Syriac Orthodoxy and Ecumenism

kijabeboy03

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A Christian can't say the shahada and join in Friday prayers?

jewish voice said:
Severian said:
jewish voice said:
kijabeboy03 said:
Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox Christians communing in one another's churches is one thing, but the others aren't Orthodox Christians in any sense of the word - they're Catholics. Going the next step with your scenario, if I moved to a place where the only monotheistic place of worship was a mosque, does that mean I should join in the Friday prayers just so that I belong to a faith community?
Sorry to burst your bubble but you being a Christian could not enter a Mosque for prayer. Only Jews and Moslem can share the same place of worship. 
That was a rhetorical question. He was saying that as Orthodox Christians we would never enter a Mosque for prayer, in like manner we should not attend and commune in a non-Orthodox parish. And there is no bubble to burst. We have no interest in praying at Mosques or Synagogues. We as Christians are secure in our faith in the Messiah-ship of the Lord Jesus and in our belief in the supreme Triune Godhead. We wish you all the best, but we do not need your houses of worship for spiritual fulfillment.

+Peace
First I wasn't making a faith statement only posted that a Christian could not if they even wanted to do so and was the last place of worship in town.
 

kijabeboy03

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Irregardless, my point remains the same - Orthodoxy is no more Catholicism than it is Islam, so why would moving to a place without an Orthodox church making taking communion in a Catholic church okay? Our services can be prayed without clergy - meet with whoever's around to pray the services until a priest can be sent or you can get to an Orthodox church again...

jewish voice said:
Severian said:
jewish voice said:
kijabeboy03 said:
Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox Christians communing in one another's churches is one thing, but the others aren't Orthodox Christians in any sense of the word - they're Catholics. Going the next step with your scenario, if I moved to a place where the only monotheistic place of worship was a mosque, does that mean I should join in the Friday prayers just so that I belong to a faith community?
Sorry to burst your bubble but you being a Christian could not enter a Mosque for prayer. Only Jews and Moslem can share the same place of worship. 
That was a rhetorical question. He was saying that as Orthodox Christians we would never enter a Mosque for prayer, in like manner we should not attend and commune in a non-Orthodox parish. And there is no bubble to burst. We have no interest in praying at Mosques or Synagogues. We as Christians are secure in our faith in the Messiah-ship of the Lord Jesus and in our belief in the supreme Triune Godhead. We wish you all the best, but we do not need your houses of worship for spiritual fulfillment.

+Peace
First I wasn't making a faith statement only posted that a Christian could not if they even wanted to do so and was the last place of worship in town.
 

Salpy

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I have a problem with equating Catholicism with Islam.  Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity;  Muslims don't.  And although we may disagree on a number of things, Catholics are Christians, even if they are not within our Church.

Regarding the intercommunion we see among Middle Eastern Christians, the impression I've had is that being surrounded by Muslims, and often being threatened by them, has had the effect of giving the different Christians of that region a sense of unity with each other not felt elsewhere. 

I'm not saying the intercommunion is right.  I'm just saying that there is a reason for it.

 

Severian

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Salpy said:
I have a problem with equating Catholicism with Islam.  Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity;  Muslims don't.  And although we may disagree on a number of things, Catholics are Christians, even if they are not within our Church.

Regarding the intercommunion we see among Middle Eastern Christians, the impression I've had is that being surrounded by Muslims, and often being threatened by them, has had the effect of giving the different Christians of that region a sense of unity with each other not felt elsewhere. 

I'm not saying the intercommunion is right.  I'm just saying that there is a reason for it.
I agree with this. I also agree with Kijabeboy03's opposition to false Ecumenism.
 

peterfarrington

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If someone I was responsible for had to move to a place with no Orthodox Churches I would not consider it wrong for them to attend a Catholic Church for prayer and fellowship. I would not agree that they should take communion there.

I think I would also consider that the Catholic culture is different in different countries and that this might also colour my views.
 

