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Chaldean Catholicism

Deacon Lance

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No. The addition to the Trisagion is rejected because for the Orthodox, it's a hymn to the Trinity, while in those churches where it is used, it's interpreted as a hymn to Christ.
Ecumenism with the Miaphysites is why this is said now.
 

Samn!

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Nope. They confess One Lord Jesus Christ. One parsopa. The natures are differentiated from each other not the person of Jesus Christ.
The natures are not only distinguished, they have separate concrete instantiations which act as separate subjects of predication. The parsopa of Christ is the result of the indwelling (enoikesis / hulul) of God the Word in the human person of Jesus. It is not the same thing as God the Word and things that can be said of the parsopa of Christ cannot be said of God the Word.

By contrast, for the Orthodox, God the Word is the only concrete entity in Christ, who is eternally divine but took on our human nature to Himself. That is, "God the Word" and "Jesus Christ" are one and the same. Anything that is said of Christ is also said of God the Word. Thus we can say that God the Word was begotten, born and died, while Nestorians refuse to say this. Completely different accounts of the incarnation.
 
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Ecumenism with the Miaphysites is why this is said now.
Emphasis mine.
"For that the "Trisagion" refers not to the Son alone, but to the Holy Trinity, the divine and saintly Athanasius and Basil and Gregory, and all the band of the divinely-inspired Fathers bear witness: because, as a matter of fact, by the threefold holiness the Holy Seraphim suggest to us the three subsistences of the superessential Godhead. But by the one Lordship they denote the one essence and dominion of the supremely-divine Trinity. Gregory the Theologian of a truth says, "Thus, then, the Holy of Holies, which is completely veiled by the Seraphim, and is glorified with three consecrations, meet together in one lordship and one divinity." This was the most beautiful and sublime philosophy of still another of our predecessors." - St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith
 

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We speak of Christ doing things in one nature vs the other all the time. From Good Friday:

“In the flesh Thou wast of Thine own will enclosed within the tomb, yet in Thy divine nature Thou dost remain Uncircumscribed and limitless. Thou hast shut up the treasury of hell,O Christ, and emptied all his palaces. Thou hast honored this Sabbath with Thy divine blessing, with Thy glory and Thy radiance.”

(Apostichon of Vespers)

This is how we respect the impassibility of the divine nature and why we refused the insertion of the Theopaschite clause in the Trisagion.
We do speak of Christ doing things “in the flesh,” but this should be understood instrumentally or as a statement of manner, and not as a statement which makes the natures themselves subjects. For example, in the prosomoion you cite, the Greek for “in the Flesh” is an adverb, σαρκικῶς, and “in Thy divine nature” is a dative not governed by a preposition, φύσει τῇ τῆς θεότητος, probably better rendered as “by the nature of Thy divinity”.

This would be a very literal (and stilted) translation of the relevant portion. “When Thou wast willingly shut up in the tomb fleshily, Who remained by the nature of Thy divinity uncircumscribed and unbounded…” (Ὅτε ἐν τῷ τάφῳ σαρκικῶς, θέλων συνεκλείσθης ὁ φύσει, τῇ τῆς Θεότητος, μένων ἀπερίγραπτος, καὶ ἀδιόριστος…) In this way, the hymnographer was careful not to introduce the natures of Christ as any kind of subject, for it is not the human nature of Christ which suffered but God the Word Who suffered by virtue of His human nature.
 

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In fact it does.

“Two main concerns can be identified as underlying the Church of the East’s insistence on duality in Christ, and its firm distinction between the two natures. First is the concern to maintain the utter transcendence of the divinity, and the abhorrence of the idea that suffering could touch the divinity (here it should be noted that suffering, hasha/πάθοϚ, evidently had overtones of fallen human nature for them). More important from our present point of view, is the second concern, which is a soteriological one. This concern has already come to our notice in the third of the passages quoted from Narsai. Exactly the same concern emerges clearly from a Letter on christology written c.68O by the Catholicos George56

“If Christ had not been truly human and accepted death in His humanity for our sake, – being innocent of sin – and had not God Who is in Him raised Him up, it would not have been possible for us sinners, condemned to death, to acquire hope of resurrection from the dead; for if it had been God who died and rose – in accordance with the wicked utterance of the blasphemers – then it would only be God, and those who are innocent, like Him, who would be held worthy of the resurrection, and He would have provided assurance of resurrection only to those who were consubstantial with Him (ܒܢܝ ܟܝܢܗ), and not to our guilty mortal nature.”
This passage has problematic implications. The argument that God could not have been the one who died and rose can also be extended to the nativity, so that a man was by necessity born, not God, and thus the Virgin Mary must be the mother of a concrete humanity which from the very moment it was conceived was united by a prosopic union to a concrete Godhood (that is, God the Son) a united prosopon we call Christ. And thus the Virgin must be the mother of a man and Christotokos, but in no way the Mother of God (perhaps he would have called this doctrine wicked too) or Theotokos. This kind of division of the natures of Christ so that we do not discuss them "in contemplation alone" (as we are taught by St. Cyril and the Fathers of the Second Council of Constantinople) but as concrete subjects is precisely the error of Nestorius.
 

