Author Topic: Comparing Churches  (Read 4698 times)

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Offline Kerdy

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Comparing Churches
« on: May 21, 2013, 07:49:58 AM »
I have seen many posts regarding Eastern Catholics and was wondering, other than being in communion with Rome, what other differences are there between them and the Orthodox Church.  I have heard some say there are no other differences.  I ask for my personal education and would hope responding posts are thoughtful.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 08:12:38 AM by Kerdy »

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 08:50:25 AM »

I actually attended a service once.

I was taking an iconography class being taught in the church hall of a ByzCatholic church.

One evening everyone piled in to the church prior to class, as it was the Eve of a Feast Day.  I was double minded whether I should go or not...not wanting to do the "wrong" thing...

After some thought, I went in....and having never been in one, was amazed.

It was just like my church.  :)   There was an iconostas, the priest was dressed much like mine, icons looked familiar, etc.

There were some unfamiliar hymns being sung, and of course the pope was commemorated, etc.

However, if I had not known better, I would have thought I was standing in an Orthodox parish church.  That alone made me both happy and sad.  Happy that it was so close to Orthodox, and sad because it was so close to Orthodox.


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Offline Kerdy

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 06:25:28 PM »
Thank you Liza.  I was doing some Google research but I am not sure where I want to start as there seems to be a few different ideas floating around.  I thought, "Where better to ask than the people who are members?"

Offline Wyatt

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 07:42:12 PM »
However, if I had not known better, I would have thought I was standing in an Orthodox parish church.  That alone made me both happy and sad.  Happy that it was so close to Orthodox, and sad because it was so close to Orthodox.
It makes me happy that our Churches are so similar and that we have a shared Tradition that makes us very close. The theological disputes that keep us separated are depressing.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 08:45:47 PM »
However, if I had not known better, I would have thought I was standing in an Orthodox parish church.  That alone made me both happy and sad.  Happy that it was so close to Orthodox, and sad because it was so close to Orthodox.
It makes me happy that our Churches are so similar and that we have a shared Tradition that makes us very close. The theological disputes that keep us separated are depressing.

That's exactly why I was both happy and sad.

So, close.....and yet, so far.

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Offline Kerdy

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 08:58:53 PM »
What keeps them separate?

Offline Wyatt

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2013, 09:16:58 PM »
What keeps them separate?
Are you new? :P The role of the Papacy, Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, filioque, etc.

Offline Nephi

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2013, 09:53:00 PM »
This older Ukrainian Greek Catholic lady I know insists the only difference between her and I is that she sides with the Pope and I don't. :P I would say this is probably accurate for some Eastern Catholics.

That said, she regularly goes to a Latin Rite parish and her old UGCC parish that she mentions has some weird practices (i.e. they celebrate both dates for Easter, etc.).
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 09:53:54 PM by Nephi »

Offline Kerdy

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2013, 10:06:38 PM »
What keeps them separate?
Are you new? :P The role of the Papacy, Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, filioque, etc.
Not new.  I just haven't kept up with the discussions and wanted it explained in one place.  As I understand it, they are more Orthodox than Catholic but they are in communion with Rome.

Offline Wyatt

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2013, 10:27:09 PM »
What keeps them separate?
Are you new? :P The role of the Papacy, Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, filioque, etc.
Not new.  I just haven't kept up with the discussions and wanted it explained in one place.  As I understand it, they are more Orthodox than Catholic but they are in communion with Rome.
I was referring to the separations between Catholics and Orthodox, not between ECs and RCs. I wasn't sure if I was clear on that.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2013, 10:35:52 PM »
This older Ukrainian Greek Catholic lady I know insists the only difference between her and I is that she sides with the Pope and I don't. :P I would say this is probably accurate for some Eastern Catholics.

That said, she regularly goes to a Latin Rite parish and her old UGCC parish that she mentions has some weird practices (i.e. they celebrate both dates for Easter, etc.).

I know people who see absolutely no difference between the two and hop from one all the time....because they are both Ukrainian.

Now THAT is sad.

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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Offline Nephi

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 10:48:33 PM »
I know people who see absolutely no difference between the two and hop from one all the time....because they are both Ukrainian.

