Talk:Western Rite

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Splitting up article

The article is getting huge, and y'all's good suggestions and plans would seem to make it even bigger. Perhaps it should be transitioned into a general article with multiple sections, then each section having a "Main article: Foo" included at the top where Foo becomes the more detailed article on that subject. --Rdr. Andrew 12:55, 9 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Lack of liturgical continuity

Another thing this brings to mind is the note in the article on Daniel (Alexandrow) of Erie : "Also, simply doing his own extensive research on ancient rites came in useful during the elevation of Metropolitan Philaret in 1964. This was the first time the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia had elected a successor who was not a Metropolitan in episcopal rank, and inasmuch as the remainder bishops were of lesser rank themselves, many were unsure of the elevation in such a situation. However, thanks to the research of Bishop Daniel, who was yet a reader, the Synod of Bishops was able to essentially replicate the office of elevation of a Metropolitan as performed in 15th century Russia." - Aristibule

I'm also reminded of the restoration of the rite of enthroning a patriarch of Moscow that was enacted when St. Tikhon of Moscow was elected. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 08:04, November 7, 2005 (CST)

Miscategorization of links

The letter of Patriarch Sergius I to Vladimir Lossky is not a 'criticism' of the Western Rite, but rather pro-Western Rite. - Aristibule


Do we really want to include links to blogs as part of this encyclopedia? Blogs have nothing to do with NPOV, and they often stray far afield from the purported topic. One I glanced at was recommending the writings of William F. Buckley, Jr. -- nothing whatsoever to do with Western Rite Orthodoxy! --Fr Lev 08:31, March 2, 2006 (CST)

If they're exclusively (or near-exclusively) topical, then linking them is fine. If not, then no. If the only thing that distinguishes the weblogs in question is that they're owned by WR people, then that doesn't seem enough to warrant a link. Individual articles posted there could certainly be linked if they're substantial and contribute significantly to the topic. There's no reason that the links couldn't be added to Online Orthodox Communities, though. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 08:38, March 2, 2006 (CST)
The blogs I linked were three:
**The Western Rite section of Fr. Matthew Thurman's blog (the section I linked) consists primarily of historical documents written by such as Fr. Alexander Turner, first Vicar-General of the Antiochian WRV -- precisely the sort of thing that should be linked to this page as a resource.
**Western Orthodoxy is the blog to which our critic refers. Somehow he scrolled two screens down, skipped a photo and news story about the first Continuing Anglican bishop ever to convert to the WRV, and "glanced" at a sentence in the middle of a post about Western spiritual books, located above several stories concerning objections to the Western Rite and an article written by Fr. Hieromonk (Dom) James Deschene of Christminster Monastery (ROCOR, WR). Further down, he would have found patristic quotations on feast days, Byzantine practices that correlate with the Western Rite, and news about new Western Rite communities entering Oriental Orthodoxy. Our critic "glanced" only a one-sentence aside well down the blog, then hastened here to present it as the only content in the entire blog, which allegedly has "nothing whatsoever to do with Western Rite Orthodoxy!" How odd.
**Subdn. Benjamin Andersen's Occidentalis is a source for this OrthodoxWiki webpage and is acknowledged as such. Certainly his valuable blog is on-topic.
As you can see, all are exclusively or near-exclusively topical. As such, I've added them all back to the page under "News and Views." If the editorial team disagrees, feel free to remove them.
All three blogs are more on-topic for this OrthodoxWiki page than the listservs. This is particularly true of "Occidentalis," which primarily discusses liturgies not currently practiced anywhere in Orthodoxy (I'm not referencing the "Old Sarum Rite" here but others besides that not authorized anywhere), acts as a clearinghouse for inaccurate anti-WRV rumors, and allows vagante Old Catholics to promote their own churches and titles.
Too bad my blog wasn't restore as well - it also is mostly a Western Rite Orthodox blog, though more towards the ROCOR usage (which might be why it was snubbed?) - Ari 15:41, March 7, 2006 (CST)
Ari, don't imagine slights where there are none (especially during Lent, mon frere). I didn't restore your blog, because occasionally you go 2-3 posts on something unrelated -- and I thought if a detractor was going to go crazy over one stray sentence, perhaps I'd better err on the side of caution. I added your blog to the Online Orthodox Communities. Feel free to add your blog to the Western Rite page, too. No offense meant to an outstanding blog. -- Willibrord
That was tongue in cheek. ;) No problem, I've actually thought about separating all the Western Rite Orthodox (and other Orthodox posts) to a separate blog, separate the wheat out from the tares. That might be a more appropriate link. Ari 08:21, March 9, 2006 (CST)

