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Endorsement from Priest-Monk Patrick Ramsey for "On the Reception of the Heterodox"

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Fr. Patrick Ramsey of the Parish of St. George in Norfolk


It is unfortunate that such a book as this is needed, but due to various teachings springing up and confusion caused by them and the actions of a number of bishops and presbyters, this book is an important work for our time. The book brings together in historical order the teaching of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church from the Apostles until Saints having passed away in living memory. The testimony provided shows a consistent chain of teaching passing from generation to generation of the Church on the reception of the heterodox into the Church. It demonstrates what is consistent with the reality of the Church in union with God through Christ in the Holy Spirit. The Church is a holy nation, a household, a holy family bound by physical and spiritual ties founded on Christ, whose Body is the Church, and on the foundations of the Apostles, the Fathers of the Church. The Church is linked together through the communion of its bishops both in space throughout the world and in temporal succession from the Apostles. These bishops (bishops and the presbyters gathered with them) are the fathers of the family, the patriarchs of the nation, that give birth to spiritual children united to the family in body and Spirit as true “sons of God”. Our re-birth is through the Church, our Mother, in the womb of the water of baptism enlivened by the Holy Spirit to beget sons and daughters of God as members of His household as clothed in Christ united into one Body physically in water and spiritually by Faith and the Holy Spirit. One can only be a member of this holy household, family and nation, if begotten by a father of the household, a bishop or presbyter of the Church. One cannot be a child of the Church with a father outside the household, no matter what is said and done to imitate the birth of the household. Just as the lineage of Israel was essential and also remaining in the nation, so too the lineage of the Church and continuation in the holy nation, the new Israel, is essential.

Also from another point of theology, just as the Holy Spirit rests eternally in the Son and does not proceed from the Son, so too does the Holy Spirit abide in His Body, the Church and does not proceed from this Body. Without the Spirit of God, there are no sons of God there is no spiritual rebirth and no union with Christ. Even more, baptism is a symbol of the eternal Trinity, such that just as the Son is begotten from the Father with the Spirit and has the Spirit rest on Him eternally, adopted sons are begotten in baptism of the Father with the Holy Spirit and have the Holy Spirit abide on them through Chrism. Importantly, the priest stands in the place of the Father in this symbol as appointed through ordination for this. This is why there is no baptism conferred by those who are not priests of the Church, there is no begetting without a father and conferring of the Holy Spirit without having the Spirit and Apostolic authority to do so.

All this is said to reinforce the teachings of this book that there is no regeneration of souls as sons of God outside the Church, that is the bishops and presbyters in communion with the lineage of bishops from the Apostles united together about the metropolitans and patriarchs, especially those patriarchs of Rome (New Rome or Constantinople), Alexandria and Antioch along with Jerusalem. Those cut off from them through false teaching, gross impiety, or in schism are as Cain cut off from the holy line of Adam as foreign nations with no hope in the world.

Because what is physical needs to be saved by the physical to be united physically, so the physical parts of the Holy Mysteries must conform to what distinguishes physical things one from one, which is their form. Thus, baptism must have its proper form to be baptism in water, otherwise we deny its physical reality and why it is necessary for our salvation. That is without triple immersion in water, as closely done as possible in the circumstances, and the correct invocation of the names of the Trinity, there is no baptism and no regeneration, so no salvation. This is why in case of imminent death, a layman can provide the form of water, because this has to be physically done. Even a natural father can do it, although this is otherwise not appropriate because the baptiser needs to present God as Father as distinct from our natural father; like the Son is begotten only of the Father, we too must be begotten of God as Father in rebirth as adopted sons of God. This lay baptism is only form without the operation of the Spirit, but enough for God to complete the rest on death, or given survival, a priest needs to complete the rest or may even perform the full rite; the form in itself does not confer rebirth without the Holy Spirit. The Church can also accept the empty form done correctly by one outside the Church as given and then complete the rest or decide to perform the complete rite as with a lay baptism, although unlike a lay baptism, the form given outside the Church does not provide hope of salvation. It must be noted that there is no custom of laity regularly providing the form and priests completing it, rather this is an exception through necessity, so too reception of the form without repetition is to be understood as an exception due to pastoral necessity and not the normal practice. A rule of reception of such forms would effectively deny the priesthood and the mystery of baptism.

The way of reception as identified in this book are not merely a heritage of rules or the teachings of the Fathers, which in themselves we should obey without hesitation, but it pertains to what is necessary for our salvation and to what it is to be the Church, the Body of Christ, and what it is to have eternal life. Ultimately this is how man comes into union with the Triune God and no other way is possible without denying God or our salvation as human beings of body and soul created in the image of God.

I give my endorsement for this book and that it should be read by those training for the priesthood so that all things are done in obedience to the Holy Fathers and towards a proper understanding of the Church and our salvation through Christ.

Sts Peter and Paul,

Priest-Monk Patrick (John) Ramsey, PhD, MTh, BSc, LLB.

Parish of St George, Eccles, Norfolk, UK.

Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland, Patriarchate of Antioch



Find this book and other edifying titles HERE.

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