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Author Topic: Troubles Converting from Catholicism  (Read 5230 times) Average Rating: 0
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NewOrtho
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« on: June 14, 2009, 04:05:39 PM »

Hi all,

Well I haven't posted here in a long time, but I have been lurking  Wink.

I am currently a Catholic, and have been all of my life.  In fact, I just came from Mass and Adoration at the Basilica of the National Shrine, and it was a great experience.  I have attended Divine Liturgy in the past, and also found that beautiful.  I went to Vigil at St. Nicholas Cathedral (OCA) yesterday, and loved it as well, and the symbolism was great, even if I didn't understand what was happening.  I am drawn to Eastern theology and worship.  However I think what is holding me back is the Papacy and associated doctrines, as well as various Catholic specific doctrines that just seem to make sense once explained. 

ex-Catholics, how did you go about converting to the Orthodox Church?  It just seems that the Catholic Church has so many answers to the objections raised by Orthodox, that I'm not sure what to do.  Huh
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2009, 04:49:11 PM »

If you honestly believe in the Roman Catholic distinctives and find their explanations more reasonable, then I am wondering why you are even seeking to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy and are not content with being Roman Catholic?
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2009, 05:00:20 PM »

Hi all,

Well I haven't posted here in a long time, but I have been lurking  Wink.

I am currently a Catholic, and have been all of my life.  In fact, I just came from Mass and Adoration at the Basilica of the National Shrine, and it was a great experience.  I have attended Divine Liturgy in the past, and also found that beautiful.  I went to Vigil at St. Nicholas Cathedral (OCA) yesterday, and loved it as well, and the symbolism was great, even if I didn't understand what was happening.  I am drawn to Eastern theology and worship.  However I think what is holding me back is the Papacy and associated doctrines, as well as various Catholic specific doctrines that just seem to make sense once explained. 

ex-Catholics, how did you go about converting to the Orthodox Church?  It just seems that the Catholic Church has so many answers to the objections raised by Orthodox, that I'm not sure what to do.  Huh

There are several excellent Priests in the D.C. area. You should sit down with one and talk this through. Fr. Victor at St. John the Baptist is a well known scholar. You could also try Fr. Gregory at St. Mark or Fr. George at Holy Apostles. You may even find Met Jonah free at St. Nicks. He took time with a friend of mine not long ago. It cant hurt to ask. Any one of them can help to guide you through your analysis without telling you what to believe and can fill in the factual gaps. D.C. has a wealth of Orthodox riches. Don't go this alone.

Send me a private message if you would like an introduction.
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2009, 05:10:11 PM »

Hi all,

Well I haven't posted here in a long time, but I have been lurking  Wink.

I am currently a Catholic, and have been all of my life.  In fact, I just came from Mass and Adoration at the Basilica of the National Shrine, and it was a great experience.  I have attended Divine Liturgy in the past, and also found that beautiful.  I went to Vigil at St. Nicholas Cathedral (OCA) yesterday, and loved it as well, and the symbolism was great, even if I didn't understand what was happening.  I am drawn to Eastern theology and worship.  However I think what is holding me back is the Papacy and associated doctrines, as well as various Catholic specific doctrines that just seem to make sense once explained. 

ex-Catholics, how did you go about converting to the Orthodox Church?  It just seems that the Catholic Church has so many answers to the objections raised by Orthodox, that I'm not sure what to do.  Huh
Glory to Jesus Christ!

About 9 months ago, I was in the same position as you.  I was struggling with the Papacy, but after a lot of reading and study saw that the modern-day Papacy is completely incompatible with the early Church when all were united. My advice would be to pray, read, study, and pray more. Talk with an Orthodox priest. That's what I did when I was considering conversion. I started attending Divine Liturgy at my local mission and talked with the priest. He answered many of my questions and recommended some good books for me to read and invited me to start attending other services to get a better feel for Orthodoxy. The rest is history and I am now a catechumen, still studying and praying and fasting when the Church fasts. It hasn't been an easy journey, but I believe that Orthodoxy is the pearl of great price and it's been worth it so far.

I bear no ill-will towards the Church of Rome at all and I pray everyday for reunion between Rome and the Orthodox Churches, but I believe that the Orthodox have maintained the Apostolic Church in its fullness. I'm not one of those who believes that the Catholic Church is "graceless" as some people who take a radical position such as that believe. But, continue to pray and read the lives of Orthodox Saints, especially the Fathers of the early Church. Like I said before, I cannot guarantee that it will be an easy journey, but it will be well worth it. You're in my prayers.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2009, 05:39:59 PM »

Hi all,

Well I haven't posted here in a long time, but I have been lurking  Wink.

