I ask the moderators not move this to the non-Catholic religions section as this is directed toward Eastern Catholics, whose opinions I would very much like to hear.
A new western-rite Orthodox mission is forming in my area. The priest overseeing it also serves several other missions and visits monthly, and was actually the priest who recieved me into Orthodoxy when he oversaw my current parish about 8 years ago. I was considering becoming involved in this mission, but had some reservations that I've been unable to reconcile.
First, I'm concerned that it will be western in liturgy but eastern in theology. They're using a modified version of the Anglican liturgy that's been dubbed "The Liturgy of St. Tikhon". I spoke with the man that will likely be the priest of this mission when he's ordained, and he said that he planned to teach Orthodox theology but with western terminology, e.g. sanctification rather than theosis. This seems to me to be exactly what Eastern Catholic churches are accused of being, only in reverse. I wonder if ultimately this can work.
Second, I'm concerned that this will lead to more division in Christendom. The Catholic Church as I understand has in modern times decided not to receive any more Orthodox churches into its communion as siu uris churches in manner of existing ones, e.g. Ruthenian, Melkite, etc. (correct me if I'm wrong, this is something I've read on these forums). It's concern is that this will lead for worse relations with the Orthodox and only lead to a more division rather than a rapprochment between the two churches. I'm afraid that the establishment of western-rite Orthodoxy parishes would have the same consequence.
Third, unlike Eastern Catholic Churches which are particular churches that have come into communion with the Catholic Church, western-rite Orthodoxy is largely an ecclesiastical anomaly, the creation of a new church which no historic foundation (the exception to this would be existing Anglican or Catholic parishes that come into communion with Orthodoxy). This idea that you can recreate a church from scratch strikes me as Protestant and not in conformity with patristic ecclesiology.
Fourth, the revised Anglican liturgy they'll be using is not a pre-Reformation liturgy but a revised post-Reformation one, and still bears some signs of that theology. For example, there's a line the priest says just before the distribution where he speaks of communing on Christ's body and blood by faith. While this can be understood in an orthodox sense, it was inserted in the Anglican liturgy by more Reformed theologians to promote a more Calvinist eucharistic theology.
Fifth, there are some Byzantine liturgical insertions that are unnecessary and even redundant, and are frankly a corruption of the liturgy. For example, in the Anglican liturgy there is the "Prayer of Humble Access" where we pray that we would be worth to partake of his body and blood, that he would grant us remission of sins, not judge us for our sinfulness, etc., and this is then repeated by the Byzantine corresponding prayer where we say "I believe O Lord and I confess... etc." (I'm sure you're familiar with it). There is no need to repeat a western prayer with its eastern counterpart when they say virtually the same thing.
On the positive however, it may teach some Orthodox to appreciate western traditions and theology, and come to see our differences as ones of "emphasis and expression" than of dogma. This could potentially be very important in a future reproachment, although the impact of such a small number of parishes and people would admittedly be small.
I would very much like to hear your reactions to these concerns, and any insights that you might have as Eastern Catholics on what I've said and the subject generally. Do you agree with these concerns? Can they be overcome? What do you think of Western-rite Orthodox generally? Thank you, and forgive me for being argumentative or uncharitable in the past,