Calling EO saints, saints.

Hello, I am wondering if we can call some EO saints such as (st)Gabriel urgebadze and (st) paisios(Modern day EO saints), saints. Thanks


  • last times someone asked a similar question when i was there i heard that our priests will probably not give an official opinion on the saints from another orthodox group.
    but for ordinary (non priest) people like us, it is ok to call them saints if they are official saints in another orthodox church.
    so the first one is an official saint in the georgian orthodox church, so good enough for me and the second is officially a saint in the eccumenical patriarchate (the greek orthodox church based in istanbul) - so also ok.

    this is my unofficial, non priestly opinion
  • I don’t think so. Their church believes that we are heretics and we don’t have grace. Probably, their saints believe the same.
  • dear tigran,
    there are only a few eastern orthodox Christians that believe this.
    most of those people spend nearly all their time on the internet and don't get out much.
    most eastern orthodox Christians spend their free time in church or helping others and either think we are orthodox or haven't heard of us because they are too busy 'in real life' to worry about the issue.
    'their' saints are in the presence of the one and only living, holy, almighty God and have repented of any incorrect ideas they might have had on the earth.

    i visit eastern orthodox churches several times a year (and have done for many years) and have only found unwelcoming opinions on very few occasions.
  • Dear Mabsoota,

    As for me, I live in Russia, an East Orthodox country. Most of priests and bishops here think that we are heretics. That's why it's very difficult to find priest who will accept you, if there is no Armenian Church nearby. My family and I have experience of scandal situations, when we were simply kicked out of the church.

    There are a lot of EO apologitic groups and communities on the net, which have aim to destroy our faith and our Churches. Personally, I entered this forum to find some material to protect our orthodox faith from chalkidonite apologets (because there is a few OO material in russian language). And user Dioscoros helped me in this.

    Talking about their saints, a lot of them called us heretics. Some of them even lied about our faith to show that we are heretics. If you want, I can provide you with their quotes. Moreover, the quality of their spiritual life is discussive too. 

    That's why, I can't call them saints. There are a lot of reasons not to do it. God is to decide, who is real saint and who is not.

    I remember, when coptic delegation arrived to visit russian monasteries, there were some protests from some EO people and communities, that heretics can't pray in EO temples.

    Only heads of EO Churhces have good relationship with OO Church. But we don't know thier real aims: do they want to have real unity or just some influence to steal part of our believers?
  • i am sorry about your negative experiences.
    i pray for orthodox Christians in russia to live free from fear and full of love, as they should.
    i have attended armenian orthodox liturgy twice in london, it was lovely.
    sadly, last time i went (a few years ago), they still didn't translate it (except the sermon). i can't read armenian, so i would not be able to follow it if i printed my own liturgy out (armenian with english translation). i hope they improve that and have more visitors :-)

    last time i visited the greek orthodox church that is closest to my coptic orthodox church (several months ago), one of the men there told me to come again any time as 'this church is your church'. 
    i know things are not always the same in eastern europe (i have had mixed experiences in romania), so it is difficult to treat people with love and acceptance while they label you a heretic because of their ignorance.

    i don't think the heads are trying to steal believers. i think most of them are genuine (have only met 2 EO bishops, both greek, so i admit i am not an expert).
    the last time i tried to join in a service in a greek orthodox church (in cyprus), the priest and i exchanged some greetings and introduced ourselves as much as we could with our poor understanding of each others' languages (i am sure he understood the word 'egyptian'), then i went to kiss his hand.
    he held on to my hand, looked deep into my soul (seemed to look past my eyes) and then smiled and said 'welcome'.

    i pray always that this will become more common as we look at each other spiritually.

  • To those of whom it is of concern,

    The Chalcedonites are anathematized not just by the Holy Fathers, but also by the Councils of Ephesus' condemnation of all Dyophysites-blanketly.  They are anathematized therefore by the Holy Spirit, and so in an objective way, their "saints" are not saints.  We ask for God to have mercy on all - non-Orthodox and Orthodox alike.  This is not the same thing as being a "saint" in the ecclesial sense.

    St John the Evangelist, speaking by the Holy Spirit, says that all who undo the union of Christ are antichrist, and by the deliberations of the Council of Ephesus, anyone who ascribes two natures to Christ after the union, undoes that same union.

