Promoting our Eastern Sister Churches


#1

In the strive for unity between the east and west, HH Pope John Paul II askes us to embrace our eastern brothers and sisters.

Question:
Has anyone attended a Mass where the Priest has promoted Latins going to attend an Eastern Catholic (Byzantine Rite) Divine Liturgy ?

I truly think this is necessary for us Latins to experience.


#2

Once. I had gone to a Maronite service with my daughter and son-in-law (he is Maronite) and mentioned it to one of our priests. He did mention in his next mass that there were other rites in the Church and that if we ever had the opportunity we should attend one of their masses. Other than that one time I have never heard it mentioned. If it were not for my son-in-law I may not even know other rites existed.


#3

Please remember there are Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic. The former are in schism, and I don’t recommend going to them.
The latter are in communion with us and I DO recommend going to them.

Information on Eastern Catholic Churches
ewtn.com/expert/answers/catholic_rites_and_churches.htm

The Unofficial Directory of
Eastern Catholic Churches in the U.S. (out of date, but still useful)
crosslink.net/~hrycak/ch_indx-s.html

Another reason I love Holy Mother Church: The diversity of disciplines that ONE FAITH and ONE SET OF MORALS can bring, and the unity of it all.


#4

The Eastern Orthodox not in full communion with Rome kept with them the traditions of the Eastern rites. This, however, is the sad thing, that they are not yet in full communion, but appreciation of their traditions is to be greatly recognized. Their traditions, btw, doesn’t go against the Catholic Church.

Let’s practice humility and love at all times, and most of all, have the mind of Christ. If we think what Christ himself thinks, then this sad walls of divisions will be broken. We must look forward to the reunification of the great Churches of the East (Greek and Russian Orthodox, not counting those who are already in full communion) and the West (also called “Roman” by Protestants).

Of course, we also look forward towards full communion of the 30k plus Protestants into the ancient One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Chruch. It may seem impossible for Protestants, but God will make it happen–in His time.

Pio

Pio


#5

[quote=BobCatholic]Please remember there are Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic. The former are in schism, and I don’t recommend going to them.
The latter are in communion with us and I DO recommend going to them.

Perhaps I did not make myself clear enough. My apologies.
I did intend to reference OUR (meaning in communion with Rome) Eastern Catholic churches.
Sorry Bob but I think your statement is a bit harsh in stating that you do not recommend going to the EO churches.
It’s statements like those that will never see a truly unified Apostolic and Catholic Church.
Why would HH PJP II concelebrate the Eucharist with His All Holiness Bartholomew I (Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch) if he did not want us to embrace our Orthodox Sister Churches ?
[/quote]


#6

No, but I watch a program on EWTN called “Light of The East” (I think that’s what it’s called) and I find it very informative and interesting. I would like to attend an Eastern Rite Liturgy
As JPII calls our Sister “The Other Lung of the Church”!:slight_smile:


#7

There’s a difference between embracing our Orthodox Sister Churches as friends and fellow Christians and falling into the error of saying that one can fulfill one’s Sunday obglibation by attending a schismatic Church. I’m trying to avoid the latter.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the EO’s.


#8

[quote=Intrigued Latin]Why would HH PJP II concelebrate the Eucharist with His All Holiness Bartholomew I (Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch) if he did not want us to embrace our Orthodox Sister Churches ?
[/quote]

The pope did not concelebrate the sacrifice with Bartholomew I. The pope celebrated the liturgy; Bartholomew was merely present. He gave a homily, but he was not at the altar as the sacrifice was being offered and he did not receive communion. This is not nothing, to be sure, and I think it does indicate that the Holy Father wants a greater unity between the two separated communions, but it would be a mistake to make more of this than it really is.


