Fr. Athanasius responds to "Did Judas Partake of Holy Communion?" by H.E. Anba Bishoy

Your Eminence:


In an article published on your web site titled Did Judas Partake of Holy Communion? (attached) you wrote:

"It is apparent in these verses of the gospel, that Christ the Lord declared His betrayal by of one of His disciples (namely Judas) as they were eating the Passover meal of the Old Testament. This is evident in the words of Jesus when He said, 'He who dipped his hand with me in the dish…' It is also written in the gospel, '…as they were eating…' meaning, as they were eating the Passover which they had prepared."

I am not going to argue about the main thesis you present which is against what St. John Chryostom says, but I will ask your Eminence: can you produce any Patristic proof of what you are proposing? The more serious problem with the article is what I underlined: they were eating the Passover which they had prepared. Allow me to offer to your Eminence what St. Peter seal of the martyr and 17th Patriarch of Alexandria wrote about this 17 centuries ago:

But after His public ministry He did not eat of the lamb, but Himself suffered as the true Lamb in the Paschal feast, as John, the divine an evangelist, teaches us in the Gospel written by him, where he thus speaks: “Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment-hall, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the passover.” And after a few things more. “When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment-seat, in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the third hour,” as the correct books render it, and the copy itself that was written by the hand of the evangelist, which, by the divine grace, has been preserved in the most holy church of Ephesus, and is there adored by the faithful. And again the same evangelist says: “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath-day (for that Sabbath-day was an high day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.” On
that day, therefore, on which the Jews were about to eat the Passover in the evening, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was crucified, being made the victim to those who were about to partake by faith of the mystery concerning Him, according to what is written by the blessed Paul: “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;” and not as some who, carried along by ignorance, confidently affirm that after He had eaten the Passover, He was betrayed; which we neither learn from the holy evangelists, nor has any of the blessed apostles handed it down to us. At the time, therefore, in which our Lord and God Jesus Christ suffered for us, according to the flesh, He did not eat of the legal Passover; but, as I have said, He Himself, as the true Lamb, was sacrificed for us in the feast of the typical Passover, on the day of the preparation, the fourteenth of the first lunar month. The typical
Passover, therefore, then ceased, the true Passover being present:
“For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us,” as has been before said, and as that chosen vessel, the apostle Paul, teaches.
ANF Volume VI pp 282-283

Saint Hyppolytus who lived 50 years earlier writes this:

But he has fallen into error by not perceiving that at the time when Christ suffered He did not eat the Passover of the law. For He was the Passover that had been of old proclaimed, and that was fulfilled on that determinate day.
Against All Heresies ANF Vol V p 240

Many of us who have trained their minds by reading the Fathers as St. Cyril advises are really worried about the discrepancies we find between your Eminences' teachings and those of the Fathers of the Church especially the Patriarchs of our Coptic Orthodox Church. In previous correspondences I have demonstrated how your teachings are opposed to the writings of St. Theodosius 33rd Patriarch of Alexandria in my book Defending The Holy Virgin Mary. In a previous email I demonstrated that your claims about the council of Nicaea approving the transfer of bishops to other dioceses contradicts what St. Alexander 19th Patriarch of Alexandria wrote in his Letter The Deposition of Arius. And here we go again where your writings are opposed to St. Peter 17th Pope of Alexandria. I emphasized in my earlier email that one who wishes to be the 118th Patriarch of Alexandria should be at lease familiar what what the earlier Patriarchs of Alexandria wrote. How can we explain to our youth, who know all of these discrepancies and, as a matter of fact bring them to my attention since I don't frequent your web site (but they do). How can we explain to them your desire to be the new Patriarch in view of these errors in your teachings?