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I'd put money on this one, but how many people have actually visited an Orthodox Church?

We are more like the Orthodox in theology and practice than we are with the Western Catholic Church. Most would be surprised to see that the liturgy is the same, (aside from who is commemorated) and instead of "forever and ever," the Orthodox say "until ages of ages." The first time I went, I was shocked and excited.
Cathy, You are absolutely correct. As much as some of us speak about the fact that liturgically, spiritually and theologically we are the same as our Orthodox Bretheren I am still amazed, although not surprised, whenever I attend an Orthodox DL with someone who has never attended one but has attended a Byzantine Catholic DL they are "shocked and excited". I know in Bridgeport, CT my parents and grandparents were told that the Orthodox were evil..."they stole our people away"...understandable, incorrect, but understandable since Bishop Orestes Chornack was our former administrator and the formation of ACROD was occuring right in our backyard...and the last thing the Catholic Church wanted was another parish leaving. I had the pleasure of attending a local ACROD parish 2 Sundays ago...this time I had 3 parishioners from the closed Holy Trinity parish with me...it was pure joy on their faces when they saw "they are just like us". The priest made mention during the announcements that I had brought a few people with me from Holy Trinity and reminded everyone during his announcements, his parishioners and we outsiders, about the part that Holy Trinity played as the Mother Church to St. John's and how it was Holy Trinity who sent their priest 100 years ago to assist with their founding and serviced them in their "store front" until they were able to get a priest on their own.

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Dear Friends,

Here is an exerpt of an e-mail conversation I had over a year ago, with Fr. Theologos Drakos of Koimisis Greek Orthodox Chruch in Kingston, Ontario Canada.
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Father bless,

Thank you for all this information.
You do refer to the Orthodox, as being the Church for the first thousand years. Would it not be prudent to call it the Holy *Catholic* (not to be confused with Roman or Latin) and Apostolic Church. As I understand it the word Orthodox Church does not exist in scripture.
*Catholic* (katholikos from katholou -- throughout the whole, i.e., universal)

Kissing your right hand,
Brad
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Greetings in the Lord!
You are correct, using the term Catholic would be more correct, but many people do not understand what this word really means, and so I tend to use Orthodox. If I use Catholic, they become confused with the Roman Catholic Church.

In Christ,
Fr. Theologos

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Dear Brad,

Thank you for adding this to the thread! smile

In Christ our Lord,
Alice

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Originally posted by djs:
Cathy, I think you make a fine point.

But on that point, I think that there is a broad plan for all of us to reclaim our particular heritage. But, because each parish is different in its history, and its present means, I don't expect that the central administration should even try to micromanage the restoration.

If I compare the present to the days of my youth, what is possible now the difference is remarkable. I couldn't conceive of doing vespers or matins or extended propers thirthy years ago, because the music (and English) was just not available. Now that has changed dramatically. Can all parishes take advantage of it? That depends on the musicianship of the cantors. But the possibilities for cantor traning have dramatically changed as well. (Not to mention deacon training.) Many churches have adopted a far more Eastern look; and there is every reason to expect that over time all will. Even my cradle parish in Johnstown.

It is worthwhile, even while looking to further the objective of reclaiming our heritage, to acknowledge progress and celebrate success.
and

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you seem troubled by many things.
djs,

It nice to that some progress has taken place (i.e. restoration of Vespers as you mentioned in some parishes etc.)

But how can you be pleased that it has taken 30 years! What I am supposed to be happy that maybe by the time I am buried that the royal doors will be open and closed at the proper times and that the word 'orthodox' will be used during Divine Liturgy.

I'm glad that Cathy is troubled about many things and has the courage not to sit like a potted plant and wait thirty years to see if things maybe, just maybe get better.

Also, if you could clarify. In an earlier post on this thread you said that this is a matter to be left up to the Bishops. (I'm paraphrasing)

And then you mention that this should NOT be remedied by central administration.

They seem to contradict if I'm reading it correctly.

mc

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Also, if you could clarify. In an earlier post on this thread you said that this is a matter to be left up to the Bishops. (I'm paraphrasing)

And then you mention that this should NOT be remedied by central administration.
If you were to use nouns instead of pronouns there would be less confusion.

The liturgical texts must ultimately be signed off on by the Bishops. I think that the Bishops are in the best position to have the widest input on whether or not a particular word choice is apt to do more good or harm. Similary the broad outlines of what we are doing in restoration may also come from the Bishop. But the tactics for implementing them must be fashioned within each parish, where the individuals are known to each other, as are the details of the parish history and its present resources.

