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Author Topic: Did St. John Maximovich communicate Ethiopians?  (Read 5542 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 13, 2004, 10:42:23 AM »

Is it true that St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco communicated Ethiopian Orthodox and claimed that they were not monophysites? Was he canonically allowed to do so? St. John seems to have been a very strictly pratcicing Orthodox Christian so I wonder what to make of this.
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2004, 05:36:12 PM »

Where did you read/hear that?
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2004, 07:28:52 PM »

Is it true that St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco communicated Ethiopian Orthodox and claimed that they were not monophysites? Was he canonically allowed to do so? St. John seems to have been a very strictly pratcicing Orthodox Christian so I wonder what to make of this.

Rather bold (and vague statement).  Care to cite a reference (book, periodical, etc.)?
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2004, 09:24:23 PM »

Lets say he did, would it really matter? I mean he was a great Saint, and this, if true, would make him no less of a great man of God.
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2004, 11:49:15 PM »

egads!  I would have to see proof before I believed such an outlandish thing.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2004, 12:11:42 AM »

Why is it so unbelievable Joe?
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2004, 04:27:00 AM »

because it is a schismatic and heretical act*.  If we are going to commune Non-Chals, we must commune Nestorians and Roman Catholics and any other Tom Dick and Harry who walk in off the street.  

Of course if they had confessed teh night before (as is required to recieve the Holy Mysteries) one could make a theological argument that they were in fact not Ethiopians any longer but in truth Orthodox Christians of the ROCOR.

*by this I do not mean to state that the Ethiopians and Non-Chals are in and of themselves heretical (although this is may or may not be my personal opinion) but to state that it is heretical to commune those who are outside the Church.  Not only this it is a De Facto Schism with the Church.  

Now if he did Commune them, it is entirely possible that he did not know they were ethiopians and assumed that they had converted. But even if he had done this knowingly, as he has been glorified by ROCOR I think it would be safe to presume that he had repented before his death.  It is important to remember that Saints are not infallable while on earth (St. Maria of Paris supported Stalin during WWII for instance).

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2004, 05:25:19 PM »

Joe, do you realize that today many EO churches commune NCs?

I have personally witnessed this in GOA and AA churches, and have heard of it happening in ROCOR churches from those who witnessed it, or actually from NCs who were allowed to recieve communion in ROCOR churches, without having to confess and recant their NC faith.
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2004, 05:28:50 PM »

Quote
Of course if they had confessed teh night before (as is required to recieve the Holy Mysteries) one could make a theological argument that they were in fact not Ethiopians any longer but in truth Orthodox Christians of the ROCOR.

All an Oriental Orthodox Christian has to do to receive the sacrament of confession from an Eastern Orthodox priest and then the OO Christian is then considered to be an Eastern Orthodox?

So, let's say someone was a practicing Oriental Orthodox Christian and followed the rules of their Church to a T and was a good Christian person, that one day through individual reasearch decided for whatever reason that that they should be worshipping with the Eastern Orthodox - all this person would have to do is receive the sacrament of confession and that person is on the books as being an E.O.?

I would also like to know what would the case be if the same person eventually returned back to the OO Church, how would s/he be received back? Also by the sacrament of confession?

If the above situation were reversed and it was an EO that went OO and then came back to EO, what would happen in the above situations?

Lastly, how about if the situation involved a person in the Roman Catholic Church, how would that proceed?

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2004, 05:31:33 PM »

I am aware it happens and was aware it happens when making the earlier post.  I am sorry.  I like Phil and Subdeacon Peter, but I cannot in good conscience say i am in the same church as them and must vehemently protest their communing in our churches, or the other way around for that matter.

However, the latter part of your post troubles me even more.  How many EO are allowed to commune (contrary to the fathers and unceasing tradition) without first confessing?!  this is truly a horrible situation.  Thank God the priest who i am obedient too will not commune anyone he has not personally confessed prior to communion.   Safegaurding the Chalice is a Priests' sacred duty.  he even swears to do it at Ordination.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2004, 05:34:01 PM »

It is a very complicated issue.  however i have heard of individuals being recieved fro schismatic groups simply by confession.  As it has been nearly 1500 years since the NC Schism, they may also be required to be Chrismated.  Most priests who are worth their salt won't rebaptize them as they were baptized by triple immersion alredy (and the canons expressly forbid it).

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2004, 05:34:44 PM »

I am aware it happens and was aware it happens when making the earlier post.  I am sorry.  I like Phil and Subdeacon Peter, but I cannot in good conscience say i am in the same church as them and must vehemently protest their communing in our churches, or the other way around for that matter.

However, the latter part of your post troubles me even more.  How many EO are allowed to commune (contrary to the fathers and unceasing tradition) without first confessing?!  this is truly a horrible situation.  Thank God the priest who i am obedient too will not commune anyone he has not personally confessed prior to communion.   Safegaurding the Chalice is a Priests' sacred duty.  he even swears to do it at Ordination.

Joe Zollars

I meant without previously confessing to a EO priest, and recanting their OO faith. I know NCs who confess to OO priesst but just can't make it to their OO parish on Sundays, so they recieve communion in EO churches, ROCOR included. With permission from the EO priest first, though.
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2004, 05:35:13 PM »

in regards to your later questions, I am not sure about the NC policy, but if someone were to leave the EO for a heterodox church, they could be recieved back simply by confession (of course their apostasy itself is omething they would need to confess).

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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2004, 05:36:34 PM »

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I have personally witnessed this in GOA and AA churches, and have heard of it happening in ROCOR churches from those who witnessed it, or actually from NCs who were allowed to recieve communion in ROCOR churches, without having to confess and recant their NC faith.

I have a question about the above situation. I am assuming that the OO Christian is receiving from the chalice because they are not able to receive from an OO church because there is not a local church around, or it is a case of emergency.

Now in the rhetorical situation where an OO received from an EO church when he was on vacation, or lived somewhere where there was not an OO church and in their heart they truly believed and espouse the tradition of their Church and they returned back to a situation where they could again receive from an OO Church.

How does the OO person's church look upon them for taking the Holy Communion from the EO Church?

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2004, 05:37:09 PM »

I meant without previously confessing to a EO priest, and recanting their OO faith. I know NCs who confess to OO priesst but just can't make it to their OO parish on Sundays, so they recieve communion in EO churches, ROCOR included. With permission from the EO priest first, though.

then those priests are commiting a heretical and schismatic act at the most and are gravlely sinning at the worst.  if you can't make it to your NC Church, you just don't commune on sundays when you are unable to attend.  In all circumstances, one should always confess to the priest one recieves the Holy Mysteries from.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2004, 05:41:24 PM »

To my knowledge NCs are allowed to commune in GOA and AA parishes, with the priests permission, and from what I've heard it even happens in ROCOR frequently.
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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2004, 05:45:01 PM »

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Thank God the priest who i am obedient too will not commune anyone he has not personally confessed prior to communion.  Safegaurding the Chalice is a Priests' sacred duty.  he even swears to do it at Ordination.

What you descirbed above makes me wonder about if an EO received the sacrament of confession from their own priest or at a monastery, etc.,  the night before and then for some reason went to your church and arrived too late to explain his situation to your priest, so he went forward to receive and was denied.

Since confessing to a priest is kept track of with a punch card that could show to someone that you did in fact do it, I don't see how the above situation is truly fair.

Perhaps a warning before communing would be nice - something along the lines of "only Eastern Orthodox Christians who have repented of their sins in the sacrament of confession and are in a state of grace may receive".

Would that be a bad idea?

What are everyone's thoughts on this?

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2004, 05:45:34 PM »

To my knowledge NCs are allowed to commune in GOA and AA parishes, with the priests permission, and from what I've heard it even happens in ROCOR frequently.

I know for a fact this is not the case with the ROCOR (at least not as far as official policy).  In fact this is one of the reasons we aren't in communion wiht the AA.  

The AA does have an official policy of both communing and concelebrating with the NC's.  however this is not a policy in any other Orthodox church.  In fact, citing these reasons the EP himself told Jerusalem to reordain clergy coming from antioch.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2004, 05:49:08 PM »

Well, all I know is what I have seen, and what others have told me they have seen. I understand that it may not be the official position of ROCOR or even GOA, but it sure does happen.
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2004, 05:49:13 PM »

Quote
I know for a fact this is not the case with the ROCOR (at least not as far as official policy).  In fact this is one of the reasons we aren't in communion wiht the AA.


But isn't the ROCOR technically in communion with all the other EO Churches and aren't the rest of the EO Churches in communion with the AOC - hence making the ROCOR in communion with the Antiochans?

Quote
In fact, citing these reasons the EP himself told Jerusalem to reordain clergy coming from antioch.

But aren't the Antiochans in communion with the EP?

If so, why would the EP order that Antiochan clergy be re-ordained?

I'm confused.....

In Christ,
Aaron

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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2004, 05:56:03 PM »

I'm confused too...lol...
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2004, 06:16:10 PM »

then those priests are commiting a heretical and schismatic act at the most and are gravlely sinning at the worst.  if you can't make it to your NC Church, you just don't commune on sundays when you are unable to attend.  In all circumstances, one should always confess to the priest one recieves the Holy Mysteries from.

Joe Zollars

Ummm....No.

One should confess who one usually confesses to.  If they have a "spriritual emergency", then it is fine to confess to someone else.  The priest SHOULD ask anyone they don't recognize if they've confessed recently, are Orthodox, etc.

Back to the subject....

Ben,
How do you know these "Ethiopians" weren't in fact Orthodox?  For example, my parish (OCA) can have >100 Eritreans (former part of Ethiopia that borders the Red Sea) on Pascha, with an average Sunday attendance of 50+.  My priest has personally baptized over 40 Eritrean babies the last several years.  The older generation has been at my parish for the last couple of decades, covering the span of a few priests.  At first, (hence forth called Fr. L) Fr. L just communed the parents/grandparents since I think a prior priest had told him that they had been "properly received" (read into that what you will) in the past.  Recently, Fr. L being unsure if everything was kosher with them, sat down and had a discussion w/ many of the older generation and consulted +Bp. Tikhon.  He recently re Chrismated several of the older folk.  Fr. L has denied communion many times to those he's unsure about or give an inadequate explanation.  So Ben, how do you know that this hadn't happened (similar to what I said)?  Not that I would think anything less of St. John, but things aren't necessarily as simple as they may appear at face value.
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2004, 06:19:23 PM »

I know that they were OOs, because I asked the priests afterwards. And at every parish I witnessed this at, the priest said the majority were OOs and couldn't make it to church, or there was no church near by, and asked if they could attend and recieve communion, and they did with the priests permission.
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« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2004, 06:38:58 PM »

I know that they were OOs, because I asked the priests afterwards. And at every parish I witnessed this at, the priest said the majority were OOs and couldn't make it to church, or there was no church near by, and asked if they could attend and recieve communion, and they did with the priests permission.

Hmmm...I suppose it could've happened (more likely in GOA  Wink), but I'm still skeptical.  I have a hard time believing that you encountered that many priests who were so lax in their duties.
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« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2004, 06:42:19 PM »

I personally witnessed this at 2 GOA parishes, and 2 AA parishes. And at all 4 I asked the priest, and they all said that they were NCs that couldn't get to their church.

And I have NC friends who have recieved communion in ROCOR parishes, with the priests permission, and I doubt that they'd have any reason so lie to me.
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« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2004, 08:01:31 PM »

Well, all I know is what I have seen, and what others have told me they have seen. I understand that it may not be the official position of ROCOR or even GOA, but it sure does happen.

Lot's happens without permission, and such is not the sin of the synod or the non-chal coming to communion (although the latter is not innocent if he does know that there really is a difference) but falls upon the Priest whose duty it is to safegaurd the Chalice.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2004, 08:03:53 PM »



But isn't the ROCOR technically in communion with all the other EO Churches and aren't the rest of the EO Churches in communion with the AOC - hence making the ROCOR in communion with the Antiochans?But aren't the Antiochans in communion with the EP?

If so, why would the EP order that Antiochan clergy be re-ordained?

I'm confused.....

In Christ,
Aaron



It's politics and such discussions IMO run contrary to the nature of this message board.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2004, 08:07:31 PM »

I personally witnessed this at 2 GOA parishes, and 2 AA parishes. And at all 4 I asked the priest, and they all said that they were NCs that couldn't get to their church.

And I have NC friends who have recieved communion in ROCOR parishes, with the priests permission, and I doubt that they'd have any reason so lie to me.

May I be so forward as to ask if this was at Fr. Boris' parish in Denver?

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2004, 08:09:37 PM »

No it wasn't Joe. I don't know any one who attends that parish, and I certainly don't know Father Boris, due to his lack of communication skills.
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« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2004, 08:18:57 PM »

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It's politics and such discussions IMO run contrary to the nature of this message board.

Joe Zollars

What?

How were any of my questions considered to be political?

 Huh

Contrary to the nature of this message board?

 Huh  Huh  Huh
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« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2004, 08:25:27 PM »

Aaron, what you started to get into is very political and involves a lot of stuff, that I don't think Joe wants to get into.
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« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2004, 08:28:38 PM »

OK, I think I get it now...

It's okay for you to make the bizarre claim that

Quote
I know for a fact this is not the case with the ROCOR (at least not as far as official policy).  In fact this is one of the reasons we aren't in communion wiht the AA.

as well as

Quote
In fact, citing these reasons the EP himself told Jerusalem to reordain clergy coming from antioch.

So, when I ask you questions about something you said, then I am asking poitical questions?

Give me a break and answer the questions....

 Roll Eyes

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2004, 08:31:25 PM »

What?

How were any of my questions considered to be political?

 Huh

Contrary to the nature of this message board?

 Huh  Huh  Huh

To answer your questions properly, it would have involved a great deal of church politics which tends to gets people's passions flared which is not proper during the Fast certainly and IMO is not right on this message board.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2004, 08:31:47 PM »

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Aaron, what you started to get into is very political and involves a lot of stuff, that I don't think Joe wants to get into.

Ben,

This may very well be, however if that is the case then those things should not have been said in the first place....

I don't see how it is okay to make statements like those and then to not expect to have anyone question them and when they do, then the questions can't be answered.

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2004, 08:33:47 PM »

OK, I think I get it now...

It's okay for you to make the bizarre claim that as well asSo, when I ask you questions about something you said, then I am asking poitical questions?

Give me a break and answer the questions....

 Roll Eyes

In Christ,
Aaron


see my above post.

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« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2004, 08:36:56 PM »

To answer your questions properly, it would have involved a great deal of church politics which tends to gets people's passions flared which is not proper during the Fast certainly and IMO is not right on this message board.

Joe Zollars

Well put Joe, and I totally agree.
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« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2004, 08:37:03 PM »

Quote
To answer your questions properly, it would have involved a great deal of church politics which tends to gets people's passions flared which is not proper during the Fast certainly and IMO is not right on this message board.

Ok, just so I understand - it's okay to say the things that will make someone's passions flared and cause them to inquire?

 Huh

I will say that I understand why you don't want to answer the question about your claim that the AOC is not in communion with the ROCOR, being as there are many members of both on this forum.

However,

I would still ask you provide some information to back up the following:

Quote
In fact, citing these reasons the EP himself told Jerusalem to reordain clergy coming from antioch.

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2004, 08:39:19 PM »

Aaron, give it a rest.

If you want to know that bad, contact Joe privately.
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« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2004, 08:47:24 PM »

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Aaron, give it a rest.

If you want to know that bad, contact Joe privately.