I am currently a Catholic, and have been all of my life.  In fact, I just came from Mass and Adoration at the Basilica of the National Shrine, and it was a great experience.  I have attended Divine Liturgy in the past, and also found that beautiful.  I went to Vigil at St. Nicholas Cathedral (OCA) yesterday, and loved it as well, and the symbolism was great, even if I didn't understand what was happening.  I am drawn to Eastern theology and worship.  However I think what is holding me back is the Papacy and associated doctrines, as well as various Catholic specific doctrines that just seem to make sense once explained. 

ex-Catholics, how did you go about converting to the Orthodox Church?  It just seems that the Catholic Church has so many answers to the objections raised by Orthodox, that I'm not sure what to do.  Huh

There are several excellent Priests in the D.C. area. You should sit down with one and talk this through. Fr. Victor at St. John the Baptist is a well known scholar. You could also try Fr. Gregory at St. Mark or Fr. George at Holy Apostles. You may even find Met Jonah free at St. Nicks. He took time with a friend of mine not long ago. It cant hurt to ask. Any one of them can help to guide you through your analysis without telling you what to believe and can fill in the factual gaps. D.C. has a wealth of Orthodox riches. Don't go this alone.

Send me a private message if you would like an introduction.

Thanks Marc, you did give me some good overviews of the DC area Orthodox churches when I first posted here.  I think what I'll do is attend Vigil at St. John the Baptist (I'm drawn to the Russian style  Grin ), then decide which priest I would talk to.  I might attend Divine Liturgy at St. Nick's on Tuesday morning as well (I live nearby it). 

I think that the worship style isn't enough for me, since we do have Eastern Catholic parishes, though they aren't nearly as accessible as Orthodoxy.  So I need to look more into beliefs.  Both the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches claim to continue the Apostolic Faith.  Catholicism attempts to posit that the doctrinal development that is found in it should not be problematic, whereas it seems that Orthodoxy preserves beliefs without any doctrinal development.
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2009, 07:24:01 PM »

I just posted something on the proof text that the Vatican put in the dome of St. Peter's.
"Life of Shenoute" by his disciple St. Besa.  St. Shenoute's writings were the examplar of Coptic literature, but his chief claim to fame was cracking his staff over Nestorius' head at the Council of Ephesus.  I one episode, "One day," Besa says, "our father Shenoute and our Lord Jesus were sitting down talking together" (a very common occurance according to the Vita) and the Bishop of Shmin came wishing to meet the abbot.  When Shenoute sent word that he was too busy to come to the bishop, the bishop got angry and threatened to excommunicate him for disobedience:

Quote
The servant went to our father [Shenouti] and said to him what the bishop had told him.  But my father smiled graciously with laughter and said: "See what this man of flesh and blood has said! Behold, here sitting with me is he who created heaven and earth! I will not go while I am with him." But the Savior said to my father: "O Shenoute, arise and go out to the bishop, lest he excommunicate you. Otherwise, I cannot let you enter [heaven] because of the covenant I made with Peter, saying 'What you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven' [Matthew 16:19].  When my father heard these words of the Savior, he arose, went out to the bishop and greeted him.

Now this dates not only before the schism of East-West, and the Schism of Chalcedon, but nearly the Schism of Ephesus.  Now Shmin is just a town in southern Egypt, and the bishop there just a suffragan of Alexandria.  So it would seem to be odd if the Vatican's interpretation of Matthew 16:19 were the ancient one why this would be applied to a bishop far from Rome, in a land where St. Peter never founded any Church.  But it makes perfect sense from the Orthodox interpretation of Matthew 16:19, and indeed, according to "the Catholic Encyclopedia," the overwhelming consensus of the Fathers.
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2009, 07:35:38 PM »


whereas it seems that Orthodoxy preserves beliefs without any doctrinal development.

I don't know about that. The major difference seems to be that the RC's seem to generate whole new doctrines based off of scholastic speculation, whereas the EO/OO seem to restrict their development to elaborating on Apostolic doctrines.
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2009, 07:54:22 PM »

While studying the beliefs and practices are good and commendable, I believe prayer and attendance of services at both churches will lead you where you need to be.
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2009, 07:59:51 PM »

Hi all,

Well I haven't posted here in a long time, but I have been lurking Wink.

I am currently a Catholic, and have been all of my life.  In fact, I just came from Mass and Adoration at the Basilica of the National Shrine, and it was a great experience.  I have attended Divine Liturgy in the past, and also found that beautiful.  I went to Vigil at St. Nicholas Cathedral (OCA) yesterday, and loved it as well, and the symbolism was great, even if I didn't understand what was happening.  I am drawn to Eastern theology and worship.  However I think what is holding me back is the Papacy and associated doctrines, as well as various Catholic specific doctrines that just seem to make sense once explained. 

