How long should it take to receive permissions from Byzantine Rite to marry (a non-catholic) in Latin Rite church?


#61

[quote="MaryEllen1951, post:58, topic:381176"]
Thank-you for your kind words and good advice. I have thought the same thoughts that I am the one who left for all those years and now I'm impatient to be brought back. I'm thinking that satan does not want me back to the church and is working on me. I was very strong in the beginning, but now have felt very weakened in my resolve. I'm having trouble re-gaining my initial feelings of longing and hope. It just seems that things keep happening to discourage and delay. For over a year and a half I attended mass without being able to receive communion. I cried each week, but I kept going. Lately I have felt as though I can't do it any more.

[/quote]

I really advise you to spend some time with Hosea ... and keep up the faith ...

I do know the longing during a long - for me almost 2 year wait until I could receive Jesus in the Eucharist ...

and You are correct Satan wants to keep you away ...

I have often told people that Satan will attack .. its like this .. if you are not doing God's will - Satan will help you get to Mass .. he will smooth your way .. he will flip the pages of the Missal for you

But - If you are doing God's will - Satan will place every stumbling block in your way ... he will tell you the Super Bowl is more important - it only happens once a year, Satan will hide your children's shoes, he will cause you not to fill the tank so you run out of gas on the way to the Church ..

AND also consider this -

Judas betrayed Jesus and gave up in despair

Peter denied Christ and wept tears of repentance

Who would you most like to be? And remember how Peter felt when Jesus asked him - Not once .. but three times - "Do you love me" to counter act Peter's three fold denial ...

Jesus will not make you wait thirty years .. but this is an opportunity for you to repair and grow your relationship with Him ...

I continue to pray for you MaryEllen - :signofcross:


#62

[quote="MaryEllen1951, post:57, topic:381176"]
Thank-you - I'm worried about the baptism requirement. My husband's family was Methodist but not regular church goers. We went to his church to obtain his record of baptism. They keep handwritten records in these large books in chronological order. We found his 2 older sister's records, but the book that would have contained my husband and his older brother was missing. The church said they did not know what happened to the book and was not helpful in recovering the information. My husband's mother and two older sisters are deceased and his other siblings have no memory of the baptisms. So, we cannot confirm nor deny that he was baptized.

We told this to the priest when we first stated this almost 2 years ago and he was not concerned at the time. Now I'm wondering if this will be yet another roadblock that we won't be able to overcome easily.

[/quote]

Explain the situation to your priest and ask about conditional Baptism.


#63

Dear Mary Ellen,

I’m a legal expert in my country and an adviser to the Cardinal Archbishop of the Latin rite Archdiocese where I live in. Despite this fact, I am an Eastern rite catholic, not a Latin rite one. I have quite a good experience in Canon Law, both Eastern and Western canon law (I have a canon law blog, but since it is in Portuguese, it won’t help you).

From my personal experience, few people in the Latin Church know how to handle matters involving Eastern catholics (even at the bishop’s office). There are some tricky questions regarding interritual relationships. And sometimes Eastern catholics are just to small to afford canon lawyers. This doesn’t seem to be the case of the Eparchy of Passaic. The list of documents they have presented to you is just correct, astonishingly.

The problem is bureaucracy. In fact, you husband’s annulment procedure was conducted in record time. I’m an appointed advocate in a marriage annulment case over here which is already 2 years old, without first instance decision yet.

All Eastern Catholic Churches must accept the decision of the Latin rite tribunal. It is not an option for them. So don’t worry about that.

I don’t mean to scare you, but the Congregation for the Eastern Churches in the Vatican says that, in cases like yours, the permission to get licitly married in a Latin rite ceremony should come from the Holy See (Vatican). Have a look:
“It is always necessary to take into account that, with the exception of the case in which the Hierarch or the parish priest are of another Church , with respect to the norm of can. 916 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, the celebration must occur, , according to the rites of the spouses, or of one of them if it is an inter-ritual marriage. Therefore, a celebration in another rite is illicit, but can be authorized by the Apostolic See on a case by case basis.” (APPLYING THE LITURGICAL PRESCRIPTIONS OF THE CODE OF CANONS OF THE EASTERN CHURCHES - Congregation for the Eastern Churches)

But let’s just not mention that, it will only make things harder for you. If no one noticed that at the bishop’s office (as I told you, these Eastern-Western relations are very tricky, they are not for amateurs and regular Church personnel is not trained to deal with them), let us drop that now for a bit. You will get a valid marriage at the Latin church, though presumably an illicit one, because you won’t have permission from the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. None of these problems would occur if you decided to marry at your Eastern Church parish.

All the paperwork could be avoided - and I would have advised you to do that before starting all the procedure in the Latin rite church - by paying a visit to your byzantine pastor and arranging the blessing of your marriage with him. I know, you don’t remember anything about the rite, you feel more comfortable at the Latin rite, but your insistence in trying to marry at the Latin rite church is not going to help you.

