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Antioch communing the non-Chalcedonians


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#21 Daniel Harrison

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 10:12 PM

No matter how we look a the Oriental "Orthodox" they are NOT Orthodox. Am I wrong? They dont except the faith of the 7 Ecumenical Councils which are Orthodox, and therefore should not be communed. I know this is not just the Antiochian Church. I had an experience when I was in boot camp at MCRD San Diego, in my platoon we had a Coptic "Orthodox" Christian, He attended the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy with me on Sunday, the OCA Priest Communed him saying that it was acceptable because he didn't have his own clergy avaliable. Needless to for the next two months I never went back to that Divine Litrugy on sundays.

This is the reasons I want to do a Jurisdictional transfer.

In Christ
nektarios

#22 Dcn Alexander Haig

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:00 PM

People were Christian even before the fourth century, so 'signing up' to the Ecumenical Councils does not in itself define Orthodoxy. Now, some questions:

  • The councils define Faith but do they define the boundaries of Faith? Can true Faith exist outside the Councils?
  • If someone rejects a certain definition of truth, does one therefore reject Truth Himself?
  • Can we define where the Church stops? Where Grace stops?
  • If two people describe their faiths in different ways and with a different vocabulary, do they believe different things?
A few questions to think about

In Xp

Alex

#23 Christophoros

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 12:01 AM

No matter how we look a the Oriental "Orthodox" they are NOT Orthodox. Am I wrong? They dont except the faith of the 7 Ecumenical Councils which are Orthodox, and therefore should not be communed.

In Christ
nektarios


You are correct - they are not Orthodox. And despite any claimed breakthroughs in theological discussions, they are still not organic members in the Body of Christ.

That being said, my local Greek Archdiocese parish (as well as the Antiochian one) regularly communes non-Chalcedonians. The GOA priest and the previous Antiochian priest admitted to me privately that it is a genuine issue, but they inherited it and don't want to make a fuss with their respective bishops. In one case, while the parents are, strictly speaking, non-Chalcedonian, their children were baptized in the Orthodox Church.

Edited by Christophoros, 20 February 2009 - 12:12 AM.
typo


#24 Ryan

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 12:10 AM

[LIST=1]
[*]The councils define Faith but do they define the boundaries of Faith? Can true Faith exist outside the Councils?


One can be prevented, by circumstances, from acknowledging particular authentic expressions of the faith. In such cases, it is possible that the same faith is fundamentally maintained. It is a different matter entirely when one knowingly rejects such expressions.

[*]If someone rejects a certain definition of truth, does one therefore reject Truth Himself?


If the definition is inspired by the Holy Spirit, as Chalcedon was, then yes.

[*]Can we define where the Church stops? Where Grace stops?



These are two separate questions. I would venture a yes to the former and a no to the latter. Grace can abound despite the delusions and errors of those whom it benefits.

[*]If two people describe their faiths in different ways and with a different vocabulary, do they believe different things?


The same faith can be expressed differently, but one person can still recognize the Orthodoxy of the other. This is not the case with the non-Chalcedonians, who consider Chalcedon tainted by heresy. Some of their hierarchs may conditionally and grudgingly offer to accept Chalcedon, as a kind of bargaining chip, but this does not amount to a real acceptance.

#25 Kris

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 12:24 AM

No matter how we look a the Oriental "Orthodox" they are NOT Orthodox. Am I wrong?


They are orthodox - right believing - but outside the Orthodox Church, and for that reason should not be communed.

They dont except the faith of the 7 Ecumenical Councils which are Orthodox, and therefore should not be communed.


They do not accept the 7 Ecumenical Councils as being ecumenical councils. However, they have repeatedly stated that they accept the faith of the 7 Ecumenical Councils, when interpreted correctly, as being orthodox.

#26 D. W. Dickens

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 01:01 AM

You are correct - they are not Orthodox. And despite any claimed breakthroughs in theological discussions, they are still not organic members in the Body of Christ.

