I think visibility has a lot to do with it(not that EO are much better in this regard), really, if you want to read books about Oriental Orthodoxy, are there really any out there? I have never seen any. But even the public library has Frederica Matthews-Green's books and lots of other introductory books on Eastern Orthodoxy. Also, the whole "monophysite" thing is a concern. Why would you reject the Council of Chalcedon if not for the fact that you didn't believe in it? Personally, after having spoken to an OO priest, I don't think they are monophysites NOW, but is it possible that at one time they were?
It’s almost ironic that you follow your statement regarding the lack of OO literature with questions regarding the Chalcedon/”Monophysite” issues, for whilst I would tend to agree with you on the idea that the OO Church has yet to properly establish itself academically in the diaspora, I would say that it has at the very least (in my opinion) superseded all other academic literature with respect to the issue of Chalcedon with the publication of Fr. V.C Samuel’s book Chalcedon Re-examined
. In this book you will find the answers to the questions you pose, and counter questions to the very ones you have asked will in turn be prompted in your mind; questions like, “Why would the Council of Chalcedon be rejected if not for the fact it did not agree with the Orthodox belief of the OO?” and, “It may be deemed that the EO are not Nestorian now, but is it possible that at one time they were?”.
As you can see, the questions you have asked and the counter questions I have posed, are substantially different, though they exist in the same form; they differ in substance because they prima facie presuppose something about Chalcedon beforehand - and it's such presuppositions which are to blame for the monophysite misnomer.
My biggest problem with the Oriental Orthodox is their syncretism. They believe that the Orthodox Church is only a PART of the Body of Christ, and that all Christians are a part of the Body of Christ, and that is just not the Orthodox teaching!
Such ideas are completely foreign to me; I would consider your attribution of this clearly heretical ecclesiological belief to “the Oriental Orthodox Church” as being a very hastily made, and not carefully thought-out, groundless conclusion that is most probably unreasonably based upon in-credible evidence such as a personal conversation that you may have had with an individual clergy member or even a lay person (am I correct?) Despite the generally poor availability of properly translated OO works, I think you will find that such basic ecclesiological concepts are in fact discussed in the little that is available. Take for example the following article that was written by His Grace Bishop Youssef, just last month, titled “Features of the Church”: http://www.suscopts.org/literature/print.php?id=1154609901&archive=
In the above article, His Grace links the Unity of the Church to Unity in Faith, which he explicitly identifies as being expressed through Three Ecumenical Councils. Later on in the article, he states that “any church that has divisions, splits, strife, contention, or conflicts simply cannot be called the Body of Christ”. I think the implications here are very clear indeed.
If you want a more focused work on the OO definition of ecclesiological unity which presupposes unity in faith and communion, I recommend you read Fr. Tadros Malaty’s work, Unity of the Church and Church Sacraments
Also they give communion to Roman Catholics
I offer the same criticisms to you that I have given above: “Such ideas are completely foreignÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦[etc. etc.]”.
The OO Church is generally quite strict about the fact that only OO's can receive the Eucharist. Interestingly enough, it was just last Friday that I saw an RC turned away from the Eucharist. He was a regular attendant of the youth service meetings that are held every Friday night, and as the priests decided to perform a midnight Liturgy that night, this RC attendant decided he would join in. Standing out with blonde hair and blue eyes, he was stopped in the line and asked if he was baptised into the Coptic Church. When he answered negatively, he was politely told that he could not partake of the Eucharist, though he was given some baraka (blessed bread) at the end of the service.
I also don't aprreciate how they pretend that we are one church, the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox.
If the belief that the EO and OO Church are one Church is official OO thought, then why are our Bishops even bothering with attempting to restore inter-Communion? Who seeks to re-unite that which is believed to be already united? Come on zebu, you really don't want to imply that we're stupid, do you?
You will find plenty of translated literature on the EO Church from the OO perspective, from Bishops and Priests alike. Nowhere have I seen it been stated that the EO’s are one Church with us.
The sentiments that you “don’t appreciate” are once again the private beliefs of certain individuals contrary to the universal conscious of the Church, and it may do you well to know that such private beliefs are held amongst a few EO’s as well.
What turns me off the most about the Oriental Orthodox is that when I went to an Oriental Orthodox church they tricked me into receiving a sacrament! They lied to me about what it was, and then only later did I find out! That is just plain wrong.
Using words like “tricked”, and “lied” imply intention and deceit. That’s a big call to make. Given some of the statements you have made above, I have reason to believe that you have a tendency to jump to conclusions without careful thought. Do you honestly have reasonable grounds to believe that such was the case i.e. that a person or persons intentionally sought to deceive you into receiving a Sacrament knowing full well the implications of what they were doing? Or does the possibility that the person or persons responsible for allowing this incident to eventuate, did so out of ignorance or a mere miscommunication/misunderstanding, seem more reasonable? I wasn’t there so I wouldn’t know; I’m just trying to encourage you (and hypocritically at that, some may argue) to slow down in your thought process when you are drawing conclusions in the public eye about issues as sensitive as this.
Furthermore, some of the Oriental Orthodox churches have some very strange beliefs, especially the Ethiopian Church, like how they practice circumcision and follow some Jewish dietary laws.
The Ethiopian Church maintains certain cultural practises in sync with its Jewish heritage (without elevating those practises to being dogmatically binding). Strange? Maybe; but if you’ve ever read the book of Acts, you will realise they have the authority of Sts. Peter and Paul to do what they do.