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Author Topic: "Orthodox" may just be a name...  (Read 11012 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: November 16, 2005, 03:03:05 PM »

As no one has justified Justinian, I'm guessing my accusations of him still stand Undecided
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« Reply #46 on: November 16, 2005, 03:06:36 PM »

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Probably around the atrocious and despicable actions of the unholy Emperor Justinian (he's not a "saint", is he?.....I pray God that he is not Angry)

-------------------

As no one has justified Justinian, I'm guessing my accusations of him still stand Undecided

Reminds me of the accusations hurled at Saint Constantine, of not being a Saint, because he slaughtered many.
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« Reply #47 on: November 16, 2005, 03:10:08 PM »

People have asked questions ozgeorge; am I to sit on my hands and allow people to believe that my Church was monophysite in her rejection of Chalcedon, because representing and defending her actual historical position i.e. that Chalcedon was Nestorian, might offend some people regardless of the manner I attempt to express that truth? Am I to sit on my hands and allow people to believe that a revered Saint of my Church was a heretic and schismatic in his being ex-communicated and anathematised by the Chalcedonian church, because representing and defending his integrity and Orthodoxy, might offend some people regardless of the manner I attempt to express that truth?

I am simply attempting to pursue this discussion on an academic level, without making it personal. I am doing no more than presenting my honest and genuine interpretation of history, which is based on some serious and thoughtful research into the matter. That interpretation is ofcourse open to be challenged by anyone according to their own interpretation of history, if they so wish.

The fact of the matter is, and this is my personal belief mind you (please see H.G. Abba Seraphim’s speech that I have posted here, who presents a sort of compromise, and thus a less conservative view than I) that sharing the same Christological beliefs (which I most certainly believe we do) should suffice, theoretically speaking, in an EO-OO reunion, but would not effectively suffice, practically speaking, if we disagree in our interpretations of historical schism.

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« Reply #48 on: November 16, 2005, 06:30:21 PM »

Beavis,

Maybe it's just that some of us (er, ok, me Smiley ) have been defending St. Justinian for a few years now, and I just don't have the time or inclination to go into another debate on the subject, especially when the 5th Ecumenical Council and Universalism are complicating matters. How could I hope to convince you that St. Justinian was not as bad as all that, when we seem to disagree on more important matters? Smiley
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« Reply #49 on: November 17, 2005, 08:09:52 AM »

Oh?  Well I'm all ears Grin
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« Reply #50 on: November 17, 2005, 07:53:11 PM »

Yes, but I'm trying to keep a cover on my mouth Smiley I've read 2 books by Protestants about Justinian that were more even-handed than some of the stuff I've heard from Orthodox people (of both the Eastern and Oriental variety). Maybe you should start with a heterodox book or two, which at the very least would probably be less biased than someone on a message board who planned on naming his son Justinian (wouldn't you know it, I had a girl)?

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« Reply #51 on: November 18, 2005, 11:19:36 AM »

Well...I wouldn't put it past the lily-white Protestants to have an Imperialistic axe to grinde either. Lips Sealed
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« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2005, 12:02:13 AM »

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What date did he actually anathematize Nestorius?

He was essentially cornered into doing so under much pressure a couple or so weeks after the commencement of the council i.e. after Leo of Rome attempted to restore him to the Church in spite of the absence of such an anathematisation.

Quote
The Creed, which explicitly condemns it, was re-affirmed,


This is rather meaningless; the creed (I assume you are referring to the Chalcedonian definition of faith here?) may have condemned Nestorius by name, but it certainly didn’t condemn Nestorianism by its theology. It was deliberately ambiguous enough to allow for Nestorianism to creep in via a backdoor, for the purpose of satisfying the range of traditions represented at the council. This ambiguity served nothing other than Constantinople’s own political agenda — to unite the universal Church under its authority.

Furthermore, as I stated earlier, what Nestorianism actually is, is not as clear-cut as most people think; therefore, anathematizing Nestorius as a figure means very little in and of itself. I quote the following excerpt from His Holiness Karekin I of blessed memory:

“What did it really mean to condemn Nestorius, or more precisely, to reaffirm his condemnation? What impact could it have in the life of the Church? It is clear from what we said earlier in the chapter that Nestorianism was by no means confined to the personal teaching of Nestorius; neither was he the builder of the Christological system of which he later came to be the spokesman. He was only the man who brought it into open conflict with the Alexandrian Christology, a conflict in which he found himself finally on the defeated side. If we look beyond the actual terms, then, it is perfectly legitimate to say that Nestorius and Nestorianism were not identical. It was possible, therefore, to stand by the doctrine known as Nestorianism or, to use other terms, separatist or dualistic Christology, without necessarily being a follower of Nesorius.

In fact, this attitude came to be for the Antiochenes not only one possible way of saving their Christological tradition, but at the same time the wisest way of preserving it. For many of them it became a clear conviction that what was condemned in Nestorius could be saved from destruction only by dissociating it from the name of Nestorius. And whatever they felt about him personally, they had to pronounce the formal condemnation or anathema on Nestorius when they were invited to do so to prove their orthodoxy. In any case, Nestorius had to be sacrificed for the survival of the doctrine condemned under his name…It is obvious that with this important change in the position of the Antiochene side, the affirmation of Nestorius’ condemnation in the Council of Chalcedon had no serious meaning, nor could it have any consequence of much importance to the ‘Nestorian’ cause.”
(The Council of Chalcedon and the Armenian Church, pages 39-40)

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If Nestorianism was indeed vindicated, why is the Nestorian church not in communion with us

Maybe you can ask them; the only facts I’m aware of which are relevant to this discussion are: a) The Nestorian church felt gratified at the time, b) Chalcedon exonerated Nestorian heretics and writings, c) Chalcedon exonerated a document of faith praised by Nestorius himself, d) Chalcedon exonerated a formula predominantly employed to promote Nestorianism, e) a significant portion of the Orthodox Church rejected Chalcedon upon a Nestorian interpretation of it.

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What canons were used to depose him, if I may ask?

His first deposition was upon the imperial commissioners' baseless conclusions that St Dioscorus had acted irresponsibly at Ephesus 449 in ex-communicating those whom he ex-communicated (though this issue was never really properly investigated), and his subsequent ex-communication was pronounced upon the invocation of the canon regarding failure to answer to a thrice dealt summons (its legalistic application is invalid by virtue of the injustice it promoted).

Quote
Again, whether doctrinally related or not, guilt seems to fall on both sides. There must be another explanation.

The position I have been representing and promoting doesn’t impute blame on both sides. It acknowledges that St Dioscorus was falsely ex-communicated; hence the blame of the schism rests upon the Chalcedonian side. It also holds that the Church rightfully rejected Chalcedon upon a reasonable objective interpretation of it as Nestorian or crypto-Nestorian at best. Again, blame lies upon the Chalcedonian side for being so tainted by political intrigues that it failed to fully and truly represent (and hence consequently compromised) the Orthodox faith.

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« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2005, 02:35:08 PM »

He was essentially cornered into doing so under much pressure a couple or so weeks after the commencement of the council i.e. after Leo of Rome attempted to restore him to the Church in spite of the absence of such an anathematisation.
 

This is rather meaningless; the creed (I assume you are referring to the Chalcedonian definition of faith here?) may have condemned Nestorius by name, but it certainly didn’t condemn Nestorianism by its theology. It was deliberately ambiguous enough to allow for Nestorianism to creep in via a backdoor, for the purpose of satisfying the range of traditions represented at the council. This ambiguity served nothing other than Constantinople’s own political agenda — to unite the universal Church under its authority.

Maybe you can ask them; the only facts I’m aware of which are relevant to this discussion are: a) The Nestorian church felt gratified at the time, b) Chalcedon exonerated Nestorian heretics and writings, c) Chalcedon exonerated a document of faith praised by Nestorius himself, d) Chalcedon exonerated a formula predominantly employed to promote Nestorianism, e) a significant portion of the Orthodox Church rejected Chalcedon upon a Nestorian interpretation of it.

His first deposition was upon the imperial commissioners' baseless conclusions that St Dioscorus had acted irresponsibly at Ephesus 449 in ex-communicating those whom he ex-communicated (though this issue was never really properly investigated), and his subsequent ex-communication was pronounced upon the invocation of the canon regarding failure to answer to a thrice dealt summons (its legalistic application is invalid by virtue of the injustice it promoted).

The position I have been representing and promoting doesn’t impute blame on both sides. It acknowledges that St Dioscorus was falsely ex-communicated; hence the blame of the schism rests upon the Chalcedonian side. It also holds that the Church rightfully rejected Chalcedon upon a reasonable objective interpretation of it as Nestorian or crypto-Nestorian at best. Again, blame lies upon the Chalcedonian side for being so tainted by political intrigues that it failed to fully and truly represent (and hence consequently compromised) the Orthodox faith.

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Is there proof he was pressured?

Sorry, could you spell out Nestorius's teachings vs Nestoriasm? As in, the key ideas of each one.

I think it is greatly relevant. If the point was to heal the Nestorian rift, why wasn't it healed? If was all about politics, why didn't they revoke the council and re-integrate the non-Chalcedoians to prevent more schism? It makes no political sense, which is why I do not see political motivation behind it.

Ok, so the question now is why didn't he answer the summons?

So is the modern Orthodox Church Nestorian? If so, how so?
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« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2005, 07:07:00 PM »

I think it's misleading to present Chalcedon as an attempt to placate the Nestorians; the work of minimizing the damage of the Nestorian issue had already been done by St. Cyril by his admission of the propriety of "two natures" language in relation to Christ, and by his reconciliation with John of Antioch.  Chalcedon was just an attempt to defend the moderate path that St. Cyril had already laid out, and to condemn the extremism of Eutyches.  After all, Eutyches had been originally condemned for his refusal to consent to language that St. Cyril himself had deemed appropriate, so where does that put those who defended him and likewise refused to accept the moderate views of the later St. Cyril?
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« Reply #55 on: November 22, 2005, 07:08:57 PM »

Beavis,

Maybe it's just that some of us (er, ok, me Smiley ) have been defending St. Justinian for a few years now, and I just don't have the time or inclination to go into another debate on the subject, especially when the 5th Ecumenical Council and Universalism are complicating matters. How could I hope to convince you that St. Justinian was not as bad as all that, when we seem to disagree on more important matters? Smiley
Do you remember the names of any of the threads in which this discussion has taken place.  I'd be interested in reading them.
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« Reply #56 on: November 22, 2005, 07:16:24 PM »

I think it's misleading to present Chalcedon as an attempt to placate the Nestorians; the work of minimizing the damage of the Nestorian issue had already been done by St. Cyril by his admission of the propriety of "two natures" language in relation to Christ, and by his reconciliation with John of Antioch.ÂÂ  Chalcedon was just an attempt to defend the moderate path that St. Cyril had already laid out, and to condemn the extremism of Eutyches.ÂÂ  After all, Eutyches had been originally condemned for his refusal to consent to language that St. Cyril himself had deemed appropriate, so where does that put those who defended him and likewise refused to accept the moderate views of the later St. Cyril?

If I'm not mistaken, I believed I read somewhere that there is substantial philological evidence that the "two natures" language supposedly attributed to St. Cyril were actually subsequent Nestorian interpolations (though, of course, whether or not Christ actually had two natures remains uneffected by such an archaeological fact).
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« Reply #57 on: November 22, 2005, 07:39:28 PM »

If I'm not mistaken, I believed I read somewhere that there is substantial philological evidence that the "two natures" language supposedly attributed to St. Cyril were actually subsequent Nestorian interpolations (though, of course, whether or not Christ actually had two natures remains uneffected by such an archaeological fact).
I haven't heard that myself, but in any case, St. Cyril eventually accepted John of Antioch's confession of faith, which used two natures language.
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« Reply #58 on: November 23, 2005, 10:54:59 AM »

I haven't heard that myself, but in any case, St. Cyril eventually accepted John of Antioch's confession of faith, which used two natures language.

A fact too seldom cited.
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« Reply #59 on: November 23, 2005, 01:17:19 PM »

Quote
Is there proof he was pressured?

We can only attempt to infer that which is reasonable from the facts, so I will quote for you a passage from Fr. V.C. Samuel’s Chalcedon Re-examined in which he in turn quotes the very minutes of the council at the point in which Theodoret eventually anathematised Nestorius, and you can decide for yourself whether it seems he was pressured or not:

“It was on 26 October that his case was again taken up by the council.351 As soon as the question was mentioned, the bishops. ignoring the action of Leo, exclaimed, ‘Theodoret is still under excommunication’. The bishop of Cyrus said that he had submitted petitions to the emperor and to the Roman legates, and that they might be read if the bishops so wished. The petitions of Theodoret, it should be remembered, were not addressed to the council. And the bishops replied that they did not want anything to be read but that he condemned Nestorius. ‘I was brought up by the orthodox’, responded Theodoret; ‘I was taught by the orthodox352, I have preached orthodoxy ; I avoid and count alien, not only Nestorius and Eutyches but everyone who does not have the correct thinking’. ‘Speak plainly’, demanded the bishops, ‘anathema to Nestorius and his doctrine; anathema to Nestorius and those who defend him’. Theodoret now tried to offer an explanation of his position. ‘Of a truth’, he said, ‘I say nothing but what I know is pleasing to God. First I want to make it clear that I am here, not because I care for my city or covet my rank. Since I have been falsely accused, I have come to make it clear that I am orthodox and that I condemn Nestorius and Eutyches, and everyone who affirms two sons’. The bishops now intervened and required of him again only to anathematize Nestorius. Once more the bishop of Cyrus tried to defend his own position, and the bishops shouted. ‘He is a heretic! He is a Nestorian! Away with the heretic! Pushed to this extremity, Theodoret said, ‘Anathema to Nestorius…”

Quote
Sorry, could you spell out Nestorius's teachings vs Nestoriasm? As in, the key ideas of each one.

We would be opening a whole can of worms by attempting to figure out what Nestorius taught exactly; so let us stick with relevant issue: the general heresy of Nestorianism as a Christological doctrine. First of all, as an example of Nestorianism being maintained alongside a condemnation of the person of Nestorius, I want you to note a couple of things in the above quoted response of Theodoret, who states:  “I was brought up by the orthodox, I was taught by the orthodox, I have preached orthodoxy.”

Theodoret here is quite clearly implicitly affirming that his Nestorianism has always been orthodox. What this means, is that Theodoret was not renouncing his past heresies, he was in fact essentially admitting that the Christology vindicated by Chalcedon under the title of “orthodox”, rendered not only his past and continuing Nestorianism orthodox, but also the very teachers of his Nestorianism as orthodox. As Fr. V.C. Samuel points out in the relevant footnote, the teacher of Theodoret to which he refers is clearly another key proponent of Nestorianism, namely, Theodore of Mopsuestia (the very same teacher of Nestorius by the way).

Key ideas of Nestorianism that are relevant to this discussion however are:

1)   The lack of recognition of The Word as the One metaphysical personal subject of Christ’s activities, and hence the affirmation of two-subjects of action whereby humanity performs things proper to it and likewise for divinity.
2)   Christ’s divinity and humanity are two grounds of His existence, and hence not incorporated states of the one subsistence in a hypostatic union.

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If the point was to heal the Nestorian rift, why wasn't it healed?

You need to read what I am saying to you more carefully, for I have not suggested that the Chalcedonians intentions were to ratify Nestorianism in an attempt to re-unite with the Nestorian church; the concessions to Nestorianism via certain statements suggestive of the heresy, and in the context of the exoneration of Nestorian figures and documents, as well as the imprecision and ambiguity that allowed Nestorianism to be interpreted into Chalcedonianism were all incidental to the pursuance of ulterior political agendas..

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If was all about politics, why didn't they revoke the council and re-integrate the non-Chalcedoians to prevent more schism?

You’re asking me why your church didn’t go about correctly un-doing her historical errors, in order to consequently heal the schism? Come on now.

There were reunion efforts made by your church, and Chalcedon was even set aside for these purposes. But such attempts failed, for in challenging the authority of Chalcedon, Constantinople and Rome were both challenged and their political achievements through Chalcedon undermined.

Quote
So is the modern Orthodox Church Nestorian? If so, how so?

No they are not. Whatever errors were committed at Chalcedon were evidently abrogated and rectified at the subsequent Chalcedonian council - Constantinople 553. It is also clear, that the Eastern Orthodox Church’s interpretation of Chalcedon in the context of the subsequent councils and the writings of figures such as Fr. John of Damascus, is indeed Orthodox. Even though I may thus admit this interpretation, I nonetheless argue that it is anachronistic.

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« Reply #60 on: November 23, 2005, 01:20:50 PM »

Αριστοκλής ,

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Quote from: Cyprian on Yesterday at 06:39:28 PM
I haven't heard that myself, but in any case, St. Cyril eventually accepted John of Antioch's confession of faith, which used two natures language.

A fact too seldom cited.

Actually the facts too seldom cited (which I’m sure you’re aware of — you know, being so well-read in everything; original language and all) are:

a)   The expression used in the formulary is “OF two natures” and not the Chalcedonian “In two natures.” The Oriental Orthodox Church never had issues with “OF two natures”; in fact, St Dioscorus expressly stated that Christ was “OF two natures” at Chalcedon.

b)   The Formulary was not a dogmatic document that defined the standard of faith, nor was it accepted and regarded as such by St Cyril. Rather, St Cyril’s acceptance of it was merely an indication of him accepting that with provisos even Antiochian terminology 'could' be used to communicate a correct Christology. It was simply a concession to the belief that the ‘moderates’ of both sides should have been able to see that they are indeed saying the same substantial thing if willing to listen to each other. However, it still gave scope for more extreme elements to continue sailing close to the wind. It was not explicit enough to make it impossible for it to be used for opposing party ends, so it was misused as such.

c)   Consequently from b), the Formulary was interpreted in varying manners. Certain Antiochene factions bordering on Nestorianism (if not Nestorian themselves) adopted it as a document that was conceded to by a fictional St Cyril who had renounced Apollinarianism (which they identified with his Orthodox Christology) and submitted to Antiochene Christology (some even believed that by his acceptance of this document he was submitting to Theodore’s Christology!). The Alexandrines (i.e. The Orthodox) interpreted it as a document that was acquiesced to by the true St Cyril of the 12 anathemas and Ephesus 431, who had never compromised his position and who only accepted it with provisos, in maintenance of the true Alexandrine Christology that was established as the Orthodox Norm via Ephesus 431. The provisos do in fact prove that St Cyril accepted the Formulary upon the terms that his own people, the Copts and other followers of the True Alexandrine tradition understood him to accept it.

d)   Chalcedon took the Antiochene side of things in that it presumed that this document was of dogmatic value — it was in fact implicitly used as the arbiter of certain decisions made, even in disregard of the 12 anathemas - a document ratified by an authoritative Ecumenical council and hence actually of authoritative dogmatic value. Regardless of this unwarranted Antiochene interpretation of the Formulary based upon a fictional Cyril, St Cyril had not given up His mia physis formula, and he in fact adhered to it up until his last breath, in documents that are no less, if not more authoritative (by virtue of the fact he actually wrote them as apologetic documents explicitly clarifying True Orthodoxy in the face of criticism) than the Formulary. The Alexandrines understood the actual St Cyril in context; Chalcedonians took parts of the Formulary out of context and in blatant disregard of the 12 anathemas and other documents authored by the blessed St Cyril, and amusingly attempted to argue that St Cyril anticipated Chalcedon.

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« Reply #61 on: November 23, 2005, 02:00:46 PM »

The problem with that approach is that it ignores the fact that St. Cyril, by his later approach to John, alienated many of those in his own patriarchate, including Dioscorus.  The question is, if Dioscorus was merely continuing in the tradition of Cyril, why did he feel the need to harass the saints family. (apologies for the punctuation, for whatever reason the question key on my keyboard is not working)  Why did he oppose the deposition of Eutyches, to the point of leading the deposition (in shady circumstances) of those who had condemned him, and that on the basis of the opposition of Eutyches to statements which were perfectly acceptable to Cyril.  There is nothing in Chalcedon which is in any way substantially different from any position that Cyril had accepted as permissible.  Unlike Dioscorus, Cyril did not elevate his own preference for Alexandrian terminology to the status of dogma.  Both the Alexandrian and Antiochene positions are acceptable, properly explained.  Chalcedon was necessary to establish that balance.
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« Reply #62 on: November 23, 2005, 02:49:04 PM »

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The problem with that approach is that it ignores the fact that St. Cyril, by his later approach to John, alienated many of those in his own patriarchate, including Dioscorus.

Huh? Evidence, please. If this is rooted in some historical Chalcedonian polemic, then don’t waste your time; only provide a source if its reliability is objectively determinable.

Quote
The question is, if Dioscorus was merely continuing in the tradition of Cyril, why did he feel the need to harass the saints family.

Please be specific, and provide evidence. What harassment? And what did this have to do with St Cyril’s Christological tradition which St Dioscorus undoubtedly adhered to to the point of being persecuted? Same condition as above applies.

Quote
Why did he oppose the deposition of Eutyches,


First of all, you’re making the same mistake as Chalcedon by implicitly imputing singular responsibility to St Dioscorus. The Council of Ephesus 449 found Eutyches to have been falsely deposed. Upon the Council’s examination of Eutyches’ doctrine, he was found to have been Orthodox, and rightfully so. The minutes of that council are available to us, as is Eutyches’ Orthodox submission of faith.

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to the point of leading the deposition (in shady circumstances) of those who had condemned him

Consequently, the deposition of those who deposed Eutyches was justified by the council.

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and that on the basis of the opposition of Eutyches to statements which were perfectly acceptable to Cyril.

Really? What statements? Eutyches was deposed for failing to confess Christ “in two natures”. Show me where St Cyril ever declared Christ to be in two natures, or where he ever indicated that such a blasphemous expression (according to the historical circumstances of that time) is acceptable. Not even the formulary allowed for this.

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There is nothing in Chalcedon which is in any way substantially different from any position that Cyril had accepted as permissible.

Theodoret = not permissible. Ibas = not permissible. “in two natures” = not permissible. Failure to define hypostatic union = not permissible. Regarding Christ’s natures as the subjects of independent operations = not permissible. Ex-communicating an Orthodox Patriarch without any valid basis = not permissible.

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Unlike Dioscorus, Cyril did not elevate his own preference for Alexandrian terminology to the status of dogma.


Oh really? Is that why Alexandrian Christology was vindicated at Ephesus 431. Or is that you don’t consider the third Ecumenical Council to be of dogmatic authority? St Dioscorus was the only one staying faithful to the established Orthodox Tradition of the time, against those who assigned dogmatic value to documents like the Formulary which as I have addressed above, were not considered dogmatic by St Cyril. It was the very false and invalid assignment of dogmatic value to the Antiochene interpretation of the Formulary that justifies the actions of Ephesus II against the home synod of 448, and that justifies the Orthodox Church’s rejection of Chalcedon.

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Both the Alexandrian and Antiochene positions are acceptable, properly explained. 


I can agree to this; that was the whole point of the Formulary.

However, the irony of your argument, is that it was in fact the rejection of Alexandrian Christology and the adoption of the Antiochene interpretation of the Formulary as if it were the Standard of Faith that justifies the actions that took place at Ephesus II against the home synod of 448 that ex-communicated Eutyches because he wouldn’t admit to an expression that not only had no dogmatic status, but it in fact had no Orthodox value at all in any sense  by virtue of its employment to convey the Nestorian heresy. Since Chalcedon presumed the same standard as the home synod of 448, it failed to do St Dioscorus due justice — precisely because to do so was in neither Rome nor Constantinople’s political favour.

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Chalcedon was necessary to establish that balance.

The Formulary objectively achieved that balance, despite its misuse by certain Antiochene factions. Chalcedon did not balance anything; it was the source of disruption, the schism of the Chalcedonian church, and the revived persecution of the Orthodox Church.

+Irini nem ehmot
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« Reply #63 on: November 23, 2005, 05:01:03 PM »

We can only attempt to infer that which is reasonable from the facts, so I will quote for you a passage from Fr. V.C. Samuel’s Chalcedon Re-examined in which he in turn quotes the very minutes of the council at the point in which Theodoret eventually anathematised Nestorius, and you can decide for yourself whether it seems he was pressured or not:

“It was on 26 October that his case was again taken up by the council.351 As soon as the question was mentioned, the bishops. ignoring the action of Leo, exclaimed, ‘Theodoret is still under excommunication’. The bishop of Cyrus said that he had submitted petitions to the emperor and to the Roman legates, and that they might be read if the bishops so wished. The petitions of Theodoret, it should be remembered, were not addressed to the council. And the bishops replied that they did not want anything to be read but that he condemned Nestorius. ‘I was brought up by the orthodox’, responded Theodoret; ‘I was taught by the orthodox352, I have preached orthodoxy ; I avoid and count alien, not only Nestorius and Eutyches but everyone who does not have the correct thinking’. ‘Speak plainly’, demanded the bishops, ‘anathema to Nestorius and his doctrine; anathema to Nestorius and those who defend him’. Theodoret now tried to offer an explanation of his position. ‘Of a truth’, he said, ‘I say nothing but what I know is pleasing to God. First I want to make it clear that I am here, not because I care for my city or covet my rank. Since I have been falsely accused, I have come to make it clear that I am orthodox and that I condemn Nestorius and Eutyches, and everyone who affirms two sons’. The bishops now intervened and required of him again only to anathematize Nestorius. Once more the bishop of Cyrus tried to defend his own position, and the bishops shouted. ‘He is a heretic! He is a Nestorian! Away with the heretic! Pushed to this extremity, Theodoret said, ‘Anathema to Nestorius…”

We would be opening a whole can of worms by attempting to figure out what Nestorius taught exactly; so let us stick with relevant issue: the general heresy of Nestorianism as a Christological doctrine. First of all, as an example of Nestorianism being maintained alongside a condemnation of the person of Nestorius, I want you to note a couple of things in the above quoted response of Theodoret, who states:ÂÂ  “I was brought up by the orthodox, I was taught by the orthodox, I have preached orthodoxy.”

Theodoret here is quite clearly implicitly affirming that his Nestorianism has always been orthodox. What this means, is that Theodoret was not renouncing his past heresies, he was in fact essentially admitting that the Christology vindicated by Chalcedon under the title of “orthodox”, rendered not only his past and continuing Nestorianism orthodox, but also the very teachers of his Nestorianism as orthodox. As Fr. V.C. Samuel points out in the relevant footnote, the teacher of Theodoret to which he refers is clearly another key proponent of Nestorianism, namely, Theodore of Mopsuestia (the very same teacher of Nestorius by the way).

Key ideas of Nestorianism that are relevant to this discussion however are:

1)   The lack of recognition of The Word as the One metaphysical personal subject of Christ’s activities, and hence the affirmation of two-subjects of action whereby humanity performs things proper to it and likewise for divinity.
2)   Christ’s divinity and humanity are two grounds of His existence, and hence not incorporated states of the one subsistence in a hypostatic union.

You need to read what I am saying to you more carefully, for I have not suggested that the Chalcedonians intentions were to ratify Nestorianism in an attempt to re-unite with the Nestorian church; the concessions to Nestorianism via certain statements suggestive of the heresy, and in the context of the exoneration of Nestorian figures and documents, as well as the imprecision and ambiguity that allowed Nestorianism to be interpreted into Chalcedonianism were all incidental to the pursuance of ulterior political agendas..

No they are not. Whatever errors were committed at Chalcedon were evidently abrogated and rectified at the subsequent Chalcedonian council - Constantinople 553. It is also clear, that the Eastern Orthodox Church’s interpretation of Chalcedon in the context of the subsequent councils and the writings of figures such as Fr. John of Damascus, is indeed Orthodox. Even though I may thus admit this interpretation, I nonetheless argue that it is anachronistic.

+Irini nem makarismos


Whether a condemnation of Nestorius or an anathematization of him, neither seem to explicity condemn the seperate Nestorianism as you say. So, either way, it seems there is little difference.

What are these "ulterior political agendas"? If the purpose was not to re-unite them, it seems pretty silly to make such a gesture.

Perhaps, then, it was not us who changed interpretations, but you who misunderstood. Remember, Constantinople held in force all canons and decisions made at previous councils, that included Chalcedon. If Constantinople changed nothing and was not Nestorian, then Chalcedon couldn't have been Nestorian. If it did change something, there would have been an outcry of the people, and it couldn't be considered Ecumenical. Also, as with Chalcedon, there would have been a large schism if there was even a perceived change. Yet there was not.
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« Reply #64 on: November 23, 2005, 05:39:47 PM »

Ok, been doing some reading, and found this. Here is why Dioscorus was really deposed. From A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Centry AD:

Onesiphorus, bp. of Iconium, with some others, went up to Dioscorus, clasped his feet and knees, and passionately entreated him not to go to such extremities. "He has done nothing worthy of deposition . . . . if he deserves condemnation, let him be condemned." "It must be," said Dioscorus in answer; "if my tongue were to be cut out for it, I would still say so. "They persisted, and he, starting from his throne, stood up on the footstool and exclaimed, "Are you getting up a sedition? Where are the counts?" Military officers, soldiers with swords and sticks, even the proconsul with chains, entered at his call. He peremptorily commanded the bishops to sign the sentence, and with a fierce gesture of the hand exclaimed, "He that does not choose to sign must reckon with me." A scene of terrorism followed. Those prelates who were reluctant to take part in the deposition were threatened with exile, beaten by the soldiers, denounced as heretics by the partisans of Dioscorus, and by the crowd of fanatical monks (ib. vii. 68) who accompanied Barsumas, until they put their names to a blank paper on which the sentence was to be written (ib. vi. 601 seq. 625, 637, 988). They afterwards protested that they had signed under compulsion. Basil of Seleucia declared that he had given way because he was "given over to the judgment of 120 or 130 bishops; had he been dealing with magistrates, he would have suffered martyrdom." "The Egyptians," says Tillemont, "who signed willingly enough, did so after the others had been made to sign" (xv. 571; cf. Mansi, vi. 601).

Flavian's own fate was the special tragedy of the Latrocinium. He had lodged in the hands of the Roman delegates a formal appeal to the pope and the Western bishops (not to the pope alone; see Leo, Ep. 43, Tillemont, xv. 374). It was nearly his last act. He was brutally treated, kicked, and beaten by the agents of Dioscorus, and even, we are told, by Dioscorus himself (see Evagr. i. 1; Niceph. xiv. 47). He was then imprisoned, and soon exiled, but died in the hands of his guards, from the effect of his injuries, three days after his deposition (Liberatus, Brev. 19), Aug. 11, 268449 He was regarded as a martyr for the doctrine of "the two natures in the one person" of Christ. Anatolius, who had been the agent (apocrisiarius) of Dioscorus at Constantinople, was appointed his successor.

Dioscorus and his council—as we may well call it—proceeded to depose Theodoret and several other bishops; "many," says Leo, "were expelled from their sees, and banished, because they would not accept heresy" (Ep. 93). Theodoret was put under a special ban. "They ordered me," he writes (Ep. 140), "to be excluded from shelter, from water, from everything."

...

The Roman delegates proposed a sentence, to this effect: "Dioscorus has received Eutyches, though duly condemned by Flavian, into communion. The apostolic see excuses those who were coerced by Dioscorus at Ephesus, but who are obedient to archbp. Leo" (as president) "and the council; but this man glories in his crime. He prevented Leo's letter to Flavian" (the acts of Ephesus say the letter to the council, v. supra) "from being read. He has presumed to excommunicate Leo. He has thrice refused to come and answer to charges. Therefore Leo, by us and the council, together with St. Peter, the rock of the church, deprives him of episcopal and sacerdotal dignity" (ib. 1045). A letter was written to Dioscorus, announcing that he was deposed for disregarding the canons and disobeying the council. Dioscorus at first made light of the sentence...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

To say that Dioscorus was legalistically desposed on the basis of not answering a summons three times is at best a half-truth.
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« Reply #65 on: November 24, 2005, 09:01:30 AM »

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Whether a condemnation of Nestorius or an anathematization of him, neither seem to explicity condemn the seperate Nestorianism as you say. So, either way, it seems there is little difference.

Well I never attempted to draw a difference between an anathematization and condemnation of Nestorius. My point was simply that there is no intrinsic relationship between the general heresy and a particular proponent of a particular form of that heresy, such that to condemn that particular proponent does not necessarily indicate that the general heresy is condemned. As is made perfectly clear, Theodoret was perfectly capable of maintaining his heresy and regarding it and the one responsible for teaching it to him, orthodox, whilst nonetheless anathematizing Nestorius.

Chalcedon therefore exonerated a Nestorian heretic, that Leo of Rome was content with restoring to the Church even with the knowledge that this Nestorian heretic hadn’t even anathematised Nestorius at that point in time in any event. That EO’s maintain that St Cyril anticipated Chalcedon therefore, is nothing short of a joke. St Cyril would have cried out in rebuke with those who truly stood by him: St Dioscorus and the other Coptic Bishops and Monks that accompanied him.

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What are these "ulterior political agendas"? If the purpose was not to re-unite them, it seems pretty silly to make such a gesture.

The ulterior political agendas were primarily on behalf of two parties: The political leaders (i.e. emperor and empress) and the political commissioners, and the Romans (Leo of Rome and the Roman legates). Such ulterior political motives were, generally, uniting the church under the authority of Constantinople and asserting the supremacy of Rome, respectively. The achievement of such things ultimately required the undermining of the Alexandrian See, and in pursuance of such an achievement much compromise to the Orthodox Faith was made and an Orthodox Patriarch falsely ex-communicated.

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Remember, Constantinople held in force all canons and decisions made at previous councils, that included Chalcedon. If Constantinople changed nothing

Oh, but this is so far from the truth my friend.

Before I get into the specifics, I want you to just consider the common sense of the situation. If we are to assume that Ecumenical Councils are dogmatic and authoritative, then we are to assume that they suffice in answering to the purpose for which they were called. Nicaea for example, was primarily concerned with Christ’s consubstantial divinity to, and His eternal generation from, The Father. No subsequent Ecumenical Council was called to primarily deal with this same issue, because as a truly Orthodox Ecumenical Council, Nicaea had dealt with it effectively and sufficiently.

As a second and relevant example, the primary purpose of the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus 431 was to affirm the unity of Christ. However, that was also evidently the primary purpose of Constantinople 533; therefore, something must have happened between Ephesus 431 and Constantinople 533 which undermined and compromised that which was established by Ephesus 431, such that the unity of Christ had to be re-affirmed and re-established. The fact of the matter is that Justinian’s vigorous debates with non-Chalcedonian leaders had him convinced that their criticisms of Chalcedon were not unfounded, and were indeed reasonable and warranted, such that a new council had to be convened to redeem Chalcedon from its faults.

Getting to the specifics however, the main action that took place at Constantinople 533 which essentially ratified the decisions of Ephesus 449 and undermined and abrogated Chalcedon was the condemnation of the three chapters. As a summary conclusion to this, Fr. V.C. Samuel states concerning Constantinople 533:

“…its condemnation of the three chapters is indeed an attempt to correct a serious defect which Justinian and those who agreed with him saw in the previous council. The anathemas of the council of 553 corroborate this judgment further. They exclude certain heresies on the one hand, and conserve a theological position on the other. The fact about both these aspects of the anathemas is that they vindicate only the point of view maintained by the non-Chalcedonian body all along. If this truth had been admitted by The emperor and the Chalcedonian body, a great deal of the conflicts that set the communities apart could have been avoided. Michael the Syrian reports555 that Justinian who did so much to establish Chalcedon was drawn towards the end of his life to the Julianist position. The Syrian historian notes that the emperor who used to commend the council of 451 that it had not accepted the letter of Ibas was shocked to hear from Vigilius of Rome that it had in fact approved the document. Now being infuriated, he expressed a three-fold anathema on Chalcedon and adopted the Julianist emphasis.”

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If it did change something, there would have been an outcry of the people, and it couldn't be considered Ecumenical.

Or, maybe as suggested above, Chalcedonians were convinced of the validity of the non-Chalcedonians criticisms, and being unable themselves to sufficiently refute such criticisms i.e. being unable to maintain the integrity of Chalcedon as a non-Nestorian council according to its undoubtedly Nestorian concessions, they acquiesced to the re-interpreted version of Chalcedon affirmed by Constantinople  553? Whatever speculation we make and choose to impute regarding what was going on in the minds of the Chalcedonians, doesn’t change the objective facts however regarding the condemnation of the three chapters undermining and in a sense abrogating certain decisions made at Chalcedon, in addition to other small things such as the subsequent re-employment of “of two natures” alongside the Chalcedon “in two natures” (these two formulas at Chalcedon were interpreted in a manner that had them diametrically opposed) and other Cyrillian principles.
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« Reply #66 on: November 24, 2005, 09:12:55 AM »

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Ok, been doing some reading, and found this. Here is why Dioscorus was really deposed. From A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Centry AD:

This article presents such an out-dated and already debunked perspective of St Dioscorus and Ephesus 449. I will deal with the one-sided claims made nonetheless:

1) The false charge concerning violence and aggressiveness:

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Military officers, soldiers with swords and sticks, even the proconsul with chains, entered at his call. He peremptorily commanded the bishops to sign the sentence, and with a fierce gesture of the hand exclaimed, "He that does not choose to sign must reckon with me." A scene of terrorism followed.

And:

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Flavian's own fate was the special tragedy of the Latrocinium. He had lodged in the hands of the Roman delegates a formal appeal to the pope and the Western bishops (not to the pope alone; see Leo, Ep. 43, Tillemont, xv. 374). It was nearly his last act. He was brutally treated, kicked, and beaten by the agents of Dioscorus, and even, we are told, by Dioscorus himself (see Evagr. i. 1; Niceph. xiv. 47).

Trevor Gervasse Jalland’s evaluation of the second council of Ephesus is worth noting (The Life and Times of St. Leo the Great, (S. P.C. K., l941) pages 252-253). He admits that “most of our evidence regarding the council and its proceedings is from prejudiced sources”, and that although “Leo lays the chief blame for its misdeeds on Dioscorus…it is more than doubtful how far he was really responsible.” The real conduct of the council’s proceedings were in the hands of the imperial commissioners. Jalland further remarks concerning the Chalcedonian charge of tumultuous behaviour at Ephesus 449, that Chalcedon was no exception (A similar view is expressed by Honigman also about the council of 449. See Juvenal of Jerusalem, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, No. 5, Harvard University Press, 1950, p. 236). According to the Coptic Synaxarium, the blessed St Dioscorus was smitten at Chalcedon; he was struck on his mouth, and the hairs of his beard were plucked out. He took the hair and the teeth that were knocked out and sent them to Alexandria saying, "This is the fruit of Faith."

There is simply no reliable evidence of thiis alleged violence or aggressiveness. Any evidence we have in fact suggests the opposite. For example, despite St Dioscorus’ resistance to that blasphemous Tome of Leo, he nonetheless adopted a very friendly stance towards Leo of Rome, who was described at Ephesus 449 as a “lover of God”; Domnus of Antioch was titled “lover of God” as well. When Leo of Rome requested that the emperor of the West Valentinus, his mother, and his sister Pulcheria, intercede before Emperor Theodosius II in order that another council may be summoned, Emperor Theodosius responded with a letter praising the Council of Ephesus and stating that it was “controlled by the fear of God.” He also declared that he had himself examined the council and found it satisfactory, and asserted that “the members held fast to the true faith and the Fathers’ canons.”

The only violence in fact noted by Emperor Theodosius II was that of the Nestorians, which is why Emperor Theodosius II prevented the attendance of Theodoret of Cyrus because of the pains that believers — even in the villages — suffered from the Nestorians. Eutyches in his appeal to the Bishops, also revealed the violent nature of the Nestorians, asserting “that during the trial he had expressly stated that he was ready to follow what these should determine, but that Flavian had refused to accept this appeal; and he protested against the violence with which he had been treated both at the Synod and afterwards by the populace.” (Sellers, The Council of Chalcedon, page. 70)

Any reliable evidence available to us in fact suggests that this alleged aggressiveness was the very opposite of St Dioscorus’ character and person. For example, in rebuking Domnus of Antioch’s encouragement of Theodoret of Cyrhus, Domnus is said to have responded to St Dioscorus by “telling him that he enjoyed his letter because of his love and openness.” (Mar Sawirius Yacoub Thomas, Damascus and its Connections for the Syrian Orthodox: The History of the Syrian Antiochene Church, Vol. 2, page 15) Even Theodoret himself, “whose testimony in [St Dioscorus’] favour cannot be suspected, declared in a letter to Dioscorus, soon after his consecration, that the fame of his virtues, and particularly of his modesty and humility, was widely spread (Ep. 60)” (Wace, H, in the article to which I am responding.)ÂÂ  J. Neale offers a balanced depiction of St Dioscorus, as a “man of excellent disposition and much beloved for his humility. These virtues were adorned with his fiery zeal for the faith and his presence of mind” (History of the Holy Eastern Church, Vol. 1, page 278, 301).

2) The false charge concerning the blank papers:

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Those prelates who were reluctant to take part in the deposition were threatened with exile, beaten by the soldiers, denounced as heretics by the partisans of Dioscorus, and by the crowd of fanatical monks (ib. vii. 68) who accompanied Barsumas, until they put their names to a blank paper on which the sentence was to be written (ib. vi. 601 seq. 625, 637, 988). They afterwards protested that they had signed under compulsion. Basil of Seleucia declared that he had given way because he was "given over to the judgment of 120 or 130 bishops; had he been dealing with magistrates, he would have suffered martyrdom." "The Egyptians," says Tillemont, "who signed willingly enough, did so after the others had been made to sign" (xv. 571; cf. Mansi, vi. 601).

