This is my first post, and I'm inquiring into Holy Orthodoxy, and I am seriously considering making the near by Orthodox church my parish. How would a Catholic, who isn't too sure if he wants to renounce Rome and become Orthodox be received by the parish and priest (I have previously attended the church for vespers and one divine liturgy and know the priest and his wife)? Would they ask me to either become Orthodox or leave? If this helps, the parish is under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church of America. Many Years!
Welcome to the forum. First, you wouldn't be renouncing Rome. You'll just confess what Rome's proper place is in the Church, namely that of primus inter pares
without jurisdiction over any other Bishop or Patriarch. As far as being asked to leave, first you have to be a member. Second, the church welcomes all (after all the church is catholic, not Catholic
) and if you want to attend and pray for years before entering or attend and pray and go back to the Catholic Church, that's fine. I know many people in my own parish who attend only because their spouse comes; they have no interest in becoming Orthodox themselves. So, don't worry about it.
At the risk of incurring the wrath of others here , there *may* be another alternative for you, if you're unwilling to "renounce Rome"--that would be to participate at an Eastern Catholic parish, if there's one not too far from you. You would maintain full communion with Rome, and, at least if it's a Byzantine (Ruthenian), or Ukrainian Catholic parish, be able to participate in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. You could also immerse yourself to whatever extent you wish in Eastern Christian spirituality. By the way, it isn't *just* the Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholics who use the DL of St. John.
Yes, you could
do this, but from what I understand, it is not easy to simply attend an Eastern Rite Catholic Church from going to a Latin Rite church. Unless I'm mistaken, there's a process you have to undergo first. It's not as simple as saying "Hey I'm going to an Eastern Rite Catholic church. Bye." I'm not sure what the process is exactly. You'll have to inquire.
Another thing to consider and this may be something that J Michael or any other Eastern Rite Catholic may acknowledge or ignore is that Eastern Rite Catholics are, in general, regarded as Catholics of a lower status. Throughout the 20th century, there have been many attempts both here in the new world and in the old world, particularly Ukraine, to Latinize the Eastern Catholics. Things such as introducing Western ceremonies and practices (Eucharisitc adoration is NOT part of the Eastern Rite, at least there is no parading it around and such) have been introduced, often forcefully, into Eastern Catholic parishes. Priests, though allowed to be married in the Orthodox Church, no questions asked, who are married are often looked down upon with disdain. These are just some of the issues that you may encounter if you decide to go the Eastern Catholic route. Plus, are there any Eastern Catholic parishes in your neighborhood?
Good luck with your inquiries. The best thing for you to do now besides pray and go to services is to develop a good spiritual relationship with the priest who can help guide you.