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Author Topic: Chrisimation alone or the "Works"  (Read 10585 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 11, 2002, 08:13:00 PM »

I have been thinking today about the reception of converts into the Church and was wondering what the posters here thought:  (This is for my situation, a baptized Roman Catholic)

All the entry Sacraments:

Because my baptism was done with the Trinitarian understanding of the filioque it was not a true belief in the Trinity as understood by Holy Orthodoxy.  Since I was a member of a heretical sect it would seem most logical to gain a full entrance to Orthodoxy with Orthodox sacraments.

Chrisimation alone:

There is one baptism, and I was baptized "In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

This also has me wondering how the Orthodox view conditional baptism and is that an option?  Any thoughts about the above?

Thanks,
Derek
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2002, 10:31:35 PM »

The Orthodox would receive you economically, most likely by chrismation, unless you ask for baptism. I don't think it would be 'conditional baptism' in their eyes. That's only when one is not sure if one ever was baptized at all. But you can look at it that way Orthodoxically if you want. If there was no grace in your original baptism, the Church fills in that grace.
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2002, 01:16:29 AM »

Your priest will decide how you are received.  I would think chrismation would be the norm for someone in your situation.

Eugene Rose (later Fr. Seraphim) was received by chrismation and not by baptism.  If I recall, he was baptized a Methodist.  If it was viewed as appropriate by St. John Maximovitch to receive Eugene this way, then I think it would be fine for you.  Eugene also was chrismated as "Eugene" and kept the name given to him by his parents until he took his monastic vows.

FWIW, when I was chrismated, I kept my given name.

Lord have mercy,
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2002, 06:11:21 PM »

Ideally, I believe Baptism should be the mode of reception for converts, at least in our time (in addition, this is the manner converts are received if "exactitude" is being practiced by the Bishop).  I believe this because...

a) There are, sadly, plenty of false witnesses in our day who in the name of ecumenism, are teaching a "baptismal theology" which confuses the real borders of the Orthodox Church, and tries to muddy clear waters.  It is simply erroneous to equivocate between the mysteries celebrated by the Church, and those celebrated in non-Orthodox confessions.  Baptizing converts clearly refutes this modern error in practice.

b) There are sadly, many cases where non-Orthodox are being received from confessions that administer something which can scarcely be viewed as a baptism of any kind (water simply being rubbed on a baby's forehead, or non-trinitarian baptisms, or strange forms of baptism practiced by some sects.)  This situation could be avoided if exactitude was practiced.

c) I think there are some converts to Orthodoxy, who in latter years have some anxiety over how they were received.  While this may be unfounded (since reception by chrismation is permissable), it's better to avoid such scruples, particularly if point (b) may apply to their situation.

I'm sure there are other reasons I could think of, but those are the most immediate.

I of course do not doubt for a second the propriety (when the motives are good) of receiving a convert via chrismation - I know St.Herman of Alaska had received a Lutheran convert this way.  As another poster mentioned, this is how Fr.Seraphim (of blessed memory) was received, under the supervision of St.John (Maximovitch.)  Though I am a part of a "juristiction" which receives converts by baptism (exclusively as far as I know), it is mostly for the reasons I just mentioned, and not for the following reasons (which I find to be wanting, and historically inaccurate)...

1) Anything besides baptism by triple immersion cannot even qualify as having the form of a baptism: though I agree it is wrong to make baptism via pouring some water over the forehead the "standard" (even in the west this was a late in the game innovation, which began centuries after the "great schism"), the truth is that the Didache (ancient Christian manual from the late first/early second century) says this is an acceptable form of baptism if immersion is not possible, and it is done in cases of emergency even in the context of modern Orthodoxy.  Also, there is some evidence that something like a combination of immersion/pouring was practiced in some parts of the ancient western church (person entering a shallow baptismal pool, and having water picked up from it and poured over his head).

2) Heretical/Schismatical Sacraments are not true mysteries, so they must be ignored: While I agree they are not true mysteries, this has not stopped the Church from filling and healing what is wanting in them in times past.  If one denies this possibility, then they are going to have to argue with quite a few Saints, since a more liberal form of reception of converts from other Christian groups has, on the whole, been the norm in the Orthodox world (particularly in Russia).

With that said however, I think there is an important value in receiving converts via exactitude; but if the motives are proper, it's not some great travesty of justice for converts to be received via chrismation (or in some cases, perhaps if the entire form of the rites they received in a sect were entirely Orthodox, by something as simple as a renunciation of errors and profession of the true faith.)

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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2002, 01:30:04 AM »

I would suggest going by whatever your Bishop/Priest says. It is my understand that anything that might be "lacking" in a previous Trinitarian baptism will be made up for by the the sacraments of Chrismation, Confession and partaking of the Eucharist. I thinkwe should be obedient to the Bishop/Priest in such matters (cf Heb. 13:17), and I also think it will also be credited to you as righteousness.
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2002, 10:22:26 PM »

My friend who was Catholic was received by the OCA by confession, profession of faith, and communion last November.  Another friend of mine was received the same way by the MP.  If I make the final jump to Orthodoxy, it would probably have to be this way because I could not see myself undergoing chrismation when I experienced chrismation in the Byzantine Catholic Church.

