Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Delatinization redux


  • A British ex-Anglican priest in the Ukrainian Catholic Church: True to tradition. I add: a tradition with a small t.
From elsewhere:
It's necessary to take a definitive measure to end the Eastern schism. Talks and good will are not effective. Each Orthodox church needs to renounce the separation and became an Eastern Catholic church of the Byzantine Rite.
Yes, but. You don't have to latinize to be Catholic. Don't harass the latinized majority in the current Byzantine Catholic churches, but guarantee to the Orthodox that we will never do to them what we did to Toth and Chornock in America. "We love you and miss you. Join us so we can leave you alone."

Don't harass the latinized majority in the current Byzantine Catholic churches. This got me put in moderation (basically suspended) at byzcath (yes, a Catholic-hosted forum; sometimes we're our worst enemy) for about two years and just now nearly pushed off Facebook's Russian Catholic group. Two deacons chewing me out like drill sergeants. "Stop pretending to be a Russian Catholic and go away; enjoy your traditional Latin Mass." Do as Fr. Deacon Dork says (harass the latinized actual East Slavs in the church; like me, Russian Catholics usually aren't Slavs) or turn in my icons (from a deceased Russian's collection) and Slavonic prayer books. Нет (nyet).

Russian Catholics usually are born Catholic non-Russians who love things Russian and Orthodox but have the sense not to leave the church.

The calling to delatinize oneself looks like anti-Westernism, a sin of the Orthodox, but isn't. (A favorite story from a departed priest friend who lived it: the English Jesuit superior of Fordham's Russian Center taking down an icon of St. Ignatius Loyola because it doesn't belong in the rite.) But it can become malicious. That's how evil works; it's a parasite, spoiling a good thing.

A good thing, the calling to be an unlatinized Byzantine Catholic, gets twisted into the sin of pride (when it's about your ego and not God: my cause), looking down on others who are entirely Catholic. Mirroring our treatment of Toth and Chornock, ¿no? Same self-righteousness as many of the Orthodox, of rad trads, and of NCR liberals (Modernists).

I love the mild delatinizations, imposed from the top, at my Ukrainian part-time parish. It's not entirely восточный (Eastern) but seems and is meant to seem Orthodox, perfect for my offering all that the Orthodox taught me back to God in the Catholic Church. The parishioners, Slavs who are nth-generation Ukrainian Catholics, aren't as keen on them ("Why can't we have our Stations of the Cross?"). That's reality. Their opinion, and they remain entirely Catholic. We get along. It takes a special kind of jerk to be a non-Slav barging in and telling Slavs how to do their services. I'm not that person.

You don't have to become like them but don't force them to be like you. Their relatives and in some cases they went through hell in their homelands to remain Catholic. Some respect is in order.

If you want восточный, there are the Melkites and the Russian Catholics. But, just like with the Orthodox, lose the attitude.

Христосъ воскресе!

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