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Roman Catholic receiving communion at Orthodox Church?


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#21 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:27 PM

[QUOTE][quote name='Kelil']Hi Eric thanks for taking the time out to respond to me.

If you can quote me one early church father prior to the schism of 1054 that says that roman Catholics can not receive communion in their church that would be nice. we do share the sacrament of Holy Orders, the fact that Catholic priests were received into the Orthodox Church without needing ordination proves my point.[/QUOTE]

As Eric says, before 1054, there was not the concept that later emerged of 'Roman Catholic' and 'Orthodox' Churches even though there were differences. So your question is not, with respect, logical. As far as I understand, the reception of Roman Catholic priests into the Church as priests acknowledges that the Roman Church possesses the grace of Apostolic Succession. Faith in the sacrament of the Eucharist is separate because the faith is not 'one'.

#22 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:35 PM

[QUOTE][quote name='Kelil']But in order for me to respond I'd have to tackle the ''who is the one true church?'' because since the split of the Orthodox with us Catholics in 1054 it was seen as a schism [/QUOTE]

There cannot be a schism of the Church but only from the Church, and the Orthodox Church is bound to believe that the Roman Church separated itself (and has further separated itself since 1054) from the One, Holy Apostolic Church, which is the Orthodox Church.

As to St Peter, the Church has always understood his position to be one of primus inter pares and not one of monarchical authority. In other words, the Church was always conciliar. After all, at the first Church council (which we read of in Acts), the presiding bishop was St James, not St Peter.

#23 Kelil

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:36 PM

[quote name='Andreas Moran'][QUOTE]

As Eric says, before 1054, there was not the concept that later emerged of 'Roman Catholic' and 'Orthodox' Churches even though there were differences. So your question is not, with respect, logical. As far as I understand, the reception of Roman Catholic priests into the Church as priests acknowledges that the Roman Church possesses the grace of Apostolic Succession. Faith in the sacrament of the Eucharist is separate because the faith is not 'one'.[/QUOTE]

if faith in the sacrament of the Eucharist was seperate then they would of needed to ordain him to make him one with them. I still dont see the logic of why we cant receive in each others churches and I see it as illogical seeing as we both retain the sacrament of Holy Orders

Pax Christi
Kelil <3

#24 Kelil

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:44 PM

[quote name='Andreas Moran'][QUOTE]

There cannot be a schism of the Church but only from the Church, and the Orthodox Church is bound to believe that the Roman Church separated itself (and has further separated itself since 1054) from the One, Holy Apostolic Church, which is the Orthodox Church.

As to St Peter, the Church has always understood his position to be one of primus inter pares and not one of monarchical authority. In other words, the Church was always conciliar. After all, at the first Church council (which we read of in Acts), the presiding bishop was St James, not St Peter.[/QUOTE]

But if the Catholics are the schismatics then prior to the Schism there should be church fathers who agree with you on that one, but there isnt

Tradition actually tells us that the primacy of St.peter is there and to be believed in as my following and previous quotes in the thread provide evidence of.

“Peter, the foremost of the Apostles, and Chief Herald of the Church...” Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures,1 1:3 (A.D. 350).

“[F]or the good of unity blessed Peter, for whom it would have been enough if after his denial he had obtained pardon only, deserved to be placed before all the apostles, and alone received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, to be communicated to the rest.” Optatus of Milevis, De Schismate Donatistorum, 7:3(A.D. 370).

If we go to Acts 15, we read that there was a lot of debate in the Church about whether Gentile converts needed to be circumcised. After the debate, Peter "rose" and declared that circumcision was not necessary. James was not even in the picture at this point. Peter made an authoritative decision about the doctrinal question, and no one questioned him. In fact, after Peter spoke it says "all kept silent." When you read the Greek phrase, it is in the aorist tense, which means the silence was the effect of Peter's definitive teaching.

After Peter settles the issue, Paul and Barnabas speak in favor of Peter's teaching. Only then does James come in. A few things about James' discourse. First, James was the bishop of Jerusalem during the council, and it is common for a bishop to speak in favor of the pope's teaching at a regional or ecumenical council. This is what James does. He agrees with Peter's definitive teaching. Second, James begins speaking, not about the doctrinal issue, but about whether the Gentiles should obey the Noachide laws. At the end of James' speech, he says "it is my judgment." The Greek here (ego krino) means that James was giving a personal opinion about a pastoral issue, and recommends that the Gentiles obey the laws of Noah so as to more easily fraternize with the Jews.

