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Author Topic: Validity of Sacraments in the RC tradition  (Read 1515 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jonny
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« on: January 09, 2009, 09:05:21 PM »

When doing a module in Church history in my degree I remember that with the Donatists when they broke from the Church were said to still have valid sacraments and to still produce valid matter (a very western term I know!) at their Eucharistic services. In other words Christ was still present on the Altar. St Augustine wrote that all their sacraments were valid and that they had Apostolic succession but he also said that no grace was imparted in their sacraments because they were schismatic but when a schismatic came back into communion with the Church all the sacraments they had received would become graced. So you could confess as a Donatist, come back into communion with the Church and not have to confess those sins again because the forgiveness would be imparted retrospectively when rejoining the true Church.

Do the Orthodox still hold to this with regards to the Roman Catholic Church? In other words do you see the Roman Church as having valid but ineffectual sacraments? If not I'd love to here your stance on this issue.

Thanks
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2009, 09:43:18 PM »

When doing a module in Church history in my degree I remember that with the Donatists when they broke from the Church were said to still have valid sacraments and to still produce valid matter (a very western term I know!) at their Eucharistic services. In other words Christ was still present on the Altar. St Augustine wrote that all their sacraments were valid and that they had Apostolic succession but he also said that no grace was imparted in their sacraments because they were schismatic but when a schismatic came back into communion with the Church all the sacraments they had received would become graced. So you could confess as a Donatist, come back into communion with the Church and not have to confess those sins again because the forgiveness would be imparted retrospectively when rejoining the true Church.

Do the Orthodox still hold to this with regards to the Roman Catholic Church? In other words do you see the Roman Church as having valid but ineffectual sacraments? If not I'd love to here your stance on this issue.

Thanks

I was talking with my Priest last night and he expressed a 'degrees of separation' that was attributed to St. Basel The Great. We are OCA and not ROCOR so you may have to ask your own Priest what is there normal means of receiving Roman Catholics. I know in the OCA I will be received with anointing of the head with the Holy Chrism and a disavowal of the errors of the Western Church.
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St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 10:09:17 PM »

When doing a module in Church history in my degree I remember that with the Donatists when they broke from the Church were said to still have valid sacraments and to still produce valid matter (a very western term I know!) at their Eucharistic services. In other words Christ was still present on the Altar. St Augustine wrote that all their sacraments were valid and that they had Apostolic succession but he also said that no grace was imparted in their sacraments because they were schismatic but when a schismatic came back into communion with the Church all the sacraments they had received would become graced. So you could confess as a Donatist, come back into communion with the Church and not have to confess those sins again because the forgiveness would be imparted retrospectively when rejoining the true Church.

Do the Orthodox still hold to this with regards to the Roman Catholic Church? In other words do you see the Roman Church as having valid but ineffectual sacraments? If not I'd love to here your stance on this issue.

Thanks

I was discussing the seeming obsession from the Vatican on our view of their sacraments recently: if the sacraments of heretics and schismatics are "valid," how could they NOT eat and drink judgment on themselves?  If an Orthodox communing while harboring heretical views or in schism brings judgment on himself by not communing worthily, how about those NOT Orthodox with a valid sacrament?
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Jonny
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2009, 02:33:29 PM »

if the sacraments of heretics and schismatics are "valid," how could they NOT eat and drink judgment on themselves?  If an Orthodox communing while harboring heretical views or in schism brings judgment on himself by not communing worthily, how about those NOT Orthodox with a valid sacrament?

Thats the point though. Is the sacrament valid and are people bringing judgment on themselves by recieving Communion in the Catholic Church. The second I started to have my doubts about Catholicism and I looked into Orthodoxy and saw that there might be another way I stopped recieving Communion and I won't recieve again until I have come to the end of my journey. Whether that should be into the Orthodox Church or to confession and back to the Roman Church I shall have to wait and see and it will take years to know for sure I think.
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2009, 05:49:58 PM »

The Forum is blessed with a very enlightening monograph by Irish Melkite who looks at the difference between the Roman Catholic (Augustinian) approach to the validity of Sacraments and the Orthodox (Cyprianic) approach.

Please see

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13357.msg185268.html#msg185268

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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2009, 06:03:07 PM »

The Forum is blessed with a very enlightening monograph by Irish Melkite who looks at the difference between the Roman Catholic (Augustinian) approach to the validity of Sacraments and the Orthodox (Cyprianic) approach.

Please see

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13357.msg185268.html#msg185268

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Today (16 February) is the Old Calendar Feast of Saint Colman of Kilmacduagh
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Doesn't St. Basel the Great play a role in this too?
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St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2009, 06:12:59 PM »

The Forum is blessed with a very enlightening monograph by Irish Melkite who looks at the difference between the Roman Catholic (Augustinian) approach to the validity of Sacraments and the Orthodox (Cyprianic) approach.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13357.msg185268.html#msg185268

Doesn't St. Basel the Great play a role in this too?

Indeed he does.

Here is a patristic viewpoint -from Saint Basil the Great.

Notice the typical balance of the Church Fathers - while the principle
of no Sacraments and no Apostolic Succession outside the Church 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
in the case of Baptism.



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."

-oOo-

Note 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 ther heterodox. I wanted to
point this out since there are modern theologians who mistakenly say that
the concept of "economy" was something created by Saint Nicodemus of the
Holy Mountain in the 19th century. Not so!

Now I think that all the Orthodox are doing is preserving the principles
which were enunciated by the Church Fathers and which were operative in the
early Church, principles which have faded from the mind of most Western
Churches. However, the East has had no Reformation or Counter-Reformation.
It has not had any codification of canon law such as The Catholic Church
had after Trent; so all the Orthodox can turn to is the teaching and canons
of the first millennium to provide guidelines and insights with regard to
modern questions which crop up today, including the matter of Baptism
and other Sacraments outside the Church.

Fr Ambrose

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