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Author Topic: The Church as a Eucharistic Community  (Read 254 times) Average Rating: 0
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Antonis
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« on: January 05, 2013, 02:18:18 AM »

I have a question that I hope the Orthodox, but especially Catholics, of this forum can answer for me.

From the position of the Catholic Church:

If the Catholic Church recognizes that it is a eucharistic community - communion (the sacrament) is communion (unity in the church/between churches) - and simultaneously recognizes the validity of Orthodox sacraments (including the eucharist), would not the Orthodox Church be a part of the Catholic Church?

To say otherwise would be to deny that the Church is a eucharistic community, no?

I only ask because I have heard some Catholics say Orthodox are members of the Catholic Church and some Catholics say otherwise. This is directed to those who say otherwise.

Thank you!
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Basil 320
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 05:56:05 AM »

The Orthodox Church considers the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and receipt of the Holy Eucharist the manifestation of the "Body of Christ" among right believers, surrounded by the saints depicted in iconography, through their priest, who are under a right believing, canonical, Orthodox Bishop.

Why the Roman Catholic Church is prepared to accept Eastern Orthodox Christians to its chalice, I do not know, some sort of concession to ecumenical concerns perhaps, but the narrative they typically publish in their Missal does advise Orthodox Christians that they should not approach the Chalice during a Roman Catholic Mass, if so precluded by their bishops.

There is officially a "Dialogue of Love" between the churches, but sharing of the Chalice cannot occur until there is "Unity of the Faith" unified belief, among their respective clergy and faithful. The Orthodox liturgical petitions, "...for the good estate of the Holy Churches of God, and for the unity of them all..." and "Asking for the Unity of the Faith and the Communion of the Holy Spirit..." refer to Orthodox Christians and to their churches, the "Holy Orthodox Churches."  The liturgical exclamation, prior to the recitation of the Nicene-Constantinopolin Creed, the "Symbol of Faith," "The doors, the doors, in wisdom let us be attentive," is a reminder to close the doors of the church to non-believers, so that the Orthodox Christians of One Faith participate in the Divine Liturgy, the Eucharistic Service of the Church and its highest form of prayer.  "In the fear of God, with faith, and love, draw near," the celebrant's invitation to commune, is another reminder of the importance of the "Faith" the communicants share.  And the faith, is the faith of the Undivided Church, and its clergy and faithful who accept the dogmas of the 7 Ecumenical Synods (Councils) of the Early Church, without innovations, including later day "dogma" propounded by a single hierarch, when he sits "Ex-Cathedra."  Those who do not share the "faith," are not to be admitted.

The "Dialogue of Love," has produced some understanding of dogmatic differences between the church's, but no reconciliation of them.  There is no "Unity of Faith," between the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

(None of my comments above are intended to be argumentative, though they can be so understood, but to respond to the inquiry of the poster, without necessarily detailing all the differences between the two faiths.)
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 06:04:24 AM by Basil 320 » Logged

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Basil 320
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 06:56:03 AM »

And following the distribution of Holy Communion, the Divine Liturgy calls the faithful Orthodox Christians to chant "We have beheld the true light, we have received the Heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith, worshiping the undivided Trinity, for He, has saved us."  Again, note the emphasis the church places on "the true faith," the faith required for participation in Holy Communion.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 06:58:38 AM by Basil 320 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2013, 07:53:36 AM »

I have a question that I hope the Orthodox, but especially Catholics, of this forum can answer for me.

From the position of the Catholic Church:

If the Catholic Church recognizes that it is a eucharistic community - communion (the sacrament) is communion (unity in the church/between churches) - and simultaneously recognizes the validity of Orthodox sacraments (including the eucharist), would not the Orthodox Church be a part of the Catholic Church?

To say otherwise would be to deny that the Church is a eucharistic community, no?

I only ask because I have heard some Catholics say Orthodox are members of the Catholic Church and some Catholics say otherwise. This is directed to those who say otherwise.

Thank you!

They believe us to be in "imperfect communion" and "material schism", IIRC.
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2013, 12:37:24 PM »

We don't have as strict of an understanding of Apostolic Succession as the Eastern Orthodox, so we believe that the Eastern Orthodox Church (as well as the Oriental Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church of the East) has retained it. As Melodist said, you are in imperfect communion with us, not full communion. I believe the Anglican Church had valid Sacraments up until a certain point when they modified the rite of ordination.
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