Question on the Eastern rite

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chosunhoon

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Is it possible for a western rite Catholic to become an eastern rite priest? I have a particular admiration for the eastern rite. And so I’m just curious.
 
Yes it is.

There are two options.

One is to become a Latin Rite priest and petition the Eastern Bishop for ‘faculties’ to say the Divine Liturgy. You would then most likely be Incardnated into the Eastern Diocese\Eparchy. You would be entitled to say both Mass and Divine Liturgy.

The other is to officially change Rites first. This is a long process and would involve attening the Eastern Church for about a year, being active in parish life. You would then petition both the local Latin Rite and Eastern Rite bishops to change Rites. (Your pastor can help with the paperwork). At that point, you may seek Ordination as a Eastern Rite Catholic.

You must not be in a married state though. A married man changing Rites with the intent of seeking the priesthood is a very serious sin against obedience. A dispensation from Rome would be required and would most likely be rejected.
 
A minor note:

Technically, you don’t change “Rites”; you change “Churches.”

There are some 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, with about seven Rites used between them.

Rite is a form of worship. Church is the autonomous ritual body that uses said Rite. There are several Eastern Catholic Churches that use the same Rite.
 
yea, I know

But the form submitted to the Bishops actually says “Rite” 🙂
 
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Brendan:
You must not be in a married state though. A married man changing Rites with the intent of seeking the priesthood is a very serious sin against obedience. A dispensation from Rome would be required and would most likely be rejected.
Can you elaborate on that? I’m a bit confused…

I thought the Eastern rite permits married men to become priests…
 
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chosunhoon:
Can you elaborate on that? I’m a bit confused…

I thought the Eastern rite permits married men to become priests…
You are correct, the Eastern Churches do allow for married priests.

But it is generally considered an abuse to change ‘Rites’ to seek the priesthood while in the married state.

A Eastern Bishop will almost always refer to Rome in circumstances such as these. If done with a proper mindset (not seeking to exercises a ‘loophole’), there is no sin.

To deliberately seek to change Rites\Churches as an avoidance to the Western rule of celibacy, incurs the sin of disobedience.

A vocation to Holy Orders is a call to both the person and the Church. An individual person might discern a call to Holy Orders, but it is not a true calling unless the Church is also called to accept him. The Church has set down rules of disciplie, to which all, ESPECIALLY those called to Holy Orders, are called to give full consent of mind and will.
 
To deliberately seek to change Rites\Churches as an avoidance to the Western rule of celibacy, incurs the sin of disobedience.
What if he is not married but wants to be one-day?
 
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Brendan:
To deliberately seek to change Rites\Churches as an avoidance to the Western rule of celibacy, incurs the sin of disobedience.

A vocation to Holy Orders is a call to both the person and the Church. An individual person might discern a call to Holy Orders, but it is not a true calling unless the Church is also called to accept him. The Church has set down rules of disciplie, to which all, ESPECIALLY those called to Holy Orders, are called to give full consent of mind and will.
Brendan,

This was very helpful! But I’m still confused about something:

Does this apply for those who aren’t married but considers the possibility of marriage later on (but prior to joining the priesthood)??
 
BobCatholic:

Actually, under the Church’s current (and more accurate) practice and legislation, the two terms are not interchangeable, and the link you provided actually proves this.

“Rite” is the form of worship; “Church” is the autnomous (sui iuris) ritual community.
 
My Pastor at our Byzantine Catholid Church can celebrate both liturgies. He was first raised and went into the seminary at a Roman Rite Priest, yet had a fondness for the Eastern Rite.
 
You must be married before receiving Holy Orders in the Eastern Church. You cannot get married after receiving Holy Orders nor can you get remarried after the death of a spouse. This applies to diaconate and priesthood.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
 
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Brendan:
One is to become a Latin Rite priest and petition the Eastern Bishop for ‘faculties’ to say the Divine Liturgy. You would then most likely be Incardnated into the Eastern Diocese\Eparchy. You would be entitled to say both Mass and Divine Liturgy.
One consideration. To seek such faculties requires the permission of the Latin Ordinary to whose diocese you are incardinated and to whom you owe obedience or to your religious superior if you are a religious, rather than secular, priest. Such permission is not as readily granted as it once was and current Church policy favors the granting of such only when there is a pastoral need to do so.

The exception to this are members of the Society of Jesus who are ordained to the service of Eastern or Oriental Catholic Churches; these Jesuits are always bi-ritual; all have Latin faculties, regardless of the Church to which they were ordained .

Many years,

Neil
 
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DominvsVobiscvm:
A minor note:

Technically, you don’t change “Rites”; you change “Churches.”

There are some 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, with about seven Rites used between them.

Rite is a form of worship. Church is the autonomous ritual body that uses said Rite. There are several Eastern Catholic Churches that use the same Rite.
I’m glad you noted these differences - many folks don’t know the details. I think the more of us learn that we’re dealing with churches “sui juris” and not just rites, the better the understanding of the “two lungs” will be. 👍
 
Interestingly, a few years ago 18 married Latin Rite priests were transferred to the Byzantine Rite.

They were ordained in the underground church of communist Czechoslovakia. This transfer was to regularize their situation (I know, it sounds strange).

There is no impediment to a married Roman Catholic becoming an eastern Catholic out of sheer love for it. There is also no reason why the Holy Spirit would not call such a person to a vocation later in life. Once a person decides to become an eastern Catholic, they have the same obligations as any other, including that of answering a call to the priesthood.

The thing is, one must be an eastern Catholic before he discerns a call to the priesthood.

Now if a Roman Catholic man had wanted to be a priest at one time, but set aside that desire to marry. It might occur to him, after having transferred to a sister church, that he still wants to be a priest. There is no reason that he couldn’t talk to his Eparch about it.

Michael
 
Hmmm…a technical correction to this statement:
One is to become a Latin Rite priest and petition the Eastern Bishop for ‘faculties’ to say the Divine Liturgy. You would then most likely be Incardnated into the Eastern Diocese\Eparchy. You would be entitled to say both Mass and Divine Liturgy.
One is incardnated where one is ordained. Becoming a bi-ritual priest does not change this. Also, bi-ritual faculties for a priest come from Rome, not from the bishops involved. For a deacon they come from the bishop of the diocese/eparchy where one would serve, but that’s because Eastern Rite deacons do not preside at the mysteries, nor do they bless.

Deacon Ed (a bi-ritual deacon)
 
And Franciscans, Benedictines and others too. We have an Austianian who was ordained in the Byzantine Rite help out in our parish (Byzantine).

I believe a married man was ordained to the Melkite Rite a few years ago. I don’t think he was raised Melkite. He has an Irish name. I have to look it up. The cure of his daughter was the miracle for the canonization of St. Edith Stein.
 
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