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Author Topic: To Those Roman Catholics (Past & Present) Discerning RC or EO...  (Read 2538 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dave in McKinney
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« on: August 21, 2010, 05:54:21 PM »

I've seen a couple of threads from lapsed RC's and former RC's who have or are discerning converting to Orthodoxy or staying Catholic.  So my question to those folks is if the considered the Eastern Catholic Churches?  And if so what their thoughts and experiences were...
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2010, 06:06:04 PM »

I spent some time visiting an Eastern Rite church. If you want to remain catholic than its a viable option. However, if you believe in the Orthodox Faith then it is better to become Orthodox. If you are unsure than it would probably be good to go to an EC parish in the interim. Many Romans go to the Eastern Rite but I think more go through it ending up in Orthodoxy. Are there any parishes in your area?
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2010, 06:20:04 PM »

It really depends on how much your issues are simply spiritual inclinations, liturgical trappings, or theological emphases, on the one hand, and how much it is actually doctrine, on the other hand. If the former, then obviously going to Eastern rite Romanism is the logical conclusion. If one actually has legitimate issues with the Roman dogmatic tradition, then obviously leaving the communion altogether is the logical conclusion. I think it is a very important question to consider, as I actually have met a number of people for whom it was simply the former issue.
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2010, 06:32:44 PM »

My first piece of advice is:  stay away from internet forums.  They are not, thank goodness, representative of the Orthodoxy that you will encounter in most parishes.  The spiritual life is not nourished by ideology, zealotry, and sectarianism.  More than one person, tragically, has been driven away from Orthodoxy by the ferocity of internet polemic. 

My second piece of advice is:  immerse yourself in the Divine Liturgy and the prayers of the Eastern Church.  You will either find your heart strangely warmed or you will not--but that is how you will know whether you are summoned into the communion of the Eastern Church.  Don't worry about the confessional debates about the Filioque or the Papacy or whatever.  Those are debates well above your intellectual pay grade--and mine.  Only fools think they can figure out the answers through their study, thinking, and argument to the theological issues that have so long divided the Western and Eastern Churches.  What is important is not being "right."  What is important is being in the Truth.  Focus on drawing close to God and entering into the experience of the spiritual and theological wholeness that Orthodoxy claims to offer.  It is at that deep level you will find or not find the answers that you seek. 

My third piece of advice is:  faithfully read Fr Stephen Freeman's blog "Glory to God."  In my opinion, it is the best Orthodox blog out there.  Fr Stephen will faithfully direct you to an Orthodoxy grounded in the the gospel and the Trinitarian life of God.   
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2010, 06:35:43 PM »

I spent some time visiting an Eastern Rite church. If you want to remain catholic than its a viable option. However, if you believe in the Orthodox Faith then it is better to become Orthodox. If you are unsure than it would probably be good to go to an EC parish in the interim. Many Romans go to the Eastern Rite but I think more go through it ending up in Orthodoxy. Are there any parishes in your area?

It is an odd feeling to see this discussed openly on the forum. Smiley

The conversion of many Eastern Catholics (and Roman Catholics) to Orthodoxy was what caused most of the Orthodox contributors to be banned from CAF (Catholic Answers Forum.)  It is not as if the Orthodox were actively proselytizing.  It was simply that Catholics were reading and coming to their own conclusions.

Father Irish Hermit
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2010, 06:41:00 PM »

My first piece of advice is:  stay away from internet forums.  They are not, thank goodness, representative of the Orthodoxy that you will encounter in most parishes.  The spiritual life is not nourished by ideology, zealotry, and sectarianism.  More than one person, tragically, has been driven away from Orthodoxy by the ferocity of internet polemic. 


I agree that some may be driven away but this was not the case on CAF.  The discussions there waxed quite hot and furious for much of the time.  But this did not prevent many Catholics converting to Orthodoxy.  I know of 36 with whom I was corresponding.  Given that I had become more or less housebound because of cardiac problems I was quite grateful that God had opened up another way for me to be useful.  As I say, it was the high conversion rate which caused the authorities of CAF to ban most of the Orthodox contributors.

But I do agree that counselling about conversion over the Internet can only go so far.  Sooner or later the interested person needs to make contact with a real parish and some real priests and parishioners.
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Dave in McKinney
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2010, 07:39:37 PM »

My first piece of advice is:  stay away from internet forums.  They are not, thank goodness, representative of the Orthodoxy that you will encounter in most parishes.  The spiritual life is not nourished by ideology, zealotry, and sectarianism.  More than one person, tragically, has been driven away from Orthodoxy by the ferocity of internet polemic. 

