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jw72
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« on: December 05, 2003, 12:13:06 PM »

What are the main differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy?  I've been searching for a spiritual home.  I grew up Catholic but disagree with a few of the tenets.  Thanks for your time.

John
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2003, 02:45:24 PM »

FAQ on Catholic and Orthodox similarities and differences
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Saint Polycarp
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2003, 04:45:22 PM »

What are the main differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy?  I've been searching for a spiritual home.  I grew up Catholic but disagree with a few of the tenets.  Thanks for your time.

John

Hello,
I have heard many Catholics make the same statement. My question is, do you really know what the Catholic Church teaches and why?  Are you sure you have a correct understanding of those things you have a problem with? Have you sought out the Catholic explaination for your questions?
I have done this myself and I found all of my questions were answered satisfactorily.
Peace,
Polycarp
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Peace
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2003, 07:44:38 PM »

John,

A good place to begin is Church history. Read the Fathers, Council documents and invest in good books. Basically i did all the above and attempted to reconcile each point of view with the evidence on hand. I ended up embracing Orthodoxy.

Check out anything by John Meyendorff, and J.N.D. Kelly's masterpiece "Early Christian Doctrines." Johanne Quasten's Patrology series is also brilliant.

Byz
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Anastasios
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2003, 12:48:50 PM »

John,

I would suggest you get started with a very basic book: The Early Church by Chadwick, available on amazon.com.  He was/is an Anglican scholar who writes very clearly.  Then go to Kelley's book referenced above.  After that, you would do well to read Meyendorff's Imperial Unity, Christian Divisions.  After that, you should have a firm enough foundation on East and West in the early Church to progress to Aristeides Papadakis Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy.

--The above is just history!  But I think you should get the historical foundation first!  Then doctinal books will actually make sense.

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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2003, 01:36:48 PM »

Not to open up a can of worms, but which tenets do you disagree with?

If you disagree with papal primacy, infallibility, etc., the Orthodox would agree with you. However, if you disagree with the priesthood being reserved to men alone, the Orthodox would probably not agree with you.

But like Polycarp, I exhort you to study your faith first. You may realize that it is indeed your spiritual home. Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2003, 02:01:04 PM »

The books mentioned in the other posts are good but I'd recommend  more basic texts like "The Orthodox Church" by Kallistos Ware and the "The Orthodox Way" by the same author both available at Amazon.com.

I agree with Polycarp and the Caffeinator though.

Carpo-Rusyn
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2003, 02:06:22 PM »

John,

Quote
What are the main differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy?  I've been searching for a spiritual home.  I grew up Catholic but disagree with a few of the tenets.  Thanks for your time.

Well, this article is a start...

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ORTHODOXY AND ROMAN CATHOLICISM?

This one is by the blessed Metroplitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) and is quite good...

Way Apart: What is the Difference between Orthodoxy and Western Confessions?

There is also further information available here, at the same site which hosts the document by Metropolitan Anthony.

I'd also recommend the late Dr.Alexandre Kalomiros' (now classic) essay, River of Fire.

Though the title may sound "off putting", the following is also an excellent article, dealing with the Papacy - Papism as the Oldest Protestantism, by the blessed Archmandrite, Justin (Popavich).

I hope this helps.  If you want more info, feel free to e-mail me at seraphim_of_sarov@hotmail.com , or visit my personal website.

Seraphim
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2003, 09:21:59 PM »

Please, and I mean this, study the Orthodox explanation of Church history.

You won't be led astray.

Rob
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2003, 12:04:40 AM »

Please, and I mean this, study the Orthodox explanation of Church history.

You won't be led astray.

Rob

Sadly, even some Orthodox stuff is unbalanced.

I would suggest jw72 read Church history from both the Orthodox and RC perspectives.

He should also check out some books about the papacy written from both perspectives.

It's not all so simple and black-and-white as some would make it seem.

Watch out for the extremists in both camps. Both are quite adept at erecting straw men and tearing them down, but inept at trying to understand the other.

Read the Fathers for yourself. Read the Bible, too.