My remarks have been misunderstood and mischaracterized. I didn't say that the blog in question had nothing to do with Western rite Orthodoxy -- I said that the comments about William F. Buckley have nothing to do with Western Rite Orthodoxy. (BTW, I happen to like Mr. Buckley.) And although I didn't see anything outrageous on the website, I have seen other "Orthodox" blogs that do mix in a fair amount of partisan politics, and it's a road I would rather us not go down. --Fr Lev 09:52, March 9, 2006 (CST)

With all due respect, I believe my comments were a fair reading of your words above, and your words above were not a fair reading of my blog nor even the post in question, for the reasons I pointed out. But it seems this discussion has run its course. -- Willibrord.
As a related issue, it is perhaps best not to be involved in the promotion or lack thereof of one's own material. Putting up a link is one thing, but if it becomes a contentious issue, it would seem best for the sake of neutrality to let others decide whether one's material is worthy of inclusion. It's an inherent conflict of interest to do otherwise. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 17:05, March 9, 2006 (CST)

Some Corrections re France

I deleted some inaccuarate information. (1) The Gallican liturgy was not a usage of the Roman rite. (2) The Gallican rite as restored by Bishop Jean Kovalevsky was almost entirely Western, drawing on various Western missals, sacramentaries, etc. Most of the borrowings from the Byzantine that form part of the ordinary today (which is a small part of the liturgy) were added c. 1960 at the direction of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco. (3) Alexis van der Mensbrugghe was not a member of the French Church -- he worked with the French Church and taught at its St Denys Institute while the French Church was still a part of the Moscow Patriarchate. (4) I replaced the decription of the French Church as "in canonical limbo" with "isolation." The use of the term "canonical" here is inappropriate. A good source for understanding this common misuse of the word is Fr Alexander Schmemann's article on the situation of the Church in America. --Fr Lev 16:41, March 2, 2006 (CST)


I have substantially re-worked sections of this article in order to redress perceived (my perception) inadequacies/imbalances and to perhaps bring some sections more up to date

I deleted the section headed "criticisms" simply because I see no reason why we should be required to give space to the critics of Western Rite within Orthodoxy. No one is going to take kindly to my adding a paragraph of criticism to a section of Orthodoxwiki which details the use of Chrysostoma in the diaspora, so I see no reason why we should have a criticism section here.

I filled out some of the details of ROCOR's Western Rite activities and made other more minor adjustments.

I will be only sporadically available over the next few weeks to defend my changes - so please don't take silence for anything other than the fact that I may not have seen a comment.

Suggestion: Do we need to include the picture of the "circus". This is ammunition for the critics of Western Rite - it even causes severe criticism within the ranks of Western Riters. I see no reason for including this weapon which our detractors can and do use to disparage us.


Language about the Church of France

The language I used is taken from the article on the Orthodox Church of France and was the result of one of the moderators, Fr John, resolving a dispute. --Fr Lev 17:31, February 13, 2008 (PST)

Not exactly. Fr. John's exact wording said nothing about "the ancient patriarchates" but mentioned "the ECOF not being in communion with any of the recognized Orthodox Churches." That is broader than merely "the ancient patriachates." L'ECOF is not in communion with any local Orthodox Church, either; hence, more precise language is needed. (This is, of course, a sanitized way of noting L'ECOF is not in communion with anyone and hence not canonical.) -- User:Willibrord

Yes, EXACTLY. I pasted and clipped the sentence from the opening section of the article on the Church of France as Fr John approved it (and froze it). Your use of "canonical" is not accurate language, nor is "recognized Orthodox Churches" particularly illuminating -- recognized by whom? --Fr Lev 06:11, February 14, 2008 (PST)

In some universally recognised Orthodox Churches, episcopacies are sold. By doing this, these churches are "uncanonical", but are still universally "recognised" churches. The term "uncanonical" is not congruent with either "generally recognised" or "universally recognised". In this context, "uncanonical" really is quite unhelpful. chrisg 2008 Feb 15 o2:51 EAST
Fr. John's exact wording is vastly superior to yours -- which again is inexact and misleading. By mentioning only "the ancient patriarchates," you may lead the reader to believe L'ECOF is in communion with some other autocephalous or autonomous Orthodox Church. You are not. Surely you don't wish to mislead anyone. Hence, clarification is needed -- probably on the L'ECOF page, as well.
"chrisg," such character assassinations, inaccuracies, and malicious generalizations will not be useful on this site. -- User:Willibrord

The exat wording approved and frozen by Fr John in the article is "The Orthodox Church of France currently functions as an independent body, and is not recognized by any of the Orthodox Churches in communion with the ancient patriarchates." You misrepresent what this says, since is refers not only to the ancient patriarchates, but to "any of the Orthodox Churches in communion with the ancient patriarchates." --Fr Lev 08:03, February 14, 2008 (PST)

Willibrord's continued attempts to edit the language adds NOTHING to the description except redundancy -- patriachates are autocephalous. --Fr Lev 09:03, February 14, 2008 (PST)

Yet Fr. John's exact wording was more precise than your continual edits.
If you intention is to communicate that L'ECOF is not in communion with any autocepahlous or autonomous Orthodox Church, surely you don't object to this being spelled out explicitly. There are those, like myself, who may not understand the nuance of your wording, which implies a different reality. After all, an The Orthodox Church of France is not currently recognized by nor in communion with any autonomous or autocephalous church is not necessarily a "patriachal" church, and some (the OCA) are not recognized by all "the ancient patriarchates." Yet the OCA does not recognize L'ECOF, either. Is L'ECOF in communion with some Orthodox Church, any Orthodox Church at all? If not, this wording better describes that and should not be changed to something more ambiguous.
Looks like it's time for someone to freeze this section again. -- User:Willibrord

First, it isn't my language that I'm repeating. Second, how does your edit add ANY information? Is there an Orthodox Church you have in mind that is NOT included in the phrase "any of the Orthodox Churches in communion with the ancient patriarchates"? Your language is less precise and less accurate. There are disputes as to what Orthodox Churches are autocephalous, for example. --Fr Lev 09:13, February 14, 2008 (PST)

For the last time, not all "autocephalous and autonomous churches" are patriarchal, nor are all those listed on OrthodoxWiki recognized by "the ancient patriarchates." (I'm thinking specifically of the OCA.)
As noted, Fr. John's exact wording mentioned "the ECOF not being in communion with any of the recognized Orthodox Churches." As you note, "recognized Orthodox churches" is not a widely used term; "autocephalous and autonomous churches" is a more understandable substitute. Thus, my edit more closely reflects his wording and intentions than yours. It should replace yours, both here and in the L'ECOF article, and be frozen.-- User:Willibrord

There is no ambiguity or imprecision in the original wording. The OCA is "in communion with the ancient patriarchates." --Fr Lev 09:24, February 14, 2008 (PST)

There is greater precision on this language (not to mention an additional link to OrthodoxWiki). It seems your language is antiseptic and intended to introduce ambiguity about L'ECOF's actual canonical situation (namely, that it is in communion with no one). L'ECOF is not, in fact, in communion with anyone, is it? Why the roiling displeasure when this is so noted?
At any rate, this is a matter the administrators will have to settle. --User:Willibrord

It's not my language, and it's certainly not intended to introduce ambiguity. The language of "in communion" is imprecise, in that other Churches have certainly communed both lay and clerical members of the Church of France -- with the blessing of hierarchs of those Churches. --Fr Lev 09:36, February 14, 2008 (PST)

I'm not sure how many times this article (and the Orthodox Church of France article) has basically been changed between one edit to the other, but I'm fairly sure it's in the double digits.
Irrespective, perhaps someone would be able to enlighten on why, in an overtly Mainstream Chalcedonian Biased Orthodox encyclopaedia, it is not possible to say 'presently outside the Orthodox Church'? It's not as if there is any ambiguity about the status, like there was until recently with ROCOR - this revert war has been between one set of words and the other set, when the point to communicate is that it is currently outside the Church, which can be done without needing to resort to any word above three syllables. — edited by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 09:42, February 14, 2008 (PST)

First, we have had many months of peace and stability on these articles. Second, I have yet to see how changing the statement is in any way an improvement. Third, I think Pistevo's comments are unhelpful. What is the point of mentioning "Chalcedonian" when the French Church is clearly Chalcedonian. And I don't I think saying "outside the Orthodox Church" is at all accurate. When "the Orthodox Churches in communion with the ancient patriarchates" includes Churches and hierarchs who certainly view the Church of France as Orthodox (though irregular due to its current lack of an autocephalous sponsor) and have accepted its ordinations and communed its laity and clerics, then it is simply wrong to suggest it is outside the Orthodox Church. --Fr Lev 10:08, February 14, 2008 (PST)

Article protection

Gentlemen, this article has been protected to stop the revert-war that has been ongoing today. Mainstream Orthodox Church is the usual, non-controversial term here on the wiki. This explicitly refers to the list of autocephalous and autonomous churches. It is not controversial to say that a particular group is "not recognized by" or "out of communion with" the churches on that list.

I've adjusted the language to what I regard as more precise and less inflammatory. Though the "is not recognized by any of the Orthodox Churches in communion with the ancient patriarchates" language is true, it could at least be seen to imply a semi-papal ecclesiology (i.e., that the ancient patriarchates define what it means to be Orthodox).

Uncanonical is not generally a useful term here, since its definition in common usage is all over the map. What can be verified, however, is which churches make it onto which diptychs (which is the technical meaning of not recognized by or out of communion with).

