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Author Topic: Syriac Orthodoxy and Ecumenism  (Read 4026 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: July 26, 2012, 07:37:26 AM »

If someone I was responsible for had to move to a place with no Orthodox Churches I would not consider it wrong for them to attend a Catholic Church for prayer and fellowship.

There isn't any prohibition for prayer with the heterodox in OO tradition?
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« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2012, 07:52:22 AM »

I have trouble distinguishing modern Roman Catholics (in North America and East Africa anyways) from Episcopalians and Protestants generally - over the coming years I think the differences between them will likely continue to disappear. (Pockets of old style Catholicism aside of course.)

I think that's understood, but it doesn't justify intercommunion. The Alawites are our allies in Syria, but that doesn't justify inter-religious union or some such thing...

I have a problem with equating Catholicism with Islam.  Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity;  Muslims don't.  And although we may disagree on a number of things, Catholics are Christians, even if they are not within our Church.

Regarding the intercommunion we see among Middle Eastern Christians, the impression I've had is that being surrounded by Muslims, and often being threatened by them, has had the effect of giving the different Christians of that region a sense of unity with each other not felt elsewhere. 

I'm not saying the intercommunion is right.  I'm just saying that there is a reason for it.


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« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2012, 07:54:37 AM »

I think that Catholics in the UK are engaged in a rolling back of the liberal spirit of the past decades and should be wholeheartedly encouraged to do so.

If Catholicism is like Episcopalianism in some places then what are Orthodox doing to help those who are trying to restore a Traditional spirit?
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« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2012, 07:58:10 AM »

This is why there were so few Orthodox churches in the States for so long - people were advised to go to the local Episcopalian church since 'we're basically the same' (sometimes blessed to commune, sometimes not - to give one example, St. Raphael (Hawaweeny) of Brooklyn first blessed Syrian-Americans to commune at Episcopal services, then withdrew that blessing), and they were lost to Orthodoxy. If the priests of those people had trained the able to lead basic services (in the Byzantines' tradition, something easy and relatively unchanging like the day Hours, an akathist, Sunday Typica, et cetera) they might have actually started more of their own missions and churches, been able to raise their children in the faith, et cetera.

If someone I was responsible for had to move to a place with no Orthodox Churches I would not consider it wrong for them to attend a Catholic Church for prayer and fellowship. I would not agree that they should take communion there.

I think I would also consider that the Catholic culture is different in different countries and that this might also colour my views.
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« Reply #49 on: July 26, 2012, 08:00:42 AM »

This: http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/Conference2011/Conference-October2011.htm

I think that Catholics in the UK are engaged in a rolling back of the liberal spirit of the past decades and should be wholeheartedly encouraged to do so.

If Catholicism is like Episcopalianism in some places then what are Orthodox doing to help those who are trying to restore a Traditional spirit?
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« Reply #50 on: July 26, 2012, 08:08:22 AM »

Father Peter, do you think this Ecumenism among the Syrians will die out in a few generations? Sort of like the fraternal relations the Coptic Orthodox had with the RCs a few centuries ago?
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« Reply #51 on: July 26, 2012, 08:09:46 AM »

I don't think that is the whole answer.

To win a handful of souls may well be a good thing, but to encourage the restoration of the proper Catholic Orthodox Tradition must be a good as well.
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« Reply #52 on: July 26, 2012, 08:12:17 AM »

I hope not.

There are boundaries which such relations should not cross. But while those boundaries are respected I am very much in favour of dialogue with Catholicism, certainly here in the UK.

I don't know if you have read the small book I produced earlier this year. I think that it shows a very positive attitude on the part of most hierarchs to the Catholic communion. This does not mean we are on ther verge of reunion at all, but I do believe that the Catholic communion, at least here in the UK, is on the right track and is trying to find a way back to the pre-VII spirit of the Church.

This should be encouraged. IMHO.
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« Reply #53 on: July 26, 2012, 08:14:26 AM »

^By "Ecumenism" I meant the seemingly open communion practice the Church of Antioch holds with Catholics these days. I would agree in saying that I do not mind dialogue per se.
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« Reply #54 on: July 26, 2012, 08:18:02 AM »

Pre-1910 really, when the full fasts were still on the books :-). Things took a while to get as bad as they are - do we really think some ecumenical brunches and dialogues will encourage them to change? The Greeks and Russians dialogued with the Anglicans (and later the Old Catholics) for ages and look what came of that...

I hope not.

There are boundaries which such relations should not cross. But while those boundaries are respected I am very much in favour of dialogue with Catholicism, certainly here in the UK.

I don't know if you have read the small book I produced earlier this year. I think that it shows a very positive attitude on the part of most hierarchs to the Catholic communion. This does not mean we are on ther verge of reunion at all, but I do believe that the Catholic communion, at least here in the UK, is on the right track and is trying to find a way back to the pre-VII spirit of the Church.

This should be encouraged. IMHO.
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« Reply #55 on: July 26, 2012, 08:28:03 AM »

Well if there is open communion then I am not sure it is appropriate. But it seems to me to depend on what is meant. If we mean that in a beleagured village somewhere there are Catholics who attend the Orthodox Liturgy because their church has been bombed, and they recieve communion, well I am not sure that is entirely unacceptable.

Our Father, St Severus was clear that obstacles must not be put in the way of the simple lay folk who usually do not understand entirely what the various disputes are about. I think this is, to some extent and in some cases, an applicable principle.

Note that I am using 'some' a lot. I am not suggesting it is a universal principle. If it were a universal principle in the Syrian Orthodox Church then it does strike me as rather problematic. If it does not extend to clerical communion then it is less problematic but still not non-problematic.

On the other hand, His Holiness Pope Shenouda clearly believed that the Catholic Church is Apostolic, and has true sacraments. That being the case then it could be said that communion of laity could perhaps in some cases be allowed if it was clear that those communing held no definite heresy. I would want to wonder whether two Syrian farmers, one an Eastern Rite Catholic and the other an Eastern Rite Orthodox would necessarily have a different substantial faith? Once we demand that all laity pass an exam proving that they are entirely Orthodox in all possible aspects of their faith and practice then that also becomes problematical.

There are issues around some of the present thinking in the Syrian Orthodox Church which are indeed problematic. Especially around primacy. I am not diminishing this. But we also have many problems in our own local Orthodox community. So I am not sure where, in the order of priorities, this particular issue comes. I would be more concerned about the teaching of the Syrian primacy over the other Churches.

I guess I consider that open communion is not appropriate, and that the communion of clergy is particularly inappropriate, but I am less concerned, in the face of many other problems which we all face, if there is a sense of Syrian identity and Christian unity in Syria in the face of the terrible situation that all Christians find themselves in.

When Constantinople was about to fall to the Muslims all of the Christians united in communion in Hagia Sophia. I find myself moved by this, and not to criticism.
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« Reply #56 on: July 26, 2012, 08:31:40 AM »

If you don't want to do anything then don't. But why criticise and make carping comments about those who do?

In fact the Catholic bishops in England and Wales have just re-instituted the proper observance of the Friday fast. Not the same practice as Orthodox certainly. But all the bishops I speak with are determined to restore the practice of their community to that which had prevailed for centuries before the 60s.

Baptism by immersion is also becoming more common. All of the things I would hope for the Catholic communion to embrace are already part of their own tradition. They just need to return to it.

Certainly the ecumenical body within which I engage with Catholic hierarchs is determined to organise several significant projects each year.
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« Reply #57 on: July 26, 2012, 08:52:19 AM »

^I am glad to hear this is the case. Out of curiosity, would you extend the same courtesy to traditionalist Catholic groups which are not in Communion with the Roman See like the Society of Saint Pius X or the Society of Saint Pius V?
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« Reply #58 on: July 26, 2012, 09:15:56 AM »

I don't know? I thought that these groups were all coming back into communion with the See of Rome in any case?

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« Reply #59 on: July 26, 2012, 09:19:34 AM »

^I didn't know that was the case. I was just speaking generally, I guess.
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« Reply #60 on: July 26, 2012, 09:52:34 AM »

Where in the Fathers are hospitality and open communion one and the same? Wasn't St. Severus speaking of pro-Chalcedonians? We pro and anti-Chalcedonian Orthodox are much closer in faith than either of us are to Roman Catholicism.

