If Fr. Matta truly meant to eat the essence, then I have no problem calling him a heretic. And I am not assuming anything into Fr. Matta.
It is always a good strategy to try to blame the heresies on difficulty of expression, lack of understanding and the misunderstanding of the “true” meaning of the heretics words, but never on the person himself. We call such “IF” the hypocritical “if”.
Here are the facts:
+ Matta writes his books since the 50's and has included his heresies in many books under many titles, in many phrases a fact that leaves no doubt about his true intentions and what he really meant.
+ Matta has republished his books in many editions and in each edition, he never changed his wording to convey any other meaning except what he intended, which is heresy.
+ Matta has been called upon many times to explain his writings, and he did explain them the same way he intended them to be understood in the first time. He has done so via voice recordings and newer additions of his heretical books.
+ Matta's ideas and heresies fit a line of thought that contains many heresies. His Eucharist heresy has to be viewed in conjunction with his "divinization" heresy and his denial of the Lord's divinity in essence, his weird theory about the hypostatical union of divinity with the Apostles, his denial of sanctification and justification, his denial of atonement for intended sins, and many other heresies. One cannot excuse the man based on our own lack of understanding from heresy if he confirms it through his related writings to the subject all the time, all the way.
+ Matta is judged by his contemporaries, who speak and write and read the language of his writings, and who are by far superior to Matta spiritually, in theology and in linguistic ability. H.H. The Pope is considered a prominent poet and writer in Arabic language, and he will never be confused about wording. In fact, it does not need an Arabic language teacher to understand Matta. The cover that Matta and his followers hide against, difficulty of talking about theology exposes them more. A wise man writes what he means and means what he writes, or refrains altogether from writing.
+ Matta's actions against the Church are not irrelevant, dearest to Christ Mina. Heretics, throughout the whole history of the Church, because of their lack of adherence to the Church, and in many times thirst for power, have no problem in committing treason. There are no standards they go by and their followers do the same in their own capacity. In this category fall the people who defend Matta on forums and deceive simple people by proclaiming Matta as a "gem" and "the best theologian we ever had" and all this superfluous descriptions.
You cannot excuse every heresy and every heretic in the history of our Church based on a misunderstanding. Where exactly is Matta misunderstood and may you please indicate from which sources we might understand Mata correctly, if we omit his own books and articles?
In fact, I feel rather insulted when you like to put assumptions into who I am or what I do, and I am only intending this discussion to be based on what is said, not on my own characteristics
I never assumed anything about you, nor is your person of any concern to me. For your own good, start dealing with the issues without reading anything personal in the arguments. Unless you want to conceal your ignorance by making it a personal debate, I find no reason for you to inject your insults and whine about non-existing insults in every turn of argument.
I felt that when you continually insult me like this, I thought you have some grudge on me, which is why I feel you are insisting on repeating my name as some sort of heretic disciple of Fr. Matta.
Truth will insult certain people, and I intend to expose the followers of Matta and Matta himself even if they feel insulted. I love the Church more than coming across as politically correct and pay attention to the feelings of heretics. They did not consider my feelings and my own salvation and the salvation of many when they sent the Church in disarray and tried to tear the Body of Christ in their pursuit of the Papacy. They did not consider anything when they devoured the congregations of the Church by their heresies and by openly undermining the position of the hierarchs and accuse them of "massacres" of the Copts and of "heresy".
If you are one of them, then I am happy you feel insulted. If you are not, and I believe you denied this in the previous post, then why do you feel insulted?
Do you come across as one of the followers of Matta ? Yes.
You proclaim Matta as a "gem" and "true theologian". To make such a statement, people would assume you have actually read Matta's works. If you did, and you did not find any heresy in his works, then you either lack the simplest understanding of the faith or you are willing to compromise the faith. In the first case your ignorance will be exposed and you will feel insulted in the process, in the second case your character will be exposed and you will feel insulted. If you did not read the books of Matta, then you have no basis to make such claim and you will definitely come across as a dishonest person.
