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Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: StuartK] #370032
10/06/11 08:58 AM
10/06/11 08:58 AM
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Ah, brother Stuart: sometimes the way you express your erudition is not so much impressive as it is oppressive.

I'm so latinised that I'm planning to attend the 40th. day Divine Liturgy and panchyda this morning for His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of the OCA diocese of the South.

May his memory be eternal.

Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: Apotheoun] #370033
10/06/11 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by StuartK
I'd hold off judgment for a while, simply because the wording of certain phrases in the translation presented by DT Brown lead me to doubt the accuracy of the remainder.

The references (i.e., to Vatican I and Vatican II) seem problematic in themselves, but I recognize the fact that the translation provided in the original post is unofficial.

Finally, I am also concerned by the fact that the new UGCC catechism had to go through the Roman Curia before being published (see DTBrown's post #369309).

Why does Rome need to sign off on a self-governing Church's catechism?

It is sad that Rome apparently feels the need to micromanage the affairs of the Eastern Churches that are presently in communion with it, and I sincerely doubt that the Eastern Orthodox will ever accept such an arrangement (nor should they).


This comes as a surprise? Sorry, I had to say this, no offense meant, just stating the reality of things as I understand them.

Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: Irish Melkite] #370035
10/06/11 10:09 AM
10/06/11 10:09 AM
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Those here who are most proficient in Ukrainian are, I suspect, clergy of the UGCC - and none of them are really anonymous; we all know their identities.

On that basis, I can understand their reticence to apply their linguistic skills to the catechism text. It's one thing for laypersons to do so (even if they are not anonymous, as is true of so many of us here).


Good points, Neil.

I wanted to clarify that my statement that I've asked several times for clarification was not meant as a complaint. I was just trying to emphasize the tentativeness of this all and that I, for one, don't want to draw conclusions yet without some confirmation of the translations.

I did recently get some very helpful information about the new Catechism from a UGCC Bishop in a private email. I have asked him if I can quote from his email and if I get a positive reply I will pass on the information.

Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: Apotheoun] #370039
10/06/11 11:15 AM
10/06/11 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by StuartK
Of course, just because something is in an "official" catechism doesn't mean you have to teach it, anymore than one has to obey all the canons in the CCEO.

I agree.


Frankly, in the event that the catechism turns out to be disappointingly less-than-faithfully Eastern, this would probably going to be the most judicious approach.

I think it would be fair to say that, unlike the Melkites, and by reason of all sorts of unfortunate politial factors, the UGCC is a Church in transition. In other words, its history over the last hundred years has not enabled it to re-appropriate its own patrimony to the same degree that the Melkites maintain it. With each successive patriarch since Metropolitan Andriy, however, the process has advanced - and we can expect significant steps under Patriarch Svyatoslav - but it will hardly be surprising to find that the new catechism continues to reflect a residual Latinisation.

I was just going through the books belonging to our late parish priest, and see that there was another catechism published in 1990 (or thereabouts). That being the case, perhaps the forthcoming 2031 edition will be properly, more fully Byzantinised. I remain optimistic.

Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: Slavophile] #370040
10/06/11 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Slavophile
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by StuartK
Of course, just because something is in an "official" catechism doesn't mean you have to teach it, anymore than one has to obey all the canons in the CCEO.

I agree.


Frankly, in the event that the catechism turns out to be disappointingly less-than-faithfully Eastern, this would probably going to be the most judicious approach.

I think it would be fair to say that, unlike the Melkites, and by reason of all sorts of unfortunate politial factors, the UGCC is a Church in transition. In other words, its history over the last hundred years has not enabled it to re-appropriate its own patrimony to the same degree that the Melkites maintain it. With each successive patriarch since Metropolitan Andriy, however, the process has advanced - and we can expect significant steps under Patriarch Svyatoslav - but it will hardly be surprising to find that the new catechism continues to reflect a residual Latinisation.

I was just going through the books belonging to our late parish priest, and see that there was another catechism published in 1990 (or thereabouts). That being the case, perhaps the forthcoming 2031 edition will be properly, more fully Byzantinised. I remain optimistic.


It is a long process indeed and it has been just as rocky over the years for many of us who took the 'Orthodox' fork in the road. Hang in there!

Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: Slavophile] #370046
10/06/11 12:58 PM
10/06/11 12:58 PM
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I think it would be fair to say that, unlike the Melkites, and by reason of all sorts of unfortunate politial factors, the UGCC is a Church in transition. In other words, its history over the last hundred years has not enabled it to re-appropriate its own patrimony to the same degree that the Melkites maintain it. With each successive patriarch since Metropolitan Andriy, however, the process has advanced - and we can expect significant steps under Patriarch Svyatoslav - but it will hardly be surprising to find that the new catechism continues to reflect a residual Latinisation.


