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Author Topic: 2 out of 3 ain't bad ...  (Read 16452 times) Average Rating: 0
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Carole
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« on: March 17, 2008, 12:13:29 PM »

*Sigh* Where to begin?  And how to write this without sounding like a particularly "high maintenance" kind of person?

The short back story.  Husband, daughter and I converted from the Lutheran denomination to Roman Catholicism nearly 5 years ago (please spare me the comments about the 5-year-lifespan of a covert).  We began attending a Ruthenian Rite Catholic parish about 3 years ago.  We really grew attached to the Eastern praxis.  As we asked questions about Eastern Rite Catholicism we were given Orthodox book suggestions as answers.  So we began investigating Orthodoxy and found that we have more basis for theological agreement with Orthodoxy than with the Catholic Church.  It began to become evident that had we known that you don't need to be Greek to go to a Greek Orthodox parish (we lived in a very ethnically Greek area so our Greek Orthodox parishes were heavily Greek in ethnicity) we might never have joined the Catholic Church to begin with.

We hesitated to make any major changes and we stayed in our Ruthenian parish for 2 years.  Until we moved to Alabama.  When we got here we found that our options for Catholic worship were all Roman Rite - unless we wanted to drive to Birmingham (over an hour away).  We found, though that there is a Greek Orthodox parish here.  We attended the Divine Liturgy for several weeks.  We had an appointment to talk to the priest about becoming Orthodox.  The meeting got canceled due to conflicting schedules.  I got cold feet (I hate change and I really don't want to ever go through this type of indecision again so we decided to move very carefully).  That was many months ago.

A few weeks ago my now 12-year-old daughter told me that she'd been researching Orthodoxy on her own and feels that she is "really Orthodox and not Catholic."  Okay.  I'm cool with that.  Hey we live in Alabama - I'm just glad she's not saying, "Oh I want to be part of the Church of Christ." or some such anti-Catholic and anti-Orthodox Protestant denomination.  I talk to my husband about it all and he says, "Yeah.  I've been feeling the same thing."

We attended the Divine Liturgy yesterday.  It was very nice and the priests words seemed as though they were chosen specifically for us as his words eerily echoed a conversation I had with my daughter about the Sacraments and the writings of the Early Church Fathers and the guidance of the Saints and how fortunate it is to be Orthodox or Catholic and have more of a guide through this fallen world than just personal opinion/interpretation of the Bible and the opinion of a charismatic preacher. 

As we joined the parish in the parish hall for lentil soup and conversation both my husband and my daughter (at separate times) confided to me that they both felt very at home during the Divine Liturgy and that they both felt more spiritually enriched by the icons and the DL than during the Catholic Mass.

Now for the high maintenance and complicated part.  I liked the DL - but I'm not feeling what they're feeling.  I mean I love iconography.  But I just don't know that I can (want to?) separate myself from some of the things from our practice of the Catholic faith that means a lot to me.

Can a family survive if two of them convert to Orthodoxy and one does not?  Attending church together wouldn't even be a problem.  The Shrine where I prefer to attend Mass celebrates the Mass at 7:00 AM.  I could be home just in time to hop in the car with hubby and the kid and go to the DL after attending the Mass.  So we could still attend as a family.

But things like Lent, the date of the celebration of Easter, different days of fasting, different rules of fasting ... it could get complicated.

I have no objections to Orthodox theology and I have some serious doubts about some Catholic theology (the filioque for one, papal infallibility for another).  So I suppose I'm not all the great of a Catholic - since at best I have questions about and at worst I deny some dogmatic teachings of the Church.  Yet I am still afraid to move forward.  I despise the idea of church hopping.  I do not want to be eternally seeking.  On the one hand I know that if I had been more courageous and faced what I thought was an ethnic divide and researched Orthodoxy more fully I probably would not have chosen to join the Catholic Church.  But now that I have - the idea of another such major change is pretty scary.

I cannot/will not hold my daughter back from investigating Orthodoxy and if she feels so led from converting.  Here in the wilds of Northern Alabama I fear that standing in her way on this would only lead to a rebellion that would lead her to something really horrible instead of something truly beautiful.  Though I still worry that my lack of enthusiasm for another round of learning new theology, new doctrine, new praxis ... and for another long period without confession and communion ... may hurt my family.

Oh brother ... am I making any sense at all?  I'm not even sure how to talk to my husband about this.  We've been very spiritually stagnant since moving here - away from a parish we loved, away from good friends who share religious beliefs.  To see my husband find again a desire to grow in holiness is a wonderful thing.  I don't want my lack of enthusiasm to dampen that either.

