8 July 2010

An Orthodox Ordinariate?

There are one or two suggestions around that discontented Anglican clergy should avoid the Papal Initiative and consider the Orthodox option ... including an article in the July New Directions. There seems even to be a hint that this would easier for us than the dreadful burdens which the Papacy imposes.

I expect I've got this wrong, but I remember reading somewhere, sometime, that married Orthodox clergy are expected to refrain from sexual intercourse on the day before and on the day of a Eucharistic celebration, and on fast days ... Wednesdays, Fridays, Lent, Little Lents of the Apostles and of the Koimesis ... have I got that right?

The invitations being dangled before unhappy Anglicans don't mention this.

I also recall being told that Orthodox laity are expected to make a sacramental confession before every act of Holy Communion. This also doesn't feature large in the go-to-Orthodoxy propaganda.

Perhaps I shall be told that, of course, Orthodoxy is not monolithic and uniform and that Modern Orthodoxy has quietly and sensibly forgotten about such troublesome little traditional details. In which case I shall want to take a critical new look at the claims sometimes rather self-righteously made by some Orthodox about the uniquely unbroken traditions of Orthodoxy and all that sort of ... er ... stuff.

I am not anti-Orthodox. Three of the happiest years of my life were when, in south London, I enjoyed the friendship of Archimandrite Commodatos (later Bishop of Telmissos) and of the to-be-martyred Little Brother Lazarus. The archimandrite honoured me by using me as a sort of pseudo-deacon (he didn't have a deacon) during Holy Week, and by asking me to sing an ectene during the funeral of Brother Lazarus. It was in his flat behind his church in Camberwell that I became aware of the easy yet respectful intimacy which the Orthodox clergy enjoy with their people, and came love Orthodoxy as being still a Christianity for all the people, not just for a pious and po-faced minority. But ...

A final point: we are being asked to consider "Western Orthodoxy". This is a set-up which uses, for example, the Roman Canon "corrected" by having a 'Byzantine' epiclesis interpolated. I resent very profoundly such contemptuous insults to the venerable Western Tradition which the East was happy to live in communion with for more than a millennium. The Roman Rite should no more be polluted with Byzantinisms than the Byzantine Rite should be corrupted by being Latinised.

Orthodoxy, Yes. An a la carte Orthodoxy manufactured, adapted, and tailored to proselytise shamelessly among troubled members of the Western Tradition: No.

71 comments:

Christian said...

I to share your deep love and respect for the traditions of the east but one cannot just forget the words of our Lord to St Peter, one cannot just ignore the filioque and one cannot just shrug at their toleration of "divorce" up to four times. Furthermore, if any one has a problem with the ignorance of the Latin clergy then they would be horrified by their eastern counterparts. I have been an avid follower of several Eastern blogs for a few years and some of the details that come out shocked me. For example, a priest from Greece commented that the practice in western countries of regular confession is unheard of there, as is the laity participating in the entire liturgy. According to him and others there, if one asked for a parish priest to hear one's confession it is most likely that one would be met with a look of incredulity and "mild indignation." He described Easter there as consisting of most people retraining from meat and dairy products from around Maundy Thursday, an appearance at the Easter Vigil, veneration of an icon of Christ and then *perhaps* communion for those who decided to stay. Most of the liturgy before and after the veneration and communion would be attended by a tiny number of particularly devout old ladies and the clergy "left to forlornly struggle though the rest of the liturgy." Let's not forget that we Westerners are all united in at least one thing: we did have a very major renewal of discipline and learning 500 years ago which still reverberates at least a little!

Little Black Sambo said...

"one cannot just ignore the filioque."
Are you saying that the Orthodox are wrong not to have it?
(Paul Evdokimov said that if we insisted on keeping the filioque, we should have the spirituque as well

Joshua said...

Western Rite Orthodoxy is indeed a very dubious project... but to play Devil's Advocate, how may this danger of rewriting history and tinkering with liturgy ad nauseam et ad infinitum be avoided, lest the putative Catholic Ordinariates become a mirror of W.R.O. crankiness and eccentricity?

How to preserve Patrimony without being barking?

Joshua said...

As to the Filioque, the Orthodox are wrong to condemn the Latins for having it; Rome does not impose it on Greeks in Greek. Revealed is the reason why Orthodox fear Rome: they imagine the Pope to be a super-sized version of their own imperialistic prelates...

Fr LR said...

I've never understood the desire to "go Greek" - too great a cultural divide for my Western taste. I prefer tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage and beef; and this not to mention the Easterners are just plain wrong about the date of Easter, original sin, divorce and contraception. I reckon the collapse of Christianity in the Middle East can be laid at the feet of the contraceptive practice of Christians there; they deemed it more prudent to have money than children and look at where it’s gotten things.

Christian said...

Sambo, take a look at the Athanasian creed...

Gengulphus said...

Christian said...

Sambo, take a look at the Athanasian creed...

… and, indeed, the Acts of the Council of Hatfield.

Dear Father H., I am delighted to report that your Precious and Exceeding Subtle Jewel has arrived even on the shores of Burgundy causing much delight and interest.

Fr LR said...

"Paul Evdokimov"

Where does one put the accent in such a magnificent name!?!

Hierodeacon said...

@Fr LR:

You wrote:

"I reckon the collapse of Christianity in the Middle East can be laid at the feet of the contraceptive practice of Christians there."

As an Orthodox Christian, I concur with this analysis, and I also see the need for the Orthodox Church to be more dogmatically definitive against the use of contraception.

However, I also believe that contraception has had a hand in the "collapse of Christianity" in Western Europe, even in traditionally Catholic countries like France. Despite the explicit Catholic dogma, I wonder if there is a significant statistical variance regarding contraceptive use among the faithful of both churches. Does anyone know?

