Why does the Church allow Eastern Orthodox (and one other church) to accept the Eucharist?

I’ve wondered, why does the Church allow a couple other churches that are not apart of the Roman Catholic Church to accept the Eucharist when they technically aren’t Catholic?

The Catholic Church can trace its roots back to the Apostles…the only other Church that also has Apostolic Succession is the Orthodox; therefore all their sacraments are 100% valid. Hope this helps. God Bless!

Those Who Are…
The Assyrian Church of the East, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Tehwado Orthodox, Eritrian Orthodox, and Eastern Orthodox are permitted communion because they have valid & licit sees, sacraments holy orders, and apostolic succession. Further, they believe the same basic dogmas as before the split in 1066.

The Polish National Catholic Church has valid apostolic succession; they have valid sacraments, holy orders, and sees. They are in formal schism, but maintain the orthodoxy of the faith in the same manner as the Orthodox do.

those in doubt
The Old Catholics used to be like the PNCC… but they have not all maintained the orthodoxy of their beliefs. They have valid orders for most of their men. But with the installation of women as bishops and priests, they now have much more potential to have invalid priests, deacons, succession, and sacraments. Since the 1970’s, they have protestantized a lot; some OC sects practice open communion, even. Some even have adopted heretical theologies.

Quite a number of vagante groups exist, as well. Most look like romans, but with a parish of under 50 people, and often a bishop and several priests and deacons. Some look like other churches… And they have this issue: Their apostolic succession may or may not be valid. It’s hard to tell, since they don’t have central records kept…

Not allowed but look like they should
The Mariavites of Poland (and the US, i believe) hold generally to orthodox belief except for the ordination of women. Their primate has been a woman. All ordained by her are invalidly ordained, including the male bishops. If one wasn’t aware of this, one might mistake them for traditionalists. Video of their masses shows them to be very reverent… but with women priests and bishops.

Evangelical Orthodox - If they reappear, the ones who didn’t come into communion with the Antiochian Church would still be protestants without holy orders.

Anglican Church, Episcopal Church, Methodist Church, Lutheran Church - Invalid orders. For centuries. In all three cases, if a valid priest uses their liturgy with intent to consecrate, it would be valid. In point of fact, the Anglican/Episcopal high-church liturgy is modified only slightly for use in the Catholic Anglican Use.

Actually I am of the opinion (but I can’t say for sure) that this was probably a ‘political’ decision to facilitate closer ties. The churches involved have been in dialogue with Rome for decades, and I suppose Aramis’s assessment is as close as we will come to understanding why the exception was made for some churches but not others.

Be aware that the agreement with the Church of the East (ostensibly Nestorian) was intended to be mainly for the benefit of Chaldean Catholics and Assyrian Orthodox to assist one another in a difficult pastoral situation, not really for Latin Catholics to present themselves before Asssyrian priests nor Assyrian Orthodox to present themselves before Latin Catholic priests.

For Orthodox of the Constantinopolitan traditions (Greek and Russian Orthodox, also Serbian, Bulgarian, Polish etc.), the laity are not in a position to take up the kind offer. For Orthodox the Holy Eucharist represent a unity of belief that is strictly interpreted, and to receive in a church that does not teach Orthodox theology exclusively would be a ‘cause of scandal’ (for lack of a better term) to the faithful. In other words it would be a sign that our two churches are equally correct and in full theological agreement and it would confuse the public about the seriousness of our theological disagreements.

The RC actually knows this is a more delicate issue for Orthodox, and it qualifies the offer of communion with the condition that the individual Orthodox should have the permission of one’s own bishop. This permission is ordinarily not forthcoming, although no offense is intended by it.

If those churches are allowed to participate in the Eucharist and have valid apostolic succession, then why aren’t they called Catholic? Why “Orthodox”?

Because they are not in union with the Catholic Church.

They are called “Catholic”, though generally not in mixed company due to the association with “Roman” by people who are not Orthodox.

So if they are not in union with the Catholic Church, why does the Catholic Church allow them to participate in the Eucharist as well as say that they have a valid apostolic succession?

What would be the basis for denying that they have valid apostolic succession?

Among Orthodox, the ‘Catholic’ is a given, so there is not a great need to emphasize it although it often shows up in the formal legal name of our churches. In a country like the USA, it can cause confusion with the RC and here on CAF we have been asked not to self identify as Catholics (for which reason some Orthodox will not post here).

Orthodox means ‘correct belief’, which is what is presumed to set apart Orthodox Catholics from others who would use the name.

We do share a common origin with the RC, and originally we were all in the same communion. Orthodox teachings are essentially the same as they were in the 9th and 10th centuries when the communion was whole, so everything the Orthodox positively teach is already something acceptable to the RC and part of it’s patrimony. The main difference is that the Orthodox do not have the additional dogmas the RC has added in the last 10 centuries.

This is entirely different from the Protestant situation, which when it broke with the RC literally and simultaneously abandoned it’s Orthodox past as well.

Hello Hesychios; It appears your definition of “Orthodox” may need more clarification, because you did not mention who the “Others” are?

The reason the title “Orthodox” was accepted in the East was to separate those Catholics who were in full communion with the Pope from the other Eastern Church’s who fell into heresy or became heterodox. Thus the term Orthodox was applied to those Eastern Catholics in full communion with the Pope so as to identify them from the other Eastern Church’s who mirrored them but were teaching heterodox =heresy.

What is presumed, is that all the other Church’s in communion with the Pope was already Orthodox without ever applying the new title.

Orthodox from its inception was not used to identify itself from the Pope, on the contrary, it was invented to show unity with all the other Church’s who remained faithful and did not teach heterodox.

If there is a new definition of how Orthodox is applied today is “new” and does not come from Orthodoxy when it was introduced to the Eastern Church’s.

Your opinion of defended apostolic teachings defined as binding on all believers when they came under attack, as being “added dogmas” is highly debatable.

The Orthodox does possess these apostolic teachings, but have not the history of defending them or in need of clarification to new worlds, new peoples and languages, thus you remain Orthodox.

Peace be with you

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