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Online Asteriktos

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What Happens To...
« on: February 22, 2013, 03:33:18 PM »
What happens to Orthodox Christians who fall in love with someone who is not Orthodox, and marries them outside the Orthodox Church? Would all Orthodox/Churches/Bishops/Priests exclude such an Orthodox person from communion? Would some use economia and say that it's better for their soul to partake of the sacraments, even if in an unOrthodox marriage? I'm assuming for the sake of this that the Orthodox Christian in question has no intention of divorcing or separating from the spouse, and that the non-Orthodox spouse has no interest whatever in converting. Would such a person no longer be considered an Orthodox Christian (e.g. when it comes time for their funeral/burial)?
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Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: What Happens To...
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 03:58:28 PM »
What happens to Orthodox Christians who fall in love with someone who is not Orthodox, and marries them outside the Orthodox Church? Would all Orthodox/Churches/Bishops/Priests exclude such an Orthodox person from communion? Would some use economia and say that it's better for their soul to partake of the sacraments, even if in an unOrthodox marriage? I'm assuming for the sake of this that the Orthodox Christian in question has no intention of divorcing or separating from the spouse, and that the non-Orthodox spouse has no interest whatever in converting. Would such a person no longer be considered an Orthodox Christian (e.g. when it comes time for their funeral/burial)?

I'm assuming you mean marries someone who is not Christian, or did not receive a Trinitarian baptism?
You might could find a bishop or priest who would accept it, but that's not the norm nor according to Orthodox ecclesiology and theology of marriage. Most would tell you that because marriage is a Sacrament, persons who choose to marry a non-Christian have also chosen to be married outside the Orthodox Church are not considered to be “in good standing" with the Church. Canonical and theological reasons prevent the Church from celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage where one partner is Orthodox and the other partner is a non-Christian. As such, Orthodox Christians choosing to enter such marriages are no longer considered in good standing with their Church and are unable to actively participate in its life. The reason for this is that the person who has not entered the life of the Church through Baptism, Chrismation, and the Eucharist,  and who does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, God and Savior would regard  the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony as a mere ritual. The Orthodox Church never forces people to marry outside the Church – rather, that is the decision of the person who chooses to marry someone  outside the Church. How can the Church then sacramentalize a marriage retroactively, so to speak, and recognize a non-sacramental marriage as sacramental? To do otherwise would be contrary to our understanding of the Church, the Sacraments and Holy Matrimony.
Their own personal choice resulted in this self-imposed restriction on their participation in the life of the Church.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: What Happens To...
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2013, 12:22:25 AM »
What happens to Orthodox Christians who fall in love with someone who is not Orthodox, and marries them outside the Orthodox Church? Would all Orthodox/Churches/Bishops/Priests exclude such an Orthodox person from communion? Would some use economia and say that it's better for their soul to partake of the sacraments, even if in an unOrthodox marriage? I'm assuming for the sake of this that the Orthodox Christian in question has no intention of divorcing or separating from the spouse, and that the non-Orthodox spouse has no interest whatever in converting. Would such a person no longer be considered an Orthodox Christian (e.g. when it comes time for their funeral/burial)?

I'll answer without any intent on attacking the church at all.   Past the ecumensim that I witnessed, which was a catalyst from driving me from the church some, I still considered myself an Orthodox Christian.  I happened to geographically live in an area where there were some fairly conservative Mennonites.   From going to a Mennonite bakery, where the faith based women were singing hymns as they worked their baked goods, is where I met my future wife.  Saving the long 'romantic story' (sorry ladies LOL) we ended up seeing each other often.   Her parents were very accepting to the 'issues' and pain that I have encumbered through being part of the Eastern Orthodox church.  I believe they saw me as honest and faithful, and in this rare event, gave us the blessing to be married without me becoming a Mennonite.  

Sadly, it was not an Eastern Orthodox marriage, as I believe next to Pascha services is the most beautiful service in the EO church.  However, it was a simple marriage.  Nothing fancy at all.  Not even her dress.  

Of course, this is heretical and betraying in Orthodoxy which does make me sad in ways... But I arguably can say I felt at the time "the ecumenists taught me best".  

My wife is incredibly faith filled and loves God with everything she is.   She's a wonderful mother and wife...

With that said, I DO believe that most Orthodox Clergy would reject me for communion.  I do believe that many EO clergy would accept me back into communion quickly however if I could re-embrace the faith leave the arguments behind.   I am certain they would want a good long lengthy confession and would want to know I have a sincere heart to return back.

I do not believe they would bar me from communion (if I returned as described above) because my spouse is an Anabaptist Mennonite.  I do believe some clergy would put the weight on me to bring my wife & children into the church, some may not.

My situation is kind of odd, and was not a practicing EO Christian doing this....  

If it was a practicing EO Christian, I must ask, where would you get married?  Outside (like mine) would be a violation of the canon.  I could see it barring somebody from communion without repentance.

I must say though that even though many would disagree, I am so glad that I found my wife.  I never would have without leaving the church.  We have 5 children who love God very much and are dedicated to following his will.   I do believe it was God's will that I left the church, as being blessed with such a family is absolutely wonderful.   Be it his will I return, at this point, I believe God will give answers to my questions and calmness to my concerns.  

« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 12:23:26 AM by yeshuaisiam »
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: What Happens To...
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2013, 12:35:20 AM »
I know you were asking more of an economia question, but still, it seems rather clear-cut:

MARRIAGE OUTSIDE OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH

Question: "What happens if we get married outside of the Orthodox Church?"

Answer:  If a couple chooses to get married outside of the Orthodox Church, the Orthodox partner will lose their good standing. The Orthodox partner will not be permitted to participate in the sacramental life of their faith background, i.e., they will be unable to receive the sacraments like Holy Communion and Unction.  The pathway toward restoring the Orthodox partner’s relationship with their faith background would be for the couple to receive the Sacrament of Marriage in the Orthodox Church.

http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/marriage/interfaith/faq/marriage-fqa#marriage-outside-of-the

more info from the GOA
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