Calling All Orthodox!

Hey Orthodox brothers and sisters,

I have been discussing with an Orthodox Christian in the comments on another site, and she said some things that surprised me. I’d love to get more opinions on these:

Do Orthodox believe Catholics have lost Apostolic Succession?

From my Orthodox friend;

"Orthodox define apostolic succession a little differently than either RC or Anglican (and obviously from other Protestants). It must include not only ordination by Orthodox bishops (bestowed through laying on of hands) traceable through the “diptychs” (lists of bishops in their succession, as with RC) back to the apostolic era, but also depends upon a bishop maintaining the dogmatic faith as once delivered intact and maintaining Eucharistic communion within the community that ordained him. Dogma intact means for the Orthodox, among other things, accepting the decrees and definitions, etc., of the first seven “Ecumenical Councils” of the first-millennium undivided apostolic and orthodox Church (including the tenets of the original version of the Nicene-Constantinoplian Creed, i.e., without the “filioque” clause, as originally defined in their own context).

By this definition, I believe Orthodox consider only the canonical Eastern Orthodox Churches remain in the apostolic succession today (sorry Jon!). As the Scriptures teach, there is “one Church, one faith, one baptism,” just as the is only “one God and Father of us all” and “one Lord, Jesus Christ.” “Can Christ be divided?,” the Apostle Paul asks in 1 Corinthians–implying, no, but those who are members and even hierarchs within that Body can, through the sins of schism and disobedience to the fullness of the faith (heresy) be severed from that one Body."

So, I know Catholics believe orthodox have valid apostolic succession and valid sacraments. We can even utilize them in a pinch.

But does the same hold true for Orthodox? Is reunification further away from an Eastern point of view?

Were orthodox bishops who were ordained by heretical bishops (such as the Archbishop of Constantinople Nestorius for example) reordained later? When is this practice first recorded?

Do Orthodox believe Catholics have lost Apostolic Succession?

I am pretty sure they do as a whole, but not all of them as individuals.

It doesn’t even matter-it’s a ridiculous excuse for maintaing disunity-whose to know with certainty what any particular bishop in the chain believed in their heart? What human even necessarily has perfect undstanding of the faith, regardless of some formal profession or another, etc,?

Just curious, does this mean you would accept presbyter ordination as legitimate?

If that is the standard they use to judge apostolic succession then they themselves do not have it, considering all the major eastern sees were at one time or another dominated by heresies, often for over a century. The only exception was the Bishop of Rome, in the west.

Furthermore, the quote once again brings out all the ambiguity inherent in the orthodox position, where there is no real determiner of truth. Not anymore, anyway.

No, apostolic succession means a continuous succession of ordination by laying on of hands within the Church God established to communicate the faith to the world.

Interesting how all the Catholics are answering for the Orthodox. I don’t think anyone really wants to hear from the Orthodox on the matter. You are just as set in your ways as we are in ours. This is why unity is further away than many would hope.

I as the OP would very much want to hear your thoughts on the issue!

:hmmm: :ouch:

If an Orthodox considers becoming Catholic, but ends up deciding to remain Orthodox, is he/she “maintaining disunity”?

Or what about the reverse situation? If a Catholic considers becoming Orthodox, but ends up deciding to remain Catholic, is that “maintaining disunity”?

I was actually looking forward to hearing more from other Orthodox myself. I will need to read some before I could give an answer. It just would be kind for Catholics to let the Orthodox answer since the question was directed at us.

I’m actually interested in what the Orthodox have to say because I already know what the Catholics will say. Please speak of your beliefs :smiley:

That’s not what I said. The definition of apostolic succession that the OP related to us as coming from his Orthodox friend is a ridiculous excuse for maintaining disunity.

OP, I can respond to this part

So, I know Catholics believe orthodox have valid apostolic succession and valid sacraments. We can even utilize them in a pinch.

The Orthodox cannot, in turn, utilize Catholic sacraments in a pinch. Yes, the Catholic Church would permit us, but it would be excommunicating ourselves from the Orthodox Church to do so.

Issues of succession and transfer of Catholic Priests into a union with Orthodox is something that would be handled by the Patriarchs and most likely with a broad hand over the welcoming of the Catholic Church back into unity with the rest of the Jurisdictions. However, I know this is not the kind of unity that Catholics want or foresee. You are looking at us “returning” to be under Papal Supremacy, thus the Pope would have say in this matter over Orthodox priests. We are at an stalemate.

You’re right, in part because the jurisdictions, themselves, in the mind of Rome, can’t necessarily be effective at maintaining unity except within their own realms. In any case Rome does accept the Apostolic Succession of Eastern bishops and priests as valid, regardless of whether or not they do likewise.

We see Rome as another Jurisdiction; one that separated.

Funny… that’s what Anglican’s say about Catholics.

Individuals don’t have a guarantee of infallibility-that only resides in the Church:/I, in her Magisterium (teaching authority): the office of the papacy together with the bishops.

And that is another problem, ‘validity’.

Validity is not a word used by Orthodox, since it seems to be a part of Western Philosophy and we have a different philosophy.

Instead we speak of the Orthodoxy of an idea or practice. We ask is such and so is Orthodox and not if it is ‘valid’.

The difference between Eastern and Western mindsets is a huge obstacle to re union. along with the demand that we “submit”.

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