In Christ,

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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2002, 10:39:34 PM »

[My friend who was Catholic was received by the OCA by confession, profession of faith, and communion last November.  Another friend of mine was received the same way by the MP.  If I make the final jump to Orthodoxy, it would probably have to be this way because I could not see myself undergoing chrismation when I experienced chrismation in the Byzantine Catholic Church.]

My OCA priest who himself is a convert from the Byzantine Catholic Church would receive you the same way.

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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2002, 11:11:18 PM »

Dustin,

Was your friend RC or EC?  I know the guidelines Bishop Tikhon has is that ECs are received by confession while RCs are received by chrismation.
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2002, 08:06:20 AM »

I know the guidelines Bishop Tikhon has is that ECs are received by confession while RCs are received by chrismation.

Why the difference?
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2002, 10:23:31 AM »

The distinction between Eastern Catholics and Roman Catholics in reception of former members of each doesn't make logical sense to me either. In Orthodox theology a non-Orthodox is a non-Orthodox. A Catholic is a Catholic, too. One of the chief objections to Eastern Catholicism is it is attached to another church, not the Orthodox communion, and therefore is beyond the pale. Why backtrack from that regarding reception of converts? Is it because the Byzantine Rite forms of the sacraments are seen as easier to 'fill in' with grace than Roman Rite forms? That still doesn't make sense.
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2002, 10:55:35 AM »

The distinction between Eastern Catholics and Roman Catholics in reception of former members of each doesn't make logical sense to me either. In Orthodox theology a non-Orthodox is a non-Orthodox. A Catholic is a Catholic, too. One of the chief objections to Eastern Catholicism is it is attached to another church, not the Orthodox communion, and therefore is beyond the pale. Why backtrack from that regarding reception of converts? Is it because the Byzantine Rite forms of the sacraments are seen as easier to 'fill in' with grace than Roman Rite forms? That still doesn't make sense.

I'm in agreement with you, Serge.  When my wife, four children and I were received into Holy Orthodoxy (OCA) from the Unia (we had been Byzantine-Ruthenian Rite Catholics) some twenty-five years ago now, it was by Confession, *Chrismation*, and Holy Communion despite the fact that we had been Eastern Catholics and despite the fact that the youngest of our children had very recently been baptized and chrismated as a Byzantine-Ruthenian Eastern Catholic.  The priest who received us made no distinction between the reception of Latins and Uniates, but then, I think we were the first Uniates he received as a recent convert to Orthodoxy himself.

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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2002, 11:18:51 AM »

There may be some thought as to the Latin-rite confirmation not really being a chrismation.

The text of Bishop Tikhon's letters is here: http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit10.html
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2002, 02:08:55 PM »

Regarding the letter from Bishop Tikhon, who has my utmost respect:

1. He is a former Lutheran himself.

2. It seems unfair to call born non-Orthodox hereTICS since they didn't CHOOSE hereSY. (The Greek word heresein means to pick and choose.)

3. I don't think he even mentions Latin confirmation but seems to assume many Roman Catholics aren't confirmed (and perhaps many aren't - I don't know).
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2002, 03:58:06 PM »

Dear Moronikos,

Both of the individuals mentioned, while having attended a Byzantine Catholic Church, were chrismated in the latin rite Church.

In Christ,

anastasios
(who was chrismated a la Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic)
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2002, 03:54:12 PM »

I have been thinking today about the reception of converts into the Church and was wondering what the posters here thought:  (This is for my situation, a baptized Roman Catholic)

All the entry Sacraments:

Because my baptism was done with the Trinitarian understanding of the filioque it was not a true belief in the Trinity as understood by Holy Orthodoxy.  Since I was a member of a heretical sect it would seem most logical to gain a full entrance to Orthodoxy with Orthodox sacraments.

Chrisimation alone:

There is one baptism, and I was baptized "In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

This also has me wondering how the Orthodox view conditional baptism and is that an option?  Any thoughts about the above?

Thanks,
Derek

Canon XCV.

Those who from the heretics come over to orthodoxy, and to the number of those who should be saved, we receive according to the following order and custom. Arians, Macedonians, Novatians, who call themselves Cathari, Aristeri, and Testareskaidecatitae, or Tetraditae, and Apollinarians, we receive on their presentation of certificates and on their anathematizing every heresy which does not hold as does the holy Apostolic Church of God: then first of all we anoint them with the holy chrism on their foreheads, eyes, nostrils, mouth and ears; and as we seal them we say- "The seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost."

