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shelleyrose
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« on: October 08, 2007, 02:58:02 AM »

Dh told his father this evening.(that we are converting)  He was reviled and chewed out.  He was told the devil is leading him.  He has turned his back on his son.  He said the Orthodox Church is not the Church Jesus started.  He is Roman Catholic by the way.  This hurts deeply.  I feel so bad.  I know DH is suffering the loss of a father.  I worry about my children and their relationship with their grandpa.  He lives in the same town as us.  I am so sad.  I knew that if anyone anywhere could understand and empathize, it would be here.
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2007, 04:05:23 AM »

Lord Have Mercy.  It is part of your cross to bear though.  I'm sure dad's heart will soften back up over time (along with lots of prayer for him).
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2007, 06:21:10 AM »

Take courage. I too think he might have simply have spoken in anger and without understanding. His heart may well indeed soften with time, with prayer, and with love.
One of our former posters here, Marjorie, who was all of 17 years at the time, has written a book entitled "A Tiny Step Away From Deepest Faith". Marjorie converted to Orthodox Christianity from Judaism, and her mother, in turn, had converted from Roman Catholicism to Judaism in order to marry Marjorie's father. When Marjorie's Mother told her own Mother that she was converting, the wise woman accepted her decision, but made her promise that if any of her own children wished to convert, that Marjorie's mother would be as understanding and accepting as she had been. So when Marjorie told her mother that she was converting to Orthodoxy, her mother was forced to remember her promise to her own mother.
I have a copy of Marjorie's book. She is an excellent writer, with a wisdom beyond her years for one so young, and I expect even greater things from her.
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2007, 08:06:05 AM »

Went through this nine years ago with somebody who'd more or less filled the role of family the first eight years of my adult life (in which I've been completely on my own, for going on 20 years). Reviled, chewed out, trash-talked about behind my back and eventually cut off (technically I made the final cut-off but was simply acknowledging reality). Amazing what people think religion entitles them to do.

I can understand and respect the 'I hef no son!' reaction as hurtful and unnecessary as it can be. What got me were the lying to me (being turned on and talked about but not finding out until nine months after it started) and the malice all done ostensibly for the sake of church.

Prayers.
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2007, 08:14:28 AM »

I've been there too.  Realise that it's in God's hands now.  The hurt will fade and heal with time, but as for your life and faith, remember that nothing happens without God's direction.  Be the light of Christ as best you can, and something good will come.  Concentrate on working out your own salvation first, and the rest will follow.

Lord Jesus guard you in your struggle.
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2007, 08:24:22 AM »

Lord, have mercy.

I hope and pray that his heart will soften.
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2007, 08:49:46 AM »

Lord have mercy on your family!

To join the chorus of converts who have had similar experiences...yes, I too have lost relationships with my family members through my conversion.

The only response is what we know we must do: love them, pray for them, and resist acting out of your hurt and pain.
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2007, 08:53:05 AM »

Beloved of the Lord, Shelley Rose

My prayers are with you and your husband at this time.  In my own progress to Orthodoxy my father and mother took such a stand. We continued to love and pray for them. We offered them opportunities to be part of our family and eventually they reconnected---they did love us and they realized how empty their lives were without us. What we lacked once we returned was the ability to be in communion with them through the Holy Church  and I must admit the early years were often  very stilted. We continued to pray for them and the Holy Spirit worked in their hearts, by the time my father died we were fully reconcilled.  My mother , 4 months  before she died, accepted the Orthodox faith and became Orthodox.  She was buried next to my father in a full Orthodox Fenural service, Father even Blessed my father's grave the same day.

May the Holy Spirit help you through this trying period in your life and bring you the peace he gave to us.

Thomas
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2007, 12:55:52 PM »

Dh told his father this evening.(that we are converting)  He was reviled and chewed out.  He was told the devil is leading him.  He has turned his back on his son.  He said the Orthodox Church is not the Church Jesus started.  He is Roman Catholic by the way.  This hurts deeply.  I feel so bad.  I know DH is suffering the loss of a father.  I worry about my children and their relationship with their grandpa.  He lives in the same town as us.  I am so sad.  I knew that if anyone anywhere could understand and empathize, it would be here.


ShellyRose,

My prayers are with you all.  My husband had somewhat of a similar situation when we left the Mormon Church.  His family is Mormon, and he was raised in it.  His family has cut him off, they slander us, they will have nothing to do with our children.   I think the best thing is time and prayer.  We know how hurtful this kind of situation is, and will pray for your family.

Andrea 

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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2007, 01:18:31 PM »

Reading stories like this only force me to realize how fortunate I am that my parents did not react as others have when their children announced their intent to join the Holy Orthodox Church.  Though my parents do not like Orthodoxy and feel that it is not the one true faith, I am still received in their house and as their son.  I pray for you  and DH at this difficult time that as "the wax melts before the fire" that the hardness of Dh's father will melt from the illumination of Christ.  Lord, have mercy.
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2007, 01:32:16 PM »

Very odd to me that a RC would have that harsh a reaction.

