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Author Topic: For Ecumenists  (Read 3131 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 22, 2013, 01:22:39 PM »

Which kinds and terms of union you would *not* accept as legitimate? Which ones, if accepted by hierarchy, would lead you to not follow them into a false union?
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 01:44:12 PM »

For me personally, if the entire Church hierarchy united with another faith community, I would accept it as legitimate.  I trust that God does and will preserve the Church and would not allow such a union unless it served His divine purpose.
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 01:56:51 PM »

What do you mean by "Ecumenist"?
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2013, 02:01:46 PM »

An advocate for some form of union of Christian ecclesial communities into one Church, specially if this advocate sees the efforts towards this as a priority of Christian life. What this advocate means by "union" is what the answer to my question seeks to further clarify.

What do you mean by "Ecumenist"?
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 02:08:25 PM »

Which kinds and terms of union you would *not* accept as legitimate?

Those which compromise Tradition. I could techically "those which compromise Orthodox Faith" too but "Orthodox Faith" is often confused with current dogmatic trends so I chose "Tradition" instead.
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 02:10:51 PM »

Which specific items do you have in mind? *Some* compromise somewhere would be necessary. Where there should be no compromise and how much compromise is too much?

Which kinds and terms of union you would *not* accept as legitimate?

Those which compromise the Tradition.
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2013, 02:13:52 PM »

If, hypothetically, you have the OO, EO and RC unite and you aren't satisfied with the compromises made by your respective Church, where do you go from there?  Protestants? Mormons?  Some schismatic group?
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2013, 02:16:48 PM »

That's another interesting question, that opens up an entire new direction for analysis. I'd like to ask those who eventually join in to stick to the original question for now: "What kind and/or terms of union you would find unacceptable, preventing you from following with it?", just to keep the focus.

If, hypothetically, you have the OO, EO and RC unite and you aren't satisfied with the compromises made by your respective Church, where do you go from there?  Protestants? Mormons?  Some schismatic group?
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 02:20:33 PM »

Which specific items do you have in mind? *Some* compromise somewhere would be necessary.

If there is a compromise it's better to have no union at all. Bad Ecclesiology is not proper Ecummenisn.

The whole another thing is that we might learn that Tradition can be expressed in various ways or that the Heterodox doesn't necessarily believe what we have assumed them to believe.
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2013, 02:26:58 PM »

That's another interesting question, that opens up an entire new direction for analysis. I'd like to ask those who eventually join in to stick to the original question for now: "What kind and/or terms of union you would find unacceptable, preventing you from following with it?", just to keep the focus.

If, hypothetically, you have the OO, EO and RC unite and you aren't satisfied with the compromises made by your respective Church, where do you go from there?  Protestants? Mormons?  Some schismatic group?

I see it kind of related to your question though.  Think of John 6:

68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Since the Church is the Body of Christ and we have confidence that God's Truth is transmitted through the Church, where would be go if we decide to accept that the Church has fallen into error?  If you are going to decide that the Church has made an erroneous move, you must then decide where the infallible Church is.


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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2013, 02:32:29 PM »

Is the hierarchy a criteria though? There were times where the hierarchy were predominantly Arian or Iconoclast and the Orthodox were considered a minority schism. Why can't they go wrong again?

That's another interesting question, that opens up an entire new direction for analysis. I'd like to ask those who eventually join in to stick to the original question for now: "What kind and/or terms of union you would find unacceptable, preventing you from following with it?", just to keep the focus.

If, hypothetically, you have the OO, EO and RC unite and you aren't satisfied with the compromises made by your respective Church, where do you go from there?  Protestants? Mormons?  Some schismatic group?

I see it kind of related to your question though.  Think of John 6:

68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Since the Church is the Body of Christ and we have confidence that God's Truth is transmitted through the Church, where would be go if we decide to accept that the Church has fallen into error?  If you are going to decide that the Church has made an erroneous move, you must then decide where the infallible Church is.



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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 02:36:50 PM »

Is the hierarchy a criteria though? There were times where the hierarchy were predominantly Arian or Iconoclast and the Orthodox were considered a minority schism. Why can't they go wrong again?

There's less occasions to go wrong nowadays since our doctrine is much more settled now than during the first centuries.
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 02:37:04 PM »

Which kinds and terms of union you would *not* accept as legitimate? Which ones, if accepted by hierarchy, would lead you to not follow them into a false union?

Assuming for union that we're talking about non-Protestants, I really wouldn't be able to accept subjugation to RC Papal claims. I think that's the biggest issue for me. I also wouldn't like union with liberal groups like certain Old Catholics.
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2013, 02:38:52 PM »

That is a limit I personally would not cross. It's bad historical science to give preference to the witness of biased interpreters dettached from from the original facts by centuries instead of primary sources and allowing the directly involved parts to define the original dispute. *That* line of thought sound to me a lot like "we'll do it regardless of facts".

The whole another thing is that we might learn that Tradition can be expressed in various ways or that the Heterodox doesn't necessarily believe what we have assumed them to believe.
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2013, 02:40:42 PM »

Yet, it's not a democracy or a consensus. If 99% of the hierarchy decides on a particular way, this may be evidence, but no proof that they are right.

