Should the Orthodox Church Allow Marriage to Heretics?

Patristic theology, and traditional teachings of Orthodoxy from the Church fathers of apostolic times to the present.

Moderators: Maria, phpBB2 - Administrators

User avatar
Jean-Serge
Protoposter
Posts: 1345
Joined: Fri 1 April 2005 4:04 pm
Location: Paris (France)
Contact:

Re: Should the Orthodox Church Allow Marriage to Heretics?

Postby Jean-Serge » Wed 24 September 2014 9:08 am

By the way, the Church of Georgia forbids mixed marriages.
Priidite, poklonimsja i pripadem ko Hristu.

User avatar
Lydia
Member
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu 20 December 2012 2:44 am
Faith: Russian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ex-HOCNA and searching

Re: Should the Orthodox Church Allow Marriage to Heretics?

Postby Lydia » Fri 26 September 2014 3:07 am

Jean-Serge wrote:
Lydia wrote: What I do know from my own experience is that virtually all of the heterodox spouses eventually converted and, in most cases, became even more pious than the Orthodox spouse. I have come to understand that True Bishops are guided in their decisions by The Holy Spirit, even though these decisions seem contrary to the canons of The Holy Church. As I said, in my experience many Roman Catholics and Protestants have been united to The Orthodox Church by marriage.


How many succesful cases do you know? Because, it would be interesting to look into the acts of the parish to see the number of these marriages and the outcome. Since you are orthodox, you will know the succesful cases but not the other ones, simply because these are persons that no longer came to church or left the church. Just a remark, one is nver united to the church by marriage, but by baptism.


Yes, you're right Jean-Serge.
I know 3 cases off hand, because they happen to be part of my family.
So, 3 souls, as well as their progeny, are united to The Church.
As I said, the Bishops made the decisions for these specific people, in a specific time and place. I believe that true Bishops are guided by The Holy Spirit.

User avatar
Jean-Serge
Protoposter
Posts: 1345
Joined: Fri 1 April 2005 4:04 pm
Location: Paris (France)
Contact:

Re: Should the Orthodox Church Allow Marriage to Heretics?

Postby Jean-Serge » Fri 26 September 2014 9:12 am

True bishops also make true errors... unfortunately... even on pastoral matters. They could have also done a civil wedding and wait until the spouse converts, which would not have debased the orthodox marriage.
Priidite, poklonimsja i pripadem ko Hristu.

User avatar
Maria
Archon
Posts: 7737
Joined: Sat 12 June 2004 12:39 am
Faith: True Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOC
Location: USA

Re: Should the Orthodox Church Allow Marriage to Heretics?

Postby Maria » Fri 26 September 2014 4:56 pm

Jean-Serge wrote:True bishops also make true errors... unfortunately... even on pastoral matters. They could have also done a civil wedding and wait until the spouse converts, which would not have debased the orthodox marriage.


According to Father Alexander Schmemann in his book, For the Life of the World, the common cup was allowed for mixed marriages soon after Christianity became tolerated in the Roman Empire because the Church was entrusted with performing these mixed marriages and the cup only contained blessed wine and not the Eucharist.

A "civil wedding" performed by a certified representative of a secular government such as a mayor or a justice of the peace would not be a religious ceremony at all. Furthermore, an Orthodox Christian participating in such a "civil wedding" would not be allowed to receive any of the Holy Mysteries until his wedding was blessed in the Orthodox Church.

However, as has been previously stated, use of the Holy Chalice and the words in the Crowning Ceremony prove that from antiquity, it was the Chalice of Salvation, the Holy Eucharist, which was originally shared between the bride and groom. And for this to happen, both spouses needed to be Orthodox Christians in good standing.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.

JamesR
Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon 8 April 2013 11:10 pm
Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA (but considering Traditional Orthodoxy!)
Location: NorCal

Re: Should the Orthodox Church Allow Marriage to Heretics?

Postby JamesR » Thu 2 October 2014 11:59 pm

liefern wrote:What should the Church actually do, do you think? What's the pastoral answer? Just consider an area temporarily lost and start again with monastic settlements and evangelization by example?


If it were up to me, I'd recommend some form of semi-arranged kinda "mail order" spouse system where Orthodox people are connected to other Orthodox people from across the globe and can then marry and be united with the one that they fall in love with. Given the advent of the internet I think that it is very much possible. Perhaps the Orthodox Church can use the internet to connect parishes together worldwide and thus work out some way for potential spouses to meet each other.
"'Blessed are the peacemakers' For those are peacemakers in themselves who, in conquering and subjecting to reason all the motions of their souls and having their carnal desires tamed, have become in themselves a Kingdom of God."-St. Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)

JamesR
Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon 8 April 2013 11:10 pm
Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA (but considering Traditional Orthodoxy!)
Location: NorCal

Re: Should the Orthodox Church Allow Marriage to Heretics?

Postby JamesR » Fri 3 October 2014 12:05 am

Jean-Serge wrote:True bishops also make true errors... unfortunately... even on pastoral matters. They could have also done a civil wedding and wait until the spouse converts, which would not have debased the orthodox marriage.


This is another good point. In Orthodoxy we are all connected and united to each other via the Sacraments. We each compose the Body of Christ and are part of one big organism--in a way, an Icon of the Trinity since we are each different & unique, and yet still united & one.

Dispensing a Mystery to a non-Orthodox person such as Matrimony is an insult not only to the Mystery itself, but to every believing Orthodox person because it unites US to someone who is not Orthodox. It harms us in a mystical way as well by yoking us to someone we should not be yoked to. It harms not only the persons involved, but each and every one of us. I have enough problems as it is that I don't need my Orthodox brethren giving me even more problems by uniting me to someone who we are not supposed to be united to. I think every believing Orthodox person should be appalled over interfaith marriage since it affects each and every one of us.
"'Blessed are the peacemakers' For those are peacemakers in themselves who, in conquering and subjecting to reason all the motions of their souls and having their carnal desires tamed, have become in themselves a Kingdom of God."-St. Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)

JamesR
Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon 8 April 2013 11:10 pm
Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA (but considering Traditional Orthodoxy!)
Location: NorCal

Re: Should the Orthodox Church Allow Marriage to Heretics?

Postby JamesR » Fri 3 October 2014 12:10 am

Lydia wrote:I know that after the Second World War, when Russians were scattered throughout the world, The Metropolia and ROCOR would marry Orthodox to Heterodox spouses rather than letting their sons and daughters fall into sin by denying it. This was the decision of the Bishops at the time. What I do know from my own experience is that virtually all of the heterodox spouses eventually converted and, in most cases, became even more pious than the Orthodox spouse.


This is where I feel perplexed. Obviously we need to be reasonable about today's circumstances and can't be Pharisaic, but at the same time, where do we draw the line between ekonomia and outrightly violating the faith? Similarly, I'm hesitant toward the "allowing-it-so-they-don't-fall-into-a-greater-sin" logic. I don't think that allowing a lesser sin or evil in place of a greater one is a good idea. Sin is sin no matter what, and if we truly believe in the Incarnation and deification of the world, then we shouldn't need to resort to conceding to sin in order to solve the problems we face. That'd be like saying we should allow consensual prostitution so that our hormonal teenage boys don't rape an un-consenting woman, or self-abuse so that they don't fall into fornication. The fact of the matter is that conceding to sin is a very slippery slope that we need to consider very seriously before doing.
"'Blessed are the peacemakers' For those are peacemakers in themselves who, in conquering and subjecting to reason all the motions of their souls and having their carnal desires tamed, have become in themselves a Kingdom of God."-St. Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)


Return to “Theology and Tradition”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests