Talk:Annunciation Melkite Catholic Cathedral (Roslindale, Massachusetts)

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Additional Information[edit]

There's some good information about the Cathedral in the publication Melkites in America: A Directory and Informative Handbook (1971, The Melkite Exarchate). It's a bit old but it has details on the current cathedral. Here's a sample:

  • The sixth pastor, Archimandrite John Bassoul, recognized the need for a new church when he was assigned as pastor and established a plan for obtaining the land for the cathedral. (pp. 63-64)
  • Groundbreaking was May 31, 1964. Cardinal Richard Cushing personally pledged $300,000 at the banquet following the groundbreaking ceremony and launched a building fund drive. (p. 64)
  • On October 15, 1964 the building contract was awarded and construction of the new church and rectory began. (p. 64)
  • The rectory was ready for occupancy in Feb. 1966. The church was finished shortly thereafter, with the first liturgy celebrated there on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 1966. The altar was consecrated by Bishop Thomas J. Reilly on April 23 and the following day the building was solemnly dedicated. (p. 64)

There's probably more information in back issues of the Boston Herald and Sophia magazine. Please let me know if I can be of help. Thanks. - User:Majoreditor (23:00 28 January 2009.)

You're welcome to add that material to the article. No wonder there's a portrait of Cdl. Cushing in the foyer of the cathedral. Chonak (talk) 04:06, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for info[edit]

Thanks for the info. I'll expand the article before the end of the weekend. It is good to have another reference beside the Cathedral's own website. It's a nice place, I hit mass there for the first time Sunday. Boston (talk) 04:17, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Incidentally, if you happen to have a photo of Abp. Cyril, it might come in handy. The current photo used on his page is subject to deletion because WP doesn't have a clear permission on file from the image creator. Chonak (talk) 20:23, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
No, but if I run into him (very unlikely) I'll ask him to say "الجبن" and I'll try to get one. --Boston (talk) 23:18, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Small question[edit]

...about one of the statements in the article. It currently says that the eparchate is immediately subject to the Holy See. I think it's subject to the Melkite patriarch of Antioch. I tried to find a statement in the citation but couldn't find the the correct web page. Can you point me in the right direction?

I'm happy to help out tracking down an answer to this or other issues if needed. Cheers, Majoreditor (talk) 05:58, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

If I understand right, eparchies in the diaspora are legally subject to the Holy See; the bishop is appointed by the Pope. That is presumably in addition to whatever obligations the Eparchy has to the Patriarch and the Synod. Chonak (talk) 06:26, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
Incidentally, I'd suggest leaving that fact ("is immediately subject to the Holy See") out of the lead of this article; really, it's a detail about the eparchy and belongs in that article. Chonak (talk) 06:37, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

In the diaspora, almost all canonical jurisdictions of Eastern and Oriental Catholic Churches are indeed 'immediately subject' to the Holy See, except in matters liturgical. As to those, they are subject to their Patriarch (or primatial hierarch - Major Archbishop or Metropolitan) and Synod (or Council of Hierarchs, in the case of the Metropolitan Churches sui iuris).

For these purposes, the diaspora should be understood as 'outside the historical bounds' of the patriarchate, major archepiscopate, or metropolia. The sole exceptions are those instances in which there is an intervening level of jurisdiction present (ex. the Ukrainian eparchies in the US are subject to the Metropolitan Archeparchy of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians - only the Archeparchy is immediately subject to Rome.) In the case of sui iuris Churches of only eparchial rank, all jurisdictions are - theoretically - immediately subject.

BUT (there's always a BUT when it comes to the East), the above is not always strictly followed. If you look through David Cheney's Catholic Hierarchy site, you'll note Eparchies in Europe and South America that are 'subject' to or constituent/suffragn dioceses of Latin Metropolia. In Australia, the Uke Eparchy is, but neither the Melkite, Maronite, nor Chaldean Eparchies (they are immediately subject to Rome). Why the distinction? Who knows? Although, since the authority of a Latin Metropolitan Archbishop these days is not very impressive, it matters little.Irish Melkite (talk) 14:33, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Some Inaccuracies[edit]

"In 1976, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the United States was elevated from the status of an Exarchate to that of an Eparchy, making the Annunciation Melkite Catholic Cathedral independent of the ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston."

Not sure what the source was for this - but the latter half of it is inaccurate. The Cathedral did not become independent of the Archdiocese of Boston by reason of the elevation of the Exarchate. The Cathedral was never dependent on the Archdiocese - a Cathedral is not a juridic person and has no dependency; it, like any church, is ecclesiastical territory of the canonical jurisdiction to which it belongs - the exarchate and later eparchy, in this instance.

As to the exarchate itself, it was never subject to the Archdiocese, as all Apostolic Exarchates are immediately subject to Rome. It merely happened that the Cathedral was sited within the geographic bounds of the Boston Archdiocese. In fact, when the Latin Archbishop of Boston steps onto the grounds of the Melkite Cathedral, he leaves his canonical jurisdiction and may not wear those insignia of his office that are restricted to a bishop within his jurisdiction, except by leave of the Melkite Eparch.

"Canon 390 The diocesan Bishop may use pontificalia throughout his diocese. He may not do so outside his diocese without the consent of the local Ordinary, either expressly given or at least reasonably presumed."

