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Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: Cyril42] #342326 01/28/10 01:38 PM
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And yet I've read literature that's been posted here, saying this kind of interfaith can marriage can work and decisions can be made in "good consciousness", (http://www.usccb.org/seia/5-264.pdf)
written by BOTH orthodox and catholic authorities. Which is why I don't understand why basically I'm doomed to hell for trying to work this out, and no one can be helpful about it when I try to seek out resolutions. If that document was from 1997 one would think there would be progress since then in helping people with this matter.

Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: jkay] #342327 01/28/10 01:42 PM
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He is not greek catholic, he is roman catholic.

As a compromise, both of you may wish to attend Liturgy at a Greek Catholic Church--the liturgy would be essentially Orthodox, and he could receive the Eucharist there. Eastern Catholic Churches are full of Roman Catholics who attend for various reasons. Many of them learn to love the Liturgy; some even change Church. In return, he could attend the Orthodox Liturgy with you, albeit he probably could not receive there. And you could attend Roman Catholic Mass with him.

Obviously, some degree of experimentation will be needed here. Doctrinal rigor needs to be tempered with pastoral sensitivity. Leven makes an important observation about Orthodox marriage regulations, at least as they were administered by the Slavic Orthodox down through the 18th century:

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As a whole, the medieval Slavic Orthodox regulations on marriage seem unrealistic, and the numerous complaints over the centuries about violations indicate that they were not always observed. Even the people most likely to feel obliged to obey the Church’s rules—the aristocracy and the clergy—were likely to transgress, knowingly or unknowingly. . .

The regulations on betrothal, marriage, remarriage and divorce provided a balance between the ideal and the reality in the moral realm, as well as the interests of the family and the welfare of society. Families were free to plan marriages in the interest of political and economic advancement, but limits were imposed to prevent social disorder. To this end, official betrothals were binding, public ceremonies were required, divorce was restricted, and remarriage discouraged. At the same time, the rules were flexible enough to permit the breaking of established ties and the formation of new ones where there was great desire to do so. And even when a desired divorce or remarriage was contrary to the rules, the Church would turn a blind eye to the violations when they were advantageous for the society.

Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: jkay] #342328 01/28/10 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jkay
He is not greek catholic, he is roman catholic.


Any Catholic can attend Catholic services of whatever rite/sui iuris Church he likes.

Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: jkay] #342330 01/28/10 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jkay
And yet I've read literature that's been posted here, saying this kind of interfaith can marriage can work and decisions can be made in "good consciousness", (http://www.usccb.org/seia/5-264.pdf)
written by BOTH orthodox and catholic authorities. Which is why I don't understand why basically I'm doomed to hell for trying to work this out, and no one can be helpful about it when I try to seek out resolutions. If that document was from 1997 one would think there would be progress since then in helping people with this matter.


jkay,

I wanted to reply to you last night. The replies you've had so far have been discouraging I realize and I don't want to sound like a pollyanna at the other end of the spectrum, suggesting that - of course, it will work! Instead, I'm going to tell you that it can work; it doesn't always, but it can,

We have at least a couple of members here who are in catholic-orthodox marriges, with children, and - last I heard - things were going well. I've got to rack my brain because one in particular can offer some good insights and suggestions - but it's someone who hasn't been in for a few months and I'm blanking on just who it is. It'll come to me sometime today, I'll PM the person, and drag them in here for some dialogue and hints.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: PeterPeter] #342331 01/28/10 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by PeterPeter
Originally Posted by jkay
He is not greek catholic, he is roman catholic.


Any Catholic can attend Catholic services of whatever rite/sui iuris Church he likes.


Peter,

I think her point was that everyone has been assuming that he's an EC, not a Latin.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: PeterPeter] #342332 01/28/10 02:00 PM
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While locally 'your mileage may vary' like in Syria and Lebanon, in the American context I don't see that as good; the kind of priest who junks the one-true-church claim to commune you while you raise your kids in a rival one true church is usually the relativistic kind who communes the divorced and remarried (without annulments), practising homosexuals et al. (The kind of RC who 30-40 years ago would have been celebrating and communing with Protestants at hippyish services, back when that kind of ecumenism was seen as cutting-edge, when mainline Protestants were still taken seriously.)

Greek Catholic as a compromise, while understandable in some cases (it might make conversion more palatable for the ex-Orthodox spouse), doesn't change the basic theological question. Sorry but it really means the Roman side wins with the conversion of the Orthodox spouse.

