The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
LionHippo44, Evan Gallagher, Lizzy VH, thomisticgamer, DesertPrayer
5,708 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 members (1 invisible), 89 guests, and 58 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Church of St Cyril of Turau & All Patron Saints of Belarus
Byzantine Nebraska
Byzantine Nebraska
by orthodoxsinner2, December 11
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
by Santiago Tarsicio, March 17
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
by JLF, November 10
Upgraded Russian icon corner
Upgraded Russian icon corner
by The young fogey, October 20
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics34,958
Posts413,428
Members5,708
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
I have a question and I ask this with all sincerity.
Why should I become a Byzantine Catholic instead of
becoming Orthodox?


Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 9,986
Likes: 3
Global Moderator
Member
Offline
Global Moderator
Member
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 9,986
Likes: 3
Chad,

Welcome to the forum.

We cannot answer that for you, except to say that you should do so if you find that you are or will be more fulfilled in the spirituality and belief and praxis that will be part of your life as a Byzantine Catholic versus that as a member of the Orthodox Church.

This community is comprised, as described elsewhere in a sticky thread on this forum, chiefly of Eastern and Oriental Christians - both Catholic and Orthodox, as well as a smaller number of Latin Catholics and Protestants who have an interest in and love for the East. We don't proselytize and no one is going to get out there and tell you why one Church is 'better' than the other. To allow that would open this forum to being another venue for polemical diatribe by self-proclaimed apologists and it's not what we're about.

That does not mean that there are not both Catholic and Orthodox members here who believe that the fullness of faith is more present or even present only in their particular church. It would be naive of me to suggest that not to be the case. But, triumphalism and zealotry don't fare well in these halls.

Members will gladly share with you why they made the decisions that they did - whether to become Catholic or to become Orthodox - and, over the years, we've had many do one or the other. But, I hope that no one of those who made such a change can ever say that, announcing their decision, he or she was ever made to feel that their fellow forumites did anything other than offer prayerful wishes that they be at peace in their new-found faith and grow in it.

But, ultimately, the decision as to 'why' you should 'go' one way or the other is yours. It will depend on what you believe, maybe how you believe in what you believe, how you understand things, what is important to you, maybe what is more important to you.

Ask of us what you will and we'll try to answer you honestly, but don't ask that we tell you what you should do (which is really what your question asks), we can't answer that. It's a decision between you and God.

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."
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,208
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,208
The reasons I remain Byzantine Catholic are many and complicated but I reckon it all boils down to the fact that as a BC I remain in union with the Pope of Rome and also I perceive I have greater access to liturgical diversity than the Orthodox seem to have. I do believe that unity with the Pope of Rome is the most correct ecclesial model. Just because I think it's the most correct doesn't mean it's beyond criticism or that it always has good effects...I hope you find the ecclesial community which you believe best glorifies God and provides peace in your life. Having said that, I hastily add that ecclesial affiliation ain't about ME as much as it is about GOD. We have to discern His Will, asking not the question "what do I want?" but rather "what does God want?" A competent spiritual father/mother might help.

I see from your profile you are Latin Catholic. Please investigate and visit verious BC and OC parishes to get to have an experiences of both.

Last edited by sielos ilgesys; 03/23/11 01:01 PM.
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Thank you both for your response. I appreciate your kindness. And rest assure my intentions of asking my original question was to see what members valued about there own faith. Something that may aid me in my journey. I by no means wish to spark a debate between churches.


Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 9,986
Likes: 3
Global Moderator
Member
Offline
Global Moderator
Member
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 9,986
Likes: 3
Originally Posted by Chad2279
Thank you both for your response. I appreciate your kindness. And rest assure my intentions of asking my original question was to see what members valued about there own faith. Something that may aid me in my journey. I by no means wish to spark a debate between churches.


Chad,

Be assured that I didn't intend to suggest that you were looking to hear anyone tout their Church, while denigrating the Church of others. And, we actually enjoy debate - ask the right question and debaters will come out of the woodwork. Ask whatever you would like to know or which will help you in exploring your choices and reaching your decisions; we've never been accused of being overly shy.

I would offer one suggestion. Given your newness to the forum, the kind of inquiry that you pose can be difficult to address because we don't know you. We don't know from which faith you're approaching the East, what your experience is with the East to date, what about the East has attracted you, things of that nature. We're not looking for you to divest yourself of personal information, but I think you can see how that kind of information about an inquirer can be helpful in understanding them and offering insights to them.

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."
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 48
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 48
Why am I Byzantine Catholic? I love the Eastern Liturgy and I want to be in union with Rome- the Orthodox varies so widely- some want to be one church while others pray simply to be one Orthodox church.

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 48
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 48
Chad- your profile says you are Latin rite Catholic. Perhaps you want a more traditional way of worshiping- To become Orthodox, you would give up unity with the Catholic Church. You would gain other things- but I guess I am a bit sensitive on this subject. In my husband's country of Romania- many Catholics lost their lives simply because they wanted to keep praying for the Pope- this is not something to give away lightly

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,411
A
AMM Offline
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,411
Follow you conscience. Every side has their martyrs, and has made them in kind. That is a double edged sword.

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
J
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by Chad2279
I have a question and I ask this with all sincerity.
Why should I become a Byzantine Catholic instead of
becoming Orthodox?

I am still too new to posting to be able to view profiles, but most responders here note that you are currently Latin Rite.

I do think a lot boils down to whether you are willing to give up being in union with the Pope. If you transfer rites within the sui iuris churches, you will still be in union with Rome. You could become a parishioner of an Eastern Catholic church without transferring -- but if marriage, sacraments for children, future vocation to diaconate or priesthood are considerations, you'll have to transfer. If you become Orthodox, you will be rejecting Catholicism.

I have an aunt & uncle who have been in many places, church-wise. My aunt (Mom's mom, my own godmother) was raised Methodist, but my late maternal grandfather was born/raised Ruthenian Byzantine. He fell away from Catholicism altogether, and had questions about Faith altogether, so when he and my late grandmother were married, they went to her church, which was Methodist. My uncle, Aunt K's husband, was raised Roman Catholic, but stopped practicing at some point in time. My aunt has been a part of many different churches over the course of many years. Within the past 15 years, they came into the Roman Catholic church, were attending an indult Tridentine Mass sometimes, regular novus ordo RC Masses at other times. At some point my aunt became upset at her priest or the parish or something, and led the charge on them converting (Not transferring to an EC Rite) to Russian Orthodox.

When they converted, they had to LITERALLY "turn their backs" and renounce the Catholic Church as part of their conversion. If you've ever seen a Byzantine baptism, everyone turns their backs on evil at the start of the baptism. They face the back of church, and then turn forward to symbolize rejecting Satan and facing Christ. My aunt and uncle had to do this, but with regards to the Catholic Church. It was a stab to the heart when I learned they had done this. Even now I tear up, thinking of how, in a Catholic --> Orthodox coversion, the Catholic Church is basically viewed in the same way that Satan is in baptism. cry Well, later, my aunt became upset about something in the Orthodox church (I think it was fasting regulations) and decided they were returning to the Catholic Church. Now they are attending a RC church again. Aunt K. is mad about something again, so who knows what will happen. I just pray for her, because she is clearly seeking something and either hasn't found it, or has found it and is either blind to it or is being obstinate and keeps running from what she has found. My uncle, on the other hand, embraced the chance to confess leaving the church and returning. I don't think he's going anywhere this time.

This is not in any way to tell you that one is better than the other. I'm just telling you to give you the idea of what you do if you leave the Catholic Faith and convert to the Orthodox Faith. This was at least the case in a church in the southern tier of NY.

