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Hello all!
The blog Rorate Caeli recently posted a quote by Pius XII from the encyclical "Mystici Corporis Christi", which reads:

"If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ — which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church — we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression "the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ" — an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the holy Fathers."

In the comments I asked where does that leave Eastern Catholics, who being Catholic, Holy and Apostolic are not Roman.

I got the following replies: "The true Eastern Churches must be Roman. They are not Latin, which is perhaps what you are thinking of, as the Latin Church is distinct from the Eastern Churches. But they must be Roman, as Rome is the earthly center of the Faith, the Bishop of Rome is the Supreme Pontiff, and all this by Divine Decree, not happenstance."

and: "Yes, I'm mystified when I see some post-Conciliar Eastern Catholics proudly saying they are "not Roman" Catholics... Something that would horrify any pre-Conciliar Eastern Catholic.

Every Catholic is a Roman Catholic - not every Catholic is a member of the Latin Church or makes use of the Roman Rite (the actual one, or its funny and hippy distant cousin, the Novus Ordo), but being Catholic means being Roman."

Any comments?



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Admittedly, they may not have been an unbiased source, but I decided to post what my grandparents of blessed memory surely would have said. "That's crazy. "We were Greek Catholics, not Roman Catholics. The Rimsky have their own church. What are you, blind?"

Of course the Rorarte crew, and believe me the Orthodox have our own deluded traddies, would conflate Catholicism with Roman...an attitude which led tens of thousands of Greek Catholic immigrants to turn to the Orthodox.

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Thanks DMD. I am aware, of course, of Rorate's general tone.
The thing is I often speak to youth groups about the variety of Christian churches, and go into detail about the Eastern Churches. I want to make sure I'm not making any mistakes.

Any other opinions?
Filipe

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Although Pope Pius XII used that type of language in his encyclical, the Fathers of Vatican II nuanced, if not repudiated, that type of teaching. In n. 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, states that "this Church (of Jesus Christ), constituted and organized as a society in this present, world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although (licet) many elements of sanctification and truth can be found outside her structure; such elements, as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic unity". (parenthetical note added)

On a side note, a school my children HAD attended used a textbook from CUF which changed this quote from Lumen Gentium to read, "The Church of Jesus Christ subsists in the Roman Catholic Church." I met with the Headmaster, pointed out the error, and advised him to select other texts that were faithful to the teaching. When the same texts were selected for the subsequent school year, I withdrew my children from that school.

In 1987, Blessed John Paul II wrote in his Address to the Bishops of the U.S.A., "The Catholic Church herself subsists in each particular Church."

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Dear All:
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever! The term "Orthodox in communion with Rome" may appear contrived to straddle the Tiber and Bosphorus, but it is accurate. We are indeed members of the Church Universal, but we are indeed Orthodox in Faith, spirituality and Liturgy. The attitude of Rorate and other Traddie blogs (of which I am well aware, having once been a Traditionalist Roman Catholic)is decidedly against Eastern theology or practice. They treat us like "Uniates" ironically more than the typical Orthodox. Last night, I watched the replay of the consecration of the Roman Bishop of Fargo, ND. At the "Offertory" the EWTN priest-commentator explained that Christ clearly used unleavened bread at the Last Supper, which is why the Catholic Church uses it today in the Mass! No distinction, just ignorance, and that has always been the main part of the problem. Pray for me, a sinner.

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It was in Antioch that the believers were first called Christian, as Acts tells us. It was St. Ignatios the Godbearer who first called the Church 'Catholic'. Am I then to understand that the Christians to whom these sources referred were Roman? I think not!

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Earlier, I translated a letter by a Ukrainian Catholic Redemptorist just before he reposed where he refers to Eastern Catholics as Orthodox or Orthodox in communion with Rome.

Since the publication of that, there has been somewhat of an indignant outcry against the "Uniates" with their "Uniate Orthodoxy" and this by a UAOC monastery (which is itself not in canonical unity with world Orthodoxy).

The ihumen of that group even went so far as to put up a letter of St Athanasius of Alexandria warning against receiving or praying with Arians. The ihumen added that the term "Arians" in that letter could be substituted with "Uniate" etc.

On another UOC-MP site, the charge is made against EC's that they do indeed engage in active proselytism among Orthodox when they don't identify themselves clearly as "Catholics" or "Greek Catholics" but as a type of Orthodox e.g. "Ecumenical Orthodox" and the like which leads to confusion among the Orthodox faithful who may see them as being truly Orthodox.

On the other side, the claim by the Latin Trad above that pre-conciliar EC's would have identified themselves as "Roman Catholics" in the first instance and then as of the Byzantine, Chaldean or Armenian "Rites" is simply deluded, wishful thinking.

