OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 25, 2014, 04:39:22 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: how to tell a friend (Catholic)  (Read 4478 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
shelleyrose
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« on: September 29, 2007, 12:39:14 AM »

Hello all, I am new.  We just became catacumin last Sunday.  We are formerly Catholic and have been employed by the Rcath Church for 16 years.  I am nervous about telling certain people that I love about our conversion.  In particular, I have a dear friend, a neighbor who homeschools like myself.  We see or talk to eachother every day.  She is very nearly a tradition Catholic, a Council of Trent Catholic.  She loves the Church and really does see it as the way and wource of salvation.  She doesn't cut her hair, only wears dresses, wears a headcovering to Mass, has a daughter in Mother Angelica's Monastery and another at Magdalen College.  I hope I am conveying the "type" of Catholic she is.  I think she knows I've never seen the Church exactly the same way as she does.  But she has seen DH and I as "solid" and "orthodox" and "conservative" and faithful to the Magisterium.  You know what I mean?

So my question is....well actually, what I need is advice, word choices, how to tell her.  I don't want to loose her friendship.  But I am afraid.  And it would be terrible if we became estranged.  We live 5 houses apart and our children play with eachother nearly every day. If you have had similar experiences how has it gone for you?  How did you break the news?

thank you all
Logged
rosborn
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 123


Searching for home


« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2007, 09:48:49 AM »

shelleyrose,

Well, the sad fact of the matter is that no matter what you do or say you may, in fact, lose her as a friend - if Catholicism is the only thing that unites the two of you.  I suppose you can do one of two things: you can tell her that you are leaving the Roman Catholic Church for the Orthodox Church and tell her the reasons why you are doing so or you don't have to tell her anything (after all, it really isn't any of her business).  If you choose the former (telling her that you are becoming an Orthodox Christian and the reasons why) you can expect her to give you reasons not to leave the Roman Catholic Church and that may cause you doubts or consternation about what you are doing.  If you choose the latter (not telling her anything) you may just pull it off by limiting your conversations with her to issues and things that Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians have in common.  If you choose the latter she may never even have a clue that you aren't a Roman Catholic anymore.  The sad fact is that, as I stated right off, you may lose her as a friend no matter how you approach it.

Let's face it, Jesus stated that such things would happen.  When I became a Roman Catholic my father, an atheist, turned his back on me.  It hurt at the time but the greater glory and more important thing is my relationship with our Lord and Savior.

Rob
Logged
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2007, 09:58:42 AM »

One potential pitfall if you decide to keep it under wraps is you might feel temptation to lie if she does something like ask what church you attend. Your kids might say something to her kids, etc.

It'll be very hard to keep it under wraps without sticky situations. After all, you are not one of her "secular" friends---religious subjects will most certainly come up.

If you become a more ecumenical EO, I think it could possibly be accomplished, but if you become a "graceless heretic"-type EO, you should probably come out and tell her, whatever the consequences (either way I think this is probably the best choice).

Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2007, 10:03:07 AM »

Welcome shelleyrose!

If you become a more ecumenical EO, I think it could possibly be accomplished, but if you become a "graceless heretic"-type EO, you should probably come out and tell her,
Lubeltri, I am neither an ecumenical nor "graceless heretic" "type" of Orthodox. I can understand that you being outside of the Orthodox Church may have some mental compartments into which we fit, but that's not necessarily reality.

Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2007, 10:17:57 AM »

Welcome shelleyrose!
Lubeltri, I am neither an ecumenical nor "graceless heretic" "type" of Orthodox. I can understand that you being outside of the Orthodox Church may have some mental compartments into which we fit, but that's not necessarily reality.

You have a misunderstanding of what I mean by "more ecumenical." True ecumenism does not equal indifferentism.

And I disagree. A broad spectrum of approaches does exist among EO. You don't fit either end because you are somewhere in the middle. At one end is the priest I knew who would have signed the Balamand Agreement. At the other end is a nun I encountered once who would have spit at the first mention of a Catholic (I kept my mouth shut!). Both are EO, but they have very different perspectives, neither of which is anathema.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 10:24:38 AM by lubeltri » Logged
The young fogey
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,520


I'm an alpaca, actually


WWW
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2007, 10:19:28 AM »

What Rob said.

One of the sad ironies is you'll probably lose her exactly because your worldviews are so close. An indifferent RC or Protestant doesn't take this stuff seriously and wouldn't care. But your churches have mutually exclusive truth claims so neither would nor should approve of one of its members leaving for the other.

In the past I've judged others.

And I've been dropped so I know how it feels.

I learnt a valuable lesson.

