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« on: November 04, 2011, 02:06:54 AM »

I'm curious about these Churches, I don't know a whole lot about them. What were some of the reasons why they decided to joined Rome instead of the Eastern Orthodox Communion?
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2011, 02:54:37 AM »

I'm curious about these Churches, I don't know a whole lot about them. What were some of the reasons why they decided to joined Rome instead of the Eastern Orthodox Communion?

They didn't decide to join Rome instead of the Eastern Orthodox Communion - rather, in almost all cases, they left the Eastern Orthodox Communion to join with Rome.

The reasons were many: some decided to do so; some had it decided for them; some were undoubtedly clueless that there was a difference, merely following the lead of a ruler, a hierarch, or a village priest.

The reasons were so diverse as (in no particular order): an honest belief in or acceptance of claims of papal supremacy; political considerations; political opportunism; coercion; evangelization; reaction to real or perceived affronts to the independence of their own culturally, ethnically or nationally based ecclesiae; personal conviction; personal ambition. You name it - someone, somewhere, did it for that reason.  

And some subsequently returned from union with Rome to reunite with the parent Orthodox Communion, for just as many of and often the same reasons, to which can be added disillusionment with the treatment accorded them or the failure to accept and respect their traditions and praxis while in union.

You can read a history of each in the on-line text of The Eastern Christian Churches – A Brief Survey (7th edition) by Father Ronald Roberson. It's the only on-line source of which I'm aware that touches on all of them and, though authored by a Catholic priest, is relatively even-handed, and non-polemical, in its discussion - though a necessarily brief overview in the amount of detail devoted to each.   

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2011, 02:57:06 AM »

As Irish Melkite points out, these churches were originally sections of the Eastern (or Oriental) Orthodox churches that came into union with Rome under various circumstances. In the case of the Chaldean Catholics, they were a section of the Assyrians (Church of the East, or what is commonly called these days the "Assyrian Church of the East", but has historically been called the Nestorian church due to their acceptance of the Nestorian heresy) who came into union with Rome following a succession dispute within the ACoE in the 16th century. Similar divisions were exploited to create other churches, such as the division among the St. Thomas Christians in India along pro and anti-Portuguese/Jesuit lines (see: Coonan Cross Oath) that resulted in the creation of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church.
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2011, 04:05:46 AM »

As Irish Melkite points out, these churches were originally sections of the Eastern (or Oriental) Orthodox churches that came into union with Rome under various circumstances.

With an exception of Italo-Albanians and Maronites.
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2011, 05:02:39 AM »

Yes, yes, though not all agree on the actual origin of the Maronites. Schaff (1884), for instance, classes them along with the "Monophysites" originally, having come over to Rome starting after the Crusades of 1182 (author's dating), "and especially after 1562". He also claims, with some period references, that there are Maronites in Syria "who abhor the Roman Church". Things must have changed since 1884, if that was at one time the case!  Grin

I maintain no opinion, as I am not Maronite, but it is references like this (and some Eastern Orthodox references, which I am far more skeptical of) that made me hesitate to mention them. Certainly their own histories (Dau, Labaki, etc.) make that claim, however. 
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2011, 07:13:33 AM »

As Irish Melkite points out, these churches were originally sections of the Eastern (or Oriental) Orthodox churches that came into union with Rome under various circumstances.

With an exception of Italo-Albanians and Maronites.

Michal and dzheremi,

I purposely didn't specifically name either of them for a couple of reasons.

As dzheremi has noted, there are various and conflicting opinions as to the reputedly uninterrupted history of union with Rome on the part of my Maronite brothers and sisters. Their prolonged isolation in the mountainous regions of the Levant, in a place and at a time during which written documents are rare, certainly precludes much in the way of definitive answers. It's clear that, on arrival of the French missionaries accompanying the Crusaders, the Maronites professed to have maintained an uninterrupted union, despite having had no communication with Rome for several centuries, and proceeded to become (as is sometimes said) more Roman than the Latins.

Is that the case or had they departed that union, together with the Oriental Churches? Clearly, we're unlikely to ever know. As to the statement cited by dzheremi regarding the Maronites in Syria who abhorred Rome - I find that a stretch and rather suspect that the author encountered someone else (though I've no idea who, as the Syriacs - those most likely to have been mistaken for Maronites - were, even then, on at least passable terms with Rome).

