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Is praying with Non-Orthodox okay?

celticfan1888

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Is praying with Non-Orthodox okay?

Like prayers (with Trinitarian Christians) that do not conflict with Orthodox beliefs (Our Father, Rosary, etc)?

Please quote saints and/our Church Cannons. I want facts, not opinions.
 

Asteriktos

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A number of canons speak about not praying with heretics, Jews, etc., going to their Churches, and so forth (Apostolic Canons 45 and 65 for example). However, how and when and why canons are applied are the prerogative of bishops. There is also a canon against going to Jewish doctors, for example (Quinisext, Canon 11), but few, if anyone, follows that canon today. That doesn't mean that the canon is obsolete, it simply isn't applied or used in the same way it was 1,300 years ago: it's purpose that it served then is different than the purpose it serves now. So to with the 15th Canon of the First Ecumenical Council, among others. These canons generally aren't in active use, though that doesn't make them useless. The underlying spiritual reasoning is still in place, it's just that the application has changed. With that in mind, if your bishop says it's ok to go to a Lutheran wedding, or to pray with other Christians at a sporting event, or to attend a Catholic Bible study, or whatever, then that's the authoritative/definitive answer.
 

Cavaradossi

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Like Asteriktos wrote: canonically, no, but through economy with the permission of your bishop, it is possibly permissible.
 

IoanC

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In Romania, some hierarchs are praying for the "unity of the christian churches" -- that is unity between all christian churches (protestants, catholics,...).  While it may seem a positive action, The Truth and everybody suffers because of it.  The Church loves and welcomes everybody, but The Church has to preserve and confess The Truth. You are not doing anybody a favor by encouraging them to remain in a non-Orthodox church, as long as we are all at peace; that prevents people from finding The Truth.  So, not praying with non-Orthodox is actually an act of love, humility and protection towards everybody.
 

BTRAKAS

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I'm not writing this comment to engage in a debate about this highly controversial topic in our Church circles; I just feel it's relevant to the poster's inquiry, for his or her consideration.

The Holy Orthodox Churches have engaged in ecumenical dialogue with Trinitarian Christians for at least 40 years now; some more-so, some not as much.  (I'm not sure if the Church of Georgia-possibly Bulgaria too-extracted itself from these councils or not, I know they've debated curtailing ecumenical activities and their Holy Synod has issued statements condemning involvement in these activities.)  This exposes those in the Churches to join prayer forums, where Orthodox priests and hierarchs-patriarchs included, are typically participants.  Also, many of our clergy participate in events like, in the U.S., the National Day of Prayer, wherein, they pray with all Christian denominations and faiths who are present, Jews and Moslems, too.  The are no specific canons to justify these activities, and be aware they are very controversial, the opponents citing the canons noted above.  Each of the Churches have vocal opposition to such practices.  Never-the-less, they continue to occur.

Relations with other churches is a topic on the agenda of the yet to be convened Holy and Great Synod (Council) of the Orthodox Church.
 

Irish Hermit

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Forbidden to the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Please see message 169 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21720.msg330843.html#msg330843

Patriarch's Department Forbids Joint Prayers.

11 July 2008 the (now) Patriarch Kirill authorised his Department, the Department for External Church Relations, to issue a notice to the entire Russian Church that joint prayers are not permitted.

<snip>

"Orthodox believers can visit
Catholic or Protestant churches, attend non-Orthodox service without
voiced or inner prayer, Orthodox prayer before all-Christian shrines
is also acceptable while public or private prayers with non-Orthodox
are inadmissible for Orthodox believers."
 

Cavaradossi

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Irish Hermit said:
Forbidden to the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Please see message 169 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21720.msg330843.html#msg330843
Patriarch's Department Forbids Joint Prayers.

11 July 2008 the (now) Patriarch Kirill authorised his Department, the Department for External Church Relations, to issue a notice to the entire Russian Church that joint prayers are not permitted.