The great EC Metropolitan Bl. Andrew Sheptytsky, for example, encouraged members of his flock emigrating from Ukraine to attend Orthodox churches, not Latin Catholic parishes, as he knew the Latin parishes at the time made conscious efforts to bring EC's over to the Latin Church wholesale.

Our EC ancestors would have strained every nerve to oppose being called "Roman Catholic" as this would have meant giving up their identity not only as members of a Particular Eastern Catholic Church, but also as members of their nationality. To be "Orthodox" in Ukraine was to be "Ukrainian" and our ancestors would have replied "Orthodox" to any question as to their nationality or even language (we speak the "Orthodox language").

Eastern Catholic priests and their families jealously and zealously guarded their religious/cultural/national identity and these were the first to become Orthodox when it became clear that in their particular regions they could only have a choice between Roman Catholicism or Orthodoxy. (The Orthodox Metropolitan of Kiev/Kyiv Anthony Khrapovitsky knew this very well as did St John Pommer of Latvia who recieved many members of the Ukrainian intelligentsia in Galicia to Orthodoxy.)

The traditionalist RC missions in Ukraine, such as the Transalpine Redemptorists (which accept that the RC Church is infallible until Vatican II) maintain the pre-conciliar ecclesial model of the Unia which is highly offensive to Ukrainians and others just on the level of nationality. These groups oppose a Particular UGCC and also oppose the use of the Ukrainian language in the liturgy. They promote Slavonic and the creation of a Uniate Church that is bereft of any local cultural character. Again, very old hat and offensive to today's Ukies.

They do appeal to the Latinized elements of the UGCC in western Ukraine who see in "extreme Latinism" a part of "Ukrainian church heritage" since this was what was forcibly taken away by the Soviets via the ROC several times even from the Tsarist era.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky, for example, led a personal campaign to destroy roadside shrines in Galicia because they often depicted Latin religious statues. The fact is that the Galicians had a great devotion to them and resented such attacks as both blasphemous and anti-Ukrainian.

Alex


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Thank you for your interesting comments.
I keep an eye on Rorate for professional reasons, but naturally take my cues on anything related to EC's from my friends over here.

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I attended a Latin Rite class on Cannon Law and the instructor said that it is the Roman Catholic Church of which there are many rites. The reason he gave was the same as above since the Church is based in Rome it is the Roman Catholic Church.

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Unfortunately, that Canon Law instructor is mistaken. Otherwise the Greek Orthodox would be the Athenian Orthodox Church, or the Russians, the Moscovite Orthodox Church. Or the Roman Catholics, the Vatican Catholic Church.

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Actually, there are Orthodox authors who refer to RC's as "Vaticanians . . ." grin

Perhaps Calvinists should be called "Genevans" and Lutherans "Augsburgers."

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Rome is where the pope as universal pontiff (or whatever) lives. But he is also, first and foremost, the primate of Rome and of the Roman province.

The popes always beatified saints for their own Roman locale, as one example of his exercise of local episcopal authority.

And so, St Thomas More, although formally canonized in 1935 or 400 years after his martyrdom, was actually made a saint for the city of Rome only in 1575 or 40 years after his martyrdom, along with St John Fisher. He was liturgically celebrated at Rome ever since.

So the Church of Rome can be said to be a Particular Church and the other Latin Churches are in union with it, very much like the EC churches are and as the entire East was at one time.

Alex

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Originally Posted by Ot'ets Nastoiatel'
It was in Antioch that the believers were first called Christian, as Acts tells us. It was St. Ignatios the Godbearer who first called the Church 'Catholic'. Am I then to understand that the Christians to whom these sources referred were Roman? I think not!
No, but they were, and are, Catholic.

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<i>The attitude of Rorate and other Traddie blogs (of which I am well aware, having once been a Traditionalist Roman Catholic)is decidedly against Eastern theology or practice.</i>

Nonsense.

Rorate has provided sympathetic coverage of the Eastern Churches for years.

(The commenters are another matter.)

There are in fact close cooperation between traditionalists and Eastern Catholics both in New York and in Paris (and I expect in other places.)

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Originally Posted by Ot'ets Nastoiatel'
It was in Antioch that the believers were first called Christian, as Acts tells us. It was St. Ignatios the Godbearer who first called the Church 'Catholic'. Am I then to understand that the Christians to whom these sources referred were Roman? I think not!


It was at Antioch, which was a Roman city. The Empire wasn't even to be divided into Eastern and Western halves for more than a century. Even after that division in the third century, citizens of the Eastern Roman Empire continued to call themselves Romans.

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