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Author Topic: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!  (Read 24077 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 13, 2010, 01:59:53 PM »

Hello, I was hoping to find some members on here who have converted from Roman Catholic to Orthodox and would be willing to share their experiences. How do you find your faith to be different now since you have "gone east"? Are there things that you still miss from the RCC? Any other input regarding converting from RCC to EOC is welcome.
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2010, 11:17:43 PM »

OK catholic converts, we know you're out there! (or do we?)  laugh
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2010, 05:38:29 PM »

My conversion, while relatively quick (a year ago, I had absolutely no inclination to Orthodoxy) and not yet complete (I have yet to officially enroll as a catechumen), has been quite an eyeopening experience.

I was originally a Catholic seminarian at a Benedictine monastery, something which gave me exposure to a different form of spirituality (as opposed to a Catholic parish). This caused me to reflect upon God's will in my life and led me to strongly consider the monastic path. I had heard that "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" was a classic as far as monastic spirituality goes, so I bought a copy, cracked it open, and began to read. Little did I know, however, that the contents of this book would lead me to challenge everything I believed. Within the binding, I found an incredibly powerful witness to monasticism and what true holiness entails. Whilst the Benedictine monastery undoubtedly contained sincere monks, monasticism in the west had largely fallen from the true ascetic ideal (in fact there was an annual youth rock festival that took place on monastery grounds). While not ignoring that there are most certainly very ascetic monasteries in the west (Trappist comes to mind), monasticism as a whole seemed a sad remnant of what it is supposed to be. When I looked to the East, however, I saw a thriving establishment. I saw that which St. John described.

Trees should be judged by the fruit they produce (St. Luke 6:44) and the witness of monasticism in the East led me to look much deeper into the claims of the Orthodox Church. I had originally converted to Catholicism based on the idea the it was the faith of the apostles (compared to Protestantism, which was not). I had never truly investigated the claims of Orthodoxy, but took some Catholic apologist's word that they were merely a schism from true apostolic Christianity. The more I began to research it, the more I began to see Orthodoxy's claims to catholicity. What I saw was a historical and doctrinal continuity not found it the west. I saw a Church planted firmly upon a rock, which resisted the changes of the world (be it modern day liberalism or Carolingian agenda).

I don't really miss much from the west, excepting perhaps a devotion I had to Sir Thomas More. I still somewhat carry the "Everything is better in Latin" mentality, but overall, I have embraced the East entirely. I never had a particularly strong devotion to either the Rosary or Eucharistic Adoration (which put me in a bit of a minority as a devout Catholic).

The end result of my conversion has been a much truer understanding of repentance and the meaning behind it. While Catholic, I understood the concept of mortal and venial sins, the mortal I had to confess. After confession, I would put it out of my mind, never to ponder on it again. Orthodoxy has shown me constant need of repentance. It has led me to constantly and consistently beg God's forgiveness ever waking hour of the day. It is through constant remembrance of Christ and constant repentance through which man is deified. With my conversion, I still carry with me the desire to one day become a monk - something which I hope to fulfill if it be the will of God. That said, I still have much to learn.
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2010, 10:05:35 AM »

Re: the OP
My husband, who was RC (grew up in an Irish Catholic neighborhood, parochial schools, almost went to seminary) says that he found the real Catholic Church in Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2010, 10:53:33 PM »

I have split off all topics that were not convert stories and put them into ORTHODOX - CATHOLIC DISUSSION FORUM

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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2010, 09:57:45 AM »

It is interesting that you are drawn to monasticism, but it is also true that there is "only" one call.  There is not one call for a monk and another for a regular Christian who lives in any city.  The monastic lifestyle can be difficult, but being a true Christian can also be very difficult.  I would recommend two books for you; 1.) The Arena (by: Ignatius Brianchaninov) and, 2.)Way of the Ascetics Author(s): Tito Colliander,  Both are readily available and you can find good prices at Amazon or Alibris Books  These works will answer many questions for you as well as to confirm that your decision to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy was the right one.  May God's Right hand strengthen you in everything you do.
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2010, 01:35:28 AM »

This is my first time posting here, so hello everyone  Smiley I converted from the RCC to the EOC about 2 1/2 years ago. I was baptized and raised Catholic and was always very active in church. A few years ago though I began to be unhappy with a lot of things in the RCC - the sex abuse scandal upset me deeply, plus there were other things I disagreed with - mandatory celibacy for priests, the annulment process, the infallibility of the Pope. At this point I had NO clue about Orthodoxy. I didn't know anything about it nor anyone who was Orthodox. I wasn't happy in the RCC but I didn't want to leave for a church that didn't believe in the True Presence. In September of 2007, I went to the Greek (Orthodox) Festival in my city and was browsing through their "bookstore" and happened to pick up a pamphlet called Orthodoxy and Catholicism by Fr. Theodore Pulcini. I bought it and took it home and read it and was like, Wow! This is what I believe! I'm Orthodox and never knew it!  Grin

I found a little mission church in my area and began attending. I also read lots of books because I wanted to understand the theology and the differences and know that I was making the right decision, and not just an impulsive leap. I was Chrismated at Pascha in 2008.

There were a few bumps in the road. My dh is Catholic and happily so. My in-laws are all very staunch Catholics, several of them the traditional Latin-rite type, and they tried to dissuade me. My priest had to move away from the area suddenly and our mission closed and I had to find a new church. It's all good though now. I found a lovely new parish. My dh and kids attend Divine Liturgy every Sunday with me, and I go to Mass with them most Sundays.

I love the EOC. It is hard sometimes. I've struggled with the fasting and the long services and the standing...but I'm happy here and it feels very right and organic to me. My parish is wonderful. I do not miss the RCC. God is good and I believe he led me to Orthodoxy.

Thanks for letting me share and I hope this encourages someone.
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2010, 01:49:37 AM »

Thanks for sharing your story with us Martha, and welcome to the forum! Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2010, 09:32:01 AM »

Martha Welcome!
I hope that you will find the Convert Issues forum to be place where you as an inquirer may ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum.  WE try to provide an understanding of the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. WE try to keep our answers direct and simple with sources if possible.

For those who are converts, this forum is a safe place to discuss issues that arise after one converts in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. WE try to avoid jurisdiction debates and you may find a the topic that will be split and sent the appropriate OC.Net forum to continue the discussion or debate if it strays from the guidelines of our Forum Purpose.
Again I want to welcome you warmly to the Convert Issues Forum and hope you will enjoy your time as a member here.

In Christ,
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2010, 09:42:29 AM »

I guess I can give a very short account.  I was received into Orthodoxy from Catholicism only on April 25th of this year.  I was born and baptized Roman Catholic, in Poland, where Catholicism is seen as much an expression of ethnic identity as of faith (my opinion at least), and certainly in my family Catholicism is much more cultural than spiritual.  I went through the motions of learning about and receiving first communion, and confession, but at age 6 I had no real understanding as to why I had to, other then being told that it was necessary.  Given that my family was not that religious, and having emigrated while young to Canada, my spiritual development was more or less left to myself.  Which is not to say that my parents didn't take us to Mass, but could never explain the importance of it outside of a cultural familiarity with it.

During my teenage years the Church, Tradition, religion, barely entered into my vocabulary, let alone my thought process.  It was during my undergraduate years at university that I started to take notice of Christianity and actually begin to explore, ponder, and question.  As a hopeful historian (am pursuing a PhD), I started to delve into Church history, and works of the early Church Fathers amongst others. Initially, my objections to Catholicism were more historically based rather than theologically, Papal Supremacy, and the Donation of Constantine are prime examples.  The more I read, and prayed, the more I realized how disconnected I felt from not just The Catholic Church, but Catholic prayer.  This is when I started seriously investigating Orthodoxy, though at this point it wasn't a true immersion since it involved just reading and not experiencing Divine Liturgy.  I started attending Divine Liturgy while I was working in Bulgaria and Serbia, and immediately felt myself not just at ease, but at home, as well as an active participant.  After two years of immersion, attending Divine Liturgy, and talking to priests, my heart and mind were pulling at me to join the Church.

I truly feel that I was led to Orthodoxy, and while I struggle daily like the next person,  I constantly strive to learn from, and more about Orthodoxy.



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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2010, 09:59:54 AM »

My wife and I were born and raised Roman Catholic. Shortly before becoming Orthodox, I switched to Melkite Greek Catholic.
There were three reasons really for us.

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

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

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

Now that we are Orthodox Christians I can simply say this to you. I was dying and rotting inside outside. I was on my way to Hell. The Orthodox Church saved my life. I was sick with sin and I am receiving that life-giving and life-saving medicine and healing. My life will never be the same as it was, thank God!

I do occasionally get nostalgic for well done western liturgics, but they are incomparable with the Catholic (that is complete, fullness of) expression of the True Church, the Holy Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2010, 10:18:31 AM »

Re: the OP
My husband, who was RC (grew up in an Irish Catholic neighborhood, parochial schools, almost went to seminary) says that he found the real Catholic Church in Orthodoxy.

 Smiley Me, too. When I first started to attend an Orthodox church, one of my first thoughts was that this was what everything was like many years ago before the awful split ever happened- this was what the 'Catholic' Church was supposed to be in the first place. So, in a sense, I was 'going back' to being what I was really supposed to be all along.  Smiley It felt very healthy.
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2010, 08:41:27 PM »

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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2010, 11:28:24 AM »

Sorry.... I posted this on a seperate topic..but on reflection it probbaly fits here too also...

"This is my first posting to this forum. so go gently with me folks. I live in kerry in the Republic of ireland, a very nominally catholic country, For a long time now I have been attracted to Orthodoxy, the process probably started over 20 years ago when i first attended Divine Liturgies in the then USSR and was blown away by the presence of a reverence and awe that i had not seen in a catholic mass in decades, if ever.
When I turned 50 i walked the 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, and met a young Romanian Orthodx pilgrim. She gave me a small orthodox icon and said 'keep that with you'...''before long the Theotokos will take you into the church, because you are Orthodox, but you are not sure yet that you are'. Anyway i did the pilgrimage, which as you may all know is primarily dominated by Roman catholics, but is increasingly becoming infiltrated by pagans and new agers of all sorts also. The words of the Romanian pilgrim stayed with me, and by accident i found myself listening to Ancient faith radio and slowly i began to realise that i had to make the move away from Roman catholicism....We have 'vigil masses 'here in ireland on a saturday night starting at 7.00 pm and guaranteed to end by 7.30pm allowing the attenders to go drinking on saturday night and not have to get up on Sunday. The liturgy is increasingly protestant, we have guitars strumming, teenage female altar servers with make up on, holy communion being given out by lay people who I know are no more worthy to distribute the Communion than any other lay person.....the priest faces the congrgation, he gives an anodyne sermon interspersed with some weak funnies here and there...Need I go on... I attended a number of Divine Liturgies travelling 100 miles in both cases , and left feeling uplifted and overjoyed by a sense of at long last 'coming home' to the Church Our Lord founded...I work in a College and the RC Chaplain invited me to a catholic discussion event, he is an active member of Opus Dei. I felt it was only fair to tell him where I had been heading for the past 8 months, the summer vacation had intervened so I suppose he was not au fait with what was going on. I was frankly astonished by his reaction, he repeated 'Wow!' 'Wow!' what a bombshell...oh dear oh dear... this is very very serious indeed ...Are you aware of what you are giving up?....We have kept the faith for centuries and you are giving it all up on a whim really' ...I explained my prblems with the filioque and he seemed to be at the very least less than clear of its significance....He then went on to say that 'if you think paedophilia is a problem in catholicism...then i am reliably informed that homosexuality is rife in orthodox seminaries' an assertion i rejected on the spot as a scurrilous slander....I did not expect him to be leaping cartwheels in joy but I was frankly astonished at the the degree of antagonism he displayed. On a later occasion he was prepared to concede that the eucharist on an orthodox liturgy was a legitimate eucharist....But I really did get the feeling that had I informed him that i was becoming a buddhist or a muslim that the reaction would not have been hostile....is this normal. We are a small community of Orthodox christians here in ireland, but i just wanted to share this to feel less alone. I say our orthodox prayers every day, with incense and candles, and although we can not get Divine Liturgy as often as i would like, i can only say that if it was'nt for Ancient Faith radio and other orthodox Christians I have met in the past 9 months or so I really think that this opus dei priests astonishing reaction may have had the (probably desired effect) of making me doubt my decision....Just wanted to get that off my chest...Responses very very welcome....Finbar"   
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2010, 01:31:33 PM »

Sorry.... I posted this on a seperate topic..but on reflection it probbaly fits here too also...
<snip>
...I work in a College and the RC Chaplain invited me to a catholic discussion event, he is an active member of Opus Dei. I felt it was only fair to tell him where I had been heading for the past 8 months, the summer vacation had intervened so I suppose he was not au fait with what was going on. I was frankly astonished by his reaction, he repeated 'Wow!' 'Wow!' what a bombshell...oh dear oh dear... this is very very serious indeed ...Are you aware of what you are giving up?....We have kept the faith for centuries and you are giving it all up on a whim really' ...I explained my prblems with the filioque and he seemed to be at the very least less than clear of its significance....He then went on to say that 'if you think paedophilia is a problem in catholicism...then i am reliably informed that homosexuality is rife in orthodox seminaries' an assertion i rejected on the spot as a scurrilous slander....I did not expect him to be leaping cartwheels in joy but I was frankly astonished at the the degree of antagonism he displayed. On a later occasion he was prepared to concede that the eucharist on an orthodox liturgy was a legitimate eucharist....But I really did get the feeling that had I informed him that i was becoming a buddhist or a muslim that the reaction would not have been hostile....is this normal. We are a small community of Orthodox christians here in ireland, but i just wanted to share this to feel less alone. I say our orthodox prayers every day, with incense and candles, and although we can not get Divine Liturgy as often as i would like, i can only say that if it was'nt for Ancient Faith radio and other orthodox Christians I have met in the past 9 months or so I really think that this opus dei priests astonishing reaction may have had the (probably desired effect) of making me doubt my decision....Just wanted to get that off my chest...Responses very very welcome....Finbar"   

When I converted to Orthodoxy, I had a similar experience. My friends in the Catholic Church did not hesitate to tell me that I was ex-communicating myself and that they would no longer be my friends. Worse, several of these friends contacted Catholic Answers in San Diego and gave them my phone number in a last ditch effort to save me from damnation. One of the authors of Jesus, Peter, and the Keys promptly contacted me. I immediately contacted my Orthodox Priest who encouraged me to try to point out the weaknesses in his own arguments. However, he became so abusive that I had to tell him to cease phoning me upon the recommendation of my Orthodox Priest.

I have known many Irish Catholics on this side of the pond who have become Orthodox Christians. Welcome Home. St. Patrick was also very Orthodox. Smiley

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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2010, 01:43:59 PM »

Maria,
 that is most encouraging. i asked the priest to respect my privacy, but theres a coterie of opus dei where I work. Despite his assurances, I have noticed that I have not been joined for coffee at the breaks by the opus dei gang since i told him...paranoid maybe...But before i tod him they were all over me and sometimes i would have preferred that they would have left me alone...now that little wish appears to be being fulfilled...i am awaiting the arrival of literature and sincere talks once they get their act together...But what amazes me, is that it seems to me that they see it as almost worse than becoming buddhist...they like nothing better than chatting away with muslims and 'a la carte' catholics and 'new agers' of all sorts...guess i am now kinda 'beyond the pale' ha ha  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2010, 02:18:15 PM »


...Responses very very welcome....Finbar"   

Dear Finbar,

I correspond with a wonderful Irish woman, Brigid (Michele) Ainly who has her own blog dedicated to the Irish Saints and to Orthodoxy in Ireland. 
http://brigid-undertheoak.blogspot.com/

She attends Liturgy at the Russian Orthodox Community of St Finnian of Clonard in Belfast.
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2010, 06:05:40 PM »

Quote from: Maria
I have known many Irish Catholics on this side of the pond who have become Orthodox Christians. Welcome Home. St. Patrick was also very Orthodox. Smiley

Something recent that made me smile- I was in chapel for a weekday morning liturgy, and I happened to notice that the saint in the stained glass window right in front of the altar was St. Patrick.   Smiley

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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2010, 06:25:43 PM »

http://www.google.ie/imgres?imgurl=http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/images/skellig-michael/skellig-michael-huts-c-sacredsites.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/skellig-michael.htm&h=333&w=500&sz=66&tbnid=tgNIppAwcTceoM:&tbnh=87&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dskellig%2Bmichael&zoom=1&q=skellig+michael&usg=__5z80KZMo0Jykt_gKxCwYm_Gs9Ac=&sa=X&ei=EuLuTMitN8ubhQe5t4HBDA&ved=0CCMQ9QEwAQ


Skellig Michael off the west coast of Kerry....pretty orthodox monastic sites I would say with som certainty ha ha
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« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2010, 06:31:18 PM »

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« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2010, 07:01:14 PM »

Just some further information about Irelands Orthodox early Christian past.. as exemplified in sites such as Skellig Michael pictured above...

]By the early Middle Ages, also known as the Dark Ages because much of Western Europe had become severed from its Orthodox Christian foundations with all the ignorance and superstition that followed, the Irish Church preached an Orthodox Christianity free of Roman legalism and was in effect a provincial form of the Orthodox Christianity in Constantinople. A further divergence lay in Church organization. Although the Irish Church acknowledged the Pope of Rome as the highest dignitary in the Western Patriarchate, it did not accept his judicial authority as the later Roman Church did. This was a position like the present Orthodox view of the Pope as being primus inter pares: first among equals, referring to the shared dignity of the five ancient Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria and Constantinople. The latter, also called New Rome, was in fact raised to a level of honour on an equal level with Old Rome at the Fourth Oecumenical Council in 451.

