Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

Second Norman Invasion


Book of Kells Celtic Orthodox Icon“The Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Archdiocese has determined that the appropriate form of iconography for Western Rite Churches is the Romanesque Art of the Medieval Western Church. Just as there are specific canons or required characteristics for Byzantine iconography, so there are set characteristics for the Western Rite iconography based on the Romanesque style. Thus, it can be seen that both Eastern Rite and Western Rite icons are never to be mere decoration, never just attractive pictures. They are always deliberately “surreal” reflecting the mystical world they represent. Some of the characteristics of Western iconography based on Romanesque models include a certain simplicity of line and color with bright colors predominating.” [St. Columba Orthodox Church]

‘Romanesque art refers to the art of Western Europe from approximately 1000 AD to the rise of the Gothic style, which rose in the 13th century or later, depending on region. “Byzantine influences,” by way of Italy, found echoes in Romanesque art from the late eleventh century onward. Romanesque architecture is the term that is used to describe the architecture of Europe which emerged in the late 10th century and evolved into the Gothic style during the 12th century. The Romanesque style in England is more traditionally referred to as Norman architecture.’ [wiki]

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January 24, 2008 Posted by | -- What is Western?, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Um… it’s bowels, not heart.


http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/monasteryicons.aspx“We do have the Feast of the Sacred Heart in the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate, and it’s based entirely upon the excellent liturgical texts from the Breviary and the Missal, not upon the excesses of the popular devotion (popular devotion can be crazy, whether its Orthodox or Catholic).” – Lux Occidentalis

‘From the time of the apostles there has always been in the Church something like devotion to the love of God, but there is nothing to indicate that, during the first ten centuries of Christianity, any worship was rendered to the wounded Heart of Jesus. It is in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that the first indications of devotion to the Sacred Heart are found. It was in the fervent atmosphere of the Benedictine or Cistercian monasteries, in the world of Anselmian or Bernardine thought, that the devotion arose, although it is impossible to say positively what were its first texts or who were its first devotees. From the 16th centuray the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was everywhere in evidence, largely due to the Franciscan devotion to the Five Wounds and to the habit formed by the Jesuits of placing the image on their title-page of their books and the walls of their churches. Nevertheless, the devotion remained an individual, or at least a private, devotion. Jean Eudes (1602-1680) made it public, gave it an Office, and established a feast for it. Père Eudes was the apostle of the Heart of Mary; but in his devotion to the Immaculate Heart there was a share for the Heart of Jesus. The most significant source for the devotion to the Sacred Heart in the form it is known today was Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), who claimed to have received visions of Jesus Christ. There is nothing to indicate that she had known the devotion prior to the revelations, or at least that she had paid any attention to it.’ [source] [discussion] [Monastery Icons]

It’s more gore, along with the stations of the cross. Better Al Gore than this gore. Besides, we touch our bowels when we cross ourselves, not the heart. But that could get even worse.

As for “Windows to Heaven”, instead of the declaration, “He who is”, the icon comes with lucky charms. To be fair, this icon hasn’t popped up in any WR environment that we know of, even if the other spooky icons are ubiquitous in Roman Catholic curio shops masquerading as Orthodox iconography – but it did come up in a discussion on the web, and so it works here to lend illustration to the point.

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Western Rite -- Sacred Heart, Western Rite -- Stations of the Cross, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He gets it Rite.


Per Christum web siteFrom an excellent discussion at per Christum, with many more implications than are yet being observed:

“In the North American Antiochian Archdiocese, the answer is that is should look like the Tridentine, Counter Reformation, Roman Catholicism. Indeed, the liturgical standards for the AWRO are publicly and expressly those of the of the Anglican Missal & Ritual Notes or the 1962 Latin Missal (translated to English) and Fortesque’s Ceremonial.

Personally, I find this bizarre, to say the least, because Tridentine Catholic Doctrine (whether Anglo- or Roman) and the Liturgics that embody it (which the AWRO does to the nth) has little or nothing in common with the Western Orthodoxy of the First Millennium. To the contrary, Tridentine Counter-Reformation Catholicism (and its later aping by Victorian Anglo-Catholics) represents the fully developed embodiment of everything sectarian (that is herterodox) and wrong about Western Christianity since the Great Schism!!

