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Author Topic: Syriac Orthodoxy and Ecumenism  (Read 4112 times) Average Rating: 0
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Severian
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« on: July 14, 2012, 01:08:34 AM »

I know this has been discussed before to a degree regarding the Armenian Church and communing non-OO. And I believe we came to the conclusion that inter-communion between Armenians and non-OO does happen at some local levels, but is not officially endorsed by the Armenian hierarchy. However, I have heard that the Syriac Orthodox have an open-communion policy with Syriac Catholics, and that Syriac Catholics are allowed to register at an Orthodox parish w/o having to renounce their Catholicism and vice-versa. I have also heard cases of Syriac Catholic and Orthodox clergy concelebrating on one another's altars. Is all this true? If so, then I think this is highly disturbing activity. I mean no offense to my Syriac Orthodox brethren. The Church of Antioch, like her sister Alexandrian Church, has always protected the historic Christian faith and has brought forth many bastions of Orthodoxy, such as the Holy Severus, Eustathius the Confessor, and the erudite Bar Hebraeus. But, openly communing and concelebrating with non-Orthodox is simply not consistent with our faith and the teachings of our Fathers. I do not mind Syriac-Antiochian Orthodox inter-communion as much, because we are working out our differences. Syriac Catholics, however, are individuals who have abandoned Orthodoxy and left the Church to follow Rome. I do hope what I have heard is wrong, any answers are appreciated.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 01:11:47 AM by Severian » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 01:12:20 AM »

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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 01:37:11 AM »

Catholicos Karekin I of Armenia said that his Church looks upon the later Councils as just being local Councils. So there is no reason why we should not receive the EOs.

The Armenians have had several historical connections with Rome and the Syrians share St Peter in common with Rome as their founder. Both are striving for Church unity. Even Alexandria of the Copts has signed a mutual statement regarding Christology with Rome.

Many of the Apostolic Churches are willing to share Church buildings where needed and even give Holy Communion in cases where the faithful of another jurisdiction are unable to attend their own Church.
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Severian
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2012, 01:46:33 AM »

^As a Copt, I can tell you for sure that open communion with non-OO is not allowed in our Church (on an official level, that is). There may be very rare occasions where Orthodox Priests in Egypt may commune Catholics who cannot access there own parish, but this is certainly not the norm and I have never heard of any specific examples of this occurring. We have also never made official statements regarding the mysteries of Catholics (AFAIK), and we certainly do not concelebrate. Making agreed statements on Christology and allowing other Christians to make use of our buildings in times of need is one thing, but open communion and concelebrating are entirely different. My own Priest told me that he would even not commune EO's because his Bishop has not given him permission to do this, so he would certainly not extend the same courtesy to Catholics.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 01:50:09 AM by Severian » Logged


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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2012, 02:35:30 AM »

Peace mate,

What is official applies generally but cases of economy occur in many cases.

I know a Copt who was granted permission to commune in a Greek Orthodox Church while residing in a place where there was no other Orthodox Church.

I have heard of a Copt being granted permission by a Coptic priest to commune in a Roman Catholic Church while living in a country with no Orthodox Churches around.

I have seen a Coptic priest commune a person from an Eastern Orthodox Church.

Have you spoken with Abouna Peter from the British Orthodox Church (which is under the Coptic Church) about this matter? He posts on these forums and has typed with me about EOs before. Haven't asked him about Roman Catholics though.
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2012, 02:47:14 AM »

I think the key here for those who would allow it is "when there is no church of the individual's confession available". This is why the OO (Habesha) are communed by the OCA and Bulgarian Orthodox back home in Northern California (there is no OO church there), and why Copts where I live now in New Mexico were apparently communed at the local Greek Orthodox Church before we were sent priests from neighboring Arizona to begin serving the Coptic Orthodox community here, about 16 years ago. Now that we have an established community here in NM, we do not commune with the EO and they do not commune with us (we also have regular Catholic visitors, from Jordan, who do not commune since there are plenty of Catholic churches here; they just prefer our liturgies). If the OO back home in N. California should ever be similarly blessed with their own priests or church, I don't doubt that they would celebrate according to their Tewahedo faith and no longer commune with the EOs, since the need would not exist anymore. I have a hard believing any OO church would council otherwise, though the situation in the homeland may be different due to the intense persecution suffered by all Christians in places like the new Syria, Egypt, etc. Given that reality, I would not condemn anyone for showing such mercy and compassion, at the discretion of their bishop.
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Severian
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2012, 03:12:20 AM »

Like I said, EO-OO intercommunion does not bother me that much as we share the same faith in essence, but have some issues to work out. I myself was actually communed by an Antiochian Priest a few years back (out of ignorance) even though he knew I was Coptic. I don't even mind occasional EO-OO intercommunion so long as it is merely out of economy with a Bishop's discretion, especially in the Middle East where oppression of Christians is becoming far too common. When it becomes the norm, however, I think it is problematic. And yes, I have had the honor of speaking to Father Peter on this forum on many occasions.

Does anyone know about the policy of Syriac Orthodox clergymen communing Catholics in the U.S., a country where the need for a Catholic to commune in an OO Church would be unnecessary?
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 03:21:02 AM by Severian » Logged


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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2012, 03:32:01 AM »

Fwiw, here is a post from Aram regarding Occasional intercommunion between Catholics and Armenian Orthodox:

If Orthodox Priests commune a few Catholics here and there for pastoral reasons, then that could probably be tolerated. But far too many OO commune non-Orthodox as a matter of course.
And that's exactly what seems to be happening, but for some reason there are some that are insistent that there is some official blanket policy in the Armenian Church that we're cool with communing anyone.  That isn't the case. 

For instance, in my parish, the following is printed on the front cover of our Sunday bulletin, which everyone receives on their way in the front door:

Quote
...and invite all who are Baptized and Chrismated in, or are in communion with, the Armenian Church to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

That's pretty clear, isn't it?  OO are free.  EO are not.  Catholics are not.  "In communion with" means just that.

As for this statement Neil made:

Quote
Actually, there is a long-standing informal pastoral agreement between the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Catholic Church relative to allowing access to the Mysteries of either Church by faithful of the other.
I suspect this is either an urban legend, or some form of local economia that is assumed to be universal.  If you can provide documentation to prove this, please do.  This is not anything I have ever experienced anywhere in the Armenian Church.
IOW, it seems to happen at local levels, but it does not seem to be widespread practice.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 03:32:31 AM by Severian » Logged


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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2012, 12:47:59 PM »

I don't even mind occasional EO-OO intercommunion so long as it is merely out of economy with a Bishop's discretion, especially in the Middle East where oppression of Christians is becoming far too common.
By this I meant OO-Catholic intercommunion.
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2012, 11:36:59 PM »

Why does living far away from a church of one's own faith means that intercommunion is suddenly okay? I'm an Orthodox Christian and I've lived in places with no Orthodox church nearby (that I knew of anyways), and I never went to the Anglicans or Roman Catholics to take their communion (whether it is communion is another issue entirely I guess) because we do not share one faith. We have our services - we can pray them in their lay forms (as they are to be served when clergy are not present). Shouldn't that sustain us until we can travel to an Orthodox church to take communion?

Peace mate,

What is official applies generally but cases of economy occur in many cases.

I know a Copt who was granted permission to commune in a Greek Orthodox Church while residing in a place where there was no other Orthodox Church.

I have heard of a Copt being granted permission by a Coptic priest to commune in a Roman Catholic Church while living in a country with no Orthodox Churches around.

I have seen a Coptic priest commune a person from an Eastern Orthodox Church.

Have you spoken with Abouna Peter from the British Orthodox Church (which is under the Coptic Church) about this matter? He posts on these forums and has typed with me about EOs before. Haven't asked him about Roman Catholics though.
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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2012, 11:39:06 PM »

Would you ever commune from an OO Parish if there no Parishes of your own tradition nearby?
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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2012, 11:39:35 PM »

If we share much the same faith, then why should it only be out of economy? Why should we not go back and forth if we are all Orthodox? (And as so many Copts, Ethiopians, and others in the United States do anyways.)

My bishop (who was American Orthodox/"OCA") was of the same opinion though - he blessed me to commune in Ethiopian Orthodox churches (if they allowed it) when I visited my parents in Ethiopia, but didn't want me going back and forth between the Ethiopians' churches and the Greeks' church in Ethiopia.

Like I said, EO-OO intercommunion does not bother me that much as we share the same faith in essence, but have some issues to work out. I myself was actually communed by an Antiochian Priest a few years back (out of ignorance) even though he knew I was Coptic. I don't even mind occasional EO-OO intercommunion so long as it is merely out of economy with a Bishop's discretion, especially in the Middle East where oppression of Christians is becoming far too common. When it becomes the norm, however, I think it is problematic. And yes, I have had the honor of speaking to Father Peter on this forum on many occasions.

Does anyone know about the policy of Syriac Orthodox clergymen communing Catholics in the U.S., a country where the need for a Catholic to commune in an OO Church would be unnecessary?
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2012, 11:42:37 PM »

I personally would - I don't think we are different in faith. (I cringe when our hymns mention the 'errors of the Dioscorans and Severians,' as they did at Vespers tonight - how can Orthodox Fathers like Sts. Dioscorus and Severus be condemned as heretics?)

My experience of Orthodoxy in Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Russia, Ukraine, and the USA certainly hasn't left me thinking we're vastly different, whereas my experience of Catholicism in those countries leaves me more and more convinced that we have precious little on common with Rome.

Would you ever commune from an OO Parish if there no Parishes of your own tradition nearby?
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2012, 12:05:14 AM »

If we share much the same faith, then why should it only be out of economy? Why should we not go back and forth if we are all Orthodox? (And as so many Copts, Ethiopians, and others in the United States do anyways.)

