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Peter J #288541 05/11/08 05:00 AM
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Peter_B,

Cardinal Mahony is not another Archbishop John Ireland.

His Eminence has a great appreciation for the Christian East. I can personally testify to that.

Also, Cardinal Mahony was assigned by His Holiness to the Congregation of Eastern Churches earlier this year. I applaud that decision.

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I most often post commentary that can be readily understood as articulated in my role as a forum member. At least the opening paragraphs of the remarks which follow should be understood as posted in my capacity of a moderator of this forum.

Several of the most recent posts made to this thread are bothersome to say the least - and that is an understatement - unacceptable is a better descriptor:

  • Etnick's disparagement of Cardinal Keeler's apology as less than sincere because it wasn't followed up by what? A nationwide tour on which His Eminence, on alternate days, prostrates himself before Eastern congregations to ask forgiveness, and sermonizes Latin congregations on the subject of the Eastern and Oriental Churches?
  • Alexis' damning with faint praise of Cardinal Mahony as one of whom he wouldn't "even say that ... though I'd like to!" The Cardinal's administration of the Latin Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the criticism of his leadership in regards to its liturgical praxis, while legitimate issues of discussion and debate (albeit better suited to a Latin venue) have no relevance to this discussion. Thus, intended or not, the comment comes across looking like an excuse for a drive-by jab. If anything, it's particularly inappropriate in that His Eminence, all other issues aside, is seen as very supportive of the Eastern Churches - having asked the Melkite Eparchy to extend its spiritual omophor to the Russian Greek-Catholic parish in his canonical jurisdiction and having named a Melkite priest as the chairperson of the archdiocesan ecumenical body.
  • Peter's sarcastic response to the observation that the principal responsibility for educating others as to Eastern Catholicism lies with us, rather than the Latins, ignores the obvious intent of its poster by suggesting that Alexis was castigating the early Eastern Catholics for not educating the Latins. It is obvious that was not his intent and the remark serves no valid purpose of discussion - as is generally the case with snideness.


No one expects to read praise here of Archbishops Ireland or Patrick Ryan (who extended the same disrespect to Father Ivan Wolansky that John Ireland did to Saint Alexis Toth, although Ryan didn't bother to offer his thoughts personally, conveying them instead through a chancery official).

However, it is absolutely unacceptable to use the un-Christian attitudes that those men exhibited a century ago as an excuse to broad-brush Latin hierarchs (or clergy) here. Besides being violative of the standards of civility and tolerance that this site strives to promote, it is little more than an exhibition of the same kind of intolerance and small-mindedness that we have come to abhor in reading of the prejudices faced by our spiritual ancestors and the disdain accorded to them.

(On a side note - it is acceptable to be critical of Archbishop Ireland; it's almost a given that those here will be. It is, however, not acceptable to label him or any hierarch of any Church - be it Catholic, Orthodox, or otherwise - with "titles" that are disparaging. That practice will not be tolerated.)

I am far from being an apologist for what Latins have done to our Churches in the name of "catholicizing" us - whether it be the excesses of some Jesuits in Eastern Europe or Ethiopia, of some Franciscans in the Indian sub-continent, or some secular diocesan bishops and priests in North America. And, I will not deny that there are, to this day, those (including hierarchs and clergy, not just laypersons) who still consider that the Latin Church, the Latin Rite, the Latin "way" are superior, are more Catholic, and are more "o"rthodox, than the theology, spirituality, and praxis of those who worship in temples with "those onions on top", led in doing so by "supposed priests in funny hats - some of them married". Sadly, there are respected members of this very forum who could shock its readers with stories of the ignorance they encountered (in recent times) from Latin chanceries in the process of seeking a Change of Canonical Enrollment.

However, for every Latin hierarch or clergyman who has looked down on our peoples or treated them as lesser Catholics, there have been - particularly in the past 75 years - many who have rendered inestimable service to our Churches. Some, like Archbishop Fulton Sheen, of blessed memory, are relatively well-known by reason of the prominent positions they held. Others were or are "just" diocesan or order clergy whose names are recollected in a sentence or two of a parish's anniversary history and perhaps yet in the dim memory of a few Babas and Sittos. These were men who were ahead of their time, who knew the true meaning of "catholic" (and many of whom would have understood and embraced "ecumenism" when it wasn't yet trendy, albeit they may never have heard the word). Some went so far as to obtain bi-ritual faculties and spent much of their remaining sacerdotal lives in service to us; others did not, but were steadfast supporters and friends to our churches.

