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The bane of Eastern Christianity in America #417616
10/22/17 08:44 AM
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The young fogey Offline OP
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The bane of Eastern Christianity in America, Catholic and Orthodox: you can do everything right, from offering the traditional services translated into English to a wonderful youth program, and most of the grandchildren still leave. I don't have a solution. (I'm not knocking the East: I go part-time to a Ukrainian Catholic parish and have Russian Orthodox icons and prayer books.)

Last edited by The young fogey; 10/22/17 08:47 AM.
Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #417650
10/24/17 02:40 PM
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Christ is in our midst!!

This problem is universal. Among some things that are problems to consider and overcome:

1. Sunday is no longer sacred. Many parents will tell you that their child will be tossed from the team, from the play, or from some other activity if they are not present Sunday morning.
2. School activities seem to demand evenings and weekends that are not Sunday for activities, too.
3. The schools are anti-Christian. Make no mistake that the things we teach in church are challenged day-in and day-out, class after class. The media is also beating the drum in this area. Christianity is blamed for every malady that plagues our country and our culture. The assault is on Western civilization as a whole and its foundation is the Church.
4. Peer culture plays a big part. There are so many things pulling young people in every community and, for every one of our teaching, there is a counter teaching in another community that a peer will put up to challenge our youth.
5. Youth is a tough time and everyone wants to find his/her way and "fit in" in some fashion. No one likes to be challenged by peers.
6. Sometimes family is part of the mix, especially if anyone has the legalistic attitude about how much or how little one "has to do."

These are a few things we have discussed at my parish in small groups. They are not the only things, but a start. We have a mountain to climb, but the Lord is in charge and His Holy Spirit is alive and well to help us out.

Bob

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #417654
10/24/17 06:01 PM
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Sure, all the churches in America are hurting for those reasons, but evangelicalism sure holds its own, and Latin Catholicism can take the hit because it was so big (but it has shrunk a lot). The puzzle is why Eastern Christianity despite all its spiritual riches (no heresy, an artistic "unreformed" rite, great cultures, and intense prayer) disappears when its people assimilate in America. A down side of being so connected to certain Old World cultures? Protestant America is that inhospitable? (That didn't stop Latin Catholicism from the 1800s until the 1960s. Its success scared the Protestants.) I think its great unrealized potential here is it can fly under the radar of Protestants' and secular people's prejudice (they hate what they think Catholicism is) to present them with... traditional Catholicism. Traditional services with a vernacular option? Married priests? Mysticism you thought you had to dabble in Hinduism for? It's all here. The recent Orthodox convert boomlet hinted at that potential being realized. But most of the people born into it in America leave.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #417657
10/25/17 09:25 AM
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I know at least two Orthodox parishes in the Philadelphia area that were founded in the 20's-30's and are still thriving. My ACROD parish (founded in the 30's) has as many kids in it as adults on many Sundays.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #417674
10/26/17 10:52 AM
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Christ is in our midst!!

Swan:

What do you attribute this success to? Can we duplicate it?

Bob

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #417676
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I can only speculate but I would guess three factors have some part to play:

1. All services are in English. These parishes have a particular historic ethnic background (Carpatho-Rus') but are not centered on it- they are not closed off to the local culture and community.
2. The parishes are small enough so that everybody knows everybody.
3. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids and no one yells at them for making noise or wandering around.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #417677
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But most such parishes can do all three and still sink.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #417678
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Christ is in our midst!!

It seems to me that what any community needs to stay afloat is just what it means to be a "community"--a "common unity," a sense of being community, a sense that everyone belongs, is welcome, is needed, is vital for the community to continue. If a parish becomes a "spiritual filling station," a place where I come to get what I need and I don't care who sits next to me or who else belongs in the place, then one has the beginning of the end. It may take time, but a place without a sense of community will never stand the test of time.

How a community establishes, maintains, and grows its sense of community may have many answers. But somehow the Holy Spirit finds a fertile ground in which to work and the people act as His leaven. This is not to say that the Holy Spirit is not active in other places or even in a "spiritual filling station," but it seems to me that it makes it a bit harder for the Spirit to produce the yield He wishes.

