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Author Topic: Ecumenical Dialogue with the Anglicans  (Read 5747 times) Average Rating: 0
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Mor Ephrem
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« on: November 23, 2002, 03:36:47 AM »

>ACNS 3201     |     ARMENIA     |     18 NOVEMBER 2002
>
>Anglican and Oriental Orthodox reach agreement at new commission's first
>meeting
>
>Under the co-chairmanship of Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette of the Coptic
>Orthodox Church, and the Rt Revd Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in
>Europe, Anglican and Oriental Orthodox members, appointed by their
>Churches,
>met in Etchmiadzin, Armenia, at the invitation of the Catholicosate of All
>Armenians.
>
>The Churches of the Anglican Communion and the Oriental Orthodox Churches
>have enjoyed a long history of cordial relations and pastoral contact in
>many regions of the world. Here they formally began the dialogue resulting
>from the recommendations of the Lambeth Conferences of 1988 and 1998 and
>the
>decisions of the Oriental Orthodox Churches that the Anglican-Oriental
>Orthodox dialogue be upgraded from a Forum (1985-1993) to a Commission. The
>agenda for this meeting and the future work of the commission was
>established a year ago in England.
>
>The leaders of both churches thought that the time had come to seek
>agreement in faith by addressing theological issues of common interest and
>concern, as part of the response to Jesus' prayer for the unity of his
>disciples.
>
>At the meeting it was agreed that the first task of the Commission should
>be
>to "establish an agreed statement on Christology" between the family of
>Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Communion. The statement will
>now be submitted to the authorities of the Oriental Orthodox Churches and
>the Anglican Communion for their consideration and action.
>
>Other topics for the commission are related to the procession of the Holy
>Spirit, authority in the Church, ecclesiology, the mission of the Church,
>sacraments, human sexuality and other matters of concern to the Churches in
>their mission and pastoral care.
>
>Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenians received the commission at a special
>dinner and members were able to attend the Sunday morning liturgy in the
>Holy Etchmiadzin cathedral and visit Tsitsernagapert, the site of Armenian
>Genocide Memorial and churches and monasteries in various dioceses of
>Armenia.
>
>The Anglican members attended a reception held by the British Ambassador to
>Armenia and an Anglican Eucharist for Remembrance Sunday at St Zoravar
>Church in Yerevan.
>
>Preliminary plans were made for the next meeting of the commission, which
>will be held in Ireland, 28 October - 2 November 2003. This meeting will
>consider the Procession of the Holy Spirit and the work of the Holy Spirit
>in the Church.
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2002, 03:50:51 PM »

Mor, what is *your* take on the upgrading of the ecumenical dialogue between the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Communion?  The Eastern Orthodox have long been in dialogue with the Anglicans, but, IMHO, it hasn't brought the Anglicans any closer to Orthodoxy, e.g., wide differences in approaches to women priests (and now bishops), sexuality, abortion, etc.  Will a *filioque*agreement and the work of the Holy Spirit within the Church be enough to further the dialogue?  How does the OOC look upon Grace or the lack thereof in Anglicanism?  How united is the OOC theologically in ecumenical dialogue?

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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2002, 06:13:43 PM »

Dear Hypo-Ortho,

Well, I think it is always good to continue talks, dialogue, etc., but I'm not sure what the outcome of all of this would be.  It is good to discuss those things which separate us, and to confirm our faith in those things which we both profess, but after a while, more than nice, diplomatic statements will be necessary.  

As you rightly point out, the Anglicans have veered off in several significant ways.  Agreed statements on the Filioque, Christology, and other things are good, but they'll only go so far.  After all is said and done, it is up to the Anglicans to come back, and not for us to veer off as they did.  Will they come back?  Can they come back?  Anything is possible with God, but from the way things look now, I am not all that confident.  

Ecumenical dialogue is great, but I think our efforts would be better spent going about it with the Eastern Orthodox, then the Catholics, and then the Protestants, in that order.  

I am not sure what you mean when you ask if the Oriental Orthodox Churches are theologically united in ecumenical dialogue.  We share the same Faith.  I would think that's as united as it gets.  Or perhaps that is not what you meant?
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2002, 10:09:35 PM »

Dear Hypo-Ortho,

<snip>....after a while, more than nice, diplomatic statements will be necessary.  

As you rightly point out, the Anglicans have veered off in several significant ways.  Agreed statements on the Filioque, Christology, and other things are good, but they'll only go so far.  After all is said and done, it is up to the Anglicans to come back, and not for us to veer off as they did.  Will they come back?  Can they come back?  Anything is possible with God, but from the way things look now, I am not all that confident.  

Darn, I lost this important paragraph, Mor!!!

I am not sure what you mean when you ask if the Oriental Orthodox Churches are theologically united in ecumenical dialogue.  We share the same Faith.  I would think that's as united as it gets.  Or perhaps that is not what you meant?  

Yes, Mor, this is where I should like to see emphasis in any kind of ecumenical dialogue also: between the EO's and the OO's, between whom, I think, we have the most in common--and the most to gain from a regained communion with each other..