It is difficult if not impossible to compare "apples to apples" with Eastern Catholic churches when you are discussing "transitions". The longest standing and most consistent fraternal hierarchal consultation between Greek Catholic and sister Orthodox church hierarchs is the UGCC and the UOC-USA/UOCC. The dialogue is essentially nonexistent between the Antiochians in the US and the Melkites, and certainly in this country there is no recognition at all of the "Zoghby Initiative" amongst the Antiochians. Currently has the most vivacious renewal of traditional Eastern monastic life of any Greek Catholic church is with the UGCC Studites, with several of them (+Venedykt and +Josyp) recently being consecrated to the ranks of the episcopacy.

The point is once again that a tit-for-tat "I'm more Eastern than you" amongst Eastern Catholics is really superfluous and essentially dishonest. Each Church has its beauty and genius, and each its unique challenges. To brand one as "hopelessly latinized" will only reveal the reality that, as I stated before, every particular Eastern Catholic Church has its latinized skeletons in their respective closets. Rosaries and recited liturgies are not completely unknown amongst the Melkites, as I myself have seen in the past. The 2009 Melkite Liturgikon allows only one antiphon to be taken and "other ecumenic petitions" to be inserted and read by a layman other than a priest or deacon at the Ektene after the Gospel – this latter hard to describe other than a neo-latinized direct borrowing from the lay petitions of the Novus Ordo. Where do you stop?

As Greek Catholics we are all on the road together, and attempting to characterize one particular Church off as hopelessly latinized, will never get it, etc. is not honest, disrespectful, and does no service to greater Catholic unity.

Regarding catechisms, A lot of Orthodox criticize, have criticized, and will continue to criticize St. Peter Mohyla's catechism as well; nonetheless for centuries it still a mainstay.

Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: Diak] #370047
10/06/11 01:22 PM
10/06/11 01:22 PM
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Diak is spot on about the close working relationship between the UGCC in North America and the UOC-USA/UOCC. The bishops of each church gather together each year, and on the regional/local level, joint services such as panakhydas, molebens, blessings of cultural institutions, etc., are very common. In many instances, faithful from each of the Churches will attend liturgies, join the choir for special services, and so on. Also, reception of Eucharist is not unheard of (but I do not think it is frequent or wide spread).

Furthermore, the Studites are growing, as is their presence in the episcopal ranks, with the bishops Diak mentioned, along with His Beatitude, Lubomyr.

Regardless of who is more Eastern then the other amongst the Eastern Catholic ranks, one thing I think is missing is cooperation amongst the Eastern Catholic Churches in North America.

It is very common on the Sunday of Orthodoxy to have pan-jurisdictional Vespers in every major locale. I have never seen or heard of this done on the E. Catholic side of the fence. The most I have seen is a bishop or two attending a liturgy when, for example, Patriarch Sviatoslav was in Chicago. I know the EC bishops get together yearly, but on a local, grassroots level, it seems to me to be virtually non-existent.

Regardless of our EC jurisdiction, we are in North America and are not moving back to the respective 'Old Country.' We are here, and we need to look at ways that the 'Old Country' Church is thriving i.e., the Studites, the UGCC Catechism, and so on, but the pastoral focus should be on developing a strong, united infrastructure to serve the faithful here. After all, in the end, we are all in this together. It is high time people roll up their sleeves, look past ethnic and small 't' traditions, and come together to proclaim the Gospel on a united front. If the Ruthenians cut out a litany, or the Melkites drop an antiphon-- OK, that's fine. Stuff like that can be changed or reintroduced in the future, but if there was a close working relationship between the Churches, one could look to the other for support, inspiration, education.

I find this whole discussion fascinating and it reminds me of an old Ukrainian joke.... A Ukrainian was discovered to be stranded on a tropical island. The rescue party found a full village-- school, shops, homes and all-- along with two churches. The rescuers asked, "so why are there two churches?" The Ukrainian responded, "This is the church I belong, and that is the church I don't attend!"


Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: DTBrown] #370049
10/06/11 01:51 PM
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The communion of Churches in the Catholic Church is radial: Each Catholic Church is directly in communion with Rome, but Rome over the centuries has ensured that the other Catholic Churches have as little as possible to do with each other. Divide et impera! It's how Rome conquered Italy, and then the world.

Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: Scotty] #370058
10/06/11 03:39 PM
10/06/11 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotty
So perhaps that third way is reflected in the Catechism?


