Author Topic: Post-schism Inter-locution Between the Byzantine Church and the Coptic Church?  (Read 989 times)

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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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After the initial schism, what was the extent to relations and communications between the Coptic Church and the Byzantine Church?

I don't mean the OOs wholly, just the Coptic Church in particular. I am pretty aware of relations between the Armenians and Jacobites with the Byzantines that happened through the centuries.

For example, did Copts pilgrimage to the Holy Land and encounter the Byzantines, what were their relationships and observations like?
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Offline Father Peter

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There wasn't a schism at first. There was just one Church until at least the early 6th century.

There were a series of reconciliation efforts, some conferences, some persecution. It was understood early on that both sides had the same Faith.

From the beginning Chalcedonians were received only with a confession of Faith and a rejection of error. Clergy received in their orders, Laity even more simply and straightforwardly.

Persecution and a need to have bishops to care for people led to the consecration of parallel structures in the 6th century by St Jacob Baradeus acting on the authority of the Patriarchs in exile. But it was never a desire of the leaders of the community. They believed this was an issue within the Church and that the Church could be restored to health.
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Offline Alpha60

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Also, I might add to what Fr. Peter said by me tioning that at times, the dividing line between the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Churches of Alexandria became almost blurry, and the two churches attempted to merge in the 19th century, but this union was thwarted by the Khedive, who saw a unified Orthodox Church in Egypt as a threat to his power.

Some historical evidence of the Inter-locution as you call it can be found in the liturgies for various holy days, and most dramatically, the Holy Unction service, which in the Coptic Church is served on the last Friday in Lent, before Lazarus Saturday (in the EO calendar; I don't know if Copts commemorate the raising of Lazarus on that day or not, I could look it up in my Coptic Reader app if anyone is interested, but at present I am quite tired).   The Holy Unction service at any rate is nearly identical between the Coptic and Byzantine Rites, the only difference being the opening psalms before the seven consecratory prayers, and the Coptic use of seven oil lamps, or seven wicks leading into a bowl of oil, which are progressively lit after each of the seven prayers, and then the oil from these lamps is used for Holy Unction of the congregation.  Both rites can also be served to someone who is ill, in their home or hospital if need be, and both rites call for seven priests, if seven priests are available, but in practice, can be celebrated with less.

At present the relations are quite warm from what I understand, almost as close as those between the Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Antioch.   Official provisions have been made for intermarriage between the churches.

I have also heard stories of Greek and Coptic churches in Egypt communicating members of the other church, and also Copts receiving Communion at St. Catharine's Monastery in Sinai (which is the main center for the autonomous Church of Sinai, an autonomous jurisdiction under the Omophorion of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, and very possibly, the smallest autonomous church in the Orthodox communion, also, one of the most valuable in terms of its priceless icons, relics and library, and one of the most endangered, due to the security situation in Sinai).

If I ever do become a monk, the three monasteries where I think I would most like to work are St. Anthony's (the original, in Egypt), St. Catharine's, or St. Mark's Syriac Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem, which we Syriac Orthodox believe does truly occupy the authentic Cenacle (I think the Gothic, Crusader-era structure that is contested by other Christians, the Jews and the Muslims is probably the tomb of King David, and I find it highly unlikely that the house of St. Mark, and thus the Cenacle, would be built atop what would have been in the first century a very holy site).

On a personal note, I should add that I view "inter-locution" in extremely easy terms; I have in the past been received into and communicated in the Eastern Orthodox church, before returning to the Oriental church.  For me, moving between the two churches is no different than attending a church if a different jurisdiction, if one moves, and finds the other church more convenient.  So if a good reason for me to be EO presented itself, I would switch over, and I would switch back to being OO for the same cause.  I believe there is only one Orthodox Church.