One could ask a similar question about multiple marriages, since divorce has also been mentioned, without, however, an adequate account either of the way in which divorce is viewed by the Orthodox as a grievous allowance ("oikonomia") for human fallenness, or of the way the annulment system among Catholics becomes a de facto allowance for divorce.

Finally, a note to Fr John: there is no Orthodox canon requiring sacramental confession before each reception of Holy Communion. This is a much later piety that has never been universal, but was (and is) common in Russia.

Hierodeacon Philip

Fr LR said...

In all fairness, Hierodeacon, you make an excellent point. The Catholic Church looks good on paper but the reality is quite different as I'm sure you are aware. What has "saved" the West is that there isn't a prolific Muslim population as well as (dare I say it?) abortion, which is mainly practiced/forced-upon those classified as "minorities"; keeping minorities from achieving a population that would force them to be taken seriously by the powers that be. All of these evils and the CC is caught with its pants down on clerical sodomy. In such a context, the two lungs of the Church don't need to become what is least flattering in the other, but rather acru the best of what the other posseses. This will only be accomplished under the Pope. Anglicans entering into unity with Orthodoxy will only find it a half-way house toward home.

Hierodeacon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hierodeacon said...

Fr LR,
Yes, mutual respect and honesty about our respective Churches' internal problems can only help. However, we must acknowledge that neither Rome nor Orthodoxy accepts this concept of "two lungs." Notwithstanding statements of over-zealous, if well-meaning, ecumenists, each Church considers herself to be the fullness of Christ's Body on earth. Therefore, choosing between or one or the other (for Anglicans, such as I once was), can never be a question of expediency, however altruistic.

A note to Christian regarding your shocking anecdotes from Pascha in Greece: when comparing two Christian communions shouldn't we try to compare the best with the best and the worst with the worst? Doing so, of course, requires a great breadth of familiarity with both churches.

When I compare the best of Orthodoxy with the best of Catholicism, and the worst of Orthodoxy with the worst of Catholicism, it leaves me with no doubt that I made the right choice.

OTOH, if I had compared the best of Anglicanism with the worst of Orthodoxy or Catholicism, I'd still be an Anglican, but one with quite skewed ideas of the reality of things.

Hierodeacon Philip

Священник села said...

Interesting. With Anglicans / Episcopalians, liberal or conservative, it always comes down to sex.

Священник села said...

For some sex. For others breakfast. One of my former Anglican chums
found the greatest obstacle to becoming Orthodox was not having his
Sunday breakfast before church.

As much as many Orthodox, especially Russian Orthodox, have had a
romantic notion of Anglicans - based largely on the very narrow,
self-selected constituency of Anglicans who thought it interesting or
worthwhile to encounter the Orthodox and make nice with them - the fact
of the matter is that at some point the entrance of Anglicans into
Orthodoxy needs, from the Orthodox point of view (as indicated in their service books) to be conversion. Not convergence, not mutual
recognition. Orthodoxy does not consider itself to be a convenient
branch of some larger reality upon which Anglicans can hang as if on a
canonical peg. It doesn't have to be a particularly painful conversion,
but it does mean facing up to the this: that the Orthodox think that Anglicanism has lacked and
lacks what is to be found in Orthodoxy. I understand how uncomfortable this is. I think the 'sell' in New Directions downplays this. However, I do not think that it necessarily diminishes the beauty and integrity of those things in 'the patrimony' that are close to the heart, although how this works out is still a project in the making.

But an Anglican or Western rite is not so strange in principle. It has
been those who seek it that sometimes seem strange.:) Not the concept
but the persons.

An interesting example of the acceptance of a non-Byzantine rite would be would be the reception of Persian 'nestorians' in the mid-19th
century (the entire Diocese of Urnmia). Whether or not they were
consciously Nestorian, or even what that might mean, and whatever the
political motivation, the fact is that the Russian Church received into
communion about 20,000 Persians, who kept their liturgical rites pretty
much intact.

Sir Watkin said...

For others breakfast. One of my former Anglican chums
found the greatest obstacle to becoming Orthodox was not having his
Sunday breakfast before church.


Not a few Anglicans were brought up to keep the Eucharistic Fast, and some still do.

Rubricarius said...

I spent a delightful day looking at medieval churhces with a friend in Essex yesterday. We looked at fifteenth and fourteenth century screens, a Saxon tower, wonderful roof architecture and the sheer elegance and sense of space at Thaxted.

If I were thinking of joining an Ordinariate I would certainly also explore WRO. Perhaps it is unfortunate that, at the moment, WRO is really just one priest (unless I am mistaken?) in England.

Having been struck by a deep sense of 'spirit of place' yesterday that struck me very much at odds with contemporary Romanism.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

Isn't continency i.e. refraining perpetually from sexual intercourse with one's spouse, still Canonically to be practised by married Western Catholic Clergy too?

francis said...

"WRO is really just one priest (unless I am mistaken?) in England." Well, that's one more than the Ordinariate can currently boast …

Fr LR said...

"Isn't continency i.e. refraining perpetually from sexual intercourse with one's spouse, still Canonically to be practised by married Western Catholic Clergy too?"

What the... This type of silliness is just plain silly. Either you know the answer or you don't.

Fr LR said...
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Steve Cavanaugh said...

Canon Lloyd's question isn't silly; there is a debate about the obligation of continence for married clerics under the current Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church.
See this discussion from the pages of Pastoral & Homiletic Review and the comments of canonist Edward Peters.

francis said...

How fascinating! And something which, to borrow our host's words, "doesn't feature large in the go-to-[Rome] propaganda." Might that prospect perhaps dampen the ardour of some of the clerical enthusiasts for the Ordinariate? (After all, as the good Hierodeacon seems to suggest, sex is the summum bonum of contemporary Anglicanism.)

But I dare say the question will be conveniently swept under the carpet. Catholicism à la carte, anyone?

francis said...