In other words, regardless of pragmatic concerns, AWRO is in kind if not degree as egregious as slapping an icon on the wall of your local Universalist Unitarian church and relabeling it “Orthodox.” And, this simply won’t do. As we say in the South, you can put lipstick and a dress on a sow and call her Peggy Sue, but she still ain’t nothin’ but a big fat pig. Indeed, at a minimum, the revival of WRO must actually involve the use of liturgical practices at least based on pre-schism, Western Orthodox doctrine, spirituality and piety. In this regard, I do believe that ROCOR’s version of WRO is much more closer to be authentic.”

January 24, 2008 Posted by | -- Anglican, Western Rite -- Tridentine Mass, Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Bishop Anthony’s Concerns


The concerns of Bishop Anthony of San Francisco, expressed in an encyclical to his diocese, have been dismissed, attacked, and ignored, rather than listened to for their pastoral concern, their substantive evaluation (expressed and hinted at) of the implications of the Antiochian WRV, and so deserve quotation and explication here, with commentary, rebuttal, riposte, etc. Likewise, it should be presented, if for no other reason than that the mere expression of an “unfavorable” commentary on the Western Rite is so often treated as unacceptable in the midst of a fever of uncritical enthusiasm and this particular piece is not merely an opinion but an episcopal decision and so should give the more perceptive reader greater circumspection and hopefully, more pause.

October 4, 1995. Protocol no. 3.

To the Reverend Clergy of the Holy Diocese of San Francisco
Dearly Beloved,

The current existence of “western rite” parishes in California, Oregon and Washington within the Antiochian Archdiocese has recently been brought to my attention by a number of clergy seeking direction regarding our relationship as a Diocese to these communities.

These parishes use, as a basis for worship, modified versions of the old Anglican missal or the pre-Vatican II mass. This is, at best, liturgically unsound and pastorally unwise: liturgically unsound because these rites are not in direct continuity with t he worship of the early Church in the West, but are primarily the result of 16th century Reformation and Counter-Reformation debates; pastorally unwise because this adds still further to our fragmentation as a Church in the Americas and creates a tiny grou p of missions and parishes that are liturgically isolated from the rest of the Church.

We are thus placed in the awkward position of having to accept the “western rite” vicariate of the Antiochian Archdiocese as belonging to the canonical Orthodox Church while at the same time recognizing that this is a foreign element within the Body of Christ, analogous to the creation of the Unia by the Roman Catholic Church.

Continue reading

January 17, 2008 Posted by | -- Anglican, -- Ecclesiology & Ecumenism, Western Rite -- Pan-Orthodoxy, Western Rite -- Tridentine Mass, Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Seminal Material | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The East/West argument vs. Cyril & Methodius


Fr. David Abramstov wrote: “Unless a truly indigenous African Liturgy can be foreseen, a truly indigenous Indian and Chinese Liturgy, composed according to the one unique structure of the Liturgy (a structure imposed interiorly, having its source in dogmatic and mystical theology—in the true sense of those words—and not exteriorly by stifling the life of other Liturgies, as was the case historically speaking, where St. John Chrysostom’s Liturgy is concerned), the truly Orthodox vision of the world has not yet been seen. Uniformity, imposition, external authority are the death of Orthodoxy, for she is a precious box encrusted with a thousand different (but equally lovely) jewels, each of which reflects the light of truth in a manner particular and unique.” – On the Western Rite Edict of Metropolitan Anthony (Bashir)

Response: It sounds good, especially the appeal to these other cultures. But liturgical development has always been organic. It was in the West and the East. It was never something merely invented or reconstructed whole cloth. The liturgy in foreign lands was always the rite of the Orthodox missionaries who planted Churches there. St. Cyril and Methodius gave us the Orthodox model – we translate the liturgical books into the native language, and lead people to Christ. Never has there been a policy of questioning the rite being used, or which rite was appropriate, or suggesting that this or that rite is more appropriate to this or that culture. If Western missionaries founded missions, they used their rite; if Eastern missionaries founded missions, likewise the Eastern rite was used. That is living, breathing liturgy brought by living, breathing Orthodox. What we’re discussion now is liturgical reconstruction for setting up parallel Churches on different calendars, different fasting rules, different readings, and doing this with the argument that it’s somehow indigenous.

