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Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90909
09/25/02 05:09 PM
09/25/02 05:09 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,186
Walled Lake, Mi
Carson Daniel Offline OP
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I don't know why I can't find the old thread on the SSPX here but perhaps it's just as well. Maybe a new thread is needed.

I just completed a fascinating conversation with a traditional but faithful to Rome, Roman Catholic. He says that the bishop of Saginaw, Michigan is so liberal that he is driving every faithful Catholic out of the Church. He suspects that there are probably millions of Roman Catholics who would happily find a home among the BC's if they were welcomed and if we had a careful educational strategy toward them.

This certainly seems better than complaining about their penchant for kneeling, reading in Latin when we are singing in English.

What kinds of strategies do you all think would be helpful in welcoming displaced RC's who need only some place where they might find love and a place to worship? How might we educate or evangelize them before they inadvertantly cause disruption? Perhaps compassion and a little work might be better than complaining. Do you think?

Dan Lauffer

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90910
09/25/02 05:56 PM
09/25/02 05:56 PM
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Mexico, Iasi
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The problem you have brought to discussion, about the Bishop, is not a particular problem of the USA. At least in the USA you can always find Orthodox parishes, catholic parishes, traditional latin masses, etc.
But in many European countries (Holland for example) and Latin America, there's not a single traditional parish with a regular status.

In Holland for example, the Orthodox Church (that uses Dutch in the Liturgy) has received a lot of converts, former protestants and former catholics, dissaflected by the modern state of their Church. In Holland too, one Bishop suspended the permission to the fathers of the Fraternity of St Peter to celebrate the Mass because while the Bishop celebrated with 5 people in his Cathedral, the fathers of the FSSP had 200 people outside their small parish.

From what I have seen in my native country, traditional catholics are not as organized as they are in USA or Britain. When the Come bishops and the modernist priests started the changes in the parishes, traditional catholics only had two options: continue in their parishes or stay home. They just decided to stay home (they didnt oppose like in the USA, it was impossible). T

he Orthodox Church has not atracted many dissaflected catholics because it's not very well known by the population, most of the new members are young men but their backgrounds are not traditionalist. The byzanine catholics only have small parishes in the Capital and are more unknown than the Orthodox.

As you can see, in many "moderated" traditional sites, you can find that eastern Rite parishes are included among the lists of traditional masses throughout the world.
Many traditional catholics have high respect for the byzantine rite and the liturgy of the Orthodox Church. There are many of them who attend the melkite parish (which is very eastern and byzantine) or the maronite (which are quite latinized) and find a confortable environment of reverent worship.
But these are the kind of traditionalists who feel attached to the reverent worship, and not to the strict latin practices (those wouldn't be very happy at all).

I don't think it's a good idea to atract traditionalists to your parishes as the aim, specially if they do not feel that they are totally atracted to the Eastern Church and are convinced that they wanna become truly Eastern.

I don't think it would be a true solution.
It's better if you as Byzantine Catholics offer your help to them, in order to convince their Bishops to be generous and to accept them in their Church as they are, with their traditions, with their parishes.
People in the Latin Church have the right to have a SACRED liturgy.

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90911
09/25/02 06:06 PM
09/25/02 06:06 PM
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Falls Church, Virginia
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Dr John Offline
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Numbers of more traditionalist RCs around metro Washington and Maryland have established their own prayer societies and confraternities, sort of 'mini-congreagations'. A number have even purchased old rural chapels and made them into shrines, replete with altar, statues, holy water fonts, stained glass, etc. They gather for rosary and other devotions on a regular basis and a priest comes periodically to celebrate Mass for them

Rather than suggest that these poor folks learn a whole new spirituality, theology, ecclesiastical lifestyle, language(?), etc. just to be at a "legal" liturgical service, I would hope that they could retain what they will of their heritage, preserve it in whatever ways they see fit, and not be forced to lose their RC identity just to stay "legal". (If "legality" were not a problem, they could go to the nearest Anglican parish where they would be welcomed with open arms by the traditional Episcopalians who also have a problem with their own version of 'modernism'.)