Is the hierarchy a criteria though? There were times where the hierarchy were predominantly Arian or Iconoclast and the Orthodox were considered a minority schism. Why can't they go wrong again?

There's less occasions to go wrong nowadays since our doctrine is much more settled now than during the first centuries.
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2013, 02:48:57 PM »

Which of the papal claims?
Ex Cathedra infallibility?
Universal and ordinary jurisdiction?
Non-transferability of the Primacy from Rome?
That the above charismas belong exclusively to the Bishop of Rome?

Which kinds and terms of union you would *not* accept as legitimate? Which ones, if accepted by hierarchy, would lead you to not follow them into a false union?

Assuming for union that we're talking about non-Protestants, I really wouldn't be able to accept subjugation to RC Papal claims. I think that's the biggest issue for me. I also wouldn't like union with liberal groups like certain Old Catholics.
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2013, 02:50:57 PM »

That is a limit I personally would not cross. It's bad historical science to give preference to the witness of biased interpreters dettached from from the original facts by centuries instead of primary sources and allowing the directly involved parts to define the original dispute.

Not really if, say, the directly involved parts didn't understand each other's native language. I do agree though that historical EO expressions should be deemed as a sort of standard of Tradition.
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2013, 02:54:38 PM »

For the same criteria that it would be difficult for them to understand each other, it would be even more difficult for us to understand any of them since we don't speak their languages any longer. Our assumptions that they were saying the same things in different words are based on our assumptions about their languages and that's circular thinking.


That is a limit I personally would not cross. It's bad historical science to give preference to the witness of biased interpreters dettached from from the original facts by centuries instead of primary sources and allowing the directly involved parts to define the original dispute.

Not really if, say, the directly involved parts didn't understand each other's native language. I do agree though that historical EO expressions should be deemed as a sort of standard of Tradition.
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2013, 02:55:02 PM »

An advocate for some form of union of Christian ecclesial communities into one Church

With that definition no Orthodox can be "ecumenist" since the Orthodox Church is not one of the many "ecclesial communities". Your definition is flawed.
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2013, 03:01:11 PM »

An advocate for some form of union of Christian ecclesial communities into one Church

With that definition no Orthodox can be "ecumenist" since the Orthodox Church is not one of the many "ecclesial communities". Your definition is flawed.

We are not one of many assembled (ecclesial) communities?   Huh

The Orthodox Church may be the only True, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church, but it is also one of many assembled communities.  Heck, any number of civic organizations could meet that definition as well.
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2013, 03:02:09 PM »

What I have in mind are members of the Orthodox Church, Non-Chalcedonean Churches, RC, and traditional Reform churches.

An advocate for some form of union of Christian ecclesial communities into one Church

With that definition no Orthodox can be "ecumenist" since the Orthodox Church is not one of the many "ecclesial communities". Your definition is flawed.

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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2013, 03:05:10 PM »

Anything short of a total conversion to Orthodoxy should be rejected in my opinion.
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« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2013, 03:06:45 PM »

Anything short of a total conversion to Orthodoxy should be rejected in my opinion.

What about the OO?
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« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2013, 03:21:59 PM »

Anything short of a total conversion to Orthodoxy should be rejected in my opinion.

What about the OO?

As flamed as I am going to get for this, I would say the same. Contrary to the false hopes that this board has, there are some significant differences between the EO and OO that can't be overlooked--as Orthonorm stated. HOWEVER, I will give the OO 4+ cool points because their Priests have cool Bob Marley dreadlocks and know how to grow some good bom-bom-biggy.
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« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2013, 03:28:34 PM »

Anything short of a total conversion to Orthodoxy should be rejected in my opinion.

What about the OO?

As flamed as I am going to get for this, I would say the same. Contrary to the false hopes that this board has, there are some significant differences between the EO and OO that can't be overlooked--as Orthonorm stated. HOWEVER, I will give the OO 4+ cool points because their Priests have cool Bob Marley dreadlocks and know how to grow some good bom-bom-biggy.

I don't know whether to take someone's opinion on OO theology seriously who thinks the entire Oriental Orthodox Church is rasta.
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« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2013, 03:33:34 PM »

Anything short of a total conversion to Orthodoxy should be rejected in my opinion.

What about the OO?

As flamed as I am going to get for this, I would say the same. Contrary to the false hopes that this board has, there are some significant differences between the EO and OO that can't be overlooked--as Orthonorm stated. HOWEVER, I will give the OO 4+ cool points because their Priests have cool Bob Marley dreadlocks and know how to grow some good bom-bom-biggy.

I don't know whether to take someone's opinion on OO theology seriously who thinks the entire Oriental Orthodox Church is rasta.

