OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 31, 2014, 04:40:45 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 »  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Thinking about Roman Catholicism  (Read 4517 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« on: December 11, 2009, 06:20:45 PM »

Hello everyone.

I have been a catechumen/inquirer for about a year and a half now, and I formally "took my vows" about a year ago.  I was raised Roman Catholic and Southern Baptist, moved through a variety of phases that I don't wish to cover again here, and have been looking to become Orthodox for some time now.

But lately I've been starting to feel as though I haven't given my Catholic upbringing the fair shake that it deserves in this process.  About six months ago my wife and I were walking by a SSPX church on a Saturday when there was a wedding, and we poked our heads in.  I never knew that Roman Catholic Church growing up, as I was born in 1982, and my diocese wasn't exactly traditional (wafers placed into my hand by the choir lady to a hippie soundtrack).

Anyway, Orthodoxy has opened my eyes to Apostolic Christianity.  But now when I see traditional Catholic things, I realized I've never given any equal consideration to the Roman positions.

Thinking about this now is difficult for me, because I have such a deep love for the eastern liturgy and have spent the last year and a half reading eastern spiritual material, but I have never read a single Roman Catholic book (aside from common saints, the Holy Scriptures, et cetera).  This is even after years studying Biblical criticism and other world religions.

I also have a deep attachment to the priest, and feel that this would be a betrayal.  Additionally, I have experienced so much haling just by attending the liturgy over the last year.  So many things in my life have changed so much.  So I don't want to "bite the hand that feeds me" by looking else.  I really have no reason to, as I am not dissatisfied with anything about Orthodoxy.  There are no truth issues at play.  It's just that I haven't received communion anywhere for years now (Protestant or Catholic).  Whenever I attended Mass with my mother two years ago, I actually went up and received communion without any confession or return to the church after rejecting Catholicism for Protestantism over ten years before.  I just needed something at that point; I felt like I was dying.  Once I started attending Orthodox services, I stopped taking communion at my wife's Emergent church.

I was never confirmed (chrismated) Catholic, but I got through baptism, first communion and first confession (the only one I ever went to).  The whole time I was raised Catholic I didn't understand any of it.  Now Orthodoxy has given me a deep fear and reverence for the Sacraments that I have never known.  If I returned to Catholicism, because of Orthodoxy it would be a whole new world.  But how could I betray the church which has taught me so much and brought so much healing?  But the pull is strong to give it some kind Roman Catholicism some kind of a shot, because of the deep family connection on one side and because of the church's apostolic succession.

The situation is further complicated because my wife has had no other exposure to Apostolic Christianity than the liturgies she has attended with me over the last year (maybe ten or twelve).  She is really trying to understand things and to examine her own faith, and I feel like to start seeming confused and casually reexamining Roman Catholicism would be detrimental to my wife's small steps toward an ancient Christianity.  It would just make her even less confident in my leadership if I begin to falter.

For the purposes of any discussion or prayers that might take place surrounding this whole thing, I would like to allow for Roman Catholics to contribute their prayers and comments, even though that is normally against the policy of this forum.  I didn't want to post it in the Catholic sub-forum, because I am mainly interested in Orthodox prayers and responses, and I didn't feel the thread would get any attention in that sub-forum.

I can't shake the desire to attend that SSPX church and see what was going on; to engage with the history and theology of the RCC and see if I disagree.  All of my perspectives of Catholicism have been filtered through a Protestant and Orthodox lens.

Any prayers and advice are appreciated!  Maybe I'm just getting cold feet now that I've started to see Orthodoxy through "real" eyes and not an idealized version on paper.  Maybe it's partially because of all of the family and cultural isolation that Orthodoxy brings with it.  Maybe it's the demons attacking me and casting doubt into my heart, or maybe it's the weakness of not having received communion anywhere (Catholic/Protestant/Orthodox - Sacramental understanding or not) for years.  I am weak and tired, and quite confused.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 06:22:49 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Deacon Lance
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Posts: 2,890


Liturgy at Mt. St. Macrina Pilgrimage


« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2009, 06:33:01 PM »

You state: "I am not dissatisfied with anything about Orthodoxy.  There are no truth issues at play." 

If you believe what the Orthodox believe you should remain Orthodox.  It would be dishonest to enter the Catholic Church when if you don't profess what it teaches, likewise for the Orthodox Church.  Have you considered a Western Rite Orthodox Parish?

Fr. Deacon Lance
Logged

My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Entscheidungsproblem
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Machine God
Posts: 4,495



WWW
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2009, 06:37:02 PM »

Maybe I'm just getting cold feet now that I've started to see Orthodoxy through "real" eyes and not an idealized version on paper.  Maybe it's partially because of all of the family and cultural isolation that Orthodoxy brings with it.

Personally, I think these two are the most likely culprits.  Some seem to enter into Orthodoxy or Catholicism or ... expecting to find some group with complete stability and super humans.  Orthodoxy has all the problems that other groups have, plus their own native ones.  I didn't exactly go through this since well, my first serious encounters with Orthodoxy were mostly negative.  Everyone there is human, so you should hold them to the standards you would hold any other member of humanity.  You find jerks, you find nice people, you find cliques, you find people who share your opinions, and those who think you are daft, etc.

Cultural and family isolation is definitely understandable to.  Some parishes you can fit in very well, others no so much.  Couple that with family going to a variety of different churches and you can't help but feel alone.  For myself, I remember constantly being told I think like a Westerner (which, of course, is the greatest compliment outside of "thinking like a Vulcan" to me Tongue).  There is definitely an isolation as a Catechumen, when you are from a non-Orthodox upbringing and you are doing it without those closest around you.