My bishop (who was American Orthodox/"OCA") was of the same opinion though - he blessed me to commune in Ethiopian Orthodox churches (if they allowed it) when I visited my parents in Ethiopia, but didn't want me going back and forth between the Ethiopians' churches and the Greeks' church in Ethiopia.

Like I said, EO-OO intercommunion does not bother me that much as we share the same faith in essence, but have some issues to work out. I myself was actually communed by an Antiochian Priest a few years back (out of ignorance) even though he knew I was Coptic. I don't even mind occasional EO-OO intercommunion so long as it is merely out of economy with a Bishop's discretion, especially in the Middle East where oppression of Christians is becoming far too common. When it becomes the norm, however, I think it is problematic. And yes, I have had the honor of speaking to Father Peter on this forum on many occasions.

Does anyone know about the policy of Syriac Orthodox clergymen communing Catholics in the U.S., a country where the need for a Catholic to commune in an OO Church would be unnecessary?
I made a major typo in that post which I clarified in reply #8 on this thread. That was post was supposed to read "I don't even mind occasional OO-RC intercommunion so long as it is merely out of economy".

I personally would - I don't think we are different in faith. (I cringe when our hymns mention the 'errors of the Dioscorans and Severians,' as they did at Vespers tonight - how can Orthodox Fathers like Sts. Dioscorus and Severus be condemned as heretics?)

My experience of Orthodoxy in Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Russia, Ukraine, and the USA certainly hasn't left me thinking we're vastly different, whereas my experience of Catholicism in those countries leaves me more and more convinced that we have precious little on common with Rome.

Would you ever commune from an OO Parish if there no Parishes of your own tradition nearby?
Thank you for writing this deep and profound post.
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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2012, 02:31:13 AM »

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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2012, 10:35:36 PM »

--bump--

I've heard of Copts being advised by their fathers in confession to go to a Protestant service in addition to the Liturgy in order to be spiritually fulfilled. No problem that these services sometimes involve a monthly communion. I've heard of Copts being told they must stay in Protestant evangelism and alpha classes even though they make them feel uncomfortable.

So I don't really put any weight at all in a Coptic priest advising their spiritual children to Commune in a Catholic Church.


If I were away from an OO Church, unavoidable, for a prolonged period of time, more than many months, and if I had permission from both sides, I would receive communion in an EO Church. While some of them believe we believe things we don't believe, there isn't much to fault with what they believe. I believe we are the same Church, though each tradition has weaknesses in expressing some things, or a great many people in a tradition might believe something wrong (some EO go too far with theosis, some Copts go too far with Western ideas of Atonement, or phyletism, or Protestantism)... But I really don't think either side is heterodox. I think we are the same Church, and we foolishly refuse to Commune with one another, and set up rival diocese in the same areas, because we don't recognize the truth, not because we are different Churches.

I would go the rest of my life without Communion before communing in a RC Church. To Commune in an RC Church is to say, this is the Body of Christ, and I unite myself to it, under the headship of the Pope of Rome. It is submit to the Pope as infallible, and to accept all they are required to believe. The Thomistic theological tradition is far indeed from the Patristic tradition. I would not want the last Communion of my life to be one that separates me from the Church established by Christ and unites me to a heretical group. If Christ does not provide me the means to Commune in an Orthodox Church, I will trust Him to provide for my salvation as He sees fit, without leaving the Communion of the Catholic Church for the Roman Catholic Church.

That said I do not mean this post to be negative towards Catholicism. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Catholics. I do not depare for the salvation of those who follow Catholicism sincerely, as best they know to do. But I do believe for me, having been given the gift of Orthodoxy, to reject that gift would be damnation.

Now, an Eastern Catholic Church, I just don't know. Some of them are essentially Roman Catholics. Some of them are essentially EO, who have chosen to have Communion with Rome instead of the EO Church, but maintain their theology... I would stay away out of fear of not knowing, but I can understand if some would come to a different decision here. Luckily, it is very unlikely I would ever be unable to reach an OO Church for many months by any means, so I should never have to worry about any of this.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 10:38:49 PM by Jonathan » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2012, 01:18:13 PM »

Fwiw, here is a post from Aram regarding Occasional intercommunion between Catholics and Armenian Orthodox:

IOW, it seems to happen at local levels, but it does not seem to be widespread practice.

Our priest is fairly liberal about communing Catholics (Roman and Eastern) though the number of Catholic non-Armenians who would commune in a single year is negligible at best. But I'm pretty sure that there at least a couple of Armenian Catholics every week. He has also told me that if I'm away on vacation or business that there would be no problem with communing at a Catholic church provided that it does not become a regular occurrence - you could say it's kind of analogous to the RC view of allowing their faithful to commune at Orthodox churches (i.e. avoiding the danger of becoming indifferent).

You have to remember that our history with the Latins is very different than those of our fellow Orthodox brethren. We don't have the Filoque and Papacy battles that the EO had with the Latins. Nor do we have the sack of Constantinople. Our disagreement goes back to Chalcedon and was basically resolved by the joint statement made by Pope John Paul II and Catholicos Karekin I back in 1996. There are also subsequent joint statements acknowledging that our other theological differences are "complimentary" and not "contradictory" (I'm leaving out Papal Infallibility and Supremacy as those are considered ecclesiastical issues rather than theological issues). I've had a senior deacon tell me that our theology (again leaving out the role of the Pope) is 98% the same as RC theology.

Furthermore the Armenian Church has been at the forefront of trying to resolve the various schisms for at least the last 900 years going back to St. Nerses Shnorhali. Heck the western (Cilicia) half of the Armenian Church united with Rome on more than one occasion in the Middle Ages only to be rebuffed by the eastern clergy and laity. Plus we have not really had the so-called "uniate" problem though there were some rocky times in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, the official view of the Armenian Church is that all of the ancient apostolic churches together constitute the "one, holy, catholic and apostolic church". As such, the idea of communing Catholics does not strike us as being scandalous. Nor do we seek converts from the Catholic churches. In fact, we very rarely accept any converts from Catholic or Orthodox churches because we believe that they are all part of the Universal Church.

So to get back to the point at hand, intercommunion is not "official" policy and there is no written agreement that I am aware of. But it happens very often at the local level on an "unofficial" basis.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 01:18:37 PM by Shant » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2012, 03:32:07 PM »

I personally find it distressing that so many Armenians, including some of our clergy, have such a liberal attitude toward the Catholics.  True, we have much in common with them, just as we have much in common with some Protestants, but the differences we have are significant.  The Ecclesiology, as you mentioned, is one issue, and I think it is a bigger issue than some people realize.

I think most Armenians don't realize that being officially in communion with the Catholics would be an entirely different thing than being in communion with our sister Churches, like the Copts or the Syriac Orthodox.  Rome does not have "sister churches."  Rome has "daughter churches."  The only way we could officially come into communion with Rome is to become a daughter church, which would really change what our Church is.  People don't understand that, though.  They think that if we go into communion with Rome, it would be like being in communion with the Copts:  No big change.  They are wrong about that though, and it distresses me that our clergy do little if anything to properly educate people on that.

Aside from the ecclesiology, there are other theological issues.  Granted, these are obscure, but they are not insignificant.  We don't believe in the Filioque, and their Christology still bears some Nestorian influences.  From what I have observed, the EO's have done a much better job of reinterpreting Pope Leo's Tome and Chalcedon through the Christology of St. Cyril than the Catholics have done.  (Note:  I do not want to get into another debate with the Chalcedonians on Christology.  Any attempt to turn this into such a debate will be kicked into the private forum.)

There is a reason Cilicia's union with Rome fell apart.  St. Krikor Datevatsi and St. Hovhan Vorodnetsi knew what they were talking about.  They did not oppose union for the sake of being contentious.  They were among the best theologians the Armenians ever had, and they saw real differences between what the Catholics teach and what we believe.

That being said, I can fully see what attracts so many Armenians to the Catholics.  They have historically been much more friendly toward us than the Greeks and Russians.  Not being "next door neighbors" with any Catholic nations means that we have not had any wars with them, nor have we ever been militarily occupied by them.  Armenians look at the mistreatment we received at the hands of Byzantine emperors and that we received under the last czar, as well as the current hostility we get from the Greek monks at the Tomb of Christ, and the horrible things done by HH Ilya of Georgia, and they compare that to our relatively pleasant dealings with the Catholics.  Those are the things that laypersons look at, not the theology.  So I can see how so many Armenians think we are the same as the Catholics, but different from the Greeks and Russians.

Theologically and ecclesiologically speaking, though, we are much closer to the EO's than to the Catholics, and people do need to be educated about that.  If we are to ever heal any schism, it would make sense to heal the schism between us and the EO's before looking toward the Catholics.  

People don't see that, though, and the clergy are doing little to educate them.  When our clergy hold ecumenical prayer services and practice intercommunion, that gives people the false impression that there is no difference.  This leads people to fall away from our Church and join the local Catholic parish that is closer to them than the nearest Armenian parish.  After all, if we commune Catholics and we have joint prayer services with them, that means we are the same.  And if we are the same Church, why should a person have to drive forty minutes to the nearest Armenian parish, when there is a Catholic one five minutes away?  I've known people who have effectively dropped out of the Armenian Church for precisely this reason.  They have no intention of leaving the Armenian Church, but they stop going and join a Catholic (or even a Protestant one) because it is more convenient and they've been led to believe we are all the same.  

