www.byzcath.org
As an Orthodox Catholic Christian, I have come to find that not only theology, ecclesiology, canonical discipline divide us from those in union with Rome, but even our general approaches to faith and piety, the aesthetics of our worship and observance, even our emphases and appreciation of what we hold in common often, mostly, radically differ. The differences to an Orthodox Catholic are as acute as the differences between papal Christians and liturgical Protestants. Vatican II and its inauguration of liberal dominion have exacerbated our differences generally, estranged us further, not drawn us closer. For many, if not most, Orthodox Catholics, Roman Catholicism is a different religion.

I jotted down twenty-five ideas or steps, if adopted in whatever order may seem expedient to Rome, which could enable a common language and identity to be restored between Orthodox Catholics and Roman Catholics. These points have no systematic order implied to them: implementation of some (gradually all) would show good faith and energize dialogue and elevate it away from secretive commissions believed to be engaging in nothing more than another framework for unia. I wrote these points as recommendations, in a spirit of goodwill, appreciating what divides us to underscore Orthodox concerns and apprehensions to suggest how it could be overcome. I do believe if all twenty-five points were explored and implemented that not only true and fruitful dialogue would arise, but rapprochement would come naturally and reunion would result quickly. Indeed, some points are more difficult than others, the spectrum ranging from rediscovering Rome's Catholic identity to simply restoring Catholic appearances. I offer this list not to inspire polemics but to consider what it would take to effect reconciliation with Orthodox Catholicism and what we should be emphasizing in good will and Christian charity.

BEGINNING RECONCILIATION with THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH, steps in the process:

1). Orthodox Paschalion universally observed

2). Omit/Drop/Abandon Filioque Universally for all times

3). Prosphora in the place of azymes universally for all times

4). Return to a traditional mass with strong and traditionally placed epiklesis (Perhaps a Maronite mass with Tridentine or Milanese or Sarum Liturgics: Romano-Antiochian)/ad orientam-apsidem celebration of the Eucharist {Latin and/or accurate and uniform, dignified liturgical vernacular translation} *One Mass per altar per priest before noon per day canonically enforced reinstitution*

5). Encouraging Byzantine Catholics to return to their Orthodox Mother Churches or to become full fledged Roman Catholics {Or adopt a new Roman-Antiochian rite adapting a Romano-Byzantine ordo to it} and limit their work and presence in the Orthodox East/condemnation of the ethnophyletist heresy

6). Adoption of Orthodox understanding of deification and Palamite theology - rejection of analogia entis/created grace (Patristic understanding of original sin in the place of the Augustinian misunderstanding) *Revisiting the Pelagian/Semi-Pelagian discussion in light of the Consensus Patrum and the Orthodox Catholic witness of the Church*

7). Universal practice of Communion in both species (perhaps by intinction) {return to a strong emphasis on Confession, preparation for Communion, the Eucharistic fast} *Communion, Chrismation, Baptism by three-fold immersion of infants and converts: end of first holy communions and confirmations*

8). Abolition of Eucharistic ministers, altar girls, all semblances of crypto-hierofeminism (resacralization)

9). Transition to Acapella hymns and chant (abandonment of musically instrumented accompaniment in worship)

10). Emphasis on traditional (Romanesque or stave church) architecture

11). Married Priests, Bearded Priests, return of cassocks and clerical headgear

12). Reinvigoration of and recruitment for a restored and active diaconate

13). Defined and universal veneration of Icons and Holy Relics, the Gospel, the Cross, etc.

14). Embracing and propagation of Orthodox devotions such as the Jesus Prayer and Akathist hymn universally (rediscovering the piety, spirituality, hagiography of the pre - Schism West)

15). Transition toward either a married (parish) or monastic (episcopal) clergy and the gradual obsolescence of celibate parish clergy

16). Recognition of the Orthodox Catholic Church as embodying the Church without deficiency, without need of papal recognition or papal commemoration

17). Ending ideas of indulgences, merits, the whole eschatology of purgatory, limbo, etc. (revisiting and rejecting cremation)

18). Restoring conciliarity in the place of papal supremacy

19). Emphasizing the Church's phronema and the Consensus Patrum alloyed with the Vincentian Canon to replace papal infallibility

20). Adoption of the Orthodox understanding of divorce and a process of economy for receiving divorced believers back into full communion

21). Institution of a common lectionary with the Orthodox Catholic Church

22). Codefying a common liturgical calendar with the Orthodox Catholic Church (where feasts or saints not recognized by the Orthodox are clearly indicated at the end of commemorations) {Restoring fasting with a more apostolic discipline: Wednesdays and Fridays, Great Lent, etc.}

23). Final apologies for the anti Orthodox past with commitments in cooperation, charity, social gospel with the Orthodox in the future - the bravery of humble mea culpas (elimination of veneration/commemorations of personages who conducted violence, atrocities, especially against the Orthodox)

24). Vatican recognition of and work with a concept of autocephaly, where local archdioceses can become local churches whose primates share equal dignity with the pope yet affirm Petrine Primacy

25). A reaffirmation of the condemnations of liberalism, modernism and Freemasonry with an emphasis on reuniting separated Latin Rite factions and developing a general Broad Church/Traditionalist polity to displace the dominant liberal post Vatican II polity (while at the same time fighting and rejecting all ultramontane tendencies)
Guess that's one way of entering into dialogue with your western Catholic orthodox brothers and sisters. "My way, or the highway", as they say. Thanks for your recommendations, but go easy on the old polemics.
So, Latins all convert to Byzantine Orthodoxy, and abolish the Latin Church. Seems fair.
It is unfortunate that many from the Roman Catholic camp fail to recognize that the Orthodox Catholics aren't "entering into old polemics" but merely trying to remind the Roman church that we once had a unity and a common Catholic Faith and it looked a certain way. We Orthodox Catholics have not strayed from that Faith. And unia is not an acceptable goal of dialogue for us: dialogues whose goal is unia will only fail. Our approach is to rediscover our unity in the framework in which it originally existed. From there to reinforce it and share a common Faith and Apostolicity achieving reunion. Anything which is divisive, deceptive or syncretistic will not bring this about: we have to achieve a shared Catholic and Orthodox religion, worship, ontology.

Current and past methods of dialogue have miserably failed at achieving little more than divisions and further estrangement. They definitely are the tired and sorry ways to go about reunion. No, their lack of a forthright and honest approach dooms dialogue at the outset. So we can try to restore unity by restoring its past infrastructure or we can keep on trying to hope for a clever way to make Orthodox Catholics ignore that the estrangement between the Vatican and the Orthodox has created a totally different religious orientation in the West, in many ways alien and irreconcilable with the Orthodox Catholic Church.

I prefer a unity in identity, not a compromise of the Catholic Faith. Rome shared this identity with us. Why is it so far fetched to opine that sharing it again would restore that unity? It seems the most appropriate mode of serious and honest dialogue.

Yes, a Vatican III would be required probably to pursue many of the points I suggest. However, to be honest, a Vatican III is required to rectify the wreckage of Vatican II. Most sincerely, this approach would actually reconcile not only disparate factions in communion with the Vatican and restore the Apostolic character of Roman Catholic faith and worship, it would also be less drastic to implement than the neo-Protestant reforms of Vatican II. It would eventually lead to reunion with the Orthodox Catholic Church.

Now one has to scrutinize whether the liberal and modernist dominion in the Roman church is a necessary stumbling block to Catholic identity and reunion with the Orthodox. In my opinion, Rome would be best served with a Broad Church-Traditionalist alliance supplanting this liberal, modernist rule over the Roman Catholic church. But liberalism uber alles does make sense to far too many: even though Pius X did anathemize it.

Moreover, there will be no unity with the Orthodox Catholic Church if steps like these are not taken by the Vatican.

That's an important thought. The West is currently undergoing a post Christian, neo pagan secularization. The developing world is in many ways at odds with it. The Orthodox Catholic Church is emerging from decades of militant secularization and rediscovering and reemphasizing its Christian identity. Demographically, that means the Orthodox Catholic Church will grow and will better develop a paradigm of defeating secularization while the Roman Catholic church will continue to decline and more and more embrace an Anglican model of liberal implosion ("comprehensiveness"). At some point, no amount of dialogue then has any hope of reuniting the Orthodox Catholic Church and Roman Catholic church. So if unity is truly important, than rediscovering it in a truly Catholic identity and restoration is the surest route for the Vatican.

All that needs to happen is that Rome take steps to restore in our contemporary context what she was when we were in union with her.
A lot of absurdities, and confusion of culture for essential faith, in the OP. Much of it is pure sectarian fantasy.

I have a much shorter list: 1. Adopt an ecclesiology on the basis of Saint Ignatius' statement, "Where the bishop is... there is the Catholic church." No bishop (or synod of bishops) holds supreme universal authority. 2. The filioque can remain so long as it is understood in the sense that Saint Maximus understood it in his letter to Marinus.

That's it.
Well, it seems some neither recognize the identity of the Orthodox Catholic Church nor do they appreciate what divides Roman Catholics and Orthodox Catholics. Gimmickry having no Apostolic and no Canonical foundation is not Catholic. Moreover, such tactics will only have the Orthodox abandon any further dialogue. And as far as commentary stating the proposed ideas are "sectarian" or "absurd", perhaps a bit more seriousness and a bit less transference is in order.

There is no valid Apostolic Succession without right confession of Faith. St. Ignatios was talking about Bishops within the Church rightly confessing the Orthodox and Catholic Faith. He felt so strongly about the purity of the Catholic Faith that he went willingly into the lion's den to preserve it. And he did not recognize gnostic bishops, nor was he talking about them.

Whereas, the Second Ecumenical Council settled whether or not any additions could be made to the Creed: it forbid them under penalty of anathema. Some have interpreted Filioque as meaning "through the Son", but that is not the direct meaning of the phrase: its direct meaning suggests Trinitarian modalism. Since precision is a hallmark of creedal statements - where fistfights occurred in the Nicene period over distinctions between disparate terminologies of "like essence" and of "one essence" - even a Filioque put in brackets and suggested to be ambigua is clearly inappropriately inserted into the Creed. It must go.

As far as "confusion between local practice and the universal custom of the Church" is concerned, when Rome and the Orthodox Catholic Church were united and one religion, almost every supposedly "local" point I have brought up from Prosphora to married Priests was a shared observance between local churches. Moreover, Rome was very much influenced by Antioch and Alexandria in its worship and piety. Gaul, Spain, Britain moreso by Antioch. In the TRAVELS OF EGERIA, the pilgrim comments on the liturgy she observes in Jerusalem "being the same" as in her native Spain: which is no surprise as both the Liturgy of St. James and the Mozarabic rite are both Antiochian liturgies. Today, life in the Orthodox Catholic Church exists in faithful continuity from that period and actually embraces the shared aspects and identity of East and West: Rome's departure from that shared ontology and later evolution into what she is today has caused an estrangement where the Orthodox Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic church are now two different religions.

Thus, the simplest template for achieving unity would be Rome recovering the identity it shared with the Orthodox Catholic Church, ie rediscovering its Catholic identity.

A new unia is not an option. Zizioulas-esque ecumenical distillation of episcopal/eucharistic ecclesiology is so Anglican invisible church as to be unworthy of serious consideration. Denying the Truth of Orthodoxy and the identity of the Orthodox Catholic Church is simply a recipe to further seed divisions and hijack any and all chances at reconciliation.
Keep bloviating with those talking points, and see how many people listen. I am Orthodox too and I don't accept your premises. There are so many historical errors and modern polemics masquerading as tradition in your arguments, I don't know where to start. Here, I'll start with the epiclesis. By requiring the Latin church to insert an Eastern epiclesis into its mass, you are essentially saying that the pre-schism Latin church had no valid eucharist. For what it's worth, Saint Nicholas Cabasilas says the "Supplices te rogamus" in the Roman canon counts as an epiclesis. So even if we went with the (highly questionable) Byzantine assumption that every valid liturgy needs to have this epiclesis, the old Roman liturgy is fine.
Actually, prior to the Gelasian Sacramentary, even the Liturgy of Rome "had an Eastern style epiklesis" according to Western liturgists like Fortescue. The Roman rite itself shared its rite with North Africa and seven or so satellite cities until the Gallican rite was targeted by the Aachen liturgists (the revisers of the Roman rite) for obsolescence. It wasn't even the predominant Western rite for most of the first millennium. The Roman rite did not originate either in Rome or the West. Its earliest version was probably Antiochian influenced (Liturgy of St. James) and later via North Africa, Alexandrian influences (Liturgy of St. Mark) were alloyed to it. In other words, it most certainly had "an Eastern epiklesis." The Frankish liturgists began their liturgical reforms of the Roman rite in the late eighth century, where texts were redacted and the modern Roman Canon was created: their liturgical emphasis differed from that of the Catholic Church and they believed that the Gifts were consecrated by the Words of Institution. This was a break from the Catholic practice of the entire Church, East, West and Roman. Moreover, Gallican, Milanese, and Mozarabic rites retained their "Eastern" epikleses into well after the Schism.

St. Nicholas Cavasilas lived over four hundred years after these events. He was not acquainted with Western liturgy and its history. His emphasis was the mystical theology of the Eucharist and not Western liturgical development. He wrote what he wrote as his opinion, based on the Roman rite he knew after the Schism.

However, centuries of Orthodox Bishops into the twenty - first have insisted upon restoration of a proper and defined, appropriately placed, strong epiklesis when restoring Western rites to Orthodox Catholic useage. This topic had been researched by Russian Orthodox liturgists in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries dealing with prospects of returning Old Catholics and Anglicans to Communion with the Orthodox Catholic Church. Even in the 1860s, the Russian Holy Synod decreed that missionary work in North America was to be undertaken using a Western rite where a strong epiklesis was inserted. Orthodox resources at this point were not as limited as those of St. Nicholas Cavasilas. There were credentialed liturgists and people who understood what was "pseudo-" and actual historical fact (people not ecumenically beholden) are. Orthodox scholarship, not ecumenical excess, is the informed basis of my position.

So I am not sure just exactly what your point is other than to not accept Orthodoxy on Orthodoxy's terms and to refuse to know the West as it was when we were one Church. And then to cast that as Orthodox while disagreeing with history and the reality of the historical Orthodox Catholic Church. One most certainly will not advance unity by not listening to the majority of Orthodox Christians who are not interested in ecumenical disinformation or the pronouncements of secretive commissions advancing a more clever platform for unia.

What is so wrong with asking Rome to rediscover its Catholic identity and simply return to the way she was when we shared Eucharistic unity, when we all lived and worshipped in Catholic unity? A unity which included Prosphora, a strong epiklesis, married Priests, conciliarity in the West, etc? Why is there such a fear of Catholic unity in some quarters?

Could it be that liberal reformation or a liberalized unia in an ecumenical framework is actually the drive behind some who describe themselves as unionists, and not shared confession of the Orthodox and Catholic Faith?
No, the proposals simply aim at rediscovering what Rome and the Western church looked liked when we shared a Catholic unity in the Orthodox Catholic Church. That's not a very Byzantine approach. Nor is restoring a Western ordo for Rome after the neo-Protestant wreckage of Vatican II conversion to Byzantine Christianity.

There were periods, by the way, in the sixth through seventh centuries, when Greeks were Popes of Rome, a more Byzantine form of Roman chant was used and the Byzantine rite influenced the Roman rite...