So we see that Peter is the one who rules definitively on the question of doctrine, and all kept silent. His bishops then spoke in favor of his teaching, acknowledging that Peter was indeed the authority in the Church. No one questions Peter's judgment. Then we have James who speaks in favor of Peter's teaching by giving an opinion on a pastoral issue. Hardly a challenge to the authority of Peter.

#25 Eric Peterson

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:50 PM

Just because you keep repeating the same lie over and over again does not make it the truth. We do not share holy orders. What I mentioned was the EXCEPTION, which does NOT prove the rule. Also, according to Orthodox ecclesiology, Roman Catholics do not have Apostolic succession, which is only in the Church, the Orthodox Church (there is no other, according to the Fathers). Not only must a bishop be consecrated in the right way by Orthodox bishops, he must also hold the Orthodox faith. If he abandons this, Apostolic succession is lost. He does not succeed the Holy Apostles if he does not teach the faith they taught.

According to St. Mark of Ephesus, who attended the false council of Ferara-Florence and did not submit to its decrees, Roman Catholics are not, properly called, schismatics, but heretics if they believe in and advance that which is contrary to the Truth. The filioque, papal supremacy and infallibility, the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, development of doctrine, etc. are heresies, and as such, they fight against the Apostolic preaching. The Holy Councils condemn and anathematize additions to the Creed (filioque), and you will find no patristic underpinnings for papal infallibility or supremacy or the Immaculate Conception prior to the late 11th century. You will also find no theological defense even in the West of the filioque prior to that time.

This has been explained elsewhere as well. You're free to accept it or not accept it, but to keep holding to a false understanding and pushing that will not help you.

#26 Eric Peterson

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:52 PM

You want Church Fathers, who lived before the schism, to come out and say that Roman Catholics, after the schism, are in error? Do your realize the illogical nature of this desire?

#27 Eric Peterson

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:00 AM

There are plenty of witnesses, prior to the schism, that can be found to show that the new beliefs adopted by Roman Catholics after the schism are wrong. Among them is St. Gregory the Great who said that the bishop who would declare himself to be the ruler of the Churches would be the forerunner to Antichrist. But new heresies, like the development of doctrine, sweep that under the rug. The Roman Catholics tend to see the first 1000 years of the Church's history through the lenses of the late 11th and early 12th century and later. There are even doctrines which later came to be enshrined as dogma by Roman Catholics against which your own fathers, such as Bernard of Clairvaux and Thomas Aquinas, spoke. But their objections are explained away. There must needs be an apparatus to allow for ever-new and ever-shifting doctrines and mindsets, and that you have made.

#28 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:03 AM

As far as I understand (which is not very far!), Roman priests are received into the Orthodox Church as priests by economy. Not all Orthodox are enthusiastic about this. It is the same economy which accepts by chrismation those who were baptised in a heterodox church (for example, Grand Duchess St Elizabeth).

#29 Father David Moser

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:13 AM

I would like to remind everyone that interfaith discussions are outside the scope of this forum. Please make an effort to confine your remarks to the liturgical, monastic and patristic expression of the Orthodox faith and steer away from comparative theology.

Fr David Moser

#30 Anna Stickles

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:17 AM

Hi Eric thanks for taking the time out to respond to me.

If you can quote me one early church father prior to the schism of 1054 that says that roman Catholics can not receive communion in their church that would be nice. we do share the sacrament of Holy Orders, the fact that Catholic priests were received into the Orthodox Church without needing ordination proves my point.

Pax Christi
Stephen <3


Maybe there is a little bit of confusion going on here over what happened in the Schism? I mean of course pre-schism those under jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome could receive communion in any other jurisdiction. It was only at the schism that the mutual excommunications occured that meant that this could no longer happen.

