Rorate Caeli

Scenes from the enthronement of the new Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch

This past Friday, the Maronite Catholic Church enthroned its new head, the 71-year-old Bechara al Rai, as the 77th Maronite Patriarch of Antioch. The enthronement was carried out in a modern-style Maronite church on the grounds of the Maronite Patriarchate's headquarters in Bkerki, Lebanon.




A video with scenes from the enthronement:




More pictures of the enthronement can be found here.











40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Altar girls (take a close look at the entrance procession)

Ad populum all throughout

Ugly, modern church

Another venerable ritual tradition down the drain.

Anonymous said...

More proof that modernist Rome corrupts everything it touches.
Why be in union with this "Rome" today? Unless you want to see your traditions systematically destroyed.

Anonymous said...

In my experience the Maronites are 100% Vatican II. They abandoned their ancient Syriac liturgy for a vernacular Arabic one (except for the words of consecration, thank God). I hope this new Patriarch will have the sense to halt the gallop into modernism.

Patrick said...

Why "Maronite catholic"? Unlike the Copts, the Armenians, the Byzantines etc., all Maronites are catholic, so no need to add "catholic".

Catholic Defender said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing this. Not all Catholics knew about the existence of our CAtholic Maronite brethren in Lebanon. I've met few of them in the Catholic Church in Doha, Qatar and they are truly amazing. I once joined their Holy Mass and it's strange. That's because I am exposed more on the Latin Rite knowing nothing about the Maronite Rite. God bless you and I pray for the increase of our Maronite brethren in the Middle East.

Pascal said...

'all Maronites are catholic, so no need to add "catholic".'

It's for the sake of clarity. Quite a number of Roman Catholics aren't aware of them. I speak from experience.

oremusrob said...

Let's not be too hard on the Maronite Catholics. They actually deserve our kudos from a dogmatic perspective.

Unlike the Byzantine rite, and, I suspect, any number of other Eastern Catholic rites, the Maronite Catholic church has generally maintained, it seems, very high degrees of fidelity to the definitive authoritative Church teachings that came out of ecumenical councils such as Second Lyons, Florence, and Trent. The fact that they are Easterners who are not using Second Vatican to wage de facto dogmatic warfare against the Filioque and Purgatory is something to be thankful for.

Anonymous said...

"More proof that modernist Rome corrupts everything it touches.
Why be in union with this "Rome" today? Unless you want to see your traditions systematically destroyed."

Why be in communion? I don't know, maybe because God commands it. Why be in communion with St. Peter when Our Lord Himself called him "Satan"?

~Bonifacius

Ogard said...

By Melchites and others, they are referred to as Eastern Rite Latins. The Malabar Catholics are much the same. Both - haevily latinized.

Athelstane said...

Regrettably, the Maronites have been exposed more than any other sui juris eastern rite to liturgical deformities, most likely because latinisation went furthest in this rite. (And, apparently, architecture and sacred art).

In actual practice, a typical Maronite liturgy is still preferable to the typical novus ordo, but it is no longer to be compared to the more undamaged eastern rites still based on the Divine Liturgy.

Just the same, prayers for the Patriarch. Perhaps he will be able to take the first steps to restore tradition to the Maronite Church.

François said...

Well, well, i spy with my little eye something

Stéphane said...

The Maronite Church is one of the most heavily Latinized non-Latin Churches (as can be seen on the video footage, which is an accurate reflexion of what the Maronite liturgy has been become). Latinization has been the daily bread of the Maronites for centuries - sometimes under Latin pressures but quite often self-imposed. And sadly, Latinization nowadays means Bugninism, liberal theology etc.

Anonymous said...

The church put the UG into UGLY!!!

Anonymous said...

Fairly latinized church which has stayed faithful to Rome for a long time. Even though liturgy is highly important, we must not become idolaters of liturgy and must look beyond as to why for them, they became so latinized. Do not get me wrong, Novus ordo practices are hideous to the faith and the Novus Ordo and most of what came out of VatII was a tragedy but yet, the Maronites have remained faithful and have produced numerous joys to Christians.
People need to get off their backs and start looking from within before they look from at others ! Also The Lord commands that we are with him and he has told us how this is done, Through the Papacy via St Peter !

Lee Lovelock-Jemmott

New Catholic said...

Brother... The "Spirit of Vatican II" ruins everything it touches, it's like the plague.

NC

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but I believe (because of the aforementioned Latinization) the Maronite liturgy was significantly deformed even before the postconciliar changes in the 60's-70's.

Anyone know anything else about similar rites (Melkite, etc.) that are practiced in Lebanon?

Z said...

I hate Vatican II!

