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Timos
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« on: July 10, 2005, 11:54:10 PM »


I posted this before in someone else's post and I thought it was rude to keep posting in a post made for someone eles's dilemma...

I was wondering if I am supposed to be re-chrismated or if I should remain as I am- that is recieved through confession?

Basically, my great great grand-parents came to Alexandria, Egypt from Greece/Cyprus/Anatolia a looong time ago like before the 1850's thats for sure and established themselves there.

In Alexandria, there are a number of Greek Orthodox churches and there was even a Greek quarter of the city, but in the countryside and in other Egyptian cities, there aren't too many Greek Orthodox churches. So eventually my ancestor family had to go to Coptic Orthodox churches and pray there.

As a younger kid (11 years old) I found that I was especially and suddenly attached to the Greek Orthodox Church when one day I heard chanting monks from Mt. athos on a tape. And so I stopped attending the coptic Orthodox church (my personal belief is that they are valid...but I just felt more at home in the GOC). Anyhow, the family really initially resented it because they have lost the historical and spiritual ties with Hellenism and Orthodoxy but they eventually got over it. It was the Coptic priests who would call me and try to "save me from going down the wrong path" as they saw it. I'm sure they meant well. They don't know about my faily history and I don't want to tell them because its complicated as it is trying to regain your lost past. So they basically see me as a traitor.

Anyhow,  my GO priest recieved me through confession only saying it wasn't necessary to re-chrismate me because the OO have the same view of the Trinity and the Rite of Baptism and Chrismation is almost identical in many aspects...the renunciation of Satan, etc...

So I don't know if I should be re-chrismated. I have lots of good and bad reasons. First of all, I want a baptismal certificate which matches who I am today- not an accident of my family history and I also want to go to Mt. Athos someday for a visit.

Is there any way to get a GO Baptismal certificate without redoing the sacraments? I will talk to my priest again but I don't want to come out as stupid without first investigating.

The bad part would be that I might just feel wrong about it. The OO holy oil- also called "myron oil" is holy oil and the sacrament has to do with the Holy Spirit--Not the Nature(s) of the Son, so it should be ok- right?

My Archbishop (Sotirios) said confession was fine because he also beleives that there is only politics between EO and OO.

My local bishop is an athonite monk and I was thinking of also talking to him about it to get some advice.

Sorry for my long post. I've been wanting to get it out but I didn't want to offend anybody-either EO or OO.

Thanks for understanding,
                                     Timos
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2005, 11:12:37 AM »

Wow,

It seems to me that you have already spoken to the people who really count in this matter.

I would be satisfied with whatever the priest has decided, he will not do anything contrary to the intention of his bishop, and you have already spoken to the Archbishop! Take it easy, I don't think there are many Archbishops posting here on a regular basis so you already have the best advice you could ask for.  Smiley

I would suggest that if you plan to visit Athos soon, ask your bishop for a letter of introduction, I am sure he would be happy to help, and I am equally sure that your priest and bishop are very proud of you!

Many Years!
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2005, 12:50:53 PM »

Wow,

It seems to me that you have already spoken to the people who really count in this matter.

I would be satisfied with whatever the priest has decided, he will not do anything contrary to the intention of his bishop, and you have already spoken to the Archbishop! Take it easy, I don't think there are many Archbishops posting here on a regular basis so you already have the best advice you could ask for.  Smiley

I would suggest that if you plan to visit Athos soon, ask your bishop for a letter of introduction, I am sure he would be happy to help, and I am equally sure that your priest and bishop are very proud of you!

Many Years!
Michael

My opinion is that he should ask about this at Mount Athos, if he goes. I don't think that "Acceptance through confession" is valid, whatever the Priest/Bishop/Archbishop say about this. Asking never hurt anyone, plus I'm 90% sure, that the brotherhoods on most (probably all..) monasteries at Mount Athos would agree on this.  I would suggest he visits St. Andreas at Karyes, which has English speaking Monks.


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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2005, 12:54:17 PM »

thank you Tom and Hesychios.

I have heard of this monastery and I'd love to visit it. I can get by barely in greek as I went to Greek school as a kid.

thanks again,
                  Timos
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2005, 01:07:56 PM »

Your reception was absolutely valid contra what tom-dr said.  Please read the 95th Canon of the council of Trullo which states that Non-Chalcedonians (referred to as Severians and Dioscorans I believe) are to reject their previous heresy and make a profession of faith and confession, NOT chrismation and NOT baptism.  While I believe that Catholics and Protestants should be baptized, an ecumenical council says that Non-Chalcedonians should be received by confession.

