Another Person Considering Eastern Catholicism

Christ is risen!
I’m sorry, there are so many others like this, but I still feel like I need some advice. Background on me: Born to a Sunni Muslim father and a Roman Catholic mother. Dad raised me as a Sunni, and I considered myself one until college, but my mother and her family secretly had me baptized as a baby, took me to mass, taught me my prayers, rosary, etc. When I left my father’s home for college I eventually, thank God, came home to the Catholic Church (Latin rite). However, Eastern Orthodoxy began to appeal to me, both the spirituality, liturgy, and the fact that so many people in Eastern Christianity used Arabic, A language that I was comfortable with. I started attending an Antiochian Orthodox church and loved it. I never took the plunge to become a catechumen because I got mixed up with some people. With my sinfulness, lack of knowledge of the Catholic faith, and the “teaching” of these people I fell into the heresy of Protestantism. I was confirmed in an Anglican church. But as I began thinking and reading more about the faith, God mercifully led me to a place where I am longing to come home. But what about the Eastern Christian theology and liturgy that I loved so much? Enter Eastern Catholicism. It sounds like a perfect match for me. Two Eastern Catholic parishes are near me, one Ukrainian, one Melkite. What would you recommend for reading and or watching for someone interested in Eastern Catholicism? How do I take the first step?
Lastly, I’d like to thank you all for bearing with a post about a common topic, and for my rambling, and that I’d be much obliged if you would pray that God grants me to get to confession as soon as possible

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Since you know Arabic the Melkite may be best to visit. Streaming liturgies: http://liveliturgy.com/eastern-catholic/north-america/#melkite

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 You may wish to check out the Maranite Catholic Church. St. Maran brought Christianity to the Middle East. Our church here has many Lebanese. It is similar to the Roman mass & is under the Pope. It’s music leans to a Middle Eastern style in rhythm. The order of their mass is a iittle different.

Welcome Brother. I rejoice w you , in your Salvation through Christ. He is the Way, the Truth & the Light.
Lord, thank You for calling Your child home in Your faith. Guide his steps to walk beside Yours. In Your Holy Name of Jesus.

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Thank you, sister! I have head of the Maronite Church, and I always keep my prayer card of Saint Charbel close at hand! The only reason why I might be a bit more interested in the Melkite Church is because I’m looking for a more byzantine theology, but I for sure am not ruling it out

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Thank you for your reply, I am very interested in the Melkite church. I guess I just don’t know what the differences are between the faith and theology that I encountered at the Antiochian Orthodox church and the Melkite Church (Besides the fact that I’d be in communion with the holy father). If you are a member of the Melkite Church or if you think you could help explain, and have the time, I’d love to talk with you, or any brother or sister that has knowledge on the topic for that matter

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I spent about five years in a Melkite parish before moving to an area where there are no Melkite parishes (I’m in a Maronite parish now, and loving it!). Melkite Patriarch (Emeritus) Gregorios III Laham has said publicly that the only difference between Melkite theology and Antiochian Orthodox theology is communion with Rome.

If you’re drawn to Catholicism, but want to embrace a Byzantine expression of the Catholic Faith, then you can’t really go wrong with the Melkites, in my opinion.

For a ton of great reading options, go check out the offerings at Eastern Christian Publications.

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I am in the Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic Church. The Melkite Greek Catholic Church, and the Antiochian Greek Orthodox, use the Divine Liturgies of the Byzantine tradition rather than the Divine Liturgy of Saint James used by the Syriac Catholic Church, and the Maronite Church. Melkites may celebrate using the Divine Liturgy of Saint James on October 23 however.

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Thank you for the reply, and the link too! So many titles that I’d love to read

Ditto that.

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Suggestions: Contact the pastor of the Melkite Catholic church near you. He would be able to help you.

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I get the impression that you are more concerned with what I would call “style” and not so much the “content” of the denominations you are considering. There is a lot to be said for praying in your preferred language and within a certain cultural and ethnic tradition. In fact most people do this to some extent. But, you should not lose sight of what is important and that is the truth of Catholicism.

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The AOC is a fairly recent splinter off of the Melkite church (running counter to the typical pattern of the Catholic group breaking off).

The Melkites have had a couple of periods in which they were in communion with both Rome and Constantinople. The most recent tine, the clergy that didn’t agree with the Melkite Patriarch and synod requesting communion with Rome complained to Constantinople, which sent (non-Melkite) bishops who purported to hod a patriarchal election, resulting in the AOC.

And in fairness, the Melkite election itself was irregular–there were only two bishops left, and they consecrated a third so that they could hold the election. . . .

Those said, the two churches may be the most close of any of the Orthodox/Catholic pairs. Families and members regularly drift back and forth between the two, informal communion is far more common than will ge publicly admitted, and last I heard, they build all new churches ro joint use . . .

I’d suggest the byzcath.org forums for this kind of discernment; they’re more focused on the type of issues you’re looking at.

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The Eastern Churches, whether Orthodox or Catholic, are not denominations.

ZP

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