I am sure there are educated and people of good will on both the Catholic
and both the Greek
and Oriental Orthodox sides, searching for unity, equally there are those
who are less educated and those who are lacking in good will who are against
You mention some of the apparent differences between Catholic and Orthodox
Christians, and you mentioned the filioque, immaculate conception,
infallibility, supremacy of Petrine office, ect and you could also add the
acceptance of divorce by the Orthodox as another problem. The solution to
most of the questions lies in the common heritage that we all have for the
first 500 years, an honest appraisal of that history finds that most of
these differences are illusionary. I am quiet happy to provide a Catholic
perspective on these, in the interest of unity, which all true followers of
Christ should yearn for.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas P" <thomas_pa1@...>
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 3:05 AM
Subject: Re: [SORForum] (unknown)
> Dear Brian Ingram, Thank you for pointing this out. I am aware
> that an educated group in RC is looking forward for unity with
> Orthodox. But is there a church-wide awareness in these matters?
> For example, do a common man in South America know about this?
> Also are there any agreements reached in other matters like
> filioque, immaculate conception, infallibility, supremacy
> of Petrine throne etc. We are taught that all of the above
> are against the authentic Oriental Orthodox traditions.
> --- In SOR-Forum@y..., "Brian Ingram" <Brian.Ingram@x> wrote:
> > Dear Thomas P
> > Could you please elaborate on your statement " RC for example
> teaches "in
> > two natures" (separation) formula"
> > Separation of what?. The RC has never taught that there is a
> separation, but
> > that the two natures, human and Divine each distinct and not
> confused are
> > present united in the one person of Christ. The biggest tragedy of
> > is not what is now commonly understood, that it was a
> misunderstanding of
> > wording and what they really meant between different peoples in the
> > Church Christ founded, but that a portion of the Church believed
> that a
> > Ecumenical Council ratified by the Bishop of Rome, Peter Successor,
> > teach error, contrary to the promises of Christ. Below is the common
> > declaration which cleared this misunderstanding between the two
> sides of the
> > issue.
> > COMMON CHRISTOLOGICAL DECLARATION BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND
> > ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST
> > John Paul II and Mar Dinkha IV
> > ----
> > On the morning of Friday, 11 November, His Holiness John Paul II,
> Bishop of
> > Rome and Pope of the Catholic Church, and His Holiness Mar Dinkha
> > Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, signed a
> > Christological Declaration. Here is the English text.
> > His Holiness John Paul II, Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Catholic
> > and His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian
> > of the East, give thanks to God who has prompted them to this new
> > meeting.
> > Both of them consider this meeting as a basic step on the way
> towards the
> > full communion to be restored between their Churches. They can
> indeed, from
> > now on, proclaim together before the world their common faith in the
> > of the Incarnation.
> > ***
> > As heirs and guardians of the faith received from the Apostles as
> > by our common Fathers in the Nicene Creed, we confess one Lord Jesus
> > the only Son of God, begotten of the Father from all eternity who,
> in the
> > fullness of time, came down from heaven and became man for our
> > The Word of God, second Person of the Holy Trinity, became incarnate
> by the
> > power of the Holy Spirit in assuming from the holy Virgin Mary a
> > animated by a rational soul, with which he was indissolubly united
> from the
> > moment of his conception.
> > Therefore our Lord Jesus Christ is true God and true man, perfect in
> > divinity and perfect in his humanity, consubstantial with the Father
> > consubstantial with us in all things but sin. His divinity and his
> > are united in one person, without confusion or change, without
> division or
> > separation. In him has been preserved the difference of the natures
> > divinity and humanity, with all their properties, faculties and
> > But far from constituting "one and another", the divinity and
> humanity are
> > united in the person of the same and unique Son of God and Lord
> > Christ, who is the object of a single adoration.
> > Christ therefore is not an " ordinary man" whom God adopted in order
> > reside in him and inspire him, as in the righteous ones and the
> > But the same God the Word, begotten of his Father before all worlds
> > beginning according to his divinity, was born of a mother without a
> > in the last times according to his humanity. The humanity to which
> > Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth always was that of the Son of God
> > That is the reason why the Assyrian Church of the East is praying
> the Virgin
> > Mary as "the Mother of Christ our God and Saviour". In the light of
> > same faith the Catholic tradition addresses the Virgin Mary as "the
> > of God" and also as "the Mother of Christ". We both recognize the
> > and rightness of these expressions of the same faith and we both
> respect the
> > preference of each Church in her liturgical life and piety.
> > This is the unique faith that we profess in the mystery of Christ.
