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107Re: [SORForum] (unknown)

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  • Brian Ingram
    May 28, 2001
      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 Chalcedon
      is not what is now commonly understood, that it was a misunderstanding of
      wording and what they really meant between different peoples in the one
      Church Christ founded, but that a portion of the Church believed that a
      Ecumenical Council ratified by the Bishop of Rome, Peter Successor, could
      teach error, contrary to the promises of Christ. Below is the common
      declaration which cleared this misunderstanding between the two sides of the

      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 IV,
      Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, signed a Common
      Christological Declaration. Here is the English text.

      His Holiness John Paul II, Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Catholic Church,
      and His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church
      of the East, give thanks to God who has prompted them to this new brotherly

      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 mystery
      of the Incarnation.

      As heirs and guardians of the faith received from the Apostles as formulated
      by our common Fathers in the Nicene Creed, we confess one Lord Jesus Christ,
      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 salvation.
      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 body
      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 his
      divinity and perfect in his humanity, consubstantial with the Father and
      consubstantial with us in all things but sin. His divinity and his humanity
      are united in one person, without confusion or change, without division or
      separation. In him has been preserved the difference of the natures of
      divinity and humanity, with all their properties, faculties and operations.
      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 Jesus
      Christ, who is the object of a single adoration.

      Christ therefore is not an " ordinary man" whom God adopted in order to
      reside in him and inspire him, as in the righteous ones and the prophets.
      But the same God the Word, begotten of his Father before all worlds without
      beginning according to his divinity, was born of a mother without a father
      in the last times according to his humanity. The humanity to which the
      Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth always was that of the Son of God himself.
      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 this
      same faith the Catholic tradition addresses the Virgin Mary as "the Mother
      of God" and also as "the Mother of Christ". We both recognize the legitimacy
      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. The
      controversies of the past led to anathemas, bearing on persons and on
      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

      Whatever our Christological divergences have been, we experience ourselves
      united today in the confession of the same faith in the Son of God who
      became man so that we might become children of God by his grace. We wish
      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 salvation.


      The mystery of the Incarnation which we profess in common is not an abstract
      and isolated truth. It refers to the Son of God sent to save us. The economy
      of salvation, which has its origin in the mystery of communion of the Holy
      Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit -, is brought to its fulfilment
      through the sharing in this communion, by grace, within the one, holy,
      catholic and apostolic Church, which is the People of God, the Body of
      Christ and the Temple of the Spirit.

      Believers become members of this Body through the sacrament of Baptism,
      through which, by water and the working of the Holy Spirit, they are born
      again as new creatures. They are confirmed by the seal of the Holy Spirit
      who bestows the sacrament of Anointing. Their communion with God and among
      themselves is brought to full realization by the celebration of the unique
      offering of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist. This communion is
      restored for the sinful members of the Church when they are reconciled with
      God and with one another through the sacrament of Forgiveness. The sacrament
      of Ordination to the ministerial priesthood in the apostolic succession
      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, communion
      presupposes the unanimity concerning the content of the faith, the
      sacraments and the constitution of the Church. Since this unanimity for
      which we aim has not yet been attained, we cannot unfortunately celebrate
      together the Eucharist which is the sign of the ecclesial communion already
      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 consider
      witnessing together to the Gospel message and cooperating in particular
      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 Lord's
      call for the unity of his own, a unity which has of course to be expressed
      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


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Thomas P" <thomas_pa1@...>
      To: <SOR-Forum@yahoogroups.com>
      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 formally
      > 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
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