Catholics be like East side, West side. Venerable Fulton J. Sheen agrees!The church is international, multicultural in the true sense (not Erastian or a national mascot); secular liberalism is a ripoff. One set of truths for all.
Archbishop Sheen was knowledgeable about the Christian East as all Catholics and indeed our clergy should be, and as part of that, for his own edification and to educate the Latin Rite faithful (for instance, reminding people of Russia's deep Christian, yea, Catholic roots despite Communism and the Cold War) in his media apostolate, he was biritual, having permission from the Holy See and the Ruthenian Church to use the Byzantine Rite.
Fr. Romanos Russo of St. Michael's Russian Catholic Church*, New York, writes:
That is the nub of the problem: as well-intentioned as he was, he was a Latin bishop dressed up as an Eastern bishop. I can't imagine he was imbued with the spirituality or theology of the Byzantine Tradition! Good man, solid philosopher, though!Fr. Romanos brings up a good point. You're both right. We should preserve the integrity of each ritual church, and some in those churches have a calling to express our shared Catholic doctrine (which is the same for all Catholic churches and is not negotiable) in those rites' terms; they aren't costumes but legitimate, diverse schools of spirituality and even theological opinion and method. Hard to do because Latin Catholics are an overwhelming majority, but good work. Also, part of the Catholic Church including many cultures is these churches themselves are a spectrum of practice. Catholicism never intended to latinize them and never encouraged it, but the ethnic members often latinized themselves. Cultures aren't museum pieces if they're alive. Unlatinized good Catholics need and deserve support, but the spectrum of latinized members deserves respect too. Biritualism can be a well-intended problem for the ritual churches' integrity as Fr. Romanos points out, but it's always the exception. Most of Eastern Catholicism (all rites) isn't like that but generational, ethnic born members. Our challenge as Catholics to is strike a balance between on one hand reducing the rites to the Latin Rite dressing up and, on the other hand, schism (putting the rite and cultures above the church, the sin of the Orthodox et al.**). We haven't always honored our Eastern family as we ought (causing Slavic schisms in America) but our teaching is still true; it's a matter of living up to it.
Eastern-rite churches, including the Orthodox, don't thrive in America after three generations here but Eastern-rite Catholicism here has much potential because 1) not only did Vatican II leave Eastern Catholics' rites alone, it encouraged the unlatinized forms as the church always has and 2) it's Catholic traditionalism without our cultural baggage (you are allowed to do the rites in the vernacular, for example***), great for evangelism and calling back the lapsed (who thought they knew everything about the church).
*Been; it's great. Born Latin Catholics who switched, loving Russian culture but understanding the nature of the church so remaining Catholic.
**Born Eastern Catholics don't buy that; their people often stood up to the Communists to remain Catholic. "Converts" from the Latin Rite and elsewhere are few, but too often online, understandably in love with their new rite (it beats the Novus Ordo, hands down), they fall for that, get fed up with Catholics, and eventually leave the church. A few stay and become a version of what Fr. Romanos is criticizing, Novus Ordo liberals in Eastern garb, denying our doctrine, in this case, in the name of being Eastern. The Communists, like the Byzantine emperor****, Turkish sultan, and Russian tsar, hated the Catholic Church because they couldn't own it. A schismatic church is an owned church.
***Hieratic/liturgical languages are natural; Jews have Hebrew, and English-speaking Protestants did that with the Book of Common Prayer and King James Bible. Eastern churches have them, historically using them more often than vernaculars. Greek Orthodox use medieval Greek in church in Greece; Eastern Slavs Slavonic (resembling medieval Russian). For the most part, Eastern-riters in America, Catholic and Orthodox, did what the Latin Rite should have done, just translating the services into English, not writing new services.
****The last emperors were Catholic again; the Russians, who went back into schism in the 1400s after reunion in the 1300s, saw the fall of Byzantium as divine judgment. The Russians have their empire so they think they don't need us; they think they're the church, in the Byzantine manner. The Turks re-separated the Greeks from the church in 1484, after they took over 31 years earlier.