www.byzcath.org
Does anyone know how many Bi-Ritual Roman Catholic priests currently serve in the Sui Juris Metropolitan Byzantine Church of America?

Ungcsertezs
Is the percentage over 50%?

U-C
I bet it is in the eparchy of Van Nuys. smile
U-C,

You will have to define your terms better. Presently, in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh 24 Latin diocesan and religious priests have bi-ritual faculties. 6 religious and 4 diocesan and serve as pastors or adminstrators. So that leaves 14 that can fill in during illness or vacation, but that does not indicate availability.

In the Eparchy of Parma lists 19 Latin priests, 12 religious, 7 diocesan, with bi-ritual faculties. It does not appear any serve as pastors.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Originally Posted by Jim
I bet it is in the eparchy of Van Nuys. smile

Actually, Jim, your "bet" is wrong. The majority of our parsihes are served by incardinated priests. Although a few of these were at one time Latin priests, they are now subjects of the Eparch of Van Nuys, and no longer "on loan" from a Latin Bishop.

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
U-C,

You will have to define your terms better. Presently, in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh 24 Latin diocesan and religious priests have bi-ritual faculties. 6 religious and 4 diocesan and serve as pastors or adminstrators. So that leaves 14 that can fill in during illness or vacation, but that does not indicate availability.

In the Eparchy of Parma lists 19 Latin priests, 12 religious, 7 diocesan, with bi-ritual faculties. It does not appear any serve as pastors.

Fr. Deacon Lance

They number 24 out how many total active priests in the Archeparchy?

Ungcsertezs
Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Originally Posted by Jim
I bet it is in the eparchy of Van Nuys. smile

Actually, Jim, your "bet" is wrong. The majority of our parsihes are served by incardinated priests. Although a few of these were at one time Latin priests, they are now subjects of the Eparch of Van Nuys, and no longer "on loan" from a Latin Bishop.

Aren't both Bishop Skura of Van Nuys and Bishop Kurdick or Parma bi-ritual or having originally been Roman Rite priests before becoming Byzantine?
Of course, they may be incardinated, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they went to the Byzantine seminary, so they more than likely have gotten on-the-job training if they came over from the Latin church. There are at least 4 out of 14 parishes I can think of whose priests did not receive their formal education in the Byzantine seminary.
"Aren't both Bishop Skura of Van Nuys and Bishop Kurdick or Parma bi-ritual or having originally been Roman Rite priests before becoming Byzantine?"


Bishop John was originally Byzantine then became Latin in order to enter the TOR. He subsequently left the TOR and reincardinated in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. Bishop William was always Byzantine. You may be thinking of the fact that he was a Byzantine Franciscan but left the OFM and incardinated in the Eparchy of Van Nuys.
Bishop Skura of Van Nuys was ordained as a member of an institute of consecrated life (I am not sure which).

Bishop Kurdick or Parma was ordained a priest with Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Penance.

I do not know which ritual church they were raised in or what their canonical background was.

Just curious, where is this thread going?

(And Father Deacon posted his above response 3 minutes before I was done looking up mine. LOL.)
I know there are many Bi-Ritual priests that serve the Archeparchy and Metropolia. I'm trying to get a ballpark figure.

Ungcsertezs
U-C,

Again 24 have the faculties, only 10 serve the Archeparchy. The Archeparchy has 44 active priets + 6 priests of other Eparchies serving.

Having faculties and serving are two different things. Most Latin bishops, since they have their own shortages, are unwilling to let their priests get bi-ritual faculties or let those who have them use them. For instance, the greater Pittsburgh area has the greatest concentration of Byzantine Catholics, yet the Latin Diocese of Pittsburgh has only 1 bi-ritual priest and I don't know if he ever gets a chance to serve in a Byzantine parish. Most coverage for illnesses and vacations come from the Seminary staff and a couple religious with bi-ritual faculties.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Of the number of active priests serving the entire Metropolia, how many are now incardinated Roman Catholic priests?

Ungcsertezs
U-C,

I only know the number for the Archeparchy, which has 60 active priests serving. 44 of the Archeparchy, 6 of other Eparchies, 10 of Latin Dioceses and Religious Orders.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Corrections: (From my old proof reading days)
It's Bishop John Kudrick, and Bishop William Skurla

I also wonder where this thread is heading -- We had a bi-ritual priest here in Ft. Myers (Fr. Joe ) until his bishop moved him to another parish, too far away for a Sunday commute. I think you will find that most bi-ritual priests really have a deep love for our Byzantine Rite.

While you are searching -- how about asking how many priests from Russia or the Ukraine serve in our parishes. A few years ago at Otpust, I met a young priest from Parma Eparchy who came over to the U.S. to help.
I only ask this question to see how the Metropolia is dependent upon the use of Bi-Ritual priests.

U-C
Not Too Shabby Greek Catholics [blog.ancient-future.net]

We do of course have many deacons that have been ordained, and many candidates in formation at this time. When counting the clergy up, we should count them, and take a look at the numbers we have and consider their diverse backgrounds. The deacon at my parish is a convert - from protestantism. He did not pass Rome, did not collect $200 - he converted to the Catholic Faith into our Church.

Let us hope, that these formations lead to priestly ordinations, including married candidates, as the survival of the Metropolia is at stake.

U-C
Originally Posted by Ung-Certez
Let us hope, that these formations lead to priestly ordinations, including married candidates, as the survival of the Metropolia is at stake.