But concerning the Paulianists it has been determined by the Catholic Church that they shall by all means be rebaptized. The Eunomeans also, who baptize with one immersion; and the Montanists, who here are called Phrygians; and the Sabellians, who consider the Son to be the same as the Father, and are guilty in certain other grave matters, and all the other heresies-for there are many heretics here, especially those who come from the region of the Galatians-all of their number who are desirous of coming to the Orthodox faith, we receive as Gentiles. And on the first day we make them Christians, on the second Catechumens, then on the third day we exorcise them, at the same time also breathing thrice upon their faces and cars; and thus we initiate them, and we make them spend time in church and hear the Scriptures; and then we baptize them.

And the Manichaeans, and Valentinians and Marcionites and all of similar heresies must give certificates and anathematize each his own heresy, and also Nestorius, Eutyches, Dioscorus, Severus, and the other chiefs of such heresies, and those who think with them, and all the aforesaid heresies; and so they become partakers of the holy Communion.

http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-14/Npnf2-14-136.htm#TopOfPage

This is a pretty interesting Canon from Council in Trullo.  After reading this I think you'll agree there ain't no one way to do this.  I once had an old calendarist priest scoff in my face when I asked him about reception by baptism, I asked him if they based their decision on whether a certificate could be presented.  He thought me so western for thinking in terms of certificates.  I didn't have the heart to tell him where I got the idea.
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2002, 04:25:38 PM »

Quote
Arians, Macedonians, Novatians, who call themselves Cathari, Aristeri, and Testareskaidecatitae, or Tetraditae, and Apollinarians, we receive on their presentation of certificates and on their anathematizing every heresy which does not hold as does the holy Apostolic Church of God: then first of all we anoint them with the holy chrism on their foreheads, eyes, nostrils, mouth and ears; and as we seal them we say- "The seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost."

The Protestants of their day. The church filled in the grace for their baptisms.

Quote
But concerning the Paulianists it has been determined by the Catholic Church that they shall by all means be rebaptized. The Eunomeans also, who baptize with one immersion; and the Montanists, who here are called Phrygians; and the Sabellians, who consider the Son to be the same as the Father, and are guilty in certain other grave matters, and all the other heresies-for there are many heretics here, especially those who come from the region of the Galatians-all of their number who are desirous of coming to the Orthodox faith, we receive as Gentiles.

The Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses of their day. Non-Christians.

Quote
And the Manichaeans, and Valentinians and Marcionites and all of similar heresies must give certificates and anathematize each his own heresy, and also Nestorius, Eutyches, Dioscorus, Severus, and the other chiefs of such heresies, and those who think with them, and all the aforesaid heresies; and so they become partakers of the holy Communion.

The 'Catholics' of their day? Not rebaptized, not rechrismated: a profession of faith and Communion.
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« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2002, 05:13:16 PM »

Quote
Arians, Macedonians, Novatians, who call themselves Cathari, Aristeri, and Testareskaidecatitae, or Tetraditae, and Apollinarians, we receive on their presentation of certificates and on their anathematizing every heresy which does not hold as does the holy Apostolic Church of God: then first of all we anoint them with the holy chrism on their foreheads, eyes, nostrils, mouth and ears; and as we seal them we say- "The seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost."

The Protestants of their day. The church filled in the grace for their baptisms.

Quote
But concerning the Paulianists it has been determined by the Catholic Church that they shall by all means be rebaptized. The Eunomeans also, who baptize with one immersion; and the Montanists, who here are called Phrygians; and the Sabellians, who consider the Son to be the same as the Father, and are guilty in certain other grave matters, and all the other heresies-for there are many heretics here, especially those who come from the region of the Galatians-all of their number who are desirous of coming to the Orthodox faith, we receive as Gentiles.

The Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses of their day. Non-Christians.

Quote
And the Manichaeans, and Valentinians and Marcionites and all of similar heresies must give certificates and anathematize each his own heresy, and also Nestorius, Eutyches, Dioscorus, Severus, and the other chiefs of such heresies, and those who think with them, and all the aforesaid heresies; and so they become partakers of the holy Communion.

The 'Catholics' of their day? Not rebaptized, not rechrismated: a profession of faith and Communion.

It could be read that way.  A couple other things to notice.  I like the progression of being "made a Christian" then a "Catechumen", then baptism.  Also, the Eunomians were basically Arians, though more narrow I guess than most.  It seems relevant that the canon emphasizes the one immersion as an issue.  I'm not sure if this canon implies that single immersion or lack of immersion is itself critical or raises the single immersion as evidence of a non-Trinitarian religion.

