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Author Topic: Orthodoxy vs Catholicism - Help!  (Read 4954 times) Average Rating: 0
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wanderer22
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« on: September 26, 2010, 12:50:47 PM »

Hello everyone, let me explain my situation.

I was born into a Roman Catholic home, embraced Orthodoxy in my university years and have been attending Greek and Russian churches ever since. I live in a mid-sized Canadian town where there are plenty of Catholic churches around and a few Orthodox churches.

Of the Orthodox churches, none have English services. I was once shooed away from a church by a priest because I asked him before Liturgy if I could take communion. When he realized I wasn’t Serbian (it was a Serbian church), he explained that he doesn’t believe I am Orthodox since I am of Western European descent. I also have corresponded with 2 other priests in my town who have stopped responding to my e-mails (not that I e-mail them a lot) because I simply ask too many questions.

I have had these negative experiences in the Orthodox Church but now find myself faced with my biggest dilemma. I find myself not tolerating standing through services in languages other than my own anymore and feeling like a second class citizen in Orthodoxy. You have great theologians like Kallistos Ware who were pushed away from Orthodoxy by an Orthodox priest when he was younger some 50 years ago and stuff like this is still going on. I feel drawn to Orthodoxy by its sound theology, beautiful churches and services but pushed away by terrible priests and not a church offering services in the English language.

I have begun attending Catholic services and now see myself torn between these two faiths. I feel that if I had ONE good parish with English services I’d be satisfied. The only solutions are to leave my town (which I will not do), to be in a perpetual state of being in an unsatisfying Orthodoxy, or to revert to Catholicism where I can enjoy services in English.

This issue is bothering me so much that I am even making concessions for the fact that I understand the authority of the Pope of Rome in the Orthodox way, but will close my eyes to the differences between the Churches in order to be satisfied on Sunday. Practicality over theory I guess.

Besides this, I am starting to see the Pope as a source of unity not seen in the Orthodox churches. Yes, the Orthodox are united in faith, as are the Roman Catholics, but the Catholics also have a superior Church structure that leaves a believer with a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and who is in schism or not. An example of this is when ROCOR was in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists (generally considered schismatics) AND the Serbians (a church in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world) while the rest of the canonical jurisdictions were not in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists. One never knows where communion stands in Orthodoxy because communions and allegiances seem to be constantly changing as opposed to Catholicism where one voice speaks for the whole Church.

Orthodoxy is what made me fall in love with Christianity again, but now it’s giving me so many problems, I feel like joining the Catholic faithful again just to be at peace.

Ideas?
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Wyatt
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2010, 01:37:00 PM »

Unity was a major thing that drew me into the Catholic Church. Many groups claim unity, but one has to ask themselves if it is true unity or a false unity. Interestingly, many Protestants claim to be unified as well. The idea is that belief in Christ unites them and everything else (the disagreements which actually make them not unified) are secondary and don't matter. Christ prayed for us to be one as He and the Father are one. You are going to have to honestly ask yourself which Church has done that to the fullest. Definitely something worth praying about.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 01:37:21 PM by Wyatt » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2010, 03:03:45 PM »

I am sorry about your negative experiences. I guess you could try to see if there are other Orthodox in your town that feel the same way and see in you can get a mission established. Personally I see no benefit in going to a Roman parish nor do I agree that they have a superior anything. If there was no Orthodox Church in my area I would rather stay home and have a Reader's service with my family. Regardless of the terrible actions done to you, you have to decide whether you believe in the Orthodox Faith or the heterodox faith(s).
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2010, 03:16:34 PM »

Hello everyone, let me explain my situation.

I was born into a Roman Catholic home, embraced Orthodoxy in my university years and have been attending Greek and Russian churches ever since. I live in a mid-sized Canadian town where there are plenty of Catholic churches around and a few Orthodox churches.

Of the Orthodox churches, none have English services. I was once shooed away from a church by a priest because I asked him before Liturgy if I could take communion. When he realized I wasn’t Serbian (it was a Serbian church), he explained that he doesn’t believe I am Orthodox since I am of Western European descent. I also have corresponded with 2 other priests in my town who have stopped responding to my e-mails (not that I e-mail them a lot) because I simply ask too many questions.

I have had these negative experiences in the Orthodox Church but now find myself faced with my biggest dilemma. I find myself not tolerating standing through services in languages other than my own anymore and feeling like a second class citizen in Orthodoxy. You have great theologians like Kallistos Ware who were pushed away from Orthodoxy by an Orthodox priest when he was younger some 50 years ago and stuff like this is still going on. I feel drawn to Orthodoxy by its sound theology, beautiful churches and services but pushed away by terrible priests and not a church offering services in the English language.

I have begun attending Catholic services and now see myself torn between these two faiths. I feel that if I had ONE good parish with English services I’d be satisfied. The only solutions are to leave my town (which I will not do), to be in a perpetual state of being in an unsatisfying Orthodoxy, or to revert to Catholicism where I can enjoy services in English.

This issue is bothering me so much that I am even making concessions for the fact that I understand the authority of the Pope of Rome in the Orthodox way, but will close my eyes to the differences between the Churches in order to be satisfied on Sunday. Practicality over theory I guess.

Besides this, I am starting to see the Pope as a source of unity not seen in the Orthodox churches. Yes, the Orthodox are united in faith, as are the Roman Catholics, but the Catholics also have a superior Church structure that leaves a believer with a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and who is in schism or not. An example of this is when ROCOR was in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists (generally considered schismatics) AND the Serbians (a church in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world) while the rest of the canonical jurisdictions were not in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists. One never knows where communion stands in Orthodoxy because communions and allegiances seem to be constantly changing as opposed to Catholicism where one voice speaks for the whole Church.

Orthodoxy is what made me fall in love with Christianity again, but now it’s giving me so many problems, I feel like joining the Catholic faithful again just to be at peace.

Ideas?


I say Stick with Ancient Holy Orthodoxy ,you can't go wrong...Catholicism Reinvents itself ,what people believed back then isn't the same today Ask Fr. Ambrose Aka Irish Hermit there religion is ever changing..If you want confusion Its in the catholic Church.....The Old Calendar churches Still Share the same Core  faith we believe in ,That  hasn't changed..Some chose to  Keep the ancient traditions old Christmas, no pews,organs ,Old Calendar....
I'm surprised that the Serbian Church Doesn't have English Liturgy  where your At... The Pew Book should have In English and Serbian /Church Slavonic ,Plus it gives you a opportunity to learn  another Language for free ..Talk to people mingle ask what this or that means,,they will gladly explain it...
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 03:29:26 PM by stashko » Logged

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ialmisry
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2010, 05:09:32 PM »

Unity was a major thing that drew me into the Catholic Church. Many groups claim unity, but one has to ask themselves if it is true unity or a false unity. Interestingly, many Protestants claim to be unified as well. The idea is that belief in Christ unites them and everything else (the disagreements which actually make them not unified) are secondary and don't matter. Christ prayed for us to be one as He and the Father are one. You are going to have to honestly ask yourself which Church has done that to the fullest. Definitely something worth praying about.

Did I miss something? I didn't see anything about "unity" in the OP. But since you brought it up, yes true unity versus false unity is an important topic, and the question of which church has relied on false unity to the fullest an important question to answer.
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2010, 05:11:49 PM »

I am sorry about your negative experiences. I guess you could try to see if there are other Orthodox in your town that feel the same way and see in you can get a mission established. Personally I see no benefit in going to a Roman parish nor do I agree that they have a superior anything. If there was no Orthodox Church in my area I would rather stay home and have a Reader's service with my family. Regardless of the terrible actions done to you, you have to decide whether you believe in the Orthodox Faith or the heterodox faith(s).
I have to second all of the above. If I may ask, where are you located. And what types of questions are you asking the priests? As for the Serbian priest, I don't think it is out of order of writing the bishop. Most Serbs I know are quite welcoming.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2010, 05:13:42 PM »

I miss something? I didn't see anything about "unity" in the OP.
Then you need to read more carefully:

Hello everyone, let me explain my situation.

I was born into a Roman Catholic home, embraced Orthodoxy in my university years and have been attending Greek and Russian churches ever since. I live in a mid-sized Canadian town where there are plenty of Catholic churches around and a few Orthodox churches.

Of the Orthodox churches, none have English services. I was once shooed away from a church by a priest because I asked him before Liturgy if I could take communion. When he realized I wasn’t Serbian (it was a Serbian church), he explained that he doesn’t believe I am Orthodox since I am of Western European descent. I also have corresponded with 2 other priests in my town who have stopped responding to my e-mails (not that I e-mail them a lot) because I simply ask too many questions.

