The Orthodox Pages

email: pater@christopherklitou.com 

 ASK AN ORTHODOX PRIEST

Homepage

 

    Back                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Question 10.

Can you please explain how the Orthodox Church views itself in comparison to other churches? Thank you  

 

Answer to Question 10.

 

The Orthodox Church claims to be the only Catholic and Apostolic Church. If this claim is true then the other churches are not true churches. Christ the High-priest established the church and gave spiritual authority to his Apostles. This authority was then conferred by the Apostles to others who were chosen to be ordained with the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority. This authority is known as the Priesthood and consists of a hierarchical order of first Bishops, then Priests and then Deacons. No one can enter this priesthood by himself, a bishop must be ordained by other bishops within the same body of the Church that Christ established. This is because there is only one Christ, therefore only one church of which he is the head. If a bishop breaks away from this church he automatically forfeits the priesthood, because the Body of Christ cannot be divided. One either remains within this Body or leaves and loses the sacramental authority. Up until 1054 the Church in the East, now known as the Orthodox Church and the Church in the West, now known as the Roman Catholic Church were in complete union because they were one Church with the same Church Fathers, the same Saints, the same doctrines, the same Sacraments, but more especially the same priesthood. When The Roman Catholic Church chose to separate themselves from this union in 1054 they placed themselves outside of the Body of Christ. This means that they automatically lost the grace of the priesthood because they broke the chain of Apostolic Succession. Without the Apostolic Succession of the Priesthood, they were now in fact just ordinary laymen and had no authority either to baptize or to ordain anyone.  There is no need to mention whether the Protestant Churches have Apostolic Succession because if the Roman Catholic Church has lost the Priesthood, then by logical reasoning the Protestant Churches which broke away from Rome definitely cannot have it. By what I am saying I do not intentionally want to attack anyone’s faith so no-one should take offence. I am only stating historical facts and logical reasoning concerning the body of Christ which cannot be divided and which is verified by the Canons of the Church.  Christ cannot be divided therefore the Church cannot be divided and cut into 1000s of small pieces each presenting itself as the Church of Christ. St. Paul said “There is One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God.” Eph 4:4-6)