Syriac Orthodoxy and Ecumenism

Jonathan

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Shant said:
Where I don't necessarily agree is that the end result of entering communion would be as a "daughter" church. I think and hope that the work of the joint commission in trying to determine the proper role of the Pope in the time before Chalcedon is evidence that there is no interest in being subordinate to the RC church. Even a strong proponent of ecumenism (such as myself) could never agree to that type of arrangement.
What Eastern Catholic Church has this not happened with though? It's the only model they use.

I see where you are coming from with the believe that there is only one Church, and we shouldn't be setting ourselves up as rival Catholic Churches. Many of the Orthodox Churches seem to go too far that way, thinking we are wholly independent, with no need for each other. That we can just set up Churches around the world in parallel with them, and be the Catholic Church without them. There's a reason there's never been an Orthodox Bishop of Rome set up in parallel with the Catholic Pope there.

But, just sharing Communion while there are significant theological differences--and there are, the filioque being the least of them if one of them--isn't the answer. The early Church had schisms and heresies they dealt with, and broke Communion, without then going and not caring to reconcile with each other, for feeling that they could carry on alone.

It seems to me that the extremes that the different OO "Churches" fall into could be balanced out by each other if we dialogued with each other. That's how Orthodoxy is supposed to work, the living faith is meant to be shared back in forth with our neighbours, between the Churches, not carried on in isolation, not feeling we need each other. We spend so much time having dialogues with those we're not in Communion with. Maybe if we spent more time really being in Communion with those we do agree with, sharing our faith together, we could be more whole, more properly Catholic, in order to be fit to go out and dialogue with those we are separated from.
 

peterfarrington

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Jonathan, if you were at the end I would try my hardest to get to you if no other priest could!

Salpy, I enjoy very much the official dialogue I am fortunate to participate in with some of the Catholic hierarchy here in the UK. I do enjoy spending time with them, but it seems to me that our relationship works because we are not afraid to speak about differences, and how much some of them are obstacles to reunion.

I do sense that Orthodox can be an encouragement to a more traditional Catholic faith and practice, as generally reconciliation does not require Catholics to adopt something new but to restore something that is ancient and has already been part of their Tradition. I think that perhaps the UK Catholic Church is not the same as the US one in some regards and has a different history and dynamic.

On the other hand I do not commune Catholics, however welcome they are at the liturgies I celebrate. And on the other hand, I do consider that there is a difference between the position of a theologically literate and educated Catholic person and a devout and simple Catholic soul who believes not much different to a devout and simple Orthodox soul. Not that this describes any particularly well considered differentation.

I have spoken to a senior EO Metropolitan who communed a Catholic regularly, but this was in the context of that person being essentially committed to his Orthodox parish and being to all intents an Orthodox though perhaps formally a Catholic.

Just before the fall of Constantinople the Catholics and Orthodox celebrated the Liturgy together, despite their differences. In such extremis (and of course that was before papal infallibility and the immaculate conception and lots of other things) I am just not sure how far Christian division extends. That is not to say that I would receive communion at the last from a Catholic priest, though I would be happy and grateful for his prayers.
 

Shant

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Jonathan said:
What Eastern Catholic Church has this not happened with though? It's the only model they use.
I agree that this has been their MO for the better part of the last 400 years though to be entirely fair to our Catholic friends, the situation has improved markedly in the past 50 years. Still a long way to go, but at least progress is being made.

In the meantime, the following remarks by Catholicos Aram I regarding reunion dialogue with the EO give me comfort than nothing will be sold out when dealing with he Catholic Church.

However, after the restoration of communion, it is important that the specificities, the particular characteristics of each family and each church be maintained. This is very important for us. We cannot become a part of the Byzantine tradition. We cannot go against the course of history, because these churches have been developed in different ways. We cannot change the historical, cultural, linguistic, liturgical, theological, patristic identities of these churches. So, we have to be faithful to our own traditions, to our own identities and particularities.
http://www.orthodoxunity.org/article04.html

Also of note from that same article:

Q: Do you see any possibility that a member church or some of the churches in the Oriental Orthodox family would unilaterally declare communion with the Eastern Orthodox family?