Hmmm, sorry but I do not see "moderator" or "administrator" under your name Ben, so I don't see how you can tell me to "give it a rest". You may ask me, but please do not tell me what to do, por favor. Muchos gracias.  Smiley

I also do not see why Joe could not tell me to contact him via pm himself, he has several opportunities to do so.

If you make public comments and people question those comments, then you should answer them publicly.

Respectfully,
Aaron
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« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2004, 08:49:29 PM »

Sorry, Aaron, but now you are just being rude.

I didn't mean to act as if I was a mod or an admin, but this thread and this forum is not for the type of discussion you are trying to start, that just the honest to God truth.

Please, no hard feelings, its just that such a discussion is out of place for this forum, and this time of the year.
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« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2004, 08:58:10 PM »

Well, I apologize if I came off rude, because that wasn't my intention.

I just don't understand why I am not allowed to ask questions pertaining to Orthodoxy on an Orthodox forum.

If someone would be so kind as to direct me where to find the answers to my questions via links, then please post them or pm them to me.

I have nothing more to say about this, because I only wanted to have my questions answered and since that is not going to happen I give up.

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2004, 09:26:00 PM »


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Well, I apologize if I came off rude, because that wasn't my intention.


No worries, and I am sorry if I came off as rude, it wasn't my intention either.
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« Reply #42 on: June 14, 2004, 09:27:24 PM »

Actually, while this may seem political, (heck the whole topic of NCs being communicated in EO parishes is a political hot potato), I too am curious about the assertion that the EP has ordered Jerusalem to reordain Antiochian clergy coming over.  To me, that would be a big deal.  This brings up the following further questions:

1. Does the EP have the authority to order another Patriarchy to do something?
2. If the EP tells Jerusalem that the Antiochian priests need to be reordained, why is he in communion with Antioch, since essentially he is in communion with a jurisdiction who's ordinations he considers defective?
3. I personally know a former Antiochian priest who transferred to the GOA which is controlled by the EP, and he was not reordained.  How can this be so?

I personally don't hold credence to this alleged directive from the EP to Jerusalem.  For it to be true, then the logical conclusion would essentially be that Antioch is no longer Orthodox, and that Antiochian sacraments are defective.
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« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2004, 09:38:51 PM »

Theodore it did happen, an isolated case I presume...see Joe for more details, for I only know a little about it, Joe knows more on the issue, or it seems that way.
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« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2004, 09:44:05 PM »

Hmmm.  The only reason I can think of is that perhaps they were doing an end run around Antioch having disciplined these clergy.  If so, this IS in the political realm.
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« Reply #45 on: June 14, 2004, 10:44:24 PM »

Two words, Ben Lomond.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2004, 11:24:12 PM »

Two words, Ben Lomond.

Joe Zollars

I.E. Reordination of Defrocked clergy.
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« Reply #47 on: June 14, 2004, 11:48:39 PM »

Does Orthodoxy not have the same rule regarding the priesthood as the Catholic Church does: once a priest, always a priest?

I mean yes a priest can be denied the right to celebrate Divine Liturgy/Mass publicaly or to hear confessions, but when a priest is defrocked in Orthodoxy does he actually loose the priesthood?
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« Reply #48 on: June 15, 2004, 01:36:06 AM »

So... ummm... Does anyone know if Vladika John communed Ethiopeans or not?
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« Reply #49 on: June 15, 2004, 01:37:18 AM »

Mourad....nope, not yet.
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« Reply #50 on: June 15, 2004, 02:02:04 AM »

hopefully not ever.

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« Reply #51 on: June 15, 2004, 06:10:02 AM »

This piece of information I got either from Nicholas' Orthodox forum or this site, I think. I recall someone saying St. John communed New Calendarists and Ethiopians (saying they were not monophysites). Maybe I don't have the complete picture or maybe the info is patently wrong, I don't know. It's just what I recall reading.
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« Reply #52 on: June 15, 2004, 11:16:11 AM »

I recall someone saying St. John communed New Calendarists and Ethiopians (saying they were not monophysites).

Ooooohhh....New Calendarists...Scaaaaarrrryyy.

