FANDOM


The Council of Alexandria was an ecumenical council began in 1725. It was jointly convened by Coptic Pope Matthew III and Pope Urban VII, and was presided over by the former. The Council was attended by the various Rites of the Catholic Church, the Coptic Church, and representatives of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Discussion in Plenary Sessions

  • The Coptic Pope Matthew begins by re-affirming the faith of the Coptic Orthodox Church:
    • The Logos, an eternal hypostasis, united Himself to manhood, which had no existence before the incarnation and could not be separated from the Godhead. He became individuated by receiving its hypostatic status through His union with the Logos. Manhood was not an independent hypostasis apart from the Logos, but became a hypostasis through union with the Logos.
    • The Archbishop of the Great City of Alexandria, seat of the Holy Apostolic Throne of Saint Mark the Evangelist, Thirteenth of the Apostles, is the Hierarch of Hierarchs, Father of Fathers, and Shepherd of Shepherds. He holds title of Patriarch of the churches that exist in Egypt, Pentapolis, Libya, Nubia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and all of Africa. The other Patriarchs of the Universal Apostolic Church, such as the Archbishops of Rome, Antioch, and Constantinople, are the hierarchs of their respective hemispheres, but the pope is first among equals. 
  • The Coptic Pope Matthew iterates that the Christological edict of the Roman pope in 1721 has been reviewed to be in agreement with these statements, and opens the floor for further discussion.

