Author Topic: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?  (Read 15682 times)

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Offline ChristianLove

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why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« on: January 08, 2008, 04:56:27 PM »
A friend of mine is Roman Catholic and he will not ever be able to partake of communion at our parish as long as he follows the canons and does not accept to be rebaptized, which is a requirement by our priest, although not by our bishop, and not by other priests in our Orthodox jurisdiction  ???

I thought by looking on the web and talking with a few Church theologians and trusted Orthodox sources, I would find clear answers to this. Was I ever wrong  :)

I understand that at times and in certain places, chrismation covers over faulty baptisms, especially if the baptism was done in a Trinitarian conservative protestant or Roman Catholic church, rather than a cult like Jehovahs witness or Mormon org. Read a few posts about re-baptism of converts here, and man, it's even more confusing. One theologian has strong historical grounds for fighting against rebaptism, especially of Roman Catholic converts, since rebaptism would mean that Orthodox Church has passed judgement on the work of the Holy Spirit in other nonOrthodox churches by declaring their baptism invalid.

My question: why are "basic fundamental" issues like baptism of a convert still in limbo within the Orthodox communion who have the united testimony of Church fathers and under One baptism. Is it truly because St. Cyprian was out of line with the canons of the Church? If yes, then, why don't canons take precedence over a few isolated church fathers and over even some holy men at Mt Athos? After all, holy living does not make anyone's theology preside over Orthodox theology.

How could we have some Russian Orthodox members insist on re-baptism, without which a believer cannot partake of Holy Eucharist, while other Orthodox churches clearly only require chrismation, and acknowledge the freedom of the Holy Spirit to work outside of our Orthodox boundaries?

What I'm wondering is what's the difference between a protestant not accepting our reading of parts of the Church Fathers and canons, and Orthodox priests and theologians who also disagree with "basic fundamentals" of our faith and how can a catechumen peacefully and eternally know whether he/she should have been rebaptized prior to chrismation and whether he/she has mistakenly placed his soul in jeopardy by not being fully re-baptized according to full Orthodox understanding?

Thanks kindly,

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2008, 05:26:10 PM »
The problem is, IMO, the plethora of Christian communions and sects. When there was only one Church, and it was clear what was the Church and what wasn't, it was easy. If you are one of us, you are baptized. If not, then not.

The trouble is that now, with so many confessions baptizing, some in the name of the Trinity as we are commanded and others not, it is difficult for us to know exactly how the individual was baptized. We certainly should not accept a convert by chrismation who has been baptized in the name of the Father only, or in the name of the Mother Goddess. Such are not Christian baptisms.

Therefore, some priests and bishops choose to require re-baptism for all converts rather than try to sort through which baptisms are valid and which are not. The prevailing thought is that if the previous baptism was not Trinitarian, then the convert should be baptized, and the priest is fulfilling his duty. On the other hand, if the previous baptism was Trinitarian it, not the Orthodox baptism, is the valid one; the Orthodox "baptism" is merely a bath!

So this re-baptism is really a concession; I think you'd be hard pressed to find a priest or bishop who would say otherwise.
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Offline JoeS

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2008, 05:54:41 PM »
A friend of mine is Roman Catholic and he will not ever be able to partake of communion at our parish as long as he follows the canons and does not accept to be rebaptized, which is a requirement by our priest, although not by our bishop, and not by other priests in our Orthodox jurisdiction  ???

I thought by looking on the web and talking with a few Church theologians and trusted Orthodox sources, I would find clear answers to this. Was I ever wrong  :)

I understand that at times and in certain places, chrismation covers over faulty baptisms, especially if the baptism was done in a Trinitarian conservative protestant or Roman Catholic church, rather than a cult like Jehovahs witness or Mormon org. Read a few posts about re-baptism of converts here, and man, it's even more confusing. One theologian has strong historical grounds for fighting against rebaptism, especially of Roman Catholic converts, since rebaptism would mean that Orthodox Church has passed judgement on the work of the Holy Spirit in other nonOrthodox churches by declaring their baptism invalid.

My question: why are "basic fundamental" issues like baptism of a convert still in limbo within the Orthodox communion who have the united testimony of Church fathers and under One baptism. Is it truly because St. Cyprian was out of line with the canons of the Church? If yes, then, why don't canons take precedence over a few isolated church fathers and over even some holy men at Mt Athos? After all, holy living does not make anyone's theology preside over Orthodox theology.

How could we have some Russian Orthodox members insist on re-baptism, without which a believer cannot partake of Holy Eucharist, while other Orthodox churches clearly only require chrismation, and acknowledge the freedom of the Holy Spirit to work outside of our Orthodox boundaries?

What I'm wondering is what's the difference between a protestant not accepting our reading of parts of the Church Fathers and canons, and Orthodox priests and theologians who also disagree with "basic fundamentals" of our faith and how can a catechumen peacefully and eternally know whether he/she should have been rebaptized prior to chrismation and whether he/she has mistakenly placed his soul in jeopardy by not being fully re-baptized according to full Orthodox understanding?

Thanks kindly,



In my humble opinion, any Baptism beyong a "legitimate" Baptism ie one who has been baptized in the Trinitarian Tradition is a waste of time and amounts to insignificance.
Baptizing a Baptized person only cheapens the Sacrament.  It doesnt have any grace giving properties since it is unnecessary to begin with.  The rebaptized person's sins are NOT forgiven again as in the first Baptism and the salvation of that person being rebaptized could be in jeapardy.

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2008, 05:59:23 PM »
How could we have some Russian Orthodox members insist on re-baptism,
OK, here we go with some facts.

1.  In its 1000 history the Russian Orthodox Church has NOT baptized Roman Catholics.

2.  The exception - a 47 year period 1620 to 1667.   During this period the Russian Church was under attack from those who were then known as Catholic Uniates on its Western borders.  But this brief time of rebaptizing Catholics was stopped by an Act of the Russian Council of 1667. The 1667 Council pointed out that the incursion of Catholics on the Russian borders was an insufficient reason to start baptizing Catholics and it stopped the new practice and forebade baptisms.  This decision has never been abrogated.

3.  1971 and the Russian Church Abroad (outside Russia)   At the Synod meeting in Montreal in 1971 it was proposed and strongly recommended but not mandated that all converts to the Russian Church Abroad be received by Baptism.  This was in reaction to the excesses of the ecumenical movement of the 1960s.  However this never became  the uniform policy of the Russian Church Abroad.  Some of our bishops never accepted the recommendation from the Montreal synod meeting in 1971.  Australia is proof of that.  Our Diocese has always followed the tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church.

4.  May 2007.  The Russian Church Abroad and the Church of Russia achieved reconciliation.  Over time I think we will find that the bishops in ROCA who are receiving Roman Catholics by Baptism will be asked by their brother bishops to return to the traditional practice of receiving them and to conform to what is standard practice in the Russian Church today.


Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2008, 06:05:51 PM »
JoeS,

Explain to me why re-baptism of a person baptized in the Trinitarian formula is "insignificant"--but also puts the soul in jeopardy. These are seemingly opposing statements.
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Offline Tamara

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2008, 06:13:57 PM »
A friend of mine is Roman Catholic and he will not ever be able to partake of communion at our parish as long as he follows the canons and does not accept to be rebaptized, which is a requirement by our priest, although not by our bishop, and not by other priests in our Orthodox jurisdiction  ???

Your priest should not make up his own rules about baptism. He should follow the lead of his bishop and his jurisdiction so as not to cause confusion among those who are new to the faith. I am curious. Is your priest a convert? Sometimes it is hard for former Protestants who become priests to leave behind their individualistic notions once they enter the Orthodox Church. Some have problems submitting to the authority of their bishops.


Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2008, 06:42:14 PM »
Your priest should not make up his own rules about baptism. He should follow the lead of his bishop and his jurisdiction so as not to cause confusion among those who are new to the faith. I am curious. Is your priest a convert? Sometimes it is hard for former Protestants who become priests to leave behind their individualistic notions once they enter the Orthodox Church. Some have problems submitting to the authority of their bishops.
*
I was also astounded that ChristianLove wrote:  "accept to be rebaptized, which is a requirement by our priest, although not by our bishop."  In other words the priest is at odds with his own bishop (unless the bishop permits this particular priest to follow his own counsel?)  Maybe the person concerned ought to seek advice from the bishop because it is the bishop who runs the diocese and who ultimately "carries the can" for that person's salvation.

Offline ChristianLove

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2008, 07:02:07 PM »
Our Orthodox Priest was raised Romanian Orthodox and faithful to the fathers all his life. He is serving the nonRomanian Orthodox Bishop in this local parish. But, ORTHODOX IS ORTHODOX! Or so I have been told on numerous occasions, but what is good in theory does not seem to supercede what comes across to me as Church political "fights". Our Priest's presbytera was a Roman Catholic convert and she definitely partook of full Orthodox baptism "to leave no questions on the table on her salvation", and she is a Godly beautiful and spiritual Mother and a faithful Orthodox.

While in an "invisible sense" , only in theory ORTHODOX IS ORTHODOX  :), I'm beginning to find out that in practical day to day relationships, even with our witness to our catechumen, Orthodox is Not the same as another Orthodox unfortunately. I'm wondering if that's why the Church in America is not One Church organizationally as well, but I don't want to step my boundaries and actually question the realistic application of our Dogma; but I do wonder how hard can we criticize/judge the conservative Christian westerners for their differences in practice, and holding to different organizational structure, while they accept a Spirit Led Unity beyond organizational boundaries, when we cannot even agree on how a catechumen should enter "salvation" even amongst all Orthodox? Obviously there are some core values all Orthodox share in spirit. I just hope it will also translate to humbly loving one another in faithful practice beyond all church political boundaries, so our God's prayer in John 17 would show the world that by our Love for one another, we are Christians  :angel:

humbly in His Service,

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2008, 07:09:10 PM »
The universal witness of the Church is that a baptism outside the Church is no baptism.  However, we also recognize that the grace of chrismation can be applied retroactively to a heterodox baptism performed according to proper form--i.e., baptism by immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  In this way, a heterodox baptism can be recognized as "valid" upon one's entry into the Church.  This is the important distinction.  If one has no intention of joining the communion of the Orthodox Church, then, to us, one's baptism means nothing.  Only upon one's joining the Holy Church can one's baptism have any significance, and it is only here that the grace of the Church can fill the empty form of a heterodox baptism (properly performed).

The next question, then, is when to receive via baptism and when mere chrismation is enough.  The normative means of entry into the Church is baptism, so, if baptism outside the Church is no baptism, then one who was "baptized" in any heterodox sect must be baptized into the Church.  Call it rebaptism if you want, but how can we repeat that which never happened?  However, the Church recognizes also the principle of oikonomia, the principle that, quite often, strict application of the canons may in fact be detrimental to one's salvation.  Every bishop is thus authorized to examine the case of each individual convert or group of converts to determine if mere chrismation is best for the salvation of that individual or group.  Our canonical tradition has even dictated that some groups of heterodox were to be received via chrismation alone, so this practice is not at all unprecedented.  Even so, the practice of oikonomia is expected to be exceptional and is in no way to become the rule.