What I meant when I asked if the OO's were theologically united in the ecumenical dialogue was are individual OO Churches doing things separately in ecumenical dialogue, e.g., the Copts with Rome, or are they presenting a "united front" in the dialogue in tandem with the Armenians, the Ethiopians, the Malankara, etc.

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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2002, 11:42:31 PM »

OK, I get the question now.  

I can't be sure, but I would think that the dialogues that are more theological are done all together, and the ones that are more "pastoral" are done separately.  For instance, this dialogue with the Anglicans looks like it's going to be done all together by all the Churches acting as one group.  

But "dialogue" with a more pastoral bent is done on a Church-by-Church basis.  So, for instance, the Syrian Orthodox have an agreement with Rome allowing each Church's members to receive the sacraments of confession, communion, and anointing of the sick from priests of the other Church based on need (Syrian Orthodox in a predominantly RC country, for example).  This would not necessarily be the case with the Church in Armenia unless the Armenians entered into a similar agreement with Rome (which, I think, has happened).  

Of course, there are many exceptions to the rule, so much so that I hesitate to call this "the rule".  I just simplified the matter a bit.
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2002, 03:49:20 PM »

2002.11.23 The Times:
November 23, 2002 Credo

From East to West, in Jesus we encounter God incarnate

BY Geoffrey Rowell

AT THE beginning of this month I was in Armenia for a meeting between
bishops and theologians of the Anglican Communion and of the Oriental
Orthodox churches, the ancient Christian churches of Egypt, Armenia, Syria,
Ethiopia and the Malabar coast of India. The Church of England has had long
and close relations with these Churches, which have now spread beyond their
ancient heartlands to a diaspora in the Western world, and our meeting was
the first of an official dialogue to work towards a deeper unity and even
closer relations.

These ancient Churches were the result of one of the earliest Christian
divisions, a division in the 5th century concerning the nature of Christ,
though political and cultural factors played a part, for these were all
Christian communities on the fringe of, or beyond, the Eastern Roman
Empire. The Council of Chalcedon in AD451, which spoke of two natures in
Christ, was not accepted by these Churches, whose understanding was shaped
by the teaching of St Cyril of Alexandria, who said that in Christ there
was "one nature of the incarnate Word of God". For these Churches, the
language of two natures, divinity and humanity, seemed to come dangerously
close to a schizoid Christ, keeping God at a distance.

In recent decades ecumenical conversations have gone a long way to
resolving this ancient difference of understanding, and we rejoiced that in
our own meeting Anglicans and Oriental Orthodox were able to agree a common
statement on our understanding of Christ, and reach out to heal what is one
of the most ancient Christian divisions.

Such theological divisions and arguments can easily seem remote and distant
from our contemporary world. They can be mocked, as Gibbon mocked the
controversy over the understanding of the divinity of Christ in the Arian
controversy, when, noting the different terms used, he said that
Christendom was split over an iota. But in that controversy it was an
important iota.

What was at issue was whether Christ was a supernatural being but not fully
God, or, as the Nicene Creed was to confess, He was fully and completely
God. The ancient debates about the person of Christ have something of the
same character, the point at issue being the unity of the person of Christ,
the reality of His human nature and, centrally, the affirmation that God
gave Himself fully and completely into our human condition.

In a world in which Platonist philosophy spoke of a God remote from the
flux and change of history, the Christian affirmation of the incarnation,
of God taking human nature, was bound to be offensive. The struggles of the
early Church with the nature of Christ are, in the end, struggles to say
that the God with whom we have to do is a God who does not stand aside from
His creation, but, in the words of the Lady Julian of Norwich, "comes down
to the very lowest part of our need".

In Christ God freely chooses to know our humanity from the inside. In Jesus
we encounter no less than God incarnate. That is the radical, wonderful and
challenging reality that is at the heart of the Christian faith.

The remote, distant and uninvolved God, repudiated in the theological
battles of the early Church, is always in danger of creeping back. The
deists of the 18th century, who turned God into the abstraction of a first
cause, setting the Universe going and then remaining all but absent from
it, is but one instance of this. It is often such a God who is denied by
atheists and tilted at by critics. But that is not the Christian God, who
is uniquely revealed and known in Christ.

In a few weeks we shall celebrate at Christmas that self-giving of God, and
will sing the praise of that love which goes to the uttermost. Tomorrow,
when the Church celebrates the Feast of Christ the King, the king we honour
and praise is the one who embodies that same love, a king whose kingdom is
a kingdom of justice, love and peace.

To live the life of that kingdom is the Christian calling, a calling made
possible by the one who came down to where we are that we might be exalted
to share in His life.

The Right Rev Geoffrey Rowell is Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe.
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2002, 05:29:05 PM »

Reunion? As the picture of Paul Newman on the salad-dressing bottle said, ‘Homer, I’m going to tell you what I told Redford: it ain’t gonna happen.’

There are sincere Christians among the Anglicans, despite that group’s liberalism — very cultured and intellectual ones too with a scholarly interest in the Oriental Churches. Such meetings may be good for these Churches for securing and continuing material aid, as perhaps the Anglican Communion has been giving them. Continuing a longtime benefactor relationship. I understand the Catholic Church may be doing the same thing or something similar (like protecting the patriarch of Constantinople from further Turkish repression).

