For every one American convert searching for a Western rite, I'd wager there are hundreds more who are simply searching for Orthodox worship in the English language.
And it'll stay that way as long as WRO is treated as an exception and concession for those who are unable to man up and become Orthodox.
I agree with Alpo. I have become disillusioned with the Western rite concept within the Orthodox Church. Though I will never be against it outright or against those who are able to be within it and make the most of a tough situation. (tough as I see it.)
I do not think the importance of it it is taken seriously. As I always say, St. patrick's day can never be celebrated the same way in the byzantine rite, something is always missing. Yes, this is not necessary for our salvation, sure sure...
I will concede that if you're an agnostic, perhaps rite is less
relevant, but not irrelevant
We're going to have a rite no matter what, that I know. The byzantine rite reflects a particular cultural experience, the roman latin rite reflects another particular different cultural experience. The respect shown toward the rite reflects the respect shown to the culture it came from.
At the heart of it is this - to the extent that the roman rite is not taken seriously, I as an individual whose ancestors lived and were shaped into fine people through that rite (and spoke latin based language), do not feel respected. At the same time I would like to apologize for the westerners who showed likewise disinterest toward those whose tradition was alexandrian, byzantine, armenian rite, etc. Neither form of disinterest and or "prejudice" (I dont mean anything too intense by the word) is beneficial to society.
However, I also think that when there is a single Orthodox jurisdiction and primate for the entire United States of America - that will do much to alleviate some of the current issues, especially where practices between antioch and ROCOR are not aligned, and they do need to align. The Western rite needs to be more uniform within the Orthodox Church, the more it is united, the more gain and trust can be found within it. Sadly, when many of my friends or aquaitances refuse to take the western rite of the Orthodox Church very seriously it is hard for me to continue being the exception.
Frankly a united Orthodox Church in the USA is a necessity to gain trust of potential converts. I dont want that unity to come at the expense of more "liberalism" amongst prelates or unnecessary angst, but I am convinced that it is necessary for the continued growth of the Orthodox Church in North America, despite whatever challenges it presents.
Until there is a single jurisdiction for the Orthodox Church in North America - I do not feel that the Orthodox Church is competent to manage a Western rite vicariate very effectively. A minority within a minority of bishops who dont fully understand it..is asking for heartbreak.