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« on: July 15, 2009, 01:35:26 AM »

How do you tell your family that you are becoming Orthodox?  I am having a hard time with this one.  My family is most moderate practicing Catholics but my mother has become very devout in recent years due to her heroic battle with bone marrow cancer.  She goes to mass every Sunday and has a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy image and chaplet.  She is trying to discourage me from re joining the Orthodox Church as much as she can.  My other family members are none too pleased either and they are hurling some threats and invectives my way when it comes to this issue.

This is hard for me because I am 28 and still living with my parents.  They have some say as to what I do with my life (though not legally but when you live with your parents, they still exhort influence over you).  This whole thing is horrible and painful for me.  Why couldn't I just have been born Greek.  I'm Italian and they are practically the same thing except one group is Orthodox and the other RC. 

I want to become Orthodox because I am really believing that they are the one, true, faith but it's hard to leave the RCC.  They are so powerful and influential that they can overwhelm even the strongest of wills. 

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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2009, 01:39:07 AM »

Tell them with love!
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2009, 02:28:06 AM »

Have you asked St. Monica for advice? (I'm being serious here.)

Also, talk to your priest, as he is probably more familiar with the particulars of your situation than we are.

God bless you on your journey friend. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2009, 03:41:50 AM »

How do you tell your family that you are becoming Orthodox?  I am having a hard time with this one.  My family is most moderate practicing Catholics but my mother has become very devout in recent years due to her heroic battle with bone marrow cancer.  She goes to mass every Sunday and has a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy image and chaplet.  She is trying to discourage me from re joining the Orthodox Church as much as she can.  My other family members are none too pleased either and they are hurling some threats and invectives my way when it comes to this issue.

This is hard for me because I am 28 and still living with my parents.  They have some say as to what I do with my life (though not legally but when you live with your parents, they still exhort influence over you).  This whole thing is horrible and painful for me.  Why couldn't I just have been born Greek.  I'm Italian and they are practically the same thing except one group is Orthodox and the other RC. 

I want to become Orthodox because I am really believing that they are the one, true, faith but it's hard to leave the RCC.  They are so powerful and influential that they can overwhelm even the strongest of wills. 



 Start by inviting her to  go with you the orthodox church,also the other ones of your family so they get some idea in how we worship. which is more ancient and traditional...who knows they may like it ....
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 07:07:56 AM »

How do you tell your family that you are becoming Orthodox?  I am having a hard time with this one.  My family is most moderate practicing Catholics but my mother has become very devout in recent years due to her heroic battle with bone marrow cancer.  She goes to mass every Sunday and has a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy image and chaplet.  She is trying to discourage me from re joining the Orthodox Church as much as she can.  My other family members are none too pleased either and they are hurling some threats and invectives my way when it comes to this issue.

This is hard for me because I am 28 and still living with my parents.  They have some say as to what I do with my life (though not legally but when you live with your parents, they still exhort influence over you).  This whole thing is horrible and painful for me.  Why couldn't I just have been born Greek.  I'm Italian and they are practically the same thing except one group is Orthodox and the other RC. 

I want to become Orthodox because I am really believing that they are the one, true, faith but it's hard to leave the RCC.  They are so powerful and influential that they can overwhelm even the strongest of wills. 



Are you Italian? Do you also live in Italy? You know, I'm Italian too and live in Bergamo, northern Italy. I can understand what you're passing, since it's also my experience. My father is technically of no interest in religion (he often shows "Da Vinci Code" ideas... but my mother he strongly devout person in Catholicism.
I don't know how to councel you, anyway... It's a hard time for me, too...

How do you tell your family that you are becoming Orthodox?  I am having a hard time with this one.  My family is most moderate practicing Catholics but my mother has become very devout in recent years due to her heroic battle with bone marrow cancer.  She goes to mass every Sunday and has a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy image and chaplet.  She is trying to discourage me from re joining the Orthodox Church as much as she can.  My other family members are none too pleased either and they are hurling some threats and invectives my way when it comes to this issue.

This is hard for me because I am 28 and still living with my parents.  They have some say as to what I do with my life (though not legally but when you live with your parents, they still exhort influence over you).  This whole thing is horrible and painful for me.  Why couldn't I just have been born Greek.  I'm Italian and they are practically the same thing except one group is Orthodox and the other RC. 

I want to become Orthodox because I am really believing that they are the one, true, faith but it's hard to leave the RCC.  They are so powerful and influential that they can overwhelm even the strongest of wills. 



 Start by inviting her to  go with you the orthodox church,also the other ones of your family so they get some idea in how we worship. which is more ancient and traditional...who knows they may like it ....

I tried this too, but she's not interested in confronting to what she sees as a sect (no matter that 250 million people worhip God in the Orthodox Church...). On the contrary, I think my grandma would come voluntarily: she already loves the Byzantine Catholic Church as she "virtually" attends this Mass/Divine Liturgy on tv every week! (Unfortunately it's not her whom I have to convince  Sad)
In Christ    Alex
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2009, 08:49:52 AM »

How do you tell your family that you are becoming Orthodox?  I am having a hard time with this one.  My family is most moderate practicing Catholics but my mother has become very devout in recent years due to her heroic battle with bone marrow cancer.  She goes to mass every Sunday and has a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy image and chaplet.  She is trying to discourage me from re joining the Orthodox Church as much as she can.  My other family members are none too pleased either and they are hurling some threats and invectives my way when it comes to this issue.

This is hard for me because I am 28 and still living with my parents.  They have some say as to what I do with my life (though not legally but when you live with your parents, they still exhort influence over you).  This whole thing is horrible and painful for me.  Why couldn't I just have been born Greek.  I'm Italian and they are practically the same thing except one group is Orthodox and the other RC. 

I want to become Orthodox because I am really believing that they are the one, true, faith but it's hard to leave the RCC.  They are so powerful and influential that they can overwhelm even the strongest of wills. 



Are you rejoining the Church?

It seems that your folks are already told, so are you asking how you induce them to accept it?  For that, you might first want to find out what is their objections, and go from there.

Is your mother traditional (Latin mass) catholic?  That could also play a role in how you handle it.

I don't know if I'd say the Greeks and Italians are the same (I've been all over both places), and I'm not one for phyletism, but are you from the South?  Most of Italy there HAS a Greek background: after all, it was Magna Graeca.
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2009, 10:43:30 AM »

How do you tell your family that you are becoming Orthodox?  I am having a hard time with this one.  My family is most moderate practicing Catholics but my mother has become very devout in recent years due to her heroic battle with bone marrow cancer.  She goes to mass every Sunday and has a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy image and chaplet.  She is trying to discourage me from re joining the Orthodox Church as much as she can.  My other family members are none too pleased either and they are hurling some threats and invectives my way when it comes to this issue.

This is hard for me because I am 28 and still living with my parents.  They have some say as to what I do with my life (though not legally but when you live with your parents, they still exhort influence over you).  This whole thing is horrible and painful for me.  Why couldn't I just have been born Greek.  I'm Italian and they are practically the same thing except one group is Orthodox and the other RC. 

I want to become Orthodox because I am really believing that they are the one, true, faith but it's hard to leave the RCC.  They are so powerful and influential that they can overwhelm even the strongest of wills. 



Why not show them some of the many positive things the last 2 Popes have said and written about Orthodoxy? That might be the best way you could go from here. (Rome accepts all our Sacraments and that Orthodoxy is part of the One True Church, albeit illicitly) How about show them the picture of the E.P. at Vespers in St. Peter's in Rome, and other such ecumenical services, dialogues and statements of everything we have in common. That seems like a good way to me. But not knowing all the background of your family, it might not do much good, but it's an idea.


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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2009, 11:55:50 AM »

I endorse what  Northern Pines said.  My wife, a former Roman Catholic used this method withher parents and they have been very happy with her choice in Orthodoxy.  We can civilly talk about our experineces and they listen and are happier with her decision than they were with a son who became an Apostolic Pentecostal and another daughter who became a Unitarian. Being up front and saying how you feel will often pave the way for parents who love you.