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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2005, 01:14:23 PM »

Yia'sou Anastasie,

do you know where I can find these Council rulings? I believe "The Rudder" contains them all. I shall try to get my hands on it one day.

Evkharisto poli,
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2005, 03:09:15 PM »

This is the Fordham University listing for Trullo.http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/trullo.html
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2005, 06:01:51 PM »

Your reception was absolutely valid contra what tom-dr said.  Please read the 95th Canon of the council of Trullo which states that Non-Chalcedonians (referred to as Severians and Dioscorans I believe) are to reject their previous heresy and make a profession of faith and confession, NOT chrismation and NOT baptism.  While I believe that Catholics and Protestants should be baptized, an ecumenical council says that Non-Chalcedonians should be received by confession.

Anastasios

Whoops! There goes my 90% :-)
Interesting exception! Thanks for informing!
Although, in every case I know, Non-Chalcedonians were Chrismated.
I'll try to dig a litle more about the subject..thanks, anyway. Learning somthing new, everyday.
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2005, 07:49:23 PM »

Whoops! There goes my 90% :-)
Interesting exception! Thanks for informing!
Although, in every case I know, Non-Chalcedonians were Chrismated.
I'll try to dig a litle more about the subject..thanks, anyway. Learning somthing new, everyday.

One synod with which I am familiar chrismates Non-Chalcedonians as well but this is because in the era of ecumenism, it was felt that confession only would make the Non-Chalcedonian convert beleive his former Church was identical to the (Eastern) Orthodox Church, and that there had to be a clear distinction.ÂÂ  Non-Chalcedonian Copts chrismate Eastern Orthodox converting.

Chrismating a Copt could be considered an act of "reverse economy" called akreveia because one is surpassing the canons for the good of the soul (whereas economy is letting the canon be applied more loosely).  It is abnormal insomuch as it is a deviation from the standard just as chrismating an Eastern Rite Catholic instead of baptizing him would be an economy and while acceptable if the bishop judged it, it would be an exception.

Anastasios
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2005, 08:37:31 PM »

Here is that encyclical of the GOC, which some might find useful since the canons mentioned in the above thread.

.:: Encyclical Regarding Reception of Anti-Chalcedonians     
2005-06-30
To the Pious & God-loving Flock of the Holy Metropolis of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of North & South America

June 17/30, 2005

In view of the misinformation being disseminated by those who do not have the best interests of the Holy Orthodox Church at heart—disobedient clergy, scandal-mongers, adherents of Para synagogues, and others of like mind—His Beatitude, Archbishop Chrysostomos and the Sacred Synod of our Church have instructed us to issue this formal clarification, that the minds and hearts of the reason-endowed sheep of Christ may not be troubled by the lies of the unscrupulous. It is alleged by these unprincipled calumniators that we recently performed the Orthodox marriage rite over an Orthodox woman and a heterodox man. This is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. In accordance with the holy canons of the Church, and with the express permission and blessing of the Primate and Synod of our Church, prior to the marriage rite we received the prospective bridegroom, an Anti-Chalcedonian, into the bosom of the Holy Orthodox Church by means of anointing with Holy Chrism and the formal renunciation of the errors of the Monophysite heresy. This was done in accordance with Canon I of Saint Basil the Great, wherein the great Father gives this opinion: “…I am inclined to suspect that we may by the severity of the prescription [i.e., if we demand that all who have had heterodox baptism must needs be received into the Church solely by means of our baptism] actually prevent men from being saved because of their reluctance in regard to baptism. But if they maintain [the form of] our baptism, let this not deter us.… But let it be formally stated with every reason that those who join [the Orthodox Church] on top of their baptism must in all cases be chrismated by the faithful,… and thus be admitted to the Mysteries.”

