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Diak,

Thank you for this beautiful post.

The holistic nature of the Byzantine liturgy, i.e., the fact that it manifests the unity of all things in Christ through the anamnesis of His Paschal Mystery in its entirety (including His glorious second coming), fills me with awe when I participate in it.

God bless,
Todd

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For Father David--

"I don�t think Tisserant or Korolevsky were attempting to �pull a fast one.� They perhaps didn�t even think of it, but they were working in a pre-ecumenical atmosphere. They, and Metropolitan Andrew, thought that a pure recension, free of all latinizations, would go a long way in �converting� the Orthodox to Catholicity. We don�t think that way anymore."

Why? What has changed? I ask in all honesty. Has the "bridge" theory been abandoned?

"This is, in fact, the way the ancient monks did prayers - but I think it would not go over in our churches now, as I�ve mentioned, periods of silence are taboo.'

Again, why? Have studies been done to show that silences drive parishioners away? What is wrong with a small bit of silence? Why is silence taboo?

I understand many, many Americans have a short attention span and need to be "entertained" constantly. I'm a teacher in a University setting. I've actually had students tell me at the end of semester critiques--"make the workshops more fun, I have a short attention span." And that is a direct quote from a 20 year old!

But this is the Divine Liturgy-a Mystery. And I'm not 20. Sometimes just peace and quiet helps one think about the mystery and our part in the big picture. Or is the long range plan to make things more palatable for the next generation of Byzantine Rusyns?

But as I've said before on this Forum, you deserve respect and thanks for answering questions. I can understand why you wouldn't want to even read anything on the forum considering how people feel about things. So thank you once again for taking part.

But do you know if the Heirarchs are aware of people's feelings? And if they do care, why don't they say something? It might solve a lot of problems.

Tim

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Dear Father David,

You write that:

Quote
This Forum has a particular agenda also.


So far as I know, that is not overly accurate. There is a good bit of diversity of opinion on the Forum. I wish there was more ( have no intention of voting for the Republicans, and there are posters who would like to string me up for that) , but it really depends on the participants.

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I do not belong to this social circle.

I had not understood that any social circle was involved - and if there is one, I don't belong to it either!

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another perspective to the Restored Divine Liturgy should be considered by the readers.

Quite so - an intelligent, rational discussion, free of invective and personal remarks, can only be of help to encourage a greater understanding of the subject, which is something both you and I have been working towards for many years.

Quote
Will the people �tune out� these words [John 3:16], why then do they not �tune out� �Lord, have mercy,� repeated many times, over and over again in every Liturgy?

I very much doubt that the people will tune out those words. But then, I customarily serve the entire Divine Liturgy, meaning that my congregation sings "Lord, have mercy" a much greater number of times than the Ruthenian recasting would have the Pittsburgh Metropolia's faithful do - so far none of my parishioners have complained or even suggested that I should abbreviate the service.

This from the Administrator:
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This committee�s reform is a latinization on a much deeper and more profound level then simply erecting Stations of the Cross or putting a Sacred Heart statue in our churches. This reform strikes at the very soul of Eastern worship.�

I would agree with the Administrator, although I would term the phenomenon "neo-latinization". The discusison is complex, and involves the whole understanding of Liturgy, which goes far beyond issues of lace or zeon.

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the 1941 translation
- what translation does this refer to? I obviously don't have copies of every English translation in existence, but I'm not aware of any English translation which appeared in 1941.

Later in your post, it appears that by "1941 translation" you mean the 1941 edition or recension, concerning which you write
Quote
But the 1941 translation was done by committee - a committee, by the way, dominated by Fr. Cyril Korolevsky - a committee set up by the Oriental Congregation, because the Ruthenian Church was divided in itself. A committee that did not consult the faithful.

There was certainly a very broad process of consultation that went into the process which eventually produced what came to called the "Ruthenian Recension", as we will be able to demonstrate (probably after we're all dead) when the relevant archives in the Oriental Congregation are finally opened. Everyone from Bishop Gregory Khomyshyn to Father Gabriel Kostelnyk was asked, in detail, for opions on this, that, and the other point. [People who are better placed than I am tell me that Father Gabriel's comments were among the most intelligent.] The process took place under the restirction of the times, granted, but it still involved a very wide discussion; anyone who was interested knew what was in the works.

