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Normally I wouldn't advocate for this. But given the almost identical nature, wouldn't it make sense for the Ruthenian Church to assimilate into the Ukranian Greek Catholic Church? It would be beneficial for them as their numbers and presence would grow fairly substantially and would put us Ruthenians under the omophorion of Patriarch Shevchuk. It's a win-win no matter how I look at it.

It'd be one thing if I was arguing for the Ruthenians to join the Melkite Church, since there are enough differences in practice and culture that would make it impossible. But the Ruthenians and Ukranians are functionally the same.

What are your thoughts?

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I disagree on being functionally the same. We tried being in the same jurisdiction before. It was not a good situation for either side. Ukrainians are generally too ethnically tied to being Ukrainian or at least they are ethnically more homogeneous, whereas in the BCC, the ethnicity is more superficial and has a longer history of being multi-ethnic. Initially we were Rusyn, Hungarian, Croatian (Catholic Serbs), Slovak, and even arguably Romanian. At this point, the BCC is not really that culturally close to the average Ukrainian parish, especially the further West in the US you go. We have blacks, Hispanics, Anglo/Irish/German-Americans, and the Rusyn identity is basically pyrohies, holubkies, and a smattering of Church Slavonic and paraliturgical folk hymns.


Historically the Ruthenian Church has never been ecclesiastically aligned, under, or with the Ukrainian GCC/Kyivan Church, or at least not since the 13th Century, being directly under Constantinople, then Serbia until Union of Uzhhorod. Historically, Rusyns had closer ties to the Romanians (Wallachia) and the Serbs than Galicians, even though the two groups are culturally very similar (but not the same, and it is like saying the Moscovites and Ukrainians are the same).

The reality is, for us to be assumed into another Church either makes no sense, or it makes as much difference to go Melkite or Romanian as it does Ukrainian. All three are more ethnically homogeneous, and have the same pluses and minuses. The biggest one, in my experience, is language (even among Melkites who cannot get along if you don't speak the right kind of Arabic). And when there is English, are different translations, different music and even different ways of how the services are celebrated (even between the Ruthenians and the Ukrainians, who are not close enough in this regard to keep from stumbling when going from one to the other). I speak from my experience-our community has Melkite and Ruthenian services, and we have folks from the UGCC, Melkite, BCC and Romanian GCC in our mission.

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There is a Ukrainian Catholic parish a few miles from our Ruthenian one, and it is so heavily latinized that I would rather we just stay separate.

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akemner:
"Ukrainians are generally too ethnically tied to being Ukrainian or at least they are ethnically more homogeneous, whereas in the BCC, the ethnicity is more superficial and has a longer history of being multi-ethnic."

LionHippo44:
"There is a Ukrainian Catholic parish a few miles from our Ruthenian one, and it is so heavily latinized that I would rather we just stay separate."


I have been pondering these observations from above.......... I tend to think that there is a lot of truth in these two statements and I believe there is a "connection" between them.
First, let me emphasis that I am a Ukrainian Greek Catholic, so I am being self- introspective.

It has been my experience that many Ukrainian Catholics put more emphasis on their cultural identity than their Eastern Christian identity (of course, I am speaking of here in the USA.) The average UC's feathers are less ruffled by a church statue, than cancelling pysanky classes. Humorous, but sort of true.

The reasons for this are debatable, but certainly, the top of the list must include the sparse religious education found in most of our churches. Whatever the reasons, the situation presents ominous consequences. In a county that truly is a " melting pot" of cultures, our children marry out of old ethnic boundaries. Our congregations shrink and we wonder why. Perhaps an over-emphasis on ethnicity is noncontructive where ethnicity is destined to be diluted.
Whatever the case, at least here in the USA, our people need to recognize our unique religious practices as a priority, and educate our children about them. Ethnicity can then be appreciated in the more important context.

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I've not been to a Ukranian Church so that's interesting to hear, in an unfortunate sorta way.

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Christ is in our midst!!

I am not either Ukrainian Greek Catholic or Ruthenian Catholic so please do not take offense at my observations.

I think it would be beneficial if there were some sort of working relationship that allowed both sui juris Churches to cooperate on matters that are common to both, yet leave the administrative structures alone. For example, why can there not be a common catechism that would be used by both Churches? Both are Byzantine; both Slavic; both Catholic. Is the way the Faith is viewed so different that this could not be done? Both Churches derive their liturgical books from research done in Rome and published in 1940--a Slavic recension of the Byzantine tradition. Is it not possible to find a common translation that would be used by both Churches? There has been some translation work done here on this forum by our administrator and others that could be a starting point.

In the Latin Church in the United States, we have a common liturgical usage in every parish, but that does not make every parish identical. We have parishes that are very close to an ethnic past while others are devoid of that "flavor," if you will. It seems to me, then, with all of us shedding young people it might be well to find ways to support and encourage each other.
It doesn't mean we need to lose who we are, but it does mean we need to have a common witness to what makes us the strong witness to Christ that we ought to be.

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He is and shall be!

Theophan, it would be optimal if all the Byzantine rite Churches could get along and share resources, have a common translation with Greek/Russian/Ruthenian differences noted (like Byzantine Daily Worship). Alas, there are powers that would rather see us divided, whether for spiritual reasons, or the fear that the ethnic/cultural aspects would be diluted to nothing, or for some other reason. There just is no energy to do so even though maybe Region XV of the USCCB could do something more other than have lunch in St Louis every year.

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Christ is in our midst!!

akemner,

A demonstration I saw once using pencils shows the future. One pencil can easily be snapped and broken. A handful of pencils--say 2 dozen--cannot be broken. Enough said.

Sad that there are those who would rather go down fighting to defend a corner of the room rather than the whole room. But that is the way we humans we choose to operate.

Decades ago I was on a team that wanted to bring first class health insurance to our professional group that covers a large number of counties and approximately a 75 mile radius. We all had to be on board or the insurance company was not interested. We had one holdout and the whole deal fell through. Same thing.

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I'd like to see the Pittsburgh metropolita, Prešov metropolita and the Mukačevo eparchia combined into one sui iuris church. And maybe throw the Hungarian church in as well.

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From what I read in Italian Wikipedia, the Albanian Greek Catholic Church is no longer considered a sui iuris church. Supposedly, the 2020 Pontifical Yearbook no longer lists it as such. Can anyone corroborate this?

With regards to combining sui iuris churches, the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church is interesting in that it is already a combination of multiple Patriarchates. Officially, these include Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem but technically its territory also contains that of Constantinople's. Do the Greeks and Arab Melkites have differences other than language? Having a separate Greek Apostolic Exarchate of Constantinople and Melkite Patriarchal Exarchate of Istanbul seems moot at this point.

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I can find no evidence that the Apostolic Administration of Souther Albania has been surpressed. Whether it should have been claimed to be the only jurisdiction of the Albanian Greek Catholic Church sui iuris is questionable. Of 11 parishes in the territory only one, that of Elbasan, is Byzantine.

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