I know it’s a popular opinion in our day and age that the Melkites or Byzantines have the same faith as us even when it comes to Christology but, I don’t understand how it is possible to be loyal to our fathers Sts. Severus, Philoxenus, Jacob of Serugh, Jacob baradeaus, Timothy of Alexandria, Theodosius, Peter the fuller etc who condemned it and at the same time hold to this opinion. Also how can Chalcedon be condemned as Nestorianizing when these people are “Orthodox” that would necessitate an orthodox interpretation of the Chalcedon and thus why should it be condemned why pick the Nestorian view of the council if that’s not even how they themselves interpret it ? And thus why should we continue in our rejection of Chalcedon ? Also how can we say this when our own fathers considered it to be in contradiction with Ephesus and some of the fathers of Ephesus explicitly condemned two natures after the union ?
As I have already posted in other topic, Armenian Apostolic have some saints with different opinion. Catholicos St Nerses IV the Gracious (Shnorhali) (1102-1173) believed that we have one faith with Greek Orthodox and even tried to unite Churches. St Nerses Lambronatsi (1153–1198) tried to unite Armenian Church with Roman and Greek Churches. He became a zealous advocate of the union of the Greek and Armenian Churches. And there are a lot of other Armenian Fathers, who thought the same (Mchitar Gosh, Catholicos Magakia (Ormanyan), St Ovanes Harnetsi).
In my personal opinion, the unanimous opinion of the holy fathers is authoritative only in matters of faith, and not in politics, terminology, relations with others, history, etc. It is necessary to separate the dogma from the worldly outlook. F. Peter Farrington in his articles had close position to this, as I have understood.
God bless you,
On my picture you can see St Nerses Lambronatsi
God bless you,
There is a difference between sect and heresy. Sect is delusion out the Church and heresy is delusion in the Church. A very good example is St. Basil the Great (379). He was baptized after a heretical creed opposed to the Nicene Creed and ordained to the priesthood by Arians. St. Basil had never received communion with Orthodox during his lifetime, who demanded “without philosophies” to accept the Symbol of Nicaea. He had never been in communion with legal historic Orthodox Church.
In addition to the two Nerses, I also remembered St. Hovhannes Garnetsi. He had a vision in which God would condemn to eternal torment those who change their Church and rebaptise in other Church. He made examples of cathelics, greeks, armenians and assyrians (nestorians).
One more thing is, as for as I know, consensus of Fathers is not dogmatic principle. There were situations, when it didn’t work. For instance, the First Ecumenical Council was completely contrary to the consensus of the holy fathers 1-3 centuries. Most of St Fathers before 325 considered that Son is subordinate to the Father. And it is heresy of “subordinationalism”.
Talking about our anathemas, we know that modern chalkidonites don’t believe in 2 Sons and Tome of Leo can be understood in Orthodox way. Moreover, most of chalkidonite christians even don’t know who is Leo and what happened in 451. So, any anathema should not be understood literally, but in the sense that the Fathers put into it. This anathema applies only to real heretics who believe in 2 Sons in chalkidone theology.
As for the position of the Church, there is a book “The Armenian Church” by great scientist, philosopher, Patriarch of Constantinople Malachia Ormanian (1841-1918), which is being published today with the blessing of our bishops. Here we can read:
«The two Churches [Greek-Orthodox and Roman-Catholic], which have appropriated to themselves the pompous names of catholic and ecumenical as proof of their universality, are in fact isolated and enclosed within the circle of their individuality. Such intolerance is completely alien to the spirit of the Armenian Church, which does not allow a separate or national Church, no matter how vast it may be, to appropriate the character of universality. It stands on the grounds that true universality can exist only in the assembly of all Churches closely united in the name of the principle of unitas in necessariis, to which all the basic principles of Christianity are reduced. Once this condition is met, each individual Church can interpret minor particulars in its own way. The Armenian Church reduces these foundations of Christian teaching to the most simple and concise interpretation. It recognizes as necessary only the dogmatic definitions of the first three Ecumenical Councils, definitions dating back to the epoch when individual Churches still retained unity and communion among themselves. Thus, any Church that recognizes the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Redemption, according to the view of the Armenian Church, can be a part of the Universal Church and, as such, grants its followers the right to eternal salvation. All such Churches maintain communion with one another in the spirit, in spiritualibus, in which the highest unity of faith and charity, necessary for the unity of Christianity, is achieved. The rest of the points concerning doctrine or beliefs may be accepted or rejected, either as a result of the decision of a separate council, or by virtue of the authority of the scientists of the Church.»
God bless you,