Many thanks for the thoughts and comments. By the way, is there something which I can use to address you other than Protestant Seeker? I don't mean to pry but it seems so impersonal, if you know what I mean.
Discussing the papal claims is very much close to my heart at this time, as this is an issue which has been driving some of my doubts. The Roman Catholic Church, of which I am currently of course a member, has always claimed, to my knowledge, that the Church does not create new dogma, but only restates what was always believed for new situations. And of course historically this was always the case. Ephesus declared that Mary is the Theotokos, and this was a response to an immediate threat. When doubts or controversy arose, then the Chuch responded. Makes sense. They didn't wait a thousand years, and then do so, which would certainly cause many reasonable people to ask if this were really the faith of the Church all along. So, why, I asked myself, did the Catholic Church define the dogma of Papal infallibility when it did? I don't mean that there was no cause at that time, which may have been the case, but wasn't there much better cause much earlier? What about the schism with the East? They rejected claims about the Papacy, but nothing of this sort came from Rome. The Reformation, again rejecting the claims of the Papacy, and again nothing about infallibility from Rome. I have to say that just this alone casts into great doubt my ability to simply accept the words of Rome and her councils as those of the Catholic Church. It would be like having defended the use of the title of Theotokos at Trent.
Additionally, I find the method, so popular among those apologists you mention, of tying primacy in with infallibility to be questionable. I happen to think that primacy of Rome has very strong historical support, but why does this support infallibility? How are these connected? The company I recently worked for, a nursing home, claimed that the corporation had authority in the building, and this is doubtless true. However, they weren't infallible. It just doesn't follow as I see it. When I read these proof-texts from the councils and early Church fathers which the apologist crowds throw around they are, at best, claims of primacy of some sort, but I have seen nothing that even remotely suggested that the Pope can claim to be a one man council. If so, why have all those councils in the first place? That the early Church was conciliar seems almost beyond question. The apolotists' claims simply don't add up historically, and that is for me the most crucial test at this time.
So, as things currently stand for me, I am leaning to Orthodoxy too. My wife, a Roman Catholic too btw, is comfortable with my position and supports me entirely, though she is not currently entertaining any thoughts of leaving Rome, at least as far as I know. That she is not pressuring me, however, one way or the other frees me to pray, study and pray some more on this. I would ask if you and all those on this list might consider also thinking of me in your prayers during this tough time. I will certainly remember you in my own.
Many thanks for the help.