On Thu, May 7, 2009 at 8:32 AM, nrinne <Nrinne@...
> From the first assumptions I discussed (see question 1), here are what I see as beliefs proceding from those assumptions:
> L3: While not denying the importance of pastoral judgment, or economy, given the "certain charismatic quality" seen in heterodox rites (since this is obviously not on the same level as paganism), we believe there are situations where any pastor should recognize sacraments as being valid – namely, when a person who was baptized in the right form ("pattern of sound words") confesses Christ (rightly, not a "false Jesus").
> EO3: An EO priest or bishop decides to "make valid" a heterodox baptism (due to his determining that there was not only an acceptable form but intent as well), and generally speaking, it is not fitting for another priest or bishop to oppose him in his judgment (at least if they forcibly overturned it?) – even if one was very familiar with a situation – because of the practice of economy.
Orthodoxy is a big Church, so one can find exceptions everywhere.
There are examples of certain bishops, priests, monks, etc. not
accepting those received only by chrismation or confession of faith.
They require full Orthodox baptism for communion. This is often the
case when converts visit Athos or the Anastasis in Jerusalem, for
example, or when people join Old Calendarist groups. Parishes are
generally more accepting. However, being received only by chrismation
may preclude one from ordination, depending on the bishop or Synod.
There has been no Church-wide agreement on the practice or the theory
behind how to 'properly' receive converts from trinitarian Christian
churches. This is on the agenda for the upcoming 'Great & Holy
Council' of the Orthodox Churches - which has been in a preparation
stage since the 1930s, picked up speed in the 70s, and was just
restarted late last year (the first of two preparatory meetings is
scheduled for June 2009).
'Valid' is not really the right Orthodox word, as stated by another.
Generally, if one has been accepted to the Chalice one is considered
to be Orthodox and everything else that may be lacking is set to the
side as economia, as being filled, recognized, etc. In this way,
dioceses and local churches are like US States in how they recognize
the legal standing and contracts entered in in that other
Of course, the discipline expected in another diocese may differ. So,
while a Serbian priest may agree that you would be admitted to
Communion if you were properly prepared, he may not actually allow you
to commune because he was unsure as to whether you could possibly be
prepared if you were a member of XYZ jurisdiction (this happened to me
once). Frequent Communion was not the norm in Orthodoxy until very
recently, and it still is not everywhere in the world. So, 'properly
prepared' may mean you are never properly prepared except on Pascha.
I once went to a Serbian monastery where the only one's to commune
were the priest and the youngest children - not even the abbess, the
nuns or any pious visitors (or me) were allowed to commune (that time
I mentioned). Sometimes the priest simply wants to ensure those that
partake have prepared (and do not 'eat and drink damnation unto
themselves') and the only way to be sure of that is to only commune
those directly under your spiritual care - except on Pascha when the
'standards' of preparation are lowered by command by St. John