Загрузить увеличенное изображение. 500 x 333 px. Размер файла 67262 b. Beehive huts on Skellig Michael
Beehive huts on Skellig Michael
A major divergence between Ireland and Rome lay in the former's older, and actually incorrect, method of calculating the date of Easter, in which the Irish Church used a 84-year cycle based on the lunar calendar. In contrast, the Roman Church, like the rest of the Universal Church, used the solar calendar and ensured that Easter never fell on the same day as the Jewish Passover. This aspect would eventually become the main bone of contention between Rome and the Celts, with Rome winning the conflict at the Synod of Whitby held in 664. (To this day the Orthodox Church still calculates the date of Easter according to ancient Universal custom, so that the Non-Orthodox Easter falls one to five weeks before the correct Orthodox Christian Easter).

Different rites were employed by the Irish and Roman churches in the sacraments of baptism and episcopal confirmation. Also in the tonsuring of monks a divergence occurred: while the Roman tonsure involved shaving the top of the head, the Irish shaved across the forehead from ear to ear. These methods were ascribed to St Peter and St John, respectively. Old Irish customs such as storing water for the feast of the Epiphany (6 January) and lighting Easter fires to let them burn throughout the year (for example at Kildare) were also unique. Naturally, on the early Irish crosses Christ is pictured as the conqueror of death rather than as crucified – another parallel with the Universal Orthodox practice of Old Rome and elsewhere, according to which the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ takes precedence over that of His death, with Easter Sunday (Pascha) as the main feast of the Church year. The practice only changed from the late eleventh century on, when heterodoxy began to portray 'the suffering Jesus' in his human nature as a victim, not as the Victor. In addition, the study of Greek was undertaken in Irish monasteries at least until the ninth century, together with that of Latin and Hebrew.

Загрузить увеличенное изображение. 768 x 1024 px. Размер файла 508678 b. View of Small Skellig from Skellig Michael
View of Small Skellig from Skellig Michael
It is interesting to note that in some of the Irish monastic settlements not only monks and nuns were to be found, but also married couples and families. This is a further parallel between Irish and Universal Orthodox practice, with married priests being the norm in the Orthodox Church to this day, without in any way diminishing the vital importance of the monastic vocation in the Church. The very organization of the Irish Church was of a monastic nature, with the abbot or abbess being the highest authority in a given area. This was in contrast to the diocesan structure of the rest of the Church, in which the bishop is the highest authority.

In addition to the monastery at Lйrins that served as an important link between the Irish and Eastern Churches, Poitiers in France was a further conduit of Orthodoxy to the West. This was the final abode of St Hilary (315-367), a bishop who was banished to Phrygia by the unbaptized Emperor Constantine when the saint refused to yield to Constantine's then Arian sympathies. This is rather ironic, for it was the same Emperor who convened the First Oecumenical Council in 325, at which Arianism was condemned as a heresy. Hilary went from Phrygia to Poitiers where he wrote a book dedicated to the ‘Irish bishops'. This implies contact between the Greek-speaking and Irish churches via France during the fourth century already. Early in the 6th century a monastery would be founded at Poitiers by the Irish missionary St Fridolin.

Another affinity that the Irish shared with the Orthodox practice was its own form of the liturgy. Over the centuries the Orthodox Church has maintained a variety of liturgies, all of ancient origin, such as the liturgies of St John Chrysostom, St James the Apostle and St Basil the Great. Evidence of a pre-Roman liturgy of the Irish Church can be found in manuscripts such as the Antiphonary of Bangor, a collection of hymns and prayers dating from around 680. These texts radiate a Christian view of the world that echoes the Psalms in praise of God's creation, as in the writings of the Church Fathers. All of creation is viewed as a vast whole, without the dualism of spirit and matter that would become the dominant post-Patristic medieval Western heterodox cosmology. It is pertinent to note that the metaphysical system expounded by the Irish philosopher John Scottus Eriugena (see further on) would also reflect this awareness of the unity of all creation. This reinforces our view that Irish Christianity was a holistic, Patristic faith.
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« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2010, 02:20:39 PM »

Hello,
I was received as a catechumen just this last Sunday (Feast of the Most Holy Theotokos entry into the Temple). I'm very happy. It has only been since last March that I began attending a small mission church in our area. I was really hurting and found "Home". My whole identity was as a "Catholic" (Roman Rite). I had been struggling for years with the scandals, abuses and what I finally realized I no longer believed: Papal infallibility, supremacy, and the general hierarchy of the church. I had felt, at various times in my life, a  "draw" to Orthodoxy but I was shamefully ignorant and saw it as the "Eastern Rite" of the Church. Now, I'm full of excitement and wonder. I fell in love with the Divine Liturgy the first time I attended. "This is how one should worship our Lord" I remember thinking. There was a sense of familiarity with the Liturgy too. I felt I had come home.

I would say the biggest struggle for me has been leaving my "Catholic Identity"....a little bit of grieving. I still love much of what my Catholicism gave me: appreciation of Our Mother, the Most Holy Theotokos (I still slip up and refer her as Our Blessed Mother), the Saints and the Sacraments and Liturgy. I still am very attached to my favorite Saints and rosary, but  now I frequently say the Jesus Prayer on it. I'm struggling with the fasting. The rest of my family is still Roman Catholic, but they're tolerant (in their view, we're Sister Faiths, and I understand that is not a view shared by Orthodox, still I find their view comforting for me and lessening of tensions at home)

I'm trying to blend my home practice of Orthodoxy with our existing traditions (Advent Wreaths) so as not to split the family or cause more tension. I may need guidance on that part!

In my own view (and I understand how this would not be shared by all) I feel I have not "left" Catholism so much, but more....I have entered into our ancient Christian Faith deeper and more fully. I find Orthodox Faith more full and without the distractions and problems that I was struggling with in the Roman Catholic Church. I've come into communion with our Mother Church. I appreciate too, more fully, the Eastern Rite of the Catholic Church, of which I was so ignorant. But, I'm feeling very confident that the path into full communion with the Orthodox Church, is the right one for me. I might have simply attended the Eastern Rite if there had been one locally, except for the problem I feel with the Papal issues.  But I'm still learning, and there may have been other issues I might have found.  My Catholic Pastor really was wonderful helping me in the initial struggles (I had ceased attending Mass) and gave me his "blessing" to attend the Orthodox Church as we viewed the liturgy, sacraments, etc as valid. He said we (the West) need the East and could learn much from her."

I would say that if there are any Roman Catholics out there who are struggling with the many issues in the Roman Catholic Church and are not attending church at all, seek out the Orthodox Church. Read up on it and attend the Divine Liturgy. I think you might find the Peaceful Presence of our Lord there and spiritual happiness. I find the Orthodox Faith different but familiar. Deeper...richer....more mystical and reverent in many ways. If you are looking, you may find a Home here.

Blessings to all.
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« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2010, 02:44:27 PM »

Dear Kokomoka,

When I was converting from Catholicism to Orthodoxy, the doctrines of Papal lnfallibilty and Supremacy were my major hurdles. I had studied these dogmas at the university, but strangely we really did not cover the doctrine of Supremacy and Pope Pius XII's changes in the Code of Canon Law (Pope XII had worked on that Canon before he was elected Pope).

When I compared the 1917 Code of Canon Law with what the Orthodox Church holds, I was astounded. Incidentally, the 1917 Code of Canon Law was necessitated by Vatican I to accommodate the doctrine of Papal Supremacy. In so doing, Pius XII changed the process of electing and confirming candidates for the bishopric worldwide. Before 1870, the Catholic Church followed the same procedure as the Orthodox Church. To wit, local deaneries where there was a vacancy or a soon to be vacancy, nominated three candidates and presented these names to the Bishops in the surrounding diocese. If three bishops in those dioceses approved of one of the candidates, then the bishop-elect was consecrated by the electing bishops. Finally, after the deed was done, Rome was notified of the consecration, and his name was entered on the roster.

After 1870 and the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the now Supreme Pontiff required that the local synods of bishops submit three names to the Vatican for those candidates to be approved. This took away local input, and thus created a monarchy. This procedure was explained to me when the Melkite Eparchy at Newton was vacant in 1993. Even though the Melkites had submitted three names, the Vatican refused to accept any candidate. So, the Melkites had to submit another three names to the Vatican. As a result, they had no ruling Eparch for several years. Interestingly, a mysterious bishop from the Vatican paid official visitations to several churches to meet with parishioners. What an expense!

Even more disgusting, the wording of the Holy Canons of the Holy Catholic Church were changed contrary to the Anathemas issued at Holy Ecumenical Councils and at local councils. Reading back and looking at the book The Church Teaches, which was my college textbook, I saw that these changes were very detrimental, and lead to the deplorable situation of Vatican II.

Knowing that the Holy Orthodox Church holds to the Ancient Faith and has not changed these anathemas has given me great peace of mind.

Indeed, I have found the True Faith.

God grant you many years.
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« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2010, 03:00:05 PM »

Even more disgusting, the wording of the Holy Canons of the Holy Catholic Church were changed contrary to the Anathemas issued at Holy Ecumenical Councils and at local councils. Reading back and looking at the book The Church Teaches, which was my college textbook, I saw that these changes were very detrimental, and lead to the deplorable situation of Vatican II.

Knowing that the Holy Orthodox Church holds to the Ancient Faith and has not changed these anathemas has given me great peace of mind.

Can you be more specific?

And could you provide any source documents? What you're saying is very interesting.
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« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2010, 04:31:37 PM »

Thank you, Maria! This is some history I was unaware of. Yes, I feel very blessed (and fortunate) to have found the fullness of the Faith in Orthodoxy too!
Many Blessings,
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« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2010, 07:13:46 PM »

Even more disgusting, the wording of the Holy Canons of the Holy Catholic Church were changed contrary to the Anathemas issued at Holy Ecumenical Councils and at local councils. Reading back and looking at the book The Church Teaches, which was my college textbook, I saw that these changes were very detrimental, and lead to the deplorable situation of Vatican II.

Knowing that the Holy Orthodox Church holds to the Ancient Faith and has not changed these anathemas has given me great peace of mind.

Can you be more specific?

And could you provide any source documents? What you're saying is very interesting.

This research was done about 14 years ago.

If you can read Latin and Greek, then research the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils especially their canons and anathemas (in Greek), then read the RCC Code of Canon Law of 1917 (in Latin) if you can find a copy. Compare the RCC Code of Canon Law of 1983 with those of 1917 and with the most current revisions of that Code, and the changes will astound you. What I found led me to question what the Catholic Church teaches and all the changes she has made.

My Orthodox Priest was so very patient with me because I began to question all ecclesiastical authority. When I realized that the Orthodox Church has held onto the One Holy Faith as given to us by Christ, then I rejoiced and I have not looked back even once.

You can also read The Church Teaches published by TAN books and written by the Jesuits of St. Mary's. Then compare those documents with those found in the Rudder.

Compare the election of St. Ambrose of Milan with the current election process of Roman Catholic Bishops today. Incidentally, St. Ambrose was a catechumen when he was elected as Bishop of the diocese of Milan. Within one week of that election, St. Ambrose was baptized,  chrismated, communed, tonsured as a reader and subdeacon, and then ordained to the Priesthood and Bishopric.

Next ask an Eastern Orthodox Priest how bishops are elected in the Orthodox Church. The differences should be very revealing.
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« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2010, 07:29:38 PM »

Thank you, Maria! This is some history I was unaware of. Yes, I feel very blessed (and fortunate) to have found the fullness of the Faith in Orthodoxy too!
Many Blessings,

My prayers. Please remember me and my family in your prayers.
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« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2011, 04:58:55 PM »

I was actually a Byzantine Catholic so the shift to Orthodoxy was not dramatic at all. I still love the Catholic Church, but realized after my years in Byzantine Catholicism that my canonical home was in the Holy Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2011, 08:45:12 PM »

I was actually a Byzantine Catholic so the shift to Orthodoxy was not dramatic at all. I still love the Catholic Church, but realized after my years in Byzantine Catholicism that my canonical home was in the Holy Orthodox Church.

I agree. That was my experience. My ancestors were Maronite Catholics.
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« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2011, 01:40:10 PM »

Ignore me if you like if this is well off key, but I heard today that fifty Anglican nuns and ecclesiastics are becoming Roman Catholics under the Vatican's new arrangements. Having myself  left the Roman church and joined the Orthodox it occurs to me to question why these Anglicans  want to join with Rome. I have not heard of then making enquiries of the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the Britiish isles to see whether or not their ministries could eventually continue, or whatever it is they would want.(the Anglican bishops are being ordained as priests soon).

Does anyone know anything about this? I asked an ex-Anglican minister now Orthodox lay man what he thought. He put it to a group thinking of going to Rome and as far as he knew they had never considered the option of Orthodoxy.

I'm baffled.
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« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2011, 05:48:28 PM »

hi, aidan!
i guess u r the same aidan from the other forum  Wink

i just think that the knowledge of orthodoxy is so, so poor in the english-speaking countries.
i am working on it, but we need help!

i actually got half way through the catholic rite of Christian initiation of adults (i had been protestant), but found that i was telling them more about orthodoxy than i was learning about catholicism. i was grateful to have the freedom to discuss these things, the people i met there were really kind. i know some anglicans who do know about orthodoxy though, and they are well along the road, as far as i can see. it is not easy though, they need our prayers.
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« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2011, 08:31:00 PM »

Ignore me if you like if this is well off key, but I heard today that fifty Anglican nuns and ecclesiastics are becoming Roman Catholics under the Vatican's new arrangements. Having myself  left the Roman church and joined the Orthodox it occurs to me to question why these Anglicans  want to join with Rome. I have not heard of then making enquiries of the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the Britiish isles to see whether or not their ministries could eventually continue, or whatever it is they would want.(the Anglican bishops are being ordained as priests soon).

Does anyone know anything about this? I asked an ex-Anglican minister now Orthodox lay man what he thought. He put it to a group thinking of going to Rome and as far as he knew they had never considered the option of Orthodoxy.

I'm baffled.
Well, since the Anglicans have their patrimony from Rome and were once Roman Catholics, it would make sense for them to want to go back to their patrimony, rather than go to a Church that is very unfamiliar to them. Sort of like choosing between going to see your parents or some really cool distant relatives you don't know much about; Mommy and Daddy is the easy choice.
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« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2011, 07:59:10 PM »

I was raised an Anabaptist but converted to the RCC. I discovered RC and Orthodoxy at about the same time. I chose to be baptized into the RC for liturgical preferences, the Divine Liturgy is beautiful and fulfilling but I love the Mass.
It wasn't until the Bishop moved my priest and I was forced to attend the Novus Ordo that I really considered Orthodoxy. Even then it took years of inconsistency, some time with the SSPX and a lot of talks with my Orthodox priest to make me accept that the Latin Church had completely fallen off it's rocker. Fortunately for me the priest is very patient and he helped me through it all.
I spent some time as a catechumen and was Chrismated as Ambrose on the Nativity. Could not be more pleased. I still love the Mass but have come to love the Divine Liturgy just as much. Orthodoxy is my home.
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« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2011, 08:09:33 PM »

i dont know why this has happened to me i just feel the call to orthodoxy i dont like the overexplanations of things by the rcc, i like a simpler way and i have found jesus in orthodoxy where i overlooked him in the latin rite.
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« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2011, 09:42:27 PM »

i dont know why this has happened to me i just feel the call to orthodoxy i dont like the overexplanations of things by the rcc, i like a simpler way and i have found jesus in orthodoxy where i overlooked him in the latin rite.
Btw, where are you in Northern California?
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« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2011, 10:01:44 PM »

crescent city about 20 miles south of oregon on highway 101
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« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2011, 10:12:54 PM »

crescent city about 20 miles south of oregon on highway 101
I know that city for some reason, but I can't remember why.

Do you ever make it down state in your business, that you can get in touch with an Orthodox Church?  I see that all the Churches near you are in the mountains.
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« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2011, 10:50:44 PM »

I was raised an Anabaptist but converted to the RCC. I discovered RC and Orthodoxy at about the same time. I chose to be baptized into the RC for liturgical preferences, the Divine Liturgy is beautiful and fulfilling but I love the Mass.
It wasn't until the Bishop moved my priest and I was forced to attend the Novus Ordo that I really considered Orthodoxy. Even then it took years of inconsistency, some time with the SSPX and a lot of talks with my Orthodox priest to make me accept that the Latin Church had completely fallen off it's rocker. Fortunately for me the priest is very patient and he helped me through it all.
I spent some time as a catechumen and was Chrismated as Ambrose on the Nativity. Could not be more pleased. I still love the Mass but have come to love the Divine Liturgy just as much. Orthodoxy is my home.

Glory to God! Our stories are somewhat similar. I was raised Methodist, then became RC my junior year of high school. Started attending a Maronite parish nearby because the RC parish was just like my Protestant church (except the Methodist church was actually more traditional than the RC one Shocked ) during my senior year of high school into my freshman year of college. Freshman year of college, I began to explore Orthodoxy more in earnest. Like you, I knew a little about Orthodoxy, but wanted to be RC (my family ancestry is Italian). When I went to a RC school in Florida, I quickly saw Modern RC-ism as it was and did not like the path it was taking.

I came home from college on break and decided to visit a local mission for liturgy and vespers. During break, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic friend of mine invited me to go with him to visit Holy Cross Hermitage in Wayne, WV as he was in the same position I was. We both went during Old Calendar Nativity and I was convinced from that point on that Orthodoxy was the truth. It was not really anything intellectual or rational (although those were factors), but I just knew. About a year later I was baptized (10 days ago was the one year anniversary of my baptism Smiley ). My friend has not yet made the jump, but God willing, he will one day.

BTW, St. Ambrose is one of my favorite Saints!

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2011, 11:24:57 PM »

The two closest are russian orthodox ive. Recieved no response from them at this point but I shall give it another day or two
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« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2011, 04:20:53 AM »

i dont know why this has happened to me i just feel the call to orthodoxy i dont like the overexplanations of things by the rcc, i like a simpler way and i have found jesus in orthodoxy where i overlooked him in the latin rite.

Could you expound a bit on what you mean by 'overlook him'? Where was your primary focus instead?
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« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2011, 10:03:59 AM »

pennance i suppose but it took me to a level that neglected the value of the cross and the validity of gods action over mine in the" sacrament of the present" ( if you will) over marianistic scrambling to keep a foot out of purgatory. as opposed to the jesus prayer and the idea of self witness inner martyrdom fools in christ the willingness to to admit to not understanding one thing or a another i feel like im digressing............... im not trying to sound like i know what im talking abiout because i dont. im a sinner thats all im sure of and most western thought makes me pull my hair out with the exception of pre rcc indigeonus catholicism. ps i like the desert fathers toooo.
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« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2011, 01:44:30 AM »

Hello.  This is my first post on this forum.  Suffice it to say that I am a Catholic moving towards Orthodoxy...I am not there yet but I have studied the Orthodox faith quite a bit.  For me one of the over riding factors for my eventual conversion to Orthodoxy centers around the filioque clause in the Nicene Creed.  I can no long endure the Catholic church's impositions on the Faith once delivered to the Saints.  There are many more reasons for my desire to becoming Orthodox...but this is sufficient for now!  Looking forward to some fruitful dialogue with all of you. Pray for me!  Grace and Peace! 
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« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2011, 02:34:28 AM »

Welcome, Adelphos! Thanks for your input. Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: January 19, 2011, 10:22:33 AM »

Welcome Adelphos  to the Convert Issues Forum!

I hope that you will find the Convert Issues forum to be place where you as an inquirer may ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum.  WE try to provide an understanding of the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. WE try to keep our answers direct and simple with sources if possible.

For those who are converts, this forum is a safe place to discuss issues that arise after one converts in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. WE try to avoid jurisdiction debates and you may find a the topic that will be split and sent the appropriate OC.Net forum to continue the discussion or debate if it strays from the guidelines of our Forum Purpose.

Again I want to welcome you warmly to the Convert Issues Forum and hope you will enjoy your time as a member here.

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« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2011, 07:53:09 PM »

Hello.  This is my first post on this forum.  Suffice it to say that I am a Catholic moving towards Orthodoxy...I am not there yet but I have studied the Orthodox faith quite a bit.  For me one of the over riding factors for my eventual conversion to Orthodoxy centers around the filioque clause in the Nicene Creed.  I can no long endure the Catholic church's impositions on the Faith once delivered to the Saints.  There are many more reasons for my desire to becoming Orthodox...but this is sufficient for now!  Looking forward to some fruitful dialogue with all of you. Pray for me!  Grace and Peace! 


the filiouque? really? cmon seriously whats your favorite thing about orthodoxy give us some love man.

favorite desert father maybe?
how bout orthodox liturgies?
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« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2011, 08:03:06 PM »

Hello.  This is my first post on this forum.  Suffice it to say that I am a Catholic moving towards Orthodoxy...I am not there yet but I have studied the Orthodox faith quite a bit.  For me one of the over riding factors for my eventual conversion to Orthodoxy centers around the filioque clause in the Nicene Creed.  I can no long endure the Catholic church's impositions on the Faith once delivered to the Saints.  There are many more reasons for my desire to becoming Orthodox...but this is sufficient for now!  Looking forward to some fruitful dialogue with all of you. Pray for me!  Grace and Peace! 


the filiouque? really? cmon seriously whats your favorite thing about orthodoxy give us some love man.

favorite desert father maybe?
how bout orthodox liturgies?


The filioque is a perfect example of where the east has retained the original tradition, and where the west has deviated from it. Yes, there are other examples to illustrate this trend, but this one is particularly clear.
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« Reply #46 on: January 19, 2011, 08:37:48 PM »

the filioque is just something argue about it doesnt have much to do with salvation or theosis
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« Reply #47 on: January 19, 2011, 08:45:58 PM »

but hey welcome to orthodoxy just remember that its caught more thsn its taught
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« Reply #48 on: January 19, 2011, 08:51:09 PM »

the filioque is just something argue about it doesnt have much to do with salvation or theosis

I'm not sure most Orthodox would agree that the Filioque is "just something to argue about."

Additionally, I don't think it's our place to try to determine what is or isn't a sufficient or compelling reason for Adelphos' interest in Orthodoxy.
I think the Desert Fathers and Liturgy are great, but maybe that speaks more to your interest in exploring the faith.

Welcome, Adelphos (and welcome to you too, Fisherman)
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« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2011, 09:26:22 PM »

dole sa filioque!!!!!!!!! LORD JESUS CHRIST HAVE MERCY.
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« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2011, 10:09:22 PM »

Re-read my post: I said the filioque clause was one of the over-riding factors...it does not exhaust my reasons for my move towards Orthodoxy.  But one cannot deny that it has caused a division between East and West, therefore it must be important.
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« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2011, 01:09:27 PM »

Hello All my brother and sisters,

This is my Story in the best way I could write it and I hope all enjoy and none are offended by my story.  The question is RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here! This is my story!!! Everyone has a different story of how they entered to the faith.  This is how I converted to the Russian Orthodox faith…

I was a Roman Catholic, but converted ten years ago. I try my best to tell you how I converted to the faith. I look at myself as a Traditionalists Catholic and I was nostalgic for the Old Latin Mass; but that is not what made me convert. I first got Idea one day to call the local Orthodox Church one day and I don't know why did it I just pop in my head. Well I left a message on the Church phone for the priest to call me back. I told him I wanted to attend the Church for to see if I wanted to convert to the faith at that time. Well I attend a year there but, still I wasn't sure if it was for me. I started to feel nostalgic for the Latin Tridentine Mass and spoke to the Orthodox Priest about if one was around in the local area where I lived.  He told where to find what I was looking for and I stayed three years there.
 
One day after I attending one of the Mass I decided to walk over the larger RC Church that uses the Novus Ordo Mass, I wanted to look at it and One of the Priest there I knew, well a RC Nun walk up tp us and started to talk to the priest and in the middle of the talk the priest introduce me to the Nun as one of the Latin Mass group. Well when she found out, her reply was " OH ONE OF THEM"  after leaving the Church at that time I was very steamed. I felt that I didn't want to go back any more to the RC Church anymore and stop attending anything.

One day it popped again in my head to call the Orthodox Priest that I knew and asked if I could come back to Church. Well when I spoke to him and asked him I told I wanted to convert to the Orthodox faith. I was still was steamed about what happen to me but, I put it behind me.  So I started to attend the Divine Liturgy once again and going though religionist instruction in the faith I converted on Jan. 7, 2001. My life started to grow as a Christian and the feeling of anger I felt started to leave me.  What I was told by the Deacon’s wife was that she prayed for me to return to the faith everyday for all the time I was gone. She told me when I spoke to her a few years back and she reminds me every so often still.

Here I also wanted to say that when I was a small kid my mother used to teach me religion and she told me to cross my finger in this manor she told me to put the first three fingers together and close the last two down. She told me that this is the true way of doing it and if anyone told me different she said don’t listen to them. My roots are Southern Italian my grandparents families comes south of Naples and Sicily. After converting to Orthodoxy I started to look into history and found out that Southern Italy was at one time Eastern Orthodox a very long time ago. Strange still when I was a small kid I always had a question for GOD I asked HIM where did all of this my mother was teaching come from. I told GOD I wanted to better understand where it came from and that I wanted to be a part of it in my life. I began to feel at one time in history my family’s was once part of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  I find that my prayer as a young kid has been answered by GOD in I am now an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

I feel GOD will me to come to the True Church where I truly belonged too. I happier even with my all of my health concerns that I still have ; but I still joy in being who I am as an Orthodox Christian.

GOD bless I have to go for now.
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« Reply #52 on: January 20, 2011, 08:03:45 PM »

Re-read my post: I said the filioque clause was one of the over-riding factors...it does not exhaust my reasons for my move towards Orthodoxy.  But one cannot deny that it has caused a division between East and West, therefore it must be important.

I get it.....no disrespect intended....please excuse
my dry humor welcome to orthodoxy
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redwood81
« Reply #53 on: January 20, 2011, 08:07:13 PM »

the filioque is just something argue about it doesnt have much to do with salvation or theosis

I'm not sure most Orthodox would agree that the Filioque is "just something to argue about."

Additionally, I don't think it's our place to try to determine what is or isn't a sufficient or compelling reason for Adelphos' interest in Orthodoxy.
I think the Desert Fathers and Liturgy are great, but maybe that speaks more to your[/
i] interest in exploring the faith.



Welcome, Adelphos (and welcome to you too, Fisherman)

most orthodox might not agreee but those are probably theones who like to argue
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« Reply #54 on: January 20, 2011, 08:51:42 PM »

most orthodox might not agreee but those are probably theones who like to argue

I strongly disagree and would like to continue arguing.   police
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« Reply #55 on: January 20, 2011, 11:36:31 PM »

agreed.
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« Reply #56 on: January 21, 2011, 05:27:30 AM »


I know I'm 10 Yrs.to late, in welcomng you but, Welcome to Holy Orthodoxy.... God is Good ....
Слава Господу Богу у Све..Амин Амин..... Glory to God in all thing's Амen Amen..   God is Good Indeed.......


Hello All my brother and sisters,

This is my Story in the best way I could write it and I hope all enjoy and none are offended by my story.  The question is RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here! This is my story!!! Everyone has a different story of how they entered to the faith.  This is how I converted to the Russian Orthodox faith…

I was a Roman Catholic, but converted ten years ago. I try my best to tell you how I converted to the faith. I look at myself as a Traditionalists Catholic and I was nostalgic for the Old Latin Mass; but that is not what made me convert. I first got Idea one day to call the local Orthodox Church one day and I don't know why did it I just pop in my head. Well I left a message on the Church phone for the priest to call me back. I told him I wanted to attend the Church for to see if I wanted to convert to the faith at that time. Well I attend a year there but, still I wasn't sure if it was for me. I started to feel nostalgic for the Latin Tridentine Mass and spoke to the Orthodox Priest about if one was around in the local area where I lived.  He told where to find what I was looking for and I stayed three years there.
 
One day after I attending one of the Mass I decided to walk over the larger RC Church that uses the Novus Ordo Mass, I wanted to look at it and One of the Priest there I knew, well a RC Nun walk up tp us and started to talk to the priest and in the middle of the talk the priest introduce me to the Nun as one of the Latin Mass group. Well when she found out, her reply was " OH ONE OF THEM"  after leaving the Church at that time I was very steamed. I felt that I didn't want to go back any more to the RC Church anymore and stop attending anything.

One day it popped again in my head to call the Orthodox Priest that I knew and asked if I could come back to Church. Well when I spoke to him and asked him I told I wanted to convert to the Orthodox faith. I was still was steamed about what happen to me but, I put it behind me.  So I started to attend the Divine Liturgy once again and going though religionist instruction in the faith I converted on Jan. 7, 2001. My life started to grow as a Christian and the feeling of anger I felt started to leave me.  What I was told by the Deacon’s wife was that she prayed for me to return to the faith everyday for all the time I was gone. She told me when I spoke to her a few years back and she reminds me every so often still.

Here I also wanted to say that when I was a small kid my mother used to teach me religion and she told me to cross my finger in this manor she told me to put the first three fingers together and close the last two down. She told me that this is the true way of doing it and if anyone told me different she said don’t listen to them. My roots are Southern Italian my grandparents families comes south of Naples and Sicily. After converting to Orthodoxy I started to look into history and found out that Southern Italy was at one time Eastern Orthodox a very long time ago. Strange still when I was a small kid I always had a question for GOD I asked HIM where did all of this my mother was teaching come from. I told GOD I wanted to better understand where it came from and that I wanted to be a part of it in my life. I began to feel at one time in history my family’s was once part of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  I find that my prayer as a young kid has been answered by GOD in I am now an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

I feel GOD will me to come to the True Church where I truly belonged too. I happier even with my all of my health concerns that I still have ; but I still joy in being who I am as an Orthodox Christian.

GOD bless I have to go for now.

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« Reply #57 on: January 21, 2011, 06:24:07 AM »

Hello to my Serbian friend stashko,

(I know I'm 10 Yrs.to late, in welcoming you but, Welcome to Holy Orthodoxy.... God is Good ....
Слава Господу Богу у Све..Амин Амин..... Glory to God in all thing's Амen Amen..   God is Good Indeed.......)

Thank you for your greeting message and it is never too late welcome. I just went to a gathering of Serbian friends of mine, it was to Celebrate one of the saints they venerate. Had a great time.... Lots of food and drinks..

I look forward with talk more with you and our fellow Orthodox in this chatroom.

I wish many many years stashko.

GOD bless you..

Frank J
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« Reply #58 on: January 21, 2011, 08:22:08 AM »


One day after I attending one of the Mass I decided to walk over the larger RC Church that uses the Novus Ordo Mass, I wanted to look at it and One of the Priest there I knew, well a RC Nun walk up to us and started to talk to the priest and in the middle of the talk the priest introduce me to the Nun as one of the Latin Mass group. Well when she found out, her reply was " OH ONE OF THEM"  after leaving the Church at that time I was very steamed.

As a trad RC it is amazing how much you hear that.
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« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2011, 11:01:22 AM »

As Moderator, I would like you all to remember that this Subject is Roman Catholic to Orthodox Converts Stories. This is not the area to debate or argue any point. You may open a specific topic in the Convert Issues area if iy is indeed an issue facing a convert but more likely the better place to discuss these matters (i.e.the filioque) is in the Faith Issues Forum or the Orthodox -Roman Catholic Discussion forum.

From the Purpose of the  Convert Issues Forum:
"...Convert Issues forum to be place where you as an inquirer may ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum.  WE try to provide an understanding of the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. WE try to keep our answers direct and simple with sources if possible.

For those who are converts, this forum is a safe place to discuss issues that arise after one converts in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. WE try to avoid jurisdiction debates and you may find a the topic that will be split and sent the appropriate OC.Net forum to continue the discussion or debate if it strays from the guidelines of our Forum Purpose."

Many Thanks in advance for following these guidelines.

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« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 01:16:45 PM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #60 on: March 20, 2011, 09:59:43 PM »

One day after I attending one of the Mass I decided to walk over the larger RC Church that uses the Novus Ordo Mass, I wanted to look at it and One of the Priest there I knew, well a RC Nun walk up tp us and started to talk to the priest and in the middle of the talk the priest introduce me to the Nun as one of the Latin Mass group. Well when she found out, her reply was " OH ONE OF THEM"  after leaving the Church at that time I was very steamed. I felt that I didn't want to go back any more to the RC Church anymore and stop attending anything.

One day it popped again in my head to call the Orthodox Priest that I knew and asked if I could come back to Church. Well when I spoke to him and asked him I told I wanted to convert to the Orthodox faith. I was still was steamed about what happen to me but, I put it behind me.  So I started to attend the Divine Liturgy once again and going though religionist instruction in the faith I converted on Jan. 7, 2001. My life started to grow as a Christian and the feeling of anger I felt started to leave me.  What I was told by the Deacon’s wife was that she prayed for me to return to the faith everyday for all the time I was gone. She told me when I spoke to her a few years back and she reminds me every so often still.

Here I also wanted to say that when I was a small kid my mother used to teach me religion and she told me to cross my finger in this manor she told me to put the first three fingers together and close the last two down. She told me that this is the true way of doing it and if anyone told me different she said don’t listen to them. My roots are Southern Italian my grandparents families comes south of Naples and Sicily. After converting to Orthodoxy I started to look into history and found out that Southern Italy was at one time Eastern Orthodox a very long time ago. Strange still when I was a small kid I always had a question for GOD I asked HIM where did all of this my mother was teaching come from. I told GOD I wanted to better understand where it came from and that I wanted to be a part of it in my life. I began to feel at one time in history my family’s was once part of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  I find that my prayer as a young kid has been answered by GOD in I am now an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

I feel GOD will me to come to the True Church where I truly belonged too. I happier even with my all of my health concerns that I still have ; but I still joy in being who I am as an Orthodox Christian.

GOD bless I have to go for now.


I can relate to a degree with your experience with the nun.  I myself became attracted to more traditional worship shortly after becoming more interested in the Catholic faith in which I was raised.  I remember, before the motu propio came out, it was taboo in many Catholic circles to talk favorably of the TLM and pre-Vatican II Catholicism.  I admittedly still struggle with frustration over my whole experience in Catholicism (living at home now might have to do with it), but I am glad to be Orthodox.    
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« Reply #61 on: March 20, 2011, 10:33:27 PM »

My story of becoming Orthodox from Roman Catholicism:
I grew up nominal Catholic but did not begin becoming interested in my faith until late high school, early college.  I cannot remember the exact time, but I know I had an interest in ancient history, and so I eventually read 1 Samuel through 2 Chronicles, and then read other books of the Old Testament.  I found it very interesting, and my first year of college I read each Gospel for the first time.  80 percent of the stories were familiar to me, but it was fascinating to read them in context.  I joined Newman Club in college and became active in helping the priest (lector, cleaning up after Mass).  I was grateful for the campus ministry, but some of my best moments were spent praying alone at night in a nearby park.  I learned about Orthodoxy from an Orthodox poster on a now defunct (evangelical) Christian forum.  I did research and read parts of Bishop Kallistos' Orthodox Church. 

At the time, I was developing a tendency toward more traditional worship.  I was able to attend a Tridentine Latin Mass once.  I was not impressed at the time (it was Low Mass and I couldn't hear anything the priest was saying).  When I went off to grad school, I began attending a Ruthenian Catholic parish and absolutely loved everything about it, the icons, the music, the Slavic culture.  I developed in my studies of Eastern theology, especially through discussions with Eastern Catholics (who were just as well Orthodox in their declared beliefs).  I considered attending an Orthodox church, but still had a deeply ingrained belief that that the Orthodox, like the Protestants, were cut off from the Church because they are not under the Pope.  This took me a long time to overcome.  Near the end of grad school, I attended a few services at a nearby OCA church, but was not yet convinced of becoming Orthodox.  I knew though that I was more "Eastern" in my beliefs, and I strongly considered becoming Eastern Catholic.  Ultimately though, after moving to a new state, I decided that it would not be fair to the Eastern Catholics to become Eastern Catholic only to convert to Orthodoxy a few years later, so I went directly from Roman Catholic to Orthodox.             
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« Reply #62 on: March 22, 2011, 04:51:29 PM »

thanks for your story.
i have a friend who was also brought up nominally catholic (didn't learn much about a relationship with God, just grew up feeling she was a bad person) and stopped going to church after a while. she then converted to another religion to get married, and lived for a long time far from any church. as time went by she started questioning her beliefs and started earnestly seeking the truth.
one night, she had a dream where she met an orthodox bishop (this is a true story!) and then, soon after, attended an orthodox church out of curiosity, and the bishop from her dream was there! she had never seen him or a photo of him before.
of course she sent up to talk to him, and then started attending church whenever she could (she did not have the support of her family). she is now orthodox, and the bishop from her dream is still working hard bringing God's love to people (i have met him).
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« Reply #63 on: April 14, 2011, 11:30:49 AM »

My wife and I went from being Roman Catholic to Byzantine Catholic to Orthodox.  In hind sight, I find almost a natural progression to my conversion.   I think that my faith is deeper and more meaningful since converting.  So much of the Eastern Church theology resonates more with me than that of the Roman Catholic Church.  I definitely love the Liturgy in the OC more than Mass in the RCC.  I do not miss the RCC at all and, I know, neither does my wife.
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« Reply #64 on: April 17, 2011, 12:13:23 AM »

My "conversion" is not complete (have asked to become a catechumen and was advised by a Russian Orthodox priest to continue studying and attending awhile longer before committing), but is based on one simple thing: belonging to the One True Church. I started out (many years ago) as a Protestant and through study became convinced that Protestantism had no deep roots and there was no possibility of it being the original New Testament Church. I then studied Catholicism and after a few years converted, only to find that what passes for the Catholic Church today is no different than the Protestant one that I left. I later learned that the Catholic Church (or what poses as the CC) teaches doctrines that are completely opposite what they taught as recently as a half century ago (since the second Vatican council). They have also changed the Mass, changed the sacraments for ordaining priests and consecrating bishops, etc., etc. After a few more years of study I became a "traditional Roman Catholic," rejecting all of the changes, and figured I was finally home. But eventually I was confronted with the idea that what had happened in Vatican II was just the latest in a long line of changes and innovations, not something without precedent. Were these changes really so different from adding the filioque? And even in disciplinary matters (such as fasting), why was the communion "fast" now 3 hours long (only 1 hour! for the novus ordo) and why was Easter vigil at noon on Saturday instead of during the night? And so forth ....

So I'm now studying Orthodoxy, which for the most part is making a lot of sense and seems to have the deepest roots of all. Of course I'm finding that the "modernism" that has infested the Catholic Church has unfortuntely made a lot of headway among the the modern Orthodox, so finding a church that is truly Orthodox (rather than new calendar, pews, joining in ecumenical dialog and with Benedict XVI, protestants, etc.) is not easy.

Two biggest obstacles now are language (not many English speakers at this church)  and being able to stand for hours on end (I'm serious - any advice appreciated).

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« Reply #65 on: April 17, 2011, 12:20:42 AM »

I recommend finding a Church that has "true" and/or "genuine" in the title. For example, if a Church is called "The true genuine hellenic greek orthodox old calendarist church of North America," that's a good start. This will cut down significantly on the time you'll spend traveling through Orthodoxy and coming out on the other side.
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« Reply #66 on: April 17, 2011, 12:24:57 AM »

I recommend finding a Church that has "true" and/or "genuine" in the title. For example, if a Church is called "The true genuine hellenic greek orthodox old calendarist church of North America," that's a good start. This will cut down significantly on the time you'll spend traveling through Orthodoxy and coming out on the other side.
They would be outraged that you wrote out their name in the heathen language that is English though.  Koine Greek or bust.
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« Reply #67 on: April 17, 2011, 12:54:12 AM »

"As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future."

Well, that explains a lot.

I'll be sure to find a church (with all the right words in the title to be sure) that has "adapted" itself to Evolution. I know what the holy fathers teach concerning Genesis, but we moderns are so much more enlightened than they, don't you know.
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« Reply #68 on: April 17, 2011, 01:51:43 AM »

I was raised in a large family (I'm a proud big brother to three younger sisters) of Roman Catholics. For most of my life I never really questioned anything about the faith, which I suppose is natural, one doesn't usually question such things as a youngster, they just take what their parents tell them and go from that. When I turned fifteen I began to look deeper into traditional Catholicism, especially the pre-Vatican II Latin mass. I was extremely firm in my beliefs at this point, and my only knowledge of Eastern Orthodoxy was from things that I had read about old Russia and Byzantium in history books (I'm a major history buff). That same year I met a close friend of mine who was a convert to Greek Orthodoxy himself and actually recommended this forum to me in the first place. My anti-modernist belief in traditional ways mixed rather nicely with his Orthodoxy, but I'd definitely be lying if I said we didn't get involved in a lot of religious arguments, mostly over papal supremacy and the filioque.

Over the course of the last summer I found myself drawn more and more towards Orthodoxy, mostly out of despair for the lack of traditional Catholic parishes in my area. I had figured that there was no other place left for people who who wanted to go back to the old ways, and that Orthodoxy might be a sort of last haven for traditionalism. However, my first journey towards Orthodoxy was cut short when I presented my views on the matter to another traditionalist Catholic friend of mine. This "friend" basically fed me lies (or at least half-truths) about Orthodoxy to keep me in the Catholic church. I, in my teenage wisdom, took his word for it and decided instead to settle on Byzantine Catholicism. This wasn't to last either. I found myself back firmly in the Latin Rite Catholic Church by the time school started up again. Needless to say, my Greek Orthodox friend was not pleased about my relatively baseless change of heart.

This course continued for a while, but after some time (I believe it was around Christmas, maybe Thanksgiving) I found myself steadily gravitating towards Eastern tradition, particularly Byzantine Music and icons. I remember discussing this with my Greek Orthodox friend, basically saying that I "felt something deeper in it" than Latin things. I passed this off as nothing, thinking that perhaps Western music, masses, etc had simply grown too familiar to me and that the Eastern stuff was just something newer to my senses. Soon though, I found myself constantly embattled over indecision between the two churches, with every fault of the Catholic church becoming suddenly very apparent, along with all of the good things about Orthodoxy. Sometime in mid-January I was sitting at Sunday morning mass during the gospel reading, which just so happened to be 1 Corinthians 10-13 and 17...

Quote
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

The "I follow Cephas" line especially stuck with me, considering that papal supremacy is, essentially, based on the quote: "You are Peter, Cephas, and on this rock I will build my church." It is important, for those who do not know, to note that Cephas means rock. At any rate, the minute I got home from church I spoke to my friend and told him everything that had happened. "If this means what I think it means, you won a big victory today," I remember saying to him. Days went by and I found myself in a total fervor, praying for guidance and using nearly every free moment I had to research church history and the reasons for the division between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

Later that week (probably Thursday or Friday) I got up one morning feeling very odd, like I was supposed to remember something that had happened. I shrugged it off and went on with the rest of the school day as usual. I spent that lunch period alone for the most part (my teacher made me take a different lunch for the day because I had to take a test, one that none of my friends were in), and I continued to go over everything I had read and prayed about over the past few days. Suddenly it hit me like a lightning bolt, what I was supposed to remember. I got a quick flash of something, like remembering a dream. I saw a black expanse, think like sitting in a theater, and in front of me was a list of all of the sins of the world, a voice from an unseen source was reading each one to me out loud. Finally we got to the end of the list and I saw a bright light. Sadly, this is where the dream got a little bit fuzzy, but the very first (and very deepest) impulse I had was "Orthodoxy." Needless to say, this got me pretty excited. The minute I got home I hopped on the computer and wrote my friend an e-mail (he gets home from school later than I do, and I was too excited to wait for him) explaining everything that happened. That very minute I, in my heart anyway, became Orthodox.

Later that day I overcame a few more hurdles. I had a bit of a confrontation with the "friend" who had told me the lies about Orthodoxy originally. A religious debate quickly broke out, which I was able to win without much difficulty. I now rarely speak to this guy, though I did finally break my silence yesterday and he only made feeble attempts to sway me back to Catholicism. I also broke the news and explained the events leading up to it to my mom that night (my dad was on a business trip out of state at the time). That was a bit of a hurdle in itself, but she took things much better than I expected. Nevertheless, both parents refuse to take me to Divine Liturgy, a small bump in the road as I will be getting my driver's license soon, and they will not allow me to make my catechumenate until I turn 18. Either way, I still see myself as an Orthodox Christian, simply one that has to deal with a set of bad circumstances for the moment.

EDIT: Woah, huge post!  Shocked Sorry guys!
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« Reply #69 on: April 17, 2011, 02:34:14 AM »

"As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future."

Well, that explains a lot.

I'll be sure to find a church (with all the right words in the title to be sure) that has "adapted" itself to Evolution. I know what the holy fathers teach concerning Genesis, but we moderns are so much more enlightened than they, don't you know.

By far.
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« Reply #70 on: April 17, 2011, 03:37:03 AM »

By far.

"As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future."

Well, that explains a lot.

I'll be sure to find a church (with all the right words in the title to be sure) that has "adapted" itself to Evolution. I know what the holy fathers teach concerning Genesis, but we moderns are so much more enlightened than they, don't you know.

By far.

"As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future."

Well, that explains a lot.

I'll be sure to find a church (with all the right words in the title to be sure) that has "adapted" itself to Evolution. I know what the holy fathers teach concerning Genesis, but we moderns are so much more enlightened than they, don't you know.

By far.

"As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future."

Well, that explains a lot.

I'll be sure to find a church (with all the right words in the title to be sure) that has "adapted" itself to Evolution. I know what the holy fathers teach concerning Genesis, but we moderns are so much more enlightened than they, don't you know.

By far.


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« Reply #71 on: April 17, 2011, 05:39:58 AM »

Having just been received yesterday and today into the Church, I felt it would be a good time for me to add to this thread!

   I was raised entirely without religion, by a mother who is nominally "spiritual but not religious", somewhat admiring of her quaker heritage, and to a father born to a line of southern Episcopalian aristocrats, who is a rebellious, politically and ideologically gentleman farmer who would probably fancy his own philosophy to fall somewhere in between Che Guevara, Tolstoy, Bakunin and an African Animist. I was raised well, never wanting of anything, but always very restless. As a young adolescent, as early as 11, I began to dabble in drugs, booze and sex, and this dominated the next 7 years of my life. I finally fell out of this, and through an odd series of events: a moment at St. Peter's when I was still qute a hedonist, trying to write my own ode to Tropic of Cancer, a night when I made an sort of informal confession to a friend, and then experiencing Christianity more and more, I knew I was a Christian. I searched through Protestantism and Catholicism, eventually reading Augustine and befriending a devout Catholic, himself returning to faith from great sin, and was finally confirmed a Catholic 8-9 years ago.

     This has been a strange process, one that, in an acute sense, I did not expect to ever begin (though in many ways, I believe it began 10 years ago...). When I was received into the Roman Catholic Church, it was after a lot of thought and prayer, and it became the center of my life, in many ways. No matter what trials I went through, over the last 10 years or so since then, no matter what views I maintained, what self-image I projected, where I lived, what I did, etc., my identity as a Roman Catholic, and most importantly follower of Christ, and believer in One Apostolic Church, did not change. I was married a Catholic, had my children baptized as Catholics, was inspired by the Saints and their works, and forged some important relationships through the Church. I was never "cafeteria" about it, in theory, though at various points, like all of us, I believe I drifted in practice; spiritual laziness can be hard to escape, but I never doubted the Faith, not in any whole or external sense. Of course, we all experience inner doubt; Some corner of my mind will probably doubt God's existence even as I write this!

   Anya, my wife was raised in the USSR, and as such was not raised with much faith. (though her family is mostly Orthodox now, having all been baptized in the early post-Soviet years, like many Russians) That said, even as I became, technically, a Christian before she did, while we were early in our dating, I believe she inherently possesses a lot more Christian-ness than I do, or most people I know. Her coming to Christ was understated and gradual, but she was eventually baptized and chrismated Orthodox, something I assumed she did, not really falsely at that, at least initially, for cultural reasons. As a Roman Catholic, not well-versed in the East, I just adopted John Paul II's "two lungs" idea, and figured that the Eastern Orthodox were just like us, just a bit stubborn, perhaps, but good enough. The issue did not arise, for a while.

   Then, we had children. This changed a couple of things. For one, it bound our marriage more firmly. Secondly, it made us much more aware of the need for a family unit, almost a united family front, in the spiritual realm. Finally, the mutual insistence of each of our churches that those children be baptized one or the other opened our eyes a bit to the reality that these churches were not, to be totally accurate, the same. This came to a head when we spent our first long stretch of time in Russia together, last Spring. These things, combined with a longing for that aforementioned unity, spurred us on to agree, together, to look into one another's faiths. It was very hard to try to create the "little church" that a family rightly should be, when we could not even commune together, or attend one church on Sundays. For Anya, this search was double-edged; she admitted to not knowing much of the deeper fundamentals of her own faith, so for her, she was looking into both. We agreed to research independently, to speak each to priests and laypeople from both churches, to attend different services together, not to meddle in the other's path, and to shed our prejudices and outside influences, i.e., for Anya to forget that the OC was "Russian", at least in her jurisdiction, and for me to forget that I had such a firm conviction in Catholicism, and had such close friends in the church. This "inquiry" began late last Spring. I began lurking and then posting on this board around then, and have continued to.

   My assumption, from the outset, was that I would find no compelling reason to even consider Orthodoxy, that it was a nice thing, but that Anya, earnestly looking at the whole picture, would have to shed her cultural ties if she wanted the fullness of truth. I was puzzled by how fragmented/ethnic Orthodoxy seemed(Greek, Russian, Bulgarian, Oriental Orthodox, OCA, etc.), and by their lack of a defined hierarch similar to the Pope. Once I began looking, though, a lot of doubt began to arise.

   I don't want to go into every little point of theological debate that I encountered. This would be a waste of time. I will say that various things began to make me wonder if Orthodoxy might be the way:
1. Certain Catholic doctrines, when held up to Orthodox alternatives, troubled me: the validity of the modern (post 10th or post 19th century) definition of the papacy, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, indulgences (not the paid ones, I know that was never supposed to be allowed), various marian apparitions, and how they influenced dogma, the development of the Novus Ordo liturgy, filioque (which many will claim is insignificant, but I can't believe that. Kallistos Ware lays out why quite well), and universal celibacy of priests. These issues troubled me in a way they had not when I had looked at only Protestantism and Catholicism, years ago. Protestant ideology never held any sway with me; it was too blatantly obvious that their model looked nothing like historical, apostolic Christianity. Sola Scriptura was too plainly lacking, among other major points, as in, lack of apostolic succession. I didn't know there was a church that maintained perfect apostolic succession, unchanged in doctrine, essentially, that functioned sans Rome. Further, with regard to the various scandals of history, though I recognized that any church composed of men would always be rife with sinners, I found that the particular, extraordinary claims made by the hierarchy of the RCC seemed in a way incongruous with the realities of some of Her actions.

2. Theological style, and style of praxis. I was attracted to the mysterious nature of the Orthodox Church. This can be a very vague statement, almost cliché and it's tough to quantify, though for one, I just felt, in a profound way, how the church, during the Liturgy, became a totally different place, a place where the Kingdom of God becomes absolutely present. I also believe that the distinction of Essence and Energies really articulated what I had always believed about the nature of God and our relationship to him, and I think that most Christian expression is eventually rooted in attempts to articulate our experiences of His Energies. Many Orthodox-influenced works, including theological ones, right on down to Dostoevsky, had a great effect on me.

3. My comparative discussions with clergy and laity had an impact on me, especially one Orthodox priest back in the US. I know that His prayers, and those of many of you have played a part in my journey.

   There are other things, but I won't dig any deeper here. The most important point comes in a bit.

   The search went on through the summer/fall. My interest in Orthodoxy/Religion at all initially waned a bit when I got home; baseball season started (I coach and play for a College team that plays a Fall season), I was near my home Catholic parish again, and not in Russia anymore. I attended that church, but I felt something strange about it. I got so confused, that for a time last Fall I think I even doubted God. I became very aloof, all the different arguments and bits of history I had read invading my thoughts and jumping around in circles. I attended no church for a few weeks, did not pray, just felt off, overwhelmed by all the reading and talking I had done. I exhibited some ugly attitudes, I believe, at this time.
    
     Finally, I came back, like I always did, but resolved to stop trying so darn hard, and let prayer, and attendance at church do the talking. This was just before coming back to Russia, but I had already begun to feel the gentle tug of the Holy Spirit into the Orthodox Church. The last few weeks we were in the US, we went to Anya's church together, I a few times alone, to Vespers, etc.
   When I got back to Russia, we all started going to church together, and then I met a fellow American convert to Orthodoxy, and then a priest, and a parish. I finally had a sit-down with this priest, and expressed my interest in Orthodoxy. We chatted for a while, and he made some suggestions. I, unofficially, at this meeting, became a catechumen, for all intents and purposes. I resolved to basically keep trying Orthopraxis out, eyes wide open. Anya and I began to say a prayer rule every night, together. The children were chrismated, and I entered Lent not certain, but feeling like I was becoming Orthodox. I have fasted through Lent, which has been eye-opening in many directions, kept that prayer rule, and been more Christ-centered than ever before, looking for His will as much as possible. I have prayed more thoroughly, constantly, and meaningfully than I ever have before.
        This is that important point I mentioned before; Every time I am honest with myself, I recognize that pull into the Orthodox Church, and how right what I am doing is.
   
        This is/has not been  an easy path, at all, for many reasons: I hate thinking that I would be putting up a barrier between myself and my very close Catholic friends. Orthodoxy, the most ancient of Christian faiths, is still in its infancy in America; it is present, but people don't understand it. The community of the Church is not so ubiquitous as is that of the RC Church, or the various branches ofProtestantism. I know that those in my family/friends who are not believers, and who probably took my conversion to Catholicism not too seriously a decade ago, seeing it as a passing phase, whom I have worked so hard to gain respect for my faith from, will find newfound conviction in that assumption that I am just passing through phases. I will have a hard time explaining this move to many people, even believers, who do not understand Orthodoxy. I will be leaving a tradition that has nursed me in many ways, that brought me to Christ, really, that has worship, music, art, literature and spiritual tradition that I love, and always will love in some ways. Make no mistake, I will never see the Roman Catholic Church as just another denomination. I have disagreements, now, and I believe that Rome is in error in many ways, and I believe that the Orthodox Church is the fullest embodiment of the One, Holy , Catholic and Apostolic Church, but I cannot hate Rome, nor should I hate anyone searching for Christ.

   Yesterday, Saturday, I made a confession to my priest here in Russia. I said the Creed, with him, took the name of Nikolai, and renounced my RC beliefs. I approached heartbroken, and exited the cathedral to the brightest sun I've seen in a long time. Today, on Palm Sunday, I took Communion with my family, and was received into the Orthodox Church fully. My feeling of calm and well-being is incomparable, and our little family, I, my wife, my son and daughter, and the next little one whom we are eagerly awaiting, are so joyous!

I ask that you pray for me, a sinner, especially in my spiritual infancy, when I am so vulnerable to the attacks of the Evil One. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

Humbly and gratefully, In Christ,

Jim/Nikolai
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 05:44:49 AM by JimCBrooklyn » Logged

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« Reply #72 on: April 17, 2011, 07:46:44 AM »

thanks for sharing your story, nikolai. truly our God is great and can do wonders. i live and work where there are no orthodox Christians (except 1 who i see sometimes at work but not every week), so i am used to the various reactions people give. it is a real encouragement for me to read your story, so it is worth sharing.
may God bless you and your family and increase your love for the lost and ignorant people who so need God's touch. may you be full of grace and mercy.

dan the man, thanks also for sharing, may God also bless you on your journey. remember God's timing is perfect, so don't rush what He is doing in your heart. have great patience with your family and focus on the things you all share (love for God, prayer etc.) let mercy triumph over judgement and use the hard times to draw you closer to God so He can work on you and those around you can see your peace that God gives you. keep praying and reading the Bible.
i also read a lot of church history before coming to my orthodox conclusion. in my mind the main thing that harms the church most is not 'modern influences' (although, of course, that can be a problem) but corruption and the desire to look 'good' in front of people. that is why churches that have suffered persecution are often full of sincere people. if you are able to, get hold of a copy of the orthodox study Bible (thomas nelson publishing) as there is enough commentary in their to keep you busy studying for a few years and it is generally good orthodox teaching.
may God guide you, and may the journey be beautiful, filled with warmth, flowers and the sound of creation praising it's Creator.
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« Reply #73 on: April 17, 2011, 08:22:33 AM »

I think if you can find a Church with valid Apostolic succession which confesses the original Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed... you'll do fine.

Concentrate on mercy and telling the truth in Christ.

I doubt very much if God ultimately cares that much about the calendar or that you had to take a seat for a few moments during a service. He cares more about how we treat all the people in this world...

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« Reply #74 on: April 17, 2011, 10:52:39 AM »

dan the man, thanks also for sharing, may God also bless you on your journey. remember God's timing is perfect, so don't rush what He is doing in your heart. have great patience with your family and focus on the things you all share (love for God, prayer etc.) let mercy triumph over judgement and use the hard times to draw you closer to God so He can work on you and those around you can see your peace that God gives you. keep praying and reading the Bible.
i also read a lot of church history before coming to my orthodox conclusion. in my mind the main thing that harms the church most is not 'modern influences' (although, of course, that can be a problem) but corruption and the desire to look 'good' in front of people. that is why churches that have suffered persecution are often full of sincere people. if you are able to, get hold of a copy of the orthodox study Bible (thomas nelson publishing) as there is enough commentary in their to keep you busy studying for a few years and it is generally good orthodox teaching.
may God guide you, and may the journey be beautiful, filled with warmth, flowers and the sound of creation praising it's Creator.
Thank you very much! Cheesy I do actually intend to purchase an Orthodox Study Bible sometime soon, but they're a bit hard to come by in the local bookstores, and probably way outside my price-range. I don't suppose anybody would know of any website or something where I could get one for less expensive?
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« Reply #75 on: April 17, 2011, 11:49:55 AM »

Quote
Concentrate on mercy and telling the truth in Christ.

I doubt very much if God ultimately cares that much about the calendar or that you had to take a seat for a few moments during a service. He cares more about how we treat all the people in this world...

Thanks. Neither calendars nor pews would seem to be big issues in and of themselves (and I'll be shocked if I ever meet someone who believes that God will condemn someone for needing to take a seat), though I've noticed that churches that conform to tradition on some of these peripheral issues tend to take doctrinal and other substantive issues more seriously as well.

Of course you can't go wrong by concentrating on mercy and telling the truth in Christ, but what does that mean? For example, the current pope of the novus ordo church actively participates in synagogue worship and forbids efforts to convert Jews to Christianity. Within my lifetime, the Good Friday liturgy has removed the prayer for Jews ("Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts; so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord.") and replaced it with "Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant." Which of these contradictory statements concentrates on mercy and tells the truth in Christ?

Perhaps “immersion” in Orthodoxy opens our hearts to the answers so that our minds don't get mired in such questions?
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« Reply #76 on: April 17, 2011, 04:03:44 PM »


Thanks. Neither calendars nor pews would seem to be big issues in and of themselves (and I'll be shocked if I ever meet someone who believes that God will condemn someone for needing to take a seat), though I've noticed that churches that conform to tradition on some of these peripheral issues tend to take doctrinal and other substantive issues more seriously as well.
 

I agree wholeheartedly and the proof is in the pudding there... but the truth is I don't think that we can really fully understand these things if we are outside of the Church. It kinda puts the cart before the horse a bit.

I think you're doing well to ponder these things and I also think you've done well in finding Orthodoxy.

Now find yourself a rightly confessing Church and get in there.

Don't abandon these questions you have... but neither make them the most important issue in your mind. The issue that should be of utmost priority to you is entering into communion with the Lord, and receiving His Holy Spirit.

This is my prescription.

Quote
Of course you can't go wrong by concentrating on mercy and telling the truth in Christ, but what does that mean? For example, the current pope of the novus ordo church actively participates in synagogue worship and forbids efforts to convert Jews to Christianity. Within my lifetime, the Good Friday liturgy has removed the prayer for Jews ("Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts; so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord.") and replaced it with "Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant." Which of these contradictory statements concentrates on mercy and tells the truth in Christ?

I understand completely and I agree.

But that's what brought you towards Orthodoxy, isn't it?

What does it matter what the Pope does to you and your Salvation?

If you take my advice in seeking a Church which has valid Apostolic succession and correctly confesses the un-altered Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed... then this should preclude any more worries about the Pope.

God judges those who are outside of the Church.

Quote
Perhaps “immersion” in Orthodoxy opens our hearts to the answers so that our minds don't get mired in such questions?

I don't think you need my affirmation to the truth you've already come to.

Christ did not reveal the Scriptures in the Scriptures. Christ wrote nothing.

But Christ did reveal the Scriptures to His Apostles... and they in turn revealed them to the Church - and the Church remains.

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« Reply #77 on: April 17, 2011, 04:15:41 PM »

hi, dan the man (and others who may want an awesome study Bible);
i would like to suggest that you order the Bible from a local bookshop (Christian if there is one) and then, as you order, mention there are orthodox Christians in the area, or that you have heard it's really good, or something to start up a conversation. then (hopefully) they will order in several more, maybe even put them in the window.
then mention to other orthodox Christians that you know that you have seen the orthodox study Bible in the local book shop (you don't have to tell them why!) and soon the book shop owners will be happy as they have more customers, orthodox Christians will have a great Bible and other Christians and people passing by the shop will see the orthodox Bible and start to think about their own relationship with God.
just my little evangelistic suggestion...
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« Reply #78 on: June 13, 2011, 12:25:16 AM »

 
My conversion story isn't finished yet, but here's the preview of it, and hopefully I'll write more at Pascha next year.

I was raised in a Christian household attending a mainline protestant church. My father was Episcopalian and my mother was baptist. Neither was strict about denominational differences, though; they just wanted a good church where they could take their children every Sunday. The Methodist church seemed like the perfect place, and this is where I first learned the foundations of Christianity. Protestantism in my family remains pretty well intact; my parents still go to the methodist church and my sister was once an evangelical missionary.

In middle school and high school, I started to have doubts about the United Methodist Church and denominationalism in general. The church took a liberal stance on issues like homosexual clergy and female pastors, and I could not bring myself to support them when I read conflicting views from the Bible itself. Passively I began to float away from Methodism into the bigger cloud of Protestant Christianity. It was at this same time that I started defining other faith issues, like rejecting "once saved, always saved" and affirming celibacy before marriage.

Going into College, I had my first run-in with the Catholic Church. I decided to go to Mass one night instead of following friends to a party, and I was sincerely impressed by the ritual and liturgy that Catholicism had which Protestantism didnt. The Church was very traditional, and I attended fairly often. After talking it over with a Catholic friend, I decided to convert. I never felt any divine sign from heaven or some great pull towards Catholicism; I simply went up to a priest and asked when RCIA was being held.

During my first year of living the Catholic faith, I deeply enjoyed being Catholic. I absolutely believe that the orders of Catholicism are valid, and all the sacraments which come with it. I have received beautiful forgiveness in confession and I partook the Eucharistic feast. I went to Mass every weekend (often multiple times) and on weekdays, joined the Knights of Columbus, became Co-President of the college's Newman Club, recited the Rosary every day, wore the Brown Scapular, etc etc. But through all of this, I still had major problems with the faith.

The first was legalism. Here was one scenario: On one Saturday I drove 50 minutes away to attend a priest's 2-hour long ordination mass, and then went to an Orthodox Church (a church which has valid sacraments according to our own Magisterium) the following Sunday for the 1.5 hour divine liturgy. Neither of these commitments fulfilled the Catholic Church's requirement for Sunday Mass, so I also had to go an extra hour on Sunday night in order to avoid a state of mortal sin. This sort of thing happened all the time - it didn't seem to matter how good my disposition towards God was so long as I fulfilled the letter of the law. As long as I did those things, I was in a state of grace, and that was all I needed to get into heaven. The Pharisees would agree.

Legalism aside, the other great thorn in my Catholic side was the complete obliteration of Church Tradition. Unlike the traditional chapel at my college, the Church in my hometown had funky new-age altars, rock music, and priests who looked like pastors with plain white robes and stoles. That was not the High Catholic Church I had signed up for. Like I commented on another thread, I believe that the reverence and solemnity of the Church are essential to the faith, and a modernism which aims to revamp millenia of tradition is incompatible to this solemnity. It quickly became clear that Catholics guide Catholic tradition, but Orthodoxy guides the Orthodox.

With these problems still looming, I tried going to a Tridentine Mass and found it nonplus. I couldn't hear the priest (though I'm a classics major with 7 years of Latin under my belt) and I didn't know what was going on half the time. So I started going to an Orthodox Church. Surprisingly, I felt completely at home in the Church in ways that years of Catholic services have never made me feel. The love and forgiveness of God became much more real, and thoughts of fulfilling the checklist of Catholic obligations immediately seemed absurd by comparison. It is an incredible sigh of relief to have found such a treasure, and that's where I stand currently in the journey towards Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism.
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« Reply #79 on: June 13, 2011, 12:26:39 PM »

Hello.

I was baptised 17 years ago, on Pascha.  I was reading Orthodox material, 6 years prior to that, but still going to the RC Church on Sundays.  I didn't know anything about the Orthodox Church.  I met some Greek Orthodox students in University and was taken a couple of times for Pascha.  We stood outside the Church, near midnight, because it was packed.  Looking back, I can see God's guidance towards Him, like a fore-shadowing.  My decision was based on the writings of the Orthodox saints.  Their spiritual instructions hit me right to the core of my soul.  And, on the facts of the Great Schism.  When I learnt that, that's when I was determined to convert.  And my determination was so powerful that not even my parents' anger would sway me.  I knew it was the absolutely right thing to do.  But, of course, the evil one will not be silent when he sees a soul turn to God.  I had some difficult moments once I was made a catechumen in the GOC (8 months before baptism).  But, nothing would stop me from getting to the baptismal font.  I can be pretty stubborn when I'm determined.  In this case, that characteristic was what I needed. And there were many situations that I had to overcome with my family afterwards.  Over time, they got used to it, but still not necessarily happy about it, even to this day.  But, we are still a family and I see them as I always would for all occassions.  The hardest part is when they have Easter before us.  And on some Saturdays or Sundays of feast days that I have to tell them that I'm going to Church first and then drop by afterwards whether for a birthday, mother's day or father's day.  Sometimes, they will protest, but I just put my foot down.

I don't miss anything about the RC services.  To me, they are so one-dimensional compared to what I experienced in the Greek Church.  RC's theology, practices, services and such are depleted of any deeply spiritual essence of worship of our Lord and Saviour.  I don't believe in the Apparitions or their so-called miracles.  I kept nothing of the things I grew up with.  I embraced everything of the Orthodox teachings, traditions, prayer life and mindset.  My identity starts and ends with my Orthodox faith.

In Christ, Joanna
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« Reply #80 on: July 04, 2011, 09:36:35 AM »

I began life as an Orthodox Jew, converted to Traditional Roman Catholicism in 1978 when I was 18, fell away for a time when the Traditional Latin Mass was no longer available at my local motel/chapel (this was the 1970s when the TLM was "forbidden" by the novus ordos and hard to find elsewhere).....I found an Eastern Catholic church when took some getting used to but I remembered the traditional Latin priest saying that if we couldn't find a TLM the Eastern Catholic Liturgy would suffice....stayed there for 4 years but then we had to move out of state and there was no Eastern Catholic church near us anymore, so I was churchless but desperately craving spiritual communion.

I finally decided that the true church must not exist, since the gates of hell had obviously prevailed against the RCC since V2, so in a desperation for some sort of spiritual communion, I returned to the Orthodox Judaism of my childhood, not knowing anywhere else to go (if I'd known of Orthodox Christianity back then it might have prevented that.)

Several years in Orthodox Judaism was like living in a spiritual desert; once you have known Christ you cannot return to a religion whose basis is manmade laws and legalisms (hard to explain, you'd have to have experienced it). In my search for a mystical relationship with God I drifted into the mystical end of Judaism (Zohar, Kabbalah), and interestingly, aspects of that caused me to think of Christ again, esp. when I discovered the fact that mystical, Orthodox Jewish teaching believes that God is of a triune nature!

I make a long story short, I found the Orthodox Church after my return to Christ....I knew something of the Orthodox Church from a friend, but my real discovery came through a study I did on the LXX vs the Masoretic text (another long story).
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« Reply #81 on: July 04, 2011, 10:03:14 AM »

One day after I attending one of the Mass I decided to walk over the larger RC Church that uses the Novus Ordo Mass, I wanted to look at it and One of the Priest there I knew, well a RC Nun walk up tp us and started to talk to the priest and in the middle of the talk the priest introduce me to the Nun as one of the Latin Mass group. Well when she found out, her reply was " OH ONE OF THEM"  after leaving the Church at that time I was very steamed. I felt that I didn't want to go back any more to the RC Church anymore and stop attending anything.

One day it popped again in my head to call the Orthodox Priest that I knew and asked if I could come back to Church. Well when I spoke to him and asked him I told I wanted to convert to the Orthodox faith. I was still was steamed about what happen to me but, I put it behind me.  So I started to attend the Divine Liturgy once again and going though religionist instruction in the faith I converted on Jan. 7, 2001. My life started to grow as a Christian and the feeling of anger I felt started to leave me.  What I was told by the Deacon’s wife was that she prayed for me to return to the faith everyday for all the time I was gone. She told me when I spoke to her a few years back and she reminds me every so often still.

