The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
deanjr, Hunter, Dwain LaFlamme, JeanLCP, Explorer
5509 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
2 registered members (Hunter, 1 invisible), 25 guests, and 388 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
Upgraded Russian icon corner
Russian Greek Catholic Global Congress
OL EuroEast II (2007) Group
Portable Icon Screen
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics34,547
Posts410,701
Members5,509
Most Online2,716
Jun 7th, 2012
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Patriarchs & the Pope #364416
05/13/11 03:39 PM
05/13/11 03:39 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 108
US
R
RussianCath Offline OP
Member
RussianCath  Offline OP
Member
R
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 108
US
Dear Forum Members,
Christos Voskrese!
I hope you all had a most blessed Pascha!
"Patriarchs & the Pope"...have any of the Eastern Catholic patriarchs, major-archbishops, bishops, etc...ever made any statements or comments on WHY they choose to stay in communion with the bishop of Rome, instead of rejoining Orthodoxy? I keep reading again and again of how Rome (in various ways)violates our traditions-(I remember Patriarch Gregorios making a statement to this effect). It seems as all I hear is "complaining" on the part of Eastern Catholics (myself doing a part of the complaining), yet the hierarchs don't seem to take the idea to rejoin Orthodoxy seriously. How is the current state of Eastern Catholics going to appeal to the Orthodox for reunion? It isn't working and cannot work. Rome does not want to budge one inch on giving up the false idea of it's authority. I sometimes wonder if all Eastern Catholics were to magically rejoin Orthodoxy tomorrow, Rome might finally get the message and change its tune. Rome seems to be comfortable in it's current subjugation of the Eastern Churches in comm. with it-and even into modern times has not abandoned the principle that, though she may choose not to, Rome has the authority to do whatever she pleases to the Eastern Churches in comm. with her.
I must admit that years ago I started out as a fervent Uniate desiring to bring all the Orthodox under the authority of Rome-but the more I studied the matter to refute the Orthodox, the more I found that they are right! I am now seriously considering formally joining Orthodoxy in the future, and humbly request your prayers.
If any of you could could share your opinions on the above I would be most grateful!

Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: RussianCath] #364417
05/13/11 04:23 PM
05/13/11 04:23 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 576
.
B
bergschlawiner Offline
Member
bergschlawiner  Offline
Member
B
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 576
.
At the risk of being pounced on, its probably 90% politics and less doctine.

Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: RussianCath] #364421
05/13/11 05:54 PM
05/13/11 05:54 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 212
Italy
antv Offline
Member
antv  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 212
Italy
Dear friend, I can try to answer your post from the historical point of view.

The ECC were born for many different reasons.

The key factor was the need of maintain the own identity. Take for example the Ukrainian Catholic Church and his Union of Brest: we are at the end of the 16th century and for the first time the lands from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea formed a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Note: this large and civil area did not included at all Moscow and the Russia (East of Smolensk) which at the time was simply a barbarian nation that could export only invasions of cossacks.

All these areas were under the formal jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, who at the time was only a toy in the hands of the Turkish Sultan, the enemy n. 1 of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In a range of ten years it was clear that it was necessary to end the subjection to Constantinople: Moscow chose to be independent (no one minded: it was still a secondary barbarian land), while the National Church of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth choose a formal jurisdiction of Rome (Union of Brest): Rome or Constantinople was not the point, the point was to maintain the own national identity, and Rome was enough far away ...

Be-careful not to confuse their identity with the Russian (Moscow) identity: it was only in the following centuries when Moscow conquered the Western territories that this areas (now Ukrainian and Bielorussia) underwent to a forced "Russification" also in spiritual and religion issues.

The ECCs try to keep its own ancient identity (something not easy), and I dont see any historical reason to try to re-stablish a subjection that never existed. You can keep your identity avoiding "Latinitation" as avoiding "Russification" or ("Greekification" in the case of the Melkite Church).

A different issue is the sharing to the Gifts: I don't read a single line in the Gospels where Our God and Our Lord ordered not to share the Communion in lack of this or that jurisdictional agreement. To deny the Communion is in IMHO simple a trick used by whichever ecclesiastic power to maintain/extend the own prerogatives.

