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Author Topic: Russian vs Greek view of Validity of RC Mysteries  (Read 5739 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 30, 2010, 10:00:55 PM »

[But that's the priest giving people the benefit of the doubt.  If a parishioner were to hand you a slip of paper with only 1 name for commemoration of the dead at Proskomedia, and you knew 100% that the person was Roman Catholic, would you say it?  Likely not.  I wouldn't - why make someone as accountable as all the Saints before the Dread Judgment Seat if they're not baptized? 

The question of the existence of the Holy Mysteries among the Roman Catholics is, in the Russian Church, a moot point.  It appears that for the last 500 years the Russian Church has accepted all Roman Catholic Mysteries (Baptism Eucharist, Priesthood) as authentic, per se and not per economia at the point of reception into Orthodoxy.  This may not be the teaching of the Greek Church and I daresay it is not the teaching of all of the Russian Church (for example the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) but it is a teaching nonetheless.
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2010, 10:52:05 PM »

Dear Father George,

This fleshes out what I was saying about the Russian acceptance of the authenticity of Roman Catholic sacraments.

Message 225

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22406.msg342749.html#msg342749
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2010, 12:20:51 AM »

[But that's the priest giving people the benefit of the doubt.  If a parishioner were to hand you a slip of paper with only 1 name for commemoration of the dead at Proskomedia, and you knew 100% that the person was Roman Catholic, would you say it?  Likely not.  I wouldn't - why make someone as accountable as all the Saints before the Dread Judgment Seat if they're not baptized? 

The question of the existence of the Holy Mysteries among the Roman Catholics is, in the Russian Church, a moot point.  It appears that for the last 500 years the Russian Church has accepted all Roman Catholic Mysteries (Baptism Eucharist, Priesthood) as authentic, per se and not per economia at the point of reception into Orthodoxy.  This may not be the teaching of the Greek Church and I daresay it is not the teaching of all of the Russian Church (for example the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) but it is a teaching nonetheless.

The key phrase is "at the point of reception," and I dare say it does not include communion.
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2010, 12:36:19 AM »

[But that's the priest giving people the benefit of the doubt.  If a parishioner were to hand you a slip of paper with only 1 name for commemoration of the dead at Proskomedia, and you knew 100% that the person was Roman Catholic, would you say it?  Likely not.  I wouldn't - why make someone as accountable as all the Saints before the Dread Judgment Seat if they're not baptized? 

The question of the existence of the Holy Mysteries among the Roman Catholics is, in the Russian Church, a moot point.  It appears that for the last 500 years the Russian Church has accepted all Roman Catholic Mysteries (Baptism Eucharist, Priesthood) as authentic, per se and not per economia at the point of reception into Orthodoxy.  This may not be the teaching of the Greek Church and I daresay it is not the teaching of all of the Russian Church (for example the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) but it is a teaching nonetheless.

The key phrase is "at the point of reception," and I dare say it does not include communion.

I may not have expressed it well... overly succinct.

The dominant Russian teaching is NOT that Roman Catholic sacraments are valourised by economy at the point of reception into Orthodoxy.  They are valid per se.  A baptized Catholic has received baptism.   A Catholic feeds on the Body and Blood of Christ from a Catholic priest as does any Orthodox from an Orthodox priest.  A Catholic bishop enjoys the same consecration and episcopal grace as any Orthodox bishop.  The Pope of Rome is truly a bishop consecrated by the Holy Spirit.  He is not a layman in expensive drag.

I myself was brought up in the school of "ekonomia" in these matters.  But others were not and I have to admit that their approach must be respected too.
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2010, 09:23:08 AM »

The dominant Russian teaching is NOT that Roman Catholic sacraments are valourised by economy at the point of reception into Orthodoxy.  They are valid per se.  A baptized Catholic has received baptism.   A Catholic feeds on the Body and Blood of Christ from a Catholic priest as does any Orthodox from an Orthodox priest.  A Catholic bishop enjoys the same consecration and episcopal grace as any Orthodox bishop.  The Pope of Rome is truly a bishop consecrated by the Holy Spirit.  He is not a layman in expensive drag.

Any quotes?
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2010, 09:29:30 AM »

^ I'm interested in the quotes, too, as either approach (per se or by economy) is usually contingent on their coming into Orthodoxy - as long as they remain outside, regardless of creed or claims, it's not recognized.
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 10:49:38 AM »

The dominant Russian teaching is NOT that Roman Catholic sacraments are valourised by economy at the point of reception into Orthodoxy.  They are valid per se.  A baptized Catholic has received baptism.   A Catholic feeds on the Body and Blood of Christ from a Catholic priest as does any Orthodox from an Orthodox priest.  A Catholic bishop enjoys the same consecration and episcopal grace as any Orthodox bishop.  The Pope of Rome is truly a bishop consecrated by the Holy Spirit.  He is not a layman in expensive drag.

Any quotes?
Christ is Risen!

1. Well, there is the statement by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokalamsk, Head of the Department of External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, about 2 months ago, that the Russian Orthodox Church acknowledges the validity of the Roman Catholic priesthood and that is why they are accepted without ordination.    Not by economy but because they are already, prior to conversion to Orthodoxy, valid and authentic Christian priests.   This caused a bit of a stir in some quarters in the West who were not aware that the Metropolitan is speaking out of centuries of Russian tradition.  Some in the West even sought to bring him down by saying that he is a disciple of the arch-ecumenist and pro-Catholic Metropolitan Nikodim of Leningrad, who died literally at the feet of the Pope in Rome.   The present Russian Patriarch is seen as a pupil of Metropolitan Nikodim and Metropolitan Hilarion is a pupil of the Patriarch.

A few weeks ago some extremist Russian faithful entered his church where he serves in Moscow ansd started screaming "heretic" at him.   The reason for their actions was their understanding that his statement on the Catholic Priesthood means just what I have been saying above - namely, that RC Orders are valid from the get-go, and not by reason of economy if they should convert to Orthodooxy.  I doubt if the protesters would have been yelling at him if they understood him to mean the second 'economy' option.

I am sure that this is all covered in a thread on the Forum somewhere.  I'll hunt it out.

2. It was interesting that Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff, the External Relations Officer for the Russian Church Abroad, when challenged about this on a traditionalist list, defended Met Hilarion and wrote three or four copious responses with substantiating evidence, pointing out that Metropolitan Hilarion was merely holding fast to the Russian tradition which he had received.  I shall look for those messages of his also, although it is a Yahoo Group and Yahoo's search engine has been a total misery for many months past.  

3. Please have a look at this monograph on the OCA's Holy Trinity's website by the deceased Father Ambrose Pogodin.  He was actually in the delegation sent to the Second Vatican Council by Metropolitan Philaret of the Russian Church Abroad and a very learned man...

http://www.holy-trinity.org/ecclesiology/pogodin-reception/reception-ch2.html

On the Question of the Order of Reception of Persons into the Orthodox Church, Coming to Her from Other Christian Churches
By Archimandrite Ambrosius (Pogodin)

Two - How the question of the reception of the heterodox was resolved in the Russian Orthodox Church.
Opinions and Church legislation on this question


I present these positions not because I necessarily hold them myself but because they are a part of the Church of Russia to which I belong.

A question if I may, to members of the Forum who are not members of the Russian Church - how do you and how do your hierarchs judge Pope Benedict of Rome?  Do you and your hierarchs accept him as a bishop?  Or do you judge him to be a bit of a charlatan and poseur in bishop's vestments?  I notice that when he visited Constantinople he was seated in an episcopal cathedra as a bishop and invited to bless the Orthodox faithful as if he held some genuine ordination? Are there any corroborating statements, either way, from your bishops and synods?  Or would we say that actions speak louder than words and statements and he is accepted as an authentic bishop and is certainly NOT judged to be a layman by the Ecumenical Throne.
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2010, 03:34:32 PM »

I think Met. Hilarion was overinterpreted. He did not said anything like RC sacraments are valid per se. He did not explain how does the ROC recognise the RC sacraments but only said that they are not 'repeated'.
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2010, 07:41:23 PM »

I think Met. Hilarion was overinterpreted. He did not said anything like RC sacraments are valid per se. He did not explain how does the ROC recognise the RC sacraments but only said that they are not 'repeated'.
Christ is Risen!

Metropolitan Hilarion- "The Orthodox and the Catholic Churches have only some differences in theology and models of church order. Thus, we do not recognize the supreme authority of the Pope of Rome over other Churches. However, the differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism are not fundamental. We recognize the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. If a Catholic priest moves over to Orthodoxy we accept him as priest."

Der Spiegel issue No. 51, 2009.

I think it may be disingenuous to take Metropolitan Hilarion's statement to mean, we recognise the form of Catholic Baptism and Ordination and Confirmation and Penance but they are ceremonies empty of divine grace.  No Baptism has taken place, no priestly powers conferred, no Holy Spirit received, no sins forgiven.   We all know that he does not mean that.  He means just what his words say.

I disagree with the Metropolitan and I will continue to hold to what I was taught: extra ecclesiam nulla sacramenta (but with provision for the use of economy where needed -whether it be the mass conversion of the "Orthodox in communion with Rome" or individual conversions of Roman Catholics.

Here is the interview and I would be grateful to know where any mention of the acceptance of Catholic sacraments *by economia* occurs?

http://byztex.blogspot.com/2009/12/abp-hilarion-sits-down-with-der-spiegel.html

The interview is intended for the consumption of Western European Catholics.   If the Metropolitan did not intend his audience to understand the words with the very plain meaning that they have, then he is really rather guilty of a bit of verbal chicanery in stating something which he knows would lead his Catholic audience into a wrong understanding of our true perception of Catholic baptism and priesthood.
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2010, 09:54:43 PM »

Christ is Risen!

I present these positions not because I necessarily hold them myself but because they are a part of the Church of Russia to which I belong.


Probably nobody is interested very much in my own position but I gave it in an earlier thread:

Message 111 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25542.msg401463.html#msg401463
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2010, 10:42:01 PM »

Christ is Risen!

2. It was interesting that Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff, the External Relations Officer for the Russian Church Abroad, when challenged about this on a traditionalist list, defended Met Hilarion and wrote three or four copious responses with substantiating evidence, pointing out that Metropolitan Hilarion was merely holding fast to the Russian tradition which he had received.  I shall look for those messages of his also, although it is a Yahoo Group and Yahoo's search engine has been a total misery for many months past. 


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/135729

Fr Ambrose wrote:
"On the other hand, you will find Orthodox who accept the "validity" of the
Roman Catholic episcopate and the Sacraments which flow from it. Saint
Philaret Metropolitan of Moscow is of this opinion."

Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff replied:
"As I mentioned before, it is far more than the opinion of
St. Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow.

"Every Handbook for Clergy, every textbook on Canon Law,
Comparative Theology, Liturgics, and Pastorral Theology
published in Russia before the Revolution states that the
Roman Catholics have valid Mysteries and true apostolic
succession, and that in no way should Baptism and
Chrismation, or ordination of them be performed again.

"One can like it or not, but that was the official position
of the Russian Church, without question or exception."

An aside to Fr Anastasios:  this begins to provide an answer to your enquiry (Message 112 http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25542.msg401465.html#msg401465 ) about what information Fr Lebedeff provided.  It is hard to look for information on orthodox-tradition because of the malfunctioning of the search engine but I'll start looking manually.

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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2010, 12:28:45 AM »



Within the Antiochian Orthodox Church, converts from the Roman Catholic Church are typically received through Holy Chrismation alone, as their previous Roman Catholic Baptism is considered valid and sufficient. However, such converts may be baptized again by triple immersion if they wish to do so, and particularly if they think they might wish to enter the Orthodox monastic life or receive Ordination to Holy Orders at some time in the future.

+Cosmos
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2010, 12:39:19 AM »

Within the Antiochian Orthodox Church, converts from the Roman Catholic Church are typically received through Holy Chrismation alone, as their previous Roman Catholic Baptism is considered valid and sufficient. However, such converts may be baptized again by triple immersion if they wish to do so, and particularly if they think they might wish to enter the Orthodox monastic life or receive Ordination to Holy Orders at some time in the future.

I'd like to ask a question and make a comment here. First, are you sure that the Antiochians consider the baptism valid, or is it possible that they rather consider it to be filling with grace that which was graceless and an empty form before? Second, when I was brought into the Church via the Antiochians in 2001, I was discouraged from being baptized, even though I asked about the possibility of being received that way. And at the time--though it seems silly now (especially given my problems with doubts)--as a wild-eyed new convert, I had not ruled out either monasticism or a call to the priesthood.
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2010, 02:25:27 AM »


Within the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, converts are normally received through Baptism by Triune Immersion, Holy Chrismation, and Confession of Faith.

Typically, Orthodox Baptism is of course required of all non-Christian converts. Among those entering from other Christian confessions, however, only Protestant converts are required to receive Orthodox Baptism, because their bishops and other clergy are viewed as lacking valid orders with legitimate Apostolic Succession, and thus also as lacking the capacity to properly confer a valid Sacramental Mystery of Baptism. Their baptisms are essentially viewed as the equivalent of a baptism performed by a layman in an emergency, such as the immanent death of an unbaptized infant for example.

For the same reason, Protestant clergy are similarly viewed as lacking the capacity to consecrate chrism and to legitimately confer the Sacramental Mystery of Holy Chrismation as well. Thus, Protestant converts are seen from the Orthodox perspective as having previously received an incomplete Christian Initiation which needs to be rectified.

Roman Catholic converts, however, are normally received through Holy Chrismation and Confession of Faith, without need of being baptized again, because their clergy (bishops, priests, deacons) are viewed as having valid Holy Orders with legitimate Apostolic Succession. They are therefore seen as possessing the capacity to confer valid Sacramental Mysteries such as baptism, even though they are no longer in full communion with Holy Orthodoxy.

With Light and Love in Christ ~

+Cosmos 
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2010, 02:46:28 AM »

Ok, thank you for clearing that up Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2010, 03:52:46 AM »


Within the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, converts are normally received through Baptism by Triune Immersion, Holy Chrismation, and Confession of Faith.

Typically, Orthodox Baptism is of course required of all non-Christian converts. Among those entering from other Christian confessions, however, only Protestant converts are required to receive Orthodox Baptism, because their bishops and other clergy are viewed as lacking valid orders with legitimate Apostolic Succession, and thus also as lacking the capacity to properly confer a valid Sacramental Mystery of Baptism. Their baptisms are essentially viewed as the equivalent of a baptism performed by a layman in an emergency, such as the immanent death of an unbaptized infant for example.

For the same reason, Protestant clergy are similarly viewed as lacking the capacity to consecrate chrism and to legitimately confer the Sacramental Mystery of Holy Chrismation as well. Thus, Protestant converts are seen from the Orthodox perspective as having previously received an incomplete Christian Initiation which needs to be rectified.

Roman Catholic converts, however, are normally received through Holy Chrismation and Confession of Faith, without need of being baptized again, because their clergy (bishops, priests, deacons) are viewed as having valid Holy Orders with legitimate Apostolic Succession. They are therefore seen as possessing the capacity to confer valid Sacramental Mysteries such as baptism, even though they are no longer in full communion with Holy Orthodoxy.

