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Church Reform Wishlist: The Eastern Catholic Churches

The Eastern Catholic Churches

  • The notion of national or proper ritual territory is archaic. Most churches have a diaspora larger than members living in their original countries. Eliminate any discrepancies between the authority of the synod and heads of the churches for their members worldwide (e.g., in the selection of bishops).
  • Eastern Catholic presbyters have not been allowed to be married in the U.S. since the late 19th century because of certain overanxious (celibate) Latin bishops at the time. This caused schism and scandal, and has lead to the current situation where there are now more married Roman Catholic priests than Eastern Catholic priests in the U.S. That ought to be corrected. [Done!: 14 November 2014]
  • All other rights of the Eastern Churches that have been impinged upon by the Latin Church should be fully restored.
  • A clarifying directive and definition from the competent ecclesial authority that the name of our communion is The Catholic Church and not the Roman Catholic Church should help in a number of confusing venues. It is already in fact the practice[1], but needs to be clearly articulated.

Vatican Pope Middle East


[1] Search the Vatican website: “Roman Catholic Church” gets 125 hits, “Catholic Church” gets over 4400. And most of the uses of “Roman Catholic” are concessions to ecumenical partners, which could be done away with now after years of growth in understanding.

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