Freedom within Limits: “Uniate” Theology between Catholic West and Orthodox East

Subdeacon Dr. Brian A. Butcher
Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies
The University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto

 

Introduction

This essay revisits the question, “What Is Eastern Catholic Theology?”, raised at the Catholic Theological Society of America’s 1998 convention but the object of scant scholarly attention since.[1] The issue of “freedom” (and its corollaries of identity and recognition) lies at the heart of the “Uniate” Churches’ experience, to the extent that their prerogatives, not to mention their very existence, have historically been —and even today often still are—regarded as ambiguous, not to say ambivalent, by Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians alike. Adapting insights from various texts of the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005)—whose thought I engage more comprehensively in my book Liturgical Theology after Schmemann: An Orthodox Reading of Paul Ricoeur (Fordham University Press, 2018)[2]—I endeavour here to explore how different Eastern Catholicism is (or should be): to what extent may it express diversity without thereby promoting division, or claim unity while resisting uniformity? What kind of liberty obtains between Eastern Catholics’ responsibility to “[safeguard] the unity of the faith and the unique divine structure of the universal Church,” and the right to “have their own discipline, enjoy their own liturgical usage and inherit a theological and spiritual patrimony” (Vatican II, Lumen gentium, 23)?[3]

Since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) Byzantine-Rite (Greek/Greco-) Catholics—only one subset, of course, of Eastern Catholicism—have been wont to refer themselves by the neologism “Orthodox in Communion with Rome.”[4] For centuries, however, we were rather derided (or backhandedly complimented!) as those who, so to speak, thought like Latins while praying like Greeks. The question arises, in consequence, as to the measure and manner in which Eastern Catholics constitute an ecclesial synthesis. What is the nature of the boundaries determined, or perhaps rather dissolved, by the Eastern Catholic—or to illustrate the problem, as it were, Eastern Catholic—traditions, construed according to Lumen gentium’s fourfold taxonomy of Eastern distinctiveness cited above?[5]

The pertinence of Ricoeur to the topic at hand is signalled in the observation of one of the CTSA panelists that “true liberation, an authentic Eastern Catholic voice, is only possible once the duality that ‘to be is to be like’ has been surmounted.”[6] Now translation, of course, is concerned precisely with negotiating the spectrum between sameness and difference. Indeed, in On Translation, Ricoeur argues that translation may actually serve as a paradigm for all understanding, since even the act of speaking a mother tongue involves the articulation of one’s own, inchoate experience into an idiom intelligible to oneself and others.[7] How then, do Eastern Catholics enjoy particular liberties, and/or suffer particular burdens, as translators of their own traditions—as those compelled by their minoritarian status to engage in “carrying over” into a common precinct the particularity of what has been “handed down” to them, namely their respective heritages of canon law, liturgy, theology and spirituality?

Translating the (Actual and Varied) Traditions of the East:

‍Rendering the Other in the Same

In the first chapter of On Translation Ricoeur notes that the translator is in the invidious position of having to strive for faithfulness to the language of origin, thereby proving ever vulnerable to the accusation of infidelity, i.e., to having not done enough to “remember” well what is said originally in his or her effort to transmit it into a foreign tongue. This foreign tongue, in turn, resists assimilation, and invariably, something is “lost in translation.” The translator is always left guessing, therefore, as to the adequacy of the equivalence posited.[8] And yet there is optimism: having accepted the limitations of his or her craft, the translator can nonetheless enjoy the assigned labour, which resembles a reciprocal experience of hospitality in which one receives the foreign at home, but is also welcomed in one’s sojourn abroad.

I think the relevance of this first sense of translation to the field of Eastern Catholic theology will be immediately perceived. No small work is involved in, literally, translating, into Western languages what has hitherto been unknown: the “foreign,” if not exotic, textual treasures of the Christian East—especially in today’s political climate where unfortunately the foreign can readily be equated to the hostile. Such treasures include a variety of genres, of course: biblical commentaries, homilies, speculative treatises, liturgical rites, hagiography, canonical prescriptions, etc. A dizzying array of ancient languages mediate these texts, and to learn any one of these languages to the point of being able to successfully translate its literary patrimony is an admirable accomplishment in its own right. But a skilled translator comes to recognize, as Ricoeur indicates, the “untranslatable” at the heart of any language—the unique genius which gives a given language its peculiar ethos. Translation, then, already at this basic level, implies a humble awareness that all translating is provisional—that the work of translation remains an unfinished project.

Moreover, Ricoeur’s attention to the notion of the “untranslatable” in any given language seems to me to imply that a certain on-going commitment to a tradition is required, if it is ever to be understood. Evidently, one needs to dwell with a language—dwell within it, we might say, over time—in order to come to terms with its own particular “unsayable”—and thus learn how to speak about it, if not to speak it. A kind of ascesis is required, if I might say, a struggling with a tradition; to adequately translate a devotional or liturgical text, for example, I wonder if one actually has to pray it, even perhaps sing it (in the case of the former), in order to enter into the spirituality with which it is saturated. Does theological method, therefore, not presuppose a context in which such commitment to the “living” of texts is both possible and encouraged—lest their genuine meaning never surface? Such a context includes an openness to relationship with the Churches whence such texts originate; not that there will not at times arise what Ricoeur calls a “conflict of interpretations” between academics and adherents, but rather that such conflict has the potential to engender a productive dialogue and ultimately what Ricoeur calls a “course of recognition,” in which the otherness of the Other is more deeply appreciated than it would be were such engagement to never take place.

Translating (Holy?) Tradition:

‍“Carrying Over” What Has Been “Handed Down”

Ricoeur continues by suggesting that beyond denoting “the transfer of a spoken message from one language to another,” translation may be taken as a synonym for the act of interpretation within a given language. Hence, he approvingly quotes the dictum of philosopher George Steiner (1929-2020): “To understand is to translate.” Ricoeur ponders the following enigma: if languages do submit to translation, as is manifestly the case, must it not be due to a “common fund” lying behind, i.e., at the origin of all of them or, at least, amenable to being extracted from them—an original or universal language?

This problem reiterates what Ricoeur had mentioned earlier regarding the absence of a tertium quid: the desired “common fund” has not been, and perhaps never can be, accessed—notwithstanding a history of efforts that end. As I note in an earlier article treating On Translation in regard to interreligious dialogue, Ricoeur evokes the portentous claim of Lutheran theologian George Lindbeck (1923-2018) that “adherents of different religions do not diversely thematize the same experience; rather they have different experiences”: religions, “at least in some cases, differentially shape and produce our most profound sentiments, attitudes, and awarenesses.”[9]

These considerations open up, in my view, the second level at which to connect the phenomenon of translation with Eastern Catholic theology. The field does not only involve the rendering of the foreign into a familiar idiom, but proposes that one should seek to discover the relationship between each manifestation of what is “foreign,” and its respective “familiar” equivalent. This task involves situating Byzantine history and theology vis-à-vis the broader life of the Church as a whole, of which it is but a part. And this, importantly, means seeking to grasp the interaction of “traditions” in the constitution of “Tradition” with a capital “T”—a version of the conundrum faced already by Plato with respect to the “one over the many.”[10]

The work at hand, in other words, is to figure out how to identify what is common amidst difference, and what is in fact a distinction with a difference. But because there is no tertium quid, no neutral “common fund” of Tradition directly accessible apart from the particularity of actual traditions. To translate “Tradition,” then—to “carry across” that which has been “handed down”—is to carefully but creatively explore various ways of making sense of the data—proposing a metaphor by which “A” be seen in terms of “B,” for instance, or arguing that “C” may be postulated (if not directly apprehended) in virtue of the analogous characteristics of “A” and “B.” Any number of doctrines or practices which historically have proven the object of polemics could serve as a case study in translation, taken in this sense: the dogmas concerning the Virgin Mary, for instance, or the nature of eucharistic consecration, or the legitimacy of the veneration of icons.

Eastern Catholic Theology as a Translating Tradition:

‍At the Intersection of Theory and Practice

 There is yet a third sense of translation limned by Ricoeur, which seems pertinent to how we conceive of nature and role of Eastern Catholic theology. Ricoeur’s historical overview of the dual, quixotic quests for an original, and a universal, language led him to assert that there is a theoretical “impasse” (paradoxically traversed, however, by the actual, everyday practice of translation). In response, Ricoeur favours further reflection on the dialectic of faithfulness and betrayal. In words that might aptly be applied to our present concern, Ricoeur notes that “translation remains a risky operation which is always in search of its theory.”[11] It is risky not least because we forget the “infinite complexities” even of our mother-tongue; a translator is ever obliged to re-learn his own language in the act of acquiring another. Ricoeur cites German poet Friedrich Hölderin (1770-1843) to this effect: “What is one’s own must be learned as well as what is foreign.”[12] But the dialectic of “faithfulness and betrayal” invites further application to two salient aspects of the Eastern Catholic theological enterprise as I construe it: the subsuming of disparate realities under the ambiguous moniker of “Eastern Christian,” and the oscillation between theology as study and theology as prayer, alluded to above—prayer, and especially liturgical prayer, being an activity that Orthodox and Eastern Catholics alike (notwithstanding their other differences) would characteristically see as the sine qua non for authentic attainment of theological truth.

