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Antioch communing the non-Chalcedonians


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#41 Ryan

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:30 AM

I
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?


This argument can be refuted by the simple fact that many bishops still regard the non-Chalcedonians as outside of the church, and forbid communing with them, including bishops within the Antiochian church. In this case, we must decide which bishops are right. When it comes to pastoral concerns and application of canons, of course one must defer to the bishops, but in core matters of faith, the faith which is the inheritance of the entire church and not only clergy, all faithful are obligated to speak out when hierarchs diverge from the truth. When bishops commune Monophysites, they are not simply engaging in questionable pastoral activity, but are making a faith statement which is wrong. St. Maximus the Confessor was not a bishop, but this did not preclude him from defying Patriarchs who promulgated the heresy of Monothelitism.

#42 Christophoros

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:36 AM

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?


You seem to be assuming that since certain bishops permit certain controversial things, and they have not been disciplined for it (yet), then their action are "graceful" and Orthodox. Nothing could be further from the truth. Heresies, uncanonical acts, errors, etc., can exist for years, decades, even centuries before the Church rectifies the mistakes of erring hierarchs. There have been many public statements by Russian, Serbian, Greek, etc., bishops, monastics and theologians who have condemned such actions as you cite, and have even called on the worldwide Orthodox community to condemn the individuals involved. The fact that such a formal condemnation has not yet occured is more of a reflection of the practical, administrative disunity that exists in Orthodoxy today rather than a tacit approval of such actions and opinions.

#43 Daniel Harrison

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 02:01 AM

Canon XLV of the Holy Apostles
"Let any Bishop, or Presbyter, or deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he had permitted them to perform any service as Clergymen, let him be deposed."

Canon LXV of the Holy Apostles:
"If any clergymen, or laymen, enter a synagogue of Jews, or of heretics, to pray, let him be both deposed and excommunicated."

CANON XLVI of the Holy Apostles:
"We order any Bishop, or Presbyter, that has accepted any heretics' Baptism, or sacrifice, to be deposed; for what consonancy hath Christ with Beliar? or what part hath the believer with an infidel?"

http://www.orthodoxi...cum_canons.aspx
http://www.orthodoxi...nism/athos.aspx

If we are not to even pray with those in Schism or Heresy where do some think its ok to Communion with them?! This is what worries me about my own jurisdiction ever since I read about the decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch about the Syriac Monophysites. How am I supposed to respond to this?

#44 Ryan

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 02:21 AM

If we are not to even pray with those in Schism or Heresy where do some think its ok to Communion with them?! This is what worries me about my own jurisdiction ever since I read about the decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch about the Syriac Monophysites. How am I supposed to respond to this?


This is probably a question best answered by your spiritual father. But I would tentatively opine that one can be critical of a jurisdiction's conduct while remaining within it. The Church has weathered worse storms than this one. Don't be quick to switch jurisdictions... a few constructive critics from within might be just what's needed. Just the opinion of a beginner in the faith...

#45 Antonios

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 02:21 AM

Dear friends,

Do the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches consider the Orthodox Church Eucharist to be the Body and Blood of Christ?

In Christ,
Antonios

#46 Nina

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 02:28 AM

...as the divine Meletios the Confessor says:

He who possesses knowledge of the truth,
And, in whatever way, deliberately hides it,
Not openly preaching it or speaking it with boldness,
And does not uphold the divine and august Canons,
Or the laws presided over by the Fathers,
Is justly punished no less than the transgressors of these.
He who is silent about the truth hides Christ in a tomb,
As one Father has said, and another, again, says.
He who is silent about the faith is in grave danger
Of eternal punishment and of the pit of perdition.
It is not just, lawful, or right for the faithful to be silent
When the laws of of God are being violated,
And the evil seek to support their deception.
When someone is in danger of being separated from God,
Said one of the great Fathers,
And when evils are attributed to God,
What faithful Christian can be silent? Who can be at peace?
For silence means consent and betrayal,
As was clearly shown by the Lord's Forerunner
And the brave Maccabees together with him,
Who, on account of the smallest commandment, were in danger unto death,
And did not even betray the smallest part of the Law.
War is many times known to be praiseworthy,
And battle appears better than soul-destroying peace.
For it is better to stand against those who do not believe correctly,
Than it is to follow them and be of one mind with them,
Thus being united with them and separated from God.

