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Orthodox-Catholic Intercommunion in Pennsylvania?!

PJ

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username! said:
with perhaps the highest amount of both churches you might look to Pennsy for the answer.
I'm sure Ukraine is jealous. ;)
 

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frjohnmorris said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
username! said:
People in Pennsylvania that attend Slavic churches are descended from Ukrainians/slovaks and poles. Russians are a newer ethnic group to PA churches usually.
Good to know!  Thanks for the info.  Not being from the area, I suppose I was thinking of St. Tikhon's Monastery and The Deer Hunter.
With the exception of Ukranians, I do not think that the Eastern Catholic Ruthenians would be particularly happy being considered Slovaks or Poles. They usually call themselves Rusyns.

Fr. John W. Morris
A good third of my old Ruthenian Catholic parish considered themselves Slovaks. 
 

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frjohnmorris said:
An Eastern Catholic who takes Communion in the Orthodox Church, knowing that it is not allowed, is really showing intense disrespect not only for our Church, but for their own Church, because neither allows intercommunion.
Hi Father. I think you are exaggerating, slightly, the similarity: In Catholicism, if unable to approach a Catholic priest, then I might (depending on additional circumstances) be permitted to request the sacraments from a non-Catholic minister.
 

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Peter J said:
frjohnmorris said:
An Eastern Catholic who takes Communion in the Orthodox Church, knowing that it is not allowed, is really showing intense disrespect not only for our Church, but for their own Church, because neither allows intercommunion.
Hi Father. I think you are exaggerating, slightly, the similarity: In Catholicism, if unable to approach a Catholic priest, then I might (depending on additional circumstances) be permitted to request the sacraments from a non-Catholic minister.
I would guess that that would be an exception that proves the rule.  I doubt such options are handed out lightly.
 

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Peter J said:
frjohnmorris said:
An Eastern Catholic who takes Communion in the Orthodox Church, knowing that it is not allowed, is really showing intense disrespect not only for our Church, but for their own Church, because neither allows intercommunion.
Hi Father. I think you are exaggerating, slightly, the similarity: In Catholicism, if unable to approach a Catholic priest, then I might (depending on additional circumstances) be permitted to request the sacraments from a non-Catholic minister.
Is God so legalistic that He would deny someone salvation because through no fault of their own they could not receive the Eucharist from a priest of their Church before they die? I think not. I doubt that the Catholic Church would tell a Catholic who is unable to receive the Eucharist from a Catholic Priest that they could receive a valid Eucharist from a Protestant minister.
I would never refuse to pray with or offer comfort to anyone Eastern Orthodox or non-Eastern Orthodox. I would even anoint them with tears of the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary from the wonder working weeping icon of Our Lady of Cicero, but Communion has certain requirements and implications that have ecclesiastical grounds. It goes to the very definition of the Church. The Church is not  just a group of people who get together to sing religious songs, and listen to an inspirational sermon. The Church is a Eucharistic Assembly under a Bishop if Apostolic Succession who is in communion with all the other Bishops in Apostolic Succession to create one untied world wide Church. Thus, if your Bishop is not in Communion with my Bishop, neither am I. It is possible through the principle of economy to reach some sort of midway agreement that would allow a Catholic to receive Communion from an Orthodox Priest if he or she were dying and a Priest of their Church could not be found. During the Soviet era the Russian Orthodox Church reached such an agreement with the Catholics. However, something like that must be done on an official level that shows proper respect for both Churches.
Unfortunately, some Orthodox and Catholics have allowed a Protestant understanding of Church and Sacrament to lead them away from a proper Catholic and Orthodox understanding of Church and Eucharist and replaces sound Catholic and Orthodox theology with Protestant beliefs that make Communion an individual devotion instead of an ecclesiastical act.