Here an article from wiki on what excommunication is in your own tradition. Note especially the second paragraph. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_excommunicated_by_the_Roman_Catholic_Church

According to the Catholic Church, excommunication, in the sense of a formal proceeding, is not a penalty, but rather a formal proclamation of a pre-existing condition in a more or less prominent member of the Catholic Church. When such a person commits acts that in themselves separate him from the communion of the faithful, particularly when by word, deed, or example he or she "spreads division and confusion among the Faithful it is necessary for the Church to clarify the situation by means of a formal announcement, which informs the laity that this is not a person to follow, and notifies the clergy that the person, by their own willful acts, has separated from the Church and is no longer to receive the sacraments, with the exception of Reconciliation if they turn from their ways. The decree may also indicate the mode of Reconciliation required for re-entry into the Church, specifying whether the local bishop may administer the process or it is reserved to the Pope. Excommunication is never a merely "vindictive penalty" (designed solely to punish), but is always used as a "medicinal penalty" intended to pressure the person into changing their behaviour or statements, repent and return to full communion.

Excommunicated persons are barred from participating in the liturgy in a ministerial capacity (for instance, as a reader if a lay person, or as a deacon or priest if a clergyman) and from receiving the Eucharist[ or the other Sacraments, but are normally not barred from attending these (for instance, an excommunicated person may not receive Communion, but would not be barred from attending Mass). Certain other rights and privileges are revoked, such as holding ecclesiastical office.



#31 Olga

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:33 AM

Kelil, it is not the first time the matter of the primacy/supremacy of Peter has been raised in this forum. Here are a couple of posts from a thread from a couple of years ago which should help:

"Councils of theologians are all very well and honourable in intent, but there are two simple and very accessible sources of doctrine which are consistent across the whole Orthodox world: iconography, and liturgical texts. The Orthodox Church regards Apostles Peter and Paul as the pre-eminent apostles, not just Peter. This is abundantly clear in both iconography, and in the text for the vigil of Sts Peter and Paul. Both are held in equal regard, hence the joint feast-day. The joint commemoration has a purpose: to remove any notions of supremacy. Another example of this is the feast of the Three Hierarchs, instituted to show the Church's equal regard for Sts Basil the Great, John Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian.

The feast for Sts Peter and Paul dates back to no later than the mid-8thC, given that the canon at Matins was written by St John of Damascus, and other hymns by contemporaries, including St Andrew of Crete.

Individual fathers may contradict each other, but the liturgical texts represent the distillation of the teachings of the Church for any feast. It is what the whole Orthodox Church espouses and proclaims, irrespective of geographic location or jurisdiction. It is the same with iconography. Individual icons of Apostle Peter exist in great numbers, but there is no indication at all that he is pre-eminent over all the others. In icons of the assembly of the Twelve Apostles, Peter and Paul are in the foreground, often jointly holding a model of a church building, a motif also used in icons of saints regarded as "equals to the Apostles", such as the enlightener-saints e.g. Sts Vladimir and Olga of Kiev, Nina of Georgia, Olaf of Norway, etc. Apostle Andrew is shown standing behind Peter and Paul, but still in a position of prominence, as he was the first to be chosen by Christ to be a disciple. All of this is consistent with Orthodox teaching."

and, in response to a poster who provided patristic quotes to defend the supremacy of Peter:

"Perhaps you are not familiar with the liturgical texts for the feast of Apostles Peter and Paul. With no disrespect whatsoever intended for St John Chrysostom or Apostle Peter, I nevertheless return to the principle of liturgical integrity, universality and consistency, and its proclamation of Orthodox doctrine.

Below are selections from the Vigil of Apostles Peter and Paul. I apologise for the length of this post, however I felt that it would be more beneficial to quote extensively, to provide some semblance of fullness and “context”. Apart from one asterisked comment of mine, the text is quite clear as to how the whole Orthodox Church regards these saints. There is a distinct complementarity between verses for each apostle:

From Vespers:

At “Lord, I have cried”:

With what beauties of hymnody should we sing the praise of Peter and Paul? The wings of the knowledge of God, who flew through the ends of the earth and were lifted up high to heaven; the hands of the Gospel of grace, the feet of the truth of the proclamation, the rivers of wisdom, the arms of the Cross, through which He has cast down the arrogance of demons, Christ our God, who has great mercy.

With what spiritual songs should we praise Peter and Paul? The sharp mouths of the dread sword of the Spirit that slaughter godlessness; the radiant ornaments of Rome; the delights of the whole inhabited world; the reasoning tablets, written by God, of the New Testament, which in Zion Christ proclaimed, who has great mercy.

