Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 8th July, 4pm

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.


Sunday, 29 June 2014

Orthodoxy and Rome - Fr Thomas Hopko on "What Rome Needs to Do" - Ancient Faith Radio

Dr Eamon Duffy has summed up Mortalium Animos, Pius XI's 1928 Encyclical On Religious Unity, which denounced ecumenism and false eirenicism, as an ultimatum to other Christians - Orthodox and post-Reformation Christians alike - to "Come on in, with your hands up".




Likewise, Fr Thomas Hopko, an Orthodox theologian who remembered well a crisis in the World Council of Churches as it was made to understand that the Orthodox Church could not participate in a model of ecumenism conceived on Protestant lines where the working assumption was syncretism and amalgamation of traditions without integrity of faith and worship,  prepared a paper for the 30th Anniversary Woodstock Forum:  "Re-envisioning  the Papacy" held at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, give September 26,2005, that sets out a programme for the Catholic Church to conform the entirety and integrity of its liturgical, theological and ecclesiological traditions to the customs, terms and expression of the Orthodox Church as Fr Thomas sees it. There is no thought for "What Orthodoxy Needs to Do", as you might expect in the genuine arena of theological dialogue on which both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are engaged. Sadly, part of Fr Thomas' programme for Roman Change is a series of Catholic theological aunt-sallies that he can easily attack - sadly, what he implies is Catholic teaching is not what the Catholic Church believes, teaches or has discussed with  Orthodox in fruit-bearing dialogue over many years.




At the WCC the Orthodox Church rightly challenged the Western expectation that it would fit in with generalised worship and meekly be prepared to submit democratically to being outvoted by "the majority" on a series of liberal and relativist proposals and statements. The Western assumption that it should prevail almost cost the WCC the membership of the Orthodox Church, as well as that of the Oriental [non-Chalcedonian] Orthodox Churches, and the crisis led to reforms at the WCC on voting and position procedures, as well as proper respect for the worship of each participating Church or communion when members met on occasions of prayer. So the Orthodox Church's insistence that it should not be subjected to Western conditions, or in contact with the Roman Catholic Church to a Latinisation of its worship or theology, is understandable and to be respected. Equally, it has to be understood and respected that the Roman Catholic Church should not be expected to have its faith, order and liturgy Byzantinised as the price for restored communion. It is, after all, only honest to recognise that neither the Catholic Church nor the Orthodox Church are the same as those whose estrangement became set in stone in 1054 when Rome and Constantinople parted company. Both have changed and developed theologically and liturgically in separation. Parts of both churches have also, sporadically, been in and out of communion with each other in subsequent centuries. Also, since the schism, the vast Catholic scholastic figure of St Thomas Aquinas has affected the formulation of theological study and doctrinal teaching for both sides in different ways; and the mystical theologian St Gregory Palamas is venerated in Eastern Catholic Churches and recognised in the contemporary Latin Church tradition too, notably by St John Paul II, as an important teacher belonging to the whole Church. Thus is not a Byzantinisation on the Latin Church's part, any more than the Roman Catholic tradition seeks the Romanisation of Orthodoxy, which is not only plainly ludicrous and undesirable, it has been expressly repudiated by successive Popes.




Fr Hopko's three talks - the first being some context with regard to Orthodox experience of dealings with the WCC and the others essentially being his 2005 paper split in two - have just been issued by Ancient Faith Radio, and are available here: Orthodoxy and Rome - Dialog and Expectations - Ancient Faith Radio




The text of Fr Hopko's paper as given in 2005, Roman Presidency and Christian Unity in Our Time, is here: on the website of the St Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary
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