Attending Orthodox Services


This topic is temporarily closed for 4 hours due to a large number of community flags.


This topic was automatically opened after 4 hours.


What do you mean you don’t “culturally” fit in?

What is it about the ROC that you feel more comfortable with “culturally” speaking?


Why does that matter?


If you believe (as the Roman Catholic Church teaches) that Russian Orthodox are not in full communion with the Church than it makes no sense to do this. Regardless of whether you like the modern Mass or not, it is a valid Catholic Mass while the Russian Orthodox one will not fullfill your obligation. Surely, one of your nearby cities has a Roman Catholic Church saying Latin Mass, an Eastern Rite, Byzantine, or Maronite Church. All of these would have a Mass that would “fit” you culturally.


My question was already answered by thank you for your input. :slightly_smiling_face:


I would agree with you completely.

Do try to plod through From Conflict to Communion, as you are able. I think you will find the insights very useful – and it also gives an excellent insight into the mind of the Holy See today about the Reformation and ecumenism in general, which is why I recommended it in this context.

So much has been revised as a result of re-examination of that era in light of new paradigms regarding historical research. That is why so many old history texts that were once staples are now simply set aside as woefully inadequate if not outright polemical. The same could be said regarding the 10th and 11th centuries.

I conclude with one of my personal favorites from the document, which can be applied more broadly:

  1. Catholics and Lutherans realize that they and the communities in which they live out their faith belong to the one body of Christ. The awareness is dawning on Lutherans and Catholics that the struggle of the sixteenth century is over. The reasons for mutually condemning each other’s faith have fallen by the wayside.

Happy Christmas to you and yours.


And you can’t call the Orthodox “schismatic” without disobeying Rome . . .

You’re missing the point.

You are required to not instruct others contrary to these laws . . . noone (except you) suggested an obligation to attend Orthodox services . . .

But what would @Don_Ruggero know . . . he’s just one of those pesky “presbyters” . . . :roll_eyes:


This thread is just full of statements in direct contradiction of Papal teaching . . .

Uh, oh . . .

another pesky presbyter bringing actual church teaching into the discussion . . .


I don’t have anything to say on the topic of this thread, but how is it not correct to say that the Orthodox are in schism? I thought that just meant refusal to submit to the Roman Pontiff.


Except that neither of those are actually teaching of any Orthodox Church.

How they handle a situation is not the same thing as “approving” or “allowing”.



I thought that under certain conditions some Antioch Orthodox priests may allow a married couple to use artificial birth control? For example, if the couple already has four children and is under a financial strain? At least that is what I was told by an Antioch Orthodox priest. This is not the same in the Byzantine Catholic Church, is it?
And here is what Orthodox wiki says:
" The dominant view, represented by the Church of Moscow[3], the Greek Archdiocese, the Orthodox Church in America[4], and by the bioethicists Engelhardt and Stanley S. Harakas, may be fairly described as the teaching that non-abortifacient contraception is acceptable if it is used with the blessing of one’s spiritual father, and if it is not used to avoid having children for purely selfish reasons.

The position of the Greek Archdiocese of America was given by Harakas: “Because of the lack of a full understanding of the implications of the biology of reproduction, earlier writers tended to identify abortion with contraception. However, of late a new view has taken hold among Orthodox writers and thinkers on this topic, which permits the use of certain contraceptive practices within marriage for the purpose of spacing children, enhancing the expression of marital love, and protecting health.”
" As Paul Evdokimov wrote, “In the age of the Church Fathers, the problem of birth control was never raised. There are no canons that deal with it.”[1] The Orthodox bioethicist H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., agrees, writing, “Despite detailed considerations of sexual offenses by ecumenical councils, and by generally accepted local councils, and despite a recognition that marriage is oriented toward reproduction, there is no condemnation of limiting births, apart from the condemnation of abortion.”["


Ekonomia (choose a spelling) is an Orthodox practice that handles things that should not happen, or our fallen state, or such issues.

What may be accepted by Economic in certain cases does not make it teaching or practice of that church.

Individual opinions on generality do not change this.


Orthodox wiki says something different concerning divorce:
“there is disagreement on divorce: the Catholic church forbids it, whereas the Orthodox permits it, though allowing remarriage only in penitential form.”


