Altar Girls now accepted by the Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak

Altar Girls now accepted by the Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak

Friday, September 2, 2016

More Springtime: Altar Girls for Eastern Rite Too

Written by Michael Matt | Editor

Dear Remnant,

I’m a subscriber to your newspaper and I took these two photos on my cellphone last Sunday.

I went last Sunday, August 30, 2016, to visit Resurrection Coptic Catholic Church at 328 14 Street in Brooklyn. This parish is, from what I understand, one of only two Coptic Egyptian parishes in the USA.

The Coptic Catholic Patriarch, Ibrahim Isaac Sidrack, was present as a visitor. He was appointed just in 2013 and is a successor of St. Athanasius.

But you may notice that under this Patriarch they now have altar girls (see altar girl on the left).

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Another oasis where traditional churchgoers used to find refuge is gone, and St. Athanasius would turn over in his grave.

Lou Niewiadomski
Staten Island, NY

Editor’s Note: Thanks, Mr. Niewiadomski. Back in the 1980s my family took refuge in the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Mass of St. John Chrysostom. It was a beautiful haven at that time, far removed from Vatican madness and largely untouched by the evil spirit of Vatican II.

But the Ukrainians, many of whom had fled the Soviet menace, thought they’d arrived in God’s promised land here in America. They let down their guard almost immediately. They underestimated the liturgical innovations that were on the horizon, as well as the cultural threat and its ability to rob their children of any desire to preserve the customs of the old country–customs that had survived Stalinist persecution but were no match for MTV.

The result? Within one generation, the very same church that had been packed to the walls Sunday after Sunday back in the ’80s–that had enjoyed ample support to renovate the entire building, with the pastor even managing to bring in world-class artists to transform the dome and all the beautiful icons–is today barely able to keep the doors of the church open, let alone find young men to walk with the priest through “the doors, the doors.” With ample room to sit now on any Sunday morning, only a few old timers are left, with the young people conspicuous by their absence.

The modern zeitgeist — in liturgy and culture — that was so warmly invited into the Catholic Church fifty years ago has proven to be a demonic entity that has wrought the unilateral and universal destruction of everything our fathers and mothers held sacred and would have died for.

And as your note and photo show, the Eastern Rites were just a generation behind us, and catching up fast.

Again, well played, Vatican II!

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5 comments on “Altar Girls now accepted by the Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak

  1. [Also by the Melkites in their homeland in Lebanon]

    From the Mar Elias Community website (serving San Jose and the Bay Area, CA):

    It is said that a picture is worth thousand words. A family from our community, visiting lebanon, sent to the website the pictures below, taken at the Melkite Archdiocese in Beirut, during a liturgy led by Archbishop Cyril Bustros.

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    For those who are still living in the middle ages, who believe that traditions are sacred, please come out from the darkness and step into the future.

    • Tom — what a find. If I’m reading their website correctly, these Catholics are mostly refugees. They are upset that their priest and bishop are updating them. From stelias.homestead.com/Thoughts.html


      The Melkite Church did not come to America as a missionary to expand the Melkite faith. Our beloved church came here to look after its children, after us. The Church came here on the demand of our ancestors, because of their thirst to have their church to look after them and to keep their Melkite faith instead of migrating to other churches.

      The Melkite Church, like Christianity, has originated in the Middle East. Pushing us into strange beliefs, is like uprooting us from our origin, thus achieving the goals of those who want the Middle East free of Christians. Persons like and including the so called priest, are trying to finish the work that those evil forces have been doing in the Middle East. Our church came here to keep us in faith, to give our diaspora the support and hope it needs to stay connected and to preserve our identity.

      Christians in the Middle East are being persecuted, kicked out of their homes, and slaughtered. Our families and loved ones keep suffering. But how does this so called priest know that, since he has no TV.


      I say ‘if I’m reading them correctly’ because some of their writing can be taken two ways, e.g., “For those who are still living in the middle ages, who believe that traditions are sacred, please come out from the darkness and step into the future.” It must be their way of speaking mixed with our English idioms. “Step into the future” always has a bad connotation for me, however, the author is calling folks to wake up and defend their sacred traditions, I think.

      • Actually, they are upset that their priest and bishop are NOT updating them – with things such as altar girls.

        Also, they are criticizing their pastor for not having a TV (which he says they should get rid) but also for home-schooling his children (so far six, although not all of school age).

        The archbishop mentioned and pictured as offering Divine Liturgy with altar girls is the former Melkite bishop for the United States. The current one wrote a letter to the dissident parishioners in defense of his priest, saying that while the Latin (Roman Catholic) Church may have altar girls, that is not the practice and tradition of the Melkite Church. The quote “For those who are still living in the middle ages, who believe that traditions are sacred, please come out from the darkness and step into the future” is further criticism of the priest and his bishop.

        • Wow – my first intuition was correct. They want to be updated. Well, there are plenty of options, right? But I guess they need to wreck it for everyone.

          • In one sense, it was to be expected, eventually, albeit most regretfully.

            The Oriental Rites have made numerous concessions to Nuovo Roma, already.

            I know firsthand that the Byzantiners bought into the heretical notion of “going Ortho” at least a decade ago when they dropped the “Filioque” from their “JPII, We Wuv Yoooo!” liturgy.

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