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Hello!

I attend about half the time the local Byzantine parish. We're very proselytic, apparently, as we have many converts from Protestantism to Catholicism received in our parish.

I'm curious about canonical enrollment.

With my friends, it is basically this:

They were baptized in their Protestant denominations: Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Mennonite
They started coming to Mass at a Ruthenian parish
They were instructed by our Ruthenian priest and deacon
They were chrismated and communed by our Ruthenian priest

Now, my understanding is that Protestants are considered to be under the patrimony of the Latin Church, hence, since any convert received into the Church is automatically received into the corresponding sui iuris Church, all of my friends would be received as Latin Catholics, even if their chrismation took place in a Ruthenian parish.

Is this true?

Because none of them has formally had the Latin bishop of our area and our Ruthenian bishop agree in writing to the canonical transfer. My priest, who is a canon lawyer, said that it's not a problem (he said they only have to say they're Ruthenians), I am confused, and in my confusion, I have accidentally confused and caused turmoil in my friends who are Ruthenian converts unnecessarily.

Hence, I trust and admire my parish priest, but I've heard from many sources on the internet that Protestants are automatically received into the Latin Church. Thus, according to the canons, they must formally request the transfer before they are lawfully considered Ruthenians.

Any hearsay answers will only add to my confusion. If someone could confirm or rebut for me that Protestants are automatically received into the Latin Church regardless of what Church chrismates them, that would be wonderful.

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It's true, but nobody pays attention to it. So forget it even exists. By the way, try to call it "The Divine Liturgy", not Mass.

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Originally Posted by WetCatechumen
I am confused, and in my confusion, I have accidentally confused and caused turmoil in my friends who are Ruthenian converts unnecessarily.

WC,

Could you please clarify what you mean by "Ruthenian converts unnecessarily". It sounds as if they are unhappy to be Ruthenians and would prefer to be something else.

As regards your query, Stuart is correct. Canon 35 of the CCEO states

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CCEO Canon 35
Baptized non-Catholics coming into full communion with the Catholic Church should retain and practice their own rite everywhere in the world and should observe it as much as humanly possible. Thus, they are to be enrolled in the Church sui iuris of the same rite with due regard for the right of approaching the Apostolic See in special cases of persons, communities or regions.

and has been interpreted by some to require that those baptized persons entering the Catholic Church from Western Churches (e.g., Protestant Churches) must be received as Latins, unless they seek permission to be received otherwise. Offhand, I can't remember if there is a corresponding Cann in the Latin Code.

However, in practical application, the Canon cited is rarely observed and most Eastern Catholic presbyters and bishops in the US (where the question probably arises more often than anywhere else) give little, if any, acknowledgement to it.

Could the disconnect between the Canon and the practicality of application be problematic for one so received? If they or a descendent was to seek entry to Holy Orders - yes. If they were to enter into Matrimony with a person of a different Church sui iuris - possibly (haven't had enough coffee yet to think that through).

Otherwise - no - and neither of those two other circumstances present insurmountable obstacles - merely the inconvenience of some petitioning and paperwork shuffling.

So, to answer your question, trust in Father Kurt's judgement and response.

Many years,

Neil

PS - Welcome to the Forum.

Last edited by Irish Melkite; 08/21/11 03:58 PM. Reason: add postscript

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Originally Posted by StuartK
It's true, but nobody pays attention to it. So forget it even exists. By the way, try to call it "The Divine Liturgy", not Mass.
Usually, I do, but also remember that "Mass" refers to the Holy Sacrifice in general, as well as specifically to the Roman Rite. The primary advantage of "Mass" over "Qorbono" or "Divine Liturgy" is the number of syllables. Typically, I hear Byzantine Catholics say "Liturgy" rather than adding the word divine, and I hear the word Mass thrown around quite often too.

I acknowledge that one is correct, but you're the first person to correct me on saying "Mass" instead of "Divine Liturgy", well, ever.

Originally Posted by Irish Melkite
Originally Posted by WetCatechumen
I am confused, and in my confusion, I have accidentally confused and caused turmoil in my friends who are Ruthenian converts unnecessarily.

WC,

Could you please clarify what you mean by "Ruthenian converts unnecessarily". It sounds as if they are unhappy to be Ruthenians and would prefer to be something else.

