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Posted By: G Xuereb Two difficult questions - 08/01/14 04:54 AM
I have two questions that I would appreciate clarity on them:

a) what is the procedure to be followed by a Roman Catholic who wants to convert to the Orthodox Faith (in particular under the Moscow Patriarchate)?

b) if a Roman Catholic who is a convert to Orthodoxy is in separation procedures of his marriage (Catholic), does the Orthodox Church have jurisdiction and can it declare a divorce?
Posted By: theophan Re: Two difficult questions - 08/01/14 08:06 AM
Christ is in our midst!!

Seems simple. Ask the two questions of the priest in whose parish you want to become a member.

Bob
Posted By: Peter J Re: Two difficult questions - 08/02/14 07:01 AM
Originally Posted by G Xuereb

a) what is the procedure to be followed by a Roman Catholic who wants to convert to the Orthodox Faith

I have an answer that's even simpler than Bob's: Don't.

(That's tongue-in-cheek, of course, as I'm giving you the Catholic answer when you are presumably looking for the Orthodox answer. :))
Posted By: G Xuereb Re: Two difficult questions - 08/03/14 04:28 AM
Originally Posted by Peter J
Originally Posted by G Xuereb

a) what is the procedure to be followed by a Roman Catholic who wants to convert to the Orthodox Faith

I have an answer that's even simpler than Bob's: Don't.

(That's tongue-in-cheek, of course, as I'm giving you the Catholic answer when you are presumably looking for the Orthodox answer. :))


Dear Peter,

The situation in Malta is quite difficult for serious Roman Catholics. The traditional Latin Mass is, to all intents and purposes, suppressed by the Church. Many articles on this link can confirm this:

http://pro-tridentina-malta.blogspot.com/

To compound matters, there was this development recently:

http://pro-tridentina-malta.blogspot.com/2014/03/important-statement-from-pro-tridentina.html

Needless to say, quite a number of people are searching for greener pastures, so to speak.

The fact that soon the Russian Orthodox Church will have its own church will likely result in more genuine Catholics seeking a reverent liturgy.

http://www.orthodoxmalta.org/105510861084108610971100-10931088107210841091.html

Concluding, obviously I am looking for answers from the Orthodox perspective. I know the Catholic one smile
Posted By: Mark R Re: Two difficult questions - 08/03/14 10:11 AM
I know it is none of my business, but since you are airing it in public...Personally, I think one should convert for positive reasons and not for negative ones.
It seems to me to be a pattern that the more "orthodox" Latin Rite dioceses will not have the Tridentine Mass, yet the more liberal ones will...I suppose it is a way to please everyone, or to siphon of the oddballs from the mainstream.
Posted By: Peter J Re: Two difficult questions - 08/03/14 05:51 PM
Originally Posted by G Xuereb
Dear Peter,

The situation in Malta is quite difficult for serious Roman Catholics. The traditional Latin Mass is, to all intents and purposes, suppressed by the Church. Many articles on this link can confirm this:

...

Concluding, obviously I am looking for answers from the Orthodox perspective. I know the Catholic one smile

Yes, I thought so. smile

As for not having the TLM available, I agree with you that that's a wrong -- just as it was a wrong that many (most) Catholics in the pre-Vatican II era had Only the TLM available to them.
There is also the Greek Catholic Church, where the Damascus Icon of the Mother of God is venerated. My old friend Fr. Clovis Mifsud stills serves there. Many years!
Posted By: G Xuereb Re: Two difficult questions - 08/04/14 03:44 AM
Originally Posted by Ot'ets Nastoiatel'
There is also the Greek Catholic Church, where the Damascus Icon of the Mother of God is venerated. My old friend Fr. Clovis Mifsud stills serves there. Many years!


The Papas is doing an excellent job in Malta for all Eastern Churches:

http://p27707.typo3server.info/websys/1055/pdf/orthodox_christians.pdf

Posted By: G Xuereb Re: Two difficult questions - 08/24/14 04:18 AM
Originally Posted by Mark R
I know it is none of my business, but since you are airing it in public...Personally, I think one should convert for positive reasons and not for negative ones.
It seems to me to be a pattern that the more "orthodox" Latin Rite dioceses will not have the Tridentine Mass, yet the more liberal ones will...I suppose it is a way to please everyone, or to siphon of the oddballs from the mainstream.


In essence, the point of converting in this case is two-fold:

a) to know God correctly and completely; and

b) give him right glory by worshipping him properly.

These are positive reasons in my opinion.
Posted By: Mark R Re: Two difficult questions - 08/24/14 10:34 AM
I am considering doing basically the same thing, GX, but in my case it is very good to count the cost.
However, no one will know God completely.
Posted By: G Xuereb Re: Two difficult questions - 08/25/14 08:53 AM
Originally Posted by Mark R
I am considering doing basically the same thing, GX, but in my case it is very good to count the cost.
However, no one will know God completely.


You're right Mark. My sentence leaves a lot to be desired eek

What I mean is understanding and knowing God better.
Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Two difficult questions - 08/25/14 09:22 AM
Originally Posted by G Xuereb
What is the procedure to be followed by a Roman Catholic who wants to convert to the Orthodox Faith (in particular under the Moscow Patriarchate)?

GX,

While I agree with Bob's suggestion to ask the priest in whose parish you want to become a member, I would like to emphasize the importance of attending services at the Orthodox parish for some time (one year seems like a good baseline, although circumstances might call for more or less time) before making a final decision.

IMHO, making the change from Catholic to Orthodox (or vice-versa) has to be considered very carefully for two reasons:
  • According to the canons of both churches, this is a formal "conversion," and requires the candidate to renounce his/her previous affiliation
  • For those of us who long for unity, every one of these "renunciations" seems like a further blow to unity

Originally Posted by G Xuereb
The situation in Malta is quite difficult for serious Roman Catholics. The traditional Latin Mass is, to all intents and purposes, suppressed by the Church.

Needless to say, quite a number of people are searching for greener pastures, so to speak.

The fact that soon the Russian Orthodox Church will have its own church will likely result in more genuine Catholics seeking a reverent liturgy.

The problem here is that becoming Orthodox means a lot more than merely "casting a vote" for reverent liturgy. After a year (or perhaps 2 or 3 years), you may feel differently about your decision.


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: Lester S Re: Two difficult questions - 08/25/14 10:30 AM
Deacon Richard, your first bullet point seems to be taken on differently, based on parish culture. I know of some parishes who wouldn't ask people to drop their formal affiliations in credal fashion
Posted By: Lester S Re: Two difficult questions - 08/25/14 10:35 AM
GX, have you befriended anyone at the prospective parish you want to make your home? If you haven't, try hooking up with one who will give you an honest picture, and will play devil's advocate.

Depending on the jurisdiction you may be asked to partake in inquirer's classes, and become a catechumen. After that, you may be chrismated fully, instead of partially.

Because, choosing Orthodoxy isn't just about reverent liturgy; and, as StuartK would attest, nobody has a monopoly on bad liturgy. It would have to be an affirmation of what the Orthodox hold, and believe.
Posted By: Peter J Re: Two difficult questions - 08/25/14 04:12 PM
Originally Posted by Lester S
Deacon Richard, your first bullet point seems to be taken on differently, based on parish culture. I know of some parishes who wouldn't ask people to drop their formal affiliations in credal fashion

Right. But the bottom line is the same anyhow: your former bishop is no longer your bishop.
Posted By: DMD Re: Two difficult questions - 08/25/14 04:22 PM
There is a lack of consensus within Orthodoxy about the reception of Catholics into the Orthodox faith. The practices range from a mere profession of faith through the recitation of the Nicene Creed without a chrismation (particularly in the case of Eastern Catholics joining the Orthodox faith) to a 'rebaptism' in the schimsatic self proclaimed 'genuine' orthodox types. (Some of them will 'rebaptize' Orthodox seeking to join up with them in schism. To me, that thinking is 'magical'theology, but that's a topic for probably another board rather than here.)
Posted By: Alice Re: Two difficult questions - 08/25/14 05:05 PM
In Greek parishes (not monasteries) in the USA, I have seen chrismation and recitation of faith.
Posted By: DMD Re: Two difficult questions - 08/26/14 08:30 AM
Originally Posted by Alice
In Greek parishes (not monasteries) in the USA, I have seen chrismation and recitation of faith.


This would probably be the norm, but as I noted it does vary.
Posted By: G Xuereb Re: Two difficult questions - 08/26/14 09:17 AM
Originally Posted by Epiphanius

GX,

While I agree with Bob's suggestion to ask the priest in whose parish you want to become a member, I would like to emphasize the importance of attending services at the Orthodox parish for some time (one year seems like a good baseline, although circumstances might call for more or less time) before making a final decision.

IMHO, making the change from Catholic to Orthodox (or vice-versa) has to be considered very carefully for two reasons:
  • According to the canons of both churches, this is a formal "conversion," and requires the candidate to renounce his/her previous affiliation
  • For those of us who long for unity, every one of these "renunciations" seems like a further blow to unity


Peace,
Deacon Richard


Dear Deacon Richard,

Thank you for your wise counsel. This is not something that I have taken lightly. More or less my interest in the Orthodox Faith started way back in 1992. Whenever I had the occasion to travel abroad, I always made it a must to attend the Orthodox Divine Liturgy (e.g. Russia, Bulgaria and Cyprus), etc.

I also attend Divine Liturgy in Valletta whenever possible, in this case by the Greek Catholic Church.
Posted By: G Xuereb Re: Two difficult questions - 08/26/14 09:20 AM
Originally Posted by theophan
Christ is in our midst!!

Seems simple. Ask the two questions of the priest in whose parish you want to become a member.

Bob


Dear Theophan,

Very simple indeed. The problem is that the parish priest will be in Malta in a month's time. So I preferred to have different opinions in the meantime.
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