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Author Topic: Young and Confused.  (Read 1933 times) Average Rating: 0
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BlckFrncsFn
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« on: October 14, 2009, 01:16:46 AM »

Well gang. I grew up Roman Catholic. My parents were both converts from Protestant churches, but I was essentially a cradle Catholic.

In any event, twice now in my life I've had times when I stopped believing in the idea of God altogether. Recently I've been feeling drawn back to religion. I still don't really believe in God on an intellectual level, but something was drawing me back to the RCC.

So one night after some thinking, I felt it was time to go back to church. Long story short, I went in at 4 am to pray for a friend and ask God for guidance. Security kicked me out of the church and wouldn't allow me to light a candle for the intention of my friend's father. A Protestant security guard kicked me out of my own church all because it was early in the morning and I had beer on my breath from an engagement I'd attended hours before.

When I reverted to Catholicism in high school, I was very traditionalist. Naturally, taking that into account, being kicked out of a church is a very, very, very heinous thing. Entire criminal operations were held in church basements in the Middle Ages for the simple fact that it was the lesser of two evils: the other being to kick them out of their sanctuary.

What brings me here, is I felt shattered. My church, proclaiming to be a beacon of hope for the broken and struggling, threw me to the curb when I was in need of spiritual help. I didn't ask of much. I just wanted to stay and pray.

How does this relate to Orthodoxy? I've always had a long struggling intellectual battle to decide which church was indeed the true Church. There is so much evidence presented for each side that it is really mind-boggling to trying to decide this on a pure intellectual basis. So, operating on the idea that God was attempting to lead me back to Him, perhaps this situation that arose at the church a week or so ago was, in fact, a sign from God telling me where the true Church really was: Orthodoxy.

So I was just dropping by to say hey mainly and explain myself. I haven't really committed to converting yet. I've read a lot of Orthodox material in the past; however, I'm still confused.

Is it kosher for me to attend a Divine Liturgy next Sunday just to experience it for the first time and see how I feel? I've always been led away from Orthodoxy by others claiming that Orthodoxy vs. Catholicism is just nit-picking at some point and I should just stick with my culture. I am hardly Russian. I am hardly Greek. Not Albanian. etc. etc. Will I be alienated if I were to attend the DL? Should I talk to a priest beforehand?

Thank you.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 01:22:08 AM by BlckFrncsFn » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2009, 01:23:19 AM »

First, welcome to the forum.   Smiley

Second, just set aside any notions about ethnicity, culture and experience the Divine Liturgy for yourself, preferably at a Church which uses 100% English (or 99%).
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2009, 01:35:25 AM »

Hi friend- welcome to the forum!  Smiley


So one night after some thinking, I felt it was time to go back to church. Long story short, I went in at 4 am to pray for a friend and ask God for guidance. Security kicked me out of the church and wouldn't allow me to light a candle for the intention of my friend's father. A Protestant security guard kicked me out of my own church all because it was early in the morning and I had beer on my breath from an engagement I'd attended hours before.

What brings me here, is I felt shattered. My church, proclaiming to be a beacon of hope for the broken and struggling, threw me to the curb when I was in need of spiritual help. I didn't ask of much. I just wanted to stay and pray.

 Since you've shared this with us, I'll feel free to make a comment.  Hopefully you'll take it how I meant it- in the spirit of friendliness and fellowship.  I cannot comment specifically on the RCC and in particular your church, but though churches are geared to provide hope, we cannot (or shouldn't at least) come to church with beer on our breath in the wee hours of morning.  The security guard was simply doing her/his job and probably shouldn't be faulted, imho. 


Is it kosher for me to attend a Divine Liturgy next Sunday just to experience it for the first time and see how I feel?  I am hardly Russian. I am hardly Greek. Not Albanian. etc. etc. Will I be alienated if I were to attend the DL? Should I talk to a priest beforehand?

