Rorate Caeli

Quick Update on Catholic-Orthodox Concelebration Story

Various Romanian blogs and websites are reporting that Fr. Daniel Crecan -- the Romanian Orthodox priest who concelebrated with a Roman Catholic priest in May of this year, as reported on Rorate -- has been defrocked by his bishop for this act. (See this, this and this, among the many reports from Romania.)

UPDATE (Nov. 16, 2010) : New information just received by Rorate from Romania clarifies that Fr. Crecan has been suspended from the priesthood, but not yet deposed, and that he has appealed his suspension by his bishop to the latter's superior, the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Banat, Met. Nicolae Corneanu. Met. Nicolae is known for his great friendliness to Catholics; he even received communion at a Greek Catholic Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in 2008 (an action for which he was later forced to seek forgiveness from the Romanian Orthodox Holy Synod).

23 comments:

John (Ad Orientem) said...

AXIOS!

ICXC NIKA
John

Anonymous said...

But nothing happened to the Catholic priest!!! Typical!!
AT LEAST THE ORTHODOX LOVE THEIR TRADITION, AND ARE NOT BIG ON ECUMENICAL GESTURES, APPOLOGIZING, AND INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOG! UGH.

Catholics should take a lesson from the orthodox.

Next, we'll be having Catholic priests celebrating along with protestant Lutherans, Presbyterians, and attending prayer sessions with Muslims and Buddhists.

Of wait a minute. Catholics do that already. John Paul II did it too.....what a bad example!

My mistake, sorry I forgot. LOL!!!

Jorge Raimundo said...

If only our Roman Catholic bishops had the same strength in defending our faith from progres priests.

Samn! said...

The article that you link in Ziua de Vest also gives information about the status of Vassula Ryden's Orthodoxy. That is, a large part of the charges against the Romanian priest were that he communed her and promoted her writings, despite the fact that she was excommunicated from the Church of Greece for heresy. The issue of concelebration with the Roman Catholic priest is murkier, as his supporters argue that the latter was simply standing in the altar, and not technically concelebrating...

Anonymous said...

Good for the Romanian bishops! At least they have some standards, even if ours do not.

P.K.T.P.

Timothy Mulligan said...

And that's why we're called Orthodox. AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS!

Christopher J. Paulitz said...

The Vatican will probably make the Roman priest a bishop.

Johannes said...

"The Vatican will probably make the Roman priest a bishop."

Seconded.

T.R. Peacocke said...

What a pointless, naive gesture. If you're an eastern rite schismatic and want to be united with the Church, the path is clear: Eastern Rite Catholicism. All of this hope that the schismatics will come back to the Church en masse is wishful thinking, and it's not just because of the sorry state of the Western Church. Even if all things were peachy in the West, a good number of schismatics, perhaps the majority, would cling to their state. What can you do? That's life.

Ben Vallejo said...

As a Catholic catechism published in the early 1980s has it about receiving the sacraments from the Orthodox

"Even if our law were to allow it,the Orthodox hold to a stricter discipline than we do"

Well that's how an Orthodox bishop disciplines his trendy priests!

THE ORTHODOX HOLD TO A STRICTER DISCIPLINE!

Anonymous said...

As an Orthodox Christian, I can tell my experience. At least in the West, where the number of faithful assisting to the Divine Liturgy is relatively small, the Priest and Deacons scrutinize (silently) EACH communicant on every liturgy before giving the Holy Eucharist. If one does not belong to that community, one is advised to alert the Priest before or one is for sure going to be exposed to some questioning in front of the priest. Those without confession are also stopped, usually, or at least questioned.
All this I say is to comment that every single Priest in our Orthodox Communion knows the severity of giving or receiving communion. Before communion the Priest also might alert those Roman Catholics present (always are some whether curious or in process of becoming Orthodox) that they are NOT allowed for now.
My Priest takes some minutes each Sunday to clarify this to all. Roman Catholics are warmly welcome but not Mysteries can be shared for now.
Stefan

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that the Orthodox in my city (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) on important occasions - such as Christmas and baptism -are allowed to say mass and conduct sacraments in the Ukrainian Catholic Church here. The rest of the year the Orthodox use a community hall.

Is this cordial relationship typical of relations between our brethren from the Eastern rite? Is this an outgrowth from poor V2 or in spite of it?

Speaking of stricter discipline, my Orthodox friend asked me if I am going to fast on Nov. 15 to advent? This is the little fast of St. Martin which we Catholics used to observe (I still do in honor of St. Francis' ancient rule) and the Orthodox still do - 2 meals per day to boot. My NO friends no longer even fast on Fridays :(

With respect - being faithfully Catholic, having fled the desert of V2 and finding the oasis and eternal spring time of our traditional Catholic faith - and wishing you peace in this time of diabolical confusion I am sincerely yours,
Anonymous

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I would be mildly surprised if his suspension were overturned. The Metropolitan is already under suspicion by the Holy Synod. What possible grounds would there be for reversing the verdict of this priest's bishop? He was standing in the sanctuary vested and concelebrating the Holy Mysteries with a non-Orthodox cleric.

I think he will indeed be most fortunate if he is not fully deposed and stripped of his Holy Orders. Frankly he should have humbled himself and accepted whatever discipline the bishop thought right.

In ICXC
John

Anonymous said...

Daniel Crecan must read the internet
critical site of Maria Laura Pio,
who is an ex-adept of Vassula .
Her life was destroyed by the messages
There are a lot of good reports of
the Catholic, horthodoxes authorities. A very important report of Father François
Dermine who is a theologian.HE studies at the
theologian university of Bologne
(Italy)and he gives conferences to
make understand how Vassula is a
prophet new age.

www.infovassula.ch

Fr John Abberton said...

Since I am a reader of "True Life in God" and know both Vassula and Fr. Rolf (the Catholic priest involved)I hope you will allow me to bring some truth into all this.
Firstly Vassula did not organise the programme on that occassion. Fr Rolf had no intention of concelebrating, and in fact did not - and could not. Firstly he does not know Romanian, nor the actual rite used. Secondly it is completely against TLIG policies to do such a thing. What happened was this:
Fr daniel invited Fr Rolf, to his genuine surprise, to vest and stand with him at the altar. I am not sure whether he did anything to help the priest but he did not concelebrate. Holy Communion was given to Fr Rolf and to Vassula and some others. Vassula is regarded as a "heretic" by some because she is said to have been excommunicated by the Greek Church. However, she is under the Patriarch of Alexandria (she was born in Egypt)who has NOT excommunicated her and has welcomed her (I was there and witnessed this).

Just what are the actual charges against Vassula? The Greeks insist that her involvement in Catholic Masses is wrong and that she should not take Communion in Catholic Churches. However, I am under the impression that an agreement was made between the Vatican and the Greek Orthodox Church to "recognise" each others' ministries. Does this include allowing -now and then - reception of Communion? This needs to be clarified. Secondly she is accused by some Catholics of teaching heresy. This is not the case. The Notification issued by the Vatican has not been rescinded, but at the same time, following the dialogue with the CDF facilitated by Fr Prospero Grech - who has worked for the CDF and knows Cardinal Ratzinger (now the Pope) Vassula was told, by the Cardinal, that when people ask about her at the CDF the answer will be "the position is modified" becuase her answers to their questions were called, by him, "useful clarifications". His letter to several bishops (given to vassula for her use) made clear that the question of having prayer groups in a diocese was now, is now, a matter for the local ordinary (as is the case with anything else). Further to this, the Cardinal insisted that her answers should be printed in her books, thus making access to those answers dependent on having a copy of one of her books. He would hardly have done this if he had the intention of forbidding the books!

The letter from Cardinal Levada which is now often mentioned refers to prayer groups but does not specify any faults or problems. In justice we have a right to know what these are. However, it is possible that he is actually not concerned about the prayer groups but about the pilgrimages about which there has been some confusion, caused partly by inaccurate reports.

