Which am I? Eastern or Latin?

This may sound like a silly topic, for I do know what I was baptised, but I am going for a technical answer.

When I was young, I was always curious as to why some of grandpap’s family were Greek Catholic and we were Roman Catholic. I didn’t really get an answer until I was in my 20s and began researching the family history.

My grandparents emigrated from Slovakia in around 1904-1906. They did not come over together, and may not have even known each other. They did come from nearby villages however.

Grandpap was Greek Catholic, Grandma was Roman Catholic. Somehow once in the USA, they ended up in the same small town and got introduced and fell in love. When it came time to get married, Grandpap went to the priest at his Greek Catholic church and asked to married Grandma. The priest said “NO!!

Grandpap replied “Then you can go to hell!”, marched out went to the Roman Catholic priest and the rest is history.

Now, I’m not sure of the mechanics of all of this, but I am curious as to anything this may mean to me as regard any standing within the Byzantine church.

Its a part of my ethinicity that I’d love to explore more.

God bless

Tony

They are pretty much the same. But I would say Roman and the rest is history:D

Tony,

From the perspective of Catholic canon law, the Church (Latin or Greek Catholic) in which you were enrolled by virtue of your baptism will depend on your parents rather than grandparents or customary Church attendance, and whether there was any lawful transfer of enrollment in either of those generations.

Sometimes confusion about a person’s enrollment can cause complications at the time of marriage (though you do not raise that matter).

I recommend contacting your diocese, and someone can assist you to sort it out. This will be much more easily and expeditiously done by its canonists than on a forum.

This is correct. But I am guessing on the way GrandPal stormed out of the CHurch and went to the RC he was probally Baptised RC. But you are right its better to check.:smiley:

He wouldn’t have needed to be baptized. If, in fact, grandpa was Greek Catholic and not Orthodox, he’d still have been canonically Greek Catholic, unless he made a formal change of canonical enrollment. In which case, all his children would be, as well, even if baptized in the Roman Church. So if these are your dad’s parents, you might be Greek Catholic.

If they’re your mom’s, figure out your dad’s family.

The Catholic Church recognizes nine rites, each one of which has its own right and proper way of doing things. Each Catholic takes the rite of his /her parent.

The question of Church enrollment or ascription pertains to the Churches sui iuris and not of the “nine rites.” The Catholic Church is composed of the Latin Church and 21 Churches of the East. The question is which one might the poster belong to.
Be aware that some complicating factors exist, and we should be cautious about a blanket statement about each Catholic taking “the rite” of parents. Parents may be of different Churches, and certain canons that govern the situation. As suggested above, transfer of enrollment may have taken place as well.
So I would continue to recommend a consultation with the diocese.

The church recognizes these nine rites;Latin ( including variants):Byzantine: Armenian: Chaldean: Coptic: Ethopic: Malabar: Maronite: Syrian:
Each catholic takes the RITE of his/her Parents. That statement is factual and should not be misrepresented.

It is a misrepresentation because people are not members of rites, Churches are.

People a members of sui iuris Churches.

I am a Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic becuase my father, and his fathers before him, where members of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church. Even though I was baptized in a Latin Church (where sacraments are received do not show membership).

My friend is a Melkite Greek Catholic because his father, and his fathers before him, where members of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.

Both of these Churches are Byzantine rite but our memberships are not with the rite but with the Church.

The issue is with some rites there are multipile Churches of that rite.

The church recognizes these nine rites;Latin ( including variants):Byzantine: Armenian: Chaldean: Coptic: Ethopic: Malabar: Maronite: Syrian:
Each catholic takes the RITE of his/her Parents. That statement is factual and should not be misrepresented.

The Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches (CCEO) does not speak of taking “rites” but of enrollment in sui iuris Churches (first citation in Canon 12; frequent citations from there on).

\When it came time to get married, Grandpap went to the priest at his Greek Catholic church and asked to married Grandma. The priest said “NO!!”

