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Between two traditions
#402016 12/08/13 07:23 PM
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I was born and raised in the Roman Catholic (Latin) Church and eventually came to find my spiritual home in the Byzantine Catholic Church. Though I have not yet asked for an official change-of-rite, it is something I see in my future. By "spiritual home" I mean that in the Byzantine Catholic Church I feel that I fit and grow spiritually through participation in the Byzantine liturgy, theology, teachings, etc. This feeling I do not quite get by participation in the Roman Church.

My issue, though, is that God has blessed me with the ability to play the organ--indeed, it is what I study in school. At one point I know I should foster this blessing from God, but at the same time the thought of getting a job that would require me to miss regular participation in Byzantine life (absence from major feast days, absence from Sunday liturgy, etc.) is quite distressing. Indeed, it's distressing to the point that I have given up job offers/opportunities that I may continue to be an active part in the local parish.

I feel at a loss--a sense of aporia. I see a rite-change in my future, but of course I would need to be an active participant in the local Byzantine community (and I want to be active in it!). That's not even to mention if God has plans beyond simply change-of-rite for me.

If you have any advice, thoughts, or questions, your time is most appreciated.

Sincerely,

ccr

Re: Between two traditions
ccr0057 #402118 12/12/13 01:17 AM
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I, too, am a Latin-rite Catholic who feels I have found my home in a Byzantine parish. I'm earlier in the journey than you are, only having attended the Divine Liturgy for a couple of months. I can't offer much in the way of advice, but I understand your dilemma. I will say a prayer for you!

My problem is that, being married with three children, it is hard to make any decisions on my own. My oldest will be 6 in February, and is of course approaching First Communion in the near future. This is a source of some anxiety, as I want a stable parish life for my children and a minimum of confusion for them.

Re: Between two traditions
ccr0057 #402137 12/12/13 08:33 PM
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Welcome to both of you.

ccr,

We need to put you in touch with our chocaholic (actually one of several hereabouts) and church organist - byzanTN. Charles will, I am sure, be pleased to discuss this subject with you.

Malpana,

Your problem is one that a number of persons here have encountered and dealt with in a variety of ways. If you open a thread addressing the subject (I think Parish Life might be a good forum for it), I've no doubt that one or more will chime in with some thoughts.

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: Between two traditions
Irish Melkite #402140 12/13/13 01:01 PM
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ccr0057 is over his private message limit, so I can't chat with him with a private message. Suffice it to say, it is difficult to have it both ways. In the days when my Byzantine parish met Sunday afternoons, it was easy enough to play for my 4 Latin rite masses, then go to Divine Liturgy in the afternoon. Now we have our own building and DLs are in the morning - while I am working as director of music/organist in the Latin parish. About the only times I get to a Byzantine liturgy are when it is held at another time, such as one of the Christmas liturgies I will be able to attend. It all depends on scheduling, and I don't know the situation in CCR's place.

Re: Between two traditions
ccr0057 #402153 12/14/13 12:59 AM
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I thank you all for your answers. They are each helpful as I work through all of this. ByzanTN, I am sorry you are unable to message me--this is a new account; might that be why?

Scheduling is truly what my situation boils down to, and whether I feel I can continue to grow spiritually being away from the DL and Byzantine Community.

I do not currently have an organ position, but were I to be offered one this day, I am sure I would refuse it that I may continue to attend Divine Liturgy. But, as in many things, I must learn by doing. He will guide me in the direction I must go.

Again, I thank you all, and may God bless you,

ccr

Re: Between two traditions
ccr0057 #402155 12/14/13 05:49 AM
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Yes, the PM function has to be enabled for new posters. I'll ask the Admin to do that.

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: Between two traditions
Irish Melkite #402332 12/23/13 11:52 AM
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As I am new I thought I would introduce myself before I offer a response of my own. My name is Corey. I am a convert to the Latin Rite, Roman Catholic Church from a Wesleyan denomination. My journey can be viewed here on the Journey's Home program on EWTN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUFRYTP5A2o

In the last couple years I have had some very good discussions with some Eastern Orthodox priests. Through these discussions I have come to appreciate certain aspects of the East, and have often desired to have those elements a part of my own faith except that I wished to remain in communion with the Bishop of Rome. I have since learned of a Byzantine Catholic Parish in the city in which I live and have began attending this last weekend. I plan on reading The Face of God by Joseph Raya, and another by the name of 101 Questions and Answers on Eastern Catholic Churches by Edward Faulk. I am well versed in theology and have already learned much about the East but never a thorough evaluation.

