Is it possible??

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
Hey, I was researching about "Oriental" Christianity of which the Coptic are part of.  I found this quote about ecumenical and unity among the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox.  I was curious what some of your feelings and thoughts were about this. 

For me personally, as a Protestant, ecumenism and unity are the goal, so this hit very close to home for me.


In the 20th century, the Chalcedonian schism was not seen with the same relevance any more, and from several meetings between the Roman Catholic Pope and Patriarchs of the Oriental Orthodoxy, reconciling declarations emerged.

The confusions and schisms that occurred between their Churches in the later centuries, they realize today, in no way affect or touch the substance of their faith, since these arose only because of differences in terminology and culture and in the various formulae adopted by different theological schools to express the same matter. Accordingly, we find today no real basis for the sad divisions and schisms that subsequently arose between us concerning the doctrine of Incarnation. In words and life we confess the true doctrine concerning Christ our Lord, notwithstanding the differences in interpretation of such a doctrine which arose at the time of the Council of Chalcedon.

From the common declaration of Pope John Paul II and HH Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, June 23, 1984


  • Correction!!!!

    Between the Oriental and Roman churches


  • And more

    Cyril had taught that "There is only one physis, since it is the Incarnation, of God the Word." Cyril had apparently understood the Greek word physis to mean approximately what the Latin word persona (person) means, while most Greek theologians would have interpreted that word to mean natura (nature). Thus, many understood Eutyches to be advocating Docetism, a sort of reversal of Arianism -- where Arius had denied the divine nature of Jesus, Eutyches seemed to be denying his human nature. (Cyril's orthodoxy was not called into question, since the Union of 433 had explicitly spoken of two physeis in this context.)

  • well about saint cyril, he never denied christ's humanity, in turn he said that we was full human, but at the same time he was fully divine, perfect in his divinity and perfect in  his humanity, not having one compensate for the other.  As was said he called this the "nature of god the incarnate word".  Meaning that he truly has only one nature, but this one nature is extremely out of reach of our human minds.  As it is said in the oorthodox creed "his divinity parted not from his humanity for a single moment nor a twinkling of an eye"  This is because of the beleife in one nature, how can two parts of a single nature separate? they cant right?

  • has been Answered
  • Dear Taylor,

    You bring us to a complex issue, and one which has divided the Church since 451 A.D., so I guess no one should expect a quick resolution to this.

    Yes, talks between ourselves and the Eastern Orthodox have tended to confirm that there were many linguistic misunderstandings behind the schism of 451; for those who want to follow it up, this site, which is a British Orthodox (i.e. Coptic) site has much good information:

    But more than sixteen centuries of disunion are not to be healed speedily. Some, on both sides, see the talks as 'false ecumenism', that is trying to sweep differences under the carpet rather than resolves them; others do not agree with the conclusions reached in the various talks. But there are many, on both sides, who hope that we can continue to move forward together, cooperating (as in Egypt) where possible, and letting the Spirit do His work through us.

    The Christological debates of the fifth century were extremely complex, but those who would like a modern, Oriental Orthodox summary of where we are and where we might go, should click on this link where they will be able to read an interesting lecture by the Metropolitan of Glastonbury, Abba Seraphim, who is a member of the Coptic Orthodox synod. It clarifies things rather well.

    In Christ,

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