Here I also wanted to say that when I was a small kid my mother used to teach me religion and she told me to cross my finger in this manor she told me to put the first three fingers together and close the last two down. She told me that this is the true way of doing it and if anyone told me different she said don’t listen to them. My roots are Southern Italian my grandparents families comes south of Naples and Sicily. After converting to Orthodoxy I started to look into history and found out that Southern Italy was at one time Eastern Orthodox a very long time ago. Strange still when I was a small kid I always had a question for GOD I asked HIM where did all of this my mother was teaching come from. I told GOD I wanted to better understand where it came from and that I wanted to be a part of it in my life. I began to feel at one time in history my family’s was once part of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  I find that my prayer as a young kid has been answered by GOD in I am now an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

I feel GOD will me to come to the True Church where I truly belonged too. I happier even with my all of my health concerns that I still have ; but I still joy in being who I am as an Orthodox Christian.

GOD bless I have to go for now.


I can relate to a degree with your experience with the nun.  I myself became attracted to more traditional worship shortly after becoming more interested in the Catholic faith in which I was raised.  I remember, before the motu propio came out, it was taboo in many Catholic circles to talk favorably of the TLM and pre-Vatican II Catholicism.  I admittedly still struggle with frustration over my whole experience in Catholicism (living at home now might have to do with it), but I am glad to be Orthodox.    

This is very true, I remember the 1970s becasue that was when I was baptized RC and got involved with the traditionalists at that time. We had to skulk around, having TLM's in hiding in Ramada Inns...I used to take buses 2 hours each way to attend. All that did was make me even more determined. But then the priest died and they moved the Mass location much further away to where there was another priest, and since I don't drive, I couldn't get there anymore.
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« Reply #82 on: July 04, 2011, 10:05:53 AM »

I recommend finding a Church that has "true" and/or "genuine" in the title. For example, if a Church is called "The true genuine hellenic greek orthodox old calendarist church of North America," that's a good start. This will cut down significantly on the time you'll spend traveling through Orthodoxy and coming out on the other side.

Haha, I hear ya! Its why I decided even before I set foot in an Orthodox Church, that I'd make a beeline straight to ROCOR (but God had other ideas, alas!)

I just found out about the Old Believers yesterday....I know they're schismatic but if you're really into self-mortification and strictness, I doubt they can be beat!  Grin
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« Reply #83 on: July 04, 2011, 10:13:15 AM »

dan the man, thanks also for sharing, may God also bless you on your journey. remember God's timing is perfect, so don't rush what He is doing in your heart. have great patience with your family and focus on the things you all share (love for God, prayer etc.) let mercy triumph over judgement and use the hard times to draw you closer to God so He can work on you and those around you can see your peace that God gives you. keep praying and reading the Bible.
i also read a lot of church history before coming to my orthodox conclusion. in my mind the main thing that harms the church most is not 'modern influences' (although, of course, that can be a problem) but corruption and the desire to look 'good' in front of people. that is why churches that have suffered persecution are often full of sincere people. if you are able to, get hold of a copy of the orthodox study Bible (thomas nelson publishing) as there is enough commentary in their to keep you busy studying for a few years and it is generally good orthodox teaching.
may God guide you, and may the journey be beautiful, filled with warmth, flowers and the sound of creation praising it's Creator.
Thank you very much! Cheesy I do actually intend to purchase an Orthodox Study Bible sometime soon, but they're a bit hard to come by in the local bookstores, and probably way outside my price-range. I don't suppose anybody would know of any website or something where I could get one for less expensive?


http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=orthodox+study+bible is where I got mine. If you buy a used one its even cheaper ("used" on Amazon doesn't mean in bad shape, btw...it usually just means someone owned it before...I've bought "used" books that were still in shrink wrap!)
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« Reply #84 on: July 04, 2011, 12:35:41 PM »

 Smiley
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« Reply #85 on: July 30, 2011, 11:25:49 AM »

One day after I attending one of the Mass I decided to walk over the larger RC Church that uses the Novus Ordo Mass, I wanted to look at it and One of the Priest there I knew, well a RC Nun walk up tp us and started to talk to the priest and in the middle of the talk the priest introduce me to the Nun as one of the Latin Mass group. Well when she found out, her reply was " OH ONE OF THEM"  after leaving the Church at that time I was very steamed. I felt that I didn't want to go back any more to the RC Church anymore and stop attending anything.

One day it popped again in my head to call the Orthodox Priest that I knew and asked if I could come back to Church. Well when I spoke to him and asked him I told I wanted to convert to the Orthodox faith. I was still was steamed about what happen to me but, I put it behind me.  So I started to attend the Divine Liturgy once again and going though religionist instruction in the faith I converted on Jan. 7, 2001. My life started to grow as a Christian and the feeling of anger I felt started to leave me.  What I was told by the Deacon’s wife was that she prayed for me to return to the faith everyday for all the time I was gone. She told me when I spoke to her a few years back and she reminds me every so often still.

Here I also wanted to say that when I was a small kid my mother used to teach me religion and she told me to cross my finger in this manor she told me to put the first three fingers together and close the last two down. She told me that this is the true way of doing it and if anyone told me different she said don’t listen to them. My roots are Southern Italian my grandparents families comes south of Naples and Sicily. After converting to Orthodoxy I started to look into history and found out that Southern Italy was at one time Eastern Orthodox a very long time ago. Strange still when I was a small kid I always had a question for GOD I asked HIM where did all of this my mother was teaching come from. I told GOD I wanted to better understand where it came from and that I wanted to be a part of it in my life. I began to feel at one time in history my family’s was once part of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  I find that my prayer as a young kid has been answered by GOD in I am now an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

I feel GOD will me to come to the True Church where I truly belonged too. I happier even with my all of my health concerns that I still have ; but I still joy in being who I am as an Orthodox Christian.

GOD bless I have to go for now.


I can relate to a degree with your experience with the nun.  I myself became attracted to more traditional worship shortly after becoming more interested in the Catholic faith in which I was raised.  I remember, before the motu propio came out, it was taboo in many Catholic circles to talk favorably of the TLM and pre-Vatican II Catholicism.  I admittedly still struggle with frustration over my whole experience in Catholicism (living at home now might have to do with it), but I am glad to be Orthodox.    

I am just now also growing out of the frustration I feel about the changes made in the RCC after V2; I don't think I will ever "get over" the hurt and feeling of betrayal I felt in the 1970s, when, as a new Tradiitonal Catholic, novus ordo friends shunned me for adhering to Tradition. I just hope and pray Orthodoxy never goes down that same path, God forbid.
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« Reply #86 on: July 30, 2011, 11:31:11 AM »

My "conversion" is not complete (have asked to become a catechumen and was advised by a Russian Orthodox priest to continue studying and attending awhile longer before committing), but is based on one simple thing: belonging to the One True Church. I started out (many years ago) as a Protestant and through study became convinced that Protestantism had no deep roots and there was no possibility of it being the original New Testament Church. I then studied Catholicism and after a few years converted, only to find that what passes for the Catholic Church today is no different than the Protestant one that I left. I later learned that the Catholic Church (or what poses as the CC) teaches doctrines that are completely opposite what they taught as recently as a half century ago (since the second Vatican council). They have also changed the Mass, changed the sacraments for ordaining priests and consecrating bishops, etc., etc. After a few more years of study I became a "traditional Roman Catholic," rejecting all of the changes, and figured I was finally home. But eventually I was confronted with the idea that what had happened in Vatican II was just the latest in a long line of changes and innovations, not something without precedent. Were these changes really so different from adding the filioque? And even in disciplinary matters (such as fasting), why was the communion "fast" now 3 hours long (only 1 hour! for the novus ordo) and why was Easter vigil at noon on Saturday instead of during the night? And so forth ....

So I'm now studying Orthodoxy, which for the most part is making a lot of sense and seems to have the deepest roots of all. Of course I'm finding that the "modernism" that has infested the Catholic Church has unfortuntely made a lot of headway among the the modern Orthodox, so finding a church that is truly Orthodox (rather than new calendar, pews, joining in ecumenical dialog and with Benedict XVI, protestants, etc.) is not easy.

Two biggest obstacles now are language (not many English speakers at this church)  and being able to stand for hours on end (I'm serious - any advice appreciated).



WOW...your experience is almost identical to mine, the one difference is that I started out as Jewish.
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« Reply #87 on: August 29, 2011, 08:22:21 PM »

Hello, this is my first post here.

I am currently a Roman Catholic, although I was raised Southern Baptist and spent some time as an atheist before converting last year. After adopting the Jesus Prayer during Lent this year, I have slowly grown more interested in the Orthodox Church. I have never been to a Divine Liturgy (there are no Orthodox parishes in my county - the closest one is a Greek Orthodox Church an hour and ten minutes away. I hope to attend some Sunday soon.)

I have recently begun to investigate the claims of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. History, Scripture, and philosophy have been my tools. What I've found in the Orthodox theology has greatly impressed - and disturbed - me. Impressed because, so far, it seems solid - no loopholes, no logical fenangling to make certain concepts work - it all seems so very organic and natural and logically consistent.

And this frightens me. It draws me in, attracts me, and frightens me all at the same time.

I had considered entering a traditionalist seminary after college. I started on my major (Latin) for religious purposes. I had worked for a year to get my mother and brother to go to Mass, and now that they are going regularly I begin to doubt. I was, until just recently, a weekly penitent, considered by my spiritual director to be scrupulous because I like doing works of penance.

I have looked into the theology of both and the historical claims of both. Almost every time, where the two diverge, I find the Orthodox position more reasonable and more supported by the historical record. One point remains, and if that one point remains with Rome, than all of Rome's divergences from the Orthodox east are at least sufficiently justified. If it falls, then I will be certain. That point is, of course, the universal jurisdiction and infallibility of the Bishop of Rome.

While at this point, I do not agree on dogmatic points like the nature of Original Sin or the Immaculate Conception (favoring the Orthodox approach), I will not disobey so long as I remain under Rome's jurisdiction. I will not confess nor receive communion until the Roman conception of the nature of the Papacy is either dashed or proven. If it is the first, I will leave the Roman Church. If it is proven, I will confess and do penance. I jumped into Roman Catholicism with two feet first when I came back to Christianity. I do not intend to do the same now.

My one desire is to know Christ more fully - and to do that, I need to be in the bosom of His Church.

Thank you.
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« Reply #88 on: August 30, 2011, 04:39:51 PM »

may God guide you.
keep reading, keep asking questions, and keep seeking God with all your heart, and the way will become clear.
i became orthodox 3 years ago after thoroughly researching the protestant and catholic theology and history and after being captivated by the humility of the saints of the coptic church.
i found the orthodox pragmatic approach to suffering (it will happen, God will help you deal with it) much more realistic and useful than the protestant approach (pray a lot and maybe it will go away) i had been used to. i learnt how to love my enemies and even pray for them!
may God show you the way.
 Smiley
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« Reply #89 on: October 18, 2011, 01:17:56 PM »

Hello Everyone,
I have been reading the forum for quite some time, but finally decided to make my first post.  I was a devout cradle Roman Catholic for most of my life.   I was very involved in the life of the parish (youth group, CCD catechist, RCIA coordinator, Extraordinary Minister, President of the Finance Council...you get the idea).  Well, my father bought a new house that backed up to an OCA church.  His backyard ends at the parking lot of the OCA church.  Over the years, the two priests in residence would stop by when they saw family picnics going on and say hello; they were/are very good neighbors.  In my duties as RCIA coordinator, I always looked for the opportunity to understand other religions so that I could better assist converts to the RC faith in the transition.  After a few discussions with the OCA priest he suggested that I take a look at "The Orthodox Church" and "The Orthodox Way" by Bishop Ware.  He also invited me to a Vespers service.  I showed up with my RC “Liturgy of The Hours”, but saw that things were just a bit different.  Vespers was longer than our Sunday mass!  
This is where my trouble began.  I saw that every part of Catholic theology I had difficulty coming to terms with were addressed to my satisfaction in the Orthodox church.  I listened to an Orthodox podcast called "Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy" and found that the priest had a few issues incorrect regarding the RCC, but for the most part he made a great deal of sense to me. 
I was greatly conflicted.  As deeply ingrained in the RCC as I was, I felt guilty even considering Orthodoxy.  My wife was always upset at the 45 minute watered down masses, inappropriate dress, and the general temperament of our parish.  The final straw for her was when a newly ordained deacon was assigned to our parish, he preached that Catholics should not support gay marriage and that practicing homosexuals should not present themselves for communion without confession.  Our pastor commented to me (president of finance committee), that he was concerned about a loss in revenue because of our new deacon's preaching.  The pastor complained to the bishop and the deacon was reassigned.  We left the parish for a Byzantine parish soon after that.
This Byzantine parish seemed to be the ticket.  My wife loved it, but was a bit shocked that they didn't keep fasts, and seemed very Latinized.  In our year there, we never saw an Akathist, but there was rosary prior to the liturgy.  All the while my mind was still on the Orthodox church literally across the street.  She was not ready to leave the Pope and I was not ready to go the whole way East without her (the OCA priest agreed).
Well, one day about two months ago, my wife said why don't we try liturgy at the Orthodox church?  I had been attending vespers there when I could and she would attend from time to time.  Well, we have not been back to the Byzantine parish since!
We have started Orthodoxy 101 classes with the intentions of becoming Orthodox.  I am still a bit concerned about the repercussions when my RC friends realize I have become Orthodox.  However, I still feel great joy in that I have found a place where I can truly work out my salvation in a like minded community.  My wife also feels that this is different.  We felt as Byzantine Catholics that we were stuck in the middle.  We had to believe the Fillioque, but our church didn't pronounce it during liturgy.  It was if they were masquerading as Orthodox, while hiding their true beliefs.  We felt like a hypocrites.

It is difficult knowing that I will be away from the sacraments for some time to come.  I tried my best to get to confession every two weeks and received communion nearly every week (I did not receive if I had not properly prepared with confession, fasting, and prayer…I was Orthodox and didn’t even know it).  I plan to discuss this with our priest shortly, but do not want to give him the opinion that I wish to rush the process. 
Please keep my family in your prayers.  I am sure that there will be some conflicts and hurdles to overcome, but we are also sure that this is the right decision.
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« Reply #90 on: October 18, 2011, 02:01:59 PM »

Thanks so much for sharing your very inspiring story with us! Prayers for you and your wife as you find your way home. Smiley
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« Reply #91 on: October 22, 2011, 12:52:17 PM »

Thank you for sharing your conversion story, seems that we are in the same boat, but your much further ahead than myself.

God bless you on your journey.

In Christ

JR
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« Reply #92 on: December 26, 2011, 01:12:49 PM »

As I can see this time is happy for many people converting to orthodoxy Smiley
So, I’m one of theme. My conversion story is quite long, so I’ll try to write it in short words. So, my father is Serbian orthodox and my mother is Polish roman-catholic, so I raised up in both traditions, however I was baptized in roman-catholic Church when I was 7. Nobody gave me the choice. But I appreciate this time, because I’ve learn the basis teaching of Christianity. I can say I really felt the power of the sacrament, because earlier I had hated going to church, praying etc. and suddenly it has changed. I started being interested in orthodoxy, one time I though one day I would convert. The Orthodoxy was so mystical, powerful and spiritual for me, but I didn’t know any differences in dogma. When I was taught at school (I was 14) that catholic believe in such things like papal ineffability, I rejected it. So I started reading about eastern Churches (I love also oriental orthodox, especially Copts Wink), its faith, traditions, liturgics, icons. I also loved the liturgical music of eastern Christianity. Then I started celebrate the Holy Week, which is the most important period of year for me, in orthodox manner – I mean strict fasting, readings of these days, listening to Holy Week hymns, going to the Liturgies and other services etc. When I was 16, I was preparing for the confirmation like other young people in Poland. It took one year, but for two reasons (one is personal, the second one is that I was arguing with the catholic heresies) just before 4 days before the ceremony, the priest throw away me. It happened on my slava (as you probably know, it’s Serbian tradition, the feast of patron of the family), which is st. Luke. I thought it’s sing of God’s will. I started going to orthodox church much more frequently, I’ve also participated in 3 pilgrimages by foot to the Holy Mountain Grabarka. It change me and my life for better, I met fantastic orthodox people. I felt I was in heart orthodox christian. I couldn’t agree with specicic latin mentality, short and without Spirit masses, the lost of the tradition.  But I was afraid of converting because I thought I wouldn’t manage with the fasting (not also the strong will, but some health problems too), preparing for the Holy Communion etc. And that I would left my mum for the greatest feast of Pascha alone in time, that she started going to the services of Holy Week and fasting like orthodox. But, my father was in this situation so many years and we coped with it. So, the official period of my catechumanate was relatively short (from the beginning of October). It could take less time, but I had some problems with my studies at University. But I was preparing for it seriously 5 years (now I’m 20).
To finish, on the vigil of the Feast of Nativity, I was chrismated and received the Holy Eucharist. It was so beautiful ceremony, my priest and the rest of the congregation welcomed me so sincerely and joyously. I’m so happy that now I celebrate Christmas as orthodox christian. A few hours later, on the Christmas Eve, even my mother accepted it in some way Please, pray for me, because I know that’s just the beginning of great and difficult journey to the salvation.
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« Reply #93 on: December 26, 2011, 01:28:09 PM »

Welcome! Wola?
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« Reply #94 on: December 26, 2011, 01:47:15 PM »

Tak Wink
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« Reply #95 on: December 26, 2011, 03:22:42 PM »

Presbyterian > Catholicism > Coptic Orthodoxy

An extremely unlikely road, but here I am...still couldn't tell you precisely how, but I do know why: The deeper I looked into older expressions of Christianity that I could find around me (Benedictine monasticism, Byzantine Catholicism), the more it reminded me of my brief experiences with the OCA. I was never interested in becoming a member or anything (just visited occasionally for vespers, festivals, etc.), but it did seem a lot more serious and committed than the N.O. masses I had to attend, with their guitars and jazz drumming and all that.