, how did you go about converting to the Orthodox Church?  It just seems that the Catholic Church has so many answers to the objections raised by Orthodox, that I'm not sure what to do.  Huh

There are several excellent Priests in the D.C. area. You should sit down with one and talk this through. Fr. Victor at St. John the Baptist is a well known scholar. You could also try Fr. Gregory at St. Mark or Fr. George at Holy Apostles. You may even find Met Jonah free at St. Nicks. He took time with a friend of mine not long ago. It cant hurt to ask. Any one of them can help to guide you through your analysis without telling you what to believe and can fill in the factual gaps. D.C. has a wealth of Orthodox riches. Don't go this alone.

Send me a private message if you would like an introduction.

Thanks Marc, you did give me some good overviews of the DC area Orthodox churches when I first posted here.  I think what I'll do is attend Vigil at St. John the Baptist (I'm drawn to the Russian style Grin ), then decide which priest I would talk to.  I might attend Divine Liturgy at St. Nick's on Tuesday morning as well (I live nearby it). 

I think that the worship style isn't enough for me, since we do have Eastern Catholic parishes, though they aren't nearly as accessible as Orthodoxy.  So I need to look more into beliefs.  Both the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches claim to continue the Apostolic Faith.  Catholicism attempts to posit that the doctrinal development that is found in it should not be problematic, whereas it seems that Orthodoxy preserves beliefs without any doctrinal development.

I remember now. You can visit our Rocor parish in Beltsville too. I'd be happy to help you get there. We have a very knowledgeable parishioner who is a former Roman Catholic Priest. He may be perfect for you to speak with.

I have found that the case for the Papacy as it is constituted today does not hold up under rigorous scrutiny. At first look, they have what appears to be a very good case with all kinds of persuasive documentation. But once you rise above that first blush and get the aid of scholars ( of which we have several right here on OC.net) you soon discover that their case has been concocted to cover up the real history of Church Governance even to the point (sadly) of using forged documents.

Good luck..Let me know if I can help.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 08:00:26 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2009, 10:31:28 AM »

I just posted something on the proof text that the Vatican put in the dome of St. Peter's.
"Life of Shenoute" by his disciple St. Besa.  St. Shenoute's writings were the examplar of Coptic literature, but his chief claim to fame was cracking his staff over Nestorius' head at the Council of Ephesus.  I one episode, "One day," Besa says, "our father Shenoute and our Lord Jesus were sitting down talking together" (a very common occurance according to the Vita) and the Bishop of Shmin came wishing to meet the abbot.  When Shenoute sent word that he was too busy to come to the bishop, the bishop got angry and threatened to excommunicate him for disobedience:

Quote
The servant went to our father [Shenouti] and said to him what the bishop had told him.  But my father smiled graciously with laughter and said: "See what this man of flesh and blood has said! Behold, here sitting with me is he who created heaven and earth! I will not go while I am with him." But the Savior said to my father: "O Shenoute, arise and go out to the bishop, lest he excommunicate you. Otherwise, I cannot let you enter [heaven] because of the covenant I made with Peter, saying 'What you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven' [Matthew 16:19].  When my father heard these words of the Savior, he arose, went out to the bishop and greeted him.

Now this dates not only before the schism of East-West, and the Schism of Chalcedon, but nearly the Schism of Ephesus.  Now Shmin is just a town in southern Egypt, and the bishop there just a suffragan of Alexandria.  So it would seem to be odd if the Vatican's interpretation of Matthew 16:19 were the ancient one why this would be applied to a bishop far from Rome, in a land where St. Peter never founded any Church.  But it makes perfect sense from the Orthodox interpretation of Matthew 16:19, and indeed, according to "the Catholic Encyclopedia," the overwhelming consensus of the Fathers.

The unique promise to Peter was not the binding and loosing one since in Matt 18:18 it was applied to all the Apostles. The unique promise to Peter (the Rock upon which the Church was to be built) was that he would hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2009, 10:58:06 AM »

I just posted something on the proof text that the Vatican put in the dome of St. Peter's.
"Life of Shenoute" by his disciple St. Besa.  St. Shenoute's writings were the examplar of Coptic literature, but his chief claim to fame was cracking his staff over Nestorius' head at the Council of Ephesus.  I one episode, "One day," Besa says, "our father Shenoute and our Lord Jesus were sitting down talking together" (a very common occurance according to the Vita) and the Bishop of Shmin came wishing to meet the abbot.  When Shenoute sent word that he was too busy to come to the bishop, the bishop got angry and threatened to excommunicate him for disobedience:

Quote
The servant went to our father [Shenouti] and said to him what the bishop had told him.  But my father smiled graciously with laughter and said: "See what this man of flesh and blood has said! Behold, here sitting with me is he who created heaven and earth! I will not go while I am with him." But the Savior said to my father: "O Shenoute, arise and go out to the bishop, lest he excommunicate you. Otherwise, I cannot let you enter [heaven] because of the covenant I made with Peter, saying 'What you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven' [Matthew 16:19].  When my father heard these words of the Savior, he arose, went out to the bishop and greeted him.

