Author Topic: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite  (Read 1202 times)

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Offline rakovsky

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Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« on: October 10, 2017, 09:16:18 PM »
What are the reasons that EOs and OOs would generally agree show that both churches should reunite?

I like the idea of EOs and OOs reuniting into one communion. In order to successfully discuss this topic, I would like to have reasons that everyone in both communions would easily agree are good ones to reunite. I don't mean reasons that some on either side would dispute, like whether they really believe the same thing about the number of Jesus' natures, or whether Peter of Iberius was EO or OO.

Here are some that come to mind:

1. EOs and OOs both trace their lineague directly to the apostles through a chain of succession of bishops. The Greek (Constantinople), Antiochian, and Jerusalem Patriarchates on one hand, and the Syriac and Alexandrian Patriarchates on the other are major Patriarchates of the patristic era.

2. They have a lot to offer each other in terms of richness of tradition and spirituality. Important remarks could be made of every autocephalous EO and OO church and their spiritual traditions.

On the EO side, there are:
(A) Mount Athos
(list more)

On the OO side, there are:
(A) The successors of the Desert Fathers in Egypt
(list more)

(Mina started a thread about reason #2: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,55219.msg1175620.html#msg1175620)

3. They have shared saints after the mid-5th c. schism.
EOs sainted by OO churches include:
(A) John of Damascus (sainted by the Church of Ethiopia)
(B) " St Marina is greatly venerated by Copts and the RC Church, she died a few centuries after Chalcedon." ~Severian wrote.
(C) St. John of the Ladder
(D) St. Daniel the Stylite (venerated by Armenian Orthodox)

OOs sainted by EO Churches include:
(A) St. Theodora, the wife of Justinian

Was Simon the Stylite EO or OO?
Quote
"St Simon the Stylite is commemorated by the Eastern Orthodox while he wrote against Chalcedon." ~Fr. Peter

"in addition to St. Symeon the Stylite, who was a friend of Theodoret, the Armenian Church also venerates St. Daniel the Stylite, even though he was a very vocal supporter of Chalcedon and opponent of the OO's." ~Salpy

For a few more, see the threads
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10408.msg141309.html#msg141309
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,46588.msg797223.html#msg797223

4. Paul wrote about the importance of maintaining Christian unity. He gave the example of Christ's body, comparing it to the organs of a human body and concluded that the members/organs need to cooperate and be united. Paul also criticized the Corinthians for being divided into factions.

5. We have a desire on the part of many in both churches to reunite, as shown by holding major ecumenical dialogues over the last century.

I welcome you to list more reasons that may come to mind.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 09:17:37 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2017, 10:29:54 PM »
We both share similar mystical phenomena:  fools for Christ, seeping oil from icons, monastic stories that are similar, common saints who still perform miracles for us like St. Mina(s)

I do not think people like Severus of Antioch or John of Damascus ever really differed in dogma, and so in faith, we are essentially one, even if we have local situations that need to be dealt with.

We both venerate Isaac the Syrian who is neither Chalcedonian or non-Chalcedonian

Our canon laws and rites tend to overlap significantly.

We have the same sacramental spirituality.  We draw upon one another’s spirituality.

The Georgian Orthodox venerate St. Peter the Iberian, although with a twist.

We take forever getting something done on the off-chance of making it difficult to “change” in Orthodoxy
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 10:35:39 PM »
We both share similar mystical phenomena:  fools for Christ, seeping oil from icons, monastic stories that are similar, common saints who still perform miracles for us like St. Mina(s)

I do not think people like Severus of Antioch or John of Damascus ever really differed in dogma, and so in faith, we are essentially one, even if we have local situations that need to be dealt with.

We both venerate Isaac the Syrian who is neither Chalcedonian or non-Chalcedonian

Our canon laws and rites tend to overlap significantly.

We have the same sacramental spirituality.  We draw upon one another’s spirituality.


The Georgian Orthodox venerate St. Peter the Iberian, although with a twist.

We take forever getting something done on the off-chance of making it difficult to “change” in Orthodoxy
Thanks for writing in with some good reasons. Can you please give some examples of the ones in bold or elaborate on them?
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Rohzek

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 11:01:40 PM »
I guess I'll drop the bomb that it bound to ruffle a few jimmies on both sides. This is why both should reunite: Fundamentally, both have the same Christology, although operating in different explanatory frameworks.

I know you object to this in the OP, but reading the assessments of Metropolitan Timothy Ware and the historical account of Chalcedon by the late Fr. John Meyendorff, it seems to me that the scholarly consensus is that the Christology issue shouldn't be as big of a barrier as it is made out to be. We can share saints all day long, but this is the issue that truly divides us. It is merely a matter of convincing others, I think, outside the small cadre of scholars.

