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Archbishop Sotirios of Canada: No disease can be transmitted from the Body and Blood of Christ

In other languages: GRBG

A Reply on the Issue of Holy Communion

Beloved in the Lord,

Let me first thank you for your letter concerning the way in which Holy Communion is given.

I think that many people are confusing Holy Communion, with the way it is given or offered. Holy Communion is the awesome Mystery of Christ, it is the Body and Blood of our Saviour. As such, it can neither be explained nor does it require rational justification. The Christian believer experiences the Mystery through faith. No disease can be transmitted from the Body and Blood of Christ.

Over the course of its two-thousand-year history, our Church has employed different modes of distributing Holy Communion. I refer you to the hundred and first (101st) Holy Canon of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council in 691-92 A.D., so that you can see what is permitted and what is not. Unfortunately, this Canon was discarded – only God knows how and why – and practices eventually prevailed which were not in accordance with the Canon.

The essence of the matter is that Christians believe in the Mystery of Holy Communion. Christians receive and experience Holy Communion regardless of the manner in which it is given. I do not need to write anything further. Whoever is faithful, humble and lives the Mystery of Holy Communion does not need to hear anything else, but to receive and live the Mystery of Holy Communion with much faith.

The word liturgy is an ancient Greek word and it means work of the people. When Divine Liturgy is done and Holy Communion is not given to the people (Orthodox Christians) a great sin is committed.

Again, I thank you because you had the courtesy and made the effort to write to me. I pray for you, and I ask that you pray for me as well.

I enclose:

With fatherly love and blessings

+ ARCHBISHOP SOTIRIOS
GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF CANADA

Source: Ἱερά Ἀρχιεπισκοπὴ Καναδᾶ | Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada

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