ARCHBISHOP ARAM: No, because we have raised this question amongst ourselves and have agreed that no member of the Oriental Orthodox family would - under any circumstance - unilaterally establish communion with the other churches. This is our understanding and it is very clear. In fact, the Coptic Orthodox Church in her response has raised that question. They said that we agree with these christological statements, provided that the other members of the Oriental Orthodox family agree with this as well. So, their agreement was very much conditioned by the agreement of the other churches. This is an important term. We sit, we talk, we act as one family.
So we're all in the same boat at least on the "official" level.
 

Shant

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Father Peter said:
Salpy, I enjoy very much the official dialogue I am fortunate to participate in with some of the Catholic hierarchy here in the UK. I do enjoy spending time with them, but it seems to me that our relationship works because we are not afraid to speak about differences, and how much some of them are obstacles to reunion.
Father, bless. When speaking of the differences, what have been the major topics other than the Papacy?
 

kijabeboy03

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That reason being political history (what pope would have allowed the Orthodox to set up a rival to him in the Papal States he ruled for so many centuries?) and the ethnic fragmentation of the Diaspora that has prevented Orthodox unity in Western Europe and elsewhere.

Jonathan said:
Shant said:
Where I don't necessarily agree is that the end result of entering communion would be as a "daughter" church. I think and hope that the work of the joint commission in trying to determine the proper role of the Pope in the time before Chalcedon is evidence that there is no interest in being subordinate to the RC church. Even a strong proponent of ecumenism (such as myself) could never agree to that type of arrangement.
What Eastern Catholic Church has this not happened with though? It's the only model they use.

I see where you are coming from with the believe that there is only one Church, and we shouldn't be setting ourselves up as rival Catholic Churches. Many of the Orthodox Churches seem to go too far that way, thinking we are wholly independent, with no need for each other. That we can just set up Churches around the world in parallel with them, and be the Catholic Church without them. There's a reason there's never been an Orthodox Bishop of Rome set up in parallel with the Catholic Pope there.

But, just sharing Communion while there are significant theological differences--and there are, the filioque being the least of them if one of them--isn't the answer. The early Church had schisms and heresies they dealt with, and broke Communion, without then going and not caring to reconcile with each other, for feeling that they could carry on alone.

It seems to me that the extremes that the different OO "Churches" fall into could be balanced out by each other if we dialogued with each other. That's how Orthodoxy is supposed to work, the living faith is meant to be shared back in forth with our neighbours, between the Churches, not carried on in isolation, not feeling we need each other. We spend so much time having dialogues with those we're not in Communion with. Maybe if we spent more time really being in Communion with those we do agree with, sharing our faith together, we could be more whole, more properly Catholic, in order to be fit to go out and dialogue with those we are separated from.
 

peterfarrington

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We discuss something different each time we meet.

Last time we considered the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and how this appears to be rooted in a different understanding of the consequence of the Fall.
 

Severian

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So how are we supposed to respond to these downright unacceptable acts endorsed by many of the Syriac Orthodox?
 

Severian

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Severian said:
So how are we supposed to respond to these downright unacceptable acts endorsed by many of the Syriac Orthodox?
Do you think this hyper-ecumenist tendency in the Syriac Church will die out in a few decades?
 

sheenj

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Severian said:
So how are we supposed to respond to these downright unacceptable acts endorsed by many of the Syriac Orthodox?
The same way people seem to respond to the Roman Catholic lite ecclesiology that the Patriarchate of Antioch has embraced of late. Mild indifference.
 