Anonymous said...

Yes the Maronites have uncritically copied modernism and liturgical abuses from the Latin Rite. This copying is just sickening!

Anonymous said...

To the issue of latinization per se in the Maronite Rite, I say it's not really that important.

1.) Someone said that it was often self-imposed. What people wish to do, they do. They had the right to their rite and the right to amend/emend their rite. Right? Right.

2.) All Maronites are in communion with the Holy Father. So latinization per se is not blocking anyone from entering into communion with the Universal Church, which is one of the primary problems with latinization in the Byzantine and Malabarese traditions.

3.) Prior to Vatican II, the Latin Rite was great and glorious too, like the Eastern Rites.

4.) If you seek an Eastern liturgy like the one the Maronites formerly had, I venture to guess you'll find it in the Syrian Catholic Church. So the Maronite latinization did not obliterate a liturgical tradition, as latinization among the Malabarese threatened to do.

5.) Probably latinization is part and parcel of the specific Maronite tradition. Heirs to the Phoenicians, the Lebanese looked to the Mediterranean, not to Mesopotamia, for their guidance and sense of identity. Lebanese culture owed/owes much to the Crusaders/Franks and to the modern French. The primary Lebanese liturgical tradition accordingly owes much to the Latin Rite, that which prevailed among the Franks/Crusaders/French.

6.) Shall we similarly bewail "Byzantinization," the process by which the Byzantine Rite triumphed among the Chalcedonian Christians of Antioch and Alexandria even though those patriarchal sees, both older than and once preemenint ever Constantinople, have their own liturgical traditions? And those liturgical traditions were maintained among the Monophysite heretics while the Chalcedonians of Syria and Egypt abandoned them. Should the Catholic Melkites and the Antiochian Orthodox revert to the Alexandrian or West Syrian liturgical traditions? Should the Serbs, Bulgarians, and Romanians (Catholic and schismatic alike) adopt a Western, Latin Rite instead of the Byzantine because their countries for the most part lie in territory that originally belonged to the Roman Patriarchate, *not* the Byzantine one? What is the statute of limitations for such matters? And why does it never, ever expire for latinization?

Anonymous said...

The post defending (somewhat) latinization was mine.

~Bonifacius

RipK said...

When my greek orthodox friends tell me that if they would join Rome their tradition will be destroyed, I dismiss them calling paranoid. After seeing this, I understand how wrong I have been all along. It is a fact, Rome modernizes eastern liturgies in the name of vatican ii.

Anonymous said...

" RipK said...
When my greek orthodox friends tell me that if they would join Rome their tradition will be destroyed, I dismiss them calling paranoid. After seeing this, I understand how wrong I have been all along. It is a fact, Rome modernizes eastern liturgies in the name of vatican ii."

Did "Rome" do this? Or did Easterners-who-themselves-try-to-model-themselves-on-Vatican-II do this? Who is "Rome" here? Please do not let metonymy lead to misinterpretation.

~Bonifacius

Ogard said...

Z said: "I hate Vatican II!"

He seems unaware that (a) Vatican II liturgical reform was explicitly intended for the Latin Church only, while at the same time tyhe Council gave to Eastern Rites an "equal rights and honour", while should there "be need, they should..be revised in accordance with sound traditions" (SC 4); and (b) they were "epowered and obliged to retain at all times their their own lawful liturgical rites" (OE 6).

Their problem was not Vatican II, but the centuries old systamatic latinization imposed on them by Latin institutions. The weaker among them in particular, but all up to the point, were trained by Latin brainwashers. It was the old principle of "praestantia ritus latini" which was enforced on them by ecclesiastical authorities, to the point that many have lost their faith or returned to their mother Churhes. It was only the Ukrainians who have put an end to this scandal and are now involved in an intensive proces of removal of all Latin intrusions. But the history of all was more than tragic.

Jack said...

I think the people who post here should be aware of something.

Eastern Catholics are not simply Roman Catholics who say Mass funny.

Nor are Eastern Catholic Churches the last refuges of pre-V2 Latin Catholicism, especially of the America-in-the-1950's variety.

If you approach them hoping to find this, you will be bitterly disappointed.

Eastern Catholics are JUST as traditional as the most fervent devotee of the Extraordinary Form. But we are traditionalists in a different way.

That's because our traditions ARE different.

If you come to Eastern Catholic Churches, willing to accept them on their own terms, you will find a treasury of riches you never imagined.

Remember, unity does NOT mean uniformity.

oremusrob said...

Jack,

Unity does not mean uniformity of expression, true. But it is supposed to mean unity in faith and morals.

