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Ivan Putovati
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« on: September 13, 2008, 07:54:28 AM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Greetings Brothers and Sisters.

First, I have followed this forum with great interest for many years and have learned much from all of you. I appreciate your insights and fervor for the Faith and for Christ. I am a Byzantine Catholic of the Carpatho-Rusyn kind. I have long contemplated Holy Orthodoxy (for more than two decades). I am already very Orthodox (not Latiniak at all) in praxis and am in the final stages of discernment on crossing the Moskva. I have been studying Orthodoxy formally for several years and informally for more than twenty. I am now quite sure that God has led me to the Holy Orthodox Church to work out my salvation for the remainder of my years. The thought of coming finally to Holy Orthodoxy fills me with great joy and peace.

The more that I have experienced Orthodoxy, the more I wonder why I am not yet Orthodox. I have no good answer, for it must be the providence of God. I have no ill-will to cast at the Church of Rome or towards the Metropolia. It was the Church that initiated me into the mysteries of Faith and in which I partook of the precious Body and Blood of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is the Church that brought me to this point.

The Metropolia has weathered repeated storms and seems to be approaching its destiny in the next few years. This seems to be accelerating. The Revised Divine Liturgy has been a hard cross to bear, I admit. But it is only a symptom of sickness that remains uncured. Suffice to say, it is not the liturgy alone that has propelled me to the doors of Orthodoxy. The BCC seems to perceive itself as a hybrid, even after all the mandates of the Vatican over the years to do otherwise. Many of the Latinizations are gone now in some of the parishes, but each parish partakes of the Faith differently based on pastor and/or bishop. The Church is mostly grey now and if the doors were closed most folks would wander on over to the local Latin-rite parish and never look back. I could never do this. I am an Eastern Christian through and through. It seems that the BCC has little will to survive, let alone thrive. More importantly though, I firmly believe what the Orthodox Church teaches and i have for many, many years. Now, it is time to trek further East ...

I am concerned about how conversion will impact our family, which is a mix of Roman Catholics and cultural Protestants. In the OCA, what is typically the process to prepare to be received as a convert? Does being Byzantine Catholic make a difference, than if I were a Latin or a Protestant? I know that the BCC has supplied the OCA with laity and clergy for more than 100 years and am curious what the process is to receive us. I was reading my copy of Hapgood's Service Book (p. 454-469) and understand the errors and false doctrines and already renounce them (guess I'm not BC anymore).

I'll stop meandering and await your insight. Thanks for listening ... and for your prayers.

IP


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sohma_hatori
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2008, 08:08:02 AM »

Welcome friend!

Like you, I also owe the Latin Church, my reverence for the Body and Blood of Christ, and basically some doctriens, like the Trinity, the Theotokos and etc, which are also found in Orthodoxy.
My family is also a mixture of Catholics and Protestants, and Orthodoxy is something foreign to them. My Uncle event thinks that only Greeks can become Greek Orthodox and Russians, Russian orthodox!  laugh
My family is kind of dissapointed with me for choosing Orthodoxy. im still a teen so I cant really be open about this stuff (especially in a culture like ours), with my family. Im finding it very hard to stay an Orthodox Christian, plus added to the fact that the Church in the Philippines is racked with many anomalies, most of which are unknown to me.

Im sorry I cant give any input on preparations to be received in the Church, but I assure you that you will be in my prayers. I hope your conversion goes well..  Smiley

Again, welcome to the forum!
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stosh
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2008, 12:16:17 AM »

Your story is similar to mine. I was a cradle Rusyn Byzantine Catholic, who converted to Orthodoxy almost two years ago.

My decision was based on many years of reading the history of the Orthodox church, and the formation of the Eastern Catholic churches. In my mind, the Eastern Catholics will never be fully "Eastern" because of the need for themselves to prove they are "Catholic". The promulgation of the Revised (Ruined) Divine Liturgy with it's inclusive language and other nonsense was the final straw that made me complete the journey to Holy Orthodoxy.

Being Byzantine Catholic made a big difference in my conversion to the OCA. I literally walked in to my current parish, attended Saturday Vespers, and introduced myself to the priest afterwords. Within a month I was chrismated Orthodox. Coming from the Byzantine Catholic church should give you a fast track because the priest will be able to tell you are ready right now, and you already know the Byzantine way of doing things.

You must decide if you are ready to take the bold step. I knew I was ready, and Father could tell that I was also. Some might say I rushed things, but there is no need to be a catechumen for a year or more if both you and the priest know that you are ready, and you are coming from the Byzantine Catholic church. 

Hope this helps, and good luck with your journey!



 
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2008, 12:37:40 AM »

Coming from the Byzantine Catholic church should give you a fast track because the priest will be able to tell you are ready right now, and you already know the Byzantine way of doing things.

That's not necessarily the case. This persons catechumenate may be short or maybe not. There are lots of different circumstances and considerations that the priest has to keep in mind. My advice would be try not to worry about how long it will take. Your priest will be in the best position to judge your readiness.

