Is Ecumenism Evil?

Thank you for your responses to the recent post on the challenges facing our Church in the coming decades, but I feel there may be some misconceptions about the current state of the involvement of the Coptic Church in the ecumenical movement.

My understanding is that the vast majority of the Eastern Orthodox community has accepted that we Oriental Orthodox are in Orthodox in faith and not Monophysite heretics. However, a small section based mainly on the influential Mt Athos monastic community refuses to accept that we are Orthodox. They insist that the proof of our Orthodoxy must include condemning Pope Dioscorus as a heretic and renouncing him, dropping him from our doxologies, synaxarium, commemoration of the saints etc. They also insist that we must accept the Council of Chalcedon (where the split happened in 451AD) as legal or canonical, plus the other three Coucnils that came after it. We currently only accept the first three COuncils as canonical, they accept seven (The Roman Catholics are up to 22 I think, including Vatican II as the most recent).

As far as I know, no one is suggesting that the Oriental Orthodox change their rites or submit to new authorities (except the Catholics who insist the Pope of Rome has absolute authority over all Christians). Even within the Eastern Orthodox community, the Ecumenical Patriarch, based in Constantinople, has no authority over the other Eastern Orthodox Churches, for each one has its own independent Patriarch and Synod. Further, there is a wide variety of rites, languages, cultures, liturgies etc within the existing Eastern Orthodox community, as there is in the Oriental Orthodox. None of that needs to change.

So in summary, the only thing keeping us out of communion with our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters is this insistence by a stubborn but powerful minority that we rewrite our view of history to agree with theirs.

Nor is this merely a theoretical matter. I can think of at least two reasons why re-establishing communion between us is important and worth pursuing. Firstly, the very practical matter of inter-marriage. In the diaspora, we must accept that more and more of our youth will wish to marry Christians of other denominations. The lack of communion causes incredible heartache and tribulation, sometimes even destroying what might otherwise have been a very successful relationship. The second is the command of Christ that we be one in Him. We believe in the same basic Truths – why should we be separated from each other in this way? I do not think it was ever Christ’s intention that His flock be so divided one against the other. Surely we have a responsibility to do all we can to come together?

Fr Ant

No votes yet.
Please wait…

9 Replies to “Is Ecumenism Evil?”

  1. Ecumanism is not evil, we must strive to re-establish the Church so that we worship One Lord, in One Faith and in One Baptism. However, that being said, I think the ecumenical movement is being pursued too widely.

    By all means, lets consult and discuss faith issues and Church unity issues with our sister Byzantine Churches, that is exactly what the Ecumenical Councils of the early Church did, being convened to reach consensus in faith between the Alexandrine, Antiochene and Latin traditions.

    What I personally think is dangerous is when the Orthodox faith and Tradition (with a capital ‘T’) are compromised, and I believe some aspects of the ecumenical movement are doing that, and we are either compromising the faith and the Tradition developed before and throughout the history of the schism, or we are bordering on mingling the faith with heresy.

    Consultations and signings of Common Faith Declarations with heretical or heterodox Churches is one aspect where I think the ecumenical movement has gone too far. The Ecumenical Councils of the past did not consult with heretics to find common ground, as is being done today. Heretics were pretty much given an ultimatum to repent or be anathematised. Now although I am aware this does not happen today, heretical or heterodox groups should not be consulted with, nor should we seek to find any common ground unless it is complete. We should not be signing Christological Agreements with the Roman Church or the Anglican Church, because at the end of the day, it does not matter if we agree on Christological matters if the rest of their faith is tainted.

    As I mentioned in the previous post, consultations and agreements signed with our sister Byzantine Church are a good thing. They no longer see us as Monophysite heretics and we no longer see them as Nestorian heretics. The essence of our faith is the same and so there are grounds for full Eucharistic communion to be sort. But at what cost?

    Firstly, Orthodox ecclesiology will be compromised. This is seen as a minor issue and something we cannot escape due to the historical fact that after the schism to rival bishops we set up in each diocese, two distinct Churches were created, and pure Orthodox ecclesiology changed definition at that point.
    I agree that because we cannot change history or turn back the clock, we cannot dissolve or nullify one bishop from a diocese where two preside. The recent ecumenical consultations agreed to set up a protocol between the two bishops, and I agree if this is done carefully it should not be a hinder in the seeking of unity because ecclesiology was compromised at the schism and real Orthodox ecclesiology no longer exists anyway, particularly since the creation of Diasporic Churches.

