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Tyler Henderson wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm 15 and live in the northern part of England. I want to become an Orthodox Christian because I have Balkan roots, however, there are no Orthodox churches in the area where I can get baptized.

My parents are atheists so I doubt they would drive me all the way to London, so I could get baptized at my local Catholic Church. I also wouldn't want to wait until I have kids and get baptized alongside them.

  • What do you recommend?

Regards,

Tyler

  { How does a young English man become an Orthodox by being baptized in the Catholic Church? }

Eric replied:

Tyler,

In order to be baptized in the Catholic Church, you have to believe the Catholic faith. To believe the faith, you have to accept everything that the Catholic Church believes is divinely revealed, including at least one key element that you must not believe if you wish to be Orthodox.

It would not be appropriate to be baptized Catholic under false pretenses. It would be a lie to say you accept something that you don't. You could become Byzantine Catholic instead of becoming Orthodox, which would respect your Eastern European roots, but there probably aren't many of those churches around you either.

Finally, a key impediment is that the Catholic Church won't receive a minor, even if they do fully accept the Catholic faith, without their parent's permission. Some Orthodox don't even recognize Catholic Baptism, but I think these are a minority. If you did get baptized Catholic and it was recognized by the Orthodox, consider that you would miss out on the full experience of immersion baptism, exorcism, and so forth. While I'd encourage you to become Catholic, this is more of a pastoral question for an Orthodox priest. If you don't know one, consider consulting Fr. Evan Armatas on his Orthodox Live streaming radio/podcast at:

I do see there is the Orthodox Church of the Holy Apostles just north of Liverpool in Leyland.

That seems to be the only viable choice for you.

Eric

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