I think it boils down to a comment that a new person made in my parish some years ago. She said that she enjoyed coming to LIturgy with us because she felt that each and every person wanted to be there and enjoyed each other's company.

Maybe that's the key--people want to be part of the community and they enjoy each and every person who is there--just for their being present. And enjoying Liturgy, they come back to be part of all the other activities that the parish sponsors to bring people together and to witness and serve the greater community of which the parish is part.

Bob

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #417705
11/03/17 02:09 PM
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It is really unfair to draw comparisons between the American evangelical world and Eastern Christianity in the West.
How many Great Awakenings has American Protestantism gone through? I have lost count. Though it is hardly monolithic, American evangelicalism constantly has to reinvent itself (I am thinking here about non-rural areas). But it does have a spectrum as wide as American society. The successes of one generation lead to the undoing of the next -- I am thinking here especially of the adoption of tactics of the commercial culture at one extreme and following the verities of academia at the other.
With every generation, Eastern Christians (and to a lesser degree Roman Catholics) become assimilated to American "mush". This should come as no surprise to the kind of religious minority the ECs have been. American society now offers too many distractions to anyone from a traditional faith to maintain institutional stability.
It is tempting to find hopeful parallels in the Jewish community, but as it is even more ethnically based (and in a different way) than Eastern Christianity, that would draw unrealistic comparisons as well.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: theophan] #417746
11/10/17 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by theophan
I think it boils down to a comment that a new person made in my parish some years ago. She said that she enjoyed coming to LIturgy with us because she felt that each and every person wanted to be there and enjoyed each other's company.


Lilnk: Catholicism: "Here comes everybody," even the annoying ones.

The problem with the romance of "gathered communities" and "small Christian communities," such as ethnic-based congregations or Episcopalian-style congregationalism as in a charming Anglo-Catholic parish, is they can become clubs for "my set," not really churches. Michael Cuneo, not a conservative Catholic, once noted that American Novus Ordo often really is for only one kind of person; middle-class decorum like mainline Protestantism. Disclosure: I don't belong to my territorial parish, instead belonging to a semi-traditionalist magnet parish.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #417769
11/14/17 12:17 PM
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Christ is in our midst!!

Actually we try to go out of our way to be welcoming to everyone who comes along. We try to meet everyone where he is, not where we, or anyone else, thinks they should be. It gets messy, but we've all got a long way to go in being faithful--being the image of Christ to those we meet each day. If I fail to be the image of Christ to another person, I have failed twice--I have failed Him and I have failed the one He put in front of me.

Bob

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #417946
01/30/18 04:44 AM
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I think that Eastern Catholicism needs to take more responsibility for evangelizing, catechizing and retaining members. I look at my own EC parish. It's 1/2 a mile from a major university campus, and 1/2 a mile from a large Newman Center. It's also about a 1/4 of a mile away from a large Latin Rite parish. Yet it remains completely isolated from all three.

The blame for this isolation is placed on the three other institutions. It belong squarely on the pastor of my EC parish and those that came before him, along with those that attend the parish.

The truly tiny Greek Orthodox Church right next door has a great relationship with the Greek Club on the university campus and a large fraternity across the street. It puts on a Greek festival every summer in the center of town on a Sat/Sun which draws thousands, raises a lot of $$$ and exposes many people to the Greek Orthodox Faith.

I suspect my parish will close one day. The parish will be sold for a great deal of money and it will be razed to make room for more student housing. Until then they'll be little more than bitter gossip about how others don't seek us out, how it's their fault we remain isolated.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: Exegete] #417954
01/30/18 06:22 PM
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Exegete:

Christ is in our midst!!

What you describe that the Greek Orthodox parish does that yours does not boils down to some group theory principles. First of all, this group knows who they are, but they are not closed in on themselves. They reach out to others in their community--the university club that is similar to them, for example. They reach out to the greater community, too, with their annual festival--"come be part of something different that we are and we want to share." We're here and we want to share this great treasure that we have--the Orthodox faith.

The Greek parish also has become proactive. Why wait for people to "seek us out"? Let's go out seeking others inviting people in by providing some things of interest. Drawing people into our worship is the last thing that will come after people learn who we are and decide that they want to be part of the group that we are.