Stephen of Ephesus was one such proponent of the charge of the blank papers. Upon investigation of his testimony, we find that he is inconsistent in his claims. The first of Stephen’s stories alleged that followers of St Dioscorus had visited him at his residence, and did not let him leave the church until he recorded the decrees made by St ‘Dioscorus, Juvenal, Thalassius and the other bishops’. An interesting thing to note relating to Stephen’s credibility in the first place is the accusation brought against him at Chalcedon later on (Oct. 29th), concerning his plot against Basanius of Ephesus which consequently got him arrested such that Stephen could secure the See for himself. The council consequently deposed both Stephen and Basanius. Given his history of deception [In his Patristic Studies (173), Honigman refers to the story of how Stephen had concocted the legend of the seven sleepers in order to divert people’s attention from his crime and avoid detection ], suspicion against the credibility of an already inconsistent testimony, is more than reasonable.

A more striking claim also suggesting the fallacy of the claims made by Stephen of Ephesus, concerning Theodore of Claudiopolis’ statement that everything reported at Ephesus was performed by St Dioscorus, Juvenal and the early signatories. This implicitly contradicts Stephen’s denial of ever agreeing to and consequently signing the decrees of Ephesus 449 when one considers that Stephen himself can reasonably be considered one of these “early signatories.” [Stephen was one of the leading men at the council of 449, occupying the sixth place among the delegates. Regarding the decision to read the minutes of 448 before presenting the Tome of Leo, he was the second speaker after Juvenal (ACO. II, I, page 97); of acquitting Eutyches, he was the third speaker after Juvenal (ibid , page 182) of condemning Flavian and Eusebius, he was the fifth speaker after Juvenal (ibid., page 192). On all these occasions Juvenal had in fact spoken first. Stephen was the fourth—in the order of Dioscorus, Juvenal, Domnus and Stephen— to sign the decisions of the council at the close of the first session (ibid.,pages194 1067).] Furthermore, Theodore’s claim that St Dioscorus and “his party” conducted private meetings at which Theodore and others were not present, only to be handed blank papers by St Dioscorus and Juvenal themselves , simply challenges common sense which dictates that had the whole blank paper plan actually been enacted, that St Dioscorus and Juvenal would have employed other identities to extend the blank papers to Theodore and company, as opposed to extending it to them personally as if to expose themselves so stupidly.

In responding to the very principle of this claim, the Egyptian priests cried out saying: “A soldier of Christ fears no worldly power; light a fire and we will show you how martyrs can die.” St Dioscorus quietly added that, “It would have been more compatible with a bishop’s dignity to refuse signing what he knows not specifically when it is that which concerns the majesty of the Faith”.

The subject was then diverted but later revisited when the continued reading of the minutes of Ephesus 449 revealed that those present believed the theological basis of the council to be that of the fathers. (Samuel, Fr. V.C., op. cit., page 45) The Oriental Bishops then realizing the untenability of their claims against the council, the minutes of which reveal was once upheld by them, claimed that such a statement was later recorded on the blank papers. “‘Everyone wrote with the help of his notary’, answered Dioscorus. Juvenal also confirmed the words of the patriarch, and added that his secretaries took down the minutes with the others. Take the report of Juvenal’s notary, said Dioscorus, or that of Thalassius, or for that matter of the bishop of Corinth, and see whether theirs is a copy of my minutes.” (Samuel, Fr. V.C., op. cit., page 45) In contradiction to his original testimony that the false records were a result of St Dioscorus writing on signed blank papers, Stephen of Ephesus in an attempting to counter the common sense objection of St Dioscorus to the claim of the Oriental Bishops, asserts that St Dioscorus in fact had his secretaries coerce the notaries of the other bishops to write what was written by them. (ACO, II, I, pages 87-88 130-32) “All these allegations were answered by Dioscorus.” (Samuel, Fr. V.C., op. cit., page 46) “Let the account in the possession of Stephen himself be read”, he said, “to see whether I forced him to copy anything” (ACO. ii, i. p. 88: 33.). But no one responded to him.

Even assuming any truth to the story of the blank papers for arguments sake, the fact remains that those who asserted it (Stephen of Ephesus and Theodore) had claimed that St Dioscorus carried out this crime with the participation of others, hence contradicting the position of the Roman legates and Eusebius of Dorylaeum who attempted to place full responsibility for any alleged error or crime committed at Ephesus 449 on St Dioscorus alone.

Furthermore, “Eusebius of Dorylaeum was present at the council of 449. But in his petition read to the council of 451 on 8 October, which in all probability was the same as his appeal to emperor Theodosius II soon after the council of 449, he did not mention the story of the blank papers, although he noted it as an incident which had actually happened in his second petition submitted on 13 October. Is it, then, that the man who should be an eyewitness to the alleged story had to wait for over two years to hear it for the first time on 8 October 451 from the men who had signed the Tome of Leo and agreed to support it?” (Samuel, Fr. V.C., op. cit., page 46)

In ridiculing their consistent denial of those present at Ephesus 449 regarding the fact they had willingly stated all that was read in the minutes of the Council, St Dioscorus responded: "They want to deny all that is confessed to be the fact…let them next say they were not there." (Wace, H., op. cit.)

Later on in the proceedings when the case of Flavian’s excommunication was being discussed, the oriental party who had accused St Dioscorus of having collected blank papers with their signatures, and hence attempting to relieve themselves of responsibility for any of the decrees of Ephesus 449 including that of Flavian’s excommunication, had followed up the matter crying, ‘we all have sinned, we ask for pardon’ (ACO, ii, I, page 94:181). In response, the commissioners then asked, ‘Did you not complain that you had been forced to sign on blank papers the excommunication of Flavian?’(ACO, ii, I, page 94:182) In answer they repeated the words, ‘We all have sinned; we ask for pardon’ (ACO, ii, I, page 94:183) Thus they apologized both for agreeing to excommunicate Flavian and for fabricating the story of the blank papers.

Regardless of the efforts ofÂÂ  the Roman legates, Eusebius of Dorylaeum and the Oriental Bishops to exclude St Dioscorus as solely responsible for the decisions of Ephesus 449, the initial verdict of the commissioners admitted to the Conciliarly nature of the decisions made, hence calling for the deposition of all the leading figure of Ephesus 449.

Quote
To say that Dioscorus was legalistically desposed on the basis of not answering a summons three times is at best a half-truth.

No, not really. I never meant to imply that his failure to answer the three summons was the exclusive justification by the Chalcedonians of his ex-communication, but merely that considering that none of the other matters were conclusively investigated, the canon regarding the three summons was used to seal the deal on such matters, and hence to justify the execution of the ex-communication of St Dioscorus.

I will nonetheless answer all of the charges given:

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The Roman delegates proposed a sentence, to this effect: "Dioscorus has received Eutyches, though duly condemned by Flavian, into communion.

Ephesus 449 was a valid Orthodox Council and its decisions overturning the false decisions made at Constantinople 448 were hence valid, and such validity was never investigated objectively at Chalcedon. If you want to dispute this with me, you can try. But until then, the above attempted justification of St Dioscorus’ ex-communication has no valid basis.

In fact, the above attempted justification of St Dioscorus is not only baseless, but it is hypocritical. As proven, Theodoret of Cyrrhus was under anathema yet he was taken into communion by Leo of Rome. By the Chalcedonians own reasoning therefore, Leo of Rome should be ex-communicated. The case with Leo of Rome is in fact much worse, for unlike St Dioscorus who restored Eutyches to communion by virtue of his Orthodox confession of faith, Leo restored Theodoret aware that he had yet to anathematise Nestorius. Furthermore, Theodoret implicitly though clearly upon his own admission, never renounced his heresies.

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The apostolic see excuses those who were coerced by Dioscorus at Ephesus, but who are obedient to archbp. Leo

The charge of co-ercsion has been debunked above.

On a sidenote, this quote is a nice representation of the attempt to push forth the papal supremacy of the Bishop of Rome.

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He prevented Leo's letter to Flavian

Actually, he didn’t:

Although this document was not read at Ephesus 449, it must be allowed that “Dioscorus made more than one attempt to give the papal letters a hearing” (Tixorent, History of Dogmas, Volume 3, page 81), a point that St Dioscorus himself made at the Council of Chalcedon: “What has happened is clear…I asked twice for the reading of the writing of the most revered bishop of Rome” (ACO. II, i. pages 84, 93 and 99). The first instance at which St Dioscorus allowed for the reading of Leo’s tome, was after the reading of the imperial letter of convocation by John the chief notary. “As soon as the reading ended, the delegates of the West declared that they carried a message from their Prelate. At this declaration, Abba Dioscorus exclaimed: ‘Let the message of our brother and Co-bishop Leo to this Council be read.’ The chief notary, however, declared that there were other letters from the Emperor which should be read first. The delegates from the West acquiesced.” (El Masri, The True Story of the Copts, page 291)

In any event, there was no valid reason necessitating its being read in the first place; it “was not [even] written as a document to the council, but as a letter to the emperor and a copy had been sent to the council handed by the delegates.” (Malaty. T. Fr., The Coptic Orthodox Church As a Church of Erudition and Theology (preparatory edition), page 126) Metropolitan Methodios of Aksum states: “the fact that the letter was submitted to the Synod was enough. Leo’s representatives were present and they could have made his view known. Even to-day, circular letters are submitted to the Synods, but not necessarily read.” (Fouyas, Methodios, Theological and Historical Studies (Athens: 1985), Volume 8, page 14 (n. 3))

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He has presumed to excommunicate Leo

Leo of Rome falsely ex-communicated St Dioscorus 6 months prior to the day that this charge against the latter was made (ACO. II, i, p 43). If St Dioscorus did this therefore, it was simply a reciprocal action, and therefore justified.

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« Reply #67 on: November 24, 2005, 12:32:41 PM »

And yet we have the same faith and communion is near  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #68 on: November 24, 2005, 01:48:33 PM »

Huh? Evidence, please. If this is rooted in some historical Chalcedonian polemic, then don’t waste your time; only provide a source if its reliability is objectively determinable.
JND Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, "Neither of the great parties was as a whole content with the terms of the Union Symbol.  On the one hand, Cyril's right-wing allies viewed his acceptance of the Two Natures doctrine with unconcealed dismay.  In self-defence he was obliged to muster arguments to show that, for all the at first sight objectionable language in which it was expressed, it was essentially the teaching he had always supported.  On the Antiochene side there was an extremist Cilician group which persisted in declaring Cyril a heretic...Cyril himself, however, stood for moderation, and while he was alive he restrained his hot-headed partisans.  With his death in 444 the reaction against the Two Natures doctrine gathered force and is reflected in attacks launched on the teaching of Theodoret, now the leading theologian of the Antiochene school.  Cyril's successor, Dioscorus, an energetic and ruthless prelate, put himself at the head of it.  He was determined, cost what it might, to reassert the One Nature doctrine which, he sincerely believed, had the authority of the fathers behind it and which had only been compromised by Cyril in a moment of weakness."  St. Cyril's relevant letters in this controversy include epistles 40 (to Acacius) and 44 (to Eulogius).  Similar summaries of the post-union disputes can be found in Jaroslav Pelikan's Christian Tradition.

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Please be specific, and provide evidence. What harassment? And what did this have to do with St Cyril’s Christological tradition which St Dioscorus undoubtedly adhered to to the point of being persecuted? Same condition as above applies.
Apologies, I'll have to put this one off until next week.  I'm not at home right now and don't have access to most of my books.  As to the connection between this and the Christological dispute, the reason for the harassment was Dioscorus' suspicions of Cyril's family for supported the saint's later moderate views, of which Dioscorus disapproved.
 

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First of all, you’re making the same mistake as Chalcedon by implicitly imputing singular responsibility to St Dioscorus.
As is universally recognized in scholarly circles, Dioscorus thoroughly dominated the Robber Synod.  Although others are also responsible for their complicity in the event, Dioscorus was certainly the "ringleader".
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The Council of Ephesus 449 found Eutyches to have been falsely deposed. Upon the Council’s examination of Eutyches’ doctrine, he was found to have been Orthodox, and rightfully so. The minutes of that council are available to us, as is Eutyches’ Orthodox submission of faith.

Consequently, the deposition of those who deposed Eutyches was justified by the council.
Even if Euyches was Orthodox (and his own statements are so muddled and contradictory as to make the determination of his real views very difficult indeed), it does not follow that he was unjustly deposed.  If he was Orthodox at the time of his examination by Flavian, he certainly did his best to conceal it.  There is no evidence that Eutyches' deposition was in any way irregular, and therefore the deposition of his accusers was unjustified.
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Really? What statements? Eutyches was deposed for failing to confess Christ “in two natures”. Show me where St Cyril ever declared Christ to be in two natures, or where he ever indicated that such a blasphemous expression (according to the historical circumstances of that time) is acceptable. Not even the formulary allowed for this.
Didn't it?  Symbol of Union, "As for the evangelical and apostolic statements about the Lord, we recognize that theologians employ some indifferently in view of the unity of person but distinguish others in view of the duality of natures, applying the God-befitting ones to Christ's divinity and the humble ones to his humanity."  The "duality of natures" refers to statements about Jesus after the Incarnation, and is merely another way of expressing the Chalcedonian phrase "in two natures".  Cyril's agreement to this sentence was the reason why he had difficulty with the extremists in his own patriarchate.

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Theodoret = not permissible.
Theodoret agreed to the Formula of Union and the title "Theotokos"; he also was on good terms with St. Cyril at the time of the latter's death.  As you yourself have noted, an individual's attitude to a doctrine itself is more important than his attitude to the person holding that doctrine.  Theodoret was not a Nestorian, so his attitude to Nestorius is not particularly important in determining his orthodoxy.
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Ibas = not permissible.
Again, like Theodoret, Ibas was fundamentally a moderate Antiochian.  Some of his statements were objectionable, but his statements at Chalcedon show him to have been Orthodox
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“in two natures” = not permissible
But "the duality of natures" is?
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Failure to define hypostatic union = not permissible
Why did it have to specifically use the phrase "hypostatic union"?  The whole point of that phrase was to clarify, against Nestorius, that there was only one hypostasis in Christ.  This Chalcedon did in clear and unmistakable terms.  It should also be pointed out that "hypostatic union" was not found in the Symbol of Union.  I agree with you that "hypostatic union" is a helpful phrase, but it's not necessary.
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Regarding Christ’s natures as the subjects of independent operations = not permissible
St. Leo specifically denies that the two natures act independently, affirming that they act always "in concert" with one another.  Granted, taken alone, this phrase is susceptible of Nestorian interpretation, but in the context of the whole epistle, it is clear that this is not the case.  St. Leo affirms that it is the divine person who acts through both natures, "one and the same mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, should be able both to die in respect of the one and not to die in respect of the other."  Furthermore, he explicitly affirms that the person of Jesus is identical to the person of the divine Word, and allows the "communication of idioms" which St. Cyril valued.  Anyway, the Chalcedonian distinction between person and nature, with one person and two natures, exactly as affirmed by St. Leo, was entrenched in the West long before the Nestorian dispute.
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Ex-communicating an Orthodox Patriarch without any valid basis = not permissible.
A patriarch like Dioscorus who foments schism excommunicates himself.  "Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. (Titus 3:10-11)
 

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Oh really? Is that why Alexandrian Christology was vindicated at Ephesus 431. Or is that you don’t consider the third Ecumenical Council to be of dogmatic authority?
Alexandrian Christology was not vindicated as against Antiochian at the council; it was vindicated as against the excesses of Nestorius.  The Latin west, which used language that had more in common with Antioch than Alexandria, was not even addressed.  Alexandrian Christology is no more authoritative than Latin Christology, or moderate Antiochian.
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St Dioscorus was the only one staying faithful to the established Orthodox Tradition of the time, against those who assigned dogmatic value to documents like the Formulary which as I have addressed above, were not considered dogmatic by St Cyril.
There was no need to consider them dogmatic at the time; it was only after the Symbol that the Alexandrian extremists came to the fore.  What is unquestionable is that St. Cyril saw the Symbol as being true, and those who reject statements of true doctrine, as well as those who hold to them, are schismatics if not heretics.
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It was the very false and invalid assignment of dogmatic value to the Antiochene interpretation of the Formulary
The condemnation of Eutyches didn't depend on his preference for Alexandrian terms; it depended on his rejection of the very possibility of using Antiochene phrases to explain Christology, and at that Antiochene phrases specifically justified by the Symbol.
 

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I can agree to this; that was the whole point of the Formulary.
Indeed it was, and those who rejected the Formulary rejected the Church unity which it represented.  Again, there is no difference between "in two natures" and "the duality of natures".

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because he wouldn’t admit to an expression that not only had no dogmatic status, but it in fact had no Orthodox value at all in any sense ÂÂ by virtue of its employment to convey the Nestorian heresy.
And St. Cyril's favoured terms had earlier been used to express the Apollinarian heresy; the term "homoousios" was difficult to purge of its Sabellian overtones.  No one's language in this dispute, or any earlier dispute, was completely "clean", and the excesses possible to both sides needed to be checked.  Ephesus checked the Nestorian extreme; Chalcedon, by granting the terms of the Symbol of Union formal authority, protected the church against any revival of Apollinarianism.  It was fitting, in a dispute in which both sides could be pushed to unacceptable extremes, to have Councils of full ecumenical authority protecting against both these extremes, and holding the Church to the via media.
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« Reply #69 on: November 24, 2005, 05:24:56 PM »

Well I never attempted to draw a difference between an anathematization and condemnation of Nestorius. My point was simply that there is no intrinsic relationship between the general heresy and a particular proponent of a particular form of that heresy, such that to condemn that particular proponent does not necessarily indicate that the general heresy is condemned. As is made perfectly clear, Theodoret was perfectly capable of maintaining his heresy and regarding it and the one responsible for teaching it to him, orthodox, whilst nonetheless anathematizing Nestorius.

Chalcedon therefore exonerated a Nestorian heretic, that Leo of Rome was content with restoring to the Church even with the knowledge that this Nestorian heretic hadn’t even anathematised Nestorius at that point in time in any event. That EO’s maintain that St Cyril anticipated Chalcedon therefore, is nothing short of a joke. St Cyril would have cried out in rebuke with those who truly stood by him: St Dioscorus and the other Coptic Bishops and Monks that accompanied him.

The ulterior political agendas were primarily on behalf of two parties: The political leaders (i.e. emperor and empress) and the political commissioners, and the Romans (Leo of Rome and the Roman legates). Such ulterior political motives were, generally, uniting the church under the authority of Constantinople and asserting the supremacy of Rome, respectively. The achievement of such things ultimately required the undermining of the Alexandrian See, and in pursuance of such an achievement much compromise to the Orthodox Faith was made and an Orthodox Patriarch falsely ex-communicated.

As a second and relevant example, the primary purpose of the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus 431 was to affirm the unity of Christ. However, that was also evidently the primary purpose of Constantinople 533; therefore, something must have happened between Ephesus 431 and Constantinople 533 which undermined and compromised that which was established by Ephesus 431, such that the unity of Christ had to be re-affirmed and re-established. The fact of the matter is that Justinian’s vigorous debates with non-Chalcedonian leaders had him convinced that their criticisms of Chalcedon were not unfounded, and were indeed reasonable and warranted, such that a new council had to be convened to redeem Chalcedon from its faults.

Getting to the specifics however, the main action that took place at Constantinople 533 which essentially ratified the decisions of Ephesus 449 and undermined and abrogated Chalcedon was the condemnation of the three chapters. As a summary conclusion to this, Fr. V.C. Samuel states concerning Constantinople 533:

“…its condemnation of the three chapters is indeed an attempt to correct a serious defect which Justinian and those who agreed with him saw in the previous council. The anathemas of the council of 553 corroborate this judgment further. They exclude certain heresies on the one hand, and conserve a theological position on the other. The fact about both these aspects of the anathemas is that they vindicate only the point of view maintained by the non-Chalcedonian body all along. If this truth had been admitted by The emperor and the Chalcedonian body, a great deal of the conflicts that set the communities apart could have been avoided. Michael the Syrian reports555 that Justinian who did so much to establish Chalcedon was drawn towards the end of his life to the Julianist position. The Syrian historian notes that the emperor who used to commend the council of 451 that it had not accepted the letter of Ibas was shocked to hear from Vigilius of Rome that it had in fact approved the document. Now being infuriated, he expressed a three-fold anathema on Chalcedon and adopted the Julianist emphasis.”

Or, maybe as suggested above, Chalcedonians were convinced of the validity of the non-Chalcedonians criticisms, and being unable themselves to sufficiently refute such criticisms i.e. being unable to maintain the integrity of Chalcedon as a non-Nestorian council according to its undoubtedly Nestorian concessions, they acquiesced to the re-interpreted version of Chalcedon affirmed by ConstantinopleÂÂ  553? Whatever speculation we make and choose to impute regarding what was going on in the minds of the Chalcedonians, doesn’t change the objective facts however regarding the condemnation of the three chapters undermining and in a sense abrogating certain decisions made at Chalcedon, in addition to other small things such as the subsequent re-employment of “of two natures” alongside the Chalcedon “in two natures” (these two formulas at Chalcedon were interpreted in a manner that had them diametrically opposed) and other Cyrillian principles.


You say in your first paragraph that you never made any distinction between the condemnation and anathematization of Nestorius, yet in the second, you do draw such a distinction. From the minutes you posted earlier, it seems he had no problem whatsoever condemning Nestorius.

Yet the Orthodox Church has never recognized the supremacy of Rome. Further, while Dioscorus was deposed, the Alexandrian See was not "destroyed." It exists to this day. Another "conspiracy theory."