Whatever.  Sorry about the rant.  It's just that this is a frustrating issue, and I think our Church's leadership needs to do more to educate people about what separates us from other Churches, rather than give people the false impression that we are all the same.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 03:35:39 PM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2012, 04:15:03 PM »

Salpy, I pretty much agree with your rant. There are indeed real differences that need to be hashed out. I suspect most people don't give the Filoque a second thought because, unlike the Creed everyone else uses, as you know our version doesn't go into the procession of the Holy Spirit so the subject doesn't come up on a regular basis. And I do agree that there seems to be something just a bit off with the RC approach to Christ's humanity and divinity. 

I agree that the Cilicia reunion efforts were misguided. They were driven by political ends and too much of our theology would have been sacrificed so Sts. Krikor Datevatsi and Hovhan Vorodnetsi are to be lauded for their steadfast defense. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. But I do think you raise an excellent point that the softening and hardening of ecumenical relations is often closely tied to politics. Good political relations often leads to glossing over various real differences whereas bad relations means every little thing becomes a church dividing issue.

We do need to finally and formally get our house in order with the EO first. The fact that things have languished for almost 20 years is terrible given that most everyone agrees that any remaining theological issues are relatively minor. But since we can't even get our internal Diocese/Prelacy house in order (though thankfully the vitriol is now pretty much gone) does not give me great hope in the near future.

Where I don't necessarily agree is that the end result of entering communion would be as a "daughter" church. I think and hope that the work of the joint commission in trying to determine the proper role of the Pope in the time before Chalcedon is evidence that there is no interest in being subordinate to the RC church. Even a strong proponent of ecumenism (such as myself) could never agree to that type of arrangement.
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« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2012, 04:21:07 PM »

If the Catholics could go back to the ecclesiology that they held prior to Chalcedon, then I can see us having truly useful talks with them.  Who knows?  Maybe that can happen.  I guess we can always pray.   Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2012, 10:36:24 PM »

Where I don't necessarily agree is that the end result of entering communion would be as a "daughter" church. I think and hope that the work of the joint commission in trying to determine the proper role of the Pope in the time before Chalcedon is evidence that there is no interest in being subordinate to the RC church. Even a strong proponent of ecumenism (such as myself) could never agree to that type of arrangement.

What Eastern Catholic Church has this not happened with though? It's the only model they use.

I see where you are coming from with the believe that there is only one Church, and we shouldn't be setting ourselves up as rival Catholic Churches. Many of the Orthodox Churches seem to go too far that way, thinking we are wholly independent, with no need for each other. That we can just set up Churches around the world in parallel with them, and be the Catholic Church without them. There's a reason there's never been an Orthodox Bishop of Rome set up in parallel with the Catholic Pope there.

But, just sharing Communion while there are significant theological differences--and there are, the filioque being the least of them if one of them--isn't the answer. The early Church had schisms and heresies they dealt with, and broke Communion, without then going and not caring to reconcile with each other, for feeling that they could carry on alone.

It seems to me that the extremes that the different OO "Churches" fall into could be balanced out by each other if we dialogued with each other. That's how Orthodoxy is supposed to work, the living faith is meant to be shared back in forth with our neighbours, between the Churches, not carried on in isolation, not feeling we need each other. We spend so much time having dialogues with those we're not in Communion with. Maybe if we spent more time really being in Communion with those we do agree with, sharing our faith together, we could be more whole, more properly Catholic, in order to be fit to go out and dialogue with those we are separated from.
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« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2012, 05:23:23 AM »

Jonathan, if you were at the end I would try my hardest to get to you if no other priest could!

Salpy, I enjoy very much the official dialogue I am fortunate to participate in with some of the Catholic hierarchy here in the UK. I do enjoy spending time with them, but it seems to me that our relationship works because we are not afraid to speak about differences, and how much some of them are obstacles to reunion.

I do sense that Orthodox can be an encouragement to a more traditional Catholic faith and practice, as generally reconciliation does not require Catholics to adopt something new but to restore something that is ancient and has already been part of their Tradition. I think that perhaps the UK Catholic Church is not the same as the US one in some regards and has a different history and dynamic.

On the other hand I do not commune Catholics, however welcome they are at the liturgies I celebrate. And on the other hand, I do consider that there is a difference between the position of a theologically literate and educated Catholic person and a devout and simple Catholic soul who believes not much different to a devout and simple Orthodox soul. Not that this describes any particularly well considered differentation.

I have spoken to a senior EO Metropolitan who communed a Catholic regularly, but this was in the context of that person being essentially committed to his Orthodox parish and being to all intents an Orthodox though perhaps formally a Catholic.

Just before the fall of Constantinople the Catholics and Orthodox celebrated the Liturgy together, despite their differences. In such extremis (and of course that was before papal infallibility and the immaculate conception and lots of other things) I am just not sure how far Christian division extends. That is not to say that I would receive communion at the last from a Catholic priest, though I would be happy and grateful for his prayers.
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« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2012, 05:48:45 AM »

There's a reason there's never been an Orthodox Bishop of Rome set up in parallel with the Catholic Pope there.

Geopolitics.
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« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2012, 02:07:56 PM »

Nevermind.
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« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2012, 03:06:05 PM »

What Eastern Catholic Church has this not happened with though? It's the only model they use.

I agree that this has been their MO for the better part of the last 400 years though to be entirely fair to our Catholic friends, the situation has improved markedly in the past 50 years. Still a long way to go, but at least progress is being made.

In the meantime, the following remarks by Catholicos Aram I regarding reunion dialogue with the EO give me comfort than nothing will be sold out when dealing with he Catholic Church.

Quote
However, after the restoration of communion, it is important that the specificities, the particular characteristics of each family and each church be maintained. This is very important for us. We cannot become a part of the Byzantine tradition. We cannot go against the course of history, because these churches have been developed in different ways. We cannot change the historical, cultural, linguistic, liturgical, theological, patristic identities of these churches. So, we have to be faithful to our own traditions, to our own identities and particularities.

http://www.orthodoxunity.org/article04.html

Also of note from that same article:

Quote
Q: Do you see any possibility that a member church or some of the churches in the Oriental Orthodox family would unilaterally declare communion with the Eastern Orthodox family?

ARCHBISHOP ARAM: No, because we have raised this question amongst ourselves and have agreed that no member of the Oriental Orthodox family would - under any circumstance - unilaterally establish communion with the other churches. This is our understanding and it is very clear. In fact, the Coptic Orthodox Church in her response has raised that question. They said that we agree with these christological statements, provided that the other members of the Oriental Orthodox family agree with this as well. So, their agreement was very much conditioned by the agreement of the other churches. This is an important term. We sit, we talk, we act as one family.


So we're all in the same boat at least on the "official" level.
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« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2012, 03:07:45 PM »

Salpy, I enjoy very much the official dialogue I am fortunate to participate in with some of the Catholic hierarchy here in the UK. I do enjoy spending time with them, but it seems to me that our relationship works because we are not afraid to speak about differences, and how much some of them are obstacles to reunion.

Father, bless. When speaking of the differences, what have been the major topics other than the Papacy?
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« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2012, 05:03:56 PM »

That reason being political history (what pope would have allowed the Orthodox to set up a rival to him in the Papal States he ruled for so many centuries?) and the ethnic fragmentation of the Diaspora that has prevented Orthodox unity in Western Europe and elsewhere.

Where I don't necessarily agree is that the end result of entering communion would be as a "daughter" church. I think and hope that the work of the joint commission in trying to determine the proper role of the Pope in the time before Chalcedon is evidence that there is no interest in being subordinate to the RC church. Even a strong proponent of ecumenism (such as myself) could never agree to that type of arrangement.

What Eastern Catholic Church has this not happened with though? It's the only model they use.

I see where you are coming from with the believe that there is only one Church, and we shouldn't be setting ourselves up as rival Catholic Churches. Many of the Orthodox Churches seem to go too far that way, thinking we are wholly independent, with no need for each other. That we can just set up Churches around the world in parallel with them, and be the Catholic Church without them. There's a reason there's never been an Orthodox Bishop of Rome set up in parallel with the Catholic Pope there.

But, just sharing Communion while there are significant theological differences--and there are, the filioque being the least of them if one of them--isn't the answer. The early Church had schisms and heresies they dealt with, and broke Communion, without then going and not caring to reconcile with each other, for feeling that they could carry on alone.

It seems to me that the extremes that the different OO "Churches" fall into could be balanced out by each other if we dialogued with each other. That's how Orthodoxy is supposed to work, the living faith is meant to be shared back in forth with our neighbours, between the Churches, not carried on in isolation, not feeling we need each other. We spend so much time having dialogues with those we're not in Communion with. Maybe if we spent more time really being in Communion with those we do agree with, sharing our faith together, we could be more whole, more properly Catholic, in order to be fit to go out and dialogue with those we are separated from.
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« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2012, 05:14:10 PM »

We discuss something different each time we meet.