Forgive me - I meant the Priest (seated), not the Hierodeacon.

francis said...

Or even the village priest. (My Russian's a bit ropey, if you hadn't guessed.)

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

Thank you Mr Cavanaugh and indeed Francis that was my reason for putting up the question! Fr LR, of course I knew the answer...

As Fr H seemed to suggest that the rules for sexual abstinence might not be attractive for married Clergy considering the Orthodox option, it seemed only right to point out the far stricter requirement of Rome which would be expected of those married Clergy in an Ordinariate.

While there is much discussion, I believe that Canon 277:1 is still extant and putting Canonical commentaries aside (for they have no weight in law) means that Anglican Clergy considering the Ordinariate option should and morally must consult their wives as to whether or not the expression of their marital life can be restricted to living together solely as "brother and sister".

This is an obvious and most serious question for married Clergy considering the Ordinariate, which to my knowledge has not been discussed at all on any of the blogs in support of the Ordinariate option... most of which are written by married Clergy! In short, children will not be expected of married Clergy couples post Ordination!

eirenikon said...

The 'New Directions' article also failed to mention that the ROCOR (the jurisdiction to which the author is attached) will almost certainly require baptism (absolute, not 'conditional' as there is no such practice in the east) of all converts, in addition to absolute ordination of clergy.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

Eirenikon - indeed, though to be fair that is bascially required for the Ordinariate too - Baptism aside, re-Confirmation with Chrismation and Ordination "absoluta".

Figulus said...

Hierodeacon Philip described the Russian practice of confession before each communion. This devotion was commonly observed by the Catholic church in America in the early part of the 20th century. Pope Pius X's promotion of frequent communion resulted in a complementary devotion of weekly confession, which was widely practiced in the years preceding the Council.

Steve Hayes said...

I'm not sure who is suggesting that discontented Anglicans should ignore the Roman "Ordinariate" and look at the Orthodox option.

That would be a mistake.

I see no call for Orthodox to proselytise among Anglicans. If God chooses to interest Anglicans in Orthodoxy he will do so without any hard sell or soft sell from us.

If any Anglicans are genuinely interested in Orthodoxy, and not just looking to escape from current discontents, I'm willing to do my best to help them learn more, poor and inadequate though my knowledge is, but there is definitely a need to look before you leap.

Fr LR said...

"I believe that Canon 277:1 is still extant"

You betcha, it’s extant. Please, consider the following:

The plain reading of 277 §1* connects "continence" with "celibacy". So we must keep reading; and we find that there is an escape clause in 277 §3. Thus in light of §3, when "celibacy" has been dispensed according to his “specific norm” by the “diocesan bishop” there is no reason to suspect that "continence" has not also been dispensed.

Which begs the question: What is the practice among current married Roman priests toward their wives? For this is the truest indication of what their diocesan bishop has counseled according to his “specific norm”. I seem to recall that many of them have had children following their ordination leading one to suspect that congress between the two interested parties has taken place...

Ultimately, this is not a question for the canonist but for the diocesan bishop or ordinary. Hence, there is no cause to fear monger amidst married Anglican priests interested in the Ordinariate and interested in their wives as wives. If one is to presume that the current practice is to be the norm (a safe presumption), then there is absolutely no indication that "perfect continence" will be required for married priests within the Ordinariates.

It isn’t rocket science; in fact, it’s so simple it’s silly. “The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life”.

* Can. 277 §1. Clerics are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and therefore are bound to celibacy which is a special gift of God by which sacred ministers can adhere more easily to Christ with an undivided heart and are able to dedicate themselves more freely to the service of God and humanity.
§2. Clerics are to behave with due prudence towards persons whose company can endanger their obligation to observe continence or give rise to scandal among the faithful.
§3. The diocesan bishop is competent to establish more specific norms concerning this matter and to pass judgment in particular cases concerning the observance of this obligation.

Hierodeacon said...

Is this "New Directions" article available online anywhere? It would help to see what was actually proposed.

Many Anglicans (individuals and whole parishes) who have come into the Orthodox Church went through a period of interest in or practice of the Western Rite but eventually decided that they were no longer interested in being a minority as they had been as Anglo-Catholics. As Anglo-Catholics, the "mainstream" that they were avoiding was an impoverished liturgical life. As Western Rite Orthodox they could not make the same argument, as there is nothing impoverished about the Byzantine Rite.

Every so often I feel a surge of concern about what will become of the Patrimony. I cannot blithely argue that all should embrace the Byzantine Rite, because I know the Patrimony too well and love it too much to want to see it become obsolete.

OTOH, for Anglicans concerned about how "foreign," "non-Western" the Byzantine Rite is, I can only say that after being in it for eleven years, it is second nature. I watch videos of the Tridentine ("EF") Rite, though, and think "how strange." And this from someone who read Fortesque cover to cover as a teenager... :)

Making a choice between Orthodoxy and Catholicism based on the ascetical prescriptions of either is, of course, getting the cart before the ecclesiological horse. First decide which is the true Church, and then submit to its teaching and practice.

Hierodeacon Philip

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

With all due respect Fr LR - that is not the correct reading of the Canon, what you espouse is contrary to the teaching of both Paul VI Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem (A.A.S. 59 [1967] 697-704) and John Paul II (CIC 277) who deliberately withdrew a proposed exception clause from continence for married Clergy before promulgating the 1983 Code.

What you suggest is a preferred interpretation but according to the Canonists is not what the letter of the law states.

As for the spirit of the law, one needs to accept the first premise in Cn 277 that continence is a requirement of the clerical state. The Canon goes on to state the norm in observing this requirement i.e. celibacy. It is logical to infer from this then, that married Clerics are required to practice continence for the simple fact of being Clerics.

This is why in Cn 1031:2 the consent of wives is necessary for Permanent Deacons, because of Cn 277 it is implicit that continence is a REQUIREMENT of the Clerical state.

