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Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed

Posted By: Slavophile

Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/19/14 03:27 PM

In this article, I suggest that among Latin Catholics in some places, a greater awareness of people's culture and their churches is needed if the Church as a whole is to be faithful to her task of nurturing people in their own spiritual language.

As always, feel free to take me up on anything if the topic interests you - either here, or on the blog.
Posted By: Talon

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/21/14 12:36 AM

Good blog post, Father. This Roman Catholic heartily agrees and, in fact, thinks it might be a lot healthier for the Church right now if the majority of it were Eastern, rather than the other way around.

I'm not sure how things are in England, but in many sectors of the United States (and presumably Canada) these days, Roman Catholic catechesis is rather poor. So, I would ask you to keep in mind that when you ask Roman Catholics to sort of "widen their phylacteries" as it were, widening something made of paper often only results in a tear, rather than an expansion, if you catch my drift.

Some of us have a hard enough time keeping track of what our own paradigm properly consists of. Asking us to add, say, five others to the mix is much easier said by a people who have a more static patrimony and solid catechesis than done by a people whose patrimony, by nature, evolves more over time and is not being taught well right now in the first place.

Does this make sense?
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/21/14 08:39 AM

Dear Father,

I would suggest that Roman Catholics today are in possession of the greatest possible awareness of other cultures and "inculturation."

The problem isn't that, but ecclesiology and that of the Particular Church specifically.

It doesn't fully understand in terms of praxis what being a Particular Church in communion with others really means outside of the centralized structure of the universal Particular Latin Church with Rome as its administrative (and controlling) centre.

Alex
Posted By: 2lungsambassador

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/21/14 11:17 AM

Well-said, Father. Your reasoning is sound and accords with my experience, which is why I went from Protestantism to Orthodoxy to (now) Roman Catholicism, which is my true home. The analogy i would use is from the environment: we do not need more monocultures; rather, the ecosystem works best with a diversity wherein each and all have something to give and something to get.
Posted By: Talon

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/21/14 03:23 PM

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Dear Father,

I would suggest that Roman Catholics today are in possession of the greatest possible awareness of other cultures and "inculturation."

The problem isn't that, but ecclesiology and that of the Particular Church specifically.

It doesn't fully understand in terms of praxis what being a Particular Church in communion with others really means outside of the centralized structure of the universal Particular Latin Church with Rome as its administrative (and controlling) centre.


Also true.
Posted By: Chirstopher

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/21/14 07:26 PM

I am Dumb: Why do these only miraculistic miracles only happen in this one Church? Is someone trying to tell me something?

Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/21/14 10:00 PM

Dear Christopher,

Which miraculous events and in which Church?

I've studied miraculous events, icons, images and can tell you they are to be found in the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church etc.

Are you just trying to get me started? smile

Alex
Posted By: shawnbm

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/23/14 10:46 AM

A very thoughtful post, Father. I am an Episcopalian convert to the Roman rite, although I am very close to a Maronite parish not more than a mile from my Roman parish home. (I frequent both and know the clergy at both well). I can recall during my two to three year conversion process speaking along these lines with my fellow Episcopalians. I always would say that an Orthodox or Eastern Catholic Church would not be appropriate for an Episcopalian returning to the historic catholic and apostolic Church (I was the only one thinking it at the time, though, they only thought I was speaking esoterically) since the Anglican Communion was founded upon and nurtured within the bosom of the Latin Church and, therefore, any return should be there, where there are shared cultural and ecclesiastical norms, to say nothing of the Latin linguistic roots. I applaud your article on the same grounds--we should do all we can to foster Maronites and Melkites and Chaldeans to embrace and participate in their sui juris Churches, to the enrichment of us all.
Posted By: Athanasius The L

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/23/14 11:05 AM

Originally Posted by shawnbm
A very thoughtful post, Father. I am an Episcopalian convert to the Roman rite, although I am very close to a Maronite parish not more than a mile from my Roman parish home. (I frequent both and know the clergy at both well). I can recall during my two to three year conversion process speaking along these lines with my fellow Episcopalians. I always would say that an Orthodox or Eastern Catholic Church would not be appropriate for an Episcopalian returning to the historic catholic and apostolic Church (I was the only one thinking it at the time, though, they only thought I was speaking esoterically) since the Anglican Communion was founded upon and nurtured within the bosom of the Latin Church and, therefore, any return should be there, where there are shared cultural and ecclesiastical norms, to say nothing of the Latin linguistic roots. I applaud your article on the same grounds--we should do all we can to foster Maronites and Melkites and Chaldeans to embrace and participate in their sui juris Churches, to the enrichment of us all.


I entered the Orthodox Church from the Episcopal Church, and subsequently became Eastern Catholic. I have never looked back to the West, and cannot imagine that I ever will.
Posted By: shawnbm

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/23/14 11:46 AM

Yes, I know some have done this, and I too thought of it. But, I still think the sui juris Church for many protestant groups is the Latin Church, not so much the Eastern Churches--for all the reasons I mentioned. But, and this is a key caveat, I begrudge no person, or criticize in any way, who opts to go from Anglican Communion to an Eastern Catholic Church. I merely suggest that from a juridical/jurisdictional standpoint, a historical and cultural standpoint, the Latin Church (Roman or whichever rite) is likely the realistic choice. Of course, that is just my opinion, being that the Church of England was born out of and rebelled against the Mother Latin (Roman) Church and not the Maronite, Chaldean, Syro-Malabrese, etc. Churches.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/23/14 03:33 PM

What the Latin Church needs to avoid--indeed, to abandon--is "faux inculturation"; that is, the accretions of pop cultural ethnic elements to the Mass as a way of making it "relevant" to the people. Thus, we would at one stoke be rid of the Mariachi Mass, the Polka Mass, the Folk Mass, the Rock Mass, and all the myriad atrocities inflicted on us in the name of inculturation. The first step in real inculturation is recovering the liturgies of the Western Church, not just the Roman rite (though that is the place to start), but also the Ambrosian Rite, the Mozerabic Rite, the Gallic Rite, and perhaps even the Sarum Rite. These were the Masses of the the Northern Italian, Spanish, Franco-German and English peoples. Restored to them, they could take ownership of them once more.
Posted By: shawnbm

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/23/14 03:38 PM

I could not agree more, StuartK. The Sarum rite is gorgeous and moving for the English--and far older than the rites in the modern BCP. I should Anglicans might take quite a liking to it as a liturgical alternative, but what it means theologically and culturally is even more important.
Posted By: Peter J

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/23/14 06:36 PM

Originally Posted by shawnbm
A very thoughtful post, Father. I am an Episcopalian convert to the Roman rite, although I am very close to a Maronite parish not more than a mile from my Roman parish home. (I frequent both and know the clergy at both well). I can recall during my two to three year conversion process speaking along these lines with my fellow Episcopalians. I always would say that an Orthodox or Eastern Catholic Church would not be appropriate for an Episcopalian returning to the historic catholic and apostolic Church (I was the only one thinking it at the time, though, they only thought I was speaking esoterically) since the Anglican Communion was founded upon and nurtured within the bosom of the Latin Church and, therefore, any return should be there, where there are shared cultural and ecclesiastical norms, to say nothing of the Latin linguistic roots. I applaud your article on the same grounds--we should do all we can to foster Maronites and Melkites and Chaldeans to embrace and participate in their sui juris Churches, to the enrichment of us all.

Hi shawnbm. I started off LC, then in 2002 began going to a Melkite parish weekly. This is not to say anything against what you're saying, because I realize everyone's different: personally I would never leave Catholicism for Orthodoxy (or Orthodoxy for Catholicism) ... but I know that many people think exactly the opposite of what I've said, e.g. "I want to become Orthodox, but I need to still have a ________ liturgy." or whatever the case may be.
Posted By: The young fogey

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/24/14 06:59 AM

Of course Catholics should know more about all of the church's rites. Before Vatican II, educated Catholics such as Adrian Fortescue and Donald Attwater, and the liturgical movement, were trying to make that happen. Fulton Sheen became biritual, celebrating in the Byzantine Rite. There are Attwater's books, Cyril Korolevsky's biography of Andrew (Sheptytsky), and a picture book called "These Are My Rites." The mind of the church is apparent: Eastern as well as Western. Because the church doesn't force me to choose Eastern over Western, I'm in it.

A Catholic Church that is majority Eastern? (As things are, all Eastern Catholics are 2% of all Catholics. No wonder most Roman Riters have never heard of them.) Fine with me, since the rites are still traditional. That I understand. The different theological schools of thought go over my head but I trust the church and know they're fine.

As a former Episcopalian (born into it) in the traditional Roman Rite I tend to agree that the Latin Church is ex-Protestants' heritage but of course I also agree with the majority here that some Westerners are called to be Eastern. I think we should canonize Andrew (Sheptytsky) and make him their patron.

Being entirely Eastern doesn't necessarily mean being anti-Western; the former minus the latter is what I believe is the authentic Catholic position and one of the church's selling points for me. Some convert Eastern Catholics' enthusiasm for the East is sometimes mistaken for anti-Westernism by well-meaning Roman Riters. (Although I have never met a conservative Catholic in person who thought that way about loving the East.) And, sometimes exacerbated by some thoughtless churchmen, sometimes it does sour into anti-Westernism and the person usually leaves the church for Orthodoxy. That doesn't lessen the church's enthusiasm for the East. I know that a lot of Catholics aren't enthusiastic about it, but I am referring to our teachings.