January 17, 2008 Posted by | Western Rite Questions | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Questions on the Edict


In 1958, Met. Antony issued his Edict of August, setting forth the general and provisional basis for establishing Western rite parishes within the Antiochian Archdiocese. Among the Edict’s stipulations are the following (with commentary):

1. All converts to the Church must accept the full Orthodox doctrine of Faith.

This is probably the most serious areas of concern. It is easy to say that one accepts the doctrine of the Faith in toto, but can one accept it truly with insufficient understanding of and education in it? Does this mean just the creed? The speed at which many converts are being funneled into the WR, and the inadequacy of the catechetical instruction and requirements, is a reasonable point of concern. Is it really acceptance of the *full* Orthodox doctrine of Faith, if that faith is not adequately understood.

2. Parishes and larger units received into the Archdiocese retain the use of all Western rites, devotions, and customs which are not contrary to the Orthodox Faith and are logically derived from a Western usage antedating the Schism of 1054.

This is probably the second most serious area of concern. One the one hand, how can churches that barely observe the pieties and pious customs of the East ensure that Western Rite missions they’re setting up are observing the genuine and full expressions of Orthodox piety. In parishes where there is barely any keeping of the fasts, where liturgy and the liturgical prayers are spectator behaviors, where the non-Sunday services are barely attended, Confession barely a regular practice, and nearly all semblance of the asceticism that shapes *all* Orthodox worship is missing, from where is this surety to come? And in the absence of such things, will we not see the filling of the void with precisely such heterodox devotions as the Roman Catholic rosary and the Stations of the Cross. There is a very real dearth, in theatre-like Orthodox Churches, of anything approaching a full expression of Orthodox worship, devotions, and customs.

3. All individual converts must be integrated into parochial life; there can be no individual converts to the Western rite unless to an established parish.

Again, another area of concern. In parishes that are “planting” Western Rite Missions, converts are easily run through a quick catechesis and given a choice of “going East” or “going West”, and then it’s a rush to get the storefront built out, and the clergy chrismated and ordained, and everyone into their building. Just as children are stunted if they do not spend adequate time building relationships with adults, one worries about creating parallel communities that aren’t truly integrated with each other, and so have a false basis for integration in their separate communities.

7. Western rite parishes and clergy are subject to the canons of the Orthodox Church and the laws of the Archdiocese.

To what degree are they or their parent churches really familiar with the canons to treat them with due reverance and observe them faithfully? It is of some interest whether the canons are truly being respected in general, but what about their observance in the conduct of a Western Rite in the first place? Will the canons be observed with regard to fasting? Are they known? etc.

The goal in asking these things is to convey substantial and justifiable concerns with what is and is not being done in the name of setting up Western Rite missions and parishes, aside from the cheerleading in various media.

January 17, 2008 Posted by | -- Catechesis & Conversion, Western Rite -- Stations of the Cross, Western Rite -- The Rosary, Western Rite Questions | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Historical Revisionism, Liturgics, and the BCP


“The vision of the Western Rite as an essential part of the Orthodox Mission in America belonged to Archbishop Tikhon of the American Archdiocese under the Moscow Patriarchate. About ninety years ago he examined the existing Anglican Book of Common Prayer and sent it to the Holy Synod of Moscow. That Liturgy, derived from the ancient use of the Orthodox West, and first expressed in English in the edition of 1549 by authority of King Edward the Sixth of England, was corrected and approved by the Holy Synod for Orthodox Church use.” – WesternOrthodox.com (1/16/2008)

Question: Why all this quoting of pedigree, pre-schism pedigree, post-schism pedigree, when it’s basically a revised Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer? Even the Anglicans, with their notions of doctrinal development collaborating with liturgical development, didn’t bother so much as to claim this flawless a pedigree for their innovations. Is this rewriting history?

January 17, 2008 Posted by | -- Anglican, Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Questions | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

AA WR & Roman Catholic pieties (e.g. Rosary)


Initiation into the Piety of the RosaryFor those concerned about the replacement of genuinely Orthodox pieties with Roman Catholic mariology and pieties, take for example the [Instructions for Praying The Rosary] at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, complete with “history” and “how to”.