Pray hard.
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2003, 03:19:48 AM »

Linus is right about the extremists. It's increasingly frustrating coming across Orthodox sources presenting unbalanced views of the role of the Papacy in the first millenium. By far the most forthright Orthodox scholars i've come across are from the St. Sergius Institute (in France) - the works of John Meyendorff and Olivier Clement were and still are indispensable. Still, you can spend your entire lifetime reading and yet still be stuck at your crossroads...nothing will replace the experience of the Orthodox way. To this day, the most convincing evidence in my conversion has been the spiritual evidence - the awakening of my spirit at the Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Even if it's celebrated in a run down, old, rented former Protestant church, I won't trade the experience for anything.
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2003, 09:13:12 AM »

I also have been searching. I am not yet in communion woth the OC, but am leaning in that direction.  One of the most helpful books that I have read is The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware ( bishop Kalistos) and Frank Schaeffer's book, Dancing Alone Both are wriiten by converts.
Also, take the time to talk with an Orthodox Priest, my local priest has been very open and extremely helpful
For more in depth study- this has been a very helpful resource.  
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/

Remember, God is Love-- ask Him to lead you in the way He desires you to go.  He will be faithful to do that if you are sincere.

John
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2003, 09:35:45 AM »

Linus wrote:

"Sadly, even some Orthodox stuff is unbalanced.

I would suggest jw72 read Church history from both the Orthodox and RC perspectives.

He should also check out some books about the papacy written from both perspectives.

It's not all so simple and black-and-white as some would make it seem.

Watch out for the extremists in both camps. Both are quite adept at erecting straw men and tearing them down, but inept at trying to understand the other.

Read the Fathers for yourself. Read the Bible, too.

Pray hard."

I agree, to a point.  Reading both Catholic and Orthodox versions of Church history will help you to understand Catholic and Orthodox versions of Church history.  However, often they are extremely divergent in their representation of the material.  Then, you have to ask yourself, "Who is telling the truth here?"  Sadly, I think you will get bogged down even further utilizing this method.  

I speak from experience.  I have been "on the fence" of Catholicism/Orthodoxy for at least five years.

You're right, though, nothing, especially the relationship between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, is black and white.  There is a LOT of gray here.

Rob
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2003, 10:11:25 AM »

These are all excellent suggestions and references.

My only suggestion is to begin being Orthodox and pray... and experience the faith in the services of the Church.

http://orthotracts.org/prayers_0008.wmv

Peace,
Dismas
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Saint Polycarp
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2003, 09:03:00 AM »

"Saints and Sinners a history of the Papacy" is a frank and historically honest examination of the Papacy. Written by a Catholic who holds back no punches. As I read it I came to realize that many Popes had an extremely difficult position of having to balance many factors which could do great harm to the whole Church if they messed up one way or the other. Read it and come away with a sobering understanding of history of the Papacy.
Peace,
Polycarp
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DavidS
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« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2004, 05:35:08 PM »

Hello,

I'm new to the list, but I would suggest starting the Roman approach to salvation as opposed to the Orthodox approach. I think St. Antony Khrapovitsky stated it well. The West, in general, sees God the Father being offended by Adam's/Eve's disobedience. He is an angry judge demanding justice by blood sacrifice. Jesus, offers Himself, His crucifixion satisfies the Father's demand for blood and man is saved. Could this be why the West emphasizes the Crucifixion over the Resurrection?

It appears that man's justification is merely a pronouncement and sanctification(?) begins only at the time of death. And because the West  believes in created grace, is man able to be a "partaker of the divine nature"?

The Eastern view sees God as the lover of man(philanthropos) Who sent His Son, Who offered Himself to become incarnate and 'deify' man bringing him back into communion with the Holy Trinity. When man makes the decision to follow the Lord, deification, participating in the uncreated energies of God(God's grace),begins here in this lifetime and is completed after man's repose. It is not simply a pronouncement but actual participation in the "divine nature."

Can we say like St. Athanasios, "God became man, so man may become god"?
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