You may well be able to cite infringements of the law - we can all find exceptions - but the law itself is pretty plain in its reading. There is no such thing in Canon Law as a "precedent" so exceptions to the law (even by a competent ecclesiastical authority) do not themselves change the law or its interpretation. So whilst some Bishops or Ordinaries may have exercised some "specific norms" under 277:3 it would be a mistake to assume as you assert, that "current practice is to be the norm", that is not a safe presumption at all.

It would be interesting to know if anyone liaising with the CDF has asked what might be the specific norm for the Ordinariates in this matter? Meanwhile it would not be safe to assume that ad hoc instances prevalent at the moment are indeed evidence of "legal norms".

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...
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Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...
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Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...
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Sir Watkin said...

John Paul II (CIC 277) who deliberately withdrew a proposed exception clause from continence for married Clergy

That is one interpretation of the removal of the exception. The other, however, is the precise opposite, viz. that it was so bleeding obvious it didn't need stating.

As far as I know there has been no authoritative judgement on this point, which is why some canonists swear blind that one view is correct, and others that the other is.

William Tighe said...

This is pertinent to this discussion:

http://padretexwest.blogspot.com/2010/07/year-king-uzziah-died.html

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

Sir Watkin... what's so obvious? That continency is a requirement of the Clerical state or that married Clerics are exempt from continence? The first proposition has all the support of Apostolic tradition which Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have reiterated time and time again. The second has a great deal of support from Orthodox praxis but not Western tradition or theology. Which do you think is more likely to be in the mind of the legislative texts of the Code of Canon Law?

Why do people continue to think of the Ordinariate as a little "bubble" in Roman Catholicism that will enjoy privileges not usually conceded to other Latin Catholics, always presuming that extraordinary exemptions will be made for them? I don't begrudge a little optimism for the project but do try and understand the deal is Roman Catholicism "as is"!

It may be arguable that continence is not a part of the Anglican Patrimony - but has anyone suggested that to the Holy See yet?

Fr William said...

Hierodeacon Philip: the article can be found here (go to page 23).

Dale said...

I think that we must all pay close attention to the message by Hierodeacon who has been honest enough to admit that the western rite really will never have a home within the confines of the Byzantine Church; to be "Orthodox" is to be Byzantine. Much of this is perhaps because Byzantine Orthodoxy is so stained by Phyletism that any heritage, regardless of how ancient, will never find acceptance. Anglicans need to know this.

One must also be honest in admitting that this rejection of Catholicity is not limited to the ancient Western expressions of the faith, but encompasses the ancient Eastern expressions as found in Oriental Orthodoxy as well. To be Byzantine Orthodox is to be Byzantine. End of argument.

I would also like to add that I am perplexed by Fr. Hunwicke's dislike of adding a Byzantine invocation to the Roman rite that is being temporary used in Byzantine Orthodox; I should think that this pales in comparison to what the Roman Catholics have done to the whole Roman rite in the novus ordo, or what was done to the Roman Canon in the DBW used by Anglican Use Roman Catholics (simply see the liturgical oddity added after the words of consecration in that production!)

Fr LR said...

Canon, I am confident that your reading and interpretation of the canons is absolutely wrong. It is impossible to believe that Rome would expect such a thing as "perfect continence" from non-celibate clergy else she would make such a requirement absolutely clear from the git-go. It is an absolute deal breaker. Not to mention, AU priest have never once mentioned this discipline; and it is not such a discipline as to slip one's mind.

I perceive that you are a disciple of Fr. Robert "Torquemeda" Hart this has clearly colored your judgment. This feeble argument is not going to sway even the half-witted, such as myself.

Joshua said...

VERY interesting - I have heard this argument about clerical continence put in regard to married deacons, but only once in regard to former Anglican ministers made Catholic priests.

The logical thing to do, rather than argue back and forth as to the interpretation of the relevant canon, is to obtain a ruling from Rome about this highly important matter - when she's locuta, causa finita and all that.

Rev'd. David Gould said...

I am dismayed at the anti-Orthodox prejudice found in sniping at the fasting discipline of the Church. While the western Church by and large east a sandwich on the way to mass, Orthodox still understand that preparation for Holy Communion requires meaningful fasting from food and drink from midnight, and naturally sexual continence. In addition one is required to pray 3 canons, 1 akhatist and other preparation prayers. Additionally every Orthodox Christian understands that Sunday really commences after Vespers commences, which is why it is immediately followed by Matins.

I have no problem in Anglican Catholics using the Lancelot Andrewes (St. Tikhon) mass rite - which is basically English missal with a strengthened invocation of the Holy Spirit, as well as saying the Creed in conformity with avoiding the filioque.

Can any one of you say that confession before receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion is not desirable, especially for those who do not communicate weekly? Perhaps this can lead to scrupulousness, bet better that than treating the Body and Blood of Christ in a cavalier fashion.

Rev'd. David Gould
Annunciation Anglican Catholic Church Mission - Hobart Tasmania

Sir Watkin said...

Fr Lloyd,

What is obvious is in the eye of the beholder, which is the point I was making. I favour neither one view nor the other. I merely note that two views exist and are fiercely argued by those who have some claim to be experts in canon law. Surely Joshua's attitude is the only sensible one. What's the point in individuals making subjective judgements about what is (or is not) more "likely", when a competent authority exists and can be asked?

Your Ordinariate comment is a red herring in this context. As you know, this question has been disputed for a while now. The debate predates Anglicanorum Coetibus.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

As I have suggested on each occasion - it would be worth asking a competent authority what the case might actually be?!

Re Fr Hart - I am certainly not a "disciple" of his! Though you, Fr LR might be with your polarised and caustic polemic.

Sir Watkin - indeed the argument has existed for years, which is why it is all the more relevant to the present situation where a firm decisive authoritative interpretation would surely be welcome?

