The 19th Canonical Answer of Timothy of Alexandria: On the History of Sacramental Oikonomia

On 28 September 1971, the ROCOR Council of Bishops convened in Montreal determined that non-Orthodox were to be accepted into the Church only by baptism. In this manner, the traditional Russian practice (except during the period of 1620 to 1667) which did not require Catholics and some Protestants to be baptized was set aside, and the practice confirmed by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1765 was adopted. In this article the author considers how the exposition of sacramental oikonomia presented in the document is consistent with the Orthodox canonical tradition, reviewing an array of texts and authorities in various regions of Eastern Christianity, ranging from late antiquity to the first half of the twentieth century.

Links

Andrei Psarev, The 19th Canonical Answer of Timothy of Alexandria: On the History of Sacramental Oikonomia

Ukaz of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on the Baptism of converts from the West. 15/28 September 1971

The critique by Vladimir Moss of Fr. Geogres Florovsky’s argument in the article ‘The Limits of the Church’

Audio recording of Deacon Andrei Psarev’s presentation on oikonomia  at the Sourozh Conference,  England, June 1, 2013

3 thoughts on “The 19th Canonical Answer of Timothy of Alexandria: On the History of Sacramental Oikonomia”

  1. Уважаемый о. Андрей, очень признателен Вам за статью. Собранный и проанализированный Вами материал весьма интересен, а выводы – вполне убедительны. Я думаю, что скорейшее появление русского перевода статьи на Богослов.ru можно было бы только приветствовать. Вместе с тем мне по ходу чтения встретились некоторые места, нуждающиеся, на мой взгляд, в корректировке или дополнении. Ниже перечисляю свои замечания, которые, надеюсь, будут полезны Вам. 1. Каноны Василия Великого лучше было бы цитировать по изданиям Joannou и Бенешевича (в т. 1 `Древнеславянской кормчей`). 2. По поводу цитаты из статьи Дж. Эриксона (что канон Карфагенского собора 256 г. в византийских рукописях обычно находится в конце святоотеческих канонов). В поздневизантийских рукописях, где содержатся каноны с комментариями канонистов XII века, этот канон встречается довольно часто и помещается обычно среди канонов поместных соборов (если хотите, могу привести примеры). Я не занимался этим вопросом специально, а просто обратил внимание на данный канон, когда изучал рукописную традицию толкований Зонары. 3. Книгу правил я бы не назвал `кодексом` канонического права. Она (как и Синагога Иоанна Схоластика, Номоканоны 50 и 14 титулов и прочие сборники канонов, за исключением разве что Синтагмы Властаря) является примером не кодификации, а инкорпорации канонов. Разница, грубо говоря, в том, что при инкорпорации существующие источники права (напр., каноны) объединяются и упорядочиваются по каким-то критериям (время издания, юридическая сила, предметы регулирования). При кодификации же происходит достаточно серьезная _переработка_ норм права, содержащихся в источниках, и создание принципально нового источника права (где нормы всегда систематизированы по предметному критерию). В Книге правил, конечно, ничего подобного нет. 4. В случае с канонами Тимофея следовало бы учесть, что у Бенешевича изданы только первые 15 правил (ДСК I, 541-546) – и греч. оригинал, и слав. перевод. А. Выбус опубликовал также сирийский перевод правил Тимофея (с англ. переводом), и там их тоже насчитывается 15 (CSCO 367, p. 140-143 – текст; CSCO 368, p. 138-141 – перевод). Эти факты подтверждают тезис о позднем происхождении всех остальных правил. 5. Относительно Пидалиона и `Афинской синтагмы`. Ралли и Потли, действительно, во многом ориентировались на текст Пидалиона (который, в свою очередь, зависит от `Синодикона` Беверегия, где, между прочим, издано 18 канонов Тимофея), но, с другой стороны, внесли в него ряд изменений и дополнений, основываясь, прежде всего, на знаменитой Трапезундской рукописи 1311 года. 6. Думаю, было бы полезным составить сводную таблицу нумерации канонов Тимофея (и Пс.-Тимофея) по всем изданиям греч. текста и, м.б., славянского, румынского и других переводов. 7. Недавно появилось новое издание Кормчей св. Саввы: Законоправило светога Саве / Приред. и прев. М. М. Петрови , +. Ш. ор еви . Београд, 2005. [К .] 1 (не факсимильное воспроизведение одной рукописи, как в издании 1991 г., а обычное научное издание текста; 15 правил Тимофея – с. 585-587). 8. Насчет Книги правил и ее отношения к Пидалиону есть недавняя (2007 г.) статья митр. Павла (Меневисоглу). Она есть у меня в эл. виде, если хотите, могу прислать Вам. 9. По поводу так называемого 7-го канона II Вселенского собора можно было бы еще сослаться на CPG 5983 (там указаны, в частности, издания сирийского перевода этого текста). Это, конечно, мелочи, и они не ослабляют общего положительного впечатления от Вашей статьи. С пожеланиями дальнейших успехов в научной работе, А.Б.

