As one who has lived in the midst of communities and families rendered by the split among the Orthodox and the Eastern Catholics I have several points from my perspective:(emphasis added)
a. Latin rite Catholics have never and currently do NOT understand the Eastern Catholic Churches.
b. Latin rite Catholics will never and do NOT accept any theological or ecclesial distinctions between the Latin church and the Easterners even if the 'sui juris' Eastern Churches thoughtfully and intelligently proclaim an argument that such differences exist and are proper within their view of the 'universal' church. (see for example many writings from the Melkites and some of the essays of Cardinal Lubomir Husar.)
podkarpatska, I believe your accusations are absurd and baseless. However, I'm just going to let the readers decide for themselves (both because I'm trying to heed the mod's recent call for civility, and because I'm just plain tired of dealing with these silly generalizations) ...
"but I also have a profound respect for those who did not and remained Eastern Catholic as I understand the forces that motivated them."
I'm trying to better understand why Eastern Catholics are reluctant to re-join the Orthodox church. Can you elaborate on these forces that motivate them to stay EC? Is it simply a matter of anti-Russian/anti-communist sentiments?
For most ECs, it wouldn't be a matter of re-joining the Orthodox Church*, but rather of joining it for the first time.
*At least not in the literal sense. I suppose you could call it "re-joining" in the sense that their ancestors were Orthodox. Not really the same thing though.
Peter is completely wrong and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics.
Sorry, but unless you've walked the walk, it's tough to talk the talk. I know far more BCC priests than most of you and with few exceptions they will privately agree with what I stated. From Archbishop Ireland through and including retired Cardinal Mahoney, there are example after example of Latin rite imperialism and condescension towards the Easterners and their beliefs and practices. For every Archbishop Sheen or Cardinal Krol who respected the Easterners, there are myriads of others who do not.
podkarpatska, I remember well our conversation of a few months ago. When I asked you (repeated, in fact) about your statement "Peter is completely wrong and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics" you responded by pointing, not to anything I had said, but rather to wrongs committed by Latin Catholics before I was born! It's no great surprise to me that you have decided to try that same tactic on this thread.
Perhaps you and I are talking past each other and I certainly don't mean to imply that you share the opinions of clerics like Archbishop Ireland or Cardinal Mahoney in this regard.
However, having grown up in a close knit neighborhood where my father (baptized and raised as a Greek Catholic) was the Orthodox priest of one of the four slavic Orthodox parishes and where three ethnic Roman Catholic parishes and two Greek Catholic parishes all 'co-existed' and struggled among themselves to secure their own 'piece of the pie' I have a fair amount of first hand experience and knowledge. Certainly my opinions are colored by my own, and my parents' experiences, but they are what they are.
For example, when I was in elementary school both the Greek Catholics and the Orthodox were still on the old calendar. I remember the Polish and Slovak children giggling about how the 'JV team' (junior varsity) and the 'indypindys' got the day off. The JV team were the Greek Catholics and the 'indypindys' (i.e. independents) were the Orthodox. The adults were no better. I should add that we were just as cruel and judgmental of the Catholic kids with our parents and grandparents' own names for them! People would cross the street rather than acknowledge the existence of their neighbors church. This was NOT unique to my hometown; the same scenario was replayed across the northeast and midwest US and across Canada.
I am told that the only safe haven for the children of the Greek Catholic priests through the 1930's was at the Slovak Elementary school where the sisters from the old country were familiar with married Eastern Rite clergy and their families and the good nuns provided a safe haven for them. Of course by my time, these schools were closing and there were no more children of married Greek Catholic priests.
Things are not like that anymore, but within the Roman church there still exists a widespread ignorance about Orthodoxy and particularly about their own Eastern Catholic brethren. Just speak to any Eastern catholic parents who send their children to a Roman Catholic parochial school and see just how much respect is GENERALLY afforded to them and their traditions.
I am truly sorry if you are personally offended as your own conduct is not reflective of the type of conduct I have dealt with over the years, but if the truth is rough and if it hurts - so be it. There is enough blame to go around regarding the Roman Catholics, the Greek Catholics and the Orthodox and their behavior towards each other over the centuries and we will all be held to account in some manner for how we failed to act as we are charged. As I have often noted, I have family and friends, both lay and religious, in both 'camps' and on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. We all have dealt with these issues in our own ways and almost all of the many people in my experience share in some of the sentiments that I and others like username have expressed. (I say almost all because there are some who have bought into the 'party line' whether it comes from Rome or Moscow, but they are the exception.)