Last time we considered the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and how this appears to be rooted in a different understanding of the consequence of the Fall.
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« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2012, 03:19:06 PM »

So how are we supposed to respond to these downright unacceptable acts endorsed by many of the Syriac Orthodox?
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« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2012, 05:43:20 PM »

So how are we supposed to respond to these downright unacceptable acts endorsed by many of the Syriac Orthodox?
Do you think this hyper-ecumenist tendency in the Syriac Church will die out in a few decades?
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« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2012, 06:24:19 PM »

So how are we supposed to respond to these downright unacceptable acts endorsed by many of the Syriac Orthodox?
The same way people seem to respond to the Roman Catholic lite ecclesiology that the Patriarchate of Antioch has embraced of late. Mild indifference.
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« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2012, 06:41:43 PM »

So how are we supposed to respond to these downright unacceptable acts endorsed by many of the Syriac Orthodox?
The same way people seem to respond to the Roman Catholic lite ecclesiology that the Patriarchate of Antioch has embraced of late. Mild indifference.
How do you feel about Orthodox Christians of the Syriac tradition (whether they be Malankara, Syriac, Indian-Syriac) inter-communing freely with RC's?
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« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2012, 06:55:39 PM »

So how are we supposed to respond to these downright unacceptable acts endorsed by many of the Syriac Orthodox?
The same way people seem to respond to the Roman Catholic lite ecclesiology that the Patriarchate of Antioch has embraced of late. Mild indifference.
How do you feel about Orthodox Christians of the Syriac tradition (whether they be Malankara, Syriac, Indian-Syriac) inter-communing freely with RC's?
I'm fairly sure the Indian Orthodox Church does not allow this. When I went to Liturgy one of the biggest Orthodox pilgrimage centers in India, Parumala, there was an announcement made that only Orthodox Christians were allowed to commune. I really can't say anything about the Antiochians however.
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« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2012, 09:14:25 PM »

So how are we supposed to respond to these downright unacceptable acts endorsed by many of the Syriac Orthodox?
The same way people seem to respond to the Roman Catholic lite ecclesiology that the Patriarchate of Antioch has embraced of late. Mild indifference.
How do you feel about Orthodox Christians of the Syriac tradition (whether they be Malankara, Syriac, Indian-Syriac) inter-communing freely with RC's?
I'm fairly sure the Indian Orthodox Church does not allow this. When I went to Liturgy one of the biggest Orthodox pilgrimage centers in India, Parumala, there was an announcement made that only Orthodox Christians were allowed to commune. I really can't say anything about the Antiochians however.
Thank goodness. Thank you for sharing this somewhat relieving news. What is the view of the Indian Orthodox Church concerning marriage between Orthodox and heterodox Christians?
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« Reply #34 on: July 25, 2012, 07:32:28 AM »

The parish website of St. Gregorious' Indian Orthodox Church says:

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Q:Does your Church practice "Open Communion?"


A: In the strictest sense the Communion of the Orthodox Church is open to all repentant believers. That means we are glad to receive new members in the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox concept of "Communion" is totally holistic, and radically different from that of most other Christian groups. We do not separate the idea of "Holy Communion" from "Being in Communion," "Full Communion," "Inter-Communion" and total "Communion in the Faith."
In the Orthodox Church therefore, to receive Holy Communion, or any other Sacrament (Mystery), is taken to be a declaration of total commitment to the Orthodox Faith. While we warmly welcome visitors to our services, it is understood that only those communicant members of the Orthodox Church who are prepared by confession and fasting will approach the Holy Mysteries

http://www.indian-orthodox.co.uk/faith.htm

I am glad to hear this is the case.
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« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2012, 08:34:29 AM »

I don't know what the official stance is but if that's going on it's only with other Syriac language churches. That means the Maronite church, Syriac Catholic church, and possibly the Chaldean Catholic church (and maybe the Catholic Syrian churches of India?). I also believe that you have to take into account the situation in the homeland and that might be the reason why something like that started in the first place. If a person is forced to a place where there isn't a church or priest of their own, what should they do?

There is a EO/OO official agreement though: http://www.orthodox.org.ph/content/view/143/50/

But, again, I don't know the official stance though I'd like to now.
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« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2012, 07:38:13 PM »

Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox Christians communing in one another's churches is one thing, but the others aren't Orthodox Christians in any sense of the word - they're Catholics. Going the next step with your scenario, if I moved to a place where the only monotheistic place of worship was a mosque, does that mean I should join in the Friday prayers just so that I belong to a faith community?

I don't know what the official stance is but if that's going on it's only with other Syriac language churches. That means the Maronite church, Syriac Catholic church, and possibly the Chaldean Catholic church (and maybe the Catholic Syrian churches of India?). I also believe that you have to take into account the situation in the homeland and that might be the reason why something like that started in the first place. If a person is forced to a place where there isn't a church or priest of their own, what should they do?

There is a EO/OO official agreement though: http://www.orthodox.org.ph/content/view/143/50/

But, again, I don't know the official stance though I'd like to now.
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« Reply #37 on: July 25, 2012, 08:16:23 PM »

Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox Christians communing in one another's churches is one thing, but the others aren't Orthodox Christians in any sense of the word - they're Catholics. Going the next step with your scenario, if I moved to a place where the only monotheistic place of worship was a mosque, does that mean I should join in the Friday prayers just so that I belong to a faith community?

Sorry to burst your bubble but you being a Christian could not enter a Mosque for prayer. Only Jews and Moslem can share the same place of worship. 
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« Reply #38 on: July 25, 2012, 08:46:24 PM »

Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox Christians communing in one another's churches is one thing, but the others aren't Orthodox Christians in any sense of the word - they're Catholics. Going the next step with your scenario, if I moved to a place where the only monotheistic place of worship was a mosque, does that mean I should join in the Friday prayers just so that I belong to a faith community?

Sorry to burst your bubble but you being a Christian could not enter a Mosque for prayer. Only Jews and Moslem can share the same place of worship. 
That was a rhetorical question. He was saying that as Orthodox Christians we would never enter a Mosque for prayer, in like manner we should not attend and commune in a non-Orthodox parish. And there is no bubble to burst. We have no interest in praying at Mosques or Synagogues. We as Christians are secure in our faith in the Messiah-ship of the Lord Jesus and in our belief in the supreme Triune Godhead. We wish you all the best, but we do not need your houses of worship for spiritual fulfillment.

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First I wasn't making a faith statement only posted that a Christian could not if they even wanted to do so and was the last place of worship in town.
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« Reply #39 on: July 25, 2012, 08:50:01 PM »

^Forgive me if I misconstrued your intentions.
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« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2012, 11:29:22 PM »

A Christian can't say the shahada and join in Friday prayers?

Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox Christians communing in one another's churches is one thing, but the others aren't Orthodox Christians in any sense of the word - they're Catholics. Going the next step with your scenario, if I moved to a place where the only monotheistic place of worship was a mosque, does that mean I should join in the Friday prayers just so that I belong to a faith community?

Sorry to burst your bubble but you being a Christian could not enter a Mosque for prayer. Only Jews and Moslem can share the same place of worship. 
That was a rhetorical question. He was saying that as Orthodox Christians we would never enter a Mosque for prayer, in like manner we should not attend and commune in a non-Orthodox parish. And there is no bubble to burst. We have no interest in praying at Mosques or Synagogues. We as Christians are secure in our faith in the Messiah-ship of the Lord Jesus and in our belief in the supreme Triune Godhead. We wish you all the best, but we do not need your houses of worship for spiritual fulfillment.

+Peace
First I wasn't making a faith statement only posted that a Christian could not if they even wanted to do so and was the last place of worship in town.
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« Reply #41 on: July 25, 2012, 11:31:11 PM »

Irregardless, my point remains the same - Orthodoxy is no more Catholicism than it is Islam, so why would moving to a place without an Orthodox church making taking communion in a Catholic church okay? Our services can be prayed without clergy - meet with whoever's around to pray the services until a priest can be sent or you can get to an Orthodox church again...

Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox Christians communing in one another's churches is one thing, but the others aren't Orthodox Christians in any sense of the word - they're Catholics. Going the next step with your scenario, if I moved to a place where the only monotheistic place of worship was a mosque, does that mean I should join in the Friday prayers just so that I belong to a faith community?

Sorry to burst your bubble but you being a Christian could not enter a Mosque for prayer. Only Jews and Moslem can share the same place of worship. 
That was a rhetorical question. He was saying that as Orthodox Christians we would never enter a Mosque for prayer, in like manner we should not attend and commune in a non-Orthodox parish. And there is no bubble to burst. We have no interest in praying at Mosques or Synagogues. We as Christians are secure in our faith in the Messiah-ship of the Lord Jesus and in our belief in the supreme Triune Godhead. We wish you all the best, but we do not need your houses of worship for spiritual fulfillment.

+Peace
First I wasn't making a faith statement only posted that a Christian could not if they even wanted to do so and was the last place of worship in town.
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« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2012, 11:45:36 PM »

I have a problem with equating Catholicism with Islam.  Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity;  Muslims don't.  And although we may disagree on a number of things, Catholics are Christians, even if they are not within our Church.

Regarding the intercommunion we see among Middle Eastern Christians, the impression I've had is that being surrounded by Muslims, and often being threatened by them, has had the effect of giving the different Christians of that region a sense of unity with each other not felt elsewhere. 

I'm not saying the intercommunion is right.  I'm just saying that there is a reason for it.

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« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2012, 11:48:59 PM »

I have a problem with equating Catholicism with Islam.  Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity;  Muslims don't.  And although we may disagree on a number of things, Catholics are Christians, even if they are not within our Church.

Regarding the intercommunion we see among Middle Eastern Christians, the impression I've had is that being surrounded by Muslims, and often being threatened by them, has had the effect of giving the different Christians of that region a sense of unity with each other not felt elsewhere. 

I'm not saying the intercommunion is right.  I'm just saying that there is a reason for it.


I agree with this. I also agree with Kijabeboy03's opposition to false Ecumenism.
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« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2012, 07:13:57 AM »

If someone I was responsible for had to move to a place with no Orthodox Churches I would not consider it wrong for them to attend a Catholic Church for prayer and fellowship. I would not agree that they should take communion there.

I think I would also consider that the Catholic culture is different in different countries and that this might also colour my views.
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« Reply #45 on: July 26, 2012, 07:37:26 AM »

If someone I was responsible for had to move to a place with no Orthodox Churches I would not consider it wrong for them to attend a Catholic Church for prayer and fellowship.

There isn't any prohibition for prayer with the heterodox in OO tradition?
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« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2012, 07:52:22 AM »

I have trouble distinguishing modern Roman Catholics (in North America and East Africa anyways) from Episcopalians and Protestants generally - over the coming years I think the differences between them will likely continue to disappear. (Pockets of old style Catholicism aside of course.)

