Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Coptic Liturgy

Hallowed Ground has these amzing pictures of clergy at the Coptic Orthodox liturgy. Note the postration which was taken up Moslems


Paul said...

Absolutely fascinating and further strengthens my view that Islam is the protestantism of the eastern Church.

Fr Justin said...

The Copts, of course, Father, are not in fact Orthodox, as they do not accept the Council of Chalcedon (451). Constantinople and its communicant churches regard them as heretics. I take it you mean Eastern (Autocephalous) Copts (it seems rude to call them Eastern Schismatic Copts)—though in the west they are often referred to erroneously as Orthodox.
The irony is that we are closer to reunion with the Copts and Armenians (both non-Chalcedonian) than with the 'real' Orthodox. And if we were to to achieve reunion with these, then the Othodoox would go into collective apoplexy and refuse to speak to us ever again.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Father, The Copts amongst themeselves and to others here in Brighton always stress that they are Coptic Orthodox. Whether they are erroneous in this description or not is something I haven't explored.
Our understanding of what might designated "Orthodox" would involve something to do with the acceptance of Vatican I, but we let that pass and accept their self designation, so I am happy to use the term "Coptic Orthodox" without too much query.

Myoussef said...

I'm sorry to say Fr Justin, that comments as the one you have posted is what continues this schism among Orthodox churches. The Coptic church is in fact Orthodox--an Oriental Orthodox. The church did indeed reject the Council of Chalcedon, but this does not define Unorthodoxy. Further reading as to the cause of this rejection shows that this in fact was all a large misunderstanding, unfortunately. The issue concerns that of the Nature of Christ. The Copts have been falsely marked as heretics because of an accusation that they are monophysites--believing in one exclusive nature--when in fact they are miaphysites--believing in two natures of Christ that were both fully divine and fully human and that His divinity never parted from His humanity. Please consider the following links before continuing the accusation that the Coptic Church is (falsely) marked as heretics.

Abu Binyamin said...

To amplify and correct Myoussef's point:

Copts *are* miaphysites; but I am not sure, with respect that Myoussef fully understands the meaning of that term, nor the full implications of Oriental Orthodox Christology.

Miaphysitism is a term drawn from the famous statement of St Cyril of Alexandria:

One (united) nature - the Word of God (Logos) incarnate [Μία φύσις του Θεού λόγου σεσαρκωμένη]

The Oriental position, as Myoussef suggests, is well set out in the late Coptic Pope, HH Shenouda III's writings - and, Copts will assert, in the writings of the pre-Chalcedon Fathers.