I have had these negative experiences in the Orthodox Church but now find myself faced with my biggest dilemma. I find myself not tolerating standing through services in languages other than my own anymore and feeling like a second class citizen in Orthodoxy. You have great theologians like Kallistos Ware who were pushed away from Orthodoxy by an Orthodox priest when he was younger some 50 years ago and stuff like this is still going on. I feel drawn to Orthodoxy by its sound theology, beautiful churches and services but pushed away by terrible priests and not a church offering services in the English language.

I have begun attending Catholic services and now see myself torn between these two faiths. I feel that if I had ONE good parish with English services I’d be satisfied. The only solutions are to leave my town (which I will not do), to be in a perpetual state of being in an unsatisfying Orthodoxy, or to revert to Catholicism where I can enjoy services in English.

This issue is bothering me so much that I am even making concessions for the fact that I understand the authority of the Pope of Rome in the Orthodox way, but will close my eyes to the differences between the Churches in order to be satisfied on Sunday. Practicality over theory I guess.

Besides this, I am starting to see the Pope as a source of unity not seen in the Orthodox churches. Yes, the Orthodox are united in faith, as are the Roman Catholics, but the Catholics also have a superior Church structure that leaves a believer with a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and who is in schism or not. An example of this is when ROCOR was in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists (generally considered schismatics) AND the Serbians (a church in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world) while the rest of the canonical jurisdictions were not in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists. One never knows where communion stands in Orthodoxy because communions and allegiances seem to be constantly changing as opposed to Catholicism where one voice speaks for the whole Church.

Orthodoxy is what made me fall in love with Christianity again, but now it’s giving me so many problems, I feel like joining the Catholic faithful again just to be at peace.

Ideas?
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stashko
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2010, 05:15:21 PM »

I am sorry about your negative experiences. I guess you could try to see if there are other Orthodox in your town that feel the same way and see in you can get a mission established. Personally I see no benefit in going to a Roman parish nor do I agree that they have a superior anything. If there was no Orthodox Church in my area I would rather stay home and have a Reader's service with my family. Regardless of the terrible actions done to you, you have to decide whether you believe in the Orthodox Faith or the heterodox faith(s).
I have to second all of the above. If I may ask, where are you located. And what types of questions are you asking the priests? As for the Serbian priest, I don't think it is out of order of writing the bishop. Most Serbs I know are quite welcoming.

And I second that as well.....
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ialmisry
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2010, 05:52:48 PM »

I miss something? I didn't see anything about "unity" in the OP.
Then you need to read more carefully:

Hello everyone, let me explain my situation.

I was born into a Roman Catholic home, embraced Orthodoxy in my university years and have been attending Greek and Russian churches ever since. I live in a mid-sized Canadian town where there are plenty of Catholic churches around and a few Orthodox churches.

Of the Orthodox churches, none have English services. I was once shooed away from a church by a priest because I asked him before Liturgy if I could take communion. When he realized I wasn’t Serbian (it was a Serbian church), he explained that he doesn’t believe I am Orthodox since I am of Western European descent. I also have corresponded with 2 other priests in my town who have stopped responding to my e-mails (not that I e-mail them a lot) because I simply ask too many questions.

I have had these negative experiences in the Orthodox Church but now find myself faced with my biggest dilemma. I find myself not tolerating standing through services in languages other than my own anymore and feeling like a second class citizen in Orthodoxy. You have great theologians like Kallistos Ware who were pushed away from Orthodoxy by an Orthodox priest when he was younger some 50 years ago and stuff like this is still going on. I feel drawn to Orthodoxy by its sound theology, beautiful churches and services but pushed away by terrible priests and not a church offering services in the English language.

I have begun attending Catholic services and now see myself torn between these two faiths. I feel that if I had ONE good parish with English services I’d be satisfied. The only solutions are to leave my town (which I will not do), to be in a perpetual state of being in an unsatisfying Orthodoxy, or to revert to Catholicism where I can enjoy services in English.

This issue is bothering me so much that I am even making concessions for the fact that I understand the authority of the Pope of Rome in the Orthodox way, but will close my eyes to the differences between the Churches in order to be satisfied on Sunday. Practicality over theory I guess.

Besides this, I am starting to see the Pope as a source of unity not seen in the Orthodox churches. Yes, the Orthodox are united in faith, as are the Roman Catholics, but the Catholics also have a superior Church structure that leaves a believer with a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and who is in schism or not. An example of this is when ROCOR was in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists (generally considered schismatics) AND the Serbians (a church in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world) while the rest of the canonical jurisdictions were not in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists. One never knows where communion stands in Orthodoxy because communions and allegiances seem to be constantly changing as opposed to Catholicism where one voice speaks for the whole Church.

Orthodoxy is what made me fall in love with Christianity again, but now it’s giving me so many problems, I feel like joining the Catholic faithful again just to be at peace.

Ideas?
So clown masses are A-OK.

And it doesn't matter anyway, as according to the Vatican all of us except the Protestants are in communion anyway.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 05:56:35 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
WetCatechumen
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2010, 06:00:21 PM »

Hello everyone, let me explain my situation.

I was born into a Roman Catholic home, embraced Orthodoxy in my university years and have been attending Greek and Russian churches ever since. I live in a mid-sized Canadian town where there are plenty of Catholic churches around and a few Orthodox churches.

Of the Orthodox churches, none have English services. I was once shooed away from a church by a priest because I asked him before Liturgy if I could take communion. When he realized I wasn’t Serbian (it was a Serbian church), he explained that he doesn’t believe I am Orthodox since I am of Western European descent. I also have corresponded with 2 other priests in my town who have stopped responding to my e-mails (not that I e-mail them a lot) because I simply ask too many questions.

I have had these negative experiences in the Orthodox Church but now find myself faced with my biggest dilemma. I find myself not tolerating standing through services in languages other than my own anymore and feeling like a second class citizen in Orthodoxy. You have great theologians like Kallistos Ware who were pushed away from Orthodoxy by an Orthodox priest when he was younger some 50 years ago and stuff like this is still going on. I feel drawn to Orthodoxy by its sound theology, beautiful churches and services but pushed away by terrible priests and not a church offering services in the English language.

I have begun attending Catholic services and now see myself torn between these two faiths. I feel that if I had ONE good parish with English services I’d be satisfied. The only solutions are to leave my town (which I will not do), to be in a perpetual state of being in an unsatisfying Orthodoxy, or to revert to Catholicism where I can enjoy services in English.

This issue is bothering me so much that I am even making concessions for the fact that I understand the authority of the Pope of Rome in the Orthodox way, but will close my eyes to the differences between the Churches in order to be satisfied on Sunday. Practicality over theory I guess.

Besides this, I am starting to see the Pope as a source of unity not seen in the Orthodox churches. Yes, the Orthodox are united in faith, as are the Roman Catholics, but the Catholics also have a superior Church structure that leaves a believer with a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and who is in schism or not. An example of this is when ROCOR was in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists (generally considered schismatics) AND the Serbians (a church in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world) while the rest of the canonical jurisdictions were not in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists. One never knows where communion stands in Orthodoxy because communions and allegiances seem to be constantly changing as opposed to Catholicism where one voice speaks for the whole Church.

Orthodoxy is what made me fall in love with Christianity again, but now it’s giving me so many problems, I feel like joining the Catholic faithful again just to be at peace.

Ideas?

Greetings! My name is Paul. I was raised in an evangelical charismatic home, and through the grace of God, I was converted to the Catholic Faith, and I am now a member of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith, and I have attached myself to the Roman Church in submission to her bishop, His Holiness Benedict XVI.

However, in the course of this, I did have to choose between the East and the West. I have a dear friend, one of my closest Christian brothers, who this past year, he and his lovely wife converted to Orthodoxy, and are now in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He was the first to teach me to make the sign of the Cross, to explain to me the glory of the Incarnation and necessity of the eternality and deity of Christ while I struggled with many heresies and untruths. However, he and I, in our searching, chose the two different Churches because, well, we'd been introduced to ancient Christianity through members of the respective Churches we ended up in.

Hence, I am familiar with the struggles between the two.

I will say this, though, neither of us chose the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church because of how its members behaved. I always tell people, "The veracity of a particular religious doctrine is independent of the behavior of its adherents." Even if Muslims do not give to the poor, worship faithfully, behave chastely, or act in many other ungodly ways, this in no way reveals that Islam is a false religion. Now, Our Blessed Lord did say that "by their fruits ye shall know them". If a man comes preaching a gospel of repentance, but embraces sin in his own life, it does not change the fact that the message of repentance is a true and worthy message. The fruits of following the Catholic Faith which comes to us from the Apostles are universally wholesome, if the faith is followed as it should be. The Orthodox Faith is likewise true. In fact, many religions contain elements of the truth which will bring the same promised fruits that each true element - but not the fruit of salvation. Salvation only resides within the Catholic Church. However, simply because some in the Catholic Church have abused little children and incurred a great curse from God upon themselves does not mean that the faith is wrong.