But then again, I am but a noob in Eastern affairs.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 11:10:20 PM by Rohzek »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 11:16:18 PM »
I guess I'll drop the bomb that it bound to ruffle a few jimmies on both sides. This is why both should reunite: Fundamentally, both have the same Christology, although operating in different explanatory frameworks.



In this thread I am looking for reasons that everyone on both sides will agree with, in order to bring the full audience together, not ones that will lead immediately into debates.
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Offline Rohzek

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 11:16:55 PM »
I guess I'll drop the bomb that it bound to ruffle a few jimmies on both sides. This is why both should reunite: Fundamentally, both have the same Christology, although operating in different explanatory frameworks.



In this thread I am looking for reasons that everyone on both sides will agree with, in order to bring the full audience together, not ones that will lead immediately into debates.

Fair enough. My apologies.
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 11:18:05 PM »
We both share similar mystical phenomena:  fools for Christ, seeping oil from icons, monastic stories that are similar, common saints who still perform miracles for us like St. Mina(s)

I do not think people like Severus of Antioch or John of Damascus ever really differed in dogma, and so in faith, we are essentially one, even if we have local situations that need to be dealt with.

We both venerate Isaac the Syrian who is neither Chalcedonian or non-Chalcedonian

Our canon laws and rites tend to overlap significantly.

We have the same sacramental spirituality.  We draw upon one another’s spirituality.


The Georgian Orthodox venerate St. Peter the Iberian, although with a twist.

We take forever getting something done on the off-chance of making it difficult to “change” in Orthodoxy
Thanks for writing in with some good reasons. Can you please give some examples of the ones in bold or elaborate on them?

Fasting rules, choice of presbyter and bishop, prayer of the hours, liturgical structure along with vespers and matins tend to be familiar, confession and repentance is stressed before communion, even controversial things like churching

Sacramental theology does not differ much, if at all.  We stress seven sacraments, even if by convenience of numbering rather than strictly seven alone.  Wedding ceremonies are similar.  Asceticism is stressed at all levels.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2017, 11:23:17 PM »
The essential reason is that, if we believe ourselves to be the same Church, we should reunite as the same Church. I don't think reasons 1 and 5 are relevant because they could apply to heterodox churches too.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2017, 11:27:03 PM »
The essential reason is that, if we believe ourselves to be the same Church, we should reunite as the same Church. I don't think reasons 1 and 5 are relevant because they could apply to heterodox churches too.
Right. Well for many very traditional EOs we are not One Church, because they see the One Church as a visible institution in communion with the other bishops, not rejecting the Ecumenical Councils. So in this thread I am just trying to make an introduction that all groups will find appealing reasons, including reasons shared by some heterodox.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 12:06:03 AM »
Considering how long we've been separated and how similar we are is an argument in itself. Some sort of a miracle.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 12:09:24 AM »
Considering how long we've been separated and how similar we are is an argument in itself. Some sort of a miracle.

60 years ago, your argument could've been used as reason to unite with Rome. Also, there's the Assyrian Church. Not saying your answer is false, but it's insufficient.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 12:10:59 AM »
The essential reason is that, if we believe ourselves to be the same Church, we should reunite as the same Church. I don't think reasons 1 and 5 are relevant because they could apply to heterodox churches too.
Right. Well for many very traditional EOs we are not One Church, because they see the One Church as a visible institution in communion with the other bishops, not rejecting the Ecumenical Councils. So in this thread I am just trying to make an introduction that all groups will find appealing reasons, including reasons shared by some heterodox.

 I’d argue Metropolitan Hilarion has the more traditional attitude towards the councils in contrast. This is quite refreshing. This is at least how I understand the orthodox approach of the councils

First of all it must be made clear that the Ecumenical Council should not be regarded as the highest authority in the Church. During the three centuries which preceded the first Ecumenical Council (325) the Church did not have Ecumenical Councils. Furthermore, since the seventh Ecumenical Council (787) the Orthodox Church has existed without Ecumenical Councils. The highest legislative and executive authority in each local Orthodox Church belongs to the local Council of that Church

 Secondly, at no time did Ecumenical Councils constitute the highest authority of the Orthodox Church. Their main role in the fourth to eighth centuries was to refute heresies that disturbed Orthodox oikoumene (universe) from time to time.

