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Author Topic: What's in a number?  (Read 1304 times) Average Rating: 0
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Peter J
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« on: May 21, 2014, 07:56:00 AM »

Let me preface this by saying, I know it's not about numbers (as I've heard, in regard to religion in general, 14,641 times).

Having said that, I've heard that there are about somewhere between 2,000 and 6,000 Western-Rite Orthodox in the world. Now maybe it's because I'm Greek Catholic, or maybe it's just because I like numbers and math, but for whatever reason I immediately thought about the fact that there are about 7 or 8 million Greek Catholics in the world. Which is to say, the ratio of WRO to GCs is not 1:30, or 1:100, or even 1:300, but 1:1000 or more.

Okay, I'm not going to suggest that that is purely an indication of anti-Western bias (or "anti-Western bigotry" as some Catholic polemicists would undoubtedly call it) ... but would it be fair to see anti-Western bias as one factor among others? Or do you guys believe that it has nothing to do with that at all?
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2014, 08:53:25 AM »

The Western-Rite Orthodox is a much newer movement than Eastern Rite Catholics. From what I understand, it wasn't even a consideration before the 1890's and it wasn't until the mid 20th century that it became an actual practical reality.  It is also a much slower route of growth to grow a rite by individual conversion or perhaps with a parish conversion as opposed to how the Eastern rite of Catholicism developed.
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2014, 11:01:55 AM »

The Western-Rite Orthodox is a much newer movement than Eastern Rite Catholics. From what I understand, it wasn't even a consideration before the 1890's and it wasn't until the mid 20th century that it became an actual practical reality.  It is also a much slower route of growth to grow a rite by individual conversion or perhaps with a parish conversion as opposed to how the Eastern rite of Catholicism developed.

In large part I agree with you: yes there are a number of factors behind the numerical difference (some of which are no credit to Catholics, like the unscrupulous proselytizing of Orthodox, centuries ago and to some extent continuing right into modern times). Nevertheless, I find it difficult not to see a bit of anti-Western bias along with other likely factors -- even if I can't prove a causality scientifically.
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2014, 11:33:49 AM »

While I do not disagree with you that there tends to be a bit of an anti-western bias within Orthodoxy, particularly in the US, I don't believe the small western rite is a cause or effect of that.  I believe it most likely boils down to the fact that the vast majority of converts come various traditions within western Christianity and therefore have a tendency to be overly critical of it. There is also the tension of having a rather high number of converts while at the same time endeavouring to not proselytize other Christians groups. It is a rather odd tight rope to have to walk.
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2014, 11:42:28 AM »

... but would it be fair to see anti-Western bias as one factor among others? Or do you guys believe that it has nothing to do with that at all?

I don't think anti-Western bias has much to do with the particular issue you're considering.  That bias shows up elsewhere. 
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2014, 01:25:57 PM »

You may be right.

On a side note, I was just thinking that the way I worded the OP might have overemphasized the "anti-Western bias" possibility. There are definitely other factors: for example, I think there is some guilt-by-association vis-a-vis "uniatism". (I.e. although uniatism is a bad thing, I think many Orthodox get carried away and oppose anything that even vaguely resembles uniatism.)
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2014, 01:49:52 PM »

You may be right.

On a side note, I was just thinking that the way I worded the OP might have overemphasized the "anti-Western bias" possibility. There are definitely other factors: for example, I think there is some guilt-by-association vis-a-vis "uniatism". (I.e. although uniatism is a bad thing, I think many Orthodox get carried away and oppose anything that even vaguely resembles uniatism.)

Western rite Orthodoxy isn't Uniatism. Western rite Orthodox were not assimilated into the Orthodox Church, and allowed to maintain their practices. The Church itself founded the rite, and others joined it.
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2014, 01:59:05 PM »

Greek Catholicism involved the shifting of entire dioceses from an Orthodox patriarch to the Roman pope.   Usually the faithful had no choice and most were unaware of it.   In some regions the Orthodox Church was not permitted to coexist.  This instantly added millions of faithful who multiplied over time.   

The western rite never did this and was created for voluntary association much more recently.  Although the Russian Church did compel Orthodoxy when it abolished Greek Catholicism in certain regions in 1839, 1875, and 1946.  This was all within the eastern rite however. 
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2014, 02:18:07 PM »

... but would it be fair to see anti-Western bias as one factor among others? Or do you guys believe that it has nothing to do with that at all?

I don't think anti-Western bias has much to do with the particular issue you're considering.  That bias shows up elsewhere. 

