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Author Topic: Debating: Byzantine Catholic vs. Orthodox  (Read 12924 times) Average Rating: 0
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theistgal
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« on: June 24, 2008, 07:03:44 PM »

OK, thought I'd go ahead and start a new topic here, so I can clarify what exactly I'm looking for and thinking about.

First of all, hi!  I'm "theistgal" and I'm fairly new to this forum.

I'm also fairly new to Eastern Christianity.  For the past @ 5 years I have been attending, and participating more and more in, the Byzantine Catholic Church.  (In fact, I got married there last year!  Grin)

I'm still officially a Catholic of the Latin Rite.  And there are many things I love about the Church and Rite I grew up in.

Over the past several years, though, I've found myself drawn more and more to Eastern Christianity and thought that in the Byzantine Church I had found the perfect setup:  Eastern Orthodoxy in Communion with Rome!  Wow, what a concept!  Cool

However, I'm doing more reading and studying and am coming to the embarrassing realization that most (if not all) Eastern Orthodox do not agree with that "setup"!   Embarrassed

But - for all its flaws and problems, I still love the Byzantine church I attend, and I'd hate to leave it.  Theology is important to me, but so are people, if you know what I mean.

So the $5 question - even if Eastern Catholics aren't "really Orthodox", is it possible to learn the "basics" of Orthodoxy through them, if you're not yet ready to take the big step of conversion?  Because I'm not - yet!

Thanks for any comments, advice and of course, best of all, prayers!  angel
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2008, 07:35:04 PM »

I would think that the Byzantine Catholic Church could be a good place to learn some things about Orthodoxy for Roman Catholics.  Many Roman Catholics do a stint in the Byzantine Church before coming to Orthodoxy.  My godson did just that; he was raised Roman Catholic, then kind of went into new agey things for a few years, and then became a very humanistic and very very liberal Roman Catholic, then he discovered Orthodoxy because he and I were roommates freshman year of college, and started going to a Byzantine Catholic Church, and now he will be chrismated this coming Dormition Smiley

On the other hand, based on what I have learned from him, you can't take everything you learn in the Byzantine Catholic Church as useful- there are still a lot of Latin attitudes and thought-patterns that are not Orthodox. However, this may have a lot to do with the parish he went to, which was almost entirely composed of Latin Rite Catholics who "converted" to the Eastern Rite, and the one time I went there it reminded me a lot of a crazy convert Orthodox parish, but times ten.

Blessings to you on your journey!
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2008, 10:19:26 AM »

So the $5 question - even if Eastern Catholics aren't "really Orthodox", is it possible to learn the "basics" of Orthodoxy through them, if you're not yet ready to take the big step of conversion?  Because I'm not - yet!
Yes! I am a living example! I was born and raised Latin Catholic and canonically moved to the Ruthenian Catholic Church. In September 2007, me and my family were received into Holy Orthodoxy.

I threw myself into the study of everything Eastern as a Ruthenian Catholic. It was fascinating! I had no idea that these Eastern Saints, Martyrs, and Dessert Fathers existed. In fact, in 38 years, no Roman Catholic priest even mentioned the existence of an Eastern side of the Church. I related strongly to the Eastern theology of apophaticism and hesychasm. The mysticism of the East was so very different than the scholasticism of the West.

But I sensed a problem. Clergy would say things to me such as: "We are under the Pope, but not really." I was told that Eastern Catholics have a different understanding of purgatory and the Immaculate Conception. I noticed that the Filioque was not in our Creed.

So I dug deeper.

I began to seriously study Church history. I learned about the Church of the first milennium. I studied the role of the early papacy before the division. I studied the seven Ecumenical councils. My library swelled with books relating to lives of saints, Church history, and theology. I have a particular love for everything monastic!

I discovered that Eastern Catholics were Orthodox at one time.  Families were torn apart as some went to Rome and some remained Orthodox. Persecutions happened on both sides. The Pope urged the Eastern Catholic Church to remain true to Her Eastern roots---but this did not happen. The Eastern Catholic Church underwent a process of Latinization, sometimes against Her will. Today, there is confusion. Some Eastern Catholic Churches are very "Orthodox in practice" and others are very "Latinized" and still others are a confused mixture. There is an identity crisis!

Clergy would instruct me to read Orthodox materials, study Orthodox theology, and worship as the Orthodox worship---but do not become Orthodox!

After years of prayer and discernment, my wife and I were received into Holy Orthodoxy.  We are in great peace.

