Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Is a baptism outside Orthodox Church by force valid at all?


  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 Ahmet

Ahmet

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 3 posts

Posted 23 April 2011 - 03:55 AM

If someone who is not baptized in Orthodox Church was forced to be baptized by non Orthodox Church in the name of Trinity, would the baptism be valid?

#2 Paul Cowan

Paul Cowan

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,064 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 23 April 2011 - 09:03 PM

This gets back to the old discussion of "we know where the Grace of the Holy Spirit is, we do not know where it is not" argument.

#3 Christina M.

Christina M.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts

Posted 23 April 2011 - 09:16 PM

There's an interesting, and probably relevant, story about an atheist who wanted to be baptized into the Orthodox Church "just for kicks", but after he was baptized he immediately understood that God exists, and ended up becoming a pious Christian. Does anyone know that story? I'm sure I'm missing a lot of the details.

#4 Jeremy Troy

Jeremy Troy

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 175 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 23 April 2011 - 09:26 PM

I've heard a story about a group of actors who were mocking Christians and staged a mock 'Baptism' as part of one of their plays. The actor who was Baptized in the play emerged from the waters confessing his belief in Christ. The Holy Spirit works where he will.

#5 Christina M.

Christina M.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts

Posted 23 April 2011 - 09:36 PM

I've heard a story about a group of actors who were mocking Christians and staged a mock 'Baptism' as part of one of their plays. The actor who was Baptized in the play emerged from the waters confessing his belief in Christ. The Holy Spirit works where he will.

Maybe that's the story I was trying to remember...

#6 Kosta

Kosta

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,517 posts

Posted 23 April 2011 - 09:44 PM

There are no sacraments outside the church only empty rituals.

#7 Aidan Kimel

Aidan Kimel

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 440 posts

Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:25 PM

The question of coercion has yet to be addressed. If coercion or violence was employed to compel someone to be baptized within the Orthodox Church, would the Orthodox Church acknowledge it?

In any case, perhaps the following postings from Fr Alexander Lebedeff will be of interest. I understand he is a respected priest in ROCOR. These postings were recently shared by Fr Ambrose at another forum.


http://groups.yahoo..../message/133733

In reality, the Russian Orthodox Church fully recognized the validity of apostolic succession in both the Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches (Copts, Armenians, Assyrians, etc.).

I can find, rather easily, at least fifty pre-revolutionary official sources of the Russian Orthodox Church that state, unequivocally, that the Roman Catholics have apostolic succession--these are textbooks of Canon Law, Manuals and Handbooks for Clergy, and other sources that reference official Decrees of the Holy Synod.

The Baptism of Roman Catholics and Monophysites was recognized as completely valid and salvific, as were the Mysteries of Confirmation, Marriage and Ordination.

Remember, the official position of the Russian Orthodox Church was that none of these Mysteries should be repeated if a roman Catholic were to wish to become Orthodox.

Orthodox priests were explicitly **forbidden** to "re-baptize" Roman Catholics. And Roman Catholic priests who became Orthodox were accepted simply by Confession of Faith and then vesting--they were not baptized, chrismated or reordained.

And-- the Russian Orthodox Church issued an official decree allowing Roman Catholic Uniates to be given Holy Communion by Orthodox priests in those areas where they could not be ministered to by a Uniate priest.

In the "Handbook for Priests" by Bulgakov, a discussion is found regarding whether Episcopalian (Anglican) priests could also be received in full ecclesiastical rank when becoming Orthodox, as were Roman Catholics. The question revolved as to whether the Anglicans had preserved valid apostolic succession **AS HAD THE CATHOLICS**.

So-- there is no question that the Church of Russia considered the Roman Catholics to have valid apostolic succession.


With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff


http://groups.yahoo..../message/135810

Actually, not just the position of the Russian Orthodox Church during the past 400 years, but the position of the whole Church up until Patriarch Cyril and the Tomos of 1755.

I would suggest careful reading of the following.

The best Greek theologian and scholar to write on this issue, Fr. George Metallinos, in his book "I confess One Baptism" (available on-line) writes:

"According to the prevailing view, after the schism the Orthodox Church recognized ''the validity of the Latin sacraments,''[228] and indeed that of baptism. Upon their conversion, the Church applied Canon VII of the Second Ecumenical Council or XCV of Penthekte to them, or occasionally received them by a mere recantation of their foreign doctrines.[229] Even after the Crusades and the Council of Ferrara/Florence (1438-1439), when the relations between Orthodox and Latins became strained, and the stance of the Orthodox East in dealing with the Latins became more austere, [230] the East considered the application of Canon VII of the Second Ecumenical Council to be an adequate measure of defense, that is she received them by chrismation and a written statement. This action was officially ratified by the Local Council of Constantinople in 1484, with the participation, moreover, of all the Patriarchs of the East.

