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Author Topic: Why don't (Latin rite?) Catholics have a valid priesthood?  (Read 9791 times) Average Rating: 0
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Catholig
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« on: November 14, 2007, 01:31:57 AM »

I'm not sure if this goes for all rites of Catholicism, but I've heard that the Orthodox Church rejects the validity of the Catholic Church's priesthood. How can they do this? Even if we're supposedly heretics how can the priesthood be taken away from someone already ordained ("The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech" Ps 109:4) or if that isn't the case - how can a bishop, even if heretical, not be able to consecrate other priests, which is part of his priestly ministry?

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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 01:38:22 AM »

http://web.archive.org/web/20070507011013/http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=97440

 Wink
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2007, 01:40:55 AM »

I think it falls under the teaching of St. Cyprian and much of the Eastern Christian world that the baptism (and, by extension, all of the other sacraments) of heretics is no baptism.
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2007, 09:45:01 AM »

It depends on your point of reference:

Orthodox will not say that a Catholic Priest's ordination is invalid in his own church.  But to us, no ordination, baptism, confirmation/chrismation, anointing, etc. is good unless you are now or becoming Orthodox.  There's no point in having an ordination if you're not Orthodox, from our perspective.

That's why the issue of Catholic ordination is tricky; calling it "invalid" absolutely makes sense from an Orthodox perspective, because if you're not becoming Orthodox then it doesn't matter, and if you are becoming Orthodox, then either the Bishop is going to re-ordain you, or he's going to say that your reception into Orthodoxy perfects your previous ordination which was incomplete because you weren't Orthodox.
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2007, 10:35:30 AM »

I'm not sure if this goes for all rites of Catholicism, but I've heard that the Orthodox Church rejects the validity of the Catholic Church's priesthood. How can they do this? Even if we're supposedly heretics how can the priesthood be taken away from someone already ordained ("The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech" Ps 109:4) or if that isn't the case - how can a bishop, even if heretical, not be able to consecrate other priests, which is part of his priestly ministry?

Catholig

Would the Lord God take the priesthood away from a truly ordained priest who later becomes a satanist? Or would the Holy Spirit make someone a true priest who is already a satanist? I dont think so. The Roman Catholics have an apostate ex opere operato sacramental system. It is the Antichrist.
 You have been communicated with in the past regarding your anti-Catholic rants. You have not adjusted your behavior; therefore your future posts will be monitored until you demonstrate an ability to police yourself.
 
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The great apostasy has occured. Get out of there while you can!!! Its better to be priestless than to have a heretic bishop. The apostles taught that the church consists of saints only. There are about 7,000 Spirit-bearers currently in the catacombs.
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2007, 10:36:40 AM »

I may be mispeaking, and maybe there is an Orthodox Priest who can help out here, but I was taught, when I became Orthodox,  that that the Roman Catholic Church's ordination is valid. 
Our differences are in some of the finer points of understanding the priesthood; like the indelable mark that  cannot be lost; the Orthodox view of the Sacraments, though they belong only to the Office of the Priest, are accomplished only through the prayers of the Priest united with the whole Church and  the Holy Spirit, which is one reason a Mass can never be performed by a Priest alone.  The "Amen" of the people of God is essential.

Out of respect we address all clergy by the title Reverend, Pastor (according to their tradition) or Father (Anglican), but when we address a Roman Catholic Priest as Father, it is more than  respect, we recognize the validity of his orders.
The reason we cannot commune without permission of our Priest or Bishop has to do with other doctrinal differences, and thus it is a matter of not sharing  the same unity of faith.  It has nothing to do with the validity of the orders or even the validity of the Mass (though that can sometimes be in question if there are serious abuses of the Liturgy, or the office of the priesthood-though we are not Donatists).

We are not so far apart as many people think, but the operative word is "apart".  It doesn't matter if it is an inch or a million miles, when it comes to the essentials of the Faith handed down.. We either are in unity by the same faith, or we are not.
I pray daily for charity and humility and the spirit of forgiveness to be the guide for each and every one of us.  And that it is Christ's agenda, that we may be one in the True Faith, trumps the pride, memories,  sins, histories, harms done to one another a thousand years ago and yesterday and clinging to human means and reason that has drivin this wedge between us.  And try to refrain from contributing to any more animosity or misunderstanding.  I would rather err on the side of charity and be corrected, than to not speak at all.

In Christ, our only hope,

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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2007, 10:42:55 AM »

I'm not sure if this goes for all rites of Catholicism, but I've heard that the Orthodox Church rejects the validity of the Catholic Church's priesthood. How can they do this? Even if we're supposedly heretics how can the priesthood be taken away from someone already ordained ("The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech" Ps 109:4) or if that isn't the case - how can a bishop, even if heretical, not be able to consecrate other priests, which is part of his priestly ministry?

Catholig

Catholig,

Can I ask where you obtained the above information?  Did you ask your Priest, or did you read it from a book or maybe in some forum similar to this.
It would help if you could offer some sources to better understand what exactly was being said and by whom.
Thank you for your patience, and I hope you don't go away until you have a solid, correct answer.

Kaarina
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2007, 08:48:24 PM »

Catholig,

Can I ask where you obtained the above information?  Did you ask your Priest, or did you read it from a book or maybe in some forum similar to this.
It would help if you could offer some sources to better understand what exactly was being said and by whom.
Thank you for your patience, and I hope you don't go away until you have a solid, correct answer.

