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I am on my way into the Ruthenian Church from a Roman Catholic background. In speaking on social media with traditional Roman Catholics about the Holy Father's recent motu proprio and his desire to eventually phase out the Traditional Latin Mass, in favor of the Ordinary Form/Novus Ordo Mass, something came up that I'd never heard of. One gentlement accused the Ruthenian Church of being "modernists" and argued that they had somewhat recently changed their Divine Liturgy. The changes were not as extreme as going from the Latin Mass to the Novus Ordo, but were big enough that he alleged it caused a big scandal in the Church. I tried a cursory search on google for information but haven't found anything. Has the Ruthenian Church altered their Liturgy since the Second Vatican Council?

For what it's worth, I am 100% content at the Divine Liturgy as it is celebrated now and have long since put liturgical civil wars behind me. But since it was a claim I'd never heard before, and couldn't find immediate information on, I've come to pick the minds of the wise ones.

Thanks in advance!

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Originally Posted by Ruthenian1988
Has the Ruthenian Church altered their Liturgy since the Second Vatican Council?
Officially as of 2007 in English translation in the BCC, i.e. the Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh, the answer is yes. The 2007 Liturgicon abridged and modified the 1965 Liturgicon (English trans.) that was a complete translation of the Divine Liturgy as give by the typical editions of the Ruthenian Recension (Rome ~1941-1955) in Slavonic. The 2007 translation made some improvements and corrections to the 1965 translation but other controversial changes and orientations were thoroughly discussed and debated on this forum; see The Revised Divine Liturgy, all threads. In an appraisal at the time (2008) I wrote in part of
Quote
... my increasing misgivings in general about the promulgations of that date. The chief and motivating reasons ... are the related issues of the translation of the Creed at, as it is now given “For us and for our salvation” [the word "men" translating anthrpous dropped] ..., and in particular the rendering of the various forms of the word Chelovikolubets/Philanthropos (Mankind changed to "us all"). It is my conviction, based on an objective consideration of meaning, that the present translation is flawed linguistically and, in the case of Philanthropos, also aesthetically. In addition, as clearly indicated in the DVD catechetical video (and other explanations I have gathered), the translation in these instances is intentionally motivated by a questionable priority: a desire, disproportionate and forced, to use a certain class and standard of inclusive language, and that this desire, as it is based on an agenda-driven motivation, is in these instances inappropriate and unwarranted. By this I mean that the motivation for the change from“Mankind” to “us all,” for instance, was not for linguistic or theological precision, a better conveyance of biblical allusions, accuracy, rigor, or an improvement in the vocabulary dealing with the classic interplay of the one and the many and the many who are one: the so-called collective or corporate person, the catholic person. Rather, that it simply, and admittedly, came from a desire/need to sound inclusive in conformity with a current fashion, and that at the expense of the more valid and significant considerations I have just noted.

Also, in my attempts to familiarize myself with the new liturgicons I have found that a close and detailed examination of the text only revealed, in addition to the gender-inclusive issue, other significant problems and questions for me about the translation and usages, their apparent motivation and perspective; and these have become numerous and substantial. In general, these issues can be characterized as a selective abandonment of the text, format, scope and rubrics of the Recensione Rutena (Rome: 1941 etc.); an inexplicable preference given to Greek rather than the Slavonic sources and expressions of the Recensione Rutena which is our unique heritage; and a now official abridgement of the liturgy for our Metropolitan Church that renders impossible the celebration of the liturgy in English as it would be in the Slavonic of the Recensione Rutena. Even with consideration given to pastoral necessities and organic adaptations and developments, I can not reconcile all too many of these innovations, and so I find that I am in conflict with the just demands of obedience ..., and the equally just demands of my conscience to responsibly question the current revisions, their underlying motivation, substance, vision and orientation.

It should be noted that the complete 1965 liturgicon was not the common form in use in practice, even though for some time it was the book present at/on the Holy Table.

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Do individual Ruthenian priests have the ability to celebrate the other form of the Liturgy, before all these changes (the way Roman priests could choose to celebrate the Latin Mass in addition to the Novus Ordo-at least prior to the recent motu proprio)? Or are Ruthenians stuck with a problematic Liturgy for the foreseeable future?

