Theological Differences Between Assyro-Chaldean and Greek Catholics

ronyodish

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The Cappadocians also have a tripartite structure:  essence ( which corresponds to nature), energy, and hypostasis (which corresponds to face or person).
Apotheoun,

I'm sorry, I may have confused you here.  That is not what I meant by the "tripartite".  By the tripartite, I meant the terms Kyana, Qnoma, and Parsopa.  We only use Kyana and Qnoma in the Trinity, but we use all three in Christology.  So, to correct my mistake, when I initially mentioned the "tripartite" I was thinking of Christology, while you were thinking of Trinity.  I'm sorry.

When I mentioned "unlike Byzantine theology" I was referring to the Physis (Nature) and Hypostasis/Prosopon (Person) that is used, while we use Kyana (general nature), Qnoma (individuated, but not personalized nature), and Parsopa (Person).  You see, we make a distinction between each of the three, we don't interchange Parsopa with Qnoma, nor Qnoma with Kyana.

And as I mentioned, based on my reading of Mar Odisho (our last great theologian before the decimation of the Church of the East), we equate three-fold energy with the Qnome in the Trinity.

With the foregoing information in mind, unity in God corresponds to ousia / physis (essence / nature), which is common to the three divine hypostaseis, while distinction corresponds to hypostasis / prosopon (subsistence / face or person).
The is how we would say it:  Unity in God corresponds to Kyana (general essence/nature), which is common to the three divine Qnome, while distinction corresponds to the Qnome (individuated essences/natures)

That said, I am concerned by what you have posted so far, because it appears to have affinities with the theology of Sabellius and the christology of Nestorius.
And as I mentioned, we do not confuse the Kyana with the Qnome (Sabellian), and we do not accept a two-Person Christ: "a mere man in a moral union with the Word" therefore, we are not Nestorian.  But as far as Nestorius, many of us do not think that he himself was Nestorian, neither do we think that Theodore the Interpreter and Diodore of Tarsus were Nestorians.  I do think that Nestorius made the mistake of speaking against the title: Mother of God, but I do not think His preferred title: Mother of Christ, is in itself heretical.  The Common Christological Declaration says that both Mother of God and Mother of Christ are acceptable titles.  The Assyrians have always confessed:  Mother of Christ, our God and Savior.

God bless,

Rony
 

ronyodish

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Actually, that's not correct. There is a distinction between Hypostasis (Subsistence) and Prosopon (Person).
For instance, a tree has hypostasis, but it has no prosopon.
ozgeorge,

Thanks.  When you say Christ is One Person in Two Natures, how do you put it in Greek (just the terms)?

God bless,

Rony
 

ronyodish

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ozgeorge,

Also, in the Trinity, when you say One Ousia, Three Hypostases, how do you translate this into English?  Do you say One Essence, Three Persons?

God bless,

Rony
 

ozgeorge

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ronyodish said:
Also, in the Trinity, when you say One Ousia, Three Hypostases, how do you translate this into English?  Do you say One Essence, Three Persons?
No, the more correct term would be "One Essence, Three subsistences."

"Hypostasis" comes from "Hypo" (under/beneath) and "Stasis" (standing). So literally it would translate as "Under-standing" or "sub-stance", but it means something different (although related to) these terms.
 

Salpy

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Who are the Oriental Catholics being referrenced in this thread?
 

Salpy

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That might be more accurate.  Thank you.  :)
 

ronyodish

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Who are the Oriental Catholics being referrenced in this thread?
Salpy,

It's supposed to be referring to me, a Chaldean Catholic, but technically we don't really call ourselves in English as Oriental Catholics, because that usually refers to the Antiochene, Armenian, and Alexandrian Catholics.  We Assyro-Chaldean Catholics are not of those traditions, and our traditional terminology is to speak of our Church as simply the Church of the East, and we often just call ourselves Eastern Catholics (not to be confused with Greek-Catholics).

