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.