LOL! POTM
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« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2013, 03:43:20 PM »

Which kinds and terms of union you would *not* accept as legitimate? Which ones, if accepted by hierarchy, would lead you to not follow them into a false union?
From the RC POV, the terms I would not like would be:
1. Doing away with venial sin and Purgatory.
2. Requiring communion of both kinds (including wine).
3. Doing away with devotion to the Sacred Heart.
4. Adopting the Orthodox rules for fasting during Lent (They are too severe for me).
5. No kneelers, no pews and no organ music in Church.
6. No genuflecting, only bowing and kissing the Church floor is allowed.
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« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2013, 03:55:42 PM »

Which kinds and terms of union you would *not* accept as legitimate? Which ones, if accepted by hierarchy, would lead you to not follow them into a false union?
From the RC POV, the terms I would not like would be:
1. Doing away with venial sin and Purgatory. - This would be a doctrine issue
2. Requiring communion of both kinds (including wine).  - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
3. Doing away with devotion to the Sacred Heart. - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
4. Adopting the Orthodox rules for fasting during Lent (They are too severe for me). - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
5. No kneelers, no pews and no organ music in Church. - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
6. No genuflecting, only bowing and kissing the Church floor is allowed.  - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue

The majority of the things you stated are jurisdictional issues.  I would imagine that if there was a union, those issues would continue to be under the purview of the Bishop of Rome.  As far as the Purgatory thing is concerned, you could always become a "toll-house" Orthodox, it is pretty similar.  Tongue
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« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2013, 04:00:06 PM »

For the same criteria that it would be difficult for them to understand each other, it would be even more difficult for us to understand any of them since we don't speak their languages any longer. Our assumptions that they were saying the same things in different words are based on our assumptions about their languages and that's circular thinking.

I wasn't arguing for anything or against anything but expressing my point. Lighten up a bit. We're not having a debate but discussing.
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« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2013, 04:21:16 PM »

Which kinds and terms of union you would *not* accept as legitimate? Which ones, if accepted by hierarchy, would lead you to not follow them into a false union?
From the RC POV, the terms I would not like would be:
1. Doing away with venial sin and Purgatory. - This would be a doctrine issue
2. Requiring communion of both kinds (including wine).  - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
3. Doing away with devotion to the Sacred Heart. - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
4. Adopting the Orthodox rules for fasting during Lent (They are too severe for me). - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
5. No kneelers, no pews and no organ music in Church. - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
6. No genuflecting, only bowing and kissing the Church floor is allowed.  - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue

The majority of the things you stated are jurisdictional issues.  I would imagine that if there was a union, those issues would continue to be under the purview of the Bishop of Rome.  As far as the Purgatory thing is concerned, you could always become a "toll-house" Orthodox, it is pretty similar.  Tongue
The question was hypothetical, saying what terms would you find difficult to accept. If the Bishop of Rome had agreed to the 6 terms mentioned, I would find them difficult to accept. Of course, it is highly unlikely that the Roman Church would be required to adopt these terms as many of them are jurisdictional issues as you have pointed out, but I did not understand that to be the  question asked.
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« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2013, 05:00:17 PM »

Which kinds and terms of union you would *not* accept as legitimate? Which ones, if accepted by hierarchy, would lead you to not follow them into a false union?
From the RC POV, the terms I would not like would be:
1. Doing away with venial sin and Purgatory. - This would be a doctrine issue
2. Requiring communion of both kinds (including wine).  - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
3. Doing away with devotion to the Sacred Heart. - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
4. Adopting the Orthodox rules for fasting during Lent (They are too severe for me). - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
5. No kneelers, no pews and no organ music in Church. - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
6. No genuflecting, only bowing and kissing the Church floor is allowed.  - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue

The majority of the things you stated are jurisdictional issues.  I would imagine that if there was a union, those issues would continue to be under the purview of the Bishop of Rome.  As far as the Purgatory thing is concerned, you could always become a "toll-house" Orthodox, it is pretty similar.  Tongue
The question was hypothetical, saying what terms would you find difficult to accept. If the Bishop of Rome had agreed to the 6 terms mentioned, I would find them difficult to accept. Of course, it is highly unlikely that the Roman Church would be required to adopt these terms as many of them are jurisdictional issues as you have pointed out, but I did not understand that to be the  question asked.

Sorry, I misunderstood.  I do find that many of the issues that divide RC and Orthodox tend to be issues that would be jurisdictional in nature.  There are, of course, doctrinal issues, but I would hope that IF a union were to take place, both sides would exercise humility and not infringe on jurisdictional issues of the other.
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« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2013, 09:40:01 PM »

Which of the papal claims?
Ex Cathedra infallibility?
Universal and ordinary jurisdiction?
Non-transferability of the Primacy from Rome?
That the above charismas belong exclusively to the Bishop of Rome?

All of the above.

I suppose I would also take problem with an attempt to force Latin dogmatic statements on a theoretical united church. The Latin Church could have its pious beliefs and doctrinal definitions, but they could not be enforced as universally binding dogmatic definitions. As it is, there is a lot of variation in expressing beliefs in Orthodoxy since we don't tend to have narrowly defined dogmatic statements, and I wouldn't desire for such and especially definitions that are foriegn to our Traditional expressions.
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« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2013, 09:50:31 PM »

I would certainly call myself an "ecumenist," but I think a definition is in order.

If by "ecumenist" you mean I desire the unity of Christians and encourage honest and constructive dialogue between different groups, then, yes, I am an ecumenist.

However, if by "ecumenist" you mean I value unity over orthodoxy and am willing to compromise the Faith for the sake of making others feel better, than no, I am not an ecumenist.

With that said, I think I've largely answered the OP's question. Any terms of union that compromise the Faith are unacceptable.

