Byzantine patriarch concelebrating in papal mass

I don’t know where to put this thread, I just find it interesting to see Patriarch Gregory III of Antioch to the Melkites concelebrating mass with the Pope in Malta, and actually prayed the “Nobis quouque peccatoribus” in Latin no less. It sounds a little bit funny to me, him praying in Latin. Comments aside, this speaks a lot about communion between Melkites and Latns, than all the communion jargons, celebrations in the basilicas, or whatever.
In another note, Rome seems to start treating patriarchs better. For this part I hope my analysis is true.

This is a very positive development.

Is there a video of this, floating around on, I wonder?

I’m not sure why you find this interesting or unusual.

Melkites are Catholics. Again, I’m not following what the issue is. The Melkites Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic *sui juris *particular Church in full communion with the Pope.

In what way do you believe that Pope Benedict has not treated his patriarchs well so as to view this as treating them “better”?

I am a total idiot who doesn’t know anything, so please don’t blame me if I am too far off in this assertion: I read somewhere (this ‘Let’s Respond to the Issues Raised by V2’ academic journal for canon lawyers) that the Latin Rite-dominated Curia was at odds with the rights and prerogatives of the individual patriarchs and their native churches.

This struggle occurred for two reasons:
-Clergy and faithful of a certain rite living outside of their native church’s specifically defined territory were subject to the authority of the local Latin Rite diocesan clergy.
-The patriarchs were demanding greater control of their clergy and faithful outside of their specifically defined territories.
Furthermore, there is still relatively confused status and (what is perceived by some to be) unfairly assigned prerogatives for Latin Rite clergy.

These seem like trivial issues to us Latin Rite Catholics, but given the immense ethnic diasporas from the lands of the Eastern churches, there are some legitimate moral and pastoral concerns here. Now, this particular journal article was from the 70s/80s, so it might not be the most accurate way to learn about the canon law differences between Latin and Eastern Rite Catholic churches, but there you have it. Even if the issue is resolved and both parties have arrived at a ‘satisfactory’ conclusion, this strife still remains behind them, in the background.

As for the sui juris, particular church status of the Eastern Rites, I believe that you are thinking of organizational-institutional relationships and confusing them with liturgical practices. This sight is interesting for its cross-Rite con-celebration. It is–by all accounts–a rare site to see Eastern Rite clergy presiding with a Latin Rite clergyman over a Latin Rite service, or any combination of the above. It is even rarer for a Pope and his Patriarch.

It emphasizes that even though we celebrate the Mass using different practices and come from different cultures, we are still One Church, the Body of Christ.

I am excited, and you should be, too.

Also, please correct me if I am wrong in anything I have said. Thanks!

[Also, it shows that our Melkite brothers stand by us in our ‘Second Reformation’.]

Yes, I’m aware of the historical strife the Oriental Catholic Churches have had. I wasn’t viewing the statement in these terms, but rather in light of current events. Perhaps that is what the OP was referring to.

Hmm, interesting observation.

Well, because they both have valid sacraments, it makes sense that they could. The remarkable thing to me isn’t that the Pope celebrated with the patriarch, but that the patriarch celebrated with the Pope. It’s a lot easier for a Catholic to get permission to receive the Eucharist from an Orthodox priest than for an Orthodox to receive the Eucharist from a Catholic priest.

But I am excited for the unification. I don’t think that it will happen at once, but I think that individual rites within the Orthodox Church will slowly join the Catholic Church.


It was not a patriarch from the Orthodox Church; it was a patriarch from one of our Churches (possibly Byzantine).

Now, this is not the first time that such a concelebration happened. I believe when the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans (Iraq) was created a cardinal, he, too, concelebrated with the Holy Father at that particular Mass.

Some years back we had two Melkites in our RCIA program because they had not received Confirmation when baptized and the local Melkite parish had no program to prepare them for Confirmation. The Melkite bishop delegated our pastor to confirm them at the Easter Vigil.

One of them then married in the Melkite parish, and our pastor concelebrated at that mass. The liturgical rules specify that when concelebrating each priest wears the vestments proper to his rite.

The whole Mass can be downloaded here:

direct link - - wmv format 791 MB


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