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Author Topic: Questions About Eastern Catholicism  (Read 1041 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: January 16, 2011, 04:40:44 PM »

First, I realise that it's probably improper to speak of "Eastern Catholicism" as though it's some monolithic faith tradition that agrees about everything and has the same culture, language, etc. I ask for your indulgence in using this phrase for the sake of convenience. Second, I realise that some of the questions might show a misunderstanding of Catholic doctrine/practice; if that's the case, please, just let me know where I've gone astray, I do not mean to misrepresent a belief/practice. So, with that said... I have some questions.

- Generally speaking, what do Eastern Catholics teach regarding contraception and NFP? Also, do Eastern Catholics view the early Church's position regarding sexuality in the same way that many Eastern Orthodox view it: that is to say, do they shate the view that the Eastern Fathers were more pastorally-senitive and open, while viewing Western Fathers as being more restrictive and strict?

- Generally speaking, are Eastern Catholics closer to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy when it comes to the issue of divorce?

- Do Eastern Catholics say the creed without the filioque? And regardless of whether they use it or not, what do they think of it's introduction and current usage in many Catholic churches?
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 09:52:59 PM »

First, I realise that it's probably improper to speak of "Eastern Catholicism" as though it's some monolithic faith tradition that agrees about everything and has the same culture, language, etc. I ask for your indulgence in using this phrase for the sake of convenience. Second, I realise that some of the questions might show a misunderstanding of Catholic doctrine/practice; if that's the case, please, just let me know where I've gone astray, I do not mean to misrepresent a belief/practice. So, with that said... I have some questions.

- Generally speaking, what do Eastern Catholics teach regarding contraception and NFP? Also, do Eastern Catholics view the early Church's position regarding sexuality in the same way that many Eastern Orthodox view it: that is to say, do they shate the view that the Eastern Fathers were more pastorally-senitive and open, while viewing Western Fathers as being more restrictive and strict?

- Generally speaking, are Eastern Catholics closer to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy when it comes to the issue of divorce?

- Do Eastern Catholics say the creed without the filioque? And regardless of whether they use it or not, what do they think of it's introduction and current usage in many Catholic churches?
I can only speak to the last one with any certainty right now, but the filioque is generally not recited in Eastern Catholic parishes. My particular parish understands the meaning and intent behind the phrase and accepts it as valid within its historical and cultural context, but we leave it out, as it's not a part of our tradition; a petition for a Rosary club was struck down by Fr. Deacon for similar reasons. Latin things should stay in Latin churches, and vice-versa; it's not right for us to take something from another tradition.

As per contraception, as far as I'm aware, we agree with Rome on that matter. Same goes for divorce, but I could be terribly, terribly wrong. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2011, 10:11:56 PM »

Out of curiosity, do you have any eastern-rite's near you? They seem to be a pretty rare find, around these parts anyways.

I wonder how common they are in comparison to say, a western-rite Orthodox Church in the U.S.?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 10:12:36 PM by Ortho_cat » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2011, 10:15:20 PM »

First, I realise that it's probably improper to speak of "Eastern Catholicism" as though it's some monolithic faith tradition that agrees about everything and has the same culture, language, etc. I ask for your indulgence in using this phrase for the sake of convenience. Second, I realise that some of the questions might show a misunderstanding of Catholic doctrine/practice; if that's the case, please, just let me know where I've gone astray, I do not mean to misrepresent a belief/practice. So, with that said... I have some questions.
I don't know if you want my opinion, but I was EC at one point (Maronite).

Quote
- Generally speaking, what do Eastern Catholics teach regarding contraception and NFP? Also, do Eastern Catholics view the early Church's position regarding sexuality in the same way that many Eastern Orthodox view it: that is to say, do they shate the view that the Eastern Fathers were more pastorally-senitive and open, while viewing Western Fathers as being more restrictive and strict?
From my experience with the Maronites, they taught exactly what Rome taught, even though the parish priest disagreed with some of Rome's other theological formulations (like the IC, for instance).