Eastern Catholics, it appears, would generally have a serious problem with the concept of abandoning one's legitimate traditions in order to remain in the Petrine family. We didn't do it (well, somewhat...) so why should these RCs be forced to "go East" in order to retain their 'legitimacy' in Catholicism? And it puts us Easterns in a kind of uncomfortable position.
Blessings!

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90912
09/25/02 06:19 PM
09/25/02 06:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,658
Mexico, Iasi
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I would hope that they could retain what they will of their heritage, preserve it in whatever ways they see fit, and not be forced to lose their RC identity just to stay "legal". (If "legality" were not a problem, they could go to the nearest Anglican parish where they would be welcomed with open arms by the traditional Episcopalians who also have a problem with their own version of 'modernism'.)

Dear Dr John

I didnt understand very well the last commment. The Anglican Church, no matter if they are conservative or not, does not have true sacraments, it doesnt have true priests and it's not a true Church (noth Orthodox and Catholics agree).

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90913
09/25/02 07:24 PM
09/25/02 07:24 PM
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Las Vegas, NV
Yuhannon Offline
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Shlomo Dan,
Quote
Originally posted by Dan Lauffer:
What kinds of strategies do you all think would be helpful in welcoming displaced RC's who need only some place where they might find love and a place to worship? How might we educate or evangelize them before they inadvertantly cause disruption? Perhaps compassion and a little work might be better than complaining. Do you think?

Dan Lauffer
It is a violation of canon law (punishible by excommunication) for one Catholic Church to poach from another. Further, as Eastern Catholics we do not want to sin against the Romans as many of them have done against us, i.e. encouraging us to become Roman Catholics.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90914
09/25/02 07:35 PM
09/25/02 07:35 PM
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Posts: 6,186
Walled Lake, Mi
Carson Daniel Offline OP
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"It is a violation of canon law (punishible by excommunication) for one Catholic Church to poach from another. Further, as Eastern Catholics we do not want to sin against the Romans as many of them have done against us, i.e. encouraging us to become Roman Catholics."

"Poaching" was never stated nor implied. I'm sorry you got that impression. Though it did not come from me.

While I'm in general agreement on this issue with Dr. John the fact is that many of our Churches do have traditional RC's attending both from time to time and regularly. Moreover, seem to be several solid Christian people who are so sick of the abuses in many of their parishes that they simply don't attend worship anywhere. We don't have to create their existence. They are already there. What can we do to help them, without assuming that they don't want our help? Judging from the comments in the other thread and from the comments here, the only thoughts we've given are: 1. "I see nothing" or 2. "Go away".

I'm hoping this thread will produce more than that.

Dan Lauffer

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90915
09/25/02 07:51 PM
09/25/02 07:51 PM
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Kansas/UGCC
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Good points, Dr. John. Noone appreciates being forcebly assimilated into another's church.

Dan, the SSPX thread is still around.

I would suggest a series of informational meetings to present the Eastern Catholic Churches and take questions or concerns from the visitors. They should know who we are, what to expect, and what they are "getting into". After that, some may like what they hear or see and be great parishoners. Some may want to continue as RC traditionalists. Some may just get fed up with the local RC diocese and get in touch with the SSPX.

It's unfortunate that there are RC bishops who can't seem to comply with Papal decrees which recognize those who wish to remain faithful to Rome and continue to use the traditional 1962 Roman Mass. Within an hour's drive from us there are three Latin masses approved by the local archdiocese. I don't get it.

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90916
09/25/02 08:15 PM
09/25/02 08:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
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Las Vegas, NV
Yuhannon Offline
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Shlomo Dan,

Quote
"Poaching" was never stated nor implied. I'm sorry you got that impression. Though it did not come from me.
I have to disagree with you here. Your statement:
Quote
What kinds of strategies do you all think would be helpful in welcoming displaced RC's who need only some place where they might find love and a place to worship? How might we educate or evangelize them before they inadvertantly cause disruption? Perhaps compassion and a little work might be better than complaining. Do you think?
Definately implies poaching. Using terms such as displaced, evangelize, and the like are terms that imply poaching.