Fr. John W. Morris
 

PJ

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TheTrisagion said:
Peter J said:
frjohnmorris said:
An Eastern Catholic who takes Communion in the Orthodox Church, knowing that it is not allowed, is really showing intense disrespect not only for our Church, but for their own Church, because neither allows intercommunion.
Hi Father. I think you are exaggerating, slightly, the similarity: In Catholicism, if unable to approach a Catholic priest, then I might (depending on additional circumstances) be permitted to request the sacraments from a non-Catholic minister.
I would guess that that would be an exception that proves the rule.  I doubt such options are handed out lightly.
The way I phrased that might be misleading. Here's better statement:

... It equally authorizes Catholics to request these same sacraments from Eastern priests whenever necessity or a genuine spiritual benefit call for it and access to a Catholic priest is physically or morally impossible. It also recommends that the authorities of the Churches involved contact each other about the matter (cf. Decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches, nn. 27, 29).
http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PCCUCOM1.HTM
 

PJ

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frjohnmorris said:
Unfortunately, some Orthodox and Catholics have allowed a Protestant understanding of Church and Sacrament to lead them away from a proper Catholic and Orthodox understanding of Church and Eucharist and replaces sound Catholic and Orthodox theology with Protestant beliefs ...
"Protestant" to those who disagree with it I guess.  8)
 

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KostaC said:
Peter J said:
KostaC said:
I don't know if this is the right place to ask it, but is there like a PR campaign going on in Catholic churches across the United States that states that Catholics are allowed to receive at Orthodox Churches and vice-versa?
I know it might seem like there is such a "PR campaign"; but if you spend time around e.g. Anglicans I believe you will find much the same thing. That is to say, their church's position is that they may receive in Catholic or Orthodox churches, so many of them expect Catholic or Orthodox priests to give them communion.
I have spent some time around Anglicans, so I can say that I agree with you fully. Much to the chagrin of my Catholic and Orthodox friends and family alike, I used to attend Anglo-Catholic liturgies to observe because I liked their liturgical style and English history, and time and time again a priest or an acolyte or a deacon would come up to me and ask if I'd like communion. It almost got a little bit unnerving (which is kind of mean to say, I suppose); everyone would say things along the line of "all our welcome, join us, join us!" One time I saw a very sweet, elderly acolyte extinguishing candles in the cathedral after liturgy, and I asked her for help. She asked me to go to the altar and get the chalice and it's covering for her. I told her that that wouldn't be right, since I'm not Anglican. She just thought that was the funniest thing ever and she asked why on Earth should any baptised Christian not be allowed to commune there and get the chalice afterwards? I went and got the chalice with its silken communion cloth and put it in the sacristy, but I felt wrong afterwards. That was the last time I tried to be a neutral observer. I lost my interest in High Church Anglicanism, especially after I read yesterday that the Church of England might make vestments during liturgy optional.
Let's hope they don't make clothing optional. :eek:
 

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Schultz said:
frjohnmorris said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
username! said:
People in Pennsylvania that attend Slavic churches are descended from Ukrainians/slovaks and poles. Russians are a newer ethnic group to PA churches usually.
Good to know!  Thanks for the info.  Not being from the area, I suppose I was thinking of St. Tikhon's Monastery and The Deer Hunter.
With the exception of Ukranians, I do not think that the Eastern Catholic Ruthenians would be particularly happy being considered Slovaks or Poles. They usually call themselves Rusyns.

Fr. John W. Morris
A good third of my old Ruthenian Catholic parish considered themselves Slovaks. 
I can name two acrod churches in my area that arw a high percentage slovak americans, in coal country in Pennsylvania. Both near me.
 

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My OCA church is also primarily descended from self-identified Slovaks. There are however some newer arrived Russian and Belarussian families.
 

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Iconodule said:
My OCA church is also primarily descended from self-identified Slovaks. There are however some newer arrived Russian and Belarussian families.
The OCA Church in Pennsylvania is not the totality of Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States. It is not even the totality of the OCA.
There is also a form of American Orthodoxy held by converts and people whose ancestors came here long enough ago that they have lost almost all traces of the ethnic identity of their ancestors. The Slavic form of Orthodoxy that you describe in Pennsylvania is as foreign to me as Orthodoxy is in Eastern Europe. My parish was founded over 100 years ago by people from Lebanon. Through the years the parish has become multi ethnic and our culture American, although our Faith is still Orthodox.