May I also say, with regard to a very negative web site, that having been a member of a TLIG prayer group does not automatically mean that a person is telling the truth or presenting a true picture of TLIG or Vassula. people come and people go. Some are happy some are not. I dispute the idea that TLIG has ruined someone's life. Where is the evidence for this? Regarding this matter there is more truth to come out in time. I would also like to make this point or ask this queston; why is it that the negative web site is automatically regarded as true and the official TLIG web site is not? Also, if people want to criticise someone's writings, should they not read them first?

Fr John Abberton said...

Since I am a reader of "True Life in God" and know both Vassula and Fr. Rolf (the Catholic priest involved)I hope you will allow me to bring some truth into all this.
Firstly Vassula did not organise the programme on that occassion. Fr Rolf had no intention of concelebrating, and in fact did not - and could not. Firstly he does not know Romanian, nor the actual rite used. Secondly it is completely against TLIG policies to do such a thing. What happened was this:
Fr daniel invited Fr Rolf, to his genuine surprise, to vest and stand with him at the altar. I am not sure whether he did anything to help the priest but he did not concelebrate. Holy Communion was given to Fr Rolf and to Vassula and some others. Vassula is regarded as a "heretic" by some because she is said to have been excommunicated by the Greek Church. However, she is under the Patriarch of Alexandria (she was born in Egypt)who has NOT excommunicated her and has welcomed her (I was there and witnessed this).

Just what are the actual charges against Vassula? The Greeks insist that her involvement in Catholic Masses is wrong and that she should not take Communion in Catholic Churches. However, I am under the impression that an agreement was made between the Vatican and the Greek Orthodox Church to "recognise" each others' ministries. Does this include allowing -now and then - reception of Communion? This needs to be clarified. Secondly she is accused by some Catholics of teaching heresy. This is not the case. The Notification issued by the Vatican has not been rescinded, but at the same time, following the dialogue with the CDF facilitated by Fr Prospero Grech - who has worked for the CDF and knows Cardinal Ratzinger (now the Pope) Vassula was told, by the Cardinal, that when people ask about her at the CDF the answer will be "the position is modified" becuase her answers to their questions were called, by him, "useful clarifications". His letter to several bishops (given to vassula for her use) made clear that the question of having prayer groups in a diocese was now, is now, a matter for the local ordinary (as is the case with anything else). Further to this, the Cardinal insisted that her answers should be printed in her books, thus making access to those answers dependent on having a copy of one of her books. He would hardly have done this if he had the intention of forbidding the books!

The letter from Cardinal Levada which is now often mentioned refers to prayer groups but does not specify any faults or problems. In justice we have a right to know what these are. However, it is possible that he is actually not concerned about the prayer groups but about the pilgrimages about which there has been some confusion, caused partly by inaccurate reports.

May I also say, with regard to a very negative web site, that having been a member of a TLIG prayer group does not automatically mean that a person is telling the truth or presenting a true picture of TLIG or Vassula. people come and people go. Some are happy some are not. I dispute the idea that TLIG has ruined someone's life. Where is the evidence for this? Regarding this matter there is more truth to come out in time. I would also like to make this point or ask this queston; why is it that the negative web site is automatically regarded as true and the official TLIG web site is not? Also, if people want to criticise someone's writings, should they not read them first?

Anonymous said...

"But nothing happened to the Catholic priest!!! Typical!!
AT LEAST THE ORTHODOX LOVE THEIR TRADITION, AND ARE NOT BIG ON ECUMENICAL GESTURES, APPOLOGIZING, AND INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOG! UGH.

Catholics should take a lesson from the orthodox.

Next, we'll be having Catholic priests celebrating along with protestant Lutherans, Presbyterians, and attending prayer sessions with Muslims and Buddhists.

Of wait a minute. Catholics do that already. John Paul II did it too... what a bad example!

My mistake, sorry I forgot. LOL!!!"

These were my sentiments exactly as was reading about the RO priest. Now if he was as it was stated above just standing there at the altar, then his outfit really went wacko.

