Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Could you please tell me how your Coptic Church justifies being part of the WCC and of the ecumenical movement? Why should one accept the seven ecumenical councils as inspired by the Holy Spirit?

The history of Coptic Theology from the Fifth to the Twentieth Century comparatively addresses the Pre-Chalcedonian theology to that of the present day. This entails much reading and understanding of the councils themselves.

Following the Council of Chalcedon, the Coptic Church became a non-Chalcedonian Partriarchate; briefly because the Chalcedon Council stated its firm support of the Tome of Leo (Christological doctrine that the Lord Jesus Christ was one person with TWO separate natures). The Coptic Patriarch, (His Holiness Dioscorus of Alexandria) was unable to accept the Christological teachings of the Tome of Leo; and so he was exiled to Gangra in Paphlagonia.

Following the rejection of the decrees of Chalcedon the Coptic Church condemned the Eutychian and Nestorian heresies and committed itself solely to the first three Ecumenical Councils: Nicea, Constantinople and Ephesus.

The central issue that separates the Coptic Church from the Chalcedonians is not so much the case of the "two natures"; but how the natures are united in the mystery of the Incarnation. The Coptic Church believes that the two natures are united into one nature of the Logos Incarnate and not separate in the person of Logos Incarnate.

The Coptic Church testifies that the Lord Jesus Christ is ONE; true God and true man, possessing the divine as well as the human natures, united in Him without confusion, without mingling, without alteration, and without division. That is the  profession that the Coptic Church priest makes when he celebrates the Divine Liturgy:
I believe, I believe, I believe, and confess to last breath, that this is the life-giving flesh that your only begotten Son, our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, took from our lady, the lady of us all, the holy Theotokos St. Mary. He made it one with His divinity without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration. He confessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate He gave It up for us on the holy wood of the cross of His own will for us all. Truly, I believe that His divinity parted not from His humanity for a single moment nor a twinkling of an eye. Given for us for salvation, remission of sins and eternal life to those who partake of him. I believe, I believe, I believe, that this is true Amen.
There are a lot of reliable and very interesting Coptic reference books on the councils and their history. These are: Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity (Meinardus), and The Orthodox Church (Fr. Tadros Malaty).

Rather than removing itself from the councils, the Coptic Church has participated in the Ecumenical MOVEMENT while keeping the ancient culture, history, and life of the original church intact.

The Coptic Church is part of the WWC and very active in the ecumenical movement; out of her strong conviction that we all should be ONE. She is very actively involved in many theological dialogues. It is our prayers that the unity of the ONE Body of Christ will be restored very soon.

May God bless you as you study the Coptic Church's faith solidarity.

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