But what is fundamentally wrong with pursuing reunion on the notion of contemporary rediscovery of Catholic identity as it lived and expressed itself when Rome and the Orthodox Catholic Church were one?
This is simply an order for the entire Latin Church to completely deny itself and all its history, any notion that it is and ever has been even nominally Christian in any sense of the word, and crawl on our hands and knees, begging for the Eastern Orthodox to abolish the Latin Church and establish the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Old and Really Really Sorry For Everything Rome. In other words, you are calling for us to just convert to Eastern Orthodoxy.

That's not reconciliation, and frankly it's insulting.
RussoRuthenianOGC

Christ is in our midst!!

By your own points, you demonstrate how difficult your proposals are. The Roman Patriarchate and places influenced by it were in a very fluid state during the first millennium: "what Rome and the Western church looked liked when we shared a Catholic unity."

One of our traditions in the Latin Church is not to hold on to liturgical forms once new ones are introduced. Not long ago, I read an article that mentioned the attempt to find out what ancient "introit" (entrance) hymns were in their full form--the ones in the Paul V Missal were mere very short remnants. Despite the fact that the Vatican Library contains manuscripts of all sorts, from all countries (some long since forgotten except by historians), from all subjects, no one could find a single source for them. So to try to restore a liturgy from the first millennium presents a serious problem. What period of time are we to return to? The time when the liturgy was served in Greek--pre-Latin? The period of the Carolingians? One of the variations of the religious orders?

The use of acapella hymns is a non-starter. We have a problem with getting people to sing, let alone trying to make it unaccompanied.

A single liturgy on a weekend? Again, our people are used to having lots of options; not to mention the fact that there has been a serious drop off in the average Catholic even making it to Liturgy on the weekend at all.

Back to Latin and facing away from the people? That toothpaste will never go back into the tube. Pope Francis has just emphasized that the liturgical reforms of the recent Vatican Council are not reversible.

Sadly there are all too many in the Latin Catholic Church who know nothing of the period before the Schism between East and West. (I just had the opportunity to review a new catechetical book for 8th grade that shows a historical timeline that begins in 1085!) How are we to begin to even speak of many of the things on your list of 25 when they are not even on the radar of our people?

Like it or not the reforms of the recent Vatican Council were desperately needed. We had been frozen in time for 400+ years in our liturgical life. The fact that almost no one understood anything of what went on Sunday morning is something I remember well. Had the Protestant Reformation not occurred, there might have been a move toward vernacular liturgy in the 16th century. But the latter fact made us over into a fortress/siege mentality--nothing could be altered in any way or for any reason. Yes, there are plenty of liturgical abuses going on. And we have had three new translations in the fifty years since 1965 in the English speaking world--something that makes entering into prayer difficult since rhythms are broken each time a new one is introduced.

What you are proposing is an earthquake like the one we are still adjusting to. Somehow, though I wish for East and West to return to full communion, your list of proposals will never fly. Maybe His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch had it right when he opined that "we are ontologically different." Maybe though we share much from the first millennium there is little possibility of returning to full communion. And maybe the idea of "returning" is the problem--maybe it is a forward exploration toward a new experience of full communion.

Bob
No, it is encouragement for the Roman Catholic church to rediscover itself and its Catholic identity as it existed when Rome and the Orthodox Catholic Church were one. That is the most appropriate foundation for discussing reunion because it starts out with considering what constituted such a unity. There is nothing fundamentally wrong or Byzantine with Rome rediscovering its Catholic life with the Orthodox Catholic Church. It is actually Rome reinforcing its Catholic life and confession of faith. This, as a matter of fact, is requisite to any real attempt to establish unity.
I think it's simple. Divorce-and-remarriage and contraception don't make sense for Christians, and true Christianity isn't limited to Byzantium or the East for that matter, as wonderful as the East is. (I like the traditionalism of the original post but reject its proposal to essentially byzantinize the Latin Church, abolishing it.) It includes the traditional Roman Mass (the new Mass with the English ordered by Benedict XVI is fine) and the histories of Germany, Spain etc. I'm all for a loose communion run largely by custom that includes them, which includes... the Pope. I'm not trying to break up Orthodox families, parishes, dioceses, or countries. We quietly accept individual conversions from the Orthodox but they're not my main focus in this. Rather, getting the Orthodox to acknowledge the points I just mentioned, bringing all of their bishops back in together (which I admit is extremely unlikely), and then leaving their rite alone.

Quote
Back to Latin and facing away from the people? That toothpaste will never go back into the tube.


I go to that three out of four Sundays (the other being Byzantine Rite) and my parish is a magnet for people looking for that, not so much the old but couples in their 30s with kids. And of course most of the East "faces away from the people."

Quote
Like it or not the reforms of the recent Vatican Council were desperately needed.


No, they weren't.

Quote
nothing could be altered in any way or for any reason


Which isn't quite literally true but many apostolic Christians feel that way; it's very Orthodox. Witness the Russian Old Believer split and the calendar war today.
I suppose I will disagree with everybody. (A reminder, I am not Orthodox but I attend Orthodox services. I am technically Greek Catholic, which I practiced for a few years but was brought up Latin. I heavily lean Orthodox.)
The Latin Church has been through too much changes in the past fifty years...heaping more changes will only cause more trouble, even if they are changes for the better. There were efforts on the part of some scholars like Fr. Yves Congar and others to bring the theology underlying praxis more in line with the early Church, like the Orthodox but too much gets lost in the cultural maelstrom in the late 20th cent. West. I think that the Latin Church is somewhat Orthodox "deep inside" but I do hope the Latin Church does return fully to Orthodoxy. It takes more than changing externals, it requires a different mindset. Really, it is about what one thinks of Christ and how one goes about serving him.Scholarship can only take one so far; in fact it can really muddy the waters and achieve practically nothing. Theological commissions do not have the efficacy of prayer.
The Orthodox Church is still reeling from the violence imposed on her through the centuries, her diaspora isssues and the new convert phenomenon. Attempts to adjust to modern or Western life by aping the institutionalism of Western churches have not been entirely successful.There are signs of hope that new calendar clergy are now embracing tradition more strongly. They are looking to the tradition of the not distant past..
The Latin Church has a more difficult task since her Orthodox roots are much farther removed. She will have to draw very deeply within her own tradition to make any return to Orthodoxy "stick" (short of individual conversions).
Orthodoxy's analogues in the West are the traditional Roman Mass, with the second oldest consecration prayer still in use, Benedictine monks, and Gregorian chant. The new Mass high-churched in the "reform of the reform" Benedict XVI way fits in too. The closest thing in Orthodox practice to the two sides reconciled is the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate.

This reminds me of a thread I started somewhere else: imagine taking out the byzantinizations and having something entirely comfortable in an Orthodox setting but entirely Western (click here). It would look early medieval and like the kind of High Anglicanism not trying to be Roman, and sound exactly like a plainchant traditional Catholic Mass but with a vernacular option. (By the way, the Orthodox have a 35-year-old Benedictine abbey in Germany.)

Unlike Byzantine Catholicism, and for that matter the Polish National Catholic Church in the same period Western Rite Orthodoxy has been around, Western Rite Orthodoxy hasn't put down roots, becoming a generational faith, beyond the converts. I would be impressed if, like Byzantine Catholics in parts of the East, some part of the Western homelands had become Orthodox centuries ago and remained almost entirely Western. If the Orthodox held the Catholic position on divorce and remarriage and had held the line on contraception, they would have seriously challenged my faith.
The "New Mass" or "Novus Ordo" and Vatican 2 make it difficult to mend the schism as its reforms are more Protestant then Apostolic.
He is and ever shall be!

Dear Bob,

I want to thank you for your fairly reasoned and thoughtful response. Your sincerity is appreciated, and we both will agree your response is normative of a large number of Roman Catholic believers and clergy. If not the majority. Your thought reflects an openess to encounter which is trapped behind limitations of times, places and peoples. In that, it affirms precisely the need for Rome to rediscover its Catholic identity, an identity which originally defined itself as a faith and ontology for all peoples, places and times.

When this emphasis was lost, an identity crisis was precisely experienced and things began to devolve out of control to where observance and piety, not to mention theology and ecclesiology, pseudo-morphosed into an organism which is estranged from the root. Secularization and its sister, apostasy, now assault the church. That church has become an organism which lives a distinct life of its own removed from the reality of its original parent's intent. This today is the essence of why Orthodox Catholics and Roman Catholics are estranged, why we walk different paths.

If this paradigm perpetuates itself for much longer, the only new encounters we will have possible before us are those of peoples of goodwill, living different faiths, striving for cooperation and tolerance - perhaps sharing ministries in the social gospel - but very much estranged theologically, ecclesiologically, soteriologically, liturgically. Divided and on different roads permanently. If this is the only outcome we can achieve, aside from ecumenically dubious redefinitions and/or unia, we fail our confessed Lord and Master in our incapability to share a common Chalice in Him and to live a common life in His One Body.

I find myself in a strange but at the same time appropriate place siding with the traditionalists in your church, mostly the post Vatican II ones. The reason why I write appropriate is because from my Orthodox perspective, we share similar or the same concerns and mindset. As an Orthodox Christian, I can sympathize, even at times identify, with them. I can see myself engaged in a dialogue with like minded believers striving to live the same or similar Faith. I cannot say the same for the RC liberals and even the current pope who impress me as reformed voices of a different religious mindset pursuing a faith tradition alien from Orthodox Catholicism. This dissonance both encourages and disappoints me at the same time. It allows me to see that there are still Roman Catholics with whom we can eventually share a common Chalice. While it disappoints me that they are discouraged, disenfranchised, even suppressed by a neo Protestant orientation betraying their pleas for fidelity to the Catholic Tradition. A liberal imperium in imperio acting to repress their piety.

Normally, a believer like myself, who in the pre Vatican II era was referred to as a "Greek schismatic", would not find himself in sympathy with people of such a mindset, but one of the peculiar results of Vatican II is that such a mentalite in a strongly expressed prejudice now confines itself mainly to sedevacantes and nominal Catholics who tend to have a more liberal and less informed faith. Vatican II has inadvertently put in place a bridge of solidarity between Roman Catholic traditionalists and Orthodox Catholics by removing biases and prejudices and stressing encounter and appreciating a common Faith Tradition. Instead of fostering a liberal mindset for mutual neo-reformation, it has set the table for us to be able to find common cause in piety and Catholic consciousness where we both can reflect on our shared Apostolic foundation, our history, our common and Catholic approaches to living our faiths. This sets up a natural solidarity between Orthodox Catholics and Roman Catholic traditionalists to confront the challenges of the present and future. Moreover, this solidarity will eventually estrange us both from dialogue with an increasingly liberal Vatican and an increasingly out of touch RC episcopate.

Since the vitality of the post Vatican II church is mainly found amongst the ranks of Roman Catholic traditionalists, this natural sync between them and Orthodox Catholics will eventually unite us in common cause and common concern.

https://heroicvirtuecreations.com/2016/07/15/the-rise-of-the-new-catholic-traditionalists/

https://www.churchmilitant.com/news...ion-and-resisting-the-establishment-chur

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303772904577335290865863450


Emphasizing Roman/Western liturgics, common pre Schism Roman/Western piety, practice and discipline and a model for a united, religious identity where the same Faith and Chalice is shared but local optics and customs are clearly visible IS NOT Byzantinization. Actually, it's Romanization. More importantly, it's Catholic recovery and rededication. My 25 points are about renewal, and when implemented appropriately amongst faithful like Roman Catholic traditionalists, will actually not only reunite Roman Catholics and Orhodox Catholics, but also reinvigorate piety and active faith and sacramental life in RC parishes, resacralize them and fill them once more with reverence, devotion and a sense of Apostolic authenticity. These points not only can fly, but are the culmination of what Roman Catholic traditionalists want today: the restoration of Catholic identity and an end to the many affronts emanating from liberal deconstruction of the Roman Catholic faith.

I am sorry I gave the false impression that the Vatican should archaeologically restore or reconstruct a fourth century mass. I was unclear. My actual recommendation was to take an existing mass, the Missal of John XXIII or even better a Maronite mass (already existing as a Latinized bridge between East and West which can have elements of the Roman Canon grafted on to it), and with changes such as a strong epiklesis and use of Prosphora, implement it in the place of the Paul VI mass. I emphasize a Sarum, Milanese, even Tridentine ordo being adapted to it. And the resulting rite is indeed Roman and Western, yet Orthodox and Catholic.

It is what Roman Catholic traditionalists want and a majority Broad Church - RC Traditionalist coalition would welcome in RC parishes.

This should dispel the notion that I insist on Byzantinization: if anything, I am advocating the side of Roman Catholic traditionalists from an Orthodox Catholic perspective.

As far as the Roman rite is concerned. From roughly the late eighth century until the 1960s, the text of the Roman Canon was essentially the same. The Liturgy of the Word too was essentially the same, having litanies omitted over time and some secret prayers changing. What differed textually in the Roman rite were such things as collects, introits, etc. And those mainly differed as a result of either festal observance and/or such things as Gallican survivals. Where there were differences were in ritual. From Rome to Paris to Dubrovnik to Sarum, the parish ordos differed: where many felt that the Sarum mass possessed the most beautiful ritual in the Roman church. Much of these rituals and their elaborateness were accentuated before and after Lyons. During this time, the various monastic and chivalric orders also developed their own ordos, some simpler such as the Cistercian, and others more elaborate.

With the Reformation, Rome was challenged to centralize, to use uniformity in defendng itself from the criticisms of Reformers bent on discrediting the mass as "unbiblical, pagan, abhorrent". At Trent, the mass of the Franciscans with its ordo was standardized as the main parish rite due to its simpler ritual, relying on it to create a uniformity which could be observed throughout the Roman Catholic church. Also at this time, piety and worship become more formulaic: by having a set order, a set legal code, a structure, the resulting uniformity would act as a bulwark against abberation and abuses and thereby counteract the agitprop of decadence and unbiblical degeneration the Protestants were using to attack Roman Catholic worship.

Religious orders, however, did tend to retain their own rites even after Trent.

So what the Roman rite did to defend itself was to impose a template of uniformity and textual continuity. What this did was preserve a textually historical mass. But because of its rigid imposition on the parishes it became prone to nominalism and empty repetition, where the faithful were often excluded from living the faith, participating in the mass, simply observing a priest saying mass, but not actively participating in the Eucharist. What was lost from former times was a living participation in the ritual, an offering of the People of God, a Eucharistic life lived and celebrated. This, however, was not the fault of the text of the mass, or even its ordo, but, rather, the legalistic and nominalizing framework the Counter Reformation imposed upon it.

The movement for liturgical renewal in the early twentieth century sought to restore active Eucharistic life, not to turn the Roman Catholic mass into the divine service found in the back of a Methodist hymnal. Many in this movement found the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom as the epitome of Christian Eucharistic celebration because of its mystagogical emphasis and active Eucharistic reality which express the eschatological accomplishment of the People of God as Eucharist. The movement's intent for liturgical reform was not to abolish the Roman mass or even textually butcher it. But rather to infuse it with a sense of mystagogical encounter where by Communion, the Eucharistic reality of the Church, the People of God becoming the Body and Blood of Christ, is actively accomplished and sanctifies the pilgrim church. Vatican II handed liturgical reform to the liberals who actually gave nothing but lipservice to the movement for liturgical renewal, new Reformers who then dated themselves by affirming a model of Evangelical worship peculiar to low church Protestantism at that time they felt was more "socially conscious and relevant". The Benedictines were tasked with offering their liturgical proposals as a corrective to this miscarriage of liturgical renewal. They were very much in the mainstream of the movement for liturgical renewal. Alas, their commission was shut down in 1978 to set in stone the Mass of Paul VI in its reformed character and emphasis.

