Communion between Orthodox Churches

My question is about the communion between Orthodox Churches. If I could see a chart or list of which Churches are out of / in communion with each other (especially those that split before 1054) that would be awesome. Thanks.

Which Orthodox Churches do you mean? If you’re referring to the Eastern Orthodox & Oriental Orthodox Churches, the split between those two Churches happened after the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD & is one of the saddest & least discussed schisms in Christian history in my opinion.

If you mean Churches within the Eastern Orthodox (or Oriental Orthodox) Church, all Orthodox Christians can receive communion after being properly prepared (involving prayer, fasting, & confesion). I can receive communion in the Georgian Orthodox, Antiochian Westeen Rite Orthodox (& have), ROCOR Old Ritual Orthodox, or Alexandrian Orthodox Churches, etc, but I cannot receive the gift of the eucharist in an Oriental Orthodox church except if there is no other option, or ever in a Catholic church.

There are some breakaway groups from Orthodoxy as well. I could not receive communion from the Old Believer communities of Russia, the Old Calendarist breakaways from my Greece (and now the US), or the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the so-called Kyivan Patriarchate. Those are the main breakway groups that stick out in my mind.

Despite the common misnomer, I have seen the Church of the East erroneously been called “Assyrian Orthodox,” but that is not the case. In fact, the differences in belief between the Assyrian Church of the East & the two Orthodox Churches are numerous. There is no shared communion between us, but if memory serves right, there is limited shared-communion between the Assyrian Church of the East & Catholicism, which I find a bit odd but then again I’m neither Assyrian nor Latin so the ruling is none of my business.

I agree. Most people think the first break was in 1054

This is more the question I was asking. So, even in rare circumstances, you CAN?!?!

So they don’t communicate with either Orthodox group? And you are right about the agreement. Basically, as I understand it, the teachings of each group since the schism has merged and we realized that it was all just a big misunderstanding :smiley:

You will find a convenient list in the Wiki article Eastern Christianity.

It all depends. The priest of the Armenian Apostolic parish closest to me who is a great man said that he would commune an Eastern Orthodox Christian if they approached the chalice during the Badarak (Divine Liturgy) if they admit to being properly communed & confessed as they/we would have to be in our own churches. There is a common pattern in the United States & Western Europe of Ethiopian immigrant joining Eastern Orthodox parishes & when Ethiopian parishes are opened, not all leave. Such is the case I’ve seen at a Russian Orthodox parish in the Netherlands (it might’ve been Rotterdam) & in my chaplain’s home parish in Maryland. I don’t know if they were received with a profession of faith, chrismation, or anything at all. Conversely, many of our priests would forbid it. One of my own parish priests even still believes that the Oriental Orthodox are Monophysites. Conversely, at that same parish, an Oriental Orthodox bishop visited & he was allowed to sit behind the altar (not the bishop’s throne) but I don’t think he was allowed to commune. I personally would commune at an Oriental Orthodox church, but if the presiding priest or my own priest said no, then I would respect their decisions. There might come a time when I’ll have to; I’m planning on visiting Burma in the near future & the only Orthodox church in the entire country is an Armenian one. I doubt many Eastern Orthodox priests would object to that, but I’m sure some might. This is not an easy question to answer. Sometimes I fear that my enthusiasm for the Oriental Orthodox Church & my belief in our unified beliefs is the same as well-meaning but incorrect Catholics who say that my Church & the Catholic Church have the same beliefs and that reunion is just around the corner. Because of this & the respect I have for the Oriental Orthodox Church, I accept that as of now, we are two different Orthodox Churches & reunion has not happened yet.

The Assyrian Church communicates with both sides, but it doesn’t commune us. I believe that I have heard that they do not believe the same thing as either Orthodox Church in regards to communion, so I wouldn’t want to (although when I was in the middle of Arizona I was invited to an Assyrian church; if I had woken up on time I would’ve gone since there was no way for me to find an Orthodox parish). Every big Church these days communicates with each other, but that doesn’t mean the talks are going anywhere.

I don’t actually think I was right about it. Your Church’s Chaldean Patriarch asked the Assyrian Catholicos to join the two Churches together & the latter declined, stating that they didn’t believe the same thing. It depends on which Churches you mean are part of a one big misunderstanding. There is one between the Eastern & Oriental Orthodox Churches, I’ll give you that. Between either Church & the Assyrian Church, I’d say no; the latter is an outlier in its beliefs. In terms of either Orthodox Church & the Catholic one, I’d say definitely not; there is no mountain of misunderstanding between us, only a chasm of different beliefs.

I had not seen that yet. It was helpful.

I meant commune, sorry.

Also, thanks for the detailed answer. I hope and pray full communion becomes a reality for both Orthodox Churches, in addition to an Orthodox and Catholic one. Maybe the former could happen at the upcoming Holy and Great Pan-Orthodox Synod in 2016. That would be a joyous day indeed!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.