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Your remarks bring to mind that he was so hard to categorize because he was experienced in so many different ways by people, there being so many facets to his personality and activities. I could describe him summarily as reactionary, revolutionary, conservative, radical and liberal. All these terms would be to some extent true, even simultaneously, and he would even agree with some of them, yet he was each of them entirely in his own way and was typical of none of them.
This sounds both abstract and absurd, but anyone who knew him at all will get it.

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Absolutely.

But he wasn't above displaying his love of Russian traditions when he was here in Ontario, as if he had some fun with the Ukie trads whom he upset. However, they were the ones who first went after him.

He not only upset EC's here, but also certain Orthodox. For example, there were those who wondered how an EC priest can dedicate a chapel to St Seraphim of Sarov. However, the Russian Orthodox here respected him for the way he maintained Orthodox traditions.

In fact, I learned that many Orthodox would respect 'Uniates' if they kept to their Orthodox/Eastern traditions and resisted Latinism.

I once met a very devout Russian Orthodox priest whom I told my convictions that: 1) the "Unia" is not the model of church unity, not then, not now, nor in the future; and 2) we ourselves won't resolve the issue, but God will.

He was more than content with that and told me to continue to be faithful to the UGCC's eastern traditions.

Alex

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It's interesting (and rather delightful)that, at the end of his life, he managed to annoy vostochnyky with his support for the traditional latin liturgy.
I'm sure the various negative reactions must have appealed to his sense of irony.

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Originally Posted by Ven1
It's interesting (and rather delightful) that, at the end of his life, he managed to annoy vostochnyky with his support for the traditional latin liturgy.

I'm sure the various negative reactions must have appealed to his sense of irony.

There are vostochnyky and there are vostochnyky. From what I remember of Fr Serge including in person, from my point of view he was one of the good guys. Restoring the Orthodox heritage of Greek Catholicism was part of his life's calling. Easternizing doesn't necessarily mean being self-hating (most vostochny Greek Catholics are born Westerners), anti-Western, or un-Catholic. It seems to me he was Catholic. He was what Rome always wanted Greek Catholics to be.

Then there are the anti-Western and anti-Catholic including self-hating converts, even a few in the Catholic Church, who think the traditional Latin Mass is for idiots; liberal snobs in Orthodox drag.

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Dear Sergey,

Yes, indeed.

But it was precisely because Fr. Keleher wasn't an ethnic Ukrainian that he sometimes got himself into trouble in the UGCC.

He would emphasize certain rites and traditions which were either foreign to most parishes and when he was told about this, he often continued, as if to want to upset those whose toes he had inadvertently stepped on.

What Rome always wanted for the UGCC was, in fact, an ecclesial experimentation of sorts to see if the ROC could be coaxed into some sort of union with it.

When that failed, the relevance of the "Uniate model" waned as well. In fact, Rome has completely rejected it today. Had it always done so, there would, today, be no UGCC to speak of.

Alex

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I'm wondering what you would see as the ideal 'function' or situation of the Eastern Catholic church today. Quite apart from that of being itself, however one would define it. It seems to have essentially altered from a condition of being under an agenda imposed upon it from the outside to one in which it is free to define itself and determine its own course, if I understand your view correctly. I know that's a large question, but maybe you could throw out a few musings at random.

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One his his parishioners, who had been heavily involved in the Liturgical Movement during her youth in Austria, told me that she thought he was the only person she had ever met who seemed to have achieved its ends! Albeit on the very small scale of the church in Toronto.

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As you well know, he loved the liturgical life of the Church and celebrated it daily.

He once interrupted a conversation we were having to say, "I've got to go and get ready for Vespers!" There were always people present who prayed the Office with him as well.

Quite an achievement. Eternal memory to our Holy Father Sergius!

Alex

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