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Author Topic: Eastern Rite Catholic  (Read 9214 times) Average Rating: 0
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Byzantine Clint
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« on: June 23, 2003, 12:23:45 AM »

After seeing the long thread about Western Rite Orthodoxy, I thought it would be all too appropriate to intoduce one about Eastern Rite Catholicism.

I myself am Eastern Rite Catholic, and I was somewhat wondering what the Orthodox (or at least the numerous ones on this forum  Wink ) think about it.

I heard anything from that Eastern Rite Catholicism its a good thing to "Those damnable Uniates!"

I know that we (Eastern Catholics) show some definate friction with the Orthodox, I was wondering if there is any sense of acceptance among Orthodox, as it was spoken of concerning Western Rite Orthodox.
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2003, 10:36:01 AM »

Clint,

You will probably find a variety of opnions on this board, as many of the members were formerly Byzantine Catholics.  As I was a former Baptist, I will leave it for them to respond. Smiley

Welcome to the board!  You may not have known, but this topic is probably best classified in the Orthodox-Catholic discussion forum, I'll move it there for you so will receive more feedback.

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Byzantine Clint
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2003, 10:46:10 AM »

Thanks for the heads up  Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2003, 11:08:34 AM »

Welcome, Byzantine Clint!

It seems you already have heard the range of Eastern Orthodox opinion on the subject.

I have written a little about the issue of Byzantine Catholics on my Catholic/Orthodox Q&A page.

Long story short, the Byzantine Catholic churches were created to hurt the Orthodox by grabbing their people and churches, and Orthodox have a long memory and still understandably resent this, but the Catholic Church today has dropped this policy. Because its teaching on being the one true church nearly mirrors Orthodoxy's, it passively, and, we hope, quietly still accepts such conversions but no longer solicits them.

Quote
I know that we (Eastern Catholics) show some definate friction with the Orthodox,

Do you mean historically or now? You put that in the present tense. I'd say now, not really, since both groups are stable with mostly generational, born members so sheep-stealing is really a nonissue.

Some Orthodox controversialists might bring up the issue of church ownership in far southwestern Ukraine, a tiny sliver of the country and the home base and home turf of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. They claim the Catholics stole Orthodox buildings there in the early 1990s, but IMO that's Soviet-leftover propaganda from officials in the (Orthodox) Church of Russia, the Moscow Patriarchate, who BTW are the native church and largest church in the rest of Ukraine. (Most Ukrainians are secular, however.) You have to understand the history.

What happened was the USSR annexed the area during WWII, banned its native church (Ukrainian Catholic) in 1946 and gave its buildings to the Moscow Patriarchate. After the ban was lifted in 1989 the Ukrainian Catholics, Catholic by choice, not coercion, resurfaced and took back what was theirs. End of story.

Quote
I was wondering if there is any sense of acceptance among Orthodox

Depends on what you mean. Theologically and ecclesiologically, no. Eastern Orthodoxy dogmatically teaches that Eastern Orthodoxy has grace - everybody else, even those who externally are like them or once were a part of them, is a big question mark. Their status is a matter of speculation that theologically the Orthodox aren't particularly interested in.

But legit, allowable Orthodox opinion, as you know, covers a wide range, everything from 'historically you're separate from us but are really the same' to 'totally bogus'! At the end of my Q&A page I give two examples of real Orthodox clerics, past and present, who represent each extreme.
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2003, 11:42:05 AM »

Dear Clint,

As a former-BC-now-Orthodox this issue is interesting to me.  I am curious, how do you see the BC Church?  What is it to you?  There seem to be at least three different ways BCs see themselves, as so-called "Orthodox-in-communion-with-Rome," "RCs of the Byzantine Rite," or some sort of hybrid - a bridge.  Where are you in this?  