That being said, my local Greek Archdiocese parish (as well as the Antiochian one) regularly communes non-Chalcedonians. The GOA priest and the previous Antiochian priest admitted to me privately that it is a genuine issue, but they inherited it and don't want to make a fuss with their respective bishops. In one case, while the parents are, strictly speaking, non-Chalcedonian, their children were baptized in the Orthodox Church.


The Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ. If you take it, you are it. If you're communing them, it is a public declaration that they are a part of that body. You might think this is inappropriate, but I'm sure there are many folks taking the Eucharist to their condemnation for other reasons as well. This is why it is so important to safeguard.

The problem is, the public testimony and the spiritual fact is that these non-Chalcedonians ARE being included. Calling them non-Orthodox is like closing the barn door after the cow already got out.

#27 Ryan

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 01:12 AM

They do not accept the 7 Ecumenical Councils as being ecumenical councils. However, they have repeatedly stated that they accept the faith of the 7 Ecumenical Councils, when interpreted correctly, as being orthodox.


Accepting a particular interpretation of a thing is very different from accepting the thing in itself. In this case, the non-Chalcedonians are accepting an Orthodox re-interpretation of documents which are still consider to be "Nestorianizing" or tainted with Nestorianism in themselves. In other words, the non-Chalcedonians believe the present Orthodox position to be different from the spirit that originally animated the Council at Chalcedon.

#28 Olga

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 03:29 AM

In other words, the non-Chalcedonians believe the present Orthodox position to be different from the spirit that originally animated the Council at Chalcedon.


Umm, please correct me if I'm wrong, but if the Chalcedonians have "reinterpreted" the rulings of that Council (I assume to clarify to the OO the EO position, and to open a "window" towards future restoration of communion), yet the non-Chalcedonians do not accept this, rather, they regard it as different from the spirit that originally animated the Council at Chalcedon, then what is the point of such overtures?

#29 Paul Cowan

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 05:01 AM

Too bad we ran off our OO posters a year or so ago.

I wonder who else we have or will run off.

If it's wrong, it's wrong. If it's right, it's right. If it is gray, it should be worked out so ALL peoples come to believe the same thing. No one should be left outside the Grace of God or the Church. I am not talking ecumenism, I am talking Love. If everyone is right, then everyone is wrong. We will never reconcile anyone to Orthodoxy. Someone has to say STOP; let's talk this out.

Wasn't there a EO Bishop flying ina helicopter off Athos a few years back on his way to Pope Shonouda that went down in the ocean? He was on his way to finish reconciling our two churches. Who is going to pick up his torch?

Paul

#30 Olga

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 05:25 AM

Wasn't there a EO Bishop flying ina helicopter off Athos a few years back on his way to Pope Shonouda that went down in the ocean?


There were several hierarchs, clergy and laymen who lost their lives in that accident, including the then Patriarch of Alexandria. One of the hierarchs was Nektarios, bishop of Madagascar. He was born of Greek emigrant parents, who had settled in the city I live in, and had been the abbot of a Greek monastery there. His parents still live here. Such a tragic loss.

#31 Nina

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 06:21 AM

Something broke in our communication Nina. The issue is whether to commune with people who do not hold to the faith of the Church,


Exactly. And according to the Fathers it is defined what Orthodoxy is. All those who are not recognized by the Fathers as Orthodox, they are not. Period. Many people will employ the logic to tell me that someone is more and some one is less but a pagan is equally non-Orthodox as is non-Orthodox an RC. This is like pregnancy. There is not a little pregnant or more pregnant. It is either pregnant, or not. When the Church will accept others in the communion, yes, we will obey. But until then sporadic desires and well-wishes are meaningless. Let's take those well-wishes and neighborly loves to the personal level and leave it there until the Church decides otherwise.

not whether we admit that all human beings share in a common nature or dignity as eikons of God.

Yes it remains to this since, whoever is not Orthodox is not. Till the Church decides so. Plus there was reference in the thread (maybe you missed) about other people outside Christianity. The matter should not be "I + you-Christian-although-non-Orthodox versus those-non-Christians". The matter should be: "We Orthodox, responsible for all souls of the world and with the help and grace of God versus Lucifer". I better define responsible: As in the saying of St. Seraphim of Sarov: "Acquire the Holy Spirit and thousands around you will be saved."

