Does an Orthodox have to go through RCIA?

If an Orthodox were to come into full communion with the Catholic Church would they have to go through RCIA?

It’s up to the priest to determine how much “education” they would need…Why do you ask?

Prayers and petitions,
Alexius:cool:

RCIA is (I THINK) specifically the introduction to the latin rite. I would expect that an EO convert would be more likely to feel at home in the Byzantine Catholic Church, no? I dunno if they have a formal process or leave it up to each priest’s judgement.

In either case, I believe the Catholic position is that the EO sacraments are valid, so the convert would have already been baptised, made first communion and been confirmed. Even so, I’d personally recommend anyone wanting to become Roman Catholic go through the RCIA process just for the education and refresher material.

Of course, aren’t they non-Catholic?:rolleyes:

The answer is no.

But non-Catholic Isa wishing to put into place his 2¢ offers:

Eye-rolling sarcasm, duly noted… Just speculation on my part, but the lure of a chance to contradistinction just seems way to great for some to resist.

Isa maybe you could share with us what you think RCIA is and who it is meant to serve?

No. RCIA is in place to prepare adults for the reception of the sacraments. Orthodox, having received valid sacraments are received into communion via profession of faith.

When Orthodox, I’d started to go to a Catholic priest for confession. I’d also been attending daily Mass (but not receiving) for months. When I finally made the decision to switch, I received Communion at Mass, then asked the priest what I needed to do to be Catholic. When he ascertained I’d been going to a Catholic for confession and spiritual direction and had just received Communion at his hands, he said, “Why you’re already Catholic!” and proceeded to get my information so he could register me in the parish. Some months later, I did sit in on RCIA just to pick up on the ins and outs of the Western tradition. . . . but it wasn’t required.

No one needs to go through RCIA. Any priest can receive any person into the Church with a profession of faith. It happens privately all the time. Orthodox are welcome to receive Communion in any Catholic Church. Catholics are not welcome to participate in Orthodox Churches. My parish had regular attendees who were raised Orthodox who received regularly until they died. A friend of mine was Jewish. He was received into the Church in a monastery. At the front of the Church during Divine Liturgy he made his public profession of faith. All he said was, "I believe and profess everything that is held and taught by the Holy Catholic Church. Then he received the sacraments. RCIA is the conventional process, the norm, but is unnecessary.

I think it is required that an Orthodox joining the Catholic Church join the sui juris church equivalent to the Orthodox Church he is currently in. Besides being most familiar to him, it preserves the integrity of the sui juris church.

As far as I know the change only requires Confession.

Thank you GF - all good and true points.

In my parish Father simply instructs the person entering. Orthodox may recieve and become members with a simple profession of faith. Our deacon simply went through private instruction one on one with the priest when he became a Catholic years ago after being raised in a protestant community.

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, no?

I know several people who have gone through it, including my sister.

I got the impression it was to get you up to speed on being a catholic, Latin Flavor.

It is no longer required to enroll within the closest tradition. One may, under current canon law, be received into whichever church sui iuris. Usually that is the one where one is received, or as an option, the one parallel in tradition and rite closest.

It is not required, but it is automatic that a person is received into the sister Church unless otherwise noted.

I would guess that most Orthodox who convert intend to do so into the Latin Church. Since the Latin Church uses RCIA for more than its intent (which is for catechumens–those not baptized–to be instructed in the faith), they probably get grouped in with all the catechumens and candidates as people who need to learn. I’ve even heard of some Orthodox going through the rites with the candidates because of the lack of knowledge on the parish’s part.

The candidates could be received with Confession, Chrismation, and Communion at any time if the parish allowed, but most large parishes don’t. The Orthodox could be received at any time with Confession including statement of faith and Communion. Any Orthodox who wanted to do so would be in a better position to skip RCIA (if that was the desired result) by knowing this and addressing the priest directly. My guess would be that over 99% of people who would go to Confession and say, “Father, I am Eastern Orthodox and I want to confess and make a statement of faith.” would not have any trouble. After that, it is just a matter of having it noted.

RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is really only for those unbaptized adults who wish to enter into the Catholic Church.

But seeing that there is really no “program” for everyone else most dioceses/parishes use RCIA as a catchall for those wishing to enter full communion in the Catholic Church.

In the RCIA class I am helping with we have three Catechumens who will receive all the Sacraments, two who will be completing their Sacraments (they were baptized and received First Eucharist in the Catholic Church but then for some reason never were Confirmed), and three who will make professions of faith and be Confirmed.

IMHO I would handle the two completing their Sacraments on an individual basis but its not my decision to make (yet, God willing).

A good discussion of the issue is here

zenit.org/article-20753?l=english

Also a follow up

zenit.org/article-20872?l=english

I am in a similar situation. I am an Armenian Apostolic Church member (Oriential Orthodox) not close to an Armenian church so I must become an Armenian Rite Catholic (again no parish is near me) and then ask to ascribe to the Latin Rite.

The sacraments of baptism, chrismation (confirmation) and 1st communion are valid. The local priest and diocese explained to me that Eastern churches do not want to give up anyone, but my spirtual needs are the main priority so I had to ask the Bishop to write to the Apostolic Nuncio for permission to ascribe to the Latin rite church…

I hope this helps. So basically no RCIA, but some inquiry and I got one on one discussions with my local pastor. (which I was grateful for)

God bless you.

I am Russian Orthodox and I am converting to Roman Catholicism. I was told I have to go through RCIA. I attended Catholic schools as a child (my parents were not Catholic) and I am still having to go through RCIA. By the time I finish it will have been over a year of RCIA. :o

Whoever set that requirement is likely unaware that you may be received by profession into the Russian Catholic Church (even by a latin Bishop) or another Byzantine rite Catholic Church (Ukrainian, Ruthenian, etc), and immediately become catholic with a couple of signatures and public profession. (I’ve seen one of those!)

Most Latins are woefully ignorant of the Eastern churches, both catholic and orthodox, and also of the CCEO. Even priests are often ignorant of it.

No, the reception of Orthodox Christians is much simpler. The RCIA director should talk to his pastor, or call the diocese, because the ritual church this person will be joining must be established, and if they are not familiar with the eastern churches they need guidance.

Hello and welcome! If you don’t mind me asking (and not to derail this thread too much), what has prompted you to make the switch?

Prayers and petitions,
Alexius:cool:

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