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Author Topic: Catholic theologian turns Russian Orthodox  (Read 12153 times) Average Rating: 0
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deusveritasest
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« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2011, 08:28:18 PM »

He was received by vesting, as it seems.

I.e. he was not administered any of the following three Sacraments: Baptism, Chrismation, or Holy Orders?
No. By vesting and confession of faith, within his rank, of course. It was probably an pre-agreed arrangement.

*facepalm*
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« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2011, 11:32:25 PM »

However if you had an RC priest who had either limited or no contacts with Orthodoxy and Eastern spirituality choosing to convert to the OC out of study or reflection, then that would be more newsworthy.

I think this is rather weird scenario. Why would an RC priest convert to Orthodoxy without being first involved in Catholic Byzantine churches? I mean, if a Catholic is interested in Eastern theology and spirituality a natural step would be trying to contact Byzantine Catholic parishes etc. and not the Orthodox ones.

Apparently he can jump more than 1 step at a time... Wink  Grin
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« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2011, 04:54:08 AM »

AFAIR he used to be an Eastern Catholic.
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« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2011, 05:22:09 AM »

He was received by vesting, as it seems.

I.e. he was not administered any of the following three Sacraments: Baptism, Chrismation, or Holy Orders?
No. By vesting and confession of faith, within his rank, of course. It was probably an pre-agreed arrangement.

*facepalm*

Why would that matter to you? In your eyes the EO are just as unbaptized as the RC are. So, to you, there is no difference.
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« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2011, 08:02:01 AM »

However if you had an RC priest who had either limited or no contacts with Orthodoxy and Eastern spirituality choosing to convert to the OC out of study or reflection, then that would be more newsworthy.

I think this is rather weird scenario. Why would an RC priest convert to Orthodoxy without being first involved in Catholic Byzantine churches? I mean, if a Catholic is interested in Eastern theology and spirituality a natural step would be trying to contact Byzantine Catholic parishes etc. and not the Orthodox ones.

Apparently he can jump more than 1 step at a time... Wink  Grin
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« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2011, 03:16:49 PM »

He was received by vesting, as it seems.

I.e. he was not administered any of the following three Sacraments: Baptism, Chrismation, or Holy Orders?
No. By vesting and confession of faith, within his rank, of course. It was probably an pre-agreed arrangement.

*facepalm*

Why would that matter to you? In your eyes the EO are just as unbaptized as the RC are. So, to you, there is no difference.

You are correct that I think it has no real bearing on the Sacraments. However, I would like everyone, and the Byzantines in particular, to remain as closely resembling Orthodoxy as possible so that reunion will be easier. When the issues surrounding Chalcedon are our only dividing point, we seem very close and almost able to reunite. However, when we bring in a very slack approach to these ordinances, the reunion seems further off.
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« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2011, 06:30:30 AM »

He was received by vesting, as it seems.

I.e. he was not administered any of the following three Sacraments: Baptism, Chrismation, or Holy Orders?

Orthodox priests were explicitly **forbidden** to "re-baptize" Roman
Catholics.



May I post something very relevant from Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff....

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/133733

In reality, the Russian Orthodox Church fully recognized the validity of
apostolic succession in both the Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox
Churches (Copts, Armenians, Assyrians, etc.).

I can find, rather easily, at least fifty pre-revolutionary official sources
of the Russian Orthodox Church that state, unequivocally, that the Roman
Catholics have apostolic succession--these are textbooks of
Canon Law, Manuals and Handbooks for Clergy, and other sources that
reference official Decrees of the Holy Synod.

The Baptism of Roman Catholics and Monophysites was recognized as completely
valid and salvific, as were the Mysteries of Confirmation, Marriage and
Ordination.

Remember, the official position of the Russian Orthodox Church was that none
of these Mysteries should be repeated if a Roman Catholic were to wish to
become Orthodox.

Orthodox priests were explicitly **forbidden** to "re-baptize" Roman
Catholics. And Roman Catholic priests who became Orthodox were accepted
simply by Confession of Faith and then vesting--they were not baptized,
chrismated or reordained.


And-- the Russian Orthodox Church issued an official decree allowing Roman
Catholic Uniates to be given Holy Communion by Orthodox priests in those
areas where they could not be ministered to by a Uniate priest.

In the "Handbook for Priests" by Bulgakov, a discussion is found regarding
whether Episcopalian (Anglican) priests could also be received in full
ecclesiastical rank when becoming Orthodox, as were Roman
Catholics. The question revolved as to whether the Anglicans had preserved
valid apostolic succession **AS HAD THE CATHOLICS**.

So-- there is no question that the Church of Russia considered the Roman
Catholics to have valid apostolic succession.


With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff

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« Reply #52 on: January 31, 2011, 02:02:44 PM »

He was received by vesting, as it seems.

I.e. he was not administered any of the following three Sacraments: Baptism, Chrismation, or Holy Orders?

Orthodox priests were explicitly **forbidden** to "re-baptize" Roman
Catholics.



May I post something very relevant from Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff....

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/133733

In reality, the Russian Orthodox Church fully recognized the validity of
apostolic succession in both the Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox
Churches (Copts, Armenians, Assyrians, etc.).

I can find, rather easily, at least fifty pre-revolutionary official sources
of the Russian Orthodox Church that state, unequivocally, that the Roman
Catholics have apostolic succession--these are textbooks of
Canon Law, Manuals and Handbooks for Clergy, and other sources that
reference official Decrees of the Holy Synod.

The Baptism of Roman Catholics and Monophysites was recognized as completely
valid and salvific, as were the Mysteries of Confirmation, Marriage and
Ordination.

Remember, the official position of the Russian Orthodox Church was that none
of these Mysteries should be repeated if a Roman Catholic were to wish to
become Orthodox.

