Author Topic: Institute for Higher Eastern Catholic Studies  (Read 325 times)


Re: Institute for Higher Eastern Catholic Studies
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 07:48:06 AM »
Hi Guys,

There is somewhat of a rebuttal by one of the editors of the journal - Fr. Serge Keleher (RIP).
At his death a few years ago, he was in charge of a Ukrainian parish in Ireland. I remember going to his Divine Liturgy while he was stationed in Canada - in those early days he was sympathetic to Traditionalists and even wanted to see back copies of the Angelus and Roman Catholic magazines. However since then he went off on a theological tangent where he really began supporting VII and was one of the founding members of the Kyivan Church Study Group. This “Group” under the auspices of the Ukrainian hierarchy was trying to find a way of returning the UGCC “back” to the conditions of the 1st millennium- the fuzzy ecclesiological heresy of Ratzinger, himself.

I will post it this weekend when I have a bit more time. 


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Re: Institute for Higher Eastern Catholic Studies
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 09:09:57 AM »
OK, so the letter was put in the journal for the purposes of rebutting, or at least criticizing the letter. 

What you say about Fr. Keleher reminds me a bit of what Pete Vere had to say on CathInfo a few years ago.  For those not aware, Pete Vere is a new code Canonist and something of an indult attendee from Canada.  Replying to Sean Johnson in 2014, he had this to say:

Quote from: Pete Vere
To say that the Indult is a more mild form of R&R would be to assume I am resisting: a) the post-conciliar papacies; and/or b) Vatican II, and/or c) the Novus Ordo.

I am not.

I accept each of the above as valid AND licit, although - obviously - I prefer the TLM personally, and support it. But this should not be interpreted as resistance to the Novus Ordo, and/or the post-conciliar papacies, and/or Vatican II.

In fact, I have come to appreciate and view Vatican II quite differently after studying the history and Tradition of our Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters. For those interested in understanding the Second Vatican Council through the eyes of Eastern Catholic Tradition [he recommends some book]

Reply no. 12 in this thread:

My experience with the Eastern Churches is entirely theoretical, and at that, is quite deficient.  I am aware of the general arguments that some have made, claiming that in principle, the Eastern rites have been somewhat more insulated from the reforms-- this seems not only plausible, but also provable, given that they literally were so preserved.  As to rightness of belief, that may be a different story.  One hears of the Melkites in particular having been modernized (some would say Latinized).  But with so many distinctive rites, it's hard to make blanket claims one way or the other. 

Given the "rich diversity" of Eastern rites, along with the general lack of scholasticism (or so I've heard-- I don't know enough Eastern rite theologians to back up the claim, but just given the general history I think we can agree that their theologians at least have different emphases and less systemism than ours), I would think that the East, though geographically, culturally, and somewhat legally insulated from the modern-Vatican reforms, would nevertheless be somewhat "ripe for the modernist/globalist picking"  just given their general lack of syllogistic theology.

I listened (on YouTube) to a talk by an Eastern Catholic priest from California.  It was recommended to me, so I figured it would be good (given that when it comes to religious material, I don't listen to Novus Ordo material).  It was a priest named Fr. Seraphim Rose, I think.  Someone asked about the Coptic Orthodox and Fr. Rose explained the situation (of miaphysism!) as simply a misunderstanding, and that the Copts believed rightly, they just explained it differently.

Now, when it comes to Christology, I think there's some leeway that can be given from one case to another, and some legitimacy to the notion of someone believing rightly but explaining wrongly-- certainly for the laity this is true.  If you want someone to look like a heretic, just ask them to explain Christ's nature and will, and you're very likely to hear something that sounds heretical.  I've even heard heretical Christology from traditional priests. 

But to explain a fifteen hundred year schism this way is clearly untenable.  The ordinary magisterium of the Catholic Church, infallible in these types of judgments, regards miaphysism as a heresy, and the separation of the Egyptian miaphysites is one of the oldest schisms in the Church, which any Catholic author will explain as not some cultural misunderstanding, but as a true difference in doctrine.

Point simply being that the East does not (generally) have the sort of distinguishing theological minds that the West does.
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Re: Institute for Higher Eastern Catholic Studies
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 06:45:01 PM »
Hi Gentlemen ,
Here is the response to previous article by Romanian Catholic Bishop George Gutiu (from Eastern Churches Journal)
Comments on the Romanian Greek Catholic Statement
By Serge Keleher

Bishop George Gutiu's appeal against the Balamand Statement is depressing. It reflects the difficult situation in Romania between the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church and the Romanian Orthodox Church, and the effect of more than four decades of isolation on the Greek-Catholics in particular. Earlier in this century there were very good relations between Greek-Catholics and Romanian Orthodox. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Romanian Greek-Catholics played a crucial role in the Romanian national revival. And the Greek­ Catholic Church was an essential support of the Romanian national identity in Transylvania while that territory was governed by Hungary. So what is the source of the present animosity?

In 1948, as Bishop George mentions, the Romanian Communist government "abolished" the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church, announcing that it had been "reunited" with the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate. All properties of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church were forfeit to the government. Most church edifices were given to the Romanian Orthodox Church; most income-producing properties and revenues remained in the hands of the Communists. The Greek-Catho­lic hierarchs and leading clergy were imprisoned, and persecution was in full swing.

