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Author Topic: Orthodox Recognition of Catholic Baptisms  (Read 7345 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 22, 2007, 08:03:18 PM »

I came across the following on another forum.

"At the meeting with the Orthodox a while back, the Latins walked out when the Orthodox refused to state that Latin baptism was as valid as an Orthodox one."

Is this true? When I talked to a priest about conversion, he mentioned that the policy of the parish (Greek Orthodox) was to baptize everyone other than Catholic converts and a few other certain situations such as with Lutherans (his example). Are Catholic baptisms not considered valid? If not, why not?

There was a recent post stating how a Catholic priest was received (or most probably received) into the Orthodox Church by baptism. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13793.msg193581.html#msg193581

So who is right? The priest I spoke with or the others?  I just don't understand why a Catholic baptism wouldn't be recognized.
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2007, 08:11:29 PM »

They're both right! The priest you spoke with isn't saying that Catholic baptisms are the same as Orthodox ones.  The Orthodox Church teaches that we can only be certain that Orthodox sacraments are, in fact, sacraments.  As to whether one chrismates or baptizes a convert from another Christian confession is simply a different application of economia. When one is chrismated, the grace of that sacrament fills up the previously empty form of the Catholic (or whatever Christian) baptism.  This can be done whenever the baptism at least had a correct form, if the form was not Orthodox (such as those "Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer" baptisms), then the person is always baptized.  Without the Orthodox chrismation though, the previous baptism was not a baptism in the fullest sense.  Through chrismation, the Church draws into itself what was once outside of the Church, including the rites of non-Orthodox.
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2007, 08:17:14 PM »

When one is chrismated, the grace of that sacrament fills up the previously empty form of the Catholic (or whatever Christian) baptism.

Why is a Catholic baptism empty? And why rebaptize a Catholic priest instead of just "filling out" his baptism during chrismation?
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2007, 08:33:10 PM »

For some people it is a personal choice for others the parish just has a policy of baptizing converts regardless of prior affiliation of any religion.
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2007, 09:39:59 PM »

I thank God every day I was baptized. It was so wonderful to have the full liturgical rite instead of just chrismation. After the third immersion it was like scales fell off my eyes and many aspects of my life changed. My wife reported the same experience and two people who witnessed it reported her face glowed as she came out of the water. We were both previously Catholics.
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2007, 09:50:48 PM »

Personally, I think this needs to be answered definitively.  This is a dangerous myth, with implications that go far beyond how we as Orthodox view the Catholic Church.  Therefore, my husband (who is a priest who specializes in liturgics and teleturgics), directed me in a little research...

The practice of the Orthodox church is NOT to re-baptize anyone who has previously been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity.  IF they were not baptized by the Trinitarian formula (meaning "in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), THEN, AND ONLY THEN, is it appropriate for the priest to baptize the convert.  If the convert HAS been baptized in the Trinity, then they are chrismated, (equivalent to the Catholic "confirmation").  

Chrismation is the "Seal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit."  Though I understand what Zebu was trying to say, the grace of this sacrament does not fill up the empty baptism, because we do not believe that the previous sacrament was empty.  Any baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity (whether Catholic, Protestant, etc.) is valid, and does not need to be re-done.  This is based on economia (as zebu said).

Ultimately, if there is a question, the decision of whether or not to re-baptize lies ONLY with the Bishop (we are a hierarchical church).  Neither parishes nor catechumens, nor priests have the authority to establish a policy of re-baptism unless approved by the Bishop under whom they serve.  Then the responsibility lies with the Bishop.  

I doubt very seriously that any Catholic priest was ever received into the Church by baptism, unless there were special circumstances.

Here are the negative implications that this kind of myth carries:
1. We believe ourselves to be an authority on where the grace of the Holy Spirit lies (absolutely not true-- we can say where grace is, but we cannot say where it isn't)
2. Priests, parishes, parishioners, and catechumens have the authority to make major canonical decisions (wrong again, we are a hierarchical church, and ALL canonical and liturgical decisions like this are made ONLY by the Bishop)
3. That salvation only occurs within the Orthodox church (wrong once again.  As with grace, we cannot say who will or will not be saved.  Judgement falls with Christ alone).

