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Author Topic: New to the board... I have a couple of questions  (Read 2224 times) Average Rating: 0
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PhosZoe
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« on: September 17, 2003, 04:24:23 PM »

Hi! I'm new to this board...  I have taken some time to read the convert testamonies. Very facinating!

 My husband and I are contemplating converting to the orthodox church.  Here is our stories, hope someone can help shed some light...  put thier 2 pennies in...


I'll start with my husband... He is on paper Roman Catholic. He started attending a Byzcath parish in high school. He has always been facinated with orthodoxy this is something that has spoken to him since he was a child. Here is the catch... He is Croation. (and once upon a time a Duquesne University Tamburizten, you can't get more "national"  Wink than that. PS. he still plays Tambura) Soooo the ethnic identity is a BIG issue.

Is it possible to be Croation and to be orthodox?

About me... In a nutshell. I am Serb/Croation/Polish/English  My mom was Protestant (currently not practicing) and my father was Orthodox.(also not practicing)  I was exposed to both churches until my parents suffered some sort of religious apathy and stopped taking me. Second, I was always made to feel VERY unwelcome in the Serbian church. It was made very clear early on by my peers that I was a "halfbreed" and  "N*gger"  (Honestly, some kids are that cruel) My dad also refused to teach me Serbian because, "I should try to be American" Yet at the same time, we never missed going to church for Serbian Christmas or Easter.  So I spent the first 20 years of my life thinking that all Orthodox christians were nationalistic, clannish alcholics. So I stayed far away from  the church.

When I met my husband, he invited me to church with him. It was Christmas eve. I smelled the incense and knew that I had come home. I was baptized on St. Patricks Day 2002.

Then we moved away. Since there is not Byzantine Catholic parish near us, we have been attending a little Orthodox parish in our town for our spirtual food and attending a Roman Catholic parish. When time allows we make the 2 hour trip to the nearest Byzcath parish.

On one of these trips to the Byzantine Catholic parish we were accosted by one very beligerent "traditional"  Catholic (as he called himself) who bellowed angrily about how "there is no such thing as a good latin mass".  Getting to know the other folks in the parish, all of them were angry former Roman Catholics(Priest included)  who were fed up with Vatican II and were seeking solace by joining a Byzantine Catholic church.  It really bothered me to be around such animosity.  I didn't join Byzantine Catholic church out of anger, I was baptized because I felt that this was the best way to express my faith.   I had enough when someone shoved a pamphlet with the Sacred Heart of Jesus prayers, written in Latin in my hands. These events have prompted me to read more about the Eastern Christian Faith.

With that said....

Is it weird that I am looking to become Orthodox after only being Byzantine Catholic for 2 years. Have I given it enough time?   I feel that my spirtual journey has led me to orthodoxy.

Do I need to be "re baptized" or just chrismated?


Last, I hope I don't seem strange or overly desperate, I have been harboring this for a year now and I need to let it out somewhere.  Huh
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2003, 04:39:01 PM »

Dear PhosZoe,

Welcome to the forum!

Is it possible to be Croation and to be orthodox?

In order to be Orthodox, in addition to believing the Orthodox faith, you have to be human.  Smiley  Ethnicity is not a problem.  The Orthodox Church is for all.  

About me... In a nutshell. I am Serb/Croation/Polish/English  My mom was Protestant (currently not practicing) and my father was Orthodox.(also not practicing)  I was exposed to both churches until my parents suffered some sort of religious apathy and stopped taking me. Second, I was always made to feel VERY unwelcome in the Serbian church. It was made very clear early on by my peers that I was a "halfbreed" and  "N*gger"  (Honestly, some kids are that cruel) My dad also refused to teach me Serbian because, "I should try to be American" Yet at the same time, we never missed going to church for Serbian Christmas or Easter.  So I spent the first 20 years of my life thinking that all Orthodox christians were nationalistic, clannish alcholics. So I stayed far away from  the church.

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with the Church.  

Then we moved away. Since there is not Byzantine Catholic parish near us, we have been attending a little Orthodox parish in our town for our spirtual food and attending a Roman Catholic parish. When time allows we make the 2 hour trip to the nearest Byzcath parish.

Is it weird that I am looking to become Orthodox after only being Byzantine Catholic for 2 years. Have I given it enough time?   I feel that my spirtual journey has led me to orthodoxy.


I don't think it's weird at all.  I would recommend taking things slowly, but by that I don't mean waiting X number of years before you decide to do something.  Pray, study, continue going to church, and if you do all these things and you feel God is leading you to Orthodoxy, go for it!  

Do I need to be "re baptized" or just chrismated?  

Depends on the jurisdiction the parish you are attending (or the parish you want to join) belongs to.  It also depends on what you were baptised as (I presume Byzantine Catholic).
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2003, 04:43:46 PM »

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Is it possible to be Croation and to be orthodox?

Ethnicity has nothing to do with whether a person can be Orthodox.  I'm Polish and converted to Orthodoxy during the Papacy of the Polish Pope....didn't even really consider it an issue.  

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Justinianus
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2003, 04:55:10 PM »

I would like to welcome you to this board!  

I am a person who was originally a Roman Catholic, turned Byzantine Catholic, and converted to Orthodoxy, because I felt like it was my spiritual home.