BCs oftentimes want Orthodox to see them as the same (I know I was there once) yet an analogy might be interesting to introduce here.  If BCs think of themeselves as Orthodox under Roman jurisdiction, what would Anglicans be?  RCs under jurisdiction of Canterbury?  It is admittedly an imperfect analogy but I think it might be helpful.  The externals have remained largely intact (moreso since Vatican II in fact) yet the meat of the faith some would say has changed.  I think something similar has happened with BCs.  The external ritual has been preserved in some places largely intact, in others not so much so.  Yet it is the meat of the faith that has changed.  I am not convinced that BCs are held to different standards of believe than RCs.  I've seen no evidence of that from the Roman See for sure.  

For me now, the difficulty lies with the "Orthodox-in-union-with-Rome" position.  I understand that RC ecclesiology supports that notion somewhat yet Orthodox ecclesiology does not.  This is what causes that position to be unacceptable for most Orthodox IMHO.

Tony
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2003, 12:39:36 PM »

TonyS,

The analogy with the Anglicans works very well - I've thought of that one too.

Quote
I am curious, how do you see the BC Church?  What is it to you?  There seem to be at least three different ways BCs see themselves, as so-called "Orthodox-in-communion-with-Rome," "RCs of the Byzantine Rite," or some sort of hybrid - a bridge.  Where are you in this?

Yes - three and maybe four schools of churchmanship! The Orthodox-in-communion-with-Rome are the 'advanced', 'Anglo-Catholic' High Church BCs; the RCs of the Byzantine Rite are Low Church; and the hybrids are Central Churchmen. And I guess a couple of online types are the Spongs of the BC world - Broad Churchmen.

Orthodox often see the High Church BCs exactly the way some RCs did and do view Anglo-Catholics, as wannabes, people playing church, people pretending to be them. And these High Churchmen often convert for pretty much the same reason ACs did and do: they 'want to be the real thing'.

The ACs did see themselves as Catholics in communion with Canterbury, exactly! While RCs saw them as Protestants. So it goes here: the High BCs say they're Orthodox in communion with Rome; the Orthodox see them as non-Orthodox, end of story.

And you know well, TonyS, that in the BC churches there is a battle between the 'advanced' High Churchmen trying to 'raise the churchmanship' of parish churches (in this case, trying to make it just like the Orthodox) vs. the rank-and-file at these places and their own bishops who want to keep the non-Orthodox status quo. ('Take off that cross, Father! That... that's Orthodox!') Again, a great parallel.

Rank-and-file Anglicans are definitely Protestants, pace the High Churchmen. It works pretty much the same way in this ecclesiastical world. The High Churchmen are usually converts. The rank and file, and the episcopate, 1) do not identify with the Orthodox at all, 2) act as though the Orthodox don't exist or 3) are actively hostile to anything Orthodox.

RCs of the Byzantine Rite tend to be both born ethnic members and refugees (not really converts, who it seems usually go High Orthodox); the rank and file are hybrid Central Churchmen: kind of Eastern, but definitely not Orthodox.

Side note: Ukrainian Catholicism seems to define itself with negatives, being a kind of hybridism par excellence. They brandish Russianisms to show they're not Polish, but Polishisms to show they're not Russian.

Second side note: Churchmanship also varies by sui juris BC church. (Kind of like Anglicans had their High 'biretta belt' in the Midwest and High dioceses in Africa, alongside the ++ber-Low Church of Ireland.) The tiny Russian Catholic Church is the highest - almost all former Roman Riters who love everything Russian Orthodox and have nearly zero Romanization in their churches, followed by the sizeable Melkite Church, who have a lot of clout because they have their own Patriarch of Antioch. Ukrainian Catholicism is Central Churchmanship, and finally you end up in the Ruthenian Catholic Church (known simply as Byzantine Catholic in the US), who ironically use the Russian Orthodox cross as their symbol but are practically an ethnic version of the Novus Ordo otherwise. Moving abroad to non-Byzantine Eastern Catholics, the Maronite Church is probably the most Romanized, even more Novus Ordo than the Ruthenians.

Quote
For me now, the difficulty lies with the "Orthodox-in-union-with-Rome" position.  I understand that RC ecclesiology supports that notion somewhat yet Orthodox ecclesiology does not.

