed to change such shameful language. In reality, the problem lies in the Chalcedonian mind that wants to distinguish Dyophysite vs. Miaphysite (or as you said Monosesarkomenesyte) but refuses to make any distinction between Miaphysite (or as you said Monosesarkomenesyte) vs. Euthycianism. And since both the Dyophysite and Miphysite Christologies validate their Christologies by St Cyril, both should clearly be called Orthodox.

Sooner or later, "Oriental Orthodox" will become a forbidden epithet. It is already forbidden by many strict anti-ecumenical Chalcedonians like this one. What word will the moderators use then?
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« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2013, 03:08:38 PM »

mono or mia, either way you're slang for disease or disorder.

This is kinda late...but I get it now...LOL!!!!

As opposed to the 100% mortality rate of the opposing term ;-)
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« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2013, 03:14:14 PM »

This phrase is always translated so badly. It should be, "one incarnate nature." The standard interpretation according to the Chalcedonians, like the Leontioi, Maximus the Confessor, and John of Damascus is that this formula is not monophysite at all.
Sorry this seems wrong. I don't know Greek and I hope someone corrects me if I'm wrong. As I understand it, "mia" is a feminine adjective, "physis" is a feminine noun. Mia is an adjective that modifies the noun physis, not the nominal phrase "incarnate nature". According to TLG, "sesarkomene" is the perfect participle mid-pass fem nom/voc sg. Doesn't it make more linguistic sense that "theou" is modifying "sesarkomene" (Incarnate God) instead of "mia" modifying "sesarkomen"?

If it were "one incarnate nature", wouldn't the Greek be "Mia sesarkomen physis tou theou" or "Mia physis sesarkomen to theou"?

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« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2013, 03:15:30 PM »

Again, if it's semantics, I won't disagree.  But the problem again, it's not the semantic nature of it, but the pejorative way it is used....In the end, people tend to call him "Orthodox" and so do we call ourselves.
Agreed. Just look the first post of the thread calling Metropolitan Kallistos Ware a heretic because he communed to "monophysites" which was changed to "Oriental Orthodox". The reason given for censoring the text is that monophysite is a "forbidden epithet". It is forbidden because it is always (or close to always) used pejoratively by Chalcedonian Orthodox. I wonder if it would make sense if the moderators would have changed the sentence in that thread to "[Heretic] Metropolitan Kallistos Ware confirmed in writing in 1984, that he gives Communion to the Orthodox.

I agree with the moderators. They needed to change such shameful language. In reality, the problem lies in the Chalcedonian mind that wants to distinguish Dyophysite vs. Miaphysite (or as you said Monosesarkomenesyte) but refuses to make any distinction between Miaphysite (or as you said Monosesarkomenesyte) vs. Euthycianism. And since both the Dyophysite and Miphysite Christologies validate their Christologies by St Cyril, both should clearly be called Orthodox.

Sooner or later, "Oriental Orthodox" will become a forbidden epithet. It is already forbidden by many strict anti-ecumenical Chalcedonians like this one. What word will the moderators use then?

St Cyril of Alexandria, a mutual saint, and the infamous St Severus of Antioch and such hold to the Cyrillian Christology that denies mixture, commingling, and confusion of Christ's humanity and his divinity.


Miaphysitism: Christ in one united nature (of two natures) in one person, his divinity united with his humanity in a real and perfect union without mingling, without confusion, without alteration, without division, without separation.
Eutychianism: Christ has one Nature of God and Man that is mixed and confused.


Hermias: But if we say that the Nature of the Son is One, even though He be conceived of as Incarnate, all need is there to confess that confusion and commixture take place the nature of man being lost as it were within Him. For what is the nature of man unto the excellency of Godhead?
Cyril: In highest degree, my friend, is he an idle talker who says that confusion and commixture have place, if one Nature of the Son Incarnate and made man, is confessed by us: for one will not be able to make proof thereof by needful and true deductions. But if they set their own. will as a law to us, they devised a counsel which they cannot establish, for we must give heed, not to them but to the God-inspired Scripture... - St Cyril of Alexandria, That Christ is One

[emphasis mine]
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« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2013, 03:16:28 PM »

Again, if it's semantics, I won't disagree.  But the problem again, it's not the semantic nature of it, but the pejorative way it is used....In the end, people tend to call him "Orthodox" and so do we call ourselves.
Agreed. Just look the first post of the thread calling Metropolitan Kallistos Ware a heretic because he communed to "monophysites" which was changed to "Oriental Orthodox". The reason given for censoring the text is that monophysite is a "forbidden epithet". It is forbidden because it is always (or close to always) used pejoratively by Chalcedonian Orthodox. I wonder if it would make sense if the moderators would have changed the sentence in that thread to "[Heretic] Metropolitan Kallistos Ware confirmed in writing in 1984, that he gives Communion to the Orthodox.

I agree with the moderators. They needed to change such shameful language. In reality, the problem lies in the Chalcedonian mind that wants to distinguish Dyophysite vs. Miaphysite (or as you said Monosesarkomenesyte) but refuses to make any distinction between Miaphysite (or as you said Monosesarkomenesyte) vs. Euthycianism. And since both the Dyophysite and Miphysite Christologies validate their Christologies by St Cyril, both should clearly be called Orthodox.

Sooner or later, "Oriental Orthodox" will become a forbidden epithet. It is already forbidden by many strict anti-ecumenical Chalcedonians like this one. What word will the moderators use then?

At the very least our clinging to the term "Miaphysite" will at least put us in a position to wait for the trap of their condemnation of the term, and our validation of keeping the Cyrillian Orthodox faith Wink  I mean really that's the whole point.  If Miaphysitism is a heresy, St. Cyril is a heretic.

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« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2013, 03:22:11 PM »

As we always have done in the past, we should cling to the term "Orthodox" before "Miaphysite" for keeping the Cyrillian Orthodox faith.
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« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2013, 03:50:19 PM »

mono or mia, either way you're slang for disease or disorder.

This is kinda late...but I get it now...LOL!!!!

As opposed to the 100% mortality rate of the opposing term ;-)

Aren't you studying to be a doc or something?

I really thought the brilliance in assonance and near rhyme (full rhyme if said properly) and working in mononucleosis and bulimia while suggesting we just don't like you people was great.

Glad someone got it, late or otherwise!
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« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2013, 04:19:56 PM »

mono or mia, either way you're slang for disease or disorder.

This is kinda late...but I get it now...LOL!!!!

As opposed to the 100% mortality rate of the opposing term ;-)

Aren't you studying to be a doc or something?

I really thought the brilliance in assonance and near rhyme (full rhyme if said properly) and working in mononucleosis and bulimia while suggesting we just don't like you people was great.

Glad someone got it, late or otherwise!

Mono is popularly known...but not Mia...hence why I'm late in getting it  Wink
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« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2013, 10:01:27 PM »


Sooner or later, "Oriental Orthodox" will become a forbidden epithet. It is already forbidden by many strict anti-ecumenical Chalcedonians like this one. What word will the moderators use then?

"Non-Chalcedonian" is a term that is acceptable to both sides, if I understand correctly.  As I said in another recent post, no one is required to call us Orthodox.  If "Oriental Orthodox" offends anyone, they can use "Non-Chalcedonian."  Calling us "Monophysite," though, is forbidden in the public forums because it is too contentious and polemics is forbidden here.
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« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2013, 10:31:39 PM »

I think we should start calling each other Monophysites and ban non-OOs for saying it:

Where my Monophysites at!  Monophysite please!  You know you always be my Monophysite!  Word! (Incarnate)

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« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2013, 10:34:05 PM »

Sooner or later, "Oriental Orthodox" will become a forbidden epithet. It is already forbidden by many strict anti-ecumenical Chalcedonians like this one. What word will the moderators use then?

I agree with the rest of what you said, but I think this is looking at it the wrong way, because it gives those Chalcedonians a sort of power (at least theoretically, in debate) to define what Orthodoxy is even for those who aren't in communion with them in the first place (and hence obviously likely don't see them as Orthodox in the first place). I have tried to impress this point upon many an EO inquirer on this very board, but somehow it never seems to sink in. You've read the Chalcedonian polemics, and obviously side with them, but why then do you think you can point to those same polemics (like the stuff in the link) and assume that it should leave non-Chalcedonians quaking in their boots, begging to be accepted by the Russians or the Greeks or whomever? As though these are our Fathers just because they are yours? I mean here quotes from John Damascene, or the monks of Mt. Athos, or wherever else. Sometimes they are interesting, sometimes they are insightful, but I don't care about these people when they go on and on about the "heresy of the Egyptians" or whatever, because I've studied the Egyptians in question themselves, from their own writings, under the tutelage of other actual Egyptians, too. And I'm supposed to disregard what I've learned of what they actually teach and believe because of polemics on the internet that can't even keep their story straight sometimes (perhaps you remember the great ruckus when one "Abouna" Athanasius Henein 'converted' to EOxy? There was a thread about it on here some months ago, which revealed the man to be very, very confused, accusing us of somehow being Monophysites and Nestorians at the same time!)? Fat chance. So I always say (in contexts where it comes up, as when talking to Latin friends who also have this "Orthodox = Chalcedonian" mindset, too, for obvious reasons) that when I use the word Orthodox self-referentially, I am not intending to speak for the EO in the slightest -- rather, where/when we agree, we agree. But you will never find me begging to be considered Orthodox by anyone, because I am only trying to follow what our Fathers St. Cyril, St. Athanasius, St. Basil and others laid down as fundamental to the Orthodox faith. Such strong, clear, foundational teachers of our faith cannot be degraded by internet polemic, and so neither will my faith in the Orthodoxy of our confession (which is to say, in ORTHODOXY, period).

I do not understand why every non-Chalcedonian does not take a similar approach. It has been suggested by our common friend Stavros (I think that's what he goes by on here, anyway) that the view I have been taught is something of a minority within the Coptic Orthodox Church itself, where people apparently prefer to treat EO as if they are de facto Orthodox, and so we should be in that sense pro-Chalcedonian. Well, I can't really speak to that, but abouna told me in no uncertain terms that he will not commune Chalcedonians at our church, as the Tome of Leo which they profess as Orthodox is "full of heresies" (his words). Is this extremism or anti-ecumenism? I hardly think so, as that same priest speaks very highly of the local Greek Orthodox Church, with whom we share close relations, and will even on occasion reference Greek, Russian, or Romanian saints to make a point during a talk. It seems for the most hardcore anti-ecumenists, this alone would be evidence of heresy, but I don't see it that way.  I don't think we need to be hateful toward anybody (and again, where we agree, we agree), but I fear if Stavros is correct, maybe some people get the idea that they should feel ashamed when the Chalcedonians say we aren't Orthodox or whatever. Like we have something to fix. Doctrinally, I don't see what that would be. I would hope we can be confident (not prideful) and assert the Orthodoxy of our confession before anybody and everybody (even the most hardcore anti-OO), and not apologize that we hold to St. Cyrill's formulation of μία φύσις τοῦ θεοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη. In the face of this Orthodox confession, the anti-OO Chalcedonians could call us all the names in the world and I wouldn't care. We don't become Orthodox whenever they'll agree with us, only to become heterodox when some idiot shows up with links to his YouTube channel to remind us all that, surprise surprise, the EO and OO don't agree with each other on everything and so remain out of communion. This is not news, some 1600 years on...but it always is news to me when we are once again "monophysites" or "Eutychians" because some guy with more zeal than brains doesn't know what words mean. I always find myself saying "Arghh...really, again with this?" But it's not really a surprise, you know? You've read that link. You see what they have to work with. Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2013, 10:36:39 PM »

I think we should start calling each other Monophysites and ban non-OOs for saying it:

Where my Monophysites at!  Monophysite please!  You know you always be my Monophysite!  Word! (Incarnate)

You can get Chris Rock to do a standup routine, "I looove Non-Chalcedonians but I haaaate Monophysites"
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« Reply #45 on: February 14, 2013, 10:43:43 PM »

Why does the schism still continue today since EO views and OO views are the same:
Miaphysist- Christ Divine & Human (yet is one)
Dyophsist - Christ Divine & Human (yet is one)


Are schismatics heretics ?.


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« Reply #46 on: February 14, 2013, 10:48:58 PM »

There was a thread about it on here some months ago, which revealed the man to be very, very confused, accusing us of somehow being Monophysites and Nestorians at the same time!)? Fat chance.

