Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Russians discuss secular jobs incompatible with priesthood

If you've read the canons, much of this is already covered, but it's a worthwhile endeavor to clarify and update/expand to match current employment options. I wish this could get application at a pan-Orthodox level. Anecdotally, our bishops in the US often take each secular form of employment on a case-by-case basis with the priest. One bishop may be absolutely fine with his priest delivering pizzas while another might consider it "below the dignity of the presbyterate." It's also worth noting that much of this also applies to the wives of the clergy as well.

(Orthochristian.com) - The meeting of the Presidium of the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is gathering in particular to determine which professions and types of activities are incompatible with the priesthood, has begun today. In particular, sports, medical professions, and civil service are under discussion, reports RIA-Novosti.

The patriarch’s press secretary Fr. Alexander Volkov earlier stated that the final decision on the issue of priestly professions will be made by the Council of Bishops, although the relevant document must first be confirmed by the participants of the Inter-Council Presence.

As previously reported, the draft document was created by order of an Inter-Council commission from January 28, 2015. Comments on the document were received online up through May 2, 2017.

The draft document notes that “conditions of modern life sometimes raise the question of reconciling the priesthood and secular professions.” The following professions were suggested as incompatible:
  • Military service and “generally any service, even in private corporations, involving the carrying and use of weapons”;
  • Civil service in executive or judicial bodies;
  • Medical activities connected with the shedding of human blood, especially of surgeons (the example of St. Luke of Crimea being an exception “connected with the circumstances of the time” according to the document) and other medical positions.
  • Here it is noted that “the ruling bishop may sanction the medical or paramedical activity of a cleric if it is able to bear good fruits”;
  • Personal businesses, especially in banking, credit, and insurance;
  • Work in establishments of dubious reputation, such as gambling houses, casinos, etc.;
  • Professional sports;
  • Acting, dancing, stage singing.
“We’re not talking about any kind of innovation, but about systematizing the relationship of the Church to such kinds of activities,” Fr. Volkov added. According to him, everything formulated in the draft document is already contained in the holy canons of the Church, “It’s just that here it’s all recorded in one document.”

“The topics that will be adopted today will help in the final stage to determine whether some conciliar document about them is necessary or not, and with who should decide on this or that document—the Holy Synod of the Council of Bishops,” said Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia at the opening of the meeting.


  1. Tent-making, fishing still permissible.

  2. I recently read an article about a priest that is a bail bondsman.

    1. I believe he is a vagantes of some pseudo-church, so that might be the reason such a vocation in the world is "allowed"...

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  4. Hmmm, know alot of great priests that are in the medical field....

    1. I think it's more from the perspective of preserving the chrism which allows proper blessing and fructification of the Sacraments. I have been told women can receive a dispensation to enter the altar, but are prohibited absolutely if they are menstruating. Perhaps they are applying the same reasoning with a surgeon cutting human tissue and shedding blood, albeit for medicinal purposes.

  5. I know this has not something to do with the article but I am not sure if you ever across this site... http://www.amen.gr/article/varysimadi-synedefksi-tou-mitropoliti-koreas-amvrosiou-sto-amengr ... it can be translated to English... Is this a Russian thing? First with the Greekk Bishop in HK and now with the Greek Bishop in Korea?