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To: Calvin Coollidge
Some jurisdictions have adopted a very narrow interpretation of the rule that the Mysteries do not exist outside the Church and firmly reject any grace in Roman Catholic and all other heterodox sacraments. They typically baptize all converts to Orthodoxy. Others (this is the more moderate position and also by far the more common one in Orthodoxy) are more discerning and will receive converts from other Christian confessions which have performed some form of baptismal ceremony using water, the Trinitarian Formula and whose understanding of baptism is the same as or very close to Orthodoxy's by confession, profession of faith and Holy Chrismation.

So, cutting to the chase, you avoid "double baptism" either by claiming that nobody can baptise except the Orthodox, or by not baptising converts from the Catholic Church or from Protestant denominations that you recognise as having an (O|o)rthodox view of baptism. The latter is essentially the Catholic approach. The Catholic "conditional baptism" is used with converts from Protestant ecclesial communities with dubious recordkeeping or dubious theology.

He basically asked me "Why? Do you think God doesn't know if someone was already baptized or that we are not attempting to repeat baptism?"

lex orandi, lex credendi ... OF COURSE God knows what's going on. He's God. The point is to make sure WE know what we're doing, and to make explicit what we're doing and what we're not doing. We believe that "double baptism" is a heresy/blasphemy ... so we make sure not to even look like we're doing one. See again the Donatist heresy for historical background.

78 posted on 09/11/2006 12:48:23 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
"So, cutting to the chase, you avoid "double baptism" either by claiming that nobody can baptise except the Orthodox, or by not baptising converts from the Catholic Church or from Protestant denominations that you recognise as having an (O|o)rthodox view of baptism."

We absolutely teach that there are no Mysteries outside the Church. That said there is a difference of opinion within Orthodoxy as to just where that line is drawn. No Orthodox Church has said that the RCC's sacraments have grace. A few have said firmly they do not. Most look at the situation and say "We don't know for sure."

(IMO) Based on my reading of the fathers and the canons of the early Church the RCC probably has retained at least on some level the grace of The Church. But I have read powerful arguments on both sides of that issue.
84 posted on 09/11/2006 1:10:50 PM PDT by Calvin Coollidge (The last really great president.)
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To: ArrogantBustard; Calvin Coolidge
So, cutting to the chase, you avoid "double baptism" either by claiming that nobody can baptise except the Orthodox, or by not baptising converts from the Catholic Church or from Protestant denominations that you recognise as having an (O|o)rthodox view of baptism

There is no confusion here. Either a person is baptized in the eyes of the Church oir (s)he is not. The Nicene Creed says "I recognize one Baptism for the remission of sins." We repeat this every Sunday.

The Orthodox Church determines if a particular Catechumen was baptized or not. If it is determined that he or she was baptized but that the Mystery of Baptism is incomplete, it is completed by Holy Chrismation (anointing with oil).

The Orthodox Church has been practicing this for more than the last 1600 years. By the way, the same formula (Hoy Chrismation) is applied not only to Oriental Orthodox converts, but to Arians. It is a formula for those who once belonged to the Church but became heretics. For historical and political reasons, at one point, the Catholics were denied Holy Chrismation (confirmation) and re-baptized. Some still do, depending on how an individual received baptismal Mysteries (sprinkling or immersion).

For those who have never been in the Church (i.e. Protestants), Baptism is almost a given, since they are considered never to have been baptized (i.e. received any Mysteries, even if deficient) for all the good theological reasons stated by Calvin.

100 posted on 09/11/2006 1:52:09 PM PDT by kosta50 (Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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