FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES OF ORTHODOX ECCLESIOLOGY AT SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
St. John Chrysostom addresses all the aspects of Orthodox ecclesiology. The Church, the Body of Christ, is a sacramental communion of the faithful with Christ and with each other. The communion between the human and the divine is achieved in the Church through the Holy Eucharist. The Church is divine guide, its role is sanctifying; outside of it man cannot attain salvation. Ordination is not a simple ceremony, but it has a sacramental character. Through the laying on of the hands of the Bishop candidates receive the grace of the priesthood. Hierarchy is a permanent reality of sacramental nature. In Chrysostom’s views, the terms institution and event – much debated in current ecclesiology – represent two aspects of a single divine action in history.