Revista Studii Teologice


JA slide show

Teoria perpetuării efectelor hirotoniei: revenirea clericilor hirotoniţi la starea de laici

Autor(i): Pr. conf. dr. Constantin Rus
In order to adress correctly the topic indicated in the title of the present study we must try to conduct a critical enquiry because raw materials drawn from Church History do not provide an incontrovertible answer. Moreover we should bear in mind that this issue was never raised in the East before its exposure to western influence from the sixteen century onward. Some Roman Catholic theologians think that the Orthodox are inconsistent since in the Eastern Church we can find many occurrences of restoration of deposed clerics. According to those Roman Catholic theologians, such an action necessarily implies the belief in the existence of an indelible character but, as we will see, for the Orthodox canonists and theologians, this deduction appears to be highly problematic. At this point, we should investigate the nature of deposition and examine its effects and we will also see that there are different kinds of deposition according to the seriousness of the transgression and therefore it is not possible to simply merely equate in every case deposition and return to the lay state. We will see that, except in one case, clerics must not ask to be laicized or even less to take themselves the initiative to rid themselves of their functions. In fact, such a move supposes a mere occupational understanding of the priesthood which completely ignores the consecration implied in the notion „of clergy”, i.e. „being set apart” for the exclusive service of God. Therefore, voluntary abandonment of the priestly Orders represents an action at variance with canonical exactness and the Church cannot use uniform procedure which would give an appearance of respectability to such a renunciation. To what extent can the Church resort to oikonomia? To be sure, especially nowadays, there are situations requiring its implementation. However we should not forget that oikonomia is not a panacea and constitutes only an exception which does not abolish the norm.

Pagini: 36-48