Historically, being called a Monophysite and a Nestorian is a reference to the idea that Miaphysites are:

1. Monophysites that believe that Christ's divinity swallowed his humanity like a drop of vinegar in the sea. Therefore, Christ is not a man.
2. Nestorians that believe that there are two persons one is divine and the other is human. Therefore, Christ is not a man.

So, the Miaphysites are actually being told, "You don't believe that Christ became man."
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« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2013, 11:00:20 PM »

There was a thread about it on here some months ago, which revealed the man to be very, very confused, accusing us of somehow being Monophysites and Nestorians at the same time!)? Fat chance.

Historically, being called a Monophysite and a Nestorian is a reference to the idea that Miaphysites are:

1. Monophysites that believe that Christ's divinity swallowed his humanity like a drop of vinegar in the sea. Therefore, Christ is not a man.
2. Nestorians that believe that there are two persons one is divine and the other is human. Therefore, Christ is not a man.

So, the Miaphysites are actually being told, "You don't believe that Christ became man."

So in conclusion OO-Miaphysists do accept the council of chalcedon or agree in some what way to it?.
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« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2013, 11:01:03 PM »

I think we should start calling each other Monophysites and ban non-OOs for saying it:

Where my Monophysites at!  Monophysite please!  You know you always be my Monophysite!  Word! (Incarnate)

You can get Chris Rock to do a standup routine, "I looove Non-Chalcedonians but I haaaate Monophysites"

LOL!  Or the Chris Rock conditions of allowing a non-OO to call an OO a Monophysite..."If it's Christmas eve, between 4:30 and 4:49 in the morning..."
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« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2013, 11:04:48 PM »

There was a thread about it on here some months ago, which revealed the man to be very, very confused, accusing us of somehow being Monophysites and Nestorians at the same time!)? Fat chance.

Historically, being called a Monophysite and a Nestorian is a reference to the idea that Miaphysites are:

1. Monophysites that believe that Christ's divinity swallowed his humanity like a drop of vinegar in the sea. Therefore, Christ is not a man.
2. Nestorians that believe that there are two persons one is divine and the other is human. Therefore, Christ is not a man.

So, the Miaphysites are actually being told, "You don't believe that Christ became man."

So in conclusion OO-Miaphysists do accept the council of chalcedon or agree in some what way to it?.

Yes and No...

Most of us OO are willing to unite based on the EO interpretation of Chalcedon that agrees with our faith, not necessarily our interpretation of it., which is not a pleasing interpretation, but nevertheless an interpretation that even EOs will at least agree is not what they believe, faith-wise.
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« Reply #50 on: February 14, 2013, 11:06:15 PM »

There was a thread about it on here some months ago, which revealed the man to be very, very confused, accusing us of somehow being Monophysites and Nestorians at the same time!)? Fat chance.

Historically, being called a Monophysite and a Nestorian is a reference to the idea that Miaphysites are:

1. Monophysites that believe that Christ's divinity swallowed his humanity like a drop of vinegar in the sea. Therefore, Christ is not a man.
2. Nestorians that believe that there are two persons one is divine and the other is human. Therefore, Christ is not a man.

So, the Miaphysites are actually being told, "You don't believe that Christ became man."

So in conclusion OO-Miaphysists do accept the council of chalcedon or agree in some what way to it?.

What minasoliman said. I was just explaining why OOs are called Monophysites and Nestorians at the same time. Smiley
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« Reply #51 on: February 14, 2013, 11:09:09 PM »

There was a thread about it on here some months ago, which revealed the man to be very, very confused, accusing us of somehow being Monophysites and Nestorians at the same time!)? Fat chance.

Historically, being called a Monophysite and a Nestorian is a reference to the idea that Miaphysites are:

1. Monophysites that believe that Christ's divinity swallowed his humanity like a drop of vinegar in the sea. Therefore, Christ is not a man.
2. Nestorians that believe that there are two persons one is divine and the other is human. Therefore, Christ is not a man.

So, the Miaphysites are actually being told, "You don't believe that Christ became man."

Well...that's stupid. Cheesy
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« Reply #52 on: February 14, 2013, 11:09:42 PM »

Are schismatics heretics ?.

Those separated by schism, at least from what I know, are not necessarily by definition also heretics.
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« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2013, 11:10:46 PM »

There was a thread about it on here some months ago, which revealed the man to be very, very confused, accusing us of somehow being Monophysites and Nestorians at the same time!)? Fat chance.

Historically, being called a Monophysite and a Nestorian is a reference to the idea that Miaphysites are:

1. Monophysites that believe that Christ's divinity swallowed his humanity like a drop of vinegar in the sea. Therefore, Christ is not a man.
2. Nestorians that believe that there are two persons one is divine and the other is human. Therefore, Christ is not a man.

So, the Miaphysites are actually being told, "You don't believe that Christ became man."

Well...that's stupid. Cheesy

I agree but, sadly, it is what is meant by that phrase.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #54 on: February 14, 2013, 11:31:52 PM »

There was a thread about it on here some months ago, which revealed the man to be very, very confused, accusing us of somehow being Monophysites and Nestorians at the same time!)? Fat chance.

Historically, being called a Monophysite and a Nestorian is a reference to the idea that Miaphysites are:

1. Monophysites that believe that Christ's divinity swallowed his humanity like a drop of vinegar in the sea. Therefore, Christ is not a man.
2. Nestorians that believe that there are two persons one is divine and the other is human. Therefore, Christ is not a man.

So, the Miaphysites are actually being told, "You don't believe that Christ became man."

So in conclusion OO-Miaphysists do accept the council of chalcedon or agree in some what way to it?.

Yes and No...

Most of us OO are willing to unite based on the EO interpretation of Chalcedon that agrees with our faith, not necessarily our interpretation of it., which is not a pleasing interpretation, but nevertheless an interpretation that even EOs will at least agree is not what they believe, faith-wise.

Is not both interpretations of the EO and the OO the same and mean the same thing ?.
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« Reply #55 on: February 14, 2013, 11:58:03 PM »

There was a thread about it on here some months ago, which revealed the man to be very, very confused, accusing us of somehow being Monophysites and Nestorians at the same time!)? Fat chance.

Historically, being called a Monophysite and a Nestorian is a reference to the idea that Miaphysites are:

1. Monophysites that believe that Christ's divinity swallowed his humanity like a drop of vinegar in the sea. Therefore, Christ is not a man.
2. Nestorians that believe that there are two persons one is divine and the other is human. Therefore, Christ is not a man.

So, the Miaphysites are actually being told, "You don't believe that Christ became man."

So in conclusion OO-Miaphysists do accept the council of chalcedon or agree in some what way to it?.

Yes and No...

Most of us OO are willing to unite based on the EO interpretation of Chalcedon that agrees with our faith, not necessarily our interpretation of it., which is not a pleasing interpretation, but nevertheless an interpretation that even EOs will at least agree is not what they believe, faith-wise.

Is not both interpretations of the EO and the OO the same and mean the same thing ?.

When I say interpretation, I mean how one perceives Chalcedon to teach.  For instance, OOs will argue Chalcedon was far from Orthodox, in fact, it had heretical elements and it showed instability.  EOs will disagree with that interpretation.  Nevertheless, more important than interpretation is faith.  If the interpretation leads to the same faith, then the interpretation should not matter, should it?  If through Chalcedon or the rejection of Chalcedon, we still are Orthodox, then one can interpret it as despite not having literally accepted Chalcedon, by our Orthodox faith, it's as if we accepted it all along.  If that is what "accepting Chalcedon" means, then we are more than happy to unite. 

At the same time, I'm convinced, it's going to be very difficult to change minds on how to interpret these events.  In the end, the Orthodox faith, before persons or councils, matters more, at least from an OO stand point.
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« Reply #56 on: February 15, 2013, 06:03:31 AM »

There was a thread about it on here some months ago, which revealed the man to be very, very confused, accusing us of somehow being Monophysites and Nestorians at the same time!)? Fat chance.

Historically, being called a Monophysite and a Nestorian is a reference to the idea that Miaphysites are:

1. Monophysites that believe that Christ's divinity swallowed his humanity like a drop of vinegar in the sea. Therefore, Christ is not a man.
2. Nestorians that believe that there are two persons one is divine and the other is human. Therefore, Christ is not a man.

So, the Miaphysites are actually being told, "You don't believe that Christ became man."

So in conclusion OO-Miaphysists do accept the council of chalcedon or agree in some what way to it?.

Yes and No...

Most of us OO are willing to unite based on the EO interpretation of Chalcedon that agrees with our faith, not necessarily our interpretation of it., which is not a pleasing interpretation, but nevertheless an interpretation that even EOs will at least agree is not what they believe, faith-wise.

Is not both interpretations of the EO and the OO the same and mean the same thing ?.

When I say interpretation, I mean how one perceives Chalcedon to teach.  For instance, OOs will argue Chalcedon was far from Orthodox, in fact, it had heretical elements and it showed instability.  EOs will disagree with that interpretation.  Nevertheless, more important than interpretation is faith.  If the interpretation leads to the same faith, then the interpretation should not matter, should it?  If through Chalcedon or the rejection of Chalcedon, we still are Orthodox, then one can interpret it as despite not having literally accepted Chalcedon, by our Orthodox faith, it's as if we accepted it all along.  If that is what "accepting Chalcedon" means, then we are more than happy to unite. 

At the same time, I'm convinced, it's going to be very difficult to change minds on how to interpret these events.  In the end, the Orthodox faith, before persons or councils, matters more, at least from an OO stand point.

You mention The Council was far from Orthodox, is not all ecumenical councils inspired by the Holy Spirit thus eliminating any misunderstanding, if that council was divinely inspired then rejecting the Chalcedon teaching is rejecting divine teaching ??.

Sorry don't mean to offend you or any OO, I would just like to know how Do the OO Churches know they are adhering correctly to God and know for certain even though rejecting the Teaching of Chalcedon God still sends the Holy Spirit to the OO Churches?.

If God does still send his Holy Spirit to the OO Churches that means the OO Church is still part of the True Vine.

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« Reply #57 on: February 15, 2013, 06:56:01 AM »

You mention The Council was far from Orthodox, is not all ecumenical councils inspired by the Holy Spirit thus eliminating any misunderstanding, if that council was divinely inspired then rejecting the Chalcedon teaching is rejecting divine teaching ??.

Yes. Of course, this also applies to every Council ever, including ones like those of the Arians or the Nestorians that neither of us accept. So the mere fact of some body accepting them (whether it be large like the EO, or small like the Nestorians) does not really say anything for whether or not it is divinely inspired.

Quote
Sorry don't mean to offend you or any OO, I would just like to know how Do the OO Churches know they are adhering correctly to God and know for certain even though rejecting the Teaching of Chalcedon God still sends the Holy Spirit to the OO Churches?.

We could ask you the same thing regarding your communion's acceptance of Chalcedon, so it doesn't really matter (see above). How is this a profitable way to approach this discussion?

Quote
If God does still send his Holy Spirit to the OO Churches that means the OO Church is still part of the True Vine.

We do not believe in the Branch Theory, and as far as I know of EO ecclesiology, you guys don't either.
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« Reply #58 on: February 15, 2013, 08:42:52 AM »

You mention The Council was far from Orthodox, is not all ecumenical councils inspired by the Holy Spirit thus eliminating any misunderstanding, if that council was divinely inspired then rejecting the Chalcedon teaching is rejecting divine teaching ??.

Yes. Of course, this also applies to every Council ever, including ones like those of the Arians or the Nestorians that neither of us accept. So the mere fact of some body accepting them (whether it be large like the EO, or small like the Nestorians) does not really say anything for whether or not it is divinely inspired.

Quote
Sorry don't mean to offend you or any OO, I would just like to know how Do the OO Churches know they are adhering correctly to God and know for certain even though rejecting the Teaching of Chalcedon God still sends the Holy Spirit to the OO Churches?.

We could ask you the same thing regarding your communion's acceptance of Chalcedon, so it doesn't really matter (see above). How is this a profitable way to approach this discussion?

Quote
If God does still send his Holy Spirit to the OO Churches that means the OO Church is still part of the True Vine.

We do not believe in the Branch Theory, and as far as I know of EO ecclesiology, you guys don't either.

