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Question: Do you, as an Oriental or Eastern Orthodox Christian, believe the Roman Catholic priesthood and sacraments are grace filled?
Yes - 11 (45.8%)
No - 13 (54.2%)
Total Voters: 24

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BayStater123
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« on: September 29, 2012, 08:19:06 PM »

I haven't received a definitive answer from the Orthodox on this question. I spoke with an Orthodox Church in America priest who told me that in his particular branch of Orthodoxy, RC priests who convert to Orthodoxy are not re-ordained, instead they are vested. He went on to say that this practice existed in Russia several centuries ago. What is your opinion?
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2012, 09:56:56 PM »

There is not a universally agreed on definitive answer to this question. To be honest, I'm afraid of the practical implications of refusing intercommunion with another church you believe to have Christ in the sacraments.

This is not a statement of whether or not I believe other churches not in communion with my own have Christ present in their sacraments, but I am glad it's not my job to give definitive answers. FWIW, the church I've been attending the last few weeks (Antiochian) does officially (to the best of my knowledge) have an agreement  with one of the OO (Syraic Orthodox) jurisdictions to allow intercommunion (of laypersons) in certain situations.
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2012, 10:27:05 PM »

There is not a universally agreed on definitive answer to this question. To be honest, I'm afraid of the practical implications of refusing intercommunion with another church you believe to have Christ in the sacraments.

This is not a statement of whether or not I believe other churches not in communion with my own have Christ present in their sacraments, but I am glad it's not my job to give definitive answers. FWIW, the church I've been attending the last few weeks (Antiochian) does officially (to the best of my knowledge) have an agreement  with one of the OO (Syraic Orthodox) jurisdictions to allow intercommunion (of laypersons) in certain situations.

I think its ridiculous that your Antiochian church has an agreement with one of the OO jurisdictions, aka the Miaphysites. The RCC and EOC share core beliefs and a common hsitory and we even allow members of your church to commune in ours. There should definitely be an intercommunion agreement at least on the local level between the RCC and EOC.
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2012, 10:34:35 PM »

What is "ridiculous" is how often RCs are told by EO that the EO and the RC are not particularly close despite their shared Christology, yet RCs often make statements such as you have that "There should definitely be an intercommunion agreement". I'm not in communion with either of you, so I don't particularly care, but I would think that if you were serious about this, you'd look into why it is that the EO are not so keen on the idea, and maybe even try to fix the problems that the EO say must be dealt with before intercommunion can be considered.

And I don't want to make an argument out of this issue, but I do feel it necessary to say that if you have a problem with Miaphysite Christology, then you have a problem with St. Cyril of Alexandria, and should not then count him among your saints as you currently do.
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 10:40:23 PM »

What is "ridiculous" is how often RCs are told by EO that the EO and the RC are not particularly close despite their shared Christology, yet RCs often make statements such as you have that "There should definitely be an intercommunion agreement". I'm not in communion with either of you, so I don't particularly care, but I would think that if you were serious about this, you'd look into why it is that the EO are not so keen on the idea, and maybe even try to fix the problems that the EO say must be dealt with before intercommunion can be considered.

And I don't want to make an argument out of this issue, but I do feel it necessary to say that if you have a problem with Miaphysite Christology, then you have a problem with St. Cyril of Alexandria, and should not then count him among your saints as you currently do.

I know why the EasternOrthodox are not "so keen on the idea" of intercommunion. I believe that as a church we do need to re-examine some of the issues that Orthodoxy rejects, particularly the Filioque. However, all of our ecumenical councils are valid and must be accepted by the Orthodox before full communion is reached. But I do not see the harm in sharing the body and blood of Christ with our brothers and sisters from other, but true churches (valid episcopacy through apostolic succession and sacraments)
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2012, 10:59:22 PM »

You are coming at this issue from a Roman Catholic perspective which revolves around pronouncements of "validity" regarding other churches and their sacraments. This is not how the Orthodox (either EO or OO) view the matter, so you will make very little progress in understanding any answers you might find to your OP question, or why you do not find "definitive" answers to this question in the first place.

Again, as someone without a dog in this fight, I have to say how astonishing it is that a person without understanding of how the Orthodox think about these issues would make declarative statements like "there definitely should be an intercommunion agreement" or "all of our ecumenical councils are valid and must be accepted by the Orthodox before full communion is reached". It does not seem that do you understand why the Orthodox are not rushing to commune (with) the RCs, but nevertheless your comments are as good a form of supporting evidence for that reticence as anything.
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2012, 11:09:28 PM »

For the record, I'm not at all scandalized by BayStater123's claim that we need to accept all their extra "Ecumenical Councils" before full communion can be reached. He is simply following the teachings of his Church. I don't believe the Orthodox will accept those demands (and if they do I will probably have to conclude that the Orthodox Church was not the true Church from the beginning), but it's hardly surprising that he would make them.
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2012, 11:19:41 PM »

Oh, absolutely. And I much prefer this type of discussion to the "we're all the same" sort of thing that you hear from some Catholics. I just find it funny that he says he understands why the EO don't want to be in union with the RC, but apparently not why they won't have intercommunion agreements with the RC (or why they have them with the OO). If you understood one, it seems to me you'd understand the others.
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2012, 11:43:15 PM »

What is "ridiculous" is how often RCs are told by EO that the EO and the RC are not particularly close despite their shared Christology, yet RCs often make statements such as you have that "There should definitely be an intercommunion agreement". I'm not in communion with either of you, so I don't particularly care, but I would think that if you were serious about this, you'd look into why it is that the EO are not so keen on the idea, and maybe even try to fix the problems that the EO say must be dealt with before intercommunion can be considered.

And I don't want to make an argument out of this issue, but I do feel it necessary to say that if you have a problem with Miaphysite Christology, then you have a problem with St. Cyril of Alexandria, and should not then count him among your saints as you currently do.

I know why the EasternOrthodox are not "so keen on the idea" of intercommunion. I believe that as a church we do need to re-examine some of the issues that Orthodoxy rejects, particularly the Filioque. However, all of our ecumenical councils are valid and must be accepted by the Orthodox before full communion is reached. But I do not see the harm in sharing the body and blood of Christ with our brothers and sisters from other, but true churches (valid episcopacy through apostolic succession and sacraments)

Then you have a view of Holy Communion that is at odds with Christianity as a whole until about 1500, and with Roman Catholicism for arguably several centuries after that. Albeit, the RC has adopted some sort of ambiguity policy on almost all of its dogmas, sort of like Israel and its nukes.
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2012, 11:59:10 PM »

I think its ridiculous that your Antiochian church has an agreement with one of the OO jurisdictions, aka the Miaphysites.

I think I'll leave those decisions to their respective patriarchs/bishops. And there is no official agreement allowing the concelebration of clergy.

Quote
The RCC and EOC share core beliefs and a common hsitory

I agree about our core beliefs (of course with the exception of your dogmas about the Pope), and our common history is only for the first millenium.

Quote
and we even allow members of your church to commune in ours.

I know.

Quote
There should definitely be an intercommunion agreement at least on the local level between the RCC and EOC.

I will leave that up to our bishops and follow their guidance either way (as long as it doesn't require me to contradict the statement of faith I made at my chrismation).

Like I said before, I'm afraid of the implications of not being in communion with someone you believe to have Christ present in the sacraments. I'm glad I don't make those decisions. It's one thing to discuss how "close in belief" anyone is, but Communion is the Body of Christ, He is either there or He is not, not mostly or partly or imperfectly or in theory. If He is really there, then the dividing issues are not worth being divided over (should not be dogmatized - at the very least) because we are still fully united in Christ becasue He is fully in the sacraments and our division is a denial of the reality of that unity in Christ by virtue of Christ's presence in the sacraments. If He is not there, then intercommunion should not be allowed.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2012, 12:07:37 AM »

The concept of Grace as one of the Uncreated Energies of God comes in handy in this issue. We see in St. Paul that Grace itself can come in many "flavors" known as charismas (1 Cor. 7 & 12).

The question then if there is grace in RC or any other Church is answered by the NT: the Grace of God is not limited to His body. The case of the centurion is one that makes this point straight. Nor is His body wherever grace occurs - the Spirit blows wherever He wants, but the body itself of Christ is clearly spacially located, even after the resurrection.

So, one thing is the presence of Grace. Another thing is that special kind of Grace that is "being Body of Christ".

I do believe, nay, I am sure there is Grace in every serious church. Even among some of the faithful of the worst sects Grace may act. God is not good toward the Church only. He *is* good, He *is* merciful, in Himself, not toward some people only. He is not one who will turn His face from someone calling upon His name, just because this person is not in the Church. He will provide His love even to those who hate Him, the more so to those who love Him and just happen to circunstancially not be in His body.

Therefore, I do believe that some RC mystics may have had real divine experiences. Miracles do occur, specially those of healing. But the particular ecclesiastic grace that makes a person Body of Christ, and the bread and wine, flesh and blood of Christ, is completely absent from all the heterodox communities (including non-Chalcedonians). They are what we see in St. Luke:
"We saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us."
St. Luke 9:49

Also, the Christian attitude toward heterodox is given by Jesus replying to that:

And Jesus said unto him, Forbid {him} not: for he that is not against us is for us.
Lucas 9:50

Notice that Our Lord did not bring the "one" into the group of Apostles. This "one" was not in the day Pentecost. He is not part of the Church, but don't forbid him, because he is for us. We also see how Jesus treat the Samaritans and even Roman pagans, praising their faith and going to them - Jesus does go to the heterodox as well. But if they really wanted to follow Him, they had to join the Apostles. An Angel appeared to Cornelius in Act, but instructed him to call St. Peter, without whom, even with a direct contact with the angelic being, Cornelius could not become part of the Church. It was necessary to be baptized by one of the "clergy".

So, no, there is no ecclesiastical grace in the RC, but yes, they are visited by all other kinds of grace, more so than non-christian religions because they direct their prayers closer to reality.
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2012, 12:32:09 AM »

I haven't received a definitive answer from the Orthodox on this question. I spoke with an Orthodox Church in America priest who told me that in his particular branch of Orthodoxy, RC priests who convert to Orthodoxy are not re-ordained, instead they are vested. He went on to say that this practice existed in Russia several centuries ago. What is your opinion?

I agree with the OCA priest you spoke with.

Please note, the Orthodox Church in America is not a "branch of Orthodoxy," there are no "branches" of the Orthodox Church.  All Eastern Orthodox Christians are under particular bishops, and synods of bishops, but their faith is the same; there is One Holy Orthodox Church, "the Holy Churches of God."
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2012, 01:20:44 AM »

I haven't received a definitive answer from the Orthodox on this question. I spoke with an Orthodox Church in America priest who told me that in his particular branch of Orthodoxy, RC priests who convert to Orthodoxy are not re-ordained, instead they are vested. He went on to say that this practice existed in Russia several centuries ago. What is your opinion?