Orthodox priests were explicitly **forbidden** to "re-baptize" Roman
Catholics. And Roman Catholic priests who became Orthodox were accepted
simply by Confession of Faith and then vesting--they were not baptized,
chrismated or reordained.


And-- the Russian Orthodox Church issued an official decree allowing Roman
Catholic Uniates to be given Holy Communion by Orthodox priests in those
areas where they could not be ministered to by a Uniate priest.

In the "Handbook for Priests" by Bulgakov, a discussion is found regarding
whether Episcopalian (Anglican) priests could also be received in full
ecclesiastical rank when becoming Orthodox, as were Roman
Catholics. The question revolved as to whether the Anglicans had preserved
valid apostolic succession **AS HAD THE CATHOLICS**.

So-- there is no question that the Church of Russia considered the Roman
Catholics to have valid apostolic succession.


With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff


Is this the current position of the Russian Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #53 on: January 31, 2011, 02:21:57 PM »

He was received by vesting, as it seems.

I.e. he was not administered any of the following three Sacraments: Baptism, Chrismation, or Holy Orders?

Orthodox priests were explicitly **forbidden** to "re-baptize" Roman
Catholics.



May I post something very relevant from Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff....

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/133733

In reality, the Russian Orthodox Church fully recognized the validity of
apostolic succession in both the Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox
Churches (Copts, Armenians, Assyrians, etc.).

I can find, rather easily, at least fifty pre-revolutionary official sources
of the Russian Orthodox Church that state, unequivocally, that the Roman
Catholics have apostolic succession--these are textbooks of
Canon Law, Manuals and Handbooks for Clergy, and other sources that
reference official Decrees of the Holy Synod.

The Baptism of Roman Catholics and Monophysites was recognized as completely
valid and salvific, as were the Mysteries of Confirmation, Marriage and
Ordination.

Remember, the official position of the Russian Orthodox Church was that none
of these Mysteries should be repeated if a Roman Catholic were to wish to
become Orthodox.

Orthodox priests were explicitly **forbidden** to "re-baptize" Roman
Catholics. And Roman Catholic priests who became Orthodox were accepted
simply by Confession of Faith and then vesting--they were not baptized,
chrismated or reordained.


And-- the Russian Orthodox Church issued an official decree allowing Roman
Catholic Uniates to be given Holy Communion by Orthodox priests in those
areas where they could not be ministered to by a Uniate priest.

In the "Handbook for Priests" by Bulgakov, a discussion is found regarding
whether Episcopalian (Anglican) priests could also be received in full
ecclesiastical rank when becoming Orthodox, as were Roman
Catholics. The question revolved as to whether the Anglicans had preserved
valid apostolic succession **AS HAD THE CATHOLICS**.

So-- there is no question that the Church of Russia considered the Roman
Catholics to have valid apostolic succession.


With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff


Is this the current position of the Russian Orthodox Church?


AFAIK. To many of us the concept of rebaptizing Roman Catholics is foreign.
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« Reply #54 on: March 02, 2011, 02:41:36 PM »


Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ! Fr. Gabriel's writings have been so helpful in my own spritual practice, I am so glad we can now communicate!

Many, many years!
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« Reply #55 on: March 02, 2011, 05:06:43 PM »

He was received by vesting, as it seems.

I.e. he was not administered any of the following three Sacraments: Baptism, Chrismation, or Holy Orders?

Orthodox priests were explicitly **forbidden** to "re-baptize" Roman
Catholics.



May I post something very relevant from Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff....

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/133733


With all due respect to Fr. Alexander Lebedeff and “Irish Hermit”, I have read and saved numerous postings from Fr. Alexander on the subject of the pre-Revolutionary Russian Orthodox Church’s attitude towards Roman Catholic sacraments and I do not believe Fr. Alexander is deriving the correct conclusion from the various pre-Revolutionary writings, clergy handbooks, etc. that he uses to support the erroneous opinion that in the pre-Revolutionary Russian Church the “Baptism of Roman Catholics and Monophysites was recognized as completely valid and salvific, as were the Mysteries of Confirmation, Marriage and Ordination.”  All that Fr. Alexander has repeatedly demonstrated is that the Russian Orthodox Church for centuries has acknowledged that Roman Catholics have Apostolic Succession, and the normative way in which Roman Catholics have been received into the Russian Orthodox Church for centuries has been through Chrismation rather than baptism.  When the various texts state that the Russian Orthodox Church “accepts” the baptism of Roman Catholics who are received into the Orthodox Church, this only implies that the *form* of baptism previously received is accepted as sufficient and in no need of repetition, for by receiving a Roman Catholic into the Orthodox Church by Chrismation, the grace present in this Mystery of the Church completes what was lacking in the previously administered Roman Catholic *form* of baptism.  This is an entirely different matter altogether than to suggest that Roman Catholic sacraments are *salvific* or *valid* in their own right. 

One article Fr. Alexander has referred to in the past within this context is “The Basis on Which Economy May Be Used in the Reception of Converts” by ROCOR’s first First Hierarch Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky).  This article can be found at http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/khrap_econ.aspx.  What Fr. Alexander states in one posting (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/133853) is that the original title of this article was “Why Anglican Clergy Could be Received in their Orders”, and Fr. Alexander claims that in many versions of this article that are presented on the Internet, Met Anthony’s conclusions were omitted, which stated the following:

Quote
Therefore, in our opinion, Anglicans may be admitted by the third rite, especially in view of the sincere and humble aspiration of many of them to be united to our holy Church.


