Different rules for different Catholics?

As a non-Catholic (but one who is interested in learning more), I find it difficult to understand why different rites, rules, and rubrics apply differently to different Catholics. Don’t eastern and western Catholics all hold an equally valid membership in the church?
It’s troubling to me that one segment of the Church is denied a sacrament (specifically and especially the Blessed Sacrament!) while another segment is allowed to partake (in the case of infant communion with the ECC.)
Same goes for married/celebate priests.

And while we’re at it, I understand that the Eastern Catholics recite the Nicene Creed without the filioque!

Can someone please explain to me why this is okay?

(This question was originally submitted to: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=229178&page=2)

I think that you are confusing the Orthodox Church with the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church.

All of the Catholic rites are one big church with agreement on the essentials or “dogmas” of the faith. We differ at times in what languages we speak in the liturgy and in other elements of practicing our faith that do not change the essentials of our common faith. Eastern rite Catholics can partake of the Eucharist in a Latin rite parish if they wish and vice versa.

I’m a Latin rite Catholic who has gone to the liturgy and received communion in a Maronite rite parish. I belong to a very diverse Latin rite parish where many people from other rites worship because there is no local parish from their particular smaller rites. A good example is that many Catholics from India attend Latin rite parishes because there are very few of their rite’s parishes outside of India.

There is a separation between the Orthodox and Catholic churches such that we do not share communion fully. The Orthodox recite the earlier version of the creed without the filioque.

The norm in the Latin rite is that priests are unmarried, but we do have some married priests who are converts. They were already married priests in the Anglican church for example and they became Latin rite priests in the Catholic church. No where in our church can a man become a priest first and then marry or remarry. However, the married/not married situation is not an essential part of the faith that can never change. It is a practice that is thought to be good as the general rule in recent centuries for many reasons.

Because the Church is in Communion, and thus deeply one, it can afford to have different approved externals in matters of custom.

Heck, certain Latin Rite religious orders (like the Dominicans) used to have slightly different Masses from those found elsewhere. The Church okayed this because it found that kind of diversity valuable. Similarly, the Church doesn’t say that everybody has to get married, or everybody has to be single, or everybody has to vow poverty, or that every religious order has to have the same rules.

The Vatican is not going to tell ancient Christian communities that fought for faith against heresy and persecution, for centuries, that the things their saintly forebears followed were all wrong. (This sort of thing has been done, but it usually becomes obvious pretty fast that it was a mistake. It also usually makes a huge mess that takes decades or centuries to clean up.)

It would be presumptuous for Peter to impose burdens instead of strengthening the brethren, especially when Peter thinks a lot of the ancient Eastern customs are extremely nifty and reverent, and have a lot to teach us about Mass and Christ and the Church. But it would be equally wrong to impose Eastern customs on the West. You don’t transplant a tropical flower into snow.

So instead, we have several rites, with several different ways to worship God, each approved by long custom and the Holy Spirit, each in communion with the See of Peter. Each bishop also has certain areas in which he can lay out his own rules for his own diocese, and each pastor has certain rules in his own parish. All parents have the right, within certain bounds, to lay out rules for their own households, too. This is called the principle of subsidiarity.

This may seem strange, but most people live it every day in the secular world. The federal government of the US has certain rules, but every state and every city or county have their own rules, too. Some people can buy liquor on Sunday, some people can only buy during the week, and some counties can’t even sell you weak beer. Is that unfair? No; it’s more fair than having one rigid law code for all. Within bounds, they can have the law that suits them.

I fail to see why they would be obligated to do so in the first place.

The Nicean Creed is not intended to be a recitation of every single element of faith.

Reciting the Nicean Creed with the filoque does not amount to a denial of the Procession of the Spirit from both the Father and Son as if from one Principle.

My understanding is that the only significant difference between the two is the latter’s acceptance of Roman Catholic papal doctrine. My question was specifically in response to the following statement.

This statement lists two sacraments (confirmation/chrismation, and the Eucharist) that Eastern Rite Catholics allow their children to receive, and which Latin Rite Catholics deny their children until their teens. You don’t think this difference changes “the essentials of our common faith”?

All of the Catholic rites are one big church with agreement on the essentials or “dogmas” of the faith. We differ at times in what languages we speak in the liturgy and in other elements of practicing our faith that do not change the essentials of our common faith. Eastern rite Catholics can partake of the Eucharist in a Latin rite parish if they wish and vice versa.