If the Catechism is like the unofficial excerpt, which makes regular reference to Vatican/Latin documents, then it is not third way. It is Latinism. If the catechism makes references to Latin and Orthodox documents equally; then you might be able to argue a third way; although it may be kinda schizophrenic. wink

Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: Diak] #370062
10/06/11 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Diak
Quote
I think it would be fair to say that, unlike the Melkites, and by reason of all sorts of unfortunate politial factors, the UGCC is a Church in transition. In other words, its history over the last hundred years has not enabled it to re-appropriate its own patrimony to the same degree that the Melkites maintain it. With each successive patriarch since Metropolitan Andriy, however, the process has advanced - and we can expect significant steps under Patriarch Svyatoslav - but it will hardly be surprising to find that the new catechism continues to reflect a residual Latinisation.


It is difficult if not impossible to compare "apples to apples" with Eastern Catholic churches when you are discussing "transitions". The longest standing and most consistent fraternal hierarchal consultation between Greek Catholic and sister Orthodox church hierarchs is the UGCC and the UOC-USA/UOCC. The dialogue is essentially nonexistent between the Antiochians in the US and the Melkites, and certainly in this country there is no recognition at all of the "Zoghby Initiative" amongst the Antiochians. Currently has the most vivacious renewal of traditional Eastern monastic life of any Greek Catholic church is with the UGCC Studites, with several of them (+Venedykt and +Josyp) recently being consecrated to the ranks of the episcopacy.

The point is once again that a tit-for-tat "I'm more Eastern than you" amongst Eastern Catholics is really superfluous and essentially dishonest. Each Church has its beauty and genius, and each its unique challenges. To brand one as "hopelessly latinized" will only reveal the reality that, as I stated before, every particular Eastern Catholic Church has its latinized skeletons in their respective closets. Rosaries and recited liturgies are not completely unknown amongst the Melkites, as I myself have seen in the past. The 2009 Melkite Liturgikon allows only one antiphon to be taken and "other ecumenic petitions" to be inserted and read by a layman other than a priest or deacon at the Ektene after the Gospel – this latter hard to describe other than a neo-latinized direct borrowing from the lay petitions of the Novus Ordo. Where do you stop?

As Greek Catholics we are all on the road together, and attempting to characterize one particular Church off as hopelessly latinized, will never get it, etc. is not honest, disrespectful, and does no service to greater Catholic unity.

Regarding catechisms, A lot of Orthodox criticize, have criticized, and will continue to criticize St. Peter Mohyla's catechism as well; nonetheless for centuries it still a mainstay.


Amen! Anything less than Christian love and respect for every one of the Apostolic Churches, eastern or western, is unworthy of posting. This contest or litmus test to be equally or more eastern than "X" Church is not wisdom. Let each Church work it out on its own as the Holy Spirit guides it.
That said, it is still very helpful for our brethren to point out examples, cherished customs and traditions which are helpful for us to understand each other.

S'nami Boh!

Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: DTBrown] #370069
10/06/11 06:03 PM
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Sorry, Father Deacon, but the vocation of the Eastern Catholic Churches has been spelled out, again and again, in magisterial documents for more than a century. The Holy See is quite emphatic about what we are supposed to do, but there remains a large lump within both the clergy and the laity, that refuse to go there. As Fr. Taft wrote, in Liturgy in the Life of the Church, the hierarchy excuse themselves by saying the people aren't ready to receive the directives of the Holy See, but ultimately, the people are unprepared because the hierarchy refuse to do anything to prepare them. And, ironically enough, those who refuse to comply with the directives of the Holy See are those who proclaim the loudest their fidelity to the Holy See. Something about "more Catholic than the Pope" comes to mind.

Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: DTBrown] #370076
10/06/11 07:55 PM
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Glory to Jesus Christ!
Hello Stuart. We are getting there, some Churches may be slower than others. You are right about the directives but the time line for achieving them has not and should not be mandated. As a cradle Byzantine Catholic I have seen the remarkable changes which have taken place....and will continue to work toward the goal. I respect all of our Eastern Churches and the Western Church as well but it's not proper for me to point out what I would change in the other Churches. As a military man you know how important respect is when speaking about your peers; this same respect should be afforded among the Churches.

Others may honestly disagree, but we are not completely Orthodox in union with Rome. We are to be obedient to canonical ties to the Holy Father; however we must also insist that they allow us to follow the rites, authority and traditions which they generally tell us to restore. When we become successful then we are facilitating the goal of complete reunion of East and West.
Our Communion with Rome has saddled us with some unfortunate baggage. However it has also convinced Rome from within the united Church that Orthodoxy is not the bogeyman which they once avoided and disdained. We have showed them that our role in spreading the Gospel is equal to Rome's. That is no small feat.

