Being a Byzantine Catholic with no Byzantine Rite Church

Posted By: MichaelNZ

Being a Byzantine Catholic with no Byzantine Rite Church - 09/04/17 08:03 AM

Hi, I am a Western Rite Catholic who currently attends a Traditional Latin Mass. I love the Byzantine Rite Liturgy.

In the last few days, I have had thoughts about converting to Eastern Orthodoxy. I am just so sick of all the problems in the Catholic Church, with Pope Francis and just the lack of reverence in the mainstream Latin Rite Church. The Orthodox Church has never gone through a "Vatican II" and forced to use a stripped down liturgy. I've never heard of any people demanding that the Orthodox Church ordain women or accept gay "marriage".

I know that it is possible to be fully Orthodox while remaining in communion with the Pope by being a Byzantine Rite Catholic. Only thing is, there is only one Byzantine Rite church (Melkite) in New Zealand, and it's at the other end of the country (Auckland). However, there is an Antiochian Orthodox church here and I have been involved with it before (going as far as being an Orthodox catechumen at one time). I consider myself a traditional Catholic and I know that the pre-Vatican II teaching was that it was a mortal sin for a Catholic to attend a non-Catholic service. I am wondering what other Byzantine Rite Catholics would do in such a situation (no Byzantine Catholic church available but there is an Orthodox church).

I am finishing my studies in a few months and may be able to move somewhere where there is a Byzantine Rite church (I quite like Melbourne). However, if I don't, how would I go about getting a Byzantine Rite liturgy offered in my diocese or a mission set up?
Posted By: Michael_Thoma

Re: Being a Byzantine Catholic with no Byzantine Rite Church - 09/06/17 02:36 PM

Its not a sin to attend Orthodox Liturgy - many Eastern Catholics are encouraged to do so, especially when their patrimony is unavailable.

If the Melkite Church is too distant for you, have you looked into the Ukrainian Churches in NZ? https://catholicukes.org.au/
Posted By: Administrator

Re: Being a Byzantine Catholic with no Byzantine Rite Church - 09/07/17 10:41 PM

Hi Michael!

Welcome to The Byzantine Forum!

Ultimately, this is a question for discussion between you and your spiritual father.

In my opinion, the only valid reason to move from one Church to another is because you believe what the new Church teaches, and concurrently believe that the Church you are leaving is in error (or at least lacking). To my mind the belief that Pope Francis (or any Catholic layman or bishop) falls short is not a valid reason, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23).

You said that you attend a Traditional Latin Mass. My question to you would be about whether regular participation in that Mass provides you the spiritual food you need, and, if not, have you supplemented with the appropriate prayers from the Western Tradition (praying the Divine Office, the Rosary, etc.)? You could also supplement it with prayers from the Byzantine Tradition (praying the Psalter, the Jesus Prayer, etc.).

You should know that there are some Orthodox who seek the changes in Teaching you mention. But, in the West, the number of Orthodox are far fewer than the number of Catholics, so there are fewer of them demanding such things.

You are certainly free to attend services in an Orthodox Church. Many Byzantine Catholics who move to places without a Byzantine Catholic Church attend Orthodox parishes (and vice versa). There is nothing sinful about that.

If you want to set up a Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy you might contact the closest priest or bishop. You might be the one to start gathering the names of interested people. Or, if you are soon moving to Melbourne, you might find and join a parish there.

Prayers an best wishes!
Posted By: joshua

Re: Being a Byzantine Catholic with no Byzantine Rite Church - 10/11/17 03:08 PM

Vatican II and the dubia have almost led me the same way, brother.

However, I remain in the Church as the Papacy is valid - there is too much biblical evidence and writings of the Church Fathers that support the Holy See for me to subscribe to the Eastern Orthodox's "first among equals" position.

But as others have said, feel free to attend Liturgy at an Orthodox Church if there are no Eastern Rite Catholic Churches near you. I've never been to the Traditional Latin Mass but I know it is different from the Divine Liturgy.

Alternatively, you could continue to attend the Latin Mass, but pray the Typika on Holy Days and, as John suggested, supplement your prayers with ones from the Byzantine tradition. If you are moving soon, going to the Latin Mass or the Orthodox Liturgy will only be temporary as you will be able to go to a Byzantine Catholic Church eventually!
Posted By: Pavel Ivanovich

Re: Being a Byzantine Catholic with no Byzantine Rite Church - 12/27/17 03:16 AM

If you do get to Melbourne you will be spoilt for choices. No shortage of Orthodox and eastern Catholic Churches. In the Byzantine tradition you have Ukrainian, Melkite and a Russian Church.

As for NZ the future does not look good at all long term. It is pretty much RC or next to nothing on the catholic side. The Orthodox have done much better in NZ.
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