I wouldn't say the people in such a mixed marriage have different ways of looking at God! No, it all boils down to how much the two churches have in common including the one-true-church claim and there's the rub.

Maybe the reigning Pope can come up with something (the seemingly impossible: reconcile RC and Orthodox teachings on the scope of his office) but for now as in centuries past, union personal and ecclesiastical is a zero-sum game: conversion.

Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: The young fogey] #342334 01/28/10 02:33 PM
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Chances are what really happens in these situations is with people not particularly catechised or observant so you don't get the angst you see from conscientious people on message boards. 'Your mileage varies' locally. The indifferent spouse lets the kids be raised in the other church while, if he or she doesn't convert for the sake of the marriage, doing some nominal observance like going to his or church at Christmas and/or Easter and never telling the situation to the priest, who doesn't ask. The person dies and gets a funeral in his or her nominal church. As for what happens to him or her, literally God only knows. The end.

And chances are in these situations, considering the size of the churches in this context/country, the US (with a scarcity of Orthodox churches outside the rust belt, the same reason Greek Catholics have been losing people for years), the kids more often end up raised RC.

Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: The young fogey] #342335 01/28/10 02:37 PM
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I would also like to hear what priests have to say regarding:

And yet I've read literature that's been posted here, saying this kind of interfaith can marriage can work and decisions can be made in "good consciousness", (http://www.usccb.org/seia/5-264.pdf)
written by BOTH orthodox and catholic authorities. Which is why I don't understand why basically I'm doomed to hell for trying to work this out, and no one can be helpful about it when I try to seek out resolutions. If that document was from 1997 one would think there would be progress since then in helping people with this matter.

Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: Irish Melkite] #342336 01/28/10 02:37 PM
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Thank you Neil I look forward to it.

Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: jkay] #342338 01/28/10 02:58 PM
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I believe the North American Catholic-Orthodox Ecumenical Dialogue has issued guidelines on mixed marriages. Does anybody have access to that link?

Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: StuartK] #342344 01/28/10 03:19 PM
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Here is a link to the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation on Joint Recommendations on the Spirit...age between Orthodox and Roman Catholics from 1980.

Here is there summary of the current practice and some practical recommendations:

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Current Practice

4. Practical difficulties often arise in discharging this responsibility, especially in mixed marriages. Today each of our churches insists that the children of such marriages be raised within its own communion, on the grounds that this is in the best interests of the child's spiritual welfare, thus presuming that one of the parents will relinquish the chief responsibility to the other. Yet if the purpose of the general law is indeed the child's spiritual welfare, its application should be guided by a prudent judgment concerning what is better for the child in the concrete situation.

Practical Recommendations

5. The Orthodox/Roman Catholic couple contemplating marriage should discuss the problem of the spiritual formation of children with both their pastors. Both parents should be urged to take an active role in their children's spiritual formation in all its aspects. Pastors should counsel the parents, and their children as well, against indifference in religious matters, which so often masks itself as tolerance. Since unity in Christ through the Spirit is the ultimate basis and goal of family life, all members of the family should be willing, in a spirit of love, trust, and freedom, to learn more about their faith. They should agree to pray, study, discuss, and seek unity in Christ, and to express their commitment to this unity in all aspects of their lives.

6. Decisions, including the initial and very important one of the children's church membership, rest with both husband and wife and should take into account the good of the children, the strength of the religious convictions of the parents and other relatives, the demands of their consciences, the unity and stability of the family, and other aspects of the specific context. In some cases, when it appears certain that only one of the partners will fulfill his or her responsibility, it seems clear that the children should be raised in that partner's church. In other cases, however, the children's spiritual formation may include a fuller participation in the life and traditions of both churches, respecting, however, the canonical order of each church. Here particularly the decision of the children's church membership is more difficult to make. Yet we believe that this decision can be made in good conscience. This is possible because of the proximity of doctrine and practice of our churches, which enables each to a high degree to see the other precisely as Church, as the locus for the communion of men and women with God and with each other through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: StuartK] #342345 01/28/10 03:23 PM
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Here is a link to the Consultation's 1971 Agreed Statement on Mixed Marriages, which is the basis of the handbook to which Neil linked above. It is very brief, and as the later statement on raising children shows, significant progress has been made:

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An agreed statement on Mixed Marriage

The recent dialogue between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches has led to a deeper appreciation of their common tradition of faith. This exploration has helped us to reassess some specific theological and pastoral problems in the area of Christian marriage. We recognize the practical difficulties which couples continue to face when they enter a mixed marriage as long as their churches are divided on matters of doctrine and styles of Christian life. Because of these difficulties both of our churches discourage mixed marriages

I. Pastoral Problems

1. We recognize that under the conditions of modern life these mixed marriages will continue to take place. For this reason counseling of couples entering such unions by pastors of both churches is imperative. In this counseling the sincerely held religious convictions of each party, based upon their church's tradition, must be respected, especially as regards the nature of marriage and the style of life in marriage.