I reworked the paragraph to read:

"In 1976, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the United States was elevated from the status of an Exarchate to that of an Eparchy. On May 8, 1977, at a Patriarchal Liturgy served at the Cathedral, the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton was canonically erected with Archbishop Joseph Tawil as Eparch."

noting that it occurred at a Patriarchal Liturgy and replacing "officially established" with the more correct terminology "canonically erected".Irish Melkite (talk) 15:24, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

I was wondering about that. My guess is that the parish was subject to the local Latin rite ordinary until the exarchate was erected, at which time the parish became the episcopal see and would have been outside the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Boston. Majoreditor (talk) 15:50, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
You're correct, Me.Irish Melkite (talk) 09:32, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
All or almost all changes in phrasing were made to avoid plagiarizing the cathedral website. Knowing that editors familiar with the subject were anticipating the article and would correct any mistakes I had made, I didn't agonize over these too much but rather put my faith in the collaborative process. Thanks for fixing what needed to be fixed. The cathedral should be a DYK on the front page sometime this weekend. I'll try to get down there this week and get an external photo that might be used on the front page, but if someone has an external photo to upload that would save me a trip. If you have a photo but aren't familiar with the upload process and what licensing to use, drop a note on my talk page. Thanks and happy Candlemas (the Anglican Rite Catholics at St. Theresa's in W. Roxbury center will celebrate it tonight, BTW.)

Proposed addition to history[edit]

"In the year 2000(??), a new building was erected on the cathedral property to contain the bishop's residence, offices for the eparchy, and the residence for seminarians (St. Gregory Seminary), to replace the former eparchial building in Newton Centre, destroyed by fire in 1998 (??)." Chonak (talk) 18:51, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Other rectors[edit]

Other Cathedral rectors not mentioned in the article yet include Fr. Adib Bidaoui, Fr. John Azar, Fr. Edward Kakaty, and Fr. Robert Rabbat (current as of 2009). There may be others. Is this important enough information to include in an encyclopedia? Maybe not. Chonak (talk) 18:56, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

  • For mentioning the rectors, or the fire and subsequent relocation, what's needed is a reference so that it can be included without being original research. --Boston (talk) 18:58, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

A Suggestion That The Process Slow Down[edit]

I'm not heavily involved in Wikipedia, because of time constraints, so I admit to knowing nothing about "DYK" - other than understanding what the letters mean. However, I presume that it is some form of a featured presentation of a page.

If such is the case, I admire the enthusiasm of those who would rush this page there, but suggest that it is nowhere near ready for any such venue. I didn't have a lot of time when I read it before, but knew there were still issues with it.

I've made none of these changes yet because: some involve decision-making as to the approach that the article will take, and need input from others; a few may not be possible to include because they will be difficult or impossible to verify and cite (Cushing's political manuvering to make the land purchase feasible); and, several will require some time investment to put my hands on the references to support them, if agreement is reached on addressing them.

In more or less, but not absolute, order from the current text:

1. Title

Although shortened seemingly everywhere for purposes of space, the formal name of the church is Our Lady of the Annunciation Melkite Greek-Catholic Cathedral (typically acronymed as OLAC).

Note the hyphenization of Greek and Catholic, which is intended to distinguish between Byzantine Greek Catholics (the small sui iuris Catholic Church in Greece, whose faithful are virtually all ethnic Greek) and those Catholics who belong to other of the Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris whose liturgical and praxis origins are in the Byzantine Rite (initially served in Greek) - but are decidely not ethnic Greek.

2. The Cathedral, the Eparch, the Eparchy

There is too much mix and match throughout. The Cathedral (any cathedral) is a physical place. It is the principal church of the Eparchy; it is the seat of the Eparch. Sayedna Cyril is the current bishop of the Eparchy - not the Cathedral, as suggested by the text as presently written. He is the pastor of the Cathedral and the cathedral parish, as every bishop is of his cathedral church.

Elsewhere, facts and/or events that apply to the Eparch or the Eparchy are presented as if they relate to the Cathedral.

3. Origins

The Cathedral's origins (despite what the history on the website indicates) do not trace to 1910 - but to 1908, in terms of a physical structure. The dating is earlier in terms of a worshipping community, as Father Joseph Simon, BSO, began traveling from Lawrence to periodically offer the Divine Liturgy for Boston's Melkite community in 1896.

Note - from the same website - that we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the parish in 2008. The first Divine Liturgy was served in the church at Harrison Avenue in November 1908, although the building was not blessed and dedicated until June 1910 (we were not high on the "to do" list of the Boston Latin hierarchy).

4. Consistency in Titling

Both Fathers Nicholas (Ghannem), BSO, and Lucian (Malouf), BSO, should be titled Archimandrite, if Father John (Bassoul), BSO, is to be.

5. Understatement

The facts surrounding purchase of the land need elaboration. It was city-owned and designated as conservation land. Under Massachusetts law at the time, the city could not sell it without legislative approval and the sale itself was controversial, as the VFW Parkway was a non-commercial roadway. Cardinal Cushing's political intervention to get approval and bring the sale to fruition was at least as important as his financial pledge - perhaps more so.

6. Terminology

"Bishop Justin Najmy, Exarch of the Melkite community in the United States, was given the new church as his cathedral. Bishop Najmy delegated Fr. Lucien Malouf, BSO as its rector.[3]"

The Cathedral was planned as such from the time its construction was decided upon. Cardinal Cushing actively promoted Eastern parishes in his Archdiocese and successfully lobbied Rome to erect a Melkite Exarchate, with its seat in the Boston area.

Thus, it is inappropriate to speak of the structure as being "given" to Sayedna Justin as his cathedral. It would be more correct to say that he was installed in his cathedral.

Along the same line, Father Archimandrite Lucien (Malouf), BSO, had been pastor of the parish since 1962. A more informative and accurate statement would describe his change in status

"Bishop Najmy designated Archimandrite Lucien Malouf, BSO, the parish's pastor since 1962, to be rector of the cathedral."

7. Malouf's Role

Father Lucien Malouf was a close friend of Cardinal Cushing and the two were collaborators throughout the entire process of property acquisition. Malouf was also principally responsible for the cathedral's design. I have to do some digging and find my copy of "Your Cathedral" (as best I remember the title). It was written by Father Lucien and describes the decision-making, historical and ecclesial significance of various features, etc.

8. Cathedral as a structure or a community or both?

Is the intent purely to discuss the Cathedral as a physical structure or also as a community? That decision needs making. As a structure alone, there is a limited amount to be said. As both that and as a community, there is significantly more.