As found in pp 172-173 Concerning Frequent Communion of the Immaculate Mysteries of Christ
by our Righteous God-bearing Father Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite

U is mine.

#47 Kris

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 02:40 AM

Do the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches consider the Orthodox Church Eucharist to be the Body and Blood of Christ?


Yes, they do.

#48 Antonios

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 04:14 AM

Posted Image
Do the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches consider the Orthodox Church Eucharist to be the Body and Blood of Christ?

Yes, they do.


My four year old does too, and she doesn't know anything about the Council of Chalcedon.

My Orthodox friend who is much older than me knows about the Council of Chalcedon and partakes of the Eucharist every Sunday, though he confesses to me that 'of course it isn't really the Body and Blood of Christ, but merely a symbol or a gesture.'

I wonder who is justified before the Lord?

#49 Eric Peterson

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 04:50 AM

The Orthodox faith, which it is neccessary for all who claim to be Orthodox to profess without subtraction, addition, blemish, or mutilation, in order to be saved, does not boil down to one, singular dogma, but is a totality. It encompasses not only dogma, but praxis, mindset, and spirituality. As well, it is not confined to intellecutal assent, but involves the whole person, such that saying with sincerity, "I confess and believe all that my mother the Holy Church teaches," and willingly submitting oneself to this, is enough, whether or not one can define, explain, or properly understand those teachings in their complexity.

We who have the true faith will have to answer for how we kept this precious gift of God. The judgement on us will be more severe. But there is a clear distinction of who is, and who is not, in the Church.

#50 Antonios

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:00 AM

The Orthodox faith, which it is neccessary for all who claim to be Orthodox to profess without subtraction, addition, blemish, or mutilation, in order to be saved, does not boil down to one, singular dogma, but is a totality. It encompasses not only dogma, but praxis, mindset, and spirituality. As well, it is not confined to intellecutal assent, but involves the whole person, such that saying with sincerity, "I confess and believe all that my mother the Holy Church teaches," and willingly submitting oneself to this, is enough, whether or not one can define, explain, or properly understand those teachings in their complexity.

We who have the true faith will have to answer for how we kept this precious gift of God. The judgement on us will be more severe. But there is a clear distinction of who is, and who is not, in the Church.


This brings two questions to mind:

How many know the Orthodox faith 'without subtraction, addition, blemish, or mutilation'?

Is perfect knowledge and perfect obedience requirements in approaching the Holy Gifts?

#51 Nina

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:04 AM

So now the Orthodox are not Orthodox enough? And the non-Orthodox are?

#52 Antonios

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:04 AM

So now the Orthodox are not Orthodox enough? And the non-Orthodox are?


No. Simply that we are all sinners.

#53 Nina

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:12 AM

No. Simply that we are all sinners.


Yes but the requirement we in communion have is to go to our SF and confess and approach with a clean conscience. However if I am someone not in communion I am required to reject heresies and be chrismated/baptized. So Confession is different from Baptism/Chrismation.

This is what Symeon of Thesaloniki says: "The Divine Liturgy is a rite during which the all-holy body and blood of Christ itself is consecrated and then given to all of the faithful in Communion, and Communion is the sole purpose of the Divine Liturgy.

p.97

Concerning Frequent Communion of the Immaculate Mysteries of Christ
by our Righteous God-bearing Father Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite


PS If you would like to guide your friend who is Orthodox maybe you can recomend to him this book so he can learn more. However ignorance in faith and heresy are completely different issues. Although one may lead to the other.