There is an opinion that the Church has no right to return to the acts of the Ecumenical Councils for reconsideration. Yet history indicates otherwise. For example, when Cyril ofAlexandria and John of Antioch signed their Formulary of Reunion in AD 433, they were in fact reconsidering the third Ecumenical Council, rejecting the most extreme features of the Alexandrian Christol- ogy, which had prevailed there. The definition of faith of the fourth Ecumenical Council was based on the Formulary of 433, and in this sense it represented a new stage in Christological de- velopment. The Horos of the fifth Ecumenical Council in turn reinterpreted that of the fourth Ecumenical Council using the "twelve chapters" of St Cyril, in which he spoke against Nestorius and his Christological terminology. Finally, the same fifth Ecumenical Council condemned the theological works by Theodoret of Cyrhus and Ibas of Edessa, which means that it reinterpreted the decision of the fourth Ecumenical Council concerning these theologian

In fact, the opinion that subsequent generations must refrain from critical analysis of the Ecumenical Councils' heritage denies the Holy Spirits continued activity in the Church, insofar as it presupposes that the Spirit was active only in antiquity and not today. Furthermore, this view places the Ecumenical Coun-cil above the Church itself. In reality there is no dogmatic definition which forbids the Church from reconsideration during continued stages in its development. Naturally the Church cannot abolish or entirely revise the dogma of an Ecumenical Council, but it can come to a new interpretation that might in turn lead to a re-estimation of those anathemas that were based on previous interpretations of the same dogma.

http://silouanthompson.net/wp-content/uploads/The-Reception-of-the-Ecumenical-Councils-in-the-Early-Church.pdf

Offline Alpo

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 12:14:33 AM »
Considering how long we've been separated and how similar we are is an argument in itself. Some sort of a miracle.

60 years ago, your argument could've been used as reason to unite with Rome.

I don't know anything about Nesrorians so can't comment on that but as for Rome, no, not really. They had the pope, weird doctrines and devotions etc. already 60 years ago.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2017, 12:16:30 AM »
The essential reason is that, if we believe ourselves to be the same Church, we should reunite as the same Church. I don't think reasons 1 and 5 are relevant because they could apply to heterodox churches too.
Right. Well for many very traditional EOs we are not One Church, because they see the One Church as a visible institution in communion with the other bishops, not rejecting the Ecumenical Councils. So in this thread I am just trying to make an introduction that all groups will find appealing reasons, including reasons shared by some heterodox.

 I’d argue Metropolitan Hilarion has the more traditional attitude towards the councils in contrast. This is quite refreshing. This is at least how I understand the orthodox approach of the councils

First of all it must be made clear that the Ecumenical Council should not be regarded as the highest authority in the Church. During the three centuries which preceded the first Ecumenical Council (325) the Church did not have Ecumenical Councils. Furthermore, since the seventh Ecumenical Council (787) the Orthodox Church has existed without Ecumenical Councils. The highest legislative and executive authority in each local Orthodox Church belongs to the local Council of that Church

 Secondly, at no time did Ecumenical Councils constitute the highest authority of the Orthodox Church. Their main role in the fourth to eighth centuries was to refute heresies that disturbed Orthodox oikoumene (universe) from time to time.
Church.pdf

^Please let's stay on topic and not have more debating about natures, Chalcedon, ecclesiology etc. here. They are what I asked not to have in the thread, and BTW are not allowed under forum rules.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 12:17:06 AM by rakovsky »
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2017, 12:59:45 AM »
huh? I thought I was on topic? You mentioned traditional EOs & I responded by showing a example of a EO bishop. I simply made the argument that this bishop has a more traditional attitude towards the councils based on how they were treated historically.  If you didn't want discussion of traditional EOs, than I'm not sure why you mentioned traditional EOs in the first place.

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2017, 01:02:11 AM »
Considering how long we've been separated and how similar we are is an argument in itself. Some sort of a miracle.

60 years ago, your argument could've been used as reason to unite with Rome.

I don't know anything about Nesrorians so can't comment on that but as for Rome, no, not really. They had the pope, weird doctrines and devotions etc. already 60 years ago.
+1, Late Medieval Latin mysticism and Papal supremacy were already weird enough.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2017, 04:01:07 AM »
Late Medieval Latin mysticism

Could you elaborate on that, please?

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2017, 04:39:49 AM »
We have the same faith. The OP is illogical. There are always SOME people who will dispute anything.

I am not interested in any other factors, and nor were the Fathers. Indeed there can be all manner of differences in the Church, but the Faith must be the same.

And it manifestly is. It takes about a few hours of reading to discover this.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2017, 05:24:51 AM »
Considering how long we've been separated and how similar we are is an argument in itself. Some sort of a miracle.

60 years ago, your argument could've been used as reason to unite with Rome. Also, there's the Assyrian Church. Not saying your answer is false, but it's insufficient.

I think we should reunite with those as well.  All four ancient episcopal churches appear to share a common faith, which is also shared by the Anglo-Catholics, some of whom already have rejoined us (and others rejoined Rome, but there are several healthy "continuing Anglo Catholic" jurisdictions.

However, the EO and OO churches are more immediately related at the level of liturgics and praxis; this is because the Western liturgy became very different from the Eastern liturgies, and these liturgies and the ancient East Syriac Liturgy of Ss. Addai and Mari have always been very different.  Furthermore, the Assyrians suffered particularly horribly under Tamerlane and as a result until recently had no monasteries (they now have one, in Modesto, California, which amuses me given my memories of driving through that town as a child).  They also have lost the use of icons, although they are not iconoclasts, and their veneration of the cross is similiar to EO practices.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2017, 05:26:31 AM »
We have the same faith. The OP is illogical. There are always SOME people who will dispute anything.