At the Litia:

Come then today with fervour, acceptable sacrifice of the faithful; as we stand together in choir, let us garland with fitting songs Peter and Paul, the chosen weavers of grace; because they sowed the word unstintingly for all and enriched them with the gift of the Spirit; and being branches of the true vine, they have brought to perfection for us the ripe grape cluster, making our hearts glad. To them let us cry out, with faces unveiled and with pure consciences, as we say: Hail, guides of the unreasoning and servants of those with reason. Hail, fair chosen members of the Maker and Guardian of all. Hail, protectors of the good and persecutors of the deceitful. Let us implore them to ever entreat the Creator and Teacher to give the world stable peace and our souls His great mercy.

Let us, the whole world, praise as its champions the Disciples of Christ and foundations of the Church, the true pillars and bases, and inspired heralds of the doctrines and sufferings of Christ, the Princes, Peter and Paul. For they passed through the whole breadth of the earth as with a plough, and sowed the faith, and they made the knowledge of God well up for all, showing forth the understanding of the Trinity. O Peter, rock and foundation, and Paul, vessel of choice; the yoked oxen of Christ drew nations, cities and islands to knowledge of God. While they have brought Hebrews again to Christ and intercede that our souls may be saved.

Peter, Prince of the glorious Apostles, the rock of the faith, and inspired Paul, the preacher and beacon of the holy Churches, as you stand before the throne of God, intercede with Christ on our behalf.

Paul, mouth of the Lord, foundation of doctrines, once the persecutor of Jesus my Saviour, but now become first-throned of the Apostles, blessed one; therefore you saw things ineffable, O wise one, when you ascended to the third heaven, and you cried: Come with me, and let us not be deprived of the blessings.

The citizens of the Jerusalem on high, the rock of the faith, the preacher of the Church of Christ, the pair of the Trinity, the fishers of the world, leaving behind today the things on earth, have journeyed in truth to God, and they implore Him with boldness that our souls may be saved.

As the wisdom of God, the co-eternal Word of the Father, foretold in the Gospel, you are the fruitful branches, all-praised Apostles; you bear on your shoots the ripe and lovely grape cluster, which we faithful eat and experience a taste which brings delight. Peter, rock of the faith, and Paul, boast of the inhabited world, establish the flock which you have gained by your teachings.

At the Apostikha:

Who will recount your chains city by city and your afflictions, glorious Apostle Paul? The toils, the pains, the vigils, the sufferings from hunger and thirst, from cold and nakedness, the basket, the beatings, the stonings, the journeying, the deep, the shipwrecks? You became a spectacle to Angels and to humans. You endured all things in Christ who gave you power, that you might gain the world for Christ Jesus, your Lord. And so we beseech you, as we faithfully celebrate your memory, intercede without ceasing that our souls may be saved.

Verse: Their sound has gone out into all the earth; and their words to the ends of the world.

Who will recount your chains city by city and your afflictions, glorious Apostle Paul? Or who will set down the struggles and the toils, by which you toiled in the Gospel of Christ, that you might gain all people and bring the Church to Christ? But ask that she may keep safe your fair confession until her last breath, O Paul, Apostle and teacher of the Churches.

Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims the work of his hands.

Let us praise Peter and Paul, the great beacons of the Church; for they shone more brightly than the sun in the firmament of the faith, and with the rays of the proclamation they brought the nations from ignorance to the knowledge of God. The one was nailed to a cross and so found the path to heaven, where he was handed the keys of the kingdom by Christ; while the other was beheaded by the sword and so departed to the Saviour and is fittingly called blessed. Both denounced Israel for stretching out his hands unjustly against the Lord Himself. And so at their prayers, Christ our God, cast down those who are against us, and strengthen the Orthodox faith, as You love mankind.

A joyous feast has shone out today on the ends of the earth, the all-honoured memorial of the wisest Apostles and their princes, Peter and Paul; and so Rome dances and rejoices. Let us also, brethren, celebrate in songs and psalms this all-revered day, as we cry out to them: Hail, Peter, Apostle and true friend of your teacher, Christ our God. Hail, Paul, well-loved, herald of the faith and teacher of the inhabited world. Holy pair, chosen by God, as you have boldness, implore Christ God that our souls may be saved.