However, if the canonical Orthodox Churches (of which I am a part) reconcile with another communion, I am obligated to follow them. Therefore, I do not believe there would ever be a situation where the Church would make a decision that would cause me to leave. If union is false, then I have faith that the Church would not participate in it.
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« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2013, 10:47:04 PM »

I would certainly call myself an "ecumenist," but I think a definition is in order.

If by "ecumenist" you mean I desire the unity of Christians and encourage honest and constructive dialogue between different groups, then, yes, I am an ecumenist.

However, if by "ecumenist" you mean I value unity over orthodoxy and am willing to compromise the Faith for the sake of making others feel better, than no, I am not an ecumenist.

With that said, I think I've largely answered the OP's question. Any terms of union that compromise the Faith are unacceptable.

However, if the canonical Orthodox Churches (of which I am a part) reconcile with another communion, I am obligated to follow them. Therefore, I do not believe there would ever be a situation where the Church would make a decision that would cause me to leave. If union is false, then I have faith that the Church would not participate in it.
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« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2013, 02:57:24 AM »

Which kinds and terms of union you would *not* accept as legitimate? Which ones, if accepted by hierarchy, would lead you to not follow them into a false union?
From the RC POV, the terms I would not like would be:
1. Doing away with venial sin and Purgatory. - This would be a doctrine issue
2. Requiring communion of both kinds (including wine).  - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
3. Doing away with devotion to the Sacred Heart. - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
4. Adopting the Orthodox rules for fasting during Lent (They are too severe for me). - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
5. No kneelers, no pews and no organ music in Church. - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue
6. No genuflecting, only bowing and kissing the Church floor is allowed.  - This would probably be a jurisdictional issue

The majority of the things you stated are jurisdictional issues.  I would imagine that if there was a union, those issues would continue to be under the purview of the Bishop of Rome.  As far as the Purgatory thing is concerned, you could always become a "toll-house" Orthodox, it is pretty similar.  Tongue
The question was hypothetical, saying what terms would you find difficult to accept. If the Bishop of Rome had agreed to the 6 terms mentioned, I would find them difficult to accept. Of course, it is highly unlikely that the Roman Church would be required to adopt these terms as many of them are jurisdictional issues as you have pointed out, but I did not understand that to be the  question asked.

Sorry, I misunderstood.  I do find that many of the issues that divide RC and Orthodox tend to be issues that would be jurisdictional in nature.  There are, of course, doctrinal issues, but I would hope that IF a union were to take place, both sides would exercise humility and not infringe on jurisdictional issues of the other.
Thanks a lot for your comments. You are right that there are both jurisdictional and doctrinal issues. How these are going to be resolved is a question. All I can see for now (and for a fairly long time into the future) is for both Churches working together on issues of common concern but without intercommunion. 
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« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2013, 08:08:50 AM »

Can you give examples of such terms?


With that said, I think I've largely answered the OP's question. Any terms of union that compromise the Faith are unacceptable.
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« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2013, 10:28:44 PM »

Can you give examples of such terms?

- We (Orthodox) must accept the filioque clause.
- We must accept that papal supremacy exists, even if the pope promises to never use it (this undermines the whole ecclesiology of the early Church).
- We must accept the doctrine of purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, and other post-Schism decrees OR accept that these doctrines can be validly held by our Latin counterparts.
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« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2013, 11:14:04 PM »

Anything short of a total conversion to Orthodoxy should be rejected in my opinion.

What about the OO?

As flamed as I am going to get for this, I would say the same. Contrary to the false hopes that this board has, there are some significant differences between the EO and OO that can't be overlooked--as Orthonorm stated. HOWEVER, I will give the OO 4+ cool points because their Priests have cool Bob Marley dreadlocks and know how to grow some good bom-bom-biggy.
James, you clearly know nothing about OO theology. So do us all a favor, stop misrepresenting us, pick up a book, and get yourself educated!
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« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2013, 11:22:22 PM »

Anything short of a total conversion to Orthodoxy should be rejected in my opinion.
Pretty much where I stand as well.

I have no problem with plurality in unity, which is the Orthodox position, but you can't unify without a stricter catholicity.
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« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2013, 11:28:20 AM »

Anything short of a total conversion to Orthodoxy should be rejected in my opinion.

What about the OO?

As flamed as I am going to get for this, I would say the same. Contrary to the false hopes that this board has, there are some significant differences between the EO and OO that can't be overlooked--as Orthonorm stated. HOWEVER, I will give the OO 4+ cool points because their Priests have cool Bob Marley dreadlocks and know how to grow some good bom-bom-biggy.

You wouldn't get flamed if you really believed there were significant differences between EO and OO that can't be overlooked, and if you could express something of those opinions with something approximating the use of reason.  You might be disagreed with, but not flamed.  When you, HOWEVER, assign "4+ cool points" to a Church you claim a theological disagreement with because of some Afro-Caribbean fantasies you dreamed up in a pot-induced haze, I'd say it's time you lay off the "bom-bom-biggy" and keep quiet lest people see your ignorance.     
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« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2013, 11:57:20 AM »

That is a limit I personally would not cross. It's bad historical science to give preference to the witness of biased interpreters dettached from from the original facts by centuries instead of primary sources and allowing the directly involved parts to define the original dispute. *That* line of thought sound to me a lot like "we'll do it regardless of facts".