<snip>

"Orthodox believers can visit
Catholic or Protestant churches, attend non-Orthodox service without
voiced or inner prayer, Orthodox prayer before all-Christian shrines
is also acceptable while public or private prayers with non-Orthodox
are inadmissible for Orthodox believers."
Do you think it is permissible for Orthodox Christians to lead others in prayer? I have read an opinion that this is permissible (while being led by the heterodox in prayer is surely forbidden), but I am not sure what to think of that claim. And what of the Orientals who are not mentioned by name in that link? Should we assume that they are implicitly excluded from any sort of joint prayer along with the Protestants and Catholics? I ask because the Oriental Orthodox seem to have a rather different relationship with the Eastern Orthodox than either the Catholics or Protestants.
 

Irish Hermit

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Cavaradossi said:
And what of the Orientals who are not mentioned by name in that link? Should we assume that they are implicitly excluded from any sort of joint prayer along with the Protestants and Catholics? I ask because the Oriental Orthodox seem to have a rather different relationship with the Eastern Orthodox than either the Catholics or Protestants.
In this diocese (Australia and New Zealand) during the 1980s and into the 1990s the Oriental Orthodox were allowed the use of our Serbian Orthodox churches in areas where they had none of their own.  But the permission from the Serbian bishops came with instructions that there should be no joint prayer.

It was a great joy when they used to use my parish church for their worship.  Their piety is quite remarkable.
 

Alpo

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Irish Hermit said:
Cavaradossi said:
And what of the Orientals who are not mentioned by name in that link? Should we assume that they are implicitly excluded from any sort of joint prayer along with the Protestants and Catholics? I ask because the Oriental Orthodox seem to have a rather different relationship with the Eastern Orthodox than either the Catholics or Protestants.
In this diocese (Australia and New Zealand) during the 1980s and into the 1990s the Oriental Orthodox were allowed the use of our Serbian Orthodox churches in areas where they had none of their own.
Would that be allowed also for Protestants and Catholics?
 

Punch

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Irish Hermit said:
Forbidden to the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Please see message 169 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21720.msg330843.html#msg330843

Patriarch's Department Forbids Joint Prayers.

11 July 2008 the (now) Patriarch Kirill authorised his Department, the Department for External Church Relations, to issue a notice to the entire Russian Church that joint prayers are not permitted.

<snip>

"Orthodox believers can visit
Catholic or Protestant churches, attend non-Orthodox service without
voiced or inner prayer, Orthodox prayer before all-Christian shrines
is also acceptable while public or private prayers with non-Orthodox
are inadmissible for Orthodox believers."
Interesting.  What other reason is there to attend a church other than to pray.
 

mctaviix

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As others have said here, I think economy plays a big role here.  For those of us that are converts from other Trinitarian Christian churches, I don't see anything wrong with joining in prayers if it is spiritually beneficial to all involved.  When I visit home, I pray the rosary with my mom during Lent or go to Mass with her if it's not conflicting with attending Divine Liturgy.  Of course, I don't receive communion or join in prayers other than the Our Father, but it's not like I am voicing my support of the Catholic Church; just my mother.  :)
 
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celticfan1888 said:
Is praying with Non-Orthodox okay?

Like prayers (with Trinitarian Christians) that do not conflict with Orthodox beliefs (Our Father, Rosary, etc)?

Please quote saints and/our Church Cannons. I want facts, not opinions.
Good luck getting a hard and fast answer on that one.

I have attended joint prayer services between Orthodox and Catholic Bishops in Atlanta, and every year there is a prayer service between Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox Bishops at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City to remember those who died in the Holodomor. (I post the links so you see I'm not spreading gossip, but reporting facts.)

I have been told that if I am at an event and someone who is non-Orthodox leads in prayer, I should just bow my head in respect, but not join them in prayer.

I must say, I really was confused as to what to do at the event I attended in Atlanta.
 

Punch

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I think that an interesting fact remains that there have been no Ecumenical Councils since the 8th Century or so, therefor none of the other Trinitarian denominations existed back then.  That being said, none of these churches have been anathematized by an ecumenical council.  Some of their teachings may have been, but some of our Church Fathers also did not agree on everything.  While this is just my opinion and not anything that I would teach, I see a lot of room for economy in the current situation.
 