That is, Met Anthony made the case that Anglicans could be received into the Orthodox Church simply by penance, without baptism or chrismation, based on the following:


Quote
Contemporary practice in the matter of reception is defined along the following lines:--

There must be (i) Apostolic succession in the community to which the person to be received has belonged; (2) Baptism by the regular rite (that is by threefold immersion in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost).

However, if one reads Met Anthony’s entire article, he precisely describes what the action of receiving non-Orthodox without baptism implies about their non-Orthodox baptism:

Quote
Every mystery has two sides—the visible and the invisible. The second is administered only within the true Church by faith and sincere prayer, according to the words of the Apostle Peter... Heretics and schismatics, having the visible side of baptism, chrismation and holy orders, are entirely devoid of those gifts of grace which are bound up with these mysteries for believers within the true Church. Therefore, certain of them, for the alleviation of the rupture in their spiritual life and for "the edification of many," are permitted to enter the Church without the visible side of the mysteries of baptism or holy orders (that is, by the second or third rite), but through the operation of another sacramental act in which they receive the grace of baptism, chrismation and holy orders. (For example, for Roman Catholics, Nestorians and Donatists.)

Many are troubled by this question: Is it then possible to replace one mystery with another? But we, that is, not we, but the canons quoted above, are evidently founded on the words of the Gospel: "God giveth not the Spirit by measure" (Jn. 3:34). Or, in other words, those among heretics, whether clerical or lay, baptized and anointed (with chrism) by heretics, had only the empty sign (or outward form) of the mystery, and it receives the complement of grace only through that mystery which unites them with the holy Church (chrismation or penance). Moreover, in confirmation of this principle, should be added the custom, established in the Church, that the reception of heretics and schismatics, "in their existing orders," may be performed only by a bishop; if a priest receive them, then they enter the Church as simple laymen. This means that a schismatic priest united to the Church receives true priesthood only through episcopal reception; but a priest cannot bestow this grace on the one received. It is only on such a conception of the mysteries of the Church that her regulations as to the applicability to heretics and schismatics of one or the other rite of reception can be accepted; only on such a conception can the decisions of the holy apostles about the baptism of heretics and schismatics be reconciled with the further canons of the Councils about not baptizing them, and about their reception by the second, or even by the third rite. And therefore it is futile for Roman Catholic theologians to blame the Orthodox for such diversity in practice.

Furthermore, Metropolitan Anthony states:

Quote
From this canon it is seen that heretics and schismatics have no grace whatever; it does not exist outside the one Church of Christ. And if in the same canon, immediately before the words quoted, it is said that those heretics, on anathematizing their former errors, "are received into the Church by the laying on of hands," then it is clear that they obtain freedom from the ancestral sin, that is, from the taint of sin, precisely through this laying on of hands. That is to say, in this second mystery, the first is given to them also, namely, the grace of baptism.

All of the references to “valid sacraments” among the non-Orthodox are to be understood in this light, and not in the erroneous notion that sacramental grace exists outside of the Orthodox Church.  I honestly do not understand why Fr. Alexander persists in his erroneous conclusions on this point, and I am at even more of a loss why “Irish Hermit” continues to falsely represent the position of the pre-Revolutionary Russian Church on this and other lists solely on the conclusions drawn by Fr. Alexander, and without reference to the actual quotes used by Fr. Alexander to support his erroneous conclusion.  The fact that such reputable and intelligent clergy such as Fr. Alexander and “Irish Hermit” can be so easily confused regarding the meaning of the term “validity” only underscores why converts should be received by baptism so as to more clearly indicate what the Church believes about its mysteries versus the “sacraments” administered outside of the Orthodox Church.  This confusion is exactly why ROCOR made the 1971 decision to receive all converts by baptism, and I do hope that the Synod remains steadfast in this decision.


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« Reply #56 on: March 03, 2011, 04:03:55 AM »


With all due respect to Fr. Alexander Lebedeff and “Irish Hermit”, I have read and saved numerous postings from Fr. Alexander on the subject of the pre-Revolutionary Russian Orthodox Church’s attitude towards Roman Catholic sacraments and I do not believe Fr. Alexander is deriving the correct conclusion from the various pre-Revolutionary writings, clergy handbooks, etc. that he uses to support the erroneous opinion that in the pre-Revolutionary Russian Church the “Baptism of Roman Catholics and Monophysites was recognized as completely valid and salvific, as were the Mysteries of Confirmation, Marriage and Ordination.” 


The teaching of the Russian Church is that the Sacraments/Mysteries of the Roman Catholics (and Monophysites) are authentic and salvific in that it is the true Body and Blood of the Saviour which a Roman Catholic priest gives to his people. 

I realise that in recent decades there has been an enormous emphasis on "economia" compassionately exercised at the point of reception of a convert into Orthodoxy but that is something quite different.

I reiterate, as always, that this Russian position is not what I was taught in the Serbian Church.

Maybe all this will be addressed at the forthcoming Council.
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« Reply #57 on: March 03, 2011, 04:30:22 AM »

This confusion is exactly why ROCOR made the 1971 decision to receive all converts by baptism, and I do hope that the Synod remains steadfast in this decision.


Dear Jah,

The Russian Church Abroad NEVER made the decision to receive all converts by Baptism.  This is part of some "urban" mythology.

The bishops were unable to agree on the method of receiving converts and some of them specifically declared that they could not in conscience obey any innovative regulations but would continue to observe the traditions from pre-Revolutionary Russia.  The Bishop of Canada was especially adamant about this.

So what the Synod produced was a recommendation to baptize all converts but left the decision to the local ruling bishop.