  • Agreeing with the Coptic pope's statements, the Legate of Pope Urban VII proposes the following positions:
    • The Christological Definition of 1721 be accepted as canonical by this Council.
    • The Council decree that both Chalcedonian and Coptic Miaphysite Christology are orthodox and mutually compatible when interpreted in accordance with the 1721 Definition.
    • Following the Council of Cologne , the Legate proposes the following on Church Governance:
      • The Coptic pope of Alexandria, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the Latin Patriarch, the Patriarch of the Northern Rite, and the Patriarch of the East [former Nestorians] each "shall possess the fullness of power in the governance and administration of their respective Rite [or Church]".
        • The Legate agrees that the Coptic pope has jurisdiction over Egypt, Pentapolis, Libya, Nubia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. However, suggests that the Latin-rite Mission Churches established in Southern Africa might not fall under his direct jurisdiction. However, that can be compromised upon. 
      • The Pope of Rome, as Successor to Saint Peter, is the primus inter pares, the pontifex maximus, and Vicarius Christi. (cf. Council of Cologne, Decrees on Church Governance', 3)
        • The Pope of Rome has no immediate jurisdictional authority over any Church or Rite, unless the patriarch requests him to. (cf. Council of Cologne, Decrees on Church Governance', 3:1)
        • "This in no way affects the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, nor does it impede the pope's right and solemn duty to instruct and exhort the entire faithful through Apostolic letters and exhortations, to canonize Saints, to call Ecumenical Councils of the whole Church when the times require it, or to act as final arbiter in disputes which arise from time to time between the Rites, or in disputes which are conveyed to him to arbitrate." (Council of Cologne, 'Decrees on Church Governance' , 3:1:1)
    • Regarding the Sacraments, given the closeness of the Catholic, Coptic and Orthodox Churches on this issue, the Legate suggests that jointly accepting the following definition from the Council of Cologne will be readily acceptable to all parties:
      • "The Council Fathers affirm the teachings of Christ, of Sacred Scripture, of the Sacred Tradition of the entire Church, and the past ecumenical Councils in affirming that there are Seven Sacraments, to wit: Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Order, and Matrimony. These Sacraments are true signs which confer God's efficacious Grace. Although there be truly Seven in number, it is not necessary that all the Christian faithful receive every Sacrament, although Baptism -or at least the desire thereof- which confers on the baptised the saving Grace of God and frees them from the stain of Original Sin through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, is necessary for all Christians.
        1. Regarding the precise form of the Sacraments -excepting Water and Trinitarian formula for Baptism, bread and wine consecrated by an ordained Priest or Bishop into the Body and Blood of Christ for Eucharist, and the placing of the hands of the Bishop for Order- the precise discipline and form of the Sacraments may vary between the Rites."
      • The Coptic Bishops confirm and agree the number and content of Seven Sacrements, but has the following points of issue:
        1. All sacrements should only be administered by an ordained priest
          • Catholics agree except: Baptism in immediate danger of death should be performed by anyone, and in the Western Churches ordained Deacons have been able to preside at weddings. 
          • Coptics concede on baptism
        2. The Eucharist can should only be dispensed by a priest
          • Dispensed as in consecrated? Or handed out?
          • Dispensed as in handed out, as according to the Book of Exodus no leven should be left over
          • In that case, the Catholic delegation suggests that: Deacons (as ordained members of the clergy) are also permitted to do so (as it is ancient custom for Deacons to bring the Eucharist to the sick), and that in certain extreme circumstances (i.e. in distant Mission territories), competent laypeople or unordained monks/friars/brothers appointed by the bishop be permitted to take the Eucharist to the most distant and secluded areas for distribution. 
        3. Priests may be married provided they are married prior to ordination
          • Catholic delegation agrees, however as a matter of discipline (not doctrine), the Latin Church will continue to ordain only celibate men. 
          • Ok
        4. Divorce is permitted in cases of sexual immorality
          • The only one the Catholic delegation has a slight issue with. Does this divorce permit valid liturgical remarriage?
          • The Coptic church does not permit remarriage
          • In that case, the Catholic delegation agrees that divorce can be permitted, insofar as the term refers to a legal separation and remarriage is not permitted. 
      • The Coptic Bishops feel that a united declaration of sacrements should be preferred
    • The Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs attend these meeting in an attempt to see more modern decisions on faith and mend the east-west schism. However the Eastern Orthodox priests more or less share many of the same view as the Copts in this regard.
    • The Legate of Pope Urban VII welcomes the Eastern Orthodox and wishes that this Council may indeed be a time to heal both the Chalcedonian Schism and the Great Schism. 
    • Pope Matthew welcomes the Orthodox Patriarchs and thanks him for respecting their doctrines
    • The Coptic Pope Matthew proposes, in light of the Ecumenical councils that existed prior to the Council of Chalcedon, the Coptic pope should preside over all Ecumenical councils in the future. 
  • The Coptic Pope Matthew issues [suggests?] the following decree:
    1. The Christological doctrine of 1721 is accepted in Coptic theology
    2. The Seven Sacraments of the Council of Cologne are accepted in Coptic liturgy. However, in the unique dispensation of liturgy by rite, according to provisions within the Council of Cologne, the Orthodox Churches of Africa will operate with the following differences from the Latin Rite:
      1. Priests may be married, provided they are married prior to concencration.
      2. Only priests may dispense the Eucharist
    3. In light of the above two points, the Coptic church will acknowledge a common communion with the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Communion taken between Coptic Churches and the Latin or Eastern Rites will be equally acknowledged as one of Christianity. 
    4. The sovereign hierarchy of the Coptic pope of Alexandria, being successor of the Holy Evangelist Saint Mark, Thirteenth of the Apostles, will not be altered. 
  • In light of this, the Papal delegation proposes the following finalised decrees:
    1. Christological Decree
      1. The fathers of the Holy and Ecumenical Council of Alexandria confess the mystery of the Word of God made flesh who become truly man. We confess that He became incarnate for us, taking to himself a real body with a rational soul. He shared our humanity in all things except sin. We confess that our Lord and our God, our Saviour and the King of all, Jesus Christ, is perfect God as to His divinity and perfect man as to His humanity. In Him His divinity is united to His humanity. This Union is real, perfect, without blending or mingling, without confusion, without alteration, without division, without the least separation. He who is God eternal and indivisible, became visible in the flesh and took the form of servant. In him are united, in a real, perfect indivisible and inseparable way, divinity and humanity, and in him all their properties are present and active.
      2. The Council declares that Coptic Miaphysite Christology and the teachings of the Council of Chalcedon are mutually compatible and orthodox when rightfully interpreted in light of the above Christological Decree. 
    2. Decree on the Sacraments
      1. The Council Fathers affirm the teachings of the past Councils -particularly the decrees of the Council of Cologne- that there are seven Sacraments, to wit: Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Order, and Matrimony. These Sacraments are true signs which confer God's efficacious Grace. Although there be truly Seven in number, it is not necessary that all the Christian faithful receive every Sacrament, although Baptism -or at least the desire thereof- which confers on the baptised the saving Grace of God and frees them from the stain of Original Sin through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, is necessary for all Christians.
