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My 1st year of learning to become an Eastern is down with 2 more years to go. I hope to heck it's worth it because a local Roman parish has been encouraging me to go through their's much shorter version.

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An explanation of what you mean by
Quote
local Roman parish has been encouraging me to go through their's much shorter version.

would be appreciated.

Recapping from your previous posts I believe you said that your father was a Byzantine Catholic but you were Baptised in the RC Church [ presumably because of distance to the nearest BC Church ? ? ]

SO if I undersand correctly you are now receiving some form of catechism from the Eastern Church - is this so ? Could you please explain where the 3 years comes in ?

Oh - and it will be well worth the time taken - what an opportunity to learn about your faith smile

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OLS,
After contacting the military diocese (I was born in a military hospital), the local RC parish, which I attended off/on throughout my childhood, and the Baptist church near my parent's home where I also remembering attending, no one has any records of my baptism.

Te BC Church is assuming I have never been baptized, so I am being put through a 3-year program (BC's version of RCIA) before I can join the eastern church.

The RC, upon hearing about the 3-year length, were encouraging me to go through their RCIA. Since I wasn't going to become a priest, nor a deacon, and since any Catholic can worship at any other Catholic rite, they couldn't understand why the time length was 3 years. In fact, the statement was made, "we have people attending our parish for over 20 years who still don't completely understand their faith".




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I could see three years if you were coming from a non christian faith and culture.Have they explained why you have to be a catechumen for three years?

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The 3 year time frame seems excessive, although it's only a year longer than (at least the Eparchy of Passaic) has been requiring as a period of involvement with an EC parish for canonical transfer of enrollment (I believe that the Maronites - at least the Eparchy St Maron in Brooklyn - were enforcing a similar 2 year rule for consideration of a transfer). Most other EC jurisdictions don't have a fixed period for such, as far as I'm aware - but VA is in Passaic's jurisdiction, as best I recollect.

One potential consideration is that EC parishes don't typically have an organized program such as that of the Latins (unfortunately, not having the numbers to demand such), being more dependent on one-to-one catechizing (?sp) by the priest. That, in itself, could be seen as slowing the process.

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."
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Yes - 3 years seems quite excessive, especially when one reads Acts 8:26-40...

Christ spent 3 years forming the apostolic leadership of the New Israel in the 12 and the 70. It should not take 3 years to simply initiate a Christian, unless the individual is struggling with doubts or voluntarily chooses to delay.

If it is in fact a situation where the issue is an organized program, IMHO the program should serve the candidate, not the other way around.

Just my two cents...

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Originally Posted by indigo
I could see three years if you were coming from a non christian faith and culture.Have they explained why you have to be a catechumen for three years?

The explanations given were vague. They wanted to make sure I truly knew what I was agreeing too prior to joining the church. This is how it was done in the past. I eluded the prior statement to the prior teaches of the Church:
--> to test the seriousness of a person's intention
--> to weed out possibly entry of spies into the community
--> to eliminate the possibly the scandal of apostasy.

Taku

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Thanks to all who responded with kind words.


The local Roman priest, since there was a meeting at the diocese, presented my situation to the diocese canon lawyer for clarification. The priest emailed me a summary of the lawyer's response.

Because I desire to enter the faith of my family (Ruthenian) and have never been baptized, the canon lawyer has stated I could take RCIA at the Roman parish. Upon the statement of faith, and with a special note placed in the baptismal register of the Roman parish declaring my wish to join Ruthenian, I will enter into the Ruthenian Rite.

Does the above statement make since to anyone?

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Originally Posted by Takumaku
Does the above statement make since to anyone?

Yes, it does. Seems extremely reasonable to me.

But, it is surprising, what with a lawyer and a priest and a meeting at the diocese involved. laugh

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Originally Posted by Takumaku
Thanks to all who responded with kind words.

The local Roman priest, since there was a meeting at the diocese, presented my situation to the diocese canon lawyer for clarification. The priest emailed me a summary of the lawyer's response.

Because I desire to enter the faith of my family (Ruthenian) and have never been baptized, the canon lawyer has stated I could take RCIA at the Roman parish. Upon the statement of faith, and with a special note placed in the baptismal register of the Roman parish declaring my wish to join Ruthenian, I will enter into the Ruthenian Rite.

Does the above statement make since to anyone?

Christ is risen!

Well, yes, and no....

This, recording in your baptismal record, is similar to what happens when an Orthodox person is received into a Latin Rite parish.