9. Community Origins

Discussion of the community - which really probably should be addressed in the piece on the historical origins - would reflect that the vast majority of the early parishioners were from Zahle. The priests assigned to them, consequently, as was typical among Eastern Catholic communities of the time, were from the monastic religious order who served their home villages - in this case the Basilian Salvatorians, who would serve them for the first 70+ years.

10. Significant events

There are any number of significant events that have occurred in the Cathedral: the episcopal installations of Sayednas Joseph, Ignatius, John, and Cyril; the episcopal ordinations of Sayednas John, Nicholas, and Ignatius; the funereal rites of Sayednas Joseph and Ignatius; the visit of the Lebanese visionary and stigmatist, Myrna Nazzour; concerts by Croat-born, Tatiana Cameron, who pursues a Catholic music ministry. On a critical note, there was the flooding out of the entire auditorium structure and the basement (old hall) of the cathedral in the late '90s, resulting from a blockage in a nearby storm runoff and resulting in millions of dollars damage - although the church itself was spared.

11. Other buildings

Someone referenced the Eparchial Residence and Chancery. The circumstances of the fire at Dartmouth St in Newton are only peripherally of import here, being relevant principally to the Eparchy. The original intent, back in the '60s, was to include these structures in the plans, but cost considerations precluded building them at the time. The comment on these referenced St Gregory Seminary students - I am unaware that the new structure was ever intended to house them. There is certainly no space to do so and since the Melkite seminarians are presently being educated in another Eastern Catholic seminary, there is no need to do so.

During the decade post erection of the Cathedral itself, additional land was bought from the city, an auditorium constructed, and also a ball field, with deed restrictions on the latter.

At various times, the Cathedral has hosted a private school on the premises and rented space to the City of Boston School Dept for use while local schools were undergoing extensive renovations. The modular units on the land adjacent (the former ball field), originally used by the City were ultimately acquired by the Cathedral and now house a day care facility that rents from the Cathedral.

12. Commmunity Involvement

Again, if the community is to discussed, rather than just the physical plant, there are a host of community involvements and events to be considered. They would include hosting several annual Melkite Conventions, sponsoring a monthly dinner at a local shelter, representation in a number of organizations, etc.

13. Other Rectors

Someone asked about other rectors. Father Archimandrite Charles Aboody was assistant to both the church's last pastor and the cathedral's first rector. When he was later named rector (1982), he was the first eparchial priest to be so designated. All prior rectors and pastors had been of the Basilian Salvatorian Order.

14. Footnote 5

"The neighborhoods of Boston have no definitive boundaries -- not even those implied by zip codes or voting wards -- and many areas are subject to differing interpretations about what they should be called. Accordingly note that the church's website [1] says that land was purchased in West Roxbury, yet the Cathedral lists its address as being in Roslindale."

Actually, the neighborhoods of Boston do have distinct bounds (and stating that they do or do not - absent citation - is opinion and/or original research as I see it), but that's not the biggest issue. The website does NOT say that land was purchased in W Roxbury - it says:

"A survey showed that there was a concentration of Melkites in West Roxbury and the surrounding areas. A convenient site of about 4.2 acres was bought from the City of Boston on VFW Parkway, Roslindale." - http://www.melkitecathedral.org/melkite/history.htm

15. Footnote 6

It serves no purpose except to pad the citation list. It points to David Cheney's Catholic Hierarchy.org entry on Bishop Thomas Riley - but that entry establishes nothing except to verify that there was a man of that name and that he was an Auxiliary Bishop of Boston. It has nothing to do with his dedication of the altar.Irish Melkite (talk) 12:30, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your astute observations. The footnote on Riley is intended to note the correct spelling of his name (previously misspelled in the text). Some of the information on Cdl. Cushing's efforts should go to the Eparchy article as well as some to this one. Chonak (talk) 13:13, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with almost all of Irish Melkite's comments. The only exception is a relatively minor point on whether a hyphen is appropriate in the name of the church. The vast majority of reliable sources in English do not include the hyphen. See, for example, Sophia magazine (which says on its cover "The Journal of the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton"). Most books I've seen also omit the hyphen (see Serge Descy's The Melkite Church, p. 47, or Ignatios Dick's Melkites: Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholics of the Patriarchates of Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem.) Also see the web sites like this one. Cheers, Majoreditor (talk) 03:24, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
I did a portion of the history overnight, but need to tighten the text, insert some further redirects, and add citations to it. Will, hopefully, get back to it tonight.Irish Melkite (talk) 12:16, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
LOL - I could (and would) argue w/ ME regarding the hyphenation, pointing out that neither Fathers Ignatios nor Serge were native English speakers, but ... a search of multiple sources demonstrated little usage of Greek Catholic in a hyphenated form (other than a single header on the Melkite patriarchal site) and by the hard-core purist community (myself included) on the Byzantine Forum. So, I, reluctantly, concede the distinction. Irish Melkite (talk) 05:19, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Thoughts on the Cathedral as a structure or a community or both?[edit]

Before delving too far into the above topic, I'd like to hear what everyone's thoughts are on doing so. It somewhat begs the time-honored cliche of church as building versus congregation. Alternatively, I can rough it out and we can decide how well it flows or doesn't flow as part of the text. Irish Melkite (talk) 08:55, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