Since then, to give some examples that won't be controversial here (we all agree the choices are wrong), I've had friends drop out of both the Roman and Orthodox churches (born Roman, convert Orthodox FWIW) and either revert to living the gay lifestyle or join a liberal Episcopal church (lesbian rector).

'I love you' is not the same as 'I approve'.

I don't abandon my friends.

Quote
She... really does see [the church] as the way and source of salvation

I'd expect and could respect no less.

Her lifestyle is a fine option and a lot like some fervent Orthodox converts but just a reminder: most pre-Vatican II Roman Catholics didn't and most people in Orthodox countries today don't act like that. Some people who do all that become proud, making the mistake of thinking theirs is the only true Catholic/Orthodox lifestyle. As one English priest in the Russian Orthodox Church has described, in one parish the people dressed in national costumes (nothing sinful about that) are all converts; the Russians dress normally. (The converts celebrate 'Nativity'; the Russians celebrate 'Christmas' - they have nothing to prove.)

lubeltri, being a more ecumenical Orthodox (and like real 19th-century Russians you can be) makes no difference to people like shelleyrose's friend. It's unfair and can be prideful, but I see their logic: they think it's their duty to punish one of their members who has left the fold.
Logged

ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2007, 10:23:46 AM »

lubeltri, being a more ecumenical Orthodox (and like real 19th-century Russians you can be) makes no difference to people like shelleyrose's friend. It's unfair and can be prideful, but I see their logic: they think it's their duty to punish one of their members who has left the fold.
Thanks Young Fogey. Excellent insight.

MODERATION:
A Reminder to all posters in the Convert Issues Forum:

Beloved in the Lord,

The purpose of the Convert issues forum is to provide a a place on the OC.Net where inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted could ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. Many of those posting in this area are ignorant of Orthodox teachings and are using this forum to understand what are the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. Due to the simplicity of many of their requests and responses, direct and simple answers with sources if possible are most helpful.

If the moderators find that the discusions become faith or jurisdiction debates, the topic will be split and sent the appropriate OC.Net forum to continue the discussion or debate. As a poster,You may also ask that a topic be split so that a private discussion can be established to go into detail about the issues that you feel adamant about and wish to debate or discuss. The convert forum is not a place for combative debate or arguement. 


Thank you for your following these guidelines to the edification and spiritual growth of the forum inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted.

In Christ,
Thomas
Convert Forum Moderator
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2007, 10:37:48 AM »

lubeltri, being a more ecumenical Orthodox (and like real 19th-century Russians you can be) makes no difference to people like shelleyrose's friend. It's unfair and can be prideful, but I see their logic: they think it's their duty to punish one of their members who has left the fold.

I didn't quite mean it that way, YoungFogey. I meant it would be easier on Shelley's end to be discreet about her conversion. After all, an EO more friendly to Catholics would be able to pray with them, even invoke the Mother of God. An EO more friendly to Catholicism would not have objections to some Catholic non-doctrinal distinctives and may be part of a jurisdiction that follows the Gregorian calendar (making holidays much easier). Many traditionalist Orthodox see it as anathema to even pray with the "heterodox." It would be much harder for a traditionalist convert to be discreet about his or her conversion.

I understand your meaning about the reaction from the Catholic friend's end. I myself would have a more difficult time keeping as close a relationship to someone who did that. It's one thing to be a Protestant or Orthodox from birth, but it's another to break communion with the Catholic Church. For example, I most certainly could not attend any re-baptism or re-chrismation ceremony, and I would feel a need to show my lack of support for the decision. But ultimately I could still be good friends with someone who did that. I deal with one ex-Catholic all the time, my father---and he's a Reformed Evangelical! Of course, I do pray for him on a regular basis.

Shelley's friend may very well deal with it like that. Some post-VII traditional Catholics are more friendly to the Orthodox.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 10:49:56 AM by lubeltri » Logged
Thomas
Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,753



« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2007, 10:41:18 AM »

Thanks Oz George, for that reminder, I just signed on.

Shelleyrose,

By all means tell your friend.  Nothing will hurt a friendship more than secrets.  Do it gently and with love. When I first converted I advised a friend of mine a Pius-Society type of my conversion---she was actually happy that I had  entered a truely "catholic " church and not Vatican II---I was very surprised to say the least.  It did not change our relationship other than allow us to discuss other topics  and religion prior to that time it was primarily her anger and frustration at the lost of the Council of Trent in the Roman Catholic Church.  

As  Young Foget said, in most cases there will not be a great deal of distancing---you may become more of another neighbor but that is ok too.

