OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 27, 2014, 11:17:46 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 »  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Attending Non-Orthodox Services  (Read 4013 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,857



« on: March 02, 2010, 03:56:44 AM »

Last summer when visiting a certain monastery, the abbot told me that as a catechumen I am forbidden to ever again attend a non-Orthodox service per the canons of the Church.  Is this true, and if so, can someone please provide references?

I ask because I have a strong academic interest in the various Christian sects as a student of theology, but I have never been comfortable learning from an arm-chair.  I always want to learn about these groups by attending their services in addition to reading about them in the abstract.  Before I was ever attached to Orthodoxy I used to do the same thing as a teenager.  People in my Baptist church talked about how certain groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses were not Christian in the proper sense of the term, so I found my nearest Kingdom Hall and attended a meeting, asking them many questions afterward.  I did the same thing when I heard that Churches of Christ services were all a cappella.  I've always learned this way, and I can't imagine it any other way.

I occasionally attend services with my Protestant wife (this is what brought up the whole subject with the abbot) out of love and respect for her.

Anyway, there are still plenty of other types of services I would love to attend at some point, purely out of academic interest rather than as a "spiritual seeker."  Oddly enough, this is also a work related activity since I am a Religious Studies student, and often it is research related, although not always.  Some examples of services by sects I have yet to attend would be "High-Church" Anglicans, Marionites, Missouri Synod Lutherans, a SPPX traditionalist Latin Mass, the various Oriental churches and the Mormon church.

It might seem like an odd question, but I figured it was worth discussing.  Just to be clear, I don't do this on a regular basis.  Maybe two or three Sundays out of the year.

Would you say this is mainly a pastoral issue, or are the canons truly clear on this matter?
« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 04:03:26 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,892


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2010, 04:38:48 AM »

This may not answer all your questions, but we did discuss this issue about a year ago.  Here's the thread:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21427.0.html
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,892


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2010, 04:44:24 AM »

Last summer when visiting a certain monastery, the abbot told me that as a catechumen I am forbidden to ever again attend a non-Orthodox service per the canons of the Church.  Is this true, and if so, can someone please provide references?
AFAIK, the Apostolic Canons are very clear that we are not to pray with heretics, and I know that as a catechumen you are treated as an Orthodox Christian in almost every way except that you are not yet allowed to partake of the Holy Mysteries--these considerations may be the foundation of the abbot's statement.  However, I'm not sure what those canons have to say about visiting a non-Orthodox church with no intent of praying with the congregation there.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2010, 05:41:57 AM »

Last summer when visiting a certain monastery, the abbot told me that as a catechumen I am forbidden to ever again attend a non-Orthodox service per the canons of the Church.  Is this true, and if so, can someone please provide references?..................

Would you say this is mainly a pastoral issue, or are the canons truly clear on this matter?

Dear Alveus,

I see you are a member of the Serbian Church.

If you look in most Serbian Calendars you will find both The Ten Commandments and the Commandments of the Church and one of the latter is a prohibition on attending non-Orthodox services.

Obviously there will be exceptions, such as attending church with your non-Orthodox wife for special occasions.  You should discuss this with your parish priest.  Is Bp Longin your bishop?  I am sure he will give you very sound guidance about these things if you have the opportunity to bring it up with him.
Logged
LizaSymonenko
Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
Global Moderator
Toumarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: God's Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Posts: 12,889



WWW
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2010, 11:27:06 AM »


Is it wrong to attend a wedding or a funeral in another church?

You aren't actually "praying"....just being a spectator and supporting your friends.
Logged

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,857



« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2010, 01:18:51 PM »

...the Commandments of the Church...

Would you care to post all of these?  I've never even heard of them.
Logged
BoredMeeting
Loving the Life of a Council Member
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox/OCA
Posts: 721



« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2010, 01:45:58 PM »


Is it wrong to attend a wedding or a funeral in another church?

You aren't actually "praying"....just being a spectator and supporting your friends.
I think there's a clear distinction in what you describe.
Logged
monkvasyl
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: UOC 0f USA
Posts: 653



« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2010, 02:02:50 PM »

Last summer when visiting a certain monastery, the abbot told me that as a catechumen I am forbidden to ever again attend a non-Orthodox service per the canons of the Church.  Is this true, and if so, can someone please provide references?

First, is the abbot of the monastery you visited your spiritual father?  If he is, then you should obey what he says.  If he is not, then you should follow what the priest who accepted you as a catrchumen tells you to do. Check with him, he is responsible for your spiritual care, at this point.
Logged

The unworthy hierodeacon, Vasyl
Michael L
Priest Michael
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 240



« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2010, 03:10:47 PM »

...the Commandments of the Church...