It is indeed a time-worn issue! My point of view -- for the little that it's worth -- is that it is about both the community and the building, in that order. Majoreditor (talk) 01:48, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
It indeed should be about both but we should be careful about adding information to this article that more properly belongs in the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton article. --Boston (talk) 04:53, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with both of you. On my last re-read yesterday morning, I reconsidered some of the information that I added and will make some cuts in it tonight. That said, I have to admit some reticence about its appropriateness to the article about the Eparchy. I'm thinking that much of the material in question might be more suitable to a background piece on 'Melkites in the US' - possibly a sub-topic/sub-head under the broader article about Melkites or the Melkite Greek Catholic Church (it's been a while since I looked at that, however it's titled). For now, I'll put it aside and consider those possibilities later. Irish Melkite (talk) 05:28, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
I cut virtually all of the text related to the Melkite migration to the Merrimack Valley and did a fairly extensive rewrite of both my first draft and whatever was already there through to the point of land purchase. Much of the earliest history is concentrated on the successive pastors and their sometimes documented (sometimes not) contributions during their tenure.
I have some material on the community's make-up in 1942, culled from a program book published at the time, but can't retrieve it until this weekend, as it's on a PC at the Cathedral. There's also an interesting consideration in that five men of the parish were ordained priests (early 50s, as I recollect) - but all to the Latin priesthood because there was no US Melkite seminary or hierarchy at the time. It's one of those facts that argues for inclusion in a piece backgrounding the Melkites in America, but given such a substantial number of vocations from a relatively small parish community, I think it deserves mention here as well.
Info on community activities/involvement prior to the 60s is fairly sparse, other than what I've remarked on above, but I'll see what else I can dredge up from a few sources. From the time that the parish becomes the cathedral, there is no shortage of material in that regard and the trick will be to not commit overkill in citing it.
Opinions, recommendations, critique, on the text so far are invited. I likely won't do anything more tonight than look in on this, leaving any more editing or writing until Saturday night, as I administer a website that needs several hours of my attention to keep the Eastern Catholic communities happy.Irish Melkite (talk) 11:38, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

This article is appropriate for DYK[edit]

By all means, let's change inaccuracies and inconsistencies immediately. Otherwise, this article is entirely appropriate for DYK. I should explain that DYK is specifically for new articles less than approximately 5 days old. It would be an exaggeration to characterize it as a showcase for diamonds in the rough, but it is very distinct from featured articles. Perhaps the best way to characterize DYK is to describe it as a forum for promising new articles which have no major problems. Also, please understand that nothing except featured articles is regarded as anything close to a definitive, last word, canonical treatment of any subject. I very much appreciate Irish Melkite's comments and believe we should take them under consideration for future edits (or better yet, Irish Melkite should make these edits himself/herself), but I think its useful to point out that this isn't a book or academic dissertation going to print, rather it's a living, collaborative article which will ideally evolve over time. The basic content of this article as it is now is mostly a rehash of info on the cathedral website and it doesn't masquerade as anything else. The cathedral website uses "Annunciation Melkite Catholic Cathedral" as the "working title" of the church and seems to me to be very much the appropriate article title. However, even this is set in bytes and not in stone; it can be changed in the future if it seems really wise to do so. Thanks for everyone's interest in the article and please remember to correct any inaccuracies (West Roxbury / Roslindale) or inconsistencies (viz the priest's appropriate titles) according to your best understanding. --Boston (talk) 05:30, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the explanation regarding DYK. I'll pull together some of the reference material and do some work on the piece this weekend. It's 'himself' by the way :) Irish Melkite (talk) 08:37, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Great, I am sure your contributions will be valuable! Once you roll up your sleeves and dive into editing it can be much fun...and somewhat "addictive". Do you know about using sandboxes? Click this red link -- "User:Irish Melkite/Sandbox" -- and create a new page there according to instructions. Then cut-and-paste the edit mode text of the page you're working and save your work in progress as often as you like. You don't have to worry about edit summaries or accidentally saving stuff like formatting errors as it's your private drafting board. When happy with the results, cut-and-paste it back to the article in question. Happy editing. --Boston (talk) 20:09, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
By the way -- you guys are doing a great job on this article. Majoreditor (talk) 01:23, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Reilly -> Riley[edit]

Please note the correct spelling for Bp.Thomas J. Riley (an earlier version had "Reilly". Chonak (talk) 13:15, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Boston neighborhood boundaries[edit]

(response to User:Irish Melkite's comment above) While not specific to the discussion of the cathedral, the subject of Boston neighborhood boundaries is of interest to me. The fact that Boston's neighborhoods really don't have universally-agreed upon boundaries is something I have discussed at length with people in the past. Some people feel strongly that they do but I (and my retired Boston USPS worker dad) take the opposite position. In my lifetime I have seen Forest Hills loose its distinction from the rest of Jamaica Plain (my school report cards read "Forest Hills, Mass.") Conversely, all the people I know who grew up on (pre-Longwood Area era) Mission Hill are just as sure it was part of Roxbury as its current residents are sure that it is not. Everyone once understood that Mass Ave divided the South End from Roxbury. Now it doesn't it, largely because of people's desire to increase the value of their real estate. Portions of Roslindale have been "swallowed up" by West Roxbury in the past thirty years for the same motive. Yes, that's all original research on my part, but this article from the The JFK School of Gov. Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston presents an understanding of the subject of Boston neighborhoods which is the same as my own. Zip codes, parking stickers, phone number prefixes, real estate listings, Menino's blue oval welcome signs -- no matter what evidence someone finds that supposedly sets a boundary, there's inevitably another "authority" that contradicts it. Even the names given voting wards are designed to roughly reflect the names used for areas rather than defining them. Reviewing the names of these wards one by one will reveal the rough and inconsistent labels used for areas within Boston.--Boston (talk) 05:58, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Here's something interesting. According to this Boston Redevelopment Authority map, the Roslindale-West Roxbury border runs down Centre Street; this puts the Cathedral in West Roxbury, despite the fact that the place is within a Roslindale ZIP code. Chonak (talk) 06:22, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
LOL, again. My late Dad, also a retired postal employee (from back when it was the USPO), would have agreed that there were clear-cut bounds and that the socio-economic aspirations and class-consciousness of Bostonians had little or no place in defining Boston's neighborhoods. That said, I have to admit that the fluidity of those bounds - even in the last half of the 20th century - would be a fascinating piece in itself. As regards the BRA map, any self-respecting Bostonian knows that one never puts any currency in the BRA :) Irish Melkite (talk) 05:35, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, it does happen from time to time. Chonak (talk) 16:36, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Structure & Links[edit]

