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