The churches of the so-called Eastern Rites came into existence as a result of political considerations. When the Dodecanese Islands came under Venetian rule, or Cyprus under Latin Franks, or when the Western Ukraine was conquered by Poland, for example, some provision had to be made for an Orthodox Christian population under a government in obedience to the Bishop of Rome. It was an accommodation, if you will, and probably preferable to mass forced conversions. The result is some 20-plus ER jurisdictions under Rome, with a complete code of canon law to themselves.
I don't believe any Orthodox Christian would say there's no difference, that the Eastern Rites are simply Orthodox under Rome. And I think it's more than just the standard list of theological objections. Even the words we have in common feel different in an Eastern Rite church.
The wound to Christ's church is deep and tragic--not only along lines of East and West. Within the Orthodox communities themselves we are not one. We give weight to the folly of our own reasonings instead of remembering what we share: a faith in the Risen Lord.
It was far from "a result of political considerations" or the fact that "some provisions had to be made for an Orthodox population."
The reality was the Latinization or eradication of the Orthodox believers. The "U" was created in Poland by two Jesuits and the plan was to Latinize the Orthodox of Poland and south-west Russia. With the help of the Polish King Synods at Brest(1595-96) was formed. Since then the forced conversion of Orthodox to the papists began, churches confiscated, Orthodox were murdered, tortured, or sent into exile.
As a result of the violent actions of Greek Catholics in the 80's and 90's Orthodox believers had been deprived of their churches and their rights are still trampled on.
It all began with Rome's self appointed papal authority. Prior to the events in July 1054, the Byzantine Churches in Southern Italy were forced to accept the Latin Rite. Pope Leo sent Cardinal Humber and legates to Constantinople to meet with Patriarch Cerularius. There were tone two meetings. During the first Cardinal Humbert and his legates acted very disrespectful towards the Patriarch and because of this the Patriarch refused the second meeting. Quite annoyed Cardinal Humbert and his legates entered Hagia Sophia, which was filled with worshippers, interrupted the Liturgy, entered the alter, made accusations against the Patriarch and placed the bull of excommunication on the alter table. Since then there has been a pattern.
1204-the 4th Crusade sacks Constantinople. Latins set up their own Patriarch, to compete with the Orthodox. This was to take place in the other Orthodox Patriarchates.
1211-Venetian Crusaders conquer Byzantine Crete.
1281-Pope Martin IV authorizes a crusade against the re-established Byzantine Empire in Constantinople.
1924-15- Austro-Hungarian Empire eradicates Orthodox believers. Many are sent to concentration camps. Talerhof and Terezin.
1938-Volhynia Western Ukraine, the Polish government oversaw the destruction of hundreds of Orthodox Churches and hundreds more were turned over to the Latin Rite. This was occurring all over the Carpathian Mountain regions in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Western Ukraine.
1943-44 Hundres of Orthodox priests eliminated and tortured by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, aided by "U" Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj. During this time was also the zenith of the papist persecution in Poland by Polish Catholics against the Orthodox faithful.
1940's- The Serbian Orthodox massacre.
History is repeating itself today in the Ukraine. With both the nationalist tendencies of the Eastern Rite Catholics and the Ukrainian Separatists, they are con tuning their crusade against everything that is Russian and Orthodox. Blame Moscow for the past atrocities under communist rule.Quote tags fixed -PtA