“How can a Roman Catholic help Eastern Churches achieve equality with my brothers and sisters who are ignorant of the glorious Divine Liturgy and Vespers. I have had the experience of attending Divine Liturgy at St. Basil The Great in Lincoln, Rhode Island. I try to get others in my parish (St. Joseph’s in Attleboro, Massachusetts) to attend one of The Eastern Liturgies-so far no takers.” –
Bishop John’s Answer:
I am happy that you have discovered the richness and beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Please realize – and suggest also to your friends – that the patrimony of the Eastern Churches also belongs to you and them – it is part of your heritage. All the treasures of both the Latin and Eastern Churches belong equally to all Catholics – all make up the patrimony of the Universal Church, a gift God has given to all His children. By appreciating the beauty and complementarity of all the various traditions, one actually gains a better appreciation of the unique contribution and identity of his own. You might point out to your friends elements in your own Latin Tradition (which perhaps you may not have noted before) which you have learned to appreciate more by seeing them expressed in a different way in the Eastern Tradition: e.g., the centrality of the Trinity in our life, the divinity of Christ, the awesomeness of the Sacramental celebrations, the mercy and compassion of God, etc.