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Author Topic: Do Romans and Orthodox wish Eastern Catholics didn't exist?  (Read 16729 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dan Lauffer
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« on: November 11, 2002, 11:47:14 AM »

Friends,

Serge offered a great suggestion: "Why not post this question here?"  So...

I've been associated with the Byzantine Catholic Church, though in our case we are misnamed, though forum constraints will not allow me to suggest what we really are about.  In any case, I've noticed that while some Romans appreciate our Eastern Church most who do appreciate us do so because of the beauty of the liturgy, not for our abberent, from their perspective, theology.  The Pope who has admonished all Westerners to look Eastward for light, and he's right, has given ambiguous messages about the advisability of taking us very seriously.

The Orthodox look upon us as traitors and make caricatures of us as much as possible.  Admittedly many of our parishes are caught in a 1950's time warp and resist Easternization, yet a growing number of Eastern Churches are reawakening to our own heritage.  You ought seriously to take a look at our local Church's website to catch a glimpse of a BC Church which truly is different from your caricatures.

http://byzantinecatholic.com

I guess our insistance upon Orthodox Theology makes us hated by the Romans, at least by those who know what we stand for.  Our insistance upon communion with Rome makes us hated by the Orthodox.  

Oyvay!!!

Dan Lauffer

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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2002, 12:32:53 PM »

Thanks for taking up my suggestion, Dan.

I think officially of course the Catholic Church doesn't wish the Eastern Catholic churches didn't exist and logically (based on belief in the one true church) wishes the Orthodox would in some shape or form became Eastern Catholics. It would be fair to say the Catholic Church wishes the Orthodox Church as such didn't exist.

But it is safe to say a lot of Orthodox wish they didn't exist for ecclesiological reasons (they don't like what they consider a counterfeit) and for an understandable historical reason, that such were used as vehicles to hurt local Orthodox churches by siphoning people off.

Dan, you're right as far as serious Orthodox-minded Eastern Catholics are concerned - I don't think either the Catholic authorities or the Catholic rank and file really want them, even though they are orthodox and antiliberal and thus could do the Catholic communion as a whole a valuable service.

To try to be such always, both before Vatican II and today, has been a kind of martyrdom, a chance to live in real holiness but on the margins of the social and institutional Catholic church - a desert, exile existence. (An arguable exception was Major Archbishop Andrew [Sheptytsky], head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church for the first half the 20th century, but he had personal clout because he was also a Polish count.)

(Being a conservative Roman Catholic who happens to worship at a Byzantine church, whether as a Roman refugee or as a 'pseudo-Eastern' as one friend has put it, is different and a lot easier.)

The idealists among you see themselves as Orthodox living in a hoped-for future with no schism. Those Catholics who try to ignore or even deny postschism Catholic definitions of dogma, which are entirely of the Roman Catholic school of thought, logically haven't got a leg to stand on ecclesiologically. To the Catholics, logically, they are dissenters, and to the Orthodox they are at best romantic wannabes and they can't understand why such don't just convert, and at worst poseurs out to accomplish the original mission of the Eastern Catholic enterprise and hurt the Orthodox Church by converting its people to a small copycat church.

Dan, you have a beautiful small-o orthodox church. Looks just like a good OCA church with pews.
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2002, 12:48:22 PM »

Friends,

Serge offered a great suggestion: "Why not post this question here?"  So...

I've been associated with the Byzantine Catholic Church, though in our case we are misnamed, though forum constraints will not allow me to suggest what we really are about.  In any case, I've noticed that while some Romans appreciate our Eastern Church most who do appreciate us do so because of the beauty of the liturgy, not for our abberent, from their perspective, theology.  The Pope who has admonished all Westerners to look Eastward for light, and he's right, has given ambiguous messages about the advisability of taking us very seriously.

The Orthodox look upon us as traitors and make caricatures of us as much as possible.  Admittedly many of our parishes are caught in a 1950's time warp and resist Easternization, yet a growing number of Eastern Churches are reawakening to our own heritage.  You ought seriously to take a look at our local Church's website to catch a glimpse of a BC Church which truly is different from your caricatures.

http://byzantinecatholic.com

I guess our insistance upon Orthodox Theology makes us hated by the Romans, at least by those who know what we stand for.  Our insistance upon communion with Rome makes us hated by the Orthodox.  

Oyvay!!!

Dan Lauffer



Of what benefit are the Eastern Catholic churches to Orthodoxy?

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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2002, 12:55:57 PM »

From the Orthodox POV, zero, except as a cautionary tale about what happens to Eastern people in the Catholic system.

From the Catholic POV, they are a propaganda showplace for the alleged universality of Catholicism with all 'rites' living in harmony.
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2002, 01:15:45 PM »

Check out this picture:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/021106/168/2mcch.html

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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2002, 01:17:58 PM »

I understand the real context of this picture, but wow, it sure can be taken to illustrate which rite is top dog in their system!
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2002, 01:19:10 PM »

Quote

That is a Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishop, right? God Bless!