Troparion of the Feast:

First-throned of the Apostles and teachers of the inhabited world, intercede with the Master of all things to give peace to the world and to our souls His great mercy.

From Matins:

Sessional hymn:

Let us, the faithful, fittingly praise the champion Paul, the net of the world, and the most-praised Peter, the rock of the Church, who holds the keys of heaven, for the universe has been enlightened by them with the faith of the Trinity. Glory to Him who has glorified you, glory to Him who has strengthened you, glory to Him who because of you has given us everlasting life.

Magnification:

We magnify you, O Peter and Paul, Apostles of Christ, who enlightened the universe with your teachings, and led the ends of the earth to Christ.

Sessional hymn after the Polyeleos:

Let us praise Peter and the all-wise Paul, the great and radiant luminaries, who were shown to be pre-eminent among the disciples; for shining forth with the fire of the divine Spirit, they burned away all the gloom of deception. Therefore they have fittingly shown to be warriors of the Kingdom above, equally enthroned in grace. For this cause we exclaim: O Apostles of Christ our God, ask forgiveness of sins to those who with love celebrate your holy memory.

Sessional hymn after psalm 50:

Let us honour with hymns of praise the true preachers of piety, the all-radiant stars of the Church; Peter, the rock of faith, and Paul, the teacher of the truth and initiate of the mysteries of Christ. Having sown the word of truth in the hearts of the faithful, may they both entreat Christ our God, who gives abundantly to all, that our souls be saved.

There are two canons sung at this feast, one for each apostle. Some examples of complementary troparia:

From Ode 1:

Having foreknown you, O most-blessed Peter, the Pre-eternal One ordained you of old as the leader of His Church, the first-enthroned.

When Christ called existence out of non-existence, O most-blessed Paul, He chose you from your mother’s womb to carry His divine name which is above every name before the nations, for He has been gloriously glorified.

From Ode 3:

On the rock of your theology, Jesus the Master established the unassailable Church, and there we glorify you, O Apostle Peter.

You have been set as a precious foundation stone for the souls of the faithful, a cornerstone of the Saviour and Lord.

Ypakoi:

What dungeon did not hold you prisoner? What Church did not have you as an orator? Damascus extols you, O Paul, for it knew you blinded by the Light; and Rome, which received your blood, boasts in you; but Tarsus, your birthplace, rejoices yet more with love and honour. O Peter, rock of the Faith, and Paul, boast of the whole world, coming together from Rome, make us steadfast.

Kontakion:

The steadfast and divinely eloquent preachers, the foremost of Your apostles, O Lord, You have received into the delight of Your good things and into rest; for You have accepted their sufferings and death as greater than any whole-burnt offering, You who alone knows the hearts of men.

From Ode 7:

He who in latter times was called and surpassed all others in zeal, became the seal and crown of Your apostles, O Christ. With him the people of the Church sing to You: O God of our fathers, blessed are You.

From Ode 8:

O Christ who announced to Peter that the nations were cleansed, by spiritual radiance purify my thoughts, for I cry: Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.

You betrothed the Church to Christ, presenting it to Him as a bride; for you were shown to be its wedding-escort, O God-bearing Paul. Therefore, it glorifies you for all ages.

Exaposteilarion:

Let us all hymn the foremost among the apostles, the godly Peter and Paul, the universal luminaries, the preachers of the Faith, the divinely sounded clarions, the speakers of dogmas, the pillars of the Church and destroyers of falsehood.

From the Praises:

The most honoured feast of the apostles has arrived for the Church of Christ, bringing salvation to us all. Therefore, mystically weaving hymns for them, let us say: Hail, O lamps to those who are in darkness, shedding forth rays of the spiritual Sun! Hail, O Peter and Paul, unshakeable foundations of the divine doctrines, friends of Christ, precious vessels! Come into our midst, bestowing immaterial gifts to those who praise your feast with hymns.

Every single Orthodox church in the world uses the same text as this when celebrating this feast. Only the liturgical language used will vary. I ask again, in the light of the liturgical and iconographic tradition, is it still possible to honestly and unreservedly conclude that Peter has the higher authority over all the other apostles, including Paul? "

It is also worth remembering that identical language is used to describe Apostle Andrew the First-called in the hymnody for his feast, and for the other apostles as well.

