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Author Topic: Will the OO and EO Reunite?  (Read 24994 times) Average Rating: 0
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drewmeister2
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« on: August 12, 2005, 08:52:16 PM »

Does anyone have any thoughts on this topic?  Also, why do you think what you think?

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2005, 08:53:23 PM »

I'd say no, but I'm not an expert.
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2005, 11:18:20 PM »

I’m going to be blunt and to the point: Chalcedon was a failed council; a council of schism. The event of Chalcedon is the Eastern Church’s error and problem, not ours.

Regardless of this, our Church has bent over backwards for the Eastern Orthodox Church and made much compromise; we have agreed to lift the anathemas of persons and saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church whose Orthodoxy cannot be conclusively determined till this day; our hierarchs have agreed to do this over and against the historical testimony of our blessed and faithful Orthodox Fathers. We have also agreed to let the Eastern Orthodox Church continue in its acknowledgement of Chalcedon, by virtue of the fact that in the wider context of the latter Councils, the Orthodoxy of the Eastern Orthodox Church’s Christology is clarified and easier ascertained.

It is the Eastern Orthodox Church’s insistence that the Oriental Orthodox Church acknowledge and submit to a council which is the root of the Eastern Orthodox Church’s own schism from the Orthodox Church, which is the only stumbling block to reunion.

I’m not going to speculate with regards to whether we will reunite in these circumstances or not, for with God all things are possible. We can only pray.

Peace.
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2005, 11:31:38 PM »

Oh boy.  here we go again.  500,000 pages of postings later we'll still be where we are. 

Since the last thread I decided to read up on Chalcedon from various sources.  I'm even less likely to take part in a debate becuase I know where the "non-Chalcedonians" are coming from and that they won't ever budge an inch.  You can tell them what you mean by something and then be told you don't actually know what you mean, but they do and they'll be happy to tell you.  Well, thanks, but I think that when my church says, "We say 'X'" I'll stick to that, even if some other folks swear up and down that when they say "X" it just means "Y". 

After the last thread ended with, "They were wrong for 124 or so years about a millenium ago so we condemn them now" I decided that the seperation has more to do with stubborn pride about one particular school of thought than anything else.
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2005, 12:00:20 AM »

Czinec,

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I'm even less likely to take part in a debate

Who is debating? I was simply answering a question.

Quote
Well, thanks, but I think that when my church says, "We say 'X'" I'll stick to that, even if some other folks swear up and down that when they say "X" it just means "Y".


If your Church meant X, yet became infected by politics such that X certainly looked like, and was reasonably interpreted as Y, whose fault is that?

Quote
After the last thread ended with, "They were wrong for 124 or so years about a millenium ago so we condemn them now"

Where are you reading this from? Who is condemning you now? Our Hierarchs have acknowledged your Orthodoxy, and we have agreed to let you have your council upon the understanding that in the context of your subsequent councils your intentions are clarified. Chalcedon was an error, and that error is indeed ancient, however it is the very root of your schism, and regardless of the great compromises my Church has considered, not only is your Church incapable of admitting to its historical errors (which as implied above, is something we are willing to overlook), it is insisting that we submit to this false council TODAY, as a condition for re-union.

This is the only real stumbling block to re-union.

Quote
I decided that the seperation has more to do with stubborn pride about one particular school of thought than anything else.

Read above.

…It takes a lot of humility for a Church to admit that a council it has been acknowledging and venerating for over 1500 years was a historical mistake.

Peace.
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2005, 01:25:06 AM »

All things are possible with God, and there are already instances of intercommunion within the Patriarchates of Antioch and Alexandria. Having said that, failing a miracle I do not see the full Eastern Orthodox Church reuniting with the full non-Chalcedonean church in my lifetime, which is a great shame. I certainly cannot accept EkhristosAnesti's characterization of Chalcedon or his placement of blame for the schism, but I am of the opinion that no substantive theological or doctrinal issues divide us. We must pray!
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2005, 08:07:28 AM »

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…It takes a lot of humility for a Church to admit that a council it has been acknowledging and venerating for over 1500 years was a historical mistake.

 . . . or to admit that a council that has been rejected for 1500 years was actually misunderstood and was Orthodox all along.   Grin

Politics was abused by both sides in this one.
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2005, 01:49:33 PM »

Thanks for the replies!

Regardless of who is to blame, does anyone else have any comments on whether they think reunion will happen or not?
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2005, 03:20:14 PM »

I hope for reunion, but I doubt the current policies and circumstances will bring it.

S_N_B
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2005, 04:18:19 PM »

Candid opinion...nope.
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2005, 06:49:36 PM »

Thanks for the replies!
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2005, 07:04:11 PM »

Just look at the casual discussion on this issue you see in this thread. We will never deny the Authority of the Holy and Oecumenical Synods, and the non-chalcedonians will never submit to them, so this union will probably never happen, which is probably for the best. For this union would also require the lifting of the Anathemas of the Oecumenical Synods, something we essentially lack both the right and authority to do.
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2005, 11:01:34 AM »

czinec,

Quote
. . . or to admit that a council that has been rejected for 1500 years was actually misunderstood and was Orthodox all along.

I think you miss my point. Granting the assumption that Chalcedon was Orthodox (an assumption I'm willing to concede not only for arguments sake, but opon the basis that I find it a possible - though not plausible - assumption to make), bears no real relevance upon the fact that its false and unwarranted treatment of the lawful Council of Ephesus II and St Dioscorus the Confessor, as well as its inability to promote a Christology that may be clearly and reasonably understood and interpreted as Orthodox (it was in fact the coverse i.e. it was clearly and reasonably understood and interpreted as heresy), render it schismatic.

greekischristian,

Quote
For this union would also require the lifting of the Anathemas of the Oecumenical Synods, something we essentially lack both the right and authority to do.

Your Church does not have the right or authority to recognise and rectify its own errors? What a shame.

Peace.
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2005, 11:18:36 AM »

One thing is for sure: The rightful successor to the Throne of St. Mark is His Holiness Papa Abba Shenouti III.

May the Lord preserve his life.
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2005, 01:06:21 PM »

I was wondering how are the relations between the OO and RC...
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2005, 02:26:51 PM »

Thanks for your thoughts!

Not sure about the OO-RC relations, but I think I read that the talks of reunion have stopped.  Correct me if I am wrong.
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2005, 03:34:11 PM »

Your Church does not have the right or authority to recognise and rectify its own errors? What a shame.

Though the Church in her mercy and compassion may, through economy, someday lift the said anathemas (unlikely, but possible), rest assured she made no error in enacting them against those who mocked the authority of the Fourth Oecumenical Synod. And it would be unwise to regard the lifting of the Anathemas as a statement that they were placed in error.

And we talk about whether or not reunion is plausable...LOL.
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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2005, 06:38:57 PM »

Quote
rest assured she made no error in enacting them against those who mocked the authority of the Fourth Oecumenical Synod.

Although it is certainly not hard to mock the authority of a council of schism in which authority itself was abused in an attempt to mock the Orthodox Faith and her Saints and Confessors, and indeed the duty of every true Orthodox leader to criticize and refute such a council in the hope that those who fell astray may reprove themselves, or for the sake of maintaining the faithful flock who persevered through much suffering and hardship by the Grace of God in their resistance to schismatics, the very enactment of these anathemas was based on the false understanding — whether out of ignorance or deceit - that those Saints and Confessors of the Orthodox Faith, held or adopted the heresies for which they were falsely anathematized. Thus far, neither you nor anyone else has been, nor will be able to, provide valid evidence i.e. direct quotations in their appropriate and relevant context from the Saints and Confessors falsely anathematized, in order to support the actions of your church. In fact, a plethora of quotations is easily provided in defence of these Saints and Confessors, rendering these anathemas nothing less than a joke.

The Oriental Orthodox Theologians of the 5th-7th centuries were owning the chalcedonians in Christological debates. They were certainly capable of defending themselves then, and indeed their legacy lives on, as the God-preserved evidence of their Spirit inspired thoughts and Christology vindicates them beyond all reasonable doubt till this very day.

Quote
And we talk about whether or not reunion is plausable...LOL.

I do not speak with regards to the plausibility of matters that are in the hands of God alone, which is why I have essentially spoken on what is reasonably required and expected for re-union, and opted not to conclude on the likelihood or certainty of it happening. I’m sure that the idea of a zealous and learned Pharisee becoming an Apostle of The Christ whose Church he was persecuting, seemed like a rather implausible and even impossible idea, for those who were familiar with him to conceive. With this, I repeat: "with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26).

Peace.
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« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2005, 12:03:45 PM »

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The Lord give you His peace.
I'm hopeful.  I'm not saying one way or the other if it ever will happen, but I am hopeful that it will.  I think it would be lovely if yesterday I could go to the Coptic Liturgy and receive Communion, next Sunday go to a Russian Liturgy and receive Communion, and the following Sunday go to an Ethiopian Liturgy and receive Communion.
in XC,
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« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2005, 02:14:43 PM »

I lived in a city with a Coptic (Egyptian) and Antiochian (Lebanese) church. The nearest Coptic priest was 800 miles away, and he flew in once a month.

The Antiochian church would allow the Coptic Christians to receive communion there on the weekends when their priest was not present, I'm guessing out of a spirit of "economia." However, the Coptic Church did not reciprocate this. However, the Greek and Serbian churches in town did not allow the Copts to receive communion at their churches.

I asked the Antiochian priest, (an American convert), why the Antiochian church allowed Coptic Christians to communicate, and he told me it was a belief among many in the Antiochian church that the schism resulted from a linguistic misunderstanding, and that reunion was only a matter of time. I suspect that it also may have had to do with the fact that both churches were founded by Arab-Americans who were fleeing discrimination, and that there may have been a feeling of pan-Arab fraternity amongst them.
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« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2005, 01:45:33 AM »

If there has been a thread on this previously (and I don't doubt it for a second), please would somebody link me to it, or alternatively, and prefereably, please would somebody here explain to a confused soon-to-be catechumen why it is that the Alexandrian Patriarchate does not accept one of the Oecumenical Councils?  I am also confused about how it continue to use the name Orthodox, as it has been my understanding that an acceptance of all Seven Councils is essential for Orthodoxy.  Many thanks.
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« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2005, 02:20:59 AM »

Michael,

Quote
please would somebody here explain to a confused soon-to-be catechumen why it is that the Alexandrian Patriarchate does not accept one of the Oecumenical Councils?

Very simply because we (the OO Church) do not consider Chalcedon an “Oecumenical Council”; to the Oriental Orthodox Church it is simply a council of schism. The OO Fathers rejected Chalcedon on the basis that it was reasonably interpreted at the time to have fallen into a sort of crypto-Nestorianism. Its inability to appropriately and sufficiently convey and clarify an Orthodox Christology in harmony with the Alexandrian Christology of St Cyril of Alexandria that was vindicated in Ephesus 431, in addition to its false and unwarranted ex-communication of the Patriarch of Alexandria St Dioscorus and its treatement of Constantinople 448 vs. Ephesus 449, render it schismatic. I am sorry if this confuses you, but the mainstream textbook version of the historical event of Chalcedon — its purpose, its proceedings, and its achievements (which I assume is the version you are acquainted with) - is simply a one-sided account and presentation of what, why, and how it all really happened. I recommend Fr. V.C. Samuel's Chalcedon Re-examined, for an objective, schorlarly, and balanced account of the events in question.

Quote
I am also confused about how it continue to use the name Orthodox, as it has been my understanding that an acceptance of all Seven Councils is essential for Orthodoxy.


Your definition of Orthodoxy is itself arbitrary and thus meaningless. The Church of Alexandria is Orthodox because it has maintained and preserved the unadulterated fullness of truth as received from the Apostles. Examine her beliefs, her doctrines, her practices, etc. etc. and you will find that all is grounded in Orthodox Church Tradition. Yes, we do not (in contrast to the Eastern Church) regard Chalcedon and the subsequent councils as part of that Tradition; however our rejection of Chalcedon was itself in the very name of Tradition to begin with.

Peace.
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« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2005, 03:06:09 AM »

If there has been a thread on this previously (and I don't doubt it for a second), please would somebody link me to it, or alternatively, and prefereably, please would somebody here explain to a confused soon-to-be catechumen why it is that the Alexandrian Patriarchate does not accept one of the Oecumenical Councils?ÂÂ  I am also confused about how it continue to use the name Orthodox, as it has been my understanding that an acceptance of all Seven Councils is essential for Orthodoxy.ÂÂ  Many thanks.

To balance EA's answer for you, and remain in keeping with this particular board's rules not to argue OO/EO issues , see:

http://www.greekorthodox-alexandria.org/main.htm

The Church of Alexandria is Orthodox with all 7 councils.
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« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2005, 03:54:22 AM »

Thank you, both, for your replies.

EkhristosAnesti, you said that my definition of Orthodoxy is arbitrary and meaningless, which, had I actually put forward a definition of Orthodoxy, would have been less than courteous, and, as I haven't put forward any such definition, is completely irrelevant, and shows that you have either a/ misunderstood what I wrote or b/ deliberately tried to misrepresent what I was saying.

In charity, I shall assume that it was 'a', and so I shall clarify what I posted.

What I wrote was that it had been my understanding that acceptance of all Seven Councils was essential to being Orthodox.  I did not say that the definition of Orthodoxy was "acceptance of the Seven Councils".  The two do not mean the same thing.  What I said was that acceptance of the Seven Councils is an essential characteristic of Orthodoxy - I didn't say that it was a definition.  To illustrate my point, in order for something to be a plasticine ball, it must be made of plasticine.  That is an essential characteristic of a plasticine ball, but it is not a definition.

I understand that this is an inflammatory topic, but please remember that not everybody is here to start an argument.  I genuinely didn't know something and so I asked a question - that's all.
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« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2005, 04:06:34 AM »

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I did not say that the definition of Orthodoxy was "acceptance of the Seven Councils".  The two do not mean the same thing.  What I said was that acceptance of the Seven Councils is an essential characteristic of Orthodoxy - I didn't say that it was a definition.


What essential difference does it really make to anything I said, Michael? Fine, "your understanding of what constitutes an essential characteristic of Orthodoxy is arbitrary"; is that better? My above reasoning still stands; Chalcedon was not an Ecumenical Council, it was a council of schism. If it was an Ecumenical Council, the OO and EO Church would be in communion right now, and we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Peace.
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« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2005, 10:36:32 AM »

Well, these discussions are fairly pointless, but as we're arguing over some definitions, I thought I would give a few here.

Oecumenical Synod - Any Imperial Synod which claimed to be Oecumenical and was regarded by subsequent Imperial Synods to be of Oecumenical Authority or any Synod declared to be an Oecumencial Synod by another Oecumenical Synod.

The Orthodox Church - The Communion of Orthodox Christians who, while sharing a common Faith, are defined not by their faith per se but rather by who they are in Communion with. While I have elsewhere argued that Constantinople is the Standard of this Communion, which is a viable notion as she is the Imperial See; Communion can, likewise, be traced to the several Ancient Patriarchates as a whole. Thus when Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem maintained Communion and Rome broke it, it is quite manifest that Rome left the Church; and again, when Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem maintained communion and Alexandria broke it, it is equally manifest that Alexandria departed from the Church.
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« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2005, 10:59:26 AM »

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Oecumenical Synod - Any Imperial Synod which claimed to be Oecumenical and was regarded by subsequent Imperial Synods

Ha! What a load of crap LOL Imperial Synods are the infallible arbitrators of what constitutes an Ecumenical Council? Is that a joke?

Quote
or any Synod declared to be an Oecumencial Synod by another Oecumenical Synod.

Indeed, and though it is certainly not the sole characteristic of an Oecumnical Council, it may be considered an essential one. However, this doesn't exactly give you any argument now does it.

Quote
The Orthodox Church - The Communion of Orthodox Christians who, while sharing a common Faith, are defined not by their faith per se but rather by who they are in Communion with.

Agreed.

Quote
when Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem maintained communion and Alexandria broke it, it is equally manifest that Alexandria departed from the Church.

More Chalcedonian arbitrariness. Watch me assert the converse as self-evident - seriously, it's amazing: “when Alexandria maintained communion and Rome, Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem broke it, it is equally manifested that Rome, Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem departed from the Church."

Peace.
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« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2005, 11:28:21 AM »

Definitions elaborated upon to provide a means for useful and objective discussion:

Oecumenical Synod:

-   Unites the Church against heresy i.e. Its accomplishments are (drum roll) Ecumenical - it does not allow for division resulting from that Council’s being a) heretical or b) crypto-heretical or c) equivocative and ambiguous such that it is reasonably interpreted as heretical (which relates to the next point).
-   Clarifies and draws the focal point of Orthodox doctrine, explicitly and clearly beyond all reasonable doubt.
-   Does not contradict the already established Tradition of the Church, nor cause any disharmony with previous Oecumenical Councils.
-   Does not falsely ex-communicate legitimate Orthodox Patriarchs.

Peace.
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« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2005, 11:58:24 AM »

Ha! What a load of crap LOL Imperial Synods are the infallible arbitrators of what constitutes an Ecumenical Council?

Not exactly, but close; Imperial Synods are the AUTHORITATIVE arbitrators of what constitutes an Oecumenical Council...as I've said before, I don't believe in Infallibility, but that doesn't mean that authority does not exist in the Church.

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Is that a joke?

Not at all.

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Indeed, and though it is certainly not the sole characteristic of an Oecumnical Council, it may be considered an essential one. However, this doesn't exactly give you any argument now does it.

This element of the definition is predicated on the first part of the definition.

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More Chalcedonian arbitrariness. Watch me assert the converse as self-evident - seriously, it's amazing: “when Alexandria maintained communion and Rome, Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem broke it, it is equally manifested that Rome, Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem departed from the Church."

My statement was not arbitrary at all, when four of the Patriarchates agree, and one dissents, and this is the condition that is sustained, who the Church is becomes self-evident.

Definitions elaborated upon to provide a means for useful and objective discussion:

Oecumenical Synod:

-   Unites the Church against heresy i.e. Its accomplishments are (drum roll) Ecumenical - it does not allow for division resulting from that Council’s being a) heretical or b) crypto-heretical or c) equivocative and ambiguous such that it is reasonably interpreted as heretical (which relates to the next point).
-   Clarifies and draws the focal point of Orthodox doctrine, explicitly and clearly beyond all reasonable doubt.
-   Does not contradict the already established Tradition of the Church, nor cause any disharmony with previous Oecumenical Councils.
-   Does not falsely ex-communicate legitimate Orthodox Patriarchs.

Peace.

Yet I can think of numerous councils that fit this description and are not Oecumenical Synods; thus I submit that this is not the definition of an Oecumenical Synod; however, my definition of an Oecumenical Synod covers all Seven Oecumenical Synods, and does not include any false synods, thus making it a better and more accurate definition.
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« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2005, 01:42:22 PM »

Moving to faith so participants can have at it.
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« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2005, 07:36:08 PM »

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Imperial Synods are the AUTHORITATIVE arbitrators of what constitutes an Oecumenical Council...as I've said before, I don't believe in Infallibility,


Before I request that you validate what you’re saying by some sort of evidence (i.e. that a Synod is authoritative in its declaration regarding previous councils by virtue of its being 'Imperial'), I need you to clarify most explicitly the logical consequences of your position. So my questions to you are: a) Can a certain Council be considered Ecumenical without the declaration of an ‘Imperial Synod’? b) Can an Imperial Synod’s declaration of the Ecumenicity of a Council be false?

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but that doesn't mean that authority does not exist in the Church.

The authority of the Church exists through her Bishops. Just because there was a period in which Church and State were compatible such that they both worked together for certain common causes (i.e. before the One True Church rightfully abandoned the state in 451 as soon as the State once again became an enemy of the One True Church), does not change the fact that there is a distinction between Church and State, and that authority ultimately lies with the former. 

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This element of the definition is predicated on the first part of the definition.

You presented an either/or “definition”, neither of which thus far seem to support your case nonetheless.

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My statement was not arbitrary at all, when four of the Patriarchates agree, and one dissents, and this is the condition that is sustained, who the Church is becomes self-evident.

You present an argument of majority? This is the best you have? Wow, you really are desperate. Even that argument is more arbitrary than the first LOL Nothing is self-evident from this observation; come on GiC, you can’t really be this stupid.

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Yet I can think of numerous councils that fit this description and are not Oecumenical Synods

Ummm…You missed my point. I was elaborating further upon your definition; however if the word definition is causing you issues as it did with Michael, I will adopt his expression of “essential characteristics”. You cannot have an Ecumenical if it contradicts, defies, or undermines, any of the following 'essential characteristics':

-   Unites the Church against heresy i.e. Its accomplishments are (drum roll) Ecumenical - it does not allow for division resulting from that Council’s being a) heretical or b) crypto-heretical or c) equivocative and ambiguous such that it is reasonably interpreted as heretical (which relates to the next point).
-   Clarifies and draws the focal point of Orthodox doctrine, explicitly and clearly beyond all reasonable doubt.
-   Does not contradict the already established Tradition of the Church, nor cause any disharmony with previous Oecumenical Councils.
-   Does not falsely ex-communicate legitimate Orthodox Patriarchs.

Chalcedon failed the above criteria.

Peace.
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« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2005, 09:39:50 PM »

Before I request that you validate what you’re saying by some sort of evidence (i.e. that a Synod is authoritative in its declaration regarding previous councils by virtue of its being 'Imperial'), I need you to clarify most explicitly the logical consequences of your position. So my questions to you are: a) Can a certain Council be considered Ecumenical without the declaration of an ‘Imperial Synod’? b) Can an Imperial Synod’s declaration of the Ecumenicity of a Council be false?

a) no, b) yes, which is why in my definition I said 'subsequent oecumenical synods,' and not 'a subsequent oecumenical synod.' But if the Imperial Synods persevere in decreeing that a Given Synod is Oecumenical in Authority, then we can be assured that it Oecumenical in Authority.

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The authority of the Church exists through her Bishops. Just because there was a period in which Church and State were compatible such that they both worked together for certain common causes (i.e. before the One True Church rightfully abandoned the state in 451 as soon as the State once again became an enemy of the One True Church), does not change the fact that there is a distinction between Church and State, and that authority ultimately lies with the former.

Emperor was a priestly office, which is why the Emperor was allowed to, though a Layman, enter the Altar through the Royal Doors, and with that office came certain rights and responsibilities over the temporal Church. Your attempt to separate Church and State reflects neither the reality nor the ideal of the time.

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You presented an either/or “definition”, neither of which thus far seem to support your case nonetheless.

But the second part of the definition, that an Synod is Oecumenical if decreed so by another Oecumenical Synod, is meaningless without the first part of the definition, because it requires the establishment of at least One Oecumenical Synod before others can be decreed Oecumenical.

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You present an argument of majority? This is the best you have? Wow, you really are desperate. Even that argument is more arbitrary than the first LOL Nothing is self-evident from this observation; come on GiC, you can’t really be this stupid.

Yet this is how many of the Oecumenical Synods decided their posistions, by which side had the support of the most Patriarchates.

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Ummm…You missed my point. I was elaborating further upon your definition; however if the word definition is causing you issues as it did with Michael, I will adopt his expression of “essential characteristics”. You cannot have an Ecumenical if it contradicts, defies, or undermines, any of the following 'essential characteristics':

The problem with your 'elaboration' is that it is dependent upon theology and not procedure. An Synod is not made Oecumenical by professing Correct Theology, rather a Theology is Declared to be Correct by virtue of having been professed by an Oecumenical Synod. If theology is the standard of the oecumenicity of a synod, then any heretical sect can declare any council of their oecumenical becaues it professes the theology they agree with, and essentially there is no way we could 'disprove' them; instead procedure is the standard of the oecumenicity of a Synod, making theology dependent on the synod, and avoiding the difficulities of the reverse.

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-  ÃƒÆ’‚ Unites the Church against heresy i.e. Its accomplishments are (drum roll) Ecumenical - it does not allow for division resulting from that Council’s being a) heretical or b) crypto-heretical or c) equivocative and ambiguous such that it is reasonably interpreted as heretical (which relates to the next point).

First, procedure not doctrine determines the oecumenicity of a synod, see above; second, many Oecumenical Synods caused deep division, like the Division between the Orthodox and the Arians on account of Nicea I and Constantinople I, or the Divisions between the Orthodox and the Nestorians at Ephesus; likewise a similar division was created between the Orthodox and the heterodox at Chalcedon, it's just something that happens as a Result of Oecumenical Synods upholding the True Faith.

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-  ÃƒÆ’‚ Clarifies and draws the focal point of Orthodox doctrine, explicitly and clearly beyond all reasonable doubt.

Then Nicea I was not an Oecumenical Synod, because the Arians twisted the Synod and regained power, requiring Constantinople I to 'clarify' Nicea I. The decrees of the Oecumenical Synods are clear to the Church, they are only an enigma to those separated from the Body of Christ.

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-  ÃƒÆ’‚ Does not contradict the already established Tradition of the Church, nor cause any disharmony with previous Oecumenical Councils.

As Oecumenical Synods are not Infallible, they can be Over-turned by Subsequent Oecumenical; you are trying to ascribe infallibility to the Oecumenical Synods by your statement. Oecumenical Synods define tradition, they are not defined by it.

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-  ÃƒÆ’‚ Does not falsely ex-communicate legitimate Orthodox Patriarchs.

By virtue of being excommunicated by an Oecumenical Synod, the patriarch in question is not a 'legitimate Orthodox Patriarch,' but rather a heretic or, at the very least, a schismatic pretender to his falsely claimed throne, making such an element to the definition meaningless.
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« Reply #32 on: August 19, 2005, 12:12:49 AM »

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a)   no, b) yes, which is why in my definition I said 'subsequent oecumenical synods,' and not 'a subsequent oecumenical synod.' But if the Imperial Synods persevere in decreeing that a Given Synod is Oecumenical in Authority, then we can be assured that it Oecumenical in Authority.

This makes absolutely no sense. Upon your own admission, the status of council X is not bindingly contingent upon what subsequent Imperial council Y says, since Imperial council Y is not infallible, and hence it is possible that subsequent Imperial council Y has either a) affirmed council X’s ecumenicity because it follows in the same erroneous pathway as council X, or b) it has simply misjudged council X, or attempted to overlook the errors of council X which invalidate that very council; however, you then go on to say that perseverance in decreeing the Ecumenicity of that Council is what “assures” its Ecumenical authority — this is just dumb, for obviously if you can admit that a council can err, then I will simply argue that it persevered in its error.

It is at this stage however, that I will ask you to provide pre-Chalcedonian evidence to substantiate the claim that the persevered and consistent acknowledgement of a certain Council as Ecumenical by a subsequent Imperial Synod, validate that council as Ecumenical by virtue of that subsequent Council's imperial authority - i mean this obviously presupposes the validity of that Imperial Synod in the first place - your whole argument lies on unproven presupposition upon unproven presuppoisition. From my understanding, it is simply how the universal Church consistently and perseveringly regards a Council — ‘imperial’ is simply not a necessary part of the equation. Upon this ground, you have no objective argument, nor do I, for you would point to your Church’s consistent acknowledgement of Chalcedon as Ecumenical, whereas I would point to my Church’s consistent rejection of Chalcedon as Ecumenical; that you had the “State” on your side is no argument, for this assumes that the State itself did not apostatize from the True Church in the name of political gain and self-interest.

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Your attempt to separate Church and State reflects neither the reality nor the ideal of the time.

My point is that neither Orthodoxy nor the true Church is defined by the relationship of the church of a particular See, to the State. There existed an Orthodox Church for approximately 3 centuries before the State even entered the Church, and there existed an Orthodox Church (The Church of Alexandria and all those in communion with her) after the State apostatized from the Church (at Chalcedon 451). That Chalcedon was acknowledged by the Imperial authorities and subsequently affirmed by future councils instigated by the Imperial authorities does not give credence to your Church over mine simply because your Church at that time had the support of the State in contrast to my Church; for my Church abandoned its very union with the State, due to the State’s interference with Church matters for the purpose of its own gain and interest and to the detriment of the interests of the union and Orthodoxy of the Church. It was the State and all who followed the state in its errors, that apostatized from the True Church.

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But the second part of the definition, that an Synod is Oecumenical if decreed so by another Oecumenical Synod, is meaningless without the first part of the definition, because it requires the establishment of at least One Oecumenical Synod before others can be decreed Oecumenical

And upon your own admission, the very Synod establishing that “Ecumenical” Synod, may be in error, such that this alleged Ecumenical Council’s affirmation of a previous Synod as Ecumenical is in error also. Come on GiC, I know you’re smarter than this; I almost feel embarrassed for you.

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You present an argument of majority? This is the best you have? Wow, you really are desperate. Even that argument is more arbitrary than the first LOL Nothing is self-evident from this observation; come on GiC, you can’t really be this stupid.


Yet this is how many of the Oecumenical Synods decided their posistions, by which side had the support of the most Patriarchates.

Oh really? Can you prove that, please? I cant wait to see this. Allow me however, to make clear what it is you need to prove to me — not that previous Ecumenical Councils had the support of “most of the patriarchates”, but this was a necessary condition i.e. essentially what you need to prove to me, is the Patristic understanding of the alleged impossibility of "a majority of the Patrairchates" apostasizing from the True Church through their support of a false council.

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The problem with your 'elaboration' is that it is dependent upon theology and not procedure. An Synod is not made Oecumenical by professing Correct Theology, rather a Theology is Declared to be Correct by virtue of having been professed by an Oecumenical Synod.

GiC, you’ve been joking around with me a lot today, I can tell, but please, we’re dealing with serious issues here — enough of the jokes…..

Are you even listening to yourself? Professing correct Theology is irrelevant to the Ecumenicity of a Council? LOL Wow, we have potential heretical Ecumenical Councils now…whoa, whoa…wait a second, heresy is now Orthodox because we have presupposed the Ecumenicity of the Council promoting heresy in the first place! The stupidity you present us with is overwhelming...

Are you telling me correct theology did not exist before an Ecumenical Council came into play? Are you telling me, that regardless of the pre-Nicaean Church Tradition which confirmed the doctrine of the Trinity and Christ’s eternality and equality to the Father, that had Nicaea promoted Arian doctrine and gained the support of the Emperor, and say 3 out of 5 of the Patriarchates, and had the next Emperor continued in the previous Emperor’s stance by holding a subsequent council affirming Nicaea’s validity with support of the same Patriarchates that had initially supported Nicaea, that Arianism would now be Orthodox, and the Church comprised of Arians?

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If theology is the standard of the oecumenicity of a synod, then any heretical sect can declare any council of their oecumenical becaues it professes the theology they agree with, and essentially there is no way we could 'disprove' them

Huh? lol Umm ‘if theology is the standard of the Ecumenicity of a Council’… then we would disprove them by proving that their doctrine was in opposition or contravention to the already established Church Tradition, and hence the non-Ecumenicity of their council. It’s really very simple GiC.

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Oecumenical Synods caused deep division, like the Division between the Orthodox and the Arians on account of Nicea I and Constantinople I, or the Divisions between the Orthodox and the Nestorians at Ephesus

Obviously you did not read my criteria, allow me to highlight what you are missing:

Unites the Church against heresy i.e. Its accomplishments are (drum roll) Ecumenical - it does not allow for division resulting from that Council’s being a) heretical or b) crypto-heretical or c) equivocative and ambiguous such that it is reasonably interpreted as heretical (which relates to the next point).

The division between The Orthodox and the Arians for example, was not resulting from a), b), or c). The Arians adopted a false theology; they were heretics by virtue of this, and hence they were heretics before Nicaea even commenced — their condemnation and the ultimate division was a result of their upholding heresy in the face of the Council’s confirmation of Orthodox Theology as it was grounded in Church Tradition.

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a similar division was created between the Orthodox and the heterodox at Chalcedon

The division between the Orthodox and the heterodox at Chalcedon was a result of the heteredox’s council falling into either category a), b), or c) listed above, unlike the lawful and Holy Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea 1, Constantinople 1 and Ephesus 1.

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Then Nicea I was not an Oecumenical Synod, because the Arians twisted the Synod and regained power, requiring Constantinople I to 'clarify' Nicea I.

Oh, really? Please, do tell, let us examine if there really is an analogy here or not; who were the Orthodox groups who had misinterpreted Nicaea as an Arian council, and who were these Arians upholding Nicaea as a vindication of their heresy?

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As Oecumenical Synods are not Infallible, they can be Over-turned by Subsequent Oecumenical; you are trying to ascribe infallibility to the Oecumenical Synods by your statement.

There is a difference between absolute infallibility, and doctrinal infallibility - I do not agree with the former, but I agree with the latter, and the Father would agree with me too, even your own fathers, else they wouldn't have amde and stressed the point that their council was in conformity with the previous ones. If council ‘A’ defeats heresy ‘X’, then Council ‘B’ overturns or undermines council ‘A’ and consequently vindicates heresy ‘X’, and then Council ‘C’ overturns or undermines council ‘B’, and consequently defeats heresy ‘X’ as it was prior to Council ‘B’, then Councils A, B, and C cannot all be Ecumenical — Either Council A is Ecumenical or Council B is Ecumenical; assuming the former, Council C is still not Ecumenical, since it is superfluous, and simply undoing the mess Council B unlawfully created.

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Oecumenical Synods define tradition, they are not defined by it.

An Ecumenical Council cannot contradict or undermine the already revealed Tradition and then go on to further define it. If an Ecumenical Council were to undermine or contradict the Tradition that it then goes on to further define, then it would be an inconsistent Tradition and hence no Tradition at all, and thus that Council is a robber’s synod as Chalcedon was.

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By virtue of being excommunicated by an Oecumenical Synod, the patriarch in question is not a 'legitimate Orthodox Patriarch,' but rather a heretic or, at the very least, a schismatic pretender to his falsely claimed throne

By virtue of a Council’s ex-communication of a Patriarch on false grounds, performed out of personal agenda and evil intent, that Council can never be considered Ecumenical. What is it about the word ECUMENICAL in the title ECUMENICAL Council, do you not understand? How is ex-communicating a lawful Patriarch upon false grounds not applicable to the facts of the situation an ECUMENICAL action? How does that promote the unity and Orthodoxy of the Church? Stop presupposing the Ecumenicity of your Council and start objectively deriving it.