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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2002, 01:20:16 PM »

Nik,

Yes. I met him in Ukraine
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2002, 01:23:25 PM »

You can also tell he is a Catholic bishop because he is clean shaven Wink  Cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2002, 01:24:53 PM »

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You can also tell he is a Catholic bishop because he is clean shaven

Yes, I thought of that too. Just shows graphically that the monsignori in those posts don't identify with the Orthodox-oriented idealist minority in their congregations.
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2002, 01:29:02 PM »

Nik,

Yes. I met him in Ukraine

Surferuke, are you Ukrainian Orthodox or Ukrainian Greek Catholic?   I can't tell.  You seem to dance between both as if it didn't matter.

I remember your post of an archpastoral visitation by Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos to "your" UOCofUSA parish's anniversary in CA.  Or wasn't this "your" parish?  Perhaps I assumed wrongly?

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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2002, 01:38:34 PM »

I have been raised both. Dad is Ukrainian Catholic, mom is Ukrainian Orthodox.

But you are right, Archbishop Vsevolod did come to MY parishes anniverary.

I identify myself as Orthodox, though. My fondest memories are there, and I feel my spiritual roots are there. And on the PSAT tests, I fill in the Eastern Orthodox bubble under religion.

If you wish to discuss me, please send a personal message to my account because this topic is not here to discuss my religious upbringings.

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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2002, 01:56:57 PM »

Hypo-Orthodox,
I met Bishop Khoma in L'viv last summer when I was walking in the downtown area. He was outside Holy Transfiguration church greeting people.

I was on my way to Holy Dormition Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral for Liturgy...........
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2002, 01:57:09 PM »

I have been raised both. Dad is Ukrainian Catholic, mom is Ukrainian Orthodox.

But you are right, Archbishop Vsevolod did come to MY parishes anniverary.

I identify myself as Orthodox, though. My fondest memories are there, and I feel my spiritual roots are there. And on the PSAT tests, I fill in the Eastern Orthodox bubble under religion.

If you wish to discuss me, please send a personal message to my account because this topic is not here to discuss my religious upbringings.

surferuke

Quite right, Surferuke.  I didn't intend to strike a raw nerve.  Forgive me.  

In my own family, the Polish Latin Rite Roman Catholics (my father's side) and those few who remained Ukrainian Greek Catholic (my mother's side) looked upon those (most) of us on my mother's side who returned to Eastern Orthodoxy as having joined "The Church of THE ENEMY!"  The bad feelings are still there, particularly fom my father's side.  Relations between the Greek Catholics and Orthodox on my mother's side have improved dramatically over the years, however.

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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2002, 02:06:58 PM »

You can also tell he is a Catholic bishop because he is clean shaven Wink  Cheesy

Like Antiochian Metropolitan Phillip and Bp Antoun? :-)

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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2002, 02:12:33 PM »

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(Clean-shaven) Like Antiochian Metropolitan Phillip and Bp Antoun? :-)

And, historically, Theophan (Fan Noli) and Metropolitans Orestes (Chornock) and John (R. Martin), the first and second first hierarchs of ACROD (the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese). (To be fair, those last two were Catholic to begin with.)
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2002, 02:38:27 PM »

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(Clean-shaven) Like Antiochian Metropolitan Phillip and Bp Antoun? :-)

And, historically, Theophan (Fan Noli).... <snip>

With all that Archbishop Fan S. Noli of blessed memory has done as an Albanian patriot and for Albanian Orthodoxy in America, including the translation of liturgical texts into both Albanian and English, and his role in bringing the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America into the Orthodox Church in America, whether His Eminence had a beard or not is immaterial to me.  

Technically, yes, since all Orthodox bishops are supposed to be taken from the monastic ranks they should be bearded, and they remain monks even after their episcopal consecrations.  I suppose that if they didn't have beards to begin with when they were elected to the episcopacy, then they should at least grow beards once consecrated.  

As far as Metropolitan Philip and Bishop Antoun go, they both seem to think that going beardless and wearing business suits in public, even on church grounds, to appear more American and Episcopalian than traditional Orthodox is of the utmost importance and the way to go to bring the Orthodox message to America.

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« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2002, 02:57:37 PM »

[I understand the real context of this picture, but wow, it sure can be taken to illustrate which rite is top dog in their system!]

Yea Gads!  A Ukrainian Bishop kneeling down and kissing the hand of a Polish Pope!  Alll the Zaporozhye Cossacks  who fought so hard and died to perserve the Orthodox faith and Ukrainian land from the Poles must be turning over in their graves!

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« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2002, 03:26:45 PM »

God can sure heal schism.  I wonder if that fellow were to wear a beard and would kiss the hand of the Patriarch of Constantinople would he suddenly be considered a holy man?

I don't see why the BC Church has to be of value to either the Orthodox or the Romans especially if both sides are going to ignore Jesus' high priestly prayer in John 17.  

