I don’t know if this topic will be of much interest to others or not, but I was just thinking about different “insecurities” that Eastern Catholics have with respect to each other. (Not with respect to Latin Catholics, although that’s another bottle of worms that we could open some time. :o) These come up at various times, in various threads, but I think it would be worthwhile to try to list them together.

Among Greek Catholics, the most obvious ones that come to mind are:

  • Everyone except for the UGCC being a tad insecure about the fact that the UGCC outnumbers us greatly (4,223,425 in the UGCC alone, and 3,373,117 in the Melkite, Ruthenian, Romanian etc GCCs altogether).
  • Everyone except for the Melkites being a tad insecure about being more “latinized” than the Melkites.

Likewise, among Oriental (non-Byzantine) Catholics, insecurity about being more “latinized” than the Greek Catholics.

Any others? (And of course, if any of the above “insecurities” are just stereotypes without basis in reality, please say so.)

I think the insecurities more lay with our relationship with our Orthodox counterparts.

For example:

  • Are the ECC a hinderance to union
  • How can we show our Orthodox brethren that we are still Syriac
  • How can we show our Orthodox brethren that one can become Catholic and not Roman.

We also find that these insecurities are infact justified. Many ECC have latinised. And i don’t mean simply praying the Rosary or the Divine Mercy chaplet. But using unleaved hosts (completely contrary to St Ephrem’s hymns on Levened bread). Placing a stronger emphasis on the validity of the Mass at the expensive of the mystery. Facing the people. Demphasis on fasting. The list goes on and on. These Latinisations cause insecurities with our Orthodox Counterparts. These insecurities are not so much amongst ourselfs.

The reason for this is because the RCC and the Vatican have simply dumped the ECC in as a single group (eastern code of canon law). Whereas the reality is, some eastern traditions have had different law. For example: the Catholocos in the Syriac-East.

I do not think there is that much insecurities amongst eastern catholics.

There will never be a union (and possibly shouldn’t be) if the ECC can’t show their Orthodox brethren that they can be both Eastern and Catholic.

We need the Vatican to officially clarify things in this regard in order for there to be better progress. All to often it goes:
“The CCC says x. You must believe x (exactly as it is stated in the CCC) because the CCC speaks authoritatively for the whole Catholic Church.”

“The Council/Pope defined x doctrine. You must accept x doctrine (exactly as it was defined by the Council/Pope) because the Council/Pope said (even if the Council/Pope used Latin terms and theology).”

You get accused as a heretic, as being Orthodox and not Catholic, as being against the pope, etc, etc. All this because you try to word x doctrine in context of the language and patrimony of your Eastern/Oriental Catholic Church rather than accept Latin scholasticism. :shrug:

My experiences conform to much of what you’re saying, but not so much the being-accused-of-being-Orthodox part. That, I think, is pretty rare.

I hear it from Latin Catholics in the form of, “If you don’t except the Latin understanding of x, you might as well be Eastern Orthodox because you cannot be Catholic and reject x (in the way that the Latins define it).” :wink:

Good question (not that I’m very Syriac).

On that subject, would you say that Syriac Orthodox are very “authentically Syriac” so to speak (as oppose to being Westernized or Byzantinized)?

OIC. :cool:

On a related note, I’ve had many experiences where a Catholic is (apparently) super friendly toward the Orthodox, and then turns on them in an instant. It never ceases to amaze me.

[size=]That seems to me to be the biggest issue out there that needs to be clarified and resolved. It’s a really tricky subject. It seems to me that there have to be common ways of expressing these things above Latin-specific or Eastern-specific terminology that both allows for individual traditions to keep there unique perspectives while also not falling into a complete relativism and contradiction.

Of course, things can get a little dangerous when people just start substituting words around and the like. But there has to be some sort of balance and wiggle room, especially in the context of eastern theology, all the while preserving common belief. [/size]


Where does the quote in your signature come from? Is it from the liturgy? Or?

It comes from the liturgical text of the Sunday of Orthodoxy which celebrates the restoration of the use of the Holy Icons in the Church. :slight_smile:

You can read more about it here: melkite.org/faith/sunday-scriptures/why-are-icons-orthodox

And here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feast_of_Orthodoxy

The SOC is about as “authentically Syriac” as one gets. OTOH, even they have, over the centuries, adopted some byzantinizations (in certain chants and minor liturgical practices) and some latinizations (mainly in the form of art – e.g, it’s not unusual to see images of the Sacred Heart, etc). Fortunately, both are limited in scope.

Well, I’ve seen some strange Novus-Ordo-izations among the SOC, including First Communions, Versus Populum Liturgy, Simultaneous Masses, etc. limited, but still around.

I could be wrong, but the “first communion” bit is, I believe, one of those “solemn communion” things done in the diaspora just to give the idea of “fitting in” with the non-Oriental mainstream.

I’ve heard of the “simultaneous Masses” but IIRC (and I could be wrong here), only among the Keralite branches. In any case, yes, I find that concept kind of odd.

The “versus populum” I’ve never encountered. (And egads, but I hope I never do.) Maybe that has something to do with the so-called “expansion” in Guatemala or wherever? If that’s it, it’s probably done as an economia for “converts” from the Novus Ordo who have no other experience. Even if that’s it, I hope it will vanish faster than Houdini. :wink:

Adding onto Malphono.

Yes, the SOC are about as authentically Syriac as one gets. There are a few Latinisations and byzantinisations here and there.

But often these don’t replace things that are already there.

In the Mosul Phenqitho there is often the option of using “Greek Chants” or “Oriental Chants” (but the words are all syriac). The majority of clergy (I imagine) would simply ignore the Greek part.

the Assyrian Church of the East has more byzantinisations and latinisations for example: the ACoE uses byzantine crowns and genuflections.

Whereas the SOC appear to have maintained their Syriac traditions more than anyone else.

Ah yes, a Melkite parish in my area had “Second-grade Eucharistic Awareness” each years, until recently.

I believe I’ve been to a versus populum Maronite liturgy (unless I’m just confusing myself).

Yep, I wish I could say otherwise, but no, unfortunately and much to my own chagrin, the versus populum TABLE is still de rigeur among the Maronites. :mad: :mad: :mad: (Someday, maybe we’ll be freed from this from blatant Novus Ordo-inspired neo-latinization, but it hasn’t happened yet.) OTOH, my previous post was in re the SOC. :wink:

Oh right. I got a little confused while reading your last post.

Need an extra :coffee:, Peter? :stuck_out_tongue:

Jumping the gun, aren’t you? Coffee hour isn’t for two-and-half days.


Since the Syro Malabar Church has no Orthodox counterpart we don’t experience these “insecurities” but from what I know of the Syro Malankara Catholics there are many “insecurities” with their counterparts, the Malankara Orthodox and the Syrian Jacobite Churches. The two Kerala Syriac Orthodox Chuches often refer to Malankara Catholics as “uniates”, I have heard them go as far as calling them “traitors to Orthodoxy”, which is very absurd.

The Syro Malabar Catholics often call Malankara Catholics “reethakar”, which basically means Catholics of another rite, which really doesn’t make sense that we call them that because we are Catholics of a different rite as well. I think its because for a long time we were the only Catholics in the region, the Malankara Catholics came around pretty recently when it comes to time spans.

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