In a previous post I referred to a priest as "an old calendarist" but the calendar question is irrelevant, I should ahve just said HOCNA which is a pretty narrowly affiliated group with suspended communion with almost all other Orthodox bishops it seems.
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« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2002, 05:15:54 PM »

HOCNA (Holy Orthodox Church of North America) are non-Orthodox. Former Orthodox, who originally were in the Greek Archdiocese, then ROCOR, but then left the Orthodox communion.
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« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2002, 05:38:13 PM »

HOCNA (Holy Orthodox Church of North America) are non-Orthodox. Former Orthodox, who originally were in the Greek Archdiocese, then ROCOR, but then left the Orthodox communion.

I won't call them "non-Orthodox" but my only point was to clarify that I shouldn't have used the term Old Calendarist like I did.

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« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2002, 09:55:14 PM »

HOCNA (Holy Orthodox Church of North America) are non-Orthodox. Former Orthodox, who originally were in the Greek Archdiocese, then ROCOR, but then left the Orthodox communion.

The thought that the HOCNA was Orthodox because of, and more importantly, through communion with ROCOR, which, by this understanding, must themselves be hanging by a tether is fantastic. Oh what a frightening state the world has become when Orthodoxy is measured by communion with droves of heretics and nothing can be said for firmness of faith. When has a saint or a canon ever stated we are in some way obligated to commune with heretics? In fact, every fibre of Orthodoxy states otherwise.

In this way the saints are honored with the lips, but rejected in essence.

And what of this concept where the "church fills in whatever Grace is missing" when receiving heretics, as if there may be "allot of Grace", or perhaps just a little; as if Grace can exist in varying quantities depending on how bad the heresy is, or how good their "magic" is. What tradition is this? Is this Latin teaching? Since when does the Church ever rebaptize? There is only one baptism, and that is the Baptism of the one Church of Christ.

The fact of the matter is that the Church has never recognized the Mysteries of heretics. They have in some cases recognized that through the exceptional exercise of "economy", the form does not have to be repeated, if it was in fact an Orthodox form, but in all cases the person is only baptized when entering the Church.  The very subject line of this thread is flawed, because you always get "the works".

It would be a heretical concept to say the Mysteries of the Church exist outside of and independent of the Church and despite an unorthodox faith. After all, if this is true of this Mystery, why not say the communion of heretics might also be real? And we now arrive at the Protestant notion of a fuzzy pluralistic invisible church.

And the ecumenists say they are not relativists. They are creating an army of relativists with this concept. Soon there will be no need for the Church since its Mysteries are available in the supermarket.

There is an indisputable "boundary" of the Body of the Church which is delineated and reveals the "ultimate limits" of the Church: the correctness of Faith of which the Mysteries are an expression.

The Holy Hieromartyr Hippolytus of Rome is quite clear in stating that "the Apostles, having received the Holy Spirit bequeathed to the Church, have transmitted Him to those who rightly believe." The Holy Spirit "was bequeathed" to the Apostolic Church at Pentecost, and since then "has been transmitted to those who rightly believe."
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« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2002, 10:10:30 PM »

OOD, with an attitude like that you'll drive yourself right out of the Church if you're not already there.
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« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2002, 10:20:00 PM »

OOD, with an attitude like that you'll drive yourself right out of the Church if you're not already there.

I sure pray not.

Please understand that I am not trying to irritate or scandalize you. I am sure you have a good heart and are well meaning, and I hope you extend the same benefit of the doubt to me.

God Bless.
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« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2002, 11:29:30 PM »

Archbishop Peter L'Huiller wrote a good article called "the Reception of Roman Catholics into Orthodoxy" in the 1980's in St. Vladimir's Quarterly.  He discusses the historical ways that Catholics and others were received into the Orthodox Church.

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2002, 11:49:34 PM »

Would a Muslim child baptized--without his parents permission or knowledge--by a Greek Orthodox layperson be considered a Christian?

Abdur
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« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2002, 12:30:02 AM »

Abdur,

That's a tough call.

From a Latin Catholic POV, it would probably be yes: a person intended to do the will of the Church by baptising an infant; they used correct form, etc.

Of course it all depends on where the child goes after that--ultimately we all have to respond to God's grace personally.

I really don't know what the Orthodox would say, especially since baptism is not seen in such strictly legal ways in the Orthodox Church.

I would probably commend the person who did the baptism if they kept their mouth shut to the parents--it might have been the only chance that baby had to come into contact with God's grace in a sacramental sense--but if they later revealed what they had done it might cause considerable scandal to the parents.

An interesting proposition though.

IN Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2002, 10:07:12 AM »

[Would a Muslim child baptized--without his parents permission or knowledge--by a Greek Orthodox layperson be considered a Christian?

I think this would fall under what is known as 'conditional baptism'.
Depends upon the circumstances of the baptism.  Under normal circumstances if it was the layperson doing the baptism I would say no.
However, if the baby was baptised because the layperson thought the baby was dying and whose soul was in danger, then I'm sure the church would recognize the baptism.  But I am not an expert so maybe some of our clerg can answer this.

