Come home, ACROD – I love you and miss you.
ACROD returned home.
Of course the Orthodox say that; only makes sense given your doctrine. (Like we'd say the Ukrainian Catholic Church returned.)
That said, as I've learned from talking to people whose families lived it, because this event is still in living memory, the truth was this. Until about 80 years ago, Ruthenians were Catholic but didn't strongly identify as such, at least among the laity. Church was familial and ethnic; po-nashomu
, 'our way'. So although their church had lots of Western Catholic stuff adopted over the years, they didn't see themselves in sectarian or jurisdictional terms.
The people and especially the priests, who were of course schooled in theology by the Catholic Church, so they felt more Catholic, didn't really want to leave
. The priests tried several times to appeal to Rome. All the priests and people really wanted was for things to stay the same. A conservative Slavic trait.
The Greeks gave them a good deal, pretty much giving them what they wanted, to be left alone to do what they'd always done. So by their own admission they didn't so much 'return home' or 'convert to Orthodoxy' as 'turn' to Orthodoxy as a refuge to protect their patrimony: po-nashomu
, latinizations and all.
Not exactly what Conciliar Press or Ancient Faith Radio wants to hear.