I agree with the OCA priest you spoke with.

Please note, the Orthodox Church in America is not a "branch of Orthodoxy," there are no "branches" of the Orthodox Church.  All Eastern Orthodox Christians are under particular bishops, and synods of bishops, but their faith is the same; there is One Holy Orthodox Church, "the Holy Churches of God."


So are you saying that RC priests are validly ordained? That the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the RCC is valid?
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2012, 01:30:52 AM »

I haven't received a definitive answer from the Orthodox on this question. I spoke with an Orthodox Church in America priest who told me that in his particular branch of Orthodoxy, RC priests who convert to Orthodoxy are not re-ordained, instead they are vested. He went on to say that this practice existed in Russia several centuries ago. What is your opinion?

I agree with the OCA priest you spoke with.

Please note, the Orthodox Church in America is not a "branch of Orthodoxy," there are no "branches" of the Orthodox Church.  All Eastern Orthodox Christians are under particular bishops, and synods of bishops, but their faith is the same; there is One Holy Orthodox Church, "the Holy Churches of God."


So are you saying that RC priests are validly ordained? That the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the RCC is valid?

The wheels on the bus go round and round...

Wait for the "oikonomia retroactively infuses grace into invalid sacraments " crowd to clash with the "not repeating sacraments constitutes a recognition of those sacraments" crowd again.
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2012, 01:38:14 AM »



Wait for the "oikonomia retroactively infuses grace into invalid sacraments " crowd to clash with the "not repeating sacraments constitutes a recognition of those sacraments" crowd again.
[/quote]

Apparently it does, because if I were an Orthodox Bishop and I believed that Roman Catholic sacraments are invalid, I would definitely re-administer the sacrament. But Roman Catholic sacraments aren't even sacraments, right?
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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2012, 01:39:51 AM »



Wait for the "oikonomia retroactively infuses grace into invalid sacraments " crowd to clash with the "not repeating sacraments constitutes a recognition of those sacraments" crowd again.


The only group that has valid sacraments are the Greeks, right? God allowed Western Europe and Assyria to be without sacraments for centuries, right?
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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2012, 01:40:17 AM »

I think you don't have.

God allowed Western Europe and Assyria to be without sacraments for centuries, right?

And China, Japan, Southern Africa, America, Australia...
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2012, 01:49:36 AM »

Quote
Apparently it does, because if I were an Orthodox Bishop and I believed that Roman Catholic sacraments are invalid, I would definitely re-administer the sacrament. But Roman Catholic sacraments aren't even sacraments, right?

If you were an Orthodox bishop, you'd probably be more concerned with making sure that people coming into your church can receive the sacraments in which there is no question of validity (that is to say, your own church's sacraments) than in deciding what to think about the sacraments of a church that they will no longer be a part of. As was explained to me shortly before my reception into the Coptic Orthodox Church, it is not necessarily because we have any particular belief about Catholic sacraments that you will be baptized when you come into the Orthodox Church, but rather because we have a very certain belief in our own sacraments. Or, as the Byzantines are famous for saying, "We know where the Church is, not where it is not".
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2012, 01:57:09 AM »

I haven't received a definitive answer from the Orthodox on this question. I spoke with an Orthodox Church in America priest who told me that in his particular branch of Orthodoxy, RC priests who convert to Orthodoxy are not re-ordained, instead they are vested. He went on to say that this practice existed in Russia several centuries ago. What is your opinion?

I agree with the OCA priest you spoke with.

Please note, the Orthodox Church in America is not a "branch of Orthodoxy," there are no "branches" of the Orthodox Church.  All Eastern Orthodox Christians are under particular bishops, and synods of bishops, but their faith is the same; there is One Holy Orthodox Church, "the Holy Churches of God."


So are you saying that RC priests are validly ordained? That the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the RCC is valid?

Yes, I believe that the Holy Spirit is present during Roman Catholic ordinations, that RC clergy possess the Grace of the Holy Spirit, although Roman Catholicism does not enjoy the fullness of the Faith.
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« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2012, 02:01:08 AM »

Quote
Apparently it does, because if I were an Orthodox Bishop and I believed that Roman Catholic sacraments are invalid, I would definitely re-administer the sacrament. But Roman Catholic sacraments aren't even sacraments, right?

If you were an Orthodox bishop, you'd probably be more concerned with making sure that people coming into your church can receive the sacraments in which there is no question of validity (that is to say, your own church's sacraments) than in deciding what to think about the sacraments of a church that they will no longer be a part of. As was explained to me shortly before my reception into the Coptic Orthodox Church, it is not necessarily because we have any particular belief about Catholic sacraments that you will be baptized when you come into the Orthodox Church, but rather because we have a very certain belief in our own sacraments. Or, as the Byzantines are famous for saying, "We know where the Church is, not where it is not".

If the Orthodox are unsure about the validity of Catholic sacraments, then why does the OCA not re-ordain Roman Catholic priest converts to Orthodoxy? Makes no sense to me. Instead, I feel like I belong to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church where there is consensus among the members, including the priests and bishops. It would be helpful if the Patriarchate of Constantinople had more authority over the autonomous Orthodox patriarchates. Orthodoxy will never make any ecumenical progress without one voice leading the way.
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« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2012, 02:11:20 AM »

If the Orthodox are unsure about the validity of Catholic sacraments, then why does the OCA not re-ordain Roman Catholic priest converts to Orthodoxy?

