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Exegete Offline OP
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Bishop John S. Pazak of the Eparchy of Phoenix, has announced the appointment of the Reverend Father Michael Bezruchka as the new pastor of our beloved Saint Anne Byzantine Catholic Church in San Luis Obispo, CA. His appointment is effective June 1, 2018. An early welcome to Saint Anne's and to San Luis Obispo, Father Michael! "Many years!"

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Fr Michael is a very good priest. They will be blessed to have him.

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Exegete Offline OP
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Fr. Michael conducted a seminar (as a seminarian) several years ago at Saint Anne's for readers, and he did a very good job. Some difficult people were upset that he pointed out that female readers are acceptable in the Ruthenian Church (presuming they are competent), but he was quite correct and kind in his comments.

Saint Anne's has a great deal of potential as a parish -- particularly with outreach to college students. I pray that Fr. Michael is able to help the parish realize this potential.

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Find us one, please. Joined ACROD. New young energetic priest, Father Nick Mihaly. Hopefully the future of eastern clergy. Also a new father, too. Welcome to Erie.

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Originally Posted by Exegete
Some difficult people were upset that he pointed out that female readers are acceptable in the Ruthenian Church (presuming they are competent), but he was quite correct and kind in his comments.

I came to Catholicism from Anglicanism so this Novus Ordoism trying to soft-sell the attempted ordination of women is a jab but there are worse things and choose your battles. (Liberal Canada has Ukrainian Catholic parishes with altar girls and lady Eucharistic ministers.) The point of course is the lesson, not how it's read. Ideally a parish has a deacon, subdeacon, and a few men as ordained readers, but the Byzantine Rite Catholic parish I go to is still reviving the use of incense and chant; baby steps. And I don't mind the lay readers of either sex much if they do it right, standing in the nave facing the altar, very liturgical. The parish I go to is slowly weaning the congregation off the Novus Ordoism of the lectern facing the congregation.

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Exegete Offline OP
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Originally Posted by The young fogey
[quote=Exegete]...The point of course is the lesson, not how it's read. Ideally a parish has a deacon, subdeacon, and a few men as ordained readers...

Actually, no, that's not true. How well the lesson is read is also of vital importance. In the example I mentioned, a young lady did a superb job of chanting the lesson. She was congratulated by Fr. Michael and the great majority in attendance. There were however a small number of problem people that got upset -- not because she actually read at a Divine Liturgy, but that she was allowed to read during the seminar. This type of problem people are a pox on far too many parishes.

The sad thing in this case is that in place of this young lay potentially reading at a DL, we often have rather poor (male) readers. That's simply just wrong. You note an "ideal" that I'm not sure exists? If there are both competent male and female lay readers available to read for a given DL, I'm not at all sure the male enjoys any sort of any official preference?

Finally, is the Ruthenian Church ordaining men to the subdiaconate and as readers these days?

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To answer your last question, yes, there are three ordained readers in the Eparchy of Passaic, and I'm one of them.

Jack Figel

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There is an ordained Subdeacon in the Eparchy of Phoenix, who is not looking to become a deacon.

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Originally Posted by JLF
To answer your last question, yes, there are three ordained readers in the Eparchy of Passaic, and I'm one of them.

Jack Figel

Thank you, that's really fascinating to me... I guess Phoenix is just trailing a bit. Perhaps one day...

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Originally Posted by lcanthony
Find us one, please. Joined ACROD. New young energetic priest, Father Nick Mihaly. Hopefully the future of eastern clergy. Also a new father, too. Welcome to Erie.

I don't know much about Erie, PA, but San Luis Obispo, CA is ripe for an Eastern Catholic explosion. I think Saint Anne's could easily double or triple in size if it actually reached out to the community in which it is located. I think Fr. Michael might be just the man to lead the charge.

The fact that he's a celibate priest will work in his favor I believe here locally. He'll be able to more easily coordinate with local Latin Rite priests. It really is amazing just how much brighter things look today with Fr. Michael on his way to CA.

One thing is for certain. He's never enjoyed a more temperate summer in his life, than the one he will be enjoying this summer!