Now, if you are RC and are feeling pulled to something else, and are finding it in Eastern Christianity, I can relate on that, too. Around 2000 we began our own journey toward the East. We had moved from southwestern PA, where the churches were more traditional and reverent, and orthodox (little 'o'), where we had met at a Catholic college, to central NY. The RC Diocese of Rochester, NY was a culture shock to us, where Masses in most churches really violated a lot of guidelines. Priests violated guidelines, and even the Bishop publicly stated that he disagreed with "no ordination for women," but would not disobey it. My husband & I went to a talk for men who felt they might be called to the diaconate, and the vocations director there stated to a woman who was there with her husband, that who knew? Women being ordained to the diaconate was not outside the realm of possibility. We walked out of Mass at the church closest to us on more than one occasion for the things they allowed, including the week that the resident nun stood up and delivered the homily.

Before anyone jumps on me for running away from problems in the RC and telling me we should have looked harder, well, we DID look harder. We drove a half hour to the least offensive parish in the area and were very involved there from 1999 - 2002. We drove 1-1/2 - 1-3/4 hours a couple times to attend an indult Mass but found we didn't feel at home there at all. But at the same time, we had started attending liturgy at the nearest Ruthenian Byzantine parish to us (1h. 15m. away) in about 2000 or 2001. We had run into one of our priest friends/former professors from college, who was going for bi-ritual faculties. He was so in love with Eastern Catholicism that he recommended that we seek out an EC church just to experience the Liturgy. We did, and instantly felt how he did. So we did our best to go to both churches for a while. Saturday at one church, Sunday at the other. Then in 2002, we found a Ukrainian-Byzantine church much closer to us. We went to Liturgy there and instantly hit it off with the pastor. It was a very small church, and not very active, but it was close and the pastor was very excited about helping us be involved there and helping if we would decide to seek a Transfer of Rite.

In 2002 our pastor at the RC church was being transferred to a church in NYC. (he was an ordered priest, not a diocesan priest, so went wherever his Provincial told him, which could be outside of the diocese) We felt it was a good time for us to really investigate whether we were truly being drawn to the East or not, so that October we joined the little Ukrainian parish and attended regularly. From Oct. 2002 - Oct. 2003 we prayed, and remained involved, and prayed some more. All the time we felt more and more drawn to the East. As I said, I still had relatives on my mom's side who were Byzantine Catholic. There are Byzantine Catholics on my dad's side as well. My paternal grandmother's home parish is a Ruthenian-Byzantine one. Her brother, my godfather, is still an active member there. I was at my cousins' weddings there.

The more we went, it hit me how Byzantine spirituality was so much more like my own. We felt we had found home, despite it really being a dying parish. It may have started with us simply seeing a more orthodox church than what was in the RC diocese. But it grew into much, much more. I knew that I wanted our son (already baptized) and any future children to receive their sacraments in the Byzantine Church. By 2003 we were finally expecting our second child, and it was very important to us for this child to be baptized Eastern Catholic.

In Oct. 2003, we wrote our letters to apply for a Canonical Transfer of Rite from the RC Church to the Ukrainian-Byzantine church. In Jan. 2004 the transfer was approved. We have "officially" been Byzantine Catholics for seven years. Our daughter was born in Feb. 2004, and was baptized, chrismated & communed in March 2004. Our son had been baptized in the RC church in '96, but had his First Confession, First Holy Communion and Chrismation in March 2004. While there are certain times of year that we keep some traditions that are of "both lungs," and when visiting family (still RC) we make it to RC Mass more than Byz.Cath. Divine Liturgy, I have never once looked back and felt that we made a mistake in transferring. Not once.

Over the summer we moved to my dad's home area because of my husband's job. In October, we became parishioners at my grandmother's home parish, and love it. We are home, you know?

