Friday, September 12, 2014

OicwRs aren't really Catholic and ecumenists not really Orthodox

  • I like Yiayia. "Why you no have job? YOU the wife!" Like Archie Bunker she was meant as a mockery but she tells the truth. The Greeks and Russians are at heart still Catholic; in God's time they'll come back into the family.
  • The East taking credit or blame for Western liturgical change after Vatican II. An example of intelligentsia such as Fr. Robert (Taft) looking down on trads, which they do, or was the East just an innocent bystander the liberals abused to give cred to their program?
  • Inside the mind of an OicwR.
    So I have been curious about this for awhile now. I have heard that some eastern rite Catholics sometimes call themselves "Orthodox in communion with Rome." Furthermore I was talking to some of my peers at a core team meeting for me church, and one of the priests there told me that from one perspective, Byzantine Catholics are Roman Catholics. I bit my lip because I did not want to start a debate on the issue. He stated that because it is in communion with Rome, it was essentially Roman regardless of the separation in canon law. So my question is what is your reaction when hearing such statements or titles as I said above? As always I ask out of the pursuit of knowledge and do not mean to offend.
    I'm not saying the questioner was throwing a bomb, probably an honest average Catholic wanting to be better informed, but this is an "eternal flame" topic in the Internet sense, not the memorial one. There is a true Catholic sense of "Orthodox in communion with Rome": Byzantine theology and the unlatinized form of the Byzantine Rite. Mother church also offers the latinized form of the rite that born Eastern Catholics adopted centuries ago. Then there's the bad sense of it, dissenters within Catholicism who side with Orthodox opinion against church teachings (quote: "Byzantine theology = Orthodox teaching") yet don't convert. This actually disrespects the Orthodox as well as us, as Orthodox Fr. John Morris points out; it's offensive. Byzantine Catholics should not be afraid of the word "Orthodox," big O and all, because it is their heritage. But Fr. John's point stands.

    Churches, more than rites, in communion with the Pope as supreme pontiff (sharing in the church's charism of infallibility) but not second-class to the Roman Rite is 100% correct: educated Catholicspeak. "Under Rome," "Eastern Rite Roman Catholic," and "we're also Roman Catholic" (as the first Eastern Christians I knew well, Ukrainian exiles from World War II, put it to me) are rank-and-file Catholicspeak. OicwRs, mostly online critters, look down on rank-and-file Catholics so there you go.

    We believe all that the Orthodox Church teaches, even if that offends our resident Orthodox priest.
    Joining a church you really believe in and obeying it, including the Orthodox one, is so provincial, for mere mundanes (muggles). It's more fun to be a gnostic Internet brotherhood, like freemasonry in Byzantine drag. And he wonders why real Orthodox are offended, or maybe that's part of the fun.
    And we ask for the same respect he gives to the Syriac Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, and Armenian Orthodox, with whom he does not even share a common Christology, but whom he takes no offense to.
    Good point, OicwR. The bromance between the Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox is historically baffling as 1) the OOs have claimed to be the true church and can use the same arguments against the Orthodox as the Orthodox use against us and 2) the Orthodox have persecuted them. But it makes sense since they're both Eastern; church polity is identical. (Not under Rome: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.)

    By the way, in real life I've never seen unlatinized Byzantine Catholics try to pass themselves off as Orthodox to Orthodox. Because as lovers of the East, they're on board with our policy of trying to bring all the Orthodox back, rite and spirituality intact, not soliciting individuals, and besides, of course lying wouldn't help our cause.

    Most Byzantine Catholics are Ukrainian Catholics, and while the liturgy doesn't shy away from the term "Orthodox Christians" in the Great Entrance, the ones I've known in person would tell you loudly they're not Orthodox. Because "Orthodox" means "Russian" to them.
    Most Orthodox (including priests) irl call me or my family "Orthodox" in passing anyway. No need to "pass myself off" as anything. Regardless, it is our self-identity, and we don't need Fr. John's approval. It's not about him, or anyone else outside our communion.
    Wishful thinking; reminds me of transgender folk. Never mind facts.

    Not the OicwR but a young Catholic of Ukrainian descent:
    I'm even a member of my university's OCF chapter, and my godfather belongs to the ACROD.
    That's great! Cooperation and close ties between the two sides, when that happens. If your Greek Catholic parish doesn't have Saturday Vespers, go to the corresponding Orthodox church in your area, etc.

    The rest of us have been studying things a bit longer, and know that there are no doctrinal differences whatsoever. The papacy is the only issue which remains a true stumbling block that needs working through. It is not an issue for me since collegiality renders it irrelevant, and "infallibility" is a non-issue unless we are engaging in a minimalistic distinction between "necessary" and "non-infallible" teachings.
    What we've got here is a distortion of Catholicism, not really Orthodoxy. Like us, the OicwR believes sacramentally we're the same church (why in Syria, Byzantine Christian laity are one church, intermarried and intercommuning) and that the only difference (him: if any) between the sides is the scope of the Pope. The truth: everything in church polity except the matters that are also doctrine — the papacy and the episcopate — is negotiable, the basis for true Catholic/Orthodox dialogue, desirable because they're an estranged part of the family and we should relearn how to be an unmodernized loose communion run by custom. (Grassroots traditionalism: close ethnic communities as a hedge against Modernism.) The OicwR errs by trying to negotiate away the papacy as the church knows it. Just. Like. Catholic. Liberals. No, thank you.

    "Ecumenist" Orthodox in these discussions buy into libcaths' misreading of Vatican II ("the church no longer teaches it's the only true one"), "including" Catholicism in their ecclesiology but not on Catholicism's terms. They SEEM nice to us but aren't doing us any favor. Two groups of liberals creating a new fantasy church neither Catholic nor Orthodox. So these distortions of Catholicism and Orthodoxy chattering online are, I dare say, counterproductive; misrepresenting both churches won't bring the Orthodox back.


  1. It's Rome that needs to return to Orthodoxy, not vice versa. Since Rome separated herself from the other ancient Patriarchs, her theology and doctrine has spiraled away from her Orthodox roots. Her doctrinal and moral corruption gave birth to the Inquisitions, and the Protestant Reformation. Nowadays, even her liturgy is distant from her ancient western liturgical tradition. We love you. We miss you. Come home.

    1. Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur; et ideo nego.

    2. I predict that, some five years hence, this young man will have decamped from Orthodoxy. I only hope he lands back in the Catholic Church. Or at least somewhere within the Christian fold. I have seen far too many Convertodox triumphalists end up as agnostics or atheists. This sort of hothouse Convert Orthodoxy seems to function, for many people, as the last way-station on the route out of Christianity.

    3. Diane, why do discussions with you and John always seem to degenerate into personal ad hominem attacks? You don't even know me, and you are making predictions about my future? I first converted to the Orthodox Church in 2000 and I am as happy and feel as home as ever. I would love to know the "Convertodox triumphalists" who left Christianity completely. I've never met any Orthodox concert to do so. On the other hand, I have known many people raised Roman Catholic who are no longer Christian at all.
      I don't consider what I post here to be triumphalism. It is reactionary against things that the Young Fogey writes. I like him personally, but I don't like when he speaks of Orthodoxy so condescendingly. Basically, he wants fight? I give him fight. Plus, I am more pro-Western than you think.


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