Anyway, all I can do is wish you the best.   Smiley
Logged

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS
witega
Is it enough now, to tell you you matter?
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,614


« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2009, 06:47:57 PM »

There are no truth issues at play. 

Obviously, there's a lot going on in your mind and I don't want to dismiss the rest of your post. But I think it's important to highlight the thing that *really* matters.

If you had begun to suspect that Papal infallibility was a necessary teaching, or to question the Orthodox teaching on the filioque or Essence and Energy, I would disagree with you--but I would agree that is something you need to settle in your own mind, looking at it from all sides, before continuing your journey towards Orthodoxy.

But if your hesitation/vacillation/(I'm really not sure what word to use to describe it) doesn't come from any issue of truth, doesn't come from the desire *for* the truth, then I think you need to continue to *stringently* question your motives--and take it up with your priest. Nostalgia/family ties/curiousity for new experience (since you say that a 'traditionalist' SSPX Roman Catholicism would be new for you) are not good motivations for religious experimentation.

Quote
It's just that I haven't received communion anywhere for years now (Protestant or Catholic). 

I can sympathize. But that's definitely a temptation. Patience and obedience are virtues, and there is a reason the Church makes you go through a catachumenate to prepare for reception of the Holy Mysteries. Giving in to impatience and running off to a church that will give you communion would undo much of the work you have already done.
Logged

Ariel Starling - New album

For it were better to suffer everything, rather than divide the Church of God. Even martyrdom for the sake of preventing division would not be less glorious than for refusing to worship idols. - St. Dionysius the Great
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2009, 07:19:05 PM »

If you had begun to suspect that Papal infallibility was a necessary teaching, or to question the Orthodox teaching on the filioque or Essence and Energy, I would disagree with you--but I would agree that is something you need to settle in your own mind, looking at it from all sides, before continuing your journey towards Orthodoxy.

I what if I feel like I don't truly understand any of these issues; that they haven't received due attention?
Logged
Rosehip
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 2,760



« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2009, 07:20:59 PM »

This will sound totally heretical, but I am increasingly of the notion that religion is in large part a matter of  cultural identity. All the various religions are merely different culture's ways of trying to understand  or interpret the divine or the unknowable.  I've noticed over the years that so many converts to various religions often end up drifting gradually back to their own cultural religious roots.

Whatever you eventually decide, Alveus, I wish you and your family the best and peace in the home!
Logged

+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,472



« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2009, 07:42:09 PM »

This will sound totally heretical, but I am increasingly of the notion that religion is in large part a matter of  cultural identity. All the various religions are merely different culture's ways of trying to understand  or interpret the divine or the unknowable.  I've noticed over the years that so many converts to various religions often end up drifting gradually back to their own cultural religious roots.

Well, of course, people like to stay with the familiar.  That's why I have to disagree with finding religion in culture: about half of the planet is Christian, Muslim or Buddhist, all religions that a culture had to convert to at one time.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ChristusDominus
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Latin Rite
Posts: 936


Saint Aloysius Gonzaga


« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2009, 07:44:58 PM »

I think I know how you feel. I am in that stage of my spiritual journey and to be honest it's not a pleasant feeling. I know your concern is quite legitimate and I sympathize with you. If my opinion or advice is of any use to you, I would say this: It is better to doubt or wonder now before you make the final commitment. Make the necessary inquiries you feel you must make to feel informed or at peace. You probably feel like you haven't heard Catholicim's defense to the long list of accusations? If that's the case , or whatever the case may be, I think it would be prudent to take a breather and just pace yourself. You shouldn't feel pressured, I don't think. Visiting that SSPX Church can't hurt but quell you curiosity. Well, at least in my case,that's something that I did and am glad I for it. Otherwise, I'd be thinking and thinking about it.

God knows where your heart is. I wish you the best.




« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 07:54:59 PM by ChristusDominus » Logged

There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials. - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2009, 07:53:13 PM »

This will sound totally heretical, but I am increasingly of the notion that religion is in large part a matter of  cultural identity. All the various religions are merely different culture's ways of trying to understand  or interpret the divine or the unknowable.  I've noticed over the years that so many converts to various religions often end up drifting gradually back to their own cultural religious roots.

Whatever you eventually decide, Alveus, I wish you and your family the best and peace in the home!

Thank you for your well-wishing.  I do sincerely appreciate it.  

However, I think that the only reason I've experienced life and healing in the last year and a half is because I'd found something that I believed was not only "true", but historical and actual, with authority to claim over me and my life.

I have already been under the impression that you're coming to, and it ruined my life.  I had no resolve or love within me because I viewed "religion" as primarily a cultural construction; a human product.  I was loving a God that was forged in a human image.  I was bowing to that which was conceived of by men.  Orthodoxy claimed to be something else (not that the others didn't), but it had the history to back up the claims.

But before moving seriously into Orthodoxy I realized that no matter what, I couldn't escape faith in Christ.  I am a Christian in my blood and in my soul.  Years of running told me that.  I will never be an occultist, mathematician Wink , atheist, transcendentalist or agnostic.  They all make sense to me, but they are poison to my heart.  Jesus Christ is the very core of my being, the One who animates my life and gives it meaning.  I couldn't run from Him, so I had to find a context in which to grow toward Him.  I didn't even "choose" Orthodoxy on paper first, I stumbled into it in a totally natural way (through a family connection).