This Council also wrote an appropriate service.[231] Thus, according to I. Karmiris (and also according to the arguments of the Latinizers and pro-westerners during the Turkish rule), the cases of ''rebaptism'' were exceptions, owing ''to individual initiative,'' and ''not to an authoritative decision of the Church.''[232]

"This custom, however, was overturned in 1755 under Cyril V, Patriarch of Constantinople, by the imposing of the (re)baptism of Latins and all Western converts in general,[233] again through the application of Canon VII of the Second Ecumenical Council and the other relevant Canons of the Church. This action, to this day the last ''official'' decision of the Orthodox Church,[234] was opposed by those who disagreed. It was considered to have subverted the decision of the Council of 1484. because of its circumstantial character,[235] not having gained universal acceptance and application, it was often not adhered to. In addition, the practice of the Russian Church from 1667 differed from that of the other Orthodox Patriarchates, and indeed that of Constantinople.[236] This, then, is what is commonly accepted to this day concerning the issue in question."


http://www.oodegr.co...aptisma1/B6.htm

Here we see that the prevailing view was that the Orthodox Church, since 1054, "accepted the validity of the Latin sacraments" and that even after the Council of Florence, when relations between the East and the West had totally deteriorated, the Council of Constantinople of 1484, at which all four Eastern Patriarchs participated, decreed that Latins should be accepted by Chrismation and a written statement, and, more importantly, this Council created a special service for the Reception of Converts according to the mandated form (Chrismation after giving a statement renouncing false teachings and professing the Orthodox faith).

Fr. Metallinos underscores that the Oros of 1755 under Cyril V **overturned** this previously established custom.

It is critical to note that the Russian Church **NEVER** accepted the Oros of 1755 as being binding for it, and continues to this day to consider as prevailing the decision of the Council of Constantinoplein 1484, which directed that Latins NOT be baptized. This was confirmed at the Council of the Russian Church in 1667--the last time that a Council of
the Russian Church addressed this issue.

In fact, it would have been impossible for a Council of the Russian Orthodox Church to have accepted the Oros of 1755, since there WERE NO Councils of the Russian Church held from 1690 until 1917!!!

The Russian Church Council in 1667, at which two Patriarchs of the East participated, had previously sent queries to ALL of the ancient Patriarchs, asking for their opinion on this question. The unanimous reply of all four Patriarchs confirmed the position of the 1484 Council of Constantinople--that Latins were not to be rebaptized.

Fr. George Metallinos writes: "The Council of Moscow in 1620-21 decided to baptize Western converts.[276] However, the ''great'' Council of Moscow in 1666-67, in which the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch also participated, approved the decision of the 1484 Council of Constantinople, and thus rejected the (re)baptism of Western converts."

We must remember tyhat Fr. George Metallinos' work is based on the positions of the Kollyvades Fathers, especially Neophytos and C. Oikonomos. Still, he admits:

"Nevertheless, the Council of Constantinople in 1484 creates the greatest difficulties for an acceptance of our theologian's position on Latin baptism. This Council decided ''only to anoint with chrismthe Latins who come over to Orthodoxy,.after they submit a written statement of faith.'' In other words, it ranks them in the class of the Arians and Macedonians of the Second Ecumenical Council (Canon VII).[262]"

In a footnore, Metallinos quotes Bishop Kallistos Ware:

"Ware writes in this connection: ''Neither of these Councils [i.e. Constantinople, 1484, and Moscow, 1667] was exposed to foreign pressure or acted from fear of Papist reprisals"

So it is totally incorrect to attribute the position of the Russian Church regarding accepting as valid the baptism of the Latins to Peter the Great or to Western influence.

Actually, regarding Peter I, Metallinos quotes from a reply in 1718 of Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremias III to Czar Peter the Great, in which the Patriarch directs the Czar to receive Latins ''by mere chrismation,''

Metallinos is forced to admit that even the theologian he uses as the basis for his thesis, C. Oikonomos, wrote the following:

"''I honor and respect the Russian Church as the undefiled bride of Christ and inseparable from her Bridegroom, and in addition as my own benefactress, by which the Lord has done and shall do many great and marvelous things, as she unerringly and verily follows the rule of piety. Hence, I do not doubt that it was in a spirit of discernment that she chose the older rule, in accordance with which she accepts the baptism of the other Churches [sic], merely chrismating those who join when they renounce their patrimonial beliefs with a written statement and confess those of the Orthodox faith.''[317]"

Here we have the clear statement of Metallinos chief theologian that the Church of Russia chooses to follow what he calls "the **older rule**, in accordance with which she accepts the baptism of other Churches."

