What i am/what should i be?

Hello, i want to clear a confussion regarding to which Church i actually belong. i was raised in a “roman” Catholic family,however, the Church is refered to as “Holy,Catholic,Apostolic”.never as roman!
As i grew older, learn that orthodox/eastern Churches are accepted as “valid” by mine,so:why should roman remain romans and not convert to orthodoxy if the sacraments are also valid? (the Pope is a major issue,but also hes called “first among equals”,making his position somehow less important)

Thats basically my situation, im not sure the “roman” Church is the same as “the Universal Church”,i however am deeply connected with roman-catholic culture and traditions,but im willing to investigate and correct myself if im not right.

If you have been baptized or received into the Catholic Church (in union with the Pope), then you are considered Catholic. “Roman” is just an adjective attached by some to differentiate something–to emphasize the union with the Pope (vs Anglo-Catholics, Old Catholics, and the like), and sometimes people use it instead of Latin Church when differentiating from the other particular Churches like the Greek Catholic, the Byzantines, the Marionites, etc.

So it seems from what you have written that you are Catholic.

The Catholic Church recognizes that the Orthodox have valid sacraments but is in schism. Are you interested in Orthodoxy or just wanting to know the precise relationship?

Im interested in having some degree of participation/exposure to eastern orthodoxy,but without breaking away from the catholic Church.
I have been positively impressed by many aspects of them.

If you are interested in Eastern Christianity, you could see if there is a Byzantine Catholic Church near you. They are in union with the Pope. You can post questions you may have on the Eastern Catholic forum of this site.

For a while, I lived near enough to a Byzantine Catholic church to go to Divine Liturgy, as they call it, almost every week. I really loved it. They follow a lot of Orthodox theology, which developed differently because they were so far away from Europe and had different background and concerns.

I don’t know enough about the other Particular Churches in Catholicism to recommend another, and I don’t know a general way to find a Byzantine DL, bit someone is sure to be able to help you at the Eastern Catholicism section.

The “Roman” Catholic Church is not the Catholic Church. It is only one of 23 Churches which make up the Catholic Church and are all subject to the Pope.


There’s nothing wrong with exploring the other Rites in the Catholic Church. Going to Mass in another Rite satisfies your Sunday obligation. If you want to receive Communion, you may want to talk to the priest about it first. (A lot of Rites like to make sure you’ve gone to Confession before you receive Communion, or that you’re not a non-Catholic rubbernecker who doesn’t know better. They often have small congregations, so the priest knows everybody and who’s gone to Confession.)

If you end up really becoming attached, you can even change Rites (although usually it’s not necessary unless you want to get ordained in that Rite, or something similarly big).

If there’s a Lebanese Christian community in your area, there’s probably a Maronite Catholic church. If Iraqi or Syrian Christians are around, look for Syriac or Chaldean Catholics. If there are Greeks, Eastern Europeans, or people from Asia Minor, there may be a Byzantine Catholic or Ruthenian Catholic church.

There are a ton of Rites, but these are pretty common ones to find in the US. When it gets to be Christmastime or summer church festival time, a lot of local Catholic churches hold open house. It’s a good time to visit and ask questions about other Rites. (And you can buy some darned good food at church festivals and bazaars!) But of course you can also just drop in for Mass, as I said above.

Also, you might just find that other ethnic groups have Latin Rite Catholic parishes with customs or devotional practices that you might find more helpful to your growth as a Christian. Vietnamese parishes sing beautiful Vietnamese-French chant, for example. Everybody says it’s great to go say the Rosary in a Hispanic parish at Our Lady of Guadelupe Mananitas services. And so on.

The Church is full of good and holy things. There’s nothing wrong with exploring that wealth and meeting your neighbors.

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.