So, we have a fundamental disagreement of how the Roman church has changed the mass, how liturgical renewal and liturgical reform are achieved, the possibility for Catholic restoration of the mass and the reason and emphasis behind liturgical development.

The restoration of chant and traditional hymnody was supposed to be emphasized in the New Evangelization. While congregational singing may not always be reconciled with Gregorian chant, there are simpler melodies from Anglican Plainsong and the slew of Post Vatican II folksy compositions which are not that difficult to execute without musical instruments. Even for a nominal congregation. Of course, trained cantors and practiced choirs can elevate the music of worship past a guitar or a screeching ballpark organ or even post Vatican II folk retro. But, no, I am not stressing universally observed Palestrina masses, however beautiful they would be. Moreover, both Blessed Augustine and Thomas Aquinas stressed that musical instruments were inappropriate to use in Catholic worship. Their reasoning is pretty sound. And they are doctors of the Roman Catholic church. So encouraging the faithful up with a Catholic form of chant and hymnody is actually most appropriate - especially in our time - and something the Vatican has supposedly encouraged.

http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/catholic/2005/12/the-gregorian-chant-comeback.aspx

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/catholic-music-its-time-to-stop-making-stuff-up

https://adoremus.org/2004/09/15/how-can-we-restore-gregorian-chant-to-quotpride-of-placequot/


The Church will not overcome secularization by accommodating the nominalism of a given congregation or diocese. It will succumb to it. The Church must encourage parishioners to active faith. To establish their piety. To give meaning and a place to worship and observance. To sacrifice for the Church. To live the Life in Christ. Showing up at mass times as they are posted isn't that much to ask to start this process. Getting parishioners back into parishes to respect the order of services will probably increase respect for them. Because they will be seen as essential and less commonplace, not optional.

Most RC parishes built prior to Vatican II are indeed set up to accommodate the one altar, one priest, one mass before noon, per day rule. That's what the side altars were originally for. Some parishes even had or have high altars as well. So RC parishes were set up to accommodate multiple masses on multiple altars per day. It's just a matter of using what's there.

The return to Latin and dignified, accurate English (vernacular) is actually growing in popularity. Many are fed up with the banal and less reverent structure and language of Vatican II worship. The old liberal attitudes toward Latin are passing away and being rejected. (Although I only mentioned Latin as one possibility along with a standard, dignified use of vernacular.)

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/the-rise-of-latin-mass-youth

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/03/12/catholicism-latin-mass-resurgence/70214976/

https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/latin-mass-decision-gave-rise-new-divisiveness


Ad orientem/ad apsidem is the historically liturgical rubric of Rome and the West. Facing the people is mentioned in The Didache and practiced in Jerusalem in the Orthodox Church when the Liturgy of St. James is celebrated there: it isn't celebrated that way anywhere else in the Orthodox Catholic Church nor by the Non Chalcedonians. No other liturgy celebrated by the Orthodox in Jerusalem is celebrated that way. So the historical precedent for celebrating mass facing the people is thin and inconsistent with the historical practices of the Western church. It leaves the impression that the priest is performing a show for the faithful and not leading them in worship in their common celebration of the Unbloody Sacrifice. It nominalizes worship. It gives a sense of the people being spectators and not participants in worship. It desacralizes the mass. It is very low church Protestant in most parish settings where the Mass of Paul VI is performed. Hence, it can be seen as inappropriate.

There is actually a desire for many Roman Catholics, even Bishops, to return to ad orientem worship. Notwithstanding the dismay of the current, liberal pope (whose time might not be so permanent and whose legacy will certainly be challenged). So we have a new tube of toothpaste, and the old 1965 brand is out of date. Rome just refuses to get the memo.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davear...m-defense-priests-facing-altar-mass.html

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/wisconsin-bishop-to-adopt-ad-orientem-position-for-mass

http://m.ncregister.com/daily-news/ad-orientem-posture-given-new-life-in-nebraska#.WelkR6kpDqA

Unfortunately, much of the confusion regarding my 25 points results from the fact that you are right: the Byzantine rite and the Roman rite once observed many of the same customs and much of the same discipline and piety. RC faithful simply are not aware of it. They don't know their history. Catholic identity for most has only superficially been exposed and understood. This is why we read so many denunciations here of "Byzantinization" and "Orthodox triumphalism". Understanding the context for what I am proposing is diminished. Because most RC faithful are found fundamentally lacking in historical knowledge of historical Roman Catholic identity and practice. This is precisely why it is necessary for the Roman Catholic church to rediscover its Catholic identity. Not only to rediscover unity with the Orthodox Catholic Church, but also to restore Apostolic Faith and worship. It not only can be done, but has to be done to prevent a neo-Anglican pseudo-morphosis of the Roman Catholic church.

Vatican II may have been necessary to lift the pall of Counter Reformational legalism, clericalism and obscurantism. But that does not justify its neo Protestant remedies and liberal dominion over faith, worship and piety. It secularized the Roman Catholic church. It empties parishes. It promotes apostasy. It is increasingly viewed with disfavor by RC faithful. Vatican II, as implemented, was the triumph of the Reformation and secular humanism over the Roman Catholic church. It was a tragedy. A mistake pleading for a displacement of the liberal control it put in place of the Roman church. A mistake demanding a Vatican III to correct it in the Apostolic Tradition and restore Catholic identity.

https://onepeterfive.com/pre-post-conciliar-catholicism-chasm-rift/

http://www.traditionalcatholicpries...n-the-catholic-church-before-vatican-ii/

http://thefederalist.com/2017/08/28/catholics-lost-started-tearing-great-altars/

I believe precisely because of the mistakes of Vatican II that the 25 points I bring up to promote reunion with the Orthodox Catholic Church have merit and their historical moment. Because they reaffirm historical Catholic worship, theology, ecclesiology. While promoting a very real certainty of reunion with the Orthodox Catholic Church. The failure of Vatican II reinforces the point I am trying to make and argues for the possibility of an encounter with, reunion with Orthodox Catholicism, because it represents the failed and banal excesses of modernism and neo-Reformation.

http://www.seattlecatholic.com/article_20031208.html

https://www.olrl.org/misc/jones_stats.shtml

http://www.tldm.org/news6/statistics.htm

The See of Istanbul in its pronouncements and practices isn't normative of most of Orthodox Catholicism. It isn't even normative of Greek Orthodoxy. As such, much of what is expressed by its clerics should be taken with a grain of salt. They do not and will not speak for me and other Russian Orthodox Catholics. The future of Orthodox Catholicism will be determined from Moscow. The views of the Russian church are much more normative of Orthodox Catholicism.

I truly lament that a sizeable number, if not the current majority, of RC faithful would prefer to agree to disagree rather than pursue reunion with the Orthodox Catholic Church in oneness of Faith and Catholic identity. I don't see that sentiment as static. I perceive that Orthodox Catholic alliance with Roman Catholic traditionalists will pressure the liberal establishment in the Roman Catholic church to budge and eventually buckle. If done properly. So I am not as pessimistic that reunion can't be achieved.

However, we both agree that a more clever form of unia and/or ecumenical gimmicky will never bring reunion about. That in and of itself gives more positive prospects for dialogue. The refreshing and friendly honesty of our exchange gives reason and reassurance that in the Love of Christ faithful of goodwill from both of our churches will one day find and share a common Catholic worldview and identity. That may just be a moment when 25 points like the ones I have put forward are welcomed by all and achieve reunion of separated brethren.
I know too much of this thread is heading in the daydreaming direction. Even if these pipe dreams to "sacralize" the Roman rite are legislated, there are too many uncooperative people in the Roman Catholic Church to affect this. During the JPII papacy directives were frequently issued and never followed. The various loyal traditionalist groups are fine, but they are very much a "boutique" movement and frankly I find their milieu very contrived and self-conscious. I think a lot of what P. Benedict XVI was doing was going in the right direction but he put an end to that.
There is a problem in the Roman church that transcends the pre- and post- Vatican II churches and that is a low church mentality. This is very evident in traditionalist circles where the chief concerns are with just Latin in the old rite and sound morals. Anything with a savor of high churchiness is dangerously close to crossing a boundary into "showmanship" with its concomitant cultural associations. Parts of the world that are fairly orthodox for the Roman rite like the Third Word and Eastern Europe are quite comfortable with the Novus Ordo; Tridentine stuff is ancient history for them (I lived in Eastern Europe thirty years ago). An older American priest I knew once said that that the older rite was never really celebrated with the now presumed dignity except in monasteries and cathedrals.
As to Orthodox concerns with the rites of the Western Church, they are fairly ignorant. Enough may be known of the old or new rites to make a cheap polemical shot, but it really is not on their radar. (Let us not confuse them with modern Byzantine and Latin Catholics of a certain type for whom knowledge of various and sundry rites constitute a kind of spiritual tourism). ROCOR hierarchs were the first Orthodox observers to Vatican II and they were shocked by what was going on. Their First Hierarch at the time mused that the Roman church up to that point was 90% Orthodox, but I think he did not have liturgy in mind since that was dealt with later, but had in mind things like relations with non-Christians.
Actually, the RC Traditionalists are globally resurgent especially in places like Poland and increasingly representative of RCs 45 and under, young families.

While I simply can't appreciate my ignorance of the Roman and Western rites enough to not understand that the "pipe dreams" I have suggested actually reflect the Catholic character, worship and identity of the Western church when it shared unity with the Orthodox Catholic Church. But that Roman church wasn't progressive enough for some unfortunately. I guess education and catholicity is for naught when it is not liberally biased. So I confess I am guilty in not fully appreciating the successes of Vatican II liberals and their apostolic fidelity, demographic improvement and capable financial stewardship of the Roman Catholic church: must be all those guitar masses, church closings, diocesan financial shortfalls. Not to mention the unfortunate and alarming decline in Roman Catholic faithful since Vatican II.

Bankruptcy is success done in the name of reformation, liberalism and secular humanism for some. Indeed.

Failure to even recognize the identity of the Orthodox Catholic Church and refuse to concede its views however slightly in any type of dialogue simply means no possible dialogue can take place. I can appreciate liberals do not want the type of reunion the Orthodox Catholic Church could offer to Rome. Perhaps some need to realize Orthodox Catholics will not accept any type of ecumenically contrived, compromised unity to prop up another form of unia. The very notion of unia is a non starter. If certain liberals don't respect our position and our ecclesiological identity, perhaps we should just suspend dialogue as it seems the only point for them is our capitulation and submission: how very Vatican I.

Thankfully, not all Roman Catholics are as bigoted. So we might actually be able to accomplish something once certain liberals are sidestepped and avoided, removed from authority. It is astonishing how some will insist on the church's authority and "obedience to the council" to force their Protestant reforms on the faithful and their parishes - yet are all too reticent when the time comes to revisit these reforms, reconsider them, and revise these ruinous, reformed measures conciliarly. To restore the Catholic identity of the Roman church and promote reunion with the Orthodox Catholic Church is a serious step backward to people with another agenda.

Fears of "Byzantinization" and "Orthodox triumphalism" or counter reformation?

The truth is the majority of the RC faithful will welcome a resacralized Roman Catholic church and union with the Orthodox Church where their Roman Catholic identity is reaffirmed. And the Roman Catholic church will benefit by it. The only losers in the process will be the liberals who almost literally reduced Rome to ashes while they chased mainline Protestant and secular humanist models of failure and secularization, apostasy.
I generally agree with Joshua while accepting the Novus Ordo as a valid Mass.

I don't mind if someone is liturgically low as long as he accepts our teachings and my right to be liturgically high.
Quote
No, it is encouragement for the Roman Catholic church to rediscover itself and its Catholic identity as it existed when Rome and the Orthodox Catholic Church were one. That is the most appropriate foundation for discussing reunion because it starts out with considering what constituted such a unity. There is nothing fundamentally wrong or Byzantine with Rome rediscovering its Catholic life with the Orthodox Catholic Church. It is actually Rome reinforcing its Catholic life and confession of faith. This, as a matter of fact, is requisite to any real attempt to establish unity.


Again you miss my point. What point in the first millennium are you referring to? You document so many twists and turns in the Roman pilgrimage during that period.

To take it to you--

Let's see the Russian Church take itself back to its first millennium practice. That means that the entirety of the Nikonian reforms that drove a wedge between the State Church and the Old Believers would have to be abolished at the same time Rome begins its journey. And the Greek rescension would have to return to practice prior to the reforms of Patriarch Jerimia II that made the Carpathian Ruthenians unite with Rome: seems that authentic Ruthenian service books are close in practice to the Old Believers.

Like it or not, we are where we are.

Again, "return" is not necessarily an option.
Quote
Actually, the RC Traditionalists are globally resurgent especially in places like Poland and increasingly representative of RCs 45 and under, young families.


Actually many who would term themselves "RC Traditionalists" are people who have little idea of what that should mean or how it should be lived out.

I have challenged many who call themselves "RC Traditionalists" and find that, aside from their love for a liturgy that is not post Vatican II, they have little idea of how to live out their traditional Catholic faith. On the other hand, I have done many years of research on how people lived, day to day, in the past. Many of the customs and practices done in the home are things these folks, well meaning as they are, have no idea of.

Traditionally, in my study, Catholics and Orthodox were very close in their practices until about 1895 when various papal indults--exemptions from practices--were allowed in the United States. For example, the Wednesday fast which was eliminated in an indult of Pope Leo in 1895--ask any "RC Traditionalists" about that and they will look at you as if you had three heads. Ask why unconfirmed children are admitted to the Eucharist, and you get a similar response. Ask if confession is normally required before the reception of the Eucharist or if the midnight to reception time is required--same thing. Ask about the Advent fast and you may find a denial that there ever was one--the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1937 edition, which I used to read in all 26 volumes made mention of it.

There are many more examples of these types of things. So I will accept people as "RC Traditionalists" as such when I see lives formed in the way things were prior to the 20th century--in addition to a preference for the Liturgy of the Council of Trent. BTW, that liturgy was a compromise of all the abuses that were then-current and which could not be done away with. So Trent codified the abuses rather than insist on a return to a full liturgy that had gone before.

Bob
The Russian church is part of the Orthodox Catholic Church, did not have a Vatican II, did not separate itself from Orthodox Catholicism. The Old Rite is nothing more than an older version of the Byzantine rite and still practiced in the Russian church. So the comparison isn't apt.

With Vatican II's reforms, Rome showed it had the capacity to revisit its past and implement drastic reforms. So it can be done. Rome rediscovering her Catholic identity is what can bring about reunion with the Orthodox Catholic Church.
I think that Roman Catholic traditionalists are their own segment of RC faithful who have earned the right to have their own interlocutors, without distillation or discounting of their views.

No, Trent preserved the historically textual Roman mass. What it mandated was the Franciscan ordo to it. This was done to create a uniformity in the ritual.