Our theology on Christ (or Christology) is quiet unique to us and the Syro-Malabar Catholics (and Assyrian/Ancient Churches of the East) and is not even exactly similar to the Christology of the Antiochenes, even though they make use of the Syriac language like us.

Unless the Orientals (Antiochene, Armenian, and Alexandrian Catholics) would also want to chime in on this discussion, its up to them, but it seems that this thread was put together as mostly a discussion between Apotheoun (a Greek Catholic), and me (a Chaldean Catholic).  So, the title of this thread would probably be more specifically titled as "Theological Differences Between Assyro-Chaldean and Greek Catholics", unless I guess the Orientals want to participate.

God bless,

Rony

 

ronyodish

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One Prosospon, Two Physis.
No, the more correct term would be "One Essence, Three subsistences."

"Hypostasis" comes from "Hypo" (under/beneath) and "Stasis" (standing). So literally it would translate as "Under-standing" or "sub-stance", but it means something different (although related to) these terms.
Thanks.

God bless,

Rony
 

Apotheoun

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Rony,

As I see it, it is impossible to reconcile your position to the teaching of the Cappadocians on the Trinity, and the Council of Chalcedon on Christology.

Christ is one divine hypostasis and prosopon in two natures (physeis).

I cannot accept the orthodoxy of the following comment:  "We don't equate the Parsopa (what you call prosopon) with the Qnoma (what you call hypostasis)," because this is basically the teaching of the heretic Nestorius, who said that there is one prosopon (face / person / countenance) of Christ, but two hypostaseis (subsistences) and two physeis (natures).

Our theological views are clearly different, and I do not believe that they can be reconciled, either as it concerns the Trinity or the Incarnation.

God bless,
Todd
 

Apotheoun

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Decree of Chalcedon

Therefore, following the Holy Fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one essence with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one essence with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the Theotokos; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person (prosopon) and subsistence (hypostasis), not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
 

Apotheoun

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ronyodish said:
Apotheoun,

[. . .]

In the Trinity, Qnoma is equivalent to your Hypostasis, but not in the Incarnation, because your definition of Hypostasis is that of Person, whereas for us, Qnoma is defined not as Person, but as Singular Essence according to the teaching of Mar Bawai the Great (our Christological Church Father who formulated the Christology of our Church of the East).  So, in order for both of us to be speaking on the same level on the Incarnation, your Single Hypostasis (your One Hypostasis in Two Physis - One Person in Two Natures) would be equivalent to our Single Parsopa (Two Kyane, Two Qnome, One Parsopa - Two General Essences, Two Singular Essences, One Person).  Essentially, you'd be saying that Jesus is One Person, God and Man, and we would be saying the same thing that Jesus is One Person, God and Man.  And since we also both agree that there is no division and no separation in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The teaching of Chalcedon is that the incarnate Logos is one divine prosopon and one divine hypostasis in two natures (physeis), divine and human.  This means that Christ is not a human prosopon or human hypostasis, while what you are advocating appears to conform to the teaching of Nestorius, who accepted the fact that in the incarnation Christ was one prosopon, but who then went on to deny the unity of His hypostasis, asserting instead that Christ had a human hypostasis and a divine hypostasis, and a human physis and a divine physis.  Now prescinding from the christological problems inherent in your posts, as I see it our positions are still not compatible in triadology (any more than they are compatible in christology), because even though you argue that the qnoma corresponds to hypostasis in trinitarian theology (but not in christology), the problem of the procession (ekporeusis) of origin of the Spirit remains, because the Son is not a cause or principle in the origination of the person (understood as both prosopon and hypostasis) of the Spirit; instead, He (i.e., the Son) only participates in the Spirit's manifestation (phanerosis) as energy (cf. St. Gregory Palamas, "Dialogue between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite," no. 49).
 

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ronyodish said:
Apotheoun,

[. . .]