I am not interested in any other factors, and nor were the Fathers. Indeed there can be all manner of differences in the Church, but the Faith must be the same.

And it manifestly is. It takes about a few hours of reading to discover this.

+1

We can't make everyone happy, but this is why we have bishops rather than the endless schism-generating, unstable congregational and presbyterian polities (which have reached a point where the formation of a new church body is viewed of as natural).
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2017, 01:03:06 PM »
The essential reason is that, if we believe ourselves to be the same Church, we should reunite as the same Church. I don't think reasons 1 and 5 are relevant because they could apply to heterodox churches too.
Right. Well for many very traditional EOs we are not One Church, because they see the One Church as a visible institution in communion with the other bishops, not rejecting the Ecumenical Councils. So in this thread I am just trying to make an introduction that all groups will find appealing reasons, including reasons shared by some heterodox.

 I’d argue Metropolitan Hilarion has the more traditional attitude towards the councils in contrast. This is quite refreshing. This is at least how I understand the orthodox approach of the councils

First of all it must be made clear that the Ecumenical Council should not be regarded as the highest authority in the Church. During the three centuries which preceded the first Ecumenical Council (325) the Church did not have Ecumenical Councils. Furthermore, since the seventh Ecumenical Council (787) the Orthodox Church has existed without Ecumenical Councils. The highest legislative and executive authority in each local Orthodox Church belongs to the local Council of that Church

 Secondly, at no time did Ecumenical Councils constitute the highest authority of the Orthodox Church. Their main role in the fourth to eighth centuries was to refute heresies that disturbed Orthodox oikoumene (universe) from time to time.
Church.pdf

^Please let's stay on topic and not have more debating about natures, Chalcedon, ecclesiology etc. here. They are what I asked not to have in the thread, and BTW are not allowed under forum rules.

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2017, 02:50:12 AM »
Late Medieval Latin mysticism

Could you elaborate on that, please?
I don't really like to talk openly against Roman Catholicism, specially against their saints, but some strange mystic behaviours later described as prelest by Orthodox fathers were strong by the XVI century and before (I know the XVI century isn't Middle Ages anymore, but I was missing dates here).
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2017, 07:10:51 AM »
Perhaps, and I could be wrong, the intent for this thread was something positive to describe one another's appeal to unity through how we see each other in each other.  I remember reading this post from a while ago from Fr. Kyrillos Ibrahim:

3) After 1500 years of separation, the similarities in Orthodox Ethos and Praxis is amazing. Go to the monasteries of Egypt and you will find incorrupt relics, wonder-working icons, weeping icons, modern saints (its amazing the similarities between St. Pope Kyrillos VI and St. John Maximovitch), etc... The gifts of the Spirit to the saintly are almost identical - wonder-workers, clairvoyant, driving out unclean spirits, etc...

I personally have a great love for the Russian Church - she played a big role in my repentance and return to the Church when I was in college. I used to visit the relics of St. John in SF (I actually was blessed to attend part of his Glorification). Many of my books in my library are from the Russian and Greek Churches.   I find the same spirit regardless of the sepration of 1500 years. It is truly amazing and one must experience it not write about it.

So that’s how I interpreted this thread.  Of course faith is primary, but given that we are one faith, if you even agree, the Orthopraxis of our traditions also are one, which is an expression of our unity.  Hence I see these spiritual commonalities as an appeal to unity.  As Christ said, if you don’t believe me, believe my works.  I think this correlates also with EO/OO unity.  Our common works witness our common faith if one is having trouble with at least acknowledging the common faith.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2017, 07:59:17 AM »
Perhaps, and I could be wrong, the intent for this thread was something positive to describe one another's appeal to unity through how we see each other in each other.  I remember reading this post from a while ago from Fr. Kyrillos Ibrahim:

3) After 1500 years of separation, the similarities in Orthodox Ethos and Praxis is amazing. Go to the monasteries of Egypt and you will find incorrupt relics, wonder-working icons, weeping icons, modern saints (its amazing the similarities between St. Pope Kyrillos VI and St. John Maximovitch), etc... The gifts of the Spirit to the saintly are almost identical - wonder-workers, clairvoyant, driving out unclean spirits, etc...

I personally have a great love for the Russian Church - she played a big role in my repentance and return to the Church when I was in college. I used to visit the relics of St. John in SF (I actually was blessed to attend part of his Glorification). Many of my books in my library are from the Russian and Greek Churches.   I find the same spirit regardless of the sepration of 1500 years. It is truly amazing and one must experience it not write about it.