I don't want a cultural construction.  I don't want a human projection onto the divine.  I want the Truth, even if it kills me.  In my heart i know that that Truth is Jesus Christ.  Whether or not that is solely the product of cultural conditioning or upbringing exclusively is impossible to say.  What I do know is that I cannot reject it and be true to myself.

All that being said, as far as historical Christianity goes, Orthodoxy and Catholicism are the only viable options to me.  Oriental Orthodoxies (Coptic, Armenian, etc.) and the Assyrian Church of the East are all wonderful traditions with a claim to being the apostolic faith, but they're just not real options for me, because the cultural barriers are even greater than with "Eastern" Orthodoxy.

Back to this thread, I just feel as though Catholicism hasn't gotten my full consideration, and maybe I should give it some attention.  But then again, I see "choosing" the truth out of a set of options to be a dangerous thing, as it makes me the ultimate deciding factor in the whole thing.  

I was to be led; not to lead.

I don't thoroughly understanding the Christological controversies.  I don't "get" Nestorianism or Arianism.  Not really.  I don't fully understand the implications of the filioque or the lack of them.  I have a cursory understanding of these issues filtered through an Orthodox lens.  But the notion that I need to completely understand these issues to have faith in Christ seems totally ridiculous to me, which makes me sympathize with the simplicity of my Protestant (Southern Baptist) half.  I don't like having a lot of "options" to choose from at the buffet of Christianity.

My exposure to all of these different Christianities even makes me sympathetic to the Emergent movement.  Many are totally off base, but I appreciate the attempt to reevaluate Evangelical/Protestant positions and synthesize them with more ancient ones, trying to come up with a middle ground that is reverent and relevant; conscious of tradition but not consumed with it.  But then I come back to the problem with conceptual idolatry and "creating religion", which is essentially what the Emergent movement is.

But then, is this creative process really a bad thing?  Don't the Orthodox speak of cooperation with God?  Rather than conceptually creating God, couldn't we be co-laboring; working with Him?

I know I keep getting off topic.  I'm just venting.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 08:06:23 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
stashko
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: ИСТОЧНИ ПРАВОСЛАВНИ СРБИН
Jurisdiction: Non Ecumenist Free Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 4,998


Wonderworking Sitka Icon


« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2009, 07:53:26 PM »

Why don't you just admit, you really weren't interested in orthodoxy ....Im really Glad your leaving ,really really am ...
Rome is waiting, go for it.....Give rome a chance ....

What a relief for us serbs........ Grin
« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 07:55:15 PM by stashko » Logged

ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
ChristusDominus
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Latin Rite
Posts: 936


Saint Aloysius Gonzaga


« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2009, 07:57:08 PM »

Why don't you just admit, you really weren't interested in orthodoxy ....Im really Glad your leaving ,really really am ...
Rome is waiting, go for it.....Give rome a chance ....

What a relief for us serbs........ Grin
stashko, I don't think your comments are helping the man. It's a legitimate concern, so please be respectful.
Logged

There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials. - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
Rosehip
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 2,760



« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2009, 07:58:39 PM »

stashko, I do hope you are joking. How can you say that about Alveus? He has spoken at great length about how very much he appreciates Orthodoxy and everything its done for him. He's spent so much time studying and learning and experiencing, seems to me...
Logged

+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
Entscheidungsproblem
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Machine God
Posts: 4,495



WWW
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2009, 08:02:45 PM »

As I said elsewhere.

I'm sure many are discouraged by what certain Orthodox Christians say.  Tongue  I know I am.  Maybe discouraged is the wrong word though.  Flabbergasted.  That sounds about right.
Logged

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2009, 08:03:10 PM »

Why don't you just admit, you really weren't interested in orthodoxy ....Im really Glad your leaving ,really really am ...
Rome is waiting, go for it.....Give rome a chance ....

What a relief for us serbs........ Grin

Please don't be so mean spirited or write me off like that.  I am just venting my feeling and concerns.  This is a process.  I need your prayers, not your ridicule.

I didn't say that I was leaving Orthodoxy.  I haven't even attended services anywhere else.  I just have nagging suspicions in my heart, and I thought that venting them here might help me sort out some things.

Did you even read what I wrote?

I love the Serbian Church and think it is beautiful.  Please don't cast me out so readily with your judgment!  Whatever I have said or done in the past to make you feel this way about me, please forgive me.  I know that perhaps a time or two I have been cross with you about something I felt you were being entirely uncharitable about, but that doesn't make me some kind of a Crypto-Papist looking to infiltrate the Serbian church.  You Church has brought me healing and Truth, I am just feeling confused and concerned.  Perhaps you might actually have some useful advice for me?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 08:04:50 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
stashko
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: ИСТОЧНИ ПРАВОСЛАВНИ СРБИН
Jurisdiction: Non Ecumenist Free Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 4,998


Wonderworking Sitka Icon


« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2009, 08:07:12 PM »

stashko, I do hope you are joking. How can you say that about Alveus? He has spoken at great length about how very much he appreciates Orthodoxy and everything its done for him. He's spent so much time studying and learning and experiencing, seems to me...


Im sorry i don't mean to offend  anyone...
Logged

ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2009, 08:11:48 PM »

Why don't you just admit, you really weren't interested in orthodoxy ....