My second piece of advice is:  immerse yourself in the Divine Liturgy and the prayers of the Eastern Church.  You will either find your heart strangely warmed or you will not--but that is how you will know whether you are summoned into the communion of the Eastern Church.  Don't worry about the confessional debates about the Filioque or the Papacy or whatever.  Those are debates well above your intellectual pay grade--and mine.  Only fools think they can figure out the answers through their study, thinking, and argument to the theological issues that have so long divided the Western and Eastern Churches.  What is important is not being "right."  What is important is being in the Truth.  Focus on drawing close to God and entering into the experience of the spiritual and theological wholeness that Orthodoxy claims to offer.  It is at that deep level you will find or not find the answers that you seek. 

My third piece of advice is:  faithfully read Fr Stephen Freeman's blog "Glory to God."  In my opinion, it is the best Orthodox blog out there.  Fr Stephen will faithfully direct you to an Orthodoxy grounded in the the gospel and the Trinitarian life of God.   

I figured a response from you might be less-pro orthodox... but thanks for the advice!

   I'm a cradle-RC and wife was a cradle-Prot... when we got married the whole "scandal" was coming to the forefront , and wife went thru a less-than-loving RCIA program... anyways we started going Methodist.. and at first hated it then I loved it... reminded me of smaller RC parish I grew up with far west (at the time)  of Houston..  I enjoyed the melding of people and religion... church was more than a place we visited on weekend...  of course we did the protestant church-shopping thing trying to find one where the kids felt welcome too...
  So in past 8 months or so I and then family ended back up in RC although I have visited an EO or two but not the EC yet.  Back in Protestant world I got sick of the doctrine-by-vote and how diifferent teh MEthodist church was from Wesley envisioned it should be... turned out that modern-day methodism turned into exactly what he feared or at least IMHO....
  Wife like the reverence of worship we have found... but then again it depends on which mass you attend... she hates the IC and papal infalibility... I have ignored it and was never taught anything about it in CCD/CCE...  (of course according to CAF I'm not really a Catholic because I question IC and PI).
  Current parish has 2 priests.. both nice enough.,. one is Indian who is multi-rite that we both like (only does Roman at our Parish of course), but his homilies and pastoral advice in confession is heart-felt and wonderful.
  The majority of the folks in the church are like cold fish (we're in a LARGE parish) they don't sing, don't express joy or gratitude and act like robot most of the time.. . they go thru the offering of peace and the greetings as if it's so inconvenient and they don't even look you in the eyes....  again not EVERYONE is that way but many, many are...
  I see many RC parished are doing a lot more bible study for adults but ours seems slow to the task, but then again ours is a very affluent parish or rather our parishoners are very affluent....
  I guess wife & I miss the community aspect, the mixing of church and friendship...
  Of course I have prayed a lot.  Seems like God is telling me to be patient and get my ducks in a row first (aka become more holy and humble first), the rest will work itself out in time...
 
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2010, 09:54:50 PM »


My third piece of advice is:  faithfully read Fr Stephen Freeman's blog "Glory to God."  In my opinion, it is the best Orthodox blog out there.  Fr Stephen will faithfully direct you to an Orthodoxy grounded in the the gospel and the Trinitarian life of God.   

Father Stephen writes some wonderful stuff.  Here is a small article of his "Why People Become Orthodox" and it has attracted quite a few Comments.

http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2007/03/02/why-people-become-orthodox/
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2010, 10:14:23 PM »

My first piece of advice is:  stay away from internet forums.  They are not, thank goodness, representative of the Orthodoxy that you will encounter in most parishes.  The spiritual life is not nourished by ideology, zealotry, and sectarianism.  More than one person, tragically, has been driven away from Orthodoxy by the ferocity of internet polemic. 

My second piece of advice is:  immerse yourself in the Divine Liturgy and the prayers of the Eastern Church.  You will either find your heart strangely warmed or you will not--but that is how you will know whether you are summoned into the communion of the Eastern Church.  Don't worry about the confessional debates about the Filioque or the Papacy or whatever.  Those are debates well above your intellectual pay grade--and mine.  Only fools think they can figure out the answers through their study, thinking, and argument to the theological issues that have so long divided the Western and Eastern Churches.  What is important is not being "right."  What is important is being in the Truth.  Focus on drawing close to God and entering into the experience of the spiritual and theological wholeness that Orthodoxy claims to offer.  It is at that deep level you will find or not find the answers that you seek. 

My third piece of advice is:  faithfully read Fr Stephen Freeman's blog "Glory to God."  In my opinion, it is the best Orthodox blog out there.  Fr Stephen will faithfully direct you to an Orthodoxy grounded in the the gospel and the Trinitarian life of God.   

Great post. Thanks, Father.
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2010, 11:47:32 PM »

Fr. Kimel, thanks so much for the recommendation of Fr. Stephen's blog - I had never seen it before and am enjoying it tremendously! Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2010, 01:45:24 AM »

Fr. Kimel, thanks so much for the recommendation of Fr. Stephen's blog - I had never seen it before and am enjoying it tremendously!