  2. My attention had just been drawn to you, as I had come across your article which appeared in the St. Vladimir’s Seminary Quarterly in 2007 and which clarified various aspects of what was then (and still is) a very timely issue. It also provided some interesting information — I had no idea that Grabbe was Khomiakov’s great-grandson! And do you realize that the article cites the work of two hieromonks who are presently at our monastery — Steven Strikis (now Fr. Photios) and your humble servant? I really did enjoy translating Fr. Kiprian’s impressions of a very complex hierarch who had such a great impact upon his life. Of course, this is developed even more fully in Metropolitan Evlogy’s book.

  3. I have a question regarding your oikonomia paper. How do read these quotes from Pope Sts. Leo and Gregory I:

    Pope St. Leo the Great ca. 400-461

    For they who have received baptism from heretics, not having been previously baptized, are to be confirmed by imposition of hands with only the invocation of the Holy Ghost, because they have received the BARE FORM of baptism WITHOUT the power of sanctification. And this regulation, as you know, we require to be kept in all the churches, that the font once entered may not be defiled by repetition, as the Lord says, One Lord, one faith, one baptism. And that washing may not be polluted by repetition, but, as we have said, only the sanctification of the Holy Ghost invoked, that what no one can receive from heretics may be obtained from Catholic priests. (Letter 159.8)

    Concerning those who have come from Africa or Mauretania and know not in what sect they were baptized, what ought to be done in their case ?
    Reply. These persons are not doubtful of their baptism, but profess ignorance as to the faith of those who baptized them: and hence since they have received the form of baptism in some way or other, they are not to be baptized but are to be united to the Catholics by imposition of hands, after the invocation of the Holy Spirit’s power, which they COULD NOT receive from heretics. (Letter 167: Question 18)

    St. Gregory the Dialogist ca. 540-604

    And indeed we have learned from the ancient institution of the Fathers that whosoever among heretics are baptized in the name of the Trinity, when they return to holy Church, may be recalled to the bosom of mother Church either by unction of chrism, or by imposition of hands, or by profession of the faith only. Hence the West reconciles Arians to the holy Catholic Church by imposition of hands, but the Eastby the unction of holy chrism. But Monophysites and others are received by a true confession only, because holy baptism, which they have received among heretics, THEN acquires in them the power of cleansing, when either the former receive the Holy Spirit by imposition of hands, or the latter are united to the bowels of the holy and universal Church byreason of their confession of the true faith. Those heretics, however, who are not baptized in the name of the Trinity, such as the Bonosiaci and the Cataphrygæ, because the former do not believe inChrist the Lord, and the latter with a perverse understanding believe a certain bad man, Montanus, to be the Holy Spirit, like whom are many others—these, when they come to holy Church, are baptized, because what they received while in their error, not being in the name of the Holy Trinity, was not baptism. Nor can this be called an iteration of baptism, which, as has been said, had not been given in the name of the Trinity. But the Nestorians, since they are baptized in the name of the HolyTrinity— though darkened by the error of their heresy in that, after the manner of Jewish unbelief, they believe not the Incarnation of the Only-begotten— when they come to the Holy Catholic Church, are to be taught, by firm holding and profession of the true faith, to believe in one and the same Son of God and man, our Lord God Jesus Christ, the same existing in Divinity before the ages, and the same made man in the end of the ages, because The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us Jn. 1:14. (Epistles, Bk. 11: Epistle 67)

    This is not a challenge but it seems as though they are expressing a filling of a empty form view, or a ‘energized with reconciliation with the Church’ view.

    St. John Moschos ca. 550-619

    Saint Athanasios, the Pope of Alexandria, was once asked whether a person could be baptized whose beliefs were not in accordance with the faith and preaching of the Christians, and what would be the fate of — or, how would God receive — somebody who had been baptized under false pretenses and had simulated belief. Athanasios replied: ‘You have heard from those of old how the blessed martyr, Peter, was faced with a situation in which there was a deadly plague and many were running to be baptized for no other reason than that they feared death. A figure appeared to him which had the appearance of angel and which said to him: “How much longer are you going to send from here those purses which are duly sealed, but are altogether empty and have nothing inside them?” So far as one can tell from the saying of the angel, those who have the seal of baptism are indeed baptized since they thought they were doing a good work in receiving baptism.’ (The Spiritual Meadow, 198)

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