“Notification”. Such statements are wrong in that the Notification issued is one of caution, not a
The Orthodox Churches (they are Catholic, also) do not have a unified ecclesiastical hierarchy. With
respect to TLIG most of them prefer to maintain a “wait & see” attitude.
The Editor of one of the journals of the Orthodox Church of Greece states that Vassula has by her
own accord “excommunicated herself in form, if not in substance”. Nothing could be farther from
the truth. Not only Vassula has not excommunicated herself (an even that is not possible in the
Orthodox Canon, as excommunication is an act of “anathema” rendered by a Bishop, not a lay
person) but she maintains her standing in the Orthodox Church by having an Orthodox Priest as her
Again, misinformation that circulates against TLIG includes a statement that Vassula receives Holy
Communion from the Roman Catholic Church, an event that would render an Orthodox in violation
of the Orthodox Canon that prohibits Orthodox from receiving the Eucharist from a Church that the
Orthodox have excommunicated (as for example the Roman Catholic Church). This statement (or
perception) is simply wrong, because in 1965 both the Pope Paul VI and the Patriarch of
Constantinople, Athenagoras HAVE LIFTED the excommunication 7 toward one another, and as a
consequence, the Roman Catholic Church now permits the Orthodox to receive the Eucharist (Canon
844 § 3). The decision of Patriarch Athenagoras to lift the Excommunication of the Roman Church
was reaffirmed by his successor, Patriarch Dimitrios who directed 8 that “an Orthodox could receive
Holy Communion from a Roman Catholic Priest”.
Yet, it appears that Church politics interfere with God’s desires that we may all be one 9 . The
Orthodox Bishops have been too slow to accept the lifting of the excommunication, and they have
been pressuring 10 Bartholomew I, the current Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, to distance his
Church from the Roman Church.
Nevertheless, the former excommunication remains lifted! Therefore, officially, the Orthodox do not
consider the Roman Catholic as excommunicated, in spite of what certain Orthodox Bishops choose
to do! Why would then be wrong for any Orthodox to receive Holy Communion from a Roman
Reported in the Journal Episkepsis , Dec. 15, 1977, pp. 34; and Nos. 139, 159, 161, 214).
John 17:11; John 17:21-22
Newsweek Magazine, November 3, 1997: “But Bartholomew's blunt language may have less to do with Christian ecumenism than with
Orthodox Church politics. These fellows aren't called Byzantine for nothing. There are many bishops in the Orthodox churches of Greece, Russia
and elsewhere who believe that he is already too friendly with Rome.”