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Author Topic: Coming Back into the Orthodox Church  (Read 4207 times) Average Rating: 0
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AlaskanOrthodox
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« on: November 04, 2002, 05:28:41 AM »

Hello all!  I am new to this forum and think it is great!  I am an Orthodox Christian of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska of the OCA.  I had a question:

If an Orthodox Christian becomes Catholic or Episcopalian how does that person return to Orthodoxy;  do they have to be re-chrismated or just go to confession?  

Thank you. Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2002, 08:05:49 AM »

Hello, AlaskanOrthodox!

I'm pretty sure he simply would have to go to Confession.

Bishop Kallistos (Ware) wrote in The Orthodox Church that chrismation can be used as a sacrament of reconciliation for people who out-and-out apostasized - to Islam, for example.
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AlaskanOrthodox
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2002, 08:10:47 AM »

Thanks, that's what I was thinking, but wasn't quite sure.  I have a friend who is afraid of what his Father Confessor will say to him, he became Episcopal; I told him that I am sure Father will rejoice.
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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2002, 08:58:17 AM »

Hello, AlaskanOrthodox!

I'm pretty sure he simply would have to go to Confession.

Bishop Kallistos (Ware) wrote in The Orthodox Church that chrismation can be used as a sacrament of reconciliation for people who out-and-out apostasized - to Islam, for example.

Welcome, AlaskanOrthodox!

Not that it's utilized to any extent anymore, but the Orthodox Church has never officially abolished "public" as opposed to "private" sacramental Confession.  IOW, one may technically offer a "public" Confession in church is one so desires, provided that it does not bring scandal.

Speak with your own priest about this to get a "feeler" on his perspective.  If your friend was very "public" about "going Episcopal," it may be that he may be required to "go public" in Confession to abjure his error, but I'm not sure.

Once again, welcome to this forum!

Hypo-Ortho
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AlaskanOrthodox
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2002, 09:18:28 AM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

My friend was actually quite public about his reception into the Episcopal Church.  The Episcopal bishop that received him into the ECUSA publicized it and so did the parish on their website; that was most definately public.  Also he was also public about being gay; which is why he entered the ECUSA, feeling that was a more accepting Church.  As of late he has become dis-illusioned by that sinful life and wants to come home.  I am sure the issue of leaving the Church and being a practicing homosexual, until late as he said, will be weighty issues, but nevertheless I am glad he is returning to the Church to be healed.  I am sure the angels are rejoicing.

In Christ,

AlaskanOrthodox
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2002, 09:28:36 AM »

It seems pretty uncharacteristically ungentlemanly of the Episcopalians to crow about receiving a layman from another Christian communion, but then again some of the new-breed 'gay' and pro-feminist radicals do not disguise their contempt for the apostolic Churches, especially the very high-profile Catholic Church, and their teachings and do solicit people from them (for example, actively telling women and homosexuals to leave the Catholic Church). I'm glad your friend has repented, realizing there is no such thing as 'gay' Christianity, and wants to come home. My guess is the Orthodox priest wouldn't embarrass him by demanding a public Confession, though if his leaving did cause scandal perhaps a small ceremony of profession of faith/renunciation of heresy (like with new converts) might be appropriate, together with a private sacramental Confession, which would happen anyway, even without any public ceremony.
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AlaskanOrthodox
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2002, 09:45:57 AM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

It will be hard for him because he will have to sacrifice his previous Church, old friends and wrong social situations; this will be very hard, but he has a few of us to help him and to lead him back into the life which is Orthodoxy.  It is an emptying for him, because his old friends will see him as a closet case and some in the new community will be sceptical of his new faith committment, but I believe he will experience the Grace of the Holy Spirit in the Church and be changed.  Some of the greatest saints started out as the most wicked of sinners!  With God there is nothing impossible!  Satan has done such a job in stealing the manhood from many Men;  I believe the Orthodox community is a great place to help people learn appropriate gender identity and roles.  This will help him greatly.
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2002, 10:00:05 AM »

AO,

I agree.

Quote
I believe the Orthodox community is a great place to help people learn appropriate gender identity and roles.  This will help him greatly.

I agree the Church is a means of grace to enable people who are homosexual to live chastely but I wonder what the rest of this (regarding sex roles) means, beyond the traditional Christian teaching that the man is the head of the household with a kingly and even priestly role - the family as a church. (As men who are homosexual don't marry and have families, if they're honest - and they should be - perhaps that's irrelevant to them.) I have no upper-body strength and prefer art and music to sports. In fact I couldn't care less about sports. I don't think that makes me less than a man! And certainly it doesn't make me ipso facto homosexual!

