Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Rites

I have a good number of Protestant friends who have "issues" with the "Roman Catholic Church", yet there is no "Roman Catholic Church". What they really mean in the Latin Rite, which is the main liturgical rite in Western Civilization. It is from this Rite that the Reformation sprang from. Reformers pointing out the wrongs in the Latin Rite ligturgy and it's Supreme Patriach, the Pontiff, the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. But what about the other Rites in the Catholic Church. I never hear anyone in Protestant circles have anything to say about their disagreements with these Rites. It's all Rome, Rome, Rome, when they really mean, it's all Latin Rite. They can't help themselves, they don't know any better if they declare "Roman Catholics bad"...they mean "Latin Rite Catholics bad." But never a peep about Morarabic Catholics, Bragan Catholics, Maronite Catholics, Chaldean Catholics, Czech Catholics, Russian Catholics, Melkite Catholics, and many more.

So where does leave us? Well it leaves me wanting to educate folks about the various rites. That way if you have issues with the Catholic Church you can begin pointing them out across the board in all the Rites. Really, all this Latin Rite bashing is quite would think after 500 years, the great writers of Protestantism would have found some other problems other than just the problems they have with the Latin Rite. So I give to a list of the Rites of the Catholic Church (not including some of the dead rites, like the Gaellic). I'll break them out too!

Western Rites

  • Latin (Roman) - The overwhelming majority of Latin Catholics and of Catholics in general. Patriarch of this and the other Western Rites is the Bishop of Rome. The current Roman Rite is that of the 1969 Missale Romanum, published in a third edition in 2001 and a fourth expected within the next few years.

  • Missal of 1962 (Tridentine Mass) - Some institutes within the Latin Rite, such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, have the faculty to celebrate the sacramental rites according to the forms in use prior to the Second Vatican Council. This faculty can also be obtained by individual priests from their bishop or from the Pontifical Council Ecclesia Dei.

  • Anglican Use - Since the 1980s the Holy See has granted some former Anglican and Episcopal clergy converting with their parishes the faculty of celebrating the sacramental rites according to Anglican forms, doctrinally corrected.

  • Mozarabic - The Rite of the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) known from at least the 6th century, but probably with roots to the original evangelization. Beginning in the 11th century it was generally replaced by the Roman Rite, although it has remained the Rite of the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Toledo, Spain, and six parishes which sought permission to adhere to it. Its celebration today is generally semi-private.

  • Ambrosian - The Rite of the Archdiocese of Milan, Italy, thought to be of early origin and probably consolidated, but not originated, by St. Ambrose. Pope Paul VI was from this Rite. It continues to be celebrated in Milan, though not by all parishes.

  • Bragan - Rite of the Archdiocese of Braga, the Primatial See of Portugal, it derives from the 12th century or earlier. It continues to be of occasional use.

  • Dominican - Rite of the Order of Friars Preacher (OP), founded by St. Dominic in 1215.

  • Carmelite - Rite of the Order of Carmel, whose modern foundation was by St. Berthold c.1154.

  • Carthusian - Rite of the Carthusian Order founded by St. Bruno in 1084.

Eastern Rites

  • Maronite - Never separated from Rome. Maronite Patriarch of Antioch. The liturgical language is Aramaic. The 3 million Maronites are found in Lebanon (origin), Cyprus, Egypt, Syria, Israel, Canada, US, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Australia.

  • Syriac - Syriac Catholics who returned to Rome in 1781 from the monophysite heresy. Syriac Patriarch of Antioch. The 110,000 Syriac Catholics are found in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Canada and the US.

  • Malankarese - Catholics from the South of India evangelized by St. Thomas, uses the West Syriac liturgy. Reunited with Rome in 1930. Liturgical languages today are West Syriac and Malayalam. The 350,000 Malankarese Catholics are found in India and North America.

  • Chaldean - Babylonian Catholics returned to Rome in 1692 from the Nestorian heresy. Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans. Liturgical languages are Syriac and Arabic. The 310,000 Chaldean Catholics are found in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and the US.

  • Syro-Malabarese - Catholics from Southern India using the East Syriac liturgy. Returned to Rome in the 16th century from the Nestorian heresy. Liturgical languages are Syriac and Malayalam. Over 3 million Syro-Malabarese Catholics can be found in the state of Kerela, in SW India.

  • ARMENIAN- Considered either its own Rite or an older version of the Byzantine. Its exact form is not used by any other Byzantine Rite. It is composed of Catholics from the first people to convert as a nation, the Armenians (N.E. of Turkey), and who returned to Rome at the time of the Crusades. Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians. The liturgical language is classical Armenian. The 350,000 Armenian Catholics are found in Armenia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Ukraine, France, Romania, United States and Argentina. Most Armenians are Orthodox, not in union with Rome.

  • Albanian - Albanian Christians, numbering only 1400 today, who resumed communion with Rome in 1628. Liturgical language is Albanian. Most Albanian Christians are Albanian Orthodox.

  • Belarussian/Byelorussian - Unknown number of Belarussians who returned to Rome in the 17th century. The liturgical language is Old Slavonic. The faithful can be found in Belarus, as well as Europe, the Americas and Australia.

  • Bulgarian - Bulgarians who returned to Rome in 1861. Liturgical language is Old Slavonic. The 20,000 faithful can be found in Bulgaria. Most Bulgarian Christians are Bulgarian Orthodox.

  • Czech - Czech Catholics of Byzantine Rite organized into a jurisdiction in 1996.

