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« on: April 18, 2006, 11:17:50 PM »

Okay.  I'm the newbie here, so if this has been discussed to death, please forgive me.  I also hope that this doesn't open a serious can of worms, since I know that among some Orthodox, the word "Uniate" is akin to a very bad and vulgar ghetto swear word.

Do Orthodox consider the priesthood of the Byzantine Catholics to be valid?

If not, why not?

Thank you.

Ed -- great sinner
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2006, 11:27:04 PM »

No, we don't officially, although some theologians have presented papers in support of the proposition.  Please do a search of the Orth-Cath folder in the archives to see where we discussed this at length.  The reason basically is we beleive apostolic succession is more than just hands on heads and the right formula and intention; the person must be in the communion of the church and share the same faith as the Church.  Byzantine Catholics, while very close to us, are not one with us for four hundred years now. So no, we cannot agree with their apostolic succession lest we be believers in magical sacraments that are divorced from a faith context.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh. It was a bitter pill for me personally to swallow. But I know you from other forums and know you want straight answers.

Despite our belief concerning Catholic sacraments, I still consider you a Christian brother.

Anastasios
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2006, 11:41:26 PM »

In Romania (Transylvania and Banat)-and I suppose it was the same in Ukraine, too- when the Communist government suppresed the Greek-Catholic (Uniate) Church, in 1948, by reuniting it to the Romanian Orthodox Church, hundreds of former Uniate priests were recieved in the OC, as priests, without any re-ordination, chrismation or anything like that. One of them, as I know, even became, later, the Metropolitan of Transylvania-Teofil Herineanu.
Now, after the reactivation of the Uniate Church, in many villages with mixed Orthodox and Uniate population, the priests, if there ar no patrimonial disputes, of course, even con-celebrate, not at the Liturgy, but at weddings, funerals etc.
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2006, 11:42:12 PM »


Do Orthodox consider the priesthood of the Byzantine Catholics to be valid?

If not, why not?


Ed,

That is the question for all other questions, isn't it?

I think Anastasios put it best in his response. For us Orthodox, the issue is whether the Byzantine Catholics are part of the Church that we know has the Spirit coursing through her like blood in arteries.

The thing is, we don't know where the Byzantine Catholics are, or the RCs, or the others. We do know you are icons of Christ seeking to grow Christ within you, and we pray for you.

But ultimately, the real questions is, do you think the Byzantine Catholic priesthood is 'valid'?(the phrase itself betrays a certain mindset...)

If you do, where do you draw the line regarding the 'validity' of priesthoods from different churches? Why is it important what our opinion is? How far away can a 'church' be from the teachings of the Orthodox Church and still have a 'valid priesthood'?

Good luck on your quest for these answers.
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2006, 11:58:53 PM »

I am personally unaware of any exact reference in a modern synodal ruling on this issue (though I do believe there to be one out there, at least as it relates to such things as last rights; and while there are several synods from several hundred years ago that have ruled on this issue, those rulings do not reflect modern practice); however, I am familiar with what the Synod of Constantinople has ruled in regard to Anglican Orders. Validity was essentially accepted, with some reservations, basically the decision said that all Anglican Sacraments are valid and if the Church of England were to enter into Communion with the Orthodox their Priesthood would be regarded as valid and no reordinations would be necessary; however, if an individual Anglican Priest were to convert to Orthodoxy while the Anglican Communion remained out of Communion with the Orthodox, then he would have to be reordained to function as a Priest. This decision seemed to use the reasoning that yes the Anglican Priesthood was valid, but that one is ordained within a specific tradition (technically to a specific parish even) and is only valid within the context of the Church in which the person in question was ordained. The customs and traditions of the Anglican Church are western, and thus foreign to the Orthodox, making their ordinations foreign to the Orthodox, who are inherently eastern. Now if the Anglicans were to have entered into communion with the Orthodox, then there would be a genuine and ancient expression of this western tradition within the Orthodox Church, making these customs no longer as foreign to us as they were (and are now); and, thus, making their priesthood acceptable within the context of the Orthodox Church.

Concerning specifically the Reception of Catholic Priests in particular, our response seems to be related but more tolerant (today, in any case). Most cases of which I am aware are cases in which the Priest (or deakon) was accepted as a Priest (or deakon), though I have also heard of cases where there was a reordination, our response on this issue has been far from consistant (a byzantine priest, however, is probably more likely to be received without reordination than a latin priest; though I know of cases where latin priests were received without reordination). However, it should also be noted that often our posistion is dependent not only on pure theological arguments or reasoning but on the practical element of inter-church relations. There is not much 'bad blood' between the Orthodox and the Anglicans, but there have been far more political problems between the Orthodox and the Latins (and the Eastern Catholics), which will often influence our responses.
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2006, 01:11:09 AM »

I suppose it was the same in Ukraine, too-
Exactly.