Whatever Justinian may have felt, the Council did affirm and define, not redefine, the faith. New heresies call for new councils.

This is mere speculation. If you want the truth, look at the canons themselves:

"We Orthodoxly confirm the faith which was engrossed upon a pillar in the Metropolis of the Chalcedonians in the reign of Marcianus, who also became our Emperor, by the six hundred and thirty God-approved Fathers, which conveyed to the ends of the earth in a loud voice the one Christ the Son of God composed of two natures and in these two same natures glorified; and we have driven out of the sacred precincts of the Church Eutyches the vain-minded, who declared it to be his opinion that great mystery of the Economy was only seemingly consummated, as something sinister and miasmatic, and along with him also Dioscorus and Nestorius, the former being a defender and champion of dissension, the latter of confusion, and both of them being diametrically opposite outlets of impiety, fallen out in the same direction towards one and the same yawning chasm of perdition and godlessness."

In short, one must consider the primary sources, not mere interpetations of hwhat happened. It is clear from the above canon that the "changes" were never made, nor should they have been, for Chalcedon did not err. If you continue to maintain that Orthodoxy doesn't accept the Nestorian heresies today, you must clearly show where it changed. if you cannot, it can only be assumed that no changes were ever made.
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« Reply #70 on: November 24, 2005, 05:41:37 PM »

This article presents such an out-dated and already debunked perspective of St Dioscorus and Ephesus 449. I will deal with the one-sided claims made nonetheless:

1) The false charge concerning violence and aggressiveness:

And:

Trevor Gervasse Jalland’s evaluation of the second council of Ephesus is worth noting (The Life and Times of St. Leo the Great, (S. P.C. K., l941) pages 252-253). He admits that “most of our evidence regarding the council and its proceedings is from prejudiced sources”, and that although “Leo lays the chief blame for its misdeeds on Dioscorus…it is more than doubtful how far he was really responsible.” The real conduct of the council’s proceedings were in the hands of the imperial commissioners. Jalland further remarks concerning the Chalcedonian charge of tumultuous behaviour at Ephesus 449, that Chalcedon was no exception (A similar view is expressed by Honigman also about the council of 449. See Juvenal of Jerusalem, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, No. 5, Harvard University Press, 1950, p. 236). According to the Coptic Synaxarium, the blessed St Dioscorus was smitten at Chalcedon; he was struck on his mouth, and the hairs of his beard were plucked out. He took the hair and the teeth that were knocked out and sent them to Alexandria saying, "This is the fruit of Faith."

There is simply no reliable evidence of thiis alleged violence or aggressiveness. Any evidence we have in fact suggests the opposite. For example, despite St Dioscorus’ resistance to that blasphemous Tome of Leo, he nonetheless adopted a very friendly stance towards Leo of Rome, who was described at Ephesus 449 as a “lover of God”; Domnus of Antioch was titled “lover of God” as well. When Leo of Rome requested that the emperor of the West Valentinus, his mother, and his sister Pulcheria, intercede before Emperor Theodosius II in order that another council may be summoned, Emperor Theodosius responded with a letter praising the Council of Ephesus and stating that it was “controlled by the fear of God.” He also declared that he had himself examined the council and found it satisfactory, and asserted that “the members held fast to the true faith and the Fathers’ canons.”

The only violence in fact noted by Emperor Theodosius II was that of the Nestorians, which is why Emperor Theodosius II prevented the attendance of Theodoret of Cyrus because of the pains that believers — even in the villages — suffered from the Nestorians. Eutyches in his appeal to the Bishops, also revealed the violent nature of the Nestorians, asserting “that during the trial he had expressly stated that he was ready to follow what these should determine, but that Flavian had refused to accept this appeal; and he protested against the violence with which he had been treated both at the Synod and afterwards by the populace.” (Sellers, The Council of Chalcedon, page. 70)

Any reliable evidence available to us in fact suggests that this alleged aggressiveness was the very opposite of St Dioscorus’ character and person. For example, in rebuking Domnus of Antioch’s encouragement of Theodoret of Cyrhus, Domnus is said to have responded to St Dioscorus by “telling him that he enjoyed his letter because of his love and openness.” (Mar Sawirius Yacoub Thomas, Damascus and its Connections for the Syrian Orthodox: The History of the Syrian Antiochene Church, Vol. 2, page 15) Even Theodoret himself, “whose testimony in [St Dioscorus’] favour cannot be suspected, declared in a letter to Dioscorus, soon after his consecration, that the fame of his virtues, and particularly of his modesty and humility, was widely spread (Ep. 60)” (Wace, H, in the article to which I am responding.)ÂÂ  J. Neale offers a balanced depiction of St Dioscorus, as a “man of excellent disposition and much beloved for his humility. These virtues were adorned with his fiery zeal for the faith and his presence of mind” (History of the Holy Eastern Church, Vol. 1, page 278, 301).

2) The false charge concerning the blank papers:

Stephen of Ephesus was one such proponent of the charge of the blank papers. Upon investigation of his testimony, we find that he is inconsistent in his claims. The first of Stephen’s stories alleged that followers of St Dioscorus had visited him at his residence, and did not let him leave the church until he recorded the decrees made by St ‘Dioscorus, Juvenal, Thalassius and the other bishops’. An interesting thing to note relating to Stephen’s credibility in the first place is the accusation brought against him at Chalcedon later on (Oct. 29th), concerning his plot against Basanius of Ephesus which consequently got him arrested such that Stephen could secure the See for himself. The council consequently deposed both Stephen and Basanius. Given his history of deception [In his Patristic Studies (173), Honigman refers to the story of how Stephen had concocted the legend of the seven sleepers in order to divert people’s attention from his crime and avoid detection ], suspicion against the credibility of an already inconsistent testimony, is more than reasonable.

A more striking claim also suggesting the fallacy of the claims made by Stephen of Ephesus, concerning Theodore of Claudiopolis’ statement that everything reported at Ephesus was performed by St Dioscorus, Juvenal and the early signatories. This implicitly contradicts Stephen’s denial of ever agreeing to and consequently signing the decrees of Ephesus 449 when one considers that Stephen himself can reasonably be considered one of these “early signatories.” [Stephen was one of the leading men at the council of 449, occupying the sixth place among the delegates. Regarding the decision to read the minutes of 448 before presenting the Tome of Leo, he was the second speaker after Juvenal (ACO. II, I, page 97); of acquitting Eutyches, he was the third speaker after Juvenal (ibid , page 182) of condemning Flavian and Eusebius, he was the fifth speaker after Juvenal (ibid., page 192). On all these occasions Juvenal had in fact spoken first. Stephen was the fourth—in the order of Dioscorus, Juvenal, Domnus and Stephen— to sign the decisions of the council at the close of the first session (ibid.,pages194 1067).] Furthermore, Theodore’s claim that St Dioscorus and “his party” conducted private meetings at which Theodore and others were not present, only to be handed blank papers by St Dioscorus and Juvenal themselves , simply challenges common sense which dictates that had the whole blank paper plan actually been enacted, that St Dioscorus and Juvenal would have employed other identities to extend the blank papers to Theodore and company, as opposed to extending it to them personally as if to expose themselves so stupidly.

In responding to the very principle of this claim, the Egyptian priests cried out saying: “A soldier of Christ fears no worldly power; light a fire and we will show you how martyrs can die.” St Dioscorus quietly added that, “It would have been more compatible with a bishop’s dignity to refuse signing what he knows not specifically when it is that which concerns the majesty of the Faith”.

The subject was then diverted but later revisited when the continued reading of the minutes of Ephesus 449 revealed that those present believed the theological basis of the council to be that of the fathers. (Samuel, Fr. V.C., op. cit., page 45) The Oriental Bishops then realizing the untenability of their claims against the council, the minutes of which reveal was once upheld by them, claimed that such a statement was later recorded on the blank papers. “‘Everyone wrote with the help of his notary’, answered Dioscorus. Juvenal also confirmed the words of the patriarch, and added that his secretaries took down the minutes with the others. Take the report of Juvenal’s notary, said Dioscorus, or that of Thalassius, or for that matter of the bishop of Corinth, and see whether theirs is a copy of my minutes.” (Samuel, Fr. V.C., op. cit., page 45) In contradiction to his original testimony that the false records were a result of St Dioscorus writing on signed blank papers, Stephen of Ephesus in an attempting to counter the common sense objection of St Dioscorus to the claim of the Oriental Bishops, asserts that St Dioscorus in fact had his secretaries coerce the notaries of the other bishops to write what was written by them. (ACO, II, I, pages 87-88 130-32) “All these allegations were answered by Dioscorus.” (Samuel, Fr. V.C., op. cit., page 46) “Let the account in the possession of Stephen himself be read”, he said, “to see whether I forced him to copy anything” (ACO. ii, i. p. 88: 33.). But no one responded to him.

Even assuming any truth to the story of the blank papers for arguments sake, the fact remains that those who asserted it (Stephen of Ephesus and Theodore) had claimed that St Dioscorus carried out this crime with the participation of others, hence contradicting the position of the Roman legates and Eusebius of Dorylaeum who attempted to place full responsibility for any alleged error or crime committed at Ephesus 449 on St Dioscorus alone.

Furthermore, “Eusebius of Dorylaeum was present at the council of 449. But in his petition read to the council of 451 on 8 October, which in all probability was the same as his appeal to emperor Theodosius II soon after the council of 449, he did not mention the story of the blank papers, although he noted it as an incident which had actually happened in his second petition submitted on 13 October. Is it, then, that the man who should be an eyewitness to the alleged story had to wait for over two years to hear it for the first time on 8 October 451 from the men who had signed the Tome of Leo and agreed to support it?” (Samuel, Fr. V.C., op. cit., page 46)

In ridiculing their consistent denial of those present at Ephesus 449 regarding the fact they had willingly stated all that was read in the minutes of the Council, St Dioscorus responded: "They want to deny all that is confessed to be the fact…let them next say they were not there." (Wace, H., op. cit.)

Later on in the proceedings when the case of Flavian’s excommunication was being discussed, the oriental party who had accused St Dioscorus of having collected blank papers with their signatures, and hence attempting to relieve themselves of responsibility for any of the decrees of Ephesus 449 including that of Flavian’s excommunication, had followed up the matter crying, ‘we all have sinned, we ask for pardon’ (ACO, ii, I, page 94:181). In response, the commissioners then asked, ‘Did you not complain that you had been forced to sign on blank papers the excommunication of Flavian?’(ACO, ii, I, page 94:182) In answer they repeated the words, ‘We all have sinned; we ask for pardon’ (ACO, ii, I, page 94:183) Thus they apologized both for agreeing to excommunicate Flavian and for fabricating the story of the blank papers.

Regardless of the efforts ofÂÂ  the Roman legates, Eusebius of Dorylaeum and the Oriental Bishops to exclude St Dioscorus as solely responsible for the decisions of Ephesus 449, the initial verdict of the commissioners admitted to the Conciliarly nature of the decisions made, hence calling for the deposition of all the leading figure of Ephesus 449.

No, not really. I never meant to imply that his failure to answer the three summons was the exclusive justification by the Chalcedonians of his ex-communication, but merely that considering that none of the other matters were conclusively investigated, the canon regarding the three summons was used to seal the deal on such matters, and hence to justify the execution of the ex-communication of St Dioscorus.

I will nonetheless answer all of the charges given:

Ephesus 449 was a valid Orthodox Council and its decisions overturning the false decisions made at Constantinople 448 were hence valid, and such validity was never investigated objectively at Chalcedon. If you want to dispute this with me, you can try. But until then, the above attempted justification of St Dioscorus’ ex-communication has no valid basis.

In fact, the above attempted justification of St Dioscorus is not only baseless, but it is hypocritical. As proven, Theodoret of Cyrrhus was under anathema yet he was taken into communion by Leo of Rome. By the Chalcedonians own reasoning therefore, Leo of Rome should be ex-communicated. The case with Leo of Rome is in fact much worse, for unlike St Dioscorus who restored Eutyches to communion by virtue of his Orthodox confession of faith, Leo restored Theodoret aware that he had yet to anathematise Nestorius. Furthermore, Theodoret implicitly though clearly upon his own admission, never renounced his heresies.

The charge of co-ercsion has been debunked above.

On a sidenote, this quote is a nice representation of the attempt to push forth the papal supremacy of the Bishop of Rome.

Actually, he didn’t:

Although this document was not read at Ephesus 449, it must be allowed that “Dioscorus made more than one attempt to give the papal letters a hearing” (Tixorent, History of Dogmas, Volume 3, page 81), a point that St Dioscorus himself made at the Council of Chalcedon: “What has happened is clear…I asked twice for the reading of the writing of the most revered bishop of Rome” (ACO. II, i. pages 84, 93 and 99). The first instance at which St Dioscorus allowed for the reading of Leo’s tome, was after the reading of the imperial letter of convocation by John the chief notary. “As soon as the reading ended, the delegates of the West declared that they carried a message from their Prelate. At this declaration, Abba Dioscorus exclaimed: ‘Let the message of our brother and Co-bishop Leo to this Council be read.’ The chief notary, however, declared that there were other letters from the Emperor which should be read first. The delegates from the West acquiesced.” (El Masri, The True Story of the Copts, page 291)

In any event, there was no valid reason necessitating its being read in the first place; it “was not [even] written as a document to the council, but as a letter to the emperor and a copy had been sent to the council handed by the delegates.” (Malaty. T. Fr., The Coptic Orthodox Church As a Church of Erudition and Theology (preparatory edition), page 126) Metropolitan Methodios of Aksum states: “the fact that the letter was submitted to the Synod was enough. Leo’s representatives were present and they could have made his view known. Even to-day, circular letters are submitted to the Synods, but not necessarily read.” (Fouyas, Methodios, Theological and Historical Studies (Athens: 1985), Volume 8, page 14 (n. 3))

Leo of Rome falsely ex-communicated St Dioscorus 6 months prior to the day that this charge against the latter was made (ACO. II, i, p 43). If St Dioscorus did this therefore, it was simply a reciprocal action, and therefore justified.

+Irini nem makarismos


So now we seem to have two varying sources. But I guess the question that is on my mind is: what killed Flavian? He obviously died, so how did it happen?

Here, you have done two things: shown that the blank paper accusation may have been fabricated, and that Stephen was probably lying. Yet, none of the other witnesses claims seem to be properly addressed. When so many people bring on similar accusations, while they may have deceit intwined in them, they also have an element of truth. This seems to say that everything they said was a lie, but that is and absurd conclusion. So, the question now is not "Did anything shady go on?" but "What exactly went on?"

As in the previous post, it has been shown that Theodoret condemned Nestorius without hesitation. It is not unreasonable to assume Leo knew this. Further, whether Leo's (personal) excommunication of Dioscorus is valid or not is not the question. The issue is whether Chalcedon rightly excommunicated him.
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« Reply #71 on: November 24, 2005, 07:10:52 PM »

Regarding whether changes to Chalcedon were made by the 5th council:

To know that the fifth council did change Chalcedon, all you have to do is look at the events that took place, including the fact that more schisms and excommunications happened among the Chalcedonians after 553.

For example, the Assyrians ("Persian Church") had accepted Chalcedon as vindicating the Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia.  In fact, it was the Assyrians' acceptance of Chalcedon, with their proclamation that Nestorius was vindicated at Chalcedon, which caused the Armenian Church to condemn Chalcedon in the early 500's.   

After 553, however, the Assyrians parted ways with the other Chalcedonians. This is because the fifth council had condemned Theodore and had redefined Chalcedon to orient it more toward Alexandria, using phrases the Assyrians found objectionable, like "God suffered in the flesh," etc. 

Another example is the "Sleepless Monks" in Constantinople.  They upheld the Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia, celebrated Nestorius' feast day and were staunch Chalcedonians.  They enjoyed a good relationship with the authorities until Justinian tried getting them to agree with the idea that one of the Trinity suffered in the flesh.  At that point they broke off communion with their fellow Chalcedonians.

Finally, Pope Vigilus, as well as the eastern patriarchs, initially condemned the fifth council because it did, in their opinion, change Chalcedon.  Justinian had to just about twist the eastern bishops' arms off to get them to sign onto the fifth council.  Justinian couldn't do that with Vigilus, however, which is why Vigilus excommunicated the eastern churches and a schism resulted which lasted for about 50 years.

This Catholic article deals with this schism: 
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14707b.htm

Many Chalcedonians living in the 21st century like to say that the fifth council changed nothing and that Chalcedon was interpreted exactly the same way 1500 years ago that it is interpreted now.  However, it is clear that the people who lived at the time did not see it that way.  Vigilus, the eastern bishops, the sixth century Persian Church and the Sleepless Monks were a lot closer in time to Chalcedon than we are. Looking at their actions and words tells us that Chalcedon was initially interpreted by its supporters, as well as its opponents, as supporting the Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia.

The fact is, most Chalcedonian theologians today use  the word "neo-chalcedonianism" to describe the interpretation of Chalcedon that emerged after 553.  Chalcedon and its supporters did change in a way that brought them away from the Christology of Theodore and more in line with St. Cyril.

It always gets me when a Chalcedonian says that the Non-chalcedonians were originally Apollonarian heretics and that over time they became more Orthodox, which is why the Chalcedonians and Non-chalcedonians basically agree on Christology today.  Looking at history, it becomes clear that the Non-chalcedonians never changed.  They were always Orthodox.  It was the Chalcedonians who changed after 553.
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« Reply #72 on: November 24, 2005, 07:47:21 PM »

Regarding whether changes to Chalcedon were made by the 5th council:

To know that the fifth council did change Chalcedon, all you have to do is look at the events that took place, including the fact that more schisms and excommunications happened among the Chalcedonians after 553.

For example, the Assyrians ("Persian Church") had accepted Chalcedon as vindicating the Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia.  In fact, it was the Assyrians' acceptance of Chalcedon, with their proclamation that Nestorius was vindicated at Chalcedon, which caused the Armenian Church to condemn Chalcedon in the early 500's.  ÃƒÆ’‚Â

After 553, however, the Assyrians parted ways with the other Chalcedonians. This is because the fifth council had condemned Theodore and had redefined Chalcedon to orient it more toward Alexandria, using phrases the Assyrians found objectionable, like "God suffered in the flesh," etc.ÂÂ  

Another example is the "Sleepless Monks" in Constantinople.ÂÂ  They upheld the Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia, celebrated Nestorius' feast day and were staunch Chalcedonians.ÂÂ  They enjoyed a good relationship with the authorities until Justinian tried getting them to agree with the idea that one of the Trinity suffered in the flesh.ÂÂ  At that point they broke off communion with their fellow Chalcedonians.

Finally, Pope Vigilus, as well as the eastern patriarchs, initially condemned the fifth council because it did, in their opinion, change Chalcedon.ÂÂ  Justinian had to just about twist the eastern bishops' arms off to get them to sign onto the fifth council.ÂÂ  Justinian couldn't do that with Vigilus, however, which is why Vigilus excommunicated the eastern churches and a schism resulted which lasted for about 50 years.

This Catholic article deals with this schism:ÂÂ  
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14707b.htm

Many Chalcedonians living in the 21st century like to say that the fifth council changed nothing and that Chalcedon was interpreted exactly the same way 1500 years ago that it is interpreted now.ÂÂ  However, it is clear that the people who lived at the time did not see it that way.ÂÂ  Vigilus, the eastern bishops, the sixth century Persian Church and the Sleepless Monks were a lot closer in time to Chalcedon than we are. Looking at their actions and words tells us that Chalcedon was initially interpreted by its supporters, as well as its opponents, as supporting the Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia.

The fact is, most Chalcedonian theologians today useÂÂ  the word "neo-chalcedonianism" to describe the interpretation of Chalcedon that emerged after 553.ÂÂ  Chalcedon and its supporters did change in a way that brought them away from the Christology of Theodore and more in line with St. Cyril.

It always gets me when a Chalcedonian says that the Non-chalcedonians were originally Apollonarian heretics and that over time they became more Orthodox, which is why the Chalcedonians and Non-chalcedonians basically agree on Christology today.ÂÂ  Looking at history, it becomes clear that the Non-chalcedonians never changed.ÂÂ  They were always Orthodox.ÂÂ  It was the Chalcedonians who changed after 553.

As I have said before, the above arguemnts really say nothing except that people interpretted Chalcedon differently. Also, as I have said, the canons themselves show the true meaning of the council, and they are quite clear that nothing had changed. All you are trying to do is tell those who wrote the canons and participated in the Council that they interpretted it wrong. If anyone would know, they would!