Consider the invitation to attend the Divine Liturgy open to you anytime.  And don't worry about being Russian or Greek or anything; I'm Irish-American and don't speak a lick of Russian or Greek.  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2009, 01:45:36 AM »

Thanks for the warm welcome. Smiley

Since you've shared this with us, I'll feel free to make a comment.  Hopefully you'll take it how I meant it- in the spirit of friendliness and fellowship.  I cannot comment specifically on the RCC and in particular your church, but though churches are geared to provide hope, we cannot (or shouldn't at least) come to church with beer on our breath in the wee hours of morning.  The security guard was simply doing her/his job and probably shouldn't be faulted, imho. 

Even most of my Trad Catholic acquaintances said what he did was indefensible. I understand he was doing his job. But his job could've entailed keeping an eye on me while I prayed to make sure I wasn't doing anything, not interrupting me mid-prayer and telling me to hurry up and go.

And I don't understand what the deal with beer is either. It's a beverage. A good one. Catholics perhaps know this better than anyone ( Cheesy). I can see it being different if I was actually drunk or displaying outwardly rambunctious behavior. I wonder if I would have gotten the same treatment had my breath smelled like wine. Huh

I sincerely respect your opinion, but if they don't want people coming into the church to pray at that hour, they should simply close it and lock the doors.

Consider the invitation to attend the Divine Liturgy open to you anytime.  And don't worry about being Russian or Greek or anything; I'm Irish-American and don't speak a lick of Russian or Greek.  Smiley

Awesome. Thank you again (extended to Sol as well). Smiley
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 01:49:07 AM by BlckFrncsFn » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2009, 02:12:33 AM »

Welcome to the forum!


So I was just dropping by to say hey mainly and explain myself. I haven't really committed to converting yet. I've read a lot of Orthodox material in the past; however, I'm still confused.

Is it kosher for me to attend a Divine Liturgy next Sunday just to experience it for the first time and see how I feel? I've always been led away from Orthodoxy by others claiming that Orthodoxy vs. Catholicism is just nit-picking at some point and I should just stick with my culture. I am hardly Russian. I am hardly Greek. Not Albanian. etc. etc. Will I be alienated if I were to attend the DL? Should I talk to a priest beforehand?

Thank you.
Yes, it is kosher.  It's not like there is some church bouncer with an "ethnicity detector" who says "Nope, not enough Russian.  Go away".   Roll Eyes


As for culture, forget it.  If religion was dependent upon culture than we would all be pagans and only those of Hebrew descent would be Christians.

Let me tell you about my background.  My ancestors came to the USA in different times between the 17th century and 1903 and from different areas as well.  My ethnic background comprises of Germans, Scots, Irish, Welsh, French, Spanish and possibly a small bit of African-American.  The religious background is a mix of Protestantism and Catholicism with rumors of an Adventist and maybe a Mormon somewhere in there.  I was a Roman Catholic from when I was baptized at five until I was chrismated Orthodox at sixteen.

Before I became Orthodox, I thought that I would be betraying my ancestors because the most recent immigrants of my family were Roman Catholic Germans from Bavaria and had been for, as far as I know, centuries.  It took some time, but eventually I did realize that even though they may have been Roman Catholic and someone in this part of the family was Protestant and someone else may have been Mormon, etc etc; I realized that it did not matter all that much because even though Orthodoxy has traditionally been in the lands of Slavs, Greeks, Romanians and Arabs the fact of the matter is this: wherever Orthodoxy goes, locals of that land become Orthodox (sometimes a lot, sometimes not so many) and that Orthodoxy in that land will change that culture at some level or another.

If you care for more details on how I went from Roman Catholic to Orthodox, feel free to send a private message.


So, we figure that Orthodoxy has been in North America since 1794.  That's over 200 years.  Sure, the last half of that wasn't so hot, but for that we can blame Communism and human nature.  Americans are becoming Orthodox that have as much Slavic, Greek, Romanian or Arab blood in them as an Icelander has Uzbek blood.

One's ethnicity does not determine whether one "can" or "can not" be this or that.  I know people that are Turkish, Native Alaskan and American Mutt who are Orthodox.  I also know people who are Russian, Bulgarian and Romanian who defected from those countries who are Orthodox and I even know Greeks who are Orthodox.  And you know what?  We all, for the most part, tend to get along just fine  Smiley


Consider yourself to be more than welcome to a Divine Liturgy  Smiley
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 02:13:30 AM by EmperorConstantine » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2009, 04:23:11 AM »

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Is it kosher for me to attend a Divine Liturgy next Sunday just to experience it for the first time and see how I feel?

As others have said, OF COURSE!! There is neither Jew nor Greek, etc when it comes to Orthodoxy. Ethnicity has nothing to do with whether one can become Orthodox. Most, if not all, of us are mutts and mongrels. Yet we have all been accepted into The Faith, just as much as the earliest convert Christians. Think of what happened at Pentecost, 33AD: Were not the Apostles blessed with the ability to speak in languages not of their own? Why? Because Christ Himself charged them with the commission to "go out among the nations" and spread the Gospel.

Be not afraid, my friend.
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2009, 09:25:42 AM »

FWIW, and I wasn't there, you might want to consider letting go of the whole 4 am incident.
Churches of all kinds have been broken into, vandalized and things stolen that you might not have gotten a warm welcome in any church at 4 am. We just had to install security cameras all over the building.

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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2009, 10:43:22 AM »


My church, proclaiming to be a beacon of hope for the broken and struggling, threw me to the curb when I was in need of spiritual help. I didn't ask of much. I just wanted to stay and pray.

How does this relate to Orthodoxy? I've always had a long struggling intellectual battle to decide which church was indeed the true Church. There is so much evidence presented for each side that it is really mind-boggling to trying to decide this on a pure intellectual basis. So, operating on the idea that God was attempting to lead me back to Him, perhaps this situation that arose at the church a week or so ago was, in fact, a sign from God telling me where the true Church really was: Orthodoxy.


Welcome to the Forum, BlckFrncsFn.

As to your first statement...that your "church" threw you out when you needed help....it wasn't your church...just the security guard who threw you out.  He thought he was just doing his job.

As to the other statement concerning which is the True Church....If you ask me ... I would say Orthodoxy is the One True Church...and no other.   Wink

Once again, welcome to the Forum.



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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2009, 11:47:09 AM »

Well gang. I grew up Roman Catholic. My parents were both converts from Protestant churches, but I was essentially a cradle Catholic.

In any event, twice now in my life I've had times when I stopped believing in the idea of God altogether. Recently I've been feeling drawn back to religion. I still don't really believe in God on an intellectual level, but something was drawing me back to the RCC.

So one night after some thinking, I felt it was time to go back to church. Long story short, I went in at 4 am to pray for a friend and ask God for guidance. Security kicked me out of the church and wouldn't allow me to light a candle for the intention of my friend's father. A Protestant security guard kicked me out of my own church all because it was early in the morning and I had beer on my breath from an engagement I'd attended hours before.

When I reverted to Catholicism in high school, I was very traditionalist. Naturally, taking that into account, being kicked out of a church is a very, very, very heinous thing. Entire criminal operations were held in church basements in the Middle Ages for the simple fact that it was the lesser of two evils: the other being to kick them out of their sanctuary.

What brings me here, is I felt shattered. My church, proclaiming to be a beacon of hope for the broken and struggling, threw me to the curb when I was in need of spiritual help. I didn't ask of much. I just wanted to stay and pray.

How does this relate to Orthodoxy? I've always had a long struggling intellectual battle to decide which church was indeed the true Church. There is so much evidence presented for each side that it is really mind-boggling to trying to decide this on a pure intellectual basis. So, operating on the idea that God was attempting to lead me back to Him, perhaps this situation that arose at the church a week or so ago was, in fact, a sign from God telling me where the true Church really was: Orthodoxy.