U-C


Eventually I suspect some will...

But the survival of the Metropolia has also a good deal to do with the number on the other side of the icon screen. 5 married men on evry altar doesn't go terribly far if it is only 5 clergy spouses in the congregation!

Let's pray for vocations and faithfull.
...but not to ordain married canidates is a mistake, a mistake that should finally be corrected.

Ungcsertezs

Ungcsertezs,

It is being corrected... But again, evangelism and praying for membership is also of paramount importance.

3 priests and 6 deacons per parish would only mean so much, if there are only a handful on the other side of the icon screen.

Simple
Three genuinely committed priests and six genuinely committed deacons would make a huge, positive difference in almost any parish. Bring them on!

The only bi-ritual priest I know of in Ireland hasn't served a Divine Liturgy in decades. Rarely (once every 3 years or so0 he turns up and attends the Divine Liturgy here in Dublin.

Fr. Serge
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
In the Eparchy of Parma lists 19 Latin priests, 12 religious, 7 diocesan, with bi-ritual faculties. It does not appear any serve as pastors.

Fr. Deacon Lance

My last move in the military brought me to the St. Louis area: Our "mission parish" (which is 30 years old) has 5 bi-ritual priests who rotate to serve our parish. None were originally Byzantine. I'm not sure what you mean by your last sentence . . .
Originally Posted by Priest's Grandson
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
In the Eparchy of Parma lists 19 Latin priests, 12 religious, 7 diocesan, with bi-ritual faculties. It does not appear any serve as pastors.

Fr. Deacon Lance

My last move in the military brought me to the St. Louis area: Our "mission parish" (which is 30 years old) has 5 bi-ritual priests who rotate to serve our parish. None were originally Byzantine. I'm not sure what you mean by your last sentence . . .


It is no affront to the men who so generously serve our good people, I am sure. While they are serving pastorally, they are not appointed to the office.

One Ruthenian priest I know of has served the local Ukrainian parish during different periods when they were between pastors. While he was the one who was celebrating the mysteries with and for them for (at times) months at a stretch, he was never understood to be the pastor.
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
One Ruthenian priest I know of has served the local Ukrainian parish during different periods when they were between pastors. While he was the one who was celebrating the mysteries with and for them for (at times) months at a stretch, he was never understood to be the pastor.

I guess I just don't understand what you mean . . . this mission parish has existed for 30 years and has ONLY had bi-ritual priests serving in rotation. One is the lead, who works with the Eparchy.

Dave
What I mean is he was/they are not appointed by the bishop as the full time pastor.
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
What I mean is he was/they are not appointed by the bishop as the full time pastor.

Ah. Thanks!

That would be difficult, as he's got his own full-time parish.

Dave
Is that the Ruthenian Mission at the Bl John XXIII center, which used to have Liturgy at the Blessed Virgin's Chapel in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis?
Originally Posted by Dr. Eric
Is that the Ruthenian Mission at the Bl John XXIII center, which used to have Liturgy at the Blessed Virgin's Chapel in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis?

Yes! And we hope to have a new website up soon . . .

Dave
Originally Posted by Priest's Grandson
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
What I mean is he was/they are not appointed by the bishop as the full time pastor.

Ah. Thanks!

That would be difficult, as he's got his own full-time parish.

Dave


I wasn't clear when I wrote "One Ruthenian priest I know of has served the local Ukrainian parish during different periods when they were between pastors. While he was the one who was celebrating the mysteries with and for them for (at times) months at a stretch, he was never understood to be the pastor."

During those times of serving the UGCC parish, this priest was the pastor of OUR parish a few miles down the street. My example didn't make that clear. So even though Father was found every sunday at the UGCC parish at 9 for months at a stretch, he wasn't their pastor... He already had us!

To be clear, we appreciate and love all of the gentle priests who have helped us out.
Originally Posted by Priest's Grandson
Originally Posted by Dr. Eric
Is that the Ruthenian Mission at the Bl John XXIII center, which used to have Liturgy at the Blessed Virgin's Chapel in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis?

Yes! And we hope to have a new website up soon . . .

Dave

Dave,

I have attended there about 5 times.

I usually attended Assumption UGCC in South St. Louis on Oak Branch near I-55 and Lindberg. That is until I moved here to Indy.

God Bless You,

Dr. Eric
Originally Posted by Dr. Eric
Originally Posted by Priest's Grandson
Originally Posted by Dr. Eric
Is that the Ruthenian Mission at the Bl John XXIII center, which used to have Liturgy at the Blessed Virgin's Chapel in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis?

Yes! And we hope to have a new website up soon . . .

Dave

Dave,

I have attended there about 5 times.

I usually attended Assumption UGCC in South St. Louis on Oak Branch near I-55 and Lindberg. That is until I moved here to Indy.

God Bless You,

Dr. Eric

Thank you. Next time you're in town, visit for a Liturgy. The Center recently gave us three classrooms on the opposite side of the building from the Adoration Chapel where we were meeting . . . which is really great, because now we don't have to "convert" the chapel before Liturgy, and we don't have to tear it all down again afterwards. Our icons have gotten pretty banged up from all the movement over the years.

Dave
By any chance was Father Patrick Hoffman, of blessed memory, one of the bi-ritual priests who served your parish? He and I were friends since we were both deacons.

Fr. Serge
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
By any chance was Father Patrick Hoffman, of blessed memory, one of the bi-ritual priests who served your parish? He and I were friends since we were both deacons.

Fr. Serge

I only moved to the St. Louis area two years ago . . . but the name isn't familiar. I'll ask around.

Dave
Dave,
The web site for the St. Louis Byzantine Catholic Church is now up and running, and is located at: www.stlouis.byzcath.org [stlouis.byzcath.org]

Marilyn
I'll say this much: the number of Bi-Ritual Priests is growing in Tennessee. a few more Latins are undergoing training to serve in Knoxville and Nashville Dioceses. I only wish a certain Latin Priest in Chattanooga, whose uncle was a Ruthenian Priest (and from I heard Divine Liturgy at OLPH in Chattanooga)Father Emil (eternal memory),would undergo training, and be available for any ECs in Chattanooga. GOD speed the day.
Much Love,
Jonn


Seems that this is the only way the "Sui Juris Metropolitan Byzantine Church of America" can gain priests. Will this practice be enough to sustain the churches in the next ten years?

U-C
Originally Posted by MarilynH
Dave,
The web site for the St. Louis Byzantine Catholic Church is now up and running, and is located at: www.stlouis.byzcath.org [stlouis.byzcath.org]

Marilyn

The Cantor at the mission is very very good!
Are all those priests that serve the mission from that particular St. Louis RC Center? Any of them incardinated into the Parma Eparchy?

Ung
Originally Posted by Ung-Certez
Seems that this is the only way the "Sui Juris Metropolitan Byzantine Church of America" can gain priests. Will this practice be enough to sustain the churches in the next ten years? U-C

Not the only way, but one way. Some of our best pastors have been biritual priests.

Nick
Originally Posted by Ung-Certez
Seems that this is the only way the "Sui Juris Metropolitan Byzantine Church of America" can gain priests. Will this practice be enough to sustain the churches in the next ten years?

U-C


That is really only part of the equation.

About 55 minutes from me, the offices of The Coming Home Network can be found in Zanesville, OH. It assists clergy of non-Catholic communities who are in the process of becoming Catholic. (And in fact there are hundreds of them out there that have made or are making that journey.)

If today our bishops made it known that should these men and their families enter the Church via the East, presbyteral ordination was a real possibility without making a fuss of the Pastoral Provision (which technically does not apply to Evangelicals and the like) we could have 20 men in formation tomorrow. Question is, where do you put them, how do you support them.

Canon law is pretty clear that the Church is obligated to support them and their families. Additionally it has been explained to me that a nuance of canon law (with which I agree) is that you have no rights to sign away your rights. That is to say it would not be possible to say "Don't worry, I don't need a salary and will never ask for one, I waive my right to support." You can't waive it. And this is good, it precludes coercion or the creation of a class of people with fewer rights. (Think of it as being like minimum wage. You can't tell your employer and the state, it is OK, you will work for $3.00 an hour!)

This was an issue with an Orthodox priest who approached our bishop to be incardinated assuring the bishop that he would not be asking for a salary, he would just like to be rostered and be permitted to concelebrate DL or occasionally fill in for Father when he is away... Again though, should his circumstances change, and his secular employment come to an end, he would have the right to demand an assignment and an income from the eparchy. Our church operates on a $12K a month budget, we simply don't have that.

Would we start to supply our priests to the Romans as bi-rituals then? I am aware of one UGCC priest who helps to support himself and his family offering Mass at a local latin parish in a diocese that needs the extra help. I don't know that I would count on a lot of Roman enthusiasm accross the board for such a proposition.

Same issue for the oodles and oodles of new deacons that have been more recently ordained. A good number of them would make fine priests (I can name several off the top of my head!). Ordaining them is not the problem. Paying them kinda is.

Alternately, we could call up some diocese in Africa, Asia or even Latin America where the roof is coming off the seminaires, they are so packed full of men in priestly formation and do some borrowing if needs be... That has its own sets of issues.

But it is kind of a "what comes first, the chicken or the egg?" sort of proposition. Would we have more congregants who were better supporting the church if we had more priests?

The local OCA parish in this city is just about the size of the BCC. They have four attached priests, three of whom as I understand work full time secular jobs. There numbers have, as I understand, remained fairly steady. The local Antiochian priest has been forced to remain a school teacher as well. There is nothing wrong with this at all, but it is, from the perspective of our bishops, not an ideal or (again, given the right of a priest to get paid) a viable option.

In the end the only two things I KNOW for sure is 1) it is very complicated 2) I am grateful I am not a bishop.
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
If today our bishops made it known that should these men and their families enter the Church via the East, presbyteral ordination was a real possibility without making a fuss of the Pastoral Provision (which technically does not apply to Evangelicals and the like) we could have 20 men in formation tomorrow. \

It's not quite that simple, apparently. This came up in our parish.

A Lutheran convert must first convert to RC, and then switch to an EC rite. The local RC bishop (Pepe, Las Vegas) signs these as soon as they hit his desk.

Then again, locally, Byzantine and Roman have a great working relation. Until he took over our parish (when the bi-ritual RC Franciscan's health demanded his sudden departure), the only actual BC priest in town was assigned to a huge RC church, at which the RC pastor is also the (uhh, vicar? chancellor?), and also to the bi-ritual mission-to-be. So our BC priest works several days a week for the assistant to the RC bishop in his parish, is in charge of the mission and our church, and is also associate pastor for the Greco-Roman-Albanian parish.