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Originally Posted by Ruthenian1988
Do individual Ruthenian priests have the ability to celebrate the other form of the Liturgy, before all these changes (the way Roman priests could choose to celebrate the Latin Mass in addition to the Novus Ordo-at least prior to the recent motu proprio)? Or are Ruthenians stuck with a problematic Liturgy for the foreseeable future?
See the attached Promulgation 2007, especially the last paragraph. See also the thread Full Celebration of the Divine Liturgy of the Ruthenian Recension. Whether the 2007 liturgical promulgation is "problematic" depends on opinions and facts. This Forum, on the RDL in particular, is an important resource documenting the various opinions and facts for which the owner, John Vernoski, should be acknowledged, and thanked for providing it for the benefit of the Church. Perhaps some student of the liturgy, someday, will write a thesis, having this resource available.

As to the exact wording of the Decree:

1. The approval of the Apostolic See was in 2001.
2. It was not promulgated until 2007.
3. If it is indeed the "only text," that would preclude the Slavonic. Thus, only English in the BCC ?!

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Is the Apostolic See Rome? If so, why does Rome need to approve anything? Eastern Churches are self governing. Outside of Rome declaring a dogma we are not (or at least, "should not") be beholden to them for anything.

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Originally Posted by Ruthenian1988
Is the Apostolic See Rome? If so, why does Rome need to approve anything? Eastern Churches are self governing. Outside of Rome declaring a dogma we are not (or at least, "should not") be beholden to them for anything.
The Apostolic See is the See of Rome. See Canon 657 [intratext.com]. Not all Eastern Catholic Churches are sui iuris. There's no harm in having texts reviewed and Rome's documents were invoked in discussions about the RDL; see e.g. General Summary of How the RDL Violates Vatican Directives. Rome produced the Ruthenian Recension at the request of the concerned Eastern chuches and I would hope has a legitimate interest for that reason too; it is the heritage of both the Ruthenian and Ukrainian churches.

In my understanding, Communion ecclesiology and sui iuris does not mean independent and autonomous, nor does it mean micromanagement.

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Originally Posted by Ruthenian1988
Is the Apostolic See Rome? If so, why does Rome need to approve anything? Eastern Churches are self governing. Outside of Rome declaring a dogma we are not (or at least, "should not") be beholden to them for anything.


Self-governing.

Hahahahahahaha!!!!

You're one funny guy.

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Well we're "supposed" to be self governing. Outside of declaring a dogma, the Pope has no authority over the Eastern Churches, other than what they voluntarily cede to him (which itself is an abuse, and one that Vatican II addressed when it called on the Eastern Churches to shake off latinizations and reclaim their Eastern patrimony).

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Originally Posted by Ruthenian1988
Well we're "supposed" to be self governing. Outside of declaring a dogma, the Pope has no authority over the Eastern Churches, other than what they voluntarily cede to him (which itself is an abuse, and one that Vatican II addressed when it called on the Eastern Churches to shake off latinizations and reclaim their Eastern patrimony).
Wherever you got this information or impression, it is quite wrong. You have been listening to the wrong voices, ones that too easily equate power with identity, and territoriality with ecclesiology. The BCC needs to, and has it in its own self-determination, to finally get over the boogeyman of "latinizations." Is the abridgement of the liturgy in the 2007 liturgicon, for example, not a kind of "low Mass" mentality?

If you think it's an east-west issue, or make it that, then you have missed the real basis of the Communion ecclesiology -- the eucharistic ecclesiology -- that is embraced, at least in theory, by east and west, Orthodox and Catholic. That ecclesiology starts with each BISHOP as the monarchē of a catholic church in communion with others. See for example, Zizioulas, Eucharist, Bishop, Church: The Unit... Bishop During the First Three Centuries [amazon.com].

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Originally Posted by Ruthenian1988
Well we're "supposed" to be self governing. Outside of declaring a dogma, the Pope has no authority over the Eastern Churches, other than what they voluntarily cede to him (which itself is an abuse, and one that Vatican II addressed when it called on the Eastern Churches to shake off latinizations and reclaim their Eastern patrimony).