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The argument that God could not have been the one who died and rose can also be extended to the nativity, so that a man was by necessity born, not God, and thus the Virgin Mary must be the mother of a concrete humanity which from the very moment it was conceived was united by a prosopic union to a concrete Godhood
Although Brock doesn't draw out the implications, this is precisely what he's describing when he says:

From these, and other passages, it is clear that, for the theologians of the Church of the East, salvation was effected for humanity through the human nature of Christ (expressed sometimes as ܒܪܢܫܐ "the Man", rather than ܐ݉ܢܫܘܬܐ "humanity"): this was raised up in glory (Babai indeed Says, "divinized") at the resurrection.
The fact that Nestorian authors talk about Christ's humanity as the concrete "man" ܒܪܢܫܐ , who is not divinized until the resurrection, demonstrates that they have in practice a doctrine of two sons.
 

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I just got around to reading Brock's article, and contrary to what he intended by writing the article, he has convinced me that the Chaldean Catholics are Nestorian heretics, because their understanding of qnoma is gives concrete existence to the human nature of Christ connaturally, and so Christ is - for the Chaldeans - a human person, even if they try to claim that this concrete existence is somehow mysteriously impersonal. Clearly, the Chaldeans fall under the censure of Canon 7 of the Second Council of Constantinople, which declared against the Nestorians that the divine and human natures of Christ cannot actually be separated because that would instantiate the human nature making it a distinct subsistence reality, but instead the two natures in Christ may only be distinguished - as the canon indicates - in the onlooker's mind [τη θεωρία μόνη].

The full text of Canon 7 of Constantinople II can be found on my website: Canon VII of the Second Council of Constantinople (AD 553)
 

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This passage has problematic implications. The argument that God could not have been the one who died and rose can also be extended to the nativity, so that a man was by necessity born, not God, and thus the Virgin Mary must be the mother of a concrete humanity which from the very moment it was conceived was united by a prosopic union to a concrete Godhood (that is, God the Son) a united prosopon we call Christ. And thus the Virgin must be the mother of a man and Christotokos, but in no way the Mother of God (perhaps he would have called this doctrine wicked too) or Theotokos. This kind of division of the natures of Christ so that we do not discuss them "in contemplation alone" (as we are taught by St. Cyril and the Fathers of the Second Council of Constantinople) but as concrete subjects is precisely the error of Nestorius.
Cavardossi,

Ah, you beat me to the punch. You already referenced Canon 7 of Constantinople II. Good job as usual.
 

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To segway this back into the original topic: you can be a Nestorian and even run a "sui iuris church" based on this heresy rubberstamped by the Vatican, while it's 20 or so other "sui iuris churches" that you are in communion with including the Latin one nominally condemn you as a heretic.
 

Deacon Lance

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I just got around to reading Brock's article, and contrary to what he intended by writing the article, he has convinced me that the Chaldean Catholics are Nestorian heretics, because their understanding of qnoma is gives concrete existence to the human nature of Christ connaturally, and so Christ is - for the Chaldeans - a human person, even if they try to claim that this concrete existence is somehow mysteriously impersonal. Clearly, the Chaldeans fall under the censure of Canon 7 of the Second Council of Constantinople, which declared against the Nestorians that the divine and human natures of Christ cannot actually be separated because that would instantiate the human nature making it a distinct subsistence reality, but instead the two natures in Christ may only be distinguished - as the canon indicates - in the onlooker's mind [τη θεωρία μόνη].

The full text of Canon 7 of Constantinople II can be found on my website: Canon VII of the Second Council of Constantinople (AD 553)
And how do you conclude that? Brock’s article is about the history of the Assyrian Church’s theology. The Chaldeans have been in union since the 1600’s and have been Latinized quite a bit. I would be surprised if they taught or believed anything other than standard Catholic teaching.
 

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And how do you conclude that? Brock’s article is about the history of the Assyrian Church’s theology. The Chaldeans have been in union since the 1600’s and have been Latinized quite a bit. I would be surprised if they taught or believed anything other than standard Catholic teaching.
The Vatican formally teaches that he has the same Christology as the Assyrian Church of the East.
 

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The Vatican formally teaches that he has the same Christology as the Assyrian Church of the East.
No, the Catholic Church teaches the Assyrian Church has the same Christology as she does.

COMMON CHRISTOLOGICAL DECLARATION
OF POPE JOHN PAUL II AND HIS HOLINESS MAR DINKHA IV, CATHOLICOS-PATRIARCH OF THE ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST


Friday, 11 November 1994
Common Christological Declaration
between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East

His Holiness John Paul II, Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Catholic Church, and His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos–Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, give thanks to God who has prompted them to this new brotherly meeting.

Both of them consider this meeting as a basic step on the way towards the full communion to be restored between their Churches. They can indeed, from now on, proclaim together before the world their common faith in the mystery of the Incarnation.

* * *

As heirs and guardians of the faith received from the Apostles as formulated by our common Fathers in the Nicene Creed, we confess one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten of the Father from all eternity who, in the fullness of time, came down from heaven and became man for our salvation. The Word of God, second Person of the Holy Trinity, became incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit in assuming from the holy Virgin Mary a body animated by a rational soul, with which he was indissolubly united from the moment of his conception.

Therefore our Lord Jesus Christ is true God and true man, perfect in his divinity and perfect in his humanity, consubstantial with the Father and consubstantial with us in all things but sin. His divinity and his humanity are united in one person, without confusion or change, without division or separation. In him has been preserved the difference of the natures of divinity and humanity, with all their properties, faculties and operations. But far from constituting "one and another", the divinity and humanity are united in the person of the same and unique Son of God and Lord Jesus Christ, who is the object of a single adoration.

