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Dear Tammy;

I have to agree with Hal. Most Eastern Christians (Orthodox and Catholic) have a very limited liturgical experience, and therefore a very poor understanding of the whole of our tradition. If you could see how interrelated everything is, it would blow your mind. The cycle of readings, the cycle of feasts and holy days, the canons, troparia, kontakia, akathists, icons, prayers, practices and so on are each like individual tiles of a mosaic icon that extends without limit.

This is what the monastic, if he or she is lucky, gets to experience. This is what the monastic tries to share, even in a limited way, with us.

If we take "the presumed best" of each tradition, we end up with tiles from different icons that don't fit with each other. The result is an icon that does not enhance but actually obscures the beauty of the Image.

From one who is most appreciative of the glimpses that I get,

John

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I, for one, will continue to pray both the chotki and the rosary, to read both St. John Climacus and St. Teresa of Avila, to display icons on the Eastern walls and crucifixes on the Western walls of my home, etc. Assimilating Latin Rite traditions does not HAVE to mean discarding those of the Eastern Rite.

Respectfully,
Tammy

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As I posted in aprevious message on this thread. I have been told that there is some corruption of the Byzantine Rite in some Eastern European countries, that are consistent with some Western practices, that are not "latinizations" but abuses commonly spread in most roman parishes of our time. Among them the use of instruments (sometimes guitars) in the liturgy, poor vernacular translations, shortened prayers, etc.

Any comment?

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Tammy wrote:
Mr. Administrator,

I doubt Pope John Paul II would say we are Orthodox and NOT Catholic!

Tammy
Hi Tammy!

I suggest that you read the writings of the Holy Father on this topic. He is pretty clear on this. In order for us to be faithful Catholics we must first be faithful Orthodox!

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A couple of observations.

I think a difference should be made between what one does personally and what happens on a parish level. I know that I've benefitted from visits to Coptic parishes and from occasional use of the Agpeya even though this represents the Alexandrian usage and not Byzantine. Right now our family is part of a Roman parish since there is not an Eastern Catholic parish nearby and so, of course, we get a lot of Roman influence in many ways. I see no reason why Latins cannot read the Philokalia or why Easterners cannot read the Imitation of Christ. (In fact, I seem to recall a Greek Orthodox Archbishop who encouraged his flock to read the Imitation of Christ.) Certainly the spiritualities are different and it sometimes that requires a bit of extra work to not confuse things.

On a parish level, though, we are called to be faithful to our liturgical heritage. Too often, Western devotions (such as Stations of the Cross or the Rosary) have eclipsed our own liturgical services. ("Well, yes, we should have Matins before Liturgy but that would displace the Rosary." or "We should be doing the Presanctified but we've already scheduled Stations of the Cross.") Our Church is in dire need of restoring such services and other Byzantine traditions.

A few years ago a friend told us about an estate sale that had a lot of Eastern type items. From the books and religious items for sale I deduced the people had been involved with the OCA parish in Phoenix but had an Eastern Catholic background. There were several old Ruthenian and Ukrainian Catholic prayer books along with OCA materials though the years. I bought up all I could and one of the prize items I purchased was a metal Byzantine crucifix complete with a corpus. It now occupies a spot of honor in our icon corner in our home. I realize it's not what some would think traditionally Byzantine but I figured if it had survived all these years in the home of founding members of the OCA parish in Phoenix that it was "Orthodox" enough.

I would also say that we are Orthodox...not in the popular sense of being a member of a jurisdiction not in union with Rome. The term "Orthodox" is a badge of honor that pre-dates the Schism and is ours as well.

David Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

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Thank you, Dave!

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Originally posted by Administrator:
Hi Tammy!

I suggest that you read the writings of the Holy Father on this topic. He is pretty clear on this. In order for us to be faithful Catholics we must first be faithful Orthodox!

Admin
In Christ Our God,

What is this absurd notion that seems to be posted against what my wife Tammy has logically and insightfully. If you mean we are Orthodox in that we are Eastern I guess that term as Dave said is ours just as is for the Orthodox then there would be a point made. Yet if you, the administrator, and others are saying that dogmatically we are Orthodox, you need to take your Ritalin and calm down.

Read the Vatican II Documents, and you will find that the definition of the fullness of the Church is found in those Churches WHO ARE IN COMMUNION WITH ROME IN DOGMA!!!. If we are truly Orthodox we would deny Petrine Primacy and infallibility. I believe The Orthodox ,in that sense, are opposed to these Dogmas. We cannot, therefore , in this sense call ourselves Orthodox. It would be ridiculous to assume that PJPII would mean that we are Orthodox or should be Orthodox in that sense. No Pope can be that inane as to request His flock to deny Catholic Dogma, especially Infallibility of the Papacy.

