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  #1  
Old Feb 24, '12, 12:49 pm
xzereus xzereus is offline
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Default Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

Hi,

I'm currently writing an article for http://beneaththyprotection.blogspot.com/, and I'm looking for more information on some Eastern Rite Catholics. Specifically, what are the top 5 reasons you've encountered that cause other Catholics to think you're not really Catholic or, at the very least, that you are wrong in your beliefs? Examples might be "married priests" or "leavened communion bread". Your responses are greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old Feb 24, '12, 1:03 pm
Phillip Rolfes Phillip Rolfes is offline
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Default Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

1) Don't follow Thomistic/Scholastic theological concepts
2) Only venerate first seven Ecumenical Councils
3) Don't hang on the Pope's every word, but prefer to listen to my Patriarch, Synod, and Bishop
4) Don't pray the Rosary
5) Don't participate in Eucharistic Adoration

These are just a few. There are many more.
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  #3  
Old Feb 24, '12, 2:08 pm
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ByzCathCantor ByzCathCantor is offline
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Default Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

  1. We cross ourselves "backwards" (right to left)
  2. We stand on Sundays and do not kneel
  3. Our priests celebrate the Liturgy with back turned to the people
  4. There are no women at the altar (yet, we always know who is really in charge in our parish families)
  5. We sing joyfully to the Lord with only our voices (no instruments)
There are many others. I have spent a lifetime proving that I am Catholic (to other Catholics) ...
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  #4  
Old Feb 24, '12, 3:16 pm
Splagchnizomai Splagchnizomai is offline
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Default Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

1) Married priests
2) Celebrate feast days on the "wrong" days
3) Intinction
4) No pews
5) The absence of liturgical bongos

EDIT: I forgot about beards. For some reason, Catholics think that our priests aren't Catholic because of their beards -- they think they are Orthodox. Even when I mention the Franciscans!
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Last edited by Splagchnizomai; Feb 24, '12 at 3:31 pm.
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  #5  
Old Feb 24, '12, 3:30 pm
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nickybr38 nickybr38 is offline
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Default Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

After reading these I think I would gladly move to an Eastern Rite if there was one in the area. Sounds lovely. Especially the no instruments at Mass thing. Nothing I love more then voices sans instrumental accompaniment!
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  #6  
Old Feb 24, '12, 6:33 pm
xzereus xzereus is offline
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Default Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

Wow, thank you for all of the replies! If you'd like to send something more personal which I can include (anonymously) in the post, email it to GibsonNathanA (at) gmail (dot) com.

For those of you who mentioned that there are "many more", please feel free to share them all here or by email.

On a side note, I'm going to visit both a Maronite Mission and a Syriac Catholic Church in town and I'm wondering which I should go to first. Opinions? And is there anything I should know specifically before going so as not to look foolish?

Thank you all, and God bless you! I can only hope that I can do my part in increasing the unity of all Catholics and build respect for the Eastern Rites, thereby encouraging our Eastern Orthodox brothers to join us!
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  #7  
Old Feb 24, '12, 6:42 pm
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ByzCathCantor ByzCathCantor is offline
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Default Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

Quote:
Originally Posted by xzereus View Post
On a side note, I'm going to visit both a Maronite Mission and a Syriac Catholic Church in town and I'm wondering which I should go to first. Opinions? And is there anything I should know specifically before going so as not to look foolish?
You are so very fortunate that you have both nearby!

IMO and FWIW, I would go to the Maronite mission first. You will likely feel as if you are at a Latin Rite Mass, but with "all the trimmings" so to speak. It is a beautiful liturgical expression, and most RCs I know who attend Maronite service come out wishing they had the same experience every Sunday.

The Syriac Church shares the same Antiochene Rite as the Maronites, but with a distinct expression of their own. Your will likely think this feels more "Eastern" that the Maronite liturgy (another reason why I recommended you go to the Maronite mission first).

I hope we have some of our regular contributors from each of these Churches post with some "pointers" for you. There have been a few semi-recent posts, especially on the Maronite liturgy and customs, so you may want to do a quick search as well.

I do hope you have a deeply spiritual experience from participating in each of their Liturgies.
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  #8  
Old Feb 24, '12, 7:26 pm
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Peter J Peter J is offline
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Post Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

This isn't strictly on the topic of "Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic", but I'm sure this made many feel like they aren't "real" Catholics:

Quote:
Cardinal Angelo Sodano hinted to these married priests to "make a return to their homeland," i.e. Ukraine, without taking into account that they had always lived there and that what really moved were the borders, in the redrawing of boundaries after World War II. In the Vatican, Cardinals Achille Silvestrini and Edward Cassidy took up their defense, and Sodano cancelled the order.
(That quote is from an old issue of Chiesa.)
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  #9  
Old Feb 24, '12, 7:31 pm
xzereus xzereus is offline
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Default Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

ByzCathCantor,

Thank you for the suggestions and the useful tips! Luckily, I know one person who goes to the Syriac Catholic Mass, so I think I'll be all right. Still, I'll be sure to do some searching beforehand!

Thanks again!
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  #10  
Old Feb 24, '12, 7:36 pm
Marie5890 Marie5890 is offline
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Default Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip Rolfes View Post

1) Don't follow Thomistic/Scholastic theological concepts
2) Only venerate first seven Ecumenical Councils
3) Don't hang on the Pope's every word, but prefer to listen to my Patriarch, Synod, and Bishop
4) Don't pray the Rosary
5) Don't participate in Eucharistic Adoration

These are just a few. There are many more.
Phillip, could you please explain #1 better please?