To question the sincerity of Cardinal Keeler's apology for the oft-times dismissive, sometimes actively hostile, attitudes and actions of his Church - particularly on the basis that he has not personally undertaken to educate the Latin faithful about us - can only be viewed as arrogant, particularly as few of us are in any position to know what His Eminence may have done or not done in this regard.

As a case on point, Cardinal Cushing, of blessed memory, rendered extraordinary service to the Eastern and Oriental Catholic parishes within the geographic bounds of the Boston (Latin) Archdiocese. I don't know that he ever went out and personally educated his faithful on the subject; I do know that there is not a parish of our ilk in Boston which did not benefit from both his attention and his personal largesse (that included the Ukrainians, despite that they had their own canonical jurisdiction - something the rest of us lacked until near the end of his life when the Melkite and Maronite exarchates were erected). My point - except that both Father Archimandrite Serge and I have spoken many times in this forum of the Cardinal - few here would be aware of what he did and as few in his own jurisdiction.

We - the Eastern and Oriental Churches, Catholic and Orthodox - are not generally the stuff of which news headlines are made and will not be, unless and until we take responsibility to set the type, ink the presses, fold, bundle, and finally hawk the papers on the street corners. No one is better positioned than ourselves to educate others as to our existence.

While one expects a physicist to be aware of biology, one does not generally look to him to teach it - that both are scientific disciplines aside. So it is with us. While the Latin hierarchy have been enjoined to educate their faithful as to the Eastern Churches, particularly in those jurisdictions where there is an Eastern presence, the reality is that it's one more responsibility on a long list and it may not assume the priority that we'd like to see accorded to it. That likelihood is the more so when one is faced with flagging church attendance, physical plants in desparate straits, marginally self-sufficient parishes, legal challenges, vocational crises, and all of the other stresses that are inevitable in managing any large corporate entity - particularly one in which the CEO must simultaneously attend to the spiritual needs of his stockholders while juggling the secular aspects.

In summary, we need to make our own resources available to the asking - better yet, offer them - if we seriously want our Latin brethren educated about us.

And it will help, if that education is not focused on giving them a guilt trip for what their ancestors did to ours! They might still like us after we leave; maybe remember us positively.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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As far as I am concerned Byzantine Catholics should focus upon de-Latinizing our own Churches, and not worry about what Latins think of us, or whether they even know we exist. Once we have our own house in order, we can go out and evangelize, and hopefully increase our numbers for the greater glory of God.

Etnick #288591 05/12/08 02:28 AM
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Etnick, I've said it before and will say it again; a) you're insulting my Archbishop and b) I have ties to all three sides of the equation. Archibishop Ireland did what he had to do to work with multiple immigrant groups, as well as having a hand in building The Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, America's First Basilica, The Cathedral of St. Paul, The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and Catholic University in Washington, DC.

Parallel to his "American" movement there was also a movement afoot that 'Rusyn is just another way of saying Russian' which was designed to bring Greek Catholics to the Russian Church and brought many to that side of the equation.

I don't know what changed between the formation of St. Mary's (what is now Orthodox Cathedral) and the formation of The Byzantine Church of St. John, but there was also nothing stopping people from going back to the Greeks by 1907 if they so chose. There was a further split based on the 'Ukrainian' movement, creating a third church.

If you choose to return to the Greek Catholics, ArchBISHOP Ireland is in no position to stop you. If your intent is merely to beat a dead horse, you're being quite uncharitable.

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O King of Heaven, our Comfort the Spirit of Truth,
You are everywhere filling everything.
Treasurer of good, Giver of life,
Dwell in us, cleanse our malignancies.
O Gracious One, save our souls.

The �WEARING OF THE GREEN��

So much said, what got lost in all those words? Well we are speaking from two different perspectives, the Latins teach you must know it is wrong to be a sin while the Greeks (us too not only the real Greeks) pray for forgiveness of both those known and committed in ignorance. Before we condemn arrogance remember it is almost synonymous with Byzantine. You don�t think so, say �Uniat� to an Orthodox beyond this FORUM. Say Orthodox to a Greco Catholic beyond this FORUM (Father forgive me, but that was a salute to the FORUM moderators).

My Baba (Granny) always said �in public always kiss the priest�s hand whether ours or theirs, wait until you get them in the kitchen to kick their� whether ours or theirs� (no shtick Michael). So I agree speak respectfully of the clergy but let us not Teflon coat them. If it was Governor John Ireland saying such would his office grant his memory sanctuary from political correctness? Caiaphas deserves more respect than Pilate? Shoe on the other foot why are those glorified by one cult especially if seen by another cult as an ulterior motive Teflon coated? The Greek Church does not recognize our apostles Saints Cyril and Methodius as glorified. Like my Daddy use to say �Call a spade a spade, there are no wild cards in real poker�.