You appeal to the expertise of your colleagues on this committee. Expertise is a word with many nuances, and can be discussed at some length. Since it is the Ruthenian Liturgy that is in question, perhaps I might ask just how much epxertise the members of that committee had in the crucial liturgical developments associated with Saint Peter Mohyla? That's only one example.

Repeatedly and emphactically, you insist that the result of this committee work is not in any sense latinization. I'm truly sorry, but I do disagree - even as I disagreed with one of my closest friends who suddenly decided, when the Latins began transferring major feasts (including Ascension Thursday) to the following Sunday, that this was an authentic Byzantine practice and he would start doing it too, and attempted to convince me to follow suit.

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I think the Forum - because of a particular agenda - has inflamed the process.

If anything has inflamed the process, it is the perception that something has been / is being imposed upon the clergy and the faithful without any respect for their own preferences, and which they emphatically do not want. As a practical matter, the Forum is the only locus for freedom of expression in this matter. I shall not release anyone's name, but you would be startled (I hope) by the letters I have receive, thanking me for my book and encouraging me to continue to support the efforts to reconsider this matter - priests in particular tell me that they simply cannot do this themselves with any degree of safety.

If, as you have written and now write again, you truly hold that the 1941 Ruthenian Recension
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was a masterful work
why do you object to the idea that it should be used? This seems to be a fundamental inconsistency.

You imply that the Administrator himself is committing "latinization" by citing the works of Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) in favor of the silent offering of the Anaphora. Please. It has been many, many centuries since it was normal to offer the Canon aloud in the Byzantine Liturgy. It cannot be sheer coincidence that a small committee of one jurisdiction suddenly decides to start doing that, so recently after this became a shibboleth of the revised Roman Liturgy.

Again, there is nothing to fear from a full, open discussion based upon sources and evidence. There is everything to fear from the attempt to quash such a discussion.

fraternally yours in Christ,

Serge


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Originally Posted by ByzKat
It might have been even better had the official books been promulgated - but what is the likelihood that, having been told to ignore the same books for years, they would actually have been used?


A candid appraisal, Jeff, and a sad one on our liturgical sensibilities.

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Fr. Serge

"It cannot be sheer coincidence that a small committee of one jurisdiction suddenly decides to start doing that, so recently after this became a shibboleth of the revised Roman Liturgy."

I would not say it is coincidence, but need it be called Latinization, neo or otherwise, if Byzantine scholars look at the sources and the present day situation and come to the same conclusions? Indeed this is something that St. Tikhon and others recommended in the early 1900s.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Indeed this is something that St. Tikhon and others recommended in the early 1900s.

As I recall one of St. Tikhon's specific complaints about the "Living Church" was that they were taking all of the presbyteral prayers aloud, which he objected to, in addition to other things.

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Fr. Deacon Randolph,

I am sorry but you are mistaken.

"Archbishop Tikhon of the Aleutians (the future Patriarch), the Bishop of Nizhni-Novgorod (55: 461) and Sergius of Finland (III:444) speak on behalf of the reading aloud of the secret Eucharistic prayers which, in spite of all their significance, remain completely unknown by the members of the Church."

http://www.jacwell.org/Supplements/the_reform_of_the_church.htm

And I would add just because the Living Church endorsed something does not make it wrong anymore than the real Church's endorsement of the dissolution of the Greek Catholic Church makes it right.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Is it a Latinization (neo or paleo) when Greek-Catholics rush to discover the latest Roman Catholic clich� and implement it? Well, er, yes. In the vernacular, this is described as "monkey see; monkey do".

As for the situation of the Russian Church in the twentieth century with specific reference to the Anaphora: again, some free discussion is of the essence, and the hierarchs in the opening years of the century were encouraged to express themselves on the matter. There is nothing wrong with that.

There is also nothing wrong with Saint Tikhon and others having changed their view of the matter after two decades (including World War I and the Revolution), concluding that the time was not propitious for such a change.

