SVS Promotes Coptic Monophysite Heretical Studies

May 29, 2015  (Source:

Originally reported on May 25

Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press, the publishing house of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, has launched a new series highlighting the history and spirituality of the ancient Coptic Orthodox Church. The first book in the “Coptic Studies Series,” titled, The Life of Repentance and Purity, was authored by His Holiness, Pope Shenouda III and is scheduled for release by December 2015. His Grace, Anba Suriel [Guirgis], Bishop of the Coptic Diocese of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions, Australia, who studied at Saint Vladimir’s from 1998–1999, is Series Editor for the new line of books.

Pope Shenouda’s book was first translated from Arabic in 1989 by Bishop Suriel and was published in 1991 by the Coptic Orthodox Publication and Translation Committee in Sydney. The new translation, also by Bishop Suriel, will include additions and patristic references and will be a joint publication between SVS Press and Saint Athanasius Press, the fledgling publishing house ofSaint Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College, Donvale, Australia, where Bishop Suriel serves as Dean.

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45 thoughts on “SVS Promotes Coptic Monophysite Heretical Studies

  • May 29, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Whoever put the title for this clearly has no idea what they are talking about and are naive to say the least to label the Copts as ‘monophysotes’ when they themselves believe Monophysitism is a heresy! Excellent example of pure ignorance and the opposite of ‘true ecumenism’, what a joke!

    • May 29, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      The Fourth Ecumenical Council, that is, the Council of Chalcedon, is non-negotiable. If they don’t accept it, and they don’t accept the teachings of St. Leo the Great, then they are heretics. The Copts are without the Church. This has been the teaching of the Church for 1500+ years. The Copts can simply end the dispute by accepting St. Leo and Chalcedon, and removing the anathemas on the Orthodox saints, and accepting the anathemas that the Orthodox Church has placed on those who rejected the Chalcedon. However, they don’t wish to do that, instead, they wish to wish to embrace not just their own Christolotgical heresy, and reject the God-Inspired Council, but, to embrace the new heresies of ecumenism and modernism, removing them even further from Orthodoxy.

      • June 2, 2015 at 10:53 am

        Again, pure ignorance. “MONO” means “ONE [simple]” nature, and in your view that means EITHER divine OR human. “MIA” means “TWO out of ONE” or as St. Cyril of Alexandra put it: “one (mia) nature of the Word of God incarnate” (μία φύσις τοῦ θεοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη mía phýsis toû theoû lógou sesarkōménē). The distinction of this stance was that the incarnate Christ has one nature, but that nature is still of BOTH a DIVINE character and a HUMAN character, and retains all the characteristics of both; i.e. a combined nature because Christ is One, in his incarnation, he united His Divinity with Humanity. Another thing to add is that this is not a “modern” belief nor is it a cover up of some sort of error back in 451. This is proven by the never-changed Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great which the Coptic Orthodox Church uses where at before the distribution of the Holy Eucharist, the priest confesses “Truly I believe that His Divinity did not part from His Humanity not for an instant or a twinkle of an eye.” FURTHERMORE, if Copts are monophysites i.e. believing either in only a divine nature or believing only in a human nature then why has the Coptic Orthodox Church ALWAYS (even leading the others) considered Eutychis and Nesotorius as heretics. Don’t be blind! If you want to know what Copts believe, ask them, read their literature. Reading a webpage posted from a non-Copt claiming to understand their theology better than the do is what any sane person would call RIDICULOUS. God forgive those who seek to cause division! A divided kingdom cannot stand.

        • June 2, 2015 at 11:08 am

          So, you accept the Council of Chalceon? If Chalcedon is false then our Faith is in vain, because it means that the Saints of Orthodoxy were so unelightened for centuries as to not know the Truth. Either Chalcedon is an Ecumenical Council and inspired by the Holy Ghost or it is a false Council. The Coptic Severians, whom the Holy Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils have always said are not part of the Church, are always upset when they are called heretics, but, yet, they don’t want to apply their new ‘ecumenical’ view to the Assyrian Nestorians. If Chalcedon ‘misunderstood’ the Coptic Church, then, by that same logic, Ephesus ‘misudnerstood’ Nestorius, and if that’s true, then we might as well say no one has known anything and the Church failed ages ago.

          • June 4, 2015 at 3:24 pm

            That is not logic my friend. Different times, different people, different atmosphere, different agendas (hidden and all). It is widely recorded in history that Dioscorus was actually prevented from entering the Council of Chalcedon by the Emperor’s guard. just because certain sides did not agree about things before does not mean they can put the past behind, sit down and re-discuss without any politics or hidden agendas other than a genuine search for correct understanding and agreement while subsequently lead to unity. I pray one day that the Body of Christ will be One. But labelling, dismissing and refusing to discuss is anti-ecumenical but also something far worse..

          • June 4, 2015 at 7:18 pm


            It is logic. Ecumenism is an heresy. Either there is one True Church which has the same doctrine and Council, or there is no True Church.

            How can we re-discuss inspired Ecumenical Councils? The Body of Christ has always been One; ecumenism is an heresy.

            Why would I care if I am being ‘anti-ecumenical’? The ecumenical movement is heretical since it seeks the unification of all religions and denomination under the lowest common denominator; the Apostolic Canons and Canons of the Church’s Councils prohibit those who pray with heretics and condemn them to suspension and deposition.

            What sources say he didn’t enter the Council? In fact, the Council record as recorded by Saints, says explicitly that the Egyptian bishops agreed to the deposition of Dioscorus.

            I follow the Saints who condemned those who refused to accept Chalcedon. Thousands of Saints and Fathers all said this; not just in the 400s, but in the 500s, 600, 700, 800, 900, all the way to the present day. So it’s not just ‘different times, different people, etc’; because the Holy Ghost told all these men the same thing. St. John Maximovitch, who was learned in many languages and studies all these questions, severely penanced men who even went to Coptic religious services; St. Philaret in the 1970s instructed that when an Orthodox bishop allowed a Coptic priest to use a basement chapel for their Liturgy that he was to repent of this (which he accepted), and to cleanse the area by holy water. These were and are perhaps two of the most prominent and influential and learned Orthodox Saints and Fathers of the 20th century in the Western world.

            Again, Shamas, I am not certain why you have come onto a website that is against ecumenism and modernism and wish to promote ecumenism and modernism and expect everyone to fawn over the anathematized Coptic Church which has been devoid of the Grace of the Church for 1500 years according to all our Saints who were instructed directly by God. In fact, St. John Moschos records visions of seeing both Dioscorus and Severus in hell for their blasphemy. So, where all our saints and Fathers liars and so spiritually immature as to not see the truth all the way from the 5th century to the 20th century? Or were they right?

            In Christ,

            Fr. Enoch

          • June 4, 2015 at 8:43 pm

            I can see we are never going to agree. But nevertheless, Oriental Orthodox are not monophysites. The description they believe is that of St. Cyril of Alexandria (as quoted above) – who is venerated by the Eastern Orthodox might i add! Besides, surely a saint is not infallible? Saints were in need of salvation from their sins and mistakes e.g. the apostles! and some of the writings of St. Augustine on the Problem of Evil are not embraced by both Orthodox families – but he is still venerated by them as a saint. Let us be careful not to denounce the many saints who perhaps the church does not venerate… God does not wait for the church (any one of them) to venerate a saint! You will find a rich history of saints in the Oriental Orthodox tradition that you cannot deny their sainthood. Much is the same for our brethren in the Catholic Church etc… I don’t have time to source you references now, but maybe in the near future for the exclusion of Dioscorus but I’m sure a simple search and you will find some of these yourself. But i assume you won’t be doing that…

            I pray that these issues will be resolved as of course no matter what we are taught or what sources we have etc.. only God knows the truth as He is the Way, Truth and Life, so i pray that He will resolve and make clear His path for His church.

            Also, In Christ

          • June 5, 2015 at 5:19 am

            St. Cyril affirmed that Christ is one Person with two Natures, exactly as St. Leo the Great and Chalcedon affirmed, see, for example, his tome of union with Pat. John of Antioch.