Doesn't it? As I recall one of the arguments against WRO is that the liturgies it used fell into disuse and from that they lack the continuity that the Eastern Rite has - this being as a result of "Latinizations" or inherent stability ("if it was good it would've survived") or something else. Somehow (according to that argument) that makes ERO more "valid".
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2014, 02:23:59 PM »

Doesn't it? As I recall one of the arguments against WRO is that the liturgies it used fell into disuse and from that they lack the continuity that the Eastern Rite has - this being as a result of "Latinizations" or inherent stability ("if it was good it would've survived") or something else. Somehow (according to that argument) that makes ERO more "valid".

This objection, even if legitimate, only affects "liturgical archaeological" endeavours. 
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2014, 02:40:55 PM »

Doesn't it? As I recall one of the arguments against WRO is that the liturgies it used fell into disuse and from that they lack the continuity that the Eastern Rite has - this being as a result of "Latinizations" or inherent stability ("if it was good it would've survived") or something else. Somehow (according to that argument) that makes ERO more "valid".

This objection, even if legitimate, only affects "liturgical archaeological" endeavours. 

It still demonstrates a bias towards something that's Western in nature.

I'm going by impressions I've received mind you, but the conclusion I drew after researching the matter (and yes, asking my priest) was that WRO isn't something that's well received (to the point of "why wpould you want to fix something that isn't broken"), and indeed, met with a degree of hostility. I do believe it has to do with an anti-Western bias, and I suspect the presumption that the closer something is to being Roman Catholic, the closer it is to automatically being something bad, never mind that the folks who practice WRO are (or should be) fully Orthodox, and should be accepted as that.
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2014, 02:57:45 PM »

You may be right.

On a side note, I was just thinking that the way I worded the OP might have overemphasized the "anti-Western bias" possibility. There are definitely other factors: for example, I think there is some guilt-by-association vis-a-vis "uniatism". (I.e. although uniatism is a bad thing, I think many Orthodox get carried away and oppose anything that even vaguely resembles uniatism.)

Western rite Orthodoxy isn't Uniatism.

True. Hence I said "many Orthodox get carried away and oppose anything that even vaguely resembles uniatism."
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2014, 05:14:39 PM »

It still demonstrates a bias towards something that's Western in nature.

I'm going by impressions I've received mind you, but the conclusion I drew after researching the matter (and yes, asking my priest) was that WRO isn't something that's well received (to the point of "why wpould you want to fix something that isn't broken"), and indeed, met with a degree of hostility. I do believe it has to do with an anti-Western bias, and I suspect the presumption that the closer something is to being Roman Catholic, the closer it is to automatically being something bad, never mind that the folks who practice WRO are (or should be) fully Orthodox, and should be accepted as that.

It's a bias toward something that's Western in nature, but not because it's Western.  "Liturgical archaeology" is not an East vs West problem, it is something entirely different.  Otherwise, your logic would allow us to call this an anti-Eucharistic bias because it's directed toward something Eucharistic in nature. 

As I said, the anti-Western bias certainly exists, and most of the time it's pretty stupid IMO.  But I don't think that's what is happening in this particular case.
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2014, 05:37:56 PM »

I think the main explanation for the disparity in numerosity between (a) Eastern Rite Catholics and (b) Western Rite Orthodox, is that the latter came into being without violence or bloodshed, with the application neither of military force nor of trickery and deception.

I appeal to those who have repeated the polemical term "liturgical archaeology" and/or its grammatical permutations, to reconsider doing this. Unfortunately for the spirit or potential spirit of unity between Orthodox of various rites and usages, this term is profoundly pejorative, basically an "N" word used against some Orthodox by other Orthodox, who should be as brethren. It is also an inaccurate concept, but I'll come to that in a bit.

To oversimplify, the "L.A." term has been used to marginalize older usages approved within the Orthodox Church. But what is happening in an Orthodox parish of today, regardless of how old or new it may be, is not liturgical archaeology (a fine field of study for those so inclined). It is contemporary Orthodox Christian worship. The worshippers in the house of God need not know or care whether a prayer was written or placed liturgically by an Orthodox Saint 1200 years ago or by a Protestant reformer 500 years ago. The prayer is a prayer, and its purpose is to lead the human spirit from earthly things to the knowledge of God Most High, for worship and repentance and salvation, not to form part of some SCA* reenactment.

I'm a Russian Orthodox priest. Some monasteries in Russia have decided to sing not the SATB melodies of the Russian Church standardized in the 19th century, but to reach back and learn some of the original ancient chants of the Russian tradition. Is it fair to call this "liturgical archaeology," as if it were not a real contemporary movement to utilize more of the past resources than what was common in the 20th century? Are they "playing church" with re-enactments, trying to pretend they live in a 14th century village of Muscovy? No, that would be an unjustly cruel accusation.