Doesn't the Coptic Orthodox Church receive non-Orthodox Christians (and even many Orthodox?) by chrismation?

When Constantinople fell the Unia was in effect in the city, by imperial decree - of course the Eastern Catholics and Roman Catholics concelebrated, they were of one church. (The one good thing the Ottoman conquerors did was end the Unia when they took the city by allowing St. Gennadius Scholarius to become ecumenical patriarch.)

Well if there is open communion then I am not sure it is appropriate. But it seems to me to depend on what is meant. If we mean that in a beleagured village somewhere there are Catholics who attend the Orthodox Liturgy because their church has been bombed, and they receive communion, well I am not sure that is entirely unacceptable.

Our Father, St Severus was clear that obstacles must not be put in the way of the simple lay folk who usually do not understand entirely what the various disputes are about. I think this is, to some extent and in some cases, an applicable principle.

Note that I am using 'some' a lot. I am not suggesting it is a universal principle. If it were a universal principle in the Syrian Orthodox Church then it does strike me as rather problematic. If it does not extend to clerical communion then it is less problematic but still not non-problematic.

On the other hand, His Holiness Pope Shenouda clearly believed that the Catholic Church is Apostolic, and has true sacraments. That being the case then it could be said that communion of laity could perhaps in some cases be allowed if it was clear that those communing held no definite heresy. I would want to wonder whether two Syrian farmers, one an Eastern Rite Catholic and the other an Eastern Rite Orthodox would necessarily have a different substantial faith? Once we demand that all laity pass an exam proving that they are entirely Orthodox in all possible aspects of their faith and practice then that also becomes problematical.

There are issues around some of the present thinking in the Syrian Orthodox Church which are indeed problematic. Especially around primacy. I am not diminishing this. But we also have many problems in our own local Orthodox community. So I am not sure where, in the order of priorities, this particular issue comes. I would be more concerned about the teaching of the Syrian primacy over the other Churches.

I guess I consider that open communion is not appropriate, and that the communion of clergy is particularly inappropriate, but I am less concerned, in the face of many other problems which we all face, if there is a sense of Syrian identity and Christian unity in Syria in the face of the terrible situation that all Christians find themselves in.

When Constantinople was about to fall to the Muslims all of the Christians united in communion in Hagia Sophia. I find myself moved by this, and not to criticism.
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« Reply #61 on: July 26, 2012, 09:53:19 AM »

The Society of Saint Pius X is working with Rome towards a reunion, and the excommunications issued by Rome have been lifted.

The Society of Saint Pius V seems to me to be rather more schismatic and fractured and is nowhere near reconciliation.
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« Reply #62 on: July 26, 2012, 09:55:56 AM »

I also want to add that besides what Salpy wrote about unity in the middle east, it goes even deeper than that. It would take some writing to explain but it has to do with ethnicity and nationalist movements that don't go back that far in time as well. Our situation at this point in history is unique I believe.

But I think this is on a laity level. I doubt there's anything official.
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« Reply #63 on: July 26, 2012, 09:59:39 AM »

Well Catholics are Chalcedonians. He was speaking about Chalcedonians.

Pope Shenouda certainly considered the Catholic communion to be Apostolic and Sacramental.

I don't think I have said that open communion is a good thing, but I hedged my views about to express the view that sometimes I think it appropriate.

I can't help but feel that your views about Catholics seem rather contaminated by attitudes to wider events that are not really relevant. I am more concerned, with the necessary restrictions on communion, to work for a reconciliation of Catholics with Orthodoxy as far as is possible, than to worry about historical events. If that were required then it will always be impossible for Orthodox to be reconciled.

I am much more interested in what the Catholic hierarchs I meet actually believe, and how far what they believe can be and should be understood in a manner that is Orthodox. There are undoubtedly issues that will be stumbling blocks as well. But the Catholic hierarchs want to talk. There are no such conversations going on with Eastern Orthodox at the moment.
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« Reply #64 on: July 26, 2012, 10:06:48 AM »

There are here in North America I believe. Where're they're going isn't clear, but they're ongoing.

