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The Caffeinator
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« on: December 08, 2003, 04:14:57 PM »

Do Oriental Orthodox make the same claim to exclusivity as RC's and EO's?
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2003, 04:15:53 PM »

I can't speak for anybody but I think they used to but don't anymore.
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2003, 04:22:56 PM »

I know that the Armenian Apostolic and Syriac Orthodox Churches recognize all the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches.


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Anthony


Do Oriental Orthodox make the same claim to exclusivity as RC's and EO's?
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Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2003, 04:25:30 PM »

Well, it depends on what you're asking.  The Oriental Orthodox communion fully believes itself to be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ, and I've never heard otherwise.  However, that doesn't mean that the OO cannot now recognise that the EO are indeed Orthodox and have valid sacraments, etc., for example.  If you are familiar with the Vatican document Dominus Iesus, I would say the OO take a similar view towards those Churches out of communion with it, in my opinion.
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2003, 05:37:51 PM »

So would it be accurate to say the OOx belief parallels RC belief - an exclusivity claim but dogmatically recognizing other ancient churches' sacraments?

Quote
However, that doesn't mean that the OO cannot now recognise that the EO are indeed Orthodox and have valid sacraments, etc., for example.

So with the functional ending of the EOx-OOx schism (as evidenced by the canonical transfer in Britain of an EOx priest to the OOx, from the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch to a church that's part of the Coptic Church) it seems the OOx have modified their claim to include the EOx. Is that right?
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2003, 05:59:21 PM »

In the post-Chalcedonian period those who came over to the Orthodox Church, that is the non-Chalcedonians, from among the Chalcedonians were received on simply anathematising those who held heretical views. Those among the clergy who came to the Orthodox were given a period of one years probation after which, if they were steadfast, they were able to serve according to the clerical degree which they had held among the Chalcedonians.

This was the practice of St Severus and his followers as well.

It seems clear that though they rejected the heresy of Nestorianism, and those varieties of it which survived Chalcedon, nevertheless they do not seem to have considered that the Chalcedonians were graceless in the sense it is being defined elsewhere on ocnet.

Indeed up into the 1850's when the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria made plans to unite with the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, plans which were thwarted by his being murdered by the Ottomans who wanted a divided christendom, there seems to have been no talk of baptisms or gracelessness.

I am not sure when the Coptic Orthodox started to insist on the reception by baptism of Roman Catholics however. Certainly relationships are now rather strained because the RC's appear to have come to an agreement with the Church of the East while at the same time seeming to come to an agreement with the OO's. Also the Catholic Church is rather a drain on the Coptic Orthodox since almost all of the members of the Catholic Patriarchate in Egypt have been won from the Coptic Orthodox rather than Muslims.

Certainly all of the sacraments of the EO are accepted by the OO, since our synods have stated that the canonical EO at least have preserved the Orthodox Faith in separation from us.

But among the Copts the baptism of all other communions is not accepted. For myself, as an ex-Evangelical whose church explicitly rejected any idea of baptism as a sacrament I am quite happy that I was baptised Orthodox, but I am in mixed minds about those who hold a sacramental view of baptism. Certainly in no hurry to dogmatise, but I'd like to know the mind of my bishops a little better on this matter.

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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2003, 06:10:56 PM »

Quote
So with the functional ending of the EOx-OOx schism (as evidenced by the canonical transfer in Britain of an EOx priest to the OOx, from the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch to a church that's part of the Coptic Church) it seems the OOx have modified their claim to include the EOx. Is that right?

The matter of the transfer of a priest is only one small aspect. The Patriarchates of Alexandria have synodically produced a document that states that families with members in both communities may receive all of the sacraments in either community. This is a restricted but complete inter-communion.

The Antiocheans and Syrians in the Middle East have produced a document that allows for the reception of all the sacraments from either church to deal with the situation in many rural areas where there are few enough Syrians of either community. This is again a restricted but complete inter-communion.