The Renovationists / Living Church left such a bad memory among the Orthodox that absolutely anything associated with their program is unwelcome to the Russian Church. Even now, simple efforts to translate (not necessarily replace) the Church-Slavonic texts into modern Russian are problematic.

If you're in search of my personal opinion, try this: what is needed is not only making the texts available in the relevant vernacular languages, but also an entire program of catechesis and preaching to enable the faithful (and perhaps the clergy!) to become aware of the Anaphoras and what they say. There is no need to force the pace, nor is there any special reason to begin by changing our liturgical praxis.

Hope that is responsive.

Fr. Serge

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Fr. David wrote: "another perspective to the Restored Divine Liturgy should be considered by the readers."

As far as I know, the Forum, is the only place where alternative perspective regarding the "Restored" Liturgy can be expressed.

Which eparchial newspaper or newletter has a "Letters to the Editor" section. (I'm not talking about a select Q & A, but letters where alternate perspectives might be presented.

The BCW of Pittsburgh recently published a book review favorable to the RDL. Would they give "equal time" to a review by Fr. Serge?

Clergy meetings before and after the promulgation of the revised Liturgy did not allow for any real constructive discussion or criticism of the new Liturgy.

The sense of the faithful (whether lay or clergy) was and is practically ignored. On the practical level committees are needed to produce liturgical translations, this is not bad in itself. But the problem is that experts, often unwittingly, perceive themselves as part of an elite (the "in" group that has a better understanding of things liturgical than the common people, the poorly trained clergy and bishops).

Fr. David said that the liturgical committee was pastorally motivated when they made the decistions to make changes they deemed necessary for the people of "our time and place".

You people are ignorant of what the Liturgy is really all about, so we will help you. You can't possibly discern that the term "men" includes men, women, and children, so, from now on, the Lord, Lover of mankind, will be called the One "who loves us all". Since the phrase: "We offer to You, You own, in behalf of all and for all" does not quite convey the original meaning, we will clarify it for you: "Offering you, your own, from your own. Always and everywhere." (A more complete thought!) Etc.




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Father Deacon, you don't appear to have read my post in its entirety. I said all of the presbyteral prayers, and not just the "secret Eucharistic prayers" which is only what is mentioned in the very general article you referred to.

It is apparent that Patriarch Tikhon's opinion of some of these aspects may have changed quite signficantly later when he issued his criticisms of the Living Church.

I suppose one could also say not everything the Episcopalians did was "wrong" either. I'm not following your comparison between the liquidation of the Greek Catholic Church to a liturgical opinion. By the way, I am not opposed in essence to the Anaphora aloud nor in a "low" voice; what I am opposed to are intolerant mandates based on partial or polarized scholarship.

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Quote
The BCW of Pittsburgh recently published a book review favorable to the RDL. Would they give "equal time" to a review by Fr. Serge?

Has anyone asked this? I don't expect them to do it, but someone would need to ask before it is assumed they would not!!!

Chris

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Well, I'm certainly not asking!

Fr. Serge

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I thank Father David very much for his willingness to participate here.

Originally Posted by Father David
This Forum has a particular agenda also. To be honest, I should not post here. I do not belong to this social circle. I post only because another perspective to the Restored Divine Liturgy should be considered by the readers.
The Forum agenda is nothing more than to provide a place where all those interested in all things Eastern Christian may gather to speak to one another. I have always described the Forum as a type of �cyber coffee hour�, not unlike the way parishioners gather in the parish hall for coffee after the Sunday Divine Liturgy. Each participant brings with him his different ideas. If Father David believes that this Forum has been unfair to his point of view the fault is his, not mine. He and those who support the revision of the Ruthenian Liturgy have had every opportunity to make their case. Indeed, I daresay that more people may be reading what he has written on this Forum then read him in the newspapers that publish his column.

Originally Posted by Father David
The goal of the Liturgy is indeed to bring the people into a greater participation in the Liturgy. Certainly, that participation will be greater if they understand the prayers to which they say �Amen.�
Father David again makes a correct statement that and uses it as a foundation for a different argument. The Liturgy is about worshipping God, not about teaching people what the prayers mean. Such education (to understand the words) should be conducted possibly in the homily but definitely in appropriate education classes.