Would you say that I'm not interested if I told you that I have attended every liturgy I could for the last year and a half?  Every Vespers available, as well as the Great Feast Days?  That I have tried my hardest to fast and keep a daily prayer rule (although failing many times)?  That I have read something like 40 books on different aspects of Orthodoxy in the last year, and spent a lot of my free time on here asking questions?

How could you say I am not really interested?  It has been my all-consuming interest.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 08:12:35 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Kaste
Site Supporter
Sr. Member
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: member of the Invisible Church
Posts: 158


« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2009, 09:37:45 PM »

The way I see it, Alveus, you are already a Christian.  What's that verse..."Be still and know that I AM God".  It's now a matter of finding which visible church to settle in to for practical reasons.  Since you are looking between only the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches I'd encourage you to take your wife to both and see which you both feel most led and fed.  And do both of you pray for guidance.  Wisdom comes from the Lord, and questions like this are out of our reason's reach, I believe.

I am not an expert on the SSPX, but I'd suggest going to a mainsteam Catholic Church.  These guys are very traditionalist, and may not have the balance of "truth" and "love" an official Catholic church has.  If they do not recognize the Pope, I wouldn't go to it. 
Since you already know a lot about Orthodoxy, I'd recommend "The Spirit of Catholicism" by Karl Adam.

I'll send up a prayer for you~

K
Logged
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2009, 09:45:16 PM »

Why don't you just admit, you really weren't interested in orthodoxy ....Im really Glad your leaving ,really really am ...
Rome is waiting, go for it.....Give rome a chance ....

What a relief for us serbs........ Grin

If this is some brand of Serbian humor, I'm not amused...  Angry
« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 09:55:57 PM by Ortho_cat » Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2009, 09:48:20 PM »

I can't tell you what to do Alveus, but perhaps God can.
Why don't you ask Him what He wants?
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2009, 09:54:19 PM »

Dear Alveus,

I think you owe it to yourself to read more about the Roman Catholic Church; it's history and theology.  You got to where you are by inquiry and investigation (much like I did), so you need to follow this through.  In the end, it will help you be able to defend your faith all the more.

However, I'm confident that when all the cards are laid out on the table, the truth will remain abundantly clear Smiley

I would suggest to always keep in mind the writings of the early church fathers and the Holy Scriptures during your investigation.

(My sig includes one quote from an ECF that I found most useful during my inquiries in the RCC  Wink )
Logged
John of the North
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Eparchy of Edmonton and the West
Posts: 3,533


Christ is Risen!

tgild
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2009, 10:04:32 PM »

stashko, I do hope you are joking. How can you say that about Alveus? He has spoken at great length about how very much he appreciates Orthodoxy and everything its done for him. He's spent so much time studying and learning and experiencing, seems to me...


Im sorry i don't mean to offend  anyone...

Yes you did.
Logged

"Christianity is not a philosophy, not a doctrine, but life." - Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)
Super Apostolic Bros.
Is St. Andrew Luigi to St. Peter's Mario?
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 227



« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2009, 10:15:46 PM »

Moderation noted, Pete.

But I think I can still chime in here. Whilst studying Orthodoxy, I've taken a step back and considered the arguments and history of the Catholic Church. Much of my view of Catholicism has been tainted by my upbringing, my schooling and the media.

In my upbringing, Catholicism was denounced as doing a bunch of boring, repetitious prayers. (This is made complicated by the fact that this only goes by my Mother's word... my Father's side of the family is pretty hard-core Catholic. So I've seen both sides of the fence).

In my schooling, Catholicism was denounced as a product of pagan Emperor Constantine's political machinations and ever since then, Christianity disappeared until Martin Luther brought it back.

In the media... well, this is obvious. The media shows us that Catholic institutions are great places of  higher learning but no one really believes their religion, elderly Catholics are a bunch of superstitious weirdos, and priests want nothing more than to condemn you in public while molest your children in private.





However, when I was a young kid, I found a wonder in the Catholic church that I thought was sorely missing from this new, American "evangelical" church I went to. That's not a real argument, but I remember telling my Mom that Catholic Mass felt more like "church" than the evangelical church... and I meant this in a good way. I spent most of my education in a Christian (not Catholic) school. While I fondly remember my Godly teachers and classmates (and recognize that many of them probably weren't) there were some things in my Christian education that felt... off. Mostly the whole "pre trib" rapture thing. (Not so much cosmology, because I didn't care).

Some years later, I learned more about Catholicism in a secular univesity and perhaps contrary to my prof's intentions, It made me want to learn more from a Catholic point of view.  I did some studying and learned the Catholics weren't so bad and that they did a lot of good things, and that the portrayal of Catholics as pawns of imperialism and or Medieval backwardness is often post-Enlightenment prejudice. That, and two things, relating back to my Christian education:

1). The arguments against Sola Scriptura are mostly sound. (The alternative is that Scripture verifies itself, which is circular. We also can't know for sure that Paul was referring to his own Epistles when telling Timothy that all Scripture is useful etc.)
2). Works-based salvation. Protestantism balks at that, but it makes so much sense. If we believe in Jesus, all that it does is qualify us to be demons. It was a Protestant that said that (Sproul), but he was paraphrasing St. James. How could we be saved if don't work on being more God-like?
3). The Eucharist. Much of Catholic liturgy is criticized as "manmade," but the one truly Biblical tradition , the Eucharist, is not given its proper due in the Protestant church. Protestant churches do practice communion, but the  with little reverence (and no wine). The parts of the Bible referring to the Eucharist make no sense in a Protestant understanding.

