The Tomos of Leo, Pope of Rome

minasoliman

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Dear Timos,

When I have the time tonight, I will answer the claims you have quoted from Orthodoxinfo.com.

God bless you.

Mina
 

ozgeorge

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minasoliman said:
I can agree to disagree only if we truly believe in different faiths, and only if both our fathers in each Orthodox tradition believe in different faiths. ÂÂ
Again, you are confusing the issues. The issue is not whether you and I believe the same doctrine today.
minasoliman said:
you have not proven St. Dioscorus as a heretic as of yet.
This is what we disagree about. And of all the people who have presented the Non-Chalcedonian position in this thread, I have the most respect for Stavro, because at least he is honest enough to face what the impasse is about.
And whether Dioscorus misunderstood Leo or not is again not the issue. Nestorianism can also be seen as a well intentioned over-reaction to Arianism, but it is still a heresy. Dioscorus' intentions are not in question, his teaching is.
 

Salpy

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guys,

I really do not want to get caught up in this polemical discussion, nor say something that may be construed as contentious.  Therefore I beg that all the EO's here take my following questions as only questions motivated by curiosity and not as arguments.  All I want is clarification on the following:

1.  The "Sleeping Brothers":  This was a monastic order in Constantinople during and after the Council of Chalcedon.  They accepted Chalcedon. It is also my understanding that they considered Nestorius a saint and celebrated his feast day.  It wasn't until after the 5th council that they were squelched.  Until then, the authorities had no problem with them.  How do the EO's reconcile this with the claim that no Chalcedonians ever interpreted Chalcedon in a Nestorian manner?

2.  Someone above asked why the Church of the East today is separate from the EO's.  It was my understanding that this was a schism which occurred after the 5th council, not before.  I thought this was pretty well documented and that the Assyrians will attest that this is the case.  Is there any evidence that you were two different churches prior to the 5th council?

3.  It was my understanding that Pope Vigilus (sp?) anathematized the EO's after they rejected the three chapters at the 5th council.  He did this because he thought the three chapters were accepted by Chalcedon and to reject them undermined Chalcedon.  I think this schism lasted for 50 years.  If the EO's always clearly rejected the three chapters, why were they anathematized only after the 5th council?  Why were they not anathematized earlier?  Also, if the three chapters were not really accepted by the Council of Chalcedon, why did they need to be rejected at the 5th?

4.  Do the EO's believe that when Christ was on the cross His Divine nature left Him and that is why He cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"  In other words, do you believe that was the human Christ crying out to his Divine nature, which had just left him?  I know that was a belief of Nestorius and that the Catholics, even today, believe that, supposedly thanks to Pope Leo. Do the EO's believe that too?

5.  What is "neo-Chalcedonianism?"  It is my understanding that it describes Chalcedonian Christology after the 5th council.  I understand it means that after the 5th council the Chalcedonians shifted their Christology to be more in line with us OO's.  That, I thought, was the reason for the schism between the Church of the East and the present day EO's.  Is my understanding wrong?  If so, what is "neo-Chalcedonianism" and how does it differ from the Chalcedonianism which existed prior to the 5th council?

Again, please do not think I am presenting arguments or that I am trying to be contentious.  I really do want to hear the Chalcedonian side to the above issues, and that is why I am raising them here.  Also, please forgive me if these things have already been addressed.  It's a long thread and I've tried to read through it as best as I could.

Thanks for your patience.  Please don't anathematize me or call me a heretic.  I'm rather sensitive.  :)
 

Beayf

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4.  Do the EO's believe that when Christ was on the cross His Divine nature left Him and that is why He cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"  In other words, do you believe that was the human Christ crying out to his Divine nature, which had just left him?  I know that was a belief of Nestorius and that the Catholics, even today, believe that, supposedly thanks to Pope Leo. Do the EO's believe that too?
Uh, I don't know about the Assyrians, but the Catholics definitely don't believe this. Where did you hear that they did?

And the EOx don't believe this either.
 

Salpy

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Beayf,

I've heard that from a number of sources, not just OO sources.  I'll be happy to hear if I have been misinformed.

Correction to my above post:  It's not "sleeping brothers," but "sleepless brothers."  Perhaps their lack of sleep was the cause of their problems.  ;D
 

ozgeorge

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Salpy said:
I've heard that from a number of sources, not just OO sources. I'll be happy to hear if I have been misinformed.
Yes, you have been misinformed.
Here is the Eastern Orthodox teaching regarding the Two Natures as taught by our Ecumenical Councils:

God is one essence but three different persons. The Son has the same essence or nature as the Father and the Holy Spirit, but He is a distinct person. He is equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit. All three co-exist simultaneously. They all possess the attributes of omnipresence and omniscience. They are all associated in the act of creation and redemption. This is called the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, that there are 3 persons in one God.

An example in human nature, is the relationship between our mind, its ideas and the expression of these ideas in words.

Christ is one person, yet has two natures. His Divine nature is united with his human nature - without change, confusion or division. "Without change", means neither the Divine nor the human nature was altered, that is, neither the Divine nature became human, nor did the human nature lose its distinct attributes. "Without confusion", means that the Divine nature performs all things Divine and the human nature performs all things human. "Without division", means that the two natures never separated, so when Christ did what was Divine, His human nature followed, and when the human acted, His Divine nature co-operated. Each nature acted "in communication with the other".

For example, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ expresses fear in the face of His passion. He began to be sorrowful and deeply depressed" (Matthew 26:37-38). Because He took on a mortal body He was naturally afraid. He knew he was about to die. The soul's natural fear of death is due to the fact that there is a close connection between the soul and body and therefore when the soul is being prepared to leave the body, it is natural to be deeply distressed. Christ's Divine will yielded to His human nature to fear death. As man He was troubled by the memory of death, but as God He transforms the fear at once into boldness and through His authoritative power He invited death to come. In Christ it was a natural fear and not a supernatural fear.

Example 2, Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus because He loved him and also because He saw the corruption of human nature after sin and penetration of death. Man was not created to die, but sin introduced mortality. Christ is not only God by nature, but also man. Therefore His human nature suffered.

Example 3, Why did Jesus need to pray? Christ did not need to pray as He was always united with His Father, but He did so to identify Himself with our person and to teach us to pray and in this way to achieve communion with God. Also by His prayer, He shows that He honours His Father. Christ's human nature always obeyed and submitted to the Divine will -"Nevertheless not as I will, but as you will". While His human will differs from the Father in essence, nevertheless, it follows the Divine will and so becomes the will of the Father. Similarly, Christ teaches us to apply God's will, even if it is different from our own human will.

Example 4, Since Christ is one person with two natures, whenever one question is asked about him it must be separated into two questions, one applying to each nature:

(a) Did Christ get tired, hungry, thirsty? - in His Divine nature, no! In His human nature, yes!

(b) Did Christ die? - in His human nature He did die. But in His Divine nature He did not die.

(c) Did Christ know everything? - As God He did, since God is omniscient. But as man Jesus said that He did not know the time of the Second Coming. {Mat 24:36].

(d) Could Jesus Sin? - As God He could not have sinned; but as man He could have sinned but He did not. Jesus was "in ail points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15), that is to say, while He never sinned, He was really tempted and therefore it was possible for Him to sin - otherwise His temptation would have been a charade. Jesus possessed the power of free choice, which means whatever moral choice He made, He could have done otherwise. This means that He chose not to sin (which was always), He could have sinned as man but He did not.

Christ's Divinity did not leave him at any point, ever. But His Divinity did not die when He died on the Cross.
 

Salpy

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I'm glad the EO's don't believe Christ's divinity ever left Him on the cross.

About the sleepless ones again:  The name may have been "sleepless monks."  I'll eventually get it right.

Another question:  It is my understanding that it wasn't just Pope Vigilus who objected to the three chapters being rejected at the fifth council.  I thought the main EO patriarchs initially objected also, and for the same reasons.  At least the EO patriarch in Alexandria did.  The Catholic Encyclopedia seems to back that up:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14707b.htm

If that is the case, then how can it be said that the EO's always rejected, or even never accepted, the three chapters?

 

Pedro

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Good stuff, ozgeorge, but I gotta take issue with one thing you said, for two reasons:

ozgeorge said:
(c) Did Christ know everything? - As God He did, since God is omniscient. But as man Jesus said that He did not know the time of the Second Coming. {Mat 24:36].
1) Actually, the verse says that not even the Son--the Logos iow--knew this, "but only the Father."  So it seems as though the divine Father knew this, but not the Son, according to the Scripture.  So Christ did not "know" this even in His divinity, apparently...

2) When you get into the realm of "knowing" things, you come dangerously close to setting up two "consciousnesses" within Christ, or two independent and sentient centers in the one Christ, which we can't have.  There's no way, really, that a human could know the things Christ knew (for example, knowing that St. Photini had had five husbands), but the Logos incarnate was not hindered from this aspect of His divine nature by His also possessing a human nature.  Different natures can will different things--and thus can act against each other (not that those of our Lord ever did this)--but to say that one nature was conscious of something while another nature was unconscious of it borders Nestorianism.

It is when we give the natures of Christ their own consciousnesses that we run the risk of going over into Nestorianism.  Such a thing is NOT the belief of Chalcedon.  Or St. Leo!  ;D

Pedro, reopening THAT can of worms...
 

ozgeorge

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Pedro said:
1) Actually, the verse says that not even the Son--the Logos iow--knew this, "but only the Father." So it seems as though the divine Father knew this, but not the Son, according to the Scripture. So Christ did not "know" this even in His divinity, apparently...
"Apparently", but not in actuality. As He relates to His Father, He does "know", as He relates to us, He "does not know".  Christ knows the "Day and the hour" , he just will not tell us.

Pedro said:
2) When you get into the realm of "knowing" things, you come dangerously close to setting up two "consciousnesses" within Christ, or two independent and sentient centers in the one Christ, which we can't have. There's no way, really, that a human could know the things Christ knew (for example, knowing that St. Photini had had five husbands), but the Logos incarnate was not hindered from this aspect of His divine nature by His also possessing a human nature. Different natures can will different things--and thus can act against each other (not that those of our Lord ever did this)--but to say that one nature was conscious of something while another nature was unconscious of it borders Nestorianism.
When Christ slept, and when He died, in His humanity, He was "not conscious" in the sense that His "five senses" were not recieving data. In His Divinity however, He remained conscious and omniscient.
 

minasoliman

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]Refuting some of Orthodoxinfo.com's assertions:[/b]

WARNING:  If you are an intellect and someone who likes truth based on writings and belief of the Fathers, reading this is a waste in time, but enjoyable to laugh at.

