Bishop John's comments don't really jive with the comments of Patriarch Gregorios III (Laham) that we are "Orthodox with a plus" (i.e. Orthodox in communion with Rome). Nor do they jive with the official declaration of the Melkite Greek Catholic Synod of Bishops that states: "I believe everything that Orthodoxy teaches.
Nor do they jibe with the statement of Patriarch Lyubomir of Kyiv-Halich, to whit, "Between the Orthodox and the Greek Catholics, there are no theological differences".
Sadly, some Eastern Catholics in high places seem to want to throw out the baby (catholicity) with the bathwater (latinization). Pardon me if I'm less than eager to see them succeed.
It is more sad that some people see catholicity as congruence with the theological speculations of the Latin Church.
I recently experienced a very similar anti-ecumenical example of this kind of thinking among Roman Catholics concerning Eastern Orthodox/Eastern Catholics vs. the Western Church (i.e. the Latin Particular Church). I recently attended or "attempted" to attend a 7:00 PM Sunday evening liturgy (still scratching my head on how canonical is a 7:00 PM Sunday evening liturgy) at one Roman Catholic Church in Monroeville, PA. This particular Roman Catholic Church was built in that classical post-Vatican II, very bland, auditorium style, ultra-modern style church. I had never attended this particular church in the past. I never would have believed that any Roman Cathlic priest in the Greater Pittsburgh area would ever say such comments because of the numerous Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic and Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic churches that exist in and around Pittsburgh. I'll cut to the chase of this very bad ecumenical "faux pas" that this particular Roman Catholic priest made this past Sunday evening. He began his homily this particular "7:00 PM Sunday evening liturgy" by saying that he was invited to attend and officiate a wedding in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh. This priest went on to state that the bride was a Roman Catholic (born and raised) and that the groom was originially raised "Russian Orthodox", but was inatiatied into the Catholic Church via the "Byzantine Rite" as a compromise between a "mixed marriage" couple (i.e. Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox couple). What came out of the mouth of this particular Roman Catholic priest next made me very ill. He stated something like:
"The groom became a Catholic convert by entering the "Byzantine Rite" Catholic Church, I don't know why he would want to join the "Byzantine Rite", he should have just joined the Latin Rite ..."
There are so many things wrong with the above statement, I don't know where to begin. Now being a cradle member of the Ruthenian-Byzantine Catholic Particular Church, I was very, very offended and disapointed with these very derogatory and inflammatory off the cuff remarks made by this Roman Catholic priest. He clearly doesn't read his copy of Canon Law concerning the intiation of Orthodox Christians into the Catholic Church. If he did, he would've known that Orthodox Christians who join the Catholic Church, are iniatied into what ever "Particular Church" tradition that corresponds to the convert's liturgical tradition. So if the convert is "Russian Orthodox", they are to join any of the various branches (Ruthenian, Melkite, Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, etc.) of the Constantinopolitan Particular Church in union w/Rome churches and not the Latin Particular Church.
I personally could not stay to be further insulted by this Roman Catholic priest. I stood up and promptly bowed (from the waist) and crossed myself (x3, from right to the left) and exited the building.
Now this is a Roman Catholic church in Monroeville, PA in Allegheny County. This is the Greater Pittsburgh area where there are at least over 15-20 Ruthenian and Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic parishes, and not the deep South, the Atlantic states or the Mid-West. This is Pittsburgh, where the print media and TV news stations just covered the death and funeral of our late Metropolitan Basil. How can any Roman Catholic priest in the Greater Pittsburgh area in the year 2010 be so uneducated and so ignornant of such Canon Law issues?
This is but another example of the obvious need for education of clerics and laity of the Latin Particular Church concerning their fellow Eastern and Oriental Orthodox and Eastern/Oriental Catholic brothers and sisters.