As regards your query, Stuart is correct. Canon 35 of the CCEO states

Quote
CCEO Canon 35
Baptized non-Catholics coming into full communion with the Catholic Church should retain and practice their own rite everywhere in the world and should observe it as much as humanly possible. Thus, they are to be enrolled in the Church sui iuris of the same rite with due regard for the right of approaching the Apostolic See in special cases of persons, communities or regions.

and has been interpreted by some to require that those baptized persons entering the Catholic Church from Western Churches (e.g., Protestant Churches) must be received as Latins, unless they seek permission to be received otherwise. Offhand, I can't remember if there is a corresponding Cann in the Latin Code.

However, in practical application, the Canon cited is rarely observed and most Eastern Catholic presbyters and bishops in the US (where the question probably arises more often than anywhere else) give little, if any, acknowledgement to it.

Could the disconnect between the Canon and the practicality of application be problematic for one so received? If they or a descendent was to seek entry to Holy Orders - yes. If they were to enter into Matrimony with a person of a different Church sui iuris - possibly (haven't had enough coffee yet to think that through).

Otherwise - no - and neither of those two other circumstances present insurmountable obstacles - merely the inconvenience of some petitioning and paperwork shuffling.

So, to answer your question, trust in Father Kurt's judgement and response.

Many years,

Neil

PS - Welcome to the Forum.
The turmoil is what was unnecessarily caused due to my questioning. They are all very happy to be Ruthenians. The reason it has caused them turmoil is because they question their canonical status.

And yes, Fr. Kurt is a very holy and wonderful priest and a canon lawyer to boot, so I trust him.

Thank you for answering my questions, although you haven't given any clear indication if Rome has ruled that Protestants, upon reception into the Church, are automatically Latin Catholics.

And, you see, one of them is discerning Holy Orders and that is what got me thinking about it. Also whether or not they're obligated to go to Mass on Latin days of obligation.

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People are members of the church they join. There is no "canon law" stating this beyond what has been provided because, I think, it is hopefully self-evident.

My own advice, for what it is worth, is that you let these people resolve questions of "obligation" or any other question with their spiritual father, at the risk of causing further misinformation or turmoil.

The Ruthenian church has a troubled history of Latinizations imposed on it from the Roman church as well as from within itself, so questions like yours have an added sensitivity to them.

This is also why it is considered insensitive to refer to the Divine Liturgy with Roman terminology.

That isnt your intention either, of course. But it is good to come and ask these things before further confusing new converts who seem to want to be embracing the Christian East. This is a very knowledgable forum, you are certainly in the right place. Welcome.

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Originally Posted by jjp
People are members of the church they join. There is no "canon law" stating this beyond what has been provided because, I think, it is hopefully self-evident.

They're members of the parish, yes. And spiritually, they are Ruthenians through and through. Canonical enrollment is another matter, and the whole issue (as you can see from other's replies) is complicated.

Quote
My own advice, for what it is worth, is that you let these people resolve questions of "obligation" or any other question with their spiritual father, at the risk of causing further misinformation or turmoil.

Of course. Thank you for your advice. It is wise and agreeable and I hope to avoid all turmoil in the future.

Quote
The Ruthenian church has a troubled history of Latinizations imposed on it from the Roman church as well as from within itself, so questions like yours have an added sensitivity to them.

This is also why it is considered insensitive to refer to the Divine Liturgy with Roman terminology.

That isn't your intention either, of course. But it is good to come and ask these things before further confusing new converts who seem to want to be embracing the Christian East. This is a very knowledgable forum, you are certainly in the right place. Welcome.

Thank you.

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Originally Posted by WetCatechumen
Originally Posted by StuartK
By the way, try to call it "The Divine Liturgy", not Mass.
Usually, I do, but also remember that "Mass" refers to the Holy Sacrifice in general, as well as specifically to the Roman Rite.

WC,

No, "Divine Liturgy" or, even "Liturgy", refers to the Holy Sacrifice, generally (generically may be the better choice of terms) - including in the Latin Rite and Church. "Mass" refers, specifically, to the the liturgical celebration as served in the Latin Rite and Church, although it has come into more general use (inappropriately) in some of the Oriental Churches, as a result of latinizations.

Quote
The primary advantage of "Mass" over "Qorbono" or "Divine Liturgy" is the number of syllables.