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Offline ZackShenouda439

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Yea, as Father Peter said, there was really no clear visible division until around at least the 6th century at the earliest. So while the majority of the Church of Alexandria was anti-chalcedon & miaphysite expressions dominated in Alexandria/Egypt, the chalcedonians weren’t seen as a separate for at least around 80 years post-chalcedon at the earliest. Also, the anti-chalcedonians in Egypt consisted of both Coptic & greek speakers(of course the Greek used in Egypt wasn’t the same dialect as the Greek used in say Constantinople/Antioch). So within Egypt, the anti-chalcedon majority consisted of both greek/coptic speakers & the pro-Chalcedon minority also consisted of both greek/coptic speakers.Also, the vision of anti-chalcedonians in Egypt at the time, was they desired to basically be the go-to theological center of the Byzantine empire & they wanted to restore the church from what they perceived to be the heresies of chalcedon, because as far as the anti-chalcedonians were concerned, it was seen as a internal church issue problem.

For instance, in Timothy II of Alexandria's letter here, he’s referring to “the church” when writing to Chalcedonians. So in his mind, his church & the Chalcedonian's church, were the same entity that needed healing from the heresies

"And I sent you a pamphlet so that I might encourage the fear of God which is in you. It was composed by us a year ago when the Emperor summoned us from exile that I might examine the increase in the seditions of the Church, the solution of the heresies mentioned above and help on orthodox decrees. Although the Emperor who summoned us regretted it, we pray that our Lord’s will be done, rejoicing in our Lord."

 

 

 

Offline Iconodule

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While a full schism with parallel hierarchies did not emerge for a while, breaches in communion seemed happen. How long or widely they persisted I don't know. I recall an episode mentioned by Florovsky, where the Chalcedonian Patriarch of Alexandria, Timothy Salafaciolus, was installed in place of Timothy Aelurus. He was conciliatory toward the anti-Chalcedonians, at one point restoring Dioscorus' name to the diptychs, until Pope Leo the Great rebuked him. The Coptic population was reported to have shouted, "We will not be in communion with you, but we love you!"
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Some historical evidence of the Inter-locution as you call it can be found in the liturgies for various holy days, and most dramatically, the Holy Unction service, which in the Coptic Church is served on the last Friday in Lent, before Lazarus Saturday (in the EO calendar; I don't know if Copts commemorate the raising of Lazarus on that day or not, I could look it up in my Coptic Reader app if anyone is interested, but at present I am quite tired).   

It is commemorated, as in every Orthodox tradition; actually, since it's no more Great Lent, that's a reason for the unction service and normal Liturgy served on Friday before it. You can see more e.g there.
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While a full schism with parallel hierarchies did not emerge for a while, breaches in communion seemed happen. How long or widely they persisted I don't know. I recall an episode mentioned by Florovsky, where the Chalcedonian Patriarch of Alexandria, Timothy Salafaciolus, was installed in place of Timothy Aelurus. He was conciliatory toward the anti-Chalcedonians, at one point restoring Dioscorus' name to the diptychs, until Pope Leo the Great rebuked him. The Coptic population was reported to have shouted, "We will not be in communion with you, but we love you!"

I believe it.  #minasoliman
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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I was under the impression that the relations were a bit more sour than what's being presented here. If I was wrong, then so be it.

But, I feel like these issues probably would've been resolved if the Persian Empire and Islam weren't such a barrier.
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Offline Father Peter

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Relations between leaders were not good. But it was always the position from 451 AD onwards that the faithful should be received without any obstacle, and that clergy should be received in their orders, without any re-baptism or re-chrismation, with bishops having a one year probation period.
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Offline Father Peter

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It is necessary to distinguish between the polemical atmosphere at the level of theologians and bishops, and what life was like for ordinary faithful.

It is also necessary to distinguish between polemical positions being held and the recognition that the same faith was held by both sides from a very early period indeed. But that Chalcedon itself was the stumbling block - not theology.
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Offline ZackShenouda439

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Yea, there were sour events of course, as Father Peter mentioned, relations between leaders was not good. For instance, from 451-631, 5 Miaphysite popes of Alexandria, were either exiled and/or had to hide for some time from the pro-Chalcedonian emperor. At the same time, there was a total of 14 miaphysite popes of Alexandria, from 451-631... so clearly most of them didn’t experience this nor had to resort to hiding. it’s because Egypt was anti-chalcedonian majority. Even today in Egypt, OOs are around 5-8 million(this is a conservative figure) & EOs are only around 250,000 - 300,000(and this is a generous figure).