To prove that Chalcedonians changed requires more than here-say and evidence of differing interpretations; actual testimony from the following Ecumenical Councils that a change was in fact made is a must. Until then, it seems futile to declare that the schism resulted [mainly] from any theological differences, but rather from the excommunication of a bishop who was in part responsible for the tradgedies at second council of Ephesus. (Even Basil of Seleucia, who was deposed as well, brought accusations on Dioscorus and told a conflicting story. It seems that those deposed all lied to some degree, a clear indication of deception and perhaps even conspiracy (from which such conflicting accounts often occur from), undebatedly improper for bishops.)
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« Reply #73 on: November 24, 2005, 08:44:20 PM »

Cyprian,

Quote
JND Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, "Neither of the great parties was as a whole content with the terms of the Union Symbol.ÂÂ  On the one hand, Cyril's right-wing allies viewed his acceptance of the Two Natures doctrine with unconcealed dismay.ÂÂ  In self-defence he was obliged to muster arguments to show that, for all the at first sight objectionable language in which it was expressed, it was essentially the teaching he had always supported.ÂÂ  On the Antiochene side there was an extremist Cilician group which persisted in declaring Cyril a heretic...Cyril himself, however, stood for moderation, and while he was alive he restrained his hot-headed partisans.ÂÂ  With his death in 444 the reaction against the Two Natures doctrine gathered force and is reflected in attacks launched on the teaching of Theodoret, now the leading theologian of the Antiochene school.ÂÂ  Cyril's successor, Dioscorus, an energetic and ruthless prelate, put himself at the head of it.ÂÂ  He was determined, cost what it might, to reassert the One Nature doctrine which, he sincerely believed, had the authority of the fathers behind it and which had only been compromised by Cyril in a moment of weakness."

Thank you for proving nothing. Allow me to elucidate upon why:

The claim that St Cyril alienated St Dioscorus from His Patriarchate, is the clearly the claim that I asked you to support with evidence. You have failed to provide any evidence of this, and the above quote is clearly not even relevant to such a claim. The only thing that the above quote attempts to prove is the allegation that St Dioscorus in his faithful adherence to St Cyril’s mia physis formula subsequent to St Cyril’s death, had undermined the two nature expression as employed in the Formulary.

Here are the facts however, which debunk Kelly’s faulty interpretation of history:

1)   As I have already stated, the expression “two natures” is employed only twice in the Formulary, and each time it is qualified by the preposition “ek” i.e. “of”. St Dioscorus had absolutely no problem with the “of two natures” expression employed by the Formulary. In fact, he explicitly asserted his acceptance of it at Chalcedon (ACO, II, p. 120 :332), I thus fail to see how St Dioscorus opposed to two nature formula of the Formulary.

2)   St Dioscorus most clearly implied his approval of the Formulary. In his letter to Domnus of Antioch, St Dioscorus states:

“Now I come back to you, O Christ loving bishop of Antioch, my brother, observe that John did not spare any effort to strengthen the unity of the Church at your end and ours. A unity that they cannot disrupt, they dispatched their forces against it, and without feeling it, they were about to destroy the time of peace. How glorious is the time of peace!”

I fail to see the “unconcealed dismay” that Kelly speaks of; all I see is unconcealed joy and hope from St Dioscorus.

3)   Kelly implies that the mia physis formula was somewhat opposed to the two nature formula employed in the Formulary, when he claims that St Dioscorus attempted to “re-assert it” as if it had been renounced by St Cyril upon his acceptance of the Formulary. This was the false interpretation of the Formulary inferred by a faction of the Antiochenes (including Theodoret) who regarded St Cyril an Apollinarian heretic who had renounced his Apollinarianism and submitted strictly to a “two nature Christology” upon his acceptance of the Formulary. Unfortunately, such an argument is made in ignorance of St Cyril’s interpretation of the Formulary taking into account his subsequent works and defences, which clearly show that he never renounced mia physis doctrine and in fact continued to stress and assert it subsequent to his acceptance of the Formulary, giving us clear evidence that he in fact understood the Formulary in the same manner that St Dioscorus and the Copts did:

Near the end of his life, and well after his acceptance of the Formulary, St. Cyril wrote a book titled "On the Unity of Christ" in which he states:

”We say there is one Son, and that He has one nature even when he is considered as having assumed flesh endowed with a rational soul. As I have already said, He has made the human element His own. And this is the way, not otherwise, that we must consider that the same one is at once God and man.”

Clearly then, St Cyril did not assign any dogmatic value to the Formulary; it was clearly not the standard criterion for anything, therefore those who considered it as such are heretics and schismatics. The St Cyril of the Formulary interpreted by a faction of the Antiochenes and by J.N.D. Kelly is a fictional St Cyril. It is the fake St Cyril of Chalcedon the true Robber Synod. Please see my response to Αριστοκλής here for an honest and true understanding of the status and operation of the Formulary, and an analysis of the varying interpretations thereof.

Quote
St. Cyril's relevant letters in this controversy include epistles 40 (to Acacius)

I love that letter; it is one of my favorites. I urge you however, to view St Cyril’s letters collectively as the Oriental Orthodox non-Chalcedonian Church always has. Allow me to quote you another letter in the controversy; the letter to Bishop Succensus:

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

Quote
Apologies, I'll have to put this one off until next week.

I have all the time in the world for you, my friend. Let’s hope that this time you are capable of bringing us evidence based on the facts, as opposed to someone else’s faulty and groundless interpretation of history, as presented and debunked above.

Quote
As is universally recognized in scholarly circles, Dioscorus thoroughly dominated the Robber Synod.ÂÂ  


“Universally recognised”? Such rhetorical appeals are not doing you any favors, because you know I’m just going to put you on the spot again and ask you to give me the basis for such a claim.

Allow me to shed some light on the evidence regarding the most Holy Council of Ephesus II, and I will show you true and honest scholarship my friend:

His Grace Bishop Gregorius Benham offers some insightful remarks in consideration of the publication of the imperial letters of Emperor Theodosius II and Emperor Valantinus (translated from Syriac to Arabic), which are reiterated in English by Fr. Tadros Malaty in The Coptic Orthodox Church As a Church of Erudition and Theology (preparatory edition), pages 122-123.ÂÂ  He notes that there had been no previous letters between St Dioscorus and the emperors, and that the Council was not even instigated upon the request of St Dioscorus, who “demanded no personal benefit”, but rather the Patriarch of Alexandria presided as well by virtue of his dignity as by the express demand of the most blessed and last Orthodox Emperor of the Orthodox Christian world, who required that “St Dioscorus should haste to put an end” to “the increased theological troubles that spread in the See of Constantinople.”

St Dioscorus did not preside by himself however; presided with other members, such as Juvenal of Jerusalem for example. Furthermore, all the decisions made at Ephesus 449 were accepted through a system of voting, through which there was shown to be unanimous consensus amongst the Bishops. You will find this same position based on the aforementioned primary sources held in Neale, History of the Holy Eastern Church, Vol 1, page 290; Guette, Histoire de l'Eglise, Vol. IV, pages 557-9.

Pro-Chalcedonian scholar R.V. Sellers in his book The Council of Chalcedon, gives us an example of this. With respect to the discernment of the Orthodoxy in Eutyches’ confession of faith he states on page 79:

“To bring these proceedings to a close, Dioscorus then requested each Bishop to state his opinion concerning the Orthodoxy of Eutyches, and, beginning with Juvenal and Domnus, one hundred and eleven Bishops, Basil and Seleuces among them, together with the abbot Barsumas, accepted his confession of faith and agreed that he should be reinstated.”

Quote
Even if Euyches was Orthodox (and his own statements are so muddled and contradictory as to make the determination of his real views very difficult indeed), it does not follow that he was unjustly deposed.ÂÂ  If he was Orthodox at the time of his examination by Flavian, he certainly did his best to conceal it.ÂÂ  There is no evidence that Eutyches' deposition was in any way irregular, and therefore the deposition of his accusers was unjustified.

 If you read the minutes of Constantinople 448, you will find that the direct reason of Flavian ex-communicating Eutyches because was due to Eutyches; failure to confess “IN two natures.” As I have already argued, the formula “IN two natures” did not have dogmatic status (it was never even employed by the blessed St Cyril), therefore Flavian had no right to assert it dogmatically — he was opposing the established Alexandrine Tradition of the time in doing so, and therefore his ex-communication was false, and he essentially ex-communicated himself.

According to Jalland, the condemnation of Eutyches on the basis that he did not accept the formula of ‘in two natures’, was one that made Flavian "guilty of undue haste." Jalland observes that "Flavian had exceeded his authority in demanding subscription to a formula for which as yet no Oecumenical sanction could be claimed" (The Life and Times of St. Leo the Great, (S. P.C. K., l941), pp. 216-7).

In the opinion of Rene Draguet, as noted and affirmed by Thomas Camelot, Eutyches presented an (as of the time) undeveloped Christological position [this is ofcourse upon the presumption that Chalcedon is Ecumenical in any event] and hence should not be (or should not have been) considered a heretic (‘De Nestorius a Eutyches: L’opposition de deux christologies’ in Das Konzil Von Chalkedon, vol. I, page 236, cited in Malaty’s The Coptic Orthodox Church as a Church of Erudition and Theology)

Quote
The "duality of natures" refers to statements about Jesus after the Incarnation, and is merely another way of expressing the Chalcedonian phrase "in two natures".ÂÂ  


I’m sorry, but you are presupposing that “in two natures” was simply another way of expressing Christ’s “duality of natures”, and retrospectively reading this interpretation into the expression. Such a statement is in fact made in ignorance of the fact that “in two natures” at the time was a popular Nestorian expression used to express the fact Christ existed in two hypostases. This is what Eutyches was thus most probably denying when he refused to submit to such an expression.

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

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

St Cyril never understood “in two natures” as referring to a “duality of natures”, which is why he NEVER, not once, used the expression, because being a staunch opponent of Nestorianism he understood how it was being used at the time. You are therefore, approaching this anachronistically — you are reading something into an expression which simply did not possess that connotation at the time. It had a Nestorian reputation and interpretation. Even granted that individuals like Flavian used it in an Orthodox sense, the fact remains as the above scholars note, that the expression and any possibly orthodox interpretation of it thereof, were never ratified dogmatically by an Ecumenical Council — it was not even used in the Formulary — therefore Eutyches was not obliged to confess something which merely represents the theological opinion and expression of another; therefore, his ex-communication was false, and St Dioscorus' reciprocal action was warranted.

Quote
Theodoret agreed to the Formula of Union


As I already stated, the Formulary could be interpreted in varying ways. There was a heretical Antiochene faction for example, who interpreted the Formulary (a non-dogmatic document) in a manner opposed to the Dogmatic and Authoritative Ecumenical Council of Epehsus 431. Guess what, Thedoret was one of these heretics, and here is the evidence:

After reviewing the Formulary, Theodoret wrote to John of Antioch giving the following opinion of it:

“We have assembled together, and read the Egyptian Letter; we have carefully examined its purport, and we have discovered that its contents are quite in accordance with our own statements, and entirely opposed to the Twelve Chapters, against which up to the present time we have continued to wage war, as being contrary to true religion. Their teaching was that God the Word was carnally made flesh; that there was an union of hypostasis, and that the combination in union was of nature, and that God the Word was the first-born from the dead. They forbade all distinction in the terms used of our Lord, and further contained other doctrines at variance with the seeds sown by the apostles, and outcome of heretical tares.”

Quote
he also was on good terms with St. Cyril at the time of the latter's death.

Is that why Theodoret called St Cyril a villain and praised the latter’s death? That’s disgusting. You are trying to defend a man, who would curse a departed Saint and rejoice at his death?

In his letter to Domnus of Antioch, Theodoret says concerning the death of the blessed St Cyril:

"At last and with difficulty the villain has gone. The good and the gentle pass away all too soon; the bad prolong their life for years. The Giver of all good, methinks, removes the former before their time from the troubles of humanity; He frees them like victors from their contests and transports them to the better life, that life which, free from death, sorrow and care, is the prize of them that contend for virtue."

Quote
As you yourself have noted, an individual's attitude to a doctrine itself is more important than his attitude to the person holding that doctrine. Theodoret was not a Nestorian, so his attitude to Nestorius is not particularly important in determining his orthodoxy.

You obviously miss my point. I noted the fact that one’s attitude to a particular proponent of heresy is irrelevant to their attitude of the heresy itself, in order to prove that Thedoret’s pressured anathematization of Nestorius does not negate the fact Theodoret was still a Nestorian. In the same breath of his condemnation of Nestorius, Theodoret himself most clearly implied that he did not renounce his past Nestorianism and that he regarded it Orthodox, and that Theodore of Mopsuestia (the one officially condemned as Nestorian in Constantinople 533) the one who taught him this heresy was also Orthodox. All this whilst accepting Chalcedon - further evidence that Chalcedon could indeed be conformed with Nestorian doctrine.

The relevance however of the point that I made regarding the fact that Theodoret did not anathematise Nestorius, is the fact that such an anathematization is nonetheless a requisite condition at the least, before an ex-communicated heretic is restored to the church. Leo of Rome happily and un-canonically attempted to restore him without this anathematization. He furthermore had no right to do so, until a proper council properly investigated his case. The fact Leo took it upon himself to do so, again suggests his self-conceived supremacy over church matters.

By the way, if you want a good schorlarly source advocating the fact that Theodoret was a heretic and remained a heretic, I point you to an article authored by none other than the prominent Eastern Orthodox professor Fr. John Romanides: http://romanity.org/htm/ro4enfm.htm

Quote
Again, like Theodoret, Ibas was fundamentally a moderate Antiochian.ÂÂ  Some of his statements were objectionable, but his statements at Chalcedon show him to have been Orthodox

The same letter of Ibas vindicated at Chalcedon as Orthodox, was condemned at Constantinople 553 as a Nestorian document. If Chalcedon could accept Ibas as Orthodox, this is simply more evidence that Chalcedon was crypto-Nestorian.

Quote
Why did it have to specifically use the phrase "hypostatic union"?ÂÂ  The whole point of that phrase was to clarify, against Nestorius, that there was only one hypostasis in Christ.ÂÂ  This Chalcedon did in clear and unmistakable terms.

It didn’t have to specifically use the phrase “hypostatic union” nor was this what I was saying; it had to sufficiently affirm the concept of a “hypostatic union” i.e.ÂÂ  that Christ’s natures were hypostatically and substantially united as opposed to conjoined in some form of inseparable moral union. Simply affirming the phrase “hypostatic union” therefore would not have sufficed even, let alone “one hypostasis”, for as Professor Frances Young states: (From Nicea to Chalcedon, page 236)

Quote
It should also be pointed out that "hypostatic union" was not found in the Symbol of Union.

And I refer you back to my previous posts regarding the status and purpose of the Formulary, which prove that this is irrelevant. Neither was “in two natures” in the formulary; neither were a lot of things. The Formulary did not have the purpose of authoritatively and extensively defining Orthodox dogma in setting the standard and norm of Orthodox Tradition. An Ecumenical Council on the other hand, does have that purpose. Chalcedon failed, for it was not an Ecumenical council.

Quote
St. Leo specifically denies that the two natures act independently, affirming that they act always "in concert" with one another.ÂÂ  Granted, taken alone, this phrase is susceptible of Nestorian interpretation,


Not only is affirming that the natures act “in concert” susceptible to Nestorian interpretation, but there are in fact phrases that are clearly suggestive of Nestorianism, and not merely susceptible to it, such as when he explicitly states that each nature performs what is proper to it, in that the Word exclusively experiences divine things and exclusively acts out divine functions whilst the flesh exclusively experiences humanly things and exclusively acts out human functions. Furthermore, Nestorius himself praised the Tome of Leo whilst in exile. What clearer evidence could one want regarding the dichotomy between Leo’s doctrine as presented in the Tome and St Cyril’s doctrine as presented at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus 431, when the heretics themselves — Nestorius and Theodoret, find themselves unable to reconcile their views with that of the blessed St Cyril, yet unequivocally praise the Tome of Leo as a confirmation of their heresies.

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A patriarch like Dioscorus who foments schism excommunicates himself.

When you are capable of giving us evidence of where the blessed Confessor of the Orthodox Faith St Dioscorus went wrong, then talk to me. But until now, the evidence clearly shows that he was plotted against and persecuted for a faithful adherence to Orthodox Tradition. The reasons for his being ex-communicated by Chalcedon have already been addressed in my above response to Bizzlebin. You simply have no case.

Quote
Alexandrian Christology was not vindicated as against Antiochian at the council; it was vindicated as against the excesses of Nestorius.ÂÂ  The Latin west, which used language that had more in common with Antioch than Alexandria, was not even addressed.ÂÂ  Alexandrian Christology is no more authoritative than Latin Christology, or moderate Antiochian.

Do you have any concept of what an Ecumenical council is and what function it serves? An Ecumenical Council is a divinely governed authoritative and ecumenically received council, in which God speaks through the Church regarding dogmatic Orthodox Tradition. The Christology that God allowed to prevail at Ephesus 431 was undoubtedly and clearly Alexandrine Christology — it was not Antiochene, nor Latin. Therefore, at that time, Alexandrine Christology was the standard and norm of Orthodox Tradition regarding Christological matters. This is not to say that Antiochene Christology is per se heretical however; the Formulary clearly showed that Alexandrine Christological dogma was compatible with the moderate form of Antiochene Christology expressed in that particular document. However this document was neither an exhaustive nor dogmatic expression of Orthodox Tradition, therefore that it was presumed as such against St Dioscorus invalidates the related charges made against him.

It is interesting however that you note the relationship between Latin Christology and Antiochene Christology. This is the very reason why an Antiochene interpretation of the Formulary was essentially ratified and presumed at Chalcedon, as it was more in conformity with the Tome of one who thought himself the supreme head of the church. Leo of Rome had misgivings regarding the Saintly Alexandrine Patriarch even before Ephesus 449 ever commenced. It was his agenda all along, as with that of his legates, to vindicate Latin Christology (which is essentialy Antiochene Christology) as the norm, as that would do justice to the notion of the Bishop of Rome's self-conceived universal supremacy.

The rest of your claims have clearly been addressed above.

+irini nem makarismos
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Pope St Kyrillos VI


« Reply #74 on: November 24, 2005, 08:44:38 PM »

Bizzlebin,

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You say in your first paragraph that you never made any distinction between the condemnation and anathematization of Nestorius, yet in the second, you do draw such a distinction. From the minutes you posted earlier, it seems he had no problem whatsoever condemning Nestorius.

You clearly misunderstand. What I have argued is that there is no distinction between an individual’s condemnation or anathematization of Nestorius in its corollary implications regarding whether or not that individual thence condemns or anathematizes the general heresy. What you are referring to, is the minutes of Chalcedon where those opposed to Theodoret required not merely a condemnation, but a strict and explicit anathematization. My point is, that it doesn’t make a difference either way regarding the fact that Theodoret was a heretic, regardless of what was demanded of him.

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Yet the Orthodox Church has never recognized the supremacy of Rome.

Irrelevant. Rome clearly recognised its own supremacy during the whole Chalcedon controversy and the events leading up to it.

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Further, while Dioscorus was deposed, the Alexandrian See was not "destroyed." It exists to this day.

Their aim was not to “destroy” the Alexandrian See, but rather only to undermine it and subject it to Rome and Constantinople since it had been exerting such a powerful influence at the time.

The Alexandrian See today is claimed by both a Greek Chalcedonian patriarch who succeeds a Chalcedonian line of succession, and a Coptic non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Patriarch who succeeds the non-Chalcedonian line of succession from St Dioscorus. The Greek flock is relatively negligible. But that is besides the point anyway.

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Whatever Justinian may have felt, the Council did affirm and define, not redefine, the faith. New heresies call for new councils.

As I stated, the Nestorian heresy was already addressed at Ephesus 431. I’m aware of the fact that Constantinople dealt with other heresies, but its primary purpose was to vindicate Chalcedon from the polemics of its Orthodox critics regarding its being a Nestorian council. It therefore sought to re-affirm and re-establish what Ephesus 431 already achieved, and what Chalcedon compromised for the Chalcedonian church.

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In short, one must consider the primary sources, not mere interpetations of hwhat happened. It is clear from the above canon that the "changes" were never made

Primary sources must necessarily be interpreted. You are reading the above canon at face value; you are not approaching it critically. Obviously Constantinople is not going to admit that it abrogated Chalcedon; that would be a disaster for the Chalcedonian church as it would be an unequivocal admission that the non-Chalcedonian church were right all along. But I have already given you evidence that this was in effect what Constantinople did in its condemnation of the three chapters. Just because a primary source reveals the council claiming it hadn’t changed a thing, that doesn’t make it true and in light of the historical facts. It is deemed untrue in light of what actually occurred.

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If you continue to maintain that Orthodoxy doesn't accept the Nestorian heresies today, you must clearly show where it changed. if you cannot, it can only be assumed that no changes were ever made.

I have already pointed to the condemnation of the three chapters as an abrogation of the effects of Chalcedon, and Salpy has briefly gone into that. I am willing to go further into it if you choose to engage with the issue, but as of yet you have not. I maintain that Constantinople 553 rectified all the errors of Chalcedon; condemned all heretics and heretical documents, and re-ratified the faith of Ephesus 431 from the compromise of Chalcedon.

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So now we seem to have two varying sources.

Actually, no. We have your article that presents claims, and we have my response based on a number of sources presenting reasoned arguments refuting those claims. If you are trying to say that we simply have two opposing opinions or claims presented from two varying sources, then you are only fooling yourself.

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But I guess the question that is on my mind is: what killed Flavian?

I don’t know, why don’t you tell me? I’ve already dealt with the charge of aggression and violence above, and am prepared to deal with any other such wild allegations.