So maybe your parish needs to come up with some sort of festival or other activity that will draw people into your neighborhood. For example, my son's college Newman Club held a weekly spaghetti dinner open to students no matter if they were Catholic or not. I don't know how much it served to draw people in, but there is always the chance that someone who is looking for some place to belong will decide to join. We all seek to be part of some group--to belong. Isolation is not fun. However, we can't wait for people to come to us. We have to go out and seek them out, offering a place for them to belong, even if it's only for an annual festival. It does take work and everyone in the parish must get on board. My parish has a free dinner for anyone who can come three times a year, something we do with other churches so that the poor can have a free meal on each Saturday of the year.

If your parish is a "spiritual filling station"--where people only come to satisfy their own needs and have a limited commitment to the group--yes, you will see the place close. A group, a parish, or any other collection of people needs to both have a commitment by each member to each other and also a commitment to drawing more people into the group: we have to be committed internally and externally. This is important in this age when people feel alienated and are looking for a place to feel wanted and valuable.

Bob

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: theophan] #417965
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Thank you for your reply, theophan. I agree with everything you said and I appreciate your insight.

The Greeks HAD to reach-out or they would never have gotten started, nor would it have survived. For quite a few years they shared a priest with another parish located almost 200 miles away. My Ruthenian parish on the other hand receives just enough dissatisfied Latin Rite Catholics to fill-in for those that leave, without lifting a finger.

We so need to engage in outreach! I presented an idea to my pastor. During finals week for the two local colleges, it becomes impossible to find a place to study -- the libraries, campus study centers and coffee shops are packed. Given the location of our parish and given that we have a parish hall that could easily seat 100, I proposed that we open it (supervised) to students so they could study in quiet. I proposed that we serve coffee and hot chocolate -- that my wife and I would pay for. I even had some verbal commitments from those willing to supervise.

I was told "NO!" by the pastor -- that our ministry was not to provide a quiet place to study. No matter what we said, he just didn't get it. Later it hit me -- he may well have understood that it would be an effective way to evangelize, but he simply didn't want any extra work -- even though others would be doing 99% of it. In other words, he didn't want to be disturbed. I had mixed feelings a few years later when the local Presbyterian parish began hosting "Finals Week Study Center."

Then I urged my pastor to visit the nearby Newman Center staffed by two religious priests. He finally said he would. Huzzah! I envisioned a special Divine Liturgy every quarter/semester for college students, followed by a coffee social. I talked to the Newman priests and they said they would love for him to drop by -- they had already visited the Ruthenian parish. He finally did. When he returned his comments were "they do things differently than us!" in a disgusted voice. No kidding, padre! They're Latin Rite and they're 18-25 in age! They're also smart, inquisitive and quite serious about their faith. I volunteered to coordinate a welcoming Divine Liturgy and again was told "no!"

Anyone who talks to Catholic college students and reads about them online realizes they LOVE to go to Mass late on Sunday nights. There is even a bit of grumbling that the latest Local Masses at the local Newman Center and local parishes is 6:00. Online research showed that 9, 10 and even 11:00 PM Masses were quite common at churches/chapels that catered to students which sort of amazed me. I asked a number of students (about 80) when they would attend Mass if their choices were 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11:00? 10:00 PM was by far the #1 choice.

I was ON FIRE with this one! Put a sign on the front lawn and an ad in the college papers offering a 10:00 PM Sunday Divine Liturgy and the church would be packed. I quietly spoke to a cantor (a critical part of the DL) and he too was on fire. He said he wouldn't miss it. My wife and I also committed to not missing for the first year. Altar servers wouldn't have been a problem. The pastor who is young (and FAR from overworked!) flatly rejected it. That time around I have to say his response hardened me on this subject of evangelization in that parish.

Others have also offered great ideas and similarly get turned down. We've had 3 pastors. The founding pastor (RIP) would have been very supportive of this sort of thing, but he was simply too old and tired and he was a controlling sort which didn't allow things to go on that he did not personally control. The second pastor is bi-ritual who nixed getting involved with the Newman Center because he is a self-described "rad-trad." The late Sunday DL was rejected by the current pastor -- one born in a foreign land who seems to have distaste for the US -- other than for its bounty of course.

