Author Topic: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?  (Read 10505 times)

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Offline StGeorge

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Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« on: April 13, 2008, 09:22:30 PM »
This weekend I went to a wedding.  It was a Catholic wedding, and many of the people there were Catholic.  I knew that I couldn't receive the Eucharist there, but the priest said, If you are Roman Catholic you may come up to receive, but if you are no [Roman Catholic] you can cross your arms across your chest and I'll just give you a blessing.  Well, I didn't know what exactly to do.  I wasn't going to receive, but I went up anyhow and crossed my arms and the priest blessed me with a sign of the cross.  Did I do all right?  The concern I have is that the act somehow implies Catholicism as superior to all non-[Roman] Catholic Christian faiths...

What does everyone else do when in this situation?  I have lots of Catholic friends, and half my family is Catholic, so I expect to run into the same situation again. 

Offline prodromas

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2008, 09:25:30 PM »
Brother again this is going to be a touchy issue and you will not get a definitive answer as many have differing views on the dispensation of grace on the Roman Catholics. Personally I believe that it is fine as I believe that the Catholics also have grace and real sacraments. But a very important tag is that this is my own personal opinion and in no way represents the whole Orthodox faith.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 09:25:57 PM by prodromas »
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Offline Marc Hanna

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2008, 09:33:08 PM »
Brother again this is going to be a touchy issue and you will not get a definitive answer as many have differing views on the dispensation of grace on the Roman Catholics. Personally I believe that it is fine as I believe that the Catholics also have grace and real sacraments. But a very important tag is that this is my own personal opinion and in no way represents the whole Orthodox faith.
I agree.

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2008, 09:33:46 PM »
Orthodox may not receive blessings from heretics. People can be put into difficult situations but this was clearly not a difficult situation--Catholics don't expect non Catholics to participate in their services.
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Offline Simayan

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2008, 09:34:31 PM »
I tend to hold the same views as Prodromas, so I don't see anything wrong with it, but it comes with the same disclaimer he has: it is not a representation of the Orthodox Church as a whole.

I would recommend talking to your priest. He can offer his take on the situation.
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Offline Irenaeus07

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2008, 09:44:55 PM »
If there is a difference opinion among the Fathers concerning this issue, I think it is best to go with the way of Love and Mercy and Compassion.

You did the right thing.

I think when put in a situation where you can appear arrogant, and their exist a difference of opinion on an issue, go with the position where you appear humble, loving, understanding and caring.

Arrogance can turn people away from the truth, Orthodoxy.  When there is room to display humility, display it.

And our Lord knows best.

Offline Salpy

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2008, 09:48:10 PM »
Ask your priest and obey what he says.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2008, 11:54:17 PM »
I'm not going to advise you, but I do remember receiving a blessing at St Macarius' Monastery in Egypt and the sense of peace and awe was simply palpable.

I do think that you should ask your priest for future reference and follow his advice.
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Offline Starlight

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2008, 12:05:53 AM »
I agree with Prodromas. Also, as Irenaeus07 said:

it is best to go with the way of Love and Mercy and Compassion.



So you went with Love, Mercy and Compassion.

Regarding this issue:

The concern I have is that the act somehow implies Catholicism as superior to all non-[Roman] Catholic Christian faiths...


I see the concern, but no, your action did not promote superiority of Roman Catholicism. Furthermore, you drew a clear difference between communion and blessing. Again, this is my personal opinion. A couple of times in life I took a blessing from Catholic clergy, but I never took a communion there. I agree with you, StGeorge, that we cannot take communion outside of Orthodoxy.

Offline Seamus

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2008, 12:14:43 AM »
I know I'm not Orthodox, but I came across one of the sayings from one of the Church Father...



I adjure all the people in Cyprus who are true children of the Catholic Church to flee as fast as their feet can carry them from those priests who have fallen and submitted to the Latins; neither assemble in church with them, nor receive any blessing from their hands. For it is better for you to pray to God in your homes alone than to gather together in churches with the Latin-minded. Germanos II, Patriarch of Constantinople, PG 140:620a
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2008, 12:39:14 AM »

I think when put in a situation where you can appear arrogant, and their exist a difference of opinion on an issue, go with the position where you appear humble, loving, understanding and caring.

