I am upset....


#1

I am converting from Eastern Orthodox to Roman Catholocism, hoping to join the Church at the Easter Vigil Service. However, there is a problem. I was told by the Pastor, that according to canon law, I have to be recieved into the Eastern Rite Catholic Church, then I am free to attend the Roman Or Eastern Rite Catholic Mass, because they are both equals. I do not want to be recieved into Catholicism through the Eastern Rite. I have been attending RCIA in a Roman Catholic Parish and do not care to find a Eastern Rite Catholic Parish, who would be total strangers, to recieve me. I am discouraged and upset. Jason


#2

Note that RCIA is not required for Eastern Orthodox. Vatican II’s Decree ORIENTALIUM ECCLESIARUM on the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite states:

  1. If any separated Eastern Christian should, under the guidance of the grace of the Holy Spirit, join himself to the unity of Catholics, no more should be required of him than what a bare profession of the Catholic faith demands. Eastern clerics, seeing that a valid priesthood is preserved among them, are permitted to exercise the Orders they possess on joining the unity of the Catholic Church, in accordance with the regulations established by the competent authority.

#3

I have never heard of that in Canon Law and did not find anything when I search on the section on the Sacraments.

I would call the diocese to get confirmation of this.

Saying that, I know there is something on going from any of the Easter Rites to the Latin Rite and in the reverse. That would be that you can only do that once. I am wondering if that is what the priest is talkin about.

PF


#4

I forgot to tell you: Welcome to the Catholic Church! I hope you will be able to overcome this small bump in the road. My local parish did not make me seek out an Eastern Rite Church, but there aren’t any nearby where I am located. (My biggest disappointment was when I found out that Latin Rite Catholics say, “Happy Easter” instead of “Christ is Risen; Indeed, He is Risen.”)


#5

Does the fact that you, being Orthodox, are canonically received into the Eastern Rite of the Catholic Church necessarily mean that you have to be received in an Eastern Rite parish or is it that when you are received into the Catholic Church (at any Catholic parish) you are by operation of law received into the Eastern Rite?

Does my question make sense?


#6

[quote=jay29]I am converting from Eastern Orthodox to Roman Catholocism, hoping to join the Church at the Easter Vigil Service. However, there is a problem. I was told by the Pastor, that according to canon law, I have to be recieved into the Eastern Rite Catholic Church, then I am free to attend the Roman Or Eastern Rite Catholic Mass, because they are both equals. I do not want to be recieved into Catholicism through the Eastern Rite. I have been attending RCIA in a Roman Catholic Parish and do not care to find a Eastern Rite Catholic Parish, who would be total strangers, to recieve me. I am discouraged and upset. Jason
[/quote]

It is my understanding that a Latin or Roman Rite Pastor can receive you into full union with the Catholic Church on behalf of the Eastern Rite Church. You need to speak with the Bishop about this also speak with the Pastor and request that he speak with the diocese about the specifics.


#7

[quote=atsheeran]Does my question make sense?
[/quote]

It does make sense. However, I don’t know the answer. Here are some canons from the Eastern Rite Code of Canon Law:

Canon 35 Baptized non-Catholics coming into full communion with the Catholic Church should retain and practice their own rite everywhere in the world and should observe it as much as humanly possible. Thus, they are to be enrolled in the Church sui iuris of the same rite with due regard for the right of approaching the Apostolic See in special cases of persons, communities or regions.

Canon 37 Every enrollment in a certain Church sui iuris or transfer to another Church sui iuris should be recorded in the baptismal register of the parish where the baptism was celebrated, even, as the case may be, in a Latin parish; if this cannot be done, it is to be kept by the proper pastor in another document in the archive of the parish of the Church sui iuris of enrollment.

Canon 38 Christian faithful of Eastern Churches even if committed to the care of a hierarch or pastor of another Church sui iuris, nevertheless remain enrolled in their own Church.


#8

[quote=Catholic2003]It does make sense. However, I don’t know the answer. Here are some canons from the Eastern Rite Code of Canon Law:
[/quote]

OK.