Our Ruthenian parish is truly blessed given its location and target rich environment for evangelization. I hope one day those blessings are put to good use.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #417966
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Glory to Jesus Christ !
Excuse me for butting in but if you want to have a 10:00 p.m. Sunday evening service wouldn't that be Compline or
Matins ? Don't need a priest for Matins. Why change our beautiful traditions to appease the masses?
May God bless and guide you in your endeavors.
Peace.




P.s. - You are blessed to have a priest , just saying.

Last edited by Michele; 02/04/18 01:09 PM.
Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: Michele] #417968
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It COULD be evening prayer. It would also be a Divine Liturgy.

"You are blessed to have a priest , just saying." <-- a common excuse that's offered in my experience when there is any discussion of a poorly performing parish or pastor.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: Michele] #417969
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Originally Posted by Michele
Glory to Jesus Christ !
Excuse me for butting in but if you want to have a 10:00 p.m. Sunday evening service wouldn't that be Compline or
Matins ? Don't need a priest for Matins. Why change our beautiful traditions to appease the masses?


RC college students will happily show up for "Mass" late Sunday night.

Asking them to show up for an *extra* service, in addition to going to Mass that morning, is a whole 'nuther story.

I went to the 10 PM Mass for most of my time at Santa Clara. IIRC, there was a Saturday or two, and 4:30, 7:30, and 10:00 P.M. Sunday. [I think they did a couple of parish Masses for St. Claire's across the street for reasons I forgot, as it had its own Sunday mornings, also served by USC Jesuits]. In addition to being later, this was, by design, the quieter, "contemplative" Mass.

Folks would wander down the dorm, banging on doors, collecting people for Mass, and several would generally end up going together.

Then, partway through my time there (Senior Year?), the Music Mafia, err, "musicians", managed to take over--and I ended up going across the street to St. Claire's Sunday morning, with my girlfriend and a couple of my other more orthodox friends, for my remaining time there. [Yes, this was the time when "theologically suspect" was a generous way to describe student Masses and the, uhh, orthodoxy of the campus ministry offices at these schools.]

hawk

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #417977
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Oh, I misunderstood .

Last edited by Michele; 02/06/18 12:38 PM.
Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: dochawk] #417980
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Originally Posted by dochawk
Originally Posted by Michele
Glory to Jesus Christ !
Excuse me for butting in but if you want to have a 10:00 p.m. Sunday evening service wouldn't that be Compline or
Matins ? Don't need a priest for Matins. Why change our beautiful traditions to appease the masses?


RC college students will happily show up for "Mass" late Sunday night.

Asking them to show up for an *extra* service, in addition to going to Mass that morning, is a whole 'nuther story.

I went to the 10 PM Mass for most of my time at Santa Clara. IIRC, there was a Saturday or two, and 4:30, 7:30, and 10:00 P.M. Sunday. [I think they did a couple of parish Masses for St. Claire's across the street for reasons I forgot, as it had its own Sunday mornings, also served by USC Jesuits]. In addition to being later, this was, by design, the quieter, "contemplative" Mass.

Folks would wander down the dorm, banging on doors, collecting people for Mass, and several would generally end up going together.

Then, partway through my time there (Senior Year?), the Music Mafia, err, "musicians", managed to take over--and I ended up going across the street to St. Claire's Sunday morning, with my girlfriend and a couple of my other more orthodox friends, for my remaining time there. [Yes, this was the time when "theologically suspect" was a generous way to describe student Masses and the, uhh, orthodoxy of the campus ministry offices at these schools.]

hawk


Great story, thanks... If I should drive by my EC parish on Sunday evening I wince. Being so close to campus the neighborhood is quite active at night. I think if the parish took the plunge and offered a DL at 9 or 10, followed by a very brief coffee social, that in short order this DL would soon draw more than the main 10:00 AM one. When I go to the Newman Center for Mass, I am struck at how orthodox the students are. I think they would absolutely eat-up the DL -- if someone ever made the effort to expose them to it.

Ain't gonna happen though. Well, that's not true. If we ever received the right pastor, the parish could at least double in size in a year. We had an OUTSTANDING "loaner pastor" for several months a few years ago. He was already making inroads when he was permanently replaced.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: Exegete] #417982
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Exegete:

Glory be to Jesus Christ!!