Also, I understand that some Orientals, such as the Malankara Church, are unique among apostolic Churches in having open Communion with other Christians such as the Anglicans. Basically the same standard as my high-Anglican friends: if you’re baptized and believe the Sacrament is really Christ, you’re in.
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2002, 07:05:56 PM »

Also, I understand that some Orientals, such as the Malankara Church, are unique among apostolic Churches in having open Communion with other Christians such as the Anglicans. Basically the same standard as my high-Anglican friends: if you’re baptized and believe the Sacrament is really Christ, you’re in.

Dear Serge,

Where did you get this information?  I've never heard anything like this, and know for a fact that Protestants, whatever their beliefs about the sacrament, are denied the Eucharist in Malankara Orthodox parishes; I've seen this happen myself.  The rules are a little less strict regarding Catholics, but Protestants are simply barred from receiving the sacraments.
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2002, 07:16:01 PM »

I thought I heard it from somebody who had been to India but I may be mistaken. Thanks. Glad the Malankara Church doesn't commune Protestants.
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2002, 11:43:34 PM »

Also, I understand that some Orientals, such as the Malankara Church, are unique among apostolic Churches in having open Communion with other Christians such as the Anglicans. Basically the same standard as my high-Anglican friends: if you’re baptized and believe the Sacrament is really Christ, you’re in.

Dear Serge,

Where did you get this information?  I've never heard anything like this, and know for a fact that Protestants, whatever their beliefs about the sacrament, are denied the Eucharist in Malankara Orthodox parishes; I've seen this happen myself.  The rules are a little less strict regarding Catholics, but Protestants are simply barred from receiving the sacraments.    

I'm glad to know this, Mor, although you were replying to Serge.  I have seen the Roman Catholics (at a so-called "Mini-Marriage Reunion" conducted under the auspices of the RC Archdiocese of Hartford, CT--and also the Ukrainian Greek Catholics at St. Basil Seminary in Stamford, CT, at a "Byzantine Marriage Encounter") give Holy Communion to Protestant marriage partners, Protestants who did not share the same faith, did not have to fast or go to Confession in preparation for Communion, even though the Catholic marriage partners were required to.  Thank God that you Oriental Orthodox are closer to us Eastern Orthodox in understanding what constitutes "Communion" in its multi-dimensional facets, and we don't give Communion to be PC or to make "nice-nice" or to show gratitude when the same Orthodox Faith is not shared in its fullness, even when marriage partners are involved.

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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2002, 09:43:28 AM »

To be fair, indiscriminate intercommunion isn’t allowed in the Catholic Church either.
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2002, 10:01:59 AM »

Serge is right.  And, in the interests of fairness, I will add that, for the most part, what I said about Catholics is true.  The rules are less strict with regard to them receiving Communion in our churches.
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2002, 11:07:44 AM »

To be fair, indiscriminate intercommunion isn’t allowed in the Catholic Church either.

Serge (and Mor), in addition to the examples of the Roman Catholic and Ukrainian Greek Catholic examples I gave where Communion was given to Protestant marriage partners of Catholics, which were admittedly special cases, I also saw at a funeral Mass in a Roman Catholic church once, St. Bernard's in Keene, NH, to be specific, *ALL* in the congregation invited up to Communion.  There were some Quakers in the first pew who were reluctant to receive, but were literally pushed into the Communion queue by those around and behind them!  Please remember that in each case I cited, I was a personal witness and still a member of the Unia at the time.

I should also add, that even in special cases--*exceptions* if you will--such as these, no Eastern Orthodox priest that I know would have knowingly communicated a non-Orthodox.

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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2002, 11:11:27 AM »

Hypo-Ortho,

I know it goes on — but it’s forbidden.
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« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2002, 11:30:48 AM »

[Serge (and Mor), in addition to the examples of the Roman Catholic and Ukrainian Greek Catholic examples I gave where Communion was given to Protestant marriage partners of Catholics, which were admittedly special cases, I also saw at a funeral Mass in a Roman Catholic church once, St. Bernard's in Keene, NH, to be specific, *ALL* in the congregation invited up to Communion. ]

I have a very good friend who was brought up RC but doesn't go to Church except to get ashes on Ash Wednesday.  His mother was an ex RC nun who left the convent to get married, then divorced, and married his dad who was a staunch Lutheran (they got married in the Lutheran Church).  The mother & father fought constantly over the religious issue though neither went to church on a regular basis.  In fact, my friend was baptised three times, first in the RCC, then in the Lutheran Church, and then rebaptised in another RCC when the mother found what the father had done while she was hospitalized.  

Anyhow, the moter died first.  When the father died, my friend had him buried from the RCC with a funeral Mass even though he never converted and died a staunch Lutheran!  The entire congregation (including known Protestants) when up for Communion.  I was the only one who abstained.  He is buried along side his wife in a Roman Catholic Cementary.

I also attended a funeral of a Roman Catholic co worker.  I saw the priest come down and offer  Communion to her mother who had been married three times and divorced twice!  The mother refused.