Irish Hermit

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Alpo said:
Irish Hermit said:
Cavaradossi said:
And what of the Orientals who are not mentioned by name in that link? Should we assume that they are implicitly excluded from any sort of joint prayer along with the Protestants and Catholics? I ask because the Oriental Orthodox seem to have a rather different relationship with the Eastern Orthodox than either the Catholics or Protestants.
In this diocese (Australia and New Zealand) during the 1980s and into the 1990s the Oriental Orthodox were allowed the use of our Serbian Orthodox churches in areas where they had none of their own.
Would that be allowed also for Protestants and Catholics?
I hope that someone else will answer this if they have firsthand knowledge.  I have never heard of it happenning.
 

Anastasia1

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Cavaradossi said:
Do you think it is permissible for Orthodox Christians to lead others in prayer? I have read an opinion that this is permissible (while being led by the heterodox in prayer is surely forbidden), but I am not sure what to think of that claim.
If this is not permissible, all visiting Protestants, Catholics, and other non-Orthodox should be informed by their first visit to an Orthodox church or they may join in a prayer or more during service.
 

Irish Hermit

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Anastasia1 said:
Cavaradossi said:
Do you think it is permissible for Orthodox Christians to lead others in prayer? I have read an opinion that this is permissible (while being led by the heterodox in prayer is surely forbidden), but I am not sure what to think of that claim.
If this is not permissible, all visiting Protestants, Catholics, and other non-Orthodox should be informed by their first visit to an Orthodox church or they may join in a prayer or more during service.
In the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad it is quite in order for non-Orthodox people to be in the church and pray, quietly in their own hearts.

An interesting sidepoint - my brother, a Roman Catholic, was made to leave a church in Okhrid at the "All catechumens depart...."
 

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Irish Hermit said:
An interesting sidepoint - my brother, a Roman Catholic, was made to leave a church in Okhrid at the "All catechumens depart...."
That's crazy! That's like bowing our heads when the priest says "let us bow our heads unto the Lord."  ;)

I still think it's odd, especially with the more explicit instructions for catechumens to depart, that they don't. I typically went to the narthex when this was read (usually during pre-sanctified liturgies for the GOAA) when I was a catechumen.

Thanks for posting the Patriarch Kirill proclamation.  That's good enough for me.
 

mctaviix

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Cognomen said:
Irish Hermit said:
An interesting sidepoint - my brother, a Roman Catholic, was made to leave a church in Okhrid at the "All catechumens depart...."
That's crazy! That's like bowing our heads when the priest says "let us bow our heads unto the Lord."  ;)

I still think it's odd, especially with the more explicit instructions for catechumens to depart, that they don't. I typically went to the narthex when this was read (usually during pre-sanctified liturgies for the GOAA) when I was a catechumen.

Thanks for posting the Patriarch Kirill proclamation.  That's good enough for me.
You don't bow your head?  Or am I missing the sarcasm?  ???

Irish Hermit said:
Alpo said:
Irish Hermit said:
Cavaradossi said:
And what of the Orientals who are not mentioned by name in that link? Should we assume that they are implicitly excluded from any sort of joint prayer along with the Protestants and Catholics? I ask because the Oriental Orthodox seem to have a rather different relationship with the Eastern Orthodox than either the Catholics or Protestants.
In this diocese (Australia and New Zealand) during the 1980s and into the 1990s the Oriental Orthodox were allowed the use of our Serbian Orthodox churches in areas where they had none of their own.
Would that be allowed also for Protestants and Catholics?
I hope that someone else will answer this if they have firsthand knowledge.  I have never heard of it happenning.
I know this isn't allowed for any non-Orthodox...we also had Oriental Orthodox faithful using our church while they were acquiring their own a few years ago.  I wonder if it's permissible in the RCC or Protestant churches for Orthodox to use their church for something like that?
 

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celticfan1888 said:
Please quote....Cannons.
"Boom...boom...boom...boom...boom...boom."  

Cannons [spelling] are more interesting to listen to than to quote.   ;)
 

FatherHLL

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Cognomen said:
Irish Hermit said:
An interesting sidepoint - my brother, a Roman Catholic, was made to leave a church in Okhrid at the "All catechumens depart...."
That's crazy! That's like bowing our heads when the priest says "let us bow our heads unto the Lord."  ;)

I still think it's odd, especially with the more explicit instructions for catechumens to depart, that they don't. I typically went to the narthex when this was read (usually during pre-sanctified liturgies for the GOAA) when I was a catechumen.

Thanks for posting the Patriarch Kirill proclamation.  That's good enough for me.
Isn't that irritating?  "Let us bow our heads..."  Answer:  "No, we will either not pay attention or will do opposite of what priest says."  lol
 

FatherHLL

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Irish Hermit said:
Forbidden to the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Please see message 169 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21720.msg330843.html#msg330843

Patriarch's Department Forbids Joint Prayers.

11 July 2008 the (now) Patriarch Kirill authorised his Department, the Department for External Church Relations, to issue a notice to the entire Russian Church that joint prayers are not permitted.

<snip>

"Orthodox believers can visit
Catholic or Protestant churches, attend non-Orthodox service without
voiced or inner prayer, Orthodox prayer before all-Christian shrines
is also acceptable while public or private prayers with non-Orthodox
are inadmissible for Orthodox believers."
"Or inner prayer"?  We are to pray without ceasing.  But here, we are to disobey a basic precept of the faith because in the presence of non-Orthodox.  I say its rubbish.  Either we are not to attend at all, or we are to pray without ceasing, at least inner prayer.  I say that priests, bishops including patriarchs ought to make a decision that is compatible with the faith and not spout incompatible nonsense.  It is better to remain silent than to instruct in something that is wrong.   
 

Irish Hermit

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FatherHLL said:
Irish Hermit said:
Forbidden to the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Please see message 169 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21720.msg330843.html#msg330843

Patriarch's Department Forbids Joint Prayers.

11 July 2008 the (now) Patriarch Kirill authorised his Department, the Department for External Church Relations, to issue a notice to the entire Russian Church that joint prayers are not permitted.

<snip>

"Orthodox believers can visit
Catholic or Protestant churches, attend non-Orthodox service without
voiced or inner prayer, Orthodox prayer before all-Christian shrines
is also acceptable while public or private prayers with non-Orthodox
are inadmissible for Orthodox believers."
"Or inner prayer"?  We are to pray without ceasing.  But here, we are to disobey a basic precept of the faith because in the presence of non-Orthodox.  I say its rubbish.   Either we are not to attend at all, or we are to pray without ceasing, at least inner prayer.  I say that priests, bishops including patriarchs ought to make a decision that is compatible with the faith and not spout incompatible nonsense.  It is better to remain silent than to instruct in something that is wrong.   
I know that clergy have taken that to mean we should not "parrot" interiorly the prayers being spoken in non-orthodox situations.  It is not seen as a blanket prohibition on interior prayer at non-Orthodox services. 
 

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Hamartolos said:
Cognomen said:
Irish Hermit said:
An interesting sidepoint - my brother, a Roman Catholic, was made to leave a church in Okhrid at the "All catechumens depart...."
That's crazy! That's like bowing our heads when the priest says "let us bow our heads unto the Lord."  ;)

I still think it's odd, especially with the more explicit instructions for catechumens to depart, that they don't. I typically went to the narthex when this was read (usually during pre-sanctified liturgies for the GOAA) when I was a catechumen.

Thanks for posting the Patriarch Kirill proclamation.  That's good enough for me.
You don't bow your head?  Or am I missing the sarcasm?  ???
I do bow my head.  Many do not.  I did leave (as a catechumen) when explicitly instructed to do so. Most do not.

I'm not implying that I'm better for doing this, but I was pointing out that when instructions/commands are included and ignored/not expected to be followed ("catechumens depart!"), it makes some of the other instructions/commands ("Let us bow our heads...") optional, when they really shouldn't be.
 

FatherHLL

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Irish Hermit said:
FatherHLL said:
Irish Hermit said:
Forbidden to the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Please see message 169 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21720.msg330843.html#msg330843

Patriarch's Department Forbids Joint Prayers.