That is why I was considering returning to Catholicism. My interest in Orthodoxy has more to it than this, but it springs from the same roots.
Logged
Shlomlokh
主哀れめよ!
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Bulgarian
Posts: 1,228



« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2009, 10:28:31 PM »

Hello everyone.

I have been a catechumen/inquirer for about a year and a half now, and I formally "took my vows" about a year ago.  I was raised Roman Catholic and Southern Baptist, moved through a variety of phases that I don't wish to cover again here, and have been looking to become Orthodox for some time now.

But lately I've been starting to feel as though I haven't given my Catholic upbringing the fair shake that it deserves in this process.  About six months ago my wife and I were walking by a SSPX church on a Saturday when there was a wedding, and we poked our heads in.  I never knew that Roman Catholic Church growing up, as I was born in 1982, and my diocese wasn't exactly traditional (wafers placed into my hand by the choir lady to a hippie soundtrack).
I was raised Methodist, although my father and his brothers were raised Roman Catholic. 4 years ago I began investigating my heritage (Sicilian) and started to investigate Roman Catholicism. I never heard of Orthodoxy, to be honest, so I could not give it a chance. 3 years ago, I became Catholic, but quickly became disenchanted because of all the Protestantization and terrible aftermath of Vatican II. I started attending a local Maronite church because there was no TLM parish within 4 hours from where I was. I immediately fell in love with the "Eastern mindset." Traditionally, Eastern Catholics did not accept certain teachings of Rome because they were at odds with their theology. My Maronite priest denied the filioque as being legitimate, thought Papal Infallibility/Supremacy was heresy and the Immaculate Conception to be unnecessary. After seeing why he believed this way, I saw why other Eastern Catholics did, too. I began to believe likewise. However, I could not be a hypocrite.

I decided I could not do the mental gymnastics and justification needed to maintain status as an Eastern Catholic. I had to decide between either Rome or Orthodoxy. I studied both and did a lot of praying. I got to attend the TLM Mass for a while, but felt closer to God at DL. I, of course, prayed about it, too. I was able to spend some time at a ROCOR monastery last January. That helped me a good deal. But, I had to make the decision. It was hard, because I truly believed that the RCC was Christ's Church. I really prayed a lot about it and realized that the other 4 Patriarchs maintained the Apostolic Faith and Rome departed from it (though she would be welcomed back when she dropped the innovations). I became a catechumen in May, and I hope to be baptized in a few weeks (God willing).

Quote
Anyway, Orthodoxy has opened my eyes to Apostolic Christianity.  But now when I see traditional Catholic things, I realized I've never given any equal consideration to the Roman positions.

Thinking about this now is difficult for me, because I have such a deep love for the eastern liturgy and have spent the last year and a half reading eastern spiritual material, but I have never read a single Roman Catholic book (aside from common saints, the Holy Scriptures, et cetera).  This is even after years studying Biblical criticism and other world religions.
I read a lot of Roman Catholic apologetical works when I was leaving Protestantism. I remember it being a really exciting time because I was finally seeing a form of Christianity that I never knew, with apostolic traditions (the sacraments, mainly). I personally, was very cautious of the "doctrinal development" in the Roman Catholic Church. When I read St. Vincent of Lerins talking about doctrine in the Church, the Orthodox position held more water.

Quote
I also have a deep attachment to the priest, and feel that this would be a betrayal.  Additionally, I have experienced so much haling just by attending the liturgy over the last year.  So many things in my life have changed so much.  So I don't want to "bite the hand that feeds me" by looking else.  I really have no reason to, as I am not dissatisfied with anything about Orthodoxy.  There are no truth issues at play.  It's just that I haven't received communion anywhere for years now (Protestant or Catholic).  Whenever I attended Mass with my mother two years ago, I actually went up and received communion without any confession or return to the church after rejecting Catholicism for Protestantism over ten years before.  I just needed something at that point; I felt like I was dying.  Once I started attending Orthodox services, I stopped taking communion at my wife's Emergent church.

I was never confirmed (chrismated) Catholic, but I got through baptism, first communion and first confession (the only one I ever went to).  The whole time I was raised Catholic I didn't understand any of it.  Now Orthodoxy has given me a deep fear and reverence for the Sacraments that I have never known.  If I returned to Catholicism, because of Orthodoxy it would be a whole new world.  But how could I betray the church which has taught me so much and brought so much healing?  But the pull is strong to give it some kind Roman Catholicism some kind of a shot, because of the deep family connection on one side and because of the church's apostolic succession.
I gave Roman Catholicism a shot for 3 years because of my heritage. I would advise against entering any religion based on heritage (not saying that is what you're doing), but I made that mistake. Don't get me wrong, I learned a lot about Christianity from the RCC, but I believe it set the stage for me with Orthodoxy.

Quote
The situation is further complicated because my wife has had no other exposure to Apostolic Christianity than the liturgies she has attended with me over the last year (maybe ten or twelve).  She is really trying to understand things and to examine her own faith, and I feel like to start seeming confused and casually reexamining Roman Catholicism would be detrimental to my wife's small steps toward an ancient Christianity.  It would just make her even less confident in my leadership if I begin to falter.

For the purposes of any discussion or prayers that might take place surrounding this whole thing, I would like to allow for Roman Catholics to contribute their prayers and comments, even though that is normally against the policy of this forum.  I didn't want to post it in the Catholic sub-forum, because I am mainly interested in Orthodox prayers and responses, and I didn't feel the thread would get any attention in that sub-forum.