And as I mentioned, we do not confuse the Kyana with the Qnome (Sabellian), and we do not accept a two-Person Christ: "a mere man in a moral union with the Word" therefore, we are not Nestorian.  But as far as Nestorius, many of us do not think that he himself was Nestorian, neither do we think that Theodore the Interpreter and Diodore of Tarsus were Nestorians.  I do think that Nestorius made the mistake of speaking against the title: Mother of God, but I do not think His preferred title: Mother of Christ, is in itself heretical.  The Common Christological Declaration says that both Mother of God and Mother of Christ are acceptable titles.  The Assyrians have always confessed:  Mother of Christ, our God and Savior.

God bless,

Rony
If -- as you have indicated -- "qnoma" corresponds to hypostasis, then it appears as if you only accept a prosopic union, and not a hypostatic union, in Christ.  Historically Nestorius also rejected a hypostatic union in favor of a prosopic union, and so your christological position does appear to mirror his position.
 

ozgeorge

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Apotheoun said:
If -- as you have indicated -- "qnoma" corresponds to hypostasis, then it appears as if you only accept a prosopic union, and not a hypostatic union, in Christ.
I don't think Qnoma corresponds to either hypostasis, prosopon, physis, or ousia by what I can see in Jimmy's explanation of it, but rather, it appears to be something else entirely.
 

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ozgeorge said:
I don't think Qnoma corresponds to either hypostasis, prosopon, physis, or ousia by what I can see in Jimmy's explanation of it, but rather, it appears to be something else entirely.
I am merely referring back to what Rony said:
ronyodish said:
In the Trinity, Qnoma is equivalent to your Hypostasis, but not in the Incarnation . . .
Be that as it may, in the theology of the Cappadocians and the Council of Chalcedon, hypostasis and prosopon are connected, and in fact hypostasis is used precisely in this way in order to avoid Sabellian modalism in Triadology and Nestorianism in Christology.
 

ronyodish

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My friend Jimmy is an Antiochene Maronite, and as I mentioned above, our Christology is distinct from that of the Antiochenes, despite our use of Syriac. 

In the Trinity:

1. We Assyro-Chaldeans confess one Kyana, three Qnome.

2. Maronites confess one Kyono, three Qnome.

3. Syriac Orthodox confess one Kyono, three Qnome.

All three confessions are orthodox, and equivalent to the Greek.


In the Incarnation:

1. We Assyro-Chaldeans confess two Kyane, two Qnome, and one Parsopa.

2. Maronites confess two Kyono, one Qnomo, and one Parsopo. (this is the equivalent of the Greek)

3. Syriac Orthodox confess one Kyono, one Qnomo, and one Parsopo.

All three confessions are orthodox for the following reason:

1. The human Qnoma (which the Son assumes) is not defined as Person, rather it is a particularized essence (real human body and real human soul, not just a vague concept of humanity).  The two Qnome, the Son assuming the Human Qnoma, result in the conception of one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son Incarnate, without division and without separation.

2. This is equivalent to the Greek, so no need for me to explain here.

3. The difference here is that they speak of "one out of two natures" rather than "one in two natures" (before the Incarnation two natures, in the  Incarnation one united nature), and so they have one Kyono instead of two Kyono to emphasize the Unity, but they confess that Christ is the God-Man, without confusion and without change, and do not confess that the Divine Word has swallowed up or destroyed the Human nature.

I will be back.

God bless,

Rony
 

ozgeorge

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Thanks for that explanation Rony.

ronyodish said:
In the Incarnation:

1. We Assyro-Chaldeans confess two Kyane, two Qnome, and one Parsopa.
This is why Qnome caanot be quivalent to Hypostasis.

ronyodish said:
1. The human Qnoma (which the Son assumes) is not defined as Person, rather it is a particularized essence (real human body and real human soul, not just a vague concept of humanity).  The two Qnome, the Son assuming the Human Qnoma, result in the conception of one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son Incarnate, without division and without separation.
This makes me think that Qnome cannot be equivalent to ousia either. Like Qnome, Ousia does not exist in the abstract, but must exist withing an hypostasis, yet:
ronyodish said:
In the Trinity:

1. We Assyro-Chaldeans confess one Kyana, three Qnome.
whereas in the Trinity, we confess One Ousia.
 
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