Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Obligation to retain proper rite, 17 April 2015, Private.

A diocesan official wrote to the President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, seeking a response regarding a baptized Christian wishing to come into full communion with the Catholic Church. The initial correspondence, and the President’s response, in accord with the Decree Orientalium Ecclesiarium, follow.

December 22, 2014

His Eminence

Francesco Cardinal Coccopalmerio

President, Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts

Vatican City

Your Eminence,

Greetings in the Lord. I would be most grateful if Your Eminence would be able to assist me and my staff by offering an authentic interpretation in answer to the following query which has come up in the context of a jurisdictional question in the Tribunal of _______.

A baptized Protestant is received into the Catholic Church via chrismation and profession of faith in an Eastern Catholic parish. To which Church sui iuris is he ascribed ipso iure – the Latin Church, or the Eastern Catholic Church of his reception?

Sincerely yours in Christ,



Vatican City

17 April 2015

Prot. N. _______

Dear _______,

With this letter I am responding to your letter of December 22, 2014 in which you asked this Pontifical Council to give an authentic interpretation on the question of a baptized Christian who wishes to come into full communion with the Catholic Church.

Having examined the question, I am pleased to indicate the following observations.

First, it must be noted that this question does not require an authentic interpretation since the immemorial praxis of the Church is quite clear on the obligation of each Christian faithful to retain their proper rite.

The Second Vatican Council reiterates this praxis at No. 4 of the Decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum in the following words: “Each and every Catholic, as also baptized of every non-Catholic church or denomination who enters into the fullness of the Catholic communion, must retain his own rite wherever he is, must cherish it and observe it to the best of his ability.

The proper rite indicates the sui iuris Church of the same rite to be ascribed when a baptized non-Catholic enters into full communion with the Catholic Church.

I hope that the above information will be helpful to you. Be assured of my best wishes and prayer for your ministry.

Sincerely yours in Christ,


+Francesco Cardinal Coccopalmerio



+Juan Ignacio Arrieta


Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Obligation to retain proper rite, April 17, 2015, Private, CLSA, Roman Replies and CLSA Advisory Opinions, 2015, 21-22.