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Becoming an Eastern Catholic #365523 06/14/11 11:24 PM
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Hi in the next three years I'm going to be moving to Ontario to attend Military college while there I'm going to be within a 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive to a SSPX Chapel, Ukrainian Catholic parish and a Melkite Catholic parish. Due to the revolutionary changes in the Latin rite of the Church, I've decided to either attend a SSPX chapel (occasionally attending the Divine Liturgy) or switching rites. From what I have seen of the Divine Liturgy and traditions of the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church I would be able to do so most joyfully. I ask is this possible under ,Canon Law and if so how to do this?

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: IA] #365530 06/15/11 02:46 AM
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The short answer is, don't bother switching. Just show up and go to Mass where it is convenient, or interests you, or is most conducive to your salvation. Whatever. You don't need permission or a reason to fulfill your Sunday obligation anywhere you please. Your rite is not your underpants. Don't change it readily or lightly. Others have provided kinder, gentler answers to similar questions. Nose around a bit for one of those threads. All the best. Regarding the Roman mass, I feel your pain, Bro.

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: IA] #365532 06/15/11 03:02 AM
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As a Catholic, you are free to attend any Catholic parish and receive the Holy Mysteries.

You need not worry about switching until you find yourself definitively at home in that particular sui iuris Church and have discerned that God has called you there. There is lots of time to find a church home within the Catholic Communion if you no long feel at home in the Latin Church.

If you are anywhere near Kingston, there is a UGCC parish right in Kingston itself and Ottawa (just up highway 16) has 2 GREAT UGCC church communities (http://ottawaeasterncatholics.com/), not to mention the fabulous Sheptytsky Institute
http://www.sheptytskyinstitute.ca/

Welcome!

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: IA] #365578 06/15/11 07:47 PM
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Hi Ian,

As a Catholic you are free to attend a Ukrainian, Melkite or any other Catholic Liturgy and receive the sacraments of Penance, Eucharist and Anointing of the Sick from their ministers as frequently as you wish/need without going through the canonical process of switching from one Church Sui Iuris to another.

In case you're wondering, attending the Divine Liturgy at any of these does fulfill your Sunday obligation.

On the other hand, since the SSPX is NOT in full communion with the Catholic Church, you are strongly discouraged to make an SSPX chapel/parish your spiritual home, you most probably do not have a good reason to receive the sacraments from their non-Catholic ministers and you would NOT fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending their illicit (even if valid) Masses.

Now that you have all the information, the decision is yours.

God Bless!

Shalom,
Memo

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: IA] #365583 06/15/11 08:22 PM
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Just be aware that there is more to being an Eastern Catholic than appreciating our very lovely Liturgy. There is a whole patrimony of theology, spirituality, doctrines and disciplines that emanate from that Liturgy and flow back into it. We are not Tridentine Catholics in fancy dress. Do not go into a Divine Liturgy with any preconceived notions along that line.

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: IA] #365585 06/15/11 08:43 PM
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As a Catholic, you are free to attend the Ukrainian and Melkite liturgies, which are indeed very beautiful and highly recommended. But, to clarify things, perhaps you could say something about why you are considering attending an SSPX chapel? You should be aware that the SSPX are not in full visible communion with the Apostolic See of Rome, and therefore, despite appearances, not fully Catholic.

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: IA] #365586 06/15/11 08:49 PM
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Ian,
I concur with Herbigny. There is 2 really nice UGC communities in Ottawa. The University of Ottawa Eastern Catholic Chaplaincy runs from Sept- April -May. It a younger community, mainly university students. Saint-John Baptist Shrine has 1 community, larger and older. You will have the choice of attending the Divine Liturgy in Ukrainian( Julian Calendar) or in English(Gregorian Calendar).
I've been attending both communities, but more the Shrine( in English) since 2008.
Welcome to Ottawa and in the military....
Kingston used to have Fr. Bob Anderson. Unfortunately he passed away dec 2010. I think Fr. Roman Rystar is serving there. It is a smaller community than the Shrine.

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: IA] #365587 06/15/11 09:10 PM
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Thank you all for your advice. I'd just like to mention that I'm aware that (although the accepted dogmas are the same) Theology in the Eastern rites is different, and that the Divine Liturgy is quite different from the Tridentine Mass. I'm perfectly fine with and understand this, although I am somewhat ignorant of expressions of theology in the Eastern Churches (does anybody know any good resources?) I am quite enthusiastic to learn.

When it comes to the SSPX and my feelings towards them, the Latin rite of the Church has been rocked by sex scandals, and a revolution in the Liturgy which was in violation of canon law defined by dogmatic councils (it's infallible), and faith in the Roman Church has been in general decline since these changes. I'm not some sedevacantist who denies popes, however I think it's hard to deny that there's a problem. The SSPX seem to be the only ones in the Latin rite who acknowledge that there is a very real problem which needs to be dealt with.

The Eastern rite however seems to have endured with all of it's traditions (thankfully) still in general use. It is because of this endurance in the East while the Roman rite has been experiencing these terrible troubles that I've become interested in attending a Sui Iuris Church.

Once again thank you all for your advice especially the information on those communities, it will give me much to think about while I pray over this matter.

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: Latin Catholic] #365591 06/15/11 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
But, to clarify things, perhaps you could say something about why you are considering attending an SSPX chapel? You should be aware that the SSPX are not in full visible communion with the Apostolic See of Rome, and therefore, despite appearances, not fully Catholic.


I have read here countless comments supportive of the notion that Eastern Christians must defend, near or to the point of schism, their legitimate traditions.

