What Were Byzantine Catholic Bishops Thinking!?.

bkovacs

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From Rorate Caeli. March 27, 2010. No wonder they don't take part in Ecumenical Services with the Orthodox. They prefer this style of worship.

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/

Watch the ending of the ceremony. A great applause after a Pentecostal style Roman Mass.

http://www.youtube.com/user/RECongress#p/a/u/1/dO1iLNdQHaY
 
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I'm confused, I didn't see any Byzantine Rite clergy in the first video. Did I miss something?

 

Iconodule

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To be fair to the Byzantine Catholics, I don't think this signifies a general ByzCath approval of this kind of "service." I don't know what specific circumstances got these bishops into it.

It's pretty atrocious though. I think it shows that there is even more that divides Rome from the Church than is on the surface. Supposing the big wigs at Rome decided to formally renounce their various heresies, can we still be confident that they are orthodox as long as this tomfoolery runs rampant?
 

podkarpatska

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I only have a few comments. First, you can not deny that it was impressive that there were 40,000 in attendance. Secondly, I do wonder what the Eastern bishops were thinking, as the very question was posed by the poster at rorate-caeli. Third, the production struck me as an attempt to counter the impact so-called Protestant 'mega-churches' have these days.(Given Pope Benedict's academic history with respect to Liturgics, I wonder what he would think? I have read commentary over the years that the Pope would be happier with a smaller Church that was more proper liturgically and spiritually.) I am curious if any Eastern Catholic faithful, particularly of the Byzantine or Ukrainian Greek Catholic Churches, were there and what their impression of the event was.
 

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This is gross. Way to worship with the nous. Maybe all of Western Christianity is experiencing burnout. They certainly have in Europe since long ago. I'm just glad it wasn't 'us' in those videos.
 

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Augh!  I had to turn off the video of the beginning of that (which I dare not call a liturgy for risk of confusing that with Orthodox worship).  What were they thinking?!

The production itself is enough, but the play-by-play narration puts it way, way over the top.
 

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They are not Orthodox. So what do you expect? I did not like the Liturgy either, but who are we to judge? Those people were there to worship God. They probably don't know better.

Let's look at our own souls before we criticize others.

The words of the presiding bishop in the video:
The Father of mercies has given us an example of unselfish love in in the sufferings of His only Son. You believe that by His dying, Christ destroyed death forever! May you receive everlasting life!
 

Rufus

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samkim said:
They are not Orthodox. So what do you expect? I did not like the Liturgy either, but who are we to judge? Those people were there to worship God. They probably don't know better.

Let's look at our own souls before we criticize others.
I agree that we must resist the temptation to judge the people involved. However, the Liturgy is part of the Sacred Tradition of the Apostles. It is not subject to personal preference any more than the Bible or the Creedis subject to personal preference.
 

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Rufus said:
samkim said:
They are not Orthodox. So what do you expect? I did not like the Liturgy either, but who are we to judge? Those people were there to worship God. They probably don't know better.

Let's look at our own souls before we criticize others.
I agree that we must resist the temptation to judge the people involved. However, the Liturgy is part of the Sacred Tradition of the Apostles. It is not subject to personal preference any more than the Bible or the Creedis subject to personal preference.
Yes. But they are not Orthodox. It would be illogical to hold them to our own standards.
 

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samkim said:
Rufus said:
samkim said:
They are not Orthodox. So what do you expect? I did not like the Liturgy either, but who are we to judge? Those people were there to worship God. They probably don't know better.

Let's look at our own souls before we criticize others.
I agree that we must resist the temptation to judge the people involved. However, the Liturgy is part of the Sacred Tradition of the Apostles. It is not subject to personal preference any more than the Bible or the Creedis subject to personal preference.
Yes. But they are not Orthodox. It would be illogical to hold them to our own standards.
They were once.
 

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samkim said:
Yes. But they are not Orthodox. It would be illogical to hold them to our own standards.
True, but questions like this will have to be looked at in any serious attempts at reunion of the two churches.
 

podkarpatska

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This same post was also started this morning on another Board dealing with the Eastern Catholic Church. I thought that this response from someone who had participated in the conference and worked with his Bishop was interesting and sheds some light on the question posed in the title as well as the feelings of an Eastern Catholic who was there. With his permission, I am posting his response from that Board for the readers of this forum. FYI, Bishop Gerald is the Bishop of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of the Western United States.

Hi all,

A brief introduction, since it's my first post, before I comment on this thread.

