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John Doe wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am an 18-year-old male that has been baptized into the Armenian Apostolic Church and have received the Eucharist and Confirmation at Etchmiadzin Cathedral in Armenia where I was baptized as a child. My mom is Armenian Catholic while my dad is Armenian Apostolic. I have been raised Catholic all my life and I believe in all the doctrines of the Catholic Church and believe the Catholic Church is the One, True Church of Jesus Christ.

I go to a Latin Mass and Catholic Confession and receive Holy Communion (I read that this is valid for people baptized in the Armenian Apostolic Church). I want to officially become Catholic but I am scared to tell my parents about my desire to officially convert to the Church. They know about my love and devotion to the Catholic Church but they will most likely feel that it is scrupulous and unnecessary to convert to Catholicism because of the small differences between the Churches.

It is expected that they will not allow me to have an official conversion.

  • Despite my dedicated love and devotion to the Catholic Church and Her teachings,
    am I putting my salvation at risk if I do not formally convert to the Catholic Church?
  • Is it moral for me to convert to the Catholic Church without consulting my parents?

Thank You.

John Doe

  { If my parents don't allow me to join, am I putting my salvation at risk, if I don't formally convert? }

John replied:

John,

As someone who is 18 and already an adult, it is perfectly moral for you to enter into full Communion with the Church, without discussing it with your parents.

That said; as Catholics, we're called to share our faith.

Your situation is a bit unique. You may already, canonically, be a Catholic in full Communion with the Church as you describe your situation; I'm not sure.

Your mother is Catholic. You were raised Catholic. The only difference is you were baptized and confirmed in the  Armenian Apostolic Church, which has valid Sacraments so you need to discuss your status with a Catholic Priest.

At a theological level, the term converting, or conversion isn't really accurate or used anymore for Orthodox or Oriental Christians, because all your sacraments are valid. We simply say entering full Communion but, in your case, you were brought up in full Communion as a Catholic. 

Returning to your parents: I suspect that their objections might be more about the unique ethnic and cultural traditions of the Armenian Apostolic Church. 

I live in an area where we have many Armenians and (2) two Armenian Apostolic parishes so I am aware of the strong bond between the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian people but it's also the case with the Armenian Catholic Church.

 As you pointed out, your mother is Catholic. She brought you up Catholic.

  • So why would she object?

John

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