And again, specifiy NCs, OOs or Monophosites not race.  Ethiopioans can be EO too.
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« Reply #53 on: June 15, 2004, 11:19:43 AM »

Quote
Does Orthodoxy not have the same rule regarding the priesthood as the Catholic Church does: once a priest, always a priest?

I mean yes a priest can be denied the right to celebrate Divine Liturgy/Mass publicaly or to hear confessions, but when a priest is defrocked in Orthodoxy does he actually loose the priesthood?


AFAIK, IIRC, not exactly, because Eastern Orthodoxy never dogmatized on the matter. It's one of those issues on which there's a range of allowable opinion. I think some do agree with the Roman Catholics on that (that ordination leaves an indelible mark on the soul, like baptism and confirmation/chrismation); others say the grace of the priesthood is taken away if a priest is defrocked.

Orthodox are admirably clear-cut about 'validity' among themselves - if a priest isn't under one of their bishops, with a piece of cloth (antimension, portable altar) signed by him representing him as the fons of apostolic authority*, then functionally he's not a priest, no matter one's opinion about ordination's indelible character.

(Which is why, from the POV of the commonly understood Orthodox churches including ROCOR, a bishop who's been deposed - ex-Valentin of Suzdal', for example - isn't an Orthodox bishop at all right now. AFAIK that could change if one of them reinstated him.)

*Which is why, per Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco (OCA), active online, Orthodox priests don't sign themselves 'Father' when writing their bishops. (That's when you see 'Priest John Smith' written instead.) The bishop is in himself a 'reverend father in God' (as the Anglican Prayer Book puts it); a priest is given the title 'Father' by him to use among his people as a courtesy, because he represents the bishop.
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« Reply #54 on: June 15, 2004, 01:36:49 PM »

Joe,

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then those priests are commiting a heretical and schismatic act at the most and are gravlely sinning at the worst.  if you can't make it to your NC Church, you just don't commune on sundays when you are unable to attend.  In all circumstances, one should always confess to the priest one recieves the Holy Mysteries from.

I think "heretical" is a little strong a description of such situations, since I do not think such decisions are this thought out by the clergy involved.

However with that said, I'm hard pressed to see how communing those outside of the canonical boundaries of the Church (in particular when the question of heresy is there - a question which the Antiochian Patriarchate may feel has been addressed to their satisfaction, but hardly to that of the Orthodox Communion as a whole) can be justified.  I'll let God be the judge of the consciences of those involved; it's the propriety of the visible act itself I have issues with.

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« Reply #55 on: June 15, 2004, 01:39:49 PM »

Joe,

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The AA does have an official policy of both communing and concelebrating with the NC's.  however this is not a policy in any other Orthodox church.  In fact, citing these reasons the EP himself told Jerusalem to reordain clergy coming from antioch.

This is news to me.  What is your source for this?  If it's true, that would imply a severence of communion with Antioch by both the EP and the JP; something I am totally unaware of.

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« Reply #56 on: June 15, 2004, 01:51:04 PM »

Ooooohhh....New Calendarists...Scaaaaarrrryyy.

Ah, herein lies the tricky part of using initials  NC = Non-Chalcidonians.  New Calender, Neo-Conservatives, North Carolinians?

Ebor
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« Reply #57 on: June 15, 2004, 01:54:40 PM »

Aaron,

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I will say that I understand why you don't want to answer the question about your claim that the AOC is not in communion with the ROCOR, being as there are many members of both on this forum.

ROCOR is not in communion with the AOC, in the sense that at least officially ROCOR and AOC clergy do not concelebrate, and AOC laity as a rule should not be communed by ROCOR clergy (nor should ROCOR laity receive ministrations by AOC clergy.)  Of course, such policies (for whatever reasons) are not always rigorously adhered to.

The reasons for this lack of fraternity are well known, and do not need to be re-hashed at the present moment.  However, like you bring up, ROCOR is tacitly in communion with Churches (most would say this is true of the Serbian Orthodox Church, though some on both sides would disagree with this; however it is quite clear that ROCOR has maintained communion with the JP) who are themselves in communion with the Antiochians, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Moscow Patriarchate, and other bodies that ROCOR currently does not have an official relationship with.