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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2008, 11:55:29 AM »

Thanks, Mickey and zebu, for your thoughtful and interesting replies!  (Yes, I have heard that "We are under the Pope - but not really!" a few times as well - and felt the same way about it!  Roll Eyes)

So what I was thinking is, I'll officially switch to the Byzantine Rite, and stick with it for *at least* a year before making any sudden moves - and meantime, learn as much as I can about Eastern Orthodoxy from where I am, and really try to practice it as best I can.  (I should point out that I am really blessed to have a husband who knows quite a bit more about the history of the Eastern Rites than I do, and has been patiently explaining a lot of this stuff to me!  He also attends Saturday Vespers at a local Orthodox church regularly, and is very happy to take me with him.  What a sweetie!  angel)

Also, I run the bookstore at our church, so perhaps I should take advantage of that to order some good, solid EO books - and read them myself before selling them!  Grin
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2008, 12:13:00 PM »

So what I was thinking is, I'll officially switch to the Byzantine Rite, and stick with it for *at least* a year before making any sudden moves - and meantime, learn as much as I can about Eastern Orthodoxy from where I am, and really try to practice it as best I can.
Pray, study and discern. It is a wonderful journey!  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2008, 11:54:24 PM »

AMEN!
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2008, 12:37:02 AM »

I would attend Vespers with your husband.  The best way to learn Eastern Orthodoxy is to attend services.  If you had the chance to attend Great Vespers on Saturday then Matins and Liturgy on Sunday you'd see how they are all connected and the teachings are all taught in those services.

Please ask questions and then more questions.  Feel free to do so here at oc.net.  Many of us here worshiped in Greek Catholic parishes before joining the Eastern Orthodox. 
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2008, 12:53:02 AM »


I'm also fairly new to Eastern Christianity.  For the past @ 5 years I have been attending, and participating more and more in, the Byzantine Catholic Church.  (In fact, I got married there last year!  Grin)

I'm still officially a Catholic of the Latin Rite.  And there are many things I love about the Church and Rite I grew up in.


Really the switch is more for demographics in book-keeping.  If a man wanted to be ordained to Holy Orders in the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church he'd have to be noted in the census of that sui juris church.  However a Latin Rite priest can rather easily be permitted to serve the Byzantine Rite Liturgicon as well.  I know several Latin-Rite priests who are pastors of Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic parishes. 

Over the past several years, though, I've found myself drawn more and more to Eastern Christianity and thought that in the Byzantine Church I had found the perfect setup:  Eastern Orthodoxy in Communion with Rome!  Wow, what a concept!  Cool

However, I'm doing more reading and studying and am coming to the embarrassing realization that most (if not all) Eastern Orthodox do not agree with that "setup"!   Embarrassed 
  Most Greek Catholics I know have never heard of this internet phenomenon of "Orthodox in Union with Rome." 

But - for all its flaws and problems, I still love the Byzantine church I attend, and I'd hate to leave it.  Theology is important to me, but so are people, if you know what I mean.
What did St. John Chrysostom say about the importance of correct theology?

So the $5 question - even if Eastern Catholics aren't "really Orthodox", is it possible to learn the "basics" of Orthodoxy through them, if you're not yet ready to take the big step of conversion?  Because I'm not - yet!
  The liturgics are almost the same.  So if and when you would attend an Eastern Orthodox parish you probably would feel right at home. 
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2008, 09:22:22 AM »


Really the switch is more for demographics in book-keeping.  If a man wanted to be ordained to Holy Orders in the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church he'd have to be noted in the census of that sui juris church.  However a Latin Rite priest can rather easily be permitted to serve the Byzantine Rite Liturgicon as well.  I know several Latin-Rite priests who are pastors of Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic parishes.

Well, since I'm not a priest and don't plan to be one, I'm not too worried about that.  Wink  But yes, I do know that switching rites is a fairly simple matter - mostly paperwork.

Most Greek Catholics I know have never heard of this internet phenomenon of "Orthodox in Union with Rome." 

So you're saying the concept never existed before Mr. Gore invented the Net?  Grin

What did St. John Chrysostom say about the importance of correct theology?

Not offhand, but whatever it was, I'm sure it was eloquent. Smiley

The liturgics are almost the same.  So if and when you would attend an Eastern Orthodox parish you probably would feel right at home.

I've actually attended a couple already - mainly for Vespers, or for the tail end of a Liturgy while waiting for their bookstore to open.

I've also attended a breathtakingly beautiful Liturgy at a Russian Catholic parish which felt like heaven.  So how important are my feelings when deciding "which church is right"?
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2008, 07:45:01 PM »

I know several Latin-Rite priests who are pastors of Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic parishes.

Technically a bi-ritual priest of the Latin Church cannot be pastor of an Eastern Catholic parish. Pastors must be clerics of the same sui iuris Church as the parish.

When my home parish's pastor died about two years ago, the bi-ritual Latin priest who had been helping out at the parish during our pastor's illness then became "priest in residence" after the pastor's death, living in the rectory and taking all the services as if he were the pastor. But the protopresbyter / dean of the region (who lives over an hour away) was the actual canonical administrator until a new pastor (of the Byzantine Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh) was named.
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2008, 10:39:29 PM »

Technically a bi-ritual priest of the Latin Church cannot be pastor of an Eastern Catholic parish. Pastors must be clerics of the same sui iuris Church as the parish.