You’re absolutely unbelievable; I seriously wander who buys any of the baloney you speak.

Peace.
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Examples:

"Come on GiC, I know you’re smarter than this; I almost feel embarrassed for you."

"Are you even listening to yourself?"

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We can do without this.

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« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2005, 01:28:10 PM »

This makes absolutely no sense. Upon your own admission, the status of council X is not bindingly contingent upon what subsequent Imperial council Y says, since Imperial council Y is not infallible, and hence it is possible that subsequent Imperial council Y has either a) affirmed council X’s ecumenicity because it follows in the same erroneous pathway as council X, or b) it has simply misjudged council X, or attempted to overlook the errors of council X which invalidate that very council; however, you then go on to say that perseverance in decreeing the Ecumenicity of that Council is what “assures” its Ecumenical authority — this is just dumb, for obviously if you can admit that a council can err, then I will simply argue that it persevered in its error.

First of all, just because a synod can theoretically error, does not mean that it necessarily does, I would submit that the very Idea that any of the Oecumenical Synods errored in their primary professions of Doctrine (Christ is God, Christ is One Person, Christ has Two Natures, et cetera) to be too absurd to even warrent consideration. Furthermore, while any given synod can error, by virtue of being composed of humans, the continued opponents to the Tradition established by the Oecumenical Synods are far more likely to be in error, by virtue of being composed of humans out of communion with the Body of Christ.

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It is at this stage however, that I will ask you to provide pre-Chalcedonian evidence to substantiate the claim that the persevered and consistent acknowledgement of a certain Council as Ecumenical by a subsequent Imperial Synod, validate that council as Ecumenical by virtue of that subsequent Council's imperial authority - i mean this obviously presupposes the validity of that Imperial Synod in the first place - your whole argument lies on unproven presupposition upon unproven presuppoisition. From my understanding, it is simply how the universal Church consistently and perseveringly regards a Council — ‘imperial’ is simply not a necessary part of the equation. Upon this ground, you have no objective argument, nor do I, for you would point to your Church’s consistent acknowledgement of Chalcedon as Ecumenical, whereas I would point to my Church’s consistent rejection of Chalcedon as Ecumenical; that you had the “State” on your side is no argument, for this assumes that the State itself did not apostatize from the True Church in the name of political gain and self-interest.

I would have to do research I dont really have the time to right no to find teh kind of sources you're looking for, I do believe some exist from the time of Emperor Theodosius the Great but do not have them off the top of my head (and the only copy of such things as the Theodosian Code I have is in Latin, which takes me a bit longer to go through than english). However, most the theology and arguments around the influence and role of the Emperor are from Later, St. Justinian the Great did much to develop the role of the emperor then come the Novels of Emperor Leo the Wise, and you see the heighth of the theology with the Canonists Balsamon, Zonaras, and Aristenos; and there are several councils througout this time which dealt, usually indirectly, with this issue.

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My point is that neither Orthodoxy nor the true Church is defined by the relationship of the church of a particular See, to the State. There existed an Orthodox Church for approximately 3 centuries before the State even entered the Church, and there existed an Orthodox Church (The Church of Alexandria and all those in communion with her) after the State apostatized from the Church (at Chalcedon 451). That Chalcedon was acknowledged by the Imperial authorities and subsequently affirmed by future councils instigated by the Imperial authorities does not give credence to your Church over mine simply because your Church at that time had the support of the State in contrast to my Church; for my Church abandoned its very union with the State, due to the State’s interference with Church matters for the purpose of its own gain and interest and to the detriment of the interests of the union and Orthodoxy of the Church. It was the State and all who followed the state in its errors, that apostatized from the True Church.

The Empire followed the Church, not the Church the Empire. The Imperial Authorities insisted on Chalcedon because all of Christendom, save Alexandria alone, was in agreement. The Empire sought unity, so they went with the Church as a whole against a faction that had broke off. This was a significant role of the Empire in the Church, to encourage unity and communion; the Church supported by the Empire was truly, in every way, the 'Oecumenical Church,' for the Church of the Empire was the Church of the World (amongst the reasons that I insist on Constantinople being the standard of Orthodox Communion is that she is the last remaining Heir to the Imperial Court and Traditions of the Roman Empire, and thus the holder of this Responsibility). After St. Constantine the Great, and Certainly after St. Theodosios the Great, any Church other than the Imperial Church was nothing more than a reigonal Sect, it could not be a universal expression of Christianity.

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And upon your own admission, the very Synod establishing that “Ecumenical” Synod, may be in error, such that this alleged Ecumenical Council’s affirmation of a previous Synod as Ecumenical is in error also. Come on GiC, I know you’re smarter than this; I almost feel embarrassed for you.

Theoretically, though it is far more likely that those standing in opposistion to that Synod are in Error, and if that Synod Stands for 1650 Years, there can be little doubt that those who oppose it are in error. But I will admit to the theoretical possibility, on an academic level only, that Perhaps the Arians were Right, or Perhaps the Nestorians were Right, or Perhaps the non-Chalcedonians were Right, or Perhaps the Monothelites were Right, or Perhaps the Iconoclasts were Right; but because a theoretical possibility exists, that doesn't prevent the notion that these groups were right and the Universal Church was wrong from being absurd.

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Oh really? Can you prove that, please? I cant wait to see this. Allow me however, to make clear what it is you need to prove to me — not that previous Ecumenical Councils had the support of “most of the patriarchates”, but this was a necessary condition i.e. essentially what you need to prove to me, is the Patristic understanding of the alleged impossibility of "a majority of the Patrairchates" apostasizing from the True Church through their support of a false council.

Please, enlighten my ignorant mind, what Synod, when they are split 4-1, adopts the posistion of the 1 against the 4? Old Rome got arround this by trying to set herself up above the Church...how did a deposed Patriarch of Alexandria get around this problem?

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Are you telling me correct theology did not exist before an Ecumenical Council came into play? Are you telling me, that regardless of the pre-Nicaean Church Tradition which confirmed the doctrine of the Trinity and Christ’s eternality and equality to the Father, that had Nicaea promoted Arian doctrine and gained the support of the Emperor, and say 3 out of 5 of the Patriarchates, and had the next Emperor continued in the previous Emperor’s stance by holding a subsequent council affirming Nicaea’s validity with support of the same Patriarchates that had initially supported Nicaea, that Arianism would now be Orthodox, and the Church comprised of Arians?

If Arianism had persevered in the Church, then yes, today we would have to say that Arianism is orthodox; but it didn't, and the fact that it didn't shows the Action of the Holy Spirit in the Church, the Church is not governed by Randomness, equally likely to accept orthodox or heterodox theology, rather it is guided by the Holy Spirit and in time the Orthodox Posistion will become clear and will be professed by the Church, as has happened with all Seven Oecumenical Synods. But ultimately, the Authority if a Synod and her Teachings is determined by Procedure, the point of a Synod is often to Determine the Issue of Doctrine and obviously both sides are Going to claim that their Theology is Correct, so if Theology is the Standard of the Authority of a Synod, then the Synod is Pointless, because it is only an Authoritive Synod to those who already agree with it; if, however, procedure is the standard, then it is an Authoritive Synod for all involved.

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Unites the Church against heresy i.e. Its accomplishments are (drum roll) Ecumenical - it does not allow for division resulting from that Council’s being a) heretical or b) crypto-heretical or c) equivocative and ambiguous such that it is reasonably interpreted as heretical (which relates to the next point).

By virtue of being an Oecumenical Synod ti iherently does not fall into any of those Categories; by virtue of the Procedure being Correct, so also is the Theology. As far as mininterpretations of the Synod, the teachings of the Church are often mininterpreted by those outside her bounds, the blindness and ignorance of the heterodox (all who do not accept the synod) in no way diminishes the authority of the Synod.

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The division between The Orthodox and the Arians for example, was not resulting from a), b), or c). The Arians adopted a false theology; they were heretics by virtue of this, and hence they were heretics before Nicaea even commenced — their condemnation and the ultimate division was a result of their upholding heresy in the face of the Council’s confirmation of Orthodox Theology as it was grounded in Church Tradition.

But according to the Arians, Nicea professed false theology, or according to the Eusebians the Condemnation of the Arians was simply a misunderstanding. Just because these groups believed this, the Authority of Nicea is not Diminished. Likewise, simply because the Non-Chalcedonians believe Chalcedon to be either heretical or a misunderstanding, this in no way diminishes the Authority of the Synod.

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The division between the Orthodox and the heterodox at Chalcedon was a result of the heteredox’s council falling into either category a), b), or c) listed above, unlike the lawful and Holy Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea 1, Constantinople 1 and Ephesus 1.

The Arians could say the Same thing about Nicea I or Constantinople I and the Nestorians could say the same thing about Ephesus...and I take the Complaints of the non-Chalcedonians about Chalcedon in the same light as the Arian complaints against Nicea or the Nestorian complaints against Ephesus.

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Oh, really? Please, do tell, let us examine if there really is an analogy here or not; who were the Orthodox groups who had misinterpreted Nicaea as an Arian council, and who were these Arians upholding Nicaea as a vindication of their heresy?

No Orthodox Groups rejected Nicea, because by virtue of Rejecting the Synod, they were not Orthodox, same things goes for all the other Oecumenical Synods, including Chalcedon. As far as heresies that tried to use Nicea as a vindication of their Heresy, the Eusebians first come to mind, but there were others too, hence the need for Constantinople I.

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There is a difference between absolute infallibility, and doctrinal infallibility - I do not agree with the former, but I agree with the latter, and the Father would agree with me too, even your own fathers, else they wouldn't have amde and stressed the point that their council was in conformity with the previous ones. If council ‘A’ defeats heresy ‘X’, then Council ‘B’ overturns or undermines council ‘A’ and consequently vindicates heresy ‘X’, and then Council ‘C’ overturns or undermines council ‘B’, and consequently defeats heresy ‘X’ as it was prior to Council ‘B’, then Councils A, B, and C cannot all be Ecumenical — Either Council A is Ecumenical or Council B is Ecumenical; assuming the former, Council C is still not Ecumenical, since it is superfluous, and simply undoing the mess Council B unlawfully created.

I dont believe there is either absolute or doctrinal infallibility, infallibility is a divine aspect that can not be properl ascribed to men, even in synod; the teachings of the Synods are Authoritive and Sufficient for our Salvation, but not infallible. However, simply because something is not infallible, that does not mean it's wrong, questioning the Seven Oecumenical Synods is probably just as absurd as questioning the Theory of Gravity, but neither are infallible, for to make an infallible statement, you must have complete and perfect knowledge of every aspect of every theoretically possible situation, and when you're dealing with God, such a level of knowledge is hardly possible, in short, infallibility does not exist appart from God.

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An Ecumenical Council cannot contradict or undermine the already revealed Tradition and then go on to further define it. If an Ecumenical Council were to undermine or contradict the Tradition that it then goes on to further define, then it would be an inconsistent Tradition and hence no Tradition at all, and thus that Council is a robber’s synod as Chalcedon was.

Or, more accurately, the revealed pseudo-tradition is simply uncovered to be the false tradition that it actually is by the Oecumenical Synod, which upholds the True Tradition of the Church.

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By virtue of a Council’s ex-communication of a Patriarch on false grounds, performed out of personal agenda and evil intent, that Council can never be considered Ecumenical. What is it about the word ECUMENICAL in the title ECUMENICAL Council, do you not understand? How is ex-communicating a lawful Patriarch upon false grounds not applicable to the facts of the situation an ECUMENICAL action? How does that promote the unity and Orthodoxy of the Church? Stop presupposing the Ecumenicity of your Council and start objectively deriving it.

I assume you're talking about Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria from A.D. 444-451, who was justly deposed by the Fathers of the Fourth Holy and Oecumenical Synod in Chalcedon, for his defiance and mocking of the Synod, and refusal to appear before the Synod, though thrice summoned while staying in the City:

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The holy and great and ecumenical Synod, which by the grace of God according to the constitution of our most pious and beloved of God emperors assembled together at Chalcedon the city of Bithynia, in the martyry of the most holy and victorious Martyr Euphemia to Dioscorus.

We do you to wit that on the thirteenth day of the month of October you were deposed from the episcopate and made a stranger to all ecclesiastical order by the holy and ecumenical synod, on account of your disregard of the divine canons, and of your disobedience to this holy and ecumenical synod and on account of the other crimes of which you have been found guilty, for even when called to answer your accusers three times by this holy and great synod according to the divine canons you did not come.
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« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2005, 02:27:41 PM »

Thank you, both, for your replies.

EkhristosAnesti, you said that my definition of Orthodoxy is arbitrary and meaningless, which, had I actually put forward a definition of Orthodoxy, would have been less than courteous, and, as I haven't put forward any such definition, is completely irrelevant, and shows that you have either a/ misunderstood what I wrote or b/ deliberately tried to misrepresent what I was saying.

In charity, I shall assume that it was 'a', and so I shall clarify what I posted.

What I wrote was that it had been my understanding that acceptance of all Seven Councils was essential to being Orthodox.ÂÂ  I did not say that the definition of Orthodoxy was "acceptance of the Seven Councils".ÂÂ  The two do not mean the same thing.ÂÂ  What I said was that acceptance of the Seven Councils is an essential characteristic of Orthodoxy - I didn't say that it was a definition.ÂÂ  To illustrate my point, in order for something to be a plasticine ball, it must be made of plasticine.ÂÂ  That is an essential characteristic of a plasticine ball, but it is not a definition.

I understand that this is an inflammatory topic, but please remember that not everybody is here to start an argument.ÂÂ  I genuinely didn't know something and so I asked a question - that's all.

Michael,
To add to the link the guy with the greek named provided (I can't remember - sorry), I just wanted to add that there are TWO different Churches that currently lay claim to the Church of Alexandria Throne of St. Mark.  There is the Eastern (Greek if you will) Orthodox Church of Alexandria with Patriarch & Pope (he has always had the title of Pope as well as Patriarch) Theodoros (the former, Petros recently died in a tragic helicopter accident on route to Mt. Athos) as Primate.  Then there is also the Coptic Orthodox (Oriental Orthodox) Church of Alexandria Pope Shenouda III.

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« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2005, 07:16:25 AM »

 :'(ÂÂ  :'(ÂÂ  :'(

The first response that comes to mind when reading what a thread concerning re-union has turned into.

The truth of Fr. Sergius Bulgakov's insight seems more true then ever before when he wrote:
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Dissociation in prayer, having once arisen, strives to become permanent, lasting, and constant.
By Jacob's Well, in Tradition Alive ed. Fr. Michael Plekon, p. 57.

We experience the other a somehow opposed to us. The great desert father, St. Evagrios of Pontos writes again and again, how the demons tempt, and trick the individual person. He also describes the subtle warfare evil spirits wage to those living in communities. One needs to simply open the pages of the Philakolia, read the first 27 sayings of the 153 Chapters on Prayer to see. Or the Peri Logismoi, or even the Praktikos.

It boils down to this, the demons will use anything to prevent our achieving of pure prayer, which is communion with the Trinity. Communion, is precisely that; communion and in order to commune with God we must be in communion with one another. Love reaches out in order to unite, anger goes out to divide. This thread has seen anger. It has seen the truth of Fr. Sergius' statement. It has not seen love and its power. What might happen if we learn to love? And learn to listen?

We might learn that Chalcedon was not an evil council of schism. We might learn, that despite the intrigues that are a blight to all conciliar meetings, the Spirit is genuinely present in those who seek Him. We might learn that Chalcedon testifies to a genuine attempt to synthesyze two opposing trends in Christology by those who did care. The same happened at the Council of Ephesus where despite the intrigue and hostility, which is always the blight of us men due to our innate sinfulness and our creaturely limitations, truth was established, in the face of much misunderstanding, miscommunication, and the toughest passion of them all, spiritual pride. The Holy Spirit does not abandon that which is a formless wasteland, covered in darkness (Gen. 1,1 NAB), rather He moves over the face of the waters (Gen. 1, 2 AKJ). Particularly since Jesus had promised that the gates of hell would not overcome the Church (Matt. 16, 18 AKJ). In fact He had promised that as the Church continues to do His work that He would be with her until the very end and never leave her (Matt. 28, 20 NAB). This must especially be true since, despite human sinfulness, those who are baptized into Christ are His Body (1 Cor. 12, 27 NAB)) and surely the Lord cannot abandon Himself? Therefore, when those who are the Lord's come together in council, they bring their own sins with them. Absolutely. But this is not all that is brought,.. For we have the promise of the Lord that where two or three are gathered in My Name there He will be in our midst (Matt. 18, 20 NAB). In addition we have the words of Ps. 133 (Masoretic numbering), and the example of the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15, 1-12 NAB). To affirm that there must be truth to the Council of Chalcedon, which has sustained the life of the EO for centuries is nothing more but an act of faith in the truthfulness of God.

Otoh, we might learn that the OO have not accepted the Council of Chalcedon, and have suffered for it at the hands of their EO brethren. The OO have stuck to their traditional christology, and have rejected the Chalcedonian attempt to unite the christologically divided Church. So, has the Church of Persia (todays Assyrian Church of the East). Only three Councils are included among the Ecumenical Councils in the OO Church. The Council of Ephesus has been the primary source for dogmatic theologizing, and it has sustained the COC's (part of the OO) life in the face of intense persecution from the godless Muslim-invaders, that followed the persecutions against them from their EO brothers. The vigor and liveliness of the OO Church today, is surely the Life and Vigor of the Holy Spirit as can easily be seen by all who bother to read her Synaxarium of Martyrs for Christ. In rejecting Chalcedon, the OO, have rejected what to them seemed a knee-jerk to Nestorianism. In adherence to Origen of Alexandria they have seen Christ's Divinity shining through His humanity (as the EO have celebrated August 6-th), and have unwaveringly held fast to the unity of humanity and Divinity in Christ. A beautiful illustration of this is Ekhristos Anesti's avatar where the Uncreated Light seems to emanate from between the hands of the Bishop where he holds the Eucharistic Gifts. We may learn that their rejection of Chalcedon is on the condition that it is crypto-Nestorian for which it has brought forward several, good and not easily to be dismissed, arguments.

Centuries have passed, and all this time the truth in the above quoted dictum of Fr. Sergius has done its destructive work. The factuality of this, is easily seen in the exchange we have witnissed in this thread lately. A thing which, if anything, should lead one who reads to tears of repentance and prayer. Prayer to Christ our God for mercy, and praying with Christ our God for unity (John 17 1-26).

We have read in this thread, so far, what divides us. But we have not, yet, read what binds us together precisely as Orthodox Christians. To do this, and the willingness to look into our own hearts and traditions; to affirm as well as to correct, is necessary for movinf beyond the accomplishments of the Agreed Declarations that our hierarchs have drawn up. This is a movement in the opposite direction from which this thread has been moving, and I hope and ask that readers and participants would be willing to make this change of direction. For the dogmatic unity we have achieved in the Agreed Declarations is, I sincerely believe, a speaking of God's Spirit through His Church, since,.. after all,.. we were gathered there in His Name, and He has drawn up these declarations with us, overcoming many of our past sins and unfortunate mutual misconceptions.

It is for this dialogue that I ask, it is what I plead for, for any other is fruitless as has been expressed wearily (it seems) by an EO participant early in this thread

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Oh boy.ÂÂ  here we go again.ÂÂ  500,000 pages of postings later we'll still be where we are.ÂÂ  

Since the last thread I decided to read up on Chalcedon from various sources.ÂÂ  I'm even less likely to take part in a debate becuase I know where the "non-Chalcedonians" are coming from and that they won't ever budge an inch.ÂÂ  You can tell them what you mean by something and then be told you don't actually know what you mean, but they do and they'll be happy to tell you.ÂÂ  Well, thanks, but I think that when my church says, "We say 'X'" I'll stick to that, even if some other folks swear up and down that when they say "X" it just means "Y".ÂÂ  

After the last thread ended with, "They were wrong for 124 or so years about a millenium ago so we condemn them now" I decided that the seperation has more to do with stubborn pride about one particular school of thought than anything else.

Which appllies to both OO and EO particiants I do believe. I have been arguing in threads of this nature more than I care to remember with the same, bad, results. Merely because I too, am a sinful man. Like all of us. But I ask that we turn to Christ, and as we are before His face together, recognize that Christ hand moves in blessing over the both of us and that He has spoken through His Spirit in our Agreed Declarations and is awaiting our next step.

For now time has run out to say more, and hope to return to a less passionate thread.


S_N_B
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« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2005, 10:01:32 AM »

All politics aside, which churches are more united or closer in faith as defined by the Nicene Creed and the first councils, the EO and the RC or the EO and the OO? Or for that matter the OO and the RC?
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« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2005, 12:12:16 AM »

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First of all, just because a synod can theoretically error, does not mean that it necessarily does, I would submit that the very Idea that any of the Oecumenical Synods errored in their primary professions of Doctrine (Christ is God, Christ is One Person, Christ has Two Natures, et cetera) to be too absurd to even warrent consideration.

This is the first (in that particular post that is) of a number of arguments based on the oft-repeated fallacy of circular reasoning. The idea that an Oecumenical Synod errs in its primary profession of Doctrine is indeed inconceivable; in fact, I would submit that it is impossible. The fact Chalcedon did err in the manner and context of its profession of two natures such that it lead the Church of Alexandria to reasonably perceive a regression or concession to the very heresy that it had essentially been responsible for defeating only 20 years earlier, such that it (along with the Armenian, Indian and Syrian Church’s et al) ultimately rejected the council in the name of holding steadfast to the already revealed, established and confirmed Tradition expressed by the pre-Chalcedonian Fathers beforehand, acts as the very evidence against its Ecumenicity.

As would be clear to anyone, I am negating the Ecumenicity of this council on a basis that is not biased towards my own position, but rather on a basis that should be reasonably acceptable to any believer who holds fast to the very Tradition of the Church — the eternal, unchanging, permanent, consistent Tradition — and who should thus regard it befitting that this Tradition be used as the measuring stick or standard if you will, of those councils alleging continuity with that Tradition. You on the other hand are attempting a legalistic approach to the matter based on some sort of procedural criteria which is neither reasonable nor objective, and obviously biased towards your position; for what is it to me, an Oriental Orthodox believer, what an Imperial Synod states (whether momentarily or perseveringly) concerning a previous Imperial Council, if it is my belief that the imperial authorities apostatized from the Church at the very Council under investigation in this discussion. What kind of argument is it that the Imperial Synod’s actions are justified because a majority of the patriarchates agreed with the events in question? It is not news to I, nor any other Oriental Orthodox believer, that although many of the ancient Orthodox Church’s (the Armenian, Syrian, et al) maintained their communion with Alexandria, that all the Ancient Patriarchates had broken their communion with Alexandria. However, what does an argument of majority really prove, and since when has it been the standard of truth? The imperial authorities, Rome, Constantinople, and Antioch, all had their own self-interests disconnected from any real or actual concern for maintaining a pure and Orthodox Christology, and Chalcedon served those interests well. Rome for example, wanted to assert its authority over Alexandria which it had perceived it as a threat — the vindication of Leo’s tome, and the unwarranted deposition of St Dioscorus, had achieved this. Antioch as another example, wanted to vindicate its Christology over the Alexandrian-Cyrillian Christology that had been vindicated at Ephesus 431 — the exoneration of the heretical proponents of the Antiochene school of thought (Theodoret and Ibas) as well as their heretical documents, in addition to the acceptance of the “in two natures” formula served such interests well also.

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Furthermore, while any given synod can error, by virtue of being composed of humans, the continued opponents to the Tradition established by the Oecumenical Synods are far more likely to be in error, by virtue of being composed of humans out of communion with the Body of Christ.

Argument drawn on circular reason #2. Again, we are still waiting for you to objectively prove the Ecumenicity of Chalcedon and hence its validity as part of Tradition, as opposed to drawing arguments based on the presupposition that it is.  Opponents of Tradition are not only “far more likely to be in error”, they are inevitably in error, there is no argument here. The argument surrounds whether Chalcedon defines Tradition in the first place, or whether it was an event in contravention of Tradition.

There is the stance implicitly adopted above by S_N_Bulgakov (he can correct me if I am wrong), which suggests that Tradition (capital ‘t’) encompasses the tradition (lower case ‘t’) of the Chalcedonian church (which includes councils 4-7) as well as the tradition of the non-Chalcedonian Church (which includes the teachings of her fathers which elaborate upon the nature of the distinction of the two natures and the nature of their union), such that both maintained an Orthodox Christology in the name of the same Tradition (by the work of the Holy Spirit), though through varying traditions (by the work of man), which is also the position implicitly adopted by those EO and OO theologians responsible for drawing statements of Agreement:

Second Agreed Statement (1990), Point #9:

In the light of our Agreed Statement on Christology as well as of the above common affirmations, we have now clearly understood that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition, though they have used Christological terms in different ways. It is this common faith and continuous loyalty to the Apostolic Tradition that should be the basis for our unity and communion.

Source: http://orthodoxunity.org/state02.html

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However, most the theology and arguments around the influence and role of the Emperor are from Later, St. Justinian the Great

I’m not interested in what Justinian has to say, for he is a representative of the position you are seeking to objectively validate — to appeal to him would be to beg the question for the umpteenth time.

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The Empire followed the Church, not the Church the Empire. The Imperial Authorities insisted on Chalcedon because all of Christendom, save Alexandria alone, was in agreement. The Empire sought unity, so they went with the Church as a whole against a faction that had broke off.

Two issues I have this:

a)   You have assumed that the “the empire sought unity” as opposed to the fact it was simply looking out for its own personal political interests, which Chalcedon (a council coincidently supported by all patriarchates but for Alexandria) happened to conveniently serve.
b)   You are again presupposing this absurd “majority” argument. The unity of the Church is not preserved by supporting and vindicating the “majority position” per se, for if that majority position is misguided, or in error, (the claim which you are supposed to be dealing with), then that majority position does not represent the Church, for the Church is thence located in “that faction that broke off” which has “broke off” in the name of maintaining Orthodox Tradition. The Church is defined by the truth, and not the majority; you have yet to make a cogent argument on this issue.

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and if that Synod Stands for 1650 Years, there can be little doubt that those who oppose it are in error.

I’m sorry to sound repetitive, but you continue to repeat the same fallacies. I could assert the converse and point to the fact that this Synod has been opposed for 1650 years by the Coptic, Armenian, Syrian, Indian and Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and conclude that “there can be little doubt that those who support it are in error”. There is simply no objectivity to either of these assertions, and they’re useful for this dialogue.

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But I will admit to the theoretical possibility, on an academic level only, that Perhaps the Arians were Right

No, the Arians were certainly wrong. I did not agree to or support the “theoretical possibility” of an Ecumenical Council vindicating false doctrine in opposition to true doctrine, I simply affirmed the very practical possibility that an Imperial Synod’s understanding of a previous Synod as Ecumenical in the first place, may be in error, in order to hopefully (God-willing) get you to accept a logical and objective approach to the situation whereby you seek to deal with the historical facts, proceedings, theology, and results of a particular council in order to support the subsequent declaration of a Synod regarding its Ecumenicity, as opposed to your consistent question-begging approach whereby you merely point to that subsequent Synod’s declaration as evidence, thereby presupposing its validity as well.

The Arians were wrong because they held to a false theology, period. Their theology contradicted pre-Nicaean Tradition as it was revealed through the Holy Scriptures, and the patristic tradition of the Church. Nicaea simply affirmed and confirmed an already revealed truth — it is because of its conformity and harmony with and its attestation to, this already revealed truth which allows it to qualify as an Ecumenical Council taking into consideration also, its universal acceptance by the Church.

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Please, enlighten my ignorant mind, what Synod, when they are split 4-1, adopts the posistion of the 1 against the 4?

I am not claiming precedence for such an event, and thus it is not ignorance that is infecting your mind, it is narrow-mindedness; I am claiming that a Synod does not become Ecumenical by sole virtue of its receiving the support of the majority of the Patriarchates. This is a very easy claim to make, because obviously you do not have any pre-Chalcedonian evidence to negate it; the day you find me this evidence, I will covert to the Eastern Orthodox Church and bring many with me.

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Old Rome got arround this by trying to set herself up above the Church...how did a deposed Patriarch of Alexandria get around this problem?

From the perspective of the True Church, the Patriarch of Alexandria, and successor of the See of St Mark, had not been deposed; rather the council of Chalcedon had deposed itself through its false actions. There was no “getting around this problem”, for it was not the Church’s problem to begin with, it was the problem of the heteredox who had decided to cut themselves off from The Church.

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If Arianism had persevered in the Church, then yes, today we would have to say that Arianism is orthodox

I am not talking about Arianism persevering “in the Church”; I am speaking about Arianism persevering with the support of the state and the “majority of the patriarchates” — for I would submit that “the Church” is not defined by this, and that the faithful opposition are themselves “The Church”. According to your theory, if you were to be consistent (and let us pray you are at least capable of this), you would have to conclude that regardless of the Scriptural and patristic evidence regarding the Holy Trinity and the Divinity of Christ, that had the emperor at the time been an Arian heretic himself, and had the majority of the patriarchates adopted the arian heresy, such that this heresy was declared truth at an Imperial Synod which perseveringly insisted on Arianism, that “the faction” holding steadfast to the Apostolic Tradition in opposition to such councils, would be “out of the Church”, and the Arians defining the Church.

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Unites the Church against heresy i.e. Its accomplishments are (drum roll) Ecumenical - it does not allow for division resulting from that Council’s being a) heretical or b) crypto-heretical or c) equivocative and ambiguous such that it is reasonably interpreted as heretical (which relates to the next point).

By virtue of being an Oecumenical Synod ti iherently does not fall into any of those Categories

By virtue of the facts of history it falls into at least one of these. By virtue of drawing an objective and logically coherent argument, you cannot presuppose the Ecumenicity of your council in order to prove it.

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by virtue of the Procedure being Correct, so also is the Theology.

a)   By virtue of the theology being incorrect, the procedure fails to uphold the truth of The Church, in the same manner that a criminal being acquitted of a crime on the procedural grounds — for instance, the evidence against him being attained illegally, fails to uphold justice in society.
b)   You have not yet presented an objective procedural theory. “Majority” vote is not an objective argument.

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As far as mininterpretations of the Synod, the teachings of the Church are often mininterpreted by those outside her bounds,


I have heard of no Ecumenical Synod that has been reasonably misinterpreted for promoting an heresy that has a) already being condemned by a previous Ecumenical Synod, or b) that is being condemned by that very Ecumenical Synod. That Chalcedon fell into both a) and b), proves it was not Ecumenical, for assuming that it indeed was misinterpreted and that it was in fact Orthodox then it failed to clearly define the Orthodox Truth in order that; a) those who adhered to that truth (of which the Coptic, Armenian, Syrian et al Churches always have) would be unified, and d) those opposed to that truth (Nestorian heretics) would understand themselves condemned and incompatible with the council in question.

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But according to the Arians, Nicea professed false theology

So? They cannot support their assertions by an appeal to pre-Nicean Tradition, therefore their theology is false, and hence their claims against Nicaea unwarranted.

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simply because the Non-Chalcedonians believe Chalcedon to be either heretical or a misunderstanding, this in no way diminishes the Authority of the Synod.

Yes it does, for such an interpretation was, in its historical context, a very reasonable one to make — it was neither far-fetched, nor outrageous, and hence assuming that the Synod was Orthodox, it nonetheless failed to satisfy the requirement of “Ecumenical” in the title “Ecumenical Council”, for it purported an ambiguous theology that resulted in a division between two groups who shared the same substantial faith, but who mutually failed to recognize it due to the nature of the proceedings of the council. If we therefore consider the fact, that but for Chalcedon, our Church’s would legitimately be in communion with each other with nothing theological, doctrinal, ecclesiastical etc. dividing us, then it becomes clear that Chalcedon was a council of schism.

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The Arians could say the Same thing about Nicea I or Constantinople I and the Nestorians could say the same thing about Ephesus...and I take the Complaints of the non-Chalcedonians about Chalcedon in the same light as the Arian complaints against Nicea or the Nestorian complaints against Ephesus.

Actually, this analogy is ridiculously flawed; allow me to debunk it quite easily:

The complaints of the Orthodox Church against chalcedon were in relation to its being interpreted as undermining the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus 431 and the Alexandrian Christology that was then vindicated and that subsequently became the Orthodox standard i.e. it was regressing into Nestorianism - an already anathematized and condemned heresy. This obviously does not parallel the claims of Arians and Nestorians who simply opposed as heretical, the councils condemning them, by virtue of the fact that the theology professed at such councils was simply different from their own. Your analogy may have been appropriate had the Orthodox Church’s opposition to Chalcedon been the result of an adherence to monophysitism — unfortunately, this almost standard textbook version of history is not grounded in any fact.

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No Orthodox Groups rejected Nicea, because by virtue of Rejecting the Synod, they were not Orthodox

Putting aside your semantics for a minute, you’re missing my point; assuming that Chalcedon was Orthodox in its Christology and not Nestorian as reasonably interpreted, we find that it was rejected by those who held to the Orthodox Christology we are assuming the council had intended to promote. By virtue of this inter alia, my Church denies the Ecumenicity of Chalcedon. Now, can you refer back to the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus 431 for example, and show me where a church adhering to the very Orthodox Alexandrian theology vindicated at Ephesus 431 (unlike with Chalcedon, that the Christology vindicated at Ephesus 431 is Orthodox, is not an assumption granted for arguments sake in this discussion, for it is simply a given with respect to both our positions on this council), misinterpreted the fact that this was the Orthodox Christology being promoted?