So that’s how I interpreted this thread.  Of course faith is primary, but given that we are one faith, if you even agree, the Orthopraxis of our traditions also are one, which is an expression of our unity.  Hence I see these spiritual commonalities as an appeal to unity.  As Christ said, if you don’t believe me, believe my works.  I think this correlates also with EO/OO unity.  Our common works witness our common faith if one is having trouble with at least acknowledging the common faith.

Exactly. That's what I say to some unconsious about Oriental Orthodoxy Polish Orthodox people. The schism with the West occured much more later, the the faith praxis is so huge, and it applies also to Eastern Catholics and also to Roman Catholicism before Vaticanum Secundum. Not to mention various Protestant groups, that despire trying "come back" to the ancient, oroginal Chrisitanity, so that's Orthoodxy, followed even more different path than EOs and OOs.
And that's despite geographical distance and cultural differences, e.g the mentality of the Polish Orthodoxy (I mean the praxis - services, fasts) is closer to e.g Malankara Church than to Polish Catholicism.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2017, 12:35:37 AM »
Dr. George Bebawi related:
Quote
When  I  was  leaving  for  England  and  asked Patriarch Kyrillos where I should receive Communion (there was no Coptic  Church  in  England  at  that  time),  he  said,  “Go  to  the  Greek  Church,  and ask them if they are ready to give you Communion because they are our brothers in Christ.” Now here is a man who had not studied theology officially in a seminary, but his attitude towards the orthodox was, “This is our Church too.” This is because we share the Fathers up to the fifth century, and the Copts even have some of the post-Chalcedonian fathers in their liturgical books, like John Climacus (525-606) and John of Damascus (676-749).
http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/back_issue_articles/RTE_38/With_the_Dessert_Fathers_of_Egypt.pdf
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2017, 11:10:52 AM »
At first I read point 4 as, "the importance of mansplaining Christianity unity" lol.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2017, 01:07:11 PM »
Dr. George Bebawi related:
Quote
When  I  was  leaving  for  England  and  asked Patriarch Kyrillos where I should receive Communion (there was no Coptic  Church  in  England  at  that  time),  he  said,  “Go  to  the  Greek  Church,  and ask them if they are ready to give you Communion because they are our brothers in Christ.” Now here is a man who had not studied theology officially in a seminary, but his attitude towards the orthodox was, “This is our Church too.” This is because we share the Fathers up to the fifth century, and the Copts even have some of the post-Chalcedonian fathers in their liturgical books, like John Climacus (525-606) and John of Damascus (676-749).
http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/back_issue_articles/RTE_38/With_the_Dessert_Fathers_of_Egypt.pdf
You meant well but Dr Bebawi's article is very flawed. Obviously, if Pope Cyril VI had the attitude that EO was the same church, he would have made more visible attempts for reunion. Dr Bebawi is relating a private conversation that he can't corroborate. I think it amounts to nothing more than Pope Cyril VI allowing pastoral economia where Dr Bebawy is implying an already established ecumenical (semi-)union.

Plus there are many other illogical conclusions he made in this article. Don't use anything Dr Bebawi says in this article for support.

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2017, 01:38:28 PM »
I think we can all agree though that Jehovah's witnesses smell like death.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2017, 01:53:11 PM »
I think we can all agree though that Jehovah's witnesses smell like death.
Especially since they continue to use Sahidic Coptic John 1:1c as justification for their Arianism. It's ridiculous that people use a foreign language they know nothing about to justify a heresy.

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2017, 01:55:15 AM »
Dr. George Bebawi related:
Quote
When  I  was  leaving  for  England  and  asked Patriarch Kyrillos where I should receive Communion (there was no Coptic  Church  in  England  at  that  time),  he  said,  “Go  to  the  Greek  Church,  and ask them if they are ready to give you Communion because they are our brothers in Christ.” Now here is a man who had not studied theology officially in a seminary, but his attitude towards the orthodox was, “This is our Church too.” This is because we share the Fathers up to the fifth century, and the Copts even have some of the post-Chalcedonian fathers in their liturgical books, like John Climacus (525-606) and John of Damascus (676-749).
http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/back_issue_articles/RTE_38/With_the_Dessert_Fathers_of_Egypt.pdf
You meant well but Dr Bebawi's article is very flawed. Obviously, if Pope Cyril VI had the attitude that EO was the same church, he would have made more visible attempts for reunion. Dr Bebawi is relating a private conversation that he can't corroborate. I think it amounts to nothing more than Pope Cyril VI allowing pastoral economia where Dr Bebawy is implying an already established ecumenical (semi-)union.

Plus there are many other illogical conclusions he made in this article. Don't use anything Dr Bebawi says in this article for support.

Yea, that paper was extremely flawed. There are some bits that stuck out to me that compelled me to respond. There is also a argument I can see made about terminology use that I would like to dismantle.

