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Re: Obedience in the Eastern Tradition? [Re: TAC] #378644
04/12/12 10:04 PM
04/12/12 10:04 PM
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TAC Offline OP
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Thank you, Neil. That was a very interesting and informative piece. Shooting from the hip, it seems to me that Latins were rather quick to impose and many of the Rusyns were quick to break communion.

This may be a different topic all together, but how important is communion with the See of Peter commonly seen in the East?

Re: Obedience in the Eastern Tradition? [Re: TAC] #378645
04/12/12 10:10 PM
04/12/12 10:10 PM
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Las Vegas, NV USA
haydukovich Offline
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Greek work for clergy is Klerikos - meaning "inheritance"
They shall have no inheritance from their Brethren, the Lord is their inheritance (actually from casting lots - sort of like gambling)

Sort of implies a giving up of wordly things - including titles, lordship, and dominance over people.

The Greek word for Laity is Laikos = of or from the people

The Pope BishopuPriests Deacons are "from the people"
and are to serve the people = they are not better than the people

Liturgy is from the Greek word Litourgia - which was a form of service that someone would do as a payment to the state somewhat like taxes except is was pseudo charitable.

Therefore Liturgy is an act of service done by Clergy for the people ...

A healthy and more christian approach to heirarchy in my humble opinion would be to return to the point where the clergy serve the people and not vice versa

Re: Obedience in the Eastern Tradition? [Re: TAC] #378646
04/12/12 10:16 PM
04/12/12 10:16 PM
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haydukovich Offline
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As the previous post relates to this topic

The Hierarchy of the Church should do all in it's power to HELP the good men who apply to become clergy

SERVE tbe Laity

Not to be an impediment - nor to dominate them or demand obedience.

To serve someone - you give them what they need -

Re: Obedience in the Eastern Tradition? [Re: haydukovich] #378647
04/12/12 10:24 PM
04/12/12 10:24 PM
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A healthy and more christian approach to heirarchy in my humble opinion would be to return to the point where the clergy serve the people and not vice versa


I think that this understanding already exists...at least officially. The very fact that the clergy offer the Sacraments without renumeration and take on the sacrifices of a life lived for God alone, while the laity are as you said still in the world seems to imply an innate service.

No one has served any man as Christ served, yet He is worthy of complete obedience. Marriage is to image Christ's relationship with the Church and while few would say that men are essentially superior to women, wives are to submit to their husbands "as to the Lord", even as husbands are to sacrifice themselves totally in the service of their wives.

I think that we do owe our clergy obedience, but this does not mean that they are superior to us in essence nor that they are not to serve the laity. If I understand what you are saying correctly, I think that you may be setting up a false dichotomy of laity vs. clergy rather the ideal of complementary roles.

Re: Obedience in the Eastern Tradition? [Re: TAC] #378648
04/12/12 11:11 PM
04/12/12 11:11 PM
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TAC,

To elaborate briefly on the cited article because, although it's generally very well-written and accurate, I'm not sure that it fully conveys the scope of what happened.

The short of it is that Latin Archbishop John Ireland, through his outrageous rejection of the priestly services of Canon Alexis Toth (now St Alexis of Wilkes-Barre) mightily enriched the numbers of faithful in what was then the Russian Orthodox Metropolia, effectively creating what has come today to be the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

Four decades later, the intransigence of Rome on the issue of enforced priestly celibacy for Eastern Catholic clergy did likewise - ultimately resulting in the creation of both the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of Johnstown (ACROD) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America (now The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (UOC-USA).

As well as those jurisdictions, there are also parishes of the Russian Patriarchate, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), the Ukrainian Autocephalus Orthodox Church (UAOC), and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyvian Patriarchate (UOC-KP) in the US which trace to those same events.

Originally Posted by TAC
Latins were rather quick to impose and many of the Rusyns were quick to break communion


As regards the latter, how quick they can or should be seen as having been must be considered in the light of the 350 years since union, during which time they had already chafed to varying degrees under Latin hierarchs in their homelands. A major difference there being that the hierarchical authority was not uncommonly supported by civil authority, leaving few options. In journeying here, they found themselves unfettered civilly and, therefore, free to resist and reject.