Likewise, I strongly exhort you not to abandon your Orthodox faith because an Orthodox priest was dismissive because you were of the wrong ethnicity. Furthermore, even though an English language liturgy may appeal to you more, the English language is not worth abandoning the true faith. As a Roman Catholic, the liturgical abuses are incredibly heart breaking. Whenever I go to Divine Liturgy with my Greek Orthodox friend, it warms my heart to see such reverence towards God and such a beautiful liturgy. My parish is one of the best of all Roman parishes I have been to, but there could still be improvements. The Roman Rite of the Church is broken in too many ways to describe right now. Hence, if I were to make the choice of Church based on liturgical reasons alone, I would be Orthodox right now, or possibly High Church Anglican if there were a good parish in my area.

While these reasons may influence which parish you attend, it should not affect which doctrines you officially hold to be true.

I would like you to read this excerpt from C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity:

Quote
I hope no reader will suppose that "mere" Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions-as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms (whichever that may be) is, I think, preferable.

It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do get into your room you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping.

You must keep on praying for light: and, of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and paneling.
In plain language, the question should never be: "Do I like that kind of service?" but "Are these doctrines true: Is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular door-keeper?"

When you have reached your own room, be kind to those Who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.

If you join a Catholic parish simply because you prefer the language of the liturgy and the fellowship, then your Catholic Faith will be built on shifting sand. I do not wish this upon you. Believe me, I will not lie and say that I do not wish you to revert to the Catholic Faith. I will pray that God will lead you towards the truth. If you are return to the Catholic Church, then I would have it for the reason that I converted to the Catholic Faith, and proclaimed the day of my Chrismation:

"I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God."

I took that sacred oath because I believe it, heart and soul. Unless you achieve the same conviction, then conversion of any kind is a poor idea.

Of course, I am not allowed to proselytize, and neither would I, for this is not the purpose of this forum, but if you have questions that I am able to answer, then I will.

In addition, I would like to say this. The Catholic Faith has changed me to be more like Christ. I have many friends for whom the Orthodox Faith has done the same thing. I have friends who were on their way to Hell while outwardly embracing the Catholic Faith but now show forth fruits of salvation in priestless churches. While I do not condone anyone leaving the Catholic Faith, for some people, they have missed the truth of Christ within it, but through the grace of God, he has opened another route for them to come to him. Whether this will result in their ultimate salvation I cannot be sure, but the fruits are there. Likewise, if being Orthodox is not leading you towards a holier and more perfect communion with the creator, then you must reassess, as you are doing now. However, above all, seek the truth.

I will pray for you brother. May God give you peace and always lead you to the truth.
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2010, 06:11:18 PM »

I miss something? I didn't see anything about "unity" in the OP.
Then you need to read more carefully:

Hello everyone, let me explain my situation.

I was born into a Roman Catholic home, embraced Orthodoxy in my university years and have been attending Greek and Russian churches ever since. I live in a mid-sized Canadian town where there are plenty of Catholic churches around and a few Orthodox churches.

Of the Orthodox churches, none have English services. I was once shooed away from a church by a priest because I asked him before Liturgy if I could take communion. When he realized I wasn’t Serbian (it was a Serbian church), he explained that he doesn’t believe I am Orthodox since I am of Western European descent. I also have corresponded with 2 other priests in my town who have stopped responding to my e-mails (not that I e-mail them a lot) because I simply ask too many questions.

I have had these negative experiences in the Orthodox Church but now find myself faced with my biggest dilemma. I find myself not tolerating standing through services in languages other than my own anymore and feeling like a second class citizen in Orthodoxy. You have great theologians like Kallistos Ware who were pushed away from Orthodoxy by an Orthodox priest when he was younger some 50 years ago and stuff like this is still going on. I feel drawn to Orthodoxy by its sound theology, beautiful churches and services but pushed away by terrible priests and not a church offering services in the English language.

I have begun attending Catholic services and now see myself torn between these two faiths. I feel that if I had ONE good parish with English services I’d be satisfied. The only solutions are to leave my town (which I will not do), to be in a perpetual state of being in an unsatisfying Orthodoxy, or to revert to Catholicism where I can enjoy services in English.

This issue is bothering me so much that I am even making concessions for the fact that I understand the authority of the Pope of Rome in the Orthodox way, but will close my eyes to the differences between the Churches in order to be satisfied on Sunday. Practicality over theory I guess.

Besides this, I am starting to see the Pope as a source of unity not seen in the Orthodox churches. Yes, the Orthodox are united in faith, as are the Roman Catholics, but the Catholics also have a superior Church structure that leaves a believer with a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and who is in schism or not. An example of this is when ROCOR was in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists (generally considered schismatics) AND the Serbians (a church in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world) while the rest of the canonical jurisdictions were not in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists. One never knows where communion stands in Orthodoxy because communions and allegiances seem to be constantly changing as opposed to Catholicism where one voice speaks for the whole Church.

Orthodoxy is what made me fall in love with Christianity again, but now it’s giving me so many problems, I feel like joining the Catholic faithful again just to be at peace.

Ideas?
So clown masses are A-OK.

And it doesn't matter anyway, as according to the Vatican all of us except the Protestants are in communion anyway.

Unfortunately, you are correct that there are many liturgical issues in the Catholic Church that need to be sorted out. In The Pilgrim Continues His Way, the Pilgrim meets an Old Believer who rails against the way the liturgies are offered in the canonical church. The Pilgrim has this to say:

Quote
[The Old Believer] spoke so plausibly. I could not argue with him nor convert him. I just thought to myself that it will be impossible to convert the Old Believers to the truth church until church services are put right among us and until the clergy in particular set an example of this.

I do not wish to compare you to the Old Believers. Later on in the passage, the Pilgrim is quite harsh towards them as he accuses them of only caring about externals. Believe me, I agree with you that a clown Mass reflects very, very poor internals. However, you are correct that the liturgical quality among us is dismal and in a great need of renewal. Please pray for us and criticize at many Catholics as you see supporting to continuance of the poor practices.

Furthermore, your comment about the Vatican, in addition to being untrue, seems uncharitable to me. We acknowledge that there are still great issues that divide us, but we are trying to overcome them with your help. However, we do acknowledge, as should you, that there is a fundamental difference between Protestants and members of the four churches with organizational links to the Apostles (RCC, EOC, OCC, ACE), something that divides us from them and unites us together. Whether or not it is the Eucharist is a different question entirely.

I also get mixed messages. I have been told by an Orthodox priest that he does not think that full communion is too far off, and that there is very little that separates us, almost as if we are two sides of a coin (the coin analogy is his). On the other hand, I encounter people on the internet who are very harsh where my Church is concerned and speak as if we have more in common with Protestants than the Orthodox, which is clearly incorrect.

I assure you that we are not acting under a false view of our relationship. Most of the Catholic faithful are unaware of your existence, except that your restaurants are delicious (a joke, if it is not clear).
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2010, 10:06:42 PM »

Given some of the things you are saying here it seems to me that you converted to Orthodoxy in a kind of nominal way, never really got caught up in the idea that you had to simply turn off all that you knew and were as a Catholic, and never really did become something other.  

In that light it seems to me that you should carefully consider why you would want to fall "in love with Christianity" rather than falling in love with Christ and the Body of Christ.  If you can reorient your thinking to being in love with Christ and the Body of Christ, you should return to the Church of your Baptism and think more about what you can bring to the celebration of the liturgy, than about what you can get out of it.

Depending on where you are in Canada, I might be able to introduce you to some very devout Catholic Canadians.

Mary


Hello everyone, let me explain my situation.

I was born into a Roman Catholic home, embraced Orthodoxy in my university years and have been attending Greek and Russian churches ever since. I live in a mid-sized Canadian town where there are plenty of Catholic churches around and a few Orthodox churches.

Of the Orthodox churches, none have English services. I was once shooed away from a church by a priest because I asked him before Liturgy if I could take communion. When he realized I wasn’t Serbian (it was a Serbian church), he explained that he doesn’t believe I am Orthodox since I am of Western European descent. I also have corresponded with 2 other priests in my town who have stopped responding to my e-mails (not that I e-mail them a lot) because I simply ask too many questions.