Because that is the decision that they have made. It is entirely up to the church into which you are received to apply the canons concerning the administration of the sacraments in a given situation. For instance, in the church into which I was received, converts coming from Roman Catholicism (like me) are received with the all the parts of the rite of baptism (baptism, charismatiion, profession of faith, etc.), whereas converts from Eastern Orthodoxy are not rebaptized. This is not lack of conviction or confusion, but in keeping with what our synod has declared is proper, as Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics are not the same.

Quote
Makes no sense to me. Instead, I feel like I belong to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church where there is consensus among the members, including the priests and bishops. It would be helpful if the Patriarchate of Constantinople had more authority over the autonomous Orthodox patriarchates. Orthodoxy will never make any ecumenical progress without one voice leading the way.

Why do you think that Orthodoxy needs or desires to make (more) ecumenical progress? Orthodoxy predates any modern ecumenical movement, or the schisms that have made these movements seem necessary to some.
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« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2012, 02:15:32 AM »

If the Orthodox are unsure about the validity of Catholic sacraments, then why does the OCA not re-ordain Roman Catholic priest converts to Orthodoxy?

Because that is the decision that they have made. It is entirely up to the church into which you are received to apply the canons concerning the administration of the sacraments in a given situation. For instance, in the church into which I was received, converts coming from Roman Catholicism (like me) are received with the all the parts of the rite of baptism (baptism, charismatiion, profession of faith, etc.), whereas converts from Eastern Orthodoxy are not rebaptized. This is not lack of conviction or confusion, but in keeping with what our synod has declared is proper, as Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics are not the same.

Quote
Makes no sense to me. Instead, I feel like I belong to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church where there is consensus among the members, including the priests and bishops. It would be helpful if the Patriarchate of Constantinople had more authority over the autonomous Orthodox patriarchates. Orthodoxy will never make any ecumenical progress without one voice leading the way.

Why do you think that Orthodoxy needs or desires to make (more) ecumenical progress? Orthodoxy predates any modern ecumenical movement, or the schisms that have made these movements seem necessary to some.


What are the schisms you mentioned? You must not be talking about the East-West Schism. Because that schism was mutual.
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« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2012, 02:21:34 AM »

Any of the major schisms that have continued to negatively affect the unity of world Christianity will do: The Nestorian schism, the Chalcedonian schism, the East-West schism, etc.
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« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2012, 04:27:42 AM »

The Roman Catholic sacraments(?), I'm pretty sure.
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« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2012, 06:30:22 AM »

Quote
Apparently it does, because if I were an Orthodox Bishop and I believed that Roman Catholic sacraments are invalid, I would definitely re-administer the sacrament. But Roman Catholic sacraments aren't even sacraments, right?

If you were an Orthodox bishop, you'd probably be more concerned with making sure that people coming into your church can receive the sacraments in which there is no question of validity (that is to say, your own church's sacraments) than in deciding what to think about the sacraments of a church that they will no longer be a part of. As was explained to me shortly before my reception into the Coptic Orthodox Church, it is not necessarily because we have any particular belief about Catholic sacraments that you will be baptized when you come into the Orthodox Church, but rather because we have a very certain belief in our own sacraments. Or, as the Byzantines are famous for saying, "We know where the Church is, not where it is not".

If the Orthodox are unsure about the validity of Catholic sacraments, then why does the OCA not re-ordain Roman Catholic priest converts to Orthodoxy? Makes no sense to me. Instead, I feel like I belong to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church where there is consensus among the members, including the priests and bishops. It would be helpful if the Patriarchate of Constantinople had more authority over the autonomous Orthodox patriarchates. Orthodoxy will never make any ecumenical progress without one voice leading the way.


The matter of Ecumenical Relations is a topic on the agenda of the forthcoming Holy and Great Synod (Council) of the Orthodox Church.

Eastern Orthodox Christianity has made much progress particularly during the first millennium of church history, under its existing practice of "church order" or "governance," some of which is called for by the canons of the church, especially in connection with the position, responsibility, and authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, some of which is due to adherence to the tradition of the Early Church, the Apostolic Church.  Church practice in connection with how converts are received from other Christian denominations has varied among and within each of the the Holy Orthodox Churches throughout church history.
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« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2012, 06:33:53 AM »

Quote
Apparently it does, because if I were an Orthodox Bishop and I believed that Roman Catholic sacraments are invalid, I would definitely re-administer the sacrament. But Roman Catholic sacraments aren't even sacraments, right?

If you were an Orthodox bishop, you'd probably be more concerned with making sure that people coming into your church can receive the sacraments in which there is no question of validity (that is to say, your own church's sacraments) than in deciding what to think about the sacraments of a church that they will no longer be a part of. As was explained to me shortly before my reception into the Coptic Orthodox Church, it is not necessarily because we have any particular belief about Catholic sacraments that you will be baptized when you come into the Orthodox Church, but rather because we have a very certain belief in our own sacraments. Or, as the Byzantines are famous for saying, "We know where the Church is, not where it is not".

If the Orthodox are unsure about the validity of Catholic sacraments, then why does the OCA not re-ordain Roman Catholic priest converts to Orthodoxy? Makes no sense to me. Instead, I feel like I belong to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church where there is consensus among the members, including the priests and bishops. It would be helpful if the Patriarchate of Constantinople had more authority over the autonomous Orthodox patriarchates. Orthodoxy will never make any ecumenical progress without one voice leading the way.