Forgive me if this has been answered elsewhere, why not?  Isn't a Latin-Rite Ordination valid across the Catholic realm and vice versa?[/quote]
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2008, 11:45:04 PM »

Forgive me if this has been answered elsewhere, why not?  Isn't a Latin-Rite Ordination valid across the Catholic realm and vice versa?

I think it's valid if he's just filling in or assisting, but if he becomes the pastor he should switch to the same rite.

Same with the Pope - I believe Eastern rite Catholics have been elected Pope but as soon as they do so they must switch to the Roman rite, because they're now primarily the Bishop of Rome.
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2008, 12:21:22 AM »

I think it's valid if he's just filling in or assisting, but if he becomes the pastor he should switch to the same rite.

I would have believed that a Catholic Priest, whether Latin or Byzantine, can perform services anywhere in the Catholic realm?  Sure, a married Byzantine Catholic Priest may not perform a Latin Rite Mass; How about an unmarried Byzantine Rite Priest?

Same with the Pope - I believe Eastern rite Catholics have been elected Pope but as soon as they do so they must switch to the Roman rite, because they're now primarily the Bishop of Rome.

There are a handful of Byzantine Rite Hierarchs in the College of Cardinals.  Listing of College of Cardinals Members

Corrected capitalization errors.
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2008, 01:06:54 AM »

Same with the Pope - I believe Eastern rite Catholics have been elected Pope but as soon as they do so they must switch to the Roman rite, because they're now primarily the Bishop of Rome.

Uh... no.  That has never happened.  Which sort of puts to rest the whole "sui juris" nonsense in regards to Rome and her 22 fair-haird stepchildren.
.
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2008, 01:45:24 AM »

I would have believed that a Catholic Priest, whether Latin or Byzantine, can perform services anywhere in the Catholic realm?

A Catholic priest may be the celebrant of the Eucharistic liturgy in his own Church sui iuris, and may concelebrate the liturgy of any Catholic Church sui iuris (of any ritual tradition).  Note the distinction between concelebrating and being the celebrant.

A priest of whatever Church sui iuris should always be vested in the vestments proper to his Church's ritual tradition regardless of which Liturgy he is (con)celebrating.  Thus, a Latin priest may concelebrate the Divine Liturgy in e.g., a Ukrainian Greek Catholic parish, but while doing so he must wear vestments of the Latin Tradition (presumably, he'd bring his own vestments!).  Only a priest with "bi-ritual" faculties (granted by the bishop of the eparchy and Church sui iuris in which he would exercise such a privilege) can wear, e.g., Byzantine vestments when (con)celebrating a Byzantine liturgy. And in the case of "bi-ritual" faculties, a priest having those faculties may be the celebrant of the liturgy of that other ritual Church sui iuris.  (Hey, them's just the rules, I didn't write 'em, I'm just reporting them.)

Quote
Sure, a married Byzantine Catholic Priest may not perform a Latin Rite Mass; How about an unmarried Byzantine Rite Priest?

Married or unmarried, the rules are as above. Any Catholic priest in good standing of any Church sui iuris may concelebrate the Liturgy of any other Church sui iuris, but may be the celebrant only in a parish of his own Church sui iuris unless he receives "bi-ritual" faculties.

(Now then, if a Ruthenian priest wanted to celebrate on his own in a Ukrainian parish, since they are not the same Church sui iuris, I suspect he'd have to have permission of the local Ukrainian bishop, but as for having to get "bi-ritual" faculties, I guess the permission is the equivalent to that even though those Churches really are both using the same (so-called "Ruthenian") rite.)
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« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2008, 01:49:26 AM »

^ Thanks for the explanation.  That cleared up a lot of misunderstanding.   Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2008, 04:59:26 AM »


I've also attended a breathtakingly beautiful Liturgy at a Russian Catholic parish which felt like heaven.  So how important are my feelings when deciding "which church is right"?

Feelings aside, I was alluding to a very important teaching when I mentioned St. John Chrysostom.  Seek it and ye shall find it.  If you get frustrated just ask me.
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« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2008, 05:02:51 AM »

Lemko-Rusyn could you please tell us what this means in English Faith: Православно-католицька віра нашых вітців
Jurisdiction: Русиньска ґрекокатолицька церьков свого права  while some of us can read this most of the posters at oc.net can not.  I am not singling you out but rather it would be interesting for posters to know what the faith and jurisdiction you wrote is in English.  Thank you! Username!  section moderator.
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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2008, 09:20:23 AM »

Lemko-Rusyn could you please tell us what this means in English Faith: Православно-католицька віра нашых вітців
Jurisdiction: Русиньска ґрекокатолицька церьков свого права  while some of us can read this most of the posters at oc.net can not.  I am not singling you out but rather it would be interesting for posters to know what the faith and jurisdiction you wrote is in English.  Thank you! Username!  section moderator.