So what say you?  Can a house divided stand (if the division is not contentious)?  Or will I be doing harm?  What would you do?

And yes - after Easter, when the priest's schedule is less demanding I do plan to talk to him about this as well.  I'm just looking for any and all feedback as food for thought.
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Carole
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 12:45:43 PM »

Carole,

To the question whether the house divided can stand, - well, my own house stands, and we are very happy together: me a newly converted Orthodox, my wife an agnostic, and my daughter and my soon-to-be son-in law strongly convinced "ideological" atheists. God willing, it will keep standing.

But then, I don't know about your case because I never lived in a family where one member is an enthusiastic follower of one faith and another member a similarly enthusiastic follower of another faith (other than atheism). I read a lot about these situations but I have zero experience of my own.

So, I will just wish you well and pray for you and yours.

George

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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2008, 01:02:58 PM »

Well, Carole, if your husband and daughter do not become the kind of EO converts you sometimes see prowling online, you should be okay. IMO, to live as an Eastern Catholic and to live as an Eastern Orthodox are not all that different. The filioque, from the Catholic perspective, is not a big issue---the Catholic Church does not teach real double procession (in other words, with or without the filioque, the Father is the source), and the Eastern Catholics and increasing numbers of EO today recognize it as not a Church-dividing issue.

I believe there is much you and your family can share---it's not like they will be Baptists. But even then I've seen families stay together with that kind of difference.

I really admire your deep consideration, Carole. You do not take these things lightly, whichever way you end up going.

BTW, I love that icon under your name. Where did you find it?

The lengthy debate over the "Similarities, differences, and compatibility of EC and EO" that stemmed from comments in this post have been split off and given their own thread.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15081.0.html

- Cleveland, Global Moderator
« Last Edit: March 18, 2008, 10:27:26 AM by cleveland » Logged
Carole
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2008, 01:39:27 PM »

Carole,

To the question whether the house divided can stand, - well, my own house stands, and we are very happy together: me a newly converted Orthodox, my wife an agnostic, and my daughter and my soon-to-be son-in law strongly convinced "ideological" atheists. God willing, it will keep standing.

But then, I don't know about your case because I never lived in a family where one member is an enthusiastic follower of one faith and another member a similarly enthusiastic follower of another faith (other than atheism). I read a lot about these situations but I have zero experience of my own.

So, I will just wish you well and pray for you and yours.


Thank you!  I think in some ways this would be easier if one of us was not practicing any particular religious belief.  I'm a worrier and planner by nature so the idea of trying to plan meals around two sets of fasting rules and holidays around two different calendars ... not to mention the logistics of attending two different liturgies every Sunday ... makes my head spin.

I greatly appreciate your prayers.  I have a feeling I'm going to be needing them.
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Carole
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2008, 01:43:22 PM »

Well, Carole, if your husband and daughter do not become the kind of EO converts you sometimes see prowling online, you should be okay. IMO, to live as an Eastern Catholic and to live as an Eastern Orthodox are not all that different. The filioque, from the Catholic perspective, is not a big issue---the Catholic Church does not teach real double procession (in other words, with or without the filioque, the Father is the source), and the Eastern Catholics and increasing numbers of EO today recognize it as not a Church-dividing issue.

I believe there is much you and your family can share---it's not like they will be Baptists. But even then I've seen families stay together with that kind of difference.

I really admire your deep consideration, Carole. You do not take these things lightly, whichever way you end up going.

BTW, I love that icon under your name. Where did you find it?

Thank you for your post.  You are right.  It could be much worse.  They could be going to a sect like that of a friend of my daughter, whose pastor preaches from the pulpit that Catholics are not Christians and are going to Hell.  I can imagine that would make things much harder.

You're right - I do not take things lightly.  Which some might say is part of my problem.  It took me more than 10 years to decide to join the Catholic Church, so I don't see that this will be an easy decision or path for me.  Though I can honestly say that no one has ever promised me that life would be easy. LOL

You know - I've had that image on my hard drive for years and I cannot remember where I found it.  Though it is the same image as an icon that was given to me as a gift several years ago.  If I remember where I found it I will be certain to let you know.

Thank you again.
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Carole
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2008, 02:04:39 PM »

Fasting shouldn't be a very big problem. My husband is the only one in our family that CAN fast since I am breastfeeding and my kids are all too young.

Although I must say, that in all of the post above you haven't mentioned what it is about being Catholic that keeps you from converting to Orthodoxy. One Divine Liturgy isn't enough for many people to make the decision to change. I would give it time. Give yourself one month of Orthodoxy; right now is Lent which is a beautiful time of year (I LOVED Forgiveness Sunday) and then make a decision. But it would be unfair to both your Catholic walk and your peek into to Orthodoxy to try and straddle both before you try each individually.

But then, I also don't like attending a action film and romance double feature at the movies. Grin The two may be similar in nature; action films oftentimes have romance, and romance movies have action, but they are different enough that I don't like them mixing.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 02:07:05 PM by Quinault » Logged
Carole
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2008, 02:15:09 PM »

Fasting shouldn't be a very big problem. My husband is the only one in our family that CAN fast since I am breastfeeding and my kids are all too young.

I think my concern is a fasting Catholic and a fasting Orthodox have very different fasting rules and the days of fasting are not the same.  Which means as the stay-at-home parent and family cook I now have to keep track of two calendars.  Unfortunately - everyone in my family is able to fast or abstain to some degree.

Quote from: Quinault
Although I must say, that in all of the post above you haven't mentioned what it is about being Catholic that keeps you from converting to Orthodoxy. One Divine Liturgy isn't enough for many people to make the decision to change. I would give it time. Give yourself one month of Orthodoxy; right now is Lent which is a beautiful time of year (I LOVED Forgiveness Sunday) and then make a decision. But it would be unfair to both your Catholic walk and your peek into to Orthodoxy to try and straddle both before you try each individually.

I'm not sure - I just don't know that I'm ready to make the leap.  It took me 10 years to decide to become a Catholic.  We've only been investigating Orthodoxy for 3 years so far.  So by my standards that is hardly any time at all.   This isn't the only DL we've attended.  We last year we attended this parish regularly for several months.  Even to the point of, as I said, having an appointment to discuss conversion with the priest, before I got cold feet and backed away for more consideration.

One of my sources of discomfort is that while we are investigating and I am trying Orthodoxy on for size (so-to-speak) I am completely separated from the Sacraments being able to receive in either Church.  It is not a position I find that I like overmuch.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 02:17:09 PM by Carole » Logged

Carole
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2008, 02:21:21 PM »

I have to change how I cook. Now I make Phad Thai without egg for my husband and with egg for the rest of us. I make spaghetti squash and give my husband some before I add the feta now that he is on the dairy fast. I don't cook with olive oil. And I have MANY MANY cans of whole beans and TONS of rice around the house. It is MUCH scarier looking at the concept of two different menus that it is implementing them.

What have you been reading about Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2008, 02:34:37 PM »

Carole,

My husband wasn't an enthusiastic Episcopalian when we first started dating but he felt at home in his own parish. He agreed to marry me in the Orthodox church and allow our children to be baptized in my parish but he made it clear that he would never convert to Orthodoxy. The plan was he would attend his parish when he wanted to and then join us for Divine Liturgy each Sunday. Well, thirteen years later, through his regular attendance of DL and because of various problems within his denomination he was finally moved to convert. He didn't even let me know what he was thinking. He spoke to our priest about attending catechism class and a year later he was chrismated.

One Orthodox priest I know felt it wasn't important for someone to convert to Orthodoxy due to their love of the Liturgy. In fact,
many of the most stable converts he pastored were the ones who didn't allow any emotional experiences of worship cloud their judgement when deciding to become Orthodox. If you decide to attend DL each week it may start to grow on you as it did my husband. But then there is no need to rush anything.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 03:36:20 PM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2008, 04:46:33 PM »

If you all have love, understanding and tolerance, you can handle going to different churches.  I do miss having my husband at church with me, but at the same time, it gives me a chance to get to know members of the parish on my own--and to learn the liturgy without a rambunctious boy making noise.  Tongue  I have a wonderful husband who just wants me to do what I feel I must do.  He doesn't want to convert, himself, but won't stand in my way.  We spent years trying to find that one church where both a Lutheran and Nazarene could feel comfortable.  It didn't work.  Now he's back in the Lutheran church and I'm converting to Orthodoxy, and we're both happy.  Though I do hope that one day he will come to Orthodoxy.   Wink
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2008, 08:48:04 PM »

Great thread.

I have a couple of brief comments.

We hesitated to make any major changes and we stayed in our Ruthenian parish for 2 years.  Until we moved to Alabama.  When we got here we found that our options for Catholic worship were all Roman Rite - unless we wanted to drive to Birmingham (over an hour away).