I know EO's who commune in OO churches through isolation and need, not religious tourism, and I know OO's who commune in EO churches for the same reasons, and I know that bishops condone and support such grass-roots inter-communion.

The OO have said in Synods in many churches for many years now:

"In the light of our Agreed Statement on Christology as well as of the above common affirmations, we have now clearly understood that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition, though they have used Christological terms in different ways. It is this common faith and continuous loyalty to the Apostolic Tradition that should be the basis for our unity and communion. "

If we have a common faith, if the substance is identical, then it is sin not to do everything possible to be reconciled. The theology isn't that complicated. I think that we will have a lot to answer for if we do not make every effort 'to be one'.

What the OO are saying is not a variant of the 'branch theory' but that we have determined that the EO are qualitatively Orthodox in faith. They are the Orthodox Church even as we have always been the Orthodox Church. We may be separated but we have both, through grace, been able to preserve the Orthodox faith. I am not sure that this view encompasses the Roman Catholic church in the same way. In that case I believe there is a greater sense of economia. The modern Ronan Catholic church is not the same as the West Roman Church that the OO walled themselves off from, to preserve their Orthodox faith, 1450 years ago.

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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2003, 07:18:29 PM »

"I am not sure when the Coptic Orthodox started to insist on the reception by baptism of Roman Catholics however"  Catholic Baptism by tripple immersion by a priest (Eastern Catholic & a few RC) is still accepted, but if it's done by sprinkling then the convert is Baptised according to the rites of the Church, by immersion.  I think this policy was started by Pope Kyrollos VI when the Church started to expand outside of Egypt & he found that RC's aren't like Coptic Catholics in practice.  He reigned until 1970 or 71 (can't remember) so sometime before that.
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2003, 08:12:32 PM »

OO and EO Friends,

"but if it's done by sprinkling then the convert is Baptised according to the rites of the Church, by immersion"

Here is my problem with the above statement, baptism by sprinkling (Aspersion) is not practiced in the Latin Church.  This form of baptism is considered valid but illicit and is therefore not done except in emergency.  What is practiced is Affusion(pouring) and Immersion.  To my knowledge both EO and OO allow pouring in emergency situations and consider it valid, although surely not the desired norm which is Immersion.  I never understood the sprinkling charge unless it is a misunderstanding.

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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2003, 09:30:49 PM »

Oh, ok, maybe it's pouring.  Every time I've seen a Catholic baptism it's sure looked like sprinkling, but if it's supposed to be pouring, then ok.  In any case, there's a big difference between allowing pouring in an emergency and using it when there's running water in the church.
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2003, 10:10:20 PM »

Jonathan,

How can pouring look like sprinkling?  Sprinkling is taking an a Holy Water sprinkler and sprinkling dropplets of water just like when an object is blessed. Pouring is taking a baptismal shell or cup or one's hands and scooping water and pouring so that it flows over the baptized's head.  I understand and agree immersion is the more desirable method but how can validity be questioned when one allows it themselves?

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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2003, 10:16:20 PM »

Well, I guess cupping one's hand and pouring water in quantities of a few drops at a time is kind of a fine line between pouring and sprinking, and that's what it's looked like when I've seen it.

Baptism by pouring is an exception, where we trust in God's mercy to accept what we're capable of.  Presuming God's grace by deviating from the ancient rite for the sake of a few minutes of time and some convenience is a completely different mindset.  The first is acceptable to us, and the second is not.  I'm not really interested in debating it, that would take someone who knows more than I do, I'm just interested in obeying my bishop.  I just posted what our position is and how it came to be, I wasn't trying to start a debate over whether it's right or not.
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2003, 10:35:03 PM »

Jonathan,

Fair enough, thank you for the inforamtion.

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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2003, 04:02:17 PM »

Jonathan,

I'm presuming your tradition of "immersion-only" (no caveats, please, writing in haste) comes from the warmer climes.

