Author Topic: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?  (Read 1351 times)

Offline TheReturnofLive

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Oh boy, here we go - this "Liberal" here trying to bring about indifferentism, trying to show that schism exists for "no reason", that there "never really were heresies" and other such "historical revisionism."

Hear me out.

So, the Oriental Orthodox use a formula called "One Incarnate Nature of the Word," which was a formula which we know - from my reading of several scholarly articles - comes from the heretic Apollinarius, the heretic who believed that Christ had a human body but one Divine Mind.

However, this formula was actually Saint Cyril of Alexandria's theological formula for explaining Christ - he took it, thinking that it came from Athanasius, and made it Orthodox, where "Incarnate nature" was understood to be "Incarnate Hypostasis" (One Incarnate Person, the Logos), or sometimes as "One Composite Nature," where the human nature and Divine Nature always remained distinct but in union with each other.

The Council of Chalcedon explicitly said that Christ was "in two natures," which is a reference to Essence / Substance / Ousia - however, this specific formula, while having origins in the older Church Fathers, was explicitly used by Nestorius to argue that there never was a union of the two natures in One Person, which meant that even there were two persons - Jesus the man and the Logos the God.

The Council of Chalcedon says the two natures were not-divisible and not-separable and came together in, "one Hypostasis and one Prosopon," and this was explicitly done to try to end the controversies between Nestorius and his followers and the Eutychians. However, many Bishops in the Church of Alexandria, the Armenians, and the Syriac Antiochians felt that the Council of Chalcedon went too far in trying to synthesize Nestorius and Cyril in an Orthodox sense, so a massive schism happened.

If you actually read Severus of Antioch, he says these things - that the Chalcedonians profess a belief in Nestorianism because saying "in two natures" meant Nestorianism, but they are contradictory when they then say "in one Hypostasis." It's a Council that contradicted itself according to Severus of Antioch.

Severus of Antioch also goes out of his way to clarify that yes - there is not a compromise between the two natures; the two natures still exist distinctly from each other, they never blend or mix together; to say they are like milk and coffee is heresy and blasphemy according to Severus of Antioch.

So it seems there's a lot of misunderstanding between the two communions about what each other actually believe, and the Chalcedonians actually must believe that Cyril's One Incarnate Nature formula is Orthodox, because the 5th Ecumenical Council explicitly says that Cyril's formula is Orthodox, and anathematizes those who think that Cyril was a heretic.


But anyways, more than that - the real concern seems to be a fear of Monothelitism.


For you see, during the controversy of the 6th Ecumenical Council, many Chalcedonian Bishops tried to pay lip service to "One Nature" and compromise by coming up with "Monothelitism," the belief that Christ only had One Will (Will being desire innate to one's nature - we have a will to eat, to sleep, whereas God has one to Love, to desire man's Salvation, etc.) - the Divine Will, but the Church found this to be a sneaky heresy which it condemned, formally believing there are two wills.

Here's the thing - while the Oriental Orthodox believe in "one will", many interpret it in much the same way as they do "One Incarnate Nature," where they profess a belief in "one theandric will," where although there is a distinction between the two wills, they are in full harmony with each other and are mystically one, because the Divine Will always willed what the human will willed in Christ, and the two never fell in conflict with each other.

And the Chalcedonians also believe in "one theandric will" as a legitimate expression as well.

Pope Shenouda III, who was the previous Pope of the Coptic Church, wrote a book about what the Coptic Church believes in in terms of Christology called "On the Nature of Christ," and he says this:

"Naturally, as long as we consider that this Nature is One, the Will and the Act must also
each be one. What the Divine nature Chooses is undoubtedly the same as that chosen
by the human nature because there is not any contradiction or conflict whatever
between the will and the action of both...
If this is said about those with whom and in whom God works, then how much more the
unity between the Son and His Own manhood would be in all that is related to the will,
the mind and the power to act! He, in Whom the Divine nature has united with the
human nature, a Hypostatic and Essential union without separation-not for a second nor
a twinkle of an eye...
If there was not unity between the Will of the Divine nature of Christ and His human
nature, this would have resulted in internal conflict. Far be it from Him! How then could
Christ be our guide and our example... to follow in His footsteps (1 Jn. 2:6)?.
The complete righteousness which marked the life of our Lord Jesus was due to
His Divine as well as His Human will."