I can't shake the desire to attend that SSPX church and see what was going on; to engage with the history and theology of the RCC and see if I disagree.  All of my perspectives of Catholicism have been filtered through a Protestant and Orthodox lens.

Any prayers and advice are appreciated!  Maybe I'm just getting cold feet now that I've started to see Orthodoxy through "real" eyes and not an idealized version on paper.  Maybe it's partially because of all of the family and cultural isolation that Orthodoxy brings with it.  Maybe it's the demons attacking me and casting doubt into my heart, or maybe it's the weakness of not having received communion anywhere (Catholic/Protestant/Orthodox - Sacramental understanding or not) for years.  I am weak and tired, and quite confused.

The way I looked at it, was if the Orthodox were hypothetically "under Rome" before the schism, and it were necessary for them to be so, then why have the Orthodox been able to maintain the faith without addition or subtraction? Rome did make additions and had several schisms (the Protestants being the biggest). The Orthodox Churches never had addition or subtraction of the faith, nor did they undergo such splintering.

I understand your situation, and you are certainly in my prayers, Alveus. It is a tough predicament. The schism was terrible, and I pray for it to end, but I believe the Orthodox have maintained the Faith handed down to us from the heavens. Please pray for me as I prepare for Holy Baptism.

In Christ,
Andrew
Logged

"I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him will I proclaim my grief; for with evils my soul is filled, and my life unto hades hath drawn nigh, and like Jonah I will pray: From corruption raise me up, O God." -Ode VI, Irmos of the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2009, 10:37:26 PM »

Dear Alveus,

I can relate to how you feel. Although I was raised in the Orthodox Church, as I've said elsewhere, I spent a good chunk of time in the Baptist Church because of my mother.

As an adult, I had to figure out what I believed. This resulted in a search exploring every major denomination of Christianity.

As a large percentage of my mother's family is Catholic, and I have a Catholic priest and two Catholic nuns in my family (all have since reposed, may their Memory be Eternal!) I felt that I had to give the Catholic Church a "chance." And after all 1 Billion Catholics can't be wrong, can they?

Although I had attended Mass with my maternal grandparents over the years, I had never attended Mass with the intent of me worshipping God. It was just me tagging along as a kid for Midnight Mass b/c it was my grandparents church and that's what we did.

I went to the Novus Ordo Mass once, and I knew it wasn't for me. The Eucharistic Ministers, the modern Catholic hymns, and the Protestant atmosphere this particular parish had turned me all off. (I'm not putting down or trying to insult Rome here, just relaying my personal experience.)

Even in watching celebrations of the Tridentine Mass in all its glory on the internet, it didn't sit well with me. During the Novus Ordo Mass, the reverance seemed to be lost, and during the Tridentine Mass, the people just stood there. The priest said the majority of the hymns silently while the choir sang. The people were not active participants in the Liturgy as the people are in the Orthodox Church. (Or supposed to be anyway, but that's another thread.)

Ultimately, as is obvious by my participation in this forum, I returned home to Orthodoxy.

While I have a great deal of respect for Rome and hope one day that the Churches will be united, I had to be true to myself and my beliefs.

I don't see anything wrong with learning about Catholicism. If nothing else, you will have a greater understanding for another faith, and it will somehow help you grow in your own faith.

I would not, however, give up on Orthodoxy just yet.

May God bless you in your journey. Smiley
Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,944


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2009, 10:45:22 PM »

Moderation noted, Pete.
Please don't call me Pete.  I hate seeing my saint's name abbreviated like that. Tongue  (I'm just making a personal request, not a moderatorial directive. Wink)
Logged
Vlad
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Orthodox, Greek Orthodox Church of America
Posts: 405



« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2009, 11:56:15 PM »

I feel for you Alveus. I was raised Catholic and drifted away from the Church in High School then went back in the early 2000's and I thought everything was fine and dandy that this was the true Church and this is how it is supposed to be. I then went to a Latin mass and was blown away at how different it is than the Novus Ordo. Going to Mass after that made me feel disgusted all the laypeople at the alter being Eucharistic ministers, the ridiculous modern music, the Priest's heterodoxy and love of social justice and liberation theology more than the faith made me sick. I could not believe that the Church would just throw so much away regarding the Mass. So i began to look into Orthodoxy but got cold feet and began going to an SSPX Church where the latin Mass was. This was the question that plagued me from time to time if the Catholic Church is the true Church how could it change so drasticaly? I got a book about Vatican II by a Traditional Catholic and in it it details all the changes that the Church made. I then looked through history and saw that that is what the Church(RC) does is it changes its in a continual flux which they just call development of doctrine. I knew that I needed a faith that was not going to just change on me over night so I went back to Orthodoxy and was chrsimated and began to attend every liturgy that there was. Then our Priest retired and it was three years until we got a new one in that time I went back to the Catholic Church without receiving communion and now we have a new Priest at the Orthodox Church so I am able to attend DL and receive communion again but I still have a place in my heart for RCism for example I still pray the rosary.  I would only suggest that if you do go Catholic you go SSPX or some Church that has the latin Mass if you dont you'll just be bombarded by a protestant wannabe atmosphere. All the best Alveus I will pray for you.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 12:13:16 AM by Vlad » Logged
Jakub
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,747



« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2009, 01:13:34 AM »

Alveus,

Find a monastery/friary that celebrates the older rite and contact them for some direction...

Don't make a quick/hasty decision...
Logged

An old timer is a man who's had a lot of interesting experiences -- some of them true.

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
believer74
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 99


« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2009, 01:19:19 AM »

I completely agree with what Christus Dominus said. There is no sort of 'deadline' to make your decision. This is a process, and it will unfold on God's proverbial watch. Talk to God every day and pray He will guide you and give you the signs as loudly as you need them to be. He understands and is so merciful. Going on almost two years now I have been experiencing doubts as to key beliefs of Christianity itself. So not to downplay the difficulty of your situation but just to say, there are people here that understand what this foggy period feels like and that it is hard. As I have also found, though, it can be exciting and a time of great learning moments. I actually feel closer to God than I have in a long time.
Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2009, 01:22:11 AM »

There is no sort of 'deadline' to make your decision.
I'm afraid I disagree. The deadline has passed, promises have been made...
Sorry! My mistake! He's not received into the Church yet!
Carry on!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 01:27:48 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2009, 01:47:54 AM »

I just got done watching some videos online about the Fatima stuff and a lot of videos watching Catholic piety, and it makes me very uncomfortable.  I think that Catholics aren't required to believe in the apparitions, but the whole thing is very strange and off-putting to me.  There are other aspects of Catholic piety that make me uncomfortable as well, such as statuary.  I obviously am just a big confused mess!
Logged
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,182


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2009, 01:49:34 AM »

may the lord guide you.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2009, 01:58:18 AM »

Forget about all this Alveus and go and have a baby.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Rosehip
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 2,760



« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2009, 02:00:15 AM »

Forget about all this Alveus and go and have a baby.

Excellent advice! Do you hear, Alveus?! Smiley
Logged

+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2009, 02:04:53 AM »

HA!  Yeah, I suspect that in a few days I won't have too much time to worry about the past; I will be stuck in the present!  Diapers and helping my wife to recover.  It's an exciting time, because this is our first child.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 02:05:13 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Salpy
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
Posts: 12,551


Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2009, 02:11:11 AM »

I don't thoroughly understanding the Christological controversies.  I don't "get" Nestorianism or Arianism.  Not really.  I don't fully understand the implications of the filioque or the lack of them.  I have a cursory understanding of these issues filtered through an Orthodox lens.  But the notion that I need to completely understand these issues to have faith in Christ seems totally ridiculous to me,

That's because it is ridiculous.  If the theological discussions and controversies are tripping you up, stay away from them.  They tend to do more harm than good, since they really have more to do with human frailty than God's greatness.  Stay out of the stupid debates we have here and just focus on God.  

My personal advice is to give Orthodoxy more time.  Occasional "spiritual burn out" is normal and you are going through a lot in your life.  Just trust in God that He will lead you.  Log off of OCnet for a while (Can I say that?  Smiley ) and focus on your term paper and baby.  
Logged

Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2009, 02:19:14 AM »

Log off of OCnet for a while (Can I say that?  Smiley ) and focus on your term paper and baby.

I think that I just need to do this.  I will log back on and let you all know when the baby has come, but until after the New Year I think I will just take a little break from the forum.

I live on the computer because of my school work, and it's probably not healthy.  It will be a shock to my system, but it's probably just what the doctor ordered.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!
Logged
Vlad
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Orthodox, Greek Orthodox Church of America
Posts: 405



« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2009, 02:47:43 AM »

Same to you Alveus.
Logged
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2009, 03:13:48 AM »

Is the SSPX in schism with Rome? What do they do different from the rest of the RC's?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 03:14:13 AM by Ortho_cat » Logged
Entscheidungsproblem
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Machine God
Posts: 4,495



WWW
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2009, 03:36:45 AM »

Is the SSPX in schism with Rome?

It is somewhat complicated.  They are not "in schism", but rather they have "no canonical status" as a priestly society (Bishops have no ministry, etc) with the Roman Catholic Church. 

What do they do different from the rest of the RC's?
Traditionalist group.
Logged

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS
EofK
Mrs. Y
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 3,976


lolcat addict


« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2009, 06:06:29 AM »

Lord, have mercy!  I agree with OzGeorge and Salpy... you're going through a lot of stuff right now and it might be beneficial to take some time to relax a little.  Have a great Christmas and many years to you and your family!
Logged

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams
stashko
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: ИСТОЧНИ ПРАВОСЛАВНИ СРБИН
Jurisdiction: Non Ecumenist Free Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 4,998


Wonderworking Sitka Icon


« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2009, 03:42:32 PM »

stashko, I do hope you are joking. How can you say that about Alveus? He has spoken at great length about how very much he appreciates Orthodoxy and everything its done for him. He's spent so much time studying and learning and experiencing, seems to me...


Im sorry i don't mean to offend  anyone...

Yes you did.


No  I  really Didn't....I just Meant that If He's Not sure of Holy Orthodoxy, Why Become if he has doubts, Try something else, Untill he 's really sure he's  called to the true faith and light of Holy Orthodoxy...
Logged

ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
Vlad
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Orthodox, Greek Orthodox Church of America
Posts: 405



« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2009, 08:21:33 PM »

What do they do different from the rest of the RC's?

They reject the Second Vatican council and the still celebrate the Mass in Latin the way it was done since about the 300's in the west.
Logged
Mexican
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
Posts: 489


« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2009, 09:23:12 PM »

I somehow tried to post this before but my post disappeared or was not propperly sent to the forum.

I understand what you feel, I also felt it myself about two years ago.