Arrogance can turn people away from the truth, Orthodoxy.  When there is room to display humility, display it.
I completely understand your reasoning Irenaeus, but I think I side more with Anastasios here.  I don't think StGeorge would've appeared arrogant by not going up for a blessing.  I doubt anyone would've really noticed or cared.  And if they did?  So what.  It's his business and not theirs.  I don't believe for a moment that we should go along just to get along.  God forbid.  He didn't know any better, but when we receive blessings from non-Orthodox, aren't we tacitly approving of their theology, and saying 'yes, you have the authority to represent Christ'?  Also, friend, I don't believe that when Orthodox do not go up for a blessing it's un-loving or un-caring.  I think if anything, it means we truly care- about us and about them.  In the end, though, this is simply my opinion.  I echo what others have said about speaking to his priest. 

BTW- GREAT quote, Séamus!

-edited to pat Séamus on the back. :D
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 01:06:06 AM by GabrieltheCelt »
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2008, 01:04:42 AM »
^^I also wanted to add that I know a few RC priests and they're super nice individuals, so please don't take my opinion as being against the person. :)

-edited for spelling. ::) :D
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 01:05:22 AM by GabrieltheCelt »
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2008, 01:24:23 AM »
I adjure all the people in Cyprus who are true children of the Catholic Church to flee as fast as their feet can carry them from those priests who have fallen and submitted to the Latins; neither assemble in church with them, nor receive any blessing from their hands. For it is better for you to pray to God in your homes alone than to gather together in churches with the Latin-minded. Germanos II, Patriarch of Constantinople, PG 140:620a

This quote covers a bit more than the blessing. Is it really saying not to even assemble in church with Roman Catholics? If so, what does one do about those baptisms, weddings or funerals? Or is it simply that this quote is out of its context and referring to a particular situation of certain priests in Cyprus and has nothing to do censure against being in a Roman Catholic Church on a casual basis?
 
 
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 01:30:07 AM by Riddikulus »
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2008, 02:11:26 AM »
Is it really saying not to even assemble in church with Roman Catholics? If so, what does one do about those baptisms, weddings or funerals? Or is it simply that this quote is out of its context and referring to a particular situation of certain priests in Cyprus and has nothing to do censure against being in a Roman Catholic Church on a casual basis?

The Canons of the Church state quite clearly that an Orthodox person should not enter the churches of heretics and join with them in prayer, lest that person be excommunicated. I think that would certainly include approaching their priests for blessings.

As for attending heretical baptisms, weddings or funerals, most priests will allow this because you are there as an expression of your love for that person, and to avoid it would perhaps be the greater sin. But even on these occasions, joining in prayer with heretics would be considered inappropriate.

Offline Seamus

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2008, 02:50:19 AM »
But even on these occasions, joining in prayer with heretics would be considered inappropriate.

Does that mean formal church prayer only? Because, one day I hope to become Orthodox. So does my mom and sister. But most of our family are Protestants and some are Catholics. Would it be ok to pray with them at family gatherings? Such as prayer to bless the food, etc...
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Offline prodromas

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2008, 02:55:24 AM »
Does that mean formal church prayer only? Because, one day I hope to become Orthodox. So does my mom and sister. But most of our family are Protestants and some are Catholics. Would it be ok to pray with them at family gatherings? Such as prayer to bless the food, etc...

Seamus the thing that needs to be understood is that the fathers should not be understood in a vacuum and the culture and time they written in is very important. To not pray with heretics can be (although I don't agree) be stretched to mean only pray with Eastern Orthodox Christians, but I think that the heretics in the days of the fathers were schismatic groups which showed no love and to pray with them would be almost useless. As I have said before this is my opinion only. I think it is personally fine to pray with your family and I would even go as far to say even with non-christians as long as there is love (none of this fake idea "tolerance" or fake love), but on that note that doesn't mean to go pray with anyone you see down the street.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 02:56:43 AM by prodromas »
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Offline stashko

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2008, 03:55:51 AM »
maybe yes may be no...it's like a lay persons blessing anyway,from what i heard, considering the catholic priest is out side of orthodoxy and his orders by most orthodox arn't recognized.....from what i understand....a lay catholic or a catholic priest same lay blessing no difference....if it amounts to anything i don't know.....others more learned in orthodoxy can probably explain it better if it means anything or if there's a difference......stasko/stanislav
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 03:58:03 AM by stashko »
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Offline StGeorge

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2008, 06:51:31 AM »
All right, I understand both sides. 