            One saint is not infallible, however, in the Orthodox Church, we have tens of thousands and tens of thousands of saints, all saying the exact same thing. This is not one mistake, but the teaching of all of our saints that the Council of Chalcedon is inspired.

            Yes, I deny that there are saints in the Oriental “Orthodox”, or Severianist Monophysite church. These are not saints. The Roman Catholics and Hindus also claim to have ‘saints’, and so do the Muslims. A saint is someone who is part of the True Church, and the Coptic Severianitst Monophysites, Roman Catholics, and Protestants are not part of the true Church, and have no salvation, nor is the false Patriarch BArtholomew really ORthodoxy, or the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria. I am afraid, Shamas, that, these two latter figures have lied to you and your Church and have deceived.

            You must convert to the Truth of Orthodoxy and anathematize the false Coptic heretical schismatics.

            In Christ,

            Fr. Enoch

          • June 5, 2015 at 5:36 am

            Then, in your own words, just as “St. Cyril affirmed that Christ is one Person with two Natures” so does the Oriental Orthodox. Again, I refer you to the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great which the Coptic Orthodox Church uses where at before the distribution of the Holy Eucharist, the priest confesses “Truly I believe that His Divinity did not part from His Humanity not for an instant or a twinkle of an eye.” which professes exactly the Cyrilian formula. I urge you to research Oriental Orthodox sources – you don’t know what i believe unless you ask me and vice versa – don’t rely on what other people claim i believe in.

          • June 5, 2015 at 5:44 am

            So why not accept Chalcedon?

          • June 5, 2015 at 5:52 am

            Well that’s the point, you will find, by research and inquiry, that the Oriental Orthodox beliefs are matching with the Easter Orthodox and so there must therefore be “a missing piece of the puzzle”.

          • June 5, 2015 at 6:14 am

            So accept Chalcedon then. This is easy.

          • June 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm


            Follow the example of St. Cyril who helped to heal a schism by accepting Antiochian/Roman christological terminology. Please read these carefully.

            St. Cyril: Some attack the exposition of faith which those from the East have made and ask, “For what reason did the Bishop of Alexandria endure or even praise those who say that there are two natures?” Those who hold the same teachings as Nestorius say that he thinks the same thing too, snatching to their side those who do not understand precision. But it is necessary to say the following to those who are accusing me, namely, that it is not necessary to flee and avoid everything which heretics say, for they confess many of the things which we confess. For example, when the Arians say that the Father is the creator and Lord of all, does it follow that we avoid such confessions?Thus also is the case of Nestorius even if he says there are two natures signifying the difference of the flesh and the Word of God, for the nature of the Word is one nature and the nature of his flesh is another, but Nestorius does not any longer confess the union as we do. (To Eulogius the Priest, Letter 44)

            But since I have learned that some of these foolish men go about saying that the perverse teaching of Nestorius has prevailed among all the most God-fearing bishops in the East and is considered to be right by them and that it is necessary to follow it, I thought that the following ought to be made clear, or the most God-fearing bishops throughout all the East along with my lord John, the most God-fearing Bishop of the Church of Antioch, made it clear to all through a written and clear confession that they condemn the “profane novelties” of Nestorius and anathematize them with us and they never thought them worthy of any consideration but follow the evangelic and apostolic doctrines and harm in no manner the confession of the Fathers. For they also confessed with us that the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God and did not add that she is the Mother of Christ or the Mother of a man, as those say who defend the unhappy and loathed opinions of Nestorius. But they said distinctly that there is one Christ and Son and Lord, God the Word ineffably begotten of God the Father before all ages and that he was begotten in most recent times of a woman according to flesh, so that he is both God and man at once, perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity. And they believe that his person is one separating him in no way into two sons, or christs, or lords. If some men telling lies, therefore, say that the bishops of the East think anything different from these statements, let them not be believed, but let them be sent away as cheats and liars down to their father the devil so that they may not upset those who desire to walk uprightly. If some men fabricate letters for their own purposes and bring them around as if they were written by the person of more illustrious men than they, they ought not to be believed. How are those who once confessed the faith in writing able to write something else, as if they were carried away by repentance to the state of not wishing to think the truth. (To Valerian of Iconium, Letter 50.30-31)

            I know that the nature of God is impassible, unchangeable, and immutable, even though by nature of His humanity Christ is one in both natures and from both natures. (To Pope Sixtus, Letter 53.2)

            We know that there is one Son and Christ and Lord Who is God and man, and we state that the divinity is His and likewise also the humanity is His. For He sometimes speaks divinely as God and He sometimes speaks humanly as man. Therefore since they [John of Antioch and his bishops] confessed these doctrines, how was it anything but excessive of them fight still against those who did not want the schism to prevail and incline the churches in the East into heresy? Would that all the other bishops were so disposed.

            …Because of this, when writing to the most God-fearing Bishop of Antioch, John, I derided their calumnies. For I did not arrive at this opinion out of a change of mind, nor do I find that I ever said such a thing in a volume or a letter or a book. Neither do we know what on earth the word coessentiation (Grk. synousiosis) means. (To Eusebius the Priest, Letter 54.2-4,6)

            St. Cyril did not believe that his terminology was the ONLY way to speak about the union like Dioscoros and Severos. St. Cyril accepted the terminology of Antioch and Rome as Orthodox; so should you.

          • June 5, 2015 at 8:12 pm

            Well that is exactly why the thrice blessed Pope Shenouda III started the protocols for a movement of ecumenism by setting up a joint committee and meetings examining and proposing a mutual agreement. This joint commission actually advised that both sides are Orthodox, 451 was unfortunate and that each side may use their respective terminology to describe the Nature of Christ. I believe the respective synods agreed on the commissions conclusions. Mt. Athos however, was having none of it and threatened to split from the Easter Orthodox if unity went ahead. There were no oppositions from the Oriental Orthodox side, and so therefore the Oriental Orthodox accepted for the Easter Orthodox to use their terminology for Christology. So you will find the Oriental follow St. Cyril’s example more closely perhaps as much (all?) of the opposition is on the Easter side which is further fuelled by false education on Oriental Orthodox beliefs. Sadly since then, i think things have halted. But this shows how close the two sides are!

          • June 5, 2015 at 9:28 pm

            If our faith is the same then your saints caused a 1500 year old schism against the example set by St. Cyril. Even Fr. Florovsky, an ecumenist who participated in joint talks between Orthodox and Copts, viewed Miaphysite theology to be one-sided, monoenergetic and in error.

            Our faith is NOT the same; give Severos some credit. He knew that he had differences with the Orthodox and demanded them to be anathematized.

          • June 6, 2015 at 12:49 pm

            Yes, Severos the Heretic was not so stupid as to think that St. Leo and others were the same, and the same vice versa.

            I’m confused as to how Mt. Athos, or anyone, who wanted to be separated from the Patriarchates over union with the heretical Pope Shenouda and his followers would ‘split from Eastern Orthodoxy’. Orthodoxy is the Belief in the SEVEN Ecumenical Councils. Doctrines, Beliefs, Practices, Canons, with True Bishops; it does not depend upon any Patriarchate.

            Again, Shamas, I am no certain that you understand that with those who are called by you ‘Eastern Orthodox’, there are identified by objective research two completely separate groups.

            The one that communicates in ecumenical events with you is called the “World Orthodox” and is led by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria, Jerusalem, along with Russian Patriarch Kyril. AS you know, the ‘Greek Orthodox’ (so called) Patriarchate of Antioch has a communion agreement with the Syro-Jacobites.

            The other is called the True Orthodox, which consist of millions of faithful clergy, laity, Bishops, monastics, who broke communion in the middle of the 20th century because of the Ecumenical Patriarchate endorsement of modernism, ecumenism, new calendarism, etc. It is also composed of the Catacomb Bishops and clergy and laity of the Russian Church which refused to submit to the control of the Soviet government, and still exist in Russia since they believe the Moscow Patriarchate to be heretical and schismatic. This website is run by those who adhere to True Orthodoxy, and are far more conservative in their views than Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. We view the Seven Council and other Councils as non negotiable.