Alpo

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Father Peter said:
If someone I was responsible for had to move to a place with no Orthodox Churches I would not consider it wrong for them to attend a Catholic Church for prayer and fellowship.
There isn't any prohibition for prayer with the heterodox in OO tradition?
 

kijabeboy03

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I have trouble distinguishing modern Roman Catholics (in North America and East Africa anyways) from Episcopalians and Protestants generally - over the coming years I think the differences between them will likely continue to disappear. (Pockets of old style Catholicism aside of course.)

I think that's understood, but it doesn't justify intercommunion. The Alawites are our allies in Syria, but that doesn't justify inter-religious union or some such thing...

Salpy said:
I have a problem with equating Catholicism with Islam.  Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity;  Muslims don't.  And although we may disagree on a number of things, Catholics are Christians, even if they are not within our Church.

Regarding the intercommunion we see among Middle Eastern Christians, the impression I've had is that being surrounded by Muslims, and often being threatened by them, has had the effect of giving the different Christians of that region a sense of unity with each other not felt elsewhere. 

I'm not saying the intercommunion is right.  I'm just saying that there is a reason for it.
 

peterfarrington

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I think that Catholics in the UK are engaged in a rolling back of the liberal spirit of the past decades and should be wholeheartedly encouraged to do so.

If Catholicism is like Episcopalianism in some places then what are Orthodox doing to help those who are trying to restore a Traditional spirit?
 

kijabeboy03

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This is why there were so few Orthodox churches in the States for so long - people were advised to go to the local Episcopalian church since 'we're basically the same' (sometimes blessed to commune, sometimes not - to give one example, St. Raphael (Hawaweeny) of Brooklyn first blessed Syrian-Americans to commune at Episcopal services, then withdrew that blessing), and they were lost to Orthodoxy. If the priests of those people had trained the able to lead basic services (in the Byzantines' tradition, something easy and relatively unchanging like the day Hours, an akathist, Sunday Typica, et cetera) they might have actually started more of their own missions and churches, been able to raise their children in the faith, et cetera.

Father Peter said:
If someone I was responsible for had to move to a place with no Orthodox Churches I would not consider it wrong for them to attend a Catholic Church for prayer and fellowship. I would not agree that they should take communion there.

I think I would also consider that the Catholic culture is different in different countries and that this might also colour my views.
 

kijabeboy03

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This: http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/Conference2011/Conference-October2011.htm

Father Peter said:
I think that Catholics in the UK are engaged in a rolling back of the liberal spirit of the past decades and should be wholeheartedly encouraged to do so.

If Catholicism is like Episcopalianism in some places then what are Orthodox doing to help those who are trying to restore a Traditional spirit?
 

Severian

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Father Peter, do you think this Ecumenism among the Syrians will die out in a few generations? Sort of like the fraternal relations the Coptic Orthodox had with the RCs a few centuries ago?
 

peterfarrington

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I hope not.

There are boundaries which such relations should not cross. But while those boundaries are respected I am very much in favour of dialogue with Catholicism, certainly here in the UK.

I don't know if you have read the small book I produced earlier this year. I think that it shows a very positive attitude on the part of most hierarchs to the Catholic communion. This does not mean we are on ther verge of reunion at all, but I do believe that the Catholic communion, at least here in the UK, is on the right track and is trying to find a way back to the pre-VII spirit of the Church.

This should be encouraged. IMHO.
 

Severian

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^By "Ecumenism" I meant the seemingly open communion practice the Church of Antioch holds with Catholics these days. I would agree in saying that I do not mind dialogue per se.
 

kijabeboy03

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Pre-1910 really, when the full fasts were still on the books :). Things took a while to get as bad as they are - do we really think some ecumenical brunches and dialogues will encourage them to change? The Greeks and Russians dialogued with the Anglicans (and later the Old Catholics) for ages and look what came of that...

Father Peter said:
I hope not.

There are boundaries which such relations should not cross. But while those boundaries are respected I am very much in favour of dialogue with Catholicism, certainly here in the UK.

