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#285859 04/09/08 05:19 PM
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Before continuing let me preface this by saying what a fan I am of this website and forum. It is one of the few (even only?) places where Eastern Catholics are always respected, and the posts are often edifying. It's a great place smile

Having said that, I am wondering if we are sometimes too intolerant of Romans coming to latinize us. I think there is a real case to be made that this whole Orthodox-in-communion-with-Rome business - or something of a similar variety - is basically a sham (certainly some Eastern Orthodox think so), and that the Romans have a case when they say that we have to be just like them doctrinally (Papacy, 21 councils, etc.), but with different liturgies and disciplines (e.g. infant communion). Moreover, I think many Eastern Catholics feel closer to the latins than to the Orthodox, and prefer western theological formulations.

Mind you, I am not saying that I personally agree with all that. All I'm saying is that it strikes me as a valid opinion and we should perhaps be more understanding of those who express it. I would also advocate patience with Orthodox who are adamently opposed to Eastern Catholicism.

Just some thoughts I'm throwing out there...

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As a Zoghby-ite myself I'm not sure how to address this position succinctly. Being called a believer in a "sham" brings up a bit of anger initially, but I'll try and type through that. In essence: Latinizations and Western theology that replaces valid Eastern tradition have no place in the Eastern Catholic Churches. The alternative is clergy playing dress-up - Orthodox-lite as some have called it. If I take all the theological viscera from the body of the Churches and replace it with Latin theology I am for all intents and purposes Latin. The occasional Slava Na Viki or Pascha baskets make a mockery of authentic practice if they fail to be an outward expression of an internal truth.

As Metropolitan Kallistos Ware said:

'I very much regret that because of this question the Catholic-Orthodox International Dialogue seems to be making very little progress. My own feeling as an Orthodox is that the Eastern Catholic Churches have a right to exist. And I add, we Orthodox need to ask pardon for the way we have often treated Eastern Catholics in the past. And, not only that, I would add that we Orthodox should see the Eastern Catholics as our best friends in the Catholic Church. Who are best able to understand us. So while I value very much my relations with the Eastern Catholics, I definitely don't see them as being my "bottom line". They are rather my "top line."'

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Originally Posted by Byzantine TX
As a Zoghby-ite myself I'm not sure how to address this position succinctly. Being called a believer in a "sham" brings up a bit of anger initially, but I'll try and type through that. In essence: Latinizations and Western theology that replaces valid Eastern tradition have no place in the Eastern Catholic Churches. The alternative is clergy playing dress-up - Orthodox-lite as some have called it. If I take all the theological viscera from the body of the Churches and replace it with Latin theology I am for all intents and purposes Latin. The occasional Slava Na Viki or Pascha baskets make a mockery of authentic practice if they fail to be an outward expression of an internal truth.


Well said. And that, I think, is the essential distinction that really needs to be worked out from an Eastern Catholic perspective. We cannot simply embrace and adopt without discernment all theological streams of thought that have developed within Orthodoxy and claim it as our own (even the Orthodox do not do this!), nor should we abandon that which is truly Eastern in theology in order to accomodate our Latin bretheren who still want to make sure we are truly Catholic (even if we wear those funny hats)!

The other danger is to fail to recognize that East and West are not hermetically sealed realities. Both the early conciliar traditions and the liturgical development of the various Churches are great examples of this. (Father Alexander Schmemann speaks of the phenomenon of cross fertilization quite frequently in his Introduction to Liturgical Theology.) That is not to somehow say that such "cross-fertilization" should continue along the same vein, but it is important to highlight the common history where it exists and the fact that we all draw from the same wellspring in theology and worship.

In ICXC,

Gordo

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I wonder how much of this is even applicable outside of cyberspace. I spend alot of time at a UGCC parish, and to my knowledge, no one tries to Latinize and no one says they're Orthodox in Communion. The cradle Ukrainian Catholics at my parish, carry rosaries, believe in purgatory and have no problem with one or two statues (but probably no more than that). One of our priests makes frequent references to Our Lady of Fatima and has told me his favorite Saint is St Therese of Lisieux. During Lent, we had a visiting priest from Ukraine, who gave an excellent homily that focused on Our Lady of Lourdes and Our Lady of La Salette. Now all of that may sound like someone has been doing some Latinizing, but none of this is due to an influx of Latin Trads. These people are life long Ukrainian Catholics.

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One question that may be of interest is are there Latin influences in the Orthodox parishes? I’ve seen recitation on clips of Orthodox parishes on U-tube and others with organ music. I can’t remember not seeing a table top nativity set decoration somewhere in the Orthodox parishes I have visited during Christmas time. My old complaint is when we do it we are called “Uniat”, so what do you call them when the Orthodox do it?

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Originally Posted by Mykhayl
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One question that may be of interest is are there Latin influences in the Orthodox parishes? ...My old complaint is when we do it we are called “Uniat”, so what do you call them when the Orthodox do it?


I believe it is referred to as a holdover from the "Western captivity" of Orthodox theology and praxis.

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Gordo

Thank you, but is not praixis through organic development? “Uniat” is derogatory and usually refers to an imposition that has become customary. You would not call the westernizations that came into the Russian church through Tsar Peter I’s will as “praixis” would you? Honestly, not trying for an argument. Or were you offering "Western Captivity" like "Babylonian Captivity"? Although I have heard of such practices like the westernization of iconography called by some individual OCA priests as “Uniat icons”. I assumed their sarcasm was a defensive attack.

