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Originally Posted by Michael McD
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Canon law is pretty clear that the Church is obligated to support them and their families. Additionally it has been explained to me that a nuance of canon law (with which I agree) is that you have no rights to sign away your rights. That is to say it would not be possible to say "Don't worry, I don't need a salary and will never ask for one, I waive my right to support." You can't waive it.

Actually, I think it can be done. Monsignor Ronald Knox, who was a celibate high-church Anglican priest at Oxford, did make such an arrangement with his prospective bishop upon entering the Catholic Church. He wanted to serve the community at Oxford, rather than be assigned "at random", and for this privilege he agreed not to take any stipend from the bishop.

Understand that was well over 100 years ago and under a different code of canon law...

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SS,

Yes, a bit more like 80, but it was a special situation -- I wasn't trying to deny that.

I have a question also. Marcus Grodi and his apostolate reach out to all who ask for help. If a given minister sought entrance into the Catholic Church by via an Eastern Rite representative, could they not receive/baptize him (and even potentially ordain him) without special arrangements?

Michael

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Originally Posted by Michael McD
I have a question also. Marcus Grodi and his apostolate reach out to all who ask for help. If a given minister sought entrance into the Catholic Church by via an Eastern Rite representative, could they not receive/baptize him (and even potentially ordain him) without special arrangements?

Michael


That is a question I have been asking myself. I don't see why not. Some have offered that those coming from the Lutheran or Anglican communities would or should need to enter the Latin Church, but I am not familiar with any official ruling on that. Either way, it leaves wide open the question of what is to be done with "Free Church" and Evangelical type ministers who opt to convert.

As Alex (Orthodox-Catholic) has pointed out, in some areas of the world, Protestants made inroads among Ukrainian communities in some places. Maybe it confuses the question further, but in such cases where say an ethnic Ukrainian had been in a western-style Protestant community and opts to become Catholic, would he (or she) be directed toward a particular church.

There is a smallish Ukrainian Lutheran Church that admixes some elements of Byzantine liturgical practice with Lutheranism...

IMHO, the Catholic church one approaches (or that does the approaching) should be the one to take any given individual coming from an ecclesial community.

Alas, I am not in charge.

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SS,

I'm not in charge either (thank God!), but I know of nothing to contradict what you say here. Perhaps there is some sort of modus vivendi among the hierarchs of the different rites, but I am ignorant of it.

I do know that the original approach by the Episcopalians to the Holy See which resulted in the Pastoral Provision envisioned "groups" (parishes, or sub-sets of parishes, dioceses?) converting en masse, and who wanted to preserve the orthodox expressions of their Anglican tradition. I also know that, at the time, the Holy See wanted not to create a precedent or something that would replicate itself (an Anglican Rite might be such a phenomenon) so that required that bishops be found who were willing to give real pastoral assignments to such priests and to provide for their families as well as them.

Whether or not the Holy See continues to have that point of view I don't know -- we'd probably need to talk with a PP priest about that? (Deep down, I kinda hope they do become "self-perpetuating", God bless 'em!)

But the Eastern "Rites" are already of this self-perpetuating nature, so I don't really see a theoretical problem.

Michael

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Originally Posted by Dandelion
Dochawk,

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This came up in our parish.

A Lutheran convert must first convert to RC, and then switch to an EC rite. The local RC bishop (Pepe, Las Vegas) signs these as soon as they hit his desk.

Do you think that due to the Canon law a Lutheran convert "has" to become RC 1st, and then EC.?

That is the directive that our priest was given, yes. Neither Bishop Pepe nor Bishop William seems to like paperwork for its own sake, and they both had to be involved with this.

He wasn't sent to RCIA; our parish handled the educational portion. The RC diocese really didn't have involvement beyond the paperwork.

Quote
Do you think the RCC is shifting the monetary responsibility on EC's?
and by shifting the responsibility on the EC's can be another way to get the RCC off of the hook on married clergy
?

apparently?

think politically now

This conversion was laity, though. For the small difference in what married and non-married clergy are paid in the dioceses for which I've seen the number (less than $5k/year, and the extra health insurance costs would be a similar number), I can't imagine that this would stop them from snatching up any acceptable clergy for themselves. The Diocese of Las Vegas, for example, would build 3 more churches in town, iirc, but doesn't have the priests to staff them. (St. Elizabeth is hanging on to Fr. Marcus, our BC priest, for the duration of his contract, even though he now has his own parish [which wasn't expected to occur that suddenly], is in charge of the mission on Mt. Charleston, and is an associate at Our Lady of Wisdom)].

New parishes are packed with full Mass schedules the moment they're built; paying an extra priest if it allowed opening another parish would *not* be a problem.

I just noticed you're in Henderson; what is your regular parish?

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The bi-ritual priests I know are deeply devoted to the byzantine church. My only wish is that all bi-ritual clergy learn to properly chant byzantine style. It is so disconcerting, challenging and difficult to hear latin stle chant and still respond in the byzantine fashion.

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I think, perhaps, that the main focus ought to move towards the priest's position within the community. Talk about "assignments" and canonical steps are important, but the absolute critical element is how the man integrates himself (and his family) into the community. This is a cultural phenomenon.

It's the questions of: who is this psalti/cantor and why is he so important?; if we get there by the "Holy, Holy, Holy", we're good to go for 'attending liturgy'?; if we get there before the consecration, is it OK to go to communion?; if I take a sip of tea after midnight, can I still go to communion in the morning; do I have to wear a thing on my head to go inside the church; does the parish festival have to have pierogi/spanakopita/mititei/baklawa to be real?; if the priest is not from ______ (fill in ethnic region), are we still Orthodox/Byzantine?; if there isn't at least some text in _____ (fill in the appropriate language), are we really doing this right?; if the priest isn't related by blood to at least SOMEBODY in the diocese or province, is this OK?

Easterns are by definition, 'clannish'. And it's clear that at least in the ByzCath groups, all the trustees and hierarchy are the ethnics. Among the Greeks, no question at all. (Unless you're hyphenated.) Same with the Ukrainians. Same with the Arabic speaking communities. Among the OCA, there's an admixture, and there appears to be - unfortunately - a variety of theological and ecclesiological perspectives that have led to dissention.

So, it's more than just "some Protestant member of the clergy is wanting to become Eastern Catholic". Whether through the RC channels or directly, there's a cultural issue that needs to be addressed.

Like it or not: The Eastern Churches are a 'koinotis', a community of believers who are joined together by more than just juridical status. Unlike our Western brethren, it's not a question of just filling out the canonical paperwork and switching 'jurisdictions'. It's belonging.

If we Easterns choose to go the way of the Westerns and see 'being a member of the Church' as a legal status, then we will lose the single element that has allowed the Byzantine and Eastern Churches to survive persecution. We need to look at the Book of Ruth: your people will be my people. It's not just the singing or the liturgical proficiency. It's the "being there". And that comes from interfamilial and personal service as part of the community. Not just a priestly or clerical "assignment" to a parish community.

Blessings to all!

Dr John

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Originally Posted by Dr John
Like it or not: The Eastern Churches are a 'koinotis', a community of believers who are joined together by more than just juridical status. Unlike our Western brethren, it's not a question of just filling out the canonical paperwork and switching 'jurisdictions'. It's belonging.

If we Easterns choose to go the way of the Westerns and see 'being a member of the Church' as a legal status, then we will lose the single element that has allowed the Byzantine and Eastern Churches to survive persecution. We need to look at the Book of Ruth: your people will be my people. It's not just the singing or the liturgical proficiency. It's the "being there". And that comes from interfamilial and personal service as part of the community. Not just a priestly or clerical "assignment" to a parish community.


Doctor J,

I am not sure that I feel wholly comfortable in ascribing to Eastern Christianity a greater distinctive of what it means to belong above and beyond how people can fit into the Latin Church. On the other hand, Latins have (for good or ill) largely achieved a modicum of success in becoming post-ethnic where any size, shape, color, stripe and flavor walking through the door would well reflect Joyce's oft quoted comment about the Catholic Church "Here come's everybody!"

It begins to sort of beg the question "Can only ethnics from _______ be Orthodox?" as well as "Must one be born into Greek Catholic cultures if one wishes to be Catholic in this fashion?"