Chonak, nice job on the headings and thanks very much for the fixes you applied to the links.Irish Melkite (talk) 05:54, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Tags are bad[edit]

Smiley green alien KO.svg

I note Chonak has tagged this article for inadequate referencing. Tags are bad. It's a good idea to reference things as one proceeds; if something can't be referenced, omit it until it can be referenced. I hope the article can be brought into compliance very soon. It's better to have a sleek, well-referenced article than a more thorough article slapped with an ugly disclaimer that makes the reader resistant to engage it. Also, the tag will almost certainly cause the article to be rejected by the DYK arbitrators. Once the expiration time had passed, there's no second chance at DYK. Bummer. --Boston (talk) 00:42, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

  • I, too, wonder about the tag. A tag is not necessarily bad; sometimes it's needed to flag substantial deficiencies. However, I don't feel that this article is so woefully under-referenced that it merits the big ugly banner on top. A better approach would be to add {{fact}} to specific statements which require citation, or to request better quality references for specific citations. Majoreditor (talk) 00:50, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
  • You're correct. Tags are to urge that good action be taken about something bad. I think print sources have been used extensively this article. Perhaps if these were at least detailed in a bibliography the tag might be removed? --Boston (talk) 01:11, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
That's a good suggestion and will work for me. I took a quick look through the article and I can find no statements which absolutely require an in-line citation which don't already have one or more (statistics, direct quotes, etc.) I see no issues with the references; in an ideal world the article would utilize more third-party independent sources, but they don't seem to be available, and there is no reason to doubt the material from the existing sources. I suggest that you create a bibliography section (I usually call it a "References" section refer to the footnotes section as such) and then remove the tag, unless another editor raises specific concerns. Cheers, Majoreditor (talk) 02:19, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
It is not clear how much of the material is sourced and how much is unsourced, since there are seven paragraphs in a row with no citation. I stand by the tag as deserved. Chonak (talk) 03:45, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks to early contributors[edit]

I'd like to thank User:Boston, User:Irish Melkite, and User:Majoreditor for adding so much material to the article so quickly since its creation. It has progressed from a nearly empty stub to an attractive and informative (and still developing) account of this piece of church history. The expansion of the Melkite Church in the diaspora is relevant beyond Boston and beyond the U.S. Chonak (talk) 04:01, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Comments - Questions[edit]

I've added 4 or 5 references, interspersed those as cites where appropriate, and replaced some cites that were better made to texts other than the ones used previously. I've also done some further rewrites of the text - which has yet to get much beyond the Cardinal's 300K donation - but, it will.

Now, my questions:

A. Why has the line ("the jurisdiction of which encompasses ..." - or however it reads) returned, particularly since I thought we had full agreement that the piece had too much eparchial material (and I'm still seeing comments that it has) - and yet that is pure eparchial, with absolutely no relevance to the cathedral?

B. citation #1 - What's the point? Besides its relation to the query I just posted in A., it strikes me as the most useless cite to be had. Even if there is any justification to A., why would "US" merit more than a link of the term to the wiki article?

C. citation #2 - to CH.org's listing for the Eparchy. What's the point of it? If it were to David's entry on Archbishop Cyril, it might arguably be appropriate (although an in-line term link to the wiki article on him would seem more so to me).

But, the cited entry does not establish any relationship between the Cathedral and the Eparchy. (I am aware that David has "OLA in Boston" as a parenthetical after the Eparchy name - it is an error. The patronal name of an eparchy is only appended to the geographic placename when the latter conflicts with another pre-existing jurisdiction: examples 'Eparchy of St Maron in Brooklyn of the Maronites' vs 'Diocese of Brooklyn'; 'Eparchy of St Josaphat in Parma of the Ukrainians' vs 'Eparchy of Parma of the Ruthenians'; etc).

I have no idea why David revised the title and tossed that it a few years ago. It's been on my list of things to discuss with him, but I haven't gotten down to it on the list as yet and this is the worst time of year for most anyone to get David's attention on anything - so, it will wait until post-June. The eparchial name does not appear under that form in Annuario Pontificio and it's more than unlikely that "in Newton" will change to "in Boston" anytime soon, thus necessitating a patronal suffix - witness Van Nuys of the Ruthenians and OL of Lebanon in LA of the Maronites. Rome dislikes changing those things.

D. citation #? - to CH.org's listing for Bishop Riley. While I thought highly of Bishop Riley, I see no point to this citation - it should be an in-line link to a wiki article period. That someone misspelled his name at some stage of the game offers no valid argument for citing it to CH.org and it serves no purpose other than to pad the cite list. I thought we had come to agreement on deleting it previously.Irish Melkite (talk) 13:44, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