            Shamas, if you are seeking to convince the True Orthodox to agree with union with the heterodox Coptic and Syro-Jacobite Churches, you are wasting your time. If we suffered death at the hands of clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (especially in Greece and Mt. Athos where they have murdered and persecuted Greek monks b/c the monks refuse to accept ecumenism with the Monophysites and Roman Catholics) and the Moscow Patriarchate, why in the world would you think we would just give up the Council of Chalcedon and the Synodikon of Orthodoxy which anathematize Dioscoros, Severos, and the rest of their leaders?

            In Christ,

            Fr. Enoch

          • June 8, 2015 at 12:51 pm

            Thank you for the clarification.

            Suit yourselves. I simply ask that you don’t blind yourselves and think you understand what a groups beliefs are better than they do. Because, your understanding of Miaphysis is flawed. Approach understanding others faith and theology in humility. I have not told you my understanding or interpretation etc of what your beliefs are because that would be wrong but you choose to do exactly that.

            So with that, I greet you and know that i pray for you and ask that you pray for me

          • June 8, 2015 at 4:23 pm

            What our Saints, Fathers, and Councils have said about the Severians is what I believe. They were inspired by God to write what they wrote. St. John Damascene, for example, lived in close proximity with the Severians (i.e. ‘Monophysites’), and he spoke their language, knew their writings inside and out, debated with them, etc. This great Father said they were like the Orthodox in all manners except that their Christology was heretical; I accept St. John Damascene’s judgment, since it was not an isolate Orthodox Saint, but, represented the general consensus.

          • June 8, 2015 at 4:27 pm


            The Saints and the Fathers certainly felt it was their duty to tell the Arians where they were wrong. What if the Arians had said to St. Athanasius the same thing you told me?

            But, let me ask you this question, Was St. Cyril right about Nestorius? Or should we re-evaluate the Council of Ephesus just like you ask us to re-evaluate the Council of Chalcedon?

            In Christ,

            Fr. Enoch

          • August 6, 2015 at 5:55 pm


            You should read what your Oriental fathers (Dioscoros, Timothy Aelerus, Severos, et al) said about dyophysite terminology. They couldn’t accept it because their theology was flawed due to various reasons, the reliance on Apollinarian forgeries not least among them.

            They taught that one couldn’t call Christ’s humanity a ‘nature’ since ‘nature’ only applies to that which He was inherently and eternally; therefore, only the Divine could be called His ‘nature’. His humanity, which which they robbed of it’s natural will and energy, was not considered a ‘nature’ since it pertained to His Oikonomia in time. Fr. Florovsky, the most eminent ecumenists, perceived the Monophysites to be ‘anthropological minimalists’.

            The Monophysites also thought that if Christ had two natures, then He MUST be two persons, since they clung hard and fast to Aristotelian logic like Nestorius instead of transcending Greek philosophic terminology like the Nicene and Cappadocian Fathers.

            They also rejected the Cappadocian theology which differentiates between hypostasis and ousia (person and nature) in reference to the Incarnation. This forced them to try to express the unity of His Person and the distinction between divinity and humanity with the same terms. Not to mention this mistake leads into other theological problems down the road. That’s why the Monophysites ended up fighting against Aphthartodocetism and Tritheism amidst their own.

            Lastly, they were fundamentalist Cyrillians, more Cyrillian than St. Cyril himself, who didn’t demand that Orthodoxy should have only one way to speak about the Mystery of the Incarnation. That’s great that Pope Shenouda is prepared to do so, if only your saints were as wise. Severos, demanded that Chalcedon be anathematized for communion with him but now it’s “ok”? Sounds relativistic to me.

            On the other hand, you have the Orthodox Church expressing Her catholicity for millennia, She accepted ‘of two natures’ and ‘in two natures’ terminology JUST LIKE ST. CYRIL. Shamas, accept Chalcedon and the subsequent Councils and experience Orthodoxy in its fullness. God bless.

        • June 2, 2015 at 11:14 am

          We are quite aware Monophysitism doesn’t teach that Christ’s nature is “one or the other” but a single fused nature.

        • June 2, 2015 at 11:14 am


          Since the editors of this website, and the vast majority of its readers, view the Ecumenical Patriarchate as being heretical due to his ecumenism and modernism, and don’t accept the Greek New Calendarist PAtriarchate of Alexandria, or Antioch, or Moscow, etc as being Orthodox due to their ecumenical and modernist heresy, I’m sure why you would think we would be willing to revisit the inspired nature of the Council of Chalcedon which we all have affirmed with our life and spirituality to uphold as necessary for membership in the Church.

  • June 4, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Today’s Coptic bishops do not actually follow Saint Cyril of Alexandria’s Orthodox Christology. Rather, they follow the completely contradictory approach of Patriarch Dioscorus, who betrayed Saint Cyril’s teaching. Orthodox Christians consider Dioscorus’s actions to be “hateful to God,” whereas Copts, sadly, consider him to be a national hero and even a “saint.”

    In AD 433, there was a reconciliation between the Church of Alexandria led by Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Church of Antioch led by Patriarch John. In the “Symbol of Union,” both sides, including Saint Cyril, accepted that there are “two natures” after the union (Incarnation) and that it is sometimes proper to distinguish between the sayings in the Gospels, such as saying that He suffered in His fleshly nature and worked miracles through His divine nature. This is the type of language that Pope Saint Leo (and the Fourth Ecumenical Council) and Saint Maximus the Confessor (and the Sixth Ecumenical Council) used. But if one actually reads Saint Cyril’s own commentaries on the Gospels, one can se that the saint uses similar language.

    Here is the exact language that Saint Cyril agreed to in the Symbol of Union in 433: “with regard to the evangelical and apostolic statements about the Lord, we recognize that theologians treat some in common because they relate to the unity of Person [hos eph’ henos prosopou], and others they distinguish according to the two natures [hos epi dyo physeon], explaining acts befitting God in reference to the Godhead of Christ, and the humble ones in reference to His manhood.” There you have it: two natures, after the Incarnation. Saint Cyril was not a miaphysite. He did not believe in only one synthetic/composite nature, as Copts do today. He believed in two natures, as Orthodox Christians do to this day.

    Patriarch Dioscorus rejected what Saint Cyril had agreed to and considered it a sell-out to the Antiochians, whom Dioscorus wrongly considered to be all Nestorian. On this, Saint Cyril was correct and Dioscorus was very wrong. Patriarch Dioscorus sided with the confused but extreme Monophysitism of Archimandrite Eutyches. It is good that modern-day Coptic theologians repudiate Eutyches and claim to follow Saint Cyril. But to really be consistent with that, Coptic theologians and bishops would need to repudiate Dioscorus (who supported Eutyches) and accept the fullness of Saint Cyril’s teaching on two natures after the Incarnation.

    In fact, much of the Coptic-speaking church rejected Saint Cyril’s stance. The present-day Coptic Church, sadly, descends from the critics of Saint Cyril (such as Dioscorus and even more extreme Monophysite critics), not the actual teaching of Saint Cyril. The late Coptic Pope Shenouda’s Christological writings do not follow Saint Cyril’s Orthodox dyophysite (two-nature) Christology, but clearly teach un-Orthodox forms of Monophysitism or Miaphysitism (both mean “one-nature-ism”), Monoenergism (one-energy/action-ism), and Monotheletism (one-will-ism). Sadly, out of ignorance, Pope Shenouda repudiated the teaching of Saint Cyril.

    We should read Saint Cyril’s actual (dyophysite) writings on Christology. Numerous quotations from the saint are contained in a 626-page book by Hans van Loon, _The Dyophysite Christology of Cyril of Alexandria_ (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 96; Leiden: Brill, 2009). After reading what Saint Cyril actually wrote, it is undeniable that he taught two natures and two energies in Christ.

    • June 4, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Some form of modified Monophysitism, called Severianism (after Severus of Antioch), seems to have been the form of Monophysitism accepted by the Coptic and Syro-Jacobite Church. However, Julianism (which claimed the Our Lord’s Crucifixion was only ‘apparent’) was accepted by the Armenian Church but was condemned by the Syro-Jacobite Church as heresy; even today, there seems to be no doctrinal unity among the league of Monophysite ecclesial bodies, as the Armenian Church openly gives communion to Roman Catholics and ‘any baptized Christian’ (and according to an American Armenian bishop, to ‘anyone who desires it’).