#9

Intrigued Latin,

[quote=Intrigued Latin]Why would HH PJP II concelebrate the Eucharist with His All Holiness Bartholomew I (Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch) if he did not want us to embrace our Orthodox Sister Churches ?
[/quote]

John Paul II absolutely wants an embrace of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and attendance at Divine Liturgies of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches is certainly in keeping with the hope for reunion of the Churches. However, see below

[quote=BobCatholic]There’s a difference between embracing our Orthodox Sister Churches as friends and fellow Christians and falling into the error of saying that one can fulfill one’s Sunday obglibation by attending a schismatic Church. I’m trying to avoid the latter.
[/quote]

Bob is actually correct as regards the fulfillment by a Latin Catholic of one’s Sunday obligation. A Latin can only fulfill that obligation by attending an Orthodox Divine Liturgy if there is no Catholic church available. An Eastern Catholic, however, can fulfill his/her obligation by attendance at an Orthodox Divine Liturgy. That said, and understanding the limitations vis-a-vis fulfillment of the Sunday obligation, there is no reason why a Latin cannot attend and participate (except for reception of the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist, which the Orthodox will generally not allow) in an Orthodox Divine Liturgy

[quote=GrzeszDel]The pope did not concelebrate the sacrifice with Bartholomew I. The pope celebrated the liturgy; Bartholomew was merely present. He gave a homily, but he was not at the altar as the sacrifice was being offered and he did not receive communion. This is not nothing, to be sure, and I think it does indicate that the Holy Father wants a greater unity between the two separated communions, but it would be a mistake to make more of this than it really is.
[/quote]

GrzeszDeL is also correct in noting that Patriarch Bartholomew did not concelebrate with Pope John Paul II. To have done so would have violated the canons of both their Churches and would have rocked the Orthodox world.

Many years,

Neil


#10

Greg, it’s kind of disingenuous to say the Greek Patriarch Bartholomew was “merely there”. He was the honored guest not once, but three times, at Roman rite masses celebrated by the Pope. That’s a huge step forward. He’s also given full forgiveness to the Roman Catholics for the of their predecesors in the siege of Constantinope. That’s another huge step.

While he wasn’t with the Pope at the consecration and did not receive Holy Communion in the Roman rite mass, the fact that he joined in the celebration of a Roman mass three times in his patriarchy is HUGE and shows a commitment by both sides to heal the schism.

BTW, Rome permits Catholics to participate in Orthodox masses. We are not permitted to receive communion (by either side), though the Orthodox are permitted to receive Communion in the Roman rite (at least by Rome). But both Catholics and Orthodox are allowed to join their brothers in religious ceremonies and masses. The only codacile is that it doesn’t full the Catholic’s obligation to attend mass in our own faith, too. So we have to go to mass twice if we go to the Orthodox Church on Sunday.


#11

I think we should embrace our Eastern brothers (EC) and our neighbors (EO). I think unification is never going to happen, though, without a terrible compromise to our ways or theirs.


#12

I often attend Divine Liturgy at Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, and since I am a Byzantine Catholic, this fulfills my Sunday obligation.

~mateo


#13

[quote=mateo1973]I often attend Divine Liturgy at Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, and since I am a Byzantine Catholic, this fulfills my Sunday obligation.

~mateo
[/quote]

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Welcome to the forums!

Yes, according to the Code of Canons for the Eastern churches you are justified in doing so to preserve the practice of your church traditions.

I have as well.


#14

HESY and MATEO,

Hello! It’s good to see other “Easterners” on the board. I’m curious if any of the Orthodox churches you’ve ever been to allow you to receive communion. Although the general consensus is “no”, I have also heard that it varies from Priest to Priest. A friend of mine is Uniate Ukranian Catholic, but often goes to the Ukranian Orthodox church and receives communion. When he first approached the priest, the priest made him say a confession of faith and said essentially, “good enough for me”. Just wondering if you have had the same experience at all.

Loyola,

Thanks for the info on the Bart’s forgivness of the sins of Constantinople. On another thread, people are yelping about it like it was just yesterday. I’ll be sure to tell them to take Bart’s example on this. Funny how the Orthodox didn’t ask for forgiveness ofr the genocide of the Latins in Constantinople 40 years prior. Oh well. We forgive 'em, don’t we?


