I'm not going to be a notch on your apologetics rifle, whoever you are. If we're wrong, then as Mark Twain had Huckleberry Finn say, "All right, I'll go to hell." Put that in your kadilo and smoke it. Getting back to your opening volley, I don't define small-o orthodoxy. The Catholic Church does. And within that there is room for opinion. And why didn't you answer my question about your origins? I have nothing to hide. Born Episcopal, confirmed Catholic but left the church rather early on, was Orthodox but realized early on I'd made a huge mistake but out of human respect dragged my feet on coming back, but when that door opened over four years ago I took it. You?
Underneath the creeds and the rest of the first seven councils and the Catholic liturgy, Orthodox theology and apologetics consist of yiayia and baba bigotry from people too obstinate or dim to see the difference between doctrine and cultural expressions, leavened (ha) by the occasional Protestant smartass passing through such as Franky Schaeffer (whose Orthodox phase seems over). Or, more and more as he ages, Anglicanism in Byzantine drag from Kallistos Ware (a more urbane Protestant) and the diluted Russians and konvertsy of St. Vladimir's Seminary.
"If you don't use our kind of images, you're outside the church.'" That quote is from where? Because I never heard such thing.Glaringly obvious from your practice, where the putative Western Rite parishes look like they went on a spree at Icon & Book Service, plus beards, "matushki," etc. Partly why I say images are an option Catholics have to accept in theory; we don't force byzantinizations on people.
One more time: the azymes, Communion under one kind for the laity (concomitance: every molecule of the changed elements is Christ, indivisible. So what difference does it make?), infant chrismation, and infant Communion are matters of rite and culture, NOT doctrine. In other words, you DO want to byzantinize us. Dragging us into the empire, mentally.
Interesting point about the Immaculate Conception. I understand the difference between "conceived immaculate" and "sinless." The interesting thing is one can make a case that the Latin method of reaching the conclusion and explaining the doctrine aren't necessary when using the Byzantine method, but that's not the same as denying the doctrine, which Catholics can't do. Ditto original sin. Your apologists are going through back-breaking contortions rather than admit they're really Catholic, so they end up Pelagian on original sin and Lutheran about the Eucharist. (See above about Protestant smartasses passing through.)
By "sometimes adultery is OK" I mean the nonsense in your theological school of thought that the first marriage is eternal but the church can tolerate adulterous second and third marriages for pastoral reasons. A theology not worth taking seriously. Also, your precious canons are an unenforceable jumble, hence economy: you're winging it and doing whatever you feel like on a given day.
Regarding contraception and the other things you named to try to discredit us, you're not even close. Those other things are not doctrine. Being anti-contraception, one can argue, is taught by the church's ORDINARY magisterium and doesn't need an ex cathedra statement. And... until 1930 it was universally believed by Christians, ALL of them... including you, as Ware wrote as recently as 1963 (he keeps changing his story; funny for a church that allegedly doesn't change/compromise). This isn't a "Catholic hangup"; it's simply a Christian belief.
Complaining that the Pope overstepped his authority, then changing your teachings... that's right out of the Anglican (Episcopal) playbook.
"We haven't always lived up to our teaching supporting all traditional rites." No, you haven't and you still don't.Correct. It's a failure of our churchmen in practice, not our teaching.
The church has the authority to change rules such as on ordaining the married in North America, for example, but changing longstanding custom that's not heresy is not our normal practice. We shouldn't have changed the rule for Eastern Catholics in North America (all that heartbreak for no good reason), and I understand that's been reversed. The damage has been done as they say. I say: everything that's not doctrine should be on the table.
Unlatinized vs. latinized practices are a matter of culture, not doctrine. The church in principle has always supported not latinizing Eastern Catholics, but now that many of them have latinized themselves, it would be spiritually harmful to force changes in the parishes, so live and let live.
Regarding Italy, you know about the Italo-Greeks and Italo-Albanians, right? These Byzantine Catholics have lived there for centuries, I think making up for the alleged mistake of latinizing the local Greeks before the schism.
I understand that maybe Romania (Latin, like Italy) and maybe Bulgaria were Western Rite under Rome before the Greeks byzantinized them (the Russians reinforcing that), that Constantinople closed the Latin churches in the city before the schism, and there were even Latin Catholic martyrs in Byzantium. While not Western, in its beginning the Ukrainian Catholic Church was that whole country, the metropolia of Kiev, and included much of Byelorussia. Tsarist Russian expansion, persecution, stamped much of that out, basically reducing it to Polish Galicia. Much as Stalin did when he stole the western Ukraine from Poland and Czechoslovakia during World War II and outlawed the Byzantine Catholic churches there. When given a choice, as in 1968 in Czechoslovakia and in the early 1990s in the Ukraine, almost all the western Ukrainians and Ruthenians returned to Catholicism. As for benevolent Byzantine Orthodox such as the Russians, ask Poles and Slovaks what they thought of Russian rule. "Slavic brotherhood" usually really means just Russianism, imperial reach. The Catholic Slavs, even fellow Eastern Slavs the western Ukrainians, won't have it.
Not once the Pope got it into his head he had absolute power and could go change anything he liked. See the above discussion of the 9th-13th centuries.Except he doesn't believe that. He can't bless abortion, ordain women, or marry two men, for example. Again, this carping sounds so Anglican. The kind of people who complain about St. Pius X gutting the breviary in 1911 yet have women priests and same-sex marriages. That Eastern Orthodox adopt the same defense admits they don't have the truth.