To be clear, it is a real and legitimate concearn that those who would join us and possibly serve us should know us well. If a stream of ex-Protestant converts were simply directed to Eastern Chanceries because "they'll take a married guy" that would serve no one well. Just because their circumstances fit, doesn't mean they fit the circumstances. (I was particularly annoyed when it was found out that married Romans had been ordained in secret in Czechoslovakia where shipped off the the Greek Catholic Church after the "fall of the wall". What did that serve? A few married Roman witnesses to the underground church, could be explained away as just that. Why pawn them off on the Eastern Catholics?)

There has, conversely, been some significant challenge in some Orthodox circles with convert clergy. A question how much of this is due to "covert enthusiasm" versus being an outsider to "the ethos" has been raised many times. The conflict of "let's teach those ethnics" versus "he's not one of us!" has been, at times and in places, difficult for some.

I guess Dr. J, I am curious as to what you forsee as America continues to move into a post-ethnic future. Without immigration, is it expected and the natural order of things that the less ethnic one is, the more likely one is to move on to non-Byzantine Churches? (This isn't a trick question, I believe we see this regularly already. Among my Greek Cath Granny's 14 grandkids/great-grandkids, I alone am Greek Catholic.)

I don't know the answer, but I am trying to (with mixed results) straddle the fence on this one and suggest that embracing a church culture is essential, but determining where the church culture ends and ethnicity begins is important as well. How to do that? Give me another 15 years to figure that one out!

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Thanks for the words. I understand your points, and I too struggle with them. The Greek Orthodox side of my family attended a certain G.O. parish where the folks were from our part of Greece. (There was a closer G.O. church, but they were 'islanders' [=sorta crazy] ). Folks knew each other and there were various bonds of blood and marriage and 'koumbaro' (=godparent) relationships - enough to make a sociologist weep!

The local R.C. parish was a megachurch. A big Irish Gothic church with a minimum of 8 Masses (upper and lower church) and 2 Masses in the school hall every Sunday. People knew each other from their 'street neighborhoods' and personal friendships, but as a "parish" it was too huge to really be a community. People identified with "Immaculate Conception" or "St. Benedicts" or "St. Josephs", or with their group: Holy Name Society, Sodality, choir, Hibernian Society, Legion of Mary, etc.

It seems to me that viable "parishes" work best when the whole congregation is aware of the other members and has personal relationships with the other members. When there is a problem in a family - illness, loss of job, death in the family, etc. - the whole community is aware and pitches in to do whatever is necessary to help them out.

The 'ethnic identity' element certainly serves as a wonderful cement to bond the group together. But, as you point out with your own Granny's 14 grandkids/great-grandkids, the farther one gets from the sense of ethnic identity, the less likely one is to participate.

I do think that the shared liturgicality and spirituality serves to bring Constantinopolitans/Byzantines to a type of (sometimes grudging) sense of commonality - not just ethnic (i.e., Ukrainians with Byelorussians, with Great Russians, with Ruthenians, with Romanians, etc.) but also inter-church - Orthodox with Catholics, as well as Oriental Orthodox.

When 'non-cradles' and non-ethnics make the Eastern discovery, and determine to join the community (for whatever -hopefully spiritual - reason), they can be put off by the ethnicity elements. Many will stay for a while, and then move on. Others, like in the Book of Ruth, will say "your people will be my people; your God will be my God".

An obstacle is the fact that in the East, there was no Rome to send out the official books and the official saints-calendar. The churches were truly local, i.e., familial and tribal. And liturgical and festal events were dictated by local needs and aspirations. And things varied from 'county' to 'county' and district to district. And someone coming in from 'outside' needed to submit to the mindset and practices of the local parish. When a parish needed a priest, a local farmer was sent to a monastery to learn the services, was ordained, and then was returned to his village where he continued to tend to his farm and celebrated the services. (He couldn't preach and he couldn't hear confessions. The monks came for those purposes.) So, in a nutshell, local communities were the fabric of the church. To envision some 'outsider' being sent to a parish to serve as priest was just basically unheard of.

