by Grigorios Larentzakis *
A unified solution would be, firstly, to have common and non-negotiable faith in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the Body and the Blood of Jesus, that has been undoubtedly and continuously “manifesting to us the fullness of the kingdom of God” since the Last Supper, to this very day. Secondly, the way of offering Holy Communion should meet the pastoral needs of the faithful in times of crisis in different countries.
The Ecclesiastical Economia could be used if it is necessary, at some time or place, to promote mutual respect and thus, to prevent one from condemning any ecclesiastical approach that has been suggested.
These solutions are also based on centuries-old traditions of our Church, which have been given to us by our Holy Fathers. These are solutions that have been applied at different times and in different churches in the world. The first tradition was followed during the first millennium, whereas the second one during the second millennium. Both traditions belong to the Holy Fathers of our Church.
In other words, offering Holly communion in a unified way is not always necessary. If it is necessary, temporary or permanent decisions could be taken on the matter. Otherwise, the modern way of offering Holy Communion to the faithful could be preserved. For matters of faith and order, we usually consult the teachings and practices of the first millennium.
Yet, the Church has always faced new matters to which new solutions have been found. The solutions were not only concerning pastoral matters but also key doctrinal matters that occurred throughout the centuries and during the meetings of the Ecumenical Synod.
The Church is a living and free body that has been expanding through the power of the Holy Spirit.
* Professor at the University of Graz, Archon Megas Prothonotary of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Source: Orthodox Observer