I still didn't feel as though the Slavic/Greek Orthodoxy I had visited was for me, though. It was beautiful, sure, but I didn't feel it internally, you know? And I had (increasingly) told myself that I wouldn't leave Catholicism for pretty things, only for substantial things (since I felt that there was a depth missing to every form of Catholicism I had encountered, even as some were quite beautiful and reverent). So without anywhere else to go, I just sort of hung out for a while in this weird nexus between old Roman (Mozarabic chant, Templar chant...anything I could find that wasn't Catholicism as I had known it) and Byzantine practices, never really feeling comfortable with it. Honestly I figured I'd probably end up going to the OCA even though I didn't really want to, just because there wasn't anything else in my area. Maybe I'd grow to love it and connect with it in time.

And then I stumbled upon a subtitled sermon of HH Pope Shenouda III, in a search for more Christian materials in Arabic (I was taking Arabic classes at the University of Oregon at the time, and they wanted us to learn about the family of Muhammad and junk like that; I learned Byzantine hymns by Fairuz instead, but didn't know what else was out there). It blew me away. This was (is!) the faith that I wanted but didn't have. After looking for more and more material by HH (and finding some very poorly translated pamphlets), I somehow heard about the Desert Fathers. I knew some Eastern saints already (Russians and a few Syrians like St. Ephrem), but had only previously studied them from a RC perspective via my old FoC, who was a Dominican who had gone through seminary with a Chaldean (Assyrian Catholic) priest in San Diego. But reading the Desert Fathers was something else. I expected to be alienated by their "foreignness" and asceticism (RCs don't fast, you see), but instead found exactly the opposite: Their words spoke to me in a very real, immediate and relevant way, and my copy of Benedicta Ward's translation of their sayings is probably the one non-Biblical book I read the most, aside from the Agpeya. It's incredible.

After that I realized I had to find a Coptic church FAST (I know the Desert Fathers were not only Egyptians, but obviously Christian monasticism spread from Egypt outward, so I figured I should go where they are), but there wasn't one anywhere around me. So I think it was a bit of divine providence that within a year I had moved to Albuquerque, NM, which is not only a desert environment (you must be very careful what you wish for, I suppose) but is home to a small Coptic community of about 40 people, including not only Egyptians but also Ethiopians, and recently Sudanese and even one other white person. They worship in a private home, which gives it a real communal feeling. People have begun to absentmindedly address me in Egyptian Arabic now, and I've only been attending for about 4 months...though they always seem to remember to switch to English to harangue me about getting baptized. Grin

I guess that's how you know you're home, right? When grandma is asking you when you're going to get serious and take the plunge? It sure feels oddly familiar to me. 
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« Reply #96 on: December 27, 2011, 12:29:12 AM »

I just love to hear how may people that have convert from RC to Eastern Orthodox Christian faith and having been one of them that has cross over to the true faith. I deeply happy to be an Eastern Orthodox Christian and it is nice to be truly home...
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« Reply #97 on: January 19, 2012, 05:29:16 PM »

Do any of you ex-Catholic fellows think that you'd still be Catholic if it weren't for Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass?

I know I would. It was postulating about the beauty of Orthodoxy's liturgy that enabled me to open my mind to things like papal infallibility being wrong.
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« Reply #98 on: January 19, 2012, 06:18:48 PM »

Do any of you ex-Catholic fellows think that you'd still be Catholic if it weren't for Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass?

I know I would. It was postulating about the beauty of Orthodoxy's liturgy that enabled me to open my mind to things like papal infallibility being wrong.

No, I woudln't. Maybe because my father is Orthodox so I can't imagine to not have any information about Orthodoxy. I always have known it has a pure christian faith. But even if I hadn't have half of my family Orthodox... Tridentine Mass isn't so ancient and beautiful as Eastern Liturgy. And even before Vatican II some traditions disappeared, like some fasts, canonical icos. And I'd never could agree with papal infallibility. So probably I would have discovered Orthodoxy and had converted.

However, I've heard about a few people like you that the liturgical reforms encouraged them to look toward Eastern Christianity. But some of them chose Greek Catholic Church, because they didn't want abandon catholic dogmas or their own roman-catholic culture.
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« Reply #99 on: January 19, 2012, 06:51:54 PM »

No, because it wasn't the aesthetic beauty of the liturgy that drew me to it. In fact I left the RC sometime in the latter half of 2009, but wasn't actually able to attend a Coptic liturgy until I moved here to Albuquerque five months ago. So the liturgy was not a factor. It was the faith. The RC church lacks the true faith. Even if their liturgies mirrored the Orthodox liturgy exactly (which they are far from doing, at least as far as the Coptic liturgy is concerned), it would not be the same. I stuck a toe in the water of Eastern/Byzantine Catholicism before finding the COC, and I don't know...it just felt wrong. I even talked privately with the priest and he admitted they're a long way from their original (Orthodox) liturgical and spiritual patrimony. I think a lot of Eastern Catholics are far more aware of that than the TLM or NO crowd, who tend to like to behave like whatever they're doing now is how it has always been, or should have always been. Hence you have the "traditionalist Catholics" who want to return everything to how it was c. 1945, as though that erases centuries upon centuries of damaging and unnecessary theological speculations and wanderings. Methinks the Latin Pope is not making the most of that whole "infallibility" thing, if that's all the Tridentine mass is the foremost concern of the traditionalists... Wink

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« Reply #100 on: January 19, 2012, 08:39:54 PM »

Hello William,

Maybe I can answer your question in some way.  I was born before Vatican II and it so call reforms of the Mass.  My background is Southern Italian and I was raised as a Traditionalists  Catholic where it was the Tried and the True the Tridentine Mass. Maybe some would have stubble on to Holy Orthodoxy and some may have just remained Catholic it had to double guess what someone would do in his or her life. 

When it comes to me as a young kid I was searching for what I felt that was missing in my life I couldn’t put my hand around as of yet and it all starts with my mother. She would teach me religion so my faith came from her and wanting to pass on what she was learned as a child by her mother and so on. She would teach me thing that were Christian but they had nothing to do with being Roman Catholic. It would bother me like no tomorrow and I truly want to find out where this all came from. One of the things that my mother told to learn was how to make the sign of the cross.  She told that I should put my first three fingers together and curl up my last two in closed position, she told me that this is the true way to make the sign of the cross. There are thing that she instructed me in but it would be too long to write here in this chat.  As a child I asked GOD to bring to an understanding of where all of this came from.  In the middle 1980’s I happen to come across a broadcast on the Orthodox Faith and it attracted me to want to listen in on it.  I was turn off to RC Priest that would preach on the radio. But when it came to the Orthodox Christian faith I want to learn more. The radio broadcast was the seed that plant the faith in my soul. It would be until 1992 when I would start attending on a weekly bases’ it wasn’t until Jan. 7 2001 that I converted to the Orthodox faith. I so deeply happy that I came into the faith.
I hope this helps in some way.
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« Reply #101 on: January 19, 2012, 09:10:41 PM »

As I can see this time is happy for many people converting to orthodoxy Smiley
So, I’m one of theme. My conversion story is quite long, so I’ll try to write it in short words. So, my father is Serbian orthodox and my mother is Polish roman-catholic, so I raised up in both traditions, however I was baptized in roman-catholic Church when I was 7. Nobody gave me the choice. But I appreciate this time, because I’ve learn the basis teaching of Christianity. I can say I really felt the power of the sacrament, because earlier I had hated going to church, praying etc. and suddenly it has changed. I started being interested in orthodoxy, one time I though one day I would convert. The Orthodoxy was so mystical, powerful and spiritual for me, but I didn’t know any differences in dogma. When I was taught at school (I was 14) that catholic believe in such things like papal ineffability, I rejected it. So I started reading about eastern Churches (I love also oriental orthodox, especially Copts Wink), its faith, traditions, liturgics, icons. I also loved the liturgical music of eastern Christianity. Then I started celebrate the Holy Week, which is the most important period of year for me, in orthodox manner – I mean strict fasting, readings of these days, listening to Holy Week hymns, going to the Liturgies and other services etc. When I was 16, I was preparing for the confirmation like other young people in Poland. It took one year, but for two reasons (one is personal, the second one is that I was arguing with the catholic heresies) just before 4 days before the ceremony, the priest throw away me. It happened on my slava (as you probably know, it’s Serbian tradition, the feast of patron of the family), which is st. Luke. I thought it’s sing of God’s will. I started going to orthodox church much more frequently, I’ve also participated in 3 pilgrimages by foot to the Holy Mountain Grabarka. It change me and my life for better, I met fantastic orthodox people. I felt I was in heart orthodox christian. I couldn’t agree with specicic latin mentality, short and without Spirit masses, the lost of the tradition.  But I was afraid of converting because I thought I wouldn’t manage with the fasting (not also the strong will, but some health problems too), preparing for the Holy Communion etc. And that I would left my mum for the greatest feast of Pascha alone in time, that she started going to the services of Holy Week and fasting like orthodox. But, my father was in this situation so many years and we coped with it. So, the official period of my catechumanate was relatively short (from the beginning of October). It could take less time, but I had some problems with my studies at University. But I was preparing for it seriously 5 years (now I’m 20).
To finish, on the vigil of the Feast of Nativity, I was chrismated and received the Holy Eucharist. It was so beautiful ceremony, my priest and the rest of the congregation welcomed me so sincerely and joyously. I’m so happy that now I celebrate Christmas as orthodox christian. A few hours later, on the Christmas Eve, even my mother accepted it in some way Please, pray for me, because I know that’s just the beginning of great and difficult journey to the salvation.


Pozdrav......

Do understand and speak Srbski Jezik ...

Dobro Doshla.....Greetings and Welcome to Holy Orthodoxy..... laugh

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« Reply #102 on: January 20, 2012, 07:28:37 AM »

Do any of you ex-Catholic fellows think that you'd still be Catholic if it weren't for Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass?

I know I would. It was postulating about the beauty of Orthodoxy's liturgy that enabled me to open my mind to things like papal infallibility being wrong.

I am not sure, I have always had some doubts on some of the dogma of the RCC, and my belief and faith has always been on eastern Catholic church, not the latin rite.

but I come from a small Island called the Isle of Wight in the UK, the church there is very traditional, none of the praise song stuff, all real sacred music etc.

But of course there is no such thing as Orthodoxy there. the only thing we new about Orthodoxy was through church history.

It wasn't until I came to live here in Greece that I truly learned about Orthodoxy, You can read as many books as you like, but you will never understand Orthodoxy, you have to experience it, you have to live it, be part of it. it is a way of life, not just another religion.

I still have a way to go before I become truly Orthodox, I need to break loose from the shackles of my Westernism thoughts and legalism way of thinking.

Of course there is a language barrier, as although I can speak some Greek, it is not on a level of theological discussion, plus Koine Greek is out of my league right now.

But with patience and Gods kindness and mercy I will get there soon.

As far as Vatican II is concerned, none of the real changes that has happened in the RCC are not mentioned in there, like the priest facing the people, the mass style, the praise songs, none of that was supposed to happen, that was people doing what they wanted, not what the church said to do.

but I fear that the RCC is losing its way.
 
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« Reply #103 on: January 20, 2012, 08:27:21 AM »


Pozdrav......

Do understand and speak Srbski Jezik ...

Dobro Doshla.....Greetings and Welcome to Holy Orthodoxy..... laugh


Hvala Smiley Now, after this long journey to Orthodoxy, I can say "I'm at Home" Wink Naravno razumem i pricam srpski jezik! Smiley Vidim sto si moj zemljak, pozdrav Smiley
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« Reply #104 on: January 20, 2012, 02:14:55 PM »

For all of you that have already made the jump, how did you handle the issue of divorce and remarriage, and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  And, is it true that the GOA tolerates abortion in cases of rape and incest (my parish priest told me this a few years ago)?  I think these are the main issues that hold me back from becoming Orthodox right now.  I frequently feel drawn to Orthodoxy, but I could never become Orthodox until those issues are resolved for me.
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« Reply #105 on: January 20, 2012, 02:36:13 PM »

For all of you that have already made the jump, how did you handle the issue of divorce and remarriage, and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  And, is it true that the GOA tolerates abortion in cases of rape and incest (my parish priest told me this a few years ago)?  I think these are the main issues that hold me back from becoming Orthodox right now.  I frequently feel drawn to Orthodoxy, but I could never become Orthodox until those issues are resolved for me.

I think your concerns should be addressed in another thread, but I would like to correct you on something. The Orthodox Church does NOT endorse or support abortion unless the life of the mother is at risk.

Quote
Generally stated, fornication, adultery, abortion, homosexuality and any form of abusive sexual behavior are considered immoral and inappropriate forms of behavior in and of themselves, and also because they attack the institution of marriage and the family. Two representative statements, one on abortion and another on homosexuality, from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America follow. They are from the Twenty-Third Clergy-Laity Congress held in Philadelphia in 1976. The Orthodox Church has a definite, formal and intended attitude toward abortion. It condemns all procedures purporting to abort the embryo or fetus, whether by surgical or chemical means. The Orthodox Church brands abortion as murder; that is, as a premeditated termination of the life of a human being. The only time the Orthodox Church will reluctantly acquiesce to abortion is when the preponderance of medical opinion determines that unless the embryo or fetus is aborted, the mother will die. Decisions of the Supreme Court and State legislatures by which abortion, with or without restrictions, is allowed should be viewed by practicing Christians as an affront to their beliefs in the sanctity of life.

I would invite you to read this article, "The Stand of the Orthodox Church on Controversial Issues" by Dr. Stanley S. Harakas of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as I believe it will address many of your concerns regarding divorce, birth control, and abortion.

It seems that some of your ideas about Orthodoxy may have come from Catholic sources, and to quote an old cliche, sometimes you have to get the answer "straight from the horse's mouth." Smiley
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« Reply #106 on: January 20, 2012, 04:20:00 PM »

For all of you that have already made the jump, how did you handle the issue of divorce and remarriage, and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?

Contraception?   Please see message 21 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29748.msg470561.html#msg470561
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« Reply #107 on: January 20, 2012, 05:01:09 PM »

For all of you that have already made the jump, how did you handle the issue of divorce and remarriage, and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  And, is it true that the GOA tolerates abortion in cases of rape and incest (my parish priest told me this a few years ago)?  I think these are the main issues that hold me back from becoming Orthodox right now.  I frequently feel drawn to Orthodoxy, but I could never become Orthodox until those issues are resolved for me.

The only kernel of truth I can think for the "toleration" of abortion is that a woman who aborts a pregnancy from rape or incest may receive a less strict penance for her sin, than one who commits the same sin for more trivial reasons.
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« Reply #108 on: January 20, 2012, 06:21:11 PM »

hi, melkite.
divorce is really difficult in the coptic church.
u can only be divorced in the case of yr spouse committing adultery or leaving the Christian faith, so i think it is about the same as in the catholic church.

jr,
i have some friends who are orthodox who lived on the isle of wight. they had to go to bournemouth to church, but maybe soon there will be a church there as well. let me know if u go back and if u want to join a british orthodox fellowship (enquirers group).

all u newbies,
welcome and may God bless u and also all those who are 'just looking'
 Smiley
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« Reply #109 on: January 20, 2012, 06:24:32 PM »

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

Since Catholics officially accept contraception on a Church-wide (or is it only in the Roman/Latin part?) basis, I don't understand what the issue is here. Smiley
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« Reply #110 on: January 20, 2012, 08:57:04 PM »

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

Since Catholics officially accept contraception on a Church-wide (or is it only in the Roman/Latin part?) basis, I don't understand what the issue is here. Smiley
Since when?

PP
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« Reply #111 on: January 20, 2012, 09:02:17 PM »

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

Since Catholics officially accept contraception on a Church-wide (or is it only in the Roman/Latin part?) basis, I don't understand what the issue is here. Smiley
Since when?

PP

I take it you've heard of Natural Family Planning (NFP)?
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« Reply #112 on: January 20, 2012, 09:23:21 PM »

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

Since Catholics officially accept contraception on a Church-wide (or is it only in the Roman/Latin part?) basis, I don't understand what the issue is here. Smiley
Since when?

PP

I take it you've heard of Natural Family Planning (NFP)?
It's a bit of a stretch to call NFP contraception.
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« Reply #113 on: January 20, 2012, 09:24:42 PM »

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

Since Catholics officially accept contraception on a Church-wide (or is it only in the Roman/Latin part?) basis, I don't understand what the issue is here. Smiley
Since when?

PP

I take it you've heard of Natural Family Planning (NFP)?
It's a bit of a stretch to call NFP contraception.

St. Augustine would have. *shrugs* Not that it impacts me much anyway!
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« Reply #114 on: January 20, 2012, 09:27:55 PM »

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

Since Catholics officially accept contraception on a Church-wide (or is it only in the Roman/Latin part?) basis, I don't understand what the issue is here. Smiley
Since when?

PP

I take it you've heard of Natural Family Planning (NFP)?
It's a bit of a stretch to call NFP contraception.

St. Augustine would have. *shrugs* Not that it impacts me much anyway!

I disagree. Though I'm sure this isn't the thread to resurrect that.
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« Reply #115 on: January 20, 2012, 09:33:25 PM »

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

Since Catholics officially accept contraception on a Church-wide (or is it only in the Roman/Latin part?) basis, I don't understand what the issue is here. Smiley
Since when?