Anastasios, in what jurisdiction were you rebaptized, if you don't mind my asking?  And under what circumstances?  It is rare for this to occur in the Greek church.  It should only occur when there is some specific reason that the previous baptism was found invalid.  Please, don't take this offensively, I certainly do not mean it to be.  I'm really just curious, as it is so rare.

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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2007, 10:08:50 PM »

Dear Presbytera Mari,

The issue is far more complicated than you make it out. This issue has been debated multiple times on this forum and I have provided in the past a biliography of sources that both agree and disagree with baptizing converts. Perhaps a search of the archives will yield the previous discussions, which were quite extensive. I don't have the time really though to get back in to this type of debate.

Suffice it to say, I disagree with you on several points:

1) Latin baptism is an empty vessel with no sacramental grace whatsoever; this is the position of numerous Fathers and was elucidated by St Nikodemos the Haghiorite in his commentary on the Pedalion. You may reply that his interpretation is wrong but I would maintain that he is continuing the trend that had developed up until that point.  By saying that "the" Orthodox position on this matter is to not "re"baptize, are you unaware of the Oros of 1755 and other conciliar decisions?

2) The Church most certainly can say where sacramental grace is not.  Heretics do not have sacramental grace. (Charismatic grace is a different issue, although in our previous discussions, member Pravoslavbob disagreed with me on the distinction).

3) Who does or does not have sacramental grace is not directly correlated to who can be saved. God can save anyone he wants by any means he wishes. But the only sure way to find salvation is in the Orthodox Church.

As to your doubt of Catholic priests being baptized, please see the very famous case of Fr Placide, a Roman Catholic priest from France, and also the theology students that were baptized by Fr George Metallinos with Synodal approval. This is documented in the book "I Confess One Baptism" (which is online somewhere.  In my bibliography I once made this book makes it on my list as a source that is pro-baptism of converts.  There are of course those who disagree.

Speaking of myself, I am a Greek Old Calendarist.  Before you let that cause you to dismiss my position given that I am in a Church that your Archdiocese considers "fanatical", please consider that I was offered baptism by a GOA priest, a priest under Paisios (EP), ROCOR priests, and a priest of the Jerusalem Patriarchate.  I decided to join the Old Calendarists, however.

For the record, I believe all converts except Non-Chalcedonians and Nestorians should be baptized. And also, unlike some traditionalists, I do not maintain that the Orthodox Church has always baptized heretics, but I do maintain that the practice is ancient and has co-existed with chrismation in differing times and places, and that I believe that today baptism is the best way to receive all converts, especially those who do not have three full immersions.

Yours in Christ,

Anastasios
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2007, 10:11:01 PM »

PS, don't worry, I don't take offense Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2007, 10:15:11 PM »

ah here it is, in a bit garbled text from a previous forum bug unfortunately:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4576.msg62519.html#msg62519


It has been some time since I wrote this; there are probably many articles I could have added but my intention was to provide a short bibliography that could serve as a starting point.
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2007, 10:48:12 PM »

Riddle me this and riddle me that.

I was infant baptized as a baby into the RC church.

When I "found Jesus" I was adult batized in a swimming pool.

I was re-baptized by self same evangelical group in a horse trough (long theological story).

When I finally, returned to the faith of my fathers (My father & his family are Orthodox) to my relief I was only Chrismated. 

All of my baptisms were in the name of the Trinity; however, I was informed by my Orthodox priest at the time that my original RC baptism was the valid baptism.

Do I need be dunked again (asking rhetorically as my Priest has the final word)?
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2007, 10:59:46 PM »

Dear Presbytera Mari,

The issue is far more complicated than you make it out. This issue has been debated multiple times on this forum and I have provided in the past a biliography of sources that both agree and disagree with baptizing converts. Perhaps a search of the archives will yield the previous discussions, which were quite extensive. I don't have the time really though to get back in to this type of debate.