A number of things you mention stand in your way:

1. Your pastor is closed to anything but providing the Mysteries in the ritual he was trained in. Thus he turned down the Newman Center outreach.
2. He is having a difficult time adjusting to the culture--something he needs help with, but if he is closed, you're sunk.
3. Opening to the college for a quiet study place was inspired, but shot down. Bet your pastor doesn't even care that the Presbyterians are doing it and he's missed the boat.
4. My son's University had the Newman Sunday Liturgy at 10 p.m. and he says it was packed. When he visited and had to go back to school by train it was the one he could make because the train left Sunday morning here at home.
5. People "on fire" soon leave a place where a wet blanket is thrown on every new idea. Ardor soon cools completely and people vote with their feet.
6. Priests with their own agenda--"rad-trad"--are part of the problem. And for anyone who says "you're lucky to have a priest"--sometimes you're not. (We had a control freak in our parish for about nine years and the parish went from one where everyone was encouraged to bring his gift and initiate things--the pastor was usually supportive of almost anything that brought people in--to one where it soon became a filling station and we are in danger.)

The things I've summarized paint a picture of a parish closing in the next decade as the "on fire" people age, give up, or move on, while the rest just watch the ship sink.

BTW, this is not just an Eastern Catholic problem; it's all of us who have pastors who think that "this is my parish and my way."

Bob


Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: theophan] #417994
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Exegete:

Rather than a DL on Sunday evening (which is not part of the tradition, so the pastor may not be comfortable with the notion) maybe you could convince the pastor to celebrate Vespers on Sunday Evenings during the Great Fast which is our tradition.

One of the problems of ministering to college students is just as they began to establish roots in a parish, they leave upon graduation. I’m not saying the Church should not minister to college students, but it does take a special cleric to understand how to meet the spiritual needs of the faithful that are “semi-nomadic”.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: theophan] #418039
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Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Exegete:

Rather than a DL on Sunday evening (which is not part of the tradition, so the pastor may not be comfortable with the notion) maybe you could convince the pastor to celebrate Vespers on Sunday Evenings during the Great Fast which is our tradition.

One of the problems of ministering to college students is just as they began to establish roots in a parish, they leave upon graduation. I’m not saying the Church should not minister to college students, but it does take a special cleric to understand how to meet the spiritual needs of the faithful that are “semi-nomadic”.


I don't mean to be rude, but the pastor is indolent in this specific case. As "dochawk" noted, most students wouldn't show up for evening prayer. They want to fulfill their obligation to attend Mass which may be done by attending the Divine Liturgy. That would get them in the door.

We're talking about extremely bright and rather devout students. I suspect a fair number would become captivated by the DL.

Yes, college students move on. However I live in an area where most do anything they can to remain.

If my parish had the right priest as a pastor, I strongly suspect that within 90 days, a 9 or 10:00 PM DL would be drawing more than the ~65 that attend the 10:00 Sunday DL.

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The Wild West
Originally Posted by theophan
Exegete:

Glory be to Jesus Christ!!

A number of things you mention stand in your way:

1. Your pastor is closed to anything but providing the Mysteries in the ritual he was trained in. Thus he turned down the Newman Center outreach.
2. He is having a difficult time adjusting to the culture--something he needs help with, but if he is closed, you're sunk.
3. Opening to the college for a quiet study place was inspired, but shot down. Bet your pastor doesn't even care that the Presbyterians are doing it and he's missed the boat.
4. My son's University had the Newman Sunday Liturgy at 10 p.m. and he says it was packed. When he visited and had to go back to school by train it was the one he could make because the train left Sunday morning here at home.
5. People "on fire" soon leave a place where a wet blanket is thrown on every new idea. Ardor soon cools completely and people vote with their feet.
6. Priests with their own agenda--"rad-trad"--are part of the problem. And for anyone who says "you're lucky to have a priest"--sometimes you're not. (We had a control freak in our parish for about nine years and the parish went from one where everyone was encouraged to bring his gift and initiate things--the pastor was usually supportive of almost anything that brought people in--to one where it soon became a filling station and we are in danger.)

The things I've summarized paint a picture of a parish closing in the next decade as the "on fire" people age, give up, or move on, while the rest just watch the ship sink.