Now this dates not only before the schism of East-West, and the Schism of Chalcedon, but nearly the Schism of Ephesus.  Now Shmin is just a town in southern Egypt, and the bishop there just a suffragan of Alexandria.  So it would seem to be odd if the Vatican's interpretation of Matthew 16:19 were the ancient one why this would be applied to a bishop far from Rome, in a land where St. Peter never founded any Church.  But it makes perfect sense from the Orthodox interpretation of Matthew 16:19, and indeed, according to "the Catholic Encyclopedia," the overwhelming consensus of the Fathers.

The unique promise to Peter was not the binding and loosing one since in Matt 18:18 it was applied to all the Apostles. The unique promise to Peter (the Rock upon which the Church was to be built) was that he would hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven.



I think all Orthodox acknowledge Peter as the head of the Apostles and that he held a special place. That does not therefore make the leap to a Monarchical form of Church governance with a single Bishop ruling over the entire Church. A look back at history shows that was not the arrangement for nearly one thousand years of Church history.Rome did not even begin to suggest such an arrangement until about 420.
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2009, 11:31:28 AM »

I just posted something on the proof text that the Vatican put in the dome of St. Peter's.
"Life of Shenoute" by his disciple St. Besa.  St. Shenoute's writings were the examplar of Coptic literature, but his chief claim to fame was cracking his staff over Nestorius' head at the Council of Ephesus.  I one episode, "One day," Besa says, "our father Shenoute and our Lord Jesus were sitting down talking together" (a very common occurance according to the Vita) and the Bishop of Shmin came wishing to meet the abbot.  When Shenoute sent word that he was too busy to come to the bishop, the bishop got angry and threatened to excommunicate him for disobedience:

Quote
The servant went to our father [Shenouti] and said to him what the bishop had told him.  But my father smiled graciously with laughter and said: "See what this man of flesh and blood has said! Behold, here sitting with me is he who created heaven and earth! I will not go while I am with him." But the Savior said to my father: "O Shenoute, arise and go out to the bishop, lest he excommunicate you. Otherwise, I cannot let you enter [heaven] because of the covenant I made with Peter, saying 'What you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven' [Matthew 16:19].  When my father heard these words of the Savior, he arose, went out to the bishop and greeted him.

Now this dates not only before the schism of East-West, and the Schism of Chalcedon, but nearly the Schism of Ephesus.  Now Shmin is just a town in southern Egypt, and the bishop there just a suffragan of Alexandria.  So it would seem to be odd if the Vatican's interpretation of Matthew 16:19 were the ancient one why this would be applied to a bishop far from Rome, in a land where St. Peter never founded any Church.  But it makes perfect sense from the Orthodox interpretation of Matthew 16:19, and indeed, according to "the Catholic Encyclopedia," the overwhelming consensus of the Fathers.

The unique promise to Peter was not the binding and loosing one since in Matt 18:18 it was applied to all the Apostles.

Right you are!

Quote
The unique promise to Peter (the Rock upon which the Church was to be built) was that he would hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

and those keys do what?

The quote is QUITE plain on that.  I bold faced in case you missed it.
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2009, 05:31:40 PM »



Quote
Quote
The unique promise to Peter was not the binding and loosing one since in Matt 18:18 it was applied to all the Apostles.

Right you are!

Quote
The unique promise to Peter (the Rock upon which the Church was to be built) was that he would hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

and those keys do what?



The meaning of the power of the keys is foreshadowed in Isaiah 22
20 On that day I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah,
21 and will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash on him. I will commit your authority to his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
22 I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open.
23 I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honour to his ancestral house.
24 And they will hang on him the whole weight of his ancestral house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons.
25 On that day, says the Lord of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way; it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will perish, for the Lord has spoken.


The Keys signify the plenary power conferred upon Peter and his successors as the Vicars of Christ.



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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2009, 06:01:58 PM »

Dear brother NewOrtho,
I was (and temporarily am) a Roman Catholic, but I'm travelling straight to Orthodoxy.
I think that your doubts are an half-proof that your still Roman Catholic in everything. RCism and EOxy are two different mindsets. You can't be Orthodox and still believe in those legalistic/scholastic sophisteries. I can speak for myself: I never felt at my ease in RCism because I always had a mystical and non-speculative approach to God... and the purity and at the same time richness of Orthodoxy were the final force to attract me there. Maybe you should really read the Church Fathers and understand how the role of the Papacy is a strong misunderstanding/change/heresy before realizing that the philosophies of men, when not supported by Tradition, are useless and lead to more and more errors.

Hope this helps...
In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2009, 06:28:18 PM »



Quote
Quote
The unique promise to Peter was not the binding and loosing one since in Matt 18:18 it was applied to all the Apostles.

Right you are!