Orthodoc

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« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2002, 02:22:23 PM »

Quote from Sick Canary:
Canon XCV.
...
But concerning the Paulianists ... on the third day we exorcise them, at the same time also breathing thrice upon their faces and cars ..."


Wow!  The Fathers of Trullo were very forward-looking!  Tongue  But I would never have guessed they were radical enviromentalists.   Grin

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« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2002, 11:34:18 PM »

Upon further reading and study regarding Serge’s argument, that economia was exercised by varying degrees based on “how bad” their heresy or schism was, implying that Grace was recognized by the Church in varying degrees, I would like to present my findings.

In the list of heresies and schisms found in the Canon of the Council of Trullo, we find that there are basically two groups. One group (Group 1) was ordered to be received by Chrismation, and the other group (Group 2), was ordered to be “re”-baptized.

Was Group 1, those ordered to be received by Chrismation, “just” schismatics; and those of Group 2, those ordered to be “re”-baptized, heretical? This must be the case to align with Serge’s teaching. This is not the case however.

While the Novatians and the Quatrodecimans in Group 1 may actually have been schismatics, the Arians in the same group were heretics of the deepest dye. The question may then be asked: perhaps they were more Orthodox in their Trinitarian and Christological teachings than those of Group 2? No again, the Montanist’s were almost, if not completely, Orthodox in their opinions concerning the Holy Trinity and Christ. The Arians were however pitifully in error in these vital doctrines.

Yet the Arians are in Group 1 and the Montanist’s are in Group 2!

The same is true for the Eunomians (who used one immersion, failed to use the proper words, and had anti-Trinitarian doctrine) and Cathari.

The owner of the most powerful intellect would soon be carried off screaming to a madhouse to try and reconcile this.

The measure the Holy Fathers used to group these people was by their correctness in the form of their “dippings”.

This is why each and every sect in Group 1 practiced the correct form of the Mystery whereas in Groups 2, each and every sect did not practice the form correctly. Striking.

And to repeat my earlier confession, the correctness of the form was only important and necessary to even consider administering “economy”, by which life is given to the dead and meaningless form. This is in keeping with the Holy Fathers of later Ecumenical Synods, who declared the “dippings” of heretics and schismatics meaningless; Ecumenical Synods do not contradict themselves.

And this practice of the Holy Fathers is in stark contrast to the deviations of the innovationist “assemblies” usurping the name "Orthodox" of today.

Now, if we are to entertain the papal theory espoused by Serge that "dippings" performed outside the Church are real in whole or in part, we must examine the innovationist practice as a whole. They must say, when heretics decide to enter the Church, they must, under no circumstances, be RE-baptized, for no excuse or circumstance can excuse the sin of knowingly RE-baptizing an already baptized person. Thus it must follow that the sainted fathers of the Holy Orthodox Church, who regularly baptized all heretics, were guilty of the most heinous sin! This hypothetical assumpsion has forced us to a great absurdity. And it forces us to even greater absurdies too, but that is enough for now.

The Holy Father to read for this subject is St. Cyprian. It is impossible to add anything to what he has to say and equally impossible to contradict. He is to this subject what St. Photios is to the “filioque”.
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« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2005, 07:02:09 PM »

Hey folks,

   First, I want to thank everyone who so thoroughly answered my topic concerning lay baptisms in extreme conditions. Thank you all.

   I'm still interested in converting to Orthodoxy, and I will write the priest soon. I heard, from a few people "my jurisdiction rebaptizes", "mine doesn't", etc. Are there certain Orthodox Churches that rebaptise and others that don't?
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« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2005, 07:57:17 PM »

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I'm still interested in converting to Orthodoxy, and I will write the priest soon. I heard, from a few people "my jurisdiction rebaptizes", "mine doesn't", etc. Are there certain Orthodox Churches that rebaptise and others that don't?

A better way to put it is that some bishops receive all converts by baptism, and some by baptism, chrismation, or even just confession. Some jurisdictions have a unified policy, like the Antiochians, some have a mostly unified policy with some exceptions, such as the OCA and the ROCOR, and some depend on whatever the priest or bishop think is best, such as the GOA.
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« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2005, 12:22:24 PM »

I was just thinking about this subject yesterday, too!

I was confirmed RC, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation..

So, when I enter the Orthodox Church someday, isn't a requirement of being Chrismated implying I never really received the Holy Spirit?  I think it would be wonderful to go through the Sacrament/Ceremony, but isn't the Holy Spirit already there?

IMO, if you have already been baptized in the Trinity, been confirmed as in the RCC, it makes sense that you need only go to confession, profess your belief in Orthodoxy, (or along those lines),  and receive Communion.   Of course, only when your Priest feels you are ready to do so.

And, who makes the final decision?  (of what is necessary for each convert)

Thank you,
Irene   Smiley 

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« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2005, 12:35:56 PM »

So, when I enter the Orthodox Church someday, isn't a requirement of being Chrismated implying I never really received the Holy Spirit?