Kaarina

What information are you talking about? That the Orthodox don't accept the Catholic priesthood as valid? I got that impression from reading some Orthodox posts at the Catholic Answers Forum (CAF). If you're talking about my understanding of the priesthood, and the fact that the bishopric is simply a fulfillment of one's priesthood - I'm not sure where I got that. It's one of those things that you just remember. It is the Catholic belief though.

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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2007, 09:04:32 PM »

It depends on your point of reference:

Orthodox will not say that a Catholic Priest's ordination is invalid in his own church.  But to us, no ordination, baptism, confirmation/chrismation, anointing, etc. is good unless you are now or becoming Orthodox.  There's no point in having an ordination if you're not Orthodox, from our perspective.

That's why the issue of Catholic ordination is tricky; calling it "invalid" absolutely makes sense from an Orthodox perspective, because if you're not becoming Orthodox then it doesn't matter, and if you are becoming Orthodox, then either the Bishop is going to re-ordain you, or he's going to say that your reception into Orthodoxy perfects your previous ordination which was incomplete because you weren't Orthodox.

I kind of understand what you are saying, that even if a church has a valid baptism, confirmation/chrismation, marriage, ordination, Eucharist, et cetera it is no substitute for being part of the Church of Christ from which all of these sacraments come, however I wouldn't say that there is "no point" in belonging to another church, because a valid baptism makes you a part of the mystical body of Christ.

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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2007, 01:29:53 AM »

The very terms "valid" and "invalid" are foreign to Orthodox ecclesiology, or to put it in another way, the Orthodox understanding of the nature of the Church.  To the Orthodox, the Church is material, visible and spiritual all at the same time.  As described in the link given by wynd, the Cyprian approach sees no logic in conceiving of any sacraments outside of the Church.  There are a number of Orthodox opinions on the reality or Grace that is present or not present in sacraments conferred outside of the Orthodox Church.  Some Orthodox say that there is no Grace at all present in any sacraments of any ecclesial body outside of the Orthodox Church.  Some say that it is possible there is Grace present that varies depending on the degree of Orthodoxy found in other ecclesial bodies.  Some posters on this board have proposed that there is a difference between sacramental Grace that is found only in Orthodox sacraments, and a general kind of Grace that God bestows on those outside Orthodoxy, so as to not leave them bereft of His love.  My own personal belief is that there is Grace and reality present in Catholic sacraments.  This flows from my own personal experience with the Latin Church and my own interpretation of Orthodox ecclesiology.  I think that there might or might not be Grace in other ecclesial bodies.  I do think that God does not abandon anyone who sincerely searches for Him.  But it's really none of my business.  I mean this in the most positive way.  I have seen God working in other Christians and I do not think for a moment that because I am Orthodox that this means that I have something that makes me better than anybody else.  But it is important to realise that many holy Orthodox people have held to the strictest viewpoints on sacraments outside of Orthodoxy without passing judgment on anyone.  (Of course, many holy Orthodox people have held the more liberal view as well.)

The Orthodox are critical of what tends to be a Western overemphasis on the physical component involved in ordination, and refer to it sometimes as a kind of "magic hands" view of ordination.  Just because a "bishop" who can trace his lineage back to the apostles places his hand on the  head of an ordinand and says the right words is no cause for the Orthodox to accept him as a "real" priest.  What is the faith of the ordaining "bishop"?  Who would he (and his flock) say shares the same faith, or who is in communion with them?  What is the faith of the one "ordained"?  To the Orthodox, the apostolic lineage of the ordaining bishop and participating faithful  is important, but so is their view of what constitutes the Church, the nature of their faith, and a host of other factors. 

Some Orthodox are of the opinion that because the form of the Roman Catholic ordination is correct, Roman priests can be accepted into the Orthodox Church as priests if they choose to convert, having only to be vested by an Orthodox bishop and concelebrate the Eucharist with him to make the form of the ordination fully genuine.  Some might combine this idea with some kind of recognition that there is reality in Latin sacraments because the faith of the Latin Church has not varied so much from the Orthodox faith in such a way as to render all of their sacraments completely null and also accept them as priests in a similar way.  Other Orthodox would insist on "re-baptism" and "re-ordination"  before accepting them as priests.   (Interestingly, Anglican clergy are neveraccepted without at least partial "re-baptism" and total "re-ordination.")  So the question of acceptance of the reality of Roman orders is far from clear.

As I mentioned in the beginning, because of the different way in which the Western and Eastern Churches view the nature of the Church, it is a non-starter with us Orthodox if you use terms like "valid" or "invalid".  It's best not to think in this way when considering Orthodox views on sacraments.

There are other threads on this board concerning topics similar to this one, so I would invite you to search for them.
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2007, 07:57:23 PM »

The Orthodox are critical of what tends to be a Western overemphasis on the physical component involved in ordination, and refer to it sometimes as a kind of "magic hands" view of ordination.  Just because a "bishop" who can trace his lineage back to the apostles places his hand on the  head of an ordinand and says the right words is no cause for the Orthodox to accept him as a "real" priest.  What is the faith of the ordaining "bishop"?  Who would he (and his flock) say shares the same faith, or who is in communion with them?  What is the faith of the one "ordained"?  To the Orthodox, the apostolic lineage of the ordaining bishop and participating faithful  is important, but so is their view of what constitutes the Church, the nature of their faith, and a host of other factors.