In our diocese of Australia and New Zealand the recommendation was not implemented and this diocese has continued to receive converts in accordance with the traditions of Russia (they will be found in the Service Book of Hapgood blessed by Patriarch Saint Tikhon.)   Some priests do baptize Roman Catholics but they are the minority.   When I was a Serbian priest I myself baptized ALL converts but when I moved into the Russian Church Abroad in 1996 I was very specifically *forbidden* to baptize all converts and I was instructed to follow the methods of reception given in Hapgood as being the authentic tradition of the Russian Church.
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« Reply #58 on: March 03, 2011, 04:37:19 AM »

The decision of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad of 15/28 September:

"..... the Sobor of Bishops acknowledges the need to introduce a stricter practice, i.e., to baptize all heretics who come to the Church, and only because of special necessity and with permission of the bishop it is allowed, under the application of economy or pastoral condescension, to use a different method with respect to certain persons, i.e., the reception of Roman Catholics, and Protestants who perform baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity, by means of repudiation of heresy and Chrismation."

("Church Life," July-December 1971, pp. 52-54).
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« Reply #59 on: March 03, 2011, 06:14:46 AM »

Something from Bushop Jerome of the Russian Church Abroad on the 1971 Synod and the resolution on Baptism:

Jan 5, 2008

As I've written many times, I was at that 1971 Sobor in Montreal, as Archbishop Nikon's secretary.

As Vl. Nikon told me on the day the above resolution was passed, it was written by Fr. George Grabbe, at the behest of HTM of course, and although Metropolitan Philaret was not much interested in the matter, he routinely supported Fr. George's "suggestions".

Most of the other bishops at that time felt that Fr. George would have his way no matter what, so they were silent.

But not all.

Archbishop Afanassy, then of South America, rejected the demand to "baptize all converts", and said that in his diocese at least, the traditional rules for reception of converts would remain in force.

Then the text was changed, so that instead of requiring all converts to be baptized, the matter was left up to the local bishop.


Source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/113542


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« Reply #60 on: March 03, 2011, 09:09:43 AM »

The teaching of the Russian Church is that the Sacraments/Mysteries of the Roman Catholics (and Monophysites) are authentic and salvific in that it is the true Body and Blood of the Saviour which a Roman Catholic priest gives to his people. 

As stated above, I have seen nothing from the pre-Revolutionary Russian Orthodox Church, nor the contemporary Moscow Patriarchate, which would convince me of this claim.  Please provide me with proof that this is so, and please make sure that whatever quotes you provide specifically refer to non-Orthodox sacraments as salvific in their own right, as opposed to being merely accepted as valid forms which are not to be repeated at the time of reception into the Church.

You have placed the emphasis of your response so far on ROCOR's 1971 decision, yet this is not the focus of my message but rather the claim regarding the Russian Orthodox Church's teaching on whether mysteries outside the Orthodox Church are true, complete, salvific, etc.  Just about a year ago I asked Met Hilarion about the reception of converts and he told me that baptism is still considered normative, though of course individual circumstances may warrant exceptions to this rule.  I believe this is the right approach regardless of the politics surrounding the 1971 decision or how that decision has been interpreted or misinterpreted. 

Again, please respond with quotes and references which prove that :
The teaching of the Russian Church is that the Sacraments/Mysteries of the Roman Catholics (and Monophysites) are authentic and salvific in that it is the true Body and Blood of the Saviour which a Roman Catholic priest gives to his people. 
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« Reply #61 on: March 03, 2011, 10:16:58 AM »

I would like to enter two public messages from Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff so that we have them in the archives of the Forum, concerning Roman Catholic Sacraments.


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/133733

In reality, the Russian Orthodox Church fully recognized the validity of
apostolic succession in both the Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox
Churches (Copts, Armenians, Assyrians, etc.).

I can find, rather easily, at least fifty pre-revolutionary official sources
of the Russian Orthodox Church that state, unequivocally, that the Roman
Catholics have apostolic succession--these are textbooks of
Canon Law, Manuals and Handbooks for Clergy, and other sources that
reference official Decrees of the Holy Synod.

The Baptism of Roman Catholics and Monophysites was recognized as completely
valid and salvific, as were the Mysteries of Confirmation, Marriage and
Ordination.


Remember, the official position of the Russian Orthodox Church was that none
of these Mysteries should be repeated if a roman Catholic were to wish to
become Orthodox.

Orthodox priests were explicitly **forbidden** to "re-baptize" Roman
Catholics. And Roman Catholic priests who became Orthodox were accepted
simply by Confession of Faith and then vesting--they were not baptized,
chrismated or reordained.

And-- the Russian Orthodox Church issued an official decree allowing Roman
Catholic Uniates to be given Holy Communion by Orthodox priests in those
areas where they could not be ministered to by a Uniate priest.

[The point here is that there would have been no sense in communing Catholics
with the Orthodox Mysteries if it were not believed by the Patriarch and Russian
Synod of Bishops that Catholics had been accustomed to communing of
authentic Mysteries within their own Church. ]

In the "Handbook for Priests" by Bulgakov, a discussion is found regarding
whether Episcopalian (Anglican) priests could also be received in full
ecclesiastical rank when becoming Orthodox, as were Roman
Catholics. The question revolved as to whether the Anglicans had preserved
valid apostolic succession **AS HAD THE CATHOLICS**.

So-- there is no question that the Church of Russia considered the Roman
Catholics to have valid apostolic succession.


With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff

-oOo-

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« Reply #62 on: March 03, 2011, 10:18:50 AM »

And the second message fromm Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/135810


Actually, not just the position of the Russian Orthodox Church during the
past 400 years, but the position of the whole Church up until Patriarch
Cyril and the Tomos of 1755.

I would suggest careful reading of the following.

