Christian orthodoxy continued
The Christian churches in all the Balkans — this includes the Czechoslovakians, Romanians, Poles and others not already mentioned have always retained uninterrupted liturgies and church arts that the Russian Orthodox have claimed as only theirs. And this goes back to an early special “deal” that the Roman Catholic Pope cut with all those who chose to follow him when the great schism occurred. These “old school” Christians, whose priests married and who performed the liturgy in their native tongues would be allowed to do so, and continue to do so to this very day. Thus, all the original rites continued, and byzantine art proliferated as part of a proud heritage which made it distinct culturally from its brothers to the west. So, although, and this gets a little confusing, Romanians who are Catholic, ie following the pope are referred to as Romanian Greek Catholics, they are as Orthodox as just about any old Russian Orthodoxian out there. They sing the same old hymns, have the same old art, old liturgies — you get the idea. It is almost like the Christians having Latin as their universal language. I love to listen to a particular Romanian singer as she sings hymns which I largely understand in Ukrainian because of the melody and certain words translating closely enough.
I would love to see this part of the world close ranks and unite in the one proud heritage which they share, Byzantine Christianity. No one “owns” God. Let’s open our hearts and minds to truth, beauty and goodness, which our cultures and Christian heritage demands. Enter deeply into the icons that we hold so dear and find our truth there. I believe it will all be one in Christ. Amen.
see my icons at http://www.frangelicoblueicons.com