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Author Topic: Interested in converting; some questions.  (Read 1355 times) Average Rating: 0
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Arlais
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« on: April 07, 2010, 05:43:40 AM »

Hello,

I am new here. I've been seriously considering converting to the Orthodox faith for a while now. My interest was born out of a - now somewhat wavering - interest in Catholicism. I consider myself a Christian, but I am not baptized (recent convert to Christianity).

Right now, I am in contact with a couple of priests via e-mail, but hope to attend a Divine Liturgy soon. I don't live near a church, so these things have to be planned in advance.

I wonder if any of you could help me with a few questions I have..

First of all, would it be wrong/disrespectful of me to to purchase icons at this time?

Secondly, I am engaged to a Roman Catholic. If I converted to Orthodox Christianity, would we not be permitted to marry? This is a big issue for me. He would not convert with me, but he is supportive of everything that I do.

Thirdly, and somewhat related to the above, would it be sinful to continue to pray the rosary (this is one of the Catholic devotions I have come to like a lot in my time spent researching Catholicism) and/or keep pictures of Catholic saints or venerate them in the privacy of my own home?

Thank you. Smiley
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searn77
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 08:11:48 AM »

Hello,

I am new here. I've been seriously considering converting to the Orthodox faith for a while now. My interest was born out of a - now somewhat wavering - interest in Catholicism. I consider myself a Christian, but I am not baptized (recent convert to Christianity).

Right now, I am in contact with a couple of priests via e-mail, but hope to attend a Divine Liturgy soon. I don't live near a church, so these things have to be planned in advance.

I wonder if any of you could help me with a few questions I have..

First of all, would it be wrong/disrespectful of me to to purchase icons at this time?

Secondly, I am engaged to a Roman Catholic. If I converted to Orthodox Christianity, would we not be permitted to marry? This is a big issue for me. He would not convert with me, but he is supportive of everything that I do.

Thirdly, and somewhat related to the above, would it be sinful to continue to pray the rosary (this is one of the Catholic devotions I have come to like a lot in my time spent researching Catholicism) and/or keep pictures of Catholic saints or venerate them in the privacy of my own home?

Thank you. Smiley

1. I don't think it would be wrong to purchase icons at this time.

2. If you converted to Orthodoxy, you would have to be married in the Orthodox Church (congratulations on your engagement by the way). The Catholic Church views Orthodox marriages as valid though so they would allow for you to be married in the Orthodox Church.

3. No it would not be sinful to continue praying the rosary. There are Orthodox who pray the rosary (especially in the western rite). I sometimes pray it myself. But the Orthodox that do pray it typically pray the traditional Catholic 15 mysteries one, not the new one with 20 mysteries. Also some of the new prayers that Catholics pray inbetween the decades may not be Orthodox as I am told they are about Purgatory, which is foreign to Orthodoxy. I know of a link online to a western rite Orthodox rosary but I don't have time to look for it right now. I'll post the link later.
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010, 08:16:10 AM »

I cannot give you an authoritative answer but I cannot see a problem purchasing icons, in our parish there are Orthodox married to Catholics and Protestants, re the Rosary: I cannot say but I do listen to it being prayed on the radio sometimes when driving & cannot help but feel moved by it (& feeling solace when dealing with madness of the road). Re the icons of RC saints after 1054, I would think one may regard some as pictures of admirable people as long as one does not venerate them. Others will give you more definitive posts.
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2010, 09:50:35 AM »

You can buy and venerate icons whenever you like.

I'm not sure about the marriage issue. I know of many Orthodox Christians who were married in Roman Catholic chapels with two priests working together in the sacrament - both a Roman Catholic priest and an Orthodox priest. My priest told me a story of how he arrived at a Catholic chapel to help out with the wedding ceremony, and the Catholic priest asked him to do the whole thing. I think clergy are fairly co-operative with each other when it comes to marriages. Ask your local priest. Either way, the obstacle of a wedding ceremony should not be an influential factor on whether you convert or not. The guidance of God and your personal faith should determine this.

I'm fully Orthodox and yet I still venerate and pray to St Anthony of Padua. He helped me many times when I was a child, and he is an inspirational and very holy saint. Just because the Eastern Orthodox Church can't recognise his sainthood canonically doesn't mean that he isn't a saint. There are undoubtedly plenty of saints who are unrecognised by the church.
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Thomas
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2010, 09:51:08 AM »

Christ is Risen!

