"Individual" Full Communion for a Greek Orthodox & Roman Catholic?

I know of someone who has spent a couple of decades praying and studying the Greek Orthodox Church & Roman Catholic Church both current authors and ancient fathers trying to decide which of them is the “True” Church and during that time has converted to both at different times and has admittedly failed to progress spiritually because of the overwhelming confusion and going back & forth. The priests in each tradition, naturally, have advised theirs is the " True" Church and is what should be attended. This person even tried multiple different Eastern Catholic Churches through out the years.

With the recent visit of the Pope to the Ecumenical Patriarch and with Roman Canons allowing inter-communion, this person had revealed to me that they’re is seriously considering forgetting about which is “True” participating fully in both Faiths.

The question is, for someone stuck in this situation for decades, can they, or should they, simply be in full communion with both by regularly going to Confession, regularly attending both Mass & Divine Liturgy, maintaining stricter of the Fasts, attending holy days in both, keeping the Prayer Hours, daily praying both the Rosary & Jesus Prayer - essentially just fully practice both Faiths daily (so progress in each could be made) rather than continuing to do a 180 toggling back & forth every few months? Why, or why not?

Which Orthodox communion and Church? There isn’t “one” monolithic ‘Orthodox Church’ with a whole, visibly identifiable, ecclesial unity into which the baptized could enter. You refer to the Greek Orthodox Church, true particular communions whom I deeply admire and respect, but these are a substantial minority in the world (both anciently and presently) of Orthodox churches and communions.

Moreover, the stronger, more anciently-grounded communions who claim to be the purest in apostolic lineage, doctrinal purity and finality of ecumenical judgement-- only ever present, ultimately, an in-differentiable case. For, the issues as to the truth of whole ecclesial reconciliation, when raised consistently by such respective ecclesiologies, almost immediately beg dozens of the very essential, dogmatic questions requisite to being able to claim to speak as the True Church, and so ultimately aren’t reconcilable even with the common dogmatic sources all assent to. And so, even these Orthodox communions (none of whom are in full Eucharistic communion with all the others) only ever produce equally-weighted, though incomplete, claims to ultimate apostolic authority (viz-a-viz the other autocephalous communions at issue).

The problem is (and again–even as to the doctrines/sources that all of the Orthodox communions would ultimately not object to–as there is also significant, problematic disunity even here): dogmatic Christian teaching denies that either all primates, or only a select few (say only the highest in Patriarchal honor), are equal in ultimate Spiritual authority, jurisdiction, succeeded office or judgement at ecumenical council. The reason these systems appear as though their claims to being the One True Church are labyrinths without an exit, is that they are in fact endlessly-circular mazes without a solution.

Pope St. Hormisdas, pray for us and for the complete unity of all Christians in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church sent to be set over every nation.

Pax

The question is, for someone stuck in this situation for decades, can they, or should they, simply be in full communion with both by regularly going to Confession, regularly attending both Mass & Divine Liturgy, maintaining stricter of the Fasts, attending holy days in both, keeping the Prayer Hours, daily praying both the Rosary & Jesus Prayer - essentially just fully practice both Faiths daily (so progress in each could be made) rather than continuing to do a 180 toggling back & forth every few months? Why, or why not?

What? :confused:
I don’t believe I have seen so much misinformation in a single post before. Neither did it address the question asked by the OP

If he has two confessors, one RC and one EO, and both agree, then wouldn’t that be his answer?

How is what you suggest even possible? For one, it would be considered mortally sinful in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches to take Communion in the other respective Church, second the person would have to confess having taken the Communion in the other Church every time they went to confession, and third would have to confess having gone to confession in the other Church as well. Then the priest wouldn’t even be able to grant absolution in either case since the person would still plan to go back to the other. My head is spinning from this one! Basically, it’s not possible at this point in time. He can only receive the sacraments from one of the Churches.

No, it’s not possible. Even though we strive for full communion, he cannot currently receive the sacraments of one Church without it technically being mortally sinful in the other. :frowning: The only way I could imagine him getting away with something of the sort is to choose one to take the sacraments in while only attending the liturgy etc. for the other without actually taking the sacraments.