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What I am supposed to be happy that maybe by the time I am buried that the royal doors will be open and closed at the proper times and that the word 'orthodox' will be used during Divine Liturgy
It's all about you. :rolleyes:

This may be hard to grasp in consumer America, but religion is not a branded commodity. Churches are not merely stores, where you go to get something for yourself in some favorite style that you select. They are places of communion and for communion, of Godly services and for Godly service. If you think less about what you want to get, and more about what you want to give, then I think that you will have a better perspective on the significance of the "orthodox" in our texts.

And yes indeed you ought to consider and be happy about the legacy that you will leave for those who come after you.

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The English translation of the word "orthodox" is not worth a big fight. But it is a typical example which illustrates a serious problem, still holding back the Ruthenian Church in the U.S.

What I don't understand is if the Melkite people have accepted it as a good English translation of "orthodoxis", and the Romanian Greek Catholic people have accepted it, and if the Ukrainian Greek Catholic people have accepted it, why do they say, "The people will never accept it!"? The evidence is there, it is easily accepted. It is only the leadership that won't accept it. But it is not their fault.

The problem is in the leadership, and a generation of old pastors and bishops who are still living in the fights of the 40s and 50s. They're holding us back. It is time for a new generation of leadership, who aren't still carrying around baggage and "issues" from the middle of the last century.

These senior priests and bishops have given a life time of service, and they deserve to be honored and praised for all their work, sacrifice, and dedication.

It is no criticism of them, to say that they should not have to change gears (mentally and liturgically) when they are in the 70s 80s and 90s. A half century of service deserves nothing but respect! Leave them peacefully in their own comfort zone. If in their old age, they can't use the word "orthodox" where it comes up in the Liturgy, o.k. Their years of service has earned them that priviledge.

But, we're not in the 1950's now! Our Church needs to grow up, and live its present, and prepare for its future. We can't wait for the senior clergy to let go. Demographically, there is a clergy 'buble' ordained in the 50's and educated then. But, this is 2006, and it's time the younger generation (even if they are fewer in number) to take the initiative, and speak for the needs of now.

It's not about the correct translation of words, that is only an illustration of the problem, it is not the problem.

The issue is much more important, much deeper, and much more critical to our future as a Church. It's time to grow up, and stop living in the past.

Nick

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The English translation of the word "orthodox" is not worth a big fight.
Agreed.
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But it is a typical example which illustrates a serious problem, still holding back the Ruthenian Church in the U.S
Which is what, exactly? And holds us back from what, exactly?

Actually, I think it's the other way around. Elevating it to the level of "serious problem" illustrates a problem.

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What I don't understand is if the Melkite people have accepted it as a good English translation of "orthodoxis", and the Romanian Greek Catholic people have accepted it, and if the Ukrainian Greek Catholic people have accepted it, why do they say, "The people will never accept it!"?
Who is "they"? Btw do you know the history of the legal wrangling over the use of this word, exclusively AFAIK, in the BCC. If so, then what is so hard to understand?

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Originally posted by djs:

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What I don't understand is if the Melkite people have accepted it as a good English translation of "orthodoxis", and the Romanian Greek Catholic people have accepted it, and if the Ukrainian Greek Catholic people have accepted it, why do they say, "The people will never accept it!"?
Who is "they"?
"They" are the priests and bishops who use the "people" as the reason not to accurately translate the word "orthodox". The senior priests and bishops who say "we can't have that, because the "people" won't accept it.

My point, is that the people will accept it.

Nick

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Nick, FWIW, my opinion it that, as you say, the people would accept it. But we may be wrong - I haven't made a scientific survey of the matter. I have to admit that the priests and Bishops, who together have much more contact than I, may actually know the flock better. I really doubt they are using the people as an excuse.

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What elevates this to a serious problem is that growing numbers of parishioners who are educated in the history of the Byzantine Church are asking why it has taken us 30+ years to get a tenth of where the Pope said we need to be -- reclaiming our liturgical practices. We've basically been instructed by Rome to look backward to what we once had, so that we may move forward again.
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DJS wrote: Churches are not merely stores, where you go to get something for yourself in some favorite style that you select. They are places of communion and for communion, of Godly services and for Godly service. If you think less about what you want to get, and more about what you want to give, then I think that you will have a better perspective on the significance of the "orthodox" in our texts.
DJS, with all due respect, I don't think that's what Michael Cerularius was hoping for. I think we can all agree there's too much liturgically left open to intretation on the parish level.