Firstly, with respect to “Eastern Christian”: it is well known that the Christian East conventionally denotes four families of Churches, the Eastern Orthodox Churches; the Oriental Orthodox; the (Assyrian) Church of the East; and the twenty-three sui juris Eastern Catholic Churches. Now there are several places where one can find programs in “Eastern Orthodox Studies” or “Orthodox Christian Studies” or, as at my own institution, “Eastern Christian Studies”—although there are none, to my knowledge, that offer “Eastern Catholic Studies.” The variety of nomenclature evinces the uneasy relationship between different groups of Eastern Christians, whose historical interactions have often left much to desire. To wit, the Eastern or Chalcedonian Orthodox still view other Eastern Christians, in principal, as schismatic, if not outright heretical, because of their alleged Monophysitism, Nestorianism or Papalism, respectively. And the other Churches have not infrequently proved quite able to give as good as they get!

What the designation “Eastern Christian” countenances, therefore, is the simultaneous challenge of a) the demand of conscience for freedom to be faithful to one’s confessional heritage as this is understood and experienced, and b) the demand of reason for an acknowledgement that no one actual Eastern Church can plausibly claim to unilaterally possess, or even duly represent, the entirety of its respective heritage. One must give equal honour, we may say, to the poles Ricoeur names as “critique” and “conviction.”[13] This is a work-in-progress, as there is scant historical precedent for what the late Oriental liturgist Robert Taft calls “ecumenical scholarship”:

[E]cumenical scholarship [is] a new and specifically Christian way of studying Christian tradition in order to reconcile and unite, rather than to confute and dominate. Its deliberate intention is to emphasize the common tradition underlying differences which, though real, can be the accidental product of history, culture, language, rather than essential differences in the doctrine of the faith….It seeks to enter into the other’s point of view, to understand it insofar as possible with sympathy and agreement. It takes seriously the other’s critique of one’s own tradition, seeking to incorporate its positive contributions into one’s own thinking.[14]

The study of Eastern Christianity serves, therefore, as a laboratory in which to practice what Taft elsewhere calls “anamnesis, not amnesia”: we risk the accusation of betrayal, from one or more sides, in attempting to practice a theoretical fidelity—which some see rather as meretricious—to a unity that resists uniformity, and a diversity tantamount (if not equivalent) to division.[15]

In the second place, with regard to the nexus between study and prayer, the Eastern Catholic theologian is implicated ineluctably in a hermeneutical circle connoted by the ambivalence of the notion of “orthodoxy’—surely one of those Grundwörter or “primary words,” which for Ricoeur preserve the rich sedimentation of a people’s intellectual history[16]—one which to varying degrees has retained the evocative polysemy of the Greek original in the calques it has inspired in Slavonic (pravoslavie) and other Eastern languages. As Jaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006) explains, the terms lying behind the compound word “orthodoxy” have always been productively ambivalent:

The noun doxa means “opinion,” and the noun orthotēs means “correctness.” Therefore Aristotle…without actually using the relatively rare term orthodoxia, can propound the definition: “Correctness of opinion is truth [doxēs orthotēs alētheia].” But when the opinion of others about someone is favorable, doxa already in classical Greek has the meaning of “good reputation” or “honor,” and therefore of “glory”….In Church Slavonic, and then in the other Slavic languages, doxa…is translated with slava, and Orthodoxia becomes Pravoslavie. It means simultaneously the right way of believing or teaching and the right way of rendering glory to God, for ultimately the two are seen as identical.[17]

The freighting of the liturgical experience with such theological import, by one who was undoubtedly the twentieth-century doyen of church history, only reiterates in a scholarly key what is intuitively appreciated by the proverbial “man in the pew” of the Eastern Churches—and most Eastern churches in the so-called diaspora do have pews!

Eastern Catholic theology appears inexorably destined, therefore, to wrestle with the centrality of worship to all its endeavours: scholarship may not be subsumed or replaced by liturgy, of course, but neither may it presume to be insouciant towards it. Symbiosis may capture the dynamic at stake. Or, to switch back to the metaphor governing my paper, it is necessary to “carry over” the devotion of the chapel into the inquiry of the classroom, even as the obverse remains imperative as well.

Conclusion: The Course of Ecclesial Recognition

In closing, I would like to turn from On Translation to another of Ricoeur’s later works, which appears to me to speak clearly to the matter at hand. In The Course of Recognition, Ricoeur analyzes how we move from recognizing an object to recognizing another person to, in turn, the moment of self-recognition—as well as thematizing the aporias attending misrecognition. In doing so, he explores the dialectic between recognizing as something we do, and something that is done to us—something we receive; recognition in this sense is a phenomenon tantamount to gratitude. Now one might argue that even the titles of these books already suggest a sort of connection, if not filiation, to the extent that translation always implies not only a process of recognition on the part of a translator but the consequent recognition by others—or lack thereof—of the translation in question, whether in terms of its correctness, clarity, consistency or charm. Permit me then to draw connections between this work, particularly its conclusion, and the modalities of translation that I have hitherto attributed to Eastern Catholic theology.

Firstly, there is the dialectic of recognition and misrecognition, which bears a certain analogy to the faithfulness-betrayal pair identified by Ricoeur as a challenge facing any translator. Eastern Catholics tell different stories than their Orthodox brethren—or rather, they tell the same stories differently—such that in the ensuing conflict of interpretations the respective constituencies do not recognize their own history. Things are not just lost in translation: sometimes, they are intentionally mislaid! As Ricoeur well states: “But the relating of memories can also turn into conflict through the competition among memories about the same events that do not agree. In such cases, alterity can lead to people reciprocally cutting themselves off from one another.”[18] Indeed, it is arguable that reconciling discrete historical accounts of history is a more pressing ecumenical task than resolving doctrinal discrepancies on a conceptual level; as Ricoeur’s richly textured work on narrative and selfhood demonstrates, having a usable history is an existential imperative. The challenge here is how to hand down multiple renditions of history in a way that does not pre-emptively “demythologize” in favour of a pretentious standing-above, a pseudo-forensic reduction of interpretations to alleged facts, as it were, but nor again to galvanize prejudice by rehearsing versions of the past uncritically. Ricoeur reminds us that “[w]e do not mistake ourselves without also being mistaken about others and our relations with them. If the essence being mistaken is, as Pascal says, ‘not knowing,’ the misunderstanding of oneself does not avoid the risk of misunderstanding itself.”[19]

Secondly, and not unrelated to the preceding concern, there is the question of the burden involved in translating tradition, in “carrying over” what has been “handed down.” To wit: it is not clear how much of the past must be preserved in the present, or revivified if it has fallen into desuetude. Vatican II called for Eastern Catholics to “attain to an ever greater knowledge and a more exact use of [their Rite and way of life] and, if in their regard they have fallen short owing to contingencies of times and persons, they should take steps to return to their ancestral traditions,” while underestimating, perhaps, their will to overcome ignorance of the past, if not indifference to, or indeed outright rejection of, it.[20] It is obvious, in many domains, that Eastern Catholics feel no urgency to re-open old wounds by putting into question their received forms of life: to do so might raise the uncomfortable question of how much we need to change in order, paradoxically, to be ourselves. It takes a certain, and perhaps rare, courage, to put into question one’s own legitimacy, in order to acquire a more authentic identity. Ricoeur argues that “mistakes are something to avoid, and first of all to discover and condemn. It is only after the fact that mistakes show themselves to be a relevant part of the search for the truth.” The path forward, then, involves a revisiting of past, acknowledging “the work of misrecognition in the gaining of recognition.”[21] 

Finally, there is Ricoeur’s nuanced verdict on the importance of preserving asymmetry in the midst of recognition. It may, all things being equally, actually be good for Eastern Catholic theology that Orthodox Christianity continues often to see as contradictory the differences between East and West (and East and East) that we presume to be complementary. The touted unity-in-diversity of Eastern Catholicism may require, that is, the very alterity of our Orthodox—their remaining-in-place, as it were, apart from and even resistant to what may plausibly, in certain instances, be a pre-emptive “course of recognition.” Ricoeur warns against the “pitfalls of a fusional union, whether in love, friendship, or fraternity on a communal or cosmopolitan scale,” appealing for a “just distance [to be] maintained at the heart of mutuality, a just distance that integrates respect into intimacy.”[22]