Today, many bishops counsel their priests to apply wholesale oikonomia in the reception of converts via chrismation alone.  Yet, at the same time, many of our more traditionalist bishops believe that part of the best way to oppose ecumenism is to make very clear our traditional view that baptism outside the Church is no baptism.  Believing that the widespread practice of oikonomia in the reception of converts has led many to believe in the intrinsic validity of heterodox baptism, and, therefore, that one need not be Orthodox to be saved (according to the Orthodox understanding of salvation), these rigorist bishops will require that ALL converts be baptized.  Essentially, with the exception of those clergy who have bought completely into the heresy that God's grace fills even the baptisms of the heterodox, the issue of whether to (re)baptize converts or not is primarily not a doctrinal issue so much as it is a pastoral issue of how to apply the canonical tradition of the Church to the specific salvific needs of each individual person within the Church.
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Offline Quinault

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2008, 08:28:09 PM »
When we spoke with our priest we were told that some in Orthodoxy accept baptisms as long as they were trinitarian, and others do not. He said with so many churches in "doctrinal freefall" that it is difficult to know what occured in a baptism. And so the movement is more and more towards rebaptizing converts. He wondered if we would be offended if we were asked to be re-baptized. I think it would be wonderful to be rebaptized. And my daughter is pestering us DAILY wondering when she will be baptized.


But, if the priest is at odds with his Bishop, then that is a really sticky situation. I wouldn't even begin to know how to do that.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2008, 11:51:19 PM »
Peter, the funny thing about that is if I were given oikonomia "for the good of my salvation," knowing what you have written, it would make no difference because I'd know I'd still be seen as unbaptized, which basically means I'm not a Christian. The oikonomia makes no difference---either way, my baptism was an empty show. I suppose with the chrismation I could pretend that my fake baptism had some sort of value, but that would be a delusion.

This oikonomia business with baptism only seems to sow confusion about the real EO position on baptism outside the EO churches.

I could never accept your position about my baptism. It would be like denying the graces that I know God has given me through it (chief of all salvific grace). If I ever 'doxed, I would have to be chrismated by one of those "heretic" priests, as you describe them. But then, they being heretics, that chrismation wouldn't be valid anyway, would it? ;)
« Last Edit: January 08, 2008, 11:53:14 PM by lubeltri »

Offline Anastasios

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2008, 12:08:39 AM »

Quote
I could never accept your position about my baptism. It would be like denying the graces that I know God has given me through it (chief of all salvific grace). If I ever 'doxed, I would have to be chrismated by one of those "heretic" priests, as you describe them. But then, they being heretics, that chrismation wouldn't be valid anyway, would it? ;)

Uh oh. If you read my old posts you will see I used to write like you. Then I realized that ooops, the Roman Catholic Church is heretical, I was being prideful in not admitting it, my baptism in the Lutheran Church was false. I was baptized into Orthodoxy, many sinful passions evaporated, the grace I felt was 100x more than any grace I felt in the Catholic Church.

Sometimes, admitting you are wrong is the first step to something better. If you were to realize Orthodoxy is true, you would not dictate how you were received. You would accept the authority of the Orthodox Church to receive you as it pleases.  Your facetious comment about doxing may in fact come back one day to you in a way you do not expect :)

At any rate, you would not have to deny that you might have received Grace from God. After all, his grace is his uncreated energies (not created grace as some of your theologians posited) and thus they are everywhere, leading all into Orthodoxy.  Of course you have experienced them. But you have not tasted of sacramental grace. And if you were Orthodox you would realize that. Hopefully, one day you will be able to see I am right. :)
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2008, 12:29:33 AM »
^^ Besides, lubeltri, you need to remember where you're posting. ;)  Unless you're thinking of joining the Orthodox Church ;), I don't see how an internal discussion of the Church's practices of receiving converts is of any concern to you.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 01:31:32 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline serb1389

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2008, 12:42:52 AM »
Canon 95 of Quintisext (Trullo) = saying basically the same thing.  They add another category.  (691-692)  there are three categories
   -  Some may be accepted by confession of faith = repentance
   -  Myrh/Annonting as well as libilus
   -  Re-Baptism (full thing)

Some have been admitted by a libelous = just a statement of faith.  Nestorians were a part of this!  So...are the RC's on the same level as the Nestorians?  Even if they ARE (as some might say) then the correct answer is to just allow them in through a confession of faith (libilus). 

So in terms of an "orthodox" position on this...here is one... 8)
** Modified to add further content as opposed to posting twice right after myself. 

Apostolic Canons 46/47 = some can be accepted and others cannot

2nd council Canon 7 = some can be accepted through chrism and others must have the whole baptism, depending on how far they are. 

I could spice it up further if anyone would like. 

christianlove,

Quote
While in an "invisible sense" , only in theory ORTHODOX IS ORTHODOX  , I'm beginning to find out that in practical day to day relationships, even with our witness to our catechumen, Orthodox is Not the same as another Orthodox unfortunately.

I'm not really sure what you mean here.  Orthodox is orthodox...otherwise they would not even be the same word...would they?  Sorry, i'm pretty confused about what you said above.  Orthodoxy is not a theory, in any sense of the word.  Hence my confusion...

Any clarification would be great!  Thanks! 


« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 12:49:56 AM by serb1389 »
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Offline Tamara

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2008, 02:00:51 AM »
*
I was also astounded that ChristianLove wrote:  "accept to be rebaptized, which is a requirement by our priest, although not by our bishop."  In other words the priest is at odds with his own bishop (unless the bishop permits this particular priest to follow his own counsel?)  Maybe the person concerned ought to seek advice from the bishop because it is the bishop who runs the diocese and who ultimately "carries the can" for that person's salvation.

Since ChristianLove shared the fact that his/her priest is from Romania, I find it odd this priest, who has such adamant views about re-baptism, would pick a jurisdiction that does not agree with his beliefs. I still believe it is important for a priest to be at one with his bishop on these issues. It sets a poor example to the laity if they see their priest contradicting the views of his bishop. It causes confusion as this thread has exhibited. I think many of those new to the faith really need to understand the eccesiology of Orthodoxy so they will not be swept away by priests, who can easily become schismatics over issues like this one.

Offline ChristianLove

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2008, 02:20:26 AM »
"Orthodox is orthodox"- meaning we should all be in full agreement. Cannot understand why so much confusion, when we have the fathers of the Church that have clarified our understanding so we don't have to be as confused as the Christians who say that they are part of the invisible communion, rather than a "united one visible church".

Some clarifications tonight: Our humble and beautiful Romanian priest may be receiving a lot of teaching from Elder Ephraim monks, since in our conversation he clearly promoted strong belief in the heresy of toll houses as taught to some of our parish members by the monks. Although our bishops fully understand and teach that toll houses are gnostic heresies that all Orthodox should avoid, some of our members are being negatively effected by these teachings. Also, our priest clarified that since the Roman Churches and the other nonOrthodox churches do not pronounce the declarations against the devil by spitting at him and declaring satan our enemy, by not taking part in re-baptism, he is most concerned that an Orthodox believer would leave himself open to demonic strongholds by not clearly renouncing them in the way Orthodox believers do in their baptisms. Any thoughts on what comes across as a valid point, even when it might disagree with our Bishop's position?

thanks kindly,

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2008, 02:25:25 AM »
There's no such thing as re-baptism.  There is only one baptism and that is Orthodox.  This apparent mess is the fruit of modernism today and in the past in Russia.
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Offline Robert

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2008, 02:34:15 AM »
A good time to post the following link:

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

"I CONFESS ONE BAPTISM…"

 

By Protopresbyter George D. Metallinos, D. Th., Ph. D.

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2008, 04:03:16 AM »
A good time to post the following link:

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

"I CONFESS ONE BAPTISM…"By Protopresbyter George D. Metallinos, D. Th., Ph. D.
Unfortunately it pays very little attention to how the Russians have approached the matter.

Here is something very comprehensive which presents the position of the Ecumenical Councils and then goes on to discuss the practice of the Russian Church.

On the Question of the Order of Reception of Persons into the Orthodox Church, Coming to Her from Other Christian Churches
By Archimandrite Ambrosius (Pogodin)

http://www.holy-trinity.org/ecclesiology/pogodin-reception/reception-ch1.html


Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2008, 04:04:40 AM »
"Orthodox is orthodox"- meaning we should all be in full agreement. Cannot understand why so much confusion, when we have the fathers of the Church that have clarified our understanding so we don't have to be as confused as the Christians who say that they are part of the invisible communion, rather than a "united one visible church".
Are you expecting the monolithic "unity" of doctrine found in the Roman church?  On matters of pastoral care such as the matter of (re?)baptism really is, you will find that practices vary from priest to priest, from bishop to bishop, and from one set of circumstances to another.  There is no unified practice here, nor should there be.  If the Church Catholic is present in its fullness in the local Orthodox assembly gathered together around the Eucharist with their bishop (or his delegate), then is not the local bishop qualified to rule his church as Christ Himself with minimal instruction from higher up the institutional hierarchy?  Variance in matters of pastoral care does not equate to fundamental differences in the doctrines of faith.

Quote
Some clarifications tonight: Our humble and beautiful Romanian priest may be receiving a lot of teaching from Elder Ephraim monks, since in our conversation he clearly promoted strong belief in the heresy of toll houses as taught to some of our parish members by the monks. Although our bishops fully understand and teach that toll houses are gnostic heresies that all Orthodox should avoid, some of our members are being negatively effected by these teachings.
I fail to see how the doctrine of the toll houses is a heresy, especially considering how this theological opinion is held by so many in the Church.  Pleading ignorance of what happens to the soul after death based on the lack of clarity in our Tradition, I don't personally hold to this theolougemon and don't believe it should be taught as doctrine, but I do recognize that the idea does have some basis in the Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers.  I wouldn't write it off as altogether un-Orthodox.  (Any more discussion of this, and I'll need to start another thread in the Faith section to address this tangent.)

Quote
Also, our priest clarified that since the Roman Churches and the other nonOrthodox churches do not pronounce the declarations against the devil by spitting at him and declaring satan our enemy, by not taking part in re-baptism, he is most concerned that an Orthodox believer would leave himself open to demonic strongholds by not clearly renouncing them in the way Orthodox believers do in their baptisms. Any thoughts on what comes across as a valid point, even when it might disagree with our Bishop's position?

thanks kindly,
IIRC, what you describe is actually part of the enrollment into the catechumenate, which I believe is required for all converts (and cradle), even those who will be received via chrismation alone.

