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Author Topic: Reception of Byzantine Catholics into the Orthodox Church  (Read 2694 times) Average Rating: 0
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Bono Vox
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« on: December 29, 2007, 12:52:17 PM »

I was wondering if the reception of Byzantine Catholics into the Orthodox church is the same as everyone else (do they usually have to wait a year as a catecumen, observe the liturgical cycle for a year, etc, ) Since they say the same prayers and do the same liturgy, is it different when they are received into the church compared to a RC, Anglican, ect??
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2007, 12:58:25 PM »

I can hardly comment on the norm, but at the parish I attend there were two Byzantine Catholic converting in the past.  The conversions took about 1.5 - 2 years, and they were accepted through baptism.  It is a ROCA parish.   Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2007, 01:26:42 PM »

In Romania (Transylvania) they were received as such, the priests in their ranks without re-ordination, and the laity without chrismation, much less baptism.
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2007, 01:42:14 PM »

In the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, members of the Ukrainian Catholic Church I believe are simply received via a profession of faith. 
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2007, 07:41:56 PM »

I was Byzantine Catholic and was received by Chrismation into the OCA. The whole process was only about a month and a half, from inquiry to Chrismation.
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2007, 10:51:16 PM »

As usual, it depends upon one's bishop and jurisdiction. For example, in North America, Greeks and Antiochians would normally chrismate you. In the OCA it varies widely. With the Antiochians, if you were a Melkite (Byzantine Catholic from the Middle East) and your spouse was Orthodox and you had an Arab parish, you may be received by a profession of faith.

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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2007, 07:34:35 PM »

I'm being received into ACROD via chrismation. 
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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2007, 11:54:00 AM »

I was wondering if the reception of Byzantine Catholics into the Orthodox church is the same as everyone else (do they usually have to wait a year as a catecumen, observe the liturgical cycle for a year, etc, ) Since they say the same prayers and do the same liturgy, is it different when they are received into the church compared to a RC, Anglican, ect??

After St. Peter's sermon after Pentecost 3000 individuals entered into the Church without any Catechesis at all! I dare say when one is ready he or she should enter into the Church regardless.
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2007, 12:02:52 PM »

After St. Peter's sermon after Pentecost 3000 individuals entered into the Church without any Catechesis at all! I dare say when one is ready he or she should enter into the Church regardless.

Of course, it doesn't say how many of those people later fell away or ended up in hell. Plus, these were apostles preaching, not extremely more sinful people like us.

I think longer catechesis should be the rule for everyone--especially Byzantine Catholics, who may have an idea that they are already Orthodox and just "switching jurisdictions."

From the day I asked my bishop to make me Orthodox to the day I was baptized was 23 months. Part of this was due to some personal family matters but once those were resolved, we still waited around 8 months.  I really am glad I did because I became Orthodox knowing full well what it was about and the pitfalls converts experience, etc.
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2007, 02:15:15 PM »

Of course, it doesn't say how many of those people later fell away or ended up in hell. Plus, these were apostles preaching, not extremely more sinful people like us. 

And how many of these people had heard the message before but not committed?  Just because 3000 were baptized because of Peter's witness doesn't mean they had no exposure to Jesus during his Earthly ministry, or to the preaching and teaching of the Apostles.
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« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2007, 03:05:13 PM »


I think longer catechesis should be the rule for everyone--especially Byzantine Catholics, who may have an idea that they are already Orthodox and just "switching jurisdictions."


I'm inclined to agree that a longer catechesis is good.  Look at the early church... the typical catechesis could go on for years!  Of course, it's always up to the bishop and the spiritual father, of course.  Some catechumans may be more spiritually mature than others, and may be ready quicker. 

As far as the Byzantine Catholics, I would say that their catechesis in the Orthodox church would be a little different from others, with the inclusion of a little more about what makes the Orthodox Church different from the Byzantine Catholic church.  This could go for Protestants, too, of course.  Their catechesis would include a little more about what makes the Orthodox Church different from their former church.  In both cases, I think it's important to emphasize that, while everyone walks by the light they are given, the Orthodox Church specifically rejects such-and-such doctrines and beliefs (fill in the such-and-such depending on the faith from which they are converting).  I guess it suffices to say that catechesis, in my opinion, should always be somewhat individualized, addressing each person's former beliefs and lifestyle.  But for Byzantine Catholics, as their faith LOOKS so much like ours, it is vital that these details be covered, so that, as Anastasios said, they don't think they're just "switching jurisdictions."
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« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2007, 03:21:01 PM »

I do agree that catechesis needs to be individualized, but on the other hand---we had 26 people in our Catechesis class this fall, and 26 solo classes with me a week are just too much to be scheduled.

So, what did I do? On Wednesdays our parish also has Family Night (we have a common fasting meal, followed by adult instruction and kid's instruction, in seperate groups), and so I started to announce that my office door would be open to any of the Catechism Class attendees starting at an hour before the kitchen starts serving....so anyone who wants or needs to discuss anything with me has a 'standing invitation' to do so.

And I do not get all 26 to come every week, but in the course of a month we get most of the class to have some one-on-one time with me, and that seems to help things. It also helps the 'regular' parishioners, too, since they know they can find me for confessions an hour before 'Coffee with Fr Chris' starts.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 03:23:35 PM by FrChris » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2007, 03:29:30 PM »

I do agree that catechesis needs to be individualized, but on the other hand---we had 26 people in our Catechesis class this fall, and 26 solo classes with me a week are just too much to be scheduled.

So, what did I do? On Wednesdays our parish also has Family Night (we have a common fasting meal, followed by adult instruction and kid's instruction, in seperate groups), and so I started to announce that my office door would be open to any of the Catechism Class attendees starting at an hour before the kitchen starts serving....so anyone who wants or needs to discuss anything with me has a 'standing invitation' to do so.

And I do not get all 26 to come every week, but in the course of a month we get most of the class to have some one-on-one time with me, and that seems to help things. It also helps the 'regular' parishioners, too, since they know they can find me for confessions an hour before 'Coffee with Fr Chris' starts.

That's awesome!!!  What a wonderfully active parish you have!  I can't wait to visit, God willing, someday soon!
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« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2007, 09:17:32 PM »

Quote
Originally Posted by GreekChef:

I'm inclined to agree that a longer catechesis is good.  Look at the early church... the typical catechesis could go on for years!  Of course, it's always up to the bishop and the spiritual father, of course.  Some catechumans may be more spiritually mature than others, and may be ready quicker.

Of course, many of the early Christians were converting from other religions.  Many people today are converting from Christian backgrounds.

I'm being chrismated next Sunday.  For two years I attended a Ruthenian Catholic church.  Since summer, I've been attending an Orthodox Church.  I imagine the catechumen time is best left to the priest.  Personally, I don't see how much benefit it would be to me spiritually to wait 8 more months or so for chrismation.  I go to an Orthodox Faith study once a week, but I already know 95% of what is taught there (but only because I studied theology and focused a lot of my studies on Orthodoxy).  For me, the greatest difficulty has been not living a sacramental/mystical Christian life for almost a year.  I'm used to going to confession and receiving the Eucharist on at least a semi-regular basis.   
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 09:25:47 PM by StGeorge » Logged
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