You are very welcome.  Having played in internet debates for a few years, I am absolutely convinced that if one is seriously contemplating a move from Protestantism to Orthodoxy or Catholicism to Orthodoxy, it is vitally important for one's spiritual health to eschew internet polemics useless disputation.  It can damage your soul.  People can get converted for all the wrong reasons.  Focus your heart instead on the Trinitarian God who communicates himself to us in the Divine Liturgy, Scripture, and the prayers of the Church.  Allow yourself to be touched in the depths of your being by the transforming wholeness that is Orthodoxy, when it is spiritually healthy and strong.

Fr Stephen well understands this.  He knows how destructive ideology and sectarianism can be to life in the Spirit.  He is a godly priest and a faithful and reliable guide to anyone who is exploring Eastern Orthodoxy. 

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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2010, 02:03:11 AM »

/\  Father Stephen  also has a couple of dozen podcasts on Ancient Faith radio - all very good.

http://ancientfaith.com/search/results/263885cb53fe64c69dc51a2732963bdd

Fr Kimel,  I do not quite share your pessimism over the nature of Internet forums in bringing about conversion and my own experience runs quite counter to your fears.  As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and over the past 6 or 7 years I have guided 36 people into Orthodoxy through internet contacts on either CAF or on a couple of e-mail groups which I run on Celtic Christianity.

Patriarch Kirill of Russia has twice issued statements encouraging Russian clergy to make use of what is available on the Internet to spread the faith and bring people to the Church.  He mentions Forums, blogs, etc.
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2010, 09:40:13 AM »

Yet some of the more acrimonious arguments that erupt around here from time to time can be quite off-putting to a seeker, Father.  (No offense, bur even some of your own "discussions" with a certain other Forum regular have caused me some distress, as you may recall Cheesy !)  Sometimes the nuances of Internet discussion can have unintended and undesired effects.
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2010, 09:45:08 AM »

From my personal experiences there are some edifying debates no doubt, but also some very un-loving, un-Christlike ones too.  I have experienced this first hand over the years in a variety of different Christian forums.
 I've seen many people say that intellectually they are the real Church or have the real truth, but very few have shown the love that goes along with the truth.
 
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« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2010, 09:56:52 AM »

From my personal experiences there are some edifying debates no doubt, but also some very un-loving, un-Christlike ones too.  I have experienced this first hand over the years in a variety of different Christian forums.
 I've seen many people say that intellectually they are the real Church or have the real truth, but very few have shown the love that goes along with the truth.
 

Yes, it's swings and roundabouts. I once found what I thought was the ideal parish for an inquirer to continue her catechisation only to have her write back that she couldn't ever return there because the priest's wife was not welcoming and did not offer her even a cup of tea.

I have seen dingdong arguments in the church hall after Liturgy when a particular Catholic man calls around with his Miraculous Medal to give away and engage the parish members in conversation.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy the robust exchanges with Mary but if they are putting people off converting to holy Orthodoxy I suppose I have to forego them.
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« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2010, 02:12:54 PM »

To be fair the CAF and a certain protestant website are some of the worst that I have experienced....
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« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2010, 04:35:33 PM »

Don't forego them, Father, but perhaps take them to PM's from time ... for those of us more squeamish souls out here ...Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2010, 04:41:18 PM »

(And please let me add, I know that I'm not blameless in all this either!  Cheesy)
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2010, 06:33:43 PM »

I'm not all that keen on a few of the posters at CAF who crash threads with patristic "text dumps" to vindicate the traditional RCC position - they don't even bother to read the people they're responding to, nor are they willing to grasp any other point. And why should they, they're defending the truth of their faith, fighting off phantom Orthodox and other Internet threats to the faith on message boards. It's not particularly spiritually edifying to watch.
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« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2010, 10:37:26 AM »

/\  Father Stephen  also has a couple of dozen podcasts on Ancient Faith radio - all very good.

http://ancientfaith.com/search/results/263885cb53fe64c69dc51a2732963bdd

Fr Kimel,  I do not quite share your pessimism over the nature of Internet forums in bringing about conversion and my own experience runs quite counter to your fears.  As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and over the past 6 or 7 years I have guided 36 people into Orthodoxy through internet contacts on either CAF or on a couple of e-mail groups which I run on Celtic Christianity.

I notice that you have repeated this several times. While reading it again, I was reminded of a story told by the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, founder of the journal First Things:

A priest on Long Island tells me that, when he was newly ordained, he had the chance to visit with the legendary Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who was famed for, among other things, winning many converts to the Catholic Church. Sheen was in the hospital and, as it turned out, on his deathbed. “Archbishop Sheen,” my friend said, “I have come for your counsel. I want to be a convert-making priest like you. I’ve already won fifteen people to the faith. What is your advice?” Sheen painfully pushed himself up on his elbows from his reclining position and looked my friend in the eye. “The first thing to do,” he said, “is to stop counting.”

