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DennyB
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« on: December 16, 2004, 09:25:44 AM »

Does the Episcopal Church have valid apostolic succession?
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2004, 11:16:01 AM »

That question might be a bit of a red herring.  I think the purpose of apostolic succession is to protect and sustain the apostolic faith and you can't assure that's been done even if the "form" of apostolic succession has been properly maintained.  Even the gnostics claimed apostolic witness for their teachings.
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2004, 07:42:53 PM »

That question might be a bit of a red herring. I think the purpose of apostolic succession is to protect and sustain the apostolic faith and you can't assure that's been done even if the "form" of apostolic succession has been properly maintained. Even the gnostics claimed apostolic witness for their teachings.

I attend The Reformed Episcopal Church and they maintain that they adhear to the canons of the first ecuminical councils of the catholic church, and your equating their teaching to that of the Gnostics???,I see not even a hint of Gnostic teaching within there confessions,if you know of some please point them out!!
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2004, 02:09:38 PM »

As I see it the English church went with the Roman church when it fell into heresy which is a shame considering how thoroughly Orthodox England, Ireland, and Scotland were before the onslaught of the new theology expounded by Charlemagnes court. Here's a good website on Orthodox England http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/ . The Anglican church is a Protestant church according to the 39 Articles and therefore it has not preserved the Apostolic faith. It has also maintained the filioque in the Creed. However there have been a number of parishes that have entered into the Orthodox as part of the Western Rite which there is a lot of info on here:  http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/ and www.westernorthodox.com . I think Rilian's point was that there are many bodies that can call themselves apostolic by succession through an ordination rite but that doesn't mean they've remained faithful to the Apostolic faith. So if you consider apostolic succession just a line of succession from one bishop to another then Gnostics could by definition claim apostolic succession.
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2004, 06:46:54 PM »

Extract from the Canonical Letters of Saint Basil the Great


........For the beginning of the seperation came about by schism, and those who revolted from the Church no longer possessed the grace of the Holy Spirit. For the imparting thereof ceased with the interruption of the continuity. True, the first ones to depart had had their ordinations from the Fathers, by the imposition of whom they possessed the spiritual gift. But in breaking away, they became laymen, and thus they had no authority to baptize or to ordain, since they no longer had the power to grant others the grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves had fallen.............

The notion that providing you may demonstrate an unbroken link of 'laying on' of hands and the right 'form' being used appears to be a western innovation. Apostolic succession may only take place within the Church. Otherwise we appear to substituting 'magic' for faith.
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2004, 06:57:19 PM »

Extract from the Canonical Letters of Saint Basil the Great


........For the beginning of the seperation came about by schism, and those who revolted from the Church no longer possessed the grace of the Holy Spirit. For the imparting thereof ceased with the interruption of the continuity. True, the first ones to depart had had their ordinations from the Fathers, by the imposition of whom they possessed the spiritual gift. But in breaking away, they became laymen, and thus they had no authority to baptize or to ordain, since they no longer had the power to grant others the grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves had fallen.............

The notion that providing you may demonstrate an unbroken link of 'laying on' of hands and the right 'form' being used appears to be a western innovation. Apostolic succession may only take place within the Church. Otherwise we appear to substituting 'magic' for faith.

So does then the Roman Rite have legitimate Apostolic Succession Per Your Quote above,I would say they don't by that reading!
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2004, 07:19:39 PM »

Forgive me, rite is a particular form, yes? My reading of this and the Canons and writings of the Fathers is that if you are outside the (Orthodox) Church then there is no Apostolic succession, no baptism, no Eucharist and no ordination................
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2004, 11:37:53 PM »

That's exactly what I was getting at, thank you for the quote from St.Basil which makes the point crystal clear. But I think I should add that it's not a matter of what Rite you practice so much as the beliefs underlying that particular Rite. The Western Rite Orthodox use western Rites that have been looked at and if they have been changed negatively since the Great Schism they are corrected, for instance the insertion of an Epiclesis or the use of leavened bread in the Eucharist, which were removed in the West during the Middle Ages, or no longer commemorating the Theotokos as immaculately conceived, which the Orthodox have never accepted. Some Western Rite Orthodox even use the old Latin Mass!
The sites I listed give a lot of help on this issue. As you are part of an Anglican denomination I know that these sites can answer quite a few questions on the issue of Anglicanism & Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism & Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2004, 09:38:29 AM »

