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Author Topic: How many of you got here through the Eastern Catholic route?  (Read 4909 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jennifer
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« on: November 08, 2004, 10:44:27 AM »

It seems like many of you started out as RCs then became ECs and then 'doxed.'  I think most of the people who used to attend the EC liturgy in Tulsa eventually 'doxed.'  (might be wrong about that)  I don't know about the more ethnic parishes.  

My question for those of you who took this route, why did you end up 'doxing?'  I'm sure it was because of papal infallibiity, etc.  But were there other things?  Problems in particular with the Eastern Catholic Churches, perhaps?  Can you really be 'eastern' and be EC?  

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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2004, 12:12:07 PM »

Dear Jennifer --

I am one of those who grew up Roman Catholic, became Eastern Catholic (Melkite) and then became Orthodox.

As a Melkite, I thought that worshipping within an "Eastern context" was a great upgrade from the current RC Mass. My Melkite parish had all of the trappings of an Orthodox Liturgy. At the same time however, I came to realize (if I was going to be completely honest with myself) that I was still bound to the teachings of the Magisterium, no matter how Eastern Catholics tried to spin the issues. Even if I did adhere to all the "spin", it would have been spiritually damaging to "reject" the teachings of the Catholic Church (papal infallibility, etc) so as to feel "more Orthodox" and at the same time disagree with fellow Catholics (Latin) whom I was in communion with.

Soon after I attended Orthodox Divine Liturgy more regularly. Within six months I was Orthodox.

Quote
Can you really be 'eastern' and be EC?

I try not to think about the Orthodox Faith and Eastern/Latin Catholicism in terms of eastern versus western; although there are many valid points for those who do.

Rather, I try to view the issue as to where the fullness of Truth resides. There are many dogmas that both Orthodoxy and Catholicism share (Holy Trinity, the Virginity of the Theotokos, etc). However, the Catholic Church, both east and west, does not contain the fullness of Truth. Therefore, one will always come to a "dead end" in terms of spiritual growth, liturgical life, piety, etc.

Please do not take this as a direct judgment on those who are Latin and Eastern Catholic. Just because I am Orthodox does not mean that I am "better" or more holy than others. I became Orthodox precisely because I NEED to become holy. Holy Orthodoxy is the path of salvation: it is up to us to travel on this path of asceticism and struggle.

So, to answer your question. It is not possible to be "eastern" and EC if you mean being Orthodox and EC. However, you can participate in the EC liturgy and to many this seems to be Orthodox "enough". But again, it will always lead to a dead end.

Jennifer, pray to God for discernment...He will not abandon you. Orthodoxy is a costly gift: it is full of joy, but it is a life of intense struggle if you follow the path of salvation.

In Christ,
Gregory

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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2004, 12:15:27 PM »

Well, I seem to be taking that route you just explained.  I'm RC and just started attending my local EC church about 2 years ago.  Very nice, very lovely, but I'm coming to see that I think I started going there for the wrong reasons.  I had been studying the "eastern" view of the "western" church (basically, Orthodox v. Catholic) and the "eastern" things made the most sense.  So once I found the EC church, I said "well great, you have the best of both worlds, you have a bridge between the east and west, between Orthodoxy and Catholicism."  It's a nice place to be to introduce oneself to the eastern rite, but for me, I was looking for something that wasn't there.  

For example, I disagreed with the RCC inserting the "filioque" into the Creed.  The EC's didn't say this part of the Creed.  But I didn't realise immediately that this doesn't mean squat, becuase you are still bound to believe that the "filioque" is legitimate, whether you say it or not.  So whether or not the externals of the Eastern Rite Catholics make you feel better because they're distanced from the Western Rite, it's really just a mask, because the Orthodox will do the same externals, but it's the intent, the belief, that justifies all those externals.  

That probably made little to no sense, and probably said something that I didn't mean....I'm bad at this...

Basically, it's not a problem within the ECC itself, it's got nothing to do with the rite, or anything superficial like that.  I think it's that I came to the ECC looking for Orthodoxy and thinking I found it, until I realised that it was the RCC in an Eastern "sheep's clothing".  If you're not looking for Orthodoxy, then you've got no reason to 'dox.  If you're looking to leave the RCC because of reasons a little deeper than "novus ordo is not for me, I want a nicer liturgy", then you might be looking for Orthodoxy.

Kim

Edit: Gregory just put it much better than I did, and I second his suggestions.
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2004, 12:37:58 PM »

Jennifer:

I am a life long member of the Orthodox Catholic Church from Bpatism on.  Never even considered being anything else so I can't speak regarding conversion to Holy orthodoxy.  However, here are some websites that will direct you to people who can -

The following is an Orthodox discussion group of people who are either life long Orthodox, Orthodox converts, or contimplating conversion -

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-convert/

Convert Testimonies -

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/inq_convert.aspx

Excerpts of a families journey from Roman Catholicism to Orthodox Catholicism-

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/twopaths.aspx

Thomas Valentines website which he tell his story from the Anglican Church, to the RCC, to the BCC, and finally to the OCC in five parts.  Worth the read -

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/5654/orthodox/conversions.html

Orthodoc

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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2004, 12:50:24 PM »

I love the 'east' but am a western person.  I feel very sad that the western liturgical tradition has been lost.  