With Light and Love in Christ ~

+Cosmos  

Are you a bishop? Is that why you sign your name with the +?  typically the way you've just written the rules of your archdiocese and then sign it with "with light and love in Christ"  +cosmos it looks like every memo I've ever seen a bishop write.  Just curious.  And if you aren't the bishop could you provide a quote for your information as it would be unfair to speak for the entire Antiochian ORthodox Archdiocese on such a matter without a proper reference.  I'm asking as a poster, not as a moderator.
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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2010, 09:09:53 AM »

Dear username!

I am an old Antiochian Orthodox clergyman, but not a bishop. Hence, the inclusion of the + with my name.

The information I posted is what I have observed and experienced during the many years that I have served as such in parishes within the Antiochian Archdiocese. If you doubt the accuracy of my information, please feel free to research same at your leisure.

Kind regards ~

+Cosmos
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« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2010, 08:38:12 PM »

Christ is Risen!

I am disturbed that this discussion is now being framed as something confrontational between the Russian and the Greek Orthodox.

As we see from the manner in which the Ecumenical Throne addresses the Pope of Rome and treats the Pope of Rome it is more than clear that the Church of Constantinople accepts the validity of the Pope as a bishop.   From that there flows an enormous number of things.  If the Greeks treat the Pope as an authentic bishop, then all the rest of the Catholic bishops are authentic and all the Sacraments which flow from the Catholic episcopate -Ordination, Eucharist, Confession, Confirmation- are legitimate.

If we are going to juxtapose the Greek and Russian view (although I believe this is a false dichotomy) would the Greeks onboard say something about this....
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« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2010, 09:22:55 PM »

Christ is Risen!

I am disturbed that this discussion is now being framed as something confrontational between the Russian and the Greek Orthodox.

As we see from the manner in which the Ecumenical Throne addresses the Pope of Rome and treats the Pope of Rome it is more than clear that the Church of Constantinople accepts the validity of the Pope as a bishop.   From that there flows an enormous number of things.  If the Greeks treat the Pope as an authentic bishop, then all the rest of the Catholic bishops are authentic and all the Sacraments which flow from the Catholic episcopate -Ordination, Eucharist, Confession, Confirmation- are legitimate.

If we are going to juxtapose the Greek and Russian view (although I believe this is a false dichotomy) would the Greeks onboard say something about this....
Indeed he is risen!

Please forgive father! It was I who renamed the the thread because it seems from reading the post that this was a Greek vs. Russian view of the Mysteries of the Roman Catholic Church in light of reception practices.

It is the practice of Orthodox from the "Greek" tradition to receive Roman Catholics via Chrismation. It is the practice of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America (in cases when ordination is being sought) and the Greek Archdiocese of America (in all cases) to perform a crowning ceremony for those couples who were married in the Roman Catholic Church. If marriage is not recognized then I think that goes along way to saying that the sacraments are viewed as invalid.

Within the Patriarchate of Antioch there is some fluidity with reception of Latins and Melkites based on the  situation in the Middle East. On Athos they would insist on the Roman Catholic being baptized.
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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2010, 09:25:54 PM »

If we accept this Russian perspective, then what is it that maintains grace in the RC sacraments? Is it simply a mechanical succession of laying on of hands, without any consideration of faith? Why wouldn't the Anglicans also possess apostolic succession?
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2010, 09:31:50 PM »


..... and the Greek Archdiocese of America (in all cases) to perform a crowning ceremony for those couples who were married in the Roman Catholic Church. If marriage is not recognized then I think that goes along way to saying that the sacraments are viewed as invalid.


If the Church of Constantinople recognises the validity of the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, then how can it deny the validity of Roman Catholic marriage?
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2010, 09:41:00 PM »


Within the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, converts are normally received through Baptism by Triune Immersion, Holy Chrismation, and Confession of Faith.

Typically, Orthodox Baptism is of course required of all non-Christian converts. Among those entering from other Christian confessions, however, only Protestant converts are required to receive Orthodox Baptism, because their bishops and other clergy are viewed as lacking valid orders with legitimate Apostolic Succession, and thus also as lacking the capacity to properly confer a valid Sacramental Mystery of Baptism. Their baptisms are essentially viewed as the equivalent of a baptism performed by a layman in an emergency, such as the immanent death of an unbaptized infant for example.

For the same reason, Protestant clergy are similarly viewed as lacking the capacity to consecrate chrism and to legitimately confer the Sacramental Mystery of Holy Chrismation as well. Thus, Protestant converts are seen from the Orthodox perspective as having previously received an incomplete Christian Initiation which needs to be rectified.

Roman Catholic converts, however, are normally received through Holy Chrismation and Confession of Faith, without need of being baptized again, because their clergy (bishops, priests, deacons) are viewed as having valid Holy Orders with legitimate Apostolic Succession. They are therefore seen as possessing the capacity to confer valid Sacramental Mysteries such as baptism, even though they are no longer in full communion with Holy Orthodoxy.
You conclusion are all wrong. The validity of baptism has nothing to do with validity of orders in the Antiochian practice. You actually get it right with you said
Quote
Their baptisms are essentially viewed as the equivalent of a baptism performed by a layman in an emergency
because it is based on formula. If a baptism occurs in an emergency situation as presented then that person still needs to be brought to the church and just chrismated, not re-baptized, by the priest to complete the mystery. So any Christian who is baptized by a Christian in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is recognized as being baptized. So it ends up being Protestants being baptized because of the lack of using the right formula and Catholics are received by Chrismation because they use the right formula. 
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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2010, 09:41:21 PM »

If we accept this Russian perspective, then what is it that maintains grace in the RC sacraments? Is it simply a mechanical succession of laying on of hands, without any consideration of faith? Why wouldn't the Anglicans also possess apostolic succession?
Christ is Risen!

In the eyes of the Russian Church they do possess a pipe-line apostolic succession.  But because of the gross heresies which have fallen upon the Anglican Church no bishop will receive an Anglican priest without ordaining him.  So they have a mechanical hands-on-head succession which would enable the Russian Church to accept them all by economy without re-ordination if they wanted to convert en masse.  However, that is highly unlikely these days.

If we go back to the times immediately prior to the Revolution we can find significant Russian theologians and hierarchs arguing for the outright validity of Anglican Orders.  This even includes the first Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky.

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« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2010, 09:45:29 PM »


..... and the Greek Archdiocese of America (in all cases) to perform a crowning ceremony for those couples who were married in the Roman Catholic Church. If marriage is not recognized then I think that goes along way to saying that the sacraments are viewed as invalid.


If the Church of Constantinople recognises the validity of the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, then how can it deny the validity of Roman Catholic marriage?

It is a mindset. What is perceived by some to be recognition is in their minds just playing nice. You can let them dress up how ever they, sit in a nice tall chair, say the creed; but unless their is communion it means nothing.
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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2010, 10:14:12 PM »


..... and the Greek Archdiocese of America (in all cases) to perform a crowning ceremony for those couples who were married in the Roman Catholic Church. If marriage is not recognized then I think that goes along way to saying that the sacraments are viewed as invalid.


If the Church of Constantinople recognises the validity of the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, then how can it deny the validity of Roman Catholic marriage?

It is a mindset. What is perceived by some to be recognition is in their minds just playing nice. You can let them dress up how ever they, sit in a nice tall chair, say the creed; but unless their is communion it means nothing.

So, apart from the Athonites who are certain (at least the majority of them) that the Pope is simply a layman are there any official or semi-official statements from other segments of Constantinople to that effect? 

Father George should be able to tell us since he has his seminary training fresh in his mind (whereas it takes me half an hour every morning to persuade it to wake up :-) and he has said, if I recall correctly, that there are no sacraments -and hence no bishops- outside Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2010, 10:16:53 PM »

If we accept this Russian perspective, then what is it that maintains grace in the RC sacraments? Is it simply a mechanical succession of laying on of hands, without any consideration of faith? Why wouldn't the Anglicans also possess apostolic succession?
Unlike Roman Catholics, Anglicans are just Protestant sectarians in fancier dress and generally, with bigger bank accounts.
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« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2010, 10:27:01 PM »

Unlike Roman Catholics, Anglicans are just Protestant sectarians in fancier dress and generally, with bigger bank accounts.