Now THAT is sad.

I think she personally knows better than that, but I could be wrong.

Although I don't think that's limited to Ukrainians... I've heard of a good number of Orthodox that don't seem to see a problem with communing at Catholic churches when they visit, and a few of the Latin Catholics that I know from the woman's parish have no problem with church hopping - with evangelical/baptist Protestants, even.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 10:49:41 PM by Nephi »

Offline Kerdy

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 01:37:21 AM »
If both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches retracted the excommunications of the other, why are Eastern Catholics not part of the Orthodox Church?  Everything I have read about them states they are independent from the Roman Church.

Offline Kerdy

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2013, 01:43:15 AM »
I know we have some Eastern Catholics (or those who are generally categorized as such) who have something to offer.  I am truly interested.

Offline Nephi

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2013, 02:22:42 AM »
If both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches retracted the excommunications of the other, why are Eastern Catholics not part of the Orthodox Church?  Everything I have read about them states they are independent from the Roman Church.

AFAIK, the lifting of excommunications between Rome and Constantinople don't really have any effects beyond just that, and I don't think it has any real bearing on the existence of Eastern Catholics.

The Catholic Church is made up of 23 "sui iuris" churches, or autonomous churches. The Latin Church is the largest, but there are others such as the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Melkite Church, the Maronite Church, Coptic Catholic, Chaldean Catholic, etc. Each one is effectively self-ruling, and generally contains its own rite(s). While they are independent, each one recognizes the ultimate role of the Bishop of Rome over the entire Catholic Church. Except for the Maronite Church, most of them entered communion with Rome after a schism within a church. For example, the Melkite Church came out of a schism within the Antiochian Church.

See this Wiki for more information.

The Union of Brest is important too, but I don't know much about it.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 02:23:50 AM by Nephi »

Offline Peter J

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2013, 10:16:45 AM »
What keeps them separate?

At the risk of stating the obvious, the situation of the Eastern Catholics (or specifically the Greek Catholics) is not just that we are "separated" from you Orthodox, but also that we are "united" with Rome.

If we weren't united to Rome, then you can bet that we would unite with Orthodoxy. (Or better yet, if "dual communion" were an option I would go for that. :))
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2013, 10:20:23 AM »
The Catholic Church is made up of 23 "sui iuris" churches, or autonomous churches. The Latin Church is the largest, but there are others such as the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Melkite Church, the Maronite Church, Coptic Catholic, Chaldean Catholic, etc. Each one is effectively self-ruling, and generally contains its own rite(s).

Some do ... 14 of the 23 (aka the Greek Catholic Churches) use the Byzantine Rite.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2013, 10:21:12 AM »
This older Ukrainian Greek Catholic lady I know insists the only difference between her and I is that she sides with the Pope and I don't. :P I would say this is probably accurate for some Eastern Catholics.

That said, she regularly goes to a Latin Rite parish and her old UGCC parish that she mentions has some weird practices (i.e. they celebrate both dates for Easter, etc.).

I know people who see absolutely no difference between the two and hop from one all the time....because they are both Ukrainian.

Now THAT is sad.

Was it you who told the anecdote about a woman who was asked something about receiving communion in a Catholic church vs. in an Orthodox church, and who responded "What's the difference, as long as it's a Ukrainian church?"?

I find that disturbing.
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Online Agabus

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2013, 11:24:59 AM »
You might see this:



That's the reverse of Latinization, I guess.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 11:25:40 AM by Agabus »
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Offline biro

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2013, 01:25:05 PM »
Before I started going to a GOA parish, I almost settled on an ECC parish. That was three years ago.

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2013, 01:44:38 PM »
That "icon" is horrible.
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Offline Adela

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2013, 02:17:32 PM »
Having a Roman Catholic father and an Eastern Catholic mother, this is what I see as differences and similarities:

In many Byzantine Catholic churches, they have shortened the Liturgy. After the first litany, they might move on to the Gospel readings and then the Eucharist.   In my Orthodox church, there are 2 more litanies. Also, in the Byzantine Catholic churches, they might not have people come up to venerate the cross after every Liturgy, this seems to be reserved for special occasions where you get oil on your forehead.   Another difference is they have seemed to cut out the singing of "In Health and Salvation... God grant them many years" at the end of every Liturgy.  This also is reserved for special occasions.  In my Orthodox church, this is sung every Sunday.  