They were painful, bitter, and ultimately very sad times - and there are those here who can testify to families sundered by the decisions made. Lawsuits were pursued to determine ownership of the temples that had been built with the hard-earned pennies of the parishioners. Siblings never spoke again, as they divided to worship according to the same praxis in identically fixtured temples on opposite street corners. Elderly persons realized that they would not be able to rest alongside their long reposed spouses or parents because that cemetery was held by the temple - Catholic or Orthodox - in which they no longer worshipped.

Things are different today, but it took a long time, the passing of generations, a lot of prayers, and the God-given wisdom of several respected and beloved hierarchs, now of blessed memory, to get to where we are, though communio in sacris still eludes us.

Originally Posted by TAC
how important is communion with the See of Peter commonly seen in the East?


There's no easy answer there. Among those of us who are Eastern Catholics, you'll find a full spectrum of opinion on the question. Obviously, those who outright reject its import can and do often translate to Orthodoxy.

Still others believe union is absolutely essential and would generally never question what is involved in such. For others, it is what it is, they don't fancy some of its terms and ignore or resist such considerations, or pray for them to change. And, you'll find every shade of opinion in between.

We're not, overall, a complacent lot, though - as with much in life these days - those who post on the internet tend to be more strongly opinionated - in whichever direction they lean - than the average person in the congregation.

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: Obedience in the Eastern Tradition? [Re: haydukovich] #378649
04/12/12 11:50 PM
04/12/12 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by haydukovich
I should clarify.

What is lacking is not the availability of really good men.

What is lacking is admission to the programs (which frankly blows me away)

It is almost as if you have to "qualify" then be admitted to the exclusive club.

I get really tired of hearing how few priests there are = the fault is with the Hierarchy in both Rites - and forgive me for saying this - all the way up to the Pope.

One more thing Deacons, Priests, Bishops and yes even Popes are supposed to serve the laity (I mean the orginal idea was to serve them as lessers if I am not mistaken - not as superiors)

In fact the Laity is in theory equal to the Hierarchy - In reality without their donations - superior by far.

Our Orthodox brethren can claim no better either - they have the same human faults - the pride -

How can humans presume to deny "inferior" others what Christ so freely gave? Did Christ have rules?

I don't think the original disciples had Masters Degree's in Fishery for example.

LOL. Surely not: according to the Gospel, every time they caught a fish, it was a miracle.

Re: Obedience in the Eastern Tradition? [Re: Irish Melkite] #378655
04/13/12 08:53 AM
04/13/12 08:53 AM
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Thank you Neil for your wise words, as always.

I have to say that as a grandson of founders of the KOVO - Committee for the Preservation of the Eastern Rite which led to the establishment of ACROD in 1938 and the son of one of the first married priests ordained by Bishop Chornock in 1942, I really took exception to TAC's comment about the Rusyns being 'too quick' to break communion.

The initial calls to challenge Cum Data Fuerit and Ea Semper arose NOT in the angry minds of the laity - but from the well educated and concerned CLERGY of the Greek Catholic Church and the lay people who worked with them at the Greek Catholic Union and its newspaper - the Messenger. It was the clergy who were taught in Uzghorod and Presov at the Greek Catholic Seminaries about the rights that their people had been guaranteed in perpetuity by the Unions of Brest and Uzghorod and how the maintenance of those rights were at the forefront of the actions of six or seven generations of priests, monks and bishops stretching back to the Union and the passing of the last Orthodox lineage in the 18th century. (Yes there were politically motivated folks who were involved in these affairs and not all were motivated by proper motives . To that argument I can only say, who is surprised by such behavior? Ours is to carry on anyway in face of sin, power and greed.)