Once I began explaining the heresies of Matta, you became defensive and you tried to excuse Matta based on "our" misunderstanding and in fact alleged inferiority in thinking and understanding, which is an insult in itself to us Orthodox, especially as the groups of people who oppose the heresies of Matta are almost every single hierarch in the Church. Such arrogance is characteristic of Matta's followers.
The issue and the heresies of Matta are not new to you. You have participated on various forums in this particular topic and the actions and teachings of Matta are not alien to you. You have defended him consistently and you have dismissed his actions as fabrications to assassinate the character of Matta. You either have no idea about what you were defending here and there, which is interesting in itself, or you are acting based on a certain agenda.
If you still maintain you are not one of Matta's followers, stop acting like one.
Now, while I don't know whether Fr. Matta is a "Judas" so to speak, he certainly was stupid to make these comments against HH the Pope, and it turns me off as well. But here, we are discussing Fr. Matta's issues on the Eucharist, and just because he opposed the Pope to such a degree in supporting Sadat
No, he is actually very clever and a very gifted politician. Matta can never be described as stupid. His actions since he was a certain Youssef Iskander are calculated and the product of a brilliant evil mind. His actions are assisted by his lack of standards, and fueled by his desire to get the Papacy. Nice try, Mina, but his actions cannot be portrayed as an honest mistake or the product of misjudgment. I am happy though you moved from defending these very same actions to actually acknowledging that they are wrong.
Saddat had the West on his side, and the US and Europe do not particularly care about the Copts or any Christian minority as long as they do not help their interests in any way. After the peace deal with Israel in 1978, Saddat became the darling of the American media. As such, the crimes of 1980-81 in which the Copts were slaughtered in Imbabah, Zaweyah EL-Hamrah, Wayli, Masr El-Adimah went unnoticed by the West. So, there was nothing that Saddat would fear from the West. He felt he can begin his plan to totally destroy the Copts once and forever. Saddat was not only a shrewd politician, he was also an ideologist at times and he was a fanatic when it came to Islam.
The past of Saddat is not a secret. He was a member of the Islamic Brotherhood in the 30's and 40's and was part of the assassination of EL-Khazendar, Putrus Ghali and Nukrashi Basha as well as Amin Osman, prominent anti-Islamic fundamentalism politicians. You can read his own biography "Searching for oneself (EL-Ba7s 3an El-saat)" by Saddat himself. He acted based on ideological convictions. When he was the Parliament head in 1956 and was chosen to head the Islamic conference in 1956, he declared OPENLY and as documented by Muhamed Hasan Muneer in his famous book " Discussion through murder" that should he (Saddat) come to power, he will wipe out the Copts completely or make them "shoe boys" (Mathe7ee a7zeiya). This is not a secret.
When he became President by the support of the US, he returned to his first love (Islamic brotherhood) and released them from prisons, made them the heads of almost every single institution in Egypt, and began a systematic effort to alienate the Copts completely. The massacres are not really what hurt the Copts, we are used to that, it is the fact that Copts have been set under a certain bar they cannot rise above.
The only voice proclaiming the truth was the voice of the Church through H.H. Pope Shenouda, who protested the massacres that happened with the support of the police men, and who opposed the plan to implement the Islamic sharia laws in 1979-1981 and openly called for a fasting period. Saddat feared that his image in the Western media will be hurt and began taking actions to split the Church and send it into disarray.
He imprisoned the Pope and began active plans to replace him, and in that he showed great intelligence as he figured out the way to destroy the Church. During the period when he imprisoned the Pope, Saddat was boycotted by the whole Church and the Church declared to recognize any other Pope other than H.H. Pope Shenouda.
The only group who would support Saddat is the group of monks of St. Macarious monastery led by Matta. Matta, as I have proven, gave his full support to Saddat, waiting for a bone to be thrown to him. He has been cooperating with Saddat since the early 70's. The plans to make Matta a Pope were cut short by the assassination of Saddat.