True.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2003, 06:06:03 PM by Serge » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2003, 01:09:43 PM »

"I myself am Eastern Rite Catholic, and I was somewhat wondering what the Orthodox (or at least the numerous ones on this forum   ) think about it."

There are various opinions, really, about this among Orthodox.

"I was wondering if there is any sense of acceptance among Orthodox"

Again, it depends.  Officially, no.  The Eastern Rite Catholics are viewed like any other Catholics officially, which means that Orthodoxy takes no dogmatic view as to their status.  Beyond that it's very much a mixed bag.

The creation of the Eastern Catholic Churches led to a great trauma within Orthodoxy because it was perceived as ecclesiastical poaching.  The legacy and memories of that exercise are what informs, for example, the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church to Rome, or the reception that the Pope got when he was in Athens ... there is a fear among many Orthodox that Rome cannot be trusted based on what they did to the Eastern Catholics.  Certainly, there are very few Orthodox who would be willing to see their Orthodox Churches turned into something resembling what the Eastern Catholic Churches are today.

There are also many Orthodox who view the Eastern Catholics as being closer to Orthodoxy than Roman Catholics, but as others have pointed out, it depends really on what kind of Eastern Catholic you're talking about.  There are Eastern Catholics who primarily identify themselves as Catholic and don't want anything to do with Orthodoxy at all.  There are Eastern Catholics who are very Orthodox-orientated, too.  For Orthodox, it's hard to tell, really, what you're talking about when you're talking about Eastern Catholics.  And, at the same time, there is all this ambiguity about what Eastern Catholics are really required to believe, and so forth, and significant disagreements about this among the Eastern Catholics themselves, so that the whole thing can appear rather confused to the Orthodox observer.
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2003, 01:21:15 PM »

Quote
Again, it depends.  Officially, no.  The Eastern Rite Catholics are viewed like any other Catholics officially, which means that Orthodoxy takes no dogmatic view as to their status.  Beyond that it's very much a mixed bag.

As I was saying.

Quote
The creation of the Eastern Catholic Churches led to a great trauma within Orthodoxy because it was perceived as ecclesiastical poaching.  The legacy and memories of that exercise are what informs, for example, the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church to Rome, or the reception that the Pope got when he was in Athens ...

As I was saying.

Quote
there is a fear among many Orthodox that Rome cannot be trusted based on what they did to the Eastern Catholics.

Can't blame ’em for feeling that way.

Quote
Certainly, there are very few Orthodox who would be willing to see their Orthodox Churches turned into something resembling what the Eastern Catholic Churches are today.

I should think not!

Quote
There are Eastern Catholics who primarily identify themselves as Catholic and don't want anything to do with Orthodoxy at all.

Every born ethnic Eastern Catholic I've ever met. And every Ruthenian Catholic and Ukrainian Catholic bishop in the US.

Quote
There are Eastern Catholics who are very Orthodox-orientated, too.


The convert world, disproportionately represented in the cyberworld.

Quote
For Orthodox, it's hard to tell, really, what you're talking about when you're talking about Eastern Catholics.  And, at the same time, there is all this ambiguity about what Eastern Catholics are really required to believe, and so forth, and significant disagreements about this among the Eastern Catholics themselves, so that the whole thing can appear rather confused to the Orthodox observer.


LOL. High vs. Low BCs regarding postschism RC dogma are just like High vs. Low Churchmen regarding the Articles of Religion. It's d+¬ja v+¦ all over again, Yogi.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2003, 01:23:37 PM by Serge » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2003, 03:20:34 PM »

Dear Brendan,

First you have
Quote
The Eastern Rite Catholics are viewed like any other Catholics officially, which means that Orthodoxy takes no dogmatic view as to their status.  Beyond that it's very much a mixed bag.

Then
Quote
The creation of the Eastern Catholic Churches led to a great trauma within Orthodoxy because it was perceived as ecclesiastical poaching.  The legacy and memories of that exercise are what informs, for example, the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church to Rome, or the reception that the Pope got when he was in Athens ... there is a fear among many Orthodox that Rome cannot be trusted based on what they did to the Eastern Catholics.  Certainly, there are very few Orthodox who would be willing to see their Orthodox Churches turned into something resembling what the Eastern Catholic Churches are today.