    Thank you,
    - Dioscorus
  • this is not the official position of our church.
    may God give us all grace and peace
  • Hello Mabsoota,

    It's kind of you to offer your opinion on "the official position."  However, it will be of interest to check out what the official sources of the Church are, so that all parties involved can be informed of the official position, without ad hoc appellations:

    First, the living liturgical life within the Coptic Orthodox Church.  1) The Morning Doxology, 2) The Antiphonary of St Dioscorus the Confessor, 3) The Holy Bible:

    1) "Our father the confessor, Abba Dioscorus, defended the faith, against the heretics."

    2) "Everyone who wrote in this impure tome, may they be an anathema." [Meaning, those who agree to it]
    "O you who had become like a roaring lion crying out against the wicked followers of Arius, enemies of the truth."
    "O Elijah the Tishbite, whose edifice was destroyed by those who were in Chalcedon, the sons of Balaam."
    "O you who has become a double-edged sword that cuts every tongue that speaks of the two natures." [Those who speak about two natures after the union]

    3) 1 John 4:3, refer to the below statements regarding it.

    Second, the Council of Ephesus 431, contrary to what some may hear, is indisputably representative of the official position of the Body of Christ - the Oriental Orthodox Church.  St Theodotus of Ancyra, one of the presiders of the council, states in his first homily of the council which was accepted into the Acta:

    "For the union (of two) does this: (it) combines to each the things of the other. Because of this, then, being God, he became a human being, in order that a human being might also become God, lifted up towards divine glory by this combination, so as to be a single one and itself, both divinely glorified and suffering what is human.
    And all who admit the union of the divinity and humanity would agree with us on them! For what has been united is no longer named two but one, [if] by concept you divide again and examine each according to itself. Surely then you undo the union: for it is impossible both to preserve the union and to examine each at the same time according to itself, but what was united came to be one indissolubly and no longer becomes two.
    But, I distinguish by rationalization only, he says. Surely then you also undo the union with the same rationalization; for by what you might separate one from the other, by this you also sever the combination. Then why do you split the saving dispensation, thinking of two and cancelling the union?"

    The other 2 saints who presided at Ephesus, Sts Cyril and Acacius, both recognized the same:

    "... let everyone be forced to publicly anathematize the dogmas of Nestorius and Theodore: especially those who say two natures after the union, properly each one working. For of those who are in Germanicia I have found some experienced, indeed refusing to say two sons, but indeed not refusing to say two natures. Wherefore if it be granted, that it may be said and taught by them, that each nature worketh by itself, and this indeed is suffered, but that remaineth impassive, there is no other thing than to confess two sons again, and bring in the parts."
    - St Acacius Melitene, Letter 1 to St Cyril

    "Addressing one another is a sweet thing for brothers and admirable and deserving of all consideration among those of truly sound thinking [...] Delighted, therefore, exceedingly at the letter from your excellency and having marveled at your disposition towards me, I thought it proper to make known to you the way in which peace came about for the churches and to indicate how everything happened [...] we say that the two natures were united, from which there is the one and only Son and Lord, Jesus Christ, as we accept in our thoughts; but after the union, since the distinction into two is now done away with, we believe that there is one nature of the Son, since He is one Son."
    - St Cyril, [Response] Letter 40 to St Acacius Melitene

    So, it is clearly the position of the Church that anyone who confesses the duality after the union, saying that the constituents remain "two," are "undoing the union."  This statement of "undoing the union" is nothing new.  A contemporary of St Theodotus, the historian Socrates Scholasticus makes the following observation about the First Catholic Epistle of St John:

    "Now he [Nestorius] was evidently unacquainted with the fact that in the First Catholic epistle of John it was written in the ancient copies, 'Every spirit that separates [dissolves/undoes] Jesus [πᾶν πνεῦμα ὅ λύει τὸν ᾽Ιησοῦν], is not of God.' The mutilation of this passage is attributable to those who desired to separate the Divine nature from the human economy: or to use the very language of the early interpreters, some persons have corrupted this epistle, aiming at 'separating the manhood of Christ from his Deity.'"
    - Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History VII, 32 

    He is referring to the following verse, which he is speaking about the Vulgate recension being the original:

    "And every spirit that dissolveth [undoes] Jesus, is not of God: and this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh, and he is now already in the world."
    - 1 John 4:3 DRA

  • For this reason, the saints of the Church recognized that this applies to the Chalcedonians:

    "Likewise are the new schismatics, Chalcedonians, the forerunners of Anti-Christ, the followers of Nestorius the damned, and Leo the sacrilegious."
    - St Gregory of Tatev, Book of Questions