That's exactly what I was getting at, thank you for the quote from St.Basil which makes the point crystal clear. But I think I should add that it's not a matter of what Rite you practice so much as the beliefs underlying that particular Rite. The Western Rite Orthodox use western Rites that have been looked at and if they have been changed negatively since the Great Schism they are corrected, for instance the insertion of an Epiclesis or the use of leavened bread in the Eucharist, which were removed in the West during the Middle Ages, or no longer commemorating the Theotokos as immaculately conceived, which the Orthodox have never accepted. Some Western Rite Orthodox even use the old Latin Mass!
The sites I listed give a lot of help on this issue. As you are part of an Anglican denomination I know that these sites can answer quite a few questions on the issue of Anglicanism & Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism & Orthodoxy.

What's strange is when I attended the Presbyterian Church,we use leavened bread in our celebration of the Eucharist.
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2004, 11:58:46 AM »

The protestant reformers as well as revolting against papal arbitariness and abuse also appear to have tried to return to earlier practice in some case. So the use by some of leavened bread comes as no surprise. Sadly because of the isolation of the reformers from the Orthodox some of this 'search' appears sadly to have taken the form of 're-inventing the wheel'.

The term 'rite' in the original question I responded threw me a little, as I struggle somewhat with the concept and consequently the term. Got there in the end though......

One thing that has puzzled me for many years is the tendency of Anglicans to seek the affirmation of non-Anglicans of the status of their priesthood, etc., etc. If they are convinced of their own house why seek the view of others? Most strange and puzzling.
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2004, 11:40:54 PM »

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Some Western Rite Orthodox even use the old Latin Mass!

So, is there something wrong with that?    Huh

In Christ,
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2004, 01:25:19 PM »

What I recollect of the old Latin mass is something that was quite beautiful and very different from the strange offering being celebrated when I visited a Latin church a little while ago to view, at a friend's insistence, it's copy of the ceiling painting of the Sistine Chapel.

Both left me cold, I reget to say.
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2004, 03:14:09 PM »

That's exactly what I was getting at, thank you for the quote from St.Basil which makes the point crystal clear. But I think I should add that it's not a matter of what Rite you practice so much as the beliefs underlying that particular Rite. The Western Rite Orthodox use western Rites that have been looked at and if they have been changed negatively since the Great Schism they are corrected, for instance the insertion of an Epiclesis ... Some Western Rite Orthodox even use the old Latin Mass!

The Gregorian canon is older than the two Byzantine Rite anaphor+ª and hasn't got an explicit epiklesis, which proves its antiquity.

Some do but most of the few Western Rite Orthodox are former Anglicans who use modified (to make them un-Protestant) Book of Common Prayer services, which of course weren't around before the schism.
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2004, 11:19:40 AM »

Of course the Anglicans have valid succession.

Well, I am an Anglican-- what am I supposed to say?
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2004, 01:36:14 PM »

Of course the Anglicans have valid succession.

Well, I am an Anglican-- what am I supposed to say?


"But, of course you would, darling!"

It seems that DennyB's initial question on an Orthodox forum is actually just a poll of opinion of sorts. Outside the Church I am not aware of any official answer to his question that has been made.

Demetri
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2004, 02:01:10 PM »

First DennyB when I grew up my father had fallen away from the Roman church after coming home from Vietnam to see the terrible innovations of Vatican II and my mom was a luke-warm Methodist. When they were married they decided not to baptize us and let us decide when we were adolescents, confirmation time. I was the only one to opt out of church and look into other religions when I got to that age, but that's another story. My father and I would occasionally go to mass but most sundays my mom took me to a Methodist sunday school. However we would not attend the Methodist church service more than twice a year. I cannot ever recall receiving the bread and grape juice that Methodists have but from what I know they use large loaves of pita bread. Last year at Christmas time I had not yet converted to Orthodoxy and went to a large Methodist churches Christmas Eve vigil with a friend whose Methodist. The minister, aside from saying that God was so daring to leave Heaven and become a child, some very un-orthodox theology, took a large loaf of pita bread and holding it up in the air made a big show of ripping it in two. That is the most ritualistic I've ever seen a Methodist church get. I agree that this is most likely just their way of convincing themselves that they're doing what the early Church did.