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Coming to this conversation almost three years later. Father Michael is indeed a wonderful priest, and thanks to the Latin Mass being shut down over in Pismo, our parish has indeed almost doubled in number. I don't know how long these trads will stick around. You can tell the beauty and mystery of Byzantine Catholicism is working on many of them. When the Latin Mass inevitably returns to the general area, I hope that we retain some of the young families who seem to really enjoy embracing our beautiful church and community at St Anne's!

As for the above argument about female readers, I don't really think it's appropriate. Talent aside, the reader used to be an ordained position (one of minor orders), and those orders should be preserved solely for men, since only men can go on to major orders (Holy Orders). Just my opinion though.

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Originally Posted by Ruthenian1988
Talent aside, the reader used to be an ordained position (one of minor orders)...

It still is in the East. Specifically for the BCC, as in the Particular Law for the Byzantine-Ruthenian Church in the USA:
Quote
CLERICS

Canon 327

ยง1. Men who are properly prepared can be ordained to the offices of acolyte, lector cantor and subdeacon, who are minor clerics.]

Though not mentioned, tonsure is presumably understood and is still the practice.

My experience in the BCC is that women are cantors and readers; none are tonsured or ordained. The progression of these minor orders has the office of reader after acolyte (candle-bearer) and (effectively) cantor. This is appropriate since it is the commissioning to proclaim sacred Scripture within the liturgy. The subdiaconate is the office of service at, that is within, the altar.

Rigorously, all these offices except subdeacon are performed only outside the altar. Following the progression of orders as indicated, in that a woman functions as Reader (of the word of God) she should also have been eligible to be candle-bearer (acolyte).

As an aside and takeoff from this: From my perspective, my beloved BCC is not doing too well. I have held for some time that a revitalization of the minor orders, that is, the offices and structure that the Church has traditionally embraced, is the way to stability and even growth in a parish since it provides the foundation for the orders of deacon and presbyter. A parish should have all the minor orders represented and even in abundance. As is the case with ordination in general, however, advancement to higher orders is not the goal or automatic; for some, advancement in orders need not even be desired. It is the bishop who calls to further service, and this should be done, to both the diaconate and presbyterate. (It is already in place to some extent for the diaconate but the usual four-year cycle for entering a program is way too long.) Biritual priests, fast-tracking former non-Catholic candidates who were ministers, priests from outside the Eparchy, have not proved sufficient. In purely management terms, it is a poor organization that cannot recognize and utilize its own local talent.

The BCC, even with ever-dwindling numbers, desperately needs priests -- who then may even stop the ever-dwindling numbers. I believe the laborers for the harvest are there, they just need to be recognized and offered the opportunity to work.

And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. (Luk 10:2 RSV)

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Originally Posted by Exegete
Some ... were upset that he pointed out that female readers are acceptable in the Ruthenian Church (presuming they are competent...)l.

Just to note: Pope Confers Lay Ministries on Women, Formalising Recognition of Roles [usnews.com]

More information: Pope Francis installs women as lectors and catechists [americamagazine.org]

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When the Latin Mass inevitably returns to the general area

Christ is in our midst!!

I don't think this will be happening. Pope Francis has decreed that newly ordained priests cannot automatically use the TLM, even with their bishop's permission. It takes a special permission obtained form Rome. Additionally, it seems that the idea is to stop the use over time by not allowing new ordinands to be trained in its use. I wonder how that impacts two monasteries formed in the last ten years that use the TLM. A recent article indicated that they may not use it when the public is present; they must use the Vatican 2 liturgy.

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Just to note: Pope Confers Lay Ministries on Women, Formalising (sic) Recognition of Roles [usnews.com]

More information: Pope Francis installs women as lectors and catechists [americamagazine.org]

Christ is in our midst!!

In my parish, both men and women were formally commissioned and installed as lectors in the early 1980s. Shortly after that, Rome decided that only men could be formally commissioned and installed. After that ruling, our pastor decided that no one would be formally commissioned and installed in that ministry because he saw it as a slap in the face to half of those who came forward so serve. So, I guess we have come full circle.

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