I suppose everything comes down to the papal dogmas.  For example, I explained to my former RC priest how papal infallibility had been explained to me by EC laypeople.  He told me that they were twisting the Church's teachings on the papacy.  

Ultimately after years of studying traditional catholicism (little "c" catholicism), I've come to share the trad's disapproval of what is called "conservative" Catholicism.  And it seems to me that many ECs fall into the "conservative" camp.  

It seems to me that Vatican II was a fundamental break with the past.  We can argue that forever, which I don't want to do (honestly Smiley ).  The Novus Ordo also represented a fundamental break with the Tridentine Missal.  

I don't mean to veer into a Catholic v. Orthodox discussion or a discussion about Catholicism.  I'm just trying to get a feel for whether other 'papal minimalists' felt disatisfied with Eastern Catholicism.  

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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2004, 02:31:28 PM »

I love the 'east' but am a western person.  I feel very sad that the western liturgical tradition has been lost.

Hasn't.  Not completely...there's Western Rite Orthodoxy...small, but growing in several parts of the country.

Quote
I don't mean to veer into a Catholic v. Orthodox discussion or a discussion about Catholicism.  I'm just trying to get a feel for whether other 'papal minimalists' felt disatisfied with Eastern Catholicism.

LOL -- so you'd call those who went EC because of disillusionment w/the "party line" of what the papal doctrines say, "papal minimalists"?  Huh.  Never heard of the term.  Creative.
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2004, 02:34:11 PM »

I went from EC to 'dox.  The EC I attended was as EASTERN as eastern could get. I knew I was catholic but didn't feel the affects of Rome. I accepted myself as part of the "other lung" of the catholic church. On a lesser note, I was in a stage in my life where I wanted to claim my ethnicity back. I never felt "Serbian" enough to become Serbian Orthodox. I barely speak the language and it wasn't acceptable to be a halfsey. (That's a different story) Sooo, since my husband was already EC I thought that being EC was the right place to be. The parish I converted at had a nice balance of cradles, transients from Rome and converts.  

It wasn't until I moved and began attending another EC church that I started questioning papal infallibility, catholic dogma and vatican 2.  It was during coffee hour that I had a conversation several people who had an ax to grind over Vatican 2. One of the people I was talking to... and I quote... "Was looking for a good latin mass." This seemed peculiar to me.  Seeing that the EC does not have a latin mass, I started reading. I looked around me and I felt like I was in a bad dream. I looked around at all the women with the doilies on their heads and the "old catholic" tracts in the entry of the church, and knew I was in the WRONG place.  

In the meantime, I discovered the Orthodox church in my town. I started attending twice a month and the other 2 weeks the EC. Slowly, I became more fed up with being catholic.  

 After attending the Orthodox church for 1 year, shed many tears, said many prayers and many conversations with my priest, my husband and I were chrismated January 12th 2003. We never looked back.

We have sinced moved again and are (very involved *lol* ) members of the local Serbian parish. Turns out there are many more Serbian halfsies than wholesies. Wink  

That's my windy story.
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2004, 02:35:37 PM »

Perhaps, you should go to live in St.Mary's KS or Post Falls,ID. Those are great centers of the SSPX and of the greatest and most beautiful and most gorgeous and best and best and best liturgical tradition the world has ever known the- Traditional Tridentine Roman tradition Wink Okay that was an exaggerration-no anathemas please
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2004, 03:04:50 PM »

Pedro,

You are correct 'bout the Western Rite, I have found a Antiochian mission close by and are having friendly discussions with the priest assigned there.

james
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2004, 03:43:29 PM »



I suppose everything comes down to the papal dogmas.  For example, I explained to my former RC priest how papal infallibility had been explained to me by EC laypeople.  He told me that they were twisting the Church's teachings on the papacy.  

Jennifer --

I too came via the Melkites.

On the dogmatic level, yes, this was the deal-breaker.  I simply did not believe what the Catholic Church teaches, as a dogmatic matter, relating to the Papacy, particularly that the decrees of Vatican I and the affirmations of Vatican II on this issue had dogmatic content.  That put me at odds with official Catholicism.  What I got at the time from the EC clergy was that they agreed with me in substance, but that we shouldn't make mountains out of molehills, the office of the papacy is in flux and is changing, and the important thing is to let the bishops and theologians work this out, and not to worry about it.  In other words, it was okay to "disagree with the Roman Catholics" about the papal dogmas, because they were likely to continue to develop and change.  I didn't really find that satisfactory at the time, and I suppose that I still don't.