I have had these negative experiences in the Orthodox Church but now find myself faced with my biggest dilemma. I find myself not tolerating standing through services in languages other than my own anymore and feeling like a second class citizen in Orthodoxy. You have great theologians like Kallistos Ware who were pushed away from Orthodoxy by an Orthodox priest when he was younger some 50 years ago and stuff like this is still going on. I feel drawn to Orthodoxy by its sound theology, beautiful churches and services but pushed away by terrible priests and not a church offering services in the English language.

I have begun attending Catholic services and now see myself torn between these two faiths. I feel that if I had ONE good parish with English services I’d be satisfied. The only solutions are to leave my town (which I will not do), to be in a perpetual state of being in an unsatisfying Orthodoxy, or to revert to Catholicism where I can enjoy services in English.

This issue is bothering me so much that I am even making concessions for the fact that I understand the authority of the Pope of Rome in the Orthodox way, but will close my eyes to the differences between the Churches in order to be satisfied on Sunday. Practicality over theory I guess.

Besides this, I am starting to see the Pope as a source of unity not seen in the Orthodox churches. Yes, the Orthodox are united in faith, as are the Roman Catholics, but the Catholics also have a superior Church structure that leaves a believer with a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and who is in schism or not. An example of this is when ROCOR was in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists (generally considered schismatics) AND the Serbians (a church in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world) while the rest of the canonical jurisdictions were not in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists. One never knows where communion stands in Orthodoxy because communions and allegiances seem to be constantly changing as opposed to Catholicism where one voice speaks for the whole Church.

Orthodoxy is what made me fall in love with Christianity again, but now it’s giving me so many problems, I feel like joining the Catholic faithful again just to be at peace.

Ideas?
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 10:07:41 PM by elijahmaria » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2010, 10:25:40 PM »

So far I find the Orthodox responses lacking in any real sympathy...

wanderer22, I am really and truly sorry to hear about your problems. What you describe is a genuine concern. I don't know what I would do if I was in your situation, especially having a family to think about. How can I raise my son in the faith if he is going to understand nothing and be treated as inferior?

I would have hoped that the priests in your area might have more compassion, but apparently they are not able to meet your needs. The first thing I would recommend is to make one of these several parishes your regular parish. If you've been hopping around, put a stop to that. If you set down some roots in one of the communities, then perhaps people will open up to you more than you think. Even if none of them are ideal, just go with whatever one gives you some small glimmer of hope. Given that the liturgy is always pretty much the same, in time you should be able to learn most of it, even if in another language. Once it becomes familiar, you can put your heart into your prayers more.

Will none of the priests give you communion? How many churches are in your area?

Again, sorry for your troubles, but do not give up on the Orthodox faith. Sometimes we have to make the hugest sacrifices to live out this faith, but God demands everything from us, so perhaps these hardships can be embraced in some small way to take up your own cross? Forgive this suggestion if it seems removed or arrogant; I'm only trying to help.

Pray for me, a sinner.
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2010, 10:53:54 PM »

Hello everyone, let me explain my situation.

I was born into a Roman Catholic home, embraced Orthodoxy in my university years and have been attending Greek and Russian churches ever since. I live in a mid-sized Canadian town where there are plenty of Catholic churches around and a few Orthodox churches.

Of the Orthodox churches, none have English services. I was once shooed away from a church by a priest because I asked him before Liturgy if I could take communion. When he realized I wasn’t Serbian (it was a Serbian church), he explained that he doesn’t believe I am Orthodox since I am of Western European descent. I also have corresponded with 2 other priests in my town who have stopped responding to my e-mails (not that I e-mail them a lot) because I simply ask too many questions.

I have had these negative experiences in the Orthodox Church but now find myself faced with my biggest dilemma. I find myself not tolerating standing through services in languages other than my own anymore and feeling like a second class citizen in Orthodoxy. You have great theologians like Kallistos Ware who were pushed away from Orthodoxy by an Orthodox priest when he was younger some 50 years ago and stuff like this is still going on. I feel drawn to Orthodoxy by its sound theology, beautiful churches and services but pushed away by terrible priests and not a church offering services in the English language.

I have begun attending Catholic services and now see myself torn between these two faiths. I feel that if I had ONE good parish with English services I’d be satisfied. The only solutions are to leave my town (which I will not do), to be in a perpetual state of being in an unsatisfying Orthodoxy, or to revert to Catholicism where I can enjoy services in English.

This issue is bothering me so much that I am even making concessions for the fact that I understand the authority of the Pope of Rome in the Orthodox way, but will close my eyes to the differences between the Churches in order to be satisfied on Sunday. Practicality over theory I guess.

Besides this, I am starting to see the Pope as a source of unity not seen in the Orthodox churches. Yes, the Orthodox are united in faith, as are the Roman Catholics, but the Catholics also have a superior Church structure that leaves a believer with a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and who is in schism or not. An example of this is when ROCOR was in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists (generally considered schismatics) AND the Serbians (a church in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world) while the rest of the canonical jurisdictions were not in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists. One never knows where communion stands in Orthodoxy because communions and allegiances seem to be constantly changing as opposed to Catholicism where one voice speaks for the whole Church.

Orthodoxy is what made me fall in love with Christianity again, but now it’s giving me so many problems, I feel like joining the Catholic faithful again just to be at peace.

Ideas?

Have you tried emailing a priest at one of your former parishes or who received you into the church. I'm sure he can give you some guidance if not get in touch with one of the priests in your area to verify that you are in fact Orthodox.

I can understand why a priest might want to be sure that he is not distributing communion to someone unto condemnation, but I can also see a very obvious problem in that an Orthodox Christian is being turned away from an Orthodox chalice. I don't think you situation is really a "unity" issue, but rather a "Orthodox and especially converts are in the minority and a priest may be suspicious of someone he doesn't know" issue. On the flip side, I don't think acceptance in a Roman Catholic parish is a "unity" thing either. I only say this because I don't think most priests/ deacons/ lay ministers ask before giving communion and just assume that if you're up there you must be a Roman Catholic in a state of grace. I know a protestant who has received communion in a Catholic church because he just went up not knowing he wasn't supposed to and they just gave it to him no questions asked.
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2010, 11:02:27 PM »

Hello everyone, let me explain my situation.

I was born into a Roman Catholic home, embraced Orthodoxy in my university years and have been attending Greek and Russian churches ever since. I live in a mid-sized Canadian town where there are plenty of Catholic churches around and a few Orthodox churches.

Of the Orthodox churches, none have English services. I was once shooed away from a church by a priest because I asked him before Liturgy if I could take communion. When he realized I wasn’t Serbian (it was a Serbian church), he explained that he doesn’t believe I am Orthodox since I am of Western European descent. I also have corresponded with 2 other priests in my town who have stopped responding to my e-mails (not that I e-mail them a lot) because I simply ask too many questions.

I have had these negative experiences in the Orthodox Church but now find myself faced with my biggest dilemma. I find myself not tolerating standing through services in languages other than my own anymore and feeling like a second class citizen in Orthodoxy. You have great theologians like Kallistos Ware who were pushed away from Orthodoxy by an Orthodox priest when he was younger some 50 years ago and stuff like this is still going on. I feel drawn to Orthodoxy by its sound theology, beautiful churches and services but pushed away by terrible priests and not a church offering services in the English language.

I have begun attending Catholic services and now see myself torn between these two faiths. I feel that if I had ONE good parish with English services I’d be satisfied. The only solutions are to leave my town (which I will not do), to be in a perpetual state of being in an unsatisfying Orthodoxy, or to revert to Catholicism where I can enjoy services in English.

This issue is bothering me so much that I am even making concessions for the fact that I understand the authority of the Pope of Rome in the Orthodox way, but will close my eyes to the differences between the Churches in order to be satisfied on Sunday. Practicality over theory I guess.

Besides this, I am starting to see the Pope as a source of unity not seen in the Orthodox churches. Yes, the Orthodox are united in faith, as are the Roman Catholics, but the Catholics also have a superior Church structure that leaves a believer with a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and who is in schism or not. An example of this is when ROCOR was in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists (generally considered schismatics) AND the Serbians (a church in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world) while the rest of the canonical jurisdictions were not in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists. One never knows where communion stands in Orthodoxy because communions and allegiances seem to be constantly changing as opposed to Catholicism where one voice speaks for the whole Church.

Orthodoxy is what made me fall in love with Christianity again, but now it’s giving me so many problems, I feel like joining the Catholic faithful again just to be at peace.

Ideas?

Have you tried emailing a priest at one of your former parishes or who received you into the church. I'm sure he can give you some guidance if not get in touch with one of the priests in your area to verify that you are in fact Orthodox.

I can understand why a priest might want to be sure that he is not distributing communion to someone unto condemnation, but I can also see a very obvious problem in that an Orthodox Christian is being turned away from an Orthodox chalice. I don't think you situation is really a "unity" issue, but rather a "Orthodox and especially converts are in the minority and a priest may be suspicious of someone he doesn't know" issue. On the flip side, I don't think acceptance in a Roman Catholic parish is a "unity" thing either. I only say this because I don't think most priests/ deacons/ lay ministers ask before giving communion and just assume that if you're up there you must be a Roman Catholic in a state of grace. I know a protestant who has received communion in a Catholic church because he just went up not knowing he wasn't supposed to and they just gave it to him no questions asked.
Speaking of that. Another problem, discussed here before, may be that your practice may be frequent/weekly communion and the priest may be used only to rarely giving communion.
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2010, 01:13:02 PM »

I miss something? I didn't see anything about "unity" in the OP.
Then you need to read more carefully:

Hello everyone, let me explain my situation.

I was born into a Roman Catholic home, embraced Orthodoxy in my university years and have been attending Greek and Russian churches ever since. I live in a mid-sized Canadian town where there are plenty of Catholic churches around and a few Orthodox churches.

Of the Orthodox churches, none have English services. I was once shooed away from a church by a priest because I asked him before Liturgy if I could take communion. When he realized I wasn’t Serbian (it was a Serbian church), he explained that he doesn’t believe I am Orthodox since I am of Western European descent. I also have corresponded with 2 other priests in my town who have stopped responding to my e-mails (not that I e-mail them a lot) because I simply ask too many questions.

I have had these negative experiences in the Orthodox Church but now find myself faced with my biggest dilemma. I find myself not tolerating standing through services in languages other than my own anymore and feeling like a second class citizen in Orthodoxy. You have great theologians like Kallistos Ware who were pushed away from Orthodoxy by an Orthodox priest when he was younger some 50 years ago and stuff like this is still going on. I feel drawn to Orthodoxy by its sound theology, beautiful churches and services but pushed away by terrible priests and not a church offering services in the English language.

I have begun attending Catholic services and now see myself torn between these two faiths. I feel that if I had ONE good parish with English services I’d be satisfied. The only solutions are to leave my town (which I will not do), to be in a perpetual state of being in an unsatisfying Orthodoxy, or to revert to Catholicism where I can enjoy services in English.

This issue is bothering me so much that I am even making concessions for the fact that I understand the authority of the Pope of Rome in the Orthodox way, but will close my eyes to the differences between the Churches in order to be satisfied on Sunday. Practicality over theory I guess.

Besides this, I am starting to see the Pope as a source of unity not seen in the Orthodox churches. Yes, the Orthodox are united in faith, as are the Roman Catholics, but the Catholics also have a superior Church structure that leaves a believer with a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and who is in schism or not. An example of this is when ROCOR was in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists (generally considered schismatics) AND the Serbians (a church in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world) while the rest of the canonical jurisdictions were not in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists. One never knows where communion stands in Orthodoxy because communions and allegiances seem to be constantly changing as opposed to Catholicism where one voice speaks for the whole Church.

Orthodoxy is what made me fall in love with Christianity again, but now it’s giving me so many problems, I feel like joining the Catholic faithful again just to be at peace.

Ideas?
So clown masses are A-OK.

And it doesn't matter anyway, as according to the Vatican all of us except the Protestants are in communion anyway.

That is quite a low blow to attempt to discredit Catholicism by pointing to abuses which exist within our Church. Plus, it was also irrelevant because the part you underlined which you were responding to was asserting that we have a superior church structure. And no, to my knowledge the Catholic Church does not teach that you are in communion with us. We consider both your Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church to be valid Churches because, to us, you have both Apostolic Succession and valid Sacraments. I don't think any Catholic who knew their stuff would say that you are not wounded by not being in full communion with us.

Coming back to the clown masses thing, that has nothing to do with the point in the OP about us having a superior Church structure. It is a lot easier to spot who is in schism with us because we only have to ask one thing: are they in full communion with the Holy See? I am not sure how you determine who is and is not in schism with your communion, but I imagine it is somewhat trickier without a visible head. That was the only point the OP was making.

Also, is the Orthodox Church completely devoid of any abuses? My guess is it isn't. Trying to say we are wrong because we have people in our Church that mess up would be like discrediting the mission of the Apostles because of Judas.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 01:14:09 PM by Wyatt » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2010, 01:39:22 PM »

I miss something? I didn't see anything about "unity" in the OP.
Then you need to read more carefully:

Hello everyone, let me explain my situation.

I was born into a Roman Catholic home, embraced Orthodoxy in my university years and have been attending Greek and Russian churches ever since. I live in a mid-sized Canadian town where there are plenty of Catholic churches around and a few Orthodox churches.

Of the Orthodox churches, none have English services. I was once shooed away from a church by a priest because I asked him before Liturgy if I could take communion. When he realized I wasn’t Serbian (it was a Serbian church), he explained that he doesn’t believe I am Orthodox since I am of Western European descent. I also have corresponded with 2 other priests in my town who have stopped responding to my e-mails (not that I e-mail them a lot) because I simply ask too many questions.

I have had these negative experiences in the Orthodox Church but now find myself faced with my biggest dilemma. I find myself not tolerating standing through services in languages other than my own anymore and feeling like a second class citizen in Orthodoxy. You have great theologians like Kallistos Ware who were pushed away from Orthodoxy by an Orthodox priest when he was younger some 50 years ago and stuff like this is still going on. I feel drawn to Orthodoxy by its sound theology, beautiful churches and services but pushed away by terrible priests and not a church offering services in the English language.

I have begun attending Catholic services and now see myself torn between these two faiths. I feel that if I had ONE good parish with English services I’d be satisfied. The only solutions are to leave my town (which I will not do), to be in a perpetual state of being in an unsatisfying Orthodoxy, or to revert to Catholicism where I can enjoy services in English.

This issue is bothering me so much that I am even making concessions for the fact that I understand the authority of the Pope of Rome in the Orthodox way, but will close my eyes to the differences between the Churches in order to be satisfied on Sunday. Practicality over theory I guess.

Besides this, I am starting to see the Pope as a source of unity not seen in the Orthodox churches. Yes, the Orthodox are united in faith, as are the Roman Catholics, but the Catholics also have a superior Church structure that leaves a believer with a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and who is in schism or not. An example of this is when ROCOR was in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists (generally considered schismatics) AND the Serbians (a church in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world) while the rest of the canonical jurisdictions were not in communion with the Greek Old Calendarists. One never knows where communion stands in Orthodoxy because communions and allegiances seem to be constantly changing as opposed to Catholicism where one voice speaks for the whole Church.

Orthodoxy is what made me fall in love with Christianity again, but now it’s giving me so many problems, I feel like joining the Catholic faithful again just to be at peace.

Ideas?
So clown masses are A-OK.

And it doesn't matter anyway, as according to the Vatican all of us except the Protestants are in communion anyway.

That is quite a low blow to attempt to discredit Catholicism by pointing to abuses which exist within our Church. Plus, it was also irrelevant because the part you underlined which you were responding to was asserting that we have a superior church structure. And no, to my knowledge the Catholic Church does not teach that you are in communion with us. We consider both your Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church to be valid Churches because, to us, you have both Apostolic Succession and valid Sacraments. I don't think any Catholic who knew their stuff would say that you are not wounded by not being in full communion with us.

Coming back to the clown masses thing, that has nothing to do with the point in the OP about us having a superior Church structure. It is a lot easier to spot who is in schism with us because we only have to ask one thing: are they in full communion with the Holy See? I am not sure how you determine who is and is not in schism with your communion, but I imagine it is somewhat trickier without a visible head. That was the only point the OP was making.
Exactly my point.

If is is so easy to see who is in schism from you, then when we see the clonw masses and all sorts of other sortid things, and we see that they indeed are in full communion with the Vatican. The fish rots from the head down.

I've never had a problem finding out who was in schism from us. Ever.

Also, is the Orthodox Church completely devoid of any abuses? My guess is it isn't.
Don't guess: find out. And if you find nothing admit that. If find something, share with us all.

Trying to say we are wrong because we have people in our Church that mess up would be like discrediting the mission of the Apostles because of Judas.
No, the Apostles accepted St. Matthias as replacing Judas.

As for the wounds you allege for us, no we are quite fine. Which is why we do not commune with you, no matter whay your Vatican says on the matter.
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« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2010, 02:16:41 PM »

^ Careful, Isa is a bit of a polemicist.
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« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2010, 02:43:45 PM »

Exactly my point.

