Eastern & Oriental similarities?

Howdy all, 

This is my first post on here so bare with me :) 

I'm in the process of converting to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism through the Antiochians (getting chrismated next month). I had a question about Oriental (more so Coptic) & Eastern Orthodox theology. 

Coming from Catholicism I could tell that the theology and worship between the RCC & EO was obviously different. I cant say the same about the Copts and the Eastern. I went to a Coptic parish near me last week for the first time and go t a chance to speak with the priest as well as some other folks (awesome btw), and I really could not tell any difference between them and the Antiochian parish I attend. I asked about the Mono/Mya deal and they said its just a misunderstanding. 

I guess my main question would be, why are we not one? Why don't the Greek and Coptic patriarchates of Alexandria merge? 


  • edited April 2017
    That's the million dollar question that comes with a ton of cans of worms.

    I have studied this problem for...oh...about 13 years now. It's all in the history and the type of reverence one has for the councils and saints, so much so that to reconcile is interpreted by some as insulting and disrespecting those RESPECTIVE fathers and councils that lead to the present schism we have. So even if you come to the conclusion that we are no different at all theologically (and I personally believe this although I know some, on both sides that still do not believe this), you still have to deal with the question of the councils and the fathers that are at the root cause of our separation and the successors of those councils and fathers. It is a question that some have tackled and believe there is a viable solution, if both sides are humble enough to accept it.

    PS is your actual name Menas? :D
  • edited April 2017
    Then of course, there is also the question of pragmatics. If the Greek and Coptic patriarchates of Alexandria merge, who steps down? Do Greeks get confirmation by Copts or vice versa, or do we need rebaptism?  Do we create a hybrid patriarchate where both current patriarchates step down? Having multiple bishops in one city is against the canons. Do Greeks need to learn Coptic and Copts need to learn Greek? These are all silly questions in themselves if the question of theology is not resolved AND each side refuses to be humble AND the geopolitical religious world can accept such a union. 

    Greeks and Copts can resolve all the theological and pragmatic issues and unite totally but the rest of the Eastern Orthodox world (or the Oriental Orthodox world) can view this as false ecumenism and a compromise of the faith defended by blood. The net result will likely be schismatically separating from the new hybrid patriarchate or both current patriarchates, etc.  So the Greeks and Copts somehow could unite but the rest of the world would see it as spite and we'll be back to the same problem with a new division. 

    None of this is a true hindrance of union, per se. It is just so often overlooked. Grass root level union is just as important as hierarchal declarations of union. Many previous attempts of union have failed at the grass root level.

    As it stands, we can't even come to an understanding of what the difference of miaphysis and monophysis means and who said what. There is also the problem of some church requiring rebaptism and some requiring confirmation only and some requiring a declaration against the other side and some requiring nothing at all. All the churches are all over the place in their practice of accepting anyone into their church. These are only two examples. As minasoliman said, this comes with a TON of cans of worms. 

    Sorry to make it look gloomy and hopeless, but we are all in a bad place for the last 1500 years. Thankfully, our merciful God doesn't judges us as we judge ourselves. 
  • Nah my name isn't actually Menas lol, I just really like that saint.

    I guess I never realized how complicated it all was, that actually kind of sucks. Does intercommunion ever occur between Eastern & Coptic Orthodox? 
  • edited June 2017
    I believe that when God wants unity what is most important is unity in our love for him and in the understanding of his will and what we have to do in our love for him and for the sake of our neighbours salvation. If we are the same in glorifying and worshipping him in what is important, this a way of being united.

    That we dont have the same view and understanding about specific saints, church fathers and minor practical differences is much a cultural thing and that is no problem as long as we are united in our fight against the evil spirits and as long as we are loving eachothers as brothes and sisters. What we need to avoid is christians who are living in sin and refuse to repent, false prophets and division makers who lie and spread distrust.

    Who we need to embrace is every seeking soul and every chrisitan who have a slighty different church but still have the same love and the same will and the same hope as us! Think about that some may not eat meat because of their weak faith and some may refrain from eating it in their presence so as not to make them sin against their consiousness, but both are doing right in their separate choices.

    Im not saying we should accept any doctrine that is false and be in communion with any chrisitan embracing dangerous and false doctrine.

  • edited June 2017
    Hi @Menas17, I didn't see the question until now.

    There is very limited intercommunion between EOs and OOs now, but not officially recognized. Examples could be intermarried couples who could go either any church. In some instances, you might find a relatively more liberal priest or bishop who finds it acceptable to give the Eucharist to the other.

    Officially though, no intercommunion occurs without some sort of formal entrance into the Church.
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