That is why I did not find anything in the Code of Canon Law that I was familiar with. Still, I would check with the local Latin Rite and Eastern Rite Diocese/Eparchy that you are in. Their staff is more of an expert than most of us on this forum.

After reading the above, you may have to start out in the Eastern Rite and switch to the Latin Rite. That does not mean you have to go exclusively to the Eastern Rite. When I was in college, I often went to a Byzantine Catholic Church near campus just to break the routine and to expand my experiences.

PF


#9

I had an Eastern Orthodox girl in my RCIA, and they didn’t make her do anything crazy like that…either my Priest was wrong (which I highly doubt), your pastor is in error…Check with another priest.

[quote=jay29]I am converting from Eastern Orthodox to Roman Catholocism, hoping to join the Church at the Easter Vigil Service. However, there is a problem. I was told by the Pastor, that according to canon law, I have to be recieved into the Eastern Rite Catholic Church, then I am free to attend the Roman Or Eastern Rite Catholic Mass, because they are both equals. I do not want to be recieved into Catholicism through the Eastern Rite. I have been attending RCIA in a Roman Catholic Parish and do not care to find a Eastern Rite Catholic Parish, who would be total strangers, to recieve me. I am discouraged and upset. Jason
[/quote]


#10

[quote=dumspirospero]I had an Eastern Orthodox girl in my RCIA, and they didn’t make her do anything crazy like that…either my Priest was wrong (which I highly doubt), your pastor is in error…Check with another priest.
[/quote]

If the Eastern Orthodox girl was informed that she could join the Catholic Church by a simple profession of faith, without having to go through RCIA or wait until Easter Vigil, and she decided of her own free will to choose to participate in RCIA, then this was handled correctly. If not, then that is a problem you should address with your priest before the next Eastern Orthodox convert comes along.


#11

No…she knew and willfully chose to go through RCIA

[quote=Catholic2003]If the Eastern Orthodox girl was informed that she could join the Catholic Church by a simple profession of faith, without having to go through RCIA or wait until Easter Vigil, and she decided of her own free will to choose to participate in RCIA, then this was handled correctly. If not, then that is a problem you should address with your priest before the next Eastern Orthodox convert comes along.
[/quote]


#12

All you have to do is make a profession of Faith- you just find a byzantine parish to do that in. You can change rites, if you would prefer to be a Latin Rite Catholic. You would need the permission of your (Eastern Rite) bishop, and the Latin Rite bishop that is in charge of the diocese you are in. You will need to write a letter explaining why you want to switch rites (don’t tell them it’s because of something you don’t like about the Eastern Rite- because it won’t happen if you say that). I think that’s how it works- I know that’s how it works when you are switching from Byzantine to Latin. Also remember you can only switch Rites one time.


#13

[quote=atsheeran]Does the fact that you, being Orthodox, are canonically received into the Eastern Rite of the Catholic Church necessarily mean that you have to be received in an Eastern Rite parish or is it that when you are received into the Catholic Church (at any Catholic parish) you are by operation of law received into the Eastern Rite?

Does my question make sense?
[/quote]

The Eastern Orthodox are recieved into the Church as Eastern Catholics because the liturgy and the traditions are the same in the Eastern Catholic Church. There is nothing wrong with being an Eastern Catholic. They are equal to the Latin Right.

Protestants are recieved into the Latin Rite.


#14

[quote=jimmy]The Eastern Orthodox are recieved into the Church as Eastern Catholics because the liturgy and the traditions are the same in the Eastern Catholic Church. There is nothing wrong with being an Eastern Catholic. They are equal to the Latin Right.

Protestants are recieved into the Latin Rite.
[/quote]

I completely agree.

Did my post seem to imply that I thought there was something wrong with being an Eastern Catholic? I would never purposely imply such a thing.

I was only asking my question because I knew that jay29 would prefer to be received into the Catholic Church at a Latin Rite parish. I only want to know if it is possible to be received into the Eastern Rite at a Latin Rite parish.


#15

Definitely follow up on the accuracy of this. Although the switch from Eastern Rite Catholic to Latin can only be done once, I have never heard of any requirement that Orthodox can only be received through a Catholic Eastern Rite. I think the pastor might simply be in error.


