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Oriental Orthodox receiving Communion in Orthodox Church


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#1 Darlene Griffith

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 07:57 AM

Is it acceptable practice for an Oriental Orthodox Christian to receive Holy Communion in an Orthodox Church? I'm already aware that a Roman Catholic is not permitted to do so. However, I think of the Oriental Orthodox as being closer to us in their beliefs and practices, and thus, that it wouldn't be as serious of an abuse of practice, if indeed it really is that. Of course, I'm aware that I could be completely out in left field, which is why I asked the question in the first place. If it is not acceptable practice, why is that precisely? What if there are no Oriental Orthodox parishes in the area? Would it then be proper to apply economia in this case and permit the Oriental Orthodox to commune at an Orthodox parish? Also, since Confession is so closely tied into Holy Communion, would it be acceptable practice for an Orthodox priest to hear the confession of an Oriental Orthodox and to give them absolution?

#2 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 10:42 AM

No it is not for despite the close links they have with the Orthodox Church and there may be little difference on a normal layman bases. Monophysitism is still heretical and condemned by the 7/8 ecumenical synods, and it would be wrong to allow anyone outside the Church to communion it is not an act of love to not correct people. Some say there is no real difference but the Holy Fathers of the our Councils disagree (and indeed the Coptic Pope of Alexandria disagrees) if these people are so close to the Church rather than saying you are o.k. you are already in the Church realy is it not better for us to ask them to join the Church of Christ to say come. However, I have heard of this happening on a local bases in some places.

In Christ.
Daniel,

#3 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 01:27 PM

Darlene-

There is no common agreement about this yet in Orthodoxy, especially here in the west (North America). Some, from episcopal direction, hold to the understanding that the reasons for the past separation were based on a misunderstanding over words (ie: that theologically we're the same but using different language to express this). Where such occurs you're likely to see numbers of Oriental Orthodox present and communing and who were received 'as they are'.

Others though believe that the separation was over substantive and still unresolved issues. In such parishes you may still see Oriental Orthodox present and communing- but only after having been chrismated and/or having made a confession of faith.

This disagreement in my experience is present across many Orthodox jurisdictions. Although in ROCOR or formerly OC parishes it's likely that you'll only see option two in place.

In Christ-
Fr Raphael

#4 Paul Cowan

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 06:12 PM

We have a local OO church I have visited but I was told by my priest (of blessed memory) NOT to take communion there. Seems to me, the opposite is true.

Paul

#5 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 07:21 PM

Paul, your priest was right you should not take Holy Communion in any church that is not in communion with your church in your case the Greek Patriarch of Antioch. Even though some Orthodox Churches allow communion to Coptic ect.. Christians I am sure we are not allowed to take Holy Communion there.

In Christ.
Daniel,

#6 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 02:05 PM

The matter is thorny. To be safest, don't cross the line. God will understand if you're being a little too cautious. However, I don't judge those who choose hope over caution.

#7 Rick H.

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 02:25 PM

However, I don't judge those who choose hope over caution.


Huh, very well put.

#8 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:13 AM

I was told very recently that re-union between the Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches and the Copts had been approved in principle by the respective leaders but that putting re-union into effect had been vetoed by the fathers of Mount Athos.  Does anyone have further information on this?



#9 Jean-Serge

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:16 PM

I was told very recently that re-union between the Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches and the Copts had been approved in principle by the respective leaders but that putting re-union into effect had been vetoed by the fathers of Mount Athos.  Does anyone have further information on this?

 

No it is not exact. The person was probably referring to the Chambesy agreement that was signed by different theologians of the church but indeed denounced by Mount Athos, but also by the church of Georgia and other churches. You can find more here :

 

http://www.orthodoxunity.org



#10 Kosta

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:10 AM

There really is no veto power. Most of the Orthodox churches requires an acceptance of the 7 Ecumenical councils, this includes the Church of Greece whose previous archbishop went on public record saying this. The Orientals will not accept this concession as the councils have anathemized a number of their saints. Secondly this would mean to lift anthemas against Nestorius and those condemned for the 3 Chapters. It would simply be hypocrisy not to. Yet we know what Orientals think of Assyrian theology.

Simply lifting anathemas is not enough as the written record of history cannot be erased and in time this written record would eclipse the miaphysite position. It is not in the Orientals best interest to unite. Most of the hype for union comes from the Arabs who seek a pan-Arab nationalist Christian front. Ethiopians are cool to the idea of union. Non-Arab Orthodox do not like the idea. And Maronite Christians to their credit are the only ones who've pointed out this pseudo Arab nationalism.

#11 Reader Nektarios

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 09:32 AM

We have a local OO church I have visited but I was told by my priest (of blessed memory) NOT to take communion there. Seems to me, the opposite is true.

Paul

 

Shouldn't have been there to begin with really. We are not to pray with those in schism and heresy according to the canons. 



