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Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary #371347
11/08/11 10:21 PM
11/08/11 10:21 PM
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Eliz Offline OP
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Hi, this is my first post here, but I apologize in advance if this is something people write about often and I should have been able to look through old threads to get information.

My personal situation is that I love the Eastern Church and particularly its expression at a local Orthodox Church but am a Roman Catholic. My husband and I have joined a Byzantine Catholic Church in order to worship in the Eastern Church without leaving Rome. The people at our Byz Church are very very warm, kind, and welcoming. Really just lovely, as is the deacon and priest. However I do still long for the full expression so-to-speak found at the Antiochian Church that is not too far away. (Our Church is more of an E/W hybrid.) I discovered the EO Church in college through friends. Two of my college friends are now khourias! And another two are EO priests.

Having encountered Orthodoxy at a convert parish there were many opportunities for learning. At our current Byz Catholic Church, unfortunately, we are one of the only non-ethnic non-cradle byz families, and some of the youngest parishoners. I am able to draw on my EO past experience, but my husband who would like to learn more has a bit of a harder time, although he loves the liturgy and people!

I haven't been there in years, but having a great Antiochian Church (Perhaps some of you may be familiar with it: Holy Cross Antiochian Church in Baltimore with Fr. Mathewes-Green and Kh. Frederica) nearby is a constant draw. We haven't gone there, even for vespers which our Byz Church doesn't offer, because I'm afraid that if we go, we won't be able to keep away, and it is not in communion.

What exactly is the Catholic Church's teaching on the status of those who go to the Orthodox Church?

Thank you for your charity in reading my lengthy post.

Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: Eliz] #371352
11/09/11 02:04 AM
11/09/11 02:04 AM
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Irish Melkite Offline
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Eliz,

Welcome to the forum. Hopefully, you'll find membership here to be a pleasant experience - a place in which your love of Eastern Christianity is nurtured and appreciated.

Originally Posted by Eliz
I apologize in advance if this is something people write about often and I should have been able to look through old threads to get information.


No need to apologize. As to the subject matter, we've discussed it endless times through the years - with members looking in both directions (if you're unaware, our membership is a diverse community of Eastern and Oriental Catholics and Orthodox, as well as others - Latin and Protestant - with an interest in and abiding love of the East).

While I don't know how many are acquainted with Holy Cross Antiochian as a parish, many are familiar with Father Gregory and, I suspect, most all of us with Khouria Frederica. It's easy to understand how anyone could be drawn to a parish community in which they are involved.

I'm not completely clear on your query - whether in asking about 'the Catholic Church's teaching on the status of those who go to the Orthodox Church', you are speaking of formally entering into the Orthodox Church or 'going' there in terms of regularly attending Divine Services, but remaining in communion with Rome.

As to the latter, there is no issue. There are a number of Catholic members here, Eastern and Latin, who regularly attend Vespers and other Divine Services in Orthodox temples because the EC parish to which they belong doesn't serve those or merely because their spirituality is enhanced by doing so.

If the question is, rather, that of leaving the Catholic Communion and entering into the Orthodox Communion, you'll typically find the official Catholic position to be one of disapproval. One can find a range of opinions on what it means in terms of the spiritual consequences.

Whether to go or stay is never an easy decision to make - regardless of which Church - Catholic or Orthodox - that a person is considering.

Our history here, overwhelmingly, has been one of support to all who struggle with these issues and both respect and prayerful support for the decisions that each ultimately makes. While there are assuredly some here who take a dim view of any change that might be made, I think you'd be hard pressed to find any member who felt rejected or ostracized in any way for following whatever direction he or she believed God to be leading them.

That may be, likely is, a less definitive answer than you'd like to hear - and some would accuse me of waffling, of syncretism, of indifference. However, in all my years here, I have prayed with and for friends who felt compelled to make such choices - including at least a couple who have gone in one direction and later reverted to the Faith of their origin. In all that time, I've held fast to a firm belief that the trueness of Faith lies in the union of the Apostolic Churches - a union that will likely not be achieved in my lifetime, but for which I can pray fervantly.

Coming from that viewpoint, I find it impossible to suggest to anyone that their decision should be based on anything other than their personal heartfelt conclusion as to what God wants of them, a conclusion reached on the basis of much prayer and the guidance of a priest or spiritual father.