Yet, in contemporary America - as well as elsewhere - we have taken the image of the priest as the bishop's vicar to oversee the parish community as the model. But the Eastern mindset is like the Gospel: a priest is a man chosen by God FROM AMONG THE PEOPLE, to serve the people in the things that pertain to God. And I understand that as from among 'the local people'. It's not like sending in a civil engineer to assess and repair roads, bridges and sewer systems - where it doesn't matter where he comes from. But a priest, like a physician or a teacher, must be intimately involved with the people s/he serves if there is to be any hope of success in service.


(I am reminded of a story from my Hist. of American Catholicism class in seminary, where a bishop of a major East Coast city (begins with P!) sent an Irish priest to a traditionally German parish. There was, of course no German sermon, and the elder ladies of the parish were incensed enough to flourish their lengthy hat-pins as the poor soul attempted to leave the church building. Lesson #1: NEVER get the elder ladies of a parish ticked off. They're organized and have weapons. Lesson #2: The priest has to have the ability to become part of the parish community and has to work at doing so. Otherwise, he's dead meat.)

So, ideally, our Eastern parishes (jurisdiction unimportant) should be real communities, sometimes cemented with ethnicity of the members and sometimes cemented by spiritual nourishment from a particular historical group. The priest should ideally be either related to the historical ethnic group, or enough of a long-term community member to be able to function as the pro-estos - the leader in the community. Generations of 'priestly-families' in the old countries serves as a pardigm. Or be from an analogous (Eastern) group that shares in the same liturgico-spirituality as the parish community (i.e., a Ukrainian serving a Byelorussian parish, or a Greek serving a Ukrainian parish, etc.)

To bring in the former youth minister of the Screaming Bible Ministries as a newly ordained priest just isn't going to work in the Eastern churches no matter how strong his vocation. And, (and I know this will get me into trouble) I think bringing in R.C. priests because we need someone to say "Mass", isn't good either. Why? Because if we only need to have a canonically ordained priest to "perform" the ceremony, then why maintain our spiritual traditions, let's just buckle under and go to their churches.

Real question: better to have liturgy once a month by one of our own and typika services led by laymen on the other 3 Sundays, or have an outsider come in to preside over a Liturgy?

Blessings!

Dr John

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Originally Posted by Dr John
Easterns are by definition, 'clannish'. And it's clear that at least in the ByzCath groups, all the trustees and hierarchy are the ethnics.

This may be true for some Easterns, but this sure isn't my experience with BC (Pittsburgh Metropolia).

I believe an actual majority of my parish (including the *entire* ecf staff) is RC. I have yet to find an BC parish that doesn't actively welcome any visitors--and the uncanny memories of a couple of the priests certainly helps (Fr. Robert Pipka visited my parish months after I went to his church in San Diego once--and remembered my *last* name, which I think would have to have come from the visitor's register, as I'm pretty sure I only introduced myself by my first name. Fr. Stephen (formerly at the pro-cathedral) recognized us the second time we appeared there).

Last Easter at the pro-cathedral, the Gospel was sung in four languages--including Spanish. One of the deacons was quite obviously no more Slavic than I am.

And so forth.

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Does a Roman Catholic priest who receives bi-ritual faculties from a Byzantine Catholic bishop also receive an antimension from that bishop?

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Originally Posted by griego catolico
Does a Roman Catholic priest who receives bi-ritual faculties from a Byzantine Catholic bishop also receive an antimension?
Either he or the parish he's pastor of, yes. Sometimes both.

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The idea of Bi Ritual clergy is something that troubles me.

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Originally Posted by DewiMelkite
The idea of Bi Ritual clergy is something that troubles me.

Is anybody as old as me and remembers the days when bi-ritual priests were almost non-existent. The Vatican saw it as a danger to the spiritual integrity and spiritual development of the priest to live in two worlds and two ethoses.

That thinking has obviously changed. Do we know when it changed and why? And has there been, as once feared, any negative effects on bi-ritual priests? Any studies done on this?

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The bi-ritual priest I know was Latin rite and then retired and became bi-ritual, because a byzantine parish needed a priest, so he now serves the Byzantine parish, but still gets his pension from his Latin Diocese, which works out well for the Byz Parish, because they don't have to provide him a salary. But generally speaking he just lives in the Byzantine world now.

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