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Author Topic: Coptic Greek Orthodox couple engagement issue  (Read 8469 times) Average Rating: 0
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Augustine
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« Reply #45 on: March 08, 2006, 02:46:02 PM »

Addai,

Quote
There is no record of any protest against the LAtin sprinkling.   We accept LAtin saints of the time as our own (ones that were baptized with sprinkling).

Well, the Latin Church did not abandon baptism via threefold immersion until well after Rome fell out of communion with the Eastern Patriarchs in the 11th century.  IOW. the Western Saints you rightly venerate, would have been Baptized in the same way the other Saints of the Church were.

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« Reply #46 on: March 08, 2006, 03:51:42 PM »

I insist on my opinion that the converts in the USA should at least be given the freedom of choice (baptism or chrismation) on behalf of the bishops and not being obliged - these who desire to be baptized - to seek a "quite" manner and place to do it.  

I don't think the doctors should be giving the patients the choice of doing reconstructive knee surgery when the doctor says they only need a bandage and some ice; giving the choice on whether to be baptized or just chrismated - it really is damaging to the CHurch, and totally inconsistent with both our ecclesiology and standing practice (of hundreds of years).  I can understand the thinking behind the suggestion, but I feel that having a policy of leaving it up to the catecumen is damaging to the church and against Orthodox practice.
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« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2006, 05:05:02 PM »

I agree with Cleveland.  There has to be some kind of standard.  Leaving it up to the priest only goes so far.  Leaving it up to the catachumen...well, that could be disasterous, and not only for the Church
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« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2006, 07:21:27 PM »

Dear Augustine,

What you say makes perfect sense, but at the same time, I feel there should be a line that needs to be drawn.  In ancient times, heretical and schismatic "Christians" also had sacraments, especially the importance of priesthood.  Today, we have an interestingly unique situation where most Protestants do not.  Thus, my worry still lies on the fact that you may be accepting the baptism from the hands of what is considered in their theology a layman, which is not acceptable in Orthodoxy.

The baptism, in addition, must be administered in a way where people truly believe the effects of such a sacrament to wash away their sins and to have grace of communion in the Church, the Body of Christ, and not just mere symbolism.

God bless.

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« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2006, 08:40:03 PM »

Addai,

Well, the Latin Church did not abandon baptism via threefold immersion until well after Rome fell out of communion with the Eastern Patriarchs in the 11th century.  IOW. the Western Saints you rightly venerate, would have been Baptized in the same way the other Saints of the Church were.



Good to know, thanks.
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« Reply #50 on: March 08, 2006, 08:44:05 PM »

I don't think the doctors should be giving the patients the choice of doing reconstructive knee surgery when the doctor says they only need a bandage and some ice; giving the choice on whether to be baptized or just chrismated - it really is damaging to the CHurch, and totally inconsistent with both our ecclesiology and standing practice (of hundreds of years).  I can understand the thinking behind the suggestion, but I feel that having a policy of leaving it up to the catecumen is damaging to the church and against Orthodox practice.

lol yeah I guess technically speaking that would be "Seeker Sensitive" Orthodoxy. ÂÂ  Which is actually kind of an antithesis, to how the Catechumens have been treated historically by folks like St. Cyril of Jerusalem in his Catechical lectures etc.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2006, 08:45:32 PM by Addai » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: March 08, 2006, 08:50:52 PM »

lol yeah I guess technically speaking that would be "Seeker Sensitive" Orthodoxy.   Which is actually kind of an antithesis, to how the Catechumens have been treated historically by folks like St. Cyril of Jerusalem in his Catechical lectures etc.

Exactly what I was thinking.  Not that we want to totally disregard the needs of the catecumens, but on an issue like "baptism or chrismation" that is theological and ecclesiological in nature, we should not leave the choice up to the uninitiated, but rather to the practice of the Church that exists which they are being baptized into.
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« Reply #52 on: March 09, 2006, 06:41:02 PM »


