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9098Re: chrismated priests?

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  • Reader Timothy Tadros
    Sep 16, 2003
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      "...What do
      we exactly receive in baptism? The Grace of
      redemption, 'the washing of
      regeneration' (Titus 3:5) Can this gift be received
      outside the Church?
      Answer is NO. We sing: "As many of you as have been
      baptised into Christ have
      put on Christ". Can this be achieved through a
      heretical or schismatic so
      called Christian group? Answer again No. Can the
      water of any such group
      become sanctified and become "the water of redemption,
      the water of
      sanctification, the purification of flesh and spirit,
      the loosing of bonds,
      the remission of sins, the illumination of the soul,
      the laver of
      regeneration, the renewal of the Spirit, the gift of
      adoption to sonship"?
      Can the water of an heretical or schismatic priest
      transform the person being
      baptized, "that he may put away from him the old man,
      which is corrupt
      through the lusts of the flesh, and that he may be
      clothed upon with the new
      man, and renewed after the image of Him Who created
      him"? By receiving
      baptism from such a group, will he, "being buried
      after the pattern of Thy
      death, in baptism, in like manner, be a partaker of
      Thy Resurrecyion"?
      It is only possible to speak of the validity of baptism
      outside the Orthodox
      Church in superficial terms; and only if one forgets
      that a truly baptized
      person is liberated from his sins and, by renouncing
      the devil, is joined to
      Christ as Head of the Church. He becomes a member of
      the Body of Christ, that
      is, of the divine-human organism. Here in lie the
      purpose of baptism and its
      fruit; and according to the 68th Apostolic Canon,
      person being baptised or
      ordained by heretics 'cannot be either faithful
      Christians or clergymen"
      (Strictness and Economy, Bishop Gregory (Grabbe)
      History has shown that the
      Church was most strict with regard to heretics and
      schismatics when their
      activities commenced, but practised economy when they
      began to weaken. Having
      in mind this circumstance and the growth today of the
      heresy of ecumenism,
      which attempts to eradicate completley the distinction
      between Orthodoxy and
      all other heresies; this is why ROCA, Mt. Athos and
      more traditional minded
      Churches have taken the stricter course in dealing
      with converts. Ecumenism and apostasy, in most of the
      so-called Christian churches still
      profess one or more heresy or believe in absolutley
      nothing that appears to
      be Christian in nature.
      On Economy...
      Dr. Lewis Patsavos of Holy
      Cross Seminary, who teaches canon law there said:
      "The abolition of the
      letter of the law by the spirit of the last has led to
      the institution of
      "economy" excercised in non-essential matters. Through
      "economy" which is
      always an exception to the general rule, the legal
      consequences following the
      violation are lifted. ...Economy is not something to
      be applied at random or
      arbitrarily. ...The right to excercise "economy" is
      the sole perogative of
      the legislator (council or holy synod of bishops).
      This right can in turn be
      delegated to individual bishops by the corporate
      authority of the synod. This
      delegation must, however, be within the limits
      discribed by the canons and
      according to the express authorization of one's
      superior legislative
      authority..."economy" is any deviation from the norm.
      The exercise of
      "economy" ceases if its cause no longer exists or if
      the basis for its
      application rested upon false or pretended grounds.
      Once "economy" has been
      applied, the normative practice is restored as before.
      Furthuremore,
      temporary departure from the normative practice
      through "economy" does not
      set precedent". (March 1992, Orthodox Observer, of the
      Greek Orthodox
      Archdiocese)
      Bishop Nikodem (Milash) comments on the 46th Apostolic
      Canon: "That the
      canons strive not only to protect the Orthodox from
      infection by an heretical
      spirit, but also to guard them from indifference to
      the faith and to the
      Orthodox Church". On the 47th Canon "Baptism" he
      writes, "is essential
      condition for entry into the Church and for becoming a
      true member thereof. It
      must be celebrated ccording to the Orthodox Church
      teachings, and only such
      Baptism is called true according to this canon... From
      true Baptism the canon
      distingushes false baptism which is not been performed
      by an Orthodox priest
      according to the Church's teaching, and which not only
      does not cleanse a man
      from sin but, on the contrary, defiles him". (Canons
      of the Orthodox Church
      with Commentary, 1911)
      "Baptism is not a magical act with an important
      formula of incantation
      which takes effect independently of the position of
      the person pronouncing it
      and of the faith of the person being baptized. Nowhere
      in the Orthodox Church
      can we find a faith of this sort in a paralel church,
      in a salvific Christian
      group which does not belong to her. On the contrary,
      the Apostle writes: "One
      Lord, One Faith, One Baptism." (Eph. 4:5)(Strictness
      and Economy by Bishop
      Gregory (Grabbe)'
      In the Kormachaya Kniga (Slavonic Rudder) an
      explanation by Timothy of
      Alexandria of the question put forth: Question: "Why
      do we baptise heretics
      who have converted to the Catholic Church"? he
      replies: "If this were not so
      man would not readily turn away from heresy, being
      ashamed of baptism".
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