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As far as heresies that tried to use Nicea as a vindication of their Heresy, the Eusebians first come to mind

I’m going to need you to be specific and precise for all of us so that when I debunk yet another false analogy, it is apparent to everyone upon what grounds it falls. So assume me ignorant of Nicaea, I have no idea regarding the proceedings or theology of that council, not of its purpose and outcome, nor do I know anything about St Athanasius of Alexandria or Eusebius of Caesarea or Eusebius of Nicodemia or even Arius. Spell it out for us GiC, so we know exactly what you’re talking about; prove for us that there really is some sort of precedent or analogy to when Nestorius the King of Heteredoxy said upon being acquainted with a highly esteemed and vindicated document of your council: “I thanked God because the Church of Rome held to an orthodox confession of faith.”

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questioning the Seven Oecumenical Synods is probably just as absurd as questioning the Theory of Gravity

I’m sure that the Muslim feels the same way about questioning the Word of God, as you are of questioning the seven Oecumenical Councils…but there’s just a slight problem, for I am still waiting for you and the Muslim, to prove that there is seven Oecumenical councils and that the Quran is the Word of God, respectively.

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Or, more accurately, the revealed pseudo-tradition is simply uncovered to be the false tradition that it actually is by the Oecumenical Synod, which upholds the True Tradition of the Church.

That’s possible; but assuming that you’re consistent in your logically fallacious style of circular argumentation, I would assume that your first going to presuppose the Ecumenicity of the Synod first to then blasphemously claim the true and universally accepted Tradition of the Church a “false” tradition; it’s obviously difficult for you to conceive the mere fact that your Church is in schism, and hence it is falsified by the Tradition it undermined (whether subjectively according to intent, or objectively according to the reasonable persons reasonable interpretation of it)— that Tradition being grounded in a previous Ecumenical Council, and the patristic writings of pre-Chalcedonian Doctors of the Faith.

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I assume you're talking about Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria from A.D. 444-451

Actually, I’m talking about St Dioscorus Confessor of the Orthodox Faith, Pope and Patriarch of the See of Alexandria A.D. 444-454.

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for his defiance and mocking of the Synod

It was St Dioscorus’ duty as the only true representative of the Orthodox Faith to, in the words of the great St Severus of Antioch, refuse “to bow the knee to Baal in the assembly of schism.”

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and refusal to appear before the Synod, though thrice summoned while staying in the City

This was Baal’s cop-out. They wanted to get rid of St Dioscorus one way or another, they were desperate for something… and ultimately they used force and deception to get their way; for as was already pointed out to you more than a month ago by another member of this board, St Dioscorus was placed under house arrest by the very imperial authorities who summoned him; it was simply a matter of dirty Chalcedonian politics. Find something else to justify the unjustifiable self-excommunication of your council.

Peace.
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« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2005, 06:02:47 PM »

In answering the OP of this thread, despite of the obvious and divisive debate we have here, I still think it possible and have an optimistic view of unity between EO's and OO's.  We hold conferences together, we allow communion to those churches who have officially lifted anathemas against us (such as Alexandrian and Antiochian Greek Churches, according to HE Metropolitan Bishoy), and I have a Greek priest who built a church right next to the college I go to, and a good Greek bishop who I happen to have good relationships with and work with building an Orthodox club in our university that includes both EO's and OO's.

If there are those who are really serious about unity in this world, they should get together with their respective towns/cities and work for this unity.  If you are grounded with a foundation of enough history to know the truth is out there that both EO's and OO's maintained Orthodoxy, whether it be Leo or Dioscorus and all their descendants, then we should work for this, just as the bishops and priests of both traditions are working for this, but they can't do it without your help.

I still am optimistic about this.  GiC, I'm asking you, if you are really serious about history, please read up on the OO fathers, and try to investigate whether they were heretical or not.  The fact that both the EO's and the OO's still exist in large numbers today teaching practically the same dogma regardless of the polemics of either sides should show that the Holy Spirit continues to work in both churches as one.  It is my belief that both are already one.  As St. Paul says, and as St. Cyril requotes him in the unity between him and John of Antioch, "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism."

Amen!  Let us uphold this basic Christian fact.

God bless.
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« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2005, 06:27:31 PM »

That is nice you quote the Great Saint Kyril, but I could never leave the Orthodox church that honors him and his teaching for a group that condemns his teaching yet claims he is their father. 
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« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2005, 07:00:17 PM »

That is nice you quote the Great Saint Kyril, but I could never leave the Orthodox church that honors him and his teaching for a group that condemns his teaching yet claims he is their father.ÂÂ  

Don't the EO do this with St. Augustine, claiming him as a Father, but yet condemning most of his teachings?
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« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2005, 07:04:31 PM »

St. Augustine in not our central Father as St. Kyril is to the Anti-Chaldeans.  St. Augustine's instructions in spirituality (such as found in the Confessions) and general piety is what he is renowned for. 
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« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2005, 07:07:10 PM »

St. Augustine in not our central Father as St. Kyril is to the Anti-Chaldeans.ÂÂ  St. Augustine's instructions in spirituality (such as found in the Confessions) and general piety is what he is renowned for.ÂÂ  

Oh, that makes sense Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2005, 07:07:28 PM »

That is nice you quote the Great Saint Kyril, but I could never leave the Orthodox church that honors him and his teaching for a group that condemns his teaching yet claims he is their father.ÂÂ  

Silouan,

If you believe the OO churches base their christology solely upon St. Cyril, you are greatly mistaken. If you believe the EO base their christology solely on St. Cyril you are greatly mistaken as well. St Cyril's christology is, and I expect to get flamed by both EO and OO alike for saying this, fundamentaly impercise and hence, rather flawed. Which is why in the EO there is built upon St. Cyril the christology of St. Maximus the Confessor and St. John of Damascus. And why the OO build upon St. Cyril with the christology of St. Severus of Antioch. And anyone at all who is familiar with St. Severus of Antioch and St. John of Damascus will readily see how similiar their christologies are. No one is asking you to leave anything, minasoliman was simply asking that those involved here actually go out and experience what the Agreed Statements have been asking us to do for decades, namely, the Orthodoxy of us all.

Oh, and when St. Cyril says "One incarnate nature (hypostasis) of God the Word" what does that mean to you? You qualify it via the EO understanding of Chalcedon, Sts. Maximus, John, etc. Likewise, an OO would qualify the statement using St. Severus. So are either of us "following"
St. Cyril strictly here? No, because neither is "right" because St. Cyril isn't too sure himself how the "one incarnate hypostasis" is worked out. Unless you want us all to go back to the "not sure" part, we're all going to have a way to express, quite surely, how it is worked out, and quite honestly, neither the EO way nor the OO way denies the basic teaching of St. Cyril. So why polemicize about it???
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« Reply #44 on: August 21, 2005, 08:29:35 PM »

So are either of us "following" St. Cyril strictly here? No, because neither is "right" because St. Cyril isn't too sure himself how the "one incarnate hypostasis" is worked out. Unless you want us all to go back to the "not sure" part, we're all going to have a way to express, quite surely, how it is worked out, and quite honestly, neither the EO way nor the OO way denies the basic teaching of St. Cyril. So why polemicize about it???

Thank...you...Xaira.  If there were an applause smiley here still, I'd use it multiple times.  Especially for the part (which, oddly, I didn't quote) about St. Cyril's theology being built upon by both sides.

As to the idea EA brought up (a while ago, iirc) about Chalcedon being naturally and easily misunderstood, I would offer that not everything that is easily misunderstood is therefore to be changed and/or rejected.  As a former Evangelical Protestant, I misunderstood--and most of my friends who are still Evangelical Protestants still misunderstand--what the equally-sized and symetrically-placed icons of "Theotokos and Child" and "Pantocrator" on the sides of the Royal Doors mean.  Likewise, the large icon, "More Spacious than the Heavens" behind the altar; for Protestants, this looks as though we are elevating the Holy Mother above, or at least equal to, Christ.  It's a very natural misunderstanding.  Should we then change this because people misunderstand it?  I don't think so.  We explain later and move on.  Likewise with Chalcedon: we don't throw it out just because some misunderstood; we just explain in subsequent councils what we meant.
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« Reply #45 on: August 21, 2005, 08:42:35 PM »

I second what Pedro said.  Bravo, Xaira, Bravo!!!
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« Reply #46 on: August 21, 2005, 09:58:54 PM »

This is the first (in that particular post that is) of a number of arguments based on the oft-repeated fallacy of circular reasoning. The idea that an Oecumenical Synod errs in its primary profession of Doctrine is indeed inconceivable; in fact, I would submit that it is impossible. The fact Chalcedon did err in the manner and context of its profession of two natures such that it lead the Church of Alexandria to reasonably perceive a regression or concession to the very heresy that it had essentially been responsible for defeating only 20 years earlier, such that it (along with the Armenian, Indian and Syrian Church’s et al) ultimately rejected the council in the name of holding steadfast to the already revealed, established and confirmed Tradition expressed by the pre-Chalcedonian Fathers beforehand, acts as the very evidence against its Ecumenicity.

First, there is not circular reasoning, my reasoning is quite straight forward: A Council is Made Oecumenical via Procedure; Chalcedon had the Correct Procedure; therefore Chlacedon is an Oecumenical Synod; therefore her Theology is True and she enjoys all other attributes attributable to an Oecumenical Synod. As I have said before, Theology is Defined by Oecumenical Synods; thus, if the Standard of the Oecumenicity of a Synod is its Doctrine, THAT is Circular Reasoning. We must look to something outside of Theology to validate the Oecumenicity of a Synod, something that I have quite reasonably done. If you disagree with my definition, fine, continue using your circular reasoning (or more to the point, arguing for the infallibility of Alexandria), but you are not going to change the posistion of the Orthodox Church.

Furthermore, Chalcedon was quite clear in her declaration, in agreement with Ephesus she insisted that Christ was One Person, and then she went on to Insist that He was one Person in Two Nature; clearly a different profession of faith than that of the Nestorians. The ONLY way it could have been misunderstood is by people who delibrately attempted to misunderstand and twist the words of the Synod, such as the Nestorians and Monophysites. More likely is that it was not misunderstood, and just outright opposed by the Monophysites and twisted by the Nestorains, but I am not sufficiently versed in the writings of the opponents to the Great and Holy Oecumenical Synod of Chalcedon, or of their Nestorian counterparts, to make a coherent argument along these lines.

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Argument drawn on circular reason #2. Again, we are still waiting for you to objectively prove the Ecumenicity of Chalcedon and hence its validity as part of Tradition, as opposed to drawing arguments based on the presupposition that it is.ÂÂ  Opponents of Tradition are not only “far more likely to be in error”, they are inevitably in error, there is no argument here. The argument surrounds whether Chalcedon defines Tradition in the first place, or whether it was an event in contravention of Tradition.

I gave my standard of what constitutes an Oecumenical Synod, I'm sure you can come up with the logical proof of the Oecumenicity of Chalcedon from that standard.

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I’m not interested in what Justinian has to say, for he is a representative of the position you are seeking to objectively validate — to appeal to him would be to beg the question for the umpteenth time.

Since subsequent Imperial Synods determine the Oecumenicity of previous Synods, the posistion of Justinian is quite relevant.

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Two issues I have this:
a)   You have assumed that the “the empire sought unity” as opposed to the fact it was simply looking out for its own personal political interests, which Chalcedon (a council coincidently supported by all patriarchates but for Alexandria) happened to conveniently serve...

And their 'own personal political interest' was Unity.

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No, the Arians were certainly wrong. I did not agree to or support the “theoretical possibility” of an Ecumenical Council vindicating false doctrine in opposition to true doctrine, I simply affirmed the very practical possibility that an Imperial Synod’s understanding of a previous Synod as Ecumenical in the first place, may be in error, in order to hopefully (God-willing) get you to accept a logical and objective approach to the situation whereby you seek to deal with the historical facts, proceedings, theology, and results of a particular council in order to support the subsequent declaration of a Synod regarding its Ecumenicity, as opposed to your consistent question-begging approach whereby you merely point to that subsequent Synod’s declaration as evidence, thereby presupposing its validity as well.

We've dealt with those issues, and it never got too far either; the point here was to give a definition of what an Oecumenical Synod was, I gave a very reasonable definition, which is consonant with our tradition.

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I am not claiming precedence for such an event, and thus it is not ignorance that is infecting your mind, it is narrow-mindedness; I am claiming that a Synod does not become Ecumenical by sole virtue of its receiving the support of the majority of the Patriarchates. This is a very easy claim to make, because obviously you do not have any pre-Chalcedonian evidence to negate it; the day you find me this evidence, I will covert to the Eastern Orthodox Church and bring many with me.

Well, four Patriarchates accepted the Synod, and only One Rejected it, and that Patriarch was Deposed by the unanimous consent of the other four, and another installed; from that day forth, all five Patriarchates have accepted the Synod as Oecumenical. I see universal acceptance of this Synod by the Church, and the loosers being sore about loosing and never getting over it, but hardly representing the Church as a whole.

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From the perspective of the True Church, the Patriarch of Alexandria, and successor of the See of St Mark, had not been deposed; rather the council of Chalcedon had deposed itself through its false actions. There was no “getting around this problem”, for it was not the Church’s problem to begin with, it was the problem of the heteredox who had decided to cut themselves off from The Church.

And from the perspective of the Nestorians they are the true church and Nestorius was never deposed, and the Council of Ephesus deposed itself through false actions. In both cases, the objection of the deposed are irrelevant, proper procedure was followed and both Nestorius and Dioscorus were, in fact, deposed by Oecumenical Synods.

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I am not talking about Arianism persevering “in the Church”; I am speaking about Arianism persevering with the support of the state and the “majority of the patriarchates” — for I would submit that “the Church” is not defined by this, and that the faithful opposition are themselves “The Church”. According to your theory, if you were to be consistent (and let us pray you are at least capable of this), you would have to conclude that regardless of the Scriptural and patristic evidence regarding the Holy Trinity and the Divinity of Christ, that had the emperor at the time been an Arian heretic himself, and had the majority of the patriarchates adopted the arian heresy, such that this heresy was declared truth at an Imperial Synod which perseveringly insisted on Arianism, that “the faction” holding steadfast to the Apostolic Tradition in opposition to such councils, would be “out of the Church”, and the Arians defining the Church.

Yes, I do accept that conclusion. But the fact that that scenario did not transpire is evidence of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Church.

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a)   By virtue of the theology being incorrect, the procedure fails to uphold the truth of The Church, in the same manner that a criminal being acquitted of a crime on the procedural grounds — for instance, the evidence against him being attained illegally, fails to uphold justice in society.

The Holy Spirit does not guide our Judicial System, it does guide our Church. If, by the Grace of the Holy Spirit, the procedure is correct, then we must assume that the Holy Spirit likewise blesses the Theology, and hence it is inherently correct.

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b)   You have not yet presented an objective procedural theory. “Majority” vote is not an objective argument.

I presented one I regard as obejctive, verification by additional Imperial Synods. 'Majority,' however, is presupposed (the Synods will obviously rule with the Majority). I would say that insisting 4 patriarchates to be correct over 1 is quite objective; the only way the 1 can even try to get arround it is to try and delcare itself above the other 4, which causes problems for a different reason.

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I have heard of no Ecumenical Synod that has been reasonably misinterpreted for promoting an heresy that has a) already being condemned by a previous Ecumenical Synod, or b) that is being condemned by that very Ecumenical Synod.

There are no such Oecumenical Synods, because all the misinterpretations are quite unreasonable, including the misinterpretations (or more accurately, misrepresentations) of Chalcedon. But one group that might have falsely claimed this to be the case was the Eusebians or Semi-Arians. Some of them ascribed to the Nicene Creed on the basis that the intent and theology was correct, though it was 'slopy' and 'poorly worded,' others refused to confess the Creed of Nicea. The issue of dispute was the term 'homoousios' which had been used by Paul of Samosata and was considered, by the Semi-Arians, to be a Sabellian forumula. Thus, in subsequent Semi-Arian Synods, instead of 'of one Substance' terms such as 'of like substance' were used, and while these synods would excommunicate the strict Arians, they would make peace with some of the more Moderate Arians by altering this formula. Of course, the Creed of Nicea was not Sabellian, it was simply misrepresented by the Semi-Arians and, accordingly, they were Anathematized at the Second Oecumenical Synod in 381.

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The complaints of the Orthodox Church against chalcedon were in relation to its being interpreted as undermining the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus 431 and the Alexandrian Christology that was then vindicated and that subsequently became the Orthodox standard i.e. it was regressing into Nestorianism - an already anathematized and condemned heresy. This obviously does not parallel the claims of Arians and Nestorians who simply opposed as heretical, the councils condemning them, by virtue of the fact that the theology professed at such councils was simply different from their own. Your analogy may have been appropriate had the Orthodox Church’s opposition to Chalcedon been the result of an adherence to monophysitism — unfortunately, this almost standard textbook version of history is not grounded in any fact.

Actually, the Arians opposed Nicea claiming that it was Sabellian and the Nestorians opposed Ephesus claiming it was Apollinarian. Just as the 'non-chalcedonians' opposed Chalcedon claiming it was Nestorian.

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I’m sure that the Muslim feels the same way about questioning the Word of God, as you are of questioning the seven Oecumenical Councils…but there’s just a slight problem, for I am still waiting for you and the Muslim, to prove that there is seven Oecumenical councils and that the Quran is the Word of God, respectively.

And I have no intention of trying to disprove the Moslem 'Word of God.' Neither do I ever have any intention of considering communion with them. The Moslems are most free to believe the Quran is the 'Word of God,' and you are free to reject the last four Oecumenical Synods; but neither your nor they can be in Communion with the Orthodox Church while continuing in such a belief.

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That’s possible; but assuming that you’re consistent in your logically fallacious style of circular argumentation, I would assume that your first going to presuppose the Ecumenicity of the Synod first to then blasphemously claim the true and universally accepted Tradition of the Church a “false” tradition; it’s obviously difficult for you to conceive the mere fact that your Church is in schism, and hence it is falsified by the Tradition it undermined (whether subjectively according to intent, or objectively according to the reasonable persons reasonable interpretation of it)— that Tradition being grounded in a previous Ecumenical Council, and the patristic writings of pre-Chalcedonian Doctors of the Faith.

Hmmm, so now the Manifest teachings of the Holy Spirit are Blasphemy? You'll forgive me if I don't want to go there.

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It was St Dioscorus’ duty as the only true representative of the Orthodox Faith to, in the words of the great St Severus of Antioch, refuse “to bow the knee to Baal in the assembly of schism.”

So now the teachings of the Holy Spirit are the words of Baal, I don't know if that's a substantial improvement. While I do not know that I would say that the follows of Baal were totally devoid of all grace and truth; equating him with the Holy Spirit is probably going a bit far.

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This was Baal’s cop-out. They wanted to get rid of St Dioscorus one way or another, they were desperate for something… and ultimately they used force and deception to get their way; for as was already pointed out to you more than a month ago by another member of this board, St Dioscorus was placed under house arrest by the very imperial authorities who summoned him; it was simply a matter of dirty Chalcedonian politics. Find something else to justify the unjustifiable self-excommunication of your council.

I do believe I have asked before, and was not answered, but please give me some evidence that Dioscorus, though thrice trying to heed the three Summons of Chalcedon, was each time prevented from doing so by the Imperial Authority. That he was under house arrest may very well be the case, but that hardly means that the Imperial Authorities would thrice prohibit him from obeying the Summons of an Oecumenical Synod. Even if you're in jail, you can still appear before congress if summoned.
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« Reply #47 on: August 21, 2005, 10:39:28 PM »

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First, there is not circular reasoning, my reasoning is quite straight forward: A Council is Made Oecumenical via Procedure; Chalcedon had the Correct Procedure; therefore Chlacedon is an Oecumenical Synod; therefore her Theology is True and she enjoys all other attributes attributable to an Oecumenical Synod.

Just a side question... if a Council is made ecumenical by correct proceedure, then why is the Fourth Council of Constantinople not accepted by the East? The 869-870 AD one.
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« Reply #48 on: August 22, 2005, 12:37:41 AM »

Dear GiC,

I fail to see how "Procedure" proves anything.  By that logic, as EA have said before, an Arian council done in a correct "procedure" should be ecumenical.

In addition, why include Imperial forces in the "procedure"?  Before the Church was involved in an empire, the Apostles themselves held a council, dare I say "ecumenical," in Jerusalem.

We also as OO have held a council in Ephesus held by St. Timothy, known as the "Third Council of Ephesus," accepted by the Emperor as well as over 500 bishops unanimously, condemning both Eutychianism and Nestorianism (and Chalcedonianism, which was understood to be Nestorian at the time).  We followed correct procedure.  We OO's are still around.  Heck, we even have more diverse liturgical traditions than the EO (as a matter of fact, the only tradition the EO has is that of the Byzantine rite!).  Shouldn't that prove that somehow along the line, the Byzantines seem to lose "ecumenicity" over its original bishops?  Shouldn't that at least show that we as well followed correct procedure, and unlike the Arian disappearance after a couple of centuries, we were here enduring Islamic (and Chalcedonian) persecutions after 15 centuries, still alive and well ecumenically among our sister churches?

I suggest you read Fr. VC Samuel's book "The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined."  He provided ample proof using the minutes of Chalcedon.  Frankly, the bishops weren't ready to accept the Definition of Chalcedon, but because Leo imposed a Papal authority, the bishops felt, as the attitude of the Chalcedonian minutes showed, forced to accept the definition.  Afterwards, while the procedure was all correct, it resulted in more mayhem than unity.  The Arians themselves held a counter council against Nicea with Imperial help!  They followed procedure, and yet St. Athanasius the contra mundum, stayed alive.

I do not mean to say Chalcedon was a heretical council.  This is not my intention.  If you read up on St. Dioscorus' life and beliefs, you will find that Chalcedon erred on deposing a saintly man, although it did not err in dogma (and neither did St. Dioscorus).  May I add that I did answer your question before, and provided you with a source, which, although secondary, uses the minutes of Chalcedon from Mansi to prove his point.  According to the minutes, St. Dioscorus was indeed under house arrest.  The first summons was a failure to remove him from house arrest without Imperial permission.  The second summons resulted in the request from St. Dioscorus to bring the other five men and the Imperial judges to appear before the council on that summons.  After a denial from Domnus and others in the council (which included Theodoret and Ibas), St. Dioscorus in turn denied their third summons, seeing that he will not get a fair trial from those who decided to convene without letting the judges know.  This to me is not good "procedure."  My source is Fr. VC Samuel, "The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined."

God bless you.
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« Reply #49 on: August 22, 2005, 07:37:33 AM »

Pedro,

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As to the idea EA brought up (a while ago, iirc) about Chalcedon being naturally and easily misunderstood, I would offer that not everything that is easily misunderstood is therefore to be changed and/or rejected.


I am not saying that Chalcedon should be rejected per se, rather its status should be re-assessed — it should not be reasonably expected of the Oriental Orthodox Church to accept Chalcedon on your terms i.e. as an Ecumenical Council of Dogmatic authority.

I assume Xaira is implicating the idea (and she may correct me if I have incorrectly imputed this implication upon what she is saying) that from the mid-fifth century schism, the Eastern Church went in its own direction developing its own Christological tradition rooted in the Christology of St Cyril and elaborated upon, developed, and understood in the context of the latter four councils and the works of EO theologians such as St John the Damascene and Maximus the Confessor. Likewise, the Oriental Church went in its own direction developing its own Christological tradition rooted in the Christology of St Cyril and elaborated upon, developed, and understood in the context of post-Chalcedonian OO councils and the works of OO theologians such as St Severus of Antioch and St Philoxenus of Mabbough. Although I may beg to differ with her regarding the role that St Cyril’s Christology plays in each “tradition”, the fact you have agreed with her post (I assume) and thereby her implications, means that you should essentially agree that any re-union pre-requisite that the OO submit to the very council that divided us, as an Ecumenical and Dogmatically binding Synod, is unreasonable — for that would mean you are imposing your tradition on us, thereby attempting to vindicate it above our very own tradition by which we, the OO Church, have maintained the Christological faith of the Apostolic Orthodox Church.

The most liberal, yet reasonable stance I as an OO believer could possibly take with respect to Chalcedon, is to regard it as Orthodox tradition (lower case 't') of the Eastern Church, but not as The Tradition (upper case 't') as GiC would erroneously have us believe.

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As a former Evangelical Protestant, I misunderstood--and most of my friends who are still Evangelical Protestants still misunderstand--what the equally-sized and symetrically-placed icons

This analogy does not hold, simply because my argument regarding the reasonable misinterpretation of Chalcedon is directed specifically at its alleged Ecumenicity. Unlike icons, a fundamental function of an Ecumenical Council is to clearly and explicitly define Orthodox doctrine in the face of heresy - as a result, it should neither be reasonably misinterpreted for the heresy it is supposed to be dealing with, nor for an heresy already previously dealt with by a former Ecumenical Synod.

Peace.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2005, 07:40:33 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: August 22, 2005, 08:13:51 AM »

greekischristian,

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First, there is not circular reasoning, my reasoning is quite straight forward:

There is nothing straightforward or objective about your reasoning, for you have yet to substantiate any of the presuppositions I have repeatedly pointed out to you; as a result, I will simply keep repeating myself, not because I enjoy chasing after those who simply ‘don’t get it’, but rather because the more you consistently ignore dealing with flaws of your approach to this subject, the more service you in fact do for my position.

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A Council is Made Oecumenical via Procedure; Chalcedon had the Correct Procedure; therefore Chlacedon is an Oecumenical Synod;


This is clearly circular reasoning to anyone who has the slightest grasp on logic, for your whole argument relies on your importing an unwarranted presupposition regarding the validity of your purported procedure which is disconnected from theological consideration, and which in turn lies on a presupposition of its own; that the Imperial Authorities and those who followed them, had not apostatized from the Church in the first place. So essentially your argument is: “Chalcedon is Ecumenical, because Chalcedonians - of which the Imperial authorities were - perseveringly declared its Ecumenicity at subsequent Imperial Synods.” The ultimate underlying presupposition of your whole argument therefore, is that Chalcedon is an Ecumenical Council, for by use of reductio ad absurdum, if we were to assume the converse for arguments sake (i.e. that Chalcedon was not an Ecumenical Council), such that at the time, those involved: the Imperial authorities + the 4 Patriarchates and all in communion with them ,had apostatized from the Church through the event of Chalcedon, then any appeal to their subsequent conception of Chalcedon - declared whether perseveringly or momentarily, by an Imperial Synod or a non-Imperial Synod -ÂÂ  would ultimately be to appeal to the schismatics conception of their own schismatic council as Ecumenical, as a proof of that very schismatic councils' Ecumenicity.

So again, we ask you again for the umpteenth time — please deduce the Ecumenicity of Chalcedon, without first presupposing it. If, by assuming its non-Ecumenicity your presupposed procedural criteria leads you to an absurd conclusion or contradiction as proven above, then you know that your argument lacks objectivity and is deprived of any logical coherence.

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thus, if the Standard of the Oecumenicity of a Synod is its Doctrine, THAT is Circular Reasoning.

That is not what I said. So not only are you incapable of giving logically coherent arguments, but you also had to misrepresent my position. I challenge you to find that statement of mine where I stated or implied that Doctrine was the “Standard” in determining a council’s Ecumenicity; Doctrine is essential, but not sufficient; that Chalcedon lacks this essential element, is the deductive argument against its Ecumenicity. This is not circular reasoning, nor have you proven that it is by your mere assertion. Before the event of Chalcedon, an Orthodox Christology had been determined and vindicated as Orthodoxy, and its opposing tradition had been defeated, and the proponents of that opposing tradition condemned and anathematized. We therefore have a measuring stick by which Chalcedon can be judged. If Chalcedon (considered in its immediate historical context, and not anachronistically in the context of later councils) affirms and confirms, is consistent and harmonious, with that very Tradition, then it may indeed qualify as an Ecumenical Council, thouugh this would not suffice in confirming it as an Ecumenical Council. I submit, that in considering the Doctrinal proclamations of Chalcedon as they would honestly and reasonably be interpreted by the reasonable person (to use a legal standard), that Chalcedon according to the standard of pre-Chalcedonian Orthodox Tradition, was either a) heretical b) crypto-heretical c) theologically ambiguous and impotent to the extent it could reasonably be interpreted as a) or b).

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Furthermore, Chalcedon was quite clear in her declaration

I beg to differ.

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she insisted that Christ was One Person, and then she went on to Insist that He was one Person in Two Nature; clearly a different profession of faith than that of the Nestorians.

Actually, you are quite incorrect. Nestorians could, and did, easily affirm both propositions. Furthermore, whereas affirming that Christ is One Person does not negate Nestorianism; affirming that Christ is One Person existing IN two natures, actually promotes Nestorianism. I have personally already proven this in certain previous discussions of which you were apart, so if you want me to do your homework for you and re-paste the arguments, then I will.

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The ONLY way it could have been misunderstood is by people who delibrately attempted to misunderstand and twist the words of the Synod, such as the Nestorians and Monophysites.

I have news for you: a) monophysites never existed. Your assembly of schism was fighting a heresy which was the creation of its own imagination — another fact mocking the very idea that this was ever an Ecumenical Council b) Nestorian love for your council, was motivated by a reasonable and honest belief on their behalf, that in the context of the fact that their hero’s (the arch-enemies of the blessed St Cyril) were vindicated and exonerated at Chalcedon, as well as the fact no doctrinal proclamation made at Chalcedon negated (though in fact reasonably implied) Nestorianism, that their Christology had finally been redeemed as Orthodoxy. Nestorius felt relief over reading that tome; it’s not like he was opposed to it and thence sought to strenuously twist it to conform with his doctrine; he had the honest and reasonable belief that finally, Nestorianism had prevailed in the Church, and to quote him again (I know it hurts, but I have to..) he “thanked God because the Church of Rome held to an orthodox confession of faith.”

“God Bless Leo and the council of Chalcedon, they finally found the truth of Nestorianism” is what essentially puts the Nestorian response to Chalcedon in context.

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Since subsequent Imperial Synods determine the Oecumenicity of previous Synods, the posistion of Justinian is quite relevant.

Your appeal to subsequent Imperial Synods which in turn presupposes their own validity in order to determine the validity of Chalcedon as an Ecumenical Council is circular reasoning. Please see above for a more in-depth and explicit discussion regarding your logical ineptness.

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And their 'own personal political interest' was Unity.

You’re making this too easy for me; I thought this discussion would lead me back into my books in order to dig up references and quotes to provide the necessary documentation and evidence for a reasonable discussion of this sort. Fortunately for me, you are incapable of objective discussion, hence I will play ‘battle of the assertions’ with you, until you wake up to yourself.

So, my response: “Their ‘own political interest’ was to undermine the See of Alexandria.’”

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Well, four Patriarchates accepted the Synod, and only One Rejected it, and that Patriarch was Deposed by the unanimous consent of the other four

We’re still waiting for you to justify the absurd and unwarranted presupposition that what the “majority of the patriarchates” decide or say, becomes the standard of the Church, such that where the “majority of the patriarchates” go, the Church is also. The very question that is the subject of our discussion is 1) “Was Chalcedon an Ecumenical Council?” which can essentially be re-worded 2) “Did those who supported Chalcedon get it right, and understand it correctly throughout history?” which in turn essentially asks 3) “Did the majority of the patriarchates in their support of Chalcedon break communion with the Church?”. When we look at the inter-relationship and inter-dependency of these three questions which are inextricably connected, it becomes clear to the prudent minded observer, that you have once again presupposed what you have yet to prove.

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and another installed; from that day forth, all five Patriarchates have accepted the Synod as Oecumenical

If “installed patriarchs” count, then I guess we likewise have the universal rejection of Chalcedon, for there are Oriental Orthodox Patriarchates of Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Antioch.

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but hardly representing the Church as a whole.

The Church is defined by the Truth. If 4/5 Patriarchates departed from that truth, then they no longer represent the Church. Period.

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And from the perspective of the Nestorians they are the true church and Nestorius was never deposed, and the Council of Ephesus deposed itself through false actions. In both cases, the objection of the deposed are irrelevant

Again, your attempt at an analogy fails. The deposition of Nestorius was on the grounds that he was a heretic who refused to submit to an Orthodox Christology. Those who objected to his ex-communication, did so on the belief that Nestorius’ Christology was Orthodox, and that St Cyril’s Christology was in fact a heresy. Their claim that Nestorianism was Orthodox, as opposed to what we may call Cyrillianism, is debunked upon the grounds that Cyrillianism is more consonant with pre-Ephesian Tradition — The Scriptures, and the writings of the pre-Ephesian Fathers.

St Dioscorus however, was not deposed for heresy, nor did he ever adopt heresy. If I were defending St Dioscorus on the grounds that as an adherent of monophysitism, his deposition was unwarranted since monophysitism was Orthodoxy, then you would have a valid analogy. However, the only argument you have brought forth so far regarding the validity of St Dioscorus’ deposition, was that he was summoned thrice and failed to show. This charge has been answered, and now the onus is on you to give a plausible argument disproving the reasons given to you regarding his failure to respond to his summons, else resort to another desperate attempted justification.

I just love this next bit…:

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I said:

According to your theory, if you were to be consistent (and let us pray you are at least capable of this), you would have to conclude that regardless of the Scriptural and patristic evidence regarding the Holy Trinity and the Divinity of Christ, that had the emperor at the time been an Arian heretic himself, and had the majority of the patriarchates adopted the arian heresy, such that this heresy was declared truth at an Imperial Synod which perseveringly insisted on Arianism, that “the faction” holding steadfast to the Apostolic Tradition in opposition to such councils, would be “out of the Church”, and the Arians defining the Church.

Your response:

Yes, I do accept that conclusion.

So you have admitted that your “procedure argument” is capable of justifying a group of schismatic heretics under the guise of “The Orthodox Church” when in reality those opposed to them would be “The Orthodox Church”…yet this same “procedure argument” is being employed by yourself to justify and draw a logical conclusion regarding the Chalcedonian Church’s status as “The Orthodox Church” over and above the Oriental Orthodox Church lol...........

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But the fact that that scenario did not transpire is evidence of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Church.

Yes it indeed may be considered as such, but had the event may have transpired nonetheless (i.e. it's not impossible), and had it so transpired, then the Holy Spirit’s work would still be evident regardless, through that very anti-Arian Orthodox faction (i.e. The Church) which would have refused to submit to the imperial authorities who had apostatized from the Church. Thus regardless of whether or not such an event did transpire at Nicaea, and regardless of the fact that it did not transpire in fact ranspite at Nicaea and that we can attribute this to the Mercy of the Holy Spirit - as long as the possibility of it transpiring exists, then your procedural argument is nothing less than a joke. It is like me proposing the scenario for example, of driving to university and dying in a car accident; that that scenario did not transpire is evidence of the Holy Spirit preserving my life, for as I pray every morning and night from the Hour prayers of the Coptic Agpeya “…for You have protected, assisted, preserved and accepted us, had compassion upon us and have brought us till this hour.” However had the scenario transpired nonetheless, those still alive could not claim that the Holy Spirit was ineffective or powerless due to the transpiration of such an event.

We can make a more befitting analogy to the current situation of the Orthodox Church, we (and I will regard our Church’s as one simply for the purpose of this analogy) are the minority group of the Christian world — the heretics have indeed prevailed as majority, and wll the Patriarchates are under the yoke of heretical State authorities. Now if the situation were different, and I had proposed this potential scenario for you in the fourth century when things were much different, I’m sure you would have made the same appeal to the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately this appeal proves nothing for you.

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The Holy Spirit does not guide our Judicial System, it does guide our Church.

Again with the circular arguments. Yes, GiC, we know that the Holy Spirit guides the Church, but if Chalcedon was not an Ecumenical Council but rather a council of schism, then Chalcedonians do not represent the Church, and Chalcedon itself was not the work of the Holy Spirit. Stop presupposing what you have yet to prove. The analogy I made to the judicial system has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit, it has to do with the concept of justifying error by procedure, which bears on the argument you are attempting to make. The Holy Spirit guides the judicial system about as much as He guides your “procedure”.

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There are no such Oecumenical Synods, because all the misinterpretations are quite unreasonable

Again we plead with you to stop presupposing what you are yet to prove. I agree, that an Oecumenical Synod cannot be reasonably misinterpreted as heretical. The fact Chalcedon was reasonably interpreted/misinterpreted (depending on which assumption we are willing to grant you) as heretical, therefore proves that it was not an Oecumenical Synod. It is more than reasonable to interpret a council as Nestorian, in the context of its exoneration of Nestorian heretics and their documents, as well as the employment of Nestorian terms and expressions, and especially when that Council fails to clarify the nature of the hypostatic union, and refuses to adopt St Cyril’s terms and expressions, which officially negate Nestorianism.

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The issue of dispute was the term 'homoousios' which had been used by Paul of Samosata and was considered, by the Semi-Arians, to be a Sabellian forumula.


Again, your analogy falls. Ecumenical Council’s are called upon to define doctrine in the face of a specific heresy, in order to ultimately unite and strengthen the One True Church against the heretics attempting to infect the Church with their heresy, such that true doctrine is clearly and explicitly established in opposition to the very heresy being dealt with. The Council of Nicaea was primarily facing Arianism, and not Sabellianism — its main concern was the essential relationship between the Father and Son in terms of substance/essence. In explicitly and clearly affirming the equality in essence/substance of Father and Son (to refute the notion that the Son is of an inferior substance), as well as their mutual eternality i.e. the eternal begetting of The Son (in order to refute the notion that The Son is created), Nicea had accomplished its mission.

That the Sabellians could interpret homoousios for their own purposes, is not a reflection of its improper usage. The consubstantiality of The Son to the Father is a principle compatible with both Orthodox and Sabellian Theology, and its usage in both contexts is Orthodox in any event. Affirming the consubstantiality of the Son to the Father does not deny their personhood. Nicaea is not to blame.

The same cannot be said of the Orthodox Church’s interpretation of Chalcedon. A) The Orthodox Church did not adhere to heretical doctrine, as for example, the Sabellians did, and hence their interpretation of Chalcedon was not motivated by the adoption of heresy in the first place B) Unlike Nicaea, which was neither essentially dealing with sabellianism, and which also did not follow an Ecumenical Council that had already dealt with sabellianism, Chalcedon directly followed an Ecumenical Synod that had dealt with Nestorianism, and (if we are to assume that its intentions were pure) was itself concerned with Nestorianism for it allegedly attempted to reconcile the two Christological schools of thought (and regardless of intention, it was inevitably unsuccessful in this), and thus it had a duty to clearly and explicitly refute the Nestorian doctrine, especially considering the sensitive atmosphere at that period of time C) Unlike the homoousios formula which affirms a principle intrinsic to both Orthodoxy and Sabellianism, such that its corollary implications do not discriminate one against the other (i.e. it essentially needs to be qualified in order to be understood in either an Orthodox or sabellian context), the “IN” two natures formula, as an example, cannot be said to have reasonably been understood in an Orthodox context at the time, and was in fact previously used to affirm a heretical principle (as opposed to homoousios which affirmed an Orthodox principle which is compatible with the Sabellian heresy).

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The Moslems are most free to believe the Quran is the 'Word of God,' and you are free to reject the last four Oecumenical Synods; but neither your nor they can be in Communion with the Orthodox Church while continuing in such a belief.

Neither you, nor the Islamic can be in communion with the Orthodox Church unless you both stop presupposing what you have yet to prove, for the Islamic insistence on the Quran as ‘The Word of God’ in addition to the Chalcedonian insistence on your latter four councils as Ecumenical, is not one motivated by any objective or logically valid reasoning.

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That’s possible; but assuming that you’re consistent in your logically fallacious style of circular argumentation, I would assume that your first going to presuppose the Ecumenicity of the Synod first to then blasphemously claim the true and universally accepted Tradition of the Church a “false” tradition; it’s obviously difficult for you to conceive the mere fact that your Church is in schism, and hence it is falsified by the Tradition it undermined (whether subjectively according to intent, or objectively according to the reasonable persons reasonable interpretation of it)— that Tradition being grounded in a previous Ecumenical Council, and the patristic writings of pre-Chalcedonian Doctors of the Faith.

Hmmm, so now the Manifest teachings of the Holy Spirit are Blasphemy? You'll forgive me if I don't want to go there.

You have already gone there, which was the point of my quote to which you were responding. It was you who suggested that an Ecumenical Council, in defining Tradition, may overturn or undermine the already revealed, established, and confirmed Tradition known beforehand. If this is the work of the Holy Spirit, then we do not believe in the same Holy Spirit, for I know Him as the infinite and consistent revealer of Truth, and not as a schizophrenic who reveals something on one occasion and then changes His mind by overturning that revelation on another.

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So now the teachings of the Holy Spirit are the words of Baal, I don't know if that's a substantial improvement. While I do not know that I would say that the follows of Baal were totally devoid of all grace and truth; equating him with the Holy Spirit is probably going a bit far.

I realise that such comments come at the end of your post, and that by that stage you were probably feeling quite uneasy about the fact you had to resort to the inept level of argumentation that has been dealt with and broken down above. I will therefore forgive and ignore your desperate appeal to sarcasm.

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I do believe I have asked before, and was not answered

I do believe that when you asked, you were answered…almost 2 months ago to be precise:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=6373.msg85531#msg85531

Peace.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2005, 08:14:44 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: August 23, 2005, 01:33:18 AM »

I really hope my message didn't come out as to further more dissentions.  The point of my post is not to win arguments, but to expose things about history that aren't given much attention, which leads us to a one-sided view of trying to prove one's value of a church as a Church over another.

The fact of the matter is the more you read certain things in history about the Chalcedonian schism and their descendants, the more you find a truth to the similarity of the oneness of the Church that we have thought was divided dogmatically.  I come and defend my own church only because I see others misrepresenting it, but I am by no means attacking.

The question is whether unity will be achieved.  With all the historical information we've learned in this century (actually in the past century), it's impossible not to be optimistic and hopeful.  It's impossible not to admit to the hard cold facts and see for yourselves there is no difference in the dogma confessed.  And it's impossible not to notice all the other efforts by OO and EO heirarchy and their congregations that want to achieve, and in fact participate in the eventual consummation of a union.

If skeptic EO's are serious about their own claims, they should read the research our OO scholars have presented and at least make an attempt to counter it with cold hard proofs against us.  However, if that cannot be done, then truth be told, we are one Orthodox Church after all.

God bless.
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« Reply #52 on: August 23, 2005, 01:50:03 AM »

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If skeptic EO's are serious about their own claims, they should read the research our OO scholars have presented and at least make an attempt to counter it with cold hard proofs against us.  However, if that cannot be done, then truth be told, we are one Orthodox Church after all.

What a pompous and arrogant assumption that the Orthodox who don't buy into the anti-chaldean claims haven't researched history or are ignorant of scholarship on the matter.  I can disagree with others conclusions without saying they aren't serious etc. 
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« Reply #53 on: August 23, 2005, 05:15:21 AM »

I've just come back from my evening walk. The daffodils look lovely in the evening light.
How wonderful are Thy works o Lord! In wisdom Thou hast made them all!
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« Reply #54 on: August 23, 2005, 05:24:17 AM »

Dear Silouan,

I think you are misunderstanding Mina here. He seems to be speaking out of experience, not arrogance. For Mina places his post in a humble spirit right at the beginning:
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I really hope my message didn't come out as to further more dissentions.  The point of my post is not to win arguments, but to expose things about history that aren't given much attention, which leads us to a one-sided view of trying to prove one's value of a church as a Church over another.
It seems he is trying to write dispassionately, and merely wants to correct misrepresentations (as he says later on) in order to establish true dialogue. Something we should welcome, I believe. Mina's post is a brave attempt to transcend the polemics, and knowledgable EO's like yourself, could be very helpful in dialogue on grassroots level (we're not hierarchs, but we are part of the Church and can work towards fulfilling Christ's command of unity on our own level).

There is also no anti-Chalcedonism in Mina, perhaps the forceful style of EK suggests such an attitude, but I am not convinced he in fact is anti-chalcedonian either. Looks like this is a red herring.

The point Mina makes remains unanswered. If we take our Common Declarations seriously, we must admit that our separation was schismatic, but not dogmatic. And many Eastern Orthodox are unaware of OO studies and scholarship. At the same time it must be admitted that many OO are not aware of EO studies on St. Leo of Rome, though those who are aware, usually acknowledge that St. Leo is confessing the same dogma that St. Cyril formulated differently. Mina, whom I have known for a while now, is one of these knowledgable OO's.

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« Reply #55 on: August 23, 2005, 05:34:42 AM »

OzGeorge,

You seem to hit the nail on the head,.. At least according to St. Gregory of Nyssa Wink

"Now the man that has been instructed in the Divine Mysteries is surely aware that the life that bears a likeness to the Divine is completely in accord with human nature. The lfe of the senses, however, which is transacted by the operation of our sense faculties, is bestowed upon our nature that the perception of sense phenomena might lead the soul to the knowledge of the invisible, as the Book of Wisdom says: "by the grandeur of the beauty of creatures we may by analogy see the Creator of all things (Wisdom 13, 5). But man, in his lack of wisdom, does not penetrate the phenomena to see what is truly to be admired, and admires instead what he sees.

Now since the sense function is only temporary and short lived, we learn from that profound words of our text (Ecclesiastes 1, 2) that he who sees thus sees nothing. But the man who penetrating sense phenomena proceeds to an intuition of being, and perceives the permanent nature under that which is constantly changing, and enjoys the comprehension of that which is always the same, it is he who sees the highest good and is in possession of what he sees. For the knowledge of this good is indeed its posession."

From Glory to Glory p. 84-85.

Off-topic,.. sorry,..

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« Reply #56 on: August 23, 2005, 01:13:22 PM »

To quote Fr. Alexios of the Athonite monastery Karakallou:

"Ecumenism does not really have the humility to listen to another perspective apart from its own, especially if it suggests that ecumenism is itself a lie. Ecumenism allows for comparisons, but not conclusions that one tradition is more genuine than another. And in the end, ecumenism discourages any decisive action that would be in opposition to its own goals. In truth, Christ’s words to the Pharisees apply to the ecumenists, "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”"
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« Reply #57 on: August 23, 2005, 01:25:52 PM »

Dear Silouan,

How are we to achieve dialogue if you simply disclose my arguments as nothing but an ecumenist heretic who deserves no reply?  It is in fact, what I see traditionalist EO's do, like ROCOR, is similar to the Pharisees.  Just as the Pharisees stick close to Moses and his laws, so you must stick close to Leo, Chalcedon, and their laws, not following the spirit or its intentions of protecting dogma, but simply blindly.

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Ecumenism allows for comparisons, but not conclusions that one tradition is more genuine than another.

If truly you want to find a tradition that is more genuine than the other, I can argue very simply that Chalcedon's condemnation of St. Dioscorus was not the work of the Holy Spirit.

There's a difference between false ecumenism and true ecumenism.  To compare the OO-EO trends as similar to other ecumenistic trends around this world is a false and narrow-minded view.  I suggest you read this thoughtful article by Subdeacon Peter Theodore:

http://www.britishorthodox.org/107d.php

I hope you consider being part of the dialogue and not simply give unnecessary shouts of "ecumenism."  I have defended my OO fathers.  If there's anything I said wrong, then I expect you as a consistent "anti-ecumenist" to counter my specific defenses.  Perhaps, I am blind of the truth and it could be in the EO Church.  Enlighten me please.

God bless you.
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« Reply #58 on: August 23, 2005, 01:37:30 PM »


"There exist between the Church and the Churches not only a relationship of mutual expulsion but also one of concordance. This is simultaneously something already given and something we must attain to."

"We are now faced by the strange and provoking sight of Christians praying to God and their Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, in separate communities. Moreobver, this division is enforced in the rules of the Church, which arose, it is true, in the fourth and fifth centuries, but which retain even now the force of actual law. They have not been cancelled formally, although Life itself cancels them."

Fr. Sergius Bulgakov


"We have inherited from our fathers in Christ the one apostolic faith and tradition, though as Churches we have been separated from each other for centuries. As two families of Orthodox Churches long out of communion with each other we now pray and trust in God to restore that communion on the basis of the common apostolic faith of the undivided church of the first centuries which we confess in our common creed. What follows is a simple reverent statement of what we do believe on our way to restore communion between our two families of Orthodox Churches.

Throughout our discussions we have found our common ground in the formula of our common Father, St. Cyril of Alexandria : mia physis hypostasis (he mia hypostasis) tou Theou Logou sesarkomene, and in the dictum that "it is sufficient for the confession of our true and irreproachable faith to say and to confess that the Holy Virgin is Theotokos" (Hom : 15, cf. Ep. 39). "

First Agreed Statement between the Eastern and Orthodox Churches, 1989.


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« Reply #59 on: August 23, 2005, 01:38:54 PM »

Just a side question... if a Council is made ecumenical by correct proceedure, then why is the Fourth Council of Constantinople not accepted by the East? The 869-870 AD one.

Because subsequent Imperial Synods were not all in agreement regarding the Oecumenicity of Constantinople IV, but all that mentione it confirm its Orthodoxy; thus we have the situtation in Orthodox Canon Law where it is not regarded as an Oecumenical Synod (and would probably require another Oecumenical Synod declaring it so if it ever is to be regarded as one), however it is given comprable respect and Authority.

I fail to see how "Procedure" proves anything. By that logic, as EA have said before, an Arian council done in a correct "procedure" should be ecumenical.

And I agree, it would be Oecumenical if it followed the Correct Procedure. Since Oecumenical Synods Define proper Theology, they CANNOT be Defined by it, they must be above the Theology, not subject to it.

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In addition, why include Imperial forces in the "procedure"? Before the Church was involved in an empire, the Apostles themselves held a council, dare I say "ecumenical," in Jerusalem.

It was not an Oecumenical Synod, for it was not a synod of the Oecumene, that is to say of the Imperial World, and no one numbers it as such, it is and has been regarded as an Apostolic Synod.

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We also as OO have held a council in Ephesus held by St. Timothy, known as the "Third Council of Ephesus," accepted by the Emperor as well as over 500 bishops unanimously, condemning both Eutychianism and Nestorianism (and Chalcedonianism, which was understood to be Nestorian at the time). We followed correct procedure. We OO's are still around. Heck, we even have more diverse liturgical traditions than the EO (as a matter of fact, the only tradition the EO has is that of the Byzantine rite!). Shouldn't that prove that somehow along the line, the Byzantines seem to lose "ecumenicity" over its original bishops? Shouldn't that at least show that we as well followed correct procedure, and unlike the Arian disappearance after a couple of centuries, we were here enduring Islamic (and Chalcedonian) persecutions after 15 centuries, still alive and well ecumenically among our sister churches?

The Procedure that I mentioned was continued acceptance by Imperial Synods, so no it does not follow correct Procedure.

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I suggest you read Fr. VC Samuel's book "The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined." He provided ample proof using the minutes of Chalcedon. Frankly, the bishops weren't ready to accept the Definition of Chalcedon, but because Leo imposed a Papal authority, the bishops felt, as the attitude of the Chalcedonian minutes showed, forced to accept the definition. Afterwards, while the procedure was all correct, it resulted in more mayhem than unity. The Arians themselves held a counter council against Nicea with Imperial help! They followed procedure, and yet St. Athanasius the contra mundum, stayed alive.

Why should I read Fr. VC Samuel when I have such great Fathers as St. Leo the Great available to me as my teachers? Concerning the Arians one (or maybe two, though I think the second one was semi-arian) Imperial Synod supporting them hardly constitutes continued acceptance by subsequent Imperial Synods; the First Synod of Chalcedon in 381 put an end to any sympathy they might have once received.

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I do not mean to say Chalcedon was a heretical council. This is not my intention. If you read up on St. Dioscorus' life and beliefs, you will find that Chalcedon erred on deposing a saintly man, although it did not err in dogma (and neither did St. Dioscorus). May I add that I did answer your question before, and provided you with a source, which, although secondary, uses the minutes of Chalcedon from Mansi to prove his point. According to the minutes, St. Dioscorus was indeed under house arrest. The first summons was a failure to remove him from house arrest without Imperial permission. The second summons resulted in the request from St. Dioscorus to bring the other five men and the Imperial judges to appear before the council on that summons. After a denial from Domnus and others in the council (which included Theodoret and Ibas), St. Dioscorus in turn denied their third summons, seeing that he will not get a fair trial from those who decided to convene without letting the judges know. This to me is not good "procedure." My source is Fr. VC Samuel, "The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined."

My apologies, I far I did not see your response when initially posted, or at least do not remember having seen it. But in any case, taking this account as accurate, it must be noted that amongst the reasons for giving someone three summons is incase they are not able to make one or even two, Dioscorus' failure to heed the first Summons may be excusable if indeed he was prohibited from doing so by the Imperial Authorities; however, his excuses to refuse the second and third summons are not excusable, if he had an objection to how the Council was being ran, he should have appealed to the Emperor; but regardless, he should have presented himself and argued his case. Dioscorus was truly in violation of the Canons of the Church, and was justly deposed for his Failure to attend the Synod. He could not have been condemned for his theology at the time, however, because he was unwilling to appear before the Synod and clarify what his Theology actually was; as his teachings later became clear, they were understood to be contrary to the Decrees of the Synod of Chalcedon, and hence was eventually condemned at Constantinople II on Doctrinal Grounds.

I understand you wish to approach this division in a more peaceful manner than either I or EkhristosAnesti have; but trying to sweep issues under the table, as I believe many of the bilateral dialogues have, and thus will not be helpful in the long run; and if they do, heaven forbid, result in a union, it would be a false union based on inadequate understanding of the several issues at hand, and a union bound to fail.
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« Reply #60 on: August 23, 2005, 02:39:02 PM »

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How are we to achieve dialogue if you simply disclose my arguments as nothing but an ecumenist heretic who deserves no reply?  It is in fact, what I see traditionalist EO's do, like ROCOR, is similar to the Pharisees.  Just as the Pharisees stick close to Moses and his laws, so you must stick close to Leo, Chalcedon, and their laws, not following the spirit or its intentions of protecting dogma, but simply blindly.

There you go again... 

Those who oppose you view point are automaticly pharisees and blinded etc. 

For the anti-Chaldean case to be correct several other points must also be so:

The Tome of St. Leo must be Nestorian and decisively so

The Theology of the Non-Chaldeans must not be monophysite

And that St. Kyril was decidedely opposed to the Chaldean formula

In response to the first point:  At most the Tome could be construed to be read from a Nestorian perspective.  But a lot of patristic things if read from the wrong perspective can be taken incorrectly - imagine all how easily "God became man so that men might become gods" could be twisted by heretics.  The fact remains that St. Leo and Chaldeans comdemn Nestorios and uphold the council of Ephesos.  So to call the tome of St. Leo Nestorian is a huge twisting of the facts. 

The second point:  While this is really a matter too much for a mere internet forum, I would suggest the Theopaschitism of the worship of the anti-chaldeans in their Trisagion.  Of course there are many more examples of this, especially of anti-chaldeans being simply unwilling to emphatically reject monophysitism.  But I don't have time to type all this out as of now.

The third point:  http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_history.aspx
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« Reply #61 on: August 23, 2005, 03:07:50 PM »

This is clearly circular reasoning to anyone who has the slightest grasp on logic, for your whole argument relies on your importing an unwarranted presupposition regarding the validity of your purported procedure which is disconnected from theological consideration, and which in turn lies on a presupposition of its own; that the Imperial Authorities and those who followed them, had not apostatized from the Church in the first place. So essentially your argument is: “Chalcedon is Ecumenical, because Chalcedonians - of which the Imperial authorities were - perseveringly declared its Ecumenicity at subsequent Imperial Synods.” The ultimate underlying presupposition of your whole argument therefore, is that Chalcedon is an Ecumenical Council

Not exactly, that Chalcedon is an Oecumenical Synod is an conclusion based on the Assumption that the Emperor is the Guardian and Protector of the Church and her Synods. And that Imperial Authority is, in the most literal sense of the word, Oecumenical Authority. The assumption is the authority of the Emperor and the Imperial Church, the Oecumenicity of Chalcedon is simply a corollary.

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So again, we ask you again for the umpteenth time — please deduce the Ecumenicity of Chalcedon, without first presupposing it. If, by assuming its non-Ecumenicity your presupposed procedural criteria leads you to an absurd conclusion or contradiction as proven above, then you know that your argument lacks objectivity and is deprived of any logical coherence.

My argument may lack objectivity from your point of view, but it is expected that someone who opposes the Imperial Authorities would libel them; however, they are logically coherent.

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That is not what I said. So not only are you incapable of giving logically coherent arguments, but you also had to misrepresent my position. I challenge you to find that statement of mine where I stated or implied that Doctrine was the “Standard” in determining a council’s Ecumenicity; Doctrine is essential, but not sufficient;

Which is where we disagree. Oecumenical Synods define true Doctrine, and hence must be above it, if doctrine is an essential element of making a Synod Oecumenical, then we would be free to pick and choose not only what Councils we regard as Oecumenical, but also what doctrines we wish to believe. I could one day say, hey, I like Arian Christology, and believe it to be true, since Nicea was anti-Arian, and I believe Arianism to be true, obviously I am not bound by Nicea and obviously it was not an Oecumenical Synod because it failed to defend true Doctrine; and you know, I could probably even give a pretty good defence of Arianism based on Scripture and early Church fathers, just as Arius did, to defend this posistion. The implication of what you suggest is, essentially, protestantism.

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Actually, you are quite incorrect. Nestorians could, and did, easily affirm both propositions. Furthermore, whereas affirming that Christ is One Person does not negate Nestorianism; affirming that Christ is One Person existing IN two natures, actually promotes Nestorianism. I have personally already proven this in certain previous discussions of which you were apart, so if you want me to do your homework for you and re-paste the arguments, then I will.

Insofar as the Nestorians agreed with Chalcedon they were Orthodox; but if they had adopted the formula of One Person in Two Natures and confessed that Mary was truly the 'Theotokos' and not simply 'Christokos,' they're not really Nestorians as condemned by Ephesus, now are they? If they do not adopt these formulae, then they are not in agreement with Chalcedon, regardless of what any heretical sect claims.

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I have news for you: a) monophysites never existed.

I could have sworn that there was one sect out there that believes that Christ has only One (mono) Nature (physis)...but of course, my memory could be failing me. As you have been so happy to point out on numerous occasions, my logical abilities seem to be impaired.

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Your assembly of schism was fighting a heresy which was the creation of its own imagination — another fact mocking the very idea that this was ever an Ecumenical Council

Actually it was fighting a real heresy that denied Christ had two Natures.

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b) Nestorian love for your council, was motivated by a reasonable and honest belief on their behalf, that in the context of the fact that their hero’s (the arch-enemies of the blessed St Cyril) were vindicated and exonerated at Chalcedon, as well as the fact no doctrinal proclamation made at Chalcedon negated (though in fact reasonably implied) Nestorianism, that their Christology had finally been redeemed as Orthodoxy. Nestorius felt relief over reading that tome; it’s not like he was opposed to it and thence sought to strenuously twist it to conform with his doctrine; he had the honest and reasonable belief that finally, Nestorianism had prevailed in the Church, and to quote him again (I know it hurts, but I have to..) he “thanked God because the Church of Rome held to an orthodox confession of faith.”

Ah yes, what better way to vindicate Nestorius than to pronounce additional anathemas on him...I'm having a hard time seeing how anathematizing someone is vindicating him, but it must just be my lack of logical abilities. I also find it interesting that you are not qualified to speak as to the motivation and integrity of the Nestorians; you seem to think so highly of them, perhaps you should consider dialogue with the Assyrian Church of the East rather than the Orthodox Church, perhaps you could hold a joint council where they condemn us for being Apollinarians and you Condemn us for being Nestorians, now wouldn't that be fun? Too bad there arn't any Arians around, they could condemn us for being Sabellians.

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“God Bless Leo and the council of Chalcedon, they finally found the truth of Nestorianism” is what essentially puts the Nestorian response to Chalcedon in context.

Well, in that case, perhaps the question we should be considering is whether or not we made a mistake in Anathematizing Nestorius at Ephesus...could have all just been a big misunderstanding. (It's just as likely as Chalcedon being just a misunderstanding).

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So, my response: “Their ‘own political interest’ was to undermine the See of Alexandria.’”

Conspiracy Theories, I like these...but please tell me you have a better apologetic against our God-Appointed Emperors.

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We’re still waiting for you to justify the absurd and unwarranted presupposition that what the “majority of the patriarchates” decide or say, becomes the standard of the Church, such that where the “majority of the patriarchates” go, the Church is also. The very question that is the subject of our discussion is 1) “Was Chalcedon an Ecumenical Council?” which can essentially be re-worded 2) “Did those who supported Chalcedon get it right, and understand it correctly throughout history?” which in turn essentially asks 3) “Did the majority of the patriarchates in their support of Chalcedon break communion with the Church?”. When we look at the inter-relationship and inter-dependency of these three questions which are inextricably connected, it becomes clear to the prudent minded observer, that you have once again presupposed what you have yet to prove.

Because the Church is defined by Communion and Not Doctrine. You are trying to set up Doctrine as a Standard of the Church and of Oecumenical Synods, when It's not...it works the other way around, The Church and the Oecumenical Synods are the Standards of Doctrine.

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The Church is defined by the Truth. If 4/5 Patriarchates departed from that truth, then they no longer represent the Church. Period.

Almost, but not quite, the correct statement is that 'The Church Defines Truth.' Thus if 4/5 Patriarchates persevere in a Belief, then it is, by definition, Truth. It is written that the Church is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth...not that Truth is the Pillar and Foundation of the Church.

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Again, your attempt at an analogy fails. The deposition of Nestorius was on the grounds that he was a heretic who refused to submit to an Orthodox Christology. Those who objected to his ex-communication, did so on the belief that Nestorius’ Christology was Orthodox, and that St Cyril’s Christology was in fact a heresy. Their claim that Nestorianism was Orthodox, as opposed to what we may call Cyrillianism, is debunked upon the grounds that Cyrillianism is more consonant with pre-Ephesian Tradition — The Scriptures, and the writings of the pre-Ephesian Fathers.

St Dioscorus however, was not deposed for heresy, nor did he ever adopt heresy. If I were defending St Dioscorus on the grounds that as an adherent of monophysitism, his deposition was unwarranted since monophysitism was Orthodoxy, then you would have a valid analogy. However, the only argument you have brought forth so far regarding the validity of St Dioscorus’ deposition, was that he was summoned thrice and failed to show. This charge has been answered, and now the onus is on you to give a plausible argument disproving the reasons given to you regarding his failure to respond to his summons, else resort to another desperate attempted justification.

Dioscorus was not deposed for heresy, because he would not present himself to the Synod to Defend his Posistion, it was not clear what he believed; but he was condemned, according to the Canons, for failure to appear. Later, at Constantinople II, when his posistion was quite clear, he was anathematized as a Heretic. My rejection of the poor excuse for Dioscorus to appear before the Fourth Oecumenical Synod is explained in my post above to minasoliman.

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So you have admitted that your “procedure argument” is capable of justifying a group of schismatic heretics under the guise of “The Orthodox Church” when in reality those opposed to them would be “The Orthodox Church”…yet this same “procedure argument” is being employed by yourself to justify and draw a logical conclusion regarding the Chalcedonian Church’s status as “The Orthodox Church” over and above the Oriental Orthodox Church lol...........

Yes it indeed may be considered as such, but had the event may have transpired nonetheless (i.e. it's not impossible)...

No, actually it's not possible for the event to transpire; the belief that the Gates of Hell will not Prevail against the Church leads us to the Conclusion that the Holy Spirit will Guide the Church and will not allow Heretics to persevere in the Church. The Arians could not have been victorious, by virtue of being Heretics, the Holy Spirit would not have allowed it. If a group is victorious in the Church, and their Theology prevails, they obviously they have the Blessing of the Holy Spirit, and obviously that Theology is Orthodox.

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Again with the circular arguments. Yes, GiC, we know that the Holy Spirit guides the Church, but if Chalcedon was not an Ecumenical Council but rather a council of schism...

Again, the Church is not defined by Doctrine, it's the other way around.

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The fact Chalcedon was reasonably interpreted/misinterpreted (depending on which assumption we are willing to grant you) as heretical, therefore proves that it was not an Oecumenical Synod.

But as I said before, it was not reasonably misinterpreted...it is quite clear that it was blatantly misrepresented by several heretical sects for their own purposes; specifically by the Nestorians and the Heretics that tried to Insist that Christ had only One Nature, whatever you want to call them.

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Again, your analogy falls. Ecumenical Council’s are called upon to define doctrine in the face of a specific heresy, in order to ultimately unite and strengthen the One True Church against the heretics attempting to infect the Church with their heresy, such that true doctrine is clearly and explicitly established in opposition to the very heresy being dealt with.

Actually, they are summoned by the Imperial Authority when the Emperor believes there is an issue that warrents one.

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The Council of Nicaea was primarily facing Arianism, and not Sabellianism — its main concern was the essential relationship between the Father and Son in terms of substance/essence. In explicitly and clearly affirming the equality in essence/substance of Father and Son (to refute the notion that the Son is of an inferior substance), as well as their mutual eternality i.e. the eternal begetting of The Son (in order to refute the notion that The Son is created), Nicea had accomplished its mission.

The Council of Chalcedon was primarily facing Monophysitism, and not Nestorianism — its main concern was the duality of Natures in Christ. In explicitly and clearly affirming the Two Natures of Christ (to refute the notion that Christ had only one Nature), Chalcedon had accomplished its mission.

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That the Sabellians could interpret homoousios for their own purposes, is not a reflection of its improper usage. The consubstantiality of The Son to the Father is a principle compatible with both Orthodox and Sabellian Theology, and its usage in both contexts is Orthodox in any event. Affirming the consubstantiality of the Son to the Father does not deny their personhood. Nicaea is not to blame.

That the Nestorians could interpret 'dio physis' for their own purposes, is not a reflection of its improper usage. The Two Natures of Christ is a principle compatible with both Orthodox and Nestorian Theology, and its usage in both contexts is Orthodox in any event. Affirming the Duality of Christ's Natures does not deny the Unity of His Person. Chalcedon is not to blame.

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The same cannot be said of the Orthodox Church’s interpretation of Chalcedon. A) The Orthodox Church did not adhere to heretical doctrine, as for example, the Sabellians did, and hence their interpretation of Chalcedon was not motivated by the adoption of heresy in the first place B) Unlike Nicaea, which was neither essentially dealing with sabellianism, and which also did not follow an Ecumenical Council that had already dealt with sabellianism, Chalcedon directly followed an Ecumenical Synod that had dealt with Nestorianism, and (if we are to assume that its intentions were pure) was itself concerned with Nestorianism for it allegedly attempted to reconcile the two Christological schools of thought (and regardless of intention, it was inevitably unsuccessful in this), and thus it had a duty to clearly and explicitly refute the Nestorian doctrine, especially considering the sensitive atmosphere at that period of time C) Unlike the homoousios formula which affirms a principle intrinsic to both Orthodoxy and Sabellianism, such that its corollary implications do not discriminate one against the other (i.e. it essentially needs to be qualified in order to be understood in either an Orthodox or sabellian context), the “IN” two natures formula, as an example, cannot be said to have reasonably been understood in an Orthodox context at the time, and was in fact previously used to affirm a heretical principle (as opposed to homoousios which affirmed an Orthodox principle which is compatible with the Sabellian heresy).