Exactly. This is the teaching of Orthodoxy that those outside the Church not having Grace in their mysteries. This is why many Baptize all converts, so that the convert does not get confused and thing that there was Grace in the "sacraments" they received in their previous Church.
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« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2005, 03:06:27 PM »

I was just thinking about this subject yesterday, too!

I was confirmed RC, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation..

So, when I enter the Orthodox Church someday, isn't a requirement of being Chrismated implying I never really received the Holy Spirit? I think it would be wonderful to go through the Sacrament/Ceremony, but isn't the Holy Spirit already there?

IMO, if you have already been baptized in the Trinity, been confirmed as in the RCC, it makes sense that you need only go to confession, profess your belief in Orthodoxy, (or along those lines), and receive Communion. Of course, only when your Priest feels you are ready to do so.

And, who makes the final decision? (of what is necessary for each convert)

Thank you,
Irene Smiley

 

The reasoning behind only confessing for RCs was for those Russians that had left the Church (e.g. Uniatism) and then returned.  It wasn't meant for those RC that were never Orthodox, hence Chrismation.
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« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2005, 12:26:52 PM »

From what I've gathered reading about different converts experiences, the majority are Chrismated in the Orthodox Church, and the Baptisms are accepted, (if Trinitarian) so are not done.

That makes me wonder why one and not the other, too?  If the Church is saying they are the only True Church, how can it be broken down like that?  Aren't they all valid or none at all?     

Irene (little mind wondering away) 
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« Reply #34 on: June 06, 2005, 12:33:32 PM »

That makes me wonder why one and not the other, too?  If the Church is saying they are the only True Church, how can it be broken down like that?  Aren't they all valid or none at all?     

Ire- (ahem) Irene, ( Grin)

Yes, the sacraments are one within the Church; just because we chrismate some and baptize others doesn't mean we think that the baptism they received outside the Church is "valid," "effective" or anything else.  It just means that we can accept the form of their baptism as just that--an empty form--and fill it with the grace of the Holy Spirit at chrismation, grace which is only present in the Church.

The fact that some in the Church are abusing this practice (and the idea that goes along with it) does not make the actual practice wrong or heretical.  The sacraments still belong to the Church alone; they're just being dispensed in different ways, but with the same understanding.
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« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2005, 06:11:11 PM »

Pedro,

great sense of humor have you! 


Thanks for the explanation, NOW I understand.   Makes sense that way.

Irene   (thinking how smart I will seem to my Priest with all the info learned on this forum!)


   




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« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2005, 09:02:08 AM »

*pleaase correct me if i am wrong* I work with an Orthodox lady (baptised GO, raised RC* and she said that in Greece (she lived there forever) that they would make you get re-baptised...but perhaps this is if you are not baptised in the name of the trinity? I was baptised as an infant (i suppose circumstantial) before an operation at 11 days old) but in the name of the trinity, and after careful looking at my certificate, that was all ok with my priest, so i just had the crismation.
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« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2005, 12:56:43 AM »

It worries me that they in some Orthodox circles they say "Roman Catholics, Anglicans or Lutherans" as if they were the same thing. I mean, RC's are much closer to Orthodox than the Lutherans are, simply because no-Protestant religion preserved priesthood and traditional sacraments as they exist in the Orthodox Church.  Angry

It's my understanding (at least here in Latin-America) that people coming from the Roman Church are chrismated when they did not have the "confirmation" by RC Bishop and received by simple confession, even the Greek jusirsdiction does that here. This is the case of adult conversts.

The problem is that the modern Roman Church (specialy in urban zones) has departed even more from traditional Christian practice and not even their own rules are followed. I have witnessed Baptisms where the water doesn't even touch the head of the baby and the confirmations by Bishops are now performed in strange ways (I think it was in Holland where even Rome declared some multiple confirmations to be invalid or something like that). They no longer use the Holy Oil as prescribed (any kind of oil is now used).

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« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2005, 03:03:37 AM »

The real issue here for the most part is that all of these sacraments are done by the authority and permission of an Orthodox Bishop; if chrismation is done without baptism due to a prior heterodox trinitarianÂÂ  baptism, it would be because the Bishop granted economia and NOT the whim or decison by the local parish priest alone.  A Bishop may declare a policy for his diocese that covers all trinitarian Baptisms with economia or he may choose to make individual decisions on each request.  All economia that is granted is done by the Bishop as the Archpastor or shepherd of his Diocese who has been given the Charism of the Holy Spirit to make such decisions for his Diocese with his calling and ordination. When he steps over the bounds of canonicity, it is up to his fellow bishop's to call him to task, not the laity in these matters. The withdrawal of intercommunion by a synod or jurisdiction shows the ire of the other Bishops and is supposed to bring the bishop to defend his stand or renounce his stand before the Synod of Bishops he is a member of. The Laity may make the eventÂÂ  aware to the Synod, but it is the Synod that must take the action, not the laity, of such is the form of the Hierarchal Orthodox Church.

