The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
Vigilante, Poliscifi, The Cub, P H, Hardrada
5603 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 registered members (P H), 81 guests, and 458 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
Upgraded Russian icon corner
Russian Greek Catholic Global Congress
OL EuroEast II (2007) Group
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics34,737
Posts411,934
Members5,603
Most Online2,716
Jun 7th, 2012
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
Orthodox to Catholic: questions #285824 04/09/08 12:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,431
Peter J Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,431
On another website, we were having a discussion of 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."

Someone then brought up the question of what would happen if a Western Rite Orthodox converted to Catholicism? Would he/she become part of the Latin Church?

I don't know the answer to that or even where to begin looking, but I thought someone here might possibly know.

Thanks,
Peter.

Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: Peter J] #285825 04/09/08 12:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,431
Peter J Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,431
Second question: On yet another website, a woman mentioned that she and her husband and three kids were going to be converting from Orthodoxy to Catholicism.

She didn't say the ages, but my impression is that the youngest is a toddler. If that's the case, would he be taken into the Catholic Church along with the rest of his family? Or would he remain Orthodox until he's old enough to say "I want to be Catholic rather than Orthodox"?

-Peter.

Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: Peter J] #285831 04/09/08 01:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,125
E
Epiphanius Offline
Za myr z'wysot ...
Member
Offline
Za myr z'wysot ...
Member
E
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,125
Originally Posted by Peter_B
... would he remain Orthodox until he's old enough to say "I want to be Catholic rather than Orthodox"?

Peter,

This is a decision your parents normally make for you anyway, so I really don't see the issue.


Peace,
Deacon Richard

Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: Epiphanius] #285835 04/09/08 01:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,431
Peter J Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,431
Dear Deacon Richard,

Originally Posted by Epiphanius
This is a decision your parents normally make for you anyway,


I don't see that at all. Normally, the decision to convert would be made by the individual, but in this particular case it might be made by the parents, since obviously the child can't decide for himself. That's what I'm asking.

Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: Peter J] #285841 04/09/08 02:29 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,564
F
Fr Serge Keleher Offline
Member
Offline
Member
F
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,564
This is not unlike the question which one sometimes hears: "is it not improper for the parents to make religious choices for an infant? Should the infant not be allowed to grow up in a neutral situation and then choose for himself?"

I trust there is no need to bother discussing the hopeless fallacy involved in such a question. If the parents of an infant or toddler become Catholic (or Eastern Orthodox, for that matter) nobody expects such a young child to make a profession of faith on his own behalf! But it is entirely normal to expect the parents to raise the child in the Faith.

In the somewhat rarified case of parents who have been Western Orthodox and now wish to become Catholic, I would see no conceivable reason to compel them to become Eastern Catholics. If, however, they themselves wish to do so, they have only to insist on this as a condition of their adherence to the Catholic Church (so call me an anarchist - I believe in freedom of religion).

There is, I suppose, the hypothetical possibility of a Western Orthodox parish becoming Catholic and perhaps requesting some degree of leeway in retaining whatever particular customs they may have. That would be up to the Bishop, and perhaps require taking some matters to the Holy See.

Fr. Serge

Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: Fr Serge Keleher] #285854 04/09/08 04:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,131
A
A Simple Sinner Offline
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,131
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
There is, I suppose, the hypothetical possibility of a Western Orthodox parish becoming Catholic and perhaps requesting some degree of leeway in retaining whatever particular customs they may have. That would be up to the Bishop, and perhaps require taking some matters to the Holy See.

Fr. Serge


This could probably be filed under the "How many angels on the head of a pin?" category... but if it were to happen, an Anglican Use arrangement (given the modified BCP being used in most WRO parishes) may well be the direction such a hypothetical parish would go... As many are rooted in BCP-using community traditions, in my feeble mind this makes sense.

As it stands right now, I am wondering just how many folks in positions of authority in RC diocese are all that aware of these nuances to begin with, and make folks who should know them aware of them.

Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: A Simple Sinner] #285958 04/11/08 02:47 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 706
I
indigo Offline
Member
Offline
Member
I
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 706
A Roman Catholic family with a number of kids switched to Eastern Catholic and the children over, I believe it was, 14 years of age could choose whether or not to change. One of the teenagers chose not too, but the children under 14 were automatically enrolled with the parents. I would guess the same would hold true for an Orthodox family coming into either branch of Catholicism.

Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: A Simple Sinner] #286088 04/12/08 06:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 51
venite Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 51
I still haven't seen an answer to the question of what would happen to an individual Western Rite Orthodox person or family (let's say Antiochian) who converted to Catholicism. Canonically speaking, would he go to the Latin Church (because of his rite), or to the Melkite Church (because he belonged to the corresponding Eastern Orthodox Church)?

This reminds me of a conversation a Western Rite Orthodox priest once had with an Melkite Catholic priest. The former jested, "Well, Father, since the Antiochian Orthodox have a Western Rite, do you think that the Melkites would like to establish a Western Rite Vicariate?" The latter replied, "Oh yes. We already have a Western Rite. It's quite large. Maybe you've heard of it?" grin

Last edited by venite; 04/12/08 06:25 PM.
Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: venite] #286089 04/12/08 06:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,131
A
A Simple Sinner Offline
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,131
Venite I don't know that the matter has been dealt with before.