Just as Nicea was not Summoned to deal with Sabellianism, neither was Chalcedon summoned to deal with Nestorianism, the issue with the Nestorians was settled, now that we had agreed upon the Personhood of Christ, it was time to consider the Natures of Christ, as there was still considerable debate on that issue. Chalcedon did not try to reconcile two Christological schools of Thought, though in hindsight it did, what it tried to do, and did, was Anathematize the Heretical belief that Christ has only one Nature. You forget how recent the Sabellian controversy was at the Time of Nicea, and even some of St. Athanasios' Supporters objected to the Formula as being Sabellian and having no basis in tradition, though they eventually came around. In Two Natures is perfectly Orthodox, and was understood at the time in the Same way it always has been understood by the Orthodox; what is heretical and cannot be reasonably interpreted as Orthodox is the Profession of 'One Nature,' as the Nestorians believed Christ was Two Persons, it would be assumed they believed He had Two Natures as well, that is an Orthodox Principle that is compatable with Nestorianism, just as homoousios is an Orthodox Principle compatable with Sabellianism.

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You have already gone there, which was the point of my quote to which you were responding. It was you who suggested that an Ecumenical Council, in defining Tradition, may overturn or undermine the already revealed, established, and confirmed Tradition known beforehand. If this is the work of the Holy Spirit, then we do not believe in the same Holy Spirit, for I know Him as the infinite and consistent revealer of Truth, and not as a schizophrenic who reveals something on one occasion and then changes His mind by overturning that revelation on another.

If it is overturned by an Oecumenical Synod, then obviously it is not the Work of the Holy Spirit, but it is false doctrine and hence the work of demons.
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« Reply #62 on: August 23, 2005, 03:10:14 PM »

Dear GiC,

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The Procedure that I mentioned was continued acceptance by Imperial Synods, so no it does not follow correct Procedure.

Indeed, if that is the center of the procedure, then Chalcedon does not follow, for half, perhaps even more than half, of the church's heirarchs denied the ecumenicity of Chalcedon afterwards.  I show you proof of Ephesus 475, which was lead by Timothy, successor of Dioscorus.  The continued rejection of Chalcedon by the Miaphysite tradition and the continued acceptance of Chalcedon by another division, not greater than the OO division, shows the unecumenicity of Chalcedon in the sense of procedure.  It was continually accepted by those who adhered to a one-sided view of Christology, not by the whole empire.  Just because of three councils after Chalcedon does not mean Chalcedon is ecumenical.  The continued acceptance of Ephesus 449 and Ephesus 475 by the OO, by consistency, prove that Chalcedon is not ecumenical and that we hold, by your logic, the true ecumenical councils.  Indeed these two councils followed correct procedure by:

1.  Support of the emperor
2.  Continued upholding of their dogmas up to today

The fact of the matter is, and I'm sorry if I disagree with you on this, that Tradition by the Holy Fathers is BINDING to acceptance of ecumenicity of the council.  Ecumenicity needs:

1.  Worldwide acceptance and adherence
2.  True dogma and faith of the Holy Fathers

It is very council's affirmation that the bishops convened hold to the faith of the Holy Fathers like Athanasius, Gregory Nazienzen, Gregory of Nyssa, Basil, Cyril, etc. etc. etc.  By your logic, this affirmation is meaningless, but rather, a council can simply say "We followed correct procedure with the support of the emperor, and the continue acceptance of this synod by later generations will prove its ecumenicity" without affirming any Holy Father.

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Why should I read Fr. VC Samuel when I have such great Fathers as St. Leo the Great available to me as my teachers? Concerning the Arians one (or maybe two, though I think the second one was semi-arian) Imperial Synod supporting them hardly constitutes continued acceptance by subsequent Imperial Synods; the First Synod of Chalcedon in 381 put an end to any sympathy they might have once received.

You have every right to learn, love, read, and defend St. Leo's writings.  But what good does it make if you do not read the claims written by scholars if you do not see what the other side is saying?  The Holy Fathers when defending against heretical writings by first reading them and countering them.  If truly you believe Fr. VC Samuel and the OO fathers to be heretics, what good does it make if you did not read them to confirm this belief?  That is nothing but blind faith, my friend.

To get on with with St. Dioscorus:

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however, his excuses to refuse the second and third summons are not excusable, if he had an objection to how the Council was being ran, he should have appealed to the Emperor;

This is nearly impossible.  For St. Dioscorus to appeal to the Emperor is like asking Satan to please stop tempting me to sin.  It was clear in history that Emperor Marcian despised St. Dioscorus and wished to do away with him.

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but regardless, he should have presented himself and argued his case.

He already did.  Did you not know that the four adverbs professed in the Definition of Chalcedon was confessed openly and very clearly by St. Dioscorus himself?  He answered all the charges against him.  To try him again is like double jeopardy.  In the minutes he in fact did confess "without mingling, without confusion, without seperation, without division."  The "of" he took from his predecessor St. Cyril.  In fact, the first definition that was being drafted included this word "of," which very little bishops contended against, saying you would be like Dioscorus.  And yet many others said that what Dioscorus said was not heretical.  So there was a big fight before finally someone of Leo's side pushed for the "in two natures" and yet most bishops objected initially, for it savored of Nestorianism.

You see, St. Dioscorus was in no violation of the canons.  Ephesus 449 followed correct procedure, and no one realizes the fairness of Ephesus.  It was accepted as an ecumenical council at the time, and yet many refused, similar to Chalcedon and the refusal by many.

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He could not have been condemned for his theology at the time, however, because he was unwilling to appear before the Synod and clarify what his Theology actually was; as his teachings later became clear, they were understood to be contrary to the Decrees of the Synod of Chalcedon, and hence was eventually condemned at Constantinople II on Doctrinal Grounds.

No, this is against the facts.  As I said before, he defended his case very well.  He professed Orthodoxy and was not scared, but willing to condemn Eutyches on the basis that he was confusing the ousias.  But Chalcedon itself convened without the commissioners present.  This convening is AGAINST correct procedure.  To convene without letting the commissioners know is either a sign of deception or simply ignorant of the rules of correct council procedure.

And with all due respect, Constantinople II have not even read Dioscorus' letters to say such a thing.  He was in fact Orthodox, and as the minutes of Chalcedon clearly profess, perhaps the strongest evidence against Chalcedonian claims, that these were his four adverbs which Chalcedon used to profess correct dogma.  At the end of first or second session of Chalcedon, I forget which, there were shouts by bishops saying three times, "Forgive us Abba Dioscorus, we have sinned against you" after Dioscorus successfully defended his case.  It was after this that bishops handed to Dioscorus the Tome, in which Dioscorus interpreted it as Nestorianism, and thus condemned it, which ended the meeting and promised to reconvene in five days.  Three days later, without notifyng the commissioners, they reconvened and decided to privately attack Dioscorus, and later deposing him, after Dioscorus found that those accused with him and the commissioners were not present.

In later meetings, the five bishops who were initially accused with Dioscorus were forgiven freely without "summoning" them privately like they did with Dioscorus.  Is this fair?  Is this good procedure?

All this information I get from Fr. VC Samuel, who read Mansi's full minutes of Chalcedon.

God bless you.
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« Reply #63 on: August 23, 2005, 03:21:35 PM »

Dear Silouan,

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There you go again...ÂÂ  

Those who oppose you view point are automaticly pharisees and blinded etc.ÂÂ  

For the anti-Chaldean case to be correct several other points must also be so:

The Tome of St. Leo must be Nestorian and decisively so

The Theology of the Non-Chaldeans must not be monophysite

And that St. Kyril was decidedely opposed to the Chaldean formula

I do not say that the Tome of Leo must be Nestorian, but that it has been interpreted as such.ÂÂ  In similarity, you interpret Dioscorus as a Monophysite, but in fact he is not.ÂÂ  For me to say this is not ignorance.ÂÂ  For you to say that Non-Chalcedonians are Monophysites can be misconstrued as ignorance if you don't support your statement.

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In response to the first point:ÂÂ  At most the Tome could be construed to be read from a Nestorian perspective.ÂÂ  But a lot of patristic things if read from the wrong perspective can be taken incorrectly - imagine all how easily "God became man so that men might become gods" could be twisted by heretics.ÂÂ  The fact remains that St. Leo and Chaldeans comdemn Nestorios and uphold the council of Ephesos.ÂÂ  So to call the tome of St. Leo Nestorian is a huge twisting of the facts.

And I am not saying that.ÂÂ  If you knew me better, you would find that I had defended the Christology of Leo against close-minded OO's before.ÂÂ  I simply read all of Leo's letters and found out that in context of these letters, the Tome is reasonably not to be interpreted as Nestorian.ÂÂ  The Tome alone can be.ÂÂ  I ask you for the same courtesy.ÂÂ  Read the so-called "Monophysite" writings, and you will find no Monophysitism in them.

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The second point:ÂÂ  While this is really a matter too much for a mere internet forum, I would suggest the Theopaschitism of the worship of the anti-chaldeans in their Trisagion.ÂÂ  Of course there are many more examples of this, especially of anti-chaldeans being simply unwilling to emphatically reject monophysitism.ÂÂ  But I don't have time to type all this out as of now.

The third point:ÂÂ  http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_history.aspx

Is that so?ÂÂ  Do you affirm that Christ is "Holy God, Holy Mighty, and Holy Immortal"?ÂÂ  It is true that the Trinity is Holy, Holy, Holy, but there is no heresy is affirming that Christ is God, Mighty, and Immortal in His divinity.ÂÂ  This again goes towards interpretation.ÂÂ  If you take the Trisagion alone as proof of heresy without the context of our beliefs, then that is by your definition ignorance, for we can do the same with Leo's Tome and nestorianism.ÂÂ  Our Trisagion is not Theopaschistism.

And your affirmation that we are unwilling to reject monophytism is completely false.ÂÂ  We have rejected monophytism at Ephesus 475, who Timothy, known as "Aeluriius" and the successor of Dioscorus, convened with more than 500 bishops and the emperor, condemning Eutychianism and Nestorianism.ÂÂ  In addition, Dioscorus himself confessed true Orthodox Christology at the Council of Chalcedon itself, saying "of two natures without mingling, without confusion, without division, without seperation."

There was never a time in our OO history where we accepted Monophysitism.ÂÂ  To say this is like us saying you guys have accepted Nestorianism.

Allow me to answer against the website you cite in a little while.

God bless you.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2005, 03:24:16 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #64 on: August 23, 2005, 04:03:17 PM »

In answering the orthodoxinfo.com website, I answered it already with several posts I made in another website.  Enjoy:

On St. Cyril's quote confessing two natures and the state of the Orthodox Church:
http://www.christianforums.com/showthread.php?p=17218636&postcount=116

On Theodoret of Cyrus:
http://www.christianforums.com/showthread.php?p=17227097&postcount=117

On the letter of St. Cyril to John of Antioch:
http://www.christianforums.com/showthread.php?p=17228000&postcount=118

On St. Severus' quote:
http://www.christianforums.com/showthread.php?p=17436530&postcount=123

Excerpts from Zachariah's history of the OO Church:
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/zachariah04.htm
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/zachariah05.htm

On St. Timothy's quote:
http://www.christianforums.com/showthread.php?p=17475835&postcount=132

The context of these quotes provided by orthodoxinfo.com is not given, thus open to many interpretations.  These quotes however does not necessarily prove these men professed heresy.

God bless.
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« Reply #65 on: August 24, 2005, 07:10:59 AM »

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Not exactly, that Chalcedon is an Oecumenical Synod is an conclusion based on the Assumption that the Emperor is the Guardian and Protector of the Church and her Synods.

And that is exactly why your argument is logically inept as you continue to pursue a circular argument; you’re drawing a conclusion based on an unwarranted assumption that is presupposed to be self-evident in its truth, as opposed to its truth being derived or proven. The Church existed for approximately three centuries without imperial support; its existence or validity was, and is, thus neither dependent nor contingent upon imperial support.  I have already officially disproved your argument using the valid method of reductio ad absurdum; allow me to reiterate it for you: If we assume for arguments sake the Orthodox Church’s position i.e. that Chalcedon was not an Ecumenical Council but rather a council of schism, then it necessarily follows that the imperial authorities thenceforth, ceased to be the “guardians and protectors of the Church and her synods” for they had apostatized and become schismatic heteredox. Therefore, to appeal to the authority of the schismatic heteredox and their conception of their own schismatic heterdox council as Ecumenical in order to prove their Ecumenicity is to beg the question; it is clearly and obviously absurd, and hence your argument crumbles down to the ground.

The claims of your imperial authorities, thenceforth become no more valid to, or binding upon the Church, as the claims of the pre-Constantinian pagan emperors such as Diocletian. The Chalcedonian imperial authorities conception of Chalcedon as an Ecumenical Council becomes no more valid than the pre-Constantinian emperors conception of their pagan idols as gods, and their imperial decrees that everyone submit to the council of schism that is Chalcedon becomes no longer binding upon the Church any more than the pre-Constantinian imperial decrees that everyone offer incense to rock gods.

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My argument may lack objectivity from your point of view

Objectivity doesn’t arise out of ones point of view, it arises from the material presuppositions adopted and the reasoning employed, and whether or not they should be reasonably considered acceptable to both parties, such that the conclusion that is hence drawn should be reasonably acceptable to both parties.

If I asked a Muslim to prove for me that the Quran is the word of God, and he pointed to the fact that Muhammed proclaimed it as such, this would not be an objective argument, for its inherent presuppositions (that Muhammed is a valid prophet), which consequently negate the logical coherence of the argument (for whether or not the Quran is the word of God has a direct bearing on whether or not Muhammed is a prophet in the first place, and hence the whole argument is begging the question), are not acceptable to me, nor should they reasonably be regarded as such. The same applies to you, and I have already spelt out how for you in my last post.

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Oecumenical Synods define true Doctrine, and hence must be above it,


True doctrine precedes an Oecumenical Synod and is not contingent upon it. The truth of Christ’s divinity and equality with the Father existed before Nicaea; it was a part of the already revealed Tradition located in the Holy Scriptures and the universal patristic witness. Nicaea did no more than confirm that truth in concordance with the already revealed pre-Nicaean Tradition, by establishing and concreting it clearly and explicitly in creedal form, for the benefit of the unity of the Church against those who had opposed this pre-Nicaean truth.

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if doctrine is an essential element of making a Synod Oecumenical, then we would be free to pick and choose not only what Councils we regard as Oecumenical

Huh? No…because if that doctrine departs from the already revealed and established Tradition of the Church (such that it is an heretical council), or at least reasonably appears to have done so (such that it is a schismatic council), then we have a duty and responsibility to reject it as Ecumenical. If the converse, we have the duty and responsibility to submit to it.

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, I could probably even give a pretty good defence of Arianism based on Scripture and early Church fathers, just as Arius did, to defend this posistion.

Just because Arius appealed to the Scriptures to defend a position already distorted by philosophical presuppositions, does not mean the Scriptures support his fallacious position.

If you have regressed to such a level of chalcedonian desperation, such that in order to support Chalcedon, you will argue Arianism to prove a point, then all I can say is that I feel really sorry for you.

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Insofar as the Nestorians agreed with Chalcedon they were Orthodox

Insofar as Chalcedon agreed, or reasonably appeared to agree, with Nestorianism, it was either heteredox or schismatic, respectively.

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but if they had adopted the formula of One Person in Two Natures and confessed that Mary was truly the 'Theotokos' and not simply 'Christokos,' they're not really Nestorians as condemned by Ephesus, now are they?

Actually they are, because the very expression of “in two natures” as I have already proven to you, was, before Chalcedon (and possibly even at Chalcedon) employed to prove that Christ’s two natures were two grounds of being; Nestorius could affirm a prosopic union or an "external mask", but he could not accept the substantial or natural union between Christ's divinity and humanity.

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I could have sworn that there was one sect out there that believes that Christ has only One (mono) Nature (physis)...but of course, my memory could be failing me.

Your kindergarten semantics are not very impressive. Since, as I’m sure you are aware, there exists more than one Greek word capable of being translated to “one”, then he who is academically honest will employ the one which bears the appropriate connotation for the persons being labeled according to their doctrinal beliefs. The prefix “mono” denotes singularity, and hence its qualification of the term physis implies that Christ possessed either a singular human or a singular divine nature. The prefix “mia” denotes composite unity and hence does not contradict the fundamental principle that Christ’s divinity and humanity were united without mingling, without confusion and without alteration, each retaining its consubstantiality with the Father and mankind respectively.

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Actually it was fighting a real heresy that denied Christ had two Natures.

Actually it wasn’t, and I challenge you to find and prove that there was even one soul prior to, or at Chalcedon who denied that Christ possessed a real and perfect humanity and divinity simultaneously. Ephesus II investigated the matter and lawfully acquitted Eutyches of heresy for he had presented an Orthodox Confession of faith. Chalcedon did not even investigate the matter, it proceeded upon the unwarranted and unproven assumption that Eutyches was a heretic and that Ephesus II got it wrong.

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Ah yes, what better way to vindicate Nestorius than to pronounce additional anathemas on him...I'm having a hard time seeing how anathematizing someone is vindicating him, but it must just be my lack of logical abilities.

Although his person was anathematized at Chalcedon, his Christology was vindicated either by virtue of its actual or apparent adoption; the only reflection this has on anything, is the deformity of your own council. Nestorian could not say of Ephesus 431, or any document vindicated at Ephesus 431: “I thanked God because the Church of Alexandria held to an orthodox confession of faith”, as when he said of a representative of the Chalcedonian Church: “I thanked God because the Church of Rome held to an orthodox confession of faith.” Nor could he say of St Cyril, what he said of your leo. I am too tired to open any of my books right now, nor have you even given me much reason to take you seriously to go out of my way to open my books in the first place, but I am quite certain the quote from Nestorius was something along the lines of: “This is my doctrine!....Leo has my doctrine!” lol I will be more than happy to get the exact quote for you if you wish.

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Well, in that case, perhaps the question we should be considering is whether or not we made a mistake in Anathematizing Nestorius at Ephesus...could have all just been a big misunderstanding. (It's just as likely as Chalcedon being just a misunderstanding).

No, you see, that’s the question YOU should be considering, it is YOUR problem, not “ours”. We (the true Orthodox Church of Alexandria and all in communion with her) already believe that Chalcedon undermined Ephesus 431, and spit on its decisions and results, hence….*drum roll*….we do not acknowledge Chalcedon as an Ecumenical Council. You on the other hand, accept Ephesus 431 which refuted Nestorianism and made Nestorius cry + Chalcedon 451 which regressed (either actually, or apparently with respect to how it was more than reasonably interpreted) into Nestorianism — exonerating figures, documents, and expressions which made Nestorius smile. So, yes, you really should be reconsidering in the light of Chalcedon, whether St Cyril had erred with regards to his decisions and Christology vindicated at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus 431, because you cannot have your cake and eat it.

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Conspiracy Theories, I like these...but please tell me you have a better apologetic against our God-Appointed Emperors.

First of all, your Chalcedonian emperors are about as God-appointed as Diocletian et al. Second of all, we have both so far merely made assertions regarding the intentions of the Imperial authorities at Chalcedon, the only difference between us, is that I have evidence to suggest their bias against Alexandria, whereas you have no specific evidence indicating they honestly sought the unity of the Church, this is just a baseless assumption.

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Because the Church is defined by Communion and Not Doctrine.

What does this have to do with anything I said?:

We’re still waiting for you to justify the absurd and unwarranted presupposition that what the “majority of the patriarchates” decide or say, becomes the standard of the Church, such that where the “majority of the patriarchates” go, the Church is also. The very question that is the subject of our discussion is 1) “Was Chalcedon an Ecumenical Council?” which can essentially be re-worded 2) “Did those who supported Chalcedon get it right, and understand it correctly throughout history?” which in turn essentially asks 3) “Did the majority of the patriarchates in their support of Chalcedon break communion with the Church?”. When we look at the inter-relationship and inter-dependency of these three questions which are inextricably connected, it becomes clear to the prudent minded observer, that you have once again presupposed what you have yet to prove.

The question obviously becomes, “communion with who”? If 4 patriarchates divide from 1, then with whom is communion necessary or essential to be part of “The Church?” You conclude one party over another merely by pointing to the fact it has the support of the “majority of the patriarchates”. One breaks communion with a Church either through schism or heresy, and I submit that Chalcedon was possibly either heretical or schismatic, such that those who advocated, supported, and submitted to it in opposition to the Orthodox Church, whether they be a minority or majority of the patriarchates, had apostatized from the Church.

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Thus if 4/5 Patriarchates persevere in a Belief, then it is, by definition, Truth.

LOL No, you see, let me remind you that this is what you should be attempting to prove, this is not a mutually assumed truth. If your whole argument relies upon your own imported and presupposed axioms, such as the above which are not capable of proof or reasonably validation, then you have no argument, so do yourself a favour and admit it, and stop wasting both our time.

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It is written that the Church is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth...not that Truth is the Pillar and Foundation of the Church.

Indeed the Church is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth, and hence it is indeed defined by that Truth; for if a group departs from that Truth, then it no longer upholds it, for it is now the pillar and foundation of falsehood.

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Dioscorus was not deposed for heresy, because he would not present himself to the Synod to Defend his Posistion, it was not clear what he believed;

St Dioscorus made it explicitly clear what he believed. He explicitly acknowledged the perfect and distinct reality of Christ’s humanity; he explicitly acknowledged the consubstantiality of His humanity with mankind; he explicitly acknowledged that certain acts were performed by virtue of His humanity, and others by virtue of His divinity, and he explicitly acknowledged the unconfused union between Christ’s divinity and humanity. Is it that St Dioscorus was not clear, or that your fathers were working for the enemy against Christ’s true servant?

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but he was condemned, according to the Canons, for failure to appear.

The Canons do not serve their intended purpose if they are applied legalistically without any regard for contextual circumstances. Christ was not a legalist; the Church He entrusted to preserve His truth did not operate upon legalism. Christ may have instituted commandments, and the Church may have adopted rules and regulations to govern it, however just as those who approached His commandments legalistically produced absurd and unjust results unwarranted according to the very giver of those Laws, so too is the case with your assembly of schism. Mina is sufficiently in the process of dealing with that, so I will let him continue with you.

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Later, at Constantinople II, when his posistion was quite clear, he was anathematized as a Heretic.

Your fathers at Constantinople were either ignorant or deceptive; they were neither acquainted with the Saint nor is it evident that they based their polemical statements on any hardcore evidence. St Dioscorus’ position was made quite clear and obvious almost 80 years before your council. To repeat myself: He explicitly acknowledged the perfect and distinct reality of Christ’s humanity; he explicitly acknowledged the consubstantiality of His humanity with mankind; he explicitly acknowledged that certain acts were performed by virtue of His humanity,  and others by virtue of His divinity, and he explicitly acknowledged the unconfused union between Christ’s divinity and humanity. Is it that St Dioscorus was not clear, or that your fathers were working for the enemy against Christ’s true servant?

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No, actually it's not possible for the event to transpire;

Well that is not a proposition capable of proof; it is simply a cop out.

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; the belief that the Gates of Hell will not Prevail against the Church leads us to the Conclusion that the Holy Spirit will Guide the Church and will not allow Heretics to persevere in the Church.

What does this definition prove? Assuming my scenario for arguments sake, the four Arian patriarchates + the Arian imperial authorities would not be considered part of “The Church”, by virtue of their breaking communion with the Church upon adopting heresy, and hence they did not “persevere in the Church”, though they persevered in existence and number with the support of state authority. If we presuppose that it is communion with the majority of the patriarchates which defines membership to the Church, then we may conclude the impossibility of such an event transpiring, but so far you have merely imported this as your own presupposed axiom — you have yet to prove to anyone that it is a proposition based upon any sound or reasonable evidence — I mean is there a verse in the Bible about this matter? Did any of the pre-Chalcedonian fathers mention anything about this issue? What is it that you are basing this “majority of the patriarchates” argument on?

A Roman Catholic can easily use a majority type argument, by pointing to the fact Roman Catholicism has persevered as a majority group in the Christian world. Such an argument would be no more or less stupid than the one you are attempting to make.

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But as I said before, it was not reasonably misinterpreted...

You can say what you want, for however long you want, but your mere asserted opinions do not qualify as reasonable arguments.

Allow me to generally reiterate the very factors which prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was more than reasonable for the Orthodox Church to interpret Nestorianism at Chalcedon, as it was for Nestorians to interpret their own doctrines at Chalcedon also: a) it exonerated the Nestorian arch-enemies of the Orthodox St Cyril b) it exonerated documents which were either later condemned for their Nestorianism, or were easily compatible and suggestive of Nestorianism c) it did not affirm those principles which explicitly refute Nestorianism e.g. the nature of the hypostatic union d) it employed expressions which had been used to promote Nestorianism against Orthodoxy.

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and the Heretics that tried to Insist that Christ had only One Nature, whatever you want to call them.

I know of the Orthodox who insisted quite appropriately and in concordance with the blessed St Cyril and other Orthodox Fathers, on the One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate, but I know of no heretics who insisted that Christ only had one nature in its essentialistic context — not even Eutyches, and I challenge you to prove me wrong.

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Actually, they are summoned by the Imperial Authority when the Emperor believes there is an issue that warrents one.

Fighting a non-heresy to undermine the only remaining Orthodox See, does not warrant the summoning of a council of schism.

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The Council of Chalcedon was primarily facing Monophysitism

Actually there is no suggestion that this was its primary concern. Assuming that its purpose was legitimate for arguments sake, its purpose was to investigate the matter of Constantinople 448 vs Ephesus II which surrounded the whole Nestorianism vs. Orthodoxy debate, and to find a resolution to the continuing conflict between the Alexandrian and Antiochian school of thought. Hence, regardless of the fact that monophysites did not exist, it would have been concerned with monophysitism as a theoretical heresy representing one extreme end of the spectrum (which I submit could not have practically arisen from sound Alexandrian Christology nonetheless), as equally as it would have been concerned with Nestorianism as representing the other extreme at the other end of the spectrum (which easily arose from weak and susceptible Antiochene Christology). Furthermore, the only real, imminent, and expanding threat to the Church was…Nestorianism - this is simply history — and hence it had a duty not to regress into Nestorianism or crypto-Nestorianism, nor to allow itself to be susceptible to Nestorianism.

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That the Nestorians could interpret 'dio physis' for their own purposes, is not a reflection of its improper usage.

The problem is not so much with ‘dio physis’ as it is with ‘en dio physis’. Nestorians used ‘en dio physis’ to promote the heresy that Christ’s two essences were two grounds of being before Chalcedon ever saw daylight. This is how the expression was understood at that time; thus Chalcedon’s employment of it, indeed reflected improper usage, especially in considering the absence of a clearly defined focal point for Orthodox Christology. It was so improper in fact, that your church even implicitly and subtly, though surely, anathematized this very expression at a later council.

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and its usage in both contexts is Orthodox in any event.

The usage of “in two natures” was, in the context of Nestorianism, heretical. I have explained this to you briefly above and more indepth in previous threads. Whether or not it was employed in an heretical context at Chalcedon is not something you can conclusively determine. Whether or not it could reasonably be interpreted in an heretical context, is an easily determined: yes, it could.

As I stated to you in a previous thread, to which you could not reply:

The fact of the matter is, that semantically speaking its very implications are Nestorian EVEN WHEN the term physis is understood essentialistically as opposed to in a hypostatic sense; such that there is no parallel between the misunderstanding of “One physis” and “in two physis” — since heresy can only be read into the former if the term physis is defined in a manner disconnected from the context that it is employed, whereas the corollary implications of the latter are heretical regardless of how the context demands us to define the term “physis”. I will quickly explain why:

The first thing to note is that the definition in Chalcedon starts with the clause that one must confess Christ “to be in…” or synonymously confess that Christ “exists in…” — at this stage any reasonable person will understand that whatever follows is essentially a qualification of Christ’s state of existence. That it is qualified with “two natures” gives the very clear implication that Christ’s two natures are two grounds of His existence i.e. Christ exists IN the human nature (One ground of existence) AND Christ exists IN the divine nature (Another - Second - ground of existence) — this is why Nestorius employed it, since he regarded Christ’s two essences/natures as two centers/grounds of existence for Christ. Christ does not “exist IN” His natures — this is the worst and most unreasonable manner to manner to attempt to convey the essential Orthodox concept that Christ “possesses” two complete and perfect natures/ousias. The Incarnate Word is only ONE existence — this ONE existence came about “from” the unconfused union of His two natures/ousias; for as the ground of His existence was one prior to the Incarnation, so it remained One after the Incarnation due to the fact His humanity became inextricably intrinsic to His One ground of existence as opposed to independent of it.

Professor Frances Young states in his book From Nicea to Chalcedon:

“The ‘prosopic union’…becomes Nestorius’ attempt to provide a metaphysical account of Christ’s unity of person which did not involve the difficiulties of a ‘natural’ or ‘substantial’ union, and Nestorius meant to convey a ‘real union’. The One Christ has ‘two grounds of being’, he exists ‘in two natures’, as Chalcedon was later to confirm.” (page 237)

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was Anathematize the Heretical belief that Christ has only one Nature.

Let us not be equivocal here. That Christ has one nature in its essentialistic sense is a Heretical belief, but unless you want to anathematize St Cyril, St Athanasius, and St Gregory the wonder-worker, then condemning a belief in “One Nature” per se, is no less valid than condemning “Two Natures” per se. If you are incapable of dealing with the subtle distinctions of theological semantics, and want to discuss “One vs. Two natures” like a child, then I don’t have time for you; you’ve already wasted enough of my time.

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. In Two Natures is perfectly Orthodox, and was understood at the time in the Same way it always has been understood by the Orthodox

I have already quoted a reputable scholar with regards to the origins of “in two natures” and the context of its usage; It was used by heretics to convey a heretical principle, unlike homoousios which was used by heretics to convey an Orthodox principle.  It was never “always understood” as Orthodox, and Chalcedon’s employment of it was in such an ambiguous and questionable context such that Chalcedon was indeed either a) heretical b) crypto-heretical or c) theological impotent and distorted by unholy agendas such that it was more than reasonably interpreted as heretical.

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what is heretical and cannot be reasonably interpreted as Orthodox is the Profession of 'One Nature’.

St Cyril the Doctor of Christology, mocks and refutes theological simpletons who make such claims, and who being heterodox schismatics outside the bounds of The One Holy and Apostolic Orthodox Church, fail to understand what the mia physis formula denotes:

•   In his second letter to Bishop Succensus, Saint Cyril wrote:

“For not only in the case of those who are simple by nature is the term ‘one’ truly used, but also in respect to what has been brought together according to a synthesis, as man is one being, who is of soul and body. For soul and body are of different species and are not consubstantial to each other, but united they produce one physis of man, even though in the considerations of the synthesis the difference exist according to the nature of those which have been brought together into a unity. Accordingly they are speaking in vain who say that, if there should be one incarnate physis  ‘of the Word’ in every way and in every manner it would follow that a mixture and a confusion occurred as if lessening and taking away the nature of man.’

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If it is overturned by an Oecumenical Synod, then obviously it is not the Work of the Holy Spirit, but it is false doctrine and hence the work of demons.

What’s new? Chalcedonian logic can’t steep any lower than this. The testimony of the Bible, the Fathers, and the previous Ecumenical Synods now become the work of demons simply because they refute your ungodly assembly of schism.

Peace.
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No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
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« Reply #66 on: August 24, 2005, 07:31:36 AM »

I would suggest the Theopaschitism of the worship of the anti-chaldeans in their Trisagion.ÂÂ  

LOL

Chalcedonian arguments couldn't get much weaker than this...Wow, the number of Church Fathers we could condemn with this sort of argument. Silouan, let me teach you the basic metaphysics your leo could not even grasp; the Word is a title designating Christ's person; the Word is God, and The Word who is God, was the subject of Christ's Incarnate experiences. As such, it was God The Word who was born of the Virgin, and it was God The Word who was crucified for our sake, and it was God The Word who arose from the dead and ascended to the heavens.

Holy God, Holy                      Agios O the-os:
Mighty, Holy                        Agios Ees-shiros;
Immortal, who was                   Agios Athanatos;
born of the Virgin,                 O ek partheno gennethis:
have mercy upon us.                 elsison imas.

Holy God, Holy                      Agios O theos:
Mighty, Holy                        Agios Ees-shiros;
Immortal, who was                   Agios Athanatos:
crucified for us,                   O stavrothis di imas:
have mercy upon us.                 eleison imas.

Holy God, Holy                      Agios O theos:
Mighty, Holy                        Agios Ees-shiros:
Immortal, who was                   Agios Athanatos:
form the dead and                   O anastas ek ton nekron:
ascended into the heavens           Ke anelthon ees toos
have  mercy  upon  us.              ooranoos:  eleison imas.

Glory be to the Father              Doxa patri ke eio:
and to the Son and to               ke Agio pnevmati:
the Holy Spirit, both               ke nin ke a-ee: ke ees
now and always, and                 toos e-onas ton
unto the ages of ages.              e-onon: Amen.
Amen. O Holy Trinity                Agia Trias;
have mercy upon us.                 eleison imas.

Amen, and Amen, Forever and Ever, Amen.

Oh btw Silouan, as Mina disintegrates your two cents in this thread, I'm still waiting for your response in another. Don't make me compare your style and approach to typical Islamic polemics again, you can't delete my posts anymore.  Wink

Peace.
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« Reply #67 on: August 24, 2005, 08:15:46 AM »

And take due note: Emperor EA has officially, if voluminously, spoken...  Wink

Again. No reunion.
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« Reply #68 on: August 24, 2005, 09:31:21 AM »

Indeed!  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #69 on: August 24, 2005, 09:40:49 AM »

Not with this bunch, anyway. 
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« Reply #70 on: August 24, 2005, 10:03:08 AM »

Why is it that online no one can agree but in real life EO and OO bishops routinely meet and discuss this stuff without anathematizing each other?

Anastasios
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« Reply #71 on: August 24, 2005, 11:26:44 AM »

Why is it that online no one can agree but in real life EO and OO bishops routinely meet and discuss this stuff without anathematizing each other?

Anastasios

I wonder the same exact thing.ÂÂ  In my life experiences, I have never met EO people face-to-face who told me I was not of the Church.  It's as if they're hiding or something.ÂÂ  

Sooner or later anyway, one of these days, EO's and OO's will have to face the facts, and I am still optimistic unity will be achieved.

