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Author Topic: Marrying A Copt  (Read 9038 times) Average Rating: 0
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Greg26
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« on: June 25, 2005, 03:50:37 PM »

 I was wandering if I could get some quick online advice on a sticky situation that I’m in. I am Greek Orthodox and I plan to propose to a Coptic Orthodox girl. Assuming she were to say yes (which is in the bag really) would the Church recognize the validity of our marriage if I were to be married in the Coptic Church? I am actually a western convert from Protestantism to Eastern Orthodoxy and she is a Coptic Egyptian who was born and raised in her faith, so the main issue is that she has a special attachment and commitment to the whole Coptic culture and liturgy and she would never think of converting (we have actually informally discussed this issue already). Her family is also relatively large and conservative (it almost reminds me of “My big fat Greek wedding” except this time “My big fat Egyptian wedding”) and I really don’t think that her marrying me in the Orthodox Church is an option. For me personally I would have no problem converting to her Church if this was what it came down to since I realize we have the same Orthodox faith, but would prefer it if I could somehow still remain in communion with my Church regardless of being married in hers since I attend a Church which has a considerable number of converts like me and accommodates for us according to the language used etc..
Help, anyone?
-Greg
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2005, 04:03:54 PM »

I am not sure we have the same Orthodox faith as yet.

It might happen in the future or it might not.

Right now, we are not the same.

I for one think if Orthodoxy means anything to you, you should pray and fast like you never done before, also talk with a priest... a lot.

If you are ready to compromise no one can stop you.
Also if you do it, you won't be the first one to change his faith because of a woman, nor the last one.

I for one, think you will make a mistake if you do it.

But, really, it is your life, your soul, your faith and your love.

May God help you to choose as He wants you to, but something tells me that you already made your mind up, regardless of what anyone will say.
After all, who cares about the future. Now is what is important! Right?

« Last Edit: June 25, 2005, 04:20:03 PM by sin_vladimirov » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2005, 04:18:22 PM »

hmm, consult your priest? I doubt anyone online can give you any beneficial advice other than that. I believe the general rule is that your Church won't recognise the validity of your marriage if you were married in a Coptic Church, nor will the Coptic Church recognise the validity of yours if you were to be married in an EO Church; however, I think exceptions are applicable, which is why such issues are usually assessed on a case by case basis...(?)

Shouldn't you discuss this "formally" with your "partner" first?...it seems like you're making a lot of assumptions on her behalf...I don't think the internet is the first place to jump to; Consult 1) your partner 2) your priest (and hers I guess)...

Peace.
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2005, 04:24:07 PM »

Some will recognize it, others won't. We are not canonists here Smiley Good luck in your upcoming marriage Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2005, 04:29:54 PM »

I think I should add in qualification to sin-vladimirov's post; that your Orthodoxy is not at stake at all. You are not choosing between one faith and another, you are choosing between one line of tradition of the Orthodox faith and another separate line of tradition of the Orthodox faith; as such, even if your motivations are "love", I find no problem with this.

But I agree with; pray, fast and consult the priests - of both Church's - don't be persuaded by a one-sided perspective.

Peace.
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2005, 04:34:05 PM »

Without getting into the issues of similarities and differences between the EO and OO:

Technically the Greek Orthodox Church does not Recognize Marriages preformed outside the Orthodox Church where one of the Spouses is a Member of the Greek Orthodox Church. Usually the issue is between Orthodox and Catholics, and the Church has remained firm on that issue. However, Marriages between Greek Orthodox Christians and Coptic Christians are not a substantial issue in this Archdiocese (On account of the relatively small numbers of both Greeks and Copts in this country when compared with Protestants and Catholics) and an exception may be made.

However, with that said there is a loop hole that is often used, though It would be preferable if you could get married in the Greek Church and then get your marriage blessed by the Coptic Church; if this is simply not possible you can get Married in the Coptic Church, at which point you would be excommunicated; but you can then go to a Greek Orthodox Priest and have your Marriage Blessed (probably require another, shorter, marriage service, could be public or relatively private) at which point you could be restored to communion.

However, I would talk to your priest about this Issue first, before you do anything, I know of some who have recommended this course of action and others who are appalled by it.
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2005, 05:34:16 PM »

   Sin_v if you understood what I went through to join the Orthodox Church in the first place you wouldn’t question the seriousness with which I regard my faith. I don’t feel like I would be compromising my faith I really did look into this issue thoroughly once I started feeling for her in *that way* and I am not convinced of any substantial differences.

KeChristosAnesti I am not making any assumptions on her behalf thank you, I am fairly confident on what she wants since I have discussed these issues with her casually, I just haven’t had any formal discussions since I’m still waiting for the right time to propose.

Ofcourse I will talk to my priest about this when I get the chance I just wanted ideas and thank you greekischristian I think you have me just what I was looking for! But that sounds a bit like cheating? I wander if I told my priest that this was the plan, I doubt he would approve. Do you think it would be wrong if I just went along with it without revealing the fact it’s pre-planned?

Thank you for all your advice,
-Greg




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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2005, 06:06:24 PM »

Yes, that would be wrong.  You need to bring this up with him--even if you are convinced there are no substantial differences, that is, unfortunately, not the opinion of either of our churches, and that SHOULD matter to you. This takes some serious discussion with your priest and eventually, with your future fiancee. If this is a woman you're seriously interested in marrying, items that affect your married life should be discussed, now, before you propose...stuff like kids and DEFINITELY whose church you're married in. The whole "what if we got married? what would we do?" discussion.
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2005, 06:24:48 PM »

Sin_v if you understood what I went through to join the Orthodox Church in the first place you wouldn’t question the seriousness with which I regard my faith. I don’t feel like I would be compromising my faith I really did look into this issue thoroughly once I started feeling for her in *that way* and I am not convinced of any substantial differences.

I am not questioning anything nor forming any conclusions - that is your job.

I am first to agree that Orthodox Church and Oriental Christians have much, much in common. But that does not make us in communion.

After all, whatever we might think, it is our episkopes that make decision.



If they (episkopes) do consider differences to be substantial enough for us not to be in communion, I will take their word for it.

My own oppinion when compared to that of the Church, if found un-Catholic is nothing but a past tense.



Again, it is your life.