By imposing the rite of Baptism indiscriminately on everyone wishing to enter the Orthodox Church do we imagine that we hold the Orthodox Traditions more firmly than this Great Ecumenical Teacher of the Church? We are the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and the Church has the right, guided by the Fathers and Traditions, to exercise economy (οικονομία) where it see fit. The Church’s use of economy has been greatly abused and misunderstood in our days. The Ecumenists use the reception of a heretic by Chrismation (without “repeating” Baptism) as a recognition of that heretical Baptism as is. This could not be further from the truth. The Church possesses the authority to fill up that which is lacking in heretical “mysteries” in various ways. The reception of a Pre-Chalcedonian by Chrismation is not unprecedented; it is in accordance with the Holy Traditions of the Orthodox Church. The Holy Quinisext Council, which possesses Ecumenical authority, in its 95th Canon states, “As for heretics, who are joining Orthodoxy and the portion of the saved, we accept them in accordance with the subjoined sequence and custom…As for Manicheans and Valentinians and Marcionists and those from similar heresies, we accept them as Greeks (idolaters) and “rebaptize” them. But the Nestorians and the Eutychians and the Severans and those from similar heresies it is necessary for them to write libelli and to anathematize their heresy as well as Nestorios and Eutyches and Dioscoros and Severus and other exarchs of such heresies and those who entertain their beliefs, and all the aforementioned heresies; and thus they are allowed to partake of Holy Communion.” (The pious Orthodox Christian should know that the text of the 95th canon of the Quinisext Council, as it stands in the 1982 Regopoulos edition of the Pedalion, is corrupted in syntax and form. See Pedalion (Thessaloniki: Regopoulos, 1982), 304. A clearer reading is given by Amilkas Alivizatos, Οι Ιεροί Κανόνες, (Athens: Apostoliki Diakonia, 1994), 142. The passage in question refers to the rite of reception appropriate to the Gnostics and Manicheans, who, according to the canon of the Quinisext Council, should be received by baptism; adherents of the fourth, fifth, and sixth-century Christological heresies were to be received by drafting a libellus (i.e. a confession of faith and a rejection of errors). The Quinisext Council was convened more than two hundred-fifty years after the Council of Chalcedon in 451.). St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite in his “Interpretation” of this Canon states: "...Nestorians, and Eutychians, Dioscorites, and Severians, have to anathematize in writing their own heresy and their heresiarchs and all those persons who believe in their heresies, among whom are numbered also the Monothelites, as well as the Novatians and the Macedonians, and after doing so they are allowed to partake of the Divine Mysteries.” The present-day Copts are Anti-Chalcedonians (Dioscorites); therefore, this Canon pertains to their reception into the bosom of the Orthodox Church. It should be noted that this Canon, as well as St. Nikodemos’ interpretation of it, require only a libellus renouncing his or her former heresy from a Copt and not even Chrismation, which we performed on the prospective bridegroom before the wedding. The subject of the manner of the reception of heretics into the Orthodox Church is a particularly sensitive issue in our days owing to the abuses of the Church’s economy in this regard among the so-called official Churches. In order to serve their Ecumenistic view of the Church the faithful are deceived into thinking that the fact that the Orthodox Church in some cases does not “repeat” a heretical “mystery” constitutes a de facto recognition of that “mystery”. This is not the case. Our Synod in Greece has watched with great concern the steady decay of the proper form of Orthodox Baptism (three complete immersions) among in the Ecumenist “Orthodox” jurisdictions and we have even “rebaptized” people coming to us from these jurisdictions where it is proved that three complete immersions did not take place. Latins and Protestants are received into the Orthodox Church through the rite of Baptism, because the form of their heretical “baptism” does not resemble the Orthodox form in any way. During Coptic “baptism” the person is completely immersed three times in the water and the Orthodox Church, as the steward of Grace and dispenser of the Mysteries, has the power to vivify the invalid rituals of the non-orthodox, they receive validity only at the point of the person’s reception into the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church validates the heretical “baptism” through Chrismation it does not recognize heretical “baptism” simply because it chooses to use an “economy” which the Fathers have laid down for us.

Let us therefore firmly state: We do not recognize that sacramental Grace exists outside the Church and we earnestly enjoin the faithful of our flock to pay no heed to such slanders as are being disseminated regarding this case, but to keep firmly in mind the prediction and advice which the holy and pre-eminent Apostle Paul gave to his disciple, Saint Timothy, concerning the purveyors of such falsehoods: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For ...this sort [is]... ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's also was…But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. …And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables..” (II Tim. 3: 1-9, 13; 4: 4). Beloved, one of the stratagems used by the ancient enemy of our salvation is the false accusation, the well-couched lie. Over and over again, we have seen how successful these wiles have been in compromising the witness of our Church and wounding Its life. But let us follow the counsel of the holy Apostle, and stop our ears to such falsehoods, and refrain from spreading the lies proffered by the father of lies through those whom he has deceived to do his bidding. With my arch pastoral love and blessing.

+Pavlos, Metropolitan of North & South America
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2005, 09:59:07 PM »

The process seems pretty simple Timos; renounce a heresy that the Orthodox Church which you were baptized into has never adhered to, and that the Chalcedonian Church requiring you to make such a renunciation falsely imputes upon you until such a renunciation is made, and then deny the validity of the Orthodox Church’s sacrament of Chrismation which is testified to by God Himself (see below photo), because of the testimony of Chalcedonian Bishops, all because you enjoyed the musical chant of some Athos monks when you were a child.

