A Conversation Between Dr. Jean Claude Larchet and Archpriest Peter Heers [VIDEO]

Read the interview on Orthodox Ethos.


  1. Considering the 2 following canons, we can clearly see that some heretical groups, yes heretical, were accepted through chrismation and not rebaptized. I hope that this demonstrates that reception of non-Orthodox into the Church is not a simple issue and that the Church differentiated between various heretical groups.

    CANON XCV. Council of Trullo
    THOSE who from the heretics come over to orthodoxy, and to the number of those who should be saved, we receive according to the following order and custom. Arians, Macedonians, Novatians, who call themselves Cathari, Aristeri, and Testareskaidecatitae, or Tetraditae, and Apollinarians, we receive on their presentation of certificates and on their anathematizing every heresy which does not hold as does the holy Apostolic Church of God: then first of all we anoint them with the holy chrism on their foreheads, eyes, nostrils, mouth and ears; and as we seal them we say–“The seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
    But concerning the Paulianists it has been determined by the Catholic Church that they shall by all means be rebaptized. The Eunomeans also, who baptize with one immersion; and the Montanists, who here are called Phrygians; and the Sabellians, who consider the Son to be the same as the Father, and are guilty in certain other grave matters, and all the other heresies–for there are many heretics here, especially those who come from the region of the Galatians–all of their number who are desirous of coming to the Orthodox faith, we receive as Gentiles. And on the first day we make them Christians, on the second Catechumens, then on the third day we exorcise them, at the same time also breathing thrice upon their faces and cars; and thus we initiate them, and we make them spend time in church and hear the Scriptures; and then we baptize them.
    And the Manichaeans, and Valentinians and Marcionites and all of similar heresies must give certificates and anathematize each his own heresy, and also Nestorius, Eutyches, Dioscorus, Severus, and the other chiefs of such heresies, and those who think with them, and all the aforesaid heresies; and so they become partakers of the holy Communion.

    Canon VII. Council of Laodicea
    Persons converted from heresies, that is, of the Novatians, Photinians, and Quartodecimans, whether they were catechumens or communicants among them, shall not be received until they shall have anathematized every heresy, and particularly that in which they were held; and afterwards those who among them were called communicants, having thoroughly learned the symbols of the faith, and having been anointed with the holy chrism, shall so communicate in the holy Mysteries.

  2. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Who are the “etc.”? Arians and Eunomians were non-Trinitarian, by definition.

  3. You should read that last statement again. I’ll simplify it for you by saying that although the statement was bait, it is a fact that HCHC professors have stated this before. Whether or not they are right, I have no clue. The statement by the professors isn’t a comment on the heavenly state of the Apostles either. They were merely saying that if you transported the Apostles from their era to the modern liturgy, they would not recognize it. Not a whole lot of severing and division going on there, though no one can prove it either bc it would involve time travel.

    • Matthew Panchisin says

      Dear Vergil,

      Our perceptions are much different and we are not of the same mind, as such any further commentary here would be futile. Thank you for your comments though as I have learned much.

      In Christ,

      Matthew Panchisin

      • “Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church.”

  4. Sorry Father. I will re-phrase.
    Sometimes….not always…..there was a uniate tone to his writings.

  5. Caroline,

    There is some truth in what you are saying, though you don’t really understand the Church. I’m fairly sure that God is using Pentecostal types to do His bidding in America. I mean groups that emphasize the activity of the Holy Spirit. I do not believe that they have the Holy Spirit as conveyed in the mysteries of the Church, but that is not the only way the Spirit works for He is ubiquitous.

    As I understand Orthodox soteriology, it does not say that the heterodox will go to hell. It does say that the heterodox cannot experience theosis in any full degree; i.e., that they cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is much misunderstood in the West. Escaping hellfire is largely a matter of doing good to the least of these because in doing so you do good to Christ Himself.

    Orthodox Christians are the New Israel and so I’ve learned to think of us in that similar vane, as chosen people. Chosen by God’s grace either by birth or conversion to bear witness to the Truth of Orthodox Theology – God’s salvific action through the God-Man, Jesus Christ.

    Other Christians seek to follow Christ in some way and that is at least a step in the right direction – acknowledging that there is a God, that humanity has a problem, and that Christ is the solution to that problem. We may differ on what constitutes the problem, but the medicine is the same – the Incarnate, Resurrected Christ.

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    Conquering death by death,
    and unto those in the tombs,
    bestowing life.

  6. Caroline,
    Entry into Orthodoxy does not require a church, just ask those in the Soviet Union when they had hardly any churches to worship in. Sunday services were done secretly in homes. If Americans seek Orthodox Christianity there is nothing or anyone to keep them away! What a great problem for us Orthodox to have.

    Those teaching the words of Jesus Christ outside of Orthodox Christianity I imagine will receive their reward, so far as it not too out of bounds, with Orthodoxy. The more truth we know, the more we will be judged upon.

    I’m still not sure about the many mansions thing, or how near or far we will be to the seat of Christ, according to how deep our faith, and level of our deeds.

    • Really, what we ought to do, if money were not much of a particular constraint, is to just start building Orthodox churches. Call it the “Field of Dreams” project. “Build it, and they will come.”

      Get deep pockets to commit to building 500 Orthodox churches in the United States within the next 5-10 years. Ten in each state of the Union. One in the state capitol, one in each of the other 9 most populated cities. Also, commit to full ride scholarships or provision to provide an Orthodox priest and his matushka and kids for each church. You need at least 2 people to serve a liturgy and most services of the Church, that’s where matushki and kids come in handy.

      Make all the services in the dignified English used by ROCOR or the Athonite monasteries in their English chanting resources. The only bilingual services would be English/Spanish in places where that was appropriate. These parishes would be purely mission parishes, not constructed for the benefit of ethnic Orthodox in America but for the explicit purpose of evangelizing the heterodox, indigenous American population.

      Model the church construction on pre-Schism British and French churches. Use the normal liturgies of Orthodoxy, not the “Western Rite”. There’s no need for that. No pews, just benches. Traditional Orthodox worship. Bonnets in the colonial style to be provided in the narthex to females over the age of 7 or so who wish to enter the nave and perhaps have forgotten to bring head covering.

      Music would be whatever the priest was trained in, but Russian Orthodox music is more familiar to the Western ear than Byzantine. These churches would have no ethnic identifier in the official name of the parish. “St. Mark’s Orthodox Church”, for example.

      Now, I ask you, Russia went from a starting point of about 7000 churches (from a height of almost 60,000 churches) to well over 30,000 in the years following the collapse of communism: Would 500 Orthodox churches in the United States teaching the Orthodox faith and Orthodox worldview not be a very wise investment given the current political situation?