1) Orthodox-Catholic faith of our fathers *
2) Rusyn / Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church sui iuris

* That's how I describe my faith. I'm sure nobody here believes that I can profess 1) while in 2) but that's how I see myself. I'm not telling anybody else they have to accept it or present themselves as such.

Incidentally, I have received a few private messages about this same thing, criticizing me as a phyletist and what-not. For what reason, I don't know. I'm not beating anybody over the head with it and I don't think I post here enough why it should really matter what my answers to those two questions are...
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« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2008, 09:21:37 AM »

Uh... no.  That has never happened.  Which sort of puts to rest the whole "sui juris" nonsense in regards to Rome and her 22 fair-haird stepchildren.
.

Sorry, perhaps you're right, I may be thinking of the old movie, Shoes of the Fisherman - the Pope in that case was a Ukrainian Catholic. 

However, it *could* happen, in the sense that it's not illegal or impossible - sorta like I *could* be elected President, if all the circumstances were right.  Wink

By the way, username, I have no idea what St. John Chrysostom quote you're referring to, and I'm about to go out of town for a while with limited Net access, so if you could just quote it here, I'd appreciate it; thanks!  Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2008, 11:29:17 PM »

Christine, if anyone gives you a bad time let me know...some familia from Palermo will be visiting soon.

james

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« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2008, 02:24:30 PM »

Quote
Quote from: Heracleides on Yesterday at 01:06:54 AM
Uh... no.  That has never happened.  Which sort of puts to rest the whole "sui juris" nonsense in regards to Rome and her 22 fair-haird stepchildren.

Uh...yes, that has happened.
10 popes were Greek and 6 popes were Syrian. Of those, 4 of the Greeks and 5 of the Syrians served after the reign of St. Constantine the Great when the different patriarchates and liturgical rites were firmly established.

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« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2008, 02:42:06 PM »

Uh...yes, that has happened.
10 popes were Greek and 6 popes were Syrian. Of those, 4 of the Greeks and 5 of the Syrians served after the reign of St. Constantine the Great when the different patriarchates and liturgical rites were firmly established.

Fr. Deacon Lance



Uh.. no.. it has NOT happened.  Playing at semantic games considering the context of the conversation is rather pointless, don't you think?  Read theistgal's original post.  She (and I) were speaking of Eastern Rite Catholics (whom did not exist during the time of the popes you listed - as I am sure you are aware, you being an Eastern Rite Catholic cleric and all). 

Nice attempt, however weak, to obfuscate the issue though.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2008, 03:20:07 PM »

From the Catholic POV, Eastern Catholics have always existed. Some went into schism, the Maronites and Italo-Greeks never did.  What do you think Catholics consider the Eastern Churches were before the schism?   If you mean to say that since the schism of 1054 there have been no Eastern Catholic popes you are correct, although it was close in the conclave that elected Blessed John XXIII, the Armenian Catholic patriarch was second in votes.

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« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2008, 03:31:42 PM »

From the Catholic POV, Eastern Catholics have always existed. Some went into schism, the Maronites and Italo-Greeks never did.  What do you think Catholics consider the Eastern Churches were before the schism?   If you mean to say that since the schism of 1054 there have been no Eastern Catholic popes you are correct, although it was close in the conclave that elected Blessed John XXIII, the Armenian Catholic patriarch was second in votes.

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From the Orthodox POV, Eastern Catholics (of whatever rite) are a recent (i.e. post-schism) phenomenen, including your Maronites and Italo-Greeks (despite the Roman spin).  There have never been ANY Eastern Rite Catholic Roman Popes, so why belabour the obvious?  You knew what theistgal and I were speaking of, so as previously stated, your semantic games are rather pointless.
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« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2008, 08:05:50 PM »

No semantics, just what Catholcis believe.  It is your attitude that is pointless. Before the schisms, Catholics consider that the Eastern Churches were Catholic Churches. Therefore, when Greeks and Syrians were elected Bishop of Rome, Eastern Catholics became Pope. And history shows they did indeed adopt the Roman Rite.  I thought you post was condescending and snide to theistgal who was correct historically, at least from the Catholic POV, and since she is Catholic she is entitled to that POV.
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« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2008, 10:28:37 PM »

Jeepers, I go away for two days and you're still at it, taking my name in vain? what noive!  laugh

FWIW we had a nice mini-vacation, and a nice visit to this beautiful church:  http://www.holyangelssandiego.com/.

And since it's still Sunday, I won't be getting into any more religious arguments.  (Wait till tomorrow.  Grin)
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« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2008, 11:27:36 PM »

No semantics, just what Catholics believe.  It is your attitude that is pointless. Before the schisms, Catholics consider that the Eastern Churches were Catholic Churches. Therefore, when Greeks and Syrians were elected Bishop of Rome, Eastern Catholics became Pope. And history shows they did indeed adopt the Roman Rite.  I thought you post was condescending and snide to theistgal who was correct historically, at least from the Catholic POV, and since she is Catholic she is entitled to that POV.