 Syria on the other had, was divided on mainly Chalcedonian/Miaphysites lines(with significant pockets of COE), with no clear absolute majority in any of these 2 at the time(although today most Syrian christians are chalcedonian). So that’s why there was more sour events between chalcedonians & anti-chalcedonians  in Syria than in Egypt….it was due to proximity without clear absolute majority. That’s also why Severus of Antioch sought refuge in Egypt….Egypt at the time was the Miaphysite “safe place."
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Offline Father Peter

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It was the Feast of his Entrance into Egypt just last week.
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Offline Iconodule

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It is necessary to distinguish between the polemical atmosphere at the level of theologians and bishops, and what life was like for ordinary faithful.

It is also necessary to distinguish between polemical positions being held and the recognition that the same faith was held by both sides from a very early period indeed. But that Chalcedon itself was the stumbling block - not theology.

It is necessary to distinguish between the polemical atmosphere at the level of theologians and bishops, and what life was like for ordinary faithful.

It is also necessary to distinguish between polemical positions being held and the recognition that the same faith was held by both sides from a very early period indeed. But that Chalcedon itself was the stumbling block - not theology.

Hm, I don't know. It seems pretty plain to me that leaders on both sides saw a theological difference. How this relates to sacraments is a tricky question- it seems to me the Cyprianine view of sacraments did not enjoy widespread subscription at any time, which is to say, schismatics or heretics could be treated as having real baptism, eucharist, etc in some circumstances.
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Offline Father Peter

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I have studied this for the last 25 years. At the various conferences that were held, it was understood that both sides had the same faith, it was Chalcedon that was the problem.
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Offline Father Peter

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That's why everyone was happy with the Henotikon as far as it described Christ, but no one was happy with it as far as Chalcedon went.
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Offline Iconodule

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I have studied this for the last 25 years. At the various conferences that were held, it was understood that both sides had the same faith, it was Chalcedon that was the problem.

Wait, are we talking about how we understand each other now, or how our respective parties saw each other in the 5th-7th centuries? Because, while you and I can agree that we share the same faith, that was hardly the common feeling back then, it seems to me.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 11:46:41 AM by Iconodule »
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“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline Father Peter

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What are you basing your view on? How do you interpret all the conferences that took place, the efforts at reconciliation which were partially successful, and the agreed texts such as the Henotikon?
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Offline Iconodule

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What are you basing your view on? How do you interpret all the conferences that took place, the efforts at reconciliation which were partially successful, and the agreed texts such as the Henotikon?

How can someone anathematize Chalcedon as evil, impious, heretical, etc. and still hold the adherents of Chalcedon to be orthodox? Likewise one finds Severus and others referred to as heretics, manichees, and all kinds of nasty labels.  Why did the Henotikon fall apart? What prevented so many Coptic faithful from refusing communion with Timothy Salafaciolus? Why did anti-Chalcedonians refused communion from  Patriarch John Scholasticus until he force-fed it to them?
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“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline ZackShenouda439

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That's very true Iconodule. these events of certain populations viewing the other as a heretic & those polemics, & declaration of heretics on both sides did take place. but there was communion on the ground in other pockets between other populations. so it's important to keep these aspects in perspective & acknowledge that there was more than one system was/standard that was applied across the church at this time, in terms of receiving chaledonians & vice versa, on the ground of course.

it's similar to today, except the main difference is we have more formal separation on the institutional level & we developed  theories overtime  in regards to why the other is a different faith today. but it's theories based on disinformation. However,  I'd say more access to theology by technology has enabled more people on both sides to come to the conclusion that we have the same faith. I believed for most of my life that EOs were a different religion, until I did my research  read the minutes in detail, & read EO material/christology as well. And of course, I can't unlearn what I know now bout the EO theology, so I can't in good conscious say EO doctrine is different than the OO. I'd say the real barrier to formal uniting, is more  to do with attitude & lack of desire to deal directly with the other.

