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With Pope Francis' motu propio Traditionis custodes, eventually use of the 1962 missal will be phased out. I have mixed feelings about this, but the point of this post is discuss how Eastern Rite Catholic parishes could potentially be a place of welcome and healing for these folks and could support the spread of Eastern Christianity in the U.S.

But this would also pose some challenges, specifically
1) Many of the most ardent supporters of 1962 missal deny the validity of the Second Vatican Council or raise serious issues about its reception (I am not simply referring to milder critiques of the council texts or its reception)

2) These communities have become sources of significant problems, on the mild end, there is rigidity and spiritual arrogance (because we have the TLM, we are holier and more pure) to infestations of white supremacy, conspiracy theories and anti-Semitism.

3) These "refugees" may be more interested in preserving there former communities way of life than in breathing in the Easter praxis.

I guess what advice would the members here have for parishes to deal and minster to people who show up at our doors as a result of the aftermath of Traditionis custodes?

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Count on the secular press to sensationalize and lack depth, and special interest groups to be too biased. Everyone, read the document for yourself.

«TRADITIONIS CUSTODES».

In my opinion it's a mixed bag of good ecclesiology, i.e. look to the local bishop, countered by the Papal need to micromanage beyond basic guidance. The Latin church is still wanting in achieving its inherent Catholic eucharistic ecclesiology via expression in its liturgy. I do not believe that what should be the desired "expression in its liturgy" is achieved for this, the present age, by either the Tridentine or Novus ordos.

See Status quo—for now: On Latin Mass...on while studying Pope Francis’ decree for a reasonable review.

The BCC is a spiritual refuge for all those in need.

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Frankly, the possibility that disaffected Latin Catholics will flock to our temples is not without historical precedent. It happened in the immediate aftermath of Vatican II and wasn't all sunshine and smiley faces. The older among us will remember it well!

We had the smells and bells that they were longing for, as well as beautiful vesture, and "holy pictures". We (some of us, at least) did, of course, lack holy water fonts, statuary, Stations of the Cross, Benediction, First Fridays, May processions, altar railings, confessional boxes, kneeling, and First Holy Communion, among other things. The refugees reveled in those of our parishes that were still heavily latinized - and there were quite a few, as we were in the infancy of recovering and reinstituting our own liturgical and spiritual culture, praxis, heritage, and traditions. In those of our parishes that had resisted latinization and those which were fast-tracking to return to their roots, the enthusiasm of the newcomers quickly wore a bit thin and efforts were instituted to help us adopt Latin ways and praxis. It was not a pretty time!

These days, there are more options available to Latin traditionalists than was the case back then. It took some time for Archbishop Lefebvre and the various independents to get up and running. There are still stand-alone traditionalist chapels to be found, and I suspect that mobilization of organized traditionalism will be quicker than it was in those days - when the need to do so was still a new concept. So, I suspect that we won't be as beset as we were back then, but there will certainly be feelers put out to see how compatible our temples and praxis are with whatever they believe tehy need and hope to have.

Deacon Tony's remark that "The BCC is a spiritual refuge for all those in need." is a charitable expression and I would never suggest that our churches should not be welcoming to those who come to our doors. However, we have long exhorted persons seeking to become one with us that they do so because they are spiritually led to run TO the East, not that they are running FROM the West!

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."
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I feel that there's really no need to run anywhere. I came to the east from the west because long ago in my life I came to know and love the east; not because I distained the Latin tradition either in its pre-Vatican II form or the new. I think the real solution is for priests who are well-disposed and able to read and understand Latin correctly, to offer the liturgy of the Mass, "novus ordo", using Eucharistic Prayer I (Roman Canon) and positioned "ad orientem". Readings and Prayer of the Faithful would be done in the vernacular. Do the Latin chants, use incense profusely and appropriately, and, while they might not stream into the church, you might see a change in heart among many intransigent "traditionalists". This is all in accord with the Roman liturgy in its revised form and It would go a long way in preserving unity in the Church which is so essential. Don't see how any bishop including the Pope could object.

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Originally Posted by Utroque
Don't see how any bishop including the Pope could object.

You might be surprised. Bishops can be funny creatures. grin

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Christ is in our midst!!

I don't understand how this is being read. I understood it to mean that the general permission is over, that the TLM must be given case-by-case permission by the bishop in consultation with the Vatican, and that only parishes set up to use this liturgy alone would be using it going forward. Clergy ordained after a certain date would not be permitted to use this form of the Latin liturgy. In other words, conditions are being set up to make it go away a bit faster than many would like.

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I was a member of a Latin Mass parish "part-time" for about 4 years - I'd go to the occasional weekday or Sunday Mass by myself, or stop in for confession or the rosary in the mornings. And then, when covid hit, I moved my whole family over the parish as full-time members. We stayed about a year, but attended our last Latin Mass almost two months ago.