I first started attending a Melkite Catholic parish 4 1/2 years ago (I've been Catholic my whole life, btw). Since then I've moved once. Fortunately, it so happens that there's a Melkite parish near where I live now; but this is definitely something I worry about, in the long run. I guess I don't think about it too much, since I'm not planning to move anytime soon. But if I do move one day, it's unlikely I'll be near a Melkite parish. I hope to be near a EC parish, at any rate, but who knows?


I have no objections to Orthodox theology and I have some serious doubts about some Catholic theology (the filioque for one, papal infallibility for another).  So I suppose I'm not all the great of a Catholic - since at best I have questions about and at worst I deny some dogmatic teachings of the Church. 

I'll leave the P.I. issue alone since it recently came up on another thread. Concerning the filioque, I would just like to mention one of the recommendations from the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation (2003):

Quote
that in the future, because of the progress in mutual understanding that has come about in recent decades, Orthodox and Catholics refrain from labeling as heretical the traditions of the other side on the subject of the procession of the Holy Spirit

As I see it, the suggestion is that it is not heretical to say "the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son" but neither is it heretical to say "the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father alone". Something to think about.

God bless,
Peter.
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Carole
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2008, 08:28:48 AM »

Thank you very much to everyone who responded (most especially to those who kind of stayed on topic). 

I am not good with change.  I don't even like updates to my operating system on my computer because something might change.  In the past year and a half it seems we've done nothing but change.  We sold the house we'd lived in nearly all of our married life and moved out of the town and state I'd lived in for 28 years to move to Alabama.  We left the parish we'd been attending for 3 years.  To kind of bounce around like a bee in a bottle trying to find a place that "fit."  Now we're looking at leaving the Catholic Church ...  It is mind boggling and a bit overwhelming for someone who really hates big changes.

I have feeling this is going to be a rough road.

So far I have read:
  The Orthodox Way - by Bishop Kallistos Ware
  The Orthodox Church - by Bishop Kallistos Ware
  The Truth - by Clark Carlton
  Introducing the Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life - by Anthony M. Coniaris
 
And I'm about 1/3 of the way through The Mountain of Silence, by Kyriacos Markides.

Reading and research is what I do.  It is my nature.  As my wonderful daughter told me yesterday I "over analyze everything."  I expect that this will likely be a difficult period, and I thank all of you for your comments, suggestions, time and prayers.
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2008, 09:27:42 AM »

Carole,

To get back on topic.  I'm also someone who converted without my husband.  In the beginning he attended with me very regularly until he decided he definitely couldn't be Orthodox.  Then, he would come with us during the first part of the service and would leave to go to his church (Lutheran) after the sermon.  This worked very nicely until his church changed service times.  Now we just go to separate churches.    I have one 18 yr old son who is not Orthodox and attends with me as he prefers it to my husband's church.  The other 5 children are Orthodox.

As to fasting, it can be done in a mixed household, but ask your husband to speak with his priest.   In our house its been easy enough to make a Lenten side dish and add a meat for my son and husband.
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2008, 09:38:12 AM »

Of course, Carole, you are very much welcome to follow the fasting/abstinence regulations of your husband and daughter should they convert. In fact, Latin-rite Catholics are generally expected to do more than follow the bare minimum regulations. The existing regulations are a starting point---the rest is worked out for your own faith life, in consultation with a confessor or spiritual director if possible.
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2008, 12:20:54 PM »

Of course, Carole, you are very much welcome to follow the fasting/abstinence regulations of your husband and daughter should they convert. In fact, Latin-rite Catholics are generally expected to do more than follow the bare minimum regulations. The existing regulations are a starting point---the rest is worked out for your own faith life, in consultation with a confessor or spiritual director if possible.
Of course you would say that.  You have a vested interest in seeing that Carole remains Catholic.  But why would anyone come to the Convert Issues section of an Orthodox Christian forum to read posts they can expect to see on a Catholic board?
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2008, 01:14:50 PM »

Of course you would say that.  You have a vested interest in seeing that Carole remains Catholic.  But why would anyone come to the Convert Issues section of an Orthodox Christian forum to read posts they can expect to see on a Catholic board?

Carole's family is probably converting, though she is not at this time.

I am not pushing her either way. She asked a question about the possible difficulty of families having two different fasting/abstinence disciplines, and I was helping to answer that question. That is all.

It is perplexing to see this kind of knee-jerk reaction---fear not, I am not proselytizing. But being Catholic, I guess I automatically can't be trusted.