of  I believe the truth is transferable & we do have access to the minutes & primary sources on both sides. so obviously. I'm in conflict with those who argue that certain fathers in a certain council in antiquity possessed some sort of  knowledge that we don't have access to today. this to me reads like some form of quasi-Gnosticism, in terms of the aspect of one group possessing a secret full truth that the other doesn't. when I presented the evidence from the minutes/councils & all the primary material in a discussion with a EO on twitter, he told  "we believe we have the full truth and you don't", and wouldn't respond to the material....which was material from his own tradition. this is the type of  attitude I noticed that's really a much bigger barrier than the doctrine. i'm not sure of this attitude is motivated by a fear of the unknown or just laziness to learn more information, or a mix of both.

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Are you asking questions about these things or making rhetorical points?
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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That's very true Iconodule. these events of certain populations viewing the other as a heretic & those polemics, & declaration of heretics on both sides did take place. but there was communion on the ground in other pockets between other populations. so it's important to keep these aspects in perspective & acknowledge that there was more than one system was/standard that was applied across the church at this time, in terms of receiving chaledonians & vice versa, on the ground of course.

it's similar to today, except the main difference is we have more formal separation on the institutional level & we developed  theories overtime  in regards to why the other is a different faith today. but it's theories based on disinformation. However,  I'd say more access to theology by technology has enabled more people on both sides to come to the conclusion that we have the same faith. I believed for most of my life that EOs were a different religion, until I did my research  read the minutes in detail, & read EO material/christology as well. And of course, I can't unlearn what I know now bout the EO theology, so I can't in good conscious say EO doctrine is different than the OO. I'd say the real barrier to formal uniting, is more  to do with attitude & lack of desire to deal directly with the other.

of  I believe the truth is transferable & we do have access to the minutes & primary sources on both sides. so obviously. I'm in conflict with those who argue that certain fathers in a certain council in antiquity possessed some sort of  knowledge that we don't have access to today. this to me reads like some form of quasi-Gnosticism, in terms of the aspect of one group possessing a secret full truth that the other doesn't. when I presented the evidence from the minutes/councils & all the primary material in a discussion with a EO on twitter, he told  "we believe we have the full truth and you don't", and wouldn't respond to the material....which was material from his own tradition. this is the type of  attitude I noticed that's really a much bigger barrier than the doctrine. i'm not sure of this attitude is motivated by a fear of the unknown or just laziness to learn more information, or a mix of both.

So, what you're saying is that the confirmation or rejection of one party or the other was very asymmetrical, and not neatly defined.

I believed OOs and EOs were basically the same, until I learned otherwise. But, I read your theology and it seems pretty similar to ours, I cannot expressly claim they are exactly the same, because I am not infallible, but they seem to be pretty consistent with each other.

Anyway, it's hard to accept because it's hard to believe that God or His Church would make such a flop. I suppose that's why most people cannot accept it. It's not hard for me to do it, since I became more practical in my outlook on life. But, I digress.
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Offline FinnJames

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I don't suppose it counts as anything as grandiose as "inter-locution between the Coptic and Byzantine churches", but a group of about 40-50 Eritrean refugees (Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church) have been meeting for worship in the temple building of the church I attend (Orthodox Church of Finland) for the past several months while living in the local refugee centre. They usually arrive toward the end of our service and line up to kiss the cross with us before we leave and they start their service.

I stayed for part of their service last Sunday. It seems they don't have a priest but someone reads out a sermon sent by a priest living, I think, in Sweden, as that priest did visit them once. Of course there is very little dialogue between them and us as few of the refugees speak Finnish or English and, as far as I know, no one from our congregation speaks Tigrinya. But perhaps the situation shows brotherly/sisterly cooperation between Byzantine and Coptic churches at the grassroots level even if we aren't in communion nonetheless.