Dr. Taylor Marshall has an article where he - more briefly - goes over what I similarly said:
https://taylormarshall.com/2015/03/meet-the-oriental-orthodox-christians-and-their-controversial-christology.html

And in fact, if you want to read what the Coptic Church believes in, here's the book published by their Pope:
http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theology/nature_of_christ.pdf


So, here's the question:
1. Do you think that the Coptic Church and Chalcedonian Churches believe in the same Christology using different words, or do they actually believe in different things? If the latter, what do you think is heretical with what they believe in?
2. Do you think that it's possible for the Chalcedonian and Oriental Orthodox to reconcile - because this is the only theological problem hindering communion, whether or not they have the same Christology or not? Or will the fact that both sides have Saints who died at the hands of each Church forever hinder full reconciliation?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 06:41:18 PM by TheReturnofLive »
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 07:28:42 PM »
You have to give the leaders of each opposing side credit enough for understanding the issues while disagreeing with each other. So it would be un-historical revisionism to say that both side were saying different things while believing the same. Reconciliation is highly unlikely after all of these Centuries of schism. Unfortunately; although some groups have reconciled with the Catholic Church over time. There are uniate Armenians, Copts and Chaldeans.
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Offline St.Justin

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 08:55:06 PM »
God is One Nature (Divine) and Three Divine Persons.
Christ is Two Natures (Divine and Human)and One Person.

I didn't get that from the OP.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 08:57:12 PM by St.Justin »
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 10:44:12 PM »
The truth is that nobody cares anymore.

Literally.

It's one of those old schisms that survives on mere tradition alone.
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Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2019, 11:01:45 PM »
You have to give the leaders of each opposing side credit enough for understanding the issues while disagreeing with each other. So it would be un-historical revisionism to say that both side were saying different things while believing the same. Reconciliation is highly unlikely after all of these Centuries of schism. Unfortunately; although some groups have reconciled with the Catholic Church over time. There are uniate Armenians, Copts and Chaldeans.
And Ethiopians, and Malankara, and if you want to be a bit technical, the Maronites are directly connected to the Syriac.
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2019, 04:53:27 AM »
Oh boy, here we go - this "Liberal" here trying to bring about indifferentism, trying to show that schism exists for "no reason", that there "never really were heresies" and other such "historical revisionism."

Hear me out.

I already agree with you in principle. This stupid bickering has to end, not least because I have to concede that 90%+ of Catholics today don't understand their English "one God in three persons", as its taught in catechesis, as the Fathers did "one ousia in three hypostases". And how could they when the latter is a explication of the nature of the Trinity while the former is merely an indication of God being a trinity.

Quote
However, this formula was actually Saint Cyril of Alexandria's theological formula for explaining Christ - he took it, thinking that it came from Athanasius, and made it Orthodox, where "Incarnate nature" was understood to be "Incarnate Hypostasis" (One Incarnate Person, the Logos), or sometimes as "One Composite Nature," where the human nature and Divine Nature always remained distinct but in union with each other.

Problem: hypostasis is generally not just interchangeable with prosopon, which is something less fundamental, and it's certainly in no wise interchangeable with our modern English use of "person", a singular being with a singular consciousness and will.

Quote
The Council of Chalcedon explicitly said that Christ was "in two natures," which is a reference to Essence / Substance / Ousia - however, this specific formula, while having origins in the older Church Fathers, was explicitly used by Nestorius to argue that there never was a union of the two natures in One Person, which meant that even there were two persons - Jesus the man and the Logos the God.

Problem: essentia, substantia and ousia are not interchangeable, much less the latter, as used by the Cappadochian Fathers and Chalcedon, with our "essence" and "substance". And ousia does not generally mean nature, or physis.