      2. Reaffirming the decree of the Council of Cologne, the Council Fathers decree that -excepting Water and Trinitarian formula for Baptism, bread and wine consecrated by an ordained Priest or Bishop into the Body and Blood of Christ for Eucharist, and the placing of the hands of the Bishop for Order- the precise discipline and form of the Sacraments may vary between the Rites.
        1. Therefore, the practice of the Coptic Church, Orthodox Church, Church of the Northern Rite, and Church of the East, of ordaining married men to the priesthood is valid.
        2. Specific Eucharistic discipline: the length of the Eucharistic fast, and the proper minister for distributing the Eucharist, may validly differ between the Rites and Churches. 
    3. Decree of Reunification and Ecclesiology
      1. The bishops and representatives of the Catholic Church, Coptic Church, and Orthodox Church agree to re-establish communion with one another, thereby unifying Christianity. 
      2. The Patriarchs of the particular Rites and Churches possess the fullness of power in the governance and administration of their respective Rite or Church:
        1. ​The Coptic pope of Alexandria, as successor of St Mark, retains sovereign governance over their traditional regions of Egypt, Pentapolis, Libya, Nubia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Africa.
        2. The Grand Patriarch of Constantinople retains sovereign governance over their traditional regions of the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Russia, and the colonies and missions of the aforesaid.
        3. The Patriarch of the Latin Rite retains sovereign governance over the traditional Latin territories of Western Europe and the missions and colonies thereof in Arcadia, Laurentia and elsewhere, and in Giapan, as well as over Latin-Rite Catholics in China and Korea.
        4. The Patriarch of the Northern Rite retains sovereign governance over Northern Germany and the Northern-Rite missions in Arcadia.
        5. The Patriarch of the Church of the East retains sovereign governance over Central Asia and Mongolia, as well as over those Christians in China and Korea commonly referred to as 'Nestorian'. 
  • The Pope of Rome, as Successor to Saint Peter, is the primus inter pares, the pontifex maximus, and Vicarius Christi. (cf. Council of Cologne, Decrees on Church Governance', 3)
    • The Pope of Rome has no immediate jurisdictional authority over any Church or Rite, unless the patriarch requests him to. (cf. Council of Cologne, Decrees on Church Governance', 3:1)
    • "This in no way affects the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, nor does it impede the pope's right and solemn duty to instruct and exhort the entire faithful through Apostolic letters and exhortations, to canonize Saints, to call Ecumenical Councils of the whole Church when the times require it, or to act as final arbiter in disputes which arise from time to time between the Rites, or in disputes which are conveyed to him to arbitrate." (Council of Cologne, 'Decrees on Church Governance' , 3:1:1 
    </li></li>
  •  The Coptic Bishops agree to all the proposals above for sacraments and doctrines, in light of the proposed common communion. In addition, they support the dispensation of Patriarchal authority. However, the bishops would not acknowledge the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, nor do they refer to him as primus inter pares or Vicarius Christi. The Coptic pope defers to the Orthodox Patriarchs for support in this assertion. The Coptic Pope Matthew does not feel that a united decree on ecclesiology is necessary at this stage.</li></li>
  • OOC: Even OTL the Orthodox recognise the See of Rome as being the Protos, i.e. the first among equals. See here para 44. All I'm saying above is that, as successor of St Peter (the leader of the Apostles), the Pope of Rome has seniority, and can arbitrate disputes if they are brought to him. Also, why have a council unless we are to fully reunify?</li></li>
  • The Ecumenical Patriarch supports the Coptic pope. Orthodoxy decentralized a very long time ago and has suffered absolutely no further issues due to this minus one religious radical movement in Russia which was summarily put down and expunged as a heresy. The pope must acquiesce to a modern Christianity if he wishes to reunify the churches. The pope can't claim first among equals anymore. This is part of the reason the Great Schism itself happened in the first place. While previously the See of Constantinople was aspiring to such status, this is no longer the case with the current orthodox authority under the Slavic Eastern Rites of Christianity. The pope must remove his backing to the dated concept and be willing to share his authority with the other holy sees of the pentarchy. A way to alleviate the issues here are proposed as follows.</li></li>
  • 1: every 10 years an ecumenical council will take place at one of the five pentarchy locations currently under Christian control. This is to discuss theological matters, matters affecting the church, and various supports other churches will need.</li></li>
  • 2: The Ecumenical council will be the arbitrator not the pope, and this should be far and few between.</li></li>
  • The Coptic Bishops accepts this proposal.</li></li>
  • As the below statement makes clear, the pope is more than willing to "share his authority with the other holy sees", the Catholic delegation merely asks for recognition is the Pope's place of honour (not power) as the protos [again, OTL Orthodox accept that]. Also, having an ecumenical council every ten years would be logistically impossible. Better to have a decennial meeting of a small number of high-ranking representatives of each of the Churches (Latin, Orthodox, Coptic, Northern Rite, Eastern (Nestorian)).</li></li>
  • The Papal Legate says that the Eastern Orthodox are misunderstanding and misrepresenting the Catholic stance. All we are saying is that the Pope of Rome, as successor of Saint Peter, is the protos [I reiterate, even OTL Orthodox recognise this]. This is merely recognition of the honour due to Saint Peter as head of the Apostles. This does not give him authority over the East. It does not give him authority over the Coptic regions. As stated in the above proposal, the Patriarchs each retain 'sovereign governance' over their respective rites. Under the Catholic proposal, the Roman pope would gain zero power over the Orthodox or Coptic Churches. All the above is saying is that, if there is a dispute between Churches, those churches may choose to take it to the pope - as protos - to arbitrate if they so choose. Evidently, significant issues should be debated at Ecumenical Councils. If the Roman pope believed otherwise, why would he have agreed so wholeheartedly to this Council? The Catholic Church is clearly in favour of decentralisation: look at the independence of the Church of the Northern Rite in the Council of Cologne; the independence of the formerly Nestorian Church of the East. The Patriarchs of those Churches are not interfered with by the pope. The Orthodox must stop claiming the pope is seeking power over them, he is not. As an aside, the Legate points out that Ecumenical Councils every ten years would be a logistical nightmare; better to save such sacred events for significant issues. A decennial meeting of a small number of high-ranking representatives of each of the Churches (Latin, Orthodox, Coptic, Northern Rite, Eastern (Nestorian)) would surely be a more feasible concept. </li></li>
  • The Coptic pope proposes the compromise of having ecumenical councils every 20 years instead.
        • Orthodox Grand Patriarch: we will concede on allowing councils every 20 years. However the pope regardless of what past patriarchs have recognized, does not recognize this as the truth, and will not concede the point, however on the case of openly and truly uniting Christendom for the first time in centuries the patriarch will agree on the condition that the Papal position be opened to those of all sects with no restrictions. If there is to be a first among equals he needs to be able to be equally chosen from among all branches and sects. This is wished mostly due to the fact that the Patriarchs have not kept up with Papacies newer reforms and are unsure if this is already in place or not. This is offered as a redundancy in the case that this already isnt in place within the Papacy.
        • Catholic Delegation: Agrees to ECs every 20 years. The Papacy is indeed open to all Rites and Churches, and indeed the moment a Patriarch joins communion with the Papacy they automatically gain a cardinal's hat. When the last non-Latin was elected pope, the position of Patriarch of the Latin Church was merely exercised by the Archbishop of Ravenna, whilst the Papacy was exercised by the (Northern Rite) pope. But that custom can be changed if the other Patriarchs disagree with it. Given what the Ecumenical Patriarch has said, the Catholic delegation considers the parties to be in full agreement. They commit to Ecumenical Councils every 20 years. 