#32 Kosta

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:38 AM

Dear Kelil,

I think you misunderstand the Orthodox teaching which is different from the RC. Your looking at it through the prism of the roman church. For instance, In Orthodoxy Holy Orders is not considered simply a matter of laying on of hands. Holy Orders means a right believing bishop as well. If a legitimately ordained bishop departs from the faith he becomes devoid of grace regardless of apostolic succession. Orthodoxy does not recognize medievel legalistic terms such as illicit and validity, instead it deals with terms as "grace", "graceless", 'devoid of grace", "lacking grace", or "fullness of grace" or "empty".

Orthoodoxy does not recognize sacraments outside her (whether holy orders or baptism), but can accept an individual through economia. Economia is the act of using leniency and not the full rigidity of the canons. When eikonomia is used, it means that the Church seizes an empty heterodox ritual and makes it her own, and the abundance of grace within the Church fills and makes full and complete whatever may have been lacking.

Secondly there are canons of the ecumenical councils that do forbid the reception of communion by the heterodox. In the 2nd ecumenical council it was declared that certain heretics can be recieved into the church by renouncing their errors and chrismation. Upon chrismation (that is acceptance into the true church) the individual can be communed. In the quinisext council (extension of the 6th ecumenical council in 660 a.d.) it is taught that monophysites (copts armenians etc) as well as nestorians (assyrians) can be recieved into the church by denouncing there heresies, denouncing those anathemized and confession. After this he is recieved into the one truE church and immediately to communion. As we can see , agreement of right faith is always a prerequisite bbefore sharing the cup.

Now the person and position of Peter is another area where your looking at it through the prism of roman teaching, which is foreign to Orthodoxy. In Orthodoxy Peter is not a city, not limited to Rome and has nothing to do with the imperial city or church of Rome. Origen taught that everyone who confesses the faith of Peter is a Peter. St. Cyprian of Carthage and many other Fathers taught that every bishop of the church is the successor of Peter. Pope Damasus and Pope Gregory the great advanced the 'petrine theory' which is that Rome, Alexandrian and Antioch are all founded by Peter. Generally speaking In Orthodoxy, there is no special power that Peter had, that was passed on. St John Chrysostom refered to him as the mouth of the apostles, and this is true in that he was the spokesman of the apostles. When Peter spoke he was expressing the consensus of the disciples.

As far as Peter's role in the Jerusalem council, your source is nothing short of bizarre to say the least. James was the one who presided over the council. Peter did not speak first nor last, nor had any special standing in the council , James gave the ruling, you need to re- read acts 15 with your own brain. Where in Acts does it say "after the debate", Peter rose and said circumscision was not neccesary? Instead During much debate Peter stood and gave his testimony, when he finished, the "microphone" passed to Paul and Barnabas where the others listened to them in silence (v12). The council became silent when Paul and Barnabas spoke not Peter. After Paul and Barnabas testimony, the council still remained in silence (v13) at which point James stood up and said "men listen to me", James then says "I judge" (im greek, eyo krino does not mean opinion at all) James commands that they do indeed follow the mosaic law of abstaining from things strangled, from blood, from immorality and from idols. After that the apostles and elders and all the brethren composed an epistle together to be read to the gentile churches(v23).

#33 Angelos

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 03:24 AM

I was raised Orthodox and later in life became Catholic. I started taking communion at my Catholic parish before coming in full communion with Rome. Catholic priests will give communion to Orthodox people (and confession) and I was grateful for that.

Regarding Apostolic succession the Orthodox claim that they represent the "original" Church but this is factually wrong. The Church of Rome is older than the Church of Constantinople. Constantinople was a made up city (like Washington DC in the US) that was created by Constantine and its importance was political, not spiritual. To top it off the Church of Constantinople had multiple heretic bishops (Arians) and the Early Church was looking to the Bishop of Rome to fight the heretics in Contantinople. So really the center of the Early unified Church was the Church of Rome. Now Antioch and Jerusalem were also jenuine important centers, but 400 years befor the schism they were practically wiped out by the invading muslim armies. So by 1054 the center of Christianity was clearly Rome.