It takes a score card to keep track of this . . . smile

hawk
what in the heck is going on?

Dandelion

Henderson,NV
Dochawk,

(This whole issue sounds "Jacked Up!)

Canon law is pretty clear that the Church is obligated to support them and their families. Additionally it has been explained to me that a nuance of canon law (with which I agree) is that you have no rights to sign away your rights. That is to say it would not be possible to say "Don't worry, I don't need a salary and will never ask for one, I waive my right to support." You can't waive it. And this is good, it precludes coercion or the creation of a class of people with fewer rights. (Think of it as being like minimum wage. You can't tell your employer and the state, it is OK, you will work for $3.00 an hour!)

This came up in our parish.

A Lutheran convert must first convert to RC, and then switch to an EC rite. The local RC bishop (Pepe, Las Vegas) signs these as soon as they hit his desk.

Do you think that due to the Canon law a Lutheran convert "has" to become RC 1st, and then EC.?

Do you think the RCC is shifting the monetary responsibility on EC's?
and by shifting the responsibility on the EC's can be another way to get the RCC off of the hook on married clergy
?

apparently?

think politically now

Dandelion
Quote
Canon law is pretty clear that the Church is obligated to support them and their families. Additionally it has been explained to me that a nuance of canon law (with which I agree) is that you have no rights to sign away your rights. That is to say it would not be possible to say "Don't worry, I don't need a salary and will never ask for one, I waive my right to support." You can't waive it.

Actually, I think it can be done. Monsignor Ronald Knox, who was a celibate high-church Anglican priest at Oxford, did make such an arrangement with his prospective bishop upon entering the Catholic Church. He wanted to serve the community at Oxford, rather than be assigned "at random", and for this privilege he agreed not to take any stipend from the bishop.

Of course, he earned his living by writing (as well as serving as chaplain at the university), so that his employment was not incompatible with serving as a Catholic priest, and he had reasonable expectations for deriving income from writing (since he was already being published). At various times, also, some of his (very well-healed) friends would invite him to stay with them for extended periods of time (as, for example, while he translated the Vulgate), etc.


Originally Posted by Michael McD
Quote
Canon law is pretty clear that the Church is obligated to support them and their families. Additionally it has been explained to me that a nuance of canon law (with which I agree) is that you have no rights to sign away your rights. That is to say it would not be possible to say "Don't worry, I don't need a salary and will never ask for one, I waive my right to support." You can't waive it.

Actually, I think it can be done. Monsignor Ronald Knox, who was a celibate high-church Anglican priest at Oxford, did make such an arrangement with his prospective bishop upon entering the Catholic Church. He wanted to serve the community at Oxford, rather than be assigned "at random", and for this privilege he agreed not to take any stipend from the bishop.

Understand that was well over 100 years ago and under a different code of canon law...
SS,

Yes, a bit more like 80, but it was a special situation -- I wasn't trying to deny that.

I have a question also. Marcus Grodi and his apostolate reach out to all who ask for help. If a given minister sought entrance into the Catholic Church by via an Eastern Rite representative, could they not receive/baptize him (and even potentially ordain him) without special arrangements?

Michael
Originally Posted by Michael McD
I have a question also. Marcus Grodi and his apostolate reach out to all who ask for help. If a given minister sought entrance into the Catholic Church by via an Eastern Rite representative, could they not receive/baptize him (and even potentially ordain him) without special arrangements?

Michael


That is a question I have been asking myself. I don't see why not. Some have offered that those coming from the Lutheran or Anglican communities would or should need to enter the Latin Church, but I am not familiar with any official ruling on that. Either way, it leaves wide open the question of what is to be done with "Free Church" and Evangelical type ministers who opt to convert.

As Alex (Orthodox-Catholic) has pointed out, in some areas of the world, Protestants made inroads among Ukrainian communities in some places. Maybe it confuses the question further, but in such cases where say an ethnic Ukrainian had been in a western-style Protestant community and opts to become Catholic, would he (or she) be directed toward a particular church.

There is a smallish Ukrainian Lutheran Church that admixes some elements of Byzantine liturgical practice with Lutheranism...

IMHO, the Catholic church one approaches (or that does the approaching) should be the one to take any given individual coming from an ecclesial community.

Alas, I am not in charge.
SS,

I'm not in charge either (thank God!), but I know of nothing to contradict what you say here. Perhaps there is some sort of modus vivendi among the hierarchs of the different rites, but I am ignorant of it.

I do know that the original approach by the Episcopalians to the Holy See which resulted in the Pastoral Provision envisioned "groups" (parishes, or sub-sets of parishes, dioceses?) converting en masse, and who wanted to preserve the orthodox expressions of their Anglican tradition. I also know that, at the time, the Holy See wanted not to create a precedent or something that would replicate itself (an Anglican Rite might be such a phenomenon) so that required that bishops be found who were willing to give real pastoral assignments to such priests and to provide for their families as well as them.

Whether or not the Holy See continues to have that point of view I don't know -- we'd probably need to talk with a PP priest about that? (Deep down, I kinda hope they do become "self-perpetuating", God bless 'em!)

But the Eastern "Rites" are already of this self-perpetuating nature, so I don't really see a theoretical problem.