Christ therefore is not an "ordinary man" whom God adopted in order to reside in him and inspire him, as in the righteous ones and the prophets. But the same God the Word, begotten of his Father before all worlds without beginning according to his divinity, was born of a mother without a father in the last times according to his humanity. The humanity to which the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth always was that of the Son of God himself. That is the reason why the Assyrian Church of the East is praying the Virgin Mary as "the Mother of Christ our God and Saviour". In the light of this same faith the Catholic tradition addresses the Virgin Mary as "the Mother of God" and also as "the Mother of Christ". We both recognize the legitimacy and rightness of these expressions of the same faith and we both respect the preference of each Church in her liturgical life and piety.

This is the unique faith that we profess in the mystery of Christ. The controversies of the past led to anathemas, bearing on persons and on formulas. The Lord’s Spirit permits us to understand better today that the divisions brought about in this way were due in large part to misunderstandings.

Whatever our christological divergences have been, we experience ourselves united today in the confession of the same faith in the Son of God who became man so that we might become children of God by his grace. We wish from now on to witness together to this faith in the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, proclaiming it in appropriate ways to our contemporaries, so that the world may believe in the Gospel of salvation.

* * *

The mystery of the Incarnation which we profess in common is not an abstract and isolated truth. It refers to the Son of God sent to save us. The economy of salvation, which has its origin in the mystery of communion of the Holy Trinity–Father, Son and Holy Spirit–, is brought to its fulfilment through the sharing in this communion, by grace, within the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, which is the People of God, the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Spirit.

Believers become members of this Body through the sacrament of Baptism, through which, by water and the working of the Holy Spirit, they are born again as new creatures. They are confirmed by the seal of the Holy Spirit who bestows the sacrament of Anointing. Their communion with God and among themselves is brought to full realization by the celebration of the unique offering of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist. This communion is restored for the sinful members of the Church when they are reconciled with God and with one another through the sacrament of Forgiveness. The sacrament of Ordination to the ministerial priesthood in the apostolic succession assures the authenticity of the faith, the sacraments and the communion in each local Church.

Living by this faith and these sacraments, it follows as a consequence that the particular Catholic churches and the particular Assyrian churches can recognize each other as sister Churches. To be full and entire, communion presupposes the unanimity concerning the content of the faith, the sacraments and the constitution of the Church. Since this unanimity for which we aim has not yet been attained, we cannot unfortunately celebrate together the Eucharist which is the sign of the ecclesial communion already fully restored.

Nevertheless, the deep spiritual communion in the faith and the mutual trust already existing between our Churches entitle us from now on to consider witnessing together to the Gospel message and co–operating in particular pastoral situations, including especially the areas of catechesis and the formation of future priests.

In thanking God for having made us rediscover what already unites us in the faith and the sacraments, we pledge ourselves to do everything possible to dispel the obstacles of the past which still prevent the attainment of full communion between our Churches, so that we can better respond to the Lord’s call for the unity of his own, a unity which has of course to be expressed visibly. To overcome these obstacles, we now establish a Mixed Committee for theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East.

Given at Saint Peter’s, on 11 November 1994.

MAR DINKHA IV IOANNES PAULUS PP. II
 

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No, the Catholic Church teaches the Assyrian Church has the same Christology as she does.
No, the Catholic Church does not teach that.
For the Vaticanic sect that's a pretty impressive self-refutation however.
 

Deacon Lance

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No, the Catholic Church does not teach that.
For the Vaticanic sect that's a pretty impressive self-refutation however.
Instead of childish word play, can you tell me what in the common declaration isn’t orthodox?
 

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Instead of childish word play, can you tell me what in the common declaration isn’t orthodox?
We already examined in this thread that the Assyrian churches christology is not Orthodox and in fact very much Nestorian. The fact that the Vatican teaches otherwise and in fact teaches that there is no christological dissonance between the two is just another witness to the reality of it not being the Catholic Church.
 

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We already examined in this thread that the Assyrian churches christology is not Orthodox and in fact very much Nestorian. The fact that the Vatican teaches otherwise and in fact teaches that there is no christological dissonance between the two is just another witness to the reality of it not being the Catholic Church.
Of course I saw no scholarship presented to back up said claims just opinions of armchair theologians.
 

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Of course I saw no scholarship presented to back up said claims just opinions of armchair theologians.
Well you can read the thread again if you like. In the meanwhile I am calling out your appeal to authority fallacy.
 

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Well you can read the thread again if you like. In the meanwhile I am calling out your appeal to authority fallacy.
Asking for evidence to backup a claim isn’t an appeal to authority. Citing anathemas would be an appeal to authority. If someone wants to state that the Councils were held and written in Greek and therefore even non-Greek Churches must accept Greek language and framework for their theology because Syriac, Latin, etc doesn’t express the theology properly that at least is a valid argument. What isn’t valid is a person stating that when Assyrians say they worship one person, the Lord Jesus Christ they are lying because I say so.
 