Before you make any decisions, have you started "checking out" Eastern churches? It is best to become an active parishioner at an Eastern church and spend at least a year prayerfully discerning whether you are feeling called to change Rites, before applying for the transfer. There is nothing wrong with attending Orthodox Liturgy as well, without receiving Communion at this time. You'll find that the two are very similar in Liturgy and tradition.

But as a previous poster said, the decision to leave the Catholic Faith should not be taken lightly. Once you leave, you will no longer be able to receive Communion in a Catholic church. A Greek Orthodox friend of mine told me that can be cause for excommunication from the Orthodox church. So if you leave, you won't be able to receive Communion in your family's church if you're ever there for a Mass. Just some things to think about.

I'm sorry for the very lengthy reply. Only you, guided by the Holy Spirit, can decide what to do. There are many similarities between Orthodox and Eastern Catholic, so I can see why you're wondering which would be better for you. There are some theological differences between the two, but a huge difference is that with one you will still be in union with Rome, and with the other, you will not.

Many prayers for you as you discern what to do!

God Bless.

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,208
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,208
My impression is that Catholics who join the Orthodox Church and then, for various reasons, wish to return to the Catholic Church, can do so rather easily. Someone correct me if I am wrong but I believe the return can come about during sacramental confession. NB I do not think Catholics who join the Orthodox Church are necessarily committing a sin by so doing...folks who want to return will not be asked to face west and spit on the Orthodox Church.
What a weird thing to do. One more reason our Churches are perceived as kooky and unappealing by the general public.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 442
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 442
Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys
My impression is that Catholics who join the Orthodox Church and then, for various reasons, wish to return to the Catholic Church, can do so rather easily. Someone correct me if I am wrong but I believe the return can come about during sacramental confession. NB I do not think Catholics who join the Orthodox Church are necessarily committing a sin by so doing...folks who want to return will not be asked to face west and spit on the Orthodox Church.
What a weird thing to do. One more reason our Churches are perceived as kooky and unappealing by the general public.


The whole thing with turning ones back and spitting on the RC when converting to Orthodoxy is really off the wall. This did not happen when I converted to the Orthodox Church. Frankly I don't know what to think or say other than I am dumbfounded.

In Christ
Seraphim<Converted Viking>

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,208
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,208
You ought to be dumbfounded. jet1295, in his earlier post, says his relatives were required to perform this bizarre gesture when they became Orthodox and when he understood it was meant as "spitting" on the Catholic Church; that it meant equating the Catholic Church with Satan, it made him feel great anguish.

By no means do I think this activity is a normal part of the ceremony when Catholics join the Orthodox Church.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 442
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 442
Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys
You ought to be dumbfounded. jet1295, in his earlier post, says his relatives were required to perform this bizarre gesture when they became Orthodox and when he understood it was meant as "spitting" on the Catholic Church; that it meant equating the Catholic Church with Satan, it made him feel great anguish.

By no means do I think this activity is a normal part of the ceremony when Catholics join the Orthodox Church.


Yeah I saw his post. Sure wish I knew which church it was and how long ago. On the other hand it wouldn't do much good in knowing I suppose but it really does tick me off.

Seraphim

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 442
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 442
Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys
You ought to be dumbfounded. jet1295, in his earlier post, says his relatives were required to perform this bizarre gesture when they became Orthodox and when he understood it was meant as "spitting" on the Catholic Church; that it meant equating the Catholic Church with Satan, it made him feel great anguish.

By no means do I think this activity is a normal part of the ceremony when Catholics join the Orthodox Church.


Just took a look at his post. The church was Russian. Still blows my mind. I am wondering if it was the real deal or some off the wall group.

Seraphim

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,208
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,208
Well, we've all progressed. We ECs don't bang icons of St. Josaphat upside the heads of our Orthodox brethren and they don't fling censers filled with blazing coals around our necks.
We're on our way to the Kingdom of God and I think we'll arrive there together.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Link Copied to Clipboard
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 - 1996-2020 (Forum 1998-2020). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5