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Joined: Jun 2017
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M
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Hi, I'm a Latin Rite Catholic who currently attends the Traditional Latin Mass. I have been involved with Eastern Orthodoxy in the past and have attended a number of Orthodox liturgies. I like the Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy, but there is only one Byzantine Rite church in my country (that I know of) and it's at the other end of the country.

What are the main differences between Byzantine Rite Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy? Would you describe yourselves as "Orthodox in union with Rome" ? I know that you obviously believe in papal supremacy, but do Byzantine Rite Catholics have the same mind-set as Orthodox (much more mystical than the West, favour the healing metaphor of atonement over the legal metaphor, etc)? Do you believe in Purgatory, for example, the same way as Latin Rite Catholics, or is your view closer to that of the Orthodox? Would an Orthodox who converted to Byzantine Rite Catholicism need to change much of his thinking?

Also, is the Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy much different to that of the Orthodox (apart from the parts in the litanies commemorating the Pope)?

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John
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Hi Michael! Welcome to The Byzantine Forum!

Byzantine Catholics are called to be fully Orthodox while keeping communion with Rome. That means our liturgical rituals and theology should be the same, and from the same mindset. The reality, of course, is that we very often fall short.

As to Purgatory, the underlying theology between East and West is the same - that there is a purifying journey of the soul after death and that that prayers for those along this journey are necessary. Unlike the West, however, the East would never consider using the legalistic approach of measuring things (i.e., indulgences).

As to the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, the official books of the various Byzantine Catholic Churches (Ruthenian, Melkite, etc.) are very close to their parallel Orthodox editions. At the local level there is a wide range of how close the actual celebration is to the official text, and to the parallel Orthodox Church. Sadly, celebrations like Vespers and Matins are much neglected in parishes (the Latin Rite custom of a Saturday Evening Divine Liturgy has solidly taken hold).

John

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Would an Orthodox who converted to Byzantine Rite Catholicism need to change much of his thinking?


Apart from accepting the papal primacy as defined by the Catholic Church, not much would have to change at all. As Pope St. Pius X said to the nascent Russian Greek Catholic Church,"nec plus, nec minus, nec aliter." (no more, no less, no different).

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 07/15/17 04:28 AM.
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In my opinion, the understanding of marriage indissolubility is a bigger change than the idea of papal primacy. Indissolubility is understood (and practiced) quite differently among the Orthodox Churches as compared to the Catholic Church.

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Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
In my opinion, the understanding of marriage indissolubility is a bigger change than the idea of papal primacy. Indissolubility is understood (and practiced) quite differently among the Orthodox Churches as compared to the Catholic Church.

Very good point Fr. John. (nice to talk to you again)

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Originally Posted by Nelson Chase
Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
In my opinion, the understanding of marriage indissolubility is a bigger change than the idea of papal primacy. Indissolubility is understood (and practiced) quite differently among the Orthodox Churches as compared to the Catholic Church.

Very good point Fr. John. (nice to talk to you again)


Indeed, and not just indissolubility but even the sacramental essence itself. A past thread, instigated by a Latin-trad, despite the in-your-face approach, revealed to me an alarming lack of clarity regarding the compatibility of eastern and western sacramental disciplines in the Catholic Church. I was allowed the last word (link) where I tried to synthesize the points of the discussion and state my concerns, but the entire gory thread would have to be read to appreciate the full disparity of east-west disciplines.




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