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Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 20
W
Wilhelm Offline OP
Layperson
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W
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 20
Dear All

A note from New Zealand.

In 1984 at work we had a new worker. Non English speaker from behind the Iron Curtain. For six years I was his tablemate. The Serbian Orthodox priest for a the Country. This gave me acces to the Russian and the Romainian Orthodox Churches.He left for Australia and I attended the Russian Orthodox Church as it reminded me of the Liturgy of the exiled priests from Russia. The church we, in the Netherlands, gave shelter to after the war.The Netherland people took the Byzantine Church, The Eastern Church to heart. Catholic and Orthodox. I only have mention Pater Werenfried van Straten and the ' Churches in Need" Needles to say that in this small Pacific Country of ours The Catholic part of the Eastern Church that existed was unknown amoung Catholic Clergy.
In 2000 I knocked on every Catholic door for information. Hidden in the underground I found members of the Ukrainian Church. No leg to stand on. I went totaly vocal on the lack suport by the Eparchie and the lack of knowledge bij the local Catholic Church. Even in July 20003 our than Cardianal Wiliams told one of his people that he knew no Eastern Catholics in Wellington.
Today the Eparchie in Australia has respondeded and the Catholic world is accepting the Eastern Church. still, I had to explain to the churchpaper that while some of our priast are married we therefore did not have womenpriest.

The people we today cater for are left over Ukrainians but very much other immigrants not from the Ukraine. People not attended by other Orthodox priests. Catholics with Byzantine background. Latins interested in the Byzantine Church.

Therefor it is with a grave soul and with dismay that we have a missionry send to us who drapes himself in a Ukrainian flag and adresses the congregation that is not even stable yet with fellow Ukrainians. Over and over.
What is the answer. In Europe where I come from there is no nationality attached to the Slavic Byzantine Church. Why do we get it pushed down our throat on the other side of the world.

Wilhelm

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,517
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Dear Wilhelm,
You do not indicate where you come from in Europe, but I know from experience that in Eastern Europe both the Eastern Churches and the Western Churches tend to be strongly nationalist (try Poland and Lithuania for Roman Catholic examples of this).
It is also true that people who might not be particularly nationalistic when they are on their own home ground and feel comfortable, often become significantly mroe nationalist-minded when they are in a diaspora situation; this in fact is quite common.
Bishop Peter of Melbourne is perfectly capable of serving in English, preaching in English and recognizing the need of his Church in Australia and New Zealand to take root in those countries. He does not dispose of an unlimited number of clergy, and often enough Ukrainian faithful find these issues painful. One approach to alleviate the pain - and it takes time - is to manifest a genuine concern for issues which others take seriously, while inviting others to share your concerns and letting it become apparent that the two sets of concerns are not necessarily opposed.

Two pieces of advice: A) do not grumble! PROTEST!, but do not grumble.
B) patience, always patience.

(and remember, even in far-off New Zealand, you are not alone in the world).

Incognitus


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