Would you care to post all of these?  I've never even heard of them.

COMMANDMENTS OF THE CHURCH

1. To abstain for servile work on Sundays and Holy Days.
2. To attend Divine Liturgy on Sundays and Holy Days.
3. To fast and to abstain on the days appointed by the Church.
4. To confess our sins and to receive the Holy Mysteries at least
once a year.
5. Not to solemnize marriage at forbidden times.
6. To pray to God every day, especially at morning and evening.
Logged
podkarpatska
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 8,214


SS Cyril and Methodius Church, Mercer, PA


WWW
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2010, 03:19:49 PM »

Those are the rules we were taught in Church School growing up in our ACROD parish, virtually identical.
Logged
monkvasyl
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: UOC 0f USA
Posts: 653



« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2010, 03:20:48 PM »

...the Commandments of the Church...

Would you care to post all of these?  I've never even heard of them.

COMMANDMENTS OF THE CHURCH

1. To abstain for servile work on Sundays and Holy Days.
2. To attend Divine Liturgy on Sundays and Holy Days.
3. To fast and to abstain on the days appointed by the Church.
4. To confess our sins and to receive the Holy Mysteries at least
once a year.
5. Not to solemnize marriage at forbidden times.
6. To pray to God every day, especially at morning and evening.

Wow, these sound like what I learned from the nuns, when I was Catholic.  Tho, I remember the last one being to pray for the living and the dead.  Then, of course, there were the 7 Corporal and 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy.

I just checked the the Catholic Church commandments are:
to keep the Sundays and Holy Days of obligation holy, by hearing Mass and resting from servile work;
to keep the days of fasting and abstinence appointed by the Church;
to go to confession at least once a year;
to receive the Blessed Sacrament at least once a year and that at Easter or thereabouts;
to contribute to the support of our pastors;
not to marry within a certain degree of kindred nor to solemnize marriage at the forbidden times.

The traditional enumeration of the corporal works of mercy is as follows:
To feed the hungry;
To give drink to the thirsty;
To clothe the naked;
To harbour the harbourless;
To visit the sick;
To ransom the captive;
To bury the dead.

The spiritual works of mercy are:
To instruct the ignorant;
To counsel the doubtful;
To admonish sinners;
To bear wrongs patiently;
To forgive offences willingly;
To comfort the afflicted;
To pray for the living and the dead.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 03:25:37 PM by monkvasyl » Logged

The unworthy hierodeacon, Vasyl
augustin717
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: The other ROC
Posts: 5,631



« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2010, 03:23:56 PM »

We had 9 church commandments, among which:
"Do not read the books of the heretics and sectarians or attend their meetings" Wink
Logged
John Larocque
Catholic
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox
Posts: 530


« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2010, 03:30:21 PM »

I love the expression "works of mercy", which is definitely Orthodox-sounding (keyword, "mercy") - almsgiving, charity etc...

The Catholic side of the equation also makes it nearly impossible to visit schismatic and/or heretical services outside the Catholic church (as they define it). In practice, only your pastor's permission makes this practice licit.  In addition to that, only a Catholic mass or divine liturgy can satisfy the "holy day of obligation." Despite the positive sounding notes about the "validity" of Orthodox/Oriental apostolic succession and sacraments, only in extreme scenarios can a Catholic could licitly receive them... So, theology aside, in practice, no, "we" are not "one", the chasm is still quite wide. Even as late as 100 years ago the rules forbade non-Eastern Catholics from licitly receiving sacraments from Eastern Catholic churches, despite both being in union with Rome.
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,444



« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2010, 04:56:32 PM »

I just was reminded of this on Philip Ludwell III, the first known (so far) Orthodox in America (colonial Virginia, he gave George Washington his commission, and commissioned Ben Franklin's favorite portrait.  His son in law, John Paradise, also Orthodox became perhaps the first naturalized US citizen in 1780, during the War of Independence. The Paradise house is still in Colonial Williamsburg).  On his reception in 1738 (yes, that's seventeen) by the Russian Church in London: His reception was authorised at a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia, who blessed him to take the Holy Gifts back to Virginia and which approved of his translation into English of the “Orthodox Confession” written by Peter Moghila, Metropolitan of Kiev, one hundred years earlier.  They also granted him a dispensation to continue attending the Anglican church in Virginia, taking into account his position as “an important Royal official” and recognising that “apart from the Province of Pennsylvania, all religions but Protestantism are banned.”
http://orthodoxhistory.org/2009/11/orthodoxy-in-colonial-virginia/
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
monkvasyl
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: UOC 0f USA
Posts: 653



« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2010, 05:20:54 PM »

One of the commandments of the Catholic Church that really got me was, "to contribute to the support of our pastors"...it would deem well for the Orthodox to add that one.  If one looks at work our clergy are paid, it doesn't even come close to the guidelines set my the jurisdiction.  This reminds me of an monk who was visiting New Skete, at the same time I was.  He had the "Prayer of the Parish Council"..."Lord, send us a poor and humble priest.  You keep him humble, we'll keep him poor."  It would be laughable, if it weren't so true.
Logged

The unworthy hierodeacon, Vasyl
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2010, 08:01:49 PM »

...the Commandments of the Church...