If is is so easy to see who is in schism from you, then when we see the clonw masses and all sorts of other sortid things, and we see that they indeed are in full communion with the Vatican. The fish rots from the head down.

And those people who engage in liturgical abuses need to be dealt with. People should report such things to their bishop.

I've never had a problem finding out who was in schism from us. Ever.

I'm not interested in how you go about it because you are not the Orthodox Church. I'm more interested in how your Church goes about it. Is the scenario in the OP about how certain Orthodox Churches can consider a group schismatic whereas another Church can consider them canonical true? I'd be interested in exploring that more because that sounds like a confusing situation. What are the faithful of your Church supposed to do if, for example, the Greek Orthodox Church considers a group canonical but the Russian Orthodox Church considers it schismatic? Who do they listen to?

Don't guess: find out. And if you find nothing admit that. If find something, share with us all.

I don't have to guess or research it. I know you do because as long as there are humans in the Church there is going to be mistakes made.

No, the Apostles accepted St. Matthias as replacing Judas.

So, in your view, was Judas never an apostle then since he betrayed Christ, or was he an Apostle who lost his Apostolic-ness?

As for the wounds you allege for us, no we are quite fine. Which is why we do not commune with you, no matter whay your Vatican says on the matter.

You are certainly free to believe that, just as I am free to believe otherwise. Agree to disagree.

^ Careful, Isa is a bit of a polemicist.

Just a bit? Tongue
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« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2010, 03:05:07 PM »

Dear Wanderer22, you have been given the very good suggestion to persevere in trying to lay a foundation in Orthodoxy where you currently are by continuing to try to make contact with one of the nearby Orthodox priests and, if this fails, by making contact with one of their bishops.  You mention that the priests you were in contact with have not been responding to your questions.  If at all possible, it is best to try to make appointments to sit with a priest face to face.  Some priests are very busy and do not have much time to respond to emails in a lengthy and thorough manner.  If any of the priests are not native English speakers, communicating through typing on the computer may also be a serious challenge.  If you can develop a good relationship with one priest nearby, and you show that you are sincere, most likely the priest will help you in any way he can to become integrated into his parish.  If the parish worships in a foreign language, there are likely other English speaking people who attend, who you can then to know after the services.  As you become established in one parish, you can still ask around to see if anyone else would really like to have services in English.  With the interest of others, you may be able to convince one of the priests to do an English Divine Liturgy once in a while, if not instead of another language, perhaps on a Saturday morning.  If you love the Orthodox Faith as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, the Lord will certainly help you through the obstacles if you have the necessary Faith and willingness to persevere.

What is most important is that we are living the life of the Church in the Church, that we are confessing and repenting of our sins and receiving the deifying Mysteries.  If you cannot understand the words used in worship, this is unfortunate but it is not the worst thing.  There are many materials about the Orthodox Faith in English, including the texts of the services, so you can read these materials to understand the faith and even purchase a bilingual service book to follow along and understand what is being done and said in the services.  Our full participation in the Mysteries of the One, Holy, and Apostolic Church which lead us to theosis is, again, what is most essential.  This will not be withheld from you for lack of ethnicity or facility with foreign languages, provided again that you are zealous for repentance and for presenting yourself as a blameless member of the Church of Christ at the last day.  If you leave Orthodoxy, however, this which is most essential will be cast aside for… what?

As for joining the Roman Catholic institution, you must sincerely ask yourself what is leading you in that direction.  If you feel a strong push in that direction, you must know that according to the Orthodox Church the Roman Catholics do not have true Mysteries and the path of theosis is not available in Roman Catholicism.  You must carefully reflect on the words of St. Theophan the Recluse to the person who inquired of him about heterodox Christians.  St. Theophan responded that we should not worry about the end of those who are heterodox, het he then says:  

Quote
I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever.

What is it that you seek?  Do you seek the truth, the true dogmas of the Apostolic Church and the true Apostolic way of life?  Do you seek the worship of the ancient Church which is offered to God “in spirit and truth”?  In the Roman Catholic institution they seem to have answers for everything, but are their answers true?  If you believe in the Pope, then everything they do and say is true.  However, if you believe in Christ and his body the Church, the consensus of the Fathers, and the Seven Ecumenical Councils then the innovations of the Pope are heretical and lead people seeking salvation away from their destination.  You may have a false sense of certainty as a Roman Catholic and may even be able to convince yourself of the Papal delusion of infallibility; life might also be very easy without the need to fast or to confess you sins before a priest face to face; and you could even become a Zen master, a Yoga master, or experience Buddhist tantric initiation, but will any of this lead you to salvation?  Would you be able to save your soul where the whole understanding about the way salvation has been lost?

Regarding “where the Church is,” Communism was a major blow to the Church and created a lot of confusion.  Yet, what do all of the Patriarchates today say about where the Church is and where it is not?  Do they disagree?  Outside of the Patriarchates, of course, there is great confusion and all kinds of groups who claim to be Orthodox and have nothing to do with each other.  To some, it is quite clear where the Church of Pentecost is and where the confusion and delusion of Babel lies.  I pray that you will make the right choice, and with a bit of effort on your part and much prayer and faith, that you will find a home in the Ark of Salvation which will lead you to the heavenly homeland.
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« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2010, 03:10:33 PM »


Folks,

Let's keep this to focused on the OP.  If you want to debate the nature of schism in a general manner, please start a new thread and do it elsewhere.  Most of these posts are right on the money and tightly focused on the questions asked by the OP.  Some are starting to deviate. 

Thank you.

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« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2010, 03:14:29 PM »

There are enough devout Catholics and beautiful and holy and serene liturgies to make your cartoon below a matter of real challenge.  You might have been better off not attacking the Catholic Church with her graced sacraments and saints, and simply sticking to making a case for Orthodoxy.

Apparently you did not pay any better attention to the needs of the inquirer here than did the Orthodox priest with whom he has come in contact.  You made his point far more clearly than you made your own intended point.

Mary


What is it that you seek?  Do you seek the truth, the true dogmas of the Apostolic Church and the true Apostolic way of life?  Do you seek the worship of the ancient Church which is offered to God “in spirit and truth”?  In the Roman Catholic institution they seem to have answers for everything, but are their answers true?  If you believe in the Pope, then everything they do and say is true.  However, if you believe in Christ and his body the Church, the consensus of the Fathers, and the Seven Ecumenical Councils then the innovations of the Pope are heretical and lead people seeking salvation away from their destination.  You may have a false sense of certainty as a Roman Catholic and may even be able to convince yourself of the Papal delusion of infallibility; life might also be very easy without the need to fast or to confess you sins before a priest face to face; and you could even become a Zen master, a Yoga master, or experience Buddhist tantric initiation, but will any of this lead you to salvation?  Would you be able to save your soul where the whole understanding about the way salvation has been lost?

Regarding “where the Church is,” Communism was a major blow to the Church and created a lot of confusion.  Yet, what do all of the Patriarchates today say about where the Church is and where it is not?  Do they disagree?  Outside of the Patriarchates, of course, there is great confusion and all kinds of groups who claim to be Orthodox and have nothing to do with each other.  To some, it is quite clear where the Church of Pentecost is and where the confusion and delusion of Babel lies.  I pray that you will make the right choice, and with a bit of effort on your part and much prayer and faith, that you will find a home in the Ark of Salvation which will lead you to the heavenly homeland.

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« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2010, 03:42:43 PM »

There are enough devout Catholics and beautiful and holy and serene liturgies to make your cartoon below a matter of real challenge.  You might have been better off not attacking the Catholic Church with her graced sacraments and saints, and simply sticking to making a case for Orthodoxy.

Apparently you did not pay any better attention to the needs of the inquirer here than did the Orthodox priest with whom he has come in contact.  You made his point far more clearly than you made your own intended point.


If the inquirer needs to save his soul, then I have said enough.  If he "wants" something else other than the salvation of his soul, he can do whatever he likes.  I have never heard a single Orthodox saint ever advise becoming a member of the Roman Catholic institution for any reason at all "for what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul.  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" 

I am deeply sorry for the reaction of the Serbian priest that he encountered.  Personally, I am shocked that in our times this kind of situation still occurs, and it is certainly of great embarrassment to Orthodox Christians.  Yet, I trust that if the inquirer shows perseverance and faith, not allowing himself to become disheartened by this trial from the enemy, that he will find all that he needs for salvation in the Orthodox Church.  If he leaves Orthodoxy, what can beautiful services or nice people do for him?  Perhaps such things will be of consolation on earth, but this earth is fleeting and we will all have to stand before the Judgement seat.  Convincing yourself on earth that Purgatory will take care of everything will not help when, at the end of one's life, Purgatory is revealed to be a farse and the body of Christ has been traded for the mere teachings of men.
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« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2010, 03:50:35 PM »

There are enough devout Catholics and beautiful and holy and serene liturgies to make your cartoon below a matter of real challenge.  You might have been better off not attacking the Catholic Church with her graced sacraments and saints, and simply sticking to making a case for Orthodoxy.