The best Greek theologian and scholar to write on this issue, Fr. George
Metallinos, in his book "I confess One Baptism" (available on-line) writes:

"According to the prevailing view, after the schism the Orthodox Church
recognized ''the validity of the Latin sacraments,''[228] and indeed that of
baptism.  Upon their conversion, the Church applied Canon VII of the Second
Ecumenical Council or XCV of Penthekte to them, or occasionally received
them by a mere recantation of their foreign doctrines.[229]  Even after the
Crusades and the Council of
Ferrara/Florence (1438-1439), when the relations between Orthodox and Latins
became strained, and the stance of the Orthodox East in dealing with the
Latins became more austere, [230] the East considered the application of
Canon VII of the Second Ecumenical Council to be an adequate measure of
defense, that is she received them by chrismation and a written statement.
This action was officially ratified by the Local Council of Constantinople
in 1484, with the participation, moreover, of all the Patriarchs of the
East.

This Council also wrote an appropriate service.[231]  Thus, according to I.
Karmiris (and also according to the arguments of the Latinizers and
pro-westerners during the Turkish rule), the cases of ''rebaptism'' were
exceptions, owing ''to individual initiative,'' and ''not to an
authoritative decision of the Church.''[232]

"This custom, however, was overturned in 1755 under Cyril V, Patriarch of
Constantinople, by the imposing of the (re)baptism of Latins and all Western
converts in general,[233] again through the application of Canon VII of the
Second Ecumenical Council and the other relevant Canons of the Church. This
action, to this day the last ''official'' decision of the Orthodox
Church,[234] was opposed by those who disagreed. It was considered to have
subverted the decision of the Council of 1484. because of its circumstantial
character,[235] not having gained universal acceptance and application, it
was often not adhered to. In addition, the practice of the Russian Church
from 1667 differed from that of the other Orthodox Patriarchates, and indeed
that of Constantinople.[236] This, then, is what is commonly accepted to
this day concerning the issue in question."

http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/baptisma1/B6.htm


Here we see that the prevailing view was that the Orthodox Church, since
1054, "accepted the validity of the Latin sacraments" and that even after
the Council of Florence, when relations between the East
and the West had totally deteriorated, the Council of Constantinople of
1484, at which all four Eastern Patriarchs participated, decreed that Latins
should be accepted by Chrismation and a written statement,
and, more importantly, this Council created a special service for the
Reception of Converts according to the mandated form (Chrismation after
giving a statement renouncing false teachings and professing the
Orthodox faith).

Fr. Metallinos underscores that the Oros of 1755 under Cyril V
**overturned** this previously established custom.

It is critical to note that the Russian Church **NEVER** accepted the Oros
of 1755 as being binding for it, and continues to this day to consider as
prevailing the decision of the Council of Constantinople
in 1484, which directed that Latins NOT be baptized. This was confirmed at
the Council of the Russian Church in 1667--the last time that a Council of
the Russian Church addressed this issue.

In fact, it would have been impossible for a Council of the Russian Orthodox
Church to have accepted the Oros of 1755, since there WERE NO Councils of
the Russian Church held from 1690 until 1917!!!

The Russian Church Council in 1667, at which two Patriarchs of the East
participated, had previously sent queries to ALL of the ancient Patriarchs,
asking for their opinion on this question. The unanimous
reply of all four Patriarchs confirmed the position of the 1484 Council of
Constantinople--that Latins were not to be repabtized.

Fr. George Metallinos writes: "The Council of Moscow in 1620-21 decided to
baptize Western converts.[276] However, the ''great'' Council of Moscow in
1666-67, in which the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch also
participated, approved the decision of the 1484 Council of Constantinople,
and thus rejected the (re)baptism of Western converts."

We must remember tyhat Fr. George Metallinos' work is based on the positions
of the Kollyvades Fathers, especially Neophytos and C. Oikonomos. Still, he
admits:

"Nevertheless, the Council of Constantinople in 1484 creates the greatest
difficulties for an acceptance of our theologian's position on Latin
baptism. This Council decided ''only to anoint with chrism
the Latins who come over to Orthodoxy,.after they submit a written statement
of faith.'' In other words, it ranks them in the class of the Arians and
Macedonians of the Second Ecumenical Council (Canon
VII).[262]"

In a footnore, Metallinos quotes Bishop Kallistos Ware:

"Ware writes in this connection: ''Neither of these Councils [i.e.
Constantinople, 1484, and Moscow, 1667] was exposed to foreign pressure or
acted from fear of Papist reprisals"

So it is totally incorrect to attribute the position of the Russian Church
regarding accepting as valid the baptism of the Latins to Peter the Great or
to Western influence.

Actually, regarding Peter I, Metallinos quotes from a reply in 1718 of
Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremias III to Czar Peter the Great, in which the
Patriarch directs the Czar to receive Latins ''by mere
chrismation,''

Metallinos is forced to admit that even the theologian he uses as the basis
for his thesis, C. Oikonomos, wrote the following:

"''I honor and respect the Russian Church as the undefiled bride of Christ
and inseparable from her Bridegroom, and in addition as my own benefactress,
by which the Lord has done and shall do many great and marvelous things, as
she unerringly and verily follows the rule of piety. Hence, I do not doubt
that it was in a spirit of discernment that she chose the older rule, in
accordance with which she accepts
the baptism of the other Churches [sic], merely chrismating those who join
when they renounce their patrimonial beliefs with a written statement and
confess those of the Orthodox faith.''[317]"

Here we have the clear statement of Metallinos chief theologian that the
Church of Russia chooses to follow what he calls "the **older rule**, in
accordance with which she accepts the baptism of other
Churches."

Now, please tell me how is the position stated by Archbishop Hilarion of
Volokolamsk any different from the position of the Russian Church has held
since 1667, which is based on the decision of the Council of the Four
Patriarchs of 1484?