    Decrees and Canons of the Ecumenical Council of Alexandria 1731

    </li>

  • The Sacred, Holy, Ecumenical, and general Council of Alexandria, lawfully assembled under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and convoked in the Year of Our Lord 1725 by Pope Matthew III of Alexandria, hath, in this Year of Our Lord 1731, after the solemn deliberations of the bishops, clergy, theologians, abbots and abbesses of the entire People of God, under the guidance of all the Patriarchs of the Church, deemed it right that the following solemn Decrees be promulgated and published throughout the entire World and amongst the entire Christian Faithful, such that the wounds of division may be healed and the prayer of Our Lord be answered, that 'all may be one'. And so, invoking the protection and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God, Saint Joseph her most chaste spouse, Saints Peter and Paul, Saint Andrew, Saint Mark, all the Apostles, all God's Heavenly Host of Angels, and indeed the entire Communion of Saints, the Council fathers decree the following:===Christological Decree=== The fathers of the Holy and Ecumenical Council of Alexandria confess the mystery of the Word of God made flesh who become truly man. We confess that He became incarnate for us, taking to himself a real body with a rational soul. He shared our humanity in all things except sin. We confess that our Lord and our God, our Saviour and the King of all, Jesus Christ, is perfect God as to His divinity and perfect man as to His humanity. In Him His divinity is united to His humanity. This Union is real, perfect, without blending or mingling, without confusion, without alteration, without division, without the least separation. He who is God eternal and indivisible, became visible in the flesh and took the form of servant. In him are united, in a real, perfect indivisible and inseparable way, divinity and humanity, and in him all their properties are present and active.
      • The Council declares that Coptic Miaphysite Christology and the teachings of the Council of Chalcedon are mutually compatible and orthodox when rightfully interpreted in light of the above Christological Decree. 

    Decree on the Sacraments

      • The Council Fathers affirm the teachings of the past Councils -particularly the decrees of the Council of Cologne- that there are seven Sacraments, to wit: Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Order, and Matrimony. These Sacraments are true signs which confer God's efficacious Grace. Although there be truly Seven in number, it is not necessary that all the Christian faithful receive every Sacrament, although Baptism -or at least the desire thereof- which confers on the baptised the saving Grace of God and frees them from the stain of Original Sin through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, is necessary for all Christians.
        1. Reaffirming the decree of the Council of Cologne, the Council Fathers decree that -excepting Water and Trinitarian formula for Baptism, bread and wine consecrated by an ordained Priest or Bishop into the Body and Blood of Christ for Eucharist, and the placing of the hands of the Bishop for Order- the precise discipline and form of the Sacraments may vary between the Rites.
          1. Therefore, the practice of the Coptic Church, Orthodox Church, Church of the Northern Rite, and Church of the East, of ordaining married men to the priesthood is valid.
          2. Specific Eucharistic discipline: the length of the Eucharistic fast, and the proper minister for distributing the Eucharist, may validly differ between the Rites and Churches. 

    Decree of Reunification and Ecclesiology

      • The bishops and representatives of the Catholic Church, Coptic Church, and Orthodox Church agree to re-establish communion with one another, thereby unifying Christianity. 
        1. The Patriarchs of the particular Rites and Churches possess the fullness of power in the governance and administration of their respective Rite or Church:
          1. ​The Coptic pope of Alexandria, as successor of St Mark, retains sovereign governance over their traditional regions of Egypt, Pentapolis, Libya, Nubia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Africa.
          2. The Grand Patriarch of Constantinople retains sovereign governance over their traditional regions of the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Russia, and the colonies and missions of the aforesaid.
          3. The Patriarch of the Latin Rite retains sovereign governance over the traditional Latin territories of Western Europe and the missions and colonies thereof in Arcadia, Laurentia and elsewhere, and in Giapan, as well as over Latin-Rite Catholics in China and Korea.
          4. The Patriarch of the Northern Rite retains sovereign governance over Northern Germany and the Northern-Rite missions in Arcadia.
          5. The Patriarch of the Church of the East retains sovereign governance over Central Asia and Mongolia, as well as over those Christians in China and Korea commonly referred to as 'Nestorian'.
        2. The Pope of Rome, as Successor to Saint Peter, is recognised as the protos.




              1. The Pope of Rome has no jurisdictional authority over any Church or Rite, unless the patriarch requests him to.
                1. This in no way affects the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, nor does it impede the pope's ability to exhort the entire faithful through Apostolic letters and exhortations, to canonize Saints, to call Ecumenical Councils of the whole Church when the times require it, or to act as final arbiter in such disputes as are conveyed to him to arbitrate.
              2. All Patriarchs are to be enrolled as Cardinals on the moment of their elevation to the Patriarchate, and thus can be elected to the position of Pope of Rome. 
              3. This Council decrees that, unless otherwise decided by another Ecumenical Council, there shall henceforth be Ecumenical Councils held every twenty years in a Patriarchal city.
                1. Said bi-decennial Councils will be the proper forum for the resolution of disputes between Churches and Rites. 
              • Signed and given the seal:
                • Frederico Balsamo, Legate and Envoy Plenipotentiary of His Holiness, Pope Urban VII, Bishop of Rome Callumthered (talk) 00:39, July 14, 2017 (UTC)
                • Mikhail Konstanov, Ecumenical Patriarch of Vasiligrad (on behalf of the Eastern Orthodox Churches): The Wings of Freedom #FP Wings of freedom 2 (Talk to Me)
                • Matthew III, Pope of Alexandria and Africa
                • Frederik Hohenstaufen, Patriarch of the Northern Rite
                • Jügderdemidiin Elbegdorj, Patriarch of the East [former Nestorians]

    Footnotes

    </li>