This is an interesting point, because in the Catholic Church (or at least the Latin rite) the validity of marriage depends on the disposition of those making the vows, and in regards to the consecration the bread's transubstantiation depends not only on the formula (This is my body), but also on the disposition of the priest (i.e. whether or not he truly intends to consecrate the bread). It might follow that one would have to have a certain disposition to be validly ordained - but then on the other hand I heard that the Ge'ez christians used to ordain infants - just as infants are baptised, and chrismated in the Eastern Rite (they can be confirmed in the western church as infants, but it's not common - mainly if the baby is in danger of death). I don't have too many other sources, but I'm willing to accept that ordination can happen even if one isn't able to consent, or doesn't have a perfect disposition.

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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2007, 10:41:26 PM »

Hello,

Query: My understanding of the Orthodox (Cyprianic) view of Holy Orders is that as soon as a Bishop or Priest becomes a heretic, then he loses his ordination. If that is the case, how can anyone be sure of a Bishop's or Priest's ordination? Maybe they are heretics, but don't public profess it, only keeping it inside them, or haven't had the opportunity to  mention it yet. So how does anyone then know that they have a Priest or Bishop that has been or still is validly ordained and can therefore effect the other Sacraments?
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2007, 11:52:57 PM »

My understanding of the Orthodox (Cyprianic) view of Holy Orders is that as soon as a Bishop or Priest becomes a heretic, then he loses his ordination.
That is a misunderstanding.
The "Cyrprianic view" refers to heretics who are cut off (in schism) from the Orthodox Church by their heresy. Basically, a Deacon, Priest or Bishop cannot function as a Deacon, Priest or Bishop if they cut themselves off from the Church. St. Cyprian's view is actually based on one of the meanings of the word "Catholic" which comes from the Greek "kata" ("according to") + olikos ("the whole") . In his treatise "On the Unity of the Church", St. Cyprian says that the Episcopate is "one and undivided" and that “each part of which is held by each one for the whole.” The Unity of the Church cannot be broken, therefore, if one is cut off from the Church, one does not carry off any part of the Church with them- they are simply outside of the Church, because the Church cannot be divided. St. Cyprian describes such Priests, Deacons and Bishops who leave the Church as those “who of their own accord, without any divine arrangement, set themselves to preside among the daring strangers assembled, who appoint themselves prelates without any law of ordination, who assume to themselves the name of bishop, although no one gives them the episcopate.”
Do not be mislead therefore into thinking that the "Cyprianic view" is a form of Donatism. It's simply basic common sense. A Priest cannot function as a Priest outside of the Church.
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2007, 11:55:31 PM »

Hello,

So is some form of formal action required? Does a synod have to meet and decide to cast them out before their heresy cuts them off from the Church?
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2007, 12:18:50 AM »

This is an interesting point, because in the Catholic Church (or at least the Latin rite) the validity of marriage depends on the disposition of those making the vows, and in regards to the consecration the bread's transubstantiation depends not only on the formula (This is my body), but also on the disposition of the priest (i.e. whether or not he truly intends to consecrate the bread). It might follow that one would have to have a certain disposition to be validly ordained - but then on the other hand I heard that the Ge'ez christians used to ordain infants - just as infants are baptised, and chrismated in the Eastern Rite (they can be confirmed in the western church as infants, but it's not common - mainly if the baby is in danger of death). I don't have too many other sources, but I'm willing to accept that ordination can happen even if one isn't able to consent, or doesn't have a perfect disposition.

Catholig

I don't mean to be uncharitable, but I'm not sure if you see the points that I am making or not.  I am not talking about the concept of "disposition", but rather what constitutes the faith of the entire ecclesial body under discussion.  (Conciliarity is very important in Orthodoxy.)  I know it's hard for us to understand each other sometimes, so please don't think I'm talking down to you.  But I do notice that you are using the term "valid" in your reply again.   Wink  I'd be interested in knowing what you think of the rest of my post and George's reply to Athanasios concerning the Cyprianic concept of ordination. 
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2007, 02:14:31 AM »

Query: My understanding of the Orthodox (Cyprianic) view of Holy Orders is that as soon as a Bishop or Priest becomes a heretic, then he loses his ordination. If that is the case, how can anyone be sure of a Bishop's or Priest's ordination? Maybe they are heretics, but don't public profess it, only keeping it inside them, or haven't had the opportunity to  mention it yet. So how does anyone then know that they have a Priest or Bishop that has been or still is validly ordained and can therefore effect the other Sacraments?

We must make a distinction between "heresy" and a doctrinal "mistake."  A Bishop or priest may make a mistake in doctrine and not remove himself from the Church.  Heresy, which is the purposeful rebellion from Holy Tradition, does remove one from the Church.  It is pretty clear that someone is a heretic and has lost their ordination if they leave the Church.  Very often the Patriarch or Bishop will also depose any Bishop or priest who leaves the Church, thus clarifying that such a person is not longer in the clerical rank of the Church.   

God bless,

Adam
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2007, 03:18:25 AM »

To sum up what is being said... The Church of Rome has removed itself from the Universal Church of the Orthodox so therefore the Orthodox do not recognize the ordinations of the Church of Rome. It is that simple.