Quote
The unique promise to Peter (the Rock upon which the Church was to be built) was that he would hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

and those keys do what?



The meaning of the power of the keys is foreshadowed in Isaiah 22
20 On that day I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah,
21 and will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash on him. I will commit your authority to his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
22 I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open.
23 I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honour to his ancestral house.
24 And they will hang on him the whole weight of his ancestral house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons.
25 On that day, says the Lord of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way; it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will perish, for the Lord has spoken.


The Keys signify the plenary power conferred upon Peter and his successors as the Vicars of Christ.

Ah, yes. The Eliakim prophecy.  One of my favorites.  I do have to commend you though, it is usually not quoted with the verse in black (raises questions I guess).

I always point out that the Douay Rheims translation, one done to win the Anglicans back to submission to the Vatican, has every reason to make use of this "proof text."  Yet it states that Eliakim is "a type of Christ."

Someone at CAF did find a reference to this interpretation in a manuscript of Francis de Sales, which was published in the 1800's, which claims "But is the commandment which in Isaias (xxii.) is given to Eliacim which is parallel in every particular with that which Our Lord gives to S. Peter.....Could anything fit better than these two Scriptures? For: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona, because flesh and blood have not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven- is it not at least equivalent to: I will call my servant Eliacim the son of Helcias?", but no explanation of where that interprettion which "fits better" not appearing after the Protestant reformation.
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2009, 07:12:00 PM »

I am taking the liberty of reminding everyone at this time that the Convert Issues forum is not a place for debate.  It is rather a place where an inquirer may ask questions of Orthodox Christians in a supportive and non-threatening environment.  Christians of other affiliations are welcome to post here, just as long as their comments do not incite debate or are not of a proselytizing nature.  Orthodox Christians who post here should also avoid debate with non-Orthodox.  If anyone wishes to debate issues that might be raised in the Convert Issues forum, they are welcome to begin a thread in an appropriate venue and have at it.  I trust that these  guidelines are clear.

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« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2009, 08:27:40 PM »

Dear brother NewOrtho,
I was (and temporarily am) a Roman Catholic, but I'm travelling straight to Orthodoxy.
I think that your doubts are an half-proof that your still Roman Catholic in everything. RCism and EOxy are two different mindsets. You can't be Orthodox and still believe in those legalistic/scholastic sophisteries. I can speak for myself: I never felt at my ease in RCism because I always had a mystical and non-speculative approach to God... and the purity and at the same time richness of Orthodoxy were the final force to attract me there. Maybe you should really read the Church Fathers and understand how the role of the Papacy is a strong misunderstanding/change/heresy before realizing that the philosophies of men, when not supported by Tradition, are useless and lead to more and more errors.

Hope this helps...
In Christ,   Alex

Thanks.  Yes I have noticed the different mindsets on approaching theology.  On certain things I can definitely agree with the Orthodox standpoint, such as on the Real Presence.  Catholics and Orthodox both believe in the Real Presence, however Orthodox see no need in trying to explain how it happens, i.e. transubstantiation. 

I'm planning on going to Divine Liturgy tomorrow morning, and I'l do some reading on the Papacy.  One question I do have is, if we all agree that the Bishop of Rome was the "first among equals", or had primacy, can the Church still be the Church without the Bishop of Rome?  (Not sure if this question should be asked in Faith Issues or Orthodox-Catholic Discussion).

Thanks!
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« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2009, 10:11:36 PM »

Dear brother NewOrtho,
I was (and temporarily am) a Roman Catholic, but I'm travelling straight to Orthodoxy.
I think that your doubts are an half-proof that your still Roman Catholic in everything. RCism and EOxy are two different mindsets. You can't be Orthodox and still believe in those legalistic/scholastic sophisteries. I can speak for myself: I never felt at my ease in RCism because I always had a mystical and non-speculative approach to God... and the purity and at the same time richness of Orthodoxy were the final force to attract me there. Maybe you should really read the Church Fathers and understand how the role of the Papacy is a strong misunderstanding/change/heresy before realizing that the philosophies of men, when not supported by Tradition, are useless and lead to more and more errors.

Hope this helps...
In Christ,   Alex


Thanks.  Yes I have noticed the different mindsets on approaching theology.  On certain things I can definitely agree with the Orthodox standpoint, such as on the Real Presence.  Catholics and Orthodox both believe in the Real Presence, however Orthodox see no need in trying to explain how it happens, i.e. transubstantiation. 

I'm planning on going to Divine Liturgy tomorrow morning, and I'l do some reading on the Papacy.  One question I do have is, if we all agree that the Bishop of Rome was the "first among equals", or had primacy, can the Church still be the Church without the Bishop of Rome?  (Not sure if this question should be asked in Faith Issues or Orthodox-Catholic Discussion).

Thanks!