I remember the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch giving a joint blessing on the crowd in Constantinople...  so I'm a little confused.  I used to be Roman Catholic until just a few months ago (actually I went Latin to Ruthenian to Orthodox).  I'm still working at a Catholic school until the end of the school year.  I spoke with a very holy Orthodox priest and he informed me that it was ok for me to pray with students and to attend Mass when I need to for the job, but with the obvious assumption that I could not receive Roman Catholic Eucharist.   

Offline Thomas

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2008, 08:42:48 AM »
As in all cases follow what your Bishop and priest advise you to do as that is their charism or spiritual gift and their responsibility.

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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2008, 10:08:41 AM »
But would this not mean that His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartolomeos (and a significant number of other prelates) are in grave violation of the canons and should be excommunicated and deposed? Not only has he joined with the Pope in private prayer, but he's also formally prayed with the Holy Father in both the Divine Liturgy and the Mass.

Not sure about that "significant other prelates" part, but I suspect a rather large number of Orthodox do hold that opinion on this type of ecumenism. But neither they nor I am on his synod.
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2008, 10:09:23 AM »
But would this not mean that His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartolomeos (and a significant number of other prelates) are in grave violation of the canons and should be excommunicated and deposed? Not only has he joined with the Pope in private prayer, but he's also formally prayed with the Holy Father in both the Divine Liturgy and the Mass.

That is a point of discussion between many old calendarists and new calendarists/traditionalists and modernists/ supportors and detractors of the Patriarch of Constantinople within the Orthodox Church ---it is not appropriate for discussion in the Convert Issues Forum. You may open this as a topic in the Free for All Regious Forum if you would like to further this discussion.

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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2008, 10:52:09 AM »
Does that mean formal church prayer only? Because, one day I hope to become Orthodox. So does my mom and sister. But most of our family are Protestants and some are Catholics. Would it be ok to pray with them at family gatherings? Such as prayer to bless the food, etc...

When I was first a convert, I was a little confused about this and spoke to my priest who advised that it would be uncharitable, rude and unloving not to pray (prayers at family dinners and the like) with members of my family, who are still Protestants. I have always crossed myself at the end of the prayer and asked for the Lord's mercy upon us all, for we are all sinners and none of us are 100% correct about all things.
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Offline serb1389

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2008, 11:38:45 AM »
I forget which father said this right now, but the statement is a good one.  We do not know where the holy spirit is not, but we do know where it is.  This goes to say that we cannot claim that the RC does not have the HS, but we CAN say that the OC does have it, in its fullness. 

This might be a helpful paradigm for you.  Also, perhaps something else, if you have made a commitment to the OC, then perhaps it might be easier to do away with the past and fully accept an orthodox future.  I am not sure if this is your current situation, but just another "food for thought" kind of thing. 

If I have not been helpful please forgive me. 

Offline stashko

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2008, 01:31:38 PM »
Brother serb 1389....i remember at the monastery St.Sava libertyville when i was younger..that the late Bishop Dionisija that split the serbian church from the mother church several years or more back,,had a roman Catholic Bishop in the Altar with him when he officiated at the hierarchal litugy...they must of been friends....was that a violation , or what..i didn't know any of the rules then....as a kid.....if you can shed some light on this....Did he break some rules by doing this ?????.......ps our religious leaders have to stop sending us mixed or confusing signals...and let us know up front if we can or can't if it's right or wrong...........

con.......a few years back i went to the ukrainian orthodox church in ukrainian village in chicago for pascha..on great friday there was a eastern catholic bishop in the altar with the orthodox one ,,,that got got me so upset that i almost said something but i didn't.......its confusing .......it's sending the wrong message to the orthodox people that it's all right to hop from eastern catholic to orthodoxy and back again....they happen to be under the ecumenical patriarch...he is the cause of this confusion...he should be retired.....stanislav
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Offline Marc Hanna

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2008, 01:40:09 PM »
I have discussed this with my own priest, who happens to be a rather "hard-line" as it goes in the Coptic Church, and specifically in regards to going to my wife's cousin's daughter's first communion.  He said partake in everything except for the Eucharist, and Creed with the inclusion of the filioque.

