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Author Topic: Anyone converted from Eastern Catholicism to Orthodoxy and why?  (Read 1467 times) Average Rating: 0
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jbm0117
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« on: April 20, 2010, 09:59:02 PM »

Anyone converted from Eastern Catholicism to Orthodoxy and why?
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LBK
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2010, 11:34:13 PM »

Anyone converted from Eastern Catholicism to Orthodoxy and why?

Schultz? Your thoughts?
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LakaYaRabb
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2010, 11:53:19 PM »

My wife and I were Melkite Greek Catholics before we became Orthodox Christians.

There were three reasons really for us.

1) As an Eastern Catholic, we no longer accepted the Church of Rome's Theological explanation of Papal Infallibility, of Filioque, Ecclesiology, or numbering of Ecumenical councils. Frankly, this placed us de facto, out of Communion. 

2) My wife and I were trying to live out an Orthodox Spirituality with an Orthodox mindset. One day we woke up and realized "I am attempting to be an Orthodox Christian without being a member of the Orthodox Church." Impossible.

3) We felt that authentic Eastern monasticism was a inseparable part of the spiritual, theological and liturgical life of the Church. The situation of Eastern Catholic monasticism was, in our view, greatly compromised and impoverished compared to Orthodox monasticism.
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Anastasios
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2010, 11:55:12 PM »

I was raised Lutheran.and became a Byzantine Catholic in my teens.  I spent several years there, before joining the Orthodox Church.  I learned a lot in the Catholic Church, including things like charity, redemptive suffering, loving one's neighbor, appreciation for saints and the Virgin Mary, etc.

The fact that Roman Catholics by and large either did not know we existed, or viewed us as some kind of curious Indian reservation ("that's nice, but keep it on your turf; we don't want it spilling over into our nice, WASP culture"), and Orthodox viewed us often as either traitors or severely misguided, coupled with the internal divisions amongst Eastern Catholics (i.e., "are we Orthodox in communion with Rome? Roman Catholics with a different Mass? A 'third way' that has something to offer everyone?") made me become frustrated. It was clear we were not the solution. We were part of the problem.

Reading the history, seeing the 8th council of St Sophia overturned what RCs now call an Ecumenical Council (4th Constantinople in 869), seeing that Pope Honorius was anathematized for centuries but that was quietly excised, reading the Dictatus Papae of Gregory VII ("The Roman Pontiff can be judged by no one"), the way Pope Vigilius was dealt with by St. Justinian, etc., made me realize the papal claims were overstated.  The Papacy is the crux of the issue. Either you go with the infallible, universal jursdiction idea, or you don't.  I didn't.

Reading things like Orthodox Psychotherapy, Life after Death, and the Mind of the Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos made me realize Orthodoxy and Catholicism really were different faiths. I had to make a choice, and I chose Orthodoxy.  I pray you will, too.

in Christ,

Fr Anastasios
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2010, 12:09:17 AM »

My wife and I were Melkite Greek Catholics before we became Orthodox Christians.

There were three reasons really for us.

1) As an Eastern Catholic, we no longer accepted the Church of Rome's Theological explanation of Papal Infallibility, of Filioque, Ecclesiology, or numbering of Ecumenical councils. Frankly, this placed us de facto, out of Communion. 

2) My wife and I were trying to live out an Orthodox Spirituality with an Orthodox mindset. One day we woke up and realized "I am attempting to be an Orthodox Christian without being a member of the Orthodox Church." Impossible.

3) We felt that authentic Eastern monasticism was a inseparable part of the spiritual, theological and liturgical life of the Church. The situation of Eastern Catholic monasticism was, in our view, greatly compromised and impoverished compared to Orthodox monasticism.

This is very close to my experience as well!!
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Mickey
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2010, 11:11:58 AM »

My wife and I were Melkite Greek Catholics before we became Orthodox Christians.

There were three reasons really for us.

1) As an Eastern Catholic, we no longer accepted the Church of Rome's Theological explanation of Papal Infallibility, of Filioque, Ecclesiology, or numbering of Ecumenical councils. Frankly, this placed us de facto, out of Communion. 