As far as "validity" of Sacraments you are, of course, right.  But, to say that ECs are viewed like RCs is not accurate I think.  You seem to say this in the last quote above but that contradicts the first quote.

If ECs were seen like RCs then there would not have been the difficulties experienced in the early '90s before Balamand which eventually led to the Balamand document.  "Uniatism" was a hot item and still is.  

TonyS
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2003, 03:25:22 PM »

I don't see the opposition you're setting up, TonyS. Do you mean that RCs are a known quantity, openly not Orthodox, while BCs are seen as a stealth, fifth-column thing trying to infiltrate the Orthodox?
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2003, 03:48:20 PM »

Serge,

Obviously the EOs who were in dialogue saw the RCs in a different light from the BCs.  IIRC the EOs insisted that the "Uniate" question be resovled before moving on.  I can only guess it has to do with the BCs being former-Orthodox who in some peoples' opinion were forced into union through inappropriate means.  Perhaps it is because of the allegation of deception?

"Uniatism" is still AFAIK (and somewhat sadly) a bad word among Orthodox.  

Why do you think that the Balamand document had to be drawn up?  Why do you think "Uniatism" is a problem?  Do you remember better/differently what the issue was at Balamand that year?

Please note, I am not defending or attacking any position, merely trying to identify the situation as it exists.  

Tony
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2003, 03:51:12 PM »

TonyS,

But that's not fair ’cos the present-day so-called 'Uniates' aren't former Orthodox - they're born Catholics. Even the Ukrainian Catholics who 'left' the MP in the late 1980s-early 1990s were really Ukrainian Catholic all along.
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2003, 03:56:40 PM »

TonyS,

But that's not fair ’cos the present-day so-called 'Uniates' aren't former Orthodox - they're born Catholics. Even the Ukrainian Catholics who 'left' the MP in the late 1980s-early 1990s were really Ukrainian Catholic all along.

Serge,

I don't disagree with you.  

I didn't have anything to do with this.  You need to tell that to the EO participants in the dialogue.  

It is like any sad part of history...just because I don't agree with or like what happened in Nazi Germany (like the Holocaust) does not mean it did not happen.  It still happened even if I think it was wrong.  

Am I missing something?

Tony
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2003, 04:18:39 PM »

OK, you agree the EOs are not being fair using rhetoric about 'Uniatism' this way. See my blog entries for yesterday and today about the American black community. Having had one's ancestors experience injustice in the past, as Jews did in Europe, EOs did in the 1500s-1700s from RCs and blacks did during slavery, does not entitle one to practise injustice today, as seems to be the case here with this 'Uniatism!' rhetoric, 'affirmative action' and Israeli treatment of the Palestinians. To claim such 'entitlement' is Marxist BS, not Christian morality.
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2003, 04:25:26 PM »

Tony S, this is off topic, but, unless I'm mistaken, your avator is an icon of St. Maksym Sandowicz (I have had a devotion to St. Maksym ever since I read his Vita).  Am I correct?  Where did you get it?  Can I get one for my online icon collection?

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« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2003, 04:41:03 PM »

OK, you agree the EOs are not being fair using rhetoric about 'Uniatism' this way. See my blog entries for yesterday and today about the American black community. Having had one's ancestors experience injustice in the past, as Jews did in Europe, EOs did in the 1500s-1700s from RCs and blacks did during slavery, does not entitle one to practise injustice today, as seems to be the case here with this 'Uniatism!' rhetoric, 'affirmative action' and Israeli treatment of the Palestinians. To claim such 'entitlement' is Marxist BS, not Christian morality.

Serge,

So then, do you say that "black" and "Jews" who feel this way or claim some "entitlement" are...figments of our imagination?  They do not exist because their thinking is (according to you) faulty?  There is no problem between the Palestinians and Jews in Israel, there are no hard feelings among African Americans because it is "Marxist BS"?  In other words, reality is contingent on your perception of fairness?