I've been reading the forum for about a year or so now, but I just registered this past fall when I started in the St Stephen's program. I'm a cradle RC (pre-Vatican II), but left the Church when I was about 11, that was 1963 or so. I pursued a number of non-Christian spiritual traditions for almost 40 years. When I was living in Bulgaria (1996-2005), I returned to the Catholic Church, but in its Byzantine expression. Shortly after coming back to the US and becoming a member of a Ruthenian Catholic parish here, I canonically transferred to the Byzantine Ruthenian Church.

I wanted to share a little background with you about Bishop Gerald's presence at that conference. I cannot speak for Bishop, of course, but I can give you some context for what was going on. Last year, Bishop decided the eparchy would have a vendor booth at the conference, to disseminate information on the Eastern Catholic Churches to the conference attendees. Bishop Gerald, one of our Basilian sisters, the pastor of my local parish, and myself went. We had a booth with many books on Eastern Christianity, plus icons, prayer ropes, etc. We also had lots of free literature about the history and spirituality of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Over the course of the 3 days, we had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of people who stopped by our booth. Some of these conversations were of real depth. Also, Fr Pipta from our church in San Diego gave a talk on Eastern Catholicism at one of the sessions on the conference schedule.

At the end of the conference, I did (hesitantly) attend the concluding Mass. It was pretty much the same as what they seem to have done this year. I have very little post VII RC experience, and so I was stunned and even horrified by what I saw. I cried for a bit as I sat there. And, yes, in some ways, it seemed very much like a Protestant mega-church service. To some of us, it felt more like a performance than a worship service. However, at the moment of the consecration, I understood that Our Lord was present, just as He is in the Byzantine liturgy I so love. For me, the form of that Mass was tragic and caused me great sorrow, but I believe that it is still a Mass.

For this year's conference, Bishop decided we would again have a booth, and the eparchy was also able to arrange to have a Byzantine liturgy on the conference schedule. Bishop Gerald concelebrated the liturgy with several priests of the eparchy. We had deacons, servers, choir, etc. We didn't know how many people would show up, but 1200 conference attendees came to our liturgy in a transformed hotel ballroom! Fr Rankin, the pastor of St Melany's here in Tucson, gave a talk to the attendees just prior to the start of the liturgy, explaining what they were about to see, and giving them some background and context for it.

I wasn't able to go this year, but when I inventoried the books that came back (our entire little bookstore had gone on the road to the conference), I discovered that we had sold almost every copy of every title we had that related to the Byzantine liturgy. I'm sure this was a direct result of people having attended our liturgy, as last year, not a single title on Byzantine liturgy sold.

I know that last year many of the people who came by our booth expressed how glad they were that there was an Eastern Catholic presence at the conference. And many catechists who came by took materials to share with their students.

While I don't always agree with all the decisions and policies of the Byzantine Ruthenian Church in the US, I do think there was a good purpose served both years in our being at this conference. We were like a little oasis, and there were people who came to drink of our water.

Hope you're all having a blessed and fruitful Great Fast,

Jaya
 

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Just because Latin American Catholics are becoming more attracted to Pentecostalism, is no justification to altar the Roman Rite, to make it look and feel more like a Pentecostal service, just to keep them Catholic. Not justified one bit!. Hope and pray that these groups don't start embracing Orthodoxy with an agenda to make it more Pentecostal like.
 

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Since all Eastern Catholics are in union with the Pope in Rome, they must therefore accept all the theological decrees that have come from him and his predecessors.  This includes the RCC's permission and even endorsement of charismatic Pentecostalism (for those who wish to participate in this movement, it isn't forced on anyone).  This means that, while EC bishops and priest do not have to partake in these types of services they must still except their validity as a legitimate charism of the Catholic faith.  This also means that they can participate in charismatic services and masses if they so choose, as can all EC faithful (this bishop included).  

If he were OC then that would be a different story (although I'm sure that there have been OC clergy who have participated in pentecostalism before, somewhere.
 

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Robb, that abominable display in Los Angeles is a grave violation of the liturgical norms, not "approved." It violates every conciliar and papal canon on the liturgy I can think of. Unfortunately Cardinal Mahony is an embarrassment to his office, and I thank God that he will be retiring next year. May God have mercy on his soul for what he has done to the Church of Los Angeles in 25 years.
 

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Well, it may be a gross violation of the Roman norms, but it has still been permitted (in the archdiocese of a Cardinal, no less).  The Vatican is free to lay down the law and stop liturgies such as this, but I seriously doubt that they will considering that the charismatic movement is officially approved by the RCC.  If they were to step in and stop such practices then they risk offending millions of charismatics who have relied on them for support for so many years (which the Vatican has always given them).
 