If it takes too long to get all the permissions, you should really consider going to your Eastern rite Church and get married over there. You want a Catholic marriage, it does not matter if it is in the Latin rite or Eastern rite Church. Don’t worry, the priest will guide you through all the ceremony.

One thing: if you eventually have the opportunity of marrying in the Latin rite Church, do not do this in the presence of a deacon. As an Eastern Catholic, you cannot have a deacon as the celebrant. It should be a priest or a bishop for the validity of the matrimony.

If you have any doubts, just drop me a line over here and I’ll try to help you clarifying matters concerning Church law.

Yours in Christ,

GM 2013


#64

I am a convert and was received into the church during this last easter.

As for communion, I have received communion a total of two times in my life. I have been going to church for about 3 years now, so that isn't very often.

Remember, in the old days, people seldom received communion, and some people only did so during Easter.

What I do, is that I go up to receive a blessing. When you get up to the priest, cross your arms in front of yourself in an X. They will then give you a blessing in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. You then go back to your seat like everyone else. There is no shame in doing this, and people who haven't confessed since committing a mortal sin should do this.

Not receiving communion isn't the end of the world, I have considered illicitly receiving before (I don't live in a country with many Catholics, so I get to church very rarely and am often not in a state of grace), but in the end I am happy that I waited until after I could confess.


#65

Hello - My first post on this subject was November 2014. It is now April 17, 2015…7 months since my initial meeting in September 2014 with the Latin Rite Catholic priest to start the process of getting permission from the Byzantine Rite to have our almost 25-year marriage blessed by the Latin church…and I still have not received this.

I’m not sure where the hold-ups have occurred, maybe a combination of the Diocese and the Eparchy. Last Febuary I was given a form (provided by the Eparchy) to be filled out and signed by 2 witnesses. I included my husband’s proof of baptism at a Methodist church and both Decrees of Nullity for his prior marriages.

After I provided this to the priest it took 3 weeks for the Diocese to send it to the Eparchy - I was told it was sent on March 16. Unfortunately, the timing was such that it arrived during Lent so I’m pretty certain nothing took place until after Easter.

This morning, I called the priest at the Byzantine church where I was baptized. I am feeling frustrated because I have not been able to get any information as to how long a process this is for the Byzantine Eparchy. He told me that it’s a simple and quick process. He said it’s just a matter of the Bishop of the Eparchy (mine is the Eparchy of Passiac) to send a letter to the Bishop at the Diocese. He said people change Rites all the time. The way he talked, it should have only taken a few weeks at most, and here it’s been 6 months!!! I can’t understand it.

We’ve already gone through the Tribunal process and all we need is this last permission and then I was told by our priest we can set the marriage date. Next month it will be 2 years since our very first meeting with the Latin priest. It’s been a long, tedious, gut-wrenching thing. I’ve prayed and tried so hard to be patient this whole time but I’m only human and it’s been a real roller coaster of emotions.

The Byzantine priest said to give it another 2-3 weeks. I guess I can do that, but it’s really hard to keep my hopes high after all this time.


#66

I know it is hard to wait for something that is way more simple than what you have already obtained, that is, the declaration of nullity of your husband’s first marriage. That was the hard part.

However, you should be glad that the Byzantine bishop and the Byzantine pastor are willing to give you permission to marry in the Latin rite without consent of the Holy See. As the Congregation for the Eastern Churches see it, you should ask for permission from them in Rome. I’ve talked about that in a previous post, I don’t know if you had the chance to read it. But it seems that the bishops involved are not aware of this and they do think they can give you this permission without asking Rome first (or maybe the Byzantine bishop has a special delegation from Rome to grant these permissions - one never knows).

I don’t know why the Byzantine priest is talking about changing rites. If I’m not mistaken, you did not apply for rite changing, but only for a permission to get married in the Latin rite, although you’re not Latin. Is it possible that they have understood your request as a formal request to change rites? If it is so, maybe this is the reason why it is taking longer.

If they are going to change you to the Latin rite, then there won’t be a problem. As soon as you become a Latin rite catholic, you will be able to get married in the Latin rite. But since you told us that your husband-to-be is Methodist, you should also request a permission due to a mixed religion marriage. So be sure to ask for this permission as well, otherwise, as soon as you get permission to get married in the Latin rite, people will see that you also need the mixed marriage permission (I’m considering that your husband-to-be will not become Catholic), and you would have to wait a bit more for this other permission to be granted.

If you have any doubts, just drop me a line. I really want to see a happy ending to this story.


#67

[quote="GM_2013, post:66, topic:381176"]
I know it is hard to wait for something that is way more simple than what you have already obtained, that is, the declaration of nullity of your husband's first marriage. That was the hard part.