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Asking for evidence to backup a claim isn’t an appeal to authority. Citing anathemas would be an appeal to authority. If someone wants to state that the Councils were held and written in Greek and therefore even non-Greek Churches must accept Greek language and framework for their theology because Syriac, Latin, etc doesn’t express the theology properly that at least is a valid argument. What isn’t valid is a person stating that when Assyrians say they worship one person, the Lord Jesus Christ they are lying because I say so.
I don't think either I myself, Samn!, or Apotheoun has accused the Assyrians of lying. What strikes me is the vague character of this confession that they "worship one person, the Lord Jesus Christ." Much like saying, "the Only-Begotten is higher than all creation," (a formulation so vague that most Arians would have agreed), the question is how they interpret that statement. The Arians, for example, saw the Word of God as a kind of liminal figure, not consubstantial with the Father Who radically transcends all things, but also the first of all created things, the demiurge from the beginning of time which ordered the cosmos, and in some sense occupying a unique status as a mediator between creation and the uncreated. So the affirmation that the Only-Begotten is higher than all creation would have had a very different character when interpreted by an Arian than by a Nicene Christian, and in that respect, such a theological formula would be an insufficient one to demonstrate commonality of faith between the two.

On the basis of the articles which have been posted here, it would seem that the Church of the East fundamentally interprets Christ to refer to a prosopic union of two instantiated realities, of a particular instance of human nature (a man named Jesus) and a particular instance of the divine nature (God the Word). So while their most celebrated theologians from the first millennium jubilantly declare that they have avoided the evils of the Theopaschites, they nevertheless divide the divinity from the humanity so that only man was born of a virgin, was crucified, and was raised by God on the third day. This man was united with God the Word in one prosopon called Christ by a monergistic and monothelitistic union of will and operation instead of God the Word assuming human nature to Himself, becoming man while remaining God without mixture or mingling and with each nature retaining its own operation and will. I just don't see how we can brush this difference under the rug by declaring that we all worship one person, the Lord Jesus Christ.
 

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I don't think either I myself, Samn!, or Apotheoun has accused the Assyrians of lying. What strikes me is the vague character of this confession that they "worship one person, the Lord Jesus Christ." Much like saying, "the Only-Begotten is higher than all creation," (a formulation so vague that most Arians would have agreed), the question is how they interpret that statement. The Arians, for example, saw the Word of God as a kind of liminal figure, not consubstantial with the Father Who radically transcends all things, but also the first of all created things, the demiurge from the beginning of time which ordered the cosmos, and in some sense occupying a unique status as a mediator between creation and the uncreated. So the affirmation that the Only-Begotten is higher than all creation would have had a very different character when interpreted by an Arian than by a Nicene Christian, and in that respect, such a theological formula would be an insufficient one to demonstrate commonality of faith between the two.

On the basis of the articles which have been posted here, it would seem that the Church of the East fundamentally interprets Christ to refer to a prosopic union of two instantiated realities, of a particular instance of human nature (a man named Jesus) and a particular instance of the divine nature (God the Word). So while their most celebrated theologians from the first millennium jubilantly declare that they have avoided the evils of the Theopaschites, they nevertheless divide the divinity from the humanity so that only man was born of a virgin, was crucified, and was raised by God on the third day. This man was united with God the Word in one prosopon called Christ by a monergistic and monothelitistic union of will and operation instead of God the Word assuming human nature to Himself, becoming man while remaining God without mixture or mingling and with each nature retaining its own operation and will. I just don't see how we can brush this difference under the rug by declaring that we all worship one person, the Lord Jesus Christ.
But they are not monergistic or monothelitistic. Those heresies were invented by those trying to appease the Miaphysites not the Assyrians.

Even Catholics and Orthodox are careful to say the Theotokos only provided Christ his human nature.

From St Proclus’ homily on the Incarnation

“He Who is born of woman is not just God and He is not just Man. He Who is born has made woman, the ancient gateway of sin, the gateway of salvation. Where evil poured forth its poison, bringing on disobedience, there the Word made a living temple for Himself, bringing obedience there. From the place where the archsinner Cain sprang forth, there Christ the Redeemer of the human race was born without seed. The Lover of Mankind did not disdain to be born of woman, since She gave Him life (in His human nature). He was not subject to impurity by being in the womb which He Himself arrayed free from all harm. If this Mother had not remained a Virgin, then the Child born of Her might be a mere man, and the birth would not be miraculous in any way. Since She remained a Virgin after giving birth, then how is He Who is born not God? It is an inexplicable mystery, for He Who passed through locked doors without hindrance was born in an inexplicable manner. Thomas cried out, “My Lord, and my God!” (Jn 20:28), thus confessing the union of two natures in Him.“

Between their confession and a review of the liturgy I see no hint of dividing Christ or teaching two persons. If their definition is theologically imprecise so to was St Cyril’s miaphysis. For Chalcedon chose diophysis as its definition. If we can now say Miaphysites hold the same faith even though the they use a different definition I don’t see why the same goodwill cannot be extended to the Assyrians. All 4 Churches profess one Christ who is 100% God and 100% Man uniting the natures at his conception without diminishing the attributes of either nature.
 

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But they are not monergistic or monothelitistic. Those heresies were invented by those trying to appease the Miaphysites not the Assyrians.
That was one of the original intentions of monergism and monothelitism, it is true, but as the confessions cited by Seleznyov demonstrate, the Assyrians routinely confessed one will and one power in connection to the one Lord.

Even Catholics and Orthodox are careful to say the Theotokos only provided Christ his human nature.

