Originally Posted by aJEANs
I have a friend who is Byzantine Catholic and she was telling me how her lent started on Monday. I am Roman Catholic and I do not know much about the Byzantine Catholic faith so I thought I would ask a few questions...
How was the Byzantine Catholic Church established?
Do Byzantine Catholics also believe in the real presence of the Body of Christ and the Blood of Christ in the Eucharist like Roman Catholics do? Does it allow for intercommunion?
How often can Byzantine Catholics receive the Eucharist?
Does this denomination have ordinations? Who does the ordination? Are the ordained different from the non-ordained, and how?
Do the bishops in this denomination claim to have apostolic succession, i.e. their denomination has preserved the grace of Ordination and teachings from the Apostles uninterruptedly?
Thanks in advance to anyone willing to help me out!!!
Apostolic Succession: Yes.
Ordinations: Yes, by the bishops.
Some of the primatial bishops, like the Ruthenian Metropolitan of Pittsburgh, are selected by the Pope from an list of 3 candidates put forward by the hierarchs. Others, Like Cardinals Patriarch Sfeir and Major Archbishop Lubomyr, were elected by their synods.
All of the Byzantines, both of the 14 Catholic Churches Sui Iuris and of the 22 Eastern Orthodox Autocephalous or Autonomous Churches, have valid apostolic succession, sacraments and ordinations. (you can see hints of this in Can. 844 of the Code of Canon Law.) At some point, 13 of these 14 Sui Iuris Churches were out of communion, and part of the Eastern Orthodox; they came back over time. The other one, the Italo-Albanians, never broke communion with Rome, never lost contact, and in fact, happen to be right close to Rome.
The establishment of the Byzantines is by the Sts Peter and Paul. Those two were the major forces in the creation of the Church of Antioch, which later spawned the Church of Byzantium, both of which were patriarchal sees. The liturgical form was laid down by St. Basil the Great, and revised by St John Chrysostom. Until the 700's, there was no break between Byzantium and Rome in the church. By 1100, the break was formalized. In the 1600's to 1900's, various Byzantine Rite Churches broke from the Eastern Orthodox Communion to return to communion with Rome. These are the Byzantine Catholics.
Your friend is probably part of the Ruthenian Metropolia of Pittsburgh, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, or the Melkite Church (which is catholic, too); there a slim chance of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church or Russian Greek Catholic Church. If they are, they are indeed part of the Catholic Church.
A Catholic of any rite who is properly prepared may receive the Eucharist daily, under any Catholic Rite that offers it. You typically won't find daily services in Byzantine Rite parishes during lent... Fridays and Wednesdays, communion services (similar to the Holy Saturday Liturgy for the Romans), and on the first monday as well, replace daily liturgy. The service is beautiful, and very penitential.
Go with some sunday, and listen for the commemoration His Holiness Benedict XVI. If you hear that in a byzantine liturgy, it's a Catholic byzantine liturgy.