So I was just dropping by to say hey mainly and explain myself. I haven't really committed to converting yet. I've read a lot of Orthodox material in the past; however, I'm still confused.

Is it kosher for me to attend a Divine Liturgy next Sunday just to experience it for the first time and see how I feel? I've always been led away from Orthodoxy by others claiming that Orthodoxy vs. Catholicism is just nit-picking at some point and I should just stick with my culture. I am hardly Russian. I am hardly Greek. Not Albanian. etc. etc. Will I be alienated if I were to attend the DL? Should I talk to a priest beforehand?

Thank you.
I was kicked out of chapel in seminary for wearing sandals... and sobbing like a baby.  I was having a melt-down, but the Dean (an Orthodox priest) was more concerned about my toes.

I ended up avoiding chapel at all costs.  But, that was my problem and not his.  My anger towards him made me suffer.  Not that I particularly liked the services at chapel, but we don't always like our medicine.

At any rate, you are welcome to visit any Orthodox parish you like, but we have humans, too.  So, be aware, their is no perfect place.  You will have troubles here as well, because we specialize in troubled people.  The difference is we try to help them.


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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2009, 03:08:15 PM »

Just to echo what others have said, there's nothing wrong with going to the Divine Liturgy to check it out. I'm not Greek, Russian, etc. either. I'm just plain old American, and my great grandparents came from places like Ireland and (what is now) the Czech Republic. Yet I have almost always felt welcomed in Orthodox churches. Over the last 8 years I've visited over a dozen different parishes, part of a half dozen jurisdictions, and I only ever felt out of place in one church. Regarding Catholic vs. Orthodox, I think there really are some major differences and it isn't all just nit picking. Certainly theological issues like papal infallibility and supremacy come to mind, and one could also make a case for a half dozen other issues IMO.
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2009, 03:25:10 PM »

Just to echo what others have said, there's nothing wrong with going to the Divine Liturgy to check it out. I'm not Greek, Russian, etc. either. I'm just plain old American, and my great grandparents came from places like Ireland and (what is now) the Czech Republic. Yet I have almost always felt welcomed in Orthodox churches. Over the last 8 years I've visited over a dozen different parishes, part of a half dozen jurisdictions...
The same for me. I'm German-Irish ancestry though no more recent than the Potato Famine, and I've always felt welcome. I don't even like baklava or pierogies. There, I've finally said it and I feel the better for it!
 laugh
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2009, 03:39:34 PM »


 I don't even like baklava or pierogies. There, I've finally said it and I feel the better for it!
 laugh

You no like baklava?  IS OUTRAGE!  I like it way too much, esp since I've learned to make it....  Sad Cheesy
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2009, 03:42:33 PM »



And I don't understand what the deal with beer is either. It's a beverage. A good one.



Wrong!  Beer is a GREAT beverage!  And if you go for the stouts, it can be a great meal!   Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2009, 04:42:46 PM »

Hello and welcome to the forums!

So one night after some thinking, I felt it was time to go back to church. Long story short, I went in at 4 am to pray for a friend and ask God for guidance. Security kicked me out of the church and wouldn't allow me to light a candle for the intention of my friend's father. A Protestant security guard kicked me out of my own church all because it was early in the morning and I had beer on my breath from an engagement I'd attended hours before.
That's truly sad, strange and funny in a way. Well, maybe you would have been a Catholic, if you had been there for any longer, who knows...?

Quote
What brings me here, is I felt shattered. My church, proclaiming to be a beacon of hope for the broken and struggling, threw me to the curb when I was in need of spiritual help. I didn't ask of much. I just wanted to stay and pray.
I don't think that this is a reason to hate a Church, maybe only the security guard, hah.

Quote
o, operating on the idea that God was attempting to lead me back to Him, perhaps this situation that arose at the church a week or so ago was, in fact, a sign from God telling me where the true Church really was: Orthodoxy.
Yeah, maybe... Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Quote
So I was just dropping by to say hey mainly and explain myself. I haven't really committed to converting yet. I've read a lot of Orthodox material in the past; however, I'm still confused.
Care to share some of your experiences? What did you read? In case you have a specific problem, you're free to start a new thread and see how it comes.