> > controversies of the past led to anathemas, bearing on persons and
> > formulas. The Lord's Spirit permits us to understand better today
> that the
> > divisions brought about in this way were due in large part to
> > misunderstandings.
> > Whatever our Christological divergences have been, we experience
> > united today in the confession of the same faith in the Son of God
> > became man so that we might become children of God by his grace. We
> > from now on to witness together to this faith in the One who is the
> Way, the
> > Truth and the Life, proclaiming it in appropriate ways to our
> > contemporaries, so that the world may believe in the Gospel of
> > ***
> > The mystery of the Incarnation which we profess in common is not an
> > and isolated truth. It refers to the Son of God sent to save us. The
> > of salvation, which has its origin in the mystery of communion of
> the Holy
> > Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit -, is brought to its
> > through the sharing in this communion, by grace, within the one,
> > catholic and apostolic Church, which is the People of God, the Body
> > Christ and the Temple of the Spirit.
> > Believers become members of this Body through the sacrament of
> > through which, by water and the working of the Holy Spirit, they are
> > again as new creatures. They are confirmed by the seal of the Holy
> > who bestows the sacrament of Anointing. Their communion with God and
> > themselves is brought to full realization by the celebration of the
> > offering of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist. This communion
> > restored for the sinful members of the Church when they are
> reconciled with
> > God and with one another through the sacrament of Forgiveness. The
> > of Ordination to the ministerial priesthood in the apostolic
> > assures the authenticity of the faith, the sacraments and the
> communion in
> > each local Church.
> > Living by this faith and these sacraments, it follows as a
> consequence that
> > the particular Catholic churches and the particular Assyrian
> churches can
> > recognize each other as sister Churches. To be full and entire,
> > presupposes the unanimity concerning the content of the faith, the
> > sacraments and the constitution of the Church. Since this unanimity
> > which we aim has not yet been attained, we cannot unfortunately
> > together the Eucharist which is the sign of the ecclesial communion
> > fully restored.
> > Nevertheless, the deep spiritual communion in the faith and the
> mutual trust
> > already existing between our Churches, entitle us from now on to
> > witnessing together to the Gospel message and cooperating in
> > pastoral situations, including especially the areas of catechesis
> and the
> > formation of future priests.
> > In thanking God for having made us rediscover what already unites us
> in the
> > faith and the sacraments, we pledge ourselves to do everything
> possible to
> > dispel the obstacles of the past which still prevent the attainment
> of full
> > communion between our Churches, so that we can better respond to the
> > call for the unity of his own, a unity which has of course to be
> > visibly. To overcome these obstacles, we now establish a Mixed
> Committee for
> > theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian
> Church of
> > the East.
> > Given at Saint Peter's, on 11 November 1994
> > Brian
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Thomas P" <thomas_pa1@y...>
> > To: <SOR-Forum@y...>
> > Sent: Saturday, May 26, 2001 12:37 AM
> > Subject: [SORForum] (unknown)
> > > Dear Philip, As far as I know, Orthodox Faith is
> > > the faith of First Three Holy Ecumenical councils.
> > > The word "Orthodox" is Greek and it means "right glorification"
> > > and it appears in the writings of Alexandrian fathers
> > > and Anthiocian Greek and Syriac fathers of 5th century
> > > (and most proabably even earlier to distinguish those who
> > > glorify God in "Three Hypostases" or "Three Qnuma").
> > > St. Severus in his Greek works and St. Philoxenos
> > > (St. Xenias) in his Syriac works uses the word
> > > "Orthodox" to describe the faith.
> > > [Ref: The Council of Chalcedon and Christology of
> > > Severus of Anthioc, Yale University]
> > >
> > > These fathers were very strict about the Orthodox faith
> > > and they sincerely followed the Alexandrian tradition
> > > of St. Cyril.
> > >
> > > For these fathers the word "Orthodox" also means the
> > > faith about Jesus Christ. Christ is "One incarnate nature
> > > of God the Word" in the Orthodox faith. The teaching
> > > that Christ exists in two hypostases (human and divine
> > > in separation) is not Orthodox. This is why we do not
> > > commune with Western churches like RC and Nestorian.
> > .
> > > > RC for example teaches "in two natures" (separation)
> > > formula
> > > It is in the Great council of 1965 summoned by Emperor
> > > Haile Selassie that six Oriental non-Chalcedonian churches
> > > adopted the name "Oriental Orthodox". The church that is
> > > close to Oriental Orthodox is Eastern (Byzantine) Orthodox.
> > > No other Church keeps the same Orthodox faith.
> > >
> > > Thomas
> > > India
> > >
> > >
> "Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger."
> (James 1:19)
> Syriac Orthodox Resources: http://sor.cua.edu
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