If, as a non-EO, I am barred from posting anything on the Convert Issues forum, then please state so and I will desist.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2008, 01:16:18 PM by lubeltri » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2008, 01:27:45 PM »


Dear  lubeltri

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.

 As a poster,You may also ask that a topic be split or establish a dual entry in the  EO Roman Catholic Forum and place a note in the Convert Issues Forum that you have opened it. There you may discuss in detail the issues that you would like to present  and the the Roman Catholic response . You response was a good response that answered her dilemma as a Roman Catholic with an Orthodox spouse but would be more appropriate in the EO/Roman Catholic  forum.  The convert forum is not a place for debate or arguement. 

Thank You,
Thomas
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P.S. I hope that you are having a blessed Holy Week.
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« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2008, 01:38:41 PM »

Dear  lubeltri

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.

 As a poster,You may also ask that a topic be split or establish a dual entry in the  EO Roman Catholic Forum and place a note in the Convert Issues Forum that you have opened it. There you may discuss in detail the issues that you would like to present  and the the Roman Catholic response . You response was a good response that answered her dilemma as a Roman Catholic with an Orthodox spouse but would be more appropriate in the EO/Roman Catholic  forum.  The convert forum is not a place for debate or arguement. 

Thank You,
Thomas
Convert Issues Forum

P.S. I hope that you are having a blessed Holy Week.

Since my only intent was to answer a convert-issues question and not start a discussion/debate, I did not think establishing a new thread would be necessary.

Thanks for the message and wishes for Holy Week. I offer the same to you.

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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2008, 11:11:00 PM »

  Can a house divided stand (if the division is not contentious)?  Or will I be doing harm?  What would you do?

Hi Carole,

I was received into the Church in September of 2004...alone.  My husband, nor my adult children have any interest in the Orthodox Church.  My husband is a deeply faithful and committed Baptist.

It was very difficult at first but has since come to a very peaceful place.  The difficulty had very little to do with Orthodoxy.

So simply, IMHO yes your house will stand.  The fact that you are supportive of your husband and he is supportive of you speaks volumes.  If you would like to chat further, please feel free to pm me.

Yours in Christ,
Athanasia
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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2008, 01:54:04 AM »

I converted to the EOC before the feast of the Nativity in Dec. I am the only Orthodox in my family.

You will adjust just fine, the fasting etc is not as big a problem as some would make it to be.
Keep reading and researching and praying. Your household will stay intact. BTW I would love to hear the Divine Liturgy with a Southern accent...lol.

Barbara
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2008, 08:49:28 AM »

Hi Carole.I think that the very fact you are all spiritually involved in similar faiths, will be making things easier. There are traditional Orthodox families whose members´ varying degree of spiritual involvement, complicates things anyway when it comes to fasting and church-going.Your family sounds equally involved.On the plus side there seems to be respect and understanding of the free choice each one of you is making regarding faith.
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2008, 09:08:53 AM »

Again, my most sincere thanks to all who have taken the time to respond. 

I was reading the Orthodox Family Forum and I came across the thread Orthodox / Catholic wedding and of course that brought up some more questions.

I have to say that I have been known to opine that marriages of mixed religion are rather difficult to work out - particularly when both spouses are actively practicing and living their faith.  It would seem that more than a few posters on the above mentioned thread hold a similar view.  It also appear from the thread that such "mixed marriages" are not supported by Orthodoxy.

I think I was even told (a while ago) that when a married couple converts to the Greek Orthodox jurisdiction they are required to be married in the Orthodox Church following their conversion.  If I decide not to convert with my husband - how could (opinions wanted, I know we have to speak to the priest but that isn't likely to happen until after Easter) this potentially affect my husband's conversion?

I suppose it just seems odd.  Here on the covert forum I'm hearing, "It's not big deal.  It can work."  Which is nice and supportive.  But other threads on mixed marriages in more strictly Orthodox sections of the forum are considerably less optimistic about them. 

I'm feeling a bit "pressured" over the whole thing.  Not that my husband or daughter are actually pressuring me.  But the game of "what if" that I keep playing is driving me crazy.  Or at least crazier than is usual for me.
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2008, 11:48:01 AM »

Again, my most sincere thanks to all who have taken the time to respond. 

I was reading the Orthodox Family Forum and I came across the thread Orthodox / Catholic wedding and of course that brought up some more questions.

I have to say that I have been known to opine that marriages of mixed religion are rather difficult to work out - particularly when both spouses are actively practicing and living their faith.  It would seem that more than a few posters on the above mentioned thread hold a similar view.  It also appear from the thread that such "mixed marriages" are not supported by Orthodoxy.