The modern conflations are either absurd or dumb down language by throwing out meaning and distinction, but the confusions go back to ancient times, as no strict definition of these words was given. So you had people passing judgment of heresy over semantics which had never been agreed upon int he first place. But the proper thing to do would have been to have faith that the councils got it right and meant the same thing as oneself, and so submit, not split.

As he announces himself, God is one singular "I am", one ousia or literally being or subject, with one divine nature, in three hypostases, distinct objective realities which one should rightly and literally call substances. All this is "essential" to God. The divine nature is essential to the ousia. The ousia is esential to the hypostases in their divinity as being actually contained in them. The hypostases, in their divinity, are essential to the ousia as necessarily proceeding from it. And one of these hypostases united to itself a human nature, which is not essential to the hypostasis in its divinity but is essential to the hypostatic union.

This, from my reading of the Scriptures, Fathers and Councils, and my understanding of the meanings of those words, is how I express my understanding of the Trinitarian mystery, or indeed, how I elucidate, by reference to the Trinity, the sense in which I intend these words. Who is going to stand up and accuse me of heresy before he has even investigated what I mean?

Quote
So, here's the question:
1. Do you think that the Coptic Church and Chalcedonian Churches believe in the same Christology using different words, or do they actually believe in different things? If the latter, what do you think is heretical with what they believe in?

Originally, maybe. Even likely. Looking at how much of this boils down to semantics, just as it does in many modern debates. Now? Who knows. Do the Orthodox on either side have the same understanding as their ancestors did 1,000 years ago? I doubt you will find such unity even within a single group today.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 04:55:57 AM by Kreuzritter »
 

Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2019, 07:28:03 AM »
Quote
Quote
The Council of Chalcedon explicitly said that Christ was "in two natures," which is a reference to Essence / Substance / Ousia - however, this specific formula, while having origins in the older Church Fathers, was explicitly used by Nestorius to argue that there never was a union of the two natures in One Person, which meant that even there were two persons - Jesus the man and the Logos the God.

Problem: essentia, substantia and ousia are not interchangeable, much less the latter, as used by the Cappadochian Fathers and Chalcedon, with our "essence" and "substance". And ousia does not generally mean nature, or physis.

The problem here is that Saint Cyril of Alexandria literally used them interchangeably - the formula "One Incarnate Nature of the Word" is his own formula, and he's saying "One Incarnate Physis of the Word." I don't have the exact quote, but I remember reading that he even said there are three physes in one physis. The meaning changed in context; and I think he employed it as synonymous with both because - again - he created a theological formula around a heretical document, which he thought was Orthodox.

The 5th Ecumenical Council says the formula "One Incarnate Nature of the Word" is Orthodox, as long as one understands that the two natures don't blend together or compromise their properties - that they remain distinct in their properties after the Hypostatic Union.

Also, if "ousia" and "substantia" aren't interchangeable, why did the Latin Creed change the term "of one essence with the Father" to "consubstantial with the Father?" I just assumed that "substance" and "essence" (I just assumed that "essentia" was just the Latin translation of the Greek "ousia") meant the same thing.

Could you elaborate the differences?

Quote
The modern conflations are either absurd or dumb down language by throwing out meaning and distinction, but the confusions go back to ancient times, as no strict definition of these words was given. So you had people passing judgment of heresy over semantics which had never been agreed upon int he first place. But the proper thing to do would have been to have faith that the councils got it right and meant the same thing as oneself, and so submit, not split.

It was really tense times, because on the one hand you had people like Theodoret and Ibas of Edessa, who were actively spreading crypto-Nestorianism, and Ibas went out of his way to intentionally misrepresent what happened at the Reunion between Saint Cyril and John of Antioch - claiming that Cyril was a heretic who couldn't "distinguish the Temple from Him who dwelt in it," a clear belief in Two Hypostases of Jesus Christ, and Nestorius was only a heretic because he refused the phrase "Mother of God," according to the Letter of Ibas which would be condemned at the 5th Ecumenical Council.