11 July 2008 the (now) Patriarch Kirill authorised his Department, the Department for External Church Relations, to issue a notice to the entire Russian Church that joint prayers are not permitted.

<snip>

"Orthodox believers can visit
Catholic or Protestant churches, attend non-Orthodox service without
voiced or inner prayer, Orthodox prayer before all-Christian shrines
is also acceptable while public or private prayers with non-Orthodox
are inadmissible for Orthodox believers."
"Or inner prayer"?  We are to pray without ceasing.  But here, we are to disobey a basic precept of the faith because in the presence of non-Orthodox.  I say its rubbish.   Either we are not to attend at all, or we are to pray without ceasing, at least inner prayer.  I say that priests, bishops including patriarchs ought to make a decision that is compatible with the faith and not spout incompatible nonsense.  It is better to remain silent than to instruct in something that is wrong.   
I know that clergy have taken that to mean we should not "parrot" interiorly the prayers being spoken in non-orthodox situations.  It is not seen as a blanket prohibition on interior prayer at non-Orthodox services.   
Ok.  That makes sense.  Thank you for clarification. 
 

biro

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FatherHLL said:
celticfan1888 said:
Please quote....Cannons.
"Boom...boom...boom...boom...boom...boom."  

Cannons [spelling] are more interesting to listen to than to quote.   ;)
Oh, that's just canon fodder.  ;)
 

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FatherHLL said:
Cognomen said:
Irish Hermit said:
An interesting sidepoint - my brother, a Roman Catholic, was made to leave a church in Okhrid at the "All catechumens depart...."
That's crazy! That's like bowing our heads when the priest says "let us bow our heads unto the Lord."  ;)

I still think it's odd, especially with the more explicit instructions for catechumens to depart, that they don't. I typically went to the narthex when this was read (usually during pre-sanctified liturgies for the GOAA) when I was a catechumen.

Thanks for posting the Patriarch Kirill proclamation.  That's good enough for me.
Isn't that irritating?  "Let us bow our heads..."  Answer:  "No, we will either not pay attention or will do opposite of what priest says."  lol
Broskhoomeh. Let us attend.
 

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I'm a little confused but interested in this conversation, and I apologize if this question is elementary.  I haven't had much experience or knowledge in Christian divisions.

Is this in the context of going to any church to pray, or praying with individuals in common places?

I used to work search and rescue for a long time.  In times of pain and tragedy, everyone seems to naturally pray together no matter what their background or affliliation.  Even me, who used to not give one thought to God would naturally feel compelled to ask for hope something somewhere would grant those in pain some peace in their lives.  When Chaplains do their work, they are very conscience of the background of who they are serving, and I would assume that any prayer or benediction given by them would be "nondenominational" in a sense, giving thanks to God and pray for peace for all of us. 
I'm a long time from converting to Orthodox in my journey, but I would hate to have to consciencely, in the heat of emotion, stop to think of whose Orthodox and who is not if a prayer to God in a common place is needed.
Of course, if this is in the context of going to a church for some kind of wedding function or something, I figure you just keep your heart where your home orthodox church is and be respectful to where you are at like a guest at someone's house; no need to raid the fridge and go through their medicine cabinets.  :angel:
 

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Ava said:
I'm a little confused but interested in this conversation, and I apologize if this question is elementary.  I haven't had much experience or knowledge in Christian divisions.

Is this in the context of going to any church to pray, or praying with individuals in common places?