Now, please tell me how is the position stated by Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk any different from the position of the Russian Church has held since 1667, which is based on the decision of the Council of the Four Patriarchs of 1484?

With love in Christ,

Prot. Alexander Lebedeff


http://groups.yahoo..../message/135709

Thursday, December 31, 2009, 7:38:45 PM, you wrote:

> On the other hand, you will find Orthodox who accept the "validity" of the
> Roman Catholic episcopate and the Sacraments which flow from it. Saint
> Philaret Metropolitan of Moscow is of this opinion.

As I mentioned before, it is far more than the opinion of St. Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow.

Every Handbook for Clergy, every textbook on Canon Law, Comparative Theology, Liturgics, and Pastorral Theology published in Russia before the Revolution states that the Roman Catholics have valid Mysteries and true apostolic succession, and that in no way should Baptism and
Chrismation, or ordination of them be performed again.

One can like it or not, but that was the official position of the Russian Church, without question or exception.

With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff


FWIW, I contacted Fr John Erickson, a retired St Vladimir's professor, and he agrees with Fr Alexander's interpretation of the Russian practice. Clearly a diversity of opinion exists within Orthodoxy regarding the "validity" of sacraments outside of the canonical bounds of Orthodoxy.

#8 Kosta

Kosta

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,517 posts

Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:53 PM

George Florovosky wrote of the 300 years of the latin captivity of russian theology. There was a time when latin influence was so great that even some russian saints thought the rosary was an orthodox prayer! The ROCOR started amebnding their views on heterodox mysteries under Met Philaret.

As far as the term 'valid' is concerned, i will have to hear a definition as to how its used by these theologians. The fact remains that both canons mentioned above view sacraments outside the church as empty forms. If what is meant by 'valid' is the external form, then they are valid in the sense that the form of the ritual is correct (this is questionable in of itself when it comes to sprinkling), but they are not neccesarily viewed as salvific, as the spirit of those canons attests to.

The practise of eikonomia on the reception of converts does not presuppose that heterodox mysteries are grace-filled but the exact opposite that they are devoid of grace.

#9 Deborah Valentine

Deborah Valentine

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 24 April 2011 - 11:50 PM

If the Baptism is done in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit than it is considered valid as far as I know.

#10 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 25 April 2011 - 12:42 AM

"Vaiid" is not a valid Orthodox term. The bishop can deem a baptism in the proper form received outside the Church to be sufficient, without any regard to "validity". That baptism is corrected or fulfilled through Chrismation. But that is the bishop's call. That is why they get to wear the funny hats.

Herman the invalid Pooh

#11 Kosta

Kosta

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,517 posts

Posted 25 April 2011 - 08:51 AM

"Vaiid" is not a valid Orthodox term. The bishop can deem a baptism in the proper form received outside the Church to be sufficient, without any regard to "validity". That baptism is corrected or fulfilled through Chrismation. But that is the bishop's call. That is why they get to wear the funny hats.

Herman the invalid Pooh


I completely agree. We Orthodox use terms as 'fullness' or 'lacking'. This is why theres a misunderstanding on what exactly 'eikonomia' is, we have adopted western terminology which is insufficient in describing what we believe about heterodox mysteries.

#12 Jason Hunt

Jason Hunt

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 165 posts

Posted 25 April 2011 - 02:24 PM

In any case, perhaps the following postings from Fr Alexander Lebedeff will be of interest. I understand he is a respected priest in ROCOR. These postings were recently shared by Fr Ambrose at another forum.

---

The Baptism of Roman Catholics and Monophysites was recognized as completely valid and salvific, as were the Mysteries of Confirmation, Marriage and Ordination.

Remember, the official position of the Russian Orthodox Church was that none of these Mysteries should be repeated if a roman Catholic were to wish to become Orthodox.


