We belong to Churches
rather than to Rites
Many Roman Catholics are unaware that there are
also Eastern Catholics.  In fact there are roughly
21 autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches in full
communion with Elder Rome (see chart below).  
The U.S. Catholic Bishops explain that these
Eastern Catholics belong to Churches rather than

"We have been accustomed to speaking of the
Latin (Roman or Western) Rite or the Eastern
Rites to designate these different Churches.  
However, the Church's contemporary legislation
as contained in the
Code of Canon Law and the
Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches
it clear that we ought to speak not of rites, but of
Churches.  Canon 112 of the Code of Canon Law
uses the phrase 'autonomous ritual Churches' to
designate the various Churches." -Taken from the
document by the National Conference of Catholic
Eastern Catholics in the United States
The Eastern Catholic Churches:
~Orthodox Churches in Communion with Rome~
Eastern Catholic Essays & Info.

The Other Catholics:  A Brief Guide to the Eastern Catholic Churches

The Courage to be Ourselves:  by Most Rev. Abp. Joseph Tawil

A Diagram of the various Catholic Churches

The Eastern Catholic Churches:  From Wikipedia

The Eastern Catholic Churches:  From CNEWA

Catholic Rites and Churches:  by Colin B. Donovan, STL

The Difference between Church and Rite:  by Dr. Anthony Dragani

Catholics belong to Churches not Rites:  by Rev. Sub-Dn. Der-Ghazarian

The Rights and Obligations of the Laity:  The Eastern Code of Canons

Transferring to Another Catholic Church:  Rev. Sub-Dn. Der-Ghazarian

The Call of Eastern Catholicism by JP II:  Rev. Sub-Dn. Der-Ghazarian

The Union of Brest:   A prototype for reunion of East and West

Eastern Catholic Links

St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church   

The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma   

The Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh        

Christ the Bridegroom Byzantine Catholic Monastery    

The Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center :  A video on the BCCC

The Armenian Catholic Eparchy of USA & Canada  

Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton      

The Byzantine Forum:  For discussions on Eastern Christianity

The Catholic Churches:  A video on East & West by Fr. Thomas J. Loya
Our Mission:  To manifest the spiritual riches of Eastern Orthodoxy
within the Communion of the Catholic Church... to show forth her Catholicity
The diffusion of the liturgical rites of the Catholic Church
and the various autonomous
Churches which practice them:
Elder Rome has called upon the Eastern Catholic Churches to return to our true
and historic Orthodox traditions:  liturgical, canonical and theological.  We have thus
been called to recover our full, historic Divine Liturgies.  Our Canonical Services are
once again to be offered in our parishes.  Our infants are to be fully initiated into the
Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation and Holy Communion.  Clergy of various
ranks are to return to our historic clerical attire.  Our Holy Temples are to once again
reflect our traditional architecture (rather than that of the Latin Church).  We must
likewise recover our true iconography rather than utilizing Western art.  

In the landmark document:  Instruction for Applying the Liturgical Prescriptions
of the Eastern Code of Canons
, Elder Rome called upon the Eastern Catholic
Churches to restore all of this without delay, stating:  "In every effort of liturgical
renewal, therefore, the practice of the Orthodox brethren should be taken into
account, knowing it, respecting it and distancing from it as little as possible so as not
to increase the existing separation..." (26).   

It has become apparent that the Latin Church, with over a billion members, does not
need the help of  Eastern Catholics to keep the Latin Church's tradition.  Instead,
what the Church greatly needs is for us to discard
latinizations & live in accord with
our own liturgical, canonical and theological tradition to show that these are indeed
compatible within the one Catholic communion.  This is the call of Vatican Council II
in its document on the Eastern Catholic Churches:  
Orientalium Ecclesiarum.
The recovery of our Church Traditions
His Beatitude Gregorios III
Patriarch of Antioch

...of the Melkite Catholic Church, summarized the call of the
Eastern Catholics succinctly in his speech to a special Assembly
for the Middle East when he stated boldly:

"We wish to be taken seriously when we tell you that
our tradition, in its fullness, is Eastern and Orthodox,
not Latin and Western.  In the measure that you take us
seriously as authentically Eastern Churches, to that same degree
the Orthodox world will believe in the veracity of the ecumenical
activity and dialogues of the Roman Church...  There must be
created an atmosphere of complete trust, real collaboration and
co-ordination, and effectual communion between Rome and the
sui iuris Churches...  

"We ask to be treated as real Easterners and even,
to speak plainly, as Orthodox in communion with Rome
and so Catholic... We are an Eastern Church in communion with
Rome and faithfully so, yet which wants to remain faithful to the
pure, Orthodox spiritual tradition.  I make bold to say that we
are an Orthodox Church with the little or big bonus of
communion with Rome, with the Pope and our Holy Father
Benedict XVI who presides in primacy and charity...

"Treat us as a real Eastern Church,
just as you would the Orthodox on the day
when the much longed for union takes place
St. Ignatius the God-bearer
(Theophoros) of Antioch
*Note:  The word autonomous is a literal rendering of the Latin sui iuris.  The Eastern Code of Canons defines sui iuris in
the following way:  "Of its own right (c. 27); an acknowledged autonomy with regard to government and discipline."
Autonomy refers to a Church's right to self-rule under its own law and the ultimate authority of an Ecumenical Council and
the Pope of Rome.  Autocephaly refers rather to the independence of a Church with its own independent head.  In this
sense, the Eastern Catholic Churches are autonomous but not autocephalous.
His Holiness John Paul II, Pope of Rome, in his encyclical Orientale Lumen, (Light of the East) stated:

"Since, in fact, we believe that the venerable and ancient tradition of the Eastern Churches is an integral part of the heritage of Christ's Church, the
first need for Catholics is to be familiar with that tradition, so as to be nourished by it and to encourage the process of unity in the best way possible
for each.  Our Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters are very conscious of being the living bearers of this tradition, together with our Orthodox
brothers and sisters.  The members of the Catholic Church of the Latin tradition must also be fully acquainted with this treasure and thus feel, with
the pope, a passionate longing that the full manifestation of the Church's catholicity be restored to the Church and to the world, expressed not by a
single tradition and still less by one community in opposition to the other; and that we too may all be granted a full taste of the divinely revealed
and undivided heritage of the Church, which is preserved and grows in the life of the Churches of the East as in those of the West."