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Author Topic: Conversion and waiting on spouses  (Read 3039 times) Average Rating: 0
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Thomas
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« Reply #45 on: November 05, 2013, 10:13:21 AM »

There is a shorter version of the crowning ceremony called a marriage blessing, the Antiochins use it occassionally in these cases---I do not know if the OCA does. The Greeks go through the whole ceremony without the hoopla of the rerceptione etc as long as the other partner is baptized in the correct Trinitarian Formula, the last I heard the  Methodist baptism is adequate to meet those requirements. We did our on on 15th Wedding Anniversary, it might be a way to do it that she will accept as a renewal of vows.

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« Reply #46 on: November 05, 2013, 01:26:38 PM »

ermycath,
baptism/chrismation/etc. should only be done for someone who wants to be an orthodox Christian.
it should never be done for the purposes of marriage (like you can 'fool' God!) but only for individual need and request.
you can only be remarried to your spouse if you are both orthodox, and definitely this is not an area on which you should put pressure on your spouse, who is on her own spiritual journey and who has a very important personal relationship with God.

so if you are orthodox and your wife remains catholic, this should still be considered a valid marriage, especially as you married in a church whose sacraments are recognised by the orthodox church.
you should certainly be allowed to be orthodox and have confession and take Holy Communion while your wife remains catholic and able to attend services with you (if she wants to) and not take Holy Communion.
there is no need to rush here; God knows both your hearts and loves you both greatly.

when i became orthodox (with my husband's permission), he remained protestant, and i have had no problems in taking Holy Communion because of this. i am in an oriental orthodox church (coptic), but from all i have read about eastern orthodox churches and from my experience with EO friends, the principle is the same in EO churches.

so i would suggest you discuss this with your priest again, and maybe ask another priest if you don't manage to understand each other on this issue, as putting pressure on a spouse to 'convert' and have a church marriage is not what an orthodox priest should normally do.
feel free to send a personal message if you wish, as i have met (in real life and on line) plenty of couples where only one is orthodox.
i am glad that thomas' story was so happy (sounds great!) and i pray that yours will be too, as you grow in love and patience.
 Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: November 05, 2013, 03:06:05 PM »

ermycath,
baptism/chrismation/etc. should only be done for someone who wants to be an orthodox Christian.
it should never be done for the purposes of marriage (like you can 'fool' God!) but only for individual need and request.
you can only be remarried to your spouse if you are both orthodox, and definitely this is not an area on which you should put pressure on your spouse, who is on her own spiritual journey and who has a very important personal relationship with God.

so if you are orthodox and your wife remains catholic, this should still be considered a valid marriage, especially as you married in a church whose sacraments are recognised by the orthodox church.
you should certainly be allowed to be orthodox and have confession and take Holy Communion while your wife remains catholic and able to attend services with you (if she wants to) and not take Holy Communion.
there is no need to rush here; God knows both your hearts and loves you both greatly.

when i became orthodox (with my husband's permission), he remained protestant, and i have had no problems in taking Holy Communion because of this. i am in an oriental orthodox church (coptic), but from all i have read about eastern orthodox churches and from my experience with EO friends, the principle is the same in EO churches.

so i would suggest you discuss this with your priest again, and maybe ask another priest if you don't manage to understand each other on this issue, as putting pressure on a spouse to 'convert' and have a church marriage is not what an orthodox priest should normally do.
feel free to send a personal message if you wish, as i have met (in real life and on line) plenty of couples where only one is orthodox.
i am glad that thomas' story was so happy (sounds great!) and i pray that yours will be too, as you grow in love and patience.
 Smiley

+1
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ErmyCath
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« Reply #48 on: November 05, 2013, 03:13:25 PM »

Thank you for your replies. I have spoken to my priest about it quite a bit, so I am sure there is no miscommunication. 

I appreciate very much your reply about not pressuring my wife, and I think I am doing okay with that now. It is just as important for her to remain Catholic as it is for me to convert to Orthodoxy.  I have suggested the "renewal of vows" idea that Thomas mentioned as I think it's a good way to view things. But, no traction so far.

I just wish there were some way out of this impasse so that I wasn't stuck between the two with no place to call home (to put it melodramatically).