Would you care to post all of these?  I've never even heard of them.



The two that stand out in my mind are

not to attend non-Orthodox services
not to read heretical books.

I cannot find an old Serbian Calendar to give you all of them.  Have a look for those little pocket Calendars put out each year by Serbian dioceses.  These Commandments are always printed there.
Logged
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,857



« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2010, 09:22:14 PM »

not to attend non-Orthodox services
not to read heretical books.

Well there has to be some exceptions to this.  The one about heretical books is perfectly timed, because last night I ordered a copy of The Book of Concord and The Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I need access to this material for apologetics and more clearly understanding heresy in the world today.

A fine example of this came up today, as when visiting the parish bookstore a visitor was asking me about the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist and how it differs from the traditional Lutheran position.  I explained the differences as best as I could, but I laughed and told him that I was waiting on Luther's catechism to arrive in the mail, and I might do a better job after that.

Plenty of the Fathers were familiar with heresies so that they could refute them.  Irenaeus comes to mind with his treatise against the Gnostics.  He obviously knew the "ins and outs" of their teachings.  Ironically, the reconstructionist Sophia worshipers, the neo-Gnostics, have relied heavily on his writings to create their own systems of theology.  In that case, his writings ultimately have had the opposite of the intended effect.

At any rate, I'm not sure these "Church commandments" can have some universal application, especially if someone like me is working at becoming a scholar of Christianity.  My answer to everything outside of Orthodoxy can't be "I don't know, the Church won't let me read heretical books."  Likewise, I often need to have an understanding of heterodox rituals and praxis if I am to be able to explain their deficiencies to those who might inquire.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 09:23:18 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2010, 09:44:27 PM »

not to attend non-Orthodox services
not to read heretical books.

Well there has to be some exceptions to this.  The one about heretical books is perfectly timed, because last night I ordered a copy of The Book of Concord and The Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I need access to this material for apologetics and more clearly understanding heresy in the world today.

A fine example of this came up today, as when visiting the parish bookstore a visitor was asking me about the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist and how it differs from the traditional Lutheran position.  I explained the differences as best as I could, but I laughed and told him that I was waiting on Luther's catechism to arrive in the mail, and I might do a better job after that.

Plenty of the Fathers were familiar with heresies so that they could refute them.  Irenaeus comes to mind with his treatise against the Gnostics.  He obviously knew the "ins and outs" of their teachings.  Ironically, the reconstructionist Sophia worshipers, the neo-Gnostics, have relied heavily on his writings to create their own systems of theology.  In that case, his writings ultimately have had the opposite of the intended effect.

At any rate, I'm not sure these "Church commandments" can have some universal application, especially if someone like me is working at becoming a scholar of Christianity.  My answer to everything outside of Orthodoxy can't be "I don't know, the Church won't let me read heretical books."  Likewise, I often need to have an understanding of heterodox rituals and praxis if I am to be able to explain their deficiencies to those who might inquire.

I am sure that if you explained your reasons to your parish priest or to Bishop Longin they would give them serious consideration and provide you with appropriate direction.  In the meantime, without their direction, your only spiritual guidance in this matter seems to come from an Abbot of a monastery and that surely carries some weight.  It is certainly preferable to self-direction.
Logged
wynd
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 501


Transfiguration


« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2010, 10:29:06 PM »

5. Not to solemnize marriage at forbidden times.

What the heck does this mean?
Logged
augustin717
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: The other ROC
Posts: 5,631



« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2010, 10:39:31 PM »

No weddings during the fasts, the Bright week, between Christmas and Epiphany and on Wednesdays  and Fridays.
Logged
LBK
Moderated
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 10,505


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2010, 03:55:42 AM »

No weddings during the fasts, the Bright week, between Christmas and Epiphany and on Wednesdays  and Fridays.

.... and not on the day before a major feast, and, strictly speaking, not on Saturdays (the Slavs still tend to keep the "no Saturday" rule, the Greeks usually don't these days).
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,892


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2010, 04:28:45 AM »

not to attend non-Orthodox services
not to read heretical books.

Well there has to be some exceptions to this.  The one about heretical books is perfectly timed, because last night I ordered a copy of The Book of Concord and The Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I need access to this material for apologetics and more clearly understanding heresy in the world today.