He didnt have "Primacy".. He had "Primacy of Honor".. He was first among equals, not the Monarch of the Church.

Yes, the Church has done fine without this position of Honor resting in the Roman See.   For example, all seven councils decided the most fundemental issues of Christianity without the Pope.
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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2009, 10:43:35 PM »


One question I do have is, if we all agree that the Bishop of Rome was the "first among equals", or had primacy, can the Church still be the Church without the Bishop of Rome?

Yes. The primacy of the Church ecumenical was granted the Bishop of Rome by the First Council of Nicaea. It was not an inherent attribute of said Bishop. Further, the Bishop of Rome is not really even fundamental to the structure of the Church. The EO and OO have even shifted the primacy such that the EO recognize the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as first among equals now, and I believe the OO do likewise with the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria. The Bishop of Rome is liable to error as any other bishop, and if he does delve into error, it is the obligation of the other bishops to preserve the Church of Christ without him.
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« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2009, 10:54:12 PM »

Quote
The unique promise to Peter (the Rock upon which the Church was to be built) was that he would hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

and those keys do what?.
As I understand it, the Roman Catholic interpretation of the keys is that they give the successor of St. Peter the authority to bind and loose over the whole Church.
Here is my personal opinion on it. In the unlikely event that a reunion were to take place, the RCC would first have to modify or place some limitations on the power of the Pope to loose and bind over the whole Church. For example, the disciplinary authority of the Pope of Rome should be restricted or limited, in my personal opinion, when it comes to the Eastern Churches. By the disciplinary authority, I mean things like the rule of celibacy, the rule of leavened bread, the rule on confirmation at an early age.
And I think it is a big sticking point, a huge one really, because if the Roman Church insists on an absolute and universal  power to loose and bind over the whole Church , then I don't see any hope for a reunion between Catholic and Orthodox.
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« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2009, 10:56:16 PM »

The EO and OO have even shifted the primacy such that the EO recognize the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as first among equals now, and I believe the OO do likewise with the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria.

Actually, the OO's don't have that sort of ranking.   Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2009, 12:29:01 AM »

Quote
The unique promise to Peter (the Rock upon which the Church was to be built) was that he would hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

and those keys do what?.
For example, the disciplinary authority of the Pope of Rome should be restricted or limited, in my personal opinion, when it comes to the Eastern Churches. By the disciplinary authority, I mean things like the rule of celibacy, the rule of leavened bread, the rule on confirmation at an early age.

Yes, but the Eastern Catholic Churches already have these things.  I think the Eastern Catholic Churches are making this difficult for me, but I don't agree with others that say they are "Orthodox in communion with Rome", as that implies a lot of things that aren't true.  I guess I'll have to keep studying and praying, as this isn't an easy thing for me to decide  Sad
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« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2009, 02:01:31 AM »

The EO and OO have even shifted the primacy such that the EO recognize the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as first among equals now, and I believe the OO do likewise with the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria.

Actually, the OO's don't have that sort of ranking.   Smiley

The Coptic Pope would not be considered the first in honor with a certain presidency among equals in the College of Bishops?
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« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2009, 02:35:29 AM »

As I understand it, the Roman Catholic interpretation of the keys is that they give the successor of St. Peter the authority to bind and loose over the whole Church.

As the Moderator has pointed out this is not a venue for debate. so I would direct you to another thread where we show that Pope Saint Gregory the Great teaches that the power of the keys belongs equally to three successors of St Peter - the bishops of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch.

See message #45 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21413.msg331201.html#msg331201
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« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2009, 02:40:05 AM »

The Coptic Pope would not be considered the first in honor with a certain presidency among equals in the College of Bishops?

Not among the OO's.  We're just not into that.   Smiley

I think this was touched on in another thread recently, where I was trying to explain the four different patriarchs of the Armenian Church and how they related to each other.  Within that grouping inside the Armenian Church, there is an ordering.  However, among the patriarchs of the various OO Churches, there is not.  At least not that I am aware of.
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« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2009, 09:46:31 AM »

Dear New Ortho,

Welcome to the forum.  I don't normally post often, though I have been a part of this forum for some years; however your posts inspired me.  I grew up Roman Catholic as part of a large Hispanic family.  I understand the difficulties both theological and familial.  The revelation that everything I had been told about Papal Supremacy in CCD was potentially wrong and didn't hold up to historical scrutiny was a heavy burden for me – one that I wish I didn't have to carry.  There will always be arguments on both sides; however, it is important to note that Papal Supremacy is not the only or even the most important difference between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.  You ask how I went about converting?  What I did was I gave the Orthodox faith a try – I talked to a priest, entered into a life of Orthodox prayer, I went to the services (especially Matins & Vespers) and I studied and found answers to my question within the mindset and context of the early Church.  I would suggest to you to start with St. Ignatius of Antioch, if you haven't already.