It's the first time that I've ever heard that line of reasoning and it doesn't really fly. You'll see DL used occasionally - frankly, I'm not enamored of it but, if you want to reduce syllabification, it would probably be better accepted.

Quote
Typically, I hear Byzantine Catholics say "Liturgy" rather than adding the word divine, and I hear the word Mass thrown around quite often too.

Liturgy is acceptable. That you hear Mass used by them doesn't make it appropriate.

Quote
I acknowledge that one is correct, but you're the first person to correct me on saying "Mass" instead of "Divine Liturgy", well, ever.

In this forum, he'd not likely be the last. It's the difference between posting at a forum populated chiefly by Latins with little real knowledge, if any, of the East and at one the members of which are primarily Eastern Christians, Catholic and Orthodox. As well, the Latins and other non-Eastern Christians who regularly post here are notable for their interest in, profound love for, and knowledge of the East.

Quote
Thank you for answering my questions, although you haven't given any clear indication if Rome has ruled that Protestants, upon reception into the Church, are automatically Latin Catholics.

Rome's interpretation of the cited Canon is that baptized Protestants (those baptized according to a Trinitarian formula) are to be received as Latin Catholics. Non-baptized persons (including Protestants who require at least conditional baptism because there is doubt that they were baptized using the Trinitarian formula) may be received into such Church sui iuris as they choose.

Quote
Canon 30 CCEO

Canon 30

Anyone to be baptized who has completed the fourteenth year of age can freely select any Church sui iuris in which he or she then is enrolled by virtue of baptism received in that same Church, with due regard for particular law established by the Apostolic See.


Quote
And, you see, one of them is discerning Holy Orders and that is what got me thinking about it.

I have no doubt that Father Kurt and Vladyka Gerald can deal with the matter if and when it arises.

Quote
Also whether or not they're obligated to go to Mass on Latin days of obligation.

The question should be taken up with one's confessor, spiritual father, or the priest into whose pastoral care one has placed oneself. According to the Canons, one is so obliged, but the obligation may be satisfied by participation on the day at issue in the liturgical celebrations (not necessarily the Divine Liturgy) of a Church of any Rite, regardless of the fact that the feast observed on that day may not be the same feast served in the Latin Church. It should also be noted that, with the seeming Latin tendency to move the observance of most of its holydays of obligation to Sunday, the question becomes somewhat moot in the case of those who typically attend Divine Liturgy on Sundays.

Many years,

Neil


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Neil,

Thank you so much for your posts. Do you think that you could provide me with a reference for Rome's ruling that Protestants automatically belong in the Latin Church?

Frankly, this concerns me. Pentecostalism, for example, from which I converted, is so far removed from the Catholic Faith that it seems unfair to place it truly under the patrimony of the Western Church. My friends who have converted have nothing of the Latin Church in them, so why are they automatically included? I understand, Protestantism does descend from the Western Church, but still. Many forms of Protestantism hardly resemble the Catholic faith. Furthermore, the Latin Church is not in the same danger concerning Latinizations and extinction that the Eastern Churches are.

I would like to see Rome's ruling.

Of course, as you have pointed out, the issues are easily dealt with and the whole thing is moot. But, I am interested in it as a legal matter.

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WC,

You won't find a specific line in the Canons - Eastern or Western - that states it. (To be honest, I don't believe that the term "Protestant" even appears in the Latin Code.) It is inferred from the text I quoted and the commentaries to the Code by the Canon Law Society of America are explicit in interpreting it in that way. Are those commentaries binding? Questionable but, since they generally reflect the majority opinion of the canon law community (which is largely Latin), they will be the interpretation put to the matter by most Latin jurisdictions. (This falls in line, somewhat, with the historical stance taken by Rome that all mission lands belong to the West and it was not the place of the Eastern Churches to prosletyze, other than among our own peoples.)

It's principally an issue only in North America and, perhaps, Australia. Obviously, converts from Protestantism would be a rare phenomenon in most countries where Eastern Christianity is historically prevalent.

Your comments as to the distinctions between the liturgically High Churches among the Protestants - which could certainly be argued to retain a derivative tie to the Latin Church - and the Low and, even more so, the essentially aliturgical denominations, is valid and has been raised in discussions prior to this. However, the extent to which such argumentation has been had in Rome is unknown.

The CCEO is essentially a product of the Oriental Congregation, a dicastry of the Latin Church, albeit lately it has more representation from the Eastern and Oriental Churches.

