I know plenty of good pious Orthodox Christians who don't go around "denouncing" Roman Catholics as heretics. You're correct that we believe that some of the teachings of Roman Catholicism are heresies. However, that does not mean that we "denounce" them.
Good point - unless the topic is pressed, or the Orthodox faith is being attacked in some wise, there is no need to focus on this. Certainly, it's not healthy for one to walk around pre-occupied with how wrong everyone else is.
BTW, I know some good pious Orthodox priests who believe that there may be grace in Roman Catholic sacraments.
I think it's healthy that they're stressing that word - may
. In the end, I think it's fair to say that this topic has been made all the more confusing by a heretical
type of "ecumenism" on one side, and a rabid over-reaction which falsely believes correctness is to be found in becoming the antithesis of your ideological opponents. Both approaches are misguided, and I think fall outside of the calm, yet firm position taken by the Church throughout the ages.
In the end, it's God Who gives grace - and obviously, He can give this in whatever measure wherever He wants, to whoever He wants. It would be imbecillic for anyone to insist otherwise.However
, as far as the Church can be concerned, She can obviously only understand Her own sacraments to be "true" ones. Again, this topic is confused all the more because in recent centuries certain parts of the Orthodox world began to try discussing this topic with a vocabularly which was basically foreign to Orthodoxy - something many contemporary Orthodox theologians have refered to as a theological pseudomorphesus
. Fortunately, one of the real accomplishments of the 20th century was the return of many Orthodox academics and "school theologians" to a native, and more authentic way of phrasing and conceptualizing these truths.
This is why, whenever the Church does accept certain sacramental rites administered in a schism or heresy, She can only be said to do such by economy
- because what She is accepting, is not
Her own, but is being made
Her own - and being given whatever it was lacking. OTOH, while practiced with different levels of frequency depending on the time and place, the Church also has every right to simply ignore what those who are ostensibly alien to Her have administered. This can and does happen, in certain places as a matter of course.
Now, if we doggedly insist upon an unqualified "validity" or equivelence between Orthodox Sacraments and those of the heterodox, one has to condemn what the Church does, and has done, in many times and places, as being sacreligious. I don't know about you, but I have a hard time with that.
I know a priest who used to pray before the Blessed Sacrament in an RC parish. I'm sure you'd "denounce" him but he's been at this much longer than you or me so I'll pay more attention to him.
Well that may be so, but this doesn't make what he was up to kosher. I'm sure he's a lovely man with many virtues, but that doesn't make this at all correct.
I'm going to comment once again on how different the on-line Orthodox world is from the real-life Orthodox world for any of our visitors. In a real Orthodox church, you don't hear "denunciations" of heresy. Real Orthodox people are much more concerned with their own salvation than "denouncing" others. Also, real Orthodox people have affection for other traditional Christians. Most of us are related to non-Orthodox.
Oh I agree, "reality" is in many respects quite a bit different than what you find on these forums. But that cuts both ways.
While it's true that people tend to be much less ostentatious and pushy in the "real world", it's also true that you'll find alot of folks who are not sufficiently informed on this (or sadly many other far more important topics) subject to actually give an informed opinion - and sadly, North America is not the best place to pick up on this topic "via osmosis".