Welcome to the Convert Issues Forum! The purpose of the Convert issues forum is to provide a a place on the OC.Net where inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted may ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum.  We try to  provided direct and simple answers with sources if possible are most helpful.

I hope you will enjoy your visits here. We encourage you to make contact with a local Orthodox Church and discuss more deeply your questions about the Orthodox Faith with an Orthodox Pastor. Once again, Welcome to the Convert Issues Forum.

In Christ,
Thomas
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Thomas
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2010, 11:38:41 AM »

I'm not sure about the marriage issue. I know of many Orthodox Christians who were married in Roman Catholic chapels with two priests working together in the sacrament - both a Roman Catholic priest and an Orthodox priest. My priest told me a story of how he arrived at a Catholic chapel to help out with the wedding ceremony, and the Catholic priest asked him to do the whole thing.

Was this done with the approval of the bishop? From what I gather, such concelebration is abnormal and canonically forbidden. Most priests will insist that the wedding be held in an Orthodox church.
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2010, 05:21:47 PM »

Hello,

I am new here. I've been seriously considering converting to the Orthodox faith for a while now. My interest was born out of a - now somewhat wavering - interest in Catholicism. I consider myself a Christian, but I am not baptized (recent convert to Christianity).

Right now, I am in contact with a couple of priests via e-mail, but hope to attend a Divine Liturgy soon. I don't live near a church, so these things have to be planned in advance.

I wonder if any of you could help me with a few questions I have..

First of all, would it be wrong/disrespectful of me to to purchase icons at this time?

Secondly, I am engaged to a Roman Catholic. If I converted to Orthodox Christianity, would we not be permitted to marry? This is a big issue for me. He would not convert with me, but he is supportive of everything that I do.

Thirdly, and somewhat related to the above, would it be sinful to continue to pray the rosary (this is one of the Catholic devotions I have come to like a lot in my time spent researching Catholicism) and/or keep pictures of Catholic saints or venerate them in the privacy of my own home?

Thank you. Smiley

For the sake of completion may I suggest investigating other traditions, such as mine (the Assyrian Church of the East) ? Both you and your spouse would receive communion and no, it is not a sin to marry a Christian from an Apostolic tradition, or even Protestant.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2010, 02:17:57 AM »

Hello,

I am new here. I've been seriously considering converting to the Orthodox faith for a while now. My interest was born out of a - now somewhat wavering - interest in Catholicism. I consider myself a Christian, but I am not baptized (recent convert to Christianity).

Right now, I am in contact with a couple of priests via e-mail, but hope to attend a Divine Liturgy soon. I don't live near a church, so these things have to be planned in advance.

I wonder if any of you could help me with a few questions I have..

First of all, would it be wrong/disrespectful of me to to purchase icons at this time?

Secondly, I am engaged to a Roman Catholic. If I converted to Orthodox Christianity, would we not be permitted to marry? This is a big issue for me. He would not convert with me, but he is supportive of everything that I do.

Thirdly, and somewhat related to the above, would it be sinful to continue to pray the rosary (this is one of the Catholic devotions I have come to like a lot in my time spent researching Catholicism) and/or keep pictures of Catholic saints or venerate them in the privacy of my own home?

Thank you. Smiley

For the sake of completion may I suggest investigating other traditions, such as mine (the Assyrian Church of the East) ? Both you and your spouse would receive communion and no, it is not a sin to marry a Christian from an Apostolic tradition, or even Protestant.
Rafa, haven't you been warned before to stop trying to steal sheep from the Convert Issues board?
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2010, 02:37:22 AM »


Rafa, haven't you been warned before to stop trying to steal sheep from the Convert Issues board?
Christ is Risen!
Ta Criost eirithe!

 
I was told earlier on the Forum that Byzantine Orthodox (incl. such as Greek Old Calendarists), Oriental Orthodox, and Church of the East are all to be considered as authentically valid Orthodox Churches. (I think I was in trouble for expressing doubts about either the GOCs or the Orientals.  In this area this Forum is much more ecumenical than my own Russian Church would be.)  

The religious affiliation of the Mods validates this equality of BOs and GOCs and OOs and COEs?   I see that the OP expresses interest in converting to Orthodox Christianity but does not specify whether Byzantine Orthodoxy or Oriental Orthodoxy or Church of the East.  So is there any harm in what Rafa did in inviting someone to consider his options?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 02:43:58 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2010, 02:52:48 AM »


Rafa, haven't you been warned before to stop trying to steal sheep from the Convert Issues board?
Christ is Risen!
Ta Criost eirithe!

