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?