I know, I know, the way to unity is to make others buckle under.  That has been the problem on both sides since 1054.  Should Constantinople supersede Rome.  Today I don't see the point.  

As Serge has pointed out, Ecclesiology is really what separates the two Churches.  I agree.

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« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2002, 03:57:31 PM »

Dan, you have of late been speaking of the Eastern Catholic Churches as a seperate entity from Rome, and talked about home Rome does things and teaches thins wrong and how what they think doesn't matter, etc. If that is so, how does that make you truly in communion with them and how does that make the Eastern Catholic Churches the answer to unity? God Bless!
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« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2002, 04:08:26 PM »

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We Orthodox Catholics simply believe that if the Vatican and the Pope is really sincere in the current propaganda it expounds -

1)  That the Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches are SISTER Churches.

2)  That we are the 'other lung' of the original Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

3)  That our Sacraments are valid.

4)  That our salvation is not dependent on being 'under the authority of' Rome.

5)  That our church is grace filled.

Then there is no longer a reason for the Eastern Catholic Church to exist as a separate entity from its mother Church.
The Eastern Catholics should be given a choice.  If they want to retain the ritual and the theology of Orthodoxy then they should return home to their family.

If it is more important  for them to be 'under the authority of the Pope' and accept him as the Vicar of Christ On Earth then they be willing to become part of the Latin Rite within the Roman Catholic Church.  Why should it make any difference to them if, as they claim, all Rites are equal within the Roman Catholic Church?

It's as simple as that.  'Put your money where your mouth is' as the saying goes.  

As far as a Roman Catholic view of the Eastern Catholic Churches, most of the RC's I know are unaware of the Eastern Catholic Churches existence.  Or they see it as a funny ethnic group  with  funny ritual.  Those that are aware of its existence, see it as either some kind of second class form of Roman Catholicism or a bunch of confused people with a Roman Catholic envy ident.

In one of the Orthodox discussion groups I belong the subject of the Byzantine Rite Catholic Church came up and a ROMAN CATHOLIC replied that there should be no such thing as the Byzantine Rite.  That it should be called the Byzantine WRONG because  - "They are the most confused people in al of Christiandom!"  His words, not mine.

As for Orthodox Catholics, let me begin by quoting my baba (grandmother) when as a kid.  Once I asked why she left the Byzantine Catholic Church and returned to Orthodox Catholicism -  "Dos people don know vat  dey are or vat dey vant be.  Dey no vant  be Roamin Catolik's but dey no vant be Pravoslavnie (Orthodox) neider.  Dey neider fish nor fowl."

And, that is primarily the way most Orthodox Catholics see you.  Especially those of us who have either returned to Orthodoxy or are from parents or grandparents who did.  There is no need for you to come here and explain who and what you are.  We already know.  Probably better than you do because so many of us have 'been there' and 'done that'.

We shake our heads when we read some of your posts complaining about how Rome treats you or something else Rome has done to you and then end with - 'But they promised things will change'.  [Example is a married priesthood as standard for the US].  Do you know that is a perfect example of 'battered wives syndrome'?  We are amazed when we read posts from some of you who are so intimidated by the Roman Catholic hierachy that you are looking to, and for, OUR BISHOPS to fight your battles for you in heir consultations with the RC hierachy.

Individually we see you as nice people who were once part of us.  But people who have taken all the beauty that is Orthodoxy - our ritual, our Icons, our hymns, our music,  and to a certain extent our theology and turned your backs on us.  A people who are confused theologically and have been searching for an identity for over 400 years now and are still confused.  In just the the 62 years of my existence you have changed your identity twice and are now in the process of re-identifying yourself for the third time (Greek Catholic, Byzantine or Ukrainian Catholic <depending on your ethnic loyality> , and now "Orthodox In Communion With Rome".  It is not enough that you have taken everything else now you want to take away our very identity and present it to the Pope.

Let me end with where I began.  If WE ARE everything Rome claims we are, then there is no longer a reason for your existence.

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« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2002, 04:19:05 PM »

Quote
We Orthodox Catholics simply believe that if the Vatican and the Pope is really sincere in the current propaganda it expounds -

1)  That the Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches are SISTER Churches.

2)  That we are the 'other lung' of the original Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

3)  That our Sacraments are valid.

4)  That our salvation is not dependent on being 'under the authority of' Rome.

5)  That our church is grace filled.

Then there is no longer a reason for the Eastern Catholic Church to exist as a separate entity from its mother Church.
The Eastern Catholics should be given a choice.  If they want to retain the ritual and the theology of Orthodoxy then they should return home to their family.

Here's why that won't happen. Catholicism today officially is charitable to born Orthodox and as noted by documents like Balamand is not trying to solicit born Orthodox to change membership. But it holds a different view towards anybody who is or has been Catholic, logically. It won't push its own people in the Eastern Catholic churches out of the Catholic Church.
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« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2002, 04:32:11 PM »

Quote
We Orthodox Catholics simply believe that if the Vatican and the Pope is really sincere in the current propaganda it expounds -

1)  That the Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches are SISTER Churches.