Neither Rome nor Constantinople were built in a day.

Fr Deacon Paul

Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: DTBrown] #370106
10/07/11 02:54 PM
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See my post under Auto Cephalic Churches, where I quote Father Taft directly:

Quote
Some Eastern Catholic clergy see their history as a progress from schism and spiritual stagnation into a life of discipline, renewal and restored religious practice in the Catholic communion. For this group, the adoption of certain Latin—they would say “Catholic”—devotions and liturgical uses is a sign of this new identity. Such attitudes reflect an interior erosion of the Eastern Christian consciousness, a “latinization of the heart” resulting from a formation insensitive to the true nature of the variety of traditions within the Catholic Church.

Others, while not denying their commitment to the Catholic communion nor underestimating the obvious spiritual benefits it has brought to their Churches, see themselves as Orthodox in communion with Rome, distinguished from their Orthodox Sister Churches in nothing but the fact of that communion and its doctrinal and ecclesial consequences. They see the Latinisms that have crept into their tradition as a loss of identity, an erosion of their heritage in favor of foreign customs with which they can in no way identify themselves. For some, latinization is a sign of their identity, for others its negation, and both are right, because they perceive themselves differently.

Underlying these issues, of course, is the more serious question of Rome’s credibility: is the Holy See to be believed in what it says about restoring the Eastern Catholic heritage? The morale of some of the younger Eastern Catholic clergy has of late been deeply affected by this cul-de-sac: they feel mandated to do one thing by the Holy See, and then are criticized or even disciplined by their bishop if they try to obey.

The problem, as usual, is one of leadership, without which the hesitant or reluctant have no one to follow. What is needed is not just discipline and obedience, but also clergy education loyal to the clear policy of the Church on this question, and prudent pastoral preparation. This is the only way out of the vicious cycle that has been created: the proposed reforms are resisted because the clergy and the people are not prepared to accept them—yet some Church leaders do little or nothing to prepare the people for a renewal that the leaders themselves do not understand or accept.

Although I cannot pretend to read minds, I think there are two main reasons behind this deep-rooted reluctance to welcome the clear and unambiguous policy of Rome in its program of liturgical restoration of the Eastern traditions: 1) the restoration seems a pointless archaism; 2) its opponents are convinced in their hearts that some of the practices proposed are not “Catholic”, and hence, not “right”. That this directly contradicts the teaching of the Holy See is an irony that does not seem to dawn on them.

The first objection is easily dispensed with. The orientation of Catholic liturgical renewal is never towards the past but toward present pastoral needs. Of course, the liturgical scholar studies the past, but the purpose of such historical research is not to discover the past—much less to imitate it—but to recover the integrity of the pristine tradition which the past may well have obscured. The aim is not to restore the past, but to overcome it. For history is not the past, but a genetic vision of the present, a present seen in continuity with its roots. It is precisely those who do not know their past who are incapable of true, organic change. They remain victims of the latest cliché, prisoners of present useage because they have no objective standard against which to measure it.

The proposed restoration, then, is not a blind imitation of a dead past, but an attempt, precisely, to free Eastern Catholics from a past in which, severed from the roots of their own tradition, they were deprived of any organic development and could conceive of growth only as sterile servility to their Latin confreres. Can one seriously propose this as a program to be preserved in our day?

Hence the irony of those critics of the Eastern Catholic liturgical restoration who accuse its promoters of fostering a return to the Middle Ages. As we shall see in the next section, it is precisely in the Middle Ages that the practices like infant communion in the Latin rite are first called into question for typically medieval motives that no one with any sense would heed today. So it is not the proponents of restoration but its opponents that are behind the times, stuck in a medieval rut out of which the major Catholic scholarly voices in this field have been leading the Church in this century.

(. . . )

Of course, no one can expect every Eastern Catholic Church leader to know all this history. What one can expect of them, however, is that they trust the leadership of the supreme universal magisterium of the Catholic Church in its indications for this renewal and to do what they are told. The supreme magisterium’s policies for our liturgical renewal may not always meet with understanding and agreement, but they should at least meet with obedience. Otherwise, what can we possibly mean when we say Eastern Catholic? But unless the liturgical restoration is accompanied by an interior renewal of the Eastern Christian ethos and spirit, it will remain little more than ritualism. As the late Archbishop Joseph Tawil wrote in his Christmas message of 1970, we must have “the courage to be ourselves”.

Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: StuartK] #370120
10/07/11 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
See my post under Auto Cephalic Churches, where I quote Father Taft directly:

Quote

Hence the irony of those critics of the Eastern Catholic liturgical restoration who accuse its promoters of fostering a return to the Middle Ages. As we shall see in the next section, it is precisely in the Middle Ages that the practices like infant communion in the Latin rite are first called into question for typically medieval motives that no one with any sense would heed today. So it is not the proponents of restoration but its opponents that are behind the times, stuck in a medieval rut out of which the major Catholic scholarly voices in this field have been leading the Church in this century.

(. . . )

Of course, no one can expect every Eastern Catholic Church leader to know all this history. What one can expect of them, however, is that they trust the leadership of the supreme universal magisterium of the Catholic Church in its indications for this renewal and to do what they are told. The supreme magisterium’s policies for our liturgical renewal may not always meet with understanding and agreement, but they should at least meet with obedience. Otherwise, what can we possibly mean when we say Eastern Catholic? But unless the liturgical restoration is accompanied by an interior renewal of the Eastern Christian ethos and spirit, it will remain little more than ritualism. As the late Archbishop Joseph Tawil wrote in his Christmas message of 1970, we must have “the courage to be ourselves”.


I agree with the first part of Fr Taft's statement (not copied in this post). I don't think there is as much disagreement in the Byzantine Catholic Church as the readers of this forum are led to believe.
He seems to talk in circles; be true to pure Orthodox ritual Ruthenian, but then listen to Rome regarding changes. Without knowing specifics (what Church, which Bishops) you can interpret this to read almost anything you want. In my mind, my Church is already doing what Fr Taft is recommending.

...but an attempt, precisely, to free Eastern Catholics from a past in which, severed from the roots of their own tradition, they were deprived of any organic development.What is this "organic development" of which he speaks? Is he speaking of using English, not Slavonic? I was at a talk he presented around 2003 and he proposed shortening Vespers. Is he speaking of this?

You see, you can't assume that Fr Taft is proposing what the mind of the reader is supposing. One would have to have a one-on-one discussion to know exactly who and what he is talking about....either that or be one fantastic mind reader.

Speaking of being obedient to the Magisterium....isn't that who approved the new translation of the DL that people are so critical of?

As regard to the Byzantine Catholic Church in America, we just have to wait until we have a new Metropolitan and then give him time to make good decisions, not hurried ones which may seem to be "the will of Rome" but will later be regretted. The Melkites, Ukrainians and Romanians have to decide for themselves how they will proceed.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Fr Deacon Paul


Re: New UGCC Catechism Reaffirms Papal Infallibility? [Re: DTBrown] #370157
10/09/11 07:26 PM
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I have heard Taft speak in person more than a dozen times, mostly on this subject. I have read most of what he has published regarding the reform of the Eastern Catholic Churches, as well as his works on liturgy (including Liturgy of the Hours in the West and in the East). I'm pretty sure I understand what he is trying to convey here.

Taft wrote about shortening Vespers in that last work, but he was concerned mostly with the restoration of Vespers as a liturgical service in the Latin Church, where it is almost totally unknown. His main objection to Latin Vespers is its excessively monastic focus, which makes it difficult to use in a parochial setting. Taft would like to roll back Latin vespers to something approaching the ancient cathedral rite, stripped of excessive psalmody, to create something that the Latin faithful could learn and celebrate together.

I've never heard Taft criticize Byzantine vespers in that regard, especially as daily vespers is perhaps the shortest and simplest of the Hours celebrated on a regular basis. Rather than cutting Vespers, Taft wants to see a full restoration of their celebration, and holds up as the example several churches in the U.S. and Canada which provide the people with a full liturgical banquet.

There are, however, Eastern Catholic Churches where latinization progressed even further than it had in the Ruthenian Church, with the result that Vespers in their particular rites are almost lost, and need to be reconstructed. The Maronites, for instance, have only recently promulgated their "restored" Vespers, which owe much to the surrounding Syriac Churches, but which also retains a lot of latinisms, simply because the authentic rite has been lost.

The faith of the Ruthenians in their hierarchy continues to strike me as the victory of hope over experience--either that, or a complete ignorance (willful or otherwise) of their own history in this country. No other Church has so consistently been let down by its leadership. No other leadership has so consistently sought to suppress the initiatives of the laity. No other Church has seen such massive defections and losses over the years, with blaime ascribed here, there, and everywhere, but the one place where it rightly belongs: upon the hierarchy and the decisions they have made. These tend to run the gamut from awful to catastrophic.

Yet the belief abides that somewhere, somehow, there will come a leader who will make all right again. It's a small Church. We know who all the likely prospects are. We know all the major players, we know all the cliques and factions. If there was even a remote chance of getting some dynamic, new, transformational leadership, don't you think some of us would know whence it is likely to come?

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