Talk:Western Rite/Archive 1
Given our recent bit of nasty editing by 184.108.40.206 on this, I think we definitely need to expand this article to include some of the controversy. I'll try to work on a section about the controversial nature of the WR soon, but of course if anyone wants to beat me to it, they're most welcome. Stuff like 220.127.116.11's edits are not. --Rdr. Andrew 21:25, 19 Feb 2005 (CST)
If the vandalism of OrthodoxWiki continues by 18.104.22.168 / 22.214.171.124 / 126.96.36.199 (a visitor from osuweb.net), I'm going to ban every IP from that domain I see. In the meantime, this article is going to be protected (editable only by sysops) for a week. --Rdr. Andrew 12:26, 20 Feb 2005 (CST)
- Hey, you want to write your OPINION, that's fine. But don't lie about the Orthodox faith. The Orthodox Church - ANY JURISDICTION - has NEVER been "in communion" with Roman Catholic schismatics. Your implication that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is in any way a "branch" or other "brotherly member" of the Uniat church is Libelous and must be stopped.
- I'm going to presume that this paragraph is from the Reader Michael (OCA) mentioned on Talk:Main Page.
- If you believe that the article as it currently stands is merely opinion and is "lies," then you are welcome to offer up edits of this article which reflect another point of view. However, accusations that WR Orthodox are "Roman Catholics" is simply inaccurate. They are not in communion with the Vatican, and most never have been. Those that used to be broke communion from Rome in becoming Orthodox (or usually sometime before).
- "Uniate" (as you used in your edits) is also not accurate. The Unia specifically refers to parishes which had been formerly Orthodox, broke from the Orthodox Church, and then went into union with Rome. The only similarity that WR Orthodox have with Rome is that they share common roots for their liturgical tradition (and since Vatican II, the deviation has become quite wide).
- You say that you're in the OCA. Your bishops are fully in communion with the bishops who care for most of the WR parishes. Have you called your bishops to break communion with those who, in your view, continue to promulgate Roman Catholicism in the guise of Orthodoxy? You might better claim that the WR is an attempt to promulgate Orthodoxy in the guise of Roman Catholicism. (After all, the "guise" of the WR is much more similar to Rome than to Constantinople.) I genuinely and seriously wonder whether you have even read the article.
- As you say, ROCOR is not a "branch" of the Uniates, and the article is not claiming that, either. ROCOR does have Western Rite parishes, and at least two WR monasteries (one in Rhode Island and the other in New Zealand). (If you doubt this, I recommend you contact their administration to determine this for yourself.) This does not make ROCOR Uniates.
- In any event, you have thus far shown yourself nearly incapable of contributing to OrthodoxWiki in a rational, charitable manner, throwing accusations about without attempting to work within the standards set here. Your contributions so far are precisely the sort of thing we're working to avoid. Now, if you want to work within our standards and represent heretofore unrepresented points of view in a rational, encyclopedic manner, you are most welcome. If, on the other hand, you are not willing to do so, we'll work to prevent your vandalism. It's your choice.
- In the meantime, I'll make some notes in this article reflecting your opinions in the "Criticism" section. --Rdr. Andrew 06:25, 21 Feb 2005 (CST)
i am unaware of any western rite monastery in new zealand. there was a group in the 70's that started a skete, but firstly i'm not sure if they are western rite (probably not), and secondly in any event they went under the serbian diocese.
however, you may be referring to the <a href="http://www.rocor.org.au/stpetrocmonastery/">St Petroc monastery</a> in tasmania, australia.
thank you for all the work you've done on OrthodoxWiki - already it is a resource for Orthodox. a/s
- Fixed! --Rdr. Andrew 21:06, 25 Feb 2005 (CST)
Thoughts on Criticisms of the Western Rite.