Now Ukrainian Orthodox Church in USA accepts Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic priests and deacons with chrismation, but without re-ordination. When a Lutheran minister converted to Orthodoxy at UOC-USA a couple of years ago, he was re-ordained.


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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2006, 01:26:49 AM »

The Slavic practice (Russian & Ukranian, in fact, since I know nothing about the Serbs or the Bulgarians, but they probably, were not confronted with the issue), followed by the Romanians, too, was to recieve Greek Catholic priests by vesting and profession of faith and not by re-ordination.
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2006, 07:44:17 AM »

Again, how they are received does not speak of their status BEFORE reception.  There are many ways of receiving people based on economy.  Only a few would say that the ordination itself was grace-filled BEFORE accepting Orthodoxy.  The standard answer is, that upon conversion it is activated with grace by the Church.

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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2006, 08:26:59 AM »

Anastasios --

Thank you for your straighforward reply.  The issue really comes down to this,  since Jesus said, also very straightforwardly, that His Flesh and Blood are the source of eternal life (and not "faith alone" or "assssepting Jaaaaaaayzuz")  then I do not desire to find just another proto-Protestant "church" serving a variated form of juice and crackers. ÂÂ

I didn't go through the stress of conversion for that.  My desire is Jesus, and He and life are found in the Euchrist.  Therefore, if the sucession of true ordinations was somewhere broken along the way, then all I am getting every Sunday in our parish is just basically a nice little snack.

NOT what I am looking for.....kapeesh?

Brother Ed -- ever seeking.


BTW -- When you say that this was a bitter pill for you to swallow....does that indicate that you were at one time a Byzantine Catholic and had to face this and eventually leave for Orthodoxy?

Just curious.
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2006, 09:41:00 AM »



 Therefore, if the sucession of true ordinations was somewhere broken along the way, then all I am getting every Sunday in our parish is just basically a nice little snack.



Please keep in your mind that Apostolic Succession is more than just a chain of ordinations. It also involves teaching the same Truth that has always been taught.

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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2006, 09:49:21 AM »

Quote
BTW -- When you say that this was a bitter pill for you to swallow....does that indicate that you were at one time a Byzantine Catholic and had to face this and eventually leave for Orthodoxy?

Yes.  It has been a rather arduous journey.  If you spent the days it would take to read my 5000 posts here you would see exactly went into the the process Wink  At this point I do not discuss my journey online due to a desire to maintain some privacy but I would be happy to discuss it in PM or email with you since I know you from byzcath.org and believe you are a very trustworthy person.

Anastasios
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2006, 07:32:08 AM »

Is the rc or estern catholic priesthood valid or not in the eyes of orthodox church?!?
Certainly orthodox priesthood - and oriental,too - is valid in the eyes of rc and easterrn catholics...
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2006, 08:03:49 AM »

As long as priests remain in the RC/EC and do not enter Orthodoxy, then the ordination is not seen as valid since they are not in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Once they decide to come into the Church, then the Church's opinion is often that the form of their ordination is valid, and that through their entry into Orthodoxy the Spirit will perfect what was lacking in their original ordination.
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2006, 08:06:30 AM »

Is the rc or estern catholic priesthood valid or not in the eyes of orthodox church?!?
That depends on what you mean by "valid". Orthodox Christians can only recieve Sacraments from Orthodox Bishops and Priests, and no Bishop or Priest who is not Orthodox can initiate or receive anyone into the Orthodox Church. So, in this sense, the non-Eastern Orthodox priesthood is not valid for purposes of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Certainly orthodox priesthood - and oriental,too - is valid in the eyes of rc and easterrn catholics...
If that were truly so, then there would be no need for conversion from Eastern or Oriental Orthodoxy to RCism or Eastern Catholicism. As it stands, Roman and Eastern Catholicism will not Commune Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians unless they are received into the RC or Eastern Catholic Church by Profession of Faith- and this is required to be done before a Catholic Bishop or Priest. An Orthodox Priest cannot receive someone into the Catholic Church, therefore we could also say that Catholicism considers Orthodox priesthood invald for the purposes of Catholicism.
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2006, 09:43:40 AM »

There  was a period in history, when whole northern Finland was without catholic parish & church. So the orthodox cathedral of Oulu opened it´s "communion table" for local catholics: they could recieve the holy communion from orthodox priest. So he surely must have been a valid priest in the eyes of the catholics!
This temporal arrangement was made by the rc bishop of Helsinki and All Finland & orthodox metropolitan of Oulu...
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2006, 09:52:52 AM »

"As it stands, Roman and Eastern Catholicism will not Commune Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians unless they are received into the RC or Eastern Catholic Church by Profession of Faith- and this is required to be done before a Catholic Bishop or Priest."