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Yet, none of the other witnesses claims seem to be properly addressed. When so many people bring on similar accusations

Excuse me? I have shown you that all these witnesses in claiming the same charge, have not only been blatantly inconsistent amongst themselves but have in fact on occasions contradicted there own selves, and finally a large party of them admitted that the whole story was a lie and begged for his forgiveness. There is obviously therefore no credibility to the charge, especially when they are making mere claims, and have no supported evidence to back up their statements.

St Dioscorus explicitly denied this charge; however, this is not merely a case of two parties making opposing claims, rather it is clear that the claims against St Dioscorus are obviously not credible, or reliable or trustworthy, and hence his denial of their charges stand as the only reliable position on the matter i.e. that no such thing ever occured.

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As in the previous post, it has been shown that Theodoret condemned Nestorius without hesitation. It is not unreasonable to assume Leo did not know this.

Actually it is. Leo of Rome sent a letter to Theodoret after he anathematised Nestorius, asking him why it took him so long to finally do it. This is a clear indication that he was aware that Theodoret had not done so. Theodoret was under ex-communication when Leo of Rome took him into communion; his action was simply unwarranted — he did not have either the reason nor the authority to take such an action, except that he thought himself as Bishop of Rome the supreme arbiter of church matters capable of overturning an conciliar decision by himself.

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Further, whether Leo's (personal) excommunication of Dioscorus is valid or not is not the question. The issue is whether Chalcedon rightly excommunicated him.

Actually it is the question. You are the one who presented us with Wace’s article concerning why St Dioscorus was ex-communicated. One of those reasons presented, concerned St Dioscorus’ ex-communication of Leo of Rome. If Leo of Rome invalidly ex-communicated St Dioscorus 6 months prior, then St Dioscorus’ reciprocal action is warranted, and hence this attempted justification is invalid.

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« Reply #75 on: November 24, 2005, 09:51:12 PM »

Bizzlebin,

You clearly misunderstand. What I have argued is that there is no distinction between an individual’s condemnation or anathematization of Nestorius in its corollary implications regarding whether or not that individual thence condemns or anathematizes the general heresy. What you are referring to, is the minutes of Chalcedon where those opposed to Theodoret required not merely a condemnation, but a strict and explicit anathematization. My point is, that it doesn’t make a difference either way regarding the fact that Theodoret was a heretic, regardless of what was demanded of him.

Irrelevant. Rome clearly recognised its own supremacy during the whole Chalcedon controversy and the events leading up to it.

Their aim was not to “destroy” the Alexandrian See, but rather only to undermine it and subject it to Rome and Constantinople since it had been exerting such a powerful influence at the time.

The Alexandrian See today is claimed by both a Greek Chalcedonian patriarch who succeeds a Chalcedonian line of succession, and a Coptic non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Patriarch who succeeds the non-Chalcedonian line of succession from St Dioscorus. The Greek flock is relatively negligible. But that is besides the point anyway.

As I stated, the Nestorian heresy was already addressed at Ephesus 431. I’m aware of the fact that Constantinople dealt with other heresies, but its primary purpose was to vindicate Chalcedon from the polemics of its Orthodox critics regarding its being a Nestorian council. It therefore sought to re-affirm and re-establish what Ephesus 431 already achieved, and what Chalcedon compromised for the Chalcedonian church.

Primary sources must necessarily be interpreted. You are reading the above canon at face value; you are not approaching it critically. Obviously Constantinople is not going to admit that it abrogated Chalcedon; that would be a disaster for the Chalcedonian church as it would be an unequivocal admission that the non-Chalcedonian church were right all along. But I have already given you evidence that this was in effect what Constantinople did in its condemnation of the three chapters. Just because a primary source reveals the council claiming it hadn’t changed a thing, that doesn’t make it true and in light of the historical facts. It is deemed untrue in light of what actually occurred.

I have already pointed to the condemnation of the three chapters as an abrogation of the effects of Chalcedon, and Salpy has briefly gone into that. I am willing to go further into it if you choose to engage with the issue, but as of yet you have not. I maintain that Constantinople 553 rectified all the errors of Chalcedon; condemned all heretics and heretical documents, and re-ratified the faith of Ephesus 431 from the compromise of Chalcedon.

Actually, no. We have your article that presents claims, and we have my response based on a number of sources presenting reasoned arguments refuting those claims. If you are trying to say that we simply have two opposing opinions or claims presented from two varying sources, then you are only fooling yourself.

I don’t know, why don’t you tell me? I’ve already dealt with the charge of aggression and violence above, and am prepared to deal with any other such wild allegations.

Excuse me? I have shown you that all these witnesses in claiming the same charge, have not only been blatantly inconsistent amongst themselves but have in fact on occasions contradicted there own selves, and finally a large party of them admitted that the whole story was a lie and begged for his forgiveness. There is obviously therefore no credibility to the charge, especially when they are making mere claims, and have no supported evidence to back up their statements.

St Dioscorus explicitly denied this charge; however, this is not merely a case of two parties making opposing claims, rather it is clear that the claims against St Dioscorus are obviously not credible, or reliable or trustworthy, and hence his denial of their charges stand as the only reliable position on the matter i.e. that no such thing ever occured.

Actually it is. Leo of Rome sent a letter to Theodoret after he anathematised Nestorius, asking him why it took him so long to finally do it. This is a clear indication that he was aware that Theodoret had not done so. Theodoret was under ex-communication when Leo of Rome took him into communion; his action was simply unwarranted — he did not have either the reason nor the authority to take such an action, except that he thought himself as Bishop of Rome the supreme arbiter of church matters capable of overturning an conciliar decision by himself.

Actually it is the question. You are the one who presented us with Wace’s article concerning why St Dioscorus was ex-communicated. One of those reasons presented, concerned St Dioscorus’ ex-communication of Leo of Rome. If Leo of Rome invalidly ex-communicated St Dioscorus 6 months prior, then St Dioscorus’ reciprocal action is warranted, and hence this attempted justification is invalid.

+Irini nem makarismos


I agree, and that is why he was anathematized later as well.

You say there was opposition to Leo's erroneous claims of supremacy, which is very true, but then automatically lump us in there as well. The purpose of pointing out that we do not recognize (and have never recognized) the supremacy was to clarify that. It has been our position that all bishops are fundamentally equal.

And what would that have accomplished? But if we accept the possibility of Rome conspiring against Alexandria, is it not entirely plausible that Alexandria knew this, and had an counter-agenda, so to speak, of their own? If this is true, it is not unreasonable to assume that this is what caused many of the events surrounding Chalcedon, and why there are so many false testimonies on the Roman AND Alexandrian side. But even in this case, Dioscorus was not falsely deposed.

Again, if it sought to "vindicate" or in any way change Chalcedon, again why say, in the first canon,

"We Orthodoxly confirm the faith which was engrossed upon a pillar in the Metropolis of the Chalcedonians in the reign of Marcianus, who also became our Emperor, by the six hundred and thirty God-approved Fathers, which conveyed to the ends of the earth in a loud voice the one Christ the Son of God composed of two natures and in these two same natures glorified; and we have driven out of the sacred precincts of the Church Eutyches the vain-minded, who declared it to be his opinion that great mystery of the Economy was only seemingly consummated, as something sinister and miasmatic, and along with him also Dioscorus and Nestorius, the former being a defender and champion of dissension, the latter of confusion, and both of them being diametrically opposite outlets of impiety, fallen out in the same direction towards one and the same yawning chasm of perdition and godlessness."

They did not hint at any change, but rather affirmed Chalcedon as orthodox, and, without changing Chalcedon, further defined the orthodox teaching and re-affirmed Cyril's works.

Or perhaps it is your interpretation alone which makes it necessary to take the bishops as liars. If you say we cannot trust the very words of many bishops gathered together with the mission of preserving the faith, then how can we trust your words, or the words of those you quote? Does the first canon have any signs of falsification? Any hint of perjury or deceit?

Please, go into it. Does not the last canon of Chalcedon in fact speak of the Egyption bishops still participating in the Council? If the Council was in such heresy, what in the world were the Egyptian bishops, formerly under Dioscorus, doing there? Perhaps they also saw the misinterpretation they had been given over to, for it was only later, years later, when a (Coptic) sucessor for Dioscorus appeared!
 
The source I gave had multiple editors and it quoted other sources throughout it's text. The only fooling is that the aforementioned is untrue.

Well, Flavian didn't just fall dead one day without cause, something hapened to him. If Dioscorus was not the killer, who was? (And come on, just because someone writes a bishop and tells them they are great doesn't guarantee it is true, or that it will not change. Hardly a basis for the defence of a criminal charge)

Again, if everyone had an inconsistant, but similar, story, there must have been some element of truth to it. Something shady did happen at the second council of Ephesus.

It is also clear that everything Dioscorus said didn't line up. Because he simply didn't "crack" and apologize doesn't mean he was truthful. It is far easier for one to persist in a lie, rather than a group. Something else was without a doubt going on, and Dioscorus was in some way inolved.

Again, we're using two terms, but the outcome is the same. Theodoret may not have anathematized Nestorius, but he did not hesitate in comdemning him.

If that was the sole reason for the excommunication of Dioscorus, you're right, there would be a problem. But it was not the sole reason.
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« Reply #76 on: November 25, 2005, 12:36:54 AM »

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You say there was opposition to Leo's erroneous claims of supremacy, which is very true, but then automatically lump us in there as well. The purpose of pointing out that we do not recognize (and have never recognized) the supremacy was to clarify that. It has been our position that all bishops are fundamentally equal.

That may be your church's position, but that was not Leo’s position as is evidently implied in the events that took place. There are a number of things said and committed by him and his legates that suggest an agenda to assert Rome’s supremacy.

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But if we accept the possibility of Rome conspiring against Alexandria, is it not entirely plausible that Alexandria knew this, and had an counter-agenda, so to speak, of their own?

No, since as Fr. V.C. Samuel states:

“To say that in opposing the efforts of the Antiochene side to discredit the Alexandrine theological tradition, which for him was the faith of the Church, Dioscorus was led by a desire to dominate the see of Antioch or that of Constantinople is not borne out by available evidence.”

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They did not hint at any change, but rather affirmed Chalcedon as orthodox, and, without changing Chalcedon, further defined the orthodox teaching and re-affirmed Cyril's works.

You’re repeating yourself. I already addressed this when I said:

Obviously Constantinople is not going to admit that it abrogated Chalcedon; that would be a disaster for the Chalcedonian church as it would be an unequivocal admission that the non-Chalcedonian church were right all along. But I have already given you evidence that this was in effect what Constantinople did in its condemnation of the three chapters. Just because a primary source reveals the council claiming it hadn’t changed a thing, that doesn’t make it true and in light of the historical facts. It is deemed untrue in light of what actually occurred.

I have already pointed to the condemnation of the three chapters as an abrogation of the effects of Chalcedon, and Salpy has briefly gone into that. I am willing to go further into it if you choose to engage with the issue, but as of yet you have not. I maintain that Constantinople 553 rectified all the errors of Chalcedon; condemned all heretics and heretical documents, and re-ratified the faith of Ephesus 431 from the compromise of Chalcedon.


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Does not the last canon of Chalcedon in fact speak of the Egyption bishops still participating in the Council? If the Council was in such heresy, what in the world were the Egyptian bishops, formerly under Dioscorus, doing there?

After the deposition of the legitimate Alexandrian Patriarch His Holiness St Dioscorus, the Egyptian Bishops submitted and signed a petition to keep themselves free from involvement with Chalcedon. The petition contained a profession of faith, and on its ground they requested the assembly to excuse them from endorsing or rejecting the decisions of the council.

When pressed to anathematise Eutyches and to submit to Leo’s tome, they acquiescently carried out the former, but refused to do the latter. Much effort was exerted to take the Egyptian Bishops away from the Orthodox faith, but in the end only 4 out of the 13 broke under the pressure, sold-out on The Church and did so.

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for it was only later, years later, when a (Coptic) sucessor for Dioscorus appeared!

 The reason why a Coptic Orthodox successor for St Dioscorus was not immediately elected was obviously because St Dioscorus was still alive. St Dioscorus remained and recognised as the legitimate Patriarch of Alexandria until his death in 454 A.D. regardless of the fact he was in exile.

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The source I gave had multiple editors and it quoted other sources throughout it's text. The only fooling is that the aforementioned is untrue.

Your source made claims. Those claims were addressed and debunked as untrue via reasoned arguments and valid evidence. The only other sources quoted in your article were primary sources relating what St Dioscorus’s opponents said of him. The article did not present reasoned arguments in support of St Dioscorus’s opponents' claims, it merely presented what those claims were, and the evidence I have brought forth clearly refutes those claims.

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If Dioscorus was not the killer…

And what suggests St Dioscorus was the “killer”? Do you have any evidence of this, or are you once again regurgitating the claims of his opponents who were willing to say anything to get rid of him? Believe me, the opponents of St Athanasius said many similar things of him, and much worse. If you are willing to take such claims as face value, then be consistent and condemn the Holy Coptic St Athanasius as an adulterer, thief, and murderer as he was charged by his opponents.

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…who was?

The onus is not on me to prove who killed Flavian. It has nothing to do with St Dioscorus, and hence it is irrelevant to this discussion until you provide some evidence for such an outrageously wild allegation.

The only murderers that I’m aware of are the Chalcedonian murderers of the Copts for their refusal to submit to a crypto-Nestorian council.

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And come on, just because someone writes a bishop and tells them they are great doesn't guarantee it is true, or that it will not change. Hardly a basis for the defence of a criminal charge

First of all, the examples I brought forth were not brought up as a “defence of a criminal charge”; they were to prove that the unfounded and unsupported claim of aggression and violence (which has been disproven in my refutation of Wace’s article) suggested a character of St Dioscorus that was inconsistent with what actual evidence shows of his character in relation to the treatment of his enemies.

I don’t need to make a “defence” to a “criminal charge”, since you as the prosecution have failed to present a valid case that calls for a defence in the first place. Making a claim is not making a case. Bring me the evidence, or claim not.

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Again, if everyone had an inconsistant, but similar, story, there must have been some element of truth to it.


No there mustn’t have been any element of truth to it. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, not only as man of common sense, but as law student as well. Obviously it was a lie that was alleged in complicity in order to give it more force — when the story crumbled, the lie was exposed. If one party makes a claim against another party, and the other party denies it, and there is no underlying evidence, then the party that fails to present a consistent account loses. The Chalcedonian party that made such a claim, contradicted each other, contradicted themselves, and admittedly lied — furthermore such contradictions were not regarding peripheral matters, they regarded quite essential elements of the story line. There is no credibility in the allegation, no evidence, and therefore all benefit of the doubt — a doubt which is far beyond reasonable - goes in favour of St Dioscorus.

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It is also clear that everything Dioscorus said didn't line up. Because he simply didn't "crack" and apologize doesn't mean he was truthful. It is far easier for one to persist in a lie, rather than a group.

What doesn’t line up? You’re talking nonsense now. Where did St Dioscorus lie? Upon what evidence do you make this claim? The only liars were his accusers, and this has been proven — I have given you the evidence; if you cannot admit this to yourself, then that’s fine, but you’re really starting to waste my time when you talk the nonsense inherent in the above quote which has absolutely no basis in evidence or logic.

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Theodoret may not have anathematized Nestorius, but he did not hesitate in comdemning him.

You’re making me repeat myself again:

“…there is no distinction between an individual’s condemnation or anathematization of Nestorius in its corollary implications regarding whether or not that individual thence condemns or anathematizes the general heresy.”

Theodoret was a heretic upon his own admission as I have argued in my previous posts to you.

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If that was the sole reason for the excommunication of Dioscorus, you're right, there would be a problem. But it was not the sole reason.

I addressed all the reasons as you presented them in Wace’s article.

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« Reply #77 on: November 25, 2005, 07:50:35 AM »

I'd just like to note that I will be taking a break from forums for the next few days or possibly more; any future responses to any upcoming responses to my latest posts, wil thus be delayed.

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« Reply #78 on: November 25, 2005, 03:06:43 PM »

The claim that St Cyril alienated St Dioscorus from His Patriarchate, is the clearly the claim that I asked you to support with evidence. You have failed to provide any evidence of this, and the above quote is clearly not even relevant to such a claim. The only thing that the above quote attempts to prove is the allegation that St Dioscorus in his faithful adherence to St Cyril’s mia physis formula subsequent to St Cyril’s death, had undermined the two nature expression as employed in the Formulary.
I think you may have misunderstood me.ÂÂ  By "alienated" I meant that many of Cyril's patriarchate were discontented with the Symbol of Union.ÂÂ  Over time, Dioscorus moved to align himself with these malcontents.ÂÂ  This movement was culminated in his betrayal of the Symbol of Union at the Robber Synod.

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1)   As I have already stated, the expression “two natures” is employed only twice in the Formulary, and each time it is qualified by the preposition “ek” i.e. “of”. St Dioscorus had absolutely no problem with the “of two natures” expression employed by the Formulary. In fact, he explicitly asserted his acceptance of it at Chalcedon (ACO, II, p. 120 :332), I thus fail to see how St Dioscorus opposed to two nature formula of the Formulary.
That's not the case for the reference to the "duality of natures" which I mentioned in my last post.ÂÂ  The phrase is, "...but distinguish others in view of the duality of natures..." (os epi dhio physeon).ÂÂ  No distinction is made between the time before the Incarnation and the time after.ÂÂ  There is no qualifier "of" in this final sentence of the symbol.

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)   St Dioscorus most clearly implied his approval of the Formulary. In his letter to Domnus of Antioch, St Dioscorus states:

“Now I come back to you, O Christ loving bishop of Antioch, my brother, observe that John did not spare any effort to strengthen the unity of the Church at your end and ours. A unity that they cannot disrupt, they dispatched their forces against it, and without feeling it, they were about to destroy the time of peace. How glorious is the time of peace!”

I fail to see the “unconcealed dismay” that Kelly speaks of; all I see is unconcealed joy and hope from St Dioscorus.
The quote from Kelly never said that Dioscorus immediately rejected the Symbol, but only that some did, and that these eventually found their champion in him.ÂÂ  As you mentioned earlier, the Symbol (like any other written document) could be abused (although I disagree that the phrase "in two natures" was a way of abusing it).ÂÂ  The fact that Dioscorus originally supported it only shows that he was ignoring its obvious concessions to the Antiochene way of thinking, viewing it (improperly) as a capitulation rather than a meeting of equals.ÂÂ  This came through in his reaction against the "Two Natures" doctrine.

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3)   Kelly implies that the mia physis formula was somewhat opposed to the two nature formula employed in the Formulary, when he claims that St Dioscorus attempted to “re-assert it” as if it had been renounced by St Cyril upon his acceptance of the Formulary. This was the false interpretation of the Formulary inferred by a faction of the Antiochenes (including Theodoret) who regarded St Cyril an Apollinarian heretic who had renounced his Apollinarianism and submitted strictly to a “two nature Christology” upon his acceptance of the Formulary. Unfortunately, such an argument is made in ignorance of St Cyril’s interpretation of the Formulary taking into account his subsequent works and defences, which clearly show that he never renounced mia physis doctrine and in fact continued to stress and assert it subsequent to his acceptance of the Formulary, giving us clear evidence that he in fact understood the Formulary in the same manner that St Dioscorus and the Copts did:
St. Cyril, after the acceptance of the Symbol, continues to prefer "mia physis" language.ÂÂ  That much is true.ÂÂ  However, by the acceptance of the Symbol, he also acknowledged the validity of the moderate Antiochene position, including its "two natures" or "duality of natures" language.ÂÂ  This is why he faced criticism at home for that acceptance.ÂÂ  The Antiochians, whatever their views of Cyril himself, made many concessions in the Symbol, as did Cyril himself.ÂÂ  Both sides held on, to a certain extent, to their earlier ideas, which coloured their view of the Symbol itself.ÂÂ  St. Cyril's continuing use of "mia physis" in no way suggests that he continued to view that as the only proper way of speaking.ÂÂ  In fact, his own preference for the language was in part derived from the mistaken belief that it held the authority of St. Athanasius.ÂÂ  To this day, the Orthodox church does not view "mia physis" language as heretical, so long as the one using it also acknowledges the propriety of the Two Natures language of the Latin fathers, as St. Cyril did.ÂÂ  This isn't an either/or issue, and it is the insistence of the Copts, both then and now, on thinking in either/or rather than both/and terms, that has led them into schism.
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Near the end of his life, and well after his acceptance of the Formulary, St. Cyril wrote a book titled "On the Unity of Christ" in which he states:

”We say there is one Son, and that He has one nature even when he is considered as having assumed flesh endowed with a rational soul. As I have already said, He has made the human element His own. And this is the way, not otherwise, that we must consider that the same one is at once God and man.”
Again, this shows Cyril's preference for his own language, and his continuing suspicion of Nestorianism, not his rejection of Antiochene/Latin two natures language.ÂÂ  As for the phrase, "this is the way, not otherwise", it can just as easily (and more sensibly) refer to the substance of Cyril's explanation as to its language.ÂÂ  Given the Union Symbol itself as well as Cyril's statements in defence of it, that is the more reasonable interpretation, especially as St. Cyril specifically recognized, in epistle 40, that it was possible to speak of two natures without dividing Christ, although of course he preferred not to do so.