So, can members of a Latin Rite parish, who are parents of a toddler, bring their child to an Eastern Rite parish and have him chrismated and communed?
Will their Latin Rite parish then allow this child–who is now a full fledged member of the Church–to receive the Eucharist, or will they continue to deny him?

Then why not remove the filioque altogether and take a step toward healing the tragic and sinful division that exists between the Eastern and Western Church?

Not if the parents intend to remain in the Latin Church. However, if the parents have transferred (been granted a change of Ritual Church by the appropriate Bishops) to an Eastern Catholic Church and their children are chrismated and communed, the children may then validly receive in a Latin parish even if they are under the age of reception that is the norm for the Latin Church.

Same Beliefs:
Eastern Catholic Churches/ Latin Catholic Church =Same Doctrine. (Catechism of the Catholic Church is for both the Eastern and Latin Church)

Different Discipline:

Eastern Catholic Churches - Eastern Code of Canon Law
Latin Catholic Church - Latin Code of Canon Law

Eastern Catholic Churches - several different Liturgical/ Rites books
Latin Catholic Church - Latin Rites and Liturgical Books

Becuase the issue is NOT about the word filioque being in the Creed.

The issue is the doctrinal differences in the Procession of the Spirit.

Removing the filioque from the Creed itself will do little, if anything, to resovle the doctrinal differences.

No, why do you think it does?

There are variances is the DISCIPLINE of the Sacraments, but our understanding of them ( the DOCTRINE) is identical.

We also have different fasting rules during Lent as well. Do you consider THAT to be a sign of differences in doctrine.

If so, what doctrine?

First, this is not true. Many parishes have first communion, confession, and confirmation at an early age, in elementary school. Some parishes space it out over time. It’s a decision of the bishop, and does not change any of the essentials of the faith.

Secondly, why do you look at is as denial? These are all just different ways of completing the initiation sacraments. The child has to start at some time. These are just the times decided by the individual churches.

These are just the times decided by the individual churches.

Okay. Would anything prevent a Latin Rite bishop from allowing the Latin Rite parishes in his diocese to chrismate and commune infants?

This is really for another thread, but if it’s not about the filioque, then why insist on its inclusion?
Even if individuals in the pews believe things that aren’t explicitly stated in the Creed, wouldn’t it help to have a common statement of faith?

It is not about the usage of the filioque in the Credo. It is about why the filioque is used or not in the Credo. In other words it is about substance and not just wording in a prayer.

We have a common statement of faith with a lot of protestant groups. Does it make them the same as the Catholic Church because of that?

Latin rite catholics don’t do all 3 at the same time. Other rites do. What’s the big deal?

The idea behind waiting with the other 3 initiation sacraments is that children, until a certain age, aren’t capable of mortal sins because they aren’t aware. Once that age is reached they are eligible for 1st confession, communion, and in some cases confirmation. If children under the age die, they are baptised christians without mortal sin who should go to heaven. Once they are aware of mortal sins, we complete their initiation sacraments so they can take advantage of those sources of grace.

So at the most, the difference in the timing of the sacraments is a difference in belief in the culpability for children of thier sins. That’s not a major difference in the tenants of the faith.

Yes, the Code of Canon Law which, although it allows confirmation of infants if they are in danger of death, in fact it says they should be confirmed if at all possible in those circumstances, doesn’t allow children to receive communion until they can understand that they are receiving the body and blood of Jesus.

Canon Law allows for confirmation from the ‘age of reason’ which it defines as around 7 although it allows for bishops to set a later age. As for communion, it can only be given to a child who meets the requirements: understanding the difference between the Host and ordinary bread & being able to receive reverently. Infants can’t meet those two requirement.

Then the Eastern Rite Catholics who chrismate and commune their infants are in violation of Canon Law?

No. They don’t have valid sacraments or Apostolic succession.

The Eastern Churches have their own Canon Law.

The big deal is that we’re talking about excluding *some *of our children from the Body and Blood of Christ.

I’m sorry that’s not a big deal to you, but it is to me. Christ himself said “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." By excluding our children from receiving the Eucharist, we are doing the exact opposite of what Christ told us to do.

If allowing their infants to receive the Blessed Sacrament is good for the Eastern Catholics, why isn’t it good for the Western Catholics?

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