#54 Eric Peterson

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:23 AM

Indeed, we are all sinners. We are all sinners. We are all sick. But are all sick people in the hospital? No. Does God love and seek their salvation anyway? Of course He does. He seeks to bring them to the hospital, for we know that it is His will that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

But, the Church does not have invisile walls. We know what is and what is not the right profession of faith. We have things like the sacraments and the Creed, which tell us the boundaries of the Church and the faith. We have expectations to live up to as Orthodox Christians.

To say the Orthodox Church is the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church and that the faith of the Orthodox alone is true and without error is not to assign everyone else to hell. This judgement belongs only to God.

Again, holding the true faith in sencerity and obedience is not about "knowing" things, but about humility and submission to the Church and to Christ. A child has this. A mentally-handicapped person has this. Even someone making an error in ignorance has this. Such a person, though, needs to be corrected. If he refuses correction, this is a grave matter, since he would be knowingly going against the teaching of the Church.

#55 D. W. Dickens

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:23 AM

Post's #41 &# 42 both have the same two problems.

First, they appear to discount that the Eucharist *is* the Body and Blood of Christ, not a mere symbol. If the Bishop blesses, and the Priest prays, and the Holy Spirit causes a miracle to occur, the perfection of the believer's theological education is moot. You can sin against the Body and Blood, but you can't undo what it has become by the act of the Church. Incorrect theological training doesn't undo that work.

The second problem is that they assume that at some point in the future these Bishops will finally be disciplined and all will be set right (that is, everyone will agree with them). I have no such clairvoyance and I don't think it lacks humility to doubt they possess it. But even if it did, does such a discipline annul retroactively the communion of the Body and Blood (not only of those non-Orthodox communicants) but of all those faithful, even those who might have had no knowledge that some who communed by their Bishop weren't properly Orthodox?

This, I believe, is overly mechanical and legal thinking. Things must qualify, standards must be met, procedures followed, belief must be documented. You hold to the all the councils, but can you explain their canons as well as you expect these others to? What if someone is not bright? Or was not adequately taught by their priest? Some of these might "others" might well understand the faith better than those whom with you stand in line to commune. Who are we to judge?

I'm not saying that a non-Orthodox doesn't take communion to their condemnation (certainly many Orthodox may as well for other reasons). I'm saying that the incarnation of Christ makes the holy infectious, instead of the unholy corrupting. It is the leaven. It is the salt.

I am also saying that this belongs to the Bishops and not to us to speculate or judge. If you are correct and Bishops will be disciplined, then that will work itself out in time, without ever a comment from any of us.

#56 Antonios

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:24 AM

Yes but the requirement we in communion have is to go to our SF and confess and approach with a clean conscience. However if I am someone not in communion I am required to reject heresies and be chrismated/baptized. So Confession is different from Baptism/Chrismation.


Is knowledge of Chalcedon a pre-requisite to Baptism?

#57 Nina

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:31 AM

Is knowledge of Chalcedon a pre-requisite to Baptism?


Do you deem the Creed worthy enough as a representation of the teachings of the Fathers (in the Councils) of the Church? Eric has already mentioned that above.

#58 Antonios

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:35 AM

Do you deem the Creed worthy enough as a representation of the teachings of the Fathers (in the Councils) of the Church? Eric has already mentioned that above.


Yes. Do those communing in Turkey under Muslim yoke not deem the Creed worthy? Do you know? If not, than let the Bishop lead his flock the best he knows and let us enjoy the fact that we can commune every Sunday without fear of persecution and threats of death.

#59 Nina

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:57 AM

Yes. Do those communing in Turkey under Muslim yoke not deem the Creed worthy? Do you know? If not, than let the Bishop lead his flock the best he knows and let us enjoy the fact that we can commune every Sunday without fear of persecution and threats of death.


What does all this means because it is not making sense.