However, you should be glad that the Byzantine bishop and the Byzantine pastor are willing to give you permission to marry in the Latin rite without consent of the Holy See. As the Congregation for the Eastern Churches see it, you should ask for permission from them in Rome. I've talked about that in a previous post, I don't know if you had the chance to read it. But it seems that the bishops involved are not aware of this and they do think they can give you this permission without asking Rome first (or maybe the Byzantine bishop has a special delegation from Rome to grant these permissions - one never knows).

I don't know why the Byzantine priest is talking about changing rites. If I'm not mistaken, you did not apply for rite changing, but only for a permission to get married in the Latin rite, although you're not Latin. Is it possible that they have understood your request as a formal request to change rites? If it is so, maybe this is the reason why it is taking longer.

If they are going to change you to the Latin rite, then there won't be a problem. As soon as you become a Latin rite catholic, you will be able to get married in the Latin rite. But since you told us that your husband-to-be is Methodist, you should also request a permission due to a mixed religion marriage. So be sure to ask for this permission as well, otherwise, as soon as you get permission to get married in the Latin rite, people will see that you also need the mixed marriage permission (I'm considering that your husband-to-be will not become Catholic), and you would have to wait a bit more for this other permission to be granted.

If you have any doubts, just drop me a line. I really want to see a happy ending to this story.

[/quote]

Thank-you for your responses to my post. Somehow, I had stopped receiving response notifications so I had missed your February reply and just now read it.

I have never requested to change Rites. In fact, I would prefer not to change as I have not made that decision in my mind. My parents started attending a Latin church later in their lives, right up until their deaths, and never officially changed Rites.

I would like to receive the Sacrament of Marriage from the Latin church I have been attending for the past 2 years. The priest from the Byzantine church I was baptized in told me I had to change Rites before I could marry in the Latin church. I don't know if he fully understands what I am requesting. However, the Latin priest I'm working with and the Diocese Chancellor have an understanding that we are merely asking for 2 permissions: permission for our marriage to be performed in a Latin church by a Latin priest, and permission for me to marry a non-Catholic.

I asked the Byzantine priest about having the marriage performed at the Byzantine church as another option, and he said that I would have to attend the Byzantine church for 6 months to re-establish myself there before the marriage could be performed. This is not a viable option for me at this time.

After reading your February response, now I'm a little worried that we have to get permission from Rome. What is the difference between illicit and invalid? Some of the Canon Law language is way over my head and hard for me to understand.

My sister was married in a Roman Catholic church in 1969. I recall that she had to go to our priest in the Byzantine church to get permission (the rest of my family was still attending there, and he was not happy about her wanting to marry elsewhere). Her husband was baptized Roman Catholic but was non-practicing so he had to take some classes. I'm pretty sure it didn't take more than 6 months for them to be able to marry in the church.

My brother was married in a Roman Catholic church about 1975. His wife had been baptized Roman Catholic and I don't believe it was an issue for them at all.

It's been a long and difficult journey for me to return to church. I can't help but feel that I'm not fully back until I receive this marriage Sacrament and am able to receive the Eucharist.


#68

[quote="GM_2013, post:66, topic:381176"]
However, you should be glad that the Byzantine bishop and the Byzantine pastor are willing to give you permission to marry in the Latin rite without consent of the Holy See. As the Congregation for the Eastern Churches see it, you should ask for permission from them in Rome.

[/quote]

MaryEllen, first prayers for you on your journey home! I have read through the entire thread and feel for you!

As for the above, it is likely that anything required from the Holy See will be handled by the Latin Church, as the marriage will be officiated in that Church. As you are still canonically a member of the Byzantine Catholic (Ruthenian) Church, the only matter for approval of the Eparchy is permission for you to marry in the Latin Church. It will likely be stipulated that your marriage will have to be officiated by a priest (not a deacon) so it will be licit in accordance with the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches. All other potential impediments to marriage are likely then being handled by the officiating Church. As I understand, that would be the common approach.

God bless you!

Christ is risen! Indeed he is risen! (surely that greeting is still familiar to you ...)


#69

MaryEllen:

Christ is risen! Indeed he is risen! (surely you remember that Paschal greeting ...)

Have you managed to determine exactly what is causing seeming delay? I've read through the entire thread (my prayers to you), but this does not seem like a matter that would be primarily handled by the Eparchy of Passaic as you've asked to be married in the Latin Church. The officiating Church has the burden of ensuring that all potential impediments to marriage have been addressed. It's likely then that the only thing that would have been requested of the Eparchy is approval for you, as a canonical member of the Byzantine Catholic Church, to be married in the Latin Church.

From all that you have shared, the original marriage outside the Catholic Church and the need for annulment are far greater hurdles than dealing with your Byzantine heritage and canonical enrollment.

With prayers ...


#70

[quote="ByzCathCantor, post:69, topic:381176"]
MaryEllen:

Christ is risen! Indeed he is risen! (surely you remember that Paschal greeting ...)