-

And, Father, I do hope you are not one of those who get up all in arms about the "unia" and Catholic "sheep-stealing" etc.  From your perspective, it does seem to be open season Wink

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« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2010, 10:53:32 AM »


My third piece of advice is:  faithfully read Fr Stephen Freeman's blog "Glory to God."  In my opinion, it is the best Orthodox blog out there.  Fr Stephen will faithfully direct you to an Orthodoxy grounded in the the gospel and the Trinitarian life of God.   

Father Stephen writes some wonderful stuff.  Here is a small article of his "Why People Become Orthodox" and it has attracted quite a few Comments.

http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2007/03/02/why-people-become-orthodox/

I'd add another to Father's list: realized that I did not have to have all the answers because I realized the Orthodod Church did, so I knew where to look.
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« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2010, 11:17:40 AM »

I spent some time visiting an Eastern Rite church. If you want to remain catholic than its a viable option. However, if you believe in the Orthodox Faith then it is better to become Orthodox. If you are unsure than it would probably be good to go to an EC parish in the interim. Many Romans go to the Eastern Rite but I think more go through it ending up in Orthodoxy.

This was my experience. I enjoyed my Eastern Catholic Parish but the more I came to understand Orthodoxy I realized that Eastern Catholicism and an authentic Eastern Orthodox life (Theologically, Spritually, & Liturgically) are not compatible. When I came to this realization, Eastern Catholicism actually began to appear as cheap Orthodox imitation (I don't mean this to be insulting). The preist and the members of the parish I was attending were great, but for all intensive purposes they were Roman catholics celebrating a different service, abbreviated at that. I pray that Eastern Catholics come to realize that they should return to the Orthodox Church and understand that the creation of most of their Churches was a politically motivated due to specific conditions that no longer exist, thus they should reunite with Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2010, 03:07:07 PM »

/\  Father Stephen  also has a couple of dozen podcasts on Ancient Faith radio - all very good.

http://ancientfaith.com/search/results/263885cb53fe64c69dc51a2732963bdd

Fr Kimel,  I do not quite share your pessimism over the nature of Internet forums in bringing about conversion and my own experience runs quite counter to your fears.  As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and over the past 6 or 7 years I have guided 36 people into Orthodoxy through internet contacts on either CAF or on a couple of e-mail groups which I run on Celtic Christianity.

I notice that you have repeated this several times. While reading it again, I was reminded of a story told by the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, founder of the journal First Things:

A priest on Long Island tells me that, when he was newly ordained, he had the chance to visit with the legendary Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who was famed for, among other things, winning many converts to the Catholic Church. Sheen was in the hospital and, as it turned out, on his deathbed. “Archbishop Sheen,” my friend said, “I have come for your counsel. I want to be a convert-making priest like you. I’ve already won fifteen people to the faith. What is your advice?” Sheen painfully pushed himself up on his elbows from his reclining position and looked my friend in the eye. “The first thing to do,” he said, “is to stop counting.”



I wished to add a balancing voice to Fr Kimel's rather dour assessment of internet activity on e-forums as it effects the spiritual path of enquirers and potential converts.  My own experience shows that it can bring forth much fruit. 
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« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2010, 03:10:08 PM »


This was my experience. I enjoyed my Eastern Catholic Parish but the more I came to understand Orthodoxy I realized that Eastern Catholicism and an authentic Eastern Orthodox life (Theologically, Spritually, & Liturgically) are not compatible.


I wonder if our Eastern Catholic members have any comments?
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« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2010, 03:13:14 PM »

I spent some time visiting an Eastern Rite church. If you want to remain catholic than its a viable option. However, if you believe in the Orthodox Faith then it is better to become Orthodox. If you are unsure than it would probably be good to go to an EC parish in the interim. Many Romans go to the Eastern Rite but I think more go through it ending up in Orthodoxy.

This was my experience. I enjoyed my Eastern Catholic Parish but the more I came to understand Orthodoxy I realized that Eastern Catholicism and an authentic Eastern Orthodox life (Theologically, Spritually, & Liturgically) are not compatible. When I came to this realization, Eastern Catholicism actually began to appear as cheap Orthodox imitation (I don't mean this to be insulting). The preist and the members of the parish I was attending were great, but for all intensive purposes they were Roman catholics celebrating a different service, abbreviated at that. I pray that Eastern Catholics come to realize that they should return to the Orthodox Church and understand that the creation of most of their Churches was a politically motivated due to specific conditions that no longer exist, thus they should reunite with Orthodoxy.