I had some questions I am sure that most of you can answer. Are married men allowed to become priests or deacons? And if so what are the stipulations? I have three children, 4, 6 and 1, does the Eastern rite allow for them to receive Eucharist every Sunday? And if so how does this come about upon changing rites - which I have not yet done. Are there certain theological allowances in the eastern rite that is unique in the expression of doctrine? In other words, how much distinctiveness is maintained from those that are part of a byzantine church that is not in full communion with the pope?

I will start with those. Thanks.

Re: Between two traditions
ccr0057 #402348 12/24/13 04:09 AM
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Corey,

Welcome to the forum!
Your choice of reading material is excellent. Archbishop Joseph Raya, of blessed memory, is among the very best Eastern Catholic authors. Deacon Ed Faulk, an administrator and long-time member of this forum, is a good friend and his text is an excellent introduction to the Catholic East. You might also like to read anything else by Archbishop Joseph and, for an Orthodox perspective, anything by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware.

I just got in from an overly long day at work and am too tired to give your questions the attention they deserve. However, I'll give you a few really quick answers, knowing that someone will pick up (or I'll come back to them); just keep in mind that any of us might be a bit slower than usual, given that the Nativity is upon us.

Yes, married men can become priests and deacons. No quick answer to the second part.

As your little ones are currently of the Latin Church and haven't yet received any of the Mysteries of Initiation except Baptism, they ordinarily won't be admitted to the Eucharist - I say ordinarily because there are some priests who would commune them.

Were one to request and receive a transfer of canonical enrollment, his or her children 14 years or younger would ordinarily also do so (the only stipulation being that both parents agree). At that time, they would be chrismated and communed, after which they would be admitted to the Eucharist anytime that they are in attendance at Divine Liturgy.

The last two queries are beyond me at this moment, given the hour and my soporific state. Be assured, our members - EC and EO - will address them in detail.

Again, welcome, and prayers that you and your family enjoy a blessed Nativity.

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: Between two traditions
Corey Chambers #402353 12/24/13 08:30 AM
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I would refer you to the Light for Life series available from Eastern Christian Publications. This is a series commissioned by the Eastern Catholic Bishops of the United States and is something of a catechism of for Byzantine Catholics. Since you are knowledgeable of the Roman theology you can judge for yourself the differences between Byzantine and Roman theology.

As to how different are the Eastern Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox, on this forum you are likely to get a range of opinions, but probably the most common one is that Eastern Catholic churches and their sister Orthodox churches are the same in all things but their understanding of the role of the Pope of Rome.

In the pews you will find a more divergent set of opinions to some extent because of the number of Eastern Catholics who have converted from the Roman Church.

From the Orthodox side you will get still another view of Eastern Catholics.

As to practice there are EC churches whose liturgy is more Orthodox than the Orthodox and there are others that wander far to the Roman side.

An interesting read, which I saw on this Forum yesterday, is the text of the Treaty of Brest which resulted in the creation of many of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Any reading of that would clearly indicate that the EC churches intended to remain completely Orthodox in all things except their relationship with the Pope. This would appear to be the thrust of Vatican II and the pronouncements of the recent Popes.

Last edited by JimG; 12/24/13 08:33 AM. Reason: spelling and punctation
Re: Between two traditions
JimG #402356 12/24/13 11:47 AM
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Thanks for your responses. Nice to meet you. I look forward to reading these two books. I have also read portions of Ware's Intro to the Orthodox Church. How thorough are these Catechetical works, compared to the reading that I will be doing already? As always, one can read, compare, and decide for themselves, but I hope to engage in some discussion concerning what others might think about the subject - otherwise there is no real purpose for having a forum. :P

I have heard that married men can enter the deaconate or the priesthood, but I have yet to find out the requirements and the process. For example, I know that a married man can become a deacon in the Roman rite but I have heard that they must be married for at least ten years in good standing, and their children must be grown and basically out of the home, which could place an age range around 45 to 50 at the earliest. Just was not sure about the Eastern rites.

