Can someone please explain to me why a change of rite from Roman to Byzantine Catholic takes three years? Better yet, can someone explain to me why I have to submit to a change of rite when my paternal grandfather was baptized/chrismated Ukrainian Catholic and the only reason my father was baptized in a Roman church is that there wasn't a Byzantine Catholic Church available?? If we actually were following this much vaunted canonical law that everyone likes to invoke, I should just be declared Byzantine Catholic because the Eastern Rites follow the father's line.
And if one more person asks "Why do you care...it's all Catholic", I'm going to beat them with a Ruthenian hymnal. Maybe I care because I want to officially be a member of the rite in which I really feel I belong. Maybe I want to be a registered member of the parish to which I've been going for the past 18 months (even since I realize they existed here). Maybe because the Byzantine Catholic rite and this parish here are what have kept me in the Catholic Church at all. Maybe because this is part of my cultural identity as well as my personal preference. Maybe I want my children to officially be members of the faith in which they will be raised.
I can't imagine baptizing them RC, going to my Byzantine Church every week and having to send them to RC classes for Communion and Confirmation (and let me tell you, Roman Mass makes little sense to someone used to the Divine Liturgy). Plus, what about if they get married? They would get to be told "Sorry, you can't get married in the church you've attended since you were born because of the paperwork". So yes, that "piece of paper" does matter.
Thankfully Father Reader is being so helpful, because Father really doesn't seem to be very interested. He's very much a letter of the law person, and if the paperwork says I'm Roman, I'm Roman. Nevermind that the paper only says that because the priest who married my parents lied to save himself more paperwork. And if I have to do the three years, I'll do the three years. Bruce will have to submit a change of rite anyway, since he came to the Roman church by way of being a non-practicing Pesbyterian. But Fr. Reader, in between teaching full-time and attending seminary classes in DC twice a week, is researching what can be done, with help from his friends at Chancery. Hopefully we'll have resolution by the time this baby comes up for baptism. sigh
The main reason I'm so frustrated is that I just want to be part of the Church I belong in. If I was Protestant of some sort, this would be a lot simpler. I could start classes now and be happily and uncomplicatedly Byzantine by Easter. I feel like this process is made unnecessarily complicated to deter people from changing rites, despite all the lipservice given to "preserving the Eastern rites". Hey, I'll help preserve one! I'll even reproduce and make more little Byzantines to help preserve the rite!! Me and my husband both...fricking sign us up!!!