||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||





Bishop Alexander of the Russian Orthodox church



"I posted this on Usenet to answer this question. Catholics, please don't be offended by the categorization of Byzantine Catholicism as 'Orthodox-like' and 'outside Orthodoxy' because I simply am repeating the near-consensus among Orthodox groups, writing originally for a largely Orthodox readership. I hope this overview is fair.


The broadest working definition of 'Orthodox' is: those episcopal (governed by bishops who claim apostolic succession), sacramental, liturgical Churches that use the Byzantine liturgical rite, canon law, etc., hold to the seven ecumenical councils from Nicæa in the 300s to Nicæa II in 787 and are not presently in communion with the Pope of Rome, after a gradual estrangement in the early Middle Ages. Missing from this definition are the small experimental Western Rite churches some groups have, mostly made up of former Episcopalians in the US.


The stricter, catechetical definition of 'Orthodox' would narrow this to the Churches recognized by all the other Orthodox Churches as independent (self-headed or autocephalous, usually headed by a patriarch) and with whom they are in communion. This communion of Churches and their dependent (mission) churches makes up the Orthodox Church. There are splinter groups that fall outside these strict parameters, like the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, an exile group formed after the Russian Revolution, and various Greek and other groups founded to protest the use of the Gregorian calendar by their countries' Churches, but few people say they are not Orthodox. (ROCOR is in the Orthodox communion thanks to its tie to the Church of Serbia. The groups not in communion with any Orthodox church are, technically, non-Orthodox.)


As for Orthodox-like groups outside Orthodoxy, these fall into two categories:

  1. Byzantine Catholics (including the Melkites and Ukrainian Catholics) and

  2. Vagantes.

The former once were Orthodox but partly on their own and partly due to Catholic proselytism broke their ties to their mother Churches and were put under the Pope starting in the 1500s. These Churches once were convert-making tools used by Catholics to hurt the Orthodox but that policy, called 'Uniatism', now has been discarded. There is some confusion among Orthodox and Catholics alike about the status of the BCs and what exactly they believe in. Are they exactly like Orthodox only in communion with the Pope? The BCs I know personally hold this. Or are they now sui generis, something unique that is no longer Orthodox? Other BCs and a lot of Orthodox hold this. Are they full Churches like the Orthodox or just appendages of the Roman Catholic Church? Again, you'll get different answers depending on who you ask. Do the postschism Roman definitions of dogma apply to them? If they accept Orthodoxy in full, then the definitions aren't necessary.


The second group is the ragtag bunch of tiny churches that exist largely on paper and on the Web (few real members and practically no generational members) and on the fringes of the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, from whence its people come. They often call themselves 'Old Catholics' (not to be confused with the actual Old Catholic sect in Germany and Holland) but recently, adopting some Eastern trappings piecemeal and liking the decentralized, nonpapal ecclesiology of the real Orthodox, have taken to passing themselves off as Orthodox. You often will find a weird mix of liberalism with a liking for traditional ritual.


And on close inspection, underneath the vestments and the fancy titles they affect, you find the real reasons why they broke with their original church, like active homosexuality, wanting to ordain women, etc. They make much of their 'lines' of apostolic succession, sometimes false, and something real Orthodox, who emphasize the communion of the Church more than lineage, don't do."


Who we are:


John Beeler, known in some quarters online as Serge and more recently the Young Fogey, is the owner and editor of A Conservative Blog For Peace, has lived in the eastern US for 15 years and keeps an eye on the war in Iraq and other peace and justice issues (too important to be left to the liberals), issues of liberty, some British and Russian doings (he is an amateur Russian speaker) and the church Catholic in general.


Samer al-Batal, a born Eastern Christian who belongs to the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, is originally from Syria and lives in Montreal.


John Boyden, our traditional Roman Rite member, has known John Beeler in person for 15 years and lives in Rome and sometimes in London. (Photo: John, right, gives TV travel-show presenter Rick Steves, left, a tour of the Vatican.)


Dave McLaughlin, a Sept. 11 World Trade Center survivor and Irish Gaelic speaker (Daithí Mac Lochlann) who worships at St Michael's Russian Catholic Church, lives in New York. In January 2005 Dave stepped out and started his own blog, The Gaelic Starover.