[/quote]

Indeed! I do remember that Paschal greeting and delight in it!!

[quote="ByzCathCantor, post:69, topic:381176"]
Have you managed to determine exactly what is causing seeming delay? I've read through the entire thread (my prayers to you), but this does not seem like a matter that would be primarily handled by the Eparchy of Passaic as you've asked to be married in the Latin Church. The officiating Church has the burden of ensuring that all potential impediments to marriage have been addressed. It's likely then that the only thing that would have been requested of the Eparchy is approval for you, as a canonical member of the Byzantine Catholic Church, to be married in the Latin Church.

From all that you have shared, the original marriage outside the Catholic Church and the need for annulment are far greater hurdles than dealing with your Byzantine heritage and canonical enrollment.

With prayers ...

[/quote]

Agreed. It took a year and a half, but the two annulments of my husband's previous marriages were granted in September 2014. All that is left for us to be able to have a marriage in the Roman Catholic Church is to receive permission from the Byzantine Eparchy since they have jurisdiction over me as a baptized Byzantine Catholic. My understanding is that 2 permissions are required: permission for the marriage to be performed in the Latin church by a Latin priest, and permission to marry a non-Catholic.

This request was submitted to the Eparchy AFTER receipt of the two Decrees of Nullity. It's now been 6 months since then, and I am still awaiting word on the permissions from the Bishop of Eparchy of Passiac. Once the Diocese receives these permissions, I can schedule a date for our marriage ceremony.

I have had trouble getting information from the Latin priest as to when to expect to receive this, so I also tried calling the Eparchy directly and I was told by the Administrative Assistant that I have to use the proper protocol and get information from the Latin priest I am working with, who gets information from the Diocese, who gets information from the Eparchy. Very frustrating!


#71

[quote="MaryEllen1951, post:67, topic:381176"]
Thank-you for your responses to my post. Somehow, I had stopped receiving response notifications so I had missed your February reply and just now read it.

[/quote]

I'm replying to you because I really felt touched by your story, you're someone who is struggling to get things straight. This is so difficult nowadays, someone trying to do things right in the eyes of God and the Church. This really touched me. You're almost my mother's age (she was born in 1956, I think you were born in 1951, isn't it?) and I really want to hear from you that you were able to get married and receive the Eucharist again.

As I told you, from a canonical point of view (I work with Canon Law over here, both dealing with Latin and Eastern Canon Law), you're Byzantine. Period. There is nothing like "you need to attend our Byzantine church for 6 months". It is nowhere in the law. Although I can fully understand the pastoral concerns of the Eastern priest, since he knows that you remember almost nothing of Eastern customs, we're dealing here with one of the fundamental rights of the faithful, the right to get married. So the priest may not come up with a "temporary impediment" created by himself.

Impediments can only be created by the Supreme authority in the Church (i. e. the Holy Father), according to canon 1.075,§ 2 (§2. Only the supreme authority has the right to establish other impediments for the baptized). The bishop can temporarily prohibit marriages, but only for a grave cause (canon 1.077, § 1), which is not your case. A priest does not have the power to say that you must wait 6 months before getting married just to get acquainted with the rite and the parish. Since you're Byzantine, he is obliged by law to perform your marriage if there is no other impediment.

He is not right by asserting that you must change rites (technically, change Churches sui iuris) to get married in the Latin Church. You only need a permission, and this is usually granted by Rome, as Rome herself has already said (quotation in my first reply to you). I doubt that the Byzantine bishop has received any delegation to act on behalf of Rome on this matter (it is possible, but not probable). I really think that no one knows about that - that they should ask Rome first.

But since this permission is only needed for the liceity of your marriage - not validity -, you would be validly married anyway (but please, do not get married having a simple deacon as the witness - you should get a priest or a bishop). So it is nothing you should worry about as a lay woman. This should be of concern to the bishops and priests involved. If they are not concerned, leave it. It is their businesses to know Canon Law, not yours. And even they would not be sinning, since it seems they don't know about that.

Even if you tried to raise the matter, since you are a lay woman and not versed in Canon Law, they probably would not believe you. They probably would see as if you were defying their authority, and this is a place you wouldn't like to be at. You have enough problems with bureaucracy to generate one more.

Let me explain to you the difference between validity and liceity in a simple way. For instance, a Latin rite catholic gets confirmed (chrismated) by an Eastern priest in the Byzantine rite. The sacrament is valid, but illicitly received, since a Latin rite Catholic should not, in ordinary circumstances, get confirmed by an Eastern priest outside of the Latin rite. So the Latin rite Catholic really got confirmed, but in a manner that is not according to Church ecclesiastical law (illicit). But no one will take his confirmation from him - he was validly confirmed by the Eastern priest. Got it?