 
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2005, 06:44:38 PM »

Ofcourse I will talk to my priest about this when I get the chance I just wanted ideas and thank you greekischristian I think you have me just what I was looking for! But that sounds a bit like cheating? I wander if I told my priest that this was the plan, I doubt he would approve. Do you think it would be wrong if I just went along with it without revealing the fact it’s pre-planned?

It is a bit like cheating and is not condoned by the Church (there is an Excommunication involved), but it is, for better or worse, far from uncommon. I do not know who your priest is, but I would talk to him about the issue; the Archdiocese would have no objection to your Marriage, the only question is about where you would be married. Perhaps it would be possible to have a small private wedding in the Greek Church before you are Married in a more Public Coptic Wedding, this may even be enough to satisfy her family. (The reason this isn't a possibility with the Roman Catholics is because the Roman Catholic Church recognizes our Sacraments, so if you have a small Private wedding in a Greek Church, Rome considers you married, and will not allow any marriage service in their Church, since it would be a repeating of the Sacrament in their eyes)

Or perhaps the requirement of a wedding in the Greek Church will be waved altogether. Most of our Theologians and Canonists in this Country realize that our refusal to accept Catholic Weddings is bad Sacramental Theology, since we believe in the Valididty of their Sacraments and Priesthood, but we insist that when Catholics and Orthodox marry they marry in the Orthodox Church for the simple reason that we are afraid of loosing our faithful to the Latin Church which is far larger and more powerful than ours in this Country; furthermore, in dialogue we have explained this to the Latins (with varying degrees of success)...the only reason we execute akrivia (Canonical Strictness) in these matters is for self preservation. The Oriental Orthodox Churches are even Smaller than ours in this Country, thus making them far less of a Threat to our Faithful, on account of this you may be able to get premission to marry in one, without needing tricky back-door formalities. Because of this I would definately speak with your Priest or Bishop (If you dont mind me asking, what Metropolis are you in?).
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2005, 07:07:28 PM »

Brother Greg,
  I have only a few words of advice.  I married my husband without considering fully the differences in our faith.  Well, things were fine until we had children.  This is a very serious responsibility (raising children as christians) and one to not be taken lightly.  My situation is different than yours as my husband and I are in two completely different camps (he is jewish and I am a catachumen(I take the two little girls) in the GOA.  Needless to say, things have been stressful at times.  Anyway, my point is that if you two plan to have children, I strongly advise you to discuss how the children will be raised.  It would be best if you ALL attended the same church if possible.  I wish for you and your fiancee happiness together.
Godspeed,   Juliana
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2005, 11:16:34 PM »

There is a Greek church about an hour away from mine which regularly gives communion to Armenians.  A lot of Armenians go there because it has the relic of a Greek saint who is much beloved by the Armenians.  It is my understanding that communion has never been a problem for the OO's who visit there.  In fact I know a family which, while belonging to my church, goes regularly to the Greek church on Sundays.  I can only assume that the priest of this church would probably not have a problem with intermarriage between members of the two churches.

Obviously, while some Greek priests would have a problem with EO/OO intermarriage, I think it can be assumed that some would not have a problem with it.  Reiterating what everyone has already said, speak to your priest.
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2005, 11:25:50 PM »

Greg,

First of all, I apologise for assuming that you were making assumption earlier, it just seemed that way.

Second of all, regardless of the recommendations of people to blindly submit to your Church’s conclusion regarding the issue of differences of faith; I’m sure you’re wiser than that.

If you want to understand the Coptic Church’s position on matters pertaining to doctrine, then ask HER representatives and read HER documents and then compare it with what you know and have been taught by your Church. The fact of the matter is that the Ecumenical dialogues between our two Church’s are primitive; neither of our Church's are educated in the actual position of the other to any sufficient or significant extent, such that if your particular priest or Bishop for example, tells you nonsense like “the Copts are monophysites who deny the real humanity of Christ” he is neither drawing this conclusion based on knowledge, nor is he drawing this conclusion by the Spirit, but rather out of a hold to an out-dated and bogus polemical-historical claim. I think you have a mind, and I think you know how to go about this matter reasonably — always praying and fasting nonetheless.

The joint agreements between our respective Church’s, drawn by officials and representatives of both our Church’s who DID study this matter and arrived at EDUCATED CONCLUSIONS are here: http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Dialogues/Byzantine/ORIENT1.DOC, http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Dialogues/Byzantine/ORITNT2.DOC, http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Dialogues/Byzantine/ORITNT3.DOC, http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Dialogues/Byzantine/ORITNT4.DOC

With regards to raising your kids, I cannot imagine what kind of trouble you would have in raising them — do you really think you and your wife will be fighting over which expressions your future son/daughter should employ when conveying the concept of Christ possessing two natures i.e. “of” vs. “in” — I really don’t picture a full blown battle in the living room, with her accusing you of using an expression that finds its origins in Nestorianism, and you accusing her of using an expression that allegedly was abused for eutychism, and the child coming out mentally disturbed. Come on now, let us all be practical here….

I am definitely not saying disregard your priests outright (I was one of the first to tell you to consult your priest), but I believe you should do your own research and get them to engage with what you have understood and found; get them to deal with it.

Regarding the validity of Coptic Sacraments before God (as opposed to before a particular Church):
<----- I only ask you to look to my avatar picture under my nickname. When was the last time you saw a photo with light shining off a bread-like textured substance in that manner?


I really wish you the best; If God has drawn you to be with this woman, and that requires you to make certain concessions which have nothing to do with you compromising your Orthodoxy, but simply compromosing a particular tradition of Orthodoxy, then don't let ignorance or narrow-mindedness get in the way of that. If you find other alternatives such as those posed by GiC however, then that's great, go for it.