I find it an odd thing to imagine an erstwhile individual or a family coming from AWRV (where the majority use a revised Book of Common Prayer) being told "Well, now you must join the Melkite Church."


Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: A Simple Sinner] #286090 04/12/08 06:43 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 51
venite Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 51
I would find that very odd as well, Simple Sinner ... Perhaps there would have to be some sort of agreement between the Latin and Melkite hierarchs involved. It is obviously an Angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin sort of question, but it is interesting nonetheless!

Remember also that there are WRO who worship according to the Tridentine Mass (now Extraordinary Use) in English, even though you're correct that the BCP-based parishes are currently the majority (and have been since around the early 90's).

Last edited by venite; 04/12/08 06:46 PM.
Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: venite] #286093 04/12/08 08:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,131
A
A Simple Sinner Offline
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,131
Again, very Angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin... I don't forsee any serious need or desire on the part of Latin bishops to form an agreement with the Melkites on what to do with folks in this boat... I have my doubts that there are more than 700-1000 of them in the US, if the issue comes up I think they would just be taken by wherever they went. I am aware of a Tridentine-Mass style service in the AOA - again, maybe we are talking 2 or 3 chapels serving (total) 100-200 people in the US?


Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: A Simple Sinner] #286134 04/13/08 06:01 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 12
Prodromos Offline
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 12
Well, let's not insult those angels who like hanging around pinheads. But it's not trivial question. CCEO (Eastern Catholic Code) canon 28 states that "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." Under this definition Western-rite Orthodoxy is strictly speaking, a liturgical rite, not a church sui iuris; it's akin to Anglican Use Catholic "personal parishes." My understanding is that WRO churches are usually a mission or vicariate erected under the canonical authority of an Orthodox Patriarchate.

Western-rite Orthodoxy is "western" only in liturgical order & structure. But in liturgical sensibility, theology, patrimony, discipline, etc., it is Orthodox, at least in theory, right? This is admittedly a relatively Latin way of looking at it. In other words, the use of the term "rite" in WRO doesn't fit well with Catholic definitions. If WRO was trying to be consistent w/Catholic canon law, it should be called "Western Use Orthodoxy." ...I admit that sounds awful.

Anglicans who convert to the Catholic Church are enrolled in the Latin-rite Church, not in an Anglican Use rite or parish. There's no parallel for WROs converting to Catholicism. So when a WRO individual enters into full communion with the Catholic Church, he would be ascribed to the Eastern Catholic Church corresponding to the patriarchate that supported his WRO church.

It's important to remember that "enrollment" and "ascription" for Catholics are canonical terms, meaning they go into effect by operation of law, not by any act of will. If this were a real case, I'm sure agreement between the Latin-rite and Eastern-rite bishops for a transfer of rite would be readily forthcoming. The canons furthermore do not enjoin the individual from participating sacramentally in a Latin-rite parish, even though he's enrolled by law in an Eastern Catholic Church. To dot his i's/cross his t's, at some point he would simply need to make a declaration to a Latin-rite bishop or proper pastor to make his formal transfer of rite to the Latins canonically binding.

Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: A Simple Sinner] #286136 04/13/08 06:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 51
venite Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 51
Simple Sinner,

I wasn't referring to some sort of monumental agreement between the Latin bishops [plural] and Melkite bishops [plural].

What I meant is that the Latin bishop [singular] might find it wise to talk to the Melkite bishop [singular] in case of an individual (person or family) coming from the WRO tradition. That's all. grin

But you're probably right that "they would just be taken by wherever they went."

Last edited by venite; 04/13/08 06:47 PM.
Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: Prodromos] #286137 04/13/08 06:46 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 51
venite Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 51
Originally Posted by Prodromos
Well, let's not insult those angels who like hanging around pinheads. But it's not trivial question.


Thanks, Prodromos.

For me, it's an entirely academic question. I'm just interested in canon law (whether Eastern or Western), and the case of a WRO converting to Catholicism would provide an interesting case study.

I think your logic is entirely correct. A WRO is actually an Eastern Orthodox Christian, even though the community to which is attached celebrates a liturgy different from the vast majority of his Orthodox coreligionists.

Anyhow, not a pressing matter as far as I know, just a conversation to pass the time. grin

Last edited by venite; 04/13/08 06:47 PM.
Re: Orthodox to Catholic: questions [Re: venite] #286138 04/13/08 07:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,431
Peter J Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,431
venite and Prodromos,

While I certainly agree that it's not a pressing question (from the point of view of anticipating conversions from WRO to Catholicism) but I think it does show some not-so-trivial problems: First, an Orthodox person doesn't belong to one rite or the other, so the wording of Canon 35 is inappropriate (for lack of a better word. Is there a term that's like "anachronistic", but not pertaining to time?)

Should it instead say that a convert from Such-and-such Orthodox Church is automatically enrolled in Such-and-such Catholic Church? That may very well be the intent of the canon, but that just reveals another issue: In the larger scheme of things, is the idea to merge each Orthodox Church into the corresponding Catholic Church? Recent dialogue suggests no, but Canon 35 suggests yes (or perhaps "could give the impression" would be more accurate).

I agree with Prodromos that it isn't a trivial, Angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin question.

Thanks to all who have responded to the questions, and God bless,
Peter.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2019 (Forum 1998-2019). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3