One of the things I think was missed in the criticism section of this article was that what many find disquieting about Western Rite parishes is that most, if not all, are primarily convert parishes. In some circles there is a feeling that while the rite itself is unobjectionable, there is a danger that these parishes want to be Orthodox but not too Orthodox: they do not want to give up the comforting familiarity of their former religion and might thus come to further 'infect' the Church with other (this time unwarranted) innovations brought in from their former church. This, I think, is behind the worry about the lack of a liturgical tradition that is referenced in the main article.
Or to put this another way, if a long established parish with multigenerational families of Orthodox were to change peacefully from the Byzantine Rite to the Western Rite then many who are now uneasy with the latter would find it easier to become reconciled with it. Of course, other objections such as the uniformity of liturgical practice and so on would still be made but the nature of discourse would, I think, be different. (But not, probably, better - consider new-calendar v old-calendar.)
188.8.131.52 16:58, 8 Mar 2005 (CST)
- You can, of course, make these additions to the article if you should so choose. I wonder about the idea of an ER parish becoming WR, though. Why would they do that? It seems something of a non sequitur.
- I've heard this criticism, though, and I'll note it in the appropriate section, along with some of the counters I've heard, as well. --Rdr. Andrew 17:48, 8 Mar 2005 (CST)
I did not want to make changes to the main article since I don't have references that I can point to. Since my comments are anecdotal I prefer to leave them in a discussion until I (or someone else) can point to something that is more than what may be a couple of ill-remembered stories.
As for a putative parish changing rites, I do not expect this to happen since, as you say, why would they do that? I'm using this illustration in an attempt to explain how a long-standing liturgical tradition acts as a buffer to criticism and thus might help to blunt some arguments. Put crudely "St ----'s church has been around for a hundred years and is well respected for its stability, good works, etc. It changed to the Western Rite five years ago for reasons of its own and, while I do not understand why, I trust them so it must be ok."
My powers of expression aren't usually that good, and certainly get worse when it gets near to midnight, but I hope that I've made myself clearer. I have absolutely no desire to be controversial but thought I'd add information about something that I thought might have been missed. In any case, I look forward to reading any updates when they come around.
184.108.40.206 17:50, 9 Mar 2005 (CST)
- No worries! As you can see from the article, not everything on OrthodoxWiki is documented (much like the Orthodox Church itself), but the fact that both you and I have heard this criticism is, I think, enough to merit it a mention.
- I understood what you meant about the respectability of an established ER parish becoming WR, but the sheer unlikelihood of that ever happening makes it something of a moot point, don't you think?
- In any event, judging at least from your comments here, I'd say that your expression powers are surely good enough to find use here on OrthodoxWiki—perhaps you'd consider registering an account and helping us out to the extent that you are able and inclined to do so. --Rdr. Andrew 19:14, 9 Mar 2005 (CST)
Perhaps "Objections to the Western Rite" should be its own article. I'd be happy to write it; I think I've heard EVERYTHING. :)
In the late 1990s, negotiations had been underway with the Church of Serbia for the Eglise to come under its jurisdiction, but NATO's bombing of Kosovo in 1999 abruptly ended those hopes, as France was then seen by the Serbians as complicit in its persecution by the West. Talks reportedly resumed in 2004.
I must say I find this paragraph a little bizarre - maybe it's my American mentality of separation of church and state, but why would church negotiations be affected by what the French government does? And why is the reported necessary? Either they did or they didn't, and if it's a maybe, another wording might be more appropriate since reportedly sounds like someone is suspicious of certain claims which are being made. (And if this is the case, the concern should be made explicit). Thanks, Fr. John
- Regarding the issue of breaking off talks after NATO began bombing Serbia -- I think it was essentially an issue of guilt by association. (Notice, for instance, how Americans started boycotting or renaming various French cultural products simply because the French government didn't support the invasion of Iraq.)
- The latter bit is part of a sentence I put in there. I used "reportedly," because I have no source for the information other than someone who is not part of either group saying that it is so, without citing any information. Since this is hardly a "common knowledge" issue, I'd at least like some sort of published source before removing the "hedge" word. --Rdr. Andrew 22:55, 1 Apr 2005 (EST)
http://www.spc.yu/Vesti-2004/12/14-12-04-e.html Try this to begin with. Also, a version of the same report but originating with the French rather than the Serbians, as reported to ROCOR's WRO monastery: http://www.orthodoxresurgence.co.uk/Petroc/Michael04.htm - page down to Belgrade, 29 September. - Aristibule.