The most clever riposte on this from an Orthodox-minded Eastern Catholic that I heard, several months before I converted to Orthodoxy, was that I was imposing an Orthodox idea of what dogma is upon Roman Catholics, who don't necessarily mean the same thing.  In other words, I was assuming that Roman Catholics, when they used the word dogma to describe the papal dogmas, were using dogma in the same way that Orthodox do, but in his opinion in reality the Catholics have a hierarchy of dogma, and if they applied in principle the same criteria for dogma as did the Orthodox they would agree that the papal dogmas are not dogmas in the same way that, say, the Trinity is a dogma, and so I should not be troubled by my own dissenting from these "dogmas", because they were not in fact dogmas as an Orthodox would understand them.  The trouble I have with this one is that (1) I do think that the Catholics consider them dogmas in the same way that Orthodox use the word, and certainly Vatican I was worded that way and (2) if it's true that the Catholics said "dogma" when they meant something else, I don't see how this improves the situation, to be honest.

So, on the dogmatic level, this was the most significant issue by far.  It was hard for me to remain somewhere where I did not believe things thath the church officially taught as dogma were, in fact, dogma.  That seemed like a lie to me and to everyone around me, notwithstanding the capacity of the more intellectual sort of Eastern Catholic for complex mental gymnastics to convince themselves that there is no actual conflict.  I guess after a while I got tired of the intellectual gymnastics, as much as anything else.

Quote
Ultimately after years of studying traditional catholicism (little "c" catholicism), I've come to share the trad's disapproval of what is called "conservative" Catholicism.  And it seems to me that many ECs fall into the "conservative" camp.  

True.  In my experience with the ECCs around where I live,  there are three general sorts of folk in the Eastern Catholic churches: (1) folks who were born into them (either of a certain ethnic background related to the church in question or from folks who came to the ECCs from elsewhere), (2) ex-Latin Catholics who move to the ECCs because of (a) poor liturgical practices in many RCC parishes and/or (b) a desire to be a part of a more conservative, less mainstream community, and (3) folks who are either friends with folks from category (1) or (2) or who actually get interested in the ECC during a visit to one for a food festival or something like that.  I've also met a few couiples who decided to visit or ultimately join an ECC parish where one spouse was leaning Orthodox and the other spouse was not willing to leave the Catholic Church, so the ECC was picked as a middle ground.

I think that a lot of the category (2) people are what would be considered "conservative Catholics".  But it also depends on where you live.  If you are in a community where there is no outlet for the "traditional" community (as is the case in the RC Diocese where I live), the category (2) people also can include a signficant number of folks who might have opted for the TLM, if it were available.

Quote
Can you really be 'eastern' and be EC?

From my perspective, not really, because there is less than full convergence at this point in time.  As a Catholic there are things you have to accept that are not based on the Eastern tradition at all.  I remember during the year before I left the Melkite Bishop at the time published a (not so convincing but strongly worded) defense of the practice of indulgences, for example, stating clearly that this is a part of the Catholic tradition, of which the Melkite Church is a part.  When I asked my EC priest (a cradle RC himself) about this, he demurred, and said that the Bishop (a cradle EC)  simply wasn't very well educated and didn't know what he was talking about.  There's always, it seems to me, that kind of tension in the ECCs.  People in them disagree about what they are supposed to be, and that disagreement is also at the level of the clerics.

Quote
I don't mean to veer into a Catholic v. Orthodox discussion or a discussion about Catholicism.  I'm just trying to get a feel for whether other 'papal minimalists' felt disatisfied with Eastern Catholicism.  

Yes.  For me it was hard to maintain the mental gymnastics after a while with a straight face and a straight conscience.  I *do* think that if someone is the sort of person who can be comfortable in a church community without worrying too much about the niceties of these details, it can work well.  I have seen that in numerous cases with my own eyes.  But for others who are more reflective it can be an uncomfortable place, as it became for me.

It was a very, very tortured decision for me, just to be clear.  The Melkite parish of which I was a member was a vibrant, great community in many, many respects, led by a charismatic and highly intelligent priest.  There were a lot of intangible reasons to stick around there, but it became untenable for me after a few years.  Still, if I had not felt comfortable over the years with the various Orthodox parishes here, and gotten comfortable that I would feel comfortable being there, I don't know whether I would have converted.  In any process like this, it is critical to be clear, I think, about the other options, because in some cases it very well may be better to stay put, depending on what the other options available may be.

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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2004, 06:21:45 PM »

What's 'irking' me right now is that I was just accused of "trashing" the Roman Catholic Church over on Byzcath.org for being critical of the new Mass.  Frankly I was very surprised as I haven't heard anyone defend the new Mass in years.  I didn't know people still did that.  And I don't understand why ECs would be hostile to criticisms of the RCC.  

