If you want to get a reasoned position (though one I can't fathom for the life of me, but I can't argue against its sincerity), you will have to get Apotheum or Irish Melkite or their like to answer.
I thank my friend and brother, Isa, for his acknowledgement of my sincerity on this point - an acknowledgement that he has made more than once and of which I am most appreciative.
The question Papist poses is not exactly new
; in fact, the last time I posted this was in reply to similar comments/questions/observations by he and Wyatt back in January - although the specific focus back then was on Melkites. I drew then on a response I made to a 2008 post here by PJ.
I am no theologian, by any stretch of anyone's imagination. If they stop and think about it, those who have read my posts over the years will realize that they likely can't recollect seeing me participate in much that would be considered theological or apologetic debate. It's not my thing.
I'll fiercely defend the right of any EC/EO or OC/OO to believe and charitably/civilly express their beliefs and their agreement or disagreement with their opposite number, but I'm here primarily to celebrate, share, and educate my brethren, and those who honestly inquire, about the beauty of our spirituality, praxis, and ecclesio-cultural identities - even our pirohi or fatayah That's what I do and I try my best to do it well. Sound like a cop-out? It's not intended to be; hopefully God doesn't find it such.
... Ours (the Melkite Church) is a conflicted Church but we cannot and will not stand around, wringing our hands, and waiting for the moment at which the Holy Spirit decides to illumne all concerned and bring a millenium or more of separation to an end. So, we celebrate every aspect of the religious beliefs that we share either with both Rome and Constantinople or with only one of them.
I can't ask that anyone fully understand; I'm not sure we always do. It's not beyond imagining that, when the Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue Commission meets, and our Church name is mentioned, those on both sides look across the table and say - simultaneously - "what is with those Melkites?" - to which the simultaneous replies from both parties are shrugged shoulders and mumbled "who knows"
- a variant on that would be "Are they with you?" - to which one can imagine the response, "With us? We thought they were with you!
I can't explain it better. You'll note that I don't describe myself as 'Orthodox in communion with Rome' or as an 'Orthodox Catholic'.
My long-time friend and brother, Bob Tallick/Orthodoc, once posted here to define the term 'Orthodox Catholic' as "An Orthodox Catholic is a member of what some people refer to as the Eastern Orthodox Church."
That is certainly accurate although, IMHO, it is a somewhat uncommon choice of descriptor. My objection to it is that the usage is so infrequent as to be confusing to the average person encountering it (keep in mind that, to much of the world, Eastern Christians - be they Orthodox or Catholic, are a puzzle).
ACROD, I believe, retains the styling in its legal corporate name (but no longer uses it on webpage, letterhead, publications, etc.) and a few ACROD parishes (e.g., St. Michael's in Binghamton, NY) actively employ it; few other Eastern Orthodox Churches or canonical jurisdictions routinely
style themselves as such (note, I said 'routinely, so please don't pepper the thread with a thousand examples - we all know there are some that do; it's not the point of the thread).
The terminology is also used, although I believe inaccurately, by some Eastern Catholics to describe the combination of their Catholicity (in regards to communion with Rome) and their liturgical and (incomplete) theological adherence to the praxis and tenets of Orthodoxy. In a variant that is encountered among some Eastern Catholics (particularly Russian Greek Catholics), it takes on the extended form that is usually expressed as "Orthodox in communion with Rome".
I used to find the latter to be more acceptable, however over the years I've come to consider the usage objectionable in that it promotes as much confusion among non-Eastern and non-Oriental Christians as does 'Orthodox Catholic'.
Four decades ago (and even much more recently), as one who had recently moved from the Latin Catholic to the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church, I was regularly frustrated by the ignorance of those who couldn't/wouldn't distinguish between Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. I think, in looking at these various alternative combinations of "Orthodox" and "Catholic", that they invite a return to those days, something I see as not serving the best interests of either Eastern Orthodoxy or Catholicity vis-a-vis their unique ecclesial identities.
Not as relevant to the discussion here, but worth noticing, especially if you post to any of the Latin Catholic boards, is that "orthodox Catholic" (note the lower case "o") is frequently employed by conservative Latin Catholics (which includes some, but not all of those who would describe themselves as "traditional"). In that usage, it is intended to convey the adherence of the Catholic to "true" Catholic practice, doctrine, and dogma (usually intending to mean that which existed pre-Vatican II). With all due respect to any of my Catholic brethren here who would style themselves as such, my desire to not be confused with that body of my co-religionists furthers my avoidance of the term in that form.
If this answer has helped anyone to understand from where I (and some of my fellow Eastern Catholics) are coming, I'm glad. If it has only confused the issue more, I apologize. It's not my intention to debate it. I wasn't born an Eastern Catholic, but I will repose as one.
I didn't flee from the Latin Church (my eastward trek began before most folks had any notion what the outcome of VII would be). Yet, after 45 years as a Melkite Catholic, I remain to some degree spiritually unfulfilled, as I would be were I Melkite Orthodox (as the Antiochian Orthodox were styled until late in the 19th century). My prayer is that, in the lifetime of my descendents, unity will be achieved among the Apostolic Churches. Only then - in whatever form it takes - do I believe that the Church will be complete and fully pleasing to God.