Tony
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2003, 04:42:50 PM »

Tony S, this is off topic, but, unless I'm mistaken, your avator is an icon of St. Maksym Sandowicz (I have had a devotion to St. Maksym ever since I read his Vita).  Am I correct?  Where did you get it?  Can I get one for my online icon collection?

Hypo-Ortho

Hypo,

Yes it is St. Maxim.  I have been privileged to travel to Poland twice once to Gorlice.

The avatar is hosted by David.  I will contact you via private message about it.

Tony
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« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2003, 04:45:29 PM »

I must be really dense today ’cos I think I don’t understand what you’re getting at. Of course they all exist - but they’re wrong. I thought I understood you as somehow defending some EOs’ tiresome insistence on a today-nonexistent ‘Uniate’ problem (the insistence that present-day BCs are a threat to them). If, however, you simply are pointing out that some EOs do this, then I stand corrected.
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« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2003, 04:50:15 PM »

I must be really dense today ’cos I think I don’t understand what you’re getting at. Of course they all exist - but they’re wrong. I thought I understood you as somehow defending some EOs’ tiresome insistence on a today-nonexistent ‘Uniate’ problem (the insistence that present-day BCs are a threat to them). If, however, you simply are pointing out that some EOs do this, then I stand corrected.

Serge,

Please go back and you will see that I wrote early on
Quote
Please note, I am not defending or attacking any position, merely trying to identify the situation as it exists.  

Tony
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« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2003, 04:52:29 PM »

Duly noted. Thanks!
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« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2003, 05:07:05 PM »

Tony S, this is off topic, but, unless I'm mistaken, your avator is an icon of St. Maksym Sandowicz (I have had a devotion to St. Maksym ever since I read his Vita).  Am I correct?  Where did you get it?  Can I get one for my online icon collection?

Hypo-Ortho

Hypo,

Yes it is St. Maxim.  I have been privileged to travel to Poland twice once to Gorlice.

The avatar is hosted by David.  I will contact you via private message about it.

Tony

Thanks, Tony.  I've written Dave an email to see if he can help me out.  I couldn't find St. Maxim Sandowicz at Dave's website, but I did find two icons that I did not yet have.   Grin

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« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2003, 05:54:09 PM »

 Grin Woah, thanks guys for all the imput.  I have to go back through and readdress some of the questions soon (though unable to right now), but the feedback is a definate plus.

Thanks to each of you.
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« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2003, 06:59:33 PM »

Hypo,

I sent you a private message with the link.  Did you not get it?

Here it is again:
http://www.taoofdave.com/clipart/avatars/maksym.jpg
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« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2003, 10:33:39 PM »

I once attended a Divine Liturgy (or was it a Mass?) at a Byzantine Church. It was a beautiful little church on the inside, very Orthodox in appearance, except for some of the icons, which were of post-Schism RC saints.

The liturgy was St. John Chrysostom's and very Orthodox, although the melodies sounded somewhat strange, since I am used to Carpatho-Russian tunes, and there were prayers for Pope John Paul.

Some of the people were kneeling, some were standing, and a few were sitting.

Nevertheless, it all seemed a lot like the Orthodox Church.

After the liturgy, we met in the small fellowship hall. When one of the parishioners found out that my wife and I are Orthodox, he began to harangue us on the Schism and why the filioque and purgatory are correct. This embarrassed the RC friend who had invited us to attend. He hustled us out. We had lunch with our friend and his wife and the Byzantine priest.

The priest was a real nice guy who seemed to accept our Orthodoxy with good-hearted fellowship.
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« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2003, 10:48:38 PM »

The liturgy was St. John Chrysostom's and very Orthodox, although the melodies sounded somewhat strange, since I am used to Carpatho-Russian tunes, and there were prayers for Pope John Paul.