I think that's understood, but it doesn't justify intercommunion. The Alawites are our allies in Syria, but that doesn't justify inter-religious union or some such thing...

I have a problem with equating Catholicism with Islam.  Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity;  Muslims don't.  And although we may disagree on a number of things, Catholics are Christians, even if they are not within our Church.

Regarding the intercommunion we see among Middle Eastern Christians, the impression I've had is that being surrounded by Muslims, and often being threatened by them, has had the effect of giving the different Christians of that region a sense of unity with each other not felt elsewhere. 

I'm not saying the intercommunion is right.  I'm just saying that there is a reason for it.


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« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2012, 07:54:37 AM »

I think that Catholics in the UK are engaged in a rolling back of the liberal spirit of the past decades and should be wholeheartedly encouraged to do so.

If Catholicism is like Episcopalianism in some places then what are Orthodox doing to help those who are trying to restore a Traditional spirit?
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« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2012, 07:58:10 AM »

This is why there were so few Orthodox churches in the States for so long - people were advised to go to the local Episcopalian church since 'we're basically the same' (sometimes blessed to commune, sometimes not - to give one example, St. Raphael (Hawaweeny) of Brooklyn first blessed Syrian-Americans to commune at Episcopal services, then withdrew that blessing), and they were lost to Orthodoxy. If the priests of those people had trained the able to lead basic services (in the Byzantines' tradition, something easy and relatively unchanging like the day Hours, an akathist, Sunday Typica, et cetera) they might have actually started more of their own missions and churches, been able to raise their children in the faith, et cetera.

If someone I was responsible for had to move to a place with no Orthodox Churches I would not consider it wrong for them to attend a Catholic Church for prayer and fellowship. I would not agree that they should take communion there.

I think I would also consider that the Catholic culture is different in different countries and that this might also colour my views.
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« Reply #49 on: July 26, 2012, 08:00:42 AM »

This: http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/Conference2011/Conference-October2011.htm

I think that Catholics in the UK are engaged in a rolling back of the liberal spirit of the past decades and should be wholeheartedly encouraged to do so.

If Catholicism is like Episcopalianism in some places then what are Orthodox doing to help those who are trying to restore a Traditional spirit?
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« Reply #50 on: July 26, 2012, 08:08:22 AM »

Father Peter, do you think this Ecumenism among the Syrians will die out in a few generations? Sort of like the fraternal relations the Coptic Orthodox had with the RCs a few centuries ago?
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« Reply #51 on: July 26, 2012, 08:09:46 AM »

I don't think that is the whole answer.

To win a handful of souls may well be a good thing, but to encourage the restoration of the proper Catholic Orthodox Tradition must be a good as well.
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« Reply #52 on: July 26, 2012, 08:12:17 AM »

I hope not.

There are boundaries which such relations should not cross. But while those boundaries are respected I am very much in favour of dialogue with Catholicism, certainly here in the UK.

I don't know if you have read the small book I produced earlier this year. I think that it shows a very positive attitude on the part of most hierarchs to the Catholic communion. This does not mean we are on ther verge of reunion at all, but I do believe that the Catholic communion, at least here in the UK, is on the right track and is trying to find a way back to the pre-VII spirit of the Church.

This should be encouraged. IMHO.
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« Reply #53 on: July 26, 2012, 08:14:26 AM »

^By "Ecumenism" I meant the seemingly open communion practice the Church of Antioch holds with Catholics these days. I would agree in saying that I do not mind dialogue per se.
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« Reply #54 on: July 26, 2012, 08:18:02 AM »

Pre-1910 really, when the full fasts were still on the books :-). Things took a while to get as bad as they are - do we really think some ecumenical brunches and dialogues will encourage them to change? The Greeks and Russians dialogued with the Anglicans (and later the Old Catholics) for ages and look what came of that...

I hope not.

There are boundaries which such relations should not cross. But while those boundaries are respected I am very much in favour of dialogue with Catholicism, certainly here in the UK.

I don't know if you have read the small book I produced earlier this year. I think that it shows a very positive attitude on the part of most hierarchs to the Catholic communion. This does not mean we are on ther verge of reunion at all, but I do believe that the Catholic communion, at least here in the UK, is on the right track and is trying to find a way back to the pre-VII spirit of the Church.

This should be encouraged. IMHO.
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« Reply #55 on: July 26, 2012, 08:28:03 AM »

Well if there is open communion then I am not sure it is appropriate. But it seems to me to depend on what is meant. If we mean that in a beleagured village somewhere there are Catholics who attend the Orthodox Liturgy because their church has been bombed, and they recieve communion, well I am not sure that is entirely unacceptable.

Our Father, St Severus was clear that obstacles must not be put in the way of the simple lay folk who usually do not understand entirely what the various disputes are about. I think this is, to some extent and in some cases, an applicable principle.

Note that I am using 'some' a lot. I am not suggesting it is a universal principle. If it were a universal principle in the Syrian Orthodox Church then it does strike me as rather problematic. If it does not extend to clerical communion then it is less problematic but still not non-problematic.

On the other hand, His Holiness Pope Shenouda clearly believed that the Catholic Church is Apostolic, and has true sacraments. That being the case then it could be said that communion of laity could perhaps in some cases be allowed if it was clear that those communing held no definite heresy. I would want to wonder whether two Syrian farmers, one an Eastern Rite Catholic and the other an Eastern Rite Orthodox would necessarily have a different substantial faith? Once we demand that all laity pass an exam proving that they are entirely Orthodox in all possible aspects of their faith and practice then that also becomes problematical.

There are issues around some of the present thinking in the Syrian Orthodox Church which are indeed problematic. Especially around primacy. I am not diminishing this. But we also have many problems in our own local Orthodox community. So I am not sure where, in the order of priorities, this particular issue comes. I would be more concerned about the teaching of the Syrian primacy over the other Churches.

I guess I consider that open communion is not appropriate, and that the communion of clergy is particularly inappropriate, but I am less concerned, in the face of many other problems which we all face, if there is a sense of Syrian identity and Christian unity in Syria in the face of the terrible situation that all Christians find themselves in.

When Constantinople was about to fall to the Muslims all of the Christians united in communion in Hagia Sophia. I find myself moved by this, and not to criticism.
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« Reply #56 on: July 26, 2012, 08:31:40 AM »

If you don't want to do anything then don't. But why criticise and make carping comments about those who do?

In fact the Catholic bishops in England and Wales have just re-instituted the proper observance of the Friday fast. Not the same practice as Orthodox certainly. But all the bishops I speak with are determined to restore the practice of their community to that which had prevailed for centuries before the 60s.

Baptism by immersion is also becoming more common. All of the things I would hope for the Catholic communion to embrace are already part of their own tradition. They just need to return to it.

Certainly the ecumenical body within which I engage with Catholic hierarchs is determined to organise several significant projects each year.
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« Reply #57 on: July 26, 2012, 08:52:19 AM »

^I am glad to hear this is the case. Out of curiosity, would you extend the same courtesy to traditionalist Catholic groups which are not in Communion with the Roman See like the Society of Saint Pius X or the Society of Saint Pius V?
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« Reply #58 on: July 26, 2012, 09:15:56 AM »

I don't know? I thought that these groups were all coming back into communion with the See of Rome in any case?

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« Reply #59 on: July 26, 2012, 09:19:34 AM »

^I didn't know that was the case. I was just speaking generally, I guess.
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« Reply #60 on: July 26, 2012, 09:52:34 AM »

Where in the Fathers are hospitality and open communion one and the same? Wasn't St. Severus speaking of pro-Chalcedonians? We pro and anti-Chalcedonian Orthodox are much closer in faith than either of us are to Roman Catholicism.

Doesn't the Coptic Orthodox Church receive non-Orthodox Christians (and even many Orthodox?) by chrismation?

When Constantinople fell the Unia was in effect in the city, by imperial decree - of course the Eastern Catholics and Roman Catholics concelebrated, they were of one church. (The one good thing the Ottoman conquerors did was end the Unia when they took the city by allowing St. Gennadius Scholarius to become ecumenical patriarch.)

Well if there is open communion then I am not sure it is appropriate. But it seems to me to depend on what is meant. If we mean that in a beleagured village somewhere there are Catholics who attend the Orthodox Liturgy because their church has been bombed, and they receive communion, well I am not sure that is entirely unacceptable.

Our Father, St Severus was clear that obstacles must not be put in the way of the simple lay folk who usually do not understand entirely what the various disputes are about. I think this is, to some extent and in some cases, an applicable principle.

Note that I am using 'some' a lot. I am not suggesting it is a universal principle. If it were a universal principle in the Syrian Orthodox Church then it does strike me as rather problematic. If it does not extend to clerical communion then it is less problematic but still not non-problematic.

On the other hand, His Holiness Pope Shenouda clearly believed that the Catholic Church is Apostolic, and has true sacraments. That being the case then it could be said that communion of laity could perhaps in some cases be allowed if it was clear that those communing held no definite heresy. I would want to wonder whether two Syrian farmers, one an Eastern Rite Catholic and the other an Eastern Rite Orthodox would necessarily have a different substantial faith? Once we demand that all laity pass an exam proving that they are entirely Orthodox in all possible aspects of their faith and practice then that also becomes problematical.

There are issues around some of the present thinking in the Syrian Orthodox Church which are indeed problematic. Especially around primacy. I am not diminishing this. But we also have many problems in our own local Orthodox community. So I am not sure where, in the order of priorities, this particular issue comes. I would be more concerned about the teaching of the Syrian primacy over the other Churches.

I guess I consider that open communion is not appropriate, and that the communion of clergy is particularly inappropriate, but I am less concerned, in the face of many other problems which we all face, if there is a sense of Syrian identity and Christian unity in Syria in the face of the terrible situation that all Christians find themselves in.

