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What happens if an Orthodox Christian marries a Jewish person


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#21 Angelos

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 03:02 PM

Father,

I know plenty of Orthodox who habitually fornicate and they are not refused communion in any Orthodox church. I agree with you that marrying a non-Christian is tantamount (as far as sin goes) to fornicating, but the Orthodox Church does not refuse any Sacraments to fornicators or adulterers or thieves, especially if the sinner confesses and repents. Right?

As far as Orthodox "choosing instead to live in an intimate relationship without the benefit of marriage" I would guess that describes about 75%+ of the baptised Orthodox in Greece (there are actually polls that prove that). Yes that's a sin but no-one in the Orthodox Church is suggesting that they are refused communion.

What I disagree with is the punishment (excommunication with no chance of repentance unless the spouse converts), especially when the Orthodox Church turns a blind eye to similar sins (fornication being a great example). I agree that marrying a non-Christian is a sin though

#22 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 05:21 PM

What you disagree with is a total misunderstanding of what the Church actually teaches.

but the Orthodox Church does not refuse any Sacraments to fornicators or adulterers or thieves, especially if the sinner confesses and repents. Right?


Repentance is allowed, isn't it?

What I disagree with is the punishment (excommunication with no chance of repentance unless the spouse converts), especially when the Orthodox Church turns a blind eye to similar sins (fornication being a great example).


I think you make a very broad overstatement. While individual clergy MAY "turn a blind eye" as you put it, unless you have the gift of prescience, you do NOT know the hearts and minds, nor the circumstances between these people and their confessors/priests. As to the "no chance of repentance unless the spouse converts..." did you even read the preceding responses?

Herman the scratching his head Pooh

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 03 April 2010 - 05:45 PM.
added thoughts


#23 Angelos

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 05:54 PM

Herman,

I went by your response...you were my source on this one. You wrote:

Yes, generally speaking, it is true. If an Orthodox Christian marries anyone outside the Church, they have placed themselves outside the Church. Marriage within the Church is only allowed between Christians and if the other person is heterodox, they must have been at least baptized in the proper form. And, again generally speaking, they must be married in the Orthodox Church (not the other person's church) and both parties must agree that any children of the marriage will be brought up Orthodox."

So according to you, and if my understanding of what you posted is in error please forgive me, if someone marries a Jewish person, repentance is not enough. What if the Jewish spouse refuses to agree to convert or to raise the children Orthodox?? Then the Orthodox person, no matter how much he/she repents and confesses has no way of getting back into communion with the Orthodox Church, right?? Unless you suggest, in this case, a divorce is in order...something that St. Paul and Jesus explicitly said is never a good idea (a divorce that is)

#24 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 08:19 PM

So according to you, and if my understanding of what you posted is in error please forgive me, if someone marries a Jewish person, repentance is not enough. What if the Jewish spouse refuses to agree to convert or to raise the children Orthodox?? Then the Orthodox person, no matter how much he/she repents and confesses has no way of getting back into communion with the Orthodox Church, right??


No. Wrong. I certainly said no such thing.

Unless you suggest, in this case, a divorce is in order...something that St. Paul and Jesus explicitly said is never a good idea (a divorce that is)


I am suggesting no such thing, I DO suggest you re-read both my and Fr. David's posts again, slowly.

Herman

#25 Kosta

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 09:42 PM

Herman,

So according to you, and if my understanding of what you posted is in error please forgive me, if someone marries a Jewish person, repentance is not enough. What if the Jewish spouse refuses to agree to convert or to raise the children Orthodox?? Then the Orthodox person, no matter how much he/she repents and confesses has no way of getting back into communion with the Orthodox Church, right?? Unless you suggest, in this case, a divorce is in order...something that St. Paul and Jesus explicitly said is never a good idea (a divorce that is)


The above predicament is exactly why such unions should be avoided. Keep in mind that a jew would be in the same boat. A jew marrying a christian places himself outside the synagogue. Raising the kids in both faiths usually ends up making them agnostic and confused and pawns of their parents. I personally do know of Orthodox married to jews who commune and seem in good standing (the priest knows of their situation), i cant say though if this is because the person is granted some sort of eikonomia from the bishop or whether the priest is turning a blind eye.