I don't know if you have read the small book I produced earlier this year. I think that it shows a very positive attitude on the part of most hierarchs to the Catholic communion. This does not mean we are on ther verge of reunion at all, but I do believe that the Catholic communion, at least here in the UK, is on the right track and is trying to find a way back to the pre-VII spirit of the Church.

This should be encouraged. IMHO.
 

peterfarrington

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Well if there is open communion then I am not sure it is appropriate. But it seems to me to depend on what is meant. If we mean that in a beleagured village somewhere there are Catholics who attend the Orthodox Liturgy because their church has been bombed, and they recieve communion, well I am not sure that is entirely unacceptable.

Our Father, St Severus was clear that obstacles must not be put in the way of the simple lay folk who usually do not understand entirely what the various disputes are about. I think this is, to some extent and in some cases, an applicable principle.

Note that I am using 'some' a lot. I am not suggesting it is a universal principle. If it were a universal principle in the Syrian Orthodox Church then it does strike me as rather problematic. If it does not extend to clerical communion then it is less problematic but still not non-problematic.

On the other hand, His Holiness Pope Shenouda clearly believed that the Catholic Church is Apostolic, and has true sacraments. That being the case then it could be said that communion of laity could perhaps in some cases be allowed if it was clear that those communing held no definite heresy. I would want to wonder whether two Syrian farmers, one an Eastern Rite Catholic and the other an Eastern Rite Orthodox would necessarily have a different substantial faith? Once we demand that all laity pass an exam proving that they are entirely Orthodox in all possible aspects of their faith and practice then that also becomes problematical.

There are issues around some of the present thinking in the Syrian Orthodox Church which are indeed problematic. Especially around primacy. I am not diminishing this. But we also have many problems in our own local Orthodox community. So I am not sure where, in the order of priorities, this particular issue comes. I would be more concerned about the teaching of the Syrian primacy over the other Churches.

I guess I consider that open communion is not appropriate, and that the communion of clergy is particularly inappropriate, but I am less concerned, in the face of many other problems which we all face, if there is a sense of Syrian identity and Christian unity in Syria in the face of the terrible situation that all Christians find themselves in.

When Constantinople was about to fall to the Muslims all of the Christians united in communion in Hagia Sophia. I find myself moved by this, and not to criticism.
 

peterfarrington

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If you don't want to do anything then don't. But why criticise and make carping comments about those who do?

In fact the Catholic bishops in England and Wales have just re-instituted the proper observance of the Friday fast. Not the same practice as Orthodox certainly. But all the bishops I speak with are determined to restore the practice of their community to that which had prevailed for centuries before the 60s.

Baptism by immersion is also becoming more common. All of the things I would hope for the Catholic communion to embrace are already part of their own tradition. They just need to return to it.

Certainly the ecumenical body within which I engage with Catholic hierarchs is determined to organise several significant projects each year.
 

Severian

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^I am glad to hear this is the case. Out of curiosity, would you extend the same courtesy to traditionalist Catholic groups which are not in Communion with the Roman See like the Society of Saint Pius X or the Society of Saint Pius V?
 

kijabeboy03

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Where in the Fathers are hospitality and open communion one and the same? Wasn't St. Severus speaking of pro-Chalcedonians? We pro and anti-Chalcedonian Orthodox are much closer in faith than either of us are to Roman Catholicism.

Doesn't the Coptic Orthodox Church receive non-Orthodox Christians (and even many Orthodox?) by chrismation?

When Constantinople fell the Unia was in effect in the city, by imperial decree - of course the Eastern Catholics and Roman Catholics concelebrated, they were of one church. (The one good thing the Ottoman conquerors did was end the Unia when they took the city by allowing St. Gennadius Scholarius to become ecumenical patriarch.)

Father Peter said:
Well if there is open communion then I am not sure it is appropriate. But it seems to me to depend on what is meant. If we mean that in a beleagured village somewhere there are Catholics who attend the Orthodox Liturgy because their church has been bombed, and they receive communion, well I am not sure that is entirely unacceptable.