If Orthodoxy truly is the pearl that we all believe it to be any amount of time would be worth it. It will all happen in God's time.  Wink


Yours in Christ
Paisius


 
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2008, 12:48:41 AM »

Welcome to the forum Ivan!
I can't give any advice since I come from a family of Orthodox Christians, but you'll be in my prayers.
George
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stosh
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2008, 01:44:05 AM »

Coming from the Byzantine Catholic church should give you a fast track because the priest will be able to tell you are ready right now, and you already know the Byzantine way of doing things.

That's not necessarily the case. This persons catechumenate may be short or maybe not. There are lots of different circumstances and considerations that the priest has to keep in mind. My advice would be try not to worry about how long it will take. Your priest will be in the best position to judge your readiness.

If Orthodoxy truly is the pearl that we all believe it to be any amount of time would be worth it. It will all happen in God's time.  Wink


Yours in Christ
Paisius


 


I agree. I was only offering my experience as food for thought.
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2008, 02:19:07 AM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Greetings Brothers and Sisters.

First, I have followed this forum with great interest for many years and have learned much from all of you. I appreciate your insights and fervor for the Faith and for Christ. I am a Byzantine Catholic of the Carpatho-Rusyn kind. I have long contemplated Holy Orthodoxy (for more than two decades). I am already very Orthodox (not Latiniak at all) in praxis and am in the final stages of discernment on crossing the Moskva. I have been studying Orthodoxy formally for several years and informally for more than twenty. I am now quite sure that God has led me to the Holy Orthodox Church to work out my salvation for the remainder of my years. The thought of coming finally to Holy Orthodoxy fills me with great joy and peace.

The more that I have experienced Orthodoxy, the more I wonder why I am not yet Orthodox. I have no good answer, for it must be the providence of God. I have no ill-will to cast at the Church of Rome or towards the Metropolia. It was the Church that initiated me into the mysteries of Faith and in which I partook of the precious Body and Blood of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is the Church that brought me to this point.

The Metropolia has weathered repeated storms and seems to be approaching its destiny in the next few years. This seems to be accelerating. The Revised Divine Liturgy has been a hard cross to bear, I admit. But it is only a symptom of sickness that remains uncured. Suffice to say, it is not the liturgy alone that has propelled me to the doors of Orthodoxy. The BCC seems to perceive itself as a hybrid, even after all the mandates of the Vatican over the years to do otherwise. Many of the Latinizations are gone now in some of the parishes, but each parish partakes of the Faith differently based on pastor and/or bishop. The Church is mostly grey now and if the doors were closed most folks would wander on over to the local Latin-rite parish and never look back. I could never do this. I am an Eastern Christian through and through. It seems that the BCC has little will to survive, let alone thrive. More importantly though, I firmly believe what the Orthodox Church teaches and i have for many, many years. Now, it is time to trek further East ...

I am concerned about how conversion will impact our family, which is a mix of Roman Catholics and cultural Protestants. In the OCA, what is typically the process to prepare to be received as a convert? Does being Byzantine Catholic make a difference, than if I were a Latin or a Protestant? I know that the BCC has supplied the OCA with laity and clergy for more than 100 years and am curious what the process is to receive us. I was reading my copy of Hapgood's Service Book (p. 454-469) and understand the errors and false doctrines and already renounce them (guess I'm not BC anymore).

I'll stop meandering and await your insight. Thanks for listening ... and for your prayers.

IP




Great news, I hope there is a welcoming home party sooner rather than later,

I am sorry I cant offer any advise but you will be in my prayers.

God Bless you brother
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Jerry Daniel
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2008, 12:05:36 PM »

Hi all,
I find myself in a very particular and difficult position regarding an earnest and pressing desire to convert to the Eastern Orthodox Church...perhaps some of you might have some ideas that would be of help.  I am Byzantine Catholic and am staying in a church apartment in preparation for entering seminary next August.  I have been looking for work to hold me over until then, but after 6 months and over 150 job applications, I find myself facing an important crossroads.  I cannot continue to receive financial assistance from my family, because it is putting an undue burden on them, and I have recently received an offer for a teaching position overseas.  They pay for my acomodations, airfare, and the salary is quite substantial, so it appears that the Lord wants me heading back to East Asia where I had lived some years previously.  The main problem however, is that I have come to find those particular items of Roman Catholic doctrine unacceptable which run contrary to the message of Christ, Sacred Scripture, the Divine Liturgy, and the Nicene Creed.  In particular, the primacy of the Pope, and all the rest that follow from that, papal infallibility, immaculate conception, purgatory, and indulgences...I didn't mention the filioque because as Byzantine Catholics we don't say it, but it is implied in the Roman understanding which permeates all of Roman Catholic doctrine, just as does the primacy of the Pope.  Byzantine Catholics are very much Catholic, as I've come to realize, and there is no way to really "straddle the fence" as it were and be both Orthodox and Catholic, without in some way, shape, or fashion, compromising the Truth, which I cannot allow myself to do, nor would ever want to.  So, here I am, moving to Eastern Orthodoxy in my heart and mind, Byzantine Catholic in communion with the Pope and Rome, and ready to leave for East Asia in a month.  They have both Catholic (Roman) and Orthodox churches in that country, though only a few of the latter.  I want to join the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, but my priest (and landlord) is good friends with all the Orthodox priests in the city where I'm now living (not to mention the fact that he's a dual-rite priest, orignally Roman Catholic)...if I become a member of the Orthodox Church of the country where I'll be teaching (and I won't be able to speak their language, at least not originally), could I join the Greek Orthodox Church upon returning to the US?  More importantly, there is the Eucharistic issue (The priest and I celebrate the Divine Liturgy about 7 or 8 times a week), and how that applies to one in transition, especially one whose heart has already turned to where the body cannot as yet...Seminary and then Priesthood is the destination, and this year or two abroad is strictly about economic necessity...so, any advice or suggestions anyone might have concerning this sticky situation would be very welcom.