Though it may disagree with his own personal sense of right doctrine, your priest does need to follow the direction of his bishop on this.  If he can't do that, then he needs to explain to his bishop why, IMO.  According to my knowledge of the ecclesiology of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop, not his subordinate priest, is the authoritative ruler and teacher of the local flock of Christ.  Your priest is certainly entitled to his own opinions, but he must ultimately subject himself in all things to the rule of his bishop.  To act as if he knows better than his bishop may, in fact, be tantamount to pride.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 04:15:32 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2008, 04:31:10 AM »
There's no such thing as re-baptism.  There is only one baptism and that is Orthodox.  This apparent mess is the fruit of modernism today and in the past in Russia.
Would you care to expand upon this opinion?
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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2008, 09:07:18 AM »
JoeS,

Explain to me why re-baptism of a person baptized in the Trinitarian formula is "insignificant"--but also puts the soul in jeopardy. These are seemingly opposing statements.

Baptism, in the Trinitarian Tradition, can only be administered ONCE and only once. This isnt a sacrament that can be done over and over again.

I was baptized in the Episcopal church as an infant, my involuntary Baptism to Roman Catholicism was an "Conditional" Baptism. ie, If and Only if my initial baptism wasnt not a true Baptism then this Baptism would over shadow the supposed first. When I was brought into the Orthodox church my Episcopal Baptism was recognized not my RC Baptism.

Baptism was never meant to be repeated provided all past attempts at this mystery was incomplete.  By repeating one Baptism over another "legitimate" Baptism IMHO frustrates the mystery and would be an insult to the Theophany. 

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2008, 09:11:12 AM »
*
I was also astounded that ChristianLove wrote:  "accept to be rebaptized, which is a requirement by our priest, although not by our bishop."  In other words the priest is at odds with his own bishop (unless the bishop permits this particular priest to follow his own counsel?)  Maybe the person concerned ought to seek advice from the bishop because it is the bishop who runs the diocese and who ultimately "carries the can" for that person's salvation.

I know of someone who was baptized RC and is now taking instructions for Orthodoxy and REbaptism.  The Bishop of this diocese refuses to grant permission for this rebaptism.  So, this individual is seeking baptism in another jurisdiction and was approved for rebaptism.  How can we as Orthodox claim any universality in our belief of the very first sacrament if we cant get it together on this????????

Hello out there.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 09:11:49 AM by JoeS »

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2008, 09:46:35 AM »
Calm down JoeS!
Neither those who receive the heterodox by Baptism nor those who receive them by Chrisimation alone accept that the person's previous baptism was sufficient to admit them into the Church....So in fact, they are saying the same thing.
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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2008, 09:52:13 AM »
Calm down JoeS!
Neither those who receive the heterodox by Baptism nor those who receive them by Chrisimation alone accept that the person's previous baptism was sufficient to admit them into the Church....So in fact, they are saying the same thing.

Then what is the reason for "dualing jurisdictions" in my previous statement?

Why would a jurisdiction (Bulgarian) counter the wishes of a bishop (OCA)?  IMHO, this other jurisdiction does not respect the descision of the Bishop.

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2008, 09:54:04 AM »
Calm down JoeS!
Neither those who receive the heterodox by Baptism nor those who receive them by Chrisimation alone accept that the person's previous baptism was sufficient to admit them into the Church....So in fact, they are saying the same thing.

If they are, then why is that person jumping jurisdictions to do this?

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2008, 09:58:09 AM »
Why would a jurisdiction (Bulgarian) counter the wishes of a bishop (OCA)?
You mean: "Why is there diversity in the Church?"

If they are, then why is that person jumping jurisdictions to do this?
Because they can.
For the same reason that our Church can sustain unity in the face of two different calendars.
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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2008, 10:07:20 AM »
I agree that there is but one Baptism.  It is up to the Bishop to offer or not offer the use of oeconomia in realtion to that doctrine.  In response to Lubreti---the reason the person is jumping jurisdictions is he is still self-willed, unwilling to submit to the Fathers as represented and interpreted by his current holy father, his bishop. By seeking to be rebaptised, he is indicating an unwillingness to enter into communion with that bishop and his determination on his baptism.  He would do well to enter communion with the church he is in agreement with so he may learn the podvig of obedience to one in authority over him.

If the bishop of the  jurisdiction he becomes a member of the Orthodox Church is in communion with the bishop he disagrees with, he may have to look else where also because otherwise he will be in communion with the bishop he sees as heretical or teacher of incorrect teaching thru communion with his own bishop.

In seeking to compare the varying interpretations by bishops of the Holy Father's teaching and requirements on baptism one must remember that the Charism to make these decisions is given to the bishop alone and only for those he is responsible for, those whom he shepherds. All of the intrepretations noted meet the guidelines of the holy fathers and counsel.  They are applied by the Bishop as needed with economia for the salvation of mankind within their jurisdiction and due to specific need.In the Orthodox Church our unity is in the  Bishops being in communion one with the other. It is counciliar, meaning that issues of grave import are determined in council and the day to day decisons  under the Charism of the Holy spirit are left to the  individual Bishop for his diocese/jurisdiction. It is not  papal in which one bishop makes all decisions for the entire church.

Thomas
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 10:57:07 AM by Thomas »
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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2008, 10:07:32 AM »
If they are, then why is that person jumping jurisdictions to do this?

First of all I want to correct my earlier statement.  I got a little mixed up in my facts. Here is the story:

Two people who are getting married, one Orthodox the other Roman Catholic.
The RC is taking instructions in the OCA. The Orthodox wanted the Bishop of this diocese to rebaptize the Roman Catholic but was refused because the Bishop recognized the Roman Baptism. The Orthodox, not being satisfied with this sought out out another jurisdiction for rebaptism.  The Orthodox is not seeking another jurisdiction but only a jurisdiction of convenience.

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2008, 10:12:27 AM »
the Bishop recognized the Roman Baptism.
No he didn't.
He simply chose to exercise economia and complete what is insufficient in the the Baptism through Chrisimation.
The Orthodox Church "recognises" no Mysteries outside of herself.
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Offline Bono Vox

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2008, 10:12:33 AM »
A friend of mine is Roman Catholic and he will not ever be able to partake of communion at our parish as long as he follows the canons and does not accept to be rebaptized, which is a requirement by our priest, although not by our bishop, and not by other priests in our Orthodox jurisdiction  ???

I thought by looking on the web and talking with a few Church theologians and trusted Orthodox sources, I would find clear answers to this. Was I ever wrong  :)

I understand that at times and in certain places, chrismation covers over faulty baptisms, especially if the baptism was done in a Trinitarian conservative protestant or Roman Catholic church, rather than a cult like Jehovahs witness or Mormon org. Read a few posts about re-baptism of converts here, and man, it's even more confusing. One theologian has strong historical grounds for fighting against rebaptism, especially of Roman Catholic converts, since rebaptism would mean that Orthodox Church has passed judgement on the work of the Holy Spirit in other nonOrthodox churches by declaring their baptism invalid.

My question: why are "basic fundamental" issues like baptism of a convert still in limbo within the Orthodox communion who have the united testimony of Church fathers and under One baptism. Is it truly because St. Cyprian was out of line with the canons of the Church? If yes, then, why don't canons take precedence over a few isolated church fathers and over even some holy men at Mt Athos? After all, holy living does not make anyone's theology preside over Orthodox theology.

How could we have some Russian Orthodox members insist on re-baptism, without which a believer cannot partake of Holy Eucharist, while other Orthodox churches clearly only require chrismation, and acknowledge the freedom of the Holy Spirit to work outside of our Orthodox boundaries?

What I'm wondering is what's the difference between a protestant not accepting our reading of parts of the Church Fathers and canons, and Orthodox priests and theologians who also disagree with "basic fundamentals" of our faith and how can a catechumen peacefully and eternally know whether he/she should have been rebaptized prior to chrismation and whether he/she has mistakenly placed his soul in jeopardy by not being fully re-baptized according to full Orthodox understanding?

Thanks kindly,


If a person has been baptized in the Trinitarian formula, there should be no need for re-baptism. Chrismation is sufficient. This is the opinion of most Orthodox.
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Offline Veniamin

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2008, 10:19:37 AM »
If a person has been baptized in the Trinitarian formula, there should be no need for re-baptism. Chrismation is sufficient. This is the opinion of most Orthodox.

And it's also the opinion of most Orthodox that they don't have to come to church except on Christmas and Pascha.  Majority does not a valid opinion make.  What is sufficient is whatever the bishop determines is appropriate, not what a majority of parishioners prefer.
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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2008, 10:24:47 AM »
No he didn't.
He simply chose to exercise economia and complete what is insufficient in the the Baptism through Chrisimation.
The Orthodox Church "recognises" no Mysteries outside of herself.

Put this way it makes more sense. So, like it or not, economia is in a way recognition since Baptism is essential prior to Chrismation.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 10:26:57 AM by JoeS »

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2008, 10:33:29 AM »
Unfortunately it pays very little attention to how the Russians have approached the matter.

Here is something very comprehensive which presents the position of the Ecumenical Councils and then goes on to discuss the practice of the Russian Church.

On the Question of the Order of Reception of Persons into the Orthodox Church, Coming to Her from Other Christian Churches
By Archimandrite Ambrosius (Pogodin)

http://www.holy-trinity.org/ecclesiology/pogodin-reception/reception-ch1.html



This is a good article and so is Dragas's article. I read them in conjunction with the book by Metallinos.  I posted a bibliography a few times about literature on the subject. Has any new research or writing been done in the past 3 years on the topic?

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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2008, 11:58:23 AM »
What I don't understand is how can this be oikonomia if oikonomia is tailored to an individual soul's salvation? I mean, each bishop/jurisdiction has a general policy on this. Either re-baptism or chrismation. I don't see any bishops doing re-baptism for some of their converts and chrismation for others depending on their spiritual needs (please enlighten me if there are). It's one way or another for everybody.

So many converts seem to go jurisdiction shopping with this, depending on how traditionalist they are. To the outsider, it looks like a confusing muddle and seems like it makes a charade of One Baptism. I think it would make much more sense for EO churches to be more consistent on this, one way or another.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 11:59:58 AM by lubeltri »

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2008, 12:03:57 PM »
What I don't understand is how can this be oikonomia if oikonomia is tailored to an individual soul's salvation? I mean, each bishop/jurisdiction has a general policy on this. Either re-baptism or chrismation. I don't see any bishops doing re-baptism for some of their converts and chrismation for others depending on their spiritual needs (please enlighten me if there are). It's one way or another for everybody.

So many converts seem to go jurisdiction shopping with this, depending on how traditionalist they are. To the outsider, it looks like a confusing muddle and seems like it makes a charade of baptism. I think it would make much more sense for EO churches to be more consistent on this, one way or another.

Normally, this would not be a problem if you only had one synod per local area. But because of we have overlapping jurisidictions with multiple synods, inquirers can go church shopping until they find a jurisdiction which suits their whims. If you lived in Greece, Russia or a place where there was only one synod of bishops there would be no issue because the synod would come to an agreement on all issues. Jurisdictionalism weakens our witness in this country in so many ways.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2008, 12:33:33 PM »
Put this way it makes more sense. So, like it or not, economia is in a way recognition since Baptism is essential prior to Chrismation.

I was confused by this "delayed effect" too, this temporal separation of the act of baptism from its sacramental meaning. I mean, if the non-EO baptism was nothing, it was just a bath, it had no sacramental character at all. The words were meaningless in terms of the sacrament. A sacrament or sacred mystery is the piercing of the veil between human and divine through material/physical means. In the case of baptism, water. It would seem to me that this "delayed effect" separates the physical act from its sacramental character. If you believe there are no sacraments outside the EO Church, it makes more sense to me to baptize all converts, keeping the material/divine integrity of the sacrament and not getting into the confusion of explaining how a meaningless bath somehow retroactively transforms into a sacrament years later.

In the common EO view, I had a bath in May 1980. Nothing more. Hypothetically, if I were to enter the EO Church via chrismation in May 2010, when people ask me when I was baptized, what would I tell them? May 1980 or May 2010? It can't be May 1980, because it would mean that I was a baptized Christian for 30 years before becoming EO. Is it May 2010 even though I did not get dunked in water and have the name of the Trinity pronounced over me then? It seems confusing to separate the physical act from its sacramental meaning like that and even more confusing to see the varying policies across the EO jurisdictions (with little explanation of why the policies of different).

I think Anastasios's view makes much more sense if you do not believe God allows true sacraments outside the EO churches. The chrismation only idea seems to lead many to think that a lot of EO recognize non-EO baptisms.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2008, 12:48:19 PM »
A note: I'm not trying to be disrespectful here in the convert issues forum, but I am a non-EO and have always been confused about this and would like to learn more.

Offline ChristianLove

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2008, 01:56:26 PM »
Robert's post above from Dean of Theology at University of Athens, Protopresbyter George D. Metallinos, D. Th., Ph. D., has presented a strong argument based on its bibliographical references. How does an Orthodox not accept his pronouncements (below), when seems logical and in line with the spirit of the fathers? Help :-\

1. Latins are ‘’heretics’’ and ‘’unbaptized’’

            Possessing a profound knowledge of the Church’s history after the schism and of the disagreement among the Orthodox regarding the characterization of the Latins as heretics or as schismatics, and also expressing their own theological self-awareness, our writers – in absolute agreement with one another and without the slightest doubt – consider the Latins (and by extension the Lutherocalvinists) to be heretics. The Latins ‘’are heretics,’’ asserts St. Nikodemos; and ‘’we abominate them as heretics, i.e. like Arians or Sabellians or Pneumatomachoi-Macedonians.’’[156] The aim of the saint’s direct reference to the early, major heretics is to show that the Latins are, as he says elsewhere, ‘’age-old heretics,’’[157] i.e. in the same sense as those that appeared in the early undivided Church. To support his claim, he invokes the testimonies of Patriarch Dositheos, Elias Meniates, St. Mark of Ephesus, and others.

            Neophytos expresses himself in the same manner regarding the Latins. ‘’The Latins differ from Orthodoxy on five points. As regards the other [four] differences, they are schismatics. Only as regards the Spirit’s procession also from the Son are they heretics, together with the Lutherocalvinists who believe the same.’’[158] The heretical filioque dogma of the Latins[159] was sufficient for them to be considered heretics; for, of course, they had not yet dogmatized the papal doctrines on primacy and infallibility. To the commonly advanced objection that there was only one essential Latin dogmatic difference, Neophytos responds that the same holds true for the Latins as did once for the Iconoclasts: ‘’Inasmuch as they differed not from us as regards faith in God, they were not heretics, but schismatics. But since, by rejecting the venerable icons they also rejected Christ who was thereon portrayed, they were worse than heretics themselves.’’[160] Similarly, the one difference of the Latins, ‘’pertaining directly to the faith in God,’’ is vital and decisive.[161] Besides, heresy, being potent in character, is not judged by the number of deviations from the truth; for, according to the evangelical saying: ‘’Whoever fails in one point has become guilty of all’’ (cf. Jas. 2:10). Every heresy indicates a prior alteration of the Church’s spiritual presuppositions, i.e. the mystico-niptic, patristic experience. This is the firm conviction of our writers as well.

            The Latins are also considered heretics by Athanasios Parios[162] and C. Oikonomos, because of the filioque innovation. According to Oikonomos, the Latins, ‘’being heretics and not merely schismatics,’’[163] ‘’heretically innovate in other matters, and particularly as regards the divine Creed.’’[164] Hence he also speaks about the ‘’papist heresy,’’[165] thus intimating the contribution to the dogmatic differentiation of the West made by the papal institution as it developed in history.

            To the question prevalent in our writers’ time: When were the Latins condemned as heretics by the Orthodox Church? Neophytos responds that ‘’Councils have censured the Latin belief concerning God, it being a heretical dogma.’’ Thus, for Neophytos, the synodal condemnation of the filioque was simultaneously a condemnation of the Latins themselves, so that no other specific condemnation of them is deemed necessary. Among these Councils he lists the following: the Eighth Ecumenical Council presided over by Photios (879); the Council at which Michael Cerularios presided (1054); the Council presided over by Gregory II of Constantinople (1283-1289), ‘’which cut off the Latins from the plenum of the Orthodox and disinherited them from God’s Church’’; the Council of Sergius II of Constantinople (999-1019), who deleted the name of Sergius Pope of Rome from the diptychs of the Eastern Church; the Councils during the reigns of Emperors Alexios, John, and Manuel Comnenoi (11th-12th cen.); the Council of the three Patriarchs in the East after the Council of Florence (1482); and Local Councils in Russia, Moldovlachia, and elsewhere.[166]

            On the basis of the above ecclesiological presuppositions, the Latins, as heretics, ‘’are not capable of administering baptism, for they lost the grace to administer sacraments,’’ as St. Nikodemos observes.[167] They have no baptism, according to Neophytos, for they lack ‘’the sound confession of the Trinity.’’[168] Thus, their baptism ‘’deviates from the faith,’’ according to St. Basil,[169] since, ‘’by introducing pagan polyarchy into the monarchic Trinity, the Latins are godless,’’ and consequently ‘’unbaptized.’’[170] However, they are also ‘’unbaptized’’ in the literal sense, according to St. Nikodemos; for ‘‘they do not preserve the three immersions,’’ and thus do not have the Church’s baptism.[171] Neophytos observes that, ‘’since they are nowise immersed, i.e. baptized,’’ they are unbaptized.[172] A. Parios reiterates the same.[173]

            Oikonomos further adds that just as the slightest alteration in the sacrament of the holy Eucharist is condemned by the Church, in that it revokes the very sacrament; so likewise in baptism, even the slightest alteration cannot be tolerated.[174] In the case of the Latins, though, innovation was not limited to the elimination of the immersions and emersions. But, in accordance with the secular, modernistic spirit prevalent in the West, it has gradually extended to other areas of the sacrament as well, so that their rite has departed even further from the Church’s one baptism.[175] Hence, the one fundamental innovation gave rise to all the rest. The departure from Orthodox-patristic spirituality also brought on the differences in the dogmas. The dogmatic differences, therefore, are not to be looked at scholastically, but patristically and spiritually.

 and from top: APPLICATION OF THE CANON

IT WAS previously stated at the beginning of this study that in the eighteenth century, Canon VII of the Second Ecumenical Council was interpreted in the context of a search for a solution to the problem concerning the reception of converts from the West (i.e. Europe), and especially Latins. There had already preceded a lengthy period of irresolution among the Orthodox over the issue.[153] Patriarch Cyril V’s solution (1755) had not been accepted by all as the only prescribed and correct one.[154] The question posed by both sides was whether the Second Ecumenical Council’s distinction of the heretics by economia could also be made in the case of the Latins. After all, this was the Canon (and also, of course, Canon XCV of Penthekte) on which those who had applied this solution in the past had relied. The difference we observe on this issue, however, was heightened by the disagreement among the Orthodox over the classification of the Latins: as heretics, or as schismatics.[155] For obviously only those who considered Latins heretics were faced with the problem of applying Canon VII to them. Our writers belong to this group, and their relevant teaching we present below.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
[153] See Karmiris, vol. II, pp. 972ff, 979f; Metropolitan Germanos of Ainos, ‘’Περί του κύρους του βαπτίσματος των αιρετικών’’ (‘’On the validity of heretical baptism’’), Ορθοδοξία ΚΖ’ (1952), p. 301ff.

[154] It is sufficient to read the ‘’censorious’’ texts ‘’against the rebaptizers’’ of the eighteenth century that this issue gave rise to. See Skouvaras, pp. 94ff, 122ff; Cf. Metropolitan Germanos of Ainos,              p. 314.

[155] See, in this regard, the very comprehensive chapter: ‘’Greeks and Latins: Hostility and Friendship,’’ in Ware, p. 16ff.

[156] P, pp. 55, 56.

[157] P, p. 55.

[158] E, p. 147 ix.

[159] One may see the importance and the dimensions of the Latin ‘’filioque’’ dogma in the studies by Prof. Fr. John Romanides, Δογματική και Συμβολική Θεολογία της Ορθοδόξου Καθολικής Εκκλησίας (Dogmatic and Symbolic Theology of the Orthodox Catholic Church), vol. 1 (Thessaloniki, 1973), pp. 289ff, 342ff, 379ff. ‘’The Filioque,’’ (Anglican-Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Discussions) (Athens, 1978).

[160] E, p. 147 ix.

[161] E, p. 127. ‘’Just short of being pious…they are not pious at all.’’ E, p. 147 viii.

[162] M, pp. 263, 265.

[163] O, p. 459.

[164] O, p. 445.

[165] O, p. 485.

[166] E, p. 147 vi.. Cf. O, p. 450ff. See V. I. Pheidas, Θεολογικός διάλογος Ορθοδόξου και Ρωμαιοκαθολικής Εκκλησίας από του σχίσματος μέχρι της Αλώσεως (Theological and Dialogue of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches from the Schism to the Fall) (Athens, 1975).

[167] P, p. 56. Cf. P, pp. 509, 605.

[168] E, p. 139.

[169] E, p. 145.

[170] E, p. 142.

[171] P, p. 55. This is the position of E. Argentis. See Ware, p. 93.

[172] E, p. 127.

[173] M, pp. 263f, 265f. The Latins ‘’are altogether unbaptized and worse than the Eunomians. Even if the latter did not in fact baptize with three immersions…yet they did baptize with at least one.’’

[174] O, p. 441 (n. 1).

[175] O, pp. 445f, 457. Cf. E. Simantirakis, Η παρά τοις Ρωμαιοκαθολικοίς τελεσιουργία των μυστηρίων του Βαπτίσματος, του Χρίσματος και της Θ. Ευχαριστίας (The Roman Catholic Ceremony of the Sacrament of Baptism, Chrismation and the Holy Eucharist) (Athens, 1979), p. 141

Offline ChristianLove

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2008, 02:12:41 PM »
Robert's link goes further to clarify on economia argument (below). Is there a substantive and solid refutation of what comes across so logical and spiritually inline with the Fathers here  ??? ?