The Romanian Synod of bishops seem to have taken a more positive view once upon a time.. laugh

"His All Holiness the Patriarch of Constantinople having notified the
Sacred Synod that he had recognized the Validity of Anglican Orders,
and
having requested our Sacred Synod to examine that question and to inform
him in reply of its opinion:

1. Accordingly, the Sacred Synod of the Orthodox Church of Rumania replied in
1925:

a. That from the historical point of view no obstacle exists to the recognition of the
Apostolic succession of Anglican orders......

http://orthodoxanglican.net/downloads/romania.pdf
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« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2010, 10:33:36 PM »

^ It seems His All Holiness is treading some dangerous waters with this one.
     How can any Orthodox Patriarch accept the validity of Anglican orders/Sacraments since the tragic incedents of the recent past?
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« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2010, 10:37:31 PM »

Please forgive father! It was I who renamed the the thread because it seems from reading the post that this was a Greek vs. Russian view of the Mysteries of the Roman Catholic Church in light of reception practices.


Not to worry.  It looks as if we are going to be sidetracked into an Anglican discussion anyway.   Grin
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« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2010, 10:39:49 PM »

Unlike Roman Catholics, Anglicans are just Protestant sectarians in fancier dress and generally, with bigger bank accounts.

The Romanian Synod of bishops seem to have taken a more positive view once upon a time.. laugh

"His All Holiness the Patriarch of Constantinople having notified the
Sacred Synod that he had recognized the Validity of Anglican Orders,
and
having requested our Sacred Synod to examine that question and to inform
him in reply of its opinion:

1. Accordingly, the Sacred Synod of the Orthodox Church of Rumania replied in
1925:

a. That from the historical point of view no obstacle exists to the recognition of the
Apostolic succession of Anglican orders......

http://orthodoxanglican.net/downloads/romania.pdf
That is just a  dead letter, as it has always been.
They probably did that also under the influence of queen Mary, who was Anglican. I don't really know. But what I said is the quasi-unanimous attitude towards Anglicans now.
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« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2010, 10:41:29 PM »

Dear username!

I am an old Antiochian Orthodox clergyman, but not a bishop. Hence, the inclusion of the + with my name.

The information I posted is what I have observed and experienced during the many years that I have served as such in parishes within the Antiochian Archdiocese. If you doubt the accuracy of my information, please feel free to research same at your leisure.

Kind regards ~

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Thank you for the clarification. You never can tell on the internet and sometimes one has to ask where someone else is coming from.
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« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2010, 10:42:34 PM »

Please forgive father! It was I who renamed the the thread because it seems from reading the post that this was a Greek vs. Russian view of the Mysteries of the Roman Catholic Church in light of reception practices.


Not to worry.  It looks as if we are going to be sidetracked into an Anglican discussion anyway.   Grin

Sorry, my intention was not to sidetrack the discussion into Anglicanism. I just wanted to ask, "If RC sacraments are valid, even after the Church considers them heretical, then where do we draw the line?"
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« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2010, 10:51:42 PM »

^ It seems His All Holiness is treading some dangerous waters with this one.
     How can any Orthodox Patriarch accept the validity of Anglican orders/Sacraments since the tragic incedents of the recent past?

There is a pragmatic aspect to this recognition by Constantinople and Romania which should be brought to light.

These discussion with the Anglicans were taking place in the inter-war period.

People did not have aeroplanes for travel.  Contact was very limited in those days.

The Anglicans basically conned the Orthodox (sorry to use that lowlife word but it is appropriate.)  It was only High Church Anglicans who travelled to Istanbul and Bucharest to hold talks with the Orthodox.  The Orthodox were given the impression that these High Church clergy were typical of the Anglican Church and represented its faith and its belief in a sacramental Priesthood.

The very opposite was true - while a significant percentage of Anglican clergy were indeed High Church the overwhelming percentage of Anglicans were Low Church and had absolutely no belief in either a sacrificing Priesthood or in any Eucharistic presence of Christ.

It was only later when Orthodox bishops began to visit Britain and gained a clearer picture of the true state and true beliefs of Anglicans that they withdrew from their earlier positive statements and preferred to let the matter die a natural death.
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« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2010, 10:54:29 PM »

okay thanks for clerifying Father I thought this was recent  laugh
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« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2010, 10:56:48 PM »

Please forgive father! It was I who renamed the the thread because it seems from reading the post that this was a Greek vs. Russian view of the Mysteries of the Roman Catholic Church in light of reception practices.


Not to worry.  It looks as if we are going to be sidetracked into an Anglican discussion anyway.   Grin

Sorry, my intention was not to sidetrack the discussion into Anglicanism. I just wanted to ask, "If RC sacraments are valid, even after the Church considers them heretical, then where do we draw the line?"

I'm sure that we'll all enjoy the discussion whatever direction it takes. laugh
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« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2010, 11:00:01 PM »

Unlike Roman Catholics, Anglicans are just Protestant sectarians in fancier dress and generally, with bigger bank accounts.

This doesn't at all describe the Anglicans I have met over the past 12+ years, including Ebor, Keble, and Doubting Thomas.
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« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2010, 12:08:48 AM »

This doesn't at all describe the Anglicans I have met over the past 12+ years, including Ebor, Keble, and Doubting Thomas.

A few Anglo-Catholics on the internet who are even aware of Orthodoxy are not the norm by any stretch. All of the Episcopalians I have met have hardly even seemed to qualify as Christians in the broadest sense. They were all very interested in the social gospel, human rights, and sometimes even pomp in services, but they never seemed very interested in prayer or real holiness. I didn't "judge" this for myself, they open stated that prayer wasn't terribly important, and that was mattered the most was "making the world a more fair and more just place." Church was about social interaction and communal bonds, not about mutual submission to the Life Creating Trinity.
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« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2010, 03:04:26 AM »


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/135729

Fr Ambrose wrote:
"On the other hand, you will find Orthodox who accept the "validity" of the
Roman Catholic episcopate and the Sacraments which flow from it. Saint
Philaret Metropolitan of Moscow is of this opinion."

Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff replied:
"As I mentioned before, it is far more than the opinion of
St. Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow.

"Every Handbook for Clergy, every textbook on Canon Law,
Comparative Theology, Liturgics, and Pastorral Theology
published in Russia before the Revolution states that the
Roman Catholics have valid Mysteries and true apostolic
succession, and that in no way should Baptism and
Chrismation, or ordination of them be performed again.

"One can like it or not, but that was the official position
of the Russian Church, without question or exception."

An aside to Fr Anastasios:  this begins to provide an answer to your enquiry (Message 112 http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25542.msg401465.html#msg401465 ) about what information Fr Lebedeff provided.  It is hard to look for information on orthodox-tradition because of the malfunctioning of the search engine but I'll start looking manually.

I can’t access the link without joining the group. Does Fr. Alexander give more specific information on the list? I mean specific references, like when and where St. Philaret made statements accepting the validity of Roman Catholic sacraments, what books exactly in pre-revolutionary Russia explicitly said that Roman Catholic Sacraments were valid, etc.?
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« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2010, 03:05:19 AM »

This doesn't at all describe the Anglicans I have met over the past 12+ years, including Ebor, Keble, and Doubting Thomas.

A few Anglo-Catholics on the internet who are even aware of Orthodoxy are not the norm by any stretch. All of the Episcopalians I have met have hardly even seemed to qualify as Christians in the broadest sense. They were all very interested in the social gospel, human rights, and sometimes even pomp in services, but they never seemed very interested in prayer or real holiness. I didn't "judge" this for myself, they open stated that prayer wasn't terribly important, and that was mattered the most was "making the world a more fair and more just place." Church was about social interaction and communal bonds, not about mutual submission to the Life Creating Trinity.