2)  That we are the 'other lung' of the original Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

3)  That our Sacraments are valid.

4)  That our salvation is not dependent on being 'under the authority of' Rome.

5)  That our church is grace filled.

Then there is no longer a reason for the Eastern Catholic Church to exist as a separate entity from its mother Church.
The Eastern Catholics should be given a choice.  If they want to retain the ritual and the theology of Orthodoxy then they should return home to their family.

If it is more important  for them to be 'under the authority of the Pope' and accept him as the Vicar of Christ On Earth then they be willing to become part of the Latin Rite within the Roman Catholic Church.  Why should it make any difference to them if, as they claim, all Rites are equal within the Roman Catholic Church?

It's as simple as that.  'Put your money where your mouth is' as the saying goes.  

As far as a Roman Catholic view of the Eastern Catholic Churches, most of the RC's I know are unaware of the Eastern Catholic Churches existence.  Or they see it as a funny ethnic group  with  funny ritual.  Those that are aware of its existence, see it as either some kind of second class form of Roman Catholicism or a bunch of confused people with a Roman Catholic envy ident.

In one of the Orthodox discussion groups I belong the subject of the Byzantine Rite Catholic Church came up and a ROMAN CATHOLIC replied that there should be no such thing as the Byzantine Rite.  That it should be called the Byzantine WRONG because  - "They are the most confused people in al of Christiandom!"  His words, not mine.

As for Orthodox Catholics, let me begin by quoting my baba (grandmother) when as a kid.  Once I asked why she left the Byzantine Catholic Church and returned to Orthodox Catholicism -  "Dos people don know vat  dey are or vat dey vant be.  Dey no vant  be Roamin Catolik's but dey no vant be Pravoslavnie (Orthodox) neider.  Dey neider fish nor fowl."

And, that is primarily the way most Orthodox Catholics see you.  Especially those of us who have either returned to Orthodoxy or are from parents or grandparents who did.  There is no need for you to come here and explain who and what you are.  We already know.  Probably better than you do because so many of us have 'been there' and 'done that'.

We shake our heads when we read some of your posts complaining about how Rome treats you or something else Rome has done to you and then end with - 'But they promised things will change'.  [Example is a married priesthood as standard for the US].  Do you know that is a perfect example of 'battered wives syndrome'?  We are amazed when we read posts from some of you who are so intimidated by the Roman Catholic hierachy that you are looking to, and for, OUR BISHOPS to fight your battles for you in heir consultations with the RC hierachy.

Individually we see you as nice people who were once part of us.  But people who have taken all the beauty that is Orthodoxy - our ritual, our Icons, our hymns, our music,  and to a certain extent our theology and turned your backs on us.  A people who are confused theologically and have been searching for an identity for over 400 years now and are still confused.  In just the the 62 years of my existence you have changed your identity twice and are now in the process of re-identifying yourself for the third time (Greek Catholic, Byzantine or Ukrainian Catholic <depending on your ethnic loyality> , and now "Orthodox In Communion With Rome".  It is not enough that you have taken everything else now you want to take away our very identity and present it to the Pope.

Let me end with where I began.  If WE ARE everything Rome claims we are, then there is no longer a reason for your existence.

Orthodoc

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I salute you.

Brilliant.

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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2002, 04:47:18 PM »

[But it holds a different view towards anybody who is or has been Catholic, logically. It won't push its own people in the Eastern Catholic churches out of the Catholic Church.]

An once again, we get back to the word 'Catholic'.  Serge, if we are the 'other lung' of the same body (The Holy CATHOLIC & Apostolic Church in the Creed),  and identified as 'sisters' within that body - how can they be pushing them out of the Catholic Church?  

If we are two organs within the same body and have the same parentage, then they are not  being pushed out of the Catholic Church.  One sister is merely  returning her neices and nephews back to their mother who is also her recognized blood sister).

You may have converted to Holy Orthodox Catholicity but your whole mindset is still very much Roman Catholic.

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« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2002, 05:10:53 PM »

Quote
[But it holds a different view towards anybody who is or has been Catholic, logically. It won't push its own people in the Eastern Catholic churches out of the Catholic Church.]

An once again, we get back to the word 'Catholic'. Serge, if we are the 'other lung' of the same body (The Holy CATHOLIC & Apostolic Church in the Creed),  and identified as 'sisters' within that body - how can they be pushing them out of the Catholic Church?  

Easy. Each side claims to be the one true church. AFAIK Dominus Iesus, the latest official Catholic document on the subject, explains it - it's very logical. Catholics see the Orthodox as having Churchness because they have real bishops and the Eucharist but as less than the Catholic Church. The Orthodox are seen as sister Churches, for their born and ex-Protestant, ex-unchurched members, to Catholic particular/ritual churches and Roman dioceses, but as less than the Catholic Church as a whole, which by definition can have no sisters. So of course the Catholic Church won't push people involuntarily out of full membership in it. (Here we're not talking about excommunication for heresy, etc.)