I used to work search and rescue for a long time.  In times of pain and tragedy, everyone seems to naturally pray together no matter what their background or affliliation.  Even me, who used to not give one thought to God would naturally feel compelled to ask for hope something somewhere would grant those in pain some peace in their lives.  When Chaplains do their work, they are very conscience of the background of who they are serving, and I would assume that any prayer or benediction given by them would be "nondenominational" in a sense, giving thanks to God and pray for peace for all of us. 
I'm a long time from converting to Orthodox in my journey, but I would hate to have to consciencely, in the heat of emotion, stop to think of whose Orthodox and who is not if a prayer to God in a common place is needed.
Of course, if this is in the context of going to a church for some kind of wedding function or something, I figure you just keep your heart where your home orthodox church is and be respectful to where you are at like a guest at someone's house; no need to raid the fridge and go through their medicine cabinets.   :angel:
I think when people are talking about prayers with non-Orthodox, they're generally talking about attending their services, and not going to weddings or special events. For example, after 9/11 there were Orthodox representatives at the various prayer gatherings.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Alpo said:
Irish Hermit said:
Cavaradossi said:
And what of the Orientals who are not mentioned by name in that link? Should we assume that they are implicitly excluded from any sort of joint prayer along with the Protestants and Catholics? I ask because the Oriental Orthodox seem to have a rather different relationship with the Eastern Orthodox than either the Catholics or Protestants.
In this diocese (Australia and New Zealand) during the 1980s and into the 1990s the Oriental Orthodox were allowed the use of our Serbian Orthodox churches in areas where they had none of their own.
Would that be allowed also for Protestants and Catholics?
I hope that someone else will answer this if they have firsthand knowledge.  I have never heard of it happenning.
Bless, Father,

Off the top of my head, I can think of one instance locally, where St Joseph Byzantine Romanian Greek-Catholic Mission meets at St Parascheva Romanian Orthodox Church - Link .

Many years,

Neil
 

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Punch said:
I think that an interesting fact remains that there have been no Ecumenical Councils since the 8th Century or so, therefor none of the other Trinitarian denominations existed back then.  That being said, none of these churches have been anathematized by an ecumenical council.  Some of their teachings may have been, but some of our Church Fathers also did not agree on everything.  While this is just my opinion and not anything that I would teach, I see a lot of room for economy in the current situation.
Nothing new under the sun type things. Many of the things taught have been anathematized and condemned by the Councils. No reason to do it again. Sort of like that reminder on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. We don't have to go to each person that has Nestorian beliefs and tell them they are anathematized. It was done at the Third Ecumenical Council.
 

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John Ward said:
Punch said:
I think that an interesting fact remains that there have been no Ecumenical Councils since the 8th Century or so, therefor none of the other Trinitarian denominations existed back then.  That being said, none of these churches have been anathematized by an ecumenical council.  Some of their teachings may have been, but some of our Church Fathers also did not agree on everything.  While this is just my opinion and not anything that I would teach, I see a lot of room for economy in the current situation.
Nothing new under the sun type things. Many of the things taught have been anathematized and condemned by the Councils. No reason to do it again. Sort of like that reminder on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. We don't have to go to each person that has Nestorian beliefs and tell them they are anathematized. It was done at the Third Ecumenical Council.
True, but we are not talking about Ariens and Nestorians.  Most of the mainline Protestant Denominations either do, or at least once did, accept all of the theological statements of the first Seven Councils.  While I would never pray with a Mormon or a Jehovah's Witness, my conscience is clear when I pray with a Latin or Lutheran layman.  In fact, I am not sure that the average layman in any denomination understands his Faith well enough to discern the differences between what he believes and his friends believe.

Clergy are another matter.
 

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Yes, you may pray with Protestants and Catholics.

They espouse the Nicene Creed.  

Others, I would say on a case by case basis.  Anyone who sincerely seeks their Creator and seems to be responding to the Spirit, I'd say that's ok.  Remember, no one knows the boundaries of the Invisible Church.  Besides as Christians we are called to share our faith with non-believers, and even pray with them in some cases~

K

You have been instructed many times before before that you are not allowed to present your religious organisation's teachings in the Faith Issues forum.

14 days of warning - MK.


You really need to read the Board Policies thread to learn how to post, function, and appeal disciplinary procedures. During your 99 day warning period, please familiarize yourself with those policies.

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Punch said:
True, but we are not talking about Ariens and Nestorians.  Most of the mainline Protestant Denominations either do, or at least once did, accept all of the theological statements of the first Seven Councils.   While I would never pray with a Mormon or a Jehovah's Witness, my conscience is clear when I pray with a Latin or Lutheran layman.  In fact, I am not sure that the average layman in any denomination understands his Faith well enough to discern the differences between what he believes and his friends believe.

