What I am referring to is what I see going on here with our discussion. Like Matthew S I notice a confrontational tone that I think comes from our tendency to personalise what are important theological and ecclesiological issues. We need to engage in what divides us rather than interpreting every point about what divides us as an attack.
The following are a few examples that point to a remaining fundamental theological problem between us that still needs calm discussion:
From Timothy Aelurus, Patriarch of Constantinople
No man whose heart is healthy in the faith teaches or believes two natures, either before or after the union, for when God the Father's fleshless Word was conceived in the womb of the Holy Virgin, then He also took a body from the flesh of the Holy Virgin, in a manner known to Him alone, while He remained without change or modification as God, and was one with His flesh, for His flesh had no hypostasis or essence before the conception of God the Word so that one could give it the name of particular or separate nature, for the nature does not exist without the hypostasis, nor the hypsotasis without the person (prosopon); therefore, if there are two natures, there are also necessarily two persons; but if there are two persons, there are also two Christs.
To say that there are two natures in Christ is to incur every accusation, even if it has been said in innocence by most of the holy fathers...
Now on the other hand, you ought not to say that some of the fathers used the formula of the two natures. For they used it blamelessly, as we said, in the time of St Cyril when the Church was being assaulted by the disease of Nestorius' innovations in order that this very formula might be repelled; for the antidote must be prescribed according to the disease. So then, we ought not to introduce this way of speaking, even though the fathers used this terminology without blame. St Cyril also used this terminology, but specifically for the purpose of healing the afflicted malady; yet even though St Cyril used this expression for this purpose, we still ought to stay away from it.
Later on during the Monothelite controversy from Sergius Patriarch of Constantinople
Because the expression one energy, although some of the Fathers use it, yet it soundeth strange to the ears of some, and disquiets them... and since in the same way many take offense at the expression, two energies, since it is not used by any of the holy Fathers (on account of the fact that) we should then be obliged as a consequence to teach two mutually contradictory wills, as if God the Logos, aiming at our salvation, was willing to endure suffering, but His manhood had opposed itself to His will which is impious and foreign to the Christian dogma--when even the wicked Nestorius, although he, dividing the Incarnation and introducing two Sons, did not venture to maintain two wills of the same, but on the contrary, taught the similar willing of the two persons assumed by him; how can, then, the orthodox, who worship only one Son & Lord, admit in Him two, and those mutually opposed wills?
Hopefully as you can see there is a lot that needs to be discussed in what these few examples show about OO theology. At least we have questions or a feel discussion must be undertaken in order for us to be confident that this is a responsible and mature process. After all we go into this knowing that unity is not not like little children who need to coddle each other or feel coddled by each other. It is maturely recognizing what divides us and then engaging in this if mutually it is discerned that the time is propitious by God's will.
Let's also get straight that this discussion isn't hauling someone before a court of law and demanding that they justify themselves.
Rather this discussion is part of the wider effort our Church is involved in at present which involves raising the above issues which are crucial to us. So the best way to be involved in this is simply to seek to grasp the point of what is being asked. Then after the required time of study to give an answer according to the intent of what was written (like above). It would also help greatly if this was put into a positive theological context rather than a negative historical/political one. Certianly your theology isn't just a story of negatively reacting- certainly it must have been part of an effort first to proclaim something positive about Christ. Please then refocus- consider- and calmly explain if possible, from where you are coming from, what your theological intent is in that which we find problematic in the OO position. Quite possibly a final solution couldn't be arrived at right now- but at least we could both mutually recognise where the lines and borders are in this discussion.
One last point to bring up. As with us, theology is something that is not just as given- it is rather something that needs to be constantly understood and re-understood again and again. In doing this we see the whole specturm of theological views that the Fathers had. Indeed some were a little vague, weak or even wrong in their views or expression. Recognising this in turn helps us understand our own theology- it shows the larger context. Looking at this is partly what I mean when I refer above to being mature in our approach. Polemics inevitably leads us into the defense of perfection: 'they said (or rather 'we say it') it because it's perfect' rather than the more tenable, 'we say it as the best way we know, from where we come from, of saying something very difficult to express. It could be it's a bit vague or unclear. Maybe it's even wrong. But since we understand you come from a different tradition with it's own approach & language here's what we're trying to say.'
Somehow I feel confident this approach could achieve quite a bit.
In Christ- Fr Raphael