I truly believe the Holy Spirit knows what He/She is doing, and will direct around the detours our vanity provide. As one of my grade school nuns us to say �Watch what you pray for�� I always prayed �Lord, just give us an Eastern cleric��, with this new �Radical Orthodox Movement� I should have trusted in Him to know what we needed. De-Latinizing can result in the new Nicons throwing the baby out with the bathwater. If you use to but today didn�t knell to sing TSARY NEBESNI� did you ask �Why?� ?

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Originally Posted by Apotheoun
As far as I am concerned Byzantine Catholics should focus upon de-Latinizing our own Churches, and not worry about what Latins think of us, or whether they even know we exist. Once we have our own house in order, we can go out and evangelize, and hopefully increase our numbers for the greater glory of God.

Apotheoun,

De-Latinizing our churches, while far from complete in its accomplishment, is moving along nicely. If we wait long enough to let others know that we exist, we won't.

In your own lifetime, the Georgian Greek-Catholic Church will cease to exist (for all practical purposes, it is already extinct) - the first such ecclesia to do so since the demise of the Italo-Byzantines (not to be confused with the Byzantine Italo-Greeks). In the lifetime of your children, it is very possible that the Albanian Greek-Catholic Church will suffer the same fate.

Originally Posted by Nan
Etnick, I've said it before and will say it again; a) you're insulting my Archbishop and b) I have ties to all three sides of the equation. Archibishop Ireland did what he had to do to work with multiple immigrant groups, as well as having a hand in building The Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, America's First Basilica, The Cathedral of St. Paul, The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and Catholic University in Washington, DC.

Nan.

Whatever John Ireland's accomplishments for the good, in the minds of Eastern Christians, he will continue to be best remembered for (and any such accomplishments will pale before) his incredible arrogance and ignorance in the face of an opportunity to be a shepherd to all who were entrusted to his pastoral care. John Ireland's legacy is the first American schism. Brick and mortar are not the Church - people are - and buildings, even temples of exquisite beauty, are hardly a substitute for the exercise of spiritual leadership.

Btw, his work with immigrant groups, notably the Catholic colonization movement intended to rescue Catholic immigrants from the slums of Eastern cities and integrate them into the upper Midwest and Northwest, was principally directed at Irish immigrants, with some German, French, and Belgian resettled, as well. While the effort was laudable, its beneficiaries were the ethnicities that were most represented and best-served by the American Catholic hierarchy of the time. East Europeans and other "foreigners" were certainly not among the recipients of his largesse.

Originally Posted by Nan
Parallel to his "American" movement there was also a movement afoot that 'Rusyn is just another way of saying Russian' which was designed to bring Greek Catholics to the Russian Church and brought many to that side of the equation.

While we can never know with certainty how history might have differed had the meeting between Archbishop Ireland and Canon Toth never occurred, there is not a lot to suggest that a "Rusyn ... Russian" movement would have accomplished anywhere near as much on its own. As a matter of fact, there was no such "movement" - the phrasing was part of a reculturalization - it came into being to facilitate integration/assimilation of the Carpatho-Rusyns into Russian Orthodoxy. In other words, it was not an evangelistic tool, but a self-help rationalization (a mantra, if you will) used by those who would not ordinarily have made a conscious choice to throw their lot in with Russians (only John Ireland could induce them to do so).

The bigotry of John Ireland in Minneapolis, Patrick Ryan in Philadelphia, and others of the ilk elsewhere in the US, were critical elements in the rise of Orthodoxy in America, as well as the formation of the Polish, Lithuanian, Czech, and Slovak National Catholic Churches, and any number of small ethnically-based Protestant congregations that arose in response to the prejudicial reception accorded to historically Catholic peoples disenfranchised by the American representatives of their ancestral church.

As regards the specific legacy of John Ireland and Patrick Ryan, Rome's ill-advised proclamations on clerical celibacy over the next quarter-century cemented what they began.

Originally Posted by Nan
I don't know what changed between the formation of St. Mary's (what is now Orthodox Cathedral) and the formation of The Byzantine Church of St. John, but there was also nothing stopping people from going back to the Greeks by 1907 if they so chose. There was a further split based on the 'Ukrainian' movement, creating a third church.