Ok, so it is at the time shortly after the transfer that my children would be able to start the process. Thanks. I had assumed as much but just wasn't sure about the timeline or process.

What I mean by differences is that to say that the Eastern Catholic Churches remain completely Orthodox is obviously a matter of opinion. Some Orthodox with whom I have discussed this topic which consider it false ecumenism. So, if I may ask about a few particulars. Now, I have worked out the issue of the filioque thoroughly so I don't really see how it causes a theological lop-sidedness to the doctrine of the Trinity, in diminishing the Holy Spirit, though I am sure someone might disagree, but I would open to hearing more on the topic. Though if the "and the son" is equivalent to a "through the son" formulation then perhaps it is more of a semantic issue.

It is my understanding, please correct me if I am wrong, that the East refers to Photius as a saint but that the West thought of him as a heretic. Now, along these lines, would it be the view of the East that the uncreated grace of divine energy is equivalent to the created grace of sanctifying grace?

It is my understanding that as the West emphasizes the Crucifixion in salvation, that the East may emphasizes the Incarnation. I am sure that is too broad but would like to hear more.

It is also my understanding that Adam and Eve are seen differently, that in the West they were considered perfect in many respects, but that in the East, there is still room for growth for them. I never really spent a lot of time with the specifics here.

I guess when I ask about distinctives and a comparative analysis I am trying to work out in my mind how the Eastern Catholic Churches maintain communion with Rome but still remain Orthodox. Please forgive me here because to date I have only had discussions with Orthodox that are not in communion with Rome. Try to see how Eastern Theology is a valid expression of the Apostolic Faith, and getting passed the perspective that "there is only the West", and that "there theological formulations must be accepted" as opposed to what I am trying to think as of today.

This is rather challenging and a stretch for me, so please response when you can and be gentle. I really want to better understand these issues. Thank you. :D

Re: Between two traditions
JimG #402357 12/24/13 11:53 AM
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I should also add the immaculate conception to the list of questions that I have in general. How do Eastern Catholics address this question? If they are in union with Rome do they have to accept this dogma?

The question of the atonement also comes to mind. It is my understanding that if Christ paid a debt it was to the human condition, and not to God. Do I understand that the two view the nature of the atonement differently as well?

Re: Between two traditions
ccr0057 #402364 12/24/13 03:13 PM
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All of this is far more than I am capable of addressing but if you do a search on this forum you will find that all of these points have been discussed in detail at different times in the past. As for the filoque it is not used in the creed as recited in the Byzantine Catholic (Ruthenian) Church.

In all of these theological questions the EC interpretation is essentially identical to that of the EO.

The Immaculate Conception is not an issue for EC's because there is no need for it given the Eastern understanding of original sin.

Beyond that I am sure some of the people on this forum who are competent in theological arguments will address your questions in more and better detail.

Re: Between two traditions
JimG #402370 12/24/13 09:07 PM
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Thanks for your response. I will sift through the site in due time. Your comment about the IC is what I am talking about and what I am trying to wrap my head around. I thought that the IC is a dogma and therefore binding upon all to believe. I will need to think more about the issue of original sin... isn't this a dogma as well? I guess all of this is too new to me. Thanks for your help and patience.

Re: Between two traditions
Corey Chambers #402386 12/26/13 08:03 AM
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Corey, I tried to PM you, but when I attemtpted, I was told you are "over the limit" with mssgs. I will keep trying, but in the meantime, I would like, too, to send you this link:

http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#Sin

This site gives brief, understandable answers to basic questions we all need to ask ourselves.

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

God bless you and your whole family....


Re: Between two traditions
AdsumJDS #402393 12/27/13 02:12 AM
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Thank you for your response. I am uncertain as to why you were unable to send me a PM. Perhaps those in charge of the forum may be able to assist me so that I may receive them. I look forward to your response via PM, in the meantime I will read this link. I appreciate it very much.

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