Offline serb1389

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2008, 06:54:30 PM »
Brother serb 1389....i remember at the monastery St.Sava libertyville when i was younger..that the late Bishop Dionisija that split the serbian church from the mother church several years or more back,,had a roman Catholic Bishop in the Altar with him when he officiated at the hierarchal litugy...they must of been friends....was that a violation , or what..i didn't know any of the rules then....as a kid.....if you can shed some light on this....Did he break some rules by doing this ?????.......ps our religious leaders have to stop sending us mixed or confusing signals...and let us know up front if we can or can't if it's right or wrong...........

con.......a few years back i went to the ukrainian orthodox church in ukrainian village in chicago for pascha..on great friday there was a eastern catholic bishop in the altar with the orthodox one ,,,that got got me so upset that i almost said something but i didn't.......its confusing .......it's sending the wrong message to the orthodox people that it's all right to hop from eastern catholic to orthodoxy and back again....they happen to be under the ecumenical patriarch...he is the cause of this confusion...he should be retired.....stanislav

I would love to talk to you about this, but it might be too detailed for the converts forum.  I will PM you about it and talk to Thomas about the rules and etc. 

Thanks for the question! 

Offline Starlight

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2008, 08:02:13 PM »
I forget which father said this right now, but the statement is a good one.  We do not know where the holy spirit is not, but we do know where it is.  This goes to say that we cannot claim that the RC does not have the HS, but we CAN say that the OC does have it, in its fullness. 
 

Excellent corollary! I completely agree with this statement.


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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2008, 10:17:36 PM »
Does that mean formal church prayer only? Because, one day I hope to become Orthodox. So does my mom and sister. But most of our family are Protestants and some are Catholics. Would it be ok to pray with them at family gatherings? Such as prayer to bless the food, etc...

Please Seamus, do not turn the canons against your parents and family.  They are at least Christians and maybe depending on the way you handle this, might become Orthodox one day.  This is one of the canons that gets the most twisted and turned around, turning Orthodox converts against the parents that probably were the first ones who taught them to pray.  Be loving in your presentation of the Orthodox faith and you will see more spiritual fruit than by refusing to pray with your family.  Family prayers are not the same as formal non-Orthodox church services.  You could also ask at family gatherings to add a prayer, but don't disrespect sincere prayers to God by your family. 
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2008, 10:30:07 PM »
Please Seamus, do not turn the canons against your parents and family.  They are at least Christians and maybe depending on the way you handle this, might become Orthodox one day.  This is one of the canons that gets the most twisted and turned around, turning Orthodox converts against the parents that probably were the first ones who taught them to pray.  Be loving in your presentation of the Orthodox faith and you will see more spiritual fruit than by refusing to pray with your family.  Family prayers are not the same as formal non-Orthodox church services.  You could also ask at family gatherings to add a prayer, but don't disrespect sincere prayers to God by your family. 

^^ Excellent advice!!
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Offline Orual

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2008, 10:09:27 AM »
Brother serb 1389....i remember at the monastery St.Sava libertyville when i was younger..that the late Bishop Dionisija that split the serbian church from the mother church several years or more back,,had a roman Catholic Bishop in the Altar with him when he officiated at the hierarchal litugy...they must of been friends....was that a violation , or what..i didn't know any of the rules then....as a kid.....if you can shed some light on this....Did he break some rules by doing this ?????.......ps our religious leaders have to stop sending us mixed or confusing signals...and let us know up front if we can or can't if it's right or wrong...........

con.......a few years back i went to the ukrainian orthodox church in ukrainian village in chicago for pascha..on great friday there was a eastern catholic bishop in the altar with the orthodox one ,,,that got got me so upset that i almost said something but i didn't.......its confusing .......it's sending the wrong message to the orthodox people that it's all right to hop from eastern catholic to orthodoxy and back again....they happen to be under the ecumenical patriarch...he is the cause of this confusion...he should be retired.....stanislav

I'm no expert, and I can't say much for certain.  But if the RC/EC bishops were concelebrating with the Orthodox bishops and receiving Holy Communion, that is very, very bad and something an Orthodox bishop could probably be deposed and excommunicated for doing.  I know if I saw that personally I couldn't contain my outrage - I would write to everyone in the Orthodox bishop's synod until something was done.

However, if the RC/EC bishops were just behind the altar to observe the liturgy and not partake, I wouldn't be comfortable with it but that's not nearly as bad.
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2008, 10:23:07 AM »
We are getting a bit off topic "should Orthodox avoid Catholic blessings".

As I noted above, this is one of many a points of discussion between many old calendarists and new calendarists/traditionalists and modernists/ supporters and detractors of the Patriarch of Constantinople within the Orthodox Church ---it is not appropriate for discussion in the Convert Issues Forum. You may open this as a topic in the Free for All Religious Forum if you would like to further this discussion. As a point of reference, by some Orthodox jurisdictions the use of observers from both the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches are permitted and in some Orthodox jurisdictions they are not. In all points cited above, the Roman Catholic Clergy were present as observers (the official word usage) not seen as concelebrants.  The Orthodox and Roman Catholics have been exchanging observers since Vatican II a special celebrations and services.