Quote
- Generally speaking, are Eastern Catholics closer to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy when it comes to the issue of divorce?
In my experience, again, it was the Roman teaching. There was a couple that was wanting to come into the Maronite church from Lutheranism, but the man had been previously married and divorced. He had to get an annulment before they could be received (but for some reason they had to be received into the Roman church first and then conditionally made Maronites. Something I still don't understand to this day).

Quote
- Do Eastern Catholics say the creed without the filioque? And regardless of whether they use it or not, what do they think of it's introduction and current usage in many Catholic churches?
I went to a Byzantine Catholic church in Florida once and I believe they had it in theirs and the Maronite parish here in Roanoke still uses it. However, the priest refused to say it and it got him labeled "Orthodox" (as if that's a bad thing! Cheesy ) by his fellow priests.

Hope that helps!

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2011, 10:20:39 PM »

Out of curiosity, do you have any eastern-rite's near you? They seem to be a pretty rare find, around these parts anyways.

I wonder how common they are in comparison to say, a western-rite Orthodox Church in the U.S.?
Yes, actually; a Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic parish is a 10 or 15-minute drive away on the freeway, and that is the place I typically frequent. We also have a Melkite Catholic parish down further into Columbus proper, but I haven't visited them yet. However, the Melkite priest was actually the server of the first Divine Liturgy I attended at the Ruthenian parish, when Father was out. I've also seen the Melkite priest before, at my Roman Catholic parish's reconciliation services as well, when there are around one or two dozen priests to hear confessions. He comes in the Byzantine vestments and gives the absolution with his stole atop the confessor's head. Also, at least one family from our Ruthenian church is involved both there and at the Roman parish. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2011, 10:36:20 PM »

Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches:

Canon 42 - Just as, by the Lord's decision, Saint Peter and the other Apostles constitute one college, so in a similar way the Roman Pontiff, successor of Peter, and the bishops, successors of the Apostles, are joined together.

Chapter I.  The Roman Pontiff

Canon 43 - The bishop of the Church of Rome, in whom resides the office (munus) given in special way by the Lord to Peter, first of the Apostles and to be transmitted to his successors, is head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the entire Church on earth; therefore, in virtue of his office (munus) he enjoys supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church which he can always freely exercise.

Canon 44 - §1. The Roman Pontiff obtains full and supreme power in the Church by means of legitimate election accepted by him together with episcopal consecration; therefore, one who is already a bishop obtains this same power from the moment he accepts his election to the pontificate, but if the one elected lacks the episcopal character, he is to be ordained a bishop immediately.

http://www.jgray.org/codes/cceo90eng.html
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2011, 11:26:41 PM »

- Generally speaking, what do Eastern Catholics teach regarding contraception and NFP?

I'd probably have to say that one can find as wide a range of opinions (and teaching, although deviation from the Latin viewpoints may be done quietly) among EC clergy (and laity) as one does among Latins (who certainly don't all toe a standard line on either issue, despite what Rome might hope). I'd be loath to suggest, however, that there is any quantifiable Eastern viewpoint on either issue.

Quote
Also, do Eastern Catholics view the early Church's position regarding sexuality in the same way that many Eastern Orthodox view it: that is to say, do they shate the view that the Eastern Fathers were more pastorally-senitive and open, while viewing Western Fathers as being more restrictive and strict?

This is a question that I'm not certain has an answer. Personally, I more than suspect that those who post on-line, be they EC/OC/EO/OO, give much more thought to and are more likely to consider, discuss, and have an opinion on these kind of issues than the vast majority of their counterparts out in the temples who have neither the occasion nor inclination to routinely become involved in consideration of matters such as this - or many others that are bandied about routinely on-line.   

Quote
- Generally speaking, are Eastern Catholics closer to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy when it comes to the issue of divorce?