2. Latins are ‘’in need of baptism’’

            So, the question arises: Given that the Latins are now heretics, can the Second Ecumenical Council’s  provisional distinction concerning Arians and Macedonians also be applied to them; and thus ‘’by economia’’ can they be received by chrismation alone without being baptized? As we saw above, in interpreting Canon VII of the Second Ecumenical Council, our writers understood that the Second Council accepted the baptisms of the aforesaid heretics because they preserved the form of the Apostolic baptism which the Church never abandoned, i.e. the three immersions, which is a ‘’true baptism,’’ a βάπτισμα (tr. dipping) in the literal sense. So, the question is whether, given this stipulation, the Latin ‘’baptism’’ can be accepted as ‘’Apostolic baptism.’’

            The West maintained that their baptism in no way differed from the Apostolic baptism. Oikonomos, however, responds that ‘’affusion’’ (i.e. pouring), and much less ‘’aspersion’’ (i.e. sprinkling), cannot ever be considered baptism. The first is an ‘’uncanonical innovation,’’[176] while the second is ‘’unscriptural’’[177] and void of the character of the ‘’proper and true baptism,’’[178] according to the holy Fathers.[179] Of course, Oikonomos is not referring here to cases of ‘’emergency’’ baptism, which even he does not rule out. These, however, are performed within the Church, in contrast to those who receive the ‘’baptism’’ of whichever heresy and who thus receive death instead of life. What he has in mind here is what is done ‘’without urgent necessity,’’[180] being a practice arbitrarily sanctioned in the West.[181] This practice began with Pope Stephen I (253-257),[182] and was dogmatized by the Council of Trent (1545-1563), in accordance with the spirit of the West to ‘’canonize’’ and legalize every innovation. But in no way can this innovation be justified,[183] being as it is a practice ‘’odious to God,’’[184] for it destroys the sacrament’s God-ordered oneness.[185]

            Furthermore, according to St. Nikodemos, the Latin baptism is ‘’falsely so-called.’’[186] Oikonomos, in many pages, analyzes the meaning of ‘’to baptize,’’ from a literary, patristic, and scriptural point of view, in order to show that no metaphorical use of the term is possible.[187] To those who insist, however, that the Orthodox and Latin baptisms are identical, Oikonomos poses this question: ‘’If Latin baptism is equivalent to ours, then why is it necessary to anoint them with divine chrism when they join us, as if they had not been chrismated at all? For the Latins have chrismation too. But if this is unacceptable for us (as are all other sacraments performed by them), then why not also their baptism by aspersion?’’[188]

            Our writers repeatedly found it necessary to refute the disserting view asserted not only by the Latins, but also by ‘’their unsalaried defenders’’[189] (i.e. Latinizers within the Church), regarding the canonicity of their ‘’baptism.’’ We shall, of course, concentrate on the more significant. These are an example of pure scholastic sophistry, but they acquaint us with the intellectual climate of the time, and help us to see the splendid theological weaponry of our theologians from their responses.

            Thus, the view had been stated that, since even the most minute particle of the consecrated bread ‘’is the whole body of Christ,’’ consequently, even ‘’a drop’’ of sanctified water ‘’has all the power of baptism.’’ Neophytos’ response is as follows: ‘’The consecrated bread of the Eucharist, before communion, and in communion, and after communion, and simply even when no one communicates it, is nonetheless the body of Christ. Baptismal water, on the other hand, is and is called baptism not before the immersion, nor after the immersion, but only in the actual immersion, i.e. actual use; before and after, it is merely baptismal water, not baptism.’’ Moreover, at baptism we do not have a ‘’drink,’’ but a ‘’deluge’’[190] (according to St. Dionysios Areopagite: ‘’complete covering’’).[191]

            In response to the argument that the Latin aspersion ‘’contains sanctification and grace by virtue of the invocations of the Holy Trinity,’’ St. Nikodemos says that ‘’baptism is not consummated by the invocations of the Trinity alone, but also necessarily requires the image of the Lord’s death and burial and resurrection.’’ Belief in the Holy Trinity, even when correct, must be supplemented by the ‘’belief in the Messiah’s death.’’[192] The mere invocation of the Holy Trinity does not sanctify the procedural violation of the sacrament.[193] Thus, according to St. Nikodemos, ‘’since…the Latins are not planted together with Christ the dual-natured Seed in the baptismal water, then neither is their body fashioned by God, nor their soul; and simply speaking, they cannot burgeon salvation, but they wither and perish.’’[194] Neophytos comments that the Lord ‘’ordained birth by water and spirit. But it is not she who sprinkles who gives birth, but she who is pregnant. Likewise, it is not the sprinkled fetus that is born, but the one that was carried in the womb.’’[195] The conclusion drawn from the above is given by Oikonomos as follows: ‘’So, the Latin aspersion, being destitute of the immersions and emersions, is consequently also destitute of the image of the Lord’s three-day death and burial and resurrection…and destitute of all grace, and sanctification, and remission of sins.’’[196]

            Justified, of course, was the question: Why cannot ‘’the same likeness of death’’ also be expressed through affusion or aspersion? Oikonomos’ answer centers around the following four points: 1) the Latin innovation is an ‘’intentional’’ violation of the Lord’s commandment and the Church’s tradition; 2) it is contrary to the single and canonical Apostolic tradition; 3) it alters the meaning of ‘’to baptize’’; and 4) it is contrary ‘’to the Apostolic likeness of the death, and the burial, and the resurrection of Christ, as this likeness was interpreted by all the divine Fathers.’’[197]

            Our writers flimsy the argument that chrismation remedies the ‘’deficiency’’ with respect to the procedure of the Latin baptism. It does not follow, says Neophytos, that through chrismation the Latin baptism becomes ‘’acceptable,’’ inasmuch as chrismation is distinct from baptism; it constitutes a separate sacrament, and makes the already baptized person a participant in Christ’s kingdom (cf. Canon XLVIII of Laodicae). One, therefore, who has not been canonically baptized and regenerated cannot become ‘’a participant in Christ by mere chrismation,’’ since man’s regeneration is not accomplished through chrismation, but through baptism, which ‘’also unites him with the likeness of Christ’s death’’ (cf. Rom. 6:5).[198]

            Likewise very often stated was the argument of the so-called ‘’clinical’’ baptism.[199] In fact, it was upon this argument that the Council presided over by the Archbishop of Athens Chrysostomos Papadopoulos in 1932 based its renowned decision[200] according to Anastasios Christophilopoulos, clinical baptism was administered by affusion. Even so, the Church always viewed with skepticism those persons who received such a baptism,[201] and thus, if they recovered, they were deprived of the right to be ordained, for their baptism was considered imperfect.[202] Of course, to the above sophism one could simply respond that the clinical baptism, in whatever way administered, took place not in heresy, but within the Church! In any event, Neophytos’ response to this argument is that this kind of baptism is contrary to the word of the Lord, who ‘’did not also teach us to baptized by affusion.’’[203] Therefore, he adds, no matter how these people had been baptized, i.e. by affusion or by aspersion, if they survived, ‘’they were no less [considered] in need of baptism.’’[204]

            Oikonomos offers a different, and therefore interesting, explanation: ‘’When out of necessity they baptized such bed-ridden persons…they did not merely sprinkle them (in the Latin fashion), nor did they pour the hallowed water over their head, but thoroughly drenched their entire body (in Latin: perfundebant).’’[205] This kind of baptism would not be repeated, ‘’but it was considered an imperfect seal.’’[206] So, according to him, clinical baptism cannot be admitted as an argument in favor of the Latin aspersion. For it was permitted ‘’out of necessity, and partly,’’ and therefore ‘’does not make it a law of the Church.’’[207] The Latin aspersion, on the other hand, is done ‘’intentionally and without necessity.’’[208] Furthermore – and this is most essential – the Latin baptism is not a ‘’drenching like clinical baptism, but a sprinkling, and it is administered by sprinkled priests devoid of priesthood and unbaptized.[209] But if we accept their aspersion, then we also have to accept the rest of their sacraments, which is impossible according to Apostolic Canon XLVI.[210]

            Thus, our writers conclude that the Latin baptism ‘’deviated both in practice and in faith.’’[211] Since it is administered in heresy, i.e. outside the Church, it is in itself without substance (Apostolic Canon XLVII). It cannot be accepted by economia when Latins convert,[212] for it is imperfect, and is denounced by Canon VII of the Second Ecumenical Council as an unjustifiable innovation as regards the ritual. By the same Council, it is rejected together with the ‘’single-immersion’’ baptism of the Eunomians, i.e. as being ‘’inefficacious and ineffectual.’’[213]

            Moreover, by rejecting the Church’s tradition through this innovation of theirs, the Latins are, according to the Seventh Ecumenical Council (act viii), ‘’anathematized.’’[214] Truly of the gravest import are the following questions posed by Oikonomos: 1) If there is a demand for the Latin aspersion to be accepted by economia, then why do not the Latins exercise some ‘’economia’’ themselves, ‘’and again resume what from the beginning was delivered to them from the Fathers and the Apostles, and abandon their innovations?’’[215] and he continues: 2) ‘’If he who joins the Church in fact accepts all the dogmas and sacraments of the Orthodox faith wholeheartedly and genuinely, and anathematizes all his patrimonial erroneous beliefs, how then does he hold as correct the wrongdoing with regard to baptism (the foundation of the faith)?’’[216] and, 3) ‘’If indeed the Church accepts the candidate’s written statement, in which he anathematizes all his patrimonial erroneous beliefs, how then can she herself accept the innovation with regard to his baptism, it being one of the erroneous beliefs he anathematized?’’[217]

            One hundred years and more after Oikonomos posed them, these questions received the following reply by the Second Vatican Council: ‘’The sacrament of baptism may be performed by immersion or by affusion. Baptism by immersion is the more indicated form, as it signifies the death and the resurrection of Christ. In accordance with our prevailing custom, the sacrament of baptism will generally be performed by affusion’’!...[218]

            In light of what has been said above, it is easy to understand why our writers maintain that the Latins cannot be placed in the category of the Arians and Macedonians for the economia of the Second Ecumenical Council to be also applicable to them. For, ‘’they are not at all immersed, i.e. baptized, but sprinkled,’’ according to Neophytos. If their aspersion counts as baptism, then ‘’it is wholly necessary either to establish two baptisms, or having established the one, to reject that by trine immersion.’’[219] On this point also, Oikonomos comments that ‘’the Latins…limp…on both legs as regards the correct baptismal rite; in the other words, as regards the three emersions and immersions, which the sons of Arius and Macedonius genuinely performed according to the Apostolic tradition.’’[220] Moreover, according to A. Parios, the Latins are in a worse position than the very Eunomians, who at least preserved one immersion.[221] As a consequence, according to Parios’ epigrammatic expression, ‘’they who convert from the Latins must indisputably, indispensably, and necessarily be baptized.’’[222]

            Of course, the baptizing of the Latins does not mean that the dogma, ‘’I confess one baptism,’’ is rejected. ‘’No, not at all,’’ replies Oikonomos regarding this.[223] ‘’When the heretics are administered our rites,’’ says Neophytos, ‘’they are not being rebaptized, but baptized.’’[224] For, as St. Nikodemos says, ‘’their baptism belies its name.’’[225] therefore, ‘’the Canons baptize those who had received a different [baptism] contrary to church law, and thus overturn not the one and only true baptism, but every alien and pseudonymous human invention.’’[226] Consequently, the (re)baptizing of the Latins does not have the meaning of simply making them members of the Church, but above all of accomplishing in them the regeneration that sprinkling is incapable of  imparting to them.