A fine example of this came up today, as when visiting the parish bookstore a visitor was asking me about the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist and how it differs from the traditional Lutheran position.  I explained the differences as best as I could, but I laughed and told him that I was waiting on Luther's catechism to arrive in the mail, and I might do a better job after that.

Plenty of the Fathers were familiar with heresies so that they could refute them.  Irenaeus comes to mind with his treatise against the Gnostics.  He obviously knew the "ins and outs" of their teachings.  Ironically, the reconstructionist Sophia worshipers, the neo-Gnostics, have relied heavily on his writings to create their own systems of theology.  In that case, his writings ultimately have had the opposite of the intended effect.

At any rate, I'm not sure these "Church commandments" can have some universal application, especially if someone like me is working at becoming a scholar of Christianity.  My answer to everything outside of Orthodoxy can't be "I don't know, the Church won't let me read heretical books."  Likewise, I often need to have an understanding of heterodox rituals and praxis if I am to be able to explain their deficiencies to those who might inquire.

I am sure that if you explained your reasons to your parish priest or to Bishop Longin they would give them serious consideration and provide you with appropriate direction.  In the meantime, without their direction, your only spiritual guidance in this matter seems to come from an Abbot of a monastery and that surely carries some weight.  It is certainly preferable to self-direction.
Maybe as advice, but I'm not sure the abbot can request any obedience of someone who's neither a monk in his monastery nor one of his spiritual children.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2010, 05:31:36 AM »

not to attend non-Orthodox services
not to read heretical books.

Well there has to be some exceptions to this.  The one about heretical books is perfectly timed, because last night I ordered a copy of The Book of Concord and The Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I need access to this material for apologetics and more clearly understanding heresy in the world today.

A fine example of this came up today, as when visiting the parish bookstore a visitor was asking me about the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist and how it differs from the traditional Lutheran position.  I explained the differences as best as I could, but I laughed and told him that I was waiting on Luther's catechism to arrive in the mail, and I might do a better job after that.

Plenty of the Fathers were familiar with heresies so that they could refute them.  Irenaeus comes to mind with his treatise against the Gnostics.  He obviously knew the "ins and outs" of their teachings.  Ironically, the reconstructionist Sophia worshipers, the neo-Gnostics, have relied heavily on his writings to create their own systems of theology.  In that case, his writings ultimately have had the opposite of the intended effect.

At any rate, I'm not sure these "Church commandments" can have some universal application, especially if someone like me is working at becoming a scholar of Christianity.  My answer to everything outside of Orthodoxy can't be "I don't know, the Church won't let me read heretical books."  Likewise, I often need to have an understanding of heterodox rituals and praxis if I am to be able to explain their deficiencies to those who might inquire.

I am sure that if you explained your reasons to your parish priest or to Bishop Longin they would give them serious consideration and provide you with appropriate direction.  In the meantime, without their direction, your only spiritual guidance in this matter seems to come from an Abbot of a monastery and that surely carries some weight.  It is certainly preferable to self-direction.
Maybe as advice, but I'm not sure the abbot can request any obedience of someone who's neither a monk in his monastery nor one of his spiritual children.

I look at it like this:

1.  The Serbian Orthodox Church forbids it faithful to attend non-Orthodox Churches

2.  That is the default position of all the Serbian Bishops

3.  I am a member of the Serbian Church

4.  I ought to practise obedience to my Church and my bishop

5.  An Abbot has told me not to attend non-Orthodox Churches as Serbian and
    he was correctly instructing me as a Serbian catechumen on the teaching of the Church

6.  There are exceptions to most rules

7.  It is unwise for me to self-medicate or self-direct spiritually

8.  If I, as a Serbian Orthodox person, believe I have sufficient reasons to attend a
     non-Orthodox Church, I must ask a blessing of my priest or bishop to act
     contrary to my Church's instructions on this matter.

9.  Given all the reasons explained, I am most likely to get a blessing

10.  But to defy my Church's instructions is detrimental to my spiritual life.

Logged
bogdan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,615



« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2010, 10:33:11 AM »

Maybe as advice, but I'm not sure the abbot can request any obedience of someone who's neither a monk in his monastery nor one of his spiritual children.

My priest has asked me that if I go to a monastery, not to make a confession until I've been Orthodox longer because if I'm given a monastic-level penance that I can't necessarily handle at this point, I have to obey it, and he cannot do anything about it. I've heard similar things from others.

Of course, there's no way for the abbot to enforce it like a spiritual father can, but from what I gather, the expectation of obedience is still there, at least in some bodies of thought.
Logged
Thomas
Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,788



« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2010, 11:16:07 AM »

not to attend non-Orthodox services
not to read heretical books.