With love in Christ,

Prot. Alexander Lebedeff

-oOo-
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« Reply #63 on: March 03, 2011, 11:06:37 AM »

I would like to enter two public messages from Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff so that we have them in the archives of the Forum, concerning Roman Catholic Sacraments.

Very well, I am quite familiar with these posts of Fr. Alexander and have read them many times.  I continue to assert that he draws an incorrect conclusion from the documentation he provides by claiming that the historic position of the Russian Orthodox Church is that Roman Catholics have salvific mysteries, when his documentation only demonstrates that the Russian Orthodox Church has received Roman Catholics without requiring the repetition of certain forms such as baptism.  I have yet to be shown anything that would contradict the explanation of Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) that sacramental grace does not exist outside of the Orthodox Church but if a non-Orthodox Christian already has a valid form of baptism, chrismarion, and even ordination; such forms do not require repetition since the empty forms become grace-filled upon reception into the true Church. 

As I asked previously, please do not provide any more quotes referring to the concept of sacramental validity in the context of receiving converts into the Orthodox Church.  If you have simply taken Fr. Alexander's word on the matter, and have not until now examined whether his documentation supports his claim, I certainly do not fault you for this as Fr. Alexander is a very intelligent and reputable priest.  However, if you cannot provide documentation demonstrating that the historic position of the Russian Orthodox Church is that Roman Catholics have salvific and sanctifying mysteries in their own right, then as a simple and foolish layman I sincerely plead with you to stop creating confusion over this matter by spreading these false claims on multiple public forums. 
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« Reply #64 on: March 03, 2011, 01:59:10 PM »

My mistake. I thought this thread was about Fr. Gabriel Bunge.
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« Reply #65 on: March 03, 2011, 07:09:32 PM »


I sincerely plead with you to stop creating confusion over this matter by spreading these false claims on multiple public forums. 

My position is that I trust Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, who is an erudite and experienced priest and one of the most senior in my Church and trusted by the Bishops.  But jah777?  I have no idea who jah777 is nor his/her theological qualifications. 

The below gives some of Fr Alexander's expertise.  He is very well versed in matters canonical.

"I am the Secretary for Inter-Orthodox Relations for the
Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia--so
I am supposed to be up-to-date on the hierarchy and ecclesiastical
structures of the various Orthodox Churches in the world.

"I am also Secretary of the ROCOR Commission on Dialogue with the OCA,
which, jointly with the counterpart OCA Commission, has been working
on reestablishing fruitful brotherly relations between our two
Churches.

"I am also a member of the Commission on Mechanisms of Church
Administration, a part of the Inter-Conciliar Task Force of the Church
of Russia, and recently prepared a paper for that Commission on the
relationship between the various types of Councils and Synods and
their relative importance according to the Statutes of both
the Orthodox Church in America and the ROCOR and their methods of
selecting First Hierarchs and Bishops.

"I also was a member of the Editorial Board of the last two Great
Councils of the Church of Russia, and worked specifically on revisions
to the Statute of the Church of Russia which were approved at the last
Sobor in February of this year.

"All this has made be become very familiar with the foundational
documents of all three Churches.

"With love in Christ,
"Prot. Alexander Lebedeff"

Source: Orthodox-Forum

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« Reply #66 on: March 03, 2011, 07:12:17 PM »

As I asked previously, please do not provide any more quotes referring to the concept of sacramental validity in the context of receiving converts into the Orthodox Church. 

That is however the focus of this thread concerning the reception of Fr Gabriel Bunge.   laugh
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« Reply #67 on: March 03, 2011, 07:30:29 PM »

...stop creating confusion over this matter by spreading these false claims on multiple public forums. 

The accusation of causing confusion and spreading false claims must be something you address with Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff since it was Fr Alexander, and not me, who wrote these messages on Orthodox-Tradition.

It may be said that it is jah777 who is the person creating confusion in discounting the knowledge of a senior priest.

But
Quote
...multiple public forums.

Your definition of 'multiple' differs from mine. Wink  I have relayed Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff's messages to TWO forums - Indiana and OC.net.

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« Reply #68 on: March 03, 2011, 10:33:15 PM »

My position is that I trust Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, who is an erudite and experienced priest and one of the most senior in my Church and trusted by the Bishops.  But jah777?  I have no idea who jah777 is nor his/her theological qualifications. 

Thank you, Irish Hermit, for confirming that you are simply trusting Fr. Alexander’s conclusions and are not basing these statements of yours on actual documentation from the pre-Revolutionary Church in Russia.  I maintain that Fr. Alexander’s conclusions are unfounded based on the documentation he has attempted to use to support his claim.  You are correct that Fr. Alexander’s credentials are impeccable and you would be correct to say that I have no such credentials.  The issue, however, is that various quotes he has provided do not at all support his claim that Russian Orthodox Church has historically believed that Roman Catholics have salvific mysteries.  Instead, the quotes he has provided are only concerned with affirming the existence of Apostolic Succession in Roman Catholicism (who has ever denied this?), or with what forms should be repeated or not repeated when one is received into the Orthodox Church from Roman Catholicism.  Again, I believe the historic position of the Russian Church is that outside of the Orthodox Church the sacraments are empty forms, but these empty forms are completed and filled with grace when one enters the Orthodox Church, regardless of the rite of reception.  This is also what was taught by the great Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky).


The accusation of causing confusion and spreading false claims must be something you address with Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff since it was Fr Alexander, and not me, who wrote these messages on Orthodox-Tradition.

It may be said that it is jah777 who is the person creating confusion in discounting the knowledge of a senior priest.

I will contact Fr. Alexander about this matter, but it is true that while Fr. Alexander has presented his position, you have continued to repeat his unfounded conclusions on this and other forums.  I do not at all discount the credentials or knowledge of Fr. Alexander in general, but I do believe he is not correct on this particular subject. 