My views on Roman Catholicism are "contaminated" by the reality of Roman Catholicism as I've seen it in North America and East Africa - the books say one thing (sometimes in agreement with Orthodoxy, sometimes not) while the laity follow a faith and life similar to Anglicanism a hundred years ago. I really do hope I'm wrong, but pockets like the SSPX aside I don't think traditional Christianity survives/will survive in Roman Catholicism. (The hope of Roman Catholics bishops in one or two countries like the UK aside. It's very difficult - often impossible - for traditional Catholics to get traditional Masses served in most US and Canadian dioceses despite the freeing of the old Mass, and I've heard it's a similar situation in Africa and much of Western Europe.)

Well Catholics are Chalcedonians. He was speaking about Chalcedonians.

Pope Shenouda certainly considered the Catholic communion to be Apostolic and Sacramental.

I don't think I have said that open communion is a good thing, but I hedged my views about to express the view that sometimes I think it appropriate.

I can't help but feel that your views about Catholics seem rather contaminated by attitudes to wider events that are not really relevant. I am more concerned, with the necessary restrictions on communion, to work for a reconciliation of Catholics with Orthodoxy as far as is possible, than to worry about historical events. If that were required then it will always be impossible for Orthodox to be reconciled.

I am much more interested in what the Catholic hierarchs I meet actually believe, and how far what they believe can be and should be understood in a manner that is Orthodox. There are undoubtedly issues that will be stumbling blocks as well. But the Catholic hierarchs want to talk. There are no such conversations going on with Eastern Orthodox at the moment.
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« Reply #65 on: July 26, 2012, 10:14:40 AM »

Then why say you were glad that the Muslims captured Constantinople? How can any one be pleased about that, especially just so that Catholic influence was diminished?

Where there are traditional Catholics they need supporting. They seem to be making advances here in the UK. The effects of liberalism can be rolled back if the hierarchy insists on it. I know that they have modified the Liturgy here in the UK in a more traditional direction, and even my son, who attends a Catholic school, was aware that on X date they would now be saying THIS in the Liturgy instead of THAT.

But they need the encouragement and support of Orthodox to believe that what they are doing, often against opposition, has value.
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« Reply #66 on: July 26, 2012, 10:20:56 AM »

I believe I said "the one good thing" - that doesn't translate to gladness as far as I'm aware.

If "supporting" traditional Catholics means sadness that the forced unia of Constantinople with Rome ended when the Ottoman Turks conquered the city-state empire in 1453, then why not just unite with them now? After all, how much better to work from within...

Then why say you were glad that the Muslims captured Constantinople? How can any one be pleased about that, especially just so that Catholic influence was diminished?

Where there are traditional Catholics they need supporting. They seem to be making advances here in the UK. The effects of liberalism can be rolled back if the hierarchy insists on it. I know that they have modified the Liturgy here in the UK in a more traditional direction, and even my son, who attends a Catholic school, was aware that on X date they would now be saying THIS in the Liturgy instead of THAT.

But they need the encouragement and support of Orthodox to believe that what they are doing, often against opposition, has value.
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« Reply #67 on: July 26, 2012, 10:28:53 AM »

I don't think you really want to discuss how the relationship with Catholics should work or might work.

I am sad, I guess, that your attitude towards Rome popped up just because Constantinople was mentioned.

I don't get a sense that you do support traditional Catholics, or have much of a view of those who think that is what they should be doing. You are entitled to your opinion. It is not mine.
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« Reply #68 on: August 21, 2012, 02:30:00 AM »

What is the position of the Indian-Syrian and Syrian Orthodox Churches on inter-Church marriage with non-OOs?
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« Reply #69 on: August 21, 2012, 04:09:37 AM »

Dialogue and Joint Declarations with the Roman Catholic Church

Quote
8. Since it is the chief expression of Christian unity between the faithful and between Bishops and priests, the Holy Eucharist cannot yet be concelebrated by us. Such celebration supposes a complete identity of faith such as does not yet exist between us. Certain questions, in fact, still need to be resolved touching the Lord's will for His Church, as also the doctrinal implications and canonical details of the traditions proper to our communities which have been too long separated.