Offline Anastasios

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2008, 02:18:32 PM »
Well i would read the article by Fr Ambrosios Pagodin that Fr Ambrose posted above to see the historical development of this practice, and also go to ecclesia.gr and look for Fr Dragas's article on the subject.

I believe in baptizing everyone but we have to be clear that this has not always been the actual practice, especially in the Russian Church.
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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline Elisha

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2008, 02:55:21 PM »
Robert's post above from Dean of Theology at University of Athens, Protopresbyter George D. Metallinos, D. Th., Ph. D., has presented a strong argument based on its bibliographical references. How does an Orthodox not accept his pronouncements (below), when seems logical and in line with the spirit of the fathers? Help


1.  Protopresbyter George is NOT a synod unto himself nor even a hierarch.

2.  Then why doesn't the Church change her policies every time some theologian writes an argument that  "...seems logical and in line with the spirit of the fathers?"  How is that different with what Protestants do with changing beliefs left and right?

I didn't read your huge postings (maybe I'll have the time tonight), but I don't need to.  Your opening statement above says it all.  While I personally lean toward the "baptism for all" crowd, I think everyone needs to be looked on as a case by case basis.

ChristianLove,
You seem very well meaning, but very emotionally invested in these type of issues and to be either too legalistic or too emotional about things.  Step back and look at the bigger picture and purpose of why the Church does things one way or another.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 02:55:47 PM by Elisha »

Offline lubeltri

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2008, 03:23:28 PM »
Another question---since I am unbaptized and refuse to be baptized (according to the traditionalist EO perspective), am I a Christian?

Offline Anastasios

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2008, 03:29:30 PM »
Another question---since I am unbaptized and refuse to be baptized (according to the traditionalist EO perspective), am I a Christian?

Yes, because you follow Christ, although only he can judge if you are a faithful Christian (or any of us for that matter)
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2008, 03:32:24 PM »
Another question---since I am unbaptized and refuse to be baptized (according to the traditionalist EO perspective), am I a Christian? 

I think your questions are quite valid, but the following question popped up in my head when I read this post:

If you're not Orthodox and don't intend on becoming Orthodox, why do you care whether "traditionalist EO" call you a Christian or not, and recognize your baptism per se or not?
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2008, 03:38:28 PM »
I think your questions are quite valid, but the following question popped up in my head when I read this post:

If you're not Orthodox and don't intend on becoming Orthodox, why do you care whether "traditionalist EO" call you a Christian or not, and recognize your baptism per se or not?

Well, these were questions I had back when I was considering Orthodoxy, and I never could answer them.

Offline ChristianLove

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2008, 03:53:21 PM »
Agreed Elisha. My eternal salvation is an emotional issue for my family, but I am doing my best to understand the Orthodox spiritual perspective, rather than just one modern understanding, or one theologian. The Protopresbyter's article quotes ecumenical councils' decisions and the conflict they have with a few modern Orthodox applications. It seems even with 7 ecumenical councils, many church fathers, and extensive body of Christ members, there are varying applications of "Orthodox" practice, but my question has to do with whether modern practice among some goes against the ecumenical councils and the earlier Orthodox practice, since currently there are 2 devout holy Orthodox sources in our region, who are providing me with two conflicting ideas on what is Orthodox and what is not.

Thanks for your prayers  :)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 03:54:37 PM by ChristianLove »

Offline Fr. David

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2008, 03:57:09 PM »
I'll just chime in and say this:

(1) I personally prefer much stricter policies on baptizing folks -- namely, baptism and chrismation for all who were not baptized by triple immersion in the name of the Trinity and chrismated; chrismation for all who were baptized in the above manner but not chrismated; confession of faith for those who were baptized and chrismated in the above manner.  This is the historic practice of the OCA and the Russian church at large, as has been noted (citation HERE).

(2) I don't have a problem with there being multiple approaches in the Church universal; apparently the disagreement goes back to Ss. Stephen and Cyprian during the Roman persecution days and has never been resolved to this day!  So that doesn't bother me, as both ways of reception say the same thing, with one simply not saying such as forcefully (and thus careful clarification is needed).

(3) What I DO have a problem with is what's been noted repeatedly in this thread:

...because of we have overlapping jurisidictions with multiple synods, inquirers can go church shopping until they find a jurisdiction which suits their whims.

So many converts seem to go jurisdiction shopping with this, depending on how traditionalist they are. To the outsider, it looks like a confusing muddle and seems like it makes a charade of One Baptism.

So, this individual is seeking baptism in another jurisdiction and was approved for rebaptism.  How can we as Orthodox claim any universality in our belief of the very first sacrament if we cant get it together on this????????

I do wonder how hard can we criticize/judge the conservative Christian westerners for their differences in practice, and holding to different organizational structure, while they accept a Spirit Led Unity beyond organizational boundaries, when we cannot even agree on how a catechumen should enter "salvation" even amongst all Orthodox?

The point is this...We may have eucharistic unity and unity of many, many core essentials, and we may also be free to disagree with other Orthodox churches (as in, that of Greece, that of Russia, that of Serbia, etc) as to application of certain things and still remain in communion.  What gets me is that the jurisdictional overlapping causes chaos in a single, local area that leads to little more than the denomination-hopping I wanted to reject as an Evangelical. 

When an Orthodox Christian can be denied a second marriage in one jurisdiction then go to the other parish in town and have it done...

...when someone can desire to enter the church through baptism and, having been denied by one priest, can be granted what s/he as an individual wants by another priest just down the street...

...when someone is granted a divorce in one parish but is still recognized as married in the neighboring one...

...when a priest is received leniently in one jurisdiction, in which he serves faithfully for years, then is looked down on as not *really* being a priest in the same area his bishops' synod covers...

...then this is not Orthodoxy.  Orthodoxy states that ONE bishop, presiding over ONE geographic area, declares for that area what will be done, PERIOD.  Moreover, that ONE bishop will be acting in concord with all the OTHER bishops in the surrounding areas which comprise the synod of that larger area, and the practice will be upheld in unison by all the participating bishops and priests.  For someone to get something other than the way THAT SYNOD decides it will be done, they'd not only have to "Get out of Dodge," but probably get out of the country!

In Orthodoxy, you do it the way your bishop says, and if you don't like it, you learn to deal with it.  You don't go to another jurisdiction because there IS no OTHER jurisdiction!  For us to continue like this is to continue in a maimed, incomplete, and diseased form of unity.  Yes, there's sacraments in common, but if we continue to diverge like this, for how much longer can we say this will be the case?

For an excellent (and similarly forceful, I'm afraid) interview of this topic, click
HERE for AFR's most recent Illumined Heart podcast... 


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Offline ChristianLove

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2008, 06:53:24 PM »
"Be Ye ONE even as the Father and the Son are ONE" is our LORD's calling on all of His faithful followers and of course, a higher standard could not have been set for Oneness as that of the Father and the Son.

Robert, on the book presented online and the councils and Orthodox sections and monasteries of Mt. Athos which require Roman Catholics to be baptized, I was wondering why did the second ecumenical council not "require" baptism of all those who had been baptized in the name of a different Trinity (Father, lower created god Jesus, and the spirit), but we require those who clearly believe in the Holy Trinity as One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to be re-baptized by declaring their baptism as null and void?

The filioque division seems to have not ever been interpreted by the official positions of either of these churches as changing the nature of the Holy Trinity, although there is obvious disagreement whether Roman councils had authority to add its clarification to the earlier council's creed.

I believe our Bishops and Metropolitan are doing their best to try to fulfill Christ's Oneness in His Body and in the working of His unlimited Holy Spirit everywhere and at all times, by not requiring baptism of Trinitarian converts to Orthodoxy, aren't they?

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2008, 10:17:53 PM »
I believe our Bishops and Metropolitan are doing their best to try to fulfill Christ's Oneness in His Body and in the working of His unlimited Holy Spirit everywhere and at all times, by not requiring baptism of Trinitarian converts to Orthodoxy, aren't they?

I don't think so. The holy spirit descends on a convert at the time of chrismation. St John the forerunner baptized converts with a baptism of repentance. This is how I believe the orthodox view a heterodox baptism

Acts 19:4
Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus."
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Offline serb1389

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2008, 12:03:48 AM »
When I take my class on the Ecumenical Councils I will make sure to ask Fr. Dragas (the author of the above discussed article) what he meant.  If anyone would like to compile a list of questions for him, i'd be more than happy to get back to you. 

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2008, 01:43:11 AM »
I was wondering why did the second ecumenical council not "require" baptism of all those who had been baptized in the name of a different Trinity (Father, lower created god Jesus, and the spirit), but we require those who clearly believe in the Holy Trinity as One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to be re-baptized by declaring their baptism as null and void?
I think what was seen as the most important issue here is the form of the ritual.  According to one of the articles you posted, even Arians baptized by triple immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, even though they did not acknowledge the full divinity of the Son.  This is much closer to proper ritual form than the modern Roman church's practice of baptism by pouring.  Evidently, the Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council considered ritual form more important than underlying doctrine when they determined whose baptisms should be recognized upon entry into the Church and whose should not.  Don't be confused, though, for even the Arian baptism was recognized as "null and void" prior to one's entry into the Church.
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Offline ChristianLove

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2008, 02:20:16 AM »
Peter, a good Orthodox friend of mine thought of this one and said if that logic was followed up, that would mean that if a Jehovah's witness or another cult which denies the Trinity (like titled Orthodox Catholic Bishop Arius, his priests and followers did), but they had followed triple immersion in the "name" of Father, secondary created son, and the Holy Spirit, and they now wanted to join Orthodoxy, they would have a stronger "justification" for not needing to be baptized  :).

side questions: When an Arian parishoner living in Bishop Arius' "districts", reconnected with the Holy Spirit's Church, or those catholic orthodox parishoners living in district run by Phrygian and Sabellian bishops, they were not considered to have been double born again-again, where they? If someone asked them when were you born again, would they say it was at chrismation into the council approved Orthodox Church or were the effects of the sacrament assumed to have taken place right after birth, when they had been baptized with triple immersion?

I do find it powerful that our theological agreement or disagreements with our Orthodox brethren can have such lasting impact on our Christian lives. Thanks for all who have been kind enough to provide wonderful insights. After talking to our priest, if he insists on following the direction of the monks' teachings on so many areas, I probably do have to follow up with our Bishop and/or Metropolitan, but not being Orthodox, might put me at a major precarious position, especially if I get political concerns involved in such questions.