Good Lord! Is it so wrong to suggest seeking clarification on issues that might well potentially be "deal breakers"?

The Raven (C. Corax) said...

From my rather faulty recollection, around the time of the last influx of Anglican clergy a number of men in Latin America were admitted to priestly orders, despite their married state on the understanding that they would observe the discipline of continence. It was made quite clear at the time that the same requirement of continence would not apply to former Anglican priests wishing to be ordained as Catholic clergy (and there was much grumbling in the Tablet and among other liberals about the perceived double standard).

Little Black Sambo said...

Whoever said of sexual relations within marriage, "Ultimately, this is not a question for the canonist but for the diocesan bishop or ordinary," would have had the hearty approval of Hewlett, former bishop of Exeter, who was tremendously interested in the private lives of the clergy and sent round suggestive questionnaires to probe into them.

On the matter of the "Spirituque" mentioned by Evdokimov, I have found the text:
To render the western conception of the Filioque as acceptable as possible to the Orthodox, we can say that the Father gives to the Son the energy of spiration, not of origin but of manifestation. But in this case, the perfect balance of the Trinity requires that the Father gives to the Holy Ghost the energy of paternity, which equally is not of origin but of manifestation. The Holy Ghost is breathed by the Father (origin) for, in, with, through, and by the Son (manifestation); and this dyad entails another, corresponding one: the Son is begotten by the Father (origin) for, in, with, through, and by the Holy Ghost (manifestation). Ek tou Patros dia tou Huiou corresponds to ek tou Patros dia tou Pneumaton [don't know how to get Greek characters]. The Filioque, purely manifestation, is balanced by the Spirituque, equally purely manifestation. This balance would improve the Nicene Creed, in which the divinity of the Holy Ghost is not sufficiently explicit.

Little Black Sambo said...

That should have been Pneumatos

Aristibule Adams said...

As one of the Western Rite Orthodox laity under the Russian Church, I know that we do not use the Byzantine epiklesis, but a Latin Western epiclesis. The text of the English liturgy and Sarum use liturgy are available online if anyone wishes to verify. We live with no Byzantisms, in fact.

And yes - it is more than just one priest in England. We wouldn't have priests if we didn't have Western laity petitioning the Orthodox Church first. There is nothing 'a la carte' about it. There is no proselytization either - mostly 'green field' evangelism, and an open invitation to other Western Christians who believe that the Schism with the Eastern Orthodox Churches to be a grave error (and a correctable error at that.)

Orthodoxy, Yes. Accepted in its fullness: free of Papal and Protestant errors both. Yes - with an older universal Christian asceticism, piety, and morality. Yes - with a diversity of rites, but unity of doctrine. And, no - Orthodoxy has never expected one to be Byzantine to be Orthodox Catholic Christian. Of course, that doesn't mean that we are anti-Byzantine either.

Hierodeacon said...

Dale,
You advised the readers to take my message seriously, for which I thank you, but I'm afraid that you thoroughly misunderstood my post. I hope I was indeed honest, but I did not say "that the Western Rite will never have a home in the Orthodox Church."

What I tried to say is that Anglicans, or any other serious Christian, cannot make a decision about joining one or another church based on considerations of rite, continence and fasting rules, etc. If you believe that the Pope is the infallible vicar of Christ on earth, then you have no choice but to join his Church. If you believe that he has been in schism for the past ten centuries, then, again your path is clear.

Time will tell whether the Western Rite has a place in Orthodoxy. Perhaps that will depend in part on the choices made by people such as the readers of this blog. However, if someone becomes convinced that the Orthodox Church is the true Church, then one is willing to learn and embrace a new Rite, as I did. Converts to Orthodoxy in earlier centuries and decades even had to learn a new language. That did not stop them. Is it easy? No. Convenient? No. Worth it? Yes.

The problem with either a Roman or an Orthodox "ordinariate" is that it can easily lead those who enter either church through its provisions to a sense of entitlement. But when you leave schism and heresy and enter the Church, you must come with no strings attached, willing to accept whatever is set before you.

This is certainly the case in joining the Orthodox Church. I would imagine something similar is required to truly become a Roman Catholic.

Fr Philip

Geoff said...

Having visited the Western Rite ROCOR monastery I am blessed to have in my region, I was very impressed with their growing mission. While the Anglo-Catholic movement in that area fared poorly historically (driven to a myriad of jurisdictions by conflict with successive diocesans), these monks have Vespers & Benediction every Sunday and major feast in one of the seedier parts of the city.

Hierodeacon said...

On thinking about my most recent post, I realize that my words did not take into account the difficult and painful situation traditional, faithful Anglicans find themselves in. My words were a bit rash. Forgive me if I caused offense.

Fr Philip

francis said...

"… free of Papal and Protestant errors both." (Aristobule Adams)

"… as it stands distinguished from all Papal and Puritan innovations." (Thomas Ken)

How that resonates with a certain kind of Anglican (the type I would call a "classical Anglican" anyway)! It is hardly coincidence that Ken had, in the immediately preceding phrase, professed his adherence to "the holy catholic and apostolic faith professed by the whole Church before the disunion of East and West." [my emphasis]

OK, so the CofE is itself now one of the principal innovators in matters of faith, order and morals. But I am confused as to why repudiating these innovations must entail accepting other innovations, the rejection of which has been central to our tradition – indeed, to our Patrimony – as evidenced in the writings of our great divines who embody that Patrimony.

And I am distressed that enthusiasm for the Ordinariate scheme seems to be leading some to speak dismissively or contemptuously of that great Church from which we were severed nearly a thousand years ago, and to which so many figures in our history have looked as a necessary part of that fullness of catholicity and apostolicity to which Anglicanism aspires.

Joshua said...