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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2005, 10:46:29 PM »

EA, as I strongly stated before. I truly believe that both churches are Orthodox. If you have a different opinion then that is up to you my friend.

The only reason I was baptised into the Coptic Orthodox church is because my family got grafted into the Coptic church when there was no Greek Orthodox church nereby.

The chanting is only what inspired me to look into my past and to figure out exactly who I am.

Yes, I've seen the picture lots of times. I've also seen pictures of our Lady of Zeitoun appearing on the church in Cairo. I've also seen this:

http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/Holy_Relics/index.shtml

Pictures of relics of saints ancient and modern EASTERN ORTHODOX saints.

I never stated that I didn't believe the OO sacraments were invalid. Earlier in my posts I said that I believed it was valid and that is why I didn't want to redo my chrismation.

You know you should really get over your phobia of anything not-Coptic.

To me Orthodox is Orthodox. I forget the nationality  in front of the word 'Orthodox' and I concentrate on the word Orthodox itself. I will let the bishops scuffle and bicker about politics who rightly gets the patriarchal thrones and word- orders: In 2 Natures or of 2 Natures.. It won't matter one day anyway. In the end at the Judegment Seat I don't think Christ will ask me if I made sure to stick by my local Coptic bishop or whether I reconnected with my lost Hellenic roots.
I'm sure more important things like whether I truly loved him or not, whether I loved my neighbour, whether I stuck by the Turth, by Orthodoxy, not by Copticism or Hellenism. 

You said before that you don't place too much importance on your ethic identity but like every post somehow alludes to it or to it being Alexandrian. Yes Alexandria and Egypt does have a rich cultural and religious heritage- Say have you ever travelled? Like to places such as  Russia or Romania? Thr people in those places have immersed themselves in Orthodoxy- but wait you wouldn't want to contaminate yourself being amongst the heretical Chalcedonians. Better pack your bags to Egypt- you'd probably fell more confortable around Muslims.

Seriously even Patriarch Shenouda does not beleive that Eastern Orthodox are heretical...

sigh, check this out would ya http://http://www.orthodoxunity.org/
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2005, 11:20:18 PM »

Timos,

You’re inferring that which was never implied. Where did I say that the EO Church is heretical? Its errors are history; I agree with His Holiness Pope Shenouda’s stance on their present Orthodoxy, and I highly advocate the www.orthodoxunity.org website.

Furthermore, I do not have a phobia towards that which is non-Coptic lol Come on now. As you pointed out yourself, the commemoration of Saints in our Coptic liturgy is replete with the names of many non-Coptic saints. The first Saint mentioned after St Mark the Evangelist is not even a Copt, he is from Antioch. Even the great St Cyril - the Coptic Church's pride and joy — does not get mention before another non-Copt: St John Chrysostom. My pride is not in a nation for its culture or heritage, my pride is in the Orthodox Church for her unadulterated preservation of the Orthodox faith, and her perserverence to maintain such a faith through all forms of trials, persecution and suffering - and I do not limit her boundaries to the borders of Egypt; I do not neglect my brothers and sisters, the Armenians and the Syrians etc.

My point is simple; if you believe (as you have asserted yourself) that the Coptic Orthodox Church Sacraments are valid, and that her faith is and always has been Orthodox; then why would you go through the process of renouncing a heresy you have never adopted (by virtue of the fact your current Church has never adopted it), and undermining the validity of your original Chrismation by having it “re-done” for the sake of some papers and nice sounding chants. I just think your reason for wanting to do so is lame - I’m simply putting forth my opinion - another perspective for you to consider or disregard as you wish; I am allowed to do that right? It doesn’t personally affect me or the Church whichever way you go, we are just putting forth another perspective for your consideration so that you don't make a big mistake.

Peace.
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2005, 12:27:21 AM »

EA, I appreciate your concern and I apolagize for my bitter ending post- had a rough day, lol.

Anyhow, if the big mistake is becoming part of the EO Church, I have already done so through confession but it is not because of the chanting as I said before. I just felt more comfortable in that church than the previous one. I have nothing at all against the former church. In fact I love it but something just didn't feel right, didn't click. I feel I can grow more spiritually for whatever reasons in this church than in the former. I love the Syriac church but I would never become part of the community permanently (sp.) because I would not understand much (except for the Trisagion hymn- Kadeeshat Aloho) and I have little or no historical ties in my family to this church. So you see it is not an attack on the Coptic church at all, rather a rediscovery of myself, and the ancient Orthodox tradition of my ancestors.

H Panagia Mazi Sas~The Panagia be with you,
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2005, 01:01:41 AM »

Timos,

I didn't come here to debate you; only to offer my own opinion, in my own style as I do consistently with everyone, so i'm not picking on you specifically or anything.

