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Author Topic: EO/OO Concelebrations and Apostolic Canon 65  (Read 648 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: March 29, 2011, 12:07:09 PM »

(originally intended for this thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,34682.0.html but I decided to start a new thread so the old wouldn't get derailed.)

Sometimes I wonder if we legalize the "communion" process a bit too much. (and before I get jumped all over let me explain myself)
It seems to me that the Oriental Orthodox themselves weren't formally anathematized. The split materialized over time, and exists for reasons other than the declaration of a council.
As for Roman Catholicism, the schism also materialized over time, but there were many councils called denouncing the "Latins" (as they were known) and their various beliefs and practices. But there was about 150 years between the incident in 1054 and the 4th Crusade in 1204 where there were still concelebrations and where it was kind of a grey area as to the status of the schism.

From my perspective, union between Oriental and Eastern Orthodox may be kind of similar. We will probably see concelebrations, declarations, councils, etc... between the two, but there may not be a single council that massively declares a reunion.
On the other hand, I would say that with the EO and RCC, it's not quite that simple.

The famous and oft quoted canon comes from the Apostolic Canons.

Quote
65. If any one, either of the clergy or laity, enters into a synagogue of the Jews or heretics to pray, let him be deprived and suspended.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf07.ix.ix.vi.html

another translation:

Quote
“Let any clergyman or layman who enters a synagogue of Jews, or of heretics, to pray be both deposed and excommunicated.” Apostolic Canon 65.
http://roac-suzdal.narod.ru/testimonies.htm

Would oikonomia be applicable in a situation where two groups are genuinely close? Is it not possible for two churches to be unified without a single central council? (though multiple councils should definitely reinforce it)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 12:08:32 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
kijabeboy03
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2011, 09:41:05 PM »

This doesn't fall into the category of relations with either Judaism or a heresy, so it's not regulated by the canon you quote. It could be argued from both sides, however, that canons forbidding concelebration/communion with schismatics are relevant to our situation. Given that it's a mutually arrived at schism, however, I don't see why we need a general council to come back together - perhaps bit by bit the Orthodox Churches most effected by the break (the Churches of Alexandria and the Churches of Antioch) could lift their anathemas on the Fathers and Christological formulations of one another's Churches. As it is the Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox have agreements basically establishing communion between their lay members...
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88Devin12
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 01:54:20 AM »

This doesn't fall into the category of relations with either Judaism or a heresy, so it's not regulated by the canon you quote. It could be argued from both sides, however, that canons forbidding concelebration/communion with schismatics are relevant to our situation. Given that it's a mutually arrived at schism, however, I don't see why we need a general council to come back together - perhaps bit by bit the Orthodox Churches most effected by the break (the Churches of Alexandria and the Churches of Antioch) could lift their anathemas on the Fathers and Christological formulations of one another's Churches. As it is the Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox have agreements basically establishing communion between their lay members...

Do you happen to know what canons those are?
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kijabeboy03
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 02:40:48 AM »

I found a decent listing recently, but now I can't locate it :-/. Just from a quick scan though the 10th and 11th canons of the Apostles, the 18th canon of the Council of Ancyra, the 6th canon of the Council of Gangra, and the 33rd canon of the Council of Laodicea all deal with schisms or schismatic activities. There's also an assortment of canons concerning the reception of clergy without releases (as often happened in the years following 451) and consecrating bishops and ordaining clergy outside one's diocese (St. Jacob Baradaeus comes to mind).
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2011, 02:19:56 AM »

You know this isn't the first time in history the OO and EO have celebrated with each other after the schism. Take a look at this passage from the Coptic Synaxarium:
Quote
From these remarkable wonders also was the incident of the Holy Sepulcher light in Jerusalem. After prince Ibrahim Basha, Mohammed Ali Basha's son, had conquered Jerusalem and Syria year 1832 A.D., he invited Pope Peter VII to visit Jerusalem and attend to the service of the appearance of the light on Bright Saturday from the Sepulcher of the Lord Christ in Jerusalem as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchs did every year. The Pope accepted the invitation, and when he arrived, he was received with honor and reverence and he entered Jerusalem with a great procession and a splendid celebration, in which the governor, the rulers and the heads of the different Christian denominations participated. He realized with his wisdom that if he minister alone in the Holy sepulcher that would cause animosity between the Copts and the Greeks. The Pope asked the Basha to relieve him from this service, but he asked him to participate with the Greek Patriarch on the condition that he will be their third, for he doubted the authenticity of the light. On Bright Saturday the church of the holy sepulcher was crowded with the worshipers, the Basha ordered the people to evacuate the church to the spacious outer courtyard. When the time to start the service came the two Patriarchs and the Basha entered the Holy Sepulcher to pray the customary prayers. In the specific time, the light burst out of the Sepulcher in a way that terrified the Basha, who became in a daze and confusion, and the Pope attended to him until he recovered. The people outside in the courtyard were not deprived from the blessing of the light since one of the pillars of the western gate of the church split and the light appeared to them from the pillar. This incident increased the reverence and respect of the Pope before the Basha. His holiness the Pope made many repairs and renovations in the church of Resurrection.
I don't think the Coptic Pope would have prayed with the Greek Patriarch if he thought he was a completely graceless heretic and vice-versa. I think this shows that all throughout history, even if we didn't always agree with each other, we never treated each other the way we treated the Macedonians, Arians, and other heretics. Just some food for thought.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 02:21:27 AM by Severian » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2011, 04:57:48 PM »

"You know this isn't the first time in history the OO and EO have celebrated with each other after the schism."

Glory to God! I hadn't been aware of that history. I believe there was a Vespers concelebrated in Switzerland recently as well, though not by clergy with the stature of the Pope of Alexandria or the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2011, 05:11:14 PM »

"You know this isn't the first time in history the OO and EO have celebrated with each other after the schism."

Glory to God! I hadn't been aware of that history. I believe there was a Vespers concelebrated in Switzerland recently as well, though not by clergy with the stature of the Pope of Alexandria or the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
For two Patriarchs who aren't in communion to con-celebrate such an important miracle is quite significant. I don't know about the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, but I know the Coptic Popes are some of the strictest when it comes to celebrating with non-OO  Wink. I was told that the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria was about to become a Metropolitan under the omophorion of the Coptic Pope and unite with my Church. Unfortunately, the Coptic Pope was murdered before he could finalize the unity with the Greeks. I know the Russian Tsar sent emissaries to Egypt to protect the Coptic Orthodox in the country, but, the Coptic Pope ultimately declined the offer because he felt God would protect the Coptic people. The Church of Ethiopia invited some of the hierarchs of the Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches centuries ago to Ethiopia and they were very well received (I am not sure if they con-celebrated, though).
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 05:17:38 PM by Severian » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2011, 06:24:52 PM »

The Copts are stricter than the Greeks for the time being, but back then I think they were a little stricter too. God grant us full unity again!
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2011, 06:41:43 PM »

God grant us full unity again!
Definitely. Through the prayers of St. Cyril, our common Christological Father, Lord grant this!
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