The whole another thing is that we might learn that Tradition can be expressed in various ways or that the Heterodox doesn't necessarily believe what we have assumed them to believe.

Hi Fabio,

I think you have a point re: our "biased" interpretations today detached by centuries from a particular situation, primary sources, original parties, etc.  There's an "ignorance" in the air these days that takes a lot of things and just assumes we know better than our forbears did, and I think that's dangerous, especially if it leads to "we'll do it regardless of facts".  But I also think it's dangerous to just maintain the status quo with the blind faith that "they knew what they were doing", presuming that later generations are always and everywhere "worse" than those that came before. 

Since the EO/OO split was brought up in this thread, I'll use that as an example.  We could simply maintain the current state of affairs and trust that our fathers knew what they were doing and let it be.  But to maintain this, I think both EO and OO have to ignore some "inconvenient truths".  So I think it's useful to dialogue and try to get to the bottom of things, and I don't think it always and everywhere leads to syncretism.  By all means, let whatever documentary evidence is out there help us define the original dispute, as you say.  But I don't think it's all a bunch of false assumptions to point to lingustic differences: even if all parties are writing in Greek, they're not all "Greek" in culture or understanding.  It was a lingua franca, like English is today, and while forms of English around the world are recognizable as English, we admit that something said in "Indian English" would have a different meaning when understood in "American English"...so I don't think the language thing is so easy to dismiss just because much, if not all, writing was done in Greek.  Also, while it is useful to use the primary sources to reconstruct the original dispute, it was clearly more than a literary disagreement.  I don't think it's a hyper-ecumenical cop-out to consider the original context of the dispute, with the interaction of factors like differences in cultures, politics, biases (not just a modern phenomenon!) and human sinfulness.  Our distance from the original situation, while presenting us with certain handicaps we need to "correct for", also allows us to look at it with an amount of dispassion that just could not apply back then.  That doesn't make us "better" or "worse" than our forefathers, it just puts us in a place to see with a fresh set of eyes, if we want to.         
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« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2013, 12:01:12 PM »

Anything short of a total conversion to Orthodoxy should be rejected in my opinion.

What about the OO?

As flamed as I am going to get for this, I would say the same. Contrary to the false hopes that this board has, there are some significant differences between the EO and OO that can't be overlooked--as Orthonorm stated. HOWEVER, I will give the OO 4+ cool points because their Priests have cool Bob Marley dreadlocks and know how to grow some good bom-bom-biggy.

You wouldn't get flamed if you really believed there were significant differences between EO and OO that can't be overlooked, and if you could express something of those opinions with something approximating the use of reason.  You might be disagreed with, but not flamed.  When you, HOWEVER, assign "4+ cool points" to a Church you claim a theological disagreement with because of some Afro-Caribbean fantasies you dreamed up in a pot-induced haze, I'd say it's time you lay off the "bom-bom-biggy" and keep quiet lest people see your ignorance.     
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« Reply #42 on: May 24, 2013, 12:23:36 PM »

Anything short of a total conversion to Orthodoxy should be rejected in my opinion.

What about the OO?

As flamed as I am going to get for this, I would say the same. Contrary to the false hopes that this board has, there are some significant differences between the EO and OO that can't be overlooked--as Orthonorm stated. HOWEVER, I will give the OO 4+ cool points because their Priests have cool Bob Marley dreadlocks and know how to grow some good bom-bom-biggy.

You wouldn't get flamed if you really believed there were significant differences between EO and OO that can't be overlooked, and if you could express something of those opinions with something approximating the use of reason.  You might be disagreed with, but not flamed.  When you, HOWEVER, assign "4+ cool points" to a Church you claim a theological disagreement with because of some Afro-Caribbean fantasies you dreamed up in a pot-induced haze, I'd say it's time you lay off the "bom-bom-biggy" and keep quiet lest people see your ignorance.      
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« Reply #43 on: May 24, 2013, 01:12:01 PM »

I don't think it's a matter of us or them being better. It's just what happened. Any dialogue between Orthodoxy and Non-Chalcedoneans has to start with the historical facts: differences were substantial as described by the primary sources. Trying to explain that away with the "Big Misunderstanding Theory" is unscientific and will never lead to a sustainable union.

People say that today we have the same faith. That may well be the case. But it's not the case that we always had. Someone changed along the centuries to correct the faith. I'd say it was the Non-Chalcedoneans. They probably would say it was us. This *new* questioning, though, would be progress towards union because 1) it's based on sound historical methodology; 2) it brings a *new* question and that is progress. I don't know if that's the right question, I don't know how and if it should be answered, but it moves beyond the previous stalemate.


And answering lovesupreme's other question elsewhere on why there's no union, it's easy to know. Nobody is willing to concede to have been wrong. Not apparently wrong, not misunderstood to have been wrong, but wrong wrong, dead wrong, in some serious issues. Infallibility and inerrancy are just relatively modern attempts of blocking even the possibility of that, basically dogmatizing unrepentence. And that because we all preach humility.

when I chose to become Orthodox, it was because I could not see any serious dogmatic or doctrinal deviation from the Apostles like one can see in all the others. Yet, even in Orhodoxy there are problems elsewhere (see canonical problems in the New World and others).