I come from a mainly Roman Catholic country (where people are very much into religious culture and traditions but where unfortunately people actually know very little about the doctrinal aspects of Christianity). Many years of pro-Communist governments and the Vatican II revolution are the cause of such a decline in the quality of religious practice. When I was a child I never felt attracted to the Roman Church: the guitar liturgies, altar girls, horrendous music and women acting as master of ceremonies during masses made me think of the RC as a secular, modernist religion which had very little to do with true Christianity.

Beign a choir singer myself, I knew a lot about religious music and I didn't understand how a Church that inspired such music was now like this.

Many years later, I thought that the best thing about Orthodox was the fact that it was truly ancient and that the Church is the same now as it was many centuries ago.

Well, two years ago I came in contact with SSPX French priests who invited me to Vespers and Traditional Mass and I really felt attached to it, it was so solemn and beautiful, and western and ancient. I was also very attached to the SSPX ideology: its rejection of the modern world's corruption, its rejection of liberalism, its militant Anti-Protestantism, its support to Nationalist and Anti-Communist movements.

I was sometimes dissapointed that I couldn't find this among the Orthodox, that many tried to become Russians instead of becoming Orthodox, that some were politically very liberal and others (specially converts) had a very twisted view of history (believing in all what the Protestant sects say about the Spanish conquest and hating all what means Roman Catholicism and its contributions to our national identity). On the other side, the SSPX community was involved in defending our colonial past and our true heros I was very moved by the fact that the heros of our country were all catholics and Traditionalists. I really felt I had to join the SSPX, I was about to be received by them but something prevented me from taking that step.

At the end I analysed things better and I realized it would be a mistake to join the SSPX and therefore the RC:

The fact that the SSPX does believe in real Christianity and practices a sound faith and liturgy while the very head of the Roman Catholic Church (which they regard as the true Church) preaches and practices (followed by the masses) exactly the opposite (ecumenism, secularism, liberalism, internationalism, modernism, religious indifferentism) proves that something is wrong. I came to a conclusion. The problem is that the Roman Church based its strenght on the will of one man: the pope. This has some advantages (a strong authority, a father recognized by all, etc.) but also disadvantages: if this man fails then the whole organization fails, if a bad man becomes pope then the whole Church collapsed. The RC developped a strong anti-infiltration system that worked well for many centuries. However, since the enemies of Christianity only needed to put one man in power in order to accomplish their work of destruction in the West, the RC was in fact vulnerable to infiltration and this explains why Pope Paul VI only needed a few years to dismantle all what Westersn Christianity built in almost two milleniums.

As Orthodoxy is governed according to conciliar principles, the authority of the Church is vested on all the bishops and the defence of the faith is in the hands of all Christians, the evil ones will never be able to destroy the Church. They have sometimes appointed bad bishops, bad patriarchs but people had tools to defend the Church against them. That's how Nestorius was defeated and that's how the Church was restored in Eastern Europe after the fall of Communism.

On the other side, Catholics had no way to defend their Church and the Christian faith against a liberal pope being the pope the highest authority, even higher than a council. There's no defined way to depose a pope, they never thought something like this could happen and now the real Christians who remained in the West are left on a canonical and administrative limbo. They can't reconcile with their head, they can't re-create the papacy, they can't become an independent Church, they are totally confused.

If I had lived before the 1950's it would have been very difficult for me to identify the true Church of Jesus Christ as the Roman church was very respectable, it built a glorious civilization in the West, it was full of holliness. However, after the 1960's we saw that in spite of all these positive things, Rome was founded on shifting sands (the authority of a single man). Defection is the sign of a false religion and now it's very possible to say that the vast majority of Christians in the West have defected from the faith. Therefore, the Roman Church wasn't the true Church.

Secondly, I realized that while I shared many points of view with the SSPX, these were all about politics and religious politics, not really religion itself. I now think it's quite possible to love the traditional values and all good things Christian Rome gave to the world while being part of the Orthodox Church. It's certainly true that the heros of my country were all Catholic, but if they lived in our times they would probably be Orthodox, as the Roman Church no longer has the faith it had before.

Hope this works.

Logged
SoleRedemption
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 32


towerofdavid77
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2009, 03:20:05 AM »

As an ex-Catholic convert (who sided primarily with the SSPX) now heading to Byzantium, you can take it from me that the grass isn't at all greener where I'm coming from. If you join the one of the traditionalist orders (which I sympathize more with to this day than much of the mainstream church, which is fast becoming just another liberal Protestant denomination and isn't afraid to admit it), you will certainly be surrounded by people who are definitely serious about their faith, but tend to become borderline reactionary on most issues. You will also receive zero respect from the Novus Ordo establishment, who will be embarrassed of you and hold you in contempt. Whenever I listen to Scott Hahn or George Weigel, I am reminded as to why I'm making the decision I am, besides the fact that eastern theology is making far more sense to me, while western theology is making less sense.

For a good Orthodox defense of the essence-energy debate, try here:
http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/08/dialogue-between-latin-scholastic-and.html



Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,944


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2009, 04:14:15 AM »

stashko, I do hope you are joking. How can you say that about Alveus? He has spoken at great length about how very much he appreciates Orthodoxy and everything its done for him. He's spent so much time studying and learning and experiencing, seems to me...


Im sorry i don't mean to offend  anyone...

Yes you did.


No  I  really Didn't....I just Meant that If He's Not sure of Holy Orthodoxy, Why Become if he has doubts, Try something else, Untill he 's really sure he's  called to the true faith and light of Holy Orthodoxy...
Then why didn't you say this to begin with?
Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1 2 »  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.162 seconds with 72 queries.