Just thought I'd let you everyone know my stance on the OO Church is that it is divinely inspired just as the EO, but I do come across a few EO extremist zealous people who consider OO to be in the wrong. Why do I ask the above cause that's what I hear from them and I want to find out completely For myself and be absolute that the OO Church is not in the wrong.

I ask myself that question also how do the EO's know whether the Coucil of Chalcedon was divinely inspired ?.
 
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« Reply #59 on: February 15, 2013, 08:46:29 AM »

Why does the schism still continue today since EO views and OO views are the same:
It exists more in popular imagination than in reality, since the lifting of mutual anathemas in 1993. Orthodox Unity
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« Reply #60 on: February 15, 2013, 08:51:16 AM »

I ask myself that question also how do the EO's know whether the Coucil of Chalcedon was divinely inspired ?
I find Chalcedon to be very problematic, some say it introduced an entirely new faith.
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« Reply #61 on: February 15, 2013, 09:18:01 AM »

if that council was divinely inspired then rejecting the Chalcedon teaching is rejecting divine teaching ??.

From an EO perspective I don't think that rejecting Chalcedon (even if guarded by the Holy Spirit) necessarily equates to rejecting "divine teaching." The Holy Spirit may guard truth against heresy through the council, but that doesn't mean that all other ways of guarding that same truth are wrong. Of course this applies even though an OO obviously might reject it and claims of its inspiration altogether.
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« Reply #62 on: February 15, 2013, 09:25:11 AM »

From an EO perspective I don't think that rejecting Chalcedon (even if guarded by the Holy Spirit) necessarily equates to rejecting "divine teaching."

Do you think St. Maxim the Confessor or St. John of Damascus would agree? Or maybe theirs wasn't the EO perspective...
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« Reply #63 on: February 15, 2013, 09:35:04 AM »

From an EO perspective I don't think that rejecting Chalcedon (even if guarded by the Holy Spirit) necessarily equates to rejecting "divine teaching."

Do you think St. Maxim the Confessor or St. John of Damascus would agree? Or maybe theirs wasn't the EO perspective...

Did I say "the" EO perspective?
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« Reply #64 on: February 15, 2013, 09:38:49 AM »

Did I say "the" EO perspective?

Forgive me, I assumed the Church has but one phronema, "the mind of Christ" as St. Paul puts it.
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« Reply #65 on: February 15, 2013, 09:49:52 AM »

Did I say "the" EO perspective?

Forgive me, I assumed the Church has but one phronema, "the mind of Christ" as St. Paul puts it.

Then does that mean that Cyrillian/Ephesian Christological language has been abrogated by Chalcedon, and no longer part of the "one phronema?"
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« Reply #66 on: February 15, 2013, 09:58:13 AM »

Then does that mean that Cyrillian/Ephesian Christology has been abrogated by Chalcedon, and no longer part of the "one phronema?"

I am not competent to answer this question. I would say no, but I am convinced that St. Cyrill, St. Maxim and St. John of Damascus all had "the mind of Christ" and the phronema of the Church.
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« Reply #67 on: February 15, 2013, 10:11:14 AM »

Then does that mean that Cyrillian/Ephesian Christology has been abrogated by Chalcedon, and no longer part of the "one phronema?"

I am not competent to answer this question. I would say no, but I am convinced that St. Cyrill, St. Maxim and St. John of Damascus all had "the mind of Christ" and the phronema of the Church.

I just believe - personally, and not representatively - that it's possible to still have the "phronema of the Church" without ascribing to Chalcedon, in the same way that St. Cyril and St. Leo can have the phronema of the Church while dogmatically using different Christological language.
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« Reply #68 on: February 15, 2013, 10:19:11 AM »

LOL!  Or the Chris Rock conditions of allowing a non-OO to call an OO a Monophysite..."If it's Christmas eve, between 4:30 and 4:49 in the morning..."

"Monophysites always want credit for some stuff they're just supposed to do. "I ain't never mingled the natures of Christ" What do you want? A cookie? You're not SUPPOSED to mingle the natures of Christ you low-expectation-having...."
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« Reply #69 on: February 15, 2013, 10:54:30 AM »

I just believe - personally, and not representatively - that it's possible to still have the "phronema of the Church" without ascribing to Chalcedon, in the same way that St. Cyril and St. Leo can have the phronema of the Church while dogmatically using different Christological language.

It's possible to express different thoughts/phronemas in different ways/languages.

It's possible to express the same thought/phronema in different ways/languages.

It's possible to express different thoughts/phronemas in the same way/language.

Church Councils were designed to gather people so as to express the one phronema of the Church in one way/language, and so to clearly distinguish Orthodoxy from heresy.
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« Reply #70 on: February 15, 2013, 11:06:10 AM »

Church Councils were designed to gather people so as to express the one phronema of the Church in one way/language, so as to distinguish Orthodoxy from heresy.

If it's the case that Chalcedon's language is the "one phronema" expressed in "one way," then either Ephesus was not the "one phronema" or has been abrogated.

If Ephesus was not the "one phronema," then councils aren't expressing the "one phronema" (defeats claim of councils).

If Ephesus was abrogated, then there is not "one way" to express the "one phronema" (councils defend Orthodoxy against heresy in a non-exclusive way).
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« Reply #71 on: February 15, 2013, 11:14:23 AM »

If your most strict Chalcedonian is willing to call St. Cyril by the same terminology, then I don't mind being called whatever he's called, even a "Monosesarkomeniphysite" if that's what you want to call him.

I like it.
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« Reply #72 on: February 15, 2013, 11:23:26 AM »

Church Councils were designed to gather people so as to express the one phronema of the Church in one way/language, so as to distinguish Orthodoxy from heresy.

If it's the case that Chalcedon's language is the "one phronema" expressed in "one way," then either Ephesus was not the "one phronema" or has been abrogated.

If Ephesus was not the "one phronema," then councils aren't expressing the "one phronema" (defeats claim of councils).

If Ephesus was abrogated, then there is not "one way" to express the "one phronema" (councils defend Orthodoxy against heresy in a non-exclusive way).

The Council of Chalcedon affirmed the Council of Ephesus.
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« Reply #73 on: February 15, 2013, 11:24:16 AM »

Before Nicaea, NT authors and some Early Church Fathers employed language that could be easily given a heretical (Arian/adoptionist) interpretation: "the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 1:3-4).

Now one couldn't say that Nicaea abrogated the NT, or didn't share the same phronema with St. Paul, despite using a different/clarified christological language.

The same I believe to be true regarding the relationship of Chalcedon to Ephesus. Christological language was progressively clarified/refined so as to better reflect the one phronema of the Church (Orthodoxy).
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« Reply #74 on: February 15, 2013, 11:28:44 AM »

The Council of Chalcedon affirmed the Council of Ephesus.

But did not use the same language as used in Ephesus, which is the point at hand.
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« Reply #75 on: February 15, 2013, 11:31:44 AM »

Before Nicaea, NT authors and some Early Church Fathers employed language that could be easily given a heretical (Arian/adoptionist) interpretation: "the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 1:3-4).

Now one couldn't say that Nicaea abrogated the NT, or didn't share the same phronema with St. Paul, despite using a different/clarified christological language.

The same I believe to be true regarding the relationship of Chalcedon to Ephesus. Christological language was progressively clarified/refined so as to better reflect the one phronema of the Church (Orthodoxy).

But why did it need to be changed? Surely the ravings of a senile old monk and his few followers did not necessitate changing the integral language describing the Incarnation, did it?
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« Reply #76 on: February 15, 2013, 11:35:06 AM »

Before Nicaea, NT authors and some Early Church Fathers employed language that could be easily given a heretical (Arian/adoptionist) interpretation: "the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 1:3-4).

Now one couldn't say that Nicaea abrogated the NT, or didn't share the same phronema with St. Paul, despite using a different/clarified christological language.

The same I believe to be true regarding the relationship of Chalcedon to Ephesus. Christological language was progressively clarified/refined so as to better reflect the one phronema of the Church (Orthodoxy).

This causes even more problems. If it's anathema to exclusively retain the pre-Chalcedonian Christological language, then doctrine develops (i.e. the post-Chalcedonian is NOT the same as the pre-Chalcedonian), or the pre-Chalcedonian Christological language was not part of the phronema to begin with, or there are degrees of phronema (not "one" phronema).
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« Reply #77 on: February 15, 2013, 11:38:42 AM »

Chalcedon anathematized "those who imagine two natures of the Lord before the union but invent one after the union." Is that "pre-Chalcedonian Christological language"?
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« Reply #78 on: February 15, 2013, 11:40:41 AM »

You mention The Council was far from Orthodox, is not all ecumenical councils inspired by the Holy Spirit thus eliminating any misunderstanding,
Maybe in theory but not in reality. If this was true, then why did Rome reject Canon 28 of Chalcedon? Why doesn't everyone celebrate Easter according to the new calculation set by the Church of Alexandria, as promulagated by Nicaea? If misunderstanding was eliminated, why did Pope Damasus I reject the elevation of Constintople above Alexandria and Antioch in Constantinople I? Why did Pope Vigilius of Rome refuse to immediately accept Constantinople II because he supported the Three Chapters?

This thread is a perfect example of how misunderstanding continues. If the Holy Spirit eliminated all misunderstanding in Chalcedon, why are we still arguing about the definition of monophysitism nearly 1500 years later?

Quote
if that council was divinely inspired then rejecting the Chalcedon teaching is rejecting divine teaching ??.
What is or isn't divine teaching in Chalcedon (or any council for that matter) is a matter of interpretation, as Mina alluded to. Claiming all decision of Chalcedon is diviniely inspired, means Rome has rejected Chalcedon since they never accepted canon 28. Then ask yourself, does the Holy Spirit really care who is the New Rome or the Seventeenth Rome? Did Dioscorus actually believe in any Euthycian heresy or was he defending St Cyril's formula of "One nature of God the Word Incarnate"?
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« Reply #79 on: February 15, 2013, 11:48:51 AM »

Chalcedon anathematized "those who imagine two natures of the Lord before the union but invent one after the union." Is that "pre-Chalcedonian Christological language"?
Of course not. St Cyril's pre-Chalcedonian Christological language included "One Nature of God the Word Incarnate".

Besides, the statement "Those who imagine two nature of the Lord before the union but invent one after the union" assumes (1) that the word "nature" means the same thing to everyone, (2) the "post-union" one nature must mean one nature wins over or defeats the other nature, or (3) the "post-union" one nature is a mixture of two natures. Did Chalcedon conceive a "post-union one nature" that does not include these three assumptions? No.

By this definition ("those who imagine two nature of the Lord before the union but invent one after the union"), Chalcedon anathemizes St Cyril.
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« Reply #80 on: February 15, 2013, 11:55:27 AM »

This phrase is always translated so badly. It should be, "one incarnate nature." The standard interpretation according to the Chalcedonians, like the Leontioi, Maximus the Confessor, and John of Damascus is that this formula is not monophysite at all.
Sorry this seems wrong. I don't know Greek and I hope someone corrects me if I'm wrong. As I understand it, "mia" is a feminine adjective, "physis" is a feminine noun. Mia is an adjective that modifies the noun physis, not the nominal phrase "incarnate nature". According to TLG, "sesarkomene" is the perfect participle mid-pass fem nom/voc sg. Doesn't it make more linguistic sense that "theou" is modifying "sesarkomene" (Incarnate God) instead of "mia" modifying "sesarkomen"?

If it were "one incarnate nature", wouldn't the Greek be "Mia sesarkomen physis tou theou" or "Mia physis sesarkomen to theou"?
Since no one with Greek language proficiency responded, I can only assume (1) no one knows the answer, (2) no one cares to respond, or (3) Leontioi, Maximinus and John Damascus (if they really interpreted St Cyril's Miaphysis formula as described) are wrong.

I would like to get some input from others.
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« Reply #81 on: February 15, 2013, 11:55:53 AM »

This causes even more problems. If it's anathema to exclusively retain the pre-Chalcedonian Christological language, then doctrine develops (i.e. the post-Chalcedonian is NOT the same as the pre-Chalcedonian), or the pre-Chalcedonian Christological language was not part of the phronema to begin with, or there are degrees of phronema (not "one" phronema).

Doctrine does develop. Post-Chalcedonian Christology is the same in some respects/different in others from pre-Chalcedonian Christology, just as the post-Nicene is the same/different from the pre-Nicene. The phronema of the Church is but one - because "Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever" and the Church has "his mind".
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« Reply #82 on: February 15, 2013, 12:45:03 PM »

This phrase is always translated so badly. It should be, "one incarnate nature." The standard interpretation according to the Chalcedonians, like the Leontioi, Maximus the Confessor, and John of Damascus is that this formula is not monophysite at all.
Sorry this seems wrong. I don't know Greek and I hope someone corrects me if I'm wrong. As I understand it, "mia" is a feminine adjective, "physis" is a feminine noun. Mia is an adjective that modifies the noun physis, not the nominal phrase "incarnate nature". According to TLG, "sesarkomene" is the perfect participle mid-pass fem nom/voc sg. Doesn't it make more linguistic sense that "theou" is modifying "sesarkomene" (Incarnate God) instead of "mia" modifying "sesarkomen"?

If it were "one incarnate nature", wouldn't the Greek be "Mia sesarkomen physis tou theou" or "Mia physis sesarkomen to theou"?

The problem is that St. Cyrill himself offers different variants in different writings. Just as he uses hypostasis instead of physis at times, he also writes sesarkomenou in stead of sesarkomene. Here's an example:

Μία πρὸς ἡμῶν ὁμολογοῖτο φύσις Υἱοῦ σεσαρκωμένου τε καὶ ἐνηνθρωπηκότος - "one nature of the Son incarnate and made human should be confessed by us." (Quod unus sit Christus)

So mia agrees with physis, but not necessarily/always with sesarkomenos.

"One incarnated nature/hypostasis of God the Word" or "one nature/hypostasis of the Son incarnate" - didn't seem to make much of a difference to St. Cyrill.   
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« Reply #83 on: February 15, 2013, 12:55:38 PM »

By this definition ("those who imagine two nature of the Lord before the union but invent one after the union"), Chalcedon anathemizes St Cyril.

Please quote when Cyril used this sort of terminology.
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« Reply #84 on: February 15, 2013, 01:05:37 PM »

LOL!  Or the Chris Rock conditions of allowing a non-OO to call an OO a Monophysite..."If it's Christmas eve, between 4:30 and 4:49 in the morning..."

"Monophysites always want credit for some stuff they're just supposed to do. "I ain't never mingled the natures of Christ" What do you want? A cookie? You're not SUPPOSED to mingle the natures of Christ you low-expectation-having...."

LOL!!!  I haven't listened to Chris Rock in ages, and it's amazing I still remember some of this stuff.
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« Reply #85 on: February 15, 2013, 01:14:01 PM »

You mention The Council was far from Orthodox, is not all ecumenical councils inspired by the Holy Spirit thus eliminating any misunderstanding, if that council was divinely inspired then rejecting the Chalcedon teaching is rejecting divine teaching ??.

Yes. Of course, this also applies to every Council ever, including ones like those of the Arians or the Nestorians that neither of us accept. So the mere fact of some body accepting them (whether it be large like the EO, or small like the Nestorians) does not really say anything for whether or not it is divinely inspired.

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Sorry don't mean to offend you or any OO, I would just like to know how Do the OO Churches know they are adhering correctly to God and know for certain even though rejecting the Teaching of Chalcedon God still sends the Holy Spirit to the OO Churches?.

We could ask you the same thing regarding your communion's acceptance of Chalcedon, so it doesn't really matter (see above). How is this a profitable way to approach this discussion?

Quote
If God does still send his Holy Spirit to the OO Churches that means the OO Church is still part of the True Vine.

We do not believe in the Branch Theory, and as far as I know of EO ecclesiology, you guys don't either.

Just thought I'd let you everyone know my stance on the OO Church is that it is divinely inspired just as the EO, but I do come across a few EO extremist zealous people who consider OO to be in the wrong. Why do I ask the above cause that's what I hear from them and I want to find out completely For myself and be absolute that the OO Church is not in the wrong.

I ask myself that question also how do the EO's know whether the Coucil of Chalcedon was divinely inspired ?.
 

The reason why I'm being vague is because once I get into specifics, this will go to the private forum.  OOs here have avoided getting into polemics, and it's interesting that it's turning into an EO vs. EO battle now.

The point is this.  There are countless arguments, sometimes made by me or anyone else unintentionally hurting EOs feelings about their councils and their saints in the private EO/OO forum.  Things like the language used in the Tome, the documents that were deemed "Orthodox" in the council itself, and the violence sustained as a result of the council, all of which are factors that go into the OO rejection of the council of Chalcedon itself.

I think it should be noted that Chalcedon is quite unique in that the minutes have been remarkably preserved almost in its entirety.  It is why this is a never-ending debate.  You'll get both sides to fight over minutiae of detail in the council that leads no where if one side says "you must accept" or "you must reject."  Simply put, we see in the council (which also preserves the minutes of Ephesus 449 and Constantinople 448 almost in full) that there seems to be plenty of blame going around on both sides.  That's what happened in Aarhus, Bristol, Geneva, Addis Ababa, Chambesy, etc., when both EO and OO theologians and clergy decided to discuss the polemics and search for the truth.
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« Reply #86 on: February 15, 2013, 01:28:14 PM »

By this definition ("those who imagine two nature of the Lord before the union but invent one after the union"), Chalcedon anathemizes St Cyril.

Please quote when Cyril used this sort of terminology.


In respect of the elements from which is the one and only Son and Lord Jesus Christ, as we accept them in thought, we say that two natures have been united, but after the union, when the division into two has now been removed, we believe that the nature of the Son is one.

St. Cyril of Alexandria, Select Letters, 48
Quoted from Fr. Peter Farrington's paper "Eutyches and the Oriental Orthodox Tradition"
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« Reply #87 on: February 15, 2013, 01:41:59 PM »

By this definition ("those who imagine two nature of the Lord before the union but invent one after the union"), Chalcedon anathemizes St Cyril.

Please quote when Cyril used this sort of terminology.

Quote
neither do we say Two christs, even though we believe that out of perfect man and out of God the Word has been wrought the concurrence unto unity of Emmanuel

I believe this is from his Treatise to the Emperor Theodosius.

Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_against_nestorius_00_intro.htm
Search for "Two Christs" to find the exact passage.
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« Reply #88 on: February 15, 2013, 02:22:09 PM »

Before Nicaea, NT authors and some Early Church Fathers employed language that could be easily given a heretical (Arian/adoptionist) interpretation: "the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 1:3-4).

Now one couldn't say that Nicaea abrogated the NT, or didn't share the same phronema with St. Paul, despite using a different/clarified christological language.

The same I believe to be true regarding the relationship of Chalcedon to Ephesus. Christological language was progressively clarified/refined so as to better reflect the one phronema of the Church (Orthodoxy).
yes, that was one of the issues over Nicea, that it used the term homoousios, which had originated in heretical circles and was not used in the NT.  It did, however, once refined and defined by the Orthodox, counter Arianism quite well.
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« Reply #89 on: February 15, 2013, 02:46:13 PM »

Before Nicaea, NT authors and some Early Church Fathers employed language that could be easily given a heretical (Arian/adoptionist) interpretation: "the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 1:3-4).

Now one couldn't say that Nicaea abrogated the NT, or didn't share the same phronema with St. Paul, despite using a different/clarified christological language.

The same I believe to be true regarding the relationship of Chalcedon to Ephesus. Christological language was progressively clarified/refined so as to better reflect the one phronema of the Church (Orthodoxy).
yes, that was one of the issues over Nicea, that it used the term homoousios, which had originated in heretical circles and was not used in the NT.  It did, however, once refined and defined by the Orthodox, counter Arianism quite well.
Was there any Church father before Nicea that used the word "homoiousios" in an Orthodox manner?
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« Reply #90 on: February 15, 2013, 02:49:06 PM »

Was there any Church father before Nicea that used the word "homoiousios" in an Orthodox manner?

Homoiousios couldn't have been used in an Orthodox manner.
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« Reply #91 on: February 15, 2013, 02:58:00 PM »

Was there any Church father before Nicea that used the word "homoiousios" in an Orthodox manner?

Homoiousios couldn't have been used in an Orthodox manner.

Didn't St. Basil at one point use it in an Orthodox manner but abandoned it because it was too imprecise? Just asking.
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« Reply #92 on: February 15, 2013, 02:59:31 PM »

Was there any Church father before Nicea that used the word "homoiousios" in an Orthodox manner?

Homoiousios couldn't have been used in an Orthodox manner.
Then that could be another reason why OOs wouldn't see the same case in Chalcedon as it was in Nicea.
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« Reply #93 on: February 15, 2013, 03:08:57 PM »

Was there any Church father before Nicea that used the word "homoiousios" in an Orthodox manner?

Homoiousios couldn't have been used in an Orthodox manner.
Then that could be another reason why OOs wouldn't see the same case in Chalcedon as it was in Nicea.

I see your point, but the dyophysite formula of Chalcedon is not a compromise solution between Cyrill and Nestorius like homoiousios was between Eunomians and the Orthodox.   
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« Reply #94 on: February 15, 2013, 03:11:18 PM »

Was there any Church father before Nicea that used the word "homoiousios" in an Orthodox manner?

Homoiousios couldn't have been used in an Orthodox manner.
Then that could be another reason why OOs wouldn't see the same case in Chalcedon as it was in Nicea.

I see your point, but the dyophysite formula of Chalcedon is not a compromise solution between Cyrill and Nestorius like homoiousios was between Eunomians and the Orthodox.   

How sure are you of that statement?
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« Reply #95 on: February 15, 2013, 03:25:27 PM »

Was there any Church father before Nicea that used the word "homoiousios" in an Orthodox manner?

Homoiousios couldn't have been used in an Orthodox manner.
Then that could be another reason why OOs wouldn't see the same case in Chalcedon as it was in Nicea.

I see your point, but the dyophysite formula of Chalcedon is not a compromise solution between Cyrill and Nestorius like homoiousios was between Eunomians and the Orthodox.   

It's not the dyophysite formula I'm against.  I think Chalcedonians might have a good argument there, if it wasn't for the fact that the terminologies we adhered to were attacked, such as the one made by St. Cyril, "two natures in thought (before the union), one nature after the union."
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« Reply #96 on: February 15, 2013, 03:31:15 PM »

Quote from: Romaios
I see your point, but the dyophysite formula of Chalcedon is not a compromise solution between Cyrill and Nestorius like homoiousios was between Eunomians and the Orthodox.   

How sure are you of that statement?

Pretty sure. As Rabbi Gamaliel put it, "if it be of men, it will come to naught, but if it be of God, ye will not be able to overthrow it". I revere St. Maximus as one of the greatest and dearest Saints and a true champion of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #97 on: February 15, 2013, 03:35:42 PM »

I revere St. Maximus as one of the greatest and dearest Saints and a true champion of Orthodoxy.

OK. I like St. Maximus too. But what does this to do with Chalcedon being a compromise between Alexandria and Antioch?
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« Reply #98 on: February 15, 2013, 03:41:08 PM »

I revere St. Maximus as one of the greatest and dearest Saints and a true champion of Orthodoxy.

OK. I like St. Maximus too. But what does this to do with Chalcedon being a compromise between Alexandria and Antioch?

If Chalcedon were not divinely inspired, St. Maximus would be but deluded "flesh and blood".
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« Reply #99 on: February 15, 2013, 03:46:39 PM »

I revere St. Maximus as one of the greatest and dearest Saints and a true champion of Orthodoxy.

OK. I like St. Maximus too. But what does this to do with Chalcedon being a compromise between Alexandria and Antioch?

If Chalcedon were not divinely inspired, St. Maximus would be but deluded "flesh and blood".

Translation: "I'd rather condemn the entire OO communion than admit someone I like was wrong."
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« Reply #100 on: February 15, 2013, 03:49:32 PM »

I revere St. Maximus as one of the greatest and dearest Saints and a true champion of Orthodoxy.

OK. I like St. Maximus too. But what does this to do with Chalcedon being a compromise between Alexandria and Antioch?

If Chalcedon were not divinely inspired, St. Maximus would be but deluded "flesh and blood".

Look...if we avoid attacking each other's traditions, I think we can have this discussion without it being thrown in the private sector.  I don't think anyone here called St. Maximus "deluded."  I usually would say, in his context, he had every right to say what he said considering the resources he had and what he was taught.