    • June 8, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      That, my friend, is what you call fabricated evidence. I have already quoted St. Cyril’s writings in this discussion from the original greek.

  • June 22, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Hmm, this is a good example as to why Christology should not be discussed in the comment section of an Internet site.

    Of course, there are always extremists on either side of an issue. For example, I was tickled by the poster who tied the Christology of Chalcedon to Leo the Great when, in fact, the Tome of Leo was merely “read” at Chalcedon; the bishops present never treated it with the same respect as the earlier Christology of St. Cyril of Alexandria. Even now, no one in the ecumenical dialogues between the two families of Orthodox speak about Leo as being the canon of Christology, but rather, it is St. Cyril.

    Discussions over the past 1,500 years have done well to heal many of the misunderstandings of the past and we hope they will continue. Certainly, the erudite scholars at St. Vladimir’s, including Dean Fr. John Behr, have been exposed to the dogma of the Coptic Orthodox Church at the highest levels and know there is no monophysitism in our faith.

    As for the extremists who feel justified in putting down the faith of their brethren who continue to defend the faith in the face of Islamic fundamentalism and secularism, producing many saints in the process, may God help them and grant them peace to seek the Kingdom above all else.

    • June 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      None of us believe in the ecumenical movement here. It’s participants are all heretics. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is heretical and not part of the Church. The same for the Patriarchate of Antioch and Alexandria, etc. The Coptic church is heretical.

    • June 23, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Yeah; they read the Epistle (Tome) and then acclaimed that it was Orthodoxy and they accepted it, and then in pronounced an anathema upon all who denied it.

      In the second and third parts of Session II of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon we have the following

      Session II (Continued)

      And when these letters [i.e. Cyril’s letter to Nestorius Καταφλυαροῦσι and his letter to John of Antioch Εὐφραινέσθωσαν] had been read, the most reverendbishops cried out: We all so believe: Pope Leo thus believes: anathema to him who divides and to him who confounds: this is the faith of Archbishop Leo: Leothus believes: Leo and Anatolius so believe: we all thus believe. As Cyril sobelieve we, all of us: eternal be the memory of Cyril: as the epistles of Cyrilteach such is our mind, such has been our faith: such is our faith: this is themind of Archbishop Leo, so he believes, so he has written.

      The most glorious judges and the great senate said: Let there be read also theepistle of the most worthy Leo, Archbishop of Old Rome, the Imperial City.

      Beronician, the most devout clerk of the sacred consistory, read from a book handed him by Aëtius, Archdeacon of the holy Church of Constantinople, theencyclical or synodical letter of the most holy Leo, the Archbishop, written toFlavian, Archbishop of Constantinople.

      The Tome of St. Leo.

      Leo [the bishop] to his [most] dear brother Flavian.

      Having read your Affection’s letter, the late arrival of which is matterof surprise to us, and having gone through the record of the proceedings of the bishops, we have now, at last, gained a clear view of the scandal which has risen up among you, against the integrity of the faith; and what at first seemed obscure has now been elucidated and explained. By this means Eutyches, who seemed to be deserving of honour under the title of Presbyter, is now shown to be exceedingly thoughtless and sadly inexperienced, so that to him also we may apply the prophet’s words, He refused to understand in order to act well: he meditated unrighteousness on his bed. What, indeed, is more unrighteous than to entertain ungodly thoughts, and not to yield to persons wiser and more learned? But into this folly do they fall who, when hindered by some obscurity from apprehending the truth, have recourse, not to the words of the Prophets, not to the letters of the Apostles, nor to the authority of the Gospels, but to themselves; and become teachers of error, just because they have not been disciples of the truth. For what learning has he received from the sacred pages of the New and the Old Testament, who does not so much as understand the very beginning of the Creed? And that which, all the world over, is uttered by the voices of all applicants for regeneration, is still not grasped by the mind of this aged man. If, then, he knew not what he ought to think about the Incarnation of the Word of God, and was not willing, for the sake of obtaining the light of intelligence, to make laborious search through the whole extent of the Holy Scriptures, he should at least have received with heedful attention that general Confession common to all, whereby the whole body of the faithful profess that they believe in God the FatherAlmighty, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary. By which three clauses the engines of almost all heretics are shattered. For when God is believedto be both Almighty and Father, it is proved that the Son is everlasting together with himself, differing in nothing from theFather, because he was born as God from God, Almighty fromAlmighty, Coeternal from Eternal; not later in time, not inferior in power, not unlike him in glory, not divided from him in essence, but the same Only-begotten and Everlasting Son of an Everlasting Parentwas born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary. This birth in timein no way detracted from, in no way added to, that divine and everlasting birth; but expended itself wholly in the work of restoring man, who had been deceived; so that it might both overcome death, and by its power destroy the devil who had the power of death. For we could not have overcome the author of sin and of death, unless he who could neither be contaminated by sin, nor detained by death, had taken upon himself our nature, and made it his own. For, in fact, he was conceived of the Holy Ghost within the womb of a VirginMother, who bore him as she had conceived him, without loss ofvirginity. But if he (Eutyches) was not able to obtain a trueconception from this pure fountain of Christian faith because by his own blindness he had darkened for himself the brightness of a truthso clear, he should have submitted himself to the Evangelist’steaching; and after reading what Matthew says, The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham,he should also have sought instruction from the Apostle’s preaching; and after reading in the Epistle to the Romans, Paul, a servant ofJesus Christ, called an Apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, which he had promised before by the prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was made unto him of the seed of Davidaccording to the flesh, he should have bestowed some devout study on the pages of the Prophets; and finding that God’s promise said toAbraham, in your seed shall all nations be blessed, in order to avoid all doubt as to the proper meaning of this seed, he should have attended to the Apostle’s words, To Abraham and to his seed were the promises made. He says not, ‘and to seeds,’ as in the case of many, but as in the case of one, ‘and to your seed,’ which is Christ.He should also have apprehended with his inward ear the declaration of Isaiah, Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which is, being interpreted, God with us; and should have read with faith the words of the same prophet,Unto us a Child has been born, unto us a Son has been given, whose power is on his shoulder; and they shall call his name Angel of great counsel, Wonderful, Counsellor, Strong God, Prince of Peace, Father of the age to come. And he should not have spoken idly to the effect that the Word was in such a sense made flesh, that the Christ who was brought forth from the Virgin’s womb had the form of a man, and had not a body really derived from his Mother’s body. Possibly hisreason for thinking that our Lord Jesus Christ was not of our naturewas this— that the Angel who was sent to the blessed and ever VirginMary said, The Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you, and therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God; as if, because the Virgin’s conception was caused by a divine act, therefore the flesh of him whom she conceived was not of the nature of her who conceived him. But we are not to understand that generation,peerlessly wonderful, and wonderfully peerless, in such a sense as that the newness of the mode of production did away with the propercharacter of the kind. For it was the Holy Ghost who gave fecundity to the Virgin, but it was from a body that a real body was derived; and when Wisdom was building herself a house, the Word wasmade flesh, and dwelt among us, that is, in that flesh which heassumed from a human being, and which he animated with the spiritof rational life.

