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Marriage to Orthodox
Question from Canadian Catholic on 11/22/2008:

I am married, in a civil ceremony, to a divorced Russian Orthodox. Her church will not permit her to participate in the Eucharist until she has been remarried in the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox priest has indicated that I need to be baptized as an Orthodox (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia) and confess my sins, all of them for my entire life. After that we may get married in the Orthodox Church and my wife would be able to resume receiving the Eucharist. The first issue - what is the Catholic Church's position if I should consent to be baptized as an Orthodox? The second issue - while we are looking at having the first marriage annulled through the Catholic Church and having an Orthodox marriage validated (should it take place), would it be licit for me to receive the Orthodox Eucharist in this situation? I am assuming the current situation prohibits me from participating in the Catholic Eucharist.

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 11/22/2008:

If you are baptized as a Catholic, it is not possible for you to be baptized again in the Orthodox Church. Doing so might result in an act of schism and a consequent automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church.

If you are living in an invalid marriage and thus are not permitted to receive the sacraments. This also excludes you from receiving Holy Communion during an Orthodox Divine Liturgy. (This is apart from the fact that Orthodox canon law would not permit you to receive Holy Communion because you are not Orthodox, and because there is no legitimate reason for you to even seek to receive Holy Communion from the Orthodox Church.)

Even if you are not permitted to receive Holy Communion, you are still obligated as a Catholic to attend Mass or Divine Liturgy in a Catholic church.

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