Aaron I don't think an Orthodox church using the Latin Mass is a bad thing. In fact I'd like to go to a western rite church and see it myself! Don't get me wrong, the Eastern Rite is already so much a part of me that I would have a hard time going to a Western Rite church every sunday. However I do remember the days when my dad and I would attend mass at a very old fashioned big gothic church in Iowa City and I have fond memories of it. I have also seen pictures of Latin masses being performed. I don't particularly like all the sensual crucifixes, gold, statues, etc. but I think there is something that still remains from before the falling away of Rome. BTW I often wonder if the use of Latin in church is actually helpful for people in that they have to pay attention and read the missal to know what's going on. Also somehow when I say a prayer in latin it almost sounds more 'churchy' so to speak. I don't know that's just the feeling I get. I think Church Slavonic has the same affect for Slavs?

As for the lack of an explicit epiclesis and antiquity as well as the Orthodox Church now requiring it I cannot really say. I don't know much liturgical history. I understand the importance of the epiclesis in Eastern liturgies which makes it seem almost essential as it makes clear that the God descends in the Holy Spirit and makes the bread and wine & water the very body and blood that was immaculately born, suffered, crucified, and resurrected. And more than this the Holy Spirit makes us all one in the Lord's body so that we commune with each other as one. So I really have a hard time understanding the lack of an explicit epiclesis in the older western liturgies. But the Sarum Rite has an epiclesis I believe this is it
Quote
We most humbly beseech Thee, almighty God... (here he prays for whoever is most in need) ... Command these things to be carried by the hands of Thy Holy Angel to Thine altar on high, in the sight of Thy Divine Majesty: that as many of us as shall receive the most sacred Body and Blood of Thy Son by partaking at this Altar,
may be filled with every heavenly grace and blessing, through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen. 27

The Priest who made me a catechumen was one of the priests who helped out with the Western Rite for a few years since he had originally studied for the priesthood as a Catholic in pre-Vatican II times and speaks fluent latin. The church he served at decided to use latin and the Gregorian canon. I asked him why none of the Western Rite people went further back to the days before the schism when there were no pews and the sanctuary and altar were set farther back from the nave? and why not use rood screens more often? His reply was that at times they've had whole parishes come into the Orthodox church and that they want to hang on to what they were losing as Anglicans or in some cases what they were losing as Roman Catholics. Basically they wanted to be what Anglican's and Roman Catholics were like a hundred years ago while adhering to Orthodoxy instead of being what the west was one thousand years ago. But he made the interesting comment that after a while many of them want to go see an Eastern liturgy and after a while a lot of them leave the Western Rite for the Eastern Rite. At the Eastern Rite mission I attend we had a Western Rite Orthodox who had moved and he was very punctual about church being right on time for the beginning of vespers and attending matins on time every sunday. He has since moved and I don't know what happened to him. I think he came away liking the Eastern Rite more but I can't be sure. I think he particularly liked the way that the Eastern Rite celebrates Pascha. Afterall, as I've heard said, "Nobody celebrates Easter the way we do!" What's also interesting about his case is that some who were against adopting the Western Rite said that if these people move from the areas where there are Western Rite parishes they wouldn't be able to adjust to the Eastern Rite and would fall away from Orthodoxy for the convenience of a local Anglican church that they'd be used to. Well I only have to think of him and I know that's false. If you've really converted to Orthodoxy the Rite, as long as it conforms to Orthodox doctrine, should not be a problem.

I wasn't originally going to post this link because I didn't want to get in hot water with the Old Calendar thing but I think these monasteries have gone back to the Occident before the split. www.tased.edu.au/tasonline/orthodox/ www.odox.net Look at the Liturgical history of the West under the Liturgy sectionat odox.net. Very interesting! Also look at the essay on the Western Rite monastery that was once on Mt. Athos!
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« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2004, 02:07:55 PM »

Sarum was a use (recension) of the Roman Rite, not a rite - it used the Gregorian canon.
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2004, 01:19:21 PM »

What I have difficulty in understanding is that the life of the Church includes a cycle of services, and not just a Divine Liturgy, Mass or Eurcharist. Wanting to move away from the often subjective posting, may I ask how do you resurrect a whole cycle of divine services, daily, baptism, chrismation, confession, marriage, ordination, church consecrations, and funerals to name but a few?

A use or 'rite' is very complex and difficult enough to take on when you have a living tradition before you. That pieces of a particular use or 'rite' from the west may exist of the older ones, from whence comes an organic, that is living, whole come from? And I speak as one who has been in monasteries when a Serbian priest, for example, has come to learn because he only celebrates a very few different services in his busy pastoral role. Where are the living models, who are the trainers and mentors for the major and minor clergy, choirs, etc., etc?
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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2004, 02:13:17 PM »



"But, of course you would, darling!"