9. Our identity in faith, though not yet complete, entitles us to envisage collaboration between our Churches in pastoral care, in situations which nowadays are frequent both because of the dispersion of our faithful throughout the world and because of the precarious conditions of these difficult times. It is not rare, in fact, for our faithful to find access to a priest of their own Church materially or morally impossible. Anxious to meet their needs and with their spiritual benefit in mind, we authorize them in such cases to ask for the Sacraments of Penance, Eucharist and Anointing of the Sick from lawful priests of either of our two sister Churches, when they need them. It would be a logical corollary of collaboration in pastoral care to cooperate in priestly formation and theological education. Bishops are encouraged to promote sharing of facilities for theological education where they judge it to be advisable. While doing this we do not forget that we must still do all in our power to achieve the full visible communion between the Catholic Church and the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and ceaselessly implore our Lord to grant us that unity which alone will enable us to give to the world a fully unanimous Gospel witness.

When a Catholic Marries an Orthodox Christian - the foregoing relates to EO/Catholic Intermarriages. While I couldn't find the text on-line, there is an essentially identical document jointly subscribed to by the USCCB and the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches - it's included in Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic Interchurch Marriages and Other Pastoral Relationships

A Pastoral Statement on Orthodox/Roman Catholic Marriages

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #70 on: August 21, 2012, 04:24:19 AM »

^Thank you.

Here is something I found which is particularly disturbing:

"Communion at the Wedding

Reciprocity. The Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church is an autonomous church under the authority of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch. It is thus one of those Eastern churches, which the Roman Catholic Church recognizes as close in faith to itself and "in possession of true sacraments, notably the priesthood and the Eucharist" (Decree on Ecumenism, n.14, 15). For this reason the bride and groom are allowed to receive communion together, whether the wedding and wedding Eucharist takes place in a Catholic church or in a Malankara Syrian Orthodox church."


http://sor.cua.edu/Ecumenism/19940125socrcmarriageagmt.html

How is this acceptable?
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« Reply #71 on: August 21, 2012, 05:46:44 AM »

General Exhortations

The priests are strictly forbidden to administer Communion to all those who are under anathema or suspensions or to unbelievers unless, first of all, they openly acknowledge the Orthodox faith and become in full communion with the Holy Church. Likewise, the Holy Mysteries are not to be administered to offenders whose transgressions are publicly known unless they, first of all, truly and earnestly repent of their sins and unless their true remorse is known to the congregation of the faithful.


http://www.malankara.com/church/eucharist.html

So at least the Indian-Syriac Orthodox under Antioch have it right. So from what I can deduce Syriac OO-RC is not really the norm outside the Middle East.
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« Reply #72 on: December 28, 2012, 01:53:26 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S91OyQBJqI4

Remembered this thread when I watched this. 9:00 to 9:22 "if the catholic church they haven't church".
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« Reply #73 on: December 28, 2012, 02:50:42 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S91OyQBJqI4

Remembered this thread when I watched this. 9:00 to 9:22 "if the catholic church they haven't church".
Good to hear. Sorry if I was too harsh or judgmental when I originally wrote this thread.
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« Reply #74 on: December 31, 2012, 05:49:17 AM »

Good to hear. Sorry if I was too harsh or judgmental when I originally wrote this thread.

Not at all, I wasn't even thinking about that nor did I think you were too anything.

But at the youth service this Christmas I was thinking, how can priests control who takes communion? It wouldn't surprise me if some of the younger people brought with them one or two friends from either the Chaldean or Assyrian Churches. At the end of mass everyone line up and take their communion and of course these youths don't know about these communion laws.
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« Reply #75 on: December 31, 2012, 05:29:03 PM »

That's the thing, priests aren't supposed to give communion to people they don't know. However, no one seems to follow this anymore.  Sad
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« Reply #76 on: December 31, 2012, 09:41:51 PM »

Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox Christians communing in one another's churches is one thing, but the others aren't Orthodox Christians in any sense of the word - they're Catholics. Going the next step with your scenario, if I moved to a place where the only monotheistic place of worship was a mosque, does that mean I should join in the Friday prayers just so that I belong to a faith community?

Sorry to burst your bubble but you being a Christian could not enter a Mosque for prayer. Only Jews and Moslem can share the same place of worship.  

