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Greek Orthodox and Catholic church merge in Puerto Rico

San Esperidion becomes the centre of a 'Greco-Catholic Byzantine community'

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The Vicar General of the Archdiocese, father Alberto Figueroa Morales and Archimandrite Peter DiLeo explain the Community agreement document between the two churches.

18 August 2017

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since the East-West schism of 1054 that saw the separation of the 'Roman' Catholic church from the 'Greek' Orthodox one and if anyone needs proof of that, need not look any further than Puerto Rico.

There, in Trujillo Alto, the Pan Orthodox Church of San Espiridion (St. Spyridon), built in the 1930s by missionaries from by the Archdiocese of Mexico of the Greek Orthodox Church in the diaspora, merged with the Catholic church to form a 'Greco-Catholic Byzantine community'. Practically this meant a transition of authority from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to the Archbishop of San Juan of Puerto Rico.

The welcome ceremony was presided over by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, father Alberto Figueroa Morales on behalf of the Archbishop Latin Archbishop, Metropolitan Roberto González, who was commemorated along with Pope Francis.

Despite being part of the Catholic church, the priests and parishioners will continue celebrating the Divine Liturgy and sacred mysteries according to the Byzantine tradition, and the continuous liturgy in the Church Slavonic language, English and Spanish. They will also keep following the old (Julian) calendar instead of the Gregorian one.

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PhotiK, the article you link to clearly says the parish was under the Ecumenical Patriarch. I could not find anywhere in the article that the pairsh was given permission to go to the RC or to any other jusrisdiction? Have you heard of Esfigmenou Monastery? The EP does not take kindly to institutions under his jurisdiction jumping ship. I'll keep my eye on the EP's web site to see if they remove San Espiridon from its list of parishes.
PhotiK, not so! Where did you get your info? The Ecumenical Patriarchate's website lists St. Spyridon in Puerto Rico as one of its parishes under the Holy Metropolis of Mexico. (see https://www.patriarchate.org/holy-metropolis-of-mexico ) The below excerpt is taken from that linked page. Πουέρτο Ρίκο 25. Ἱερός Ναός Ἁγ. Σπυρίδωνος ἐν Πουέρτο Ρίκο. St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Mission. Ταχ. διεύθυνσις: Urb. Rio Cristal, Encantada, RJ13 Via Amazonas, Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Tηλ.-Fax (787) 760.7476. Ἱερατ. Προϊστάμενος: Πρεσβ. Πέτρος Dileo.
NO, the "church" was listed as part of the Greek Orthodox Church, but has official left and become schismatic. Their is no joint agreement. This "church" is a community parish that left one jurisdiction to join another. Please see article: https://holysynergy.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/breaking-news-the-orthodox-church-of-puerto-rico-enters-into-communion-with-the-catholic-church/
How misinformed the author of this article is. St. Spyridon's in Puerto Rico was not established in the 1930's but in 1996. The church they have been using for the past 10 years was built in the 1930's and was given by the Roman Catholic Archbishop to the Orthodox mission to be used for no monetary compensation. Apparently the Metropolitan Athenagoras from Mexico had no money left to help them build their own Church. To answer the previous comment from PhotiK, the mission was always under the Ecumenical Patriarchate (except for a short time with ROCOR) since it's beginning in the late 1990's. The majority of the faithful are from slavic countries and the few Greeks that attended were always causing problems because "the church was not Greek enough". Well, now they have a chance to ask their Metropolitan for a full blooded Greek to attend to their spiritual needs and leave the rest of the community alone as they continue to worship God, only now the worship Him in Peace and without fear (of the Metropolitan).
This is not a "greek Orthodox Church" but a self-named church that is Roman Catholic that performs that is a Uniate "byzantine rite" of the Roman Catholic Church. They use the Greek style of worship and have all the external features f the Greek orthodox Church, but have never been with or under a Greek Orthodox Church. Confusing, yes its the Catholic way of getting converts by creating a hybrid "church" with elements of both traditions.
PhotiK, not so! Where did you get your info? Aghios Spyridon is listed on the Ecumenical Patriarch's website as a church belonging to the Holy Metropolis of Mexico, which is listed under the somewhat vague category "Other Orthodox Chrisitan Entities Under the Ecumenial Patriarchate" Below is an excerpt from website: https://www.patriarchate.org/holy-metropolis-of-mexico Πουέρτο Ρίκο 25. Ἱερός Ναός Ἁγ. Σπυρίδωνος ἐν Πουέρτο Ρίκο. St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Mission. Ταχ. διεύθυνσις: Urb. Rio Cristal, Encantada, RJ13 Via Amazonas, Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Tηλ.-Fax (787) 760.7476. Ἱερατ. Προϊστάμενος: Πρεσβ. Πέτρος Dileo.

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