I think I was even told (a while ago) that when a married couple converts to the Greek Orthodox jurisdiction they are required to be married in the Orthodox Church following their conversion.  If I decide not to convert with my husband - how could (opinions wanted, I know we have to speak to the priest but that isn't likely to happen until after Easter) this potentially affect my husband's conversion?

I suppose it just seems odd.  Here on the covert forum I'm hearing, "It's not big deal.  It can work."  Which is nice and supportive.  But other threads on mixed marriages in more strictly Orthodox sections of the forum are considerably less optimistic about them. 

I'm feeling a bit "pressured" over the whole thing.  Not that my husband or daughter are actually pressuring me.  But the game of "what if" that I keep playing is driving me crazy.  Or at least crazier than is usual for me.

I admittedly didn't read that thread since it doesn't pertain to me.  But, is the thread talking about an Orthodox person marrying a Catholic person?  It is very different if an Orthodox single person marries outside their faith than someone who is already married converts to that faith.

The whole pressure thing was a big part of why I went ahead and converted without my spouse.  He was also putting too much pressure on himself.   I wanted to "get out of the way" so to speak and let him deal with his own issues.  He ultimately decided against conversion, which at that time was the best decision for him.  Perhaps in 10-20 years he'll be ready.  For now, I'm very happy where I am and he's happy being a Protestant.  I know it would have been very bad if either of us had been forced to worship together (either me staying Lutheran or him becoming Orthodox). 

Thats not to say its perfect solution, but it is workable for our family.
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« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2008, 12:44:48 PM »

In my opinion, it seems that  when one joins Orthodoxy and the other spouse doesn't is different  from when one who is raised Orthodox marries a non-Orthodox spouse.  The coupele who is already married does not have the added stressors in building their relationship that aMember who marries an Non Orthodox has.  Their relationship is already founded.  They join usually with each other's acquiesence and because of their already established relationship manage to work out the details.

Where as in the case of my eldest daughter, who married and inactive Lutheran, she has been under enormous stress--_ although knowing she was Orthodox when they were married (and all three children have been baptized Orthodox) in the Orthodox Church---he refused to support or be a part of her spiritual life.  He refused to travel the 50 miles to the nearest Orthodox Church , something she had done as normal since our own conversion years before---his family  would say to her that if she went to the Lutheran Church she might be able to "save" him because maybe he would go to church with her---many other stressors occurred.  as a result we saw her slip away from Orthodoxy to try and keep her marriage strong, eventually going into the Lutheran Church---what was the result---her kids now go to the Orthodox Church with us and identify themselves as Orthodox, On a positive note her husband now goes to the Lutheran Church with her but puts pressure on the kids to go to church with mom and dad---which would you say was better?  Who had more problems the  case like Carole or the " mixed marriage" like my daughter's---I think this is why the Bishops discourage mixed marriages without clear support systems in place and agreements prior to the marriage, but do not seem to have to same concern pertaining to a partial conversion  marriage.

Thomas
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« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2008, 02:17:44 PM »

It is better if the person doesn't convert because of their spouse. I think that they would come to resent the Church if they feel they "have" to convert to keep the peace.

There are two things that I avoid talking about to people, religion and politics. People tend to have very strong feelings about those two subjects...lol.
If you are one of those that truly has a "live and let live attitude" great!

The more important something becomes to me the more I want to talk about it. I am now sensitive to the "glazed" look that people get when I talk about the Orthodox Church.

If a relationship is strong enough without faith being an issue it can work. You know yourself and your spouse.
How involved are you in your Church?
If you are there at every service offered, will your spouse start to resent Church? Or vice versa?

I tend to be the kind of person that is passionate about what I believe in. I am able to live my faith (I think that this is what Orthodoxy encourages) and not focus too much on what other people are doing.
This wasn't always the case for me. I am still not too sure how I would do if my husband were living here with me.
Something to think about I guess. If a person wasn't all that committed to their religion I think I would follow the husband into his religion.
That is because men are to lead their family spiritually. Even though dh and I are not living together-not divorced and not legally separated-I still informed him of my decision to convert and gave him the reasons why. He professes to no longer believe in God and said that the years he said he believed were all a lie.
He was still supportive of my decision and even told me he liked the reasoning behind my decision!

Of course I pray for him to repent (daily)  and would ask your prayers for him as well.
We have to answer for our own lives, no one can do it for us.