Last edited by antv; 05/13/11 05:55 PM.
Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: RussianCath] #364425
05/14/11 12:31 AM
05/14/11 12:31 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 9
USA
A
Akira Offline
Junior Member
Akira  Offline
Junior Member
A
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 9
USA
I think it's too easy to stand as an Eastern Catholic and think the grass is greener in Orthodoxy, but the Orthodox world is hardly ideal. It never was, and it still is not.

Look at the Orthodox self-absorption and conflicts caused by nationalism (and all the canonical issues it creates), the petty rivalries, the occasional breaks in communion (as between Moscow and Constantinople in the mid-90s over Estonia), the continued disputes over jurisdiction and the status of certain national churches... Look at the glaring disunity on such issues such as contraception, the frequency of parish splits, the lack of seminary training for many clergy, the frequency of large-scale schisms (Macedon, Ukraine, Montenegro, etc.)... Look at inter-Orthodox disagreements on such ecumenically-relevant principles as sacramental economy, universal primacy, etc... Look at the mixed witness on reunion with the Oriental Orthodox, the legitimacy of the Western rite, etc.

We may take issue with Rome's heavy-handedness today, but study the way the Greek Patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria, and their liturgical traditions, were treated by the Byzantines for centuries... entire, ancient, beautiful liturgical traditions suffocated out by ecumenical patriarchs, emperors, and sultans. The sheer uniformity of Orthodox rite worldwide is a testament to this unfortunate past. For that matter, explore the role fear of imposed Russification played in encouraging Uniatism in the Slavic world, and discouraging Orthodox reunion later. (A tendency to demonize a "totalitarian" Rome vis-a-vis a tranquil and communal Orthodox world is illusory at best, and self-deceptive at worst.) Explore the plight of Orthodox churches today seeking autonomy and autocephalacy, burdened by a sense of foreign influence. Yes, Rome must still improve her relationship to the Eastern Catholic churches, but Rome's treatment of other churches is hardly unique, nor, in the final analysis, is it essentially rooted in her doctrines... it really is the same breed of politics that still affects Orthodox churches worldwide.

Is this really what an Eastern Catholic Church desires to embrace?

I love Orthodoxy, but it is no paradise. And Catholic unity, for all its downsides, has many advantages (not least in terms of institutional, political and economic support).

Perhaps most of all, read the ecumenical dialogues between the two churches. Orthodox scholars rarely display the "one winner" game many online Orthodox apologists play. To place the schism (past, and even into the present) squarely on the shoulders of one communion is untrue to the history and present facts, and is refuted every year by dialogue commissions. Today, Orthodox scholars are calling for a reexamination of prevailing Orthodox concepts of universal primacy, admitting their weaknesses. Meanwhile, Rome is expressing an interest in exploring more communal and patristic ways of exercising primacy. The progress may seem glacial, but did you really expect these two communions to reunite overnight? I believe we do need more radical moves, but I can hardly expect them given the nature of both churches. But what is most inappropriate is to claim that either side is radically "at fault" or represents an "ideal" stance today.

The Eastern Catholic churches exist because they have a legitimate life and existence, recognized by Catholic-Orthodox dialogue committees. They also recognize that the historical factors supporting their history and continuing presence are complex. Nor do they see in Orthodoxy an "ideal" form of communion. Rather, they hope and strive to see Catholics and Orthodox finally rediscover and approach that ideal together. I for one respect their struggle, and believe it to be an honorable one. I believe the Orthodox experience is also honorable. I am happy to support both, prayerful that they will find unity with one another, and the Roman and Oriental churches, in the end.

Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: RussianCath] #364428
05/14/11 06:27 AM
05/14/11 06:27 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 848
Australia
Otsheylnik Offline
Member
Otsheylnik  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 848
Australia
Originally Posted by RussianCath
I sometimes wonder if all Eastern Catholics were to magically rejoin Orthodoxy tomorrow, Rome might finally get the message and change its tune.


I have previously expressed the view here, and I do so again, that eastern catholcism acts as a kind of "doctrinal band-aid" for Rome, so that Rome can look at ECs and say "aha! See, we don't have to change anything about ourselves for union to happen, there is no obstacle to eastern christendom being in union with us - look at the ECs."