Lee Penn, a Russian Catholic after being an Episcopalian for about 20 years, lives in San Francisco.



Fr. Neketas S. Palassis, Canonical Churches: What Does It Mean?, 12/2003, Orthodox Christian Witness, Seattle, WA:


     "A new definition has crept into World Orthodoxy in recent years.  World Orthodoxy has begun to recognize Orthodox Churches on the basis of their being 'canonical.'  By this newly accepted definition [actually, innovation], to be canonical a church must be in full communion with Constantinople.


    "...But how did the understanding of the term 'canonical' change?  Canonical had meant observing the Holy Canons of the Church, especially those that relate to the beliefs and practices of the Church.


    "Because of wars and political turmoil in the 20th century, the administrative structure of the Church became disorganized, most especially in the 'Diaspora.' 'Mother' Churches or ethnic churches sought to preserve Orthodoxy by preserving its 'canonical' organization, i.e., the organization described by the Holy Canons for dioceses and synods.  Unfortunately, in the organizational struggle for external order, the canons relating to the doctrines [unity in Faith] were overlooked, aided by a syncretistic and anti-dogmatic spirit prevalent at the time.  An external administrative union was imposed in order to preserve the Church's unity, with all parishes bonded under one headquarters [recognition by and communion with Constantinople].  The traditional understanding of the canons was set aside.  The interpretation of the Holy Canons has thus become a selective response predicted by the contemporary moral and irreligious scene.


     " What makes one 'canonical'?  Is it not the adherence to what has been taught everywhere, at all times and has been believed by everyone?


     " Not one canon of the Orthodox Church teaches that one has to be in communion with Constantinople (or any other 'ancient see') in order to be canonical or Orthodox." 



Decree 11 of the Synod of Jerusalem: 1672, The Acts and Decrees of The Synod of Jerusalem, 1899, J.N.W.B. Robertson, Thomas Baker Publisher, London:


     “We believe to be members of the Catholic [Orthodox] Church all the Faithful, and only the Faithful; who, forsooth, having received the blameless Faith of the Savior Christ, from Christ Himself, and the Apostles, and the Holy Ecumenical Synods, adhere to the same without wavering; although some of them may be guilty of all manner of sins.”  



The Onion Dome, website:


     “You might be Orthodox, if …

…When you find yourself instinctively drawn into jurisdictional chaos, your respond: ‘I don’t believe in organized religion, I’m Orthodox.’”



Timothy (Bishop Kallistos) Ware, The Orthodox Church, 1963/67, Penguin Books, Baltimore, MD:

     “...there is room in Orthodoxy for many different cultural patterns, for many different ways of worship, and even for many different systems of outward organization.

     "Yet there is one field in which diversity cannot be permitted.  Orthodoxy insists upon unity in matters of the faith.  ...for Orthodoxy looks on the faith as a united and organic whole." 



The Holy Gospel According to Saints Mark 9:37-40 and Luke 9:49-50:


     Jesus says: “‘…whosoever shall receive Me, receives not Me, but Him that sent Me.’  And John answered Him, saying, ‘Master, we saw one casting out demons in Your Name, and he follows not us; and we forbade him, because he follows not us.’  But Jesus said, ‘Forbid him not; for there is no man who shall do a miracle in MY Name, that can rightly speak evil of Me.  For he that is not against us is for us.’”



Saint Ireneaus (130-202 AD.), Prescription Against Heretics, Vol. III, p.258, Chapter 32:


     “…those churches, who, although they derive not their founder from apostles or apostolic men (as being of much later date, for they are in fact being founded daily), yet, since they agree in the same faith, they are accounted as not less apostolic because they are akin in doctrine.”



 Gleb Alexandrovitch Rahr/Prisoner R (Russian) 64923, Orthodox Christian Laity:


     “Pascha in 1945 in Dachau Concentration Camp.  They did not care about jurisdictions then!!”