1. Eastern Orthodoxy and "Oriental Orthodoxy"

The superficial theological milieu of our era has proven most advantageous for ecumenical ideology, which seeks to gloss over the fundamental and abiding differences which distinguish the heterodox confessions from the Orthodox Faith. All too often, such differences are now conveniently dismissed as merely long-standing miscommunications of alternative, yet equally valid, terminological emphases. This perfunctory approach has been eagerly employed by Orthodox modernists in their theological dialogues with the so-called "Oriental Orthodox" churches.
If they are debating against terminological differences, then not only do they contradict some Orthodox fathers (the common ones that we share) but we get into the most childish fight of "My terminology is more Orthodox than your terminology."

The designation "Oriental Orthodox" itself clearly illustrates the ecumenistic tendency to obfuscate essential theological differences with euphemisms. This deceptive appellation, popularized by the defective world view of Western Christian thought—a world view which lumps together such mutually exclusive ecclesiastical entities as the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East (i.e., Nestorians), "Oriental Orthodox" churches, and Eastern Rite Papists (i.e., Uniates, such as Melkites and Maronites) under the umbrella term "Eastern Christians"—, masks the intransigent heresies held for centuries by three main groups: 1) Armenians, 2) Copts and Ethiopians (Abyssinians), and 3) Syrian and Malabarese Jacobites.
To be an OO is to uphold a faith that is not at all different from the Holy Fathers.  We are justified calling ourselves "Orthodox."  As for the whole "Eastern Christians" complaint, well, that's just as childish as fighting of terminology that confesses the same faith.

The adjective Oriental is synonymous with the adjective Eastern. There is thus no real distinction between the term Eastern Orthodox (which identifies the only True Church) and the term "Oriental Orthodox" (which denotes several false churches).
Well, then there is a question that is begging to be asked.  Do Byzantines, Russians, and Slavs consider themselves "Oriental"?

More importantly, although the "Oriental Orthodox" have appropriated the title Orthodox for themselves (e.g., the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, etc.), it was precisely their failure to embrace the Christology of the Holy Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Synod in 451 that led to their departure from the domain of Orthodoxy to the hinterlands of heresy.
Throughout 10+ pages of debates, I think I don't need to repeat my defense here.  The only thing left is a challenge to them to find anything that is "heterodox" in our faith.  I defend we aren't in the "hinterlands of heresy" but proudly in the gardens of martyrdom and Orthodox faith.

They are therefore correctly and accurately designated either as Non-Chalcedonians, reflecting their rejection of this Divinely-inspired Ecumenical Synod, or Monophysites, characterizing their specific heterodox confession of Christianity.
I can accept non-Chalcedonian, for that is the truth after all, but to call us Monophysites (i.e. as if we confuse the natures of Christ) is very simply wrong.  There is no way you can prove we confuse the ousias of Christ.

These three groups of Non-Chalcedonians are united in their common profession of Monophysitism, as well as its logical consequents, Monotheletism and Monoenergism—the doctrines that in Christ there are, respectively, only one nature, one will, and one energy. The Fourth Ecumenical Synod anathematized Monophysitism, the Fifth Ecumenical Synod confirmed this decision, the Sixth Ecumenical Synod condemned Monotheletism and Monoenergism, and the Seventh Ecumenical Synod reaffirmed all of the foregoing. Therefore, in addition to being Non-Chalcedonians, the "Oriental Orthodox" are also Non-Second Constantinopolitans, Non-Third Constantinopolitans, and Non-Second Nicaeans.
This was also exhausted already.  We do not confuse the natures, natural wills, or natural energies.  We like to affirm more than anything else the prosopon as subject to all willing, acting, and energies.

Their unyielding opposition to four of the seven Ecumenical Synods makes it not just a little difficult for us to consider the Monophysite churches Orthodox. After all, even the Latins, not to mention some Protestants, ostensibly abide by all seven of the Ecumenical Synods, and they are never referred to as "Orthodox" churches.
Here is what Fr. John Romanides says about us:

One must emphasize that acceptance of the Three or Seven Ecumenical Councils does not in itself entail agreement in faith. The Franco-Latin Papacy accepts these Councils, but in reality accepts not one of them. In like manner there are Orthodox, since Peter the Great, who in reality do not accept the soteriological and Old Testament presuppositions of these Councils. On the other hand those of the Oriental Orthodox, who have not been Franco-Latinised in important parts of their theology, accept the first three of the Ecumenical Councils, but in reality accept all Seven, a fact which has now become clear in recent agreements.
Thank you Fr. John.  In this same article, he vindicates St. Dioscorus of any heresy.  The lifting of anathemas must happen ONLY on the presupposition that the person was never heretical.  Fr. John, a Chalcedonian, makes a good case here, and shows that whether you accept three or seven ecumenical councils, the faith was never different.

To bear the name Orthodox, one must confess—without equivocation—the Ecumenical Christology of the Catholic and Apostolic Tradition: Jesus Christ united without confusion within His Own Hypostasis His Divine Nature and His Human Nature, His Divine will and His Human will, and His Divine energy and His Human energy. There is no room here for semantic sidestepping. A recent study of Non-Chalcedonianism by the Monastery of Saint Gregory (Gregoriou) on Mt. Athos, The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics: A Contribution to the Dialogue Concerning the "Orthodoxy" of the Non-Chalcedonians, came to this same conclusion (see "Publications" at the back of this issue):
According to the Agreed Statements:

1989:

This is the mystery of the hypostatic union we confess in humble adoration - the real union of the divine with the human, with all the properties and functions of the uncreated divine nature, including natural will and natural energy, inseparably and unconfusedly united with the created human nature with all its properties and functions, including natural will and natural energy. It is the Logos Incarnate Who is the subject of all the willing and acting of Jesus Christ.
1990:

4. Both families agree that the natures with their proper energies and wills are united hypostatically and naturally without confusion, without change, without division and without separation, and that they are distinguished in thought alone (th qewria monh).
from http://www.monachos.net/patristics/christology/orthodox_and_oriental.shtml

A great ecclesiological chasm exists between us and the Non-Chalcedonians, which only the explicit confession of the holiness and ecumenicity of the Fourth and the following three Holy Ecumenical Synods on the part of the Non-Chalcedonians can bridge. Any manifest or hidden deviation whatsoever from Orthodox dogma, for the sake of some union contrary to the truth, will occasion only harm to immortal souls and suffering for the Church [p. 41].
We can't accept the ecumenicity of the last four EO councils because:

1.  We weren't represented.  How can it be ecumenical if we weren't represented?
2.  Our fathers are unjustly anathematized.  It's like condemning an innocent man with murder, and that you want us to accept that.

Because of their subconscious ecclesiastical insecurities, the New Calendarists in America have a pathological craving for worldly recognition, making them only too willing to accept the "harm to immortal souls and suffering for the Church" already occasioned by dialogues between the "official" Orthodox and the Monophysites. For example, as reported in an earlier issue of Orthodox Tradition, several modernist theologians recently participated in an "Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Symposium" co-sponsored by St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary and St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, a symposium obviously mimicking the union dialogues held in Europe in 1989 and 1990. On the Orthodox side, the symposium included representatives from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, the Orthodox Church in America, and the Romanian Orthodox Church in America; on the Monophysite side, it included representatives from the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, the Coptic Orthodox Church, and the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Is "New Calendarism" some type of heresy?  This is obviously an insult not only to us as "heretics" and "Monophysites" but to EO's in America.  I do like however the cooperation between our Orthodox families, and this is encouraging for unity.

Notice Orthodoxinfo.com so far hasn't even got into the meat of the whole situation.  There is no dogmatic criticism.  Only thing is because we're non-Chalcedonians, we're heretics.  That's the only thing they can think of.  This is nothing but close-mindedness.

As reported by Solia (Vol. 60, No. 6 [June 1995]), the symposium, in heinous violation of the ecclesiological self-definition of the Orthodox Church as the One and Only Church of Christ, blasphemously referred to "‘the two Orthodox Churches’" as "‘one Orthodox family,’" to quote the heretical phrase of one Coptic priest (p. 16). Relying on the results achieved by past conferences and commissions which have examined the "Orthodoxy" of the Monophysites, the participants glibly concluded "that there exists full agreement on the substance of the faith of the two churches, notwithstanding the differences in terms" (p. 13)—and this, apparently, notwithstanding the Divine Grace which enlightened such God-bearing Fathers as Saints Flavian of Constantinople, Leo the Great, and Proterios of Alexandria (all of whom struggled against and suffered because of the Monophysite heresy) to develop and to refine a precise Christological nomenclature delineating the Orthodox Faith.
I respect the defense of their fathers (I'm glad they're not defending Theodoret and Ibas), but there is no "two Orthodox Churches" but "One Church" and this is not the "branching heresy" as I have been accused of, but because we have always been one and the same faith, and since our fathers were not the heretics you thought they were, then we are automatically vindicated as Orthodox, and our unity has always existed regardless of what men did.  Anathemas are useless if they weren't heretical.

I do not believe that the One Church includes Catholics and Protestants.  The faith is clearly different.  But the Orthodox is a unique situation, whether you are Oriental or Eastern.

Having thus summarily disposed of the insuperable dogmatic barrier between the Truth of Orthodoxy and the falsehood of Non-Chalcedonianism, the symposium quickly turned its attention to the "practical steps...which could be implemented at the global and local levels to ultimately achieve [sic] unity," and "this includes among other things, a statement of reconciliation, academic cooperation, and common catechesis of young people" (ibid.). Deciphering this "ecumenically correct" jargon and restating it in plain Orthodox language, this symposium embraced the renunciation of Patristic Tradition, the scholarly prostitution of sacred theology, and the sacrifice of the next generation of Orthodox to appease the Moloch of Monophysitism. And for this, we have to thank "the great contribution of modern scholarship and the current worldwide ecumenical movement" (ibid.)! The words of the Savior ring with prophetic force: "Ye shall know them by their fruits" (St. Matthew 7:16).
These are complaints as a result of the conclusion they reached that we are Monophysites.  blablabla...
Oh and the last sentence I will agree with.  Indeed, "Ye shall know them by their fruits."  So far, I see nothing but growth and suffering in service of Orthodoxy and upholding the Orthodox faith which both our fathers have professed.  As one famous Jew said of the Christians, "If God is with them, then we might have been against God all along."

