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Author Topic: Will the OO and EO Reunite?  (Read 26404 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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« 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,

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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?"

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

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.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2005, 08:30:25 PM by Pedro » Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
Tags: trisagion Chalcedon Chalcedon polemics ecumenical councils cheval mort Church of the East Assyrian OO Canon of Scripture 
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