Peace.
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2005, 02:32:28 AM »

Re: Issues concerning the faith of the Coptic Orthodox Church

I know so far the claim is that “we have the same faith”, but I will stop using such language since it kind of sounds like the Copts have to match up to the Byzantines as if they are the standard of Orthodoxy by which we are measured. If the last resort for you requires you to consider conversion, here are some documents you should consider which prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Oriental Orthodox faith as adhered to by the Coptic Church since the Apostolic Era and as propounded by our most revered theologians and Church Fathers, is and always has been Orthodox. Period:

+++ The Humanity of Christ by Subdeacon Peter Theodore Farrington:
http://coptichymns.net/index.php?module=pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=1&pid=394

+++ Monophysitism Reconsidered by Fr. Matthias Wahba:
http://coptichymns.net/index.php?module=pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=1&pid=271

+++ After Chalcedon - Orthodoxy in the 5th/6th Centuries by Subdeacon Peter Theodore Farrington:
http://coptichymns.net/index.php?module=pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=1&pid=380

+++ The Orthodox Christology of St Severus of Antioch by Subdeacon Peter Theodore Farrington:
http://coptichymns.net/index.php?module=pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=1&pid=393

+++ Severus of Antioch's Objection to the Councel of Chalcedon By Tenny Thomas
http://www.monachos.net/patristics/christology/severus_chalcedon.shtml

+++ Saint Timothy Aelurus of Alexandria by Subdeacon Peter Theodore Farrington:
http://coptichymns.net/index.php?module=pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=1&pid=384

+++ Christological Disputations during the 4th and 5th CenturiesÂÂ  by His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy:
http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Christology/Christological%20Controversies.doc

+++ Saint Severus: His Life and Christology by His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy:
http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Christology/siteseverus.doc

+++ Interpretation of the Christological Official Agreements betweenÂÂ  the Orthodox Church
and the Oriental Orthodox Churches by His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy:
http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Dialogues/Byzantine/CHRSTAGR.doc

Peace.
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2005, 04:05:47 AM »

Re: Issues concerning the faith of the Coptic Orthodox Church

I know so far the claim is that “we have the same faith”, but I will stop using such language since it kind of sounds like the Copts have to match up to the Byzantines as if they are the standard of Orthodoxy by which we are measured. If the last resort for you requires you to consider conversion, here are some documents you should consider which prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Oriental Orthodox faith as adhered to by the Coptic Church since the Apostolic Era and as propounded by our most revered theologians and Church Fathers, is and always has been Orthodox. Period:

Ok, I was going to write this after post #13, but decided it was not that big of a deal so I let it slide, but two proselytizing posts in a row, come on EkhristosAnesti.


Greg,
I'm sure that you know as well as I do that the Holy Synod of Chalcedon was infact a true Oecumenical Synod as much so as the first three, and that it would not be prudent to begin your matrimonial relationship by compromising that belief. The Oecumenical Patriarchate, and especially this Archdiocese, has gone to great lengths to allow inter-christian marriages, and to help inter-christian couples through their years of marriage, there is no need to abandon the Greek Orthodox Church as EkhristosAnesti seems to be (subtly) suggesting you should. Speak with your priest, and I'm sure you will be able to work something out; the byzantines were famous for legal formalities and loopholes, I'm sure there's one available for you...if not many Wink
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2005, 04:26:18 AM »

Quote
two proselytizing posts in a row, come on EkhristosAnesti.....
…
there is no need to abandon the Greek Orthodox Church as EkhristosAnesti seems to be (subtly) suggesting you should.

Please don’t insult me; I think my point is quite clear; the Coptic Church is perfectly Orthodox to the extent that he shouldn’t be made to feel as if he is compromising true Orthodoxy if he were to convert to the Coptic Church to accommodate for this very serious life circumstance... IF that is what it indeed comes down to.

That people have pressured him into thinking he would be making a mistake by going ahead with such a last resort; is not only an attack on the truth of the Coptic Church’s Orthodoxy, but most importantly unfair to him and the woman he is considering marriage with. It would be a shame and an absolute injustice to both him and the woman he wishes to marry, if such a marriage doesn’t go ahead because he has been influenced by some one-sided narrow-minded nonsense that convinces him that he is compromising the true faith for love, when in reality he would only be compromising love for baseless historical polemics.

On a last note, since the basis of my position is that by converting to the Coptic Church, he would NOT in fact be converting from one faith to another, but rather one line of tradition of the One Orthodox Faith to another line of tradition of the Orthodox faith, I fail to see how this can be classified as proseltyzing even if I was attempting to persuade him to join the Coptic Church, which as described above is NOT what I am doing. I'm sure he can make up his own mind, I'm just doing my part to make sure justice is served, not only to the Coptic Orthodox Church, but first and foremost to his relationship.

Peace.
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2005, 10:20:36 AM »

See we would think responsibility first and foremost belongs not to his relationship, but to God. No one should be trying to convince you one way or the other, but as earlier stated: our two churches are not in communion with each other. This should take as much serious conversation, counsel, and prayer, as if your girlfriend was Lutheran or something, because there remains several obstacles:

our two churches hold different beliefs.
the EO recognizes 7 councils as God inspired and led and things you MUST believe to be a member.
the OO doesn't recognize 7 councils.

our two churches don't share sacramental communion and have not for 1500 year or so.

When it comes down to it, our personal opinions don't mean much. I mean, look at TomS and all his personal opinions. In Orthodoxy, we trust that God leads our bishops, and our bishops haven't gotten things worked out between our churches. So to take your own desires and opinions and to say that you will disregard the church's teaching and practice on this point is the same as choosing any point of contention and disregarding the church on it--it's just being protestant in a new (but old) way.

This is as important for your fiancee as it is for you. Not only would your marriage not be recognized in the EO and you would be removed from communion by your action of receiving a sacrament in another belief, the exact same would be the case for your fiancee. It is much more than just culturally and familially important to her because it involves her communion too.

As I said, let this not turn into a EO vs OO battle, because there's enough of that. The bottom line is that both churches have something to say about it, and we're not in communion. It needs to be discussed with her, her priest, his priest, and once again, HER!. For this relationship to work and for both these people to be received in their churches will take a lot of work, a lot of humility, a lot of compromise, and a lot of prayer. Mr. Groom, I really think that's the best advice anyone can give you. You need to start talking and keep praying. Your life is not our business, but it is your churches (and your God's) business.
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2005, 11:32:46 AM »

Quote
See we would think responsibility first and foremost belongs not to his relationship, but to God

Ofcourse, and I do not think anything differently - to assume that I am implying that Greg should put his relationship before God is to misunderstand my position; in Greg's case he would not be compromising his responsibility to God, he would simply be compromising a varying tradition of the Orthodox faith, a history that has no real bearing on the present; and I believe that in the name of family and love, such a move is warranted.

Whether Chalcedon was the perfect expression of an Orthodox two-nature Christology or whether it was an ambiguous mess that was necessarily and justifiably discarded is a matter being discussed elsewhere on this forum. The fact remains that an Orthodox two-nature Christology was always adhered to and maintained by the Oriental Orthodox Church according to its own reasonable, patristic and Orthodox terms.