Barbara
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« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2008, 09:08:39 PM »

To Papist and username!, may I just say that I did not mean my criticism (on the other thread) of either of you, or of the Catholic Answers Forum, to be uncharitable. I hope there are no hard feelings.
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« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2008, 09:16:46 PM »

lubeltri,

Of course, Carole, you are very much welcome to follow the fasting/abstinence regulations of your husband and daughter should they convert. In fact, Latin-rite Catholics are generally expected to do more than follow the bare minimum regulations. The existing regulations are a starting point---the rest is worked out for your own faith life, in consultation with a confessor or spiritual director if possible.

Yes, but I would point out that you're only addressing one part of their difficulty -- namely, the fact that Catholics and Orthodox have different rules about fasting. The other part of the problem is that Latin Catholics and ECs living in the west don't celebrate Easter on the day it is celebrated by the Orthodox. (Although in most years, the lents overlap quite a bit. This year the Latin Easter is unusually early.)

God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2008, 10:36:39 AM »

To Papist and username!, may I just say that I did not mean my criticism (on the other thread) of either of you, or of the Catholic Answers Forum, to be uncharitable. I hope there are no hard feelings.
Back at ya buddy. Lets pray that we all have a blessed Pascha.
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« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2008, 10:37:54 AM »

lubeltri,

Yes, but I would point out that you're only addressing one part of their difficulty -- namely, the fact that Catholics and Orthodox have different rules about fasting. The other part of the problem is that Latin Catholics and ECs living in the west don't celebrate Easter on the day it is celebrated by the Orthodox. (Although in most years, the lents overlap quite a bit. This year the Latin Easter is unusually early.)

God bless,
Peter.
We are not Celebrating at teh same time this year? I was pretty sure Mickey said something about Pascha starting.
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« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2008, 11:03:06 AM »

We are not Celebrating at teh same time this year? I was pretty sure Mickey said something about Pascha starting.

For the Orthodox the Great Fast started on March 10th and Pascha is April 27. The dates are rather drastically different this year.
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« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2008, 03:41:02 PM »

None of the Orthodox Churches are on the Gregorian Calander?
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« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2008, 03:57:18 PM »

None of the Orthodox Churches are on the Gregorian Calander?

Only 1 Orthodox Church in the world celebrates Pascha/Easter on the Gregorian calendar.  Otherwise, the rest of us celebrate on the Julian Calendar.  We use essentially the same formula; however, since the formula for celebrating Easter depends on the equinox, our celebrations diverge because our "Equinox" is 13 days after yours.
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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2008, 04:26:31 PM »

We are not Celebrating at teh same time this year? I was pretty sure Mickey said something about Pascha starting.

The was last year - only happens every 4 or 5 years (or longer?).  Also, the big difference like this year only happens every 4 years.  Usually it is just one week different.
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« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2008, 04:28:03 PM »

I see. To me its sad that we don't have the same Easter. Oh well. Maybe someday.
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« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2008, 10:36:43 PM »

I see. To me its sad that we don't have the same Easter. Oh well. Maybe someday.

Feel free to petition Rome on this matter. 
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« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2008, 11:41:49 PM »

Do you think it would do any good? When you are the "big" kid on the block you tend to think everyone should dance to your tune.
I wonder if someone opens every piece of mail he (the Pope) gets? I might consider putting him on my Christmas Card list.
Barbara
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« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2008, 11:56:14 PM »

Carole,
   To answer one of your questions, I do think that if your husband converts to Orthodoxy without you, he may not be able to receive Holy Communion as often.  This will be determined by his spiritual father through the guidance of his bishop.  In my particular case I am severely hindered sacramentally because when I married my husband 10 years ago I was not a practicing Christian.  My husband grew up in the reformed Jewish faith but became (and still basically is) agnostic. I was brought up in the RC but during college fell away and dabbled in Buddhism.  After we married we had a little girl who started asking me questions about God at the age of 2 and a half years old!!  Something happened to me then (which I will not go into ) that I believe was an experience with the Holy Spirit.  Anyway, to make a long story short, I found the Orthodox Church and my life changed.  Since then I have given birth to two other girls (the youngest is 18 months) and now my three daughters and I have been received into the EO church- thank the Lord!  My husband still can't believe that his 'cool' wife is now "religious"...he abhors church and thinks it is an institution created by man to control the masses.  I am blessed though that he believes that everyone should follow their own path and he graciously accepts that his daughters go to church with me.  However, it does sadden him that there is a part of our lives in which he does not participate.  Pardon me for unloading on you but I do believe that your situation is not so bad.  Please understand that I am not belittling you discomfort in the disharmony that exists in your family.  With time and prayer you may yet decide that it is good and right for you to become Orthodox. Regardless you have a strong faith in God who is all merciful and your prayers will be heard by Him.

