Could I POSSIBLY become Roman Catholic?


#1

Since I was baptised Roman Catholic but CONFIRMED Byzantinne Catholic (clueless of the reasons), is there any way possible that I could re confirm myself Roman, therefore undoing my previous Byzantinne confirmation?


#2

You can become Roman Catholic but once you become Roman you can not convert back to Byzantine. The Catholic Church wants its people to become part of a community and to maintain a tradition. I am not sure what the process is. I am pretty sure that you need the permision of both bishops.


#3

I suspect there may be some wiggle room here, since it sounds like you did not make the decision yourself. However, a request to change rites is always scrutinized carefully - I’d bet yours will be examined that much more carefully.

But if you feel called to do this, then go for it, through the proper authorities.

Actually, on rereading your question, I see you are asking about undoing your Byzantine confirmation. Once the grace of that sacrament(mystery) has made its imprint on your soul, that is a permanent change which cannot be undone. You can’t “do” that sacrament a second time. However, that shouldn’t prevent a person from changing rites later.


#4

I did not make the decision myself; I was just a baby when I was confirmed Byzantine. In Byzantine Churches, confirmation is different because babies could be confirmed after they’re baptized. However, I think the Roman Catholic point of view makes much more sense since the person is aware of what’s happening.
I’m relieved to know that I could change to RC. Now if I could just get the steps…


#5

You should also know that you can become a member of a Roman rite parish without having to change rites. Your status as a Byzantine should rarely be an issue.

The only obstacles you may face in a Roman parish that I can think of would be if you seek ordination, marry someone who is not Roman Catholic, and possibly if you seek to have your children baptized.

Regardless, what I suggest is that you join a RC parish for awhile before making a permanent decision about giving up your Byzantine status.


#6

Why would I have trouble getting my children baptised?
Also, I’ve usually went to RC Masses my whole life, and rarely Byzantine anyway so I know what it’s like.


#7

Since you are already attending a RC church, you probably are building an acquaintance with the priests who are there. My best suggestion is to ask to speak to one of them and explain your situation. I think they will be more than happy to discuss the topic with you with open arms. Everyone is welcome home! God bless you and your family. I think the Holy Spirit is already leading you back home. :wink:


#8

[quote=PMV]Why would I have trouble getting my children baptised?
[/quote]

Sorry, I misinterpreted a statement made by CatholicNerd elsewhere:

I think that a person’s ritual status is determined by the father. If the father was Byzantine but the child was baptized in a Latin parish, the child is Byzantine but retains the option of requesting to transfer to the Latin Rite after age 14 or something like that.


#9

i’m not sure about the confusion here. :confused:
isn’t byzantine catholic part of the eastern right of the catholic church?? why would some one need to get permission to go back and forth when we are all in communion with one another?? this seems odd to me and a place where division could arise. it’s not as though you were orthodox or protestant and are “coming home”, you have been home all your life and just wish to celebrate it a little differently but still within the guidelines of the one church. some one please explain to me why this is so complicated.


#10

The fact that we’re all in communion doesn’t mean that rules are the same for everyone. If you go to a game Sunday afternoon, all the Bengals fans may be in communion with each other as fans and as Americans. However, the ones that drive back to Kentucky will have to follow different rules from the ones that live in Ohio. And even while in Ohio, they are bound by the laws of Kentucky regarding child custody, etc.

So it is with the different rites of the Church. If you want to become a priest, you can’t just decide that the Melkite seminary looks more appealing, because you would like to be married first. If you seek an annulment, is it proper to go to the marriage tribunal at the Latin-rite diocese, or should the Chaldean eparchy handle it? There are issues of authority and jurisdiction which are perfectly appropriate where distinct but valid apostolic traditions have been maintained.

Yes, it can be a source of division. But generally people of good faith seek to prevent that, in part by following all these applicable rules.


#11

[quote=PMV]Since I was baptised Roman Catholic but CONFIRMED Byzantinne Catholic (clueless of the reasons), is there any way possible that I could re confirm myself Roman, therefore undoing my previous Byzantinne confirmation?
[/quote]

The Sacrament of Confirmation can only be received once. It is validly conferred no matter the Rite in which you receive it.

However, yes, it is possible to formally change from Byzantine to Roman Rite. Make an appointment with your priest and discuss the matter.


#12

[quote=bengal_fan]i’m not sure about the confusion here. :confused:
isn’t byzantine catholic part of the eastern right of the catholic church?? why would some one need to get permission to go back and forth when we are all in communion with one another?? this seems odd to me and a place where division could arise. it’s not as though you were orthodox or protestant and are “coming home”, you have been home all your life and just wish to celebrate it a little differently but still within the guidelines of the one church. some one please explain to me why this is so complicated.
[/quote]

While both Byzantine and Roman Catholics are 100% Catholic, they are governed by separate Canon Law. Therefore, from a juridical standpoint, a person would need to go through a formal process to change from one Rite to another. Yes, we are in communion with each other, but we are not governed by the same Church Law.