As to your point:
Quote
While I'm in general agreement on this issue with Dr. John the fact is that many of our Churches do have traditional RC's attending both from time to time and regularly.
Then I would use what I listed in a Partical Guild For Evangelizing for Eastern Catholic Parishes. That is: "assign greeters to the main entrance and exits. Greeters must be carefully selected, and briefly trained to recognize and welcome visitors. The greeter must understand that he or she is there first and foremost to make the newcomer feel welcome and comfortable. Today, many Roman Catholic parishes have greeters, and find them to be a true blessing.

As to Roman Catholics who come to us, on their own, then there is nothing canonically wrong with that. I have an ex-roommate that is completing the process of becoming a Maronite. The only thing that I did was when we were living together invite him to come to Church with me since he did not go to Church at the time. When he had questions I answered them. Overtime, he felt that the Maronite Tradition was the one that bested expressed his views of God and worship.

The best thing that I would recommend is to print off the guild that I edited (listed here on the forum) and use that. Do not in any way encourage Romans to come to are Churches just because they are disaffected, you will be asking for a lot more trouble than you every thought. One of my relatives serves on the Apostolic Signature (The Vatican Supreme Court), and I have spoken with him many times about this same subject. If you are excommunicated out right by a bishop, or convicted of poaching in front of an eccesiatical court, only the Apostolic Signature, your Patriarch or the Pope can remove the penality.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90917
09/25/02 08:59 PM
09/25/02 08:59 PM
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Falls Church, Virginia
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Dr John Offline
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I think a key point that has been made (many times) in the past needs to be reiterated. Be welcoming of those who are truly seeking a new spirituality for the betterment of their souls; be very cautious of those who are "fleeing" from something. The true seekers will be flexible, adaptive and truly curious; the refugees will tend to compare everything with their past experiences and find criticism.

As Easterns, we should not hide our light under the bushel basket; we should indeed encourage our community to be outgoing and welcoming to all who come through the door. But we should also be vigilant once the visitors return to discern how they will (or will not) be viable and contributing members of the parish community. There is for us --and for better or worse -- a very strong sense of 'belonging'; our parishes could never really be seen as sacrament-factories. We're just too small for people to slip in and slip out unnoticed. So, for visitors who come and who have the mindset of "I'll get my Sunday obligation done" with these folks, they'll probably begin to feel kinda funny after a while since the Easterns will begin to feel like they're being used and the interaction will begin to show this mindset.

For the disaffected, going East is not going to solve any problem whatsoever except for the ability to fulfill their Sunday obligation in a "Catholic-affiliated" parish church.

Apropos the Anglicans, I am more than well aware that Leo XIII declared Anglican orders to be 'totally null and void'. But for some folks, the comfortable 'churchiness' that the Anglicans practice (especially the High Church folks) can be a source of psychological solace, and - to be honest - also a source of spiritual nourishment. Scriptural readings, public prayers, hymns, litanies and even the 'externals' of sacramentality are not without value. And for those who are starving, I would not condemn whatever is going to sustain them. There are many 'fallen away' Christians who get really sentimental about Christmas and Easter, and --while they would not darken the door of a church of any variety throughout the year -- if they feel the need to be 'churchy' on Christmas and Easter and do the 'church-thing', then we practicing Christians of whatever stripe should make a concerted effort to make them feel comfortable and welcome and even go so far as to seduce them into coming back outside of our High Holydays.

And to be honest, the Church has always taught that mankind is intrinsically 'good', and so we should ask these fallen-aways if they would be willing to lend a hand putting together shoe-box gifts for the homeless or distributing sandwiches and hot meals for them, or packaging clothes and household items for those in need, etc. I firmly believe that if you personally ask someone for some help for a worthy cause, the person feels both needed and honored to be asked. And they will pitch in to help. And they'll get the idea that the Church founded by Christ is not just some organization with sacraments, but rather a group of graced people who are committed to love of God and service of neighbor.

And then, they're likely to come back.

Blessings! (And let's go get 'em!!!!)

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90918
09/25/02 09:00 PM
09/25/02 09:00 PM
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Sacramento, Ca
Brian Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Dan Lauffer:

This certainly seems better than complaining about their penchant for kneeling, reading in Latin when we are singing in English.