God bless.
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« Reply #72 on: August 24, 2005, 03:48:27 PM »

Why is it that online no one can agree but in real life EO and OO bishops routinely meet and discuss this stuff without anathematizing each other?

Anastasios


I think it's just the difference between "real life Orthodoxy" and "internet Orthodoxy"...  Undecided
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« Reply #73 on: August 24, 2005, 04:04:31 PM »

Well, I guess we all understand God enough to comprehend the incarnation. Good thing everyone is resisting the other's explanation as if they really understood it themselves.


(It seems to me that the church is split on something that no one can even claim to totally comprehend therefore, in essence, it is sin which has become the source of division, imho)
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« Reply #74 on: August 24, 2005, 04:31:29 PM »

I'm sorry to have made this into another debate over Christology, as that was not my intention.  At this time I have some very taxing situations going on in the "real" world so won't be able to get very involved.  My initial post was only to point out the hypocrisy of the ecumenist position that hardliners on both sides have poor scholarship.  I actually respect and find the position of the hardliners that the Byzantine churches are Nestorians to be more genuine than the ecumenist position.  I guess it is similar to my feeling that it is easier to discuss Roman Catholicism with a pre - Vatican II minded Catholic because they have a position and believe in it - that is so much closer to reality than ecumenistic nihilism.

Anastasios, would these bishops be the same ones that your synod calls graceless heretics?  What does your bishop think of your views on the matter of the Non-Chalcedonian churches?

Ekhristosanesti, I'm glad that you can gloat from your position.  I find it interesting how no one even bothered to ask me what happened before I was "deposed" (Keble can clarify if this is the correct term, I'm sure). 

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« Reply #75 on: August 24, 2005, 04:53:54 PM »

Quote
My initial post was only to point out the hypocrisy of the ecumenist position that hardliners on both sides have poor scholarship.

Which usually is precisely the case. Poor scholarship is also manifested by wilfull misreading of sources. The amount of sources one can quote and teh creativity of ones thought can still be put to the service of poor scholarship. I have seen this on the OO as well as on the EO side. I have yet to meet the exception to this rule.

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« Reply #76 on: August 24, 2005, 04:58:27 PM »

Another thing to point out, EA has said "Silouan, let me teach you the basic metaphysics your leo could not even grasp."  and again compared me to being a muslim.  Moderators?   ÃƒÆ’‚ I make the point (which is a fact in this case) that some Chaldonians regard the insertion of those phrases into the Trisagion to demonstrate monophysitism.  Rather than showing why the Non-Chalcedonians regard that to be untrue EA responds with nothing more than an attack - it is not worth trying to carry on a discussion with that. ÂÂ
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« Reply #77 on: August 24, 2005, 05:38:49 PM »

Quote
Another thing to point out, EA has said "Silouan, let me teach you the basic metaphysics your leo could not even grasp."  and again compared me to being a muslim.  Moderators?    I make the point (which is a fact in this case) that some Chaldonians regard the insertion of those phrases into the Trisagion to demonstrate monophysitism.  Rather than showing why the Non-Chalcedonians regard that to be untrue EA responds with nothing more than an attack - it is not worth trying to carry on a discussion with that.

Which is a point in case of what I said above. Its not just EO's but OO's are also capable of making the same mistakes. Thankfully, there's OO's around and EO's who have displayed a more open attitude. It is these people who have kept and still keep Orthodoxy alive. The anti-ecumenist pharisaism ( be it OO or EO) was a problem to Church-life in NT times as much as it is now. The great knowledge and creativity displayed by the main opponents in this thread, GiC and EA, seems sadly misdirected and down that path division is the only possible result.

S_N_B
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« Reply #78 on: August 24, 2005, 06:14:41 PM »

Silouan,

Quote
and again compared me to being a muslim.

First of all, I didn’t compare you to anyone. Second of all, I didn’t even threaten to compare you to anyone. I did however, threaten to compare your polemical approach with that employed by typical Islamic polemicists, only because I find obvious parallels (I've been debating Islam on forums alot longer than I have Chalcedonianism). If you have a problem with that, then I suggest you simply solve it for the both of us, and quit an Islamic style of polemics. Some basic tips:

a) If you’re going to make an assertion, be prepared to back it up, else be man enough to admit you cannot.
b) If you make an assertion at one point in time and fail to back it up then, don’t reiterate that assertion at a later time in another discussion in which the same person is involved who initially asked you to back up your assertion in the first place, if you are still incapable of backing up that very assertion.
c) If you have no idea what you’re talking about, don’t hide behind internet links.
d) If you are so intellectually lazy to the extent you will throw around polemical links to deal with issues you are personally incapable of dealing with, at least have the courage and courtesy to answer to the person who bothers responding to your link.
e) if you know you are incapable of engaging in a proper discussion on certain issues due to ignorance, then its best not to join the discussion at all, then to join and then cop-out with some excuse about being too busy with other stuff to back up your claims — no one is going to believe you.

Quote
I make the point (which is a fact in this case) that some Chaldonians regard the insertion of those phrases into the Trisagion to demonstrate monophysitism.ÂÂ  Rather than showing why the Non-Chalcedonians regard that to be untrue EA responds with nothing more than an attack

I have already proven why it is absurd and nothing less than a joke to derive monophysitism from the blessed Trisagion; did you just conveniently miss the first half of my post? Don’t cop out. The misinterpretation of the Orthodox Church’s Holy Hymn of the Trisagion by the chalcedonians is no more valid than the Nestorians misinterpretation of St Cyril’s 12th anathema.

If you have a problem Silouan, with acknowledging that The Person of The Word who is God, who is Mighty, and who is Immortal, became Incarnate, was crucified, rose from the dead and ascended into the heavens i.e. that it was Christ’s person who became the subject of Christ’s Incarnate experiences, then maybe you should reconsider Ephesus 431 along with GiC who himself admit that since Nestorianism is more consonant with Chalcedonian Christology than it is with Orthodox Cyrillian Christology, that maybe Ephesus 431 was a big mistake, and Nestorius’ condemnation unwarranted.

Peace.
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« Reply #79 on: August 24, 2005, 07:51:53 PM »

Another thing to point out, EA has said "Silouan, let me teach you the basic metaphysics your leo could not even grasp."  and again compared me to being a muslim.  Moderators?   ÃƒÆ’‚ I make the point (which is a fact in this case) that some Chaldonians regard the insertion of those phrases into the Trisagion to demonstrate monophysitism.  Rather than showing why the Non-Chalcedonians regard that to be untrue EA responds with nothing more than an attack - it is not worth trying to carry on a discussion with that. ÂÂ

Silouan,

So report the post. I have a job as do the others--We aren't reading every post.  I skim threads at best. Even if I reply in a thread it doesn't mean I read thoroughly every point.

EA, I've already warned you. Knock it off please.

Anastasios
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« Reply #80 on: August 24, 2005, 07:52:35 PM »

Who is the one using the style of anger over facts?  You refuse to at least refrence our Saints in a respectful manner, such as Leo of Rome rather than what you have said before.  If you are willing to debate within the rules of this forum, then fine.  But I have yet to see that from you, and you seem to get a more or less a free pass from the administrators. ÂÂ

As for my asertation - how is what you said NOT theopaschitism?  If the Trisagion is addressed to the Trinity (and I think the TRI would be an indicator of that) then ADDING the phrase "who was crucified for us" would be Theopaschitism.  I guess I don't understand why the Trisagion was changed by the non- Chalcedonians.  I suppose why I find this so central is, why did it need to be changed if it worked before the council.

And againt I stress that my only point in posting in this thread was to show the hypocrisy of the ecumenist position that denies any non-ecumenist is intelligent or has scholarship.  I can (and do) respect your knowledge on this and other issues without agreeing with your conclusions.  I also realize that you are not going to convinvce me that Chalcedonianns border on Nestorianism (or don't condemn it) nor am I going to convince you that Non-Chalcedonians aren't monophysites.  So I bow out. ÂÂ
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« Reply #81 on: August 24, 2005, 08:18:52 PM »

Dear Silouan,

The non-Chalcedonian Trisagion is a hymn for Christ, not for the holy Trinity.  Only the last part is for the Holy Trinity (Doxa Patri ke...).

Am I the ecumenist that's hypocritical?  Because I do not understand where my hypocrisy stands.  I was only defending against what may be misconceptions with support.  To teach me where my ecumenical hypocrisy is will greatly enlighten me and make me approach this dialogue in a different manner, seriously.

God bless you.
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« Reply #82 on: August 24, 2005, 09:58:05 PM »

Thrice-holy hymn.

I'm a big fan of Pope Benedict XVI, and can only hope this means even more progress between our churches, Alexandria and Rome.

As for EO and OO, it seems politics is getting in the way.  Let us remind ourselves of the Henoticon, and the peace it granted the universal church.  Let us also remember that the Henoticon recognized the non-Chalcedonian popes of Alexandria as proper successors to St. Mark's throne.
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« Reply #83 on: August 24, 2005, 11:16:30 PM »

I just want to clarify something.  I don't want to get into any arguments. 

Don't the Chalcedonians today agree with the phrase "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh?"  A few of the above posts give me the impression that they don't, when I thought they did.

I know that many Chalcedonians did not agree with this prior to the fifth council.  However, I thought that Justinian forced this through during the fifth council and that now it is not a problem with Chalcedonians.

I think the reason why the early Chalcedonians did not agree with the above phrase was related to why many people did not like the phrase "Mother of God."  The idea was that God couldn't do things that humans could do, like be born and suffer.  The OO's on the other hand, argued that although God without the flesh could not do those things, The Word of God Incarnate could, since He took on our flesh.  Therefore He could, being incarnate, be born, suffer, etc.

After the fifth council brought Chalcedon more into line with traditional Orthodox Christology, the idea of God being born, suffering, etc. became more acceptable to the Chalcedonians.  At least that is what I thought.  In fact, I think that is what the phrase "neo-Chalcedonian" refers to. 

In other words, prior to the fifth council, Chalcedon had a Nestorian bent.  Many Chalcedonians--despite Nestorius' condemnation--venerated Nestorius and held to the Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia.  (These Chalcedonians included, among others, the Sleepless Monks in Constantinople, who were supported by the authorities, and the Persian, or Assyrian, Church.)  Also, most Chalcedonians initially opposed the condemnation of the blatantly Nestorian Three Chapters on the grounds that they were approved of by Chalcedon.  These included the Pope of Rome as well as the four Eastern Patriarchs. However, after the fifth council, the more hard core Nestorian Chalcedonians (such as the Sleepless Monks and Assyrians) split off, and those who remained accepted certain ideas that had been held by the Non-Chalcedonians, such as the belief that "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh."  Those were the Neo-Chalcedonians, and that is what most Chalcedonians are today.

Am I mistaken in this?  Do the EO's still reject that phrase?  I thought ozgeorge in another thread said they accepted it now.

Regarding the "Holy God" hymn, I read somewhere that very early on, even before the whole Chalcedonian controversy, in some regions the hymn was understood to address the Trinity and in other places it was understood to address Christ only.  The OO's put in the phrases "who was born" and "who was crucified" to emphasize their belief, as against the early Chalcedonians, that the Word of God was born and crucified.  In other words, it wasn't just the man Christ who was born and crucified, with God the Word merely dwelling in him but not experiencing his birth and sufferings, as some Chalcedonians prior to the fifth council believed.

Am I wrong about the EO's today accepting the phrase "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh?"  I just want to know.
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« Reply #84 on: August 24, 2005, 11:48:49 PM »

Silouan,

Quote
Who is the one using the style of anger over facts?

There is no “style of anger”, I may be blunt and politically incorrect, but this is not emotionally motivated, it’s simply me being tactful; I adapt my approach in consideration of those I’m addressing. Furthermore, I never interpreted anger in your approach, I simply interpreted a cop-out. You assert big claims that require big evidence, and then when you are asked to provide some substantial evidence, you either run from the responsibility, you hide under an internet link, or you claim to be too busy to do so. Just be a man, and admit that you don’t have the evidence to prove anything that you say or think on this issue.

Quote
ou refuse to at least refrence our Saints in a respectful manner, such as Leo of Rome rather than what you have said before.

I have addressed your saints no differently to how our Saints have been addressed, and in fact much more politely (I have yet to personally anathematize any of your saints as heretics, as has been done so with respect to mine on this forum). I do not need to say “Leo of Rome” because it is assumed that this is the Leo I am referring to in a discussion surrounding Chalcedon.

Quote
As for my asertation - how is what you said NOT theopaschitism? 


YOU have yet to prove how it is; you are after all, the one who made the claim. That God The Word became Incarnate, was Crucified, and Rose from the dead, is perfectly Orthodox; it affirms the principle of Communicatio Idiomatum, which stems from the acknowledgement that Christ’s eternally divine Person became the subject of His Incarnate experiences, such that He can be mutually predicated by both human and divine acts, as He consistently is in the Tradition of the Church.

To draw the conclusion that in affirming that The Word who is Holy God, Holy Mighty and Holy Immortal, was crucified for our sake per se is necessarily theopaschitism, is to condemn St Paul of theopaschitism when he testifies that the Jews had “Crucified the Lord of Glory”, or St Luke when He testifies that the Jews had killed “the author of life”. To prove theopaschitism, you necessarily have to give us some further contextual factors which would lead us to the reasonable conclusion that the Trisagion is sung in such a context; until then your skeptically motivated claim reflects nothing other than your own futile and desperate attempt to refute The Orthodox Church and her Divine Liturgy. I suggest that if you want to look at the immediate liturgical context of the Trsiagion that you skip straight to the end to the Priest’s “Last Confession."

Quote
If the Trisagion is addressed to the Trinity and I think the TRI would be an indicator of that)

I think not. Do you have a problem with praising Christ thrice for His Holiness? Is it against Tradition? What am I missing here? Tradition labels Christ Holy, it also labels Christ God, Mighty, and Immortal; is there a problem with addressing Christ and praising Him on account of His being Holy God, Holy Mighty, and Holy Immortal? There is no reference to the Trinity here; The Trisagion has always been a reference to Christ in the Oriental Orthodox Tradition once qualified by “was born of the Virgin”, and “was Crucified for our sake” etc. These qualifications were made for Christological purposes, to emphasise in concordance with the strict teachings of St Cyril, that the Person of the Word was the subject of Christ’s Incarnate experiences.

Quote
I also realize that you are not going to convinvce me that Chalcedonianns border on Nestorianism (or don't condemn it

I believe that the Eastern Church’s Christology, as it stands in the context of the latter councils and the Christological developments of St John the Damascene, is perfectly Orthodox. My whole argument surrounds the historical event of Chalcedon as it is to be understood in its immediate historical context; just because your Church is not Nestorian or crypto-Nestorian now, does not mean it never was.

Peace.


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« Reply #85 on: August 24, 2005, 11:55:25 PM »

Salpy,

Quote
Don't the Chalcedonians today agree with the phrase "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh?"  A few of the above posts give me the impression that they don't, when I thought they did.

I know that many Chalcedonians did not agree with this prior to the fifth council.  However, I thought that Justinian forced this through during the fifth council and that now it is not a problem with Chalcedonians

The 10th canon of Constantinople 533 states:

Quote
If any one does not confess that he who was crucified in the flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ, is the true God and Lord of glory, and one of the Holy Trinity, let him be anathema.


I would reasonably think, that any Chalcedonian who fails to confess, or sees a problem in confessing that Christ who is "Holy God, Holy Mighty, and Holy Immortal...was crucified for our sake", falls under their own anathema.

Peace.
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« Reply #86 on: August 25, 2005, 12:53:08 AM »

The movement that had the original See of the Holy Apostles, growing sporadically, would hardly be spontaneous. During the first century, having the attraction to the light of Christ towards the east, the life and the inevitable culture of the times was to be passed down to the next generation. Then came it's ugly deterrence of it's time when the Roman government would give harsh treatment against 'outsider's of it's culture'.

The character of the Christian expression was this very action that would best be seen in it's greatness of potential, courageousness and nobility that lead to martyrdom. It would make it more dangerous, however, to give the faith in the wrong hands, the very hands, that nailed Christ on the cross which lead to the forgiveness of a whole country. But seeing their potential in the Strength with numbers and it' official chosen authorities would be reluctantly consistant of any 'outsiders' concerning others Sees as possible enemies. Anyone who did not see eye to eye was to be at 'war in the heart'

To not have any contamination inside the Church is like saying, 'I'll hold my breath for the time being in hoping that the contaminated air just passes by'. This happening at a time when the royal court had been opened to the elected Authorities to make full fledge and officially documented decisions. Ironically the doors would close behind them and the once undisturbed church was dealt with hand of the politics of the Throne.

How's that of food for thought or is this idea too overcooked?
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« Reply #87 on: August 25, 2005, 05:20:49 AM »

I would reasonably think, that any Chalcedonian who fails to confess, or sees a problem in confessing that Christ who is "Holy God, Holy Mighty, and Holy Immortal...was crucified for our sake", falls under their own anathema.

TheTrisagion is a Trinitarian Hymn. In fact, it is the first known Trinitarian Hymn. It is Trinitarian and thus anti-Arian in character; "Holy God" is addressed to the Father Almighty, "Holy Mighty" to the only-begotten Son, and "Holy Immortal" refers to the Holy Spirit.The addition of verses referring the Second Hypostasis only is understood by the Eastern Orthodox Church as a confusion the Three Hypostases of the Holy Trinity. Neither the First nor the Third Hypostsasis of the Holy Trinity "was crucified for our sake".
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« Reply #88 on: August 25, 2005, 06:08:20 AM »

ozgeorge,

There have been many interpretations for the Trisagion; it has been understood in a Triniatrian sense (in the manner you have explained), a strictly Patrological sense (referring to the Father alone), and a Christological sense. Regardless of how, why, or when, the Trsiagion came to be understood in such contexts, the fact of the matter is, that the mere expression: "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal" is legitmately applicable in all these contexts, and regardless of the specific context in which the hymn is employed in the Eastern tradition, you should nonetheless have no problem with affirming that Christ Himself is The "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Imoortal", for He is indeed Holy, God, Mighty, and Immortal, and you should furthermore have no problem with consequently affirming that Christ who is "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal...was crucified for our sake."

Peace.
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« Reply #89 on: August 25, 2005, 06:57:24 AM »

EA,
The point is that from the earliest years since the Trisagion was added to the Liturgy, the Eastern Orthodox have understood it to be a Trinitarian Hymn.  It is understood by the Eastern Orthodox to be the divinely revealed Hymn of the Angels to the Consubstantial and Undivided Trinity. In the sixth century, St. Romanos the Melodist composed the Kontakion of the Prodigal Son, and in strophe 11, it presents the image of the Liturgy of the Angels who rejoice over the Prodigal Son's repentance, and they sing an elaborated Trisagion:

‘Holy are you, Father, who have been well pleased
That the spotless calf be now slaughtered for mankind.
Holy is your Son also,
Willingly sacrificed as an unblemished calf,
Who also sanctifies those who are baptized...
Again holy is the Holy Spirit, whom he gives to those who believe, the
Master and Lord of the ages.'


This kontakion has been in the Eastern Orthodox worship since the sixth century, so, from very early on, the Eastern Orthodox have understood  the Trisagion to be a Trinitarian Hymn. The Oriental Orthodox additions to the Trisagion cannot be seen by the Eastern Orthodox as anything other than a confusion of the Three Hypostases. This understanding of the Trisagion is not a "regional idiosyncracy", it is the common understanding of the Eastern Orthodox Christians.

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« Reply #90 on: August 25, 2005, 07:25:07 AM »

ozgeorge,

Please read this: http://www.coptichymns.net/module-pagesetter-viewpub-tid-1-pid-135.html

Please know what you are talking about before you accuse Orthodox churches of theological confusion.

Please understand that the current EO use and practice and understanding of the Trisagion hymn does not preclude there being various forms of the Trisagion in the early Church, that there grew various traditions of these various forms in various places, in these various places not bound to Constantinople after the the 5th century the various traditions based on the earlier various forms were kept, while in the places bound to Constantinople one form was standerized.

I fail to see the value of reverse applying theology into the past, and then judging it inferior according to present understanding.
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« Reply #91 on: August 25, 2005, 07:55:52 AM »

I will if you can explain to me how a Coptic link presents the Eastern Orthodox position on anything.

Please know what you are talking about before you accuse Orthodox churches of theological confusion.
I do.
I am presenting the Eastern Orthodox understanding of the Trisagion and quoted our greatest hymnographer to show that this has been our understanding since the sixth century at least. Any hint of the Eastern Orthodox position on anything does seem to meet with hostility in this and other threads. I'll read your links if you read mine.

http://www.liturgica.com/html/litEOLitEarly.jsp?hostname=null#Trisagion

http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:ngZcxacrBlgJ:www.anastasis.org.uk/THE%2520TRISAGION02.pdf+trisagion+trinitarian&hl=en

http://www.smithcreekmusic.com/Hymnology/Greek.Hymnody/Trisagion.html


Please understand that the current EO use and practice and understanding of the Trisagion hymn does not preclude there being various forms of the Trisagion in the early Church, that there grew various traditions of these various forms in various places, in these various places not bound to Constantinople after the the 5th century the various traditions based on the earlier various forms were kept, while in the places bound to Constantinople one form was standerized.
Now before you go off half-cocked again, read what I said.....
The Eastern Orthodox understanding of the Trisagion does not permit it to be understood in any other way than a Trinitarian Hymn.....therefore, the only conclusion that the Eastern Orthodox could possibly make from addressing the Trisagion only to the Second Hypostasis is that it is Patripassianism leading to Sabellianism and Monophysiism. Again, I am merely presenting the Eastern Orthodox perspective (shoud we not be permitted to have a perspective?)
And what does the fact that there were different understandings of the Trisagion prior to the fifth century prove? Arianism also predates the fifth century, Gnostiscism also predates the fifth century.....so what is your point?

I fail to see the value of reverse applying theology into the past, and then judging it inferior according to present understanding.
The Eastern Orthodox Church does not accept the "development of doctrine". Therefore, there can be no retrograde application of doctrine in the Church. A doctrine either is or isn't Orthodox as far as the Church is concerned.
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« Reply #92 on: August 25, 2005, 08:34:10 AM »

OzGeorge,

Quote
The Eastern Orthodox understanding of the Trisagion does not permit it to be understood in any other way than a Trinitarian Hymn.....therefore, the only conclusion that the Eastern Orthodox could possibly make from addressing the Trisagion only to the Second Hypostasis is that it is Patripassianism leading to Sabellianism and Monophysiism. Again, I am merely presenting the Eastern Orthodox perspective (shoud we not be permitted to have a perspective?)

That is not the whole truth of the matter. There are Eastern Orthodox, among whom Fr.John Meyendorff, that have stated that the OO use of the Trisagion (=Thrice Holy, Tri indicating the number of repetitions and not a necessary trinitarian interpretation is perfectly Orthodox if[/b] the Person adressed as Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal is Jesus Christ and not the Trinity. Fr. Meyendorff, though I do not always agree with him (we butt heads on Evagrios) represents an EO position different from yours. So that I would like to qualify your statement somewhat by saying that the EO understanding is rooted in the trinitarian interpretation, but not to the exclusion of a christological interpretation.

There is nothing un-Orthodox in the OO interpretation of this Hymn. EO should have no problem understanding this. At least I don't have that problem at all. It is obvious and easily seen that the OO interpretation is wholly Orthodox as much as is the EO interpretation. To misunderstand is possibly only by misrepresenting, and that is precisely the main ailment that this thread is suffering from, as al others that I've seen on this topic, EO's and OO's who are too busy proving themselves right, they have no room to even listen to the other. Such self-affirmation is the very same one, that has brought about the fall in the first place. It is a luciferian trap that we, EO's and OO's allow ourselves to be trapped in continually.

If any fruit is to be gained from "discussions" like this, we must learn to be humble, to be Christ-like. Though I addressed this message to you, in response to some of your words, this message extends to all (myself included). You are not singled out here, I speak to all of us, sinners.

Quote
The Eastern Orthodox Church does not accept the "development of doctrine". Therefore, there can be no retrograde application of doctrine in the Church. A doctrine either is or isn't Orthodox as far as the Church is concerned.

That is, it rejects the idea that the Once-given-revelation is being added onto. There is a form of dogmatic development that Orthodoxy does accept, in so far as it confesses to have a Living Tradition. This is easily traced in trinitarian theology from NT times, until the theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamum. In between these two, a whole range of dogmatic development is simply undeniable. The same is true of the doctrine of Energies and Essence, it has gone a long way from the Cappadocians to St. Gregory Palamas, or the doctrine of the Church, which today stands in the light of the idea of sobornost, a development of the NT theme of catholicity into a mature form, etc.

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« Reply #93 on: August 25, 2005, 08:39:49 AM »

This latest tangent is pretty sad.  "Tri" necessarily means "Trinity"?  How about "three", as in "thrice repeated"? 

It seems pretty obvious to me that context determines whether or not the Trisagion is being used in a heretical fashion.  EO view it as a Trinitarian hymn, and so view the OO use as erroneous; very well.  But if the OO view it as Christological, then the EO have to come out and say if its Christological use is erroneous; depending only on your own interpretation of the hymn in this regard as THE standard of judgement is not going to work.  If the OO understood it as a Trinitarian hymn, but still used the theopaschite clause, then we'd be heretics.  But if we don't have the former presupposition, then you can't make the latter claim.  If you don't believe that God the Word (i.e., Jesus Christ) was crucified for us, then, to quote one of your own, "no reunion".  It'd be like uniting with Jehovah's Witnesses.   
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« Reply #94 on: August 25, 2005, 09:04:55 AM »

There is nothing un-Orthodox in the OO interpretation of this Hymn.
I'm afraid the Fathers of the Quintisext Council disagree with you.

Canon 81 of the Council states:
"Whereas we have heard that in some places in the hymn Trisagion there is added after "Holy and Immortal," "Who was crucified for us, have mercy upon us," and since this as being alien to piety was by the ancient and holy Fathers cast out of the hymn, as also the violent heretics who inserted these new words were cast out of the Church; we also, confirming the things which were formerly piously established by our holy Fathers, anathematize those who after this present decree allow in church this or any other addition to the most sacred hymn; but if indeed he who has transgressed is of the sacerdotal order, we command that he be deprived of his priestly dignity, but if he be a layman or monk let him be cut off."

So your beef is with the Fathers of the Eastern Orthodox Church, not with me. It is the Eastern Orthodox Church's understanding I am presenting, not my personal one alone.

And yes, I think we have to face facts that the only way the EO and OO could ever unite is if either the EO rejects the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils or the OO accepts them, and I don't see either one happening.

And in the words of "The Cranberries": "And the daffodils look lovely today...."
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« Reply #95 on: August 25, 2005, 09:46:05 AM »

Mo Ephrem,

Quite correct,.. Tri does not necessarily imply Trinity. In the Christological version of the Hymn it simply refers to being repeated thrice. We could easily attach the word Tri to the times the Kyrie Eleison is repeated in the EO Prayer of Hours (where the repeption is, 3, 12, or 40).

The Trisagion interpreted as trinitarian, is also quite fine. Tri may be interpreted as Trinity in an EO context, but to do so in an OO one is heretical. The problem is in applying EO standards to an OO tradition and vice versa.

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« Reply #96 on: August 25, 2005, 10:52:15 AM »

I'm afraid the Fathers of the Quintisext Council disagree with you.

Canon 81 of the Council states:
"Whereas we have heard that in some places in the hymn Trisagion there is added after "Holy and Immortal," "Who was crucified for us, have mercy upon us," and since this as being alien to piety was by the ancient and holy Fathers cast out of the hymn, as also the violent heretics who inserted these new words were cast out of the Church; we also, confirming the things which were formerly piously established by our holy Fathers, anathematize those who after this present decree allow in church this or any other addition to the most sacred hymn; but if indeed he who has transgressed is of the sacerdotal order, we command that he be deprived of his priestly dignity, but if he be a layman or monk let him be cut off."

Unfortunately the Council at Trullo cannot be considered an ecumenical council. And the form of this statement rather begs the question. It appears simply to take this alteration as a sign of association with the OO churches.

The final test of whether the Trisagion is a trinitarian hymn is whether the avowedly non-Trinitarian bodies can say it without alteration. I believe the answer to that question would be, Yes, they could. The mere mention of the number "three" isn't sufficient, for the Mormons can sing the first part of the hymn "Holy, Holy Holy Lord God Almighty" as it stands, but they alter the final lines which say "God in Three persons, Blessed trinity."

A portion of the Trisagion has always appeared as the refrain in the medieval western hymn "Media Vita in Morte Sumus" (which was retained by the Anglicans and has ever since appeared in the funeral liturgy). It is, however, altered so that "holy immortal, have mercy on us" is replaced by (very rough translation) "holy and merciful savior, deliver us not into bitter death", and the Anglicans have further replaced the original verses with different (but still orthodox) words. In addition, recent Anglican liturgies have restored the Trisagion in its original form.

Now, the angel-given thrice-holy hymn is not this text at all. It is the Sanctus, which we have revealed in scripture to the prophet Isaiah.

I'm not a fan, so to speak, of the OO expansion of Trisagion, but more for its poetic failings than its theological difficulties. It is clearly anti-Nestorian, but it seems to me it can be spun with a Chalcedonian interpretation (or non-, for that matter). I really just don't see how this hymn gets to the heart of the issue.
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« Reply #97 on: August 25, 2005, 12:22:09 PM »

Even if the Quintisext canon provided here is "canonical" and binding in the EO Church, perhaps we have to understand the context in which this canon is given.

Ozgeorge,

I remember one time you posted that a canon that does not deal with dogma need not be considered binding or infallible.  While this only protects the hymn against a certain heretical interpretation, this canon does not seem dogmatic, and therefore by your definition, is not binding to EO's.

A Christological interpretation of the Trisagion is possible even before Nicean times.  As Sarah provided for you a website, the hymn "Omonogenis" may be influenced, if not written, by St. Athanasius whose Alexandrian tradition perhaps have always interpreted the Trisagion in a Christological sense, not in a Trinitarian sense.  That canon, if indeed binding, would excommunicate the fathers of the Alexandrian tradition in pre-Chalcedonian times, which may show why there are many EO opinions concerning the Council of Trullo.

Therefore, suppose there's a canon that in its context assumed that something or someone is heretical if used in that sense.  But suppose that when interpreted properly it is not heretical after all.  Then that canon can stand against only those who use it in a heretical sense.

The OO Trisagion does NOT say the Trinity was born, crucified, and rose from the dead.  This is the same accusation Nestorius brought against St. Cyril when using the term "Theotokos" for the Virgin St. Mary.  However, we understand "Theotokos" to have an proper and beautiful Orthodox interpretation.  The OO Trisagion is not a hymn for the Trinity.  It is a hymn for Christ.

God bless you.
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« Reply #98 on: August 25, 2005, 01:42:29 PM »

As Eastern Orthodox theologian John Meyendroff himself states in his book Eastern Christian Thought, (SVS: 1975): “Some theologians, while remaining faithful to the council, were beginning to notice the weakness of Chalcedonian apologetics, manifested especially in the radical opposition in some circles to the interpolated Trisagion. The text of this hymn in the form …: "Holy God, holy Mighty, Holy immortal, crucified for us, have mercy on us," was not…heretical, since it was addressed to Christ, not to the Trinity.”

Any Chalcedonian arguing against the Orthodoxy of the Trsiagion as it is employed in the OO Tradition, is doing nothing more than following the pathway of apologetic impotence that their own fathers had paved.

Peace.
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« Reply #99 on: August 25, 2005, 03:51:09 PM »

OzGeorge,

The Council of Trullo is not ecumenical. It does not have absolute authority.

Besides that, canons regulate Church life, but as the Church evolves in time, canons become obsolete and new ones are needed. This has certainly happened in this regard, since the coming out of the Common Declarations[/b] where we have mutually acknowledge each others true, and full, Orthodoxy.

As Fr. Afanasief (a canonist) has said:

Quote
,.... canons can not always be the final criteria and they themselves demand a more higher criterion.

However, Church structure is influenced not only by different forms of historical conditions -- ecclesial, political, social, cultural, but even something more, which does not depend on these temporary, changeable influences. Canonical structure is only the external expression of the dogmatic teaching about the Church. This teaching is that changeless, timeless nucleus which lies, or must lie, as the foundation of all Church structure. Out of the same kernel, depending on different conditions, on differences in culture, grows the plant with different external variations. But no matter how far these variations go, a particular seed can only result in a particular growth. The canonical structure of the Church can be different, and this difference is legitimate and even necessary, as long as it does not impinge upon the changeless substance of the Church. In different historical epochs the substance of the Church could have various expressions inasmuch as it demands and looks for a more complete realization under given historical circumstances. This is an essential condition for every correct form of Church life -- to realize more fully the substance of the Church itself within historical circumstances -- but at the same time this is the boundary beyond which these changes can not go.

Every form of Church life is legitimate and acceptable as long as it is based on correct dogmatical teaching.

The dogmatic teaching about the Church, as all dogmas, is not only a theoretical truth: it must find its reflection and realization in life. This realization of dogmatical teaching about the Church is the canonical structure, but this realization of course, can never be complete. No form of Church life adequately expresses the fullness of the dogmatical teaching, and is only a relative approach to it under a given historical situation. Thus there can be no talk about any absolutization of whatever form of Church life, since such an absolutization would express the introduction of relative empirical forms to the level of absolute truth. However, on the other hand, historical forms are not completely incidental: they are always a valid attempt to express more completely the nature of the Church, or in any case, some of its aspects. Various historical forms, internally, in their depth, are linked with each other in the foundations of its dogmatic teaching. That is why any change must be in response not only to the changing historical conditions and the need to adapt to them, but at the same time, to the striving for a more complete, more adequate expression of the nature of the Church under the new historical circumstances. All this means that any such change becomes legitimate and justified when the new form of Church life will give a more fuller expression of the eternal dogmatic truth about the Church than did the older form. We are free to change and to create historical forms of Church life but we are not always correct in doing so. In this problem, as well as in Orthodoxy in general, we have a combination of conservatism and loyalty to tradition with the greatest freedom and boldness.

Fr. Afanasief Canons and Canonical Consciousness.

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« Reply #100 on: August 25, 2005, 05:02:38 PM »

The Council of Trullo is not ecumenical. It does not have absolute authority.

Why not? Is it because because yourself and a Protestant above say it isn't an Ecumenical Council? Well here is what the Orthodox Church says:

"The Orthodox Church also assigns ecumenical status to The Council in Trullo in 692, which took place in Constantinople. Eastern bishops took part in it, and they passed disciplinary canons to complete the work of the Fifth and the Sixth Ecumenical Councils and, thus, it is known as the Fifth-Sixth (Quinisext or Penthekti)."
http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article7116.asp

Can you present me with a single Eastern Orthodox Source which supports your claim that the Council of Trullo was not an Ecumenical Council?

Please don't make false claims about the teachings of the Orthodox Church- that is called "heresy".

This is just priceless! I present the Eastern Orthodox position, and I'm told that it is simply my personal one; so I present facts stating that this is what the Orthodox Church teaches, and I'm told that the source of my information is not authoratitaive enough, then I present a statement from an official source which say that it is authoritative.......This is ecactly what Fr. Alexios meant when he said that Ecumenism listens to nothing other than itself!
Any fact is welcome here as long as it is not an 'uncomfortable' fact.....ostriches with their heads in the sand?
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« Reply #101 on: August 25, 2005, 06:04:13 PM »

OzGeorge,

Quote
Why not?

Because it has not been ecumenically received. And isn't that a principle to recognize an EC Council? But perhaps I overstated my point. I am sorry about that. The Council holds full authority and its canons cannot and should not be ignored.

I do not deny the validity and authority of the Council for the EOC, but that's as far as it goes. Its authority does not extend to the Oriental Orthodox[/b] Church. Perhaps that's what I should have said the first time around.

Taking the Common Declarations between the EO and the OO seriously implies accepting the fact that the Councils since Chalcedon are dogmatically unnecessary for the Orthodox Church as a whole (includng the OO). I mean they can't simply be forced upon the OOC, nor is that at all necessary. Likewise OO tradition is not binding to EOy either. These are matters we must face up to and deal with.

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« Reply #102 on: August 25, 2005, 10:52:53 PM »

ozgeorge,

Quote
.....ostriches with their heads in the sand?

Any Chalcedonian who has to appeal to a canon from a Chalcedonian council in order to argue that the Trisagion’s employment by the Oriental Orthodox Church is fallacious or even heresy, obviously has their head stuck in the sand. As your own theologian quoted above admits, such polemics as grounded in that particular canon are nothing but the result of weak apologetics, and as minasoliman himself quite correctly pointed out, any resistance to the use of the Trisagion as a Christological hymn is no different to the Nestorian’s resistance to the ‘Theotokos’ title. Furthermore, the very employment of the Trsiagion as a Christological hymn, stresses a particular Christological understanding deemed Orthodox not only by the standard of St Cyril’s 12th anathema, but also the 10th anathema of your own Constantinople 533. Furthermore, as OO theologian Fr. V.C. Samuel points out in his book Chalcedon Re-Examined: "Since in the Syrian Church where [the Trsiagion] originated the hymn is addressed to The Son (as a polemic against Arianism), [Chalcedonians] objection to the addition loses its force."

The only thing you prove by adamantly trying to establish a negative Eastern Orthodox perspective towards the use of the Trsiagion as a Christological hymn, is the inconsistency within, and the errors of your own church by virtue of its being tainted by impotent apologetics.

This is further reason why practically speaking, from the perspective of my own finite human mind, I do not see any re-union occurring; the Eastern Church is steeped in historical errors and inconsistencies, all the result of political intrigues and inept polemics/apologetics. The humility required to submit to the virtues of objectivity and reasonableness is far beyond what I can conceive the Eastern Church adopting. However, as the Apostle says, "with God all things are possible", so it is only by faith alone that I acknowledge the possibility of a re-union.

Peace.
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« Reply #103 on: August 26, 2005, 12:44:20 AM »

Why not? Is it because because yourself and a Protestant above say it isn't an Ecumenical Council? Well here is what the Orthodox Church says:

The problem is that it isn't enough for the Eastern Orthodox churches to declare it ecumenical. The ecumen of that era-- even ignoring the OO churches, and I have to say that it is only reasonable to have them speak their own objections to such rulings, rather than have the EO churches speak them for the OO-- included all the West, and the West has never accepted Trullo. The East is quite welcome to take it as a local council, but by objective standards it is not ecumenical.

Quote
This is just priceless! I present the Eastern Orthodox position, and I'm told that it is simply my personal one; so I present facts stating that this is what the Orthodox Church teaches, and I'm told that the source of my information is not authoratitaive enough, then I present a statement from an official source which say that it is authoritative.......

I didn't say anything about it being your personal opinion. It remains true that it is an Eastern opinion. It's extremely ironic when you essentially call me an ecumenist when you are trying to pass off the Eastern churches as the whole-- as they most certainly were not at the time of the council.

Quote
This is ecactly what Fr. Alexios meant when he said that Ecumenism listens to nothing other than itself!

The problem here isn't listening at all. The problem is whose authorities are to accepted. It is a basic principle that arguments from authority must proceed from agreement that those authorities are acceptable. In this case the authorities are not universally-- dare I say ecumenically-- accepted, and therefore the outcome of listening is to say, "I hear you, but I do not accept your argument because I do not accept the authority upon which it relies."
 
Quote
Any fact is welcome here as long as it is not an 'uncomfortable' fact.....ostriches with their heads in the sand?

Actually, I'd agree with that-- but the uncomfortable fact is the lack of consensus about the authority of Trullo. This is not the first time someone, arguing for the East, has had to be informed that Trullo is not an acceptable authority for anyone else. And the final irony is that I have ended up invoking Trullo as an authority on Eastern positions. For that, I not only accept its authority, I'm quite willing to iuse it in arguments against what appear to me to be mistakes about Eastern teaching. But it has no intrinsic authority in ecumenical issues.
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« Reply #104 on: August 26, 2005, 01:17:46 AM »

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Is it because because yourself and a Protestant above say it isn't an Ecumenical Council?

Well, gee.  That's really kind of you to pass judgments.

I guess then all of us non-Chalcedonians are wasting our times here since we are not Orthodox or don't agree with the Orthodox church.  Thus, by your condescending tone, whatever we say is vanity to your minds.

I wander then who in the end is really listening to others and who is really listening to himself.

Lord have mercy.

God bless.
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« Reply #105 on: August 26, 2005, 07:26:26 AM »

Because it has not been ecumenically received.
Can you tell me which EO Church does not accept the Council of Trullo as having Ecumenical status? The Ecumenical Patriarchate certainly does, as you can see from my quote above.

And isn't that a principle to recognize an EC Council?
Not really. If a Council anathemizes an heretical group (eg the Arians), is the Council not Ecumenical simply because the anathemized group does not accept it? No Ecumenical Council has ever been fully "recieved"- they were convened presicely to determine what is and isn't dogma, and there were many (in some cases majorities) which were found to be outside the Church's teaching.

I do not deny the validity and authority of the Council for the EOC, but that's as far as it goes. Its authority does not extend to the Oriental Orthodox[/b] Church.
Absolutely. And I, as an Eastern Orthodox Christian is bound by their teaching unless a Council of at least equal status changes them. Canons that touch on mere praxis are one thing, even local Synods are able in many cases to practice economia regarding them. However, canons that touch on doctrine are a completely different order. No mere local synod or even a Patriarchate has the authority to change them. The 81st Canon on Trullo touches both praxis (the particular wording of the Trisagion) and dogma (the heretics who employed it).

Taking the Common Declarations between the EO and the OO seriously implies accepting the fact that the Councils since Chalcedon are dogmatically unnecessary for the Orthodox Church as a whole (includng the OO).
"The Common Declarations" do not have the authority od the Council of Trullo, and to use you own benchmark, they most certainly have not been "ecumenicall received". I for one reject them as heresy.

I mean they can't simply be forced upon the OOC,
Who is forcing it on them? No one is forced to believe anything which the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church teaches.

nor is that at all necessary.
Necessary for what? Unity? Common faith is not necessary for unity? "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" has now been dispensed with? The Eastern Orthodox can continue to believe the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, and the Oriental Orthodox don't have to, and we can all play happy families? It ain't gonna happen.
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« Reply #106 on: August 26, 2005, 07:43:03 AM »

The problem is that it isn't enough for the Eastern Orthodox churches to declare it ecumenical.
So SNB says that not all Eastern Orthodox Churches accepted it as being Ecumenical, and now you say they all do, but that isn't sufficient........

The ecumen of that era-- even ignoring the OO churches, and I have to say that it is only reasonable to have them speak their own objections to such rulings, rather than have the EO churches speak them for the OO-- included all the West, and the West has never accepted Trullo.
And now there is a schism between East and West, therefore the only Churches which Eastern Orthodoxy accepts as authoritative all ascribe Ecumenical status to Trullo.

It remains true that it is an Eastern opinion. It's extremely ironic when you essentially call me an ecumenist when you are trying to pass off the Eastern churches as the whole-- as they most certainly were not at the time of the council.
Of course there was discord! The very reason an Ecumenical Council is called is because of discord. A bit like seperating the wheat from the chaff.

. This is not the first time someone, arguing for the East, has had to be informed that Trullo is not an acceptable authority for anyone else.
Keble, listen to me. I am Eastern Orthodox, and I accept the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that the Council of Trullo has Ecumenical status. NOWHERE have I said that this is binding on ANYONE outside the Church. No Council is binding on anyone outside the Church.But what you are asking me to do in order for unity to be acheived is to reject the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #107 on: August 26, 2005, 07:56:52 AM »

OzGeorge,

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So SNB says that not all Eastern Orthodox Churches accepted it as being Ecumenical, and now you say they all do, but that isn't sufficient........

The Orthodox Church consists of both[/b] the Oriental and the Eastern communions. In that perspective, the councils held by either can have local authority but not ecumenical.

Besides, the council of Trullo sought to affirm previous councils and to provide canons where ones were lacking. As you may be aware, canons are not unchangeable. In the given canon you quoted, the new situation we have today (the one where our hierarchs have acknowledge OO and EO share the one true Orthodox Faith) demands new canons. The old ones, are not formally (yet) cancelled and replaced by new ones, but the ongoing proces of the healing of the rupture in the Church (for which we pray daily) has seen Church-life cancel them. We are in a stage of transition. But to the Easterns it is (yet) forbidden to use the Trisagion as it is chanted in the OO communions. This because at the time the EO knew itself to combat the heresy of monophysitism. But now that we know the enemy of monophysitism is not present in the OO Church, the defence-wall looses its purpose. Church-life, under continued guidance of the Holy Spirit has cancelled it. As Fr. Afanasief said, canons are derivative and relative that must be grounded in dogmatic truth which is stable and unchangeable.

The stable, unchanging truth this canon is derivative of is the dogma concerning the double consubstantiality and the oneness of hypostasis of Jesus Christ - One of the Trinity incarnate. The recognition that this truth lives in bot OO and EO communions practically annuls this canon, and it awaits formal cancellation and replacement with a canon that covers the present situation and once again serves Church-life.

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« Reply #108 on: August 26, 2005, 07:59:53 AM »

Well, gee.ÂÂ  That's really kind of you to pass judgments.
I fail to see how I was passing judgement. The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that the Council of Trullo has Ecumenical status and Keble (a Protestant) and SNB disagreed and I point out that they do not have the authority to change the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church.....if that is "passing judgemnent" then it seems any statement of facts is not welcome in this thread.

I guess then all of us non-Chalcedonians are wasting our times here since we are not Orthodox or don't agree with the Orthodox church.ÂÂ  Thus, by your condescending tone, whatever we say is vanity to your minds.
I can speak only for myself. Others on this board beleive that unity between EO and OO is a matter of mere formality since (they hold) that EO and OO believe the same doctine and have the same faith. I disagree that it is that simple and that they hold the same doctrine and I presented the reasons why I believe this. I am not "anti-dialogue" with anyone, I am however opposed to avoiding realities simply because they are uncomfortable.


I wander then who in the end is really listening to others and who is really listening to himself.
Well, I would say, anyone who insists that the only way for me to be in communion with them is to reject the teachings of my Church.
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« Reply #109 on: August 26, 2005, 08:08:10 AM »

The Orthodox Church consists of both[/b] the Oriental and the Eastern communions.
According to whom?  I happen to disagree.

In that perspective, the councils held by either can have local authority but not ecumenical.
If you hold that perspective...... I do not...nor does my Church.

Besides, the council of Trullo sought to affirm previous councils and to provide canons where ones were lacking. As you may be aware, canons are not unchangeable. In the given canon you quoted, the new situation we have today (the one where our hierarchs have acknowledge OO and EO share the one true Orthodox Faith) demands new canons. The old ones, are not formally (yet) cancelled and replaced by new ones, but the ongoing proces of the healing of the rupture in the Church (for which we pray daily) has seen Church-life cancel them. We are in a stage of transition. But to the Easterns it is (yet) forbidden to use the Trisagion as it is chanted in the OO communions. This because at the time the EO knew itself to combat the heresy of monophysitism. But now that we know the enemy of monophysitism is not present in the OO Church, the defence-wall looses its purpose. Church-life, under continued guidance of the Holy Spirit has cancelled it. As Fr. Afanasief said, canons are derivative and relative that must be grounded in dogmatic truth which is stable and unchangeable.
Ii the 81st Canon of Trullo merely dealing with praxis and not dogma? Why does it mention heretics then?
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« Reply #110 on: August 26, 2005, 08:17:34 AM »

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I fail to see how I was passing judgement. The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that the Council of Trullo has Ecumenical status and Keble (a Protestant) and SNB disagreed and I point out that they do not have the authority to change the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church.....if that is "passing judgemnent" then it seems any statement of facts is not welcome in this thread.

Correct. I do not have such authority, and I should have taken care not to sound as if I did. My sin and arrogance is apparent.

However, in this situation, which is entirely new it is necessary to reflect upon the achievements between both communions since our communications have started and have found that we share the same, Orthodox, faith. This brings up new questions, and opens up new possibilities. It is these I seek to explore. The other option is to pretend nothing happened since the 50-ies and our several communications and declarations, to live in the past, where the letter of our past becomes the letter that kills us.

S_N_B
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« Reply #111 on: August 26, 2005, 08:33:46 AM »

However, in this situation, which is entirely new it is necessary to reflect upon the achievements between both communions since our communications have started and have found that we share the same, Orthodox, faith.

Again, I have to ask:
who has found that EO and OO share the same Orthodox faith? Which Synod of the EO Church (local or panorthodox) has declared that EO and OO share the same faith?
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« Reply #112 on: August 26, 2005, 08:34:53 AM »

OzGeorge,

I have referred to the Common Declarations again and again. They have been produced by the hierarchy of both EO and OO communions. The mainline EO were (mostly) presented, and particular interrest has been shown by the Russian Orthodox Church. It is in the light of these things that I speak, tentatively, yes, without absolute authority, yes, perhaps mistakenly at times. But unless we dare to look further in the direction that the Declarations are taking us, we will not achieve the will of the Lord as He expressed it in His prayer (John 17). It is this that I try to do, whereas others seem to try just as hard to undo what has already been achived.

S_N_B

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« Reply #113 on: August 26, 2005, 08:52:30 AM »

But unless we dare to look further in the direction that the Declarations are taking us, we will not achieve the will of the Lord as He expressed it in His prayer (John 17). It is this that I try to do, whereas others seem to try just as hard to undo what has already been achived.

And this is a very basic difference between Orthodox doctrine and heterodox doctrine. The Church has always been and will always be One according to Orthodoxy. The Church is a Unity relecting the Unity of the Indivisible Trinity (as per Christ's prayer in John 17). The idea that Christ's prayer is yet to be answered is not Orthodox ecclessiology. The Church is, and will always be, the Icon of the Holy Trinity. The moment the Church is "disunited", it ceases to be that Icon of the Trinity, and therefore ceases to be the Church. Individuals and groups can fall away from the Church, but the Church will remain the Church. To say that the Church exists in two or more seperated groups in schism is clearly heresy condemned by the Nicene-Constantinoplian Council. We can pray that people return to the Church, we can pray that the Local Churches remain united (as we EO do in every Great Litany), but it is contradictory to pray for the "reunion of the Church", since, by definition, the Church can never be "disunited".
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« Reply #114 on: August 26, 2005, 09:22:57 AM »

OzGeorge,

I have referred to the Common Declarations again and again. They have been produced by the hierarchy of both EO and OO communions. The mainline EO were (mostly) presented, and particular interrest has been shown by the Russian Orthodox Church. It is in the light of these things that I speak, tentatively, yes, without absolute authority, yes, perhaps mistakenly at times.

Which "Common Declarations" specifically are you referring to?
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« Reply #115 on: August 26, 2005, 10:23:29 AM »

Which "Common Declarations" specifically are you referring to?

Probably these as shown on Peter Farrington's website:
http://www.orthodoxunity.org/statements.html

Agreed statements are not official actions, no matter how worthy their intent. The initial question of this topic was "Will the OO and EO Reunite?" Twice heretofore I opined "no", apparently to the dismay of my friend, Mor Ephrem. He perhaps is misunderstanding me.
 
Fact: The EP has stated (video still available on goarch website) that ALL 7 councils must be accepted.
Fact: Pope Shenouda has rejected acceptance of the Council of 451.

What more need be said? I don't doubt that there may be teams of clerics still sounding out each side and all churches, but this recurrent internet forum topic seems to exist only in cyberspace.

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« Reply #116 on: August 26, 2005, 10:42:59 AM »

Indeed, I am referring to those Declarations. They have no absolute authority, correct. But they do indicate that the life of the Church, the Orthodox Church exists beyond the acts of schims we managed to create so long ago.

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Fact: The EP has stated (video still available on goarch website) that ALL 7 councils must be accepted.

Id did not know that. It saddens me indeed. Is the video in English? And where can I find the link? Thx.

It is ridiculous to demand that the OO bow down to councils that excluded them in principle, and of which they never were any part, due to the lack of theological knowledge in times past. The ecumenicity of a council is shown by its ecumenical reception in the Church as has happened with those who are undisputedly ecumenical. An ecumenicity that is enforced by strong-arming is an act of unbelief in the Holy Spirit and an introduction of wordly power into the Church.

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Fact: Pope Shenouda has rejected acceptance of the Council of 451.

That may be so, and this should not tell us the Pope is un-Orthodox, but that the Council of Chalcedon is not inclusive enough to cover the whole range of Orthodox Church-life. Besides that, Pope Shenouda is not[/b] the EP of the OOC, they have no such position. They are quite autonomous and have their own Patriarchs. What Pope Shenouda says, is limited to the COC, he has no authority over the other Patriarchates.

As long as the EO keeps pushing the local Councils of the Eastern Church as obligatory for the OO, no re-union will result. We must stand upon our local traditions, and without abolishing them, move beyond them. That is a pan-Orthodox Council should deal with the issues at hand to lift anathemas and to formulate a reunion that covers the whole range of Orthodoxy so that there no longer be two families in Orthodoxy, but one.

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« Reply #117 on: August 26, 2005, 11:09:40 AM »

Dear ozgeorge,

The way you addressed that a Protestant and another have mentioned these things are as if their studies don't seem to mean anything, and thus easily discounted.ÂÂ  Rather than defending your case, as you did, you first had to address them as "Protestant and you" as if their present status states the weakness of their argument.

It is because of this tone that makes me think whether I should continue or not.ÂÂ  To show, for example, that St. Dioscorus was not a heretic and was deposed wrongly is easily dismissed because I'm not "of the Church."ÂÂ  What seems to me here is that just because I'm non-Chalcedonian, I'm not right, for the "real" Church taught that Dioscorus "ignorantly" refused to appear after three "just" summons.

It's ridiculous to continue if you and others continue to discount our defenses.ÂÂ  We can easily conclude that just because you're Chalcedonian, your facts are faulty and I have no ear to hear your arguments.  In the end, it is not the Ecumenists that listen to themselves only, but all other parties just love to listen to themselves.

God bless you.
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« Reply #118 on: August 26, 2005, 11:16:08 AM »

Sure, S_N_B. The interview is available in RealMedia format at:

http://www.goarch.org/en/multimedia/video/

As to your defintion of "local council", well, that is your opinion as well. A quick read of the last 'canon' from 451 (which I will allow is nettlesome) shows me that the door was open and one side rejected the other. Likewise, such a defintion as yours invites the Assyrian Chruch of the East to insist the the Third Council was local only...  Wink

I would hold that the Coptic Pope is as influencial in their communion as the EP in the EO. Neiher are Roman popes.
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« Reply #119 on: August 26, 2005, 11:25:38 AM »

And now there is a schism between East and West, therefore the only Churches which Eastern Orthodoxy accepts as authoritative all ascribe Ecumenical status to Trullo.

So they say, and the problem extends-- because, having been beaten back from using one authority which isn't accepted, they are now retreating to an even less reputable authority: their own self-elevation.

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Of course there was discord! The very reason an Ecumenical Council is called is because of discord. A bit like seperating the wheat from the chaff.

No. That is the reason a council is called. What makes it ecumenical is its recognition as having such authority by the ecumen as a whole. Many early councils fail the latter test and are now disregarded.

The claim you are making on the behalf of Orthodoxy is that they can ex post facto declare Trullo to be ecumenical by excluding the western churches then on the basis of having excluded the current western churches now. Or, to use your terminology of the moment: they don't have to listen to the western objections raised back then because they are not listening to the western churches now.

That's what it comes down to, this "not listening". The argument seems to run thus: "Trullo says...." "Trullo was never accepted as a universal authority-- you know that." "Well, we don't care about that, because those objections don't count."

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Keble, listen to me. I am Eastern Orthodox, and I accept the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that the Council of Trullo has Ecumenical status. NOWHERE have I said that this is binding on ANYONE outside the Church. No Council is binding on anyone outside the Church.But what you are asking me to do in order for unity to be acheived is to reject the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

OzGeorge, I cannot say it is fine with me that you, out of loyalty, repeat the intellectual errors of the Eastern hierarchy. But surely it must be obvious that the discussion, because of this intransigence, is being pushed into the corner of having no better justification for Eastern church teachings than their own teaching that they cannot be disputed. Nobody ever listens when I say this, but I do think it has to be said: the use of infallibility in argument is evidence of error, because true arguments do not need that sort of defense. If you can argue the Orthodox position without resorting to the infalliblity defense, then you can convince outsiders. The strength on Nicaea is founded in 1500 years of reassessment and reratification by generations of theologians. That is the ultimate, Catholic, in all times and places ecumenical agreement.

When the Orthodox churches teach that they alone teach the truth, then they DO teach that their positions are binding on everyone. The truth is intrinsically binding on any who claim to seek it. Legalistic talk of who is bound by which council is, at best, a concession that their claim to authority is hollow. At worst, it is a raging inconsistency which pollutes any discourse with the other churches, as we are seeing in this very thread.
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« Reply #120 on: August 26, 2005, 12:08:17 PM »

The Oneness of the Orthodox Church

It is of the greatest mystery to find out what it means for the one Orthodox Church to exist.  For once, we echo St. Paul's words "One Lord, One faith, One Baptism."  But on the other side, we see a schism that is very apparent.

There are many opinions.  Either one of the families are outside the church, or both families constitute one church regardless of the schism.  To believe the first opinion, there had to be particular reason that at the source of schism, heresy was professed.

Was Nestorianism taught at Chalcedon?  In the context of Leo's other letters, the many Eastern bishops, and perhaps even the condemnation (hesitated) of Nestorius by Theodoret, as well as the clear definition with those four adverbs, despite the use of the word "in," as well as the fruits and legacy Chalcedon brought with theologians like St. Maximus the Confessor and St. John Damascene, it's practically reasonable to lift our anathemas from Chalcedon as Nestorian in belief, despite the nasty politics and some other ambiguities Chalcedon may have brought.

Were Dioscorus, Severus, Timothy, Theodosius, Philoxenus, Peter Mongus, etc. etc. etc. Monophysites?  Were they all confusers of the two ousia of Christ?  Was St. Dioscorus rightly deposed?  Were all these Oriental saints rightly anathematized as Eutychians?  The answer is a very easy "No."  We have letters from each of these theologians showing that their thought has not deviated from St. Cyril's thought, and at the same time, not hesitant to condemn Eutychians and Monophysites.  In light of Dioscorus' CLEAR defense at Chalcedon, Timothy's "Ecumenical" convening at Ephesus, and St. Severus' plethora of writing left for the world to read, and upon which the present OO Church uses as an authoritative theology along with St. Cyril and St. Athanasius, and in which in essence is the theology of St. John of Damascus, who did not read an iota of St. Severus' writings, shows not only that the OO is truly Orthodox and was never, not in a single day heretical or guiltly schismatic, but that the harmony of both St. Severus and St. John Damascene, who both would have loathed each other, spoke the same truth by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

In light of this evidence, it is impossible to say that "one left the church."  When I say there was a misunderstanding, I say this not as some cheap ecumenical politician, but after much reading on the situation at hand, I find no other way to conclude it as such.  Either one family knew the other professed Orthodoxy and ignorantly anathematized them, or both truly did not know how to interpret one another rightly, and thus were misunderstanding one another.  The opinion that one or the other had to be heretical must be disposed of, for there is no reasonable proof to say such a thing considering the plethora of proof that both churches have professed Orthodoxy elsewhere.  Thus, IN CONTEXT, both OO and EO are rightly "O" and never were not "O."

So can we truly divide the church?  It has happened before.  I name two examples:

One was the excommunication of St. John Chrysostom.  While there was no heresy professed, he was still deposed, excommunicated, and sent to exile, unjustly.  This confessor suffered as outside the church and yet innocent of the charges brought against him.  He DIED deposed.  Is he truly condemned since a council followed good procedure, and under the powers of the priesthood, rightly deposed by other "priests"?  If so, then how can we call him saint?  What is the belief behind unjust excommunications?  It seems here that that Church logically found that an unjust excommunication is not accepted by Christ.  Therefore, Church history seems to teach us that despite "correct procedure," St. John Chrysostom remained a Patriarch even unto his death, and the Church, although split between the world and St. John Chrysostom, was still one.

The second example was St. Cyril and John of Antioch.  For two years both of these men split on grounds that each of them have taught heresy.  St. Cyril was a Monophysite, i.e. a confuser of ousia, while John of Antioch was a Nestorian.  After two years, however, when a deacon named Paul appeared to Cyril, St. Cyril did not hesitate to echo the words of St. Paul, "One Lord, One faith, One baptism," showing that the two year schism was merely a misunderstanding and that therefore the anathema does not hold valid.  I ask simply, does it make a difference to our God, who is above time, that there be a 2-year or a 1500-year schism?  To believe that it does make a difference would be heretical, ascribing to God as a deity not above time.  But the fact remains that since John of Antioch was never outside the Church as result of the one faith professed according to the tone of the Formula of Reunion, therefore, a schism is "unnecessary and inopportune," and we are a time of peace to unite what is already united.

Therefore, SNB is right when he says that the Orthodox Church consists of the Oriental and Eastern Traditions.  It is wrong to say there are two churches split from one another.  The body of Christ is never split.  Only men split, but we still remain to have "One Lord, One faith" and thus, as is agreed by the heirarchs, "One Baptism."

This is how I interpret the division between us.  Many may disagree and many people will say I'm nothing but a cheap ecumenical politician, but the evidence shown in history cannot be interpreted in any other way.

I accept any criticism.

God bless.
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« Reply #121 on: August 26, 2005, 12:21:04 PM »

Quote
The claim you are making on the behalf of Orthodoxy is that they can ex post facto declare Trullo to be ecumenical by excluding the western churches then on the basis of having excluded the current western churches now. Or, to use your terminology of the moment: they don't have to listen to the western objections raised back then because they are not listening to the western churches now.

Interesting.  Is it true that Rome did not accept the Council in Trullo?  If so, then it can't be considered "ecumenical."  Perhaps, the Byzantines give it "ecumenical status" since only the Byzantines are bound by it, but in reality, it is not ecumenical if Rome does not accept it, which was one with the Church at the time.  Proof shows that the sixth council (after Trullo) was influenced by St. Maximus and St. Pope Martin as "confessors" of the true "diathelete" faith.  To exclude Rome from this "ecumenical" council is to exclude St. Martin from your synexarium, logically.

God bless.
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« Reply #122 on: August 26, 2005, 01:28:42 PM »

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Interesting. Is it true that Rome did not accept the Council in Trullo? If so, then it can't be considered "ecumenical." Perhaps, the Byzantines give it "ecumenical status" since only the Byzantines are bound by it, but in reality, it is not ecumenical if Rome does not accept it, which was one with the Church at the time. Proof shows that the sixth council (after Trullo) was influenced by St. Maximus and St. Pope Martin as "confessors" of the true "diathelete" faith. To exclude Rome from this "ecumenical" council is to exclude St. Martin from your synexarium, logically.

God bless.

The answer to whether or not Rome accepted these canons is 'yes, but in a hidden manner'. I quote the summation paragraph of the introduction from the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers series, Volume XIV:

Pope Sergius refused to sign the decrees when they were sent to him, rejected them as “lacking authority” (invalidi) and described them as containing “novel errors.”  With the efforts to extort his signature we have no concern further than to state that they signally failed.  Later on, in the time of Pope Constantine, a middle course seems to have been adopted, a course subsequently in the ninth century thus expressed by Pope John VIII., “he accepted all those canons which did not contradict the true faith, good morals, and the decrees of Rome,” a truly notable statement!  Nearly a century later Pope Hadrian I. distinctly recognizes all the Trullan decrees in his letter to Tenasius of Constantinople and attributes them to the Sixth Synod.  “All the holy six synods I receive with all their canons, which rightly and divinely were promulgated by them, among which is contained that in which reference is made to a Lamb being pointed to by the Precursor as being found in certain of the venerable images.”  Here the reference is unmistakably to the Trullan Canon LXXXII (bolded text is mine)

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiv.ii.html

The problem is that while the West, and Rome in particular, did eventually accept the Trullan Council as an extension of the Sixth Council, this is frequently ignored in today's world. Many websites will show that Rome accepted the 6th and 7th Council but not Trullo, all the while not stating that Rome considered Trullo to be the closing act of the 6th and therefore actually Ecumenical (although they did not assign the same weight to the canons as do the Orthodox).

It also needs to be pointed out that Canon II of Trullo also accepted as being of Ecumenical nature the following:

the 85 Apostolic Canons, plus the canons from Dionysius of Alexandria,Peter of Alexandria,Gregory Thaumaturgus, Athanasius of Alexandria, Basil of Cæsarea, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory the Theologian, Amphilochius of Iconium, Timothy of Alexandria, Theophilus of Alexandria, Cyril of Alexandria, and Gennadius of Constantinople.

My research has not yet shown if the above Apostolic Canons were accepted in the West solely due to Canon II of Trullo, or if there are other canons that had adopted these Canons and as such were part of the West's Canonical heritage. If the only canon accepting these Canons are from Trullo, then the West is in the difficult position of having to defend (again) why they are arbitrarily accepting canons made canonical by a Council that they allegedly do not entirely accept, even though they have accepted Trullo almost 100 years after being concluded.
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« Reply #123 on: August 26, 2005, 08:04:42 PM »

This is how I interpret the division between us.  Many may disagree and many people will say I'm nothing but a cheap ecumenical politician, but the evidence shown in history cannot be interpreted in any other way.

I accept any criticism.

Yes it can be interpreted in other ways.

Who deposed St. Chrysostom? Was it an Ecumenical Council? If not, what authority deposed him?
Is deposing a bishop the same as schism?

Your examples do not compare to a schism from the Church. An individual being excommunicated by a local Synod is not the same as an entire local church refusing to accept the teachings of an Ecumenical Council. This is proven by the fact that these internet discussions all insist on one thing as a basis for EO and OO unity: Namely that the Ecumenical Councils should be considered Ecumenical only for the EO and not the OO- obviously an impossibility and a fallacy.
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« Reply #124 on: August 26, 2005, 09:05:00 PM »

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Namely that the Ecumenical Councils should be considered Ecumenical only for the EO and not the OO- obviously an impossibility and a fallacy.

Them's the breaks.  I honestly don't think it should be that difficult.  Look, the OOs split saying that the EOs believed something that, at the time they were being accused of a heresy, they categorically rejected.  They went on with other councils that solidified this understanding and proved exactly what they were saying.  Now the argument is whether so and so really meant that he rejected the heresy when he said it because so and so's words could be misconstrued to mean something the authors and the authors' successors later clarified.  The OOs, imho, have left other issues concerning the person of Christ far too ambiguous.  This is simply my opinion and other reasonable people disagree. 

The OOs could say, "gee, okay, Chalcedon really wasn't saying that.  We agree now.  Since Chalcedon was okay, let's move on."  Since there were so many personalities involved with bad feelings and bridges burned, I don't think the human psyche (or whatever power is involved) will allow that to happen.

The EOs will never say Chalcedon is optional because it will lead to a Christological controversy that was already solved.  That's only one of many reasons.
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« Reply #125 on: August 26, 2005, 10:36:30 PM »

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Namely that the Ecumenical Councils should be considered Ecumenical only for the EO and not the OO- obviously an impossibility and a fallacy.

Indeed, which is why the EOC should humbly submit to the fact that Councils 4-7 were not Ecumenical. I have been on this board for how long now, waiting for someone to objectively prove the Oecumenicity of Chalcedon (upon which the Oecumenicity of the subsequent councils depend)? And what is the latest desperate argument that I get? “Because a majority of the patriarchates agreed with it” or, (and I love this one) “because the imperial authorities affirmed it.”

