This will be my last attempt at explaining my position before I move on from this thread. All I wanted to do was to be honest with everyone and let them know where I stood. But it appears I have ruffled some feathers and mine are beginning to be ruffled as well.
You didn't upset me, per se, but I can't read something heartfelt from someone like that, who has made the hasty decision you have, and not feel "pained" a bit.
My decision wasn't hasty.
Let's be honest, your draw to Orthodoxy occurred over a period of time. Presumably, prayer and contemplation accompanied that period of your life. Then, ALL OF THE SUDDEN, the scales are lifted and everything is okay.
Yes. But it's not as if my being drawn to Orthodoxy was without purpose. I've learned a great deal about the Eastern and Oriental Churches as well as the once unbroken ancient church. And besides, maybe God's just giving me a break for now. I could wake up next month and be right back to being drawn towards Orthodoxy. But for now I am very comfortable being Catholic and that's not an easy thing to do.
I've felt that before- not just with faith, but relationships, work, political views, etc. There is a natural psychological desire to resolve confusion by submitting to the status quo- for you, in this case, that means submission to Rome.
This is certainly a possibility. I was torn apart inside over the thought I would have to change faiths and leave my church. But staying Catholic isn't a walk in the park either. There are many truths about the Catholic church which turn my stomach and I simply cannot defend.
I'll be honest- I can read the "keys to the kingdom" verse 100 times and, depending on my mood and a variety of factors, I can think either way about it.
I've never seen it as anything but Christ referring to Peter as the Rock because of his faith. I don't see how it could be interpreted any differently.
Regardless, the point is that reading that (and other verses) and "going with what feels right" is a classic Protestant trap, egged on by sola scriptura. When something "feels right", it's not time to give into it, wipe our brow and be glad our time of troubles and confusion is over. It usually means we are giving in to our natural inclinations, which we know aren't always our allies. Discomfort and struggle are a more constant Christian companion than clarity and steely resolve-- at least for those who are at the spiritual stage you seem to be at (I should know, I'm where you are, if not steps behind).
I agree with you. But I did not choose what felt right. If I did, I would be an Orthodox catechumen by now. Orthodoxy still "feels" more right to me.
And, I don't think Papist answered my question/comment at all, and I made a bunch of other points that Papist and others have ignored.
Ok. I was not trying to reason the validity of papal infallibility. I was trying to juxtapose the notion held by many Orthodox (that they know Orthodoxy is true because it is orthodox) against the view I hold (that I know what is orthodox because I believe the Catholic Church is tasked with maintaining orthodoxy). But with that said, and as Papist and others have said, both the Catholic and Orthodox points of view fall under circular reasoning.
Message boards are horrible in conveying tone- so I'm sorry this sounds more blunt and "jerky" than I intend. However, we are on an Orthodox board and when people say they believe infallibility/supremacy of Peter (which again, somehow translates to his being bishop of rome, still not a clear connection) was "instituted by Christ" and willingly accept the idea that the Pope is infallible I feel like I must stand and be counted.
Regarding primacy- the status of Rome as an imperial city, coupled with the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul, accorded Rome a special place, one that would translate to performing ceremonial tasks to open/close synods, or hear appeals, etc. You can read Scripture and the Fathers/Councils harmoniously and conclude that Jerusalem was special, Constantinople was special, Rome was very special- but that all bishops benefit from Apostolic Succession (duh), that the pentarchy and conciliar approach to resolving disputes is correct (as instituted by Acts), and that relative honor among the Sees does not translate to theological, jurisdictional and dogmatic superiority. Why is that so hard?
Every Catholic who supports the idea of Rome's universal jurisdiction has just as many quotes from scripture and church fathers to support their point of view as do Orthodox for their point of view. If the answer was as obvious as you suggest everyone would belong to the same church--at least those who want to be in the right one.