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KostaC, MalpanaGiwargis, OEFNavyVet, Ruthenian1988
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Original Post (Thread Starter)
#422505 06/27/2022 8:26 AM
by Ruthenian1988
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?
Liked Replies
by akemner
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.
4 members like this
by Hutsul
"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."

"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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by ReubenAvalos
I'm Greek Orthodox by baptism.

I have attended a UGCC church for a few years and attended a Byzantjne Catholic church and gone to youth retreats, pilgrimages, etc, for a couple years.

My experience is that the BCC and their people are less latinized and more zealously eastern (I e. No filioque, etc.). My experience is that the BCC is more patristic and traditionally eastern than Greek Orthodox which I found to be pretty modernized and liberal here in the USA (Elder Ephraim's athonite style monasteries excepted of course).

Also, around here (pacific northwest) all the BCC churches were founded by one man who is ultra zealous and eastern minded, which could be a contributing factor.

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