#60 Daniel Harrison

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 10:40 AM

This conversation has gone way off topic.

This discussion is the Patriarchate of Antioch and the representative archdiocese thereof communing or being in communion with the
Syriac Monophysites.

Now According to the document that was decided on by the Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch quoted below.

[QUOTE] herefore, the Holy Synod of Antioch saw fit to translate the brotherly approachment relationship between the two Churches, the Antiochian Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox for the edification of their faithful wherever they happen to be.

The Holy Synod of Antioch has decided the following matters:

1) The complete and mutual respect between the two Churches for their rituals, spirituality, heritage and holy fathers; and the full protection of both the Antiochian and Syriac liturgical practices.
2) The incorporation of the fathers of both Churches and their heritage in general in the Christian education curriculum and theological teaching; and the exchange of theological professors and students.
3) The refraining from accepting members of one Church in the membership of the other whatever the reasons might be.
4) Organizing meetings of both Synods whenever need and necessity may arise.
5) Leaving every Church as a reference for its members in all matters pertaining to marriage, divorce, adoption etc.
6) If two bishops of the two different Churches meet for a spiritual service the one with the majority of the people will generally preside. But if the service is for the sacrament of holy matrimony the bishop of the bridegroom will preside.
7) Whatever has been previously mentioned does not apply to the concelebration among the bishops in the Divine Liturgy.
8) Whatever has been said in number six applies to the clergy of both Churches.
9) If one priest of either Church happens to be in a certain area he will serve the Divine Mysteries for the members of both Churches including the Divine Liturgy and the sacrament of holy matrimony. The same priest will keep an independent record for both Churches and transmit the registration of the members of the sister Church to its spiritual authority.
10) If two priests of both Churches happen to be in a certain community they will take turns, and in case they concelebrate the one with the majority of the people will preside.
11) If a bishop from one Church and a priest from the sister Church happen to concelebrate, presiding naturally belongs to the bishop even though being in the community of the priest on the condition that there are people of both Churches.
12) Ordinations into the Holy Orders are performed by the spiritual authorities on candidates in every respective Church prefereably in the presence of the brothers from the other sister Church.
13) Godfathers, Godmothers and witnesses in the sacrament of holy matrimony are allowed to be chosen from the members of both Churches without any discrimination.
14) In all mutual celebrations the first clergyman in ordination will preside over the ceremony.
15) All organizations from both Churches will co-operate in all matters whether educational, cultural and social for the enrichment of the brotherly spirit.

We promise you on this occasion to continue strengthening our relationship with the sister Church and all other Churches for all to become one community under one Shepherd./QUOTE]

This is our Issue. If you read my last post I quoted some of the canons of the Holy Apostles stating that we are not to pray with Heretics or Schismatics.

[QUOTE]Canon XLV of the Holy Apostles
"Let any Bishop, or Presbyter, or deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he had permitted them to perform any service as Clergymen, let him be deposed."

Canon LXV of the Holy Apostles:
"If any clergymen, or laymen, enter a synagogue of Jews, or of heretics, to pray, let him be both deposed and excommunicated."

CANON XLVI of the Holy Apostles:
"We order any Bishop, or Presbyter, that has accepted any heretics' Baptism, or sacrifice, to be deposed; for what consonancy hath Christ with Beliar? or what part hath the believer with an infidel?"/QUOTE]

This is a Issue that we should NOT respond with "well let the bishop handle it" This is a Serious Issue, this statement I quoted the decision of the Antioch Synod is saying to the WORLD that, You are a sister church?!
They are not a Sister Church! The Greek Orthodox Church is a Sister Church, the Romanian Church is our Sister Church! Monophysites are enemies of the True Church which is the HOLY EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH.

Did not the father's of the Fourth Ecumenical Councils delcare Anathema to the Monophysite Heretics? They are in Schism and in Heresy. This is the Issue we are trying to discuss.

Excuse me for me strong expression of my belief.

In Christ
Nektarios




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