Please forgive me, but Fr. Ambrose has shared these opinions of Fr. Alexander Lebedeff regarding the historical position of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) on Roman Catholic and Monophysite sacraments on several different forums, but as I have mentioned to both fathers several times, I do not think it is correct to say that the ROC historically considered Roman Catholic and Monophysite sacraments to be "salvific" or "grace-filled" as Fr. Alexander claims. All Fr. Alexander has demonstrated is that the ROC historically has not required Roman Catholics to be baptized when receiving them into the Orthodox Church, and historically the ROC has considered RCs and Monophysites to have valid Apostolic Succession and valid sacraments. "Validity" is not the same as "salvific" and "grace-filled". Validity means that the form of the sacraments administered outside of the Orthodox Church do not need to be repeated, as these forms were correct and only are lacking in sacramental grace. If one is received into the Orthodox Church by chrismation, by confession, or by vesting because the non-Orthodox sacraments were considered "valid", that doesn't mean that a person already received "grace-filled" and "salvific" sacraments, but rather it means that the previously administered sacramental forms were acceptable and do not need repetition. Met Anthony (Khrapovitsky) thoroughly explains this in the following article:

http://orthodoxinfo....khrap_econ.aspx

As for the original post, as others have said, it would be up to one's priest and/or bishop whether a person should be received by chrismation or baptism. But whichever the case, "valid" is not the same as "grace-filled".

The popular (and not patristic) phrase "we know where the Grace of the Holy Spirit is, we do not know where it is not", may be applied in the general sense of the Spirit being "everywhere present and fillest all things", but the subject of sacramental grace is a separate matter entirely. Patrick Barnes does a very good job explaining this distinction from a patristic perspective in the following work:

http://orthodoxinfo....on-orthodox.pdf

#13 Deborah Valentine

Deborah Valentine

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 25 April 2011 - 02:39 PM

"Vaiid" is not a valid Orthodox term. The bishop can deem a baptism in the proper form received outside the Church to be sufficient, without any regard to "validity". That baptism is corrected or fulfilled through Chrismation. But that is the bishop's call. That is why they get to wear the funny hats.

Herman the invalid Pooh


you are right about the word valid..............

I misspoke

#14 Bryan J. Maloney

Bryan J. Maloney

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 364 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 02 May 2011 - 08:03 PM

As I was taught, there is no such thing as "valid" outside the Church. All sacraments outside the Church are empty. However, if it is the wish of a Bishop to exercise economy, then the empty ritual of baptism that a convert had can be filled by the Holy Spirit through whatever economic means a Bishop cares to use. However, a Bishop may, instead, be strict if that is a more prudent pastoral decision. How tragic would it be if someone who, in all good faith, thought himself Orthodox, received into the Church by economic means, was actually condemning himself every week by taking Communion and thus, by his own innocent belief in being Orthodox, actually sent himself to Gehenna? I had thought that this was not how our God operated.

#15 Paul Cowan

Paul Cowan

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,064 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 03 May 2011 - 02:33 AM

If our clergy understand and condone our situation and allow us to commune and we have been completely honest with them on our situation, then we are free and clear to partake of the sacraments of the church without the above fear. The condemnation will fall to them and not us. Clergy will always have a bigger answer to give our Lord than we will on how they tended the sheep.

Paul

#16 Owen Jones

Owen Jones

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,341 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 04 May 2011 - 02:06 PM

Thanks, Paul, for the right answer!

#17 David Lindblom

David Lindblom

    Regular Poster

  • Validating
  • PipPipPip
  • 151 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 09 May 2011 - 09:14 PM

"Vaiid" is not a valid Orthodox term. The bishop can deem a baptism in the proper form received outside the Church to be sufficient, without any regard to "validity". That baptism is corrected or fulfilled through Chrismation. But that is the bishop's call. That is why they get to wear the funny hats.

Herman the invalid Pooh


The default position of the Antiochian branch, which is mine, seems to be to accept any Trinitarian baptism from a mainline Protestant denomination. What you say and as I have read it before seems to indicate to me that this decision on the part of the bishop is on a case by case basis. Here in the Antiochian world it is simply a given for all people. Is this representative of a extreme position concerning re-baptism? For those who hold to the necessity of re-baptism what, in your opinion, is the fate of those of us who were received by Chrismation only?

#18 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 10 May 2011 - 02:57 PM

Depends on which ultradox you ask, they tend to have a range of acceptable practice. As one also received by chrismation, I am not too worried about what they think, they are not my bishop.

Herman

#19 Reader Nektarios

Reader Nektarios

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 83 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 26 May 2011 - 12:06 AM

If you recognize one Sacrament i.e. Baptism as valid then you must recognize all their sacraments i.e. Eucharist and if you recognize that then there is no division between Orthodox and Non-Orthodox is there? To use logic on the issue. I was taught and will always believe that their is no Sacraments outside of the Holy Orthodox Church, I believe all schismatics and heretics should be brought into the Holy Church by Baptism, just as I was. Personal opinion.

In Christ
Nektarios

#20 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 26 May 2011 - 12:50 AM

It is not a matter of "validity". "Valid" is NOT a valid Orthodox term! We take what was incomplete and make it complete. The Holy Spirit fulfills what is lacking. How hard is that to understand?




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users