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#422740 09/20/22 07:24 PM
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So, I’ve asked a few questions of this forum community and some friends and priests, but I want to approach the question I’ve been mulling over from a different angle and I’m hoping everyone here can come through for me again.

Why SHOULDN’T I transfer Rites and become Byzantine? For those deeply immersed in Byzantine traditions and theology, what do you wish you knew that you didn’t before transferring rites or converting (if you did) and what would you tell someone to be cautious of who is in my situation?

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Christ is in our midst!!

First of all, as a Catholic Christian, you may attend any parish of any of the 21 sui juris Churches and you don't need to go through the legality of formal transfer from one to another. The only reason for a formal transfer is if you are about to be married or enter a seminary. I am sure that any parish will welcome you with open arms if you want to get involved in its activities and work to build up the parish and its members. As for "SHOULDN'T," I'll leave that to the members here. Each person's pilgrimage is personal, and it seems to me to be arrogant and pretentious for me to offer any advice not knowing who you are, what you have been through, and what would be beneficial for your immortal soul.

theophan #422742 09/21/22 02:28 AM
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Theophan,

Thank you for the quick reply and prudent point about context. So anyone can give the beat answer possible, here is the afore mentioned context:

My wife and I (both Roman Catholics) have been attending a (Ruthenian) Byzantine parish for about 2 years. We’ve fallen in love with the Liturgy, the flow of the liturgical year, the theology, and the (T/t)raditions of the Byzantine Rite. Truly, we feel that it has helped us grow in our faith and are both inclined to view our time in the Roman church as a sojourn, not vice versa. We are both of the opinion that we should transfer Rites, however, we have three (soon the be four) sons and moving, though not an imminent prospect, is an option on the horizon. We understand canonically that we are free to attend any church sui juris as we see fit, and the transfer of Rite is a somewhat moot point for us, but the way it could affect our sons (the oldest of whom is 6, to give an idea of age ranges) is what concerns us. Additionally, the the prospect of a move complicates things as well as our Byzantine parish is well established and very active. The more we think it through, however, it seems “cheap” to not transfer Rites based solely on the convenience of access to Roman Catholic parishes/Sacraments. I’m looking for reasons I may not have thought of that we should not transfer Rites.

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Chooch factor:

I know many have said and will continue to say that outside of marriage and orders there’s no reason for anyone to formally/canonically transfer Church ascription.

However, parish membership should reflect Church sui iuris ascription. So if one is a member of a parish, in most cases one should be ascribed to the Church sui iuris of the Eparchy which has jurisdiction over the parish. This rights and obligations of the Christian faithful enumerated in both the Latin and Eastern codices are determined by one’s ascription in a particular Church sui iuris. For example, a Catholic ascribed in the Latin Church who is a “member” of a Ruthenian Catholic parish does not have the same rights as the Catholic ascribed in the Ruthenian Catholic Church sui iuris.

An imperfect analogy could be found in way the rights and obligations are exercised by those living in the United States. The USG recognizes various persons living in the US: citizens; resident aliens; etc. While most persons who reside in the US enjoy the same basic rights and obligations, only the citizen enjoys the fullness of those rights and obligations.

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Your analogy is very apt. My wife and I are registered parishioners in our Byzantine parish and, though they are incredibly welcoming, we do feel like “resident aliens”.

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An alternative view of the question; rather than delving into spiritual matters or theological matters explicitly, what we’re some things that may have required an “adjustment period” for anyone who has transferred Rites that you hadn’t thought of before you transferred? How have you changed your spiritual practice at home to accommodate more limited liturgical services and how (if at all) have you transitioned kids who are old enough to recognize the departure into the Byzantine Rite from the Latin Rite? How has your spiritual practice at home changed?


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