The same will happen with your marriage. Valid marriage, but without the proper permission to be licit. But I really think no one would listen to you about that, so leave it. That's my suggestion. If the bishop tells you that you may marry in the Latin rite, believe his word and go for it. You're not his ecclesiastical superior, neither am I. The important thing is that you will get a valid marriage.

The cases you mentioned do not help you. Your siblings were all married to Latin rite Catholics, so they could either marry in the Byzantine or the Latin rite. But you are going to marry a non-Catholic, so your only ordinary option is your Catholic rite, which is Byzantine. To get married in a rite that is not yours or your husband's (since he is not catholic) is not licit without due permission, though it is valid. As you Americans like to say, it is "legit", a real marriage. Not even the Pope will be able to dissolve it (provided, of course, that you consummate marriage after the ceremony :) )

You told me that the Byzantine priest, back in 1969, did not like that your sister was going to be married in the Latin Church. As I told you, even priests have a hard time with these tricky interritual canonical stuff. He was wrong. In Eastern Canon Law, the tradition is for a woman to get married in the bridegroom's rite. So, since the bridegroom was Latin rite, they were supposed to get married in the Latin rite. No permission was needed from the Byzantine pastor.

Since the Byzantine priest won't allow you to get married there (though you should get married there, it is your rite, and his refusal is a violation of your fundamental right to marry as a Catholic faithful, but again, leave it alone), I just think you'll have to wait for your permission. Try to avoid conflict with clerics.

It is a good thing that you are aware of the necessity of a permission to marry a non-Catholic. So you have already requested it as well, don't you?

I can help you only with my prayers and explaining Canon Law, but I cannot help with speeding up the process. Hope in God, he is looking at your efforts.

Sorry for any mistakes in my English. Though I consider myself to be fluent, I'm not a native speaker.


#72

[quote="GM_2013, post:71, topic:381176"]
I'm replying to you because I really felt touched by your story, you're someone who is struggling to get things straight. This is so difficult nowadays, someone trying to do things right in the eyes of God and the Church. This really touched me. You're almost my mother's age (she was born in 1956, I think you were born in 1951, isn't it?) and I really want to hear from you that you were able to get married and receive the Eucharist again.

[/quote]

Yes I was born in 1951 :thumbsup:

[quote="GM_2013, post:71, topic:381176"]
As I told you, from a canonical point of view (I work with Canon Law over here, both dealing with Latin and Eastern Canon Law), you're Byzantine. Period. There is nothing like "you need to attend our Byzantine church for 6 months". It is nowhere in the law. Although I can fully understand the pastoral concerns of the Eastern priest, since he knows that you remember almost nothing of Eastern customs, we're dealing here with one of the fundamental rights of the faithful, the right to get married. So the priest may not come up with a "temporary impediment" created by himself.

Impediments can only be created by the Supreme authority in the Church (i. e. the Holy Father), according to canon 1.075,§ 2 (§2. Only the supreme authority has the right to establish other impediments for the baptized). The bishop can temporarily prohibit marriages, but only for a grave cause (canon 1.077, § 1), which is not your case. A priest does not have the power to say that you must wait 6 months before getting married just to get acquainted with the rite and the parish. Since you're Byzantine, he is obliged by law to perform your marriage if there is no other impediment.

He is not right by asserting that you must change rites (technically, change Churches sui iuris) to get married in the Latin Church. You only need a permission, and this is usually granted by Rome, as Rome herself has already said (quotation in my first reply to you). I doubt that the Byzantine bishop has received any delegation to act on behalf of Rome on this matter (it is possible, but not probable). I really think that no one knows about that - that they should ask Rome first.

[/quote]

I thought some of what he was saying was incorrect, but this priest was adamant and I could sense there would be no use in contradicting him so I left it alone.

quote="GM_2013, post:71, topic:381176".

[/quote]

I am working with a priest, not a deacon, and this priest is the same who will be performing the ceremony.

[quote="GM_2013, post:71, topic:381176"]
Let me explain to you the difference between validity and liceity in a simple way. For instance, a Latin rite catholic gets confirmed (chrismated) by an Eastern priest in the Byzantine rite. The sacrament is valid, but illicitly received, since a Latin rite Catholic should not, in ordinary circumstances, get confirmed by an Eastern priest outside of the Latin rite. So the Latin rite Catholic really got confirmed, but in a manner that is not according to Church ecclesiastical law (illicit). But no one will take his confirmation from him - he was validly confirmed by the Eastern priest. Got it?

The same will happen with your marriage. Valid marriage, but without the proper permission to be licit. But I really think no one would listen to you about that, so leave it.

[/quote]

I understand the difference now - thank-you for clearing that up for me. I will not worry about it and allow things to proceed as they do.

