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Canons of the Church


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#1 Orthodoxfighter

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:44 PM

Right well basically I've been studying some basic things over last year. Recently we covered the Canons and I got confused.

 

My lecturer said something like, in sincere confession sins are forgiven forgiveness not forgotten.

 

I thought that once a sin is confessed orgasmic power unless you repeat it. 

 

We discussed an example of a man who has sex before marriage, then returns to church repentance confesses. This man under canon law cannot become a priest even if he does not commit the sin again. 

 

I was stumped by this as I suppose I assumed that a confessed sin would not be held against a person by anyone, God has wiped it away.

 

Feel free to explain it to me guys!

 

God bless you all.



#2 Phoebe K.

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:11 PM

A strict interpretation of the cannons of the early church would rule most people out of ordained ministry, and most of us would not be permitted to receve communication if the penital cannons were rigorously enforced, or even applied by our father confessor.  Thankfully the church has lessened her strictness on us as we are not able to bare that which our fathers in the faith did, in the ascetic struggle we are week and can only pray for the help of the fathers in our struggle to obtain even the smallest amount of virtue.

 

The power of sin is broken in repentance and confession, and through the sacremet of confession remits our guilt, this does not remove the struggle we have with the passion which try's to pull us into sin.  

 

The sin is known only to the person who confessed it, the confessor and God, I assume that there are incidences when a spiritual father would say a person should not be ordained, and incedenes of very public sins where it is not aproperate for a person to be put forward for ordination.

 

I am shore the Fathers will be able to say more than I can.

 

Phoebe



#3 Lakis Papas

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:11 PM

This is one of the best questions being asked in this forum.

 

Impediments to the priesthood are completely not susceptible to economy. This is a special case.


Edited by Lakis Papas, 22 May 2013 - 07:24 PM.


#4 Lakis Papas

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:42 PM

Neocaesarea - Canon 9
 
A presbyter who has been promoted after having committed carnal sin, and who shall confess that he had sinned before his ordination, shall not make the oblation, though he may remain in his other functions on account of his zeal in other respects; for the majority have affirmed that ordination blots out other kinds of sins.  But if he do not confess and cannot be openly convicted, the decision shall depend upon himself.


#5 Orthodoxfighter

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:25 PM

Lakis that canon is not in English or at least it's too complicated for me could you elaborate?



#6 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:45 PM

A presbyter who has been promoted after having committed carnal sin, and who shall confess that he had sinned before his ordination, shall not make the oblation, though he may remain in his other functions on account of his zeal in other respects; for the majority have affirmed that ordination blots out other kinds of sins. But if he do not confess and cannot be openly convicted, the decision shall depend uponhimself.


I think this may mean this:


A priest who has been made a priest after he has committed a sexual sin and who has confessed his sin before he was ordained priest cannot officiate at the anaphora, but he can do other things.  Ordination cancels sins other than sexual sins.  But if he doesn’t confess his sexual sin, it’s up to him – that is, he bears the burden.


It is true that sins confessed and for which absolution is given are blotted out but a higher standard applies to ordinands whose history ideally should be blameless.

 

But I may be wrong.



 



#7 Father David Moser

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:16 PM

On order to understand this easily you must stop thinking of sin as an infraction of a rule for which you will be punished.  Sin is the symptom of your spiritual illness and in some cases can cause permanent damage to the soul.  Analogy: If you cut yourself, you will bleed and hurt, but if the cut is treated, it will heal and leave, at most a scar.  But if you cut off your hand, you will also bleed and hurt and if that wound is treated it will heal - however you will be forever without your hand.  Some sins are like serious wounds to the soul which, although healedl, leave the one wounded with severe handicaps that are the result of that sin.

 

Fr David Moser



#8 Orthodoxfighter

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:27 PM

I suppose it's the person's own fault then if say they allow the society and culture to convince them that `cutting off their hand` is the cool and normal thing to do. I speak of a monk I know who has said he cannot become a monk because of his past sins. But he himself acknowledges that deep down he knew that what he was doing whilst being the prodigal son was catastrophic even if the culture and society I  the time numbed him to it.

 

Thanks father that helps me to understand better.



#9 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:32 PM

I am not sure that any sin prevents a person becoming a monastic.  St Silouan became a monk notwithstanding his sins and Elder Paisios likewise.  But neither became a priest.  Among the saints are those who committed grave sins yet became saints, eg Moses the Black and Mary of Egypt.  The office of priest is different because of his role in the Divine Liturgy.


Edited by Andreas Moran, 22 May 2013 - 10:37 PM.


#10 Lakis Papas

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:33 PM

The second canon of Council in Trullo, validates the full set of Canons by St. Basil, among others.
 