Yours in Christ,
JD 
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2008, 12:10:37 PM »

Lord have mercy on Your servant Jerry.

Welcome, Jerry. Quite a dilemma; I had a friend recently move to China to find work as an English teacher. Perhaps it's a direction you should go, especially given the current job market. There are Orthodox churches in eastern Asia, should you decide to go that route. We have a poster here who has spent considerable time in China, and may be able to help you in that regard.
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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2008, 12:34:23 PM »

I am concerned about how conversion will impact our family, which is a mix of Roman Catholics and cultural Protestants. In the OCA, what is typically the process to prepare to be received as a convert? Does being Byzantine Catholic make a difference, than if I were a Latin or a Protestant?

How you will be received by your family should you go ahead with your conversion may range from apathy to downright "what were you thinking?!"  Considering you are from a family that is already a blend of Catholics and Protestants, I suspect that it may not be a big deal, but every family is different.  When I was going through a spiritual crisis, I thought I would become a Roman Catholic (I was born and raised Lutheran).  My parents pretty much told me that if I had become a Catholic, things would be very different.  My mother even went so far as to say that we wouldn't all be in the same place after we die which hit me really hard.  I did become Orthodox and my parents don't understand it and they won't.  But I haven't received the vitriol I received when I was contemplating Catholicism.  But the cultural angle may throw a wrench into the whole thing.  Who knows?  You take everything in stride and make sure that, if this is something that you decide to do, to keep the lines of communication open with your family, but don't lord it over them and, should discussions come up, you remain calm and collected. 

As far as being Byzantine Catholic, your reception into the Holy Orthodox Church will still require you to condemn the same heresies that the Church requires of Catholics and Protestants.  THough you may be familiar with the rites, that does not guarantee you a "fast-track."  ANd this isn't a race anyway.  Your catechumenate will depend on your priest and maybe your bishop.  I've known people who have gone through it in a year, or two, or, sometimes 12.  And even if your catechumenate was to last a long time, that does not mean you cannot live and practice as an Orthodox Christian.  Practice makes (near) perfect! Wink

Good luck to you with your journey.  Our prayers are with you.
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2008, 01:15:51 PM »

if I become a member of the Orthodox Church of the country where I'll be teaching (and I won't be able to speak their language, at least not originally), could I join the Greek Orthodox Church upon returning to the US?
Most certainly!  Once you join the Orthodox Church, you enter into communion with all local canonical Orthodox churches, regardless of their national jurisdictions.  You might need from the pastor of the church you leave a letter informing the pastor of the church you eventually join that you are an Orthodox Christian in good standing (regular communion and confession), but, outside of this, nationality of the local churches you join should not be an obstacle to relocation and interparish transfer.

BTW, welcome to the forum. Grin  Feel free to snoop around and find any other threads that might be of interest to you.
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2008, 02:23:09 PM »

Look before you leap.
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Ivan Putovati
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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2008, 07:55:15 PM »

Thanks for the welcome. I have been in contact with both the bishop and the parish priest. It is a wonderful parish. Now, God will do the rest.
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2008, 09:50:59 PM »

. My Uncle event thinks that only Greeks can become Greek Orthodox and Russians, Russian orthodox!  laugh

Lol the easiest thing to ask is how they can be Roman Catholic without being Roman? Cheesy
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Ivan Putovati
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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2008, 08:10:18 AM »

. My Uncle event thinks that only Greeks can become Greek Orthodox and Russians, Russian orthodox!  laugh

Lol the easiest thing to ask is how they can be Roman Catholic without being Roman? Cheesy

Yes. and really the Catholic Church is the Patriarchate of Rome.
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« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2008, 08:42:34 AM »

JD

Welcome to the Forum!  You should have no problem in becoming Orthodox in any canonical Orthodox Church around the world as they are all in communion with the other canonicial Orthodox Churches around the world. After Chrismation, you should always carry your baptismal record or a letter from your local pastor introducing yourself to the priest at your next church or place that you are visiting. This is not unheard of even in Heterodox Churches where a letter of membership or good standing is provided when transfering from one city to another city , one parish to another parish.  It serves as an introduction and also as a reference from your current pastor to your recieving pastor.  When I converted to Orthodoxy, my Episcopalian pastor sent a letter of introduction to the Orthodox priest who made me a catechumen to let him know some of my spiritual needs and some of my abilities that I could offer the church. 

Once again welcome to the Forum!

Thomas
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