Well, keep in mind that they are Eastern Catholic and not Eastern Orthodox. I love the Eastern Catholic parish in my diocese. Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2010, 03:56:14 PM »

Well, keep in mind that they are Eastern Catholic and not Eastern Orthodox. I love the Eastern Catholic parish in my diocese. Smiley

Technically it's not in your diocese Wink
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« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2010, 04:04:30 PM »

Well, keep in mind that they are Eastern Catholic and not Eastern Orthodox. I love the Eastern Catholic parish in my diocese. Smiley

Technically it's not in your diocese Wink
Haha. Very true.
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« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2010, 04:08:27 PM »

I spent some time visiting an Eastern Rite church. If you want to remain catholic than its a viable option. However, if you believe in the Orthodox Faith then it is better to become Orthodox. If you are unsure than it would probably be good to go to an EC parish in the interim. Many Romans go to the Eastern Rite but I think more go through it ending up in Orthodoxy.

This was my experience. I enjoyed my Eastern Catholic Parish but the more I came to understand Orthodoxy I realized that Eastern Catholicism and an authentic Eastern Orthodox life (Theologically, Spritually, & Liturgically) are not compatible. When I came to this realization, Eastern Catholicism actually began to appear as cheap Orthodox imitation (I don't mean this to be insulting). The preist and the members of the parish I was attending were great, but for all intensive purposes they were Roman catholics celebrating a different service, abbreviated at that. I pray that Eastern Catholics come to realize that they should return to the Orthodox Church and understand that the creation of most of their Churches was a politically motivated due to specific conditions that no longer exist, thus they should reunite with Orthodoxy.

Well, keep in mind that they are Eastern Catholic and not Eastern Orthodox. I love the Eastern Catholic parish in my diocese. Smiley

Correct, but the OP was regarding a conversion to Orthothdoxy and asking about Eastern Catholicism as a substitute. IMHO, if one is attraced to Orthodoxy, Eastern Catholicism may end up being a let down.
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« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2010, 06:35:11 PM »

Well, keep in mind that they are Eastern Catholic and not Eastern Orthodox.

The biggest problem here is that is not the self-perception of many of them. I'm sure you've heard the phrase "Orthodox in communion with Rome". Many of your Eastern riters are wishfully thinking that they are actually Eastern Orthodox and even many of them reject the dogmatic tradition of Rome in favor of the dogmatic tradition of Constantinople.
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« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2010, 07:43:29 PM »

Well, keep in mind that they are Eastern Catholic and not Eastern Orthodox.

The biggest problem here is that is not the self-perception of many of them. I'm sure you've heard the phrase "Orthodox in communion with Rome". Many of your Eastern riters are wishfully thinking that they are actually Eastern Orthodox and even many of them reject the dogmatic tradition of Rome in favor of the dogmatic tradition of Constantinople.

Perhaps they believe the two dogmatic traditions are not as completely irreconcilable as you seem to believe. Their moral traditions are certainly not.
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« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2010, 08:48:41 PM »

Well, keep in mind that they are Eastern Catholic and not Eastern Orthodox.

The biggest problem here is that is not the self-perception of many of them. I'm sure you've heard the phrase "Orthodox in communion with Rome". Many of your Eastern riters are wishfully thinking that they are actually Eastern Orthodox and even many of them reject the dogmatic tradition of Rome in favor of the dogmatic tradition of Constantinople.

Perhaps they believe the two dogmatic traditions are not as completely irreconcilable as you seem to believe. Their moral traditions are certainly not.

No, it's not that sort of thing. Novel interpretations of Rome's dogmas are one thing, something, yes, I have encountered. Perhaps even more commonly, however, I have encountered "Eastern Catholics" who outright deny the dogmatic definitions of Rome.
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« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2010, 10:49:00 PM »

FWIW I've only been EC for a few years but I understand quite well that it's not identical to being truly EO.  My husband and I have discussed converting, and indeed may do so within the next few years.  However, because my husband grew up in our EC parish, and we were married here just 3 years ago, we're not quite readyto make the jump.  Plus I have been in and out of Christianity so many times that now that I've found a church home, I'm loathe to leave it till I'm really sure it's the right move. 
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« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2010, 08:25:48 PM »


This was my experience. I enjoyed my Eastern Catholic Parish but the more I came to understand Orthodoxy I realized that Eastern Catholicism and an authentic Eastern Orthodox life (Theologically, Spritually, & Liturgically) are not compatible.


I wonder if our Eastern Catholic members have any comments?

I'm not really keen to do this, but I'll bite.......

It depends on the parish (duh).  Some Eastern Catholic parishes are "better" in this sense than Orthodox parishes (and I've been to good and bad parishes of both jurisidictions).  

