At the Ecumenical Synod at Chalcedon (451), a considerable number of Christians went their own way. They were a group of Churches (the Coptic in Egypt, the Armenian, the Ethiopian, the Syro-Jacobite, the Malankara Syrian Church in India and the Eritrean) which severed relations with the rest of the body of the Church (which constituted what we now call the ancient Patriarchates and the Church of Rome). This break occurred as a result of the Christological discord of the time, regarding the hypostatic union of the two natures (divine and human) in the person of Christ.

It appears, however, that this lamentable development was due more to political, cultural and other factors, rather than to theological and ecclesiastical. Saint John the

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