While there are myriad issues within the CCEO that need attention, do I suspect that even our own Church hierarchs (in the Old Country, at least) see this one as pressing? I doubt that it is on their radar - because, as I said above, it's principally an issue in the diaspora. I strongly suspect that even they are not fully cognizant/appreciative of some of the very different problems that face our parishes versus those in the historical territories. Maybe their inability to do so is the best argument for an American Patriarchate, as some have suggested we should have.

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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As Neil pointed out in the beginning, it seems that this is much more a theoretical problem than a practical one. The canon says what it says, I suppose, but I admit I'm left wondering why Protestants are any more "Latin" than they are "Byzantine," just because they're Protestants. Or, at least, if they are, not so much that it should effect what sui iuris Church they can transfer into (IMHO).

Yes, of course in strains of Protestantism, you have a Latin theological and spiritual (and sometimes liturgical) approach to the Christian life - but frankly, in my mind, being Protestant is so different a thing that I think converts should come into the Church with a fresh sui iuris slate. Let them be what they want to be, we're just happy to have them!

As another practical matter, fair is fair, and I think the parish that converts them should get to be the one to "claim" them! wink

Alexis

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I agree. Insisting that Protestants "retain and practice their own rite" suggests that Protestants have "their own rite" awaiting them in the Catholic Church when they enter. This is untrue. Eastern Christians have "their own rites" available to them, but not Protestants, excepting Anglicans most recently. Likewise, to begin speculating "which rite is their own by historical considerations" is a bit much.

The simple fact is, no legislation has addressed the Protestant situation carefully or directly. The canon restates centuries-old legislation that had Orthodox converts in mind. (Protestant exposure and attraction to Eastern Catholicism in a pluralistic state with multiple Catholic churches sui juris was not a significant reality until the past century or so.) It is still very pertinent to the Orthodox situation, and executed faithfully in Eastern Catholic churches. But as regards Protestants, no Eastern Catholic church seeks permission to receive a Protestant convert, and Rome has never intervened and insisted they do.

So no worries. If Rome ever decides to clarify this point, we might be having a different conversation. But as for now, the Church already has a manner of dealing with Protestant converts. Your priest, and the people he chrismated, are Byzantine.

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The canon merely assumes that all Protestants are simply lapsed Roman Catholics. That's rather naive, and says something about the minds of the people who drafted the Code.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
The canon merely assumes that all Protestants are simply lapsed Roman Catholics. That's rather naive, and says something about the minds of the people who drafted the Code.
See, that's what I've been told by people but no one has ever shown me anything written that says that Rome views it that way.

It's absurd to me that my friends, some of whom don't even know what's going on in a Latin Rite liturgy, would be considered canonically Roman because of the interpretation of that canon.

Akira, one exception might be with the Anglicans, simply because it's a different animal than the variety of non-sacramental Christians in the United States.

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See, that's what I've been told by people but no one has ever shown me anything written that says that Rome views it that way.

You won't find it. Rome doesn't work that way.


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It's absurd to me that my friends, some of whom don't even know what's going on in a Latin Rite liturgy, would be considered canonically Roman because of the interpretation of that canon.

It makes no sense to us either, which is why the canon is ignored.

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In 1965, The Catholic Church promulgated a document entitled: "DECLARATION ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM - DIGNITATIS HUMANAE"
I believe that this is a most important read and may have a bearing on our present dialogue.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_...decl_19651207_dignitatis-humanae_en.html

"2. This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits."

Though our topic of "canonical enrollent of Protestants" is not addressed in this document, in my opinion, insisting that Protestants who desire to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church MUST belong to the Roman Rite would be violating the very heart and principles of DIGNITATIS HUMANAE.


Ray
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Originally Posted by Irish Melkite
You won't find a specific line in the Canons - Eastern or Western - that states [that those baptized persons entering the Catholic Church from Western Churches (e.g., Protestant Churches) must be received as Latins, unless they seek permission to be received otherwise]. (To be honest, I don't believe that the term "Protestant" even appears in the Latin Code.) It is inferred from the text I quoted, and the commentaries to the Code by the Canon Law Society of America are explicit in interpreting it in that way. Are those commentaries binding? Questionable but, since they generally reflect the majority opinion of the canon law community (which is largely Latin), they will be the interpretation put to the matter by most Latin jurisdictions.
This seems like a prime example of where a law that was intended to protect the minority ends up being interpreted in such a way as to "protect" the majority instead.

