Family conversion question

Hello all,
I am fairly new to this forum. I have read a bunch of threads and learned so much. With this I have pondered some questions I was hoping someone could answer?
I read that an Eastern Orthodox Christian does “not convert” they simply profess their faith to the catholic church. If a whole family decided to become “Roman Catholic” , since the Eastern Orthodox Baptize, confirm, and give Holy communion to infants, does that mean that the children in the family get to skip all the classes typically required of “Roman Catholic” children since they have allready been confirmed and communed?
I am specifically asking about the change over to the “Roman Rite” and not a change from EO over to an Eastern Rite Catholic Church. (I am aware that the Eastern Rite Catholics combine the Sacraments just as the EO’s do).

In general when Orthodox are received into the Catholic Church it is strongly recommended that they join the Eastern Catholic Church that most closely corresponds to the Orthodox Church they are leaving. If they wish to join the Latin Church then they will be offered a “short form” class that will provide the theological and cultural differences. As you correctly noted, they will simply make a profession of faith.

Deacon Ed

All Catholics are called to life-long catechesis.

Children who are chrismated as infants or young children should certainly be educated in the faith as they grown up. Whether that is through their parents or through a parish or school religious education program is up to the parents.

Parents are always the primary educators of their children in the faith, and the fact that the children have received all of the Sacraments of Initiation does not have any bearing on this responsibility of the parents.

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So does this mean that an infant or a toddler could recieve holy communion in the Roman church?

Well, that depends. According to canon law, when Eastern Orthodox faithful are received into the Church, they are automatically members of the corresponding Eastern Catholic Church–regardless of the parish, church building, the ritual used, diocese, or even the bishop or priest who receives them; Unless they specifically express a desire to become Latin Rite, and such a notation is made in the parish register.

If they do not express that, then they are automatically Eastern Catholic, and as such may continue to receive Communion as infants.

On the other hand, if they express that desire to become Latin Rite, then the Latin canons would apply and the infants would have to wait until the age of reason to resume the Eucharist.

No, there would still be a need to catechize the children as they grow. They of course could receive Holy Communion whenever they are ready. In the Eastern Church it is easier for young children to receive because Communion is given by spoon under a form that even a small year old infant could receive or small tube for a drop of the precious Blood only. Special arrangements could be made for a very small piece of the Host to be given to a small child. Doing so could cause confusion for the parish if it is not explained well first, why this particular child who seems to be too young is receiving. It would probably be best to do as Fr. David suggested that the child wait until they of or near the normal age in the Latin Rite to resume receiving again. But they would NOT receive the “First Holy Communion” again or be Confirmed again.

No, there would still be a need to catechize the children as they grow. They of course could receive Holy Communion whenever they are ready. In the Eastern Church it is easier for young children to receive because Communion is given by spoon under a form that even a small year old infant could receive or small tube for a drop of the precious Blood only. Special arrangements could be made for a very small piece of the Host to be given to a small child. Doing so could cause confusion for the parish if it is not explained well first, why this particular child who seems to be too young is receiving. It would probably be best to do as Fr. David suggested that the child wait until they of or near the normal age in the Latin Rite to resume receiving again. But they would NOT receive the “First Holy Communion” again or be Confirmed again.

wouldn’t this cause more confussion amongst parishiners if a child who was catholic did not go with their age appropriate group for “First Communion”, yet would go up seperatly and recieve?

I don’t think so, as this could be easily explained to the parents of the other First Communicants. Generally depending on the size of the parish most people could not point out any of the First Communicants within a week of the First Communion Masses, They just blend in.

In our parish, there were several Eastern Rite Catholics who did not have an Eastern Rite parish near enough to attend on Sundays. They came to Mass and their children received Communion, as they were entitled to do. It was a matter of catechizing the parish.

Actually, we had more confusion and upset at the Easter Vigil, when parents of older confirmation students saw 8-year-olds being fully initiated into the church. Those who were struggling to persuade busy and reluctant teens to attend confirmation prep classes felt as if parents who had waited until after the age of reason to have their children baptized were somehow being “rewarded.” That catechesis was more difficult than explaining the different Rites. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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