It seems that DennyB's initial question on an Orthodox forum is actually just a poll of opinion of sorts. Outside the Church I am not aware of any official answer to his question that has been made.

Demetri

I don't know the official Orthodox teaching on this issue, but I know that in the late 19th century (1896?) the RC Pope issued a Papal Bull declaring Anglican Orders invalid, which I believe hinged upon a couple of points: (1) that there were in fact a few gaps in succession during the Reformation period and (2) that there had been times during the early years of the CofE that it did away with belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York made a joint response to the Papal Bull, in Latin of course.  I recall AnglicansOnline.org used to have a link to all of this.

Interestingly, a few years ago when the present Pope issued an encyclical on women's ordination (he was a against it  Wink) and people asked if the encyclical constituted an infallible teaching of the RCC, the Vatican said "Yes, just like the 1890s teaching on Anglican Orders"!

BJohnD
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2004, 06:56:06 PM »

One thing that has puzzled me for many years is the tendency of Anglicans to seek the affirmation of non-Anglicans of the status of their priesthood, etc., etc. If they are convinced of their own house why seek the view of others? Most strange and puzzling.

Perhaps it might be not so much that they are seeking affirmation, but that they might be responding to non-Anglicans volunteering declarations about the Anglicans.  :-

Ebor
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« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2004, 07:04:50 PM »

I don't know the official Orthodox teaching on this issue, but I know that in the late 19th century (1896?) the RC Pope issued a Papal Bull declaring Anglican Orders invalid,
JohnD

Apostolicae Curae, 1896, Pope Leo XIII.  From my reading many RCs involved with it disagreed with the Pope's opinion.  Some Anglican clergy wrote a response, which I have a copy of.  I'll have to dig it out.

Ebor

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« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2004, 07:47:57 PM »

Found it: the Anglican Response: Saepius Officio from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. Here it is on-line:
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/%7Eucgbmxd/saepius.htm

Ebor
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« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2004, 11:37:48 PM »

A use or 'rite' is very complex and difficult enough to take on when you have a living tradition before you. That pieces of a particular use or 'rite' from the west may exist of the older ones, from whence comes an organic, that is living, whole come from?

This is why I think that the Western rites used in Orthodoxy today may be somewhat problematic. On the other hand, if large parcels of Western communions decided to come back to Orthodoxy, isn't it possible that they would want to be accepted as Western churches ? We would probably have to accept this. I think you'd have a better chance at a Western Orthodox Tradition becoming flamboyant, organic and living if numerous communities came into the Church employing a Western usage. It could be irregular for a while, to be sure. But what I also wonder about is how difficult it is to revive a moribund Western tradition, when traditionally Eastern liturgical expression has always been so apophatic, and Western expression much more cataphatic. "Lex orandi, lex credendi", so this is potentially a real problem as well.....can Western Orthodox converts that use a western ritual acquire a truly Orthodox worldview? This has been debated elsewhere on the forum quite recently.

Bob
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« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2004, 12:55:29 AM »

This is  why I think that the Western rites used in Orthodoxy today may be somewhat problematic. 
Bob
Interesting.
You know Bob, when I read this I was struck with the idea that "no wonder the schism occurred, we have a hard time even today of imagining a multi-rite Church". I'm sure the Westerns did and do feel the the same.
(Sorry to veer off-topic)

As to the Popes' views of Angelican orders, why is the RC view always brought up when the topic comes up among Orthodox?
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« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2004, 12:23:46 PM »

The question of "do Anglicans have ......?" came I thought from an Anglican I thought, and I responded to the question being asked, albeit indirectly. To reflect on what Rome may or may not teach when asked a question by a protestant or Anglican is irrelevant when I answer, usually.

(Must have been very overtired when I originally posted this response. Have now amended it to something approaching both sensibility and English).
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« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2004, 12:51:53 PM »

As to the Popes' views of Angelican orders, why is the RC view always brought up when the topic comes up among Orthodox?
Demetri

Well, I brought it up because it was the one Official Position of a Big Church I knew about.

A Blessed Nativity to all!

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« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2004, 06:15:03 PM »



Well, I brought it up because it was the one Official Position of a Big Church I knew about.

A Blessed Nativity to all!