Fr. John W. Morris
 

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frjohnmorris said:
Iconodule said:
My OCA church is also primarily descended from self-identified Slovaks. There are however some newer arrived Russian and Belarussian families.
The OCA Church in Pennsylvania is not the totality of Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States. It is not even the totality of the OCA.
There is also a form of American Orthodoxy held by converts and people whose ancestors came here long enough ago that they have lost almost all traces of the ethnic identity of their ancestors. The Slavic form of Orthodoxy that you describe in Pennsylvania is as foreign to me as Orthodoxy is in Eastern Europe. My parish was founded over 100 years ago by people from Lebanon. Through the years the parish has become multi ethnic and our culture American, although our Faith is still Orthodox.

Fr. John W. Morris
I think the point of recent posts by myself, Iconodule, and username is in response to your post:

With the exception of Ukranians, I do not think that the Eastern Catholic Ruthenians would be particularly happy being considered Slovaks or Poles. They usually call themselves Rusyns.
In this most recent post, you just admitted that you know little of Slavic Orthodox in PA (and other parts of the New World).  I humbly suggest you not make sweeping generalizations about how those who descended from the various groups of Slavs from the Halychna self-identify unless you are truly ready to get your feet wet, so to speak. 
 

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Btw, the Finnish Lutheran state church is part of the Porvoo Communion, which was concluded in Porvoo, Finland. Therefore it grants communion to Anglicans.
 

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username! said:
Schultz said:
frjohnmorris said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
username! said:
People in Pennsylvania that attend Slavic churches are descended from Ukrainians/slovaks and poles. Russians are a newer ethnic group to PA churches usually.
Good to know!  Thanks for the info.  Not being from the area, I suppose I was thinking of St. Tikhon's Monastery and The Deer Hunter.
With the exception of Ukranians, I do not think that the Eastern Catholic Ruthenians would be particularly happy being considered Slovaks or Poles. They usually call themselves Rusyns.

Fr. John W. Morris
A good third of my old Ruthenian Catholic parish considered themselves Slovaks. 
I can name two acrod churches in my area that arw a high percentage slovak americans, in coal country in Pennsylvania. Both near me.
Folks who came to America post WW2 tend to self identify as Slovak. My relatives living in Slovakia speak Slovak, some with an accent, others not so much. the Rusyn dialect is still present in villages but not so much among younger folk. Similar to Creole French in parts of Louisiana. The modern world is swallowing many ethnic and cultural subgroups. It is what it is, neither good nor bad.
 

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Schultz said:
frjohnmorris said:
Iconodule said:
My OCA church is also primarily descended from self-identified Slovaks. There are however some newer arrived Russian and Belarussian families.
The OCA Church in Pennsylvania is not the totality of Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States. It is not even the totality of the OCA.
There is also a form of American Orthodoxy held by converts and people whose ancestors came here long enough ago that they have lost almost all traces of the ethnic identity of their ancestors. The Slavic form of Orthodoxy that you describe in Pennsylvania is as foreign to me as Orthodoxy is in Eastern Europe. My parish was founded over 100 years ago by people from Lebanon. Through the years the parish has become multi ethnic and our culture American, although our Faith is still Orthodox.

Fr. John W. Morris
I think the point of recent posts by myself, Iconodule, and username is in response to your post:

With the exception of Ukranians, I do not think that the Eastern Catholic Ruthenians would be particularly happy being considered Slovaks or Poles. They usually call themselves Rusyns.
In this most recent post, you just admitted that you know little of Slavic Orthodox in PA (and other parts of the New World).  I humbly suggest you not make sweeping generalizations about how those who descended from the various groups of Slavs from the Halychna self-identify unless you are truly ready to get your feet wet, so to speak. 
You misunderstand me. I am quite familiar with the history of that part of the world and the various different ethnic groups. However, my experience of the various Slavic expressions of Orthodoxy is quite limited. However, I do know that each group has strong sense of self-identity.