- Thanks! --Rdr. Andrew 07:19, 4 Apr 2005 (EDT)
The negotiations between Serbia and L'ECOF ARE common knowledge, if you travel in Western Rite circles. Literally every WRV clergyman is aware of them, as well as many in ROCOR, and even the Milan Synod, HOCNA, and various other splinter groups (as Aidan Keller of the Occidentalis Yahoo news list falsely reported L'ECOF had been assumed by the Copts [that's a different church with a similar name], then falsely reported the Serbs had alraedy accepted L'ECOF). Thanks, Aristibule, for providing links verifying my recounting of the facts.
I share Fr. John's questions about Serbia breaking off negotiations with France last time, allegedly because of its support for Clinton's military actions. Perhaps we should see "at least like some sort of published source" before adding it?
- I've removed the section in question. It was a piece of information told to me by a former subdeacon in l'ECOF.
- "Common knowledge" within a certain group is not the same as "common knowledge" as usually defined in academic standards. For instance, it is common knowledge that Julius Caesar ruled the Roman Empire, but it is not common knowledge that some piece of his house was recently uncovered, something that probably only archaeologists would know. --Rdr. Andrew 07:58, 4 Apr 2005 (EDT)
All's well that ends well, Rdr. Andrew! :)
TO SET THE STAGE
I made some changes to the Western Rite article. Rdr. Andrew Stephen Damick erased said changes. Another user then added some variant of my original comments back to these pages twice, each time having them erased.
The irony is I made these changes at the specific invitation of: Rdr. Andrew. On the Yahoo group "westernriteorthodoxy," I offered stylistic and substantive comments about his Western Rite article, which he had linked on the group. He said of my substantive changes (including my note about the Franco-Serbian negotiations): "Thanks for your input. You're welcome, of course, to make adjustments to the article yourself, but should you choose not to, I'll try to incorporate your suggestions at some point in the future." Hence, I felt welcome to post here. When I took him up on his offer, he decided to censor me and delete the input he encouraged me to publish. I didn't realize by taking up his offer I was somehow falling into his little game.
An admin hoped we could discuss this page in a Christian manner. Frankly, I am apprehensive even entering this dialogue, especially during Lent. As I mentioned, Rdr. Andrew and I met on the Yahoo group "westernriteorthodoxy," a listserv dedicated to Antioch's WRV. After I noted a "Ukrainian Orthodox" spambot's several messages about a Byzantine Rite outreach to the inner city homeless of Hawaii (!) were off-topic and reminded the group many independent church groups claim to be associated with the "Ukrainian Orthodox," Rdr. Andrew repeatedly attacked me with vitriolic rhetoric simply because because I believe with most of world Orthodoxy (including Antioch and the OCA) that to be part of the Orthodox Church proper one must be Orthodox in faith, in practice, and be in communion with one of the 15 autocephalous Orthodox churches. Indeed, even after I twice asked we not discuss the matter, he felt obliged to attack viciously. (All this before even introducing himself.) He then linked his Western Rite OrthodoxWiki article; after I offered some technical feedback he seemed hyper-sensitively defensive. He's even refused to post a comment I have sent to his blog twice about a song named "Massachusetts" recorded by the Bee Gees, although he's added numerous posts since then. All this leads me to believe Rdr. Andrew is averse to criticism of any sort, however innocuous, and may not be an exemplar of reasoned Christian discourse. I hope we will have better luck here, and the rest of you will set the example should things become bogged down again. I simply don't feel like getting into an argument for argument's sake, especially with fellow Orthodox who are, for the most part, doing excellent work.