BJohnD

I apologize if my comment offended you, BJohnD; it was not intended to do so. My unstated point is simply that to my understanding of the union efforts of early last century between Constantinople and the Anglicans that this issue itself, validity of orders, had not been directly addressed. Seems that this open issue was tabled pending other issues' resolution. The RC position seems an aside.

Demetri
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« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2004, 08:43:48 PM »

I wasn't offended at all. Your point is well taken. And my apologies if my reply seemed curt. I was simply in a hurry -- just like now. Wink

Again, a Blessed Nativity to all. My Russian is terrible, so I'll just have to say "Happy Feast!"

Christ is Born!

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« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2004, 09:14:40 PM »

An early Nativity (Christmas) greeting. Thank you and may you too be blessed in reflecting on the birth of the God-man, Jesus Christ.........
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« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2004, 10:22:53 PM »



This is  why I think that the Western rites used in Orthodoxy today may be somewhat problematic.  On the other hand, if large parcels of Western communions decided to come back to Orthodoxy, isn't it possible that they would want to be accepted as Western churches ?  We would probably have to accept this.  I think you'd have a better chance at a Western Orthodox Tradition becoming flamboyant, organic and living if numerous communities came into the Church employing a Western usage.  It could be irregular for a while, to be sure.  But what I also wonder about is how difficult it is to revive a moribund Western tradition, when traditionally Eastern liturgical expression has always been so apophatic, and Western expression much more cataphatic.  "Lex orandi, lex credendi", so this is potentially a real problem as well.....can Western Orthodox converts that use a western ritual acquire a truly Orthodox worldview? This has been debated elsewhere on the forum quite recently.

Bob
As a cradle Roman Catholic who has converted to Eastern Orthodox, I can state there is no comparison between the Divine liturgy and the post Vatican II mass.  I accepted the invitation to "come and see". I have been blessed.

I attend church at a Greek Othodox Church.  I can say I have never witnessed such a beautiful service.
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« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2004, 03:40:27 AM »

As a cradle Roman Catholic who has converted to Eastern Orthodox, I can state there is no comparison between the Divine liturgy and the post Vatican II mass. 

Shanmo,

I concur 100%.  For sure, the post Vatican II mass with a few cosmetic "patches" would be completely unacceptable to the Orthodox in a re-united Church.  I think there would have to be major changes for it to even be considered.

Bob
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« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2004, 03:49:08 AM »

Interesting.
You know Bob, when I read this I was struck with the idea that "no wonder the schism occurred, we have a hard time even today of imagining a multi-rite Church". I'm sure the Westerns did and do feel the the same.

I know, Demetri.  One does wonder.  What is impossible with man is possible with God, that's all I can say. 
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« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2004, 10:13:34 AM »

I concur 100%.  For sure, the post Vatican II mass with a few cosmetic "patches" would be completely unacceptable to the Orthodox in a re-united Church.  I think there would have to be major changes for it to even be considered.

Well, um, got news for you: by the standards of modern Western liturgic principle, modern byzantine rites would have to undergo heavy pruning to clip away the many, many accretions.
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« Reply #33 on: December 24, 2004, 03:05:00 PM »



Well, um, got news for you: by the standards of modern Western liturgic principle, modern byzantine rites would have to undergo heavy pruning to clip away the many, many accretions.


Keble,

Forgive me, but the issue of what would be acceptable to the Western Church is not what's under discussion here in this thread-within-a thread.

But to address your point: you refer to "standards." I don't think that the Western Church would quibble on these issues when it came to reuniting with the Orthodox Church. You mention quite rightly that these are standards, and not doctrines we are talking about.

As far as I am concerned, there are "a few" accretions in the Liturgies of St. John and St. Basil, and not "many." By this I mean that very few addtions made to the Divne Liturgy were not done under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is true that the antiphons at the beginning of the liturgy were originally incorporated as part of a stational liturgy that involved outdoor processions before beginning the actual liturgy. If someone would want to reinvigorate this stational tradtion, I think that would be just fine. But I don't think the antiphons are a bad thing as they are. They help to prepare the faithful for the "journey" to the Kingdom of God that is going to take place shortly. The only significant part of the liturgy that I would really call accretions might be the little litanies that are in between the antiphons at the beginning of the liturgy. These might be truly termed degenerate, because they came into use in order to cover the fact that illiterate priests could not read the antiphonal prayers, as far as I know. Anyway, that's what I heard. There could be another take on that point now. And yes, there are lots of little things like the "Glory to thee O Lord" repeated once at the acclamation and conclusion of the Gospel that you could call an accretion, if you really want to, but this would be offensive to some Easterners, so what's the point? This is really nit-picking that is not in the spirit of how things should be worked out. IMHO, you would not win any friends with mainstream liturgical theologians in the East or West with arguments like this.