Of course Ruthenians BCs and Carpatho-Russian Orthodox sing basically the same music (the former singing according to the Mukachevo recension the latter Preshov).
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« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2003, 12:57:16 PM »

On another thread in another folder, anastasios wrote:

Quote
I went to a Melkite Greek Catholic Church in McLean VA this weekend, one that I frequented a lot in the past, and as usual the liturgy was awesome: Byzantine Chant mostly in English with some Arabic, congregationally sung, five priests and a deacon celebrated, the whole "Mediterranean ethos" was there; it was great.

That's Holy Transfiguration under Fr Joseph Francavilla — a prime example of High Church, just-like-the-Orthodox BCs. It and St Michael's Russian Catholic Church in New York City are the highest BC churches I've ever been to.

Speaking of which, this story on a blog and an RC archdiocese's site illustrates perfectly the conflict between High and Low in most other BC (usually Slavic) places:

http://www.swimmingthetiber.blogspot.com/2003_06_22_swimmingthetiber_archive.html#105648782858695493

http://www.archden.org/dcr/news.php?e=27&s=4&a=595

The moral of the story: rank-and-file Ruthenians, from the bishops to the man in the pew, do not want to be Eastern. I and I'm sure others here can jolly well imagine some bishop or chancery type telling Fr Chrysostom Frank: 'Take down that Russian crap'.

Interesting that the US will have a fourth Russian Catholic congregation.

AFAIK it will be the first such that was founded not to convert Russian Orthodox (which spectacularly failed!), as the others were 50-70 years ago, but to serve the real function of these churches today — as a home for Catholics (both born and never-Orthodox converts) who love everything Russian Orthodox, want to remain Catholic and don't want to put up with the anti-Eastern resistance of Ruthenian and Ukrainian Catholic churches.

One point: as Fr Chrysostom is ex-OCA, I am fairly sure that by default he canonically is Russian Catholic.

Why a never-Catholic Orthodox priest would convert (which almost never happens) could be a discussion in itself.

The 'biritual' angle disturbs me. The Catholic Church in theory agrees that a rite isn't a costume; it's a way of life. Biritualism is supposed to be an exception, for emergencies, not a norm. I for one can't imagine why on earth a sometime Orthodox priest would end up functioning part-time as a Novus Ordo RC priest, 'cohabitating' like Fr C does.
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« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2003, 01:42:04 PM »

"Why a never-Catholic Orthodox priest would convert (which almost never happens) could be a discussion in itself."

I know of one such person who is a priest in the Melkite Church.  He came there from ROCOR, where he was also a priest.  He was originally baptist, I believe.  From what I understand, his motivation was that the jurisdictionalism and infighting in Orthodoxy were simply too much for him to take after a while ... he was more interested in preaching the gospel than meticulously critiquing each other Orthodox jursidction, as we all know that Orthodox sometimes do.  It always struck me as curious, particularly for someone coming from a Protestant background, where there is arguably greater chaos than in Orthodoxy.  He's the only one I personally know of, whereas I know a number of ecclesiastical folks who have travelled in the other direction, so to speak.
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« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2003, 02:03:48 PM »

Not to open wounds, but Fr Chrysostom himself explained his conversion before he did it: here. The page, regrettably, has been IMO dishonestly and hurtfully labelled 'Orthodox-Catholic Relations: An Orthodox Reflection'. I dare say I can agree with nearly everybody here that it certainly isn't the latter. As much as I like the Catholic Church, I wouldn't misrepresent a piece of propaganda on their behalf as Eastern Orthodox.
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« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2003, 02:18:46 PM »

yeah, that would be like me TODAY writing a piece about Orthodox-Catholic relations, then when I finally am free to convert officially, say next year, we publish it as an essay called, "Orthodox-Catholic Relations: A Catholic persepective", but where I come to the remarkably ecumenical position that the Orthodox are right on everything!  In fact, I think we should! ;-)

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« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2003, 03:19:11 PM »

Dear Friends:

But I think Fr. Chrysostom Frank wrote this article a few years BEFORE he became a Byzantine Catholic in 1996!