 
That is a limit I personally would not cross. It's bad historical science to give preference to the witness of biased interpreters dettached from from the original facts by centuries instead of primary sources and allowing the directly involved parts to define the original dispute. *That* line of thought sound to me a lot like "we'll do it regardless of facts".

The whole another thing is that we might learn that Tradition can be expressed in various ways or that the Heterodox doesn't necessarily believe what we have assumed them to believe.

Hi Fabio,

I think you have a point re: our "biased" interpretations today detached by centuries from a particular situation, primary sources, original parties, etc.  There's an "ignorance" in the air these days that takes a lot of things and just assumes we know better than our forbears did, and I think that's dangerous, especially if it leads to "we'll do it regardless of facts".  But I also think it's dangerous to just maintain the status quo with the blind faith that "they knew what they were doing", presuming that later generations are always and everywhere "worse" than those that came before.  

Since the EO/OO split was brought up in this thread, I'll use that as an example.  We could simply maintain the current state of affairs and trust that our fathers knew what they were doing and let it be.  But to maintain this, I think both EO and OO have to ignore some "inconvenient truths".  So I think it's useful to dialogue and try to get to the bottom of things, and I don't think it always and everywhere leads to syncretism.  By all means, let whatever documentary evidence is out there help us define the original dispute, as you say.  But I don't think it's all a bunch of false assumptions to point to lingustic differences: even if all parties are writing in Greek, they're not all "Greek" in culture or understanding.  It was a lingua franca, like English is today, and while forms of English around the world are recognizable as English, we admit that something said in "Indian English" would have a different meaning when understood in "American English"...so I don't think the language thing is so easy to dismiss just because much, if not all, writing was done in Greek.  Also, while it is useful to use the primary sources to reconstruct the original dispute, it was clearly more than a literary disagreement.  I don't think it's a hyper-ecumenical cop-out to consider the original context of the dispute, with the interaction of factors like differences in cultures, politics, biases (not just a modern phenomenon!) and human sinfulness.  Our distance from the original situation, while presenting us with certain handicaps we need to "correct for", also allows us to look at it with an amount of dispassion that just could not apply back then.  That doesn't make us "better" or "worse" than our forefathers, it just puts us in a place to see with a fresh set of eyes, if we want to.          
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« Reply #44 on: June 05, 2013, 04:13:09 PM »

An advocate for some form of union of Christian ecclesial communities into one Church, specially if this advocate sees the efforts towards this as a priority of Christian life. What this advocate means by "union" is what the answer to my question seeks to further clarify.

What do you mean by "Ecumenist"?

Hi. Sorry I'm coming in late.

I'm okay with your definition of "ecumenism", but I would like to point out that for many, the big question isn't so much "What?" but "Who?"

I'm reminded of what William J. Tighe once asked in an interview "To put it bluntly, why the Nordic Catholic Church? Why not Rome? Why not Orthodoxy?" (In a subsequent question he asked about Old Catholicism.) That's in regard to a group of several Lutheran parishes that decided to form the Nordic Catholic Church in communion with the PNCC.

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« Reply #45 on: June 10, 2013, 07:14:41 PM »

An advocate for some form of union of Christian ecclesial communities into one Church

With that definition no Orthodox can be "ecumenist" since the Orthodox Church is not one of the many "ecclesial communities". Your definition is flawed.

We are not one of many assembled (ecclesial) communities?   Huh

It has been my experience that we, most of us, are too quick to decide how a word should be used. That's seems to be part of human nature.

(I'm reminded of something a protestant friend of mine observed to me many years ago: that a lot of Catholics will correct someone who calls them "Christian". )

For the case in point, I can't see any reason why calling the Orthodox Church one of the "ecclesial communities" should imply that it isn't the one true church.
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« Reply #46 on: June 10, 2013, 11:11:28 PM »

"Visions of a United Church" is the topic at next week's Orientale Lumen Conference in Washinton. http://olconference.com/OL_FutCon_OL_XVII.html

This theme is based on the 2010 paper on the subject produced by the North American EO RCC Theological Dialouge.  http://www.scoba.us/articles/towards-a-unified-church.html

Among the Orthodox presenters will be OCA Metropolitan Tikhon (Mollard), Holy Cross Dean, Father Thomas FitzGerald and Protopresbyter James Dutko of ACROD. The Jesuit Greek Catholic scholar, Archimandrite Robert Taft will also present.

AFR will offer podcasts of the sessions.Check their website for times.
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« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2013, 01:26:22 AM »

"Visions of a United Church" is the topic at next week's Orientale Lumen Conference in Washinton. http://olconference.com/OL_FutCon_OL_XVII.html

This theme is based on the 2010 paper on the subject produced by the North American EO RCC Theological Dialouge.  http://www.scoba.us/articles/towards-a-unified-church.html

Among the Orthodox presenters will be OCA Metropolitan Tikhon (Mollard), Holy Cross Dean, Father Thomas FitzGerald and Protopresbyter James Dutko of ACROD. The Jesuit Greek Catholic scholar, Archimandrite Robert Taft will also present.

AFR will offer podcasts of the sessions.Check their website for times.

Why is all this happening when I've left D.C. for the summer? I personally think that his Beatitude is the man, and I was lucky enough to witness his enthronement and eat lunch with him on Easter.


