Oriental Liturgy and other questions
I was wondering why there is less discussion of the liturgical traditions of the Oriental Churches. I would like some more information about this. My impression is that the "Mainstream" or Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches have more or less adopted the Byzantine Rite of Ss Basil and John Chrysostom as normative. Normative because there are various Western Rites and the Church of Jerusalem has some different Semetic Rites. There are of course variations between Slavonic (Russo) and Greek (Helenic) usage but there is basic uniformity between them. However, and I may be mistake, the historic Patriachates have not always enjoyed such uniformity. The Church of Antioch used to have a more Semitic Rite, the Jerusalem Liturgy of St James. Today they use the Greek Byzantine Rite and are in fact called the "Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch" (GOCA) to distinguish them from the miaphysite Patriarch of the same city. If I am correct the "Miaphysite Orthodox Church of Antioch" (MOCA) still uses this older Rite. A possible reunion of these two Patriarchates would allow the minority of Semitic Christians in the GOCA to again worship according to the Semitic Rite and the minority of Greek Christians in the MOCA to worship according to the Hellenic Byzantine Rite. A similar story can be told about the Alexandrian Patriarchate, the Greek Church using the now normative Greek Byzantine Rite and the Miaphysite Church still using the Coptic (ancient Egyptian) Liturgy of St Mark. Also, understanding the liturgy of the Armenian Church is very difficult. It's relationship to the Church of Georgia is cloudy in my mind as well. Did the Orthodox Church in Russia always use the Byzantine Rite? I think I heard they used a rite closer to the Roman usage now called the Liturgy of St Gregory. Is there any relation between that and the Armenian Rite which is sometimes described as more Western in style? Why is the Armenian Rite without icons? If they were not in use when they separated then what does that say about the use of icons in tradition? Is this some kind of doctrinal development? Would the Arminian Church theoretical reject the Seventh Ecumenical Council. Lastly, This article, focused as it is on the Council of Ccalcedon, does not tell whether the Oriental Churches would be open to the rest of the Orthodox Tradition after Chalcedon, such as the Seventh Great Council (Icons), the Eight Great Council (Photius and Filioque), & Ninth Great Council (Gregory Palamas and Hesicast Theology). --Ryan Close 18:59, January 21, 2009 (UTC)
I added a link for the West Syrian Rite to the Church of Antioch (Syriac) article, and a link for the East Syrian rite to the article on the Church of the East. --Fr Lev 01:33, January 22, 2009 (UTC)
Miaphysite Christology and unwarranted attacks
Please carefully read HH Pope Shenouda III's The Nature of Christ before attacking us! Also watch HH Patriarch Bartholomew I video and his comments on the Coptic Church and her perfect Christological position. Those who invented monothelism were the Greek Orthodox. "The ease with which Egypt was conquered by Muslims appears to have been due to the treachery of the governor of Egypt, Patriarch Cyrus , Melchite (i.e., Byzantine/Chalcedonian Orthodox, not Coptic) Patriarch of Alexandria, and the incompetence of the generals of the Byzantine forces. Cyrus had persecuted the local Coptic Christians. He is one of the authors of monothelism, a seventh century heresy, and some supposed him to have been secretly a convert to Islam." I appeal to Fr John to interfere in this matter, and until resolved I won't be contributing to Orthodox Wiki any longer. In Christ, --Arbible
I've made some changes
I'm sorry that my changes offended you. I have further edited my previous comments in order to bring them in line with the neutrality policy of the site. Again, my apologies.
However, this is a controversial topic, and I don't believe that the only view expressed on the site should be the "pro-union" "there's no difference between the churches" view. As long as no one is attacked in an ad hominen way and the views of all are expressed, it is the right of all parties involved to truly voice why some of this issues exist. I was only trying to show that.
Hi Julius and Arbible,
I've reverted the paragraph in question because I think that the earlier paragraph conformed better to our policy of NPOV.
To Arbible - you don't have to react so strongly! OrthodoxWiki does not exist to take an anti-unionist position, nor do we seek a shallow union - the purpose of OrthodoxWiki is to provide information, and eventually, I hope, highlight the strongest arguments and resources on both sides of the issue.
To Julius - I would be grateful if you created a section with a separate heading, something like "Objections to Union," and summarized the main issues of the anti-unionists, offering whatever support you can, focussing on sources, data, facts rather than direct polemic. A pro-unionist case should be made the same way, while the head of the article should just give a general description of the basic picture, and perhaps an overview of the areas of agreement and disagreement.
Hope that helps! Fr. John
Thanks, and Official Statements
Many thanks, Father John and Brother Julius. Please forgive me, a great sinner, and remember me in your fervent prayers.
You may find these Official Statements useful for the ongoing discussion/planned article:
Other related documents: http://www.orthodoxunity.org/statements.html
Please also check out 'Talk:Fourth Ecumenical Council'
Thank you very much+ arbible
I think the wording of the paragraph on the Assyrian churches needs more nuance too, so I'm trimming it a bit. The sentence about how they "revere as saints men anathematized by the previously mentioned Churches" is more of a slam than it needs to be, since this difficulty also exists between the "Eastern" and "Oriental" Orthodox churches. As far as I'm aware, there hasn't been any agreed Christological statements (except for those Assyrians who entered into communion with Rome), but I'd be interested to know more about any dialogue that has taken place. Fr. John
In general, I think the whole topic regarding Chalcedon is getting quite bloated on OrthodoxWiki. There is a whole series of often ambiguously-named articles that have been produced here, and there's very little in the way of encyclopedic summary. Rather than include all these articles en masse, I'd much rather have a single summary article for each side of the issue which includes external links. That, it seems to me, should be the goal. Perhaps these existing articles could be quoted appropriately in the summary articles and then deleted from the wiki. As it stands now, a reader would have a hard time getting a basic overview of the issues and would not have much context for all this other material.
Arbible, your tactic has often been to dump huge amounts of quoted material into discussions, especially regarding the well-known suffering of Non-Chalcedonian Christians; perhaps you can shift your trajectory a bit to something much more focussed. Certainly, Non-Chalcedonians are suffering for their faith and have suffered for it, but for most of this issue, that's not really directly relevant. Having martyrs in itself does not prove anything. (No doubt the Jews and Muslims could produce an impressive list of martyrs.)
At this point, the sheer amount of material we have on this topic here seems to me to be way, way out of proportion for the issue. OrthodoxWiki is not a repository for the debate (or lack thereof) over Chalcedon. Indeed, for both our communions, it is a chapter in our history, not the whole story. Let's work to get some serious trimming done. Take a look at some encyclopedias (and even at Wikipedia), and rethink what we have here. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 14:58, 3 November 2005 (CST)
I brought this up also in an article on Wikipedia. A portion of this article reads: "The separation resulted in part from the Oriental Orthodox churches' refusal to accept the Christological dogmas promulgated by the Council of Chalcedon, which held that Jesus Christ has two natures — one divine and one human, although these were inseparable and only act as one hypostasis.". I'm pretty sure that it is not accurate to say that the content the Oriental Orthodox objected to was that "Jesus Christ has two natures". While they certainly did object to the formula of "in two natures" because they believed this divided the subsistence of Christ, Pope Dioscorus I went so far as to admit "of two natures after the union". The Orientals have made it clear that they recognize the dynamic continuation of the humanity and divinity of Christ after the union with respect to composition, and thus they apparently recognize that "Christ has two natures". Deusveritasest 01:36, April 20, 2009 (UTC)