And, BTW, the correct title of his work was/is: "Othodox-Catholic Relations: An Orthodox Reflection," not "Perspective."

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« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2003, 03:26:49 PM »

Dear Friends:

But I think Fr. Chrysostom Frank wrote this article a few years BEFORE he became a Byzantine Catholic in 1996!

And, BTW, the correct title of his work was/is: "Othodox-Catholic Relations: An Orthodox Reflection," not "Perspective."

AmdG

That's the whole point, Amado, he wrote the article a "few years" before he jumped ship; meaning, he already was on his way so that article is not a reflection of Orthodox opinion! Just like if I wrote today an article about Orthodoxy and Catholicism, and Orthodoxy came out on top, then in a year or even two or three I converted to Orthodoxy, then published the article as "a Catholic reflection" or what not, it would be disengenuous.

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« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2003, 03:30:17 PM »

Amado:

anastasios has answered your first objection for me.

Quote
And, BTW, the correct title of his work was/is: "Othodox-Catholic Relations: An Orthodox Reflection," not "Perspective."

Just an honest mistake. Duly noted and corrected. Thanks!
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« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2003, 04:02:04 PM »

anastasios:

You might be correct in your analysis, because prior to joining the OCA and being ordained subsequently as an Orthodox priest, Fr. C was a Protestant.

As such, I do not know if he was in a "journey" of some sort like yourself, the difference being that he converted first to Eastern Orthodoxy and then to Byzantine Catholicism.

However, it seems to me that his joining the Catholic Church is sincere and he appears to be enjoying his pastoral work with Denver's Russian Catholics, while ministering to Roman Catholics, in the same Church, as a bi-ritual priest!

He happily describes himself to inquiring RCs as a (Russian) Orthodox in communion with Rome!

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« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2003, 04:05:23 PM »

Serge:

Don't mention it!

I was just concerned that, perhaps, there might be a different meaning being ascribed to ". . . An Orthodox Perspective" as against ". . . An Orthodox Reflection."

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« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2003, 04:07:50 PM »

Amado,

I am sure that Fr. C. is happy where he is, and I wish him the best.  I think objectively he is wrong for leaving the Orthodox Church, but I can't judge his heart.  All I can judge is that I think it was wrong for him to publish that story with the title it has as it is misleading.

Yours in Christ,

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« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2003, 04:09:28 PM »

Hi,
I'm the BC blogger Serge noted regarding the whole Fr. Chrysostom Frank/Russian Catholic situation.

I didn't intend for my remarks to be representive of all of Byzantine Catholicism as it stands today, just my little corner of it.  From what I've been able to discern, there are many vibrant Byzantine Catholic parishes out there that embrace their Eastern origins.  What happened at my parish is, I think, unfortunate and rare.

As for Fr. Frank's (he is canonically Russian Catholic) new bi-ritual church, I don't think it is his intention to have it be a 'costume change' or novelty act in the Roman Catholic Parish.  His anthropology and theology remain thoroughly Eastern.

Father Frank enjoys the full support of Archbishop Chaput (an excellant Catholic Bishop) so I don't think there is any worry about interference.

In Christ,
Sean
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« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2003, 04:16:40 PM »

Welcome, Sean!

I know you only meant to describe what happened to you, but my point is that the Ruthenian Catholic church you describe is like many and I dare say most others.
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« Reply #37 on: June 26, 2003, 04:28:49 PM »

Well, Serge, I KNOW that you KNEW that I KNEW... Grin

Hilarity aside, I don't know that I agree with your assesment of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church.  Certainly it was true in the past, but I think (and hope) that most Eastern Catholics are embracing the Church's mandate to return to our traditions.

I think there is something of a generation gap at play here.  Certainly the older generation of Ruthenians  and their concerns have to be considered, but I don't think I agree with your characterization that most people just aren't interested in the East.
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« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2003, 05:06:22 PM »

anastasios:

Quote
Amado,

I am sure that Fr. C. is happy where he is, and I wish him the best.  I think objectively he is wrong for leaving the Orthodox Church, but I can't judge his heart.  All I can judge is that I think it was wrong for him to publish that story with the title it has as it is misleading.