That has been decidedly lacking in the Byzantine rite in recent decades as exemplified by the so-called Zoughby initiative and the growing chorus of demands that infallible dogmatic pronouncements that have a Latin theological origin are not to have any authority at all over the Byzantine Catholic faithful.

Byzantine Catholics claiming the de facto right to snicker with Protestants and Eastern Orthodox at the alleged absurdity of indulgences is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

"I think the people who post here should be aware of something.

Eastern Catholics are not simply Roman Catholics who say Mass funny.

Nor are Eastern Catholic Churches the last refuges of pre-V2 Latin Catholicism, especially of the America-in-the-1950's variety."

Who *here,* on this website, is unaware of this? Goodness, for the most part this thread consists of people endlessly chiming in to add that they, too, like everyone else here, hates latinization in the Eastern Rites. I have merely added that, hey, wait a minute, one man's latinization may be another man's actual liturgical tradition. Purge the Maronite Rite and what is left that they would recognize as reflecting their own history?

~Bonifacius

oremusrob said...

Bonifacious,

My understanding is that the Maronites have been trying to recover their liturgical tradition and de-latinize to the extent possible.

The difficult hurdle they face, unlike other Eastern Catholicisms, is that they have no non-Catholic counterpart to draw upon for a clear and accurate record as to what the liturgical tradition actually was prior to any supposed excessive Latin influences.

Jordanes551 said...

How many centuries must pass before a Latinisation becomes a legitimate Eastern Catholic liturgical tradition?

Jack said...

\\ It was only the Ukrainians who have put an end to this scandal and are now involved in an intensive proces of removal of all Latin intrusions.\\

Not quite accurate. The Ruthenians (especially in the USA) and Melkites have been doing so as well. I cannot speak for the Romanian Byzantine Catholics, but their Eparch in the USA, Bp. John Michael Botean (a true elder) supports the two small monasteries in this country in their efforts to show an example of true Byzantine spirituality in the Catholic Church.

The Russian Catholics prefer to call themselves Russian Orthodox United with Rome, as the names of their parishes in Russia show.

**Jordanes551 said...
How many centuries must pass before a Latinisation becomes a legitimate Eastern Catholic liturgical tradition?**

How long need you repeat "2 + 2 = 5" before this becomes the right answer?

An imported Latinization into an Eastern Church, especially if it replaces the legitimate Eastern practice (such as May devotions to the Theotokos instead of the traditional August ones), remains a foreign importation, no matter how long it has been tolerated, and is an attack on the integrity of that Church.

||Who *here,* on this website, is unaware of this? ||

A lot, apparently, Bonifacius. For example, see the initial comment. The Maronite tradition has always allowed celebrations to be either versus populum or ad orientum.

Jordanes551 said...

I asked, How many centuries must pass before a Latinisation becomes a legitimate Eastern Catholic liturgical tradition?

Jack replied, How long need you repeat "2 + 2 = 5" before this becomes the right answer?

So, in your view, liturgical practice and tradition is like mathematics -- something fixed and invariable, that may never, ever be changed?

An imported Latinization into an Eastern Church, especially if it replaces the legitimate Eastern practice (such as May devotions to the Theotokos instead of the traditional August ones), remains a foreign importation, no matter how long it has been tolerated, and is an attack on the integrity of that Church.

Sorry, but that's just crazy talk, Jack. A tradition that has been in place for the past few centuries is no attack on the Church's integrity.

What about 500-year-old traditions? Or 1,000-year-old traditions? Or 1,500 years? East and West have influenced each other's liturgical traditions quite a lot over that time, and thus, in your view, have left the Church's integrity in tatters.

Clearly you have no sense or understanding whatsoever of sound liturgical tradition and have no business talking about it.

oremusrob said...

If Byzantine rite Catholics are going to go on a tear against all Latinizations, let's not forget that all sorts of things, from Christmas to pews, have to go out the window. This is where true, purist de-Latinzation leads to, assuming the advocates are being scrupulously honest and consistent.

And this seems to all too often be a one-way street. When I once raised an objection on a blog that Western-rite Orthodox may not receive azymes, but must receive Eucharist with some form of leavened species, I was told by a Byzantine Catholic that leavened species is an honorable, ancient, venerable tradition that Westerners can adapt to and so they should have no need to demand azymes.

Anonymous said...

"An imported Latinization into an Eastern Church, especially if it replaces the legitimate Eastern practice (such as May devotions to the Theotokos instead of the traditional August ones), remains a foreign importation, no matter how long it has been tolerated, and is an attack on the integrity of that Church."