Quote
I've always been led away from Orthodoxy by others claiming that Orthodoxy vs. Catholicism is just nit-picking at some point and I should just stick with my culture. I am hardly Russian. I am hardly Greek. Not Albanian. etc. etc. Will I be alienated if I were to attend the DL? Should I talk to a priest beforehand?
Every culture is Orthodox or at least was at some point. After all, culture is not a reason to reject the Truth.
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« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2009, 09:58:00 PM »

Thanks again, guys! Smiley

Also to the conversation about baklava, gyros have sustained me as my sole source of food for entire summers at a time. But I must say, I was never a huge fan of the baklava. I don't dislike it ... but I could take it or leave it.

EDIT: As far as what I read, when it comes to legitimate literature, I only read the first half of two books. One was an Orthodox book concerning the primacy of the Pope. The other was one that was a general overview of the Orthodox faith. On top of that, countless readings from the internet and such and also what I learned in high school.

One of the reasons I stopped believing was the doctrine of EENS (extra ecclesia nulla sallus). When considering the retroactive nature of papal infallibility, Eugene VI proclaimed in his papal bull Cantante Domino:

Quote
"The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church."

Emphasis added.

In any event, I can't help but take that as infallible considering he is speaking for the "most Holy Roman Church" FIRMLY professing, believing, etc.

And yet now, there is baptism by blood (which contradicts what Eugene says near the end. And the Church has also tried, in its ecumenism, to say that all can go to heaven if they seek God with sincere heart and open mind. And hey, I'm fine with that. Maybe that IS true. But if the Church said that infallibly in the 15th century, it's true to this day. And if the Church now "infallibly" says otherwise, it's not infallible at all.

Is there some kind of list of councils or something where I could read what infallible synods have decreed? Perhaps, being a Roman, my mind is too legalistic and not accepting enough of mystery, but it would be interesting/enlightening to see.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 10:15:00 PM by BlckFrncsFn » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2009, 11:14:41 PM »

^ BlackFrncsFn, can you provide a more specific source for the above quote such as a Hyperlink?  Pope Eugene IV (there is no Pope Eugene VI) appears not to be associated with Cantante Domino.
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« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2009, 11:32:37 PM »

BlckFrncsFn,
One issue that I constantly struggle with is the simple question of, "What is infallibility?"

I know what it means of course, but why is there so much debate about which papal statements are infallible and which ones are not? I've heard Catholic apologists seem to contradict each other. For example, Humanae Vitae. I've heard some claim it is an infallible teaching and some say it is not.

It shouldn't be that hard. Can't the Vatican just provide a list?

Do you find this problematic as well?
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« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2009, 11:39:57 PM »

^ BlackFrncsFn, can you provide a more specific source for the above quote such as a Hyperlink?  Pope Eugene IV (there is no Pope Eugene VI) appears not to be associated with Cantante Domino.

SolEX01,
I believe he meant Pope Eugene IV who made the statement in his Papal Bull, Cantate Domino.
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« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2009, 11:41:38 PM »

Quote
Is there some kind of list of councils or something where I could read what infallible synods have decreed? Perhaps, being a Roman, my mind is too legalistic and not accepting enough of mystery, but it would be interesting/enlightening to see.

Well that's a sticky question. First, I'll say that I don't believe in infallibility--not for the Pope, and not for Ecumenical Councils either. However, my opinion is probably in the minority. So, as to what others would consider infallible, most Orthodox would point to the first seven Ecumenical Councils. Not everything said at the Councils would be considered infallible, but the teachings/pronouncements would be considered infallible by many Orthodox. A small group or Orthodox theologians would add 8th (Photian) and 9th (Palamite) Councils to the ranks of Ecumenical Councils, and presumably to the ranks of infallible Councils. You can access information on the first seven Ecumenical Councils at sites like CCEL, though that information isn't exhaustive (and the commentary isn't Orthodox).
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 11:42:49 PM by Asteriktos » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2009, 11:49:17 PM »

^ BlackFrncsFn, can you provide a more specific source for the above quote such as a Hyperlink?  Pope Eugene IV (there is no Pope Eugene VI) appears not to be associated with Cantante Domino.