 
I was told earlier on the Forum that Byzantine Orthodox (incl. such as Greek Old Calendarists), Oriental Orthodox, and Church of the East are all to be considered as authentically valid Orthodox Churches. (I think I was in trouble for expressing doubts about either the GOCs or the Orientals.  In this area this Forum is much more ecumenical than my own Russian Church would be.)  

I think the broad, academic definition of "Orthodox" used here includes Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, but not necessarily Church of the East:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24177.msg381079.html#msg381079

Of course no one is compelled to affirm that any of these groups are or are not Orthodox.   Smiley

Quote
The religious affiliation of the Mods validates this equality of BOs and OOs and COEs?   I see that the OP expresses interest on converting to Orthodox Christianity but does not specify whether Byzantine Orthodoxy or Oriental Orthodoxy or Church of the East.  So is there any harm in what Rafa did in inviting someone to consider his options?

Generally speaking, proselytism is discouraged here, in accordance with this rule:

Quote
...Proselytizing people to your jurisdiction is no longer allowed.  I don't care if it is the GOA or the ROAC...


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13455.0.html
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2010, 03:01:41 AM »

Generally speaking, proselytism is discouraged here, in accordance with this rule:

Quote
...Proselytizing people to your jurisdiction is no longer allowed.  I don't care if it is the GOA or the ROAC...


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13455.0.html

Rafa wrote, and to me it seems an eminently sensible suggestion "For the sake of completion may I suggest investigating other traditions, such as mine (the Assyrian Church of the East)"

I just don't see any proselytism in what he wrote.  I suppose if the decision has been made by the Mods that the Church of the East is outside Orthodoxy, whether Byzantine, Oriental, or Old Calendarist, then his remarks would indeed be out of place in the convert section.   But the Forum Mods have not made a declaration that the COE is not Orthodox (or if they have, I have missed it.)

Rafa,  I am familiar only with the three parishes in this city - Old Calendarist, New Calendarist, and Catholic Chaldean.  In all three cases I cannot believe that converts would find it easy to assimilate.   Are there many Western converts?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 03:04:50 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2010, 03:17:18 AM »

Generally speaking, proselytism is discouraged here, in accordance with this rule:

Quote
...Proselytizing people to your jurisdiction is no longer allowed.  I don't care if it is the GOA or the ROAC...


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13455.0.html

Rafa wrote, and to me it seems an eminently sensible suggestion "For the sake of completion may I suggest investigating other traditions, such as mine (the Assyrian Church of the East)"

I just don't see any proselytism in what he wrote.  I suppose if the decision has been made by the Mods that the Church of the East is outside Orthodoxy, whether Byzantine, Oriental, or Old Calendarist, then his remarks would indeed be out of place in the convert section.   But the Forum Mods have not made a declaration that the COE is not Orthodox (or if they have, I have missed it.)

Rafa,  I am familiar only with the three parishes in this city - Old Calendarist, New Calendarist, and Catholic Chaldean.  In all three cases I cannot believe that converts would find it easy to assimilate.   Are there many Western converts?
Do the mods need to make a formal definition of "Orthodox" that excludes the ACOE for them to have grounds for speaking against Rafa's sheep stealing?  I would think their actions reveal how they interpret the ACOE without any formal statements being made.  Besides, there's also the understanding in the forum's "No Proselytization" rule that attempts by Orthodox to win converts from other Orthodox jurisdictions is also forbidden.  So, even if we do consider Rafa Orthodox, I think the mods have grounds for warning him based on the latter interpretation of this rule.

Now, speaking as a moderator, I'm growing quite uncomfortable discussing moderatorial decision-making on this thread, since such talk distracts from the thread's purpose.  I therefore ask that if you want to continue this side discussion, you do so via private message so we can allow this thread to return to its topic.  Thank you.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 03:18:05 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2010, 03:33:36 AM »

Christ is Risen!

We encourage you to make contact with a local Orthodox Church and discuss more deeply your questions about the Orthodox Faith with an Orthodox Pastor.


This is excellent advice.  Make contact with one or two real life parishes and priests.

If you reside in the States, you can locate a Byzantine Orthodox parish with the help of this interactive website
http://orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php

The Greek Old Calendarist Churches now have a similar website but I don't have the link handy.   Maybe Fr Anastasios knows it?