[quote="GM_2013, post:71, topic:381176"]
You told me that the Byzantine priest, back in 1969, did not like that your sister was going to be married in the Latin Church. As I told you, even priests have a hard time with these tricky interritual canonical stuff. He was wrong. In Eastern Canon Law, the tradition is for a woman to get married in the bridegroom's rite. So, since the bridegroom was Latin rite, they were supposed to get married in the Latin rite. No permission was needed from the Byzantine pastor.

[/quote]

Priests are not perfect and I don't expect them to be. This same priest yelled at me in confession for taking too long. I was very young and trying to be thorough and not forget anything, but he said very sternly, "come on, come on, I don't have all day". He scared me, but I overcame it.:)

[quote="GM_2013, post:71, topic:381176"]
It is a good thing that you are aware of the necessity of a permission to marry a non-Catholic. So you have already requested it as well, don't you?

[/quote]

Yes, the permission to marry a non-Catholic was submitted as well and we are anticipating getting both permissions at the same time.

[quote="GM_2013, post:71, topic:381176"]
I can help you only with my prayers and explaining Canon Law, but I cannot help with speeding up the process. Hope in God, he is looking at your efforts.

Sorry for any mistakes in my English. Though I consider myself to be fluent, I'm not a native speaker.

[/quote]

Your English is very good! You are very kind and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and also for your prayers.

I have so much love for our Father in Heaven and our Lord Jesus Christ. I feel so sad and ashamed for having put myself in this situation in the first place. I was extremely faithful and quite religious as a young girl and then I drifted away in my 20's. I very much want to make things right now. I have not been good at being patient because I want this so much and it's hard for me to understand why there have been so many obstacles. What I am seeking is what I believe God wants for me. I feel blessed to have always been able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and that I was led back before it was too late. I know God has a great plan for me and I want to serve Him all the rest of my days.

Thank-you for caring about me.


#73

[quote="Ahtoni, post:64, topic:381176"]
I am a convert and was received into the church during this last easter.

As for communion, I have received communion a total of two times in my life. I have been going to church for about 3 years now, so that isn't very often.

Remember, in the old days, people seldom received communion, and some people only did so during Easter.

What I do, is that I go up to receive a blessing. When you get up to the priest, cross your arms in front of yourself in an X. They will then give you a blessing in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. You then go back to your seat like everyone else. There is no shame in doing this, and people who haven't confessed since committing a mortal sin should do this.

Not receiving communion isn't the end of the world, I have considered illicitly receiving before (I don't live in a country with many Catholics, so I get to church very rarely and am often not in a state of grace), but in the end I am happy that I waited until after I could confess.

[/quote]

I am so happy for you to be received into the Church!

I prefer to remain in the pew, as I receive a blessing with the rest of the congregation at the conclusion of the Mass.

I would never illicitly receive. I understand that it is a grave sin to receive communion knowingly with mortal sin.

I do not so much feel ashamed that I can't receive. What I feel is a deep longing to receive the Lord, which helps me to draw ever closer to Him and strengthens me to follow his Word and help me resist temptations. I say a spiritual communion prayer, but it doesn't feel as powerful as actually physically receiving the body and blood of Christ.

Again, congratulations on your conversion. God bless!


#74

[quote="GM_2013, post:71, topic:381176"]
The cases you mentioned do not help you. Your siblings were all married to Latin rite Catholics, so they could either marry in the Byzantine or the Latin rite. But you are going to marry a non-Catholic, so your only ordinary option is your Catholic rite, which is Byzantine. To get married in a rite that is not yours or your husband's (since he is not catholic) is not licit without due permission, though it is valid.

[/quote]

Hmm... I'm not a canon lawyer, but this doesn't seem right. Canon 1109 (CIC) provides that a priest marries validly as long as at least one of the spouses is of the Latin Rite. So, two Latin Rite Catholics -- no problem; one Latin Rite and one Eastern Rite Catholic -- no problem; one Latin Rite Catholic and one non-Catholic Christian -- no problem; or one Latin Rite Catholic and one unbaptized person -- no problem. However, one Byzantine Rite Catholic and one non-Catholic Christian -- he cannot validly marry them, since he has no jurisdiction. Without permission -- which is exactly what Mary Ellen is seeking -- the Latin Rite priest is unable to celebrate the marriage.

It was 1969, not 2015; times were different! No, there wasn't any permission needed for the marriages to be valid... but I'd bet that there was the thought "let's make sure our priest is happy with this," and the response they got was "no, I'm not happy that you're not marrying a Byzantine Catholic and will be leaving our parish!"... Not canonical permission, of the sort that Mary Ellen is going through, but rather, just asking the priest's opinion ...

the [Byzantine] priest may not come up with a "temporary impediment" created by himself. ... Since the Byzantine priest won't allow you to get married there (though you should get married there, it is your rite, and his refusal is a violation of your fundamental right to marry as a Catholic faithful, but again, leave it alone)

I think you might be misconstruing what the Byzantine priest is doing. It sounds less like a refusal to marry or "creation of a temporary impediment", and more like a pastoral wish to ensure that Mary Ellen truly wishes a wedding in the Byzantine rite, rather than just goes through the necessary steps and then he never sees her again. "Please prepare by worshiping with us for six months" is less refusal than it is formation, which (at least in the CIC) is required of pastors of souls.