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I think it depends on how you look at it.  If you are going to concentrate on the Tome and some of the minutes and phrases of Chalcedon as representative of the whole on the one hand and the divisions within the anti-Chalcedonian communion on the other, you will be lead to the conclusion that there were perceived differences of faith.

If you are concentrating on the dialogues and writings of who followed St. Cyril more and the Henotikon and the so-called "compromises" of terminology over the decades, there seemed to be an innate feeling there was not any difference in faith, despite the ferocious disagreements.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 02:11:32 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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I think it depends on how you look at it.  If you are going to concentrate on the Tome and some of the minutes and phrases of Chalcedon as representative of the whole on the one hand and the divisions within the anti-Chalcedonian communion on the other, you will be lead to the conclusion that there were perceived differences of faith.

If you are concentrating on the dialogues and writings of who followed St. Cyril more and the Henotikon and the so-called "compromises" of terminology over the decades, there seemed to be an innate feeling there was not any difference in faith, despite the ferocious disagreements.

So, it appears that what you're saying is contextual to the time period or chronology. Those who lived more around Chalcedon's time had a more hardline view, but as the political climate changed and people started settling down, then they started being more receptive.
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Offline minasoliman

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I think it depends on how you look at it.  If you are going to concentrate on the Tome and some of the minutes and phrases of Chalcedon as representative of the whole on the one hand and the divisions within the anti-Chalcedonian communion on the other, you will be lead to the conclusion that there were perceived differences of faith.

If you are concentrating on the dialogues and writings of who followed St. Cyril more and the Henotikon and the so-called "compromises" of terminology over the decades, there seemed to be an innate feeling there was not any difference in faith, despite the ferocious disagreements.

So, it appears that what you're saying is contextual to the time period or chronology. Those who lived more around Chalcedon's time had a more hardline view, but as the political climate changed and people started settling down, then they started being more receptive.

Yes, but of course, every time there were more dialogues, there were also hardliners and the political climate of enforcements only made things worse, whether the political environment was against anti-Chalcedonians or Chalcedonians.  Then...Islam was born.
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That's very true Iconodule. these events of certain populations viewing the other as a heretic & those polemics, & declaration of heretics on both sides did take place. but there was communion on the ground in other pockets between other populations. so it's important to keep these aspects in perspective & acknowledge that there was more than one system was/standard that was applied across the church at this time, in terms of receiving chaledonians & vice versa, on the ground of course.

it's similar to today, except the main difference is we have more formal separation on the institutional level & we developed  theories overtime  in regards to why the other is a different faith today. but it's theories based on disinformation. However,  I'd say more access to theology by technology has enabled more people on both sides to come to the conclusion that we have the same faith. I believed for most of my life that EOs were a different religion, until I did my research  read the minutes in detail, & read EO material/christology as well. And of course, I can't unlearn what I know now bout the EO theology, so I can't in good conscious say EO doctrine is different than the OO. I'd say the real barrier to formal uniting, is more  to do with attitude & lack of desire to deal directly with the other.

of  I believe the truth is transferable & we do have access to the minutes & primary sources on both sides. so obviously. I'm in conflict with those who argue that certain fathers in a certain council in antiquity possessed some sort of  knowledge that we don't have access to today. this to me reads like some form of quasi-Gnosticism, in terms of the aspect of one group possessing a secret full truth that the other doesn't. when I presented the evidence from the minutes/councils & all the primary material in a discussion with a EO on twitter, he told  "we believe we have the full truth and you don't", and wouldn't respond to the material....which was material from his own tradition. this is the type of  attitude I noticed that's really a much bigger barrier than the doctrine. i'm not sure of this attitude is motivated by a fear of the unknown or just laziness to learn more information, or a mix of both.

So, what you're saying is that the confirmation or rejection of one party or the other was very asymmetrical, and not neatly defined.

I believed OOs and EOs were basically the same, until I learned otherwise. But, I read your theology and it seems pretty similar to ours, I cannot expressly claim they are exactly the same, because I am not infallible, but they seem to be pretty consistent with each other.