In contrast to our ecumenist counterparts, who—to the detriment of their fellow man—reinforce the Monophysites in their error, we traditionalists, out of love both for the Truth and for those who have deviated from it, challenge the Monophysites to accept the standard of True Orthodox Christianity. Let the Non-Chalcedonian heretics become truly Oriental Orthodox: Let their spiritual orientation turn eastward, facing the Chalcedonian sunrise that dawns universally from the noetic Anatolia of Eastern Orthodoxy, where the Theanthropic One, "Whose Name is Orient" (Zechariah 6:12 [LXX]), the God-Man Christ Jesus, rises in Truth. Only then, when they have renounced their heterodox beliefs, can we genuinely address these theologically disoriented Easterners as Orthodox brethren.
The last paragraph in this article and this whole article proves NOTHING against non-Chalcedonians.  Instead, we challenge them to find anything heretical in what we say.  It is evident in this whole article, which is nothing but complaints and moans and groans, they couldn't.

2.  Copts and Orthodoxy

A priest that I know says that the Copts are Orthodox, that they have been the victims of a theological misunderstanding by the Orthodox Church, and that they have a valid priesthood. He communes them and says that they are part of our Faith....You seem to think differently. Can you explain your position, which this priest says is old and outdated. He gave me an article by Bishop Maximos of Pittsburgh of the Greek Archdiocese. He says that Bishop Maximos is a great Patristic scholar and that his word, which supports the Copts as Orthodox, is final. (M.K., NY)
This person has been informed very well.  Big props to those with objective minds and knowing the real truth of history.

The Copts are Monophysites and thus heretics. Their Mysteries are invalid and, should they join the Orthodox Church, they must be received as non-Orthodox.
Already refuted.  We are not Monophysite and thus we are not heretics.  Our mysteries are valid, and we are already part of the Orthodox Church.

Indeed, now that most Copts have rejected the errors of the Monophysite heresy, this is a time for their reunion with Orthodoxy.
What a blessed and lovely sentence.  But now the burden is to defend and vindicate our fathers from heresy.

Here is a place for true ecumenism. But despite the fact that the time seems ripe, we must still rest on the Providence of God and restore the Copts to Orthodoxy in a proper way. One cannot say that he is Orthodox simply because he believes correctly and recites the Creed. He must be received into the Church by Chrismation or Baptism. The fact that the Copts were once Orthodox, fell away, and have now come to right belief is neither here nor there. Grace does not withstand generations of heresy and separation from the Church.
I think grace vindicated our Fathers from the wrong anathemas that were given to them.  St. John Chrysostom died anathematized, and yet hailed as a great saint and doctor of the Orthodox Church.

Anyone who believes that the Orthodox Fathers were wrong in condemning the Monophysites, and that the Copts have always been Orthodox, is guilty of blasphemy against the Church Fathers and the Ecumenical Synod at Chalcedon, which condemned the Monophysite heresy.
If your father was a judge who condemned someone innocent for murder, and it was later found out that this man was innocent, and you have very good and irrefutable proof, will not you believe that your father was wrong to condemn this someone.  Although calling someone "wrong" does not necessarily mean you are blaspheming your own father.  You believe in your own faith that your father had good intentions, and it was all a big fat misunderstanding.  This not only goes for the EO's but also for the OO's.

He is also guilty of heresy, in that such a proposition presupposes not only that the Fathers of the Church were in error and that this error entered into the conscience of the Church, but that the Orthodox Church has for centuries been "divided" between the two "families" of right-believing Orthodox and the supposedly "right-believing" Copts. Moreover, such a view presumes that our Orthodox Fathers, ignorant of the truth, "divided" the Church over semantics and over word games.
See, now this is surprising.  Showing that your Holy Fathers condemned Orthodox faithful wrongly is considered "heresy."  But "heresy" is defined as a deviance of faith, not a deviance of Holy Fathers' desicions.  For that, they would have to believe in the heresy of "Holy Father infallibility."  We are not of Paul or Cephas, but we are of Christ.  Again, fathers misunderstood one another.  It's possible that there can be misunderstanding.  It happened before with John of Antioch and St. Cyril, although the wisdom of St. Cyril brought him to compromise terminology without compromising faith to unite the split.

There are even some conservative Orthodox, insufficiently familiar with the primary historical materials and following Western historiographical views of the events surrounding the Council of Chacedon (which have often shown, as Father Florovsky has observed, sympathies both for Monophysitism and the Nestorian heresy which provoked it), who imagine that misinterpretation, misunderstanding, and intransigence are the sources of the Chalcedonian schism. This mimicking of Western scholarship, however popular, breeds an un-Orthodox approach to the Christological debate between the Orthodox and heterodox parties.
I guess "Western scholarly" sources are automatically null and void since they're from the "West."  And the "mimicking" of such is also null and void.  Since it's unorthodox, then mimicking "Western scholars" is, I guess, a heresy.

The Orthodox party was staunchly defending the truth, the non-Orthodox party staunchly defending a false view of Christ.
Again, prove it.  So far they can't.

While "objective" historians may thus attribute to the two sides in this debate "intransigence," it is obviously not consistent with Orthodox piety to accuse those who defend the truth of intransigence. It is heresy, a resistance to the truth, which actually has its roots in, and which is defined by, intransigence.
"Intransigenced" such that you call one terminology heresy and the other Orthodox, while the faith confessed is the same.

What, too, can we say of the Monophysite Churchmen and theologians who condemned our Orthodox Fathers as heretics and who are today revered by the Copts?
It was only done on the assumption that they were Nestorians.  Our theologians were wrong.

Are we to praise and honor them along with the Monophysite "Saints" whose intercession the Copts invoke? Are we to commemorate together the memories of Churchmen who stood diametrically opposed to one another and pretend that such commemorations are consistent with the "one mind" of the Apostolic Church? And must we now reject the counsel of the great Abba Evthymios, who warned St. Gerasimos of the Jordan against the Monophysite heresy, bringing the latter to bitter tears for his former errors?
First let us look at the essence of faith.  So far, they haven't proved that wrong.  Once we finish with that then we can worry about other questions.

Theologians and Churchmen who do not read the Fathers, who do not lead spiritual lives, and who see the union of men as something more important than our union with God in the unity of Faith have no business conducting dialogues between the Orthodox and the Copts. They are not acting in a spiritual way, and the results which they achieve will not be spiritual. They are too weak to speak the truth and to lead the Copts, as they must be led, back to the Church in humble submission.
What about the theologians who do lead spiritual lives, who do read the Orthodox fathers, and who sees the union of men crucial to affirm our One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church?  If I had a conviction that EO's were Nestorians, I would not be here defending unity.  People like Fr. John Romanides who is very well versed in the Holy Fathers have himself lead to an objective conclusion like mine.

We deeply respect and admire Coptic piety. Many Copts far exceed Orthodox in their dedication to God and fidelity to their faith. But our respect must not impede us from telling them the truth, bringing them into the Church properly, and offering them bread, rather than the stone of cheap ecumenical politics. Spiritual men pine for unity in the truth. Ecumenical politicians seek to exalt themselves by great feats of human prowess. Those spiritual men who have been misled by their understandable enthusiasm for Church unity should reflect seriously on who is leading them into this false unity and what their motives are. When the Copts, too, reflect on this, we will undoubtedly see a cooling in what is now unfounded enthusiasm. And as the Copts grow in their desire to return to Orthodoxy, they will themselves wish to do so in an orderly way and not through the back door which has been opened to them by ecumenical politicians and spiritually irresponsible clergymen.
All complaints and no substance of faith that says we are heretics.  We have not received the "stone of cheap ecumenical politics" and we do not enter "through the back door" of ecumenical politicians.  We understand the situation of "ecumenism" very well, and the issue between the EO and the OO is a very unique one.  I suggest this article by Subdeacon Peter Theodore:

http://www.britishorthodox.org/107d.php

This article vindicates the ecumenical talks taken between the EO's and the OO's as opposed to the other churches in the WCC who are childishly looking for unity just for the sake of unity.

Bishop Maximos' article on the Monophysites (The Illuminator, Vol. XII, No. 86) rests wholly on the theological opinion of Jean Lebon, A Roman Catholic Priest and scholar, who wrote an interesting thesis on a Monophysite figure. His Grace suggests that all "serious scholars and patrologists" follow the writings of this "great professor and scholar of our century" and find no ultimately essential differences, save those of terminology, between Orthodoxy and Monophysitism. "It is only ignorant and narrow[-]minded[,] irreponsible people who can oppose the work of God's Holy Spirit" and such views, he argues. I doubt, given the prevailing hatred for traditionalists in his jurisdiction, that His Grace would apologize to me and other Old Calendarists under this umbrella of condemnation, but he certainly owes an apology to other theologians who think as we do: the late Protopresbyter Georges Florovsky, the Blessed Archimandrite Justin (Popovich), Professor P. Trembelas, and others
I would love to read Bishop Maximos' article.  Perhaps, since there's such a split of agreement on the OO's, such that the "Old Traditionalist" group is a huge minority and the objective, yet Orthodox group is a majority, and that both sides of the EO believe(d) in the ecumenicity of the seven councils before the EO-OO dialogues, then there had to have been something that changed their minds about us OO's.

As for Bishop Maximos' suggestion that "church politicians" and "administrators" settle this question, res ipsa loquitur. Whenever the Church's conscience is violated, we turn to church politicians and administrators—the source and product of modernism and innovation. When that conscience is defended, we look to the Fathers, the Ecumenical Councils, and Church Tradition. And these have already spoken, as we have noted.

We are astonished at and deeply saddened by Bishop Maximos' ill-advised words.
I am deeply saddened at the article's failure to prove that Copts are heretics.  I wonder who then is "ill-advised" if they cannot give a satisfactory answer to this person.

The short answer, Patrick, is, what do you really expect them to proclaim, that they are heretics? Sorry for my tone in this, but you have to step back and look beyond the particulars, which have been complicated by centuries of self-justification on the parts of the various monophysite groups. The basic questions are really quite simple (even though the professional ecumenists think we are "simple minded" for seeing things in this way): Do we believe in a branch theory of the Church or not? Is the Divine Bridegroom of the Church—Who assures us that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the will of our Heavenly Father—incapable of maintaining the integrity of His Body, or does He allow it to fracture, for the various components to anathematize one another, and yet for all portions/branches to maintain their unity with Him (and separation with one another) over centuries?
With that mentality, then logically, the non-Chalcedonian churches are the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, since indeed the Holy Fathers were wrong in condemning us with the heresies that we also condemned.

In some way or another, the Copts do presume this in their contemporary argumentation for the "Orthodoxy" of their confession. Stange as it may sound, if they had a truly Orthodox mentality, they would be arguing for our un-Orthodoxy (based on the centuries of our separation from them), rather than trying to prove that we are one and the same.
We have done that for centuries, but we finally had the guts to realize that we misunderstood one another.  Should "centuries" or "months" make a difference in God's eyes?  Obviously, there was some sort of schism when St. John Chrysostom was anathematized and when John of Antioch thought that St. Cyril taught Monophysitism.  Is it not therefore that a condemnation against a group that is unjust automatically null and void to God who knows all truth?

If the historical descendants of the monophysite heresy have come full circle and rejected the heretical components of their ancient confessions, this is for them to prove and for them to correct in a contrite spirit. There is a blasphemous disregard for the divinely-inspired conciliar polity of the Church and for the well-known consequences of schism hidden within their argumentation.
Already proven that the OO fathers such as St. Dioscorus were not Monophysites.  It is for them to prove we are actually Monophysites.  The burden is on them to have the guts to face the facts that we are innocent of the anathemas we received.

For the right-reasoning Orthodox believer, this is proof enough that they have lost the fullness of Grace and that
If that is the only proof they rest upon, then they are indeed ignorant and narrow-minded of the facts.

as Father Florovsky so wisely observed, "the history of the Christian divisions can...not be deduced from or built on the basis of the principle of intolerance, nor the principles of pride, lust for power, concupiscence or meanness [and one can certainly add 'cultural' and 'linguistic' idiosyncrasies to this list]. Of course, human passion in all its power is 'decked out' and exposed in the divisions of Christianity. But the initial source of these Christian schisms was not moral depravity or human weakness, but delusion."
So they affirm that it's not the faith they condemn, but the terminologies they condemn as heterodox.  In that case, to be consistent, they might as well condemn St. Cyril, which means that Chalcedon will stand alone, and may be interpreted as Nestorian.  In that case, I have no problem to agree with Stavro on the condemnation of the loss of grace on the EO's, since the only proof I can stand on is that they "left the One Church" and "lost the grace."  I feel just as "open-minded" as Orthodoxinfo.com.

...The Monophysite's fundamentalistic insistence on one formula ["one nature of the Word incarnate"]—to the exclusion of another that even St. Cyril had come to understand as synonymous [dual consubstantiality]—reflects an un-Orthodox view of dogma. Those of Orthodox spirit know that dogma is imperfect symbols describing Revelation, but not Revelation itself. What is critical for Orthodox is the integrity of that Revelation, not terminological rigidity.
Is that all they can prove?  That we believe in "one nature."  Yet, the context of which this was believed is no different from St. Cyril.  Again, the burden of proof is on them to find anything in our OO fathers' faith (like St. Dioscorus) to see if we contradict St. Cyril or not.

3.A Humorous and Instructive Reply to a Question Concerning the Monophysites

Dear Father xxx,

I think the question has less to do with "apologies" (and I basically agree with your position on that) and more to do with ecclesial matters:  if, hypothetically, it were determined that there were no doctrinal impediments to communion between the Chalcedonian Church and the Copts, what do we do with the veneration of saints who were persecuted and martyred by the other side, and who were each other's sworn enemies?  Would we give them a list of saints that had to be removed from their calendar?  Would they present us with such a list?  Or do you overlook everything while everyone continues to venerate whom they have always venerated?  And what about Coptic saints who may have been indisputably radical Monophysites for whom the Coptic Church has a continuing attachment?

I certainly do not presume to know the answers; however, these are, as I understand them, some of the questions.

With love in Christ,

Fr. xxx
Very good question.  The answer is very simple.  Each Chuch will continue to hold their "local" saints so long as they were never heretical.  There is no obligation in holding the other church's saints as our saints.  Let us examine Fr. xxx's humorous answer:

I came up with a fantastic solution to this dilemma. It is amazingly clever and novel. Let us pretend that Bishops of spiritual vision, meeting together in the belief that the Holy Spirit guides those who are gathered in Christ's name and among whom He thus dwells, were to conclude, in conformity with the confession of the Fathers before them, that the Monophysites taught something contrary to the Orthodox Faith preserved within the boundaries of the Church.
No Fr.  Let us not pretend and face the facts.  The OO's were never Monophysites, and NEVER taught something contrary to the Orthodox faith, with was preserved by the Holy Fathers of both the OO and the EO, which proves we are One Church.

Let us then pretend that the Orthodox Church is characterized by its fidelity to these Bishops and that the Fathers of the Church would never have cut off for untold centuries people who really were of correct faith; but rather, that they would have acted only responsibly and in a way pleasing to the Holy Spirit.
Again, let's face the facts.  Since the first half of the argument is incorrect, that they truly did condemn people of correct faith, that they therefore have not acted responsibly in a way pleasing to the Holy Spirit.  With that mentality Fr., then you are in the wrong church, for we can prove you that our fathers were not Monophysites.

And let us pretend that we are not more spiritual and more learned than these Fathers, or that the Fathers and believers and Saints in the many centuries after them were not simply cretins and sycophants blindly accepting the errors of the Å’cumenical Synods, waiting for our enlightened contemporaries bravely to open our eyes.
Let us indeed not pretend to be more spiritual and learned in faith than our Fathers, but that where truth is, truth must be upheld, and the truth is that our fathers were not heretics.

Then let us pretend that we are bound by our Baptisms and Confession of Faith to follow the infallible statements of the Å’cumenical Synods which these Bishops convened. Let us pretend that the very conscience of the Church and Her self-identity lie in these Synods. And let us pretend that one of these Synods actually condemned the Non-Chacedonians and removed them from the bosom of Orthodoxy. And finally, let us pretend that these Bishops represent the True Church established by Christ, from which all in error have been removed, and that fidelity to their pronouncements makes us True Orthodox Christians.
Indeed, you strip our names from the "bosom of Orthodoxy" just as much as St. John Chrysostom was stripped out of his patriarchal seat from St. Theophilus.  I'd rather sleep on the pillow of a skull (as St. Antonious did), then live in luxury and condemn my own fathers unjustly.

And let us pretend that contemporary Orthodox ecumenists, men (at least of late) of rather obviously limited intellectual gifts and little spiritual prowess, are not wiser than the Fathers before us. Would this not be a wonderful solution to the dilemma of our relationship to those in heresy, and specifically the heresy of Monophysitism?
I wonder then, where is the "intellectual gifts" of orthodoxinfo.com who have not proven the OO's are Monophysites?  Where is the "spiritual prowess" for those who throw insults at "contemporary Ortohdox ecumenists" and not consider that these men, well studied in the Holy Fathers, have indeed faced with the fact that the OO's and their fathers weren't, aren't, nor ever will be Monophysites.

Now, going beyond the foregoing game of "pretend," let us further pretend that Christians live in love and that, because of this, they would never want others to believe that what is false is true, but always wish to bring people to the Truth.
No, let us face it, Father "xxx," that we are truly not heretics and that we always bring people to the Truth.

Let us pretend that we could teach the Monophysites that they are wrong, rather than apologizing to them for the Truth and for human historical errors that have nothing to do with the criterion of Truth itself.
As of yet Father, you and anyone else have not proved that we are "wrong."  Therefore, apology accepted.

Let us pretend that we could bring the Copts into the Church, rather than prostitute the Truth by conforming it to error. Would this not add much to the wonderful solution that I proposed in the paragraph above?
No Father, let us once again face the facts that it is you who is murdering the Truth by conforming it to infallibility of every single Holy Fathers' words, for we are not prostituting the Truth, but affirming it with all honesty and righteousness.  There is no error in us, and so far you haven't proved it, and you fail to do so because you can't.

On second thought, all of this would entail faith in the Truth,
Truth is we are not Monophysites.

the authority of the Church,
The only authority I know of is Christ and not Leo or Dioscorus.

the inspiration of the Fathers,
To keep a certain terminology over another.  Indeed, a fool!

the infallibility of the Å’cumenical Synods,
If you believe that every single word of an Ecumenical Synod is infallible, then you have a problem with Chalcedon and the "Holy" legates of the "Holy Father" Leo who were "inspired" to affirm and embrace the Three Chapters, which contradict the fifth Council.

and the primacy of the Orthodox Faith.
The same faith to which we have always upheld.

How foolish I am! A mere fundamentalist!
Indeed, a fool!  A blind fundamentalist.

I apologize.
How thoughtful!  You simply lie in apologizing for your spirit does not apologize in your so-called "pretends."

Least Among Monks,

+ Archbishop Chrysostomos
aka "Fr. xxx"

In conclusion, my dear Timos, nothing that you have given us proven that we are Monophysite heretics.  They are in fact, failures, since they fail to be scholars and intellects and instead become like children, complaining, moaning, and groaning.

In Christ always,

Mina Soliman,

Most humble and faithful servant to the faith of St. Cyril and St. Dioscorus
 

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I'm glad the EO's don't believe Christ's divinity ever left Him on the cross.
And just to re-iterate, the Catholics don't believe that His divinity left him, either.

If that is the case, then how can it be said that the EO's always rejected, or even never accepted, the three chapters?
1. The EOx Patriarch of Alexandria != all EOx hierarchs
2. Even if some of the EOx hierarchs initially accepted the Three Chapters (which I am not saying they did or did not), the 3C did not find themselves in the final definition of faith produced by Chalcedon, and so their acceptance or non-acceptance by some of the participants is irrelevant.
 

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Dear George,

And of all the people who have presented the Non-Chalcedonian position in this thread, I have the most respect for Stavro, because at least he is honest enough to face what the impasse is about.
Well, I would then be very interested if you can answer Stavro's claims against your fathers as Nestorians.  For he believes that Leo was Nestorian, and I know he certainly doesn't believe that St. Dioscorus was a Monophysite.  I won't be surprised if Stavro even calls Leo a "murderer" and "arch-heretic" and that Flavian and Eusebius likewise were all Nestorian heretics.  As a matter of fact, I wish to read the debates between both of you, since I am not of most respect to you.

And whether Dioscorus misunderstood Leo or not is again not the issue.
And yet you complain that Dioscorus refuted "two natures" with "one nature" and use that as heretical intentions, but you haven't proved it.  You even haven't proven the word "fuse" is in passage of the Synexarium you've quoted.  I like Salpy's honest questions without condemnation.  If Pope Vigilus, the successor of Pope Leo, anathematized the EO's for rejecting the Three Chapters, then shouldn't you start questioning the intentions of Leo?  I don't want to end up like Stavro condemning a non-Nestorian, but I do question his "inspiration" of the Holy Spirit, which contradicts the Spirit of Fifth EO Council.

Nestorianism can also be seen as a well intentioned over-reaction to Arianism, but it is still a heresy.
Not according to OO polemics, which can also be an over-reaction to Cyrillianism, like Nestorius and Theodoret, and acceptance of the Three Chapters.

