convert revert

Hi,
I’m new to this forum.

I was raised R.C. by R.C. parents. I married an R.C . in the R.C. Church. When I was 24 I converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church, my wife did not. I was tonsured a reader. Two of my children were baptized in the E. Orthodox Church.

After about 15 years, I came back to the R.C. Church, mostly because of an attempt at uniting my family. I stayed in the R.C. only a couple of years, but felt very uncomfortable. The Latin Rite was no longer my home or my tradition. I had an eastern mind-set. I wasn’t growing spiritually. I needed to return to the East. I did, for a while. I acutely felt the seperation from the Holy Father, I felt the need to be united to the Catholic Church still. I decided to try again, and was received back by confession and Holy Communion.

The fact remains, I’m an Eastern-riter at heart, in theology, practice, traditions, etc. I do not and cannot consider myself to be a Latin-riter. It’s just not me.

I realize the Byzantine Greek Catholic Church (Orthodox in union with Rome) is my home. It’s where I should have been the whole time. My wife is still Latin rite, and doesn’t want to join the Byzantine Catholic Church.

Finally my questions:

  1. Am I still considered to belong to the Roman Rite, because it was the original rite I belonged to? Or would I be considered now Byzantine Catholic, because of reverting from the Eastern Orthodox Church?

  2. I was tonsured a reader in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and that still remains valid, I believe, would that have any effect on the position of which rite I belong to now officially?

Obviously, I want to officially belong to the Byzantine Catholic Church, it is my home. It is what I consider myself. But what would the Church consider me? Would a transfer of rite be necessary it this situation?

If asked what I am, I don’t want to have to explain “well, on paper RC, but in practice BC”.

I think ya’ll get I’m trying to say - I hope!

I look forward to your advice!

Jacob

Welcome to the forums! :slight_smile:

Your two children that were baptized in the Eastern Orthodox Church will be consideredGreek Catholic not Latin Catholic.

There are Latin Catholics that practice Byzantine spirituality and prefer Byzantine Theology.

You were baptized in the Latin Church, therefore, you are a Latin Catholic under the authority of your Latin bishop.

Someone here probably can answer this better than me. Holy Orders is a Sacrament, but minor orders is not. I don’t know if minor orders are transferable or not.

You are a Latin Catholic. You would need to formally transfer into the Greek Catholic Church in order to be a Greek Catholic. Both your Latin bishop and the Greek bishop would have to give you permission to transfer.

Maybe… “I am a Roman Catholic who practices Byzantine Catholic spirituality.”

You were baptized Roman so you’ve left and reunited with the Roman Church. That you left for Orthodoxy doesn’t change that. Your children, I assume, were baptized under age 14. As they were the children of a Roman Catholic mother and a non-practicing Roman Catholic father who was in the Orthodox Church, their Catholic ascription can only be to the Roman Church.

  1. I was tonsured a reader in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and that still remains valid, I believe, would that have any effect on the position of which rite I belong to now officially?

No, it doesn’t change anything. All that matters is where you were baptized.

Obviously, I want to officially belong to the Byzantine Catholic Church, it is my home. It is what I consider myself. But what would the Church consider me? Would a transfer of rite be necessary it this situation?

On paper, you remain Roman. A transfer is not necessary. You can fully participate in the Eastern life without transferring.

If asked what I am, I don’t want to have to explain “well, on paper RC, but in practice BC”.

People don’t want to know all that and don’t have any right to know it. You don’t have to explain anything. People who know you will know your story. People who don’t have no right to the details. Don’t get bogged down in minutiae.

I think ya’ll get I’m trying to say - I hope!

I look forward to your advice!

Jacob

You don’t explain why your wife has no interest in being Byzantine. Is she leery, supportive, willing to attend with you, wants nothing to do with it? As a desire for family unity is a driving force, your wife’s needs and fears will affect what is best for your family. I’m going to guess that you’ve been changing a little too much for her peace and she doesn’t want to follow you on another change.

There’s a possibility that the Byzantine Church is symbolic of a bigger issue between you, that she fully supports you finding God where you need to while she’s comfortable where she is, that you’re trying to create unity while she refuses to compromise at all…

My advice, no matter what’s going on, is to start regularly attending a Byzantine Catholic Church. If it is a point of contention, do so in addition to attending Mass with your wife. If it is a huge point of contention, only go to Mass and focus on family life and stability. Do whatever you need to do to keep your marriage in the black until you get guidance.

Find a good spiritual director and place yourself under that person’s authority. Tell that person everything going on and obey the direction. That person might say it is in the best interest of your salvation that you get active in the Byzantine parish quickly because of your history with service during the Liturgy that will help to ground you. Or that person might tell you that it would hurt your salvation to get involved quickly because it will distract from where your primary focus needs to be, like obedience or unity or service to the family. We can’t know what you need, but finding a spiritual director will allow you to have the guidance.