Anyway, it's hard to accept because it's hard to believe that God or His Church would make such a flop. I suppose that's why most people cannot accept it. It's not hard for me to do it, since I became more practical in my outlook on life. But, I digress.

the terminology can differ & the perspectives on history can differ, but those to me are independent from faith. I can express the faith is the same & i can express this while acknowledging at the same time that my claim is fallible. As in, I'm open to being proven wrong.
Like I said, I believe the truth is transferable, and if someone has access to information that can prove me wrong, than I'm open to changing my mind. to me it's about embracing the truth for it's fullness, without trying to comprehend/engage in post-hoc rationalizations to questions such as  "why would God allow X events  to happen etc." I just view answers to these to be unknown. Which reminds me, I noticed OOs tend to be more content with such unknowns than EOs. That's another attitude difference that I've noticed

Offline ZackShenouda439

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I should note some interesting details.In the non-chalcedon camp, Pope Peter III of Alexandria and Peter Fullo of Antioch did accept the Henotikon. So technically, historically the Henotikon was accepted on the of the Coptic Orthodox church of Alexandria & Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch end
.
 Pope Felix III of Rome rejected the henotikon and Pope John Talaia (who succeeded Pope Salophakiolos) rejected the henotikon. Severus of Antioch “accepted" the Henotikon  but he did so while claiming that the Henotikon was a rejection of Chalcedon. So Severus’s acceptance of the henotikon did not satisfy some in the pro-Chalcedon camp.

Also in the pro-chalcedon camp,   Acacius of Constantinople also endorsed the henotikin(obviously since he drafted this document). Flavian II of Antioch also accepted the henotikin.

Pope Hormisdas of rome didn't accept the henotikin & condemned Acacius. From what I understand, the removal of of Acacius from diptychs was recognized under John II of Constantinople(John the Cappadocian). Also,this took place before the EO fifth council.

Also,I found this summary to be concise

 " Acacius himself died in 489, and his successor, Flavitas (or Fravitas, 489–90), tried to reconcile himself with Rome, but refused to give up communion with Miaphysites and to omit Acacius's name in his diptychs. Zeno died in 491; his successor, Anastasius I (491–518), began by keeping the policy of the Henotikon, though himself a convinced Miaphysite. After Anastasius's death his successor, Justin I, immediately sought to end the schism with Rome, a goal shared by the new Patriarch of Constantinople, John II. The reunion was formalized on Easter, March 24, 519.”


Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Yeah, the Churches were briefly united under Pat. Acacius, who is a saint in the OO Churches. But one of the Popes at the time (of Rome,) took issue with it.

Anyway, it was my understanding that Pat. Severus was a bit opportunistic regarding his support for the Henotikon, there were times he accepted it and times he rejected it depending on who he was talking to.

It looks like the Church tried to please everyone, and it didn't work out. Good lesson to learn in life.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 04:40:55 AM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Offline ZackShenouda439

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Yea, it lasted from 484-519. From what I understand Severus initially rejected it in the days before his enthronement but ended up affirming it later later on when he became the non-chalcedonian patriarch of antioch. I think he had to at this point since his predecessors like non-chalcedonian patriarch of Antioch Peter Fullo accepted it and even the Chalcedonian  of  patriarch Antioch Flavian II accepted the henotikin

 There was also this small group of very strict anti-chalcedonians who broke communion with Pope Peter III of Alexandria for signing the Henotikon.  Severus was part of this group before his enthronement later on.

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St Severus was never an opportunist. He received the Henotikon as the condemnation of Chalcedon when he became Patriarch and was able to make such a statement.

He never thought there was an issue with its doctrinal content, which he always accepted, but he considered that in failing to deal with Chalcedon it ignored the real issue.
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Offline ZackShenouda439

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That's true Father Peter. Severus never considered the doctrinal content of Henotikon in itself a problem but he didn't like that some of those accepted the Henotkin without dealing with Chalcedon. That was essentially the position of this hardline anti-chalcedon group called the "Acephali." This hardline anti-chalcedon group of monks condemned Pope Peter III of Alexandria for accepting the Henotikon, without dealing with Chalcedon.