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: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: Irish Melkite] #371841
11/16/11 01:21 PM
11/16/11 01:21 PM
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Chad Offline
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Originally Posted by Irish Melkite
Eliz,
I've held fast to a firm belief that the trueness of Faith lies in the union of the Apostolic Churches - a union that will likely not be achieved in my lifetime, but for which I can pray fervently.
Neil


Totally agree!

-Chad

Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: Eliz] #371849
11/16/11 03:16 PM
11/16/11 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Eliz
My personal situation is that I love the Eastern Church and particularly its expression at a local Orthodox Church but am a Roman Catholic.

You have presented a unique perspective and I'd be interested in more details if possible. What is the "expression at a local Orthodox Church" that is not found in a Eastern Catholic Church?

Originally Posted by Eliz
However I do still long for the full expression so-to-speak found at the Antiochian Church that is not too far away. (Our Church is more of an E/W hybrid.)
Again, can you elaborate on this "full expression" that is not found in the Byzantine Catholic Church (BCC)? In what way is your BCC parish an "E/W hybrid"?

Originally Posted by Eliz
Having encountered Orthodoxy at a convert parish there were many opportunities for learning. At our current Byz Catholic Church, unfortunately, we are one of the only non-ethnic non-cradle byz families, and some of the youngest parishoners.
Not to diminish the "convert parish" in any way but my own experience is that the ethnic-cradle background, so long as it is accepting to all, offers a link to the past and traditions that can be enriching, where there is not a sense of an ethnic parish but a parish with a beautiful and enriching ethnic heritage that is worth adopting.

Originally Posted by Eliz
...a great Antiochian Church (Perhaps some of you may be familiar with it: Holy Cross Antiochian Church in Baltimore with Fr. Mathewes-Green and Kh. Frederica) nearby is a constant draw. We haven't gone there, even for vespers which our Byz Church doesn't offer, because I'm afraid that if we go, we won't be able to keep away, and it is not in communion.
I've been to Holy Cross some years ago for vespers on their patronal feast. It was very nice. But I've also been to Patronage of the Mother of God BCC (Baltimore) for vespers of their patronal feast (served by Fr. Mike and Deacon Bill of the neighboring St. Gregory of Nyssa BCC) and it was also very nice. So, to ask again but in a different way, what is the significant difference, why would a Catholic look to Orthodoxy rather than an Eastern Catholic Church?

Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: ajk] #371866
11/16/11 09:05 PM
11/16/11 09:05 PM
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At least one answer to the question posed in this thread.

Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: AMM] #371917
11/17/11 12:33 PM
11/17/11 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by AMM
At least one answer to the question posed in this thread.
May Basil continue to grow in the faith and knowledge thereof; his words came across to me as the ramblings and misrepresentations of a confused, misinformed and sophomoric individual.

The interviewer was better informed, more knowledgeable and unbiased.

Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: Eliz] #371962
11/17/11 09:49 PM
11/17/11 09:49 PM
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In what specific areas was he exhibiting a deficiency in his understanding of the faith?

Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: AMM] #372274
11/23/11 09:56 AM
11/23/11 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by AMM
In what specific areas was he exhibiting a deficiency in his understanding of the faith?
He misunderstands and misinterprets "papal infallibility" and quotes canons in the CCEO as though they were some extraordinary find on his part and like a "smoking gun." The way he brings them up shows they are an axe he wants to grind. Also, consider the number of times the interviewer is obliged to give the other side of the argument or even outright has to correct what Basil has said.

Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: Eliz] #372288
11/23/11 09:18 PM
11/23/11 09:18 PM
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likethethief Offline
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Eliz-
Welcome to this Forum!

Originally Posted by Eliz
Hi, this is my first post here...

My personal situation is that I love the Eastern Church and particularly its expression at a local Orthodox Church but am a Roman Catholic. My husband and I have joined a Byzantine Catholic Church in order to worship in the Eastern Church without leaving Rome...

Having encountered Orthodoxy at a convert parish there were many opportunities for learning. At our current Byz Catholic Church, unfortunately, we are one of the only non-ethnic non-cradle byz families, and some of the youngest parishoners. I am able to draw on my EO past experience, but my husband who would like to learn more has a bit of a harder time, although he loves the liturgy and people!...