My last word on homosexuality is here.
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AlaskanOrthodox
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2002, 10:40:07 AM »

In Orthodoxy there are very clear lines of what is male and what is female and the behaviors and attitudes attached thereto.  In Alaska you can see these very clear roles and they are given by the Church.  This has to do with how Orthodoxy affects culture.  Orthodoxy heals that which is lacking in the culture and in so doing produces a healthy society, or a form in which a society can be healthy or be restored.   In cultures were Orthodoxy has come and become the dominant force, it has transformed it and has given people clear roles and a sense of identity; not to say that there have not been the common human situations we are all aware of.   This is not only in the OCA in Alaska.  The Antiochians in Eagle River at St. John's and St. Herman's in the Mat-Su Valley have formed Orthodox communities which are bastions of traditional concepts of personhood, gender and identity.  Gay and lesbian people that come into Orthodoxy or come back home need this kind of formation to help them learn their proper role as a man or a woman and through the Grace of the sacramental Mysteries be healed eventually of their spiritual and psychic sickness, but if they are in a Orthodox community that is highly secular, and does not have a sense of the Orthodox village modality, as is seen in the lower 48 many times it is near to impossible for them to change; they need Orthodox culture to re-learn or learn for the very first time their traditional role as a man or woman.  As Orthodox we cannot leave these people lost and living in shame and hopelessness; with a combination of the Church and Her culture they can be transformed and restored to their natural sexuality, i.e. heterosexuality, and learn or re-claim gender appropriate ways of acting and being, which many had lost in their departure from their true self.  Orthodoxy is life and through that life we are not only deified in our soul, but also in our body and mind and in that deification there is a restoration of all that Satan has stolen from us.
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2002, 12:14:39 PM »

AO,

A lot of what you're saying is true but still your approach sounds a little too narrow and coercive to me. I think in this life homosexuality can be cured in some people but not all and such people should not be coerced into trying to change their orientation. It is a handicap and such deserve our charity. All, however, are called to be chaste.

Also, be careful about idealizing, even idolizing any one culture or expression of the faith (for example, the Old World village). Maybe there's a reason why Ruthenians, for example, left those villages and came to America!
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AlaskanOrthodox
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2002, 12:21:59 PM »

Slava Isusu Christu!

Well the good thing about being brothers in the faith is that we can disagree on these matters and still love each other.  I understand your points though. They are well taken.  One needs only see what this kind of model of Orthodox community can do and you will be a believer.  Of course in urban settings this type of close community is hard to pull off, but it is important nevertheless to try to create it or maintain that Orthodox culture.  I am against ethnic clubs, but am for Orthodox culture in whatever form that manifests itself.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2002, 12:23:29 PM by AlaskanOrthodox » Logged
Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2002, 12:31:53 PM »

AO,

A lot of what you're saying is true but still your approach sounds a little too narrow and coercive to me. I think in this life homosexuality can be cured in some people but not all and such people should not be coerced into trying to change their orientation. It is a handicap and such deserve our charity. All, however, are called to be chaste.
<snip>

Once again, I find myself agreeing with you, Serge!  (And you thought I didn't like you!!!)  Yes, I think it is a handicap, part of being born into a fallen world, where some, because of parentage, are already born into the world with an hereditary predisposition to drug addiction or alcoholism, for example.

In a videotape on the subject of "Confession" given to a group of convert priests in the AOCA, Fr. Thomas Hopko, former Dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary, touches on this subject and encourages Father Confessors *not* to deny the Mysteries to those who are sincerely struggling to overcome these passions as this could bring some of them to despair.  He advises these new Confessors to treat those with these handicaps with pastoral compassion, not using the canons to "whip" them into submission.

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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2002, 12:35:45 PM »

Serge,

I find myself in agreement with you.  A member at a local parish is a gentleman in his 70s and homosexual.  I know he has been celibate for 30 years.  No one gets to choose the cross they are born with, but it seems that people with this cross are mercilessly persecuded from the people who should help support them, the church and family.  Not to say that if a person is practicing immorality they should be allowed to do so without consequences, but there are many heterosexuals who practice the exact same immorality and are not hindered.  The only result I see of this is driving homosexuals from places they might receive healing to the places of homosexual immorality in order to look for some kind of acceptance.  We shouldn't accept people as homosexuals.  We should accept people as fallen images of God who all have weaknesses and need our prayers and love.
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2002, 07:30:35 PM »

I am very curious --

To AlaskanOrthodox -- am I reading these posts correctly?
Is it you or someone else who was Orthodox and then went to Byzantine Catholic and now is back to Orthdox?

