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Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: j.a.deane] #367800 08/14/11 05:41 AM
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Nelson Chase Offline
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I must admit that I pray not that my Ruthenian Mother Church will thrive by staying as she is, but that she would grow in faithfulness to her traditions, and by uniting with the other Byzantine jurisdicitons in this country. We have been divided for too long, for too few reasons. Keep the musical diversity, lose the canonical overlap. This is my prayer, even if our Metropolitan had been elevated in June of 2010.


I must agree with J. Andrew's vision for one united Greek Catholic Church in America. I envision it much like the Orthodox Church in America, which has Eparchies for Romanians, Bulgarians, ect. So, it is possible to live side by side in a united Church while respecting each others unique Liturgical Traditions and other differences in praxis.

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 08/14/11 05:42 AM.
Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: StuartK] #367809 08/14/11 11:34 AM
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Pavloosh Offline
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Stuart K:
Guess you are one of those "half glass is empty" people rather than one who sees the same glass as half full.
Reunion of the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Archeparchies is not impossible.
Come Holy Spirit!

Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: Paul B] #367810 08/14/11 11:38 AM
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Paul B:
Excellent points.

Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: Pavloosh] #367814 08/14/11 01:48 PM
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sielos ilgesys Offline
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I don't advocate pessimism but I do admire objectivity and reality checks.

None of these jurisdictional divisions have anything to do with Jesus - just like so many other things in Christian religiosity.

Such a reunification is certainly possible but IMO highly unlikely. People in positions of power/control/authority often have hidden agendas, like self-promotion & self-exaltation rendering them incapable of seeing the forest for the trees.

IMO a good question to ask on this topic would be, who fears his ox would get gored if such a reunification were to happen?

Maybe "nobody" but I suspicion the answer would be "somebody".

Remember - none of this has anything to do with Jesus.

Last edited by sielos ilgesys; 08/14/11 01:52 PM.
Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: Anna] #367816 08/14/11 01:54 PM
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Well then, Sielos, let's be objective and have a reality check. We have personalities and self-promotion, and we have Jesus.

Somehow the Roman Empire could not withstand the Church. A few bishops with n<1 million followers collectively are quite easily dwarfed by the hearts that have been changed and the churches that have been strengthened by Jesus in history.



When Jesus is involved, the status quo can change.

May we see Him in all things and people, and pray for repentance where His voice is not being heeded.

In XC,
J. Andrew

Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: j.a.deane] #367818 08/14/11 03:29 PM
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Fr Serge Keleher Offline
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at some slight risk, may I point out that the term "Byzantine" is not the unique property of a particular jurisdiction? It applies equally to anyone and everyone who uses the Byzantine Liturgy. It becomes annoying after a while when people assume that "Byzantine" and, say, Romanian are two different things.

I was rather startled at a Pontifical Divine Liturgy in Preshov Cathedral to be told that I ought not to be there because "this is a Byzantine Cathedral, and I was Ukrainian (I happen to be Irish). Preshov is, of course, in Slovakia where Greek Catholics are commonly called, of all things, Greek Catholics, and the only people who use the term "Byzantine" in a religious sense are in a discussion of points of Liturgy. It can also be used to discuss almost anything which originates in Constantinope (the Imperial City originally founded by Byzas the fisherman and named after him).

I strongly recommend visiting the Byzantine Museum in Athens. It's worth the trip.

Fr. Serge

Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: Anna] #367824 08/14/11 08:32 PM
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Somehow the Roman Empire could not withstand the Church.


So, who is going to be the Greek Catholic Constantine, one wonders?

Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: Anna] #367825 08/14/11 08:36 PM
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StuartK Offline
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Guess you are one of those "half glass is empty" people rather than one who sees the same glass as half full.


Actually, I am one of the more consistently optimistic members of this forum. But I am also a realist who believes that God does indeed help those who help themselves.

Prayer is powerful; the power of the Holy Spirit is irresistible. But God works through human agency--He works through us. So, when I hear people say things like, "Let's pray for more vocations", or "Let's pray for Christian unity", or even "Let's pray for the reunion of the Ruthenian and Ukrainian Catholic Churches in America", I am always inclined to say, "Yes, that's nice. Now, what are you doing to make it happen?" And the answer is usually, "Well, I'm praying".