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« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2005, 09:22:45 AM »

Quote
It worries me that they in some Orthodox circles they say "Roman Catholics, Anglicans or Lutherans" as if they were the same thing. I mean, RC's are much closer to Orthodox than the Lutherans are, simply because no-Protestant religion preserved priesthood and traditional sacraments as they exist in the Orthodox Church.  Angry

True in one sense, but as all are outside of Orthodoxy, and all of the groups above baptize by pouring or even sprinkling, ekonomia should not be used and they should be received by baptism.  Also, the Orthodox Church does not accept Roman Catholic sacraments or priesthood, even though it is happy that they have maintained the outward form, because this will make any reunion easier.

Quote
It's my understanding (at least here in Latin-America) that people coming from the Roman Church are chrismated when they did not have the "confirmation" by RC Bishop and received by simple confession, even the Greek jusirsdiction does that here. This is the case of adult conversts.

That could be the case, and is evidence of a widening gulf between modern Orthodox practice and the trajectory that was in motion until the early 20th century.  Even in Russia, reception by confession was fading and Catholics seem to have been being chrismated again at least in some areas--I have seen the parish registrars indicating such in a few areas, and this might be an anomoly some could say, but still it seems to indicate to me at least that some people were beginning to realize the faulty reasoning upon which reception by confession is based (St Peter Moghila's acceptance of RC 'orders').

Quote
The problem is that the modern Roman Church (specialy in urban zones) has departed even more from traditional Christian practice and not even their own rules are followed. I have witnessed Baptisms where the water doesn't even touch the head of the baby and the confirmations by Bishops are now performed in strange ways (I think it was in Holland where even Rome declared some multiple confirmations to be invalid or something like that). They no longer use the Holy Oil as prescribed (any kind of oil is now used).

Strictly speaking, it doesn't matter how the Roman Church does a baptism; Roman Catholics should be received by baptism at least in traditional Greek understanding.  However, you are on to something in that the times when ekonomia is used become less and less when the circumstances you cite become more and more prevalent.

Anastasios
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« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2005, 09:24:47 AM »

Quote
All economia that is granted is done by the Bishop as the Archpastor or shepherd of his Diocese who has been given the Charism of the Holy Spirit to make such decisions for his Diocese with his calling and ordination. When he steps over the bounds of canonicity, it is up to his fellow bishop's to call him to task, not the laity in these matters. The withdrawal of intercommunion by a synod or jurisdiction shows the ire of the other Bishops and is supposed to bring the bishop to defend his stand or renounce his stand before the Synod of Bishops he is a member of. The Laity may make the event  aware to the Synod, but it is the Synod that must take the action, not the laity, of such is the form of the Hierarchal Orthodox Church.

When that works, the laity should do it.  Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way, and since the Orthodox Church is not merely hierarchical but involves the entire laos of God, the people often have to step in and set things right...such is proven from myriad examples in Church history, but should only be used as a very last resort...as they say on those infomercials: "Don't try this at home!" Wink

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« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2005, 10:12:28 AM »

When that works, the laity should do it.ÂÂ  Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way, and since the Orthodox Church is not merely hierarchical but involves the entire laos of God, the people often have to step in and set things right.

Of course, if you're talking about being converted, you aren't laity yet.... Grin
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« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2005, 11:09:32 AM »

Of course, if you're talking about being converted, you aren't laity yet.... Grin

My own personal situation has not been discussed for almost a year, and if I can help it, won't ever be again (i.e. there wasn't any big annoucement nor will there be) so really, you are just conjecturing Smiley

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« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2005, 08:22:25 PM »

Also, the Orthodox Church does not accept Roman Catholic sacraments or priesthood, even though it is happy that they have maintained the outward form, because this will make any reunion easier.

There's no official or absolute statement accepted by all the Orthodox Churches and theologians denying or approving the "validity" of the mysteries received at non-Orthodox Apostolic Churches (Catholics and Non-Chalcedonians).

Canonical Orthodox Churches receive ex-Roman priests through vesting and not through re-ordination (even those who have been ordained in modern times). The Holy Ghost infirms what is infirm in the mysteries given outside the Church (they exist because of the Church don't they?).

On the other side, there are cases where Old-Calendarist priests who are received in the Church of Greece have been re-ordained and when their faithful are received by Chrismation.

Blessings!
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« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2005, 08:37:41 PM »

My own personal situation has not been discussed for almost a year, and if I can help it, won't ever be again (i.e. there wasn't any big annoucement nor will there be) so really, you are just conjecturing Smiley

I did not mean particularly you, but someone in general who is converting.
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« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2005, 11:30:15 PM »

Hi, I didn't read the entire thread as I dont have time right now but I will tomorrow...anyhow I was wondering about my own situation.