    However, the proces of unity between the two sides seeks to make other concessions (and I speack from an Oriental Orthodox bias). Through the consultations, the Oriental Orthodox side has come to agree that the four Councils preceeding Ephesus (with emphasis on Chalcedon) were Orthodox in their teachings, although they have been allowed to not formally recognise them as Ecumenical.
    Each side has agreed that any fathers denounced by either side are now recognised as Orthodox in all respects (although with no requirement to recognise sainthood), so the anathemas of the past are no longer valid.
    Where then does this leave our Fathers like Severus of Antioch, Timothy Aelurus and Philoxenus of Mabbug who fought tirelessly against Chalcedon and the Chalcedonian definition? And most importantly, Dioscorus, who alone stood at Chalcedon in defense of Cyril’s Christology and was unjustly martyred for thre cause? Are we now to believe that they were wrong or misinformed or had other ill motives?

    The Eastern Churches, as you say Abouna, each operate with their own Patriarchs and Synods. However, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has jurisdiction over all of them. So, even though they would explain otherwise, and they would vehemently oppose this; they have a Church model of supremacy which is similar to that of the Roman Church. They have an established protocol among each of their Patriarchs, and the Ecumenical Patriarch sits as the supreme head above all Eastern Churches.
    No such thing exists within the Oriental Orthodox communion. Supremacy in the Oriental Churches only exists within each of the separate Churches, there is no protocol and no Church or Patriarch claims superiority or supremacy above any other.

    To the Orientals, one of the most important aspects of the resulting communion (if it ever eventuates) is that the specifities and characteristics of each of the two sides be maintained. The Oriental cannot become part of the Byzantine Tradition (one of the problems that caused the schism of the 5th Century in the first place). Throughout the course of history, each Church has developed in different ways, with different customs and traditions. So we cannot change the historical, cultural, liturgical or patristic identities of either side. We have to be faithful to our own traditions, identities and particularities such that there is no merger of the two sides.

    This is unacceptable to the Eastern Church, and they have been unable to understand the Orientals concerns regarding this very important matter.They see that what the Orientals are proposing is inter-communion rather than communion. Because even though each of the Eastern Churches have their own traditions and cultural distinctions, they each operate under the Byzantine Rite.
    Communion to the Easterners is a Church under one Rite, and this is what they wish it to be so in the event of communion with the Orientals.

    This is extremely dangerous to the Oriental Orthodox faith and the Oriental Orthodox Churches which exist in communion although with their own separate Rites and Traditions. If the ecumenical movement makes a concession in this then the Oriental Orthodox faith and the Oriental Orthodox Church is lost forever.

    So no, ecumanism is not evil, but only within bounds. It has brought us to a defining point in history where we can once again say that we share the same faith as our sister Byzantine Church. However, this is where is should stop, and each Church should be allowed to exist alone as separate expressions of the same Orthodox faith. To go any further than that has the potential to cause grave unrepairable damage to the Orthodox faith and the Oriental faith in particular, and we will be compromising on our Rites, our Traditions, and our Fathers. In addition, if we continue to mingle the Orthodox Church among other heretical or heterdox Churches, the Orthodox faith will eventually become tainted, and the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church will cease to exist.

    It is true that the monastics of Mt Athos have been the major opposing voice towards communion on the eastern Church’s side, I do not know of any on the Oriental Church’s side.
    I guess I am one.
    Let’s not slap Dioscorus in the face again; this time by our own hands.