It just brings up all of the stuff about the pope for me.  I need to devote myself to reading more about this topic, I guess, so I can sort it out.  

Part of why this is hard for me is that I'm still in contact with a good RC priest who freaks out whenever I 'threaten' to 'dox.'  He gets kind of 'snarky' with me, e.g. "have fun on your trip into orthodoxy."  Despite the snarky comments he's been very helpful to me both personally and spiritually.  

I also suspect that my attraction for the 'east' has some elitist connotations.  I sense a kind of anti-intellectualism in current RCC which drives me crazy.  I'm also SO tired of the "Mary said at such and so that we have to so the rosary."  I know that I'm kind of a snob to look down on that.  

I also am frustrated with the refusal of most RCs to admit that their version of the papacy existed in the first millenium of the Church.  I think that I could live with the development of the papacy so in my opinion they should concede the argument.  But they refuse to admit that things weren't neat and tidy in the days before the schism.  I feel this is so intellectually dishonest.  

When I express my frustration I'm told that I'm not Catholic and part of me wants to admit that they're right and move on.  

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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2004, 06:43:45 PM »


  Well, one thing my wise, Byzantine Catholic former Spiritual Father old me was "don't become Orthodox because of negative reasons"  and this was echoed by my Orthodox priest when I first attended classes.
  It wasn't the Roman liturgy post-Vatican II that made me seek out Orthodoxy but the example and love of good Eastern Catholic and Orthodox people.  For me, I will ALWAYS treasure my experience in the Eastern Catholic  Church(I was Byzantine for 14 years)  The people were loving and great and very Eastern in their spirituality in my old parish.  I just felt that Orthodoxy was the Mother Church for me.  That is in MY experience and spiritual journey.  I have heard too often people using the word "uniate" and so on and that is very wrong.  Our Lord taught us to drop our smugness and sense of superiority.  
 So, Jennifer, if Our Lord is calling you into Orthodoxy, come in joy and not in bitterness ( I know that you are not that way!!!)  Come with great appreciation for the Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic traditions too!!  They brought you to this point!
  A good writer in helping you might be the late, good, Archimandrite Lev (Gillet) who was a French Roman priest, became Eastern (he was one of the great founders of the Chevetogne Benedictine monastery in Belgium) and then became an Orthodox monastic and chaplain to Mother Maria Skobtsova in Paris in the 1930's. He was known in his writings as "A Monk of the Eastern Church" and he himself kept a loving regard and appreciation of his time in the Catholic Church and was very ecumenical.  His spirit and writings helped me greatly in my transition to Orthodoxy.

 In OUr Lord and the MOther of God,

   brian seraphim
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2004, 07:25:19 PM »

What's 'irking' me right now is that I was just accused of "trashing" the Roman Catholic Church over on Byzcath.org for being critical of the new Mass.  Frankly I was very surprised as I haven't heard anyone defend the new Mass in years.  I didn't know people still did that.  And I don't understand why ECs would be hostile to criticisms of the RCC.  

I'm sorry to hear of that.  There are a number of people here who have had issues over there at John's board.  In any case, there seems to be a lot of tension there from time to time between the various "parties" of Eastern Catholicism ... particularly between that part that wants to be as much like the Orthodox as possible, and the other part that wants to emphasize the differences between the ECCs and Orthodoxy.  Some in the latter group get defensive sometimes if any part of Catholicism is critiqued.  It is somewhat incongruous, because it seems to be saying "traditional liturgy is OK for me as an EC, but if the Latins don't want traditional liturgy, that's fine for them" ... which doesn't strike me as a well thought out view.

Quote
Part of why this is hard for me is that I'm still in contact with a good RC priest who freaks out whenever I 'threaten' to 'dox.'  He gets kind of 'snarky' with me, e.g. "have fun on your trip into orthodoxy."  Despite the snarky comments he's been very helpful to me both personally and spiritually.

Unfortunately it can get that way.  My Melkite priest was generally helpful until I told him I was planning to become Orthodox at which point things became rather difficult, surprisingly nasty and, in my opinion, needlessly so.  It was all the more surprising coming from someone as Orthoidox-minded as him, but at the end of the day part of their job is certainly to discourage folks from leaving the Catholic Church.

Quote
I sense a kind of anti-intellectualism in current RCC which drives me crazy.  I'm also SO tired of the "Mary said at such and so that we have to so the rosary."  I know that I'm kind of a snob to look down on that.

Well, there are similar problems in parts of Orthodoxy.  St. Vladimir's has a big influence, more or less, in North America, but there is certainly an element that is skeptical of that approach to Orthodoxy.  And outside the USA, I would wager that Orthodoxy is more anti-intellectual than Catholicism is, on balance.

Quote
But they refuse to admit that things weren't neat and tidy in the days before the schism.  I feel this is so intellectually dishonest.  