Is he possible that he does not really know Orthodoxy and what we are all about?  Most RC's I've ever met (which are not infected with ethnic hatred) hold no ill feeling towards Orthodoxy and see our Church as a sister (or in some cases a daughter).

While I obviously don't agree with this characterization, most handle the situation reasonably.  To suggest Satan is leading him to our Church is way over the top.  I'm sure if he spoke to his own clergy, they would not hold such a preposterous position.
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2007, 01:52:23 PM »

You most certainly have my prayers.  I think that if I ever made the jump to Orthodoxy, the only reaction we would get would be some confusion from my in-laws, the Polish and Italian Catholics, who just would not understand leaving the Catholic Church for any reason.  Other than that, there wouldn't be any kind of harsh reaction.  My family would just see it as a natural progression of my "weirdness"; my father might also be confused but, as I've wrote here before, his interest in religion has really dropped off and I don't think he'd care a whole lot.

I sincerely hope and pray your father comes around and sees that you are merely following your own conscience in this matter.
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2007, 07:49:00 PM »

Shelleyrose,

You might try giving him some of Pope John Paul II's writings on the Eastern Churches, or even Dominus Iesus as it clearly states the Orthodox Churches are true Churches and from the Catholic point of view the only probelm is their lack of communion with Rome.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2007, 08:39:47 PM »

Shelly Rose:

Are sure something else isn't going on besides your conversion. His response seems rather drastic. Was the relationship strained in any way prior to this?  Maybe it has nothing to do with religion.
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2007, 10:57:57 PM »

Very odd to me that a RC would have that harsh a reaction.

Is he possible that he does not really know Orthodoxy and what we are all about?  Most RC's I've ever met (which are not infected with ethnic hatred) hold no ill feeling towards Orthodoxy and see our Church as a sister (or in some cases a daughter).

While I obviously don't agree with this characterization, most handle the situation reasonably.  To suggest Satan is leading him to our Church is way over the top.  I'm sure if he spoke to his own clergy, they would not hold such a preposterous position.

There are some Catholics today that have become entrenched in the belief that Roman Catholicism is the ONE TRUE CHURCH.  These are the ones who only listen to Mother Angelica and EWTN, long for a return to a more reverent Mass, criticize people who obviously DON'T use Natural Family Planning, and misunderstand "infallibility" to mean that everything from the mouth of the Holy Father has jurisdiction to their personal lives.  My FIL is one of those.   He is also terribly ignorant in general, as in un-educated.  One of the things he said was, "You have a degree in History!  You know better!"  and "You promised to raise your kids Catholic!  You're breaking your promise to God." 

We think he called a friend over who is a hard line Catholic and the fellow got him riled up and gave him a list of things to fire at DH in rapid succession.

It IS aweful and I do soooo appreciate the support of everyone here.  I feel so lonely.  I have lost my Catholic community and have not yet gained much community within Orthodoxy...friendships take time.
 
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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2007, 11:26:40 PM »

Just a tiny bit of advice that I hope helps this situation.  You and your husband must now, above all else, stay united and support each other's decision to pursue Orthodoxy.  It's especially hard for your husband who may understandably feel like he's turning his back on his parents, but if you show weakness or waffle in your remarks to them, they'll sense weakness and an opening and go for that like a lion weeding out prey.  Sorry my analogy sounds a bit grisly or militaristic but this is really a fight, both for your free will and independence as a married couple and your spiritual lives.  I don't know the age of your children, but young children can sense when parents aren't united and they are also looking to you for a smooth and natural transition to their new church home.   

If you haven't already, reach out to as many folks in your Orthodox church as you feel you know well enough, and ask for their specific prayers.  Ask any converts in the parish if they had a similar experience.  Just the sharing of convert stories can make you feel better. 

And with regards to your FIL, well, anything is possible.  He may come around eventually, but be prepared for the possibility that he may never be spiritually mature enough to accept this.  God asks us to love our parents but that doesn't mean we have to like them or their decisions.  Give yourself a break feeling guilty over this. 
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« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2007, 12:22:32 AM »

If the father is Roman Catholic, he should read a copy of Orientale Lumen, written by JP II himself, which you can find online at this link:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_02051995_orientale-lumen_en.html

It remains the most comprehensive view of the Roman Catholic Church on the Eastern churches (both inside and outside the Roman communion, Orthodox and "Oriental Orthodox").
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« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2007, 03:29:54 AM »

Lord Have Mercy and Open the Father's heart to see that Jesus is the same in both religions.