Also, in Byzantine Catholic churches in America,  you get many Roman Catholics visiting and also Roman Catholic priests who are biritual so there might be more of a blending of Roman Catholic practices into Eastern Christian ones, such as the Divine Mercy chaplet. However, this doesn't seem to be worked into the actual Liturgy, it might be a practice outside of the Liturgy.

One point I want to make is that the Byzantine Catholics are not Italian Roman Catholics who put on the cloak of Orthodoxy to trick the Orthodox into being duped into falling under the Pope's control.  They were Orthodox Slavs from the very beginning and for whatever reason went under the Pope.  So, they have the tradition of Orthodoxy and have done a pretty good job of keeping it intact in the face of modernism.

One thing that does bother me is when Roman Catholics think that if you are interested in Orthodoxy that you should just be Eastern Catholic and that there is no difference other than being under the Pope.  There is a difference is theology between the East and West.  However, that is from the Roman Catholic viewpoint.   The Eastern Catholic viewpoint does put their focus on the theology of the East, Christian mysticism and on Patristics.

 
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 02:43:46 PM by Adela »

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2013, 02:32:57 PM »
One thing that does bother me is when Roman Catholics think that if you are interested in Orthodoxy that you such just be Eastern Catholic 

Sounds familiar. I was always disturbed by advice like that. Not to mention that there is no EC parishes in my country except for some role-playing Latins.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 02:33:03 PM by Cyrillic »
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Offline Papist

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2013, 02:57:07 PM »
What keeps them separate?

At the risk of stating the obvious, the situation of the Eastern Catholics (or specifically the Greek Catholics) is not just that we are "separated" from you Orthodox, but also that we are "united" with Rome.

If we weren't united to Rome, then you can bet that we would unite with Orthodoxy. (Or better yet, if "dual communion" were an option I would go for that. :))
Hey Pete, just curious. Where are you now on dogmas like Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, Papal infallibility, etc.?
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2013, 03:18:44 PM »
What keeps them separate?

At the risk of stating the obvious, the situation of the Eastern Catholics (or specifically the Greek Catholics) is not just that we are "separated" from you Orthodox, but also that we are "united" with Rome.

If we weren't united to Rome, then you can bet that we would unite with Orthodoxy. (Or better yet, if "dual communion" were an option I would go for that. :))
Hey Pete, just curious. Where are you now on dogmas like Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, Papal infallibility, etc.?

Well ... I'm never entirely surely what to say about them; but I think the best I can say is that I see them as the "law of the land", so to speak, in the Roman Communion, but not necessarily actual dogmas.

So I guess I can't say either "They're optional" or "They're not optional" without adding additional explanation/qualifier.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2013, 03:29:04 PM »
One thing that does bother me is when Roman Catholics think that if you are interested in Orthodoxy that you such just be Eastern Catholic  

Sounds familiar. I was always disturbed by advice like that.

I guess it depends ... I can certainly see how it could be annoying, or even disturbing, if said in a way dismissive of Eastern Orthodoxy (as though EOs are just ECs-minus-the-pope  ;)).

On the other hand, when someone is already in-communion-with-Rome we believe that they have an obligation to stay in-communion-with-Rome. That's an important consideration.

Not to mention that there is no EC parishes in my country except for some role-playing Latins.

Interesting ... I'm afraid I've quite forgotten what country you live in. England or Australia perhaps?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 03:29:52 PM by Peter J »
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2013, 03:31:28 PM »
One thing that does bother me is when Roman Catholics think that if you are interested in Orthodoxy that you such just be Eastern Catholic 

Sounds familiar. I was always disturbed by advice like that. Not to mention that there is no EC parishes in my country except for some role-playing Latins.

Check for nearest Ukrainian immigrant ghetto in your town.
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2013, 03:37:12 PM »
One thing that does bother me is when Roman Catholics think that if you are interested in Orthodoxy that you such just be Eastern Catholic 

Sounds familiar. I was always disturbed by advice like that. Not to mention that there is no EC parishes in my country except for some role-playing Latins.