Apparently you did not pay any better attention to the needs of the inquirer here than did the Orthodox priest with whom he has come in contact.  You made his point far more clearly than you made your own intended point.


If the inquirer needs to save his soul, then I have said enough.  If he "wants" something else other than the salvation of his soul, he can do whatever he likes.  I have never heard a single Orthodox saint ever advise becoming a member of the Roman Catholic institution for any reason at all "for what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul.  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" 

I am deeply sorry for the reaction of the Serbian priest that he encountered.  Personally, I am shocked that in our times this kind of situation still occurs, and it is certainly of great embarrassment to Orthodox Christians.  Yet, I trust that if the inquirer shows perseverance and faith, not allowing himself to become disheartened by this trial from the enemy, that he will find all that he needs for salvation in the Orthodox Church.  If he leaves Orthodoxy, what can beautiful services or nice people do for him?  Perhaps such things will be of consolation on earth, but this earth is fleeting and we will all have to stand before the Judgement seat.  Convincing yourself on earth that Purgatory will take care of everything will not help when, at the end of one's life, Purgatory is revealed to be a farse and the body of Christ has been traded for the mere teachings of men.

This is very interesting because there are cases where Catholic saints have sent Orthodox believers back to the Church of their Baptism.  I am also personally aware of laity and clergy who have done just that AND I have done it myself over the years.  I have also encouraged people who have translated from the Catholic Church into Orthodoxy to remain where they are and weather the storm to see where their hearts and minds really lie.  I have also encouraged Catholics to return to the Catholic Church from Orthodoxy, but for the right reasons, and not as a matter of comfort.

So it is as much about the individual as it is about the polemic.

Mary
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« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2010, 05:39:15 PM »

If the inquirer needs to save his soul, then I have said enough.  If he "wants" something else other than the salvation of his soul, he can do whatever he likes.  I have never heard a single Orthodox saint ever advise becoming a member of the Roman Catholic institutionfor any reason at all "for what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul.  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" 

I don't know if you mean it this way, but I can't take anything you say seriously if you can't talk with respect to another faith. Even if you don't agree with it, and you are as sure as sure can be, talking like that lowers you and turns off the ears of everyone around you.
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« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2010, 06:03:40 PM »

There are enough devout Catholics and beautiful and holy and serene liturgies to make your cartoon below a matter of real challenge.  You might have been better off not attacking the Catholic Church with her graced sacraments and saints, and simply sticking to making a case for Orthodoxy.

Apparently you did not pay any better attention to the needs of the inquirer here than did the Orthodox priest with whom he has come in contact.  You made his point far more clearly than you made your own intended point.


If the inquirer needs to save his soul, then I have said enough.  If he "wants" something else other than the salvation of his soul, he can do whatever he likes.  I have never heard a single Orthodox saint ever advise becoming a member of the Roman Catholic institution for any reason at all "for what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul.  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" 

I am deeply sorry for the reaction of the Serbian priest that he encountered.  Personally, I am shocked that in our times this kind of situation still occurs, and it is certainly of great embarrassment to Orthodox Christians.  Yet, I trust that if the inquirer shows perseverance and faith, not allowing himself to become disheartened by this trial from the enemy, that he will find all that he needs for salvation in the Orthodox Church.  If he leaves Orthodoxy, what can beautiful services or nice people do for him?  Perhaps such things will be of consolation on earth, but this earth is fleeting and we will all have to stand before the Judgement seat.  Convincing yourself on earth that Purgatory will take care of everything will not help when, at the end of one's life, Purgatory is revealed to be a farse and the body of Christ has been traded for the mere teachings of men.

Well said. No one should be advised to leave the Church.
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« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2010, 06:18:25 PM »

If the inquirer needs to save his soul, then I have said enough.  If he "wants" something else other than the salvation of his soul, he can do whatever he likes.  I have never heard a single Orthodox saint ever advise becoming a member of the Roman Catholic institutionfor any reason at all "for what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul.  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" 

I don't know if you mean it this way, but I can't take anything you say seriously if you can't talk with respect to another faith. Even if you don't agree with it, and you are as sure as sure can be, talking like that lowers you and turns off the ears of everyone around you.
Exactly. I wonder how he would feel if I said the "Eastern Orthodox institution"? Of course I would never do so though because I respect Orthodox Christians even if I don't agree with every aspect of Eastern Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2010, 06:48:33 PM »

If the inquirer needs to save his soul, then I have said enough.  If he "wants" something else other than the salvation of his soul, he can do whatever he likes.  I have never heard a single Orthodox saint ever advise becoming a member of the Roman Catholic institutionfor any reason at all "for what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul.  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" 

I don't know if you mean it this way, but I can't take anything you say seriously if you can't talk with respect to another faith. Even if you don't agree with it, and you are as sure as sure can be, talking like that lowers you and turns off the ears of everyone around you.
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« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2010, 07:03:44 PM »

Hi everyone. Thanks a lot for your very helpful replies. I intend on going through all of them again at a much slower and organized pace to seriously weigh and consider my options. Unfortunately the life of a university student leaves me strapped for time but I promise to reply with my thoughts as soon as I possibly can.

Thanks a lot so far to everyone who's left their 2 cents. I sincerely appreciate your help Cheesy
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« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2010, 07:06:44 PM »

Hi everyone. Thanks a lot for your very helpful replies. I intend on going through all of them again at a much slower and organized pace to seriously weigh and consider my options. Unfortunately the life of a university student leaves me strapped for time but I promise to reply with my thoughts as soon as I possibly can.

Thanks a lot so far to everyone who's left their 2 cents. I sincerely appreciate your help Cheesy
Prayer will be your best path then. If you are faithful to the Gospel, the Holy Spirit will lead you.
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« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2010, 07:58:26 PM »

If the inquirer needs to save his soul, then I have said enough.  If he "wants" something else other than the salvation of his soul, he can do whatever he likes.  I have never heard a single Orthodox saint ever advise becoming a member of the Roman Catholic institutionfor any reason at all "for what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul.  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" 

I don't know if you mean it this way, but I can't take anything you say seriously if you can't talk with respect to another faith. Even if you don't agree with it, and you are as sure as sure can be, talking like that lowers you and turns off the ears of everyone around you.
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Ok. Just realize I'm neither catholic nor orthodox. There are many other readers like me. If that's the image you want, that may be the push back you get, and some might judge your faith by the consensus of the few.
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« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2010, 08:05:57 PM »




Do not derail this thread with pointless bickering regarding jah777's choice of words to describe the RCC. 

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« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2010, 08:16:50 PM »

Hi everyone. Thanks a lot for your very helpful replies. I intend on going through all of them again at a much slower and organized pace to seriously weigh and consider my options. Unfortunately the life of a university student leaves me strapped for time but I promise to reply with my thoughts as soon as I possibly can.

Thanks a lot so far to everyone who's left their 2 cents. I sincerely appreciate your help Cheesy


I do want you to consider one thing. Imagine if the situation you are in were reversed. Imagine if you were Catholic and lived in a town with only one or two old ethnic Catholic parishes that only offered the Mass in Latin, which if you remember was the only way the Roman Mass was offered up until the 1960's. Imagine if there was a wonderfully vibrant convert oriented Orthodox parish with the entire Liturgy in English. Would it be appropriate for you to abandon the Catholic faith because you happen to live in an area with no English Mass; whereas if you lived in an area with the Mass in English you would have never thought about abandoning the faith? The answer is of course not. The circumstances of where you live have no bearing whatsoever on truth. Either the Orthodox Church is the true Church and the Catholic Church is not, or vice versa.

The reality is you are just as likely to find rude Catholics and Catholic priests as you are Orthodox. What happens if you leave Orthodoxy and later in life find yourself in a town with just the situation I described above? Would you then switch back to Orthodoxy because of external circumstances? Your life circumstances are going to change, the truth is not. You have to make your decision based on truth, not on transient life conditions.