Incorrect, Catholic priests are allowed to give the Sacraments to Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Assyrians, and Polish National Catholics if they request it.  They are, however, reminded they should respect the discipline of their own Church.  Their priesthoods are seen as completely valid.

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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2006, 10:12:23 AM »

Their priesthoods are seen as completely valid.

Oh goody! So my Orthodox Baptism means that I'm in the running to be your next Pope! Look out! Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2006, 11:08:41 AM »

There  was a period in history, when whole northern Finland was without catholic parish & church. So the orthodox cathedral of Oulu opened it´s "communion table" for local catholics: they could recieve the holy communion from orthodox priest. So he surely must have been a valid priest in the eyes of the catholics!
This temporal arrangement was made by the rc bishop of Helsinki and All Finland & orthodox metropolitan of Oulu...

Numerous similar cases can be seen throughout the history of the Church, and the fact that a dying Orthodox Christians is explicitly allowed to take communion from a Catholic (or Anglican) Priest speaks volumes. The fact of the matter is that things have generally been far more fluid than many would like to make them out to be. We may believe that only we have the fullness of the faith, but that others can still have a degree of validity and legitimacy as many of the divisions are more political and cultural than anything else.
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2006, 11:14:11 AM »

Oh goody! So my Orthodox Baptism means that I'm in the running to be your next Pope! Look out! Cheesy

That sounds almost like my plan to bring Rome back into the fold.  First, we plant sleeper priests in the RCC... Wink
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« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2006, 11:33:11 AM »

Numerous similar cases can be seen throughout the history of the Church, and the fact that a dying Orthodox Christians is explicitly allowed to take communion from a Catholic (or Anglican) Priest speaks volumes. The fact of the matter is that things have generally been far more fluid than many would like to make them out to be. We may believe that only we have the fullness of the faith, but that others can still have a degree of validity and legitimacy as many of the divisions are more political and cultural than anything else.

(Addressed to no one in particular)
While allowing inter-communion willy nilly is spiritually dangerous, the extreme strict view from the "super traditionalists" (or whatever one wants to call them) seems to be completely naive of history.  At this singing seminar before Lent, it was rather interesting to here all the history of war/politics back and forth in the Southwestern Rus'/eastern bloc area.  All these parishes/towns were just thrown back and forth between Rome and Orthodoxy several times such that the faithful would be rather confused.  On a parish level though, I'm sure many of them functioned as "business as usual" no matter who their hierarch of the month happened to be.  It's not like all the faithful get just get in their cars and drive to the church of the proper Canonical/Orthodox bishop as opposed to those "evil westerners" that took over.  Interesting to see that some of the oldest and best preserved Orthodox music of those general culture/areas is actually preserved in the "Catholic" service books/hymnals from the Austria-Hungary fold.
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« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2006, 12:23:44 PM »

Numerous similar cases can be seen throughout the history of the Church, and the fact that a dying Orthodox Christians is explicitly allowed to take communion from a Catholic (or Anglican) Priest speaks volumes. The fact of the matter is that things have generally been far more fluid than many would like to make them out to be. We may believe that only we have the fullness of the faith, but that others can still have a degree of validity and legitimacy as many of the divisions are more political and cultural than anything else.