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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2009, 01:31:31 PM »

Thanks for the replies.  I am half Italian (from my mother).  Her family comes from around Foggia, in the province of Puglia.  My Father is Polish and Irish.  Yes, I am an American so these are my backrounds.  I am not from Italy or Europe (unfortunately).  My mothers family tends to me being more open about what I want to do (although my mother,and  grandmother strongly oppose me leaving the RC.  They tell me to go Byzantine Catholic instead.  They were not happy with my first decision to become Orthodox and my mother cried in her parish on the day of my baptism into Orthodoxy (or so my grandmother tells me since I wasn't at her church).  I later took my grandmother to the Russian church I attended.  She was not too pleased with the "antique" way of things, especially the singing.  The fact that all Orthodox and Byzantine services are sung seems to be a real problem with some RC's (many of whom seem to despise the concept of sung liturgies).

My father is a Catholic but not very practicing.  He still seemed far more openly upset about my decision to become Orthodox last time (he even refused to come to my baptism.  He believes int eh truth of the RC, although he did have some Orthodox relative at one time.  The whole thing is really getting me down.  I want to become Orthodox but am nervous about what the effect will have on my family.  Thank God they are all just Novus Ordo Catholics and not Latin mass going traditionalist or else I really would have some problems.

Please pray for me.

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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2009, 01:39:05 PM »

Thanks for the replies.  I am half Italian (from my mother).  Her family comes from around Foggia, in the province of Puglia.  My Father is Polish and Irish.  Yes, I am an American so these are my backrounds.  I am not from Italy or Europe (unfortunately).  My mothers family tends to me being more open about what I want to do (although my mother,and  grandmother strongly oppose me leaving the RC.  They tell me to go Byzantine Catholic instead.  They were not happy with my first decision to become Orthodox and my mother cried in her parish on the day of my baptism into Orthodoxy (or so my grandmother tells me since I wasn't at her church).  I later took my grandmother to the Russian church I attended.  She was not too pleased with the "antique" way of things, especially the singing.  The fact that all Orthodox and Byzantine services are sung seems to be a real problem with some RC's (many of whom seem to despise the concept of sung liturgies).

My father is a Catholic but not very practicing.  He still seemed far more openly upset about my decision to become Orthodox last time (he even refused to come to my baptism.  He believes int eh truth of the RC, although he did have some Orthodox relative at one time.  The whole thing is really getting me down.  I want to become Orthodox but am nervous about what the effect will have on my family.  Thank God they are all just Novus Ordo Catholics and not Latin mass going traditionalist or else I really would have some problems.

Please pray for me.



I'm confused.  How many times have you become Orthodox and then apostasized the faith.  Can you ive us a back ground on your religious progression?

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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2009, 01:53:54 PM »

I was born and raised an RC who converted to OC in 2000 and reverted back to RC in 2002.  I only was Orthodox once for about two years.  I have been RC the rest of the time until a recent, personal, crises in my life started me thinking about the question of truth.

Hope this helps.

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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2009, 02:14:26 PM »

I was born and raised an RC who converted to OC in 2000 and reverted back to RC in 2002.  I only was Orthodox once for about two years.  I have been RC the rest of the time until a recent, personal, crises in my life started me thinking about the question of truth.

Hope this helps.



So then be a man, stand up for what you believe and make a firm decision and stick with it.  The truth is worth fighting for.  Ask the martyrs of the Orthodox Church.  I deal with issues in my own family who is split between Roman Catholics/Greek Catholics and Eastern Orthodox.  But you know Jesus said to follow Him no matter what.  I will do so in the One, Holy and Apostolic Church and not make any concessions to please the whims of certain people in my family who think negatively about my being Orthodox and not Roman Catholic.  Why would I seek reward and consolation from men when my reward will come from God.  Think about how the apostles suffered and the martyrs suffered for the faith.  It's not joining the Orthodox Church for you.  It is coming back to the church.  Go to confession and start going to back to church.  Sure you may suffer a little harassment from the family.  But Christ gave His life for you on the cross.  What is a little ridicule from your family and peers in comparison to that?  Blessed are they who are persecuted falsely for my sake for their reward is the Kingdom of Heaven.  Christ never said it would be easy. 
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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2009, 12:07:12 PM »

I was born and raised an RC who converted to OC in 2000 and reverted back to RC in 2002.  I only was Orthodox once for about two years.  I have been RC the rest of the time until a recent, personal, crises in my life started me thinking about the question of truth.

