I've been meaning to start a thread on this topic for some time. I know that it's been discussed before a bit, but I think the time is ripe to consider once again the questions posed by the emergence of the Western rite in the Orthodox Church.
My own take on it, in a nutshell, is that Orthodoxy should allow for the establishment of Western-rite parishes, should an entire parish wish to convert to Orthodoxy and retain a Western usage. I would say the same thing in terms of an eventual reunion with the West, should that ever come to pass. The Orthodox must allow for some kind of Western liturgy, although probably not the novus ordo as it is now practiced in North American Latin Churches, to be used by the Western Church in this instance.
I think that some Eastern disciplines should clearly apply to Westerners. For example, fasting before communion would have to be the rule. But what about issues like fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays? Perhaps they should just follow Eastern rules whole hog here? Or maybe there should be something of an allowance for divergence in practice, perhaps a return to pre-Vatican II fasting practice for Westerners being prescribed?
I am of the opinion that Western theological emphasis should be permitted and encouraged in Western parishes that are received into Orthodoxy, up to a point. There is clearly a point beyond which one cannot go here. Clearly, any such emphases must be confined to developments occuring in the first millenium of Church history, and even then, some should be viewed with caution. I suppose a hybrid kind of emphasis might be what I would favour, but really with Eastern concepts taking the lead.
Some Western liturigies already in use in the Orthodox world appear to me to be quite suspect, others being more sound. In theory, I have a great deal of difficulty with Anglican usage that is now allowed in some parishes, seeing as the Anglican rite evolved in a very inorganic, non-traditional way: it was basically artificially constructed. The epiclesis inserted in the Anglican rite seems very artificial too: would not a supplices te rogamus prayer be more compatible with Western forms?
Another problem I have with some Western liturgies is that they are actually more primitive in form than Eastern liturgies, and as such, do not have built in to their content the reflection of the historic battes for Orthodoxy that were waged in the early and middle Byzantine period. Also, because of their more primitive nature, Western liturgies are, ironically, less scriptural in content and not nearly as doctrinally explicit.
And yet, having said all this, would it be possible for the Orthodox to allow for a wide variety of non-traditional liturgical use to be brought into play, just so long as the faith was held in common, and trust the Holy Spirit to confirm that which is good in this practice, and to weed out was inappropriate? After all, Orthodoxy has historically taken that which was good in a given culture and sacralized it, making it its own. We shouldn't be out to "Byzantinize" or "Russify" or "Romanianize" people, but to share the treasure of the Orthodox faith with them.
It's true that many Orthodox do not consider Western-rite Orthodoxy to be legitmate at all. As far as I can tell, this is because of a few arguments that are somewhat related. In the first case, some of these liturgies have been mothballed for ages(e.g., the Sarum rite) and are museum pieces, not liturgies that have been allowed to develop naturally. A similar argument against Western liturgical usage would be that it evolved in a schismatic and/or heterodox setting. But I think that under certain conditions, it simply has to be allowed. I would like to hear divergent views on this topic, that I know are out there! My own position is far from fixed on it, and I could change my mind on some issues, should I encounter compelling and convincing arguments. Comments?