From St Proclus’ homily on the Incarnation

“He Who is born of woman is not just God and He is not just Man. He Who is born has made woman, the ancient gateway of sin, the gateway of salvation. Where evil poured forth its poison, bringing on disobedience, there the Word made a living temple for Himself, bringing obedience there. From the place where the archsinner Cain sprang forth, there Christ the Redeemer of the human race was born without seed. The Lover of Mankind did not disdain to be born of woman, since She gave Him life (in His human nature). He was not subject to impurity by being in the womb which He Himself arrayed free from all harm. If this Mother had not remained a Virgin, then the Child born of Her might be a mere man, and the birth would not be miraculous in any way. Since She remained a Virgin after giving birth, then how is He Who is born not God? It is an inexplicable mystery, for He Who passed through locked doors without hindrance was born in an inexplicable manner. Thomas cried out, “My Lord, and my God!” (Jn 20:28), thus confessing the union of two natures in Him.“
Yes, but we do not therefore conclude that the human nature assumed by the Word had any other subsistence than the subsistence of God the Word. The Assyrians do.

Between their confession and a review of the liturgy I see no hint of dividing Christ or teaching two persons.
It is not a question of two persons. We all agree there is only one person. It is a question of whether the humanity has a separate subsistence from God the Word.

If their definition is theologically imprecise so to was St Cyril’s miaphysis. For Chalcedon chose diophysis as its definition.
St. Cyril in fact did not use that formula very much, and he likely only used it because it was falsely attributed to St. Athanasius (we know now it originates from the Apollinarius). By far, St. Cyril's use of that formula is eclipsed by his use of the formula one hypostasis from two natures and other similar formulas making clear that the union is hypostatic. The Chalcedonian definition is in fact very much in line with St. Cyril, especially after the Formula of Union. It differs only in speaking of "in two natures" without qualification (something which would be qualified as being understood "in contemplation alone" by the above-mentioned 7th anathema of Second Constantinople, itself drawing from St. Cyril's second letter to Succensus).

If we can now say Miaphysites hold the same faith even though the they use a different definition I don’t see why the same goodwill cannot be extended to the Assyrians. All 4 Churches profess one Christ who is 100% God and 100% Man uniting the natures at his conception without diminishing the attributes of either nature.
Perhaps this is where we differ, for I believe there are real differences between Chalcedonian Christology and that of the Non-Chalcedonians. However, the forum rules, I believe, do not allow for that matter to be discussed here, so I do not believe that I can elaborate further.
 

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And how do you conclude that? Brock’s article is about the history of the Assyrian Church’s theology. The Chaldeans have been in union since the 1600’s and have been Latinized quite a bit. I would be surprised if they taught or believed anything other than standard Catholic teaching.
I have made that determination from my experience of reading official Chaldean websites, and from my conversations with Catholic Chaldeans, and I readily admit that there are not a lot of Chaldeans in the United States, but I have interacted with two over the years, one in person and one on this very forum, and they both - along with the websites I have read - defended the "two qnoma" Nestorian doctrine (see my post earlier in this thread for a comparison of the various Christological positions). That said, in both cases I tried to get the individuals involved to move their position to a "one qnoma" doctrine, which would be fully Orthodox, and which would then mirror the Orthodox position of the Maronites (who use the same language as the Chaldeans), and both of the individuals refused to do that, because they mistakenly believed that Christ's human nature had to be concretely existing in order for it to be a real human nature. In other words, they refused to make the necessary distinction in theology between hypostasis (qnoma) and ousia (kyane), and instead continued to use a Nestorian approach to the incarnation.

Finally, a "two qnoma" Christology is Nestorian, and that is true whether or not Brock or anyone else wants to say it is true. To paraphrase the person in the video posted earlier in this thread: the Assyrians (and by extension the Chaldean Catholics) cannot have their own magical way of using the word "qnoma" that only applies to them; to put it another way, they cannot use linguistic ambiguity to say that their doctrine is true. Besides, even if I agreed to accept their "magical" take on the word qnoma, their "two qnoma" Christology would still fall under the anathema of Canon 7 of Constantinople II.
 

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No, the Catholic Church teaches the Assyrian Church has the same Christology as she does.

COMMON CHRISTOLOGICAL DECLARATION
OF POPE JOHN PAUL II AND HIS HOLINESS MAR DINKHA IV, CATHOLICOS-PATRIARCH OF THE ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST

. . .
Then the Catholic Church has a Nestorian Christology, which I refuse to believe. Sure, the West does have a tendency at times of talking in a somewhat Nestorian way, but the Roman Church has - to the best of my knowledge - always accepted the Formula of Union (AD 433), and Horos of Chalcedon, and Canon 7 of Constantinople II.

At this point I feel compelled to point out that these types of Vatican "agreed statements" are normally filled with linguistic ambiguity themselves (see also the Vatican "Clarification of the Filioque," which I critiqued in a paper I wrote many years ago), since these statements tend to be more political than theological. Now, in reading the document, which I read originally many years ago, all the same problems that worried me originally are still there, because there is no attempt by the Vatican to get the Assyrians to renounce their "two qnoma" theology, and nor is there an attempt to say precisely what the words being used in the text (i.e., person, "ordinary man," etc.) actually mean; and so, the document can be read in an Orthodox or a Nestorian fashion. Finally, and I do not think I am revealing a big secret in saying this, the Vatican will often paper over differences with non-Catholic groups as long as papal authority is accepted, or an openness to it is expressed.

