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Why Look East?

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“Looking East”  is a work of charity guided by the light of the Roman Magisterium (since Pope Leo XIII in particular), regarding the life & role of the eastern Church in the catholic Church.

We take the Apostolic Letter Orientale Lumen as the ‘charter’ of the project, sharing the Pontiff’s “passionate longing that the full manifestation of the Church’s catholicity be restored to the Church and to the world”. (Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II, Light of the East, paragraph 1 – May 2, 1995. Emphasis added, ed.)

For decades, both Eastern & Western Catholic members of the National Coalition apostolate have lived & labored side by side. Our episcopal advisor of many years, now deceased – His Lordship Roman Danylak, former Eparch of Toronto & Titular Bishop of Nyssa – was an Eastern (Kievan/Ukrainian) Catholic hierarch. Some of NCCL’s principal advisors and directors are Eastern Catholics.

Still, it was the events of the Roman Synods of the Eastern Churches in October 2010 at Rome that appeared as a sign of providence to launch formally the current project.

A principal aim of the charity is to bring compassionate relief to suffering Eastern Christians. Also, to make a contribution, however small, to maintain the unique presence of Christians — in Middle Eastern & Muslim lands especially — as living witnesses to Christ’s mission of Peace to men of good will. Their witness to Christ is essential to the conversion of the peoples and the transformation of their societies.

We also collaborate to educate Latin & other Western Christians (e.g., the reborn Anglo-Catholic communities) about the “Light of the East” and the role of those churches in the universal Church.

By “Looking East” Catholics especially of the West will learn the importance of the Eastern Church, that it is an essential part of the holy Catholic Church, and why.

For to look East is to rediscover what since the beginning is held in common East & West, and thus to come to know the criterion for what truly is catholic and orthodox — in order to believe precisely what is confessed by holy Church, instead of a substitute confessionalism.

Because dogmatic formulation and, to a degree, the formulation of sacred liturgy and the birth of consecrated life took place in the Christian East, we ought to allow perspectives, choices, decisions et cetera to be guided by what is common to the Christian East & the Christian West.

“Looking East” helps Western Christians to support existing schools, seminaries and centers of study (or cultural preservation), and to collaborate to establish new ones for & with Eastern Christians in their native lands or wherever their communities now concentrate.

We also hope to continue helping Eastern Christians to avoid or to overcome the same errors and spiritual diseases of the current crisis of Faith and culture that have afflicted the members of the Western Catholic churches.

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