I’m considering leaving the Latin Rite for the Byzantine Rite, is this bad?


I want to become a Eastern Rite Catholic but I don’t want to go to hell. I belong to a devout Irish-Italian Catholic household that is part of the Latin Rite. Statues, prayer cards, Marian devotion, everything like that, I have. I want to switch rites because I am attracted to the traditional ways the Eastern Rite holds mass and the sacraments. (I also love icons). I read that they are in full communion with the Pope and acknowledge him as the head of the Church, they don’t have statues and they have a “prayer rope” but I love the rosary and other things I’ve grown up with like little Marian statues. I don’t want to switch and find out this is bad. I don’t want to become a orthadox Christian because they don’t follow the teachings of Papal rule but some say this Catholic Rite IS a ‘orthodox’ Christian Church. Another thing that bothers me is their canon. They don’t have the catechism and they follow their OWN Canon. This makes me VERY nervous. Help?
Edit: I am not saying Eastern Catholics go to hell but I’ve been told the teachings are heretical, and Catholics know heretics go to hell.


Ive heard of some people wanting to leave the Latin rite because they can be married priests. But, I would consult a priest on this particular matter.


Eastern Rite Catholics go to hell? That’s news to me.


Do you have an Eastern Catholic parish nearby? Perhaps your first step would be to go there and see what it’s like and begin to familiarize yourself with Eastern liturgy and practices.

You seem to have many misconceptions about Eastern vs. Western Catholicism. Start with the fact that Eastern Catholic is different from Eastern Orthodox. Eastern Catholics are fully Catholic. As a Latin Catholic you can attend their Divine Liturgy and receive communion there.

But a good first step would be to go to a nearby Eastern Catholic parish and begin to find out about them.


I don’t mean that they go. Honest! I just edited my question. Sorry about the miscommunication.


Yes, but why? You need a reason.


Because I believe they perform the mass and other sacraments in a more reverent and honorable way. I also like the traditional way they honor God. (That’s my opinion personally). My parish is a Norus Ordo mass. There are no Latin masses on Staten Island.


It’s not bad at all, If I’d had known that Eastern Catholics existed, I probably would have become one. I’m okay being Latin, though.


It’s perfectly fine to switch rites. I’ve heard, however (can’t confirm) that you are only allowed to switch rites once in your life. If you become an Eastern Catholic, you’re still free to attend Latin Masses and can even return permanently to your old parish, but will still “officially” be an Eastern Catholic for life.

Eastern Catholics are in communion with the Pope and are just as Catholic as the rest of us. They venerate additional saints, have different customs and may make use of extra-canonical books, but they are not in heresy or schism.


Thank the Lord! Thank you very much. @Thom18 you have helped ease my nerves very much. I thank you :blush:


You won’t go to hell for being an Eastern Catholic. There are a lot of serious misconceptions from Latins regarding Eastern Theology. Honestly tell them to look in the Catechism…it states it pretty plainly there. On the issue of the Pope…well you will get a lot of different opinions on that. There are Eastern Catholics who are basically Latin in mindset and then there are those who are Orthodox in mindset…that’s just the reality that exists right now like it or not. If this bothers you then I don’t think you should change Churches. From what I’ve read here, you seem pretty attached to the Latin tradition…which isn’t a bad thing…but it should stay in the Latin Church. The Eastern churches are trying to rid themselves of latinizations.


As has been said, you can attend Divine Liturgy at any Eastern Catholic Church and receive the Chalice. If you are truly interested you should first find an Eastern Catholic Church near you and become a member of the parish. Live fully the life of the Eastern faith. Read and study the Eastern Churches. You will soon find out that we are not Roman Catholics with a different “Mass.” We are our own Churches with our own beautiful ecclesiastical traditions (Liturgy, theology, spirituality). After a year or so you can look into switching canonical status.

We will do our best to answer any questions that you have for us.



This is a great point.


Prayerfully study the Eastern Churches. If it is a good fit spiritually for you then God bless you on your journey.



Check out the catechism of the Catholic church.
(That was the easiest answer ever. lol)

I attended vespers for many years, on Saturday evening. Beautiful. And the feast days are magical. Sunday Divine Liturgy. There is a richness there that you can soak in.