#32 D. W. Dickens

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 06:43 AM

Exactly. And according to the Fathers it is defined what Orthodoxy is. All those who are not recognized by the Fathers as Orthodox, they are not. Period. Many people will employ the logic to tell me that someone is more and some one is less but a pagan is equally non-Orthodox as is non-Orthodox an RC. This is like pregnancy. There is not a little pregnant or more pregnant. It is either pregnant, or not. When the Church will accept others in the communion, yes, we will obey. But until then sporadic desires and well-wishes are meaningless. Let's take those well-wishes and neighborly loves to the personal level and leave it there until the Church decides otherwise.

Yes it remains to this since, whoever is not Orthodox is not. Till the Church decides so. Plus there was reference in the thread (maybe you missed) about other people outside Christianity. The matter should not be "I + you-Christian-although-non-Orthodox versus those-non-Christians". The matter should be: "We Orthodox, responsible for all souls of the world and with the help and grace of God versus Lucifer". I better define responsible: As in the saying of St. Seraphim of Sarov: "Acquire the Holy Spirit and thousands around you will be saved."


Forgive me Nina, I really think we aren't communicating and I'm perfectly willing to accept it's my fault. I still have no idea what you were saying in post #19.

This post is even more confusing. I'm just missing something.

One thing I think we agree on is that just wanting something to happen won't make it happen. I think we also both agree that we, personally, aren't in a position to make pastoral judgments either about how to treat OO members or even how to react to those who are in a pastoral position if we don't like the judgment call they make.

#33 Nina

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 06:47 AM

Forgive me Nina, I really think we aren't communicating and I'm perfectly willing to accept it's my fault. I still have no idea what you were saying in post #19.

This post is even more confusing. I'm just missing something.

One thing I think we agree on is that just wanting something to happen won't make it happen. I think we also both agree that we, personally, aren't in a position to make pastoral judgments either about how to treat OO members or even how to react to those who are in a pastoral position if we don't like the judgment call they make.


Well said. Until the Church decides otherwise we are to obey the Church and not decide in a forum whom we accept as Orthodox or not (humility where art thou?). About pastoral positions you mention - I do not really follow those whose judgments are not according to the judgment of the Church.

PS to all: I have said enough and clear and refuse to discuss this further so please do not refer to my posts again. Please.

#34 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:08 AM

ok, yes. Question though. Given the persecution in the East by the Muslims and the common God the EO and OO share though we don't really agree, but we do. If I wereliving there in a situation of not being able to receive the sacraments except by going to the OO because my priest has been killed and my church burned down, and all the local Christians persecuted, would it not be ok to go t the OO for services and receiving the sacraments or do I go the rest of my life without them?

Paul


This is MY opinion:

God is the only person who will judge anyone outside of Orthodoxy ... however, there is the Truth and if I have been blessed to come to the truth .. I have an obligation to acknowledge it above any previous ignorance that I lived in - so i should not be mad and not give it up for anything after that.

That is why I recommend IF YOU DO KNOW GOD in TRUTH then stand firm IN HIS church .. you DO NOT take the sacraments or participate in the mysteries of another religion once you are no longer ignorant to the fact and have come to the fulness of the truth and trust that God will provide for this martyric stance.

Did God not displace the Isrealites for 40 years intending for them the Promised Land? Did he not provide them the mannah on this journey?

If you are the last living Orthodox in the world; you stand firm in what has been handed down to you and do not allow "what you think is good for you at the time" fool you to lose your crown ...

Think with the intellect and not intelligence - have faith and God provides; St Mary of Egypt was in the desert for 40 years - martyring! When the time was right, then God sent Saint Zosimas ... consider yourself a martyr if you have no church to visit and only an OO! This will be a martyric test of not your body but your mind.

Edited by Vasiliki D., 20 February 2009 - 10:30 AM.


#35 Ryan

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 09:53 PM

Wasn't there a EO Bishop flying ina helicopter off Athos a few years back on his way to Pope Shonouda that went down in the ocean? He was on his way to finish reconciling our two churches. Who is going to pick up his torch?