Grandpap replied “Then you can go to hell!”, marched out went to the Roman Catholic priest and the rest is history.\

**Meaning nothing against your grandfather, but there’s something in this story that he isn’t telling.

Probably something that he or the priest misunderstood.

But were he really Greek Catholic, the Latin priest could not have peformed the wedding without a dispensation.**

Actually, if the man changed his enrollment, yes, the priest could. At least, at that time.

No offense or anything taken. Anecdotes like this do tend to be embellished a bit over the years, and knowing my grandpap, it may just have happened like I said. But then again, the more mundane parts could have been left out. He was a rascal to be sure.

Grandma was very devout, so it may have all been done by the book. Another story says that she saw visions of the Blessed Mother in the days before she died.

Still begs the answer as to why all his brothers and sisters, and neices and nephews in ‘the old country’ are Greek Catholic, though.

God bless

Tony

Every Catholic takes the rite ( Latin or Byzantine or Maronite, etc.of his parents even if , through error or emergency, he is baptized by a priest and with the forms of another rite. Except at matrimony under certain circumstances, one cannot change one’s rite, except for a good reason and by permission of the Holy See. But any Eastern Catholic who has “turned Latin” is free to return to his own rite, and in certain cases must do so.
Schismatics who become Catholics must keep their own rite (eg., an heritical Copt, not a Melkite or Latin ) ; any western priest inducing any Eastern Christians to embrace the Latin rite incurs suspension and other penalties. The rules governing change of rite were laid down by Pope Leo XII in the constitution Orientalium dignitas in 1894; they are greatly neglected in certain places.

The question is (Which am I? Eastern or Latin?

Regarding your use of sui iuris." Adoption of a adult? The Church makes its own the Roman law of adoption.

Every Catholic takes the rite of his parents. The rule to change rites were laid down by Pope Leo XIII in the constitution Orientalium dignitas of 1894.

Welcome thomas jd

People are members of Churches not rites. This is covered in various other posts and Br. David has a good post on it here. (Although most Latin Church Catholics call the Roman rite the Latin rite it is the Roman rite, one of a number of rites of the Latin Church.)

I like very much what Fr Maximos says about rites and churches at the beginning of this interview. (Of course the entire interview is excellent. :slight_smile: )

Schismatics who become Catholics must keep their own rite (eg., an heritical Copt, not a Melkite or Latin ) ;

I would ask you to not use this language here if you are referring to our Orthodox brother and sister. Thank you.

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.

It should also be added that “The Church makes its own the Roman law of adoption” is not quite accurate. Canon 10 accepts the civil law in force in the territory: [FONT=MS Sans Serif][FONT=Arial]Children who have been adopted according to the norm of civil law are considered as being the children of the person or persons who have adopted them.
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Yes, presuming things pre Vatican 2 were as they are now. The many reforms of the Second Vatican Council regarding the ECCs, including the CCEO, aimed at ending “Latinizations” and restoring the ECCs were doubtless the result of many stories like this. Now getting a change in enrollment can take time and may not be granted, but in the early part of the last century it could have been different.

Memory eternal! If Grandpap did not make the formal change of enrollment then regardless of the whole wedding business he probably remained canonically Greek Catholic as Aramis says. The term “Greek Catholic” doesn’t tell us in which Greek/Byzantine Catholic Church he was baptized.

Deacon John referred you to your your diocese for help sorting it out and that is who can help you track the records down. I encourage you to be persistent. It will be interesting and exciting to see what can be discovered. :slight_smile:

Amen.

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.

And you can attest I’m sure to the fact that this wouldn’t be the first case of the canon law office at the diocese needing to unravel such things.

As you provided here 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… and Latin Church canon 111 §1 … child is ascribed to the Ritual Church to which the father belongs…

In the case of OP Tony and his Grandpap, this only matters if Grandpap is the father of Tony’s father. Unless his father was not Catholic and his mother was and this is her side… :whacky: I’m so glad you’re the canon lawyer and not me!

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