It has been a sad but thought provoking eye opener to know that a convert has to face such drastic areas to continue on the path of following God  :( :-\

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2008, 02:31:51 AM »
I don't know how many of the people discussing here the "proper form" of baptism are aware that there are millions of Orthodox out there that were baptized by triple pouring in the Orthodox Church, by an Orthodox priest in an Orthodox land. I'm just one of them. ;)

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2008, 09:21:14 AM »
Beloved in the Lord,

The purpose of the Convert issues forum is to provide a a place on the OC.Net where inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted could ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. Many of those posting in this area are ignorant of Orthodox teachings and are using this forum to understand what are the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. Due to the simplicity of many of their requests and responses, direct and simple answers with sources if possible are most helpful.

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Offline Robert

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2008, 04:32:49 PM »
Question:

Roman Catholics need valid "form, matter, and intent" to consider a sacrament as "valid".

What do Orthodox consider?

Thanks,
Robert

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2008, 04:33:48 PM »
In the later times when western terms were employed for Orthodox concepts, the Orthodox would agree.

The difference arises in that Russians consider pouring "valid form" and Greeks do not (traditionally).

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« Last Edit: January 10, 2008, 04:33:57 PM by Anastasios »
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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2008, 04:34:47 PM »
I don't know how many of the people discussing here the "proper form" of baptism are aware that there are millions of Orthodox out there that were baptized by triple pouring in the Orthodox Church, by an Orthodox priest in an Orthodox land. I'm just one of them. ;)

Yes, a practice that has reared its head many times in history and which we must be constantly vigilant to combat whenever it does. ;)
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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #58 on: January 10, 2008, 05:01:14 PM »
So, Mormons (LDS) baptize with water via triple full immersion (matter), trinitarian format (form), and hope to baptize (intent), why wouldn't their baptism be considered valid for jurisdictions who receive via Chrismation?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2008, 05:01:50 PM by Robert »

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #59 on: January 10, 2008, 05:04:36 PM »
So, Mormons (LDS) baptize with water via triple full immersion (matter), trinitarian format (form), and hope to baptize (intent), why wouldn't their baptism be considered valid for jurisdictions who receive via Chrismation?

I believe it would be because their understanding of God is polytheistic.
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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #60 on: January 10, 2008, 05:13:04 PM »
So, Mormons (LDS) baptize with water via triple full immersion (matter), trinitarian format (form), and hope to baptize (intent), why wouldn't their baptism be considered valid for jurisdictions who receive via Chrismation?
They don't mean the same thing by baptism "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" as Christians do because they do not believe in the Trinitarian God, "one in essence and undivided".
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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #61 on: January 10, 2008, 05:13:16 PM »
As a former Mormon I can verify that!  The LDS Churches understanding of the Holy Trinity is not trinitarian in Orthodox terminology but is polytheistic as they teach that each member of the Godhead is a seperate and distict person and each is an individual God.  Therefore the baprism is invalid because of Theology not form, intent, or matter but rather the spirit and diety of the event is invalid.

Thomas
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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #62 on: January 10, 2008, 05:57:28 PM »
In the later times when western terms were employed for Orthodox concepts, the Orthodox would agree.

The difference arises in that Russians consider pouring "valid form" and Greeks do not (traditionally).

Anastasios

But answer me this:
We have a recently illumined (sometime within the past year) who weighs over 300 pounds and is confined to a wheel chair.  To baptize him, we took the big trough (baptismal fount), took one of those round dual-handled plastic tubs (probably around 10+ gallon size) and poured a few gallons of water on him three times (filling it with a few gallons each time).  What do you think your group would have done?

Offline RPConover

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2008, 06:52:37 PM »
In the later times when western terms were employed for Orthodox concepts, the Orthodox would agree.

The difference arises in that Russians consider pouring "valid form" and Greeks do not (traditionally).

Anastasios

Doesn't the Didache mention pouring when necessary though? It says: "1 Concerning baptism, baptise thus: Having first rehearsed all these things, "baptise, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," in running water; 2 but if thou hast no running water, baptise in other water, and if thou canst not in cold, then in warm. 3 But if thou hast neither, pour water three times on the head "in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit."

I can see why it wouldn't be preferable, but why wouldn't it be valid form?

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2008, 09:55:25 PM »
Question:

Roman Catholics need valid "form, matter, and intent" to consider a sacrament as "valid".

What do Orthodox consider?
Just as Catholics have their own criteria for what makes a valid Sacrament, so do the Orthodox have their criteria, the primary one being the requirement for an Orthodox minister (which can be any member of the faithful in the case of Baptism.)

So to the three Catholic requirements: "form, matter, and intent" the Orthodox add a fourth:
"form, matter, intent, and minister."


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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #65 on: January 11, 2008, 03:15:01 AM »
But answer me this:
We have a recently illumined (sometime within the past year) who weighs over 300 pounds and is confined to a wheel chair.  To baptize him, we took the big trough (baptismal fount), took one of those round dual-handled plastic tubs (probably around 10+ gallon size) and poured a few gallons of water on him three times (filling it with a few gallons each time).  What do you think your group would have done?
Clearly exceptions need to be made for the physical disabilities of some newly baptized, and I believe our canonical tradition even recognizes this.  Would you, though, make such exceptions into a rule to be applied even for those people who don't have such exceptional needs?
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Offline Elisha

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #66 on: January 11, 2008, 05:37:11 AM »
Clearly exceptions need to be made for the physical disabilities of some newly baptized, and I believe our canonical tradition even recognizes this.  Would you, though, make such exceptions into a rule to be applied even for those people who don't have such exceptional needs?

Thank you, but I would like our Webdespota's response.

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #67 on: January 11, 2008, 09:26:23 AM »
Doesn't the Didache mention pouring when necessary though? It says: "1 Concerning baptism, baptise thus: Having first rehearsed all these things, "baptise, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," in running water; 2 but if thou hast no running water, baptise in other water, and if thou canst not in cold, then in warm. 3 But if thou hast neither, pour water three times on the head "in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit."

I can see why it wouldn't be preferable, but why wouldn't it be valid form?

Once again we see why the use of proper oeconomia by the Bishop is so important.  Under the charism of the Holy Spirit that is given to the Bishop, the bishop (and the bishop alone) makes decisions on exceptions to practice necessary for the Salvation of men and women in his jurisdiction or diocese.  In this case the Bishop may grant whatever oeconomia he feels necessary to get this child of God into the fold, the practices and directions of the Holy fathers help him in making this decision under the charism of his calling.

Thomas
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 09:30:15 AM by Thomas »
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Offline Thomas

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #68 on: January 11, 2008, 09:35:15 AM »
Just as Catholics have their own criteria for what makes a valid Sacrament, so do the Orthodox have their criteria, the primary one being the requirement for an Orthodox minister (which can be any member of the faithful in the case of Baptism.)

So to the three Catholic requirements: "form, matter, and intent" the Orthodox add a fourth:
"form, matter, intent, and minister."



In the matter of efficacity of the Mormon (LDS) baptism the term minister must come forward also.  The actual wording of their baptismal fomula is "Having been commissioned by Jesus Christ, I Baptise you in the name of the Father (full immersion), and of the Son (full immersion), and of the Holy Ghost (full imersion) Amen."  Thus as the Orthodox do not believe that Mormons have been commissioned by Christ to do the baptism, the act is invalid as well as their understanding of the Holy Trinity.

Thomas

« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 09:35:51 AM by Thomas »
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Offline Robert

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #69 on: January 11, 2008, 10:38:04 AM »
In the matter of efficacity of the Mormon (LDS) baptism the term minister must come forward also.  The actual wording of their baptismal fomula is "Having been commissioned by Jesus Christ, I Baptise you in the name of the Father (full immersion), and of the Son (full immersion), and of the Holy Ghost (full imersion) Amen."  Thus as the Orthodox do not believe that Mormons have been commissioned by Christ to do the baptism, the act is invalid as well as their understanding of the Holy Trinity.

Thomas



Thanks all for the much needed information about LDS Baptismal rituals.


Offline Anastasios

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #70 on: January 11, 2008, 11:08:37 AM »
But answer me this:
We have a recently illumined (sometime within the past year) who weighs over 300 pounds and is confined to a wheel chair.  To baptize him, we took the big trough (baptismal fount), took one of those round dual-handled plastic tubs (probably around 10+ gallon size) and poured a few gallons of water on him three times (filling it with a few gallons each time).  What do you think your group would have done?

The same. This is obviously a reason to use economy. Our objection is to using economy in non emergency situations.
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Offline Tzimis

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #71 on: January 11, 2008, 04:23:24 PM »
Although Orthodoxy tries very diligently to keep it's forms. The most important facet is not form but rather the metaphysical aspect of baptism.
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Offline ChristianLove

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #72 on: January 11, 2008, 06:29:07 PM »
Does Traditional and faithful Orthodoxy differentiate among theological canons vs. lower canons like lower 't' or bigger "T" applied to Holy Tradition?

Also, any concerns about going against the Spirit of Grace when such emphasis is put on forms like some 1st century Christians were caught up in emphasizing old testament Judaic forms and "laws" (i.e. Christian form canons)?

Thanks.

Offline Elisha

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #73 on: January 11, 2008, 06:40:40 PM »
The same. This is obviously a reason to use economy. Our objection is to using economy in non emergency situations.

Then I think the discussion needs to be more about defining an "emergency" or "exceptional circumstances".  ITSM that "economy" has been abused in the past (and present to I guess), but on the same side, many traditionalist or Old Calendarist groups may be too quick to be outraged.

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #74 on: January 11, 2008, 08:00:17 PM »
Here is a patristic viewpoint from Saint Basil the Great.  Notice the typical balance of the Church Fathers - while the principle of no Baptism outside the Chruch is clearly enunciated, Saint Basil also states very clearly that for the sake of the good of the Church "economy" may be used if it is thought necessary.


Epistle to Amphilochius (of which the "First Canon" of Saint Basil is a shorter version) 

---- "It seemed best to the ancients-I refer to Cyprian and our own Firmilian-to subject all of these-Cathari, and Encratites, and Hydroparastatae-to one vote of condemnation, because the beginning of this separation arose through schism, and those who had broken away from the Church no longer had in them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the imparting of it failed because of the severance of continuity.

"For those who separated first had ordination from the Fathers, and through the imposition of their hands possessed the spiritual gift; but those who had been cut off, becoming laymen, possessed the power neither of baptizing nor of ordaining, being able no longer to impart to others the grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves had fallen away. Therefore they commanded those who had been baptized by them, as baptized by laymen, to come to the Church and be purified by the true baptism of the Church.

"But since on the whole it has seemed best to some of those in Asia that, by economy for the sake of the many, their baptism be accepted, let it be accepted."

Notice the word economy used here by Saint Basil with reference to situations when baptism is not insisted upon. Saint Athanasius also uses the word economy with reference to the reception of heretics.