Hope this helps.




My opinion is that you're in a situation of apostasy, which requires a very accurate study by someone knowing the canons. Strictly speaking an apostate returning to the faith should be penanced. Saint Basil thinks that the apostate should not commune until death is near, just like Saint Gregory of Nyssa. If the denying was caused by tortured, they are barred from communion for 9 years. My source is Saint Nicodemous's manuel of confession. The saint also adds that the economical practice in case of voluntarily apostasy would consist in 2 years of fasting with 100 to 200 prostrations a day. Then he would me anointed and could commune. I think you should ask yourself for a severe penance  because apostasy is a terrible sin.
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« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2009, 01:14:53 PM »

I was born and raised an RC who converted to OC in 2000 and reverted back to RC in 2002.  I only was Orthodox once for about two years.  I have been RC the rest of the time until a recent, personal, crises in my life started me thinking about the question of truth.

Hope this helps.



Robb:

I am glad to hear you have decided to return to the Orthodox Catholic faith.  However, I think that before you return, you need a little one on one with an Orthodox priest.  Perhaps a year of further study before you return.  Only make the decision to return when you are convinced on the truths of Orthodoxy in regards to theology.  Enough to get you through the times you have to endure criticism from family and friends. You seem at times too enamored with the ethnic aspects.  Return when  you are thoroughly convinced that in doing so you are not turning your back on your Catholicity, but exchanging it for a truer and more ancient form of the One Holy CATHOLIC and Apostolic Church you mention in the Creed.  You are in my prayers.  I enjoy reading your posts and I'm amazed at your knowledge of the people of Rus.

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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2009, 01:19:18 PM »

I was born and raised an RC who converted to OC in 2000 and reverted back to RC in 2002.  I only was Orthodox once for about two years.  I have been RC the rest of the time until a recent, personal, crises in my life started me thinking about the question of truth.

Hope this helps.




My opinion is that you're in a situation of apostasy, which requires a very accurate study by someone knowing the canons. Strictly speaking an apostate returning to the faith should be penanced. Saint Basil thinks that the apostate should not commune until death is near, just like Saint Gregory of Nyssa. If the denying was caused by tortured, they are barred from communion for 9 years. My source is Saint Nicodemous's manuel of confession. The saint also adds that the economical practice in case of voluntarily apostasy would consist in 2 years of fasting with 100 to 200 prostrations a day. Then he would me anointed and could commune. I think you should ask yourself for a severe penance  because apostasy is a terrible sin.

Huh?  Well, thank God we re living in modern times when the Orthodox Church is more leniant in dealing with people who return to her fold.  If they put those types of restrictions on me then why should I become Orthodox at all?
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« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2009, 02:32:34 PM »

I was born and raised an RC who converted to OC in 2000 and reverted back to RC in 2002.  I only was Orthodox once for about two years.  I have been RC the rest of the time until a recent, personal, crises in my life started me thinking about the question of truth.

Hope this helps.




My opinion is that you're in a situation of apostasy, which requires a very accurate study by someone knowing the canons. Strictly speaking an apostate returning to the faith should be penanced. Saint Basil thinks that the apostate should not commune until death is near, just like Saint Gregory of Nyssa. If the denying was caused by tortured, they are barred from communion for 9 years. My source is Saint Nicodemous's manuel of confession. The saint also adds that the economical practice in case of voluntarily apostasy would consist in 2 years of fasting with 100 to 200 prostrations a day. Then he would me anointed and could commune. I think you should ask yourself for a severe penance  because apostasy is a terrible sin.

Huh?  Well, thank God we re living in modern times when the Orthodox Church is more leniant in dealing with people who return to her fold.  If they put those types of restrictions on me then why should I become Orthodox at all?