And therein lies the problem. When I converted 20 years ago from Protestantism, I was told that the BCC is "Orthodoxy in Communion with Rome." Not having a good understanding of history and the doctrinal differences between East and West, I accepted this.

What I have found out in the last 20 years of continued study is that we are NOT Orthodox. Not in any sense of the word. The Orthodox do not accept the Filioque, yet we were pressured into it here in America for a long time. The Orthodox do not accept the Immaculate Conception, which takes away the glory of the Theotokos turning from sin to completely embrace hoiness. The Orthodox do not accept Purgatory, yet I constantly hear BCC pastors speak of it. The Orthodox do not accept the faux idea of Purgatory. Yet I am expected to bow in submission to these false theological ideas because I am in communion with Rome???

I have watched BCC pastors baptize by sprinkling instead of three-fold immersion. I have gone into Ruthenian parishes where the Rosary is being prayed.

Is it any wonder when BCC try to claim they are Orthodox the Orthodox snort and spit on the ground? These things are not Orthodox, and had I known what I know today, I would have never joined the BCC but would have become Orthodox instead.

In short, the Unia is a theological disaster and should be scrapped. One should make up one's mind to either be Orthodox or Roman Catholic and embrace fully what either side teaches.

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Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Originally Posted by Ruthenian1988
Well we're "supposed" to be self governing. Outside of declaring a dogma, the Pope has no authority over the Eastern Churches, other than what they voluntarily cede to him (which itself is an abuse, and one that Vatican II addressed when it called on the Eastern Churches to shake off latinizations and reclaim their Eastern patrimony).

And therein lies the problem. When I converted 20 years ago from Protestantism, I was told that the BCC is "Orthodoxy in Communion with Rome." Not having a good understanding of history and the doctrinal differences between East and West, I accepted this.

What I have found out in the last 20 years of continued study is that we are NOT Orthodox. Not in any sense of the word. The Orthodox do not accept the Filioque, yet we were pressured into it here in America for a long time. The Orthodox do not accept the Immaculate Conception, which takes away the glory of the Theotokos turning from sin to completely embrace hoiness. The Orthodox do not accept Purgatory, yet I constantly hear BCC pastors speak of it. The Orthodox do not accept the faux idea of Purgatory. Yet I am expected to bow in submission to these false theological ideas because I am in communion with Rome???

What you are experiencing is the inferiority complex of the BCC. You too have listened to the wrong people only a fortiori. We are not "Orthodoxy in Communion with Rome." Who says the Orthodox are right about the IC, filioque, purgatory etc.. What you are seeing here in the Orthodox is a theological awareness that stalled somewhere between the 8th and 9th centuries.

And then there is the myth that the Orthodox way is the only correct way, the only eastern way. Just for example:

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
I have watched BCC pastors baptize by sprinkling instead of three-fold immersion.

See the thread Baptism - Pouring or Immersion? As an example from that thread:
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Yes. As excavations have shown in early Greek churches the fonts were not deep enough for full immersion. The baptized stood in water up to their knees and had water poured on the heads or knelt and had their heads dunked.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Also, The Didache ca. AD 100 gives the priority :

Quote
Now concerning baptism, baptize as follows: after you have reviewed all these things, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in running water. 2 But if you have no running water, then baptize in some other water; and if you are not able to baptize in cold water, then do so in warm. 3 But if you have neither, then pour water on the head three times in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit.

What's most important is "running water." An insistence on "three-fold immersion" distorts the priorities and primitive practice.

Consider: “Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt, as I understand the subject; difficulty and doubt are incommensurate.” ― John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua

As I see it, you have made every difficulty into a doubt. And I believe this is because we -- that is, in particular BCC clergy and theologians -- have failed you. As I posted initially in 2009:

A Failure of our Church: To effectively articulate why, as eastern, orthodox Christians we are, and why one should be Catholic – we, who are living (though perhaps rather imperfectly) the desired unity. I do think that in general an adequate Eastern Catholic articulation of the Catholic faith, which I profess to be orthodox, is lacking.