Well there has to be some exceptions to this.  The one about heretical books is perfectly timed, because last night I ordered a copy of The Book of Concord and The Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I need access to this material for apologetics and more clearly understanding heresy in the world today.

A fine example of this came up today, as when visiting the parish bookstore a visitor was asking me about the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist and how it differs from the traditional Lutheran position.  I explained the differences as best as I could, but I laughed and told him that I was waiting on Luther's catechism to arrive in the mail, and I might do a better job after that.

Plenty of the Fathers were familiar with heresies so that they could refute them.  Irenaeus comes to mind with his treatise against the Gnostics.  He obviously knew the "ins and outs" of their teachings.  Ironically, the reconstructionist Sophia worshipers, the neo-Gnostics, have relied heavily on his writings to create their own systems of theology.  In that case, his writings ultimately have had the opposite of the intended effect.

At any rate, I'm not sure these "Church commandments" can have some universal application, especially if someone like me is working at becoming a scholar of Christianity.  My answer to everything outside of Orthodoxy can't be "I don't know, the Church won't let me read heretical books."  Likewise, I often need to have an understanding of heterodox rituals and praxis if I am to be able to explain their deficiencies to those who might inquire.

I am sure that if you explained your reasons to your parish priest or to Bishop Longin they would give them serious consideration and provide you with appropriate direction.  In the meantime, without their direction, your only spiritual guidance in this matter seems to come from an Abbot of a monastery and that surely carries some weight.  It is certainly preferable to self-direction.
Maybe as advice, but I'm not sure the abbot can request any obedience of someone who's neither a monk in his monastery nor one of his spiritual children.

Even among the various jurisdictions there are various determinations on this issue. The Antiochian Orthodox Church (AOCNA) Metropolitan  went so far as to require that the Clergy in that jurisdiction seek spiritual fathers who are within the Archdiocese and not go to Monasteries outside due the sad results of some of the monastic guidance that was provided. As we know within the Greek Orthodox Achdiocese of America (GOA), although supportive of Monasteries,many priests will advise new converts and even parishioners that the appropriate spiritual father / confessor for those in a parish is the parish priest. As noted elsewhere, monastics tend to give heavier penances than those who live in the world / parish setting can do effectively. On Pokrov.org it has been noted that married men have been told to seperate from their wives by monastic spiritual fathers and not have sexual intercourse, despite church teachings that within marriage this is an approved and  even blessed act of marriage.

My personal recommendation is, if you are in the parish setting that a parish priest is your best spiritual father (especially for catechumen and converts (under 5 years in the Church). When you are ready to progress to a moanstic spiritual father /mother discuss it with your priest and allow the priest to direct you in the right direction.

May you have a blessed Great Lent in your Catechumenate.

Thomas
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 11:16:50 AM by Thomas » Logged

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,121



« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2010, 12:50:03 PM »



FWIW, the canons appear more concerned with 'praying' with heretics as opposed to observing their services for the purposes of education or preventing a divorce.

I would add that you, as a catechumen, ought to get into the practice of getting your advice from your priest rather than the internet unless your priest does not have an answer and says it's OK.  Otherwise, you may be led into conflict with him, which could lead to all sorts of embarrassment.

Anyway, that's just my opinion.  Carry on!  Wink

[/font]
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,892


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2010, 01:10:26 PM »

not to attend non-Orthodox services
not to read heretical books.

Well there has to be some exceptions to this.  The one about heretical books is perfectly timed, because last night I ordered a copy of The Book of Concord and The Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I need access to this material for apologetics and more clearly understanding heresy in the world today.

A fine example of this came up today, as when visiting the parish bookstore a visitor was asking me about the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist and how it differs from the traditional Lutheran position.  I explained the differences as best as I could, but I laughed and told him that I was waiting on Luther's catechism to arrive in the mail, and I might do a better job after that.

Plenty of the Fathers were familiar with heresies so that they could refute them.  Irenaeus comes to mind with his treatise against the Gnostics.  He obviously knew the "ins and outs" of their teachings.  Ironically, the reconstructionist Sophia worshipers, the neo-Gnostics, have relied heavily on his writings to create their own systems of theology.  In that case, his writings ultimately have had the opposite of the intended effect.

At any rate, I'm not sure these "Church commandments" can have some universal application, especially if someone like me is working at becoming a scholar of Christianity.  My answer to everything outside of Orthodoxy can't be "I don't know, the Church won't let me read heretical books."  Likewise, I often need to have an understanding of heterodox rituals and praxis if I am to be able to explain their deficiencies to those who might inquire.