The flip side of the coin as you, a born Orthodox, probably know is the Orthodox claim the Orthodox communion is the Church, period, and anything outside that communion is a big unknown.
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« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2002, 05:45:47 PM »

[God can sure heal schism.  I wonder if that fellow were to wear a beard and would kiss the hand of the Patriarch of Constantinople would he suddenly be considered a holy man?]

As an Orthodox Catholic he would not be required to kneel down in front of the Ecumenical or any other Orthodox Patriarch for that matter.  That is the point.  

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« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2002, 05:54:30 PM »

Allow me to weigh into the matter from my hopefully accurate perception of things in my region.

At the moment, I'll say that we inhabitants of the Levant of Melkite and Antiochian Orthodox lineage are indeed a special case, in terms of our perceptions of history, our cemented relationships on the ground which ever so often includes ties of blood--intermarriage, at least involving these two particular Churches of the two Communions, being a spontaneous social practice that qualifies as a natural activity and even a tradition of sorts (natural enough that some pious women who engaged in intermarriage would fast the strict traditional fast for both Lents) as opposed to an artificial social engineering ploy--our attitudes towards each other insofar as the layman is concerned, our contempt channeled at what we see as power hungry hierarchs and corrupt priests* rather than at ourselves, and above all no national conflict contributing to any friction, the only such contempt existing between the Greek Jerusalemite hierarchy and what might be a good portion of the Arab flock.  In fact the successful consolidation of the Patriarchal throne of Antioch by Arabs may have been a large contributor to better relations between Melkites and Orthodox.

*had we known what the apex of corruption translates to amongst Western priests, and had a clue as to what scandals had become so commonplace in that part of the world, we would probably receive an epiphany and never let a priest of our own out of our sight without kissing his hand.

Whenever I witness salvos of hositility launched between Orthodox and Eastern Catholics, it usually translates into a Slavic titanomachy that doesn't correlate with our own experiences, or a purely ideological faceoff that doesn't touch on the national grudges of the old country; this usually involves WASP converts or Americans of whatever stripe. These two paradigms have to be broken out of in order to perceive universal Orthodox-Eastern Catholic relations in its full spectrum both as they involve clergy, and laymen.  The Turkish millet system contributed to our classifications; "Uniate" doesn't exist in our vocabulary, and I'm not sure I can even successfully translate it.  Orthodox are still called Romans (Romaio) in our countries.  "Melkite" on the other hand is rarely used in common speech; "Katoleek" is the propre name or if we decline to use shorthand, "Roman Catholics", though Roman in the same sense the Orthodox are, not as it would be understood in English here.

The most you'll get out of us is traditional jokes that are used to tease the other party (these may have had a sharper and more hostile connotation in the distant past), and a contest on whose Sad Friday it should rain.  Our divisions effectively translate to the disruption caused by two Paschas and two Lents, and in Jordan it was the people in their frustration at the situation who brought about the unity of the two Paschas, not the hierarchs.  As far as most common people are concerned, the only difference between us is that the Melkites "bi'aido ma'al Baba" (celebrate [Pascha] with the Pope), thinking that the schism is, at least as it exists in our local experience and microcosm, perpetuated by the clergy fighting for the sake of "karasee", chairs.

My comments pertain to the region under the Antiochian Orthodox Patriarchate; attitudes may be different under Jerusalem.

As is the case with most folk, ritual and liturgical traditions define the religious experience, understanding, and perception.  In Syria, our bonds with our brethren in ritual, exceed in strength our ties with the other sister Catholic Churches.  Many amongst both our Churches cannot stand the Maronites; some of us would probably think it propostrous to assume that we have any connection with them that is close to the connections we have with the Antiochian Orthodox.  Many of us would live as if the schism didn't exist, and probably wouldn't recognize it.  Both were more than ready and exhilerated by the prospects of a united calendar in Syria (which to us is the only large testament to the schism, our Berlin Wall so to speak), the Julian Paschal calendar, nushkur Allah, but the Syrians, Armenians, and Maronites squawked, even though this Melkite internal affair had nothing to do with them.  The project was aborted.

There are several historical and sociological factors that contribute to this friendly tone in relations between the two parties, that distinguish them from conflicts in the Balkans and elsewhere:

1) The Melkites are staunchly Eastern, especially in their thinking and more Orthodox theological consciousness (akin to the Russian Catholics) rather than a hybridized conundrum.  This isn't to say that there aren't some Latin additions.  I'm ready to see those scrapped.

2) The Melkite Church is neither a small minority nor a small remnant or fraction.  It is a strong Church headed by a Patriarch.  It does not share the plight of the Russian Catholics who barely survive today, given their present numbers.