Now if we are dealing with private devotionals or liturgical practices then yes Latin practices should not be replacing Eastern practices. By This I mean, WE should not remove Eastern Practices and replace them with Latin practices but adaptations have occured in the Universal Church throughout the centuries. Latins have adapted our prayer rope to create the rosary and I believe Gregory the Great adapted Eastern tones to create gregorian chant. It happens. Tammy was not stating we should remove Eastern practices only allow organic growth within them( I know , I live with her..if anyone knows her I do). I ,too, have been appalled and dismayed, as Tammy has, at the removal of authentic Eastern practices and their replacement by Latin devotional practices. Yet I think you all are attacking the messenger rather than dealing with the issues. You all need to ask for clarification from the person rather than jump into the fray without knowing the sides. I myself, pray to the Theotokos with a prayer that is the equivalent to the Ave, called The Angelic Salutation in our prayer book, when I pray the rosary I use this in place of the Ave because it is an Eastern equivalent. We have suffered alot in losing many of our traditions but their recovery should not be used as an attempt to remove helpful devotional Latin practices, insatead it should be aimed at RECOVERY. Particular Churches can adapt practices as did the Latins as long as we recover our Practices. Let us not get caught up in the letter of the law as much as the Spirit of the Law.

John Paul II, is aiming for us to recover our pracctices not to disinfranchize ourselves from our Latin Brothers.

In God's Mercy,

Mike, poor sinner and faithful husband

P.S. I defend my wife when I feel she is right not when she is wrong.


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Hi Mike!

Thanks for your post.

There is nothing absurd about the idea that we are called to witness the fullness of Orthodoxy within Catholic communion. The only dogmatic and doctrinal elements of Orthodoxy that are unacceptable to Catholicism are those involving the authority of the Successor of Peter. To witness Orthodoxy within Catholicism means to embrace the authority of the Successor of Peter.

In Oritentale Lumen, Pope John Paul II teaches us that: “Pondering over the questions, aspirations and experiences I have mentioned, my thoughts turn to the Christian heritage of the East. I do not intend to describe that heritage or to interpret it: I listen to the Churches of the East, which I know are living interpreters of the treasure of tradition they preserve. In contemplating it, before my eyes appear elements of great significance for fuller and more thorough understanding of the Christian experience. These elements are capable of giving a more complete Christian response to the expectations of the men and women of today. Indeed, in comparison to any other culture, the Christian East has a unique and privileged role as the original setting where the Church was born. The Christian tradition of the East implies a way of accepting, understanding and living faith in the Lord Jesus. In this sense it is extremely close to the Christian tradition of the West, which is born of and nourished by the same faith. Yet it is legitimately and admirably distinguished from the latter, since Eastern Christians have their own way of perceiving and understanding, and thus an original way of living their relationship with the Savior. Here, with respect and trepidation, I want to approach the act of worship which these Churches express, rather than to identify this or that specific theological point which has emerged down the centuries in the polemical debates between East and West."

Later the Holy Father goes on to encourage us in our faithfulness to our Orthodox roots by stating that: "It has been stressed several times that the full union of the Catholic Eastern Churches with the Church of Rome which has already been achieved must not imply a diminished awareness of their own authenticity and originality. Wherever this occurred, the Second Vatican Council has urged them to rediscover their full identity, because they have 'the right and the duty to govern themselves according to their own special disciplines. For these are guaranteed by ancient tradition, and seem to be better suited to the customs of their faithful and to the good of their souls.'"

Time and time again the Holy Father has taught us that we must be faithful to Orthodoxy in all things in order to be faithful Catholics. He is speaking of the authentic and original Christian Way of Life that matured in Orthodoxy. He is not speaking of a Latin Way of Life with Eastern trappings. We are not called to be Roman Catholics with a special indult for a funny Mass. We are called to be Orthodox Christians who are in full communion with Rome.

Father Deacon John is correct in that the vast majority of us Eastern Christians (both in communion with Rome and not in communion with Rome) have a very limited liturgical experience and therefore a poor understanding of the whole of the Byzantine Eastern Orthodox Tradition. It is an awesome thing to see that glimmer of light shine in someone’s face for the first time as they begin to see the real originality and authenticity of the Orthodox Way of Life

I request that you read what is written and strive to understand it before you come to this Forum with both guns blasting and make false accusations.