Check for nearest Ukrainian immigrant ghetto in your town.

Nope. No Ukrainian ghettos here. Not sure whether that's a bad thing.

Interesting ... I'm afraid I've quite forgotten what country you live in. England or Australia perhaps?

Almost. The Netherlands  :)
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2013, 03:42:10 PM »
Nope. No Ukrainian ghettos here. Not sure whether that's a bad thing.

Nowhere in the Netherlands? I though your country was filled with all kinds of immigrants.
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2013, 03:44:44 PM »
Nope. No Ukrainian ghettos here. Not sure whether that's a bad thing.

Nowhere in the Netherlands? I though your country was filled with all kinds of immigrants.

It's mostly limited to Turks, Morrocans, Poles, Surinamese and a some Chinese to make our food.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 03:45:25 PM by Cyrillic »
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2013, 03:52:56 PM »
Nope. No Ukrainian ghettos here. Not sure whether that's a bad thing.

Nowhere in the Netherlands? I though your country was filled with all kinds of immigrants.

It's mostly limited to Turks, Morrocans, Poles, Surinamese and a some Chinese to make our food.

For some reason it is always as fascinating to notice that while Western Europe is filled with all kinds of immigrants from the thirld world every country seem to have their own slice of the cake. I wonder what happens when things settle down in the South and the East. Somalia will have a massive Finnish diaspora whereas mushrooms and hemp will be the number one delicacy in Poland.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2013, 04:14:04 PM »
Interesting ... I'm afraid I've quite forgotten what country you live in. England or Australia perhaps?

Almost. The Netherlands  :)

Oh yes, that's coming back to me now ... and that you used to be on CAF.

So ... lot of Catholics and liberal Lutherans?
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2013, 04:16:29 PM »
Interesting ... I'm afraid I've quite forgotten what country you live in. England or Australia perhaps?

Almost. The Netherlands  :)

Oh yes, that's coming back to me now ... and that you used to be on CAF.

So ... lot of Catholics and liberal Lutherans?

I thought the Netherlands was a Calvinist country. Emphasis on "was" though.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2013, 04:32:53 PM »
Interesting ... I'm afraid I've quite forgotten what country you live in. England or Australia perhaps?

Almost. The Netherlands  :)

Oh yes, that's coming back to me now ... and that you used to be on CAF.

So ... lot of Catholics and liberal Lutherans?

I thought the Netherlands was a Calvinist country. Emphasis on "was" though.

Oh, maybe.
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Offline JoeS2

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2013, 06:13:14 PM »
That "icon" is horrible.

I agree....

Offline Nephi

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2013, 06:28:22 PM »
I thought the Netherlands was a Calvinist country. Emphasis on "was" though.

I imagine there is a decent population of Dutch Reformed. I've met some here in the US.

Offline LBK

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2013, 01:29:22 AM »
That "icon" is horrible.

I agree....

Thirded. Don't get me started on it ...  :P :P >:(
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 01:29:43 AM by LBK »
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2013, 06:30:50 AM »
I thought the Netherlands was a Calvinist country. Emphasis on "was" though.

I imagine there is a decent population of Dutch Reformed. I've met some here in the US.

Yep, I was baptised one. Over here there are two different flavors of Reformed - Dutch Reformed and "Gereformeerd". Both have subdenominations. And then there are of course the Latins but you won't get them more any liberal than over here. There are no Eastern Catholics except for some Latins who admit on their very website that they only differ from the other Latins because they have a funny mass and that it's basically just a hobby. There are Orthodox parishes in some of the big cities, though, but none in mine.

It seems I have derailed this thread a little bit  :)
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Offline mike

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #38 on: May 24, 2013, 01:13:38 PM »
whereas mushrooms and hemp will be the number one delicacy in Poland.

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Offline Peter J

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2013, 10:36:15 PM »
What keeps them separate?

At the risk of stating the obvious, the situation of the Eastern Catholics (or specifically the Greek Catholics) is not just that we are "separated" from you Orthodox, but also that we are "united" with Rome.