So what would you like the Armenian Orthodox to do with their liturgy, replete as it is with "latinizations"? Believe it or not, Latin influences are not always imposed and sometimes appear organically. Trying to purge a liturgy of foreign influences is dangerous business. Not only do you end up divorcing the rite from its historical context, you risk destroying the entire liturgical tradition and replacing it with something artificial.

Anonymous said...

"Bonifacious,

My understanding is that the Maronites have been trying to recover their liturgical tradition and de-latinize to the extent possible.

The difficult hurdle they face, unlike other Eastern Catholicisms, is that they have no non-Catholic counterpart to draw upon for a clear and accurate record as to what the liturgical tradition actually was prior to any supposed excessive Latin influences."

Maybe this simply means that the nature of the Maronite rite, what makes it distinctive within the West Syrian liturgical tradition, is its openness to Western influence. Look, in Lebanon the native, presumably Antiochene liturgical rite suffered a wipe-out. You had a number of Chalcedonian Christians, who first abandoned their native rite in favor of the Byzantine one and then followed the Byzantines into schism. Not until the 1700s did any Melkites rejoin the Church Universal. You had folks who did retain the Antiochene liturgy, but these were Monophysite heretics until some re-established communion with Rome and became the Syrian Catholics. And then you had the Maronites, who were off on their lonesome in Lebanon, a group with an Aramean liturgy but detached from Jacobites. Who else were they going to look to for liturgical direction than to Rome? So, given their specific history, who is to say that latinization was "excessive"? How is it any more excessive than the wholesale substitution of the Byzantine Rite in Greek for the native Antiochene and Alexandrian liturgies among the Chalcedonian Christians of those patriarchates? So maybe once the Melkites (so many of whose leaders seem to be not-so-crypto-Orthodox) get done purging their rite of latinizations they should ditch the Byzantine Rite altogether and revert to the Antiochene or Alexandrian rites. Perhaps even a latinized Maronite Rite has more in common with the original liturgical tradition of Lebanon than does the Byzantine Rite celebrated by the Melkites and Greek (!) Orthodox of that country.

And if all this is true that has been said on this thread, then Latin-Rite Catholics outside of Italy should never, EVER pray using icons. NEVER! Because that would be mixing rites! Pray using a statue or a painting, but not an Eastern-style icon! Because Eastern-style icons are just as foreign to most Catholics of Western European descent as devotional statues would be to the (pure, undiluted!) Byzantine tradition.

~Bonifacius

shane said...

Apparently the Orthodox may be getting a Vatican II of their own:

http://eni.ch/featured/article.php?id=4795

Jack said...

Jordanes, let me ask you a couple of questions:

How would you feel about the introduction of LEAVENED bread into the Latin Church, or the wide-spread adoption of married priests because it's allowed in the Eastern Churches?

Your answer to these questions will help you understand my comments.

\\Clearly you have no sense or understanding whatsoever of sound liturgical tradition and have no business talking about it.\\

I think I know more about these matters than you give me credit.

oremusrob said...

Bonifacious,

Well put. Your point about icons is very sound, all too much so. I am amazed at how prevalent Byzantine icons are in the Latin rite. But don't count on ever seeing any Western statue in a Byzantine rite Catholic parish.

As we have been laying out on this thread, Byzantine rite Catholicism is engaged in a rather elaborate unprincipled game of heads they win, tails we lose. Just another aggrieved minority who now thinks it has license to do most anything.

Jordanes551 said...

How would you feel about the introduction of LEAVENED bread into the Latin Church, or the wide-spread adoption of married priests because it's allowed in the Eastern Churches?

How would I "feel"? Probably not especially happy about it, at first.

Feelings, nothing more than . . . feelings . . . .

Western liturgy has adopted and adapted many Eastern practices. If the Apostolic See were to introduce leavened bread or revert to an older discipline regarding married priests, that is something within its rights and would not at all, as your illogic would have it, constitute an illegitimate imported Easternisation that attacks the very integrity of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

I think I know more about these matters than you give me credit.

Knowledge is not the same thing as understanding. It's your lack of understanding that you've put on prominent display, not a lack of knowledge.

Anonymous said...

"But don't count on ever seeing any Western statue in a Byzantine rite Catholic parish."

Oh yeah?

Scroll down:

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2010/09/eastern-catholic-varia.html

Romanian Catholics and a lot of Ukrainian Catholics still have statues in their churches.

oremusrob said...

Anon.16:34

Indeed I stand corrected. While I have not seen it myself, it apparently does exist.

Will they still exist after wholesale de-Latinization takes place, I suppose, is, more precisely, how I should have framed this.

Anonymous said...

Apropos:

http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2011/03/important-liturgical-reform-of-eighth.html

~Bonifacius