My personal opinion is that, to the extent that they think about it, the average EC is more likely to think along EO lines. As regards the clergy, I think there is some significant diversity of opinion. Officially, there are tribunals in place to consider matters of annulment and I think that route is certainly followed in some cases. I also think that there are a non-quantifiable number of instances in which clergy exercise ekonomia. What decides? Likely, the 'conservative' or 'liberal' view of the individual presbyter, tempered by how strict his jurisdiction is on the matter. 

Quote
- Do Eastern Catholics say the creed without the filioque? And regardless of whether they use it or not, what do they think of it's introduction and current usage in many Catholic churches?

The majority of EC do not - and none of them should. It's a little less certain what the OC and the Assyro-Chaldeans do; the Maronites are most likely to say it, although some will not - I'm not clear on whether their jurisdictions have directly addressed the question as yet and some may consider that its use is in line with their historical praxis - which I find doubtful (however, almost all the OCs, the A-Cs, and the Maronites are considerably more latinized than the ECs).

As to how we view its use in the Latin Churches. I don't think most have strong opinions - content to let the Latins do their own thing, and hoping to be allowed the same.

Many years,

Neil
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 01:43:49 AM »

Thank you for the responses!  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 02:02:02 PM »

First, I realise that it's probably improper to speak of "Eastern Catholicism" as though it's some monolithic faith tradition that agrees about everything and has the same culture, language, etc. I ask for your indulgence in using this phrase for the sake of convenience. Second, I realise that some of the questions might show a misunderstanding of Catholic doctrine/practice; if that's the case, please, just let me know where I've gone astray, I do not mean to misrepresent a belief/practice. So, with that said... I have some questions.

- Generally speaking, what do Eastern Catholics teach regarding contraception and NFP? Also, do Eastern Catholics view the early Church's position regarding sexuality in the same way that many Eastern Orthodox view it: that is to say, do they shate the view that the Eastern Fathers were more pastorally-senitive and open, while viewing Western Fathers as being more restrictive and strict?

- Generally speaking, are Eastern Catholics closer to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy when it comes to the issue of divorce?

- Do Eastern Catholics say the creed without the filioque? And regardless of whether they use it or not, what do they think of it's introduction and current usage in many Catholic churches?

All Roman Catholic doctrine. Liturgically they weren't supposed to add the filioque but did on their own; now they're taking it out to be ecumenical because Rome said so.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 02:02:43 PM by The young fogey » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2013, 10:09:32 PM »

Here is the problem for Eastern Catholics....
In Catholicism period the belief is that the couple "marry" each other, in simple terms they perform the sacrament.
There is no divorce in the Catholic Church, whether you are Ukrainian Greek Catholic or Roman Catholic etc..
There is only annulment. This is saying to the church that you and the person you married did not perform the sacrament.  So the church says, hey it never happened.

In the Orthodox Church the Priest performs the sacrament (we call them mysteries but to put it in easy terms I will call them sacraments).
The belief is that you can not say a priest didn't carry out a sacrament, or mystery.
So we have divorce because the marriage happened.


A very hard issue between the two faiths that is hard to reconcile.
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2013, 10:25:31 PM »

Here is the problem for Eastern Catholics....
In Catholicism period the belief is that the couple "marry" each other, in simple terms they perform the sacrament.
There is no divorce in the Catholic Church, whether you are Ukrainian Greek Catholic or Roman Catholic etc..
There is only annulment. This is saying to the church that you and the person you married did not perform the sacrament.  So the church says, hey it never happened.

In the Orthodox Church the Priest performs the sacrament (we call them mysteries but to put it in easy terms I will call them sacraments).
The belief is that you can not say a priest didn't carry out a sacrament, or mystery.
So we have divorce because the marriage happened.


A very hard issue between the two faiths that is hard to reconcile.