I have read here countless comments sympathetic to the plight of Eastern Catholics in the United States, especially in years past. Fr. Alexis Toth is referred to as a Saint by Catholics and Orthodox alike. Blame for the tragic situations that tore apart families, parishes, and the unity of the Church are laid at the feet of Roman bishops who had no knowledge, interest, or respect for Eastern Traditions.

Ruthenian priests who refuse the RDL are praised, and their Bishops are encouraged here forcefully to claim back from Rome the rights of their tradition.

But the SSPX is viewed very differently, and I'm not sure why. If you knew for a moment what it is to be a Catholic attached to the traditional Roman rite, theology, and discipline... Our traditions and rites have been torn from us, mocked, and forbidden. Very nearly all our bishops and almost every one of our priests are John Irelands to us.

But I do not forget that I, a Latin, am a guest here and in my Eastern Parish. There are other places online for this topic and I will not pursue it here further.

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: JDC] #365592 06/15/11 11:33 PM
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I cannot speak for others, but I view the SSPX very differently because they are schismatic. Their priests do not validly celebrate the sacraments of marriage and confession. If you regularly attend Mass at an SSPX chapel, you risk falling into schism. This is very different from attending an Eastern Catholic Church, and the situation regarding the RDL is also different.

That said, like most traditional-minded, conservative Catholics I feel great sympathy for those who adhere to the SSPX and would like you to return to the full visible communion of the Catholic Church. What are the obstacles that you are experiencing? Perhaps it has to do with the liturgy in your local parish? If so, please be assured that things are gradually getting better, even though it will take perhaps a generation to root out all the abuses that were introduced during the '70s. If it has to do with the interpretation of certain parts of the documents of Vatican II, please know that Pope Benedict XVI insists that Vatican II be interpreted in light of the whole tradition of the Catholic Church.

I am sorry, but there are limits to dissent, and while I pray for the reconciliation of the SSPX with the Catholic Church (something which would be very good for the Catholic Church as well), adhering to schismatic priests and bishops is not a real option for Catholics.

I say all this conscious of the fact that I have the luxury of attending a parish where the Mass is celebrated reverently and properly, without the more egregious abuses that are common in many parts of the world. So, again I sympathize with your predicament, but would ask you to not do anything that might lead you into open schism from your local bishop and the Apostolic See of Rome. In particular, do not believe that the Missal of Blessed John XXIII is the only true expression of the Mass, but please accept the Missal of Paul VI, especially in a proper translation, which (40 years too late) is coming soon to the English-speaking world.

Sorry for ranting like this, but the topic is close to my heart.

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: IA] #365597 06/16/11 01:42 AM
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It's not Vatican II which I have issues with. The Second Vatican Council was a valid pastoral council which pronounced no dogmatic statements. Sure some of the documents were (very) poorly and ambiguously worded, but not exactly wrong par say. But again, still a valid council.

As for the Mass of Paul VI, there lies the onion. In canons set forth by the Council of Trent which were infallible dogmatic statements, which may never change it states:

CANON IX.--If any one saith, that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned; or, that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue only;... let him be anathema.
http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct22.html

CANON XIII.-If any one saith, that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn [Page 56] administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin be omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed, by every pastor of the churches, into other new ones; let him be anathema.
http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct07.html

Again these are dogmatic statements which may never be changed, and must be adhered to by all Catholics including the Pope. It is worth noting that for the second canon I listed, the Pope is both a minister and a pastor (albeit the highest ranking one), and is also bound by this. The Mass of the Latin Church may also not be in the venacular, such as English.

I don't want to get into an in-depth discussion over the Novus Ordo on an Eastern Christian forum, however while I thank you for your sympathies, I hope you understand my position on this matter.

God Bless

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: IA] #365604 06/16/11 12:14 PM
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You have serious problems, Ian A.

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: IA] #365607 06/16/11 01:02 PM
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Ian,
I'm sorry to say but if you approach Eastern Christianity with a legalistic view you will be disappointed.
It is about finding a spiritual home, not a theological or a Canon law battlefield.....

Last edited by Francois; 06/16/11 01:03 PM.
Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: IA] #365608 06/16/11 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Ian A.
... these [canons set forth by the Council of Trent] are dogmatic statements which may never be changed, and must be adhered to by all Catholics including the Pope.

Ian,

First of all, the term "dogmatic" refers strictly to revealed truths, which are matters of faith and morals. Matters of discipline and usage simply do not fall into this category.


Originally Posted by Ian A.
The Mass of the Latin Church may also not be in the venacular, such as English.

Frankly, I would be surprised if even an SSPX priest would try to defend this notion. As you quote it, Canon IX states:
Quote
If any one saith ... that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue only;... let him be anathema.

The key word here is only--the canon is merely defending what was then the normative practice (and no, "normative" does not mean "unchangeable"). This canon does not forbid the use of the vernacular, only the insistence that Mass be celebrated in the vernacular exclusively!

The Western mindset seems to be much more focused on law and legalities, while the Eastern is inclined towards tradition and mystery.


Peace,
Deacon Richard

Re: Becoming an Eastern Catholic [Re: IA] #365610 06/16/11 02:26 PM
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IMO the biggest problem with the SSPX folks is that in the name of tradition their bishops have done some mighty UN-traditional things, like getting themselves excommunicated by being ordained to the episcopy without an apostolic mandate from the Pope of Rome.

Folks who participate in their Liturgies are in communion with excommunicated hierarchs. I don't know what the exact canonical status of their lay adherents is but I bet it ain't exactly kosher.

Please permit me to suggest you flee from this well-intentioned but misguided parachurch. And in the meantime, pray for me, please.

Last edited by sielos ilgesys; 06/16/11 02:29 PM.
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