Ultramontanism was heresy when Rome did it, what makes it different from when Constantinople tries it?

There is not a universally agreed on definitive answer to this question. To be honest, I'm afraid of the practical implications of refusing intercommunion with another church you believe to have Christ in the sacraments.

This is not a statement of whether or not I believe other churches not in communion with my own have Christ present in their sacraments, but I am glad it's not my job to give definitive answers. FWIW, the church I've been attending the last few weeks (Antiochian) does officially (to the best of my knowledge) have an agreement  with one of the OO (Syraic Orthodox) jurisdictions to allow intercommunion (of laypersons) in certain situations.

I think its ridiculous that your Antiochian church has an agreement with one of the OO jurisdictions, aka the Miaphysites. The RCC and EOC share core beliefs and a common hsitory and we even allow members of your church to commune in ours. There should definitely be an intercommunion agreement at least on the local level between the RCC and EOC.

The OO and the EO don't share core beliefs? They probably share all beliefs, something which they don't do with the RCC.
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« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2012, 06:36:08 AM »

There is not a universally agreed on definitive answer to this question. To be honest, I'm afraid of the practical implications of refusing intercommunion with another church you believe to have Christ in the sacraments.

This is not a statement of whether or not I believe other churches not in communion with my own have Christ present in their sacraments, but I am glad it's not my job to give definitive answers. FWIW, the church I've been attending the last few weeks (Antiochian) does officially (to the best of my knowledge) have an agreement  with one of the OO (Syraic Orthodox) jurisdictions to allow intercommunion (of laypersons) in certain situations.

I think its ridiculous that your Antiochian church has an agreement with one of the OO jurisdictions, aka the Miaphysites. The RCC and EOC share core beliefs and a common hsitory and we even allow members of your church to commune in ours. There should definitely be an intercommunion agreement at least on the local level between the RCC and EOC.
I remember reading somewhere (can't remember where) if an Orthodox takes communion in a Roman Catholic Church without his Bishops approval, that person is then himself out of communion with the Orthodox Church.  I could be wrong.
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« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2012, 06:59:32 AM »

Yes, I believe that the Holy Spirit is present during Roman Catholic ordinations, that RC clergy possess the Grace of the Holy Spirit, although Roman Catholicism does not enjoy the fullness of the Faith.

That's what I think. When I was RC, I felt "some grace" when I was taking the Communion, but it was not full because only Orthodox Church (in my opinion EO and OO are the same Orthodox Church) is fully the Body of Christ. In some way (but not perfectly because of heresies) Catholic Church gathers in Christ's Name and follow Him, so there should be some grace of Holy Spirit (that's what Christ says, "when there are 2 or 3 gathered in My Name, there I am present"), that allows e.g. for ordination of priests.

I remember reading somewhere (can't remember where) if an Orthodox takes communion in a Roman Catholic Church without his Bishops approval, that person is then himself out of communion with the Orthodox Church.  I could be wrong.

You are right. That's what every Orthodox priest says. If an Orthodox christian takes Communion in a Catholic Church, he automatically becomes a Catholic, because he rejects the fact that Orthodox Church is the Body of Christ - it's a kind of betrayal.


BayStater123 as other Catholics can't understand the Orthodox vision of the Christ's Church, but as some of you said, it's not his blame, because some Catholic priests confuse their's believers saying something contradictory: Catholic Church is the true one, but Orthodox are "just little desconnected brothers", so in some situations they can take Communion in our Church and vice versa". They focus only on the validity issue, but that's not the main thing when we talk about Church and its Holy Mysteries
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« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2012, 09:30:19 AM »

Consensus and agreement do not define truth. Many times in history, both were against the truth and not only in religion.

Post-modern consensus varies from "I can't know anything" to "everything is valid from a certain perspective" for mostly everything in life, and that applies for many of our contemporary Orthodox who can't bring themselves up to the fact that the Church does not believe, think or act under these standards.

There is One church. Either we are it or not. And every affirmation implies infinite exclusions. I have a keyboard in front of me now. It is a keyboard, not a cat, not butter, not a supernova. Infinite exclusions is intrisic to any affirmation. That is why so many people feel uncomfortable with straight affirmations nowadays, but avoiding exclusions is also avoiding any form of knowledge. If you don't know that the thing over which you type is a keyboard (even if electronic in a Ipad), but you are not sure if you cat is not a keyboard either, then you don't know what a keyboard is at all, not even a cat.

The sacraments exist as elements of the Church. Only in the Church. If we are the Church - as it can be proven that we are - then only in the Orthodox Church there are sacraments.

Heterodox may be saved in the future, on Last Judgment day. They surely have non-ecclesiastical grace, miracles and surely God loves them. But they are not in the Church. They have never been.
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« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2012, 12:56:36 PM »

Consensus and agreement do not define truth. Many times in history, both were against the truth and not only in religion.

Post-modern consensus varies from "I can't know anything" to "everything is valid from a certain perspective" for mostly everything in life, and that applies for many of our contemporary Orthodox who can't bring themselves up to the fact that the Church does not believe, think or act under these standards.