Fr. John W. Morris
 

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Conversely in PA people who id themselves as rusyns, Fr Morris, would never call themselves Ukrainian Americans.
You make it seem as if Orthodoxy, particularly Slavic style in Pennsylvania is a negative thing. Again I sais Pennsylvania slavic church culture is unique. It's not really nationalistic to say Ukraine but it has been around to take on a form of its own culturally in how a parish functions. All of the liturgical customs are old world but the intricacies of everything else makes it unique.
Its been a while since I have seen a good ethnic fight about who is rusyn and who is Ukrainian. Unfortunately we all get along.too well here to even bother lol. And trust me, a good ol' ukie-rusyn match can take the joy out of.the nativity.season. i prefer to just be happy lol.. like shultz said below about the dealings ethnic wise in pa.
 

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username! said:
Conversely in PA people who id themselves as rusyns, Fr Morris, would never call themselves Ukrainian Americans.
You make it seem as if Orthodoxy, particularly Slavic style in Pennsylvania is a negative thing. Again I sais Pennsylvania slavic church culture is unique. It's not really nationalistic to say Ukraine but it has been around to take on a form of its own culturally in how a parish functions. All of the liturgical customs are old world but the intricacies of everything else makes it unique.
Its been a while since I have seen a good ethnic fight about who is rusyn and who is Ukrainian. Unfortunately we all get along.too well here to even bother lol. And trust me, a good ol' ukie-rusyn match can take the joy out of.the nativity.season. i prefer to just be happy lol.. like shultz said below about the dealings ethnic wise in pa.
You are misjudging me. I have no problem with people who wish to preserve their ethnic traditions, as long as they understand that that is not what the Eastern Orthodox Church is all about. I have seen too many Orthodox parishes in America that are more ethnic club than Church not to be leery of too much emphasis within the Church on ethnic identity.

Fr. John W. Morris


 

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username! said:
And I wouldn't judge Father. Its hard to type intelligently on my mobile. I don't always get my point across the best way
The sad reality in America is that there are Eastern Orthodox Churches that place too much emphasis on ethnicity and do function as ethnic clubs.

Fr. John W. Morris
 

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username! said:
There are 20+ orthodox churches within an hour of me. In my experience none are ethnic clubs. I guess we are lucky in that sense.
There certainy are hyper-ethnic people in many churches, including clergy, but if there is one claim which makes this cradle's Orthodox blood boil, it is the stereotyped criticism of hard working, long established parishes as so-called "ethnic clubs."  If our parishes are attempted to be forcibly "homogenized" by misguided bishops, a multi-ethnic (from Hellene to all shades of Slav) "war" will break out across jurisdictional lines which will make the struggles of the 1920's and 30's pale by comparison.
 

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podkarpatska said:
username! said:
There are 20+ orthodox churches within an hour of me. In my experience none are ethnic clubs. I guess we are lucky in that sense.
There certainy are hyper-ethnic people in many churches, including clergy, but if there is one claim which makes this cradle's Orthodox blood boil, it is the stereotyped criticism of hard working, long established parishes as so-called "ethnic clubs."  If our parishes are attempted to be forcibly "homogenized" by misguided bishops, a multi-ethnic (from Hellene to all shades of Slav) "war" will break out across jurisdictional lines which will make the struggles of the 1920's and 30's pale by comparison.
I did not mean to start a web war. However, it is apparent that there are some parishes that place far too much emphasis on preserving a foreign ethnicity and which do not fully accept people who do not belong to the ethnicity of most people in the parish. One would have to be blind not to know that. There are also more and more Orthodox parishes that have grown out of their ethnocentrism into a fuller expression of Orthodoxy.