Magda writes: "Repeatedly making the same changes does nothing to persuade." I was unaware one had to "persuade"; I was under the impression OrthodoxWiki was "a free-content encyclopedia and information center for Orthodox Christianity that anyone can edit." I particularly had this impression after I was directly invited to edit the Western Rite article on the matters Rdr. Andrew and I discussed on the "westernriteorthodoxy" group. I was not aware this meant "anyone, as long as we agree with their viewpoint, even if they link proof of their assertions." :) However, in case you missed them, here's:
Magda, et. al., much of the information I posted came from canonical Orthodox clergy within Antioch and ROCOR, and was verified in a public internet forum by Aidan Keller, a monk formerly with the Milan Synod's St. Hilarion Monastery in Austin, TX. He admitted in this message that SHM's "Archbishop Hilarion" received his orders from the Liberal Catholic Church, a group that has proudly trumpeted its Theosophist beliefs for decades. At some point, SHM became part of an Old Catholic group billing itself as the "Synod of Orthodox Bishops of the Western Rite." I linked the Yellow Pages entry showing that group advertizing itself as "Orthodox," although they were then episcopoi vagantes (again, by Aidan Keller's admission, although he claims they did not present themselves as Orthodox before entering the Milan Synod). You will notice the SOBWR's address in the Yellow Page entry is the same as that of the the Abbey of the Holy Name, the residence of "His Eminence, the Most Reverend Archbishop John, Ruling Archbishop" of the Milan Synod. (Indeed, St. Hilarion's itself has reportedly claimed it was part of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Similarly, Aidan Keller charges his enemies -- he often names Antiochians specifically as such -- with resorting "to lies, orchestrated rumours, shocking intrigue, bribery, and even forged documents," all without any proof, naturally.)
Sources within Antioch and ROCOR state that SOBWR approached ROCOR's Abp. HILARION (then in the U.S., now in Australia). Aidan Keller admits Vladyka demanded they be reordained, and they refused. They were then received into the Milan Synod, by all accounts without reordination. Common sense also dictates if these vagantes refused to accede to ROCOR's demand for reordination, they would not likely do so for the Milan Synod. Thus, as far as the record can be reconstructed, the only ordination administred at St. Hilarion's Monastery stems from a Theosophist church. I freely acknowledge that Russia used to accept Roman Catholic priests simply by "vesting," but I'm not aware that Milan even did that in this case; by all accounts they simply accepted SHM directly, in orders. Perhaps Aristibule has this answer, as well?
You may read Aidan Keller's admissions about his monastery's background here (you must first subscribe), although they are buried beneath mounds of denials and contradictions of his previous statements, etc.
Finally, in my post, I linked Fr. Anthony Nelson of ROCOR's article on the role St. Hilarion's Monastery played in ordaining the head of the Gnostic Orthodox Church (the group that produces "Monastery Icons"). Aidan Keller claims this was innocent. However, according to Fr. Nelson the Gnostic publicly proclaimed that he had been a bishop in a former life, and the monastery had been featured on numerous television programs as a Hindu-Orthodox hybrid!
I believe this proves all my assertions. I added them to give a more complete picture of St. Hilarion's Monastery, particularly since, as I noted, certain figures there have a disturbing background, high ambition, and have been less than honest about their background (and well as the practices, faith, and even Orthodoxy of Antioch -- but that's another post). Thank you.
Rdr. Andrew sent me some more links to the whole thread of discussion on westernriteorthodoxy. I've briefly read through your discussion together, and I venture the following comments:
- I'm amazed by the depth of discussion. I think at one point Ben said that no good history of Western Rite Orthodoxy yet exists. I'm very heartened to see so much knowledge going around and I have high hopes for this article here. I hope you folks don't give up on all of this.
- It seems to me that your strained conversation is a sad side effect of internet discourse. How quickly differences escalate into flame wars! I'm not convinced that either of you are actually wrong. Let me explain:
- Ben takes issue with Rdr. Andrew's openness to the Milan Synod and other groups which call themselves Orthodox, but are not in fact in communion with any of the ancient sees. Rdr. Andrew responds that we should not write these groups off too quickly, and gives some historical examples to back this up (e.g. the way some groups - even, e.g. the OCA - have failed at one point or another to meet the strict definition of canonicity offered by Fr. Matusiak (which I think is a good summary statement, but not a complete treatise on ecclesiastical polity).