 Many (though it's an increasingly shrinking number nowdays) Orthodox Hierarchs really do believe in the whole "ecumenical dialogue", and that it will possibly result in the legitimate reconciliation of heterodox groups to Orthodoxy.  As such they feel they don't want to do anything to upset this.  Personally, I think this is misguided; not because I believe there's anything essentially wrong with talking to the heterodox in a civil manner and taking a go at "honey over vinegar".  Rather, I believe this is so because I don't think the process itself is working, and has in fact round aboutly done more harm to the Church Herself than helped anyone outside of Her "come around" to a better way of thinking.  The whole thing has very often been simply a temptation to sin, and sometimes very scandalous sins at that (this is the harm to the Church I'm speaking of, as well as the obvious direct harm done to those who participate in the excesses of the "ecumenical movement").
Very well-said Augustine. I have only a small "objection" (which is not really an objection Smiley): I don't think at all that there is even one hierarch or priest among them who are too much fan of the so-called "ecumenical dialogues" that truly believes that he does so because it could result in the "legitimate reconciliation groups to Orthodoxy". The ecumenists are not that naive! It'just a pretext rehashed like a chewing-gum. I don't know any convert among the heterodox participating in these "dialogues" (imagine, f.ex., a protestant theologian who after a session would declare "I was convinced by the arguments of the Orthodox side and I want to be received into the Orthodox Church!  Shocked Pure science fiction!). Well, I think the "dialogues" have become a - well-financed - entreprise and almost a cult object, an "article of faith" for some secularized clergymen and theologians, who are not really interested in confessing Orthodoxy by deeds and words... Metropolitan Damaskinos of Switzerland (EP, he has abdicated) had participated even in interreligious "shows" (unfortunately, he wasn't alone!). I don't think that Metr. Damaskinos managed to attract any heterodox to the Orthodox Church by his "ecumenical" (or "ecu-maniac") activities. On the contrary, I do know he scandalized quite a few people. On the other hand, quite a few heterodox have become Orthodox by visiting Mt Athos, other monasteries in Greece, in France, in England (especially the monastery of St John the Baptist, founded by blessed Elder Sophrony) or monasteries in the USA. It is well-known that no representatives of the monastacism participate in the so-called "dialogues" (thanks God!).
Of course, I am not for a zealotic attitude towards the heterodox Chrisians and I don't mean that an Orthodox should avoid any contact or dialogue with non-Orthodox or even non-Christian people (I have very good friends that don't share my faith, even a good French friend who has not been baptized at all). I would like just to stress that the institutionized "ecumenical dialogues" have become a source of troubles for the Orthodox Church, mainly because of the secularism of the Orthodox participants in them. To say it straight out, most of the Orthodox faithful today who are conscious about their faith, at least in the tradionally Orthodox countries, don't believe that the bishops or priests who participate systematically in such dialogues are able to witness the Faith. In fact, some of them are so willing to confess the Orthodox faith to the heterodox that they are ashamed (or just don't want to) of observing a fast in a common meal Cheesy!
« Last Edit: March 09, 2006, 09:18:47 PM by Yiannis » Logged

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« Reply #53 on: March 09, 2006, 06:53:49 PM »

I don't think the doctors should be giving the patients the choice of doing reconstructive knee surgery when the doctor says they only need a bandage and some ice; giving the choice on whether to be baptized or just chrismated - it really is damaging to the CHurch, and totally inconsistent with both our ecclesiology and standing practice (of hundreds of years).  I can understand the thinking behind the suggestion, but I feel that having a policy of leaving it up to the catecumen is damaging to the church and against Orthodox practice.
Of course it is so, but only if the "doctors" are scientifically adequate. In this case, there is a clear disagreement among the "doctors" as far as the treatment is concerned and, furthermore, I doubt if the "doctors" who have introduced the nouveauté of the "baptismal theology" are really good ones. So, who are the best doctors? Good question...
« Last Edit: March 09, 2006, 08:57:12 PM by Yiannis » Logged

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« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2006, 02:27:18 AM »

Yes, this is pretty much the same post I placed in a thread of the "Free-for-All" forum, but I feel that it would be more appropriate for me to place it in a much more current thread.  (Please forgive me this redundancy, for I'm rather new to this forum.)

I think we could learn a lot about the issue of re-baptism by examining the 3rd Century quarrel between Bishop St. Cyprian of Carthage and Pope St. Stephen of Rome.


Bishop St. Cyprian (together with Firmilian, his disciple in Asia Minor) (from www.NewAdvent.org and www.OrthodoxInfo.com)
  • Outside the Church there is no salvation.
  • Those who are outside the Church and have not the Holy Spirit cannot admit others to the Church or give what they do not possess.
  • “If any one could be baptized among heretics, certainly he could also obtain remission of sins.  If he attained remission of sins, he was also sanctified.”
  • "When they know that there is no baptism without, and that no remission of sins can be given outside of the Church, they more eagerly and readily hasten to us, and implore the gifts and benefits of the Church, our Mother, assured that they can in no wise attain to the true promise of divine grace unless they first come to the Truth of the Church.”
  • Apostolic Canon 46:  “We ordain that a bishop, or presbyter, who has admitted the baptism or sacrifice of heretics, be deposed. For what concord hath Christ with Belial, or what part hath a believer with an infidel?”  (Note from www.bible-researcher.com: The Apostolic Canons was one of many additions made by the final editor of an ancient Syrian book of church order called The Apostolic Constitutions.  The whole document purports to be from the apostles, but this imposture is not taken seriously by any scholar today.  Nevertheless, the work is useful as evidence for the opinions of a part of the Syrian churches towards the end of the fourth century.)