3) No nationalist squabbles.  In fact, those rather might be found between the different ritual Churches.  The Maronites are pro-Crusades in their historical hindsight, and are not wedded to Arabism as the Rum Ortodox/Katoleek are. Today they are seen as a political embarrasment when it comes to politics in the Middle East.  Patriarch Sfeir is perceived to be ruining the image of the Christians in the Arab countries, an important image that we believe must be collectively maintained in a very positive manner by all the Churches, given our minority status as a religion.

4) No one Church had state power to use too heavily against one side.  The Turks had the rod.  There was no Orthodox/Catholic/Oriental Orthodox country or nation.

5) The Arabic tongue that facilitates dialogue amongst all the Churches in the Middle East, the Churches of all three ancient Apostolic Patriarchates.

6) Our minority status as Christians.  Unfortunately that doesn't quell the hositilities between Orthodox and Latin clergy, or the trademark antagonism of the parties within the Church of the Resurrection, even in occupied Palestine with all its troubles.

7) An Arab Orthodox Patriarch on the throne of Antioch.

Cool I strongly suspect the existance of the Oriental Orthodox Churches contributed to diffusing a sharp Catholic/ Eastern Orthodox polarity of the kind that exists in Eastern Europe.  

9) A very important point to consider is that Arabs tend to lack a sense of pan-Orthodoxy or pan-Catholicism.  As Arabs with a fortress mentality, we prefer to remain shut in and isolationist (the Christian world, given the plethora of Churches and the three Apostolic Sees present in the Levant, may as well revolve exclusively around us).  Arab Orthodox don't have a sense of bonding or concern with the Greek and Slavic, or even Orthodox world, while Greeks and Slavs have ties that were demonstrated when the Serbs were decimated by the Empire, the collective hegemony of NATO-crats and Americans.  I would venture to say that Arabs see the particular Church above the Church family or Communion, meaning that in the case of the Catholics, each Church is indeed a Church on its own, not an appendage of the Latins--as demonstrated by one of our listmember's account of his old country relative's ignorance of not being pravoslavnie--as one could care less about the other Catholic Churches, least of all the Roman Church (other tawa'if; they might as well be Orthodox or of another Church family entirely).  And the Protestants?  Oh they must be Christians too.  Try to kindly explain to the simple folk where we come from that there is such a thing as a non-Apostolic Christian (the word "Christian" automatically designates an Apostolic; there is no other kind we know of, regardless of the small Protestant minority in our region) before the delusion that assumes otherwise propels such on a dangerous course once they immigrate to non-Apotolic turf in the West.  

This isolationalist tendency to see the stage of both Christianity and Church unity set entirely in the Middle East,  ("Patriarchs, facilitate a unity" without care as to how the decisions and input of the Churches outside the Arab world factor in) was well illustrated in the unilateral attempts of the two Antiochian synods and Patriarchates to reunite.  For a Christian well informed in matters concerning the Christian world stage, aware of the crucial concept of various Church families acting as a whole, this bold attempt at unity could be quickly seen as a failed attempt from the start.  From the perspective of the Arab whose perception of Church relations does not bother to extend itself beyond the confines of the Arab world to encompass the entire world or Christian family and Communion his jurisdiction belongs to, with the press announcements of this endeavour on the parts of the two Patriarchates, what was so difficult to accomplish for numerous centuries becomes expected to have a good chance at turning into reality within the next few months, at least in our own little world of Rum Katoleek/Ortodox Christians.  

10) Finally, to my knowledge there are no saints on either side that qualified as martyrs dispatched by the other when there actually were conflicts between the two at the beginning of the split in the Antiochian Patriarchate.  I don't know of the existance of any saint in our Church who was responsible for forging communion with Rome, nor are there any samples that I am aware of, from religious texts, that concern our entering the Uniate contract, no troparia that speak of the "schismatic Orthodox" etc.

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« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2002, 05:54:50 PM »

[God can sure heal schism.  I wonder if that fellow were to wear a beard and would kiss the hand of the Patriarch of Constantinople would he suddenly be considered a holy man?]

As an Orthodox Catholic he would not be required to kneel down in front of the Ecumenical or any other Orthodox Patriarch for that matter.  That is the point.  

Orthodoc


Not even any foot-kissing as the Melkite Greek-Catholic Patriarch of Antioch was required to do to Pius IX at Vatican I, when Pius IX quickly placed his foot on the Melkite Patriarch's head?  Boy, we Orthodox are sure missing out on some important Eastern Catholic symbolic rituals!  Grin

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« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2002, 06:07:55 PM »

I do believe that practice is no more.  We've gotten over it.  Perhaps you should as well.

I came here to learn more about Orthodox Christianity, first as an observer and perhaps later as an active, contributing member of the community.  All I've learned, though, are the intricacies of the "Orthodox vs. Catholic" semantics argument and that I as a non-Slav cannot possibly fully understand Uniatism.  

I've actually learned more from the hardline OrthodoxyorDeath than anyone else, with Serge's "historical perspective" posts coming in a close second.  

