Anglicans and Catholics

I find this whole turn of events very interesting. One thing to keep in mind this is a small group of folks that would be effected by this welcoming in by Rome. I think people have this idea of large masses of people coming to Rome. Some on the Roman side are afraid of who this will affect Roman Catholicism. I wonder what my celibate priest friend will have to say about a group of priests coming to Rome that can be married. They need to remember that the Eastern Catholics have been married for a long time.

Some discussions have begun on the Orthodox side about our piece of the pie. Some diocese in the US have an active Western Rite mission. This is made up of folks that have come home to Orthodoxy from mostly ECUSA parishes and some from the Charismatic Episcopal Church over the years and have landed in Orthodoxy. It is not easy to make this transition. The Orthodox Church is not about proselytism and we need to tread lightly on this. We need not to be seen as sheep stealing as it is sometimes called. If folks are drawn to Holy Orthodoxy by God then a way will be made for them, we cannot force our way on God.

Now to the Western Rite. I have great love and respect for the Western Rite. As the Eastern Catholics are to Rome so the Western Rite is to us Orthodox. To be quite honest I believe that we should have more Western Rite and even Bi Ritual parishes in the US. I believe that the way to reach many people with the glory of Orthodoxy is through the Western Rite.

Don’t get me wrong I love the Liturgies of the Orthodox Church and find them very beautiful and prayerful. However it is a hard sell to people from non-liturgical churches. Some say that Liturgies of the Western Rite are made up, well the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom was not sent down from God on high it was, wait for it, made up! Actually it was a reform of the Liturgy of St. Basil.

On Friday, Fr. Greg and I will celebrate our annual Liturgy of St. James. This is an ancient Liturgy that we only celebrate on the Feast of St. James the Brother of our Lord. A wonderful Liturgy that has been relegated to a once a year celebration. The tent of Orthodoxy is large enough to welcome all into it. There is room for Greeks, Romanians, Albanians, Russians, and yes Western Rite folks.

If you have an objection to the Western Rite ask yourself why? What is it that makes you feel they are less Orthodox? Is it not our theology that makes us Orthodox? Think about it.

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