We just simply say there needs to be a clearer vindication of OO theology and persons, which we feel weren't presented well in Chalcedon and the subsequent traditions.  It is in the OO theology and persons we adhere to, and we invite anyone to study their, we would would say, Orthodoxy, and if indeed it agrees with your Orthodoxy, then this should lead to the other much tougher questions that the EO/OO consultations since the 1970s have tirelessly been trying to answer.

Perhaps one way to start is to first realize, these questions are being asked here is in an OO forum.  This means that inevitably, you are talking to people who also believe that their "fathers' rejection of Chalcedon" was "divinely inspired".  So, let's avoid "divinely inspired" and figure out what happened.
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« Reply #101 on: February 15, 2013, 03:53:16 PM »


Translation: "I'd rather condemn the entire OO communion than admit someone I like was wrong."

You just summed up the all anti-miaphysite rhetorics in one sentence.
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« Reply #102 on: February 15, 2013, 04:13:00 PM »


Translation: "I'd rather condemn the entire OO communion than admit someone I like was wrong."

You just summed up the all anti-miaphysite rhetorics in one sentence.

It's truly not about rhetorics to me, and - but for their rejection of Chalcedon - I sincerely love and admire the OO. I don't want to insult or hurt them. I don't want to turn this into polemical non-sense.

I could not admit that St. Maximus was wrong any more than I could admit that St. Gregory Palamas or St. Mark of Ephesus were wrong and the Latins were right. I revere these Saints precisely because I genuinely believe what they stood for to be the truth.
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« Reply #103 on: February 15, 2013, 04:18:45 PM »


Translation: "I'd rather condemn the entire OO communion than admit someone I like was wrong."

You just summed up the all anti-miaphysite rhetorics in one sentence.

It's truly not about rhetorics to me, and - but for their rejection of Chalcedon - I sincerely love and admire the OO. I don't want to insult or hurt them. I don't want to turn this into polemical non-sense.

I could not admit that St. Maximus was wrong any more than I could admit that St. Gregory Palamas or St. Mark of Ephesus were wrong and the Latins were right. I revere these Saints precisely because I genuinely believe what they stood for to be the truth.

I think one of the most serious questions one has to ask, can one stand up for the Truth while being mistaken for who the enemy is?

You will find many OOs quoting and sometimes revering writings of St. Maximus the Confessor, St. Gregory Palamas, St. John of Damascus not because we agree with their Chalcedonian views, but because we find in them the OO truth we teach.
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« Reply #104 on: February 15, 2013, 04:26:18 PM »

I greatly revere St. Gregory of Nyssa myself yet I know that some things he said aren't all true or orthodox.
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« Reply #105 on: February 15, 2013, 04:32:01 PM »

I revere St. Maximus as one of the greatest and dearest Saints and a true champion of Orthodoxy.

OK. I like St. Maximus too. But what does this to do with Chalcedon being a compromise between Alexandria and Antioch?

If Chalcedon were not divinely inspired, St. Maximus would be but deluded "flesh and blood".

Look...if we avoid attacking each other's traditions, I think we can have this discussion without it being thrown in the private sector.  I don't think anyone here called St. Maximus "deluded."  I usually would say, in his context, he had every right to say what he said considering the resources he had and what he was taught.

We just simply say there needs to be a clearer vindication of OO theology and persons, which we feel weren't presented well in Chalcedon and the subsequent traditions.  It is in the OO theology and persons we adhere to, and we invite anyone to study their, we would would say, Orthodoxy, and if indeed it agrees with your Orthodoxy, then this should lead to the other much tougher questions that the EO/OO consultations since the 1970s have tirelessly been trying to answer.

Perhaps one way to start is to first realize, these questions are being asked here is in an OO forum.  This means that inevitably, you are talking to people who also believe that their "fathers' rejection of Chalcedon" was "divinely inspired".  So, let's avoid "divinely inspired" and figure out what happened.

Thank you for this. That's what I meant to get to at my last post, in response to questions of where the Holy Spirit is, if such-and-such is "divinely inspired", etc. These are not good standards by which to come to belief or disbelief in something if all can claim similarly for their own belief and against that of their neighbor. It is much more profitable to me to address supposed deficiencies or errors as seen by either side than to say, as we both (EO and OO) may have done in the past, "everything of your tradition is wrong, stemming from acceptance or rejection of this [not] divinely inspired council". Most of the objections I have heard from my priests have to do with the Tome itself and some of the actions that, strictly speaking, can be considered separately from the Orthodoxy of this agreed statement of the Chalcedonian fathers, such as the deposition of St. Dioscoros (which, if it is to prove the the Orthodoxy of the council, or even just St. Dioscoros' having gotten what he deserved for ceasing to commemorate Pope Leo -- even though Leo had done the same to him first -- must've been a point lost on some of the Chalcedonian replacements set up in the wake of the Council, such as Timothy III [Salophakiolos] who continued to commemorate St. Dioscoros in the Alexandrian church's diptychs until that got him in trouble...haha).

I like St. Maximus, though not to the point of thinking that he cannot be wrong. I like St. John Damascene, though not to the point of thinking that he cannot be wrong. I feel the same about our own (OO) saints, and modern patriarchs, too. When nobody is infallible, then anybody can be wrong. I thought this was one of the strengths of Orthodoxy (of whatever communion you believe that moniker belongs to). It does not rest on one man's ideas alone, be he saint, Pope or Patriarch, etc. So if St. Maximus is wrong on one particular account, the whole thing does not collapse.
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« Reply #106 on: February 15, 2013, 05:20:31 PM »

I think one of the most serious questions one has to ask, can one stand up for the Truth while being mistaken for who the enemy is?

The Fathers often used references to nature when making theological points. The fact that they were factually incorrect in their science does not undermine the theological truths they were using it to illustrate. To give an example, St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite says that even the holiest of people will never be immune to the criticism and slander of others. He illustrates his point by saying that certain scientists of his day had begun suggesting that there were black spots on the surface of the sun, the most splendid of all of God's creations, and dismisses their theories, calling them impious for trying to find faults in God's work. I don't believe anyone would today reject the existence of sunspots on the grounds that it would compromise St. Nikodemos' Orthodoxy.

Likewise, I think it's perfectly possible to say that some of the Fathers, based on the sources they had in front of them, were factually incorrect in their presentation of the theology of someone like Severus without that in any way undermining or compromising the accuracy and truthfulness of their Orthodox defence against it.
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« Reply #107 on: February 15, 2013, 05:37:31 PM »

I like St. Maximus, though not to the point of thinking that he cannot be wrong. I like St. John Damascene, though not to the point of thinking that he cannot be wrong. I feel the same about our own (OO) saints, and modern patriarchs, too. When nobody is infallible, then anybody can be wrong. I thought this was one of the strengths of Orthodoxy (of whatever communion you believe that moniker belongs to). It does not rest on one man's ideas alone, be he saint, Pope or Patriarch, etc. So if St. Maximus is wrong on one particular account, the whole thing does not collapse.

IMHO not agreeing with St. Athanasius (Nicaea) makes you more or less Arian.

Not agreeing with St. Cyrill (Ephesus) - more or less Nestorian (ACoE?).

Not agreeing with St. Leo and St. Maximus - OO miaphysite, Eutychian monophysite or monothelite.   

Not agreeing with St. Photios, St. Gregory Palamas and St. Mark of Ephesus - more or less a Latinophron.

Not agreeing with any of them - an anarchist Protestant, an agnostic or an atheist.

I don't believe they were completely infallible in everything they taught, but I revere them as defenders of truth and pillars of Orthodoxy in the polemics they were involved in. 

I greatly enjoy reading Origen, Jacob of Serugh's homilies, Philoxenus of Mabbugh, Fr. Matta el-Maskin, some Aquinas, Bernard of Clairvaux, Guillaume of St. Thierry, many medieval Latin authors, and I revere St. Isaac of Niniveh as sublime. 
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« Reply #108 on: February 15, 2013, 05:43:32 PM »

I think one of the most serious questions one has to ask, can one stand up for the Truth while being mistaken for who the enemy is?

The Fathers often used references to nature when making theological points. The fact that they were factually incorrect in their science does not undermine the theological truths they were using it to illustrate. To give an example, St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite says that even the holiest of people will never be immune to the criticism and slander of others. He illustrates his point by saying that certain scientists of his day had begun suggesting that there were black spots on the surface of the sun, the most splendid of all of God's creations, and dismisses their theories, calling them impious for trying to find faults in God's work. I don't believe anyone would today reject the existence of sunspots on the grounds that it would compromise St. Nikodemos' Orthodoxy.

Likewise, I think it's perfectly possible to say that some of the Fathers, based on the sources they had in front of them, were factually incorrect in their presentation of the theology of someone like Severus without that in any way undermining or compromising the accuracy and truthfulness of their Orthodox defence against it.

Indeed!  That's exactly how I think of it!
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« Reply #109 on: February 15, 2013, 05:47:34 PM »


Not agreeing with St. Leo and St. Maximus - OO miaphysite, Eutychian monophysite or monothelite.   


You have to be careful what you're saying here.  Are you bunching OO theology and placing it in one and the same category with Eutychianism and Monotheletism?

For instance, there are at least two passages in Leo's Tome OOs won't agree with on the basis that it compromises what they have learned from St. Cyril.  Therefore, technically, we would say that the Tome of Leo was at odds with St. Cyril's theology (or at the very least terminology), despite the fact that Chalcedon claims to say that it is consonant with him.

As for St. Maximus, I always got the sense he wrote against the Chalcedonian Monothelites, and assuming that by extension, this is the type of Monotheletism anti-Chalcedonians held to.  When I read the disputation with Pyrrhus however, I can't help but think that there are some things Pyrrhus said that St. Severus himself wouldn't agree to, or at the very least, would have made better arguments.
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« Reply #110 on: February 15, 2013, 05:57:03 PM »


My impression, if I'm not mistaken, from those posters here knowledgeable in Greek is "Miaphysite" is a distinction without a difference from "Monophysite".  But Henophysite may more clearly indicate the intent of the union of natures. I think I came across that point from something Fr. John McGuckin wrote.

There is a difference.  Mono=one singular.  Mia=one composite.  Eutyches believed in one singular divine nature, in which the divine consumes the human.  Miaphysites believe in one composite divine/human nature with both attributes remaining intact.  The Chalcedonian problem with this is it can sound like Christ has one nature that is 50%divine and 50% human, rather than that Christ is 100% divine and 100% human.
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« Reply #111 on: February 15, 2013, 06:06:51 PM »


Not agreeing with St. Leo and St. Maximus - OO miaphysite, Eutychian monophysite or monothelite.   


You have to be careful what you're saying here.  Are you bunching OO theology and placing it in one and the same category with Eutychianism and Monotheletism?

No - I know that the issues are far too complex and complicated to be lumped together like that, but for all practical purposes I use Saints to find my way through the intricacies of the long history of theological controversy. I know that for some they might be stumbling-blocks, but to me they are guiding lights. Their names function like the Litmus test for Orthodoxy when reading theology or talking to theologically knowledgeable people.
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« Reply #112 on: February 15, 2013, 06:15:53 PM »


Not agreeing with St. Leo and St. Maximus - OO miaphysite, Eutychian monophysite or monothelite.   


You have to be careful what you're saying here.  Are you bunching OO theology and placing it in one and the same category with Eutychianism and Monotheletism?

No - I know that the issues are far too complex and complicated to be lumped together like that, but for all practical purposes I use Saints to find my way through the intricacies of the long history of theological controversy. I know that for some they might be stumbling-blocks, but to me they are guiding lights. Their names function like the Litmus test for Orthodoxy when reading theology or talking to theologically knowledgeable people.

Fair enough!  I just want to point out at the very least, Orthodox11 made a great post about how to consider these stumbling blocks in your life, especially if you want to keep the reverence to these saints.
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« Reply #113 on: February 15, 2013, 06:19:07 PM »

I think one of the most serious questions one has to ask, can one stand up for the Truth while being mistaken for who the enemy is?

The Fathers often used references to nature when making theological points. The fact that they were factually incorrect in their science does not undermine the theological truths they were using it to illustrate. To give an example, St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite says that even the holiest of people will never be immune to the criticism and slander of others. He illustrates his point by saying that certain scientists of his day had begun suggesting that there were black spots on the surface of the sun, the most splendid of all of God's creations, and dismisses their theories, calling them impious for trying to find faults in God's work. I don't believe anyone would today reject the existence of sunspots on the grounds that it would compromise St. Nikodemos' Orthodoxy.