#13

[quote=PMV]Since I was baptised Roman Catholic but CONFIRMED Byzantinne Catholic (clueless of the reasons), is there any way possible that I could re confirm myself Roman, therefore undoing my previous Byzantinne confirmation?
[/quote]

Hi, PMV!

Couple o’ points…

Since the Catholic Church is much more than just the Roman Catholic Church (as you’re probably aware, the Catholic Church is actually comprised of 23 separate Churches, each under the pastoral care of our Holy Father, the Pope of Rome), rules have been established to determine which Catholics individuals belong to which of these 23 Churches. First and foremost, it is the Sacrament of Baptism that “makes” an individual a Catholic. In the case of an infant, this sacrament is usually administered at the request of the parents. For this reason, the Church recognizes the Church affiliation of the parents, specifically the father, as the governing factor with regard to the “official” Church membership of the infant. Any further sacraments recieved in any Catholic Church, Roman or otherwise, do not cause you to automatically “switch rites.” What this means is that if your father was a Roman Catholic and you were initiated into the Catholic Church through a Roman Catholic baptism, you are still a Roman Catholic, despite having received the Holy Mystery of Chrismation (the Byzantine term for the Sacrament of Confirmation) in the Byzantine Catholic Church. Remember that since we are all Catholics, we are always free to receive any of our Church’s sacraments in any of the 23 Catholic Churches - by doing so, we do not change our ritual affiliation.

In short, if your father was a Roman Catholic rather than a Byzantine (and I assume this to be the case since you mentioned that you’re “clueless” as to why you were chrismated in a Byzantine Church), you are, were and will always be a Roman Catholic yourself (unless, of course, you apply and are granted an official Change of Rite by Rome - not very likely in your case, since you seem to be right where you want to be).

There is no need to be concerned about “undoing” your Byzantine Chrismation and “re-doing” the Sacrament of Confirmation in a Roman Catholic Church. It is the same sacrament in either Church. As was pointed out by others, the Sacrament of Confirmation leaves a one-time indellible imprint on your soul - it can only be received once in your lifetime (my own kids are an example - they were all Chrismated into the Byzantine Catholic Church as infants, as was I. My family is currently enrolled as members of a Roman Catholic parish, but we are still “officially” Byzantine Catholics, and will be until we pass on. My kids fully participated in the Religious Ed program at this church with the rest of their Roman Catholic contemporaries, but when it came time for their respective classes to be confirmed, we had to instruct the bishop ahead of time to administer a blessing only to my kids, since they had already received the actual Sacrament of Confirmation).

From your standpoint, this should be good news for you - it means that you never changed from a Roman to a Byzantine Catholic in the first place and that you need do absolutely nothing except continue practicing in your life as a Roman Catholic in order to make your membership “official.”

Hope this all makes sense to you, my friend!

a pilgrim


#14

[quote=bengal_fan]i’m not sure about the confusion here. :confused:
isn’t byzantine catholic part of the eastern right of the catholic church?? why would some one need to get permission to go back and forth when we are all in communion with one another?? this seems odd to me and a place where division could arise. it’s not as though you were orthodox or protestant and are “coming home”, you have been home all your life and just wish to celebrate it a little differently but still within the guidelines of the one church. some one please explain to me why this is so complicated.
[/quote]

You can go to a Byzantine Rite mass but they do not want people just switching rites left and right. They want people to find a home in a rite and stick with that. They also do not want people looking at one rite as being superior to the others.


#15

This has been an interesting thread. Like most people in the U.S. I am Roman Catholic, although I would like to visit a Byzantine Church. I’ve learned there are 2 other-rite churches in the “local” area…Constantine Catholic and Byzantine Catholic. I don’t know the difference other than the Catholic branding in the phone book.

Anyway, knowing nothing about either of these rites, I have to ask…why would you want to switch from Byzantine to RC? Does it have to do with the unavailbility of Byz. Churches in your area, or is it something else? You say you have gone to the RC church for most of your life…but have you ever attended the Mass of the Byzantine rite?

Since I have not yet visited a mass there I have no idea what to expect or why people would want to change from it.

I hope you don’t find my questions annoying…I really am curious about other rites and why some of them aren’t more common.


#16

Dear PMV,

As stated here by others, there is only one valid Confirmation in the Catholic church, you already have it, you cannot do it again.

Not even conditionally, to insist upon it is to deny the efficacy of Catholic sacraments which actually would place you outside the church! :eek:

A_Pilgrim and some others have explained it very clearly, If your father was a Byzantine, your baptism in the Roman church would not change that. If your father was a Roman, your Confirmation/Chrismation in the Byzantine church would not change you to Byzantine. Canon Law decides what church you belong to. If you are distinctly dissatisfied with that, you can write a letter to the two bishops responsible for your area and make the change: Your Eminence Bishop So-and-So, etc. etc. simply state that you have lived as a ___ most of your life, have a ____ understanding of the Faith and live according to the ____ calendar in a ___ parish. You would respectfully like to be officially listed among the Faithful of the ____ Sui Iuris church under His Eminences spiritual guidance.