Dioscorus' intentions are not in question, his teaching is.
And thus far, my friend, you still fail to show us that his teaching is heretical.  It was at least that Pope Dioscorus' successors found it not hard at all to condemn Eutyches, which Pope Vigilus hesitated to do to the Three Chapters.

God bless, my friend.

In Christ always,

Mina
 

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It is my understanding, however, that the EO patriarchs didn't just accept the three chapters on a personal, individual level.  It is my understanding that they believed the council of Chalcedon accepted them.  That is the reason they initially objected to rejecting the chapters. They felt that would undermine Chalcedon.  If this is the case, how can the EO's say the eastern Chalcedonians never accepted the three chapters, that it was just a Western thing?  Of course, you can say the EO patriarchs were mistaken in their belief that Chalcedon accepted the chapters.  However, wouldn't they have been in a better position to know than people living today?  They were much closer in time to the council than we are.  Also, being patriarchs, they would have been pretty authoritative and knowledgeable on these matters.

I disagree with you on whether this is relevent.  It is very relevent to the issue of whether there were Chalcedonians prior to the 5th council who were of a Nestorian bent (even if they condemned Nestorius himself.)  That would have bearing on whether the OO's were justified in rejecting Chalcedon.

Anyway, I'm sorry if I am not making sense.  It is late and I am not sleeping.

Say, speaking of not sleeping, I have another question relating to the sleepless monks.  (I know it sounds like I am obsessing.)

They may have actually been condemned and suppressed a little before the 5th council.  It may have been over the issue of whether it was O.K. to say that "One of the Holy Trinity suffered in the flesh."  They, of course, did not like this phrase.

Do EO's today agree with that phrase, or do you have problems with it?

Thanks for bearing with me.  It's always good to hear the other side of the story.
 
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Ozgeorge,

And whether Dioscorus misunderstood Leo or not is again not the issue.
Obviously IT IS, for if St Dioscorus understood leo’s two-nature Christology in a Nestorian context, then it was essentially NESTORIANISM which St Dioscorus was rejecting and refuting. Please learn to adopt the logic of a 12 year old, for the sake of God alone.

Furthermore, Im GLAD you respect Stavro, since he has FIRMLY established the fact that it was absolutely REASONABLE for Leo to be understood in a Nestorian context — he used Nestorian expressions, he was best friends with Nestorian heretics KNOWING they were supporters of Nestorius. What more do you want? Use your head George...show the due respect to Stavro by dealing with his arguments, don't just pay lip service.

Dioscorus' intentions are not in question, his teaching is.
I will list all the quotes again. To put it bluntly: Deal with these quotes, or shut up. You’re twice my age, yet you approach this issue like a kid; having a cry when we critically evaluate Leo’s tome and prove objectively that his expression concerning the natures of Christ acting falls under the 12th anathema of St Cyril which anathemizes those who do not affirm the divine person/hypostasis as the subject of all Christ’s incarnate experiences , yet you obviously have neither the objectivity nor the capacity of mind to deal with the following very explicit quotes from St Dioscorus himself. When I show you a quote from St Cyril himself where he criticizes ignorants for deriving monophysitism from the mere declaration of One Physis, you deny that the quote exists, even when I reference it for you! What a laugh you are my friend; how embarrassing you must be for the Chalcedonians on this board.

Quotes that ozgeorge is yet to deal with and explain; and which prove beyond reasonable doubt that St Dioscorus affirmed One physis after the union IN THE SAME MANNER AND CONTEXT as his predecessor the blessed St Cyril:


1) ozgeorge quoted St Cyril before, in which St Cyril implicitly affirmed the faith of John of Antioch — the faith as declared in the re-union formula which affirms the two distinct natures (natures being used in the sense of ousia). St Dioscorus implicitly affirmed the Re-union formula ALSO - THUS BY YOUR OWN STANDARDS ST DIOSCORUS IS VINDICATED ACCORDING TO THIS ALONE, SINCE THIS WAS ENOUGH FOR YOU TO VINDICATE ST CYRIL:


(From Raoufs post) 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!"

2) St Dioscorus affirms that Christ acts accordingly to his two distinct natures (natures being understood in the sense of ousia):

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..."

IF ST DIOSCORUS BELIEVED THAT CHRIST ONLY HAD ONE NATURE (IN THE ESSENTIALISTIC SENSE), HOW COULD HE ACT ACCORDING TO ONE NATURE (ESSENCE) AT TIMES AND ANOTHER NATURE (ESSENCE) AT OTHER TIMES?

3) St Dioscorus explicitly affirms that Christ is CONSUBSTANTIAL WITH MANKIND — DIRECT REFUTATION OF MONOPHYSITISM:

"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."

AND:

“God the Logos, consubstantial with the Father, at the end of the ages for our redemption became consubstantial with man in the flesh, remaining what he was before.” (Sellers, R.V. The Council of Chalcedon p31. n1. S.P.C.K. 1953)

AND:

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. "

AND:

"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".

4) Even those at Chalcedon understood the fact that St Dioscorus' faith was Orthodox:

I will repeat for you what I stated to another failed Chalcedonian on this board a while ago in another thread, regarding St Dioscorus:

I recall for you the incident [during the Council[ in which Anatolius of Constantinople proposed a new formula, the aim of which was to meet the criticisms made by the many who attended Chalcedon and who were initially quite embarrassed by the tome of Leo due to its evident theological weaknesses. The Roman Legates feeling insulted that anyone dared to challenge any aspect of Leo's tome, and being suspicious that Anatolius's formula may compromise the tome's ultimate authority or even overshadow it (due ultimately and probably to their concept of papal supremacy and/or their adamant position to assert the superiority of Rome over the true theological centre of the Orthodox Christian world Alexandria), threatened to abandon the council at this point, which alarmed the imperial commissioners.

Although the text of the formula was lost, we need to take note of a very small change in the text which is significant to the point im trying to ultimately make. There is no doubt that the re-constructed form of Anatolius's formula as "in two natures" must have been "from two natures" the latter of which, as recognized by the council was used by the blessed St Dioscorus (AND USED BEFORE HIM BY ST CYRIL). What we find is that the Roman legates tried to object to the Orthodoxy Anatolius's formula which employed the expression "from two natures", on the basis that such an expression was one adopted by the blessed St Dioscorus. In response, Anatolius reminds the forgetful, arrogant and ignorant Romans that the blessed St Dioscorus was not condemned for heresy but rather (and even still so, falsely) for disciplinary reasons.

The Orthodoxy of the blessed St Dioscorus remained unchallenged, and he was only unjustly and falsely condemned as a heretic over a hundred years later (533, 680, and 787), by men who were never acquainted with him and who probably never even read a word he said. Unless you can prove otherwise, then you have no valid case against the Orthodoxy of St Dioscorus who was simply staying faithful to the true champion of Christology, his predecessor St Cyril.

1, 2, 3, 4 Issues to deal with George. DON'T RUN AWAY - either do the Christian thing and concede to the fact you have blasphemed against the blessed St Dioscorus by bearing false testimony against him like the Jews of the sanhedrin did to Christ, or continue parroting your same crap in self-denial so we can keep repeating and shoving the evidence in your face to further reduce your credibility which has already stooped below zero - no more patience with you my friend, it's crunch time.

Peace.

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From the moving of Al-Mokattam mountain, to the blood of the Coptic martyrs, and to the Apparition in Zeitoun; the Lord and the Theotokos and all the saints will continue to bless and strengthen the Coptic church, no matter how many vein things the enemy wishes to conspire against her.

From St Basil's Liturgy:
"All offenses and their instigators, abolish. May all dissension of corrupt heresies cease. The enemies of Your Holy Church, O Lord, as at all times, now also humiliate. Strip their vanity, show them their weakness speedily. Bring to naught their envy, their intrigues, their madness, their wickedness and their slander which they commit against us, O Lord, bring them all to avail; disperse their counsel, O God, who dispersed the counsel of Ahithopel." Amen, Kyrie Eleison.
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Greekischristian,

First of all; welcome back, and congratulations on your graduation. May God continue to bless you with much success. I appreciate your response in the other thread; I have read it, however, at the moment I’m only doing rough 2 minute responses during my study breaks since my exams are next week (remember me in your prayers) so I will wait till my exams are over so I can respond to you properly. Just some quick comments for now.

The deposistion was perfectly justifiable
That proposition lies upon various presuppositions that need to be objectively justified; the legitimacy of the council itself for one. We have already started to raise various issues in the other thread which delve into the question of the council's legitimacy - so hopefully we can progress from there.

the fact that he presided over Ephesus 449, and declared with that Synod that the Teachings of Eutyches were Orthodox doesn't [sic?] give great creedance to his own Orthodoxy
It is well known that a) St Dioscorus took in Eutyches only because Eutyches had confessed Christ’s consubstantiality with his mother - furthermore he wasn't taken in whilst under anathema - you have presupposed the validity of Ephesus 448 (which anathemized Eutyches) and the invalidity of Ephesus 449 (which anathemized Leo's companion - Theodoret) - another matter that needs to be objectively discussed b) I am yet to find any hardcore explicit evidence regarding the heresy ascribed to Eutyches, the ambiguity of the matter is in itself a very significant issue - not only when regarding St Dioscorus' relationship with him, but also because Eutyches's being a Eutychian is the very assumption that Chalcedon stands on (I explored this a bit further in my response to Pedro in the same thread you and I have been discussing EO-OO issues)ÂÂ c) There is an inherent double standard in your reasoning for you should be able to likewise conclude that Leo of Rome’s ill-association with Theodoret (an enemy of St Cyril the great, who was vehemently opposed to St Cyril's Orthodox Christology and who was a supporter of Nestorius) doesn’t therefore give much credence to his Orthodoxy either.

Furthermore, even the parallel between St Dioscorus-Eutyches and Leo-Theodoret is a flawed one.

I refer you to Stavro’s post on this issue: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=5867.msg78985#msg78985

And I refer you to an article by Fr. Romanides of the Eastern Orthodox Church on this issue also: http://romanity.org/htm/ro4enfm.htm

IF he truly was Orthodox in Theology (I have not read enough of him to form an informed opinion on my own)
Please see my last post to ozgeorge, which contains the relevant quotations which have been pasted for ozgeorge about 10 times now, and which he is as of yet unable to address. St Dioscorus explicitly affirmed the dual consubstantiality of Christ to the Father and mankind, he implicitly affirmed the re-union formula which incorporates the Antiochene's two nature (ousia) concerns, and he affirms that Christ performed as a man at times, and God at other times.

and the later Anathemas against him truly are Misplaced, on account of the aforesaid Historical events, the logic and conclusions that lead to these Anathemas were far from Unreasonable.
If you were to be consistent regarding the reasoning which lead you to such a conclusion (which I don’t agree with nonetheless, yet have no time to address right now), you should also therefore conclude, that our rejection of and anathemiszation of Leo was likewise “far from unreasonable”.