As to the Italo-Albanians or Italo-Greico-Albanians or Arberesh, while it's true that, as an entity, they've never been separated from Rome, the Church has tripartite origins. In its earliest iteration it was constituted by Greeks who settled in Italy to carry on commercial enterprises and naturally brought their liturgical praxis with them. Similarly, Italians influenced by their own travels to Greece in the name of commerce adopted the praxis and returned home with it, giving birth to a native Italian Byzantine community. The ranks of these two, now nearly forgotten ecclesiae, were strengthened by the Albanian Orthdox military forced to seek refuge in Italy and grateful to find themselves able to worship in their accustomed manner, albeit with a change in dyptychs. So, the Byzantine Italo-Greico-Albanians can be said never to have parted union with Rome, but it's not that all of them were ever always in communion with it.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2011, 09:20:11 AM »

Yes, yes, though not all agree on the actual origin of the Maronites. Schaff (1884), for instance, classes them along with the "Monophysites" originally, having come over to Rome starting after the Crusades of 1182 (author's dating), "and especially after 1562". He also claims, with some period references, that there are Maronites in Syria "who abhor the Roman Church". Things must have changed since 1884, if that was at one time the case!  Grin

I maintain no opinion, as I am not Maronite, but it is references like this (and some Eastern Orthodox references, which I am far more skeptical of) that made me hesitate to mention them. Certainly their own histories (Dau, Labaki, etc.) make that claim, however. 
I think it is Matta Moosa who has collected and published a number of manuscripts (or rather, excerpts) that show that the Maronites were Monothelites.  I've read a(n ancient) Maronite manuscript on the life of St. Maximos the confessor, which starts "the life of the blasphemous Maximos who had his hand cut off and his tongue cut out for his blasphemy" and continues to be a hit job on the Confessor's life.  The 1182 comes from a Crusader record of a mass convertion.
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2011, 12:12:08 PM »

I think it is Matta Moosa who has collected and published a number of manuscripts (or rather, excerpts) that show that the Maronites were Monothelites.  I've read a(n ancient) Maronite manuscript on the life of St. Maximos the confessor, which starts "the life of the blasphemous Maximos who had his hand cut off and his tongue cut out for his blasphemy" and continues to be a hit job on the Confessor's life.  The 1182 comes from a Crusader record of a mass convertion.

Oh, they were definitely Monothelites. The majority of Maronites I've known who know their history openly admit that their church did embrace this heresy for a time, even for a period after it had been condemned. The source I quoted earlier also mentions this.

Quote from:  Irish Melkite
As to the statement cited by dzheremi regarding the Maronites in Syria who abhorred Rome - I find that a stretch and rather suspect that the author encountered someone else

I don't find it particularly convincing either, as the description of the period resource by Schaff does not make it entirely clear how he reached that conclusion, but as I've never seen the original resource, I can't refute this claim, either. I just thought it was interesting that this would be specified. I've certainly met more than one Maronite in my life who, while not being explicitly anti-Roman, certainly feels that their union with Rome has by and large led to the deterioration of their traditional Syriac spirituality. I am entirely in agreement with that particular claim.
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2011, 01:03:20 PM »

So Did Rome straighten out the Maronites doctrine after they merged?
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2011, 12:32:28 AM »

So Did Rome straighten out the Maronites doctrine after they merged?

From most accounts, it didn't have to do so. As I referenced above, the Maronites - whether glad to be in communion with anyone (because, given their geographic isolation, they'd have had little or no regular contact with the Oriental Orthodox), or leery of hostility on the part of the French Crusaders, or genuinely convinced of a belief other than whatever they had held - embraced the notion of communion with great enthusiasm.

What Rome, in the person of the French clergy accompanying the Crusaders, did do was to latinize their new-found brethren to a fair-thee-well. They were latinized to an extent seldom observed since (well surpassing what Eastern Catholics encountered during the worst days of same in the diaspora). Only recently, a milennium later, have the Maronites begun to recover - very, very slowly, as they try to reconstruct their liturgical and spiritual patrimony).