Hmm, that's surprising.  The better champions of the issue of the papacy defend it as a development, rather than as something that existed in fullness in the pre-separation time.  Cardinal Ratzinger has written things along those lines, for example.  Then again, there are always books like "Jesus, Peter & The Keys", which take a different approach but which may be more influential because they are more polemically inclined.

Hang in there, it's not always this difficult.

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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2004, 07:46:54 PM »

It wasn't until I moved and began attending another EC church that I started questioning papal infallibility, catholic dogma and vatican 2.  It was during coffee hour that I had a conversation several people who had an ax to grind over Vatican 2. One of the people I was talking to... and I quote... "Was looking for a good latin mass." This seemed peculiar to me.  Seeing that the EC does not have a latin mass, I started reading. I looked around me and I felt like I was in a bad dream. I looked around at all the women with the doilies on their heads and the "old catholic" tracts in the entry of the church, and knew I was in the WRONG place.  
Hey don't blame those AMericans!! Just becuase they haven't advanced to "babushka" scarf-headcovering don't mean they is stupid.
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2004, 07:50:27 PM »

Quote
Unfortunately it can get that way.  My Melkite priest was generally helpful until I told him I was planning to become Orthodox at which point things became rather difficult, surprisingly nasty and, in my opinion, needlessly so.  It was all the more surprising coming from someone as Orthoidox-minded as him, but at the end of the day part of their job is certainly to discourage folks from leaving the Catholic Church.

Funny thing is, when I told this individual I was going to attend SVS, his facial expressions turned and he said, "DON'T LET THEIR SCHISM BECOME YOURS!" which made me laugh, this coming from a guy who was FORCED to commemorate the Pope at liturgy and then only does it in Arabic.

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« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2004, 09:18:38 PM »

Funny thing is, when I told this individual I was going to attend SVS, his facial expressions turned and he said, "DON'T LET THEIR SCHISM BECOME YOURS!" which made me laugh, this coming from a guy who was FORCED to commemorate the Pope at liturgy and then only does it in Arabic.

Anastasios

Seriously though, what did you expect to happen when you decided to attend an Orthodox seminary?  

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« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2004, 09:53:43 PM »

Jennifer,

I expected him to be happy because at that time I was not planning on converting (I was thinking of the possibility but not really that serious at the time).  My pastor was happy I was getting educated in eastern theology, as were several of my Roman Catholic priest friends--and this priest was a very eastern priest and very Orthodox-oriented, so I was quite suprised at his reaction.  It almost seemed disengenous, like: "We think Orthodox are good enough to use their liturgy but don't go there and actually study it from them!" There have been several Catholic students at SVS who never converted, btw, so the assumption should not have been that I was ditching Catholicism. Sure, I ended up leaving, but in part it is because of people like that!

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« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2004, 10:00:59 PM »

What's 'irking' me right now is that I was just accused of "trashing" the Roman Catholic Church over on Byzcath.org for being critical of the new Mass.  Frankly I was very surprised as I haven't heard anyone defend the new Mass in years.  I didn't know people still did that.  And I don't understand why ECs would be hostile to criticisms of the RCC.

One thing that struck me in past conversations over there like the one you have been involved in--and I think this is part of the "problem"--is that some really take seriously the fact that they are [insert rite] Catholics, and thus a different church from the Roman Catholics, although in communion.  They don't want the Latins interfering in their church affairs, and they are quite willing to not interfere with the Latins' in turn.  My issue with this is what Brendan brought up: it isn't very convincing to be enthusiastic for traditional, orthodox liturgy in one's own life, but allow untraditional and questionable liturgies for others, equating the two.

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I also suspect that my attraction for the 'east' has some elitist connotations.  I sense a kind of anti-intellectualism in current RCC which drives me crazy.  I'm also SO tired of the "Mary said at such and so that we have to so the rosary."  I know that I'm kind of a snob to look down on that.

It may be snobbery (is that a word?).  But a lot of the time I don't think the presentation helps.  Some of these things are presented as if they were equal to the Gospel in their binding authority, even though they offer the standard disclaimer about public v. private revelation.  They clearly are not.
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« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2004, 11:23:26 PM »

I must honestly confessed that I'm shocked at their charge that I'm "trashing" the Roman Catholic Church.  

I guess I'm naive but I thought that people who attended a traditional liturgy would understand what's wrong with the Novus Ordo.  What you worship is what you believe, and all that...

