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#349004 06/09/10 03:11 PM
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Hello everyone on my first post here. I'm a "Roman Catholic" and due to a variety of reasons I'm thinking of checking out a Byzantine Catholic church in my area. Some of the reasons are that I don't like the "direction" the church(i mean my parish) has gone- it seems that they've become wishy-washy and don't know what to do. I lean heavily towards the more traditional church setting and my parish and others in the area seem to be a weird mix of new catholic and protestant. My parish in particular has priests that are fine to talk to however once the sermon comes along, it just becomes more of a 10-15 minute rant that puts everyone to sleep. As i said before I like the "traditional" aspects(from what I've read/seen) of masses, church structure & design etc. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I see the Byzantine Church and the Orthodox as sticking to their roots more so than many catholic churches have.

Wondering if anyone has any comments or experiences like this?

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Lots of people in this forum and outside of it have had your experience and have found the Byzantine Catholic churches a sturdy refuge; some have even formally switched rites to join one of them and taken the rite to heart as their own. I hope you find what you're looking for. Go with God!

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Before I respond Polska, I would like to clarify something The young fogey stated. There is no such thing as switching rites, after examination and prayer you could apply for a change of particular Church; when switching Churches you cannot just take the rite to heart, but the entire whole of the Church, the good and the bad.

Now on to my response. Are you just upset with your parish or are you really drawn to the East? If you are just upset with your parish, find another one. If you are dissatisfied with the Latin Church, then figure out why and find a good spiritual director.

What I'm getting from your message is that you are considering running away from the West and not running towards the East. If this is the case, then I'm afraid that you will not be happy wherever you end up.

Whatever you do, just find a solid spiritual director East or West.

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Polska--

I think I understand how you feel.

I tend to think of myself as a Greco-Roman Catholic. Long story short: My mom's dad, my grandfather, is Ruthenian Byzantine. My dad was raised Presbyterian but converted to Byzantine Catholicism before he married my mom.

Then they all moved from upstate New York to East Tennessee, where I was born, baptized into the Byzantine church, but essentially grew up as a Roman Catholic because there weren't any Eastern Rite churches in that part of the world.

While I was in college members of my mom's family were instrumental in founding a Byzantine mission in East Tennessee. (Now there are two, but that's another long story).

Anyway, after having lived in the Roman Church my whole life, delving into Byzantine Catholicism during my undergraduate days opened my eyes to a whole new world. In no way do I mean this as a slight against Roman Catholicism, but I've since fallen in love with Byzantine Catholicism; I can't get enough!

Maybe you feel like I do, like you've found this amazing, limitless treasure you never even knew existed.

My advice: Dive in! Participate in the Eastern Liturgies, contemplate icons, study Eastern theology and spirituality, but most of all pray with gladness and joy! I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you don't need to make an "official" declaration in order to participate in the Eastern Catholic rites. Follow where the Holy Spirit leads you!

--Tim S.

PS Welcome to the forum!


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Originally Posted by tscripa
I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you don't need to make an "official" declaration in order to participate in the Eastern Catholic rites.


I think you're right. Technically that only matters when one gets married, is being ordained or has one's children baptised etc.

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In the case of baptism, it doesn't really matter. Chrismation, however, includes baptism and confirmation...

If, however, one becomes attached to the praxis, it is appropriate to make the canonical switch.

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Have you visited a Byzantine Catholic parish yet? Please feel free to visit one. Each parish though, RC, BC, Orthodox, has it's own individual trials and challenges. Patience and tolerance are necessary wherever we are!

Best wishes!
Stefan

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Polska,

Stefan is right, every parish has it's own individual trials and challenges. You might not notice them at first, as many Catholics who are unhappy with their RC parishes just fall in love with an EC parish and don't notice any of its shortcomings. The danger in this is that sooner or later these problems do become apparent, and then it's time to take a hard look at the real reasons for our dissatisfaction with that old RC parish.

In some cases, the right thing will be to return to the RC parish, while in others, it will not. In either case, though, it is likely to lead either to disillusionment or to spiritual growth--hopefully the latter!

As Stefan said, "patience and tolerance are necessary wherever we are!"