If you take it further than this, you would have to call the Symbol of Faith (the Creed) as it is now recited in both East and West as an "accretion", since it was not originally part of the liturgy. In the East, it wasn't inserted into the Divine Liturgy until well into the sixth century. This is a very late date. Would you dare to call this an "accretion"? I certainly wouldn't.

Bob
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« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2004, 03:02:21 PM »

You choose not to reply?  Fine.
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« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2004, 06:49:55 PM »

Sir, I hadn't even seen your message. It's onyl three days after Christmas, after all.
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« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2004, 07:16:28 PM »

Someone get some catnip for Bob, he's getting feisty! Wink
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« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2004, 12:25:10 AM »

Sir, I hadn't even seen your message. It's onyl three days after Christmas, after all.

I'm sorry if this is the case, Keble.  I saw from the records that you had been online a couple of times in the last couple of days.
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« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2004, 12:26:11 AM »

Someone get some catnip for Bob, he's getting feisty! Wink
Yes, I'd like some please.
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« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2004, 07:37:33 AM »

To go back to the original question posed, whether or not a Church has apostolic succession is crucial to the question of whether its presbyters and hierarchs have valid orders and, accordingly, whether the Holy Mysteries administered to its faithful by those presbyters are valid. Working backward, from the question of validity of orders and the faculty, authority, and jurisdiction inherent therein, the Orthodox stance - were an official one to be offered - would most likely be in the negative.

In the past 2 days, I have posted on nearly identical topics in 3 different threads on two other fora. Since my explanation yielded a compliment from a ROCOR cleric who is much more conservative in his thinking than me, but whose opinion I value, I'll offer a slightly modified version of it here, in hopes of giving some answer to Denny's original query.

"The theological praxis of Catholics and Orthodox as to the validity of orders and the dependent issue of the validity of sacraments differs significantly.

There are basically two theories of apostolic succession and, in most instances, the application of the theory held by a given Church effectively determines the validity accorded to claimed presbyteral and episcopal orders and, ipso facto, the validity of sacraments administered by those claiming to possess valid orders, whether presbyteral and/or episcopal (putting aside issues as to form and intent, since if there is no validity to the orders of the sacrament's minister, other considerations are of no consequence to either Church).

If the orders claimed to be possessed are themselves invalid, the sacraments derived from him who claims to possess orders will, in turn, be invalid if the sacrament is one which requires administration by an ordained minister - essentially any except baptism in extremis in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and marriage in the Latin Church, where the cleric is seen as witness to the Sacrament and the couple as the ministers, as opposed to the Eastern and Oriental Catholic and Orthodox Churches where the cleric is the actual minister.

The Augustinian theory effectively holds that valid episcopal ordination confers an indelible character that is not affected by any schismatic or heretical act or excommunication taken in response thereto or for any other reason. Accordingly, a validly ordained priest once validly ordained to the episcopate retains his capacity to exercise that order, though he may have been deprived juridically of the office or jurisdiction by which he performed episcopal acts. The latter considerations affect only the licitness of his acts.

The Cyprianic theory effectively holds that a valid episcopal ordination is affected by subsequent schismatic or heretical acts and by excommunication taken in response thereto or for any other reason. Accordingly, a validly ordained priest once validly ordained to the episcopate retains his capacity to exercise that order only so long as he continues in communion with the jurisdiction under the authority of which he was ordained to the episcopate (or such other jurisdiction into which he may have subsequently been accepted) and is exercising the office or jurisdiction by which he has the right to perform those acts. There is no distinction made as to licitness.

The Catholic Church adheres to the Augustinian theory; the Orthodox Churches to the Cyprianic theory, (although they have elected to exercise oekonomia in application of it to instances in which schismatic bodies have returned to communion).

