Introduction to Eastern Catholicism and the Byzantine Catholic Church

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1 Introduction to Eastern Catholicism and the Byzantine Catholic Church Deacon Mark Koscinski Eastern Catholicism 1

2 In the Beginning Alexander the Great ( B.C) consciously sought to Hellenize the East Greek culture spread throughout the East, but it was also changed by the contact with conquered peoples. Later, the Roman Empire was divided into the Latin speaking West and the Greek speaking East. Eastern Catholicism 2

3 The Roman Empire Eventually, the Roman Empire was split into a Western half and an Eastern half, each with its own Emperor. The importance of Constantine and Constantinople. Though they considered themselves Roman, by the Eighth Century the Imperial government was conducted in Greek. Eastern Catholicism 3

4 Impact on Christianity Four Great Centers of Christianity: Rome, which evangelized to the West, and spoke Latin Constantinople which evangelized to the North and spoke Greek Alexandria which evangelized South and spoke Coptic Antioch, which evangelized to the West Eastern Catholicism 4

5 What Caused the Split? Some theological issues The filioque Papal authority Some ego Michael Cerularias, the Patriarch Cardinal Humboldt, the Papal Legate The times Greek was a lost language in the West and Latin in the East Eastern Catholicism 5

6 Rites and Recensions Byzantine Greek Ruthenian Russian Ukrainian Alexandrian Coptic Ethiopian Roman Latin Other minor usages Antiochian Maronites Syrian Armenian Eastern Catholicism 6

7 Who Are We? The Orthodox and Catholic Churches split in Each practiced a different rite but were in communion. Subsequently, groups of Orthodox left and returned to communion with Rome. We in the Byzantine Catholic Church are such a group Eastern Catholicism 7

8 Who Are We? The Second Vatican Council defined the Universal Church as a collection of churches in communion with the Pope of Rome. There are now twenty three such churches, with the Roman Catholic Church being the largest The Pope wears two hats (or tiaras) Head of the Universal Church Head of the Roman Catholic Church Eastern Catholicism 8

9 Who Are We? The Byzantine Catholic Church is the only self governing church in the United States The Metropolia of Pittsburgh is governed by the Metropolitan of Pittsburgh and the Council of Hierarchs Four Dioceses: the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh and the Eparchies of Passaic, Parma and Van Nuys. Eastern Catholicism 9

10 Who Are We? We are fully in communion with Rome. We commemorate our Holy Ecumenical Pontiff the Pope of Rome at every Divine Liturgy. All Roman Catholics may receive the Sacraments in our church and all Byzantine Catholics may receive the Sacraments in Roman Catholic Churches. Eastern Catholicism 10

11 What Does Self Governing Mean? There is a separate Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Churches. Patriarchal churches erect dioceses, elect their bishops and maintain particular laws. Major Archepiscopal churches elect their bishops and maintain particular laws. Metropolitan churches maintain particular laws. We are a metropolitan church Eastern Catholicism 11

12 So Who is Who? Patriarchs rank just below cardinals, but when made cardinal are made cardinal bishops, the highest rank. Major Archbishops rank below patriarchs and are typically made cardinal priests. Metropolitans of sui generis churches rank above archbishops. Eastern Catholicism 12

13 Who s on First? Patriarchal Churches Melkite Maronite Coptic Armenian Chaldean Major Archepiscopal Ukrainian Syro-Malabar Syro-Malankara Romanian Metropolitan Byzantine Church in America Byzantines in Slovakia Eastern Catholicism 13

14 The Mysteries or the Sacraments Our sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Chrismation, and the Holy Eucharist They are administered together The priest is the ordinary minister of Chrismation Deacons do not administer sacraments in the East The Blessing is considered integral to all sacraments, and are not given by deacons. Eastern Catholicism 14

15 The Mysteries or the Sacraments Traditionally, Eastern priests are allowed to be married. They must be married before they are ordained. This is the case in Europe. This has not been the tradition in the United States. However, it is becoming more and more common in the U.S. Eastern Catholicism 15

16 Byzantine Spirituality Roman Spiriuality Roman model of the Mass is Last Supper More of a focus on the Crucifixion One God to the Three Byzantine Spirituality We follow the model of heavenly worship Crucifixion is never mentioned without the Resurrection Three Persons to the One Eastern Catholicism 16

17 Byzantine Theology God became Man so that Man could become God. We become sharers in the Divine Nature Kenosis The Importance of the Nativity and the Incarnation Mary as the New Eve Mary as the Theotokos The right relationships of the members of the Trinity Eastern Catholicism 17

18 The Byzantine Divine Liturgy Three distinct types: The Liturgy of St. Basil-done Jan 1, during Lent, and on the eves of the Nativity, Pascha, and the Theophany, and on Holy Thursday. Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom done the rest of the year Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, done on Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent. Eastern Catholicism 18

19 The Divine Praises Vespers Stichera Compline Great Compline versus Small Compline Nocturns Matins or Orthros Odes First, Third, Sixth, and the Ninth Hours (The Little Hours) Eastern Catholicism 19

20 The Divine Liturgy St. Basil was the founder of Eastern monasticism. This is a long but beautiful service. John Chrysostom cut this service done for the laity. The Presanctified Liturgy was written by Pope Gregory the Great and is essentially your Good Friday service. Eastern Catholicism 20

21 The Basic Divine Liturgy The Great Incensing done by the Deacon The Litany of Peace done by the Deacon The Little Entrance Priest and Deacon The Epistle done by the Reader The Gospel and Homily done by Priest or deacon The Litany of Suplication Deacon Eastern Catholicism 21

22 The Basic Diving Liturgy The Great Entrance done by priest and deacon Consecration done by the Priest Communion Dismissal Eastern Catholicism 22

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