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Author Topic: Oriental Orthodoxy vs. Eastern Orthodoxy?  (Read 1562 times) Average Rating: 0
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JamesR
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« on: January 22, 2012, 06:47:31 PM »

I had one question. I recently converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church and I have been learning a bit about the Chalcedon controversies which led to the Oriental Orthodox Church. Anyway, my Priest told me that we are in communion with them and that it was just a semantics issue between them and us that led to the schism between Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy. Basically, he said that we believe the same thing only our language barrier made it hard to understand each other and we interpreted each other differently. I was just wondering, is it really this simple? Or is there more to it? I mean, I've met some Orthodox Christians like my Priest who say that it is not really a big deal and we are pretty much the same, and then I have met others in my parish who say that they are downright heretical and we cannot be in communion.

Thoughts? I really hope that this does not offend anyone.
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 06:52:00 PM »

I had one question. I recently converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church and I have been learning a bit about the Chalcedon controversies which led to the Oriental Orthodox Church. Anyway, my Priest told me that we are in communion with them ...

I think that when you see your bishop and your Patriarch celebrating Liturgy and communing with Oriental Orthodox, then you can say that your Church is in communion with them.
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 06:54:50 PM »

Polemical EO vs. OO discussions are allowed only in the Private Fora. Unless you want to be warned, place restrain yourself from discussion which group is wrong or good.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 06:55:11 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 06:59:24 PM »

is it really this simple? Or is there more to it?

No. Yes.

(not sure its possible to go much deeper than that without crossing the lines for allowable discussion on the public forums)
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2012, 07:06:25 PM »

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my Priest told me that we are in communion with them

I'm afraid your priest is wrong, if he has been quoted correctly. While some of the Antiochian church has made allowances for OO individuals to commune at EO churches in certain circumstances, it is wrong to say that the EO and OO churches are in communion with each other.

An OO who wishes to formally join the EO Church is generally received by a confession of faith. OO and EO clergy cannot concelebrate, neither are the hierarchs of the OO church in the diptychs of the EO Church.
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2012, 07:20:55 PM »

The agreed upon statements can be read here: http://orthodoxunity.org/

As far as I know they have been ratified by the Armenians (OO) and the Romanian and Antiochian Patriarchates (EO).

There really hasn't been any recent activity as it has kind of stalled. It would be nice if the OCA would ratify it but that is doubtful since the MP has not.
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2012, 07:58:27 PM »

http://sor.cua.edu/Ecumenism/19911112SOCRumOrthStmt.html

Really interesting relations between the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Antiochian Orthodox Church.

Notably:

Quote
Both Churches shall refrain from accepting any faithful from accepting any faithful from one Church into the membership of the other, irrespective of all motivations or reasons.

If a bishop from one Church and a priest from the sister Church happen to concelebrate a service, the first will preside even when it is the priest's parish.

Godfathers, godmothers (in baptism) and witnesses in holy matrimony can be chosen from the members of the sister Church.
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2012, 08:00:24 PM »

I am confused as to what you're asking here, James. Thoughts on the OO in general? Thoughts on the similarity or difference between EO and OO?

Anyway, from the OO side (or at least the Copts), you will also find a range of opinions regarding similarities or differences between them and the EO, but that doesn't really matter. No individual within the Church may use his personal opinion to challenge the decisions of our hierarchy. So while we may or may not feel a great deal of spiritual affinity, sympathy, and/or love for another, we are not in communion. Individual circumstances may lead to intercommunion on a very limited, clearly delineated basis (e.g., Ethiopians and Eritreans commune at the OCA and Bulgarian churches back home in N. California due to the lack of any OO church within reasonable driving distance; I have seen it myself), but that is not to be taken as evidence of intercommunion on any wider level than those rare individual instances.

When I asked my own priest here in Albuquerque regarding the reception of communion by EO in OO churches or OO in EO churches, he was decidedly negative. Both he and individual members of the laity even went so far as to remind me before I left for my recent vacation to California that I am not to receive communion in any EO church (as I have told them about OO receiving in EO churches back home). I thanked them for the reminder of course, but I found it a little funny. As a catechumen, I can't yet receive communion in the OO church, either. Smiley

Oh well. Que sera sera, I guess. Many things stand in the way of true intercommunion, but with God all things are possible, and if it be His will, it will resume...on His timetable. I will say as one individual (future) OO that, having been formerly a Roman Catholic, I personally see the dialogues between the OO and EO as those most likely of all inter-church dialogues to produce tangible, lasting progress. They are about substantial issues and both sides take their commitment to (their versions) of Orthodox doctrine very seriously. I can't say I see the same in other ecumenical dialogues, unfortunately. I suppose it takes a serious church to maintain a principled disagreement for 1500 years or so and counting, while others appear to scramble for unity for its own sake, neglecting that whole "be of one mind" thing that some guy wrote down in some book somewhere. Wink
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2012, 09:32:57 PM »

Quote
my Priest told me that we are in communion with them

I'm afraid your priest is wrong, if he has been quoted correctly. While some of the Antiochian church has made allowances for OO individuals to commune at EO churches in certain circumstances, it is wrong to say that the EO and OO churches are in communion with each other.

An OO who wishes to formally join the EO Church is generally received by a confession of faith. OO and EO clergy cannot concelebrate, neither are the hierarchs of the OO church in the diptychs of the EO Church.

Please read the Antiochian Statement.  It goes far beyond limited pastoral accomodation.  It sanctions concelebration and forbids members from translating from one church to the other. The Greek and Syriac Orthodox of Antioch are in communion with one another.
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2012, 09:36:53 PM »

Quote
my Priest told me that we are in communion with them

I'm afraid your priest is wrong, if he has been quoted correctly. While some of the Antiochian church has made allowances for OO individuals to commune at EO churches in certain circumstances, it is wrong to say that the EO and OO churches are in communion with each other.

An OO who wishes to formally join the EO Church is generally received by a confession of faith. OO and EO clergy cannot concelebrate, neither are the hierarchs of the OO church in the diptychs of the EO Church.

Please read the Antiochian Statement.  It goes far beyond limited pastoral accomodation.  It sanctions concelebration and forbids members from translating from one church to the other. The Greek and Syriac Orthodox of Antioch are in communion with one another.

True.  The Antiochian Church practices open communion with OO Churches that also allow open communion, which are the Syrian, Armenian, and Indian Churches (both Indian Churches).  Thus, really, it's a microcosm of unity in communion.
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2012, 09:43:28 PM »

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my Priest told me that we are in communion with them

I'm afraid your priest is wrong, if he has been quoted correctly. While some of the Antiochian church has made allowances for OO individuals to commune at EO churches in certain circumstances, it is wrong to say that the EO and OO churches are in communion with each other.

An OO who wishes to formally join the EO Church is generally received by a confession of faith. OO and EO clergy cannot concelebrate, neither are the hierarchs of the OO church in the diptychs of the EO Church.

Please read the Antiochian Statement.  It goes far beyond limited pastoral accomodation.  It sanctions concelebration and forbids members from translating from one church to the other. The Greek and Syriac Orthodox of Antioch are in communion with one another.

Are the hierarchs of their respective churches in their diptychs? And this document is more than 20 years old. Have any changes in policy occurred?

Having said that, none of the other canonical EO churches officially recognize in any capacity the OO church in terms of clerical concelebration, communion, or common commemoration of hierarchy.The vast bulk of EO still require OOs entering the EO church to be received by confession of belief. So it cannot be said that there is anything resembling full communion between the EO and OO.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 09:49:03 PM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2012, 09:45:29 PM »

Quote
my Priest told me that we are in communion with them

I'm afraid your priest is wrong, if he has been quoted correctly. While some of the Antiochian church has made allowances for OO individuals to commune at EO churches in certain circumstances, it is wrong to say that the EO and OO churches are in communion with each other.

An OO who wishes to formally join the EO Church is generally received by a confession of faith. OO and EO clergy cannot concelebrate, neither are the hierarchs of the OO church in the diptychs of the EO Church.

Please read the Antiochian Statement.  It goes far beyond limited pastoral accomodation.  It sanctions concelebration and forbids members from translating from one church to the other. The Greek and Syriac Orthodox of Antioch are in communion with one another.

Are the hierarchs of their respective churches in their diptychs?

I'll be honest with you.  I've attended an Antiochian Greek Orthodox Church in WV for many months.  The only patriarch, metropolitan, and bishop they commemorate is their own, and no one else's.  I don't think that means they don't recognize the OCA, EP, MP, etc. if they don't mention them in their diptychs. 

Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald has been really involved with the discussions recently concerning OO/EO dialogues, especially in the United States.  He even wrote a book with some texts with the help of the late Fr. Emmanuel Gratsias, whom I had the blessing of being very close to (may His memory be eternal):

http://www.amazon.com/Restoring-Unity-Faith-Orthodox-Oriental-Introduction/dp/1885652933
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 09:48:58 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2012, 09:53:06 PM »

Quote
my Priest told me that we are in communion with them

I'm afraid your priest is wrong, if he has been quoted correctly. While some of the Antiochian church has made allowances for OO individuals to commune at EO churches in certain circumstances, it is wrong to say that the EO and OO churches are in communion with each other.

An OO who wishes to formally join the EO Church is generally received by a confession of faith. OO and EO clergy cannot concelebrate, neither are the hierarchs of the OO church in the diptychs of the EO Church.

Please read the Antiochian Statement.  It goes far beyond limited pastoral accomodation.  It sanctions concelebration and forbids members from translating from one church to the other. The Greek and Syriac Orthodox of Antioch are in communion with one another.

Are the hierarchs of their respective churches in their diptychs?

It would seem the only relevant commemoration would be each Patrirach commemorating the other.  I don't know if this is done.  Does it matter?  If this same situation existed between the Antiochian Greek Orthodox and Melkite Greek Catholics would it be alright as long the Patriarchs weren't commemorating each other in the diptychs?
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2012, 09:54:43 PM »

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I'll be honest with you.  I've attended an Antiochian Greek Orthodox Church in WV for many months.  The only patriarch, metropolitan, and bishop they commemorate is their own, and no one else's.  I don't think that means they don't recognize the OCA, EP, MP, etc. if they don't mention them in their diptychs.  