#34 Olga

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:27 AM

Constantinople was a made up city (like Washington DC in the US) that was created by Constantine


Wrong. The city of Byzantium was established some centuries before the Christian era. Constantine remodelled the city and renamed it Constantinople, with the secondary title of New Rome.

So really the center of the Early unified Church was the Church of Rome.


See above. Which Rome? ;)

#35 Michael Astley

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 09:48 AM

... we do share the sacrament of Holy Orders, the fact that Catholic priests were received into the Orthodox Church without needing ordination proves my point.


I'm afraid it doesn't, Stephen.

You are are arriving at a conclusion by looking at Orthodox sacramental practice through the lens of Roman Catholic sacramental theology. The fact that former Roman Catholic clergy have been received into Orthodoxy without ordination does not prove or even imply that the Orthodox Church recognises Catholic ordination as the Mystery of Holy Orders.

In Orthodoxy, we have standard means of doing things and then we have departures from those standards which, within the realms of acceptability, may be employed in certain circumstances according to pastoral need or because of wider concerns, and so forth. This management of the household of God, with greater strictness or leniency according to circumstances, is called economy.

With that in mind...

The normal means of making a man a priest is to ordain him. However, if the man has come from a tradition outside of Orthodoxy, which has retained some elements of Holy Orders (such as the tactile succession among other things), then it may be possible to make whole the previously deficient ordination by supplying what was lacking, namely, the context of the Church and the authority of an Orthodox bishop. Therefore, some former Catholic clergy, as well as some clergy from schismatic "Orthodox" groups (episcopi vagantes), have been received by vesting and concelebration. However, this is by no means universal and other former vagantes and Catholic clergy have been received as Orthodox clergy in the standard way: by ordination.

Another example is Baptism. The standard way of entering the Orthodox Church is through Baptism and Chrismation. However, those who have been through the baptismal rites of other Christian groups may be received without Baptism, but by Chrismation coupled with a renunciation of the errors of the former home. This may be done only in those cases where essential elements of Baptism were present in the non-Orthodox ceremony, such as the invocation of the Holy Trinity, triple immersion or pouring of water, and so forth. Again, this is seen as supplying what was deficient in the non-Orthodox rite but it does not imply in any way that these rites outside the Orthodox Church are recognised as the Mystery of Baptism, and it is for this reason that many people who come to Orthodoxy are still baptised, even though they may have been through the baptismal rites of groups outside the Church. I myself had an Anglican baptism as a baby but was properly baptised to be received into the Orthodox Church.

The Roman Catholic church has developed a very legalistic understanding of sacraments, whereby they are either "valid" or "invalid". According to that way of thinking, if the way a sacrament was performed does not meet the criteria for validity, it must be performed again, (at least conditionally). For somebody who has been steeped in that mindset, I can see how the Orthodox practice of not insisting on the ordination of former Catholic clergy before they can serve as Orthodox clergy could look like a recognition of Catholic orders as "valid" but that would be to apply Latin sacramental theology to Orthodox sacramental practice, where this concept of sacramental "validity" and "invalidity" is alien. Imagine you meet a pregnant lady who tells you that, since becoming pregnant, she gets cravings for tomatoes. Then imagine that later in the same day, you see a man gorging himself on tomatoes. Would it make sense to assume that this man is pregnant? Of course not. Just because the craving for tomatoes is linked to pregnancy in one context, it does make sense to assume that it will apply in a different context. The same is true of sacramental practice. Roman Catholic and Orthodox sacramental theology are different. One practice in one context will not necessarily mean the same thing in another.

Finally, to the point of a common chalice, may I suggest you read this? It may prove helpful. Personally, I find the writings of St Cyprian of Carthage, specifically his epistles and treatises "On the Church" to give a very good idea of the nature of the Church and the place of the Mysteries, including the Eucharist, within it.

I hope that proves to be of some help.

In Christ,
Michael

#36 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 09:49 AM

I do not see why a geographical location has to be sought as the centre of the early 'unified' Church (the Church always having been unified, of course). What does 'centre' here mean? The Church is not an organisation; it is the mystical Body of Christ exisitng in and outside time and space but it necessarily exists locally in time and space. Locally, the Church is where the bishop is. But if one were to look for the location of the early Church, then why not consider Jerusalem, or Antioch (where the Christians were first called such)? One might add that none of the Ecumenical Councils were held in Rome.