Four decades passed. In December 1989, as Communism col­lapsed all over Eastern Europe, the Ceausescu government fell in Romania, and the revolution  immediately announced that the laws against the Greek-Catholic Church were revoked. The Romanian Orthodox Church announced that all Greek-Catholic properties in Ortho­dox hands would be returned to the Greek-Catholics. And Patriarch Theoctistos of Romania resigned, stating that the Orthodox Church had collaborated with the regime and that there should be a new Orthodox administration.

But in a matter of weeks the Patriarch withdrew his resignation. The promised restoration  of  Greek-Catholic  church edifices  did  not happen, with a very few honorable exceptions (one must mention in particular the restoration of the Cathedral in Lugoj). The new govern­ment did not quite dare to "abolish" the Greek-Catholic Church again, but strong pressure was brought to bear on people not to join the Greek-Catholics.

The Greek-Catholics, meanwhile, knew almost nothing of the Second Vatican Council and the Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical move­ment. What little they had heard was mediated through the Romanian Orthodox Church, whom the Greek-Catholics consider to have been a willing collaborator in the persecution. It is alleged that the Romanian Orthodox Church began loudly trumpeting claims that the Vatican "did not want" the Greek-Catholics, and that anyway the present-day Greek­ Catholics were somehow not the same religion as the Greek-Catholics who were suppressed in 1948.The Romanian Orthodox certainly claim that there are very few Greek-Catholics in Transylvania (there were more than 1.5 million Greek-Catholics in Transylvania in 1948, and since the Romanian government did not permit either abortion or birth control, the number is unlikely to have dropped substantially).

Each side claims that the other is intransigent. The Greek­ Catholics claim that the Orthodox are unwilling even to share church edifices, and are keeping churches closed and locked rather than restore them to the Greek-Catholics. The Orthodox claim that the Greek-Catho­lics refuse to share church edifices, and instead prefer to serve in the open air so as to attract public attention.

Bishop George's letter was written very soon after the Bala­mand Plenary; one is not at all sure that he had access to the complete text. It was suggested that the account given by the Romanian Orthodox representatives at Balamand was not entirely accurate. The Balamand Statement "does not explicitly condemn the 1948 incorporation of the United Romanian Church into the Romanian Orthodox Church through force and terror." True enough and one can appreciate the feelings of the Romanian Greek-Catholics. They have endured a dreadful persecution. However, Balamand does state that: "certain civil authorities made attempts to bring Eastern Catholics back to the Church of their fathers. To achieve this end, they did not hesitate to use unacceptable means when the opportunity arose." [Balamand Statement, paragraph II.] In the delicate language used by the ecu­menists, this is a clear condemnation of the Communist persecution of the Greek-Catholics and of the collaboration in that persecution by the state Churches.

Bishop George has conflated certain events in the history of the Romanian Church. During the early medieval period, the Romanians adopted the Byzantine Liturgy in Church-Slavonic under the influence of Bulgaria (some of the oldest typographical sources of the Byzantine Liturgy in Church-Slavonic are the editions produced in Romania, at Targoviste and Brasov). In the fifteenth century, it appears that a significant number of Greek monks fled from the Turks to Romania, so Romanian Orthodoxy took on Greek cultural elements directly, to supplement those mediated through Church-Slavonic .

Already in the latter part of the fifteenth century, the New Testament and the Psalter were translated into Romanian, and gradually came into use during the divine services. Meanwhile, however, Protestantism was making serious inroads in Transylvania, first among the Saxons and then among the Hungarians, who were the rulers. The Hungarian Protestants were (and still are) Calvinists, and made efforts to proselytize among the Romanian Orthodox peasantry (who were still serfs).

To combat this, the Romanian Orthodox bishops promoted the use of vernacular Romanian in the Liturgy, printing the relevant litur­gical books in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

All this had already been accomplished before the unionist movement which led to the emergence of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Those Romanian Orthodox who accepted communion with Rome were already using vernacular Romanian as their liturgical language. Had the change occurred later, there would have been serious difficulties with the Holy See, which was reluctant to permit Eastern Catholics to abandon dead languages for vernacular languages in the Liturgy. Such difficulties occurred in Transylvania over the use of Hungarian in the Liturgy, and much more recently in the United States over the use of English.

Terming the Orthodox Church "Greco-Bulgarian" is nothing more than a confusing epithet, whose use we must regret. Nor is it acceptable to imply, as Bishop George does, that Orthodox Christians do not understand or experience the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It seems improbable that Bishop George has any clear idea of the Rhodes Conferences; neither he personally, nor the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church, nor indeed the Catholic Church world-wide would be competent to "annul" the Rhodes Conferences! But this may not be Bishop George's fault; an inaccurate quote purported to be from the Rhodes Conferences severely attacking the Greek-Catholics has been in circulation for the past six or seven years, and it is likely that Orthodox opponents of the Greek-Catholics in Romania have been pressing that inaccurate quote. That in turn could have brought Bishop George to issue this repudiation of Rhodes.

The situation of the Greek-Catholics in Romania is unacceptable. They are entitled to the restoration of their church edifices and properties, and to conduct their lives legally and peaceably on the same basis as every other religious judicatory in Romania. At the same time, they share the same obligation which rests on all Greek-Catholics to develop fraternal relations with Eastern Orthodoxy, even in their difficult position. And one is inclined to suggest that a careful reading of the Balamand Statement might convince the Romanian Greek-Catholics that it is to their advantage to respond positively.
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