Dr. George: The real debate between the orthodox and the Copts is whether it is Christ in two natures or, “of two natures” according to St. Cyril of Alexandria, or just to keep the old way “one nature of the Logos Incarnate.” “In” two natures is an absolute necessity for orthodox.

I’d say the real debate is a bit more than that lol. I'll admit,if I was a EO,reducing this to terminological usage would be tempting. I could argue use of homoousios in council of Nicea was necessary in precluding the Arian interpretation even though the Sabellians used homoousios. but  the problem is in the details. Nicea also included "coequal, coeternal, and consubstantial " & this precluded the Sabellian understanding & that is why Sabellian theologians were not restored at Nicea. Did definition in 451 include the theopaschite formula  in the 451 definition to preclude Theodorans? No,and that is why Ibas & theodoret were restored in 451.Also,one can confess "One incarnate nature"/"Of two natures" and still affirm  Christ's dual consubstantiality/His full humanity. Both Dioscorus and Severus successfully did this. Can't say the result is the same, regarding the semi-Arians and their use of "Homoiousios." This is why I don't see anything particularly special about "In two natures" terminology.

Dr. George:I think that some Copts are Eutycheans who have no deep faith in the incarnation of the Son of God, and these ideas became even more confused after a sixth-century Egyptian monastic movement that developed Gnostic and Manichean elements. (The Manichean psalms, by the way, have only been found in the Coptic language, and in Egypt.)

Primary sources of Manichean writings were also found in Chinese/China, in fact the most complete set available are in Chinese. there is also Iranian primary sources as well. So 1930s researchers discovering these abandoned Manichean psalms in Egypt, means what when discussing the Coptic Orthodox church? Not much in this context.

Dr. George: Manichaeism was a movement of negating the body, where they didn’t accept Jesus as God Incarnate, but as divine only.

 Where is this Manichean movement today? Can anybody point to any member of the Coptic orthodox using these Manichean psalms? Can anybody point to a saint in the Coptic Orthodox Church that wrote them or endorsed these psalms? Could it be that the fact that these psalms were discovered in the early 20th century, in a abandoned status, indicate that the Coptic Orthodox Church did a diligent & thorough job in ex-communicating people who believed in divine only?


Dr. George: When you read commentaries from the Middle Ages by some of Coptic writers about the Incarnation, the humanity of Christ is simply not there.


 Say I write about the moment Zack was born, does me not affirming Zack’s brain, indicate that I don’t believe Zack’s brain is there? Or is it possible that those writers on the Incarnation, didn't find it necessary to discuss the properties of the natures? What more is there to add to what Severus wrote in the 6th century?

"Know then, mighty man, that for us to anathematize those who speak of properties of natures is not permissible. Flesh does not renounce its existence as flesh, even if it has become God's flesh, nor has the Word departed from his nature, even if he has been hypostatically united to flesh which possesses a rational and intelligent soul: but the difference also is |5 preserved, and the propriety in the form of natural characteristics of the natures of which Emmanuel consists, since the flesh was not converted into the nature of the Word, nor was the Word changed into flesh. We mean in the matter of natural characteristics, and not that those which were naturally united are singly and individually separated and divided from one another: this is the assertion of those who cleave our one Lord Jesus Christ into two natures. For, since the union in hypostasis is acknowledged, it follows that those which were united are not separated from one another; but there is one Son, and one nature of God the Word incarnate himself, as the holy Cyril also says in the work against Diodorus: «Let him know therefore that the body which was born at Bethlehem, even if it is not the same as the Word from God and the Father (I mean in natural characteristics), yet nevertheless became his, not anyone else's separate from the Son: and there is recognised to be one Son and Christ and Lord and Word who took flesh» 10. Those therefore who confess one incarnate nature of God the Word, and do not confuse the elements of which he consists, recognise also the propriety of those that were joined in union (and a property is that which |6 exists in the form of a manifestation of natural differences), and not that we should ascribe the acts of the manhood only to the human nature, and impute again those of the Godhead separately to God the Word, but they recognise the difference only, not admitting a division: for the principle of union does not admit of division. "

Dr. George: What has kept the Incarnation alive in the minds of the Coptic Church is the Sunday liturgy, because they come back to church each week to receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
 


And the Hymns. Hymnography is a representation of what we believe. Can someone who genuinely believes in divine only actually confess this? From the Liturgy:

"Amen. Amen. Amen. I believe, I believe, I believe and confess to the last breath, that this is the life-giving flesh that Your Only-Begotten Son, our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ took from our Lady, the Lady of us all, the holy Theotokos, Saint Mary. He made It one with His Divinity without mingling, without confusion and without alteration. He witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate. He gave It up for us upon the holy wood of the Cross, of His own will, for us all. Truly I believe that His Divinity parted not from His Humanity for a single moment nor a twinkling of an eye. Given for us for salvation, remission of sins and eternal life to those who partake of Him. I believe, I believe, I believe that this is so in truth. Amen."
 http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/liturgy/liturgy_of_st_cyril.pdf

Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2017, 08:35:14 AM »
I think we can all agree though that Jehovah's witnesses smell like death.


