When St. Alexis Toth was received into Russian Orthodoxy, was he re-ordained a priest?

Was there a formal ordination process as he was already a Ruthenian priest?

He was by Confession of Faith, Penance, and vesting in the Altar after the Cherubicon and concelebrating with the Bishop in San Francisco.

Read further: holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit10.html

The Orthodox Church in America
The Bishop of San Francisco and the West

650 Micheltorena Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026-3629
Telephone: (213) 913-3615; Facsimile (213) 913-0316
Thursday, March 13, 1997
Clean Thursday

Letter of Instructions #10

THE RECEPTION OF HERETIC LAITY AND CLERGY INTO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
by Bishop Tikhon

Bishop Tikhon references the following:
AN AID TO THE STUDY OF THE TYPIKON OF SERVICES
Of the Orthodox Church
By Konstantin Nikol’sky

Archpriest of the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos on Sennaya
Sixth Edition
Saint Petersburg. 1900
pp. 685-686
THE OFFICE OF RECEIVING A PRIEST OF THE ROMAN CHURCH INTO COMMUNION WITH THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH [1]

Such cases of uniting to the Orthodox Church are done according to the general office as outlined here.
The sponsor that is customary in this is chosen from among the Clergy.
There is no female sponsor.
Recognition of the person thus conjoined in the office of Priest requires a decision of the Holy Synod.
Before his admittance to service as a Priest, his conscience must be examined before a spiritual father, as in the case of one preparing for Ordination.
If examination reveals there is no canonical impediment for a blessing to serve, then, when the Hierarch arrives at the Church to celebrate the Divine Liturgy, the candidate comes with the rest of the clergy dressed according to the custom of Orthodox clergy and receives with them the Hierarch’s blessing, after which he goes to the Diaconicon and stays there, not vested, until the Cherubicon.
After the Cherubicon and the placing of the holy gifts on the Holy Table, he is led by Subdeacons, but not through the Holy Doors, rather within the Altar to the Holy Throne (Altar Table) and to the Hierarch, and he reverences him in the manner of one being brought to Ordination. And the Priestly vestments are brought and put on the one being received into the community of the Priesthood. The Hierarch blesses each piece of the vestments, and the one being vested kisses the Hierarch’s hand. And the Deacon says the verses for Priestly vestments, not as exclamations, but so that the one being vested can hear him. After this the one received into the community of the Priesthood receives the kiss of peace from the Hierarch and the rest, in the manner of one just ordained, and he stands with the rest of the Priests and takes part in the Liturgy and in the Communion of the Holy Mysteries. And from thence he has the same power to liturgize as an Orthodox Priest. [2] (Collection of the Opinions and Judgments of Metropolitan Philaret, volume V, pp. 952953.)

Forgot to respond to this, Thanks! St. Alexis Toth, pray for us.

Isn’t he a schismatic? How can we Catholics call him “Saint” ? I know the EO venerate him.

Do you venerate St. Isaac of Ninevah?

His three thesis found little acceptance by the Nestorians.

That’s very different. St Isaac can be compared to St. Gregory of Narek… Alexis Toth was a Catholic who split with the Church to Join EO. That is the definition of Schism. He is in league with Marcel Lefebvre, Mark Eugenikos (though never a Catholic, he worked tirelessly to maintain schism) and the bishops who started the Polish National Catholic Church.

I venerate a number of EO saints, I generally find the word schismatic to be a less than useful word also as while it is truthful it adds little to conversations between Catholics and Orthodox. I generally only use it at home when the missus really burns the cakes badly for example.

Yeah, and there’s a pretty compelling reason why he left Rome. Before Vatican 2, EC’s were treated like second class citizens. St. Alexis Toth was mistreated by Bishop John Ireland, who wanted to latinize North America. Simply labeling him as the “bad guy” is grossly simplistic.

Agreed. (My husband is Ruthenian and well acquainted with this sad saga.) The treatment of ECs - and especially their married clergy - was shameful.

St. Alexis was 100% in the right.

Whatever the reason, schism is a sin, a grave one, and nothing can justify sin. He forsook his faith to protect outward traditions. Yes our traditions are important but not to the point of denying your faith and committing schism. As scripture teaches us, listen to those who God has put over you.

