Author Topic: Chalcedon  (Read 27546 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Raouf

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 97
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2003, 05:14:23 PM »
Dear Paradosis,

As I noted before, the Fathers and Bishops at that time zealously fought for the exclusivity of their respective terminologies, not so much becuase they couldn't conceive that their opponents views *could* be legitimate Orthodox expression, but rather becuase they saw a *potential* danger in such terminology.

Thus, we Non-Chalcedonians can argue that the true Nestorians agreed with the Tome of Leo as proof that Chalcedonian language *could* be interpreted in a Nestorian fashion. Likewise, those who adhered to true Eutychianism could say they agreed with St. Cyril's use of "one nature", and thus give credence to the Chalcedonian argument that strict Cyrillian Christology is not balanced.

However, what ultimately separated the two sides was the growing tension and animosity resulting from Imperial pressure on the Egyptian Church, and then of course outright persecution in which many Egyptian Christians were killed at the hands of the Imperial Church.

Again, we have the benefit of hindsight. I challenge anyone to find in our theological writings, our Fathers, our liturgies, the lives of our saints, etc...any adherence to Eutychianism - the denial of the complete and perfect humanity of Christ, that Christ was not consubstantial to us in every way, save sin.

I will try and post some writings of St. Cyril AFTER the Formula of Reunion which shows he still insisted on his use of "one nature" terminology.

In Christ,
Flog your enemies with the Name of Jesus and let the remembrance of Jesus be present with each breath. - St. John Climacus

Offline Raouf

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 97
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2003, 05:24:02 PM »
Some writings of Non-Chalcedonian Fathers:


Dioscorus to Domnus of Antioch:

"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!"

And also:

"They claim that Nestorius the blasphemer was unfairly excommunicated
without deviating from the right path and without injuring Christ.  They do
not admit that he instilled heresies in the Orthodox faith that is derived
from the Bible."

(Raouf: this shows that even after the Formula of Reunion, the Nestorians
were still attempting to claim that their heresy was in accords with the
Reunion since this was written to John of Antioch's successor after the

First Letter of St. Dioscorus to his Monks:

"I know Him, and with faith I transcend. He was born God of the Father, and
I know Him to be born man from the Virgin. I see Him walking as a man on
earth and behold to heavenly Angels as God. I envisage Him sleeping in the
ship as a man and He himself walks on the water as God. As a human He
experiences hunger, and as God He feeds. He, as human, was stoned by the
Jews and He himself is worshipped by the Angels as God. He was tempted as a
human, but expels devils as God....I confess He is one; while He Himself is
God and Savior, he became man because of His goodness..."


"No one dare say that the Holy body taken from the Virgin by our Lord is not
consubstantial with ours, as it is known, and as it is so."


Letter to Secundinus:

"The phrase is "in everything". It does not exclude any part of our nature
at all . It includes nerves, hair, bones, veins, belly, heart, kidneys,
liver, and lungs. That flesh of our Savior, which was born of Mary and which
was ensouled with a rational soul, was constituted of every element of which
we are composed, but through male seed, sleep, and sensual
gratification...For He was with us, like us, and for us. "


"On the fact that one must assert as one our Lord and God Jesus Christ with
his flesh and must assign everything to Him, what is divine and what is
human, and that he became consubstantial with us according to the body but
also remained God, and that it is godless to separate Him into two

(Raouf: Here St. Timothy is speaking of separating Christ in two natures
after union which according to St. Cyril's theology made null the hypostatic

"I have written this upon hearing that certain persons are opposed to
obeying the tradition of the holy fathers who taught Christ's fleshly
consubstantiality with us. Such persons the fathers also anthematized. For
we believe, in accordance with the traditions of the fathers, that our Lord
Jesus Christ was consubstantial in flesh with us...and one with his own


"I promised that if they refrained from heterodoxy and confessed that our
Lord was consubstantial in flesh with us and that he was not of a different
nature, I would maintain them in their former honor and would grasp then
with the same love as before."


" inform everyone, naming the above mentioned Isaiah and Theophilus as
persons who, by asserting that our Lord and God Jesus Christ is of an alien
nature from us and that He was not consubstantial in flesh with them and
that He was not really human, have alienated themselves from communion with
the holy fathers and with me and give warning that no man henceforth should
hold communion with them."


"These antichrists neither acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come into the
world in human flesh, nor believe that God the Word became man while
remaining God unchanged."