  • The DYK hook is "Did you know that Annunciation Melkite Catholic Cathedral in Boston is the principal church of the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton which encompasses the entire United States?" For this we need to say this fact in the article and we need to cite that fact as specifically as possible. If this is stated explicitly in the sources you are using, it would be helpful to cite this fact specifically so as to address the concerns of the DYK editors. Is this hook not true? If so, please indicate and suggest another hook than can be well-referenced. I created this article hoping it could appear on the front page in DYK so any assistance in this matter will be much appreciated. --Boston (talk) 14:24, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
    • Making the article conform to the proposed DYK hook is a case of tail-wags-dog. Also: agreed, too much eparchial material remains in the article. For example, under "Later events", there's this: When Archbishop Tawil retired in December 1989, Bishop Ignatius Ghattas succeeded him, but passed away two years later. Bishop John Elya assumed direction of the Newton Diocese in January 1994. All that is eparchial material with no relationship to the Cathedral itself, so I'll cut this. If there is published material on events at the Cathedral, e.g., Patriarchal visits, that would be worth noting.
      • "Later Events" hadn't yet been subjected to any editing, hence the survival of the text cited. I'd likely look to include the names of the succeeding hierarchs, but in the context of the patriarchal visits that accompanied the enthronement of each.Irish Melkite (talk) 07:18, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
    • Then there is this: Fr. Eugene Mitchell, BSO was appointed Rector of the Annunciation Cathedral in September 2002. That is cathedral material, but since it doesn't describe any event, there's no reason to mention it.
      • There are 'happenings' that are attributable to each successive rector or which transpired/marked his term, most just have not been addressed as yet. This includes Fathers Badouai, Aboody, Kikaty, Azar, Mitchell, and Rabbat (and I think I've skipped someone there - oh yeah, Bishop John). We could take the approach of naming some, none, or all.
      • As to possible formats - they could be incorporated into the narrative or into a tabular listing. My sense in reading articles here is that the latter approach has significant advocates and an equal number of opponents - both of whom are vocal and vehement in defense of their stance. Whether there is a formal policy or position, pro or con, I don't know.
      • While it would necessitate a bit of reworking, I think that much of the pre-Cathedral era could be redrafted into a coherent narrative without specifically naming many of the pastors. But, if we were to do so, I'd likely argue strongly for a table that listed them (the later rectors, and possibly administrators and assistants). Why? Because, quite simply, based on long experience with the on-line Eastern communities, the principal audience for an article such as this (an Eastern Catholic cathedral) will not be the random Wiki reader, but Eastern Catholics (Melkite and otherwise), Eastern Orthodox, and Western Christians (Latins and Anglo-Catholics most particularly) who have a decided interest in and fondness for the East. Those readers place considerable store in the details of "who"; the rolls of clergy who served parishes are preserved in memory in a style akin to that of ancient tribes and mention of a priest's name invariably invokes memories of what one heard or knows of him, albeit he served a century earlier.
      • I'd like to see some thoughts on the 'list/table' approach. I was thinking along the lines of (rough presentation):
Pastor Assistant Rector Assistant Bishop
Archimandrite John Bassoul, BSO (1960-1962) -->
Lucien Malouf, BSO (1962-1966) Charles Aboody (1962-1966)
Archimandrite Lucien Malouf, BSO (1962-XXXX) Charles Aboody (1966-XXXX) Justin Najmy (1966-1968) -->


    • On the Bp. Riley reference, I dropped it after the earlier discussion, and was surprised to see it back. AFAIK, there is no WP article on Bp. Riley (auxiliaries don't get them as often as ordinaries). Chonak (talk) 19:44, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
      • Bishops Riley and Minihan were Cushing's closest auxiliaries and had strong ties with the Melkite community and Archbishop Joseph, but I doubt that I could make a strong case for either to merit a Wiki article. Given that you had dropped it previously, I'm going to pull it again.Irish Melkite (talk) 07:18, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
      • May I suggest separate tables for the parish era (Pastor/Assistant) and the cathedral era (Rector/Assistant/Bishop)? Chonak (talk) 19:59, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
        • Good idea - and somewhat simpler to construct. I haven't done that type of formating in a long while though, and my recollection is that it's time-consuming. Think I'll let it sit until the text itself is more complete.Irish Melkite (talk) 06:00, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Are you talking about eliminating the sentence "The altar was consecrated by Bishop Thomas J. Riley"? If so, I can't imagine why one would. I'll pause on saying more about this in case I am misunderstanding something. --Boston (talk) 20:15, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
    • I don't think anyone's proposing that. However, the CH.org page cited doesn't document Bp. Riley's act of consecrating the altar, so it wasn't a sufficient reference. Chonak (talk) 03:07, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
      • The information was taken from the cathedral website. --Boston (talk) 03:16, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
        • No intent of pulling the fact of the dedication; it was the CH.org reference linked to the Bishop's name that bothered me, since it had no relevance other than to establish that there was a Bishop Riley - an unnecessary factoid (and one that would necessitate doing likewise - for consistency - with Patriarch Cyril IX, Archbishops Williams, Tawil & Bustros, Bishops Ghattas & Elya, and Cardinals O'Connell & Cushing).Irish Melkite (talk) 06:00, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Use of titles for bishops, priests[edit]

In reworking the section on "Parish church", I dropped a number of the titles for the priests and bishops involved, and would like to explain my reasons for doing so.

Example 1 (before edit):
  • A decade after Father Simon's arrival, Most Reverend Cyril Moghabghab, Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Zahle (later Melkite Patriarch Cyril IX) conducted a pastoral visit to the emigrant communities of North and South America, including that at Boston.


That is a very elaborate designation: an honorific (Most Reverend), a personal name (Cyril Moghabghab), the office he held (Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Zahle), his later office (Melkite Patriarch), and his name in that later office (Cyril IX). Let's not make readers wade through all of that.

So I changed

Most Reverend Cyril Moghabghab, Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Zahle (later Melkite Patriarch Cyril IX)

to

the Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Zahle Cyril Moghabghab (later Melkite Patriarch)


(1) The Most Reverend is a polite form of address for living bishops, but when we're speaking of historical figures, it's not necessary or conventional to maintain the honorific.

(2) I removed the explicit mention of the Patriarchal name Cyril IX. The wiki link on Cyril Moghabghab goes to Cyril IX Moghabghab, so there's no information lost.

Result: Example 1 (after edit):

  • A decade after Father Simon's arrival, the Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Zahle Cyril Moghabghab (later Melkite Patriarch) conducted a pastoral visit to the emigrant communities of North and South America, including that at Boston.
Example 2 (before edit):
  • Meeting with the Most Reverend William O'Connell, then coadjutor archbishop of the Boston Archdiocese, he obtained agreement that the Melkite congregation would be afforded a church as soon as O'Connell succeeded to the episcopal throne of Boston. Two years later, in 1908, Archbishop (later Cardinal) O'Connell approved the purchase of a commercial structure....

(1) Most Reverend is unnecessary.

(2) "Then" (in "then coadjutor archbishop") is redundant.