The first bishop signs off on it, sends the letter to the second bishop for a signature and it’s done!

Now if your father was born a Latin rite Catholic, and that’s how you see yourself with no desire to be Byzantine. You have nothing to do, you are already Roman.


#17

[quote=JCPhoenix]This has been an interesting thread. Like most people in the U.S. I am Roman Catholic, although I would like to visit a Byzantine Church. I’ve learned there are 2 other-rite churches in the “local” area…Constantine Catholic and Byzantine Catholic. I don’t know the difference other than the Catholic branding in the phone book.

[/quote]

I have never heard of a Constantine Catholic church.

It makes no sense to me at all, might this be some sort of vagante group?

There are Coptic Catholics, and Chaldean Catholics, could it be one of these? The Ruthenians (my church) are sometimes known as Carpatho-Rusyns, but that terminology, as correct as it is, is not used to identify the Sui Iuris church.

Some (actually many) Orthodox churches in the USA will use Catholic in their own description of themselves. Their fondness for this is partly because they see themselves as Orthodox Catholics, but mostly because a great many Eastern Catholic parishes were established in North America over 100 years ago and were lost to the Catholic Communion. They retained the “Catholic” moniker and it serves as a hint to their origins.

The American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox church (ACROD) is one such group that is under the Patriarch of Constantinople, but not Rome. Another would be the Ukrainian Orthodox church, again under Constantinople. Both of these were mainly formed out of Eastern Catholic churches and are under the Patriarch, as is the Greek Orthodox church, but they probably wouldn’t call themselves Constantine Catholic either.

So I cannot explain the Constantine Catholic church name.


#18

[quote=JCPhoenix]I’ve learned there are 2 other-rite churches in the “local” area…Constantine Catholic and Byzantine Catholic. I don’t know the difference other than the Catholic branding in the phone book.
[/quote]

This confused me, so I looked up the details. As far as I can tell, you have 3 Eastern rite churches in Minneapolis:

St Constantine is either Ruthenian or Ukrainian, both of which are categories of Byzantine.
St John the Baptist is Byzantine.
St Maron is Maronite.

In addition, although I couldn’t find anything definite, a possibility is St Cyril, simply because it’s a fairly common name for some Eastern rite churches.


#19

[quote=JCPhoenix]This has been an interesting thread. Like most people in the U.S. I am Roman Catholic, although I would like to visit a Byzantine Church. I’ve learned there are 2 other-rite churches in the “local” area…Constantine Catholic and Byzantine Catholic. I don’t know the difference other than the Catholic branding in the phone book.

Anyway, knowing nothing about either of these rites, I have to ask…why would you want to switch from Byzantine to RC? Does it have to do with the unavailbility of Byz. Churches in your area, or is it something else? You say you have gone to the RC church for most of your life…but have you ever attended the Mass of the Byzantine rite?

Since I have not yet visited a mass there I have no idea what to expect or why people would want to change from it.

I hope you don’t find my questions annoying…I really am curious about other rites and why some of them aren’t more common.
[/quote]

Probably the main reason I want to be RC is because I usually attend RC Mass, but I can’t use it as my title.
I’ve been to some Byzantine Masses. They are very uplifting and spiritual, and I in no way disrespect them; it’s just that Roman is more suitable for me since I usually go to RC Churches. The main difference in the Byzantine Church is that most of the Mass is a chant. The prayers were sung instead of said, and most of the things said by the Priest were mostly chanted, except for the sermon I think. The Byzantine Church also has no statues, but pictures all around the place. Also, most of the atmosphere is mainly light blue, even the floors.
The communion is also given in a very different way then RC. A small piece of regular bread (not like round host at your usual Mass, but kind used for a sandwhich) is soaked with wine (blood of Jesus). This wine-soaked little piece of bread is connected to some kind of sharp stick. The Priest holds the stick out to you when it’s your turn, you must open your mouth and stick out your tongue, and the Priest does something with the stick that releases the bread onto your tongue. This may sound odd and REALLY different to all of you who haven’t attended a Byzantine Mass. Also, when they bless themselves and say “Holy Spirit” they tap their right shoulder before the left one. I don’t know why though, perhaps it’s just a sign to be different from Roman.
The Byzantine Mass is very mystical and you could feel the spirit of God in it’s prescence. I’d suggest that all of you attend at least one to be aware of what else is out there.
One of the reasons I’d rather be Roman is because it’s more original, more traditional and it just suits me better. Since I usually attend RC Mass it just feels more complete to *be *Roman Catholic. :slight_smile:


#20

This is a very interesting thread. I must admit I never knew there was such diversity within the Catholic Church! I don’t know of anything other than RC here in Ireland - I’ll have to check that out.

I really feel like I’ve learned something tonight!


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