Roman Catholic Archbishop Gomez will be the Guest of Honor at the 4th Annual Ecumenical Prayer Service

Being from Los Angeles, I thought that this is pretty cool. Although, I don’t really understand the “homily” part.

We are delighted to inform you of an unprecedented event. On December 2, 2013, the Most Reverend Jose H. Gomez, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will pay his first official visit to the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America. Archbishop Gomez will be the guest of honor and will deliver the homily at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral.

The Ecumenical Prayer Service will include the participation of clergy from the Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical Churches as well as civic leaders and faithful.

armenianchurchwd.com/news/roman-catholic-archbishop-of-los-angeles-the-most-rev-jose-h-gomez-will-be-the-guest-of-honor-at-the-4th-annual-ecumenical-prayer-service/

I am guessing that this Armenian Church is an Oriental Orthodox Church. It is a good sign that they are having an ecumenical service with Catholics and Orthodox.

That is awesome. I really like Archbishop Gomez. Not to long ago he gave a speech at a gathering between Christians and Jews, and it was one of the best speeches of that kind I have ever read.

Excellent. :slight_smile:

Quite right, they’re Oriental Orthodox. (Otherwise known as “miaphysites”.)

Congratulation to AB Gomez! He has quite a resume. I got to see him once in a deacon ordination in San Antonio. My FIL served him as deacon at the altar. I really like this guy.

Although good, the Catholic-OO dialogue is not a new thing. We’re much more docile than our Greek peers.

I’m going to be the dissenting voice here and say that this is not a good thing. We should not be holding “ecumenical prayer services” with those outside the Church; the OO concelebrations are enough. Anyone who wants in on that is welcome to actually join the faith, but until that point discussions should be limited to matters of doctrine, so praying together is totally jumping the gun and unacceptable. On the other hand, while it’s bad, it’s hardly surprising. Among OO it is widely recognized that the Armenians are the most ecumenical of all of us, followed probably be the Syriacs, then the Copts and the Tewahedo. This sort of division can be seen in the fact that Catholics converting to the COC or the EOTC are rebaptized, while they are apparently not rebaptized upon entering the other churches. This is a break from the historical norm (since OO used to regard Chalcedonians are being all the same, whether Greeks or Latins), but it is very much in force. I have been told in no uncertain terms by our priests that if I were to attend an RC mass without prior approval or for any other reason than observation (e.g., a wedding or some other event like that), I would be disciplined since we are not supposed to take part in the religious ritual of the non-Orthodox, and that if I were to commune with them (which I know is farther than this event is going, but given the attitude of the Armenians isn’t too hard to imagine), I would be excommunicated. Ditto communion with the EO, if it were offered (which it could conceivably be back home in N. California, where there are no OO churches, but is not here in ABQ).

I think the Armenians and any other OO who attend this sort of thing are making a big mistake, but at least in the case of the Armenians there is some historical precedent for their apparent openness, as they did go through distinct periods of Latin influence (and earlier Syriac and Byzantine influence), e.g., in Cilicia. Hopefully we in the OO communion can be smarter in the future than to do this sort of thing (and truthfully I’ve seen worse involving COC, but only in Egypt; some of what certain priests who have involved themselves with evangelicals have done makes me wonder who is guarding the hen house sometimes…Lord have mercy!). In the meantime I console myself with the fact that there are still many local/diocesan priests, bishops, and others who “get it”, and of course our Popes have reinforced the need watch out for non-Orthodox influences in the Church (and HH Pope Tawadros’ recent appointment of a delegation to look into un-Orthodox practices of the DC-area churches shows that he is taking complaints seriously, at least). So I hope these ecumenical meetings will be looked at in a few years like how Greeks in America look at their flirtation with organs in the 1960s. Of course it would help if we’d get out of the WCC instead of oh, I don’t know…becoming the freaking head of it, but what can I say…this is one of the downsides of autocephaly, I guess. The Armenians are more ecumenically-minded, and while it hasn’t hurt the central tenets of their faith (hence we in the COC, who are much less ecumenical overall, are still in communion with them), I think it does mislead people (hence all of you think this is great and I think it’s horrible).

Lord have mercy.