I notice that in vestments of many bishops and patriarchs, one sees less and less the ornate brocades which were the "canon" for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, and a conscious return to some of the styles from 1000 years ago, with the cross-on-cross desgins, simpler styles from the past. Are our hierarchs, then, engaging in "archaeology," or are they simply utilizing and recognizing what is useful and beautiful from the past?

But wait, there's more! The term is also inaccurately applied, because all those using this little verbal weapon against brethren, themselves have no qualms about restoring certain aspects of the Western Rite from the past. They accept and use the styles of vestments which had completely vanished from the Western Church. Or they use Gregorian chant, another conscious return "ad fontes," to older traditions. If there is such a thing as liturgical archaeology, then it's a fact that absolutely everyone has engaged in it to one degree or another, or benefited from those who did so.

The only question really facing Western Rite Orthodox is not whether to draw upon the riches of an ancient tradition, but to what extent. And surely that is a question that can be pastorally addressed by our people and clergy and hierarchs in a way which is respectful of others.

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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2014, 06:13:43 PM »

Bless, Father,

I apologise if my comments came across as insulting, that certainly was not my intention.  When I express reservations about that-which-shall-not-be-named (Wink), it is simply because I'm not sure how appropriate or useful it is to reach back for something "within the tradition" when it fell out of use and has stayed that way for so long. 

For instance, if a significant group of people in the Greek Patriarchate of Antioch wanted to use the St Basil Liturgy as the default Sunday Liturgy, that would be one thing; it would be quite another if they wanted to adopt the West Syriac rite.  If Syriac Orthodox crossed over and took their rite with them, and others wanted to join them, that situation would be different from that in which some Greek Orthodox there just decided to reclaim an ancestral rite.  That's more or less the kind of thing I have in mind. 

If the instances of that-which-shall-not-be-named are really more along the lines of chant style or cut of vestments, then I'm happy to be corrected, but it was my impression that at least some of it was more significant than that.  And my unease about such things isn't limited to things Western, I'm not so sure about it when I see it in the East.   
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2014, 02:50:00 PM »

Lord bless!

To everyone I write the following words.

Among those who have been open to practicing a restoration of ancient Orthodox elements (which is not the "N" word, but we've established that, I think), is Fr. John Connely. Fr. John serves at the Antiochian Western Rite church of St. Mark's in Denver, Colorado. In his article "Lux Occidentalis" Fr. John considers an ancient English missal which included more names of saints in the eucharistic canon than are found in the standardized, almost-to-modern form of Roman Mass (which has a "root" list of saints which is ancient but which was also added to, in many places throughout Western Europe). In considering this text with the extra saint names in an anaphora prayer, he writes,

"Perhaps the names of Ætheldreda and Gertrude might be restored to the Orthodox Missal" (a book much used in the Antiochian Western Rite parishes).

I would like to go on record in defending Fr. John Connely against any who would accuse him of the "N" word. I was very pleased to meet him at one of the annual Western Rite Conferences of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, where he celebrated a Liturgy at which I partook of Holy Communion. I will not have him called bad names simply for voicing an openness to some elements of ancient Western Orthodox liturgics.

Of course, no personal offense is taken at the recent use of the "N" word here, but the slur is highly offensive, intensely antagonistic, disruptive of the peace, unwarranted, inaccurate, fractious, cruel, and, in a word, unacceptable for Christian believers. So please discourage its use if you hear it. As one who has labored for years to improve relations between old calendarists and new calendarists, between old riters and new riters, between Antiochians and Russians, I would greatly appreciate such a contribution to the spirit of unity. Thanks in advance.  Wink
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2014, 03:44:35 PM »

I think the main explanation for the disparity in numerosity between (a) Eastern Rite Catholics and (b) Western Rite Orthodox, is that the latter came into being without violence or bloodshed, with the application neither of military force nor of trickery and deception.

No question that proselytism was the biggest factor. But I like to think that, the more time passes, the more GCism and WROy are becoming like mirror images of each other. Post-VII Catholicism has renounced proselytizing (something I'm always telling fellow Catholics on the internet), and even before VII the real heavy-duty proselytism (forced union by kings with militaries) had been out for many generations.
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2014, 04:31:00 PM »

I think the main explanation for the disparity in numerosity between (a) Eastern Rite Catholics and (b) Western Rite Orthodox, is that the latter came into being without violence or bloodshed, with the application neither of military force nor of trickery and deception.