Pope St. Stephen (from www.NewAdvent.org)
  • Pope Stephen declares that he is upholding the primitive custom when he declares for the validity of baptism conferred by heretics.
  • Neither Cyprian, however, nor his zealous abettor, Firmilian, could show that re-baptism was older than the century in which they were living.
  • The contemporaneous but anonymous author of the book "De Rebaptismate" says that the ordinances of Pope Stephen, forbidding the re-baptism of converts, are in accordance with antiquity and ecclesiastical tradition, and are consecrated as an ancient, memorable, and solemn observance of all the saints and of all the faithful.  St. Augustine believes that the custom of not rebaptizing is an Apostolic tradition, and St. Vincent of Lérins declares that the Synod of Carthage introduced re-baptism against the Divine Law (canonem), against the rule of the universal Church, and against the customs and institutions of the ancients.  By Pope Stephen's decision, he continues, antiquity was retained and novelty was destroyed (retenta est antiquitas, explosa novitas).
  • It is true that the so-called Apostolic Canons (xlv and xlvi) speak of the non-validity of baptism conferred by heretics, but Döllinger says that these canons are comparatively recent, and De Marca points out that St. Cyprian would have appealed to them had they been in existence before the controversy.
  • Pope St. Stephen, therefore, upheld a doctrine already ancient in the third century when he declared against the re-baptism of heretics, and decided that the sacrament was not to be repeated because its first administration had been valid.  This has been the law of the (Western) Church ever since.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2006, 02:28:50 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #55 on: March 10, 2006, 06:35:59 AM »

Thanks Peter the Aleut for the most useful information. Yes, indeed, the (re)baptism of the heterodox has been a controversial matter since the Christian Antiquity. It is interesting, however, that St Anastasius the Sinaite (7th c.) grounds the reception of the heterodox by chrismation merely on pastoral concern. Since he feels the necessity to answer this matter in his Hodegos, it seems that the question of the validity of the heterodox baptism was still existant at his time.
Generally speaking, what I have understood from what I have read on this matter is that, in the cases of chrismation of the heterodox Christians, the Church recognizes a posteriori the validity of the heterodox baptism. It is not recognized a priori.
Of course, what I am saying doesn't imply at all that I am inclined to consider the converts received by chrismation to be "less" Orthodox than those received by baptism. They are both fully Orthodox Christians.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2006, 08:47:53 AM by Yiannis » Logged

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« Reply #56 on: March 10, 2006, 10:20:23 AM »

Many times I have linked some interesting studies on the reception of converts; in fact, once I authored a bibliography on the subject. Searching the archives will yield this.

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« Reply #57 on: March 11, 2006, 03:40:28 PM »

Very well-said Augustine. I have only a small "objection" (which is not really an objection Smiley): I don't think at all that there is even one hierarch or priest among them who are too much fan of the so-called "ecumenical dialogues" that truly believes that he does so because it could result in the "legitimate reconciliation groups to Orthodoxy". The ecumenists are not that naive! It'just a pretext rehashed like a chewing-gum. I don't know any convert among the heterodox participating in these "dialogues" (imagine, f.ex., a protestant theologian who after a session would declare "I was convinced by the arguments of the Orthodox side and I want to be received into the Orthodox Church!  Shocked Pure science fiction!). Well, I think the "dialogues" have become a - well-financed - entreprise and almost a cult object, an "article of faith" for some secularized clergymen and theologians, who are not really interested in confessing Orthodoxy by deeds and words... Metropolitan Damaskinos of Switzerland (EP, he has abdicated) had participated even in interreligious "shows" (unfortunately, he wasn't alone!). I don't think that Metr. Damaskinos managed to attract any heterodox to the Orthodox Church by his "ecumenical" (or "ecu-maniac") activities. On the contrary, I do know he scandalized quite a few people. On the other hand, quite a few heterodox have become Orthodox by visiting Mt Athos, other monasteries in Greece, in France, in England (especially the monastery of St John the Baptist, founded by blessed Elder Sophrony) or monasteries in the USA. It is well-known that no representatives of the monastacism participate in the so-called "dialogues" (thanks God!).
Of course, I am not for a zealotic attitude towards the heterodox Chrisians and I don't mean that an Orthodox should avoid any contact or dialogue with non-Orthodox or even non-Christian people (I have very good friends that don't share my faith, even a good French friend who has not been baptized at all). I would like just to stress that the institutionized "ecumenical dialogues" have become a source of troubles for the Orthodox Church, mainly because of the secularism of the Orthodox participants in them. To say it straight out, most of the Orthodox faithful today who are conscious about their faith, at least in the tradionally Orthodox countries, don't believe that the bishops or priests who participate systematically in such dialogues are able to witness the Faith. In fact, some of them are so willing to confess the Orthodox faith to the heterodox that they are ashamed (or just don't want to) of observing a fast in a common meal Cheesy!


Yeah I think the talks are well intended, but a bit like the United Nations.   Where the West/ US pays the bill, so third world dictatorships can lecture us about our deplorable human rights record, obstruct our foreign policy goals etc.


of course I refer to past threads like this one...


Protestants Unveiled at the Conference of Middle East Churches

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7559.0
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