"For they are now preaching the evil doctrines of the Phantasiasts' heresy
by saying that the body of our Lord and God Jesus Christ is uncreated, that
body which was constituted of created manhood. They are asserting that God
the Word was not ineffably incarnate from the Virgin, Theotokos, sharing
blood and flesh in our likeness - so as to be made wholly like us, sin
excepted, so that in becoming truly man, he could be seen by earthly men
revealed in human flesh for our salvation...."


"He gave up His spirit when we committed it, that is Hi soul, into the hands
of the Father, when He wanted to do this. He proved thereby that the
precious body of Christ was endowed with a rational soul; he became a human
being and truly died..."


"The hypostatic union did not falsify the distinction of natures that marks
the united and also left no place for division and separation; rather, for
us it created from two the one and indivisible Emmanuel; one is His nature
or composite hypostasis; this means the same as when we say: the nature of
the God-Logos Himself and His hypostasis has become flesh and perfectly
human being..."


"This perfidious and damnable synod taught unlawfully among its other
blasphemies that Christ is be known in two natures, and against the best
valid canones it set up a different definition of faith and called the Tome
of Leo a pillar of Orthodoxy, which openly affirmed the godless teachings of
Nestorius and two natures and hypostases, as well as two forms and
activities and characteristics ..."

"...He who is one of the Holy Trinity, the hypostatic Logos of God the
Father, united to himself hypostatically a flesh homoousios with us, and
like us, capable of suffering."


"There was not a union of ousias and natures which are generic and common,
that is, of the nature which contains the Trinity of the divine hypostases,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and of the nature which includes the entire
human race of all men - but there was merely a union of God the Logos and
His own flesh, endowed with a rational and intellectual soul , which he
united to Himself in a hypostatic way."


"...who is like us and at the same time over us, since He is one from two,
divinity and humanity, which are perfect in their respects, consubstantial
with the Father in the divinity and the same one consubstantial with us in
the humanity, who is not divided into those of which he consists and not
separated into the duality of natures or mixed through any kind of
transformation or metamorphosis of natures; rather, after he was
hypostatically united to an animated body, He was born as man from woman,
and without having abandoned His nature, He became like us, but the same one
is God and man, that is God has become man..."


"In regard to the one prosopon and one nature that is hypostasis, when those
out of which He is and is naturally composed are thought of, reason brings
them together, recognizing Him as one, not to be divided into two."


"For we do not say either that God the Word was changed over to man, made up
of soul and body. But we confess that while remaining what He is, He was
united hypostatically to the flesh possessing a rational soul."


"When the Fathers spoke of "one incarnate nature of God the Word," they made
it clear that by becoming incarnate the Word did not abandon His nature, but
that He remained in His perfection without change and deviation; for he did
not undergo any loss or diminution in His hypostasis. When they said that He
"became incarnate", they affirmed that the flesh was nothing but flesh, and
that it did not come into being by itself apart from union with the Word.
Therefore, it is just to say that the Word was simple, not composite, before
the ages. When He willed to assume our likeness without sin, the flesh was
brought into being, but not separately. While signifying the lofty union,
the words "became incarnate" refer to the assumption of the flesh from the
Virgin, which was not separate by itself; so that from two natures, namely
Godhead and manhood, one Christ came forth from Mary. The same is known to
be at once God and man; He is of the same substance with the Father in the
Godhead and He Himself is of the same substance with us men in the manhood."


"The thought of union does not permit a division into two, though those from
which is the union remain without diminution and without change. They came
to be in composition, and not in specific concretion, and therefore they
cannot be counted two. From both there is complete one nature and one
hypostasis of the Word incarnate. For it is not of "simple" objects alone
that the word "one" is spoken, but it is used also of beings that came
together in composition."


"When we think of the Emmanuel and contemplate Godhead and manhood, we shall
see that each of them is not only different from the other, but that they
are remote from each other and sharply distinct. Moreover, when the union of
both is confessed, the difference signifying the natures of which is the one
Christ does not disappear, though by reason of the hypostatic union division
is discarded."


