Receiving communion at Orthodox church?


#1

I was recently on retreat. One evening 5 or 6 of us guests and a brother from the house were discussing matters relating to Eastern Orthodoxy. Two statements were made that surprised me: one, that if no Catholic church is nearby one can attend mass and receive communion at an Orthodox church. The other was that Orthodoxy does de facto regard the teachings issued by Rome as the last word on any important subject, and that is why Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism have remained so close over the centuries.

Are these statements true?


#2

[quote=Tallow]I was recently on retreat. One evening 5 or 6 of us guests and a brother from the house were discussing matters relating to Eastern Orthodoxy. Two statements were made that surprised me: one, that if no Catholic church is nearby one can attend mass and receive communion at an Orthodox church. The other was that Orthodoxy does de facto regard the teachings issued by Rome as the last word on any important subject, and that is why Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism have remained so close over the centuries.

Are these statements true?
[/quote]

The Catholic Church has no objection to Catholics attending an Orthodoox Church and receiveing communion when a particular occassion recommends it. Orthodoxy welcomes Catholics who wish to participate in their Sunday worship at an Orthodox Church , but in general, does not admit Catholics to the Eucharist.

The rule on communion is known to be relaxed in certain Orthodox communities, namely those with a close cultural relationship (and often family intermixing) between the two Churches (Melkites-Antiocheans/ Ukrainians/ Syrians, etc. )


#3

I can’t speak to the second question, but to the first, the relevant Canon is:

Can. 844 §2 Whenever necessity requires or a genuine spiritual advantage commends it, and provided the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, Christ’s faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a catholic minister, may lawfully receive the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick from non-catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.

NB: This means it is okay with the Catholic Church if someone must receive the sacraments from the Orthodox. I am not sure the Orthodox are equally disposed. (Though §3 of the same canon allows Catholics to administer the sacraments to Orthodox faithful under particular circumstances)

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#4

it is ok for a Catholic to receive communion in an Orthodox church, however, Orthodox believe that ONLY Orthodox should have communion.

Also, the Orthodox regard many Catholic teachings as departures from the Apostolic faith(immaculate conception of Mary, papal infallibility, etc.), and they regard themselves as the one,holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, founded by Christ. the Catholic Church is a departure from that.


#5

[quote=Tallow]I was recently on retreat. One evening 5 or 6 of us guests and a brother from the house were discussing matters relating to Eastern Orthodoxy. Two statements were made that surprised me: one, that if no Catholic church is nearby one can attend mass and receive communion at an Orthodox church
[/quote]

Quick answer - No.

When you come up to the Chalice for communion the priest of a Russian or Serbian parish will know that he has not heard your confession the evening before. So he will ask you: have you been to confession today or yesterday? In the course of the quick conversation it will emerge that you are not Orthodox and he will politely decline, and probably invite you to come to the lunch after Liturgy, meet the parishioners and discuss your spiritual path.

Here is something useful.

My First Visit To An Orthodox Church

12 Things I Wish I’d Known

http://www.stmichaelsgeneva.org/Twelve%20Things%20I%20Wish%20I’d%20Known%20About%20the%20Orthodox%20Church.htm

Tinyurl: tinyurl.com/6pkng


#6

[quote=katherine2]The rule on communion is known to be relaxed in certain Orthodox communities, namely those with a close cultural relationship (and often family intermixing) between the two Churches (Melkites-Antiocheans/ Ukrainians/ Syrians, etc. )
[/quote]

The Melkites proposed communion with the Orthodox and were soundly rebuked by Rome.

The Antiochian Orthodox rejected it.

In October, 1996 the Holy Synod of the Antiochian Orthodox Patriarchate issued a statement which included these concerns on the Melkite proposal:

"In this regard, our Church questions the unity of faith which the Melkite Catholics think has become possible. Our Church believes that the discussion of this unity with Rome is still in its primitive stage. The first step toward unity on the doctrinal level, is not to consider as ecumenical, the Western local councils which the Church of Rome, convened, separately, including the First Vatican Council.

“And second the Melkite Catholics should not be obligated to accept such councils. Regarding inter-communion now, our Synod believes that inter-communion cannot be separated from the unity of faith. Moreover, inter-communion is the last step in the quest for unity and not the first.”

In a letter to the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America concerning communion for Melkite Catholics, Metropolitan Philip who leads the Antiochian Archdiocese in America also said:

“Please be advised that, while we pray for unity among all Christians, we cannot and will not enter into communion with non-Orthodox until we first achieve the unity of faith. As long as this unity of faith is not realized, there cannot be intercommunion. We ask you to adhere to the instructions which you receive from our office and hierarchs.”

That there is a lot of disinformation circulating on this matter. Some of it stems from statements made at theological symposia which people accept as being official statements but in fact they are only proposals from theologians.


#7

[quote=Fr Ambrose]Quick answer - No.

When you come up to the Chalice for communion the priest of a Russian or Serbian parish will know that he has not heard your confession the evening before. So he will ask you: have you been to confession today or yesterday? In the course of the quick conversation it will emerge that you are not Orthodox and he will politely decline, and probably invite you to come to the lunch after Liturgy, meet the parishioners and discuss your spiritual path.

[/quote]

This does not change the fact that there is limited inter-communion going on between some of the Orthodox jurisdictions and some Catholic parishes.

If you wished to recieve communion I would suggest that you talk with the priest before the start of the Liturgy and let him know that you are Catholic.

If he has no problem with it then recieve.


#8

Yes, that is true on both counts. Rome has stated clearly that Orthodox Sacraments are valid Sacraments. Most Orthodox accept Rome’s judgement, the “Primacy of Rome” and even the Pope’s authority the “Primacy of Peter” in a limited way.


#9

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