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Author Topic: A Step Towards Unity?  (Read 3489 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 31, 2003, 01:20:31 PM »

Dear Forum:

Another fruit of Pope John Paul II's "Ut Unum Sint!"

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=33430


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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2003, 03:09:05 PM »

If, and I say if, union is established between Rome and the OO it would be interesting to find out just what areas of belief the Oriental church gave up for the sake of unity.

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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2003, 04:38:19 PM »

"That which is founded on falsehood cannot be right. Institutions founded on false principles cannot be other than false themselves. This truth has been demonstrated by the bitter experience of ages and generations."

---Konstantin Petrovich Pobiedonostov (1827-1907.) Lay Procurator of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. (He wrote the document excommunicating Leo Tolstoy from the Orthodox Church, despite his love for literature.)
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2003, 05:25:39 PM »

[If, and I say if, union is established between Rome and the OO it would be interesting to find out just what areas of belief the Oriental church gave up for the sake of unity.]

It would not be so much of what they gave up as it is what they accepted without realizing it.  For instance Papal Supremacy and infallibility over the entire church.
Hopefully they won't be duped into believing that as far as the RCC goes, being in communion with it does not mean being under its authority either directly or indirectly as some of their so called sui juris churches  do.

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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2003, 07:35:22 PM »

Well, it seems better than the discussions with the Anglicans. At least this is a discussion with a Church that is Apostolic, has true sacraments, and recognizes Tradition. Of course, our Church will not accept Papal infallibility, baptism by sprinkling water, or the Filioque and this remains a great obstacle.

While it is true that our Christology is basically the same, it is nevertheless true that the formal presence of the Council of Chanceldon will always remain a hindrance to genuine Eucharistic unity.

Other issues like purgatory, seem resolvable.

The interaction between the Melkites and the Rum Orthodox, both at the level of Hierarchy and at the grass roots level seems to be a more realistic way to achieve unity.

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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2003, 12:07:16 AM »

Dear Friends,

The overall tone of some of these messages seems to be that reunion between the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church is "a done deal" or almost a done deal.  

But dialogue is dialogue.  No one is committing to anything.  There is as much danger in this dialogue with Rome as there is in the recent improvements in dialogue between the Church of Greece and the Church of Rome.  Is the Orthodox Church in Greece going to go under Rome any time soon?  Or for that matter the Romanian Orthodox Church, whose ecumenical relations with Rome have improved in recent years?  

It is troubling to me that news of the improvement of relations between various Eastern Orthodox Churches and Rome is seen as not being so much of a problem as far as joining the RCC is concerned: no one seems to worry about this happening.  Yet, when the Oriental Orthodox Churches dialogue with Rome, the overall fear among some is that they will get duped into union.  As if the Oriental Orthodox Churches are not "grown up" enough to think for themselves?  As if they don't know how to take care of themselves?  Why the paternalism?  

Perhaps you may say I am overreacting or reading into things too much, and perhaps you are right.  But I cannot help but wonder after reading some of these things.  For however much we disagree with the Roman Catholics on matters of doctrine, they at least seem to respect us as equals.
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2003, 11:08:43 AM »

[Yet, when the Oriental Orthodox Churches dialogue with Rome, the overall fear among some is that they will get duped into union.  As if the Oriental Orthodox Churches are not "grown up" enough to think for themselves?  As if they don't know how to take care of themselves?  Why the paternalism? ]

Since I think you are referring to my comment.  If so, may I state that you are implying something that isn't there.
Many of the Eastern Christians who are already 'In Communion with Rome' have been duped into believing that somehow, they are not dependent of Rome, or under its ultimate authority.  But that they are separate independent churches.  And this goes for those who would be classified as former Oriental as well as Byzantine Orthodox.  For instance, many Ukrainian Catholics will disregard the automony of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  They will claim that this church is still UNDER MOSCOW.  But yet they will completely disregard the fact that their own UCC is UNDER ROME to the same degree that the UOC is UNDER MOSCOW.  

Unless Rome revises its administrative policies regarding Papal Supremacy and Universal jurisdiction to be 'In Communion with it' is to also be under its authority.  And to what degree depends on Rome not the particular church - be it Oriental or Byzantine.