George W. Grubb, MA, ThM, The Complete Book of Orthodoxy, 2001, Regina Orthodox Press:


     “Apostolic Succession - “the line of order and faith from the original Apostles to the present-day hierarchy of the Church. Orthodox teaching states that valid succession is not imparted through the simple ‘laying-on-of-hands.’ This ‘laying-on-of-hands’ must be accompanied by the maintenance of the Faith. In other words, succession is valid only when at least two authentic bishops impart the consecration (lay-on-hands), and the candidate promises to believe and teach what the Church believes.”


Prof. Constantine Cavarnos*, On Validity and Canonicity, Orthodox Tradition, Vol. 5, Orthodox Christian Information Center (www.orthodoxinfo.com):


     “Apostolic Succession is not understood in the Orthodox Church in a legalistic way.  …Apostolic Succession without an adherence to the Canons and beliefs of Orthodoxy has no meaning.


     “…In essence, then, we judge the validity of any Orthodox group by its possession of Apostolic Succession, its adherence to basic Canons, and, in the cases of Churches in resistance that are separated from their Mother Churches (and even condemned by their Mother Churches), by the Patristic foundation, canonical justification, and sincerity of their resistance.”


*[Prof. Constantine Cavarnos: graduate Harvard University,

  Fullbright scholar; lecturer to St. Tikhon Orthodox Seminary,

  etc.; President, Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek

  Studies; advisor, Center for Traditionalist Orthodox




Saint Chrysostom (347-407), Homily 9 on 1 Timothy:

     “There is not much separating them [the presbyters] and the bishops.  For they too are elevated for the teaching and protection of the Church …  They [the bishops] surpass them only in the power of ordination, and in this alone exceed the presbyters.”


 Saint Irenaeus (c.180 AD.):

     “…the presbyters who are in the church – those who, as I have shown, possess the succession from the apostles.  For they are those who, together with the bishops, have received the certain gift of truth, according to the good pleasure of the Father.”





Canon 1 of the Canons of St. Basil the Great:


     “Heresies is the name applied to those who have broken entirely and have become alienated from the faith itself.  Schisms is the name applied to those who on account of ecclesiastical causes and remediable questions have developed a quarrel amongst themselves.” 


     Interpretation of Canon 1 of the Canons of St. Basil the Great, Ss. Nicodemus and Agapius:


     “Schismatics were those who were at variance with the catholic Church, not on the subject of dogmas of the Faith, but on account of certain ecclesiastical easily adjustable questions.” 


     “…some bishops in parts of Asia accepted their baptism, for the sake of economy and concession (or condescension), and not as a matter of strictness and rigorousness, on the theory that schismatics are still members of the Church.  …And since we have accepted also the ordination performed and the bishops thus ordained by the Encratites, with this acceptance we have actually thereby made what amounts to a Canon, and have shown that they are not separated from the catholic Church.”   


Fr. Michael Azkoul, The Orthodox Word, May-June 1970, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North and South America:


     There is a “distinguish[ment] between ‘heresy’ – theological departure from the Faith – and ‘schism’ – an administrative departure.  Although heretics are not members of the Church, schismatics retain their membership (Const., Canon 7).  Thus, violation of canon law which may, in some instances, lead to schism does not necessarily involve apostasy.  To break a canon law may be impious, but in itself it is not heretical.” 


 Patrick Henry Reardon, A Reply to Fr. John Morris: Concerning His Review of My Book, The Non-Orthodox, 1999, Regina Orthodox Press, Salisbury, MA; Orthodox Christian Information Center, www.orthodoxinfo.com:


     “…it can be discerned in the corpus of Patristic writings, clear cut.  As stated in the aforementioned Decree XI from the Synod of Jerusalem [1672], as well as in Article 5 from the Patriarchal Encyclical of 1848 (quoted in my book), those who do not profess the Orthodox Faith, ‘whoever they be’ (1848), are heretics, outside of Christ’s Church.  Period.  This is a position reflecting the Church’s traditional ecclesiology.