Like it or not, the liberals in the RC church have had their time and the traditionalists are in the ascendency. They do fundamentally differ from the SSPX people by not reflexively regarding all Orthodox Catholics as "Greek schismatics", but their outlook is very much driven to restoration of Catholic identity, clearing the wreckage of Vatican II, and rejecting the liberal dominance Vatican II inaugurated. As such, the 25 points I suggested have a sympathetic partner in dialogue once the traditionalists regain control of their church.
Speaking of tradition, I read somewhere that in Ireland, besides Lent, Advent, and the Apostle's Fast, were kept until relatively recently, at least abstaining from meat, that is. Also, there was the tradition of Wednesday fasting. I can't recall and my books are mostly packed, but in the Irish language the word for Thursday literally means , " after the fast."
As far as the Orthodox go, we would have to go back to the St. James Liturgy to get the the "real" Apostolic tradition. Even then, you'd have the purist who would insist on Communion in the hand for laity, etc. I did have the opportunity to concelebrate at a St. James Liturgy last year, with the rector of a parish and his deacon. It was a first for all of us, except the rector. I'm no longer in Michigan, but I wonder if he will do it again this year, since the Feast of St. James will be Sunday, Nov 5. It also has been served on the Sunday after Nativity in some places.
Communion in separate species was also an early practice, from the Chalice and from a paten/diskos/ciborium. Intinction was also practiced relatively early. So in the hand would be least desireable: especially if intinction is practiced.

The Byzantine Liturgies of St. James and St. Mark are beautiful. They should be celebrated more frequently. The Liturgy of St. James has at least two variants in use in the Orthodox Catholic Church, the ROCOR useage (actually shorter with more facing of the congregation) and the Greek useage, up to 45 mins to an hour longer and more ad apsidem. Both are beautiful and should be more regularly celebrated. At least on the monastic level.

The Maronite masses are a redacted version of the Non Chalcedonian Liturgy of St. James with many latinizations. That is why I recommend one of them for liturgical restoration in the Roman Catholic church. Alloyed with selections from the historical Roman Canon along with Prosphora and a strong epiklesis and with a beautiful Western ordo. Such a mass could also be used for Eastern Catholics with a Romano-Byzantine or Romano-Oriental ordo. This would be a positive step toward settling many of our divergences and arguments and promote more liturgical cohesion in the Roman church.

You might find interesting, Father, that in the RC church, fasting was obligatory on Wednesdays and Fridays into the nineteenth century universally. Into the twentieth century in Latin American churches. Indeed, the fasting restrictions in the British church were rigorous: on fast days, one meal a day after sun down, neither eating nor drinking to satiety, abstaining from meat, dairy and sometimes fish.
Father Al:
Quote
Speaking of tradition, I read somewhere that in Ireland, besides Lent, Advent, and the Apostle's Fast, were kept until relatively recently, at least abstaining from meat, that is. Also, there was the tradition of Wednesday fasting.


RussoRuthenianOGC:
Quote
You might find interesting, Father, that in the RC church, fasting was obligatory on Wednesdays and Fridays into the nineteenth century universally. Into the twentieth century in Latin American churches.


Wednesday and Friday fasting was, until recently, a general practice in the Catholic Church as a whole. However, the United States did receive an indult dispensing its members from Wednesday in the late 19th century and was given the rule of "two small meals, not to equal the main meal" as its Friday and Lenten fasting rule at the same time. Some of the gymnastics of observing these allowances makes for some amusing reading. For example, the rule for eggs during a fasting day/period: one could take a three-ounce egg, but not a four-ounce egg during the fast--and they had to be weighed.

But no one can seriously think that re-introducing fasting rules such as these would ever fly. We have two fasting days per year now and so many observe them in the breach. In fact, when I taught religious ed and mentioned them to my students, I had parental push-back that "we don't have to do that anymore." And my children went to Catholic school and never learned anything about observing any fasting day(s).

Bob
Quote
Actually, the RC Traditionalists are globally resurgent


Poland is hardly representative of the global Latin Catholic Church. There are dioceses here in the United States where the bishop does not permit the Liturgy of Pope St. John XXIII to be used. Seminaries do not teach Latin to the students so there are few priests who can use this liturgical form.

The biggest problem where I live is getting people to come to any liturgy at all, so one in Latin is certainly not a draw.

Liturgy alone does not make one a traditionalist. The whole lifestyle is needed because it is the whole lifestyle that forms one in Christian living.
Quote
No, Trent preserved the historically textual Roman mass.


I don't think so. For example, the "Kyrie" in the Paul V Missal is a remnant of the time when the liturgy was served in Greek--prior to Pope Damasus--and a remnant of the time when the full Litany of the Saints was chanted at that part of the liturgy. This little tidbit comes from the Catholic encyclopedia I cited earlier.

We then go to parish practice and wonder if people would tolerate anything beyond an hour. Even Roman cardinals at the time of the Council thought not.

Bob
I think Roman Catholic traditionalism as indicated in the sourced material I have presented above is indeed a growing phenomenon in the RC church. One that will eventually assume the ascendency in the Roman Catholic church. RC traditionalists generally have no problem with fasting and would like to see it restored. Perhaps without ridiculous dispensations like being able to eat muskrat during Great Lent. What probably won't fly in the end is the neo-Protestant outlook of the Vatican II liberals; liberals who are actually dying out. The RC church is moving away from the Paul VI/Francis approach of reform and seriously seeking to rediscover its Catholic identity.
The Kyrie is part of the Tridentine mass, existed in pre-Tridentine masses. In the Gelasian Sacramentary it was actually an "Eastern" style ektenia known as the Gelasian deprecation. That was shortened to be the Kyrie. Shortened already prior to the Schism. Before the Aachen liturgists of the late eighth century, the Roman mass had ektenias like the Byzantine, Milanese, Gallican, British and Mozarabic rites.

So, yes, Trent preserved the historical text of what some call "The Mass of St. Gregory the Great".
Originally Posted by theophan
[quoteNo, Trent preserved the historically textual Roman mass. ]


I don't think so. For example, the "Kyrie" in the Paul V Missal is a remnant of the time when the liturgy was served in Greek--prior to Pope Damasus--and a remnant of the time when the full Litany of the Saints was chanted at that part of the liturgy. This little tidbit comes from the Catholic encyclopedia I cited earlier.

We then go to parish practice and wonder if people would tolerate anything beyond an hour. Even Roman cardinals at the time of the Council thought not.

Bob[/quote]
Actually, Father, the Litany of Saints comes later. Litanies were devotions much like Orthodox Catholic Akathists/Salutations. They weren't part of the mass. The Litany of Saints is probably post Schism. What the Kyrie originated as in the early history of the "Mass of Saint Gregory" was the Gelasian Deprecation. Essentially an ektenia. The earlier Roman masses just had ektenias as we know them. The Gelasian Deprecation was later shortened to the Kyrie.

Now in Anglican practice, sometimes what they term "The Great Litany" is recited prior to the Eucharist.

The early Roman masses and then the Roman Canon did all have diptyches within the Canon commemorating lists of Saints and the Saint(s) commemorated on that day.
Quote
I think Roman Catholic traditionalism as indicated in the sourced material I have presented above is indeed a growing phenomenon in the RC church.


I don't want to argue this point any more. Let me give you something else to consider.

Pope Francis, for one, would probably argue against it and he's doing his best to make sure it doesn't happen. He has sidelined most of the conservative, traditionalist cardinals and bishops and promoted only those with his very relaxed, liberal viewpoint and praxis: including those in positions at the doctrinal congregation and those in charge of liturgical matters. He is indifferent to the Eastern Churches, willing to let them go their own way--which may be good if that means the Oriental Congregation goes away. He has recently stated that the liturgical reforms will not be reversed. He is indifferent, if not hostile, to the traditionalists and to the motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI that allowed for greater use of the Pope St John XXIII liturgical books. He has indicated that the Church needs to be less rule oriented and more pastoral. He has the time to put his stamp on the Catholic Church moving forward and this stamp will not be in the direction you hope for or that "traditionalists" hope for.

I just don't see it.
I think that the current pope has serious challenges to his papacy and that he has a better than even chance of not leaving a legacy behind him. The appointments he has made can just as easily be unmade. He doesn't have a sustainable, liberal base: it dwindles away with each funeral, with each passing decade of post Christianity in the West.

The single most influential RC organ in North America is EWTN. It also owns the National Catholic Register. It is Broad Church - Traditionalist in orientation. Then there are also people like Scott Hahn and his work at Steunbenville University. Radio networks like Ave Maria. The lists goes on. They will outlive the current papacy and the liberals. Because the RC traditionalists are actually growing while the liberals are either apostatizing or marginalizing themselves and losing followers by attrition.

So I respectfully disagree with your position.
I don't see it either. Some scholar wrote a book on the future of the Catholic Church being Developing World. Much of the issues discussed in this thread are Developed World problems and perhaps the remedies suggested are appropriate to that section of the globe...I would draw the line where solutions to ecclesiastical problems are taken from the playbook of party politics.
To focus on Christ is the most important thing and the only way to be led out of this postmodern morass.
Pope Francis' indifference to liturgy (and to English in it, since he doesn't really speak English) have been good for traditional (Tridentine Mass) and conservative (high-church reform of the reform) Roman Catholics, and I'll add Eastern Catholics, because he's left us alone, leaving Pope Benedict XVI's reforms to the Roman Rite in place. I much prefer life in American Catholicism now to the 1980s or even the early 2000s.

Regarding the developing world and considering high churchmanship a First World luxury, Archbishop Lefebvre probably knew more about the developing world than most of us ever will, having been a missionary in western Africa for many years (he was the Archbishop of Dakar in Senegal); official churchmen still credit him with building the Catholic Church there.
Ritualism appeals to the developing world much more than mainline Protestant secularized worship and moral relativism: the growth of the Orthodox Catholic Church in Africa over the last 50+ years testifies to that. Liberalism is in retreat everywhere, except in the Western press and academia, places which have made idols of the late 1960s and 1970s. Believers in the world want authenticity, spirituality, piety, fidelity, not guitar masses, female priests, LGBTQ marriage, social crusader "saints" and legal abortions understood "as matters of personal conscience".
On Roman Catholic Traditionalism And Pope Francis

https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/catholic-traditionalism-old-new

...Francis’s concrete perception of Catholicism today. He’s dealing with the SSPX in this way because he knows the degree to which traditionalism perhaps even more pronounced than that of the SSPX exists. ...

...Less than fifteen years separate the publication of two important books on Catholic traditionalism—Michael Cuneo’s The Smoke of Satan (1997) and Giovanni Miccoli’s La Chiesa dell’anticoncilio (published in Italian in 2011, in French in 2014), yet they each paint a different picture. Cuneo saw traditionalism in a limited number of well-identified streams: conservatism-traditionalism, anti-abortion culture, marianism, and apocalypticism. Miccoli portrays a widespread support of traditionalist causes in the hierarchy of Catholicism. ...

...It’s clear that the traditionalism that’s developed since the 1990s has arisen outside any organized, mass movement of conversion of schismatics. Francis knows that dealing with traditionalism now is less a matter of outreach to the SSPX than it is an issue to be handled internally. Ironically, the new, “home-grown” traditionalism has made the schism with the SSPX a less urgent issue. Today the SSPX of Bishop Bernard Fellay is not much more traditionalist than, for example, some Dominicans, Benedictines, Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, some diocesan seminaries or even Cardinal Burke—all of whom are in communion with the pope even if their view of Vatican II theology is not so different from Lefebvre’s in 1970. ...

...So what’s happened during these last two decades, and what are the differences between the old 1970s traditionalism of the SSPX and the new traditionalism? One of the big changes is that traditionalism is no longer confined to a small and well-identified ecclesial group that put itself outside the Catholic Church of Rome, but rather is spread through the Church and its structures (clergy, religious orders, media outlets, universities). Nor is the new traditionalism an expression of a 19th-century, anti-Enlightenment, French Catholic culture, but rather of a piece with (what remains of) the “culture wars” in the English-speaking world. In some cases it is now also associated with high-profile conversions to Catholicism in the West. ...

...Another difference is how this new traditionalism was able to find a home in the Catholic Church of Benedict XVI. John Paul II opened the door by creating some practical conditions for its return in the early 1980s (the 1984 indult to celebrate the pre-conciliar Mass, for example), though without conceding much in terms of theological reassessment of Vatican II in a traditionalist sense. But Benedict XVI went further. Just a few examples:

His December 2005 programmatic speech for a hermeneutic of Vatican II as “continuity and reform vs. discontinuity and rupture.” Originally, the speech had an anti-traditionalist intent (since the SSPX sees Vatican II as rupture), but it became a tool in the hands of Benedict-appointed bishops and curia officials pushing the traditionalist agenda.
His liberalization of the pre-Vatican II liturgy in July 2007, which invigorated—if not created—a neo-traditionalist liturgical movement that did not exist before with the strength it has today.
His decision to lift the excommunication of four bishops of the SSPX in January 2009, which signaled the unilateral willingness of the papacy to readmit the schismatic group that hosted the disturbing anti-Semitic views of one of Bishop Richard Williamson (who was expelled from SSPX in 2012).
These were not just accommodations made for the SSPX. They were also changes in the Church’s stance on the latest fifty years of Church history, changes that in the eyes of the traditionalists vindicated what they had been saying all along since the beginning of the post-Vatican II period. ...

...There were clearly also other factors. The rise of Catholic conservatism and traditionalism was also a reaction against globalization, and most of all a reaction to 9/11 and to the rise of radical and political Islam. Finally, there was the rise of digital communications: if you consider the impact of the printing press in cementing the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation in early modern Europe, you cannot overlook the impact of the blogosphere and internet for cementing and mainstreaming old and new Catholic traditionalism. ...

...in the United States, where during these last few decades an institutional “Vatican II revisionism,” pushed especially by the bishops, has been a subset of the culture wars.
Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
Ritualism appeals to the developing world much more than mainline Protestant secularized worship and moral relativism.


Yes; your use of the word "ritualism" jogged my born-Episcopal memory. A reason Anglo-Catholic Anglican priests adopted the ceremonial and devotions of the Roman Catholic Church in their time, the 1800s, was not just that they had a parallel theology very close to us and even a true-church claim to rival ours, but because this appealed to the working classes in the neighborhoods in which they worked: "slum priests" in the East End (Cockney country) of London, for example.

Pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism is still a living tradition like the Byzantine Rite; the people from before the council had the chance to pass it down to younger people interested in it, showing them how to do right and not go off on crazy tangents.
It is true Anglo Catholicism was a working class movement in the UK, whose politics were definitely Labour oriented. There wasn't such a divide over social issues on the Left at the time - social conservatism was defended by Labour in opposition to the moral decadence of the exploitative upper classes. During this time in the US, the Democrat party was a very socially conservative party and that is why so many RCs today are registered Democrats. By legacy. In the developing world today, especially Africa, a similar phenomenon is witnessed: traditional morality, endorsement of doctrinal orthodoxy, respect for authentic ritual with a cold reception given to ad hoc, make it up as you go along liberal gimmickry. That is why Christianity in Africa has a more traditionalist character, be it of the Orthodox Catholic, Roman Catholic or Anglican variety.

In other words, Christian social democracy is concerned with authenticity in worship and put off by faux elitist, liberal, relativized contrivance specifically because working and struggling people are neither debased enough by liberalism nor do secularism and moral relativism offer them any other answer other than the hard life they have is all there is and will be. They don't have the luxury to complain about the mass eating up their free time or it being too old fashioned.