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I don't think that there's much to argue about this. If you're a Protestant; especially one from a non-liturgical background, and you're going to receive the Mysteries of Initiation in an Eastern Catholic Church, you're an Eastern Catholic. 'Nuff said. I spoke to a few bishops and priests here in Australia, and this is what they said.

To put it simply, to receive free meals from house A and then choosing to live in house B instead is just selfish, let alone uncanonical. ;)Its just basic courtesy. With all due respect, why should the Latin Church take ownership of the converts? smile

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Originally Posted by Akira
Protestant exposure and attraction to Eastern Catholicism in a pluralistic state with multiple Catholic churches sui juris was not a significant reality until the past century or so.

Akira,

An excellent observation - though I'd probably narrow it to the past half-century (and that's generous).

Ray,

Nice find!

Many years,

Neil


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Originally Posted by Irish Melkite
Originally Posted by Akira
Protestant exposure and attraction to Eastern Catholicism in a pluralistic state with multiple Catholic churches sui juris was not a significant reality until the past century or so.

Akira,

An excellent observation - though I'd probably narrow it to the past half-century (and that's generous).

Ray,

Nice find!

Many years,

Neil
I'm guessing that a lot of it has to do with the dismantling of the Roman liturgy and the Eastern churches maintaining a reverent liturgy. I'm a Roman convert from Protestantism and I doubt I would love the Divine Liturgy as much if I had ready access to a Roman Mass approximately as reverent and by the book.

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Originally Posted by WetCatechumen
I'm guessing that a lot of it has to do with the dismantling of the Roman liturgy and the Eastern churches maintaining a reverent liturgy. I'm a Roman convert from Protestantism and I doubt I would love the Divine Liturgy as much if I had ready access to a Roman Mass approximately as reverent and by the book.

WC,

VII certainly contributed to the Latin world and Westerners in general being more aware of us - simply because our existence suddenly became an open secret. As well, just as you suggest, the changes in the Latin Mass caused folks to look at us - for better and, sometimes, for worse. (You'll see references made to the misguided efforts of some who came to us to make us into Churches which served a Divine Liturgy that they could comfortably recognize as a variant on the historical Latin Mass - thankfully, those times are past.)

As to the Western Mass being served reverently and 'by the book' - (and I offer these comments in passing, I do NOT intend that this thread become a place to debate the Mass versus the Divine Liturgy) - I attended Mass in a Latin parish this past Sunday because I was in Pennsylvania (of all places) but nowhere near any Eastern temple.

(Yes, my brethren from the Holy Land, there are such places within the hallowed state confines - think Lancaster County biggrin . As a parishioner there, having apparently noticed the backwards Signs of the Cross made by me and my two little ones, observed to me in passing - "You're too far west, but not far enough West, to find the East, right?" biggrin )

Anyway, it was my first time at Mass in several years, other than a wedding or funeral. So what did I experience or see? A relatively modern church structure. a priest serving ad populam, altar girls serving, EMHCs, some people reciting the Lord's Prayer with hands raised in the orans position and some others doing so while holding hands, and one absolutely ghastly hymn that l suspect would have been roundly rejected both by most High Church Protestants and Evangelical Christians.

I'm very well aware of the tendency within a lot of the Latin community to decry all of those things - and to particularly denounce those which violate the holy and revered GIRM.

Now, I can't say that I'm a fan of any of what I've described, but (the referenced hymn, which had no redeeming qualities, aside) ... the most memorable things that I took away from St Philip the Apostle Church were a virtually full church, populated in its entirety by very reverent folk of all ages - including that priest, those altar girls, the EMHCs, and all who prayed the Lord's Prayer - regardless of whether they did so with their hands clasped or in one of the two positions described.

Those who criticize the Latin Church, its liturgical forms and praxis, etc, would do well to spend significantly less time on policing and documenting the 'abuses' so-called and giving the same degree of attentiveness to prayer and worship that these 'abusers' did.