Theistgal is a Roman Catholic attending a (brace yourself) Eastern Rite Catholic parish of a "sui juris" church (yours in fact) which has existed less than 400 years asking questions and making (incorrect in this instance) statements on an Orthodox forum. She is certainly entitled to her point of view - who said she was not?  That you yourself do not like this Orthodox Catholics "condescending" response to her question is just to bad and you'll simply have to live with it.

In any event, back to your disingenious "Catholic POV" reply (actually, it sounded more "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" than Catholic   Roll Eyes ).  Pray tell, from which of your 22 Catholic "sui juris" churchlets (yours perhaps???) were these Greeks and/or Syrians elevated to your papacy? Were some by any chance Macedonian Greek Catholic Church clerics?  You know, that ancient Eastern Rite Catholic "sui juris" church which has existed for all of 90 years.  Or perhaps the even more ancient Greek Byzantine Catholic Church, existing since 1829?

Be specific please. I eagerly await your ahistorical "Catholic POV" response.   Wink
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« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2008, 12:37:13 AM »

Father Deacon Lance is correct here.

There were Bishops of Rome who originated in the East. Some if not most were appointed by the Emperors at Constantinople, I believe. Some might have migrated to the city and "incardinated" into the Roman Metropolitan church before their elections. Presumably they did not disturb the ongoing ritual-liturgical practices in the city very much, if at all. One such Bishop of Rome has been claimed (by some) to be the son of Patriarch Photios of Constantinople.

There were many other eastern clerics that rose to high positions in other cities west of the Adriatic, Irenaeus of Lyons being a very early example, Theodore of Tarsus (Abp Canterbury, 7th century) being a much later example.

This kind (the Greeks and Syrians) did not appear in the second millennium. Basilios Cardinal Bessarion had the best shot at securing the Papal office for hundreds of years, but he was not ultimately chosen.

The concept of a Sui Iuris church is anachronistic whenever applied to these cases though. The church did not use this term or concept in east or west. There were simply the patriarchates and other possible autocephalic churches, like Cyprus. Vertical local organizations, not horizontal and overlapping.

It appears to me that these local Metropolitan churches in east and west sometimes did have more than one liturgical rite depending upon local circumstances. These were not "Sui Iuris" churches, they were simply different rites.
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« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2008, 12:45:11 AM »

Father Deacon Lance is correct here.

There were Bishops of Rome who originated in the East. Some if not most were appointed by the Emperors at Constantinople, I believe. Some might have migrated to the city and "incardinated" into the Roman Metropolitan church before their elections. Presumably they did not disturb the ongoing ritual-liturgical practices in the city very much, if at all. One such Bishop of Rome has been claimed (by some) to be the son of Patriarch Photios of Constantinople.

There were many other eastern clerics that rose to high positions in other cities west of the Adriatic, Irenaeus of Lyons being a very early example, Theodore of Tarsus (Abp Canterbury, 7th century) being a much later example.

This kind (the Greeks and Syrians) did not appear in the second millennium. Basilios Cardinal Bessarion had the best shot at securing the Papal office for hundreds of years, but he was not ultimately chosen.

The concept of a Sui Iuris church is anachronistic whenever applied to these cases though. The church did not use this term or concept in east or west. There were simply the patriarchates and other possible autocephalic churches, like Cyprus. Vertical local organizations, not horizontal and overlapping.

It appears to me that these local Metropolitan churches in east and west sometimes did have more than one liturgical rite depending upon local circumstances. These were not "Sui Iuris" churches, they were simply different rites.

Exactly.  And the deacon is aware of the facts you've outlined and is simply attempting to be disingenious. As previously noted, in the context to which theistgal was speaking, there has never been an "Eastern Rite Catholic" elevated to the papacy. 
.
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« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2008, 02:01:51 AM »

Heracleides,

Sui iuris is a Latin term coined in the CCEO that translated into Greek would be autonomous. As Hesychios states the term was not used, but certainly the deliniation of jurisdiction existed.  Everyone belonged to one of the patriarchates, except the Archdiocese of Cyprus. 5 Greeks and 5 Syrians who would have been raised in and used the Byzantine Rite (possibly the Syrian rite) as well as belonging to different patriarchates than Rome (except for those Greeks from Sicily and Calabria which while using the Byzantine Rite were part of the jurisdiction of the Rome) were elected as Bishop of Rome.  I am at a loss as to what you want me to call them.  Certainly they were not Uniates, as such did not exist, and nobody is saying they were.  But they were Eastern and they were Catholic. 

In answer to your question they would have been from the Patriarchates of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem. For the Greeks: St. Zozimus was a Greek of unknown origin. Theodore I was a Greek from Palestine. John VI was from Greece. John VII was a Calabrian Greek whose father was a Byzantine Official sent to Rome. St. Zachary was a Calabrian Greek. For the Syrians: John V, Sergius I, Sisinnius, Constantine, and Gregory III, whose support of the Iconophiles caused Emperor Leo to move Sicily and Calabria to the jurisdiction of Constantinople.