His concerns were right, his actions were wrong and objectively sinful. Even the reformers had valid criticisms. Doesn’t make their actions right or the fact that they forsook their faith right either . He is not a Catholic Saint. The Catholic Church also allows veneration of post-schism eastern saints other than those who were outright schismatics of sympathizers of schism, hence we don’t venerate Mark of Ephesus.

I think that’s a bit simplistic. It was a difficult situation, and I’m not judging him, but switching from one side to the other is a serious matter. (Just ask the Orthodox about people who leave Orthodoxy.)

Peter J, I agree, it’s not simplistic–St. Alexis did the only thing a sane man would do, however…the correct decision. I definitely do not believe his actions to be “objectively sinful” as another commenter said–actually even the opposite! He put is life on the life for his flock. A true priest of God.

Wandile, St. Mark of Ephesus is venerated by many Byzantines, at least Melkites. Just search “Mark of Ephesus Melkite” in Google. (Note: I do not particularly venerate St. Mark personally, so no bias here). Is he in their liturgical calendar? If he is not, then I will assume he was forcibly removed as a Latinization, or willingly removed by the Melkite Church. There is an icon of St. Mark in the local Melkite church where I lived last year. I have read Melkite posters say “As far as St. Mark of Ephesus is concerned, I do not believe that he was in error, and I venerate him as a holy defender and pillar of Orthodoxy.”

And I must comment at “As scripture teaches us, listen to those who God has put over you.”–Good thing the Latin bishop was not over him in the first place :cool:

Although they both were admirable men, Alexis Toth and Mark of Ephesus are pretty much opposites: the first is an example of someone boldly switching “sides”, the latter an example of someone refusing to switch “sides” under extreme pressure to do so.

P.S. If you’re looking to make a comparison, I would suggest the modern situation surrounding the Anglican Ordinariates: you’ve got former Anglicans who were (practically) driven out of their old church, and you’ve got Rome making accommodation for them to come aboard (but without, of course, forcing them to do so).

I mean no disrespect but it doesn’t matter what you believe. What matters is what God and his church teach. Scripture teaches division is of the devil. It is not a fruit of God. That is why Schism is such a huge sin. To leave your communion for another knowing the Catholic Church to be true is at the very least the sin of schism, nevermind his renunciation of tenets of dogma make his act contain heresy too. It’s worse that he dragged his faithful into it too. The task of a priest is to be obedient to his Bishop, Patriarch and Pope. If you have a problem you appeal to a higher authority. Once the highest authority has decreed, the matter is closed. Divine obedience is required and any descent from that is a sin.

Wandile, St. Mark of Ephesus is venerated by many Byzantines, at least Melkites. Just search “Mark of Ephesus Melkite” in Google. (Note: I do not particularly venerate St. Mark personally, so no bias here).

Privately yes, some do, publicly (liturgically) they do not.

Is he in their liturgical calendar?

No he is not. Last I checked he wasn’t.

If he is not, then I will assume he was forcibly removed as a Latinization, or willingly removed by the Melkite Church.

It’s the latter. The Melkites understood what communion with Rome entailed. It’s ridiculous to venerate a man who supported schism with Rome. To venerate such a man while in communion with Rome is quite contradictory to say the least.

There is an icon of St. Mark in the local Melkite church where I lived last year. I have read Melkite posters say “As far as St. Mark of Ephesus is concerned, I do not believe that he was in error, and I venerate him as a holy defender and pillar of Orthodoxy.”

And that is the problem with Melkites these days. They do a disservice to their fathers who actually died for the Catholic Faith. The crypto-Orthodoxy within Melkite circles is frightening! It’s smacks of a serious case of cognitive dissonance and at worst it is a serious case of heresy amongst some Melkites. As the Melkite Bishop John Eliya once said, “We are Catholic! To be Catholic is not to be Orthodox!”. He said this after refusing to sign the Zoghby initiative which itself was rejected by Rome and the Antiochan Orthodox Church.

And I must comment at “As scripture teaches us, listen to those who God has put over you.”–Good thing the Latin bishop was not over him in the first place :cool:

Yes but canon law was at the time. And the Pope was over him as the holder of primacy in the Church. As much as I disagree with the decree Rome gave, once it was decreed, he was obliged to be obedient.

Funnily enough, there is at least one Eastern Catholic church which has a large icon of St Mark of Ephesus.
[edit] I see someone else has already mentioned that [/edit]

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