5th July 2013
One thing I and others have found about this blog is that when certain “buttons are pressed”, questions on the liturgy in particular, we get a string of off-topic comments concerning problems between Eastern Orthodox jurisdictional contentions and discussions on this or that bishop, hierarch, priest in charge of something.
These intra-Orthodox discussions can be interesting, and they can have a saturating effect on others. I would say that most readers of this blog are not interested in converting to Orthodoxy, so the western rite question is irrelevant. I would react the same way if I were getting endless threads on sedevacantism, the SSPX, the Roman missal of 1962 and the Novus Ordo, or even on the Ordinariates and Anglicanorum coetibus – these are issues proper to minorities of Roman Catholics.
Now, in a recent thread of comments to a posting of the Sarum liturgy, Dale kindly responded with some links and remained on topic. Then came Michael Frost to discuss Western Orthodox questions, and then the exchange began. I have therefore decided to ask Orthodox commenters to send whatever they want only to this page and no other. Such comments will now be deleted elsewhere unless they are a direct result of a posting specifically about Orthodoxy.
If Roman Catholics would like a Roman Catholic Blow-Out Department, I will set up a page for them, perhaps another for strict Prayer Book and 39 Articles Anglicans. So far, there seems to be no need. I keep an open mind.
So, comment as you want in the usual way. The gloves are off, but keep it here.
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Michael Frost says:
Dale, I see that Fr. Novak’s parish, Holy Cross Anglican, in Omaha, Nebraska, was received into ROCOR’s Western Rite. He had been a prominent proponent of Anglican reunion with Orthodoxy over the past year or so. This gives Omaha two WR Orthodox parishes. And the Anglo-Catholic parish moving into Ordinariate.
Michael, I think that I do need to point out that I am not at all opposed to the idea of a western rite in Orthodoxy, and if it were real, it would indeed be the natural place for many traditionalist Anglo-Catholics. But, having studied its history, acceptance, and liturgical practices, it is simply not viable. If the ROCOR actually had a truly western liturgical tradition, and not an invented liturgical mish-mash, with a bishop designate who served only the western rite and appeared in western clerics all the time (similar to what is/was their old rite Bishop [strange that a single parish would have a bishop, and the right to make the sign of the cross in their own liturgical tradition, but this is not offered to the western rite, but then, perhaps, it is because the Old Rite people are real Russians, and trusted, whilst the western rite are not; one could mention that the old rite priests do not dress in the modern Russian manner, as is demanded by all western rite clergy]) then it would be very, very appealing, but they do not have this; they have a liturgical three-ring circus going on, where it is obvious that a true western rite has no acceptance; and to be accepted must be so totally easternized that it is no longer recognizably western; so one is left asking, “Why even bother?”
The western rite in Antioch has no acceptance outside of North America, and even there its history is one of bait-and-switch, and regardless of Dale Crakes assurance that the new Patriarch is not anti-western rite, the new Patriarch’s behavior in both England and western Europe has proven this to be untrue; and history has also proven that it has no viable ecclesial existence and its parishes depend upon the whim of the local bishop; hence, in both England, Australia, New Zealand and now the Philippines all western rite parishes are being byzantinized at the behest of the bishop.
I congratulate both Fr Anthony Bondi and his Metropolitan for actually making an offer to Anglicans, NO Orthodox had done this previously. But I am simply, after many years of following the western rite, not altogether convinced of its sincerity or permanence. One step would be to have a true western rite, but if one studies their liturgical offerings, this does not look like the case, and I do not see this changing, but just the opposite, even more Russification will be taking place the longer the parishes are inside of the Russian Church Outside of Russia.