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It being Holy Week for all of us, I think it is appropriate for us to stop our speculation about what another Church should or shouldn't be doing with respect to her liturgical norms or aberrations as the case may be. At first I couldn't understand why the Byzantine Catholic Bishop Gerald was involved, but after re-reading Jaya's post, I can see where His Grace saw an opportunity to expose a large number of western Catholics to the beauty and solemnity of the Liturgical expressions of the Christian East - that is the beloved Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom which we Orthodox honor along with our separated Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters. God works in strange ways and great indeed are His mysteries. I for one, am grateful that Bishop Gerald used his opportunity to participate in the conference to allow some light to shine in the direction of the Christian East in the face of what we Orthodox may regard as an odd, to say the least, celebration as portrayed on the videos in question.
 

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There are Orthodox Churches in all traditions that violate Liturgical and Disciplinary canons - I don't see why we need to be judgmental about RC/EC's when we've got plenty of in-house cleaning to do, first.
 

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SolEX01 said:
Where is the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in this excess  ???  Not on their YouTube channel....
You missed my point, I was not stating what you infer. In the post by Jaya she speaks of a separate Liturgy attended by 1200 in the hotel ballroom, conducted by her Bishop and several of their priests - not the youtube video:

"For this year's conference, Bishop decided we would again have a booth, and the eparchy was also able to arrange to have a Byzantine liturgy on the conference schedule. Bishop Gerald concelebrated the liturgy with several priests of the eparchy. We had deacons, servers, choir, etc. We didn't know how many people would show up, but 1200 conference attendees came to our liturgy in a transformed hotel ballroom! Fr Rankin, the pastor of St Melany's here in Tucson, gave a talk to the attendees just prior to the start of the liturgy, explaining what they were about to see, and giving them some background and context for it."
 

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Well, Mahony is the Archbishop of Los Angeles. He can do what he likes, but he will answer to God for every faithless act. I sometimes wish the Pope would go ultramontanist on Mahony's [rear], but recent popes have been careful to not treat other the bishops as mere functionaries (a good thing overall). But not sacking Mahony does not mean that monstrous display is approved. It violates all liturgical canons all the way up to Vatican II's Sacrosanctum Concilium. God will be the judge of Cardinal Mahony, but Pope Benedict is doing an overall fine job of making sure Mahonys no longer become bishops. 
 

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Fr. George said:
There are Orthodox Churches in all traditions that violate Liturgical and Disciplinary canons - I don't see why we need to be judgmental about RC/EC's when we've got plenty of in-house cleaning to do, first.
True, but you will never see any clown liturgies or pizza used for communion bread. I think we are very fortunate that we only have to worry about things like truncated prayers or plastic spoons.
 

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Iconodule said:
Fr. George said:
There are Orthodox Churches in all traditions that violate Liturgical and Disciplinary canons - I don't see why we need to be judgmental about RC/EC's when we've got plenty of in-house cleaning to do, first.
True, but you will never see any clown liturgies or pizza used for communion bread. I think we are very fortunate that we only have to worry about things like truncated prayers or plastic spoons.
Well, how about the millions of people who have excommunicated themselves (according to a few canons) by going to Liturgy and not receiving the Body and Blood of Christ?  Yes, we have different liturgical traditions (i.e. Greek vs. Slavic, Kollyvades-influenced and not) - but we also have Apostolic and Patristic and Synodical canons that state that if you go to Liturgy and don't receive, or if you miss 3 Liturgies in a row, that you are excommunicated.  We don't talk about it too much, because it is an issue that needs resolution from the highest (or lowest, depending on your POV on the Episcopacy) levels.
 

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Fr. George said:
Iconodule said:
Fr. George said:
There are Orthodox Churches in all traditions that violate Liturgical and Disciplinary canons - I don't see why we need to be judgmental about RC/EC's when we've got plenty of in-house cleaning to do, first.
True, but you will never see any clown liturgies or pizza used for communion bread. I think we are very fortunate that we only have to worry about things like truncated prayers or plastic spoons.
Well, how about the millions of people who have excommunicated themselves (according to a few canons) by going to Liturgy and not receiving the Body and Blood of Christ?  Yes, we have different liturgical traditions (i.e. Greek vs. Slavic, Kollyvades-influenced and not) - but we also have Apostolic and Patristic and Synodical canons that state that if you go to Liturgy and don't receive, or if you miss 3 Liturgies in a row, that you are excommunicated.  We don't talk about it too much, because it is an issue that needs resolution from the highest (or lowest, depending on your POV on the Episcopacy) levels.
With great respect, Fr George, Iconodule is right. If there was even a hint of the use of "liturgical dance", groovy music, or routine use of altargirls or laymen/laywomen distributing the Eucharist in an Orthodox church, it doesn't take much imagination to work out what would happen next, or, how quickly. If an Orthodox bishop were to drag his heels on the perpetration of such nonsense, the laity would justifiably rise up like the proverbial stones before he could blink. There are many, many RC who are justifiably mortified by the silly excesses which have infected sections of their church in the name of being "modern" and "relevant", yet, in many cases, such frivolity is condoned by the bishops themselves. Ewwww.
 

