Author Topic: qualifications for Priesthood  (Read 517 times)

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Offline Matthew79

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qualifications for Priesthood
« on: January 18, 2018, 06:14:19 PM »
Are all deacons and priests required to have an Orthodox theological education? Say someone converts from the Catholic Church and they have a degree from their Catholic seminary, is this ever accepted by any Orthodox bishop? I understand an Evangelical convert would probably have to go to Orthodox seminary, regardless of their past education, if anything- to learn how to conduct a Liturgy.

 

Offline Agabus

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Re: qualifications for Priesthood
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 06:53:24 PM »
Are all deacons and priests required to have an Orthodox theological education? Say someone converts from the Catholic Church and they have a degree from their Catholic seminary, is this ever accepted by any Orthodox bishop? I understand an Evangelical convert would probably have to go to Orthodox seminary, regardless of their past education, if anything- to learn how to conduct a Liturgy.

The answer, somewhat frustratingly, is it depends on the bishop, the jurisdiction and -- by all appearances -- the rite.

All ministers being received into the Church with the intention of being ordained go through some kind of Orthodox formation, but it varies somewhat.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: qualifications for Priesthood
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 07:28:18 PM »
Are all deacons and priests required to have an Orthodox theological education? Say someone converts from the Catholic Church and they have a degree from their Catholic seminary, is this ever accepted by any Orthodox bishop? I understand an Evangelical convert would probably have to go to Orthodox seminary, regardless of their past education, if anything- to learn how to conduct a Liturgy. 

Theoretically this is something that is standardized within a larger ecclesial unit - a territory governed by a synod.  For some jurisdictions this is simply the top-level synod of the Autocephalous Church; for others with a more developed regional system, this can be handled within those regions.

I can only provide examples from my experience:

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has a set of standards, and exceptions to those must be approved by the Eparchial (local) Synod (and certain exceptions only by the Patriarchal Synod).  By those standards, it depends on the degree earned, how long since they've converted, and what steps they've taken to learn their new faith's ministerial standards (i.e. rubrics, pastoral guidelines, etc.).

For us, all petitions for ordination must be approved by the Synod or, in between their sessions, by the Archbishop.  Vetting in all cases is done by the Archdiocesan Chancellor's office.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: qualifications for Priesthood
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 09:01:01 PM »
The first Brazilian priests and subdeacons of the Synod of Milan were ordained and married after less than one month living in a monastery with no prior contact to Orthodoxy beside a bishop who had made a quick visit to our country. Turned out pretty fine for us. I've only seen one ordination in my parish and don't really know what specific preparation he was given, but there are two subdeacons in my parish on their way to priesthood. One of them has or had private yet formal classes with Archbishop Chrysostom, the other went for Poland for seven years. I believe priests in more distant and emergence regions may be ordained with far less preparation, but this will definitely require very careful judgment. We can't just spare a small rural village thirsty for Orthodoxy from priests because there's no one there available to learn Russian and stay abroad for years.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 09:04:00 PM by RaphaCam »
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Offline JTLoganville

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Re: qualifications for Priesthood
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 10:56:18 PM »
Some jurisdictions require convert clergy with a Master of Divinity from a non-Orthodox Seminary to successfully complete the St. Stephen's Certificate Course of the Antiochian House of Studies  (AHOS).

AHOS makes very clear that mere completion of the program is no guarantee of Ordination.  Statements to that effect are found not only on the initial application but also on every mailing of tuition bills (2x year) throughout the three year program.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 10:57:14 PM by JTLoganville »

Offline scamandrius

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Re: qualifications for Priesthood
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 11:32:08 PM »
Are all deacons and priests required to have an Orthodox theological education? Say someone converts from the Catholic Church and they have a degree from their Catholic seminary, is this ever accepted by any Orthodox bishop? I understand an Evangelical convert would probably have to go to Orthodox seminary, regardless of their past education, if anything- to learn how to conduct a Liturgy.

No.  I've known a few people elevated to the diaconate as if they were given a "battlefield commission".  Same with the priesthood, too.  As for Evangelical converts, do they have to go seminary? No.  When the Antiochian Archdiocese received some 2000 Evangelicals back in the 1990s, the "priests" of this group were made into Orthodox priests without having to go to an Orthodox seminary or receive additional training.  I'd like to think this was the exception more than the rule but I don't know if it is.  Some other people I know who converted from Lutheranism were made into ORthodox priests almost at the same time they were received into the Orthodox Church through the Antiochian jurisdiction.  Most of these decisions were made by Met. PHILIP of thrice blessed memory. Considering some of the issues that have developed since then, I would hope that the AANA would wait longer.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: qualifications for Priesthood
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2018, 06:32:52 AM »
The first Brazilian priests and subdeacons of the Synod of Milan were ordained and married after less than one month...

lol, where did their wives come from? Was it a volunteer program?
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: qualifications for Priesthood
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2018, 10:12:18 AM »
The first Brazilian priests and subdeacons of the Synod of Milan were ordained and married after less than one month...

lol, where did their wives come from? Was it a volunteer program?
One of them was ordained as a hieromonk, the other was already engaged or at least married non-Orthodoxly, and the woman went to the monastery with the rest of the group and was with them baptised, chrismated and first communed.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Anyhow when God was asked he said Eastern Orthodox is true Church and not Catholic Church. So come home and enjoy.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: qualifications for Priesthood
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 02:08:36 PM »
The first Brazilian priests and subdeacons of the Synod of Milan were ordained and married after less than one month...

lol, where did their wives come from? Was it a volunteer program?
One of them was ordained as a hieromonk, the other was already engaged or at least married non-Orthodoxly, and the woman went to the monastery with the rest of the group and was with them baptised, chrismated and first communed.

Ah. I guess I assumed you were talking about more people. My bad.
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The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things