How to Answer Protestants Forum: Difference between the Jacobites/Orthodox Christians and Catholics

Difference between the Jacobites/Orthodox Christians and Catholics QUESTION from Susan July 19, 2001 Dear brother in Christ,
I love your website. I am a Catholic and believe very much in it. However, to my utter dismay, my sister-in-law is getting married to a Jacobite (Orthodox Christians). I just don't know how to convince her to not to move from the Catholic Church. What I would like to know, is the difference between our church and theirs.
If there is any website related to this topic, I would love to surf. I think, they too have Holy Communion during their service. Also is there any wrong, if I partake in that.
Thank you in advance

ANSWER by Mr. Troy Martz on July 20, 2001 Dear Susan:
Thank you for your kind words, the site is the work of dedicated faithful Catholics and I am honored to contribute my small part.
You question has two possible answers: Jacobites, also known as Syrian Christians, are split between the Eastern Rite Syrian Catholics (united with Rome) and Syrian Orthodox. You need to discuss this with the individual priest since the both are rather small groups with little on-line documentation. Try a search on Syrian Church though this will return information on both groups.
Your sister should get the information and discuss this with a priest. Generally moves between Rites (such as from Latin to Eastern) are discouraged, but this move would not be leaving the Catholic Church just celebrating a different -- but still faithful -- way the universallity of the Church.
Moving to the Syrian Orthodox church is leaving the Catholic Church. Though these have valid orders and sacraments, the schism still exists and this would be a renounciation of the authority of the Pope. A good spiritual advisor should help your sister understand the full implications.
As for your receiving Communion in their Church: though that is permitted by the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church generally does not permit intercommunion. Talk with her priest and let him know of the situation. He may not be able to allow you to partake, but he will appreciate your respect for his church.
Pax Christi,
Troy Martz
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