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"What I have found out in the last 20 years of continued study is that we are NOT Orthodox. Not in any sense of the word. The Orthodox do not accept the Filioque, yet we were pressured into it here in America for a long time. The Orthodox do not accept the Immaculate Conception, which takes away the glory of the Theotokos turning from sin to completely embrace hoiness. The Orthodox do not accept Purgatory, yet I constantly hear BCC pastors speak of it. The Orthodox do not accept the faux idea of Purgatory. Yet I am expected to bow in submission to these false theological ideas because I am in communion with Rome???"

As far as I'm concerned I'am a CATHOLIC first, then of the Byzantine Catholic Rite and what makes me CATHOLIC is that I believe in all CATHOLIC CHURCH DOGMA'S AND DOCTRINES including The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, PURGATORY and as far as the FILIOQUE is concerned it is a MYSTERY
and I believe in the TRINITY so it doesn't matter, it only matters to the Orthodox hierarchy.who for political and economic reasons want to remain separate from the Catholic Church.

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Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Originally Posted by Ruthenian1988
Well we're "supposed" to be self governing. Outside of declaring a dogma, the Pope has no authority over the Eastern Churches, other than what they voluntarily cede to him (which itself is an abuse, and one that Vatican II addressed when it called on the Eastern Churches to shake off latinizations and reclaim their Eastern patrimony).

And therein lies the problem. When I converted 20 years ago from Protestantism, I was told that the BCC is "Orthodoxy in Communion with Rome." Not having a good understanding of history and the doctrinal differences between East and West, I accepted this.

What I have found out in the last 20 years of continued study is that we are NOT Orthodox. Not in any sense of the word. The Orthodox do not accept the Filioque, yet we were pressured into it here in America for a long time. The Orthodox do not accept the Immaculate Conception, which takes away the glory of the Theotokos turning from sin to completely embrace hoiness. The Orthodox do not accept Purgatory, yet I constantly hear BCC pastors speak of it. The Orthodox do not accept the faux idea of Purgatory. Yet I am expected to bow in submission to these false theological ideas because I am in communion with Rome???

What you are experiencing is the inferiority complex of the BCC. You too have listened to the wrong people only a fortiori. We are not "Orthodoxy in Communion with Rome." Who says the Orthodox are right about the IC, filioque, purgatory etc.. What you are seeing here in the Orthodox is a theological awareness that stalled somewhere between the 8th and 9th centuries.

And then there is the myth that the Orthodox way is the only correct way, the only eastern way. Just for example:

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
I have watched BCC pastors baptize by sprinkling instead of three-fold immersion.

See the thread Baptism - Pouring or Immersion? As an example from that thread:
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Yes. As excavations have shown in early Greek churches the fonts were not deep enough for full immersion. The baptized stood in water up to their knees and had water poured on the heads or knelt and had their heads dunked.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Also, The Didache ca. AD 100 gives the priority :

Quote
Now concerning baptism, baptize as follows: after you have reviewed all these things, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in running water. 2 But if you have no running water, then baptize in some other water; and if you are not able to baptize in cold water, then do so in warm. 3 But if you have neither, then pour water on the head three times in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit.

What's most important is "running water." An insistence on "three-fold immersion" distorts the priorities and primitive practice.

Consider: “Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt, as I understand the subject; difficulty and doubt are incommensurate.” ― John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua

As I see it, you have made every difficulty into a doubt. And I believe this is because we -- that is, in particular BCC clergy and theologians -- have failed you. As I posted initially in 2009:

A Failure of our Church: To effectively articulate why, as eastern, orthodox Christians we are, and why one should be Catholic – we, who are living (though perhaps rather imperfectly) the desired unity. I do think that in general an adequate Eastern Catholic articulation of the Catholic faith, which I profess to be orthodox, is lacking.

So what you are saying is two-fold: first that the early fathers of the church would have no problem with the inventions of the Latin West. Secondly, that the fathers of the church in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh century were being disingenous to object to the invention of the Filioque, the use of "dead bread" in the Liturgy, and the papal intrusions by the Frankish run Western church. In other words, they made a mountain out of what essentially are molehills.