I don't think so.  There are clearly differences in faith, and in the way the faith is perceived.  I also don't think that an Orthodox Christian is EVER allowed to receive communion from an Anglican cleric, no matter what the situation.  Your assertions regarding the "validity" of Anglican orders are not the whole story, to say the least.  If Anglicans were received en masse  into Orthodoxy, it might not be necessary to re-ordain their clergy, but this is not at all clear.  Many and varied statements have been made about Anglican orders by Orthodox through the years.  Many a time positive  statements have been made because the Orthodox have not completely understood the position of the Anglican communion.  Sometimes, the Orthodox have even been given erroneous information about the nature of Anglican belief by Anglicans themselves!  (For example of this, one need look no futher than the case of St. Raphael Hawaweeny[I apologise for any spelling error] sometime early in the 20th century in the United States.)
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« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2006, 12:26:41 PM »

(Addressed to no one in particular)
While allowing inter-communion willy nilly is spiritually dangerous, the extreme strict view from the "super traditionalists" (or whatever one wants to call them) seems to be completely naive of history.  At this singing seminar before Lent, it was rather interesting to here all the history of war/politics back and forth in the Southwestern Rus'/eastern bloc area.  All these parishes/towns were just thrown back and forth between Rome and Orthodoxy several times such that the faithful would be rather confused.  On a parish level though, I'm sure many of them functioned as "business as usual" no matter who their hierarch of the month happened to be.  It's not like all the faithful get just get in their cars and drive to the church of the proper Canonical/Orthodox bishop as opposed to those "evil westerners" that took over.  Interesting to see that some of the oldest and best preserved Orthodox music of those general culture/areas is actually preserved in the "Catholic" service books/hymnals from the Austria-Hungary fold.

Are you advocating some kind of limited intercommunion?  Because if you are, it would not be consistent with Orthodox ecclesiology.
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« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2006, 12:30:01 PM »

Quote
and the fact that a dying Orthodox Christians is explicitly allowed to take communion from a Catholic (or Anglican) Priest speaks volumes.

I don't know who told you that, but that's not the received Orthodox teaching and not a "fact." Stop posting opinions that are not received as facts!  This was never taught at St Vladimir's, and the Pedalion of St Nikodemos would certainly not teach such a thing, so I have no idea where you get this from.

Anastasios
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« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2006, 12:50:00 PM »

This decision seemed to use the reasoning that yes the Anglican Priesthood was valid, but that one is ordained within a specific tradition (technically to a specific parish even) and is only valid within the context of the Church in which the person in question was ordained. The customs and traditions of the Anglican Church are western, and thus foreign to the Orthodox, making their ordinations foreign to the Orthodox, who are inherently eastern. Now if the Anglicans were to have entered into communion with the Orthodox, then there would be a genuine and ancient expression of this western tradition within the Orthodox Church, making these customs no longer as foreign to us as they were (and are now); and, thus, making their priesthood acceptable within the context of the Orthodox Church.

I echo Anastasios's comments with regard to your line of reasoning here....just where do you get this?  It seems to me to have little to do with an Orthodox understanding of ecclesiology.
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« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2006, 01:14:16 PM »

Are you advocating some kind of limited intercommunion?  Because if you are, it would not be consistent with Orthodox ecclesiology.

Not really - did you even read my first line?  You seem to be focusing on the trees and ignoring the forest.
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« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2006, 01:16:49 PM »

I did.  I just didn't understand what you were trying to say in your post.  I wasn't sure if you were just mentioning that things have gotten "messy" in the ecclesial world from time to time (and continue to get that way in some places) or if you were advocating some kind of limited intercommunion.  I was just going to modify the tone of my post, but you beat me to it with your reply.  Sorry if I sounded accusatory.  But even so....here again you reply with "not really", so I would still ask you for some clarification please.
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« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2006, 01:20:35 PM »

I don't think so.  There are clearly differences in faith, and in the way the faith is perceived.  I also don't think that an Orthodox Christian is EVER allowed to receive communion from an Anglican cleric, no matter what the situation.
 Your assertions regarding the "validity" of Anglican orders are not the whole story, to say the least.  If Anglicans were received en masse  into Orthodoxy, it might not be necessary to re-ordain their clergy, but this is not at all clear.

There was a time when the Orthodox and Anglican Churches were quite close, one of our Archbishops even issued an encyclical saying that if one was not able to attend an Orthodox parish that they should attend an Anglican parish. As far as this method for receiving Anglican Clergy, it was made quite clear by the Synod of Constantinople in the 1920's. Infact, on the issue of the validity of Anglican Orders I just came across this statement from a Patriarchal Encyclical, and Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, of His All-Holiness Patriarch Meletios of Constantinople of Blessed Memory in 1920,

'The Holy Synod has concluded that as before the Orthodox Church the ordinations of the Anglican Episcopal Confession of Bishops, priests and deacons possess the same validity as those of the Roman Old Catholic and Armenian Churches possess, inasmuch as all essentials are found in them which are held indispensable from the Orthodox point of view for the recognition of the Charisma of the priesthood derived from Apostolic succession.'