Suffice it to say, I disagree with you on several points:

1) Latin baptism is an empty vessel with no sacramental grace whatsoever; this is the position of numerous Fathers and was elucidated by St Nikodemos the Haghiorite in his commentary on the Pedalion. You may reply that his interpretation is wrong but I would maintain that he is continuing the trend that had developed up until that point.  By saying that "the" Orthodox position on this matter is to not "re"baptize, are you unaware of the Oros of 1755 and other conciliar decisions?

2) The Church most certainly can say where sacramental grace is not.  Heretics do not have sacramental grace. (Charismatic grace is a different issue, although in our previous discussions, member Pravoslavbob disagreed with me on the distinction).

3) Who does or does not have sacramental grace is not directly correlated to who can be saved. God can save anyone he wants by any means he wishes. But the only sure way to find salvation is in the Orthodox Church.

As to your doubt of Catholic priests being baptized, please see the very famous case of Fr Placide, a Roman Catholic priest from France, and also the theology students that were baptized by Fr George Metallinos with Synodal approval. This is documented in the book "I Confess One Baptism" (which is online somewhere.  In my bibliography I once made this book makes it on my list as a source that is pro-baptism of converts.  There are of course those who disagree.

Speaking of myself, I am a Greek Old Calendarist.  Before you let that cause you to dismiss my position given that I am in a Church that your Archdiocese considers "fanatical", please consider that I was offered baptism by a GOA priest, a priest under Paisios (EP), ROCOR priests, and a priest of the Jerusalem Patriarchate.  I decided to join the Old Calendarists, however.

For the record, I believe all converts except Non-Chalcedonians and Nestorians should be baptized. And also, unlike some traditionalists, I do not maintain that the Orthodox Church has always baptized heretics, but I do maintain that the practice is ancient and has co-existed with chrismation in differing times and places, and that I believe that today baptism is the best way to receive all converts, especially those who do not have three full immersions.

Yours in Christ,

Anastasios

Anastasios,

Thank you for your enlightening reply.  It actually did answer questions for me, and I think actually, we may find that we agree...  Let me explain...

First off, I definitely agree that it is a complicated issue.  I was simply trying to make my response concise and easy to understand, presenting the PRESENT state of circumstances.

As to the grace of sacraments in the Catholic church, I am well aware of the discussions, history, etc.  What I was saying is that within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (this is why I asked about your jurisdiction), it is rare, unless there are special circumstances.  I am not going to voice my opinion as to whether, based on St. Nikodemos' writings, the Oros of 1755, etc., Latin baptism is an empty vessel, because I obey my bishops, whether I agree or not.  I'm not implying anything here, so please don't think that I am- I understand that you can't read tone of voice in a forum post.  The Oros of 1755, one could argue, was later recinded- not through official document, but through practice.   The position of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as taught at the Archbishop's school, HCHC, is that, regardless of these discussions, regardless of the fact that they do not fully immerse, etc., in the GOA, we do not rebaptize Catholics.  Again, though, I qualify this by saying that there are special circumstances, and that the decision (and responsibility for that decision) is ALWAYS with the Bishop to whom the priest and convert in question answer.

As to the Church saying where sacramental grace is, this is why I reiterated what zebu said about economia.  I will say, though, that there is no way for us to judge where grace does or doesn't lie (sacramental or charismatic).  You say that heretics have no sacramental grace.  How can we judge that?  Let me give an example of why I say that:  Arius (for example) was a heretic.  But he was also a priest.  Does this mean that all sacraments that he celebrated before being anathematized had no grace after he was anathematized?  Did the grace all of a sudden leave those sacraments because they were performed by a heretic?  Was it never there to begin with?

There is a difference between redoing (so to speak) certain sacraments within the Orthodox church (such as marriage) once one has converted, and saying that the previous sacrament has no grace.  The reason we do this is NOT because the Church teaches that the previous sacrament has no grace, but rather because the Church teaches that we can say where grace IS (within the Orthodox Church), but do not presume to say where it is NOT (that is for God to determine, not us).  By the way, I have "I Confess One Baptism."  The key words you used were "with Synodal approval."  That was exactly my point.  The bishops made the decision based on the specific circumstances.