The Minutes of the Council have a quote from the Papal Legates claiming that, having read this letter, Ibas was Orthodox, which gave the impression to a lot of people after the Council that the Council approved the Letter (according to Justinian and the 5th Ecumenical Council, it never did, but who really knows - maybe it did and the Byzantine Emperor just wanting to sweep any controversy under the rug with historical revisionism).

More than that, you had Eutyches who was spreading around pure unadulterated Monophysitism in the name of Saint Cyril and Saint Athanasius (Catholics, Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox have ALL condemned him as a heretic outside the Church), whom even Pope Leo thought initially was just following Saint Cyril's Christology, and gave a letter of encouragement to keep up the good fight against Nestorianism, only for him to grossly realize that Eutyches was a viscious, unrepentant heretic whom even after giving an alleged proper confession of Faith at the Council of Ephesus 449, continued to blaspheme Christ afterwards till his death...

This was even moreso, especially with the alleged violence of the Council of Ephesus 449, where Pope Dioscorus anathematized anybody who used the phrase "two natures."

More than all of this, Dioscorus was buddy-buddies with Eutyches before he "repented," and Leo was buddy-buddies with Theodoret before he "repented" (he died in Communion with the Church, but when he was asked to condemn Nestorius, he refused to do so, trying to defend Nestorius, but all the Bishops shouted "Nestorian! Nestorian!", and he eventually capitulated and anathematized Nestorius), so both sides accused each other of associating with heretics, and both mutually excommunicated each other for heresy before the Council of Chalcedon.

Obviously, Leo won, so it seems that many Alexandrians thought that, in light of all of this, in light of the fact that it seemed that Ibas's Letter was approved, that Theodoret was brought into communion, in light of the fact that the Council used the formula "in two natures," which was used by Nestorius (although Saint John Cassian used the formula against Nestorius in a 7 Book Treatise against Nestorius, commissioned by Leo), and in light of the fact that Pope Leo, the guy who was hanging around with Theodoret, won out in terms of theology, the Council was embracing heresy and insulting Cyril.

When the Council appointed a new Alexandrian Bishop to replace Dioscorus, as soon as the Bishop arrived in Alexandria, an angry mob murdered the Bishop, believing that Bishop compromised the Faith.


Quote
As he announces himself, God is one singular "I am", one ousia or literally being or subject, with one divine nature, in three hypostases, distinct objective realities which one should rightly and literally call substances. All this is "essential" to God. The divine nature is essential to the ousia. The ousia is esential to the hypostases in their divinity as being actually contained in them. The hypostases, in their divinity, are essential to the ousia as necessarily proceeding from it. And one of these hypostases united to itself a human nature, which is not essential to the hypostasis in its divinity but is essential to the hypostatic union.

So there's three "substances"? And what is the difference between "being" and "essential"? Aren't the qualities of "being" of human nature the same as what's "essential?"

Quote
So, here's the question:
1. Do you think that the Coptic Church and Chalcedonian Churches believe in the same Christology using different words, or do they actually believe in different things? If the latter, what do you think is heretical with what they believe in?
Quote
Originally, maybe. Even likely. Looking at how much of this boils down to semantics, just as it does in many modern debates. Now? Who knows. Do the Orthodox on either side have the same understanding as their ancestors did 1,000 years ago? I doubt you will find such unity even within a single group today.

Well, if Saint Irenaeus believed that angels had intercourse with humans, whose offspring were giants like that of Goliath,

Chapter 18

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/irenaeus_02_proof.htm

who really knows.  :-\
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 07:51:28 AM by TheReturnofLive »
 
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2019, 08:56:07 AM »
Also, if "ousia" and "substantia" aren't interchangeable, why did the Latin Creed change the term "of one essence with the Father" to "consubstantial with the Father?" I just assumed that "substance" and "essence" (I just assumed that "essentia" was just the Latin translation of the Greek "ousia") meant the same thing.

Could you elaborate the differences?

Substantia is literally hypostasis; it's the direct literal translation of the Greek into Latin. I'm not saying the Latin Creed is wrong, but I am saying that, while correct in its context, it's not saying exactly the same thing. For instance, I can derive the fact of consusbtantiality from the homoousios, where substance is here being used more in the sense of nature, I can't do the reverse. Information is lost.

In Patristic writings one can find, in ascending order of being, "material", generic and existential uses of ousia, but it is the latter which is dominant. To the contrary, this third sense is now for the most part lost in favour of the second, and the former confusedly transferred to the hypostases with the inappropriate modern sense of "person"  I mentioned earlier. Physis and nature, I would say, pertain to the second, generic sense, where we say Father and Son are both God in sort of the way that you and I are both human; where someone like Basil is a ambiguous, Athanasius and Epiphanius explicitly reject this use of ousia. The existential sense, however, pertains to the "I Am" of Exodus, and it is not just something that is, but an I.

But don't take what I'm saying as an explanation by a Latin about Latin theology.

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So there's three "substances"?


Depends what is understood by substance. Note how St. Thomas defines the concept of a person as an individual substance of rational nature, and that itself would make three persons three indivisual substances; this use of substance is obviously incompatible with charactersiing the Trinity with the words "one substance in three persons", unless one is calling both ousia and hypostases susbstances.

However, God has three hypostases, and these hypostases are different concrete realities that have an objective existence in themselves. That is, they are not mere modes of one "substance" revealing itself to the human subject, as Sabellius was at least accused and condemned of believing.

Quote
And what is the difference between "being" and "essential"? Aren't the qualities of "being" of human nature the same as what's "essential?"

I treat being as an absolute term and essential as a relational one. What is accidental can be contrasted with what is essential, in this sense, but not with being. For instance, it is accidental to my being human that I have blonde hair; it is not accidental to my being a human with blonde hair that I have blonde hair. But, more than that, when I am talkign about a being in this sense I'm talking about a transcendet, subjective I.



« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 08:59:23 AM by Kreuzritter »
 
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Offline St.Justin

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2019, 12:44:26 PM »
Here is an example of word usage:

A persona (plural personae or personas), in the word's everyday usage, is a social role or a character played by an actor. The word is derived from Latin, where it originally referred to a theatrical mask. The Latin word probably derived from the Etruscan word "phersu", with the same meaning, and that from the Greek πρόσωπον (prosōpon).
 

Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2019, 03:00:37 PM »
Here is an example of word usage:

A persona (plural personae or personas), in the word's everyday usage, is a social role or a character played by an actor. The word is derived from Latin, where it originally referred to a theatrical mask. The Latin word probably derived from the Etruscan word "phersu", with the same meaning, and that from the Greek πρόσωπον (prosōpon).

Well that's another complication - Prosopon does in fact refer to external appearance or mask. Hypostasis is a "person," and when I say "person", I usually refer to "Hypostasis" - but it's a particular, just one specific instance, not just merely the appearance of one - like you are a Hypostasis of the human race, considering that you aren't Mary or George down the street.

The example I heard (it's not a good one) is like a person named Mark holding a paintbrush. If you looked far away, Mark and the paintbrush would be one Prosopon, because they look like they are one externally, but they are actually two Hypostases, with Mark and the Paintbrush being two particulars of two different essences.

The Nestorians admitted that Christ gave the "mask" or "appearance" of One Person (Prosopon), but they vigorously denied Jesus the man and the Logos begotten before all ages were the same exact Hypostasis.

Nestorius very explicitly admitted one Prosopon, but obstinately refused to recognize one Hypostasis, and while the Chalcedonian Definition says "One Hypostasis and One Prosopon of the Word," Pope Leo in his Tome never says "One Hypostasis" or "Hypostatic Union," only "Persona", which when it got translated into Greek, got translated into "Prosopon."
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 03:03:41 PM by TheReturnofLive »
 

Offline St.Justin

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2019, 04:07:59 PM »
Here is an example of word usage:

A persona (plural personae or personas), in the word's everyday usage, is a social role or a character played by an actor. The word is derived from Latin, where it originally referred to a theatrical mask. The Latin word probably derived from the Etruscan word "phersu", with the same meaning, and that from the Greek πρόσωπον (prosōpon).