#12 Olga

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 09:55 AM

Nektarios, Orthodox people are not forbidden from attending services at the churches of non-Orthodox friends or family members, such as weddings, christenings, funerals, etc.



#13 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 10:52 AM

Many would say it is going too far to call the OOs heretics. We are not in communion with them but the supposed differences are now largely thought to be the result of misunderstandings. The Copts in particular (some of whom I have known) are the most faithful and loving of Christians.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 09 December 2014 - 10:53 AM.


#14 Anna Stickles

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 02:19 PM

Many would say it is going too far to call the OOs heretics. We are not in communion with them but the supposed differences are now largely thought to be the result of misunderstandings. The Copts in particular (some of whom I have known) are the most faithful and loving of Christians.

 

Is this the result of discussions between serious OO and Chalcedonian Orthodox or simply the efforts of ecumenists?  I was reading this recently (see the part about reunion attempts) but I don't know what other talks have been going on that might be more hopeful. the idea here seems to be that they want reunion on terms that allow them to reject the 4th and the subsequent councils, and the few OO theologians I have read have unanimously rejected St Leo as Nestorian. I don't see reunion really happening on these terms.


Edited by Anna Stickles, 09 December 2014 - 02:22 PM.


#15 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 04:37 PM

I don't know details but I hope talks are not ecumenistic but sincerely aimed at establishing communion.



#16 Reader Nektarios

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 08:44 PM

Nektarios, Orthodox people are not forbidden from attending services at the churches of non-Orthodox friends or family members, such as weddings, christenings, funerals, etc.

 
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 XXXIII of Laodicia
"One must not join in prayer with heretics or schismatics."
 
10th Canon of the Holy Apostles:
"If anyone pray in company with one who has been excommunicated, he shall be excommunicated himself."
 

Many would say it is going too far to call the OOs heretics. We are not in communion with them but the supposed differences are now largely thought to be the result of misunderstandings. The Copts in particular (some of whom I have known) are the most faithful and loving of Christians.

 

Many might say that but until they except the 4th Ecumenical Council, profess our creed and become absorbed into the Eastern Orthodox Church, lets call it what it is. 



#17 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 10:32 PM

No one has mentioned joining Oriental Orthodox in their services. All I know is that the Copts I have known show more Christian love than some canonical Orthodox.



#18 Anna Stickles

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 12:51 AM

Nektarios the canons are one thing, how they are applied pastorally is another. 

 

There is a difference between heretics and heterodox. We should not pray with heretics, but the general pastoral rule is to allow some economy for converts who were brought up heterodox and whose families are still heterodox.

 

Heretics are defined as those who have been Orthodox but have left the Church to follow a heretical teaching.  Heterodox is a general term that refers to all non-Orthodox Christian groups. They may believe a heretical teaching but if they have never been Orthodox then technically they can't be heretics.

 

There is more leeway here because they do not bear the same responsibility as a heretic. They are believing what they have been brought up with.


Edited by Anna Stickles, 10 December 2014 - 12:52 AM.


#19 Reader Nektarios

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 08:13 AM

Nektarios the canons are one thing, how they are applied pastorally is another. 

 

There is a difference between heretics and heterodox. We should not pray with heretics, but the general pastoral rule is to allow some economy for converts who were brought up heterodox and whose families are still heterodox.

 

Heretics are defined as those who have been Orthodox but have left the Church to follow a heretical teaching.  Heterodox is a general term that refers to all non-Orthodox Christian groups. They may believe a heretical teaching but if they have never been Orthodox then technically they can't be heretics.

 

There is more leeway here because they do not bear the same responsibility as a heretic. They are believing what they have been brought up with.

 
Heterodox, Heretic, Schismatic, whatever you want to call it they still are not Orthodox, we are not in communion with the Orientals and therefore we as Orthodox Christians should not be attending their liturgies, and praying with those who are outside of the Church. Let’s leave the Political Correctness for those in Washington. I used to go to a Church and the priest communed a Copt Christian, Father Averky Moreno (of blessed memory) here on Monachos instructed me to never go back to that parish. Why would he do that if he were not protecting me from something that is wrong?
 
The cannons are clear that we are not to pray with those who are outside of the Orthodox Church whether they be Heretics, Schismatics, or "Heterodox". Of course they believe with what they have been brought up with that doesn't make it right or that we should allow some kind of feel sorry for them exemption. I've read "Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: Exploring Belief Systems through the Lens of the Ancient Christian Faith" a few times and know the difference.
 
Point being is they are outside of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and we should not be praying with them while they are separated from Orthodoxy by either Schism or Heresy. Until they fully except the Eastern Orthodox Church and become reunited with it they are outside of it. Why do we give excuses for their error? We do not need to apologize for being part of the True Faith and excluding them until they recognize this and reconcile with the Church.
 
In Christ
Nektarios

Edited by Nektarios, 10 December 2014 - 08:15 AM.


#20 Olga

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 08:46 AM

Nektarios, it is the job of bishops, not laymen, to interpret and implement church canons.






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