In Newman’s “Essay,” at the end of Chapter 3, Section 2, he suggests that “the one essential question is whether the recognized organ of teaching, the Church herself, acting through Pope or Council as the oracle of heaven, has ever contradicted her own enunciations. If so, the hypothesis which I am advocating is at once shattered.”
I’ve been reading up on Nestorius and the early councils. Many have commented to me that it was Nestorius’s failure to adopt the term “theotokos” as an expression of Christology that got him condemned. At any rate, here are two anathemas from the councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon:
Ephesus (re-ratified by Constantinople II in 553): “If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh, let him be anathema.”
Chalcedon: “But there are those who are trying to ruin the proclamation of the truth, and through their private heresies they have spawned novel formulas … some by daring to corrupt the mystery of the Lord’s economy on our behalf, and refusing to apply the word “God-bearer” (“Theotokos”) to the Virgin …”
Of course, the great “sin” of Nestorius was to call Mary “Christotokos,” suggesting it was a more accurate term. (The “Nestorianism” with which he was charged did not really exist; it was only an extrapolation made by Cyril which was then turned around and attributed to him.)
You can already find Orthodox church leaders saying “Nestorius was not guilty of the Nestorian heresy.” Of course, Constantinople II condemned him by name, so this “Christological Declaration” does not mention his name.
But this term “Christotokos,” for which Nestorius was condemned (and for which the “Nestorian” churches were NOT “united in a brotherly fraternal communion”), is no longer a sin, according to John Paul: “In the light of this same faith the Catholic tradition addresses the Virgin Mary as “the Mother of God” and also as “the Mother of Christ … We both recognize the legitimacy and rightness of these expressions of the same faith and we both respect the preference of each Church in her liturgical life and piety.”
This “Common Christological Declaration Between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East” was signed by JPII in 1994. Of course, the “Assyrian” church so revered here by John Paul was nothing other than the accursed “Nestorian” church in the year 431.
This seems to me to be an even more glaring “contradiction of enunciations” than they have done with “no salvation outside of the church.” No doubt there is some slippery explanation for it.
However, it also seems to me that it is proof positive that another lie has been exposed as well: JPII said, “For a whole millennium Christians were united in “a brotherly fraternal communion of faith and sacramental life … ” (“Ut Unum Sint, #95). But given the Arian controversy of the 4th century, the “Nestorian” schism of the 5th, and the rejection of Rome’s “brotherly” supervision by Constantinople, there was no such thing as that “brotherly fraternal communion.”
Yet it’s that “brotherly fraternal communion” to which Rome “calls” us.