Get what? From the Catechism:

Certain things are required in order to respond adequately to this call: …

prayer in common, because “change of heart and holiness of life, along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians, should be regarded as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement, and merits the name ‘spiritual ecumenism

If ecumenical prayer was good enough for John Paul the Great, that is all the “getting” I need. Common prayer is essential to Christian unity. Christian unity is something we desire, if we unite our hearts with Jesus who greatly desired this unity and prayed specifically for unity before he died. In prayer, we gain a spiritual unity that transcends theological discussion, allowing for love to prevail over all, an important lesson from 1 Corinthians 13.

Yes, something pretty much unique to the COC, and something, IIRC, that has its roots with certain COC bishops being madly in love with MP. I suppose that MP connection dates to the Nasser era in Egypt, when anything Russian was in vogue. :shrug: That said, though, isn’t there a movement within the COC to restore the traditional practice?

If the affair were strictly OO/EO/RC, personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. I have far bigger concerns, however, with the “ecumenical” concept which, these days especially, includes a certain false religion, along with the usual Jewish and Protestant contingents. Those I spurn and will not attend on principle. You know what I mean, so I needn’t say more. :wink:

Get that Orthodoxy is not Roman Catholicism or Protestantism, and we should not come together with people of those persuasions while there are still important theological and other points that divide us to the degree that we do not recognize your faiths are being the same as ours. If we wouldn’t commune with you openly under normal circumstances (and we wouldn’t), then we ought not hold prayer services with you, either.

If ecumenical prayer was good enough for John Paul the Great, that is all the “getting” I need.

Fair enough for you, and I respect the fact that the CCC is the final word in your world, but John Paul II is not Orthodox, and your communion is not Orthodox, and we in the Orthodox Church needn’t treat anything in the Roman Catholic communion as in way informative of how we should act or what we should or shouldn’t do with others. We shouldn’t have these sorts of prayer meetings. The CCC’s viewpoint has no bearing on the issue.

Common prayer is essential to Christian unity.

Indeed, and we can have it after we have unity (cf. the pan-OO services I mentioned earlier), but not before. You don’t drive a car before you can crawl, and you don’t hold concelebrated services of any kind (prayer, liturgy, etc.) before you have sufficient grounds to actually concelebrate. In the Orthodox communion, with the exception of any aberrations you may find, that is understood to be a common faith. Neither of the communions which call themselves Orthodox believe that they share the Orthodox faith with the Roman Catholic communion, much less with Protestants or whoever else is at this abomination.

Christian unity is something we desire, if we unite our hearts with Jesus who greatly desired this unity and prayed specifically for unity before he died. In prayer, we gain a spiritual unity that transcends theological discussion, allowing for love to prevail over all, an important lesson from 1 Corinthians 13.

No. We have our hearts with the Lord, but are not (or should not be) dedicated to false unity of the type promoted here. I won’t speak for any other communion’s view of things, but I am in actual/literal/material unity with the Orthodox Church because I am in spiritual unity with them. You and every other person of another communion are in neither. You want to go from point A to point Z bypassing everything in between that would have you leave your own church for precisely the reasons why those who are committed to Orthodoxy would tell you that you have to if you want to commune with us. Well I’m sorry, but that’s how it works, which is precisely why I’m against this sort of thing in the first place, and have labeled it “jumping the gun”. Did you watch the video of HH Pope Shenouda III I linked in my post? He says “Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy”, and even though we don’t always live up to it as individuals (hence things like this prayer meeting), it’s still true. If you won’t be Orthodox, you shouldn’t be surprised that those who are don’t like things that seem to lend legitimacy to non-Orthodox things that they don’t actually have.

Sorry if that’s harsh, but I think this idea of “spiritual communion” that isn’t actual communion is something that is ultimately condemned in both of our communions, so hopefully you can understand where it’s coming from. It’s good ecclesiology for RCs and Orthodox, and events like this are at least a precursor to the discarding of it, which is wrong.

I agree with Malphono. I am all for joint RC / EO / OO prayer services (obviously of a non-Eucharistic form), but I struggle with public services that involve Protestants and others. As a Catholic from a Protestant family I have no problem praying privately with my Protestant loved ones - in fact, they will sometimes let me lead them in Vespers…but I cannot see the value of bishops praying with Protestant ministers whose ordinations we do not even accept. I was quite scandalized by a joint Catholic - Anglican vespers service that was held by about a half dozen bishops of each church in Vancouver a couple years ago- but hey, at least it wasn’t a mass and the service was held in an Anglican Church not a consecrated Catholic temple.

From what I have read (just on forums from other Copts; I don’t know where to find this kind of information in print), it predates the Nasser era, but anyway, yes, there is a movement to return to the traditional practice. It is being spearheaded most vocally by the British Orthodox Church within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. I can see the logic in both approaches, and am personally glad that I was received with the full rite of baptism, but would like to see us return to the earlier way, as the Fathers are to always be our standard.

If the affair were strictly OO/EO/RC, personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

I would still have a problem with it on essentially the same grounds, but I guess I’m a curmudgeon. Meh. It would be better (?) to remove those who are even farther from the Orthodox faith in terms of their doctrinal stances, but not in communion is still not in communion.

I have far bigger concerns, however, with the “ecumenical” concept which, these days especially, includes a certain false religion, along with the usual Jewish and Protestant contingents. Those I spurn and will not attend on principle. You know what I mean, so I needn’t say more. :wink:

Indeed, and I agree entirely.

I would say that “Jesus is Jesus” would be more important. I know what Jesus want. It’s there in John as big as life. He prayed for it. This Armenian Diocese is taking steps toward that. You call it “false” ecumenism, but that is but a word and an opinion. If God hears the unified prayer of His children, there is nothing false about it. Unity will never come about unless we decide we love God more than we want to be by ourselves. How can you wish to never pray with fellow brothers in Christ, coming together with them in the presence of God through prayer, yet you have no compunction about coming here on this Catholic site to argue? I guess those people that belong to Jesus, that want to heal the wounds of disunity to His body, who want to join with Him in His High Priestly Prayer that we all be one, will come together as they are at this Armenian Diocese. Those that don’t will stand to the sidelines.

Note that Evangelicals will also be present.

Yes, and Jesus Christ established the Orthodox Church, and only the Orthodox Church. (You had to have seen this coming…are you sure this is a good direction to take this thread? I’m fine with this being my only such statement, just for the record.)

I know what Jesus want.

Hmm. Ordinary life must be very boring for you, then.

It’s there in John as big as life. He prayed for it.

Indeed, as do both of our churches. That’s not in doubt.

This Armenian Diocese is taking steps toward that. You call it “false” ecumenism, but that is but a word and an opinion.

As opposed to what, exactly? What are you posting? Ohhhh, right…you know what Jesus wants. Well then…I don’t know what to say. Aqabil el-aiyady, ya qods abuna? I guess I’d better become Roman Catholic (again) now. :

If God hears the unified prayer of His children, there is nothing false about it.

In the words of Hank Hill, I’m sure He’s many places He doesn’t want to be. What’s your point? Unless you believe that God hearing something automatically makes it true, I don’t see how you can think this makes any point at all. God, you should know (since you know what He wants), is not unaware of anything, good or bad, so that’s a pretty low standard by which to judge something as true or false (indeed I don’t even see how you can say that there are such things as truth or falsehood, if God hearing them means there’s nothing false. What happens outside of His purview?).

Unity will never come about unless we decide we love God more than we want to be by ourselves. How can you wish to never pray with fellow brothers in Christ, coming together with them in the presence of God through prayer, yet you have no compunction about coming here on this Catholic site to argue?

See, I had worried that this is what you would get out of my post (hence why I put in that bit about good ecclesiology for RCCs and Orthodox). I wish I had another way to put it, but there really isn’t one as far as I can see. Believe me, the OO do not want to be by ourselves. I think we’ve had enough of that for about 1600 years and counting. But neither should we compromise anything for the sake of unity with those who do not share our faith. As for coming here to argue, please take note of the fact that this concerns my communion, so this is exactly where you should expect me to say something (which you are free to not read or respond to, if what I write upsets you; I’m not here to upset anyone). There are precious few threads even on this subforum that directly concern me, since most of it is ECs arguing with Latins or Constantinopolitans arguing with ECs, or all three arguing amongst themselves. It is very rare that any OO church comes up in a discussion that doesn’t revolve around their Catholic counterparts. So you’ll have to excuse me if I take exception to your characterization as “arguing”. If I don’t come here and say that this is not a wise move, who will? The rest of you think it is great, but you are not OO so that means that you don’t have the perspective of someone who is actually in communion with the Armenians.