If y'all move your edit war (i.e., repeated reversions to the same edit) to another article, then you'll both be banned temporarily to allow a cooling-off period. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 11:09, February 14, 2008 (PST)

I'm apologize that I've let this go on so long.
I agree with Fr. Andrew about the term "uncanonical" but I'm also concerned about the phrase "Mainstream" (I know we use it in the style manual for our famous NPOV, but I think it fits better there)... If "uncanonical" is too vague, "mainstream" seems too relativist... On a previous revision of the article I had suggested "not recognized any of the Orthodox Churches in communion with the ancient patriarchates." I think Fr. Andrew is right in his caution -- it is not simply the antiquity or prestige of these churches that makes them reference points. At the same time, "not currently recognized by nor in communion with any autocephalous or autonomous Orthodox Church" is certainly written from a "Mainstream Chalcedonian Bias" which is actually fine here. I like Fr. Andrew's sentence: "What can be verified, however, is which churches make it onto which diptychs (which is the technical meaning of not recognized by or out of communion with" -- with this, there is no need for additional accusations invective, or high emotions. This is simply a question of fact. With this in mind, I'm going to change "mainstream" back to "any autocephalous or autonomous Orthodox Church."
If anyone has a better idea of how to work this balance out, let's talk here first. I'll watch the page to keep in the loop. Thanks, — FrJohn (talk)
"Any autocephalous or autonomous Orthodox Church" has problems, too (e.g., the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, etc.). There has to be some way to refer to what makes it onto this list which is both descriptive and exclusive. I prefer mainstream (linked to the list), since even the OCists often use the term. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 11:33, February 15, 2008 (PST)
...why not just say that the group isn't in communion with the Orthodox Church? Between MCB and the fact that they're not in communion with, well, anyone, this is both accurate and brief. And, I'm fairly certain that 'autonomous' is superfluous - an autonomous church, in external relations, still under its autocephalous mother church. — edited by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 13:20, February 15, 2008 (PST)

Which brings me back to the original language -- how was referring to "any of the Orthodox Churches in communion with the ancient patriarchates" inadequate? That covers all of the autocephalous and autonomous Churches. It also avoid the less than correct language about "not in communion." A more descriptive statement would be that it exists in a state of "impaired communion" in that at least some of the other Churches recognize the ordinations of the French Church and have (officially) communed their clerics at the altar. --Fr Lev 15:20, February 15, 2008 (PST)

Because Rome is an ancient patriarchate?
Who officially communes them? Recognising the orders is no guarantee - we recognise(d) Catholic orders, but that doesn't mean that we're in communion. — edited by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 16:08, February 15, 2008 (PST)

Rome is not "one of the Orthodox Churches in communion with the ancient patriarchates." I've personally received communion from the head of one autocephalous Church and concelebrated with and received from the head of an autonomous Church, and been allowed to receive at the altar by the senior bishop of one of the ancient Orthodox patriarchates. --Fr Lev 16:22, February 15, 2008 (PST)

No. It's an ancient patriarchate which is outside the Orthodox Church, demonstrating that age and prestige do not denote within-the-Church-or-not.
One person's experience would constitute either 'original research' or 'improper sourcing' - and even so, it can be seen as a sequence of isolated cases, rather than acceptance by the Church in question. — edited by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 16:47, February 15, 2008 (PST)

You seem to miss the point of the original wording -- "any of the Orthodox Churches in communion with the ancient patriarchates" excludes Rome and non-"mainstream" Orthodox Churches but includes the OCA, etc. I wasn't trying to "source" the article by my own experience; I merely answered your question on this talk page. However, since I have been directly involved with the hierarchs in question, I do think I am in a better position to address the question than someone who has not been. But it is also more than just my experience; when I was given permission to receive at the altar by the primate's chancellor in one jurisdiction, I was told that this was his Church's policy regarding our clergy -- policy, and not an isolated or idiosyncratic event. That same chancellor later offered to receive me into his Church and give me a parish. When the chancellor of another Church here telephoned a patriarchal bishop in Europe to ask about the status of our clergy, he was told "Of course they are Orthodox." I have not tried to put any of this into the article; I am simply responding to the questions asked. --Fr Lev 17:10, February 15, 2008 (PST)

The point of the original wording (or any wording) is to communicate an idea, but what that wording communicates is that being an ancient patriarchate is the primary measure, when it's clearly not. Even if it was, it would simply be a case of double-repetition - the aforementioned Orthodox Churches, in this MCB'd encyclopaedia, constitute the Orthodox Church.
The point of asking that wasn't to give a bait-and-switch - I was actually asking about any official policies, edicts, proclamations, etc. regarding l'ECOF. Are there any issued, who from, and what are they? — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 17:32, February 15, 2008 (PST)
Not sure where Pistevo's "bait and switch" comes in, but I'm still interested in other ways to phrase this... — FrJohn (talk)
Just trying to make explicit the fact that the question was not asked for disingeneous reasons... — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 03:37, February 16, 2008 (PST)