Active participation occurs at many levels. The priest, deacon, and congregation each has his part in the Divine Liturgy: the prayers themselves, the proclamations, and the music. But the most important activity of each individual is the prayer of the heart. Doing everything in a loud voice does not automatically make the Liturgy either more attractive or more efficacious. It is the prayer of the heart, that inner drama, which is most important. The highest form of active participation in the Anaphora is not in the hearing of the words of this Mystery but in the carrying out of this Mystery. The deacon does not cry �Wisdom! Be attentive!� at the beginning of the Anaphora but �Let us lift up our hearts!�

Perhaps an easily recognizable parallel regarding prayer is what happens with the Jesus Prayer. One who prayers the Jesus Prayer is often not really conscious of hearing the words being prayed over and over. That conversion to the Lord that comes with that prayer occurs not because the man praying it hears it and understands it, but because his soul accepts it and proclaims it.

It is the sharing of the action at the deeper level � that of the heart � that catechizes and transforms the Church.

Originally Posted by Administrator
�The whole idea of revising the liturgical tradition by a select committee is entirely foreign to Eastern Liturgy. This committee�s reform is a latinization on a much deeper and more profound level then simply erecting Stations of the Cross or putting a Sacred Heart statue in our churches. This reform strikes at the very soul of Eastern worship.�
Originally Posted by Father David
Obviously - and I repeat, �obviously� - the 1941 translation and the 2007 translation were both done by committee. John claims that this is the latinization - that it was done by a committee in the Western style, which is not the way of the East. But the 1941 translation was done by committee - a committee, by the way, dominated by Fr. Cyril Korolevsky - a committee set up by the Oriental Congregation, because the Ruthenian Church was divided in itself.
Not all committees are created equal. The Committee that created the 1941 text sought to restore the Liturgy to the way it was celebrated prior to the Unions of Brest and Uzhorod. One can argue that mistakes were made (and, to be fair to them, they were under great pressures given the status of the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, the War and etc.). The current committee that gave us the Revised Divine Liturgy (I will continue to use the official term given to us by the Ruthenian hierarchs) did not seek as a goal to bring the Ruthenian Church closer to the standard of Liturgy prior to Brest and Uzhorod. [It also did not work together with all the Churches that use the Ruthenian recension so that liturgical unity may be retained. In doing such it violated the Liturgical Instruction.]

Perhaps another way of explaining the differences is that the 1941 Commission sought to restore while the 2007 Commission felt the work done in 1941 was inferior and needed improving. [Father David has previously stated here that many of the 2007 changes were not restorations but �improvements�.] The 1941 Committee sought to restore. The 2007 Committee seems to have felt that the 1941 recension was unacceptable for our Church in 2007, that it was inferior and inadequate. Hence, the 1941 and 2007 Committees did not share the same goal.

Originally Posted by Father David
The 2007 translation was done by a committee of experts - despite hyperbolic protests by Forum members, I did not have the same dominance that Cyril Korolevsky had over his group - it was approved by the same Oriental Congregation as being in the tradition, and it has produced, just as the 1941 text, a Liturgy that is not - and I repeat, �not� - latinized, despite John�s uninformed and subjective opinion. If the 1941 recension Latinization,� then neither is the 2007 translation, and if the2007 translation is a �latinization,� then so is the 1941 recension. Despite this, we did have the concerns of the faithful in mind and a program of catechesis and education was planned from the beginning. Whether there should have been more consultation or whether the program was the best that could have been set up is open to discussion, but I think the Forum - because of a particular agenda - has inflamed the process.
I will first restate that the members of the Committee who prepared the 2007 revision (it is not merely a translation) are all men who love the Lord, seek earnestly what is good and are certainly talented. My argument is not with their desire to do good or their level of talent but with the goal of reform instead of restoration to the official 1941 standard we share with others.

The latinization in the 2007 Revision is clear. Father David earlier correctly stated that Latinization comes from a feeling that our liturgical tradition is inferior and inadequate when compared to the Latins and that we must imitate them. But apparently the committee that revised our Liturgy also felt that our beloved official Ruthenian recension was inferior and inadequate. Otherwise they would not have felt compelled to abandon it and change it to conform to the principles of some anthropologically-centered Western liturgical theories that were in vogue a generation ago. They were not to be content with laying a foundational soil to allow organic growth in customs (for example, the possibility of praying of the Anaphora out loud). They simply mandated the custom of the Latin Church, and justified the mandate using the exact same arguments that the Latin reformers did. (And we have a number of examples of Father David doing exactly that on this Forum.)