Does the Byzantine Catholic Church have this practice of ‘economia’, or a certain amount of flexibility in the rules depending upon the exigencies of a particular situation? Say for example with regard to the use of artificial birth control under limited conditions. A Byzantine Catholic priest told me No - He did not have the right to give anyone the permission to commit a sin.


If an Orthodox priest is becoming Catholic he would still be a validly ordained priest as a Catholic, right? While a protestant deacon/pastor/priest Christians becoming Catholic have a 3 year period when they are just Catholic before the 3-4 year of Philosophy and Theology studies can start and then they can be ordained as deacons/priests in the Catholic Church.

The Orthodox priest would just have to learn the most commonly Mass/Divine Liturgy celebrated in the area he is residing in but would not be “re-ordained”. I know this is a very short to point out the differences between having apostolic succession and not having it. Have I understood it correctly?


Orthodoxwiki is hardly the authority any more than similar Catholic sites

In theory or practice? In theory, it’s identical. In practice, it doesn’t exist (although there is less general legalism than in the RCC).


However, just like an RCC priest coming from the next diocese, or an RCC priest at an EC parish, he would need faculties from the local bishop before functioning as a priest.

It’s conceivable that some further education would be called for, but by the time a priest “swims the Tiber” in either direction, he probably has that knowledge at a very high level. (I suspect that he’d be more likely to be sent to the seminary as an instructor than a student.



No, this is not correct for those who are becoming Catholic clergy after being Anglican.

Those using the Ordinariate would be ordained by a Catholic Bishop – the Ordinaries of the Ordinariate in both the United Kingdom and Australia, for instance, are able to issue dimissorial letters but not to ordain since they lack the Episcopate so one of the Bishops would have confer the ordination of diaconate and presbyterate. Those entering through the pastoral provision, on the other hand, would be ordained by the Bishop who agrees to receive and incardinate them.

The man’s education and formation is taken into account as far as what, if anything, he needs in terms of courses. Anglican divines, for example, may not require anything of significance at all. In any event, the dossiers go to the Holy See for the granting of rescript, providing dispensation from the obligation of celibacy and permission to proceed with the ordination.


Late to the discussion but here I am.

We believe in transubstantiation, meaning the body and blood of Christ are very much present at the Eucharist. Attending Mass, where it is done licitly and validly, is a blessing and a requirement on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation for Catholics.

Why would you place warm fuzzy community feelings over that?

I’ve parish hopped plenty, but never have I considered going to a service that isn’t Catholic to fulfil the aforementioned obligations—because they wouldn’t be fulfilled. I’ve parish hopped because I have also not liked aspects of worship such as the music or lack of it, the people attending, the priest, etc. Sometimes, the soul feels restless but many times it is such a blessing and relief to let go of the “ideal” Mass we may have in our minds.

This Advent and Christmas I am journeying with this Henri Nouwen book. On Day 22 there is an excerpt from a speech he gave in 1994 to FADICA members about community:

[…] Community is in fact the place where you are purified, where your love is tested, where your childhood of God is constantly put through the mill of human relationships. […] Community is a place where Judas always is and sometimes it is just you.

Preferably, you would find a community that allows you to let go of the “idea” of the perfect Mass. Communities change—the priest leaves, a new parish council is appointed, people move away, the Choir goes on a hiatus. Finding Jesus and allowing yourself to sit with him, everywhere you go is such a blessing.

The complaints about modern Masses feels like that may be your Judas, enticing you to seek an ideal that may never be able to be satisfied, if it is is perhaps only momentarily.

Hope you find your place of peace. :tulip:


I wrote what my bishop said is the procedure (where I live). The protestant pastors/priests here lack studies in Philosophy. And they need the Theology from a Catholic perspective. And then, of course, the approval from the Holy See, bishop etc.

The Anglicans have only two parishes in the country so they are very much a tiny minority of minorities. I even had to look that up as they are basically non visible. The Anglican church is not a member of the national Christian council either so we pretty much don’t hear anything about them or from them. 17 of the Orthodox Churches are members and it is likely that there are a couple of Orthodox Christians where I work but I would be the only Catholic.

Thank you father for taking the time to write and remind me of the Anglicans.


My understanding was that the Orthodox had valid sacraments. I now know that there are Eastern Catholic Rites which are perfectly valid. I will probably look at one of those parishes in my area.

Thank you for your kind wishes and advice though.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit