In America Canons Of The Church Dont Matter Right? Other Serious Violations Of Sacred Canons:

Written By: on Jul 5th, 2009 and filed under Editorial.


Who should be anointed with Holy Myron? Can a non-orthodox receive Orthodox Sacraments? Do the Orthodox have Eucharistic Communion with the non-orthodox?

It was in 1974. This writer was a very young priest in charge of a mission parish in Chicago, which he founded for the Indian Syrians. In one of the parish committee meetings, one member accused him for not conducting a marriage between an Orthodox young woman and a Protestant (Church of South India) young man, who had desired to have the wedding according to rite of the Orthodox Church to please his bride. Most of the members of the Committee did not understand the theological ramifications of the decision of this writer not to bless that marriage.

The bridegroom, who was a Protestant, requested this writer to bless his marriage in the Orthodox Church, and he had no objection to go through any Orthodox rites for that purpose. He told this writer to anoint him with Holy Myron, not because he had had any understanding of what Holy Myron was, or because he had desired to convert to Orthodoxy. He just wanted his marriage in the Orthodox Church to please his bride. This writer asked him if he had the intention to continue his life in the Orthodox Church; and he said emphatically that he would not be converted to Orthodoxy. And this writer told him that he could not anoint him with Holy Myron with insincere intentions. The marriage did not take place in the Orthodox Church; an Evangelical Pastor witnessed their marital vows. Within a year, it was reported this couple became members of a Pentecostal Assembly!

These are the questions arising from this incident: Who is anointed with Holy Myron? What should be the intention behind receiving the unction of Holy Myron? What is Holy Myron?

Let me answer the last question first without any sophisticated theological jargons. Holy Myron is a sacrament of Christian initiation received along with Baptism. The sacramental liturgy of Holy Myron says that it is the fragrance of Christ, sign and seal of true faith, and the PLENITUDE OF THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. The entire Orthodox theology of Holy Myron is encapsuled in these words of anointing. Any convert from heretical groups is accepted into the Church with the unction of Holy Myron. The Orthodox Church accepts only the sacrament of baptism of Protestants or other groups, if they retain the right intention and form of baptism. (For example, baptisms performed by sects such as Baptists, Pentecostals, and the like are not accepted as valid, because their intentions are defective, and converts from such churches are to be baptized again before they are chrismated). Converts from any Christian sects that do not have a valid priesthood and do not have Holy Myron (Chrism) as a sacrament are to be chrismated before they are accepted into Holy Orthodoxy. It should be clearly understood that without a valid apostolic succession of the priesthood there is no imparting of sacramental grace beyond baptism, hence even if a heretical group talks about Holy Chrism, their rite of confirmation (as they call it) is null and void; it does not generate grace.

Any person, who is about to receive this plenitude of the gift of Holy Spirit through Holy Myron, should already have the genuine desire to convert to Orthodoxy. If Holy Myron is used to anoint anyone who does not have the proper spiritual preparation to be received into the Church, or who does not have the desire to convert, that rite is a desecration of the sacrament, and it is sacrilegious. In other words, any act of chrismation that does not have the genuine intention of bringing someone to the Holy Church is sacrilegious. If the celebrant is morally certain that a person who is about to receive Holy Myron is doing it with ulterior motives, the sacrament of Chrismation should not be administered (it is based on this principle that this writer denied the chrismation and marriage of the person mentioned earlier). Many priests are pressured into such situations in order to please people and to move smoothly without criticism; but they should always remind themselves that they are the custodians of faith and preservers of the mysteries of God, and their primary task is not to be politically correct.

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5 Responses for “In America Canons Of The Church Dont Matter Right? Other Serious Violations Of Sacred Canons:”

  1. John Mathew, Toronto says:

    Too bad we don’t have more priests like Chor Episkopos Thottapuram. The degradation of the Orthodox Church in America (whether Syriac or Indian) is sad to see. Unfortunately, as always, we lack good leaders to enforce good discipline. Of course, it would be better yet if we had knowledgeable scholarly priests like Fr. Thottapuram.

    Unfortunately, we’re at a cross roads: we maintain the historic hyper-respect for priests and bishops out of tradition — even when the fraudulant and incompetent one’s due damage to the Church.

    Will the Church ever regain a Synod comprised of decent, saintly, scholarly fathers? Or are we doomed to this downwards spiral of ignorance, incompetence and corruption?

  2. SamThomas says:

    The Editorial Article By Very.Rev .Thottupram Chor-Episcopa regarding violationsof sacred Canons are to be looked inton by the hierarchy seriously than getting money/favours from rich violators who consider the church is their own convenience.

    Another issue is Baptism. Many people baptsize their kids in church without preserving the values and traditions of orthodoxy.The parents and Godfather/mother must follow/observe church regulations.In one of NY parish therewas a baptism ceremoney held,after the Holy Qurbana. The God father did not participate in Holy qurbana. He came for baptism after an hour later of Holy Qurbana.The Priest gave him holy sacrement after Baptism .The Godfather do not usually attend orthodox church service.He only attend orthodox church in twice a year on christmas day and Easter sunday whereby the guy usually come during Besmelko.How can such a guy be a God father who can profess orthodoxy?How can he bring up the child in Orthodoxy.

    In america thereare no such canons any times it is like “The Fence eats self the harvest”


  3. Saji ( Thom) says:

    I strongly believe and agree with Mr. George Thomas. However the words ” flipping all Orthodox cannons to suite our situations and likings( more than situations , the likings is the suitable word). Our priests are forced to bow to the desires of the strong men who claim to be the structure bearers of the Church. The canons and the traditions of the Church have no value here and are manipulated to the conveniences.. that’s correct.

    I sincerely pray for the Diocese to ……………

  4. George Thomas says:

    It is an eye opener. In my 5 years of life in the USA I have found we flipping all Orthodox cannons to suite our situations and likings. Our priests are forced to bow to the desires of the strong men who claim to be the structure bearers of the Church. The canons and the traditions of the Church have no value here and are manipulated to the conveniences. The higher ups too are shutting their eyes to all these attrocities and attacks on the Chuch, as that seems to be politically correct. Are there any body who are listening?

  5. Dn Geevargheese says:

    Excellent. It’s about time.

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