I wonder what Mass he "attended," Trideintine or Novus Ordo. Well, if it was Tridentine, he wouldn't have been standing at the altar nor would there have been a "concelebration." Tridentine rubrics make no provision for such. Logically it would have to have been the Novus Ordo. I hope it was a solemn Novus at least in Latin. It would be quite awful for that priest to have all this fuss over a some clown Mass.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Satan is the great diviser ,it is
wellknowned!

If Vassula Ryden was the
champion of the Unity (as she pretend)
this story din't happen at all!
We can see that GOD was not whith her ,that famous Pentecôte day!

What are the sanctions against Vassula
and Father Philip Rolf in that case? They have commited a fault
against the orthodoxes and catholics authorithies(explaining by the orthodoxe exclusion of Daniel Crecan )

Fr Abberton minimise the Cardinal Levada's internal communication of january 2007 sent to the Presidents of all Bishops conferences,it is a very clear document. The vassula's response Cardinal Levada can be read on the www.infovassula.ch

The CDF is the only way to valid new prophet,in a catholic church,and Mrs Ryden is orthodox excluded from her proper church. (Héresies of the Saint Synode 2001)
Infovassula.ch)

It is clear that Mrs Ryden indicated that she does not want to become a catholic,but on the other hand does not act as an Orthodox ,then she has indeed chosen to be in a denominational "no-church's land" whith the approval of he "jesus", for whom "all are the same" ( www.tlig.org/en/messages/182/),and this suggests a lot about her idea of unity.(dixit www.infovassula.ch)

I have red all the Vassula's Ryden books...and it is full of naïves
expressions like "my flower,I love you,I mary the Christ... .The central actress in all the books are Mrs Ryden .

The most chocking is the True life in God's business ( Videos, books,i-Pod, magazine, I phone, contribution ,everythings to spend money)


The most greater mysticals are

Bernadette Soubirous,Sainte Therèse de Lisieux, Sainte Elisabeth de la Trinité,Saint François , Alexandre Men,etc...read their books! They have been recognised by the religious authorities in the world.

We have the Bible and we don't need The Vassula's promotion!


I pray for truth

Maria Laura Pio said...

I would just like to clarify a point mentioned in Fr. Abberton's post, who is one of the spiritual advisors of Mrs Ryden's movement:

The CDF letter sent in 2007 by Cardinal Levada to all the Bishops' conferences in the world states in its point 1 that "the Notification of 1995 remains valid as a doctrinal judgment". The 1995 Notification states that Mrs Ryden's writings contain "several doctrinal errors". The CDF letter also states in point 3 that "in remains inappropriate for Catholics to take part in prayer groups established by Mrs Ryden".

According to Mrs Ryden, following her protest regarding this letter, Mgr Amato, number two of the Congregation at that time, wrote to her telling her that this letter "was expressly written with the purpose of informing all the Catholic Bishops of the dialogue" that had taken place in 2002-2004 her and the CDF (in "Response to Cardinal Levada's letter of 2007" an article signed by Vassula and circulated by her official website www.tlig.org This article is no longer available on that website but a copy of it can be found in mine: http://www.infovassula.ch/tliglevada.htm second half of the page).

Regarding intercommunion, Mrs Ryden is in open conflict with the teachings of both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, which affirm that the sharing of the Eucharist cannot be a means or a stage towards full unity, but rather its culmination. For that reason, it is not generally permitted nor encouraged. In some very exceptional occasions or particular situations, intercommunion does take place with the permission of the competent ecclesiastical authorities.

Mrs Ryden instead affirms that "Jesus" revealed to her that the Eucharist has to be the means to attain unity. She also says that ecclesiastical authorities don't understand this because they have to repent in order to be able to listen to what the Holy Spirit says to them ("Vassula speaks of unity and intercommunion", 2008, http://www.tligvideo.org/chich.html). Anyone who reads the reports of her interreligious pilgrimages and retreats knows that participants are expected to practice intercommunion, because that is what "Jesus" commands (See for instance: www.tlig.org/print/en/news/2007-06-29/2045 ).

