This is reducing the Eucharist to a product of intent with some dressing. There is an underlying principle: the Eucharist is only of and within the Church, and it does not occur outside the Church. At the schism, part remained the Church, and part did not; we believe that we are the former and you the latter, and you believe the contrary. We are not positing that the Spirit does not or cannot work within the RC communion, but we do know that the sacraments are the work of the Church, and thus (with the exception of Baptism, which brings people into the Church) cannot be found outside of the Church.
If Ethiopian Orthodox are going to communion in the Pittsburgh metropolis as you said elsewhere- (snip)- doesn't this suggest their sacraments are valid?
The line between EO and OO is much finer than that between EO and anyone else; I'll let OO members provide their opinion on the matter (whether EO-OO is close than OO-anyone else), but I believe it is the same.
That said, it is a classic case of economy - a deviation from the standard (either toward laxity or greater strictness) for the benefit of the person. To wit: the Ethiopian Orthodox families go to an EO church for communion without the EO actually re-entering communion with the OO; the OO are allowed to commune because, from a pastoral POV, we understand that they would go without any communion for considerable stretches of time if they didn't come to our churches, so we relax our standard (no communing OOs) for them. This does not constitute a change in the standard. The same could likely be said from the OO POV (that is, that an EO without a Church communing in an OO community does not constitute a change in the OO's standard that they are not in communion with the EO).
I am confused. Look at the Thread all the reasons for denying and personally avoiding regular communion at http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=12024.0
at Catholic, Oriental, and Old Calendarist churches when an Orthodox church is nearby. However "close" you draw the line between Orthodox and Orientals, these arguments all go against allowing Orientals to communion even when far away.
One of the biggest reasons is that you cannot give Eucharist to those outside the single, visible, administratively united institutionalized church- The Orthodox Church.
I ask: "Still, why not give it to them?"
The answer is "because they are outside the Church."
"OK, why not give to those outside the church?"
"Because the eucharist is the body, and the body is the church."
"OK, why can you not give them the body and unite them with the church?"
No one gave me an answer to this. Is it because "Yes you would unite them to the church, but being united to the church while being in faith a schismatic is worse than being a schismatic outside the church?"If that is the reason, then we are putting those outside the church- therefore "schismatics"- in greater danger, and you wouldn't want to endanger them even if they are away from their home.
Maybe you can think of a good answer for this. But let's flip the problem around.
"Why can't I receive regularly at an Oriental parish when there's an Orthodox Church nearby?"
"Because the church is a united, visible institution and the Eucharist is the body and the church is the body. So the Eucharist doesn't exist outside this visible institution."
"OK, why can I receive the Eucharist outside this institution when away from home?"
"So ekonomia allows the eucharist to be valid outside the church?""Well, we don't REALLY know if the Eucharist is valid outside the church or not."
That's the best explanation yet! But let's be clear in the future that we CANNOT say there is no valid Eucharist outside the visibly-administratively-united church.
Now what if it turns out that there is no valid communion outside the church, and you have taken an invalid communion? Is it unto condemnation? What good are all the invocations about Ekonomia then? Would it be better to take communion with a big risk of such or avoid it altogether?