You'd think those, especially divorce and remarriage, would be points of contention between the two sides but historically, not so much. I have no problem with either view of the sacrament of marriage, either the priest or the couple as the ministers.

Divorce and remarriage is trickier. Frankly the Orthodox position makes no sense to me: 'sometimes adultery's OK'. (Bob Guccione posthumously high-fives.) But in practice, no problem. Church divorce when done properly is as strict as annulments done properly; Eastern Orthodoxy's not known for being loose morally here. Conservative Eastern European cultures. The Orthodox used economia for divorce and remarriage simply so the wronged party in a divorce wouldn't starve to death. For a couple of centuries after going under Rome, the Melkites, the most Orthodox of the important Greek Catholic churches, kept the Orthodox discipline on the matter. That seems to settle it for me.

So no, they're not good reasons for the schism.
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2013, 03:20:42 PM »

Here is the problem for Eastern Catholics....
In Catholicism period the belief is that the couple "marry" each other, in simple terms they perform the sacrament.
There is no divorce in the Catholic Church, whether you are Ukrainian Greek Catholic or Roman Catholic etc..
There is only annulment. This is saying to the church that you and the person you married did not perform the sacrament.  So the church says, hey it never happened.

In the Orthodox Church the Priest performs the sacrament (we call them mysteries but to put it in easy terms I will call them sacraments).
The belief is that you can not say a priest didn't carry out a sacrament, or mystery.
So we have divorce because the marriage happened.


A very hard issue between the two faiths that is hard to reconcile.

You'd think those, especially divorce and remarriage, would be points of contention between the two sides but historically, not so much. I have no problem with either view of the sacrament of marriage, either the priest or the couple as the ministers.

Divorce and remarriage is trickier. Frankly the Orthodox position makes no sense to me: 'sometimes adultery's OK'. (Bob Guccione posthumously high-fives.) But in practice, no problem. Church divorce when done properly is as strict as annulments done properly; Eastern Orthodoxy's not known for being loose morally here. Conservative Eastern European cultures. The Orthodox used economia for divorce and remarriage simply so the wronged party in a divorce wouldn't starve to death. For a couple of centuries after going under Rome, the Melkites, the most Orthodox of the important Greek Catholic churches, kept the Orthodox discipline on the matter. That seems to settle it for me.

So no, they're not good reasons for the schism.

Come to think of it, I don't recall anything on this topic even being an issue in the Schism, but I could be wrong.
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2013, 04:22:55 PM »

Here is the problem for Eastern Catholics....
In Catholicism period the belief is that the couple "marry" each other, in simple terms they perform the sacrament.
There is no divorce in the Catholic Church, whether you are Ukrainian Greek Catholic or Roman Catholic etc..
There is only annulment. This is saying to the church that you and the person you married did not perform the sacrament.  So the church says, hey it never happened.

In the Orthodox Church the Priest performs the sacrament (we call them mysteries but to put it in easy terms I will call them sacraments).
The belief is that you can not say a priest didn't carry out a sacrament, or mystery.
So we have divorce because the marriage happened.


A very hard issue between the two faiths that is hard to reconcile.
Two issues.  One the CCEO requires the priest's blessing for validity so Eastern Catholics are saddled with the weird situation of an Eastern theology for the sacrament of marriage but a Western framework for the dealing with a broken one.

Two, the Orthodox canons do recognize the possibility of a marriage blessed by a priest being invalid although in fewer circumstances than Catholics do.
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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2013, 12:57:24 PM »


Two issues.  One the CCEO requires the priest's blessing for validity so Eastern Catholics are saddled with the weird situation of an Eastern theology for the sacrament of marriage but a Western framework for the dealing with a broken one.

Two, the Orthodox canons do recognize the possibility of a marriage blessed by a priest being invalid although in fewer circumstances than Catholics do.

This latter is very helpful.  I was not aware of that.

M.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 12:57:54 PM by elijahmaria » Logged

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