Maybe its the size of the parishes.  But in these two instances the priest should have at least asked for Baptismal records for my friends father before burying him.  And in the second, could have announced that anyone who is not prepared or is not RC cannot receive.  That way its left to the conscience of the individual.

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« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2002, 11:39:20 AM »

In fact, my friend was baptised three times, first in the RCC, then in the Lutheran Church, and then rebaptised in another RCC when the mother found what the father had done while she was hospitalized.

Silly. Apparently the ex-nun either was very badly taught or forgot a lot since leaving the convent. Whoever had him rebaptized in the Lutheran Church gets an F too.

Quote
Anyhow, the mother died first.  When the father died, my friend had him buried from the RCC with a funeral Mass even though he never converted and died a staunch Lutheran!  The entire congregation (including known Protestants) went up for Communion.  I was the only one who abstained.  He is buried along side his wife in a Roman Catholic cemetery.

I also attended a funeral of a Roman Catholic co worker.  I saw the priest come down and offer  Communion to her mother who had been married three times and divorced twice!  The mother refused.

Like I said, such stupid things do go on. But they’re forbidden.

A nice thing about the Orthodox Church and a sign of its internal orthodoxy is most priests take seriously their job to ‘guard the chalice’. If Father doesn’t know you, chances are he’ll ask who you are before communing you or not.
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« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2002, 11:48:45 AM »

I have to admit that I am surprised at these instances quoted where a non RC person has Received in the RC Church.

Here ,where it is known that non RCs are present at Funerals, weddings and such, all are invited to approach the Priest - those who are Non Catholic [ sorry slipped up there Wink] are reminded that they may not Receive the Body and Blood of Christ  but may receive a Blessing should they so wish and are then told that they should approach the priest with their arms crossed  [ and the position is demonstrated ]

This is common practice here
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« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2002, 11:55:11 AM »

I was at a Byzantine Catholic wedding over the summer where the priest did a very nice face-saving gesture at Communion, using a resource right out of the Orthodox liturgical tradition. The many non-Catholic guests received a piece of the antidoron — blessed bread from the same loaves as Communion, but not Communion — which an altar boy held in a basket while standing near the priest. Several received it just as if it were Communion. Beautiful: the chalice was guarded, nobody’s feelings were hurt and everybody received some kind of blessing. (I realize that Orthodox churches vary as to who may receive the antidoron. Some treat it like Communion, others give it to all visitors.)
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« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2002, 12:31:17 PM »

[The many non-Catholic guests received a piece of the antidoron — blessed bread from the same loaves as Communion, but not Communion — which an altar boy held in a basket while standing near the priest.]

Serge:  As you know, here in Philly there is an Eastern Christian Clergy Association where some Byzantine Catholic and Ukrainian Catholic priests belong.

They usually attend Liturgy on our parishes namesday.  When they do, our priest will usually have an Altar boy come out from the Deacons doors with a piece of the Antidoron  on a wooden boardwhich is offered to each  priest attending.  This is done just prior to him opening the curtain and Royal Doors to give Communion to the faithful

There are a few of us in the parish that after receiving Communion,  will take pieces of the Blessed Antidron and offer it to strangers in attendance welcoming them to the parish.  Their faces always light up and usually will thank us after Liturgy and comment on how  welcome and warm it made them feel.

It is Blessed but not consecrated so I see nothing worng with the gesture.  It has broken the ice and has been instrumental in bringing more than one person back to the parish and eventually the Orthodox Catholic faith.  At least in my parish.

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« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2002, 12:08:18 PM »

Malabar Independent Syrian Church, Anglicans, and.....

www.malabar.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/index.html

Click: Ecumenical
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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2002, 12:55:56 PM »

Malabar Independent Syrian Church, Anglicans, and.....

www.malabar.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/index.html

Click: Ecumenical

Abdur, interesting post.  How does the Malabar Independent Syrian Church relate to the Syro-Malankara Orthodox Church?

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« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2002, 01:24:13 PM »

Mor Ephrem can best answer why there are two Malankara Churches in India and their relationship to each other.

What an eye-opener the Independent Church's site was! The site says that this church has communed, concelebrated and co-consecrated bishops with the Mar Thoma Church (Indian Anglicans who are descended from 19th-century converted Malankaras) since 1948 and has had 'eucharistic hospitality' with the Church of England itself since 1989. I understand the Assyrian Church will commune and concelebrate with them too. What a coup for those who think the Anglicans, in spite of English history, are apostolic! Yet this Indian church is in the same Oriental communion as Copts and Armenians, who AFAIK do NOT commune with any Protestants. Or is the Independent one NOT in this communion, but rather the 'other' Malankara Church? And does the other Malankara group intercommune with these English Protestants?
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« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2002, 02:21:09 PM »

Malabar Independent Syrian Church, Anglicans, and.....

www.malabar.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/index.html

Click: Ecumenical

Abdur, interesting post.  How does the Malabar Independent Syrian Church relate to the Syro-Malankara Orthodox Church?