In ICXC,
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« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2009, 01:17:31 PM »

Thanks, I'll start reading some of St. Ignatius.

I think the Marian devotions are also an issue.  I am very devoted to Mary, and love her example for all Christians.  I think that sometimes the Catholic devotion can go to excess, especially in regards to apparitions and related theology.  I think that the Eastern devotion to Mary is more "acceptable", and she is still honored and highly revered, but we don't find any speculation on her role as co-Redemptrix or co-Mediatrix, for example.

I still like the Catholic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC, as it is a HUGE Catholic church.  I like being able to just go to a Catholic parish and sitting in prayer, lighting candles, etc.  as well as the various devotions that larger churches have during the week.  It seems that most Orthodox churches are only open when a liturgy is being had, for some time before and after it.  I know this isn't something to base my conversion on, but it's something I think about.
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« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2009, 02:58:28 PM »

Thanks, I'll start reading some of St. Ignatius.

I think the Marian devotions are also an issue.  I am very devoted to Mary, and love her example for all Christians.  I think that sometimes the Catholic devotion can go to excess, especially in regards to apparitions and related theology.  I think that the Eastern devotion to Mary is more "acceptable", and she is still honored and highly revered, but we don't find any speculation on her role as co-Redemptrix or co-Mediatrix, for example.

I still like the Catholic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC, as it is a HUGE Catholic church.  I like being able to just go to a Catholic parish and sitting in prayer, lighting candles, etc.  as well as the various devotions that larger churches have during the week.  It seems that most Orthodox churches are only open when a liturgy is being had, for some time before and after it.  I know this isn't something to base my conversion on, but it's something I think about.

New Ortho, sadly this is true in many places in the Orthodox Church due to the lack of someone being present in the church at all times to hold down on theft and Vandalism, however in my parish the church doors open in the morning with Orthros and lock up in the evening after vespers. This is due to having an active bookstore minisitry on site and a live in celibate Reader who assures the doors are open on time and that Readers services are served during the day. Hopefully the old western view of an Achorite like this may catch on we will start to see more churches open throughout the day. Our parish provides a room for the anchorite to live in with  a bath and shower in the church and Church Kitchen to fix meals.

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« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2009, 03:16:09 PM »

Dear NewOrtho,
as it has already been correctly said, there are three successors of Peter in Rome, Antioch and Alexandria. Curiously enough the legimitate and ordinary bishops of these sees are in three different ecclesiastical communions... (since I consider the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria to be a temporary replacement until we overcome the divisions with our OO brethren; anyway the OO churches have so few and marginal differences that I feel them more as schismatic, but not heterodox...). Maybe you should think of Peter the same that has happened when Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus: Peter found it necessary that his episcopal ministry be replaced by an other disciple. That took place when the Roman Pontiff left Orthodoxy: his role was taken by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, our new "first among equals". So, definitely, the bishop of Rome is not "constitutional" to the essence of our Orthodox Apostolic and Catholic Church: our true Head is Christ himself!
Maybe you should also remember that some private devotions, when they aren't *contrary* to Orthodoxy, could be legitimate in our Church (for example the Rosary according to st Seraphim of Sarov in the Western Rite). I suggest you to attend a Western Rite liturgy... this way you could find a more familiar home within the Orthodox Family. Many aspects of the Roman Rite have been restored to their original purity in the Western Rite, so you can have at the same time a fully "Roman" liturgy and a fully "Orthodox" ritual for you. Since you quoted the OCA, I understand that you must be American, so you have this great possibility which is completely absent in my country (i.e. Italy).
Anyway, good luck for your travel - independently from its destination!

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2009, 04:37:36 PM »

The Coptic Pope would not be considered the first in honor with a certain presidency among equals in the College of Bishops?

Not among the OO's.  We're just not into that.   Smiley

I think this was touched on in another thread recently, where I was trying to explain the four different patriarchs of the Armenian Church and how they related to each other.  Within that grouping inside the Armenian Church, there is an ordering.  However, among the patriarchs of the various OO Churches, there is not.  At least not that I am aware of.

But didn't the early Church provide for a ranking of honor, with Rome 1st, Alexandria 2nd, and Antioch 3rd?
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« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2009, 09:38:46 PM »

The ranking system is no earlier than the Ecumenical Councils and it's not something that really goes to the core of our faith. 
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« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2009, 07:00:37 PM »

Grace and Peace,

I am a Roman Catholic making his way and that of my family toward Orthodoxy. I've had a great deal of challenges and stales but I continue to feel called to Orthodoxy and I continue to take steps toward Orthodoxy. Most recently I have not registered my daughter for Catechesis this year at our Catholic Parish and I have ceased to take communion at our Catholic Parish but I have not been able to really integrate my family with my Orthodox Parish. We've had a lot of false starts. My wife is now 9 weeks pregnant and I've been hearing a lot more positivity from your regarding Orthodoxy. For anyone who enters into an inquiry into Orthodoxy I can only say that it should be something to be taken very seriously and with much prayer.
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« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2009, 08:04:28 PM »

Thanks, I'll start reading some of St. Ignatius.