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2011, 04:50:57 PM »

The Greek Catholic Churches in and descending from the former Austrian Hungarian province of Galacia (Roman Catholic Churches using the Byzantine Rite, or pretty much sort of like the Eastern Orthodox services) were forced into Rome vis-a-vis the Unia of Brest and Uzhorod.  Honestly, other than the "we're not the same as Latin Rite Catholics" attitude and you hear the pope mentioned in liturgy, the average Orthodox where I live comes from a family that was Greek Catholic when they immigrated.  Later they got mad over things like property (and I'm sure parking spaces) and usually built the Orthodox church within 1km or less of the Greek Catholic Church.  Usually there isn't a whole lot of difference in the services between the two, they all like pierogies, wooden clappers on Good Friday, pysanky, halushki, panachidas and folk-para-liturgical hymns.  The theology is different, but the little customs aren't.

disclaimer: username! is one of these Orthodox whose family was Greek Catholic at one time and built our parish up the road from the Greek Catholic parish
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2011, 05:40:39 PM »

The Greek Catholic Churches in and descending from the former Austrian Hungarian province of Galacia (Roman Catholic Churches using the Byzantine Rite, or pretty much sort of like the Eastern Orthodox services) were forced into Rome vis-a-vis the Unia of Brest and Uzhorod. [

The Bishop of Lviv (Galicia) rejected the Union of Brest as did the laity.  So the so-called Union of Brest had no effect in Galicia at the time (1596).  It  was only after Galicia became part of the Austrian Empire (third partition of Poland) that the Austrian government legally made the Eastern Catholic eparchy.  In fact the last Orthodox place of worship was closed down in 1785.
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2011, 02:06:55 AM »

Well, I was too lazy to write the countries that were/are in what was Galacia.  Obviously it was partly the Polish King that did the horse-trading of the Orthodox to the Roman Catholics, and I realise the Austrian Hungarian Empire didn't exist at that point.  Hence, today's Greek Catholics (Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Slovak) are Catholic because a kingdom and a king that no longer exists traded them. 
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2011, 02:47:32 AM »

sounds really messy. So are there much hard feelings between EO and RC over these ECC's? Or is it mostly water under the bridge...
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2011, 06:26:17 AM »

sounds really messy. So are there much hard feelings between EO and RC over these ECC's? Or is it mostly water under the bridge...

A question to which there is no single answer and no easy answers. And, what follows is a bare-bones overview of the subject.

Understandably, the Eastern Orthodox Churches (particularly those of the Slav Traditions) have historically taken a dim view of the events in their native countries that led to the creation of their Eastern Catholic counterparts - events that sometimes went beyond mere political or ecclesiastical decision-making and proceeded to involve physical violence, destruction of temples, etc.  And, in instances where those who embraced Eastern Catholicism deemed themselves to have done so of their own volition - and suffered similar consequences - the same dim view was taken in the opposite direction. How it has played out centuries later sometimes differs significantly from country to country and Church to Church.

In the diaspora of the late 19th century and into the early 20th century, there are curious and sometimes conflicting tales to be told. In the earliest years, one can read in various parish histories of communities comprised of mixed congregations, amicably worshipping under the service of whichever priest happened to be available - with the parish eventually dividing once another priest of the opposite Church or the 'other' nationality arrived on the scene.

Real differences arose shortly, however, when Eastern Catholics began to suffer the loss of their traditions and significant disrespect toward both those traditions and even their presbyters on the part of the largely Irish and German Latin hierarchy. The latter were appalled by the idea of married clergy and it went downhill from there. The battles that ensued played out over a period of 3 decades and changed the ecclesiastical landscape of Eastern Christianity in this country. Thousands of Eastern Catholics returned to the Orthodoxy of their forefathers. Although the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches each had a presence in the US prior to these happenings, their numbers were bolstered incredibly by these changes and ACROD itself came into existence as a consequence of them.

Small towns and cities, particularly in the Coal, Steel, and Rust Belts were (and are) dotted with competing temples on opposite corners of the same city block. As I'm certain that my friends and brothers, podkarpatska and username, can both testify, these events sometimes resulted in familial splits that continued for generations, with siblings not crossing one another's thresholds or speaking one another's names.

