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BOC and RCC relations? - Dougherty - 13-02-2012

So i asked a question on and was told its really dependent on our Bishop. From my perspective the BOC is in a very unique situation compared to the rest of the Coptic Church. Ireland is a large percentage Catholic and major part of the island is out of reach to Orthodox church. As most of you know it is my goal to move to Ireland, I am curious if the BOC will seek to have some statement with the RCC? I am curious for two primary reasons. First those who may not be withing range of a orthodox parish, would it be okay to attend RCC mass(with or without communion), Secondly young adults/teens dating and unable to do so within Orthodoxy. I understand its not at the forefront of the Church's issues atm but im not sure how much of the British isles have established Orthodox churches in general but I do know this will become a crux once reaching into Ireland...

RE: BOC and RCC relations? - DanielM - 17-02-2012

Hi Antony.

There have been many Joint Statements between the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Roman Church. A month or so back there was a book fo these released, it can be read online here: Joint Statements between the Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches

The BOC works within this framework as part of the family of oriental Orthodox Churches, therefore these statements apply to us as well as the rest of these.

As for your comments on communion and Marriage,

1) Orthodoxy has always practiced closed communion. As St Justin martyr said "We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration and is thereby living as Christ enjoined." To practice open communion with Rome would be against the Orthodox Canons. In the end we are Orthodoxy, not some half-styles community which changes our ancient faith to make things easier based on the location. This was covered by Abba Seraphim in an article in Issue 97 of the Glastonbury Review. It is found here: Why Orthodox don’t practice Open Communion

Attending a Catholic Mass is OK in general (I am obliged to do this as part of working at a Catholic School and know many people in the Church with Roman Spouses do also) but communion is closed in Orthodoxy.

2) As for your second point on dating, I can only presume you mean to go on to marriage. This has the same problem as Communion, we quite simply do not practice open Sacraments. I know that the BOC is in this unique situation of being a very small community but this is no reason to 'lighten the load' given to us through our faith. As an unmarried member of the Church myself I admit that such a small community does make the concept of finding a wife far more diffiicult but can only suggest that we trust in God to provide either an Orthodox partner or one willing to put her faith in God's Church.

I hope these help.
In Christ,

RE: BOC and RCC relations? - Dougherty - 17-02-2012

actually i meant attending mass without partaking of the Eucharist...

RE: BOC and RCC relations? - DanielM - 18-02-2012

Ah ok, when you said 'attend RCC mass(with or without communion' I presume you meant to look at both.

There is no problem that I can see with attending a Catholic mass. I know many Orthodox that attend CofE or Catholic services sometimes. It is simply a metter of not forgetting to attend Orthodox when you can due to fulfilment of the Sacraments there such as confession and communion.

RE: BOC and RCC relations? - Dougherty - 18-02-2012

yeah i figured even here in US there are coptic "communities" that only have liturgy once a month, it would make sense to attend a catholic service the other weeks, i can see doing prayers at your house but i see to many possible distractions...

RE: BOC and RCC relations? - DanielM - 18-02-2012

There is either that or see if there is a Byzantine Church around. The Gregory and John Chrysostom liturgies are both derived from the St James liturgy we use, so it would not be as different as attending a Catholic Mass.

Also, the Sermon there would be from an Orthodox perspective, so less chance of crossed wires.

If that isn't possible I would say that any Liturgical Church service is fine, just make sure that you are keeping with study of the Faith and doing personal prayer.

RE: BOC and RCC relations? - dingdong - 25-11-2013

I know many Orthodox that attend CofE or Catholic services sometimes.