Right before covid restrictions took hold, I had begun reading about the Byzantine traditions, the Greek Fathers, and Eastern theology and spirituality. I was set to attend my first Divine Liturgy, but again, when covid hit, there were restrictions all over the place. I began to watch the "livestream" liturgies of the local Byzantine parish for a while. I didn't know if they were holding liturgies because there wasn't much information on the website, and besides, I assumed that there were restrictions in place, and I thought it would be presumptuous to "take a spot" of an actual parishioner. So, I finally began to attend DLs back in March, and then right after Easter we alternated Sundays between Latin Mass and DL, until attending the DL exclusively since June.

In any case, the reason I gave that backstory is that I was drawn to the East, but was delayed getting to a Liturgy because of covid. But in a way, it was good - I was able to watch and learn, and read along with the Liturgy to become familiar with it. I read up on the differences between East and West, and read about the bad years of a lot of Latinizations occurring in Eastern parishes. While I had already begun to adopt some prayer practices of the East, I never intended to "import" Latin practices into the Byzantine parish. So, I was sensitive to the proper etiquette of attending an Eastern parish. By this time, though, I had already found such a richness and such fruits from Byzantine prayer as compared to Latin practices, that I haven't retained many Latin practices by this point.

But, having been in a Latin Mass community for a while, I think it's fair to say that many "Trads" don't know too much about Eastern spirituality. They know that the Divine Liturgy is ancient and reverent, but they overall see it as just a failsafe - an option to the Latin Mass that isn't the "Novus Ordo." Many of them assume that Latin practices are universal to the Church, and the best ways to express the faith. Again, some are knowledgeable, and would be educated enough not to attend an Eastern parish and start demanding Latin devotions, decor, etc. But many of them are so committed to their devotions that they cannot fathom a faith life without them. Which is fine - if that is someone's "native" or "cradle" spirituality, and the practices are fruitful for them, that's great. But Western Catholicism, and specifically Traditional Catholicism, can be so "devotion heavy" that they can't separate private prayer practices from parish life. Again, not to "put down" Latin spirituality, but over time I just found it wasn't for me.

Eastern Catholic parish priests should be welcoming, but also need to stand strong against some of the more forceful Trads who may show up and start importing or demanding changes to Eastern parishes.

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Lion,

Well said, my brother!

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."
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My wife and I are Latin-Rite Catholics, but we have been attending a Melkite church for a year and a half now. That was the result of an extended period of reading about Eastern Christianity and spirituality. Our new church has become our spiritual home. To say “it’s been a blessing” would be a vast understatement.

Here’s where our experience may be relevant to the thread: We’ve raised four sons in the Latin Rite, three of whom have attended Divine Liturgy with us at least once.

They were all impressed at the beauty and holiness of the Divine Liturgy, they’re quite happy for us, but Rome is their home, as it were. One son has been attending the traditional Latin Mass for some time now. Naturally, he was quite upset over Pope Francis’s motu. His plan A is to stick with his parish’s Latin Mass (even if they are forced out of the church building). If he is unable to attend a Latin Mass, Plan B is to attend a nearby Anglican Ordinariate

Attending the Divine Liturgy with us is a distant Plan C, and not one I suspect he’d be entirely satisfied with (at least for a while). The reason being is that He loves the Mass. He wants to be in a parish that prays the rosary. Familiarity is so important to him.

I suspect that he is fairly typical of those who attend the Latin Mass.

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My family only recently committed to the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church a few weeks ago. We used to attend trad parishes but found them to be very unwelcoming and not spiritually beneficial to our lives, our marriage, our kids, etc. I admit that I frst approacahed Eastern Christianity out of a desire to flee Rome and all her problems. What made me stay, was the beauty, truth, and goodness to be found in Eastern Christianity. I left for anti-roman reasons. I stayed for Christ.

I'd been tempted to join the Orthodox Church many times (and the desire ebbs and flows with time). Ultimately, however, I know Eastern Catholicism is the truly faithful and full expression of Eastern Christianity. I still have great love for Holy Orthodoxy, and my family will attend the occasional service during the week, but Eastern Catholicism is where it's at for us.

That being said, our Ruthenian parish is still in a state of transition as well. Our parish was started by a few families of Eastern Catholics. What made it grow from a mission community meeting in one of the families homes to having a beautiful temple of their own, was the influx of disgrunted Roman trads following the Second Vatican Council. These members have largely remained this entire time in the Byzantine Church. Unfortunately, they bring their roman customs and devotions with them. We are not able to do Orthros before Divine Liturgy on Sunday because one of the older trads insists upon praying a rosary before the start of Divine Liturgy (while kneeling, no less). Our gift shop/book store is FULL of Roman devotional stuff. Marian rosaries, icons of western saints, images of the sacred heart and immaculate heart, books about Mother Teresa and John Paul II, etc. There's very little by way of Eastern materials. A few books on Eastern theology, a couple on Eastern saints, some prayer ropes and a handful of Eastern icons. It's a real shame.