As for what I personally would reject, I would probably join the Oriental Orthodox Church if say something like the Council of Florence happened again, which it most likely never will. And if the Oriental Churches joined with us in some sort of strange union that uses selfish reasoning, then God help us.
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« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2013, 04:07:26 AM »

"Visions of a United Church" is the topic at next week's Orientale Lumen Conference in Washinton. http://olconference.com/OL_FutCon_OL_XVII.html

This theme is based on the 2010 paper on the subject produced by the North American EO RCC Theological Dialouge.  http://www.scoba.us/articles/towards-a-unified-church.html

Among the Orthodox presenters will be OCA Metropolitan Tikhon (Mollard), Holy Cross Dean, Father Thomas FitzGerald and Protopresbyter James Dutko of ACROD. The Jesuit Greek Catholic scholar, Archimandrite Robert Taft will also present.

AFR will offer podcasts of the sessions.Check their website for times.

agh!!!

What is AFR!!!

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Ancient Faith Radio! Tongue

butr I read this:

"ut will NOT include the Q&A sessions or panel discussions among the speakers."

awwwww but that is the exciting part...
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« Reply #49 on: June 11, 2013, 01:07:16 PM »

As for what I personally would reject, I would probably join the Oriental Orthodox Church if say something like the Council of Florence happened again, which it most likely never will. And if the Oriental Churches joined with us in some sort of strange union that uses selfish reasoning, then God help us.

What on earth does this mean?
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« Reply #50 on: June 11, 2013, 02:04:08 PM »

What on earth does this mean?

Gospodi pomiłuj, that was poorly written!

Sorry, what I meant to say was...

I would personally reject some sort of Council of Florence: Part II where the Eastern Orthodox Church completely gave into Papal claims because it needed something from Rome. While this is never going to happen ever, if it did. I'd ask to be received into the Oriental Orthodox Church, where I think I'd be happy. However, if the Oriental Orthodox Church did likewise in this hypothetical union and completely gave into Papal claims, them I wouldn't know where I'd turn.
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« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2013, 02:17:39 PM »

. While this is never going to happen ever, if it did. I'd ask to be received into the Oriental Orthodox Church, where I think I'd be happy.

That's curious.
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« Reply #52 on: June 11, 2013, 08:39:10 PM »

I would personally reject some sort of Council of Florence: Part II where the Eastern Orthodox Church completely gave into Papal claims because it needed something from Rome. While this is never going to happen ever, if it did. I'd ask to be received into the Oriental Orthodox Church, where I think I'd be happy. However, if the Oriental Orthodox Church did likewise in this hypothetical union and completely gave into Papal claims, them I wouldn't know where I'd turn.

We've been rejecting Papal claims since 451, I think we'll be OK.  Tongue
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« Reply #53 on: June 11, 2013, 08:53:05 PM »

I would personally reject some sort of Council of Florence: Part II where the Eastern Orthodox Church completely gave into Papal claims because it needed something from Rome.

To me, Florence Part II is just what we need ... or rather, Florence Part III, if you count Florence as Florence Part II and Lyons II as Florence Part I. Smiley

Granted, if you know in advance what Florence Part III will be like ("... where the Eastern Orthodox Church completely gave into Papal claims because it needed something from Rome") then I can understand your desire to reject it in advance.  Cool
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« Reply #54 on: June 11, 2013, 09:09:57 PM »

I would personally reject some sort of Council of Florence: Part II where the Eastern Orthodox Church completely gave into Papal claims because it needed something from Rome.

To me, Florence Part II is just what we need ... or rather, Florence Part III, if you count Florence as Florence Part II and Lyons II as Florence Part I. Smiley

Granted, if you know in advance what Florence Part III will be like ("... where the Eastern Orthodox Church completely gave into Papal claims because it needed something from Rome") then I can understand your desire to reject it in advance.  Cool

What would you say that the Council of Florence was about, then, if not a humiliated Emperor coercing his Empire's bishops into signing a decree that may or may not have guaranteed Papal aid against the Ottoman Empire?
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« Reply #55 on: June 11, 2013, 09:14:47 PM »

Which kinds and terms of union you would *not* accept as legitimate? Which ones, if accepted by hierarchy, would lead you to not follow them into a false union?

While I trust the words of Christ that the gates of hell will not prevail...

I would reject any union that declares our accepted councils to not be Orthodox, denies the sainthood of our saints, requires us to accept councils in which we did not take part in or accept as being universally binding, requires universal submission to a single bishop having ordinary jurisdictional authority over every local diocese, acknowledges any single bishop to be unable to make a mistake when speaking/writing in an official capacity by virtue of his office, and the adoption of a form of  the creed that has been historically rejected by us.

I think that just about covers all the non-Protestant traditions. As far as Protestants, they would have to accept our councils (all and whole), accept all of our teachings, adopt the sacraments as we believe them to be, adopt (if they don't already have one) a calendar including all the major feasts, a lectionary, and liturgical worship to include a divine liturgy and hours of prayer. This would probably be easier for some groups like Anglicans and Lutherans than for more non-liturgical groups like Pentecostals.

Just some thoughts.
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« Reply #56 on: June 11, 2013, 10:08:27 PM »

I would personally reject some sort of Council of Florence: Part II where the Eastern Orthodox Church completely gave into Papal claims because it needed something from Rome.