Commit to the long haul because it won’t be easy getting stabilized again, but it will come. Just finding a spiritual director you work well with might take 3-6 months. Depending on your wife’s needs during that time, you might need to attend Mass and then pray together daily in a way you’re both comfortable, then add your own private prayers in the Byzantine tradition to keep your own soul nourished. Even if she’s supportive but not involved, it’s going to be work to bring about this unity you desire. Remember that whatever personal poverty comes because you’re putting your wife’s salvation first will be blessed by God.

Don’t worry about what it says on paper. Worry about your wife’s salvation, your marriage’s unity, your service to your family in Christian love and joy, getting the guidance you need to be a good husband and father. The paperwork and church ascription will fall into place when you focus on these priorities.

Thanks Zekariya and CDB1718, very helpful indeed!

My wife’s attitude is the Byzantine’s aren’t really Catholic (even though she was told by a Latin rite priest they are). She says she’s no theologian, bishop or pope, and doesn’t need to delve deep into Faith, just doing what she was told to do and believe is enough. She sees to reason to question things, or discuss it. She really has no interest in religion, although she goes to Mass whenever required. Basically, she does the least she can and still fulfill her “obligation”.

There’s also an ethnic barrier. She’s born and raised in Poland. She says Eastern Christianity is good for the Russians, Ukrainians and Greeks, they should not convert to Catholicy. And Poles, Germany, Italians, should be Catholics, and not convert to Orthodoxy. She basically equates religious affiliation with nationality. Hence, she considers Jews to be only Jews, not German, Polish or Russian. No comprimise, her way or the high-way.

She doesn’t put any obsticals in my way about how I pray, or if I go to the BC Church (I do still go to Mass with her from time to time as well), but she doesn’t like it much. She doesn’t like family prayer together, doesn’t really like statues or holy pictures - she says they belong in churches, not homes. Basically, she put it this way to me “if you want to pray a lot, read Scripture, and have holy pictures and statues, you should have joined a monastery and not get married.”

I’ve tried being in the Roman Church, practicing and living as a Roman, that didn’t work, I went to Mass every day, prayed the daily rosary, etc. Too much, excessive. Being Orthodox was no good, because I’m neither Russian nor Greek - forget about the spirituality. Byz. Cath. isn’t good, because in her opinion, their neither Catholic nor Orthodox.

I’ve gotten to the point where I just practice what I know and believe, without taking into concideration what her opinion on the matter is, since her ideal is “go to church only when necessary, don’t think about religion because you’ll go crazy.” Two of my children are now adults. One is Russian Orthodox, one is Catholic (novus ordo - my wife goes to an SSPS chapel, but only because she likes the quiet and the way people dress - not because of any Vat II issues, Latin, or anything else). My youngest was baptized in the SSPX chapel, and raised there, he’s 10. He loves the Byzantine Catholic Liturgy, but my wife doesn’t like it if he goes with me, and will make up every excuse for him not to go.

CDB1718, as you suggested, I’m trying to find a spiritual father. I know I need one.

Well, I certainly laid it all out there. I guess you can tell my household is not the most peaceful, but somehow we get by.

I hope you say something charming about not being able to resist her. :wink: It is a kind way of pointing out in the heat of discussion that prayer is not independent from marriage while sex is independent from monasticism. Anyone who’s arguing that isn’t really engaging a dialog, she’s saying that she doesn’t value a lived faith or she feels second to theology or something else. There’s no point engaging the actual words being said if she doesn’t mean the literal meaning. And addressing the topic of a life-changing view of faith permeating the domestic church isn’t usually best made in the heat of argument.

I’ve gotten to the point where I just practice what I know and believe, without taking into concideration what her opinion on the matter is, since her ideal is “go to church only when necessary, don’t think about religion because you’ll go crazy.”

That would be well and good as a starting point if not for the detail of your son.

My youngest was baptized in the SSPX chapel, and raised there, he’s 10. He loves the Byzantine Catholic Liturgy, but my wife doesn’t like it if he goes with me, and will make up every excuse for him not to go.

You’re going to need to figure out how you can maintain family unity while making sure your son isn’t subjected to undermining or confrontations on one side and isn’t lacking in support, experience, and education in his faith on the other. It won’t be easy, but it is a path many follow so you’ll be in good company. How do I raise my son in the faith when my wife is practicing but passively hostile to faith woven into everyday life? I think you could have a thread only on that!

Well, I certainly laid it all out there. I guess you can tell my household is not the most peaceful, but somehow we get by.

Ha! Isn’t that the story for all of us? Not all of us have this issue, but who doesn’t have something over the course of a marriage? Stay focused on your vocation: getting your wife and children to heaven.

The spiritual director will be the one who will be able to guide you on how you can continue to run the race to the end without the same support for you coming from your wife. Many people face this problem. God will see you through it.

The situation is a little unusual since two children would be canonically Byzantine, and considering that you were received and chrismated (and ordained to a Minor Order) in the Orthodox Church, an argument can be made that you might be canonically considered a member of whichever sister EC is involved. My advice would be to pose the question to an Eastern Canon Lawyer. OK, it’s not all that easy to find one, I admit, but you can start by contacting the Eparchial Chancery of whichever EC it is, (as a rule the Vicar-General – not the receptionist – is usually the place to go).