I wish you the best of luck regardless,

Peace.
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2005, 04:33:39 AM »

One synod with which I am familiar chrismates Non-Chalcedonians as well but this is because in the era of ecumenism, it was felt that confession only would make the Non-Chalcedonian convert beleive his former Church was identical to the (Eastern) Orthodox Church, and that there had to be a clear distinction.ÂÂ  Non-Chalcedonian Copts chrismate Eastern Orthodox converting.

Chrismating a Copt could be considered an act of "reverse economy" called akreveia because one is surpassing the canons for the good of the soul (whereas economy is letting the canon be applied more loosely).ÂÂ  It is abnormal insomuch as it is a deviation from the standard just as chrismating an Eastern Rite Catholic instead of baptizing him would be an economy and while acceptable if the bishop judged it, it would be an exception.

Anastasios

This was really informative! Thanks!
I will discuss it with the Dean of the Theological School of Athens, when I can get him on the Phone.
I have been reading a book of his, about Baptism, Chrismation and economy on receiving Protestants and Latins in the Church. This has been a very interesting talk.
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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2005, 09:03:09 AM »

EA,

Am I to infer by your indignation that the O-O Churches have historically not had a rite of renunciation (or perhaps even something more extreme) for receiving E-O Christians into their communion?

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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2005, 10:57:34 AM »

EA, thanks and same to you in whatever you do in life.

God bless you richly,
                             Timos
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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2005, 10:15:10 PM »

EA,

Am I to infer by your indignation that the O-O Churches have historically not had a rite of renunciation (or perhaps even something more extreme) for receiving E-O Christians into their communion?



I would be interested in knowing this, as well.  If the indignation shown (which is justifiable in content but pushing it, EA, in terms of sarcastic tone and word choice) is similarly "deserved" from our side, then I hardly understand your reaction...
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« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2005, 10:26:52 PM »

Augustine and Pedro,

I for one am always stressing that people be consistent and objective in their arguments, statements, and positions, and hence it would be hypocritical of me not to go out of my own way to adopt such an approach with regards to this particular issue myself.

To be honest, I have no idea concerning how the Coptic Church officially receives Eastern Orthodox converts; I have only heard personal testimonies including that of Dimitrius in the “Marrying a Copt” thread and another member who used to be involved on this forum and whom I keep in contact with, who used to be Russian Orthodox. Both speak nothing of renunciation, and only of chrismation. If these two cases that I know of are exceptions, such that the Coptic Church today requires an Eastern Orthodox to renounce Nestorianism as if this heresy is the EO’s current belief, then I would disagree with, and have issues with that. If however this was the practice adopted between 451 — 533 then I would have no issues with it whatsoever, for the event of Chalcedon gave the Copts every reason to reasonably believe that your Church was Nestorian (note that I do not state anything conclusive with regards to whether your church actually was Nestorian in this period), however there is no excuse after 533, when your fifth council rectified all previous errors and clarified ambiguous and questionable intentions.

In any event, you must take into account that the context of my criticism also surrounded the reasons for one converting. Timos, Dimitrius and ex-RO (I don’t think he would mind me revealing his identity, but just incase, I’ll refer to him as ex-RO), all converted equally believing in the Orthodoxy of both the EO and OO Church, and in the validity of both Church's sacraments. However the act of converting is in itself a big deal, and out of all three converts I find that only the latter two had sufficient reason for doing so. Whereas Timos wants to get back to his “historical roots”, Dimitrius was considering marriage and his future family, and ex-RO converted due to his convictions and the fact he could not honestly confess Chalcedon as a genuine Ecumenical council after his indepth study of it.

Furthermore I had another Russian Orthodox who had PM’d me a while ago on a Coptic forum, after I had answered an inquiry of his into Coptic Orthodoxy, and he told me that he wanted to convert because he had recently been attending Coptic liturgies after first attending out of curiosity, and had fallen in love with it. I thought that this was an absolutely ridiculous reason to want to convert, though I did not directly tell him that; I simply told him to consult the priest of the Church and to tell him everything he told me, knowing that any reasonable Coptic priest would not encourage such a conversion based on such reason.

If nothing I have said above has satisfactorily answered your question, allow me to also state, that if Timos’ thread and position was one created and adopted (respectively) by an EO converting to the Coptic Church, I would think no differently; the only possible difference may be that I would just keep my thoughts to myself.

Peace.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2005, 10:42:35 PM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
Tags: GOC Rudder canon Trullo conversion Coptic Orthodox Church baptism Chrismation 
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