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« Last Edit: April 16, 2008, 08:21:01 AM by Thomas »
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Offline cizinec

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2008, 01:28:19 PM »
Quote
Does that mean formal church prayer only? Because, one day I hope to become Orthodox. So does my mom and sister. But most of our family are Protestants and some are Catholics. Would it be ok to pray with them at family gatherings? Such as prayer to bless the food, etc...

This reminds me of something really strange that happened to me a few years ago.

My entire family is either evangelical or pentecostal protestant.  They are very uncomfortable with me being Orthodox.  They have heard me in my home praying with my family for meals, just as we had been with them at theirs.

We were going to our somewhat large family reunion.  My father, who used to be a minister, is the oldest son of the oldest son of the . . . several generations back.  It's a big deal for the family and the oldest all have the same first name going many generations back.  The oldest living male almost always prays before the reunion.  If the oldest doesn't the next one down does. 

Just before we started, my father came to me and asked me to say the prayer.  I was really surprised and a little confused.  They were just going to hear the boring little prayer I say more than once a day.  He said, "I don't know how to pray like that."  Coming from a group that considers themselves to be professional public prayers, that says something.

Learn as many prayers before and after meals and for various occasions as you can.  You'll be surprised how little you have to worry about whether or not *you* can pray with someone else.  They'll want to pray with you.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2008, 03:46:00 PM »
I think you did what is best, given the circumstance we find ourselves in; residing among an overwhelming majority of heterodox.  We are confronted with these situations while going about our respective routines in life.

As pointed out above, your parish priest, or your spiritual father, if he is not your parish priest, should provide you the bishop of your diocese's recommended practice in this regard.

My response would have been similar to yours, because I know that the bishop of the diocese in which my parish is located, believes there is Grace in Roman Catholicism, though, I am sure he would not recommend soliciting their blessings, in as much as our parish priests offer us God's abundant blessings to the (Orthodox) Faithful.  They are for those who believe.  I know this is somewhat of a controversial argument within our Holy Orthodoxy, but I also know that my diocesan bishop teaches that Orthodoxy has never condemned Roman Catholicism as a heresy; neither have we so condemned the Pope of Rome.  It's coincidental, but last evening, while watching the Roman Catholic version of an ecumenical service at St. Joseph RC Parish on  EWTN, the first ecumenical clerical representative to go forward to greet the Pope, was the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America, the Most Reverend Demetrios, Chairman of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), who kissed the Pontiff's hand.  Although our Church would not recommend we solicit RC blessings, in the situation in which you found yourself, we should probably not make a scene out of our lack of belief in RC Christianity.
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Offline Myrrh23

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2008, 05:22:12 PM »
I think reciving a blessing is alright because of its intention, and receiving a blessing is not on the same high level as receiving the Eucharist. The intention here to bless you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I wouldn't recommend receiving a blessing from a Protestant priest, as I believe they are not as close to knowing God and the Heavens as the Roman Catholics and Orthodox are.
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Offline serb1389

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2008, 10:30:17 PM »
Part of the problem when speaking about grace is the issue of the Filioque.  If in the RC the theology says that the Spirit proceeds from the father and the son, then the understanding of how grace is imparted, in general, is much different than in the OC.  It has been decided/declared that the filioque is a "wrong addition" or something along those lines in the bilateral discussions here in the US (I am pretty sure...I gota find the source). 

So that means that technically the working of the HS in RC church in general is problematic at best, and heretical at worst.  This is obviously a topic that should be (and has been) discussed elsewhere.  I am just supplying it here as food for thought, in response to the OP. 



Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2008, 06:25:02 AM »
I wouldn't recommend receiving a blessing from a Protestant priest, as I believe they are not as close to knowing God and the Heavens as the Roman Catholics and Orthodox are.

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Offline Vasileious

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2008, 05:33:40 PM »
St.George If I'm not mistaken the holy fathers of our church tell us not to pray with heretics. It's not a matter of opinion! Here are some articles you might find useful, and I agree with everyone who said talk to your priest!