Too many Eastern Christians in the past found that out the hard way.  Thats all I am saying.  I also worry about some of our current Byzantine Bishops and what comes out of the mouths at some of these so called ecumenical gatherings.

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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2003, 12:33:26 AM »

Bob,

Your continued presentation of Eastern Catholics as poor, ignorant souls who were "duped" into communion with Rome is a bit much.  The "we had no idea we had become Catholic we thought we were still Orthodox" story is bull, as if our ancestors were all village idiots.  Too many changes were introduced (Sacred Heart devotions, Rosary, First Holy Communion, Filioque, Commeration of the Pope, no Teplota, etc.) for them not to know they were in communion with the Pope, especially those of the American diaspora.

As for Eastern Catholics being "duped" into thinking they are not under Rome's authority, I have yet too meet one who did not recognize that by being in communion with the Pope they are not also ultimately under his authority, and this is also true for any Orthodox being in communion with his chief hierarch.  However, for us that is not a problem, as being Catholic we recognize that beyond the office of patriarch there is the office of Supreme Pontiff, Successor of St. Peter and that this office is eternally tied to the Bishop of Rome.

The Eastern Catholic Churches have never claimed the same autocephaly that functions in the Orthodox Church, althought the Patriarchal Churches come very close.  We have our own hierarchy and canon law making us sui iuirs/autonomous, but we also recognize the rights of the Pope of Rome over all Churches.  If we did not we would be Orthodox.  And I am unaware of any Eastern Catholic Church that teaches otherwise.  If any officially use the terminology "in Communion with Rome", I am also unaware of it, although I don't think use of the term implies one is independent of Rome but rather implies it.

In Christ,
Lance

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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2003, 06:47:02 AM »

Dear Friends,

The overall tone of some of these messages seems to be that reunion between the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church is "a done deal" or almost a done deal.  

But dialogue is dialogue.  No one is committing to anything.  There is as much danger in this dialogue with Rome as there is in the recent improvements in dialogue between the Church of Greece and the Church of Rome.  Is the Orthodox Church in Greece going to go under Rome any time soon?  Or for that matter the Romanian Orthodox Church, whose ecumenical relations with Rome have improved in recent years?  

It is troubling to me that news of the improvement of relations between various Eastern Orthodox Churches and Rome is seen as not being so much of a problem as far as joining the RCC is concerned: no one seems to worry about this happening.  Yet, when the Oriental Orthodox Churches dialogue with Rome, the overall fear among some is that they will get duped into union.  As if the Oriental Orthodox Churches are not "grown up" enough to think for themselves?  As if they don't know how to take care of themselves?  Why the paternalism?  

Perhaps you may say I am overreacting or reading into things too much, and perhaps you are right.  But I cannot help but wonder after reading some of these things.  For however much we disagree with the Roman Catholics on matters of doctrine, they at least seem to respect us as equals.            

I am not very familiar with the Oriental Church.

One thing I do know is that the Coptic Pope of Alexandria is a man of great intelligence and is very strong willed. I understand he, by his personality and personal gifts, was the de facto leader of all the Orthodox parties in their dealings with the non-Orthodox members of the WCC. In no uncertain terms he insisted that the Orthodox exert their will as Orthodox Christians and not buckle under to the dominant Protestant ethos of that organization.

I am sure the Oriental Orthodox representatives will requite themselves well and they might very well call upon Old Rome to repent of her heresies and encourage her to return to the orthodox and catholic faith of the Fathers, at least as the Oriental hierarchs understand that faith.

Regards,

Jude
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2003, 07:41:19 AM »

Your continued presentation of Eastern Catholics as poor, ignorant souls who were "duped" into communion with Rome is a bit much.  The "we had no idea we had become Catholic we thought we were still Orthodox" story is bull, as if our ancestors were all village idiots.  Too many changes were introduced (Sacred Heart devotions, Rosary, First Holy Communion, Filioque, Commeration of the Pope, no Teplota, etc.) for them not to know they were in communion with the Pope, especially those of the American diaspora.

Lance,

Even Dr. Alex Roman, apologist for the Unia says that in Ukraine  the laity were under the belief that the Pope had become Orthodox for generations.

...we also recognize the rights of the Pope of Rome over all Churches.
If we did not we would be Orthodox.