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« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2010, 11:22:49 PM »

I do want you to consider one thing. Imagine if the situation you are in were reversed. Imagine if you were Catholic and lived in a town with only one or two old ethnic Catholic parishes that only offered the Mass in Latin, which if you remember was the only way the Roman Mass was offered up until the 1960's. Imagine if there was a wonderfully vibrant convert oriented Orthodox parish with the entire Liturgy in English. Would it be appropriate for you to abandon the Catholic faith because you happen to live in an area with no English Mass; whereas if you lived in an area with the Mass in English you would have never thought about abandoning the faith? The answer is of course not. The circumstances of where you live have no bearing whatsoever on truth. Either the Orthodox Church is the true Church and the Catholic Church is not, or vice versa.

The reality is you are just as likely to find rude Catholics and Catholic priests as you are Orthodox. What happens if you leave Orthodoxy and later in life find yourself in a town with just the situation I described above? Would you then switch back to Orthodoxy because of external circumstances? Your life circumstances are going to change, the truth is not. You have to make your decision based on truth, not on transient life conditions.



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In the U.S? Highly unlikely. All parishes in the U.S have an English mass even if the majority are ethnic Catholics. The Latin Mass had (and still does) a side by side English translation in the missal, and the homily is said in English. I have never seen a parish that just offers the Latin Mass as their only mass.
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« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2010, 11:50:05 PM »

I do want you to consider one thing. Imagine if the situation you are in were reversed. Imagine if you were Catholic and lived in a town with only one or two old ethnic Catholic parishes that only offered the Mass in Latin, which if you remember was the only way the Roman Mass was offered up until the 1960's. Imagine if there was a wonderfully vibrant convert oriented Orthodox parish with the entire Liturgy in English. Would it be appropriate for you to abandon the Catholic faith because you happen to live in an area with no English Mass; whereas if you lived in an area with the Mass in English you would have never thought about abandoning the faith? The answer is of course not. The circumstances of where you live have no bearing whatsoever on truth. Either the Orthodox Church is the true Church and the Catholic Church is not, or vice versa.

The reality is you are just as likely to find rude Catholics and Catholic priests as you are Orthodox. What happens if you leave Orthodoxy and later in life find yourself in a town with just the situation I described above? Would you then switch back to Orthodoxy because of external circumstances? Your life circumstances are going to change, the truth is not. You have to make your decision based on truth, not on transient life conditions.



In Christ
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In the U.S? Highly unlikely. All parishes in the U.S have an English mass even if the majority are ethnic Catholics. The Latin Mass had (and still does) a side by side English translation in the missal, and the homily is said in English. I have never seen a parish that just offers the Latin Mass as their only mass.

I think he was providing a "what if" scenario for perspective. Like everything, it isn't a perfect comparison, but he's trying to make a point.
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« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2010, 11:55:04 PM »

In the U.S? Highly unlikely. All parishes in the U.S have an English mass even if the majority are ethnic Catholics. The Latin Mass had (and still does) a side by side English translation in the missal, and the homily is said in English. I have never seen a parish that just offers the Latin Mass as their only mass.


That's not really relevant to my point. Whether or not one is likely to encounter a specific situation has no bearing on whether or not it's a good idea to leave a Church based on circumstances at one parish. Exchange Latin Mass for an extremely liberal priest or perhaps a parish with severe liturgical abuses and the issue is the same. None of them are good reasons to abandon your Church.



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« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2010, 01:12:39 AM »

Hi everyone. Thanks a lot for your very helpful replies. I intend on going through all of them again at a much slower and organized pace to seriously weigh and consider my options. Unfortunately the life of a university student leaves me strapped for time but I promise to reply with my thoughts as soon as I possibly can.

Thanks a lot so far to everyone who's left their 2 cents. I sincerely appreciate your help Cheesy


I do want you to consider one thing. Imagine if the situation you are in were reversed. Imagine if you were Catholic and lived in a town with only one or two old ethnic Catholic parishes that only offered the Mass in Latin, which if you remember was the only way the Roman Mass was offered up until the 1960's. Imagine if there was a wonderfully vibrant convert oriented Orthodox parish with the entire Liturgy in English. Would it be appropriate for you to abandon the Catholic faith because you happen to live in an area with no English Mass; whereas if you lived in an area with the Mass in English you would have never thought about abandoning the faith? The answer is of course not. The circumstances of where you live have no bearing whatsoever on truth. Either the Orthodox Church is the true Church and the Catholic Church is not, or vice versa.

The reality is you are just as likely to find rude Catholics and Catholic priests as you are Orthodox. What happens if you leave Orthodoxy and later in life find yourself in a town with just the situation I described above? Would you then switch back to Orthodoxy because of external circumstances? Your life circumstances are going to change, the truth is not. You have to make your decision based on truth, not on transient life conditions.



In Christ
Joe
This.

Again, if I were to choose my Church based on the reverence and beauty with which the liturgy is offered, I would be Orthodox.
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« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2010, 12:38:40 PM »

Again, if I were to choose my Church based on the reverence and beauty with which the liturgy is offered, I would be Orthodox.
I don't know about that. The Novus Ordo celebrated properly is absoluetly breathtaking as well. Have you been to Easter Vigil or Midnight Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish?
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« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2010, 01:03:53 PM »

Quote from: Papist
"I don't know about that. The Novus Ordo celebrated properly is absolutely breathtaking as well. Have you been to Easter Vigil or Midnight Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish?"

What does 'Novus Ordo' mean? What is the significance of this moniker?

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« Reply #39 on: September 28, 2010, 01:13:20 PM »

Quote from: Papist
"I don't know about that. The Novus Ordo celebrated properly is absolutely breathtaking as well. Have you been to Easter Vigil or Midnight Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish?"

What does 'Novus Ordo' mean? What is the significance of this moniker?

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I personally prefer not to use this terminology since it is often used by schismatics (SSPX), so I usually refer to it as the ordinary form of the Mass (post Vatican II Mass).
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 01:30:42 PM by Wyatt » Logged
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« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2010, 06:06:28 PM »

Again, if I were to choose my Church based on the reverence and beauty with which the liturgy is offered, I would be Orthodox.
I don't know about that. The Novus Ordo celebrated properly is absoluetly breathtaking as well. Have you been to Easter Vigil or Midnight Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish?
Have you been to the bilingual Mass there?
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"And because they have nothing better to do, they take cushion and chairs to Rome. And while the Pope is saying liturgy, they go, 'Oh, oh, oh, filioque!' And the Pope say, 'Filioque? That-uh sound nice! I think I divide-uh the Church over it!'" - Comrade Real Presence
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« Reply #41 on: September 28, 2010, 08:08:20 PM »

Quote from: Papist
"I don't know about that. The Novus Ordo celebrated properly is absolutely breathtaking as well. Have you been to Easter Vigil or Midnight Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish?"

What does 'Novus Ordo' mean? What is the significance of this moniker?

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The Novus Ordo Mass is the new mass that sprung from Vatican II. The Tridentine (Latin) Mass being the old mass. Novus Ordo means "new order" in Latin.
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« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2010, 01:24:51 PM »

Again, if I were to choose my Church based on the reverence and beauty with which the liturgy is offered, I would be Orthodox.
I don't know about that. The Novus Ordo celebrated properly is absoluetly breathtaking as well. Have you been to Easter Vigil or Midnight Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish?
Have you been to the bilingual Mass there?
Haha. Yes, indeed i have. But again, I talking about the Novus Ordo celbraed properly, not the bilingual mass.
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Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
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« Reply #43 on: September 29, 2010, 05:25:22 PM »

Again, if I were to choose my Church based on the reverence and beauty with which the liturgy is offered, I would be Orthodox.
I don't know about that. The Novus Ordo celebrated properly is absolutely breathtaking as well. Have you been to Easter Vigil or Midnight Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish?
Have you been to the bilingual Mass there?
Haha. Yes, indeed i have. But again, I talking about the Novus Ordo celebrated properly, not the bilingual mass.

Anyways, yes, I agree. The Novus Ordo celebrated like a real Mass is a fine liturgy. And yes, at St. Thomas Aquinas, it is done right sometimes. It frustrates me not to have ad orientem every week.

For reference, Papist and I attend the same parish. We actually met through here, believe it or not, and not through our parish, as unfortunately, it's about 4,000 families.
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"And because they have nothing better to do, they take cushion and chairs to Rome. And while the Pope is saying liturgy, they go, 'Oh, oh, oh, filioque!' And the Pope say, 'Filioque? That-uh sound nice! I think I divide-uh the Church over it!'" - Comrade Real Presence
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« Reply #44 on: September 29, 2010, 06:26:44 PM »

. It frustrates me not to have ad orientem every week.


I have to agree there. As I have grown in my faith, versus populem seems unnatural and awkward to me.
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Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
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