There are some who are Orthodox, who for historical reasons, think it is proper to just receive someone with ordination from the Church of Rome, but this is done out of ignorance (yes, I just called the OCA stupid).
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« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2007, 03:22:21 AM »

Might need a thread split here, but I have to ask:

Where did the current errant SCOBA practice of receiving converts by confession or "anointing" (i.e. a partial chrismation) come about and are they valid methods of receiving converts that have not been baptized in the proper form (e.g. Orthodox)?

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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2007, 03:30:55 AM »

Where did the current errant SCOBA practice of receiving converts by confession or "anointing" (i.e. a partial chrismation) come about and are they valid methods of receiving converts that have not been baptized in the proper form (e.g. Orthodox)?
It was being done under the argument that there is only one baptism and since anyone who is baptized can in theory baptize many of the Orthodox church accepted most baptisms. This is changing because of a lack of proper formula and practice being done by non-Orthodox. If there is no proof that a person was baptized with triple immersion in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit then they are being baptized.
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2007, 03:42:46 AM »

Ahh..interesting Wink

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« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2007, 06:59:03 AM »

I'd like to place Neil's essay into the archives of OC.net if I may since it is a succinct expression of the Augustianian and Cyprianic approaches to apostolic succession.
_________________________________________

The theological praxis of Catholics and Orthodox as to the validity of orders and the dependent issue of the validity of sacraments differs significantly.

There are basically two theories of apostolic succession and, in most instances, the application of the theory held by a given Church effectively determines the validity accorded to claimed presbyteral and episcopal orders and, ipso facto, the validity of sacraments administered by those claiming to possess valid orders, whether presbyteral and/or episcopal (putting aside issues as to form and intent, since if there is no validity to the orders of the sacrament's minister, other considerations are of no consequence to any of the Apostolic Churches).

If the orders claimed to be possessed are themselves invalid, the Mysteries derived from him who claims to possess orders will, in turn, be invalid if the Sacrament is one which requires administration by an ordained minister. That applies essentially to all Mysteries except baptism in extremis in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and marriage in the Latin Church (in which the bride and groom are the ministers of the Sacrament and the priest is solely the witness, as opposed to the Eastern and Oriental Catholic and Orthodox Churches, in which the priest is the minister of the Mystery).

The Augustinian Theory effectively holds that valid episcopal ordination confers an indelible character that is not affected by any schismatic or heretical act or excommunication taken in response thereto or for any other reason. Accordingly, a validly ordained priest once validly ordained to the episcopate retains his capacity to exercise that order, though he may have been deprived juridically of the office or jurisdiction by which he performed episcopal acts. The latter considerations affect only the licitness of his acts.

The Cyprianic Theory effectively holds that a valid episcopal ordination is affected by schismatic or heretical acts and by excommunication taken in response thereto or for any other reason. Accordingly, a validly ordained priest once validly ordained to the episcopate retains his capacity to exercise that order only so long as he continues in communion with the jurisdiction under the authority of which he was ordained to the episcopate (or such other jurisdiction into which he may have subsequently been accepted) and is exercising the office or jurisdiction by which he has the right to perform those acts. There is no distinction made as to licitness.

The Catholic Church adheres to the Augustinian theory; the Orthodox Churches to the Cyprianic theory, (although the latter have exercised oekonomia in application of it to instances in which schismatic bodies have returned to communion).

Frankly, the Augustinian theory has been or certainly has become a thorn in the side of the Catholic Church. It effectively assures that all manner of independent hierarchs, both those who pursue their perceived vocation with spiritual and intellectual honesty and those who are episcopi vagante in the most perjorative connotation accorded to the phrase, can sleep at night with at least a modicum of assurance that they possess valid episcopal orders, unless form or intent are at issue. The time-honored practice in the so-called "independent" Catholic and Orthodox movements of garnering multiple episcopal consecrations or, subsequently, being re-consecrated sub conditione is effectively a means of leveraging the Augustinian theory.

Most such hierarchs operate on the premise that "more is better" or "there has to be at least one good one here somewhere". With most having an episcopal genealogy that traces back through an average of 30 ancestral lines of succession, from a combination of dissident Latin Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox hierarchs, they can feel reasonably secure. Those lines which cannot be proven valid because there is serious doubt as to the validity of one actor (e.g., the so-called Melkite-Aneed Line) can and do feel comfortably buffered by Latin Duarte-Costa, Syriac Vilatte, and Orthodox Ofiesh Lines.

People sometimes point to subsequent acts by bishops of these "Churches" which break faith with Catholic doctrine and erroneously perceive these as breaking the line of apostolic succession. For instance, no bishop, regardless of the validity of his episcopal orders, can validly ordain a woman. But, that he did so would not invalidate his subsequent ordination of a man, with proper intent and according to proper form. So, it is possible to go rather far afield theologically yet still retain apostolic succession.

None of this is to say that all such entities have valid orders or sacraments, the Liberal Catholic Church is an example of one such "independent" Church that is certainly suspect, but an inordinate amount of effort has to be put into tracing and verifying or rejecting such when presbyters or hierarchs of these Churches are received into communion.

