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Exploring the Reception of Heterodox Christians into the Orthodox Church through History and Canon Law

Updated: Jan 11


Above: an icon of the Second Ecumenical Council (381). Canon 7 of this Council is key to receiving the heterodox back into the Church - and for those whose baptism is in the standard form (in the name of the Trinity and with water poured - if not full immersion). reception is by chrismation, NOT baptism. However, much more needs to be said on this issue. so our bishop has set forth the established position of the Church without any of that editorial selectivity that characterises the rigourist and sectarian mindset. This Reception Document, promulgated on the 9th January 2024 is available here: RECEPTION OF THE HETERODOX.

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Correct Miruna, which is why at St Aidan's here in Manchester we insist that baptism has its own personal requirements and we never insist or even hint that it becomes part of the marriage expectation. Of course it is better if the family is united in faith and life ... but not at the cost of dragging one partner reluctantly into the Church.

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...at which point it becomes necessary to take a step back and also discuss what baptism is (and what it isn't). I don't know about clergy, but among laypeople, especially those marrying heterodox partners, there is a tendency to insist for the *orthodox* baptism of the future spouse. It feels like baptism is used as an identity tag or as a badge that gets you into a family/community/culture.

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