That would be news to the last several popes . . . including the current one, who was a bi-ritual priest, and then was responsible for Eastern Catholics as a bishop . . .

The chance of someone that changed for that reason becoming a priest is rather remote . . . (although it is true that the absolute bar has been removed under this pope).

not significantly when we’re doing it right :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::scream::roll_eyes:

That is correct, and is the reason I didn’t formally transition – I’m still waiting for enough Melkite presence to transition there rather than neo-Ruthenian (is that the right term for the Pittsburgh metropolis these days?)



Why must Latin traditions stay Latin and vice versa?

I heard that eastern Catholics don’t use the rosary as well. Is that true?


I’m in the same boat I’m not entirely sure if I will ever make the switch from Latin to Ukrainian rite.

I’m not ethnically Slavic I am predominately from both sides of my family German and Scottish but also French and English my last name being a French surname and my family being Acadian.

Everything I own except for the icons on my wall and perhaps one or two books is all Latin rite stuff.

It’s slightly different theology because the view on original sin is different and so the view on the Immaculate Conception is different.

There are more fasting periods which are vegan and very difficult to prepare and shop for.

It’s a little bit easier for me to function as a Latin Rite Catholic then it as a Eastern Rite Catholic.

We are having a baby in a matter of days and she will be baptized by our Ukrainian Catholic Priest but formally she will be Latin Rite because it goes by the Rite of the Father.

I had all my children baptized in 2014 when my wife was still a lapsed Protestant.

Took me a few years to convince her to go along with baptizing the children.

She converted last year and we primarily attend the Eastern Catholic Divine Liturgy and I serve as the treasurer and as an altar server as well as helping with printing and mounting icons.

It’s kind of a spiritual tug of war because there’s a lot of love about the East but there’s a lot of hold to as a Western Catholic and there’s just a lot that I am too attached to.

If anything I think attending an Eastern Catholic Mission has helped me to appreciate and discover the traditions of the West that are shared or the equivalent to those in the East.


misconceptions abound. Your answer is simple https://www.catholic.com/qa/how-do-i-change-rites


I don’t know how close you are, but there’s a Latin Mass not too far across the bridge in Brooklyn at Our Lady of Peace, 522 Carroll Street Brooklyn, NY 11215

I’ve met a few people who drive over an hour each way to attend the Latin Mass.

And while it might be a little far, there are also three in New Jersey you might want to consider:

  1. St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Jersey City. I believe they still have a Latin Mass at 9am https://www.rcan.org/st-anthony-padua-parish-jersey-city
  2. St. Anthony of Padua Oratory in West Orange - this is an Institute of Christ the King oratory http://www.institute-christ-king.org/westorange-home/
  3. Our Lady of Fatima Chapel - FSSP parish in Pequannock, NJ http://olfchapel.org/

Again, I know many people who drive over an hour (or two even) to attend a faithful Latin Mass. You might be able to attend one of these in Brooklyn or Jersey fairly easy if you have a good working Car (and depending on where on the Island you live.

But if you want to attend a Catholic Byzantine Church, you can. I know of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church on Staten Island. Not sure if there are any more, but that one is Byzantine and Catholic. However, there are three others just over the bridge in NJ.

God Bless


As others already explained to you, Eastern Catholics are in communion with the Roman Catholic church. They aren’t heretics in any way shape or form. They are our good Catholic brothers and sisters who practice a different rite.

I’m sorry Staten Island doesn’t have a Latin Mass any more. There are quite a few Latin Masses in Manhattan and a couple in the other boroughs, to my knowledge. So I guess one thing to ask yourself is, are you going to be staying in Staten Island forever, or is there a chance you might move somewhere else with traditional Latin Masses?

If you are really convinced you want to switch rites, you can do so, and I’m sure they would not forbid you from praying the rosary on your own and having a Mary statue in your home. As someone else said, I believe you’re only allowed to switch once, so you can’t change your mind and switch back later (except in some particular circumstances that don’t seem to apply to your case). You could also just keep attending their services without switching rites.

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