The Orthodox Churches, relying on the canonically legal status of the hierarch conferring orders (his status in communion with a recognized jurisdiction to which the Church accords canonical status), have a much simpler task before them in assessing validity and, since they do not make the distinction of licitness, the end result is clear-cut.

Given its historical ties to the Cyprianic theory, it stands to reason that the Orthodox would not accord validity to Catholic orders or sacraments and that any do so must be seen as an exercise of charity on their part, applying a measure of recognition to the common historical origins of Catholicity and Orthodoxy. We, as Catholics, can dislike the fact that all do not choose to do so, but it is not our place to impose upon others our theological precepts and require that they adopt them.

The potentially most ironic factor here is that, applying the Augustinian theory, the Catholic Church would in some instances likely accept the validity of presbyteral and episcopal orders, and, consequently, sacraments, of "independent Orthodox" (and by that I do not mean those essentially mainstream Orthodox Churches which are typically termed "non-canonical" or "of irregular status", but those of the so-called "independent movement") whom the Orthodox themselves would, rightfully, never deem to be of their Communion, under even the most liberal of interpretations.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2007, 09:15:33 AM »

To sum up what is being said...

This is your summation and no one else's.

Quote
The Church of Rome has removed itself from the Universal Church of the Orthodox so therefore the Orthodox do not recognize the ordinations of the Church of Rome. It is that simple.

No, it isn't.  It doesn't even look to me like you've read "what is being said."

Quote
There are some who are Orthodox, who for historical reasons, think it is proper to just receive someone with ordination from the Church of Rome, but this is done out of ignorance (yes, I just called the OCA stupid).

The OCA is quite possibly not the only Church that does this.  So you may be calliing quite a few jurisdictions "stupid".  Thanks for your erudite and well-considered contribution, and your promotion of inter-Orthodox rapprochement.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2007, 09:38:13 AM »

Where did the current errant SCOBA practice of receiving converts by confession or "anointing" (i.e. a partial chrismation) come about and are they valid methods of receiving converts that have not been baptized in the proper form (e.g. Orthodox)?
The idea of any Chrismation as merely reconcilation is something I have never met until the 1999 American Agreed Statement promoted this and it came as a surprise.

At the time of the Statement it was considered a novel idea and for me anything considered "novel" has no place in the tradition. It was met with some humour as "When is a Chrismation Not a Chrismation?" and the Orthodox delegates were accused of falling over backwards to please their Catholic counterparts who were offended that, in their eyes, the Orthodox were re-confirming them. But as Bishop Tikhon (San Francisco, retired) says, Roman Catholics must be chrismated (re-confirmed if you like) upon reception. He was one of the few bishops who reacted to the Agreed American Statement by pouring scorn on the idea of a Chrismation that is not a Chrismation. Otherwise the Patriarchates and bishops of both the Old World and the New have ignored the Statement entirely.

My formation comes from the Church of Serbia. But the Russian Church Abroad to which I now belong simply continues the tradition of the Russian Church prior to the Revolution. If the reception of the heterodox by Chrismation was seen as anything less than Chrismation this would be found in the teaching of the pre-Revoluntionary Church and, consequently, in the Church Abroad.

I believe there have been critiques of the American Agreed Statement on this point. I'll go looking for them.

Please note Point 4 of the Recommendations in the Statement. It recommends that:

4) "the Orthodox churches declare that the reception of Catholics by chrismation does not constitute a repetition of any part of sacramental initiation."  Note that this is a *request* to the Orthodox Churches.  It means that this is NOT actually Orthodox teaching or understanding at this time and, if it is not our teaching and tradition, then I frankly do not see how it can be made to be acceptable.

Here is the actual statement:
http://www.usccb.org/seia/agreed.shtml

and from the OCA Diocese of the West,
THE RECEPTION OF HERETIC LAITY AND CLERGY INTO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit10.html
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« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2007, 10:00:07 AM »

The idea of any Chrismation as merely reconcilation is something I have never met until the 1999 American Agreed Statement promoted this and it came as a surprise.

At the time of the Statement it was considered a novel idea and for me anything considered "novel" has no place in the tradition. It was met with some humour as "When is a Chrismation Not a Chrismation?" and the Orthodox delegates were accused of falling over backwards to please their Catholic counterparts who were offended that, in their eyes, the Orthodox were re-confirming them. But as Bishop Tikhon (San Francisco, retired) says, Roman Catholics must be chrismated (re-confirmed if you like) upon reception. He was one of the few bishops who reacted to the Agreed American Statement by pouring scorn on the idea of a Chrismation that is not a Chrismation. Otherwise the Patriarchates and bishops of both the Old World and the New have ignored the Statement entirely.

My formation comes from the Church of Serbia. But the Russian Church Abroad to which I now belong simply continues the tradition of the Russian Church prior to the Revolution. If the reception of the heterodox by Chrismation was seen as anything less than Chrismation this would be found in the teaching of the pre-Revoluntionary Church and, consequently, in the Church Abroad.

I believe there have been critiques of the American Agreed Statement on this point. I'll go looking for them.

Please note Point 4 of the Recommendations in the Statement. It recommends that:

4) "the Orthodox churches declare that the reception of Catholics by chrismation does not constitute a repetition of any part of sacramental initiation."  Note that this is a *request* to the Orthodox Churches.  It means that this is NOT actually Orthodox teaching or understanding at this time and, if it is not our teaching and tradition, then I frankly do not see how it can be made to be acceptable.