There is One church. Either we are it or not. And every affirmation implies infinite exclusions. I have a keyboard in front of me now. It is a keyboard, not a cat, not butter, not a supernova. Infinite exclusions is intrisic to any affirmation. That is why so many people feel uncomfortable with straight affirmations nowadays, but avoiding exclusions is also avoiding any form of knowledge. If you don't know that the thing over which you type is a keyboard (even if electronic in a Ipad), but you are not sure if you cat is not a keyboard either, then you don't know what a keyboard is at all, not even a cat.

The sacraments exist as elements of the Church. Only in the Church. If we are the Church - as it can be proven that we are - then only in the Orthodox Church there are sacraments.


Heterodox may be saved in the future, on Last Judgment day. They surely have non-ecclesiastical grace, miracles and surely God loves them. But they are not in the Church. They have never been.


Where is the proof that the Orthodox Church is the only church established by Jesus? I think that truth exists in both the RCC and Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2012, 01:12:20 PM »

What about RC's perennial favorite, Matthew 16:18? "And upon this rock I will build My Church" -- it's singular, not plural. Jesus Christ established one church, and one church only.
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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2012, 01:23:30 PM »

What about RC's perennial favorite, Matthew 16:18? "And upon this rock I will build My Church" -- it's singular, not plural. Jesus Christ established one church, and one church only.

There is one church founded by Christ and that is the Roman Catholic Church, who has remained undivided since AD 33 and is the largest Christian denomination in the world. However, truth resides in both the RCC and EO churches, namely the belief in the 7 sacraments established by Christ and the apostolic succession of the episcopacy.
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« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2012, 01:35:50 PM »

What about RC's perennial favorite, Matthew 16:18? "And upon this rock I will build My Church" -- it's singular, not plural. Jesus Christ established one church, and one church only.

There is one church founded by Christ and that is the Roman Catholic Church

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« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2012, 01:37:44 PM »

There is one church founded by Christ and that is the Roman Catholic Church, who has remained undivided since AD 33 and is the largest Christian denomination in the world. However, truth resides in both the RCC and EO churches, namely the belief in the 7 sacraments established by Christ and the apostolic succession of the episcopacy.

So what about Eastern Catholic Churches? Wink

And I can ask you reverse question: Where is the proof that the Roman Catholic Church is the only Church established by Jesus?

The number of believers doesn't matter: in one moment of the history the biggest Church was Nestorian one Wink
I always notice that the names of our Churches are in some way significant: Catholic Church is bigger (more common), but it hasn't the right faith - contrary to Orthodox Church that is smaller (but of course Catholic in the way as it's called in the Symbol of the Faith), but it has preserved the right and unchanged Christian faith.

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« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2012, 01:38:37 PM »

Well then, I guess that settles that. Schism over. Cheesy

(Why did you start this thread? Just to read your own words and educate all of us plebeians in the truth according to Rome?)
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« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2012, 01:48:36 PM »

There is one church founded by Christ and that is the Roman Catholic Church, who has remained undivided since AD 33 and is the largest Christian denomination in the world. However, truth resides in both the RCC and EO churches, namely the belief in the 7 sacraments established by Christ and the apostolic succession of the episcopacy.

So what about Eastern Catholic Churches? Wink

And I can ask you reverse question: Where is the proof that the Roman Catholic Church is the only Church established by Jesus?

The number of believers doesn't matter: in one moment of the history the biggest Church was Nestorian one Wink
I always notice that the names of our Churches are in some way significant: Catholic Church is bigger (more common), but it hasn't the right faith - contrary to Orthodox Church that is smaller (but of course Catholic in the way as it's called in the Symbol of the Faith), but it has preserved the right and unchanged Christian faith.




Most, if not all, of the Eastern Catholic Churches are on the verge of schism from Rome. Some are openly denying our ecumenical councils and infallible dogma proclaimed by the councils and Popes. I don't understand why the Holy Father has not openly disciplined them.
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« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2012, 02:06:42 PM »

Most, if not all, of the Eastern Catholic Churches are on the verge of schism from Rome. Some are openly denying our ecumenical councils and infallible dogma proclaimed by the councils and Popes. I don't understand why the Holy Father has not openly disciplined them.

That's the best proof that Roman Catholic does not understand at all Eastern Christian spirituality and consider themselves the best Christians and their Eastern brothers as worse Catholics. That's tragic that e.g. traditional Catholics on the one hand appreciate Eastern Catholic Liturgy, but on the other hand they ignore maintained by Eastern Christianity fasts and want to introduce strange for Eastern Christianity practices such as kneeling in various parts of Liturgy (even during Holy Communion). Roman Catholics seem to not understand the deep connection between Eastern Liturgy and Church's teaching.

I think nowadays Roman pope has bigger problems with Roman Catholic Church: the lost of sacrum because of Novus Ordo and some other scandals.

I'm sorry if I've written too severely.
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« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2012, 02:15:29 PM »

Yes, Roman Catholicism and Roman Catholics is and are grace-filled. It just isn't sacramental grace.
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« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2012, 02:17:58 PM »

Most, if not all, of the Eastern Catholic Churches are on the verge of schism from Rome. Some are openly denying our ecumenical councils and infallible dogma proclaimed by the councils and Popes. I don't understand why the Holy Father has not openly disciplined them.

That's the best proof that Roman Catholic does not understand at all Eastern Christian spirituality and consider themselves the best Christians and their Eastern brothers as worse Catholics. That's tragic that e.g. traditional Catholics on the one hand appreciate Eastern Catholic Liturgy, but on the other hand they ignore maintained by Eastern Christianity fasts and want to introduce strange for Eastern Christianity practices such as kneeling in various parts of Liturgy (even during Holy Communion). Roman Catholics seem to not understand the deep connection between Eastern Liturgy and Church's teaching.

