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Liturgical Latinisation

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Liturgical Latinisation, also known as Latinisation is the process by which liturgical and other aspects of the Churches of Eastern Christianity (particularly the Eastern Catholic Churches, but also those of the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Oriental Orthodox Churches) were altered to resemble more closely the practices of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. This process particularly occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries, until it was forbidden by Pope Leo XIII in 1894 with his encyclical Orientalium Dignitas. Latinisation is a contentious issue in many churches, and has been called responsible for various schisms. [1]

In recent years Eastern Catholic Churches have been returning to ancient Eastern practices in accord with the Vatican II decree, Orientalium Ecclesiarum. It mandated that authentic Eastern Catholic practices were not to be set aside in favour of imported Latin Rite ones. This further encouraged the movement to return to authentic Eastern liturgical practice, theology and spirituality.[2]


  1. Descy (1993), pp. 58-59, describes one such schism in the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, caused by the 1857 adoption of the Gregorian Calendar
  2. Parry (1999), p. 292


  • Descy, Serge (1993). The Melkite Church. Boston: Sophia Press. 
  • Parry, Ken; David Melling (editors) (1999). The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity. Malden, MA.: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-23203-6. 

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