Frankly, the Augustinian theory has been or certainly has become a thorn in the side of the Catholic Church. It effectively assures that all manner of independent hierarchs, both those who pursue their perceived vocation with spiritual and intellectual honesty and those who are episcopi vagante in the most perjorative connotation accorded to the phrase, can sleep at night with at least a modicum of assurance that they possess valid episcopal orders, unless form or intent are at issue. The time-honored practice in the so-called "independent" Catholic and Orthodox movements of garnering multiple episcopal consecrations or, subsequently, being re-consecrated sub conditione is effectively a means of leveraging the Augustinian theory. Most such hierarchs operate on the premise that "more is better" or "there has to be at least one good one here somewhere". With most having an episcopal genealogy that traces back through an average of 30 ancestral lines of succession, from a combination of dissident Latin Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox hierarchs, they can feel reasonably secure. Those lines which cannot be proven valid because there is serious doubt as to the validity of one actor (e.g., the so-called Melkite-Aneed Line) can and do feel comfortably buffered by Duarte and Thuc Lines.

People sometimes point to subsequent acts by bishops of these "Churches" which break faith with Catholic doctrine and erroneously perceive these as breaking the line of apostolic succession. For instance, no bishop, regardless of the validity of his episcopal orders, can validly ordain a woman. But, that he did so would not invalidate his subsequent ordination of a man, with proper intent and according to proper form. So, it is possible to go rather far afield theologically yet still retain apostolic succession.

The Orthodox Churches, relying on the canonically legal status of the hierarch conferring orders (his status in communion with a recognized jurisdiction to which the Church accords canonical status), have a much simpler task before them in assessing validity and, since they do not make the distinction of licitness, the end result is clear-cut.

Given its historical ties to the Cyprianic theory, it stands to reason that the Orthodox would not accord validity to Catholic orders or sacraments and that any do so must be seen as an exercise of charity on their part, applying a measure of recognition to the common historical origins of Catholicity and Orthodoxy. We, as Catholics, can dislike the fact that all do not choose to do so, but it is not our place to impose upon others our theological precepts and require that they adopt them.

The potentially most ironic consideration here is that, applying the Augustinian theory, the Catholic Church would in some instances likely accept the validity of presbyteral and episcopal orders, and, consequently, sacraments, of "independent Orthodox" (and by that I do not mean those essentially mainstream Orthodox Churches which are typically termed "non-canonical" or "of iregular status", but those of the so-called "independent movement") whom the Orthodox themselves would, rightfully, never deem to be of their Communion, under even the most liberal of interpretations."

That said, as someone already noted, the Catholic Church has generally dismissed the validity of apostolic succession by the Anglican Churches on the basis of lapses in succession and, where such wasn't shown, by defects of form and/or intent. In recent times, some Anglican orders have been accepted by Rome as valid on the basis that validity of episcopal orders was supplied through interaction with Old Catholic hierarchs and hierarchs of some of those "independent Orthodox" hierarchs about whom I spoke above. It should be clear, however, that application of the Cyprianic theory would preclude Orthodox recognition of Anglican orders without ever reaching the question of lapses in the episcopal genealogical line (since communion didn't exist with a canonically recognized jurisdiction), let alone issues of form or intent.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #40 on: December 29, 2004, 02:29:33 PM »

gphadraig,

Quote
What I have difficulty in understanding is that the life of the Church includes a cycle of services, and not just a Divine Liturgy, Mass or Eurcharist. Wanting to move away from the often subjective posting, may I ask how do you resurrect a whole cycle of divine services, daily, baptism, chrismation, confession, marriage, ordination, church consecrations, and funerals to name but a few?

This is a good question.  It is the type of question which leaves me of two minds (or at least with a "middle of the road" position) on the question of "western rite Orthodoxy."

IMHO, a modern "western rite Orthodoxy" would only be the "best solution" if there was a question of mass conversion (in other words, at least a whole mass of parishes, or a diocese, from a western communion.)  In other words, if there were sufficient communities to have a Heirarch(s) who himself would be "western rite" and would oversee them, then this might make sense.
Other than a situation like this (a mass conversion of an existing heterodox western body to Orthodoxy), I don't see a practical reason for doing this.  I think such people would be better served by providing them with standard "Byzantine" rubrics/rite presented in a way that was completly user friendly to their circumstances.  Examples...

- Good English translations of all of the service books be used in their parishes
- Load their festal calendar with the celebration of the feasts of as many pre-schism western Saints as possible, in particular those they were probably already familiar with (ex. make a big celebration each year for St.Patrick, St. Augustine of Hippo, St.Augustine of Canterbury, St.Jerome, St.Gregory the Great, etc.)
- In converting/constructing Temples for their use, without transgressing the existing norms of Orthodox architecture, seriously consider giving such Houses a "style" or "feel" which is as close to what they would be familiar with as possible.  Examples might include opting for a more "minimalist" style Iconostasis (resembling the rood screens that were long ago common in parts of Western Europe), or being a little more sparse with the amount of iconographic decoration (if that proves to be what the congregations would want.)