No question that proselytism was the biggest factor. But I like to think that, the more time passes, the more GCism and WROy are becoming like mirror images of each other. Post-VII Catholicism has renounced proselytizing (something I'm always telling fellow Catholics on the internet), and even before VII the real heavy-duty proselytism (forced union by kings with militaries) had been out for many generations.
Never heard of the Polish Second Republic nor the Independent State of Croatia (among others) I see.
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2014, 04:46:02 PM »

Let's also not forget, the Vatican has a couple centuries head start, if you are comparing they-who-shall-not-be-named and the WRO.
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2014, 05:18:24 PM »

I think the main explanation for the disparity in numerosity between (a) Eastern Rite Catholics and (b) Western Rite Orthodox, is that the latter came into being without violence or bloodshed, with the application neither of military force nor of trickery and deception.

I appeal to those who have repeated the polemical term "liturgical archaeology" and/or its grammatical permutations, to reconsider doing this. Unfortunately for the spirit or potential spirit of unity between Orthodox of various rites and usages, this term is profoundly pejorative, basically an "N" word used against some Orthodox by other Orthodox, who should be as brethren. It is also an inaccurate concept, but I'll come to that in a bit.

To oversimplify, the "L.A." term has been used to marginalize older usages approved within the Orthodox Church. But what is happening in an Orthodox parish of today, regardless of how old or new it may be, is not liturgical archaeology (a fine field of study for those so inclined). It is contemporary Orthodox Christian worship. The worshippers in the house of God need not know or care whether a prayer was written or placed liturgically by an Orthodox Saint 1200 years ago or by a Protestant reformer 500 years ago. The prayer is a prayer, and its purpose is to lead the human spirit from earthly things to the knowledge of God Most High, for worship and repentance and salvation, not to form part of some SCA* reenactment.

I'm a Russian Orthodox priest. Some monasteries in Russia have decided to sing not the SATB melodies of the Russian Church standardized in the 19th century, but to reach back and learn some of the original ancient chants of the Russian tradition. Is it fair to call this "liturgical archaeology," as if it were not a real contemporary movement to utilize more of the past resources than what was common in the 20th century? Are they "playing church" with re-enactments, trying to pretend they live in a 14th century village of Muscovy? No, that would be an unjustly cruel accusation.

I notice that in vestments of many bishops and patriarchs, one sees less and less the ornate brocades which were the "canon" for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, and a conscious return to some of the styles from 1000 years ago, with the cross-on-cross desgins, simpler styles from the past. Are our hierarchs, then, engaging in "archaeology," or are they simply utilizing and recognizing what is useful and beautiful from the past?

But wait, there's more! The term is also inaccurately applied, because all those using this little verbal weapon against brethren, themselves have no qualms about restoring certain aspects of the Western Rite from the past. They accept and use the styles of vestments which had completely vanished from the Western Church. Or they use Gregorian chant, another conscious return "ad fontes," to older traditions. If there is such a thing as liturgical archaeology, then it's a fact that absolutely everyone has engaged in it to one degree or another, or benefited from those who did so.

The only question really facing Western Rite Orthodox is not whether to draw upon the riches of an ancient tradition, but to what extent. And surely that is a question that can be pastorally addressed by our people and clergy and hierarchs in a way which is respectful of others.

-------------------------------------------------

* Society of Creative Anachronism. I had a friend in high school who participated in their activities, which mainly consisted of trying to reproduce or re-create, re-enact, cultural, sport, and quasi-military events from out of the Middle Ages or related bygone times. You would put on your helmet and swing your sword at another "knight" in the city park. Followed by a banquet with a bard and some mead. That sort of thing.



Father, bless.

My sincere apologies - I hope I haven't served to anger you or anyone else as I don't desire or intend to do so.

As I said, the anti-Western bias certainly exists, and most of the time it's pretty stupid IMO.  But I don't think that's what is happening in this particular case.

If not anti-Western bias, what would you suggest is happening in this case?

Bless, Father,

I apologise if my comments came across as insulting, that certainly was not my intention.  When I express reservations about that-which-shall-not-be-named (Wink), it is simply because I'm not sure how appropriate or useful it is to reach back for something "within the tradition" when it fell out of use and has stayed that way for so long. 

For instance, if a significant group of people in the Greek Patriarchate of Antioch wanted to use the St Basil Liturgy as the default Sunday Liturgy, that would be one thing; it would be quite another if they wanted to adopt the West Syriac rite.  If Syriac Orthodox crossed over and took their rite with them, and others wanted to join them, that situation would be different from that in which some Greek Orthodox there just decided to reclaim an ancestral rite.  That's more or less the kind of thing I have in mind. 

If the instances of that-which-shall-not-be-named are really more along the lines of chant style or cut of vestments, then I'm happy to be corrected, but it was my impression that at least some of it was more significant than that.  And my unease about such things isn't limited to things Western, I'm not so sure about it when I see it in the East.