Michael
Originally Posted by Dandelion
Dochawk,

Quote
This came up in our parish.

A Lutheran convert must first convert to RC, and then switch to an EC rite. The local RC bishop (Pepe, Las Vegas) signs these as soon as they hit his desk.

Do you think that due to the Canon law a Lutheran convert "has" to become RC 1st, and then EC.?

That is the directive that our priest was given, yes. Neither Bishop Pepe nor Bishop William seems to like paperwork for its own sake, and they both had to be involved with this.

He wasn't sent to RCIA; our parish handled the educational portion. The RC diocese really didn't have involvement beyond the paperwork.

Quote
Do you think the RCC is shifting the monetary responsibility on EC's?
and by shifting the responsibility on the EC's can be another way to get the RCC off of the hook on married clergy
?

apparently?

think politically now

This conversion was laity, though. For the small difference in what married and non-married clergy are paid in the dioceses for which I've seen the number (less than $5k/year, and the extra health insurance costs would be a similar number), I can't imagine that this would stop them from snatching up any acceptable clergy for themselves. The Diocese of Las Vegas, for example, would build 3 more churches in town, iirc, but doesn't have the priests to staff them. (St. Elizabeth is hanging on to Fr. Marcus, our BC priest, for the duration of his contract, even though he now has his own parish [which wasn't expected to occur that suddenly], is in charge of the mission on Mt. Charleston, and is an associate at Our Lady of Wisdom)].

New parishes are packed with full Mass schedules the moment they're built; paying an extra priest if it allowed opening another parish would *not* be a problem.

I just noticed you're in Henderson; what is your regular parish?

hawk
The bi-ritual priests I know are deeply devoted to the byzantine church. My only wish is that all bi-ritual clergy learn to properly chant byzantine style. It is so disconcerting, challenging and difficult to hear latin stle chant and still respond in the byzantine fashion.
I think, perhaps, that the main focus ought to move towards the priest's position within the community. Talk about "assignments" and canonical steps are important, but the absolute critical element is how the man integrates himself (and his family) into the community. This is a cultural phenomenon.

It's the questions of: who is this psalti/cantor and why is he so important?; if we get there by the "Holy, Holy, Holy", we're good to go for 'attending liturgy'?; if we get there before the consecration, is it OK to go to communion?; if I take a sip of tea after midnight, can I still go to communion in the morning; do I have to wear a thing on my head to go inside the church; does the parish festival have to have pierogi/spanakopita/mititei/baklawa to be real?; if the priest is not from ______ (fill in ethnic region), are we still Orthodox/Byzantine?; if there isn't at least some text in _____ (fill in the appropriate language), are we really doing this right?; if the priest isn't related by blood to at least SOMEBODY in the diocese or province, is this OK?

Easterns are by definition, 'clannish'. And it's clear that at least in the ByzCath groups, all the trustees and hierarchy are the ethnics. Among the Greeks, no question at all. (Unless you're hyphenated.) Same with the Ukrainians. Same with the Arabic speaking communities. Among the OCA, there's an admixture, and there appears to be - unfortunately - a variety of theological and ecclesiological perspectives that have led to dissention.

So, it's more than just "some Protestant member of the clergy is wanting to become Eastern Catholic". Whether through the RC channels or directly, there's a cultural issue that needs to be addressed.

Like it or not: The Eastern Churches are a 'koinotis', a community of believers who are joined together by more than just juridical status. Unlike our Western brethren, it's not a question of just filling out the canonical paperwork and switching 'jurisdictions'. It's belonging.

If we Easterns choose to go the way of the Westerns and see 'being a member of the Church' as a legal status, then we will lose the single element that has allowed the Byzantine and Eastern Churches to survive persecution. We need to look at the Book of Ruth: your people will be my people. It's not just the singing or the liturgical proficiency. It's the "being there". And that comes from interfamilial and personal service as part of the community. Not just a priestly or clerical "assignment" to a parish community.

Blessings to all!

Dr John
Originally Posted by Dr John
Like it or not: The Eastern Churches are a 'koinotis', a community of believers who are joined together by more than just juridical status. Unlike our Western brethren, it's not a question of just filling out the canonical paperwork and switching 'jurisdictions'. It's belonging.

If we Easterns choose to go the way of the Westerns and see 'being a member of the Church' as a legal status, then we will lose the single element that has allowed the Byzantine and Eastern Churches to survive persecution. We need to look at the Book of Ruth: your people will be my people. It's not just the singing or the liturgical proficiency. It's the "being there". And that comes from interfamilial and personal service as part of the community. Not just a priestly or clerical "assignment" to a parish community.


Doctor J,

I am not sure that I feel wholly comfortable in ascribing to Eastern Christianity a greater distinctive of what it means to belong above and beyond how people can fit into the Latin Church. On the other hand, Latins have (for good or ill) largely achieved a modicum of success in becoming post-ethnic where any size, shape, color, stripe and flavor walking through the door would well reflect Joyce's oft quoted comment about the Catholic Church "Here come's everybody!"

It begins to sort of beg the question "Can only ethnics from _______ be Orthodox?" as well as "Must one be born into Greek Catholic cultures if one wishes to be Catholic in this fashion?"