Other "liberalities" which could be allowed would in large part be things which you already see in much of the Orthodox diaspora, like pews, or clean shaven-short haired clergy.

I think measures like these would go a long way in making the concoction of a "western rite" unnecessary in most cases.

One big problem in creating a "pre-schism", Orthodox western liturgical cycle (say, modeled upon the Sarum ritual or something similar) is that for most western converts, such a cycle would be just as foreign to their previous practices as would be their adoption of the normative Orthodox liturgy.  Since 1969 the Roman Catholics have not used the Tridentine rite, their current ritual being quite similar to that of the Lutherans (or the Anglicans, though I think the Anglicans are much more savvy in terms of liturgy than the "Novus Ordo" Roman Catholics are), and the Anglican Book of Common Prayer is also pretty far away from pre-schism western Orthodox liturgical usages.

The other option (which I know they use in the Antiochian Archdiocese' western rite) is to offer modified, "Orthodoxed" or corrected versions of their existing rites... thus to Anglican communities, modify the Book of Common Prayer in key areas, and conceivably do the same if a large number of Novus Ordo/New Mass Roman Catholics were to convert.  Were one of the few existing Tridentine communities to do the same thing and "go Orthodox", they too could have a modified Tridentine Mass.

Though I'm aware that this solution has been tried (modified versions of existing heterodox rites), like many I find it very unsatisfactory...it seems to me, at best, to be a temporary step toward full integration.  While it is true that pre-schism western liturgies once contained Orthodoxy, more modern heterodox forms seem problematic in that regard.

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« Reply #41 on: December 29, 2004, 02:32:16 PM »

Keble,

Quote
Well, um, got news for you: by the standards of modern Western liturgic principle, modern byzantine rites would have to undergo heavy pruning to clip away the many, many accretions.

Ok.  However, I don't think that's what is being discussed.

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« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2004, 06:19:05 PM »

If you take it further than this, you would have to call the Symbol of Faith (the Creed) as it is now recited in both East and West as an "accretion", since it was not originally part of the liturgy. In the East, it wasn't inserted into the Divine Liturgy until well into the sixth century. This is a very late date. Would you dare to call this an "accretion"? I certainly wouldn't.

I would rather go to the obvious point: that changes to the liturgy get done for reasons that tend to seem good at the time (i.e., they don't just happen). It therefore tends to follow that accretions/innovations aren't intrinsically bad, but ought to be judged on their merits. In this day and age, saying the creed in the service is crucially (sorry) important, and I don't care at all that it had to be added at some point.
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« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2004, 06:27:16 PM »

One comment:

That said, as someone already noted, the Catholic Church has generally dismissed the validity of apostolic succession by the Anglican Churches on the basis of lapses in succession and, where such wasn't shown, by defects of form and/or intent. In recent times, some Anglican orders have been accepted by Rome as valid on the basis that validity of episcopal orders was supplied through interaction with Old Catholic hierarchs and hierarchs of some of those "independent Orthodox" hierarchs about whom I spoke above.

It should further be noted that the Roman objection on the basis of invalid form (the centerpiece of Apostolicae Curae) was rejected in Saepius Officio (the official reply from the archbishops of the Church of England) as invalidating Roman orders as well (since the same defect appears in Roman rites of a certain age). In any case Roman ecclesiology would require acknowledgement of Anglican validity were the form issue resolved differently (and that it doesn't figure at all from the Orthodox side).
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« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2004, 07:00:21 PM »


I would rather go to the obvious point: that changes to the liturgy get done for reasons that tend to seem good at the time (i.e., they don't just happen). It therefore tends to follow that accretions/innovations aren't intrinsically bad, but ought to be judged on their merits. In this day and age, saying the creed in the service is crucially (sorry) important, and I don't care at all that it had to be added at some point.


Come now, Keble, you don't expect me to go for this, now, do you? I think you are fully aware of the importance of Holy Tradition in Orthodox ecclesiology. You must also be aware of how we cringe at using words like "acrretion" or "innovation" to describe changes made to the liturgy. Such terminlogy effectively implies that the Holy Spirit had nothing to do with any changes made. Of course, many things were added to the liturgy, at least in part because of human expediency. This does not exclude the involvement of the Holy Spirit. We Orthodox believe that God and humanity work together in synergy in the Church.
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