Greg, if you let a technicality such as the number of Councils (3 or 7) get in the way of your relationship with this woman, regardless of the fact that the Oriental Orthodox Church maintained the substantial faith and intent of council 4 (before council 4 ever even came into play) as it is understood in the necessary context of councils 5-6, as well as the substantial faith and intent of the latter councils up to 7 that were addressing problems faced solely by the EO Church and hence did not need to be dealt with by the OO Church since the faith declared in such Councils was held by the OO Church without the opposition faced by the EO..., then that is LAME my friend.

Quote
In Orthodoxy, we trust that God leads our bishops, and our bishops haven't gotten things worked out between our churches.

Greg, let me give you another perspective on this; Orthodox Church life is, and ALWAYS HAS BEEN governed by HUMAN-divine synergy (I only emphasise the word human, since a lot of your fellow EO’s forget this and view the Church as an infallible divinity — a kind of modern development/innovation adhered to by a few/many(?) within the EO Church and which is not grounded in Orthodox patristic tradition). That the Church’s haven’t worked things out as of yet cannot just blindly be dismissed as “God hasn’t lead the Bishops to”, for it could just as well be “The Bishops haven’t responded appropriately to the divine call, according to that HUMAN-divine synergy”.  As I have shown you Greg, our Church’s have reached mutual doctrinal agreements over the past decade (see the links on the previous page), and THIS my friend is God’s divine call that we unite, and it is now up to the HUMAN aspect of the Church to respond to the divine call — God does NOT force or impose Himself upon the Church.

God says he will guide the Church into all truth in a manner such that the gates of hell will not prevail, but He never said that he would carry the Church in a cradle, spoon feed her, and manage and force her each and every single move step by step. The Church has a responsibility to co-operate according to the free will it possesses; it is implicitly restricted by boundaries such that it never falls away from the truth (according to the very divine proclamation that it will be guided into all truth and never be suppressed by the gates of hell), but there’s still plenty of leeway within those boundaries.

Again, I reiterate; I am only offering another perspective on this — count me as representing the woman you wish to marry, since I firmly believe that IF as a last resort you were required to convert  -which doesn’t even seem necessary from what GiC is saying — that a decision not to do so, would not be for the sake of God, but for the sake of unwarranted polemics; is that what you want to forsake true love for?

Peace.




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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2005, 05:19:58 PM »

Imperials...

You and your double-headed chickens.


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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2005, 06:22:05 PM »

Greg,
Talk to your priest.

EA,
Get on with your studies preparing for your exams- do not presume on God's mercy.

Everyone,
This thread is turning into yet another EO vs. OO thread, and while I think that reasonable debate about this confined to one thread is fine, if it's going to start permeating every issue on every thread, I'm out of here.

George
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« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2005, 10:01:27 PM »

Pastoral Agreement between the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Alexandria

Since the Holy Synods of both the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa have already accepted the outcome of the official dialogue on Christology between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, including the two official agreements: the first on Christology signed in June 1989 in Egypt and the second also on Christology and on the lifting of anathemas and restoration of full communion signed in Geneva 1990, in which it is stated that "In the light of our agreed statement on Christology..., we have now clearly understood that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of Apostolic tradition". It was agreed to have mutual recognition of the sacrament of Baptism, based on what St Paul wrote, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph 4:5)

But since up until now we are waiting for the responses of the Holy Synods of some other churches in both families, the restoration of full communion is not yet reached between the two sides of the bi-lateral dialogue. And due to the pastoral consequences and implications caued by mixed Christian marriages between the members of the two Patriarchates of Alexandria, having the majority of their people living in the same countries. Those marriages being difficult to perform in both Churches at the same time or in concelebration. The result is that mant sensitivities are created between the two families of the partners of such marriage. Those sensitivities which can extend even after the marriage and may affect the relation between the two communities of churches.

For those mentioned reasons, the Holy Synods of both Patriarchates have agreed to accept the sacrament of marriage which is conducted in either Church with the condition that it is conducted for two partners not belonging to the same Patriarchate of the other Church from their origin. Both the Bride and the Groom should carry a valid certificate from his/her own Patriarchate that he/she has a permit of marriage and indicating the details of his/her marriage status up to date.

Each of the two Patriarchates shall also accept to perform all of its other sacraments to that new family of Mixed Christian Marriage.

It is agreed that the Patriarchate which shall perform the marriage shall be responsible for any marriage problems that may happen concerning this certain marriage, taking into consideration the unified marriage laws signed by the heads of Churches in Egypt in the year 1999.

Each Patriarchate shall preserve its right not to give its sacraments to any persons whom she does not find fulfilling its canons according to the Apostolic Tradition.

Petros VII
Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa
Shenouda III
Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark



So, as explained above, mixed marriages are permitted between the Greek Orthodox of Alexandria and the Coptic Orthodox of Alexandria.

Why then should it be any different for any other EO and Coptic Orthodox?

God Bless,
Elizabeth
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« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2005, 11:05:47 PM »

I'll say what I can, though it may not solve your problem, per se.

The Non-Chacedonian church is orthodox in its Christology, period.  Also, it adheres to and emphasizes theosis, iconography, hesychast prayer, uncreated grace, and all the other things that distinguish Orthodoxy from all other Christian heterodox confessions.  That being the case, it is the only other Church I could ever see myself a part of--this happening only if the Chalcedonian Orthodox fell into heresy--and so I think that you could do much, much worse if you left the Eastern Orthodox Church for something else.

That having been said, I don't think you should leave.  There's no reason to, and there're plenty of admonitions from our bishops to stay.  It's a BIG THING, no matter how close two communions may be, to leave one for the other.

Have you discussed the option of her becoming EO?  The father has, traditionally speaking, been the one deferred to in matters of interfaith marriage...
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« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2005, 11:26:29 PM »

Quote
Regarding the validity of Coptic Sacraments before God (as opposed to before a particular Church):
<----- I only ask you to look to my avatar picture under my nickname. When was the last time you saw a photo with light shining off a bread-like textured substance in that manner?

EkhristosAnesti,

I had been wondering about your avatar and had meant to ask you ask you about it.

All I have to say is, "WOW!!!"  Shocked

Do you have any more pictures like that? Or perhaps a link?

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2005, 03:13:57 AM »

George,

First of all, the EO vs OO debate is directly relevant to this very thread at a certain level, so I fail to understand how you see this as a sign of the start of EO vs OO issues “permeating every issue on every thread”.