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/prayheretics.aspx
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/praynonorth.aspx
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/

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Offline Rosehip

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2008, 07:02:56 PM »
I'm interested in this thread. One day last summer I was walking down the street quite close to where I live and was crying and distraught due to a very serious trauma in my life. I was approaching an RC church and so, weeping uncontrollably, I turned in there and happened to find a visiting Kenyan priest taking confessions. I told him I wasn't there for confession, but just to have a talk...he listened to my sorrow and gave some advice (btw, identical to that which an Orthodox priest would give) and then he prayed for me. I felt very blessed and somewhat comforted. He was behind a screen, so he couldn't see me, and it was less intimidating than having to speak face-to-face.

Secondly-I have a very serious physical issue and lately heard of an RC priest who has the gift of healing. Would it be wrong for me to seek him out and ask for his blessing and prayers? I am not sure, but it is tempting...
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Offline Vasileious

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2008, 07:05:40 PM »
I'm interested in this thread. One day last summer I was walking down the street quite close to where I live and was crying and distraught due to a very serious trauma in my life. I was approaching an RC church and so, weeping uncontrollably, I turned in there and happened to find a visiting Kenyan priest taking confessions. I told him I wasn't there for confession, but just to have a talk...he listened to my sorrow and gave some advice (btw, identical to that which an Orthodox priest would give) and then he prayed for me. I felt very blessed and somewhat comforted. He was behind a screen, so he couldn't see me, and it was less intimidating than having to speak face-to-face.

Secondly-I have a very serious physical issue and lately heard of an RC priest who has the gift of healing. Would it be wrong for me to seek him out and ask for his blessing and prayers? I am not sure, but it is tempting...

I would say no, don't visit the priest, trust in God and maybe ask for an unction service from your priest.

Offline Psalti Boy

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2008, 02:20:52 AM »

Offline Psalti Boy

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2008, 02:29:39 AM »
The Canons of the Church state quite clearly that an Orthodox person should not enter the churches of heretics and join with them in prayer, lest that person be excommunicated. I think that would certainly include approaching their priests for blessings.

Well . . . I guess I excommunicated myself about 35 years ago when I attended the Bar Mitzva for my friend's son, with a yamulka on my head. 

And then again about 25 years ago while on duty as a volunteer ambulance corps member on Christmas Eve.  There were no Orthodox churches in our coverage area, and not able to leave our area, we went to a Catholic church nearby.  Two of us were Orthodox.

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Offline Psalti Boy

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #41 on: May 08, 2008, 02:32:41 AM »
All right, I understand both sides. 

I remember the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch giving a joint blessing on the crowd in Constantinople...  so I'm a little confused.

What's good for the geese . . . I'm confused too.

PB

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #42 on: May 30, 2008, 11:51:10 PM »
In 2005, I attended a Roman Catholic Ordination of a former middle school teacher without receiving Communion.  At the end of the Ordination Mass, I asked for and received a blessing from the newly ordained Roman Catholic Priest.  I didn't feel that was a problem at the time because I held the former teacher in high regard.   :)

EDIT - Clarified Roman Catholic because my informal tendency is to drop the Roman when referring to Catholicism.  Plus, added Smiley Face.   :) 
« Last Edit: May 31, 2008, 12:30:55 AM by SolEX01 »

Offline John of the North

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Re: Should Orthodox Avoid Catholic Blessings?
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2008, 02:47:58 AM »
Secondly-I have a very serious physical issue and lately heard of an RC priest who has the gift of healing. Would it be wrong for me to seek him out and ask for his blessing and prayers? I am not sure, but it is tempting...

I have an obvious physical disability and last summer at work just prior to my baptism I was approached by a customer who recommended I check a travelling preacher who was in town that was apparently performing "healing miracles." I don't recall saying much, just kinda nodding my head in acknowledgement. I do not claim to comment on this man's ability to "heal", nevertheless I do not believe it would Orthodox to even consider such a thing.

God makes us how we are, and to be honest I am not even worthy of what little life I have been given, that is a blessing. If God wanted me to be this way, that is His Will. I will be quite honest, I do struggle in accepting this day in and day out, I have good days and bad days, but at least I have days. In all things we need to turn to God, through Him all things are possible, according to His Will.

As to the OP, in all things we should practice Love. To ask for an receive the blessing of a Roman or Eastern Catholic priest is an act of love, communing with them is not. I would extend this to schismatic jurisdictions as well.

There is one priest in my city who is a member of a schismatic jurisdiction. I met him once, on a total random occasion, and despite his uncanonical status, I have no qualms asking his blessing and prayers next time we meet.
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