Hypo-Ortho

I can't answer your question, but isn't it significant that the MISC metropolitan--Joseph --was allowed to celebrate the Holy Qurbana in the churches of the Syrian Patriarchate of Antioch?

Salam in Eshoo Meshikhah,

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« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2002, 06:43:58 PM »

I've been reading your evolution in this post and it confirmed what I thought about Orthodox people who live in non-orthodox countres, I know it is not a rule cause we can't mesure it through statistics. I a have seen that most American Orthodox are quite benevolent in their opinions about the Anglicans, they seem to have a better opinion of the C of A than the Roman Catholic Church. On the other side I come from a country where Catholicism is predominant, and Orthodox are generally enthusiastic about dialogues with Catholics, though (I won't talk for the others) I feel very worried about the kind of contacts that our leaders are having with that Anglican "Church" whose sacraments are totally invalid, which has women priests, which has trasnformed British christianity into a circus.

What kind of serious dialogues we can have with the Anglicans? the only probable thing we can have with Anglicans is that we're not in communion with the Roman Church. Anglicanism is mainly an indifferentist religion, they're in communion with Lutherans, Presbyterians, and other sects which teach the most contradictory doctrines, some believe in the Eucharist, some don't, some believe in child Baptism, some think it is herethical...

what do we have to dialogues with them, I believe that the dialogues with the Roman Church is much more important, and could be more succesful.
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« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2002, 06:50:36 PM »

Quote
[quote author=Hypo-Ortho link=board=5;threadid=280;start=0#2442

I'm glad to know this, Mor, although you were replying to Serge.  ... Thank God that you Oriental Orthodox are closer to us Eastern Orthodox in understanding what constitutes "Communion" in its multi-dimensional facets, and we don't give Communion to be PC or to make "nice-nice" or to show gratitude when the same Orthodox Faith is not shared in its fullness, even when marriage partners are involved.
Hypo-Ortho  

Yes, we have the same view. I don't know about the Malankara, but in the Coptic Orthodox Church communion is not up for sharing - though some exceptions made for Eastern Orthodox depending on situation. Even Catholics, whether Eastern/Byzantine or Latin are not permitted. Communion is an expression of unity for us also, no matter how much our separation hurts or no matter how much love we have for each other, it's not something for sharing. I was under the impression that the Malankara shared that view as I'm sure I read an article about it before.  Huh I'll try and find it.

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« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2002, 07:42:55 PM »

[I a have seen that most American Orthodox are quite benevolent in their opinions about the Anglicans, they seem to have a better opinion of the C of A than the Roman Catholic Church. ]

Probably because of the support (both financial and moral) the Orthodox in America received  from them after the communist revolution when the financial support ceased from the Russian Church.  That, along with the court cases when the Renovationists tried to take over the existing parishes in America.  The Anglican's offered more than one parish a building either rent free or for minimual rent.  It enabled them to not only survive but grow.  The OCA Cathedral in lower Manhattan is such an example.  It was given to the OCA when the Renovationists won the court case over St Nicholas Cathedral in NYC.  Which later came under the MP after the collapse of the Renovationist Church in Russia.

History between the OCC and the RCC has never been that amicable since the RCC has always taken advantage of the weaken state of Orthodoxy as it continues to do today.

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« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2002, 08:24:20 PM »

A simpler explanation is that many American Orthodox are converts and some still have the Puritan Protestant anti-Catholic baggage with them. I too have noticed sites like Orthodoxinfo.com where there is nothing but scorn for the RC and even Oriental Orthodox while at same time they are more luvy duvy and teary eyed with the Lutherans and Anglicans.
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« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2002, 10:13:27 PM »

I too have noticed sites like Orthodoxinfo.com where there is nothing but scorn for the RC and even Oriental Orthodox while at same time they are more luvy duvy and teary eyed with the Lutherans and Anglicans.
Please don't mention that site, it makes me tense. Sad j/k I think i'm over it this year.

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« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2002, 10:16:59 PM »

[A simpler explanation is that many American Orthodox are converts and some still have the Puritan Protestant anti-Catholic baggage with them. ]

I don't completely buy that at all.  I find it more of an excuse used by both Roman Catholics and their Eastern Rites to try and  justify why so many Protestants are converting  to The Orthodox Catholic Church rather than Roman Catholicism.  I've actually have heard it stated that their conversion is based purely on the fact that we will allow them to bring all their anti Papal baggage with them.
Doctrinal truth and purity is completely overlooked as a deciding factor!  Maybe we can start a thread for convert to the Orthodox Catholic faith stating their reason for converting.

Those of us who are interested enough to discuss religion are also knowledgeable enough to know the history of aggression towards us by the RCC.  Be it in the land of the Slavs, the Balkans, or the middle east.  Never once did an Orthodox Church set up a rival Patriarch to compete for the souls of non Orthodox Catholics as has been done to use countless of times.

So it's more of a "By their deeds they shall be known"  as well as "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me" attitude.

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« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2002, 12:01:36 AM »

There should be a distinction between 1st and 3rd world Anglicanism. Asian and African bishops are quite orthodox, and committed to traditional morality. Unfortunately, the good old boys ecumenical network (Society of SS Sergius and Alban, etc.) is almost exclusively from the apostate 1st world Anglican Churches.