Infact, it was part of a good article on this issue by His Eminence Archbishop Germanos of Thyatira and Great Britain of Blessed Memory:
http://anglicanhistory.org/orthodoxy/germanos1929.html

As far as when inter-communion was allowed for extreme circumstances, I can't remember the exact synod off the top of my head, but I believe it should be able to be found in a two part article on the 'The Validity of Anglican Orders' in, I believe, volumes 3 & 4 (1957 & 1958, I believe) of the Greek Orthodox Theological Review, unfortunately I cannot remember who wrote the article off the top of my head.

I don't know who told you that, but that's not the received Orthodox teaching and not a "fact." Stop posting opinions that are not received as facts!  This was never taught at St Vladimir's, and the Pedalion of St Nikodemos would certainly not teach such a thing, so I have no idea where you get this from.

Concerning the Anglicans, I posted my references above. Concerning the Catholics, I can't recall the exact encyclical that this came from, but we just covered it in my Christian Divisions and Theologies course (unfortunately I do no take notes), while it was certainly in a statement of one of our Archbishops, I believe the allowing of inter-communion in extreme situations was also in an encyclical Patriarch Athenagoras of Blessed Memory as well. I could probably try to look this up if absolutely necessary, but I really dont feel like going and doing the research to give the exact date.
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« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2006, 01:23:20 PM »

A bishop here or there may have done such a thing, but one bishop (even the Patriarch of Constantinople) cannot speak for the entire Orthodox Church.

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« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2006, 01:31:38 PM »

A bishop here or there may have done such a thing, but one bishop (even the Patriarch of Constantinople) cannot speak for the entire Orthodox Church.

But as the quote I pasted above demonstrates, it was not merely the Patriarch who was ruling on these issues, but rather the Synod of the Great Church of Christ, which has, quite often throughout history, spoken on behalf of entire Church. And very often, it is not the Synod alone that is present, but also representatives from various Orthodox Churches. And there many of these Endimousa Synods in the 20's when these decrees were being promulgated. Consider also such things as the Balamand Agreement, this also was not Constantinople alone, but also Alexandria, Antioch, Russia, and Cyprus amongst others. When 3 of the 4 Ancient Patriarchates agree on something, that goes a long ways towards speaking for the entire Church.
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« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2006, 01:38:23 PM »

So now you're going to tell us that the Orthodox agree about Balamand?   Huh  Please.

As for the quote from the Patriarch, I'll read it again.  On first reading, I didn't find anything about recognizing Anglican orders.  He just seems to me to be using diplomatic ecclesial-speak so that the Orthodox and the Anglicans can continue to dialogue.  
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« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2006, 01:52:32 PM »

But even so....here again you reply with "not really", so I would still ask you for some clarification please.

Yes, and I'm being deliberately undefinitive by saying "not really".  While in the 21st century, knowledge, discussion, mobility and such for us edgumucated folk is easy, it isn't and wasn't quite so for those in history and those in impoverished nations.  Going back to what I wrote earlier regarding historical circumstances in the eastern bloc/Ukraine/Carpathian area, hearing the statements from +Pat. Ignatius regarding Orthodox/Melkite inter-communion doesn't sound quite so far-fetched now.  But I'm not saying I'm comfortable with it.  I would put something like this in the pastoral/extreme circumstances area that should be dealt with as the situation presents itself.  Internet hypothetical discussions are just pointless academic exercises.
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« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2006, 09:40:37 PM »

Well, that question opened up a hornet's nest, didn't it?

One thing that strikes me as odd is this.....Orthodox priests and bishops in the East were part of a succession of bishops of Orthodoxy which went all the way back to the apostles.

How then did they wake up one morning and be Eastern Catholics and suddenly become invalid?  

Sure doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  I thought that even those who turned heretical continued to be priests or bishops.

Are you sure there isn't perhaps just a bit of animus in this opinion of Eastern Catholic priests and bishops?  


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« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2006, 10:25:44 PM »


One thing that strikes me as odd is this.....Orthodox priests and bishops in the East were part of a succession of bishops of Orthodoxy which went all the way back to the apostles.

How then did they wake up one morning and be Eastern Catholics and suddenly become invalid? ÂÂ

Sure doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  I thought that even those who turned heretical continued to be priests or bishops.

Actually, everything makes sense, especially if you read my previous posts in this thread, and I will repeat the points made:

The Orthodox understand Apostolic Succession as having two components--

-One element is an unbroken chain of ordinations going to the Apostles.
-The other element is continuing the same teaching as the Apostles.

