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eastern orthodoxy vs. roman catholicism

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   Hello I am a roman catholic who has been investigating eastern orthodoxy (as well as the church of Christ - Bible-only church) for some time.  My experience investigating has been mixed - some positive - Fr. Peter Gilquist has been encouraging and negative - some have been less receptive to a potential convert.  I began questioning roman catholicism on questions such as papal infallibility, primacy and the filioque and all this was exacerbated by the priestly sex abuse scandal.  I grew up in Boston and knew a number of players in the scandal. As an aside, the funny thing growing up is that we all were mostly Irish Catholic but had one large orthodox church where a handful of our friends went.  There was a sex abuse scandal there with one of the "married" priests so it was known to stay away, etc. - all the while the widespread abuse was going on in the rc parishes!
    Being a grown man and father of a large brood, I desire the best possible form of worship pleasing to Our Lord.  The church of Christ (Bible-only) does not believe the Eucharist is the real Body and Blood of Our Lord so I pretty much ruled them out (although the democratic part of all "brothers" together in Christ, no titles, etc. appeals to me).  I know the rc positions on primacy, infallibility and the filioque.  What are the positions of the early church fathers, tradition, etc. on this primacy, infallibility and the filioque and how/when did the rc church depart from that (if i fact they did)?
    Thank you in advance for any assistance.

Welcome Sean to the Convert Issues forum!

As I see it the questions that you posed are as follows:
1) What are the positions of the early church fathers and Holy Tradition on papal primacy?
2) What are the positions of the early church fathers and Holy Tradition on papal infallibility?
3) What are the positions of the early church fathers and Holy Tradition on the filioque?
4) How did the Roman Catholic Church  depart from the positions of the early church fathers and Holy Tradition?
5) When did the Roman catholic Church depart from the positions of the early church fathers and Holy Tradition?

You may find many of your answers to these questions in these books that I have found helpful:
a) Popes and Patriarchs: An Orthodox Perspective on Roman Catholic Claims by Michael Whelton
Presents the Orthodox position on the role of the papacy in an intelligent, easy-to-understand style: Part II examines in depth the true attitude of two early Eastern saints toward the papacy. A final chapter is devoted to typical questions Roman Catholics raise about the Orthodox Church, including a comprehensive discussion of divorce and remarriage.
b)The Truth: What Every Roman Catholic Should Know About the Orthodox Church by Clark Carlton this book Explains the theological, cultural and historical differences between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communities.
c) Two Paths: Papal Monarchy-Collegial Tradition by by Michael Whelton this book wriitten for laity explains the historic, theological and liturgical differences between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions. Includes Peter and the Papacy, Collegial Tradition, Filioque and Schism, Donation of Constantine; Infallibility; the New Mass of Vatican II versus the Orthodox Liturgy

Members of the Forum may also be able to present short concise answers to you on these issues.

In Christ,
Convert Issues Forum Moderator

Thomas thank you for your kind reply. I am not sure the rc church did depart - that is why I am posing these questions. I have read all of the books you suggested and they were helpful.  Any additional materials you might suggest?  Is it me or is their a disparity volume-wise in the pro-catholic materials versus the pro-eastern orthodox materials on these issues?
(I am not suggesting that has any impact on the truth, I just want to make sure I have read all that is available) Further, any suggestions as to roman catholic converts to eastern orthodoxy? Thanks.

St. Christopher:
Hi, Sean.  You know me as SirFlea from Stephanie's site.

Welcome, Sean.

You will find that a great number of us here are converts from various traditions.  Most of us here have our own journeys and will be happy to answer your questions.  If you are looking for more general works which don't thoroughly address the issues you wrote down (thomas' selections are good ones), may I suggest Bishop +KALLISTOS' The Orthodox Church which has been of great help to many here? 

If you do desire to be received into the Holy Orthodox Church, no reading will benefit you as much as the counsel of a priest.  You may want to contact one in your area when the time is right.  If you have questions about which jurisdiction, I assure you that you will not be lacking for responses.  :)


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