William (aka Bill the Godfather)

William (aka Bill the Godfather)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More drivel from the Liturgical Unitarians (TEC)

The theological commission of the Episcopal Church reports on their increasingly common practice of communing anyone (including the non-baptised). And they wonder why Metropolitan +Jonah ended ecumenical dialogue with them. Sorry, but if you are giving Holy Communion to Buddhists then we are not even on the same theological planet.

You are who you are in communion with.

Hat tip T-19

7 comments:

David Dickens said...

This goes back to my question about some reports that OOs are communed here and there.

It seems to follow that, if the Eucharist is the body of Christ, those who partake of it are the body of Christ. Those Bishops and Priests who do this aren't just falsely "testifying" that these people are a part of the Church, they are effectively making them part of the Church, albeit inappropriately in the eyes of many.

While St Paul has admonitions against taking of it unto condemnation he presents that as arising from the truth of communion, if he said it wasn't really communion when people did it unworthily what would they be condemned of?

I know it must be annoying that I keep bringing this up, but it's really bothering me and in different forums and blogs I usually only get hand-waving responses.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

David,
I don't think you will get much disagreement from me or most of the people who frequent this blog. I am opposed to inter-communion with the non-Orthodox. The only exception I might make would be for the OO in cases of life threatening emergencies where they did not have one of their own priests available. But even there I am not really comfortable though I think that economia could be justified as an act of extreme mercy in such circumstances.

But that's about it.

In ICXC
John

David Dickens said...

Too bad I can't kidnap all the people I know who write blogs, drag them to my house and make them answer my questions.

(And yes, you answered my question, mostly, but didn't really address the issue of whether the Eucharist is an existential boundary, a topic which no one seems willing to touch.)

John (Ad Orientem) said...

David,
Too bad I can't kidnap all the people I know who write blogs, drag them to my house and make them answer my questions.

It wouldn't help. I am wrong at least as often as I am right.

I am not sure I understand your question about the Eucharist being an existential boundary. Here is what I can tell you. The canons of the Church and the Fathers are pretty much unanimous in forbidding the sharing of the cup with the heterodox. That said economia gives broad latitude to those with lawful authority (usually bishops and in some cases presbyters). Thus you may find an almost maddening degree of variation in church discipline.

But clearly some canons and church disciplines carry more weight than others. For instance most priests will bless some relaxation of the fasts for people who are new to the faith or who have health issues etc. On the other hand I have never heard of any bishop who has permitted a fourth marriage in modern times.

In my experience the prohibition against inter-communion is one of the rules thats pretty strictly adhered to.

If there is a perception that economy is being abused those responsible risk being called onto the proverbial carpet. The tolerance of this in the AOANA has been blessed by at least some of their hierarchs and Met +Phillip. But I can assure you it is controversial. And it is worth noting that +Phillip has done other extremely controversial things which stretch economia to lengths not seen in a very long time in the Orthodox world.

Given the current crisis in the AOANA which touches on Met +Phillip's leadership directly, I think it best to refrain from further comment about him for now. I fear more needs to be said but that will have to wait for another post.

Do check out the inquirers email list linked in the sidebar.

Yours in ICXC
John

rightwingprof said...

The Antiochian Patriarchate is officially *in communion with* at least one OO church (sorry, but I never can remember which of the two Syrian churches it is). The AONA is, therefore, in communion with members of that church.

There is a difference of several hundred light-years between that and communing the non-baptized.

David Dickens said...

John, again I thank you. It's not so much your wrongness or rightness that matters, but dragging an education for myself out of a variety of people.

I don't need anyone to be infallible, I just need their take.

For example. One of the definitions of the Church is the Bishop/Eucharist model. Why don't people make more of this? I hear lots of talk about the "visible" Church, but that "visibility" exists particularly.

Could the following not be said? The communion is the body of Christ. If you participate you are the Church. These OO communicants aren't just violating some canon, they are members of the body by their participation.

I'm very interested in exploring that the Church is defined by what it does, rather than what it believes, though it might be proper to point out that defending the faith of the Apostles is a believing manifest in a doing.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

David,
Sorry this is a little late. I got sidetracked. On the subject of the Church and Eucharist you may want read Met. John's very impressive article EUCHARIST, BISHOP, CHURCH: THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH IN THE DIVINE EUCHARIST AND THE BISHOP DURING THE FIRST THREE CENTURIES. It's linked in the sidebar. A word of caution. It is not light reading. I also agree with Aaron that it is likely more profitable to concentrate on the lives of the saints for a while.

In ICXC
John