With that said then, the lack of communion on ROCOR's part is not a statement that those they do not share the chalice with (or concelebrate with) are foreign to the Church - rather it's a breakdown in fraternity because ROCOR perceives those groups in question to be on a slippery slope headed for disaster, and believe that there is much that is now common in these groups (wide spread heterodoxy, anti-canonicity and ill advised attacks on traditional piety) which is dangerous to the faith of Orthodox Christians, in particular those in ROCOR's care.  The situation at present is similar to the break down in fraternity that recently occured between the EP and the Church of Greece (though it is over much weightier issues, and not territorial disputes).

In other words they (ROCOR) are walled off from certain groups, both as a witness against the unsavory activities of those groups but also as a measure to protect their own faithful - it's not a sentence, as if to say that those parties are to be regarded as formal heretics or schismatics.

A similar situation to this can be found amongst the "moderate" Old Calendarists whose reasons for being separated from their "mother Churches" is almost identical, and in the case of Metropolitan Cyprian's Synod and those in communion with him, are themselves in communion with ROCOR.  I've also been told that back in the '90s, it was not unknown for these Old Calendarists to concelebrate with the JP (until the EP stepped in and basically bullied the JP into stopping this.)

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« Reply #58 on: June 15, 2004, 02:10:55 PM »

Serge,

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AFAIK, IIRC, not exactly, because Eastern Orthodoxy never dogmatized on the matter. It's one of those issues on which there's a range of allowable opinion. I think some do agree with the Roman Catholics on that (that ordination leaves an indelible mark on the soul, like baptism and confirmation/chrismation); others say the grace of the priesthood is taken away if a priest is defrocked.

This is a difficult subject, one which I wish had a better, pan-Orthodox answer as it has important implications.

Everything I've read (even from more "modernistic", ecumenically minded Churches, the EP in particular; thus this isn't just a "ROCOR" or "Old Calendarist" thing) is that when a clergyman is defrocked, he loses the ability to act as a Priest.  In other words, it's not like in the RCC where if a person were supsended they'd say he could still administer "valid" sacraments, but they'd simply be "illicit" (something affecting the moral realm of the celebrant and those who knowingly participate, but not affecting the strict validity of the rites themselves.)

However at the same time, it has been known that when Orthodox Priests defect to a sect, but then repent and come back to the Church, if they are still allowed to minister as Priests, they are not "re-ordained".  This is much like the situation of people who apostacize from the Church, but then return - they repent and will be Chrismated, but are not re-Baptized.

This would heavily imply (imho, require) a recognition that Holy Orders leave some kind of mark upon the soul of the one who receives them.  However, unlike the Roman Catholic teaching, the ability to minister as Priest in any sense is heavily tied up with one's unity with the Church.  Perhaps this is similar to the Roman Catholic view of their priests hearing confessions - while a priest in their view can say Mass "validly" but illicitly, their ability to validly absolve people during confession is tied up with having "juristiction" from their bishop, who in turn implicitly receives this from the Pope - if that juristiction doesn't exist, the absolutions are invalid.

Maybe it could be said that the Orthodox view is like this (RC view on confession), but extended to all of the Holy Mysteries and Priestly functions.

Quote
Orthodox are admirably clear-cut about 'validity' among themselves - if a priest isn't under one of their bishops, with a piece of cloth (antimension, portable altar) signed by him representing him as the fons of apostolic authority*, then functionally he's not a priest, no matter one's opinion about ordination's indelible character.

This sounds correct - though given that re-ordinations do not take place in cases of defection where the Priest is allowed to return to minister, it would seem heavily implied that a character is placed upon his soul, like in Baptism.

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« Reply #59 on: June 17, 2004, 08:47:44 PM »

So... ummm... Does anyone know if Vladika John communed Ethiopeans or not?

I just read through this whole thread and was wondering the same thing.
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