Likewise, I think it's perfectly possible to say that some of the Fathers, based on the sources they had in front of them, were factually incorrect in their presentation of the theology of someone like Severus without that in any way undermining or compromising the accuracy and truthfulness of their Orthodox defence against it.

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« Reply #114 on: February 15, 2013, 06:25:08 PM »

Was there any Church father before Nicea that used the word "homoiousios" in an Orthodox manner?

Homoiousios couldn't have been used in an Orthodox manner.

Didn't St. Basil at one point use it in an Orthodox manner but abandoned it because it was too imprecise? Just asking.

The Cappadocians St. Basil the Great, St Gregory the Theologian, and St. Gregory of Nyssa originally prefered it because homoousios was associated with the Sabellians.  St. Basil adopted homoousios only after refining it by reference to the homoiousios tradition to protect the distinctiveness of the divine persons and thereby winning most homoiousians for Nicea.
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« Reply #115 on: February 15, 2013, 06:33:17 PM »

Was there any Church father before Nicea that used the word "homoiousios" in an Orthodox manner?

Homoiousios couldn't have been used in an Orthodox manner.

Didn't St. Basil at one point use it in an Orthodox manner but abandoned it because it was too imprecise? Just asking.

The Cappadocians St. Basil the Great, St Gregory the Theologian, and St. Gregory of Nyssa originally prefered it because homoousios was associated with the Sabellians.  St. Basil adopted homoousios only after refining it by reference to the homoiousios tradition to protect the distinctiveness of the divine persons and thereby winning most homoiousians for Nicea.

So would homoIousios be a valid part of Church tradition so long as it is interpreted correctly?  Or were they asked to abandon the term?
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« Reply #116 on: February 15, 2013, 06:35:30 PM »

The Cappadocians St. Basil the Great, St Gregory the Theologian, and St. Gregory of Nyssa originally prefered it because homoousios was associated with the Sabellians.  St. Basil adopted homoousios only after refining it by reference to the homoiousios tradition to protect the distinctiveness of the divine persons and thereby winning most homoiousians for Nicea.

Exactly. The notion that the term homoiousios was simply a compromise is a mistaken one.

So would homoIousios be a valid part of Church tradition so long as it is interpreted correctly? 

Had the Orthodox continued to use it until today, I don't see why not. However, after homoousios gained universal acceptance and became the common way of expressing the Orthodox position, the re-introduction of homoiousios would not be valid.
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« Reply #117 on: February 15, 2013, 06:53:29 PM »

The Cappadocians St. Basil the Great, St Gregory the Theologian, and St. Gregory of Nyssa originally prefered it because homoousios was associated with the Sabellians.  St. Basil adopted homoousios only after refining it by reference to the homoiousios tradition to protect the distinctiveness of the divine persons and thereby winning most homoiousians for Nicea.

Exactly. The notion that the term homoiousios was simply a compromise is a mistaken one.

Using it seems to have been a compromise that the Cappadocian Fathers initially made. They obviously didn't agree with the interpretation moderate Arians (they coined it, didn't they?) gave it, but didn't want to repel them from Orthodoxy either.   

They were navigating between Arian Scylla and Sabellian Charybdis.
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« Reply #118 on: February 15, 2013, 07:48:19 PM »

I think one of the most serious questions one has to ask, can one stand up for the Truth while being mistaken for who the enemy is?

The Fathers often used references to nature when making theological points. The fact that they were factually incorrect in their science does not undermine the theological truths they were using it to illustrate.

It's one thing not to agree with a Father's scientific observations once they are proven wrong by contemporary science and quite another to disagree with his theology. Is Christological dogma falsifiable and prone to correction and amendments in the same/similar manner that scientific theories are?

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« Reply #119 on: February 15, 2013, 07:55:30 PM »

I think one of the most serious questions one has to ask, can one stand up for the Truth while being mistaken for who the enemy is?

The Fathers often used references to nature when making theological points. The fact that they were factually incorrect in their science does not undermine the theological truths they were using it to illustrate.

It's one thing not to agree with a Father's scientific observations once they are proven wrong by contemporary science and quite another to disagree with his theology. Is Christological dogma falsifiable and prone to correction and amendments in the same/similar manner that scientific theories are?


He didn't say their dogma or theology is wrong, but that they could be wrong about what the person they are condemning is believing.

St Nicodemus is correct theologically, but misunderstood the intentions of the scientist.
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« Reply #120 on: February 15, 2013, 07:57:42 PM »

It's one thing not to agree with a Father's scientific observations once they are proven wrong by contemporary science and quite another to disagree with his theology. Is Christological dogma falsifiable and prone to correction and amendments in the same/similar manner that scientific theories are?

If you have a document in front of you that says "Mr X taught that Christ's humanity and divinity were mingled and confused into a single nature" and you respond to that heresy with an Orthodox formula, your defence of Orthodoxy will not be undermined if it is later shown that Mr. X did not in fact teach the thing he was accused of teaching.

I see no difference between a Father making an incorrect scientific statement based on the scientific information available to him and a Father wrongly attributing a particular view to a historical figure based on the information available to him. In neither case is the theological teaching of that Church Father compromised.
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« Reply #121 on: February 15, 2013, 08:08:26 PM »

He didn't say their dogma or theology is wrong, but that they could be wrong about what the person they are condemning is believing.

So if contemporary historico-critical research clears Nestorius of "Nestorianism" or Patriarchs Severus and Dioscorus of "Monophysism" and the Church lifts the anathemas against the persons - not the heresies (even if in the end no one actually embraced them), then the ACoE could receive Ephesus and the OO Chalcedon, and the rest of the EO Councils, or should these simply be dismissed as fighting wind mills and straw men? St. Cyrill, St. Leo, St. Maximus, St. John of Damascus etc. were so many Don Quijotes?  Undecided
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« Reply #122 on: February 15, 2013, 08:22:55 PM »

He didn't say their dogma or theology is wrong, but that they could be wrong about what the person they are condemning is believing.

So if contemporary historico-critical research clears Nestorius of "Nestorianism" or Patriarchs Severus and Dioscorus of "Monophysism" and the Church lifts the anathemas against the persons - not the heresies (even if in the end no one actually embraced them), then the ACoE could receive Ephesus and the OO Chalcedon, and the rest of the EO Councils, or should these simply be dismissed as fighting wind mills and straw men? St. Cyrill, St. Leo, St. Maximus, St. John of Damascus etc. were so many Don Quijotes?  Undecided

If you see them as "Don Quijotes", and this troubles your faith, then I say you are walking on thin ice.  I've provided some quotes by St. Dioscorus in another thread, and there's plenty of information about St. Severus in over the internet, and over many books.  They never failed to teach the full humanity and full divinity of Christ, without division, without separation, without confusion, and without alteration.

It is not merely "contemporary historico-critical research" that vindicates the anti-Chalcedonian saints of our tradition.  It is the life of the OO Church continually throughout centuries, through her practice, and her Church fathers' writings preserved for us.  Therefore, if we present to you the writings of Dioscorus or Severus, and you can't find anything wrong with them, then "historico-critical" is not fair, isn't it?  We have our defenses. 

You have to understand that throughout centuries, the "ancient research" dominant in its days, usually Chalcedonian Western-European Christianity, were very biased.  For centuries, they have research that "shows" the Pope of Rome was the head of the Church "unquestioned".  Is it "contemporary historico-critical research" that refutes all these claims, or is it an objective seeking of truth based on real material from the Eastern fathers?

Likewise, the ignored Church fathers of the OO tradition also deserve to be taken a look at.  Just because Western Christian scholars have lead us to think we are Monophysites does not mean it's set in stone by scholars.

As for Nestorius, in my personal opinion, based on reading what he wrote, he fails to clearly make the case that Christ is different from a prophet who unites himself with the Word.  This isn't based on reading St. Cyril, but based on reading what Nestorius and Theodore of Mopsuestia wrote.
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« Reply #123 on: February 15, 2013, 08:36:51 PM »

No - I know that the issues are far too complex and complicated to be lumped together like that, but for all practical purposes I use Saints to find my way through the intricacies of the long history of theological controversy. I know that for some they might be stumbling-blocks, but to me they are guiding lights. Their names function like the Litmus test for Orthodoxy when reading theology or talking to theologically knowledgeable people.

While we can all appreciate simplifying complex issues like theology, sometimes simplicity brings errors. Let's suppose we gave 100 people a survey with two questions.
Question #1: Do you believe in the Virgin Mary is the Theotokos and she gave birth to Christ in the flesh?
Question #2: Do you believe anyone who disagrees with St Cyril is a Nestorian?

Let's suppose all 100 people responded yes to question 1 and no to question 2. Well according to your litmus test, all 100 would be Nestorian because you are basing heretic confession on solely on sainthood canonization. In reality your litmus test has 0% specificity (many false positives).  IMHO, any test that diagnoses or adjudicates disease or heresy that has 0% specificity is pretty much useless.

Maybe in a black and white world, a complete faith in a sainthood test is beneficial. I think its prudent to acknowledge and learn how to deal with shades of grey.
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« Reply #124 on: February 15, 2013, 08:46:40 PM »

In the end, I hope you understand, we're not telling you to believe in something different that you believe.  You do well if you believe in full humanity and full divinity, without mingling, without confusion, without separation, without division.  One person, one hypostasis, hypostatic union, and that St. Mary is Theotokos also is what we have in common.

We are not like the Roman Catholic Church, asking you to believe in Petrine Primacy of the Pope of Rome, when in fact, this is a clear difference that both churches fully realize separates them.  We are simply saying, if you examine the OO fathers, they in essence do not believe what your EO fathers accuse them of believing.  This is completely different than the anti-Photian history of the Roman Catholic Church, which results in a real division of belief, and is acknowledged as such by the Roman Catholic Church itself.

That's the difference here.  Do you hear any Roman Catholic Church saying "You completely misunderstand us, we're not saying the Pope of Rome gets ex cathedra infallible primacy like a council"?
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« Reply #125 on: February 15, 2013, 08:54:09 PM »

If you see them as "Don Quijotes", and this troubles your faith, then I say you are walking on thin ice.  I've provided some quotes by St. Dioscorus in another thread, and there's plenty of information about St. Severus in over the internet, and over many books.  They never failed to teach the full humanity and full divinity of Christ, without division, without separation, without confusion, and without alteration.

I admit I haven't read much by either of them, but, to be honest, I don't think of any of the Saints I mentioned before as Don Quijotes - no more than you do about St. Cyrill, I'm sure. It's hard to form an objective opinion after so many (allegedly) heretical writings were destroyed or lost, being preserved only in hardly accessible translations. In the end, one has to trust St. Irenaeus when he refutes the Gnostics (even if there might be straw men or excessive rhetoric in Against heresies too), the Cappadocian Fathers against Apollinarius and so on.   

As for the non-Chalcedonian Saints, I've read bits of their spiritual writings or festal homilies which I found very good and profitable, but I usually avoid the Christological polemics. I also enjoy OO liturgies. I believe your liturgical books to be less ridden with polemics than our own. There are some appalling texts against (alleged) heretics and heresiarchs in the EO books.   
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« Reply #126 on: February 15, 2013, 08:57:43 PM »

If you see them as "Don Quijotes", and this troubles your faith, then I say you are walking on thin ice.  I've provided some quotes by St. Dioscorus in another thread, and there's plenty of information about St. Severus in over the internet, and over many books.  They never failed to teach the full humanity and full divinity of Christ, without division, without separation, without confusion, and without alteration.

I admit I haven't read much by either of them, but, to be honest, I don't think of any of the Saints I mentioned before as Don Quijotes - no more than you do about St. Cyrill, I'm sure. It's hard to form an objective opinion after so many (allegedly) heretical writings were destroyed or lost, being preserved only in hardly accessible translations. In the end, one has to trust St. Irenaeus when he refutes the Gnostics (even if there might be straw men or excessive rhetoric in Against heresies too), the Cappadocian Fathers against Apollinarius and so on.   

As for the non-Chalcedonian Saints, I've read bits of their spiritual writings or festal homilies which I found very good and profitable, but I usually avoid the Christological polemics. I also enjoy OO liturgies. I believe your liturgical books to be less ridden with polemics than our own. There are some appalling texts against the (alleged) heretics and heresiarchs in the EO books.   

