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Author Topic: The Curious Case of Erasmus of Arcadia  (Read 2678 times) Average Rating: 0
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Stephanos Nikolaos
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« on: July 26, 2011, 06:09:48 PM »

Something I have always found interesting is the whole Erasmus of Arcadia-John Wesley ordination topic.

The account goes something like this.

"By 1763, Wesley was desperate to obtain ordination for some of his lay preachers and when bishop after bishop refused, he took the dubious expedient -against the council of all his close friends and associates-of asking one Erasmus, who claimed to be bishop of Arcadia in Crete, to do the job. Erasmus knew no English, but agreed." - (English Spirituality in the Age of Wesley)

As far as I understand it, Orthodox Christians (and I agree), that John Wesley lost his place in the succession because he didn't operate as an Orthodox Christian. Correct me if I am wrong.

But I am interested in knowing more about this topic such as... Why would an Orthodox Bishop ordain an Anglican? What is the Orthodox view of Erasmus of Arcadia in general?


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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2011, 06:15:38 PM »

There were a number of bishops coming to England seeking alms.  Was simony involved? Perhaps.  Attempt to bring the West back into Orthodoxy? Perhaps.

The "consecration" would be void, as the canons require three bishops, the only exception being allowed if the Holy Synod of the Church (in this case, the Ecumenical Patriarchate) validated it according to the circumstances.

then there is the problem that Wesley wasn't chrismated.

With such irregularities, Wesley would have no part in the Orthodox episcopate, and hence Apostolic Succession.

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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2011, 06:18:24 PM »

I don't know more about this than I've read online, but I've seen arguments that Erasmus wasn't an Orthodox bishop.  Though as ialmisry pointed out, even if he was a bishop (even if he was the Pat. of Constantinople), it wouldn't matter anyway.
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2011, 09:20:38 PM »

Is there such a thing as 'ordination of desire'? Cool

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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 11:54:26 AM »

Is there such a thing as 'ordination of desire'? Cool

That one can be ordained simply by desiring it? No. There must be an actual laying on of hands and canonical regularity. Also, it's not magic. A bishop is not obligated to allow his clergy to concelebrate with a priest whose ordination hew doubts.

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Tags: John Wesley Methodism Apostolic succession 
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