An Eastern Catholic can readily avoid Schadenfreude at the current disarray in the Eastern Orthodox world over the autocephaly of the Church in Ukraine, by soberly recalling that the historical vicissitudes of the Uniate Churches leave much to be desired. There are no obvious solutions, it appears, to the relationship of the one and many—whether in the Christian Church or in many other arenas of life. Ricoeur’s counsel is that acceptance of “a kind of companionship with misunderstanding, which goes with the ambiguities of an incomplete, open-ended life world, has to replace the fear of error.”[23] Indeed, it may be best to embrace the sense of contingency, of an incomplete identity, which Eastern Catholicism appears to possess nolens-volens. To conclude: I remain equally consoled and convicted by the words of Dominican theologian Aidan Nichols, who frames the Eastern Catholic vocation in terms of the now-but-not-yet:

I propose that Uniatism should be re-read as a term of Christian eschatology. After all, the transformation of a divided Christendom into a unitary communion is itself an eschatological aspiration….who could ever suppose that the integration of all the baptised into a single communion is other than an asymptotic goal—an end that people take as an ideal reference point rather than a practical one?[24]

* * *

[1]. The papers from this panel were collected in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 39:1 (1998), and include contributions by Robert Taft, Peter Galadza, Andriy Chirovsky and Myroslaw Tataryn.

[2]. My book takes as its premise that the work of Ricoeur might illumine the way in which the experience of worship in the Byzantine Rite reshapes our understanding of ourselves, others and the world around us. I have subsequently been inspired in my reading of Ricoeur to seek an application of his hermeneutics to other issues, including those treated here.

[3]. Among the other, cardinal declarations of the Second Vatican Council concerning the Eastern Churches, there is the following: “[T]here exists an admirable bond of union, such that the variety within the Church in no way harms its unity; rather it manifests it, for it is the mind of the Catholic Church that each individual Church or Rite should retain its traditions whole and entire and likewise that it should adapt its way of life to the different needs of time and place.” All, moreover, “should attain to an ever greater knowledge and a more exact use of [their Rite & way of life] and, if in their regard they have fallen short owing to contingencies of times and persons, they should take steps to return to their ancestral traditions” (Orientalium ecclesiarum [1964], §2 & §6). In “What Is Eastern Catholic Theology? Some Ecclesial and Programmatic Dimensions,” Peter Galadza points to Vatican II as the occasion of a paradigm shift: Eastern Churches do not have only distinct a liturgy and canonical tradition, but also a spirituality and, indeed, a proper theology. Eastern Catholics, however, have not taken up the challenge implicit in this affirmation: often fixated on Catholic-Eastern Orthodox axis, indifferent to marks of a “universal” theology concerned with ultimate questions. Indeed, Eastern Catholics since V II have relied, understandably, on their Orthodox brethren. And yet there are new areas to address, which Orthodox have not, or only begun to address. Henceforth, according to Galadza, they are to “appropriate and synthesize currents of thought that until now have been alien to their worldview”; to move away from parochialism, i.e., a “stultifying particularism,” while capitalizing on their “legitimate particularity.” The task is daunting: “The nature of religious hermeneutics per se, the psychological-anthropological study of rites, critical church historical research, the modalities of Revelation, Quantum physics and faith—not to mention the broader area of faith’s relation to science as a whole…” are all areas in which, for Galadza, Eastern Catholic theology is ordered to the present (and future), rather than simply being a rehearsal of the past (Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 39:1 [1998], 67).

[4]. On this moniker, see the following on-line exchange: https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2018/01/30/can-you-be-orthodox-in-communion-with-rome-by-brian-a-butcher-liam-farrer-and-kevin-basil-fritts/ (accessed Feb. 4, 2020).

[5]. Such a line of inquiry will hopefully serve to probe the earnest contention of the founding director of our Sheptytsky Institute, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Andriy Chirovsky: “If to be an Eastern Catholic is to believe that one can simultaneously live the fullness of Orthodox tradition and enjoy the fullness of Catholic communion, then to do Eastern Catholic theology is to be reconciled to the inevitable and unresolvable tension between these two loyalties in the theological realm” (“Orthodox in Communion with Rome: The Antinomic Character of Eastern Catholic Theology,” Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 39, no. 1 (1998): 72). Chirovsky effectively argues that East and West end up at the same destination, following different routes. It is difficult to know, however, how readily this conviction this can be demonstrated. May it be vouchsafed in advance, that is, or can it only be acquired, as it were, upon arrival?