SolEX01,
I believe he meant Pope Eugene IV who made the statement in his Papal Bull, Cantate Domino.

Thank You!   Smiley

BlackFrncsFn, please forgive me for any discomfort that I may have caused.   angel
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« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2009, 11:57:43 PM »

^ BlackFrncsFn, can you provide a more specific source for the above quote such as a Hyperlink?  Pope Eugene IV (there is no Pope Eugene VI) appears not to be associated with Cantante Domino.

SolEX01,
I believe he meant Pope Eugene IV who made the statement in his Papal Bull, Cantate Domino.

Thank You!   Smiley

BlackFrncsFn, please forgive me for any discomfort that I may have caused.   angel


You're welcome. And you caused me no discomfort at all. I am actually an Orthodox inquirer myself.

I am struggling to easily find the full text from the Bull, but I did find this article on EWTN's site (trusted by most orthodox Catholics) which sites and speaks to the Bull itself including the specific quote referred to by BlackFrncsFn.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/answers/extreccl.htm
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« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2009, 12:03:50 AM »

You're welcome. And you caused me no discomfort at all. I am actually an Orthodox inquirer myself.

I am struggling to easily find the full text from the Bull, but I did find this article on EWTN's site (trusted by most orthodox Catholics) which sites and speaks to the Bull itself including the specific quote referred to by BlackFrncsFn.

An excerpt from the Text of Cantate Domino

Quote
The sacrosanct Roman Church, founded by the voice of our Lord and Savior, firmly believes, professes, and preaches one true God omnipotent, unchangeable, and eternal, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; one in essence, three in persons; Father unborn, Son born of the Father, Holy Spirit proceeding from Father and Son; that the Father is not Son or Holy Spirit, that Son is not Father or Holy Spirit; that Holy Spirit is not Father or Son; but Father alone is Father, Son alone is Son, Holy Spirit alone is Holy Spirit. The Father alone begot the Son of His own substance; the Son alone was begotten of the Father alone; the Holy Spirit alone proceeds at the same time from the Father and Son. These three persons are one God, and not three gods, because the three have one substance, one essence, one nature, one divinity, one immensity, one eternity, where no opposition of relationship interferes....
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militantsparrow
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militantsparrow
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2009, 12:05:35 AM »

You're welcome. And you caused me no discomfort at all. I am actually an Orthodox inquirer myself.

I am struggling to easily find the full text from the Bull, but I did find this article on EWTN's site (trusted by most orthodox Catholics) which sites and speaks to the Bull itself including the specific quote referred to by BlackFrncsFn.

An excerpt from the Text of Cantate Domino

Quote
The sacrosanct Roman Church, founded by the voice of our Lord and Savior, firmly believes, professes, and preaches one true God omnipotent, unchangeable, and eternal, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; one in essence, three in persons; Father unborn, Son born of the Father, Holy Spirit proceeding from Father and Son; that the Father is not Son or Holy Spirit, that Son is not Father or Holy Spirit; that Holy Spirit is not Father or Son; but Father alone is Father, Son alone is Son, Holy Spirit alone is Holy Spirit. The Father alone begot the Son of His own substance; the Son alone was begotten of the Father alone; the Holy Spirit alone proceeds at the same time from the Father and Son. These three persons are one God, and not three gods, because the three have one substance, one essence, one nature, one divinity, one immensity, one eternity, where no opposition of relationship interferes....

Thank you.  Smiley
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"Yeah, the sparrow hath found an house..." -Psalm 84:3
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