On your point #3, I agree with you, that sacramental grace is not directly correlated to who can be saved.  I was not implying otherwise.  What I was saying was AS with grace (in other words, in the same way that we speak about grace), we cannot say who will or will not be saved.  I also agree with you that the only sure way to salvation is within the Orthodox church.  I will temper that, however, by saying that just because we are Orthodox does NOT guarantee that we will be saved, just as NOT being Orthodox does NOT automatically mean one is condemned.  I could be Orthodox by birth, baptized and chrismated, but if I do not follow the teachings of the Church and what Christ has taught, I can easily be condemned.  Or I could be Baptist and faithfully follow Christ and His teachings, doing my best to "walk by the light I am given" and be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven.

As to my doubt about Catholic priests being baptized into the Orthodox Church, again, I said "I doubt," not "I'm sure."  I also said that there are special circumstances.  

As to your jurisdiction, please do not think that I would judge you for this.  I was simply asking because, again, rebaptism of Catholics is rare within our jurisdiction.  I have no opinion about Old Calendarists as a jurisdiction, except to say that I feel that it is sad that our two jurisdictions are not in communion, and fervently pray that this will be corrected one day.  (And by the way, lest you think all GOA people think that Old Calendarists are fanatics, I just want you to know that I do not know anyone in the GOA that would characterize Old Calendarists that way)  Smiley

My real point was that this decision is one for the bishop, not the priests, parishes, or converts themselves.  That was the point that I feel strongest about, and that I think is the most dangerous.  This is why we have so many questions like this.  How many posts on this forum have begun with "I know a priest who...?"  I feel very strongly that, whatever the jurisdiction, it needs to be made very clear that we are a hierarchical church and that these decisions are to be made by the bishops.  That is what they are there for.  Wherever the Bishop is, there is the Church.  Not wherever the priest is, or wherever the parish is, or wherever the convert is.  This is what I think is truly dangerous.

Pray for me a sinner...


P.S.  I was baptized Catholic as a baby.  I was chrismated into the Orthodox Church at a young age.  I say this only so that you know that I am not presuming to judge you as a convert.
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2007, 11:00:55 PM »

P.P.S. Thank you for not taking offense, as none was meant, and still isn't.  I really enjoy these conversations and am always a little worried that I'm going to put people off with what I say (cause I know I can be opinionated).  Grin
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2007, 11:05:10 PM »

Thanks for clarifying the scope of your argument. Framing it in terms of the actual current practice of the GOA, I agree that you are accurately representing its position. Thank you for taking the time to outline in detail your positions.

In Christ,

Anastasios
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2007, 11:05:53 PM »

ah here it is, in a bit garbled text from a previous forum bug unfortunately:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4576.msg62519.html#msg62519


It has been some time since I wrote this; there are probably many articles I could have added but my intention was to provide a short bibliography that could serve as a starting point.

Thank you for posting that information. I wasn't here when that was posted and would never have found it.
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2007, 11:13:35 PM »

Thanks for clarifying the scope of your argument. Framing it in terms of the actual current practice of the GOA, I agree that you are accurately representing its position. Thank you for taking the time to outline in detail your positions.

In Christ,

Anastasios


Diddo!!  Hee hee.   Grin
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2007, 11:15:48 PM »

Presbytera Mari,
I wanted to add that not all GOA Bishops are against baptizing converts who were previothusly R.Catholic.  It is generally known that this occurs at GOA monasteries with the Bishop's approval.

Juliana Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2007, 11:18:14 PM »

Presbytera Mari,
I wanted to add that not all GOA Bishops are against baptizing converts who were previothusly R.Catholic.  It is generally known that this occurs at GOA monasteries with the Bishop's approval.

Juliana Smiley

I agree.  This is a monastic tradition.  Mt. Athos rebaptizes everybody (at least that is my understanding).  Again, here, the point is that it is with the Bishop's approval.  It is not a decision unilaterally made by the priest or convert. 