Thankfully, we have an awesome priest. He recognizes all these problems and desires to change them, but in a way that won't scandalize or make the romans feel unwelcome. He's been looking for more people in introduce more and more Eastern customs and devotions, and wants to slowly phase these latinizations out. It's a tightrope Father is walking on, and I ask everyone to pray for his/our success! Without the Roman Catholic majority in our parish, we would not have the numbers and financial resources to continue to exist. We are dependent upon them.

What "I" don't understand is why a Roman Catholic who, after spending time (weeks, months, couple years even) at an Eastern parish and who makes the decision to make that their parish for the rest of their lives, why on earth would you not fully embrace the Eastern faith? Make the canonical transfer, become Ruthenian officially. Drop all your western devotions and embrace Eastern ones (at least for anything involving the public life of the parish). At home, anyone can pray as they like. But at church, keep it authentic. I tried gently bringing this up in conversation with one of the traditional members and when he heard I used to be a latin mass going Catholic, the conversation changed and was all about him railing on Vatican II and modernist heretics and blah blah blah.

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Thanks to Ruthenian1988. I wonder: how welcome do you feel when you attend Eastern Orthodox services? Are you questioned about being Catholic and how do Eastern Orthodox respond when they hear you are Roman Catholic or Eastern Catholic? Is there a particular Eastern Orthodox church (Greek, Antiochian, etc.) where you and your family have been made to feel welcome?

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Christ is in our midst!!

reikan,

I can speak of my own experience. I have been welcomed in many Orthodox parishes. In fact, each time it seems that a head usher spots me as someone new and makes a specific point to seek me out, welcome me after the DL, ask me to return, ask if I want their priest to call me. I make it my practice to try to fit into the picture. I don't do any outward Western or Catholic acts that make me stick out. I cross myself in Orthodox fashion. I venerate the icon on the stand in Slavic churches as the members do. I cup my hands and ask for father's blessing if he comes by, as is the custom of greeting an Orthodox priest in church. I ask what the seating custom is in the parish and indicate I am a visitor. I never make it a practice to wear my own Church on my sleeve--I don't make a big deal our of being Latin Catholic or volunteer unless asked. I try to be a good guest in someone else's home.

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Latins coming East need to first shake off their latin understanding of almost everything. For example, there are seven ecumenical councils, not 21. We are NOT REQUIRED to accept Rome's local councils as being ecumenical, simply because a pope says so. Vatican I's understanding of papal supremacy, infallibility and universal jurisdiction are WRONG.

Once they reach this point, then they can come into Eastern Catholicism with the right mindset. They must leave their ultramontane errors at the door.

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Originally Posted by Ruthenian1988
Latins coming East need to first shake off their latin understanding of almost everything. For example, there are seven ecumenical councils, not 21. We are NOT REQUIRED to accept Rome's local councils as being ecumenical, simply because a pope says so. Vatican I's understanding of papal supremacy, infallibility and universal jurisdiction are WRONG.

Once they reach this point, then they can come into Eastern Catholicism with the right mindset. They must leave their ultramontane errors at the door.
"...almost everything", so what's ok?

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Originally Posted by Ruthenian1988
Latins coming East need to first shake off their latin understanding of almost everything. For example, there are seven ecumenical councils, not 21. We are NOT REQUIRED to accept Rome's local councils as being ecumenical, simply because a pope says so. Vatican I's understanding of papal supremacy, infallibility and universal jurisdiction are WRONG.

Once they reach this point, then they can come into Eastern Catholicism with the right mindset. They must leave their ultramontane errors at the door.
I'm not arguing, just curious. You reject major elements, even dogmas of Roman Catholicism as per Vatican I. Unless I've misunderstood, in doing so you've made yourself "anathema" according to V1. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Are not Eastern Catholics obligated, at least in public, to accept those dogmas and doctrines?

It seems to me that in rejecting them you have officially put yourself outside the (Catholic) Church and into Orthodox territory. You also write above "... Ultimately, however, I know Eastern Catholicism is the truly faithful and full expression of Eastern Christianity..." How does that intersect with what you wrote here and why, in light of that, do you say that of Eastern Catholicism and not of Orthodoxy?

I guess all that's a convoluted way of saying that you sound much more Orthodox than Eastern Catholic. I do NOT have a problem with that, but, like I said, I'm curious--mainly because I have similar but not identical thoughts and sentiments.

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