 Jesus told that in front of his Father, he would reject anyone who has rejected him. The penance I have described are not restrictions. They are penance or epitimies that has a pedagogical meaning. I can assure you that doing only 100 prosternations a day (even split in 5 sessions of 20) makes you think seriously in what you did. Moreover, communion must be received "correctly". Accomplishing one's penance is also vital to have one's sin forgiven as Saint Nicodemus stresses this. Moreover, not communing during a determined period of time prevents you from communing without dignity i.e from communing for your condemnation.

I must add that someone who does not commune but is a faithful orthodox receives the grace of God simply by being a member of the church. Communion is not the only way of receiving such grace because juste like Saint Justin of Celije said, everything in church is a mystery. Since the orthodox church is the only place with mysterical grace, it is logical to join Her, even if you cannot commune for a while. Being in the present state as a catholic (knowing it is a heresy) would be even worse!

A last thing : you see, even persons who were tortured and lapsed from the faith received a serious penance (of 9 year without communing) in spite of the terrible pains they endured. And you, who received no physical torture (I hope), you would like to go through this in a lenient way... Just remember the lives of the martyrs and you'll understand what I mean.

I do not know you entire story. How much time did you stay as a cathecumen the first time? The problem is that sometimes this time is to short; so the cathecumen is often enthusiastic and not taught enough. But being orthodox is on the long term, so a 2 year cathecumenate is not a bad thing. I do not know either how they deal with lapsed persons in world orthodoxy. But according to me, you should be very very cautious. Apostasy is denying Christ and according to what I read, it was the only sin with a life-lasting penance (no communion until near death). Not even fornication, bestiality and sodomy are penanced like this.
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« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2009, 02:43:54 PM »

i think that "world Orthodoxy" may e a little more lenient then what you describe.  That with the fact that I was not a cradle Orthodox Christian but someone who accepted the faith at a young age may act as mitigating circumstances to this.  I don't know. 
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2009, 02:53:37 PM »

You know, some martyrs were only children and they confessed the faith... But you should indeed talk to the appropriate person to tell your story and explain him why you came back to catholicism, how you became orthodox and so on. No forum in the world could play the role of such person.
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2009, 06:01:25 PM »

Robb, I don't know how old you are or what's your relationship with your parents, but did you thought of talking with them about it? What's so bad with Orthodoxy? Don't Orthodox believe in God too? I thought that Catholics despise the OC just because we reject the Pope.
Anyway, maybe "debating" with them is not a good idea.

The main question is, what's the problem with becoming an Orthodox?

I want to become Orthodox because I am really believing that they are the one, true, faith but it's hard to leave the RCC.  They are so powerful and influential that they can overwhelm even the strongest of wills.
This could be taken as a historical truth. Cheesy
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« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2009, 06:16:53 PM »

i think that "world Orthodoxy" may e a little more lenient then what you describe.  That with the fact that I was not a cradle Orthodox Christian but someone who accepted the faith at a young age may act as mitigating circumstances to this.  I don't know. 

World Orthodoxy is Robb.  There are many stories of people who apostosized the faith and even became Muslims that were accepted back with love, kindness, and understanding.

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« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2009, 09:59:00 PM »

Anyone can be welcomed back. But a penance is not a sign of lack of love, kindness and understanding. Otherwise, you should say that the Fathers did not have those qualities.
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« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2009, 11:00:35 PM »

I was born and raised an RC who converted to OC in 2000 and reverted back to RC in 2002.  I only was Orthodox once for about two years.  I have been RC the rest of the time until a recent, personal, crises in my life started me thinking about the question of truth.

Hope this helps.




My opinion is that you're in a situation of apostasy, which requires a very accurate study by someone knowing the canons. Strictly speaking an apostate returning to the faith should be penanced. Saint Basil thinks that the apostate should not commune until death is near, just like Saint Gregory of Nyssa. If the denying was caused by tortured, they are barred from communion for 9 years. My source is Saint Nicodemous's manuel of confession. The saint also adds that the economical practice in case of voluntarily apostasy would consist in 2 years of fasting with 100 to 200 prostrations a day. Then he would me anointed and could commune. I think you should ask yourself for a severe penance  because apostasy is a terrible sin.