Eastern Catholicism can in some respects be seen as a legitimation of Roman doctrine. As the OP suggests, if ECs have problems with Roman doctrine, why aren't they breaking communion over it?

Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: Otsheylnik] #364433
05/14/11 09:41 AM
05/14/11 09:41 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 9
USA
A
Akira Offline
Junior Member
Akira  Offline
Junior Member
A
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 9
USA
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Rome can look at ECs and say "aha! See, we don't have to change anything about ourselves for union to happen, there is no obstacle to eastern christendom being in union with us - look at the ECs."


This may have once been true, but I do not believe it is any longer. Rome, in Ut Unim Sint, and official representations, has indicated a willingness to change its exercise of papal authority, even precisely for the sake of Orthodox unity (expectedly glacial progress, but progress). Her continued division with the 300 million or so Orthodox has so far constituted a sufficient incentive to change. The mere fact that 17 million Eastern Catholics existed has not eliminated the active interest of Rome in Orthodox-Catholic dialogues and consultations, joint statements, and exchanges of visits with Orthodox leaders--that is, the practical steps necessary for East-West unity. I see no basis, then, to suggest their existence impedes Rome's interest in East-West unity today. The clearest example of the ECCs affecting this process was due to Orthodox objections to Eastern Catholic expansion in the Slavic world, which stalled the dialogue over a decade or two ago. This was hardly an example of the phenomenon described above.

To claim that a large schism would bring Rome's to its knees vis-a-vis the Orthodox hoists a foreign ethos and priority set unto the Eastern Catholic churches. I believe it also reflects an attitude of impatience and triumphalism--a desire for any sort of "bold stroke" to propel the reunuion forward as fast as possible, precisely by assuming one side represents an ideal form of communion to which the other must submit. This argument is precisely what Catholic and Orthodox scholars are increasingly rejecting as untrue to the historical and present facts. Such claims are the sport of online, lay apologists--not the stuff of critical, careful scholarship, executed in the top-level theological consultations.

Last edited by Akira; 05/14/11 09:43 AM.
Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: RussianCath] #364441
05/14/11 10:06 PM
05/14/11 10:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,759
PA
Paul B Offline
Member
Paul B  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,759
PA
RussianCatholic,
I was going to respond when I first read your post but thought that I'd wait to see what other reactions would be. Akira and ANTV eloquently echoed my thoughts.

Let us suppose that my Church, the Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholics broke union with Rome and sought union with the Patriarch of Constantinople....first, would we be accepted? If so, would we have any autonomy? Would we just be absorbed and our special chant and customs which go back many centuries be suppressed? Would our Churches be closed and people sent to the Greek Orthodox Churches? So many questions.......

We know where we stand now; sure there are some hindrances; but we are self governed by our own hierarchy and our chant, rites and traditions are respected. We can worship God in the way which our ancestors did and we don't have to look over our shoulder.

With regard to reunion of East and West I can't see how we are any obstacle, except in people's minds. A re-union shouldn't be based on the Unions of Brest or Uzhorod. It should be a union of equals with some special status for the Bishop of Rome, but not of the magisterium.

Our Church was possibly established by Sts Cyril and Methodius, if not, then through the Patriarch of Constantinople. When the Patriarch was restricted by his Turkish conquerors then our Church accepted the patronage of the Bishop of Rome. I thank God that our Church stood as a bulwark against the Protestant Reformation, against the Turks, against protestant lords, against forced absorption by the Roman Catholics and against the Communists. It is a testament to our Faith, God's mercy and the Protection of the Mother of God.

CHRIST IS RISEN!
Fr Deacon Paul

Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: Paul B] #364442
05/14/11 11:40 PM
05/14/11 11:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 848
Australia
Otsheylnik Offline
Member
Otsheylnik  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 848
Australia
I think it's probable that were Ruthenians to enter Orthodoxy via the Ecumenical Patriarchate, they would be subsumed into ACROD. This is probably why it hasn't happened.

Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: RussianCath] #364445
05/15/11 01:17 AM
05/15/11 01:17 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 288
VA, USA
Luvr of East Offline
Member
Luvr of East  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 288
VA, USA
Christ is risen!

From what I have heard, the Ruthenian and the Ukrainian Catholics were one Church. But because of constant internal bickering over which traditions (small t not big T here) would be practiced that they took the issue to the Pope and he separated the two into today's Ruthenian and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Churches. Correct me if I have misheard anything and I can understand if this is oversimplifying.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel

Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: RussianCath] #364446
05/15/11 01:34 AM
05/15/11 01:34 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 848
Australia
Otsheylnik Offline
Member
Otsheylnik  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 848
Australia
It's not as simple as that; Constantinople itself has both Ukrainian (corresponding to the UGCC) and Carpatho-Ruysn (ACROD - corresponding to Ruthenians) jurisdictions.

ACROD in fact arose from schisms in the Ruthenians (which is why Ruthenians probably might not like the idea of being in ACROD - it split families).

Ruthenians/ Carpatho-Rusyns might seem similar to Ukrainians, they are distinct because their biggest presence was always in the disapora rather than the Ukraine itself (as now constituted).

Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: Luvr of East] #364447
05/15/11 04:02 AM
05/15/11 04:02 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 212
Italy
antv Offline
Member
antv  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 212
Italy
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
From what I have heard, the Ruthenian and the Ukrainian Catholics were one Church. But because of constant internal bickering over which traditions (small t not big T here) would be practiced that they took the issue to the Pope and he separated the two into today's Ruthenian and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Churches. Correct me if I have misheard anything and I can understand if this is oversimplifying.

You heard something historically very wrong.

The Ruthenian and the Ukrainian always were different Churches.
They chose to put themselves under the jurisdiction of Rome in different moments: in 1595 (Union of Brest) the Ukrainian, and in 1646 (Union of Uzhorod) the Ruthenian.

Two different unions because they were already different churches: the Ukrainian was the East-Rite "national" church of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (a wealthy nation of such times) while the Ruthenian Church covered areas mainly in the Kingdom of Hungary under the Habsburgs (partially occupied by the Turks and later freed).
From a hierarchical point of view, please note the pre-Union Ukrainian church was (formally) under the mantle of the Patriarch of Constantinople, while the pre-Union Ruthenian Church was under the mantle, through Romanian bishops, of the Serbian Patriarch (of Pec). (only in the late 18th century the Sultan abolished the Serbian patriarchate of Pec moving all his faithfuls directly under the EP, in order to have a better control of them).

These are the historical facts, not entering in ethnicity issues.

Last edited by antv; 05/15/11 04:06 AM.
Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: RussianCath] #364450
05/15/11 05:52 AM
05/15/11 05:52 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 9,962
Massachusetts
I
Irish Melkite Offline
Global Moderator
Irish Melkite  Offline
Global Moderator
Member
I
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 9,962
Massachusetts
Manuel,

It was only after their arrival in the US that the faithful of the 2 Churches found themselves gathered into a single jurisdiction - a Slav is a Slav is a Slav, as American hierarchs and their counterparts in Rome were wont to believe at the time.

Ned,

The relationship between the BCCA and ACROD is a very different one these days. The passage of time and the fraternal outreach begun by Their Eminences, Metropolitans Judson and Nicholas, both of blessed memory, have seen to that.

Many years,

Neil



"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: RussianCath] #364451
05/15/11 09:34 AM
05/15/11 09:34 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 108
US
R
RussianCath Offline OP
Member
RussianCath  Offline OP
Member
R
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 108
US
Everyone,
Christos Anesti!

I cannot thank you all enough for your replies! It is true that a fault of mine is that in my frustration I often forget the real problems in Orthodoxy, and find myself thinking that the "grass must be greener" on their side. There ARE some real "benefits" of being in communion with Rome. Having said that though, I still believe that our hierarchs are not doing enough to reverse these false Roman policies that have been placed on the Eastern Catholic Churches, which discredit both them and Rome in the eyes of our Orthodox brothers. If anyone can show me that I am wrong and more action IS being taken is this regard, please do tell. God bless all of you!

Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: RussianCath] #364455
05/15/11 01:25 PM
05/15/11 01:25 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 212
Italy
antv Offline
Member
antv  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 212
Italy
Originally Posted by RussianCath
Everyone,
Christos Anesti!

I cannot thank you all enough for your replies! It is true that a fault of mine is that in my frustration I often forget the real problems in Orthodoxy, and find myself thinking that the "grass must be greener" on their side. There ARE some real "benefits" of being in communion with Rome. Having said that though, I still believe that our hierarchs are not doing enough to reverse these false Roman policies that have been placed on the Eastern Catholic Churches, which discredit both them and Rome in the eyes of our Orthodox brothers. If anyone can show me that I am wrong and more action IS being taken is this regard, please do tell. God bless all of you!


If you would like to indicate which are the policies that you consider "have been placed on the Eastern Catholic Churches, which discredit both them and Rome in the eyes of our Orthodox brothers" we can help you on any single point.

Take in mind that any religious group has a range of acceptability for each doctrine and practice. Sometime these range are artificially restricted in order to leave someone else out, some time these range are enlarged to let friends in. So for example now in the EO is accepted to use newly-written Western rites which 300 years ago would led to an immediate excommunication, and on the contrary some are outraged by minor liturgical differences found in the ECC's uses that most of the cases are simply the retail of different, even if always Eastern, traditions.

Anyway I consider the core point in judging a Church simply if Our Lord and Our God, Jesus Christ, is fully preached and He is the actual centre of the Church. If your Church make you to meet Christ, it is a good Church, dont leave it. All others are secondary, even if not without any importance, details.

Last edited by antv; 05/15/11 01:27 PM.
Re: Patriarchs & the Pope [Re: Irish Melkite] #364456
05/15/11 01:33 PM
05/15/11 01:33 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,953
Upstate New York
D
DMD Offline
Member
DMD  Offline
Member
D
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,953
Upstate New York
Originally Posted by Irish Melkite
Manuel,

It was only after their arrival in the US that the faithful of the 2 Churches found themselves gathered into a single jurisdiction - a Slav is a Slav is a Slav, as American hierarchs and their counterparts in Rome were wont to believe at the time.

Ned,

The relationship between the BCCA and ACROD is a very different one these days. The passage of time and the fraternal outreach begun by Their Eminences, Metropolitans Judson and Nicholas, both of blessed memory, have seen to that.

Many years,

Neil



Quite true, Rome finally sent a Bishop to the United States for both those then referred to as the Polish-Galicians (now identified as Ukrainians) and the Ruthenians (now the BCC, Rusyns, Carpatho-Russians, ACROD) by the name of +Soter Ortynsky. The thinking was apparently that he could minister to all of these groups as they probably appeared externally similar. However, Bishop Soter was Galician, sang and chanted like a Galician and served like one. To the Ruthenians, he was as foreign in many ways as were the Russian Bishops who led the followers of St. Alexis Toth. To preclude the very real risk of yet another Ruthenian schism in the days immediately following World War 1 after a former Uniate priest was made an Orthodox Bishop for the Ruthenians by the Russians (Bishop Adam), Bishop Soter returned to Rome and was replaced in a few years by two Bishops, one for the peoples who by then identified themselves as Ukrainians in Philadelphia and one for the Ruthenians in Pittsburgh - Bishop Basil Takach.

Eventually during the 1920's Bishop Adam was marginalized by the politics of the Russian Church and he returned to the Roman Church to live out his life in penance at what I think was a Benedictine Monastery in the US.

We all know the rest of the story as it applies to Bishop Basil.

Fortunately today, due to the efforts of our hierarchs, the BCCA and ACROD are on far better terms than ever in their intertwined histories.

p.s. If any of my narrative regarding Bishops Soter, Adam and Basil is out of sequence or perhaps in error, I apologize, I was trying to remember the story as my father related it to me many times over the years.

Last edited by DMD; 05/15/11 01:34 PM.
Page 1 of 2 1 2

The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2018. All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1.1
(Release build 20180111)
Page Time: 0.022s Queries: 15 (0.008s) Memory: 2.0504 MB (Peak: 2.2746 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2018-06-19 12:13:50 UTC