Here is the actual statement:
http://www.usccb.org/seia/agreed.shtml

and from the OCA Diocese of the West,
THE RECEPTION OF HERETIC LAITY AND CLERGY INTO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit10.html


Thanks for the reply.

This begs the question then of why SCOBA decided to make this method of reception "acceptable" as you put it?

Robert
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« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2007, 09:39:28 PM »

Thanks for the reply.

This begs the question then of why SCOBA decided to make this method of reception "acceptable" as you put it?
Dear Robert,

SCOCA cannot make decisions for its member Churches.  All they can do is make recommendations and it is then up to the various Synods of member Churches to investigate their recommendation and incorporate it into their Church's policy.

As the statement from the OCA's Diocese of the West shows, the OCA did not adopt SCOBA's recommendations.

The OCA Diocese of the West,
THE RECEPTION OF HERETIC LAITY AND CLERGY INTO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit10.html


Anybody here better equipped than me to throw light on this?  After all, I live in New Zealand and a voice from the States would be more in the know.

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« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2007, 02:10:49 PM »

Dear Robert,

SCOCA cannot make decisions for its member Churches.  All they can do is make recommendations and it is then up to the various Synods of member Churches to investigate their recommendation and incorporate it into their Church's policy.

As the statement from the OCA's Diocese of the West shows, the OCA did not adopt SCOBA's recommendations.

The OCA Diocese of the West,
THE RECEPTION OF HERETIC LAITY AND CLERGY INTO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit10.html


Anybody here better equipped than me to throw light on this?  After all, I live in New Zealand and a voice from the States would be more in the know.



Father Bless,

I am/was Catholic and baptized by infusion... should I seek to be baptized when I enter into Orthodoxy or should I let my Priest determine what he wants to do?

Thanks!
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« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2007, 12:04:38 AM »

I am/was Catholic and baptized by infusion... should I seek to be baptized when I enter into Orthodoxy or should I let my Priest determine what he wants to do?
*
It depends on the bishop of the diocese.  In my diocese of the Russian Church (Australia) Catholics are received by the methods of pre-Revolutionary Russia  -- by Chrismation with the Holy Myrrh.  This does not preclude Baptism if the candidate feels a special need for it.

Basically you need to ask any priest who is catechising you what normally happens in the local diocese and take it from there.  If, for example, the norm in a particular diocese is to baptize Catholics but you yourself feel completely unable to do that, then a simple request to the bishop will solve the problem.  Or he may have even delegated such decisions to his priests and there is no need to consult him.

So, it depends on the diocese in which you are living.

PS: have a look at the instructions laid down in the document I have given above from Bishop Tikhon of the Diocese of the West.  He says that Roman Catholics are to be received by Chrismation and (what he calls) Uniates by Confesson.

The OCA Diocese of the West,
THE RECEPTION OF HERETIC LAITY AND CLERGY INTO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit10.html




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« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2007, 12:25:32 AM »

*
It depends on the bishop of the diocese.  In my diocese of the Russian Church (Australia) Catholics are received by the methods of pre-Revolutionary Russia  -- by Chrismation with the Holy Myrrh.  This does not preclude Baptism if the candidate feels a special need for it.

Basically you need to ask any priest who is catechising you what normally happens in the local diocese and take it from there.  If, for example, the norm in a particular diocese is to baptize Catholics but you yourself feel completely unable to do that, then a simple request to the bishop will solve the problem.  Or he may have even delegated such decisions to his priests and there is no need to consult him.

So, it depends on the diocese in which you are living.

PS: have a look at the instructions laid down in the document I have given above from Bishop Tikhon of the Diocese of the West.  He says that Roman Catholics are to be received by Chrismation and (what he calls) Uniates by Confesson.

The OCA Diocese of the West,
THE RECEPTION OF HERETIC LAITY AND CLERGY INTO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit10.html

Father Bless,

Yes, I spoke with my Spiritual Father and he and I have spoken a great deal. From those discussion the Parish Priest has indicated that he would receive me into the Church by Chrismation. I was led to believe by his words that he had determined that Baptism would not be necessary due to his assessment of my maturity in the Faith.  Embarrassed

I was a bit ashamed and/or flattered but I questioned if this was the responsibility of the Parish Priest. I simply don't know.  Huh

Does this sound normal?
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« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2007, 12:53:07 AM »

Yes, I spoke with my Spiritual Father and he and I have spoken a great deal. From those discussion the Parish Priest has indicated that he would receive me into the Church by Chrismation. I was led to believe by his words that he had determined that Baptism would not be necessary due to his assessment of my maturity in the Faith.  Embarrassed

I was a bit ashamed and/or flattered but I questioned if this was the responsibility of the Parish Priest. I simply don't know.  Huh

Does this sound normal?
*
If you feel strongly that you wish to be baptized but your priest has said No!  then you have options. 

1) Be obedient to him and do what he says,
2) ask him if he has no choice in the matter and is simply following his bishop's instructions,
3) ask him if you can apply to the bishop to be received by baptism,
4) seek out another parish and priest who will baptize you.

It's an unfortunate fact of life that this "shopping around" is possible in the American situation where there are numerous overlapping jurisdictions.   

I have found from hands on exerience that denying baptism to converts who genuinely desire it is counterproductive - it can cause them doubts ansd conflicts for quite a few years to come.