Our Father, St Severus was clear that obstacles must not be put in the way of the simple lay folk who usually do not understand entirely what the various disputes are about. I think this is, to some extent and in some cases, an applicable principle.

Note that I am using 'some' a lot. I am not suggesting it is a universal principle. If it were a universal principle in the Syrian Orthodox Church then it does strike me as rather problematic. If it does not extend to clerical communion then it is less problematic but still not non-problematic.

On the other hand, His Holiness Pope Shenouda clearly believed that the Catholic Church is Apostolic, and has true sacraments. That being the case then it could be said that communion of laity could perhaps in some cases be allowed if it was clear that those communing held no definite heresy. I would want to wonder whether two Syrian farmers, one an Eastern Rite Catholic and the other an Eastern Rite Orthodox would necessarily have a different substantial faith? Once we demand that all laity pass an exam proving that they are entirely Orthodox in all possible aspects of their faith and practice then that also becomes problematical.

There are issues around some of the present thinking in the Syrian Orthodox Church which are indeed problematic. Especially around primacy. I am not diminishing this. But we also have many problems in our own local Orthodox community. So I am not sure where, in the order of priorities, this particular issue comes. I would be more concerned about the teaching of the Syrian primacy over the other Churches.

I guess I consider that open communion is not appropriate, and that the communion of clergy is particularly inappropriate, but I am less concerned, in the face of many other problems which we all face, if there is a sense of Syrian identity and Christian unity in Syria in the face of the terrible situation that all Christians find themselves in.

When Constantinople was about to fall to the Muslims all of the Christians united in communion in Hagia Sophia. I find myself moved by this, and not to criticism.
 

peterfarrington

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The Society of Saint Pius X is working with Rome towards a reunion, and the excommunications issued by Rome have been lifted.

The Society of Saint Pius V seems to me to be rather more schismatic and fractured and is nowhere near reconciliation.
 

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I also want to add that besides what Salpy wrote about unity in the middle east, it goes even deeper than that. It would take some writing to explain but it has to do with ethnicity and nationalist movements that don't go back that far in time as well. Our situation at this point in history is unique I believe.

But I think this is on a laity level. I doubt there's anything official.
 

peterfarrington

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Well Catholics are Chalcedonians. He was speaking about Chalcedonians.

Pope Shenouda certainly considered the Catholic communion to be Apostolic and Sacramental.

I don't think I have said that open communion is a good thing, but I hedged my views about to express the view that sometimes I think it appropriate.

I can't help but feel that your views about Catholics seem rather contaminated by attitudes to wider events that are not really relevant. I am more concerned, with the necessary restrictions on communion, to work for a reconciliation of Catholics with Orthodoxy as far as is possible, than to worry about historical events. If that were required then it will always be impossible for Orthodox to be reconciled.

I am much more interested in what the Catholic hierarchs I meet actually believe, and how far what they believe can be and should be understood in a manner that is Orthodox. There are undoubtedly issues that will be stumbling blocks as well. But the Catholic hierarchs want to talk. There are no such conversations going on with Eastern Orthodox at the moment.
 

kijabeboy03

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There are here in North America I believe. Where're they're going isn't clear, but they're ongoing.

My views on Roman Catholicism are "contaminated" by the reality of Roman Catholicism as I've seen it in North America and East Africa - the books say one thing (sometimes in agreement with Orthodoxy, sometimes not) while the laity follow a faith and life similar to Anglicanism a hundred years ago. I really do hope I'm wrong, but pockets like the SSPX aside I don't think traditional Christianity survives/will survive in Roman Catholicism. (The hope of Roman Catholics bishops in one or two countries like the UK aside. It's very difficult - often impossible - for traditional Catholics to get traditional Masses served in most US and Canadian dioceses despite the freeing of the old Mass, and I've heard it's a similar situation in Africa and much of Western Europe.)