2. One area in which counseling by the pastors is desirable concerns the Christian upbringing of the children. We recognize the responsibility of each partner to raise their children in the faith of their respective churches. We encourage the pastors of both churches to counsel these couples in the hope of helping to resolve the problem which this responsibility creates. Specific decisions should be made by the couple only after informed and serious deliberation. Whether the decision is made to raise the children in the Orthodox or Catholic tradition, both partners should take an active role in the Christian upbringing of the children and in establishing their marriage as a stable Christian union. The basis for this pastoral counsel is not religious indifferentism, but our conviction of a common participation in the mystery of Christ and his Church.

3. Each partner should be reminded of the obligation to respect the religious convictions and practice of the other and mutually to support and encourage the other in growing into the fullness of the Christian life.

II. Theological Problems

1. According to the view of the Orthodox Church the marriage of an Orthodox can only be performed by an Orthodox priest as the minister of the sacrament. In the view of the Catholic Church the contracting partners are the ministers of the sacrament, and the required presence of a Catholic major cleric as witness of the Church can be dispensed with for weighty reasons. In view of this, we recommend that the Catholic Church, as a normative practice, allow the Catholic party of a proposed marriage with an Orthodox to be married with the Orthodox priest officiating. This procedure should, however, take place only after consultation by the partners with both pastors.

2. We plan the further study of the Orthodox and Catholic traditional teaching concerning marriage.

Barlin Acres, MA
November 4, 1971
Eighth Meeting

Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: StuartK] #342352 01/28/10 05:01 PM
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But is going for liberal mainstream American practice when it suits you (but being liturgically traditional, if you're Orthodox) a valid option? (Not on discipline like fasting but on morals, which are non-negotiable.) Again a different context from immemorial custom in Syria and Lebanon between churches that on the ground (rite, customs) are the same (both traditional).

'It's between us and our priest' sounds like the liberal excuse for birth control.

Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: The young fogey] #342363 01/28/10 06:13 PM
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For what it's worth. I am Orthodox (ACROD) and my wife is Roman Catholic. When we were married I was Byzantine Catholic, so my oldest daughter Sarah was baptized, christmated, and received Eucharist in the Byzantine Catholic Church. Ultimately we allowed my daughter to decide what she was more comfortable doing. She made her first confession and was received into the Orthodox Church last year! However, that being said, we also have 3 year old twins. Yet to be baptized due to differing religions of the parents. We are going to let the Holy Spirit work with them as was done with Sarah. You are wise to discuss this together before marrage. We did and I know that made the move to Orthodoxy understandable.

Reader Christopher

Re: How many are in a catholic-orthodox marriage? [Re: The young fogey] #342364 01/28/10 06:16 PM
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Actually, intermarriage between Orthodox and Roman Catholics remained very common in the Aegean and Adriatic down to the 18th century, because nothing propinks like propinquity, and there was intermingling of Orthodox and Catholic boys and girls, and, well, nature will take its course. Repeated admonitions against the practice only testify to how common it was. It pretty much stopped after the Melkite schism and the temporary Orthodox plunge into rebaptizing Catholics.

In this country, Orthodox and Greek Catholics have been intermarrying since they first showed up on these shores. Go take a census in any Ukrainian or Ruthenian parish (Melkites here less so, because the Antiochians are dominated by goyische converts who read a lot of books). The arrival of numerous Roman Catholics in the Greek Catholic pews after Vatican II has also meant an uptick in intermarriage between the Orthodox and those who are technically Latins.

So the custom, Dear Serge, in this country from time immemorial (i.e., from the late 1890s, which is like forever in dog years) has been for Greek Catholics and Orthodox to marry each other, go to each other's churches, and receive each other's sacraments without paying much attention to what is said by people in the front office.

That's just the way it is.

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