    N

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  2. Peace of Jesus Christ for all Christians everywhere ….i believe Nat raised an important chronic issue of concern in our Christianity as one wholesome unit as our lord and his disciples handled to us 2000 years ago ….Father Antonios , i believe highlighted the immediate consequences of Christans disunity over the years which affected directly the christian flock of Jesus over the years and mainly INTER-MARRIAGE and the HOLY COMMUNION !!!???I will share my experience in those two aspects …. i used to live in Greece and West Germany later on in my higher education …. i shared with a lot of Coptes the difficulty of marriage from Greek girls in Greek churches in Greek orthodox church …. it was very hard any of the churches over there to conduct any orthodox marriage of a Coptic bloke …this problem also used to be with our colleague in the eastern block as far as the orthodox Russian church in Russia …most of them they used to go back together to Sudan or Egypt get married from their Greekn sweethearts and come back to Greece …all of them they finished uni and specialized and till now work over there and have successful marriage with a lot of blessed grand kids ….when one of us used to have a child we used to run to the Armenian church for this great baptism sacrament ….the Holy Communion used to be also a night mare and nobody saved us except the Armenian church in Greece and across Europe ….we moved to this part of the world and we started to face the same night mare when after several years we decided to move interstate with work …nobody from the Coptic church in Sydney wanted to know us at that time and to relief us from our problem in taking the HOLY COMMUNION regularly ????!!!it is a shame history ???!! i remember only when Father Samuel Wadi came in church after our late father Theodosius “God bless his soul “then father Samuel came to us only once with one of our relatives and did a mass in our house and we enjoyed our holy communion with our lord ….as usual my wife asked one of the priests in Sydney if we can take the holy communion in the Greek church , he jumped up and down like we are going to commit the most crime and we will be cut from our church and thrown at the end in hellll ???!!!oh pal more stiffer than the pharisees…as usual no mercy as the lord asked ???!! we decided to solve our problem and we approached the Greek church Father and kindly he said i will get back to you and within few days he came back and told us welcome to our church and we started to get our holy communion regularly and not that our boys used to stand as deacons all the time and that i became the president of their community for a lot of years ….so better our church in this part of the world to look at their own problems which must be attended urgently before it is too late …we must start with our unity and that only within our IDENTITY as Australian Coptic Community and then gradually we can sort the rest of the issues of concerns of our community which already spilled out of our plate !!!??? those from our community who are trying to divide our congregation to ethnic groups wit the issue of fund raising or picnic here or there or whatever better for them to do it away and far from our church and the church must not encourage them ….OUR LOCAL UNITY IS IN OUR LOCAL IDENTITY ….then we pray to our lord Christ to bring forward the unity of all the Christians around the world as our lord initiated 2000 years ago …may the holy spirit guide us all to praise the name of our lord by our life , amen …..

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  3. It looks the Orthodox Church is so stiff and inflexible- where is the spirit of God in our churches?

    I take your point about Dioscorus, but we slap our Lord Jesus, the head of the Church (the Assemble of the Believers) in the face when we persist to have His vision of the Church in this shambles.

    From what Nate says, perhaps the EOC does have to change the ecclesiastic structure with the pre-eminent head of Constantinople resembling less the structure of the Catholic Church. Gosh- I can’t believe how much the Traditional Churches have strayed- how can we do a millennium of traditions of men that have put to no effect the commands of God?

    If sharing the same faith can’t make us One- then maybe that says something about the orthodox faith that we share.

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  4. The Orthodox faith is not stiff and inflexible, on the contrary, since the early centuries of Christianity the Orthodox faith was allowed to be expressed by multiple expressions, all of which were considered legitimate but different ways of expressing the same Orthodox faith.
    This was lost at Chalcedon and stayed lost for 15 centuries, the truth only again starting to be understood and re-examined.

    In the early Church there were three expressions of Orthodoxy, the Alexandrine with its strong emphasis (even today) on the incarnate Word of God (or the Word-Flesh expression); the Antiochene with its emphasis on the God-Man; and the Latin (although this expression had little influence except on the Roman Church, with its high reliance on philosophy).

    Each of these expressions was allowed to exist until the fifth century where the Antiochene was attempted to be enforced onto the others, causing the first major schism in Christendom because of its high susceptibility to a heretical explanation.

    So the Orthodox faith is not rigid!
    But having said that, its essence is (or should be) uncompromised!
    These are the dangers we are treading today with the ecumenical movement!

    N

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  5. Somebody the other day was asking me , why those people in our church go so far and chess the unity with other orthodox churches ???! why do not they look after their own stuff and fix it ??! i asked him , what do you mean mate ??…he said look at those people who could not get divorce from our church and got it from court and got married in other churches not orthodox and they come and take the holy communion regularly in our churches …he said also ,our churches will pray on them when they pass away !!! i said priests do not know them , i believe nobody bothered to make a proper register for our church congregation ….he said our priests turn the blind eye , just the priesthood for them to do the mass as pope Shinouda warned them to do the extra mile !!!??!!!then he said oh mate soon or later they will add it to that big negative announcement before the holy communion to cover themselves and not to solve those issues, people fighting, people divorced etc. …then he said oh pal , do not be astonished if married people get married again in our churches while still married , God knows it will happen !!?? then he said my relation is good with God and my prayers and fasting and i give my tenth of my income to the needy by myself as i do not trust anybody and i feel better when i go to church in Christmas and Easter …i said mate do not leave the church for any reason because we love Jesus … we go there because we love the company of Jesus …i assured him our Lord will look after his church everywhere ….i told him , mate just do the right thing by yourself by going to church on Sundays pray and go him straight , just join the ques of the “Apathy Group “???!!! it is not the right solution but at least for the time being till our Lord send us the proper solutions for all this mess ….our Lord is able to get back TRUST and ACCEPTANCE in our churches ???!!!for everything there is time under the sky ,amen …forgive me something must be done….i believe better we must face things and fix it rather than sweeping them under the carpet and we regret it later on …our plate has got a lot … i believe ,it is the responsibility of the whole community and all must work hard in it ….may the holy spirit guide us to do the right thing all the time …