Well, if you are convinced that the Anglicanism of yesteryear was the true religion, from which the Anglicanism of today has deviated, then you have your choice of Continuing jurisdictions to join.

If these deviations of Anglicanism make you suspect it was not right to begin with, then either rejoin the Western Church whence sprang the Ecclesia Anglicana, or - if Rome's own developments over time seem likewise dubious - then go East.

If certain early Councils also strike you as breaks with the Primitive Church, there is always the Assyrian Church of the East or the Copts, Ethiopians, Eritreans, Syrian Jacobites et al., depending on your particular take on Christology.

francis said...

As far as I am aware, no recognised manifestation of Anglicanism has ever claimed to be the One True Church, to the exclusion of all others. To attempt to formulate the issue in those terms is fundamentally to misundertand the question. (Do you seriously suggest that Thomas Ken – that representative, in your nicely neutral terminology, of "the Anglicanism of yesteryear" – thought in those terms?)

Joshua said...

Yes!

Ken, if he had used the terminology used by the Fathers of Vatican II, would have said that the One Church of Christ, or, rather, the church universal, "subsists in" the Church of England, in all perfection, since he held that all other churches erred in some manner, as the Articles teach, but nonetheless had elements of the truth, albeit not in full perfection.

To quote the good fellow:

Glory be to thee, O Lord my God, who hast made me a member of the particular church of England, whose faith, and government, and worship are holy, and catholic, and apostolic, and free from the extremes of irreverence or superstition, and which I firmly believe to be a sound part of thy church universal, and which teaches me charity to those who dissent from me; and therefore all love, all glory be to thee.

Joshua said...

I suppose Ken held more to the Protestant notion of the universal church as the invisible society of all believers...

Strangely for one so correct about the threefold ministry, he - as in his sermons and collections therefor - gave much support to continental Protestants, who one would think in his mind would be lacking the Eucharist given their defective orders.

Figulus said...

It certainly comes as no surprise to Catholics in the US that priests have a canonical obligation to celibacy. Of course, just like in the case of every other obligation, unusual or extreme circumstances can lead to a mitigation, temporary suspension, or even a dispensation from this one.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV asked why people continue to think of the Ordinariate as a little "bubble". In the case of us Americans, the answer is simple. We have a very few formerly Episcopal (that's Americanese for Anglican) priests now serving as Catholic priests according to the "Provision", which provision includes just such a dispensation. We also have a few (two? three? in this huge country) Episcopal parishes serving under the local Catholic bishop, pastored by such priests. These priests and parishes do in fact reside in a little bubble within the Catholic church. (I like this "bubble" analogy; it's quite apt!) Many Americans, perhaps not unreasonably, view the impending Ordinariate as a sort of expansion of this very same bubble.

Time will tell.

francis said...

"… a sound part of thy church universal …"? That's a very long way short of Lumen Gentium's subsistit in, "which indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church", according to the CDF's 2007 clarification. The quotation from Ken doesn't even come close to such an assertion regarding the Church of England.

Joshua said...

Sorry, I may have been getting confused with the peculiar doctrines of the later Nonjurors: one of the very last of their known ministers, the deacon Thomas Podmore (d.1785) who wrote in 1745, asserting, against the errors of the Greeks, Romans, C. of E., and all “Anti-Episcopalians”, that “if the pious Reader would know where such a pure, perfect Church as I am reccommending is to be found, I will tell him in one word, at MANCHESTER.”

David Lindsay said...

The New Directions article specifically advocates joining ROCOR, of all things. I am really very surprised that ROCOR has authorised the Western Rite.

But the Catholic Church is the unity, in the full sense, of the Latin and several Eastern Rites. So spare a thought for the Ukrainians, who are now being forbidden to practise Eucharistic Adoration, the Stations of the Cross, and the Holy Rosary.

Apparently, these three forms of spirituality, all very long-established among Ukrainians, are “Latin”, with no part in a Byzantine Rite Catholic Church whose self-prostration to the Orthodox (who occupied her churches during the Soviet period) does not preclude very good relations with Buddhists and Hare Krishnas.

Photian Monopatrism, and denial of the Petrine Office even in principle? Fine. Nirvana? Great. Bhakti? Marvellous. But Eucharistic Adoration, or the Stations of the Cross, or the Holy Rosary? Any of that carry on and you are looking at having to send your young men to Warsaw to be ordained (in the Latin Rite, of course) by none other than Richard Williamson, with the inevitable excommunications to follow.

There is never any excuse for schism.

But the wound is not felt only on one side.

Hierodeacon said...

The Western Rite in ROCOR derives from St John (Maximovich) of San Francisco during his sojourn in France.

Those of you who know much of contemporary Orthodox saints know that St John is widely venerated as among the staunchest defenders of traditional Orthodox practices, canons, liturgics, asceticism, etc. Yet he not only consecrated bishops for the Western Rite Church in France (now in schism and canonical limbo, but not so when he was involved with it), but himself celebrated this same Western Rite.

St John also championed the composition of new liturgical services for the Byzantine Rite to honor pre-schismatic Western saints, believing that such devotion would play a key role in returning the peoples of the West to the Orthodox Church. Many such have since been composed. See http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/zliturgics.htm. In addition to these services, many have been composed in Greek and are used in Greece.

St John himself is well-loved throughout the different national cultures constituent to Orthodoxy. He is a very strong witness against the phyletism with which the Orthodox Church has been accused elsewhere in these comments.

Through his prayers may all of you discern and tread the path that God is showing you.

The ROCOR ("Of all things") is a Church that defies easy stereotyping. It has a rich and varied histaory and in recent decades has produced many people of saintly caliber.

Fr Philip

David Lindsay said...

I do not deny that there are holy people in ROCOR, but it comes with an awful lot of baggage.

