Tuesday, December 23, 2003

From Ut unum sint
Jerry Falwell, sounding quite Catholic about St Nicholas
Which isn't that surprising - he is a solid Christian, though of the classical Protestant school (an evangelical, he is an 'independent Baptist'), who knows much more about the Church than he sometimes lets on. Once I happened to hear him on the TV describing the Christological heresies that afflicted the early Church - Arianism, Nestorianism and Monophysitism, for example (there were many others) - and defending the hypostatic union, calling it that. That's not sola scriptura (thank God!) but 100% Catholic doctrine. How can he know so much and stay outside?

By the way, the rift between Western Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy on one side and the Oriental Orthodox (Copts, Ethiopians, Armenians and Syrians including the Church of India) on the other does seem to be a big misunderstanding. The Oriental Orthodox weren't Monophysites but rather stuck to an earlier theological wording that St Cyril of Alexandria came up with. The Greeks used hypostasis (person) to describe the one Person of Christ and physis (nature) to describe Him as both true God and true man; the non-Greek Orientals, however, didn't use those terms, at least not the same way, which confused the Greeks and the Western Europeans; also, rivalry between these Middle Eastern peoples and the Greeks of the then-still powerful (eastern) Roman Empire was a factor in the split, which as I write appears to be ending, at least with the Eastern Orthodox.

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