But
Quote
...multiple public forums.

Your definition of 'multiple' differs from mine. Wink  I have relayed Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff's messages to TWO forums - Indiana and OC.net.

One definition of multiple is “having, relating to, or consisting of more than one individual, element, part, or other component.”  I believe you have repeated this conclusion of Fr. Alexander’s on Orthodox Tradition as well, which would be a third forum. 

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« Reply #69 on: March 04, 2011, 04:10:15 PM »

.....it is true that while Fr. Alexander has presented his position, you have continued to repeat his unfounded conclusions on this and other forums.

I do wish you would stop with the silly and untrue notion that I am running around the Internet with Fr Alexander Lebedeff's explication of the Russian acceptance of Roman Catholic (and Monophysite) Mysteries.

1.  He posted his two messages** on Orthodox Tradition on 22 October 2009

2.  I relayed them, 14 months later, on Indiana on 3 January 2011, in the context of a discussion where they were totally appropriate.

3.  I have now relayed them a second time on OC.net in this discussion and, again, it is a discussion where they are fully apropos.

 I see no reason to suppress what he wrote nor keep it out of people's sight?

I see that someone on Orthodox-Tradition expressed far more displeasure with Fr Alexander's writings than you have here.  A chap called Jason Bently called him all manner of nasty things  -disobedient, causing dissension, a liar, disingenuous, blasphemous, etc.  Poor Fr Alexander!  He offers an insight into Russian Church history and is then attacked by the church mice.  It is just amazing how some people allow themselves to vilify priests.   See the message at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/133741

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http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/133733
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/135810
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« Reply #70 on: March 04, 2011, 05:30:01 PM »

.....it is true that while Fr. Alexander has presented his position, you have continued to repeat his unfounded conclusions on this and other forums.

I do wish you would stop with the silly and untrue notion that I am running around the Internet with Fr Alexander Lebedeff's explication of the Russian acceptance of Roman Catholic (and Monophysite) Mysteries.

1.  He posted his two messages** on Orthodox Tradition on 22 October 2009

2.  I relayed them, 14 months later, on Indiana on 3 January 2011, in the context of a discussion where they were totally appropriate.

3.  I have now relayed them a second time on OC.net in this discussion and, again, it is a discussion where they are fully apropos.

 I see no reason to suppress what he wrote nor keep it out of people's sight?

I see that someone on Orthodox-Tradition expressed far more displeasure with Fr Alexander's writings than you have here.  A chap called Jason Bently called him all manner of nasty things  -disobedient, causing dissension, a liar, disingenuous, blasphemous, etc.  Poor Fr Alexander!  He offers an insight into Russian Church history and is then attacked by the church mice.  It is just amazing how some people allow themselves to vilify priests.   See the message at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/133741

Dear Fr. Ambrose,

In a message above you indicated that you are basing your claims regarding the position of the Russian Orthodox Church regarding Roman Catholic sacraments on the opinions expressed by Fr. Alexander Lebedeff on the subject.  When I say that you have repeatedly restated this assertion regarding Roman Catholic sacraments on this and other forums, I am not simply referring to messages directly naming Fr. Alexander or directly quoting his relevant posts; but I am referring in general to those postings of yours in which you claim that the Russian Orthodox Church believes that Roman Catholics have sanctifying, true, and complete sacraments.  I do not want to argue with you on how many times you have asserted this view on the various lists, and neither do I want to spend time tracking down every such message.  I did see two postings on the Orthodox Tradition list where you refer to Fr. Alexander’s position on the subject, but I am honestly not comfortable cross linking between forums, and I honestly do not think that is an edifying or beneficial forum to direct people to.  I have neither the time nor the interest to track down every statement of yours to this effect on this list either, but below you will find a few instances where you have made this claim that Roman Catholic sacraments are complete and salvific in their own right, and from the responses which followed it is clear that these postings have caused a lot of confusion for some.  Here are just a few quotes from this forum, aside from the present thread:

#1
 
The question of the existence of the Holy Mysteries among the Roman Catholics is, in the Russian Church, a moot point.  It appears that for the last 500 years the Russian Church has accepted all Roman Catholic Mysteries (Baptism Eucharist, Priesthood) as authentic, per se and not per economia at the point of reception into Orthodoxy.  This may not be the teaching of the Greek Church and I daresay it is not the teaching of all of the Russian Church (for example the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) but it is a teaching nonetheless.

#2
The dominant Russian teaching is NOT that Roman Catholic sacraments are valourised by economy at the point of reception into Orthodoxy.  They are valid per se.  A baptized Catholic has received baptism.   A Catholic feeds on the Body and Blood of Christ from a Catholic priest as does any Orthodox from an Orthodox priest.  A Catholic bishop enjoys the same consecration and episcopal grace as any Orthodox bishop.  The Pope of Rome is truly a bishop consecrated by the Holy Spirit.  He is not a layman in expensive drag.

#3
Please note how I commence my message below...  "The question of the existence of the Holy Mysteries among the Roman Catholics is, in the Russian Church, a moot point."   It was a moot point when I wrote that message on 1st May and it is still today, 30th May, a moot point.

Quote
The dominant Russian teaching is NOT that Roman Catholic sacraments are valourised by economy at the point of reception into Orthodoxy.  They are valid per se.  A baptized Catholic has received baptism.   A Catholic feeds on the Body and Blood of Christ from a Catholic priest as does any Orthodox from an Orthodox priest.  A Catholic bishop enjoys the same consecration and episcopal grace as any Orthodox bishop.  The Pope of Rome is truly a bishop consecrated by the Holy Spirit.  He is not a layman in expensive drag.