BTW, this is not just an Eastern Catholic problem; it's all of us who have pastors who think that "this is my parish and my way."

Bob



Thank you for your comments, Bob. I fully agree. This parish is going to face a crisis because the pioneers who paid to establish it, and to some degree stuck around because of their "sunk cost" investment are slowly reposing. They'll come a point where there aren't enough to sustain it financially.

There's also the issue about real estate value. The church sits on extremely valuable land. I could see the eparchy selling it at some point. Thanks again.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #418043
03/06/18 07:30 PM
03/06/18 07:30 PM
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Exegete Offline
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Originally Posted by The young fogey
Sure, all the churches in America are hurting for those reasons, but evangelicalism sure holds its own, and Latin Catholicism can take the hit because it was so big (but it has shrunk a lot).


The Latin Rite of the Catholic Church has never been larger in the history of the Church -- both worldwide and in the United States.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: Exegete] #418046
03/11/18 12:26 AM
03/11/18 12:26 AM
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Scottsdale, AZ
Deacon John Montalvo Offline
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Exegete,

I find your comments more than rude, in fact they are in violation of the Forum rules, which, in part, state:

You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use The Byzantine Forum to post any material which is unchristian, knowingly false and/or defamatory, accusatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law.

At best your comments are accusatory with respect to your pastor’s alleged shortcomings. At worst, your comments engage in detraction, if not calumny. This Forum is not the venue to question the motives behind the pastor’s prudential decision whether to schedule the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at a time to attract Latin Catholic college students.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: The young fogey] #418047
03/11/18 12:17 PM
03/11/18 12:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 268
Virginia USA
I
Irish_Ruthenian Offline
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In 2003, I attended a Theology of the Body forum in Gettysburg PA. One of the priest there was Fr. Thomas Loya. Between the sessions, I engaged Fr. Loya in discussion, happy to see him once again. I forget what the seque was into what he shared with me, but the comment I still remember is him saying "If the Byzantine Catholic Church in America doesn't learn to evangelize, it will be gone in 50 years." Since that discussion, I have learned (from somewhere on the Internet) that in the 1950's the Ruthenians had 250,000 members in the USA. Today, as I was led to understand, it is under 60,000.

Having found the beauty of the East and the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom as a convert, I was eager to share this beauty with as many people as possible. My first priest (I withhold his name so as not to identify the parish) was interested in my idea of developing an evangelization outreach to the neighborhoods around our parish. He passed on to his reward before this could take place. The priest who finally replaced him was hounded out of the parish because he wasn't pure Byzantine, but had the letters "S.J." behind his name. This represents yet another problem which Fr. Loya touched on - ethnicism rather than universal outreach. Instead of Christ we offer a country club for a particular ethnic group. That is not the way to attract people.

I recently visited the Orthodox parish across the street from my old parish. It is growing and vibrant. I don't know about my old parish, but I do know that several of the old members have "doxed" and gone across the street.

I thought about making some more comments, but they would transcend badly the boundaries of charity and border on personal attack. I will just say that for me, and probably for many of my old friends who are now Orthodox, it will snow in Hades before I ever step in a Ruthenian parish after the way I and my friends were spoken of and treated. For some reason I still get the ECN newspaper, even though I have been long gone for years. Every time I read an article about "charity" or that mentions treating people with respect, I almost spit my coffee all over the monitor.

Nuff said.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: Deacon John Montalvo] #418050
03/15/18 01:05 AM
03/15/18 01:05 AM
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The Wild West
Exegete Offline
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Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Exegete,

I find your comments more than rude, in fact they are in violation of the Forum rules, which, in part, state:

You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use The Byzantine Forum to post any material which is unchristian, knowingly false and/or defamatory, accusatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law.

At best your comments are accusatory with respect to your pastor’s alleged shortcomings. At worst, your comments engage in detraction, if not calumny. This Forum is not the venue to question the motives behind the pastor’s prudential decision whether to schedule the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at a time to attract Latin Catholic college students.


I find your attack to be far worse than merely rude. If I posted something that contravened the rules of this forum, the Christian thing to do would have been to warn me via a private message. Instead you viciously attacked me in public. That's just wrong. Shame on you!