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Fr. George said:
Yes, we have different liturgical traditions (i.e. Greek vs. Slavic, Kollyvades-influenced and not) - but we also have Apostolic and Patristic and Synodical canons that state that if you go to Liturgy and don't receive, or if you miss 3 Liturgies in a row, that you are excommunicated. 
I was at an Orthodox liturgy recently and at this Church few people received. So you say that all of those who did not receive at Communion time were automatically excommunicated from the Orthodox Chiurch?
 

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There is a distinct lack of humility here as we are in Holy Week. When I was a child and went to Sunday School at my Orthodox Church, we were taught not to boast or brag or take pleasure in the problems of others. 

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.
 

Iconodule

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podkarpatska said:
There is a distinct lack of humility here as we are in Holy Week. When I was a child and went to Sunday School at my Orthodox Church, we were taught not to boast or brag or take pleasure in the problems of others. 
What about pity? That's honestly what I feel for traditional Catholics when I watch this.
 

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LBK said:
With great respect, Fr George, Iconodule is right. If there was even a hint of the use of "liturgical dance", groovy music, or routine use of altargirls or laymen/laywomen distributing the Eucharist in an Orthodox church, it doesn't take much imagination to work out what would happen next, or, how quickly. If an Orthodox bishop were to drag his heels on the perpetration of such nonsense, the laity would justifiably rise up like the proverbial stones before he could blink. There are many, many RC who are justifiably mortified by the silly excesses which have infected sections of their church in the name of being "modern" and "relevant", yet, in many cases, such frivolity is condoned by the bishops themselves. Ewwww.
I'm not advocating ignoring things - just taking care of our own problems before we become too critical of others. 
 

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stanley123 said:
Fr. George said:
Yes, we have different liturgical traditions (i.e. Greek vs. Slavic, Kollyvades-influenced and not) - but we also have Apostolic and Patristic and Synodical canons that state that if you go to Liturgy and don't receive, or if you miss 3 Liturgies in a row, that you are excommunicated. 
I was at an Orthodox liturgy recently and at this Church few people received. So you say that all of those who did not receive at Communion time were automatically excommunicated from the Orthodox Chiurch?
Well, technically there's no "automatically excommunicated" in Orthodoxy, so no, that's not what I'm saying. 

But there are canons of the ancient Church which state that we're supposed to be ready for and receiving Holy Communion every week - so if someone wanted to make a case before a bishop or ecclesiastical court that people should be excommunicated, well, they technically have the ammunition - and it comes directly from the Saints and Fathers of the Church.

I was only bringing it up as just one small example of how we are quite guilty ourselves of Liturgical problems - and that we should spend our energy working out these problems before we waste ink/time/electricity chastising those with whom we are not even in Communion.
 

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My Orthodox friends, we are effectively going through our own Iconoclastic crisis, though thank heaven the diabolical rebellion is not now being led from Rome.

Please pray for us. Though the tide has turned, it will likely take a generation to restore liturgical sanity to many circles of the Catholic Church. I recall fondly the fine homily on this subject given by His All-Holiness Bartholomew at Mass during the Holy Father's visit to the Phanar in 2006.

May we Catholics heed those words from EP Bartholomew (as well as those expressed by Pope Benedict) as we work to restore the Roman rite in all our parishes. 
 

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podkarpatska said:
SolEX01 said:
Where is the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in this excess  ???  Not on their YouTube channel....
You missed my point, I was not stating what you infer. In the post by Jaya she speaks of a separate Liturgy attended by 1200 in the hotel ballroom, conducted by her Bishop and several of their priests - not the youtube video:
I was at the Library looking at the YouTube channel for this Diocese of LA Religious Congress when I posted my initial comments.  I was looking for the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom officiated by the Eastern Catholic Bishops which apparently never existed.  I apologize for my haste in posting.  :angel:
 

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If every Orthodox Christian was automatically excommunicated for not being canonically correct, then their probably be few OC's in good standing with the Church around today.  I feel that, like it or not some things do need to change from time to time.  The world of the Apostles and Fathers was a radically different one then we live in today.  The Churches members were more fervent in their faith (plus people were a lot tougher back then and could take all kinds of rigors and self discipline more easy then our more weaker populace).