You are in communion, meaning you accept the teahcings and ministry of, the Bishop of Rome. The teachings of that Bishop are not the teachings of the Orthodox, and have had innovations placed into their---and consequently your--theology.

Therefore, it is unknown if you have Apostolic Succession since the second element of succession is not present.
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« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2006, 11:20:25 PM »

Very well put, Chris.
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« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2006, 07:38:24 AM »

I was taught as a catecheum that the Sacrament of Holy Orders confers upon a man a charism which changes him and can never be rescinded

Let me think this one through for a while.

Like I said.....I am not interested in juice and crackers.  Got plenty of those as a heretical Prottie.

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« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2006, 10:54:21 AM »

I was taught as a catecheum that the Sacrament of Holy Orders confers upon a man a charism which changes him and can never be rescinded

Oh, I dont know about that, surely someone who is defrocked lacks the charism.
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« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2006, 06:06:31 PM »

I wouldn't argue that,  but is an official defrocking the same as someone who perhaps, without knowing it, steps on a theological landmine such as entering into "communion with Rome" (error)?

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« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2006, 01:43:59 AM »

I was taught as a catecheum that the Sacrament of Holy Orders confers upon a man a charism which changes him and can never be rescinded

This is not the Orthodox view.  The Orthodox understanding is closer to the idea that the ordination is like a sealing of a charism or gift which is already present, although I think it's fair to say that it also "enhances" the gift by  perfecting  it and perhaps bringing it to the fore.  The ordination definitely does not change the person involved.  They are still the same person after they are ordained.  It's just that this gift that they have has been confirmed and strengthened.  

The gift can only be exercised in the context of the Church.  There's no question of any "power" being granted a priest outside of an ecclesial context.  (A priest cannot walk up to a bread truck and say the "words of institution" etc. and then voila, all the bread is consecrated as the Body of Christ!)  Even within the context of the Church, we don't think of clergy as having "powers", it's just that they have been set apart to perform certain roles within the Church.  As other posters have said, if somebody leaves the Church, or if the Church doesn't want that person to function as a priest any more, than they effectively cease to be a priest, although in a sense the gift that they have been given is never taken away.  There's no such thing as "de-consecrating" in Orthodoxy.  So in one sense, it's true that the gift is never rescinded.....at least not in this lifetime.
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« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2006, 01:59:02 AM »

Like I said.....I am not interested in juice and crackers.  Got plenty of those as a heretical Prottie.

I would never say that Grace was not present in the Latin Church, but that is only my personal opinion.  I think you can find varying degrees of Orthodoxy in the the Latin communion.  The opinions regarding this are as varied as the Orthodox Christians who hold the opinions.  It's a very murky area, but one thing is certain: the fullness of the faith is not found in the Latin Church, as far as we are concerned.
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« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2006, 02:48:49 PM »

The problem is many want to promote the Cyrillian view as The view of the Orthodox Church, which as far as I can tell is neutral and the official postion is "we don't know if other Churches have grace".  The Augustinain view is then as acceptable as the Cyrillian officially, and it would appear that at least some Orthodox subscribe to it.

I think the "chrismation fills the grace that is lacking in their valid forms" position is a polemical stance adopted late by the Greeks after 1204 and resurrected after the Melkite Unia.  The second Chrismation is (or was) a service of reconciliation for welcoming back apostates, heretics and schisamtics and had nothing to do with filling other sacraments with grace.  The Mozarabic Church, unique in the West, has this service as well.

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« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2006, 04:15:40 PM »

There is no doubt at all that the concept of "validity" is completely foreign to the Orthodox understanding of ecclesiology, for reasons already discussed.
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« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2006, 09:41:04 AM »

As Anastasios pointed out validity is not seen as a determiner of grace but does have importance for whether economy can be exercised.  If the form was valid, that is the correct physical action took place with the correct verbal formula, then economy could be used and chrismation seen as filling the valid but graceless form with grace.  On the otherhand, if an invalid form was used, the Mystery would need repeated unconditionally.  For example, a Catholic baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is  baptized with valid form, a Protestant baptized by affusion in the name of the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier is baptised with invalid form.  The Catholic could be received by chrisamtion, the Protestant would have to be baptized.
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« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2006, 10:25:48 AM »

There is no doubt at all that the concept of "validity" is completely foreign to the Orthodox understanding of ecclesiology, for reasons already discussed.

The concept of validity most certainly does exist. The Cyprianic position implies invalidity of the forms outside Orthodoxy.
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