This user on this  Jehovah's Witness reddit post called St. Athanasius "one of the primary false teacher.”  wow.     

Something changed; and given our view that Athanasius is one of the primary "false teachers" predicted in the scriptures, one of the main instruments for 1700 years of false doctrine, I see no problem extrapolating this conclusion.


 https://www.reddit.com/r/Christianity/comments/3vuh00/are_jehovahs_witnesses_arians/

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2017, 12:05:49 PM »
Dr. George: What has kept the Incarnation alive in the minds of the Coptic Church is the Sunday liturgy, because they come back to church each week to receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
 


I haven't read the original article, so maybe this is addressed elsewhere, but what else keeps the Incarnation alive in the minds of Orthodox Christians (both EO and OO) other than the Liturgy?  What keeps any mystery of the saving economy of Christ in the consciousness of Christians other than the Eucharist?  Dr George makes the Liturgy sound like a small thing, a saving grace, when really it is what everything else flows from and orients us toward. 

His sounds like the kind of objection you make when you just want to be objectionable. 
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 12:06:28 PM by Mor Ephrem »
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2017, 12:46:02 PM »
Late Medieval Latin mysticism

Could you elaborate on that, please?

Have you read Meister Eckhart?
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2017, 12:50:32 PM »
Considering how long we've been separated and how similar we are is an argument in itself. Some sort of a miracle.

We have the same faith. ...

Hear hear.

"And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one" (our Lord in prayer to the Father).

"These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren" (description of the Church in her first days).

"Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God" (St. Paul to the Romans).
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2017, 09:38:53 PM »
Dr. George: What has kept the Incarnation alive in the minds of the Coptic Church is the Sunday liturgy, because they come back to church each week to receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
 


I haven't read the original article, so maybe this is addressed elsewhere, but what else keeps the Incarnation alive in the minds of Orthodox Christians (both EO and OO) other than the Liturgy?  What keeps any mystery of the saving economy of Christ in the consciousness of Christians other than the Eucharist?  Dr George makes the Liturgy sound like a small thing, a saving grace, when really it is what everything else flows from and orients us toward. 

His sounds like the kind of objection you make when you just want to be objectionable.

 I was thinking the same thing. It’s why I didn’t disagree with him on the notion of how receiving the Body and Blood of Christ during the liturgy keeps Incarnation alive in the minds of the laity & I responded by including “and the hymns" to his claim.  He didn’t outline a standard explicitly. So I’m not sure of his thoughts on this. His article reads to me like he is looking at this through a academic perspective  and he also set up a terminological usage standard for orthodox.

 For instance he said this:

"“In” two natures is an absolute necessity for orthodox."

So, the only thing I got from that article is based on what Dr.George is saying here, if specific terminology is a absolute necessity for orthodox, than me and him have different standards for orthodox. To me, if "in two natures" and "One Incarnate nature of the Word" is used with the same understanding, than I'm not sure what justifies such a standard for terminological usage.

he said also this:
"In regard to the divine nature, we orthodox do not speak of participating in the divine essence, but in the divine energies."


Now, while I consider Gregory Palamas to be a asset when it comes to outlining terminology used for theosis-specific expressions & he is indeed a asset for the EO tradition, I'd still rather just use terminology that I consider to be more "layman's terms" that's more clear in my mind. For instance, I'd rather say "we Orthodox believe God allows us to partake of Him when He fully dwells in us." Would Dr. George consider what I say "Orthodox" because I don't speak like him? Not sure. I'm not familiar with his work.

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2017, 09:47:25 PM »
Quote
So, the only thing I got from that article is based on what Dr.George is saying here, if specific terminology is a absolute necessity for orthodox, than me and him have different standards for orthodox. To me, if "in two natures" and "One Incarnate nature of the Word" is used with the same understanding, than I'm not sure what justifies such a standard for terminological usage.

My guess would be that he thinks "in two natures" is the only sure way to filter out closet Eutychians.
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Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2017, 10:32:51 PM »
Yea, if that’s what he thinks, than I disagree with him on that(assuming that's his justification of course).I don’t think application of "in two natures" directly targets the error of Eutyches. I’d say a more effective way to filter Eutychians out is by asking them to affirm "Christ is consubstantial with us". this is just my opinion of course.

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2017, 05:52:31 AM »
The questions which were asked of Eutyches before he was received back into communion are the best way, as said, to filter out Eutychians. These were "is the humanity of Christ consubstantial with us", and "does it come from heaven".