(3) Of the Boston Archdiocese is not needed, because the sentence speaks later of O'Connell succeeding to the episcopal throne of Boston. Why say it twice?

(4) "Later Cardinal" interrupts awkwardly between O'Connell's title and his name. In this case, I cut it out altogether, because Cardinal does not indicate a major change in office as Patriarch did in the previous example.

In general, it's fine to use the titles people had at the time of the events. Adding a later title may be good, if it serves to identify the person described.

Example 2 (after edit):
  • Meeting with the coadjutor archbishop William O'Connell, he obtained agreement that the Melkite congregation would be afforded a church as soon as O'Connell succeeded to the episcopal throne of Boston. Two years later, in 1908, Archbishop O'Connell approved the purchase of a commercial structure... Chonak (talk) 21:17, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Example 3: Father (later Archimandrite and Bishop) John Elya:

(1) First, interrupting the sentence to state that he got the title of Archimandrite (an honorific but non-functional title, and certainly less important than his dignity as a bishop) is not worthwhile. Father (later Bishop) John Elya.

(2) Furthermore, it's awkward to interrupt between a man's title and his name. Father John Elya (later Bishop).

(3) I used the Eastern term, for what it's worth. If someone feels strongly that "Bishop" is clearer, I have no objection to changing back: Father John Elya (later Eparch). Chonak (talk) 21:36, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

  • I applaud editors' attention to detail on these points! I don't have specific opinions on these matters, but I do have general advice: Make sure what you're writing isn't so esoteric to be unintelligible to a Methodist in Kenya, a Jew in Russia, or a Hindu in Singapore; these folks – rather than the people sharing a pew with you Sunday morning – are the majority of your readers. I'm not advising detail be excluded, and I am certainly not saying to “dumb it down”, I'm just saying to be mindful of the audience and explain context where necessary. --Boston (talk) 21:54, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
    • At a quick read, I have no issues with those changes and, frankly, think they are improvements. I was not happy adding 'Most Reverend' (a term rarely seen in the East) to Archbishop Cyril Moghabghab's name and did it solely to conform to the usage already in place as to Williams and O'Connell. It's a styling better left to addressing letters than narrative text. I'm also happier with the overall restyling of the patriarchal reference; my change was intended to put his title/name in the form that applied to him at the time of the visit and your change preserved that.
    • Regarding O'Connell, the same comments generally apply. I would note, however, that he did indeed hold the relatively uncommon title of 'Coadjutor Archbishop' (cf CathHierachy), as opposed to the much more often encountered 'Coadjutor Bishop'.
    • As to Bishop John, I agree. I added 'later Archimandrite and Bishop', but didn't much like it and, might have deleted it had I not run out of steam. I appreciate the use of 'Eparch' and have hemmed and hawed about substituting it for 'Bishop', not here, but in multiple other venues. That said, I've always stopped short because it's awkward in an English construct. We would neither address any of our hierarchs as 'Eparch', nor speak of him as such, except in the form 'Bishop (or Sayedna=Master) John Elya, Eparch of Newton'. It's a third-person title for the office, rather than for the individual. So, I'll revert that.Irish Melkite (talk) 07:45, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
      • Boston, I agree with your premise, but disagree - as I voiced above - as to the audience that will seek out (or even accidently encounter) this type of entry.Irish Melkite (talk) 07:45, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
        • While you're welcome to disagree, it would be much politer and more in the spirit of the collaborative project if you did not debate the inclusion of a single, context-providing sentence or two that I view as essential. Note that no one is nitpicking your contributions. The fact that the article needs to understandable to a wide audience is not a matter of debate. If the article spends a half day on the front page, readers from all over the world will click on it. Even if it doesn't, the article will get occasional visits from people of varying backgrounds from around the globe. I value your contributions and hope we won't keep revisiting these same points. Keep up the good work. --Boston (talk) 11:50, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
          • Editors can disagree in good faith about how much incidental detail is needed to provide context. Chonak (talk) 20:23, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
            • NB Your admonishment is apparently in response to a note that began "While you're welcome to disagree..." --Boston (talk) 20:47, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
              • Well, a little reassurance never hurts, after a note that contains a apparent complaint about politeness and the point that "no one is nitpicking your contributions". But anyway, this thread about bishops' titles has run off into an unrelated topic through no action of mine, so I'll let it go here. Chonak (talk) 03:55, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Re:tail-wags-dog[edit]

I disagree that this is the case. The fact that the cathedral is the seat of the head of the nation-spanning eparchy is essential context for the reader. This one sentence fact belongs in the article. A reader halfway around the world with no knowledge of Melkite Catholicism should be able to read the intro and get the big and simple picture. I have had to replace this info twice. Let's please leave this sentence in place and address instead the large amount of detailed history which belongs elsewhere. - --Boston (talk) 21:47, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

By "tail-wags-dog", I was referring to arguments that defend an addition on the basis that the addition is needed for DYK. Of course, it is possible to argue on the merits, as you are doing, that the addition belongs in the article. Chonak (talk) 02:48, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I remain unconvinced that there is substantive merit to the inclusion, but I'm not going to argue the point further at the moment. I am removing the citation to CathHier's entry on the Eparchy, as I see no one presenting any (let alone compelling) argument as to its relevance. Vis-a-vis the detailed history, I don't see it as belonging elsewhere - it is the history of the parish that became the cathedral parish/community.
If this article is to be nothing more than a presentation of the decision to construct the cathedral and the particulars of its design, I need to hurry up and dig out Father Malouf's book on the building and paraphrase it to death, because that would then be the principal source for most all the relevant text. The sole exception of note would be passing mention of the later removal of kneelers from some pews.
I can see aspects of the present article being reworked into a 'Melkites in America' subhead in the broader topic of Melkite Catholics, as I discussed earlier. But, I stand by my contention that the continuum of parish to cathedral lacks relevance except in the context of the community that worships in and supports it.Irish Melkite (talk) 08:03, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Eventually there should be an article on 'Melkites in the diaspora'. I favor keeping both the parish and building contexts in the article. (I haven't noticed any real debate about that, come to think of it.) Information about the actual building could be expanded, with, e.g., its dimensions. Chonak (talk) 20:32, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Changes[edit]

I deleted the aside as to the misnomer 'Syrian Catholic' from the 1st section, deciding that it was more appropriate to a broader article. Additionally, 'Father' has been deleted in its usage before the entries of 'Archimandrite' (albeit, formal usage would dictate addressing an Archimandrite as 'Father Archimandrite', its uncommon) and also before that of 'Protosynchellos' - who would never have been addressed using both.

