Monday, January 16, 2006

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and The Coptic Traditions

The week of Prayer for Christian Unity is January 18-25 this year. This week sometimes goes under the radar for Latin rite Catholics, but this year we should take some extra time in prayer and study.

Pope Benedict has made ecumenical dialogue a priority of his pontificate, and this week is an excellent time to follow the Holy Father's lead. Personally I am going to focus on the traditions of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

They have, in their traditions, devotions to the Holy Family in Egypt that can only serve to expand our own devotion to Jesus, Mary and Joseph. There is an excellent site on the Flight into Egypt (link) from the Coptic perspective. It is from a tour company, and I do not endorse or disapprove of them. It is just a good informational site. Besides it is from the year 2000, so I won't be drumming up business unless you have a time machine.

Here is another site with loads of info on the journey of the Holy Family (link). There is a part at the top that tells you that the site comes from a Non-Chalcedonian perspective. Take note of that, since this is the main division that separates us from Coptic Theology. For an explanation see this Link.

There has been some progress in a common Christology between Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental (Non-Chalcedonian) Orthodox in recent years. There is another excellent article that helps explain how we are not as far apart as we think we are (link).

And, another Link for the Holy Family in Egypt.

This topic and Icons will be the focus of my blog until the 25th of January. Of course, other things will slip in there between now and then.


Egypeter said...

Just a quick point friend:

The Coptic Church DOES NOT view itself as a monophysite church but as a miaphysite church. This is incredibly important that Christians all around the world understand this. Father Tadros Malaty, an excellent Coptic theologian, discusses this topic in great detail in many of his books.

In our liturgy we explicity recite,

"That never did His humanity separate from his divinity for a moment or the twinkling of an eye."

We believe that Jesus was wholly divine and holy human and that those two nature were in one in the person of Jesus.

Thanks and peace.

DavidNic said...

Thanks for letting me know. I love that line for your liturgy,

"That never did His humanity separate from his divinity for a moment or the twinkling of an eye."

In truth, so much unites us and so little divides us.

I look forward to reading some of Father Tadros Malaty's books and learning more. I see that has some of his works online.

Egypeter said...

There really is NOTHING that divides us! We are all members of the Body of Christ, ya know.

Father Tadros is excellent davidinc. Let me know what books you are interested in and I will read it with you. I have been blessed to meet him and you can truly feel that this man has a very special relationship with Jesus Christ and it reflects in his works. Good luck buddy!

DavidNic said...

I think I'll start with "Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church" I'll start it sometime this month. Maybe we can talk over email and I can tell you when I start reading. My email is

The Eyewitness said...

By the way I just wanted to add something for more clearity. The refusal of the decisions of Chalcedon's Committe by the oriental orthodox church was not due to a theological division. It was mainly due to the decisions taken against Pope Dyoskuros (the Pope of Alexandria), and in all the decisions taken against him he was not blamed with any herasy. Any way thank god that we now could find a common beliefe for nearly all the apstolic churches concering the nature of christ.