Yours in Christ,

anastasios
[/b]

It is NOT misleading!  He WAS an Orthodox priest when he wrote that article.

Amado
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« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2003, 05:09:41 PM »

Sean,

I respectfully disagree. The breakdown as I see it:

The older generation of ethnics, still in charge, are RCs of the Byzantine Rite. Nice, conservative, complacent, they're not heretical (according to Catholicism and to the fundamental orthodoxy I believe in) but don't really want to be more Eastern either. Some of them are anti-Orthodox because they remember the departure of what's now the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese from their church in the 1930s over the ban on ordaining married men. Almost all act as though the Orthodox don't exist. Latin practices 'prove they're Catholic' in their thinking. The only reason the bishops, who are of this group, are halfheartedly easternizing is because Rome is forcing them to. We don't usually see this 'Group One' online.

The younger generation of ethnics, quite simply, is leaving. Moving away from the Rust Belt of dead factory towns (who can blame them?), marrying outside the group, and thus americanizing/assimilating. And after all, they were taught 'Catholic is Catholic' and don't ID with the Orthodox, so when they marry Roman, as they often do, they become Roman. Or Protestant. Or nothing - secular. They're on the Net but not on the religious message boards we go to.

(The same thing is happening to the Orthodox, minus the 'Catholic is Catholic' factor. The OCA - 60% Rust Belt ethnic Ruthenians - has shrunk. There is a good chance IMO that both the Ruthenian Catholic Church and its American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox clone will die off - their older members are dying and their younger ones are leaving. I'm not saying that's good or wishing it will happen, just that it is happening. What's going to keep the OCA and the Antiochians afloat is the convert boomlet that produces sites like this. ROCOR will keep going thanks to the boomlet and especially Russian immigration. Immigration will keep the Greeks going too.)

There are a few weirdos, early middle-aged, who may have grown up in these churches but who really identify with and/or defend the liberal status quo in the Roman Rite. Like some of the oldsters they resent traditionalist refugees and converts from outside the ethnos as interlopers who get in the way of their ideas. Sometimes these folks are online.

The converts, including former Roman Riters who join BC churches and/or canonically change Catholic churches, by and large are the ones who are vocal online and are 'High Church' folks who identify with the Orthodox.

RC traditionalist and conservative refugees are a big presence when they're not driven off by Groups One and Three. They don't ID with the Orthodox or Eastern stuff specifically but respect their hosts' traditions as just as good as their own.

Most Ruthenian churches are in the Rust Belt of Pennsylvania and Ohio and are dominated by Group One.
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« Reply #40 on: June 26, 2003, 05:11:05 PM »

Amado:

So what? Rosemary Radford Ruether, who believes Christians should do away with the Incarnation, is officially a Roman Catholic, but her books aren't 'Catholic reflections'.
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« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2003, 05:14:19 PM »

"It is NOT misleading!  He WAS an Orthodox priest when he wrote that article."

Technically, yes, but it reminds me of the writings and sermons of Newman just before he became Catholic.  Can one really describe those fairly as "Anglican" -- I don't really think so.  What you had there was someone who was technically an Anglican priest but was interiorly probably a Catholic already.  Hard to describe that as "an Anglican Perspective".  It's the same as a liberal, dissenting Roman Catholic nun who is still technically Catholic (perhaps on her way to something else) describing her dissenting views as "a Catholic Perspective", even though they are not representative of what Catholicism teaches.  What should be the description is that this is the "perspective of an Orthodox", because that personalizes it, rather than "an Orthodox perspective", because the latter characterizes the perspective as itself being Orthodox simply because the person who is expressing it happens to be a member of the Orthodox clergy at the time ... which, of course, is a non-sequitur.

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« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2003, 12:02:02 PM »

Any updates on how Fr. C is now doing in his new ministry?

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« Reply #43 on: July 24, 2003, 12:04:43 PM »

http://www.byzcath.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=2&t=002142 well i guess i answered my own question.

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