Friday, March 11, 2011

Antiochians, ROCOR meet to discuss the Western Rite

( - On Monday, 14 February, Father Edward Hughes, Vicar General of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, and his duly appointed assistant, Father John W. Fenton, met at the Russian Synod chancery with His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR); His Grace Bishop Jerome (Shaw), Bishop of Manhattan and vicar of the Eastern-American diocese (ROCOR); and the V. Reverend Anthony Bondi, Pastoral Vicar for the Western Rite (ROCOR).

This meeting was the first between the hierarchy and leadership of the jurisdictions which oversee all canonical Orthodox parishes in North America which are exclusively Western Rite. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the present situation, and to compare visions in order to foster cooperation in furthering Western Rite Orthodoxy in America.

During the meeting, several items of mutual interest were discussed including issues relating to the Western Rite in the committees of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America; the reception of parishes and clergy from other ecclesial groups; the education of laity in Western Rite parishes; the education of current and future Western Rite clergy; the liturgical norms and usages in the jurisdictions; and the planting of Western Rite missions.

A spirit of fraternal openness permeated the meetings, with the often repeated desire that the Western Rite parishes and clergy of both jurisdictions need to grow closer together. Toward this end, Metropolitan Hilarion encouraged Fr. Anthony and Fr. Edward to explore specific ways in which the clergy from both jurisdictions might regularly meet together.

Fr. Hughes and Fr. Fenton wish to express their deepest gratitude to Metropolitan Hilarion and Bishop Jerome for their gracious hospitality and for generously sharing their time. Their interest and desire for Western Rite Orthodoxy was inspiring. They also thank Fr. Anthony Bondi for his many kindnesses, and his earnest desire for increased cooperation.


  1. Thanks for publicizing this release.

    Fr John W Fenton

  2. It will be interesting to see how this develops, Fr.

  3. A long overdue meeting. I pray it bears good fruit.

  4. I wonder if all the Anglicans who speak romantically about converting if "there were more WR churches" will actually do it. Doubtful.

  5. It was said:

    "I wonder if all the Anglicans who speak romantically about converting if "there were more WR churches" will actually do it. Doubtful."

    Considering that western rite parishes only remain western rite for a short time (One need only see the Byzantinization of all western rite parishes in England [under Antioch] and all those in South Carolina as examples), it would appear that it does not matter how many so-called western rite parishes there are, it is all temporary.

  6. Possibly. Though they keep popping up in the rural South rather often.

  7. An Anglican priest friend of mine, at one time seriously considering the western rite, visited the one in Lynchburg, Virginia, his attitude was that it was already so Byzantinised, including a temporary ikonostasis in front of a very small, byzantine style altar, that it was odd that they even bothered to pretend to be western rite. They pop up, they go Byzantine.