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"The Unity of the Church up to the Fifth Century"

Christological Declaration

    In accordance with our apostolic traditions transmitted to our two apostolic Churches and preserved therein, and in conformity with the early three ecumenical councils and the tradition of our common Fathers before the schism, we confess one faith in the One Triune God, the divinity of the Only Begotten Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Word of God, the effulgence of His glory and the express image of His substance. Who for us and for the sake of the economy of our salvation, has assumed to Himself from the Holy Virgin Mary a real body possessing a rational soul. This ensouled flesh did not exist before the union. The body remained body although glorified after the Godbefitting resurrection and ascension. It is from the very moment of the descent of the Divine Word in the Virgin's womb, that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity united to Him the perfect humanity which He took from the holy Virgin. He Himself one and the same consubstantial with the Father with respect to His Divinity became consubstantial with us with respect to His Humanity.

    Our Lord and God and Savior and King of us all, Jesus Christ, then is perfect God with respect to His Divinity, perfect man with respect to His Humanity. In Him His Divinity is united with His humanity in a real, perfect union without mingling, without commixtion, without confusion, without alteration, without division, without separation. His divinity did not separate from His humanity for an instant, not for the twinkling of an eye. He who is God eternal and invisible became visible in the flesh, and took upon Himself the form of a servant. In Him are preserved all the properties of the divinity and all the properties of the humanity, together in a real, perfect, indivisible and inseparable union.

    As we confess the faith formulated above according to the first three Ecumenical Councils, we together anathematize Arianism, Apollinarism, Nestorianism, Eutychianism and profess the faith expressed in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan symbol. We accept a personal, real union, and not a conjunction or combination of two persons' entities. When the Orthodox part rejects all duality in Jesus Christ, it is intended to say that every act of Jesus Christ is in fact the act of God the Word incarnate and not that some of His acts be attributed to His Divinity alone as it might seem. When the Catholics confess their faith in Jesus Christ, then they do not deny what the Orthodox say, but they want to emphasize that in Him are preserved all the properties of the Divinity as well as all the properties of the Humanity, a fact which the Orthodox profess incessantly.

    When the Orthodox confess that Divinity and Humanity of Our Lord are united in one nature, they take "nature", not as a pure and simple nature, but rather as one composite nature, wherein the Divinity and Humanity are united inseparatedly and unconfusedly. And when Catholics confess Jesus Christ as one in two natures, they do not separate the Divinity from the Humanity, not even for the twinkling of an eye, but they rather try to avoid mingling, commixtion, confusion or alteration.

    We both confess in the union the reality of the humanity of Our Lord, for the salvation of mankind could not be but the act of the Divine Word incarnate. The Divinity did not and could not forsake the Humanity for a moment neither during the time of crucifixion nor any time after. In the Eucharist, the faithful always partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, a fact which stresses the reality of His Humanity. On the other hand, we stress the reality of the Divinity of Our Lord, the Word Who was and still is the very God incarnate. For this reason the resurrection of Our Lord is a conclusive evidence of His Divinity. This explains the most illustrious importance we give to the feast of Resurrection.

    This is our faith in the mystery of the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the economy of our salvation. In this we all agree.

    Vienna, August 29th, 1976

(Information Service 76 (1991/I) 21)


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