Many years,

Neil


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This is a very old thread, but I came across this issue before, and have decided to re-visit it. I am an evangelical who entered the Church through the Melkite rite, and have since discovered this issue. It came up briefly with the priest of the parish I joined (now deceased), but after discussing, he did not disagree with my view that evangelicalism did not constitute a "rite." I have been unable to find a technical canonical definition of "rite," but it does seem to presume a valid Eucharist, or at least an apostolic lineage, and that is obviously not really applicable to evangelicalism. On top of that, my particular Protestant denomination moved out of Anglicanism in the early 1800s, and some ministers did actually receive a possibly valid (even if illicit) ordination through an Eastern Orthodox bishop (who apparently was known for such things in Europe), such that one might argue this initiated an Eastern lineage of sorts into the denomination. But I have heard different answers from fairly knowledgeable people of different Eastern rites (bishops who hold different views than deacons, including those who have worked for Catholic evangelistic offices, etc.)

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Christ is in our midst!!

melkman2,

Welcome to the forum. We hope your journey with us proves to be spiritually fruitful.

Bob
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Originally Posted by melkman2
I have been unable to find a technical canonical definition of "rite," but it does seem to presume a valid Eucharist, or at least an apostolic lineage, and that is obviously not really applicable to evangelicalism.

The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches defines "rite" as follows: "Rite is the liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary heritage, distinguished according to peoples' culture and historical circumstances, that finds expression in each autonomous church's way of living the faith."

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Hi--thanks for the quote. I think I came across this. However, note the use of the word "church." Then-Pope Benedict informed us that techniclaly, those groups lacking a valid Eucharist due to lack of apostolic succession, are not "churches" but ecclesial communities. Perhaps the code was being too loose, but this suggests to me that technically, a rite is linked to a Eucharistic tradition. Though I can of course see how the rest of the description would fit Protestant communities and their worship.

Of course, saying they are "autonomous" would also not fit how that term would be understood for AS groups (e.g., gnsotics are in some sense autonomous), and one can press in what sense they really have a liturgy without the Eucharist.

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Originally Posted by melkman2
Hi--thanks for the quote. I think I came across this. However, note the use of the word "church." Then-Pope Benedict informed us that techniclaly, those groups lacking a valid Eucharist due to lack of apostolic succession, are not "churches" but ecclesial communities. Perhaps the code was being too loose,....
Well before the Code and Pope Benedict:
Quote
CHAPTER III

CHURCHES AND ECCLESIAL COMMUNITIES [De Ecclesiis et de Communitatibus ecclesialibus] SEPARATED FROM THE ROMAN APOSTOLIC SEE

13. We now turn our attention to the two chief types of division as they affect the seamless robe of Christ....
22...Though the ecclesial Communities which are separated from us lack the fullness of unity with us flowing from Baptism, and though we believe they have not retained the proper reality of the eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Orders, nevertheless when they commemorate His death and resurrection in the Lord's Supper, they profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and look forward to His coming in glory. Therefore the teaching concerning the Lord's Supper, the other sacraments, worship, the ministry of the Church, must be the subject of the dialogue.

DECREE ON ECUMENISM
UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO
Novemrber 21, 1964

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Objectively, they are Latin Catholics.

According to CCEO 35:
"Baptized non-Catholics coming into full communion with the Catholic Church should retain and practice their own rite everywhere in the world and should observe it as much as humanly possible. Thus, they are to be enrolled in the Church sui iuris of the same rite with due regard for the right of approaching the Apostolic See in special cases of persons, communities or regions."

"Ascription to the proper ritual Church 'sui iuris' is automatic but needs to be recorded." - EWTN, https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/when-an-orthodox-joins-the-catholic-church-4391

In practice, let us take the opposite example of say Russian Orthodox becoming Catholics and joining the Church through a Latin priest. In real scenarios, these people became Russian Catholics, not Latin Catholics, and have to petition the bishop to initate a request for a transfer to the Latin Church if they wish to be so.

Any other opinion is in error. Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans, etc. entering the Catholic Church automatically become members of the Latin Church.

Parallel cases define clearly the law.

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Originally Posted by Giovanni1
Objectively, they are Latin Catholics.

According to CCEO 35:
"Baptized non-Catholics coming into full communion with the Catholic Church should retain and practice their own rite everywhere in the world and should observe it as much as humanly possible. Thus, they are to be enrolled in the Church sui iuris of the same rite with due regard for the right of approaching the Apostolic See in special cases of persons, communities or regions."