#16

[quote=atsheeran] I only want to know if it is possible to be received into the Eastern Rite at a Latin Rite parish.
[/quote]

Just for purposes of clarification, Eastern Orthodox received into the Catholic Communion will be received into the corresponding Catholic church Sui Iuris.

For instance, a Romanian Orthodox will be received into the Romanian Catholic church. A Russian Orthodox will be received into the Russian Catholic church. A Greek Orthodox will be received into the (admittedly small) Greek Catholic church Sui Iuris.

Even if an Eastern Catholic church has no structure in the USA or other diaspora country (as in the case of the Greek Catholic and Bulgarian Catholic churches) that Catholic is entitled to be served by the existing Catholic churches present. The local Ordinary is responsible for them and they cannot be denied pastoral care.

This will happen seamlessly when the Roman Catholic parish receives the convert. Even using the rites and procedures of a Roman rite parish, the individual will technically represent the other church for his or her entire life, as will that person’s children if the convert is a male (the rite of the children follows the father). The convert can receive all of the sacraments in the Roman church according to the rites of that parish without it affecting their canonical status.

This is true regardless of whether the receiving priest is aware of the Canon Law on the subject. It is true even if the paperwork and record-keeping omits the relevant information. It is true whether or not the convert is informed of the fact.

Interestingly, there are likely hundreds of thousands of “Roman” Catholics in North America who are actually members of Eastern Catholic churches Sui Iuris and don’t realize it due to this principle in Canon Law.

Now these individuals could petition for a change in status, but why bother?

It doesn’t matter after all. :slight_smile:

+T+
Michael


#17

[quote=jay29]I am converting from Eastern Orthodox to Roman Catholocism, hoping to join the Church at the Easter Vigil Service. However, there is a problem. I was told by the Pastor, that according to canon law, I have to be recieved into the Eastern Rite Catholic Church, then I am free to attend the Roman Or Eastern Rite Catholic Mass, because they are both equals. I do not want to be recieved into Catholicism through the Eastern Rite. I have been attending RCIA in a Roman Catholic Parish and do not care to find a Eastern Rite Catholic Parish, who would be total strangers, to recieve me. I am discouraged and upset. Jason
[/quote]

I don’t think you even need RCIA. You might want to talk to the Bishop.


#18

Jay,

Christ Is Risen,

This may be late, as you indicated a hope to be received at Easter. Although I regret that you prefer to be accepted into the Latin Church, rather than the corresponding/counterpart Eastern Church to your historical Orthodox Church, I am firmly of the opinion that you have the right to do so, Canon 35 of the Eastern Code (which is the only 1 of those cited above that has application to the situation) notwithstanding. As my time is not my own right this second, I don’t have time to elaborate on this and won’t get an opportunity to do so until late tonight, but I will.

To whomever asked, as a side issue, whether one can be received into an Eastern or Oriental Catholic Church through the medium of a Latin parish - not sure if anyone answered you*, but yes it can be done and the appropriate steps to be taken in doing so are detailed in the Codes of Canon Law.

Those who posted indicating that you were not required to participate in RCIA are absolutely correct. Too bad your pastor wasn’t as attuned to that provision of Canon Law as he was to interpreting the East/West distinction (and why did he wait until the end to spring his conclusion?) (Sorry, those final comments are unkind, but I find it aggravating that the current ready availability of Canon Law, brought about by the internet, has made pseudo-canon lawyers of every cleric with a keyboard.)

Many years,

Neil

*whoops, I see my friend and brother, Michael, did so :slight_smile: , although he and I are apparently about to disagree (somewhat) on the original poster’s issue :frowning: .


#19

[quote=atsheeran]I completely agree.

Did my post seem to imply that I thought there was something wrong with being an Eastern Catholic? I would never purposely imply such a thing.

I was only asking my question because I knew that jay29 would prefer to be received into the Catholic Church at a Latin Rite parish. I only want to know if it is possible to be received into the Eastern Rite at a Latin Rite parish.
[/quote]

I was just trying to answer your question, there was no part of your post that implied that being Eastern Catholic was any worse.


#20

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