The thing is the Second Vatican Council Church emphasized the treasures of the Eastern churches and the importance of preserving and supporting them (in the face of the much larger numbers or Roman/Latin Catholics, and of much "latinization" that had occurred, and continues to happen). Also with this in mind Canon 35 of the Code of Canons of Oriental Churches says that "Baptized non-Catholics coming into full communion with the Catholic Church [meaning Orthodox] should retain and practice their own rite everywhere in the world and should observe it as much as humanly possible."

It really makes me squirm to hear a Latin Rite priest encouraging you in this way IF you have reasonable access to a Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church. (I won't second guess his pastoral intent here, I am just saying it makes me very uncomfortable for reasons I will give.) The Canon lawyer has, I think, simply stated what is possible canonically, objectively. I believe that is provided as an exception for those times when due to the fewer numbers of Eastern Catholic Churches there simply is no way the person can participate in his rightful Eastern Catholic Churche, the "Church sui iuris".

I'm a Latin Rite catholic, part of the RCIA team in my parish. I have no knowledge of the RC parish you're talking to but most often they are really unfamiliar with the Eastern Catholic Churches, if they even know they exist, and therefore unfamiliar with the emphasis from the Second Vatican Council and from our Holy Fathers about the need to " safeguard the significance of the Eastern traditions for the whole Church" as John Paul II says at the onset in Orientale Lumen. (I strongly encourage you to read Orientale Lumen if you have not yet. http://tinyurl.com/hftfy )

They usually don't have any idea of the implications of going this route of receiving into the Roman Catholic parish and making a note in your record of the Church sui iuris to which you are enrolled. They don't usually have a clue about the differences in liturgy, spirituality... If you've been participating for a year in a Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church and some in a Latin Rite Church then you must have some idea what I'm talking about.

I also encourage you to listen to at least the first few minutes of Catherine Alexander's interview "Who are Eastern Catholics?" PART 1 with Fr. Maximos of Holy Resurrection Monastery where she asks him to begin by answering some questions "on Eastern Catholic identity". http://www.youtube.com/user/YourWordFromTheWise (I love all the interviews. In fact I should just post that link and erase everything I'm writing LOL!)

Since you cannot be baptized as an adult in a RC parish except at Easter you have time to continue to pray and seek counsel on this. Are there any adults who have been baptized in the past few years in your Byzantine parish who could be helpful to you?

I'll add a question for those from Eastern Catholic Churches here. In the Latin Rite the adult Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism/Confirmation/First Holy Communion, only happens at Easter. (For baptized Christians seeking reception into the Roman Catholic Church they can be received at any Mass during the year.) We recently had a Reception of the Catechumens, Baptism/Chrismation/first Eucharist, at the Byzantine parish I attend and it was on Lazarus Saturday. Is there a specific time for adult Reception of the Catechumens in Eastern Churches, is it only once each year?

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Originally Posted by Takumaku
OLS,
After contacting the military diocese (I was born in a military hospital), the local RC parish, which I attended off/on throughout my childhood, and the Baptist church near my parent's home where I also remembering attending, no one has any records of my baptism.

Are there any living witnesses who were present at your Baptism? In the Roman Catholic Church it is possible to provide something in writing from witness present at the Baptism in lieu of a church record and have this accepted as proof.

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Originally Posted by Two Lungs
But, it is surprising, what with a lawyer and a priest and a meeting at the diocese involved. laugh

TL,

I think what is meant was that the Latin priest happened to be going to a meeting at the diocese and decided to tackle the diocesan canonist while he was there.

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."
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Originally Posted by Irish Melkite
Originally Posted by Two Lungs
But, it is surprising, what with a lawyer and a priest and a meeting at the diocese involved. laugh

TL,

I think what is meant was that the Latin priest happened to be going to a meeting at the diocese and decided to tackle the diocesan canonist while he was there.

Many years,

Neil

You are probably correct.

The tackling may be at the root of my surprise. laugh

It probably explains the effectiveness. smile


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IM,
You are correct. The Latin priest had to attend a meeting at the diocese and while there, approached the canon lawyer with the questions.

Mlouise,

Concerning the witnesses to my baptism, there is none, or at least no witnesses I know of which are still alive.

Concerning the reception of catechumens into the Eastern Churches, from what I have been told, there is no once a year as seen in the Latin Rite. It is different because each priest has a small batch of consecrated oil which has already been blessed by the bishop to be administrated to the catechumen by the father once the deacon/father feels the catechumen should be received into the church.

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Is the canon lawyer a priest?

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