Question for Orthodox


An EO Mission in my city has broken off from its diocese and bishop and it claims to have an ‘open altar’ policy where it says that any priest from any EO diocese with the blessing of their Bishop can come to perform Divine Liturgy.

Ive been told by its former Superior Abbott to stay away from this Mission and that ‘open altar’ policy is not acceptable in the Orthodox church.

Do you guys agree with that? have you heard of this policy?

here is a page on their website

If it’s broken away from it’s bishop, then it is no longer within the Orthodox Church.

If there is no bishop, there is no church.

I can see, and understand what they are trying to do (or assume I do), getting away from any of the ethnic identities which being part of a Church carries, but it just can’t be done that way.

Yes they seem to have no Bishop anymore but their policy says any Bishop from any diocese may grant their priests to perform DL

So whichever priest went there he would mention his Canonical Bishop in the DL

Have yous heard of this happening before?

I dont know if maybe its acceptable to have this policy and that Bishops from whichever diocese may send priests there ?

I looked up ‘open altar’ policy and it seems some Anglican churches have this where any Christian ‘who loves Jesus’ may recieve the Eucharist

I used to go to this mission sometimes and i know that during the DL they used to allow commemeration of non Orthodox also ,usually the EO churches i know the priest is not allowed to do that

The trick here, Paul, is that no Orthodox bishop is going to grant their priests permission to serve at an uncanonical/schismatic mission. An above the board mission or church will not hesitate to name the bishops they are connected to, for instance Coptic Mission in Africa under HG Bishop Paul or the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States under HG Bishop Youssef (where my church is located). If you can’t find that information anywhere, there’s something fishy going on and you should probably avoid it.

No canonical bishop means not Orthodox, end of story. The Church literally depends on the bishop, without whose permission, the Eucharist may not be celebrated.

I’ve never heard of a group actually splitting from their bishop and then declaring anyone can come.

Where did you hear that they broke from their bishop, because I can’t see anything on the website saying that - and it is a major thing. There were a few indications of ROCOR affiliation there, but nothing substantial. It would be quite possible (though unusual) for a parish without a priest to open its altar to any Orthodox priest with the blessing of its bishop.

I am aware of one other parish, also called Holy Cross, which doesn’t make much of who it is affiliated with, but which is under a proper canonical bishop.

The former Superior Abbot from another monastery said they(the administrator) cut dealings with him and all priests who used to visit and serve there

Yes it was with Rocor ,here is the announcement ,click on it to enlarge

i wonder if other churches like the Antiochean or serbian whichever may accept this policy and still send priests there to serve

i wouldnt be surprised ,as in this city many different EO churches have disagreed on things before

Well, if they have no bishop then they aren’t Orthodox. Their building may still be fine for services, but the members of that parish aren’t in communion with the Orthodox Church.

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