Они прятались, но мы услышали :)

International Dialogue
Between the Oriental Orthodox Churches
and the Eastern Orthodox Churches
By: Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette Co-Chairman of the Orthodox -Oriental Orthodox Dialogue Minsk, June 2004

The official theological dialogue between the two families of Orthodox Churches started in December 1985 at the Ecumenical Orthodox Center in Chambezy, Switzerland.

The Joint Commission of the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches signed its first agreed statement on Christology at St. Bishoy Monastery, Egypt in June 1989.
The second agreed statement on Christology and Recommendations to the Churches for the lifting of anathemas was signed at Chambezy in September 1990.

The plenary, Joint Commission of the dialogue decided in its meeting in Chambezy, March 1993 that the two Co-Chairmen of the Commission should visit the Heads of the Churches with the view to offering fuller information on the outcome of the Dialogue. The Joint Commission decided also that the two Co-Chairmen of the Joint Commission with the two Co-Secretaries of the Dialogue should make provisions for the production of appropriate literature explaining our common understanding of the Orthodox Faith which led us to overcome the divisions of the past, and also coordinating the work of the other Sub-Committees.

The two Co-Chairmen have visited most of the Heads of the Churches involved in the Dialogue. They traveled to Constantinople, Alexandria, Damascus (Syria), Jerusalem, Moscow (Russia), Etchmiadzin (Armenia), Antelias (Lebanon), Bukharist (Romania), Sofia (Bulgaria), Prague (Yogoslavia), Athens (Greece), Nicosia (Cyprus), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).

It was also possible for me to visit Keralla (India), Asmara (Eritrea) and Helsinky (Finland).

The Ecumenical Center at Chambezy received positive responses to the outcome of the Dialogue from the Orthodox Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Romania. And from the Oriental Orthodox Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Malankara (Syro-Indian).

The Archbishop of Check & Slovakia was present in signing the first agreed statement, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church sent an approval to that agreed statement on Christology.

The second agreed statement was signed by H. H. Catholicos Aram I when he was the primate of Lebanon, representing the Catholicosate of Cilicia in the Dialogue.

The Theological, Pastoral and Liturgical Subcommittees held in meetings in different places and different dates in the presence of the Co-Chairmen and Co-Secretaries, to serve the work of the plenary commission of the Dialogue.

The Russian Orthodox Church proposed the formation of a Commission for the Relations with the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Middle East with one of its major tasks to clarify the outcome of the theological dialogue; aiming at the removal of any obstacles hindering the reception of the agreed statements and recommendations to the Churches. A Coordinating committee have met 20, 21 March 2001 in Moscow and the first meeting of that Commission was held in Moscow 4-6 September 2001 under the Co-Chairmanship of Metropolitan German of Volgograd and Kamyshin and myself. Papers were presented from both sides on the evaluation of the first agreed statement of June 1989 and the second agreed statement and recommendations to the Churches of September 1990. Many unclarities have been removed during the discussions and closer understanding was achieved. The Commission decided to have its next meeting in Egypt.

Yesterday, I had a meeting in Athens with one of the distinct theologians of the Church of Greece. This meeting was encouraged to be held by both H. H. the Ecumenical Patriarch and Their Holinesses the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Middle East, aiming at clarifying the results of the theological dialogue.

Description of the Common Understanding:

The main aspects reached in the agreement were the solution of the problems of differences of terminology on the one incarnate nature and the two natures of Christ, on the one personal and two natural united wills of the incarnate Word of God, on the number of Ecumenical Councils, and on the condemnations and anathemas of the past against fathers and councils on both sides.

Following the teaching of our common father Saint Kyril of Alexandria, it was possible to understand together that [In the one incarnate nature of the Word of God, two different natures continued to exist in the union without separation, without division, without change, and without confusion. The two natures are distinct from each other in thought alone]. Instead of condemning each other; the expressions of both sides, united together can give stronger description of the mystery of incarnation [In the one Incarnate nature of the Logos two natures continued to exist].

The condemnation of both the teaching of Nestorius and Eutyches was very important to remove any doubts on both sides.

Both sides agreed that the hypostasis of the Logos became composite (συνθετος) by uniting to His divine uncreated nature with its natural will and energy, created human nature without sin, which He assumed at the incarnation and made His own, with its natural will and energy. The union is according to nature (κατά φύσιν), according to hypostasis (καθ’ ‛υποστασιν), real and perfect.

The natural will represents the natural desire and the personal will represents the decision. And since we believe that Jesus Christ has a single person which is the person (prosopon) of the Logos, that is why He has one personal will. It was agreed that He who wills and acts is always the one Hypostasis of the Logos incarnate. Nestorius taught that Jesus Christ was composed of two persons and this concept is totally refused by both sides since «Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever» (Hebrews 13: 8).

Concerning the number of Ecumencial Councils: The first three are a common heritage for both sides. Concerning the four later councils of the Orthodox side it was explained that since they are interpreted by the Orthodox according to the theological agreed statements, the Oriental Orthodox responded positively to the Orthodox interpretation.

Concerning for example the council of Chalcedon, it is difficult for the Oriental Orthodox to accept the council as it stood in the past. But in view of removing all the condemnations against the fathers and councils of the Oriental Orthodox and by adding the decisions and theological expressions of the second council of Constantinople 553 A.D., where the expressions of Saint Kyril of Alexandria were introduced and Theodore of Mopsuestia together with his heretical teachings were anathematized, and where the writings of Theodoret of Cyrus and Ibas of Edessa were anathematized, by all these doings on the Orthodox side, other decisions of the council of Chalcedon such as the condemnation of Eutyches and his heretical teaching became necessary for the defense of Orthodox Faith. The same decision was made by subsequent councils on the Oriental Orthodox side.

The two families of Orthodoxy which preserved the same authentic Orthodox Christological Faith were historically divided, at Chalcedon, due to political and non-theological factors, misunderstandings, and differences of terminology. But now in view of the results of the theological dialogue and by removing the condemnations of the past on both sides, Chalcedon can no more be a cause of division.

It is not the number of Councils that can bring unity, but confessing the same Orthodox faith and rejecting the same teachers of heresy that can bring unity.
Concerning Saints belonging to either side, they can be considered as local saints accepted by their own family.

I am sorry to say that we were not able till now to prepare a Joint publication to interpret the agreed statements on Christology and recommendations to the churches. But I hope through your prayers and efforts to push this forward in the near future.

On the other hand I am thankful to the magazine «Klyronomias» in Thessaloniki, Greece 19991 , that they have published the paper which I have presented in Damascus 3rd February 1998, during a meeting of the Theological Subcommittee of the Dialogue entitled «Interpretation of the Christological official agreements between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches».

At the end of my presentation, in order to show our common heritage of Christology, I would like to introduce a part of the letter of Saint Kyril of Alexandria to Succensus Bishop of Diocaesarea in the province of Isauria as follows: «If we call the Only-begotten Son of God become incarnate and made man ‘one’, that does not mean he has been ‘mingled’; the Word’s nature has not transferred to the nature of the flesh or that of the flesh to that of the Word— no, while each element was seen to persist in its particular natural character for the reason just given, mysteriously and inexpressibly unified he displayed to us one nature (but as I said, incarnate nature) of the Son. ‘One’ is a term applied properly not only to basic single elements but to such composite entities”2 He also added in the same letter: «…two natures exist inseparably after the union.»3

See Attached paper on «Interpretation of the First Agreed Statement on Christology of the Official Dialogue Between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches (St. Bishoy Monastery, Egypt June 1989)»


2 Cyril of Alexandria, Select Letters, Lionel R. Wickham, second letter to Succensus, par. 3,4, Oxford At the Clarendon Press 1983, printed in both Greek and English, p. 89-91
3 ibid, p.93

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8 Responses to “Они прятались, но мы услышали :)”

  1. Anonymous:

    Ну что, отче, не находит отклика ваш праведный гнев? Не пустили… Может стоит для начала английский выучить? Вам и вашим комментаторам?

    • Какой там праведный гнев) Кромедия просто!
      А по нашим данным как раз присутствовавше опозорились с английским. Даже о. Сергий не выдержал:)

  2. Анонимно:

    Ну что, отче, не находит отклика ваш праведный гнев? Не пустили… Может стоит для начала английский выучить? Вам и вашим комментаторам?

  3. Какой там праведный гнев) Кромедия просто!
    А по нашим данным как раз присутствовавше опозорились с английским. Даже о. Сергий не выдержал:)

  4. копты до сих пор пишут по-английски hypotasis, or nature. ну нет у низ различия этих понятий в языке.

  5. хм…

    And since we believe that Jesus Christ has a single person which is the person (prosopon) of the Logos, that is why He has one (?) personal will.

  6. хм…

    And since we believe that Jesus Christ has a single person which is the person (prosopon) of the Logos, that is why He has one (?) personal will.

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