Huh?  Well, thank God we re living in modern times when the Orthodox Church is more leniant in dealing with people who return to her fold.  If they put those types of restrictions on me then why should I become Orthodox at all?

Sorry, but this is not apostasy.  Apostasy is renouncing the Church and Christ.   Simply leaving the church is one of the following canonically speaking: 
1.  heathenism when one leaves for a non-christian religion
2.  heresy   Since St. John of Damascus identified Islam as a Christian heresy rather than a heathen religion, reverts from Islam are put into this category
3.  schism
4.  parasynagoguism

Some would argue whether reversion from RCC was 3 or 4.  It would require confesssion and affirmations of Orthodox point of view (that Christ alone is head of the Church, etc.), but to say that it falls into the category of apostasy is wrong.   Talk to a priest who can guide you back (and, by the way, welcome back).   
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 11:03:03 PM by FatherHLL » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2009, 03:52:22 AM »

Saint John of Damas had a bad knowledge of islam, or at least, islam in this time was different from now and could be regarded as a christian heresy. But now, islam cannot be regarded. Under Turkish yoke, becoming muslim was indeed regarded as an apostasy. Roman catholicism is a heresy too, which is also a denying of Christ because their faith is wrong. That's right someone coming from a parasynagogue or from a schismatic entity (which hold the orthodox faith) are not apostate.

The problem with your post is that for you, leaving the church for a non christian religion, like paganism, is not even apostasy. My other book dealing with this phenomemon does not use the word apostasy but simply "renouced to the faith". Becoming a catholic is indeed renouncing to the orthodox faith.
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« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2009, 10:44:14 PM »

In answer to your original question Robb, if your devout Catholic mother is concerned about you joining the Catholic Church, you should recommend that she read "Orientale Lumen" a 1995 document which was authored by Pope John Paul II and remains the most complete Catholic understanding of the Orthodox Churches (oriental and Chalcedonian).

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_02051995_orientale-lumen_en.html

Your story reminds me of a Filipeno-American friend of mine who converted to Orthodoxy. His very devout Catholic mother was concerned for him and went and talked to her priest. The conversation, as it was relayed to me, went like this:

RC Priest: "What? He left the Catholic Church?" For which faith?"
RC mother: "He joined the Orthodox Church!"
RC Priest: "Aaah, you don't need to worry about him then. He's in a good place!"  Grin
« Last Edit: July 31, 2009, 10:46:24 PM by Eugenio » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2009, 12:08:48 AM »



My latest Godson is getting all kinds of flax from his devout but non practicing family about his leaving the Catholic Church.  Here is my latest email to him on the matter -

===================

Hi Tim:

I couldn't help but reflect on our conversation on Monday where you stated some in your family don't agree with you classifying yourself as 'Orthodox Catholic'.  I'm sure that they, as well as others, will try and tell you that you turned your back on the Catholic Church when you became Orthodox.  Nothing could be further from the truth and I know you already are aware of that.  However, since you will be faced with this accusation in the future I thought I'd send you some interesting articles that I recommend you read when you have the time.  As your Godfather I think you will appreciate them and it will show you that I take my responsibility of Godfather seriously.  Which means to teach the faith to you.  Knowledge of Orthodox Catholicity is a life long journey.

Bob


http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/kalomiros.aspx

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/stvincent.aspx

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/soborny.aspx

Excerpt from the above site -

For further insight into the word "catholic," consider the following excerpt from Ch. 2 of The Mind of the Orthodox Church, by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos:


The term 'catholic' originates with Aristotle and means whole, entire, "the common name in contrast to that of each one". Furthermore, we can say that the term 'catholic' is identified and linked with what is Orthodox.



When we say that the Church is catholic, we mean it in three particular respects. First, that it exists in the whole world, second, that it has all the truth about God, man and man's salvation, and third, that the life which the Church has is common for all Christians, for all its members.