Ok, I admit that I haven't met many Anglicans in my daily life, and my experiences are mainly based on internet interactions.
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« Reply #39 on: May 03, 2010, 03:32:35 AM »


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/135729

Fr Ambrose wrote:
"On the other hand, you will find Orthodox who accept the "validity" of the
Roman Catholic episcopate and the Sacraments which flow from it. Saint
Philaret Metropolitan of Moscow is of this opinion."

Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff replied:
"As I mentioned before, it is far more than the opinion of
St. Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow.

"Every Handbook for Clergy, every textbook on Canon Law,
Comparative Theology, Liturgics, and Pastorral Theology
published in Russia before the Revolution states that the
Roman Catholics have valid Mysteries and true apostolic
succession, and that in no way should Baptism and
Chrismation, or ordination of them be performed again.

"One can like it or not, but that was the official position
of the Russian Church, without question or exception."

An aside to Fr Anastasios:  this begins to provide an answer to your enquiry (Message 112 http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25542.msg401465.html#msg401465 ) about what information Fr Lebedeff provided.  It is hard to look for information on orthodox-tradition because of the malfunctioning of the search engine but I'll start looking manually.

I can’t access the link without joining the group. Does Fr. Alexander give more specific information on the list? I mean specific references, like when and where St. Philaret made statements accepting the validity of Roman Catholic sacraments, what books exactly in pre-revolutionary Russia explicitly said that Roman Catholic Sacraments were valid, etc.?

I would be so grateful if you signed up and helped to search.  For the past few months the search engine on Yahoo groups has been functioning so badly.   It must have taken me up to 15 minutes to find the post which I posted above.  I'll write to Fr Alexander and hope that he has his messages handy and can send them on.  But I imagine he is a busy man with all his duties in the Russian Church.
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« Reply #40 on: May 03, 2010, 04:04:28 AM »

Interesting monograph by Fr Georges Florovsky on an official website of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

In it Fr Florovsky basically rubbishes the concept that the baptism and ordination (of Catholics and Nestorians) are valourised by economy upon entrance to the Orthodox Church.

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/limits_church.htm
 
The Limits of the Church
Archpriest George Florovsky (1893-1979)

Father George Florovsky was a prominent Russian theologian. He left Russia after the Revolution and went on to pursue a distinguished academic career, first as Professor of Patristic studies (1926-39) and Dogmatics (1939-48) at the St Sergius Institute in Paris, then as Dean of St Vladimir's Seminary in New York (1950-55), and then as Professor of Divinity at Harvard University.
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« Reply #41 on: May 03, 2010, 10:18:44 AM »

Fr. Ambrose,

Christ is Risen!

I think you are over-simplifying the position of the RO church viz-a-viz RC sacraments.  If the R.O. Church believed that RC sacraments are valid and efficacious per se (without the caveat I provided earlier - "at the point of reception," that is, into Orthodoxy), then you could and would commune RC's without conversion - for their baptism and chrismation would be effective and complete.  I do not believe this has happened in the MP, therefore they do not believe that anyone's sacraments save those of the Orthodox Church are "valid" per se.
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« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2010, 10:29:59 AM »

Fr. Ambrose,

Christ is Risen!

I think you are over-simplifying the position of the RO church viz-a-viz RC sacraments.  If the R.O. Church believed that RC sacraments are valid and efficacious per se (without the caveat I provided earlier - "at the point of reception," that is, into Orthodoxy), then you could and would commune RC's without conversion - for their baptism and chrismation would be effective and complete.  I do not believe this has happened in the MP, therefore they do not believe that anyone's sacraments save those of the Orthodox Church are "valid" per se.

He is Risen indeed!

It actually is not that complex and may be decided by a simple question  -- is the bishop of Rome an authentic bishop or is he a layman?

If he is a genuine bishop then the unavoidable corollary is that the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church are authentic.... genuine baptisms, genuine Eucharist, genuine priesthood and episcopate.

If he is a laymen, then there is no baptism, no Eucharist, no priesthood and episcopate.

Of course there are Orthodox people and theologians who want to swing both ways - "well, he is a genuine bishop but not quite..."

What say the professors of Saint Vladimir's and Holy Cross?  Bishop or unbaptized layman?
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« Reply #43 on: May 03, 2010, 10:38:55 AM »

What I usually find in Greek circles is something along the lines of, to paraphrase, "Who cares?  He is outside our Church, and so he is no concern of ours (w/ regards to validity/etc.)."  That's my point: the perspective I've encountered most often is that we can't begin to talk about validity of other sacraments until that person is asking to become Orthodox.  Until then, it is God's business - we will continue to proclaim the Truth, Life, and Light in the world, our Lord and Savior, with deeds and words, for this is our business.
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« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2010, 10:55:05 AM »

What I usually find in Greek circles is something along the lines of, to paraphrase, "Who cares?  He is outside our Church, and so he is no concern of ours (w/ regards to validity/etc.)."

Doesn't sound as if you are getting a responsible answer to the question.  Another such brush-off answer is:  They're as valid as they can be.

Greek bishops have to make decisions about this every time they decide in what way to receive a Roman Catholic from the flock of the Pope.

After all, if they decide to rebaptize a Catholic who has a valid baptism, the canon calls for the bishop's deposition as not discerning true baptism.

The actions of the Ecumenical Patriarch in concelebrating with the Pope the Liturgy of the Catechumens several times in Rome complete with a fully participating Greek deacon indicates strongly that the Patriarch does not share this "it's no concern of ours" attitude.  By his actions he is making a positive statement about the validity of the Pope's consecration as a bishop.
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« Reply #45 on: May 03, 2010, 12:17:20 PM »

What I usually find in Greek circles is something along the lines of, to paraphrase, "Who cares?  He is outside our Church, and so he is no concern of ours (w/ regards to validity/etc.)."

Doesn't sound as if you are getting a responsible answer to the question.  Another such brush-off answer is:  They're as valid as they can be.

I think I get a very responsible answer to the question.  To those who are not in the Church and have no desire to enter it, what concern is their "validity" to you?  We pray for their souls, and hope the Lord has mercy on all His creation, even those who reject His Word.

Greek bishops have to make decisions about this every time they decide in what way to receive a Roman Catholic from the flock of the Pope.

Again, "when they receive him/her into the Church."  That's not a statement of per se validity.

The actions of the Ecumenical Patriarch in concelebrating with the Pope the Liturgy of the Catechumens several times in Rome complete with a fully participating Greek deacon indicates strongly that the Patriarch does not share this "it's no concern of ours" attitude.  By his actions he is making a positive statement about the validity of the Pope's consecration as a bishop.

Hardly.  No concelebration of the mysteries, so no recognition of validity.  No addition to the diptychs of the Church, so no recognition of validity.  I think at times Orthodox clergy have gone too far in the Ecumenical prayer services, but I'm not The Judge, and hence I will not judge them, and I pray that they will not judge me, so that He will not Judge me, but have mercy on me.
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« Reply #46 on: May 03, 2010, 12:44:02 PM »

The question of the existence of the Holy Mysteries among the Roman Catholics is, in the Russian Church, a moot point.  It appears that for the last 500 years the Russian Church has accepted all Roman Catholic Mysteries (Baptism Eucharist, Priesthood) as authentic, per se and not per economia at the point of reception into Orthodoxy.  This may not be the teaching of the Greek Church and I daresay it is not the teaching of all of the Russian Church (for example the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) but it is a teaching nonetheless.

In the early church, one finds two strands.