From what I read about this flight, they were en route to Mount Athos, so I don't think their purpose was "reconciling our two churches." For one thing, I doubt the Athonite monks would tolerate such shenanigans.

IMO, if this reconciliation were really so close, no helicopter crash could have prevented it. It is obviously not simply a matter of some hierarchs coming together to sort things out, though maybe some modern theologians think that over 1000 years of separation can be resolved by some verbal gymnastics and a few pen strokes.

The non-Chalcedonians will never really accept Chalcedon- an Orthodox Christian cannot accept Chalcedon as a "local council" any more than he can accept the Nicene creed as a "local creed."

Here is a good summary of their objections to the fourth ecumenical council: http://www.britishor...ox.org/113e.php

As long as we pretend that the non-Chalcedonians are already Orthodox, they will feel emboldened in their stubborn refusals.

The Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ. If you take it, you are it. If you're communing them, it is a public declaration that they are a part of that body... Calling them non-Orthodox is like closing the barn door after the cow already got out.


I may be misinterpreting here, but you seem to be arguing that the simple act of receiving communion makes someone Orthodox. This is obviously wrong, otherwise we are already united to Protestants, Roman Catholics, and others who have been wrongly communicated at various times, in various places.

#36 D. W. Dickens

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:14 PM

Pardon me if I am misinterpreting here, but you seem to be arguing that the simple act of receiving communion makes someone Orthodox. This is obviously wrong, otherwise we are already united to Protestants, Roman Catholics, and others who have been wrongly communicated at various times, in various places.


Receiving the Body of Christ is to become the Body of Christ. I cannot understand this any other way. St Ignatius essentially said Bishop = Eucharist = Church.

"Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic Church. It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid." — Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8

This is one of the earliest and best definitions of the Church.

#37 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 11:11 PM

Receiving the Body of Christ is to become the Body of Christ. I cannot understand this any other way. St Ignatius essentially said Bishop = Eucharist = Church.


Reception of communion does not make non-Orthodox Orthodox. To imply that receiving communion unites a non-Orthodox to the Body of Christ which is the Church cannot be right and is to misunderstand the effects of communion. Even Orthodox may receive communion unto their judgment and condemnation if they take unworthily which includes not taking it in the Orthodox faith. 'With fear of God, with faith and love draw near': 'faith', that is, Orthodox faith. The chalice must be the definite boundary of the Church. Sharing this cup is the aim of the reconciliation of Christians, not the means to it.

#38 Christophoros

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 12:09 AM

Receiving the Body of Christ is to become the Body of Christ. I cannot understand this any other way. St Ignatius essentially said Bishop = Eucharist = Church.

"Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic Church. It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid." — Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8

This is one of the earliest and best definitions of the Church.


Such pseudo-Orthodox interpretations are the result of replying on ourselves and our own worldly opinions and misconceptions, and not the consensus Patrum.

#39 D. W. Dickens

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 12:18 AM

Such pseudo-Orthodox interpretations are the result of replying on ourselves and our own worldly opinions and misconceptions, and not the consensus Patrum.


I'm just a convert and certainly no Bishop. But to wipe away something with a catch phrase doesn't convince me.

Clearly there are some Bishops that allow such communions. If those Bishops aren't disciplined with the breaking of communion over such a great offense (priests have been deposed over even spilling the gifts), how can you deny the gracefulness of their act?

Either Bishops have the power to loose and bind or they don't. It seems unless the Church stands up (that is other Bishops) and excludes that Bishop from their fraternal community you have no basis for judging their pastoral prerogative.

The Eucharist is both a testimony and a phenomenon.

To put this another way, if a Bishop in communion with my Bishop communes someone, I have no means of saying that communicant isn't my brother in Christ. How would I say such a thing? On what criteria do I stand in judgment over both my Bishop and the one committed what I see as an offense?

#40 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 12:24 AM

We must insist on unity in faith, and in the fulness of faith. It is impossible for the Holy Orthodox Church to receive anyone who does not accept her faith in full without any qualifications. It must follow that bishops who do otherwise are in error.




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