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you need to take your Ritalin and calm down.
I find this extremely rude and uncalled for.

You owe the Administrator an apology

Michael

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Are you saying that we do not need to believe in the Immaculate conception, Purgatory, all the accepted Ecumenical Councils( not just those accepted by the Orthodox)? All these dogmatic statements are found in our Catechism of the Catholic faith as Dogmatic teachings. The very same Catechism which John Paul II calls "a sure norm for teaching the faith"....Orthodox Materials I've read have made these Dogmas into things you might believe if you want to believe them. As Catholics these are defined as Must be believed in Councils(ecumenical Councils). As to the Ritalin comment was made to say calm down. My wife was merely asking a question and you all ganged up on her and I'll not let anyone pick on her EVER. tHE IDEA THAT THE EASTERN CHURCHES CAN IGNORE OR PUT INTOA LESSER CATEGORY DOGMAS IS RIDICULOUS!!! I've asked my wife to not frequent the forum in this area anymore and I will stay in Town Hall and Prayer.

Mike disgruntled and poor sinner


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Are you saying that we do not need to believe in the Immaculate conception, Purgatory, all the accepted Ecumenical Councils( not just those accepted by the Orthodox)?
No we do not. By the way, the truly Ecumenical Councils are those where the whole of the universal church was represented. Those councils are accepted by both the big-O Orthodx and the big-C Catholics. The Vatican Councils, for example, should not be described as "Ecumencial."

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All these dogmatic statements are found in our Catechism of the Catholic faith as Dogmatic teachings.
While they may be a part of Latin Rite teachings, they are certainly not part of the Byzantine tradition.

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The very same Catechism which John Paul II calls "a sure norm for teaching the faith"....
..but he does not call it THE ONE AND ONLY sure norm, does he? No, he used the indefinite article. Think about it.

Yours,

hal

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I was raised on the Catechism of the Eastern church and It says that we only follow the first 7 ecumenical councils and our Latin brothers have 14 or so more.

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Dear brother in Christ Michael,

There is no third way.

You and I most certainly have a right to mix our devotions, if that's what we want to do, but you cannot represent that as "our way" it would have to be your way (or my way). A little of that would be expected and the free flow of ideas and practices can be good, even enlightening, to be conversant in both theological perspectives would be something to be proud of, and useful in apologetics. But a totally mixed theological perspective and devotional life cannot be claimed as normative for Eastern Catholics.

Eastern Catholics are representatives of the Orthodox churches in communion with Rome. With God's help and our good example some day there may be many more Orthodox in Communion with Rome, but you can understand their misgivings about the prospect if we ourselves are confused as to our own identity, they wouldn't want that to happen to their children, and our predecessors didn't want that to happen to us.

In Christ,
Michael

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Anam Chara asks the Administrator "Are you saying that we do not need to believe in the Immaculate conception, Purgatory, all the accepted Ecumenical Councils( not just those accepted by the Orthodox)?"
The easiest response concerns the Ecumenical Councils. The unofficial list maintained by the Holy See is precisely, as I have just termed it, an UNOFFICIAL list, and is notably missing the Double Council of 879. I know of nothing which would require anyone to give interior assent to the proposition that later general councils held in the West (if I may thus borrow a well-known phrase from Pope Paul VI) were "Ecumenical Councils" on a par with the Seven Councils.
Purgatory? Well, the term refers to a medieval construct. However, the Church certainly knows, from the earliest times, of prayers for the dead, the offering of the Eucharist for the dead, the offering of other sacrifices and suffrages for the dead, and the belief that such prayers and offerings are pleasing to God and of essential assistance to the dead. Anyone who is interested in this does well to read the liturgical and Patristic texts.
The Immaculate Conception? The problem here has to do with an insufficient dogmatic basis which makes it difficult to grasp the essence of what, precisely, Pius IX defined. It would be a long and rather dull discussion. The question I would pose can be stated simply: are you satisfied with the liturgical and Patristic teaching on the subject? If so, I see nothing much that requires disagreement.
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Dear Administrator,

With your permission, I would disagree with your statement that a crucifixion is a statue of Christ on the Cross.

The crucifix is a depiction of Christ on the Cross - period.

And the Orthodox tradition does indeed depict Christ on the Cross in a way that closely resembles the Western tradition on pectoral and other Crosses.

The East prefers the iconic form, as in the Crucifix of San Damiano, to underscore Christ's Divinity and Resurrection.

Alex

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