Thank you for the info. That was very enlightening!
I have two questions, which either you or anyone else who knows could answer perhaps.
1) Is there really no conversion process necessary to go from Orthodox to Catholic? No chrismation, confirmation, etc.? Is there not even supposed to be?
2) What is AFAIC an acronym for? Haha. I've seen it many times but never bothered to ask.
You're quite welcome. AFAIC stands for "As Far As I'm Concerned". As for the first question you asked in the post quoted above.......well let's step back a little bit. From the point of view of the churches in union with Rome:
1. The liturgical life of those churches in the communion called Orthodox is as venerable as anyone else's, and through their ecclesial life expressed in the Holy Mysteries they authentically bring the God into the lives of their church (i.e. their sacraments "valid").
2. each local church (i.e. the bishop) in the communion called Orthodox is an "authentic" local church because they have established by and maintain unity with sees which can unambiguously trace their origin back to authentic churches. Though there are other local churches the fullness of the Church is expressed in each union of bishop-clergy-people. (i.e. they have "apostolic succession").
3. those who are part of a church in the communion called Orthodox may freely come and participate in the full
ecclesiastical life of a church in union with Rome.
Given the above, what would anyone need to "covert" to? Protestants need to be chrismated because they either deny "non-biblical" sacraments or because their ecclesial communities (note I didn't call the churches) generally deny them. The only "defect" in Orthodox churches is, as repeated in Vatican statements, they're not in union with Rome. [I happen to disagree with that view - such a statement doesn't take into account that they have IMO reasonable doubts about Rome's orthodoxy - but that's a separate issue].
[and sorry for this long-winded "communion called Orthodox" and "church in union with Rome" stuff. I'm writing it out longwindedly because I hope that this will make a bit more sense to you. I don't mean, with any of these words, to question the orthodoxy of the Orthodox Church]
To give my opinion on your other question below, it would depend on what you mean by "anti-Catholic" saints. One example: Saint Photius died in communion with Rome and I believe he was canonized when Constantinople was in union with Rome. If the second is true, then AFAIC there's no way anyone in union with Rome can argue against his sanctity [at the time, there was no formal centralized process to discern
whether someone was a saint or not the way they do it today, and the canonization process took place in the local church. And either way, note that God and the saint always makes the saint. The present centralization of this process in Rome is supposed to only meant to ensure that due diligence is done during the discernment process.].
Moreover, whether one is pro- or anti-Rome has no bearing on whether or not one is a saint. A saint is merely one who after death is among the elect (i.e. someone who has "gone to heaven"). Since one can always (privately) pray to someone who you believe is in heaven, there's nothing "wrong" with praying to "anti-Catholic" saints. And I do know of Catholics who venerate Saint Mark of Ephesus - speaking personally, I'm open to it since again one "becomes a saint" by being faithful to one's initiation into Christianity (baptism, chrismation) and struggle to live an orthodox life. But it's not a high priority and I would prefer to do original source research on the topic, using an academically sound edition of his complete writings, before I do so.
[side note: I don't view St. Gregory Palamas as "anti-Catholic". Even though Barlaam, an Italo-Greek like myself, became bishop of one or another Italo-Greek see when he returned to Italy, plenty of people who could be considered heretics or nonreligious were made bishop among those churches in union with Rome back then because of the way medieval western Church-state relations were.
The way I understand it, Barlaam -like many other intellectuals back then - argued essentially that no one can have any experience of God beyond simple factual knowledge because God's essence is unknowable. This implies that the sacraments are meaningless, and that God cannot/will not reveal himself to you.
I cannot swallow that idea, and I have to stand with Saint Gregory on this: God can directly reveal himself to us, not only in this sacraments but also directly to us through his "energies", his "acts", or whatever you want to call them. I stand with the Hagioritic Tome when I say that I couldn't have communion with someone who holds the opposite position. The Melkite Greek Catholic Church stopped venerating him in the mid-1800s, basically because of the ultramontanist tendencies which were popping up all over the Catholic Church in response to contemporary challenges, as well as because his theology were not generally understood. Today, he's back on the 2nd Sunday in Lent (with Vatican approval for those who are concerned about such things). I consider that to be an essential part of "Byzantine" spiritual life, and if he was kicked out the door again I'd follow him]