It is clear that while the past latinization copied the externals of the Latin Church (statues, and etc.) the current latinization copies the now discarded 1970s principles of the Latin approach to Liturgy. That is a much deeper and more profound level of latinization.

Originally Posted by Father David
On this issue, I know that John and I profoundly disagree, but I think John�s position is not the best pastoral response to the needs of the people today - to our search for Christ�s activity among us today.
I can certainly admire Father David�s persistence in pushing for the reform of the Ruthenian Liturgy. He has been successful in getting some of his ideas incorporated into the Parma reform of 1988 and the Passaic reform of 1995.

But where exactly is the fruit of these earlier reforms?

I can point to several parishes that have celebrated the Sunday Divine Liturgy according the full and official Ruthenian recension that have grown tremendously, and which prior to the RDL had wonderful Liturgy. I have already noted that one parish grew from 30 on a Sunday to 140 and stayed at 140 since then (almost 10 years) while also burying another 140. I know of a few other parishes where similar growth has occurred.

Where are the examples of the Church embracing the reforms of 1988 and 1995 and growing because of them?

I can see in my former Ruthenian parish where the 1995 reforms caused the numbers attending on Sunday to fall by about 30-40%. [Yes, other factors could possibly account for some of the loss but the only major change in the parish was in the 1995 liturgical mandates.] Likewise, as I have also posted previously, when the parish used the Levkulic Presanctified book there were normally 100 in attendance on Wednesdays and 120 or more on Fridays. When the new Presanctified Books were introduced on the First Wednesday of the Fast there were over 100 participants. The following Friday there were 30. Attendance has remained at roughly that level since. [I was just reminded of this by one of the cantors at that parish last week, when he indicated that if they could go back to the old books the people would come back.]

Father David needs to show that what he considers �the best pastoral response� actually attracts people! So far the evidence since 1988 and 1995 shows that his ideas cause people to flee the Ruthenian Church (when compared to those parishes that were allowed to embrace the full Ruthenian Liturgy and thrived with it).

Originally Posted by Father David
It is interesting that John argues from a Roman theologian, Cardinal Ratzinger - before he became Pope - against the recitation of the presbyteral prayers.
I am glad that Father David finds my argument interesting! biggrin

Here is my logic:

1. The Latins began an experiment in praying the Anaphora out loud with the reforms after Vatican II.
2. This new custom has not borne fruit, and instead has created problems. German theologians state that the Eucharistic Prayer is in a state of �crisis� and we see the response to this �crisis� being the invention of new Eucharistic Prayers. Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) (who is an excellent theologian) has noted the problem, that the advent of the quiet anaphora in earlier times was no accident and that perhaps the quiet anaphora was best.
3. Father David wishes to copy the Latins, and justifies a mandate with the same arguments the Latins did a generation ago. He seems to ignore the problems they have encountered.

A logical response here is to learn from the mistakes of the Latins (it makes sense to look to what the Latins say about their own customs before imitating them). I have recommended liberty be given to the individual priest to pray the anaphora either quietly or aloud as he desires. That surely would set the soil for organic growth. [I note the only Orthodox reference Father David has posted is one that supports my position of liberty and not his position of a mandate.]

Father David believes that liberty should not be allowed and will not say why, which leads one to conclude that he might believe that the Spirit cannot be trusted to bring this custom about across all Byzantine Churches (both Catholic and Orthodox). He therefore seeks to prohibit the individual priest from following the Spirit by seeking and obtaining a mandate. But he neglects the point that mandates prohibit true organic development.