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  6. hmmm….

    I was reading Thessalosians today, and yes I read St. Paul’s exhortation to keep the traditions by word and by epistle (1. Thess. 2). I know that the Orthodox Church has genuinely maintained to do that.

    Perhaps it was deceiful though in this new age when Theologians said we have the same faith with the EOC0. I know I took that and went looking at their resources for edification.

    I am a reader of Fr. Anthony Conrias, Bishop Ware, and I know that our (albeit controversial) Fr. Matthew the poor, extensively read EOC fathers.

    With all this communion of thought and faith, among laity and clergy (its widespread, not just me), I would have though that Churches so valiant in faith can become one.

    But our glorification of the saints who “define the word of truth” (which I know we should do), has meant that even though it is thought almost unaminiously that we both have the same Way, Truth and Life, our traditions have hindered unity.

    I appreciate the perplexity and difficulty (and you are right to believe that I do so superficially)- I have read various commentaries about Dioscorus and Pope Leo and Flavius and all the rest of them.

    I know they are our fathers, and I have made the point that many died because they genuinely believed that they were defending the truth, for us to just say that it was a simple misunderstanding.

    But I still believe that God does not want this situation- I reckon that many in our Church faithful know that with a unified Church we will be a greater witness to the Lord’s glory.

    I don’t know.

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  7. I too am a reader of a number of EO authors, albeit with caution because there is still much animosity and bias against the so-called Monophysites in much of their writings. If you wish to read a thorough study on the issue, I encourage you to acquire the book ‘The Council of Chalcedon Re-examined’ by the Indian Orthodox priest and theologian Fr V.C. Samuel (this book is interesting to say the least, it implicitly questions whether Eutyches was in fact a heretic at all and leaves the reader with a developed sympathy towards him). You should also acquire for yourself the book published by the British Orthodox Church titled, ‘Selected Letters of Severus of Antioch’, which among other things, clearly conveys Severus’ standpoint on the Chalcedonian issue through many letters he had written both before and after his papacy and during his exile. Also, if you want a completely unbiased view of the Chalcedonian situation, I suggest you seek out writings by the EO priest Fr John Romanides, who before his departure was an active participant in the consultations between the Churches.

    ….

    Traditions themselves should not hinder unity; the Orthodox faith has always maintained the truth within numerous traditions. To seek one tradition (which is what the EOC is now seeking through the ecumenical movement) is to completely go against the true Orthodox ecclesiology of the local Church and the local bishop, and submit to the Latin Church’s view of Universality or Catholicity with one bishop and one rite for all.
    Multiple traditions should not be what hinders us. What hinders us is the historical factor; the unescapable fact that throughout the history of the schism, two completely separate Churches were created and developed in completely different ways, such that there are a multitude of issues which divide us separate from our differing traditions. The One Holy Apostolic Church divided, and will forever be divided (whether full Eucharistic communion is achieved or not) because now there resides in every Patriarchate two Patriarchs, and neither one of them can or will ever be dissolved such that the One Church can once again become what it used to be, with one local bishop in each Patriarchate or diocese.
    I argued above that this should hinder unity, we just have to re-define Orthodox ecclesiology and re-define the meaning of the phrase One Holy Apostolic Church. The problems lie elsewhere.

