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Baptism of heretics

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  • Fr. Gregory Williams
    JRS wrote: At the 1971 Sobor in Montreal (I was there, incidentally, as the secretary of Archbishop Nikon of blessed memory, and heard exactly what the
    Message 1 of 33 , Feb 3, 2003
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      JRS wrote:

      At the 1971 Sobor in Montreal (I was there, incidentally, as the
      secretary of Archbishop Nikon of blessed memory, and heard exactly what
      the discussion had been on the day that decision was passed, from him
      that evening) -- an *attempt* was made, to pass such a rule, changing
      the way in which converts were to be received into the Church.

      However, Archbishop Afanassy firmly rejected the change (and it may be
      of interest that he was the one who in 1983 suggested the "anathema
      against ecumenism").

      Therefore, the bishops never forbade the reception of converts by
      chrismation. The matter was still left open, up to the local bishop.
      And it is thus even now, today.

      Well, it's obviously always possible to read things more than one way, but,
      assuming the following decree is not a forgery, it would seem that the
      intent of its last paragraph is quite different from a matter "left open, up
      to the local bishop."

      --- from Living Orthodoxy, #113:

      FROM THE DECREES OF THE SOBOR OF BISHOPS OF THE ROCA, SEPTEMBER 1971
      CONCERNING THE BAPTISM OF HERETICS (SEPT. 15/28)

      On the question of the baptism of heretics who accept Orthodoxy, the
      following decree was adopted:

      The Holy church has believed from of old that there can be only one true
      baptism, namely that which is performed in her bosom: One, Lord, one faith,
      one baptism (Eph. 4:5). In the Symbol of Faith there is also confessed ³one
      baptism,² and the 46th Canon of the Holy Apostles directs: ³A bishop or a
      presbyter who has accepted (i.e., acknowledges) the baptism or the sacrifice
      of heretics, we command to be deposed.²

      However, when the zeal of any heretics in their battle against the Church
      has weakened and when there was a question of a mass conversion of them to
      Orthodoxy, the Church, to facilitate their union, has received them into her
      bosom in a different way....

      St. Basil the Great, and through his words an Ecumenical Council [the
      Sixth], while establishing the principle that outside the Holy Orthodox
      Church there is no true baptism, allows, out of pastoral condescension,
      which is called ³economy,² the reception of certain heretics and schismatics
      without a new baptism. And in accordance with such a principle, the
      Ecumenical Councils permitted the reception of heretics in various ways, in
      accordance with the degree of the weakening of the heretics¹ enmity against
      the Orthodox Church.

      In the Rudder [Book of Canons] the following explanation of Timothy of
      Alexandria is given. To the question: ³Why do we not baptize heretics who
      convert to the Catholic Church?² he replies: ³If we did this, a man would
      not soon convert from heresy, being ashamed of a second baptism; thus by the
      laying on of the priests¹ hands and prayer, the Holy Spirit descends, as the
      Acts of the Holy Apostles testifies.²

      With regard to Roman Catholics and those Protestants who claim to preserve
      baptism as a sacrament (for example, the Lutherans), in Russia since the
      time of Peter I the practice was introduced of receiving them without
      baptism, through a renunciation of heresy and the chrismation of Protestants
      and unconfirmed Catholics. Before Peter, Catholics were baptized in Russia.
      In Greece, the practice has also varied, but almost 300 years ago, after a
      certain interruption the practice of baptizing converts from Catholicism and
      Protestantism was reintroduced. Those received in any other way have
      (sometimes) not been recognized in Greece as Orthodox. In many cases such
      children of our Russian Church were not even admitted to Holy Communion.

      Having in view this circumstance and also the current growth of the
      ecumenist heresy, which attempts completely to erase the difference between
      Orthodoxy and any heresy ‹ so that the Moscow Patriarchate, notwithstanding
      the holy canons, has even issued a decree permitting Roman Catholics to
      receive communion (in certain cases) ‹ the Sobor of Bishops acknowledges the
      necessity of introducing a stricter practice, i.e., to baptize all heretics
      who come to the Church ‹ only in case of necessity and with the permission
      of the bishop allowing, for reasons of economy or pastoral condescension,
      any other practice with regard to certain persons ‹ i.e., the reception into
      the Church of Roman Catholics and those Protestants baptized in the name of
      the Holy Trinity, through a repudiation of heresy and chrismation.
    • maureengirard <maureengirard@yahoo.com>
      ... wrote: Before our entire household is declared as over the brink, I have a couple of honest questions.
      Message 33 of 33 , Feb 27, 2003
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        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "stefanvpavlenko
        <StefanVPavlenko@n...>" <StefanVPavlenko@n...> wrote:

        Before our entire household is declared as "over the brink," I have a
        couple of honest questions. Does she have a catalogue? Does she do
        Greek?
        Maureen


