How are Catholics received into the Oriental Orthodox churches?

Are Catholics received by the Oriental Orthodox Churches by Chrismation or Baptism? Does it vary based on which national church (Armenian or Coptic or...)
I'm curious as I was Chrismated from Catholic to Greek (Eastern Orthodox) in 2008. Last year after attending a Coptic parish a couple years I was Chrismated from Eastern to Oriental Orthodox. I just wanted to make sure I didn't need to be baptized in; as Abouna and I never discussed how I was received into the Greek church.


  • It depends, I believe. Pope Shenouda required a "re" baptism and chrismation. I was received into the Coptic church in 2010 when Pope Shenouda was still the patriarch, so as a former Roman Catholic I required both. I know, for the most part under our current pope, the Copts only require a chrismation for Latin Catholics. If you were from an EO church, our church wouldn't require both sacraments and chrismation would be the proper way to convert from an EO to an OO church.
  • @ItalianCoptic ive always been told that now a RC baptism means an orthodox baptism isnt needed..
  • edited July 2018

    It's mainly up to the Priest and/or Bishop. It depends on the person's activity in their previous church.

    Pope Tawadros is far more open than Pope Shenouda, probably because of the mass diaspora that has now become large enough to incorporate its own administrative structure. And with that, the influx of people from other Christian denominations marrying into a Coptic family or converting on their own.

    I was 28 when I became Coptic, and I probably hadn't been to a Catholic Mass since I was 14 or 15. Even some Copts know more about Catholic saints than I do! I have no major problems with the Catholic church, but I never had Confirmation, nor took communion for over a decade.

    My lack of activity probably played a part in it. There are not a lot of Catholics who convert to our church. I know now, as a Deacon who has been blessed by my Father Confessor to talk to a Catholic man about converting, that Catholics only require Chrismation.

    It didn't bother me, because I firmly believe if I were not baptized in the Coptic church, I would not be so active and vigorous in my pursuit to learn and talk to others about Christ.

    But, nope. Until May of 2013, Catholic baptism was not considered fully valid by our church. It was formally declared in April 2017.Here is the Declaration from the Vatican:

    Here is another article to confirm it:

    I guess my baptism was, "invalid."
    My mother still complains about it, but the red ribbon was worth it!

    A lot of Copts are misinformed about the Catholic church. I know we have more in common that we don't, but there are some pretty important differences. And the way we baptize is one of them.

  • yes, i recently attended a catholic baptism, and the adults who were baptised did not get very wet, and i could not see any exorcism. otherwise it was good.
    would you like to share your story, italian coptic?
  • What do you mean by, "story"?
  • like how you found the orthodox church if you weren't orthodox before.
  • edited July 2018
    My bad. Haha. I was introduced by my girlfriend, now wife. We started going maybe two or three years before we got engaged. I found some elements of my father's personality, who was a very calm and giving person, in the personality of the elder Priest who married us.

    I went for about a year, but was more interested in being a, "back seat" parishioner like I grew up. Maybe they saw something? I don't know, because I wouldn't let me convert now and I am a Deacon!!

    They gave me kind of a basic understanding of the church, but used more the family/cultural angle. The language didn't bother me, I had family that spoke languages I didn't understand growing up, so I was used to it.

    I remember seeing two men recieve communion, and the joy they had embracing each other afterwards. It was overwhelming. I used to get handed a wafer by a, "Eucharist Minister" who was basically a parishioner who took a class to give communion.

    The seriousness was pretty bad ass. It was nice to see communion as a vital and central part of a Liturgical service. Those traditions were long gone by the 80s and 90s when I grew up.

    I gave it a chance and converted. The funny thing is that I was the last to take communion at an all-girls outing at a girls college in Philadelphia. I had the red ribbon on and everything.

    My wife and I drifted away from the church after the death of my father and moved to western Pennsylvania to be closer to my family. In 2011, a female Monastery opened in my hometown in Ohio. Around 2012 or so, we began to go.

    After a few years, we both became more active, and I had a unique experience, which led me to become more curious and want to understand the church a bit deeper. About six months later, our Abouna handed me a Tonia and told me to, "Go up."

    Now, we are children of a Monastery and both Sunday school teachers. We are extremely active with the community, the formal organization of the Monastery after the completion of a proper church early next year, met Copts from across the globe, created relationships with families and their children, helped with conversions, and with financial and spiritual support whenever we can.

    I am extremely blessed to be a convert who has learned in a Monastery. I was taught to be a Deacon by a very well-known Australian monk, the proper way to serve, learned to read Coptic at a basic level from the head Nun of the Monastery, and have learned different hymns during certain Feasts for Saints than an average parish would not sing.

    Our Priest has had the same patience displayed by the the men who married us, which has allowed me to serve on the Altar almost weekly, (unless we have guests from trips to the Monastery) and learn the Liturgical cycle extremely well in less than three years.

    I am forever in debt to the nuns, and especially my Abouna and all he has done for me and my family. He has given me a father here on Earth and brought me back to my Father in Heaven. He has welcomed me to his family as if I am truly his son.

    Now, the church is the central part of my own life and marriage. We have created relationships with people from across the United States and Canada, and treat the church as we would our own family. A Sunday is an eight to ten hour commitment, and I wish it could be that way every day. That's my story.
  • thanks so much for that, really enlightening.
    i would like to ask a question on behalf of the people i know who yawn and chat at the back of church (mostly older folk, the younger ones just copy so i don't blame them).
    what was it that made the main difference from you drifting away from the church and being very active (you don't have to tell us anything very personal, just a general idea)?
    and how can we best help our friends who seem a bit tired in their faith?

    sometimes i try to encourage friends by seeing the good in them and reminding them how important their contribution to God's work is.
    but i get a few funny looks and sometimes they just want to get back to discussing the latest fashion or football score. i am not sure how best to point out the beauty of the orthodox church to those who are in it, what are your thoughts?
    (and everyone else can also answer this, thanks!)
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