Offline ChristianLove

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #75 on: January 16, 2008, 02:51:33 PM »
Our priest gave me a book to read which included the baptism sacrament. Wow! I had no idea how powerful and clear was the Orthodox understanding and experiential references to God's Kingdom setting us apart against the invisible Satan and his cohorts.

I had an unusual experience reading the Orthodox sacramental provisions on baptism. I sensed a strong presence of God and for maybe 30 minutes, I could almost see breaks in the air to a different dimension. Either I am losing my mind or God is Real and Present. As one with mostly intellectually strong bent, this supernatural experience of God's Presence is unusual for me and I have not had anymore, even when reading the same document. Obviously the content for Orthodox agreement is much much more important than my personal experience.

In all honesty, my protestant teachings on baptism are so far from the Orthodox church fathers' understanding of the power of God and the importance of baptism as an important part of our salvation. Infact, after reading this, I know that almost all theologians on the modern protestant side would go against Orthodox teachings and would declare us opposed to their modern way of "salvation". But of course, they would also have a hard time with their founder, Martin Luther and probably John Calvin on the importance of God's Grace in the Sacraments as well.

Probably a canon law specialist is needed to understand when a convert needs to be baptized as well as Chrismated. I believe it would probably not be good to be in doubt about the special Grace of God available through His Holy Sacrament of Baptism and with the blessings of our Bishop, hope to be able to partake of God's Grace here. Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD God Almighty! Bless His Holy Name!

Thanks all for your timely and kind guidance always.

Offline serb1389

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #76 on: January 16, 2008, 05:47:30 PM »
So are you giving up on the topic? 

I would highly recommend that you do not.  It would be a shame for you to not have a greater understanding one of the most foundational of sacraments. 

There are tons of books and even online resources for you to delve into this topic. 

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #77 on: January 16, 2008, 11:19:16 PM »
Thanks Serb. Not giving up, but rather trying to move forward with our entrance into the Church and our protection from our invisible enemy and his cohorts, through the Grace given by the Holy Sacraments of the Church. The resources here have been most helpful.

Offline jnorm888

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #78 on: February 09, 2008, 02:15:16 AM »
A friend of mine is Roman Catholic and he will not ever be able to partake of communion at our parish as long as he follows the canons and does not accept to be rebaptized, which is a requirement by our priest, although not by our bishop, and not by other priests in our Orthodox jurisdiction  ???

I thought by looking on the web and talking with a few Church theologians and trusted Orthodox sources, I would find clear answers to this. Was I ever wrong  :)

I understand that at times and in certain places, chrismation covers over faulty baptisms, especially if the baptism was done in a Trinitarian conservative protestant or Roman Catholic church, rather than a cult like Jehovahs witness or Mormon org. Read a few posts about re-baptism of converts here, and man, it's even more confusing. One theologian has strong historical grounds for fighting against rebaptism, especially of Roman Catholic converts, since rebaptism would mean that Orthodox Church has passed judgement on the work of the Holy Spirit in other nonOrthodox churches by declaring their baptism invalid.

My question: why are "basic fundamental" issues like baptism of a convert still in limbo within the Orthodox communion who have the united testimony of Church fathers and under One baptism. Is it truly because St. Cyprian was out of line with the canons of the Church? If yes, then, why don't canons take precedence over a few isolated church fathers and over even some holy men at Mt Athos? After all, holy living does not make anyone's theology preside over Orthodox theology.

How could we have some Russian Orthodox members insist on re-baptism, without which a believer cannot partake of Holy Eucharist, while other Orthodox churches clearly only require chrismation, and acknowledge the freedom of the Holy Spirit to work outside of our Orthodox boundaries?

What I'm wondering is what's the difference between a protestant not accepting our reading of parts of the Church Fathers and canons, and Orthodox priests and theologians who also disagree with "basic fundamentals" of our faith and how can a catechumen peacefully and eternally know whether he/she should have been rebaptized prior to chrismation and whether he/she has mistakenly placed his soul in jeopardy by not being fully re-baptized according to full Orthodox understanding?

Thanks kindly,



This was a dispute between Cyprian and the Roman Bishop of his day in the 3rd century. Some make the mistake in thinking it goes back to Augustine, but it doesn't. It came from a dispute between those in the city of Carthage vs those from the city of Rome.


Eventualy they both agreed.....I may be wrong about this because it's been some time since I read Cyprian, but I think they agreed to not re-baptize those who were Baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


However, there may be more things involved than just that.





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Offline Didymus

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #79 on: February 11, 2008, 09:07:27 AM »
A friend of mine is Roman Catholic and he will not ever be able to partake of communion at our parish as long as he follows the canons and does not accept to be rebaptized, which is a requirement by our priest, although not by our bishop, and not by other priests in our Orthodox jurisdiction  ???

We have a similar situation at the Mission at Ningi. The priest who regularly comes up from Brisbane baptises Roman Catholics. (Anyone who knows anything about the Roman Catholic parish in South Brisbane will have no doubts as to why.) However the missionary priest who comes up from Sydney every few months chrismats without (re-)baptising Roman Catholics. There is one RC lady who has expressed in joining our local Church who is not willing to be baptised lest her mother take offence. Hence, it was suggested to her to talk to the priest from Sydney when he's next up.

How this relates to your problem: Just have your friend visit one of the other priests to be chrismated and received into The Church. This seems like the simplest solution.
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Offline serb1389

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #80 on: February 11, 2008, 10:59:39 PM »


How this relates to your problem: Just have your friend visit one of the other priests to be chrismated and received into The Church. This seems like the simplest solution.

Simple can easily become simplistic, or redactionist, which is not consistent with orthodoxy.  We don't say that God is "the big boss upstairs" as that would be a disservice to God.  I agree with your solution, just not your reasons necessarily...things are not always as "simple" as they seem....

eh...just a thought...
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Offline ebpusey

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #81 on: March 06, 2008, 01:53:12 PM »
The mention of the debate between St. Cyprian and Pope St. Stephen (I believe) is telling. It illustrates that there has been diversity within the Church, at least in this case. However, I do believe it is clear that the Orthodox Church teaches that there are no Sacraments outside of the Church, as there is but One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism (and that, of course, is that of the Orthodox Church.)

On a different note, one regarding the reception of Roman Catholics: whilst I was in the OCA, I noticed that Roman Catholics were only to be anointed upon the forehead and not on the eyes, ears, breast, etc. This seems to me to indicate that the Roman Catholic Sacrament of Confirmation is, in some sense, "correct" otherwise they would be anointed in the traditional sense. I can only imagine that this is a newer practice of the jurisdiction and am not sure if it is the practice of most of the non-baptizing jurisdictions. Could anyone shed some light on this?

Offline Veniamin

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #82 on: March 06, 2008, 02:02:22 PM »
The mention of the debate between St. Cyprian and Pope St. Stephen (I believe) is telling. It illustrates that there has been diversity within the Church, at least in this case. However, I do believe it is clear that the Orthodox Church teaches that there are no Sacraments outside of the Church, as there is but One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism (and that, of course, is that of the Orthodox Church.)

On a different note, one regarding the reception of Roman Catholics: whilst I was in the OCA, I noticed that Roman Catholics were only to be anointed upon the forehead and not on the eyes, ears, breast, etc. This seems to me to indicate that the Roman Catholic Sacrament of Confirmation is, in some sense, "correct" otherwise they would be anointed in the traditional sense. I can only imagine that this is a newer practice of the jurisdiction and am not sure if it is the practice of most of the non-baptizing jurisdictions. Could anyone shed some light on this?

I've not heard of that.  The Latin converts in my OCA parish are all chrismated in the normal fashion.
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #83 on: March 06, 2008, 02:13:59 PM »
I've not heard of that.  The Latin converts in my OCA parish are all chrismated in the normal fashion.

That is because the resolution to adopt the new form of chrismation for Catholics did not have a lot of support even though it made it through the Synod.
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Offline ebpusey

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #84 on: March 06, 2008, 02:20:55 PM »
Hmmmm...well, it was definitely in the booklet for Chrismation in my parish.

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #85 on: March 06, 2008, 02:55:49 PM »
Yes, it was approved but some of the bishops just simply ignore it.

It was an attempt to customize the rite of reception for Catholics since they are perceived as being closer to Orthodox than Protestants.
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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline ebpusey

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #86 on: March 06, 2008, 04:16:55 PM »
It also seems like a tacit recognition of their sacramental life, vis-a-vis Confirmation.  Anyways, that was my perception.

Offline Symeon

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #87 on: March 06, 2008, 05:02:18 PM »
That is because the resolution to adopt the new form of chrismation for Catholics did not have a lot of support even though it made it through the Synod.

That's really unfortunate (the making it through the Synod part).

I have to say, I'm not too pleased with my jurisdiction right now.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 05:02:53 PM by Symeon »

Offline ebpusey

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #88 on: March 06, 2008, 05:07:36 PM »
That's really unfortunate (the making it through the Synod part).

I have to say, I'm not too pleased with my jurisdiction right now.

I really don't know how widely the use is practised. It may generally just be considered a recommendation (kind of like the speed limit in Atlanta ;)).

Offline Quinault

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #89 on: November 04, 2008, 02:52:41 PM »
By JoeS
Quote
In my humble opinion, any Baptism beyong a "legitimate" Baptism ie one who has been baptized in the Trinitarian Tradition is a waste of time and amounts to insignificance.
Baptizing a Baptized person only cheapens the Sacrament.  It doesnt have any grace giving properties since it is unnecessary to begin with.  The rebaptized person's sins are NOT forgiven again as in the first Baptism and the salvation of that person being rebaptized could be in jeapardy.

I would still like to know why some believe that being re-baptized is dangerous?

I had to be re-baptized because the "pastor" that baptized me burned down the church for the insurance money a couple years later. (Although I highly doubt they would have kept a record of it to begin with).
« Last Edit: November 04, 2008, 02:56:52 PM by Quinault »

Offline Elisha

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Re: why is re-baptism contradictory in Orthodox Faith?
« Reply #90 on: November 04, 2008, 04:27:37 PM »
By JoeS
Quote
In my humble opinion, any Baptism beyong a "legitimate" Baptism ie one who has been baptized in the Trinitarian Tradition is a waste of time and amounts to insignificance.
Baptizing a Baptized person only cheapens the Sacrament.  It doesnt have any grace giving properties since it is unnecessary to begin with.  The rebaptized person's sins are NOT forgiven again as in the first Baptism and the salvation of that person being rebaptized could be in jeapardy.

I would still like to know why some believe that being re-baptized is dangerous?

I had to be re-baptized because the "pastor" that baptized me burned down the church for the insurance money a couple years later. (Although I highly doubt they would have kept a record of it to begin with).

How about becuase there is NO RE-BAPTSIM.  There is ONE Baptism for the remission of sins.  The Orthodox Church does not consider those actions performed outside of her to be valid Sacraments.  I think every other question about why doing "just" a Chrismation has been answered previously.