Its sort of like Lutheranism-you can' t really clump the LCMS and WELS with the ELCA, despite some bastions of orthodoxy in the latter denomination.

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« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2002, 12:01:48 AM »

Mor Ephrem can best answer why there are two Malankara Churches in India and their relationship to each other.

What an eye-opener the Independent Church's site was! The site says that this church has communed, concelebrated and co-consecrated bishops with the Mar Thoma Church (Indian Anglicans who are descended from 19th-century converted Malankaras) since 1948 and has had 'eucharistic hospitality' with the Church of England itself since 1989. I understand the Assyrian Church will commune and concelebrate with them too. What a coup for those who think the Anglicans, in spite of English history, are apostolic! Yet this Indian church is in the same Oriental communion as Copts and Armenians, who AFAIK do NOT commune with any Protestants. Or is the Independent one NOT in this communion, but rather the 'other' Malankara Church? And does the other Malankara group intercommune with these English Protestants?

The Malabar Independent Syrian Church is not in communion with anyone, therefore it is not in the Oriental Orthodox communion of Churches.  It started with a legit bishop, if I'm not mistaken, who for whatever reason decided to retire back into monastic life, and then ended up founding his own diocese (See of Thozhiyoor), which became its own church.  They are not in communion with the Patriarchal faction of the Indian Church, nor with the Catholicosal faction.  They're basically Orthodox in ritual and theology and what not, but they do have these leanings toward "eucharistic hospitality" and what not.  They have participated in Protestant ordinations in India and elsewhere.  They commune them, and vice versa, even though I doubt there is formal communion between Thozhiyoor and Canterbury.  

That their Metropolitan was allowed to celebrate the Holy Qurbana in Syrian churches in the Patriarchate of Antioch surprises me and does not surprise me.  On the one hand, it surprises me because why would a patriarch let a bishop who is not in communion with him and who does non-canonical things with Protestants celebrate the Eucharist in your churches?  On the other hand, it does not surprise me.  The Patriarch of Antioch wants the Indian Church to be "in communion" with it in the same way that Eastern Catholic Churches are "in communion" with Rome (worse, I'd say), even though its autocephaly is recognised by everyone else.  When our Catholicos (in communion with everyone else, as far as I know) went to Armenia for the consecratory rites of one of their Catholicoses, the Patriarch would not even meet with him even to just say hello.  But a pseudo-Orthodox cleric who communes and ordains Protestants can celebrate the sacraments in Syrian churches with his blessing.  I love Antioch, but I wonder sometimes if their priorities are screwed up in a really bad way.

Indian Church history, particularly in the past hundred years or so, is very complex, and so I won't get into the patriarchal/catholicosal issue unless asked.  Besides, it's cold and my fingers can't move.  Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2002, 12:15:17 AM »

I don't completely buy that at all.  I find it more of an excuse used by both Roman Catholics and their Eastern Rites to try and  justify why so many Protestants are converting  to The Orthodox Catholic Church rather than Roman Catholicism.

Note that my comments were directed at giving an explanation of why some Orthodox, in western nations, have an inconsistent attitude and posture with respect to Catholics and Anglicans. It was not meant to explain why more ex-prots are becoming Orthodox as opposed to Catholics, for that I am happy.

Those of us who are interested enough to discuss religion are also knowledgeable enough to know the history of aggression towards us by the RCC. Be it in the land of the Slavs, the Balkans, or the middle east.

Yes, of course. Your preaching to the choir with that one. I have had several exchanges with Catholics on this question, one of them on the Byzcath site. We know what the Romans have done and in some cases still do.

Doctrinal truth and purity is completely overlooked as a deciding factor! Maybe we can start a thread for convert to the Orthodox Catholic faith stating their reason for converting.

What is beyond ludicrous is watching some snot nose, who just yesterday was running up and down the Pentecostal pews screaming and flipping his tongue like a mermaid’s tail, read one book titled "Truth and Orthodoxy" and today he is self-righteously denouncing everything about the Catholics. Their arguments sound the same, even if they are now using Orthodox phraseology. When they were a Protestant they were against the Catholics for praying to Mary at all let alone putting too much emphasis on her. Now as Orthodox they have come to terms with the Holy Virgin but they are quick to add (even if no one asked) that the Catholics have it all wrong with the Immaculate Conception. Not that I disagree with that, but for an Orthodox to spend all of their time denouncing Catholics while talking in poetic reminiscence about their Lutheran days demonstrates that they have not settled their past with Protestantism and have not overcome America’s anti-Catholic cultural bias. What is so contentious about that. Embracing the truth of Orthodoxy does not have to equal a full-time career of Catholic bashing.
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« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2002, 12:26:46 AM »

Please don't mention that site, it makes me tense. Sad j/k I think i'm over it this year.