Oh you haven't read our Synexarium and Midnight Tasbeha prayers  Wink

Lucky for us, the writings of those condemned on our side are still preserved.  I agree with you on St. Irenaeus and the Cappadocian fathers.  In fact, we do have Gnostic writings today, don't we?  And we found out St. Irenaeus wasn't wrong after all. Wink
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« Reply #127 on: February 15, 2013, 09:10:53 PM »

Oh you haven't read our Synexarium and Midnight Tasbeha prayers  Wink

I've read a translation of a Syriac life of St. Maximus that really put me off. Angry

I think I downloaded a Coptic Synaxarium in English, but it's probably the abridged and ecumenically correct version.  Smiley
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« Reply #128 on: February 15, 2013, 09:31:28 PM »

Oh you haven't read our Synexarium and Midnight Tasbeha prayers  Wink

I've read a translation of a Syriac life of St. Maximus that really put me off. Angry

I think I downloaded a Coptic Synaxarium in English, but it's probably the abridged and ecumenically correct version.  Smiley
The Syriac Life, is it the Maronite one that says St. Maximus had "his blasphemous" hand cut off etc.?
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« Reply #129 on: February 15, 2013, 09:36:47 PM »

He didn't say their dogma or theology is wrong, but that they could be wrong about what the person they are condemning is believing.

So if contemporary historico-critical research clears Nestorius of "Nestorianism" or Patriarchs Severus and Dioscorus of "Monophysism" and the Church lifts the anathemas against the persons - not the heresies (even if in the end no one actually embraced them), then the ACoE could receive Ephesus and the OO Chalcedon, and the rest of the EO Councils, or should these simply be dismissed as fighting wind mills and straw men? St. Cyrill, St. Leo, St. Maximus, St. John of Damascus etc. were so many Don Quijotes?  Undecided
Pope Dioscoros was not condemned for Monophysitism, and Patriarch Severus was never at nor the subject of an Ecumenical Council.

Eutyches and his Monophysism and Nestorius and his Nestorianism were condemned at the Ecumenical Councils that were summoned over them.
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« Reply #130 on: February 15, 2013, 09:39:53 PM »

He didn't say their dogma or theology is wrong, but that they could be wrong about what the person they are condemning is believing.

So if contemporary historico-critical research clears Nestorius of "Nestorianism" or Patriarchs Severus and Dioscorus of "Monophysism" and the Church lifts the anathemas against the persons - not the heresies (even if in the end no one actually embraced them), then the ACoE could receive Ephesus and the OO Chalcedon, and the rest of the EO Councils, or should these simply be dismissed as fighting wind mills and straw men? St. Cyrill, St. Leo, St. Maximus, St. John of Damascus etc. were so many Don Quijotes?  Undecided
Pope Dioscoros was not condemned for Monophysitism, and Patriarch Severus was never at nor the subject of an Ecumenical Council.

Eutyches and his Monophysism and Nestorius and his Nestorianism were condemned at the Ecumenical Councils that were summoned over them.


He might not have been the subject of an Ecumenical Council but he was mentioned and condemned in the 6th one IIRC.
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« Reply #131 on: February 15, 2013, 09:42:39 PM »


Translation: "I'd rather condemn the entire OO communion than admit someone I like was wrong."

You just summed up the all anti-miaphysite rhetorics in one sentence.

It's truly not about rhetorics to me, and - but for their rejection of Chalcedon - I sincerely love and admire the OO. I don't want to insult or hurt them. I don't want to turn this into polemical non-sense.

I could not admit that St. Maximus was wrong any more than I could admit that St. Gregory Palamas or St. Mark of Ephesus were wrong and the Latins were right. I revere these Saints precisely because I genuinely believe what they stood for to be the truth.
St. Maximus and St Gregory are wrong on some points.  St. Mark might be as well, but I haven't come across his error yet.

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« Reply #132 on: February 15, 2013, 09:45:01 PM »

He didn't say their dogma or theology is wrong, but that they could be wrong about what the person they are condemning is believing.

So if contemporary historico-critical research clears Nestorius of "Nestorianism" or Patriarchs Severus and Dioscorus of "Monophysism" and the Church lifts the anathemas against the persons - not the heresies (even if in the end no one actually embraced them), then the ACoE could receive Ephesus and the OO Chalcedon, and the rest of the EO Councils, or should these simply be dismissed as fighting wind mills and straw men? St. Cyrill, St. Leo, St. Maximus, St. John of Damascus etc. were so many Don Quijotes?  Undecided
Pope Dioscoros was not condemned for Monophysitism, and Patriarch Severus was never at nor the subject of an Ecumenical Council.

Eutyches and his Monophysism and Nestorius and his Nestorianism were condemned at the Ecumenical Councils that were summoned over them.


He might not have been the subject of an Ecumenical Council but he was mentioned and condemned in the 6th one IIRC.
Yes, I'm aware of that, in the preamble of the Definition.  The preamble just parroted a party line, nothing more, and did not examine the actual beliefs.  What they call dicta in common law.
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« Reply #133 on: February 15, 2013, 09:55:40 PM »

Oh you haven't read our Synexarium and Midnight Tasbeha prayers  Wink

I've read a translation of a Syriac life of St. Maximus that really put me off. Angry

I think I downloaded a Coptic Synaxarium in English, but it's probably the abridged and ecumenically correct version.  Smiley

I have yet to read the history of the Monothelite doctrine myself in detail, and how the OO Churches were involved in it.  Needless to say, on the Coptic end, one of the Monothelites was an Alexandrian Chalcedonian patriarch named Cyrus, who we called "Mukaukas", and was famously ruthless in ordering the killing of non-Chalcedonians.  It's also well known, in Coptic polemical history, that he sent the famous "Maria al-Qibtiya" (Mary the Copt) as well as other Coptic concubines to Mohamed the Prophet of Islam at the time, and thus made peace with him in this manner.

It's very interesting how history plays out that despite his Monothelite moves to try to attract our OO Church to him, both the Coptic Church and St. Maximus the Confessor have a common enemy.

From what I can gather, it seems also that the "Syriac life of Maximus" was written by a Maronite who praised Cyrus of Alexandria, among other Monothelite Chalcedonians.  I think the Chalcedonian churches of Antioch and Alexandria still were respectively Syriac and Coptic for centuries before they were ordered to revert to the Byzantine rite.
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« Reply #134 on: February 16, 2013, 11:18:44 AM »

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I see your point, but the dyophysite formula of Chalcedon is not a compromise solution between Cyrill and Nestorius like homoiousios was between Eunomians and the Orthodox.   

How sure are you of that statement?

Pretty sure. As Rabbi Gamaliel put it, "if it be of men, it will come to naught, but if it be of God, ye will not be able to overthrow it". I revere St. Maximus as one of the greatest and dearest Saints and a true champion of Orthodoxy.

Rabbi Gamaliel is also an Orthodox saint, celebrated on Aug. 2.
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« Reply #135 on: February 16, 2013, 11:20:16 AM »


Translation: "I'd rather condemn the entire OO communion than admit someone I like was wrong."

You just summed up the all anti-miaphysite rhetorics in one sentence.

And the anti-Chalcedonian ones, too.
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« Reply #136 on: February 16, 2013, 11:22:15 AM »

I greatly revere St. Gregory of Nyssa myself yet I know that some things he said aren't all true or orthodox.

Hmmm. Have you read Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos' take on that? A lot of people throw around your statement, but it's rather meaningless.
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« Reply #137 on: February 16, 2013, 11:25:47 AM »

I greatly revere St. Gregory of Nyssa myself yet I know that some things he said aren't all true or orthodox.

Hmmm. Have you read Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos' take on that? A lot of people throw around your statement, but it's rather meaningless.

I greatly like Met. Hierotheos myself (he has mastered the Orthodox virtue of repetition like none I've read before) yet I know that some things he said aren't all true or orthodox.
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« Reply #138 on: February 16, 2013, 11:26:28 AM »


Not agreeing with St. Leo and St. Maximus - OO miaphysite, Eutychian monophysite or monothelite.   


You have to be careful what you're saying here.  Are you bunching OO theology and placing it in one and the same category with Eutychianism and Monotheletism?

For instance, there are at least two passages in Leo's Tome OOs won't agree with on the basis that it compromises what they have learned from St. Cyril.  Therefore, technically, we would say that the Tome of Leo was at odds with St. Cyril's theology (or at the very least terminology), despite the fact that Chalcedon claims to say that it is consonant with him.

As for St. Maximus, I always got the sense he wrote against the Chalcedonian Monothelites, and assuming that by extension, this is the type of Monotheletism anti-Chalcedonians held to.  When I read the disputation with Pyrrhus however, I can't help but think that there are some things Pyrrhus said that St. Severus himself wouldn't agree to, or at the very least, would have made better arguments.

According to Father John Meyendorff, the Fathers at Chalcedon did not take St. Leo's Tome on its own merits, but only in that they found it to agree with the totality of St. Cyril of Alexandria's writings. Therefore, for the Fathers at Chalcedon, St. Cyril remained the standard of Orthodoxy. The rift appears to be the result of a different understanding of St. Cyril, to me at least.
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« Reply #139 on: February 16, 2013, 06:22:04 PM »


Not agreeing with St. Leo and St. Maximus - OO miaphysite, Eutychian monophysite or monothelite.   


You have to be careful what you're saying here.  Are you bunching OO theology and placing it in one and the same category with Eutychianism and Monotheletism?

For instance, there are at least two passages in Leo's Tome OOs won't agree with on the basis that it compromises what they have learned from St. Cyril.  Therefore, technically, we would say that the Tome of Leo was at odds with St. Cyril's theology (or at the very least terminology), despite the fact that Chalcedon claims to say that it is consonant with him.

As for St. Maximus, I always got the sense he wrote against the Chalcedonian Monothelites, and assuming that by extension, this is the type of Monotheletism anti-Chalcedonians held to.  When I read the disputation with Pyrrhus however, I can't help but think that there are some things Pyrrhus said that St. Severus himself wouldn't agree to, or at the very least, would have made better arguments.

According to Father John Meyendorff, the Fathers at Chalcedon did not take St. Leo's Tome on its own merits, but only in that they found it to agree with the totality of St. Cyril of Alexandria's writings. Therefore, for the Fathers at Chalcedon, St. Cyril remained the standard of Orthodoxy. The rift appears to be the result of a different understanding of St. Cyril, to me at least.

Yes...I believe Fr. John Romanides said something similar and went a bit further with it, indicating that the Tome of Leo is of inferior importance, as opposed to the definition of Chalcedon, which should be understood in the light of St. Cyril.

I think it's important to understand that the rift may indeed be a different understanding, but the consultations seem to also show that despite the different understandings, it still lead to the same faith.  Price and Gaddis in their introductory pages before the minutes of Chalcedon writes, as best as possible, as objective an account they can to present to us two different St. Cyrils, which also probably was the crux of the situation at Chalcedon.  I think that's part of the issue.  Nevertheless, I doubt we will resolve to agree which interpretation of St. Cyril is the right one.

So then what happened at the consultations?  This happened, in Geneva 1990 in the official agreed statements:

Quote
8. Both families  accept the first  three  ecumenical councils, which form our
common  heritage.   In relation  to the four  later councils of  the  Orthodox
Church,  the Orthodox   state that  for  them the   above  points 1-7  are the
teachings also of the four later  councils of the  Orthodox  Church, while the
Oriental  Orthodox   consider this  statement  of    the  Orthodox   as  their
interpretation.  With this understanding, the Oriental  Orthodox respond to it
positively.


You see that throughout the whole time, after all these years and research, they actually agree on the faith.  We agree that Christ was fully human and fully divine.  We agree that the divine nature, with its natural will and energy was united with the human nature, with its will and energy, without mingling, without confusion, without alteration, without division.  We agreed on the veneration of icons.  We agreed on ecclesiology, on the Church, etc. etc. etc.  We agreed on all of that....EXCEPT on history.  We disagreed on history, BUT based on the EO interpretation of it, despite our disagreements, it seems that it didn't matter for us that the historical interpretation is different, so long as the faith is one, and so we responded positively to it.
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« Reply #140 on: February 16, 2013, 06:51:08 PM »

I struggle with whether we truly have the same exact faith given that a lot lies in the details. I don't have the theological acumen to sort it out, but it seems to me that if we really had the same faith and that history and misunderstanding was the actual problem, we'd have united by now. After all, there have been many prior attempts to do so.
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« Reply #141 on: February 16, 2013, 07:52:49 PM »

I greatly revere St. Gregory of Nyssa myself yet I know that some things he said aren't all true or orthodox.