(I very little about the Eastern Catholicism but this really caught my eye. I tend to be drawn more to Augustine myself and often times I feel "out of step" with what is so often times accepted by the Latin rite) Thanks
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  #11  
Old Feb 24, '12, 7:41 pm
xzereus xzereus is offline
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Default Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter J View Post
This isn't strictly on the topic of "Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic", but I'm sure this made many feel like they aren't "real" Catholics:



(That quote is from an old issue of ****.)
Peter,

Although I appreciate you sharing the link, you might want to remove it. The link does seem to criminalize the Church a bit and I'm not sure it's prudent to leave it up for others to find. If you disagree, feel free to keep it up, just my humble opinion.

Thanks!
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  #12  
Old Feb 24, '12, 8:19 pm
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Peter J Peter J is offline
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Post Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

Quote:
Originally Posted by xzereus View Post
Peter,

Although I appreciate you sharing the link, you might want to remove it. The link does seem to criminalize the Church a bit and I'm not sure it's prudent to leave it up for others to find. If you disagree, feel free to keep it up, just my humble opinion.

Thanks!
I don't have any strong feelings, one way or another, about that link staying or going. I can't edit the post at this point, but the mods are welcome to if they feel that would be better.

But having said that, I must say I'm a little confused. I'm no expert at that particular Italian publication, but I was under the impression that it is a Catholic publication.
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  #13  
Old Feb 24, '12, 8:28 pm
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ByzCathCantor ByzCathCantor is offline
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Default Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

Quote:
Originally Posted by xzereus View Post
Although I appreciate you sharing the link, you might want to remove it. The link does seem to criminalize the Church a bit and I'm not sure it's prudent to leave it up for others to find.
xzereus, as it very directly relates to the question you raised in your OP, it is important to note that the treatment of Eastern Catholic priests from Eastern Europe, particularly priests who in accordance with their particular Church's traditions are permitted to marry (before ordination), is a very sensitive subject. In the U.S., it caused a rupture in the Eastern Church in the early 20th century where many returned to Orthodoxy. I was shocked to see this surfacing as a concern once again, especially as it was described in this article.

Please know that these wounds are real, and deep, and only recently beginning to heal. I pray the concern expressed in this article is exaggerated, because on the surface it looks too much like history repeating itself. If true and carried to its logical end (sending married preists back to the Ukraine), IMO this would likely permanently damage efforts to restore unity of the Apostolic Churches. Remember that married priesthood is widely accepted in the Orthodox Christian world. Should they see that the married clergy of the Eastern Churches are being suppressed again, it would not be viewed favorably.

I understand your recommendation for caution, and that it may relate to other issues noted in the article, but please understand that there is a sad history here with regard to the married priesthood.
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  #14  
Old Feb 25, '12, 5:38 am
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Peter J Peter J is offline
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Post Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByzCathCantor View Post
I was shocked to see this surfacing
Agreed. On a positive note, in the US we've been seeing just the opposite: Latin Church Bishops apologizing for things like that which happened in the past. (I think Dr. Dragani mentioned those apologies in something he wrote, but I don't have the link on hand.)
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  #15  
Old Feb 25, '12, 8:20 am
Phillip Rolfes Phillip Rolfes is offline
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Default Re: Top 5 Reasons People Think You Aren't Catholic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marie5890 View Post
Phillip, could you please explain #1 better please?

(I very little about the Eastern Catholicism but this really caught my eye. I tend to be drawn more to Augustine myself and often times I feel "out of step" with what is so often times accepted by the Latin rite) Thanks
Marie,

I will try to summarize as best I can, be warned, however, that I am a rather ignorant person.

Thomistic/Scholastic theology arose only in the West in the newly developed universities, especially the University of Paris (both Bonaventure and Aquinas held chairs of theology at the University of Paris if memory serves me correctly). It's chief aim was achieving a synthesis between Scripture, patristic theology, and Greek philosophy (particularly the philosophy of Aristotle, although Plato's work was also highly influential). This form of theology emphasized the "Fides quarens intellectum" (faith seeking/searching understanding) of St. Augustine. As has been characteristic of Western theology since then it emphasizes what man can know of God through the use of his reason - supplemented and kept in check of course by Divine Revelation.

Such an approach to the Faith led the West to adopt certain philosophical concepts in their theology that simply do not exist in the East. One example would be the concept of "transubstantiation;" i.e. that the "substance" is what is changed while the "matter" stays the same. Although the East, both Catholic and Orthodox, accept the reality that such language is trying to explain - i.e. that Christ is truly present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist - it does not embrace the language nor try to explain how such a mystery is accomplished. One could say that the East, as a general rule, does not "pick apart" the mystery; we simply live it.

The East, on the other hand, tends to focus more on the Revealed aspect of our Faith. Our approach to theology is generally more Patristic and experiential. It can be summed up in a phrase that is oft-repeated throughout almost every liturgical and para-liturgical service of our (Byzantine) tradition: "God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us..." Although we certainly recognize that reason plays a role in our Faith and theology - just as the West recognizes that experience and Revelation play a role - and we do have our great intellectuals in our tradition(s), our emphasis is not on reason and logical conclusions, but on the living Tradition.

All this being said, I'm just trying to point out the difference between the Thomistic/Scholastic approach to theology - which has been canonized for the Roman Church by a number of Popes - in contrast to the Eastern/Byzantine approach. There is, obviously, a great deal of Patristic and Biblical emphasis in the West, particularly in modern times, as well as a great deal of experiential emphasis. The great mystics of the West, including Aquinas, have always served as a wonderful antidote to a theology that at times has had a tendency to become overly-rational. I am very fond of reminding people of Aquinas' own words after he experienced a wonderful revelation from God: "All I have written is so much straw." After that revelation and those words he ceased working on his "Summa," leaving incomplete the work that is considered by the Church to be his greatest.
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