In all humility,
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« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2002, 06:09:12 PM »

What is the traditional customary greeting between the bishop of one Orthodox Patriarchate and the Patriarch of another Patriarchate, if I may ask?

We're proud of the stances of our Patriarchs in Vatican I & II, and I always court the temptation to use the widely circulated story of our Patriarch's treatment by Pope Pius IX to make a strong point.  In all fairness though, I recall reading something (I believe it was some input on the part of Bishop Eliyah) that suggested this story to be something of an urban legend based on an incident where the Patriarch did manage to answer back to the Pope's comment that, to parahrase, "This one is the troublemaker."  I am thinking of looking further into this to evaluate the veracity of the story.

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« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2002, 06:23:28 PM »

{What is the traditional customary greeting between the bishop of one Orthodox Patriarchate and the Patriarch of another Patriarchate, if I may ask?}

From what I have seen its a handshake and a kiss on both cheeks.  However, the slavic  custom is to kiss on the cheek three times.

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« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2002, 06:36:25 PM »

{What is the traditional customary greeting between the bishop of one Orthodox Patriarchate and the Patriarch of another Patriarchate, if I may ask?}

From what I have seen its a handshake and a kiss on both cheeks.  However, the slavic  custom is to kiss on the cheek three times.

Orthodoc

Actually, Orthodoc, I believe that after the exchange of the kiss of peace (the cheek-kissing), the same as is done at the Divine Liturgy, they kiss each other's right hand.  You will notice that many traditional Orthodox priests also exchange the exact same greeting when they meet.  I've even seen this done publicly, e.g., at Boston's Logan International Airport, between Orthodox priests garbed in the customary riassa.

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« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2002, 06:45:54 PM »

Quote
Serge,

And just would that different view be, since I converted from the RCC to Orthodoxy to attain the fullness of Faith?
And, would it really amount to a hill of beans since I have joined the ancient church of our Fathers?  IOW, since I was a RC I cant be saved in the Roman mindset except to revert back to RCC?

JoeS

PS The "two lung theory" refers to the Byzantines and the Romans and not the Orthodox,if you are a subscriber to EWTN.

<<Here's why that won't happen. Catholicism today officially is charitable to born Orthodox and as noted by documents like Balamand is not trying to solicit born Orthodox to change membership. But it holds a different view towards anybody who is or has been Catholic, logically. It won't push its own people in the Eastern Catholic churches out of the Catholic Church.
>>
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« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2002, 06:52:08 PM »

I do believe that practice is no more.  We've gotten over it.  Perhaps you should as well.
<big snip>
In all humility,
Schultz.

Are you referring to the ritual kissing of the Pope's slipper, Schultz?  Because if you are, I believe that Cardinals--who may simultaneously be Eastern Catholic patriarchs-- as a sign of obedience and loyalty, *still* ceremoniously kiss the slipper of a newly-elected Pope as he sits on his throne at his installation.  If you have documentation that Pope John Paul II has changed this ritual, please let us know.

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« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2002, 07:07:14 PM »

JoeS,

Quote
And just would that different view be, since I converted from the RCC to Orthodoxy to attain the fullness of Faith?

Well, as someone of your maturity who was a Roman Catholic already may know, ex-Catholics are ipso facto excommunicated whether they become Orthodox, Protestant or whatever.

Quote
And, would it really amount to a hill of beans since I have joined the ancient church of our Fathers?

To you, perhaps not.

Quote
IOW, since I was a RC I cant be saved in the Roman mindset except to revert back to RCC?

Well, nobody teaches that excommunication means a sentence to hell. Catholics would say you're risking hell by doing what you're doing but that's not the same as saying you're definitely going there. Only God knows. And while one may logically conclude that because of the Pope all Catholics are Romans, to be fair to Eastern Catholics, no, Catholicism doesn't say one has to revert to Roman Catholicism but also offers the various Eastern Catholic groups. To which you probably would comment, 'Yeah, same thing'. Perhaps.

There are Orthodox who are charitable and say born Eastern Catholics have the freedom to choose to stay where they are, while of course hoping they choose instead to become Orthodox. So far it seems no one can prove the Catholics officially don't want the Eastern Catholic groups to exist. Any challenges to that?
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« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2002, 07:08:33 PM »

What is the traditional customary greeting between the bishop of one Orthodox Patriarchate and the Patriarch of another Patriarchate, if I may ask?

We're proud of the stances of our Patriarchs in Vatican I & II, and I always court the temptation to use the widely circulated story of our Patriarch's treatment by Pope Pius IX to make a strong point.  In all fairness though, I recall reading something (I believe it was some input on the part of Bishop Eliyah) that suggested this story to be something of an urban legend based on an incident where the Patriarch did manage to answer back to the Pope's comment that, to parahrase, "This one is the troublemaker."  I am thinking of looking further into this to evaluate the veracity of the story.

