Is Miaphysitism an orthodox doctrine?
#1
Miaphysitism, the position which the Oriental Orthodox like the Copts and Armenians declare themselves to be (though other Christians call them Monothelites) I've seen on some sites Catholics saying it's okay for Catholics to believe and identical to Catholic doctrine but expressed with different language.

(straight from wiki:) Miaphysitism holds that in the one person of Jesus Christ, Divinity and Humanity are united in one "nature" ("physis"), the two being united without separation, without confusion, and without alteration. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miaphysitism

Is this heresy? Seems so to be absolute heresy to amature me because it seems not right with the hypostatic union by not explicitly making the two natures separate.
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#2
(07-23-2010, 12:51 AM)Scythian Wrote: Miaphysitism, the position which the Oriental Orthodox like the Copts and Armenians declare themselves to be (though other Christians call them Monothelites) I've seen on some sites Catholics saying it's okay for Catholics to believe and identical to Catholic doctrine but expressed with different language.

(straight from wiki:) Miaphysitism holds that in the one person of Jesus Christ, Divinity and Humanity are united in one "nature" ("physis"), the two being united without separation, without confusion, and without alteration. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miaphysitism

Is this heresy? Seems so to be absolute heresy to amature me because it seems not right with the hypostatic union by not explicitly making the two natures separate.

You are correct. The heresy of monothelitism was condemned by the Church. When Jesus deigned to take up the form of man, He assumed a human will in addition to His divine will.

He did this for many reasons, but it seems the primary reason He assumed a human will in addition to His divine will was to communicate His solidarity with mankind in the submission of our human wills to God the Father and in the sufferings we are to accept from His hand. In this way, He could offer the most perfect sacrifice of love to His father in our stead in order to effect the redemption of all mankind. Likewise, we are all called to submit our human wills to the Father and sacrifice ourselves to Him by uniting our sufferings to those of our beloved Redeemer on the wood of the Cross.
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#3
Scythian,
You're correct. Our Lord has two natures, one divine and one human, united in the one person of Jesus Christ, without change, division, confusion or separation. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 467.
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#4
A human being is human being through his intellect and will. Those who deny the human intellect or will in Christ basically deny His humanity
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#5
thanks guys! especially for detailed explanations

it was kinda of bizarre - those ultra-ecumenical types on c*tholic answers and byz*ath were insisting it was orthodox doctrine and everything is okay because Oriental Orthodox are of apostolic origins - bah it disgusts me, if Arians were still around they would probably be slobbering in praise to them too
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#6
Yeah, but it's not that clear-cut.  The language you cited actually comes from St. Cyril of Alexandria, who certainly cannot be accused of being a heretic.  Much of the problem seems to involve linguistic confusion, and a lot of people seem to think that the Armenians, Copts and Jacobites do not really hold the Christological heresies that have been attributed to them. 
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#7
I agree that its not all that clear cut. It being declared orthodox would not shock me or scandalize me, but neither would it being condemned. Here's my understanding of this issue:

They condemned Chalcedon and St. Leo for being Nestorian. They see contradictions in statements like the following (one from Ephesus and the other from Chalcedon):

"If anyone distributes between the two persons or hypostases the expressions used either in the gospels or in the apostolic writings, whether they are used by the holy writers of Christ or by him about himself, and ascribes some to him as to a man, thought of separately from the Word from God, and others, as befitting God, to him as to the Word from God the Father, let him be anathema."

"consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead, and consubstantial with us as touching his manhood; made in all things like unto us, sin only excepted; begotten of his Father before the worlds according to his Godhead; but in these last days for us men and for our salvation born [into the world] of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God according to his manhood."

St. Leo and Chalcedon was countering the Monophysite/Eutychesian idea that Christ's divinity basically swallowed up His humanity. The conflict lies in the fact that Chalcedon affirmed strongly the two distinct natures of Christ and the Oriental Orthodox (to use current nomenclature) identified "physis" as the same as "hypostasis"--or as one OO I spoke with explained, nature and identity are interchangeable to them. This is why they anathematized Chalcedon as adding a fourth hypostasis to the Trinity. It does not appear to me that they subscribe to Eutyches' monophysitism.

The issue of whether their mia physitism falls into monothelitism seems somewhat more complicated to me. They seem to recoil from the phrase "two wills" because it implies independent wills and therefore two subjects or identites, thus, again, becoming Nestorianism. However, while they say His will is one, they say it is expressed through His divine faculty of will (which is incomprehensible) and his human faculty of will which he shares with us and that there is always a unity of will (ie the human Jesus did not will differently than the divine). As such, they tend not to have a problem with the definition of Constantinople III.  Is saying two faculties of will different than the definition of St. Agatho and Constantinople of two natural wills (again, taking into acount their linguistic issues with nature and identity)?




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#8
The miaphysites are what were once, somewhat erroneously, called monophysites.  It is at least logically distinct from monothelitism.  The version of the doctrine held by today's Oriental Orthodox is essentially that of Severus of Antioch, the more extreme version of Eutyches being condemned by them.  The primary hangup is that they cannot understand how one can "divide" Christ into distinct natures after the union and not be Nestorian (their polemicists largely consider Chalcedonians and Nestorians the same thing). 

Jacob of Serug, in his metrical homilies on the Virgin Mary, talks about how the Nestorians (which includes Chalcedonians) improperly "peer into" and "investigate" what they cannot understand - namely the details of the union in Christ.  He is a prime example of the sometimes strong Syriac distaste for Greek philosophy and theology (which can be seen even in St. Ephrem), and think that Christians should simply affirm that Christ is both God and Man and not try to define this union.  One of his better images is that the Nestorians/Chalcedonians say that God could not be in the womb, and yet they affirm that God was in the burning bush - why can he be in a lowly bush but not the womb of the glorious Virgin?
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#9
(07-23-2010, 09:48 PM)aquinas138 Wrote: The miaphysites are what were once, somewhat erroneously, called monophysites.  It is at least logically distinct from monothelitism.  The version of the doctrine held by today's Oriental Orthodox is essentially that of Severus of Antioch, the more extreme version of Eutyches being condemned by them.  The primary hangup is that they cannot understand how one can "divide" Christ into distinct natures after the union and not be Nestorian (their polemicists largely consider Chalcedonians and Nestorians the same thing). 

Jacob of Serug, in his metrical homilies on the Virgin Mary, talks about how the Nestorians (which includes Chalcedonians) improperly "peer into" and "investigate" what they cannot understand - namely the details of the union in Christ.  He is a prime example of the sometimes strong Syriac distaste for Greek philosophy and theology (which can be seen even in St. Ephrem), and think that Christians should simply affirm that Christ is both God and Man and not try to define this union.  One of his better images is that the Nestorians/Chalcedonians say that God could not be in the womb, and yet they affirm that God was in the burning bush - why can he be in a lowly bush but not the womb of the glorious Virgin?

That really clears it up for me, thanks (and thanks again to all others who gave detailed answers and contributed to this thread too btw)
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