Father Peter said:
Well Catholics are Chalcedonians. He was speaking about Chalcedonians.

Pope Shenouda certainly considered the Catholic communion to be Apostolic and Sacramental.

I don't think I have said that open communion is a good thing, but I hedged my views about to express the view that sometimes I think it appropriate.

I can't help but feel that your views about Catholics seem rather contaminated by attitudes to wider events that are not really relevant. I am more concerned, with the necessary restrictions on communion, to work for a reconciliation of Catholics with Orthodoxy as far as is possible, than to worry about historical events. If that were required then it will always be impossible for Orthodox to be reconciled.

I am much more interested in what the Catholic hierarchs I meet actually believe, and how far what they believe can be and should be understood in a manner that is Orthodox. There are undoubtedly issues that will be stumbling blocks as well. But the Catholic hierarchs want to talk. There are no such conversations going on with Eastern Orthodox at the moment.
 

peterfarrington

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Then why say you were glad that the Muslims captured Constantinople? How can any one be pleased about that, especially just so that Catholic influence was diminished?

Where there are traditional Catholics they need supporting. They seem to be making advances here in the UK. The effects of liberalism can be rolled back if the hierarchy insists on it. I know that they have modified the Liturgy here in the UK in a more traditional direction, and even my son, who attends a Catholic school, was aware that on X date they would now be saying THIS in the Liturgy instead of THAT.

But they need the encouragement and support of Orthodox to believe that what they are doing, often against opposition, has value.
 

kijabeboy03

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I believe I said "the one good thing" - that doesn't translate to gladness as far as I'm aware.

If "supporting" traditional Catholics means sadness that the forced unia of Constantinople with Rome ended when the Ottoman Turks conquered the city-state empire in 1453, then why not just unite with them now? After all, how much better to work from within...

Father Peter said:
Then why say you were glad that the Muslims captured Constantinople? How can any one be pleased about that, especially just so that Catholic influence was diminished?

Where there are traditional Catholics they need supporting. They seem to be making advances here in the UK. The effects of liberalism can be rolled back if the hierarchy insists on it. I know that they have modified the Liturgy here in the UK in a more traditional direction, and even my son, who attends a Catholic school, was aware that on X date they would now be saying THIS in the Liturgy instead of THAT.

But they need the encouragement and support of Orthodox to believe that what they are doing, often against opposition, has value.
 

peterfarrington

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I don't think you really want to discuss how the relationship with Catholics should work or might work.

I am sad, I guess, that your attitude towards Rome popped up just because Constantinople was mentioned.

I don't get a sense that you do support traditional Catholics, or have much of a view of those who think that is what they should be doing. You are entitled to your opinion. It is not mine.
 

Severian

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What is the position of the Indian-Syrian and Syrian Orthodox Churches on inter-Church marriage with non-OOs?
 

Irish Melkite

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Dialogue and Joint Declarations with the Roman Catholic Church

8. Since it is the chief expression of Christian unity between the faithful and between Bishops and priests, the Holy Eucharist cannot yet be concelebrated by us. Such celebration supposes a complete identity of faith such as does not yet exist between us. Certain questions, in fact, still need to be resolved touching the Lord's will for His Church, as also the doctrinal implications and canonical details of the traditions proper to our communities which have been too long separated.

9. Our identity in faith, though not yet complete, entitles us to envisage collaboration between our Churches in pastoral care, in situations which nowadays are frequent both because of the dispersion of our faithful throughout the world and because of the precarious conditions of these difficult times. It is not rare, in fact, for our faithful to find access to a priest of their own Church materially or morally impossible. Anxious to meet their needs and with their spiritual benefit in mind, we authorize them in such cases to ask for the Sacraments of Penance, Eucharist and Anointing of the Sick from lawful priests of either of our two sister Churches, when they need them. It would be a logical corollary of collaboration in pastoral care to cooperate in priestly formation and theological education. Bishops are encouraged to promote sharing of facilities for theological education where they judge it to be advisable. While doing this we do not forget that we must still do all in our power to achieve the full visible communion between the Catholic Church and the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and ceaselessly implore our Lord to grant us that unity which alone will enable us to give to the world a fully unanimous Gospel witness.
When a Catholic Marries an Orthodox Christian - the foregoing relates to EO/Catholic Intermarriages. While I couldn't find the text on-line, there is an essentially identical document jointly subscribed to by the USCCB and the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches - it's included in Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic Interchurch Marriages and Other Pastoral Relationships