1) On the one hand, there is St. Cyprian and the Apostolic canons (the former very clear that rebaptism is necessary because the lines of the Church are easy to find and outside of those lines there are no sacraments or salvation; and the latter very clear that all heretics need to be baptized when entering the Church).

2) On the other hand, there is I Nicea 8, Laodicea 7, I Constantinople 7, Trullo 95, St. Basil 1, all of which allow for reception of different groups in different ways, while never fully explaining what that means to ecclesiological theories.

The two "strands" allow for three basic types of reception. Fr. George Dragas summarizes it this way:

Quote
According to these canons there are three ways of receiving heterodox into the Church: a) by re-baptism (actually, baptism), when the celebration of heterodox baptism is considered deficient or invalid either on account of deficient faith and/or practice, b) by Chrismation and signing of an appropriate Libellus of recantation of the particular heresy that the converts previously held, and c) by simply signing an appropriate Libellus or Confession of faith, whereby the errors of heterodoxy of the person received are properly denounced and the Orthodox faith is fully embraced.

Dragas, George D. "The manner of reception of Roman Catholic converts into the Orthodox Church with special reference to the decisions of the Synods of 1484 (Constantinople), 1755 (Constantinople) and 1667 (Moscow)." Greek Orthodox Theological Review 44, no. 1-4 (March 1, 1999): 235.

Since all three means of reception have been promulgated by Oecumenical Councils, it is always up to the Bishops and Synods of the day to decide which means of recption to emphasize and how to apply the tradition in the current age.

In his article, Fr. George argues that the Church decided to (re)baptize Roman Catholics starting as early as 1193. Many Byzantine and Latin sources confirm this. This also appears to be the practice employed in Russia at the time as well. Some sources list theological and liturgical reasons for rebaptism (e.g. sprinkling is unacceptable), but they also mention Rome's proselytizing actions in traditionally Orthodox lands, and, of course, the Fourth Crusade.

However, at the Great Synod of Constantinople in 1484, all of the Eastern Patriarchs agreed that reception of Roman Catholics should be by Chrismation and signing of a Libellus. The Synod published a service to that effect, in which the priest asks the person many doctrinal questions, performs a penitential chrismation, and then the person signs a Libellus.

What did this mean theologically, liturgically, or ecclesiologically? Different people interpret it different ways. While the Great Synod of Constantinople in 1484 allows for reception by chrismation and signing of Libellus, it also explicitly states that the Latins are heretics and it makes no attempt to explain if the former Latin Baptism was valid or invalid.

For the most part, it seems Orthodox Christians of all kinds adopted this practice and understood it as "economy" -- not much further explanation, nor much discussion of "invalid" or "valid," and no mention of "valorizing" previously empty forms. Things progress along these lines until the Synod of Constantinople in 1722. Fr. George summarizes the history this way:

Quote
in 1575 Patriarch Ieremias II (1572-1594) explicitly criticized in his correspondence with the Lutheran theologians of Tübingen the Baptism of single immersion or Baptism by sprinkling, but did not pronounce it as invalid. But in 1715 Dositheos of Jerusalem stated that the Latins who are not baptized by triple immersion run the risk of being regarded as un-baptized. In 1708 Patriarch Kyprianos (1708-1709) regards the Baptism of the Latins valid by economy. In 1718, Patriarch Jeremías III (1716-1726) was asked by the Russian Czar Peter the Great about the baptism of the Westerners. In his letter to the Czar dated 31 Aug. 1718 the Patriarch referred to a synodical decision by his predecessor Kyprianos (1708-1709, which stipulated that Chrismation should be the means for receiving Lutherans and Calvinists into Orthodoxy after their renunciation of their errors. As the time went by, however, and conditions changed in the life and relations of the Churches in East and West, liturgical practice also changed. Western aggression in East called for a new policy. In 1722 a Synod in Constantinople, in which Athanasios of Antioch (+1724) and Chrysanthos of Jerusalem (1707-1731) participated, decided for the rebaptism of the Latins as retaliation for the schism that the Latin missionaries caused in Syria.

The Horos of the Synod of Constantinople in 1755 is very clear, very Cyprianic in ecclesiology, and emphatic that Latin Baptism is totally empty, being mere "useless waters." Over the next 200 years, this way of thinking was repeated by many in the ancient Patriarchates, from monks to Patriarchs, but it was not universally accepted. As Fr. George shows, there were many exceptions in the 18th and 19th century. However, St. Nikodemos, along with all of the Kolyvades, were firm believers in the Cyprianic view espoused by the Synod of Constantinople in 1755, so the Pedalion (ca. 1800) makes it seem like (re)baptism of Latins is the only proper tradition of the Church. Thus, there are still many in the Greek speaking churches that hold to this view.

As for the Russian practice, it too punished the Latins for proselytizing at various points. For example, in 1620, a major Synod decreed that (re)baptism was necessary for all Latins and all Greek Catholics. But, not long thereafter, Peter Moghila published his famous Trebnik (1646), which called for reception by Chrismation, and several Synods of Moscow allowed for reception by Chrismation only. As far as I understand it, that's been the practice of the Russian Church ever since.

Now, what this all means theologically, especially for ecclesiology, is another matter. As I wrote above, the early sources, the Byzantine canonists, and the ancient Patriarchates, do little more than speak of "oikonomia." The Pedalion explains reception by some means other than Baptism this way:

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[T]he two ecumenical councils employed economy and accepted the baptism of Arians and Macedonians and of others, but refused to recognize that of the Eunomians and of still others. This is because in the time especially of the Second Council the Arians and Macedonians were at the height of their influence, and were not only very numerous but also very powerful (...) Therefore, both in order to attract them to Orthodoxy and correct them the easier and also in order to avoid the risk of infuriating them still more against the Church and the Christians and aggravating the evil, those divine fathers thus managed the matter economically and condescended to accept their baptism.

In other words, it is "oikonomia" and it is employed because it (1) makes it easier for the heterodox to convert; and (2) it is more irenic, not producing ill will in the minds of others against the Church.

Again, no mention of "validity" or "invalidity" or "valorizing." In fact, Fr. George Metalinos, former Dean and current Professor at the School of Theology of the University of Athens, specifically rejects the idea that the Church teaches that Chrismation corrects or valorizes or supplements or makes whole a non-Orthodox Baptism, since this is not found in any early Fathers or Synods.

However, there are many later Russian sources that teach otherwise, starting in the early 19th century, as far as I've seen. Andrei V. Psarev published an article on this topic, and the earliest source he quoted with the full "valorizing" teaching was Aleksei Stepanovich Khomiakov (1804-1860), who wrote:

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All Sacraments are completed only in the bosom of the true Church, and it matters not whether they are completed [...] in one form or another. Reconciliation renovates the Sacraments or completes them, giving a full and Orthodox meaning to the rite that before was either insufficient or heterodox, and the repetition of the preceding Sacraments is virtually contained in the rite or fact of reconciliation. Therefore the visible repetition of Baptism or Confirmation, though unnecessary, cannot be considered as erroneous, and establishes only a ritual difference without any difference of opinion. You will understand my meaning more clearly still by a comparison with another fact in ecclesiastical history. The Church considers Marriage as a Sacrament, and yet admits married heathens into her community without re-marrying them. The conversion itself gives the sacramental quality to the preceding union without any repetition of the rite. This you must admit, unless you admit an impossibility, viz., that the Sacrament of Marriage was by itself complete in the lawful union of the heathen couple.

Quoted in: Psarev, Andrei V. "The 19th canonical answer of Timothy of Alexandria: on the history of sacramental oikonomia." St Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 51, no. 2-3 (January 1, 2007): 297-320.