While Saddat never issued one single edict to build any church in his reign, he gave Matta a huge land and all the possible resources to begin build his empire in St. Macarius monatsery, a place that is not worthy now for the name of such great saint to be called upon it. While the monasteries are continually harassed and have their lands stripped from them, St. Macarius monastery has been getting favors from the State left and right as a price for their treason.
So, I believe to see treason in the character, sayings and actions of Matta is a very logical conclusion, unless you can explain to us the above as being Church loving actions. It is not a secret that Saddat was pushing forward Islamic agenda, and it is not a secret that Matta conspired with him. There was not mistake about Saddat’s policy towards the Church, and there is no mistake that Matta supported it without reservations. This is from Matta’s own mouth. Or is it a misunderstanding?
I believe and I do not contest against the authorities of both blessed Popes, their Holinesses the Saint Abba Kyrillos and the Holy Abba Shenouda) doesn't mean he is automatically doctrinally deficient. If you seek the truth, then stop this nonsense and begin dealing with the facts. I have quoted Matta on various occasions from his own books and have shown that he is a heretic from his own sayings and ideas. Deal with that.
It is not because Matta has betrayed the Church throughout his sorry career that he is regarded as a heretic, it is in addition to his heretical writings (above) that he has proven himself to be a despicable person.
Deal with the above mentioned heresies, Mina. Comment on them, challenge them, bring forth an orthodox explanation, or admit their heretical nature, but stop the cop-out b]
their Holinesses the Saint Abba Kyrillos
When Matta never made the cut to the final elections of the Papacy in 1959, for the favor of three other monks, among whom Pope Kyrillos who came third in vote, Matta expected at least an Episcopal position like the front runners of the vote who were not selected by God in the altar draw. When Pope Kyrillos never agreed to such appointment of Matta, Matta started an attack on the Pope alluding to his lack of university degree and started the famous derogatory remark: "ignorant monk" in reference to Pope Kyrillos. The main troubles in the Papacy of Pope Kyrillos came from Matta's group. Matta, himself, is one of the first graduates of the school of Pharmacy and does not lack education himself, and as such has always looked down to other monks as inferior.
Things got more complicated when the younger monks (this time educated) Anba Samuel, Anba Gregorius and Anba Shenouda got appointed bishops. Matta feared their growing influence and the fact that they would be front-runners for the Papacy next time as Pope Kyrillos was old. Matta issued a book called "The Church and the State" in 1962 in which he attacked the Church in a very strong language and it became the reference for Islamics to attack the Church as well. He accused the Church of treason and conspiracy with the West, and he managed to get Anba Samuel who was regarded as the potential next Pope into trouble with the State. He accused the Church of instituting the service for the poor and needy, under the Episcopate of Social services (Bishop Samuel), to get money from the West. Conspiracy with the West is high treason in the age of Nasser. Anba Samuel spent some time under investigation in prison and was released only through a miracle by Pope Kyrillos. The result was that the money coming from the Copts for the services of this Episcopate was put under severe scrutiny and then confiscated. Matta achieved his goal in destroying the service of Anba Samuel. Note that Matta himself is a very rich monk and his monastery is one of the richest industrial institutions in Egypt. They have no service for the poor, in fact they are totally opposed to it, and one might wonder where all this money goes.
Just to illustrate the difference between the despicable character of Matta and an honorable person like Anba Samuel, in the 1971 election for the Pope, Anba Samuel was the first in votes followed by Anba Shenouda. When Anba Samuel lost in the altar draw, he insisted to give the Rod of the shepherd that belongs to the Pope in the Pope's Consecration ceremony by himself to show his submission to his new Pope.
St. Pope Theophilus' actions against St. John Chrysostom was considered wrong, and an apology was made according to the traditions of the Coptic church, but that doesn't mean St. Pope Theophilus was a heretic.
