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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Communion - Orthodoxy and Rome: Part the Second

The Eastern Churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. 'These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all - by apostolic succession - the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy.' A certain communion "in sacris", and so in the Eucharist, 'given suitable circumstances and the approval by Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged.' - the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Has anybody actually come across any incidences of this. I know that Rome makes exceptions to "closed" communion in certain circumstances. The Anglican wife of a RC deacon of my acquaintance was permitted to receive at his ordination, and I know that, at funerals or other times of 'sorrow and joy', this can be waived with the necessary permission.

I also know that Rome and Orthodoxy have different concepts of what the Church is and where its boundaries lie, and so while the RC bishop may permit his priests to communicate Orthodox faithful, the latter are very unlikely to receive permission from their bishop to receive at a RC mass, (especially in ROCOR, with the anathema against ecumenism, which Metropolitan Vitaly describes as ' the most pernicious of heresies, for it has gathered all the heresies that exist or have existed, and has called this union a church - a deed that savours of antichrist.')

Still, does anybody know of any cases where an Orthodox bishop has permitted this? I would be interested to know. Many thanks.


Anonymous said...

I have known a Greek Orthodox Bishop to excommunicate a layman for receiving communion in a RCC church with his RCC wife (which was exactly the result that she wanted) I am unaware that the Roman attitude is at all reciprocated in any part of canonical Orthodoxy.

(And yes, I will put you on the calendar list)

Fr. Michael

Michael said...

Thank you for this, Father. :-)

I look forward to the calendar in due course.