Category Archives: Eastern Church

Milan Lach appointed to Parma Eparchy

Today, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, as Apostolic Administrator for the Eparchy of Parma (OH). He is currently auxiliary bishop of Prešov of the Byzantines, Slovakia.
 
Bishop Milan Lach, S.J. 44, was educated at the Greek Catholic Theological Faculty of Prešov and then in 1995 he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Trnava. As a Jesuit scholastic he earned a degree in theology which led to his being ordained priest in 2001 in Košice.
 
From 2001 to 2003 Lach studied at the Center of Spirituality East-West of Michal Lacko in Košice and later (2009-2011) he was Superior of the same center; he also studied at Rome’s Pontifical Oriental Institute. Among the other ministries he engaged he was the spiritual father at the Pontifical Collegium Russicum and also as spiritual assistant of the Federation of Scouts of Europe in Rome.
On 19 April 2013, Pope Francis appointed Lach as auxiliary bishop of the archieparchy of Prešov of the Byzantines, Slovakia. Since 2016 he has been visitor of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches of the Seminaries and Oriental Colleges in Rome.
The Eparchy of Parma has been vacant since Bishop John Kudrick resigned in 2016. The Eparchy cover 12 US states.
Bishop Milan said,
“It’s interesting that my grandfather on my mother’s side, John Zavacky, was born near Chicago, on the territory of the present-day Parma Eparchy, and at age 4 returned with his parents and siblings back to Osturnja in Austria-Hungary, today in Kežmarok district. And so you see, history repeats itself. Just as my great-grandfather went off to the U.S. to find work more than 100 years ago, so will I go there now, so with God’s help I can guide these faithful and be a father to them.”
May Our Lady and St Ignatius of Loyola, pray for Bishop Milan, and us.

Joseph Absi new Melkite Patriarch

Archbishop Joseph Absi, Patriarchal Vicar for Damascus, has been elected as the new Melkite Patriarch. Axios!‬

The new Patriarch celebrated his 71st birthday yesterday. He is 44 years a priest and 15 years a bishop and a member of the Melkite Paulist Order.

Eis pollá eti Déspota!

Husar was remarkable

Last week the Catholic Church lost the former head and father of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the person of Lubomyr Cardinal Husar, the emeritus patriarch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

After years of diminishing health, the Patriarch-cardinal-monk was called home to the Father at the age of 84. Many have said Husar was the voice of the voiceless, and friend to many, and moral conscience in the reawakening of Ukraine. Of the many things written of His Beatitude recently I think George Weigel’s piece in the National Review is a very good one to sit with, and reflect upon, to offer a prayer in gratitude for Lubomyr Husar.

I recommend “The Remarkable Life of Lubomyr Husar.”

Eternal Memory, Your Beatitude. Pray for us.

Some Patriarchs meet for first time

Today, the first time in history that the Patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople, & Alexandria (Greek & Coptic) have been in the same place, same time.‬

St Peter, St Mark and St Paul, pray for us.

May the Theotokos guide us to her Son.

Orthodox ordain women deacons

The Orthodox Church of Alexandria (Egypt and all of Africa) ordained a few women to the diaconate. His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, did the ordination on February 17, 2017 in the  Democratic Republic of Congo.

In a slight contrast, The Church of Greece officially “brought back” the female diaconate in 2004, though one Metropolitan had ordained a nun in 1986.

In this picture you see the women being tonsured a reader, which happens outside the altar (iconostasis) leading to being ordained deaconesses. A news brief is here.

Theologically in the Orthodox Church, ordination is not an ontological change. The Roman Church holds to a theology that says at priestly ordination the soul is changed ontologically. There is a hot debate in Roman Church about what happens to the man when ordained to the Order of Deacon (is there a change at the level of the soul?). That change happens when one receives the Mysteries of Initiation (scraments): baptism, chrismation Eucharist —one becomes a “new creation” in Jesus Christ. It may be more accurate to say that Pope Theodoros II consecrated but not ordained the women. In any event, this gesture is very significant and forward thinking and right.

Continuing in the ancient tradition Ordination, rather, is the setting apart for a specific task, for example as a reader, sub-deacon, deacon, priest, or bishop. Hence, the diakonia is lived according to rank: servant, elder, overseer. These women are being set aside for a specific task within the Alexandrian Church of Alexandria, a task which appropriately belongs to the order of deacons –the women were blessed into a minor order (cheirothesia). Yet, the exact nature of their diaconal ministry is unclear except to say they will be working for the mission of the Church. Also, absent from view is the liturgical text and rubrics used by the Alexandrian Pope. Some of the markers of this ordination are the towels and washing of the bishop’s hands, which are clearly pictured.

There is a Pan-Orthodox document (Consultation on Rhodes, 1988) stating that the church had, indeed, ordained females to the diaconate and recognized that, in some places, it had never fallen out of practice.

The Orthodox Church names women who fulfiled the ministry in the Order of Deacon and are saints: St Tatiana (January 12), St Olympias (July 25), and St Foebe (September 3).

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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