The Church is juridically organized into Churches sui iuris. As noted above, there are 22 Churches sui iuris. These are not the same as rites. The rites are *manifested *in the Churches sui iuris. This is why I take exception to the notion of membership in one of “the nine rites” asserted above. I express concern in trying to diagnose any situation without all the facts, and again, this can be done by the OP’s diocese.
Let’s look at the canons and perhaps see the principles more precisely rather than in paraphrase.
The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches indicates the distinction of Church sui iuris from rite.:
CCEO Canon 28 §1. A rite is the liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony, culture and circumstances of history of a distinct people, by which its own manner of living the faith is manifested in each Church sui iuris. §2. The rites treated in this code, unless otherwise stated, are those which arise from the Alexandrian, Antiochene, Armenian, Chaldean and Constantinopolitan traditions.
It also expresses the effect of baptism on enrollment into a Church sui iuris rather than a “rite” and also makes some important clarifications about different kinds of situations.
CCEO canon 29 §1. By virtue of baptism, a child who has not yet completed his fourteenth year of age is enrolled in the Church sui iuris of the Catholic father; or the Church sui iuris of the mother if only the mother is Catholic or if both parents by agreement freely request it, with due regard for particular law established by the Apostolic See. §2. If the child who has not yet completed his fourteenth year is. (1) born of an unwed mother, he is enrolled in the Church sui iuris to which the mother belongs; (2) born of unknown parents, he is to be enrolled in the Church sui iuris of those in whose care he has been legitimately committed are enrolled; if it is a case of an adoptive father and mother, §1 should be applied; (3) born of non-baptized parents, the child is to be a member of the Church sui iuris of the one who is responsible for his education in the Catholic faith.
The corresponding Latin canon 111 provides: §1. A child of parents who belong to the Latin Church is ascribed to it by reception of baptism, or, if one or the other parent does not belong to the Latin Church and both parents agree in choosing that the child be baptized in the Latin Church, the child is ascribed to it by reception of baptism; but, if the agreement is lacking, the child is ascribed to the Ritual Church to which the father belongs. §2. Anyone to be baptized who has completed the fourteenth year of age can freely choose to be baptized in the Latin Church or in another Ritual Church sui iuris, and in this case the person belongs to that Church which is chosen.
Latin canon 112 addresses subsequent changes in enrollment, §1. After the reception of baptism, the following are enrolled in another Ritual Church sui iuris: 1º one who has obtained permission from the Apostolic See; 2º a spouse who declares at the time of marriage or during marriage that he or she is transferring to the Ritual Church sui iuris of the other spouse; but when the marriage has ended, that person can freely return to the Latin Church; 3º children of those in nn. 1 and 2 under fourteen complete years of age; and similarly children of a Catholic party in a mixed marriage who legitimately transferred to another Ritual Church. But, when such persons reach fourteen complete years of age, they may return to the Latin Church. §2. The custom, however prolonged, of receiving the sacraments according to the rite of another Ritual Church sui iuris, does not carry with it enrollment in that Church. (also see Eastern canons 32-34.)
As a canon lawyer, I would be interested to see where a mandatory return asserted in the following statement operates “But any Eastern Catholic who has “turned Latin” is free to return to his own rite, and in certain cases must do so.” [my emphasis]
If by this a forced re-enrollment in one’s original Church sui iuris is meant, what are those cases and where are the canons?
We also read above that “any western priest inducing any Eastern Christians to embrace the Latin rite incurs suspension and other penalties.” That may have been true at one time. However, any such penal prescript was abrogated by virtue of CIC 1983 canon 6 §1. When this Code takes force, the following are abrogated: . . . any universal or particular penal laws whatsoever issued by the Apostolic See, unless they are contained in this Code. The infliction of such a penalty on a Latin priest is not in the 1983 code of the Latin Church. Clearly as CCEO canon 31 says, No one can presume in any way to induce the Christian faithful to transfer to another Church sui iuris. However, I see no provision for an infliction of penalty in the law itself. My opinion is that it could be inflicted by process but not in any ipso iure manner.
Finally as to the notion that “The rules governing change of rite were laid down by Pope Leo XII in the constitution Orientalium dignitas in 1894…” it should be remarked that there have now been two Latin codes and one comprehensive Eastern code issued since then ( not to mention modifying legislation I should think).
A proper understanding of transfer would require looking at the law in force today and applying it to the details of the situation under examination.