Liberals urge you to vote for a paternalist government to take care of you: corrupt liberals who end up exploiting you and keeping you in generational poverty. This paternalism holds poor people down who come to resent it, to reject its degenerate lack of morality. So struggling people end up wanting something more, something more authentic, which offers a spirituality of human liberation and achievement, whose worship creates a nexus between heaven and Earth and offers a transfigured and sanctified reality. A better life. That is true in a peasant hut in Africa or a tenement in Belfast or a working class home in Warsaw. As it was true for the British working class in London and immigrant auto workers in Detroit.

If anything, liberal decadence and whining along with all of the ridiculous gimmickries are First World problems while traditionalism is the natural outlook of traditional societies.
To 99% of RC, BC UC etc or Orthodox SITTING IN THE PEWS, the only difference between the Catholics and Orthodox is the issue with the ROMAN POPE being the HEAD (whatever that means to them) of a REUNIFIED CHURCH!
None of US know much about the THEOLOGICAL ISSUES that seem to separate our Churches.
Ask any RC or Orthodox what the FILIOQUE is and they won't even know what you are talking about!
As a layman I think that it was and is mostly a POLITICAL separation!
WHOSE GOING TO BE THE BOSS!
I can guarantee you that more Orthodox Catholics than not on the grassroots level are interested in reunion only when oneness of Faith and conciliarity can win out. Not a papal run Church: that's why talk of papal primacy is a waste of time and so overly premature as to be suspect. Not ecumenical gimmickry and/or a new form of unia.

Moreover, RC traditionalists have an idea of what they don't want liturgically, theologically, morally and where the Roman Catholic church needs to be fixed - they're 20 - 30% of the faithful, depending on the diocese.
Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
It is true Anglo Catholicism was a working class movement in the UK, whose politics were definitely Labour oriented. There wasn't such a divide over social issues on the Left at the time - social conservatism was defended by Labour in opposition to the moral decadence of the exploitative upper classes. During this time in the US, the Democrat party was a very socially conservative party and that is why so many RCs today are registered Democrats. By legacy. In the developing world today, especially Africa, a similar phenomenon is witnessed: traditional morality, endorsement of doctrinal orthodoxy, respect for authentic ritual with a cold reception given to ad hoc, make it up as you go along liberal gimmickry. That is why Christianity in Africa has a more traditionalist character, be it of the Orthodox Catholic, Roman Catholic or Anglican variety.

In other words, Christian social democracy is concerned with authenticity in worship and put off by faux elitist, liberal, relativized contrivance specifically because working and struggling people are neither debased enough by liberalism nor do secularism and moral relativism offer them any other answer other than the hard life they have is all there is and will be. They don't have the luxury to complain about the mass eating up their free time or it being too old fashioned.

Liberals urge you to vote for a paternalist government to take care of you: corrupt liberals who end up exploiting you and keeping you in generational poverty. This paternalism holds poor people down who come to resent it, to reject its degenerate lack of morality. So struggling people end up wanting something more, something more authentic, which offers a spirituality of human liberation and achievement, whose worship creates a nexus between heaven and Earth and offers a transfigured and sanctified reality. A better life. That is true in a peasant hut in Africa or a tenement in Belfast or a working class home in Warsaw. As it was true for the British working class in London and immigrant auto workers in Detroit.

If anything, liberal decadence and whining along with all of the ridiculous gimmickries are First World problems while traditionalism is the natural outlook of traditional societies.


Honestly, RussoRuthenian, the more I read your erudite rantings the more you sound like an ecclesiastical Steve Bannon. Besides being an Orthodox Catholic perhaps you could tell us just who you are.
I'll leave the ad hominem for liberals who are not confident or competent enough in their views to defend and present them: bigotry and invective is something I have no time for. I am thankfully not a liberal. I have substantiated my indictment of liberalism without going after persons: Obama, Clinton, Soros or otherwise. And my context here is ecclesiastical orientations in the Roman Catholic church and in the Orthodox Catholic Church. Let's stick to that or perhaps start another discussion about it?

So my personal life is not the issue here - although I appreciate the liberals' first response in being on the losing side of a discussion is to try to find personal information in the attempt to discredit their partners in dialogue. Frankly, that is a further indictment of liberalism, underscoring it can't make it in the marketplace of ideas without personal attacks. Its ideas are simply that indefensible. My only advice when such things come up is to emphasize respect for dialogue (And, moreover, the democratic, American, electoral process).

I am much more at home being associated with Steve Bannon than being associated with NARAL/PP, Human Rights Campaign, Antifa or BLM. I am a working class American. Working people with traditional values keep the USA strong and pay the bills. No one, liberal or conservative, gives us anything. Limousine liberals and establishment conservatives have made Americans poorer and leveraged the futures of American working families for agendas which don't represent the American middle class. Agendas which are hateful to it.

So I am with the American electoral and ecclesiastical majority who does not want a future of a morally bankrupt, liberal America, politically, socially and spiritually epitomized as the apogee of liberal policy, Detroit - with transexual priests, clown masses, gay marriage and third trimester abortions on demand.
Originally Posted by jvf
To 99% of RC, BC UC etc or Orthodox SITTING IN THE PEWS, the only difference between the Catholics and Orthodox is the issue with the ROMAN POPE being the HEAD (whatever that means to them) of a REUNIFIED CHURCH!
None of US know much about the THEOLOGICAL ISSUES that seem to separate our Churches.
Ask any RC or Orthodox what the FILIOQUE is and they won't even know what you are talking about!
As a layman I think that it was and is mostly a POLITICAL separation!
WHOSE GOING TO BE THE BOSS!


Theology is, however, the root of why the schism hasn't ended yet. The schism at first was entirely political but as I read into "Palamism" and Eastern thought on the Energy Essence distinction, it becomes obvious to me the schools of Western thought centered around "Divine Simplicity" are perhaps incompatible fundamentally with Eastern theology.

But you are right - most Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox would not know about this. I find it hard to believe the super traditionalist Catholic position that all outside of the Church are going to Hell, because a pious Russian layman born in 1300 has no way of discerning over the Schism and I don't think it would prevent him from being devoted to God and seeking out righteousness and faith in the Living God Jesus Christ. Likewise, a pious French layman wouldn't discern over these issues either.
The filioque, azymes, created grace, doctrinal innovations are not fundamentally political issues. Although they have political aspects. The Church of the first millennium, whether one chooses to accept it or not, precisely did concern itself with theological issues such as: "of like essence" vs. "of one essence", "two natures in one person" vs. "one nature in one person", "two wills unmingled, equal, human and Divine" vs. "one will, human and Divine", "veneration passes to the one in the image depicted, not to the wood or stone, expressing the reality of theosis in Christ" vs. "pagan idolatry of images denying Christ".
Fr. Seraphim Rose was once asked by a Protestant minister if Fr. Seraphim thought he was headed for he'll since he didn't share the Orthodox faith. Fr. Seraphim replied," Who am I to determine whether you will or won't go to he'll?"
Having said that, I feel that most of those who are indifferent to any concept of truth, whether Orthodox, RC, or BC, are those mostly likely to abandon the faith altogether in times of persecution. I'm not saying this is good or should happen, but that's it's likely to happen.
Yes, Father, Christ is the ultimate judge of who enters heaven and hell. Not us. Many of us will be surprised with the people we meet there. If we get there ourselves, of course.
Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
: bigotry and invective is something I have no time for.


As long as it's not your own. I find your 25 Recommendations a thinly veiled form, but I'll get to those as I have time. I'll just say for now that most of the working class Catholics of the Latin rite that I know, like their girls at the altar, and a good rendition of Nearer My God at the Offertory. Few take the offered cup at communion. I'll stake my working class credentials with yours, or Steve Bannon's any day, but that's beside the point. The truth and accuracy of your assumptions in your original post are what's at stake in this thread. More later.
[quote][The filioque, azymes, created grace, doctrinal innovations are not fundamentally political issues. Although they have political aspects. The Church of the first millennium, whether one chooses to accept it or not, precisely did concern itself with theological issues such as: "of like essence" vs. "of one essence", "two natures in one person" vs. "one nature in one person", "two wills unmingled, equal, human and Divine" vs. "one will, human and Divine", "veneration passes to the one in the image depicted, not to the wood or stone, expressing the reality of theosis in Christ" vs. "pagan idolatry of images denying Christ"./quote]

Which "other" do you refer to?

Bob
Universal Moderator
Christ is in our midst!!

I find the emphasis on "traditionalist Catholics" amusing. In my part of PA, there is one church that offers the Liturgy of Pope St John XXIII. It was the last revision of the Pope Paul V Missal before the reforms of Vatican II. It is served in one church far out in the country by a priest of a religious order. Most parishes have been done over in such a way that this liturgy cannot be served in them for any number of reasons. My source is a former pastor who served as a seminary professor for many years before retirement.

There is another reason. The seminaries don't even teach Latin and haven't for decades. The priests we have are already stretched thin trying to provide Liturgy to the people who even come. I'm told that there is an underlying reason for priests not asking for permission to serve this Liturgy, even if people would ask.

Try this website to see how irregularly the Liturgy of Pope St John XXIII is served in PA.

http://www.ecclesiadei.org/masses.cfm

Bob
If one seeks reunion with the Orthodox Catholic Church, the most logical means of doing so is rediscovering ones identity the way it was when that union existed. Logic dictates that. I have addressed liberal issues with my 25 points already. So no amount of repetition is really going to rescue the day for the party of modernism and Neo-Reformation.

Any political orientation which emphasizes either a privileged, plutocratic 1% or an LGBTQ 3% at the expense of working Americans is out of touch with the needs and values of the American middle class. Gay marriage, abortion on demand, dividing Americans by race, gender, while calling for the killing of police officers, spouting hours of anti-White racist hate and wallowing in the divisive gutter of identity politics, assaulting the Bill of Rights (American civil liberties), arming misinformed/brainwashed college students to brutalize anyone engaged in free speech who is not liberal - this is not representative of working Americans and the needs of American families. It is hateful to them. It isn't American.

Truth be told, I am probably a 1960 - 1968 Democrat. Which means the Democrat party left me and most working people behind after 1968 for a liberal fringe of special interest groups: banded together to divide America with wedge issues, subvert American morals and promote a San Francisco values, limousine liberal transformation of American. With the neo Protestant reforms of Vatican II being the ecclesiastical corollary of this debased, political orientation. So people like myself, like Steve Bannon, like most of Middle Class America are frankly happy that the liberals don't stand in our ranks. We are done with being politically exploited, divided, morally compromised, bankrupted and then handed the bill for it. We reject both the liberal and conservative political establishments as unresponsive, exploitative and useless. We are about a new politics and a renewed, traditional, religious sensibility of/by/for hardworking Americans.
I think I've been clear, Bob, that the "other" are those who oppose the Orthodox and Catholic consciousness of the Church: mostly I've indicted Neo Protestant liberals and modernists. I've placed myself on the side of RC Traditionalists as an Orthodox Catholic advocate of their aspirations. Supporting them in their restoration of the Roman Catholic church. So Neo-Reformation and anti-Tradition (neo Iconoclasm) are the "other".
I hate to break it to you, Bob, but I learned Latin in high school. And it is still taught in most accredited colleges and universities. As well as in most RC seminaries. Albeit no longer the exclusive language of instruction for the last 3 years of a five year curriculum. Moreover, RC seminaries which are more traditionalist in orientation tend to be packed. While those which are Vatican II liberal/modernist tend to have enrollment (and moral) issues.

I have provided links above regarding the renewed interest and intensity behind the Mass of John XXIII. Sourced links which support my emphasis on resurgent Roman Catholic traditionalism. I can provide more if necessary. I find it perplexing that you continue to discount the Roman Catholic traditionalists and claim they don't exist or that they are ignorant in your estimation. Despite the fact there is sourced material here which states otherwise. I take that as either wishful thinking and/or dismissive contempt, which comes across as unserious.

The truth is that some RC ordinaries limit the use of the traditional mass to the countryside and some inner city parishes because they fear that it will be preferred by the faithful and displace the Neo Protestant Vatican II mass of Paul VI. It won't be very hard for seminaries to once again teach a mass with a more Apostolic and devout character: after all the radical vandalism of Vatican II and its reformed emphases were pushed through all RC institutions in over a decade. And those Neo Protestant reforms were far more radical than anything I advocate. Moreover, unlike Vatican II reformation, there is extant a supportive literature behind restoration of a Catholic mass. One can still find priests who know Tridentine rubrics as well and celebrate the mass with reverence and dignity to train other priests: I believe the Chicago Archdiocese has its fair share.

In other words, arguing that the American RC church can't restore the mass because it's repressed by RC bishops fearing its resurgence who have tried to erase its viability by erasing the rudiments of its instruction is arguing my point and actually providing advocacy for RC traditionslists. You are reinforcing the fact that traditionalists are institutionally repressed, feared for the possibility their ranks will supplant the Vatican II liberals and modernists, that the dioceses intentionally limit exposure to and availability of parishes where traditionalists can pray to prop up the Vatican II mass and its accoutrement. Because it isn't preferred and not the option faithful Roman Catholics would choose if given a choice. No, it isn't because "no one will go to a Tridentine rite" parish: traditionalist parishes which are not handicapped by the bishops are more vibrant, observant, attract more people, actually, financially stable. Nearly all of parish closings for the last 30 years have been of Novus Ordo parishes who lost their congregations because the Neo Protestant reforms of Vatican II alienated their congregations generationally. Moreover, just as parishes were "adapted" structurally after Vatican II, they can be readapted to more Catholic and reverent worship after a Vatican III.

Let's put this in further perspective: Vatican II daily closes the doors of the Roman Catholic church internationally. It neither attracts Orthodox Catholics (save for unchurched and/or ecumenically minded, very rare exceptions) nor Protestants (save for Protestants uncomfortable with the "Easterness" of Orthodox Catholicism and/or fleeing an Anglican church/mainline Protestant denomination the Vatican II liberals are on a collision course to "catch up" to). My position restores the Catholic identity of the Roman Catholic church, returns it into the hands of its most devote followers and ends up accomplishing reunion with the Orthodox Catholic Church. Thus, I think I have illustrated the real dichotomy in our positions and the choice Rome has to make. I believe that the position of Roman Catholic traditionalists is on surer footing with a real prognosis for survival and recovery. Whereas, the diagnosis for Vatican II Neo Protestantism is terminal.
Christ is in our midst!!

There is no reason to return to a Liturgy served in Latin. Vernacular liturgy is the rule in the Christian East and it would have happened in the West 500 years ago had it not been for the Protestant Reformation. Part of the reason for Liturgy is evangelization and that does not happen in a language not understood by the people listening to it.

You have made the point of the difficulty of restoring a first millennium liturgical praxis by the many points you have made. There is one more thing that you don't understand about the Latin Church's tradition. We burn our liturgical books--literally--when new ones are mandated. I have been involved in this practice more than once in the last half century. I have been through four translations of our liturgical books since Vatican II ended and each time we haul all the previous books out to the burning barrel when the new ones arrive. The problem that we have on the level of the layman in the pew is that these changes jar one's prayer life. Metropolitan Anthony, an Orthodox bishop writing in England decades ago, in his books "Beginning to Pray," and "Living Prayer," makes the point that one ought to pray in the same patterns for about 30 years in order to be formed in prayer. That has become impossible. I remember well the difficulty I had in reciting prayers with my grandparents because they used an older form of English than I was taught in religious formation and I now have the same problem with my own grandchildren. What this does is derail the process of having a Christian life beyond Sunday liturgy. It is also the practical problem of seriously implementing the proposals you have made.