When Constantinople was about to fall to the Muslims all of the Christians united in communion in Hagia Sophia. I find myself moved by this, and not to criticism.
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« Reply #61 on: July 26, 2012, 09:53:19 AM »

The Society of Saint Pius X is working with Rome towards a reunion, and the excommunications issued by Rome have been lifted.

The Society of Saint Pius V seems to me to be rather more schismatic and fractured and is nowhere near reconciliation.
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« Reply #62 on: July 26, 2012, 09:55:56 AM »

I also want to add that besides what Salpy wrote about unity in the middle east, it goes even deeper than that. It would take some writing to explain but it has to do with ethnicity and nationalist movements that don't go back that far in time as well. Our situation at this point in history is unique I believe.

But I think this is on a laity level. I doubt there's anything official.
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« Reply #63 on: July 26, 2012, 09:59:39 AM »

Well Catholics are Chalcedonians. He was speaking about Chalcedonians.

Pope Shenouda certainly considered the Catholic communion to be Apostolic and Sacramental.

I don't think I have said that open communion is a good thing, but I hedged my views about to express the view that sometimes I think it appropriate.

I can't help but feel that your views about Catholics seem rather contaminated by attitudes to wider events that are not really relevant. I am more concerned, with the necessary restrictions on communion, to work for a reconciliation of Catholics with Orthodoxy as far as is possible, than to worry about historical events. If that were required then it will always be impossible for Orthodox to be reconciled.

I am much more interested in what the Catholic hierarchs I meet actually believe, and how far what they believe can be and should be understood in a manner that is Orthodox. There are undoubtedly issues that will be stumbling blocks as well. But the Catholic hierarchs want to talk. There are no such conversations going on with Eastern Orthodox at the moment.
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« Reply #64 on: July 26, 2012, 10:06:48 AM »

There are here in North America I believe. Where're they're going isn't clear, but they're ongoing.

My views on Roman Catholicism are "contaminated" by the reality of Roman Catholicism as I've seen it in North America and East Africa - the books say one thing (sometimes in agreement with Orthodoxy, sometimes not) while the laity follow a faith and life similar to Anglicanism a hundred years ago. I really do hope I'm wrong, but pockets like the SSPX aside I don't think traditional Christianity survives/will survive in Roman Catholicism. (The hope of Roman Catholics bishops in one or two countries like the UK aside. It's very difficult - often impossible - for traditional Catholics to get traditional Masses served in most US and Canadian dioceses despite the freeing of the old Mass, and I've heard it's a similar situation in Africa and much of Western Europe.)

Well Catholics are Chalcedonians. He was speaking about Chalcedonians.

Pope Shenouda certainly considered the Catholic communion to be Apostolic and Sacramental.

I don't think I have said that open communion is a good thing, but I hedged my views about to express the view that sometimes I think it appropriate.

I can't help but feel that your views about Catholics seem rather contaminated by attitudes to wider events that are not really relevant. I am more concerned, with the necessary restrictions on communion, to work for a reconciliation of Catholics with Orthodoxy as far as is possible, than to worry about historical events. If that were required then it will always be impossible for Orthodox to be reconciled.

I am much more interested in what the Catholic hierarchs I meet actually believe, and how far what they believe can be and should be understood in a manner that is Orthodox. There are undoubtedly issues that will be stumbling blocks as well. But the Catholic hierarchs want to talk. There are no such conversations going on with Eastern Orthodox at the moment.
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« Reply #65 on: July 26, 2012, 10:14:40 AM »

Then why say you were glad that the Muslims captured Constantinople? How can any one be pleased about that, especially just so that Catholic influence was diminished?

Where there are traditional Catholics they need supporting. They seem to be making advances here in the UK. The effects of liberalism can be rolled back if the hierarchy insists on it. I know that they have modified the Liturgy here in the UK in a more traditional direction, and even my son, who attends a Catholic school, was aware that on X date they would now be saying THIS in the Liturgy instead of THAT.

But they need the encouragement and support of Orthodox to believe that what they are doing, often against opposition, has value.
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« Reply #66 on: July 26, 2012, 10:20:56 AM »

I believe I said "the one good thing" - that doesn't translate to gladness as far as I'm aware.

If "supporting" traditional Catholics means sadness that the forced unia of Constantinople with Rome ended when the Ottoman Turks conquered the city-state empire in 1453, then why not just unite with them now? After all, how much better to work from within...

Then why say you were glad that the Muslims captured Constantinople? How can any one be pleased about that, especially just so that Catholic influence was diminished?

Where there are traditional Catholics they need supporting. They seem to be making advances here in the UK. The effects of liberalism can be rolled back if the hierarchy insists on it. I know that they have modified the Liturgy here in the UK in a more traditional direction, and even my son, who attends a Catholic school, was aware that on X date they would now be saying THIS in the Liturgy instead of THAT.

But they need the encouragement and support of Orthodox to believe that what they are doing, often against opposition, has value.
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« Reply #67 on: July 26, 2012, 10:28:53 AM »

I don't think you really want to discuss how the relationship with Catholics should work or might work.

I am sad, I guess, that your attitude towards Rome popped up just because Constantinople was mentioned.

I don't get a sense that you do support traditional Catholics, or have much of a view of those who think that is what they should be doing. You are entitled to your opinion. It is not mine.
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« Reply #68 on: August 21, 2012, 02:30:00 AM »

What is the position of the Indian-Syrian and Syrian Orthodox Churches on inter-Church marriage with non-OOs?
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« Reply #69 on: August 21, 2012, 04:09:37 AM »

Dialogue and Joint Declarations with the Roman Catholic Church

Quote
8. Since it is the chief expression of Christian unity between the faithful and between Bishops and priests, the Holy Eucharist cannot yet be concelebrated by us. Such celebration supposes a complete identity of faith such as does not yet exist between us. Certain questions, in fact, still need to be resolved touching the Lord's will for His Church, as also the doctrinal implications and canonical details of the traditions proper to our communities which have been too long separated.

9. Our identity in faith, though not yet complete, entitles us to envisage collaboration between our Churches in pastoral care, in situations which nowadays are frequent both because of the dispersion of our faithful throughout the world and because of the precarious conditions of these difficult times. It is not rare, in fact, for our faithful to find access to a priest of their own Church materially or morally impossible. Anxious to meet their needs and with their spiritual benefit in mind, we authorize them in such cases to ask for the Sacraments of Penance, Eucharist and Anointing of the Sick from lawful priests of either of our two sister Churches, when they need them. It would be a logical corollary of collaboration in pastoral care to cooperate in priestly formation and theological education. Bishops are encouraged to promote sharing of facilities for theological education where they judge it to be advisable. While doing this we do not forget that we must still do all in our power to achieve the full visible communion between the Catholic Church and the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and ceaselessly implore our Lord to grant us that unity which alone will enable us to give to the world a fully unanimous Gospel witness.

When a Catholic Marries an Orthodox Christian - the foregoing relates to EO/Catholic Intermarriages. While I couldn't find the text on-line, there is an essentially identical document jointly subscribed to by the USCCB and the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches - it's included in Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic Interchurch Marriages and Other Pastoral Relationships

A Pastoral Statement on Orthodox/Roman Catholic Marriages

Many years,

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« Reply #70 on: August 21, 2012, 04:24:19 AM »

^Thank you.

Here is something I found which is particularly disturbing:

"Communion at the Wedding

Reciprocity. The Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church is an autonomous church under the authority of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch. It is thus one of those Eastern churches, which the Roman Catholic Church recognizes as close in faith to itself and "in possession of true sacraments, notably the priesthood and the Eucharist" (Decree on Ecumenism, n.14, 15). For this reason the bride and groom are allowed to receive communion together, whether the wedding and wedding Eucharist takes place in a Catholic church or in a Malankara Syrian Orthodox church."


http://sor.cua.edu/Ecumenism/19940125socrcmarriageagmt.html

How is this acceptable?
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« Reply #71 on: August 21, 2012, 05:46:44 AM »

General Exhortations

The priests are strictly forbidden to administer Communion to all those who are under anathema or suspensions or to unbelievers unless, first of all, they openly acknowledge the Orthodox faith and become in full communion with the Holy Church. Likewise, the Holy Mysteries are not to be administered to offenders whose transgressions are publicly known unless they, first of all, truly and earnestly repent of their sins and unless their true remorse is known to the congregation of the faithful.


http://www.malankara.com/church/eucharist.html

So at least the Indian-Syriac Orthodox under Antioch have it right. So from what I can deduce Syriac OO-RC is not really the norm outside the Middle East.
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« Reply #72 on: December 28, 2012, 01:53:26 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S91OyQBJqI4

Remembered this thread when I watched this. 9:00 to 9:22 "if the catholic church they haven't church".
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« Reply #73 on: December 28, 2012, 02:50:42 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S91OyQBJqI4

Remembered this thread when I watched this. 9:00 to 9:22 "if the catholic church they haven't church".
Good to hear. Sorry if I was too harsh or judgmental when I originally wrote this thread.
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« Reply #74 on: December 31, 2012, 05:49:17 AM »

Good to hear. Sorry if I was too harsh or judgmental when I originally wrote this thread.

Not at all, I wasn't even thinking about that nor did I think you were too anything.

But at the youth service this Christmas I was thinking, how can priests control who takes communion? It wouldn't surprise me if some of the younger people brought with them one or two friends from either the Chaldean or Assyrian Churches. At the end of mass everyone line up and take their communion and of course these youths don't know about these communion laws.
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« Reply #75 on: December 31, 2012, 05:29:03 PM »

That's the thing, priests aren't supposed to give communion to people they don't know. However, no one seems to follow this anymore.  Sad
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« Reply #76 on: December 31, 2012, 09:41:51 PM »

Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox Christians communing in one another's churches is one thing, but the others aren't Orthodox Christians in any sense of the word - they're Catholics. Going the next step with your scenario, if I moved to a place where the only monotheistic place of worship was a mosque, does that mean I should join in the Friday prayers just so that I belong to a faith community?

Sorry to burst your bubble but you being a Christian could not enter a Mosque for prayer. Only Jews and Moslem can share the same place of worship.  

Post is from months ago I realize, but just this past month I attended Friday prayers in a mosque. Sat at the back with a few other visitors, and watched the whole thing. Not one of us was a Muslim or a Jew.
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« Reply #77 on: December 15, 2013, 01:46:11 AM »

I found this graph to be pretty enlightening:

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« Reply #78 on: December 15, 2013, 02:08:03 AM »

I found this graph to be pretty enlightening:



How? That all of the groups keep splitting and going to Rome?
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« Reply #79 on: December 15, 2013, 02:08:25 AM »

I found this graph to be pretty enlightening:



The separation dating (i.e. 431/451) is simplistic, as Robert Wilken mentions in his The First Thousand Years, the west Syrians didn't join the Copts as non-Chalcedonians until the early 6th century under the Syriac St. Jacob Baradaeus.

Not to mention the graph makes no sign of Melkite Antioch's Syriac Rite usage until as late as the 11th-12th centuries.
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« Reply #80 on: December 15, 2013, 03:05:17 AM »

It was less frustrating than the chart tracing the community of the Mar Thomas Christians, who were portrayed as divided between Protestants, Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Nestorians, with no existence of Eastern Orthodox among them. Maybe we don't?
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« Reply #81 on: December 15, 2013, 03:22:54 AM »

It was less frustrating than the chart tracing the community of the Mar Thomas Christians, who were portrayed as divided between Protestants, Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Nestorians, with no existence of Eastern Orthodox among them. Maybe we don't?

That's pretty much correct, as far as I understand it. The Protestants are the so-called "Mar Thoma", the Catholics are a bunch of different things (Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Knanaya to the extent that they're different than the others, etc.), the Oriental Orthodox are the Malankara Syriac Orthodox, and the Nestorians are...well, Nestorians, but according to Indians I've talked to they apparently call themselves "Chaldean" despite not being of that Eastern Catholic Church. If there are EO (and I seem to remember that there now are, but they're quite new compared to the others mentioned above), they're very small in number and not organized into any kind of distinctively Indian church, for lack of a better way to put it (IIRC, the EO there are some kind of Russian something or other...mission or outpost or what have you).
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« Reply #82 on: December 15, 2013, 08:58:11 AM »

It was less frustrating than the chart tracing the community of the Mar Thomas Christians, who were portrayed as divided between Protestants, Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Nestorians, with no existence of Eastern Orthodox among them. Maybe we don't?

That's pretty much correct, as far as I understand it. The Protestants are the so-called "Mar Thoma", the Catholics are a bunch of different things (Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Knanaya to the extent that they're different than the others, etc.), the Oriental Orthodox are the Malankara Syriac Orthodox, and the Nestorians are...well, Nestorians, but according to Indians I've talked to they apparently call themselves "Chaldean" despite not being of that Eastern Catholic Church. If there are EO (and I seem to remember that there now are, but they're quite new compared to the others mentioned above), they're very small in number and not organized into any kind of distinctively Indian church, for lack of a better way to put it (IIRC, the EO there are some kind of Russian something or other...mission or outpost or what have you).

dzheremi,

I think you're speaking of the 'Assyrian Orthodox' mission that was formed by Bishop John of Urmia, of blessed memory, and ultimately subsumed into ROCOR. See here

Many years,

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« Reply #83 on: December 15, 2013, 01:07:22 PM »

No, this was something established much more recently. I probably read about it on here, I just can't remember the details. The Russian interaction with the Assyrians is much older. The Indians, of any confession, are not Assyrians.
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« Reply #84 on: December 15, 2013, 01:42:09 PM »

It was less frustrating than the chart tracing the community of the Mar Thomas Christians, who were portrayed as divided between Protestants, Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Nestorians, with no existence of Eastern Orthodox among them. Maybe we don't?

The "Thomas Christians", as they exist today, include OO and Assyrians, their Eastern Catholic split-offs, and the "Mar Thoma  Syrian Church", a Syrian-rite (and Syrian-lite, IMO) Protestant denomination.  There were never any EO in this community.  The RC's, AFAIK, also were not part of this community, but were the result of Portuguese missions.  Most of the other Protestants are also the result of foreign missionary activity and so were not a part of this community.  There is an EO presence in Northern India--Greeks (EP) in Bengal, Russians (ROCOR and MP) in Delhi, UP, and a couple of other places--but they are also not "Thomas Christians", they are recent missions (younger than I).     
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« Reply #85 on: December 21, 2013, 01:05:19 AM »

This is why there were so few Orthodox churches in the States for so long - people were advised to go to the local Episcopalian church since 'we're basically the same' (sometimes blessed to commune, sometimes not - to give one example, St. Raphael (Hawaweeny) of Brooklyn first blessed Syrian-Americans to commune at Episcopal services, then withdrew that blessing), and they were lost to Orthodoxy. If the priests of those people had trained the able to lead basic services (in the Byzantines' tradition, something easy and relatively unchanging like the day Hours, an akathist, Sunday Typica, et cetera) they might have actually started more of their own missions and churches, been able to raise their children in the faith, et cetera.

If someone I was responsible for had to move to a place with no Orthodox Churches I would not consider it wrong for them to attend a Catholic Church for prayer and fellowship. I would not agree that they should take communion there.

I think I would also consider that the Catholic culture is different in different countries and that this might also colour my views.

It is true that at one time St. Raphael blessed his people without a nearby Orthodox Church to attend an Episcopal Church. However, after he took the time to study the Episcopal Church he revoked that blessing and wrote a very strongly worded letter instructing his people to stay away from the Episcopalians. http://southern-orthodoxy.blogspot.com/2013/02/st-raphael-on-episcopalians.html

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« Reply #86 on: December 21, 2013, 10:35:20 AM »

I found this graph to be pretty enlightening:



The separation dating (i.e. 431/451) is simplistic, as Robert Wilken mentions in his The First Thousand Years, the west Syrians didn't join the Copts as non-Chalcedonians until the early 6th century under the Syriac St. Jacob Baradaeus.

Not to mention the graph makes no sign of Melkite Antioch's Syriac Rite usage until as late as the 11th-12th centuries.
The Maronites also should be show as breaking off of the line that continues as the "Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch."  It would seem that the ignorance of this latter line using the Antiochian rite until c. 1200 is what threw the chart makers.
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« Reply #87 on: December 21, 2013, 03:41:43 PM »

I found this graph to be pretty enlightening:



The separation dating (i.e. 431/451) is simplistic, as Robert Wilken mentions in his The First Thousand Years, the west Syrians didn't join the Copts as non-Chalcedonians until the early 6th century under the Syriac St. Jacob Baradaeus.

Not to mention the graph makes no sign of Melkite Antioch's Syriac Rite usage until as late as the 11th-12th centuries.
The Maronites also should be show as breaking off of the line that continues as the "Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch."  It would seem that the ignorance of this latter line using the Antiochian rite until c. 1200 is what threw the chart makers.

Most historians argue that the Maronites broke from Antioch because they rejected the 6th Ecumenical Council which condemned the heresy of Monothelitism. The Maronites fled to the mountains of Lebanon and joined Rome during the Crusades.

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« Reply #88 on: December 21, 2013, 04:50:52 PM »

The Maronites also should be show as breaking off of the line that continues as the "Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch."  It would seem that the ignorance of this latter line using the Antiochian rite until c. 1200 is what threw the chart makers.

True, as it wouldn't appear to make sense for the chart-makers if Melkite Antioch had always been Byzantine (as so many assume it was).

As an aside, are there any hierarchs or scholars in our church that do favor a return to, or at least the reintroduction of, the Syriac Rite?
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« Reply #89 on: December 21, 2013, 06:32:25 PM »

The Maronites also should be show as breaking off of the line that continues as the "Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch."  It would seem that the ignorance of this latter line using the Antiochian rite until c. 1200 is what threw the chart makers.

True, as it wouldn't appear to make sense for the chart-makers if Melkite Antioch had always been Byzantine (as so many assume it was).

As an aside, are there any hierarchs or scholars in our church that do favor a return to, or at least the reintroduction of, the Syriac Rite?

Why would we want to change the way that we have worshiped for centuries? If there is one thing that Eastern Orthodox do not like it is change. "How many Eastern Orthodox does it take to change a light bulb? Change, what is this change. I do not like this change." Our Byzantine Rite unites us with the rest of world Orthodoxy.

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« Reply #90 on: December 21, 2013, 07:33:39 PM »

Why would we want to change the way that we have worshiped for centuries? If there is one thing that Eastern Orthodox do not like it is change. "How many Eastern Orthodox does it take to change a light bulb? Change, what is this change. I do not like this change."
If our church could drop the Syriac Rite to become Byzantine, there's no reason it couldn't drop the Byzantine Rite to become Syriac. The only difference is it being "now" instead of "then."