A Pastoral Statement on Orthodox/Roman Catholic Marriages

Many years,

Neil
 

Severian

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^Thank you.

Here is something I found which is particularly disturbing:

"Communion at the Wedding

Reciprocity. The Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church is an autonomous church under the authority of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch. It is thus one of those Eastern churches, which the Roman Catholic Church recognizes as close in faith to itself and "in possession of true sacraments, notably the priesthood and the Eucharist" (Decree on Ecumenism, n.14, 15). For this reason the bride and groom are allowed to receive communion together, whether the wedding and wedding Eucharist takes place in a Catholic church or in a Malankara Syrian Orthodox church."


http://sor.cua.edu/Ecumenism/19940125socrcmarriageagmt.html

How is this acceptable?
 

Severian

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General Exhortations

The priests are strictly forbidden to administer Communion to all those who are under anathema or suspensions or to unbelievers unless, first of all, they openly acknowledge the Orthodox faith and become in full communion with the Holy Church. Likewise, the Holy Mysteries are not to be administered to offenders whose transgressions are publicly known unless they, first of all, truly and earnestly repent of their sins and unless their true remorse is known to the congregation of the faithful.


http://www.malankara.com/church/eucharist.html

So at least the Indian-Syriac Orthodox under Antioch have it right. So from what I can deduce Syriac OO-RC is not really the norm outside the Middle East.
 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S91OyQBJqI4

Remembered this thread when I watched this. 9:00 to 9:22 "if the catholic church they haven't church".
 

Severian

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Suryoyutho said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S91OyQBJqI4

Remembered this thread when I watched this. 9:00 to 9:22 "if the catholic church they haven't church".
Good to hear. Sorry if I was too harsh or judgmental when I originally wrote this thread.
 

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Severian said:
Good to hear. Sorry if I was too harsh or judgmental when I originally wrote this thread.
Not at all, I wasn't even thinking about that nor did I think you were too anything.

But at the youth service this Christmas I was thinking, how can priests control who takes communion? It wouldn't surprise me if some of the younger people brought with them one or two friends from either the Chaldean or Assyrian Churches. At the end of mass everyone line up and take their communion and of course these youths don't know about these communion laws.
 

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That's the thing, priests aren't supposed to give communion to people they don't know. However, no one seems to follow this anymore.  :(
 

Nephi

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jewish voice said:
kijabeboy03 said:
Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox Christians communing in one another's churches is one thing, but the others aren't Orthodox Christians in any sense of the word - they're Catholics. Going the next step with your scenario, if I moved to a place where the only monotheistic place of worship was a mosque, does that mean I should join in the Friday prayers just so that I belong to a faith community?
Sorry to burst your bubble but you being a Christian could not enter a Mosque for prayer. Only Jews and Moslem can share the same place of worship.  
Post is from months ago I realize, but just this past month I attended Friday prayers in a mosque. Sat at the back with a few other visitors, and watched the whole thing. Not one of us was a Muslim or a Jew.
 

Nephi

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rakovsky said:
I found this graph to be pretty enlightening:

The separation dating (i.e. 431/451) is simplistic, as Robert Wilken mentions in his The First Thousand Years, the west Syrians didn't join the Copts as non-Chalcedonians until the early 6th century under the Syriac St. Jacob Baradaeus.

Not to mention the graph makes no sign of Melkite Antioch's Syriac Rite usage until as late as the 11th-12th centuries.
 
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