Peace.
 

ozgeorge

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EkhristosAnesti said:
Are you really this stupid? Obviously IT IS, for if St Dioscorus understood leo’s two-nature Christology in a Nestorian context, then it was essentially NESTORIANISM which St Dioscorus was rejecting and refuting.....
Completeion of sentance: "....By resorting to monophysitism."
 
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Quote from: EkhristosAnesti on Today at 02:11:32 AM
Are you really this stupid? Obviously IT IS, for if St Dioscorus understood leo’s two-nature Christology in a Nestorian context, then it was essentially NESTORIANISM which St Dioscorus was rejecting and refuting.....
Completeion of sentance: "....By resorting to monophysitism."
lol You know what ozgeorge, I don't think you even take yourself seriously, let alone expect anyone else to take you seriously...Why are you afraid to the confront the quotes? The truth doesn't bite my friend, your fathers got it wrong. The Lord has preserved the evidence which vindicates a true Orthodox confessor of the faith, please deal with it sir.

You complain about merry-go-rounds? Then grow up, and get off the merry go round; face the facts ozgeorge, don't be a kid:

Repition #8, and still waiting for ozgeorge to face the music:

I will list all the quotes again. To put it bluntly: Deal with these quotes, or shut up. You’re twice my age, yet you approach this issue like a kid; having a cry when we critically evaluate Leo’s tome and prove objectively that his expression concerning the natures of Christ acting falls under the 12th anathema of St Cyril which anathemizes those who do not affirm the divine person/hypostasis as the subject of all Christ’s incarnate experiences , yet you obviously have neither the objectivity nor the capacity of mind to deal with the following very explicit quotes from St Dioscorus himself. When I show you a quote from St Cyril himself where he criticizes ignorants for deriving monophysitism from the mere declaration of One Physis, you deny that the quote exists, even when I reference it for you! What a laugh you are my friend; how embarrassing you must be for the Chalcedonians on this board.

Quotes that ozgeorge is yet to deal with and explain; and which prove beyond reasonable doubt that St Dioscorus affirmed One physis after the union IN THE SAME MANNER AND CONTEXT as his predecessor the blessed St Cyril:


1) ozgeorge quoted St Cyril before, in which St Cyril implicitly affirmed the faith of John of Antioch — the faith as declared in the re-union formula which affirms the two distinct natures (natures being used in the sense of ousia). St Dioscorus implicitly affirmed the Re-union formula ALSO - THUS BY YOUR OWN STANDARDS ST DIOSCORUS IS VINDICATED ACCORDING TO THIS ALONE, SINCE THIS WAS ENOUGH FOR YOU TO VINDICATE ST CYRIL:


(From Raoufs post) 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!"

2) St Dioscorus affirms that Christ acts accordingly to his two distinct natures (natures being understood in the sense of ousia):

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..."

IF ST DIOSCORUS BELIEVED THAT CHRIST ONLY HAD ONE NATURE (IN THE ESSENTIALISTIC SENSE), HOW COULD HE ACT ACCORDING TO ONE NATURE (ESSENCE) AT TIMES AND ANOTHER NATURE (ESSENCE) AT OTHER TIMES?

3) St Dioscorus explicitly affirms that Christ is CONSUBSTANTIAL WITH MANKIND — DIRECT REFUTATION OF MONOPHYSITISM:

"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."

AND:

“God the Logos, consubstantial with the Father, at the end of the ages for our redemption became consubstantial with man in the flesh, remaining what he was before.” (Sellers, R.V. The Council of Chalcedon p31. n1. S.P.C.K. 1953)

AND:

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. "

AND:

"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".

4) Even those at Chalcedon understood the fact that St Dioscorus' faith was Orthodox:

I will repeat for you what I stated to another failed Chalcedonian on this board a while ago in another thread, regarding St Dioscorus:

I recall for you the incident [during the Council[ in which Anatolius of Constantinople proposed a new formula, the aim of which was to meet the criticisms made by the many who attended Chalcedon and who were initially quite embarrassed by the tome of Leo due to its evident theological weaknesses. The Roman Legates feeling insulted that anyone dared to challenge any aspect of Leo's tome, and being suspicious that Anatolius's formula may compromise the tome's ultimate authority or even overshadow it (due ultimately and probably to their concept of papal supremacy and/or their adamant position to assert the superiority of Rome over the true theological centre of the Orthodox Christian world Alexandria), threatened to abandon the council at this point, which alarmed the imperial commissioners.

Although the text of the formula was lost, we need to take note of a very small change in the text which is significant to the point im trying to ultimately make. There is no doubt that the re-constructed form of Anatolius's formula as "in two natures" must have been "from two natures" the latter of which, as recognized by the council was used by the blessed St Dioscorus (AND USED BEFORE HIM BY ST CYRIL). What we find is that the Roman legates tried to object to the Orthodoxy Anatolius's formula which employed the expression "from two natures", on the basis that such an expression was one adopted by the blessed St Dioscorus. In response, Anatolius reminds the forgetful, arrogant and ignorant Romans that the blessed St Dioscorus was not condemned for heresy but rather (and even still so, falsely) for disciplinary reasons.

The Orthodoxy of the blessed St Dioscorus remained unchallenged, and he was only unjustly and falsely condemned as a heretic over a hundred years later (533, 680, and 787), by men who were never acquainted with him and who probably never even read a word he said. Unless you can prove otherwise, then you have no valid case against the Orthodoxy of St Dioscorus who was simply staying faithful to the true champion of Christology, his predecessor St Cyril.

1, 2, 3, 4 Issues to deal with George. DON'T RUN AWAY - either do the Christian thing and concede to the fact you have blasphemed against the blessed St Dioscorus by bearing false testimony against him like the Jews of the sanhedrin did to Christ, or continue parroting your same crap in self-denial so we can keep repeating and shoving the evidence in your face to further reduce your credibility which has already stooped below zero - no more patience with you my friend, it's crunch time.
Peace.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From the moving of Al-Mokattam mountain, to the blood of the Coptic martyrs, and to the Apparition in Zeitoun; the Lord and the Theotokos and all the saints will continue to bless and strengthen the Coptic church, no matter how many vein things the enemy wishes to conspire against her.

From St Basil's Liturgy:
"All offenses and their instigators, abolish. May all dissension of corrupt heresies cease. The enemies of Your Holy Church, O Lord, as at all times, now also humiliate. Strip their vanity, show them their weakness speedily. Bring to naught their envy, their intrigues, their madness, their wickedness and their slander which they commit against us, O Lord, bring them all to avail; disperse their counsel, O God, who dispersed the counsel of Ahithopel." Amen, Kyrie Eleison.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 

ozgeorge

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Pedro said:
1) Actually, the verse says that not even the Son--the Logos iow--knew this, "but only the Father." So it seems as though the divine Father knew this, but not the Son, according to the Scripture. So Christ did not "know" this even in His divinity, apparently...
This question has been settled in the Orthodox Church for sixteen hundred years by the doctrine of the Two Natures proclaimed at Chalcedon, and now, suddenly sixteen hundred years later this is up for question in the Church in the Americas. Why? Why are the Councils of our Fathers suddenly in question in the Church in the Americas? Could it possibly be because some of you seek union with some outside the Church who have no desire to affirm the Teachings of theEcumenical  Councils?
 

ozgeorge

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EkhristosAnesti said:
You complain about merry-go-rounds? Then grow up, and get off the merry go round; face the facts ozgeorge, don't be a kid:
I think I did jump off, and I think I said so. Perhaps you missed that post?
Thanks once again for expressing yourself in such a Christian way.
 
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I think I did jump off, and I think I said so. Perhaps you missed that post?
Everytime you openly lie concerning St Dioscorus, regardless of the very explicit and blatant quotes given to you which you choose to disregard out of a voluntary wilful hardness of the heart; you are in effect jumping back on the very merry-go-round that you yourself constructed in the first place.

Thanks once again for expressing yourself in such a Christian way.
I rebuke and admonish you for your dishonesty and blasphemy; this is my Christian love for you. There is nothing Christian about leaving you to spread lies about The Orthodox Church ("non-Chalcedonian") and her Orthodox Saints. A love that comrpomises truth and justice is a farce.

...I'm still waiting for you to deal with St Dioscorus' quotations.

Peace.
 
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Quote from: Pedro on Yesterday at 11:45:07 PM
1) Actually, the verse says that not even the Son--the Logos iow--knew this, "but only the Father." So it seems as though the divine Father knew this, but not the Son, according to the Scripture. So Christ did not "know" this even in His divinity, apparently...
Pedro, I think this brings up an interesting point. "The Son" and "The Logos" are titles pertaining to Christ's divine person/hypostasis and not to a particular nature/essence of His. The fact that Christ ascribed a human limitation (i.e. limited knowledge) to the title of His divine person, is consistent with a fundamental principle of Athanasian-Cyrillian Christology; that the divine person/hypostasis is the subject of ALL HIS INCARNATE EXPERIENCES - hunger, suffering, and even ignorance - which are possible according to His human nature/essence which was en-hypostasized by the person/hypostasis of The Word.

On a sidenote, I think an interesting thing to note concerns St Basil's commentary on this passage. He argues that Christ DID in fact know the hour of his second coming, however he was trying to divert the focus of his disciples from this issue, since He wanted it to be of no concern to them.

If Christ did not know something according to His divinity that His Father DID know, this would contradict the affirmation of Christ's consubtantiality with the Father. I think the fact that the hour of His coming simply did not register with his human mind is the most plausible explanation for the verse in question; especially considering the many Biblical references pertaining to Christ's omniescence.

Peace.
 

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Thanks for the response, EA.

And guys, I'm not putting on my mod hat here, just speaking as a fellow poster: Let's try to keep it civil like it started out, huh?  It's getting personal, names are being called ("stupid, afraid, monophysite, heretic, fundamentalist, fool, etc.") -- honest questions were asked.  Let us not resort to inflammatory responses--nor respond in kind to said inflammation--rather, lets maybe take a step back.  Breathe.  This has been going on for sixteen hundred years without our help; we ain't gonna solve it here.

May Christ our God, through the prayers of St. Cyril, pray for us all.
 