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: Exegete] #418053
03/17/18 11:02 PM
03/17/18 11:02 PM
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Posts: 1,666
Scottsdale, AZ
Deacon John Montalvo Offline
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Exegete,

I attempted to do just that, but your account has reached it limit for private messages, and I know no way to override that.

But you have accused your pastor on this forum, and he has no way to respond publically to your accusations. The Christian thing for YOU to do would have been to meet with him AGAIN accompanied by someone who shares your concerns.

As a moderator, I have the discretion to offer correction as I deem appropriate.

You are certainly free to report my post to the Administrator, and I will accept any correction he deems appropriate.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: Deacon John Montalvo] #418054
03/18/18 03:37 PM
03/18/18 03:37 PM
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The Wild West
Exegete Offline
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Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Exegete,

I attempted to do just that, but your account has reached it limit for private messages, and I know no way to override that.

But you have accused your pastor on this forum, and he has no way to respond publically to your accusations. The Christian thing for YOU to do would have been to meet with him AGAIN accompanied by someone who shares your concerns.

As a moderator, I have the discretion to offer correction as I deem appropriate.

You are certainly free to report my post to the Administrator, and I will accept any correction he deems appropriate.


Now you're trying to justify your rude public behavior by blaming the condition of my forum in-box. No sale. If my in-box was truly full, all you had to do was post here, asking that I make room for your message and I would have done just that.

As a moderator you have the "discretion" to not approve/delete my posting. Why didn't you simply do that? It's almost as if you wanted to be rude.

In the end, you have no idea who I am, and you can only surmise who my pastor is. There's a level of anonymity that protects him -- you should have realized that. If others are able to deduce who is is, then they are doing it with the help of additional information from other sources.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #418055
03/18/18 03:58 PM
03/18/18 03:58 PM
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Posts: 22
The Wild West
Exegete Offline
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Exegete  Offline
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Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
...I will just say that for me, and probably for many of my old friends who are now Orthodox, it will snow in Hades before I ever step in a Ruthenian parish after the way I and my friends were spoken of and treated. For some reason I still get the ECN newspaper, even though I have been long gone for years. Every time I read an article about "charity" or that mentions treating people with respect, I almost spit my coffee all over the monitor.

Nuff said.


I honestly do appreciate your comments. I think it honestly boils down to leadership -- at both the eparchy and individual parish level. If you don't have strong leadership, trying to ignite initiatives in parishes will be akin to pushing on a rope.

I have experienced strong leadership in my parish. The founding pastor was a strong and I would suggest gifted shepherd. Once the parish was fully established however, he was quite elderly and simply didn't have the energy to sustain the level he had long operated at. A temporary administrator that came after him clearly had well developed leadership skills. Many of us were literally in mourning when he was called back to the eparchy -- even though we knew from the beginning that his time with us was limited.

It's just a very difficult thing to experience the parish operating at an extremely high level, filled with hope and joy, and then experience it when that's all absent.

Re: The bane of Eastern Christianity in America [Re: Exegete] #418056
03/18/18 04:41 PM
03/18/18 04:41 PM
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Virginia!
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John
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Virginia!
Originally Posted by Exegete
Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Exegete,

I attempted to do just that, but your account has reached it limit for private messages, and I know no way to override that.

But you have accused your pastor on this forum, and he has no way to respond publically to your accusations. The Christian thing for YOU to do would have been to meet with him AGAIN accompanied by someone who shares your concerns.

As a moderator, I have the discretion to offer correction as I deem appropriate.

You are certainly free to report my post to the Administrator, and I will accept any correction he deems appropriate.


Now you're trying to justify your rude public behavior by blaming the condition of my forum in-box. No sale. If my in-box was truly full, all you had to do was post here, asking that I make room for your message and I would have done just that.

As a moderator you have the "discretion" to not approve/delete my posting. Why didn't you simply do that? It's almost as if you wanted to be rude.

In the end, you have no idea who I am, and you can only surmise who my pastor is. There's a level of anonymity that protects him -- you should have realized that. If others are able to deduce who is is, then they are doing it with the help of additional information from other sources.

Exegete,

Father Deacon John is correct that you had no business complaining about your pastor in a public forum. I support his comments.

At this point, I'll close this thread and invite anyone interested in this discussion to start fresh in a new thread.

John

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