To me, Florence Part II is just what we need ... or rather, Florence Part III, if you count Florence as Florence Part II and Lyons II as Florence Part I. Smiley

Granted, if you know in advance what Florence Part III will be like ("... where the Eastern Orthodox Church completely gave into Papal claims because it needed something from Rome") then I can understand your desire to reject it in advance.  Cool

What would you say that the Council of Florence was about, then, if not a humiliated Emperor coercing his Empire's bishops into signing a decree that may or may not have guaranteed Papal aid against the Ottoman Empire?

Well, I wasn't going to get that much into the nitty-gritty. The big difference between Lyons II and Florence was the finality of Florence. The conversation at Lyons II went a bit sour, but at least it was able to resume less than 200 years later. But after Florence it was more like That's it, end of discussion.
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« Reply #57 on: June 14, 2013, 06:43:40 AM »

I think that just about covers all the non-Protestant traditions. As far as Protestants, they would have to accept our councils (all and whole),
...

Like Chalcedon?
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« Reply #58 on: June 14, 2013, 06:48:29 AM »

I would personally reject some sort of Council of Florence: Part II where the Eastern Orthodox Church completely gave into Papal claims because it needed something from Rome. While this is never going to happen ever, if it did. I'd ask to be received into the Oriental Orthodox Church, where I think I'd be happy. However, if the Oriental Orthodox Church did likewise in this hypothetical union and completely gave into Papal claims, them I wouldn't know where I'd turn.

We've been rejecting Papal claims since 451, I think we'll be OK.  Tongue

You accepted them before 451?  Shocked
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« Reply #59 on: June 14, 2013, 10:53:55 AM »

You accepted them before 451?  Shocked

You're not serious, right?
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« Reply #60 on: June 14, 2013, 11:11:51 AM »

You accepted them before 451? 

You're not serious, right?

No, I am not. I thought it curious that you said that the Syriacs didn't accept the papal claims since 451.
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« Reply #61 on: June 14, 2013, 11:15:11 AM »

Actually he said "We've been rejecting Papal claims since 451."
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« Reply #62 on: June 14, 2013, 12:09:47 PM »

I think I'd be cool with just a handshake.
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« Reply #63 on: June 14, 2013, 01:11:54 PM »

You accepted them before 451? 

You're not serious, right?

No, I am not. I thought it curious that you said that the Syriacs didn't accept the papal claims since 451.

He might be using the line that Pope St. Leo was a papal supremacist. IDK.
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« Reply #64 on: June 14, 2013, 01:33:55 PM »

I think I'd be cool with just a handshake.

Okay, as long as it's a secret handshake that only we know.
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« Reply #65 on: June 14, 2013, 01:59:30 PM »

I think I'd be cool with just a handshake.

Okay, as long as it's a secret handshake that only we know.
naturally.  maybe after our handshake, the East and the West can be reunited secretly.

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« Reply #66 on: June 14, 2013, 02:01:35 PM »

He might be using the line that Pope St. Leo was a papal supremacist. IDK.

More or less, yes, I had Pope Leo I in mind when I joked about rejecting papal claims.
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« Reply #67 on: June 14, 2013, 08:07:06 PM »

I think that just about covers all the non-Protestant traditions. As far as Protestants, they would have to accept our councils (all and whole),
...
Like Chalcedon?

Yes, I would expect Protestants to accept Chalcedon as a whole, even though I would expect most Protestants to not have any issues with the decrees of that particular council, unless I'm, overlooking something. The decree defending Mary's role as Theotokos was given earlier, the decree defending her ever-virginity was given later, and I would expect the seventh to the most problematic out of all of them.
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« Reply #68 on: June 14, 2013, 08:25:53 PM »

There are as many varieties of Protestants as there are of favors of ice cream, probably more.

The Protestants I grew up with disagreed with most of counsels and certainly did not find any of them to be binding.  I don't think they had a strongly enough developed Christology to know if they believed in Chalcedon or not.

They were vehemently opposed to calling Mary the "Mother of God" and were fiercely iconoclastic.

I didn't know until I encountered Orthodoxy that I was a follower of the arch-heretic Nestorius.  eek!  Shocked
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« Reply #69 on: June 14, 2013, 08:55:30 PM »

The Protestants I grew up with disagreed with most of counsels and certainly did not find any of them to be binding.

Most Protestants agree with the majority of what was proclaimed in at least the first five councils, most Protestants that reject councils in general reject the authority or necessity of a council regardless of and sometimes not knowing what it proclaims. For example, a good Baptist will reject the very concept of a council while defending the Trinity, the divinity and personhood of all three Persons, and that Christ was truly human, even if they reject the expressions of these beliefs.
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« Reply #70 on: June 14, 2013, 09:24:43 PM »

The Reformed I've spoken with tend to accept the first four councils, and tentative at best towards later ones with outright rejection of the seventh.

It seems that the Reformed I've been into contact with (with their views on the real presence, etc.) lean towards a Nestorian-esque Christology. Interestingly they tend to make no reference to Chalcedon, or any council for that matter. It seems their acceptance of the first four councils is more lipservice when it comes to their actual theological formulations resting on more recent authorities, IME.
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