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I know this is going off topic, but I guess we could do with a little distraction. In my previous concerning Matt. 24:36. I stated:

On a sidenote, I think an interesting thing to note concerns St Basil's commentary on this passage. He argues that Christ DID in fact know the hour of his second coming, however he was trying to divert the focus of his disciples from this issue, since He wanted it to be of no concern to them.
I just want to clarify something regarding St Basil’s commentary in relation to the verse in question, in order to do it the justice it deserves. Prima facie, some may think that St Basil’s interpretation is completely absurd and that it leads to the necessary conclusion that Christ was a liar (for telling His disciples He did not know the hour, when in fact He did).

However, let us not underestimate St Basil; who was not only an enlightened and blessed father of the Church, but obviously also more closely socio-historically connected to Christ’s era than us, and hence capable of understanding Christ’s sayings in a social-cultural context that he was probably sufficiently familiar with.

According to their book Handbook of Biblical Social Values, biblical scholars Malina and Pilch explain the nature of rhetorical criticism in the ANE (Ancient Near East) as well as ancient concepts of honor. As such, ritual etiquette in that day entailed that one in public, may deliberately be indirect or incomplete in their speech (what we would call “deceptive” today in the west), in order to prevent conflict or to achieve a greater purpose in the interest of others. Christ therefore, in knowing the hour of his second coming; nonetheless remained “silent concerning the season of judgment because it was not expedient for men to hear. For constant expectation kindles a warmer zeal for true religion. The knowledge that a long time interval of time was to elapse would have made men more careless about true religion, from the hope of being saved by a subsequent change of life. So he denied the hour, though He indeed know, for How could He who had known everything up to this time (for so He said) not know the hour also? If so, the Apostle vainly said “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. (St Basil — Letter VIII — On Matt. 24:36 Of Knowledge of that Day and of that Hour?)

Ofcourse, the obvious should not need to be pointed out; that Christ's knowing of the hour of his second coming does not entail that He knows everything according to his human mind - yet I will make that explicit in case some wish to misrepresent me and argue that I am denying any sort of ignorance in Christ per se. He who is Wisdom according to His divinity, grew in Wisdom according to his humanity (both facts explicated in the book of Luke: 11:49 and 2:52, respectively), however, that He did not know the hour of his own second coming, is not a necessary conclusion to draw, and indeed St Basil's interpretation is plausible when considered in the appropriate context.

Peace.
 

ozgeorge

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Salpy said:
Do EO's today agree with that phrase, or do you have problems with it?
The Fifth Ecumenical Council affirmed that "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh."
EO's believe what the Ecumenical Councils teach.
False ecumenists believe whatever is expedient.
 
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The Fifth Ecumenical Council affirmed that "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh."
I assume therefore that you will finally agree that it is the divine person/hypostasis as opposed to the human nature (ousia), that is the subject of Christ’s Incarnate experiences, right? i.e. no more of this “the human nature slept” nonsense, and more of “One of the Trinity, the Son of God The Logos, slept in the flesh (or alternatively 'according to His humanity')” right?

Peace.
 

minasoliman

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Not one fanatic EO from there has bothered to answer back against the quotes we provided them with. Either that or not one EO admitted the Orthodoxy of St. Dioscorus, like Fr. John Romanides did. I don't know whether this is out of ignorance or fear, but I am saddened people here continue to ignore irrefutable proof of St. Dioscorus' Orthodoxy and proceed to confess blindly without conviction that St. Dioscorus is a monophysite heretic.

It's futile to continue to debate here if people do not want to have an honest debate.ÂÂ I came here to have an intellectual discussion, not to act like a child.  I don't care anymore if I don't have the last word.ÂÂ I pray that the Lord may have mercy on the EO's here who continue to spread lies against the OO fathers.

God bless you all, and good bye.

Mina

Humble and most faithful servant of the faith of Christ defended through St. Cyril and St. Dioscorus.

Glory be to God forever. Amen!
 
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It's futile to continue to debate here if people do not want to have an honest debate. I came here to have an intellectual discussion, not to act like a child. I don't care anymore if I don't have the last word. I pray that the Lord may have mercy on the EO's here who continue to spread lies against the OO fathers.

God bless you all, and good bye.
Don’t go bro; I obviously feel your frustration, it is evident in my posts. However, realize that those on this forum who have continued to deny and cop-out regardless of our repetitive request for objective and critical investigation, are in fact doing us a service. They’re proving the truth for us through their blatant blind denial, more than we do in our positive and reasoned arguments.

Our liturgical prayers do not go unanswered:

"All offenses and their instigators, abolish. May all dissension of corrupt heresies cease. The enemies of Your Holy Church, O Lord, as at all times, now also humiliate. Strip their vanity, show them their weakness speedily. Bring to naught their envy, their intrigues, their madness, their wickedness and their slander which they commit against us, O Lord, bring them all to avail; disperse their counsel, O God, who dispersed the counsel of Ahithopel." Amen, Kyrie Eleison. - St Basil's Liturgy

Please stay a while longer, at least until July, since I have just vowed to Anastasios not to visit this forum again until my exams are officially over.

Peace.
 

minasoliman

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I will stay up until July, but if we continue in vain after July, I can no longer do anything more to convince people.

At that time, I will just shake the dust off my feet and move along.

In Christ,

Mina
 

Anastasios

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minasoliman said:
I will stay up until July, but if we continue in vain after July, I can no longer do anything more to convince people.

At that time, I will just shake the dust off my feet and move along.

In Christ,

Mina
How about just staying and having fun :) That's what the rest of us do :)

Anastasios
 

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Some thoughts from a man who realizes he is totally out of his depth in a debate like this!

1) On a practical level, I'm quite certain that Chalcedonians and Non-Chalcedonians here and now, materially believe the same things.  Of this, I have little doubt.

2) As I've said previously on this board (though perhaps not in this thread), theological terminology, particularly in the early period of the Church, was in constant development and varied across Christendom.  It was very easy to find two people who meant the same thing, but expressed it in different ways.

3) While we rightly call them "Ecumenical Councils", they were also to start, Imperial Councils.  And why did the Emperors have an interest in these topics?  Because they, as rulers and believers, had an interest in seeing discord in the Empire and amongst believers be resolved.  Part of the tasks of Councils then, was to formulate language which all who rightly believed could agree upon, both as common ground and to avoid future confusion - and importantly, to exclude heresy.

4) While I've not read enough of Dioscoros himself to form a personally arrived at conclusion, I can say unhesitatingly that the doctrine of Chalcedon is true, and agrees with what came beforehand - with the Divine Scriptures, the Holy Fathers and Saints of all lands, and significantly, the previous three Ecumenical Councils (including Ephesos.)  Nothing I've read in this thread thus far has given me so much as a moment of reconsideration on this point, and if anything the attempts to find Nestorianism in Chalcedon strike me as "fishing".

5) Both before and after Chalcedon (though focusing on "before" I think is more beneficial to this discussion, as it's something we all share in common), you'll find holy fathers who say things in an unfortunate way, or even perhaps entertain ideas in some matters (even significant ones) which later Ecumenical collbaration and witness would make clear were a departure from truth and the ancient consensus.  I've been reading a lot about St.Hillary of Poitiers lately, and what becomes clear is that at some points he made miscalculated alliances, and at least on the point of Christ's human nature stated an incorrect view (which hailed from Alexandria btw.) that Christ's humanity was "impassible" - that He didn't really need to eat, or sleep, that He didn't really experience pain, hunger etc., though the suffering of His flesh was real, etc.  Though it's obvious St.Hillary struggled with such ideas, and was really trying to be clear and faithful, in hindsight his wording is unfortunate in these matters, to say the least.  Btw. "logically" speaking, the view of Christ's humanity being totally impassible is not totally without merit - for such is the condition of those who are in the state of theoria.  So it's not like he's totally out to lunch - but it does point in a direction that is unsavory, and does not adequately recognize that though true God, His kenosis was such that it also included the experience of the blameless passions and this was not something utterly unworthy of Him let alone impossible for Him.

6) If the language of "two natures" is obnoxious for many 'Alexandrians' because it has Antiochene roots (and they are a suspicious bunch!), so was the language of homoousios smacked of Sabellianism to many who dissented from Nicea (and they were not totally incorrect - it was a favoured term of the Sabellians, and a Sabellian slant to it would be only removed once terminology about hypostasis became sufficiently clear later on), and one physis of the Incarnate Logos smacked of Apollinarianism and neo-Doceticism to many who dissented from Ephesus (and every scholar I've seen who has written on this topic, acknowledges that the term is not originally Athanasian, which is what St.Cyril sincerely thought, but was in fact taken from the heretic Apollinaris).  The point is, if we look at the "heritage" of terms, apart from their context, then we're getting nowhere fast and will continue to find excuses to be away from one another.

 

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EA,

"I assume therefore that you will finally agree that it is the divine person/hypostasis as opposed to the human nature (ousia), that is the subject of Christ’s Incarnate experiences, right? i.e. no more of this “the human nature slept” nonsense, and more of “One of the Trinity, the Son of God The Logos, slept in the flesh (or alternatively 'according to His humanity')” right?"

Christ's human physis died on the cross.  One cannot say that his divine physis died or suffered as this would offend the impassibility of the divine substance.  It is precisely becasue Christ is one divine person with two natures, human and divine that we can say Christ died for us and what is meant by "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh."  It is also why saying the one composite nature of Christ died is unacceptable to Chalcedonians.  It implies either the impassable divinity suffered and died (impossible) or Christ didn't really die or at least not in the same way we do, which would mean he did not assume everything which was ours.

"When your body was in the tomb, when your soul was in Hades, when you were in Paradise with the thief, you were at the same time, O Christ as God, upon your throne with Father and the Sipirt, infinite and filling all things" (Prayer said at the first incensing of the altar during Divine Liturgy).

Fr. Deacon Lance

 

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Dear Fr. Deacon Lance,

I don't think EA was saying that the Divine Nature died on the Cross, for that would be heresy. He was saying that the Prosopon who is divine was the one who died in the flesh. So long as it is the same prosopon who died on the Cross, then we like to give the willing to the Prosopon. Otherwise, then you'll have to say that "One of the Trinity died" is vague, since it talks about "one of the Trinity" in assumption to nature, and not to prosopon, according to your argument.

"One Incarnate Nature" is preferrable because it's very similar to humanity's "one nature." If I eat solid food, did my soul and spirit eat the food and digest it? No, for that would be metaphysically impossible. Yet, we give humanity the appelation "one nature" although we don't confuse the three natures in it.

Otherwise, I have no trouble with either what you or EA believe.

God bless.
 