Also, I am sorry to here that there are even some Orthodox who would consider forcing people to receive communion every week if they do not choose to do so.  One of the reasons that attracted me to the OC was that they did not believe in the practice of frequent communion (something that the RC's try to force everyone to do with often times disastrous consequences).  I have always believed that most men should only receive three or four times a year (women are more spiritual people so they can receive more).  Since this seems to be the practice in most OC parishes I've heard about, I just assumed that it always was the case (at least in recent times).  I really hope that they don't start changing things and becoming more strict about discipline the moment I step on board (God knows I've had more then enough religious fundamentalism thrown at me in recent times).
 

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Robb said:
.... I have always believed that most men should only receive three or four times a year (women are more spiritual people so they can receive more)....
Please explain - especially the "more spiritual" part.
 

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genesisone said:
Robb said:
.... I have always believed that most men should only receive three or four times a year (women are more spiritual people so they can receive more)....
Please explain - especially the "more spiritual" part.
Yeah, what exactly are you saying?
 

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Robb said:
If every Orthodox Christian was automatically excommunicated for not being canonically correct, then their probably be few OC's in good standing with the Church around today.  I feel that, like it or not some things do need to change from time to time.  The world of the Apostles and Fathers was a radically different one then we live in today.  The Churches members were more fervent in their faith (plus people were a lot tougher back then and could take all kinds of rigors and self discipline more easy then our more weaker populace).

Also, I am sorry to here that there are even some Orthodox who would consider forcing people to receive communion every week if they do not choose to do so.  One of the reasons that attracted me to the OC was that they did not believe in the practice of frequent communion (something that the RC's try to force everyone to do with often times disastrous consequences).  I have always believed that most men should only receive three or four times a year (women are more spiritual people so they can receive more).  Since this seems to be the practice in most OC parishes I've heard about, I just assumed that it always was the case (at least in recent times).  I really hope that they don't start changing things and becoming more strict about discipline the moment I step on board (God knows I've had more then enough religious fundamentalism thrown at me in recent times).
I understand that you can't hold even close to everyone to the standards of the early Christians--a devout life is a choice, and you cannot "get" someone to be a better Christian. You can and must help them, but you cannot make them.

However, I disagree with the idea that today's people are inherently weaker. Ancient Jewish/Roman society was much more violent than today's (stoning sinners, frequent civil wars, etc.), but the early Christians were basically pacifists--they resisted the violence of their society. Cannot today's Christians struggle equally hard to resist the laziness of society?
 

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I echo Lubeltri's sentiments. We in the Catholic Church definitely have some cleaning to do. Please pray for us.
 
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Robb said:
If every Orthodox Christian was automatically excommunicated for not being canonically correct, then their probably be few OC's in good standing with the Church around today.  I feel that, like it or not some things do need to change from time to time.  The world of the Apostles and Fathers was a radically different one then we live in today.  The Churches members were more fervent in their faith (plus people were a lot tougher back then and could take all kinds of rigors and self discipline more easy then our more weaker populace).
The Church was founded in lands that were hostile to the faith and killed those who professed it. God's truth is eternal and does not "change with the times." We honestly cannot say people were more or less pious back then, as most writings were written by pious people. Since the masses were illiterate and Gallop polls had not been invented yet, we do not know how pious the general population was.

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. So too, are the beliefs of His Church.

Robb said:
Also, I am sorry to here that there are even some Orthodox who would consider forcing people to receive communion every week if they do not choose to do so.  One of the reasons that attracted me to the OC was that they did not believe in the practice of frequent communion (something that the RC's try to force everyone to do with often times disastrous consequences).  I have always believed that most men should only receive three or four times a year (women are more spiritual people so they can receive more).  Since this seems to be the practice in most OC parishes I've heard about, I just assumed that it always was the case (at least in recent times).  I really hope that they don't start changing things and becoming more strict about discipline the moment I step on board (God knows I've had more then enough religious fundamentalism thrown at me in recent times).
The only person qualified to tell you how often you should receive communion is your Spiritual Father, for he knows what is best for you. For some individuals, it is beneficial to receive every week. For others, less often.

We should not judge who is and who is not in line for communion on Sunday's, but rather pray that we are in fact worthy to receive the gifts when we stand in line.
 
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