As to the OP: I can't say I ever considered RC vs. EO - rather I considered EC vs. EO.  I thought about it long and hard.  Ultimately, I made the choice to remain Catholic because I don't really believe the Latin Church is heterodox.   Maybe I'm too close - I know why a lot of things are the way they are and while I might disagree with some some of the way the Latin tradition is interpreted*, nevertheless I think I understand why they came about and am not upset by them.  

As a side note, the thing that clinched it for me was a trip to Mt. Athos.  I met a monk in Karyes - the only one the Lord led me to encounter (not saying there aren't others) who had an understanding of Catholicism that would pass a basic graduate theology class - and obviously one who I believe is holy and who understood my situation  He recommended that I remain Catholic, at my Eastern Catholic parish.  

Markos

*I find many ways that the Latin Church expresses its tradition to be too rigid and sometimes too authoritarian, derived from the great centralization of the past thousand years, the Counterreformation, and especially the fight against secularism of the past two centuries.  This is despite the changes of especially the past 50 years which have attempted to renew this tradition and move it in what I interpret to be away from the rigidness and authoritarianism, which might be "good" in many ways but has also allowed large parts of the Latin church to go wild once restrictions were lifted.  
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« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2010, 09:28:25 PM »

It depends on the parish (duh).  Some Eastern Catholic parishes are "better" in this sense than Orthodox parishes (and I've been to good and bad parishes of both jurisidictions).

Ummm. How could a community in union with Rome possibly have a better sense of living an Eastern Orthodox theology in an authentic manner better than any community part of the canonical EOC?
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« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2010, 09:16:31 AM »

It depends on the parish (duh).  Some Eastern Catholic parishes are "better" in this sense than Orthodox parishes (and I've been to good and bad parishes of both jurisidictions).

Ummm. How could a community in union with Rome possibly have a better sense of living an Eastern Orthodox theology in an authentic manner better than any community part of the canonical EOC?

That's what I'd like to know.  If this were true then they would fully understand that one who is under papal authority is required to believe or accept all of the theology that is proclaimed, accepted, and defended in the Roman Catholic Church.  Otherwise if they are proclaiming they are living living a completely Eastern Orthodox theology, they are going against the teachings of the church they are professing membership in.

You seem to be basing your response on the outward traditions & worship of your church.  One's faith is based on what one believes or is required to believe rather than who one worships.

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« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2010, 12:02:30 PM »

It depends on the parish (duh).  Some Eastern Catholic parishes are "better" in this sense than Orthodox parishes (and I've been to good and bad parishes of both jurisidictions).

Ummm. How could a community in union with Rome possibly have a better sense of living an Eastern Orthodox theology in an authentic manner better than any community part of the canonical EOC?

That's what I'd like to know.  If this were true then they would fully understand that one who is under papal authority is required to believe or accept all of the theology that is proclaimed, accepted, and defended in the Roman Catholic Church.  Otherwise if they are proclaiming they are living living a completely Eastern Orthodox theology, they are going against the teachings of the church they are professing membership in.

You seem to be basing your response on the outward traditions & worship of your church.  One's faith is based on what one believes or is required to believe rather than who one worships.

Orthodoc

I would give your final statement some VERY serious re-consideration.

Also I am beginning to realize that internal schism is something quite different among Orthodox Churches than is schism with the Catholic Church.  In both cases one is out of communion but it apparently does not mean the same thing.

But the internal schisms appear to be based upon differences in beliefs as well.

So to put all your faith in the belief basket does not seem prudent to me.

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« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2010, 02:05:07 PM »

It depends on the parish (duh).  Some Eastern Catholic parishes are "better" in this sense than Orthodox parishes (and I've been to good and bad parishes of both jurisidictions).

Ummm. How could a community in union with Rome possibly have a better sense of living an Eastern Orthodox theology in an authentic manner better than any community part of the canonical EOC?
Probably because Eastern Orthodoxy has morphed over the past few centuries into more of a anti-western orthodoxy.
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« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2010, 02:12:10 PM »

It depends on the parish (duh).  Some Eastern Catholic parishes are "better" in this sense than Orthodox parishes (and I've been to good and bad parishes of both jurisidictions).

Ummm. How could a community in union with Rome possibly have a better sense of living an Eastern Orthodox theology in an authentic manner better than any community part of the canonical EOC?
Probably because Eastern Orthodoxy has morphed over the past few centuries into more of a anti-western orthodoxy.

Huh?Huh?  Care to further explain just what you mean by that!  Your reply makes no sense to me.

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« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2010, 02:14:50 PM »

I don't think it's EO that has become anti-Western, just Internet EO polemicists.
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« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2010, 02:19:26 PM »

It depends on the parish (duh).  Some Eastern Catholic parishes are "better" in this sense than Orthodox parishes (and I've been to good and bad parishes of both jurisidictions).