God bless you!   Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2007, 11:19:30 PM »

Presbytera Mari,
I wanted to add that not all GOA Bishops are against baptizing converts who were previothusly R.Catholic.  It is generally known that this occurs at GOA monasteries with the Bishop's approval.

Juliana Smiley

Juliana

Were you rebaptized? I don't mean to pry. I know you were Catholic and since you go to the same GOA parish I do I was just wondering.
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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2007, 11:22:46 PM »

I agree.  This is a monastic tradition.  Mt. Athos rebaptizes everybody (at least that is my understanding).  Again, here, the point is that it is with the Bishop's approval.  It is not a decision unilaterally made by the priest or convert. 

God bless you!   Cheesy

Well to clarify, it wasn't a decision made by the priest. When I mentioned what the priest had said to me, he stated then it was the policy under Bishop (I don't remember the name) and not something of his own. I should have made that clear in my original post. I'm sorry for any misunderstandings because of it. The conversation took place about two years ago and I didn't include all the details because I'm old and forget things. Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2007, 11:24:48 PM »

Marat,   
Yes. My spiritual father is the Archmandrite at Holy Archangels monastery (GOA). I was so happy and blessed to be baptized there with my daughters!!

Hope you are well and have a peaceful Christmas.
Juliana Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2007, 11:28:05 PM »

Well to clarify, it wasn't a decision made by the priest. When I mentioned what the priest had said to me, he stated then it was the policy under Bishop (I don't remember the name) and not something of his own. I should have made that clear in my original post. I'm sorry for any misunderstandings because of it. The conversation took place about two years ago and I didn't include all the details because I'm old and forget things. Smiley

No worries, Marat!  It was good that it came up, because this was not the only place/time that I've heard this.  As I said, how many posts on the forum begin with, "I know a priest who...?"  I think a lot of times, people fail to realize that there are special circumstances that they may not know about, and that, just because a priest did one thing one time doesn't mean that it is generally accepted as the correct way of doing things.  Just my 2 cents.  Smiley

Pray for me a sinner...
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« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2007, 01:51:48 AM »

I look forward to finding out how the priest intends to accept me tomorrow...Wink
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« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2007, 08:17:40 AM »

The Church most certainly can say where sacramental grace is not.  Heretics do not have sacramental grace. (Charismatic grace is a different issue, although in our previous discussions, member Pravoslavbob disagreed with me on the distinction).

Interestingly, after having seen a post by Ozgeorge a couple of weeks ago, I've come to a new appreciation of what this distinction might mean, and I think it is a good idea to use it, just so long as one tries to remain as apophatic as possible and not define it too much.
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« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2007, 08:46:00 AM »

Whilst I've heard that much of the Coptic Church now recognises Latin Catholic baptisms, I know that at least locally at Ningi they were recognised for a while but are not so anymore. This is due to a combination of reasons including the fact that one RC parish in Brisbane had something like 15 years worth of "baptisms" declared invalid by the current RC Pope (because the priest did not use the Trinitarian formula).
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« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2007, 08:58:15 AM »

.... we are a hierarchical church and that these decisions are to be made by the bishops.  That is what they are there for.  Wherever the Bishop is, there is the Church.  Not wherever the priest is, or wherever the parish is, or wherever the convert is.  

Forgive me, but I think you are pushing the "hierarchical" or "episcopal" envelope a little too much here.  Maybe you are doing this to make your point more forcefully. ( Let me emphasize that I agree with you completely when you say that these matters concering baptism are solely the concern of the bishop.)   Nevertheless, the Church is found wherever the bishop is surrounded by the people and the other clerical orders, not the bishop by himself.  Also, just because the Church is hierarchical (which it is), it doesn't mean that it is not conciliar also.  Those who preside are to preside in love, and "not as the gentiles do."

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« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2007, 11:02:39 AM »

Whilst I've heard that much of the Coptic Church now recognises Latin Catholic baptisms...