Severian

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sheenj said:
Severian said:
So how are we supposed to respond to these downright unacceptable acts endorsed by many of the Syriac Orthodox?
The same way people seem to respond to the Roman Catholic lite ecclesiology that the Patriarchate of Antioch has embraced of late. Mild indifference.
How do you feel about Orthodox Christians of the Syriac tradition (whether they be Malankara, Syriac, Indian-Syriac) inter-communing freely with RC's?
 

sheenj

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Severian said:
sheenj said:
Severian said:
So how are we supposed to respond to these downright unacceptable acts endorsed by many of the Syriac Orthodox?
The same way people seem to respond to the Roman Catholic lite ecclesiology that the Patriarchate of Antioch has embraced of late. Mild indifference.
How do you feel about Orthodox Christians of the Syriac tradition (whether they be Malankara, Syriac, Indian-Syriac) inter-communing freely with RC's?
I'm fairly sure the Indian Orthodox Church does not allow this. When I went to Liturgy one of the biggest Orthodox pilgrimage centers in India, Parumala, there was an announcement made that only Orthodox Christians were allowed to commune. I really can't say anything about the Antiochians however.
 

Severian

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sheenj said:
Severian said:
sheenj said:
Severian said:
So how are we supposed to respond to these downright unacceptable acts endorsed by many of the Syriac Orthodox?
The same way people seem to respond to the Roman Catholic lite ecclesiology that the Patriarchate of Antioch has embraced of late. Mild indifference.
How do you feel about Orthodox Christians of the Syriac tradition (whether they be Malankara, Syriac, Indian-Syriac) inter-communing freely with RC's?
I'm fairly sure the Indian Orthodox Church does not allow this. When I went to Liturgy one of the biggest Orthodox pilgrimage centers in India, Parumala, there was an announcement made that only Orthodox Christians were allowed to commune. I really can't say anything about the Antiochians however.
Thank goodness. Thank you for sharing this somewhat relieving news. What is the view of the Indian Orthodox Church concerning marriage between Orthodox and heterodox Christians?
 

Severian

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The parish website of St. Gregorious' Indian Orthodox Church says:

Q:Does your Church practice "Open Communion?"


A: In the strictest sense the Communion of the Orthodox Church is open to all repentant believers. That means we are glad to receive new members in the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox concept of "Communion" is totally holistic, and radically different from that of most other Christian groups. We do not separate the idea of "Holy Communion" from "Being in Communion," "Full Communion," "Inter-Communion" and total "Communion in the Faith."
In the Orthodox Church therefore, to receive Holy Communion, or any other Sacrament (Mystery), is taken to be a declaration of total commitment to the Orthodox Faith. While we warmly welcome visitors to our services, it is understood that only those communicant members of the Orthodox Church who are prepared by confession and fasting will approach the Holy Mysteries
http://www.indian-orthodox.co.uk/faith.htm

I am glad to hear this is the case.
 

Suryoyutho

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I don't know what the official stance is but if that's going on it's only with other Syriac language churches. That means the Maronite church, Syriac Catholic church, and possibly the Chaldean Catholic church (and maybe the Catholic Syrian churches of India?). I also believe that you have to take into account the situation in the homeland and that might be the reason why something like that started in the first place. If a person is forced to a place where there isn't a church or priest of their own, what should they do?

There is a EO/OO official agreement though: http://www.orthodox.org.ph/content/view/143/50/

But, again, I don't know the official stance though I'd like to now.
 

kijabeboy03

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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?

Suryoyutho said:
I don't know what the official stance is but if that's going on it's only with other Syriac language churches. That means the Maronite church, Syriac Catholic church, and possibly the Chaldean Catholic church (and maybe the Catholic Syrian churches of India?). I also believe that you have to take into account the situation in the homeland and that might be the reason why something like that started in the first place. If a person is forced to a place where there isn't a church or priest of their own, what should they do?

There is a EO/OO official agreement though: http://www.orthodox.org.ph/content/view/143/50/

But, again, I don't know the official stance though I'd like to now.
 

jewish voice

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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. 
 

jewish voice

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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.
 
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