HISTORY Question: Why was Dioscoros so pro-Eutyches at Ephesus II (449)?


#1

I’ve put this in “Non-Catholic Religions” because it technically concerns the beginning of the history of the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox churches.

My confusion rests in this: everything I’m encountering seems to suggest that Dioscoros’ side - as well as all Oriental Orthodox Christians since his time - do not agree with Eutyches.

That is, they agree that the Eutychian teaching - monophysitism - is a heresy. Oriental Orthodox are not monophysites. They agree that Eutyches’ teaching effectively makes mincemeat of our Lord’s humanity and thus the Incarnation itself.

Why, then, was Dioscoros so relentless in his desire to vindicate Eutyches himself at the 449 council, even to the point of having a mob interrupt the council when things weren’t going his way?

As far as I can tell, no one - not even then - suggested that Dioscoros and Eutyches taught the same thing. They don’t teach the same thing.

So… do we know why Dioscoros was on Eutyches’ side in 449 and at his earlier synod a few years back? Was it just because of Eutyches’ hitherto impressive monastic reputation? Was he just that paranoid about crypto-Nestorianism? What was it?


#2

Don’t you mean:
Why was Eutyches so pro-Ephesus at Dioscoros II (449)?

Sorry, couldn’t resist.
:smiley:


#3

[quote="Fone_Bone_2001, post:1, topic:305469"]
I've put this in "Non-Catholic Religions" because it technically concerns the beginning of the history of the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox churches.

My confusion rests in this: everything I'm encountering seems to suggest that Dioscoros' side - as well as all Oriental Orthodox Christians since his time - do not agree with Eutyches.

[/quote]

This is true.

That is, they agree that the Eutychian teaching - monophysitism - is a heresy. Oriental Orthodox are not monophysites. They agree that Eutyches' teaching effectively makes mincemeat of our Lord's humanity and thus the Incarnation itself.

Why, then, was Dioscoros so relentless in his desire to vindicate Eutyches himself at the 449 council, even to the point of having a mob interrupt the council when things weren't going his way?

At least according to some sources, such as Guettee's work "The Council of Chalcedon" (I know Guettee is controversial in Catholic circles, but this work was done before he left Rome for Orthodoxy, and as far as I know is reliable, having been translated from Vatican documents), Pope Leo of Rome was just as eager to pardon Eutyches.

As far as I can tell, no one - not even then - suggested that Dioscoros and Eutyches taught the same thing. They don't teach the same thing.

Indeed they don't.

So... do we know why Dioscoros was on Eutyches' side in 449 and at his earlier synod a few years back? Was it just because of Eutyches' hitherto impressive monastic reputation? Was he just that paranoid about crypto-Nestorianism? What was it?

Here is what Coptic historian Iris Habib El Masri has to say the proceedings in Ephesus in her "History of the Copts Part 1" (1987): Here Eutyches was called upon to proclaim his faith. Instead of speaking, he handed to the chief notary a declaration of his faith in his own handwriting requesting him to read it aloud; he said, "Since my youth, I have diligently sought to live in retreat. Today I am exposed to a grave danger because in my strict fidelity to the Faith, and my refusal to admit any innovation, I sincerely upheld the faith declared at Nicea; and rely continuously on the writings legated to the Church by Abba Kyrillos of blessed memory." No sooner had this name been mentioned than the fathers declared that they all upheld the faith expounded so clearly by that Alexandrian Patriarch. Then John, chief notary, resumed reading the confession of Eutyches, which said: "I believe in One God the Almighty, maker of the visible and the invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ the Only Begotten Son -- I mean that He is consubstantial with the Father; by Him were all things made, in heaven and on earth; He is the On, Who, for us mankind and for our salvation,came down from heaven; He was incarnate and became man; He suffered and rose from the dead on the third day; He ascended up to heaven from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. As for all those who say that there was a time when the Son was not, or that He was not before He was born, or that He was created out of nothing or that He is of a different substance, or that His two natures were mixed or mingled -- all those who say such things are excommunicated by the mouth of the Church universal. This is the faith I declare, and which I have received from my fathers; in this faith I was born, and in it I was baptized and consecrated, and ordained priest; by it I lived unto this day and I shall uphold it until I depart from this life." Pondering this written confession, the assembled bishops found it clearly Orthodox. It was followed by an anathema on all heretics from Simeon the magician to Nestorius. (p.232-233)

Continuing: Having heard both accuser and defendant, and discussing the case at length, Abba Dioscorus asked the bishops to pronounce their verdict. In answer, Juvenal of Jerusalem who was the first to speak said: "Since Eutyches confesses the Creed of Nicea and accepts what the Fathers declared in the great Council assembled in this same city, it is clear to me that he is an Orthodox. Therefore, I suggest that he be reconfirmed in his sacerdocy and in his abbotcy over his monks. The council responded "This is true and just." Domnus of Antioch follwed by saying: "When I received from Constantinople the verdict passed by Flavianus and his Council, I signed it, but after hearing the written declaration submitted to this council by Eutyches, I find that he is an Orthodox. For he clearly states that he upholds the faith of the three hundred and eighteen assembled in this city. In consequence, I consent to his worthiness of the priesthood and of supervision of his monks." Stephen of Ephesus and Thalasius of Caesarea of Cappadocia made similar statements concerning the orthodoxy of Eutyches and his fitness to be reinstated. The stimate of these four bishops was accepted by all those assembled with them and so they unanimously acquitted Eutyches. At this unanimity, Abba Dioscorus said: "I confirm the judgment of this holy council and I decree that Eutyches be counted among the priests and resume being archimandrite of his monastery as before." (ibid:234)


So you see that he was accepted on account of his confession, not by fiat from St. Dioscoros, but by consensus of the Council on the basis of that confession. When it became clear that Eutyches had misrepresented himself and his faith in this statement, he was once again cast out. Here is a link to the synaxarion of the Ethiopians which details a bit his eventual (re)excommunication by St. Dioscoros: stmichaeleoc.org/Synaxarium/Nehasse_23.htm

And so it has been ever since, because Eutychian Christology is absolutely unacceptable to us, whether non-Chalcedonian or Chalcedonian.


#4

Thank you for the info and the suggested sources, dzheremi!


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