Originally Posted by Father David
Most unfair is to simply dismiss the Restored Divine Liturgy as irrelevant because it comes from a 70's or 80's mentality. Why not dismiss the 1941 recension because it comes from a 1930's pre-ecumenical mentality? Why not dismiss the Vatican II Council because it comes from a 1960's memtality? (Actually, I suspect some on this Forum would wish to do so - bringing up, for me, the question of how do we know when the Spirit is leading the Church? I believe, with my whole heart and soul that the Spirit was leading us through the Council, and that we neglect it to our peril.) The Restored Divine Liturgy does not come from a 70's and 80's mentality - which for our Church was �Latinized-minimalistic� - but even so not everything that comes from the 70's or 80's - or from the 40's or 60's - is wrong simply because of its timing. This argument is one of the weakest that John has mustered.
First, Father David misuses the term �restore�. To restore something presupposes an original condition. That is definitely not what has occurred with the Revised Divine Liturgy. We could restore the Liturgy to the 1941 standard of the official Ruthenian recension (it is documented, well known and embraced by other Ruthenians). But the 2007 RDL does not restore the Liturgy to any standard. It combines a few rubrics from the 1941 Liturgicon, some rubrics and texts from an earlier time and a new imitation of the Latins.

If one is comparing mentalities, the one that Father David describes as �pre-ecumenical� is in reality far more ecumenical than the result of the 2007 RDL. Ruthenians share the Ruthenian Liturgy with other members of the Ruthenian recension (last September the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church restated that the official recension is normative for their Church; the 1964 Liturgicon is on the Holy Table in Orthodox Metropolitan Nicholas� personal chapel as well as the seminary chapel; both Metropolitan Nicholas and Archbishop Vsevolod are on record as seeking a common translation of our common books). We also share many of the same rubrics with other Byzantines (Catholic and Orthodox). In fact, the Melkite parish I now worship at (until the Ruthenian liturgical mess is set aright) has a celebration of the Divine Liturgy that is far closer to the 1941 Ruthenian recension than one could manage with the 2007 RDL! And guess what? Its Sunday Liturgy is vibrant and spirit-filled (with excellent singing), and the parish is growing nicely. [Again, can anyone list parishes that have grown with the 1988 and / or 1995 reforms?]

Regarding the Vatican II Council, I suggest that Father David has bought into those ideas that many � including the current Holy Father � have stated as being well intentioned but misguided. There is a �reform of the reform� occurring in the Latin Church (a lot of things done in the name of the Council were not really meant by the Council). We ought to see the mistakes they have made and not repeat them. Sadly the 2007 RDL is based upon many of the principles the Latins are now working to discard.

Father David needs to answer a question; one asked of him many times but one which he has never answered:

Why, Father David, are you so implacably opposed to the idea that the Ruthenian Recension of the Divine Liturgy should be used in liturgical practice?

You claim that the 1941 Ruthenian recension is �masterful�. Yet you seem to have dedicated your life to seeing that it not be allowed, and that only a Liturgy acceptable to you be normative for the Ruthenian Church.

The way forward is for the Ruthenian bishops to rescind the RDL and instead proclaim the official Ruthenian recension as normative for the Ruthenian Church. Then spend ten years pastorally raising the level of Liturgy in the parishes that are lacking (complete with good educational programs). Only when the Church as a whole has prayed and been formed by the Ruthenian Liturgy will it able to speak to what is lacking in the Ruthenian Liturgy (if anything). And any and all change must be done in concert with both the other Churches using the Ruthenian recension (Catholic and Orthodox) and all the Churches (Catholic and Orthodox) that use the Byzantine Liturgy.

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Dear John,

It would be easier to believe there was NO agenda here if the "banner quote" for this particular forum weren't

"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)"

It DOES sound like prejudgement, just a bit. Would you allow that quote to be used, over, say, the East/West discussion forum?

Yours in Christ,
Jeff

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Jeff,

That is a reasonable point and I will concede that the Scripture quote could be off-putting to those who support the Revision. Given that Father David, you and others who support the Revision have had every opportunity to present your arguments I do not think that you can extrapolate the use of a single quote into a claim that you have been prevented from making your arguments, or that your voices (or any others) have in any way been silenced.

Indeed, this Forum has provided equal opportunity to those on both sides of the debate. I daresay there is no other venue (either official or unofficial) where this type of exchange about the RDL can take place.

Since you find the quote so off-putting I will gladly change it.

John

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