I think it is better to seek a parish and discuss these problems with a priest, deacon or other authority.
- is it perfectly reasonable to visit a Novus Ordo parish if one is Byzantine Catholic? For example, if an NO happens to be convenient on a given weekend.
Well, the canon law for Catholics of Latin rite says:"The obligation of assisting at Mass is satisfied wherever Mass is celebrated in a catholic rite either on a holyday itself or on the evening of the previous day."
I think that if a catholic of the Latin rite can visit a Divine Liturgy in another catholic rite, then an eastern catholic can also visit another catholic rite. And in practice this is what happens, for example, I see people of the Ukrainian rite in Mass. Mainly because in many countries there are more Latino parishes, then it is often a matter of necessity.
But Canon Law for Eastern Catholics recalls that the believer is attached to a particular church:"Other Christian faithful are also to foster an understanding and appreciation of their own rite, and are held to observe it everywhere unless something is excused by the law."
)"With due regard for the right and obligation to preserve everywhere their own rite, lay persons have the right to participate actively in the liturgical celebrations of any Church sui iuris whatsoever, according to the norms of the liturgical books."
Ratzinger when he was the "inquisitor" (LOL), wrote in a letter:"In order to grasp the true meaning of the analogical application of the term communion to the particular Churches taken as a whole, one must bear in mind above all that the particular Churches, insofar as they are "part of the one Church of Christ"(38), have a special relationship of "mutual interiority"(39) with the whole, that is, with the universal Church, because in every particular Church "the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and active"(40). For this reason, "the universal Church cannot be conceived as the sum of the particular Churches, or as a federation of particular Churches"(41). It is not the result of the communion of the Churches, but, in its essential mystery, it is a reality ontologically and temporally prior to every individual particular Church.
Indeed, according to the Fathers, ontologically, the Church-mystery, the Church that is one and unique, precedes creation(42), and gives birth to the particular Churches as her daughters. She expresses herself in them; she is the mother and not the product of the particular Churches. Furthermore, the Church is manifested, temporally, on the day of Pentecost in the community of the one hundred and twenty gathered around Mary and the twelve Apostles, the representatives of the one unique Church and the founders-to-be of the local Churches, who have a mission directed to the world: from the first the Church speaks all languages(43).
From the Church, which in its origins and its first manifestation is universal, have arisen the different local Churches, as particular expressions of the one unique Church of Jesus Christ. Arising within and out of the universal Church, they have their ecclesiality in it and from it." http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/c...h_doc_28051992_communionis-notio_en.html
- If I become Byzantine Catholic, do I have to proclaim that the Orthodox are "schismatic", or is one permitted to have a more intelligent opinion?
Some responses from the Magisterium and the congregation for the doctrine of faith that may be helpful:http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-p.../hf_jp-ii_enc_25051995_ut-unum-sint.htmlhttp://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/c...oc_20070629_responsa-quaestiones_en.html"Christ “established here on earth” only one Church and instituted it as a “visible and spiritual community”, that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted.“This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic […]. This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him”.
In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium ‘subsistence’ means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church, in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.
It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them. Nevertheless, the word “subsists” can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the “one” Church); and this “one” Church subsists in the Catholic Church."
"The use of this expression, which indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church, does not change the doctrine on the Church. Rather, it comes from and brings out more clearly the fact that there are “numerous elements of sanctification and of truth” which are found outside her structure, but which “as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic Unity”.
“It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church”."
"The Council wanted to adopt the traditional use of the term. “Because these Churches, although separated, have true sacraments and above all – because of the apostolic succession – the priesthood and the Eucharist, by means of which they remain linked to us by very close bonds”, they merit the title of “particular or local Churches”, and are called sister Churches of the particular Catholic Churches.
“It is through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these Churches that the Church of God is built up and grows in stature”. However, since communion with the Catholic Church, the visible head of which is the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Peter, is not some external complement to a particular Church but rather one of its internal constitutive principles, these venerable Christian communities lack something in their condition as particular churches.
On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realised in history"
- is it perfectly reasonable to pray the Rosary, and to like the Stations of the Cross?
Of course you may like it, it's Catholic, it's orthodox. But they are characteristic of the Western tradition. So many understand that the Stations of the Cross are latinizations or hybridity (but, perhaps they may be appropriated and modified to suit the Eastern tradition - for it is something that the Western tradition has developed from ancient times).
The rosary was a school of holiness for many Eastern Catholics, but the Rosary is also understood as Latinization. One could argue that as private devotion there are no problems, but it is difficult to deny that the Rosary has community use, has a "paralithurgical" function. I think that the Eastern clergy must act in a balanced way, respecting the sensibilities of the people, with understanding.
- Can one be Byzantine, and be interested in Carmelite spirituality? I think here the answer is definitely Yes. There is, I believe, a Carmelite monastery among the Byzantines.
I think it's something like that. Historically the Carmelites have been linked to the Latin Church. Then it may be strange to an eastern catholic. Could someone say that it is hybridity or latinization and that it is not a desired or ideal communion.