Monday, 22 June 2009

A Bit of an Absence

This blog has been off the air for a few weeks due to a combination of holiday, conference and then the enevitable catching up. Among the many emails waiting for me was one from Richard Downer, the Melkite Greek Catholic Deacon who pointed out a few mistakes I had made in my report on our Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters. I have amended the last blog so it now reads properly. He also importantly pointed out some key issues relating to Western and Eastern Rite Catholics as follows:
' The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and other Eastern Catholic Churches, are Particular Churches sui uris (i.e of it own RIGHT - not Rite). The Syro-Malabar Church uses the East Syrian Rite. You cannot talk of the Syro-Malabar Rite as that is just incorrect. Within the Catholic Church - there are 22 or 23 Particular churches, the largest being the Latin Church - that use RITES (the theological, liturgical and cultural traditions used by these particular churches). So the Latin Catholic Church uses the Latin rite, the Maronite Catholic Church use the West Syrian Rite, the Melkite-Greek Catholic Church uses the Byzantine Rite, and so on. Catholicity is defined by all these churches, including the Latin Church, being in communion with the Pope.'

So thank you Richard for explaining all of that. It is important that we are aware and sensitive to the needs of our Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters as many more come to this country as refugees and immigrants from the Middle East and elsewhere. Below is a YouTube of the Melkite Hymn 'Christ is Risen'.