Don’t let peripheral fringe elements bother you; they can have their books and 12-mile long prayer ropes and we can have our “Yetint Yetewatu (authentic/original/ancient)” Church. But when I did spend (ooops I mean waste) some time on their site looking through their pages I decided to complain after I saw the Oriental Orthodox Christology distorted and misrepresented for like the zillionth time. I got a reply and the administrator said that he has already had a similar complaint from a Copt and that me and that person were just wrong and did not understand our own theology. He was not referring to you was he? Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2002, 12:39:14 AM »

Please don't mention that site, it makes me tense. Sad j/k I think i'm over it this year.

Don’t let peripheral fringe elements bother you; they can have their books and 12-mile long prayer ropes and we can have our “Yetint Yetewatu (authentic/original/ancient)” Church. But when I did spend (ooops I mean waste) some time on their site looking through their pages I decided to complain after I saw the Oriental Orthodox Christology distorted and misrepresented for like the zillionth time. I got a reply and the administrator said that he has already had a similar complaint from a Copt and that me and that person were just wrong and did not understand our own theology. He was not referring to you was he? Smiley


Cough...  Embarrassed lol Yes, but I didn't receive a reply from him at all. I even pointed him to references and wasted a good multi K e-mail and lots of time... It's convenient for them that way. I 've learned a lot about them from new ROCOR friends and a former ROCOR (now just Russian Orthodox priest). It's funny how sometimes they think if we're too friendly, we don't know any Theology, and if we do things their way, we just do not understand what we're talking about, or as they say, "you wouldn't expect a heretic to say that they were, would you" (or somethign along those lines). I figured it's a lose-lose situation, if we argue, we're heretics, if we don't we're heretics, if we defend our position we're heretics. Smiley *sigh*Thankfully, there are some really awesome traditionalists that I'm only just getting to know, and they've changed my view on a lot of things towards them and their "culture" . Wink Peace and grace to you, Aklile Semaet.
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« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2002, 12:47:11 AM »

Many thanks, Mor, for the clarification, I naively thought this Independent group was one of the two factions - patriarchal vs. catholicosal - you described earlier. I now know better and am relieved the real Oriental Church in India, on either side of the dispute, does not commune, concelebrate with or co-consecrate Protestants.

Regarding inconsistent Orthodox attitudes to Anglicans and to Catholics, I think born Orthodox and Orientals might have had a superficial and incomplete view of the former, not realizing they really are Protestants - perhaps owing to the Anglicans telling the Easterns what they wanted to hear, not being completely honest about Anglicanism. That and the fact that in some lands and situations the Anglicans were benefactors to the Eastern Churches while Catholics in Slavic lands and the Middle East became rivals. Residual anti-Catholicism does have something to do with the convert phenomenon in the West.

I read some of orthodoxinfo.com tonight and was fascinated and challenged. Especially enjoyed reading and mentally critiquing the late Fr Justin Popovich on Catholicism as the oldest Protestant faith. As does Orthodoxy in general, he has a point - why secularism, why Vatican II, and why in and from the West? - but some of it seemed backwards (the split happened long before papal infallibility was defined) and ethnocentric (like the whole ado about nothing over the azymes - the difference existed preschism), a kind of Byzantine chauvinism as annoying as praestantia ritus latini from Catholics.
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« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2002, 02:15:09 AM »

Sorry for the last post, it's just that I don't know what happens but I get really  Tongue about Protestantism. I am sure that there are lots of good believing christians among them and I have never thought that they are evil, but I just don't think these dialogues will help unless it helps for individual conversions.

I understand Orthodoc's comments about how the Anglicans have helped Orthodox in USA when the Orthodox Church had no parishes. As I said before there are good people among them who are charitable. Here and in other Latin American nations, the Orthodox community has received the help of Catholics when there were no parishes, and at the time of the "un-existence" of the Orthodox Church here, the Roman Church provided the sacraments to the people of Orthodox descent who were not able to find their Church, and in some cases they lent their parishes for the services.

I totally agree with Aklie about the some Orthodox who have so much rancor toward Roman Catholicism. I've seen this attitude among some Catholics who join the Orthodox Church because of liturgical abuse in their parishes, I know it is hard to blame them for having that feeling, I understand how sad is to see what is happening there.

It is also interesting that most of the severe criticisms against Roman Catholicism by former Protestants who are now Orthodox, affiliated to ultraconservative groups that left the ROCOR are very much focused on the Vatican II disaster, modernism, liberalism and liturgical abuse in the Roman Church, and not to the original differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism. I have been reading some and at some moments I don't know if I'm reading a document from the Society of St Pius or a document by an Orthodox writer. About Orthodoc's comment on why many Protestant converts join Orthodoxy and not Catholicism, I think it's related to the liturgical problem, and sometimes because of the natural problem in "accepting" the Papacy.
 
It is the responsability of our pastors and Bishops to guide people through a healthy conversion and to help to overcome the traumas.
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« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2002, 05:09:18 PM »

Fortunatus quotes some loud mouth as saying the following:

"you wouldn't expect a heretic to say that they were, would you"

No comment; but in my experience the heretic is the one that uses the ‘h’ word loosely. It soothes their own psychological complex and insecurities associated with belonging to a cult that they know has nothing to do with Orthodoxy. Tell them: “Keep calling others heretics to make yourself feel more like an Orthodox; but you know the reality.”

Thankfully, there are some really awesome traditionalists that I'm only just getting to know, and they've changed my view on a lot of things towards them and their "culture"

Yes, there are awesome traditionalists from Eastern Orthodoxy. I printed some of their articles and sent it to a friend who was staying in a Monastery in Ethiopia and running out of literature to read during those in-between times (usually there are 3 or 4 Church services a day and the in-between time can consume many books). I think that most Oriental Orthodox are naturally traditionalists. Traditionalism is a conscious movement trying to restore what has been changed. But if nothing has been changed then there is no need for a movement. If anything we should call ourselves ‘preservationists’ because we are preserving the traditions that we see slowly changing but have not changed to the extent that we have to ‘restore’ something past and gone. I know our calendar is not going anywhere.    
 
Serge says:
I think born Orthodox and Orientals might have had a superficial and incomplete view of the former, not realizing they really are Protestants

I agree with this but by now everyone should know. Naive ancestors are not an excuse anymore.

Serge says:
I read some of orthodoxinfo.com tonight and was fascinated and challenged. Especially enjoyed reading and mentally critiquing the late Fr Justin Popovich on Catholicism as the oldest Protestant faith.

Interesting; but realize that everyone is not as well read in the literature as you are. Some people, especially beginners still completing their conversion to Orthodoxy, are not capable of ‘mentally critiquing’ such types of arguments. Articles like this do not  represent the mainstream of Orthodox teaching (in either the Eastern or the Oriental variants) and will lead someone seriously astray.

Remie says:

it's just that I don't know what happens but I get really  Tongue about Protestantism.

So what else is new?

I just don't think these dialogues will help unless it helps for individual conversions.

Never say never even though you are probably right. Oriental and Eastern Orthodox as well as Catholics of any and all rites have way more in common than either one has with Anglicans or any other Protestant. The Protestants are so far off that it is going to take more than a joint understanding of Christology to unite them with us.

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« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2003, 12:12:55 PM »

Anyone have any new info on the status of this dialogue?  There are a lot of things that are unorthodox about the Anglican communion, such as female priests, condoning homosexual unions, the "branch theory", etc.  I am confident that our Church will not compromise on any of these issues, or enter into communion with those who subscribe to such notions, but nevertheless I would like to keep posted about the meetings.
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« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2003, 12:19:45 PM »

Mor Ephrem can best answer why there are two Malankara Churches in India and their relationship to each other.

I won't get into the patriarchal/catholicosal issue unless asked.  Besides, it's cold and my fingers can't move.  Smiley  

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« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2003, 01:58:12 PM »

Anyone have any new info on the status of this dialogue?  There are a lot of things that are unorthodox about the Anglican communion, such as female priests, condoning homosexual unions, the "branch theory", etc.  I am confident that our Church will not compromise on any of these issues, or enter into communion with those who subscribe to such notions, but nevertheless I would like to keep posted about the meetings.

I looked at some articles written by the British Orthodox Church (Coptic) and learned that Anglicans are so eclectic that it is almost impossible to categorize what they believe in. So the Anglicans WE are having discussions with may very well be the most orthodox minded of them. This would leave the impression that this is how they all think but lo and behold there are people in the Anglican communion that advocate Buddhism, 27% of their clergy do not believe in the virgin birth, some of them marry gay couples, and the list goes on.

It is hard to see where this is all going. I think the most serious concentration should be applied to healing the schism between Oriental Orthodox and ByzantinesGǪthe Anglicans seem like a long shot.


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« Reply #40 on: August 07, 2003, 12:24:02 PM »

I wonder what repercussions this latest turn of events in the Anglican Church will have on our dialogue with them.  It is possible that the number of Anglicans converting to Orthodoxy (be it OO or EO) will grow exponentially in the wake of the election of this "gay bishop".  Anglican (i.e. Episcopalian) friends of mine say that many in their Church have become disillusioned and feel that their Church has departed from the Apostolic Faith.  Not to be too critical, but I knew that it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.  They already had "bishopesses" and "priestesses", and bandied about the idea of gay marriage and marriage between multiple partners.  A gay bishop is the next logical step.

What I find truly disturbing is the culturally imperialist if not out right racist attitudes manifested by some of the folks pushing this agenda when they don't get their way.  I have read that one gay American "bishopess" was incensed by the fact that the largely conservative Anglican clergy of Africa and Asia rejected these latest innovations.  I guess she anticipated a different reaction from them.  Archbishop Peter Akinola, for example,  head of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, condemned Robinson's election as "a Satanic attack on God's church." Since the Third World clergy didn't meet with her expectations she remarked "What do you expect from these people, they are right out of the trees".  I guess her true colors came out with that little slip of the tongue.  Ironically, the moron is herself of African descent.
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« Reply #41 on: August 08, 2003, 06:54:18 PM »

I was under the impression that their female "priests" issue stopped the dialogue cold quite some time ago.

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« Reply #42 on: August 08, 2003, 11:19:31 PM »

If the schism occurs, the female priest issue is probably not going to go away. There would be some accomodation to keep a separate female-less episcopate, but by far the majority of the American conservatives ordain women.
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