Dan Lauffer
Well, they certainly need to know that the Divine LIturgy is not some Eastern form of the Tridentine Mass and that the Eastern Churches are not some sort of "conservative haven" They are not. I agree that much catchesis is needed.

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90919
09/25/02 09:17 PM
09/25/02 09:17 PM
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western coast, eastern rite
Axios Offline
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Yes, it would seems that if members of a neighbor's family ar not getting along, it would be best to offer one's help at reconciling the two parties, not facilitating a divorce.

Axios

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90920
09/25/02 10:24 PM
09/25/02 10:24 PM
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USA
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Dan,

I'm not sure they would stay. Once a Bishop who is viewed as a conservative came to power would they stay? There are people who have belonged to BC parishes for years and have not changed Rites/ Churches they are still RC. I have a problem with that concerning long range planning on the Met/ Eparchy and Parish level. Once someone has attended a BC Church for years I don't see a problem with them being asked about change Rites. As far as the Roman Church being upset about poaching , they have more problems with Catholics actually leaving the Church. There is a Assembly of God Church here where I live. It's huge,its 5 yrs old,all paid for.I have heard estimates of at least 1/2 to 2/3's are former Roman Catholics. Also Hispanics are leaving in large numbers. There are several Hispanic Pentecostal type Churches popping up all over. They need to deal with what is wrong internally.

Nicky's Baba

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90921
09/26/02 04:34 PM
09/26/02 04:34 PM
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Walled Lake, Mi
Carson Daniel Offline OP
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Nicky's Baba,

I'm not sure either. But then there are many things I don't know about ahead of time. Come to think of it, I don't know anything ahead of time, except by faith. My faith is prompting me to act upon the conviction that education is better than ignorance; welcoming beats distancing; and compassion beats apathy.

Having knowledgeable greeters will help. Perhaps a page of instruction as our priest has will help, we always have visitors. Laity who will take people under their arms and help them understand will also help.

We will know if we try. We won't if we don't.

Dan Lauffer

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90922
09/26/02 04:42 PM
09/26/02 04:42 PM
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Canada
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Dear Dan,

My priestly friend who is pastor at St Cyril and Methodius' in St Catharines has a number of traditional RC's and I think he has done a great job of integrating them into his parish life.

He admires their commitment to the parish, their learning the liturgy in Ukrainian (Latin, Ukrainian, what's the difference, right? wink ) and how they've really taken up their abode there.

Unlike cradle UC's for the most part, they are hungry for liturgical prayer and parish involvement.

Perhaps they're attracted to the dignity of Byzantine services or whatever.

I don't think he goes into those things with them.

He just welcomes them, as you say.

They do the rest and he facilitates that.

Our experience with Latinization in the UCC does give us an edge over you "High Byzantine" people wink .

At least we don't break out into hives when these traditional RC's pull out their rosaries, scapulars and holy cards.

I know you don't. But some do . . .

Alex

Re: Evangelism strategy for dislocated RC's #90923
09/26/02 05:31 PM
09/26/02 05:31 PM
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Mexico, Iasi
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"There is a Assembly of God Church here where I live. It's huge,its 5 yrs old,all paid for.I have heard estimates of at least 1/2 to 2/3's are former Roman Catholics. Also Hispanics are leaving in large numbers. There are several Hispanic Pentecostal type Churches popping up all over."

Yeah that's true, now we have sects "made in Mexico", such as the "Apostolic Church of the Faith in Christ", "Light of the World" Church, "Reformed Church of God", and other man- made neo-protestant sects.
"Light of ther World", for example, has been very active in Russia and Ukraine (a pentecoastal sect), and does the first minority in many Central American nations.

"They need to deal with what is wrong internally"

Instead of trying to find out where the problem is, they've prefered the easy (and false) solution: they think that if people are embracing protestantism, it's good to bring a pentecostal-like environment into the churches (dances, rock music, lights, charismatic things), and then they would not need to leave (this has not worked).

I think that this kind of people need to go back to the spirituality of their own Church. The adoption of alien elements will just cause more trouble.
If they don't feel truly Eastern and don't want to become truly Eastern it will not work.

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