Union of the Church of the East?

The Chaldean Patriarch has proposed that both he and the head of the Ancient Church of the East resign (there is no current Catholicos of the Assyrian Church of the East) so the three “branches” may unite and pick a common patriarch.  The resulting church would be simply named “The Church of the East” and would be in full communion with Rome.

This can only be good news.  If it were to succeed, it would be the case of a splintered church reuniting in a long time (the Melkites of Antioch are still praying for reunification with the Antiochian Orthodox).

Based on some of the initial buzz, it looks like the old dumb controversy over the “validity” of Addai and Mari might heat up again.  Rather than worry about this, we should pray for the success of this movement. Especially when we consider that an almost identical thing happened in the West…

Just as the truest Baptism is that of blood (St. Cyprian of Carthage), it would seem that the truest Ecumenism is that of blood.


3 thoughts on “Union of the Church of the East?

  1. They seem to be good news, but which are exactly the doctrinal differences between “them” and “us” nowadays? I used to hear that the Assyrian Church was originally Nestorian.

    On the other hand, and on the wake of ISIS atrocities against Christians, there have been some voices among Spanish-speaking Tradistanis against the so-called “ecumenism of blood” you pointed to in the post, “reminding” us that those martyrs are actually wicked heretics doomed to hell for not being “in communion with Rome”. I wish I had more time to read the Fathers and learn from them…


    • Those Spanish-speaking Tradistanis could learn a thing or two about love and Christian charity.

      As for the Church of the East, they were once the Nestorian Church in that Nestorians who were exiled from the Roman Empire fled to Persia. The Persians had a lot of bishops of the Church of the East (which encompassed everything east of the Roman Empire) killed and pulled strings to have them replaced with Nestorians. It’s unclear exactly how Nestorian they were over the centuries, but we have them to thank for introducing Christianity to China. I think they still do not use the term “Mother of God” or Theotokos (following Nestorius’ objection that this could be misunderstood to mean that she mothered the entire Godhead… Nestorius later recanted the heresies attributed to him but kept some of the objections he had to Ephesus and Cyril’s decrees). In 1994 they and the Vatican signed a joint declaration that they basically believe the same thing about the Hypostatic Union (similar moves have been made with the Miaphysites).
      Another thing to note, the Schism between the Chaldeans and Assyrians predates the Chaldean’s union with Rome and was caused by a disagreement of patriarchal succession. The Assyrians were the first to enter communion with ROme but broke communion a few years later. Then the Chaldeans entered into communion.


      • Indeed, I think we both know how love and charity are understood in some $$PX milieus.

        It is worth noting that the originally Nestorian and Monophysite (now Miaphysite) churches have been led by the time to come back to an ever more Orthodox position, while the two Orthodox imperial churches (the Latin and Byzantine one) became in the last centuries prey of ethnicisms, suspiciously heterodox practices, superstitious devotions and even totalitarian ecclesiologies. Perhaps a humility lesson the Lord wants us to learn?


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