"When we anethematize those who affirm of the Emmanuel two natures after the
union and their operations as well as properties, it is not for speaking of
natures or operations or properties that we place them under condemnation;
but for saying two natures after the union and assigning the operations and
properties to each of them, thereby dividing them between the natures."
Flog your enemies with the Name of Jesus and let the remembrance of Jesus be present with each breath. - St. John Climacus

Offline Raouf

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 97
« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2003, 06:05:44 PM »
St. Cyril "On the Unity of Christ":

In the book "The Unity of Christ" published by SVOTS, St. Cyril writing
near the end of his life, well after the Reunion, has this to say:

[Cyril] 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

[Questioner] Then he does not have two natures? that of God and that of man?

[Cyril] Well, Godhead is one thing, and manhood is another thing, considered
in the perspective of their intrinsic beings, BUT in the case of Christ they
came together in a mysterious and incomprehensible union without confusion
or change. The manner of this union is entirely beyond conception.

[Questioner] But how from these two things, that is Godhead and manhood, can
we envisage a single Christ?

[Cyril] I think in no other way than as things which come together with each
other in an indivisible union beyond all conception, as I have already said.

[Questioner] Such as what?

[Cyril] Well, do we not say that a human being like ourselves is one, and
has a single nature, even though he is not homogenous but really composed of
two things, I mean soul and body?

[Questioner] We do.

[Cyril] And if someone takes the flesh on its own, separating its unity with
its own soul, and divides what was one into two, have they not destroyed the
proper conception of man?

[Questioner] But if we say that the Son (even considering his as
incarnate)has a single nature surely in is inevitable that we must admit a
confusion and a mixture here, as if he had hidden away a human nature in
Himself. For what would the nature of man be in the face of the pre-eminence
of the Godhead?

[Cyril] My friend, if anyone says that when we speak of the single nature of
God the Word incarnate and made man, we imply that a confusion or mixture
has occurred, then they are talking utter rubbish. No one could convict us
of saying this by the force of proper arguments...
Flog your enemies with the Name of Jesus and let the remembrance of Jesus be present with each breath. - St. John Climacus

Offline Raouf

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 97
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2003, 06:10:10 PM »
R.V. Sellers (a Chalcedonian historian) in his book The Council of Chalcedon says the following about both Sts. Dioscorus and Severus, two of our Fathers anethematized by Chalcedonians:

Regarding Dioscorus, Sellers says: regard him as the preacher of the "confusion" of the two natures of
Jesus Christ is to do him serious injustice. Moreover, his own statements
clearly show that for him the Lord's manhood is real - for he is no follower
of Apollinarius - and remains real in its union with the divine Logos.
Indeed he is most explicit on this point:

"Omitting many urgent matters, this I declare: that no man shall say that
the holy flesh which our Lord took from the Virgin Mary by the operation of
the Holy Spirit, in a manner which he himself knows, was different from and
foreign to our body...For Paul has said...'It was right that in everything
he should be made like unto his brethren' (Heb. 2:16,17) and that word, 'in
everything', does not suffer the subtraction of any part of our nature;
...the flesh which was born of Mary was compacted with the soul of the
Redemmer, that reasonable and intelligent soul, without the seed of
man...For he was like us, for us, and with us, not in phantasy, not in mere
semblence, according the heresy of the Manichaeans, but rather in actual
reality from the 'Theotokos'. To comfort the desolate, and to repair the
vessel that had been broken, he came to us new...He became by the
dispensation like us, that we by his tender mercy might be like him.  He
became man...that we by grace might become the sons of God. This I think and
believe; and if any man does not think this, he is a stranger to the faith
of the apostles" (Letter to Secundinus).

R.V. Sellers (The Council of Chalcedon)

Regarding Severus (representing the Non-Chalcedonian position): was objected that the council had refused to include in its confession
the "out of two". Both Timothy and Philoxenus insist that the phrase had
been received from the holy Fathers, who, like themselves, did not use it in
any Eutychian sense. But it is Severus who has most to say on this topic.
His reply is to this effect:

...the Grammarian and those with him, who were pleading that since Cyril had
received the Formulary of Reunion, the opponents of the Council should be
ready to receive the council's 'two natures', should enquire more closely
into the Laetentur coeli, and then they would find that the wise Alexandrian
was exercising the physician's art when dealing with 'those sickly
Orientals'; for while accepting 'a union of two natures' he skillfully
administered the medicine which removed the taint of the doctrine of 'two
Sons' through introducing his "out of which"; therefore, since the
Chalcedonian Synod had substituted its "in two natures" for the "out of two
natures" of the champion against Nestorius, its formulary contained the same
evil taint.