Quote
Let's put this in further perspective: Vatican II daily closes the doors of the Roman Catholic church internationally. It neither attracts Orthodox Catholics (save for unchurched and/or ecumenically minded, very rare exceptions) nor Protestants (save for Protestants uncomfortable with the "Easterness" of Orthodox Catholicism and/or fleeing an Anglican church/mainline Protestant denomination the Vatican II liberals are on a collision course to "catch up" to). My position restores the Catholic identity of the Roman Catholic church, returns it into the hands of its most devote followers and ends up accomplishing reunion with the Orthodox Catholic Church. Thus, I think I have illustrated the real dichotomy in our positions and the choice Rome has to make. I believe that the position of Roman Catholic traditionalists is on surer footing with a real prognosis for survival and recovery. Whereas, the diagnosis for Vatican II Neo Protestantism is terminal.


First of all, there is no "dichotomy" in our positions. When I look at your proposals, I look through the prism of a long life and experience of meeting people where they are--not where we would like them to be. I have served numerous families who have been hurt to the point of being damaged by all the upheaval the Catholic Church has gone through in the past half century. In fact, I have a ministry to people who have left the institutional Church as a result of it. (I have also ministered to people damaged by other Churches and communities, but that is another story.) I maintain that not all of the people who have remained are the "most devoted" followers. I also maintain that we must meet people where they are. I use the analogy of red clay flower pots like the ones one finds in a nursery. Some are large; others are tiny; still others are in between. We have all manner of faith gifts--some are large; some smaller. The jarring of the faith of people brings the Lord's warning about causing one of His "little ones" to fall.

I find it amusing that you would state that the doors of the Catholic Church are closed daily. My parish takes in a dozen or more people every Easter Vigil from an area that is dying economically. In other words, we have a net decline in overall population, but are still drawing people to what we have to offer.

I find the overzealousness of so-called traditionalists off putting in the same way I find the overzealousness of the ultra-liberals off putting. I may not really care for some of the liberalism that I encounter in my parish or diocese--or those I frequent when I travel--but I am being nourished within a community of people, like myself, who are struggling along the way to stay faithful to the Tradition we have received. I live in a parish where each person is encouraged to bring his/her talents to the service of all to build us all up--something I had not experienced prior to finding this parish. In prior parishes, I was not allowed to have any kind of role because my father was Lutheran or I was in a place where my great grandparents hadn't helped lay the cornerstone.

I have no desire to return to 1963 or 1958 or any other date. The Church is not an archaeological organization. It is a hospital for sinners; it is a group of people walking three-legged toward the Kingdom, following Christ, picking each other up and encouraging each other as we bind each other's wounds. Somehow the Holy Spirit has had something to do with where we are. For that matter, if ti were not for Vatican II, we wouldn't even be having this conversation because Rome wrote the whole of the Christian East off after the schism: I had learned that the Russian Church had only had 66 years as part of the undivided tradition before the schism. (How crazy is that?) I had my vision opened by my work with people of all Christian persuasions and of none at all in my professional life. Imagine being stretched beyond your formation by working with others at the same time you are learning that they are all outside the Church and outside salvation.

So lets cut the veiled polemics and see what vision we can see toward where we can meet down the road toward the Kingdom.

Bob
Latin was Western Europe's international language long after the Roman Empire. It was a means of communication, not a barrier; intellectuals from opposite ends of the continent with completely different native languages could correspond. Everybody comes up with a sacred language. That's what happened to Latin in the Roman Rite. Latin's also useful as a template because its meaning doesn't change. And it's pretty, the mother of Italian and Spanish. The Greek Orthodox use medieval Greek in church; the Russians Slavonic, about as close to Russian as Chaucer is to our English. The old Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible, the thous and thees of Elizabethan and Jacobean English, are that for many English-speaking Protestants.

I've heard of parishes keeping older missals even after the missal was periodically edited, which happened from St. Pius V's day until Vatican II. At some Masses I've heard the second Confiteor before Communion, which isn't in the 1962 missal.

Liberal Catholicism is dying out. The few young people who go to Mass want real religion.

Byzantine Catholicism has much potential to reach Americans who otherwise wouldn't give real Catholicism a chance. Bring the Orthodox back and that potential would be three times as much.
He is and ever shall be!

Bob,

I have answered all your points above as you have brought them up. Please take the time to review my responses so that we don't just keep repeating ourselves. Speaking past each other is not going to make my points any less salient. Nor will it make my sourced material on Roman Catholic traditionalists go away: I can provide more if you like. They are the future of Roman Catholicism.

The Roman Catholic church since Vatican II has imploded, steadily. The bleeding is not stopping; rather gangrene is setting in along with it. Vatican II has placed the Roman Catholic church into hospice care. Prior to Vatican II, the church was vibrant: parishes were growing, in the black, and Latin was not a problem: it didn't keep families away (even though I also called for the use of a dignified, uniform vernacular). You may get 12 new converts on Easter. But when a once vibrant parish which had 200 families (along with 25 or so across the country) closes that year, you are only reasserting my point: the Vatican II liberal/modernist orientation is leading the Roman Catholic church to ruin. At least, own the immediate history and decline experienced after Vatican II if you are going to champion its neo-Protestantism.

Really, Bob, my 25 points are neither as impossible nor as radical as the reformed vandalism Vatican II exacted on the Roman Catholic church. And they restore its historical Roman Catholic identity. They reunite the Orthodox Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic church. We can undo historical mistakes (The experience of Russian Orthodoxy gave her the historical memory of the Orthodox Catholic Church and its Life, witness and consciousness to fully appreciate ecclesiastical divisions with the discernment to provide real ways in which they can be overcome.) Success is within our grasp. What is wrong with success? We sure haven't seen much of it since Vatican II. Have we, Bob?

Why are you so opposed to giving RC faithful a choice between what you advocate and its legacy and the emerging Roman Catholic traditionalist majority and its devotion and piety? If you were so secure in your liberalism and modernism, you would jump at the opportunity to prove your point that Roman Catholic traditionalists are just an insignificant fringe, right? And what is wrong with authentic Roman Catholic piety as opposed to the Neo Protestant pseudo-morphosis Vatican II has closed parishes and led dioceses to financial ruin with?

Bob, there is clear cut choice: Anglican implosion and demise by continuing Vatican II OR Catholic renewal and Orthodox Catholic reunion with the type of Vatican III I propose. My option produces a Roman Catholic church reborn and vibrant with a future, with a restored and devout Roman Catholic identity. There is even a historically accurate papal primacy, Bob, in my model. The choice is between Anglican-esque implosion and secular humanist triumph or Catholic renewal and success in Christ. This really isn't that hard a choice to make.
Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
I jotted down twenty-five ideas or steps, if adopted in whatever order may seem expedient to Rome, which could enable a common language and identity to be restored between Orthodox Catholics and Roman Catholics. These points have no systematic order implied to them: implementation of some (gradually all) would show good faith and energize dialogue and elevate it away from secretive commissions believed to be engaging in nothing more than another framework for unia. I wrote these points as recommendations, in a spirit of goodwill, appreciating what divides us to underscore Orthodox concerns and apprehensions to suggest how it could be overcome. I do believe if all twenty-five points were explored and implemented that not only true and fruitful dialogue would arise, but rapprochement would come naturally and reunion would result quickly. Indeed, some points are more difficult than others, the spectrum ranging from rediscovering Rome's Catholic identity to simply restoring Catholic appearances. I offer this list not to inspire polemics but to consider what it would take to effect reconciliation with Orthodox Catholicism and what we should be emphasizing in good will and Christian charity.


What you have to say gets to be too much, and this old man hardly knows where to begin, but I’ll try because I find your assumptions just preposterous.

For my dear grandmother, and for that matter, my dear father, children of the nineteenth century and as working class as you’ll find, the fresh air brought into the Catholic Church by the Second Vatican Council under popes St. John XXIII and venerable Paul Vi was a welcome relief. Hardly liberal, they rejoiced at the changes that their relatively shortened lives experienced. They were distressed at the political and social upheavals that occurred at the same time. I can assure you most emphatically that the secularization, emptying of pews, rectories and monastic choir stalls that ensued in the seventies, eighties and nineties had much, much more to do with the political, social and sexual revolutions that paralleled the Council in Rome, than any changes inaugurated by that Council itself. I trust you have little real experience of how shattering to one’s faith those upheavals were. I was between twenty-one and twenty-six when three outstanding American leaders were assassinated, and a far-off war rocked the nation. Please, do not blame poor Vatican II. There are enough myths going around.

The Church of Rome is extremely ancient, having been around when the great St. Paul wrote his letter to that largely Jewish community of Christians sometime between 56 and 58 AD. This church still beats with a vitality and dynamism like no other from the ancient world and I think you know that in your heart. She has a memory of herself that far exceeds yours or mine, and her libraries are filled with scriptural, liturgical, canonical, conciliar and patristic codices beyond imagination. We Catholics call it her Patrimony. She calls herself and the churches within her communion the Catholic Church. No other church formally uses that title and the term “Roman Catholic” is never heard in her official documents. That term was coined by high church Anglicans who styled themselves English Catholic to distinguish themselves from the papists. Be that as it all may, I’d like to get down to the 25 Thesis you have tacked to the doors of this forum, and respond to them one-by-one in as best I can.


Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
BEGINNING RECONCILIATION with THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH, steps in the process:

1). Orthodox Paschalion universally observed


Would that the Old Calendarists show as much enthusiasm for the calendar that is presently used in the civilized world as they do for the calendar that was authorized by Julius Caesar in 45 BC. Surprisingly, if they did, we might have a common Paschalia!

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
2). Omit/Drop/Abandon Filioque Universally for all times


Perhaps Rome should abandon “Deum de Deo” as that differs from the original text of the Creed also. It is interesting that while affirming the absolute orthodoxy of the “filioque”, Rome honors and recites, on occasion, the original Greek text which she affirms as equally orthodox.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
3). Prosphora in the place of azymes universally for all times


How petty of you! Azymes constitute real bread (artos), too. Ask any flat breader! Perhaps this reflects the largely Jewish origins of the ancient Roman Christian community. I think the Armenians, Catholic and Apostolic, use unleavened bread also. Do you want them to use yeast, too? Then again, what do Monophysites know?

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
4). Return to a traditional mass with strong and traditionally placed epiklesis (Perhaps a Maronite mass with Tridentine or Milanese or Sarum Liturgics: Romano-Antiochian)/ad orientam-apsidem celebration of the Eucharist {Latin and/or accurate and uniform, dignified liturgical vernacular translation} *One Mass per altar per priest before noon per day canonically enforced reinstitution*


The Mass has always been traditional, in all its forms and manifestations sanctioned by the Church. This is the implication of Pope Benedict XVI’s instruction on the extraordinary form. All the approved liturgies of the Church have had the same basic structure that has been in use as long as liturgy was formalized and perhaps before it was not. I defy you to tell me what part of the “Novus Ordo” has not been in use in some form in the Church of Rome’s history. If you’re thinking of the number of Anaphora that have been added, count the number of those used by the Copts. Even the text of the Anaphora used in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom seems to indicate that the epiklesis was a later addition, albeit, ancient and beautiful. So is the “Suplices Te rogamus”. Have you ever heard the Americanized Latin of an Irish/American priest? No thanks. By the way, it would take a monumental building plan that might bankrupt our churches so our altars could face “ad orientem”! So what if they don’t.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
5). Encouraging Byzantine Catholics to return to their Orthodox Mother Churches or to become full fledged Roman Catholics {Or adopt a new Roman-Antiochian rite adapting a Romano-Byzantine ordo to it} and limit their work and presence in the Orthodox East/condemnation of the ethnophyletist heresy


I’d much rather see a brotherly and sisterly embrace of Orthodox and Byzantine Catholics that paves the way for that same embrace of Latin Catholics, and Viva la difference!

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
6). Adoption of Orthodox understanding of deification and Palamite theology - rejection of analogia entis/created grace (Patristic understanding of original sin in the place of the Augustinian misunderstanding) *Revisiting the Pelagian/Semi-Pelagian discussion in light of the Consensus Patrum and the Orthodox Catholic witness of the Church*


If you read the prayers at the Offertory of a Roman Mass, Novus or Tridentine, I think you’ll find a beautiful prayer that expresses “deification” very beautifully as the priest adds a drop of water to the chalice. Why would anyone want to abandon “analogia entis”? It’s the only way we have of expressing the inexpressible. I think you understand that we call God “Father” by analogy, no? I always thought that the monumental St. Augustine was a Father of the Church. Apparently you do not feel that his concept of original sin passes the test of orthodoxy. Can we at least put it in the category of “theologoumena”? Well, something went wrong in all of us mortals that demanded this cleansing. I think the Latin west has done a lot of revisiting of the Eastern point of view, and takes it very seriously. St. Thomas Aquinas was asked by his students what he would like to read before passing from this life into eternity. Without hesitation he said, “All the sermons of John Chrysostom!” He knew the Consensus Patrum.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
7). Universal practice of Communion in both species (perhaps by intinction) {return to a strong emphasis on Confession, preparation for Communion, the Eucharistic fast} *Communion, Chrismation, Baptism by three-fold immersion of infants and converts: end of first holy communions and confirmations*


In the Latin rite parish near my home the cup is offered to everyone and I think this is the universal practice in the diocese of Portland, ME. It is my experience that few take it and that is unfortunate. Could be poor catechesis. This same diocese has, for some time,practiced the Vatican II mandated: Chrismation (Confirmation) before Eucharist. When adults are baptized at the Paschal Vigil, Chrismation follows immediately.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
8). Abolition of Eucharistic ministers, altar girls, all semblances of crypto-hierofeminism (resacralization)


Why would you not let autocephalous churches practice their own liturgical discipline especially when the large number of communicants warrants extra help? Why does it bother you, or anyone else for that matter, that women act as servers at the altar?

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
9). Transition to Acapella hymns and chant (abandonment of musically instrumented accompaniment in worship)


You may find this a non sequitur, but I’ll remind you that John the Baptist danced in his mother’s womb as the one who bore his Savior approached just as King David danced as the ark of God approached Jerusalem. That same King sang in his Psalms about the shouts and claps of the people, not to mention all the cymbals and lyre accompanying this liturgical clamor. Few would deny the beauty of a cappella chanting, but need it be imposed as the universal norm.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
10). Emphasis on traditional (Romanesque or stave church) architecture


Good grief. Why? I once heard Anglicans referred to as “proper” Catholics and their little stone chapels along the east coast are architectural gems, but must we impose this architectural snobbery?.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
11). Married Priests, Bearded Priests, return of cassocks and clerical headgear


Again, I’ll appeal to autocephaly on this one. I think the Latin church has a right to determine her own norms for the clergy, and anyone in your Orthodox Catholic Church who finds it another religion needs to get over it.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
12). Reinvigoration of and recruitment for a restored and active diaconate


Deacons abound in the Latin rite. Unless they are old or infirm, are quite vigorous in the exercise of their ministry.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
13). Defined and universal veneration of Icons and Holy Relics, the Gospel, the Cross, etc.