I think the Marian devotions are also an issue.  I am very devoted to Mary, and love her example for all Christians.  I think that sometimes the Catholic devotion can go to excess, especially in regards to apparitions and related theology.  I think that the Eastern devotion to Mary is more "acceptable", and she is still honored and highly revered, but we don't find any speculation on her role as co-Redemptrix or co-Mediatrix, for example.

I still like the Catholic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC, as it is a HUGE Catholic church.  I like being able to just go to a Catholic parish and sitting in prayer, lighting candles, etc.  as well as the various devotions that larger churches have during the week.  It seems that most Orthodox churches are only open when a liturgy is being had, for some time before and after it.  I know this isn't something to base my conversion on, but it's something I think about.

Iv been to the National shrine wasn't impressed with it..It seems to me they want to be wanna be Orthodox..the main picture and i mean picture of christ over the altar i wouldn't profane a holy Ikon By Calling  it a Ikon,,its just awfull....ug
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« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2009, 12:54:16 AM »

I consider the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria to be a temporary replacement until we overcome the divisions with our Oriental Orthodox brethren...

I would hardly call 1500 years temporary!

Iv been to the National shrine wasn't impressed with it..It seems to me they want to be wanna be Orthodox..the main picture and i mean picture of christ over the altar i wouldn't profane a holy Ikon By Calling  it a Ikon,,its just awfull....ug

Do you really have to make everything a competition?  What they did, they did for the glory of God.  Have a little respect.
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« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2009, 01:15:24 AM »

But, Alveus, ya gotta admit that the mosaic Christ in this cathedral is rather, er, off, even by western religious art standards. Stashko does have a point here. This mosaic, spectacular and vast as it may be, is no icon.

http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/2400331_jVrFW/1/125771254_R3zGB/Large
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« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2009, 01:28:49 AM »

It does look like there should be laser beams coming out of the eyes; I'll give you that.
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« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2009, 01:29:04 AM »

I consider the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria to be a temporary replacement until we overcome the divisions with our Oriental Orthodox brethren...

I would hardly call 1500 years temporary!

Iv been to the National shrine wasn't impressed with it..It seems to me they want to be wanna be Orthodox..the main picture and i mean picture of christ over the altar i wouldn't profane a holy Ikon By Calling  it a Ikon,,its just awfull....ug

Do you really have to make everything a competition?  What they did, they did for the glory of God.  Have a little respect.



The person or persons that created that monstrosity is stuck on the human flesh..Ikons show the Holy Transfigured christ what we are suppose to strive towards....
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« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2009, 07:25:40 AM »

Quote
Quote from: AlexanderOfBergamo on June 16, 2009, 03:16:09 PM
I consider the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria to be a temporary replacement until we overcome the divisions with our Oriental Orthodox brethren...

I would hardly call 1500 years temporary!
By "temporary" I meant "provisional". I wish we did this also for the Patriarchate of Rome... Sad
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« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2009, 09:36:05 AM »

We serve excellent coffee at our parish. Does that attract new converts?
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« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2009, 09:48:47 AM »

But, Alveus, ya gotta admit that the mosaic Christ in this cathedral is rather, er, off, even by western religious art standards. Stashko does have a point here. This mosaic, spectacular and vast as it may be, is no icon.

http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/2400331_jVrFW/1/125771254_R3zGB/Large

Woah! I gotta say, that is a pretty disturbing picture of Jesus. He looks like a Greek god or something. I have no doubt of the good intentions and hearts of the artists, but man, that is a little disturbing.
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« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2009, 05:14:31 PM »

Thanks, I'll start reading some of St. Ignatius.

I think the Marian devotions are also an issue.  I am very devoted to Mary, and love her example for all Christians.  I think that sometimes the Catholic devotion can go to excess, especially in regards to apparitions and related theology.  I think that the Eastern devotion to Mary is more "acceptable", and she is still honored and highly revered, but we don't find any speculation on her role as co-Redemptrix or co-Mediatrix, for example.

I still like the Catholic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC, as it is a HUGE Catholic church.  I like being able to just go to a Catholic parish and sitting in prayer, lighting candles, etc.  as well as the various devotions that larger churches have during the week.  It seems that most Orthodox churches are only open when a liturgy is being had, for some time before and after it.  I know this isn't something to base my conversion on, but it's something I think about.

Grace and Peace,

To be fair most Orthodox (including myself) have Icon corners in their homes (with candles and holy water) for Morning and Evening Prayers. The Faith enters into your home and your life and does not simply exist 'out there'.

Do you have any Icons?
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