I think there is one Byzantine Catholic Church in Alaska.  Do you mind if I ask WHY?  Theological?  Historical?  Was it a disaagreement with someone?  Were they sad that you left?  Do they care?  

I hope you do choose to respond, but if you choose not to, I promise not to  hold it against you.  I was just curious.   I do believe that Jesus Christ loves all of you.
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AlaskanOrthodox
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2002, 07:47:23 PM »

My reply is on another thread.  And by the way who cares.  If someone becomes Orthodox or returns is it any of your business what they WERE? hmm? They are Orthodox that's it.  Move on...go in peace!

Sincerely,


AlaskanOrthodox
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2002, 11:53:22 PM »

[I think there is one Byzantine Catholic Church in Alaska.  Do you mind if I ask WHY?  Theological?  Historical?  Was it a disaagreement with someone?  Were they sad that you left?  Do they care?]

You act WHY ARE THEY THERE?  From their own website -


http://205.180.85.40/w/pc.cgi?mid=13086&sid=7271

Where they proudly proclaim -


St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church was established as a mission in 1957 by then-Bishop Nicholas T. Elko of the Eparchy of Pittsburgh with a double intention: of serving the approximately six Byzantine Catholic families known to reside in Anchorage, some of whom settled in the city during and after World War II, AND AS AN ATTEMPT TO "CONVERT" THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS LIVING IN THE CITY, for whom no churches or parishes of any jurisdiction had been as-of-yet established.

=========================

The statement that there was no Orthodox church in the area at the time is debateable.  There is now a large Cathedral in Anchorage.

Orthodoc



 
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2002, 05:02:22 PM »

Re:  St. Nicholas Church:

Prior to its establishment, there was no Orthodox Church in Anchorage, but there were in other towns.  When Fr. Nicholas Harris arrived, the members of St. Nicholas helped with hospitality, a place to stay, etc.  It was a much smaller town then and people helped one another -- any church or no church.

Yes, today there is a BEAUTIFUL Orthdox Cathedral in Anchorage.

So how does  your new Bishop feel about the Byzantine Catholics in his town?  Are they welcome to services at the Cathedral?  Would he welcome them if they decided to become members of  his flock -- or would be make a big fuss and make then renounce "heresy"?   This is a straightforward question.  Please answer simply.  I like to have friends in all the states -- so I'm welcome whereever I go.
 Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2002, 05:13:24 PM »

My gut feeling is that St Nicholas today isn't a bad thing out to get the Orthodox, as Nicholas Elko's ridiculous, latinized effort in the 1950s intended it to be. I see it as something potentially like the Russian Catholic churches in the lower 48 states - for born Catholics who love everything Russian Orthodox in Alaska but for whatever reason want to remain Catholic. Still not acceptable to Orthodox - who logically might see such as an imposter siphoning off potential converts - but it has its place for people who choose this route.
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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2002, 06:19:09 PM »

My gut feeling is that St Nicholas today isn't a bad thing out to get the Orthodox, as Nicholas Elko's ridiculous, latinized effort in the 1950s intended it to be. I see it as something potentially like the Russian Catholic churches in the lower 48 states - for born Catholics who love everything Russian Orthodox in Alaska but for whatever reason want to remain Catholic. Still not acceptable to Orthodox - who logically might see such as an imposter siphoning off potential converts - but it has its place for people who choose this route.

From what I gather from its website, Serge, St. Nicholas Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Co-Cathedral in Anchorage is a tad more "traditional" than many of its sister BC parishes of the Eparchy of Van Nuys in the Lower 48 to which it belongs, and makes more of an attempt to "approximate" Orthodoxy in its services.  A good introduction, however unintentionally, to Byzantine Christianity for those on the spiritual journey to Orthodoxy.   Smiley

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Economan
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2002, 07:37:06 PM »

The Ruthenian Eparchy of Van Nuys, though (from personal experience) not uniformily traditional, seems to be more so than the establishment back east. Most of the parishes are much newer, and have more converts who don't remember the days of the 1950s, and so look more to Orthodoxy than Latinized, 1950s era stuff. After all, the Ruthenians do have a pretty neat looking monastery in Southern California that looks pretty authentic.

Michael
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