     “…Whether the heterodox may be saved is indeed a mystery.  …from Holy Scripture and the writings of various Fathers, …we can rightly have such hope concerning them.  And if various heterodox are granted life eternal according to the mysterious and all-wise counsel of God, then no doubt they are made members of the Church Triumphant.  But concerning the Church Militant, the focus of my book, we cannot answer as did Nicholas Zernov (an Orthodox representative at an ecumenical discussion who responded, ‘I do not know,’ when asked by an Anglican, ‘Are we, according to your opinion, inside or outside the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?’”).  


*[Patrick Barnes’ received the recommendation of Antiochian 

  Archdiocese Bishop Basil (Essey) as being “very succinct (and

  correct)” in the “Ask Sayidna” column of the 01 May 2001

  issue of Cross & Quill, a publication of the Antiochian

  Orthodox Department of Christian Education.]


Saint Cyril (315-386 AD.) of Jerusalem, Procat., 7:

     “None but heretics are re-baptized, because their former ‘baptism’ was no baptism.”


Canon 68 of the 85 Canons of the Holy Apostles:

     “If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon accepts a second ordination from anyone, let him and the one who ordained him be deposed.  Unless it be established that his ordination has been performed by heretics.  For those who have been baptized or ordained by such persons cannot possibly be either faithful Christians or clergymen.”


Dr. Alexander Kalomiros*, Against False Union, chapters 28-30: Orthodox Ecclesiology, 1963 (English edition, St. Nectarios Press, Seattle, WA, 1990):


     “The notion that the interruption of jurisdictional dependence of a local church from a patriarchate cuts this church off from the Orthodox Church is not Orthodox but Papal.  …the existence of jurisdictional dependence of churches upon one patriarch is of Papal inspiration.  An Orthodox patriarch is a president, a coordinator of efforts, an adviser of great importance, but he is not a despot, not a sovereign.” (Canon 34 of the 85 Canons of the Holy Apostles)   


                      *[Dr. Alexander Kalomiros of Blessed Memory, renown contemporary

Greek lay theologian.  Against False Union first appeared in Greek (1963), and was acclaimed for its clarity and sincerity wherever read. The fathers of the Holy Mountain consider it God-inspired and recommend it highly. The chapters in ecclesiology and eschatology are unparalleled -(St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology).  Prologue written by Photios Kontoglou of blessed memory (1895-1965), who played a major role in the glorious return of traditional Byzantine iconography to the Greek Orthodox world in the twentieth century. He was also an accomplished chanter and a spiritual writer who inspired countless souls to embrace the unadultered traditions of the Orthodox faith.]


“Schism”?  Or, more to truth: “Walled Off” - by larger, older, desperately competing and politically motivated self-estranged sister churches?



Saint John Chrysostom (347-407 AD.), Homilies on Colossians, Homily 3:


     “…Aaron was not smitten with leprosy. For why, tell me, when both [he and Miriam] had spoken against Moses did she alone suffer the punishment? (Numbers 11)  Marvel not: for in worldly dignities, even though ten thousand charges be laid against a man, yet is he not brought to trial before he has laid down his office, in order that it may not be dishonored along with him; much more in the case of spiritual office, be he whosoever he may, the grace of God works in him, for otherwise everything is lost: but when he hath laid it down, either after he is departed or even here, then indeed, then he will suffer a sorer punishment.


     “…If the throne of Moses was of such reverence, that for its sake they were to be heard, much more the throne of Christ.  It, we have received by succession; from it we speak; since the time that Christ hath vested in us the ministry of reconciliation.”


Saint John Chrysostom, quoted from The Rudder, 1793, Ss. Nicodemus and Agapius:  


     “God does not ordain all men, even though they themselves are unworthy, in order that the people may be saved” (Homily 2 on 2 Timothy, Vol. 4, p. 337).  “Because grace operates through the unworthy not on their account, but for the sake of those who are destined to be benefited” (Discourse on 1 Thessalonians, Vol. 4, p. 216).  “But now, it must be said, God is wont to operate also through unworthy persons…” (Discourse 8 on 1 Corinthians, Vol. 3, p.290).  “God’s grace is also operative in an unworthy person, not for our sake, but for your sake” (Discourse 3 on the Epistle to the Colossians, Vol. 3, p. 107).