Secondly, if my input in this forum ever makes you consider leaving it; I ask you to PM me first; I will discreetly leave this forum, with no hard feelings or regrets whatsoever, leaving you to continue your participation here according to your comfort and satisfaction. I’m being serious, and this applies to anyone — just PM me, and tell me that you would rather I left, and I will discreetly be on my way.

Peace.
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« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2005, 03:22:41 AM »

Quote
EkhristosAnesti,

I had been wondering about your avatar and had meant to ask you ask you about it.

All I have to say is, "WOW!!!"   

Do you have any more pictures like that? Or perhaps a link?

Sorry I don’t have any links; I received the particular photo in my avatar privately, however I think It was circulating through an email forward within the Coptic Society of my university, but i'll have to double check that..

This one is the Chrism of a priest’s son, my father downloaded it from the official website of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III a while ago:

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« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2005, 12:32:25 PM »

Of course, to complicate the matter further...

From what I understand, the Antiochian Orthodox Church allows Coptic Christians to recieve communion there. The Coptic church does not reciprocate in kind. I'm assuming that the Church of Antioch does this because they feel some bonds of fellowship with their Arab Christian bretheren.
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« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2005, 02:44:39 PM »

Oh my, I only came on this website to ask a simple question I didn’t mean to create controversy…...

I spoke to my partner about this last night on the phone when I had the chance., and things have become more complicated. The issue of children wasn’t one that ever crossed my mind (oh how I feel so old thinking about it!) and there is certainly a lot to think about there I guess.

When I first proposed the idea of a “double-marriage” as greekisachristian had suggested she didn’t feel too comfortable about it and there was an awkward silence, but she let it pass initially until the issue of children came up. Which church would they commune in? She was absolutely opposed to the idea of them communing in a separate Church from her since she wants to be a part of their spiritual lives as much as I do. She wants to be able to see them grow up with her in the church and to serve the Church as deacons like her younger brothers and the thought of her attending her liturgy alone so that she can take communion whilst me and our “future children” attend another church somewhere else so that we can have communion was obviously a big thumbs down for her and she got really upset over the phone, it was almost like we already had kids and as if I was about to make a final decision on them right then and there over the phone!.

When I brought up the idea of her converting to the Eastern Orthodox Church her reaction was just as I had expected --- a big no no. As I said in my introduction she has grown up with her church memorized the hymns the Coptic liturgies and vespers are integral to her life and even her patron Saint is the previous Coptic Pope ----“babba Cyrillos” (that’s how she says it so forgive me for spelling please). I don’t know how I can convince her to convert even if I wanted to. It sounds like some of you would have me lead her to believe her faith is false but as I mentioned in my introduction I find nothing wrong with her Coptic faith. Her faith was something I studied before I ever took my relationship with her to the next level --- for the first few months that I knew her I didn’t even know there was such a thing as “Oriental Orthodox” I simply thought Coptic Orthodox was Egyptian Orthodox say like say Russian or Ukrainian Orthodox etcetera.

Thank you Ekchrisotos Anesti for the links on these mutual agreements I have never heard of these before. If those papers are genuine then why are people from my church on here so opposed to rthe idea of me converting? Choirfriend? sin-vlad? Anybody else? I am confused. Some of you are saying there is difference others there is not, I personally don’t believe there is, so what am I missing? I know its kind of weird that they believe in two natures even though they don’t like to speak about two natures but what does it matter how they wish to speak about it if they do and always have believed it ? I don’t like to get into the intricate details of language and all of that I think people lose sight of the essential and relevant issues when they get into all of that sort of stuff.

That being said whether we can get married in a way to maintain our communion with our respective churchs is no solution (argh kids! The little critters are causing me problems before theyre even born!) my options are now either she converts, I convert or no marriage. It looks like I got all excited over greekischristians great escape plan for nothing. I am currently in the U.S. for business purposes and so I do plan to speak to the priest of my local Church once I am back home hopefully he can provide some insight. What is strange is my confession father knows that I have been getting very close to this copt girl for a long time and he never presented any objection to this relationship and neither did he even mention or warn me of any of these issues.

Sorry to bore you with my rant,
Thank you all for your care
-Greg
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« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2005, 03:15:46 PM »

Because, Greg, as far as I know, the EO teaches that you have to be married in the EO Church for communion to continue. And the OO teaches the same. Whatever sources people supply to you on here, your ultimate authority will be the Church applied by the bishop and carried out by the priest who will (or wont) end up marrying you. You need to talk with him, and you very likely should go to pre-marrital counseling with your fiancee and him once things work you. Start talking and find out more about what your situation will be.
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« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2005, 01:30:38 AM »

Dear Greg26

I am probably the only person on this forum that has gone through your situation exactly. I am a Greek Orthodox Christian, from a long line of Greek Orthodox priests no less, that married a Coptic Orthodox woman. I can relate to the stress you explained about choosing which church to get married in and the even bigger problem of which church to raise the children in.

I studied the Coptic Orthodox faith for many years and genuinely believe it to be a true Orthodox faith as expressed by the Alexandrian Patriarchate. The Copts are NOT monophysite nor are they guilty of accepting heresies attributed to them by the Eastern Orthodox side. Nor are the Eastern Orthodox guilty of heresies attributed to them by the Oriental Orthodox in the fifth centuries. Keep in mind that I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian saying this.

Now as to the issue of the wedding itself. It was a big problem for my wife and I to choose which church to get married in since my wife, like your future spouse and her parents, are very attached to the Coptic Orthodox Church. I wanted to have a Greek Orthodox wedding especially because of my Greek Orthodox heritage. I thought we could compromise by holding the ceremony in a Greek Orthodox Cathedral but have the Coptic priests officiate the ceremony. Greek priests could attend but not participate in the ceremony. Although this was acceptable to my wife I felt as though I was insulting both sides by doing so.

I spoke with the Greek Orthodox bishop (Bp. Theodosius) of the Jerusalem Patriarchate responsible for family affairs and he informed me that the Greek Orthodox Church DOES recognize a Coptic wedding as being legitimate. However he did mention that this may preclude me from being considered for the Greek Orthodox priesthood should decide to seek it.

What helped me in my decision though was the official Pastoral Agreement between the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Alexandria found here:

http://www.britishorthodox.org/

“For those mentioned reasons, the Holy Synods of both Patriarchates have agreed to accept the sacrament of marriage which is conducted in either Church with the condition that it is conducted for two partners not belonging to the same Patriarchate of the other Church from their origin. Both the Bride and the Groom should carry a valid certificate from his/her own Patriarchate that he/she has a permit of marriage and indicating the details of his/her marriage status up to date.

Each of the two Patriarchates shall also accept to perform all of its other sacraments to that new family of Mixed Christian Marriage.

It is agreed that the Patriarchate which shall perform the marriage shall be responsible for any marriage problems that may happen concerning this certain marriage, taking into consideration the unified marriage laws signed by the heads of Churches in Egypt in the year 1999.”



Since I realized I wasn’t “giving up” Orthodoxy for another faith and since the head of both the Greek and the Coptic churches were in agreement about this issue, regardless of the personal feelings of some priests, I decided to get married in the Coptic Orthodox Church. I choose this option because I was a lot more familiar with Coptic Orthodoxy than she was of Greek Orthodoxy.

Although this joint agreement between the Greek Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox is relatively new, not all clergy of both churches are comfortable with it yet. The priests would prefer a full “conversion” of the other spouse before the ceremony. I was asked by the Coptic priest if I minded being baptized. I told him that I was already baptized as an Orthodox Christian by a (Greek) Orthodox priest (who happened to be my grandfather) in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He then said "I will only anoint you with Myron oil."

When my wife and I had children, the issue of which church to baptize the kids in did come up. Since I did not want the kids torn between two Churches, even though they are both Orthodox, I did baptize them in the Church that we both attend; that is the Coptic Orthodox Church. I still take the family every once in a while to Greek Orthodox Church to attend some services during the year. My wife doesn’t mind because she understands that this is my heritage, but for the sake of unity, for the sake of getting personal pastoral care and to minimize confusion on the kids part we attend the Coptic Orthodox Church. Plus you must remember that the Copts are a very tightly knit community because it is the glue that holds the immigrant community together. The Coptic Church has not been in the US as long as the Greek Church, so they haven’t gone through the growing pains that other churches have gone through.

As a side note, you will get many on this forum telling you that you are going to become excommunicated or become a heretic if you attend the Coptic Church. Please don’t get your sources on faith issues from the internet or forum posts. I spoke with representatives of both churches to make my mind up.ÂÂ  Again, read the joined declaration between the Greek and Coptic Churches on this issue, it makes it clear. You can go to either church but you can’t go church hoping after that.

By the way, the marriage between Greek Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox was very common in Egypt up until the 1960’s when Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser kicked most of the foreigner out of Egypt. The Greek Orthodox Church has had a large patriarchate in Alexandria for centuries. So these two churches have dealt with this issue extensively in the past.

Good luck to you in your decision and remember that youre still Orthodox no mater which of these two churches you attend. I consider my self a Greek Orthodox Christian praying with the Copts. Yes there still needs to be full sacramental communion between the two churches but both have declared in their joint statement of faith that each church has preserved the Orthodox faith using it own expressions, traditions and heritage. This last statement still needs decades to sink into the minds of the hardliners of both sides.

Hope my experience helps you in some way.
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« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2005, 08:13:00 AM »

Dimitrius,

Thank you for sharing that story; just out of curiosity, when you take your family to attend the Greek Church every now and then, do they and are they allowed to partake in Communion?

Peace.
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« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2005, 08:24:28 PM »

EkhristosAnesti,

When I go to the Greek Orthodox Church, both my children and I take communion, but my wife doesn’t. She refrains not because she believes that the Greek Church is heretical but because she wants to adhere to the Coptic Churches teaching regarding sacramental union with other Orthodox Churches. Currently the Coptic Church allows communion with all other Oriental Orthodox Churches and sometimes the Antiochian Orthodox Church (Eastern Orthodox).

I should point out that my Coptic Orthodox priest always tells me that when ever his parishioners are traveling out of town and can’t find a Coptic Orthodox Church, he asks them to attend either a Greek or Russian Orthodox Church. This same Orthodox priest also celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy, (which is an Eastern Orthodox feast celebrated on the first week of lent), with the Eastern Orthodox many times. As a matter of fact, we even hosted the Sunday of Orthodoxy in a Coptic Orthodox Church in New York in 1993 and in attendance were the Russian, Greek, Antiochian, OCA and Romanian Orthodox. They all loved coming and celebrating the feast at the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The Oriental Orthodox Church doesn’t actually have a Sunday of Orthodoxy commemorating the triumph of the Orthodox teaching on Icons over the iconoclasts because the Copts (and Orientals in general) never really had this clash  in their home lands as did Constantinople. If my reading serves me correct, the Antiochians and the Russians had iconoclastic controversies in their churches at one point besides Constantinople.

Sorry to drift on the topics, but what I was trying to say is that there are many Coptic and Eastern Orthodox priests who understand and apply the recommendations of the Pastoral Agreement between the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates. IN MY OPINION, the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox representatives have a better understanding of each others expressions and statements of faith today than the hierarchs of the 6th and 7th centuries. That is because political pressures and pride are not involved in today’s discussions as they were back then. But then that’s another topic for another time.

Please don’t turn this thread into a Chalcedonian vs Non-Chalcedonian argument. I clearly stated that the above paragraph was MY OPNION. Besides, we have all read the events of Chalcedon and its consequences, so we can all make up our minds for ourselves.

Sorry for the long reply to a simple question.
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« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2005, 10:40:39 PM »

Quote
As a matter of fact, we even hosted the Sunday of Orthodoxy in a Coptic Orthodox Church in New York in 1993 and in attendance were the Russian, Greek, Antiochian, OCA and Romanian Orthodox. They all loved coming and celebrating the feast at the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Yes it does seem that people are much more tolerant and understanding in "real life". To be honest I havent had much "real life" experience with Chalcedonians; in fact i've probably never even said the word Chalcedon vocally, though I have typed it over a thousands times in text. I asked a couple of friends from Melbourne, Australia about their experience once, and they each recalled times of unity, for example when Bishop Kallistos Ware came to Australia, apparantly he chose the Coptic Church to present his talks, and Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians gathered from all over Melbourne in the Coptic Church to hear him speak.