I am sure that if you explained your reasons to your parish priest or to Bishop Longin they would give them serious consideration and provide you with appropriate direction.  In the meantime, without their direction, your only spiritual guidance in this matter seems to come from an Abbot of a monastery and that surely carries some weight.  It is certainly preferable to self-direction.
Maybe as advice, but I'm not sure the abbot can request any obedience of someone who's neither a monk in his monastery nor one of his spiritual children.

I look at it like this:

1.  The Serbian Orthodox Church forbids it faithful to attend non-Orthodox Churches

2.  That is the default position of all the Serbian Bishops

3.  I am a member of the Serbian Church

4.  I ought to practise obedience to my Church and my bishop

5.  An Abbot has told me not to attend non-Orthodox Churches as Serbian and
    he was correctly instructing me as a Serbian catechumen on the teaching of the Church

6.  There are exceptions to most rules

7.  It is unwise for me to self-medicate or self-direct spiritually

8.  If I, as a Serbian Orthodox person, believe I have sufficient reasons to attend a
     non-Orthodox Church, I must ask a blessing of my priest or bishop to act
     contrary to my Church's instructions on this matter.

9.  Given all the reasons explained, I am most likely to get a blessing

10.  But to defy my Church's instructions is detrimental to my spiritual life.


But I see that Alveus asked about what the canons of the Church have to say about this.  He didn't ask about how his own Serbian Orthodox Church interprets those canons.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2010, 04:47:26 PM »

not to attend non-Orthodox services
not to read heretical books.

Well there has to be some exceptions to this.  The one about heretical books is perfectly timed, because last night I ordered a copy of The Book of Concord and The Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I need access to this material for apologetics and more clearly understanding heresy in the world today.

A fine example of this came up today, as when visiting the parish bookstore a visitor was asking me about the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist and how it differs from the traditional Lutheran position.  I explained the differences as best as I could, but I laughed and told him that I was waiting on Luther's catechism to arrive in the mail, and I might do a better job after that.

Plenty of the Fathers were familiar with heresies so that they could refute them.  Irenaeus comes to mind with his treatise against the Gnostics.  He obviously knew the "ins and outs" of their teachings.  Ironically, the reconstructionist Sophia worshipers, the neo-Gnostics, have relied heavily on his writings to create their own systems of theology.  In that case, his writings ultimately have had the opposite of the intended effect.

At any rate, I'm not sure these "Church commandments" can have some universal application, especially if someone like me is working at becoming a scholar of Christianity.  My answer to everything outside of Orthodoxy can't be "I don't know, the Church won't let me read heretical books."  Likewise, I often need to have an understanding of heterodox rituals and praxis if I am to be able to explain their deficiencies to those who might inquire.

I am sure that if you explained your reasons to your parish priest or to Bishop Longin they would give them serious consideration and provide you with appropriate direction.  In the meantime, without their direction, your only spiritual guidance in this matter seems to come from an Abbot of a monastery and that surely carries some weight.  It is certainly preferable to self-direction.
Maybe as advice, but I'm not sure the abbot can request any obedience of someone who's neither a monk in his monastery nor one of his spiritual children.

I look at it like this:

1.  The Serbian Orthodox Church forbids it faithful to attend non-Orthodox Churches

2.  That is the default position of all the Serbian Bishops

3.  I am a member of the Serbian Church

4.  I ought to practise obedience to my Church and my bishop

5.  An Abbot has told me not to attend non-Orthodox Churches as Serbian and
    he was correctly instructing me as a Serbian catechumen on the teaching of the Church

6.  There are exceptions to most rules

7.  It is unwise for me to self-medicate or self-direct spiritually

8.  If I, as a Serbian Orthodox person, believe I have sufficient reasons to attend a
     non-Orthodox Church, I must ask a blessing of my priest or bishop to act
     contrary to my Church's instructions on this matter.

9.  Given all the reasons explained, I am most likely to get a blessing

10.  But to defy my Church's instructions is detrimental to my spiritual life.


But I see that Alveus asked about what the canons of the Church have to say about this.  He didn't ask about how his own Serbian Orthodox Church interprets those canons.

He sought both canonical and pastoral advice.

From the OP: "Would you say this is mainly a pastoral issue, or are the canons truly clear on this matter?"

Good pastoral advice often involves interpretation of the canons.   The question posed by Alveus shows that he is seeking further guidance.  He had advice from an abbot and he is now seeking confirmation or otherwise from the Forum  members.  Although I am completely unlearned in comparison to an abbot I have some experience in this area and thought I could make a helpful contribution.

My advice is as before.  DO  NOT  SELF-MEDICATE.   Go to your parish priest or bishop for consultation, advice and a blessing.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 04:52:34 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,892


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2010, 05:19:04 PM »

He sought both canonical and pastoral advice.

From the OP: "Would you say this is mainly a pastoral issue, or are the canons truly clear on this matter?"

