Today the Church commemorates our father among the saints Anatolius, Patriarch of Constantinople. He presided over the Fourth Œcumenical Council at Chalcedon in A.D. 451, which addressed the question of how the humanity of our Lord and God Jesus Christ is related to his divinity—what is the connection between the man Jesus and the second Person of the Trinity.
As it happens, yesterday I completed my narrative of the events from the Council of Antioch in A.D. 341 to the twin councils of Ariminum and Seleucia in 360. There I comment that part of the letter written by Basil of Ancyra and his associates after the Council of Ancyra in 358 ‘opens a question of the relationship between the divinity in Christ and the humanity that had not been addressed heretofore, and would not be until later œcumenical councils.’
In fact it was the Council of Chalcedon, ninety years later, that answered the question for the Church definitively with its famous declaration that the human and the divine in Christ are ‘… in two natures, unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, inseparably united, and that without the distinction of natures being taken away by such union, but rather the peculiar property of each nature being preserved and being united in one Person and subsistence, not separated or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son and only-begotten, God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ.’
For a fuller account of the events leading up to this council, and the life of St Anatolius, see my blog entry for this day in 2017.
Occasional comments by a convert to Orthodoxy.