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Eastern and Oriental Orthodox
12-07-2007, 02:27 PM,
EO and OO
Dear Andrew,

First, welcome here; it is good to have you on this site. For those who have not come across it, Andrew is moderator of the St Mary & St Merkorious Coptic Orthodox Church Forum, based at the Church of that name in Sydney, <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> .

Given their cavalier way with it, it has always surprised me that the EO seem so antagonistic to history; still, if I had rewritten it in such a fashion, I guess I wouldn't want anyone scrutinising too carefully what I'd written either!

I suspect we need to recall the Imperial nature of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Labelling the Church of the East 'Nestorian' when it had not even been invited to Chalcedon or informed of its decisions, is one example of the way in which the imperial dimension mattered; there are some reasons to suppose that 'Ecumenical' is actually meant as a reference to the Roman 'Ecumene', which effectively marginalised those Christians outside the Empire; this was what the Melkites did after Chalcedon; except this time the insult was 'Monophysite'. We see, from the start of the spit, the determination (still there today) to tell others what it was they believed and then to punish them for it; it is the oldest imperial device - the make the outsiders the 'other'.

The fact that the Russian Church was also an imperial Church has meant that the habit was continued. If we wished to be less tolerant than we are, we could point out the absurdity of the Russian Orthodox Church writing about the 'Consensus Patronum' when most of the Fathers have not been translated into Russian, and Greek is not widely read in Russian quarters; so just which Fathers are they talking about? Would these be the Egyptian ones such as Sts. Athanasius and Cyril? The Coptic Fathers were defining and defining the Faith when the Russians were worshipping idols of stone and wood. We are all delighted that they eventually converted to Christianity, but of course, the only model they had was the Byzantine one. Not exposed at all to Oriental Orthodoxy, and knowing nothing of it, they simply took on board the old Byzantine anathemas and translated them into Slavonic.

These may be readings of history which the EO find uncomfortable, and they are certainly ones they would deny; but what they do not see is that their own readings are far from infallible. Only when the EO actually allow others to speak for themselves and abandon their imperial mindset will any real unity with them become possible; after a millennium and a half no one is rushing!

In Christ,

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

Messages In This Thread
Eastern and Oriental Orthodox - Fr Gregory - 24-04-2007, 07:49 AM
[] - Solly - 24-04-2007, 07:57 AM
Eastern and Oriental - John Charmley - 26-04-2007, 05:33 PM
[] - AndrewY - 12-07-2007, 12:45 PM
EO and OO - John Charmley - 12-07-2007, 02:27 PM
Saints - John Charmley - 14-07-2007, 04:25 PM
[] - Fr Gregory - 15-07-2007, 06:52 AM
Eastern and Oriental - John Charmley - 15-07-2007, 08:31 AM

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