Any Assyrian Christians or Assyrian Catholicos on this forum?

If there are I have a few questions about what you believe. I’m trying to round out some Christian history.

I am not, but 80% of the parish I go to are.

Do they still follow Nestorius teaching? And if they do how does that look?

Sometime in the 90’s the Assyrian Church of the East Patriarch, His Holiness Mar Dinkha, and His Holiness Pope John Paul II signed a joint declaration of common Christology.

This statement was approved by the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church.

So the Assyrians are NOT Nestorians now, if they ever were.

In the Chaldean Catholic Church (the counterpart), the Liturgies of Nestorius and Theodore of Mopsuestia are called the Second and Third Hallowings. Of course, they officially repudiated Nestorianism at the time of union.

How do they differ then from the Latin rite? Do they use the term Theotokos now?

Everything Ive seen still is Christotokos.

Thats Nestorius. it was his opossition to Theotokos. The Assyria church is now in communion with Rome?

The ACE are in limited communion with the Chaldean Patriarch, and through him with Rome.

by limited:
[list]*]the faithful of both the Chaldean Catholic Church (henceforth ChCC) and the ACE may receive the sacraments in either the ACE or the ChCC.
*]Mixed marriages bear no impediment
*]Retention of parental church of enrollment when baptized (That is, an ACE child baptized by a ChCC priest is still ACE, and vice versa)
*]No priestly concelebration
]No shared clerical formation
*]No commemoration of each other in the diptychs.
*]When there are faithful of one of the two in an area, and no parish, they are allowed to enroll in the parish of the other church without hindrance.

  • Tho’ they share the same basic theology and tradition, training in the seminary of the other church is considered to be conversion. While not a major issue, it’s a serious one. However, conversion post-ordination from one to the other of clerics is by vesting; they take their oath, and are vested. In either case, such conversions cause much consternation… His Grace Mar Bawai Soros is quite unpopular with the ACE synod, for his reunification efforts, resulting in suspension, and that caused him to lead his merry band of faithful (some 3000) and clerics (over a dozen) into the ChCC.

No. I don’t think they ever have.

To clarify: my parish is a member of the Antiochian Orthodox Church. But, 80% of the people immigrated from Syria. Most of these people in my parish, I will sadly confess, make very little if any distinction between any Christian denominations. You might say the problem is ecumenism. There is a reason for this however. Back in the old country the majority of Christians there feel they need to have a sense of union with each other to stand up against the Islamic faith in some united way. These people are very friendly and they want to get along with everyone. The parish started for ethnic unity and the founders of the parish discussed which denomination would best be suited and the consensus was that it should be in the Eastern Orthodox Church under the Antiochian jurisdiction. The priest here is very much true traditional Orthodox; and the people are being educated in a very loving and caring way. And quite frankly the situation is worse on issues of ecumenism, so I’ve been told, with regard to the Roman Catholic Church that is back of the old country. The Roman Catholic Church there will even give communion to people of the Islamic faith; the Orthodox Church there does not quite go that far.

A bit of clarification.

His Grace Mar Bawai Soro, now of the Chaldean Catholic Church, is not related to George Soros (born György Schwartz), the Hungarian-American global financier and philanthropist.:wink:

Yes! Sounds like you’re talking about the Balamand Union. A similar union took place with the Eastern Orthodox Church that was called the Chambesy Union. Personally, I am far more interested in resolving the issues between the so-called Monophysite’s and the Eastern Orthodox Churches than I am in resolving the issues between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics. I believe it is far easier to conclude that at least some of the so-called Monophysites are not Monophysites at all but in fact hold the same exact Orthodox faith that the Eastern Orthodox Church does, then it is to conclude that the addition of the filioque in the Latin creed does not change the faith between Rome and the Eastern Orthodox.

I know that there are apologists out there for the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope’s and I would like one of them to answer a question for me with regard to Pope Vigilius (537-555). It seems that he too has said that some of these so-called Monophysites are not Monophysite at all but that in fact they hold the same exact faith that the Roman Church had (which of course was Orthodox as we’re talking about 537 to 555 A.D). Now it seems to me that you would have to conclude that Pope Vigilius was right and there are many Christians that are truly Orthodox that were wrongly condemned, even on to this day; or you would have to conclude that Pope Vigilius was a Monophysite heretic. You would probably also have to conclude that some of the patriarchs of Constantinople (certainly not all of them however) were likewise wrongly condemned as Monophysite heretics. The the Balamand Union seems to favor the former.

