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militantsparrow
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militantsparrow
« on: May 01, 2010, 09:39:04 AM »

First of all, for anyone who has had any vested interest in my conversion, I apologize for putting you through the ups and downs.

I’m to the point again where I do believe that Orthodoxy has maintained the rock that Rome has in the past squandered and turned into an object of power. I will gladly elaborate on this if anyone cares to hear my thoughts, but my goal here isn’t to bash Catholicism. I am, after all, still Catholic. Instead I’d like to layout a few of the conclusions I’ve come to that I feel sure about and pose some questions on some hang-ups I still have.

Conclusions
   * Peter, because of his faith, was indeed the Rock upon which Christ built his Church.
   * Rome clearly held a place of primacy, even a position of final appeal, but this was due to several reasons: Rome being the chief city, the martyrdom of the faithful (including the Princes of the Apostles), and it was sheltered from many of the heresies in the East).
   * Though Rome held this elevated position, it was never understood by any in the East (Oriental or Eastern Churches) as a position of universal jurisdiction. This is proven out in the stories of Pope Victor, Pope Honorius, and the councils themselves.
   * The “Supremacy” Rome appeared to amass was likely due to its separation from the Eastern Churches. In other words, the Eastern churches were not there to keep Rome in check.
   * Catholicism maintains apostolic succession and valid sacraments. The West’s real issue is worldlier. That is, the Western self-awareness was corrupted by power.
   * I’m not sure that a visible head is necessary for unity. Catholicism has one yet it is that very head that caused the Protestant reformation.

Hang-ups/Questions
   * I love the Catholic saints I have come to know. Can I, as an Orthodox, privately still venerate them? For example, St. Francis, St. Anthony, St. Dominic, Blessed Teresa of Calcuta.
   * There Marian apparitions, which I love. Can I, as an Orthodox, privately still acknowledge them?
   * I do love the Rosary. Can I still pray it?
   * Will I feel (culturally speaking) at home in an Orthodox Church? Which jurisdiction would be most appropriate? I’d like to see the OCA become more than it is. I am, after all, American.
   * Because I believe in the validity of Catholic Apostolic succession and Sacraments, do I have to give up that belief to become Orthodox?

Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2010, 09:40:11 AM by militantsparrow » Logged

"Yeah, the sparrow hath found an house..." -Psalm 84:3
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2010, 10:35:37 AM »

militantsparrow,

Here are my thoughts, just remember that they are from a layman, and someone who has also struggled with Orthodoxy (though my struggle has been between Orthodoxy and agnosticism)...

Quote
  * I love the Catholic saints I have come to know. Can I, as an Orthodox, privately still venerate them? For example, St. Francis, St. Anthony, St. Dominic, Blessed Teresa of Calcuta.

Most of your questions are tough ones, I think. With this one, I think of St. Isaac the Syrian. So far as I understand, he was not in communion with Orthodoxy, yet we consider him a saint of our Church. Does this mean that there are saints outside Orthodoxy? That we can venerate people outside Orthodoxy if we are Orthodox? I don't know. Certainly there is nothing wrong with loving and respecting someone outside Orthodoxy, and looking to them for inspiration or insight. But veneration in your private life? I don't know. I would say that it's ok, but that's just me.

Quote
   * There Marian apparitions, which I love. Can I, as an Orthodox, privately still acknowledge them?

I'm not really familiar enough with these to give an opinion on them. I know that Orthodoxy has had Marian apparitions before, as have the Oriental Orthodox. But most Orthodox seem to take a dim view of Catholic apparitions, for one reason or another.

Quote
   * I do love the Rosary. Can I still pray it?

Yeah, I do believe that some Orthodox pray the rosary. Either the rosary, or something extremely similar, I forget which. (here is a list of threads with a "rosary" tag).

Quote
   * Will I feel (culturally speaking) at home in an Orthodox Church? Which jurisdiction would be most appropriate? I’d like to see the OCA become more than it is. I am, after all, American.

I only know that I do feel at home, in spite of me being very Americanized. I've been to churches and monasteries of a half dozen jurisdictions, and I only ever felt out of place once, at a parish, and even then I went to a monastery from that same jurisdiction and felt totally comfortable. And who knows why I felt uncomfortable at the parish, it could have just been me for all I know. That's not to say that there aren't some... less than welcoming parishes. I'm just saying that, in my experience, Orthodox people tend to be friendly. Maybe they aren't as gung ho about making you feel welcome as a "seeker sensitive" Protestant church would be, but there still aren't many roadblocks to feeling at home, IMO.

Quote
   * Because I believe in the validity of Catholic Apostolic succession and Sacraments, do I have to give up that belief to become Orthodox?