Basically, my great great grand-parents came to Alexandria, Egypt a looong time ago like before the 1890'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 my family has 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 this is my question: Do you guys think 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 (I'm a guy Smiley

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

The bad 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?

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 #46 on: July 09, 2005, 02:56:26 PM »

anybody? lol. This is actually really bothering me and I was wondering what any of you thought of it.
Thanks,
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« Reply #47 on: July 09, 2005, 03:06:49 PM »

Brother Timos,   
I am not qualified to answer your question as I am yet a catachumen.   I wanted you to know that I have indeed read your message and am confident  that others can give you some good guidance.  However,  I would hope that your priest  is knowlegeable in how OOs are normally received into the EO church.   I will pray for you that God's will be done in this situation.
God bless you,     Juliana
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« Reply #48 on: July 09, 2005, 09:36:01 PM »


So this is my question: Do you guys think 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 (I'm a guy Smiley


Timos, I don't think anyone here should even have an opinion about whether you should be "re-chrismated."  This decision is rightly made by the bishops. 
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« Reply #49 on: July 09, 2005, 11:23:29 PM »

Thanks for all your replies. Jennifer- my bishop (who is an Athonite monk) has told me that reception through confession is only necessary. Then again I did not talk directly to the bishop but the archbishop who was not an athonite monk.

I don't know if my archbishop is just being kind and frankly now I'm starting to wonder if he's being ecumenistic...and I wonder if thats good or bad. I am really confused about this whole ecumenism and heresy debate. The Orthodox Church simply doesn't have a defnitive line where positive and negative ecumenism lay. For me positive ecumenism is trying to understand the other side w/o giving up any Orthodox faith. Negative ecumenism is when Orthodoxy gives itsel up jusot for unity. I beleive our Church should work on positive ecumenism and completly shut out negative ecumenism. These are terms I invented because I don't know what the proper theological terms other than "heresy" and "grace" could be used here.

I might want to talk to my athonite bishop and skip the archbishop because he will probably tell me everything without beating around the bush.
I Panagia Mazi sas,
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« Reply #50 on: July 10, 2005, 12:31:14 AM »

Timos, second-guessing a bishop is a very dangerous path to go down.  God has placed this bishop in authority over you.  You are bound to obey him.  That's not to say that we believe that bishops always make the right decisions.  Or even that bishops are infallible.  Unfortunately people sometimes have to disobey their bishops.  But it's not something to be done lightly.  And it's not something that most of us, sinful that we are, are capable of discerning. 

If your bishop is wrong then he is one that will suffer.  God has called you to obey the Church so your obedience is what you'll be judged on. 

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« Reply #51 on: July 10, 2005, 08:31:58 AM »

"God has called you to obey the Church so your obedience is what you'll be judged on."

Exactly and thats why I want to do it the right way. I'll still pray about this issue so I can make sure God is guiding me down the right path.
Timos 
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« Reply #52 on: July 14, 2005, 10:23:35 AM »

Timos, second-guessing a bishop is a very dangerous path to go down.ÂÂ  God has placed this bishop in authority over you.ÂÂ  You are bound to obey him.ÂÂ  That's not to say that we believe that bishops always make the right decisions.ÂÂ  Or even that bishops are infallible.ÂÂ  Unfortunately people sometimes have to disobey their bishops.ÂÂ  But it's not something to be done lightly.ÂÂ  And it's not something that most of us, sinful that we are, are capable of discerning.ÂÂ  

If your bishop is wrong then he is one that will suffer.ÂÂ  God has called you to obey the Church so your obedience is what you'll be judged on.ÂÂ  


Nope. Obedience, my friend,  in Orthodoxy, is not the same as in the Latins.

IF a Bishop orders something AGAINST Church Cannons, he MUST NOT OBEY, as it is stated by St. Nicodemos of Mount Athos, AND St. Ignatius Briachianinov. (hope spelling is okay..)

Of course, this is not easy to see, as you rightly said, and I agree. But the Bishop as well, HAS TO obey to the Church Cannons.
He can't do as he likes. If the Bishop practices anti-orthodox teachings, then he MUST NOT follow him.

Mind you, I'm not talking about Timos, or his Bishop, but only in General.

e.g. I know an Austrian Bishop which GIVES COMMUNION to Latins.
A friend of mine left him, saying inside the Church, for EVERYONE TO HEAR: "YOU ARE A TRAITOR".
He now goes to Russian Church. This was THE RIGHT THING to do. from his part.

Not only did that Bisshop give Communion to non-Orthodox, but he seated the LATIN BISHOP, inside a Church, on the Bishop's Throne (am I saying it correctly , in english?) , sometime at a Liturgy. That was WAY too much, for my friend.

People that do not CONDEMN such practices, are as faulty as the ones practicing them.
Except, if they don't know better.

Obedience, my sister, is a must-do, only if it does not go against the Church Theology & Cannons.


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