        > > 4. Ordered some podryasniki from the matushka of the Sydney ROC-
        MP
        > > priest (although that's only half-"heretical" since I haven't
        > picked
        > > them up or paid for them yet)...
        >
        > Everything BUT the above can be forgiven, do to human WEAKNESS and
        > the influence of the fallen world about us,----BUT ORDERING
        VESTMENTS
        > from other than MY matushka is unacceptable! CUSTOM LITURGICAL
        > VESTMENTS, over 25 years (oops, thirty) experiance: Tatiana
        Pavlenko,
        > 1136 Palm Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010 650 344 4355
        > tpavlenko@h... REPENT NOW!!!!
        >
        > o Stefan :-)
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "maestro_vg <diakon@o...>"
        > <diakon@o...> wrote:
        > > Good on ya Larry!
        > > Here are some of the major "heretical" activities that I have
        been
        > > involved in since I moved to the land of OZ:
        > > 1. I have accepted a blessing from an ROC-MP priest...
        > > 2. Conducted a concert of Russian Orthodox liturgical and secular
        > > music in a CATHOLIC church, which was attended by concertgoers of
        > > various denominations, as well as Orthodox, including most of the
        > > Sydney ROCA clergy, the local ROC-MP priest and the resident RC
        > > priest. Also in a CATHOLIC church, I chanted various vozglasi
        > during
        > > a concert of Russian Orthodox liturgical music performed by the
        > > Melbourne Chorale...
        > > 3. Whilst in Melbourne, I crossed myself as I drove by an ROC-MP
        > > church, as well as a Serbian Orthodox church...
        > > 4. Ordered some podryasniki from the matushka of the Sydney ROC-
        MP
        > > priest (although that's only half-"heretical" since I haven't
        > picked
        > > them up or paid for them yet)...
        > > 5. Venerated relics of St Nektarios, which happen to rest in a
        > temple
        > > of the GOC-EP. I tried very hard to refrain from saying a little
        > > prayer for my boy's safe return from San Francisco, but, as a
        > result
        > > of my "weakness", I said it...
        > > 6. Used downloaded music from OCA.org for last Friday's english
        > > language choir rehearsal...
        > >
        > > I'm sorry if my radical behavior outlined above has upset the
        super-
        > > duper-orthodox of this list. Oh, and another thing I
        > > must "confess"... I also requested to have my name added to
        > > that "secret" letter rdr John was going on about earlier.
        > >
        > > Unworthy, sinful and whatever other terms of piety that some
        people
        > > use after their ridiculous ROCOR-bashing posts,
        > > dVG
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, larry most
        > > <larrymost2002@y...> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST - GLORY TO HIM FOREVER
        > > > Dear dVG,
        > > > If being an "ecumenist" (heretic) means praying, and
        socialising
        > > with Orthodox of other ORTHODOX JURISIDICTIONS then I am GUILTY,
        > > GUILTY, GUILTY. I hope that I never become as judgemental as some
        > of
        > > the folks on this list.
        > > > Love in Christ,
        > > > Sub-deacon Lawrence Most (ROCOR)
        > > > "maestro_vg <diakon@o...>" <diakon@o...> wrote:Elizabeth!
        > > > What are you saying?! You sound like a typical
        > > > ecuemenist/heretic!!! :-)
        > > > dVG
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "boulia_1
        > <eledkovsky@h...>"
        > > > <eledkovsky@h...> wrote:
        > > > > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Reader John
        > > > > <rdrjohn2000@y...>" <rdrjohn2000@y...> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > > Tell me, did you ask for a blessing from "Metropolitan"
        > Alexy?
        > > I
        > > > > > know you did, but I'd like to hear it from you.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > You know, it's attitudes like this that make me sick! If
        young
        > > > > seminarian John was at a church in the USSR and *any* priest
        or
        > > > bishop
        > > > > were there, speaking to him, I would HOPE he would be proper
        > and
        > > > > cordial in his interaction, and that would include an
        Orthodox
        > > > > seminarian seeking a blessing from an ordained Orthodox
        > > clergyman.
        > > > If
        > > > >
        > > > > Indeed, my travels often put me in contact with MP clergy. I
        > > > routinely
        > > > > seek their blessing. Sometimes from priests or Bishops with
        > whom
        > > I
        > > > > strongly disagree on many things -- sometimes from clergy who
        > do
        > > > > things I personally think are incorrect. But, I try never to
        > lose
        > > > > sight of my lowly status ("unworthy," as some people like to
        > > label
        > > > > themselves) and not to judge.
        > > > >
        > > > > Once, at a music conference in LA, Abp. Anthony of blessed
        > memory
        > > > > directed me to seek the blessing of Bishop Tikhon, of a
        > different
        > > > > ("wrong") jurisdiction. So I am not alone in my thinking.
        > > > >
        > > > > Like them and the history and the politics or NOT, these men,
        > > too,
        > > > > pray and serve sacraments, and their hands may or may not be
        > the
        > > > > instruments of holy and divine mysteries. That is why we
        ought
        > to
        > > > kiss
        > > > > those hands. WE lowly people, "Reader John," are not given to
        > > know
        > > > or
        > > > > to judge WHO among us is worthy. Like the Pharisee, we should
        > not
        > > > be
        > > > > saying that we are good and others are wretched. Only God is
        in
        > a
        > > > > position to decide that.
        > > > >
        > > > > In Christ's love (invoked by the sign of the Cross made when
        a
        > > > > clergyman blesses),
        > > > > Elizabeth
        > > >
        > > >
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