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Clearly then, St Cyril did not assign any dogmatic value to the Formulary;
This whole line of thought is legalistic; it's not some legal "dogmatic" status of statements that gives them their validity.ÂÂ  Dogmatic status recognizes the validity that something already has.ÂÂ  The Union Symbol was a true and moderate statement, and Chalcedon recognized it as such.ÂÂ  "Theotokos" didn't hold any dogmatic status before the Council of Ephesus, yet Nestorius was still a heretic for rejecting it.ÂÂ  Anyway, St. Cyril never gave any indication whether he personally thought the Union Symbol should be seen as dogmatic, and his own preference for the language he was accustomed to using is immaterial.
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it was clearly not the standard criterion for anything, therefore those who considered it as such are heretics and schismatics.
Non sequitur.ÂÂ  In condition to the consideration I've already mentioned above, seeing a statement as authoritative when it is not does not make one a heretic, even if he is wrong.ÂÂ  To use the word "heretic" in that way is a simple abuse of the English language.ÂÂ  As to the more sensible charge of schism, I'll answer with a question.ÂÂ  Who is the schismatic, the one who, already acknowledging the Council of Ephesus, also acknowledges the christology of the holy fathers Sts. Hilary, Ambrose, Augustine, and others, both eastern and western, who spoke of two natures, or the one who insists that the language of Alexandria, one among many Orthodox regions and theological traditions, and Alexandria alone, is justified?ÂÂ  Who is closer to acknowledging the whole truth that has been held, "always, everywhere and by all"?

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I love that letter; it is one of my favorites. I urge you however, to view St Cyril’s letters collectively as the Oriental Orthodox non-Chalcedonian Church always has. Allow me to quote you another letter in the controversy; the letter to Bishop Succensus:

“For not only in the case of those who are simple by nature is the term ‘one’ truly used, but also in respect to what has been brought together according to a synthesis, as man is one being, who is of soul and body. For soul and body are of different species and are not consubstantial to each other, but united they produce one natureÂÂ  of man, even though in the considerations of the synthesis the difference exist according to the nature of those which have been brought together into a unity. Accordingly they are speaking in vain who say that, if there should be one incarnate nature ‘of the Word’ in every way and in every manner it would follow that a mixture and a confusion occurred as if lessening and taking away the nature of man.”
Again, you're elevating St. Cyril's idiosyncratic choice of language (as indeed, before as well as after him, there were many fathers who preferred to speak of "two natures").ÂÂ  In this quote, St. Cyril is defending his own choice of language, not attacking anyone else's.ÂÂ  I never questioned that St. Cyril, to the end of his life, preferred "mia physis" language.ÂÂ  What I did, and do, reject is that he, like his self-appointed heirs, was too narrow-minded to admit the propriety of other ways of speaking as well.ÂÂ  As an example, St. John of Damascus also considered the question of the unity of soul and body to make one human nature, but he pointed out that "nature" in this case is being used in a different sense than it is when we speak of the nature of the soul or body alone.ÂÂ  In those two cases, we speak of a nature as a synonym for an essence, but in the case of "human nature" we speak of a species.ÂÂ  As a result, St. John concludes, Christ has two natures, the nature of the human species and the nature of the divine essence, but there is no one nature of Christ, because "Christ" is neither a single essence (which would mean confusion of the two natures) or a species (because there is only one Christ).ÂÂ  Now, there is nothing more clear than that St. John and St. Cyril mean exactly the same thing, although their words differ.ÂÂ  Of course, I realize that St. John lived long after this whole dispute, and that therefore he was not directly relevant to it.ÂÂ  All I'm pointing out is that he, deliberately avoiding "one nature" language, said the exact thing that St. Cyril said, deliberately choosing "one nature" language.ÂÂ  Yes, language is the only means we have of expressing faith, but language should not be allowed to limit it, and to cut off perfectly valid alternative ways of expressing it.

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Allow me to shed some light on the evidence regarding the most Holy Council of Ephesus II, and I will show you true and honest scholarship my friend:

His Grace Bishop Gregorius Benham offers some insightful remarks in consideration of the publication of the imperial letters of Emperor Theodosius II and Emperor Valantinus (translated from Syriac to Arabic), which are reiterated in English by Fr. Tadros Malaty in The Coptic Orthodox Church As a Church of Erudition and Theology (preparatory edition), pages 122-123.ÂÂ  He notes that there had been no previous letters between St Dioscorus and the emperors, and that the Council was not even instigated upon the request of St Dioscorus, who “demanded no personal benefit”, but rather the Patriarch of Alexandria presided as well by virtue of his dignity as by the express demand of the most blessed and last Orthodox Emperor of the Orthodox Christian world, who required that “St Dioscorus should haste to put an end” to “the increased theological troubles that spread in the See of Constantinople.”

St Dioscorus did not preside by himself however; presided with other members, such as Juvenal of Jerusalem for example. Furthermore, all the decisions made at Ephesus 449 were accepted through a system of voting, through which there was shown to be unanimous consensus amongst the Bishops. You will find this same position based on the aforementioned primary sources held in Neale, History of the Holy Eastern Church, Vol 1, page 290; Guette, Histoire de l'Eglise, Vol. IV, pages 557-9.
All of this, while interesting, is not directly relevant to my point.ÂÂ  I was not discussing whether Dioscorus dominated the Council in an authoritarian manner, but merely pointing out that he was its leading voice and the one who, by force of his commanding personality and presence, set the agenda for it.ÂÂ  Because of this, for better or for worse, he must bear the heaviest load of responsibility for the council's decisions.
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I’m sorry, but you are presupposing that “in two natures” was simply another way of expressing Christ’s “duality of natures”, and retrospectively reading this interpretation into the expression. Such a statement is in fact made in ignorance of the fact that “in two natures” at the time was a popular Nestorian expression used to express the fact Christ existed in two hypostases. This is what Eutyches was thus most probably denying when he refused to submit to such an expression.
Of course "in two natures" was susceptible to Nestorian interpretation, but "in one nature" was susceptible of Apollinarian, or even Docetic.ÂÂ  Again, no language was completely "clean".ÂÂ  The Nestorians could have just as easily used the phrase "duality of natures" as it is in the Symbol; it was a mere historical accident that they did not.ÂÂ  But, considered merely linguistically, "in two natures" and the "duality of natures" in the Symbol were perfect synonyms, both fundamentally Orthodox, both susceptible to Nestorian misinterpretation, just as "in one nature" was susceptible to misinterpretation.ÂÂ  The difference is, Nestorian abuse of Two Natures language was prevented by the Council of Ephesus, which the fathers at Chalcedon fully accepted.ÂÂ  There was as yet no Ecumenical Council to prevent abuse of "one nature" language, and the polemics of Theodoret surely demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that such abuse was occurring, thus Theodoret's own being pushed in continuing to make statements which could be unfortunate, to say the least, even though he was not a heretic.

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St Cyril never understood “in two natures” as referring to a “duality of natures”, which is why he NEVER, not once, used the expression, because being a staunch opponent of Nestorianism he understood how it was being used at the time.
The exact same thing can be said about 4th century bishops who were suspicious of the term "homoousios" because of its Sabellian implications.ÂÂ  It was nothing new for the Church to "steal" phrases and expressions which had been heretical, and for this to create discomfort for a time.
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You are therefore, approaching this anachronistically — you are reading something into an expression which simply did not possess that connotation at the time. It had a Nestorian reputation and interpretation.
In addition to my last point, it should also be noted that "in two natures" was being used in the west long before the Nestorians got a hold of it, while homoousios was a novel expression to the Orthodox world at the time of the first council.ÂÂ  "In two natures" had less, rather than more heretical baggage than "homoousios".ÂÂ  Also, referring back to an earlier discussion, it should be noted that councils are recognized as "ecumenical" after the fact, rather than before, and therefore the insistence on "homoousios" was no more justified than the insistence on "in two natures"
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Even granted that individuals like Flavian used it in an Orthodox sense, the fact remains as the above scholars note, that the expression and any possibly orthodox interpretation of it thereof, were never ratified dogmatically by an Ecumenical Council — it was not even used in the Formulary — therefore Eutyches was not obliged to confess something which merely represents the theological opinion and expression of another; therefore, his ex-communication was false, and St Dioscorus' reciprocal action was warranted.
He wasn't obliged to recognize the language as fully authoritative, but he would not even recognize it as permissible, despite the fact that the phrase was endorsed by many fathers.
 

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As I already stated, the Formulary could be interpreted in varying ways. There was a heretical Antiochene faction for example, who interpreted the Formulary (a non-dogmatic document) in a manner opposed to the Dogmatic and Authoritative Ecumenical Council of Epehsus 431. Guess what, Thedoret was one of these heretics, and here is the evidence:

After reviewing the Formulary, Theodoret wrote to John of Antioch giving the following opinion of it:

“We have assembled together, and read the Egyptian Letter; we have carefully examined its purport, and we have discovered that its contents are quite in accordance with our own statements, and entirely opposed to the Twelve Chapters, against which up to the present time we have continued to wage war, as being contrary to true religion. Their teaching was that God the Word was carnally made flesh; that there was an union of hypostasis, and that the combination in union was of nature, and that God the Word was the first-born from the dead. They forbade all distinction in the terms used of our Lord, and further contained other doctrines at variance with the seeds sown by the apostles, and outcome of heretical tares.”
Theodoret here opposes the Symbol to the Twelve Chapters, not to the Council of Ephesus.ÂÂ  The Twelve Chapters were read, but not canonized, at the Council; only Cyril's Second Letter to Nestorius was.ÂÂ  Indeed the Twelve Chapters do not represent St. Cyril at his best, as they were deliberately worded to provoke the Antiochians.ÂÂ  It was prudent on the part of the Council not to canonize them.

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Is that why Theodoret called St Cyril a villain and praised the latter’s death? That’s disgusting. You are trying to defend a man, who would curse a departed Saint and rejoice at his death?

In his letter to Domnus of Antioch, Theodoret says concerning the death of the blessed St Cyril:

"At last and with difficulty the villain has gone. The good and the gentle pass away all too soon; the bad prolong their life for years. The Giver of all good, methinks, removes the former before their time from the troubles of humanity; He frees them like victors from their contests and transports them to the better life, that life which, free from death, sorrow and care, is the prize of them that contend for virtue."
I'm not trying to evaluate Theodoret's character; I'm saying he was not a heretic, and that it was right for Chalcedon to recognize that he was not.ÂÂ  As for his personal character, that's for God to judge.ÂÂ  Anyway, whatever Theodoret's personal feelings, he was at peace (even if it was an uneasy peace) with Cyril when the latter died.

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You obviously miss my point. I noted the fact that one’s attitude to a particular proponent of heresy is irrelevant to their attitude of the heresy itself, in order to prove that Thedoret’s pressured anathematization of Nestorius does not negate the fact Theodoret was still a Nestorian. In the same breath of his condemnation of Nestorius, Theodoret himself most clearly implied that he did not renounce his past Nestorianism and that he regarded it Orthodox, and that Theodore of Mopsuestia (the one officially condemned as Nestorian in Constantinople 533) the one who taught him this heresy was also Orthodox. All this whilst accepting Chalcedon - further evidence that Chalcedon could indeed be conformed with Nestorian doctrine.
And I'm saying that Theodoret was not, and never was, a Nestorian.ÂÂ  He altered his terms in the course of the Nestorian dispute, as the controversy made clear that some of his past statements had been ill-judged.ÂÂ  He recognized that as much as anyone else; thus his adjustment of terminology.ÂÂ  As for Theodore, the issues regarding him had not yet been made clear, and although I consent to the judgment of Constantinople that he was a heretic, it was only after great analysis that this determination was made; it's unfair to judge Theodoret by his attitude to a figure who had not yet been judged by the Church.

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The relevance however of the point that I made regarding the fact that Theodoret did not anathematise Nestorius, is the fact that such an anathematization is nonetheless a requisite condition at the least, before an ex-communicated heretic is restored to the church. Leo of Rome happily and un-canonically attempted to restore him without this anathematization.
If there's one thing Christians should know, claiming as we do to be followers of Jesus, it's that there is "economy" for every "law", and an exception for every rule.ÂÂ  The Antiochenes, Theodoret included, were (even if grudgingly) willing to be reconciled to the Church.ÂÂ  The Church, like the later St. Cyril, dealt with them in a way that was politic rather than confrontational, and the final result was that they abandoned Nestorius.

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The same letter of Ibas vindicated at Chalcedon as Orthodox, was condemned at Constantinople 553 as a Nestorian document. If Chalcedon could accept Ibas as Orthodox, this is simply more evidence that Chalcedon was crypto-Nestorian.
Chalcedon was concerned primarily with the person of Ibas, who appeared at the council and showed himself to the Orthodox, while Constantinople focussed specifically on one letter of his.ÂÂ  There's no contention between the two.

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It didn’t have to specifically use the phrase “hypostatic union” nor was this what I was saying; it had to sufficiently affirm the concept of a “hypostatic union” i.e.ÂÂ  that Christ’s natures were hypostatically and substantially united as opposed to conjoined in some form of inseparable moral union. Simply affirming the phrase “hypostatic union” therefore would not have sufficed even, let alone “one hypostasis”, for as Professor Frances Young states: (From Nicea to Chalcedon, page 236)
But that's clearly not the drift or meaning of Leo's Tome or the Chalcedonian confession.ÂÂ  Both are full of phrases designed to attack Nestorianism, "one and the same Son...Theotokos...one and the same Christ...(in reference to the two natures) without division, without separation."ÂÂ  Indeed almost the whole confession, and a good part of the Tome, are concerned with excluding Nestorian interpretation.ÂÂ  In the whole confession, only three phrases, "consubstantial with us in manhood," "two natures, without confusion, without change," and, "the difference of the natures being by no means removed because of the union, but the property of each nature being preserved..." are concerned with anything other than Nestorianism, and every bit of even that wording, with the exception of "two natures", is made of phrases which St. Cyril also used.ÂÂ  This, together with the reaffirmed recognition of Cyril's Letters to Nestorius and the Council of Ephesus, make the claim that Chalcedon was "crypto-Nestorian" positively absurd.

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And I refer you back to my previous posts regarding the status and purpose of the Formulary, which prove that this is irrelevant. Neither was “in two natures” in the formulary; neither were a lot of things. The Formulary did not have the purpose of authoritatively and extensively defining Orthodox dogma in setting the standard and norm of Orthodox Tradition. An Ecumenical Council on the other hand, does have that purpose. Chalcedon failed, for it was not an Ecumenical council.
Ecumenical Councils do not have the purpose of extensively defining Orthodox dogma; indeed often they have requited later clarification.ÂÂ  The purpose of an ecumenical council is to exclude falsehood, to make a "definition", which is a "fence" around the truth, to protect it from misinterpretation.ÂÂ  My point about the Symbol was simply that, just as it had spoken the truth without the phrase "hypostatic union", Chalcedon did the same.
 

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Not only is affirming that the natures act “in concert” susceptible to Nestorian interpretation, but there are in fact phrases that are clearly suggestive of Nestorianism, and not merely susceptible to it, such as when he explicitly states that each nature performs what is proper to it, in that the Word exclusively experiences divine things and exclusively acts out divine functions whilst the flesh exclusively experiences humanly things and exclusively acts out human functions.
St. Leo is using the phrase "the Word" as a synonym for the divine nature; his usage is different from Cyril's.ÂÂ  As I've already demonstrated above, St. Leo included various clarifications of the fact that he did not believe the natures to act separately from the one divine Person.
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Furthermore, Nestorius himself praised the Tome of Leo whilst in exile. What clearer evidence could one want regarding the dichotomy between Leo’s doctrine as presented in the Tome and St Cyril’s doctrine as presented at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus 431, when the heretics themselves — Nestorius and Theodoret, find themselves unable to reconcile their views with that of the blessed St Cyril, yet unequivocally praise the Tome of Leo as a confirmation of their heresies.
Firstly, Theodoret did reconcile with Cyril.ÂÂ  Secondly, Nestorius himself was always more muddled than fundamentally heretical.ÂÂ  While Ephesus was perfectly justified in condemning him for statements he had made to that point, it has never struck me as unusual that he would agree to Leo's Tome, even though the Tome is fully Orthodox.ÂÂ  Nestorius's sin was more pride than false belief.ÂÂ  He wouldn't accept instruction, and therefore fell out of the Church over confusions that, at their very core, were fairly simple and should not have caused the problem they did.
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When you are capable of giving us evidence of where the blessed Confessor of the Orthodox Faith St Dioscorus went wrong, then talk to me. But until now, the evidence clearly shows that he was plotted against and persecuted for a faithful adherence to Orthodox Tradition. The reasons for his being ex-communicated by Chalcedon have already been addressed in my above response to Bizzlebin. You simply have no case.
I'll have to take another delay on this one.ÂÂ  I won't have access to my most relevant materials on Dioscorus until next week.

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Do you have any concept of what an Ecumenical council is and what function it serves? An Ecumenical Council is a divinely governed authoritative and ecumenically received council, in which God speaks through the Church regarding dogmatic Orthodox Tradition. The Christology that God allowed to prevail at Ephesus 431 was undoubtedly and clearly Alexandrine Christology
No, it was a few specific points which had their basis in Alexandrine christology.ÂÂ  It was not the whole system to the exclusion of all others.ÂÂ  
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Therefore, at that time, Alexandrine Christology was the standard and norm of Orthodox Tradition regarding Christological matters.
Again, the norm was the specific points addressed at the council, not the whole of the Alexandrine tradition.
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This is not to say that Antiochene Christology is per se heretical however; the Formulary clearly showed that Alexandrine Christological dogma was compatible with the moderate form of Antiochene Christology expressed in that particular document. However this document was neither an exhaustive nor dogmatic expression of Orthodox Tradition, therefore that it was presumed as such against St Dioscorus invalidates the related charges made against him.
What was "presumed as such against St. Dioscorus" was that he was unwilling to allow that which had been allowed by the Symbol, and which hadn't been forbidden by the Council.ÂÂ  No one said that he couldn't continue to use Alexandrine terms, but only that he had to admit the propriety of Antiochian as well.

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It is interesting however that you note the relationship between Latin Christology and Antiochene Christology. This is the very reason why an Antiochene interpretation of the Formulary was essentially ratified and presumed at Chalcedon, as it was more in conformity with the Tome of one who thought himself the supreme head of the church. Leo of Rome had misgivings regarding the Saintly Alexandrine Patriarch even before Ephesus 449 ever commenced. It was his agenda all along, as with that of his legates, to vindicate Latin Christology (which is essentialy Antiochene Christology) as the norm, as that would do justice to the notion of the Bishop of Rome's self-conceived universal supremacy.
The legitimate concerns of both Antiochene and Latin christology had not yet been formalized by a council.ÂÂ  Ephesus extracted what was best from the Alexandrine tradition, Chalcedon from the Latin and Antiochene traditions.ÂÂ  Latin christology did not become THE norm at Chalcedon; it was merely recognized as having a place along with Alexandrine as part of the genuine tradition of the Church.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2005, 03:07:17 PM by Cyprian » Logged

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« Reply #79 on: November 25, 2005, 05:00:10 PM »

That may be your church's position, but that was not Leo’s position as is evidently implied in the events that took place. There are a number of things said and committed by him and his legates that suggest an agenda to assert Rome’s supremacy.

No, since as Fr. V.C. Samuel states:

“To say that in opposing the efforts of the Antiochene side to discredit the Alexandrine theological tradition, which for him was the faith of the Church, Dioscorus was led by a desire to dominate the see of Antioch or that of Constantinople is not borne out by available evidence.”

You’re repeating yourself. I already addressed this when I said:

Obviously Constantinople is not going to admit that it abrogated Chalcedon; that would be a disaster for the Chalcedonian church as it would be an unequivocal admission that the non-Chalcedonian church were right all along. But I have already given you evidence that this was in effect what Constantinople did in its condemnation of the three chapters. Just because a primary source reveals the council claiming it hadn’t changed a thing, that doesn’t make it true and in light of the historical facts. It is deemed untrue in light of what actually occurred.

I have already pointed to the condemnation of the three chapters as an abrogation of the effects of Chalcedon, and Salpy has briefly gone into that. I am willing to go further into it if you choose to engage with the issue, but as of yet you have not. I maintain that Constantinople 553 rectified all the errors of Chalcedon; condemned all heretics and heretical documents, and re-ratified the faith of Ephesus 431 from the compromise of Chalcedon.


After the deposition of the legitimate Alexandrian Patriarch His Holiness St Dioscorus, the Egyptian Bishops submitted and signed a petition to keep themselves free from involvement with Chalcedon. The petition contained a profession of faith, and on its ground they requested the assembly to excuse them from endorsing or rejecting the decisions of the council.

When pressed to anathematise Eutyches and to submit to Leo’s tome, they acquiescently carried out the former, but refused to do the latter. Much effort was exerted to take the Egyptian Bishops away from the Orthodox faith, but in the end only 4 out of the 13 broke under the pressure, sold-out on The Church and did so.