Keep your chin up, Mary Ellen! Still praying for you and for a quick resolution to your situation!


#75

[quote="Gorgias, post:74, topic:381176"]
Keep your chin up, Mary Ellen! Still praying for you and for a quick resolution to your situation!

[/quote]

Thank-you so much for your input. You make very valid points. I know that I'm headed in the right direction and that God is leading the way. It's just so hard to travel along this road when it sometimes seems never-ending!

I appreciate your prayers and everyone's wonderful support and input. It will be a joyous occasion when I can post that all things are in order and we have set a wedding date:D


#76

I admire your patience. I have a similar story, except I had been married longer and my husband DID want to become Catholic. There were no impediments, neither one of us had ever been married and yet impediments were thrown our way by misinformed (or intentional misleading) people, I like to call them the wolves that are guarding the door so faithful give up and quit trying. I gave up trying to reenter the Latin rite.

Now my husband, on the other hand, came up with a compromise. He joined an eastern Catholic rite, full deal, baptized and chrismated and then had our marriage blessed. It took a few weeks. There was some paperwork involving permission from one bishop to the other in regards to my 'transfer'. I don't know if that is 'cheating' but I do know that it was pastorally merciful, because I had been suffering as you have and stopped going to mass and had given up in despair, as I believe my own parents had, fifty odd years ago trying to get married in the Catholic church. The first time receiving the Eucharist I could hardly get back to my pew, tears of joy blinding me. I am still healing from all the pastoral abuse and misinformation and its been over a year.

Praying for continued patience and that the matter is quickly resolved in your case. I am sorry you have had to go through all that. I am sorry for those like me who actually give up. I am glad God found a way in my case.


#77

[quote="Gorgias, post:74, topic:381176"]
Hmm... I'm not a canon lawyer, but this doesn't seem right. Canon 1109 (CIC) provides that a priest marries validly as long as at least one of the spouses is of the Latin Rite. So, two Latin Rite Catholics -- no problem; one Latin Rite and one Eastern Rite Catholic -- no problem; one Latin Rite Catholic and one non-Catholic Christian -- no problem; or one Latin Rite Catholic and one unbaptized person -- no problem. However, one Byzantine Rite Catholic and one non-Catholic Christian -- he cannot validly marry them, since he has no jurisdiction. Without permission -- which is exactly what Mary Ellen is seeking -- the Latin Rite priest is unable to celebrate the marriage.

[/quote]

In my comments, I was not talking about the validity of marriage, but about permission to be licilty married, which is something very different. It is obvious Mary Ellen will get a valid marriage as long as the Latin rite priest gets a valid delegation from the Byzantine bishop. What I was talking about was a different matter - who should give permission for a licit celebration to be held in the Latin rite since none of the spouses-to-be is Latin rite (one is Byzantine, the other is Protestant). There is a huge canonical and sacramental difference. Validity and liceity are technically two different concepts and must be treated as such. I tried to explain them in a simple way to Mary Ellen, by giving an example about a Latin rite Catholic being confirmed by an Eastern priest in the Byzantine rite.

I tried to explain to her all the canonical aspects involved, but in the end I told her not to worry, because she will be validly married anyway. And I also gave her a practical suggestion: follow what the bishop tells you to do and you will get a valid marriage.

About the need to wait 6 months before getting married, I wil refrain from commenting further and the implications of it in the fundamental rights of the faithful involved. Back then, when I was studying Canon Law, I have seen many cases in which the person appealed to Rome - and won - when the priest or bishop would come up with "requirements" of their own. But in the case of Mary Ellen, I just told her to wait for the delegation and the permission to arrive, to be patient, since the Lord is looking after her. No need to go to Rome - just wait a bit more and everything you be solved as long as **validity **of her marriage is concerned. I think she understood it quite well, and that is enough for me.


#78

[quote="Casilda, post:76, topic:381176"]
I admire your patience. I have a similar story, except I had been married longer and my husband DID want to become Catholic. There were no impediments, neither one of us had ever been married and yet impediments were thrown our way by misinformed (or intentional misleading) people, I like to call them the wolves that are guarding the door so faithful give up and quit trying. I gave up trying to reenter the Latin rite.

Now my husband, on the other hand, came up with a compromise. He joined an eastern Catholic rite, full deal, baptized and chrismated and then had our marriage blessed. It took a few weeks. There was some paperwork involving permission from one bishop to the other in regards to my 'transfer'. I don't know if that is 'cheating' but I do know that it was pastorally merciful, because I had been suffering as you have and stopped going to mass and had given up in despair, as I believe my own parents had, fifty odd years ago trying to get married in the Catholic church. The first time receiving the Eucharist I could hardly get back to my pew, tears of joy blinding me. I am still healing from all the pastoral abuse and misinformation and its been over a year.

