[quote=brotherhrolf]David, please forgive me if I have offended. Such was not my intent. My experience with either the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholics has only been on two occassions in my life. As an anthropology major at the University of New Orleans, one of my classmates was EO and invited all of us RCs to attend what we would call the Great Vigil - Holy Saturday services and then to go to her family’s house for the traditional Paschal meal. As a grad student at LSU, a friend from PA asked me to serve as a lector at her Byzantine rite marriage at Sacred Heart. Both times, I felt a great affinity for the eastern liturgies since my religious formation was predominately pre-VII. …
Wow. I am really at a loss here. I do not mean to offend. The two eastern liturgies I attended were a blessing upon me compared to some of the modern masses I have attended.
I don’t think my brother took offense at your words, which I thought were clearly an affirmation of the beauty of our liturgical prayer, both in chant and depiction (icons are to us a visualized prayer, offering, as we describe them, a window into heaven). David’s well-made point was intended to distinguish the fact that, unless someone tells us differently, the West doesn’t see its adoption of things Eastern as burdensome to it or as an infringement on its liturgical praxis, having adopted these of its own volition.
We, on the other hand, had no choice in the matter generally (it is true that our ancestors adopted some latinizations as a means by which to appear “more Catholic” or “more American” or “less foreign”, since their experience in being the opposite of those was negative to say the least). Being much in the minority among our own co-religionists, we often accepted latinization, to the detriment of our own praxis and, as in all things, it is easier to do than to undo.
His remarks were a caution, as I understand them, not to get caught up in the fallacy that since the easternizations taken up by the West are seen positively by those who have adopted them, that it doesn’t change what latinizations meant to us - a negative experience.
To put it simply, here in south Louisiana we do not have a tremendous amount of experience with our eastern brethren. There is a sizeable Croat community here but I have no idea if they were Eastern or Latin Catholics.
There is now a Melkite mission in NO and an effort underway to form a mission for the sizeable Arberesh community, the Byzantine Italo-Greico-Albanian Catholics. Additionally, the Ruthenians have a chapel in NO. A former Maronite chapel has been suppressed.
It’s likely that the Croat community was Latin, as were the majority of Croat Catholic immigrants. The smaller Byzantine Croat presence was almost entirely found within the Rust Belt.