Western Rite and Old Calendarists

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Western-rite communities make up a substantial portion of the Old Calendarists in the United States, so much so that there have been claims that Western-rite Old calendar communities outnumber every other jurisdiction of traditionalist Orthodox communities in the United States, Western Europe and Australia, and make up the second largest Western-rite Orthodox community in the United States. The majority of these parishes are under the Holy Synod of Milan.

There are two monasteries (and dependencies) in Canada and Australia, under the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia using the Sarum Rite as well as other Western rites.

The Western Rite among the Old Calendarists

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It was natural that Orthodox of the Western Rite would have the same fear that Uniates held - that the bodies that they had abandoned would, somehow, re-absorb them. The Moscow Patriarchate took the unique step of completely abandoning their Western-rite structures, the majority of which joined the either, in the Americas, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church or, in France, the Romanian Church.

This actually placed these Western Rite communities in the position of having to exist on their own, in some cases perpetuating their hierarchy (Church of France), in some cases expanding it (UAOC, later Milan Synod), but these bodies continued to exist in a manner basically unchanged from that which they had been formed earlier. This fact introduced a new reality into Western Orthodoxy that had not previously existed: since their original mission was not simply to become a "Western branch" of the "Eastern Church", but to actually become organically Western Orthodox bodies, these parishes set to work restoring every pre-schismatic usage available that was Western, and by the mid-1970's, there were fully Orthodox bodies using completely pre-schismatic rituals in origin, which were no longer in communion with anyone.

In 1969, ROCOR intervened in the Old Calendarist situatino by recognising the consecrations of six Bishops for the Florinites. In 1984, fifteen years later, the Primate of the Greek Old Calendarists at the time, Archbishop Auxentios of Athens, established a provincial Missionary Synod for Western Europe and the Americas (known as the "Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe and the Americas", lated the Milan Synod) which eventually absorbed the various American communities using a Western rite in 1997. In Europe, the Synod uses the Ambrosian rite annually and Mozarabic rites in certain Spanish chapels.

The French Church, part of the Western Rite Mission of the Moscow Patriarchate, was given a Bishop by St John of Shanghai and San Francisco (a ROCOR bishop), although being on the New Calendar. The ROCOR also received the petition of Abbot Augustine (Whitfield) into the ROCOR in 1975. However, the ROCOR officially rejected the use of Western rites on Sept 5/18, 1978 in its Synodal declarations of that yearcitation needed. The use of the Western rites gradually gained reacceptancecitation needed, and in 1993, Christminster monastery was blessed to open by Archbishop Hilarion (Kapral), who later became the First-Hierarch of the ROCOR.

See also