"Ascription to the proper ritual Church 'sui iuris' is automatic but needs to be recorded." - EWTN, https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/when-an-orthodox-joins-the-catholic-church-4391

In practice, let us take the opposite example of say Russian Orthodox becoming Catholics and joining the Church through a Latin priest. In real scenarios, these people became Russian Catholics, not Latin Catholics, and have to petition the bishop to initate a request for a transfer to the Latin Church if they wish to be so.

Any other opinion is in error. Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans, etc. entering the Catholic Church automatically become members of the Latin Church.

Parallel cases define clearly the law.

Excepting Anglicans that is not true. I know of several cases where Protestants of various kinds joined Eastern Catholic Churches with no stop over in the Latin Church, some becoming priests. Baptized non-Catholics coming into the Catholic Church may choose the Sui Iuris Church they wish to ascribe to provided that Church has jurisdiction in that territory because they have no rite.


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Actually, nevermind, if I read further into the CCEO, I find,

"Canon 588 - Catechumens are free to enroll in whatever Church sui iuris they want, according to the norm of can. 30; however, it has to be provided that nothing stands in the way of their enrollment in the Church that is more appropriate to their culture."

All Protestants generally involve becoming Catechumens, hence the need for Chrismation. The Orthodox most generally should have received the Sacraments of Initiation hence they are generally put into their ritual Churches automatically.

Actually the Anglican Ordinariate is a subdivision of the Latin Church, so that actually may not apply even then, as the Anglican Ordinariate is a choice and not a force on Anglican converts.

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But again, it seems according to many sources there seems to be disagreement on this question, whether Canon 588 also means those who are simply received into the Church whether baptized or chrismated, or does only Canon 35 apply. It seems Canon 588 means a non-baptized person which is why it says specifically "culture" as say an atheist Russian convert, yet Canon 35 means a baptized non-Catholic which it why it says specifically "rite" which denotes ritual, for example say Sedevacantists.

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To clarify what I wrote earlier,

Canon 588 deals with non-baptized individuals, citing Canon 30. That anyone who is baptized becomes a member of the Church sui iuris that the church in which they are baptized in belongs to. But it should be providied that nothing stands in the way for them to be enrolled in the Church sui iuris which is related to their culture. I cannot say the case of deathbed baptisms or baptisms outside of a church.

So in this case, if a Russian atheist wanted to join the Catholic Church, is baptized in a Latin-rite Catholic Church, that Russian would become a Latin-rite Catholic due to the fact that they were baptized in a Latin-rite Catholic Church, and will not become a Russian-rite Catholic as he was not baptized in a Russian-rite Catholic Church.

Canon 35 states that baptized non-Catholics who wish to enter the Catholic Church must join the Church sui iuris which matches their religion's tradition, but, that these individuals can ask the Apostolic See in cases of individuals or multiple individuals or areas as mentioned above in order to join a different rite.

Therefore, if a Greek Orthodox man wishes to enter the Catholic Church, despite entering the Church by the help of a Maronite Catholic priest, the man would become a Greek-rite Catholic, unless he explicitly petitioned the Apostolic See (or asks the local bishop to petition for him, or petitions after entering the Church) in order to join another Church sui iuris.

In these cases, "rite" according to Canon 28 of the CCEO, is defined basically by traditions. Hence in the Catholic Church, there are many different traditions such as those of the Ambrosians, the Carthusians, Dominicans, etc. yet these all fall under the Latin-rite. Therefore, Western Protestants would automatically by default enter the Latin-rite Catholic Church when they enter the Church.

But, "culture" here simply means the rite of the geographic area or ethnicity, and is only stated here in relation that if a person wishes to become say a Russian-rite Catholic, since he is Russian, that there should be nothing that should stand in his way of doing so.

So to put it simply,

Western Protestants entering the Church without petitioning to join a different Church sui iuris would automatically join the Latin-rite Catholic Church.

People of the various Orthodox groups would join the Catholic sui iuris of the same religious tradition, unless none exists, in which case they would join the most similar one.

Despite automatically entering that Church sui iuris, either before or after entering the Catholic Church, the Apostolic See change an individual's membership in a Church sui iuris.

But unbaptized individuals, unless they probably petitioned the Apostolic See, by virtue of baptism in a church under a Church sui iuris, would become a member of that Church sui iuris.

For clarity, write to a bishop or the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches.

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