Bishops and the Sacraments

edited May 2005 in Faith Issues
Why is it that in the Coptic Orthodox Church we believe in the 7 sacraments and one is marriage, but how come bishops and popes cant get married, but priests can. it mean the bishops can only practice 6 out of the seven sacraments but a priest can do all 7. it doesnt make sense, please help me.



  • There are seven sacraments; some are compulsory for Christians

    1)   Baptism
    2)   Communion
    3)   Confession
    4)   Confirmation

    There are 3 which are not compulsory.

    5)   Priesthood
    6)   Marriage
    7)   Unction of the Sick

    You can be a deacon, priest, bishop, pope if chosen.
    You can get married if you wish.
    You can have a priest pray on you with holy oils if you are sick.

    God does not expect everyone to be a deacon, priest, etc or married or sick. He expects different things from different people.

    :) Hope that helped

    Peter - Melb AUS
  • Who said Bishops don't practice the seven Sacrements? St. Paul says to St. Timothy "But let the Bishop be the husband of one wife". and according to a sermon by H.G. Anba David, since the door of monastic life has been opened, then it is better to choose the Bishop as the husband of no wives. But the Bishop is married to the Church.

    So the the Bishop fullfils all 7 sacrements, having being Given the preisthood of Melchizedek and marrying the mother of all believers and therefore is a father.

    Hope that helps
  • Psalmist,
    Just want to clarify one thing.
    One Wife here does not mean a human wife but rather married to one diocese or one church.
    Also, in the early days of the church, bishops, priests and popes had wives and children. Anianos (I think that's how his name is spelled) the second pope (the first after St. Mark, was married and had kids. Selecting Bishops and Popes from the ranks of monks didn't come till later because of thier dedication, thier works and thier faith.
    The priest in the coptic church is married for more than one reason (no offense to any catholics here)
    1) He will serve in the world, so as not to be tempted.
    2) He can relate to the congregation he serves
    I am sure there are more reasons but those that come to mind at the time.

    Just my 2 cents, thought I would share
  • don't forget that the bishop that you are talking about
    at first he was a small monk in the ministry serving only for god and that also doesn't mean when god let him to be a bishop to stop serving for god and serve the people!i don't think so :-\
  • [quote author=Coptic boy
    Just want to clarify one thing.
    One Wife here does not mean a human wife but rather married to one diocese or one church.

    Coptic boy thats quite rue from the time of St. Anthony onward in the Coptic History. however previous to st. Anthoy and following the Evangelism of St. MArk in the land of Egypt, Bsihops we're allowed to be married.
    now if you notice the matter. monks/Bishops will not take confessions from females, they may solve a problem in the family or what not, but dunt take their confesion so as not to set a trap for thereselves through the works of the devil. Hemce the priest had to be married in order to take care of this issue. also most of the Apostles were married, so that goes to contradict the Catholic belief on the ascticism within the rank of Priesthood (Not trefering to Ascetism)

    just what i know.
  • why did you said that bishops can't talk confession?
  • I clearly said that Bishops don't take the confessions of females so as not to arouse any thoughts.
  • bishops can take the confession of female!am i right or not? :-[ :-X ::)
  • Like PeterS said, there are four sacrements of the church that every Christian in the faith is given, no matter what they want to be (actually, they need those four sacrements to become a priest, deacon, bishop, etc.)

    Let us also remember that marriage is not necessarily a union between man and woman...there is a union between a bishop and his church. I think when the church says marriage here, the church means "lifelong union".

    just my thoughts...

    Sinful Servant
  • Yes they can. I have never heard of such a rule that Bishops should abstract from taking confessions from females. HOWEVER, I do know that it is more favourable to confess to a Priest about family problems and such because he would be more understanding. Again that is not a rule but it is more favourable.

    God Bless.

  • Nither monks nor bishops (same goes for Metropolitans and Popes) can take the confession of a female member of the congregation. However due to the fact that some areas doesn't have a priest and the only clergy available is a monk or sometimes because of the nature of the problem, etc... a Bishop's envolvment becomes neccessary, they oblige. They (monks, bishops, etc... ) try to avoid that at all cost because they want to avoid temptation.
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