First, to my fellow ("Chalcedonian") Orthodox brothers...
I've found that as I've read up on this topic (and the early Christological controversies in general),ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š that while on one hand there is much more room for toleration than most (including myself) would have ever imagined, I've also found that we (Orthodox, who accept the Seven Ecumenical Synods) are typically so conditioned by our conflicts with heterodox westerners, so as to be largely ignorant on this topic.
Because of this ignorance, we basically get our lunch eaten by Non-Chalcedonians who, for obvious reasons, are very pre-occupied by this issue (since they tend to view us the way we view the Roman Catholics). ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Thus, as I've read and read, I've discovered that far from having a particularly impressive case, this is just a case of us being sloppy and ignorant of our own sources and of the controversies as they occured (and the situation of the Councils themselves.) ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Upon looking at these controversies as a whole (and not just that which surrounded the Council of Chalcedon), it's quite clear where the truly catholic
position lies, as opposed to a narrowness which actually supports that which is less complete (which is how I've more or less come to view the Non-Chalcedonian position.) ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š I've read one Orthodox author refer to this narrowness as "Cyprianic fundamentalism"; a sort of delusion which believes the entire universe revolved around Alexandria and the "school" which had erected itself there.Coptic Orthodox Boy
"There is nothing unreal about this oneness, since both the lowliness of the man and the grandeur of the divinity are in mutual relation. As God is not changed by showing mercy, neither is humanity devoured by the dignity received. The activity of each form is what is proper to it in communion with the other: that is, the Word performs what belongs to the Word, and the flesh accomplishes what belongs to the flesh. One of these performs brilliant miracles; the other sustains acts of violence. As the Word does not lose its glory which is equal to that of the Father, so neither does the flesh leave the nature of its kind behind."
There is nothing "Nestorian" about the passage, particularly when one reads the Tome of St.Leo whole and entire - and even less so, when one reads it as a part of the Ecumenical Synod of Chalcedon. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š This is, frankly, looking for excuses
to not be in communion with the Orthodox-Catholic Church.
What is lacking here, from the words of Pope Leo, is a concrete stance on the hypostatic union.
Bullocks. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š What more than "one person" do you need? ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š While only God knows exactly why Dioscoros agitated on this matter, the logical deduction that such a rejection leaves us with is that one understands St.Cyril's "one physis" in a manner fundamentally different
than either he or the consensus of the Holy Fathers would have it. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Personally
, I'm inclined to believe that save for radicals like Eutyces (who were eventually found to be too out to lunch even by his fellow anti-Chalcedonians, at least from what I understand), few of the anti-Chalcedonians were in fact genuine mixers or diminishers of Christ's true and real humanity. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š However
, this begs the question of why reject Chalcedon...frankly, I think it was sour grapes and pride - a sectarian spirit which is the hallmark of schism. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š This is probably why according to the canons, the anti-Chalcedonians can be received via economia (which generally
is reserved for schismatics, or those whose errors while real, do not amount to the adoration of an alien "god").
And Sabbas, you are correct that we need to understand that Christ is from 2 Natures, but to speak of the 2 Natures acting independently after the hypostatic union, not only goes against the teachings of St. Cyril, but also the Council of Ephesus.
But who is saying "independent"? ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š That there was only one hypostasis
involved here was made clear enough, and it's quite clear upon a careful reading of St.Cyril (particularly when one reads his letter to John of Antioch) that his usage of "one physis" is equivelent to this.
A problem which too few people are willing to appreciate, is that all of the terms we throw around in these discussions (nature, essense, "hypostasis", persona, etc.) not only were understood in a different sense by different parties at the same time, but also underwent some development in the time between the early Ecumenical Synods. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š For example, this is why you'll find great Fathers (like Sts.Basil or Gregory of Nyssa) who were only threadbare adherants to Nicea - precisely because they were uncomfortable with it's language (which some of them saw as leaning toward Sabellianism - and it is precisely because of differing ways of speaking, that Eastern Christendom long suspected the West of this as well).
The fundamental error of the Non-Chalcedonians, IMHO, is utterly failing to appreciate this historical reality
. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š They don't seem to want to consider for a moment that anyone outside of their local theological tradition could have possibly
had anything to contribute in terms of a corrective to the real
ambiguities latent in St.Cyril's formula. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Keep in mind, that real "confusers" of the Divine & human like Eutyces, considered themselves faithful adherants of St.Cyril (though they in fact were not.)
This is also why Nestorius agreed with the Tome, at face level. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š This is why, and I agree with EA deeply on this, that the Tome of Leo can be seen in an Orthodox understanding, but it is very weak at doing so.
It's also worth considering that in one sense, the Antiochenes (including those who would later proudly grab hold of full blown "Nestorianism", and end up being, oddly enough, "more Nestorian
than Nestorius!") were correct, in sensing something fishy and "Apollinarian" in St.Cyril's formula. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š While it is clear in context what St.Cyril meant, he took his formula of "one physis of God the Word Incarnate" from a text he thought
belonged to St.Athanasios (and hence of great authority). ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š However, even in the sixth century it had become well known (and is accepted in any modern source I've read on the topic, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, or secular) that the text was not in fact from St.Athanasios, but was from the hated (by St.Cyril) Apollinaris
. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š This is not to say this would be the first time something was taken from heterodox folks and distilled and "baptized" by giving a phrase a thoroughly Orthodox meaning - but it does point to a weakness in St.Cyril's definition, not against the excesses of those who would make Christ into "two", but against those unstable men who would make Him either only Divine
or diminish His humanity to the point of being a footnote.Matthew
The problem with the language of the Tomos is not that it is specifically Nestorian but that its language can be so easily be accepted by Nestorianism, which is exactly what happened. The christology of St. Cyril, on the other hand, does not have this problem.
The problem with St.Cyril's language is not that it's specifically neo-Apollinarian/Monophysitic, but that its language can be so easily accepted by neo-Apollinarianism/Monophysitism, which is exactly what happened.
Just as Constantinople I was the continuation of Nicea I, so too was Chalcedon the continuation of Ephesus.
If it were insufficient, why did the Council of Ephesus accept it before Chalcedon?
That's like asking why the Council of Nicea thought it sufficient to end the Creed by simply saying "And the Holy Spirit. (Period)
." ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š That's because the circumstances which brought on Constantinople I
had not yet occured. Constantinople I
was called, precisely because the "Cappadocian" school suffered a split, between those who understood rightly, and those who essentially held an Arianesque view of the Holy Spirit.
The same is true of Ephesus - it was fine as a safeguard against those who would try to portray Christ as simply a really
inspired man, who was really
"close" to God or anything similar to this. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š However, it did not of itself address (as it would turn out) genuine concerns of those who felt it could be twisted towards a sort of neo-Apollinarianism, which is precisely what happened
. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Hardcore monophysites like Eutyces were, as far as they were concerned, "good Cyrillians". ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š This was not true, and Chalcedon saught to set this straight.