      Accordingly while the distinctness of both natures and substanceswas preserved, and both met in one Person, lowliness was assumedby majesty, weakness by power, mortality by eternity; and, in order to pay the debt of our condition, the inviolable nature was united to the passible, so that as the appropriate remedy for our ills, one and the same Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus,might from one element be capable of dying and also from the other be incapable. Therefore in the entire and perfect nature of very man was born very God, whole in what was his, whole in what was ours. By ours we mean what the Creator formed in us at the beginning and what he assumed in order to restore; for of that which thedeceiver brought in, and man, thus deceived, admitted, there was not a trace in the Saviour; and the fact that he took on himself a share in our infirmities did not make him a partaker in ourtransgressions. He assumed the form of a servant without the defilement of sin, enriching what was human, not impairing what was divine: because that emptying of himself, whereby the Invisiblemade himself visible, and the Creator and Lord of all things willed to be one among mortals, was a stooping down in compassion, not a failure of power. Accordingly, the same who, remaining in the form ofGod, made man, was made man in the form of a servant. For each of the natures retains its proper character without defect; and as theform of God does not take away the form of a servant, so the form of a servant does not impair the form of God. For since the devil wasglorying in the fact that man, deceived by his craft, was bereft of divine gifts and, being stripped of his endowment of immortality, had come under the grievous sentence of death, and that he himself, amid his miseries, had found a sort of consolation in having a transgressor as his companion, and that God, according to the requirements of the principle of justice, had changed his own resolution in regard to man, whom he had created in so high a position of honour; there was need of a dispensation of secret counsel, in order that the unchangeable God, whose will could not be deprived of its own benignity, should fulfil by a more secret mysteryhis original plan of loving kindness toward us, and that man, who had been led into fault by the wicked subtlety of the devil, should not perish contrary to God’s purpose. Accordingly, the Son of God, descending from his seat in heaven, and not departing from the gloryof the Father, enters this lower world, born after a new order, by a new mode of birth. After a new order; because he who in his own sphere is invisible, became visible in ours; He who could not be enclosed in space, willed to be enclosed; continuing to be before times, he began to exist in time; the Lord of the universe allowed hisinfinite majesty to be overshadowed, and took upon him the form of a servant; the impassible God did not disdain to be passible Man and the immortal One to be subjected to the laws of death. And born by a new mode of birth; because inviolate virginity, while ignorant ofconcupiscence, supplied the matter of his flesh. What was assumedfrom the Lord’s mother was nature, not fault; nor does thewondrousness of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, as born of aVirgin’s womb, imply that his nature is unlike ours. For the selfsame who is very God, is also very man; and there is no illusion in this union, while the lowliness of man and the loftiness of Godhead meet together. For as God is not changed by the compassion [exhibited], so Man is not consumed by the dignity [bestowed]. For each formdoes the acts which belong to it, in communion with the other; theWord, that is, performing what belongs to the Word, and the flesh carrying out what belongs to the flesh; the one of these shines out inmiracles, the other succumbs to injuries. And as the Word does not withdraw from equality with the Father in glory, so the flesh does notabandon the nature of our kind. For, as we must often be saying, he is one and the same, truly Son of God, and truly Son of Man. God, inasmuch as in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was withGod, and the Word was God. Man, inasmuch as the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. God, inasmuch as all things were made by him, and without him nothing was made. Man, inasmuch as he was made of a woman, made under the law. The nativity of the flesh is a manifestation of human nature; the Virgin’s child-bearing is an indication of Divine power. The infancy of the Babe is exhibited by the humiliation of swaddling clothes: the greatness of the Highest is declared by the voices of angels. He whom Herod impiously designs to slay is like humanity in its beginnings; but he whom the Magirejoice to adore on their knees is Lord of all. Now when he came to the baptism of John his forerunner, lest the fact that the Godheadwas covered with a veil of flesh should be concealed, the voice of the Father spoke in thunder from heaven, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Accordingly, he who, as man, is temptedby the devil’s subtlety, is the same to whom, as God, angels payduteous service. To hunger, to thirst, to be weary, and to sleep, is evidently human. But to satisfy five thousand men with five loaves, and give to the Samaritan woman that living water, to draw which can secure him that drinks of it from ever thirsting again; to walk on the surface of the sea with feet that sink not, and by rebuking the storm to bring down the uplifted waves, is unquestionably Divine. As then— to pass by many points — it does not belong to the samenature to weep with feelings of pity over a dead friend and, after the mass of stone had been removed from the grave where he had lain four days, by a voice of command to raise him up to life again; or to hang on the wood, and to make all the elements tremble after daylight had been turned into night; or to be transfixed with nails, and to open the gates of paradise to the faith of the robber; so it does not belong to the same nature to say, I and the Father are one, and to say, the Father is greater than I. For although in theLord Jesus Christ there is one Person of God and man, yet that whereby contumely attaches to both is one thing, and that wherebyglory attaches to both is another; for from what belongs to us he has that manhood which is inferior to the Father; while from the Father he has equal Godhead with the Father. Accordingly, on account of this unity of Person which is to be understood as existing in both the natures, we read, on the one hand, that the Son of Man came down from heaven, inasmuch as the Son of God took flesh from that Virginof whom he was born; and on the other hand, the Son of God is said to have been crucified and buried, inasmuch as he underwent this, not in his actual Godhead; wherein the Only-begotten is coeternal and consubstantial with the Father, but in the weakness of humannature. Wherefore we all, in the very Creed, confess that the only-begotten Son of God was crucified and buried, according to that saying of the Apostle, for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Majesty.

      But when our Lord and Saviour himself was by his questions instructing the faith of the disciples, he said, Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am? And when they had mentioned various opinions held by others, he said, But whom do you say that I am?that is, I who am Son of Man, and whom you see in the form of a servant, and in reality of flesh, whom do you say that I am?Whereupon the blessed Peter, as inspired by God, and about to benefit all nations by his confession, said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Not undeservedly, therefore, was he pronounced blessed by the Lord, and derived from the original Rockthat solidity which belonged both to his virtue and to his name, who through revelation from the Father confessed the selfsame to be both the Son of God and the Christ; because one of these truths, accepted without the other, would not profit unto salvation, and it was equally dangerous to believe the Lord Jesus Christ to be merely God and not man, or merely man and not God. But after the resurrection of theLord— which was in truth the resurrection of a real body, for no otherperson was raised again than he who had been crucified and had died— what else was accomplished during that interval of forty days than to make our faith entire and clear of all darkness? For while he conversed with his disciples, and dwelt with them, and ate with them, and allowed himself to be handled with careful and inquisitive touch by those who were under the influence of doubt, for this end he came in to the disciples when the doors were shut, and by his breath gave them the Holy Ghost, and opened the secrets of Holy Scriptureafter bestowing on them the light of intelligence, and again in his selfsame person showed to them the wound in the side, the prints of the nails, and all the flesh tokens of the Passion, saying, Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me and see, for a spirithas not flesh and bones, as you see me have: that the properties of the Divine and the human nature might be acknowledged to remain in him without causing a division, and that we might in such sortknow that the Word is not what the flesh is, as to confess that the one Son of God is both Word and flesh. On which mystery of the faiththis Eutyches must be regarded as unhappily having no hold, who does not recognise our nature to exist in the Only-begotten Son of God, either by way of the lowliness of mortality, or of the glory ofresurrection. Nor has he been overawed by the declaration of theblessed Apostle and Evangelist John, saying, Every spirit thatconfesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit which dissolves Jesus is not of God, and this isAntichrist. Now what is to dissolve Jesus, but to separate the humannature from him, and to make void by shameless inventions thatmystery by which alone we have been saved? Moreover, being in the dark as to the nature of Christ’s body, he must needs be involved in the like senseless blindness with regard to his Passion also. For if he does not think the Lord’s crucifixion to be unreal, and does not doubtthat he really accepted suffering, even unto death, for the sake of the world’s salvation; as he believes in his death, let him acknowledge his flesh also, and not doubt that he whom he recognises as having been capable of suffering is also Man with a body like ours; since to deny his true flesh is also to deny his bodily sufferings. If then he accepts the Christian faith, and does not turn away his ear from the preaching of the Gospel, let him see what nature it was that was transfixed with nails and hung on the wood of the cross; and let him understand whence it was that, after the side of the Crucified had been pierced by the soldier’s spear, blood and water flowed out, that the Church of God might be refreshed both with a Laver and with aCup. Let him listen also to the blessed Apostle Peter when he declares, that sanctification by the Spirit takes place through thesprinkling of the blood of Christ, and let him not give a mere cursory reading to the words of the same Apostle, Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain way of life received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot. Let him also not resist the testimony of Blessed Johnthe Apostle, And the blood of Jesus the Son of God cleanses us from all sin. And again, This is the victory which overcomes the world, even our faith; and, who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not in water only, but in water and blood; and it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spiritis truth. For there are three that bear witness— the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three are one. That is, the Spirit of sanctification, and the blood of redemption, and the water ofbaptism; which three things are one, and remain undivided, and not one of them is disjoined from connection with the others; because the Catholic Church lives and advances by this faith, that Christ Jesuswe should believe neither manhood to exist without true Godhead, nor Godhead without true manhood. But when Eutyches, on being questioned in your examination of him, answered, I confess that ourLord was of two natures before the union, but after the union Iconfess one nature; I am astonished that so absurd and perverse a profession as this of his was not rebuked by a censure on the part of any of his judges, and that an utterance extremely foolish and extremely blasphemous was passed over, just as if nothing had been heard which could give offense: seeing that it is as impious to say that the Only-begotten Son of God was of two natures before theIncarnation as it is shocking to affirm that, since the Word became flesh, there has been in him one nature only. But lest Eutychesshould think that what he said was correct, or was tolerable, because it was not confuted by any assertion of yours, we exhort your earnest solicitude, dearly beloved brother, to see that, if by God’s mercifulinspiration the case is brought to a satisfactory issue, the inconsiderate and inexperienced man be cleansed also from this pestilent notion of his; seeing that, as the record of the proceedings has clearly shown, he had fairly begun to abandon his own opinion when on being driven into a corner by authoritative words of yours, he professed himself ready to say what he had not said before, and to give his adhesion to that faith from which he had previously stood aloof. But when he would not consent to anathematize the impiousdogma you understood, brother, that he continued in his own misbelief, and deserved to receive sentence of condemnation. For which if he grieves sincerely and to good purpose, and understands, even though too late, how properly the Episcopal authority has been put in motion, or if, in order to make full satisfaction, he shall condemn viva voce, and under his own hand, all that he has held amiss, no compassion, to whatever extent, which can be shown him when he has been set right, will be worthy of blame, for our Lord, thetrue and good Shepherd, who laid down his life for his sheep, and who came to save men’s souls and not to destroy them, wills us to imitate his own loving kindness; so that justice should indeed constrain those who sin, but mercy should not reject those who areconverted. For then indeed is the true faith defended with the best results, when a false opinion is condemned even by those who have followed it. But in order that the whole matter may be piously and faithfully carried out, we have appointed our brethren, Julius, Bishop, and Reatus, Presbyter (of the title of St. Clement) and also my sonHilarus, Deacon, to represent us; and with them we have associatedDulcitius, our Notary, of whose fidelity we have had good proof: trusting that the Divine assistance will be with you, so that he who has gone astray may be saved by condemning his own unsound opinion. May God keep you in good health, dearly beloved brother.Given on the Ides of June, in the Consulate of the illustrious men,Asterius and Protogenes.