To be clear, it is a real and legitimate concearn that those who would join us and possibly serve us should know us well. If a stream of ex-Protestant converts were simply directed to Eastern Chanceries because "they'll take a married guy" that would serve no one well. Just because their circumstances fit, doesn't mean they fit the circumstances. (I was particularly annoyed when it was found out that married Romans had been ordained in secret in Czechoslovakia where shipped off the the Greek Catholic Church after the "fall of the wall". What did that serve? A few married Roman witnesses to the underground church, could be explained away as just that. Why pawn them off on the Eastern Catholics?)

There has, conversely, been some significant challenge in some Orthodox circles with convert clergy. A question how much of this is due to "covert enthusiasm" versus being an outsider to "the ethos" has been raised many times. The conflict of "let's teach those ethnics" versus "he's not one of us!" has been, at times and in places, difficult for some.

I guess Dr. J, I am curious as to what you forsee as America continues to move into a post-ethnic future. Without immigration, is it expected and the natural order of things that the less ethnic one is, the more likely one is to move on to non-Byzantine Churches? (This isn't a trick question, I believe we see this regularly already. Among my Greek Cath Granny's 14 grandkids/great-grandkids, I alone am Greek Catholic.)

I don't know the answer, but I am trying to (with mixed results) straddle the fence on this one and suggest that embracing a church culture is essential, but determining where the church culture ends and ethnicity begins is important as well. How to do that? Give me another 15 years to figure that one out!
Thanks for the words. I understand your points, and I too struggle with them. The Greek Orthodox side of my family attended a certain G.O. parish where the folks were from our part of Greece. (There was a closer G.O. church, but they were 'islanders' [=sorta crazy] ). Folks knew each other and there were various bonds of blood and marriage and 'koumbaro' (=godparent) relationships - enough to make a sociologist weep!

The local R.C. parish was a megachurch. A big Irish Gothic church with a minimum of 8 Masses (upper and lower church) and 2 Masses in the school hall every Sunday. People knew each other from their 'street neighborhoods' and personal friendships, but as a "parish" it was too huge to really be a community. People identified with "Immaculate Conception" or "St. Benedicts" or "St. Josephs", or with their group: Holy Name Society, Sodality, choir, Hibernian Society, Legion of Mary, etc.

It seems to me that viable "parishes" work best when the whole congregation is aware of the other members and has personal relationships with the other members. When there is a problem in a family - illness, loss of job, death in the family, etc. - the whole community is aware and pitches in to do whatever is necessary to help them out.

The 'ethnic identity' element certainly serves as a wonderful cement to bond the group together. But, as you point out with your own Granny's 14 grandkids/great-grandkids, the farther one gets from the sense of ethnic identity, the less likely one is to participate.

I do think that the shared liturgicality and spirituality serves to bring Constantinopolitans/Byzantines to a type of (sometimes grudging) sense of commonality - not just ethnic (i.e., Ukrainians with Byelorussians, with Great Russians, with Ruthenians, with Romanians, etc.) but also inter-church - Orthodox with Catholics, as well as Oriental Orthodox.

When 'non-cradles' and non-ethnics make the Eastern discovery, and determine to join the community (for whatever -hopefully spiritual - reason), they can be put off by the ethnicity elements. Many will stay for a while, and then move on. Others, like in the Book of Ruth, will say "your people will be my people; your God will be my God".

An obstacle is the fact that in the East, there was no Rome to send out the official books and the official saints-calendar. The churches were truly local, i.e., familial and tribal. And liturgical and festal events were dictated by local needs and aspirations. And things varied from 'county' to 'county' and district to district. And someone coming in from 'outside' needed to submit to the mindset and practices of the local parish. When a parish needed a priest, a local farmer was sent to a monastery to learn the services, was ordained, and then was returned to his village where he continued to tend to his farm and celebrated the services. (He couldn't preach and he couldn't hear confessions. The monks came for those purposes.) So, in a nutshell, local communities were the fabric of the church. To envision some 'outsider' being sent to a parish to serve as priest was just basically unheard of.

Yet, in contemporary America - as well as elsewhere - we have taken the image of the priest as the bishop's vicar to oversee the parish community as the model. But the Eastern mindset is like the Gospel: a priest is a man chosen by God FROM AMONG THE PEOPLE, to serve the people in the things that pertain to God. And I understand that as from among 'the local people'. It's not like sending in a civil engineer to assess and repair roads, bridges and sewer systems - where it doesn't matter where he comes from. But a priest, like a physician or a teacher, must be intimately involved with the people s/he serves if there is to be any hope of success in service.


(I am reminded of a story from my Hist. of American Catholicism class in seminary, where a bishop of a major East Coast city (begins with P!) sent an Irish priest to a traditionally German parish. There was, of course no German sermon, and the elder ladies of the parish were incensed enough to flourish their lengthy hat-pins as the poor soul attempted to leave the church building. Lesson #1: NEVER get the elder ladies of a parish ticked off. They're organized and have weapons. Lesson #2: The priest has to have the ability to become part of the parish community and has to work at doing so. Otherwise, he's dead meat.)

So, ideally, our Eastern parishes (jurisdiction unimportant) should be real communities, sometimes cemented with ethnicity of the members and sometimes cemented by spiritual nourishment from a particular historical group. The priest should ideally be either related to the historical ethnic group, or enough of a long-term community member to be able to function as the pro-estos - the leader in the community. Generations of 'priestly-families' in the old countries serves as a pardigm. Or be from an analogous (Eastern) group that shares in the same liturgico-spirituality as the parish community (i.e., a Ukrainian serving a Byelorussian parish, or a Greek serving a Ukrainian parish, etc.)