Fair enough, and I agree that change (if at all) should be done in a conservative, reasoned, and (for lack of a better term) proper manner. I don't see a rite as that big of an issue, though - more a difference in expression, like how the different jurisdictions are (well, to a lesser extent). To me, the main concern is that the faith teachings of the Church be practiced by us, passed down and kept intact.
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« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2014, 07:32:47 AM »

So ... when I mentioned, in the OP, the fact that there are 7 or 8 million Greek Catholics, that was admittedly a poor basis for comparison since, as Fr.Aidan and others have pointed out (and I don't dispute), it has a lot to do with kingdoms of a few centuries ago. (And, fwiw, I'm sorry about all that sad history, and all that Catholics have done to Orthodox over the years.)

But, for anyone still interested (and, if you're not, why are you even reading this  Cheesy :cheesy:) let me make a different comparison ... forgetting the number of GCs, consider the five Oriental Catholic Churches (Armenian, Coptic, Syrian, Syro-Malankara, and Ethiopian/Eritrean) that have counterparts among the Oriental Orthodox.

Combined membership of these is about 1.5 million (see the first five entries of http://www.cnewa.org/source-images/Roberson-eastcath-statistics/eastcatholic-stat13.pdf ) ... compare that with 6,000 or fewer WRO ... that's a 250:1 ratio.
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« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2014, 10:43:49 AM »

But, for anyone still interested (and, if you're not, why are you even reading this  Cheesy :cheesy:) let me make a different comparison ... forgetting the number of GCs, consider the five Oriental Catholic Churches (Armenian, Coptic, Syrian, Syro-Malankara, and Ethiopian/Eritrean) that have counterparts among the Oriental Orthodox.

Combined membership of these is about 1.5 million (see the first five entries of http://www.cnewa.org/source-images/Roberson-eastcath-statistics/eastcatholic-stat13.pdf ) ... compare that with 6,000 or fewer WRO ... that's a 250:1 ratio.

Would you remind me again what the point of this comparison is?  I'm not sure what you're getting at. 
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« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2014, 11:30:39 AM »

But, for anyone still interested (and, if you're not, why are you even reading this  Cheesy :cheesy:) let me make a different comparison ... forgetting the number of GCs, consider the five Oriental Catholic Churches (Armenian, Coptic, Syrian, Syro-Malankara, and Ethiopian/Eritrean) that have counterparts among the Oriental Orthodox.

Combined membership of these is about 1.5 million (see the first five entries of http://www.cnewa.org/source-images/Roberson-eastcath-statistics/eastcatholic-stat13.pdf ) ... compare that with 6,000 or fewer WRO ... that's a 250:1 ratio.

Would you remind me again what the point of this comparison is?  I'm not sure what you're getting at. 

Well, it's just a bit suspicious/suggestive to me that there are so few WRO, like maybe most Orthodox don't really want there to be such a thing as WRO. (Earlier I went a tiny step further by suggesting an anti-Western bias.)
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« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2014, 01:35:04 PM »

Well, it's just a bit suspicious/suggestive to me that there are so few WRO, like maybe most Orthodox don't really want there to be such a thing as WRO. (Earlier I went a tiny step further by suggesting an anti-Western bias.)
Well, one could also comment that the majority of Eastern Catholic Churches came into being due to the establishment of Catholic powers in those regions, who were able to provide incentives (positive and negative) for conversion. This is true not only of the Slavic Greek-Catholic Churches, but also the Maronites (due to the Crusades), the Ethiopian Catholics, and the Syro-Malabar and -Malankara Churches.
In many other cases, where the Eastern Catholic Church in question is much smaller, its creation often involved the extension of papal support to a recently deposed Orthodox bishop, or one who had personally converted to Catholicism, such as the Melkite, Coptic, Armenian, and Chaldean Catholics.
By contrast, the Orthodox Churches have never been associated with a power which had great influence in traditionally Western lands, and therefore rarely have as much support to offer disenfranchised members of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, or Lutheran churches, not to mention coming from a significantly different theological world. Further, while Rome is all too often willing to brush aside theological issues, the Eastern Churches often look askance at much of post-schism Western theology.
As a result, the majority of Western Orthodox parishes that do exist are either tiny missions or individual parishes which had to go looking for Orthodoxy on their own. I should add, however, that I haven't really studied the issue at all; just trying to propose an opposite theory which explains the same thing.
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« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2014, 03:56:10 PM »

Well, it's just a bit suspicious/suggestive to me that there are so few WRO, like maybe most Orthodox don't really want there to be such a thing as WRO. (Earlier I went a tiny step further by suggesting an anti-Western bias.)

You sound like you're searching for evidence of a conclusion you've already accepted as a given. 

