There are many different persuasions here on OC.net regarding the Western Rite. Some of us worship with it, some would if they could, some prayerfully support it, some are indifferent, ambivalent, and some are adamantly opposed. I wanted to put forward a thought experiment, particularly to those in the opposed camp.
Suppose you send out invitations for a dinner party. You request the presence of St. Tikhon the Enlightener of America, St. John the Wonderworker, St. Nicholas of Japan, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, those who made up the Holy Synod of Russia, Patriarch Alexander III of Antioch, Patriarch Joachim III of Constantinople, and all the Bishops and Metropolitans who have taken care of Western Rite flocks over the last century. They all accept and you have the chance to speak with them, all together.
My question is, what do you say to them about your opposition? What is it that you see that they so clearly don't? What insight into the Liturgy, whether Eastern or Western, do you have that they lack? What concerns do you have that you believe they haven't considered? What is it that they're missing?
And on the other hand, what might they see in the Western Rite that you don't? What is it about the Western expressions that they deem wholly proper and sufficient for those entrusted to their care? Particularly those who are now Saints, those who have tasted theosis, what is it about the Western expressions that they believe will help others achieve that same goal?
One can only assume that, if you are opposed to the Western Rite, you believe you have very good reasons for that position. And in the context of an internet forum, or email list, etc., it's easy to say what you have to say and move on. But in this context, where you're in the presence of those involved in bringing the Western Rite back to Orthodoxy, especially those whom the Orthodox Church has glorified as Saints, whom we are encouraged to model our lives after, I'm wondering how the conversation would go. What questions do you have for them? What do you want to say to them?
I'm interested in this because, given the history of the Western Rite's restoration, what it took to make it happen, and especially considering those who were involved, it puzzles me that some can take such a bold stance against the fruits of their labors. Underlying the opposition seems to lie some pretty profound implications that I haven't really seen anyone address. Because, in order for the Western Rite to come to fruition, those to whom the Apostolic Faith has been entrusted (Patriarchs), and those whom the Church has glorified as embodiments of that Faith (Saints), either had to believe that the Western Rite embodied and expressed the fullness of the Faith, meeting all the standards of what Orthodox worship should be (which, if so, one has to wonder why anyone is opposed at all) or, it doesn't and these guardians and beacons of the Faith are guilty of pretty gross negligence, or worse.
Unless there is something else I'm missing, which I fully admit might be the case. Hence the thread
Anyone please feel free to respond and share your take on things.