Sorry, God requires a bit more. When he sends you the jeep, the boat or the helicopter, recognize the gift for what it is, and get in.

Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: Anna] #367852 08/15/11 02:24 PM
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Stuart,
With all due respect, I have never created a metaphor that accuses you of cowardice for having left the Ruthenian Church for the Melkite Church, and I will not do so in the future.

Likewise, I would appreciate it if you drop the Jeep analogy. Our lives are different. I've visited your parish in the DC area, and loved the ethnic diversity and vibrance. And maybe your parish situation as a Ruthenian was quite different from that of my own here in San Diego. Regardless, I avoid judgment on that issue.


My answer to your question of what I am doing would not simply be that I am praying for reunion, and I will leave it at that.

I've described real ways in which my parish is interacting with parishes of other Byzantine Catholic Churches (as a side note to Fr. Serge, I too denounce the idea that we Ruthenians are "The" Byzantine Catholic Church), and I could give more examples of this, but don't feel the need to prove myself, so I'll leave it at that.

Perhaps what I will do is share with you guys good news as I see it happening, signs that we are sensing a need for each other-A need that supersedes the "objective reality" that you've pointed to.

Blessed Dormition to you and to all!

In XC,
J. Andrew

Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: Anna] #367865 08/15/11 05:04 PM
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Maybe if you pointed to objective progress on the ground, I would be more inclined to feel some optimism on this front. But, to be honest, I don't. My efforts over the years to encourage cooperation on a pastoral level between the different Greek Catholic jurisdictions in the Washington area fell on deaf ears; all continue to go their own way, each lacking the critical mass needed to accomplish major undertakings. Each will therefore sink or swim based on its own individual merits.

My outlook for the Ruthenian Church is dire, not the least because of the degree of willful self-deception by the hierarchs and the vast majority of the clergy. Parish numbers are greatly inflated, and trend lines are sharply negative in all meaningful areas. The first step towards reform is recognizing one has a problem, and that the problem is critical. I see no sense of urgency in the Ruthenian Church, which proves again that one of Satan's most useful lies is, "There's plenty of time".

I can foresee one circumstance in which the Ruthenian and Ukrainian jurisdictions do consolidate, and within the next generation, too: when the Ruthenian Metropolian becomes too small to sustain itself, and can only survive as an element of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. But I can also see quite a few among the clergy who would rather close up shop altogether than undergo what they would undoubtedly see as a humiliation worse than death.

If the Ukrainians and Ruthenians cannot combine, who share just about everything including the same liturgical recension, what chance for unity with the Melkite (who already feel themselves to be part of a patriarchal Church), or the Romanians (whose usage more resembles the Greek than the Slavic)?

Aside from that, there is the problem of ecclesial outlook: the Melkites know who and what they are; and the Ukrainians are rapidly getting to the same place, under the leadership of strong and assertive patriarchs. But the Ruthenians? Their crisis of identity and confidence continues. Until they know who and what they are, they have no idea where they are going.

Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: StuartK] #367875 08/15/11 07:36 PM
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Maybe if you pointed to objective progress on the ground, I would be more inclined to feel some optimism on this front. But, to be honest, I don't. My efforts over the years to encourage cooperation on a pastoral level between the different Greek Catholic jurisdictions in the Washington area fell on deaf ears; all continue to go their own way, each lacking the critical mass needed to accomplish major undertakings. Each will therefore sink or swim based on its own individual merits.


J. Andrew did point this out Stuart. We in San Diego are working more and more with the Ukrainian Parish. The Ukrainian young Adults come to our young adult events. We have gone to their liturgies and they come to ours.


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My outlook for the Ruthenian Church is dire, not the least because of the degree of willful self-deception by the hierarchs and the vast majority of the clergy. Parish numbers are greatly inflated, and trend lines are sharply negative in all meaningful areas. The first step towards reform is recognizing one has a problem, and that the problem is critical. I see no sense of urgency in the Ruthenian Church, which proves again that one of Satan's most useful lies is, "There's plenty of time".


It is much easier to be critical of a Church from the outside. I for one am sick of it. We all know that the Ruthenian Church is going through struggles but instead of beating us over the head over, and over again, which is un-Christian and un-Charitableite Church and PRAY for our Church.