Re: the "Oriental Catholic Churches", I only know about the two in India, and I think you would be mistaken to think those were simply a matter of Eastern Christians seeing a papal tiara appear in the skies with "Under this hat, submit" written in Sanskrit with stars.  Those were rather shady, too. 
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« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2014, 06:51:59 PM »

Well, it's just a bit suspicious/suggestive to me that there are so few WRO, like maybe most Orthodox don't really want there to be such a thing as WRO. (Earlier I went a tiny step further by suggesting an anti-Western bias.)
Well, one could also comment that the majority of Eastern Catholic Churches came into being due to the establishment of Catholic powers in those regions, who were able to provide incentives (positive and negative) for conversion.

Well, yeah ... that's pretty much what I've been stipulating to (repeatedly) in this thread.

This is true not only of the Slavic Greek-Catholic Churches, but also the Maronites (due to the Crusades), the Ethiopian Catholics, and the Syro-Malabar and -Malankara Churches.

Well, you're entitled to your opinion of course; but if you ask me, presenting the Maronite Church as another case of uniatism will just make you look desperate.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2014, 07:10:05 PM »

Well, it's just a bit suspicious/suggestive to me that there are so few WRO, like maybe most Orthodox don't really want there to be such a thing as WRO. (Earlier I went a tiny step further by suggesting an anti-Western bias.)

You sound like you're searching for evidence of a conclusion you've already accepted as a given. 

Well, I'd hardly say it's a given, but it does reasonable to think that one reason for the low number of WRO is that EOs are generally not-so-favorable toward it. I'm interested in hearing arguments for or against that idea. (Granted, here mostly against.)
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« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2014, 07:19:21 PM »

Well, I'd hardly say it's a given, but it does reasonable to think that one reason for the low number of WRO is that EOs are generally not-so-favorable toward it. I'm interested in hearing arguments for or against that idea. (Granted, here mostly against.)

Is there, or ought there to be, an imperative on the part of the Orthodox Church not only to establish but to cultivate WR Orthodoxy for its own sake?  I'm not talking about the situation of converts entering the Church in groups and seeking to maintain their traditions, but even in the absence of such communities. 

For instance, should the Eritrean Orthodox Church establish a Western Rite community and hierarchy "just because"?  Why would they do that?  Why should they do that?  Is demonstrating an openness to the West so important that it requires the creation of something for which there would otherwise be no need?     
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« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2014, 07:58:29 PM »

Well, it's just a bit suspicious/suggestive to me that there are so few WRO, like maybe most Orthodox don't really want there to be such a thing as WRO. (Earlier I went a tiny step further by suggesting an anti-Western bias.)

You sound like you're searching for evidence of a conclusion you've already accepted as a given. 

Well, I'd hardly say it's a given, but it does reasonable to think that one reason for the low number of WRO is that EOs are generally not-so-favorable toward it.

P.S. To be honest, at the time I started this thread, I would have said it's not a certainty/given, but I think it's highly likely. But now I'm not even sure of "highly likely".
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« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2014, 08:38:16 PM »

Well, I'd hardly say it's a given, but it does reasonable to think that one reason for the low number of WRO is that EOs are generally not-so-favorable toward it. I'm interested in hearing arguments for or against that idea. (Granted, here mostly against.)

Is there, or ought there to be, an imperative on the part of the Orthodox Church not only to establish but to cultivate WR Orthodoxy for its own sake?  I'm not talking about the situation of converts entering the Church in groups and seeking to maintain their traditions, but even in the absence of such communities. 

For instance, should the Eritrean Orthodox Church establish a Western Rite community and hierarchy "just because"?  Why would they do that?  Why should they do that?  Is demonstrating an openness to the West so important that it requires the creation of something for which there would otherwise be no need?     

No, I would never suggest such a thing.

As a matter, I have had conversations with Catholics (there's another forum that I participate on, besides OCnet) who seek to justify proselytizing Orthodox, not with a "They'd be better off being Catholic" kind of basis, but on the basis of Eastern Catholics being an asset to Rome. I cannot tell you how much that kind of thinking bothers me.
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« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2014, 09:03:38 PM »

Well, I'd hardly say it's a given, but it does reasonable to think that one reason for the low number of WRO is that EOs are generally not-so-favorable toward it. I'm interested in hearing arguments for or against that idea. (Granted, here mostly against.)

Is there, or ought there to be, an imperative on the part of the Orthodox Church not only to establish but to cultivate WR Orthodoxy for its own sake?  I'm not talking about the situation of converts entering the Church in groups and seeking to maintain their traditions, but even in the absence of such communities. 

For instance, should the Eritrean Orthodox Church establish a Western Rite community and hierarchy "just because"?  Why would they do that?  Why should they do that?  Is demonstrating an openness to the West so important that it requires the creation of something for which there would otherwise be no need?     

No, I would never suggest such a thing.