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It may be a point of commonality with other Byzantine Orthodox, but that sort of comment makes Orthodoxy sound too much like a Byzantine-monolith, which I vehemently disagree with. Not to mention our church recognizes the Orthodoxy of Orientals without their needing the Byzantine Rite.
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« Reply #91 on: December 21, 2013, 08:43:44 PM »

As an aside, are there any hierarchs or scholars in our church that do favor a return to, or at least the reintroduction of, the Syriac Rite?
St James' Liturgy, the Syriac liturgy, is used around Christmas and St James' Day, as I understand it.
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« Reply #92 on: December 21, 2013, 08:58:59 PM »

Why would we want to change the way that we have worshiped for centuries? If there is one thing that Eastern Orthodox do not like it is change. "How many Eastern Orthodox does it take to change a light bulb? Change, what is this change. I do not like this change."
If our church could drop the Syriac Rite to become Byzantine, there's no reason it couldn't drop the Byzantine Rite to become Syriac. The only difference is it being "now" instead of "then."

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It may be a point of commonality with other Byzantine Orthodox, but that sort of comment makes Orthodoxy sound too much like a Byzantine-monolith, which I vehemently disagree with. Not to mention our church recognizes the Orthodoxy of Orientals without their needing the Byzantine Rite.

I do not think that anything that I have ever written on this site could be interpreted as a demand that the Oriental Orthodox abandon their liturgical practices and adopt the Byzantine Rite. Why should the Oriental Orthodox expect us to abandon our liturgical heritage? Why should it bother you that we value our position as part of a world wide Church? The 1991 agreement between the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch stated, "The integrity of both the Byzantine and Syriac liturgies is to be preserved."

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« Reply #93 on: December 22, 2013, 03:33:38 PM »

I do not think that anything that I have ever written on this site could be interpreted as a demand that the Oriental Orthodox abandon their liturgical practices and adopt the Byzantine Rite. Why should the Oriental Orthodox expect us to abandon our liturgical heritage? Why should it bother you that we value our position as part of a world wide Church? The 1991 agreement between the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch stated, "The integrity of both the Byzantine and Syriac liturgies is to be preserved."

Fr. John W. Morris

Father, my point with the Orientals had nothing to do with the EO-OO rapprochement itself, but rather to show that our being Byzantine and our being Orthodox are two different things. I personally would love to see a reintroduction of our church's original liturgical heritage, even if just alongside the Byzantine (as it was in our church for about a couple centuries before becoming solely Byzantine). I didn't say that you, or anyone else, was actually demanding any sort of change from anyone.
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« Reply #94 on: December 22, 2013, 04:15:15 PM »

I do not think that anything that I have ever written on this site could be interpreted as a demand that the Oriental Orthodox abandon their liturgical practices and adopt the Byzantine Rite. Why should the Oriental Orthodox expect us to abandon our liturgical heritage? Why should it bother you that we value our position as part of a world wide Church? The 1991 agreement between the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch stated, "The integrity of both the Byzantine and Syriac liturgies is to be preserved."

Fr. John W. Morris

Father, my point with the Orientals had nothing to do with the EO-OO rapprochement itself, but rather to show that our being Byzantine and our being Orthodox are two different things. I personally would love to see a reintroduction of our church's original liturgical heritage, even if just alongside the Byzantine (as it was in our church for about a couple centuries before becoming solely Byzantine). I didn't say that you, or anyone else, was actually demanding any sort of change from anyone.

I do not think that you would find much support from the clergy or laity of the Antiocian Orthodox Church for your proposal. It would be very difficult for a parish to correctly serve both the Byzantine and the Syriac Rite. The vestments and chant are different as is the arrangement of the Altar.

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« Reply #95 on: December 22, 2013, 04:21:48 PM »

I do not think that you would find much support from the clergy or laity of the Antiocian Orthodox Church for your proposal. It would be very difficult for a parish to correctly serve both the Byzantine and the Syriac Rite. The vestments and chant are different as is the arrangement of the Altar.

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I didn't mean for a single parish to serve both.
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« Reply #96 on: December 22, 2013, 04:35:11 PM »

I do not think that you would find much support from the clergy or laity of the Antiocian Orthodox Church for your proposal. It would be very difficult for a parish to correctly serve both the Byzantine and the Syriac Rite. The vestments and chant are different as is the arrangement of the Altar.

Fr. John W. Morris

I didn't mean for a single parish to serve both.

I think that the more realistic idea is to establish Communion between the Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Churches, while each keeps its own liturgical traditions and administration.

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« Reply #97 on: December 22, 2013, 05:48:16 PM »

It's a misunderstanding to think that the Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches in Syria once had a liturgy identical to the non-Chalcedonian Syriacs. For one thing, the liturgy practiced by the latter underwent a huge amount of development after 451-- their prodigious number of anaphorae is the most famous example of this, but their liturgy also contains a great deal of hymnographical development and a substantial amount of Byzantine borrowings as well-- especially the genre of the canon, the Qonune Yawnoye, a great example of Byzantine-Syriac cultural exchange.

On the other hand, the "Byzantine" liturgy, also Antiochene in origin, underwent its own development, as much in the Palestinian monasteries  as in Constantinople (and even there, the canon's initial development, by St Romanos, a native of Homs, was certainly influenced by earlier Syriac hymnography). Additionally, while no one has edited or printed any of it, we have pretty much the entire modern Byzantine liturgy, as it existed ca. 1200 available in Syriac in manuscripts. I do hope that eventually the Patriarchate of Antioch will assemble texts from these manuscripts such that the liturgy for St Ephrem's Day can be celebrated occasionally in Syriac, to express the deep cultural roots shared by Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians in the Middle East. Some notes I've made about 'Byzantine' liturgy in Syriac, as well as a transcription of the Akathist hymn in Syriac, can be found here: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/search/label/Syriac
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« Reply #98 on: December 22, 2013, 07:16:26 PM »

Additionally, while no one has edited or printed any of it, we have pretty much the entire modern Byzantine liturgy, as it existed ca. 1200 available in Syriac in manuscripts. I do hope that eventually the Patriarchate of Antioch will assemble texts from these manuscripts such that the liturgy for St Ephrem's Day can be celebrated occasionally in Syriac, to express the deep cultural roots shared by Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians in the Middle East. Some notes I've made about 'Byzantine' liturgy in Syriac, as well as a transcription of the Akathist hymn in Syriac, can be found here: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/search/label/Syriac

Very interesting, thanks!!
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« Reply #99 on: December 22, 2013, 09:41:59 PM »

It's a misunderstanding to think that the Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches in Syria once had a liturgy identical to the non-Chalcedonian Syriacs. For one thing, the liturgy practiced by the latter underwent a huge amount of development after 451-- their prodigious number of anaphorae is the most famous example of this, but their liturgy also contains a great deal of hymnographical development and a substantial amount of Byzantine borrowings as well-- especially the genre of the canon, the Qonune Yawnoye, a great example of Byzantine-Syriac cultural exchange.

On the other hand, the "Byzantine" liturgy, also Antiochene in origin, underwent its own development, as much in the Palestinian monasteries  as in Constantinople (and even there, the canon's initial development, by St Romanos, a native of Homs, was certainly influenced by earlier Syriac hymnography). Additionally, while no one has edited or printed any of it, we have pretty much the entire modern Byzantine liturgy, as it existed ca. 1200 available in Syriac in manuscripts. I do hope that eventually the Patriarchate of Antioch will assemble texts from these manuscripts such that the liturgy for St Ephrem's Day can be celebrated occasionally in Syriac, to express the deep cultural roots shared by Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians in the Middle East. Some notes I've made about 'Byzantine' liturgy in Syriac, as well as a transcription of the Akathist hymn in Syriac, can be found here: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/search/label/Syriac

I do not agree with your proposal. Why would I want to serve a Liturgy in Syriac, or Arabic for a congregation that does not understand Syriac or Arabic? I use English because that is the language that my people understand. Antiochian Eastern Orthodox in America come from many different ethnic backgrounds. We are not all of Middle Eastern heritage. In my parish even the people whose grand parents came from Lebanon do not understand liturgical Arabic. They certainly would not understand Syriac. It would be best for both Syriac and Eastern Orthodox to retain the integrity of their own liturgical practices. I would not want the Syriac Orthodox to lose their liturgical patrimony any more than I want to give up my Byzantine liturgical heritage. It would be a major tragedy for either side to give up their ancient liturgical traditions. Remember part of the heritage of Antioch was that it was the first Church to welcome Gentiles into the Church. Antioch is not an ethnic heritage. It is an heritage of inclusiveness in which Orthodoxy rises above ethnicism.

Fr. John W. Morris
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 09:45:39 PM by frjohnmorris » Logged
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« Reply #100 on: December 22, 2013, 09:52:09 PM »

It's a misunderstanding to think that the Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches in Syria once had a liturgy identical to the non-Chalcedonian Syriacs. For one thing, the liturgy practiced by the latter underwent a huge amount of development after 451-- their prodigious number of anaphorae is the most famous example of this, but their liturgy also contains a great deal of hymnographical development and a substantial amount of Byzantine borrowings as well-- especially the genre of the canon, the Qonune Yawnoye, a great example of Byzantine-Syriac cultural exchange.

On the other hand, the "Byzantine" liturgy, also Antiochene in origin, underwent its own development, as much in the Palestinian monasteries  as in Constantinople (and even there, the canon's initial development, by St Romanos, a native of Homs, was certainly influenced by earlier Syriac hymnography). Additionally, while no one has edited or printed any of it, we have pretty much the entire modern Byzantine liturgy, as it existed ca. 1200 available in Syriac in manuscripts. I do hope that eventually the Patriarchate of Antioch will assemble texts from these manuscripts such that the liturgy for St Ephrem's Day can be celebrated occasionally in Syriac, to express the deep cultural roots shared by Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians in the Middle East. Some notes I've made about 'Byzantine' liturgy in Syriac, as well as a transcription of the Akathist hymn in Syriac, can be found here: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/search/label/Syriac

I personally wasn't expecting it to be the same since even modern Syriac Rites differ (to what degree, I'm unaware) from each other, but all of that was interesting.
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