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That always remained the issue of course.

It is not problematic at all to understand how the event of Chalcedon can be condemned, while those who honoured it but also held an Orthodox Christology, could be received more generously. It is what we actually believe about Christ which is the necessary basis for union, not what we believe about an event.
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Offline minasoliman

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Yeah, the Churches were briefly united under Pat. Acacius, who is a saint in the OO Churches. But one of the Popes at the time (of Rome,) took issue with it.

Anyway, it was my understanding that Pat. Severus was a bit opportunistic regarding his support for the Henotikon, there were times he accepted it and times he rejected it depending on who he was talking to.

It looks like the Church tried to please everyone, and it didn't work out. Good lesson to learn in life.

I think the history we should learn is not to pretend a council or father had to be submitted to On 100% of what it/he says.  If you can recognize Orthodoxy without admitting perfection in every single minute or paragraph of the event or writings, you will be able to find the unity in faith.  History showed that men were very demanding.  Accept Chalcedon at all costs or reject Chalcedon at all costs.  There was no middle ground.  This middle ground just happened to show up in few ignored pockets of history and magnified recently since the 1960s.

Someone quoted Leontius of Jerusalem once writing a paragraph that seems to reflect someone flinging his arms in the air in defeat in the middle of all the debate:

If you’ll join with us in confessing the tried and true doctrines, saying both ‘one incarnate nature of God the Word’ and that there are two natures of Christ united in His one hypostasis, and if you also don’t repudiate the Council, and Leo, and ourselves, then we, for our part, anathematize even an angel from heaven sooner than we do you, if he doesn’t think and speak and write likewise; we praise and accept Severus, Dioscorus, Timothy, and you, and anyone at all who shares such views; we add nothing to this, but we leave the judgment on those who think in this way, or who speak in one way and think in another, to God the Judge of all.
Source

I’m taking this quote out of context because despite this, Leontius still maintained Chalcedon was where the Church was at.  Nevertheless, this seemed to be a moment of clarity, where it might have been in the back of the minds of everyone in the sixth century that there was practically no difference and that all that was needed was lifting of anathemas and let each venerate their own without condemning the other.  So even when they condemned one another, they might have still recognized one another’s Orthodoxy, and just fought based on bare principles rather than dogma.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 10:28:09 AM by minasoliman »
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Offline ZackShenouda439

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One lesson I learned from the history is that reunion isn’t going to happen from the top-down approach. I say this because while the later Constantinople Patriarch John II conceded in rejection of the non-chalcedonian/Chalcedonian communion policy of the henotokin by accepting Formula of Hormisdas for reunion with rome.... the formula hormisdas didn’t ensure reunion with rome & the EO in the long-run. So it looks like the bottom-up incremental approach may be the only realistic path. Ideally, as OO & EO interact with each other more, the idea that the two share a different faith may gradually become less and less common over-time. For instance the EO & OO Patriarchates of Alexandria have already signed pastoral agreement that outlines this:
"the Holy Synods of both Patriarchates have agreed to accept the sacrament of marriage which is conducted in either Church with the condition that it is conducted for two partners not belonging to the same Patriarchate of the other Church from their origin”

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

 https://orthodoxjointcommission.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/pastoral-agreement-of-2001-between-the-coptic-orthodox-and-greek-orthodox-patriarchates-of-alexandria.pdf

I suspect this perspective & attitude outlined in this document is the effect of the significant volume of interaction between the OO/EO laity on the ground in Egypt

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Yeah, the Churches were briefly united under Pat. Acacius, who is a saint in the OO Churches. But one of the Popes at the time (of Rome,) took issue with it.

Anyway, it was my understanding that Pat. Severus was a bit opportunistic regarding his support for the Henotikon, there were times he accepted it and times he rejected it depending on who he was talking to.

It looks like the Church tried to please everyone, and it didn't work out. Good lesson to learn in life.