Not true.
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« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2007, 01:14:48 PM »

Forgive me, but I think you are pushing the "hierarchical" or "episcopal" envelope a little too much here.  Maybe you are doing this to make your point more forcefully. ( Let me emphasize that I agree with you completely when you say that these matters concering baptism are solely the concern of the bishop.)   Nevertheless, the Church is found wherever the bishop is surrounded by the people and the other clerical orders, not the bishop by himself.  Also, just because the Church is hierarchical (which it is), it doesn't mean that it is not conciliar also.  Those who preside are to preside in love, and "not as the gentiles do."



Nothing to forgive...

I agree with you 100%.  You are right, too, that I was trying to emphasize a point, not overemphasize the authority of the bishop.  And you are correct that the Church is where the bishop is surrounded by other people.  I should have been more clear... the Church cannot function without the Bishop.  His presence matters the most (logistically, for lack of a better word), as it is through his authority and by his permission that the priest, parish, etc. does anything and everything.  Maybe a better way to state what I was trying to say is something more like "wherever the Bishop's presence (not physically, but authoritatively, spiritually, etc.) is, there the Church is."  After all, no priest can celebrate without an andemnision (the cloth on the Holy Altar), which is given to him and to the parish by the authority of the Bishop only.

You are also 100% correct that we are a conciliar church, and that the ones who preside should do so in love.  I could give many examples of the second half of that statement from my own life, but will refrain from boring you.  Smiley  I like to think of the conciliar not only in terms of the councils themselves, but also as a kind of "checks and balances" system, so to speak.  No one bishop ever has too much authority.  And God forbid a bishop decides he likes to exercise his own authority without love and humility too much (the power factor), then the other bishops are able to step in.  I can, again, name examples of this from my own life and experiences, but I think it's tangential.

Please pardon me if it sounded as though I was overemphasizing the role and authority of the bishop.  Believe me when I say that it was not my intent.  Bishops should always serve with humility and in love, with respect for their authority and position.  They should never be autocratic and in love with their power (especially when it comes to the power they have directly over people's lives, such as their priests').  I didn't mean to make it sound that way.

Thank you for the clarification.  It is much appreciated when people point out the weaknesses in my statements (with love, of course, as my statements are also made with love).  It is even more appreciated when what you point out helps me to clarify what it is that I am trying to say!   Grin

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« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2007, 11:27:43 PM »

I doubt very seriously that any Catholic priest was ever received into the Church by baptism, unless there were special circumstances.
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 of (re)baptism.

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 Catholic priests on occasion.

In this diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Australia and New Zealand) we follow, in the main, the manner of reception for converts which applied in pre-revolutionary Russia so Roman Catholics are generally received by Chrismation although Baptism is a possibility.

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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« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2007, 11:43:45 PM »

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 of (re)baptism.

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 Catholic priests on occasion.

In this diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Australia and New Zealand) we follow, in the main, the manner of reception for converts which applied in pre-revolutionary Russia so Roman Catholics are generally received by Chrismation although Baptism is a possibility.

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





This actually came up in another thread as well.  The tradition on Mt. Athos is to rebaptize everyone, no matter what tradition.  This is a monastic tradition in the US as well, even within the GOA.  But in general, in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, we do not rebaptize Catholics.  Their baptism is considered valid, and they are chrismated into the Church.
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« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2007, 11:44:48 PM »

Oh just kidding!  It was earlier in this thread!  My bad!   Cheesy
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« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2007, 12:24:08 AM »

Forgive me, but I think you are pushing the "hierarchical" or "episcopal" envelope a little too much here.  Maybe you are doing this to make your point more forcefully. ( Let me emphasize that I agree with you completely when you say that these matters concering baptism are solely the concern of the bishop.)   Nevertheless, the Church is found wherever the bishop is surrounded by the people and the other clerical orders, not the bishop by himself.  Also, just because the Church is hierarchical (which it is), it doesn't mean that it is not conciliar also.  Those who preside are to preside in love, and "not as the gentiles do."