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« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2007, 01:05:58 AM »

I have found from hands on exerience that denying baptism to converts who genuinely desire it is counterproductive - it can cause them doubts ansd conflicts for quite a few years to come. 

Then again, some would argue (with merit, I believe) that if a patient who has a blocked artery wishes to be treated through a heart transplant, that the doctor is well within his rights to deny the request as being over what is necessary; just as in this case, if a bishop determines that chrismation is what is indeed needed to complete the person's journey to Orthodoxy, why seek a new physician?

Personally, I don't think getting a "second opinion" is harmful, but one must be careful, lest our zeal cause us to disrespect those who wish only to act in our best interests, on behalf of Christ no less.
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« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2007, 01:25:06 AM »

*
If you feel strongly that you wish to be baptized but your priest has said No!  then you have options. 

1) Be obedient to him and do what he says,
2) ask him if he has no choice in the matter and is simply following his bishop's instructions,
3) ask him if you can apply to the bishop to be received by baptism,
4) seek out another parish and priest who will baptize you.

It's an unfortunate fact of life that this "shopping around" is possible in the American situation where there are numerous overlapping jurisdictions.   

I have found from hands on exerience that denying baptism to converts who genuinely desire it is counterproductive - it can cause them doubts ansd conflicts for quite a few years to come.

Father Bless,

Out of respect for my Spiritual Father I would never seek a 'second opinion' in order to actually be 're-baptized' if it is deemed unnecessary by him. We've talked 'a lot' and he knows me. I trust him. I'm just asking if this is kinda 'standard practice' in Orthodoxy outside of the OCA?

I'm not trying to be devision or over-zealous. I'm just asking.

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« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2007, 02:21:28 AM »

Out of respect for my Spiritual Father I would never seek a 'second opinion' in order to actually be 're-baptized' if it is deemed unnecessary by him. We've talked 'a lot' and he knows me. I trust him. I'm just asking if this is kinda 'standard practice' in Orthodoxy outside of the OCA?

I'm not trying to be devision or over-zealous. I'm just asking.
*
Dear Ignatius,

Yes, I did not think you were being divisive but I thought you had serious qualms about not being received by baptism.  So I was being rather pragmatic in pointing out that the situation in America with mutiple "jurisdictions" allows you some legitimate options.

I have no problems myself receiving people either by baptism or by chrismation - I am happy to adhere to the decisions of my ruling bishop.   There is one fly in the ointment that I feel obliged to speak of to any males who may possibily visit Mt Athos and some of the monasteries in Russia - the monks will not allow them confession or communion until they have been baptized.  I personally strongly disagree with this practice but the monks will happily take a convert of many years and insist on baptizing him before they allow him to come to the Chalice.
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« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2007, 02:48:04 AM »

There is one fly in the ointment that I feel obliged to speak of to any males who may possibily visit Mt Athos and some of the monasteries in Russia - the monks will not allow them confession or communion until they have been baptized.  I personally strongly disagree with this practice but the monks will happily take a convert of many years and insist on baptizing him before they allow him to come to the Chalice.


This is quite disturbing and upsetting. So essentially, converts received into the Church by Chrismation (such as myself) are fully Orthodox except in some monasteries on Mount Athos?  Embarrassed
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« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2007, 04:07:08 AM »

This is quite disturbing and upsetting. So essentially, converts received into the Church by Chrismation (such as myself) are fully Orthodox except in some monasteries on Mount Athos?  Embarrassed
*
Does anyone know if this Athonite policy is followed by the monasteries of Fr Ephraim in the States?
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« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2007, 04:12:38 AM »

*
Does anyone know if this Athonite policy is followed by the monasteries of Fr Ephraim in the States?
Father bless.

I was once given Communion at St. John the Forerunner Monastery in Goldendale, WA, even though I never received an Orthodox baptism.  Knowing that this monastery is one of Elder Ephraim's, I would have to answer that at least this one does not follow the Athonite policy.
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« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2007, 12:20:07 PM »

I would comment about the Athonite "policy" but I'm afraid I would run afoul of the forum rules! Simply unspeakable. Lips Sealed
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« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2007, 12:34:29 PM »

I personally strongly disagree with this practice

I would comment about the Athonite "policy" but I'm afraid I would run afoul of the forum rules! Simply unspeakable. Lips Sealed
Do you think there would be one rule for Irish Hermit and a different one for you?
If you disagree with the practice (if indeed it takes place), feel free to say so.
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« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2007, 12:44:41 PM »

Do you think there would be one rule for Irish Hermit and a different one for you?
If you disagree with the practice (if indeed it takes place), feel free to say so.


Well, if it is true, it is abominable. 

I hope it isn't.
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« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2007, 12:45:27 PM »

Do you think there would be one rule for Irish Hermit and a different one for you?