Good luck. :slight_smile:

It appears he has one adult child who is Orthodox, one adult child who is Roman Catholic, and a minor child who was baptized and raised SSPX with his Roman Catholic mother.

Whatever interpretation would be made for the paperwork would be done in economy for his salvation, in my opinion. That’s secondary to the actual work of salvation, in which the spiritual director will be a better assistant.

I shouldn’t have posted in this thread.

I’m sorry. Did I say something harsh or offensive? I tried to PM you to apologize but you aren’t accepting PMs. Please forgive me!

Thank you but no harm done.

My advice would be to talk to a priest, you can’t just hop from one rite to another. Technically you are RC as you were baptized and raised in the RC Church. I would also suggest you take some classes like RCIA or maybe privately with a priest since your situation is a bit unusual. Prayers, God Bless, Memaw

Well, true, who doesn’t have trials in marriage!

I’ve got to say, my son isn’t shy about talking about things he learns at the SSPX chapel. I do plan on going with them on a semi-regular basis, for the sake of family. So I should be able to monitor what he’s learning, and I know his catechism teacher, I’m not too worried about that.

Just no point in arguing about it all with my wife, because no matter what I say, it’s falling on deaf ears.

Now, I see that I am mostly likely considered a member of the Roman Church due to baptism.

I can still become a parishioner of a Byzantine Ruthenian or Ukrainian Catholic Church, and be an active member, and live and practice as I always have per the Eastern Church. No need for a transfer of rite. But that would mean I am still subject to the Roman bishop of the local Roman diocese, would it not? Obliging me to follow the Roman feasts and fasting rules, no?

There would be no impediment at all by legally remaining in the Roman Church, but participating in the Byzantine? For example, I die. I want my funeral to be in the Byzantine Church, but I was baptized in the Roman. That wouldn’t be a problem? Or is it really up to the parish priest, who presumably know me as an active member of the Byzantine parish?

I am planning to speak with the Byzantine Catholic priest about this, I just want to come as prepared and knowledgeable as possible!

Thank you for all the input. I appreciate it.

Note that the SSPX due not have faculties to validly hear confession unless it is an emergency. It is the diocesan bishop who gives the faculties to his priests. The SSPX operate outside of the authority of the local bishop.

I can still become a parishioner of a Byzantine Ruthenian or Ukrainian Catholic Church, and be an active member, and live and practice as I always have per the Eastern Church. No need for a transfer of rite. But that would mean I am still subject to the Roman bishop of the local Roman diocese, would it not? Obliging me to follow the Roman feasts and fasting rules, no?

You are subject to the Latin bishop.

You must attend a Mass/Divine Liturgy on the Roman holy days of obligation. It does not matter which rite you attend to fulfill your obligation as long as they are in Communion with Rome.

The Latin Church fasts only on Fridays from meat. You could follow the Byzantine fasts since you would not be violating the Latin fasts day by doing so.

There would be no impediment at all by legally remaining in the Roman Church, but participating in the Byzantine? For example, I die. I want my funeral to be in the Byzantine Church, but I was baptized in the Roman. That wouldn’t be a problem? Or is it really up to the parish priest, who presumably know me as an active member of the Byzantine parish?

Conceivably, the Eastern priest could refuse to do your funeral because you are not a member of his parish. You are a member of the Latin parish of which reside in the territory of. I would speak to him about your desires ahead of time.

I am planning to speak with the Byzantine Catholic priest about this, I just want to come as prepared and knowledgeable as possible!

Thank you for all the input. I appreciate it.

No problem! :thumbsup:

Hm. Are there any Roman holy days of obligation that are NOT in the Byzantine Catholic Church?

Yeah, I know all about the SSPX, that’s why I bring my son to the local Roman Church for confession (oddly enough, my wife doesn’t mind, since she sometime goes there too for confession:shrug:).

On December 13, 1991 the members of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States of American made the following general decree concerning holy days of obligation for Latin rite Catholics:

In addition to Sunday, the days to be observed as holy days of obligation in the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States of America, in conformity with canon 1246, are as follows:

  1. January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

  2. Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the solemnity of the Ascension

  3. August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the* Blessed Virgin Mary

  4. November 1, the solemnity of All Saints

  5. December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

  6. December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ [list numbers are not in original]

Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.

This decree of the Conference of Bishops was approved and confirmed by the Apostolic See by a decree of the Congregation for Bishops (Prot. N. 296/84), signed by Bernardin Cardinal Gantin, prefect of the Congregation, and dated July 4, 1992.

It should be noted that the Ascension is celebrated on Sunday in many dioceses of the US (in accordance with a decision to allow this transfer), reducing the practical number to 5 in many places.

In the Eastern Catholic Churches, besides Sunday, the following are Holy Days:
Christmas, Epiphany (Jan. 6),
Ascension, Dormition (Aug. 15)
and Apostles Peter and Paul (Jun. 29).
Like the Code of Canon Law, the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches provides that each Eastern Church may have particular law Holy Days and also, with the approval of the Holy See, suppress some on the universal list.

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