Quote
The OOs, imho, have left other issues concerning the person of Christ far too ambiguous.  This is simply my opinion and other reasonable people disagree.


I would like to know what of OO Christology you have read. Be honest with me now; prior to this very instance at which you are reading this post, what Christological works of St Severus of Antioch, the greatest Christologian (even greater than St Cyril himself), for example, have you engaged with?

Quote
The OOs could say, "gee, okay, Chalcedon really wasn't saying that.  We agree now.  Since Chalcedon was okay, let's move on."


The most liberal position any honest OO could ever take on this matter, is to give Chalcedon the benefit of any miniscule doubt it leaves us with regarding its being heretical, and to acknowledge it as a local Orthodox council constituting the Christological tradition for the Eastern Church that has, (in spite of Chalcedon, and not because of it) ultimately resulted in an Orthodox Christology. However, this acknowledgement must be mutual. With respect to its ecumenicity there is no benefit of the doubt here, for its non-ecumenicity is self-evident in the very fact our Church’s are divided over an alleged “misunderstanding”; an assembly of schism it was, and an assembly of schism it shall always be remembered and considered.

Peace.
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« Reply #126 on: August 26, 2005, 11:12:16 PM »

However, this acknowledgement must be mutual.

Which is exactly what I said on this thread 2 days ago:
I think we have to face facts that the only way the EO and OO could ever unite is if either the EO rejects the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils or the OO accepts them, and I don't see either one happening.
The EO says the Fourth to Seventh Councils were Ecumenical, the OO says they weren't, and never the twain shall meet. It is that simple.
So perhaps we could just move on from this now and find common ground in things other than the Church......
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« Reply #127 on: August 26, 2005, 11:57:16 PM »

Dear ozgeorge,

This is the problem with the definition of "ecumenicity."  The Synod of the Oak seemed to have followed correct procedure and was supported by the Emperor and Empress.  A good number of bishops were there.  It brought a schism to the church for a while, but by definition, this is considered, according to someone here, ecumenical.

The second example however shows a much more consistent example, for Ephesus, as all agree here, is ecumenical.  Perhaps, it may seem that by the virtue of this example that we should accept Chalcedon.  However, the difference is that John of Antioch anathematized Nestorius, who saw the reasonability of the anathema and the heresy professed.

Which leads me to the next point:

Dear Cizenec (and others),

There is this problem that makes all think why can't we just accept the last four councils and be one big happy family.  Well, if it was truly that easy, my dear friend, I wouldn't be an OO.  Your councils unjustly anathematized Sts. Dioscorus, Severus, Philoxenus, etc. etc. etc.  We not only say that modern OO's are not heretics, but the people you anathematized at your so-called "ecumenical" councils were not heretical either, nor was Dioscorus deposed justly, as I have previously proven.

Chalcedon is no different than the Synod of the Oak.  Politics have entered and defiled what seemed to be good procedure in deposing someone.  But in the end, you will realize that although both of these councils were not heretical, they weren't good procedurally.

God bless.
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« Reply #128 on: August 26, 2005, 11:59:58 PM »

To answer further the OP, despite the unrealistic cyber division we have here, here is a website that further shows my optimism:

http://www.christhewhois.com/

Enjoy.

God bless.
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« Reply #129 on: August 27, 2005, 12:03:23 AM »

This is the problem with the definition of "ecumenicity."ÂÂ  

Dear mina,
We've been here before. I agree that this is precisely the point, and it is clear that neither the EO nor the OO are going to budge on this issue. I repeat:
Which is exactly what I said on this thread 2 days ago:The EO says the Fourth to Seventh Councils were Ecumenical, the OO says they weren't, and never the twain shall meet. It is that simple.

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« Reply #130 on: August 27, 2005, 12:26:15 AM »

Dear ozgeorge,

I respect that you just want to end it at that.  But what bothers me is that regardless of the councils accepted, both have always thought alike, in one faith.  To ignore this is to continue causing the sin of confirming an unwanted schism.

This is why I am annoying, yes, I admit, I am annoying, all of you to death on the similarity of thought between one another.  Unless I'm wrong when I say that Dioscorus was not a Monophysite and was deposed unjustly, I'm not going to stop being annoying.

God bless you my friend.
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« Reply #131 on: August 27, 2005, 01:22:59 AM »

OzGeorge wrote:

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,...that the Ecumenical Councils should be considered Ecumenical only for the EO and not the OO- obviously an impossibility and a fallacy.

Given the factual union due to a common Orthodoxy and Apostolicity, I'de say it is not a fallacy, but equally a given. It merely awaits recognition and action.

However, it seems we will noy get beyond this point for a while, and the sin of separation in which we live will continue.

Lord have mercy!

S_N_B
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« Reply #132 on: August 27, 2005, 04:37:21 AM »

both have always thought alike, in one faith.
Huh
The Eastern Orthodox Christian Faith has been defined in Seven Ecumenical Councils which it recognises. The Oriental Orthodox Christian Faith neither accepts nor recognises four of these Seven Ecumenical Councils..........how then can you say that we "always thought alike, in one faith"?

To ignore this is to continue causing the sin of confirming an unwanted schism.
So who is ignoring the fact that the Oriental Orthodox Church does not accept four Ecumenical Councils? And if it does accept their teachings, why does it refuse to recognise them?

The reality is that one of us is wrong because the EO and OO positions on the Ecumenical Councils are mutually exclusive. Sweeping this fact under the carpet is no basis for "unity". Given the fallen nature of us all, I think we will never find out for sure who is right and who is wrong until the Day of Judgement.
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« Reply #133 on: August 27, 2005, 08:01:07 AM »

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So who is ignoring the fact that the Oriental Orthodox Church does not accept four Ecumenical Councils?

We accept all the Ecumenical Councils ozgeorge; the fact is, there are only three of them. The Oriental Orthodox Church does not accept 4 local Eastern councils (1 possibly heretical, though certainly schismatic) as Ecumenical, and no one is ignoring this, on the contrary, we are defending this stance.

Quote
And if it does accept their teachings, why does it refuse to recognise them?

First of all, you have to understand that what Chalcedon actually taught is quite ambiguous when it is interpreted in its immediate historical context. To the far majority of EO’s who have never really studied Chalcedon from other perspectives or in any depth, Chalcedon is the council that defended the real and continuing reality of Christ’s human and divine natures against those who believed the divine was confused with the human into one divine or super-human essence. Had this fundamentally flawed and historically inaccurate depiction of Chalcedon been the actual case, there would have been no schism. However, Learned Orthodox Fathers such as St Dioscorus of Alexandria, St Timothy of Alexandria and St Severus of Antioch, rightfully interpreted Nestorianism at Chalcedon, and it was upon this basis and this basis alone, that Chalcedon was then rejected. The testimony of my Fathers stands reasonably supported by hardcore evidence, as has been proven repeatedly, whether you like to see it or not. Therefore, even granting your council the benefit of any miniscule doubt regarding its being heretical (purely for the sake of kind yet legitimate compromise), it stands a schismatic council by virtue of its Christological ambiguity, its political stains, and its false ex-communications and anathemas of Orthodox Saints; we do not submit to schismatic councils as Ecumenical, for they are by definition anti-Ecumenical.

Our Church has developed a Christological tradition that is both Orthodox and Apostolic without the interference of, or need for Chalcedon or the subsequent councils, and which is developed by - who is probably the most profound Christologian that Orthodox Christianity has ever produced — St Severus of Antioch. Why don’t you submit to our tradition ozgeorge? What makes yours any more valid than ours? Objective answers please.

Peace.
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« Reply #134 on: August 27, 2005, 08:42:23 AM »

We accept all the Ecumenical Councils ozgeorge; the fact is, there are only three of them.
Oh please! Can you tell us something new? You say three, we say seven. The point is that the EO and OO don't agree on this issue and never will in this world.
And I repeat for the third time (because no one seems to be listening):
Which is exactly what I said on this thread 2 days ago:The EO says the Fourth to Seventh Councils were Ecumenical, the OO says they weren't, and never the twain shall meet.
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« Reply #135 on: August 27, 2005, 08:57:14 AM »

Why don’t you submit to our tradition ozgeorge? What makes yours any more valid than ours? Objective answers please.

Have I asked you to submit to the Eastern Orthodox Church? I have said again and again that this issue is closed, neither side is going to budge. Let me remind you of what I said:
So perhaps we could just move on from this now and find common ground in things other than the Church......
and:
We've been here before. I agree that this is precisely the point, and it is clear that neither the EO nor the OO are going to budge on this issue.
and again:
The reality is that one of us is wrong because the EO and OO positions on the Ecumenical Councils are mutually exclusive. Sweeping this fact under the carpet is no basis for "unity". Given the fallen nature of us all, I think we will never find out for sure who is right and who is wrong until the Day of Judgement.
So tell me EA, if I have not attempted to proseletize you, and if I have said that ONE OF US (not necessarily you guys) must be wrong, and if I have stated that God alone could possibly be the Impartial Judge of this....then why do you want to proseletize me? And more importantly, why on Earth do you insist on flogging this dead horse?
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« Reply #136 on: August 27, 2005, 09:30:21 AM »

Ozgeorge,

I am not trying to proselytize you; I am simply attempting to have a reasonable academic discussion with someone (not necessarily you) on the issue of which of the two mutually exclusive positions on Chalcedon is more reasonable in light of the historical data and evidence available to us. If you would like to end discussion at the mere acknowledgement of the mutual exclusivity of the positions as they stand, without really having an interest in justifying one over the other, that is your right and I respect that, you do not have to continue posting in this thread if you do not wish.

I don’t see my persistence with respect to this issue as beating a dead horse, for the purpose of my posts is to clear the common misconceptions regarding why Chalcedon was rejected by the Oriental Orthodox Church and why it continues to be rejected till this day. As one member told me in PM:

The Church of Alexandria, needs no human defence. She is divinely instituted and exists, nay, lives by the grace of the Most Holy Trinity.

I am not here to defend the Church of Alexandria, only to tesitfy and to witness on her behalf, and although the one who had PM'd had advised me against being polemical, I think sometimes it's necessary.

Peace.
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« Reply #137 on: August 27, 2005, 10:14:45 AM »

I am simply attempting to have a reasonable academic discussion with someone (not necessarily you) on the issue of which of the two mutually exclusive positions on Chalcedon is more reasonable in light of the historical data and evidence available to us.
Like I said, flogging a dead horse.

If you would like to end discussion at the mere acknowledgement of the mutual exclusivity of the positions as they stand, without really having an interest in justifying one over the other, that is your right and I respect that,
Firstly, thank you for being the first on this thread to agree with me that the EO and OO positions are mutually exclusive. And no, I have no desire to argue about something which has been argued about for 1500 years. THE CASE IS CLOSED. The EO and OO both drew their lines in the sand at Chalcedon, and there is no going back now. God alone will Justify.

you do not have to continue posting in this thread if you do not wish.
I didn't realise that a condition of contributing to this thread was a willingness to enter into boring, repetetive "academic discusions" with you specifically and on your terms......

The Church of Alexandria, needs no human defence. She is divinely instituted and exists, nay, lives by the grace of the Most Holy Trinity.
Amen!
And many years to his Beatitude, Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa. Wink You see?...mutually exclusive...case closed....dead horse....
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« Reply #138 on: August 27, 2005, 10:33:32 AM »

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And no, I have no desire to argue about something which has been argued about for 1500 years. THE CASE IS CLOSED.


The period of time a specific issue has been discussed or debated does not deem it a closed case; however, If that's how you personally feel then don’t respond, simple as that. I don't know why you're complaining - no one is forcing you to discuss these matters. The case is still open for many.

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Amen! And many years to his Beatitude, Theodorus II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa

I think the one who PM’d me was referring to the 117th successor of St Mark, and not the 90th successor of an imperial puppet.

Peace.
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« Reply #139 on: August 27, 2005, 10:43:27 AM »

the 90th successor of an imperial puppet.

If this is an example of your idea of "academic discussion", then I think the case is most definitely closed.
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« Reply #140 on: August 27, 2005, 10:56:58 AM »

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If this is an example of your idea of "academic discussion"

One can be academic yet metaphorical; these are not mutually exclusive.

In any event, I’ve already tried academic discussion with you, however instead of dealing with the explicit and well-documented evidence vindicating an Orthodox Saint from heresy, you ended up declaring your own personal anathema.

Peace.
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« Reply #141 on: August 27, 2005, 11:05:11 AM »

One can be academic yet metaphorical; these are not mutually exclusive.
Do you even know what "metaphorical" means?

you ended up declaring your own personal anathema.
Did I now? Could you point out where I pronounced a "personal anathema" and not one which an Ecumenical Council has pronounced (and no, a lack of OO recognition of an Ecumenical Council doesn't count in my case since I am Eastern Orthodox and recognise Seven.)

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« Reply #142 on: August 27, 2005, 11:22:36 AM »

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Do you even know what metaphorical means?

Unless Proterios literally had strings attached to his back, then I must be missing something in the context of my understanding him as an imperial puppet.

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Did I now? Could you point out where I pronounced a "personal anathema" and not one which an Ecumenical Council has pronounced

First of all, I can’t point you to an Ecumenical Council that has pronounced any anathemas on Orthodox Saints, for such acts are by nature anti-Ecumenical. However whether you pronounced an anathema in concordance with one of your local councils is not the point; the point is, you took it upon yourself to pronounce it as your personal response to an attempted academic discussion with you regarding the Christological understanding of the Orthodox Saint in question.

Peace.
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« Reply #143 on: August 27, 2005, 11:34:54 AM »

Dear Keble, Minasoliman, and S_N_Bulgakov,

I think I have adequatley proved my point (thanks to EA's co-operation). There is no common ground between the Eastern Orthodox and the non-Chalcedonians. We do not share the same faith.
And I see no further point in this thread continuing, unless you want to spend the rest of our lives saying:
"The Fourth to Seventh Councils were Ecumenical"
"No they weren't"
"Yes they were"
"No they weren't"
"Yes they were"......

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« Reply #144 on: August 27, 2005, 11:38:24 AM »

No common ground?  Geez, you'd think the argument centred upon the union of Eastern Orthodox with animists.  Tongue

Although I think I have asked this on this board before, I don't remember if I got an answer or not; if so, please direct me to it.  If a "union council" between EO and OO was convened to look at the post-Ephesian councils, why would it not be satisfactory for union for the OO, after certain issues (e.g., removing anathemas) were resolved by the competent authorities, to accept Chalcedon, Constantinople II, Constantinople III, and Nicaea II as ecumenical, with the understanding that they become ecumenical, at least for the OO, as of the moment they accept them?  This seems obvious enough (that they become ecumenical for us once we accept them), and it allows the EO to not have to entirely reject the four councils.  This division is only going to be overcome by humility, and if the Orthodox Church (i.e., the Oriental Orthodox Church) has to make this sort of step in order to achieve the reunion of the Eastern Orthodox with her, I don't think it would necessarily be a bad thing (we admit that these councils as the EO understand them are doctrinally orthodox).

Unless someone demonstrates why this is a legitimate impossibility, I tend to think this would work.  Unfortunately, like ozgeorge, I don't think this or any real attempt for reconciliation will happen, but not necessarily for the reasons he cites.  I think the Eastern Orthodox are much too internally divided, and thus, to an extent, not mature enough, for a reunion with the (Oriental) Orthodox Church.  This much seems clear from internet discussions similar to the ones which make people here feel a reunion is impossible. 
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« Reply #145 on: August 27, 2005, 11:59:49 AM »

[If a "union council" between EO and OO was convened to look at the post-Ephesian councils, why would it not be satisfactory for union for the OO, after certain issues (e.g., removing anathemas) were resolved by the competent authorities, to accept Chalcedon, Constantinople II, Constantinople III, and Nicaea II as ecumenical, with the understanding that they become ecumenical, at least for the OO, as of the moment they accept them?ÂÂ  This seems obvious enough (that they become ecumenical for us once we accept them), and it allows the EO to not have to entirely reject the four councils.ÂÂ

I'm not sure this would work, Mor. It's a bit like the idea that union can be based on the post-Ephesian Councils being Ecumenical for the EO and not the OO. The difference is, you are now proposing that one side should consider the post-Ephesian Councils to be local Councils in the past and Ecumenical Councils in the present and future. I don't know how this could be formulated without running into the ecclessiologically absurd idea that a Council was local up until AD 2005 and Ecumenical thereafter (1500 years after the Fathers of that Council had died.)
Again, the EO and OO would not be believing the same things- in this case, the Ecumenical nature of Councils 4-7 when they took place.
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« Reply #146 on: August 27, 2005, 12:10:33 PM »

The questions I ask are very simple.

1.  Is St. Dioscorus a heretic?
2.  Was he deposed justly?

We have argued and provided references to our "No's" to these two questions.  I haven't seen anyone here prove their "Yes's."

If truly many EO's agree to the "No's," then you can't expect us to accept the last four councils as ecumenical.  Lifting anathemas will prove their un-ecumenicity, which is why the EO's are so divided.

God bless.
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« Reply #147 on: August 27, 2005, 12:13:57 PM »

Dear OzGeorge,

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I think I have adequatley proved my point (thanks to EA's co-operation). There is no common ground between the Eastern Orthodox and the non-Chalcedonians. We do not share the same faith.

Polemics aside, I think it has been clearly shown we do share the same Orthodox Faith, and that the Councils of the EO Church do not teach a dogmatically different faith, from OOy. The EO extra-councils are considered Orthodox (by mouth of HG Metropolitan Bishoy of the COC), and the OO tradition is considered Orthodox by mouth of the EO's who signed the Common Declarations. What we have therefore, is that the EO extra councils express the same christological dogma that we find in the OO tradition (most clearly in the teachings of the greatest christologist of the OOC St. Severus of Antioch), the EO's merely expressing it in a way traditional and peculiar to the Easterns. The OO's have a different tradition of expressing the very same dogmatic factum.

The schism resulting from various, complex, factors at Chalcedon is a schism that makes it necessary to supercede it in a truly pan-Orthodox council, at which the anathemas are lifted and a satisfactory solution is found that allows both expressions of the one Orthodox truth.

I do not accept your conclusions, they contradict the path opened up by the Holy Spirit as reflected in the Common Declarations. These are promptings of the Holy Spirit, and voices continuing separation, even for pious reasons, are (imho) ill-conceived. They originate from the passions, rather than passionlessness. Unless we learn to free ourselves from the passions, we will be ever deceived by them, and the walls of separation we have (sinfully) erected in the One, True, Church will continue to exist. These walls of (sinful) separation will cease to exist where the passions cease to exist. Reunion of the Church is therefore, first and foremost a work achieved in humility and repentance. For we are revolting against Christ, we fail to "discern His Body" spiritual sickness be the consequence (as happened in the community of the Corinthians, as we detect in St. Paul's writngs).

Still,.. due to our common dogmatic faith, common apostolicity, and common sacramentality, the union of our communities into the One, True, Church allready exists. The schism exists, solely, on the human level, and is the result, again solely, of our sins and weaknessess. The healing of the schism, is achieved, as I said above, by humility and repentance. Such is the only way for each of us to the Holy Altar for receiving union with Christ our God, and a restoration of intercommunion (on a limited and local level, as is practiced in the Orient already, as well as in the Russian Orthodox Church I attend) between us will ease the way for full, ecclesial, intercommunion to be ratified by a pan-Orthodox council.

Perhaps, and it is likely, you will strongly disagree, but such is my belief and for it I stand in the full consciousness of being loyal to my Church and its Lord Jesus Christ. But I agree, we can continue this discussion, without going anywhere beyond the point where we are now. Evidently, the unity of the Faith is still to be achieved for all of us, and we must continue to pray for it as we are encouraged to do in the prayer of Hours.

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« Reply #148 on: August 27, 2005, 02:34:32 PM »

As an historical aside, there has been a reunion in the history of the Church.
The Church of Georgia did in fact reject Chalcedon in 451 and was labeled 'monophysite". Following the Fifth Council, the Orthodox Church of Georgia (without imperial pressures) accepted both councils and rejoined the Church.
Hence, ALL hope is not lost, despite that today the Church of Georgia takes a very dim view of the rapproachment efforts.

Just food for thought...
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« Reply #149 on: August 27, 2005, 02:55:54 PM »

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   [quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=6853.msg91599#msg91599 date=1125167672]
As an historical aside, there has been a reunion in the history of the Church.
The Church of Georgia did in fact reject Chalcedon in 451 and was labeled 'monophysite". Following the Fifth Council, the Orthodox Church of Georgia (without imperial pressures) accepted both councils and rejoined the Church.
Hence, ALL hope is not lost, despite that today the Church of Georgia takes a very dim view of the rapproachment efforts.
[/quote]

To give us hope, can you explain why the Church of Georgia takes such a dim view of these efforts?
Are there any sites that may help us to understand the theologian's thinking as to how they reconciled the differences after the Fifth Council?
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« Reply #150 on: August 27, 2005, 03:02:02 PM »


To give us hope, can you explain why the Church of Georgia takes such a dim view of these efforts?
Are there any sites that may help us to understand the theologian's thinking as to how they reconciled the differences after the Fifth Council?

Why? I don't know other than that their Patriarch-Catholicos has already rejected these agreed statements. The Georgian Church has a scant internet presence and apparently do not overly point out this period of their history. I can only assume that the acts of the Fifth Council allayed their objections to the Fourth.
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« Reply #151 on: August 27, 2005, 03:43:43 PM »

I'm not sure this would work, Mor. It's a bit like the idea that union can be based on the post-Ephesian Councils being Ecumenical for the EO and not the OO. The difference is, you are now proposing that one side should consider the post-Ephesian Councils to be local Councils in the past and Ecumenical Councils in the present and future. I don't know how this could be formulated without running into the ecclessiologically absurd idea that a Council was local up until AD 2005 and Ecumenical thereafter (1500 years after the Fathers of that Council had died.)
Again, the EO and OO would not be believing the same things- in this case, the Ecumenical nature of Councils 4-7 when they took place.

But a council is not ecumenical until it is received as such; it's not simply a matter of when it was convened and concluded.  I cannot remember the details now, but Bp. Hilarion Alfeyev (ROC-MP) wrote an article about the reception of councils which appeared in the St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly sometime within the past few years.  It made for interesting reading, relevant to this topic.   
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« Reply #152 on: August 27, 2005, 06:19:52 PM »

But a council is not ecumenical until it is received as such; it's not simply a matter of when it was convened and concluded.ÂÂ  
A Council is Ecumenical when it is received by the Ecumene of the Church. It is ratified by subsequent Councils. If an Ecumenical Council proclaims a teaching (eg the Two Natures) and there is a disagreement by one party which refuses to sign, and after many years of attempts to reconcile they still refuse to sign, then it is quite reasonable for the signatories to assume that they no longer should be considered part of the Church. If then 1500 years later, they wish to join the Church, they cannot say that a doctrine was once not applicable to them but now is. Despite what the non-Chalcedons may hold today, the very reason they became non-Chalcedons is because of the doctrine of the Two Natures (whether it was a misunderstanding or not). So why should this doctrine not be an Ecumenical doctrine for 1500 years, and then suddenly become one? What you are suggesting sounds like "The Ecumenical Councils were true and doctrinally binding, but not true nor binding on us until now". The only way this can be accomodated is that if the OO states it was outside the Church (and therefore not bound by Ecumenical Councils) and then was joined to it- and I can't see that happening.
I cannot remember the details now, but Bp. Hilarion Alfeyev (ROC-MP) wrote an article about the reception of councils which appeared in the St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly sometime within the past few years.  It made for interesting reading, relevant to this topic.  ÃƒÆ’‚Â
I'd be interested to read his views.
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« Reply #153 on: August 27, 2005, 11:35:27 PM »

I think SNB presents the most reasonable solution to this problem, and one I have suggested elsewhere a long time ago:

Quote
The schism resulting from various, complex, factors at Chalcedon is a schism that makes it necessary to supercede it in a truly pan-Orthodox council, at which the anathemas are lifted and a satisfactory solution is found that allows both expressions of the one Orthodox truth.


However, by virtue of such a superseding Council, the previously acknowledged Ecumenicity of Chalcedon by the Eastern Church would necessarily, though implicitly, be abandoned.

Peace.
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« Reply #154 on: August 28, 2005, 04:23:49 PM »

A Council is Ecumenical when it is received by the Ecumene of the Church.

What is the "ecumene of the Church"?  What does this mean? 
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« Reply #155 on: August 28, 2005, 04:36:14 PM »

http://www.britishorthodox.org/112g.php

Metropolitan Seraphim spoke about how we can resolve the divisions we see apparent in this thread.  Although he is a non-Chalcedonian, please consider the sincere and humble logic behind his solutions and concerns.

God bless.
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« Reply #156 on: August 28, 2005, 05:14:58 PM »

mina,

HE Metropolitian Seraphim is indeed very helpful here. I think an article by one of his deacons is also relevent: http://www.britishorthodox.org/111e.php

Ekristos Anesti, an 8th council would not negate Chalcedon and the rest, rather it would bridge the additional Ecumenical Councils of the EO with the theological framework of the OO.

An 8th council is indeed needed, not out of necessity, but out of our own sinfulness. The 8th council would put the Agreed christological and theological statements on an official level and officially establish inter-communion. It should become an established feast day in both Churches.
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« Reply #157 on: August 28, 2005, 05:57:51 PM »

What is the "ecumene of the Church"?ÂÂ  What does this mean?ÂÂ  

The Church throughout the world- which a local church can express its desire to schism itself from, for example, by not answering three summons to attend a Church Council.
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« Reply #158 on: August 28, 2005, 06:48:07 PM »

The Church throughout the world- which a local church can express its desire to schism itself from, for example, by not answering three summons to attend a Church Council.

Dear ozgeorge,

I have already defended this.ÂÂ  Please do not repeat arguments.ÂÂ  You yourself asked EA to say something "new."

Besides, you have to face the facts that even the Alexandrian Chalcedonians at first couldn't help but add Dioscorus to the dyptichs, which caused them to be excommunicated by Leo.ÂÂ  Unless, they had a strong emperial defense, they couldn't survive.ÂÂ  This is something different to St. Athanasius who was an enemy of the state, yet was protected by the Holy Spirit.ÂÂ  The fact that the OO lives until today with diverse traditions, with perhaps more members in its church than the Byzantines, while at the same time it had to survive through both Byzantine and Islamic persecutions, shows that it is not one simple local church that "left" an unjust council.

God bless you.
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« Reply #159 on: August 29, 2005, 08:11:05 AM »

I have already defended this.ÂÂ  

There is no need to be so defensive.
Firstly, I was answering a question posed by Mor Ephrem.
Secondly, Orthodox Ecclesiology does not admit the existence of two or more Holy Catholic and Apostolic Churches. A temporary cessation of Communion is one thing, but when it lasts 1500 years,with Bishops from both sides being placed on the same thrones, it is most definitely a schism, and Christ cannot be the Head of "two" bodies. Any attempt at union which tries to ignore the reality of schism is doomed to failure.
From an OO perpective, the EO Pope of Alexandria is a pretender to the throne, and vice versa. If union ever becomes a reality in this world (and I still don't think it will), there cannot possibly be two Popes of Alexandria- so which side is going to give their's up?
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« Reply #160 on: August 29, 2005, 08:28:44 AM »

Quote
A temporary cessation of Communion is one thing, but when it lasts 1500 years,with Bishops from both sides being placed on the same thrones, it is most definitely a schism

You're wrong my friend.ÂÂ  First off, the argument whether it be a temporary cessation or 1500 years doesn't make a difference to Christ.ÂÂ  A small or big schism is still the sin of schismÂÂ  Having two Popes in one area doesn't prove anything either.ÂÂ  It's like having two bishops in the same city of America.ÂÂ  You precide over a congregation, not a land.ÂÂ  Perfect example is St. Peter and St. Paul, considered to be two simultaneous bishops of one city serving a different congregation from one another.

Quote
From an OO perpective, the EO Pope of Alexandria is a pretender to the throne, and vice versa. If union ever becomes a reality in this world (and I still don't think it will), there cannot possibly be two Popes of Alexandria- so which side is going to give their's up?

Before the 1960s, it's rational to think that way.ÂÂ  Not anymore.ÂÂ  Both the Greek Alexandrian and the Coptic Churches are practically sister churches, accepting one another's sacraments since they lifted anathemas from one another.ÂÂ  This would assume at least from an ecclesiological perspective, that we let go of phrases like "pretender" and live in harmony of love and Orthodox unity and respect.  Logically, we accept their succession just as they accept ours.  There should be no insults to say that the other is a "pretender" or a "heretic."

God bless.
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« Reply #161 on: August 29, 2005, 09:00:28 AM »

So then, you are saying that there are two Popes of Alexandia?
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« Reply #162 on: August 29, 2005, 06:07:03 PM »

There is no need to be so defensive.
Firstly, I was answering a question posed by Mor Ephrem.

Perhaps, but let's be fair.  You could've said what you needed to say to answer me without providing an example.  Wink

Anyway, "the Church throughout the world" doesn't really help.  Yes, a local Church can break away from this, but if the ecumene is "the Church througout the world", and there is a division, this definition doesn't provide an objective means of determining which half of the division represents "the Church throughout the world", but only "the Church throughout the world which agrees with me and not with them". 
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« Reply #163 on: August 29, 2005, 10:43:07 PM »

So then, you are saying that there are two Popes of Alexandia?

Logically, based on the relationships between our churches, Yes, there are two Popes of Alexandria, a Pope for the Greek population, and a Pope for the Coptic population, both Orthodox in faith, different in culture and liturgy.

God bless.
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« Reply #164 on: August 30, 2005, 03:50:06 AM »

if the ecumene is "the Church througout the world", and there is a division, this definition doesn't provide an objective means of determining which half of the division represents "the Church throughout the world", but only "the Church throughout the world which agrees with me and not with them".   

Absolutely right!
And like I've been saying all along, only one of us can be right by virtue of the fact that the Church is indivisible. You guys are sure it is you, we are sure it is us and God knows the absolute truth about this, so hopefully we will know on Judgement Day.

Yes, there are two Popes of Alexandria, a Pope for the Greek population, and a Pope for the Coptic population, both Orthodox in faith, different in culture and liturgy.
I respect your right to believe as you wish, but to me, this is:
1) An ecclessiological impossibility.
2) Nothing short of phyletism that each "race" should have it's own bishop, so that the Church of Alexandria should be divided according to "race".
So I hope you will understand if I don't jump for joy at the prospect of a "union" based on this"Two Pope Plan".
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« Reply #165 on: August 30, 2005, 07:30:28 AM »

Perhaps, but let's be fair.  You could've said what you needed to say to answer me without providing an example.  Wink

Anyway, "the Church throughout the world" doesn't really help.  Yes, a local Church can break away from this, but if the ecumene is "the Church througout the world", and there is a division, this definition doesn't provide an objective means of determining which half of the division represents "the Church throughout the world", but only "the Church throughout the world which agrees with me and not with them". 

Absolutely right!
And like I've been saying all along, only one of us can be right by virtue of the fact that the Church is indivisible. You guys are sure it is you, we are sure it is us and God knows the absolute truth about this, so hopefully we will know on Judgement Day.

The problem with this answer, though (and it's behind what I've been trying to get across all along) is that it requires that as soon as any dispute comes up, one side must immediately produce the right answer, so that the others can be divided from it. The other possibility in this case is that the argument is unfinished, and that the church is illegitimately divided. And indeed, it does seem to me that the argument is unfinished, because I am failing to find in all of this the real dispute and succinct statements of the positions.

But be that as it may, this seems to be leading to a theory of ecclesiology which is inherently schismatic, because every dispute must lead immediately to division. And yet-- the great saints of England came to Whitby, and they found themselves on the losing side. And they went home part of a unified church. I'd like to think that the OO/EO division could be ended; but to do this, 1500 years (thereabout) of chruch politics have to be sidelined for the duration.
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« Reply #166 on: August 30, 2005, 01:12:21 PM »

Dear ozgeorge,

Quote
1) An ecclessiological impossibility.

No it's not.  It's happening right now.  There's no reason to think it's impossible.

Quote
2) Nothing short of phyletism that each "race" should have it's own bishop, so that the Church of Alexandria should be divided according to "race".

Phyletism is not the belief that one culture should have their own bishop, but that one cultural church thinks they're higher than other churches of different cultures, at least that's what I understand it means.  To say that being a bishop of a culture is phyletism is to say that Sts. Paul and Peter were heretics for being bishops of Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians respectively, as tradition taught us.  Sooner or later their successions combined.  In addition, why call all the bishops of the US heretics for being bishops instead of all the Orthodox Christians of New York City, just the Antiochians, or the Russians, or the Greeks.  Are they heretics also for being a bishop of a congregation, and not the whole city?

Quote
So I hope you will understand if I don't jump for joy at the prospect of a "union" based on this"Two Pope Plan".

Forgive me, but you seem to try to find every possible excuse to put this "plan" down.  What I wish to accomplish in a dialogue is that if you can prove to us the two questions I have previously posted.

Allow me to post something in response to something that troubles me:

Quote
You guys are sure it is you, we are sure it is us and God knows the absolute truth about this, so hopefully we will know on Judgement Day.

There is a problem with this.  While we are willing to have a discussion, I wonder what is it that I don't know about my own church history that makes me destined to condemnation?  To ignore this is like wishing for the Protestants to go to hell without even trying to evangelize to them.  They are also "sure" they're "the church."  Are you going to not therefore explain to them what seems to make you sure that they're not them?

God bless you.
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« Reply #167 on: August 30, 2005, 09:51:42 PM »

Phyletism is not the belief that one culture should have their own bishop, but that one cultural church thinks they're higher than other churches of different cultures, at least that's what I understand it means.ÂÂ  

Wrong, wrong, wrong as can be. Here is the actual definition:

"Ethno-Phyletism (racism)
Phyletism (from phyli — race, tribe) is the principle of nationalities applied in the ecclesiastical domain: in other words, the confusion between Church and nation