#4
I think it may be disingenuous to take Metropolitan Hilarion's statement to mean, we recognise the form of Catholic Baptism and Ordination and Confirmation and Penance but they are ceremonies empty of divine grace.  No Baptism has taken place, no priestly powers conferred, no Holy Spirit received, no sins forgiven.   We all know that he does not mean that.  He means just what his words say.

#5
I am not sure if you subscribe to orthodox-tradition where, for several weeks, Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff of the Russian Orthodox Church (Abroad) has been supplying documents from the past several hundred years showing that the Russian recognition of Roman Catholic sacraments is not "by form only" or "by economy" but simply outright recognition.

#6
If you jump to this thread  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27981.msg443750.html#msg443750
and read message 210, you will see that the most senior priest in the Russian Church Abroad speaks of the teaching of the Russian Church that Roman Catholics possess authentic sacraments, that their baptism is a genuine baptism, that it is the Body and Blood of Christ which their priests give to the Catholic faithful, that the Pope and all the bishops are authentic hierarchs.  This has been the teaching of the Russian Church since the important Moscow Councils in the 17th century.

I am honestly very surprised that you would direct this list to read the nasty things that another person has said to Fr. Alexander, as there is no edification at all in reading such material or in entertaining such thoughts about the clergy.  Here I have only expressed my disagreement with Fr. Alexander’s position on a single subject and asserted that he has failed to prove his assertion.  I have not attacked Fr. Alexander’s person at all, and I continue to hold him in high esteem despite my disagreement with him on this one matter.  I have written him regarding this subject and I will let you know if I hear back from him. 

Respectfully in Christ,

Jason
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« Reply #71 on: March 04, 2011, 08:18:00 PM »

.....it is true that while Fr. Alexander has presented his position, you have continued to repeat his unfounded conclusions on this and other forums.

I do wish you would stop with the silly and untrue notion that I am running around the Internet with Fr Alexander Lebedeff's explication of the Russian acceptance of Roman Catholic (and Monophysite) Mysteries.

1.  He posted his two messages** on Orthodox Tradition on 22 October 2009

2.  I relayed them, 14 months later, on Indiana on 3 January 2011, in the context of a discussion where they were totally appropriate.

3.  I have now relayed them a second time on OC.net in this discussion and, again, it is a discussion where they are fully apropos.

 I see no reason to suppress what he wrote nor keep it out of people's sight?

I see that someone on Orthodox-Tradition expressed far more displeasure with Fr Alexander's writings than you have here.  A chap called Jason Bently called him all manner of nasty things  -disobedient, causing dissension, a liar, disingenuous, blasphemous, etc.  Poor Fr Alexander!  He offers an insight into Russian Church history and is then attacked by the church mice.  It is just amazing how some people allow themselves to vilify priests.   See the message at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/133741

___________________________
**
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/133733
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/135810

Fr. Ambrose, do you agree with Fr. Alexander's position?
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« Reply #72 on: March 05, 2011, 01:41:07 AM »

Fr. Ambrose, do you agree with Fr. Alexander's position?

I have outlined my position here ~ message 43

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,33949.msg536808.html#msg536808

and here ~ messages 18 and 19

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28315.msg446330.html#msg446330

-oOo-

In the message below Fr Alexander Lebedeff raises the same questions which I have raised, as regards the Russian Church...

There is a difference in what the official position of the Russian
Orthodox Church in Pre-Revolutionary times was on the reception of
converts and what is the current practice in ROCOR.

In 1971, the ROCOR, at its Bishops' Council, passed a Resolution
mandating, as a general principle, a stricter practice than that
previously held by the Russian Church and which basically directed
that all converts, including Roman Catholics, be received by Baptism,
with exceptions to be made only with the blessing of the Ruling
Bishop.

That is the normative practice of the ROCOR today and it should be
followed unless the bishop directs someone to be received otherwise.

That is NOT, however, the normative practice of the Church of Russia,
which maintains the practice of the Pre-Revolutionary Russian Church
(for which, I believe, it should not be blamed).

One can have interesting discussions on the following questions:

1) Should the ROCOR maintain a practice which deviates from the practice
of the Church of Russia?

2) Was the 1971 decision, written by Fr. George Grabbe, made under the
influence of the Greek Old-Calendarists of the Boston Monastery, who
had significant sway over him?

3) Could the ROCOR, which considered itself in 1971 to be only a part
of the Russian Church, have the right to, on its own, overturn the
theology and practices of the Pre-Revolutionary Church of Russia, which
recognized the Mysteries and Apostolic Succession of the Roman
Catholic Church as "valid"?

With love in Christ,

Prot. Alexander Lebedeff

P.S. I was present at the 1971 Council of Bishops in Montreal, as was
Bishop Jerome of Manhattan. We can both confirm that this decision
was far from unanimous, and some of the bishops said they would not
implement it in their dioceses, but would continue the older
practice, which was actually permitted by the 1971 Resolution.

Source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/133736
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« Reply #73 on: March 09, 2011, 12:56:28 PM »

Back on track..an interesting and thoughtful interview with Hieromonk Gabriel on his conversion to Orthodoxy.
'This is a very serious interview/article that touches on a wide range of issues including monasticism and recent activities within the Roman Catholic Church. I strongly encourage reading it carefully and in its entirety.' http://ad-orientem.blogspot.com/

If you scroll down further, there is a beautiful video from the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete from Moscow. As most know, I have my problems with  forced Russification by some Russian nationalists, but my Slavic heart is always moved at the solemn beauty of their liturgical and chant traditions.
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« Reply #74 on: March 09, 2011, 04:57:36 PM »

Interesting... Now what does he know about Patristics that led him to Holy Orthodoxy that I don't know... probably a lot...  Tongue
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