As far as immorality anyone can repent and confess their sins and be admitted to the Eucharist with proper penance. The kind of immorality you suggest is a major western problem not a greek problem. If you dont believe me go to St Johns university by you, or Notre Dame or any roman catholic university, lots of immorality going on. Likewise anyone can commune in a roman church whether there fornicators or not, and usually do, add that no preparation is required in the roman church. Even a non-catholic out of curiosity can partake witjout much difficulty. Of course the taking of communion non-chalantly and improperly is the very reason why many are sick and have ailments and are on all kinds of medications.

#26 Father David Moser

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 09:43 PM

if someone marries a Jewish person, repentance is not enough. What if the Jewish spouse refuses to agree to convert or to raise the children Orthodox?? Then the Orthodox person, no matter how much he/she repents and confesses has no way of getting back into communion with the Orthodox Church, right??


First - True repentance does serve to dissolve the hold of sin on the soul, however, there are still the consequences of sin to deal with. Let us use the "medical" analogy for sin and repentance. If I jump off a cliff into a lake - it may seem like a good idea at the time - however if there happens to be a rock just below the surface at the point where I jump and I hit it and break a leg or a few ribs. Well then I can repent and be sorry that I have done this thing, and indeed may resolve never to do such a thing again - however, I still have a broken leg (or ribs) and have to suffer the consequences until they are all healed up no matter. Simple repentance won't fix the consequences. So if I sin, and refuse to submit my will to the will of Christ and so enter into a "mixed" marriage, then even if I repent of my foolishness and resolve never again to act in such a willful manner - I still have this marriage, which is the consequence of my sin, to deal with. The consequences of this marriage include the necessity of exclusion from receiving the Holy Mysteries until such time as I can obtain a Church marriage or perhaps live with my spouse as a brother or sister - that is without intimacy - until my death bed. These are simply the consequences of the sin - living with which without complaint and with full trust in God is part of my repentance. Look at St Mary of Egypt who lived the second part of her life in complete isolation coping with the consequences of her sinful life. She did not receive the Holy Mysteries until just before her death but she is revered as a saint for she accepted this life repentance without complaint and lived as God provided for her for the remainder of her earthly life.

Second - what you are asking falls in the realm of pastoral care. It is the beauty and genius of the true Church that we do not live under the rule of law, but rather under the rule of the mercy of God which is meted out by living people (priests and bishops). The canons and rules of the Church are not self acting but must be applied to each particular situation by a living breathing person who is familiar with the life of the person. Such pastoral care and ministrations are outside the scope of this forum (as they should be since such things are between the person and his spiritual father) thus you will probably will not get the kind of concrete answer you want to any and all of your "what about"s.

Fr David Moser

Edited by Father David Moser, 03 April 2010 - 09:48 PM.
run on sentence


#27 Angelos

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 10:01 PM

Thank you Father that was very clear and helpful. I apologise if some of my postings came across as too negative

#28 Anthony Ferrara

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:06 PM

Would it be forbidden for an Orthodox Christian to marry someone who was baptized, but is now agnostic? This is a hypothetical question. Thank you.

#29 Paul Cowan

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 06:46 PM

One can of course marry whom one wishes in the courts. But in order to marry inside the church both parties have to agree to raise their children in the Orthodox faith. That alone makes it very problematic to marry those outside the church.

I think the church rightly jumps from marriage to the responsibility of bearing children. What is the purpose of marriage but to work out our salvation with another and raise children?

Paul

#30 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 10:19 PM

Would it be forbidden for an Orthodox Christian to marry someone who was baptized, but is now agnostic? This is a hypothetical question. Thank you.


Ultimately, marriage is two people working out their salvation together as one. This is very challenging if the two people are yoked together but insist on going in two different directions.




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