ORIENTAL INSTITUTE 435
the Congregation of the Consistory. As a matter o fact only the Holy Office is its superior; and it is as true to say of it that in so far as the Oriental Church is concerned it "incorporates all other Congrega- tions/* as it was formerly correct to say as much of the Propaganda. The unconditional recognition of the Oriental rite is in itself nothing new, since there has always been preserved a custom that during the Pope's Pontifical Mass the Epistle and Gospel are first sung in Latin, and are then repeated in the Greek tongue by Greek bishops who participate in the service at the altar in robes prescribed by their rite. Pius XI commemorated the Council of Nice with a Pontifical High Mass sung in St, Peter's according to the Greek rite. Today, when Russian Orthodoxy is tottering, the Curia strives harder than ever be- fore to reach an understanding with the non-Uniat Eastern Churches, the more than hundred million belonging to which are numerically so much stronger than the six million Uniats. A commission in the Congregation for the Oriental Churches is entrusted with the special conditions which prevail in the land of the Soviets.
The Oriental Institute in Rome, founded by Pope Benedict XV, is an institution of theological study which is open not only to students of the Uniat Churches, but also to those of the non-Uniat Churches a magnificent expression of freedom of thought which is new in Roman practice. In addition there are a number of national colleges to which others are being circumspectly added. The Oriental Church, despite its relative numerical weakness is harder to govern than the whole of Europe. There are four rites the Greek, Armenian, Syrian and Coptic and in addition numerous variations of each. The decadent forms of the Greek rite in Hungary and Poland are sponsored by nearly two-thirds of the Uniat Churches, the other third being divided into a number of small and even infinitesmal groups. The highest officials are seven Patriarchs, Rome confirms their elec- tion and can, when necessity arises, bring gentle pressure to bear on a Patriarch who ought to retire. Yet on the whole these higher shep- herds, all of whom wear magnificent tides, have kept much of the independence and power of the ancient Patriarchs. The most difficult thing in so far as relationships with the Latin Church are concerned is not the use of the vernacular liturgy, or the administration of com-