Let's be blunt here, the popes have signed all sorts of weird statements over the years, e.g., Pope Francis signed an "agreed statement" at Abu Dhabi with Muslims called "Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together," where he confessed that God willed all the various religions of the world, which is of course relativistic nonsense. God did not will Islam or Hinduism into existence; instead, He only willed Christianity (and Biblical Judaism) into existence, because Jesus Christ is the only savior of the world, for - as it says in scripture - "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Alas, Vatican statements are a dime a dozen.
 

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But they are not monergistic or monothelitistic. Those heresies were invented by those trying to appease the Miaphysites not the Assyrians.

Even Catholics and Orthodox are careful to say the Theotokos only provided Christ his human nature.

From St Proclus’ homily on the Incarnation

“He Who is born of woman is not just God and He is not just Man. He Who is born has made woman, the ancient gateway of sin, the gateway of salvation. Where evil poured forth its poison, bringing on disobedience, there the Word made a living temple for Himself, bringing obedience there. From the place where the archsinner Cain sprang forth, there Christ the Redeemer of the human race was born without seed. The Lover of Mankind did not disdain to be born of woman, since She gave Him life (in His human nature). He was not subject to impurity by being in the womb which He Himself arrayed free from all harm. If this Mother had not remained a Virgin, then the Child born of Her might be a mere man, and the birth would not be miraculous in any way. Since She remained a Virgin after giving birth, then how is He Who is born not God? It is an inexplicable mystery, for He Who passed through locked doors without hindrance was born in an inexplicable manner. Thomas cried out, “My Lord, and my God!” (Jn 20:28), thus confessing the union of two natures in Him.“

Between their confession and a review of the liturgy I see no hint of dividing Christ or teaching two persons. If their definition is theologically imprecise so to was St Cyril’s miaphysis. For Chalcedon chose diophysis as its definition. If we can now say Miaphysites hold the same faith even though the they use a different definition I don’t see why the same goodwill cannot be extended to the Assyrians. All 4 Churches profess one Christ who is 100% God and 100% Man uniting the natures at his conception without diminishing the attributes of either nature.
In the homily you quoted above, you will notice that it is still "Him" (i.e., the divine person of the Logos) that Mary gave birth too. She did not give birth to "a human nature"; rather, she gave birth to a person, and that person is the Divine Logos made man. That said, we can mentally distinguish the natures in Christ, but we can never separate them as the Nestorians do with their "two hypostasis" Christology (see the Horos of Chalcedon and Canon 7 of Constantinope II).

As far as the term "miaphysis" is concerned, it is Orthodox as long as it does not involve the absorption of the human nature into the divine nature. St. Cyril used that terminology and he is unimpeachably Orthodox.

Monophystism - as opposed to miaphystism - is unacceptable.
 

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I have made that determination from my experience of reading official Chaldean websites, and from my conversations with Catholic Chaldeans, and I readily admit that there are not a lot of Chaldeans in the United States, but I have interacted with two over the years, one in person and one on this very forum, and they both - along with the websites I have read - defended the "two qnoma" Nestorian doctrine (see my post earlier in this thread for a comparison of the various Christological positions). That said, in both cases I tried to get the individuals involved to move their position to a "one qnoma" doctrine, which would be fully Orthodox, and which would then mirror the Orthodox position of the Maronites (who use the same language as the Chaldeans), and both of the individuals refused to do that, because they mistakenly believed that Christ's human nature had to be concretely existing in order for it to be a real human nature. In other words, they refused to make the necessary distinction in theology between hypostasis (qnoma) and ousia (kyane), and instead continued to use a Nestorian approach to the incarnation.

Finally, a "two qnoma" Christology is Nestorian, and that is true whether or not Brock or anyone else wants to say it is true. To paraphrase the person in the video posted earlier in this thread: the Assyrians (and by extension the Chaldean Catholics) cannot have their own magical way of using the word "qnoma" that only applies to them; to put it another way, they cannot use linguistic ambiguity to say that their doctrine is true. Besides, even if I agreed to accept their "magical" take on the word qnoma, their "two qnoma" Christology would still fall under the anathema of Canon 7 of Constantinople II.
There is no magic. Qnoma does not equal hypostasis. Assyrians understand qnoma as individuated but abstract. We understand hypostasis as a concrete individual. They understand parsopa as a concrete individual.
 

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There is no magic. Qnoma does not equal hypostasis. Assyrians understand qnoma as individuated but abstract. We understand hypostasis as a concrete individual. They understand parsopa as a concrete individual.
If that is the case, how does positing three qnome not introduce division into the Holy Trinity? The Trinitarian persons, as we know, are only differentiated according to subsistence, and not according to anything abstract which would necessarily be some kind of accident (meaning the persons of the Trinity would be imperfect, being in potentiality) or composition, effectively making the three persons akin to three species of a genus of divinity—three gods and not one.
 

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All 4 Churches profess one Christ who is 100% God and 100% Man uniting the natures at his conception without diminishing the attributes of either nature.
But what is meant by "Christ" is very different between the churches. For the Orthodox, Christ is one and the same as God the Word. For Nestorians, who can say things of Christ that they will not apply to God the Word, "Christ" is something different.
 

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If that is the case, how does positing three qnome not introduce division into the Holy Trinity? The Trinitarian persons, as we know, are only differentiated according to subsistence, and not according to anything abstract which would necessarily be some kind of accident (meaning the persons of the Trinity would be imperfect, being in potentiality) or composition, effectively making the three persons akin to three species of a genus of divinity—three gods and not one.
I will admit I do not know what terminology Assyrians use to describe the Trinity. Is “one essence, three persons” translated as “one knaya, three parsopa”?
 