It was through scholarly, well reasoned appeals to the Holy Father and the Congregation for the Eastern Rites which were earnest, forthright and respectful that these brave priests and lay people initially sought relief prior to the finality of schism. Initially, they had no intention of renouncing their allegiance to Rome. Indeed, when this all started and even into the break and 'conversion' to Orthodoxy, many of them earnestly hoped that things would work out in another way. It was only when those appeals were ignored and the 'heat' was turned up even higher that the decision to leave became fixed in the minds of those who took such action.

Many in fact returned back to the Union between 1940 and 1955.

To think that 'breaking communion' was easy is to simply fail to comprehend the history of the Rusyn, Lemko and Gallician immigrants and their struggles to maintain their heritage in a cold and hostile land. The church was all that they had to tie them to their prior world. They often gave all that they could - to the exclusion of worldly goods for themselves and their families - to ensure the construction and maintenance of a proper temple in which to preserve their Eastern Rite heritage.

Father Toth after all was no ignorant peasant, no matter what Archbishop Ireland and his Irish American colleagues may have presumed in their ignorance and hubris. He was after all a disciple of Duchnovich so to speak and formerly the rector of the Presov Greek Catholic Academy. He knew the risks and he foresaw a future in which the Greek Catholics would have no future in America without bold action.

Yet it was the experience of the Rusyns at the hands of their new Russian 'friends' which soured the next generation of concerned faithful. Cultural imperialism was a sin - whether it came from Rome or Moscow. The next generation of Rusyns were not unaware of the 'stripping' of their patrimony by the priests who came from Russia or who were trained by them to serve the newly converted. Hence they were cautious - fool me once, it is said, shame on you - fool me twice - shame on me.Hence they had reason to fear both the bear and the 'rock' - ;neither to Rome nor to Moscow' became their rallying cry.

The old timers and their children know that the 'rug' was finally pulled out from the brave priests and their families by Rome when all appeals were either ignored or rejected. Hard choices had to be made.

After all, the immigrant priests, their wives and their children really had no place to go unless they and their congregations were willing to take a leap of faith when KOVO made its first overtures to Constantinople in 1936 and 1937. Some made that leap, others preferred to stay within the Greek Catholic communion and see how things worked out.

Wise heads on both the Greek Catholic and the Orthodox side today look back at these times, these struggles and the horrific impact that they had on families, churches, towns and faith. A high price was paid and continues to be paid on account of the arrogance of the few and the pains of the many. My dad and his peers - both BCC and ACROD - could look back at their youth and often come to an agreement - that without KOVO, the GCU Messenger, men like Fr. Orestes Koman and Michael Roman who chose to remain Greek Catholic and others like Father, later Bishop Chornock, Fr. Peter Molchancy and John, later Father, Yurcisin (who was Michael Roman's colleague at the GCU Messenger) that our people likely would have lost far more in the process of assimilation by both Rome and Moscow.

I look back across the decades and the ocean and my eyes can not help but focus on the Greek Catholics of Muchachevo and their shepherd, Bishop Milan. Their youtube videos are a testament to the perseverance of the Rusyn faithful - their churches are full, their priests are young and married and their patrimony is, for the time being at least, secure.

If you compare what they preserved under the jackboot of Communists and Russianizers and what ACROD preserved in America you will see that the similarity of practice and fervor is a common thread.

Sometimes you have to choose and fight for what you earnestly believe is the right path. Whether one stayed Greek Catholic in America, stayed faithful in Europe or became Orthodox in America those choices were never easy to make nor 'quick' to take.

Things were, and are, as they say 'complicated' for us all.

As to obedience, I would paraphrase the words of the great English Saint, Thomas Becket - He was the King's good servant, but first he was God's servant.


Last edited by DMD; 04/13/12 09:02 AM.
Re: Obedience in the Eastern Tradition? [Re: TAC] #378657
04/13/12 08:59 AM
04/13/12 08:59 AM
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Quote
how important is communion with the See of Peter commonly seen in the East?


Sometimes one wishes the question were reversed: How important is communion with the East commonly seen by the See of Peter?

Re: Obedience in the Eastern Tradition? [Re: TAC] #378685
04/13/12 04:38 PM
04/13/12 04:38 PM
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John 13:12-17 (NIV) When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."


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