Thank you for admitting that you are not Orthodox. Too many try to call the Eastern Catholic Churches Under Rome "Orthodox in communion with Rome" or call "communion with Rome" the symbol of Orthodoxy, both of which, of course, is a farce.
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2003, 08:19:16 AM »

Quote
For instance, many Ukrainian Catholics will disregard the automony of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  They will claim that this church is still UNDER MOSCOW.  But yet they will completely disregard the fact that their own UCC is UNDER ROME to the same degree that the UOC is UNDER MOSCOW.

It is under Moscow. To look down on the canonical Orthodox church there for that reason would be hypocritical. But I’ve never met a Ukrainian Catholic who denied he was under Rome — that pretty much defines who they are, at least vs. the Russian Orthodox, while at the same time aspects of Russian culture define them the other way as not Polish.

My guess is in the first hundred years or so the Eastern Catholic churches existed (roughly, the 1600s) there wasn’t much by which one could tell them apart from the Orthodox. (Bishop Kallistos [Ware] agrees.) The changes Lance lists happened, of course, but later.
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2003, 05:02:30 PM »

Serge writes:

[It is under Moscow. To look down on the canonical Orthodox church there for that reason would be hypocritical.]

Serge:  You are missing the whole point.  It is UNDER Moscow to the same degree that the Ukrainian Catholic Church is UNDER Rome.  And, you are right, it is hypocritical,  in that  respect, for the UC's to condemn the canonical Orthodox for being subservient to Moscow while they themselves are just as  subservient to Rome.  probably even more so.

[But I’ve never met a Ukrainian Catholic who denied he was under Rome — that pretty much defines who they are, at least vs. the Russian Orthodox, while at the same time aspects of Russian culture define them the other way as not Polish.]

Oh come on Serge!  I have never met a Ukrainian Catholic yet that will admit to being UNDER Rome.  The terminology used is 'IN COMMUNION WITH' but  never 'UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF' Rome.  They will go to any extreme necessary rather than imply they are under the authority of Rome in any way, shape, or form.  And you know that as well as I do.  Any type of terminology or identity that portrays them as part of the Papal Catholic Church is rebuffed and even considered as insulting to them.

Lance writes:

[The "we had no idea we had become Catholic we thought we were still Orthodox" story is bull, as if our ancestors were all village idiots.]

Sorry Lance but this was told to me on more than one occasion by the older people when I was a kid both in my home parish as well as my present parish.  There were many parishes in the 'Old Country' where the word 'Pravoslavny' (Orthodox) was still used in the Liturgy and where the Popes name was never mentioned.  The local Bishops name was commemorated instead.  Look in the archives of the Byzantine Forum where this is confirmed.  I remember reading it while I was still actively participating in that Forum.    

And, besides, many of the immigrants that came over in the later part of the 19th and early part of the twentieth century, though not village idiots by a long shot,  were, never the less,  poorly educated.
   
If your claim is so true why is the "Orthodox' identity so strong after 400+ years?  Why are so many people identifying themselves, or are  now being told, that they are 'Orthodox In Communion with Rome'?  Could it be that in  Ukraine a whole generation and a half have been brought up with an Orthodox identity  and this is a way to dupe them into believing they still are even though their parish has vowed allegiance to the Pope?

[Too many changes were introduced (Sacred Heart devotions, Rosary, First Holy Communion, Filioque, Commeration of the Pope, no Teplota, etc.) for them not to know they were in communion with the Pope, especially those of the American diaspora.]

These changes were mostly introduced AFTER the people I had talked to had immigrated.   My grandparents never heard of such things while they were in the 'old country'.  They were mainly introduced here in America rather than the parts of eastern europe where the people I am referring to came from.  The people I am referring to are people like my grandparents who returned to Orthodoxy before St Alexis Toth had any dealings with Bishop Ireland.

Point I was trying to make is why be hypocritical by labeling the UOC as a tool of Moscow while the UCC themselves are nothing more than a tool of Rome for the very same reasons.  Neither Church is totally free or independent of a foreign Hierach. There is one big difference though.  When the Moscow Patriarch visits Ukraine there is not one Ukrainian Orthodox Bishop who is required to kneel & bow down before him or kiss his hand, ring, or any other part of his body.  So who is more subservient?