No, what you describe is not possible. Even though we strive for full communion, he cannot currently receive the sacraments of one Church without it technically being mortally sinful in the other. :frowning: The only way I could imagine him getting away with something of the sort is to choose one to take the sacraments in while only attending the liturgy etc. for the other without actually taking the sacraments.

Nothing I said was untrue. And sure it did. She asked whether someone should chose to go to a Greek Orthodox Church, and/or a Catholic Church because the person was deeply searching for the One True Church for years, asking all the questions to each, without finding clear ability to make a judgement call on their pedigree. ('What ought a person so unsure do ’ while having said “can they, or should they,” . . and I’ll add that I answered as to many other possible communions bc that too might not be clear.)
I walked through my experiences as to the same to give my answer as to how one could begin to possibly “can” / might believe they “should” act on claims to true orthodoxy/heterodoxy; how these claims might be judged valid; how they are parsed for relevance; and how they ‘can’/‘cannot’ possible by made legitimate viz-a-viz the One True Church. I break down specific communions to eliminate options in the pool of discernment-- It was directly relevant to the post and substantially covered the first part and (hoped the inference would be made . .) as to the answer to the second on mutli-Church sacramental participation: different communions often entail different sacramental privileges. It depends on the Church/communion of churches and how one views the others viz-a-viz the universal Church.

I’m having trouble finding anything that indicates that the Catholic Church teaches that it is mortally sinful for a Catholic to take communion at an Orthodox Church, or vice versa. The Code of Canon Law says outright that if an Orthodox Christian asks for communion and “is properly disposed” that it may be granted by the Ordinary. catholic.com/quickquestions/what-is-the-rule-is-for-non-catholics-to-receive-the-eucharist

Exactly! :thumbsup:

That sounds like what the someone of the OP was referring to :slight_smile:

What are your thoughts on the O.P.?

You don’t need to “break down communions.” The OP only asked about two, the Orthodox and Catholics, the largest and second largest communions in the world.

The someone of the OP has related that the spiritual father (Orthodox) insists on doing nothing Catholic period and that there isn’t an equivalent in the Catholic Church to a spiritual father in the Roman Catholic; however, the someone of the O.P. also says Catholic Church teachings themselves include some kind of condemnation (eternal condemnation?) for a person who was at one time a Catholic, but left the Catholic Church.

I’m not sure about the Catholic rules, but the someone of the O.P. has been studying all this for decades.

What are your thoughts on the O.P.?

I think that the OP’s friend is overthinking. In the end, it isn’t very practical to try to be both, and there’s a good chance that one priest or the other will have a problem with the situation (more likely the Orthodox, though I know of an Orthodox priest that doesn’t mind sharing the Eucharist with Catholics - shhhh!). I don’t think it would be right to hide the fact from one church or the other. I strongly doubt that on the friend’s death, Christ will come down on them for picking “the wrong one”. The differences in actual faith are pretty minor, IMHO, though practices vary.

What are your thoughts on the OP?

I agree with you. God is merciful.

I know what I think but my mouth gets me in trouble sometimes, especially on spiritual matters. So I’d rather not comment on a person’s specific situation. :slight_smile:

My Grandpa was in the seminary in the 50s and the priests even back then allowed the seminarians to take Communion in the local Orthodox church. Even still, I said what I said above because I just don’t see how it could work and I honestly believe in the books somewhere by at least one of the churches that such a thing would be considered sinful since the intent of the person is to keep going to both churches all while taking sacraments in both. I thought we could only take Communion in an Orthodox church in an emergency, and even then the Orthodox priest probably wouldn’t give it to us if they knew we were Catholic. We may allow Orthodox to take Communion in our Churches in hopes of their conversion. And trying to see both a Catholic and Orthodox priest for confessions would be a headache; they might not grant absolution if they knew the person intended on going to the other church etc. and of course nothing could be hidden as it would invalidate the confessions. This is one of the few times where it would be nice if I were wrong; hopefully someone can come along and prove me wrong.

There are too many factors to determine what is right for an individual. His priest(s) will let him know, if they don’t know, their bishop(s) can direct them.

There are instances where ‘going back and forth’ isn’t by choice (such as the situation in Iraq, or Syria, or much of the world) but by necessity. Whether this individual’s spiritual state qualifies as “necessity” is not up to any of us to judge.

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