I agree with Stuart on getting rid of faux inculturation. Nothing wrong with recovering old Western rites, but it seems unnatural and quixotic if the rites (or, in Sarum's case, a recension of the Roman Rite) are extinct. (Actually in the 1800s the Catholic Church was interested in reviving Sarum at Westminster Cathedral but the English Catholic bishops didn't want it.) I understand from other threads that his idea is essentially to high-church the Novus Ordo along those lines (dump the guitar Mass and go strictly liturgical) and forget about the old (Tridentine) Mass, which is a valid opinion. Mine is that the old Mass is better.

(My view is in 50 years the Catholic liberals will be dead so traditionalists and conservatives will be all that's left, so the old Mass has a shot at being the majority in the Roman Rite again.)

Quote
...personally I would never leave Catholicism for Orthodoxy (or Orthodoxy for Catholicism).

Fine when it's rightly understood. Not indifferentism or two true churches (illogical: Anglican branch theory), but rather, the church gives born Orthodox the benefit of the doubt; they are estranged Catholics not personally guilty of schism, so with the church's goal of bringing all the Orthodox back, it doesn't try to convert them individually. At the same time, because of the true-church claim, it does accept such conversions - as the late Fr. Serge (Keleher) said to me, quietly.
Posted By: Peter J

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/24/14 07:39 AM

Quote
...personally I would never leave Catholicism for Orthodoxy (or Orthodoxy for Catholicism).

(I say that because a lot of Orthodox that I speak with seem to assume that I'm an ex-Orthodox -- or else, they figure that I might as well be an ex-Orthodox.)

Originally Posted by The young fogey
Fine when it's rightly understood.

Yeah. Actually, when I'm being really circumspect, I don't say "I would never ..." but rather "I don't have any intention of leaving Catholicism, since I don't see a convincing justification to do so" although I could conceivably change my mind (and, conversely I can conceive of being Orthodox and then deciding to go Catholic -- although that's a weird double-hypothetical).
Posted By: Peter J

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/30/14 06:54 AM

Originally Posted by The young fogey
Quote
...personally I would never leave Catholicism for Orthodoxy (or Orthodoxy for Catholicism).

Fine when it's rightly understood. Not indifferentism or two true churches (illogical: Anglican branch theory),


BTW, I think Fr. (now Bishop) Roald Flemestad had a good comment about Branch Theory when interviewed by William Tighe ...

Quote
Tighe: Does the Nordic Catholic Church entertain the “branch theory” of the Church that has been embraced by certain high-church Anglicans?

Flemestad: Well, if the “branch theory” means that all denominations are really equal but, by chance, historically different expressions of the same faith, then I do not accept it. Historically, there is but One Church, Catholic and Apostolic. Realizing that Christ did not leave behind a religious philosophy or a set of ideas that could comfort the soul, but that he sent out Twelve Apostles as the foundation of his Church, we could not in our predicament isolate ourselves from that historical mission and let ourselves be satisfied with some sort of pseudo-ecclesial arrangement as some sort of pet project.

Thus, we could resort to neither a nostalgic project of creating a “continuing church” based upon an idealized Lutheran past, nor an ahistorical utopianism in the form of some sort of new ecumenical arrangement for dissatisfied high-church Protestants. We had to look for a church! We had to find a given historical church institution that had the catholicity we needed and would show the pastoral generosity to support us as a group.

That said, there’s an Orthodox saying, “We know where the Church is, but not where it isn’t.” There are people of true faith that can be examples for us all in Protestant churches—I’m not for a minute doubting that—and if their lives are such, it must be the work of the Holy Spirit. So even if I am critical of the branch theory, I wouldn’t say that the “charismatic overflow” of the Holy Spirit does not exist in places other than the historic apostolic churches.



Read more: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=15-06-054-i#ixzz33COP5GYg

Posted By: The young fogey

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/31/14 12:46 AM

They have a version of the branch theory, only it doesn't include Anglicanism: themselves (the Union of Scranton), us, the non-Catholic Eastern churches, and maybe the faction of Utrecht Old Catholics in Eastern Europe who haven't turned completely liberal (basically, Catholic priests who switched to get married).

Sure, Protestants can receive gifts from God.

The church has estranged members (how we see the non-Catholic East) but there is only one church. None of the apostolic family except Scranton and the Assyrians/Nestorians believes in the branch theory.

We have a belief rather like it but not it: the notion of the great apostolic family, defined by valid orders: credal orthodoxy so basic the Nestorians pass, unbroken apostolic succession, and unbroken true teaching about the Eucharist. So for example the Orthodox have true bishops and thus are estranged Catholics; Anglican and Swedish Lutheran bishops aren't really bishops so Anglicans and Lutherans are Protestants.
Posted By: Peter J

Re: Thoughts on Church diversity and greater awareness needed - 05/31/14 06:44 AM

Originally Posted by The young fogey
They have a version of the branch theory, only it doesn't include Anglicanism

Not to get off on a tangent, but I myself am pretty suspicious of branch-theory-without-anglicanism. (If I weren't to begin with, I would probably become so just from all the times I've heard Orthodox speak against it. cool )
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