Saint Symeon (d. 1429) of Thessalonica, Reply 13 


     “in regard to ordination grace operates in them, whether they are prelates or priests, for the salvation of those coming to church; and all the mysteries they celebrate are in very truth mysteries.  …such men, who, whether they sinned before the ordination or after the ordination.”


Saint John Sergiev of Kronstadt, 1829-1908, My Life in Christ, 1994, Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY:


    “…in the sacraments everything is accomplished for the sake of the grace of the priesthood with which the priest is invested, for the sake of the great High Priest Himself – Christ.  Whose image the priest bears upon himself.  Therefore, although some priests are even unworthy of their office, though, they have weaknesses, though they may be suspicious, incredulous, or distrusted, nevertheless God’s Mystery is speedily accomplished, in the twinkling of an eye.”


Interpretation, Canon 9 of the First Ecumenical Council, The Rudder, 1793, Ss. Nicodemus and Agapius:  


     “…a catholic and general axiom that all who have been ordained contrary to the Canons and unworthily, are nevertheless true priests until they are deposed by a council of synod.  Because, as divine Chrysostom says, ‘God does not ordain all men, but He does act through all men, even though they themselves are unworthy, in order that the people may be saved’ (Homily 2 on II Tim., p. 337 of Vol. IV).  And again: ‘Because grace operates through the unworthy not on their account, but for the sake of those who are destined to be benefited’ (Discourse 11 on 1 Thess., p. 216 of Vol. IV).  And again: ‘But now, it must be said, God is wont to operate also through unworthy persons, and the grace of baptism is in no respect injuriously affected by the life of the priest’ (Discourse 8 on 1 Cor., p. 200 of vol. iii).  Moreover, in Discourse 3 on the Ep. To the Col., p. 107 of vol. iii, he proves this by means of numerous arguments, among which he says these things too: ‘God’s grace is also operative in an unworthy person, not for our sake, but for your sake.’”



Prof. Constantine Cavarnos, On Validity and Canonicity, Orthodox Tradition, Vol. 5, Orthodox Christian Information Center (www.orthodoxinfo.com):


     “Ordinations by uncanonical groups in Apostolic Succession and in the early Church even the ordinations of some heretics (as in the Iconoclastic period), are not repeated in the Church.  Rather, ‘chierothesia,’ or the imposition of hands is utilized, the acting Bishop or Bishops asking that whatever it might be that is absent from the ordination be corrected, or that past misbelief be forgiven.”



 The Holy Gospel According to Saint John 3:8:


     “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.  So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  According to Orthodox Tradition teaching, it is precisely the Holy Spirit that makes a person a member of the Church of Christ, a Christian.


Archbishop Elias Zoghby of Baalbeck-Lebanon, We Are All Schismatics, 1981/1996, Diocese of Newton Educational Services, West Newton, MA:


     “Recall, that just as, in cases where baptism cannot be administered, ‘baptism of desire’ is a real baptism, and equally produces salvation, the same may be said for an ecclesiastical ‘communion of desire.’  In cases where the Churches, who share the same faith substantially, do not want or could not achieve full communion, this desire is equally a real communion and removes the schism for the one who wants it.”



Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia, Greek Orthodox Church-Constantinople, Communion and Intercommunion, 1980, Light & Life Publishing, Minneapolis, MN:


     “Unity is to be understood not in juridical … terms.  Unity is not imposed from above by some heirarch or administrative center endowed with supreme power of jurisdiction.”



 Dr. Alexander Kalomiros*, Against False Union, chapters 28-30: Orthodox Ecclesiology, 1963 (English edition, St. Nectarios Press, Seattle, WA, 1990):


     “The meaning of catholicity has nothing to do with a universal organization the way the Papists and those who are influenced by the Papist mentality understand it.


     “…in order to understand what the catholic Church of Christ is, it suffices to know well only one local church.  And as among men, it is not submission to a hierarchy which unites them but their common nature, so the local churches are not united by the Pope and the Papal hierarchy but by their common nature.