  • Krizevci - Croatian Catholics of Byzantine Rite who resumed communion with Rome in 1611. The liturgical language is Old Slavonic. The 50,000 faithful can be found in Croatia and the Americas. Most Croatians are Latin (Rite) Catholics.

  • Greek - Greek Christians who returned to Rome in 1829. The liturgical language is Greek. Only 2500 faithful in Greece, Asia Minor (Turkey) and Europe. Greek Christians are almost all Orthodox, whose Patriarch is the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople.

  • Hungarian - Descendants of Ruthenians who returned to Rome in 1646. The liturgical languages are Greek, Hungarian and English. The 300,000 faithful are found in Hungary, Europe and the Americas.

  • Italo-Albanian - Never separated from Rome, these 60,000 Byzantine Rite Catholics are found in Italy, Sicily and the Americas. The liturgical languages are Greek and Italo-Albanian.

  • Melkite - Catholics from among those separated from Rome in Syria and Egypt who resumed Communion with Rome at the time of the Crusades. However, definitive union only came in the 18th century. Melkite Greek Patriarch of Damascus. Liturgical languages are Greek, Arabic, English, Portuguese and Spanish. The over 1 million Melkite Catholics can be found in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Canada, US, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Australia.

  • Romanian - Romanians who returned to Rome in 1697. The liturgical language is Romanian. There are over 1 million Romanian Catholics in Romania, Europe and the Americas. Most Romanian Christians are Romanian Orthodox.

  • Russian - Russians who returned to communion with Rome in 1905. The liturgical language is Old Slavonic. An unknown number of the faithful in Russia, China, the Americas and Australia. Most Russian Christians are Russian Orthodox, whose Patriarch is the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow.

  • Ruthenian - Catholics from among those separated from Rome in Russia, Hungary and Croatia who reunited with Rome in 1596 (Brest-Litovsk) and 1646 (Uzhorod).

  • Slovak - Byzantine Rite Catholics of Slovakian origin numbering 225,000 and found in Slovakia and Canada.

  • Ukrainian - Catholics from among those separated from Rome by the Greek Schism and reunited about 1595. Patriarch or Metropolitan of Lviv. Liturgical languages are Old Slavonic and the vernacular. The 5.5 million Ukrainian Catholics can be found in Ukraine, Poland, England, Germany, France, Canada, US, Brazil, Argentina and Australia. During the Soviet era Ukrainian Catholics were violently forced to join the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Their hierarchy, which continued to exist outside the homeland, has since been re-established in Ukraine.

  • Coptic - Egyptian Catholics who returned to communion with Rome in 1741. The Patriarch of Alexandria leads the 200,000 faithful of this ritual Church spread throughout Egypt and the Near East. The liturgical languages are Coptic (Egyptian) and Arabic. Most Copts are not Catholics. This Rite that of those who are Catholics.

  • Ethiopian/Abyssinian - Ethiopian Coptic Christians who returned to Rome in 1846. The liturgical language is Geez. The 200,000 faithful are found in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Jerusalem.

So I ask my Protestant friends who have "issues" with the "Roman Catholic Church", are the litugical issues only with the Latin Rite, or with them all? Many liturgies, one church, visibile and united in Christ from all corners of the earth from the East to the West. Oh and if you are wondering, they all agree theologically.

Ut Unum Sint

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Many a high school or college student believes that there is one work, one position, one job, that they can do, one area in which they must major. She or he must be an accountant, a doctor or a biochemist. Looking back at their lives at forty-five, say, they will realize that this wasn't true but they can't be persuaded of that at eighteen. They have more gifts than they realize; each of us has a variety of talents and capabilities which could be realized. The only problem is that we have only one life in which to realize them. (Unless, of course, part of the endless fascination of heaven will be developing all the potential we have for which seventy, eighty years was not enough.) Ideally most of us could use several lifetimes to fulfill our various capacities. Looking back they will see how many careers they could have pursued. The doctor could also have been an English professor. The musician could also have been happy as the manager of a hotel. The social scientists tell us that in actuality many people change careers several times in the course of a lifetime. All our gifts and capacities might suggest to us that even if we do stay with one career for most of our life we could indulge the other interests in our leisure time. Why can't the beautician take up the banjo on the side? Or the coach do something with that ability to draw? Knowing ourselves and our interests should suggest a great number of ways in which we can stave off that boredom so many claim to experience.
-- Don Talafous OSB

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

To speak or not to speak. To express all our feelings or to hold back. To let it all hang out or to maintain some reserve. As so often, we do well to mistrust a too simple decision in favor of one or the other. "For everything there is a season. ... A time to keep silence, and a time to speak" (Ecclesiastes 3, passim). Possibly only a life anchored in prayer and closeness to God will enable us to make the right decision at a particular moment. In words that reflect so well the over-simplified prescriptions of contemporary culture someone has written: We've been taught "that if people would just say how they felt, a lot of problems could be solved. I come from a family where no one ever hesitates to vent whatever petty grievances she might have, and it's like living in a war zone." Clearly, the writer feels that some things might have been left unsaid. Though it will not solve all the complexities that surround speech and silence, the words of the Epistle of James are worth reflection. He says the tongue is "a restless evil" and that no one can tame it. "We use it to say 'Praised be the Lord and Father'; then use it to curse men, though they are made in the likeness of God. Blessing and curse come out of the same mouth" (3:8-10). To speak or not to speak?

-- Don Talafous OSB

Friday, July 14, 2006

A good read over at the Canterbury Tales:

Justification Not By Faith Alone

Read, throw it around, slap it upside head, agree, with it what you will, I just supply the link for your reading pleasure.

Why nothing more substantial...well I just got done playing hockey...I'm tired.