From the June 2008 issue of Touchstone, a review of a book on the Assyrian Church and its split from Rome sheds some light of the why of the split:
In the sixth century, more than one catholicos of the Church of the East attempted without success to reach theological agreement and restore communion with the Church in the Roman Empire. Its principal divergence from that church was its rejection of the title of “Mother of God” for the Virgin Mary, although it has always claimed her as the “Mother of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Have we got that down, now? A principal point of disagreement was whether Mary was the plain vanilla Mother of God, or the fancier “Mother of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
This is even less than a difference without distinction. It simply says that one group of men (and, yes, bet your bottom dollar they were all men) insisted on being in charge. Another group of men, said, “no way. We’re in charge.”
To base a centuries-old split, one that continues to make an evil joke of Christian ecumenicism, on such on asinine and unimportant distinction in nomenclature is beyond caricature.
All I can say is, hey, people: Mary gave birth to Jesus, who would become Christ, our savior. Fully human; fully divine. Mary was our savior’s mother. I know that you folks in the East, and in Rome, haven’t been so big on simply using Scripture. But, for me, and, I hope, for thee, the story of Mary is captured for once and for all in Luke 1:
26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
We all should revere Mary as one who made a great leap of faith; who trusted in the word of God. And who bore the Word become flesh so that we all may live. Rome, East, all.