Well that's another complication - Prosopon does in fact refer to external appearance or mask. Hypostasis is a "person," and when I say "person", I usually refer to "Hypostasis" - but it's a particular, just one specific instance, not just merely the appearance of one - like you are a Hypostasis of the human race, considering that you aren't Mary or George down the street.

The example I heard (it's not a good one) is like a person named Mark holding a paintbrush. If you looked far away, Mark and the paintbrush would be one Prosopon, because they look like they are one externally, but they are actually two Hypostases, with Mark and the Paintbrush being two particulars of two different essences.

The Nestorians admitted that Christ gave the "mask" or "appearance" of One Person (Prosopon), but they vigorously denied Jesus the man and the Logos begotten before all ages were the same exact Hypostasis.

Nestorius very explicitly admitted one Prosopon, but obstinately refused to recognize one Hypostasis, and while the Chalcedonian Definition says "One Hypostasis and One Prosopon of the Word," Pope Leo in his Tome never says "One Hypostasis" or "Hypostatic Union," only "Persona", which when it got translated into Greek, got translated into "Prosopon."

I ran into this confusion years ago when I was researching Persona Christie and Alter Christus. This is why Philosophy is so important, words are normally well defined so misunderstandings are few and far between.
 

Offline Prayerful

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2019, 10:49:54 AM »
The truth is that nobody cares anymore.

Literally.

It's one of those old schisms that survives on mere tradition alone.

Yes, that a late Roman bishop of Alexandria could train masses of workmen, say, dockworkers and bathhouse workers to chant trinitarian slogans and marching songs, slows the great distance of time and attitude. It was something ordinary men argued about.
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Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2019, 11:10:09 AM »
Also, for reference, here’s the Oriental Church’s Christological formula as defined by Pope Shenouda III (the previous Pope of the Coptic Church before the current one)
And I say read closely.

http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theology/nature_of_christ.pdf
 

Offline Prayerful

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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2019, 07:49:25 PM »
Didn't know there was a Pope Lee, presumably Leo - the document has a fair few typos that wouldn't show with a spellcheck, as they aren't spelling errors, but are errors. Imagine asking Francis to define in plain or theological terms, or theological terms used plainly, to describe our Triune God.
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Re: Do the Oriental Orthodox have the same Christology as the Chalcedonians?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2019, 04:37:40 PM »
They do not have the same Christology; the question is whether the two Christologies are compatible. Both claim to follow the teaching of St. Cyril; the OO have the advantage of using the terminology he did.

Kreuzritter has done a very good job of bringing up an oft-overlooked issue: the relevant terms in question are slippery, and they are decidedly NOT univocal in all contexts. They were slippery terms when used at the ecumenical councils; even "homoousios" was first used by Basilian gnostics two centuries before Nicaea. The Cappadocians themselves used the relevant terms in novel ways. When Greek terms got translated into Syriac, all sorts of mischief happened; when Syriac terms got translated into Greek, more mischief happened. Egyptian Greek-speakers did not always read and write Greek exactly like other Greek-speakers.

I think imperial politics are at least as important as the theological debates in starting the schism (even more so in the schism with the "Nestorians"); 1500 years of anathematizing each other and each other's saints makes reunion very difficult.

But even more than all that, there is the issue of simple inertia. It's much easier for things to continue as they are than do the hard work of actually examining everything on every side to come to an agreement. And given that 90%+ of the membership (clergy included) in every communion in Christendom knows almost nothing about these things and cares even less, inertia is very difficult to overcome indeed.
O Mary most pure, golden censer that became the tabernacle of the uncontainable divinity, in you the Father was well pleased; in you the Son did dwell; and the Holy Spirit, by overshadowing you, revealed you to be the Birthgiver of God.