To address your disparagement of the Eastern Catholic Churches by use of the term "churchlets". Since when did age or size become the sole determiners of autonomy or autocephaly or dignity.  The largest Eastern Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, is larger than any of the 4  ancient Orthodox patriarchates, the Churches of Cyprus, Georgia, Czech Lands/Slovakia, Albania, and Poland and is as big as the Bulgarian Church.  And while its lineage goes to St. Vladimir, its union took place in 1596 making it older (autonomy-wise) than the Churches of Greece, Romania, Albania, Czech Lands/Slovakia, Poland.

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« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2008, 12:05:09 PM »

Sui iuris is a Latin term coined in the CCEO that translated into Greek would be autonomous. As Hesychios states the term was not used, but certainly the deliniation of jurisdiction existed.  Everyone belonged to one of the patriarchates, except the Archdiocese of Cyprus. 5 Greeks and 5 Syrians who would have been raised in and used the Byzantine Rite (possibly the Syrian rite) as well as belonging to different patriarchates than Rome (except for those Greeks from Sicily and Calabria which while using the Byzantine Rite were part of the jurisdiction of the Rome) were elected as Bishop of Rome.  I am at a loss as to what you want me to call them.  Certainly they were not Uniates, as such did not exist, and nobody is saying they were.  But they were Eastern and they were Catholic.
 

I am quite aware of the makeup and functioning of the ancient Church prior to Rome's departure from it, so you can skip the history lesson.

Again, context.  We were not speaking of the pre-schism Church - as you are well aware by now - we were speaking of papal elevation after Rome's departure from the faith. Of course your Roman Catholic "Eastern Rite Catholics" (or "Uniates" as you have chosen to call them/yourself) did not exist - which was the whole point of my reply.  Hence the unfounded assertion of theistgal that she thought some had been elevated to your papacy and my correction.

Your attempts to cloud the issue are going nowhere, but please, continue.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2008, 01:24:31 PM »

OK, it's Monday so as promised, here I am!

I gotta be honest - this thread is getting a lot more polemical than I had really intended, and I feel kind of uncomfortable about that.  Sorry if I've caused anyone to get unnecessarily hot under the collar over the weekend!  Embarrassed

I would, however, like to just humbly point out that all this stuff about whether or not there's ever been an Eastern Catholic pope has absolutely zero (IMHO) to do with my original question, which was, IIRC, is it possible to be "Orthodox in communion with the Pope"?

My personal feeling upon prayer and reflection is - it may not be possible to be *completely* Orthodox, but every journey starts with a first step, and it may be that I can go a long way towards Orthodoxy in the B.C.C. tradition.  And that's what I've decided to do.

So thanks for your thoughts and suggestions!  I appreciate them.  (And no, I'm not leaving the site!  However, I may stop posting in this thread, for a while at least - no promises!  laugh)
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« Reply #33 on: June 30, 2008, 03:15:42 PM »

There is no such thing as "Orthodox in communion with Rome". One is either Orthodox or they are in communion with Rome. I wish this phrase was as taboo as the "U" word. I also wish the Greek Catholics would stop using this phrase. The example of St. Elias UGCC in Brampton Ontario always comes up. They may be the "epitome" of Orthodox practice and ritual, but they are no more Orthodox than the Irish Roman Catholic church down the street from me.

I think too many Greek Catholics want to be "just like" the Orthodox, but they don't have the grapes to actually become Orthodox, and would just go RC if the Greek Catholic churches suddenly ceased to exist. The whole issue is personal with me as I was Greek Catholic and I finally left and came home to the true faith, Holy Orthodoxy!

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« Reply #34 on: June 30, 2008, 03:17:51 PM »

There is no such thing as "Orthodox in communion with Rome". One is either Orthodox or they are in communion with Rome. I wish this phrase was as taboo as the "U" word. I also wish the Greek Catholics would stop using this phrase. The example of St. Elias UGCC in Brampton Ontario always comes up. They may be the "epitome" of Orthodox practice and ritual, but they are no more Orthodox than the Irish Roman Catholic church down the street from me.

I think too many Greek Catholics want to be "just like" the Orthodox, but they don't have the grapes to actually become Orthodox, and would just go RC if the Greek Catholic churches suddenly ceased to exist. The whole issue is personal with me as I was Greek Catholic and I finally left and came home to the true faith, Holy Orthodoxy!

I'm very happy you found what you were looking for.