      [Next was read a long catena of quotations from the Fathers sustaining the teaching of the Tome. (L. and C., Conc., Tom. IV., cols. 357-368.)]

      Session II (Continued)

      After the reading of the foregoing epistle, the most reverend bishops cried out: This is the faith of the fathers, this is the faith of the Apostles. So we allbelieve, thus the orthodox believe. Anathema to him who does not thusbelieve. Peter has spoken thus through Leo. So taught the Apostles. Piouslyand truly did Leo teach, so taught Cyril. Everlasting be the memory of Cyril.Leo and Cyril taught the same thing, anathema to him who does not so believe. This is the true faith. Those of us who are orthodox thus believe. This is thefaith of the fathers. Why were not these things read at Ephesus [i.e. at theheretical synod held there]? These are the things Dioscorus hid away.

      [Some explanations were asked by the Illyrian bishops and the answers were found satisfactory, but yet a delay of a few days was asked for, and somebishops petitioned for a general pardon of all who had been kept out. This proposition made great confusion, in the midst of which the session was dissolved by the judges. (Col. 371.)]

      • June 23, 2015 at 9:19 pm

        In Session IV of Chalcedon we read:

        And in the third place the writings of that blessed man, Leo, Archbishop of all the churches, who condemned the heresy of Nestorius and Eutyches, show what the truefaith is. Likewise the holy Synod holds this faith, this it follows— nothing further can it add nor can it take anything away.

        When this had been translated into Greek by Beronician, the devout secretary of the divine consistory, the most reverend bishops cried out: So we all believe, so we were baptized, so we baptize, so we have believed, so we now believe.

        • June 23, 2015 at 9:35 pm

          Thank you for sharing that, but as your own theologians point out, the Tome of Leo was accepted only as a refutation of the heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches, not as a complete statement of Orthodox Christology. For this, they turned to the Holy Cyril, which grieved Leo and caused some discord between the bishops. You may read an account of this from one of the greatest pro-Chalcedon theologians of the past century, Dr. John Romanides:

          As for your earlier post, nonetheless, I love you as a brother and pray for you.

          • June 25, 2015 at 8:15 pm

            “Your own theologians”? Who are they? The
            heretics in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is heretical and satanic and just as much outside of the Church as the Monophysites? Romanides was an heretic.

            Moses, do you understand that we are True Orthodox and we do not accept Romanides as being Orthodox or the Ecumenical PAtriarchate? Ecumenism is an heresy. Modernism is an heresy.

            This is the problem with modernist-ecumenists, like the Copts and Ethiopians and Syro-Jacobites, they don’t listen. If you had listened, you would not have said, “Your own theologians”, because you would have read the previous comments in which we stated that we do not consider any Bishop in Communion with Ecumenical Patriarchate to be part of the Church.

          • June 25, 2015 at 8:48 pm

            Irrespective of you think of Fr. John Romanides, his article describes facts, not opinions. There is no sound history book in the world that will hold up Leo’s Tome as the standard of Christology. That’s not to say he was a bad person or somehow deficient. I enjoy reading some of his meditations on the Gospel. May he pray for us. Nonetheless, he is not the standard; the standard is St. Cyril of Alexandria, and his words, as demonstrated elsewhere here, are quite clear for those who wish to read them.

            As for the length of this conversation, I am perfectly content with it being short. I would rather spend my time speaking to the Lord and offering my humble prayers for you.

          • June 25, 2015 at 9:57 pm

            St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Leo of Rome, St. Maximus the Confessor, St. John of Damascus, as well as the Seven Ecumenical Councils and tradition of the Church are the standards. St. Leo’s work was praised. Those who anathematize him and refused to accept the Council of Chalcedon and other Ecumenical Synods are themselves anathematized. I will not argue the ‘merits’ of the works of the Holy Fathers since the Holy Fathers, such as St. John Damsacene and St. Maximus knew quite more than me on this, and accepted St. Leo while anathematizing the Severians.

          • June 25, 2015 at 10:01 pm

            As I address it, Romanides’ describes his interpretation of the facts, and often his own made up heretical nonsense. Not the ‘facts’. Here are the facts: The Fathers of Chalcedon highly acclaimed St. Leo’s Tome, they approved it and incorporated it’s language into their Declaration just as much as St. Cyril’s. St. Leo’s Tome has been praised by Orthodox Saints for 1500 years. Patriarch St. Ephraim of Antioch in the 500s, among hosts of other SAINTS have examined it and praise it, defend it, and uphold it as an essential Orthodox standard. If heretics wish to misinterpret it, what is that to us? After all, look at what heretics have done to the Holy Scriptures, yet, they are still essential.

          • July 1, 2015 at 10:22 pm


            The Synodical Letter of St. Sophronius of Jerusalem was accepted in it’s entirety by the 6th Ecumenical Council. This is what his letter states about the Tome:

            Together with those sacred writings of the all-wise Cyril, I likewise accept as being sacred and of equal honor, and the mother of the same orthodoxy, also the God-given and divinely inspired letter of the great and illustrious Leo of godly mind, of the most holy church of the Romans, or rather the luminary of all under the sun, which he wrote, clearly moved by the divine Spirit, to Flavian, the famous leader of the queen of cities, against the perverse Eutyches and Nestorius, hateful to God and deranged. Indeed I call and define this [letter] as ‘the pillar of orthodoxy’, following those holy Fathers who well defined it this way, as thoroughly teaching us every right belief, while destroying every heretical wrong belief, and driving it out of the halls of holy catholic church, guarded by God. With this divinely conceived epistle, and writing I also attach myself to all his letters and teachings as if they issued from the mouth of the chief Peter, and I kiss and cleave to them and embrace them with all my soul.

