Father John Mangels once said that trying to be Eastern Catholic in union with Rome is schizophrenia.
Roman Catholic theology is so dissimilar to Orthodoxy.
I used to attend the Melkite Church. In 1993, when the Eparch died, Bishop John was placed as the administrator until Rome could approve a new Eparch. It took a couple of years. This would not be the case in a Roman Catholic Diocese.
If the Code of Canon Law of 1917 had not been implemented, then the Traditional way of electing bishops would have been followed:
According to Ancient Church Tradition, the way of electing a bishop is as follows:
After a bishop dies or is disposed, then members and priests of the diocese would gather together in prayer to select three names.
These three names would be submitted to the three nearby dioceses for approval.
If one or more names were approved by the three bishops, then these three bishops would consecrate the candidate(s).
Rome and/or the other dioceses would be notified AFTER THE FACT.
With the implementation of the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility and Papal Supremacy, this all changed, and required the diocese to submit their three names directly to the Vatican who does not know each priest. Local control is thereby eliminated and the Vatican bureaucracy has been growing in power. If the Vatican does not approve at least one candidate, then the diocese must submit another list of three names until the Vatican approves a candidate. With Vatican-mandated approval, the process takes longer. In the above case, Rome sent a Latin-Rite Bishop to visit various Melkite parishes unannounced to talk with the parishioners about the candidates. It was very awkward when this Bishop visited the parish where Bishop John was staying. It went against all protocols as there was no announcement that he was coming.
I'm reminded of another conversation. (The entire thread can be found here: Melkite commemoration ... a possible compromise?
At the parish I usually attend (Melkite) the priest commemorates Archbishop Cyril, Patriarch Gregory, and Pope Benedict.
Now, I don't remember where, but somewhere I've heard that the traditional practice is actually for the parish priest to commemorate only his own bishop. I.e. only the bishop commemorates other bishops. (Can anyone confirm this?)
I don't think we are ready to return to that traditional (assuming it is) practice. However, I wonder if a compromise would be possible: Namely, to commemorate not only the Melkite Patriarch and the Roman Patriarch, but all the Catholic Patriarches. It seems like that would make a lot more sense than commemorating some but not others.
quote: According to Metropolitan Georges Khodre of Mount Lebanon (Patriarchate of Antioch) - "In mentioning the Pope of Rome in the Eastern liturgies we are inviting the Churches to a practice the East has never known."
If this is the case, I am sure it is, then our Eastern Catholic Churches should return to the Orthodox practice. But I can already see the reaction from some, "they are not Catholic because they don't commemorate the Pope."
Yes, that's pretty much my thinking as well: in principle we should follow the traditional method, but that probably wouldn't work out too well in practice. So some sort of compromise seems to be in order.
The commemoration is about the hierarchy which also represents the communion of the people with the Church. So we the people are in communion with the Church through our Bishop, who is in communion with the Metropolitan, who is in communion with the Patriarch, who is in communion with the Pope. There's no point to commemorate the other Bishops including other Patriarchs.
quote: There's no point to commemorate the other Bishops including other Patriarchs.
And really the Pope in our liturgies. We are in communion with the Pope only through our communion with our Bishop, (through our parish under his rep- the Priest) who is in communion with his Metropolitan, who is communion with his Patriarch, who is in communion with the Pope. Now a Metropolitan Church is different in that case the Metropolitan commemorates the Pope.
I think Eastern Catholics can stress the point of "we are in communion with the Pope" to a fault. Really, we should follow the pattern laid out above (which is the Orthodox Practice) but we don't because we don't want to be accused of not being Catholic. Returning to the Orthodox Practice is part of the courage to be ourselves.
Fr. Deacon Lance:
What is in the liturgicon? That determines what we could and couldn't do.
Isn't it up to Patriarch Gregory and the Melkite synod to determine what's in the Melkite liturgicon (with certain exceptions, like CCEO Canon 209 requiring the Pope to be commemorated)?
Fr. Deacon Lance: