The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
That latin friend, Deacon Eric, Pastor Freed, Sebastian, Deepu
5,836 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 73 guests, and 33 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Holy Saturday from Kirkland Lake
Holy Saturday from Kirkland Lake
by Veronica.H, April 24
Byzantine Catholic Outreach of Iowa
Exterior of Holy Angels Byzantine Catholic Parish
Church of St Cyril of Turau & All Patron Saints of Belarus
Byzantine Nebraska
Byzantine Nebraska
by orthodoxsinner2, December 11
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics35,153
Posts414,831
Members5,836
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 8
T
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
T
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 8
I should start off by asking, are there any recommended books to learn about the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic faith.

This September I am scheduled to start attending the RCIA at a local Latin rite parish. I thought I would be attending under the assumption of converting to Catholicism, but my parents have since informed me that I was born/baptized a Catholic. I never knew since we never went to church nor were there ever any signs of us attending church.

All I know is prior to my father enlisting in the military, he was a regular attender of a Byzantine Parish in Chicago, IL (St. Mary).

I'll still be attending the RCIA this September, but this time it's to renew my faith. The local parish has given me the option to keep my Byzantine, if I so choose, or I can become Roman. I really wished there was a Byzantine parish closer to me (Hampton, VA), so I could understand if staying Byzantine is worth it. Since there isn't, I hope ya'll could recommend some really good books about the Byzantine faith.

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 528
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 528
All these are available from http://www.theobooks.org/

1. Fr. Fred Saato's "American Eastern Catholics"
2. The "Light for Life" series
3. "A Guide to the Domestic Church"
4. Most of the books in that site's "Adult Enrichment" section

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 76
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 76
The books already suggested are a good start.

There is a parish in Williamsburg, VA. You may wish to check it out. They have a website [ascensionva.org].

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,505
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,505
Let me first inform you that it is not that easy to change your sui juris church. Unless it is through permission from Rome.
You may of course attend the local or any Latin parish.
If you need more information please feel free to contact me via pvt message.
Stephanos I
PS The only time that you can change your sui juris Church is at marriage then either spouse can change to the other spouse's Church, and no permission from Rome is required since you have that right according to the Law of the Church.

Last edited by Stephanos I; 08/07/08 04:41 PM.
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 249
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 249
The local Latin parish does not have the authority to grant you the option of remaining a Byzantine Catholic or becoming a Latin Catholic. If what you say regarding your baptism is correct, then you are canonically a Byzantine Catholic (that is, if your father was a Byzantine Catholic, as I presume he was). The only way you can officially change from a Byzantine Catholic to a Latin Catholic is through a Change of Canonical Enrollment, as was pointed out to you already.

The pastor of the Latin parish you currently attend should be informed that you are already a baptised and, presumably, confirmed/chrismated Catholic (as it is/was the tradition of the Byzantine Catholic Church to administer both sacraments to infants in the same ceremony) - you need not, and indeed should not, be re-baptized and/or re-confirmed.

If you were baptized at St. Mary's in Chicago, in all likelihood your records are currently held at Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic parish in Homer Glen, Illinois...

http://www.byzantinecatholic.com/

... as this is the parish that assimilated the former parishioners of St. Mary's when it closed. As a first step, I recommend placing a call to Fr. Thomas Loya at Annunciation parish to verify your baptism and/or chrismation records.

Al (a pilgrim)

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 76
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 76
The web link in my previous post is incorrect. Information on the Williamsburg parish may be found at http://www.parishesonline.com/scripts/hostedsites/Org.asp?ID=18492.

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 79
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 79
Larry pointed out the Williamsburg parish. Something I might add to his recommendation - you are about equidistant from a parish in Williamsburg and in Virginia Beach. Both are roughly 29 miles from Hampton according to http://maps.google.com . The parishes are referenced below:

http://www.eparchyofpassaic.com/va.htm

This is not much further than many Byzantine Catholics travel to Sunday liturgy. I have been to the parish in Williamsburg and it's in a lovely setting. I'm sure you're more familiar with the Sunday morning traffic patterns in that area than I am; nevertheless, these are a couple options which could be augmented with Sunday liturgy at a Roman-rite parish when you are unable to make the 30 mile trip.

May God bless you!
-Pustinik
----------------------
"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved." –St. Serafim of Sarov

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 8
T
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
T
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 8
a pilgrim,

My father was the only one baptized at St. Mary. Sorry for the confusion. I was born in VA and baptized (again, so I was told) in a small parish located near Portsmouth Naval. This parish has since closed down too. I will attempt to locate the new parish and see if my records are there.

I'll still contact Fr. Loya just to confirm my father's baptism and/or chrismation records.


Pustinik, Larry,

I am aware of both of those parishes, both run by Fr. Ron Hatton and Fr. Sotack. There use to be a third parish, located on Ft. Monroe, VA, run by them too, but it has sense close.


Thanks for the book suggestions.

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 249
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 249
Hi, Takumaku,

Here's where it gets a bit confusing...

If your father was, indeed, a Byzantine Catholic then, according to Canon Law, you are also officially a Byzantine Catholic, even if you were baptized in a Latin Catholic parish! Sui iuris Church enrollment in the Catholic Church is patrilineal in nature - infants and children under the age of 14 (I think) who are brought into the Catholic Church through the sacrament of baptism are automatically enrolled as members of the sui iuris Church that their father is canonically attached to, regardless of which Church the infant's/child's baptism takes place within.

If your father's records show that he was, indeed, baptized in the Byzantine Catholic Church then, by Canon Law, you too are a Byzantine Catholic.

Now, if you were baptized as an infant in a Latin Catholic parish, it is highly unlikely that you were confirmed at that time as well, as infant confirmation/chrismation has never been (at least in recent history) a part of Latin tradition, as it is and has been in the Byzantine Church. In short, if this is the case, you need not be re-baptized but you probably do need to be confirmed.

Here's why the confusion is likely to exist...

If you were baptized in a Latin Catholic parish, your baptismal records, if you should find them, will more than likely show no indication at all of your Byzantine Catholic affiliation. If you find them, these records will, in all likelihood, be in the same format as the records of all other Latin Catholic infants baptized in that same parish during that same time - from all indications it will appear as though you, too, are a Latin Catholic. It is only by knowing that your father is Byzantine that you know that you are a Byzantine as well. Countless canonical Byzantines who are baptized in Latin parishes (and in our mobile society, with Byzantine parishes being few and far between, there are MANY!) are "lost," generation after generation, because of the way the records are kept. Many of these folks don't even know, and never will know, of their official Byzantine canonical affiliation. They and their descendants become "de facto" Latin Catholics forever, contrary to Canon Law.

Let me throw one more wrinkle into the mix...

Everything I've said above assumes that your baptism as an infant enrolled you in the Catholic Church. If your baptism was not Catholic, it may still be a valid baptism (depending on the formula used)...

AND...

...if you are now looking to become a Catholic...

AND...

...if you are over the age of 14...

...then you are indeed free to choose which of the 23 sui iuris Catholic Churches you wish to become canonically ascribed to. If this is the case, it does make sense to choose a Church that will allow you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the Church's liturgical life on a regular, ongoing basis.

Summary (as I see it):

If you are already a Catholic...
...then you are a Byzantine Catholic, bound by the Canons of the Eastern Churches. You will probably need to yet receive the sacrament of confirmation to complete your initiation as a Catholic. You are absolutely free to worship in any Latin Catholic parish if you so choose (even for the rest of your life!) but you officially remain a Byzantine Catholic. At this point, the only way you may officially change from a Byzantine Catholic to a Latin Catholic is through a Change of Canonical Enrollment.

If you are not already a Catholic...
...then (and I assume you are over 14 years old) you are free to choose whether you want to be a Latin Catholic or a Byzantine Catholic. If your non-Catholic baptism was valid, you will still need to receive the sacrament of confirmation in order to complete your initiation into the Catholic Church (obviously if your baptism was not valid, you'll need to be baptized properly as well). Remember that regardless of which sui iuris Church you choose to enter into Catholicism through, you are always free to worship in any Catholic Church, but you are forever bound by the Canons of the one you officially belong to.

Al (a pilgrim)


Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 79
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 79
Originally Posted by a pilgrim
Let me throw one more wrinkle into the mix...

Everything I've said above assumes that your baptism as an infant enrolled you in the Catholic Church. If your baptism was not Catholic, it may still be a valid baptism (depending on the formula used)...
AND...
...if you are now looking to become a Catholic...
AND...
...if you are over the age of 14...
...then you are indeed free to choose which of the 23 sui iuris Catholic Churches you wish to become canonically ascribed to. If this is the case, it does make sense to choose a Church that will allow you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the Church's liturgical life on a regular, ongoing basis.

I would respectfully recommend that the above may not be correct, and should be taken to a Canon lawyer familiar with the Canons of the Roman and Eastern Catholic Churches. When someone has a valid baptism in a non-Catholic Church, the baptism is not duplicated when one is received into the Catholic Church. I believe Chrismation is the sacrament of reception or initiation in this case. And following Pilgrim's discussion, whether the person had a valid Baptism in the Roman rite or in a Protestant community, there was probably no Chrismation.

One might argue that the valid baptism, whether in the Roman or Protestant rite would bring one into the Church according to the Canons of the Church. How would we argue that someone baptized in the Roman rite would retain the sui juris status of his/her father but if baptized validly by a Protestant minister would somehow lose his/her sui juris status as a member of the Byzantine Ruthenian rite.

I am told that the age at which the baptism took place may impact how the Eastern Canons are applied. If this VALID Baptism took place after the new Code of the Eastern Church was promulgated the status might be somewhat different than if earlier.

IMHO, Pilgrim touched on a most important matter by offering the thought that one ought to be in a Church where he/she can regularly commune with the Brethren (at a weekly Eucharistic liturgy). But one might still be canonically Ruthenian but participate in the Roman liturgy without giving up his/her patrimony -- unless the Spirit leads that way.

As a layman, as stated, my recommendation would be to ask a good canonist if a clear answer is sought on this matter: What is the ritual status of a person born to Ruthenian-rite parents but validly baptized as a child into a Protestant communion, when that person later seeks to reunite with the Church.

With respect,
Pustinik
------------------------
"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved." –St. Serafim of Sarov

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 10,079
Likes: 11
Global Moderator
Member
Offline
Global Moderator
Member
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 10,079
Likes: 11
Pustnik is correct that the terminology in the canons relative to the right of those over 14 years to choose the sui iuris Church to which they enroll refers specifically to the non-baptized (and, frankly, is the most telling argument for anyone entering union with to Catholicism to choose in the same way - regardless of whether converting from a Western (Protestant) church or translating from Orthodoxy).

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."

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 - 1996-2022 (Forum 1998-2022). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5