If we weren't united to Rome, then you can bet that we would unite with Orthodoxy. (Or better yet, if "dual communion" were an option I would go for that. :))

I wasn't originally going to add any more to that, but now I think I'd like to.

If I had been brought up in neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy, I can't necessarily say that I would join Orthodoxy. I guess I would have to deliberate for a long time about which of the two great "continents", Eastern Orthodoxy or Catholicism (or the third, somewhat smaller, "continent", Oriental Orthodoxy) I should join or even (fake gasp) whether to join one of the minute "islands" like the PNCC.

I'm just speaking for myself, of course.
- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)

Offline Wyatt

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2013, 11:46:55 AM »
What keeps them separate?

At the risk of stating the obvious, the situation of the Eastern Catholics (or specifically the Greek Catholics) is not just that we are "separated" from you Orthodox, but also that we are "united" with Rome.

If we weren't united to Rome, then you can bet that we would unite with Orthodoxy. (Or better yet, if "dual communion" were an option I would go for that. :))

I wasn't originally going to add any more to that, but now I think I'd like to.

If I had been brought up in neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy, I can't necessarily say that I would join Orthodoxy. I guess I would have to deliberate for a long time about which of the two great "continents", Eastern Orthodoxy or Catholicism (or the third, somewhat smaller, "continent", Oriental Orthodoxy) I should join or even (fake gasp) whether to join one of the minute "islands" like the PNCC.

I'm just speaking for myself, of course.
Just out of curiosity, what would be the draw to joining the PNCC or another Catholic splinter group like that? I'm just wondering because, at least in my mind, the "True Church" is pretty much narrowed down to three possibilities (RC, EO, and/or OO).

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2013, 12:05:18 PM »
whereas mushrooms and hemp will be the number one delicacy in Poland.



Very lovely and disgusting all at once.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2013, 12:14:52 PM »
What keeps them separate?

At the risk of stating the obvious, the situation of the Eastern Catholics (or specifically the Greek Catholics) is not just that we are "separated" from you Orthodox, but also that we are "united" with Rome.

If we weren't united to Rome, then you can bet that we would unite with Orthodoxy. (Or better yet, if "dual communion" were an option I would go for that. :))

I wasn't originally going to add any more to that, but now I think I'd like to.

If I had been brought up in neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy, I can't necessarily say that I would join Orthodoxy. I guess I would have to deliberate for a long time about which of the two great "continents", Eastern Orthodoxy or Catholicism (or the third, somewhat smaller, "continent", Oriental Orthodoxy) I should join or even (fake gasp) whether to join one of the minute "islands" like the PNCC.

I'm just speaking for myself, of course.
Just out of curiosity, what would be the draw to joining the PNCC or another Catholic splinter group like that? I'm just wondering because, at least in my mind, the "True Church" is pretty much narrowed down to three possibilities (RC, EO, and/or OO).

Well, first of course keep in mind that I wouldn't leave any of those three "continents", once being a member of it (which may have already been clear in my earlier post). If I had been born instead to one of the "islands", I'm sure I would feel a strong pull toward joining one of the "continents" (notwithstanding the immense difficultly of choosing one over the other two) ... and yet somehow I can also sympathize with the idea of staying off-"continent". * I'm not sure I can explain it (which might mean that I've accomplished nothing in this post except annoying people by saying "island" and "continent"  ;)).

* Note that with "staying off-'continent' " I deliberately avoided saying "staying with the specific 'island' of one's birth". For example, if I had started out EC-USA, you can be sure I would leave it, if not for a "continent" then at least for another "island".
- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)

Offline Kerdy

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2013, 09:43:35 PM »
I appreciate all of the contribution to my inquiry!  If someone wants, feel free to PM me if you don't feel comfortable posting something here.  I like to learn and am interested in this information.

Offline mike

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Re: Comparing Churches
« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2013, 11:35:39 PM »
I have seen many posts regarding Eastern Catholics and was wondering, other than being in communion with Rome, what other differences are there between them and the Orthodox Church. 

What Catholic Churches, what Orthodox Churches, where, and when?
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