NB: Even Khomiakov starts his explanation with an insistence on Cyprianic ecclesiology. That's partly why Psarev concludes his article in SVTQ:

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My research leads me to the following conclusions: although in the practical aspect of reception the Church rather follows Augustine's understanding than that of Cyprian, nonetheless Cyprian's ecclesiology, that there are no mysteries outside the Church, was never refuted by the Orthodox Church. The attempt to reconcile this ecclesiology with existing grades of reception into the Church, as expressed by sacramental oikonomia, was only partially attended to by the Church Fathers (St Basil the Great, Blasteres, St Nikodemus). I was not able to find evidence that any of the Fathers who composed the canons held the position that in the reception of baptism performed outside the Orthodox Church, only the external form was accepted, and that this form might be filled by grace at the moment of reception...Nevertheless this theory enjoyed a place within the main body of Church law of the Russian and Romanian Orthodox Churches and was shared by noted authorities of Orthodox theology.
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« Reply #47 on: May 03, 2010, 11:46:35 PM »



In my recent discussions with Antiochian Orthodox clergymen this past weekend, the general consensus of opinion was simply that the Roman Catholics have retained legitimate Apostolic Succession in their Holy Orders through the centuries, but have nonetheless abandoned correct theological belief (Orthodoxis) long ago, while also generally departing from correct practice (Orthopraxis) in their administration and celebration of the Holy Mysteries.

The consensus of group opinion also expressed a unanimous belief that this unfortunate and sad scenario is clearly a direct result of their self-imposed isolation from communion with the other churches of Apostolic foundation in Holy Orthodoxy for such a long period of time to date.  Undecided

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« Reply #48 on: May 03, 2010, 11:52:14 PM »

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the Roman Catholics have retained legitimate Apostolic Succession in their Holy Orders through the centuries
But how can this square with the principle of St Vincent of Lerins? Have the post-schism Popes and bishops "rightly divided the word of Truth" identically to the Orthodox? I think not, given the significant differences in doctrine between Orthodox and post-schism Rome.
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« Reply #49 on: May 04, 2010, 02:12:06 AM »

Doesn't sound as if you are getting a responsible answer to the question.  Another such brush-off answer is:  They're as valid as they can be.

I think I get a very responsible answer to the question.  To those who are not in the Church and have no desire to enter it, what concern is their "validity" to you?  .

Dear Father,

I have many Catholic friends, priests, nuns, school principals, caregivers, social workers, workers with immigrants, many of my own family..... when they ask me questions I believe that I must be able to give them a responsible answer.  They don't expect me to take on the role of the village halfwit and nor can I, knowing what I know of the long and tangled history of Catholic-Orthodx interaction and the thought and theology which has been devoted to this question.

As I understand what you have written earlier in the thread you yourself do not adopt an "I don't know" approach to the question of "validity."   You say that Catholic baptism is not valid but it gains its validity/valorisation/actualisation only when a Catholic enters the Orthodox church and economy is exercised by the receiving bishop. 
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« Reply #50 on: May 04, 2010, 02:16:03 AM »

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the Roman Catholics have retained legitimate Apostolic Succession in their Holy Orders through the centuries
But how can this square with the principle of St Vincent of Lerins? Have the post-schism Popes and bishops "rightly divided the word of Truth" identically to the Orthodox? I think not, given the significant differences in doctrine between Orthodox and post-schism Rome.

No, they most certainly have not "rightly divided the word of Truth" identically to the Orthodox. Their theology is a significant departure from the united Orthodox Faith of the first millennium, but aside from all prejudice which Orthodox believers may rightly feel towards them accordingly, they appear to have retained a legitimate Apostolic Succession in their Holy Orders, unlike the Protestant confessions, IMO.  Undecided

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« Reply #51 on: May 04, 2010, 02:21:24 AM »

No, they most certainly have not "rightly divided the word of Truth" identically to the Orthodox. Their theology is a significant departure from the united Orthodox Faith of the first millennium, but aside from all prejudice which Orthodox believers may rightly feel towards them accordingly, they appear to have retained a legitimate Apostolic Succession in their Holy Orders, unlike the Protestant confessions, IMO.  Undecided

With great respect to you, Father, but isn't Apostolic Succession not only the physical laying on of hands, but the passing down of the imprimatur of correct teaching of the Christian faith? Following the principle I've bolded above, then that would give legitimacy to all sorts of uncanonical and vagante groups who use the term "Orthodox" in their descriptions. This can't be right, any more than it's possible to be a little bit pregnant.
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« Reply #52 on: May 04, 2010, 02:41:29 AM »

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the Roman Catholics have retained legitimate Apostolic Succession in their Holy Orders through the centuries
But how can this square with the principle of St Vincent of Lerins? Have the post-schism Popes and bishops "rightly divided the word of Truth" identically to the Orthodox? I think not, given the significant differences in doctrine between Orthodox and post-schism Rome.

I am not fond of the idea myself, but in 1922 the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognised the validity of Anglican Orders.  A logical corollary is that they would also accept Roman Orders and hence Roman Apostolic Succession.
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« Reply #53 on: May 04, 2010, 02:44:38 AM »

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the Roman Catholics have retained legitimate Apostolic Succession in their Holy Orders through the centuries
But how can this square with the principle of St Vincent of Lerins? Have the post-schism Popes and bishops "rightly divided the word of Truth" identically to the Orthodox? I think not, given the significant differences in doctrine between Orthodox and post-schism Rome.

I am not fond of the idea myself, but in 1922 the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognised the validity of Anglican Orders.  A logical corollary is that they would also accept Roman Orders and hence Roman Apostolic Succession.

But what does this recognition actually mean? It's not like the Ecumenical Patriarch and Anglicans are communing every chance they get. Also, St. Raphael of Brooklyn was also very friendly with the Anglicans, but he eventually changed his mind. Do you really think that the Ecumenical Patriarch(s) haven't also changed their mind(s), given that they don't have intercommunion with Anglicans?
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« Reply #54 on: May 04, 2010, 03:01:58 AM »

How do we deal with this dichotomy? - some say Catholics have sacraments, some say they do not. 

It is not a Russian vs Greek matter as the thread's title says since members of both camps may be found in both Churches.

There is an incident in the UK recorded by the (Anglican) Archbishop of Canterbury
(Lord Runcie if I remember) in an issue of "Eastern Churches Quarterly."

At a meeting in England of Anglican and Russian Orthodox bishops, the Anglicans
asked at supper: "Do you believe we are baptized?" The Orthodox asked to have
the night to think about it. At breakfast in the morning the Anglicans asked: "So,
what do you think? Are we baptized?" The Orthodox replied, "We do not know."


 
 
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« Reply #55 on: May 04, 2010, 03:17:15 AM »

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the Roman Catholics have retained legitimate Apostolic Succession in their Holy Orders through the centuries
But how can this square with the principle of St Vincent of Lerins? Have the post-schism Popes and bishops "rightly divided the word of Truth" identically to the Orthodox? I think not, given the significant differences in doctrine between Orthodox and post-schism Rome.

I am not fond of the idea myself, but in 1922 the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognised the validity of Anglican Orders.  A logical corollary is that they would also accept Roman Orders and hence Roman Apostolic Succession.

But what does this recognition actually mean? It's not like the Ecumenical Patriarch and Anglicans are communing every chance they get. Also, St. Raphael of Brooklyn was also very friendly with the Anglicans, but he eventually changed his mind. Do you really think that the Ecumenical Patriarch(s) haven't also changed their mind(s), given that they don't have intercommunion with Anglicans?
Christ is Risen!

Saint Raphael wrote a detailed epistle to the American flock explaining why he had changed his former views.   To my knowledge Constantinople has not repudiated its official statement.
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« Reply #56 on: May 04, 2010, 11:08:02 AM »

I was rather surprised to hear from a priest of the Finnish Orthodox Church this evening that if a Roman Catholic were to enter the Orthodox Church in Finland, his RC baptism and confirmation/charismation would be recognized, and therefore the sacrament of conciliation to Orthodoxy would be confession. How widespread is this practice through other jurisdictions? I thought that the issue of receiving through charismation was already contentious enough.
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« Reply #57 on: May 04, 2010, 11:12:05 AM »

...his RC baptism and confirmation/charismation would be recognized...