In modern times, in the diaspora at least (though one could not necessarily tell by the interactions on internet fora), much such hostility has mellowed. Certainly, this is true in the relationships between the Byzantine Ruthenians and their brothers and sisters of the ACROD Metropolia, due in very large part to the healing efforts of Metropolitan Nicholas (ACROD), and Metropolitans Judson and Basil (both of the BCA), all of blessed memory.  In the homelands, change has been much slower as both the EO and EC Churches are still in recovery from the decades of oppression, persecution, and martyrdom visited on them by Communist rule. The competition for temples that have been bandied back and forth between the two for centuries has effectively recreated the hostile atmosphere of centuries past (forgetting that they just got out from under equal-opportunity suppression). But, even in those nations, relations can't be described as the same across the board. The Carpatho-Rusyns in Europe, both Orthodox and Catholic, appear to have a decidedly more accepting relationship with one another than is the case between ECs and EOs in surrounding countries. The Ukrainian Orthodox in the diaspora also have a notably close relationship with their Catholic counterparts; it's harder to measure that situation in Ukraine as a consequence of the diverse and competing Orthodox Churches there.

With all that said, the Antiochian Orthodox Church and its Melkite Catholic counterpart have historically maintained a compatible relationship, although it's not as close in this country as it once was. The reasons for that are often attributed, rightly or wrongly, to the influx into the Antiochian Archdiocese of large numbers of converts from Protestantism - changing the ethnic dynamic that formerly united the two. The lack of historical hostility between these two entities though is attributable in large measure to the fact that the Melkite union with Rome was essentially a self-driven move, and not seen as coerced. Certainly, in the earliest (18th century) years of that union, there were elements of hostility, but those were comparatively short-lived. In the Middle East, relations between the two are extremely close. As the Melkite Patriarch Maximos V, of blessed memory, once told me, the survival of Christianity in that region transcends inter-ecclesial rivalry in a way that few outside the five who hold the patriarchal title of Antioch can understand.

Among the Oriental Orthodox, relations with their Catholic counterparts have historically been on a pretty even keel. The Armenians and Syriacs, particularly, have close ties with both Rome and the corresponding Oriental Catholic Churches. Relations with the Copts have varied - ranging from close to distant and presently somewhere in between. The Ethiopians and Eritreans are probably the most distant in that regard among the OO. The Syro-Malankara Churches have a benignly amicable existence by all appearances.

The Assyrian Church and its Chaldean Catholic counterpart also have a fairly close relationship, albeit the much publicized decision a few years ago by an Assyrian hierarch to seek union with Rome (bringing a couple of parishes and some clergy with him) troubled those waters somewhat.

Many years,

Neil

Addendum: In looking back at what you asked and what I answered, I suppose that I really spoke more to the rekationships between the EOs and the corresponding ECs and the OOs and corresponding OCs, rather than between Orthodoxy and the Church of Rome (except for what I said about the OOs - the relationships between those and Rome is pretty much the same as between them and the OCs).

In short, I guess I'd say that the EOs pretty much do not want to deal with Rome over the issue of the ECs - looking at the latter either as persons who should return to their Orthodox heritage or as Catholics whose liturgical praxis mimics that of Orthodoxy but lacks the spirit or truth of it. The Orthodox have never completely forgotten that the original concept envisioned and espoused by Rome (now, blessedly, abandoned) in 'allowing' the ECs and OCs to continue their liturgical praxis, etc, was as a way to lure the Orthodox into union by providing a familiar venue. It took a long, long time for Rome to ever see the EC and OC Churches as having a distinct and independent right to exist within the Catholic Communion, rather than existing for that purpose. That viewpoint certainly never helped the situation. 
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« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2011, 12:14:23 PM »

Well, I was too lazy to write the countries that were/are in what was Galacia.  Obviously it was partly the Polish King that did the horse-trading of the Orthodox to the Roman Catholics, and I realise the Austrian Hungarian Empire didn't exist at that point.  Hence, today's Greek Catholics (Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Slovak) are Catholic because a kingdom and a king that no longer exists traded them. 
The city of Brest is in the present-day country of Belarus and never was in Galicia.
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« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2011, 12:27:43 PM »

Well, I was too lazy to write the countries that were/are in what was Galacia.  Obviously it was partly the Polish King that did the horse-trading of the Orthodox to the Roman Catholics, and I realise the Austrian Hungarian Empire didn't exist at that point.  Hence, today's Greek Catholics (Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Slovak) are Catholic because a kingdom and a king that no longer exists traded them. 
The city of Brest is in the present-day country of Belarus and never was in Galicia.
Not to nit-pick, but it was, when Halych was an independent kingdom, and thereafter it pretty much shared the same fate as Galicia until 1772-95 when Russia got it and Galicia went to the Habsburgs.
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« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2011, 02:20:13 PM »

Among the Oriental Orthodox, relations with their Catholic counterparts have historically been on a pretty even keel. The Armenians and Syriacs, particularly, have close ties with both Rome and the corresponding Oriental Catholic Churches.