Hmmm. Have you read Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos' take on that? A lot of people throw around your statement, but it's rather meaningless.
Is that the take of the Metropolitan?
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« Reply #142 on: February 16, 2013, 08:36:24 PM »

I struggle with whether we truly have the same exact faith given that a lot lies in the details. I don't have the theological acumen to sort it out, but it seems to me that if we really had the same faith and that history and misunderstanding was the actual problem, we'd have united by now. After all, there have been many prior attempts to do so.

Exact same feeling/thought I have.
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« Reply #143 on: February 16, 2013, 09:05:02 PM »

How could we not expect attempts at reunion to fail? They don't seem to have ever been predicated on understanding the other, just to get them to accept a particular position in light of what their detractors saw as lacking in their faith. And I don't really see how it could have been otherwise. If you are convinced that OO are monophysites, then it is probably high on your list that they confess Christ as both human and divine. This completely ignores the fact that we already do that (just not that two natures remain separable after the union), in favor of continuing to believe a lie. And to satisfy this non-problem, all sorts of interesting things have been proposed, but they don't seem to stick because they're predicated on the Chalcedonians being right in their polemical characterizations of the faith of the non-Chalcedonians. The same can work the other way around, too: If the Chalcedonians are crypto-Nestorians, then obviously we shouldn't unite unless or until they ditch all of that nonsense. If, however, they are not... (I should add to this that, at least from what little I've observed, the doctrinal problem seems on the OO side to be with the Tome itself; I have not yet found anyone who is learned in these matters who looks down on subsequent councils.)


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« Reply #144 on: February 16, 2013, 10:23:52 PM »

I struggle with whether we truly have the same exact faith given that a lot lies in the details. I don't have the theological acumen to sort it out, but it seems to me that if we really had the same faith and that history and misunderstanding was the actual problem, we'd have united by now. After all, there have been many prior attempts to do so.

Too many people are dedicated to their historical fiction to actually unite without the other side submitting to said fiction.
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« Reply #145 on: February 16, 2013, 11:22:35 PM »

I greatly revere St. Gregory of Nyssa myself yet I know that some things he said aren't all true or orthodox.

Hmmm. Have you read Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos' take on that? A lot of people throw around your statement, but it's rather meaningless.
Is that the take of the Metropolitan?

I did not get the impression from Metropolitan Hierotheos' writing about St. Gregory that St. Gregory taught anything contrary to the teaching of the Church. The metropolitan writes about it for awhile in "Life after Death."
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« Reply #146 on: February 16, 2013, 11:32:36 PM »

How could we not expect attempts at reunion to fail? They don't seem to have ever been predicated on understanding the other, just to get them to accept a particular position in light of what their detractors saw as lacking in their faith. And I don't really see how it could have been otherwise.

I don't know that enough material from the many attempts at reunion over the centuries is available for you or anyone to make such a convicted judgment.


If you are convinced that OO are monophysites, then it is probably high on your list that they confess Christ as both human and divine. This completely ignores the fact that we already do that (just not that two natures remain separable after the union), in favor of continuing to believe a lie. And to satisfy this non-problem, all sorts of interesting things have been proposed, but they don't seem to stick because they're predicated on the Chalcedonians being right in their polemical characterizations of the faith of the non-Chalcedonians.

I, personally, do not follow that line, and I think it doesn't behoove you to make a generalization. You have studied the history and the theology. Surely you know there are many finer points. After all, we do not believe in a separation of the two natures after the hypostatic union either, but rather that the properties and essence of each nature remain intact without confusion, without mixture, and without alteration.


The same can work the other way around, too: If the Chalcedonians are crypto-Nestorians, then obviously we shouldn't unite unless or until they ditch all of that nonsense. If, however, they are not... (I should add to this that, at least from what little I've observed, the doctrinal problem seems on the OO side to be with the Tome itself; I have not yet found anyone who is learned in these matters who looks down on subsequent councils.)

What I was trying to say was that there have been many and great theologians on both sides over the centuries who understand all these things and more and yet we are in the same position. All polemics aside, OOs refuse to accept the Council of Chalcedon. Why is this? Answer that, and you have the reason, I think, that there has been no reunion. And I venture to say it is not a reason of history, culture, polemics, or even adherence to tradition, but something theological.
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« Reply #147 on: February 16, 2013, 11:33:13 PM »

I struggle with whether we truly have the same exact faith given that a lot lies in the details. I don't have the theological acumen to sort it out, but it seems to me that if we really had the same faith and that history and misunderstanding was the actual problem, we'd have united by now. After all, there have been many prior attempts to do so.

Too many people are dedicated to their historical fiction to actually unite without the other side submitting to said fiction.

That's just silly.
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« Reply #148 on: February 16, 2013, 11:36:57 PM »

Too many people are dedicated to their historical fiction to actually unite without the other side submitting to said fiction.
That's just silly.

Of course they are.

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« Reply #149 on: February 17, 2013, 12:06:50 AM »

I struggle with whether we truly have the same exact faith given that a lot lies in the details. I don't have the theological acumen to sort it out, but it seems to me that if we really had the same faith and that history and misunderstanding was the actual problem, we'd have united by now. After all, there have been many prior attempts to do so.

These prior attempts should not be ignored, but they seem to stem from the same reasons some people presently are hesitant to accept a unity.  That is, how could we unite without showing that our forefathers were wrong?  Sounds easy to answer today, but not then, especially when much blood was spilt over this.  Because I don't really think it's primarily about their "they knew what they're talking about" as it is much about "they suffered for the faith".  If you want to latch on to the strongest reason why one shouldn't unite with the other, it is because, as one might imagine would say to the other, "You murdered our saints!"  It was said of St. Dioscorus concerning Flavian's beating (who as I understand, incidentally, his commemoration in the EO Church was yesterday) and turned it as an emotionally charged issue to try to cast him out.  It was said of Leo concerning St. Dioscorus' beating, and it became an emotionally charged issue of fighting tooth and nail against the council.  It was said of the anti-Chalcedonians killing Proterius, and it was said of the Chalcedonian emperors killing anti-Chalcedonians (we just celebrated the memory of a saint today, St. Barsouma, who was said to have been tortured for rejecting the council, and departed only 7 years after the council).  Monks were also involved in killings, whether in Palestine, Syria, or Egypt, Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian.  It was a sad time for Christianity.  Zeal became violent, and the clarity of rational discussions were stained with the blood of their loved ones.  Chalcedonian patriarch Timothy III Salophakiolus even seemed saddened at the whole prospect, seeing it as "Christians killing Christians".

We have a belief in Egypt:  The killing of sons by the government produces a need for a revenge by the mothers stronger than the need of religion.  (I think the saying goes:  A mother's vengeance for her son's death is her religion.) How much more true it is anywhere when the shedding of blood happens either way, causing a cycle of vengeance, and if no vengeance, a stubbornness to conform.

So, why exactly has the notion of unity became so strong today?  Because it probably took more than a millennium of Islamic oppression to put us back to our senses, to contemplate our past actions, and to came back in the age of world-connectedness, with full freedom, and no fear or pressure from cultural or political threats.  The past attempts showed us the wrong way to have discussions.  Today, there is a real chance to openly question each other with full respect and no verbal attacks what exactly our respective fathers believed and how this can be interpreted in light of today.
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« Reply #150 on: February 17, 2013, 12:32:55 AM »

All polemics aside, OOs refuse to accept the Council of Chalcedon. Why is this? Answer that, and you have the reason, I think, that there has been no reunion. And I venture to say it is not a reason of history, culture, polemics, or even adherence to tradition, but something theological.

You say "All polemics aside," but that is potentially a polemical question, especially when you presume to know the mind of the other party.

The reasons for the OO's not accepting Chalcedon, as well as the EO's reasons for insisting on Seven (or Eight, or Nine) Councils being accepted in order for reunion to take place, have been discussed ad nauseum, mostly in the private forum.  I'm not going to get out my fancy green ink, but I am informally warning everyone to keep this discussion friendly, non-accusatory (if that's a word,) and not even remotely polemical. 

Thanks ahead of time.

Anyway, there was a recent thread in this section addressing your question, and I posted this response here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,48152.msg839619.html#msg839619
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« Reply #151 on: February 17, 2013, 02:12:17 AM »

I, personally, do not follow that line, and I think it doesn't behoove you to make a generalization. You have studied the history and the theology. Surely you know there are many finer points. After all, we do not believe in a separation of the two natures after the hypostatic union either, but rather that the properties and essence of each nature remain intact without confusion, without mixture, and without alteration.

I used "seperable", not "separate" for a reason. I do not think Chalcedonians believe that the natures are separate, but rather that they may be considered separately (e.g., the word receives insults, while the flesh receives glory, etc).


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All polemics aside, OOs refuse to accept the Council of Chalcedon. Why is this? Answer that, and you have the reason, I think, that there has been no reunion.

This is a joke, right? I could just as easily write "all polemics aside, the Chalcedonians refuse to disavow the Tome of Leo, and that's the real problem", but that wouldn't make that idea non-polemical. Do I ask you "Why is that"? No, because I know why. You believe it to be true, so why should you disavow it? Just like we believe Chalcedon is not acceptable, so your assumption (that the problem is that we refuse to accept the council, rather than the possibility that it is a problem that you accept the council) is a mystery to me. It is, however, a great illustration of exactly the point of my post, so thank you for that.
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« Reply #152 on: February 17, 2013, 03:02:17 AM »

Guys, cool it.
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« Reply #153 on: February 18, 2013, 01:25:49 PM »

How could we not expect attempts at reunion to fail? They don't seem to have ever been predicated on understanding the other, just to get them to accept a particular position in light of what their detractors saw as lacking in their faith. And I don't really see how it could have been otherwise.

I don't know that enough material from the many attempts at reunion over the centuries is available for you or anyone to make such a convicted judgment.
I don't think one needs to have a substantial amount of material on past attempts of reunion to make a justified generalization if you have enough substantial secondary material that speaks of such attempts of reunion in light of their own particular position without addressing the objections of the opposing party. We can at least adjudicate that reunion must be predicated on addressing the objections of both parties. This has been done in the highest episcopal arena. But the general population continues to reference many of those secondary material in opposition of the episcopal decisions. This is what Dzheremi was talking about.

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What I was trying to say was that there have been many and great theologians on both sides over the centuries who understand all these things and more and yet we are in the same position.
Reunion will come at God's time. When we all submit to God's will as described in John 17:21, and when God chooses to soften the hearts of all parties, then reunion will happen.

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All polemics aside, OOs refuse to accept the Council of Chalcedon. Why is this? Answer that, and you have the reason, I think, that there has been no reunion. And I venture to say it is not a reason of history, culture, polemics, or even adherence to tradition, but something theological.
I'll try explaining it non-polemically even though the following example is not perfect. Let's suppose your father was wrongfully convicted of murder by an American court based on one piece of circumstantial evidence. Let's say, a bloody glove fits your father's hand. Then multiple appeals declared the blood isn't even the victim's. But the Superior court said "Even in the absence of direct evidence, no superior court can nullify the original verdict." How would you respond if someone claimed "If you don't accept the original verdict by that American court, you're not American" or "The only way you can become American with us is if you unequivocally accept the original verdict"?

We know Chalcedon condemned St Dioscorus without any actual theological heresy. This topic started questioning the definition of monophysite vs. miaphysite.   This thread has showed that OO objects to any claims that the OO or St Dioscorus are monophysite. Then we are told that the OO must accept Chalcedonian to be Orthodox. Isn't this simply illogical?
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« Reply #154 on: February 18, 2013, 08:04:18 PM »

A polemical post was moved to the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,50076.msg884529.html#msg884529

Since one of our EO posters has decided to continue with the polemics, and since this thread has run its course with regard to the question posed by the original post, I'm locking it.
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"I don't think I've ever eaten anything Armenian I didn't like.  I even drink my non-Armenian coffee out of a St Nersess Seminary coffee mug because it is better that way." --Mor Ephrem
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