What exactly is the Catholic Church's teaching on the status of those who go to the Orthodox Church?

Thank you for your charity in reading my lengthy post.


I'm a not very frequent poster here who would fall into the category Neil has described:

Originally Posted by Irish Melkite

As to the latter, there is no issue. There are a number of Catholic members here, Eastern and Latin, who regularly attend Vespers and other Divine Services in Orthodox temples because the EC parish to which they belong doesn't serve those or merely because their spirituality is enhanced by doing so.


This Sunday Divine Liturgy and agape meal I was in my home parish, Russian Greek Catholic, Sun. eve Vigil and Mon. feast DL both at a Russian Orthodox home-away-from-home, a couple of mornings in daily Mass in a Latin parish where I remain a catechist, and a couple afternoons at Mass and Vespers with the Dominicans in their priory chapel.

We've talked about having more catechesis in my Russian parish and continue to hope that may be coming. One of the best things for me has been for periods of time when we had a book group going. Perhaps you could suggest the idea of reading a book together.

For us this has tended to follow the Liturgical seasons. Right now we aren't meeting but we have read together at this time of year Winter Pascha: Readings for the Christmas-Epiphany Season by Fr. Hopko, for example. We've used quite a bit of Orthodox writing. If using Orthodox writers would be an issue for the parish you are in check Eastern Christian Publications which has lots of materials and probably the Byzantine Catholic Church also has. Personally I like materials that rely a lot on the words of the texts of our services and work from there. We have also read the Ladder of Divine Ascent during Great Lent. I like the Living God: A Catechism for the Christian Faith tho we haven't used it per se in my parish.

Our clergy were supportive of the book group tho we rarely had them sitting in with us.

Recently at the Russian Orthodox parish where I sometimes go I was told that one of their faithful said he's wondered what "Gospodi pomilui" means. eek I thought: Well, clearly there is a lack of teaching going on all around. smile I see it with the Latin Church where I am a catechist.

I hope you will express your wishes for more teaching to your clergy. And if the book reading appeals to you see if you can enlist others to stay for an hour after your meal and read something together. This being the Advent/Nativity Fast is an ideal time to focus on something together. In our book group we read aloud in the group. Trying to get people to read at home ahead of time had mixed results.

I wouldn't discourage you from going to the Orthodox parish but I hope you will also challenge your Byzantine parish to consider how they all might deepen in their understanding of our faith and practice.

Last edited by likethethief; 11/23/11 09:22 PM.
Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: ajk] #372309
11/24/11 10:01 AM
11/24/11 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by AMM
In what specific areas was he exhibiting a deficiency in his understanding of the faith?
He misunderstands and misinterprets "papal infallibility" and quotes canons in the CCEO as though they were some extraordinary find on his part and like a "smoking gun." The way he brings them up shows they are an axe he wants to grind. Also, consider the number of times the interviewer is obliged to give the other side of the argument or even outright has to correct what Basil has said.


You have a point listening to it again. Converts unfortunately can be pretty proficient axe grinders.

Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: AMM] #372313
11/24/11 01:35 PM
11/24/11 01:35 PM
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As to the radio interview. I think a little perspective might help. This interview was a follow up to an interview with Fr. James Babcock, a Melkite priest which can be listened to here. Fr. James does a good job in presenting the Melkite perspective though some might fault him for presenting the "Orthodox in communion with Rome" view as normative, though he does acknowledge that other Eastern Catholics may differ at times. Fr. James basically presents Eastern Catholics as those "who would like to disappear" and as having no significant differences with Orthodoxy. I know that's the view of some posters here also. Basil's interview is a continuation of that discussion.



Last edited by DTBrown; 11/24/11 01:49 PM.
Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: DTBrown] #372347
11/26/11 04:03 PM
11/26/11 04:03 PM
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Thanks for the link which I intended to locate after hearing it mentioned in Basil's interview. Overall I thought Fr. Babcock was informative, thin in some places, inconsistent in a few: I prefer and believe a more even-keeled articulation of Catholicism in its Eastern expression is possible and wanting. I thought he waffled on some of the typical issues (IC, infallibility, indulgences) although he had some surprising counter-points on others (purgatory). He was very diligent in not trying to speak for others.