#37 Angelos

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:54 PM

Is there scriptural support as to why the Orthodox Church refuse the Eucharist to Catholics who with good conscience want to receive it? I know the Catholic Church refuses to give it to Protestants who do not believe that they receive the body of Christ (but just bread) because Paul specifically stated, in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

"whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself."

So out of compassion the Catholic Church not wanting Protestants to inadvertently bring judgment on themselves refuses to give it to them...BUT Catholics do have the right worthy manner that Paul wants since they do believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. So what is the real reason that theOrthodox Church refuses the Sacrament of Eucharist to well meaning Catholics?? Is that based on Scripture or based on Politics?

#38 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:36 PM

From my reading about and contacts with Roman Catholicism I would say that like us- and really like Protestantism also- various practices come primarily from varying understanding of what the Church is and what Tradition is also. It is within this framework that we understand and call upon Scripture- not the other way around. Although of course there is plenty of testimony in the Scriptures concerning the priority of maintaining the Faith as it has been handed on to us.

In any case as Fr David reminded us this is not a place to debate our various Church positions and understandings. There is no possibility of such debates being resolved here anyway. Instead we must be satisfied with an explanation of why we see the Church in the way that we do.

Within this context then of providing an explanation and not of debating I want to emphasize my point of yesterday that ultimately it is pastoral practice which shows what our belief is. The reasons for this I think have already been adequately been explained. But we need to emphasize that in Orthodox practice any clergyman giving communion to someone who has not been received in a formal way into Orthodoxy (ie has not converted to Orthodoxy) would be seriously reprimanded by his hierarch and then suspended or even deposed if he persisted in such a practice. All of the clergy that I know (from bishops to priests to deacons) would regard such a practice as a serious betrayal of the sanctity of the sacrament and of our clerical calling.

The reason for such firmness however is not in meanness or zeal beyond measure- it is simply that for participation in the sacraments (which are the very expression of the Body of the Church) there must first be unity of Faith. In other words for us this relates to how Church and Faith and sacraments are inextricably connected.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#39 Dimitris

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:58 PM

The Church of Rome is older than the Church of Constantinople.

That's really a ridiculous nonsense-argument. Age has never been an argument to promote truth. Even the Roman church proclaims to be orthodox, not paleodox.

Is there scriptural support as to why the Orthodox Church refuse the Eucharist to Catholics who with good conscience want to receive it?

Has already been quoted: ""One Lord, one faith, one baptism", Eph. 4:5. Also in conjunction with 1Cor 10:17: "For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread." So, no "one bread" without "one body" and no "one body" without "one bread". And: no one bread and one body without one faith.

#40 Angelos

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 08:56 PM

As everyone agrees before 1054 there was no "Catholic" and "Orthodox" Church but there was one unified Church of God. So the best way to understand which of the two Churches that emerge after 1054 had a more valid claim to "Orthodoxy" is to see which of these Churches' spiritual leaders (Bishops and Patriarchs) were free from Heresy before 1054.

I think even today's Orthodox will agree that the Patriarchs of the Church of Constantinople were quite often heretics: Eusebius (339), Macedonius (360), and Demophilus (370) were Arians; Nestorius (478) was Nestorian; Timothy I (511), Anthimius (535), Sergius I (610), Pyrrhus (639) and Paul II (641) were Monothelites. All the (nine) Patriarchs of the Church of Antioch during 328-359 were Arians. A number of heretics were Patriarchs of the Church of Alexandria as well. The only major Church that never had a heretic as a Bishop (in the early unified Church) was the Church of Rome. Only Rome has always remained faithful to the original deposit of faith given to the apostles (and for the years prior to 1054 this is not disputed by today's Orthodox either)

In the days of the unified Church the only way for the Christian to now that his doctrine was Orthodox was to remain in agreement with the See of Rome. Take the years 512-518 for example. Every bishopric succession except Rome had been overtaken by heresy. Why? Jesus made a promise to Peter and He can be counted on to keep it.
It is illogical to claim that the see of Rome that had never been subject to heresy before 1054, somehow became un-Orthodox after it split from the Church of Constantinople, a Church that quite often was led by heretics and that was subject to the whims of the secular Eastern Emperors




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