I think the history we should learn is not to pretend a council or father had to be submitted to On 100% of what it/he says.  If you can recognize Orthodoxy without admitting perfection in every single minute or paragraph of the event or writings, you will be able to find the unity in faith.  History showed that men were very demanding.  Accept Chalcedon at all costs or reject Chalcedon at all costs.  There was no middle ground.  This middle ground just happened to show up in few ignored pockets of history and magnified recently since the 1960s.

Someone quoted Leontius of Jerusalem once writing a paragraph that seems to reflect someone flinging his arms in the air in defeat in the middle of all the debate:

If you’ll join with us in confessing the tried and true doctrines, saying both ‘one incarnate nature of God the Word’ and that there are two natures of Christ united in His one hypostasis, and if you also don’t repudiate the Council, and Leo, and ourselves, then we, for our part, anathematize even an angel from heaven sooner than we do you, if he doesn’t think and speak and write likewise; we praise and accept Severus, Dioscorus, Timothy, and you, and anyone at all who shares such views; we add nothing to this, but we leave the judgment on those who think in this way, or who speak in one way and think in another, to God the Judge of all.
Source

I’m taking this quote out of context because despite this, Leontius still maintained Chalcedon was where the Church was at.  Nevertheless, this seemed to be a moment of clarity, where it might have been in the back of the minds of everyone in the sixth century that there was practically no difference and that all that was needed was lifting of anathemas and let each venerate their own without condemning the other.  So even when they condemned one another, they might have still recognized one another’s Orthodoxy, and just fought based on bare principles rather than dogma.

My only problem is that I don't see how mutual veneration of contradicting saints and fathers is possible.
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Offline minasoliman

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We already practice said veneration in the persons of St. John Chrysostom and St. Cyril of Alexandria (and to add, the Coptic Church does in fact venerate St. Theophilus, the predecessor to St. Cyril).

It's not really a difficult situation.  In fact, no one is even saying to venerate one another, just remove the condemnations of one another.

For a student of history, it's not really that difficult to see how saints maybe could not STAND the site of one another, and yet the Church found it in her wisdom to venerate them together at times.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 03:04:21 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline Iconodule

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It could be a problem for a handful of names (Leo, Severus, Dioscorus) but not, IMO, an insurmountable one. For the rest though I don't see any problem at all. And as Mina said, there already is such veneration. I would also add Justinian and Theodora to the list (though in Theodora's case there seems to be some slight-of-hand in EO hagiographies of her to dodge the obvious discrepancy).
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 03:04:48 PM by Iconodule »
Quote
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Offline ZackShenouda439

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Yea, and to add to what Iconodule & Mina have stated

Here is another example of how mutual veneration of contradicting saints and fathers exists within EO tradition. Patriarch of Constantinople Anatolius is a saint in the EO tradition with a feast date & he is documented in the minutes saying things in Chaledcdon 451, that in theory could be perceived to conflict with fathers in later EO councils below.

For instance this statement in theory could be perceived to conflict with fathers of EO  fifth Ecumenical Council council 553
Anatolius the most devout archbishop of Constantinople said:  “the reading of all the accompanying material prove the most devout Ibas innocent of the accusations brought against him.”

For instance this  statement in theory could be perceived to conflict with fathers of EO Sixth Ecumenical Council 692
Anatolius the most devout archbishop of Constantinople said: "It
was not because of the faith that Dioscorus was deposed. He was deposed
because he broke off communion with the lord Archbishop Leo and was
summoned a third time and did not come."
 
 I don’t see this as a issue. It is understood in EO & OO tradition that saints are not 100% correct in everything they do and say. and as Mina has mentioned, what's being asked is to remove the condemnations of one another, not to venerate one another.

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I think it requires a top down and bottom up approach, and I don't believe it should be left to hopefully resolve itself over several centuries. It would take the work of about a week to clarify that we have the same faith - I am being generous.

The Churches could say, for instance, that local bishops and priests were permitted to commune EE or OO who were not able to access their own community. It could be said, for instance, that EO or OO, choosing to attend another congregation regularly, would be welcome without any re-baptism or re-chrismation.

Local joint events could be organised, but these need more than a lay support, they need to be encouraged and permitted by bishops.
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