Yes, it is possible for a Croatian to be Orthodox.  People of all nationalities can join the church.  The salvation of Jesus Christ is open to all humanity.  You will be surprised to find nationalties, not normally belonging to an Orthodox Church as members.  Mexico, Japan, England, Iraq, Ethiopia, and many other non Greek and non Slavic nationalities have an Orthodox Church.  

A Byzantine Church I belonged to was also mich like the one you described.  It was full of old rite Catholics angered by Vatican II and took refuge in the Byzantine Church.  In the process, they tried to make the Byzantine Church more like the old Latin Catholic they once had.

The Orthodox Church of America (OCA)   www.oca.org  is the jurisdiction that I belong to.  It has lees of an ethnic character than you would find in a Serbian Orthodox church.   The OCA sees itself as an American Orthodox church. I also understand that many of the Greek Orthodox Churches have members from many ethnic backgrounds and the liturgies are in English.

One can not say if 2 years or 2 months is suffiient.  It is all up to the individual.  I recommend you visit and start to attend an Orthodox church in your area and worship there.  If your spirit is at home there and you and your husband have no reservations, than conversion to Orthodoxy is to be your path.  Also spend time talking to the priest there to express your feelings.

You do not sound strange or desperate, but as one seeking out a church to worship Christ.  This is one of the most important steps you will ever take in your life.   It is good to ask questions and learn about it.

May you and your husband be blessed on your spiritual  journey!  Do not be afraid to ask questions on this board and contact members directly by e-mail.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2003, 04:59:30 PM by Justinianus » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2003, 07:05:55 PM »

Were you baptised and chrismated in the Latin Catholic Church or the Byzantine Catholic Church?  If you are joining a Slavic Orthodox Church from the Byzantine Catholic Church you might be received by confession and profession of faith.

anastasios
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2003, 07:28:35 PM »

BTW, in my Byzantine Catholic parish back home I used to encounter people like this.  Latin "trads" who would bash Orthodox, other Catholics, etc.  It was really annoying.  Usually they would stay for about three months, figure out that Byzantine Catholics weren't like them, and then move on to whatever else floated their boat.  Some of them would kneel during the consecration even though asked not to, one lady tried to sing the filioque in the creed, and one other person told me I didn't fulfill my "Sunday Obligation" one week because I went to an Orthodox liturgy when out of town.  Stuff like this was part of the reason I decided I wanted to be Orthodox (I say part because of course I would never switch churches for purely negative reasons).

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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2003, 09:16:10 PM »

There are many "flavors" within the Church. Perhaps God works in ways we don't always want to believe he works in. I believe it is less important on an individual basis whether you are Catholic, Byzantine Catholic or Orthodox. But..... don't be a "Church hopper". Pick a Church, concentrate on your relationship with Christ and work to make whatever Church you decide to be a part of better for having you there. Don't nock your old Church as they are sinners who are working as fellow members of the Body of Christ too.
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2003, 10:06:12 PM »

All of the previous posts have been good, so I cannot add much.

But too much emphasis on ethnicity in the Church is my personal pet peeve, so I wanted to say that your ethnicity and your husband's ethnicity do not matter a hoot when it comes to the universal Church of Christ.

My own ancestors came here from Germany, Holland, England, Ireland, (I almost left out Denmark - very important!) you name it - everywhere but a traditionally Orthodox country! I'm "Heinz 57" Orthodox!  Grin

Our Lord Jesus Christ is all about breaking down barriers erected by the world, the flesh, and the devil (no, I'm not saying ethnicity is of the devil - although the hubris it sometimes engenders can be).

If I had wanted to be "ethnic" I could have stayed in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod where I was.

But the truth knows no ethnic boundaries.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2003, 10:09:02 PM by Linus7 » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2003, 01:13:21 AM »

Phoszoe,

Dobardan!
Please don't let the ethnic barriers in Orthodoxy put you off. Many converts including myself had initial preconceptions of the Orthodox Church being simply an 'ethnic thing'. Of course as you know the reality is entirely different. I'm in the process of converting from Roman Catholicism, to Eastern-Rite Catholicism, to Orthodoxy, and I'm Italian (from Australia).  I'll probably make front page of the Italian community newspaper for being the only Italian in Australia who's Orthodox  Smiley
Linus brought up a point which I share about the over-emphasis on ethnicity. Personally I'm scandalised and frustrated by it. However it's certainly not something that's given me second thoughts about converting. Where else is there to go!? Every church has defects - this is one of Orthodoxy's. As such I won't identify myself as "Italian Orthodox" or "Greek Orthodox" etc. but simply as an Orthodox Christian.

Regards,

Byzantino
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PhosZoe
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2003, 09:38:53 AM »

Byzantine Catholic...

"When I met my husband, he invited me to church with him. It was Christmas eve. I smelled the incense and knew that I had come home. I was baptized on St. Patricks Day 2002." When my husband and I decide it's the right time to join, it will probably be an OCA or Serbian (depends) parish.

Were you baptised and chrismated in the Latin Catholic Church or the Byzantine Catholic Church?  If you are joining a Slavic Orthodox Church from the Byzantine Catholic Church you might be received by confession and profession of faith.

anastasios
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2003, 03:50:40 PM »

Apparently those Orthodox parishes will take anybody!  After all, I have next-to-no idea where my ancestors came to America from and I was born and raised in a podunk, redneck, hillbilly town of about 3000 in the Midwest!

Glory to God, the Church is for all who are looking for the True Faith!
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