            As I have said previously, I accept these five sacred and divine councils of the blessed Fathers and all the writings of the all-wise Cyril, and especially those composed against the madness of Nestorius, and the epistle of the eastern leaders which was written to the most godly Cyril himself and which he attested as orthodox. And [I accept] what Leo, the most holy shepherd of the most holy church of the Romans, wrote, and especially what he composed against the abomination of Eutyches and Nestorius. I recognize the latter as the definitions of Peter, the former those of Mark. (Synodical Letter 2.5.5, Sophronius of Jerusalem and Seventh-Century Heresy pp. 131-135)

            Additionally, the greatest theologian among Orthodox ecumenists was Fr. Florovsky; and this is his opinion on St. Leo:

            We cannot afford to forget the West — and the Tome of Leo. The Christian Tradition is universal. The Byzantine Church was afraid of precipitating a schism by rejecting Leo. We must also be careful. …I have also doubts about agreement on the basis of a one-sided Cyrillian formula. I think it is important to come to terms with the later Ecumenical Councils. (1964, Discussion on the Paper ‘The Problem of the Unification of Non-Chalcedonian Churches of the East with the Orthodox on the Basis of Cyril’s Formula: “Mia Physis tou Theou Logou Sesarkomene’ by Professor Johannes N. Karmiris)

            St. Cyril is indeed the canon of Christology, even St. Leo admitted as much, however, the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church saw that both Sts Cyril and Leo’s theology was necessary to ward off the polar heresies of Nestorianism and Monophysitism. St. Leo’s theology was definitely the key to foiling Monothelitism and Monoenergism, which the Copts still embrace in some of their less careful writings. May God illumine you.

          • June 25, 2015 at 8:17 pm

            John Romanides was one of the greatest heretics of the latter part of the 20th century; a modernist, an ecumenist, pro-Islam, and worse. He was an heretic then, and still today. Again, Moses, if you are going to basically ignore the comments made about the position of the True Orthodox, which have been explained to you, and keep on posting Monophysite and World ‘Orthodox’ propaganda, this is going to be an even shorter conversation.

  • June 23, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Dear Shamas1: It is wrong of you to make an accusation of “fabricated evidence.” Saint Cyril’s letter to Archbishop John of Antioch, in which Saint Cyril accepts “two natures” after the Incarnation and accepts the possibility of distinguishing sayings of the Gospels and apostolic writings between those that pertain to the human nature and those that pertain to the divine nature, is well known. The key section is called the “Symbol of Union” or the “Formula of Union” and can be found in countless books of church history and numerous places on the Internet. This is the dyophysite (two-nature) Christology that Saint Cyril confessed:

    “We confess, therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, perfect God and perfect man, consisting of a rational soul and a body, begotten before all ages from the Father in His Godhood, Who was, in the last days, for us and for our salvation, [born] of Mary the Virgin, according to His humanity. He is one-in-essence [consubstantial] with the Father according to His Godhood and one-in-essence [consubstantial] with us according to His humanity, because a union of two natures took place. Therefore, we confess one Christ, one Son, one Lord. According to this understanding of the unconfused union, we confess the Holy Virgin to be the Mother of God because God the Word took flesh and became man and from His very conception united to Himself the temple [body] He took from her. As to the evangelical and apostolic expressions about the Lord, we know that theologians treat some in common as regarding one person and distinguish others as regarding two natures, and interpret the God-befitting ones with regard to the Godhood of Christ and the lowly ones with regard to His humanity.”

    Ὁμολογοῦμεν τοιγαροῦν τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν τὸν Χριστὸν τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ, θεὸν τέλειον καὶ ἄνθρωπον τέλειον ἐκ ψυχῆς λογικῆς καὶ σώματος͵ πρὸ αἰώνων μὲν ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς γεννηθέντα κατὰ τὴν θεότητα, ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν τὸν αὐτὸν δι’ ἡμᾶς καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν ἐκ Μαρίας τῆς παρθένου κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα, ὁμοούσιον τῷ πατρὶ τὸν αὐτὸν κατὰ τὴν θεότητα καὶ ὁμοούσιον ἡμῖν κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα. δύο γὰρ φύσεων ἕνωσις γέγονεν· δι’ ὃ ἕνα Χριστόν, ἕνα υἱόν, ἕνα κύριον ὁμολογοῦμεν. κατὰ ταύτην τὴν τῆς ἀσυγχύτου ἑνώσεως ἔννοιαν ὁμολογοῦμεν τὴν ἁγίαν παρθένον θεοτόκον διὰ τὸ τὸν θεὸν λόγον σαρκωθῆναι καὶ ἐνανθρωπῆσαι καὶ ἐξ αὐτῆς τῆς συλλήψεως ἑνῶσαι ἑαυτῷ τὸν ἐξ αὐτῆς ληφθέντα ναόν. τὰς δὲ εὐαγγελικὰς καὶ ἀποστολικὰς περὶ τοῦ κυρίου φωνὰς ἴσμεν τοὺς θεολόγους ἄνδρας τὰς μὲν κοινοποιοῦντας ὡς ἐφ’ ἑνὸς προσώπου, τὰς δὲ διαιροῦντας ὡς ἐπὶ δύο φύσεων καὶ τὰς μὲν θεοπρεπεῖς κατὰ τὴν θεότητα τοῦ Χριστοῦ, τὰς δὲ ταπεινὰς κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα αὐτοῦ παραδιδόντας.

    Saint Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria, Letter 39: To John, Archbishop of Antioch (431), in PG 77:173–182, at 176–177,

    • June 23, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      It was St. Cyril that was followed at Chalcedon as you observe. The Council of Chalcedon not only ‘just read’ the Tome of Leo, but proclaim it the Orthodox Faith and in the Sessions said those who reject the Tome of St. Leo are anathema.

      If Chalcedon is ‘optional’ according to the Coptic Church, then, we might as well say Ephesus is ‘optional’, because the Assyrian Church of the East pleads “Nestorius was misunderstood.”

    • June 23, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      Forgive me, but are you reading your own quote? Listen to the Holy Cyril of Alexandria well: “He is one-in-essence [consubstantial] with the Father according to His Godhood and one-in-essence [consubstantial] with us according to His humanity, because a union of two natures took place. Therefore, we confess one Christ, one Son, one Lord.”

      This is precisely the faith of the Coptic Orthodox Church. As the Holy Cyril said, a union of the two Natures took place. For us, that union in no way deprived either Nature of anything that is proper to it: He is fully Divine and fully Human having taken the Human nature and uniting it with His Divinity. The result, as the Holy Cyril mentions in the quote above, is ONE Christ, ONE Son, and ONE Lord Who is of/in two Natures. As His Holiness Pope Shenouda III of thrice-blessed memory said, “The expression “One Nature” does not indicate the Divine nature alone nor the human nature alone, but it indicates the unity of both natures into One Nature which is ‘the Nature of the Incarnate Logos.'”

      The Holy Cyril himself said, “One Incarnate Nature of God the Word.” Speaking about this oft-quoted standard of Christology, the Coptic Orthodox Archpriest Athanasius Iskander wrote, “The points Saint Cyril is making here are: first, the two natures are united in an indivisible union,and second, that after the union, we do not divide the natures from one another, third, we can only theoretically speak about Christ being out of two natures (not in two natures), and fourth, that as we have received from the fathers we should speak of the One Incarnate Nature of The Word.”

      Sadly, your own quote does not come close to supporting your position.