Some of the things said by each man were, I thought, lacking in sufficient depth. Anyone can and does miss some points that are or should be obvious; no man is omniscient. One that surprised me, however, was the point about the reference in a prayer to making up what what lacking in the [sic] "crucifixion" of Christ[~27:20]. Neither seemed aware of its source which I presume is:

RSV Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.

Also, a sore point for me I admit, was the interviewer questioning the meaning of Catholic communion given the seeming diversity in belief's presented as allowable by Fr. Babcock. And I think the interviewer was right to do so because in a sense Fr. Babcock did waffle on that issue, taking the regrettable and counter-productive stance that amounts to I'd rather be Eastern than Catholic. The interviewer then contrasts this to the Orthodox communion which I say is de facto in it's sacramental practices more diversified, inconsistent theologically, and within itself best described as heterodox.

Also, a general impression, the East, Catholic and Orthodox, can in fact learn from the Latin West -- not just the other way around -- so knock-off the air of detachment from the West and the isolationism of a pure but incomplete Eastern synthesis.

Fr. Loya was mentioned -- is there a link available for that source?


Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: ajk] #372348
11/26/11 05:05 PM
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Perhaps someone will post a link to Fr. Loya's interview. I'd like to hear it too.

As to Basil's interview: he's essentially replying to the earlier broadcast with Fr. Babcock, which was entitled "Eastern Catholics -- are they 'Orthodox?'" Fr. Babcock essentially said they were, which is the view of many Melkites. Not all Eastern Catholics, nor many Orthodox, would agree with that claim either. For example, this essay by Russian Catholic Joel Barstad: "Are the Ratzinger and Zoghby Proposals Dead?" concludes about the Eastern Catholic identity of "Orthodox in communion with Rome":

Quote

In answer to my original question, then, whether Rome was content with Eastern Catholic communion on the basis of the Zogby profession of faith, there seems little doubt that Rome asks the same profession of faith from Eastern Catholics as it does from its own Latin rite faithful. Ad tuendam fidem adds norms to the code of canons for the Eastern churches, as well as to the Latin code. No accommodation is made for the meaning attributed by Patriarch Gregory III to his communion with Rome. Nonetheless, as far as I know, Rome has not yet repudiated that communion. As long as Rome tolerates those who use the Ratzinger Proposal and the Zogby Initiative to define their own loyalty, perhaps they are not completely dead.


As for himself, Barstad has said elsewhere he no longer professes the Zoghby Initiative.

Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: DTBrown] #372349
11/26/11 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DTBrown
Quote
...In answer to my original question, then, whether Rome was content with Eastern Catholic communion on the basis of the Zogby profession of faith, there seems little doubt that Rome asks the same profession of faith from Eastern Catholics as it does from its own Latin rite faithful...
[my emphasis added]

Of course: such is the nature of communion. Rome (usually) speaks on behalf of the Catholic Church, true; but it should not be a case of them and -- or against -- us. One should also be able to say that any Eastern bishop asks the same profession of faith from Latin Catholics as he does from his own Eastern faithful. That is because, properly understood, "...in ipsa item catholica ecclesia magnopere curandum est ut id teneamus quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est (Commonitorium, cap. 2.3)." (St. Vincent of LĂ©rins) [Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all.] That is why the waffling and resulting disjunction of eastern and western theological expression and resulting ambiguity about beliefs is counterproductive.

Re: Catholic/ Orthodox Quandary [Re: ajk] #372350
11/26/11 06:31 PM
11/26/11 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ajk

Fr. Loya was mentioned -- is there a link available for that source?


I don't see Fr. Tom mentioned in this thread but if you are asking as regards the AFR interviews this was posted when these were discussed previously:

griego catolico 04/02/11 wrote:

Quote
This AFR program with Fr. Babcock is quite a contrast from the AFR "East meets East" program with Fr. Thomas Loya six years ago. (The program appears to be no longer available on the AFR website, although I still have a copy of it.)


I'm having some trouble knowing how most of this thread is addressing the question posed by our new member, OP, Eliz. smile She hasn't returned in the weeks since posting, unfortunately.

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