I don’t want to make this a slug fest of derogatory name-calling used around the bar. I have a PM for that. Father Serge, just kidding…

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Mykhal,

LOL! I'm not offended in the least. I was just referring to the terminology that I believe is used. I neither wholeheartedly agree nor disagree with it.

One significant benefit of the "Western captivity" was the influence of the ressourcement movement in France that originated principally within the Roman Catholic Church and flowed into the Orthodox Churches in the West. Metropolitan John Zizoulas mentions how this movement largely benefitted the Orthodox Churches in their effort to reclaim their Eastern, Patristic heritage, thus resulting in the "end" of the so-called "Western captivity".

In ICXC,

Gordo

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Gordo,

I was not aware this was an international development that goes beyond the south-side of my hometown. Maybe I do see what you are saying. We did it because we had to, they did it because they wanted to. But would that not make a second standard? We cannot adopt western fashions because of our communion with Rome but the Orthodox can because they are assumed not sympathetic? No wonder John 17:11 the singular is translated as the plural.

Is there a study group of WC101?

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In essence: Latinizations and Western theology that replaces valid Eastern tradition have no place in the Eastern Catholic Churches.


The question I have is this: what exactly constitutes legitimate traditions or customs? In the Western Church anything that has been used for over two hundred years is usually considered legitimate local custom.

Is leaving open the holy doors for the entire liturgy part of legitimate tradition? Is having Stations of the Cross? What about a footless paten (which I have been told on here is used by the Melkites and many Greek Orthodox)? Should we Latins start chucking the icons in our churches? Where does one draw the line?

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Exactly ! I'm puzzled by this insistence of purity of rite among some EC's. Can we never have universal devotions ?

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Byzantofile,

Good one, but iconography is a western Tradition that got lost. I believe “local custom” has validity after 30 years according to UGCC code. Just try to tell that to a pastor who not only thinks we are in communion with, but that he is the pope.

You got me thinking, I do have a question for WC 101. Did the East and West really split? Maybe they are just like Aunt Maryka and Tetah Susie who haven’t talked for years. Every Christmas Tetah finds a tray of homemade Christmas cookies on the back porch and every Easter Aunt finds a decorated pascha bread between the screen door and the front door. Its not that they are not good Christian, they just let their human nature express it. After all they don’t want to be openly argumentative like Aunt Maryka’s cousin-in-law Uncle Martin. Do they? Here is a cyber WC101: like Eastern Orthodoxy by western dudes.

http://westernritecritic.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/western-rite-tarot/

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"You got me thinking, I do have a question for WC 101. Did the East and West really split?"

In the now-vanished Pontifications archives, there was a very extensive discussion of this question in relation to a speech given in 1974 by the late Louis Bouyer, who argued that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches were not truly in schism. In relation to his thesis, he argued that only the first seven Ecumenical Councils should be accorded the status of Ecumenical Councils -- a position vehemently opposed by a certain Fr. Joseph Ratzinger.

It is my understanding that Vladimir Soloviev never really converted to Catholicism, but simply expressed his belief that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches are still united. Thus, his apparent jump into Catholicism in 1896, and his reception of the sacraments from a Russian Orthodox priest, when he was dying in 1900.

Personally, I wonder if the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches are, in fact, but one Church in the eyes of God. This is not "branch theory" redivivus, but an acknowledgement of the fact that the reasons for the splits between these three great bodies of apostolic Christendom were often socio-political in nature, and were compounded by monumental theological misunderstandings. None of these three ever willfully and knowingly broke communion with the others, in the same way that Luther, Calvin, Henry VIII etc. knowingly, willfully, and culpably fell away from apostolic Christianity. That is, none of the three Churches ever thought of themselves as embracing new and strange teachings, or even as "reforming corrupt doctrine", but simply saw themselves as preserving the faith they had always known and preached.

If schism is a "grave matter" that, when committed with full knowledge and consent leads to the state of mortal sin, then I can argue that none of the three Churches ever demonstrated "full knowledge" and "full consent" that they were indeed getting into a schism.

I am NOT saying that these three Churches are indeed one; all I'm saying is that I WONDER if, indeed, they are already one in God's eyes.

I'm also intrigued by the fact that these three Churches seem to share the same signs and wonders: Marian apparitions, miraculous icons and images, incorrupt bodies, deep mystical prayer, etc. etc.

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Originally Posted by Mykhayl

Good one, but iconography is a western Tradition that got lost.


I hear this oft repeated, as thoug icon veneration had been developped in tandem to the Hellenic traditions and somehow went off the rails. As yet, I am having a hard time finding evidence that it was ever exactly the same at any stage... I wouldn't call it lost, I would note it as being simply not a part of the liturgical and devotional life.

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This is what I've heard. Medieval English peasants would pray the Psalter while working. Prayers before a crucifix were common too. They would pray to saints, I haven't heard much about them having icons at home. The painted glass the churches would have been pastoral and have told the gospel story for those who couldn't read from the parish bible.

I don't remember hearing of a tradition for a devotional life towards icons, even though there were icons in many parish churches which were written by monks.

This is what I have heard, but the sources I read weren't Catholic and were not familiar with many things with the Church so I don't trust it fully.

Terry

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