Your source made claims. Those claims were addressed and debunked as untrue via reasoned arguments and valid evidence. The only other sources quoted in your article were primary sources relating what St Dioscorus’s opponents said of him. The article did not present reasoned arguments in support of St Dioscorus’s opponents' claims, it merely presented what those claims were, and the evidence I have brought forth clearly refutes those claims.

And what suggests St Dioscorus was the “killer”? Do you have any evidence of this, or are you once again regurgitating the claims of his opponents who were willing to say anything to get rid of him? Believe me, the opponents of St Athanasius said many similar things of him, and much worse. If you are willing to take such claims as face value, then be consistent and condemn the Holy Coptic St Athanasius as an adulterer, thief, and murderer as he was charged by his opponents.

The onus is not on me to prove who killed Flavian. It has nothing to do with St Dioscorus, and hence it is irrelevant to this discussion until you provide some evidence for such an outrageously wild allegation.

The only murderers that I’m aware of are the Chalcedonian murderers of the Copts for their refusal to submit to a crypto-Nestorian council.

First of all, the examples I brought forth were not brought up as a “defence of a criminal charge”; they were to prove that the unfounded and unsupported claim of aggression and violence (which has been disproven in my refutation of Wace’s article) suggested a character of St Dioscorus that was inconsistent with what actual evidence shows of his character in relation to the treatment of his enemies.

I don’t need to make a “defence” to a “criminal charge”, since you as the prosecution have failed to present a valid case that calls for a defence in the first place. Making a claim is not making a case. Bring me the evidence, or claim not.
 

No there mustn’t have been any element of truth to it. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, not only as man of common sense, but as law student as well. Obviously it was a lie that was alleged in complicity in order to give it more force — when the story crumbled, the lie was exposed. If one party makes a claim against another party, and the other party denies it, and there is no underlying evidence, then the party that fails to present a consistent account loses. The Chalcedonian party that made such a claim, contradicted each other, contradicted themselves, and admittedly lied — furthermore such contradictions were not regarding peripheral matters, they regarded quite essential elements of the story line. There is no credibility in the allegation, no evidence, and therefore all benefit of the doubt — a doubt which is far beyond reasonable - goes in favour of St Dioscorus.

What doesn’t line up? You’re talking nonsense now. Where did St Dioscorus lie? Upon what evidence do you make this claim? The only liars were his accusers, and this has been proven — I have given you the evidence; if you cannot admit this to yourself, then that’s fine, but you’re really starting to waste my time when you talk the nonsense inherent in the above quote which has absolutely no basis in evidence or logic.

You’re making me repeat myself again:

“…there is no distinction between an individual’s condemnation or anathematization of Nestorius in its corollary implications regarding whether or not that individual thence condemns or anathematizes the general heresy.”

Theodoret was a heretic upon his own admission as I have argued in my previous posts to you.

I addressed all the reasons as you presented them in Wace’s article.

+Irini nem makarismos


Yes, I know he was trying to assert Rome's supremacy, but we did not let him, not did we ever recognze it.

I am not talking Alexandria vs Antioch, or Alexandria vs Constrantinople, but Alexandria vs Rome, where a clear "rivalry" of sorts was present.

Again, thats what they say. Do you have any sources from Orthodox Christians of that period that shows they believed there was a change? Or do all your sources center around the Coptics belief that there was a change?

Not everyone accepted the Tome of Leo, because it was not made a requirement at the council. Leo sure wanted everyone to, that's certain, but the council as a whole? Nope. The only place Leo is metioned in the canons of Chalcedon is the last, regarding the Egyptian bishops staying until a new Patriarch can be appointed!

If you say that any peice of evidence that refutes the claims against Dioscorus is automatically valid simply because Diocorus must be right, that is eisegesis and not logic. I could have cited sources from a variety of Orthodox and Catholic sources that attack Dioscorus, but they'd be biased. And you could defend by citing Coptic sources, also biased. Instead, I gave you the courtesy of citing a Protestant source (I think we can agree that Protestants seems to neither favor one of us more than the other) in an attempt to provide at least a fairer interpretation of events. Yet, instead of also going to a more neutral source, you run and grab Coptic literature. It seems a bit one-sided and biased.

It is also clear that Athanaius was cleared of these charges. Was the murderer of Flavian ever found? Or was it just assumed that "Holy Dioscorus" couldn't have done it?

Chalcedonians kill Copts, Copts kill Chalcedonians. It happens, unfortunately. But we're not talking about any Copt, were talking about the founder, Dioscorus.

You have not discredited Wace's article, or his scholarship, but, at best, have only shown that some of the people Wace talked about were perhaps lying.

You errouneously group everyone into "The Chacedonian party." Even some who were deposed with Diocrorus made accusations against him, and at the same time not everyone there had an accusation. Again, in a situation where there are so many conflicting stories, it is highly unlikely that there was not something else going on. The only reason Dioscorus is innocent in your mind is because you seem to have made him the gold standard of truth and perfection.

I never said Theodoeret was completely correct in his theology.

Yes, you addressed the points in Wace's article, but failed entirely to provide a strong case against some of them. The case against the "blank paper argument," fine. But the council didn't say the condemned him for the blank paper.
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« Reply #80 on: November 25, 2005, 11:49:05 PM »

Bizzlebin,

I love your MonkBot.    Smiley

I am confused by your request for contemporary Chalcedonian (I assume that is what you mean by "Orthodox") sources which show that at that time they believed that the fifth council changed Chalcedon.  Read my above post.  I gave you such sources.  A number of Chalcedonians actually broke off communion with Constantinople after the fifth council, specifically because they, the Chalcedonians who broke off communion, believed the fifth council undermined Chalcedon.  These aren't Coptic sources, but Chalcedonian ones. 

The strong resistance to the fifth council by many, if not most, Chalcedonian is well documented by Chalcedonian sources.  This resistance includes the schism which took place between Rome and Constantinople during that time.  The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, by Leo Donald Davis is just one book in my own meagre collection which was written by a Chalcedonian and which details how the fifth council was strongly resisted by so many Chalcedonians of that period.

The fact is, the Pope of Rome, Vigilus, as well as the eastern patriarchs, all believed that Chalcedon was being undermined by Justinian.  Zoilus, the Chalcedonian patriarch of Alexandria, had to be deposed by Justinian when Justinian couldn't force him to condemn the Three Chapters.  Justinian eventually had better luck strong-arming the other patriarchs, even though they initially protested that the condemnation of the Three Chapters undermined Chalcedon.

These patriarchs and the pope were not just a few fringe elements, but the contemporary Chalcedonian church leaders who would have been the experts on the matter at that time.  I can't think of any better "sources from Orthodox Christians of that period."

With regard to Dioscoros being responsible for Flavian's death, it is my understanding that:

1.  Flavian didn't die until about six months after the council.  The causal relationship between whatever happened at the council and his death is therefore not that strong. 

2.  EA's comment about violence being commonly associated with ecumenical councils is unfortunately true.  If you read Davis' book, you'll see what happened to Pope Vigilus at the hands of his fellow Chalcedonians after refusing to condemn the Three Chapters and breaking off relations with the Patriarch of Constantinople.  He had to take refuge in a church and when imperial (Chalcedonian) guards broke in, he held onto the altar.  The guards then tried to dislodge the elderly pope by pulling him by his feet and beard.  They did this until the altar collapsed. (ibid. pp. 238-239)

3.  Allegations that Flavian was killed by Dioscoros weren't made until a couple of years later, after Chalcedon.  Or, at least there are no known documents written prior to Chalcedon which make that allegation.   If I am incorrect on this point, and you can name a document written prior to Chalcedon which makes this allegation, please let me know. 

Finally, although these debates about Chalcedon can be really interesting, I think it is wise for all of us, on both sides, to now and then step back, take a deep breath and do a reality check.  The reality is, this has been debated for 1500 years and it is not going to be resolved on this forum.  We therefore need to be sure we don't get too emotionally involved, or wind up getting all angry at each other.  I am not saying that is happening in this thread, but if we look at the other threads on Chalcedon in this site's archives, it has happened quite a bit.  That is why I choose not to post too much in these debates.

Anyway, knowing that what I have posted will not resolve these issues, I still hope that what I had to say was constructive.  Smiley
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« Reply #81 on: November 26, 2005, 04:58:12 PM »

Bizzlebin,

I love your MonkBot.  ÃƒÆ’‚  Smiley

I am confused by your request for contemporary Chalcedonian (I assume that is what you mean by "Orthodox") sources which show that at that time they believed that the fifth council changed Chalcedon.ÂÂ  Read my above post.ÂÂ  I gave you such sources.ÂÂ  A number of Chalcedonians actually broke off communion with Constantinople after the fifth council, specifically because they, the Chalcedonians who broke off communion, believed the fifth council undermined Chalcedon.ÂÂ  These aren't Coptic sources, but Chalcedonian ones.ÂÂ  

The strong resistance to the fifth council by many, if not most, Chalcedonian is well documented by Chalcedonian sources.ÂÂ  This resistance includes the schism which took place between Rome and Constantinople during that time.ÂÂ  The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, by Leo Donald Davis is just one book in my own meagre collection which was written by a Chalcedonian and which details how the fifth council was strongly resisted by so many Chalcedonians of that period.

Thanks Smiley

To address just the first bit, I am quite aware there are many sources from people who split from the Chalcedonian Church and thought they changed. But I am specifically after people who stayed in the Chalcedonian Church. How many, if any, of them thought there was a change? Did any of them ever speak of a change?
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« Reply #82 on: November 26, 2005, 05:52:50 PM »

A number of people who ended up signing onto the fifth council originally had said that it changed or undermined Chalcedon.  That was the reason why they initially resisted.  A lot of people who signed onto Constantinople II did so not because they believed in it, but because they were afraid of the emperor.  Thus, the answer to your question is yes, a number of people who eventually stayed in the Chalcedonian Church did speak of a change.

You have to ignore a lot of what happened at that time to say that the fifth council was just minor clarification of Chalcedon.  It really changed how Chalcedon was to be interpreted.  Before 553, you could be a follower of Theodore of Mopsuestia's Christology and still be a Chalcedonian.  After 553, however, that became impossible.  The Three Chapters were the biggest sticking point.  They were read at Chalcedon in an approving manner by the Roman Legates.  Thus, even though Nestorius was condemned, the approving way in which the Chapters were read basically told people they could still believe what Theodore taught and be O.K. with the Church.  That is why so many hard core Nestorians, like the Assyrians and the Sleepless Monks staunchly supported Chalcedon prior to 553.

There may also have been Chalcedonians at that time who were "Orthodox" by today's standards.  These would have been people who felt Theodore's Christology was repugnant, but didn't want to offend the emperors etc., by rejecting Chalcedon.  They would have been happy about the fifth council. 

It is evident from what happened at the time, however, that there were many more Chalcedonians who felt that Theodore's Christology was the only Christology which was acceptable under Chalcedon.  That is why they had such a hard time condemning Theodore and the writings of Ibas and Theodoret.  Some of these people split off and some grudgingly signed onto the fifth council after complaining that it undermined Chalcedon. 

I know the language of the fifth council itself says that nothing had changed and it even says that the Three Chapters were never approved by Chalcedon.  However, in light of everything that happened, I think that was an effort at "spin," intended to soften the opponents of the fifth council.

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« Reply #83 on: November 26, 2005, 06:31:59 PM »

Hi.

I am going to be off line for a couple of days due to computer problems.  It seems I have some worm in my computer.  The Norton people are ignoring me and putting me on hold for hours and when I tried to fix it myself, I just made things worse.  My brother knows some guys who say they can help me for a fee, but they have to keep the computer for a couple of days.  Please pray for my computer.   Smiley

Anyway, the only reason why I am posting this here is because I don't want anyone to think I am ignoring them if they ask me something and I don't respond.   Smiley
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« Reply #84 on: November 26, 2005, 06:41:14 PM »

A number of people who ended up signing onto the fifth council originally had said that it changed or undermined Chalcedon.ÂÂ  That was the reason why they initially resisted.ÂÂ  A lot of people who signed onto Constantinople II did so not because they believed in it, but because they were afraid of the emperor.ÂÂ  Thus, the answer to your question is yes, a number of people who eventually stayed in the Chalcedonian Church did speak of a change.

You have to ignore a lot of what happened at that time to say that the fifth council was just minor clarification of Chalcedon.ÂÂ  It really changed how Chalcedon was to be interpreted.ÂÂ  Before 553, you could be a follower of Theodore of Mopsuestia's Christology and still be a Chalcedonian.ÂÂ  After 553, however, that became impossible.ÂÂ  The Three Chapters were the biggest sticking point.ÂÂ  They were read at Chalcedon in an approving manner by the Roman Legates.ÂÂ  Thus, even though Nestorius was condemned, the approving way in which the Chapters were read basically told people they could still believe what Theodore taught and be O.K. with the Church.ÂÂ  That is why so many hard core Nestorians, like the Assyrians and the Sleepless Monks staunchly supported Chalcedon prior to 553.

There may also have been Chalcedonians at that time who were "Orthodox" by today's standards.ÂÂ  These would have been people who felt Theodore's Christology was repugnant, but didn't want to offend the emperors etc., by rejecting Chalcedon.ÂÂ  They would have been happy about the fifth council.ÂÂ  

It is evident from what happened at the time, however, that there were many more Chalcedonians who felt that Theodore's Christology was the only Christology which was acceptable under Chalcedon.ÂÂ  That is why they had such a hard time condemning Theodore and the writings of Ibas and Theodoret.ÂÂ  Some of these people split off and some grudgingly signed onto the fifth council after complaining that it undermined Chalcedon.ÂÂ  

I know the language of the fifth council itself says that nothing had changed and it even says that the Three Chapters were never approved by Chalcedon.ÂÂ  However, in light of everything that happened, I think that was an effort at "spin," intended to soften the opponents of the fifth council.

Imperial pressure can be seen at the earlier councils as well. It is not simply limited to Chalcedon.

To say Chalcedon left the door open for the possibilty of non-Cyrillian Christology is entirely true, but was this the intention? Also, there is not a rigid distinction between the Chalcedonain Church pre- and post-Constantinople as many like to point out. It was a flowing and changing time. It was in fact the Chalcedonians, seeing the "loopholes" in Chalcedon, who went back to "fix" it (much like the Nicene Creed was formed over two councils. The first wasn't wrong about the Creed, it just needed updating and further clarification.) If they had truly believed in non-Cyrillian Christology, they wouldn't have done this.

History seems to say these "Orthodox" were in fact the majority. Constantinople was a far less "routy" council, among other factors, seeming to indicate that the "Orthodox" (as opposed to what I will call the "pseudo-Chalcedonians") were the majority, and held the positions of power.

But Chalcedon never approved the Three Chapters either. It also upheld the decisions of the previous councils (even the Third Ecumenical Council, which was undeniably Orthodox). They didn't come back and revise what really happened a century later, but in fact thought that they were upholding the faith even then. Regardless of the unfortunate "wiggle room" Chalcedon unknowingly left the Nestorians (again, note the Nicene Creed example), it is simply not possible to say the Council as a whole approved Nestorianism or in any way changed the fundamental teachings of Orthodoxy.

(No problem about the computer trouble Smiley )
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« Reply #85 on: November 26, 2005, 08:24:30 PM »

I don't know much about this, but it seems as if there's really just a misunderstanding on both sides.  As far as I can see, Eastern Orthodoxy affirms two natures FULLY UNITED in Christ, so that He is not two persons but one, the God-man.  I interpret the language of two natures as intending to heartily affirm that Christ is indeed both God and Man, fully and completely; that is, He had the nature of God, and then took on the nature of Man and united the two.  I don't think the idea is to maintain that even now Christ is somehow two or divided.  I may be entirely wrong on this.

If the Oriental Orthodox believe the same thing as the Eastern Orthodox, I see no reason to continue disunity, unless people insist on fighting over politics. ?  Is there really a significant difference that I'm unaware of?  I'm not sure that a difference of opinion over past behavior by certain people of the church ought to constitue a reason for maintaining a breach.  Isn't the important thing that we believe and practice the same faith?  Perhaps the rejection of a council by some and not others is significant, but surely that is not an impenetrable barrier to union.  Human stubbornness, regardless of the side it's on, would be though.
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« Reply #86 on: November 26, 2005, 08:37:19 PM »

I don't know much about this, but it seems as if there's really just a misunderstanding on both sides.ÂÂ  As far as I can see, Eastern Orthodoxy affirms two natures FULLY UNITED in Christ, so that He is not two persons but one, the God-man.ÂÂ  I interpret the language of two natures as intending to heartily affirm that Christ is indeed both God and Man, fully and completely; that is, He had the nature of God, and then took on the nature of Man and united the two.ÂÂ  I don't think the idea is to maintain that even now Christ is somehow two or divided.ÂÂ  I may be entirely wrong on this.

If the Oriental Orthodox believe the same thing as the Eastern Orthodox, I see no reason to continue disunity, unless people insist on fighting over politics. ?ÂÂ  Is there really a significant difference that I'm unaware of?ÂÂ  I'm not sure that a difference of opinion over past behavior by certain people of the church ought to constitue a reason for maintaining a breach.ÂÂ  Isn't the important thing that we believe and practice the same faith?ÂÂ  Perhaps the rejection of a council by some and not others is significant, but surely that is not an impenetrable barrier to union.ÂÂ  Human stubbornness, regardless of the side it's on, would be though.

Yes, the theology of the the OO and EO is basically the same.

Well, at present, the issue seems to be over who split from whom. Basically, that makes one the True Church, and the other [according to common views] schismatic. As you can imagine, no one wants to be the schismatic group.
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« Reply #87 on: November 26, 2005, 09:01:35 PM »

If the Oriental Orthodox believe the same thing as the Eastern Orthodox, I see no reason to continue disunity, unless people insist on fighting over politics. ?ÂÂ

Politics isn't the only reason.
Because of Orthodox Ecclessiology which holds that there can only be one Church, any schism means that one group is outside the visible boundaries of the Church. A schism is very different to two or more local Churches temporarily suspending Communion (as is the case with ROCOR and the MP). As Bizzlebin pointed out, no one wants to be the schismatic group and therefore outside the Church.
A way around this is to discern whether the Chalcedon and Antichalcedon schism was in fact a temporary suspension of Communion which has lasted 1500 years- unlikely, but all things are possible with God!
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« Reply #88 on: November 26, 2005, 09:07:36 PM »

A way around this is to discern whether the Chalcedon and Antichalcedon schism was in fact a temporary suspension of Communion which has lasted 1500 years- unlikely, but all things are possible with God!

Odd as it sounds, this very same idea hit me no less than an hour ago Smiley

I have been looking at this, as I think many have, in a very Aristotlean manner of "yes" vs "no" and have totally ignored the fact that, even in Orthodoxy, there maybe more than one right answer. Perhaps unity may spring from this very forum, this very thread, after all. I will get to work on a short statement. If nothing else, it will provide a place for us to talk further.
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« Reply #89 on: November 26, 2005, 09:59:00 PM »

Ok, here is the first draft ("Version 1.00"):


In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

For nearly 1500 years, the [Chalcedonian] Orthodox Church and the [non-Chalcedonian] Oriental Orthodox Church have been in a state of suspended communion. Beginning in 451 with the excommunication of Dioscorus and continuing to this day, it has been abundantly clear that both churches do in fact share the same faith. Both profess two natures of Christ and both hold to the same Christology. And finally, while not formally condoning each other’s respective councils, it is clear that each group agrees with the other in all matters of faith.

During the time of Chalcedon, there was great confusion in regards to Nestorianism. The Orthodox Church took a longer time to express this in Cyrillian terms, while the Oriental Orthodox did so far sooner. However, regardless of the means used to express the belief in two natures, it is abundantly clear that both churches hold the same truths. When the Orthodox Church held to the Council, they did so not out of heterodoxy, but out of the willingness to cling to Christ. Likewise, when the Oriental Orthodox Church rejected the very same Council, they did not do so out of heterodoxy or schismatic intent, but again to preserve the faith passed down to them. Both Churches acted in a manner consistent with upholding the commandments of God.

In light of the aforementioned truths, it seems outrageous that our two Churches must continue to be in suspended communion. Both have passed the test of time, and both have proven to be completely Orthodox. Let us now lay aside whatever division there is between us, and welcome each other as brothers in the faith. We agree to:

(Concessions to be determined)

In Christ,

(Signatures)

---------------------

Now, we need to work on the concessions. Main points will be

1) Administration
2) Saints
3) Councils

I'll leave Adminsitration for someone else, hehe  Wink

As for the other two, I propose:

2) All the saints of the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church shall be shared, and at the time it is proper to call an Ecumenical Synod, any saints in question by either group shall be thoroughly reviewed. Henceforth, they shall be the standard of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

3) It seems proper that all major councils of each side be shared, as neither group disagrees theologically with the major councils of the other. However, regarding Chalcedon, the interpretation of this council by the Church shall be completely Orthodox, and the failure to explicitly accept Cyrillian terminology will not be seen as a rejection of it. The excommunications were temprorary suspensions in commuion based on each party's desire to follow Christ, not either groups failure to do so, and it should not be construed that either group was the "schismatic party."

All comments welcome!
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