Fr. John  W. Morris
 

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frjohnmorris said:
podkarpatska said:
username! said:
There are 20+ orthodox churches within an hour of me. In my experience none are ethnic clubs. I guess we are lucky in that sense.
There certainy are hyper-ethnic people in many churches, including clergy, but if there is one claim which makes this cradle's Orthodox blood boil, it is the stereotyped criticism of hard working, long established parishes as so-called "ethnic clubs."  If our parishes are attempted to be forcibly "homogenized" by misguided bishops, a multi-ethnic (from Hellene to all shades of Slav) "war" will break out across jurisdictional lines which will make the struggles of the 1920's and 30's pale by comparison.
I did not mean to start a web war. However, it is apparent that there are some parishes that place far too much emphasis on preserving a foreign ethnicity and which do not fully accept people who do not belong to the ethnicity of most people in the parish. One would have to be blind not to know that. There are also more and more Orthodox parishes that have grown out of their ethnocentrism into a fuller expression of Orthodoxy.

Fr. John  W. Morris
On that (and much else I should add) we agree! I think the charge, at least in most of the Slavic communities, has much less resonance today than a generation or two ago especially as they grew beyond the immigrant or first generation base. (I would argue that in the experience of my younger days, forty or so years ago, it was not so.much that we were a non spiritually centered ethnic den or club, but rather a "what do they want from us" protective attitude (USUALLY wrong headed) or a "he's not one of us, why is he here" kind of closemindedness or fear or even bigotry (for lack of a better word) which did exist.
 

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username! said:
There are 20+ orthodox churches within an hour of me. In my experience none are ethnic clubs. I guess we are lucky in that sense.
There are 8 orthodox parishes within 1/2 of my house.  I don't know much about all of them, but I know 2 are VERY ethnic, to the point of being rather exclusionary. 3 are very welcoming and not very ethnic at all. I don't know much about the remaining 3. And yes, I live in PA.
 

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username! said:
Ethnic means they don't cater to someone's needs. Its rude to say you don't know them but in turn judge them.
He said he didn't know much about ALL of them.  I'd assume he meant the three at the end he says he knows nothign about but he knows something about the other five.
 

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So aren't even convert parishes ethnic clubs because they cater to that group? Everything is ethnic, its just whined about when the traditions don't match someone's notion of what is proper.
 

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So is "ethnic" a pejorative now?
 

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Schultz said:
username! said:
Ethnic means they don't cater to someone's needs. Its rude to say you don't know them but in turn judge them.
He said he didn't know much about ALL of them.  I'd assume he meant the three at the end he says he knows nothign about but he knows something about the other five.
This is what I meant.

FWIW, I don't think ethnic is necessarily a bad thing.  When first generation immigrants come to this country, it is natural that they will associate closely with those most like themselves. I believe there is usually a more organic process whereby a congregation will begin to identify with their new culture (e.g. Americanize) and once that takes place, the church will naturally become more welcoming to converts. The problem becomes when even after adapting to the new culture, the parish continues to exclude others out of some sort of perceived superiority. This is by no means unique to Orthodoxy and is tragic and Anti-Christian.

I apologize if I came across in my previous post as being critical of ethnicity in general.  That was not my intent.
 

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podkarpatska said:
frjohnmorris said:
podkarpatska said:
username! said:
There are 20+ orthodox churches within an hour of me. In my experience none are ethnic clubs. I guess we are lucky in that sense.
There certainy are hyper-ethnic people in many churches, including clergy, but if there is one claim which makes this cradle's Orthodox blood boil, it is the stereotyped criticism of hard working, long established parishes as so-called "ethnic clubs."  If our parishes are attempted to be forcibly "homogenized" by misguided bishops, a multi-ethnic (from Hellene to all shades of Slav) "war" will break out across jurisdictional lines which will make the struggles of the 1920's and 30's pale by comparison.
I did not mean to start a web war. However, it is apparent that there are some parishes that place far too much emphasis on preserving a foreign ethnicity and which do not fully accept people who do not belong to the ethnicity of most people in the parish. One would have to be blind not to know that. There are also more and more Orthodox parishes that have grown out of their ethnocentrism into a fuller expression of Orthodoxy.

