In the January-February 2024 issue of The Narthex, the newsletter of St Dunstan’s Antiochian Orthodox Church (Poole, UK), Fr. Chrysostom MacDonnell publicly stated that their parish has Monophysite (Ethiopian and Eritrean) members who receive Holy Communion. The reason that Fr. Chrysostom gives is that it is an application of economia because these lay people “cannot conveniently go to their own church.

This publication “is in effect, exonerating Father Matthew Vulcanescu even further by showing that Metropolitan Silouan, is in fact, preaching heresy, or at minimum tolerating it, for allowing his priest to commune ecumenically condemned heretics without them renouncing their heretical faith, confessing holy Orthodoxy, and being properly received into the Eastern Orthodox Church”, as Subdeacon Nektarios explained in his article “The Patriarchate of Antioch & Their Eucharistic Communion with The Heretical Monophysites“. Subdeacon Nektarios also published a very well researched article where he exposed the bareheaded preaching and teaching of heresy by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. 

Communing Monophysite heretics who have already been condemned by the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Ecumenical Synods, confirms the application of the decisions from the 1991 synodal statement of the Church of Antioch on the relations with the ‘Syriac Orthodox Church’ in the time of Patriarch Ignatius IV (12 Nov 1991), in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland. These synodal decisions are some of the reasons for the cessation of commemoration of His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan Oner by Protopresbyter Matthew Vulcanescu and his parish. 

See below for the January-February 2024 issue of The Narthex newsletter:

 “[…] I myself, and indeed, all the clergy who formed the original Antiochian Deanery in the late 1990’s, were received (with their families) by Chrismation, before being ordained. It is not just the implications of what Mr Volcanescu, and his small band of followers are saying, as regards the validity of our sacraments: it is the way that they have tried to divide the Body of Christ that has fostered schism. The suspicion is that he might have influenced five individuals who recently left our own congregation. Where they have gone now, I cannot tell, but whilst they search for the ethereally perfect hyperdox congregation (remembering that we, in Antioch, are still in communion with the mainstream Orthodox churches in this country) they would do well to read the Acts of the Apostles, chapter fifteen. They can remind themselves of how the apostolic Church dealt with the case of ‘Certain men [who] came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’
Those who recently left us also complained of the fact that we commune Oriental-Orthodox (non- Chalcedonian) Christians with the Holy Gifts. As you know, we have a number of Ethiopian and Eritrean members of the congregation. It is our practice to do this in conformity with what is done in the homeland of Antiochian Orthodoxy. (In Syria and Lebanon, for example, there will inevitably be a large number of mixed- marriages.) It is also done in the Greek Orthodox Church, as I verified, recently, with my own spiritual father who serves in the Archdiocese of Thyateira (Patriarchate of Constantinople). We cannot commune or concelebrate with Oriental-Orthodox clergy, but we can minister to their lay people, who cannot conveniently go to their own church. There are, indeed, differences as concerns the Hypostatic Union, especially regarding confusion over the use of ancient philosophical terms (such as physis, hypostasis and ousia), but again, by economia, we can accommodate their laity who, after sixteen hundred years and by accident of birth, were brought up within a certain tradition of understanding. Such intercommunion, in fact, like the Baptism/Chrismation dispute, has a long history. There was, for example, a degree of shared communion in Southern Italy between the Orthodox and Roman Catholics right up to the seventeenth century.
What is clear from such disputes as these, and those who pursue them to their own isolation, is that there is little understanding on their part of ecclesiastical authority; that private judgement and personal religion (see above!) take precedence over what is understood and shared in common. Such private judgement is the beginning of the road towards heresy [the Greek root being, αἵρεσις/‘airesis, meaning a ‘thing chosen’].

Fr Chrysostom “

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