Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Does anyone know the OO view on all of this?I've heard some Ethiopian Orthodox monks say (in a paraphrase): "some Orthodox theologians use the word 'transubstantiation' to explain the Eucharist, but, most will say that it is a mystery and that we don't know for sure how the mystery occurs". Then they cited a passage from John of Damascus which seemed to contradict transubstantiation.
The Ethiopian Fathers fully affirm what could be called "the Real Presence" in full accord with the Roman Catholic dogma, however where we differ, and what the monk from the Nine Saints website was insinuating, is that we do not believe it is the same mechanical process as the RCs teach. We have had this discussion before on another thread somewhere.
In the Tewahedo Church, we believe that the Holy Communion is a process of becoming the Blood and Body of Christ, starting with the ringing bells and prayers of the Entrance, and culminating with the individual reception of the Eucharist by the members of the Church. It is only the combination of all the factors of the Divine Liturgy that brings about this process, there is no particular moment during the Liturgy where the Ethiopians say "this is merely bread and wine" and then later "this is the actual Blood and Body of Christ" as the Catholic dogma teaches, rather we acknowledge that through the Liturgy in its entirety, the Eucharist Offering should be venerated as the actual, physical, Blood and Body of Our Lord.
Perhaps we in Ethiopian Orthodox are misunderstanding the RC dogma, so if the RCs to not teach what I have explained above, I would say we are then in full agreement with them in regards to Transubstantiation. The premise of Transubstantiation is perfectly Orthodox, its the theological logistics and arm-wrangling that we may differ between jurisdictions.