How is everyone going to confession?
The agreement is specifically between the Syriac Orthodox Church only and the Catholic Church. With the other Oriental Orthodox churches, things are much more complicated. The Copts specifically have a cadre of hardliner bishops who refuse to acknowledge the validity (!) of Catholic baptism. But within the Syriac Orthodox Church, there is, on the whole, a remarkable degree of openness. You will see, for example, Catholic religious art in the parishes and will even see paintings of specifically Catholic saints that have become popular in devotional life among the Orthodox, e.g., St. Charbel Makhlouf.

Part of this, I think, is due to the relative smallness of the church and an overall weakness of institutions that might otherwise be very assertive of their own particularity, but it also has something to do with the community's self-identification as Christian in a Muslim context; although they have their own distinct liturgical life, spirituality, and practices that set them apart in some ways, they are acutely aware of themselves as Christians and part of a broader community of Christians. In the imagination of an Aramaean Christian living in southeastern Turkey, Europe and America are Christian places (or were until recently), and he is already accustomed to thinking of the Armenians, despite their differences, as belonging to a sister church. To the extent that they have a bone to pick, it is mostly against the Church of the East for historical reasons (loathing Nestorius and those who would associate with his name and legacy), and secondarily against those churches that in contemporary times conduct active work trying to convert Middle Eastern Christians to various forms of evangelicalism and such (e.g., Jehovah's Witnesses).

In spite of doctrinal differences, specifically Chalcedonian saints still found their way into manuscripts of church calendars from Syriac Orthodox sources, e.g., those of particular monasteries or dioceses.
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RE: How is everyone going to confession? - by Cyriacus - 05-11-2020, 07:52 PM

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