You try to insert this incident in all discussions by presenting an amputated version of history and failing to show how such an analogy holds. I suggest a better analogy: Pope St. Alexandros/Athanasius and the heretical priest Arius. In such an analogy, a rebellious priest with hierarchal ambitions is attacking his own Bishop, is a heretic whose heresies resemble those of Matta, conspires with the State against his own Church and tries to oust the legitimate Pope by all means and is relentless in his pursuit. On the other hand, we have confessors of faith, defenders of faith, very popular Popes and great teachers who defend the faith with all possible means and suffer by the hands of heretics and pagans.
You see how analogies are done? I hope you learnt something today.
Unless, dear Stavro, you have already heard all the arguments, to which I am open to read your experiences, an "offer you can't refuse" (the Godfather himself, as well as others).
Dear Mina, you cannot expect me to possibly give you advice on who to listen to and who to play with. I pass on the offer, but thanks anyways.
I believe that the woman's simplicity in her mind trying to describe her experiences make a strong case in "chewing the Light".
Our Church never takes miracles and apparitions as a basis for newly developed dogmas or takes the testimony of people as a guideline for the faith. Never has the Church in any instance done such heretical thing. So, this miracle either confirms an existing element of the faith or people should not to try to think too much about the miracle other than the fact that it is a blessing from God for the afflicted people in Assiut, the stronghold of Islamic brotherhood. St. Paul has proclaimed an anathema against any innovation in the faith, even if it is proclaimed Paul himself or even Michael, the pure and majestic Archangel. Unless you prove that such teaching actually exists since the apostolic times, and that will be a great service you so to us, you find yourself under a very bad anathema. To start, define grace, and how it is used in the Bible and in Tradition, and then its relation to the Divine energia and what you understand under the latter, and how this light relates to it.
In addition to that, there is yet another thing that is attributed to materialism that one may not realize. It is the fact that you can actually see the Light.
But let us get back to the issue of chewing the light, because it is an amusing one:
Based on science, or based on faith? Or both? After you chew the light, do you digest it? Where does it come out from and in what form? Does the light remain in this materialistic form through the whole process or does it stop at one point of time and “becomes” something spiritual that cannot be explained by words?
Are you adopting the classical electromagnetic theory, that represents light as waves, or the quantum theory that represents light as photons, or the wave-matter theory? This is pure crap scientifically to chew the light, for it is absurd to chew photons or waves.
Or is it the faith of the Church that you appeal to? For as far back as the 3rd century, Origen clearly teaches against trying to think about God’s attributes in a materialistic manner. The term deification in the apostolic teachings, expressed in the Bible and expounded by the Alexandrian Fathers refers to nothing other but to be in the image of God, in actions and virtues and washed by sins through the grace of God, but never dogmatizes it or tries to go beyond the limits of human expression and human capabilities. Even the great monks and Fathers, who were living a true communion with God, do not talk about their experiences because they are beyond human expression. In their humility, they understood the gravity of doing such thing when St. Paul himself could not describe what he saw in heaven. If St. Antonious did not talk much about it, would anybody dare to claim otherwise?
In another topic, you appealed to Archbishop Gregory Palamas of Thessalonica (and attached the title saint to him in disrespect to the Church Tradition). It seems that you are fond of his hesychasm and base your position on that. Your appeal to Fr. Romanides is then justified, because he is one who believes in the nine councils among EO and the last council would be the 14th century string of councils that upheld hesychasm as orthodox (exclsuing the council in which Gregory Palamas of Thessalonica “reformulated” his ideas when a change in imperial power was in favor of Barlaam). I am not surprised you would actually take them as an authority over Augustine, who was viewed in negative light by these councils.
In any case, I am not interested in the topic of “chewing the light” anymore. If you want to believe in chewing the light, I wish you the best.
They do look heretical, but I do not know what the context is or what the other side's arguments may be
Put them in any context you want, Mina, and try to find out whether you can actually make them say anything orthodox. Try it. If you cannot read Arabic and therefore will find it difficult to put it in its original context, then I challenge to make a context of your own and put the heretical phrases of Matta in any orthodox frame. While you do so, and good luck in your endeavor dear brother, I will continue writing about Matta and expose him more and more through his own writings.