Latin rite Catholics have their own style of worship and piety, and it need not offend anyone. The reforms inspired by the Second Vatican Council have restored the veneration of the book of Gospels among other things, so I’m a bit puzzled by your lament.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
14). Embracing and propagation of Orthodox devotions such as the Jesus Prayer and Akathist hymn universally (rediscovering the piety, spirituality, hagiography of the pre - Schism West)


Just why Latin rite Catholics need to embrace the piety and ascesis of the Byzantine churches anymore than those of the east need to say the Rosary or wear the scapular is beyond me. Are you really upset by the practice of Benediction and Eucharistic Adoration, and opine that their elimination would be a step toward unity?

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
15). Transition toward either a married (parish) or monastic (episcopal) clergy and the gradual obsolescence of celibate parish clergy


Covered that one under #11.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
16). Recognition of the Orthodox Catholic Church as embodying the Church without deficiency, without need of papal recognition or papal commemoration


I think your Orthodox Catholic Church has to acknowledge the honor and esteem the pre-Schism Church accorded the Church of Rome as St. Maximos, Confessor did. If I might add a little polemic of my own, it seems things were fine before the Church of Constantinople usurped the rights and privileges of the Alexandrian Church at the Councils of Constantinople and Chalcedon; all in the name of its Imperial status. Long live the Copts! While I firmly believe that the Church subsists in the Catholic Church, properly so called, all the pre-Schism churches suffer ecclesiological deficiencies as a result of that schism, iMHO.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
17). Ending ideas of indulgences, merits, the whole eschatology of purgatory, limbo, etc. (revisiting and rejecting cremation)


Expand your concept of Economia, and you might understand what Latins are talking about. But really, are any of these big issues today?

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
]18). Restoring conciliarity in the place of papal supremacy


I think the present Bishop of Rome and bishops in union with him are working to correct this deficiency in western ecclesiology, although it has always been active in some way.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
19). Emphasizing the Church's phronema and the Consensus Patrum alloyed with the Vincentian Canon to replace papal infallibility


A true understanding of Papal Infallibility implies that the Bishop of Rome enjoys that infallibility that properly belongs to the Church. It is not personal, but is his by reason of his office and ministry to serve the brethren. Ultimately, it is Christ’s gift to the Church. She does have a wonderful phronema, both eastern and western, that certainly would be enhanced with a reconciliation between east and west. Quod ubique… Do you count numbers on this one?

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
20). Adoption of the Orthodox understanding of divorce and a process of economy for receiving divorced believers back into full communion


I think we can work together on that one. It need not be a precondition

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
21). Institution of a common lectionary with the Orthodox Catholic Church


Only if it’s done as a joint venture, but I like the diversity and spirit of both. I Think they compliment the liturgical traditions of each.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
22). Codefying a common liturgical calendar with the Orthodox Catholic Church (where feasts or saints not recognized by the Orthodox are clearly indicated at the end of commemorations) {Restoring fasting with a more apostolic discipline: Wednesdays and Fridays, Great Lent, etc.}


Let’s see, today is October 24, 2017. Let’s start with agreeing on that. We have just passed the autumnal equinox, and the vernal equinox will be? The usual Orthodox fast (refraining from certain food types) is considered Abstinence in the west. Fasting, properly speaking, is eating less or nothing at all. Again, these things are largely regulated by church discipline and I see no reason to impose one upon the other.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
23). Final apologies for the anti Orthodox past with commitmens in cooperation, charity, social gospel with the Orthodox in the future - the bravery of humble mea culpas (elimination of veneration/commemorations of personages who conducted violence, atrocities, especially against the Orthodox)


Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis I have been profuse in their apologies for past wrongs. Is there anything more to be said? Perhaps the Moscow Patriarchia can apologize to Ukrainian Greek Catholics.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
]24). Vatican recognition of and work with a concept of autocephaly, where local archdioceses can become local churches whose primates share equal dignity with the pope yet affirm Petrine Primacy


Only if your Orthodox Catholic Church will preserve the rights and privileges of our autocephalous Latin rite Catholics.

Originally Posted by RussoRuthenianOGC
25). A reaffirmation of the condemnations of liberalism, modernism and Freemasonry with an emphasis on reuniting separated Latin Rite factions and developing a general Broad Church/Traditionalist polity to displace the dominant liberal post Vatican II polity (while at the same time fighting and rejecting all ultramontane tendencies)


Have no idea what you mean on this one!
Sad, that hatred and discord dominates the liberal's heart when he is held to account for the ruin he has caused and the failure and wreckage of his anti-Catholic, incompetent, divisive liberalism. Yet it is easy to respond to certain liberal queries because they are not concerned with the concept of reunion... with what it would take to bring it about. More to the point, liberal expressions of cynicism ignore the responses given and the sources cited above (and elsewhere) which deal with the reasons as to why their Vatican II reforms are Neo Protestant excesses which are snuffing the life out of the Roman Catholic church. These tired and unproductive rejoinders intentionally miss the mark and attempt to bait sharp responses and thereby poison the wells of successful dialogue.

Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, please bear this in mind when considering liberal contributions in this exchange.

I will repeat myself in saying that anyone who refuses to recognize the identity of the Orthodox Catholic Church and reject even the notion of reunion based on Rome restoring its Catholic identity as it existed when we enjoyed a common Chalice is a person obsessed with sabotaging the prospects of that unity: a person placing his/her own reformed ideology and anti Catholic agenda above the conditions which can successfully bring reunion about.

Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, let us recognize the liberal demagoguery dividing us.

In this instance, liberals with tired arguments clutching to the utter failure of Vatican II are holding the Roman Catholic church hostage and insisting they would rather burn the Church of Rome down than successfully achieve real reunion: reunion in oneness of Faith, Catholic identity, commonality of worship and observance. Where Roman Catholics rediscover and are renewed in the fullness of their Catholic identity, observing the piety, worship and best traditions of their local church. What really has the liberal Reformers up in arms here is that we Orthodox Catholics have people in the Roman Catholic church whom we can embrace and have a successful dialogue with - the emerging majority of Roman Catholic traditionalists acting in concert with Broad Church, Tradition-minded Roman Catholics.

It follows, that the responses here from those expressing scorn and derision toward Orthodox Catholicism come from precisely the same liberals who won't take Roman Catholic traditionalism seriously and want to snuff it out. They insist on liberal, ecumenically constructed unia "and you Orthodox get with it and get your own Vatican II done and shut up!" This lack of tact is precisely the attitude on which we must focus in appreciating the positions of the liberals and their true intent, why they must be removed from the conversation and left out, left alone to pursue their San Francisco values utopias isolated from us. Sequestered from the prospects of our reunion. They seek to abort successful reunion if it means Orthodox Catholics and Roman Catholics achieve a common Chalice, a common Faith, a common Catholic identity, a common Catholic consciousness rooted in the Tradition of the Church and succored by the Holy Spirit.

They choose theomachy to reunion, Neo Protestant Vatican II liberalism to Catholicism.

Indeed, this liberal derision for Orthodoxy not only is offensive and perpetuates ill will, but is also being used to assert that the liberals will not relinquish their Neo Protestant control without a fight, they will rip the Roman Catholic church to pieces rather than capitalizing on a historic moment to undo over a millenium's separation of Catholic Christians. Catholics who were divided by precisely these types of demagogues obsessed with parting the Robe of Christ. Their intent bears no good will. It is a sin against charity and fraternal love. Their responses have no serious intentions of amity and reconciliation. They have no respect for Orthodox Catholics or Roman Catholic traditionalists. Because they are precisely involved in a spiritual crime, the crime of murder, feverishly endeavoring to murder the Roman Catholic church.

Fellow Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, traditionalist and broad, you have a friend in Orthodox Catholicism if you desire one. We respect who you are and seek to restore the Catholic and Apostolic identity of your local church with you. We are not interested in any other thing than in restoring and strengthening a common Catholic identity and bond with you, predicated on the notions of how that bond existed and expressed itself during the best periods of unity in the first millennium. We encourage you to seize this opportunity and reject these Neo Protestant voices of ruin, shut out the screeds and diatribes of your repression, and meet us in dialogue and encounter. We share a common adversary: anti-Catholic, Neo Protestant liberalism. The choice is clear: following the liberal, Vatican II path of ruin to a desecrated, secular humanist, immoral end or reunion in Orthodox Catholicism and renewal in the Tradition of the Church.

The liberals have magnificently stated their intent, even in this small exchange: women priests, LGBTQ agenda, abortion on demand, strip the altars, desecrate the parishes, divide and conquer, alliance with political liberalism to promote liberal, depraved social engineering, slamming the door on reunion and provoking even religious war with their opponents to maintain their power: if you are not liberal and will not accept their dominion, you are the enemy. This is the more of the same the liberals offer you. At your expense. Haven't you had enough? Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, these liberals endeavor to turn the Roman Catholic church into a spiritually desecrated Detroit - morally and spiritually bankrupt, post apocalyptic, abandoned and graffitied with the obscenities of Antichrist. Their intent is to not only dance on your graves, but on those of your Catholic descendents. Until there are no more Catholic graves...

They must be stopped. Let us work toward a unity in full awareness of who they are, their intent and the destructive nature of what they stand for. The future is ours together. If we remain divided, the day of the triumph of their liberalism (liberalism, the unclean spirit of iniquity) will only leave our children and grandchildren fighting the wars they have started and intensifying the hatreds they have used to divide us. Let us be Orthodox and Catholic Christians united. And let us stop them together.

When liberals are confronted with their failures and incompetence, they always endeavor to cite the witness of those who are not available to speak for themselves to flee the wreckage and ruin their liberalism brings about. They will not be held responsible for their failures: someone or something else is responsible or "made them do it". These people insist on maintaining their control of the Roman Catholic church at all costs. But we understand that the irresponsible can never be accepted as capable stewards of Christ's vineyard and must be removed if there are to be fruitful harvests.

Prior to Vatican II, there were much greater social upheavals than the Vietnam War and the profligate spirit of Woodstock: WWI, Versailles, Prohibition, The Great Depression, WWII, Communist revolutions, etc. Yet the pre Vatican II church (the faithful of the time the liberals would have you believe were fleeing) built most of its modern infrastructure, its parishes, doubled and in some instances tripled its membership, not only came out of the Great Depression in the black but built more schools, parishes, hospitals, monasteries, orphanages. Now the liberals since Vatican II have overseen the closure of 33 - 50% of those same institutions, saw a 50 - 75% reduction in the number of Catholic faithful and presided over archdioceses once millions in the black to now being millions in the red and bankrupt. Dioceses mortgaging rectories and turning convents into coffee houses, parochial schools into social services buildings. Apostasy and ruin is rampant today because of the liberal, Neo Protestant spirit of Vatican II. This is their Neo Protestant, Vatican II "success" story. Adolph Hitler wasn't as grave a shock to Catholicism as the assassination of RFK. That is their excuse for their failures. This is how they try to gloss over their Neo Protestant assault on the Roman Catholic church. A neo Reformation which alienated the faithful and put the Roman Catholic church in hospice care.

Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, don't you deserve accountability and competent administration of your church? You are hardworking, good, honest and moral people. Surely, you can identify anti-Catholic incompetence, mismanagement, misappropriation and a failed, administrative model. Surely you understand that maintaining this model is ruinous to the future of Roman Catholicism, that it is terminal and sacrilegious.

Liberals are always at war with historical facts. These facts discredit them as frauds.They end up calling their incompetence into question. They threaten the survival of their failed ideology. An ideology they prefer to Catholic Truth.

Vatican II liberals would have you believe that Orthodox Catholicism is an alien Faith. That our intent is to reform you or "Byzantinize" you by undoing their Neo Reformation and encouraging you to restore your Roman Catholic piety and identity. That when we write about our intent to forge reunion predicated on affirmation of a common Catholic identity, predicated upon your rediscovery of your local history, your local identity, and your patrimony that these Vatican II Neo Protestants have defaced, vandalized, endeavored to deprive you of... That somehow we - and not they - are the Protestants nailing theses to the doors of your cathedrals. We are cast as malefactors. As criminals. As schismatics. As Protestants. For endeavoring to join with you to end their Neo Reformation and call for an end to masses taken out of the backs of Protestant hymnals. For standing with you to rebuke moral relativism. For inviting you to a common Catholic identity to a certain Catholic reality of reunion in one Chalice.

Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, it is clear who are the real Protestants.

Let us just look at one Vatican II liberal, factually inaccurate slander to underscore our common identity with historical truth. It was asserted that "no one else is called 'Roman Catholic' or uses the term to ecclesiastically refer to oneself" to drive a wedge between us. The fact of the matter is that in the Middle East even today, it is still witnessed that Easter Orthodox Christians are referred to as "Roman Catholics". Because Byzantium saw its identity as Roman. And we Orthodox hold our Faith is Catholic. This identity of ours we have maintained since before the schism, from the very beginning. There were Roman Catholics in the East already in the era of the Holy Emperor Constantine the Great. Long before the Oxford Movement in the British Empire. St. Ignatios of Antioch referred to our Church as Catholic perhaps before it was even referred to as such in Rome. Because of historical circumstances, such as the Crusades, the title "Roman Catholic" fell into disuse amongst some Orthodox Catholics. But not all. This is an important fact to consider when confronting liberal disinformation.

Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, we seek to share a common Catholic identity and unity with you. We have not repudiated the Catholic Faith ever. We have been faithful to it the entire time of our estrangement from you. Our intent with reunion is to share a common Orthodox and Catholic identity with you as we shared prior to the Schism and reinforce it in the Tradition in the contemporary context. We seek to reunite with you in one Church, in one Chalice.

From this point, it is necessary to go into the Vatican II, Neo Protestant replies to the twenty-five points offered to encourage reunion. At the outset, it has to be considered that the liberals' chief point is trying to tear down the necessity for Roman Catholics to rediscover their Catholic identity and how it expressed itself when we were united in one Chalice. Their intent is to maintain an architecture of schism to keep us from sharing a common Catholic Faith and identity. All to cynically save the Neo Protestant failure and vandalism of Vatican II. That should be taken as a sign of liberal desperation. A sin against Church unity. A lack of Christian charity.

The issue of the Paschalion and Calendar Reform was taken up in a thread devoted to that topic. In that thread, Reformed Calendar zealotry was exposed for its frauds, its traffic in epithets, its sins against the anemnesis of the Church, its war with historical facts and canonical realities, how a unifying calendar reform can be brought about. In short, the Council of Nicea anathemized the use of any alternate paschalions to the one it put in place. Therefore, sharing a common Paschalion with the Orthodox Catholic Church will restore fidelity to the Council. Assisting to rediscover unity as it existed between Orthodox Catholics and Roman Catholics prior to the Schism.

The Filioque was dealt with above in this thread as directly implying Trinitarian modalism, which is an overthrow of the Triadology of Nicea and Constantinople. A Triadology rejected by the Patristic Consensus and the Catholic mind (phronema) of the Church. Moreover, both Nicea and Constantinople rejected additions to the Creed and anathemized them. The Creed was originally recited in the West without the filioque when Roman Catholics and Orthodox Catholics were united in one Church. Therefore, it must go.

Moreover, "True God of True God" is part of the text of the Nicene Creed.