Ummm. How could a community in union with Rome possibly have a better sense of living an Eastern Orthodox theology in an authentic manner better than any community part of the canonical EOC?
Probably because Eastern Orthodoxy has morphed over the past few centuries into more of a anti-western orthodoxy.

Huh?Huh?  Care to further explain just what you mean by that!  Your reply makes no sense to me.

Orthodoc
To go from the synod of Jerusalem, to what your Church has become is to move from being "Eastern" to anti-western.
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« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2010, 02:25:35 PM »

It depends on the parish (duh).  Some Eastern Catholic parishes are "better" in this sense than Orthodox parishes (and I've been to good and bad parishes of both jurisidictions).

Ummm. How could a community in union with Rome possibly have a better sense of living an Eastern Orthodox theology in an authentic manner better than any community part of the canonical EOC?
Probably because Eastern Orthodoxy has morphed over the past few centuries into more of a anti-western orthodoxy.

Huh?Huh?  Care to further explain just what you mean by that!  Your reply makes no sense to me.

Orthodoc
To go from the synod of Jerusalem, to what your Church has become is to move from being "Eastern" to anti-western.
To refuse to swallow the latest heretical innovations from the Vatican when it says "open wide" is not anti-western, and the Vatican has tried to cram them down the throat of those Easterners who have submitted to it.
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« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2010, 02:27:06 PM »

It depends on the parish (duh).  Some Eastern Catholic parishes are "better" in this sense than Orthodox parishes (and I've been to good and bad parishes of both jurisidictions).

Ummm. How could a community in union with Rome possibly have a better sense of living an Eastern Orthodox theology in an authentic manner better than any community part of the canonical EOC?
Probably because Eastern Orthodoxy has morphed over the past few centuries into more of a anti-western orthodoxy.

Huh?Huh?  Care to further explain just what you mean by that!  Your reply makes no sense to me.

Orthodoc
To go from the synod of Jerusalem, to what your Church has become is to move from being "Eastern" to anti-western.

That's not an answer but an opinion or at best a statement.  How about putting you money where your mouth is and give examples.

It still has nothing to do with claiming that Greek Catholics have a better sense of living Eastern Orthodox theology than the current Orthodox do.  

Orthodoc

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« Reply #42 on: August 25, 2010, 02:48:52 PM »

Maybe in the same way that the Good Samaritan exemplified the Law, as opposed to the priest & the Levite?  Wink
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« Reply #43 on: August 25, 2010, 07:44:25 PM »

It depends on the parish (duh).  Some Eastern Catholic parishes are "better" in this sense than some Orthodox parishes (and I've been to good and bad parishes of both jurisdictions).

Ummm. How could a community in union with Rome possibly have a better sense of living an Eastern Orthodox theology in an authentic manner better than any community part of the canonical EOC?

That's what I'd like to know.  If this were true then they would fully understand that one who is under papal authority is required to believe or accept all of the theology that is proclaimed, accepted, and defended in the Roman Catholic Church.  Otherwise if they are proclaiming they are living living a completely Eastern Orthodox theology, they are going against the teachings of the church they are professing membership in.

You seem to be basing your response on the outward traditions & worship of your church.  One's faith is based on what one believes or is required to believe rather than who one worships.

Orthodoc

First, note the bolded addition to my first post; my apologies.  Eastern Catholic parishes across the board are definitely not generally "better" than Orthodox parishes; I'd argue the reverse.  But I do believe some EC parishes are better than some EO parishes.  

As to Orthodoc's question, I would argue "Lex orandi, lex credendi".

Let's put this in an extreme case: one parish in my area has exactly one Lenten service during Great Lent (Salutations doesn't count as a "Lenten" service, but if you count that and the Akathist that brings it up to 6),and never has Great Vespers on Saturday night.  We have Great Vespers and a Lenten service each night except Sunday night during said season.  [other Orthodox parishes in our area have more full services of course; this extreme case is for illustrative purposes.  I would not argue that the local ROCOR parish, which has the fullest schedule of services, is the best parish simply because of its schedule of services].  

Going further, our "confession of faith" would probably be the Menaion, Horologion, Triodion, Octoechos, etc. of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Metropolitan +Kallistos/Mother Mary, and other English translations conforming to typical editions (we base things on translation because we use almost 100% English).  If one pressed us to which typical edition we'd use, I assume it would be the Αποστολική Διακονία editions.   The standard catechism that the pastor uses is "The Orthodox Way" by Metropolitan +KALLISTOS.  You can see our typikon  here.  And for that matter, we didn't just pick up this stuff one day and decide to start running with it - we descend from people who've used these books as long as the books have existed, and who have been trained by people who've used these books as long as they've existed.  Some of our clergy even went to Holy Cross, or were taught by Greek cantors.  

