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Pittsburgh Byzantine Catholics and Reformation Celebrations #417623
10/22/17 04:05 PM
10/22/17 04:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 167
South.
B
BenjaminRH Offline OP
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BenjaminRH  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 167
South.
Hi all,

What gives with the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Pittsburgh allowing a commemoration of the Protestant Reformation?

On April 15th, the Byzantine Catholic Cathedral of of St. John the Baptist in Pittsburgh was utilized for a dubious commemoration of the Protestant Reformation; this absolutely caused my heart to sink. How did it come to pass that Byzantine Catholic clergy, and a Byzantine Catholic temple of Almighty God, came to be drawn into this scandalous situation?

I am a Roman Catholic whose faith has been severely damaged by years of scandal, bad liturgy, and milquetoast faith. I was very serious about exclusively attending a Byzantine Catholic parish here in Washington State in order to remain Catholic, but this event in Pittsburgh has given me cause for caution, pause, and reflection. I'm not trying to throw verbal bombs here- I am sincerely, deeply wounded in my soul, and I am desperate for authentic answers. I thought I had finally found a religious island in the midst of tempestuous spiritual seas.

Is there any clue as to how or why Byzantine Catholic leadership thought this was a proper event to be held in a Byzantine Catholic temple of God?

eek

Re: Pittsburgh Byzantine Catholics and Reformation Celebrations [Re: BenjaminRH] #417624
10/22/17 04:31 PM
10/22/17 04:31 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,708
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The young fogey Offline
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The young fogey  Offline
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There are joint prayer services with born members of other churches (people acting in good conscience), which aren't a problem (I, a Catholic, should be allowed to visit Orthodox services, right?), and then there is celebrating the various Protestant heresies. All I can say is the teachings of the church do not fail and the Byzantine Rite is perfectly good. I can't see the Ruthenian bishops endorsing Protestantism!

Re: Pittsburgh Byzantine Catholics and Reformation Celebrations [Re: BenjaminRH] #417649
10/24/17 01:30 PM
10/24/17 01:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 6,329
Hollidaysburg, PA
theophan Offline
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theophan  Offline
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Christ is in our midst!!

Quote
this scandalous situation


What is scandalous about Christians praying together? I don't believe that the Byzantine Catholic bishops sought to endorse Protestantism. The truth is that we are called in this age to pray together, even at times that are important to others that may not be as important to us.

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dubious commemoration of the Protestant Reformation


I have to ask what is so doubtful about a commemoration of the Protestant Reformation? It happened. We are living, as Christians, with the damage done to the seamless robe of the Body of Christ as a result of the actions of Christians of all stripes during that period. Has it occurred to you that the Byzantine venue might have been a good one for bridging the divide between Western Catholics and Protestants? The Christian East didn't have a reformation. Maybe the witness of the Byzantine Catholics at that service was to the undivided Church that all point to and that the Christian East has so diligently preserved--that is their witness to all in the West.

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a religious island in the midst of tempestuous spiritual seas


The truth is that there is no such thing this side of Heaven. There are problems in every community; perfection is not something we have here. Perfecting is what we have--a process of having the rough edges worn off: the rough edges of our own pride, our own sense of being in charge, our own will. We are all honestly seeking to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and we have each been placed in different communities that have the same goal but are divided.

IMHO we need to seek out those who call themselves Christians who are different from us. We need to pray for them and for ourselves. Here's a prayer with that theme:

Quote
Prayer for the Unity of Christians

(Introductory Meditation) Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed that all of us might be one as He and the Father are one. And here we are. Allow me to propose that we begin to pray for the unity of the Faith and the unity of the faithful with particular fervor and not stop from this day onward. Let's pray that the Lord Jesus will take over this work since we cannot seem to get it right by ourselves.

Lord Jesus, You came to earth to break the bonds of death for us and to show us the Way to the Kingdom where You and the Father dwell. Send the Holy Spirit to us and let us see that Your Kingdom is within each of us to the extent that we let the Spirit in. Help each of us to see that there are others that You have called who are not of the particular flock that You have placed us in, but that they are our brothers and sisters nonetheless because they are Your followers just as we are. Grant us the grace to let the Holy Spirit heal the terrible wounds that we have all inflicted on Your Holy Body, the Church, just as we have inflicted the wounds on Your Physical Body by our sin, though we may be centuries in time removed from the time You suffered. Help us all to rise from the tombs we have constructed around ourselves that seal us in with our own self-righteousness and the Holy Spirit and our brothers and sisters out. Expand our vision and make our love so grow that we will see each one who calls himself your servant as our brother or sister rather than "one of them" that is "separate from us." Show us Your kindness and have patience with us and with the mess we have all made.

Lord, may each of us who calls himself Your servant take time today to remember that there are others You have placed in this world with theological and doctrinal positions that are directly opposite to what You have given us in the place where You placed us. Let us with Your Grace learn that these may also call themselves Your servants. Let us remember that we have no corner on You, Your Grace, Your Great Mercy, or Your Promises. Let us remember that we do have the same command from You, that we love one another as You have loved us. Help us to remember that Your commandment of love does not release us from living and preaching Your Good News as we have received it, but let us also remember that our brother who may be opposite to us has also been given the Good News even though we may not recognize it in the form he has received it. Shine into all hearts and let each one speak the Truth as he has received it and be charitable to others in listening to them speak. Grant to us the day when the Holy Spirit will cut through the Tower of Babel we have erected in Your Vineyard by our own sin. Let each one remember that his brother does not hold his understanding of the Truth as a heretic, but rather as one who has been placed in another place than oneself.

Grant all these things, Lord, so that the healing of Your Holy Body, the Church, may come quickly.

Through the prayers of the All-holy, Ever-Virgin, Mother of God, Mary, who is also our mother by Your gracious Gift from the Cross, through the intercessions of the holy apostles, saints, martyrs, and of all the blessed spirits You have gathered into Your Kingdom from every age, land, and culture, through the intercessions of the holy Choirs of angels who have one will in doing the Will of the Father, O Savior, save us all. AMEN.


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faith has been severely damaged by years of scandal, bad liturgy, and milquetoast faith


May I suggest that you redouble your efforts in studying the Faith, living it out faithfully, and finding a spiritual father who can be your anchor and touchstone in your pilgrimage. Remember that the Lord is in charge. And remember, too, that in the final analysis, when you face Christ, it is only what you have done, what example you have been, what witness to Him that you have been that will matter.

Be at peace and remember that there are others who also inwardly struggle as you are and who pray for you, for others who struggle, and for themselves that all of us may come to be living stones in the building up of the Kingdom, both here and hereafter.

Bob


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