  • June 24, 2015 at 12:36 am

    It is true that Saint Cyril of Alexandria (whom modern Miaphysites claim to follow) did use the phrase “one nature” (mia physis). But that was at a time, earlier in his life, when he was using the term “physis” as a near-synonym for “hypostasis” (person). When Saint Cyril of Alexandria understood that the Antiochians used the word “physis” as a near-synonym for “essence” (ousia), he then agreed with Patriarch John of Antioch to the Symbol of Union that confessed “two natures” (physeis) after the Incarnation. (This is the terminology of “two natures” that was approved by the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon in AD 451.) It was this perfectly Orthodox confession of faith by Saint Cyril of Alexandria in the Symbol of Union that the Miaphysites in Egypt did not like. Some Miaphysite Copts broke communion with Saint Cyril of Alexandria. The overwhelming majority of Copts followed Saint Cyril of Alexandria’s disloyal successor Patriarch Dioscorus when, at the Robber Synod, he betrayed Saint Cyril of Alexandria’s confession of faith. Thus the Miaphysites in Egypt are the direct successors of those who rejected Saint Cyril of Alexandria’s balanced approach, although inaccurately they claim to be “strict Cyrillians.”

    Today’s Ethiopian bishops, with whom the Coptic bishops are in communion, are often more extremist in their Monophysite heresy. The Ethiopian bishops have the word “oneness” (which refers to one nature) in the official name of their church.

    For a time Saint Cyril of Alexandria used the word “physis” (nature) in a way that was different from the Antiochian usage that the Council of Chalcedon later made normative for the Church. But, later, Saint Cyril of Alexandria fully agreed to the Symbol of Union — with its doctrine of two distinct, unconfused, unmixed (but inseparable and indivisible) natures after the Incarnation — when he understood how the Antiochenes were using the word “nature.” At that point in time (and going forward), Saint Cyril fully and joyously agreed to speak clearly of two distinct (but indivisible) natures after the Incarnation, as the Antiochians already did. That was when Copts began to reject Saint Cyril and his mature teaching on “two natures” after the Incarnation. This Cyrillian doctrine in Antiochian (and late-Cyrillian) language is what Chalcedon decreed as the dogma of the Church. The Miaphysites condemned the Orthodox Cyrillian language of the Fourth Ecumenical Council and rejected the Orthodox saints who adhered to it.

    The recent Coptic Pope Shenuda has viciously attacked Orthodox Cyrillian-Chalcedonian Christology and shows that he really is a Monophysite. Pope Shenuda, in a strange confusion of Monophysitism and Nestorianism, also condemned what he considered the “Byzantine heresy” of deification, and thereby rejected Saint Athanasius the Great as well. If he were here today, Saint Cyril of Alexandria would reject the current Miaphysite bishops, since they are the direct descendants of those who considered Saint Cyril to be a sell-out (or even a heretic) in the last three years of his life.

  • June 24, 2015 at 12:39 am

    It is true that Saint Cyril of Alexandria (whom modern Miaphysites claim to follow) did use the phrase “one nature” (mia physis). But that was at a time, earlier in his life, when he could use the term “physis” as a near-synonym for “hypostasis” (person). When Saint Cyril of Alexandria understood that the Antiochians used the word “physis” as a near-synonym for “essence” (ousia), he then agreed with Patriarch John of Antioch to the Symbol of Union that confessed “two natures” (physeis) after the Incarnation. This is the terminology of “two natures” that was approved by the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon in AD 451. It was this perfectly Orthodox confession of faith by Saint Cyril of Alexandria in the Symbol of Union that the Miaphysites in Egypt did not like. Some Miaphysite Copts denounced and broke communion with Saint Cyril of Alexandria. The overwhelming majority of Copts followed Saint Cyril of Alexandria’s disloyal successor Patriarch Dioscorus when, at the Robber Synod, he betrayed Saint Cyril of Alexandria’s confession of faith. Thus the Miaphysites in Egypt are the direct successors of those who rejected Saint Cyril of Alexandria’s balanced approach at the end of his life, although inaccurately they claim to be “strict Cyrillians.”
    Today’s Ethiopian bishops, with whom the Coptic bishops are in communion, are often more extremist in their Monophysite heresy. The Ethiopian bishops have the word “oneness” (which refers to one nature) in the official name of their church.

    For a time Saint Cyril of Alexandria used the word “physis” (nature) in a way that was different from the Antiochian usage that the Council of Chalcedon later made normative for the Church. But, later, Saint Cyril of Alexandria fully agreed to the Symbol of Union — with its doctrine of two distinct, unconfused, unmixed (but inseparable and indivisible) natures after the Incarnation — when he understood how the Antiochenes were using the word “nature.” At that point in time (and going forward), Saint Cyril fully and joyously agreed to speak clearly of two distinct (but inseparable) natures after the Incarnation, as the Antiochians already did. That was when Copts began to reject Saint Cyril and his mature teaching on “two natures” after the Incarnation. This Cyrillian doctrine in Antiochian (and late-Cyrillian) language is what Chalcedon decreed as the dogma of the Church. The Miaphysites condemned the Orthodox Cyrillian language of the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon and rejected the Orthodox saints who adhered to it.

    The recent Coptic Pope Shenuda has viciously attacked Orthodox Cyrillian-Chalcedonian Christology and he shows that he really is a Monophysite. Pope Shenuda, in a strange confusion of Monophysitism and Nestorianism, also condemned what he considered the “Byzantine heresy” of deification, and thereby rejected Saint Athanasius the Great as well. If he were here today, Saint Cyril of Alexandria would condemn as heretics the current Miaphysite bishops, since they are the direct descendants of those who considered Saint Cyril to be a sell-out (or even a heretic) in the last three years of his life. The Chalcedonian Orthodox (not the Miaphysites) are the ones who fully accept Saint Cyril’s balanced teaching at the end of his life — and his exact dyophysite (not miaphysite) language of “two natures” that are “without confusion” after the Incarnation.

  • June 26, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Dear AbMosess: Saint Cyril, the Bishop (Patriarch) of Alexandria, used the phrase “one nature” a few times before his reconciliation in 431 with John, the Bishop (Patriarch) of Antioch. Saint Cyril did not insist on the phrase “one nature” as a dogmatic definition that would be the definitive summary his teaching. That is a modern myth propagated by some miaphysite bishops today, but it is thoroughly disproved by Saint Cyril’s own writings, which are analysed by Hans van Loon’s 626-page study entitled The Dyophysite Christology of Cyril of Alexandria. This work quotes Saint Cyril’s writings in great detail, so one can read for himself. Excerpts from the book are available at Google Books, and the full text is at Scribd, It is a fact that Saint Cyril, in an official confession of faith in 431 with John of Antioch, confessed that Christ had “two natures” (divine and human) in “one person.” Some extremists in Egypt denounced Saint Cyril as a sell-out. They insisted with absolute fanaticism that only the phrase “one nature” was acceptable. Saint Cyril’s unworthy successor, Bishop (Patriarch) Dioscorus of Alexandria, compromised with these fanatics who opposed Saint Cyril. Dioscorus betrayed Saint Cyril’s official confession of faith in “two natures” and he allied himself with the fanatical (but muddle-headed) Abbot Eutyches, the extremist monophysite. Today’s Coptic bishops are misleading their people when they try to associate Dioscorus with Saint Cyril. Saint Cyril in the final years of his life (431–444) defended his official confession of faith in “two natures” in the “one person” of Christ. Dioscorus rejected that Orthodox (Cyrillian) teaching and supported the heretical teacher Eutyches. Today, Copts who know the actual teaching of Saint Cyril will have to decide if they accept him or if they accept the man who betrayed him, Diocorus of sorry memory. I pray that they will fully accept Saint Cyril’s confession of faith in “two natures” in “one person” and reject Dioscorus’s extremism and fanaticism. We should all be able to accept the words of Saint Cyril: “As to the expressions about the Lord in the Gospels and apostolic writings, we know that theologians treat some in common as regarding one person and distinguish others as regarding two natures, and interpret the God-befitting ones with regard to the Godhood of Christ and the lowly ones with regard to His humanity.” We should also be able to accept the saint’s teaching, in the same official confession of faith, that the two natures are united “without confusion” in the “one person.” This is further proof that it is perfectly Orthodox to speak of “two natures” that are “without confusion” and also without division after the Incarnation. Chalcedon, with its teaching of “two natures” did not betray Saint Cyril, because he accepted the very same teaching that Chalcedon proclaimed. Dioscorus rejected Saint Cyril and sided with Eutyches. That is why we should reject Dioscorus.

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