The Oriental Orthodox may be able to supply a similar website.

The Church of the East may have something similar also.

I mention all four groups in the interests of being fair and evenhanded but you need to be aware that these Church groups, while each considers itself to hold the orthodox faith, are not in communion with one another and joining one of them will not place you in communion with the other three.
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2010, 10:12:39 AM »

Hello,

I am new here. I've been seriously considering converting to the Orthodox faith for a while now. My interest was born out of a - now somewhat wavering - interest in Catholicism. I consider myself a Christian, but I am not baptized (recent convert to Christianity).

Right now, I am in contact with a couple of priests via e-mail, but hope to attend a Divine Liturgy soon. I don't live near a church, so these things have to be planned in advance.

I wonder if any of you could help me with a few questions I have..

First of all, would it be wrong/disrespectful of me to to purchase icons at this time?

Secondly, I am engaged to a Roman Catholic. If I converted to Orthodox Christianity, would we not be permitted to marry? This is a big issue for me. He would not convert with me, but he is supportive of everything that I do.

Thirdly, and somewhat related to the above, would it be sinful to continue to pray the rosary (this is one of the Catholic devotions I have come to like a lot in my time spent researching Catholicism) and/or keep pictures of Catholic saints or venerate them in the privacy of my own home?

Thank you. Smiley

1. I don't think it would be wrong to purchase icons at this time.

2. If you converted to Orthodoxy, you would have to be married in the Orthodox Church (congratulations on your engagement by the way). The Catholic Church views Orthodox marriages as valid though so they would allow for you to be married in the Orthodox Church.

3. No it would not be sinful to continue praying the rosary. There are Orthodox who pray the rosary (especially in the western rite). I sometimes pray it myself. But the Orthodox that do pray it typically pray the traditional Catholic 15 mysteries one, not the new one with 20 mysteries. Also some of the new prayers that Catholics pray inbetween the decades may not be Orthodox as I am told they are about Purgatory, which is foreign to Orthodoxy. I know of a link online to a western rite Orthodox rosary but I don't have time to look for it right now. I'll post the link later.

Here's a website to a western rite Orthodox parish that has instructions on how to pray the rosary:
http://www.spokaneorthodox.com/
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2010, 02:49:12 PM »

post modified to avoid controversy on drawing people to my Church.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 03:12:27 PM by Rafa999 » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2010, 08:57:17 PM »

Christ is Risen!

We encourage you to make contact with a local Orthodox Church and discuss more deeply your questions about the Orthodox Faith with an Orthodox Pastor.


This is excellent advice.  Make contact with one or two real life parishes and priests.

If you reside in the States, you can locate a Byzantine Orthodox parish with the help of this interactive website
http://orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php

The Greek Old Calendarist Churches now have a similar website but I don't have the link handy.   Maybe Fr Anastasios knows it?

Here is the website

http://trueorthodoxdirectory.blogspot.com/

These Churches are known variously as Greek Old Calendarist (GOC) True Orthodox Churches (TOC) and Walled-Off Churches (WOC).   They see mainstream Orthodoxy as very dubious because of its involvement with ecumenism and in most case these Churches deny that the ancient Patriarchates and Churches possess the holy Sacraments.  From their side the Patriarchates adopt varying attitudes to these protesting Church groups, some being more lenient towards them than others.

Quote
The Oriental Orthodox may be able to supply a similar website.

The Church of the East may have something similar also.

I mention all four groups in the interests of being fair and evenhanded but you need to be aware that these Church groups, while each considers itself to hold the orthodox faith, are not in communion with one another and joining one of them will not place you in communion with the other three.
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2010, 11:05:18 PM »

Christ is Risen!

We encourage you to make contact with a local Orthodox Church and discuss more deeply your questions about the Orthodox Faith with an Orthodox Pastor.



If you reside in the States, you can locate a Byzantine Orthodox parish with the help of this interactive website
http://orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php


Orthodoxyinamerica.org hasn't seemed to update their website in quite a few months. I have tried getting into contact with them but have yet to receive a reply. I would check their directory along with this one:
http://www.scoba.us/directory.html
That way if there are any gaps in the one directory, hopefully the other one will fill it up.
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Let us the faithful now come together to praise our father, protector and teacher the pillar of the Orthodox faith and firm defender of piety even the wondrous hierarch Philaret and let us glorify our Saviour Who has granted us his incorrupt relics as a manifest sign of his sanctity.
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