What are these 'grapes' I need to obtain?
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« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2008, 03:54:30 PM »

Sui iuris is a Latin term coined in the CCEO that translated into Greek would be autonomous. As Hesychios states the term was not used, but certainly the deliniation of jurisdiction existed.  Everyone belonged to one of the patriarchates, except the Archdiocese of Cyprus. 5 Greeks and 5 Syrians who would have been raised in and used the Byzantine Rite (possibly the Syrian rite) as well as belonging to different patriarchates than Rome (except for those Greeks from Sicily and Calabria which while using the Byzantine Rite were part of the jurisdiction of the Rome) were elected as Bishop of Rome.  I am at a loss as to what you want me to call them.  Certainly they were not Uniates, as such did not exist, and nobody is saying they were.  But they were Eastern and they were Catholic. 

In answer to your question they would have been from the Patriarchates of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem. For the Greeks: St. Zozimus was a Greek of unknown origin. Theodore I was a Greek from Palestine. John VI was from Greece. John VII was a Calabrian Greek whose father was a Byzantine Official sent to Rome. St. Zachary was a Calabrian Greek. For the Syrians: John V, Sergius I, Sisinnius, Constantine, and Gregory III, whose support of the Iconophiles caused Emperor Leo to move Sicily and Calabria to the jurisdiction of Constantinople.
I find NO evidence whatsoever (except your claim above) that these ethnic Greeks and Syrians ever served in the episcopates of any church but that of Rome, despite their ancestry. With half of mainland Greece (which did not exist) under Rome until the schism this argument only clouds the issue, sidestepping it. Only Calabria might qualify, but only during a very short period under Constantinople until it's return to Rome's control- and this is an "if". Try again, deacon.
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« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2008, 04:34:19 PM »

I find NO evidence whatsoever (except your claim above) that these ethnic Greeks and Syrians ever served in the episcopates of any church but that of Rome, despite their ancestry. With half of mainland Greece (which did not exist) under Rome until the schism this argument only clouds the issue, sidestepping it. Only Calabria might qualify, but only during a very short period under Constantinople until it's return to Rome's control- and this is an "if". Try again, deacon.

What is now Mainland Greece was a papal state before 1054?
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« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2008, 04:45:52 PM »

What is now Mainland Greece was a papal state before 1054?
A large part of western (future) Hellas was under Rome, yes. Not as a 'papal state' - those were only 10 provinces in Italy (dioceses around Rome until cut down to Vatican city in 1870).
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« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2008, 05:03:58 PM »

A large part of western (future) Hellas was under Rome, yes. Not as a 'papal state'

What I understand is that the Frankish part of what is now Mainland Greece (Before 1054) was not under Rome's physical control nor were the people who lived there, other than the Franks, Normans or anyone else, Catholics.

- those were only 10 provinces in Italy (dioceses around Rome until cut down to Vatican city in 1870).

OK. 
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« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2008, 05:19:48 PM »

So the $5 question - even if Eastern Catholics aren't "really Orthodox", is it possible to learn the "basics" of Orthodoxy through them, if you're not yet ready to take the big step of conversion?  Because I'm not - yet!

Yes, you can.

Like lots of people and I'm sure a good number here - Fr Anastasios for example - I got started by visiting Greek Catholic churches.

The first Byzantine Liturgy I ever went to was 23 years ago at a little Ukrainian Catholic church with a beautiful wooden iconostasis and an old Ukrainian-born priest.

What you're doing I started doing 16 years ago with the Ruthenians, also the jurisdiction Fr Anastasios passed through.

I last visited that local church three years ago after their old cantor, who introduced me to his and the Russian church-music traditions and through that to Slavic languages, died. Went to the funeral.

The current priest and I are friends. He often comes round to the church in the same neighbourhood (the Orthodox church is a 1913 split from his) where I sing Vespers on Saturdays, and sometimes stands by the kliros and sings with me. Afterwards he, the Orthodox priests and I sometimes go out to dinner.

Lots of wonderful people, obviously the cousins of the OCA and ACROD folk.

Depending on where you go you can learn a lot about Orthodoxy. Fr Anastasios' old church was like that: a Rome-trained priest keen on doing everything correctly so per Rome's instructions no latinisations. Very 'Orthodox in communion with Rome'.

But there really is no such thing as 'Orthodoxy in communion with Rome' which is no knock on Rome; it just is.

It can be very close indeed but it's not the same.

Most Greek Catholics don't identify as that.

I don't knock the sincerity of the people, usually born Romans or converts, who believe and practise that. If the Greek Catholic churches were taken away a lot of them would ’dox.

For some it's not a matter of lacking grapes. Some on principle don't want to break with Rome; others, born RCs for example, have emotional ties.

But most of the ethnic rank and file would go Roman. Many now do!

Greek Catholicism for the most part is just like modern RC in its thinking and feeling. (There are some Eastern externals.)

Which is how most of its people want it.
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« Reply #40 on: June 30, 2008, 06:03:49 PM »

I find NO evidence whatsoever (except your claim above) that these ethnic Greeks and Syrians ever served in the episcopates of any church but that of Rome, despite their ancestry. With half of mainland Greece (which did not exist) under Rome until the schism this argument only clouds the issue, sidestepping it. Only Calabria might qualify, but only during a very short period under Constantinople until it's return to Rome's control- and this is an "if". Try again, deacon.