2) My wife and I were trying to live out an Orthodox Spirituality with an Orthodox mindset. One day we woke up and realized "I am attempting to be an Orthodox Christian without being a member of the Orthodox Church." Impossible.

3) We felt that authentic Eastern monasticism was a inseparable part of the spiritual, theological and liturgical life of the Church. The situation of Eastern Catholic monasticism was, in our view, greatly compromised and impoverished compared to Orthodox monasticism.

Ditto.

I will add that I was always told Eastern Catholicism was a bridge and a model for eventual reunion. 

Then I realized that it was a cause for further division.  Sad
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Mickey
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2010, 11:13:44 AM »

Reading things like Orthodox Psychotherapy, Life after Death, and the Mind of the Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos made me realize Orthodoxy and Catholicism really were different faiths. I had to make a choice, and I chose Orthodoxy.  I pray you will, too.

Superb!  He has a way with words!  Smiley
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choy
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2012, 12:48:07 AM »

I am in the same boat as you guys were.  There was something between me and Orthodoxy.  I cannot even remember how I first got whiff of Orthodoxy.  But I remember I was in New York visiting my sister and we drove by an Orthodox church.  I started talking about the church with the little misguided information about the Orthodox I know. I said they were like Catholics but don't follow the Pope.  And they use 2D images (at the time I don't even know that Icons are called Icons, I think I even said stained-glass windows) instead of statues.  I would say that is pretty good for someone who really has no idea what Orthodoxy is.  But somehow, in my past, the idea of Orthodoxy was planted.  I cannot remember, and this is the first instance I can remember that I spoke to Orthodoxy.

Fast forward about 3 years ago.  I discovered a Greek Orthodox parish close to where I moved to.  I was intrigued.  I wanted to go once but I was too shy.  It was the time I was increasing my Roman Catholic faith.  I started reading about the Orthodox and got to know more about the differences.  Married priests, no Immaculate Conception, no Original Sin, leavened bread.  Then I learned about the Eastern Catholic Church and met a priest who is biritual and served as a substitute in our parish.  This gave me the first courage to go to an Eastern Catholic Liturgy.  I went to learn.  It was a Chaldean Liturgy so it is not something that will attract me to stay, it was in a completely foreign language.  Next was the only Byzantine Rite Catholic Church in my town that has English services.  The Ukrainian Catholic Church.  But before that, I was exploring other aspects of the Catholic Church and I was trying to increase my spirituality.  I went to a Traditional Latin Mass twice but I didn't feel the connection.  Plus, traditionalists rub me the wrong way.  I just couldn't accept their shallow reasoning for a lot of things.  Then after the second TLM which was on a First Friday, I went to my first Divine Liturgy that Sunday.  I cannot explain the joy that filled my heart.  Plus the people were also warm and welcoming.  And there was a very friendly subdeacon who welcomed me.  And a huge plus factor, it being a Ukrainian Church, the subdeacon was non-Ukrainian like myself.  I knew I could make a home there if he could. So in 2 months, we became regulars.

Now, I know the Eastern Catholic Churches struggle a lot with Latinizations.  But this parish I go to is the proponent in the Eparchy in returning to true Eastern traditions, and this subdeacon I met is very faithful to those traditions.  He stood the entire Liturgy even though there was an option to sit through some of the Litanies.  He stood during the Anaphora and the Prayers Before Communion when half of the parish knelt.  Oh, I forgot to mention, he stayed in the pews rather than serve at the altar because he had a great voice and was pushing for the adaptation of the Anthology, so he served more in the capacity of a cantor than a subdeacon.

Well, unfortunately, he left.  But I continued on trying to learn more about the Eastern faith through various sources which includes Orthodox clergy.  The problem is when I try practicing what I am learning, I find out I am alone.  No one else is doing what I am trying to do.  Unfortunately, not even the clergy.  I suddenly felt disconnected.  I felt out of place.  So I went and visited the local OCA parish and met the wonderful priest there.  I first tried to correspond with him via email which he accepted.  Then even offered to meet with me at a neutral location, which we had for two times now.

