... my worry is that my fellow Orthodox and the 5th Council might not understand Cyril correctly. When some of them read Cyril's words "one nature", I think some of them believe Cyril is only talking about one of the two natures. When Cyril says "one nature of the Word incarnate", I think some Orthodox believe Cyril is not talking about a composite nature, but that Cyril is talking about the Divine nature having become incarnate. So He does not have a composite, united nature, but (1) a divine nature that has flesh,
I do not agree with this idea, but my worry is that the 5th Council was banning you from saying "one nature" that is "of two natures" because the writers thought that this would mean you are confusing the natures.
By the way, Jack, I would prefer if you were correct in your interpretation of the anathema, because I do think there is a composite nature. I am just having a hard time seeing this in the anathema.
I see your point and I agree with you. But Sts Cyril, Dioscorus, and Severus cannot be blamed for the false accusation of Monophysitsm because it is abundantly and objectively clear from their writings that they consistently confess the continuing distinction between the Humaity and Divinity of Christ, the lack of mixture or confusion between them while emphasizing their true hypostatic unity.
In addition they spoke of a "MIA"physis, not a monophysis. And they were not speaking about Ousia per se, which is, I suspect, what the Eastern Orthodox are thinking when they think of a "combined" or confused substance.
Sts Cyril and Severus say...
It is not right that we should make a division into an independent diversity, so that they should become separate and apart from each other; rather we ought to bring them together to undivided union. For the Word became flesh, according to the words of John.
This independent diversity is what we should reject. Not the fact of the diversity of the natures, the humanity and Divinity, which are completely other and different from each other. The heart of our Orthodox Christology, is that these two distinct and different natures have been united in a union that has no division even whilst their is no confusion.
"IN TWO NATURES" implies division for the Oriental Orthodox.
Sts Cyril and Severus, again...
We do not refuse to confess the difference, God forbid! But we flee from this, that we should divide the one Christ in a duality of natures after the union. For if he is divided, the properties of each one of the natures are divided at the same time with him, and what is its own will cling to each one of them. But when a hypostatic union is professed, of which the fulfilment is that from two there is one Christ without confusion, one person, one hypostasis, one nature belonging to the Word incarnate.
What Severus, and Cyril, strive so hard to prevent is a division of Christ such that there is a human and a God. This is the essence of Nestorianism. In this passage shows the strength of his feeling that we must absolutely confess that the humanity and Divinity of Christ are different things. There is no room for a Eutychian confusion of humanity and Divinity.
This recognition of the difference of the nature is not what we object to. What we object to is creating a duality of natures, which does not mean the destruction of the difference between them, rather it means setting up two independent centres of existence, the humanity and the Divinity, and these independent centres of existence destroy the union. It is a hypostatic union that ensures the real union of these different natures. This passage makes clear that firstly, a hypostatic union does not introduce confusion between the humanity and the Divinity; secondly, that 'MiaPhysis' [NOT ONE OUSIA] belonging to the Word Incarnate' does not mean either a confused divine/human nature nor does it mean that the humanity is swallowed up by the Divinity; thirdly, the passage makes plain that the union is one in which the different natures have their differences preserved but within one concrete existence, that of the Incarnate Christ, and not preserved independently as the Son of God and a man united in some external manner.
The 'duality of natures' which is rejected is not the reality of the humanity and Divinity, but a division between them which destroys the union.
Edited by Jack R., 09 February 2014 - 10:13 PM.