Another recent experience I heard was from Peter Farrington who recently attended a Christological conference being held in Stockholm, June 1-4. Allow me to quote his experience in an email exchange:

Quote
The conference was utterly fantastic. So many interesting, kind and
spiritual people, from a variety of backgrounds. The conference had been
organised by the Swedish Lutheran, Syrian Orthodox and Serbian Orthodox
communities, but there were lots of other folk there. Local Coptic
Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Welsh Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox, Orthodox
Church of America, Orthodox Church of Finland, Protestants of various
traditions.

At one point I was sitting talking to three professors. John Erickson, the
Dean of St Vladimir's in NY was there. Bishop Hilarion of the Russian
Orthodox. Other bishops. Quite a lot of keen, 20 something young Orthodox
from a variety of backgrounds, and many of the local Orthodox clergy were
themselves converts. It was just very interesting having an Orthodox
conference in a Western context, and without it being dominated by any one
tradition.

My bishop's paper went very well indeed. In fact hearing it spoken I was
rather pleased with my own contributions.

I was very glad to have four days with Tad Deiniol from the Orthodox
mission in Wales. Such a nice man. And very good friends with my own Abba
Seraphim. In fact they had just come back from a trip to the Syrian
monasteries and communities in Turkey together. He gave me an audio tape of
the Lit of St John Chry. in Welsh.

The place we stayed was wonderful and peaceful. Not just quiet, but
spiritually peaceful. There was shared prayer together, although of course
we could not have eucharistic communion, but everything short of it was
experienced. And every bishop expressed the view that we had the same
faith, and seemed to pratice that conviction
.

Quote
The Oriental Orthodox Church doesn’t actually have a Sunday of Orthodoxy commemorating the triumph of the Orthodox teaching on Icons over the iconoclasts because the Copts (and Orientals in general) never really had this clashÂÂ  in their home lands as did Constantinople.

The only iconoclast problem faced by the Copts, was a minor little bump with our patriarch Cyril IV who had many icons burnt because he considered it idolatory, but his reign was fairly short and didnt really have much of an impact on the Church's long tradition and history in painting and venerating icons.

Quote
Please don’t turn this thread into a Chalcedonian vs Non-Chalcedonian argument.

I never intended to, I just wanted to make sure that Greg clearly understands that the Coptic Church is pure and Apostolic Orthodoxy. I do not deny the Orthodoxy of the Eastern Church, nor do i hold a grudge over its history which I have a major problem with. As far as I'm concerned, what happened at Chalcedon is history, and that's where it should stay in today's Ecumenical dialogues.

Peace.

P.S. I'm Dfndr from paltalk; long time no see broÂÂ  Wink
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« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2005, 10:47:36 PM »

I do not know about Coptic girls, but if their mothers are like the rest of the mothers around "the big lake" and by marrying one you get a "Greek mother in law" or a "Jewish mother in law" or "Serbian mother in law"... good luck... LOL

You gonna need it.
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« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2005, 12:17:44 AM »

Bottom line,

Pray hard. 

Love eachother.

Avoid the babuski's (or whatever they call them in Greek and Coptic) cane swings.

Don't each too much spicy food at the wedding.

Peace!


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« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2005, 02:47:32 AM »

Dear EA,
allow me to comment on your post # 31:
Quote
The only iconoclast problem faced by the Copts, was a minor little bump with our patriarch Cyril IV who had many icons burnt because he considered it idolatory, but his reign was fairly short and didnt really have much of an impact on the Church's long tradition and history in painting and venerating icons.

I struggle to find any valid references that state that Saint Cyril the 4th, Pope of Alexandria, was an iconclast. His Papacy is remarkable and had a great influence on the Coptic Orthodox Church to the extent that he earned the title " The Father of Reformation (in an orthodox sense)", although you correctly noticed that his Papacy was short.
The confusion comes from the fact that the vicious Protestant movements in Egypt started in his short reign, and in Assiot the Protestant burned down the icon holders (7amel el-iconat) and the icons in about dozen churches. In fact, it was through the efforts of St.Cyril the 4th and his missionary work in Upper Egypt and Sudan that such Protestant attacks were crushed. Among the heresies he fought was the iconoclast heresy, and the great Tradition of the Coptic Church eased his mission, for the Copts are known for their veneration of icons.

As for the other works of this great Pope, it can be reviewed in the masterpiece of Abona Menasha Youhanna titled "The History of the Coptic Church". He started the Coptic schools, installed the coptic printers that helped in developing the knowledge of the coptic nation (it was the first printer in the arabic nations in the mid 1800's), changed the system of selection of clergy and initiated a strong movement of reform. In addition, he strengthened the Orthodox faith in Ethiopia and Eriteria by his Papal visit there.

Sorry if this is off topic. Good luck in your life, Greg.


 
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« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2005, 05:21:27 AM »

Dear Stavro,

Quote
I struggle to find any valid references that state that Saint Cyril the 4th, Pope of Alexandria, was an iconclast. His Papacy is remarkable and had a great influence on the Coptic Orthodox Church to the extent that he earned the title " The Father of Reformation (in an orthodox sense)", although you correctly noticed that his Papacy was short.

Whilst Pope Cyril IV did achieve remarkable things for the Coptic Church, I do indeed have valid references to the fact he was an iconoclast, and as such I am more inclined to consider his short reign a blessing rather than a misfortune. As I stated, this seems to have been just a minor less-than-7-year bump in our 2000 year history. I will quote the positive and negative of Pope Cyril IV as accounted for by a leading authority on Coptic history Professor Otto F.A. Meinardus, in his book Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity (The American University in Cairo Press: 1999), which I in fact purchased from St Macarius the Great Monastery in Egypt during my visit there:

“In 1854, Cyril ascended the Patriarchal Throne, and though his pontificate lasted only seven years….he initiated lasting reforms. In 1855 the Coptic Patriarchal College was opened, followed by two girls’ schools in Azbakiya and in Harat al-Saqqa’in and a boys’ school in the latter district. In addition to arithmetic, geography, and science, special attention was paid to the study of language, which included Arabic, Coptic, Turkish…and English. Moreover, Cyril was responsible for one of the first private Arabic printing presses in Egypt….In addition to establishing schools; Cyril IV also rebuilt the patriarchal cathedral in Azbakiya. At this time, an iconoclastic controversy emerged within the Coptic Church, and Cyril, who considered his people guilty of idolatry, prohibited the display of icons in the cathedral. In Cairo and Asyut many Coptic icons were publicly burned, whereby no doubt many valuable objects of medieval Coptic Christian art were destroyed.” (page 70)