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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If I might interject here ... and this is coming from the perspective of a former Evangelical/Charismatic (for 40 years), who, 1-1/2 years ago was Chrismated into the Western Antiochian Orthodox Church.
This was not a decision made lightly or quickly. For about 5 years my heart had been stirred to read about the early church fathers, the ancient church, etc., something I'd never heard in my former churches .... I wondered "why didn't I ever know this?" This caused me to search further. Just as I'd about given up on finding a place where I fit and could settle in, I saw a small ad in our local paper for a new mission church starting and inviting the community to come and hear about their beliefs. So, on a cold, snowy night in November - 2 years ago - I drove the 15 miles to go to the meeting. (I NEVER drive in snow usually.) Once I got there and heard the 3 priests share about Orthodoxy, I could hardly believe it .... this was what I was searching for, so I entered the 13 weeks of Castechism classes .... each one was like a whole new world opening up to me, and really forced me to my knees in prayer to both understand and seek God's Will as to "what should I do." By the end of the classes, I had no doubt .... God was most definitely removing me from the Evangelical world and placing me in the wonderful world of Orthodoxy .... a world rich in tradition, history, reverence, mystery, and true worship. No, "hip hip hooray" praise, no false back slapping ... just true reverence and worship of an almighty God.
Pray, pray, pray, and be sure God is calling you to move. Do I have struggles with some things? Absolutely, but it does not lessen at all my belief that God has placed me in my Orthodox Church.
abby

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Can you become a member of a UGCC parish if you are still technically Roman Catholic and transfer rites later?.

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I know of people who have done so...of course in church law they retained their enrollment in the Latin Church but de facto became Ukrainian Greek Catholics...perhaps each UGCC eparchy has it's own policy about this situation.

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Festina lente.

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Hi,

Does anyone know how someone like me would be treated if I wanted to re-enter the Catholic Church? I was born and raised Latin Rite. I never switched Sui Juris Churches but was attending an Eastern Catholic parish for a while and even met with a priest to discuss it but it didn't work out because I was moving to an area that didn't have any EC Churches. So when I did move I started attending an OCA parish and was received by Chrismation in 2005. I have since moved again and there is a Melkite Church about an hour away. I haven't been to it yet. So I guess if I wanted to rejoin the Catholic Church do I need to go through the Latin Church first and then petition to join another Sui Juris Church or since I am coming from Orthodoxy can I just join whichever Sui Juris Church I want with out needing to petition.

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Can you become a member of a UGCC parish if you are still technically Roman Catholic and transfer rites later?.

Absolutely, and in fact you should spend some time living that particular tradition before making an informed decision to make a formal change.

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Originally Posted by orthodoxsinner2
Does anyone know how someone like me would be treated if I wanted to re-enter the Catholic Church? I was born and raised Latin Rite. I never switched Sui Juris Churches but was attending an Eastern Catholic parish for a while and even met with a priest to discuss it but it didn't work out because I was moving to an area that didn't have any EC Churches. So when I did move I started attending an OCA parish and was received by Chrismation in 2005. I have since moved again and there is a Melkite Church about an hour away. I haven't been to it yet. So I guess if I wanted to rejoin the Catholic Church do I need to go through the Latin Church first and then petition to join another Sui Juris Church or since I am coming from Orthodoxy can I just join whichever Sui Juris Church I want with out needing to petition.

I suspect that you might get different answers, depending on whether you asked a Latin canonist or an Eastern one. The former, I believe, would say that you would return to the Latin Church; the latter might more likely take the view that you could ask to be received by an Eastern Church (probably either the Ruthenian or Ukrainian Church, coming from the OCA).

Beyond any sense of territoriality that either canonist might have, the differences lie in interpretation - because the situation you describe (Latin to Orthodox to Catholic) is one not specifically addressed by the Canons. Those, both Latin and Eastern, focus on: (1) persons coming from neither a Catholic nor an Orthodox heritage; or (2) those who were Orthodox, but not previously Catholic.

I am unaware of any interpretive notes/opinions to the relevant provisions of either Canon Law Codex that specifically address the matter, but I haven't (yet) gone looking for them either. It might, however, be time to do so.

I say that because, interestingly, after never hearing this question asked previously, in all the years that I've been replying to queries of 'to which Church which I be ascribed', yours is the second in weeks. Someone else e-mailed me, from another site, presenting an identical scenario and posing the same question.

As regards the Melkite parish that you reference, if you are speaking of the one in SC, I'd check before you make the trip down there. A while back, Archbishop Cyril closed that mission; however, the eparchial website now lists it again (or did when I last checked) and I admit to being uncertain as to its status. I messaged Father Titus on FB to try and find out whether it was functioning or not, but haven't had a reply and I keep forgetting to follow up with the chancery to ask. I'll try to remember to do so this week - meantime, if you find out, I'd appreciate hearing the answer.

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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