Bishop Bishoi of Damietta being attacked



  • Hello, I know this is super old, but just in case future readers want clarity on the subject material covered:

    1. St Cyprian and other Fathers of the Church are clear that there is no salvation outside of the Church. This does not mean that it is absolutized, as we can even see non-apostolic (and I'd argue non-Christian) Protestants have some level of grace. But, as a general rule, all salvation is in virtue of the True Church. Since the Orthodox Church is the True Church, this precludes the Latins, Byzantines, Protestants etc., from being the True Church. Thus, Met Bishoy's statement should be viewed in this light, not in an absolutized sense. There are saintly figures in the Latin and Byzantine churches, and I even know Protestants who are similar in some regard to this. The axiom "we know where the Church is, but we don't know where it isn't" is good, as long as it is interpreted correctly.

    2. Chalcedonians were never Orthodox from the beginning. There is a book called "The Defense of Chalcedon in the East" which tries to prove that they were. This is false. If anyone has any objections/examples from history they'd like to present, feel free to bring them up. For reference, the Chalcedonians in the East and the West routinely rejected Theopaschism until Justinian and the Scythian monks (the latter of which tried to downplay Chalcedon) and the Scythian's request to have the formula approved was rejected by Hormisdas. Justinian is his own heretical problem.

    3. I'm not too familiar with Dr George, so I cannot say whether these things about him are true. But, anyone who considers Chalcedon to have been Orthodox, and says that we should've accepted it, probably should keep communing at a Byzantine church, because they simply don't believe in Orthodoxy. Also, in the 21st century we have much more access to transportation which can get us to a proper Orthodox church. Our fathers gave up very much for the Faith and we are too weak to fast on fasting days. It seems like this Dr George was a very learned man, and so there is no excuse for him to have remained in these errors.

    4. Also, we have to differentiate between true ecumenism and false ecumenism. True ecumenism is admitting that while the other side has problems, that there can be some leeway to allow certain expressions of theirs to have an Orthodox interpretation. False ecumenism is saying that our Fathers were wrong in condemning them. Orthodoxy definitionally is the continuation of the Faith of the apostles which is handed down "from generation to generation" by the Fathers. If someone says that the Orthodox Fathers were wrong the whole time in their judgements of Chalcedon, the Tome of Leo, etc., then they are rendering their entire religion useless. What's next? Are we to say that the Arians weren't so heretical after all, and they were simply misunderstood?

    We know that our Fathers interpret ecumenism as true ecumenism, not false ecumenism. They do not believe that the Tome of Leo or Chalcedon was Orthodox. They know it followed the errors of Theodore of Mopsuestia. They also know that "Reformed Chalcedonians" so to speak, at 2 Constantinople, downplayed a lot of the heretical problems at Chalcedon, which led to a split within the Chalcedonian sect. Also, the Ethiopian church has said that they aren't removing the anathemas on Leo/Chalcedon etc., which shows a lot because the Ethiopians make up over 50% of the worldwide Orthodox population. We also know that Pope Shenouda of blessed memory routinely spoke on the oneness of Christ's nature, and called the Tome of Leo for what it is: A Nestorian document.

    The more modern scholarship analyzes the Christological controversies, the more they see that the Orthodox side is vindicated, and that the Byzantines were 1) heretical and 2) schismatic and 3) made up weird, novel metaphysics to cover up their heresies, which resulted in more intricate heresies. The principal reason for the agreements is that the Byzantines are now admitting that we were Orthodox the whole time. For anyone who thinks that Chalcedon was "misunderstood," just look at what Fr John Romanides conceded about the Tome of Leo... he goes so far as to vindicate St Dioscoros' excommunication of Leo!
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