    I appreciate your point that it may have been hasty (not deceitful) of today’s theologians to say that we are one in faith with the EOC, however these theologians are examining the issue in a historical context.
    It may not have been true in the fifth and sixth centuries after Chalcedon that the Eastern Church held the same Christological beliefs as the opponents of Chalcedon did; that is why Dioscorus vehemently opposed it, Timothy Aelurus tried to nullify it, and Severus lived his whole life combating the Chalcedonian supporters.
    However if we are truly to seek unity, then we have have to appreciate that today’s Chalcedonian supporters interpret Chalcedon differently to their fifth and sixth century counterparts, and in light of the fifth ‘Ecumenical’ Council of Constantinople which returned to Cyrillian Christological expression (albeit at the time to appease the Chalcedonian opponents).
    So unity today can be sort on those grounds if we appreciate that even though not always, but today we hold the same faith.

    So when the Oriental Orthodox Church accepts that Chalcedon was Orthodox in all respects, it accepts this in light of the fifth ‘Ecumenical’ Council and in light of today’s Eastern Church’s interpretation.

    However, personally I will always believe that Chalcedon was the cause of the greatest unfortunate event in the history of the Church, and I will always believe that Dioscorus, Severus and others were never misguided, misinformed or misunderstood the danger which Chalcedon presented, because it is a fact of history that Nestroius himself was put on record as having accepted the Chalcedonian definition of the faith as consistent with this own heretical Christology.
    That in itself should have raised the alarm bells for the Chalcedonians in the fifth century, unfortunately it did not.

    And the fact is this; Dioscorus was never condemned at Chalcedon as having held any heretical belief or as having supported Eutyches. He was deposed because he had pronounced excommunication on Leo even before arriving at Chalcedon and he was not allowed to appear in front of the Council to defend himself. Had he been allowed to take his seat at the second session of the Council, he would most surely have been vindicated and never deposed.

    It is true that Dioscorus did for a time support Eutyches, however he did this on the basis of Eutyches’ Orthodox confession. Whether that confession was genuine or not is not Dioscorus’ fault. The fact is Eutyches was either unlearned, confused or stupid, because he confessed that Jesus was consubstantial with his mother (a completely Orthodox confession), he fell short in confessing that Jesus was consubstantial with us, which is the complete confession. Dioscorus then could have supposed that if Eutyches confesses that Jesus is consubstantial with his mother, and his mother is consubstantial with us, then Jesus is automatically consubstantial with us, and Eutyches is then no heretic. But again, whether that confession was genuine or not, or in reality an act of penance from a unlearned man, Dioscorus supported Eutyches for a Christology which was not exactly that for which he was condemned.
    Leo on the other hand supported the heretic Theodoret who openly had condemned Cyril and his writings, without Theodoret having any Orthodox confession to his name. And then Theodoret was allowed to sit at Chalcedon while Dioscorus was not.

    Dioscorus’ condemnation of Flavian at the ‘robber council’ was in my opinion completely justified. Flavian, who had claimed to uphold Cyril’s Christology, was contradicting himself in his interpretation. Although holding to the ‘One Incarnate Nature’ of Cyril, he still continued to speak of two natures after the union, which in Dioscorus’ ears was Nestorius emerging again in an Orthodox disguise.
    Whether Flavian meant this or not is something we will never know. All we know is that he was reinstated at Chalcedon (without being there) and Dioscorus was labelled a violent man after his own interests.

    Which begs me to go on; Dioscorus has been unjustly labelled in history as a violent plundering thief hated even by his own people. I struggle to understand how anybody can think this is true when after the events of Chalcedon took place the Alexandrian people arose in riot, and stood with their Patriarch refusing to accept his deposition and causing (possibly) the murder of Proterius who was put in his place.

    I understand your point in saying that God never intended for his Church to be divided as it is today, and that God’s view of the Church was always that it is One.
    I agree that the events of Chalcedon were unfortunate, but i wish to offer a different interpretation. In the Book of Isaiah chapter 19, God sets aside for himself a Church in Egypt apart from all others, ‘In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt…’
    God set aside for himself a Church in Egypt; he spoke only of an altar in Egypt.
    The schism of the fifth century may therefore have been an inevitable divinely inspired event in the course of history in order for God to keep for himself the Church of Egypt, standing alone, aside from all others; as was prophesied.

    Maybe then we should not be fighting it. Maybe then, the ecumenical movement is going completely against God’s divine plan. Just maybe….

    N

    My apologies for getting carried away…

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  8. Thanks for shedding more light on the issue; no matter how many times I research the issue I gain different insights into the whole time period before Chalcedon, to around two-centuries afterward.

