Page 8, 1st September 1939

1st September 1939
Page 8
Page 8, 1st September 1939 — THE EASTERN CHURCH
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People: Donald Attwater
Locations: Brede, Irak

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THE EASTERN CHURCH

SI R ,—I have noted two statements concerning the Catholic Church (Eastern Rites) which have surprised me greatly, First, in your DUMP dated August 4 you answered a question concerning numbers of the Eastern Rites. Those given of Catholics of the Coptic Byzantine, Abyssinian, and Syrian Rites are greater than those given by Scotland Fortescue. I expect this, because naturally the Church should be increasing, but your other figures disagree, in many cases to a remarkable extent, with Scott. You say there are 100,000 Catholics of the Armenian Rite, he says there are 135,000. True, he says a large number was formerly massacred, but surely not 35,000! Then you say there are 366,000 Maronites, but Scott says there are 300,000 in Syria alone, and 130,000 in America. Also, is there not a Chaldean Rite? You omitted even a mention of it, with Its 60,000 members! Your most remarkable statement was concerning the Malabar Rite, which you call the Malankara Rite and which the Catholic Directory divides into the Syro Malabar and Syro Malankara Rites. You say there are 36,000, but Scott says there are half a million. I would like to know the truth concerning this.

Secondly, in your issue of August 11 you say there are three Byzantine (Ruthenian) dioceses, "and the small Armenian Catholic group has its own Archbishop at Livon (where, by the way, are also Catholic and Orthodox Archbishops—a unique circumstance, surely)," What do you mean by the " Catholic " Archbishop? Have not the Catholics of the Byzantine and Armenian Rites just as good a claim to be called plain " Catholics "? I suppose the Archbishop in question is of the Latin Rite, I think it is very unfair in such cases to call members of our own rite " Catholic " and to members of other rites with a modifying adjective.

A. C. LAVENDER. Brede, Sussex, [information on the number of Catholics of Eastern Rite was compiled from the " Orbis Catholicus," published in 1958 by Burns Oates and Washbourne and edited by Donald Attwater, a writer of wide authority on matters concerning the Eastern Rites. The figures in respect of the Chaldean Rite were inadvertently omitted in the details concerning the way in which the total figure of 8,365,800 was made up. These figures for the Chaldean Rite are as follows: 95,000 Chaldeans in Irak, Syria, U.S.A.; 632,800 Malabarese in India. Reference was made to 36,000 Malankarese belonging to the Antiochene Rite, who are clearly to be dis• tinguished from the 632,800 Malabarese belonging ` to the Chaldean Rite.—

EDITOR.]




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