Deacon Lance

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Mina,

Please understand that I do not consider the Orientals to be Monophysites.  However, I also do not consider the Assyrians to be Nestorians.  Both, it seems to me, believe the same as Chalcedonians and depart from us only in the teminology they employ to speak of the same truth.  Also both seem to emphasisze different points.  The Orientals seek to guard Christ's personal unity, while the Assyrians seeks to guard the unconfusedness of His divinity and humanity.

Fr. Deacon Lance
 
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Okay last post, I promise!  :D (Nice work Anastasios)

Fr. Deacon Lance,

Christ's human physis died on the cross.  One cannot say that his divine physis died or suffered as this would offend the impassibility of the divine substance.
I think you misunderstand my point; I am perfectly aware of the impassibility of the divine nature (ousia), my point is that a “nature” (physis in the sense of ousia) cannot be regarded as the centre or subject of action; for not only does this contradict the teachings of St Athanasius and St Cyril, but it is also metaphysically unsound in an Orthodox context, for the logical implications of regarding a nature in such a manner, are Nestorian.

It is the divine hypostasis/person of Christ who dies according to his human nature (physis/ousia) or in the flesh. We always regard the prospon or hypostasis/physis as the subject of action, and not the ousia/physis.

Patristic evidence:

In his Letter to Epictetus St Athanasius says:

“the incorporeal Word made His own the properties of the Body, as being His own Body. Why, when the Body was struck by the attendant, as suffering Himself He asked, “Why smittest thou Me?”. And being by nature intangible, the Word yet said, “I gave My back to the stripes, and My cheeks to blows, and did not turn My face from shame and spitting”. For what the Human body of the Word suffered, this the Word, dwelling in the Body, ascribed to Himself... And verily it is strange that He it was Who suffered and yet suffered not. Suffered, because His own body suffered; suffered not, because the Word, being by nature God, is impassible”.

The highlight in bold essentially conveys my point quite clearly; the “human actions” of Christ are ascribed to the personal subject — The divine hypostasis of The Word (NOT his divine nature/ousia), even though such actions were only possible according to His human nature (ousia). The flesh of The Word is not what suffers; rather, The Word is the One who suffers according to, or in His flesh.

Furthermore according to the 12th anathema of St Cyril:

"If anyone does not confess that the Word of God suffered in the flesh and was crucified in the flesh and tasted death in the flesh and became the first born of the dead, although as God he is life and life-giving, let him be anathema."

Basic Metaphysics:

Professor Bittle, in his book The Domain of Being: Ontology says:

"Actions belong to the person or hypoastasis. The ‘nature’ of a being is the principle of all that being's actions. But the nature of an individual, concrete being, as it actually exists...is always a hypostasis and, if it is rational, a person. This fact is clearly expressed in our judgments and statements about certain things. We seldom refer our actions to the faculties or parts from which they proceed immediately, but rather to the ultimate possessor of the nature. We thus say ‘I see, I digest, I think, or I drive the car,’ even though
it's the eyes that see, and the stomach that digest, and the intellect that thinks, and the hands that steer the wheell. Actions are thus ascribed to the hypostasis or person. The hypostasis or person is the very principle which (principium quod) performs the actual action, whilst the nature is simply the ultimate principle by means of which (principium quo) the hypostasis or person performs that very action" (1939, page 271)

It is also why saying the one composite nature of Christ died is unacceptable to Chalcedonians.
As has been repeated numerously on this forum, the one composite physis as affirmed by the Oriental Orthodox Church is simply the ultimate hypostasis of Christ after the incarnation (as opposed to the hypostasis of The Word prior to the Incarnation) when the hypostasis of The Word en-hypostasized His humanity, such that it became His very own. Do you notice how I’ve constantly qualified the term “nature” in parenthesis whenever it is employed? We cannot just throw the term "nature" around carelessly in a dialogue of this sort.

Thus, when we say that the One composite physis of Christ died, we are essentially saying that the "new" hypostasis of The Word (i.e. according to the state of His existence after the Incarnation) died according to His humanity which is intrinsic to His very hypostasis — for as His humanity was intrinsic to His self after the Incarnation, so it is that He became the subject of the death of his own body. This is perfectly in line, not only with the above quotations, but also with the affirmation that “One of the Holy Trinity died” — for the Holy Trinity is three hypostasis/persons, and not three ousia/nature, thus the “One of the Holy Trinity” being referred must be the hypostasis/person of The Word.

What is essential is the understanding that the physis/ousia provides the means/capacity by which the personal subject — the prosopon or the physis/hypostasis, ultimately acts.

Peace.
 

cizinec

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Someone above asked why the Church of the East today is separate from the EO's. It was my understanding that this was a schism which occurred after the 5th council, not before.  I thought this was pretty well documented and that the Assyrians will attest that this is the case. Is there any evidence that you were two different churches prior to the 5th council?
Well concerning the extant Assyrian churches, that question is easy to answer.ÂÂ The “Nestorians” or Assyrians were cut off from the rest of Christianity for obvious political reasons.ÂÂ Don’t forget that these folks were in Persia, suffering severe persecution under their government, which was constantly at war with Rome.ÂÂ The Persians viewed Christianity as a Roman religion and, therefore, all Christians were Roman sympathizers.ÂÂ They didn’t even accept the Nicene Creed until 410, after the Second Council was over, when they heard about it.ÂÂ

They had apparently never heard of Nestorius while he was alive. Soon after his death they heard of the controversy and sided with Nestorius, but no one knows what they heard of the arguments. I know they were linked to Theodore of Mopsuestia and the Nisibis and Edessa schools.

All throughout the period the “Romans” were closing down the Nestorian schools and the theologians were fleeing to Persia.ÂÂ I doubt they were closing down their schools because they thought they were teaching Orthodoxy and they were being all chummy.

In 544 the Assyrians agreed to Chalcedon. The Chalcedonians, however, did not see this as meaningful because they did not accept Ephesus. That's why in 553, barely a blink of an eye for our own period to organize this size of a response to the statement in 544, the Fifth Ecumenical Council said, “Hey, if you don’t get it, here you go. You can’t ignore Ephesus.” The “Romans” continued to export their Nestorians to Persia.

That the Persian Nestorians were not at least somewhat aware that they were being cut off is impossible because of the number of Nestorian refugees showing up in Persia.ÂÂ

However, there appear to be monasteries that were not informed of any condemnation of Nestorius until quite late. Certainly the Fifth Ecumenical Council did communicate to the Nestorians what their position was.ÂÂ

Notice Orthodoxinfo.com so far hasn't even got into the meat of the whole situation. There is no dogmatic criticism.
Yeah, their logic is pretty specious.
 

ozgeorge

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EkhristosAnesti said:
I assume therefore that you will finally agree that it is the divine person/hypostasis as opposed to the human nature (ousia), that is the subject of Christ’s Incarnate experiences, right? i.e. no more of this “the human nature slept” nonsense, and more of “One of the Trinity, the Son of God The Logos, slept in the flesh (or alternatively 'according to His humanity')” right?
Why should I reject the formula of Chalcedon, when even you needed to use the formula of Chalcedon?

EkhristosAnesti said:
If Christ did not know something according to His divinity that His Father DID know, this would contradict the affirmation of Christ's consubtantiality with the Father. I think the fact that the hour of His coming simply did not register with his human mind is the most plausible explanation for the verse in question; especially considering the many Biblical references pertaining to Christ's omniescence.
EA, are you saying that the two Natures acted independantly? I assume therefore that you reject the teachings of Dioscorus?

Never presume to know what I think, and I won't assume anything about you.
 

minasoliman

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ozgeorge said:
Thanks! Another badge of honour! :)
Now rejoining the silence of the Holy Mountain on this issue.
George
Sigh ::)
 

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EkhristosAnesti said:
If Christ did not know something according to His divinity that His Father DID know, this would contradict the affirmation of Christ's consubtantiality with the Father. I think the fact that the hour of His coming simply did not register with his human mind is the most plausible explanation for the verse in question; especially considering the many Biblical references pertaining to Christ's omniescence.
I have to agree with ozgeorge here; if indeed the human mind of Christ did not perceive something which the Second Member of the Trinity must know, and if the actions of one nature necessarily presuppose an identical action on behalf of the other--or, if you prefer, the humanity and the divinity of the One Logos are always to move as one nature, for one they are (in your mind)...

  • Christ did not know in His divinity and diverted from the knowledge of the Father or
  • He did know in His humanity and lied about it.
 

For you to say that the mind of the Logos knew something that did not register with His human mind seems to me to be a concession to the idea that the humanity and divinity can indeed move in different courses within the Second Member of the Trinity, who is the one Christ, the Logos.
 
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ozgeorge,

Quote from: EkhristosAnesti on Today at 07:03:24 AM
If Christ did not know something according to His divinity that His Father DID know, this would contradict the affirmation of Christ's consubtantiality with the Father. I think the fact that the hour of His coming simply did not register with his human mind is the most plausible explanation for the verse in question; especially considering the many Biblical references pertaining to Christ's omniescence.

EA, are you saying that the two Natures acted independantly? I assume therefore that you reject the teachings of Dioscorus?
What a perfect instrument God has given me in order to vindicate the blessed St Dioscorus:

St Dioscorus says in his first letter to his monks:

“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.”

Along with the blessed St Dioscorus, I speak concerning this matter: “I envisage Him knowing all things as God, and not knowing all things as a man”

This is no more than a simple reformulation of the only acceptable formula: “He knew all things according to His divinity, yet knew not all things according to His humanity or ‘in the flesh’

Sorry ozgeorge to burst your bubble, but there is no natures acting independently, I attribute both knowing and not-knowing to the same personal subject, unlike yourself who wished to remain defiant to the tradition of our fathers by continuing to employ heretical language anathemized by St Cyril who is obviously merely a stranger to you in reality, as much as he was a stranger to Leo, by saying “the human mind did not know” just as you said “the human nature slept” — notice that I said it did not register with HIS human mind. Nice try ozgeorge, but if God is for us, vain attempts and weak logic could never be against us.

Likewise I affirm with the blessed St Dioscorus:

"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”

For being consubstantial with us, he must have acquired a human mind like us; one which grows in knowledge and wisdom and acquires facts through human experience, or through revelation from the Father; but not that this mind in and of itself contains the infinite knowledge as is encapsulated by The Word according to His divinity.

Never presume to know what I think, and I won't assume anything about you.
No, please continue assuming much, you give me great opportunity to prove just how desparate and weak your position is. Remember ozgeorge, discard Leo's concept of the human nature acting/performing, and please adhere to your fifth council's declaration that the hypostasis/person acted according to his human nature - the two are not compatible - one is perfectly Orthodox, the other no more than heresy.

Peace.
 
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