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Not to make a big deal out of it, Samer, but is the "Bishop Eliyah" to whom you make reference the same as "Archbishop John A. Elya" of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Newton?  I had Archbishop Elya (then "Archimandrite John Elya") as my instructor in Melkite Church History at the (now-closed, I believe) Melkite Eparchial Seminary of St. Gregory the Theologian in Newton Centre, MA, where I was studying for the diaconate for the Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Eparchy of Passaic.  The then Fr. Elya said of the Melkites: "We were ALWAYS Catholic," i.e., in communion with Rome.  He also denied the existence of "monsignori" in the Melkite Church.  (I had much more respect for the honesty of Archbishop Joseph Tawil of blessed memory, who was another one of my instructors.)

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« Reply #36 on: November 11, 2002, 07:32:58 PM »

One can say Say'yedna John is hardly cut out of the same cloth of many of the metropolitans, certainly hardly out of that of Say'yedna Zoghbi (I believe the former was one of the two bishops who did not agree to put his signature on the latter's proposal which came about when the reunion initiative was launched).

One's view of Church history is one thing.  But one can expect someone to be more precise when it comes to the factual credibility or lack thereof of a relatively recent incident such as that particular conciliar gathering.  I have never looked into the matter of this particular story or tried to verify it and have no basis at this point on which to make a conclusion.  I can expect motives and biases to underlie both positions.  Whatever one may think of Say'yedna John's bent and orientation on many matters, his or any other's suggestion that there may be some hyperbole in the story, and my lack of knowledge of the matter makes it worthwile to tap into some sources and make a small investigation into it sometime in the future.

He denied the existance of monsignori, you say? Interesting.  
One can dream though, can't he?

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« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2002, 07:34:39 PM »

Hypo-Ortho,

Yes, I was referring to the foot kissing ritual.  As I said, "I do believe" and don't have any documentation in front of me.  I was only 3 years old at the time of John Paul II installation and don't remember it at all Smiley.  Perhaps we will see soon enough, though, if this practice is really gone.
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« Reply #38 on: November 11, 2002, 08:29:08 PM »

Quote
One can say Say'yedna John is hardly cut out of the same cloth of many of the metropolitans, certainly hardly out of that of Say'yedna Zoghbi (I believe the former was one of the two bishops who did not agree to put his signature on the latter's proposal which came about when the reunion initiative was launched).

Hypo-Ortho<<I think you're right, Samer.  Bishop Elias Zoghby is one of the most Orthodox-minded of the Melkite hierarchs.  Sayedna John, OTOH, has the reputation, sad to say, of being both a Latinophile and an adherent of a revisionist Melkite Church history.>>

<big snip>

Samer<<He denied the existance of monsignori, you say? Interesting.  
One can dream though, can't he?>>

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He dreams, but not as a realist.  Grin

My experience at the Melkite Seminary was a very good one and helped prepare me for my entrance into Orthodoxy shortly thereafter.  Indeed, one of my instructors encouraged me in that direction.  There were many late-night long-distance phone calls with my asking for advice and prayers before taking the big step.  

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« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2002, 08:42:23 PM »

Serge,
 
I am not an ex-Catholic I'm an ex-Roman Catholic.  Please give me that much.  And, yes I voluntarily renounced what I consider the revisionist history of the once unchangeable church. Cool

JoeS

Well, as someone of your maturity who was a Roman Catholic already may know, ex-Catholics are ipso facto excommunicated whether they become Orthodox, Protestant or whatever.

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« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2002, 09:04:23 PM »

JoeS,

Actually, according to the norms for communion published in the back of every missallette in every RC church, it is clearly states that members of the Orthodox Churches may receive communion in a Catholic Church under certain circumstances:

"Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 -º 4). Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 -º 3). "



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« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2002, 09:24:17 PM »

I think we may be reading too much into this.  The Pope is weaker than he used to be, and doesn't stand for long, or often (that I've seen in recent days).  Could it be that he just happens to be sitting down, and rather than stand over him and talk to him, this Ukrainian bishop chose to kneel to be more on his level?  Furthermore, the picture looks like it was taken at a general audience...any idea why that bishop is dressed the way he is rather than in something a bit less liturgical looking?
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« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2002, 09:34:31 PM »

Well thats what I figured as well.  If I were destined for Hell because I converted to another Catholic Faith, I certainly would not be allowed to receive the Eucharist in my previous faith. Not that I would want to understand.

I have to learn to take some of Serge's comments with a grain of salt.

Joe

JoeS,

Actually, according to the norms for communion published in the back of every missallette in every RC church, it is clearly states that members of the Orthodox Churches may receive communion in a Catholic Church under certain circumstances:

"Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 -º 4). Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 -º 3). "




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« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2002, 11:22:06 PM »

Quote
Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 -º 3).

I know that. It logically doesn't apply to ex-Catholics.
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« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2002, 11:28:01 PM »

Quote
Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 -º 3).

I know that. It logically doesn't apply to ex-Catholics.

Then why doesn't the canon code say that? It seems if Orthodox could theoretically receive except ex-RC Catholics, it would say so, no? God Bless!
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