Any former Catholics out there who've solved this (or priests who can chime in)?
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 03:13:48 PM by ErmyCath » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: November 05, 2013, 05:34:07 PM »

your home is in heaven.
you visit there when you worship God.
He will reward your patience and diligent searching.
is you getting chrismated 1st an option?
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« Reply #50 on: November 06, 2013, 09:48:20 PM »

Oh do I empathize. I recounted my own story here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,46265.msg853304.html

This is such a hard issue. My only advice is to pray without ceasing. I still think my wife's conversion was nothing short of a minor miracle.
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« Reply #51 on: November 07, 2013, 08:16:01 AM »

Oh do I empathize. I recounted my own story here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,46265.msg853304.html

This is such a hard issue. My only advice is to pray without ceasing. I still think my wife's conversion was nothing short of a minor miracle.
A beautiful testimony.  Many years to your family!
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« Reply #52 on: November 13, 2013, 08:00:37 PM »

Thank you for your replies. I have spoken to my priest about it quite a bit, so I am sure there is no miscommunication. 

I appreciate very much your reply about not pressuring my wife, and I think I am doing okay with that now. It is just as important for her to remain Catholic as it is for me to convert to Orthodoxy.  I have suggested the "renewal of vows" idea that Thomas mentioned as I think it's a good way to view things. But, no traction so far.

I just wish there were some way out of this impasse so that I wasn't stuck between the two with no place to call home (to put it melodramatically).

Any former Catholics out there who've solved this (or priests who can chime in)?
My wife is Methodist, but if I told her that I needed her to have a second wedding ceremony so I could join the Orthodox Church, I'm pretty sure she would beat me over the head with a tire iron.  I've never heard of requiring a non-converting spouse to do that.
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« Reply #53 on: November 13, 2013, 09:35:52 PM »

Thank you for your replies. I have spoken to my priest about it quite a bit, so I am sure there is no miscommunication. 

I appreciate very much your reply about not pressuring my wife, and I think I am doing okay with that now. It is just as important for her to remain Catholic as it is for me to convert to Orthodoxy.  I have suggested the "renewal of vows" idea that Thomas mentioned as I think it's a good way to view things. But, no traction so far.

I just wish there were some way out of this impasse so that I wasn't stuck between the two with no place to call home (to put it melodramatically).

Any former Catholics out there who've solved this (or priests who can chime in)?
My wife is Methodist, but if I told her that I needed her to have a second wedding ceremony so I could join the Orthodox Church, I'm pretty sure she would beat me over the head with a tire iron.  I've never heard of requiring a non-converting spouse to do that.

On the other hand, I can't exactly go to my priest and say, "Everyone on OC.net says they've never heard of a priest requiring what you're requiring."  I don't know how to handle it...
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« Reply #54 on: November 14, 2013, 03:50:09 AM »

maybe write to the bishop?
this is the normal thing to do if there is a disagreement that can't be resolved within your local church.
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« Reply #55 on: November 15, 2013, 07:47:45 AM »

maybe write to the bishop?
this is the normal thing to do if there is a disagreement that can't be resolved within your local church.

+1! This would clear up any confusion.  OC.net ain't the Church. Tongue
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« Reply #56 on: November 15, 2013, 08:30:11 AM »

Dear ErmyCath,
 
I am a member of a GOA Church.  I have certainly seen people received into the Church before without their spouse joining.  I'm quite sure a previous marriage is not officially an impediment to being received into the church.  That would not rule out pastoral concerns, of course. 

I'd also have a conversation with your Catholic priest to clear up any misconceptions about the view of the Catholic Church about Orthodox sacraments. 

Best of all to you.  Love, elephant
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« Reply #57 on: November 15, 2013, 08:55:02 PM »

maybe write to the bishop?
this is the normal thing to do if there is a disagreement that can't be resolved within your local church.

This is usually a bad idea in non OO churches my friend.  Most priests do NOT like it when you go over their head.  if you want to remain on good terms with your priest, I wouldn't recommend this.  Or at LEAST let your priest know that you plan on doing it.  

I would imagine most priests are going to do the heavy lifting FOR you.  For example...write the letter to the bishop themselves.  
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 08:55:17 PM by serb1389 » Logged

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« Reply #58 on: November 15, 2013, 09:01:09 PM »

It's usually a bad idea in OO churches as well, Father, but maybe Copts are the exception.  Smiley 
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« Reply #59 on: November 16, 2013, 12:52:36 PM »

I don't think I'll write the bishop. I am rather close with my priest and don't want to go around him.