Don't you think it is a bit naive to believe that, having departed from John Ireland's jurisdiction in 1891(?) (I can't remember precisely when St Mary's was received into Orthodoxy, but it was 1893 at the latest), the former Greek-Catholics would jump back into his embrace 15 years later - simply because there was now another temple available? Again, you appear to equate brick and mortar with the Church. The later founding, in 1913, of St Constantine's Ukrainian GC Church is, again, irrelevant to the issue.

The Carpatho-Rusyns did not separate from communion with Rome because St Mary's translated to Orthodoxy - they separated (and it translated) because (to use the vernacular of today) "the Man" denied them the right to worship according to their praxis and rejected their clergy. A biographer of Ireland has said of him (paraphrasing here) that - if his concern for Black Americans showed him at his best, his absolute disdain for Greek-Catholics showed him at his absolute worst.

Archbishop John Ireland was, without question, a small-minded bigot, an ignorant man, despite his advanced seminary education in France. That he was born in a small Irish village named "Burnchurch" seems particularly prophetic in regards to what he did to Greek-Catholics.

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
So I agree speak respectfully of the clergy but let us not Teflon coat them. If it was Governor John Ireland saying such would his office grant his memory sanctuary from political correctness.

If you thought you saw Teflon coating of John Ireland (or a demand for such) in my words, you were very mistaken. Feel free to pull out the Brillo pad and use it. But, we do - and we will continue to - refrain from creating derisive "titles" such as "Archenemy" (or whatever it was) and using them in lieu of a individual's accorded title.

Otoh, if anyone cares to describe Archbishop John Ireland as "an archenemy of Greek Catholism", that's acceptable. If anyone does not understand the distinction, feel free to ask clarification. If anyone wants to tell me that it's an artificial distinction, save your energy - it is, but it is also one able to be understood - so, ... .

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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I agree with Todd. Actually, I sometimes think it is best if they do not know too much about us and just leave us alone!

But the witness we can be to Latins and others is simply to be the most authentic Byzantine Christians we can be, and pursue a course authentic practice.

There will be challenges for us. I perceive that with the new influx of more traditionally minded seminarians in the Latin Church, we could face more tensions and conflicts in the years ahead.

Let us live our Greek Catholic faith robustly and without apology, respectful of others, but firm in our own praxis.

Last edited by lanceg; 05/12/08 11:27 AM.
lanceg #288639 05/12/08 06:57 PM
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I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but I guess I don't know how serious you are with your comment of "leave us alone." Yesterday I attended liturgy at St. John's with my wife and kids. The parish seemed welcoming but is it better if I just not come? I'm serious in this question. If the presence of a Latin-rite Catholic is a source of tension or difficulty for parishoners, I would rather not impose that on others during liturgy.

I harbor no ill will towards Eastern Catholics or desire to see them Latinized. I would probably be a member of an Eastern Catholic Church if I had the option, but here it is either Orthodox or Latin Catholic. The only problem I have with Eastern Catholics (as a Latin Catholic) is when they say some position of the Latin Church is heretical, etc.

I realize there have been many mistakes made in the past but from my limited view it seems to be improving for Eastern Catholics. Why the mistrust and animosity towards others who we are in communion with? But back to my first question, is it problematic (for parishoners) for me to attend liturgy at Eastern Catholic Churches? I would respectfully refrain if that is the case. Thanks.

t-bone #288643 05/12/08 07:47 PM
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T-bone

In my very limited experience you will find them very welcoming - once they have accepted you. It takes a while for this acceptance to come.

As you have possibly realised visitors can come for a variety of reasons - some are running from what they perceive to be abuses in the RC Churches , others come and fall in love with us and then remain and become part of us.

I belonged to the second group - and I am at home.

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Neil,

By your logic, St. John's and St. Constantine's shouldn't exist; they and St. Mary's drew from the same ethnic population. My grandfather chose to remain Greek Catholic instead of joining his siblings at St. Mary's. He clearly wasn't the only one who chose fidelity to his own tradition over worrying about one Archbishop.

While I understand that Archbishop Ireland is not remembered fondly, and people will be critical, I also believe that outright rudeness shouldn't be tolerated. I live in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul. I attend Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Of course, I also believe that beating a long-dead horse is counter-productive and rather than focusing on historic damage done by a long-dead Archbishop, current members of the affected churches would do better to make positive changes and figure out how to get people darkening their church doors come Sunday morning. At this point, Archbishop Ireland has no power to stop their growth. Or does he?

Nan #288659 05/13/08 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Nan
At this point, Archbishop Ireland has no power to stop their growth. Or does he?

Yes, in the same sense that Charlemagne still influences what creed is said in Latin Catholic churches.