Thanks Neil, this was very informative. I'm wondering if you have some more thoughts on this section. Why do you think this is the case? Is it because the so-called "Uniate" issues weren't as prevalent and thus there was less reason for animosity on the part of these Orthodox churches? Do they not view the doctrinal differences with the same intensity as the EO? Or both or neither?

To further your point, our priest has absolutely no problem with communing RC (as well as Armenian Catholics) and has told me that there would be no issues if I were to partake of communion at a RC church, provided that it not become a regular practice.

I'm guess I'm just curious as to how this dichotomy emerged.
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« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2011, 02:47:50 PM »

Well, I was too lazy to write the countries that were/are in what was Galacia.  Obviously it was partly the Polish King that did the horse-trading of the Orthodox to the Roman Catholics, and I realise the Austrian Hungarian Empire didn't exist at that point.  Hence, today's Greek Catholics (Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Slovak) are Catholic because a kingdom and a king that no longer exists traded them. 
The city of Brest is in the present-day country of Belarus and never was in Galicia.
Not to nit-pick, but it was, when Halych was an independent kingdom, and thereafter it pretty much shared the same fate as Galicia until 1772-95 when Russia got it and Galicia went to the Habsburgs.
Sorry, I don't understand: do you mean or claim that the city of Brest in 1596 was part of an independent kingdom of Belarus?
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« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2011, 04:32:50 PM »

Not independent, it was after the Lublin Union.
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« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2011, 04:37:02 PM »

Not independent, it was after the Lublin Union.
Thats the way I studied it too.  Thanks for the confirmation.
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« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2011, 04:39:49 PM »

Well, I was too lazy to write the countries that were/are in what was Galacia.  Obviously it was partly the Polish King that did the horse-trading of the Orthodox to the Roman Catholics, and I realise the Austrian Hungarian Empire didn't exist at that point.  Hence, today's Greek Catholics (Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Slovak) are Catholic because a kingdom and a king that no longer exists traded them. 
The city of Brest is in the present-day country of Belarus and never was in Galicia.
Not to nit-pick, but it was, when Halych was an independent kingdom, and thereafter it pretty much shared the same fate as Galicia until 1772-95 when Russia got it and Galicia went to the Habsburgs.
Sorry, I don't understand: do you mean or claim that the city of Brest in 1596 was part of an independent kingdom of Belarus?
No, when Halych was in the competition as successor state to Kievan Rus', e.g. the days of King Daniel.  Brest didn't move, the border did.
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« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2011, 05:51:03 AM »

Thanks Neil, this was very informative. I'm wondering if you have some more thoughts on this section. Why do you think this is the case? Is it because the so-called "Uniate" issues weren't as prevalent and thus there was less reason for animosity on the part of these Orthodox churches? Do they not view the doctrinal differences with the same intensity as the EO? Or both or neither?

Shant,

Not ignoring your question, I just haven't had an opportunity to get back to answer it and probably won't until the first of next week, as I have to entertain company these next few days - but, I promise that I will do so.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2011, 02:08:22 PM »

Thanks Neil, I look forward to reading your answers.
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« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2011, 04:53:37 PM »

Irish Melkite is right in saying I can attest to his statements.  The one Orthodox Church not too far away, well, see, you have to literally drive through the Byzantine (Greek) Catholic Church parking lot to get to it.  Yes, relations in the diaspora have mellowed, thank Heavens.  Mostly these days in the old country (ie, PA, NY, NJ, OH,..) most parishes are more concered about hanging on and keeping the lights on, whether they be Orthodox or Greek/Byzantine Catholic than the arguments you see online.  The Greek Catholics go to their church, I go to mine.  Sometimes we see each other when the Russian Orthodox church up the road has chicken dinners, etc, and sometimes the Greek Catholics will come for certain services because they don't always have them at theirs (and no, they don't commune and I'm talking holy day vespers etc..).
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