I’ve written about this before, but at the RC church in which I was baptized, the Latino population and the Anglo population essentially functioned as different churches, because they not only had their own (separate) priests to serve each community (as is right, since the Anglo priest did not know Spanish), but the sermons preached the two did not match, so they were literally getting different messages (the Anglos got messages about…whatever, I don’t remember, but the Latinos heard about how the white people donated $$$$$ money that week, while we only donated $$, so we should donate more so that we can show our commitment to church is equal to theirs; I am not exaggerating or kidding). I know this because I was the only one who ever went to both services, and I know I was not the only person of mixed Anglo-Latino background in the town (and where I grew up there were plenty of white people who knew Spanish and Hispanic people who knew English, so I guess this shows that those darn Catholics are just so ‘ethnic’…they don’t want to go to the other ethnicity’s service, even though they conceivably could without problems! There can be no other explanation, of course.)
I absolutely do not buy the RC canard that the Orthodox are ‘ethnic’, while those of the Roman communion are universal and all-inclusive and whatever. No doubt that’s the goal and that’s how some people see it, but the reality leaves a lot to be desired.
I will give the RC amateur apologists this, though: the majority of native-born, zero generation Orthodox in the west don’t care that their church is Greek, Syrian, Slavic, Egyptian, whatever, so in that sense I guess they could be seen as “ethnic”, since they don’t bend over backwards to make a church that has its roots in Egypt or Ethiopia or wherever seem like it came out of suburban Ohio or something. Good. Macaroni bechamel is better than hot dogs, and if you can’t deal with the fact that you’re a minority in the congregation for once, then maybe you’ve got a problem, rather than the people who are just going to the same liturgy they’ve been participating in for centuries when you showed up. This applies equally to Orthodox and Catholics – or are Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Chaldean, Syriac, Syro-Maronite, Ethiopian and Eritrean (“Ge’ez”), Coptic, Ruthenian, Melkite, Mozarab, Bragan, and Italo-Albanian Catholics somehow not Catholic, or do not comprise their own distinct ethnocultural and/or national groups?