Linked North & South America. Deleted 'Most Reverend' before Archbishop Williams' name and shortened to 'John' from 'John Joseph'. A search doubled hits without use of his middle name and, frankly, O'Connell was most commonly called by both first and middle names, but we have presented him as merely 'William' - not 'William Henry'.

Deleted the former #2 citation - that to the Eparchial entry on Cath-Hierarchary and reverted 'Eparch' to 'Bishop'. Other than that, changes were a random word or comma insertion, here and there.

That's it for tonight. I need to get some sleep tonight if I'm going to be functional later this morning. I'll rework the piece on Bishop Najmy's era tonight. Will revisit the construction details in a day or two, after I track down my copy of the book.Irish Melkite (talk) 08:49, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Please stop deleting references from this article. I've replaced this link more than once and have previously explained why. There is no logical reason that an informative and relevant link, even if it provides redundant information, would not be included especially as the article relies so heavily on print resources. It's a good reference which shows information "at a glace". You might consider the information there to be extremely basic. Please understand that therein is its value. As I have deferred to you regarding your familiarity with the eparchy, I would appreciate if you would defer to me regarding my knowledge of "best practice" on Wikipedia. Thanks and best wishes. --Boston (talk) 09:30, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  • If you can refer me to some write-up on the best practice in this regard, that would help me understand how we should treat website sources in comparison to published works. I've been skeptical about the value of including the cathedral website because so much of the material in the website is unattributed, and hence less reliable as documentation than a named published source. My personal preference would be to drop the cathedral website as a source when the information can be found in a published work, but keep the website and its history page as an additional reference at the end of the article, e.g., under "Additional reading". In contrast, I think that the catholic-hierarchy site is a reasonable source to cite, since most of the information in it comes from the Annuario Pontificio. Chonak (talk) 20:47, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The best I can do is suggest you digest Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:Reliable sources but I am afraid these might not provide the specifics you're looking for. At any rate, what harm can including an extra source do unless the source is dubious? I think we're generally safe to rely upon the Cathedral's own website for information unless it conflicts with information from another source that seems more credible. If one of our text sources disagrees with the Cathedral's own website, I'd be inclined to give credence to a print source that is apparently well-researched and the work of someone devoted to the topic. In the case of bold disagreement between sources, we might want to somehow note that through the footnotes. --Boston (talk) 20:58, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The convenience of reader verification is an understandable concern, but it is not the only reader-related issue to have in mind. IMO, if a source appears amateurish, it hurts the credibility of the article. The use of independent published sources where available distinguishes the article from any number of self-promoting articles created by religious groups. We would be quite lucky to find truly independent (i.e., non-Cathedral) sources for more of the material in the article. Chonak (talk) 21:21, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The material on the Cathedral website derives - virtually in its entirety (if not wholly) - from the various published sources cited to date but, regretably, is generally of lesser quality than those - both more superficial and of the 'pick-a-fact' genre.
  • Chonak, you're correct in thinking that there are virtually no independent sources available. Even the several publications by the Eparchy/Cathedral are heavily repetitious, with each new history building on the prior (and typically including it almost word for word). Frankly, I could have cited almost the entirety of what's written to date to any single one of the existing Cathedral/Eparchy pubs cited (or to any one of a few others, not yet cited) without any risk that the cites could be challenged as not supportive.
  • A couple of decent articles that appeared in the Pilot at the time of the dedication are about the closest one can hope to come to 'independent'. I'll work at getting some material from them into the body as we progress.Irish Melkite (talk) 06:17, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Photo[edit]

We could still use an exterior photo of the place. I wasn't planning on attending mass there until Forgiveness Sunday and don't know if I'll be able to get a shot before then. --Boston (talk) 09:41, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Added an exterior photo. Also, I've created a category "Annunciation Melkite Catholic Cathedral" in Wikimedia Commons for photos of the cathedral. Chonak (talk) 23:49, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
If you get a chance for some photos of the interior and the baptistry, those would be good too. Chonak (talk) 00:59, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Did you know...?[edit]

The article has been chosen for DYK and will appear on the front page sometime in the next day or so. Irish Melkite and Chonak, I added your names to the submission so you will both be getting "yellow box kudos" for your valuable contributions. Albeit that and $2 will get you a cup of coffee, it can be nice to receive recognition. --Boston (talk) 06:17, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Congratulations to Boston on the submission and its approval. Chonak (talk) 19:28, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
    • Congratulations likewise. Going to be a few days before I can do anything in the way of additions. I have company visiting, as well as some PC issues, so it will likely be Mon evening before I can get on here to develop this further (which might also have the advantage of giving me a bit of time to dredge out a few more reference materials).Irish Melkite (talk) 08:43, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

lame Encarta/MSN reference[edit]

The first reference in the article leads to a dictionary definition of "Melkite". Is there any reason to keep that reference? It doesn't substantiate any of the facts in this article. Chonak (talk) 01:07, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Don't think so. --Boston (talk) 01:20, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Replaced it. Chonak (talk) 01:28, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Removal of window images from gallery[edit]

Some recent edits [1] have removed three images of stained-glass windows from this article's "Gallery", apparently on the idea that there wasn't much rationale for including them. Is there a standard to apply here, in selecting which images are relevant enough to the article to justify inclusion? --Chonak (talk) 01:15, 30 May 2011 (UTC)