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I will admit I do not know what terminology Assyrians use to describe the Trinity. Is “one essence, three persons” translated as “one knaya, three parsopa”?
It's one usya or kyana , three qnome or dilyatha (= properties). I don't believe they ever use parsopa in a Trinitarian sense. Again, the parsopa of Christ is not to be identified with the qnoma of the Word. Rather, for Nestorians, the Word is the qnoma of the divinity.

In the Marganitha, (Syriac downloadable here) it says (I've lightly corrected the translation for clarity):

Three substantial properties (dilyatha usyayatha) in One, and One who is glorified in three properties.

ܬܠܬ ܕܝܠܝ̈ܬܐ ܐܘܣܝܝܬܐ ܒܚܕ ܘܚܕ ܕܒܬܠܬ ܕܝܠܝ̈ܬܐ ܡܫܬܒܚ
Further, everything that exists is either an accident or a substance (usya). But the Self-existent can in no wise be susceptible of accident. Therefore these three properties are consubstantial and are on this account called qnume and not accidental powers, and they cause neither change in the kyana of the consubstantial nor plurality;

ܘܡܛܠ ܕܟܠ ܕܐܝܬܘܗܝ ܐܘ ܓܕܫܐ ܗܘ ܐܘ ܐܘܣܝܐ ܘܝܬܗ ܕܐܝܬܝܐ ܠܐ ܡܩܒܠܢܝܬܐ ܗܝ ܕܓܕ̈ܫܐ ܟܠ ܟܠܗ ܗܠܝܢ ܬܠܬ ܕܝܠܝ̈ܬܐ ܐܪܐ ܡܕܝܢ ܐܘܣܝܝ̈ܬܐ ܐܢܝܢ ܘܥܠ ܗܕܐ ܩܢܘܡ̈ܐ ܡܫܬܡ̈ܗܢ ܘܠܘ ܚܝ̈ܠܐ ܓܕܫܢ̈ܝܐ ܐܦ ܠܐ ܫܘܚܠܦܐ ܢܥܒ̈ܕܢ ܒܟܝܢܗ ܕܐܝܬܐ ܠܐ ܕܝܢ ܘܠܐ ܣܓܝܐܘܬ ܡܢܝܢܐ
And:

Three Qnume in one kyana.

ܬܠܬܐ ܩܢܘܡ̈ܐ ܕܒܚܕ ܟܝܢܐ
 
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There is no magic. Qnoma does not equal hypostasis. Assyrians understand qnoma as individuated but abstract. We understand hypostasis as a concrete individual. They understand parsopa as a concrete individual.
This doesn't make sense. If it is individuated by a connatural human act of subsistence (qnome / hypostasis) then Christ is a human person simply indwelt by the Logos, and that is Nestorianism. The Maronites understand this, and they use the same language as the Assyrians / Chaldeans.
 

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All 4 Churches profess one Christ who is 100% God and 100% Man uniting the natures at his conception without diminishing the attributes of either nature.
But what is meant by "Christ" is very different between the churches. For the Orthodox, Christ is one and the same as God the Word. For Nestorians, who can say things of Christ that they will not apply to God the Word, "Christ" is something different.
That is why the Vatican "agreed statement" is so pointless. Because it never nails down what the different terms used actually mean, and thus it allows for ambiguity, i.e., the statement can be read in an Orthodox or a Nestorian manner.
 

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We understand hypostasis as a concrete individual. They understand parsopa as a concrete individual.
This is not correct. Parsopa is a term only used in Christology, to denote a moral individual (that is, an agent with a will). Nestorian language of using concrete nouns for the individual qnome, referring to the qnoma of the humanity as "the man" and the qnoma of the divinity as "the Word" show that a qnoma is a concrete reality. Otherwise, the Word isn't a concrete reality, which isn't a position anyone ever accused the Nestorians of taking. To put it another way, for the Nestorians, Christ is two concrete entities subsisting in a single moral agent (who is thus a single object of worship).
 

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The Assyrians / Chaldeans are in violation of both the Horos of Chalcedon, which insists that Christ is "one person and one subsistence," and Canon 7 of Constantinople II, which says that the two natures in Christ may only be distinguished in "the onlooker's mind." You cannot enhypostasize (i.e., individuate as a distinct subsistence) Christ's human nature without violating those two ecumenical truths of the faith about the incarnation. The Assyrian / Chaldean use of "qnome" to individuate Christ's human nature creates a human subject of predication in Christ, and that error occurs even if they claim that the "qnome" is only abstract. In opposition to the Assyrian / Chaldean Nestorian approach referred to above, the Orthodox teaching is that there is only one subject of predication in Christ, i.e., the hypostasis of the eternal Logos.
 

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If kyana = ousia, qnome = hypostasis, parsopa = prosopon, what = physis?
 

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The Pope - but my heart is for Re-Union!
Wow! This thread has gone in a completely different direction than expected. But alright. My opinion is if someone from the Assyrian Church is ready to profess "the Immaculate Virgin Mary is the True Mother of God" and "God truly suffered death in the flesh for our sake", that is sufficient for him or her to enter and enjoy the blessings of full Catholic Communion with the Catholic Church.

