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Coptic Orthodox Church
Pope Shenouda III a saint?
Do you think HH Pope Shenouda III will, or should be canonized?
Nope, because he denied Theosis.
(I'm just messing with you by quoting the same exact answer on a different forum, I'm not giving an actual opinion).
Nice. To be serious I know little about this issue in regards to HH Shenouda III. I'm more familiar with his (simple but clear) writings which helped bring the church to myself and many others.
edited September 10
Pope Shenouda never denied Theosis or deification or unity with God. Many are accusing him of that. If people read his arabic writings and not the English translation which did him a great disservice they'll see he taught precisely what the fathers taught. He was concerned of muslim misunderstandings of the concept.
I remember in Fr Tadros Malaty's book, "the fiery spirit" i believe, one of the first sentences was "Christianity is Unity with Christ through the Holy Spirit". That is theosis or deification or what one wishes to call it. These books were read, reviewed and commissioned to a large part by Pope Shenouda himself.
There's an insidious and demonic movement in the church trying to tarnish Abba Shenouda's reputation and using his disagreements with fr Matthew the poor as "examples" of this, when in reality both men reconciled toward the end of Fr Matthew's life in which Abba Shenouda visited him. They were in fact saying the same thing but using different ways to articulate the message. Yes they disagreed on other things but this seems to be the most infamous one for which they found common ground. Fr Matthew the poor was more of a mystical preacher because of his style, his way of doing things. Many fathers in history had radically different styles and that is ok.
Beware of these people on forums and facebook accusing Abba Shenouda of "western soteriology" or "protestant sunday school movement" etc. Half of those individuals are regurgitating the them vs us dichotomy that's been created and don't really understand while others simply want to see an issue so it will be there. They are playing into the devil's hands and submitting to his game without realizing it, many of which are "Seminary educated" for which there is a necessity and importance but not while knowledge trumps humility and love.
To the most educated man, God will deny him true knowledge if at first he doesn't show humility. Always be of the mindset that you are a student still learning on the vast expanse of this great faith that's been handed to s.
Continue educating yourselves through scripture, the fathers and the liturgical services of the church. That is what both these preeminent men, Abba Shenouda and Mattew the poor always adovocated. While we quarrel over them here, they've embraced one another in eternity and weep for our ignorance and arrogance.
edited September 16
A saint does not need to have lived a perfect life or have had a perfect theology, but the saint can have a very important impact to the spiritual lives of others in the Church. It may be true that Pope Shenouda denied theosis. He did lead lectures against the “heresy of deification”. Let’s not pretend that did not happen. Let’s not put our heads in the sand and pretend our fathers were perfect. Pope Shenouda was still coming from a generation of rediscovering the early fathers, which we were denied from centuries of persecution. And let’s not demean “seminary educated” folks either. True, boasting of knowledge leads to pride and is evil, but let’s not also make up history just to make our fathers look good. Mistakes happen and have happened. No one is perfect, but he’s still a saint, just as Abouna Matta is a saint. People, especially clergy, should stop treating laity as if they’re stupid or ignorant, not understanding what’s going on around them.
So the answer to the question is yes, he is a saint, and saints were not always theologically correct.
Case in point: Emporer Constantine who had an Arian baptism, but he formed the fort Ecumenical Council which formulated the Nicean Creed and on doing so path the way for the church.
No one is perfect except for God.
The question I guess then to be asked is: Did these people pave the way for the church (bride)? And the answer is yes. Their contrabutions for the church are what makes them a saint.
If we can imagine the bride (church) going to the wedding and the dress is --Revelation 19:7-8 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then these saints are what helped the church go to that wedding.
Some people argue that emperor Constantine and his mother queen Helana should not be considered saints. I will not speak about pope Shenouda now because I don't understand well theological matters but as
is saying, if he denied theosis publicly then that is a grave matter!
Oujai khan ebshois
He tried to refute a heresy in our church,and yes, unwittingly over-compensated and ended up in another.
Let's be clear: Do we eat the Divine Holy Body in the Eucharist, or do we consume the Holy Body? Do we eat Divinity??
That was the issue, and HH said that we do not eat Divinity. We eat the Holy Body.
But, there are some kholagy's that still say "Your Divine Holy Body" - I know.. but - its not an easy subject.
Do we eat Divinity?
Well.. we eat the Holy Body of Christ and Drink His Holy Blood. We cannot separate the Divine from the Human nature.
No one ever said we eat the divinity in a literal sense. He misunderstood theosis, attacked it by making a polemic of eating the divinity when no one said that, and then ended up being in the wrong.
If someone can get a word-for-word translation on what he “refuted” that would be great. Thus far, what I hear he refuted was actually worded differently than how Pope Shenouda presented it.