Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In the Middle

We Byzantine Catholics are in the middle- dismissed by Roman-rite Catholics and disrespected by Orthodox. The middle is a very difficult place to find oneself. Should we just align ourselves with the Orthodox; our Liturgies are basically the same. Or should we just give up our rite so that we can be accepted by the majority and remain under the authority of the Holy Father? It is my experience that many ex-Protestants who want a more theologically sound religion end up with the Orthodox; there isn't that 'problem' of submitting to the Pope. On the other hand, the Roman-rite is big and well- established. Why bother with the small Eastern rites of the Catholic Church? 

Why bother? The answer is in the name of the Church- Catholic, meaning universal. This doesn't simply mean that the Church embraces different colors and cultures. It embraces- or should- different rites. If I had a dollar for each time a 'good' Roman-rite Catholic ended a long conversation over the Byzantine rite with, "so, you are Orthodox"- I would have a lot of dollars!

So we Byzantines are in the middle- fully Catholic and fully Eastern.


  1. Matushka,

    the best description I have found for Byzantine Catholics is Orthodox in Union with Rome, although the term Greek Catholic is often used in Eastern Europe and Turkey.

    I have found that this saves a lot of confusion and is the most accurate description (although it does sometimes lead to the term "Uniate"). It is also a good way of avoid a lengthy discussion about Hesychastism.

    regards, Bear

    PS I have just stumbled on your blog.

  2. I'm Roman and until I die I wont know who is right? or wrong?

  3. kyooty- well- in terms of being Catholic- you are Roman or Western rite and I'm Eastern (Byzantine) rite- click on some of the links to the far right for more info- The Roman Catholic Church has all these different rites equal in dignity. Our dogma is the same- our liturgies and (small t) traditions differ. Remember how the apostles went different ways in the Acts of the Apostles to start the Church? That is why we have different traditions! No email to make sure everything was the same!

  4. Generally people like things to be black and white. You need to fit into a convenient box for their mind to process it. Yet, there are too many instances when we don't fit into a box. I don't fit into almost any box and that confuses people. But our dear Lord is a perfect example that we don't need to fit. He dined with the sinners yet preached purity.
    Yes, be different. Don't conform! Be yourself! That's the way you will change world, one person a time.

  5. Benedikta- my family certainly doesn't fit into a box!


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