Eastern Christianity and the Global South

What role do you see Eastern Christianity/Catholicism having in the conversion of the Global South to Christianity (as in places of Africa where Christianity is the new faith)?

As it’s the new religion down there. Expect for some rough treatment. Both from the ignorant and the those in power. Christianity is a religion of faith and yes suffering. That’s why its one of the hardest religions to follow. Afterall in all other faiths you may defend yourself. Christianity is the only one that says to turn the other cheek and come what may. We’ve forgotten that.

Are there any major Eastern Catholic missionary efforts in the Global South? It seems that for centuries almost all major Catholic missionary efforts have been Latin. Is this simply a numbers issue? Most ‘new’ Catholics in Africa are Latin. Most new Catholics in East Asia are Latin. Heck, Latins dominate (numerically) in India! Why is that? In my mind India should be the missionary territory of the Syro-Malabar and Malankara Catholics.

Almost nothing.

Whatever there is, it is mostly servicing the immigrant community.

I have to speculate here (I won’t claim to actually know for sure), but see if this makes sense.

I think that the problem can be traced back to the fact that virtually the entire world has already been divided up as Latin dioceses, regardless of the “level of penetration” or Catholic population density. Thus, in most parts of the world, the ‘local’ ordinary is some Latin rite bishop somewhere, perhaps even hundreds of miles away, and he would be the fist person responsible for serving the needs of eastern Catholic immigrants to the region (such as Lebanese immigrants in Namibia, for example). He might establish a parish for the eastern Catholic community if a need can be demonstrated and the resources are available. Otherwise these people are going to depend upon whatever the local Latin parish can provide.

I was familiar with (and occasionally attended) a Belorussian Catholic parish in Chicago, not established by the Belorussian Catholic church (which had no jurisdiction) but by the Archdiocese of Chicago ( the founder bishop Tarlecki (Memory Eternal!) was a refugee from the Communists in Europe). I am sure that if there had been a dozen or two such parishes scattered across the USA the Pope would have erected an eparchy for it and named a new bishop, as he did for the Romanian Catholics [See: Canton, OH] and more recently the Syro-Malabar Catholics [See: Bellwood, IL]. But alas, the little community withered away, most of the few people involved were not Belorussians anymore anyway, and the Archbishop of Chicago closed it and gave away the property.

Now, because of this fact that the Latin hierarchy is already established in some fashion in most places (even if only on paper) these territories are considered the territory of the Latin church, and no other Catholic church can establish active new missions in these Latin territories without the consent of the local Latin bishop (there is the danger of poaching here).

Of course, if Eastern Catholic priests want to do mission work for the local Latin church, they may be invited. An example of this might be the Syro-Malabar priests that work in some Latin dioceses in the USA.

There are EC churches that have a presence in predominantly Latin countries (I am thinking of the UGCC in Brazil and Australia, for one example and the Melkites in Mexico for another), but other EC churches, which do not already have a diocesan/eparchial structure erected will find it hard to get established. For instance, the Byzantine Catholic church in Slovakia probably could not establish a mission in Brazil or even across the border in Poland, it’s own canonical territory stops at the border and it (apparently) has no right (both the Latin church and the UGCC could possibly object in each case). Likewise, the Metropolia of Pittsburgh probably couldn’t establish a presence in Mexico or Canada. It has no jurisdiction beyond what the Pope has designated for it. The Pope might have to give the territory to them, and he would not erect a diocese or ordinariate unless there were already parishes founded under the sponsorship of other local Catholic bishops.

In countries like the Philippines and Colombia, which presumably are already mostly Catholic of the Latin rite and probably do not attract much eastern Catholic immigration, I think the bishops conference would lodge a protest with the Vatican if an Eastern Catholic church just moved in with a priest and started attracting the locals to their mission. The same might be true of nations like Congo and Angola, although there is still so much work to be done in those places, the Latin church is already established and might not appreciate the new missions which they do not themselves control.

Anyway, that’s how I read it. :shrug:

Almost nothing.

Whatever there is, it is mostly servicing the immigrant community.

I have to speculate here (I won’t claim to actually know for sure), but see if this makes sense.

I think that the problem can be traced back to the fact that virtually the entire world has already been divided up as Latin dioceses, regardless of the “level of penetration” or Catholic population density. Thus, in most parts of the world, the ‘local’ ordinary is some Latin rite bishop somewhere, perhaps even hundreds of miles away, and he would be the fist person responsible for serving the needs of eastern Catholic immigrants to the region (such as Lebanese immigrants in Namibia, for example). He might establish a parish for the eastern Catholic community if a need can be demonstrated and the resources are available. Otherwise these people are going to depend upon whatever the local Latin parish can provide.

I was familiar with (and occasionally attended) a Belorussian Catholic parish in Chicago, not established by the Belorussian Catholic church (which had no jurisdiction) but by the Archdiocese of Chicago ( the founder bishop Tarlecki (Memory Eternal!) was a refugee from the Communists in Europe). I am sure that if there had been a dozen or two such parishes scattered across the USA the Pope would have erected an eparchy for it and named a new bishop, as he did for the Romanian Catholics [See: Canton, OH] and more recently the Syro-Malabar Catholics [See: Bellwood, IL]. But alas, the little community withered away, most of the few people involved were not Belorussians anymore anyway, and the Archbishop of Chicago closed it and gave away the property.

Now, because of this fact that the Latin hierarchy is already established in some fashion in most places (even if only on paper) these territories are considered the territory of the Latin church, and no other Catholic church can establish active new missions in these Latin territories without the consent of the local Latin bishop (there is the danger of poaching here).

Of course, if Eastern Catholic priests want to do mission work for the local Latin church, they may be invited. An example of this might be the Syro-Malabar priests that work in some Latin dioceses in the USA.

There are EC churches that have a presence in predominantly Latin countries (I am thinking of the UGCC in Brazil and Australia, for one example and the Melkites in Mexico for another), but other EC churches, which do not already have a diocesan/eparchial structure erected will find it hard to get established. For instance, the Byzantine Catholic church in Slovakia probably could not establish a mission in Brazil or even across the border in Poland, it’s own canonical territory stops at the border and it (apparently) has no right (both the Latin church and the UGCC could possibly object in each case). Likewise, the Metropolia of Pittsburgh probably couldn’t establish a presence in Mexico or Canada. It has no jurisdiction beyond what the Pope has designated for it. The Pope might have to give the territory to them, and he would not erect a diocese or ordinariate unless there were already parishes founded under the sponsorship of other local Catholic bishops.

In countries like the Philippines and Colombia, which presumably are already mostly Catholic of the Latin rite and probably do not attract much eastern Catholic immigration, I think the bishops conference would lodge a protest with the Vatican if an Eastern Catholic church just moved in with a priest and started attracting the locals to their mission. The same might be true of nations like Congo and Angola, although there is still so much work to be done in those places, the Latin church is already established and might not appreciate the new missions which they do not themselves control.

Anyway, that’s how I read it. :shrug:

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