I'm very disillusioned.
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« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2004, 01:44:48 AM »

Dear Jennifer,

The longer you post or read at Byzcath the shock effect goes away after a while.
You comments regarding the liturgical changes or adjustments are very reasonable and not without merit. Many RC's that I know have expressed similar concerns. The Byzcath group seem to just want everything to be fine even if it is not relative to the Latin's that's how they have to be in order to be Byzantine Catholics in communion with Rome. You are not being naive to think that people who attend a traditional liturgy would understand what's wrong with the Novus Ordo, yours is a reasonable conclusion. The Byzantine Catholics in Communion with Rome are in a very uncomfortable position because they are considered by many Orthodox to be confused to put it very charitably at best. They sometimes say that they are somewhat estranged from their Orthodox brothers and sisters, this is not so for they are very estranged. I'll be quite blunt, they are look at as being very odd for very good reasons by many Orthodox Christians.  If you hang around there long enough you'll see what I mean, I'm sure there are many good hearted people there, but they are not of one mind with the Orthodox Church this is because they believe that they are correct to be in communion with the Bishop of Rome and the Orthodox Church is not for valid reasons that are beyond their ability to understand. Brace yourself because you might be made to feel that you are unloving.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin
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« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2004, 09:43:19 AM »

I must honestly confessed that I'm shocked at their charge that I'm "trashing" the Roman Catholic Church.  

I guess I'm naive but I thought that people who attended a traditional liturgy would understand what's wrong with the Novus Ordo.  What you worship is what you believe, and all that...

I'm very disillusioned.  

I think John (the admin of the Byz Forum) sometimes gets a bit knee-jerk  in his responses in light of the flame wars that have taken place over there historically.  In fact, as you probably know, this place was founded in part as a refuge from the Byz Forum because several folks who are now here were then accused of trashing this or that, or otherwise behaving improperly over there.  

In any case, I have not read through all of the threads in question over there, but I did take a peek at a few of them and I think that you're right to be perplexed.  I also don't understand why it isn't fair game for Eastern Catholics to discuss issues with Latin Catholicism (and, frankly, many ECs, clergy and laity alike, do this *all* the time!), and I honestly think that Latin Catholicism could learn from the approach in Eastern Catholicism.  But right now there is a "leave each sui juris church alone" attitude, which helps protect Eastern Catholics from further so-called "latinization", but can also lead to an attitude that Easterns should be quiet about what is happening in the RCC.  Obviously Latin Catholicism does not need to be "Byzantinized", but what could be learned from the Eastern churches is more an issue of attitude towards liturgy and liturgical actions, rather than an issue of forms.  If that kind of discussion is "off limits", it seems to limit artificially what could be one of the main benefits for the eastern and latin churches of Catholicism to be in communion with each other.

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« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2004, 10:04:41 AM »

Hey don't blame those AMericans!! Just becuase they haven't advanced to "babushka" scarf-headcovering don't mean they is stupid.


Catholiceagle, that is not what I meant. Lace mantillas are part of the "traditional" catholic costume. That is the point I was trying to make.

My former parish was filled to the brim with people with an ax to grind over V2.  Which fine, they can grind thier ax down the street at a traditional catholic parish. Without Vatican 2, the Byzantine Catholic church would still be subject the the local Roman Ordinary.

For the record, I don't wear a babushka either.There are more than a couple of threads on this board on covering vs not covering.

Second, I believe you meant to say "they are stupid" instead of "they is stupid"
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« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2004, 10:26:11 AM »

I suppose what I was trying to figure out is whether the Eastern Catholics really are what they claim to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome."  

I ask the same question about modern day conservative Catholics, are they "western Orthodox in communion with Rome?"  

I don't have an axe to grind but I think the answer to both of these questions might be no.  

As to the conservative Catholics, I think the trads are right that they's something new about them.  I always blamed the liturgy but maybe there's something else, something in Roman Catholicism itself because the Byzantine Catholics have a solid liturgy.  

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« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2004, 12:04:45 PM »

[I suppose what I was trying to figure out is whether the Eastern Catholics really are what they claim to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome."]

[I don't have an axe to grind but I think the answer to both of these questions might be no.]

Jennifer:

I see from your posts that you are genuinely searching and are very astute in your observations.  Especially after making the above statement.  Many of the people who post in that website haven't figured it out yet.

They have been taught to look at their religion through the externals rather than the internals.  When the Unia came about it was on the premise that the people would never agree to become part of the papal church.  So the premise was that as long as everything looked the same and sounded the same it was the same.  Many in the small villages never even knew a union with Rome had taken place.  The Liturgy stayed the same, the word 'Pravoslavny' (Orthodox) was still used in the Liturgy, and the local bishop was still commemorated in the village churches rather than the Pope who was only commemorated in the Cathedral.  So they initially had no idea they were no longer 'Orthodox'.

Eastern Christians, whether Orthodox Catholics or under papal authority are very engrossed in their unique forms or worship and customs and traditions.  These are the things the church used to educate them for centuries when they were still unable to read or write.  Because of this, many  (from both sides)  still see and identify their faith by the externals rather than the internals or a combination of both.  