OK.  Then what are we talking about? 
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« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2014, 09:25:48 PM »

Well, I'd hardly say it's a given, but it does reasonable to think that one reason for the low number of WRO is that EOs are generally not-so-favorable toward it. I'm interested in hearing arguments for or against that idea. (Granted, here mostly against.)

Is there, or ought there to be, an imperative on the part of the Orthodox Church not only to establish but to cultivate WR Orthodoxy for its own sake?  I'm not talking about the situation of converts entering the Church in groups and seeking to maintain their traditions, but even in the absence of such communities. 

For instance, should the Eritrean Orthodox Church establish a Western Rite community and hierarchy "just because"?  Why would they do that?  Why should they do that?  Is demonstrating an openness to the West so important that it requires the creation of something for which there would otherwise be no need?     

No, I would never suggest such a thing.

OK.  Then what are we talking about? 

Not what you thought, I guess. Cheesy

But, seriously, it's always possible that I misunderstood your previous question. You asked about cultivating WROy "for its own sake" which I took to mean, apart from accommodating Western Christians who want to come to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #32 on: May 24, 2014, 10:46:15 PM »

But, seriously, it's always possible that I misunderstood your previous question. You asked about cultivating WROy "for its own sake" which I took to mean, apart from accommodating Western Christians who want to come to Orthodoxy.

You understood correctly.  So if you disagreed with that, then what did you have in mind?
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« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2014, 11:00:16 PM »

But, seriously, it's always possible that I misunderstood your previous question. You asked about cultivating WROy "for its own sake" which I took to mean, apart from accommodating Western Christians who want to come to Orthodoxy.

You understood correctly.  So if you disagreed with that, then what did you have in mind?

All joking aside, do you really think that the only reason for having WRO is "for its own sake"?  Huh
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« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2014, 12:16:03 AM »

But, seriously, it's always possible that I misunderstood your previous question. You asked about cultivating WROy "for its own sake" which I took to mean, apart from accommodating Western Christians who want to come to Orthodoxy.

You understood correctly.  So if you disagreed with that, then what did you have in mind?

All joking aside, do you really think that the only reason for having WRO is "for its own sake"?  Huh

To be very honest, I'm losing patience with this discussion.  You haven't been very clear as to what you're asking, IMO, and I don't feel like continuing until I'm clear about it. 
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« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2014, 07:20:46 AM »

To be very honest, I'm losing patience with this discussion.  You haven't been very clear as to what you're asking, IMO, and I don't feel like continuing until I'm clear about it. 

Alright. To be honest, even before you said that I was thinking that perhaps (?) we should simply stop talking to each other about this topic. I had thought I understood post #27, at the time you posted it -- I thought you were seeking assurance that I didn't mean WR Orthodoxy for its own sake. But apparently your intention was much different, since your next post asked "[if you don't mean WR Orthodoxy for its own sake] then what are we talking about?"
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« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2014, 01:58:27 PM »

The small size of WRO in the US has a lot to do with the fact that its main appeal is to disaffected Anglo-Catholics, IOW, a fraction of a minority of a small denomination.  Most RC trads are too tied to the papacy and other RC dogmas like the IC to be interested in WRO.
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« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2014, 06:01:27 PM »

The small size of WRO in the US has a lot to do with the fact that its main appeal is to disaffected Anglo-Catholics, IOW, a fraction of a minority of a small denomination.  Most RC trads are too tied to the papacy and other RC dogmas like the IC to be interested in WRO.
That sounds true enough. That said I would wonder how the numbers compare with sedevacantists and WRO. Probably pretty comparably miniscule.
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« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2014, 01:14:19 AM »

So ... when I mentioned, in the OP, the fact that there are 7 or 8 million Greek Catholics, that was admittedly a poor basis for comparison since, as Fr.Aidan and others have pointed out (and I don't dispute), it has a lot to do with kingdoms of a few centuries ago. (And, fwiw, I'm sorry about all that sad history, and all that Catholics have done to Orthodox over the years.)



Dont worry were finding more stuff for you to apologise about all the time....

http://www.srpska-mreza.com/History/ww2/ustashi.html

https://archive.org/stream/TheVaticansHolocaust#page/n11/mode/2up

Sorry pal, its ringing a little hallow.
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« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2014, 02:10:35 AM »

The small size of WRO in the US has a lot to do with the fact that its main appeal is to disaffected Anglo-Catholics, IOW, a fraction of a minority of a small denomination.  Most RC trads are too tied to the papacy and other RC dogmas like the IC to be interested in WRO.
That sounds true enough. That said I would wonder how the numbers compare with sedevacantists and WRO. Probably pretty comparably miniscule.