Clergy are another matter.
Well, the first example of those two that pop in my mind is that the Latins violated the third council by adding the filioque and the Lutherans kept that. So, there is no reason to publicly excommunicate them since they fall under the anathema of the third council. I've been reading Orthodox & Heterodoxy and Fr. Andrew has pointed out some of the different heresies have cropped up in Protestantism that were already addressed.

Now, having said that, I agree, most people don't know the theology very well. Also, it's not clear that the canon against praying with heretics even applies to the situation we're talking about. I read somewhere that, in order to be considered heretic, it has to originate in the Church. That is, if someone who is Orthodox starts preaching x or y. Otherwise, it's heterodoxy. As you said, clergy are a little different as now we're dealing with people that could be official representatives of the Church. I pray with my non-Orthodox family and I don't get bent out of shape when the bishop goes to a mass because of something going on. I look at it as diplomacy. I haven't seen any priests or bishops concelebrating with Catholics. Of course, in a situation where the bishops says "Don't do it" then we don't do it and if we think he's wrong, we have avenues for appeal.

Anyway, my initial point was that when you look into the theology of the multitude of western groups, they don't need a council to declare them cut off. It's already been done and we, actually, do it annually. If you find a group that doesn't fall into any of the categories, then they really need to learn that the Church exists.
 

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I'll agree with Punch in post #13 that many groups today didn't exist when the various canons were drafted that deal with heterodox/heretical groups, and the our bishops' guidance is paramount to our dealings with these modern-day groups.

However, whether or not modern-day groups are mentioned in the canons, the spirit behind the canons is that by participating with non-Orthodox groups in their prayer/worship, we are denying Orthodoxy and submitting ourselves to their errors, and thus placing ourselves outside the physical boundaries of the Church. That's why there is a canon for, say, not having a Jewish doctor. Medicine and religion have been historically intertwined. To visit a Jewish doctor was to willingly submit to that doctor's prayers and religious ceremonies, and to do so would be a rejection of Christ. Most western medicine is divorced from religion and it would probably be OK to see a Jewish doctor (of course, discuss it with your priest/bishop to make sure you know what your bishop would say about it. He may know a particular Jewish doctor personally and know that he doesn't divorce medicine and religion, for example). The canon is there so that we do not reject Christ and His Church and place ourselves outside of either/both.

Our Bishops can advise us in the best way to avoid doing so and in the best way to conduct ourselves with the heterodox.
 

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Cognomen said:
Hamartolos said:
Cognomen said:
Irish Hermit said:
An interesting sidepoint - my brother, a Roman Catholic, was made to leave a church in Okhrid at the "All catechumens depart...."
That's crazy! That's like bowing our heads when the priest says "let us bow our heads unto the Lord."  ;)

I still think it's odd, especially with the more explicit instructions for catechumens to depart, that they don't. I typically went to the narthex when this was read (usually during pre-sanctified liturgies for the GOAA) when I was a catechumen.

Thanks for posting the Patriarch Kirill proclamation.  That's good enough for me.
You don't bow your head?  Or am I missing the sarcasm?  ???
I do bow my head.  Many do not.  I did leave (as a catechumen) when explicitly instructed to do so. Most do not.

I'm not implying that I'm better for doing this, but I was pointing out that when instructions/commands are included and ignored/not expected to be followed ("catechumens depart!"), it makes some of the other instructions/commands ("Let us bow our heads...") optional, when they really shouldn't be.
While it is sung liturgically, my priest has told me that i should remain, even after the dismissal.
They like myself, might just be following the commands of their priest given outside of liturgy
 

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Ava said:
I'm a little confused but interested in this conversation, and I apologize if this question is elementary.  I haven't had much experience or knowledge in Christian divisions.

Is this in the context of going to any church to pray, or praying with individuals in common places?