To bring in the former youth minister of the Screaming Bible Ministries as a newly ordained priest just isn't going to work in the Eastern churches no matter how strong his vocation. And, (and I know this will get me into trouble) I think bringing in R.C. priests because we need someone to say "Mass", isn't good either. Why? Because if we only need to have a canonically ordained priest to "perform" the ceremony, then why maintain our spiritual traditions, let's just buckle under and go to their churches.

Real question: better to have liturgy once a month by one of our own and typika services led by laymen on the other 3 Sundays, or have an outsider come in to preside over a Liturgy?

Blessings!

Dr John
Originally Posted by Dr John
Easterns are by definition, 'clannish'. And it's clear that at least in the ByzCath groups, all the trustees and hierarchy are the ethnics.

This may be true for some Easterns, but this sure isn't my experience with BC (Pittsburgh Metropolia).

I believe an actual majority of my parish (including the *entire* ecf staff) is RC. I have yet to find an BC parish that doesn't actively welcome any visitors--and the uncanny memories of a couple of the priests certainly helps (Fr. Robert Pipka visited my parish months after I went to his church in San Diego once--and remembered my *last* name, which I think would have to have come from the visitor's register, as I'm pretty sure I only introduced myself by my first name. Fr. Stephen (formerly at the pro-cathedral) recognized us the second time we appeared there).

Last Easter at the pro-cathedral, the Gospel was sung in four languages--including Spanish. One of the deacons was quite obviously no more Slavic than I am.

And so forth.

hawk
Does a Roman Catholic priest who receives bi-ritual faculties from a Byzantine Catholic bishop also receive an antimension from that bishop?
Originally Posted by griego catolico
Does a Roman Catholic priest who receives bi-ritual faculties from a Byzantine Catholic bishop also receive an antimension?
Either he or the parish he's pastor of, yes. Sometimes both.
The idea of Bi Ritual clergy is something that troubles me.
Originally Posted by DewiMelkite
The idea of Bi Ritual clergy is something that troubles me.

Is anybody as old as me and remembers the days when bi-ritual priests were almost non-existent. The Vatican saw it as a danger to the spiritual integrity and spiritual development of the priest to live in two worlds and two ethoses.

That thinking has obviously changed. Do we know when it changed and why? And has there been, as once feared, any negative effects on bi-ritual priests? Any studies done on this?
The bi-ritual priest I know was Latin rite and then retired and became bi-ritual, because a byzantine parish needed a priest, so he now serves the Byzantine parish, but still gets his pension from his Latin Diocese, which works out well for the Byz Parish, because they don't have to provide him a salary. But generally speaking he just lives in the Byzantine world now.
Fr. Ambrose,

I am not a priest nor do I know of any studies on this particular issue. However, as a layman I was not able to go back and forth between Divine Liturgy and Mass, or the Byzantine calendar and the Roman calendar. Quite frankly, it gave me a headache.

If a priest has bi-ritual faculties simply to fill in when another priest is sick then I do not feel there is a danger to their spiritual integrity. If a bi-ritual priest is working at both a Roman and Byzantine parish for a long period of time then I definitely think that there is a higher risk of danger.

In Christ through Mary
Originally Posted by DewiMelkite
The idea of Bi Ritual clergy is something that troubles me.

David, my friend,

Periodically, that same comment crops up in EC circles and each time that it does I feel compelled to note that there were Byzantine parishes in this country (not so much of the Ruthenians or Ukrainians, as of the Melkites) that, for long periods, were served by biritual clergy - not infrequently assigned because they were available at the moment, rather than because they sought it out - who did their utmost to fulfill their responsibilities. Often, this was accomplished with little or no formal instruction. Parish histories from the era are replete with anecdotal remembrances, lovingly written, of these priests.

Did they sometimes fail to fulfill their sacerdotal responsibilities according to the letter of Byzantine praxis? Without a doubt. Did they sometimes, from ignorance or lack of knowledge, introduce latinizations or mix rubrics and ritual? Absolutely. Did they yet save parish communities from dissolution? Without a question.

I particularly remember the history of one parish whose long-serving biritual priest was thrilled when Archbishop Joseph, of blessed memory, was appointed Exarch and there was direction and leadership to the Church he had served for many years. Provided the opportunity to receive sound instruction in Byzantine praxis, he jumped at the chance and led his parish in delatinization and furnishing the temple according to traditional Byzantine norms. Reading the history, one could sense the emotion with which the writer spoke of him and the mourning into which the parish entered when he reposed.

May the memory of all those biritual clergy, who cared for our peoples when we lacked sufficient clergy of our own to do so, be eternal.

Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Is anybody as old as me ...

Bless, Father. Umm, the answer to the first half of that is a reluctant 'yes'. As memory serves, there's less than a year separating our length of tooth - and I forget which of us is longer in that regard (but I think it's you biggrin ).

Quote
... and remembers the days when bi-ritual priests were almost non-existent.

Yes, although I think that was more true elsewhere than in the US (the exceptions being the Society, particularly after the Russicum was founded, and the other religious orders that afforded clergy to serve in areas where persecution or a lack of seminaries made it difficult to sustain native clergy).

Quote
The Vatican saw it as a danger to the spiritual integrity and spiritual development of the priest to live in two worlds and two ethoses.