Most of these people in my parish, I will sadly confess, make very little if any distinction between any Christian denominations. You might say the problem is ecumenism.

**I’ve gathered that the lines between the various Churches in the Middle East are by no means as carefully drawn as they are once they come here.

In fact, the borders seem to be rather porous.**

Do they use the term Theotokos now?
Everything Ive seen still is Christotokos

**On the site (which presently is not working, Pope John Paul II and Mar Dinkha said in their joint statement that they recognize that Theotokos and Christotokos (in the sense of “Mother of Christ our God”) express the same truth.

A Nestorian writer in the 8th century or so said this:

One is Christ the Son of God,
Worshiped by all in two natures;
In His Godhead begotten of the Father,
Without beginning before all time;
In His humanity born of Mary,
In the fullness of time, in a body united;
Neither His Godhead is of the nature of the mother,
Nor His humanity of the nature of the Father;
The natures are preserved in their Qnumas*,
In one person of one Sonship.
And as the Godhead is three substances in one nature,
Likewise the Sonship of the Son is in two natures, one person.
So the Holy Church has taught.

Frankly, I don’t see the difference between this and the defintion of Chalcedon.**

Yes. I might also add that maybe 25% here are Roman Catholics (here in my parish) that attend the parish to fellowship with others that are here from the middle east. Of course only those who are Orthodox commune at the Cup. The service is done about 65% in Arabic and 35% in English. Might I also say that this is the most friendliest parish that I have ever belonged to! The root of ecumenism here is not in heresy, but rather in a very strong desire not to judge others.

I am an Assyrian in the flock that joined the Catholic Church with H.G. Mar Bawai.

The CIRED website was the “Commission on Inter-Church Relations and Education Development” which was under the responsibility of Mar Bawai Soro. The site was turned over back to the Assyrian CotE, who will be working on a new version of it. You can use the “wayback machine” to look at its previous contents.

The quote below which is from Mar Babai the Great, one of our great fathers. As bpbasilphx mentioned, the confession is very Chalcedonian. It is a hymn of praise that was composed in the 6th century and it reflects the Christological beliefs of the Church of the East {Chaldean and Assyrian}.

In regards to the Nestorius/Theodore controversy, the Church of the East defended them in that their Christology was in line with its own in its evaluation of their writings. Currently, there are many studies on whether they were actually Nestorian, especially in analyzing the surviving letters of these men. The non-official pro-oriente dialogue has much discussion on this and other matters. But as H.G. Mar Sarhad has pointed out, we have our own Church of the East fathers - saints and doctors - and we need not define and limit the beliefs and traditions of our Church based on the beliefs of these foreign {Greek} Westerners {the Church of the East was pretty far East}.

In regards to the Christotokos vs. Theotokos debate, the CCD addressed this issue. In our use of Christotokos we were in no way denying the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Chaldean Church is actually using using “yema d’alaha” {Mother of God}. The CCD has one part that says:

The humanity to which the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth always was that of the Son of God himself. That is why the Assyrian Church of the East is praying the Virgin Mary as “the Mother of Christ our God and Savior”. In the light of this same faith the Catholic tradition addresses the Virgin Mary as “the Mother of God” and also as “the Mother of Christ”.

In regards to our ecumenism in the middle east, one has to keep in mind the situation in which our people have fallen over centuries of oppression. Our identity is intimately related to our Christianity, something that has endangered us but also made us not too aware of our Ecclesiastic laws, etc. Our family has Assyrian CotE, Catholic, and even Presbyterian history.

I think it often depended on which Church was in the village/town. There was also a lot of proselytizing in our communities by born-again denominations. Christians were looked at as insiders, brothers against the Islamic surroundings. I think this ecumenism is pretty much so among all the churches there. I know one who was baptized in the Orthodox Church, and went to their services and Assyrian services… and had no problem with going to Catholic services either.

The CIRED website was the “Commission on Inter-Church Relations and Education Development” which was under the responsibility of Mar Bawai Soro. The site was turned over back to the Assyrian CotE, who will be working on a new version of it. You can use the “wayback machine” to look at its previous contents.

I liked the CIRED site. Among other things, it had a very good contemporary English translation of the three liturgies.

Neither do I, nor did His Holiness John Paul II. Hence, the common Christology declaration.

The Miaphysites also have signed a Common Christology declaration, or, more correctly, Pope Shenouda III did on behalf of the Oriental Orthodox Communion. In that case, however, its not so clearly favorable as the ACE’s moves towards reunion.

i just listen about this from my grandma sometimes~

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