 Probably the only thing you and I will ever agree on is that we'd both like to see a truly canonical autocephalous church in Ukraine with its own Patriarch.  Only problem is that I see him as an Orthodox Catholic Patriarch where you do not.  

Because if he is 'In Communion with Rome'   he and the church he presides over, will never be truly autocephalous. Unless of course,  Rome changes its existing administrative policies which  stipulate that to be 'In Communion with it'  also places it under Romes authority to the degree that Rome itself stipulates.  And that has about as much of a chance as a snowball in hell.

[If we did not we would be Orthodox. And I am unaware of any Eastern Catholic Church that teaches otherwise. If any officially use the terminology "in Communion with Rome",]

So why is the term 'ORTHODOX IN COMMUNION WITH ROME'  being used so often and by so many of you?   

Orthodoc

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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2003, 06:13:16 PM »

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Oh come on Serge!  I have never met a Ukrainian Catholic yet that will admit to being UNDER Rome.  The terminology used is 'IN COMMUNION WITH' but  never 'UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF' Rome.  They will go to any extreme necessary rather than imply they are under the authority of Rome in any way, shape, or form.  And you know that as well as I do.  Any type of terminology or identity that portrays them as part of the Papal Catholic Church is rebuffed and even considered as insulting to them.

What you describe sounds more like the kind of Byzantine Catholic, usually not born into it, who writes on the Internet. My remark reflects my experience with born Ukrainian and other Byzantine Catholics in person, not online.

Quote
If your claim is so true why is the "Orthodox' identity so strong after 400+ years?  Why are so many people identifying themselves, or are  now being told, that they are 'Orthodox In Communion with Rome'?  Could it be that in  Ukraine a whole generation and a half have been brought up with an Orthodox identity  and this is a way to dupe them into believing they still are even though their parish has vowed allegiance to the Pope?

See above. It’s the converts online who ID that way, not the ethnics born into it. And Ukraine? Well, in the far southwest, the Ukrainian Catholic Church’s home territory, I think they know who they’re under. I remember one of your complaints about them was that they reneged on an agreement to decide who gets which churches and took churches by force. I don’t think they thought they were Orthodox when they did that.
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2003, 06:36:16 PM »

[I remember one of your complaints about them was that they reneged on an agreement to decide who gets which churches and took churches by force. I don’t think they thought they were Orthodox when they did that.]

Depends on who you are calling 'they'!

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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2003, 06:38:58 PM »

The Ukrainian Catholics of far southwestern Ukraine.
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2003, 07:02:02 PM »

[I don’t think they thought they were Orthodox when they did that.]


They weren't running to Rome as much as they were running from Moscow!  If the above statement is correct, then why the 'we are Orthodox In Communion with Rome'?
They obviously still do think they are Orthodox and that seems to be what being reinforced to them.

The Ukrainians will play Rome against Moscow to try and get what they want.  Considering their history,  one can possibility understand why.  Doctrine and canonical loyalty come second to them.  Nationalism comes first.

A Ukrainian once told me that your average Ukrainian will go to the parish whose choir can sing 'God Bless Ukraine' the loudest!  Doesn't matter where its loyality lies.

You still haven't explained why, if their  identity is with the Papal Catholic Church why its so insulting to them when they are reminded of it.

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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2003, 07:19:21 PM »

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If the above statement is correct, then why the 'we are Orthodox In Communion with Rome'?

Are the Ukrainian Catholics over there calling themselves that?
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2003, 07:30:52 PM »

[Are the Ukrainian Catholics over there calling themselves that?]

You tell me.  As far as I know they still think they are pravoslavny.

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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2003, 08:13:35 PM »

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You tell me.  As far as I know they still think they are pravoslavny.

I’ve never been there.

But I’ve read Witness by Josyp Terelya and he evidently didn’t think he was big-O Orthodox.
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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2003, 09:28:49 PM »

Bob,

Your continued presentation of Eastern Catholics as poor, ignorant souls who were "duped" into communion with Rome is a bit much.  The "we had no idea we had become Catholic we thought we were still Orthodox" story is bull, as if our ancestors were all village idiots.  Too many changes were introduced (Sacred Heart devotions, Rosary, First Holy Communion, Filioque, Commeration of the Pope, no Teplota, etc.) for them not to know they were in communion with the Pope, especially those of the American diaspora.