For a start, one is joining the Russian monarchist subculture, with everything that that has come to entail in nearly a century, and indeed that it entailed before the Revolution. Much like joining the French monarchist subculture by becoming a Lefebvrist. Most people can do without either, and most British people would find it extremely difficult to feel at home in such a world.

Although a constitutional monarchy is just what Russia needs. And France's history would have been so much less bloody if she had evolved, as Britain did, into a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. It is barely fifty years since de Gaulle seriously considered restoring the monarchy on the British model. But instead, the French obsess over the British and Monegasque Royal Families while prostrating themselves to a succession of absolute monarchs: de Gaulle, Pompidou, Giscard d'Estaing (with his inherited title, and his insistence that he and his wife be served a course ahead of everyone else because they are so much posher), Mitterand (related to our own dear Queen), Chirac, and now Sarkozy.

But those are other stories.

Dale said...

Once again, I do believe that we need to heed the words of Hierodeacon, especially when he states:

"The problem with either a Roman or an Orthodox "ordinariate" is that it can easily lead those who enter either church through its provisions to a sense of entitlement. But when you leave schism and heresy and enter the Church, you must come with no strings attached, willing to accept whatever is set before you."

Anglicans must understand that there is no "offer" from the Byzantines to us. Rome has offered to receive us with open arms and with a true understanding that we have a Patrimony that has value within the cultural diversity of the Catholic Church; for the Byzantines there is only submission, and not simply on our knees, but a full prostration with our faces buried in the mud.

We must realize that for the Byzantines we are not even baptised Christians, we have no heritage or Patrimony whatsoever (they actually refer to our heritage as "baggage"). We need to understand this.

Of course there are always self-loathing individuals who enjoy perpetual abasement and such individuals can be found in fairly small numbers in local Greek and Russian parishes (they are the ones whom the ethnics state, "Why they are so Russian you can hardly tell that they are converts!").

The whole canard of a western rite is simply a temporary inducement that will have no lasing reality. As late as 1978 the synod of the Russian Church in Exile declared that "There is no place in the Russian Church for a western rite." And the western rite even as it exists within the Church in Exile (or whatever moniker they are under at the present time) and the Antiochians only exists under the good graces of the local bishops, and its support can evaporate with the change of a bishop. I do not believe that Fr. Michael is purposely lying, but he is also not telling the truth either. He mentions that there are western rite parishes in the Philippines, which is true, they constitute the largest numbers of western rite Christians under the Byzantines, but only recently a priest of the Australian diocese, Fr. John D'Alton, has admitted that the use of the western rite is only temporary until they can learn the "regular liturgy of St. John."

One would have thought that Anglicans had learnt a hard lesson after the fiasco of "Pilgrimage to Orthodoxy," but unfortunately, some people cannot see reality beyond wishful thinking.

I am personally not yet ready to pass water on the graves or traditions of my ancestors so that I can change my name to Igor and grow a four foot beard!

eulogos said...

The married priests of the Pastoral Provision in the US quite clearly do have sex with their wives, nor was there any expectation conveyed to them that they should do otherwise.

I am aware that the Western tradition did in the past ordain married men with the idea that they would either live separately from their wives, or live as brother and sister, but this older tradition has never been brought into play in the pastoral provision, and I highly doubt it would be for the ordinariate.

The Orthodox tradition referred to of abstinence before celebrating the Divine Liturgy is an honorable and venerable one, but it would conflict with the Catholic practice of having daily mass. An Orthodox priest's wife told me that this was the reason they had daily Vespers rather than a daily liturgy.

I have met the Antiochian Western Rite vicar, who married my son and his wife (in the Byzantine rite) and I had a long talk with him at the wedding reception. He told me of his love for the older Roman rite, which they call the Liturgy of St. Gregory. There are teaching slides online of him celebrating that liturgy.
http://www.stgeorgelawrence.org/n_images/Albums_AKA_SlideShows/albumWestRite/slides/120.html

If one believes Orthodoxy to be the Church, then St. Gregory's mass certainly ought to be preserved and celebrated in the western parts of that church. I think anyone who believes Orthodoxy is the Church ought to encourage this, as it is a sign of universality.

(Incidentally, I was told by a commenter on Fr. Z's blog that many parishes which started with the amended prayer book liturgy (called the Liturgy of St. Tikhon) have now moved to using St. Gregory. )

For myself, if I were to be Orthodox I would be Byzantine, since I have been worshipping with a Ruthenian Catholic parish for the past three years and have come to love the Rite of St. John C; I also visit an Orthodox parish frequently.


In fact in the US it does seem that Episcopal parishes have found it easier to move into Western Rite Orthodoxy than into Roman Catholicism via the Anglican Use/Pastoral Provision. At least, more have done so.
I can't help suspecting that there are practical factors involved in this, especially the less difficult discipline regarding second marriages.
I know fairly well one case where an Episcopal parish became an Anglican Use parish, and although the diocese assigned one tribunal priest exclusively to handle their marriage cases, it took over a year, and some people could not be received when the rest of the parish was because their annulment cases were not finished. These people followed the lead of their priest and accepted this with humility, obedience, and patience, but I am aware that such an attitude is not universal.

Ideally such decisions would be made based only on the question, "Where is Christ's Church?", and then one would accept the discipline of that church.

As a Catholic, I dearly hope that Catholic minded Anglicans will accept the Pope's offer in Anglicanorum Coetibus, and I welcome them with all my heart. But those Anglicans who find the position of the Pope or the Marian definitions, or anything about us, a stumbling block, and who can see Orthodoxy as the continuation of the undivided Church, ought to go there, whether you are able to continue worshipping in a Western rite or not. Just, please, don't stay where you are.

Susan Petereson

eulogos said...

The married priests of the Pastoral Provision in the US quite clearly do have sex with their wives, nor was there any expectation conveyed to them that they should do otherwise.