Likewise an article from The Walsingham Way (Vol II, Num. 1, Fall 99) instructs one that the Rosary is an Orthodox devotion. It makes reference, however, to perfectly normal venerations of the Theotokos, as presumably examples of praying the Rosary. This is the fallacy of equivocation. If one, for instance, compares the 15 prayers of the Elder Zosima to the 15 prayers of the Rosary, the Roman Catholic obesession with the suffering and passion of Christ (and the suggested hetereodox Soteriology if not Christology) becomes as evident as it is in contemporary Roman Catholic “iconography” and in the stations of the cross. Where the Roman Catholic Rosary concentrates on the agony and gore, the Orthodox devotion concentrates on the miraculous triumph of Christ, and on the Theotokos as such. Compare them, using the above two links, if you will.

The Rosary is not Orthodox Soteriology or Piety or DevotionFr. Seraphim Rose: Again drawing from the Holy Fathers, Fr. Seraphim counseled his spiritual children not to trust in or get carried away by their imagination, especially in prayer. Fr. Alexey Young recalls how, when he was still a Roman Catholic preparing to become Orthodox, he was given an important lesson by Fr. Seraphim: “I asked Fr. Seraphim about meditation, which my wife and I, still under the influence of our Roman Catholic background, had made part of our regular routine of morning prayer. We did not yet realize that the Orthodox understanding of meditation is quite different from the Western Christian view. In conversation, Fr. Seraphim explained that the use of imagination in Western spiritual systems of meditation—viz., while saying the Rosary, reciting the Stations of the Cross, or doing the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, etc.—was not compatible with Orthodox spirituality and was forbidden because imagination came into use only after the fall of Adam and Eve; it is one of the lowest functions of the soul and the favorite playground of the devil, who can and does use human imagination in order to deceive and mislead even well-meaning people.” – Fr. Alexey Young, Letters from Fr. Seraphim, pp. 12–13.

Continue reading

January 17, 2008 Posted by | Western Rite -- Sacred Heart, Western Rite -- Stations of the Cross, Western Rite -- The Rosary, Western Rite Pieties | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

AA WR Sources of Liturgical Instructions


In the case of St. Augustine’s Church, where the Gregorian Rite (the oldest Liturgy of the Orthodox Church) is utilised, the authoritive source for our ceremonial is the exhaustive work of eminent ceremonialists Adrian & Fortecue and the Revd J.B. O’Connell, S.J. in their monumental work, The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described ninth and previous editions). Those parishes which use the rite of St. Tikhon receive ceremonial direction from Ritual Notes (eleventh and previous editions) which is and resource based almost entirely on the seminal work of Fortescue and O’Connell. In some cases, more recent editions of each book may also prove to be useful, but the older editions are always better sources for specific ceremonial directions.

The clergy are required and morally bound to follow these authorities in their parishes ceremonial. The are not authorised to “make it up as they go along.” Pastors may be forced to adapt and modify the directions of ceremonial authorities, because of local circumstances and church design, but the authoritative guides are always followed as closely as possible. Certainly no modification of ceremonial in a modern and contemporary direction is ever to undertaken. Orthodox Christians are “maximalists” not “minimalists” (as the modernists are called). — St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church 1/16/2006

January 17, 2008 Posted by | -- Anglican, Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AA WR uses Roman Catholic Calendar


The Sanctorale calendar of the western rite is the Roman Martyrology, with any post-schismatic heretical “saints” and feasts expunged. The western rite uses the common Orthodox date for Holy Easter, and the Temporale Calendar is based on that date. The Western Rite Vicariate publishes and annual ORDO delineating the feasts, fasting rules, and regulations regarding the Calendar and similar related matters. – St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church 1/16/2008

Note: The Orthodox West for the entire span of their Orthodoxy used the Old (Julian) Calendar rather than the new calendar innovation, so it would not be accurate to deem this a return to the calendar of the Orthodox in the West. Likewise, the fasting rules, time frames for some feasts/fasts, etc. would be quite different.

January 17, 2008 Posted by | Western Rite Pieties, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AA WR uses 1950s Roman Catholic Fasting Rules


The fasting rules, vestments of the clergy, clerical attire and other ceremonial details of the western rite are those of the dissident west in 1950. This date, it is to be noted, considerably precedes the invocations of the so-called second Vatican “council.” In fact, the authorized western rite forms antedate even the earliest wave of changes instituted in the West in the mid-and late 1950s. – St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church 1/16/2008

Note: 1950, besides being before Vatican II, and signifying a nostalgic cultural era in the hearts of many Roman Catholics, is the year the Pope Pius XII declared that the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven was the “infallible” dogma of the Roman Catholic Church.