God bless you and your family,   Juliana
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« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2008, 08:32:14 AM »

Thank you, Juliana!  You are right.  I am exceedingly fortunate to have a husband to whom faith is extremely important.  It could be so much more complicated than it is.

You are also correct when you say that with time and prayer I may yet decide to become Orthodox.  As it stands now it is not a foregone conclusion that I will not seek to become Orthodox with my husband and my daughter.  I do love much about Orthodoxy and I do have many points of doctrine where I align more closely with the Orthodox than with the Catholic beliefs. 

I think in many ways I am unsettled to think of going through the conversion process again.  Becoming Catholic was difficult for me (I lost many friends and ticked off a lot of family members).  I fear that becoming Orthodox will be another very wrenching experience.  Perhaps even more so as even fewer people know about (let alone understand) anything about Orthodoxy. 

Ah well - time and prayer.  That's really the only solution.

Thank you all again!  May God bless you for your kindness.
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« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2008, 09:25:49 AM »

For the Orthodox the Great Fast started on March 10th and Pascha is April 27. The dates are rather drastically different this year.

The good news is that, after this year, the next few Pascha dates are either one week different (2009 and 2012) or the same (2010 and 2011). 2013 is the next time that Orthodox Pascha and Latin Pascha differ by more than a month.

Blessings,
Peter.
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« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2008, 01:54:51 PM »

Do you think it would do any good? When you are the "big" kid on the block you tend to think everyone should dance to your tune.
I wonder if someone opens every piece of mail he (the Pope) gets? I might consider putting him on my Christmas Card list.
Barbara

No it was more than likely the swipe that the Eastern Orthodox will share the same date for Easter as Rome when the Eastern Orthodox finally "come back and submit to the Pope."  Remember many Roman Catholics see Eastern Orthodox as the ones who completely left and think re-union will consist of a submission to the pope, much like an absorption into the Eastern Roman Catholic Churches (for those that have an answer beyond mere "submission" to the Pope).
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« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2008, 10:08:54 AM »

Carole,

I sympathize with your situation, I myself am a convert to Orthodoxy as is my wife.  Our four daughters were all baptized in the church.  My wife was born and raised Catholic and I was raised nothing.  Everyone's situation is unique and their struggles are very real, so instead of giving you my story, let me instead give you some words of encouragement.

If your relationship is grounded in the love of Christ and you all remain faithful, then God will bless your family and by His Holy Spirit He will help you conquer any hurtle that comes your way.  We often get caught up in the semantics and the legalities of doctrine and dogma but we forget is that God is in us and that He truly wants us to be happy and uphold the sacrament of marriage and the unity of family.  Why would God curse a holy union?

We are told in the bible that even if our spouse is not a believer, if he or she is content to remain in the marriage then so should the believer; how much more then should this apply to a marriage where both parties are believers but of only slightly different faiths?

There will likely be difficulties if you attend different churches, but by the sound of it you all have strong conviction in your faith, so I know that any hurtle can be overcome.  Just remember to be thankful for what you do have and lay the rest at the feet of Christ our Lord in your prayers. 

Might I recommend including the Prayer of Thanksgiving and Psalm 50(traditional numbering) in your morning prayers.

May God bless you and your family.  Xristos Anesti!
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« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2008, 01:11:41 PM »

Feel free to petition Rome on this matter. 
His
Holiness,
Pope Benedict XVI
Apostolic Palace,
00120 Vatican City
even looked up the address for you and everything.

I would, but then, if successful, my descendants will have to petition His Holiness again when they are celebrating Easter with leaves on the ground! Wink
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« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2008, 01:42:29 PM »

I would, but then, if successful, my descendants will have to petition His Holiness again when they are celebrating Easter with leaves on the ground! Wink

Will they be moving to Australia?
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« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2008, 02:07:33 PM »

Will they be moving to Australia?

Perhaps I will.  Cheesy
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« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2008, 09:55:11 PM »

I would, but then, if successful, my descendants will have to petition His Holiness again when they are celebrating Easter with leaves on the ground! Wink

Will they be moving to Australia?

Funny you should bring that up, actually, because I was just wondering the other day whether Australian Christians all celebrate Easter during the northern hemisphere's springtime, or do some celebrate it during your own springtime?

Thanks,
-Peter.
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