     “A local Orthodox church regardless of her size or the number of the faithful is by herself alone, independently of all the others, catholic.  And this is so because she lacks nothing of the grace and gift of God.  All the local churches of the whole world together do not contain anything more in divine grace than that small church with few members.


     “…relations with the other local churches are not relations of legal and jurisdictional interdependence, but relations of love and grace.  One local church is united with all the other local Orthodox churches of the world by the bond of identity.


     “…communion with and respect for one church on the part of the other churches remains and continues only as long as that church remains in the Church, that is, as long as it lives and proceeds in spirit and truth.”    


                      *[Dr. Alexander Kalomiros of Blessed Memory, renown contemporary

Greek lay theologian.  Against False Union first appeared in Greek (1963), and was acclaimed for its clarity and sincerity wherever read. The fathers of the Holy Mountain consider it God-inspired and recommend it highly. The chapters in ecclesiology and eschatology are unparalleled -(St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology].




The Onion Dome website:


     “A conversation that takes place all across North America, near daily:

     Born-Orthodox: ‘So, you converted to Orthodoxy?’

     Convert: ‘Yes.’

     Born-Orthodox: ‘Why would you do that?  I myself was born  

       Orthodox, and I’ll die Orthodox.  I’d never leave my religion.’  

     Convert: ‘And out of curiosity, how often do you go to Liturgy,


     Born-Orthodox: ‘Never.’


The Holy Gospel According to Saint Matthew 23:24:

     “Blind guides!  You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!”


Saint Ambrose (d. 1891), Spiritual Teachings from the Optina Elders:


     “As soon as you condemn someone, say to yourself, ‘Thou hypocrite, first remove the beam out of thine own eye (St. Matthew 7:5).’  The beam in the eye is pride.  The Pharisee had all the virtues, but he was proud; but the Publican, however, had humility, and was better.”



Prof. Constantine Cavarnos, On Validity and Canonicity, Orthodox Tradition, Vol. 5, Orthodox Christian Information Center (www.orthodoxinfo.com):


     “…in fact, the SCOBA (Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in America) is essentially a political organization comprised of American jurisdictions which have largely the same attitudes towards ecumenism and modernism in the Church.


     “…Thus, if the SCOBA determines who is canonically Orthodox, political, not actual canonical and ecclesiastical criteria, will prevail.  This is hardly Orthodox.  …Moreover, a group of Bishops which establishes itself as a self-validating agency is subject to a few questions in and of itself.  Neither are we subject to a single Pope or papacy in the form of a collegial system.


     “…On the other hand, some Churches in resistance have set themselves up as the judges of all other Orthodox, distorting their resistance to various ills in the Church and setting up a kind of sectarian mentality.  “We are the only Orthodox.”  “Only we have Grace.”  …Sectarian claims to ecclesiastical or spiritual primacy violate the catholicity of Orthodoxy and do little to commend groups that make such claims to the sober Christian.


     “…It is neither in so-called ‘official’ bodies formed by Bishops of the various national Churches in America, nor in the ranks of those separated from such bodies in various resistance movements, that we can find proper criteria for determining Orthodox validity.  In either case, political and personal considerations, not spiritual ones, are bound to dominate.”




Archbishop Chrysostomos* of Enta, Review of The Price of Prophecy by Fr. Alexander Webster, Orthodox Tradition, Vol 14:


     “There is no such thing, of course, as ‘canonical’ Orthodox jurisdiction, despite the fact that this kind of terminology has crept into our ecclesiastical vocabulary from the West.  Nor are there ‘official’ Orthodox Churches, a category produced by the contemporary ecumenical movement.  Were this so … we would have to concede that the Cappadocian Fathers, the Studite monks, and the Palestine Hesychasts were in some way ‘quasi-canonical’ and ‘un-official.’”


*[Archbishop of North America, Orthodox Church of Greece Holy Synod in Resistance; Fulbright Scholar; Princeton University doctorate graduate; visiting research appointments at Harvard Divinity School & Oxford University; adjunct faculty member of Ion Mincu University, Bucharest; and Senior Scholar at the Center for Traditional Orthodox Studies.]