I think nowadays Roman pope has bigger problems with Roman Catholic Church: the lost of sacrum because of Novus Ordo and some other scandals.

I'm sorry if I've written too severely.

Don't be sorry, you're only expressing your opinion. I believe that there are problems with the Novus Ordo Missæ, but they are being corrected slowly as the years pass. For example, the words of consecration have been corrected as of 2011. Prior to 2011, when the priest raised the cup, he would say "Take this all of you and drink from it. This is the blood of the new and everlasting covenant shed for you and all menso that your sins may be forgiven...". Jesus never said "for you and all men", he said "for you and many".
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« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2012, 02:39:27 PM »

I remember reading somewhere (can't remember where) if an Orthodox takes communion in a Roman Catholic Church without his Bishops approval, that person is then himself out of communion with the Orthodox Church.  I could be wrong.

Seeing how the Eucharist is a visible sign of unity, I would expect uniting oneself to another church without approval from both churches to break unity with the one.
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« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2012, 02:50:38 PM »

I remember reading somewhere (can't remember where) if an Orthodox takes communion in a Roman Catholic Church without his Bishops approval, that person is then himself out of communion with the Orthodox Church.  I could be wrong.

Seeing how the Eucharist is a visible sign of unity, I would expect uniting oneself to another church without approval from both churches to break unity with the one.

I agree. If there is no formal intercommunion agreement, than a person should not receive the Eucharist in another church without the approval of his Bishop. I think that the Orthodox are too strict about this rule, though. I remember hearing that Orthodox priests under no circumstances, even if a person is in danger of death, will administer viaticum (last sacraments) to a Catholic. I feel that this is inconsiderate.
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« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2012, 03:05:45 PM »

It does not matter what you feel, though. It matters what is decided with regard to the individual situation. Before the Copts of this area had their own priest assigned to them, some who lived here received from the Greek Orthodox. Once they had their own Coptic priest and could start having their own liturgies, the intercommunion ceased. Is that "inconsiderate"? No, it is considerate of the standards governing communion in both churches. So it is with all churches that maintain closed communion/restricted reception of the sacraments (including the Catholics, I might add). Nobody is owed sacraments in another church just because their feelings are hurt if they are not given them. The priests are the servants of the sacraments, and have a responsibility to handle them properly. Therefore, if an Orthodox priest decides for pastoral regions to commune a Catholic (as happens sometimes in the Middle East, I'm told), then it is acceptable in that particular case without establishing a wider precedent. Same too with 'last rites' or whatever (though I haven't heard of that happening here).

We do not establish communion, even temporarily, based on our emotions. If we did, I'd be in communion with many more churches than I am now. But we must respect the nature of communion as it is understood in the church in which we find ourselves as visitors. I do not ask to receive in the local OCA church in my hometown, even as other OO (Ethiopians and Eritreans) receive there. Why? The agreement by which they are allowed to receive by both their own bishops and the OCA bishops is not extended to me, and I respect the reality of our relationship (i.e., that the OO and EO are not in communion right now).
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« Reply #42 on: September 30, 2012, 03:23:40 PM »

Consensus and agreement do not define truth. Many times in history, both were against the truth and not only in religion.

Post-modern consensus varies from "I can't know anything" to "everything is valid from a certain perspective" for mostly everything in life, and that applies for many of our contemporary Orthodox who can't bring themselves up to the fact that the Church does not believe, think or act under these standards.

There is One church. Either we are it or not. And every affirmation implies infinite exclusions. I have a keyboard in front of me now. It is a keyboard, not a cat, not butter, not a supernova. Infinite exclusions is intrisic to any affirmation. That is why so many people feel uncomfortable with straight affirmations nowadays, but avoiding exclusions is also avoiding any form of knowledge. If you don't know that the thing over which you type is a keyboard (even if electronic in a Ipad), but you are not sure if you cat is not a keyboard either, then you don't know what a keyboard is at all, not even a cat.

The sacraments exist as elements of the Church. Only in the Church. If we are the Church - as it can be proven that we are - then only in the Orthodox Church there are sacraments.


Heterodox may be saved in the future, on Last Judgment day. They surely have non-ecclesiastical grace, miracles and surely God loves them. But they are not in the Church. They have never been.


Where is the proof that the Orthodox Church is the only church established by Jesus? I think that truth exists in both the RCC and Orthodox Church.

When we talk of verifiable proof, we must put theology aside. Both theologies are internally coherent and both claim revelation and correct interpretation. Correct interpretation implies that the sources are not self-explanatory as anyone can notice both from Bible and from other traditional means such as icons, fathers' works, liturgical symbology etc etc.  In fact, once one gives up an arbitrary exterior interpretation to these things, one falls into the multi-denominationalism that, if correct, would only proove that Christianity is but a fairy-tale with no link to reality.

To have verifiable proof we must establish what are we trying to prove and what kind of proof it would be.