[6]. Myroslaw Tataryn, “What Is Eastern Catholic Theology? Beyond Classicism Towards Liberation,” Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 39, no. 1 (1998): 98.

[7]. Paul Ricoeur, On Translation, trans. Eileen Brennan (London & New York: Routledge, 2004).

[8]. As Ricoeur puts it here: “[G]ive up the ideal of a perfect translation,” for one must accept the “impassable difference of the peculiar and the foreign” (On Translation, 8-9).

[9]. George A. Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age (Louiseville & London: Westminster John Knox Press, 1984), 40. I reflect on this at length in “Naming the Unnameable(?) Liturgical (Un)Translatability and the Challenge of Interreligious Dialogue,” Proceedings of the North American Academy of Liturgy: Annual Meeting, Houston, Texas, 7-9 January, 2016 (July 2017), 67-76.

[10]https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/platonism/#3 (accessed Feb. 4, 2020).

[11]. Ricoeur, On Translation, 14.

[12]. Ricoeur, On Translation, 21.

[13]. See Paul Ricoeur, Critique and Conviction: Conversations with François Azouvi and Marc de Launay, (originally published as La critique et la conviction. Entretien avec François Azouvi et Marc de Launay. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1995), trans. Kathleen Blamey (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998).

[14]. Robert Taft, “Mass Without Consecration? The Historic Agreement on the Eucharist Between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East Promulgated 26 October 2001,” Worship 77, no. 6 (2003): 486–87. In the same passage, Taft continues, “Of course to remain scholarly, this effort must be carried out realistically, without in any way glossing over rea) differences . But even in recognizing differences, this ecumenical effort must remain a two-way street where each side in the dialogue judges itself and its tradition by the exact same criteria and standards with which it judges the other.”

[15]. In his contribution to the CTSA panel (“Eastern Catholic Theology—Is There Any Such Thing? Reflections of a Practitioner,” Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 39:1 (1998): 13-58), Taft offers historical (and contemporary) overview of Eastern Catholic theology, ultimately identifying several notable characteristics: it is a theology in reaction, due to indifference, if not rejection, by both Western Catholics & (Eastern) Orthodox; it is “in the making”: diffident, conscious of the Other(s); it is “self-conscious” due to small size & stature; it is “open & unashamedly eclectic”: mixing East & West; “rejects the pseudo-antithesis” b/n East & West, and false polarization; it “forms an integrated whole”: connected to its ascetic & aesthetic contexts; it is “ecumenical”: seeks to “reconcile & unite, rather than confute & dominate.” Curiously, Taft praises the first “millennium of [the Church’s] undivided unity” as evidence of essential complementarity of East and West, ignoring the facts—of which he is undoubtedly well aware—of the portentous separation of Greek and Latin Christians, by the 5th c., from their Assyrian & “Oriental” (Non-Chalcedonian) co-religionists. One wonders in turn about this historic loss of communion between imperial and the non-Greek East, particularly about what the consequently dyadic view of the (Chalcedonian) Church implies for discerning what counts as “authentic magisterium,” or Tradition-with-a-capital-‘T’? For Taft himself argues that we must take account of “full spectrum” of tradition: furthermore, those who have “unilaterally” modified it are, in his view, principally responsible for resolving ensuing conflicts.

[16] See Ch. 1 of On Translation.

[17]. Jaroslav Pelikan, Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2003), 407–08. Pelikan affirming the principled unity of doctrine and worship in his discussion of the “symbolical books” of Orthodox Christianity, asserting that despite its genre the text of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (the usual eucharistic formulary of the Byzantine Rite) finds itself included in collections of these “books” (the creeds and canons of church councils as well as the “confessions” of Orthodox hierarchs) because it stands as a criterion of the faith. See Pelikan, Credo, 405. A more extended discussion of this issue can be found in the first chapter of my Liturgical Theology after Schmemann, referred to above. 

[18]. Paul Ricoeur, The Course of Recognition, trans. David Pellauer (Harvard University Press, 2007), 254.

[19]. Ricoeur, The Course of Recognition, 257.

[20]Orientalium ecclesiarum (1964), §6. 

[21]. Ricoeur, The Course of Recognition, 259.

[22]. Ricoeur, The Course of Recognition, 263.

[23]. Ricoeur, The Course of Recognition, 256–57.

[24]. Aidan Nichols, Rome and the Eastern Churches: A Study in Schism, 2 Ed. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010), 19.