Regarding the jurisdictional matter, it is my understanding that the Greek Orthodox of the diaspora are under the Patriarchate of their place of residence, not birth.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Fr. Abberton wrote:

"However, I am under the impression that an agreement was made between the Vatican and the Greek Orthodox Church to "recognise" each others' ministries. Does this include allowing -now and then - reception of Communion? This needs to be clarified."

The Roman Church has always recognized the validity of Greek Orthodox orders, while the Greek Orthodox have had a more diverse (some would say inconsistent) approach to Catholic Orders. Some Catholic priests converting to Greek Orthodoxy have been merely chrismated then accepted "in their orders", others have been chrismated but treated as laymen afterwards (e.g. all the Filipino Catholic priests who have converted to Greek Orthodoxy were received as laymen, then re-ordained), and some have even been (re) baptized.

The Russians of the Moscow Patriarchate are more consistent on the matter, tending (since the 18th century) to simply "vest" Catholic priests converting to Orthodoxy, accepting them with a confession of faith and without chrismation or (re)baptism.

As for reception of Communion, this has been abundantly clarified. The Orthodox are practically unanimous about this: no concelebration with Catholics, and no communion too (although some of the more liberal bishops have unofficially allowed this for specific cases). In the aftermath of the 2008 case of Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan Nicolae of Banat communing at a Greek Catholic liturgy, the Romanian Orthodox Holy Synod forced him to repent then issued a decree threatening clerics who did the same with deposition from the priesthood. I haven't been able to update this post yet, but on November 22, 2010 the same Metropolitan Nicolae turned down the appeal of Fr. Daniel Crecan, who was immediately afterwards irrevocably deposed from the priesthood by his bishop.

As for us Roman Catholics, let the following quote from the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI Sacramentum Caritatis suffice:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html

"Participation by Christians who are not Catholic

56. The subject of participation in the Eucharist inevitably raises the question of Christians belonging to Churches or Ecclesial Communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. In this regard, it must be said that the intrinsic link between the Eucharist and the Church's unity inspires us to long for the day when we will be able to celebrate the Holy Eucharist together with all believers in Christ, and in this way to express visibly the fullness of unity that Christ willed for his disciples (cf. Jn 17:21). On the other hand, the respect we owe to the sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood prevents us from making it a mere "means" to be used indiscriminately in order to attain that unity. (172) The Eucharist in fact not only manifests our personal communion with Jesus Christ, but also implies full communio with the Church. This is the reason why, sadly albeit not without hope, we ask Christians who are not Catholic to understand and respect our conviction, which is grounded in the Bible and Tradition. We hold that eucharistic communion and ecclesial communion are so linked as to make it generally impossible for non-Catholic Christians to receive the former without enjoying the latter. There would be even less sense in actually concelebrating with ministers of Churches or ecclesial communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. Yet it remains true that, for the sake of their eternal salvation, individual non-Catholic Christians can be admitted to the Eucharist, the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick. But this is possible only in specific, exceptional situations and requires that certain precisely defined conditions be met (173). These are clearly indicated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (174) and in its Compendium (175). Everyone is obliged to observe these norms faithfully."

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Fr. Abberton wrote:

"However, I am under the impression that an agreement was made between the Vatican and the Greek Orthodox Church to "recognise" each others' ministries. Does this include allowing -now and then - reception of Communion? This needs to be clarified."

The Roman Church has always recognized the validity of Greek Orthodox orders, while the Greek Orthodox have had a more diverse (some would say inconsistent) approach to Catholic Orders. Some Catholic priests converting to Greek Orthodoxy have been merely chrismated then accepted "in their orders", others have been chrismated but treated as laymen afterwards (e.g. all the Filipino Catholic priests who have converted to Greek Orthodoxy were received as laymen, then re-ordained), and some have even been (re) baptized.

The Russians of the Moscow Patriarchate are more consistent on the matter, tending (since the 18th century) to simply "vest" Catholic priests converting to Orthodoxy, accepting them with a confession of faith and without chrismation or (re)baptism.