Mina, at parish level, only the bishops of the diocese and the patriarch (if applicable) are commemorated. If a patriarch is serving, then it is the norm for all the hierarchs on the diptychs to be commemorated.
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2012, 10:03:00 PM »

Quote
I'll be honest with you.  I've attended an Antiochian Greek Orthodox Church in WV for many months.  The only patriarch, metropolitan, and bishop they commemorate is their own, and no one else's.  I don't think that means they don't recognize the OCA, EP, MP, etc. if they don't mention them in their diptychs.  

Mina, at parish level, only the bishops of the diocese and the patriarch (if applicable) are commemorated. If a patriarch is serving, then it is the norm for all the hierarchs on the diptychs to be commemorated.

I didn't know that.  That's interesting.
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2012, 01:45:33 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Moral of the story, we all draw lines in the sand like we were the Count of Monte Cristo but God is perfect, we are flawed, and we project our own internal fracturing upon everything else.  The Church is one, we simply split Her in our collective imagination, and then all collectively agree where the divide is, where the line was drawn, but all of this is a product of our self-centered, self-seeking, self-destructive imaginations. God is One, and the Church is the Body of Christ, so the Church is One, and all of us haters drawing lines in the sand can succeed as well as Pizarro, who died for his sins of dividing God's world into arbitrary and facetious divisions.

"In my haste I said all men are liars.." Psalms

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2012, 03:11:16 AM »

As the OP can see, this is a multifaceted issue. Some believe the churches teach the same doctrine, some do not. Some think they're close, some find the other church utterly heretical. It depends on who you ask.

As you can see, there are many agreements between EO and OO churches that traditionally reside in the same geographic location (such as Antioch and Alexandria), including sometimes intercommunion. However, on the grand scale (that is, worldwide), these churches are not in communion with each other.

I think, and someone may disagree with me, that both churches see the other as the closest thing to themselves (i.e., the EO and OO are "closer" in theology than either of them are with the RCs, Assyrians, Anglicans or Protestants). This is seen in the fact that when one converts to the other, they are usually received by confession of faith, not baptized or even chrismated. Each church generally receives the other's clergy who convert by vesting (i.e., when an EO priest becomes OO or vice versa, they are considered clergy upon their conversion. They aren't ordained again).

I hope this thread has been helpful to you, but as you can see, there's not really one position on the issue. Still, I think it's a fascinating topic for discussion and enjoy learning from my OO brethren about their histories and traditions, as well as their understanding of the controversy. If you have more questions about this, check out the EO/OO forums! We have fun down there. Wink
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2012, 05:20:19 AM »

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my Priest told me that we are in communion with them

I'm afraid your priest is wrong, if he has been quoted correctly. While some of the Antiochian church has made allowances for OO individuals to commune at EO churches in certain circumstances, it is wrong to say that the EO and OO churches are in communion with each other.

An OO who wishes to formally join the EO Church is generally received by a confession of faith. OO and EO clergy cannot concelebrate, neither are the hierarchs of the OO church in the diptychs of the EO Church.

Please read the Antiochian Statement.  It goes far beyond limited pastoral accomodation.  It sanctions concelebration and forbids members from translating from one church to the other. The Greek and Syriac Orthodox of Antioch are in communion with one another.

True.  The Antiochian Church practices open communion with OO Churches that also allow open communion, which are the Syrian, Armenian, and Indian Churches (both Indian Churches).  Thus, really, it's a microcosm of unity in communion.
There are two Indian churches?
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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2012, 12:00:57 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Moral of the story, we all draw lines in the sand ....
stay blessed,
habte selassie
As soon as I read these words (following the messages of this thread) I was struck with the thought that, concerning this issue, you (we?) talk about lines drawn in the sand rather than lines chiselled into rock.

From all that I have read - and influenced heavily by OOs on this board - I am of the opinion that we are separated more by history than by faith. I look forward to the day of our complete reconciliation.
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2012, 12:05:17 PM »

There are two Indian churches?

One autonomous (under Syriac Church) and one autocephalous (not regocnised as autocephalous or canonical by the Syriac Church but recognised as such by the other OO Churches).
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« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2012, 12:18:19 PM »

There are two Indian churches?
Yes there are two Oriental Orthodox jurisdictions in India. This happened when the Metropolitan of India (Malankara) declared the Indian Church autocephelous in 1912. There emerged two groups, one that is autocephelous under the Catholicose of the East and another group that is autonomous but under the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.  

They are:
1) Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church (autonomous church headed by H.B Baselious Thomas I, Catholicose but under the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch)
2) Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (autocephelous church headed by H.H Baselious Mar Thoma Paulose II.)

#1 is in communion with all of Oriental Orthodox churches. #2 is in communion with all of Oriental Orthodox except #1 and the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.

Lets not open the can of worms and go into the history of this schims. The best thing to do is to pray for this schism to end.
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