In the first place it is called catholic because it is in the whole world. There is no place in which the Orthodox Church does not exist. St. Kyril of Jerusalem gives this definition: "It is called catholic because it is spread throughout the world... because it is everywhere in the world from end to end of the earth... because of the unity of the Churches spread everywhere, all of which make up one catholic whole in the bond of the Holy Spirit". So then the presence of the Church in the whole world and its unity with the power and energy of the Holy Spirit characterise it as catholic.



Then it is called catholic because it has the whole truth, as it was revealed on the day of Pentecost. Here we must point out that the scholastic theology of the West teaches that through the ages we have greater deepening in the dogmas of the faith and that they are still developing further. But this is not orthodox teaching. We believe that on the day of Pentecost the Apostles reached deification, experienced Revelation and so reached the whole truth. Those who through the ages reach deification share in the same experience of revelation. But this truth is formulated and expressed in every epoch, as heresies appear. Thus we have not developed and gone deeper in the faith, but on the one hand, we struggle to live the faith, and on the other hand we are preserving the expression of faith in terms that will protect it from wrongdoings and distortions.



St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, writes: "The Church, having received this message and this faith, although spread throughout the world, carefully keeps it, as living in one house: and nevertheless it trusts all, as it has one and the same heart".



In this sense catholicity is bound up with Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy preserves the whole truth, both as revealed and dogmatic, and as experience, while heresy breaks the catholicity of the truth, because it takes up one side of the truth and overlooks the other. For example, Arios did not deny that the Angel of the Lord appears in the Old Testament, but he denied the divinity of the Word. The Monophysites did not deny the divine nature, but they overemphasised it at the expense of the human nature, whereby they did away with the possibility of salvation. We observe this in all the heresies. They take one part of the truth, separate it from its catholicity, and overemphasise it at the expense of the whole. Thus the Orthodox-Catholic Church teaches, as St. Kyril of Jerusalem says, "In a catholic and complete way all the dogmas which should come into the knowledge of men".



Likewise, the Church is said to be catholic because the life which it offers belongs to all; that is to say, all Christians have the possibility of attaining deification, regardless of their way of life, their occupation and the place where they live. The Orthodox person is one believing in a catholic way, a virtuous person living in a catholic way, one who applies to his life all the commandments of Christ. As Father Justin Popovich teaches, the members of the Church "live with what is His own (Christ's), they have what is His own and they know through His own knowledge, because they think with the catholic mind of the Church, and they feel with the catholic heart of the Church, and they desire with the catholic desire of the Church, and they live with the catholic life of the Church". We are members of the Church "through living the one, holy and catholic life of the Church, through the holy and catholic faith of the Church, through the holy and catholic soul of the Church, through the holy and catholic conscience of the Church, through the holy and catholic mind of the Church, through the holy and catholic will of the Church. And thus let us have everything common and catholic, the faith, and love, and righteousness, and prayer, and fasting, and truth, and sorrow and joy and salvation and deification and godmanhood, and immortality, and eternity, and blessedness."


St Vincent of Lerins on the catholicity of the church -


St Vincent's description of a Catholic is as follows:



(3) Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. That is truly and properly 'Catholic,' as is shown by the very force and meaning of the word, which comprehends everything almost universally. We shall hold to this rule if we follow universality [i.e. oecumenicity], antiquity, and consent. We shall follow universality if we acknowledge that one Faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is clear that our ancestors and fathers proclaimed; consent, if in antiquity itself we keep following the definitions and opinions of all, or certainly nearly all, bishops and doctors alike.


 Note:  Who better fits that description?  The Church of Rome or the Orthodox Catholic Church?

Bob

=====================

Orthodoc



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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2009, 12:12:38 AM »

Thanks, I'll have to do my best to convince her (and my father who, although not a regular mass goer, still has a somewhat "old fashioned" Catholic mentality when it comes to these things).  I guess things like this are inevitable when one decides to change Churches.  I really should talk to some of the older, Carpatho Russian people and see how they dealt with these family religious feuds back when they split from the Greek Catholic Church in the 30's and 40's.  There were alot of tensions between the two groups to be sure and I've heard that many a  family were divided over the issues.
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Men may dislike truth, men may find truth offensive and inconvenient, men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy, and the last delusion. Truth lives forever, men do not.
-- Gustave Flaubert
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