The first issue: what are we trying to prove? I think that for this subject, we must take as a given the historicity of Jesus Christ, the trustability of the New Testament as a document, that Christ actually did resurrect in flesh and, most importantly for this subject, that He did create a community that is somehow also His body. As you can see, one cannot discuss Church without first discussing Christ. A thorough analysis would have to start with Him, but that is not the aim here, so we can skip that. If all that is true, so, what we are looking for is first and foremost a community, a social group, that shares not all, but defining traits with that community that Christ created. Some changes are expected, since His first followers numbered among hundreds, maybe thousands (St. Paul mentions over 500 eye-witnesses of the resurrection; one can only estimate how many followers there were), and we know that today the four top claimants to being that community are hundreds of millions each (Orthodox, Romans, Non-Chalcedoneans and Protestants), so traits that characterize small communities and large communities cannot justify any claim for rupture. Finally, over 2000 years of history, this community has certainly gone under some changes, so we must also establish what kinds of change are just "variations on the same theme", and which ones are actual ruptures, where a certain group acquire distinctive traits different from the original community and break away from it.

As for the second issue, what kind of proof we are looking for. Certainly not mystical or theological, for that would be using the conclusion as an assumption, besides the already mentioned issue that the acceptance of these things depend on the acceptance of which community if any or if all, constitutes the continuation without rupture of the original community. We must then resort to historical and sociological tools of analysis, avoiding reading the past from the present, but allowing the past to "judge" the present. The question is not so much how we can interpret what the Apostles did and said, but how would they interpret what we are doing and saying. Would they say "Yeps, you follow Him with us" or "No, you exorcize demons in His name but you do not follow Him with us"? One small example is the repetitive issue of who the rock of Matthew 16:18 is. Each Church says it means one thing, there are fathers who say it is the correct faith Peter had expressed, others that it was Peter himself and others that it was Jesus Himself. On what criteria a non-partisan would choose? Simply what he/she *feels* sounds more right? Would he make a research to discover that the majority of the fathers said it was the faith expressed by Peter, a minority that it was Christ and the middle group that it was Peter? Is a majority vote a good criteria for this kind of question? I think neither is a good criteria. But, if you ask the Apostles, specially the one that was addressed in the event, St. Peter himself, you see that *he* explains in his epistle that the Rock is Jesus Christ. To me, that is case closed, above even the "majority" vote of the Fathers. The person involved in the case, making reference to the words used in that event, explains that Jesus is the rock. Who else would have more authority? To just improve this line of interpretation, if we go to the OT and allow it to explain the question, we see that 'rock' is an image always used to refer to God, which just confirms Peter's own explanation.

I asked all the questions I made above and used the technique of "let them explain us" instead of "I will try to explain them" to examine them all. As one can imagine, if I were to put that in words, it would be a book, but that is not the purpose of this forum.

So, I think it can be proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the commonwealth currently known as the Orthodox Church is, without rupture or change in its defining traits, the very same community that was created by Jesus 2000 years ago in Jerusalem, while Romans, Non-Chalcedoneans and Protestants all have at some point been born of ruptures with one or more of these traits and constitute other respectable, admirable in many ways, but different communities.
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« Reply #43 on: September 30, 2012, 07:43:07 PM »

Quote
Apparently it does, because if I were an Orthodox Bishop and I believed that Roman Catholic sacraments are invalid, I would definitely re-administer the sacrament. But Roman Catholic sacraments aren't even sacraments, right?

If you were an Orthodox bishop, you'd probably be more concerned with making sure that people coming into your church can receive the sacraments in which there is no question of validity (that is to say, your own church's sacraments) than in deciding what to think about the sacraments of a church that they will no longer be a part of. As was explained to me shortly before my reception into the Coptic Orthodox Church, it is not necessarily because we have any particular belief about Catholic sacraments that you will be baptized when you come into the Orthodox Church, but rather because we have a very certain belief in our own sacraments. Or, as the Byzantines are famous for saying, "We know where the Church is, not where it is not".

If the Orthodox are unsure about the validity of Catholic sacraments, then why does the OCA not re-ordain Roman Catholic priest converts to Orthodoxy? Makes no sense to me. Instead, I feel like I belong to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church where there is consensus among the members, including the priests and bishops. It would be helpful if the Patriarchate of Constantinople had more authority over the autonomous Orthodox patriarchates. Orthodoxy will never make any ecumenical progress without one voice leading the way.

Vesting is not a standard practice. It is a minority practice.
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« Reply #44 on: September 30, 2012, 07:49:13 PM »

Quote
Apparently it does, because if I were an Orthodox Bishop and I believed that Roman Catholic sacraments are invalid, I would definitely re-administer the sacrament. But Roman Catholic sacraments aren't even sacraments, right?

If you were an Orthodox bishop, you'd probably be more concerned with making sure that people coming into your church can receive the sacraments in which there is no question of validity (that is to say, your own church's sacraments) than in deciding what to think about the sacraments of a church that they will no longer be a part of. As was explained to me shortly before my reception into the Coptic Orthodox Church, it is not necessarily because we have any particular belief about Catholic sacraments that you will be baptized when you come into the Orthodox Church, but rather because we have a very certain belief in our own sacraments. Or, as the Byzantines are famous for saying, "We know where the Church is, not where it is not".

If the Orthodox are unsure about the validity of Catholic sacraments, then why does the OCA not re-ordain Roman Catholic priest converts to Orthodoxy? Makes no sense to me. Instead, I feel like I belong to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church where there is consensus among the members, including the priests and bishops. It would be helpful if the Patriarchate of Constantinople had more authority over the autonomous Orthodox patriarchates. Orthodoxy will never make any ecumenical progress without one voice leading the way.

Vesting is not a standard practice. It is a minority practice.

Is vesting still the practice in Russia today?
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