Praying for continued patience and that the matter is quickly resolved in your case. I am sorry you have had to go through all that. I am sorry for those like me who actually give up. I am glad God found a way in my case.

[/quote]

I'm glad you found a way to have your marriage blessed and it all worked out for you! What a blessing that your husband wanted to become Catholic. My husband never was interested, and sadly this whole experience I am going through has turned him extremely sour against the Catholic faith. He often says that he can't believe what I am being put through when all I want to do is come back to church and worship God in the way I was brought up. Any hope I may have had of him joining me in the faith are gone. I keep telling him not to judge my religion over what I believe are the failings of man.

Going through all the bureaucracy and waiting with no definite answers is difficult. Going to church each week and not being able to receive the Eucharist is beyond difficult. It is additionally hard to attend church alone in a parish where no one has really gotten to know me....partly my fault because I don't attend the social functions since I'd be alone and I tend to be an introvert among new people. It's also a small community, so we have 2 priests that rotate among 4 churches. The one priest is new and he doesn't even know my name; the other is the priest I am working with on the blessing and he doesn't know me other than the 4 different meetings that my husband and I had set up with him in trying to get things moving. I get a feeling he has gotten exasperated with me because I kept asking him for updates on where we were at. That is, until a few months ago when I gave up and decided to just wait to hear from him (which I don't for weeks/months).

I feel as though Satan is getting pleasure over my torment. In the past 6 months I have gone through two different periods of giving up going to Mass. Both times, I eventually came back because in truth I just can't stay away. I've been absent since January and just recently came back again. I've gone to confession a couple of times in the past 6 months to heal from the anger I often feel regarding this. I have pleaded in prayer for a happy conclusion after two long years. I often feel like my prayers go unanswered and I can't understand why.

I am in so much emotional and spiritual pain. About 3 months ago I asked my priest about having someone from the Stephen Ministry help me. He contacted the coordinator, and a really nice girl comes to my house every other week. It's good to have someone to talk to who understands and that helps a little, but it turns out that I am the one helping her. She told me she thought I was way ahead of a lot of people in terms of spirituality and that she learns from me each time we meet. I feel good about that, but I'm not getting much help with what I am dealing with spiritually.

So I just keep plugging along the best I can. That's all I can do.


#79

[quote="GM_2013, post:77, topic:381176"]
In my comments, I was not talking about the validity of marriage, but about permission to be licilty married, which is something very different. It is obvious Mary Ellen will get a valid marriage as long as the Latin rite priest gets a valid delegation from the Byzantine bishop. What I was talking about was a different matter - who should give permission for a licit celebration to be held in the Latin rite since none of the spouses-to-be is Latin rite (one is Byzantine, the other is Protestant). There is a huge canonical and sacramental difference. Validity and liceity are technically two different concepts and must be treated as such. I tried to explain them in a simple way to Mary Ellen, by giving an example about a Latin rite Catholic being confirmed by an Eastern priest in the Byzantine rite.

I tried to explain to her all the canonical aspects involved, but in the end I told her not to worry, because she will be validly married anyway. And I also gave her a practical suggestion: follow what the bishop tells you to do and you will get a valid marriage.

About the need to wait 6 months before getting married, I wil refrain from commenting further and the implications of it in the fundamental rights of the faithful involved. Back then, when I was studying Canon Law, I have seen many cases in which the person appealed to Rome - and won - when the priest or bishop would come up with "requirements" of their own. But in the case of Mary Ellen, I just told her to wait for the delegation and the permission to arrive, to be patient, since the Lord is looking after her. No need to go to Rome - just wait a bit more and everything you be solved as long as **validity **of her marriage is concerned. I think she understood it quite well, and that is enough for me.

[/quote]

I have very much appreciated your comments that are given in a way I understand. I believe that everything has progressed as it should and that the correct things are being done, albeit slowly. I agree that at this point the thing I need is patience. After 2 years, it has worn very thin. I have periods of being able to let go, but then things will build up for me again and I'll again feel impatient, angry, and lacking in hope.

I know that as of mid-March the Eparchy is in receipt of all the documentation requested and I would expect there would be no other impediment to granting these permissions. So, if another couple of weeks go by and I haven't heard anything, I am to wonder what else is holding things up.


#80

I have wondered about the state of the church today in light of Jesus' parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15).

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

That is how I see my priest, as Christ himself, bringing my husband and I back into the fold. It makes me wonder if it was Satan causing all the problems or God himself closing those doors and keeping me from reentering. I did a lot of soul searching, praying, reading about the saints (St. Faustina, esp.), I have learned I am not a modern Latin Catholic, I have an old Catholic spirituality.


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