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Communion to non-Orthodox


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#21 Michał

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 08:57 PM

Paul Fowler describes the matter as 'pastoral' and a 'private matter'. If the facts were that the priest concerned gave Holy Communion to a non-Orthodox person who was not an Oriental Orthodox for whom the priest had permission to administer the holy gifts, then this is neither a pastoral nor private matter but one of Church discipline which is of general concern.

 

Since when Church discipline is a concern for laity?



#22 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 09:03 PM

Since the Church determined that the laity are the guardians of the faith. See the Encyclical of the Orthodox Patriarchates of 1848. Before that, see the history of the reaction of the laity to the pseudo Council of Florence.



#23 Ilya Zhitomirskiy

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 06:22 AM

Indeed. It would be best to let the priest know, and if he does not understand, then tell the bishop. That would be the best way to express being guardian of the faith.

#24 Algernon

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 09:12 PM

I did not say they should not inform the priest.

 

The best writing on this topic is Communion and Intercommunion by Metropolitan Kallistos. His eminence sets out very clearly why Holy Communion cannot be given to non-Orthodox.

 

Do you know if this book in available in pdf form somewhere on the internet? (yeah, I'm cheap, I know...)



#25 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 09:18 PM

I don't know - I bought my copy years ago at the monastery here.



#26 Algernon

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 09:18 PM

Every posting has assumed that the Priest is wrong-afterall Algernon, you were only visiting and why should the Priest discuss pastoral matters with anyone else, especially a complete stranger, which by definition are of a private_matter? The other thing I wondered about is what you meant when you say you knew they were "not Orthodox"? Were they Oriental Orthodox? There seems to be something of a grey area here. The Antiochian and Alexandrian Patriarchates seem to practise some form of intercommunion here. Pope Shenouda's Christology is acceptable to Chalcedonian Christians, yet some Eastern Orthodox Christians refuse to commune OO Christians, even shrieking " Heretic!" when HAH the Ecumenical Patriarch attended an Armenian Liturgy recently!

 

I know the people who received Communion and know that they are not Orthodox--Oriental or Eastern. They are non-practicing RC and evangelical protestant of some persuasion. I also know the priest and know that he knew that they were not Orthodox. He had previously said that he does not "interrogate people at the chalice."



#27 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 09:36 PM

If it is as you say, then this priest is guilty of a very serious breach of Church discipline.



#28 Michał

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 10:00 PM

Since the Church determined that the laity are the guardians of the faith. See the Encyclical of the Orthodox Patriarchates of 1848. Before that, see the history of the reaction of the laity to the pseudo Council of Florence.

 

Of faith, indeed. Not of what one priest does or doesn't.



#29 Algernon

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 05:35 AM

Of faith, indeed. Not of what one priest does or doesn't.

 

Do you think it's not the place of the laity to speak up when a priest acts in a way that is contrary to the Faith?



#30 Michał

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 07:16 AM

Do you think it's not the place of the laity to speak up when a priest acts in a way that is contrary to the Faith?

 

In contrary to faith or praxis?



#31 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 09:32 AM

As Metropolitan Kallistos explains in his booklet, we do not separate faith and praxis - they are bound up together, especially in the matter of the chalice.



#32 Michał

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 06:00 PM

So in this particular case I do not think it's a cncern for laity. Inform the bishop if you want (after informing the priest about informing) and leave it.



#33 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 06:21 PM

If Church discipline is being breached, it is the concern of everyone. Your statement is self-contradictory: you say, 'inform the bishop' - that is the laity acting; yet you say, 'I don't think it's the concern of the laity'. Do you think it is all right for a priest to administer Holy Communion to non-Orthodox?



#34 Michał

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 07:46 PM

If Church discipline is being breached, it is the concern of everyone. Your statement is self-contradictory: you say, 'inform the bishop' - that is the laity acting; yet you say, 'I don't think it's the concern of the laity'.

 

It's not. Inform the bishop and do nothing more (especially as there is nothing more one can do). It's a bishop's turn now and whatever he does (if anything) should be not a concern of people not involved.



#35 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 10:51 PM

In the unlikely event that the bishop did not take the priest concerned to task, then the laity would take the matter to the relevant Holy Synod. I ask again: do you think it is all right for a priest to give Holy Communion to non-Orthodox? If you think it is not all right, who else but the laity can start the ball rolling to enforce Church discipline?



#36 Algernon

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 11:50 PM

Does Matthew 18:15-17 apply here?

1. Speak to him one-on-one.

2. Bring another.

3. Bring it before the Church (i.e. the bishop/s)?



#37 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 12:18 AM

The matter is one of Church discipline rather than personal sin. The Orthodox Church is characterised by its conciliar nature. Being hierarchical does not mean that the Church is governed in a top-down, autocratic way. The Church and its Divine Liturgy are the common action of the whole people of God, from patriarchs to the most humble laymen. It is not the Orthodox way to see any separation between clergy and laity; that would lead to the clericalisation of the Church and the fracture of the Body of Christ. Any source will confirm that the laity are the guardians of the faith along with the other people of God who hold the faith in its fullness and integrity, and, as already said, by 'faith' is meant the whole of the Holy Tradition of the Church and that (as confirmed, for example, on the Goarch web site) includes giving Holy Communion only to members of the Church who are in good order with it and have prepared themselves to receive.



#38 Michał

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 02:49 PM

 If you think it is not all right, who else but the laity can start the ball rolling to enforce Church discipline?

 

Is is all right to start the ball rolling in front of synod because of such accident?



#39 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 02:54 PM

What accident?



#40 Olga

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 02:58 PM

Is is all right to start the ball rolling in front of synod because of such accident?

 

The laity informs the bishop, and he and the synod take it from there.






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