And, I would not disagree. Father Archimandrite Orestes (Karame), of blessed memory, told me of the strain he himself felt in serving the Melkite Church as a Jesuit. Albeit he loved the Society and considered that it had served his Church well, he ultimately felt compelled to request release from it to request incardination to the patriarchal clergy. I do think, however, that his task was more difficult because the Jesuits did not have a great presence in the Churches of the Middle East and that, I suspect, increased the sense of having a foot in each Church, but lacking full belonging to either.

In isolation from others of one's ilk - whichever one considers or wants that to be - it must be extraordinarily difficult to develop and maintain a fully centered spiritual focus. One hopes that the advent of modern communication, the ready availability of resources, and the resultant capability to develop and maintain community with one's fellow clergy, despite separation of time and distance, makes this a barrier more easily overcome than was once the case.

Quote
That thinking has obviously changed. Do we know when it changed and why? And has there been, as once feared, any negative effects on bi-ritual priests? Any studies done on this?

I think when and why probably would trace to the post-Vatican II era, when awareness of the very existence of Eastern and Oriental Christianity became less of a closely guarded ethnic secret (some good things came of that Council, despite the unintentional but more heralded unhappiness and discord for which it's most often cited). Personally, I am unaware of any notably negative effects on such priests, though it's a given that there have been some few instances in which some have taken on the mantle because it was 'a thing to do' - a quirky sort of fad. But, all of us, Catholic and Orthodox, have encountered that in converts or transferees and yet survived; the potential for it to negatively affect us is certainly greater in the case of clergy than laypersons who 'try us out' and seek to be 'more ___ , than the ______' but the number of clergy at whose door that charge can be laid is infinitely less, even proportionately, than the number of laity - so I don't think it is a lasting concern in that respect.

Without dredging through journals on the sociology of religion, I suspect it would be rather difficult to ascertain whether there have been meaningful studies done on the matter. That the question involves such a relatively minute slice of the clerical population doesn't preclude the possibility that someone, somewhere, has studied it - because, as we well know, social scientists like nothing more than to study some phenomenon that has escaped the notice of their peers - nothing like being the first on your block to raise a question and posit an answer - but I've not run across any such.

Many years,

Neil
Quote
Periodically, that same comment crops up in EC circles and each time that it does I feel compelled to note that there were Byzantine parishes in this country (not so much of the Ruthenians or Ukrainians, as of the Melkites) that, for long periods, were served by biritual clergy - not infrequently assigned because they were available at the moment, rather than because they sought it out - who did their utmost to fulfill their responsibilities. Often, this was accomplished with little or no formal instruction. Parish histories from the era are replete with anecdotal remembrances, lovingly written, of these priests.
Did they sometimes fail to fulfill their sacerdotal responsibilities according to the letter of Byzantine praxis? Without a doubt. Did they sometimes, from ignorance or lack of knowledge, introduce latinizations or mix rubrics and ritual? Absolutely. Did they yet save parish communities from dissolution? Without a question.
.

Your comment reminds me of what is mentioned in the history of Saint Andrew's Russian Catholic Church in El Segundo, CA.

Quote
But, as vigorous as life was at St. Andrew's during the 1970's and early 1980's, the shortage of Russian Catholic priests continued to make the congregation's future precarious. That was made clear once again when Fr. Wilcock passed away at the age of 78 on Jan. 25, 1985. If anything, the crisis of the mid-'80s was the most serious the parish had yet encountered. Unlike developments in the wake of Fr. Brannigan's death, there was no obvious long-term successor this time. A less-determined congregation might well have scattered. But, as it had throughout its history, St. Andrew's continued to believe in the unique witness with which it had been entrusted, and, with the help of Deacon Gabriel Seamore, persevered in the face of uncertainty.

Finally, in July 1985, the Very Reverend Lawrence Dominik, an archpriest working in the Russian section of Vatican Radio, was asked by Russian officials in Rome to assume responsibility for St. Andrew's. Fr. Dominik remained for a year, until July 1986, and then returned to Rome. Once again, Deacon Gabriel took over and secured priests to celebrate Sunday Liturgies - an improvised situation that persisted until the summer of 1987. Remarkably, in all those years of doubt following the death of Fr. Wilcock, St. Andrew's managed not to miss celebrating a single Sunday Liturgy!

The majority, if not all, of these priests who celebrated liturgy at Saint Andrew's during this two year period were bi-ritual.

Today, Saint Andrew's continues -as it says above- to be a "unique witness" of an Eastern Christian parish faithful to its liturgical traditions while being in union with Rome.
Personally I question the reason for bi-ritual priests, however I saw one segement of World News from Deutsche Welle that showed a married Greek Catholic priest somewhere in the Czech Lands who was asked to service a local RC church with no priest.
Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Is anybody as old as me and remembers the days when bi-ritual priests were almost non-existent. The Vatican saw it as a danger to the spiritual integrity and spiritual development of the priest to live in two worlds and two ethoses.


I think this changed to a large extent out of necessity with a shortage of priests and far flung EC parishes.

Having my only pastoral experience with a bi-ritual priest recently, I see danger to the spiritual integrity and spiritual development of the parish more so than the priest, especially if the priest has not "thrown himself" into the Byzantine world. As a minor example, on the second Sunday of the Great Fast, my parish was treated to a homily on the Transfiguration.
© The Byzantine Forum