Post is from months ago I realize, but just this past month I attended Friday prayers in a mosque. Sat at the back with a few other visitors, and watched the whole thing. Not one of us was a Muslim or a Jew.
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« Reply #77 on: December 15, 2013, 01:46:11 AM »

I found this graph to be pretty enlightening:

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« Reply #78 on: December 15, 2013, 02:08:03 AM »

I found this graph to be pretty enlightening:



How? That all of the groups keep splitting and going to Rome?
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« Reply #79 on: December 15, 2013, 02:08:25 AM »

I found this graph to be pretty enlightening:



The separation dating (i.e. 431/451) is simplistic, as Robert Wilken mentions in his The First Thousand Years, the west Syrians didn't join the Copts as non-Chalcedonians until the early 6th century under the Syriac St. Jacob Baradaeus.

Not to mention the graph makes no sign of Melkite Antioch's Syriac Rite usage until as late as the 11th-12th centuries.
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« Reply #80 on: December 15, 2013, 03:05:17 AM »

It was less frustrating than the chart tracing the community of the Mar Thomas Christians, who were portrayed as divided between Protestants, Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Nestorians, with no existence of Eastern Orthodox among them. Maybe we don't?
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« Reply #81 on: December 15, 2013, 03:22:54 AM »

It was less frustrating than the chart tracing the community of the Mar Thomas Christians, who were portrayed as divided between Protestants, Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Nestorians, with no existence of Eastern Orthodox among them. Maybe we don't?

That's pretty much correct, as far as I understand it. The Protestants are the so-called "Mar Thoma", the Catholics are a bunch of different things (Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Knanaya to the extent that they're different than the others, etc.), the Oriental Orthodox are the Malankara Syriac Orthodox, and the Nestorians are...well, Nestorians, but according to Indians I've talked to they apparently call themselves "Chaldean" despite not being of that Eastern Catholic Church. If there are EO (and I seem to remember that there now are, but they're quite new compared to the others mentioned above), they're very small in number and not organized into any kind of distinctively Indian church, for lack of a better way to put it (IIRC, the EO there are some kind of Russian something or other...mission or outpost or what have you).
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« Reply #82 on: December 15, 2013, 08:58:11 AM »

It was less frustrating than the chart tracing the community of the Mar Thomas Christians, who were portrayed as divided between Protestants, Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Nestorians, with no existence of Eastern Orthodox among them. Maybe we don't?

That's pretty much correct, as far as I understand it. The Protestants are the so-called "Mar Thoma", the Catholics are a bunch of different things (Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Knanaya to the extent that they're different than the others, etc.), the Oriental Orthodox are the Malankara Syriac Orthodox, and the Nestorians are...well, Nestorians, but according to Indians I've talked to they apparently call themselves "Chaldean" despite not being of that Eastern Catholic Church. If there are EO (and I seem to remember that there now are, but they're quite new compared to the others mentioned above), they're very small in number and not organized into any kind of distinctively Indian church, for lack of a better way to put it (IIRC, the EO there are some kind of Russian something or other...mission or outpost or what have you).

dzheremi,

I think you're speaking of the 'Assyrian Orthodox' mission that was formed by Bishop John of Urmia, of blessed memory, and ultimately subsumed into ROCOR. See here

Many years,

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« Reply #83 on: December 15, 2013, 01:07:22 PM »

No, this was something established much more recently. I probably read about it on here, I just can't remember the details. The Russian interaction with the Assyrians is much older. The Indians, of any confession, are not Assyrians.
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« Reply #84 on: December 15, 2013, 01:42:09 PM »

It was less frustrating than the chart tracing the community of the Mar Thomas Christians, who were portrayed as divided between Protestants, Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Nestorians, with no existence of Eastern Orthodox among them. Maybe we don't?