As for Eastern Catholics being "duped" into thinking they are not under Rome's authority, I have yet too meet one who did not recognize that by being in communion with the Pope they are not also ultimately under his authority, and this is also true for any Orthodox being in communion with his chief hierarch.  However, for us that is not a problem, as being Catholic we recognize that beyond the office of patriarch there is the office of Supreme Pontiff, Successor of St. Peter and that this office is eternally tied to the Bishop of Rome.

The Eastern Catholic Churches have never claimed the same autocephaly that functions in the Orthodox Church, althought the Patriarchal Churches come very close.  We have our own hierarchy and canon law making us sui iuirs/autonomous, but we also recognize the rights of the Pope of Rome over all Churches.  If we did not we would be Orthodox.  And I am unaware of any Eastern Catholic Church that teaches otherwise.  If any officially use the terminology "in Communion with Rome", I am also unaware of it, although I don't think use of the term implies one is independent of Rome but rather implies it.

In Christ,
Lance

 

Hi Lance,

I hope all is well with you.  I regret that we did not get together again before I left Pittsburgh after the break.  I hope we will get together again soon.

I would like to respond to your above post.  I certainly don't think anyone today is "duped" into being Catholic or otherwise; perhaps a few uneducated well meaning souls are unable to distinguish the difference or downplay them, but these would be few I think.  I do think that if you read the book by Lawrence Huculak, OSBM, (he is UC, now a UC bishop in Canada) you will find that the changes introduced into the churches after 1596 (and no doubt 1646) were gradual and by no means universal.  There is at least one Rome-educated BC priest in your area that is of the opinion that "our people" did not know what had happened or understood it.  This is plausible given that an authority above the local bishop was not necessarily audibly mentioned in the liturgy until rather lately.  If you accept that the liturgy did not change that much until later, what was to have clued-in the people?  

As for "I have yet too meet one who did not recognize that by being in communion with the Pope they are not also ultimately under his authority" and "The Eastern Catholic Churches have never claimed the same autocephaly that functions in the Orthodox Church" what do you say to the posts on other boards that say the the Synod of the UGCC proclaimed their church patriarchal?  The point is not whether it should be or not or even similar situations in the OC but Rome has not made that church patriarchal, yet the UCs (apparently) commemorate him as such and are acting accordingly.  What is that all about?

Back to the liturgy, certainly in some places the word Orthodox/Pravoslavny was replaced in the liturgical texts with pravovirny (right-believing).  This was/is not true in all places.  In the Slavonic liturgical texts brought to this country in the time of the great migration, obviously pravoslavny was used as that is what we have here, so that change was later.  The Rome issued Slavonic texts use pravoslavny. In the recordings from Vojvodina (BCs there) they do not replace pravoslavny but leave it.

Another thought.  The people, as far as recorded history of the time goes, did not have much of a voice in this.  All of the churches changed allegiance, the people continued to go to the same churches.  With the passing of time resistence formed in some places.  But, think of it in the terms of the last 14 years, the church in a given village changed hands once again, if it is the only church in the village and that is the only way you know how to pray, what will you do?  Keep going there or what?  

I sometimes think that people project our world of pluralism and ease of transportation back in time and just imagine that in the 17th century people drove to a place where there were a bunch of churches Catholic and Orthodox and they just chose where they wanted to go.  It simply was not like that.  

Tony
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« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2003, 10:13:42 PM »

TonyS:

Thank you for your post.  You have a way of explaining it much more eloquently  than I.  Sometimes I am a little brash but that's my way.

Anyhow, I agree with what you have posted.

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« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2003, 08:34:17 PM »

The interaction between the Melkites and the Rum Orthodox, both at the level of Hierarchy and at the grass roots level seems to be a more realistic way to achieve unity.


Pardon my ignorance, what is Rum Orthodox?

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« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2003, 08:44:33 PM »

Rum Orthodox = members of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch (actually based in Damascus, Syria)

The Byzantine Empire didn't call itself that - 19th-century British historians named it that. It was the Roman Empire (in about the same sense that Taiwan is the Republic of China). So they called themselves Romans and the Arabs and Turks picked up on that. Roman = Rum. And so the members of the imperial church, the Orthodox, were Romans and are Rum today.
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