Note also: The fasting rules of the pre-schism (i.e. Orthodox) West were notably more severe/devout than those used by Roman Catholics in 1950. Arguably, though, they are also moreso than those practiced today by many Orthodox members of large Antiochian churches.

January 17, 2008 Posted by | Western Rite Pieties, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

AA WR contains few modifications


The theological modifications to the Western Rite Orthodox text are subtle and hardly noticeable to even the most regular worshipper. Two of these alterations include the deletion of the Filioque [and the Son] clause in the Nicene Creed and the addition of a stronger epiclesis (invoking of the Holy Ghost) in the Canon prayer said by the priest at the consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. – St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church 1/16/2008

In addition to these two changes, the Western Rite includes other minor changes that Roman Catholics familiar with the pre-Vatican II rite and most Anglo-Catholics (High Church Episcopalians) would find to be either familiar or certainly acceptable. The Orthodox Western Rite allows western Christians to retain familiar, traditional forms of worship. Thus insuring themselves of remaining within an ecclesiastical communion, under Apostolic bishops who attempt to teach and practice the ancient Gospel of Jesus Christ as it speaks to the needs and concerns of today’s men and women. – Ibid.

January 17, 2008 Posted by | -- Anglican, Western Rite -- Tridentine Mass, Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Antiochian WR & Roman Catholic Mysteriology


The Western Rite parish provides to its members the seven sacraments of the historic Church.
These are: Holy Baptism, Confirmation (Chrismation), Holy Communion (open only to confirmed/
chrismated members of the Orthodox Church), Confession (privately to a priest), Marriage (only
between a man and a woman. The Orthodox Church does accept remarriage after a period of
penance), Holy Orders (the Apostolic succession of bishops and the male only priesthood) and
the Anointing of the Sick (healing services)and the Dying (Extreme Unction). – St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church 1/16/2008

Note: The Orthodox Church rejects the notion that there are seven mysteries, that mysteriology can be neatly defined, and that the mysteries mentioned above correspond exactly to the mysteries as understood by the Orthodox Church (e.g. Confirmation/Holy Chrismation)

January 17, 2008 Posted by | Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WR as Refugee Camp


The Western Rite Orthodox Parish is a parish consisting entirely of converts. These are people,
who much like you, became unhappy with changes in the churches they belonged to. Some
found the responses of their former churches to their personal life situations to be rigid and
lacking pastoral sensitivity. The reinstitution of the traditional Western Rite is to provide a home
for people whose Christian roots, be they ever so fragile today, are in the ancient tradition of the
western Church. These are usually, but not necessarily, churches that have had a strong sacra-
mental or ceremonial nature to their worship services, such as the Roman Catholic, Episcopalian
or Lutheran traditions. – St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church 1-16-2008

January 17, 2008 Posted by | -- Catechesis & Conversion, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anglican + Roman Catholic + Some Modifications = AA WR


WESTERN RITE ORTHODOXY is the use of the traditional Roman Catholic or Episcopalian Services and Devotionals, as they were done before the changes of the last fifty years. The Antiochian Archdiocese has made some modifications, which reflect proper Orthodox theology. The primary service is the Gregorian Rite Roman Mass, or its Anglican derivative, the 1928 Book of Common Prayer (BCP) Holy Communion Service. – St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church 1/16/2008

January 17, 2008 Posted by | -- Anglican, Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WRV


Excerpts from the WR Dept page of the AA web site 1-17-2007, with questions and/or comments.

————–> Continue reading

January 16, 2008 Posted by | -- Anglican, -- Catechesis & Conversion, Western Rite -- Tridentine Mass, Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Seminal Material | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The WRV = Unilateral Shift in General Policy


“More recently, some Orthodox churches have also accepted the policy of admitting a “Western rite” to be used not by entire ecclesiastical bodies joining corporately the communion of the Orthodox Church, but by smaller splinter groups, who seceded from these Western churches to join Orthodoxy. As is well known, the Roman Catholic Church was–and is– following a similar policy in reverse by accepting small (or big) splinter groups into its own communion with the proviso that they would keep and preserve their Eastern rite.” – Fr. John Meyendorff, SVTQ 1980

One may express concern that this really is, therefore, a shift in general policy in the history of Orthodoxy (there are exceptions, but these demonstrate the rule), and therefore really is a matter for pan-Orthodox consideration rather than the unilateral behavior that resulted in Bishop Anthony’s encyclical, which few have shown that they understand in this light. But this is indeed precisely the driving problem that he addresses.