Canon 69 by St Basil the Great designates: 
 

The Reader who has intercourse with his betrothed before marriage, shall be allowed to read after a year’s suspension, remaining without advancement. If he has had secret intercourse without betrothal, he shall be deposed from his ministry. So too the minister.

 



#11 Lakis Papas

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:47 PM

Right well basically I've been studying some basic things over last year. Recently we covered the Canons and I got confused.

 

My lecturer said something like, in sincere confession sins are forgiven forgiveness not forgotten.

 

I thought that once a sin is confessed orgasmic power unless you repeat it. 

 

We discussed an example of a man who has sex before marriage, then returns to church repentance confesses. This man under canon law cannot become a priest even if he does not commit the sin again. 

 

I was stumped by this as I suppose I assumed that a confessed sin would not be held against a person by anyone, God has wiped it away.

 

Feel free to explain it to me guys!

 

God bless you all.

 

As I said earlier Priesthood is a special case.

 

In all other cases I can not see how "confession sins are not forgotten" !



#12 Orthodoxfighter

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:55 PM

forgive me for this this I mean no offence but then does it imply sort of that a priest is "higher" than a saint? Again forgive me, irony want to offend anyone just trying to understand.



#13 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:11 PM

No, a priest is not 'higher' than a saint - he has a particular function for which a certain standard is required as Father David has indicated.  Besides, saints may be women as well as men so the comparison is not apt.



#14 Orthodoxfighter

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:33 PM

Yes I understand. Thank you Andreas.



#15 Lakis Papas

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:47 PM

On order to understand this easily you must stop thinking of sin as an infraction of a rule for which you will be punished.  Sin is the symptom of your spiritual illness and in some cases can cause permanent damage to the soul.  Analogy: If you cut yourself, you will bleed and hurt, but if the cut is treated, it will heal and leave, at most a scar.  But if you cut off your hand, you will also bleed and hurt and if that wound is treated it will heal - however you will be forever without your hand.  Some sins are like serious wounds to the soul which, although healedl, leave the one wounded with severe handicaps that are the result of that sin.

 

Fr David Moser

 

Father, I understand the analogy you mention (injury-treatment). It is also prevalent among Church Fathers to use military/medical terminology of injury and wounding in the spiritual battle.

 
I do not think yet none refers to amputation that brings the agonist at a disadvantage. I think, the ontological recovery after repentance and confession is full, leaving no room for amputations, as does the medical rehabilitation.
 
Especially I do not understand the phrase "permanent damage to the soul".
 
It should be noted that the sins that are absolute prohibitions for the Priesthood are not effective if performed before baptism. So, the damage brought about by sins are fully restored by baptism. But if the same sins are made ​​after baptism, they have absolute power not to allow the Ordination, even after their confession and sincere repentance. Then what happens? Is the Spirit, that completely restores the damage of sin in baptism, not able to do so the same in confession?

Edited by Lakis Papas, 22 May 2013 - 11:47 PM.


#16 Lakis Papas

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:08 AM

From the Teachings of Elder Paisios
 
Visitor: Elder, since confession erases all, then why he who made great carnal sin can not become a priest?
 
Elder: (At that moment Elder happened to be holding two stainless steel bowls in which he used to offer water to the pilgrims). Tell me, if one of the cups break and then is electrically welded, then will it become as strong as the other one?
 
Visitor: Yes, and even more robust than it was before.
 
Elder: So, the one with the adhesion is very strong, while the other, which is not stuck, is not that strong, but it is intact. Now tell me, when the King comes in which glass will we offer him to drink water ?
 
Visitor: In the second one, the intact, the one not welded.
 
Elder: Well, so we select to make priests from those who did not sin, regardless of whether they are not as zealous as those who did sin (and repented).

Edited by Lakis Papas, 23 May 2013 - 12:09 AM.


#17 John S.

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 07:32 PM

From the Teachings of Elder Paisios
 
Visitor: Elder, since confession erases all, then why he who made great carnal sin can not become a priest?
 
Elder: (At that moment Elder happened to be holding two stainless steel bowls in which he used to offer water to the pilgrims). Tell me, if one of the cups break and then is electrically welded, then will it become as strong as the other one?
 
Visitor: Yes, and even more robust than it was before.
 
Elder: So, the one with the adhesion is very strong, while the other, which is not stuck, is not that strong, but it is intact. Now tell me, when the King comes in which glass will we offer him to drink water ?
 
Visitor: In the second one, the intact, the one not welded.
 
Elder: Well, so we select to make priests from those who did not sin, regardless of whether they are not as zealous as those who did sin (and repented).

 

Wow, thank you for posting this Lakis. That is such a great way of illustrating the
reason for this rule.






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