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Peter J Offline OP
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Disclaimer: I feel I should start by acknowledging that most Orthodox disapprove of intercommunion and, in particular, of the Catholic policy of giving communion to an Orthodox Christian who requests it. Let's not turn this thread into a debate about that, alright?

I recently read an article titled When an Orthodox Joins the Catholic Church. Among numerous issues discussed, Father McNamara says that an Orthodox-becoming-Catholic can receive communion in the Catholic Church during the catechumenate. That, to my mind, is a little disturbing. (Actually, I don't encourage Orthodox to convert to Catholicism to begin with, but I don't have a problem with it if one wants to of his/her own accord, hence I wouldn't call that disturbing by itself.)

Apparently the thinking would be something along the lines of "I'm a Catholic catechumen, but I'm also Orthodox so I can receive communion."

I'd call that legalism.

I wonder what C.S. Lewis would think, recalling how he said that some Christians are "borderline people ... men [and women] not exactly obedient to any communion" and that "It is at her centre, where her truest children dwell, that each communion is really closest to every other in spirit, if not in doctrine."

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An Orthodox Christian who is becoming a Catholic isn't really a catechumen at all. Indeed, he or she is regarded by the Catholic Church as having received already all the sacraments of initiation. The only thing lacking is the eucharistic fellowship itself. Pastorally, some sort of process of induction or instruction might be required, but that process really wouldn't be conferring anything sacramentally.

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Peter J Offline OP
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Thanks for that info, eastwardlean. I guess I shouldn't have used the word "catechumenate".

But you can see my point anyhow: that someone can be in the process of leaving Orthodoxy for Catholicism, yet still consider himself/herself Orthodox with respect to receiving communion.

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I would think that this person isn't thinking he or she is "leaving Orthodoxy for Rome" but becoming Orthodox in union with Rome.

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Peter J Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
I would think that this person isn't thinking he or she is "leaving Orthodoxy for Rome"

That's fine, I didn't mean to imply that they are thinking that.

I'm sure there are also many people who don't think they are "leaving Catholicism" when they leave Catholicism.

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Originally Posted by Peter J
Thanks for that info, eastwardlean. I guess I shouldn't have used the word "catechumenate".

But you can see my point anyhow: that someone can be in the process of leaving Orthodoxy for Catholicism, yet still consider himself/herself Orthodox with respect to receiving communion.


Peter, I would think that an Orthodox Christian who was deciding to join the Catholic Church would have come to see himself pretty much the way the Catholic Church officially sees him, namely as a Catholic Christian within a genuine church that is genuinely identified as Catholic and which is sadly divided from it. That basic view might underwrite many different individual decisions with respect to the reality of the division. For that matter, it is also why I (as a Catholic) give the general advice to Orthodox and Catholic Christians to stay put.

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Peter J Offline OP
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Originally Posted by eastwardlean?
Originally Posted by Peter J
Thanks for that info, eastwardlean. I guess I shouldn't have used the word "catechumenate".

But you can see my point anyhow: that someone can be in the process of leaving Orthodoxy for Catholicism, yet still consider himself/herself Orthodox with respect to receiving communion.

Peter, I would think that an Orthodox Christian who was deciding to join the Catholic Church would have come to see himself pretty much the way the Catholic Church officially sees him, namely as a Catholic Christian within a genuine church that is genuinely identified as Catholic and which is sadly divided from it. That basic view might underwrite many different individual decisions with respect to the reality of the division. For that matter, it is also why I (as a Catholic) give the general advice to Orthodox and Catholic Christians to stay put.

I give that same advice; but that's the thing: Fr. McNamara was clearly talking about Orthodox who decide not to stay put. (He didn't say anything about Catholics who decide not to stay put, at least not in that particular article.)

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I pretty much have an OCA friend, who says the same thing: stay put. He went on to say, "I believe you're at St. Irene's for the salvation of your soul, like I am, at St. Nicholas."

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One problem I have with such movement from one Church to another is the "convert mentality" when it happens.

There was a wonderfully funny account of a fellow who came into his Orthodox parish wearing "prayer ropes" (as if one wasn't enough) etc.

The convert mentality as such wants to also make hard and fast differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy where there really are none.

I attended a Western Rite Antiochian Orthodox conference here in Toronto way back where I saw RC's on the way to becoming Orthodox get up to actually denigrate Rome, Roman Catholicism and the Latin Rite, making fun of them all and saying how they couldn't believe it took them so long to leave etc.

The same can be said of Orthodox who become Catholics.

Is any of that really necessary? I stay away from both RC Trads and Orthodox Trads who have "Ex's" to grind.

I've often thought of what I would believe differently were I to become Orthodox.

I wouldn't believe much ver differently, really. I would still acknowledge the Pope as the ultimate first bishop in the Church; I would accept and glorify the Most Holy Theotokos as All-Sinless, taken up body and soul into Heaven - I would still venerate the Immaculate Conception as did the Orthodox Saints of the Kyivan Baroque era; If I felt the need to maintain a belief in Purgatory to simplify eschatological matters for me - I would have good company in the person of St Peter Mohyla who insisted on it in his Catechism; I would continue with my Latin devotions (which are all represented in Ukrainian and even Russian Orthodoxy, canonical or not, BTW).