Again and again this leading Monophysite (Severus) combines the "out of two"
with the "one incarnate nature" and the "hypostatic union", and affirms that
the chief error of Chalcedon lay in the omission of these three
anti-Nestorian expressions. Indeed he frankly admits that had the bishops
included these three expressions in their confession of faith, they could
have retained their "two natures" since then all possibility of interpreting
this last phrase in a Nestorian sense would have been removed. But her asks
where in the Definitio (or in the Tome) were these cardinal expressions to
be found?
Flog your enemies with the Name of Jesus and let the remembrance of Jesus be present with each breath. - St. John Climacus

Offline Aklie Semaet

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 209
  • Thank God for my fiancée!
« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2003, 04:13:02 PM »
I am in complete agreement that parts of Chalceldon were very political. But stressing it as a point of departure puts us in a dilemma. Have not the Protestants stressed long and loud enough that Nicea and that big ‘usurper’ and ‘distorter’ Constantine were political? Politics was in most of the councils and that cannot be denied; it would be na+»ve to assume that politics will be absent from something as big and universal as an Eucenemical council. Heck, it would be na+»ve to assume that the question and status of Gentiles in the Jerusalem Church (a Jerusalem subject to Roman imperialism) did not have political undertones.

The politics (especially the geo-politics of the Byzantine Empire) of Chalcedon was just qualitatively different from the rest. Why, for instance, are the Non-Chalcedon Christians those that were situated on the periphery or outside of the Byzantine empire? That is more than coincidental and speaks of a pattern that has little to do with the Nature of Christ.

A point that is being missed, and was made in an article on the Orthodox Unity web page, is that in the direct aftermath of the Council there was not really a ‘split.’ The Church remained united for close to 150-200 years before the Byzantine Emperor(s) set in full persecution of the Oriental Orthodox. That was completely political and an embarrassing scar on the history of the Church.

The good thing is that all of the factors that fostered the division in the past (the Empire and the undeniable fact that various Emperors meddled in the Church, the lack of communications over impossible terrains and distances, ect.) are all absent today. We also have swallowed our pride and are more willing to see our commonality more than our ancestors were capable of. I do not know how long it will take to establish full communion, but I am very confident that the anathemas will be lifted in my lifetime.
Ethiopia ijochwan wede Egzabiher tezregalech

Offline Aklie Semaet

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 209
  • Thank God for my fiancée!
« Reply #50 on: May 25, 2003, 04:14:36 PM »
Pope Shenouda III said during a meeting of Orthodox and Non-Chalcedonian theologians in Chambessy in February 1994: "As regards the Ecumenical Synods, we accept the first three ... we deny the Synod of Chalcedon ... I can say completely openly that all the Oriental Churches cannot accept the Synod of Chalcedon ... You have Seven Ecumenical Synods; if you lose one you are not losing a lot" (Cited in "Suggestions of a Committee From the Sacred Community of the Holy Mountain Athos Concerning the Dialogue of the Orthodox With the Non-Chalcedonians," Section 8)

Yeah Nick, that is a favorite of the Byzantine hardliners and traditionalists. I think that quote comes straight from right? (at least that is where I first read it).

The fact of the matter is that His Holiness Shenouda has agreed to rescind on the anathemas if the Byzantines will do the same. Focusing on quotations (as is the method on is the method of punditry and political campaigns and the surest was to guarantee that a productive dialogue
Ethiopia ijochwan wede Egzabiher tezregalech

Offline Aklie Semaet

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 209
  • Thank God for my fiancée!
« Reply #51 on: May 25, 2003, 04:52:49 PM »
Gee, you don't think the nationalism that arose among the various non-chalcedonian groups, and the outright revolt of some, had anything to do with it, do you?  ;D

No I don’t. I don’t think nationalism grows from trees and it is definitely an effect of the cause of foreign domination, repression and cultural imperialism.

That is the problem with Church and State alliance. I mean if the Church and the State is the same then revolting against the state is revolting against the Church I suppose. A horrible dilemma, thank God those days are gone and the troops are in the barracks where they belong and not at the Church door.

But if you are trying to condone the brutal, barbaric, military repression of the non-Chaceldonians then all I can say isGǪre-read the historyGǪmannnnn!!!  
Ethiopia ijochwan wede Egzabiher tezregalech