Thomas

PS guys remember to answer the question and not go into jurisdictional debates, like George noted.
Logged

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2007, 10:45:58 AM »

As one English priest in the Russian Orthodox Church has described, in one parish the people dressed in national costumes (nothing sinful about that) are all converts; the Russians dress normally. (The converts celebrate 'Nativity'; the Russians celebrate 'Christmas' - they have nothing to prove.)

LOL, I remember someone a while ago on this board talking about the Anglo converts going to liturgy on Sunday fully decked out in Russian peasant getup.

I guess the flipside for us would be EO converts to Eastern Catholicism who want to Latinize everything. Though it seems like the ones who really are Latinizing are more often the cradles. I know one Latin-rite priest who joined the Ruthenians, growing a big beard in the process---he was as Eastern as could be. He took the liturgical books and crossed out the filioque and the [KNEEL] directions.
Logged
The young fogey
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,520


I'm an alpaca, actually


WWW
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2007, 11:12:19 AM »

Thanks for explaining, lubeltri - now I understand. A more easygoing approach - more like a born Orthodox than trying to preach at the friend - could work but as has been said it seems in that friendship it'd be impossible not for church attendance to come up in conversation.

Thomas, that's great about your traditionalist friend's reaction. The Society of St Pius X-affiliated Transalpine Redemptorists have had similar relationships with Russian Orthodox. They don't pray together but respect each other and not relativistic religion.

I didn't mean to say there won't be a lot of distancing between shelleyrose and her friend - there probably will be.

lubeltri, regarding at least some ex-Orthodox that's true. Actually a number of them go Roman Rite. (Which is understandable as I think the commonest reason for converting either way is marriage - Tom Hanks in reverse. An ethnic Eastern European marries a Roman Catholic and the rest follows. They want to assimilate and/or they move where there is no Orthodox church anyway.) Sometimes with a vengeance. I've heard of Russians (like Catherine de Hueck Doherty* and in one case a priest) doing that and it's always creeped me out. A famous example in church circles today is James Likoudis, ethnic Greek and born Orthodox but an apologist for conservative Vatican II RCism for 40 years with nothing Eastern about him, nada. And you're entirely correct about crade Eastern Catholics being self-latinisers and the Orthofying high-church minority in those churches; they're former Roman Riters and converts. (The high churchmen are obeying Rome; the cradles are disobeying.)

*Who used to lie and say one of her parents was RC because she thought that's what American RCs wanted to hear.
Logged

shelleyrose
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2007, 10:14:28 PM »

Thank you all.
I must say I was entirely confused by the ecuemenical EO vs heterodox EO stuff.....what?Huh

I did tell my friend.  I agree with the person who said having secrets between friends is never a good thing.  And of course my children, who are little, would talk. 

She cried.  She asked me why I hadn't decided to become Byzantine Catholic.  Good question, don't you think?  She asked me if I thought the Catholic Church was not the one true church.  I replied that I think it is the one true church in combination with the Orthodox Church.  You see, I am a BABY to all that is Orthodox.  I know VERY LITTLE.  What I do know it that the Great Schism is a GREAT TRAGEDY and NOT the will of God.  It is a divorce and in a way, we are all children of divorce....wounded to some degree by the split. 

She said she understood why we would choose to go somewhere else.  We have worked for the Catholic Church our whole lives....16 years.  My husband has been deeply wounded and in his latests job, witness true evil in the administration levels of the RCath Church.  So my friend, who knows all, this said she understood why we would look elsewhere for true Church.  She says that it seems to her that the true church is only in existence in a few places.  She said we will still be friends....I'm still Christian.  We ended with a hug and both said "I love you" at the same time.

Interestingly, my DH told our Bishop that we are converting.  He said 1. he is happy for us, 2. That Orthodox Church is our sister Church and 3. it is obvious to him that the Holy Spirit is leading us.  I had to SIT DOWN when I heard that.  What an amazing thing for a Catholic Bishop to say!

I am sure there will be distance between my friend and I.  She simply cannot be fully herself with me now that I have rejected the supreme universal jurisdiction of the Papacy.  But it went FAR better that I expected.....

Now I just have to tell my mom....oi!  Pray for me!
Shelley
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,482


EXTERMINATE!


« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2007, 10:36:19 PM »

shelleyrose,

I'm very happy to read that your Catholic friend took the hard news so well and that your experience with both her and your former bishop has been so positive.  May the Lord guide you and your family as you continue your process of becoming Orthodox.

-Peter
Logged
Thomas
Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,753



« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2007, 10:51:21 PM »

ShellyRose,

I am pleased that your friends  (and the Bishop) took it well.  You are in my prayers with telling your mom.  PM me if you just want to talk things out.

As the initial question has been answered, I am closing this  topic.

In Christ,
Thomas
Convert Issues Forum Moderator
Logged

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.071 seconds with 41 queries.