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Encyclopedia > Full communion

Full communion is completeness of that relationship between Christian individuals and groups which is known as communion. Implying a unity unbroken by heresy or schism, it requires agreement on essential doctrine and practice and a willingness to have close relations. Absolute uniformity in theology and usage is not necessary: provided that this essential unity is maintained, different understandings and emphases are seen as mutually enriching. For a discussion of Holy Communion see the article on the Eucharist. ... Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the ‘catholic’ or orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox. ... The word schism, from the Greek σχισμα, schisma (from σχιζω, schizo, to split), means a division or a split, usually in an organization. ... Christian theology practices theology from a Christian viewpoint or studies Christianity theologically. ...


Partial communion exists where elements of Christian faith are held in common, but complete unity on essentials is lacking. For example, the Catholic Church sees itself as in partial communion with Protestants, and as in much closer, but still incomplete, communion with the Eastern Orthodox Churches (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 838).[1] The Roman Catholic Church believes its founding was based on Jesus appointment of Saint Peter as the primary church leader, later Bishop of Rome. ... Protestantism is a movement within Christianity, representing a split from within the Roman Catholic Church during the mid-to-late Renaissance in Europe —a period known as the Protestant Reformation. ... The Vladimir Icon, one of the most venerated of Orthodox Christian icons of Mary. ... The Catechism of the Catholic Church, or CCC, is an official exposition of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, first published in French in 1992 with the authorization of Pope John Paul II.[1] To correspond exactly with the official text in Latin,[2] which appeared in 1997, five...


The word "communion" is used not only of the bond uniting Christian individuals and groups, but also of groupings of Churches that explicitly recognize the existence between them of this bond in its full form. Examples are the Anglican Communion and the Porvoo Communion. The Anglican Communion uses the compass rose as its symbol, signifying its worldwide reach and decentralized nature. ... The Porvoo Communion is an agreement between 12 European Protestant churches establishing full communion. ...


Full communion (in different senses) exists between:

  1. The particular Churches that form the Catholic Church, which sees itself as one Church, not as a grouping on the lines of those just mentioned (the 28 May 1992 Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on some aspects of the Church understood as Communion, 9[2] declares: "The universal Church cannot be conceived as the sum of the particular Churches, or as a federation of particular Churches. It is not the result of the communion of the Churches, but, in its essential mystery, it is a reality ontologically and temporally prior to every individual particular Church.")
  2. The (approximately 16) autocephalous Churches that likewise form the one Eastern Orthodox Church
  3. The Coptic, Armenian Orthodox, Eritrean Orthodox, Jacobite, Indian Orthodox and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Churches (called "Oriental Orthodox" Churches)
  4. The Anglican Communion, the Old Catholic Church, and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of India
  5. The Churches of the Porvoo Communion
  6. The Episcopal Church in the United States of America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  7. The Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
  8. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Moravian Church, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Reformed Church in America, and the United Church of Christ.
  9. Currently, the United Methodist Church is working toward full communion with both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

In the case of the last-mentioned groupings (from no. 4 on), full communion means little more than an arrangement for: A Particular Church , in Roman Catholic theology and canon law, is any of the individual constituent ecclesial communities in full communion with the Church of Rome and thus make up the Catholic Communion. ... May 28 is the 148th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (149th in leap years). ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... In hierarchical Christian churches, especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, autocephaly is the status of a hierarchical church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. ... The Vladimir Icon, one of the most venerated of Orthodox Christian icons of Mary. ... Jesus Christ in a Coptic icon. ... The Armenian Apostolic Church, sometimes called the Armenian Orthodox Church is one of the original churches, having separated from the then-still-united Roman Catholic/Byzantine Orthodox church in 506, after the Council of Chalcedon (see Oriental Orthodoxy). ... The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church is one of the Oriental Orthodox churches. ... The Syriac Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Middle East with members spread throughout the world. ... The Indian Orthodox Church (also known as the Malankara Orthodox Church, Orthodox Church of the East, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Orthodox Syrian Church of the East), is a prominent member of the Oriental Orthodox Church family. ... Tewahedo Church may refer to any of the following: The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the churches of Eastern Christian traditions that keeps the faith of only the first three ecumenical councils of the undivided Church - the councils of Nicea, Constantinople and Ephesus. ... The Anglican Communion uses the compass rose as its symbol, signifying its worldwide reach and decentralized nature. ... The Old Catholic Church (in Switzerland Christian Catholic Church) is not so much a religious denomination, as a community, part of whose member churches split from the Roman Catholic church in 1870. ... The Mar Thoma Church (also known as The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church) is a schismatic branch of the pre-16th century undivided Syrian Orthodox Church, and got its current identity in 1889, even though it was born much earlier. ... The Porvoo Communion is an agreement between 12 European Protestant churches establishing full communion. ... The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the nations capital is the national cathedral of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. ... The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is a mainline Protestant denomination headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. ... The Anglican Church of Canada is the Canadian branch of the Anglican Communion. ... The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) (Eglise Evangelique Lutherienne au Canada) is Canadas largest Lutheran denomination, with 182,077 baptized members in 624 congregations. ... The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is a mainline Protestant denomination headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. ... A Moravian is a Protestant belonging to a religious movement that originated in Moravia, Czech Republic. ... This article needs cleanup. ... The Reformed Church in America (RCA) is a Calvinist Reformed Protestant denomination that was formerly known as the Dutch Reformed Church. ... The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination in the United States, generally considered within the Reformed tradition, and formed in 1957 by the merger of two denominations, the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches. ... The United Methodist Church is the largest Methodist, and the second-largest Protestant, denomination in the United States. ... The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is a mainline Protestant denomination headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. ... The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the nations capital is the national cathedral of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. ...

  • mutual recognition of members
  • common celebration of the Lord's Supper/Holy Communion/Eucharist
  • mutual recognition of ordained ministers
  • mutual recognition of sacraments
  • a common commitment to mission.

Full communion means much more for the first-mentioned. The constituent particular Churches of the Catholic Church see each of them as the embodiment of the whole unique Catholic Church in a specific area. Similarly, each of the Eastern Orthodox Churches is viewed as a particular embodiment of the one Orthodox Church. This oneness is much weaker or almost entirely absent in the last-mentioned.


The first-mentioned also see sharing the Eucharist as the sign of full communion, the goal to which those striving for unity look forward. Others, especially those for whom the consecrated bread and wine are not really and truly, but only in a figurative sense, the body and blood of Christ, view this sacrament rather as a means of achieving unity by fostering togetherness (see open communion). This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Open communion refers to Christian churches that allow individuals other than members of that church to receive communion (also called the Eucharist or the Lords Supper). ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
ELCA : Worship : FAQ : What Does "Full Communion" Mean for Lutheran Worship? (813 words)
These agreements established a new relationship called "full communion" between the ELCA and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Reformed Church in America, and the United Church of Christ in 1997, and between the ELCA and the Moravian Church in America in 1999.
For the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the characteristics of full communion are theological and missiological implications of the Gospel that allow variety and flexibility.
Full communion means valuing what is held in common as well as coming to appreciate what is distinctive about the worship of the congregations of these churches and their members.
Talk:Full communion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (619 words)
The Mar Thoma Syrian Church of India is in full communion with the Anglican Communion.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is in full communion with the Moravian Church.
Is the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of India in full communion with the Moravian Church?--Pharos 06:22, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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