Any comments or thoughts on the issue of (1) Divine Simplicity and (2) Essence-Energies?

Here are some Church Fathers on Divine Simplicity: https://eclecticanecdotes.com/2020/07/church-fathers-divine-simplicity

St. Irenaeus: “Far removed is the Father of all from those things which operate among men, the affections and passions. He is simple, not composed of parts, without structure, altogether like and equal to himself alone. He is all mind, all spirit, all thought, all intelligence, all reason.” (Against Heresies 2:13:3).

Origen: “Since our mind is in itself unable to behold God as he is, it knows the Father of the universe from the beauty of his works and from the elegance of his creatures. God, therefore, is not to be thought of as being either a body or as existing in a body, but as a simple intellectual being, admitting within himself no addition of any kind.” (Fundamental Doctrines 1:1:6).

St. Athanasius: God, however, being without parts, is Father of the Son without division and without being acted upon. For neither is there an effluence from that which is incorporeal, nor is there anything flowering into him from without, as in the case of men. Being simple in nature, he is Father of one only Son.” (Letter on the Council of Nicaea 11).

Didymus the Blind: God is simple and of an incomposite and spiritual nature, having neither ears nor organs of speech. A solitary essence and illimitable, he is composed of no numbers and parts.” (The Holy Spirit 35).

St. Basil: “The operations of God are various, but his essence is simple.” (Letters 234:1).

I'll post some commentary from St. Augustine and St. Thomas on the subject later on. God Bless.
 

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If kyana = ousia, qnome = hypostasis, parsopa = prosopon, what = physis?
Already in patristic Greek, ousia and physis are synonymous. St. John of Damascus remarks on this in his 30th Philosophical Chapter, in which he states that according to the pagan philosophers, οὐσία refers to being sensu stricto and φύσις to being which is made specific by essential differences so that in addition to meaning being sensu stricto, it also refers to being in some manner (mortal, immortal, animal, etc). However, he continues, the Holy Fathers used οὐσία and φύσις interchangeably to mean the most specific species (horse, dog, human, etc).
 

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Wow! This thread has gone in a completely different direction than expected. But alright. My opinion is if someone from the Assyrian Church is ready to profess "the Immaculate Virgin Mary is the True Mother of God" and "God truly suffered death in the flesh for our sake", that is sufficient for him or her to enter and enjoy the blessings of full Catholic Communion with the Catholic Church.

Any comments or thoughts on the issue of (1) Divine Simplicity and (2) Essence-Energies?

Here are some Church Fathers on Divine Simplicity: https://eclecticanecdotes.com/2020/07/church-fathers-divine-simplicity

St. Irenaeus: “Far removed is the Father of all from those things which operate among men, the affections and passions. He is simple, not composed of parts, without structure, altogether like and equal to himself alone. He is all mind, all spirit, all thought, all intelligence, all reason.” (Against Heresies 2:13:3).

Origen: “Since our mind is in itself unable to behold God as he is, it knows the Father of the universe from the beauty of his works and from the elegance of his creatures. God, therefore, is not to be thought of as being either a body or as existing in a body, but as a simple intellectual being, admitting within himself no addition of any kind.” (Fundamental Doctrines 1:1:6).

St. Athanasius: God, however, being without parts, is Father of the Son without division and without being acted upon. For neither is there an effluence from that which is incorporeal, nor is there anything flowering into him from without, as in the case of men. Being simple in nature, he is Father of one only Son.” (Letter on the Council of Nicaea 11).

Didymus the Blind: God is simple and of an incomposite and spiritual nature, having neither ears nor organs of speech. A solitary essence and illimitable, he is composed of no numbers and parts.” (The Holy Spirit 35).

St. Basil: “The operations of God are various, but his essence is simple.” (Letters 234:1).

I'll post some commentary from St. Augustine and St. Thomas on the subject later on. God Bless.
Nobody of any importance, as far as I know, denies divine simplicity. The bigger question is what divine simplicity means. The Thomistic concept of divine simplicity differs from Scotus’ account of the same, for example, as it does from St. Basil’s understanding of simplicity. Indeed, the major objections to the teachings of St. Gregory Palamas seemed to presuppose divine simplicity in the Thomistic sense, and the defenders of St. Gregory normally employed St. Basil or in some cases the formal distinction of Duns Scotus to show that St. Gregory did not violate the doctrine of divine simplicity.
 

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The "Greek Doctors" are precisely Diodore, Theodore and Nestorius.
The Chaldeans and Syro-Malabars substitute SS Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and Gregory the Theologion on the feast of the Greek Doctors.
 

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Already in patristic Greek, ousia and physis are synonymous. St. John of Damascus remarks on this in his 30th Philosophical Chapter, in which he states that according to the pagan philosophers, οὐσία refers to being sensu stricto and φύσις to being which is made specific by essential differences so that in addition to meaning being sensu stricto, it also refers to being in some manner (mortal, immortal, animal, etc). However, he continues, the Holy Fathers used οὐσία and φύσις interchangeably to mean the most specific species (horse, dog, human, etc).
But does Syriac have a word that is an analog for physis? Perhaps this is part of the problem if they do not? I also wonder if Leontius of Byzantium helps us. He states the union of the divine and the human natures in Christ is ‘anhypostatic’ in that Christ’s human nature is not personal in itself, but also ‘enhypostatic’ in that it is personalised by being united to the Son. I think this is what the Assyrians are getting at.
 
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