Good pastoral advice often involves interpretation of the canons.   The question posed by Alveus shows that he is seeking further guidance.  He had advice from an abbot and he is now seeking confirmation or otherwise from the Forum  members.  Although I am completely unlearned in comparison to an abbot I have some experience in this area and thought I could make a helpful contribution.
I don't read the question of whether this is a pastoral issue as a request for the kind of pastoral advice you offered here.  Then again, I'm not Alveus Lacuna, so I can't presume to know what he really wants.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2010, 05:22:23 PM »

He sought both canonical and pastoral advice.

From the OP: "Would you say this is mainly a pastoral issue, or are the canons truly clear on this matter?"

Good pastoral advice often involves interpretation of the canons.   The question posed by Alveus shows that he is seeking further guidance.  He had advice from an abbot and he is now seeking confirmation or otherwise from the Forum  members.  Although I am completely unlearned in comparison to an abbot I have some experience in this area and thought I could make a helpful contribution.
I don't read the question of whether this is a pastoral issue as a request for the kind of pastoral advice you offered here.  Then again, I'm not Alveus Lacuna, so I can't presume to know what he really wants.

Then would you clarify want you believe Alveus is seeking in this thread.  If possible I shall try to deal with it within those parameters. 
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,892


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2010, 05:37:02 PM »

He sought both canonical and pastoral advice.

From the OP: "Would you say this is mainly a pastoral issue, or are the canons truly clear on this matter?"

Good pastoral advice often involves interpretation of the canons.   The question posed by Alveus shows that he is seeking further guidance.  He had advice from an abbot and he is now seeking confirmation or otherwise from the Forum  members.  Although I am completely unlearned in comparison to an abbot I have some experience in this area and thought I could make a helpful contribution.
I don't read the question of whether this is a pastoral issue as a request for the kind of pastoral advice you offered here.  Then again, I'm not Alveus Lacuna, so I can't presume to know what he really wants.

Then would you clarify want you believe Alveus is seeking in this thread.  If possible I shall try to deal with it within those parameters. 
Again, I'm not going to presume to know what Alveus really wants here, so I'll defer to his explanation. Wink
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic
Posts: 29,530



« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2010, 05:57:50 PM »

not to read heretical books.

Ha!
Logged

Joe: 'Is it creepy for a 35 year old guy to date a 19 year old girl?'
Desiree: 'Not if she's the one to push for the relationship, babe.'
Joe: 'But...'
Desiree: 'You'll shut up if you're smart.'
Joe: 'Ok.'
Orthodox11
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,999


« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2010, 07:55:09 PM »

Well there has to be some exceptions to this.  The one about heretical books is perfectly timed, because last night I ordered a copy of The Book of Concord and The Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I need access to this material for apologetics and more clearly understanding heresy in the world today.

A fine example of this came up today, as when visiting the parish bookstore a visitor was asking me about the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist and how it differs from the traditional Lutheran position.  I explained the differences as best as I could, but I laughed and told him that I was waiting on Luther's catechism to arrive in the mail, and I might do a better job after that.

Plenty of the Fathers were familiar with heresies so that they could refute them.  Irenaeus comes to mind with his treatise against the Gnostics.  He obviously knew the "ins and outs" of their teachings.  Ironically, the reconstructionist Sophia worshipers, the neo-Gnostics, have relied heavily on his writings to create their own systems of theology.  In that case, his writings ultimately have had the opposite of the intended effect.

At any rate, I'm not sure these "Church commandments" can have some universal application, especially if someone like me is working at becoming a scholar of Christianity.  My answer to everything outside of Orthodoxy can't be "I don't know, the Church won't let me read heretical books."  Likewise, I often need to have an understanding of heterodox rituals and praxis if I am to be able to explain their deficiencies to those who might inquire.

I think there's a big difference between reading heretical books for enlightenment (bad) and reading them as heresiology (good). If I read the Qur'an looking for guidance in my spiritual life, I will undoubtedly go astray. If I read the Qur'an simply because I wish to be informed about what many of my friends, colleagues, etc. believe, I don't think there's anything wrong about that.

It should go without saying that a person should be grounded in their own faith before they begin exploring others, and that if a Spiritual Father feels someone is not yet mature enough to handle such studies he is entitled to advise against it.
Logged
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,857



« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2010, 09:02:14 PM »

What if you don't consider Protestants heretics in the proper sense of the term, because they don't even know about Orthodoxy?  In this line of reasoning, they are not heretics, so you can pray with them.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 09:02:27 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Orthodox11
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,999


« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2010, 09:06:33 PM »

What if you don't consider Protestants heretics in the proper sense of the term, because they don't even know about Orthodoxy?  In this line of reasoning, they are not heretics, so you can pray with them.