There is this idea of the relationship between the head and the body, or the "one and the many" (when used in reference to the Synods) - that the many cannot do without the one, and the one cannot do without the many.
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« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2007, 01:57:11 AM »

The tradition on Mt. Athos is to rebaptize everyone, no matter what tradition.  This is a monastic tradition in the US as well, even within the GOA.  But in general, in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, we do not rebaptize Catholics.  Their baptism is considered valid, and they are chrismated into the Church.
*
It is hard to see how the Greek bishops in the States can allow any of their priests to baptize Roman Catholics if they consider Catholic baptism valid.  An appeal to "monastic tradition" won't cut it since it has always been seen as a great sin to rebaptize those who are validly baptized ("I believe in one baptism....")  The Greek bishops are very unlikely to allow it.  Is there not some other reason?
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« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2007, 10:58:24 AM »

*
It is hard to see how the Greek bishops in the States can allow any of their priests to baptize Roman Catholics if they consider Catholic baptism valid.  An appeal to "monastic tradition" won't cut it since it has always been seen as a great sin to rebaptize those who are validly baptized ("I believe in one baptism....")  The Greek bishops are very unlikely to allow it.  Is there not some other reason?

I completely agree. To many of us Catholics, this hodgepodge seems to make a mockery of baptism and of the line in the Creed. Good for the GOA for being more consistent.
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« Reply #33 on: December 24, 2007, 12:30:14 PM »

*
It is hard to see how the Greek bishops in the States can allow any of their priests to baptize Roman Catholics if they consider Catholic baptism valid.  An appeal to "monastic tradition" won't cut it since it has always been seen as a great sin to rebaptize those who are validly baptized ("I believe in one baptism....")  The Greek bishops are very unlikely to allow it.  Is there not some other reason?

I believe I have read that Met Maximos of Pittsburgh won't allow any of his priests to baptize under pain of suspension and that Met Anthony, the former Met of San Francisco, ordered the Arizona Ephraimite monastery to stop baptizing people at the monastery (which led to some people being baptized at other locations by the same priests--in order to obey the letter but not the spirit of the law?).
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« Reply #34 on: December 24, 2007, 12:34:25 PM »

I completely agree. To many of us Catholics, this hodgepodge seems to make a mockery of baptism and of the line in the Creed. Good for the GOA for being more consistent.

Economy was debated even at the council of Nicaea.  I suppose if you were a Cathar back then you would be complaining that your bishops were sometimes received as bishops, and sometimes as presbyters, according simply to the principle of "is there already a bishop there?"  Tongue

Frankly, from my point of view, it is only because of foolish attempts at union with your Church that there is any confusion on the matter. The people speculating on the status of your sacraments per se versus in view of reception into the Church tend to be the ones trying to expand the borders of the Church to those considered as heretics traditionally by the Church.  If we weren't so busy trying to figure out ways to compromise such as "oh well we agree on baptism at least!" then the issue would be a lot simpler (namely, your sacraments per se are invalid, but can be filled with grace without repetition under certain circumstances if it will help the person's soul or the community in general).
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« Reply #35 on: December 24, 2007, 12:38:58 PM »

(namely, your sacraments per se are invalid, but can be filled with grace without repetition under certain circumstances if it will help the person's soul or the community in general). 

BINGO.
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« Reply #36 on: December 24, 2007, 12:55:07 PM »

*
It is hard to see how the Greek bishops in the States can allow any of their priests to baptize Roman Catholics if they consider Catholic baptism valid.  An appeal to "monastic tradition" won't cut it since it has always been seen as a great sin to rebaptize those who are validly baptized ("I believe in one baptism....")  The Greek bishops are very unlikely to allow it.  Is there not some other reason?

I'm not making an appeal.  In fact, I'm not even defending it.  I'm just stating what I was taught, nothing more.  My own personal opinion is that rebaptizing Catholics is ridiculous (for the reasons stated before).
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« Reply #37 on: December 24, 2007, 09:50:44 PM »

I'm not making an appeal.  In fact, I'm not even defending it.  I'm just stating what I was taught, nothing more.  My own personal opinion is that rebaptizing Catholics is ridiculous (for the reasons stated before).
*
Matushka!   Fancy calling my Serbian bishops ridiculous!
I've been a priest now for 30 years and have nearly always baptized Catholics... Let me explain....  For the first 20 years I was a priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church (Belgrade) and baptism was the norm.  It was relaxed by my Serbian bishop only on one occasion for the sake of an Anglican priest.  Otherwise, even on the two occasions when Roman Catholic priests converted his instructions were to baptize them.