#15

When it comes to inflicting pain and genocide, I think Rome a lot more aggressive than Constantinople at the time. We didn’t exactly do them right by purposely marching off to kill our Orthodox brothers. It’s also very clear that we didn’t follow the universal standards in unilaterally imposing the Filioque. No matter how hard Catholics try to couch it, we tried to change the Nicean Creed, which came directly from the work of the Fathers at an Ecumenical council, without callling another universal ecumenical council. They did have a right to feel wronged on that.

And for those who think we’ll never see reunification, I can only tell you that in 1985 I had a long chat with a German woman who was so pained that she’d never be able to see her sister again…because the sister was behind the Berlin wall and it was “so for sure” that the wall would never come down. Well, the wall did come down and the sisters are back together again…and it didn’t even take another 5 years.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And the Spirit willing, East and West will reunite.


#16

[quote=Salvo]HESY and MATEO,

Hello! It’s good to see other “Easterners” on the board. I’m curious if any of the Orthodox churches you’ve ever been to allow you to receive communion. Although the general consensus is “no”, I have also heard that it varies from Priest to Priest. A friend of mine is Uniate Ukranian Catholic, but often goes to the Ukranian Orthodox church and receives communion. When he first approached the priest, the priest made him say a confession of faith and said essentially, “good enough for me”. Just wondering if you have had the same experience at all.

I have always been allowed communion at Greek Orthodox churches, but not at the Russian churches.

~Mateo

[/quote]


#17

I had the opportunity to attend the Divine Liturgy several years ago at a Ukrainian Catholic church in Chicago. It was by far one of the most beautiful liturgies I had ever attended. I was part of a K of C council who asked to hold their monthly corporate communion at that church. The pastor was very welcoming and after the liturgy answered questions. Unfortunately that church is an hour from me or else I would love to attend there more often. I certainly found the liturgy to be far more reverent than in the Latin Rite.

I think one reason why we don’t have more communication with the Eastern Rite is that they aren’t as prevalent in the U.S. as the Latin Rite although I do think it depends on where you live. I know there’s a great concentration of Eastern Rite churches in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Anyway, it’s a beautiful liturgy, filled with tradition and very mindful of our Catholic roots. I highly recommend attending a Divine Liturgy if at all possible!


#18

[quote=mateo1973]I have always been allowed communion at Greek Orthodox churches, but not at the Russian churches.
~Mateo
[/quote]

Dear Mateo,

There is a difference of practice as regards Confession and Communion between the Churches of Greek tradition (Greek, Antiochian) and Slavic tradition (Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian.)

Unlike the Greek Churches, the Slavic Churches usually require Confession before each Communion and especially for people who go to Communion infrequently, so this kind of sorts out the non-Orthodox at Confession time. If an unknown person comes up to the priest for Confession he will ask if that person is Orthodox. If the answer is no, then he will explain why Holy Communion is not possible.

Also if an unknown person is in line for Communion, the priest will say: you have to go to Confession first; are you Orthodox?


#19

LOYOLA,

I am of course not condoning or making light of the Sack of Constantinople. I’m just tired of the whole martyr complex of some Orthodox who consistently bring it up every time they get into a pinch on an argument. And I am the LAST person to defend the filioque. I never say it. It shouldn’t be there and you are right, the church knows it. At least the heirarchy does…

Mateo,

Interesting. I have of course had the same experience with the Russian church. Because I was chrismated in the Ethiopian Orthodox as a child, I usually tell them I am “Orthodox”. Once when I stated I was Oriental Orthodx, the Greek Orthodox priest looked at me like…well, wasn’t very good. But I rarely go to those churches anyway. These were rare occasions.


#20

When I attended the Russian church, I already knew that they would not allow a Greek Catholic to receive communion, so I didn’t even bother to ask.

Mateo


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