    "[Now] sit yourself down, Judas, with your wife who gave you this evil advice. And prepare for yourself a rope for the time when you will hang yourself, die, and your soul perishes in Hades-the place you will go to. I do not invite you at all to my wedding feast, that is the Church. Indeed, I will say that a single Judas betrayed his Lord at that time, but I do not know from where all these Judases came. But you will ask me, 'Do you know who they are?' I will tell you about each one of them. He is Arius, he is Nestorius, he is Macedonius, he is the impious Leohe is Ibas, he is Theodore, he is Theodoret, he is Leontius, he is the abominable Julian, he is George the Arian and Gregory his brother who resembled him in his deeds. He is the one whose name is not worthy of mention, who brought great evils upon the church, the impious Cyrus who is defiled in all his deeds. He is Victor, the bishop who bears the sins of his whole city, and he is also Melitius in Upper Egypt. Are they not all JudasesThey were cast out of the wedding feast because they did not wear wedding garments."
    - St Pope Benjamin I, Homily on Cana

    "We informed them, may God again bestow His blessings on them, that the reason of bringing it out to them is an Antonian who was previously bishop in upper Egypt and who does not deserve that title now as he has denied the true faith and the good complete Jacobite creed which we received from our fathers the apostles and their successors after them namely Alexandros and Timotheos and Cyrillus and Dioskorus the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Egypt, the leaders of the councils. This non-bishop transgressed the creed of those fathers and believed in two natures in Christ after unity, and separated His divine nature from His human nature and followed the Chalcedonian confession of the Francs, and began putting insignia and his seal on blank paper, and they would write on it the explanation they want and send it to our Copt children so that they may follow them. But this was not possible, and all the papers which were sent by this hypocrite non-bishop have a teaching not accepted by us. And this corrupt one became like an adulteress who surrendered herself to whoredom and he has no fear of God nor shame before the people, and he resembles the carcass of a dead animal which is thrown on a hill and all dogs feed on it and snap at it."
    - St Pope Mark VII, Sermon on the True Faith

    God bless you,
  • Dear Dioscoros,

    Unfortunately, I cannot agree with you, that all Chalkidonites are out of the Church.

    We are interested in the Shirakavan Council of 862. The reason for the convocation was the letter of Patriarch Photios of Constantinople to the Armenians about the adoption of Chalcedonism. Catholicos Zakaria I Dzagetsi wrote a letter to Photius, proving that the Armenian doctrine is in accordance with the decisions of the first three Ecumenical Councils. In his reply letter Photius tried to prove the orthodoxy of Chalcedonism and again proposed Armenians to accept Chalcedon. The Council of Shirakavan rejected Photius' proposal and prevented the imposition of the Chalcedonian religion on the Armenians living in the Byzantine Empire.

    We are interested in the 13th and 14th canons of this council:

    13) If, because of humanity or covetousness, anyone does not curse the one whom the Council of Chalcedon and its followers recognize as enemies and opponents of the established Apostolic and Prophetic Tradition or of the Covenant of the Three Holy Councils, such a one shall be cursed.
    14) If, on the contrary, he dares to curse or glorify with abomination and agreement with Nestorius the one who recognizes the Council of Chalcedon and the Councils following it, the fifth, sixth and seventh, as followers and adherents of the traditions of the Apostles, Prophets and the three Holy Councils, such a one curses himself, for it is written, "Whoever curses undeservedly, his curses shall fall on his own soul and head," and let him be accursed.

    The Council which rejected the acceptance of the Council of Chalcedon and which was intended to expose the slander of the Chalcedonites against the AAC (the rest of the canons are about this), forbids Armenians to curse the accepting Chalcedon. Does this mean accepting Chalcedon? Of course not! But it is only a recognition of the fact that the Council of Chalcedon and the councils that followed it can be understood Orthodoxically, not Nestorian.

    Thus, it can be seen that the ecumenical attitude of the AAC towards other Churches is not only a late position of some Fathers and figures of the Church, but an ancient council decree. The anathema to Chalcedon is not identical to the anathema of all who formally follow it.

    God bless you,
  • Dearest Tigran,

    I have to take issue with this interpretation for a few reasons:

    1) Canons 13 and 14 are not saying "we anathematize Chalcedon but anathematize anathematizing those who agree with Chalcedon."  This would be self-contradictory, since there would be no reason to anathematize that which can be understood as "Orthodox."

    2) Canons 13 and 14 read as follows:

    "13. If anyone should consider the Council of Chalcedon or those following it contrary or adverse to the apostolic or [to the] prophetic defined legacy, or to the tradition of the three holy Councils, and either for the sake of pleasing men or out of the love of possessions should not anathematise it, may [such a one] be anathema.
    14. If anyone should consider the Council of Chalcedon or those following it – the fifth Council, and the sixth, and the seventh – [as] following and concordant with the apostolic and the prophetic legacies and the three holy Councils and dare to anathematise or calumniate [them], [as] being in accordance with the abominable Nestorios, such a one anathematises himself. For it is written: ‘If someone anathematises what does not merit anathema, the anathemas shall be upon him and upon his head’; and may [such a one] be anathema."

    Contrary to the proposed reading, canon 13 anathematizes those who fail to anathematize Chalcedon when they ought to anathematize Chalcedon [knowing that it is wrong].  More importantly, canon 14 addresses those who, believing that Chalcedon is in accord with the Holy Councils, apostles, and all the rest, anathematize it anyway.  That is precisely why it says that he "curses himself," because he is claiming to anathematize the faith of the apostles, the Holy Councils, and the rest.

    Notice that the canons here do NOT anathematize those who anathematize all Chalcedonians, neither does it grant the title of "Orthodoxy" to those who accept Chalcedon.  In effect, the Council of Shirakavan can be said to be so extremely against Chalcedonites that it puts an anathema on certain individuals who are merely silent, and not explicit, in anathematizing Chalcedon.

    3) St Nonnus of Nisibis [Syriac Orthodox] was one of the participants of this council.  He was extreme in his rejection of Chalcedon to the extent that he traveled to Armenia to assure that Theodore Abu Qura would be defeated in Christological debate with the prince of Armenia, leading to Theodore's expulsion from the land.  That these council members consider the Chalcedonites anything other than people outside the Church is sorely mistaken.

    4) The anathemas of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church are against not only the Tome of Leo, but against "all the ranks of Diophysites."  If no rank of Diophysites is left out of the anathema, then how can some ethereal rank be included?  There is no included rank.

    God bless you,
  • Dearest Dioscorus,

    It seems that we have completely different readings of the 13th anathema of the council. My version is a translation from the Russian version (, which explicitly says that those who believe that the Chalcedonites are enemies and do not conform to tradition are cursed.

    Can you provide a link to the English and/or other translations?

    There may have been a deliberate falsification in my translation. Or in yours. Need to check.

    God bless you,
  • Hello Tigran,

    Of course, you can read about it here and compare.

    My initial thoughts lead me to think that Photius himself (or perhaps Iberians) probably made interpolations and outright forgeries surrounding the council.  After all, Photius was known for being a forger in other areas, and it was common for Chalcedonites to make forgeries/interpolations out of their rejection of Christ.  Rest assured; it can be confidently known that an Armenian-Syrian council with these individuals (such as St Nonnus) is not going to compromise truth for the sake of false unity.  That one must anathematize Chalcedon (lest they be anathema) entails that Chalcedon cannot be interpreted in an "orthodox" way, or else there would be no commanded anathema, nor anathema on those who refuse anathematizing.

    God bless you,
  • the original poster has not yet come back on line to look at the answers, so i won't go in to details. also i have been busy 'in real life', going to EO church this weekend (without taking Holy Communion), so i attended liturgy in my OO church this morning, which was lovely :)
    so, sorry, i don't have time for more debates on the subject, but i wish you the peace of God
  • Hi Mabsoota,

    At least you got to a real church which isn't anathematized by the Council of Ephesus (therefore the Holy Spirit) and is still part of the Body of Christ, the one Eucharistic communion.

    God-willing you will have more opportunities to receive the Holy Eucharist - the summit of our reasons in going to church.

    God be with you,
  • Hi Dioscoros,

    I checked the sources, and it looks like these canons of the council are a late Greek insertion.

    God be with you,
  • hi discorus, i went to EO wedding ('crowning'). it was lovely.
    i went to my OO church for Holy Communion on tuesday.
    going again next weekend, as God wills.
  • hi tigran, impressive research skills, i didn't have time for that, may God guide you.
    hope you both (and everyone else) has peace and grace from God
  • Dear Mabsoota,

    I I asked several of our theologians and priests, and they all said as one that these 2 canons (at least!) of the Council of Shirakavan are late Greek insertions.

    Moreover, our church historian Magacia (Ormanian), Patriarch of Constantinople, wrote about it.

    So I was wrong when I quoted these canons to prove my position.

    God bless you,
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