What would a Catholic do, in medieval Britain, when their child looked sick, in the dead of winter? There's a big difference between Egypt and and let's say Minnesota at wintertime!

Besides...when I was baptized, it was by infusion (sp?) I'm too big to fit in the baptismal font!
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« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2003, 04:06:22 PM »

I see that you were not interested in expounding on the subject. Sorry, missed that. Please disregard. Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2003, 05:16:00 PM »

I don't know how anyone else does it, but in our Church, cold and hot water are mixed so that the water is at least lukewarm, if not just a little warm.
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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2003, 05:18:44 PM »

What would peasants in medieval England do, though? They probably couldn't afford the wood for the fire to heat the water in the pot they couldn't afford for the baptism.
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« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2003, 05:29:10 PM »

It wasn't my intention on disputing the legitimacy of infusion as a form of baptism by my post on the practice of the Orthodox Church in India.  The situation you describe, however, seems like it would be an instance in which infusion would be appropriate, i.e., it is an emergency situation, however "normal" it is in medieval England.  Whether infusion is/should be a regular, normal, default method of baptising an individual, however, is another topic.
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2003, 05:41:44 PM »

What would peasants in medieval England do, though? They probably couldn't afford the wood for the fire to heat the water in the pot they couldn't afford for the baptism.

I can't speak for medieaval England which was Roman Catholic, but Orthodox England pre-Conquest, I know that there is a Roman baptistery about 30 miles away. Big enough for a man to kneel in and have water cover his head if he bent and water were poured over him.

I know that the converting Anglo-Saxons were often baptised en masse in rivers, without any heating :-) and this would certainly have involved kneeling in the water and having ones head immersed three times.

I know that some kings were baptised in a baptistery which also was a tank large enough for immersion.

One need only look at the Orthodox Baptistery in Ravenna to see that immersion was normal in the Orthodox period.

http://www.odox.net/images/baptistery_of_the_Orthdoxo_at_Ravenna.jpg

Also well into the mediaeval period the clergy and people were constantly being exorted in England to make sure that their children were chrismated as soon after baptism as possible, keeping the Orthodox connection of baptism and chrismation, and it was only later that confirmation became a much later and separated rite.

Orthodox England was recognisably Orthodox Catholic rather than Roman Catholic in practice and as far as ascecis goes the British/English saints were constantly spending time in cold water. My own son was baptised in only tepid water, certainly not warm.

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« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2003, 05:46:01 PM »

The Catholic Enc says:

"In the Latin Church, immersion seems to have prevailed until the twelfth century. After that time it is found in some places even as late as the sixteenth century. Infusion and aspersion, however, were growing common in the thirteenth century and gradually prevailed in the Western Church."

Therefore throughout the period that the West is considered Orthodox it was immersion which was practiced. The C.A. seems to indicate that infusion and aspersion only developed and gained predominance in the Roman Catholic period.

I can sympathise a little more with the Coptic Orthodox strict position since it is the CA which states that the practice of aspersion and infusion only developed after the RC had ceased to be in communion with even the Eastern Orthodox.

PT
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« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2003, 05:57:15 PM »

This is an interesting thread. Can you provide a link to that article, Peter? I may restart this topic over at the Orthodox Catholic forum.
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« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2003, 06:08:20 PM »

Here you are. Do a search for immersion and it takes you to the bit I quoted. Which actually surprised me.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02258b.htm
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« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2003, 09:26:59 PM »

Here in Mexico I've seen both cases in RC baptisms. In a small town I was visiting there was a Baptism in a church and the baptism was performed by immersion (not triple though) and the priest fully covered the babies' head with water from a plate when he was inside the baptismal font.

I have seen baptisms in the RC too where I can be 99% sure that the water did not even touch the head. These mainly in big cities where ignorant parents explicitly ask "do not wet the head so much please". Sometimes priests also do it that way because of ignorance.
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« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2003, 08:17:45 AM »

Hi Mexican

What would you say was the motivation for the priest baptising by immersion?

PT
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