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MP Recognizes Roman Mysteries

VERTOGRAD
Orthodox Journal
Newsletter No. 76, Wednesday, October 21, 2009. 02:43 P.M.
A MEMBER OF THE HOLY SYNOD OF THE MP STATES THAT HIS CHURCH RECOGNIZES ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTERIES

“To all intent and purposes, mutual recognition of each others Mysteries already exists between us. We do not have communion in the Mysteries, but we do recognize each others Mysteries”, declared Archbishop Hilarion (Alfeev) on the air during a broadcast of the program “The Church and the World” on the television channel “Russia”, on October 17th (video and text http://vera.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=237432).

“If a Roman Catholic priest converts to Orthodoxy, we receive him as a priest, and we do not re-ordain him. And that means that, de facto, we recognize the Mysteries of the Roman Catholic Church”, explained Archbishop Hilarion.

Responding to the question of whether Roman Catholics can receive Communion from the Orthodox, or Orthodox Christians from the Roman Catholics, Archbishop Hilarion said that such giving of Communion should not take place, inasmuch as “eucharistic communion has been broken” between the Orthodox and Roman Catholics. But, at the same time, he made clear that in some cases such Communion is possible: "Exceptional cases occur, when, for example, a Roman Catholic is dying in some town where there is no Roman Catholic priest at all in the vicinity. So he asks an Orthodox priest to come. Then in such a case, I think, the Orthodox priest should go and give Communion to that person."

Archbishop of Volokolamsk, Vicar of the Patriarch of Moscow, is the Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations, and a Permanent Member of the Holy Synod of the MP. Archbishop Hilarion is a member of the Executive and Central Committees of the World Council of Churches, of the Presidium of ‘Faith and Order’ Commission, as well as of numerous bilateral theological dialogues. In 1998 he headed the 5-member Moscow Patriarchate delegation to the 8th WCC Assembly in Harare, and in February 2006 headed the Moscow Patriarchate's 21-member delegation to the 9th Assembly in Porto-Alegre. Bishop Hilarion is a permanent member of the Joint International Commissions for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, between the Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church, between the Orthodox Church and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

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