But I'm content to stay where I am. If one day, the UGCC or the majority decides to unite within a canonical Orthodox patriarchate based at Kyiv and from there to search for canonical unity with other patriarchates, including Rome - I will be so very there!

Alex

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Peter J Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
One problem I have with such movement from one Church to another is the "convert mentality" when it happens.

You remind me of something I was thinking recently: maybe instead of calling it "conversion" we could say "change of jurisdiction with extenuating circumstances". I say "with extenuating circumstances" in reference to the fact that he/she didn't receive permission from his/her former jurisdiction.

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When thousands left the Greek Catholic church following St. Alexis to join the Russian Orthodox they were not treated as catachumens or rebaptised or reordained. They were received likewise in 1938 for Fr. Chornock and his followers by the Greeks. My father described it like this : "One Sunday we prayed for the Pope, the next week we didn't. No one held their breath while reciting anathemas in ancient Slavonic or Greek!"

Of course the ultra-trads would object, but they live in a "perfect world" or so they think.

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Of course the ultra-trads would object, but they live in a "perfect world" or so they think.[/quote]

Do you have an example of this? Just who are these people you speak of? The ultra-small group of people on the web that profess traditional Orthodoxy, at arms length at best? The two crazy's that run NFTU and belong to nobody? Or are you speaking of the ROCOR crowd that now are so accepted.

What about the Old Believers who have a section dedicated to them on this very forum? Are they acceptable with their beliefs about the Catholic church where as some "ultra-trads," cross some arbitrary line?

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Quote

Quote
Of course the ultra-trads would object, but they live in a "perfect world" or so they think.


Do you have an example of this? Just who are these people you speak of? The ultra-small group of people on the web that profess traditional Orthodoxy, at arms length at best? The two crazy's that run NFTU and belong to nobody? Or are you speaking of the ROCOR crowd that now are so accepted.

What about the Old Believers who have a section dedicated to them on this very forum? Are they acceptable with their beliefs about the Catholic church where as some "ultra-trads," cross some arbitrary line?


chadrook:

Remember that this is an Eastern Christian forum, not exclusively Eastern Catholic despite our name. We respect each and every group that we try to understand and learn both from and about.

I have to ask why the situation described in the first post is such a problem. We Catholics are supposed to be beyond the idea that the Orthodox are not somehow part of us even though we are not visibly in communion. Vatican II hasn't sunk into many Catholic minds, apparently. It seems to me that the situation described is but the practical application of V2. If the Catholic Church routinely dispenses Catholic/Orthodox weddings in deference to the more strict requirements that the Orthodox Church has for its members in such situations, that must mean that Orthodox Christians somehow have status akin to those of us in communion with Rome. Then there is the routine practice of offering pastoral care to Orthodox Christians and others with the same Apostolic Faith as the Catholic Church in the form of Eucharist, if this is not in conflict with the discipline of their own Church.

IMHO, those who cling to extreme positions to keep us apart aren't really all that attached to the Lord Who willed that we be one (and find our way to it in and through Him). To me it's even more sad that these rigid postures are still alive and well in this time some 46 years after the mutual anathemas were lifted by our respective patriarchs. BTW, if memory serves, those anathemas were supposed to be PERSONAL and not applicable to the whole of each hierarch's Church. But to listen to some people I know, one would come away with the idea that each such action so many centuries ago was meant to apply to all of us. frown Dear Lord, why didn't You give those people cell phones a millenium ago and maybe we'd be brethren today rather than trying to remain enemies.

Bob

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Originally Posted by chadrook
Of course the ultra-trads would object, but they live in a "perfect world" or so they think.


Do you have an example of this? Just who are these people you speak of? The ultra-small group of people on the web that profess traditional Orthodoxy, at arms length at best? The two crazy's that run NFTU and belong to nobody? Or are you speaking of the ROCOR crowd that now are so accepted.

What about the Old Believers who have a section dedicated to them on this very forum? Are they acceptable with their beliefs about the Catholic church where as some "ultra-trads," cross some arbitrary line? [/quote]

Sorry if I can across as flippant, that's a problem with the use of android devices, always in a hurry and too hard to correct. I usually try not to be snide and the "perfect world" remark was that.

I do refer to those Orthodox who hold that Catholic sacraments are without grace and who demand rebaptism, reordination etc..when a Catholic professes the Orthodox Faith. Likewise as to those of the Catholic world who hold beliefs ranging from sedvacantism to lessor forms of schism who typically hold the Orthodox in similar disdain.

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Peter J:

Christ is in our midst!!

We've had this discussion here before and I recall a post where the poster mentioned Metropolitan Laurus of thrice blessed memory, of the Russian Church Abroad. His Eminence had been told of intercommunion in the Soviet gulag where Catholics and Orthodox had shared the Eucharist. The person His Eminence heard the story from told him that when everyone is facing the firing squad in the morning it suddenly becomes a rather moot point as to who gives a man absolution in confession and who gives him his last Holy Communion.

I thought that this profound lesson ought to be one we all meditate on, even as we are divided to this day. I came away wondering if the question the Lord will ask each of us on the Great Last Day is what we did to advance His prayer "that all may be one." It seems to me that it takes little on each of our parts to see the other as brother or sister, even as we are far removed from making full communion come into being. That small stepis demanded of us IMHO.

Bob

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