The "Thomas Christians", as they exist today, include OO and Assyrians, their Eastern Catholic split-offs, and the "Mar Thoma  Syrian Church", a Syrian-rite (and Syrian-lite, IMO) Protestant denomination.  There were never any EO in this community.  The RC's, AFAIK, also were not part of this community, but were the result of Portuguese missions.  Most of the other Protestants are also the result of foreign missionary activity and so were not a part of this community.  There is an EO presence in Northern India--Greeks (EP) in Bengal, Russians (ROCOR and MP) in Delhi, UP, and a couple of other places--but they are also not "Thomas Christians", they are recent missions (younger than I).     
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« Reply #85 on: December 21, 2013, 01:05:19 AM »

This is why there were so few Orthodox churches in the States for so long - people were advised to go to the local Episcopalian church since 'we're basically the same' (sometimes blessed to commune, sometimes not - to give one example, St. Raphael (Hawaweeny) of Brooklyn first blessed Syrian-Americans to commune at Episcopal services, then withdrew that blessing), and they were lost to Orthodoxy. If the priests of those people had trained the able to lead basic services (in the Byzantines' tradition, something easy and relatively unchanging like the day Hours, an akathist, Sunday Typica, et cetera) they might have actually started more of their own missions and churches, been able to raise their children in the faith, et cetera.

If someone I was responsible for had to move to a place with no Orthodox Churches I would not consider it wrong for them to attend a Catholic Church for prayer and fellowship. I would not agree that they should take communion there.

I think I would also consider that the Catholic culture is different in different countries and that this might also colour my views.

It is true that at one time St. Raphael blessed his people without a nearby Orthodox Church to attend an Episcopal Church. However, after he took the time to study the Episcopal Church he revoked that blessing and wrote a very strongly worded letter instructing his people to stay away from the Episcopalians. http://southern-orthodoxy.blogspot.com/2013/02/st-raphael-on-episcopalians.html

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« Reply #86 on: December 21, 2013, 10:35:20 AM »

I found this graph to be pretty enlightening:



The separation dating (i.e. 431/451) is simplistic, as Robert Wilken mentions in his The First Thousand Years, the west Syrians didn't join the Copts as non-Chalcedonians until the early 6th century under the Syriac St. Jacob Baradaeus.

Not to mention the graph makes no sign of Melkite Antioch's Syriac Rite usage until as late as the 11th-12th centuries.
The Maronites also should be show as breaking off of the line that continues as the "Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch."  It would seem that the ignorance of this latter line using the Antiochian rite until c. 1200 is what threw the chart makers.
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« Reply #87 on: December 21, 2013, 03:41:43 PM »

I found this graph to be pretty enlightening:



The separation dating (i.e. 431/451) is simplistic, as Robert Wilken mentions in his The First Thousand Years, the west Syrians didn't join the Copts as non-Chalcedonians until the early 6th century under the Syriac St. Jacob Baradaeus.

Not to mention the graph makes no sign of Melkite Antioch's Syriac Rite usage until as late as the 11th-12th centuries.
The Maronites also should be show as breaking off of the line that continues as the "Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch."  It would seem that the ignorance of this latter line using the Antiochian rite until c. 1200 is what threw the chart makers.

Most historians argue that the Maronites broke from Antioch because they rejected the 6th Ecumenical Council which condemned the heresy of Monothelitism. The Maronites fled to the mountains of Lebanon and joined Rome during the Crusades.

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« Reply #88 on: December 21, 2013, 04:50:52 PM »

The Maronites also should be show as breaking off of the line that continues as the "Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch."  It would seem that the ignorance of this latter line using the Antiochian rite until c. 1200 is what threw the chart makers.

True, as it wouldn't appear to make sense for the chart-makers if Melkite Antioch had always been Byzantine (as so many assume it was).

As an aside, are there any hierarchs or scholars in our church that do favor a return to, or at least the reintroduction of, the Syriac Rite?
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« Reply #89 on: December 21, 2013, 06:32:25 PM »

The Maronites also should be show as breaking off of the line that continues as the "Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch."  It would seem that the ignorance of this latter line using the Antiochian rite until c. 1200 is what threw the chart makers.

True, as it wouldn't appear to make sense for the chart-makers if Melkite Antioch had always been Byzantine (as so many assume it was).

As an aside, are there any hierarchs or scholars in our church that do favor a return to, or at least the reintroduction of, the Syriac Rite?

Why would we want to change the way that we have worshiped for centuries? If there is one thing that Eastern Orthodox do not like it is change. "How many Eastern Orthodox does it take to change a light bulb? Change, what is this change. I do not like this change." Our Byzantine Rite unites us with the rest of world Orthodoxy.

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