The past couple months have seen a frenzy of articles in Orthodox circles online that all seem to be asking this one question: Can you get a virus by receiving the Eucharist?
Rather than examining the arguments — pro or con — related to such a suggestion, I would like to ask a more practical question: is an official change likely to happen, either worldwide or even within one autocephalous church?
When one turns to the Church Fathers with these questions in mind, one thing that becomes apparent is that the Fathers did not find them pressing in the same way as we do today. Just as they took for granted that some will be eternally damned, so they assumed that there can be no repentance after death, at least of the thoroughgoing, “deep” kind that is essential to Christian life.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate recently published its document “For the Life of the World,” a kind of omnibus of positions on social questions, including morality, politics, and mission. It is unfortunately a deeply flawed document.
Christianity emerges as a system of interacting with understanding the world, described in teachings and lived by the actual human persons of every era. This way of thinking and seeing has been bred into the bones of every person born in the West for centuries, though today it may go unnoticed like the air which we breathe.
Over the course of writing my recently released book, Under the Laurel Tree: Grieving Infertility with Saints Joachim and Anna, I’ve had the honor of talking to individuals and couples from a variety of Christian backgrounds who have one thing in common: they struggle to integrate the reality of infertility with faith in a God who is supposedly life-giving. There are many…
On October 22, 1844 — exactly 175 years ago today — Jesus was supposed to come back. But then, He didn’t.
For the Christian, the union of our nature with Christ in His one Person, even that deified human nature that we receive in the Eucharist, unites us at this present moment with that pinnacle of history which is the Incarnation, and by it we are tied to our fathers and mothers of the old covenant.
The scriptures call us, rather than attempting to reframe the scriptures and tradition of the church within the context of the things which we as modern people “now know,” to reframe our own understanding of our lives, our personal histories, and the world as we encounter it in terms of the fullness of God’s creation and the reality of Jesus Christ himself.
Is it possible to receive an unbaptized person into the Orthodox Church without baptizing him? What would it mean to do such a thing? You might not expect a book about the Second Vatican Council to elicit such questions from Orthodox sacramental theology but Fr. Peter Heers’s 2015 doctoral thesis, published with the title The Ecclesiological Renovation of Vatican II (ERV2), does…