There are several others here of the COE Tradition (Chaldeans and Syro-malabar Catholics). I hope they join this thread to verify or repudiate your statements, or at least explain them.
My Chaldean brother Murtad, brother Marduk, and all the brethren reading this thread:
I’m in the process of finding a job, so I’m limited on the amount of time I can spend posting on the forum, but I found this thread sufficiently serious enough for me to drop what I’m doing and make a response:
We Chaldean and Assyrian Catholics are not “Nestorians in communion with Rome”. We are the Church of the East in communion with Rome, or Eastern Christians in communion with Rome, or Eastern Catholics. The term “Nestorian” is a pejorative term, and should not be used to identify us, nor even be used to identify the separated brethren in the Assyrian Church of the East. We did not originate from Nestorius, therefore, there is no justifiable reason for having our Church identity and/or tradition be named after him.
Nestorianism is a heresy rejected by both the Chaldean Catholic Church of the East, as well as, by the separated Assyrian Church of the East. The classic understanding of Nestorianism is that it is the confession of a divided and separated Christ, a confession that turns Christ into two Sons, and two Persons. We on the other hand, along with the ACE, confess Christ as being one Son, and one Person.
In the Common Christological Declaration, both the Pope and the Assyrian Patriarch confessed the following:
Therefore our Lord Jesus Christ is true God and true man, perfect in his divinity and perfect in his humanity, consubstantial with the Father and consubstantial with us in all things but sin. His divinity and his humanity are united in one person, without confusion or change, without division or separation. In him has been preserved the difference of the natures of divinity and humanity, with all their properties, faculties and operations. But far from constituting “one and another”, the divinity and humanity are united in the person of the same and unique Son of God and Lord Jesus Christ, who is the object of a single adoration.
Having said that, many of us, both in the CCCE and in the ACE, do think that Nestorius himself was not a Nestorian, meaning, what he really believed was not what has been the classic attribution to him. Therefore, we are working on having him (and especially Theodore the Interpreter) rehabilitated amongst the Apostolic Churches. Some of us have a personal devotion to these Greek Fathers. I personally venerate Theodore, especially when it comes to his great contribution to Biblical exegesis, but I don’t have that great of a devotion to Nestorius, and certainly not to the great extent that I do towards Theodore. However, my primary veneration goes to our Aramaic Fathers: Aphrahat, Ephrem, Narsai of Nisibis, Abba the Great, Babai the Great, Isaac of Nineveh, Abdisho of Soba, etc.
In venerating Theodore and Nestorius (and Diodore), not everything they said or wrote is worthy of veneration. I do not, for instance, venerate or find joy in Nestorius’ rejection of the phrase Theotokos. I believe this was a mistake on his behalf, and so, something that is not worthy of veneration. However, his preferred phrase of Christotokos is a non-heretical phrase in and of itself. While it might be explained in a heretical manner, like in classical Nestorianism, it can also be explained in an orthodox manner. For instance, to the Jews, it was much more effective to use the phrase Mother of Christ in evangelizing them, because the Christ or Messiah is who they were waiting for in the Old Testament. Christianity needed to tell them first and foremost that Jesus, born of Mary, was indeed the long awaited Christ, the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. Then, they could be taught on who the Messiah really was, that is, the Son of God.
In evangelizing the pagan Greeks, it was more effective to use the phrase Theotokos, because of their long history of mythological gods, and because they did not care much for a Jewish Messiah and his role in fulfilling the Mosaic Law and the Jewish Prophets. Christianity needed to tell them that the One born of Mary is God, through whom everything was made and in whom they move and have their being. This is what converts them. Now, the phrase Theotokos, while certainly an orthodox phrase in and of itself, it nevertheless might be explained in a heretical manner, such as the fact that someone can misunderstand the term God in the phrase to be a reference to the whole Trinity, thinking that the whole Trinity was born of Mary. So while it is a useful expression, a truthful expression, it still could be understood in a heretical way if not properly explained.
The ACE preference of using the phrase “Mother of Christ, our God and Savior” is more specific than the phrase “Mother of God” and “Mother of Christ”, and so brings about a greater clarity to the Christological truth, in my opinion. And since the ACE (and also us Chaldeans) come from the Jewish-Aramaic background, and not from the Greek background, then this traditional phrase is much more effective because it declares the Messianic identity and role of Jesus first, then gives us His eternal identity as our God, and finally His redemptive work for us as our Savior. Anyways, all three phrases: Mother of God, Mother of Christ, and Mother of Christ our God and Savior are allowed as orthodox expressions in the Common Christological Declaration.