As for reception of Communion, this has been abundantly clarified. The Orthodox are practically unanimous about this: no concelebration with Catholics, and no communion too (although some of the more liberal bishops have unofficially allowed this for specific cases). In the aftermath of the 2008 case of Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan Nicolae of Banat communing at a Greek Catholic liturgy, the Romanian Orthodox Holy Synod forced him to repent then issued a decree threatening clerics who did the same with deposition from the priesthood. I haven't been able to update this post yet, but on November 22, 2010 the same Metropolitan Nicolae turned down the appeal of Fr. Daniel Crecan, who was immediately afterwards irrevocably deposed from the priesthood by his bishop.

As for us Roman Catholics, let the following quote from the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI Sacramentum Caritatis suffice:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html

"Participation by Christians who are not Catholic

56. The subject of participation in the Eucharist inevitably raises the question of Christians belonging to Churches or Ecclesial Communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. In this regard, it must be said that the intrinsic link between the Eucharist and the Church's unity inspires us to long for the day when we will be able to celebrate the Holy Eucharist together with all believers in Christ, and in this way to express visibly the fullness of unity that Christ willed for his disciples (cf. Jn 17:21). On the other hand, the respect we owe to the sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood prevents us from making it a mere "means" to be used indiscriminately in order to attain that unity. (172) The Eucharist in fact not only manifests our personal communion with Jesus Christ, but also implies full communio with the Church. This is the reason why, sadly albeit not without hope, we ask Christians who are not Catholic to understand and respect our conviction, which is grounded in the Bible and Tradition. We hold that eucharistic communion and ecclesial communion are so linked as to make it generally impossible for non-Catholic Christians to receive the former without enjoying the latter. There would be even less sense in actually concelebrating with ministers of Churches or ecclesial communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. Yet it remains true that, for the sake of their eternal salvation, individual non-Catholic Christians can be admitted to the Eucharist, the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick. But this is possible only in specific, exceptional situations and requires that certain precisely defined conditions be met (173). These are clearly indicated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (174) and in its Compendium (175). Everyone is obliged to observe these norms faithfully."

Anonymous said...

Warning against Vassula ( mise en garde par rapport à Vassula)

New forum topic France catholique journal

" I sincerely believe that Father Laurentin is extremely naive about the origin of,some paranormal and spiritualists ,like automatic writings .A message received by automatic writing as Vassula discribes can only be a spiritualist.

It is no means an inspiration of the Holy Spirit who has never used this method.

Do not confuse not alas,divine inspiration and interference spiritualist .Defending Vassula's writing such as the fact , the abbot Laurentin showed great credulity.

Father Dominique Auzenet( France)

Anonymous said...

From Fr. Abberton
( who is one of the spiritualist guide of Vassula)

Father Abberton's puzzling letter to the American TLIG Newsletter readers:

The original document is on
www.infovassula.ch

"at this time we need to take great care to avoid the possibility of anything remotely connected whith clergy of different traditions standing together and dressed for the liturgy getting into the wrong hands.

To avoid any mistakes i have taken the view that we need to be VERY careful about the American newsletter which contains a photograph of this kind . Therefore i am asking you to REMOVE the photo from the newsletter or to DESTROY THE NEWSLETTER ITSELF...."
F. Abberton

That means F. Abberton should also suggest the destrution of the reports of the TLIG interreligions pilgrimages and retreats of the last 12 years!

The original document can be seen on www.infovassula.ch

In the same document another letter from F. Abberton

Recent problems and the US TLIG Newsletter

" you may have heard that a Romanian Orthodox priest has been severely disciplined by his bishop because of his involvment in a TLIG meeting where he celebrated an Orthodox Mass in the compagny of a Catholic priest ( it was NOT a concelebration)

Unfortunatly it seems that the enemies of TLIG are now trawling the internet and looking for anything they can use against us...".
F. Abberton

The original letter is on line to

www.infovassula.ch

Is F Abberton an exorsit?