Or perhaps merely trying to insinuate that there is.
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« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2007, 05:12:24 PM »

Hello,

In defense of the Monks on Mount Athos - if their view on Baptism outside of Orthodoxy is correct, then they are conducting themselves appropriately. Of course, I don't think that their view is right.
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« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2007, 06:52:44 PM »

With regard to the reception of Roman Catholic converts, the Orthodox teaching has been summed up in the Patriarchal and Synodical letter of 1875, stating:

“Having considered in synod the matter under discussion, namely, the baptism of
the Latins, that is, whether it can be regarded as valid or not, we saw clearly in
the historical facts and the ecclesiastical enactments of various times, that this
matter bears many pros and cons and has had many advocates and opponents,
which certainly has not escaped Your Excellency. For even before the Schism,
Patriarch Kerularios used to baptize the Latins who converted to Orthodoxy, as it
is stated in the Pittakion which Humbert, the Exarch of Leo IX left on the Table of
St. Sophia against Patriarch Michael, and from an epistle of this Patriarch to Patriarch
Peter of Alexandria and from the fact that this act of Kerularios appears
to have found many imitators as time went on. Indeed the Lateran Synod of 1215
criticized the Orthodox for re-baptizing the Latins, i.e. the converts from the Latin
Church. After the Schism, however, we have, among the many others, Mark
Eugenikos, who pronounces that we should only anoint the Latins with Myrhon,
and besides, there are synodical decisions, such as that summoned in 1207, and
that summoned in 1484 under Patriarch Symeon in which the other three
Patriarchs were present, on which occasion the well known Acolouthy was
composed, and also another one in 1600 summoned in the Royal city and
another one summoned in Moscow by Patriarch Ioasaph of Moscow in 1667 on
which occasion two other Patriarchs from the East were present, Paisios of
Alexandria and Makarios of Antioch. All these declared that only with Myrhon
(Chrism) should we perfect the converts from the Western Church. On the other
hand we have the Decision taken in Moscow in 1622 by Philaret Patriarch of
Russia and the Horos which was issued under Cyril V, Patriarch of
Constantinople in 1755 and which became accepted by all the then Patriarchs,
which indicates that they [the Latin converts] should be baptized. Thus, the
baptisin of the Westerners, was sometimes regarded as valid, because it was
done in the name of the Holy Trinity and was referred to the proper baptism, and
sometimes as invalid, because of the many irregularities of form with which it was
clothed with the passage of time by the constantly increasing vain study of the
Western Church. Hence, the Most Holy Russian Church, taking its lead from
obvious reasons makes use of the Decisions of the newer Synod of Moscow
under Patriarch Ioasaph of Moscow, discerning that they are contributive to the
benefit of the Church in that place, whereas the Churches in the East consider it
necessary for the benefit of Orthodoxy to follow the Horos which had been issued
under Cyril V. Since these things happen to be such, it is left to the spiritual
discernment of Your Excellency and of the rest of the Synodical members to
accept or reject the use of economy which another Church has upheld for more
than two centuries without wanering, if, as she writes, this economy implies many
benefits to the Church there and secures her from encroaching dangers.
Whenever, then, the local orthodox Churches might be able to gather together,
then, with God’s help, the desired agreement on this subject will take place, as
with others as well."
(Dragas, G, The manner of reception of Roman Catholic converts into the Orthodox Church, Myriobiblos Library, 1998, http://www.myriobiblos.gr/texts/english/Dragas_RomanCatholic.html).

These monks, in my opinion, would be circumventing the rightful authority of the local bishops and disobediently placing themselves above the bishops. 
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« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2007, 08:13:19 PM »

Hello,

For even before the Schism, Patriarch Kerularios used to baptize the Latins who converted to Orthodoxy
If we were then one Church, how could their be converts?


These monks, in my opinion, would be circumventing the rightful authority of the local bishops and disobediently placing themselves above the bishops.
Who are their local bishops? What synod are they in?
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« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2007, 10:00:06 PM »

These monks, in my opinion, would be circumventing the rightful authority of the local bishops and disobediently placing themselves above the bishops. 
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It does seem that way.... these monks are under the Ecumenical Patriarch... but, the Patriarch allows it and has even expressly authorised it on one occasion that we know.

In the 1970s when the French Catholic patristic scholar and Trappist monk Fr Placide Deseille and 6 or 7 of his brother monks converted to Orthodoxy, they went to Athos to be received.  The Ecumenical Patriarch deputised a bishop to first of all baptize these Catholic monks and then to ordain those who had been in Catholic Orders into Orthodox Orders.

So we have a clear example of the Ecumenical Patriarch approving of the Athonite custom.

The whole event caused quite a stir in French Catholicism and the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris forbade any Catholics to visit the monasteries of these monks.  When they retuned to France they split into three small groups and founded several monasteries.

I have chosen this example, from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, because Constantinople is considered the most ecumenical of all the Orthodox Churches yet they will re-baptize and re-ordain Roman Catholics.

Here is one of the French monasteries built, in this case, by Fr Placide in the Rhone valley and dedicated to Saint Anthony the Great.

Monastery of Saint Anthony the Great
France, Ecumenical Patriarchate

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lubeltri
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« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2007, 10:08:20 PM »

These monks, in my opinion, would be circumventing the rightful authority of the local bishops and disobediently placing themselves above the bishops. 

Considering their recent history, this shouldn't be a surprise for anyone.
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« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2007, 10:09:34 PM »

Hello,
If we were then one Church, how could their be converts?

There were multiple schisms between Rome and the Eastern Patriarchs over the centuries that had been healed.  What made 1054 permanent were the accompanying political circumstances and the tension that had been building for a few centuries.
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"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
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Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
Tags: holy orders Catholic orders Valid Sacraments Catholic sacraments 
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