Where did I say they served as bishops in their respective patriarchtes? But your illustration is a good example. Thessalonika was part of the Patriarchate of Rome but was always liturgically Byzantine. If Eastern Catholic is to "anachronistic" how about this: Chrisitians of Greek and Syrian ethnicity who were not originally practioners of the Roman Rite were elected Pope of Rome.

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« Reply #41 on: June 30, 2008, 06:13:32 PM »

Yes, you can.

Like lots of people and I'm sure a good number here - Fr Anastasios for example - I got started by visiting Greek Catholic churches.

The first Byzantine Liturgy I ever went to was 23 years ago at a little Ukrainian Catholic church with a beautiful wooden iconostasis and an old Ukrainian-born priest.

What you're doing I started doing 16 years ago with the Ruthenians, also the jurisdiction Fr Anastasios passed through.

I last visited that local church three years ago after their old cantor, who introduced me to his and the Russian church-music traditions and through that to Slavic languages, died. Went to the funeral.

The current priest and I are friends. He often comes round to the church in the same neighbourhood (the Orthodox church is a 1913 split from his) where I sing Vespers on Saturdays, and sometimes stands by the kliros and sings with me. Afterwards, he, the Orthodox priests and I sometimes go out to dinner.

Lots of wonderful people, obviously the cousins of the OCA and ACROD folk.

Depending on where you go you can learn a lot about Orthodoxy. Fr Anastasios' old church was like that: a Rome-trained priest keen on doing everything correctly so per Rome's instructions no latinisations. Very 'Orthodox in communion with Rome'.

But there really is no such thing as 'Orthodoxy in communion with Rome' which is no knock on Rome; it just is.

It can be very close indeed but it's not the same.

Most Greek Catholics don't identify as that.

I don't knock the sincerity of the people, usually born Romans or converts, who believe and practise that. If the Greek Catholic churches were taken away a lot of them would ’dox.

For some it's not a matter of lacking grapes. Some on principle don't to break with Rome; others, born RCs for example, have emotional ties.

But most of the ethnic rank and file would go Roman. Many now do!

Greek Catholicism for the most part is just like modern RC in its thinking and feeling. (There are some Eastern externals.)

Which is how most of its people want it.

I appreciate your sensible and well-thought-out reply, and thanks for sharing your experience!

I do sense that becoming Byzantine Catholic (ok, Greek Catholic, there, I said it!!!  Grin) would be a "way station" on the way to ... what?  Orthodoxy?  or back to RC?  At this point I don't really know, but I do know I have to "move or die"!  I only recently returned to faith in God after a bout with atheism, so I'm hesitant to make a big jump out of a church which has, after all, given me what little knowledge about God I do have.  If I can follow my Eastern desires and still be loyal to that church, that's a big deal to me right now.
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« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2008, 06:27:59 PM »

Where did I say they served as bishops in their respective patriarchtes? But your illustration is a good example. Thessalonika was part of the Patriarchate of Rome but was always liturgically Byzantine.

Huh? When was a Byzantine City subject to Rome's Jurisdiction Pre-1054?  If there was a Metropolitan of Thessalonika, He would've been part of the EP and not Rome.

If Eastern Catholic is to "anachronistic" how about this: Chrisitians of Greek and Syrian ethnicity who were not originally practioners of the Roman Rite were elected Pope of Rome.

Huh?  Again, Pre-1054, does it really matter what ethnicity celebrated which rite if Everybody believed in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?
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« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2008, 06:46:38 PM »

Thessalonika was in the Prefecture of Illyria which, while part of the Eastern Empire, was subject to the Patriarch of Rome. The Archbishop of Thessalonika often served as the Pope's legate at councils and at the Imperial court.  It was not until Emperor Leo III the Isaurian that Illyria as well as Maegna Graecia were put under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

I think Rome is unique in that Easterners were elected to the position of Patirach of the West. Whereas it has never been that a Latin was elected to head and Eastern Patriarchate.

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« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2008, 07:18:16 PM »

I appreciate your sensible and well-thought-out reply, and thanks for sharing your experience!

I do sense that becoming Byzantine Catholic (ok, Greek Catholic, there, I said it!!!  Grin) would be a "way station" on the way to ... what?  Orthodoxy?  or back to RC?  At this point I don't really know, but I do know I have to "move or die"!  I only recently returned to faith in God after a bout with atheism, so I'm hesitant to make a big jump out of a church which has, after all, given me what little knowledge about God I do have.  If I can follow my Eastern desires and still be loyal to that church, that's a big deal to me right now.

You're welcome.

Greek Catholic is older and simpler to write.

A way-station to Orthodoxy? Maybe.

In any event you're right to go slowly.
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