My journey is still ongoing. I'm not even sure I am going to jump into Orthodoxy.  My biggest hurdle right now is the Papacy.  I've never really challenged my belief on it until recently.  And even if the Pope is wrong, should I abandon him as opposed to staying and praying for change?  Also there are a lot of other issues so I don't think this journey will be complete, regardless of the final destination, for a while.  Maybe years.  But I am going to start experiencing Orthodoxy to know that this is my spiritual home.  As the priest told me, Orthodox cannot be learned, it can only be experienced.  I mean, there are books there to help us, but if you really want to know what Orthodoxy is, you have to experience it.  I have been to Vespers once to his parish and I will be attending Divine Liturgy this Sunday.  It still won't be a regular thing, I do still plan to going more often to my UGCC parish.  But I will show up from time to time and meet with this priest at our neutral location whenever we both are available, for the foreseeable future.
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 02:38:42 AM »

Do the Eastern Catholic churches generally attract converts or do people mostly go to the Latin church?
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choy
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2012, 03:16:27 AM »

Do the Eastern Catholic churches generally attract converts or do people mostly go to the Latin church?

It depends.  Some are trying to attract converts especially here in North America.  Those who have realized that they can't sustain their population by relying on immigrants and descendants of their congregation.  But the Ukrainian Church is still very much ethnic, with a few converts.  Some parishes are more friendly, and some will not welcome anyone who's not Ukrainian.
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J Michael
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2012, 11:00:13 AM »

Do the Eastern Catholic churches generally attract converts or do people mostly go to the Latin church?

It depends.  Some are trying to attract converts especially here in North America.  Those who have realized that they can't sustain their population by relying on immigrants and descendants of their congregation.  But the Ukrainian Church is still very much ethnic, with a few converts.  Some parishes are more friendly, and some will not welcome anyone who's not Ukrainian.

I converted to the Byzantine Catholic Church from secular Judaism, for fairly specific reasons.  I was the very first adult convert that my priest had the pleasure to baptize, chrismate, and commune.

As far as I'm aware, the vast majority of converts to the Catholic Church in the U.S. are received into the Roman/Latin/Western Catholic Church.  (Some folks are a little touchy about nomenclature here  Wink.)
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2012, 01:52:10 PM »

It's quite possible that if there was an Eastern Catholic parish near where I live that I would have opted to be received into the Catholic Church through an Eastern rite back in 2007 when I converted. I love what I've seen of Byzantine spirituality, and I prefer Icons over statues.
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2012, 03:06:01 PM »

My wife and I were Melkite Greek Catholics before we became Orthodox Christians.

There were three reasons really for us.

1) As an Eastern Catholic, we no longer accepted the Church of Rome's Theological explanation of Papal Infallibility, of Filioque, Ecclesiology, or numbering of Ecumenical councils. Frankly, this placed us de facto, out of Communion. 

2) My wife and I were trying to live out an Orthodox Spirituality with an Orthodox mindset. One day we woke up and realized "I am attempting to be an Orthodox Christian without being a member of the Orthodox Church." Impossible.

3) We felt that authentic Eastern monasticism was a inseparable part of the spiritual, theological and liturgical life of the Church. The situation of Eastern Catholic monasticism was, in our view, greatly compromised and impoverished compared to Orthodox monasticism.

This is also very similar to how I became an Orthodox Christian.
I converted to the Roman Catholic Church when I was quiet young. While I was Roman Catholic, began to get very angry at all of the ultra-modern changes and Vatican II crap that was happening. I wanted a more solid spirituality/faith and a more . So I left the Roman Church and went for the Greek Melkite Catholic Church (Byzantine-rite). I later really wanted to leave the Catholic Church and become Orthodox Christian but main problem was that I still accepted the dogma of the papacy. But I also was very disappointed at how the Catholic Church didnt really recognize/respect the Eastern Patriarchs, although they say they do, and how the Pope was the only person with ecclesiastical power (the Eastern Patriarchs only had a title). I later studied more about Orthodoxy and attended a few Catechism classes and I concluded that the Orthodox Church had the "Ortho-doxa/Ortho-doxie" translated that means:"Correct belief" and began my conversion.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 03:17:39 PM by Cantor Krishnich » Logged

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