I hate to play the "my parish is better than anyone else's game" (because in the end, I don't believe in it - even the "worst" parish is a blessed place and has good points), but I don't buy that someone who attends the first parish I mentioned will automatically know more about "Orthodoxy", "the Byzantine tradition" or whatever you'd like to call it than someone who goes to the second parish I mentioned.  The only way you could make that argument IMO is if there's something about communion with the Chalcedonian Eastern churches not in union with Rome that you will never get outside of that communion.   Personally, I don't buy that, after having been to several Orthodox and Eastern Catholic parishes.   Some are better, some are worse, but only a few IMO were really extra special*, and that was generally because I think the people made am extra-serious effort to live in community, live in prayer, and live out the gospel and in these cases God blessed me to be able see this when I visit them**.   Some (no one on this board that I know of, at least) would say that the only reason I think that way is become I'm flawed and that anyone with spiritual eyes could see that Orthodoxy is different from Eastern Catholicism.  Of course I am flawed, and if this is one of my faults, I sincerely hope God will cure my blindness.  

Moving to the other side of the quoted post: I think the post makes far too much of a distinction between the Latin Church and "Byzantine tradition".  If the Byzantine tradition is considered [small o] orthodox, there's no way a church can be legitimately catholic and reject it in its fullness (and vice versa).   Let's just say that the synod and patriarch of my church affirm that they "believe everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches, and am in communion with the Bishop of Rome as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation" (for that matter, this position is consistent even in our positions during the First Vatican Council).  

Speaking personally, the Latin church (in this case, the only person with the authority would be the Pope himself) is free to remove communion with us; let's hear reasons.  If they're sensible I'll go with them.  If not, then the Antiochian Orthodox Patriarchate has gained a dozens of parishes.  But instead, our patriarch was at Pope Benedict's right hand during the eucharistic prayer at the Pope's innaural Mass.  But all this has been debated countless times on this forum and at byzcath.org and I don't think it's useful to rehash it.  

Anyway, this is more than I wanted to get into; the OP asked for a perspective, I think I gave that originally and IMO this post is OT.  


Markos

* those are:

St. Dimitrios (THE St. Dimitrios) - Daily Vespers, Orthros, Divine Liturgy when I was there.  Sometimes a 9-11PM Orthros and Liturgy with a 8-10AM Liturgy the next day.  Several saints relics on site,  you could walk down to the Saint's places of martyrdom, with St. Gregory Palamas' relics nearby.  What's there not to like?

Monastery of Vatopedi - STUNNING katholikon, as anyone who's ever seen a picture-book of the place knows.  The choir is as good, maybe even better than, the recordings.   But then, this is Geronda Joseph and Father Maximos/Metropolitan +ATHANSIOS' home, so it shouldn't be surprising.

Monastery of Iviron - also excellent, befitting Abbot Vassilios' house (many of his books have been translated to English and are well worth reading)

Monastery of Simonopetra - the chant CDs, the books The Church at Prayer and The Way of the Spirit (I met the monk who translated them - a former professor at Harvard with a rock solid knowledge of patristics), the Synaxarion,  and the DVD  "Pascha on the Holy Mountain" (EVERYONE should have a copy of this IMO).  The Latin Father Basil Pennington's diary of his time at this monatery is also excellent; the introduction penned by a monk from Simonopetra is IMO an excellent explanaton of why Orthodoxy does not normally commune non-Orthodox.  

** as an aside, I believe that a parish can live out the gospel perfectly but nevertheless fail in earthly terms (I've heard of one, unfortunately).   That's God's business, not ours, but a subject for a whole other thread.

[ETA: this last **]
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« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2010, 09:00:27 PM »


Also I am beginning to realize that internal schism is something quite different among Orthodox Churches than is schism with the Catholic Church.  In both cases one is out of communion but it apparently does not mean the same thing.

I do not believe you have a clear perception of what is occurring.  These are not "internal schisms."  Indeed one is hard put to determine the meaning of that phrase.

With few exceptions the Old Calendarist and True Orthodox Churches (including Fr Anastasios') have issued proclamations that there is no grace in the ancient patriarchies and autocephalies.  In their eyes we are the unChurch, not even baptized let alone having an authentic priesthood and Eucharist.

From the side of the Orthodox Churches there is a two fold reaction

The "mother" Churches have either

1. totally repudiated the schismatic group/s and have, using their authority to bind and loose, declared the episcopate and sacraments of the schismatics null and void.

2) acted more leniently and have made no such statements about the schismatics who have left them, hoping that patience and charity will move the schismatics to return more easily.

The Pan-Orthodox Council at Thessaloniki in 1988 briefly addresses the question of schismatic groups.

Quote

But the internal schisms appear to be based upon differences in beliefs as well.

Specifics please.  What dogmas have any schismatic groups denied?  I am not aware of any.

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