Already in Apostolic times, there were Holy Canons which forbad the use of unleavened bread in the Eucharist, forbad it as Judaizing, condemned the Armenians for their use of azymes: Rome at this time used Prosphora and Popes of Rome, many of them Saints, condemned the Armenian practice. Were those holy Popes wrong? The use of azymes in the place of Prosphora denies the Christological reality of Christ as "the Leaven of Life". In the Old Testament, God instructed the Holy Prophet Moses to tell the Children of Israel to prepare unleavened bread as the "bread of haste", for they fled Pharaoh in haste. Anticipating the fulfillment of God's Covenant which would come with the Advent of the Messiah. Thus, the Passover Bread of Haste became the Paschal Bread of fulfillment, the Eucharist, in Christ Jesus. It is because of this fact New Testament Evangelists use the word "artos", leavened bread, in the place of the word "azymes", unleavened bread, to describe the Bread used at the first Eucharist at the Mystical Supper. Christ is the Leaven of Life and the Bread He consecrated as His Body was leavened by Him. To use unleavened bread, therefore, in the Eucharist is to deny that Christological dimension emphasizing the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Reemphasizing the necessity of reunion, when Roman Catholics and Orthodox Catholics shared a common Catholic identity and unity. We all used Prosphora. Therefore, it is appropriate theologically and canonically for us all to use it again.

I have gone into the development of the Roman mass above. No, a rite which is nothing more than a divine service taken out of the back of a Protestant hymnal is not a valid, Catholic rite. This has nothing to do with divergent anaphoras or lack of fundamental understanding of the development of the Roman (or Byzantine) rite. Novus Ordo is a fundamental overthrow of the Eucharistic rite of the Roman Catholic church. It is the triumph of Protestant Reformation and Reformed liturgics: even Cranmer would cringe at it. Cromwell would approve of the Novus Ordo. When Lutheran and Anglican Eucharists are more in fidelity to Apostolic Eucharistic worship than this Neo Protestant mockery, that underscores how divorced it is from the Catholic Tradition of the Church. The faithful seek a more Apostolic alternative. The days of Novus Ordo are coming to an end.

The issue of the epiklesis was also dealt with above in this thread where it was clearly illustrated that the Roman rite had a strong epiklesis and that St. Nicholas Cavasilas' point was asserted as a personal opinion of a theologian who wasn't as familiar with the Roman rite as later liturgists.

Both of these points, Novus Ordo and the epiklesis, again underscore the premise that the logical course of action for Roman Catholics to pursue in establishing reunion is to rediscover and restore their Catholic identities which they shared with Orthodox Catholics when we shared unity and one Chalice.

Yet again, the issue of Latin, as well as dignified, liturgical vernacular has been addressed above in this thread: the majority of Roman Catholics would not oppose either alternative. Roman Catholic traditionalists seek to have dignified liturgical language restored. Why shouldn't they have that choice? What gives liberals the authority to dictate their Neo Protestant impiety to them as the rule of faith?

As far as ad orientem worship is concerned, that also was gone over above. The mass isn't a magic show and a priest isn't a paid performer. He is a shepherd of the People of God leading them in worship. Canonically that worship is called for ad orientem (or ad apsidem). And that had been a rubric of the Roman rite for centuries. Moreover, it is absurd to say that celebrating in front of an altar, which can be pushed back to the altar piece if one desires, will bankrupt parishes. Orthodox Catholic churches have never undergone any such financial hardship. Moreover, many, if not most, Roman Catholic parishes were constructed for ad orientem worship, where liberal Bishops literally required parishes to take out loans after Vatican II to remodel their churches to accommodate Neo Protestant, Vatican II practice. The liberals weren't so concerned with the financial costs of moving the altar then. Not at all! They bankrupted many a parish in the fifty+ year onslaught of Vatican II. So the cynicism is frankly appalling.

Unia has been rejected by Rome: Rome states unia is an inappropriate means to promote church unity. The history of unia is something which discourages Orthodox Catholics from pursuing dialogue with Rome. By encouraging Byzantine Catholics to either return to their Orthodox Mother churches or fully adopt the Roman rite or adopt a textually divergent rite with a Romano-Byzantine ordo, that helps to resolve the impediments unia causes to Orthodox Catholic - Roman Catholic reunion. It also provides ways for Byzantine Catholics to be accepted by Orthodox Catholics and be welcomed as brethren without hostility, finally closing the door on centuries of estrangement. Thus, I am actually promoting Byzantine Catholic - Orthodox Catholic rapprochement.

Theosis is understood as participating in the uncreated energies of God transfiguring humanity in Christ by purification, illumination, deification. In a direct relationship with God. This an affirmation of Orthodox and Catholic christology, soteriology and anthropology.

Analogia entis or the idea of created grace as a creature passing in and out of time to impart grace to the faithful overthrows christology and the Orthodox and Catholic understanding of justification. It flirts with monophysitism, suggesting Christ's perfection of human nature is subsumed in His Divinity and made unapproachable, alien to us, by His ascent into heaven and seating at the Right Hand of God the Father. So He must send creatures in time to impart His grace to us: He can't do it by His own uncreated actions, energies. This is a denial of the salvation of humanity wrought by the God-man. It is a nominalism which separates Christ from His Church, error.

Blessed Augustine's idea of original sin holds that we are responsible for the sins of Adam and differs from the Orthodox Catholic understanding that original sin imparted mortality to mankind but did not pass on guilt, which every person bears only in the sins he has committed. Thus there is the Patristic Consensus. Then there are errors some of the Saints made. Such errors which obscure and contradict the teaching of the Church can't be taken as theologoumena.

Universal practice of Communion in both species, administered to all baptized infants and converts, where Baptism, Chrismation, Eucharist are observed in the rite of reception was the practice of the Roman Catholic church when it shared unity with the Orthodox Catholic Church: this practice should be restored as Rome rediscovers its Catholic identity.

The Church forbids the practice of women's ordination: flirtation with hierofeminism overthrows the Catholic identity of the Priesthood, desacralizes it, and throws the charisma of priestly ordination into sacrilegious ambiguity.

The Patristic Consensus mandates acapella singing in Catholic worship. Blessed Augustine condemns instrumented, musical accompaniment as "raucous, vulgar, imitation of the pagans". Thomas Aquinas condemns musical instrumentation as inappropriate and calls for acapella worship in the Church. Why would someone insist on something divisive which is foreign to Catholic worship and stands in the way of Orthodox Catholic - Roman Catholic reunion?

Romanesque and stave church architecture was observed by the Western church prior to the Schism. It naturally accommodates restored Roman Catholic worship. Its emphasis is to end the ugly, Neo Protestant, modernist, airplane hanger architecture of Vatican II. To restore the beauty of Roman Catholic houses of worship.

Cassocks, clerical headgear, beards present Catholic Priests in the appropriate appearance of alter Christus. Christ had a beard. So too the Holy Apostles. So too Bishops, Priests and Deacons from Apostolic times. Clerical garb shows respect for clerical offices, and the historical garb of the churches expresses a means for the faithful of any given local church to identify clergy, show them due respect, and have a means of receiving the ministrations of the Church thereby. So observing the Catholic norms of priestly appearance is proper to all local churches, East and West.

While married Priests will help to end the scandals and distrust which have arisen in parishes since Vatican II: the faithful shouldn't have to worry about their sons when they serve at the altar. Married Priests are better equipped to understand the needs of families and couples. Rome had married Priests and Deacons when she shared unity with the Orthodox Catholic Church. So restoring this practice will help Rome in recovering its Catholic identity.

The role of the diaconate in serving the Mass and at other services, in the handling of the Eucharist and in service to parishes has been lost over time: this should be restored with the abolition of such things as Eucharistic ministers.

A monastic episcopate would be an episcopate living the angelic life and more faithfully capable of shepherding priests, deacons, the faithful in devotion and piety and fidelity to the Church.

The veneration of Holy Relics, the Cross, the Gospel, Icons, etc. is called for by the Seventh Ecumenical Council. Unfortunately, especially since the Neo Protestant reforms of Vatican II, this reverence and piety has been lost in most Roman Catholic parishes. Restoring it would promote a common piety and reverence with Orthodox Catholics and affirm the Triumph of Orthodoxy at the Seventh Ecumenical Council.

Common prayer and piety in such devotions as the Jesus Prayer and the Akathist Hymn/Salutations will act as a bridge between Orthodox Catholics and Roman Catholics during the process of reunion. Where the encounter between the faithful of both churches will come to confirm the common Catholic identity of both. Pre Schism Roman Catholic piety including pilgrimages to pre Schism shrines, veneration of pre Schism Saints, practices such as lectionary divina, chaplets, and the Psalter or Breviary, will be precious gifts Roman Catholics can again learn to cherish from the Church and share with their Orthodox Catholic coreligionists. Making reunion real and more seamless.

Recognition of the identity of the Orthodox Catholic Church and respecting it is the only way to bring reunion about: no ecumenical contrivances and/or more clever approaches to unia will bring reunion about.

A common eschatology and soteriology was shared by the Roman Catholic church and Orthodox Catholic Church when we were united: these are essentials of a common Catholic identity which when restored enable reunion.

Conciliarity has been the ecclesiological model of the Church since the Day of Pentecost. Restoring it will help correct ecclesiological issues of past centuries. In this way, a structure of reunion can come into being to oversee it in an Orthodox and Catholic manner.

The Mind of the Church has been understood to be expressed as one, as a Catholic affirmation of Faith. Spoken by the clerics, monastics and faithful of the Church who have spoken in the Holy Spirit by Divine Illumination. It is a charisma of the Church and the Orthodox and Catholic understanding of historical magisterium. Not limited to ex cathedra pronouncements of the papal office.

The Orthodox understanding of divorce and remarriage was shared by the Roman Catholic church prior to the Schism. Restoration of it will aid pastorally in restoring divorced Roman Catholics to Communion and help promote healthier models of marital unity. In the Orthodox Catholic Church, marriage is seen as lasting beyond the death of spouses, where the two become one flesh, one being, one person, being transfigured in Christ, aiding in each others salvation, aspiring to live the angelic life. Divorce is authorized, as it was when we were one, on the grounds of adultery, abandonment/neglect, abuse, selling of one's wife into prostitution/sexual immorality. Restoration to Communion after divorce follows Confession and a period of penance.

A common lectionary and liturgical calendar will enhance anemnesis, promote one Catholic identity, and promote scriptural and liturgical unity in piety, study, devotion and observance between Orthodox Catholics and Roman Catholics.

Personages such as Josaphat Kuntsevich are hateful reminders of an unfortunate past who should be forgotten in the process of reunion. Where contrived ethnophyletisms and the spokesmen of division are not accorded a means to sabotage reunion. Final apologies and moving forward will simply close the book on the past and reconcile us as one Orthodox Catholic Church.

Rome affirming conciliarity in papal primacy by constructing a framework where archdioceses can mature to autocephaly will enable the reunited Orthodox Catholic Church and Roman Catholic church to once again affirm a united, historical standard and recognition of Petrine primacy.

The anathemas of Pope Pius X of liberalism, modernism and Freemasonry are most appropriate to renew today in the Roman Catholic church in light of the wreckage and havoc these movements have wrecked on Roman Catholicism since Vatican II. Ignoring the temptations on the right to sedevacantism and ultramontanism are also key to establishing reunion. Reunion is the achievement we are called to: taking into account and correcting the mistakes of the past.

Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, as you now realize liberal Neo Protestantism is not at all receptive to the prospect of us sharing a common Catholic identity and consciousness and reuniting in one Church, Catholic and Orthodox. It should be clear now that the twenty five points I brought up seek to restore the Catholic identity of the Western Church and restore Roman Catholic Apostolic practice. I am an Orthodox Catholic advocate for Roman Catholic traditionalism. I believe that reunion is achievable in an honorable and dignified encounter where we rediscover our past unity in one Chalice, give it a modern context, and move forward from there as one People of God, one Body of Christ, one Eucharist, one Church.

Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, let's band together and overcome the obstacles in our way and live as one Orthodox Catholic Church in Christ's Love. Tomorrow is a day to celebrate. Let it be a day of Resurrection. Let us be illumined by the Feast. Death has been trampled down by death! Christ is in our midst! Christ is risen!
Liberalism, modernism, and Freemasonry should be condemned and are condemned by the Church. Modernism is the synthesis of all heresies.

You want us to apologize for what, my friend RussoRuthenianOGC? Will you apologize for the Massacre of the Latins? How about the lack of support the Byzantines provided for the First Crusade they wanted called in the first place? The thousands of Frenchmen thousands of miles from home starving to death because the Emperor didn't want to help those mean Normans take back from the Holy Land from the Muslims, who then got real angry they didn't just hand over Palestine to him?

The Fourth Crusade was excommunicated when they sacked Constantinople. Blame the Venetians and leaders who decided to not tell their army they were cut off from the Church!

To chalk up the atrocities of East-West tension to a one-sided ordeal lacks nuance and is plainly ignorant and provocative. Read into history and you will see the East-West tensions were both a result of Schism and clear geopolitical factors... perhaps the tensions would have faded if it was not for that catalyst at the start of the First Crusade, when the Emperor realized his military allies were the Normans who stole Italy from him!

Anyway, you are right to denounce Novus Ordo and Vatican II, and I'd say Utroque is wrong to hold it up as not an issue. However, the roots of Schism are deep. Can the Sedevacantes, SSPX, Traditionalist Catholics just "become Orthodox?" No, they can't, because many of them are Thomists, and the Western Scholastic Theology does not align with Eastern Theology. Yet these theologies coexist in the modern Catholic Church, for reasons I do not fully understand.
Apologizing to move reunion forward for the mistakes of the past. To start with a clean slate. The last thing we need is historical grievances surfacing to sabotage reunion. The goal is one Church and one Chalice. That means owning the historical record. Admitting and condemning its mistakes. Then we will overcome it together. We will from that point forward be a reconciled, Catholic family working to preserve the bond of love at all costs: there won't be any more bad blood between us.

The chief fuel behind schisms like SSPX or Old Believers in the Orthodox Catholic context is alienation. Providing the faithful of these groups a means of acceptance, an ecclesiastical structure in which they can be heard and even worship and flourish, a warm embrace and a hot meal, generational assets for their children and grandchildren tends to suck the oxygen out of the schism. A handful of schismatic leaders end up being left with no faithful and no generational future. It is important to listen to the issues of these groups, accommodate them in the new paradigm, even work out syntheses where possible. Then schism is overcome.

I appreciate your take on Freemasonry, liberalism, modernism. We agree on most things. In that we can reforge a Catholic family, East and West. We don't have insurmountable obstacles between us. Thank you for appreciating my desire for reunion of Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic Christians.
Christ is in our midst!!

I have reviewed this thread from its first post to the last--the last which I will not approve to see the light of day. I find the posts by the initiator of this thread to be condescending to the members of this Board who are members of the Catholic Church. The posts display an uncharitable tone that is unacceptable based on the rules under which this Board operates.

We do not tell other Apostolic Churches or ecclesial communities how to run, reform, or organize their praxis.

I suggest that a rereading of the thread that tops this portion of the forum may be beneficial. We are here to charitably dialogue and learn from each other. The veiled polemics of Latin traditionalists has no place here, nor do any other polemics that strike at the heart of the charity we have defined in "Who We Are."

I am locking this thread.

Bob
Universal Moderator
© The Byzantine Forum