CMRI alone has its own seminary and several convents in the U.S., and quite a few affiliated schools. They also apparently have a decent number of parishes outside the U.S. See here. One such parish is even in Moscow.

Even by themselves they almost seem to rival the whole WR.
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« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2014, 06:33:19 AM »

Dont worry were finding more stuff for you to apologise about all the time....

http://www.srpska-mreza.com/History/ww2/ustashi.html

https://archive.org/stream/TheVaticansHolocaust#page/n11/mode/2up

Sorry pal, its ringing a little hallow.

Not meaning to be argumentative, but this isn't just ringing "a little hallow" if you ask me.
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« Reply #41 on: May 29, 2014, 12:47:49 AM »

Quote
Even by themselves they (CMRI) almost seem to rival the whole WR.
A true statement, a little known fact and somewhat of sad comparison to make.
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« Reply #42 on: May 29, 2014, 05:28:09 PM »

I greet you all with the radiant festival of Our Lord and Saviour's Ascenstion into Heaven.

There is also the fact that the Eastern Rite Catholics came into being as part of a societal shift, village by village.

The Western Rite Orthodox congregations typically started down the path to the Holy Orthodox Church, following a personal journey of faith on the part of the pastor or priest, often simultaneously with a journey embarked on by the whole of his congregation, or most thereof, or a portion thereof. So it's person by person or parish by parish, but not a village, a city, a province, changing allegiance.

Orthodox who became Eastern Rite Catholic, were not specifically disaffected with their old "home," and in many cases didn't realize the new "home" was different from the old "home."

But heterodox who became Orthodox out of whatever background, are typically disaffected with their old "homes" and may not realize at first the full extent of the differences between the former faith and the Orthodox, but at least are fully aware that they are changing teams and that this is a relocation which has palpable consequences in a number of aspects.
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« Reply #43 on: May 29, 2014, 08:25:27 PM »

I greet you all with the radiant festival of Our Lord and Saviour's Ascenstion into Heaven.

There is also the fact that the Eastern Rite Catholics came into being as part of a societal shift, village by village.

The Western Rite Orthodox congregations typically started down the path to the Holy Orthodox Church, following a personal journey of faith on the part of the pastor or priest, often simultaneously with a journey embarked on by the whole of his congregation, or most thereof, or a portion thereof. So it's person by person or parish by parish, but not a village, a city, a province, changing allegiance.

Orthodox who became Eastern Rite Catholic, were not specifically disaffected with their old "home," and in many cases didn't realize the new "home" was different from the old "home."

But heterodox who became Orthodox out of whatever background, are typically disaffected with their old "homes" and may not realize at first the full extent of the differences between the former faith and the Orthodox, but at least are fully aware that they are changing teams and that this is a relocation which has palpable consequences in a number of aspects.

Well, I'll tell you the issue I'm seeing with this: what you're describing was the case in those lands that were part of the Polish Kingdom or the Hungarian Kingdom, but not in lands lying a hundred or two hundred miles to the south (Greece, Albania, etc). The "uniatism" that happened down there was of a much milder type -- dare I say, it was "like WRO but in reverse"?
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« Reply #44 on: May 30, 2014, 01:42:37 AM »

Quote
Well, I'll tell you the issue I'm seeing with this: what you're describing was the case in those lands that were part of the Polish Kingdom or the Hungarian Kingdom, but not in lands lying a hundred or two hundred miles to the south (Greece, Albania, etc). The "uniatism" that happened down there was of a much milder type -- dare I say, it was "like WRO but in reverse"?

In that sense the greek uniates in present day greece do make a good comparison, as their church is probably smaller in size than the WRO in North America! (IE, it barely exists at all and is more of a novelty.)  

Albania does have a number of roman catholics and eastern catholics, that is more of a legitimate credible catholic sui juris type church...though not very large. Italy probably had more albanian catholics in the past than albanian itself, and they may still today, but they gradually are more submerged into italian culture every year.

Ultimately the lebanese and palestinians are the only large area for Roman Catholics/Eastern (roman) Catholics that has any influence in the world, say at least 4 million people.  

Yeah, well I met my first palestinian who has one parent whos orthodox and another who is catholic and claims he can receive the eucharist in both churches. I tried to tell him that hes probably self-excommunicating himself by doing that, but he thinks he re-communicates himself back again without any oversight...  

The middle east is a strange place to be a christian. It seems those who are technically catholics like to try to receive communion in the orthodox churches too, whereas the orthodox dont really want to receive it in non-orthodox churches.

The Orthodox are certainly the more traditional logical ones over there....(almost makes me wish I was Orthodox too.)

Too many Melkites and Maronites doggone lost their minds with ecumenism....They look orthodox on the outside, but they have a little episcopalian on the inside...

At least they both agree about the moslems... :-)

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