Fr. John  W. Morris
On that (and much else I should add) we agree! I think the charge, at least in most of the Slavic communities, has much less resonance today than a generation or two ago especially as they grew beyond the immigrant or first generation base. (I would argue that in the experience of my younger days, forty or so years ago, it was not so.much that we were a non spiritually centered ethnic den or club, but rather a "what do they want from us" protective attitude (USUALLY wrong headed) or a "he's not one of us, why is he here" kind of closemindedness or fear or even bigotry (for lack of a better word) which did exist.
I did not write that most or even many, but that some Eastern Orthodox parishes place too much emphasis on preserving their ethnic heritage. Anyone who does not recognize that this is a problem that we have to overcome is not facing reality.

Archpriest John W. Morris
 

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Funny thing American converts think their parishes are not ethnic.
 

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Michał Kalina said:
Funny thing American converts think their parishes are not ethnic.
Yeah, you're right.  Slowly but surely, people are learning that white American Protestant is not the default setting for humanity and has ethnic peculiarities of its own that others - as shocking as it might seem - may find bizarre or even identify as of the "other".
 

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username! said:
never met a church congregation that felt superior because of where their ancestors were from. Maybe I'm just lucky and I've been to many parishes for different reasons
Not sure if your being deliberately obtuse, but I've seen several. It is human nature to look at yourself and those like you as being better than others.  That is kinda what the Bible calls "pride".  It isn't an exclusively non-religious person trait. It can infect churches too.  If I can remember US history correctly, I think a war was fought about it. Slavery and all that.
 
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TheTrisagion said:
Schultz said:
username! said:
Ethnic means they don't cater to someone's needs. Its rude to say you don't know them but in turn judge them.
He said he didn't know much about ALL of them.  I'd assume he meant the three at the end he says he knows nothign about but he knows something about the other five.
This is what I meant.

FWIW, I don't think ethnic is necessarily a bad thing.  When first generation immigrants come to this country, it is natural that they will associate closely with those most like themselves. I believe there is usually a more organic process whereby a congregation will begin to identify with their new culture (e.g. Americanize) and once that takes place, the church will naturally become more welcoming to converts. The problem becomes when even after adapting to the new culture, the parish continues to exclude others out of some sort of perceived superiority. This is by no means unique to Orthodoxy and is tragic and Anti-Christian.

I apologize if I came across in my previous post as being critical of ethnicity in general.  That was not my intent.
One of the problems with some parishes is that they morphed into churches in exile for X ethnicity.  For example, the first wave of Ukrainians (WWI era and before) immigrated for work and fit the general pattern if Americanization.  They wanted to settle down here.  The second wave (post WWII) didn't really want to come here.  They were mostly Ostarbeiters forced to work for the Reich, or those who chose The German army as the lesser of two evils.  Repatriation to the USSR meant imprisonment or death.  America was a way out.  But these people were Ukrainians.  Parish life was part of an overall desire to preserve language, customs, faith and traditions that were being destroyed back home so that some day it could be reimported.  Parish life preserved all of this in exile until the situation changed back home and all of the old structure could be reestablished there.  This is slowly happening now.  But the idea of melting into America and giving up the old ways is not easy for these folks and it needs to be respected.  There should be a way forward recognizing that the future is here in America but also ensuring that the cultural treasures which were preserved in diaspora are reestablished in the old country.  The only way to do this really is to split out the religious and cultural functions of the parish.  The Ukrainian Society (to coin a term) can be connected with the parish as one of many ministries appealing to a broader mission field here in America.  I'm sure other ethnicities have similar situations but this is the one I know best. 
 

dzheremi

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hecma925 said:
So is "ethnic" a pejorative now?
No. It's white people code for "not enough like me for me to feel immediately comfortable".
 

mike

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dzheremi said:
hecma925 said:
So is "ethnic" a pejorative now?
No. It's white people code for "not enough like me for me to feel immediately comfortable".
POM Nominee.
 
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