I don't think it's simply a matter of whether someone is knowingly heretical. Praying together presupposes a common understanding of the One to whom you're praying.
Logged
wynd
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 501


Transfiguration


« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2010, 09:32:17 PM »

What if you don't consider Protestants heretics in the proper sense of the term, because they don't even know about Orthodoxy?  In this line of reasoning, they are not heretics, so you can pray with them.

Sounds like a loophole. YOU know about Orthodoxy and that is what matters.
Logged
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,857



« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2010, 09:52:39 PM »

What if I'm getting this rationale from an outside source?
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2010, 02:11:42 AM »

What if I'm getting this rationale from an outside source?

The sources which should be decisive for you are your priest and/or your bishop.   Again I am begging you not to self-direct yourself in these matters.  Go to your clergy and seek their advice and direction.  If it means humbling yourself, then humble yourself and listen to what they say.

There is an earlier message, not written on this topic but in an oblique way it addresses your question.  Answers may be inferred from it, and it certainly shows the intolerance of the Serbian Church for mixing it up with non-Orthodox Churches.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25316.msg396723.html#msg396723
Logged
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2010, 02:24:16 AM »

I agree with Irish Hermit; why are you seeking advice outside of anyone but your Spiritual Father and/or your Bishop?

We are to be obedient to Christ and his Church; not to ourselves.
Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,857



« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2010, 02:35:29 AM »

I'm not taking any of this to heart.  This thread was intended to stimulate a more hypothetical discussion based on my personal situation.  I am not looking for any serious spiritual advice from anyone on here.  I discuss these matters with my parish priest.  I was just curious about canons and such, of which none have actually yet been properly cited.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2010, 03:40:17 AM »

I'm not taking any of this to heart.  This thread was intended to stimulate a more hypothetical discussion based on my personal situation.  I am not looking for any serious spiritual advice from anyone on here.  I discuss these matters with my parish priest.  I was just curious about canons and such, of which none have actually yet been properly cited.

You asked about the pastoral aspect in your OP and that is what I have been responding to since I have 30 years of pastoral work under my belt and have seen people come to grief over their religious beliefs in hypothetical situations such as you are enquiring about.  Others on the forum with more of an interest in the canons will be able to address that part of your OP.  I myself was wanting to tackle the pastoral side of things.
Logged
Paisius
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Multi-Jurisdictional
Posts: 816


Reframed


« Reply #41 on: March 06, 2010, 08:21:13 PM »

I was just curious about canons and such, of which none have actually yet been properly cited.


Apostolic Canon LXIV


If any clergyman or layman shall enter into a synagogue of Jews or heretics to pray, let the former be deposed and let the latter be excommunicated.



There you go.  Wink
« Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 08:21:29 PM by Paisius » Logged

"Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?" - Milton Friedman
LBK
Moderated
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 10,505


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2010, 09:54:36 PM »

I was just curious about canons and such, of which none have actually yet been properly cited.


Apostolic Canon LXIV


If any clergyman or layman shall enter into a synagogue of Jews or heretics to pray, let the former be deposed and let the latter be excommunicated.

There you go.  Wink

The crucial words in this canon are to pray. Nothing said about attending heterodox churches as an observer. There is a world of difference between the two.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,892


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #43 on: March 07, 2010, 12:25:52 AM »

I was just curious about canons and such, of which none have actually yet been properly cited.


Apostolic Canon LXIV


If any clergyman or layman shall enter into a synagogue of Jews or heretics to pray, let the former be deposed and let the latter be excommunicated.

There you go.  Wink

The crucial words in this canon are to pray. Nothing said about attending heterodox churches as an observer. There is a world of difference between the two.
Even so, it still has something to say about attending non-Orthodox services. Wink  Otherwise, I agree with you.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 12:26:05 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Mivac
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 247


« Reply #44 on: March 07, 2010, 11:00:08 AM »

I was just curious about canons and such, of which none have actually yet been properly cited.


Apostolic Canon LXIV


If any clergyman or layman shall enter into a synagogue of Jews or heretics to pray, let the former be deposed and let the latter be excommunicated.

There you go.  Wink

The crucial words in this canon are to pray. Nothing said about attending heterodox churches as an observer. There is a world of difference between the two.
Even so, it still has something to say about attending non-Orthodox services. Wink  Otherwise, I agree with you.

Canon law, is it not meant as a guide?  What happens when a convert enters into the Orthodox Church, but the spouse refuses?  Where is the balance?  Hasn't His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I entered into "silent prayer" with RC and Protestants over the planet?  Ecumenical meetings ?
Logged
Tags: ecumenism prayer with heterodox 
Pages: 1 2 »  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.164 seconds with 72 queries.