- My impression is that Rdr. Andrew is being too cautious/charitable here. I don't know the specific history of the Milan Synod, but I recommend that we change it's descriptor from "Old Calendar" to something that more accurately highlights the problematic character of its claims. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to provide a link to an article which goes into some of the history of the Milan Synod.
- In terms of ecclesiology, obviously this isn't really the place for an in-depth discussion, but I award points to both parties. Personally, I don't have much trouble holding the two perspectives in tension. It seems that most of us (in mainstream canonical Orthodox churches) can appreciate that, even if we aren't fully in communion with R.O.C.O.R. (not yet at least), they still have a claim to authenticity that's radically different from, e.g., a group like H.O.C.N.A. It is "common sense" to us to state the basic criteria of canonicity without totally excluding some groups which have become estranged for certain kinds of historical reasons (in this case, communist control of the Moscow Patriarchate).
- 3. It seems to me that both of you have a lot to contribute. Again, I'm not really sure why things have escalated so quickly (maybe because it's Lent?), but I trust that we are all "eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Eph. 4:3) and that this can be resolved in a worthy manner.
May God bless you both, Fr. John 21:17, 4 Apr 2005 (EDT) (Honcho in Chief)
Formatting and Indentions
I mentioned in my post on "westernriteorthodoxy," the only real problem I have with the technical side of the WesternRite article is that the indentions are hard to make out, particularly in areas where the article "scoots" one direction or another. I've looked at it on a 20" monintor, and one can barely tell the quoted paragraphs are indented. Is there anyway to increase the indentation say a few more centimeters? I think that would improve the page dramatically.
Just my two cents.
- There is a good deal of latitude given to the contributors in terms of formatting - we certainly want to go for clarity, although we should generally abide by the guidelines in the OrthodoxWiki:Style Manual (which itself is open for discussion).
If you put a couple spaces before a paragraph
it turns into a text box. This can be helpful sometimes!
- You can also indent a paragraph by putting colons ':' in front of it -- the more colons, the further in it goes.
You might also find it helpful to italicize or use boldness in order to make things clear. For more information, please see Help:Editing.
Hope that helps! Fr. John
P.S. A 20 inch monitor? That sounds great! Do you happen to have an extra one laying around :-)
I would not list "westernritejurisdictions," as it was founded for a specific, short-term purpose. A poster on Occidentalis had asked for documentation of several of Aidan Keller's statements on Occidentalis. Keller provided none, then censored him. As a sop to a few members of the Occidentalis group, Aidan Keller formed "westernritejurisdictions" to answer this guy's questions. Six months later, he has provided nothing. It's best to leave that what it was intended to be: a private fight between Aidan and "imjimmyd" (and his wife?). Your readers will get no spiritual benefit from reading it.
I would not list Occidentalis for the same reason I wouldn't put "Milan Synod" in the article, but ALSO for another reason: Occidentalis has been Aidan Keller's forum for several calumnies against the Antiochian WRV. In one message, he claimed the St. Tikhon Vespers service was "substantially Byzantized," because it had the Prayer of St. Chrysostom -- added by Thomas Cranmer in 1549! Again, he claims eerie, scary, bad, mean Antiochians are out to crush him and his wonderful liturgy, which is the lone heir to pre-Schism Western liturgics (although all the books he cites as sources were printed LATE post-Schism, some in the 19th century). He also allows "super Orthodox" (Milan Synod, HOCNA, etc.) to call Orthodox and all non-super-Orthodox VILE, insulting names without censorship or rebuke...but those who ask questions he doesn't like, like "imjimmyd," are censored.
I'm sure there are other Western Rite forums in existence, but I don't have my links handy. Others? Anyone? Anyone?