As an example, why is one priest denying infants communion? He openly will not baptize children with all three Holy Mysteries. That's called a smorgashbord church, excatly what I think we're saying we don't agree with. In this particular case, I know that this parish prides itself on being Latinized. Their attitude is, "If I don't like something, I tell the priest and he doesn't do it." Sorry, but there should be no arguments about Liturgy or the sacraments. That should come from the top.

We can argue all we want over one word, orthodox, it just comes down to the internal conflict going on within the Byzantine Church....are we Orthodox or are we Catholic. The answer is both, and if we're going to acknowledge the Catholic portion during our beloved Divine Liturgy, we also need to acknowledge the Orthodox portion.

As I read in another forum from someone who is leaving the Roman Catholic Church to become Byzantine, "....we have the best of both worlds, we get to be Orthodox and Catholic."

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Originally posted by djs:
Nick, FWIW, my opinion it that, as you say, the people would accept it. But we may be wrong - I haven't made a scientific survey of the matter. I have to admit that the priests and Bishops, who together have much more contact than I, may actually know the flock better. I really doubt they are using the people as an excuse.
Maybe one of the "Byzantine Catholic Forum's Opinion Polls" would objectively settle that question?

I admire the fact that you think the Bishops have a lot of contact with the people. My fear is that they are isolated, insulated, and altogether out of touch.

Nick

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Originally posted by Cathy:
....are we Orthodox or are we Catholic. The answer is both, and if we're going to acknowledge the Catholic portion during our beloved Divine Liturgy, we also need to acknowledge the Orthodox portion.

As I read in another forum from someone who is leaving the Roman Catholic Church to become Byzantine, "....we have the best of both worlds, we get to be Orthodox and Catholic."
Well said, Cathy!

Nick

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Nick, such a poll was done before, but surely you don't suggest that sampling the opinions of ~30 people here has any value in representing the whole church. I think, btw, that priests know their parishiones and that that that knowledge normally gets to the boss.

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I don't think that's what Michael Cerularius was hoping for
I hope you are right Cathy. Some people are very clear that what they are hoping for is first and foremeost for the church, others never make that clear.

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That's called a smorgashbord church
I think there is a balance to be struck on issues of local versus central control. Personally, I would put a higher prioritry on restoration of infant communion. But I can sympathize with the priest in this situation who evidently is facing an stiff-necked flock.

A question that you might like to ask yourself is this: how long did it take the people who left us to form the ACROD to restore infant communion? What was the sequence and chronology of their process of de-latinization?

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We can argue all we want over one word, orthodox, it just comes down to the internal conflict going on within the Byzantine Church....are we Orthodox or are we Catholic
Actually I think the point that's been made is that it that it's a bit odd to argue at all about that word.

As to what we are, I think that we are, just what we have been: Greek Catholics. Some may think we need to ape the Latins, others think that we need to copy some Orthodox jurisdiction or another. What we need to do, IMO, is to shoulder the responsibility of being a sui juris church: discern what is best for the souls of our church from the 200,000 opinions on the subject, and govern ourselves accordingly.

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The liturgical texts must ultimately be signed off on by the Bishops. I think that the Bishops are in the best position to have the widest input on whether or not a particular word choice is apt to do more good or harm. Similary the broad outlines of what we are doing in restoration may also come from the Bishop. But the tactics for implementing them must be fashioned within each parish, where the individuals are known to each other, as are the details of the parish history and its present resources.


So that's why rubrics exist for example? So that each parish can pick what they want. It comes down to the fact that I disagree with you and your cafeteria like logic.

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It's all about you.


I'm flattered that you think that I came up with the instructions to such things like when the Royal Doors should be opened and closed.

But that's a typical Modernist accusation when one brings up tradition and disagrees with flavor of the decade liturgical pratices.


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If you think less about what you want to get, and more about what you want to give, then I think that you will have a better perspective on the significance of the "orthodox" in our texts.
Maybe if the Modernists didn't take away so much of our tradition I wouldn't be here saying "what I want". However, the reality is that your arugent falls apart when you consider that I wasn't even alive when "what I want" was put into practice and followed for hundreds of years.

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And yes indeed you ought to consider and be happy about the legacy that you will leave for those who come after you.
I can't believe it's not obvious to you that this is what this is all about, what will we leave the next generation? A restored Byzantine church or a half-heart failed attempt at Eastern Christianity?

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Originally posted by djs:
[QUOTE]

The liturgical texts must ultimately be signed off on by the Bishops.
Dear DJS,

Are you talking about the revised, edited, feminized and neutered liturgical texts, discussed on this forum? Or are you talking about any liturgical texts in general?

Nick

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