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?
 
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