In Christ,
Hadel
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2007, 01:28:42 PM »

Shellyrose,
I am praying for you.  One year ago we walked away from the protestant denomination we had known all of our lives and my DH's family shunned us.  We have not spoken to our BIL for a year.  His sister has called and left tearful messages and has told us that we were basically adulterous in regards to Christ's church.  His parents have straight out told our children that anyone who goes to the Orthodox church is going to Hell. (We put a stop to that and told them that if they ever wanted to see them again, they would stop that immediately).  It has been long and hard, but our parish has been so wonderful and loving.  I know we couldn't have done it without them. 
So, I'm in a similar position and I have heard that it gets better.  Hang in there!
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« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2007, 12:57:53 PM »

+Lord have mercy.

Remember to love him.
Send him a Christmas card and speak gently and with respect to him.
Give him time.
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« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2007, 12:31:38 PM »

There are some Catholics today that have become entrenched in the belief that Roman Catholicism is the ONE TRUE CHURCH.  These are the ones who only listen to Mother Angelica and EWTN, long for a return to a more reverent Mass, criticize people who obviously DON'T use Natural Family Planning, and misunderstand "infallibility" to mean that everything from the mouth of the Holy Father has jurisdiction to their personal lives.  My FIL is one of those.   He is also terribly ignorant in general, as in un-educated.  One of the things he said was, "You have a degree in History!  You know better!"  and "You promised to raise your kids Catholic!  You're breaking your promise to God." 

We think he called a friend over who is a hard line Catholic and the fellow got him riled up and gave him a list of things to fire at DH in rapid succession.

It IS aweful and I do soooo appreciate the support of everyone here.  I feel so lonely.  I have lost my Catholic community and have not yet gained much community within Orthodoxy...friendships take time.
 

First I pray that you all are granted peace.

Most people I know have been fortunate to have a reconciliation.  Bishop Job of Chicago (OCA) was disowned by his father, and as I understand it meetings with his mother had to be arranged.  His father reconciled before his death I've been told. 

A large number of converts I know have similar experiences. In my case, my mother wasn't happy (she dismissed it as hocus pocus) but then 4 years later out of the blue said "I heard your Church hasn't changed from the time of the Apostles."

And there's the case of a guy I used to know at Moody Bible Institute.  He was dating the daughter of the head of the Moody Radio station, who took to reading up on this "cult" he was getting their daughter exposed to.  The guy, the daughter (now wife), the brother (and his wife, pray for Paige, she's fighting cancer), the parents, and the grandmother, etc. became Orthodox, and now the Father runs www.ancientfaithradio.com
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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2007, 01:05:15 AM »

Dh told his father this evening.(that we are converting)  He was reviled and chewed out.  He was told the devil is leading him.  He has turned his back on his son.  He said the Orthodox Church is not the Church Jesus started.  He is Roman Catholic by the way.  This hurts deeply.  I feel so bad.  I know DH is suffering the loss of a father.  I worry about my children and their relationship with their grandpa.  He lives in the same town as us.  I am so sad.  I knew that if anyone anywhere could understand and empathize, it would be here.


This is a natural response. I would be surprised if nothing happened as the result of disclosing this conversion.  I know that his dad has to have some respect for the fact that his son's decision did not come easily and that it took some courage in telling his dad this.  This may also show that he came from a very religious family.  This is a good thing.  I came from a Roman Catholic family but when I told them of my conversion all they asked: "Is it Catholic?".  Of course I said yes, and there wasnt too much to discuss after that. It took me to explain just what I was getting into.  It was after my explanation that things got a little testy, but they knew it was my decision and it wasnt going to be reversed.  It was sort of a shock to my wife, a former Presbyterian, converted to the RC faith for me prior to our marriage. Now Im jumping ship for another faith and she just shook her head. 

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« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2007, 09:13:05 PM »

Lord, have mercy.

I hope and pray that his heart will soften.

It will, it takes time.  Time has a way of softening hard feelings.
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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2007, 09:35:45 PM »

Shellyrose;

Lord have mercy.

My heart goes out to you as you struggle with the burden of this present situation. Keep praying that your husband's father's heart will soften and that a meaningful relationship can still be had between him and your husband and yourself, and with your children. Many things are said in anger and disappointment; not all of them are set in concrete. Remember that he, too, is suffering.

God be with you.
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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2007, 09:51:14 PM »

Shelleyrose,

You might try giving him some of Pope John Paul II's writings on the Eastern Churches, or even Dominus Iesus as it clearly states the Orthodox Churches are true Churches and from the Catholic point of view the only probelm is their lack of communion with Rome.

Fr. Deacon Lance

..........  I wouldn't say, "the only problem is their lack of communion with Rome."   There are better ways of saying this, since the Catholics in turn are not in communion with the major canonical Eastern Orthodox churches either.   
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