    However, as much as Cyrillian Christology has become something of a standard among Theologians, I still hear in the pulprit, in our Theological College and among Sunday School teachers the expresions “Jesus the Full Man” and “Jesus the Full God”, and in this way looking into the Gospel accounts that can manifest each truth. Should this be acceptable? How practical is it in answering questions about Christ’s actions, to only be discussing the One Incarnate Nature of Jesus- to only be talking about a unified “without mingling, without confusion, without alteration” Nature of Christ, and not make references to the Natures that were unified? Maybe we have inherited too much of our learning material from Catholics? Maybe we should be emphasing that each action of our Lord would be manifesting this one incarnate nature?

    it is quite possible that I am naive of the issue, and I suppose I should read H.H. Book on the Nature of Christ. But it seems what we have criticised the Diophysites of, we have had a tendency to do ourselves?

    GB

    Sorry Abouna for the commentary…doubt this edifies?

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  9. I know this has completely gone off the topic, that’s my fault, I apologise…

    We do not (or should not) refer to Jesus as ‘Full Man and Full God’. Although this is technically not inaccurate, by using that phrase we could fall into the danger of separating the ‘full’ humanity from the ‘full’ divinity, and consider that the humanity existed before the incarnation, which is the error that Nestorius fell into.
    Metropolitan Bishoy explains (you can search his website for many of the papers he has written on the issue); that we say that the distinct Person of Jesus was ‘perfectly Man and perfectly God’. By using the word ‘perfect’ rather than ‘full’ we are less likely to divide the two natures and see a ‘One Incarnate Nature’ that is composite in properties.
    Having said that, the pre-Chalcedonian (I don’t like the word Miaphysite) does not have to shy away completely from seeing the two distinct natures, but separated ‘only in thought’, to use the words of Cyril.

    When we speak of the actions of Christ, we never attribute one action to his divinity and another to his humanity; otherwise we would be partners with Nestorius. All actions are attributed to the Incarnate Logos, such that all the actions of Christ are both human and divine.

    Cyril uses the following examples:
    – To work miracles is undoubtedly divine, however it is not of divinity to touch and heal.
    – To walk upon water is undoubtedly divine, however it is not of divinity to walk using feet.

    These actions can only be attributed to the One Jesus who is both of perfect humanity and perfect divinity. The Word does not perform some acts, and the flesh some others.
    All actions belong to the Word, whose flesh it is.

    That is why we can utter the words ‘God tasted death’. Although divinity does not die, the Word suffered and tasted death in the mortal flesh He had made his own. If we are to say that Jesus died only according to his humanity, then the atonement is of no effect.

    The reason the Tome of Leo was so vehemently opposed by the opponents of Chalcedon was because it failed to express this, tending too closely to the separation of the natures. The phrases in the Tome which sent the pre-Chalcedonians in uproar were these:

    ‘For each form does the acts which belong to it, in communion with the other: that is, the Word performs what belongs to the Word, and the flesh accomplishes what belongs to the flesh. One of these performs brilliant miracles the other sustains acts of violence’.

    So, it seems, Leo is separating the natures, and claiming they only act in ‘communion’ with each other. This sounded too much like a Nestorian expression for the opponents of Chalcedon to accept.

    Leo goes on to spearate the natures again;

    ‘So, if I may pass over many instances, it does not belong to the same nature to weep out of deep-felt pity for a dead friend, and to call him back to life again at the word of command, once the mound had been removed from the four-day old grave; or to hang on the cross and, with day changed into night, to make the elements tremble; or to be pierced by nails and to open the gates of paradise for the believing thief. Likewise, it does not belong to the same nature to say ‘I and the Father are One’, and to say ‘The Father is greater than I’. For although there is in the Lord Jesus Christ a single person who is of God and of man, the insults shared by both have their source in one thing, and the glory that is shard is another’.

    It is obvious that at no point were Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo rejected because their opponents supported any sort of Eutychian Christology (it is doubtful that Eutyches himself held the Christology for which he was condemned and so colourfully painted in the Tome to have held). The centuries following Chalcedon also indicate that neither was the ill treatment of Dioscorus at the heart of the issue.
    Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo were rejected for wholly Orthodox concerns that Nestorianism was creeping back into the Orthodox faith, disguised in a presumed Orthodox document.

    Any reconciliation between the Chalcedonian and pre-Chalcedonian communions demands that these issues be treated seriously, the current ecumenical climate has tended to brush them aside.

    N
    Forgive me, I feel like I’m preaching…

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*