I used to work search and rescue for a long time.  In times of pain and tragedy, everyone seems to naturally pray together no matter what their background or affliliation.  Even me, who used to not give one thought to God would naturally feel compelled to ask for hope something somewhere would grant those in pain some peace in their lives.  When Chaplains do their work, they are very conscience of the background of who they are serving, and I would assume that any prayer or benediction given by them would be "nondenominational" in a sense, giving thanks to God and pray for peace for all of us. 
I'm a long time from converting to Orthodox in my journey, but I would hate to have to consciencely, in the heat of emotion, stop to think of whose Orthodox and who is not if a prayer to God in a common place is needed.
Of course, if this is in the context of going to a church for some kind of wedding function or something, I figure you just keep your heart where your home orthodox church is and be respectful to where you are at like a guest at someone's house; no need to raid the fridge and go through their medicine cabinets.   :angel:

Don't worry my friend. In our modern pluralistic societies this question is mostly academic. It only seems to get a rise out people here on the web. The vast majority of Orthodox in the real world don't worry about this kind of thing.
 

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Palsies said:
Ava said:
I'm a little confused but interested in this conversation, and I apologize if this question is elementary.  I haven't had much experience or knowledge in Christian divisions.

Is this in the context of going to any church to pray, or praying with individuals in common places?

I used to work search and rescue for a long time.  In times of pain and tragedy, everyone seems to naturally pray together no matter what their background or affliliation.  Even me, who used to not give one thought to God would naturally feel compelled to ask for hope something somewhere would grant those in pain some peace in their lives.  When Chaplains do their work, they are very conscience of the background of who they are serving, and I would assume that any prayer or benediction given by them would be "nondenominational" in a sense, giving thanks to God and pray for peace for all of us. 
I'm a long time from converting to Orthodox in my journey, but I would hate to have to consciencely, in the heat of emotion, stop to think of whose Orthodox and who is not if a prayer to God in a common place is needed.
Of course, if this is in the context of going to a church for some kind of wedding function or something, I figure you just keep your heart where your home orthodox church is and be respectful to where you are at like a guest at someone's house; no need to raid the fridge and go through their medicine cabinets.  :angel:

Don't worry my friend. In our modern pluralistic societies this question is mostly academic. It only seems to get a rise out people here on the web. The vast majority of Orthodox in the real world don't worry about this kind of thing.
The vast majority of Orthodox are members of the Russian Orthodox Church...  Just to ensure we are all on the same page 3 years ago the Church issued a statement forbidding joint prayer with the non-orthodox.

Please see message 169 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21720.msg330843.html#msg330843

I believe that the Greeks and Lebanese take a contrary position and allow joint prayer freely, with Christians, Mormons, Muslims....?  Is there anything confirming or denying this?


 

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Paisius said:
Ava said:
I'm a little confused but interested in this conversation, and I apologize if this question is elementary.  I haven't had much experience or knowledge in Christian divisions.

Is this in the context of going to any church to pray, or praying with individuals in common places?

I used to work search and rescue for a long time.  In times of pain and tragedy, everyone seems to naturally pray together no matter what their background or affliliation.  Even me, who used to not give one thought to God would naturally feel compelled to ask for hope something somewhere would grant those in pain some peace in their lives.  When Chaplains do their work, they are very conscience of the background of who they are serving, and I would assume that any prayer or benediction given by them would be "nondenominational" in a sense, giving thanks to God and pray for peace for all of us. 
I'm a long time from converting to Orthodox in my journey, but I would hate to have to consciencely, in the heat of emotion, stop to think of whose Orthodox and who is not if a prayer to God in a common place is needed.
Of course, if this is in the context of going to a church for some kind of wedding function or something, I figure you just keep your heart where your home orthodox church is and be respectful to where you are at like a guest at someone's house; no need to raid the fridge and go through their medicine cabinets.   :angel:

Don't worry my friend. In our modern pluralistic societies this question is mostly academic. It only seems to get a rise out people here on the web. The vast majority of Orthodox in the real world don't worry about this kind of thing.
What the vast majority of Orthodox worry about is not necessarily what they ought to worry about.  Ask Akimori about some of the people at his parish...  I think this is one of those questions that every Orthodox person ought to have given a decent amount of thought to at some point, keeping in mind that there is only one Church, and all beliefs are not equally true.
 
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