Tuesday, July 08, 2003

First Divine Liturgy at SS. Cyril and Methodius Russian Catholic Church, Denver
What strikes me is the the contrast between the Byzantine Catholic ideal I thought Fr Chrysostom Frank believed in and the reality even in this new, supposedly improved setting. First there's the problem of biritualism, a practice the Catholic Church officially avoids. Rather than give the impression he is a Novus Ordo priest playing games, Fr C should have insisted his Russian Catholic church be separate from the Roman Rite church that hosts it - have a different priest for each so he can be all Byzantine, all the time. A rite isn't a costume change - it's a package deal and a way of life. Second, there is the issue of bination, and on the same altar as Fr C seems to want. Surely he knows that in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, a priest serves only one Liturgy a day and a holy table is used only once a day for Liturgy - this stands for the unity of the local church gathered round its bishop (or his deputy, a priest) offering and receiving the one Eucharist from one altar. I know about economy and all that, but it seems like he has 'no respect for the thing' (the rite, the tradition). To see the Russian Orthodox tradition reduced to a show performed in a side chapel of a Novus Ordo church seems to live down to the harshest criticism of some Orthodox.