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Ea Semper was an apostolic letter written by Pius X in 1907 that dealt with the governance of the Eastern Catholics in the United States.[1] It was written in September 1907.

The letter dealt with the appointment of Stephen Soter Ortynski as the first bishop of the Ruthenian Catholics in the United States and his powers and duties, and the general constitution of the Greek Rite in America was published.

It created considerable dissatisfaction among the Greek Rite clergy and laity as it did not provide for any diocesan authority for the new bishop. It instead making him an auxiliary to the Latin Rite bishops.

It also modified several of their differences from the Latin Rite. Confirmation was no longer to conferred at baptism, and could only be given by a bishop. No new married priests were to be ordained in America or to be sent to America. There were also some changes to the regulations when a person from the Latin Rite and Greek Rite were married.

It created considerable dissatisfaction among Eastern Catholics in America, and to a lesser extent in Europe. This in turn resulted in many conversions to Russian Orthodoxy, particularly in America, therefore adding to the movement that began in 1892 under the Alexis Toth, who the Russian Orthodox Church has made a saint. Although critics would insist that Pan Slav nationalism was more to blame for this than genuine religious feeling, a further 80,000 or so would leave Rome for Orthodoxy after publication of the Papal Apostolic letter Ea Semper in 1907 by Pius X (insisting that all new Uniate priests in America were celibate; Uniate clergy have traditionally been allowed to marry). The Russian Orthodox Church in America claim that by 1916, the Roman Catholic church had lost 163 Uniate parishes, with over 100,000 faithful, to the Russian missionary diocese.[2]

References

  1. ^  "Greek Catholics in America". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  2. ^ Mark Stokoe and the Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, Orthodox Christians In North America: 1794-1994, Chapter 2: "Immigration and Conversion". From the [www.oca.org website] of the Orthodox Church in America.

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