Recognised per se or through economy?
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« Reply #58 on: May 04, 2010, 11:33:44 AM »

I guess the mods have a right to merge my post with whatever thread they want, but my question was not about the theological debate on the matter as much as about which jurisdictions receiving through confession is currently being done in.
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« Reply #59 on: May 04, 2010, 11:51:11 AM »

It depends. I guess that if RC priests are received by mere vesting sometimes, then a lay RC could be received by mere confession.
Greek Catholics in 1948 were received as they were, without chrismation or anything, by confession of faith.
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« Reply #60 on: May 04, 2010, 11:52:10 AM »

Here is something well worth  a read by Father George Dragas.  For those who have the time to peruse it (31 pages) it should prove very informative

http://jbburnett.com/resources/dragas_baptism.pdf

The Manner of Reception of Roman Catholic Converts into the Orthodox Church
with Special Reference to the Decisions of the Synods of 1484 (Constantinople),
1755 (Constantinople), and 1667 (Moscow)


Extract:

According to these canons there are three ways of receiving heterodox into the Church:

a) by re-baptism (actually, baptism), when the celebration of heterodox baptism is
considered deficient or invalid either on account of deficient faith and/or practice,

b) by Chrismation and signing of an appropriate Libellus of recantation of the particular
heresy that the converts previously held, and

c) by simply signing an appropriate Libellus or Confession of faith, whereby the errors of
heterodoxy of the person received are properly denounced and the Orthodox faith is fully
embraced.

The reception of Roman Catholics into the Eastern Churches, which occurred after the great
Schism of 1054, was done in any one of the three above-mentioned ways. Practice varied
according to times and circumstances. The key issue in determining the manner of reception
was the Orthodox perception of the Roman Catholic baptism. This perception changed for
various reasons, including Roman Catholic practice, and it seems that such a change became
an important factor in determining the manner of reception of Roman Catholics into Orthodoxy.
Acceptance of some validity of Roman Catholic baptism meant that Roman Catholic converts
would be received by the economy of Chrismation, whereby what was lacking in Roman
Catholic baptism would be supplied by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Non-acceptance of such
validity, on the other hand, meant that the akribeia of the canons had to be applied, on which
occasion Roman Catholic converts were (re-)baptized. What, however, made Roman Catholic
Baptism partially valid or invalid was not always clearly spelled out, although it was implicitly
suggested.
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« Reply #61 on: May 04, 2010, 12:09:56 PM »

Saint Raphael wrote a detailed epistle to the American flock explaining why he had changed his former views.   To my knowledge Constantinople has not repudiated its official statement.

The two are quite different. St. Raphael had encouraged the faithful in general, when in areas with no Orthodox priest, to actually receive Episcopal sacraments: marriages, baptisms, and, if dying, confession and communion.

The encyclical by Patriarch Meletios IV of Constantinople had nothing to do with those things, offering the opinion that Anglican Orders were "valid," meaning that "if priests, ordained by Anglican Bishops, accede to Orthodoxy, they should not be re-ordained, as persons baptized by Anglicans are not rebaptized."

Also, the letter was not a pastoral directive, but an inquiry sent to all the Autocephalous Churches, asking for their input and opinions on the matter. As you know, not all churches responded, although, eventually, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Church of Cyprus agreed. Later, the Patriarchate of Alexandria, at that time also under Pat. Meletios IV, concurred, as did the Patriarchate of Romania in 1936.

So, that's five different Autocephalous Churches that, at one point, agreed. However, what did that mean in practice, and what does it mean today? All of the Synodal statements stipulate that they are provisional and that the matter needs to be examined by all Orthodox churches. They are provisional position papers, not policy. Also, they emphasize that this recognition flows from the fact that their official Anglican interlocutors have agreed with or offered comprehensive confessions of Faith that are fully in accord with Orthodoxy (e.g. on matters like "Apostolic Succession, Holy Orders, Holy Eucharist, Holy Mysteries in general, and Tradition and Justification," as the Romanians wrote in their Synodal statement). Was that really the case, and is it so today?

As you probably know, for several generations (1880s to 1950 or so), there were large groups of very conservative Anglo-Catholics in the Establishment, including many Bishops, priests, theologians, and lay people, with their own printing presses, associations, etc. Sometimes, they managed to convince the Orthodox that they represented Anglicanism in general. So much so that, in 1917, the Russian Great Sobor started a permanent commission dedicated to union with Anglicanism. And, shortly before Constantinople's initial letter, the ECU, one such large Anglo-Catholic group, issued a "Declaration of Faith," addressed to the Ecumenical Patriarch that reads like an Orthodox catechism.

In hindsight, it's clear that even then such Anglo-Catholic groups represented no more than 50 percent of the Anglican church at any point. Nowadays, who knows? Much less...although the 3rd world church is growing.

So, how does one apply this today? SCOBA's Ecumenical Guidelines make a distinction between "the Anglo-Catholic portions of the Anglican Communion" and other Protestants. Even so, Anglo-Catholic clergy are still received by Chrismation and Ordination -- so, their orders are not recognized. I'm not 100% sure about Romania, but I'm sure Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Cyprus do not receive Anglicans in orders. So, basically, the previous statements are little more than items of historical interest, just like the many different Synodal opinions, back and forth, about reception of lay heterodox over the centuries.
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« Reply #62 on: May 04, 2010, 12:25:36 PM »

It depends. I guess that if RC priests are received by mere vesting sometimes, then a lay RC could be received by mere confession.
Greek Catholics in 1948 were received as they were, without chrismation or anything, by confession of faith.

As were the Greek Catholics who came into the Faith first from the efforts of St. Alexis (now the OCA) in the late 19th and early 20th century and later through the late Metropolitan Orestes (now ACROD) in the 1930's.
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« Reply #63 on: May 04, 2010, 12:29:13 PM »

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I'm not 100% sure about Romania, but I'm sure Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Cyprus do not receive Anglicans in orders.
You can be 100% sure that they don't. Not that many Anglican clergy seeks reception in our church, either, but those that do are considered laymen.
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« Reply #64 on: May 04, 2010, 01:26:00 PM »

It depends. I guess that if RC priests are received by mere vesting sometimes, then a lay RC could be received by mere confession.
Greek Catholics in 1948 were received as they were, without chrismation or anything, by confession of faith.

As were the Greek Catholics who came into the Faith first from the efforts of St. Alexis (now the OCA) in the late 19th and early 20th century and later through the late Metropolitan Orestes (now ACROD) in the 1930's.

I forgot to mention that the first wave of Greek Catholics were received into Orthodoxy under the omophor of the Russian Church and the ACROD group came to Orthodoxy through the Ecumenical Patriarchate where then-Father Chornock went to Constantinople in 1938 to be consecrated as Bishop. He was not reordained prior to his elevation to the episcopacy.
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« Reply #65 on: May 04, 2010, 01:58:22 PM »

I can solve this problem. Our Sacraments are indeed valid. The Pope said so.  Grin  Cheesy Wink
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« Reply #66 on: May 04, 2010, 06:04:01 PM »

I was rather surprised to hear from a priest of the Finnish Orthodox Church this evening that if a Roman Catholic were to enter the Orthodox Church in Finland, his RC baptism and confirmation/charismation would be recognized, and therefore the sacrament of conciliation to Orthodoxy would be confession. How widespread is this practice through other jurisdictions? I thought that the issue of receiving through charismation was already contentious enough.

In Poland it would be normal.

Have you forgot about the Synod of Polotsk (1839)? Neither of them was baptised/chrismated/ordained.
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