Since moving from the Serbian Church into the Russian Church Abroad 10 years ago, I have followed the diocesan policy (which is simply the pre-revolutionary and present day Russian practice) of receiving Catholics by Chrismation.

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« Reply #38 on: December 25, 2007, 02:37:07 PM »

I agree with you 100%.  You are right, too, that I was trying to emphasize a point, not overemphasize the authority of the bishop.  

I thought that that is what you were doing.  Smiley

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It is much appreciated when people point out the weaknesses in my statements (with love, of course, as my statements are also made with love).  It is even more appreciated when what you point out helps me to clarify what it is that I am trying to say!   Grin

I wish I had your humility. 

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« Reply #39 on: April 30, 2009, 05:36:03 PM »

I am RC and now attend a GOC . Since my mind is set on becoming Orthodox, I asked if I would have to be re-baptized.The answer I got was rather lengthy but,in the end I was told,"The choice will be made by you ". So I went home pondering the issue. I thought my baptism would suffice and chrismation would seal the deal ?,sort of speak.  I do take my salvation very seriously so,I have been praying earnestly about this . Roll Eyes
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« Reply #40 on: April 30, 2009, 06:52:53 PM »

I am RC and now attend a GOC . Since my mind is set on becoming Orthodox, I asked if I would have to be re-baptized.The answer I got was rather lengthy but,in the end I was told,"The choice will be made by you ". So I went home pondering the issue. I thought my baptism would suffice and chrismation would seal the deal ?,sort of speak.  I do take my salvation very seriously so,I have been praying earnestly about this . Roll Eyes

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That is shockingly generous coming from the Greeks. You must have left them with a very pious impression. Good for you.
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« Reply #41 on: April 30, 2009, 07:16:15 PM »

I am RC and now attend a GOC . Since my mind is set on becoming Orthodox, I asked if I would have to be re-baptized.The answer I got was rather lengthy but,in the end I was told,"The choice will be made by you ". So I went home pondering the issue. I thought my baptism would suffice and chrismation would seal the deal ?,sort of speak.  I do take my salvation very seriously so,I have been praying earnestly about this.

I would give the following advice: "Listen to your bishop!"
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« Reply #42 on: April 30, 2009, 07:21:37 PM »

I am RC and now attend a GOC . Since my mind is set on becoming Orthodox, I asked if I would have to be re-baptized.The answer I got was rather lengthy but,in the end I was told,"The choice will be made by you ". So I went home pondering the issue. I thought my baptism would suffice and chrismation would seal the deal ?,sort of speak.  I do take my salvation very seriously so,I have been praying earnestly about this . Roll Eyes

Grace and Peace,

That is shockingly generous coming from the Greeks. You must have left them with a very pious impression. Good for you.
At OC.net, GOC has been taken to mean "Greek Old Calendarist" church (such as one of which our site admin, Fr. Anastasios, is a priest).  Is this what you, ChristusDominus, mean by "GOC" (as opposed to the GOA, which is the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America)?

Personally, I'm somewhat surprised that your priest has left this decision up to you.  I would think this decision belongs to your priest's bishop, who would make the decision for you.
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« Reply #43 on: April 30, 2009, 07:29:42 PM »

From what I understand, the bishop of my Serbian diocese baptizes all converts, regardless of their background.  This has been very humbling for me, and has been a great lesson in obeying my bishop, as well as in not thinking that I have the final say on all these matters.  The situation in America is unfortunate, though, because I could just hop on over to any other number of Orthodox churches in my city for an option that better suited my opinion on the matter.  There needs to be jurisdictional unity for consistent Orthodox teaching on these matters.
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« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2009, 07:39:26 PM »

At OC.net, GOC has been taken to mean "Greek Old Calendarist" church (such as one of which our site admin, Fr. Anastasios, is a priest). 

GOC can also stand for "Greek Orthodox Church".
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