I am aware that the Western tradition did in the past ordain married men with the idea that they would either live separately from their wives, or live as brother and sister, but this older tradition has never been brought into play in the pastoral provision, and I highly doubt it would be for the ordinariate.

The Orthodox tradition referred to of abstinence before celebrating the Divine Liturgy is an honorable and venerable one, but it would conflict with the Catholic practice of having daily mass. An Orthodox priest's wife told me that this was the reason they had daily Vespers rather than a daily liturgy.

further comments below
Susan Peterson

eulogos said...

I have met the Antiochian Western Rite vicar, who married my son and his wife (in the Byzantine rite) and I had a long talk with him at the wedding reception. He told me of his love for the older Roman rite, which they call the Liturgy of St. Gregory. There are teaching slides online of him celebrating that liturgy.
http://www.stgeorgelawrence.org/n_images/Albums_AKA_SlideShows/albumWestRite/slides/120.html

If one believes Orthodoxy to be the Church, then St. Gregory's mass certainly ought to be preserved and celebrated in the western parts of that church. I think anyone who believes Orthodoxy is the Church ought to encourage this, as it is a sign of universality.

For myself, if I were to be Orthodox I would be Byzantine, since I have been worshipping with a Ruthenian Catholic parish for the past three years and have come to love the Rite of St. John C; I also visit an Orthodox parish frequently.

In fact in the US it does seem that Episcopal parishes have found it easier to move into Western Rite Orthodoxy than into Roman Catholicism via the Anglican Use/Pastoral Provision. At least, more have done so. [last I heard there were 8 AU parishes and about 20 WO parishes.)
I can't help suspecting that there are practical factors involved in this, especially the less difficult discipline regarding second marriages.
I know fairly well one case where an Episcopal parish became an Anglican Use parish, and although the diocese assigned one tribunal priest exclusively to handle their marriage cases, it took over a year, and some people could not be received when the rest of the parish was because their annulment cases were not finished. These people followed the lead of their priest and accepted this with humility, obedience, and patience, but I am aware that such an attitude is not universal.

Ideally such decisions would be made based only on the question, "Where is Christ's Church?", and then one would accept the discipline of that church.

As a Catholic, I dearly hope that Catholic minded Anglicans will accept the Pope's offer in Anglicanorum Coetibus, and I welcome them with all my heart. But those Anglicans who find the position of the Pope or the Marian definitions, or anything about us, a stumbling block, and who can see Orthodoxy as the continuation of the undivided Church, ought to go there, whether you are able to continue worshipping in a Western rite or not. Just, please, don't stay where you are.

Susan Petereson

eulogos said...

I have met the Antiochian Western Rite vicar, who married my son and his wife (in the Byzantine rite) and I had a long talk with him at the wedding reception. He told me of his love for the older Roman rite, which they call the Liturgy of St. Gregory. There are teaching slides online of him celebrating that liturgy.
http://www.stgeorgelawrence.org/n_images/Albums_AKA_SlideShows/albumWestRite/slides/120.html

If one believes Orthodoxy to be the Church, then St. Gregory's mass certainly ought to be preserved and celebrated in the western parts of that church. I think anyone who believes Orthodoxy is the Church ought to encourage this, as it is a sign of universality.

For myself, if I were to be Orthodox I would be Byzantine, since I have been worshipping with a Ruthenian Catholic parish for the past three years and have come to love the Rite of St. John C; I also visit an Orthodox parish frequently.

to be continued
Susan Peterson

eulogos said...

In fact in the US it does seem that Episcopal parishes have found it easier to move into Western Rite Orthodoxy than into Roman Catholicism via the Anglican Use/Pastoral Provision. At least, more have done so. [last I heard there were 8 AU parishes and about 20 WO parishes.)
I can't help suspecting that there are practical factors involved in this, especially the less difficult discipline regarding second marriages.
I know fairly well one case where an Episcopal parish became an Anglican Use parish, and although the diocese assigned one tribunal priest exclusively to handle their marriage cases, it took over a year, and some people could not be received when the rest of the parish was because their annulment cases were not finished. These people followed the lead of their priest and accepted this with humility, obedience, and patience, but I am aware that such an attitude is not universal.

Ideally such decisions would be made based only on the question, "Where is Christ's Church?", and then one would accept the discipline of that church.

As a Catholic, I dearly hope that Catholic minded Anglicans will accept the Pope's offer in Anglicanorum Coetibus, and I welcome them with all my heart. But those Anglicans who find the position of the Pope or the Marian definitions, or anything about us, a stumbling block, and who can see Orthodoxy as the continuation of the undivided Church, ought to go there, whether you are able to continue worshipping in a Western rite or not. Just, please, don't stay where you are.

Susan Petereson

eulogos said...

I think I managed to spell my own name wrong.
Peterson, of course.

Archpriest John Morris said...

All that has been done with the Western Rite is to make a few changes to conform to Orthodox theology. In the North American Antiochian Archdiocese, we use two Liturgies, one is 1928 American Book of Common Prayer, the other is pre-Vaican II Roman Mass with only a few changes to bring the text into conformity with Eastern Orthodox theology. There is conclusive historical evidence that the Western Rite originally had an Epiklesis. It is possible to explain the filioque in a way that is Orthodox. However, no one, not even the Bishop of Rome, has authority to change he Creed as adopted by the 7 Ecumenical Councils. Yes, an Orthodox Priest is expected to refrain from sexual relations with his wife the night before he serves the Divine Liturgy. A person would have to be highly oversexed if they cannot go without sex for one night a week. The decline of the Eastern Orthodox in the Middle East has nothing to do with birth control. It is caused by people leaving because of Islamic oppression. One other mistake in one of the comments. Orthodox Christians are only allowed three marriages under any circumstances including the death of a spouse. Allowing someone to remarry after a period of penance and counseling is an act of Christian mercy and a display of Christ's forgiveness.

Archpriest John W. Morris