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Peter J #288660 05/13/08 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter_B
Originally Posted by Nan
At this point, Archbishop Ireland has no power to stop their growth. Or does he?

Yes, in the same sense that Charlemagne still influences what creed is said in Latin Catholic churches.

Not to mention the full acceptance of all the theological implications of the 7th Ecumenical Council. Caesaro-papism certainly reared its ugly head in the West as well...

Gordo

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�WEARING OF THE GREEN�.
X. B!
C. I. X!
�We saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name�� (Mark 9:38). Every Church is not brick and mortar but people. Greek Church, peasant Church, Russian Church we are all the American Church, not old empires opposing the new countries with old names. E pluribus Unum (Out of many one). We�re all in this together, but that should not mean loosing our individuality for a homogenized fa�ade. The Georgian Greek-Catholic Church will cease to exist, but why are we fighting the old wars again? Are we to throw the baby out with the bathwater? What is the big picture? Can someone explain practically what my public church life is to be? We fought Latinization and were jeered as the �defenders of Orthodoxy�. Now we are again shunned by the new �Radical Orthodox� movement. Why do we no longer knell to sing TSARY NEBESNI beginning our Green Holidays? Please show me this new map to the New Jerusalem.

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Dear T-Bone,

My comment about "leave us alone" is meant to be ironic and humorous, of course I do not want people to just leave us alone.

I value having this Byzantine Forum to express myself freely, and enjoy the Byzantine community here, the ability to make the inside joke and comment, even though others of course are warmly welcomed to participate here.

Of course you are welcome to come worship with us, and we enjoy having you.

I bear no animosity toward the Latin Church; I transferred officially to the Ruthenian Church, but I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church, had 12 years of Roman Catholic School (and even several years of grad school!), and I am a Benedictine Oblate at the Roman Catholic Monastery in the area. Beginning in my 20's I completely fell away from the Church for many years, and rekindled my love for the Church through the influence of a Greek Orthodox priest, which in term led me to join the Ruthenian Church as a returning Catholic.

Our Fraternity group at St. John's, the Companions of the Holy Cross, sponsor a procession every good Friday that we take with Roman Catholics every year. One of my fellow parishioners & I have been on Relevant Radio sharing the Byzantine Catholic faith.
My Church, St. John's, is a very warm and welcoming place to visitors.

I do not have anything against Roman Catholics. I am Greek/Byzantine Catholic rather than Eastern Orthodox because I believe in a unified Church, in continuity with the first millenium Church, in union with Peter.

I admit, I have been disappointed with the attitude some Roman Catholics have conveyed towards me, questioning my Catholicity because my Eastern spirituality and theological expression are different than their Roman Catholic expressions. They sometimes are suspicious because we do not speak of purgatory, indulgences, recite the Rosary publicly, etc. For some Latins, to be authentically Catholic is to be Roman. But I do not in turn attribute those attitudes to all Roman Catholics. I do have a concern about the new crop of young Latin priests; I rejoice that they are more orthodox, but I hope that they do not identify Catholicism solely to Roman Catholic expression, as in some of my recent experience. We still need at times to have frank discussions about our differences, and what it truly means to be a Catholic, knowing some people may misunderstand.

The fact is we have been Latinized in various degrees over the 400 years of this ecumenical experiment. To restore our authentic traditions is a major part of our vocation as Eastern Catholics. I believe with all my heart that we are most authentically Byzantine Catholics when we are Orthodox who are in communion with Rome. I do not say that to offend anyone, but that is my conviction.

So I hope that you are not too put off by an offhand comment expressed in the context of this thread, and will visit us again, and worship with us.

Blessings,


Lance

A Byzantine Christian in a Postmodern World [byzantinechristian.blogspot.com]

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Nan #288751 05/14/08 11:44 AM
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The history in the US of the Greek Catholic Church has some unfortunate episodes. The American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Byzantine-Ruthenian Church, and much of the Orthodox Church in America should all be one Ruthenian Church.

I agree Nan, at one time Bishop Ireland had power to undermine our Church, but that is over 100 years ago, that should not be the case now. We need to be forward looking.

I remember that the priests from St. Mary's gave William Cardinal Keeler a book of St. Alexis Toth's writings, a warm ecumenical gesture.

Alexis Toth is a saint for me too, as a Greek Catholic, not as an author of schism, but as the spiritual leader of the first Carpatho-Rusyns in America.

Blessings,


Lance

A Byzantine Christian in a Postmodern World [byzantinechristian.blogspot.com]

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