December 14, 2007 Posted by | Western Rite -- Pan-Orthodoxy, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ER is the Mother-Rite of America and Orthodox World


Fr. John Meyendorff writes: “It is also true, however, that since ths schism which occurred in the Middle Ages, Orthodoxy has *in practice* been preserved in the framework of an “Eastern” civilization, and its tradition has been shaped by the Great Church of Constantinople, i.e. Byzantium. It is from there that it spread to many other areas, and it is the Byzantine liturgy, translated into many languages, which has served for centuries as the principal, and sometimes the only vehicle for the living tradition of the Orthodox faith. In this Byzantine liturgical form, Orthodoxy was also brought to America.

Meanwhile, the Christian Tradition of the West was embroiled in changes and crises, which we, as Orthodox, cannot consider uniformly legitimate. And today, the schism still exists, and differences in faith show themselves in different forms of worship.” – SVTQ 1980

One cannot help but further observe that not only have the Orthodox, who used the Eastern Rite, preserved the living Faith of Orthodoxy, but also transmitted it to the Celts, the Russians, to America, Australia, and so on. The Eastern Rite, in some sense at least, is our Mother, just as those Churches are our Mother Churches.

In the case of the US, Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South (OCA) replied to the Pat. of Constantinople concerning the latter’s assertion to be Patriarch of our Mother Church, that in fact the Russian Church is the Mother Church of the Americas; it is from her that our churches came, and from her so many American Saints. The Orthodox roots of America, one may conclude, our in the Russian Church, the Eastern Rite, and the Saints who brought them both to us. The idea that Westerners who wish to truly convert now insist on a different rite, begs the question of whether they or we any longer truly regard it as conversion. It may be argued quite reasonably that the American Orthodox tradition lies in continuity with, not irregularity regarding, our great Mother Church of Russia and her holy, righteous, and glorified Saints of America. One might ask, in this sense, then, what Antioch has to do with it, and whether this pushing so hard for the WRV to become the norm is with these things in mind.

December 13, 2007 Posted by | Western Rite Questions | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Platonism, Fullness of Faith, Unity, Open Debate


Fr. John Meyendorff: “I will not try to enumerate here all the dimensions of the issue, which clearly involves the very nature of the current Orthodox witness in the world. The Orthodox Church has never considered its liturgy to be frozen once and for all in the limited cultural forms of tenth-century Byzantium. Of course, these forms are unequalled as an expression of the Tradition of the Church, but even they, as Fr. Schmemann likes to insist in his writings, have been often misunderstood and misinterpreted in categories of a platonizing symbolism of doubtful quality. On the other hand, if it wants to be credible in the West, the Orthodox Church can and should not only liberate itself of that which is unauthentic in its own historical past, but also assume everything which is true and beautiful in Western Christianity. But, in so doing, it must avoid simplifications, amateurism, superficiality, deceit and arrogance, which it so easily condemns in others. The liturgy is not a game of arbitrarily interchangeable rites, but an act of faith reflecting our salvation in Christ within the unity and the catholicity of the Church.

The debate about the Western rite is, therefore, both ecclesiological and pastoral. It is concerned with the relationship between the *lex orandi* and the *lex credendi* in the Catholic Church–a relationship which has remained very real in Orthodoxy, and has been greatly loosened in the West–and with concrete needs of the Orthodox mission. It is not about the legitimacy of a Western rite as such, but about the real situation of today’s Western Christianity, about the confused religious situation in America today, about the highly responsible task of building up an American church truly Orthodox and genuinely united, and finally about the issue of Christian unity in general. What is also needed is a joint pan-Orthodox decision on the matter, and therefore a preliminary open debate.1980 SVTQ [all emphasis ours]

December 11, 2007 Posted by | Western Rite -- Pan-Orthodoxy, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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