I guess those people that belong to Jesus, that want to heal the wounds of disunity to His body, who want to join with Him in His High Priestly Prayer that we all be one, will come together as they are at this Armenian Diocese. Those that don’t will stand to the sidelines.

Oh, so now we’re going to comment on someone’s personal commitment to Jesus Christ? That’s a little low, don’t you think? I’ll have you know that I was baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit (with triple immersion, no less), not in the name of being right on the internet. I don’t care about that, ultimately. It’s just that there are no other OO voices here now that Anastasia (who is actually Armenian Orthodox; I wonder what she thinks about this event) doesn’t post here anymore, and I think a critical appraisal is not wrong. I would not go to such an event, but I will not personally condemn those who do.

Note that Evangelicals will also be present.

And? There are evangelicals (in the truest sense of the term) at every Coptic Orthodox liturgy. We are nothing if not evangelical. Probably annoyingly so, if you were to ask the retired couple who showed up to liturgy on Friday in Las Cruces. :smiley:

No. He established His Church.

Ohhhh, right…you know what Jesus wants.

In regards to this, yes. I credit this to my ability to read.

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all* be one**, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that** they may be one** even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. "* Jesus (John 17:20-23)

Oh, so now we’re going to comment on someone’s personal commitment to Jesus Christ?

Of course not. I did not. I never have. I never will. SO to answer your question, I will not and only you can answer the other part of “we”.

There are evangelicals (in the truest sense of the term)

I was using the term “Evangelical” as a proper noun, hence the capitalization.

Yes…His Church, which is the Orthodox Church.

In regards to this, yes. I credit this to my ability to read.

I also can read, but I don’t take it as a defense or sanction of what you apparently do.

I was using the term “Evangelical” as a proper noun, hence the capitalization.

And I was using it as an adjective, as is proper. :stuck_out_tongue: Language is fun.

An evangelical Orthodox. I understand if this is how you view yourself. I do not understand evangelizing here. This should be in the non-Catholic section, or apologetics so this error can be explained.

I can appreciate that AB Derderian is willing to invite others to join in prayer as fellow brothers in Christ and that AB Gomez is uniting with him in the prayer needs and requests for the Armenian Church. It is good to see Christian brotherhood among our Orthodox brothers.

Where are you seeing evangelism in anything I have written? I presume you know the Gospel and are quite happy with the explanations of it you have been given in the RCC. This thread is not about that.

I can appreciate that AB Derderian is willing to invite others to join in prayer as fellow brothers in Christ and that AB Gomez is uniting with him in the prayer needs and requests for the Armenian Church. It is good to see Christian brotherhood among our Orthodox brothers.

Tfeh. Or as the Egyptians put it, efffffff. I see more Christian brotherhood (and of a better type) in my inbox here on CAF, or sometimes in the prayer intentions here. I suppose if I could only see unity being strived towards via events like this, I could be more sympathetic to your viewpoint, but honestly I think these kinds of things make a mockery of the concept of unity by presuming that we are further along in that quest than we really are. It’s really a step backwards, so it’s because I want unity (of the type where we share of one cup, in common recognition of one Lord, one faith, and one baptism) that I am against these things that appear to manifest it but do not.

Ecumenical relations in Los Angeles have been really good over the years, especially with Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith. When the St. Thomas the Apostle parish burned down in the late 90s, the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral next door welcomed their Catholic brethren to use the cathedral space for Mass while they were in the process of rebuilding. Also, back in June 2005 when H.H. Karekin II visited Los Angeles, Cardinal Mahony allowed the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels to be used for their Divine Liturgy. :thumbsup:

Brother,

Despite the strict stance that is taken by the COC in regard to non-OO in times of tumult with the non-OO, it hasn’t always been so. As you mentioned, re: baptism, praying with EO/RC/ECs, etc., it has happened in the past and will continue in the future, especially when the Church is going through such difficulties and needs both prayers and action by their fellow Christians to survive. As to praying with Catholics, HH invited HB Patriarch of the Coptic Catholics for his enthronement, and in turn HH attended HB enthronement. If anyone is to interpret this, should it be these two, and their Synods?

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