Well, I think that's the toughest of your questions. Many Orthodox would probably say that you should, and some would say that you have to. Is it absolutely necessary? In my mind, that is the sort of thing that you could struggle with while being Orthodox, if--and only if--you believed that Orthodoxy preserved the pure faith once delivered to the Apostles, and want to fully commit to Orthodoxy. But it might be a hard walk, and some might suggest that such an approach would be a recipe for disaster. I suppose this question, as with all your questions, is really something to discuss with a good, pastorally-minded priest.
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2010, 11:20:09 AM »

Dear MilitantSparrow,

You raise a lot of good questions, and you have a lot of valid concerns. Personally, I think this is something to be discussed with a priest, and not an internet forum where everyone and their mother can pick apart your beliefs and comment on them.

A priest can provide economia where necassary, address your concerns, answer your questions, and do it all within the loving context of the Church.

I would encourage you to visit several Orthodox parishes, as jurisdiction will not determine where you feel most comfortable. The people in the parish and the clergy will.

Example: I come from a Ukrainian Orthodox parish where 20% of the Liturgy is said in Ukrainian at my parish. We just recently ordained a convert of Scottish/Irish/American descent to the Diaconate, and we have another convert of Italian/American descent studying for the priesthood. 

I wish you well on your journey, and pray that God will give you wisdom and discernment in your decision.

In XC,

Maureen
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militantsparrow
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militantsparrow
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2010, 11:50:48 AM »

Dear MilitantSparrow,

You raise a lot of good questions, and you have a lot of valid concerns. Personally, I think this is something to be discussed with a priest, and not an internet forum where everyone and their mother can pick apart your beliefs and comment on them.

A priest can provide economia where necassary, address your concerns, answer your questions, and do it all within the loving context of the Church.

I would encourage you to visit several Orthodox parishes, as jurisdiction will not determine where you feel most comfortable. The people in the parish and the clergy will.

Example: I come from a Ukrainian Orthodox parish where 20% of the Liturgy is said in Ukrainian at my parish. We just recently ordained a convert of Scottish/Irish/American descent to the Diaconate, and we have another convert of Italian/American descent studying for the priesthood. 

I wish you well on your journey, and pray that God will give you wisdom and discernment in your decision.

In XC,

Maureen

Thank you Maureen and Asteriktos. That is good advice. I do know a Romanian Orthodox priest. Maybe I will start there. I am blessed enough to have lots of options in my area.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2010, 01:54:30 PM »

You raise a lot of good questions, and you have a lot of valid concerns. Personally, I think this is something to be discussed with a priest, and not an internet forum where everyone and their mother can pick apart your beliefs and comment on them.

A priest can provide economia where necassary, address your concerns, answer your questions, and do it all within the loving context of the Church.

Now hold on one second! Are you implying that someone could possibly disagree with me!?  Tongue  Seriously though, I agree with "go ask a priest"... but... the thing is, if you ask 10 priests you might get 10 different answers. We have to avoid simply picking a priest that we think will let us do what we want or will always agree with us, but on the other hand we also don't want a priest who is not pastorally sensitive to our needs and concerns. You probably wouldn't look at the first priest you meet and, before even really knowing them, ask them to be your spiritual father. I think the same thing should go with the "ask your priest" advice. It's fine to ask advice from priests, but their advice should be weighed on a scale, with trust and a good relationship adding weight to their advice. That doesn't mean that a priest you barely know can't give you good advice, of course, only that you need to be more careful with such a priest. Also, when in doubt, don't be afraid to go straight to the bishop to ask questions.
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Hey, so I'm in a pop-alt-punk-folk-prog band called "Affable Dregs" and we have a new album coming out, titled "Vicious Turnips Always Taste Most Delicious." We'd really appreciate your support!
militantsparrow
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militantsparrow
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2010, 03:38:36 PM »

Now hold on one second! Are you implying that someone could possibly disagree with me!?  Tongue  Seriously though, I agree with "go ask a priest"... but... the thing is, if you ask 10 priests you might get 10 different answers. We have to avoid simply picking a priest that we think will let us do what we want or will always agree with us, but on the other hand we also don't want a priest who is not pastorally sensitive to our needs and concerns. You probably wouldn't look at the first priest you meet and, before even really knowing them, ask them to be your spiritual father. I think the same thing should go with the "ask your priest" advice. It's fine to ask advice from priests, but their advice should be weighed on a scale, with trust and a good relationship adding weight to their advice. That doesn't mean that a priest you barely know can't give you good advice, of course, only that you need to be more careful with such a priest. Also, when in doubt, don't be afraid to go straight to the bishop to ask questions.

Thank you, Asteriktos. This too is good advice. Maybe I will spend the next month or so visiting various Churches and meeting with various priests. I don't know how practical it will be but I am going to try. Possibly even an email correspondence with a Priest would be helpful as well.
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2010, 01:35:05 AM »

I'm Orthodox and I still venerate and pray to Roman Catholic saints.
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militantsparrow
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militantsparrow
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2010, 10:29:54 AM »

I'm Orthodox and I still venerate and pray to Roman Catholic saints.

Thank you, Feanor. That is good to know.
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