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Hope I'm not beating a dead-horse topic.

When is a Western import to our churches acceptable and when is it a latinization to be tactfully prevented or phased out?

Pews are okay. Statues aren't. We don't want to see Byzantine Catholics get steamrolled by Latin Catholic practices anymore.

Orthodox Catholic has posted about some Orthodox historically adopting Roman Catholic devotions. As Kallistos Ware wrote about Exposition, etc., it's theologically possible, certainly because, according to Catholicism, Catholicism and Orthodoxy are sacramentally the same. But it's not desirable because a rite is a complete set of Christian thought and living.

What about baroque iconostases, as in Catholic and Orthodox churches in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and back in Eastern Europe for that matter, with icons in a Westernized style, not strictly following iconography's rules? Fine with me, but so are iconography's rules.

My quick take:

If it's figural but stays two-dimensional (not statues) and doesn't depict hearts, it's Orthodox and thus okay. But don't do the Stations of the Cross.

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This is not my area of expertise, but, I have somewhat of the same question (though I am hesitant to ask it, I do not want to be mistaken for being offensive).

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"When is a Western import to our churches acceptable and when is it a latinization to be tactfully prevented or phased out?" ( from the above )

This is a never ending question, indeed. The answers are varied and derive from individual opinion...........which raises a valid follow- up question:
Instead of debates about these issues, I would like to know about specific, standardized directives? Instead of local churches and their flocks agonizing over these things, what do the Shepards say? Do the Eastern Catholic hierarchy have rules to be followed here? Are they broadly philosophic or are they specific? Where can they be found? Are they checking up to see if specific guidelines are followed? Are they enforcing directives?

When parishioners are still beating this dead horse, it's s time to examine why it is an open issue.

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New to the forum, but I think this is a great question. As a current (traditional) Latin Catholic and potential “Latin Import” (totally hijacking that term, sorry OP), I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of “pearl clutching” that goes on for traditional Latin Catholics when it comes to the term/buzzword “modernist” and much of that seems to be mirrored in the East with the abominable specter of “Latinization”. I’m not trying to be demeaning, sarcastic, or insulting, but I’m curious where or how one draws the line between them.

I may be 100% off base and implore better minds than mine to gently school me if I am (again, I very sincerely do not mean any insult or harm), but is the line totally subjective or is it more theological than anything else? If it is a theological line, could there not be a justification for some carryover in either direction? I know many Latin Catholics who have benefited a great deal from the Jesus prayer, for example.

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This is truly a complex question which, at first historical glance, EC's tend to be more concerned about than Orthodox.

I grew up in a community where East vs West was strictly defined . . . by those who considered themselves "Eastern."

I rejected the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross etc. because I thought they were Western and didn't belong in our Rite etc.

And I was very wrong to do that.

My question is: If we are going to establish a list of "do's and don't's" re: authentic Eastern Rite practic - who is going to determine that standard? One would think that the ultimate standard would be the practices of Orthodoxy? That always seemed to me to be the right way.

And the Eastern EC's or "Eastern Police" as some call them, have their own list in this respect.

They remind me of the RC gendarmes after the Union of Brest who went to EC parishes with actual batons to threaten and cajole the people to add "and the Son" when they recited the Creed during the Liturgy . . .

Now that seems to be the case in sorts when one mentions the Filioque . . .

Seriously though, I've often heard that the Rosary is a definite Latin practice. Right? Wrong. Not only did St Seraphim of Sarov practiced the Rosary, called by another name (the Rule of the Theotokos - and Latin Saints also didn't like the term "Rosary" either)
he said he had a vision of the Most Holy Mother of God Who indicated to him that her "Rule" of 150 Hail Mary's was more spiritually important for Christians than ANY other Marian prayer!

This sounds like something from a hagiographic text on the life of St Dominic rather than an Eastern Saint!

Stations of the Cross? There are Orthodox parishes who have their own version of them and I helped pay for the publication of one such version a few years back. the Orthodox also have the "Passia" where they will read two chapters on the Passion of Christ from one of the Gospels and then sing an Akathist to the Passion etc. They do this during the first four Sundays of the Great Fast. Some EC's have borrowed this wonderful practice too.

The Ukrainian Saint Dimitry of Rostov borrowed heavily from the West and placed a number of Western devotions within an Eastern liturgical framework. He took the Psalter of the Mother of God by St Bonaventure and divided them up into twenty Kathismata like the Byzantine Psalter with added prayers. This is sung as a service in the Ukrainian and Russian churches. The Russians are particularly fond of this service.

On another thread I know I sounded cynical with respect to one member's concern about his young children being allowed to receive Communion. That is an Eastern practice to be sure, but I think we need to prioritize things and not just walk out of church because it isn't allowed in that parish etc. We have parishes in the Eastern Canadian Eparchy that allow it but others that don't.

It was the Melkite Catholic Church that formally adopted the Feast of Corpus Christi - was that Latinization?

At the Pochayiv Lavra, it was a Greek Catholic, Myron Pototsky, who spent lavishly on decorating it with Baroque-style icons and even statues.

When the Russian Orthodox took it over, there was a petition made by the local priests to the Moscow Synod about the Latin "stuff" that was clearly driving them bananas.

The Synod, interestingly, told them to leave things as they were in no uncertain terms. Even the tomb of Myron Pototsky is there and he is mentioned in the Akathist to the Pochyiv Mother of God.

The Pochayiv Icon, arguably one of the most widely venerated in the Slavic Orthodox world, still has its two Papal crowns sent by Rome itself in the time of Myron Pototsky (who became a member of the Uniat Third Order of the Basilians of St Josaphat).

So, yes, I am cynical about our Eastern Police and the like. And if you wish to argue with me, I wish to argue with you.

Alex

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Well, the " line"  that you wonder about seems to exist only in the mind of the person who thinks it important. And that's probably why there are no specific directives. There is no real boundary line between East and West, neither geographic nor religious, especially when it comes to Eastern Europe. We find ourselves wanting to be purists, holding to our true identity, which we believe must be purged of other influences.. But, perhaps, our true identity as Easternn Catholics is just as it exists today, a mixture of influences. And is that so bad? We should be grateful of our Orthodox theology and also grateful that we are part, an important part, of the Universal Church.


As for the terms " Latinization", "Modernization" and "Westernization", we should be on guard- seeing that these are the very terms vilified by Putin and Patriarch Kyrill. They are notions that signify divisions. They are distinctions that set apart, and not serve to unify. And most importantly, are easily manipulated politically.

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Dear Hutsul,

Brilliantly and succinctly said!

Alex

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