Quote
The confusion comes from the fact that the vicious Protestant movements in Egypt started in his short reign, and in Assiot the Protestant burned down the icon holders (7amel el-iconat) and the icons in about dozen churches. In fact, it was through the efforts of St.Cyril the 4th and his missionary work in Upper Egypt and Sudan that such Protestant attacks were crushed

Forgive me, but I think you are mistaken. According to Dr. OttoÂÂ  Meinardus, the vicious Protestant attack on the Coptic Church that you speak of occurred during the reign of Pope Cyril’s successor, Pope Demetrius who was responsible for the “widespread Coptic response to the American United Presbyterian Mission in the Nile Valley, especially in Assyut and Minya…Demetrius realizing the potential danger in the rapid growth of the Protestants, ex-communicated members of the heretical church, creating a most unfortunate ecclesiastical atmosphere, which to some extent prevail to this day”

On a side note, I thought I would mention a nice story about Pope Demetrius: When entertaining cordial relations with the heads of state at the time, the patriarch kissed the chest of the sultan. When questioned about this act later, Pope Demetrius replied by quoting Proverbs 21:1 “The King’s heart is the hand of the Lord” — the sultan bestowed upon him 5,000 feddans and the khedive added another 500 feddans.

Peace.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2005, 05:23:19 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2005, 04:02:54 AM »

Dear EA,

The Cathedral in Azbakeya was first built by Moallem Ibrahim El-Gohary in the late 18th century and has been the home of many Patriarchs together with St.Peter's Cathedral (Putrosia) and St.George church in Kotseka (Maadi). All these churches predate the Papacy of Pope St.Cyril the 4th, and till now, the original icons are still perserved from the time of the establishment of the churches, surviving the alleged iconoclast massacre that Professor Otto F.A. Meinardus seems to attribute to a great Pope. All these churches, together with ancient churches in Cairo and Alexandria were under the episcopate of Pope Cyril the 4th, and it seems strange that the icons would survive an iconoclast bishop. In addition to his local episcotae,the other churches in other episcopates were not harmed by this great Pope. The claim by Professor Otto F.A. Meinardus, an Angelican, seems unsubstantiated by the existence of ancient icons in all these churches.

The other sources like Father Menadah Youhanna, who lived in the immediate era after Pope Cyril the 4th and other coptic historian of the era did not mention such heresy in the Papacy of Cyril the 4th. These sources did not fail to mention negative aspects in the history of Popes, so objectivity is not missing unlike many western sources who fail to understand the nature of the Church. The fact that the book by Professor Otto F.A. Meinardus is circulated by the monastery of St.Macarius, dominated by Mattah , so-called the Poor, is not a surprise.

Iconoclast heretics are heretics, and the Coptic Orthodox Church would never hold a heretic in such a high esteem like Pope Cyril the 4th if he really believed in such a heresy.

The beginning of the Protestant movement in Egypt can be debated, but the Coptic nation has been targeted by various groups since the 16 century. In the 16the and 17th centuries, the Catholics tried to win over the Coptic Orthodox Church, The Russian Chalcedonians in the early 19th century, for political reasons, in the Papacy of Pope St.Peter (El-Gawli) tried to win the Copts over, and immediately after by the Protestant waves that accompanied the policy of Muhamed Ali Basha to open up to the Western World settled in Egypt. In any case, does not matter much.

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In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

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« Reply #37 on: July 05, 2005, 07:53:20 AM »

Without getting into the issues of similarities and differences between the EO and OO:

Technically the Greek Orthodox Church does not Recognize Marriages preformed outside the Orthodox Church where one of the Spouses is a Member of the Greek Orthodox Church. Usually the issue is between Orthodox and Catholics, and the Church has remained firm on that issue. However, Marriages between Greek Orthodox Christians and Coptic Christians are not a substantial issue in this Archdiocese (On account of the relatively small numbers of both Greeks and Copts in this country when compared with Protestants and Catholics) and an exception may be made.

However, with that said there is a loop hole that is often used, though It would be preferable if you could get married in the Greek Church and then get your marriage blessed by the Coptic Church; if this is simply not possible you can get Married in the Coptic Church, at which point you would be excommunicated; but you can then go to a Greek Orthodox Priest and have your Marriage Blessed (probably require another, shorter, marriage service, could be public or relatively private) at which point you could be restored to communion.

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« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2005, 02:46:28 AM »

Dimitrius,

Thank you for sharing that story; just out of curiosity, when you take your family to attend the Greek Church every now and then, do they and are they allowed to partake in Communion?

Peace.


I would think they would.   Because in one of those ecumenical documents I read a few years ago.   It decreed that baptized children from mixed faiths could take the eucharist from either church.   Don't remember if that's between Copts and the Greeks church or, the Antiochians and the Syriac church of Antioch though....
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« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2005, 12:12:51 PM »

Hey Guys,

I was briefly skimming through these posts, and I am very saddened by
what I am reading.  I definitely know for a fact that I do not know as
much as anyone in this thread, on this forum, or in any other Christian
forum, but I do know that all these discussions about the differences in
our faith confuses me.  Maybe I will never fully understand all of these
differences, but I will, however, understand that when God sees us
disagreeing, arguing, and blaming each other it would sadden Him as
well. 

Greg26, marriage is a huge responsibility, but if you truly love this
woman from the depths of your heart, you wouldn't let these kinds of
disagreements or arguments about whether one Church is truly Christian
or not get in the way of that love God is allowing you to experience
with this woman.  God understands us better than we understand ourselves
or each other.  Christianity is Christianity, but the devil will always
find ways to make us disagree about anything and especially our
Christian faith.  The devil will even make us debate things such as
whether one faith is truer than the other and laughs at us for falling
into his traps.  We all make mistakes, because we are not perfect.  Even
Popes, Bishops, Priests, and other members of the clergy are not
perfect, which is why until this day you see all these disagreements and
anger towards each other.  You are very Blessed that God has allowed you
to love such a person that much that you are even willing to marry this
person.  If someday you do get married and have children, please teach
them that God really created One Church for all of us to enjoy and
benefit from equally and that Love goes beyond all of this or it
transcends all things so please don't forget that. 

Maybe someday all of us Christians (Orthodox, Catholics, and
Protestants) will unite and truly be One Church once again.

Take care, and always remember that God is on your side helping you make
the right and true decisions in your life.

God Bless

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