With that said, I am a little concerned that this requirement seems out of the ordinary to you all... I don't know what to make of that.
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« Reply #60 on: November 16, 2013, 01:12:34 PM »

I don't want to be rude, so I apologise if the question is inelegant, but what exactly is the objection of the non-Orthodox spouses to going through an Orthodox marriage rite with the convert spouses?
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« Reply #61 on: November 16, 2013, 01:45:38 PM »

I don't want to be rude, so I apologise if the question is inelegant, but what exactly is the objection of the non-Orthodox spouses to going through an Orthodox marriage rite with the convert spouses?
I think my wife harbours some thought that I will abandon Orthodoxy and return to Evangelical Protestantism. There's not a chance that she would even discuss her participation in any Orthodox rite. (That being said, some cracks have appeared lately in her façade - I'm still looking forward to her accepting my choice of spiritual growth and direction - not necessarily that she would become Orthodox, but that she would be supportive and appreciative of my spiritual life.)

There is also the argument that "What? Doesn't the Orthodox Church think I'm good enough? Are they saying I'm not even a Christian?!?"
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« Reply #62 on: November 16, 2013, 01:55:06 PM »

I don't want to be rude, so I apologise if the question is inelegant, but what exactly is the objection of the non-Orthodox spouses to going through an Orthodox marriage rite with the convert spouses?

In addition to what genesisone said, which is also somewhat applicable to my situation, the Roman Church has a lot of rules about participating in non-Catholic ceremonies.  If you look at the Catholic Answers site, for example, a lot of questions come in about whether it is okay to go to such-and-such wedding.  This is all the more problematic when that ceremony would be your own.  It is further complicated by the fact that my wife and I are already sacramentally married according to the Roman Church, which brings into the equation the idea of "repeating Sacraments," which is blasphemy from the Roman perspective--analogize that to being baptized again.

I can imagine that most Protestant spouses wouldn't have these particular hang-ups, but these are valid concerns for my Catholic wife and also for me.  Whether these are really sinful or not is a complicated question, but it is difficult that this situation has arisen.
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« Reply #63 on: November 16, 2013, 07:16:56 PM »

also if the spouse does not want to join the orthodox church it is really wrong for them to pretend and go through the motions.
this is exactly what orthodoxy is NOT.
and i can assure you it certainly is a problem for protestants!

about writing to the bishop, i am not suggesting you go over the priest's head, but is seems like you are in a really impossible situation and i can't imagine it is right for you to just stay as you are and suffer like that, when all the orthodox Christians here and some others i know (that is quite a few!) have said that you DON'T automatically have to get your spouse chrismated / baptised too. i know really plenty of people from different orthodox churches who are in the church without their spouse, and sometimes the spouse comes to social occasions or Bible studies and sometimes they are at a different place in their spiritual journey.

no, we don't tend to go to our bishop over our priest's heads, but our bishops are really approachable and whenever a bishop visits, there is always a big queue of people who line up for hours to discuss their problems with the bishop (usually after lunch, we take care of our bishops!) i have met all the (4) uk bishops and at least 3 visiting bishops from egypt and they are all really approachable and lovely.
our priests are too.
but if there was a dispute that could not be resolved, it would be normal to involve a bishop.

is it different in EO churches?
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« Reply #64 on: November 16, 2013, 07:53:50 PM »

My priest would talk with the Dean or the Bishop if a question like this came up.  Then again, my priest has not told me to bring my wife to bless my marriage, so that isn't an issue.

To ErmyCath:

Everyone has hang-ups of one sort or another, even those coming from one flavor of Protestantism or another.  You are doing the right thing of being open with your priest, but AFAIK it is not the norm to encourage a spouse that is not into the whole conversion process to be involved with a marriage blessing.  When the time comes and your wife is ready, then go for it.
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« Reply #65 on: November 20, 2013, 01:02:02 PM »

I was listening to some AFR the other day and it mentioned that many priests say not to attend DL without their spouse.

I wasn't told not to attend without my spouse.  In fact, I'm converting without him.  The priest's only concern was whether or not my husband minded at all.  He doesn't.

Usually its the men that want to attend first.

It wasn't his idea.  I think his original plan was to find a church we could drop into and out of without being noticed.

And that some need to wait years and years on their spouse.

You never know.  It's his path, not mine.

I wonder what do they do in the interim?  Obviously read the bible, the fathers etc  I also assume morning & evening prayers, fasting, and work on... well growing in Christ.

If I couldn't go to church without my spouse, I'd find it very hard indeed to grow spiritually.  While there are many books available to expand knowledge, I think the lack of fellowship and support would cause most to become quite lax spiritually.
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« Reply #66 on: November 20, 2013, 01:23:12 PM »

My parish priest and I have discussed my wife once, the day I told him I was ready to go from inquirer to catechumen:

Priest: "And your wife is...?"

Me: "She's staying Catholic for the time being and supports my decision to convert."

Priest: "Okay, then, let's take a look at the calendar and set a date."

Aside from asking after her health and whatnot, that's the most we've talked about her.
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