He gave an Orthodox answer to both in 449 AD.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2017, 07:57:16 AM »
I agree those questions are the best to filter out Eutychians & Eutyches gave a Orthodox answer to both, but in terms of answers, I think we should be slightly more picky & not allow them to get away with "with his mother" alone. I don't think they should be received back unless they are able to identify "with his mother" & "with us." 

 Eutyches affirmed "Christ is consubstantial with his mother” in 449 & the reason he was received back in 449 based on this confession, was because Dioscorus understood "with his mother" to be synonymous with "with us." The agreement Dioscorus made with Eutyches in 449 is similar to the agreement Cyril made with John of Antioch in 433.

I know I'm splitting hairs here, because I see no difference in substance between "with his mother" & "with us"  & neither did Dioscorus, but in the minutes, Eutyches never explicitly affirmed "with us." I suspect Eutyches saw a difference between "with us" and "with his mother." Just like how Ibas saw a difference between "of two natures" in 433 & "one incarnate nature of the word."

This is why later on, Dioscorus issued a conditional anathema on Eutyches via statement A  & condemned those who denied that dual consubstantiality via statement B

statment A
“If Eutyches holds opinions contrary to the doctrines of the church, he deserves not only punishment but hell fire. For my concern is for the catholic and apostolic faith and not for any human being. “


statement B
"...They have banished [and anathemized] from the hope of Christians those who do not confess God the Word to be consubstantial with the Father, because He became consubstantial with man, taking flesh, although He remained unchangeably what He was before…” 

the way I see it,  just like theodoret couldn't identify Christ with "God the Word suffered in the flesh", Eutyches couldn't identify  "Christ is consubstantial with his mother" with "Christ is consubstantial with us." 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 07:58:48 AM by ZackShenouda439 »

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2017, 09:20:30 AM »
I think that Eutyches was clearly concerned to avoid saying that the flesh of the Word was the body of a man - of another man that had been assumed. And so he understood consubstantial with us, I think, as tending to mean - a man like we are men whom God has assumed - a human hypostasis. He clearly insists that it is flesh of the Virgin and not from Heaven. But he also insists that he is not a theologian and made mistakes.

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Offline Father Peter

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2017, 09:51:47 AM »
And Eutyches does say...

Eutyches the presbyter said: ‘Till today I did not say this. Because I acknowledge it to be the body of God – are you attending? –, I did not say that the body of God is the body of a man, but that the body is human and that the Lord was enfleshed from the Virgin. If one must say that he is from the Virgin and so consubstantial with us, then I say this also, my lord, with the reservation that he is the onlybegotten Son of God, Lord of heaven and earth, ruling and reigning with the Father, with whom he is also enthroned and glorified; for I do not say “consubstantial” in such a way as to deny that he is the Son of God. Before I did not say this of him; I am saying to you what, I think, I did not say originally. But now, since your sacredness has said it, I say it.’

So he is willing to say consubstantial with us bearing in mind his concerns about the unity of Christ.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #41 on: December 04, 2017, 06:57:57 PM »
Thanks Father Peter. That’s a helpful explanation. it also looks like Eutyches wasn’t a clear speaker.His words read to me like he had some sort of disability. Of course, I do prefer if we are ever in a position to filter out Eutychians in the future, I would like to see a more clearer confession that “Christ is consubstantial with us” or even something along the lines of " Christ consubstantial with the Father in His divinity and consubstantial with us in His humanity” from those we evaluate. I just think it’s more effective to demand such a qualification from those we evaluate in the future, for the sake of clarity & to reduce as much ambiguity as possible.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 06:59:45 PM by ZackShenouda439 »

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2017, 06:35:46 AM »
I don't think Eutychianism is an issue. The OO community itself spent more time resisting the few that promoted such ideas in the controversial period than dealing with Chalcedonians.

But I do see an ignorance about what "one incarnate nature of the Word" means, so that an informal and ignorant misunderstanding can slip in. In the same way I have corresponded with EO who are Nestorian in their Christology through an informal and ignorant misunderstanding of what "in two natures" means.
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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2017, 06:37:00 AM »
I am afraid that those who misunderstand "one incarnate nature of the Word", on both sides, also do not understand other theological terms - and these include clergy.
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Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Generally accepted reasons why EOs and OOs should reunite
« Reply #44 on: December 05, 2017, 08:16:33 AM »
I agree Father Peter. Eutyches wasn’t popular historically & OO thoroughly handled this issue.  And this is why, nobody venerates Eutyches as a saint. In fact, nestorianism was always the more popular & more common error when compared to Eutychianism. this dynamic hasn’t changed. for example here is a vid of Baptist Pastor Steven Anderson claiming “Mary is not the Mother of God” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ySQ7TKldQY

In contrast it’s rare to actually find anybody teaching the error of Eutyches. but the error of nestorius? the examples are endless. and this has always been the case. this same dynamic that existed in the 5th century is the same dynamic that we see today in 2017.