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Author Topic: Will the OO and EO Reunite?  (Read 26707 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: August 21, 2005, 08:42:35 PM »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And their 'own personal political interest' was Unity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear GiC,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pedro,

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

greekischristian,

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Furthermore, Chalcedon was quite clear in her declaration

I beg to differ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And their 'own personal political interest' was Unity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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but hardly representing the Church as a whole.

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

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

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

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

I just love this next bit…:

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I said:

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

Your response:

Yes, I do accept that conclusion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Silouan,

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

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

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

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

OzGeorge,

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

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

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

From Glory to Glory p. 84-85.

Off-topic,.. sorry,..

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

To quote Fr. Alexios of the Athonite monastery Karakallou:

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

Dear Silouan,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Fr. Sergius Bulgakov


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There you go again... 

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

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

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

The Theology of the Non-Chaldeans must not be monophysite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear GiC,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To get on with with St. Dioscorus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Silouan,

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There you go again...ÂÂ  

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

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

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

The Theology of the Non-Chaldeans must not be monophysite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My argument may lack objectivity from your point of view

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote
Insofar as the Nestorians agreed with Chalcedon they were Orthodox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Because the Church is defined by Communion and Not Doctrine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Council of Chalcedon was primarily facing Monophysitism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace.
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« Reply #66 on: August 24, 2005, 07:31:36 AM »

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

LOL

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

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

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

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

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

Amen, and Amen, Forever and Ever, Amen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anastasios

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

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

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

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

Anastasios


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silouan,

Quote
and again compared me to being a muslim.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silouan,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Silouan,

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

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

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

Thrice-holy hymn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silouan,

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace.


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

Salpy,

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

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

The 10th canon of Constantinople 533 states:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ozgeorge,

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

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

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

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


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

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