Our Ruthenian parish is truly pan-Eastern Catholic with Ukrainians, Rusyns, Slovaks, Melkites, and Americans of all strips. We worship together and are active in proclaiming the Gospel to our community. We even have worked with St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage in Mexico. This IS progress is it not?

Our Eparchy is working with other jurisdictions and serving with them. An example is that I was at the annual pilgrimage to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Shrine in Olympia. Bishop Gerald served the Liturgy on Saturday with Ukrainian, Ruthenian, and Melkite Priests. Is this not progress? We also had the sisterhood of Holy Theophany attend and participate in the Liturgy. We out West seem to be making progress!

There are many good Priests, Bishops, Deacons, and laity who are fighting for the Ruthenian Church. The young Seminarians and new Priests know who they are and proud of it- an American Byzantine Catholic Church. Pray for them and stop repeating the same old grips. It is getting old, very fast and it accomplishes nothing.



Last edited by theophan; 08/15/11 09:40 PM. Reason: Requested by poster
Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: j.a.deane] #367877 08/15/11 09:18 PM
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Fr Serge Keleher Offline
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Dear J. Andrew,

My thanks for your agreement. I was expecting brickbats, and am happy that the brickbats have not materialized.

Fr. Serge

Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: Pavloosh] #367878 08/15/11 09:32 PM
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I think it was about 2002 or so on this forum when several of us proposed the idea of two worldwide Greek Catholic Patriarchates, one for Greek liturgical usage under the omphorion of the Melkites, and one for the Slavic-usage under Kyiv. These two Churches are the sensible choices since they are multi-continental in organization, have a patriarchal structure and have multiple world-wide educational facilities.

Within the Patriarchal structure there is certainly room for particular variations, such as the Italo-Greeks within the Greek usage or the Rusyns for the Slavic usage. We need to think outside of national or even continental borders to be part of a worldwide evangelizing Church.


Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: StuartK] #367881 08/15/11 11:09 PM
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Deacon John Montalvo Offline
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Originally Posted by StuartK
Maybe if you pointed to objective progress on the ground, I would be more inclined to feel some optimism on this front. But, to be honest, I don't. My efforts over the years to encourage cooperation on a pastoral level between the different Greek Catholic jurisdictions in the Washington area fell on deaf ears; all continue to go their own way, each lacking the critical mass needed to accomplish major undertakings. Each will therefore sink or swim based on its own individual merits.

My outlook for the Ruthenian Church is dire, not the least because of the degree of willful self-deception by the hierarchs and the vast majority of the clergy. Parish numbers are greatly inflated, and trend lines are sharply negative in all meaningful areas. The first step towards reform is recognizing one has a problem, and that the problem is critical. I see no sense of urgency in the Ruthenian Church, which proves again that one of Satan's most useful lies is, "There's plenty of time".

I can foresee one circumstance in which the Ruthenian and Ukrainian jurisdictions do consolidate, and within the next generation, too: when the Ruthenian Metropolian becomes too small to sustain itself, and can only survive as an element of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. But I can also see quite a few among the clergy who would rather close up shop altogether than undergo what they would undoubtedly see as a humiliation worse than death.

If the Ukrainians and Ruthenians cannot combine, who share just about everything including the same liturgical recension, what chance for unity with the Melkite (who already feel themselves to be part of a patriarchal Church), or the Romanians (whose usage more resembles the Greek than the Slavic)?

Aside from that, there is the problem of ecclesial outlook: the Melkites know who and what they are; and the Ukrainians are rapidly getting to the same place, under the leadership of strong and assertive patriarchs. But the Ruthenians? Their crisis of identity and confidence continues. Until they know who and what they are, they have no idea where they are going.


Stuart,

there are some bright spots. Isn't it ironic that the Italo-Greeks of Las Vegas are under the care of the Ruthenian Eparch of Phoenix, while the Russian Catholics of El Segundo (and New York) are under the care of the Melkite Eparch of Newton.

One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr., who said, "All politics is local." Perhaps in some ways one could say, "All ecclesiologies is local."

Re: Any News on a Metropolitan? [Re: Anna] #367885 08/15/11 11:36 PM
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One reason might be the absence of a Melkite parish in Las Vegas, more than anything else.

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