Union” and “Unity

Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos of Nafpaktos, Orthodox Church of Greece, The Mind of the Orthodox Church, Chapter 2:


     “…there are people who speak of the union of the Churches.  But this term is worthless theology.  We cannot speak of union, but of a unity of faith.


     “…Some people who speak of union of the Churches use to satiety Christ’s archpriestly prayer … (John 17:20-22).  But if anyone reads the whole text attentively, he will discover that Christ is not referring to a union of the Churches which will come about in the future, but to the union of the Disciples which will come about on the day of Pentecost, when they will receive the Holy Spirit.”


Rev. Fr. Seraphim Nassar, 1031 AD., Divine Prayers and Services of the Catholic Orthodox Church of Christ, 1979, Antiochian Archdiocese of North America:


     “Now since the Church is one, and that oneness consists primarily and universally in perfect agreement in Orthodox doctrines, it necessarily follows that all those who do not conform to those Orthodox doctrines, whether by addition or omission, or by innovation of their own, thus changing the truth, are outside this one Holy Church….”



Saint John Chrysostom, Commentary on Acts 10:2:

     “…if He did not overlook the Magi, nor the Ethiopian, nor the thief, nor the harlot, much more them that work righteousness, and are willing, shall He in anywise not overlook.”



The Holy Gospel According to Saint John 6:37-38:

     “Everyone that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and anyone who comes to Me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me.”



Saint Gregory the Theologian, Funeral Oration on his Father, 373 AD.: 


     “Even before he was of our fold, he was ours.  His character made him one of us.  For, as many of our own are not with us, whose life alienates them from the common body, so, many of those without are on our side, whose character anticipates their faith, and need only the name of that which indeed they possess.”


Prof. Constantine Cavarnos, On Validity and Canonicity, Orthodox Tradition, Vol. 5, Orthodox Christian Information Center (www.orthodoxinfo.com):


     “True Christianity demands … We are judged more by our sincere intentions than by our inadvertent and unintentional errors.  This is as it should be in a religion of love and forgiveness.


     “…you are covered by your intentions and by the quality of your spiritual lives.  You are NOT new Orthodox and your five years of experience in the Church have no doubt taught you much from which you can draw.


     “…matters of the Christian heart and conscience are not subject to formal pronouncements or canonical interpretation.  They belong solely to the realm of God, ‘Who alone knows the hearts of men.’


     “…the faith of a single individual , Orthodox or not – here we must exercise the greatest possible latitude.  Here we must forgo all judgment.  God alone knows who is Orthodox in his heart.  God alone knows his saints.  God alone knows who will and who will not be saved!”



Hieromonk Cassian, A Scientific Examination of the Orthodox Church Calendar, 1998, Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies:


     “…any Orthodox who thinks that the Faith must be ‘corrected’ proves that he does not wish to obey his Holy Mother, the Orthodox Church, but rather that he desires to ‘reform’ Her; that is, he does not accept Her as she is, protesting instead against Her essence. Such an individual may be called a ‘reformer,’ a ‘Protestant,’ or whatever, but he may not be properly called Orthodox.  An Orthodox is one who observes diligently and immutably the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church, which long ago sanctified the externals of our Faith, releasing us from the need to ‘reinvent’ these externals.” 



Very Rev. Dr. Michael Azkoul, Introduction, Augustine of Hippo: An Orthodox Christian Perspective, 1991, Edwin Mellen Press/Synaxis Press, Dewdney, BC, Canada:


     “The Orthodox Church is a church which lives by holy Tradition.  This Tradition is ‘the faith once delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3).  Christ is the author of that Tradition, saying to His Apostles, Go, therefore, and teach all nations … teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have taught you. …(Mt. 28:20).”


     “…He who seeks to ‘improve’ or ‘extend’ holy Tradition is proud, a vice which the Orthodox Church has never fostered.”

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||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||

||    Prayer of the First Hour    ||    Third Hour    ||    Sixth Hour    ||    Ninth Hour    ||    Vespers (Eleventh Hour)    ||    Compline (Twelfth Hour)    ||    The First Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Second Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Third Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Prayer of the Veil    ||    Various Prayers from the Agbia    ||    Synaxarium