It is those of us (again on both sides) that are willing to look into and understand the internal aspects of our faith (the doctrines & dogmas that define our beliefs)  that soon see what an oxymoron the 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome' is.

For we know that those who left us and went under papal authority are oblidged to accept the theology of  the church they pledged the loyalty and obedience to.  They don't seem to either understand that or want to admit it.

What is interesting is that you once again make another very astute  observation in another of your posts -

[What you worship is what you believe, and all that...

I'm very disillusioned.]

Again, how very observant of you!  I have heard that many times from converts who left their eastern church under Rome to become Orthodox Catholic.  They stated that once they began to look at the internals of what they were required to believe they could no longer reconcile those beliefs with how they worshiped.  It was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.  They are their words not mine.

God is leading you and you will end up where he wants you.  You are very intelligent and observant and I have no doubt you will make the choice that is right for you.

I wish you the very best.

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« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2004, 12:26:29 PM »

Catholiceagle, that is not what I meant. Lace mantillas are part of the "traditional" catholic costume. That is the point I was trying to make.

My former parish was filled to the brim with people with an ax to grind over V2.  Which fine, they can grind thier ax down the street at a traditional catholic parish. Without Vatican 2, the Byzantine Catholic church would still be subject the the local Roman Ordinary.

For the record, I don't wear a babushka either.There are more than a couple of threads on this board on covering vs not covering.

Second, I believe you meant to say "they are stupid" instead of "they is stupid"
I was kidding.. I forgot to put a smilie there.
Well the mantilla is Western European/American. Polish RC Traditionalists and old ladies wear scarves in an identical style to Russian ladies. The Bible says headcovering not lacy mantilla.
What's this about the church being subject to the local ROman Ordinary? The Ukrainians had a patriarch preVatican II, so did the Melkites,Maronites,et cetera..
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« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2004, 12:35:53 PM »

I don't think the Bible covers what kind of headcovering. Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2004, 12:45:17 PM »

Regarding Byzantine Catholic churches, except a small high-church minority like Melkite churches like Brendan's old church, Russian Catholic churches in the US and an odd Ruthenian or Ukrainian church here and there, the problem quite simply is not to do with any alleged errors of Western Catholicism as such, whose traditional liturgy has the same ethos as the Christian East, but rather the same sickness that hit mainstream RC, something alien to historic RCism. As a good friend put it to me, underneath the better text and better church setting their approach to liturgy is exactly the same as the Novus Ordo.

You're seeing that now on byzcath.org as Jennifer is being treated nearly the same way I was nearly three years ago.

To quote former board participant Nik, the BC authorities are basically V2 RCs halfheartedly trying to act Orthodox, and that's only largely because Rome is making them - they don't care.

byzcath does seem bent on defending their status quo.

I didn't deserve what I got from them as I neither (certainly according to their lights) preached schism nor tried to force RC practices on them, something they like to complain about.

But despite the former the administrator accused me of being on a 'crusade' against the RCC and despite the latter he and Joe Thur attacked me by questioning my commitment to the Byzantine rite and my mental health.

(That people under Rome would make fun of someone for caring about the RCC is very queer indeed.)

They look down their noses at traditionalists who take refuge with them - just like the NO does. (They accuse them of trying to force RC practices on them.)

The cool high-church minority among BCs aren't liberal and do criticize the NO - among them my old acquaintance Archimandrite Serge (Keleher).

But such isn't welcome on those mad buggers' board.

The high-church minority certainly are Orthodox in communion with Rome in their praxis. (I'm not going to get into Orthodox polemics.) Most BCs aren't - again, they're ethnic Novus.

I don't think one can prove the filioque and the papal claims after lying dormant for a few centuries suddenly created the Novus Ordo. But at least that line of discussion is an attempt at an answer instead of trying to sweep the Novus problem under the rug or make excuses like byzcath does.

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Second, I believe you meant to say "they are stupid" instead of "they is stupid"


English isn't CatholicEagle's first language. Try negotiating the cases, declensions and conjugations of Polish and other Slavic grammar and get back to us.
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« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2004, 01:02:22 PM »

I suppose what I was trying to figure out is whether the Eastern Catholics really are what they claim to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome."  

It's a tricky thing, I think.  It depends on what "Orthodox" means and what "in communion with Rome" means, I think.

A few years ago a group of Melkite Bishops signed a statement of faith that said that they believed everything that Orthodoxy taught and that they considered themselves to be in communion with Rome within the parameters recognized by the fathers before the separation.  Several months later, a few of the curial cardinals, including Cardinal Ratzinger, sent a "fraternal letter" to the Melkites indicating that this statement of faith was problematic under Catholic teaching because (1) Orthodoxy does not embrace everything that Catholicism teaches (and they specifically mentioned the papal doctrines) and (2) the nature of communion with the pope, including the dogmatic developments in that regard, have to accepted by all Catholics in toto up to the present day.  So per Catholic teaching (at least as Rome interprets it, because Ratzinger is not only acting as a Latin Catholic here, he is acting as the head of CDF) the kind of "Orthodoxy in communion with Rome" articulated by the Melkites is problematic.

Having said that, it's not the case that the sine qua non of Orthodoxy is the lack of communion with Rome, in my view, although some Orthodox would differ with me about that.  It's problematic because it involves being in communion with a church that teaches things as dogma that Orthodoxy does not reciognize as such.  But beyond that it is not very revealing, it seems to me.

Communion is a more interesting area, I think.  The Catholics teach that the Orthodox Churches are, essentially, "true particular Churches", and that the Orthodox Eucharist is truly the Eucharist.  So from the Catholic perspective, Catholicism and Orthodoxy are already in communion (that must be the case because the Eucharist is one), albeit in a less than full communion, and a less than perfect communion (per Catholicism).  While this perspective creates some ecclesiological problems of its own, nevertheless from the Catholic perspective, it opens the possibility of thinking about things as an "Orthodox in communion with Rome", but I think a precondition for that is that one must dissent, at some level, with some of Rome's teachings.

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« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2004, 08:00:26 PM »

I think it's finally clear to me what the problem is.  They, the "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" folks have beliefs about the papacy that are not shared by the Church they're in communion with.  

Rome has come a long way.  I think that needs to be admitted.  But Rome hasn't come as far as they think she has.  

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« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2004, 09:03:40 PM »

While I am enjoying this thread, I would like to see criticism of Byzcath.org and those associated with it avoided because it has nothing to do with the topic.  Addressing a certain mentality, however, is fair game.
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« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2004, 12:26:58 AM »

I still see that some like to keep the pot stirred, I guess just like to prod a reaction, be it good or bad.

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« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2004, 11:45:17 AM »

Jennifer,

Please dont' be surprised at having a bad experience with the folks over at that "other" forum - I think anyone who has gone over there and expressed why they do not share in their "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" fantasy, has been treated poorly.  Oddly enough, I've seen it happen both ways - I've seen them jump on Orthodox visitors (no matter how polite they were in their disagreement), but also upon traditionalist minded Roman Catholics as well (if anything they seem to loath these more than the type of Orthodox I just mentioned.)

The folks at that forum are the Anglicans of Byzantine Christianity - they envision themselves as a sort of "middle way", but this time not between Catholicism and Protestantism, but between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.  If you look at what this type actually believes, you'll realize that strictly speaking they are neither Catholic nor Orthodox - they're better, more enlightened beings than either it seems, showing us dimwits to a brighter future. Smiley

Fortunately, REAL Uniates are very different these folks, whose Internet presence is not at all representational in comparison to the folks you had problems with.  Most Uniates are not particularly in love with their "Orthodox roots", and if anything feel more kinship with the RCC than Orthodoxy.  The third category (the type that Serge mentions, who actually are quite "Orthodox" minded, but for principled reasons do strictly speaking hold to the RC dogmas), are very very rare, though I think in real life are perhaps more common than the kooks over at byzcath.

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« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2004, 01:00:08 PM »

[The folks at that forum are the Anglicans of Byzantine Christianity - they envision themselves as a sort of "middle way", but this time not between Catholicism and Protestantism, but between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. If you look at what this type actually believes, you'll realize that strictly speaking they are neither Catholic nor Orthodox - they're better, more enlightened beings than either it seems, showing us dimwits to a brighter future. Smiley]

Exactly!  If you monitor their discussions amongst themselves or on Orthodox Catholic sites on what their purpose is they will state exactly what you write.

Many of them are either not aware, or fail to admit, that both the Church whose authority they now recognize, and the Orthodox Catholic Church have agreed that the Unia is no longer seen as the 'bridge between Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Catholicism'.  They still see themselves as the designated martyrs that have suffered and will continue to suffer abuse from both churches in order to achieve unity between the two.  

Only problem is that they either don't want to admit that they are more of a hinderance to unity than a bridge.  That they were originally formed to create division within the Orthodox Catholic Church and bring as many Orthodox as they could back over that bridge to the papal church through deceptive means.  As long as they continue to exist they will still be seen that way by the vast majority of Orthodox.  And all the nice words coming from the Vatican like 'equal salvation', 'sister churches', 'valid Sacraments', ''other lung', etc. are meaningless to the Orthodox as long as they exist.  Especially since they have resurrected for themselves the title 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome'.

I think that Rome, more than their eastern congregations, is beginning to understand the Orthodox Catholic view point.  And it is partially why the Pope has put off granting a Patriarchate to the UGCC until another time.

As far as the other forum, I agree that we should not be bashing it.  Though I probably disagree with 90% of what is posted there, it is still one of the best and most interesting sites I acccess.

I just have to learn to keep my big mouth shut when I'm over there!



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