So does truth really matter? Or is it just enough to believe in the Trinity and that Christ alone is Savior?

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Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
So what you are saying is two-fold: first that the early fathers of the church would have no problem with the inventions of the Latin West. Secondly, that the fathers of the church in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh century were being disingenous to object to the invention of the Filioque, the use of "dead bread" in the Liturgy, and the papal intrusions by the Frankish run Western church. In other words, they made a mountain out of what essentially are molehills.

So does truth really matter? Or is it just enough to believe in the Trinity and that Christ alone is Savior?
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
... "inventions of the Latin West" ... " invention of the Filioque."
I was hoping for a dialog. Your mind is already set, it seems, and the theological chip on your shoulder may prevent you from hearing what I say. The voice of "the early fathers of the church" is hardly monolithic. If you want to be taken seriously, I suggest you not include the 'use of "dead bread" in the Liturgy'; it is a sad and tired and stupid polemic. The fliioque has been discussed thoroughly, periodically on this forum. Of course the Orthodox don't like it, they had no say in it. Though they argue against it, and the IC, and purgatory etc. on the basis of theology -- and they have valid points to be addressed -- I think their real issue is church authority. Consider at least St. Maximus the Confessor, a 7th c. witness:

Quote
St. Maximus the Confessor, Ad Domnum Marinum Cypri presbyterum (Letter to the priest Marinus of Cyprus), PG 91, 134D-136C.

“Those of the Queen of cities have attacked the synodal letter of the present very holy Pope (Martin I), not in the case of all the chapters that he has written in it, but only in the case of two of them. One relates to theology, because it says he says that ‘the Holy Spirit proceeds (ἐκπορεύεσθαι) also from the Son.’

“The other has to do with the divine incarnation, because he has written, ‘The Lord, as man, is without original sin.’

“With regard to the first matter, they (the Romans) have produced the unanimous documentary evidence of the Latin fathers, and also of Cyril of Alexandria, from the sacred commentary he composed on the gospel of St. John. On the basis of these texts, they have shown that they have not made the Son the cause of the Spirit — they know in fact that the Father is the only cause of the Son and the Spirit, the one by begetting and the other by procession; but [they use this expression] in order to manifest the Spirit’s coming-forth (προϊέναι) through him and, in this way, to make clear the unity and identity of the essence….

“The Romans have therefore been accused of things of which it is wrong to accuse them, whereas of the things of which the Byzantines have quite rightly been accused (viz., Monothelitism), they have, to date, made no self-defense, because neither have they gotten rid of the things introduced by them...

There are still disputes about his meaning and even the legitimacy of the text but it is a difficulty that need not be a doubt. However as the commentator says:
Quote
What then about the claim that the Latin-speaking Church has not made the Son into a cause of the Spirit when it asserts that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son? How can that claim be squared with the decree of the Second Council of Lyons, that the Holy Spirit “æternaliter ex Patre & Filio, non tanquam ex duobus principiis, sed tanquam ex uno principio, non duabus spirationibus, sed unica spiratione procedit,” i.e., he “proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, not as though from two principles, but as though from a single principle; not with two spirations, but with a single spiration”? Some Orthodox claim that St. Maximus cannot really be defending the filioque in the sense in which that doctrine was understood in the medieval West, because Maximus explicitly affirms that the Father is the only cause in the Trinity; to speak of Father and Son together as constituting a single principle of the Holy Spirit’s procession, as the Council of Lyons does, seems to take away the Father’s position as sole cause.
St. Maximus on the filioque [bekkos.wordpress.com]

Do you understand the "as though from a single principle"? What does that convey? I think it and the filioque are a correct understanding because the Catholic Church:

1. says the Holy Spirit proceeds (ἐκπορεύεσθαι) from the Father
2. does say (single principle) from the Father and the Son: filioque or ex Patre & Filio
3. but does NOT say the Holy Spirit proceeds (ἐκπορεύεσθαι) from the Son

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@Irish_Ruthenian Out of curiosity, are you still a Ruthenian Catholic, or have you gone to the Orthodox Church? It sounded like you were convinced of Orthodoxy.

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