PP

I take it you've heard of Natural Family Planning (NFP)?
It's a bit of a stretch to call NFP contraception.

St. Augustine would have. *shrugs* Not that it impacts me much anyway!

I disagree. Though I'm sure this isn't the thread to resurrect that.

I started a new thread for it...
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« Reply #116 on: January 20, 2012, 10:57:10 PM »

I think your concerns should be addressed in another thread, but I would like to correct you on something. The Orthodox Church does NOT endorse or support abortion unless the life of the mother is at risk.

I know that the Orthodox Church as a whole does not support it. I had heard that the GOA specifically does under the exceptions you mention.  I certainly hope I heard wrong.
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« Reply #117 on: January 20, 2012, 11:01:46 PM »

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

Since Catholics officially accept contraception on a Church-wide (or is it only in the Roman/Latin part?) basis, I don't understand what the issue is here. Smiley

I'm not sure what you mean.  The Catholic Church does not accept, officially or otherwise, contraception at all in any part of the church.

Nevermind, I wrote that before I saw you mention NFP.  I understand now.
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« Reply #118 on: January 20, 2012, 11:14:13 PM »

I think your concerns should be addressed in another thread, but I would like to correct you on something. The Orthodox Church does NOT endorse or support abortion unless the life of the mother is at risk.

I know that the Orthodox Church as a whole does not support it. I had heard that the GOA specifically does under the exceptions you mention.  I certainly hope I heard wrong.

I am REALLY getting tired of people making such claims.

Once again, here is a statement reflecting the position of the GOA on this issue:

Quote
2.Generally stated, fornication, adultery, abortion, homosexuality and any form of abusive sexual behavior are considered immoral and inappropriate forms of behavior in and of themselves, and also because they attack the institution of marriage and the family. Two representative statements, one on abortion and another on homosexuality, from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America follow. They are from the Twenty-Third Clergy-Laity Congress held in Philadelphia in 1976. The Orthodox Church has a definite, formal and intended attitude toward abortion. It condemns all procedures purporting to abort the embryo or fetus, whether by surgical or chemical means. The Orthodox Church brands abortion as murder; that is, as a premeditated termination of the life of a human being. The only time the Orthodox Church will reluctantly acquiesce to abortion is when the preponderance of medical opinion determines that unless the embryo or fetus is aborted, the mother will die. Decisions of the Supreme Court and State legislatures by which abortion, with or without restrictions, is allowed should be viewed by practicing Christians as an affront to their beliefs in the sanctity of life.

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« Reply #119 on: January 21, 2012, 01:43:44 AM »

And here is the view of the Russian Orthodox Church, from its document Bases of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church, issued by the Holy Synod of Bishops in 2000:

Quote
XII. 2. Since the ancient time the Church has viewed deliberate abortion as a grave sin. The canons equate abortion with murder. This assessment is based on the conviction that the conception of a human being is a gift of God. Therefore, from the moment of conception any encroachment on the life of a future human being is criminal.

The Psalmist describes the development of the foetus in a mother's womb as God's creative action: «thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb… My substance was not hid from thee, them I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest part of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance» (Ps. 139:13, 15-16). Job testifies to the same in the words addressed to God: «thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about… Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved by spirit… Thou brought me forth out of the womb» (Job 10:8-12, 18). «I formed thee in the belly… and before thou comest out of the womb I sanctified thee», says the Lord to the Prophet Jeremiah. «Thou shalt not procure abortion, nor commit infanticide» — this order is placed among the most important commandments of God in the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, one of the oldest Christian manuscripts. «A woman who brought on abortion is a murderer and will give an account to God», wrote Athenagoras, an apologist of the 2nd century. «One who will be man is already man», argued Tertullian at the turn of the 3d century. «She who purposely destroys the foetus, shall suffer the punishment of murder… Those who give drugs for procuring abortion, and those who receive poisons to kill the foetus, are subjected to the same penalty as murder», read the 2nd and 8th rules of St. Basil the Great, included in the Book of Statutes of the Orthodox Church and confirmed by Canon 91 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. At the same time, St. Basil clarifies: «And we pay no attention to the subtle distinction as to whether the foetus was formed or unformed». St. John Chrysostom described those who perform abortion as «being worse than murderers».

The Church sees the widely spread and justified abortion in contemporary society as a threat to the future of humanity and a clear sign of its moral degradation. It is incompatible to be faithful to the biblical and patristic teaching that human life is sacred and precious from its origin and to recognise woman's «free choice» in disposing of the fate of the foetus. In addition, abortion present a serious threat to the physical and spiritual health of a mother. The Church has always considered it her duty to protect the most vulnerable and dependent human beings, namely, unborn children. Under no circumstances the Orthodox Church can bless abortion. Without rejecting the women who had an abortion, the Church calls upon them to repent and to overcome the destructive consequences of the sin through prayer and penance followed by participation in the salvific Sacraments. In case of a direct threat to the life of a mother if her pregnancy continues, especially if she has other children, it is recommended to be lenient in the pastoral practice. The woman who interrupted pregnancy in this situation shall not be excluded from the Eucharistic communion with the Church provided that she has fulfilled the canon of Penance assigned by the priest who takes her confession. The struggle with abortion, to which women sometimes have to resort because of abject poverty and helplessness, demands that the Church and society work out effective measures to protect motherhood and to create conditions for the adoption of the children whose mothers cannot raise them on their own for some reason.

Responsibility for the sin of the murder of the unborn child should be borne, along with the mother, by the father if he gave his consent to the abortion. If a wife had an abortion without the consent of her husband, it may be grounds for divorce (see X. 3). Sin also lies with the doctor who performed the abortion. The Church calls upon the state to recognise the right of medics to refuse to procure abortion for the reasons of conscience. The situation cannot be considered normal where the legal responsibility of a doctor for the death of a mother is made incomparably higher than the responsibility for the destruction of the foetus — the situation that provokes medics and through them patients, too, to do abortions. The doctor should be utterly responsible in establishing a diagnosis that can prompt a woman to interrupt her pregnancy. In doing so, a believing medic should carefully correlate the clinic indications with the dictates of his Christian conscience.

XII. 3. Among the problems which need a religious and moral assessment is that of contraception. Some contraceptives have an abortive effect, interrupting artificially the life of the embryo on the very first stages of his life. Therefore, the same judgements are applicable to the use of them as to abortion. But other means, which do not involve interrupting an already conceived life, cannot be equated with abortion in the least. In defining their attitude to the non-abortive contraceptives, Christian spouses should remember that human reproduction is one of the principal purposes of the divinely established marital union (see, X. 4). The deliberate refusal of childbirth on egoistic grounds devalues marriage and is a definite sin.

And:

Quote
The Church believes it to be definitely inadmissible to use the methods of so-called foetal therapy, in which the human foetus on various stages of its development is aborted and used in attempts to treat various diseases and to «rejuvenate» an organism. Denouncing abortion as a cardinal sin, the Church cannot find any justification for it either even if someone may possibly benefit from the destruction of a conceived human life. Contributing inevitably to ever wider spread and commercialisation of abortion, this practice (even if its still hypothetical effectiveness could be proved scientifically) presents an example of glaring immorality and is criminal.

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« Reply #120 on: January 28, 2012, 04:27:36 AM »

Do any of you ex-Catholic fellows think that you'd still be Catholic if it weren't for Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass?

I don't know.

Before coming to Orthodoxy I was Roman Catholic, and attended the Tridentine Rite. It was half of what I thought I would get when I became Roman three or four years before that. It wasn't so much the Tridentine Mass...it was the lack of reverence and sanctity in Roman Catholicism (at large), from the hierarchy to the people, and my frustration with nobody standing up for the faith. Any time a bishop did, they would promptly roll over the next day. Same with The Pope.

I had one Orthodox friend online. I refused to discuss religion with him (I couldn't keep up - Roman/Orthodox discussions focus on things that happened 1000 years ago or more, and I didn't know what he was talking about) until one day The Pope did something again and I started ranting to my friend about it. He said "all I'll say is find Papal Infallibility in the Early Church."

So I looked, and I couldn't. I wasn't happy about this. Despite my frustrations with Roman Catholicism I did love Her. I cried over it, and felt as though someone was dying or I was getting divorced. I wasn't completely sold, but without Papal Infallibility the whole Roman church falls apart. Doctrines are no longer guaranteed, the whole structure implodes.

I remember only asking about a few issues. 1) Confession being for the forgiveness of sins (something I'd read was vague and I wanted to be sure) 2) The role of the Pope if the Schism had never happened 3) Marriage (I remember the moment when a woman at the Orthodox parish told me she was getting a divorce, and she and everyone at the table, while being compassionate, obviously held marriage as such a sacred thing. I'd never seen that in a Roman church) 4) Contraception (fell away when someone said something like "The Romans claim the high ground on that issue, but you can't really say your church teaches or stands on a teaching when nobody teaches it or stands on it.")

The Liturgy and the traditions were just pluses. I remember a Roman telling me once "This online Orthodoxy you're reading in and believing in doesn't exist. You go to your local parish and it will be exactly the same, exactly as indifferent, as your Roman parish." unfortunately for him I guess I walked into St. Peters. It was almost scary how exactly it was like what I'd read about. Yeah there are some people in it just because their family is Orthodox, but there's a *huge* group of people just doing their best to love and obey God and His Faith. There was the Iconostas just like I'd been told, the incense, the chant, the overwhelming friendliness at coffee hour, the devout priest, I could go on and on. Your milege may vary, but the Orthodox world is small, and online I've quickly made friends in churches across the country of different jurisdictions and they all report the same thing. I'd come to Roman Catholicism being told "it's part of belonging to a tribe. It's a culture and a way of life. It's a community with ancient traditions." and finding none of that. I kept being joyfully surprised, in Orthodoxy, at seeing everything I'd read about enacted before my eyes. I was Chrismated on Pentecost 2011.
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« Reply #121 on: January 28, 2012, 07:56:14 AM »

welcome, joseph hazen.
 Smiley
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« Reply #122 on: January 28, 2012, 08:31:09 AM »

Welcome Home, Joseph Hazen
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« Reply #123 on: January 28, 2012, 09:46:09 PM »

Do any of you ex-Catholic fellows think that you'd still be Catholic if it weren't for Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass?

I don't know.

Before coming to Orthodoxy I was Roman Catholic, and attended the Tridentine Rite. It was half of what I thought I would get when I became Roman three or four years before that. It wasn't so much the Tridentine Mass...it was the lack of reverence and sanctity in Roman Catholicism (at large), from the hierarchy to the people, and my frustration with nobody standing up for the faith. Any time a bishop did, they would promptly roll over the next day. Same with The Pope.

I had one Orthodox friend online. I refused to discuss religion with him (I couldn't keep up - Roman/Orthodox discussions focus on things that happened 1000 years ago or more, and I didn't know what he was talking about) until one day The Pope did something again and I started ranting to my friend about it. He said "all I'll say is find Papal Infallibility in the Early Church."

So I looked, and I couldn't. I wasn't happy about this. Despite my frustrations with Roman Catholicism I did love Her. I cried over it, and felt as though someone was dying or I was getting divorced. I wasn't completely sold, but without Papal Infallibility the whole Roman church falls apart. Doctrines are no longer guaranteed, the whole structure implodes.

I remember only asking about a few issues. 1) Confession being for the forgiveness of sins (something I'd read was vague and I wanted to be sure) 2) The role of the Pope if the Schism had never happened 3) Marriage (I remember the moment when a woman at the Orthodox parish told me she was getting a divorce, and she and everyone at the table, while being compassionate, obviously held marriage as such a sacred thing. I'd never seen that in a Roman church) 4) Contraception (fell away when someone said something like "The Romans claim the high ground on that issue, but you can't really say your church teaches or stands on a teaching when nobody teaches it or stands on it.")

The Liturgy and the traditions were just pluses. I remember a Roman telling me once "This online Orthodoxy you're reading in and believing in doesn't exist. You go to your local parish and it will be exactly the same, exactly as indifferent, as your Roman parish." unfortunately for him I guess I walked into St. Peters. It was almost scary how exactly it was like what I'd read about. Yeah there are some people in it just because their family is Orthodox, but there's a *huge* group of people just doing their best to love and obey God and His Faith. There was the Iconostas just like I'd been told, the incense, the chant, the overwhelming friendliness at coffee hour, the devout priest, I could go on and on. Your milege may vary, but the Orthodox world is small, and online I've quickly made friends in churches across the country of different jurisdictions and they all report the same thing. I'd come to Roman Catholicism being told "it's part of belonging to a tribe. It's a culture and a way of life. It's a community with ancient traditions." and finding none of that. I kept being joyfully surprised, in Orthodoxy, at seeing everything I'd read about enacted before my eyes. I was Chrismated on Pentecost 2011.

Welcome home, Joseph.

Re: Marriage. I was always confused about all the annulments that were approved in Catholicism. Legally, annulments are granted because the couple never consummated the marriage. Catholics were saying that the marriage never occurred in spite of consummation where children were born yet they were considered to be legitimate, whereas Orthodox were honest and admitted that the marriage had failed even though it might have been troubled from the beginning.
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« Reply #124 on: January 28, 2012, 09:55:19 PM »

Do any of you ex-Catholic fellows think that you'd still be Catholic if it weren't for Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass?

I don't know.

Before coming to Orthodoxy I was Roman Catholic, and attended the Tridentine Rite. It was half of what I thought I would get when I became Roman three or four years before that. It wasn't so much the Tridentine Mass...it was the lack of reverence and sanctity in Roman Catholicism (at large), from the hierarchy to the people, and my frustration with nobody standing up for the faith. Any time a bishop did, they would promptly roll over the next day. Same with The Pope.

I had one Orthodox friend online. I refused to discuss religion with him (I couldn't keep up - Roman/Orthodox discussions focus on things that happened 1000 years ago or more, and I didn't know what he was talking about) until one day The Pope did something again and I started ranting to my friend about it. He said "all I'll say is find Papal Infallibility in the Early Church."

So I looked, and I couldn't. I wasn't happy about this. Despite my frustrations with Roman Catholicism I did love Her. I cried over it, and felt as though someone was dying or I was getting divorced. I wasn't completely sold, but without Papal Infallibility the whole Roman church falls apart. Doctrines are no longer guaranteed, the whole structure implodes.

I remember only asking about a few issues. 1) Confession being for the forgiveness of sins (something I'd read was vague and I wanted to be sure) 2) The role of the Pope if the Schism had never happened 3) Marriage (I remember the moment when a woman at the Orthodox parish told me she was getting a divorce, and she and everyone at the table, while being compassionate, obviously held marriage as such a sacred thing. I'd never seen that in a Roman church) 4) Contraception (fell away when someone said something like "The Romans claim the high ground on that issue, but you can't really say your church teaches or stands on a teaching when nobody teaches it or stands on it.")

The Liturgy and the traditions were just pluses. I remember a Roman telling me once "This online Orthodoxy you're reading in and believing in doesn't exist. You go to your local parish and it will be exactly the same, exactly as indifferent, as your Roman parish." unfortunately for him I guess I walked into St. Peters. It was almost scary how exactly it was like what I'd read about. Yeah there are some people in it just because their family is Orthodox, but there's a *huge* group of people just doing their best to love and obey God and His Faith. There was the Iconostas just like I'd been told, the incense, the chant, the overwhelming friendliness at coffee hour, the devout priest, I could go on and on. Your milege may vary, but the Orthodox world is small, and online I've quickly made friends in churches across the country of different jurisdictions and they all report the same thing. I'd come to Roman Catholicism being told "it's part of belonging to a tribe. It's a culture and a way of life. It's a community with ancient traditions." and finding none of that. I kept being joyfully surprised, in Orthodoxy, at seeing everything I'd read about enacted before my eyes. I was Chrismated on Pentecost 2011.

Welcome, and thanks for sharing your story. Your gripes with modern day Catholicism resonate with me as well.
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« Reply #125 on: March 22, 2012, 01:27:36 PM »

This is my first post here, and I'm very grateful to have found this site. I have left Romerican Catholicism after 25+ years (I converted in 1986). Though obscure at the beginning, my path to the Ancient and Orthodox Church (it's been 40+ years since a very deeply-experienced conversion) continued to become clearer and more hopeful until now, where clarity has overcome dimness/dismay!  I suppose I have a good deal to share, but being a 'newbie" don't want to be presumptuous or verbose  Wink It would be easier to try to answer some questions than to launch out into a "chronicle"  laugh  So please, ask away. I will try to be honest and careful in my replies.

Thank you so much for this thread!

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« Reply #126 on: March 22, 2012, 01:30:11 PM »

This is my first post here, and I'm very grateful to have found this site. I have left Romerican Catholicism after 25+ years (I converted in 1986). Though obscure at the beginning, my path to the Ancient and Orthodox Church (it's been 40+ years since a very deeply-experienced conversion) continued to become clearer and more hopeful until now, where clarity has overcome dimness/dismay!  I suppose I have a good deal to share, but being a 'newbie" don't want to be presumptuous or verbose  Wink It would be easier to try to answer some questions than to launch out into a "chronicle"  laugh  So please, ask away. I will try to be honest and careful in my replies.

Thank you so much for this thread!

Welcome!  I'm sure there are many here who really like to read such lengthy "chronicles" if/when you might be up for it.   Wink
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« Reply #127 on: March 22, 2012, 02:31:12 PM »

This is my first post here, and I'm very grateful to have found this site. I have left Romerican Catholicism after 25+ years (I converted in 1986). Though obscure at the beginning, my path to the Ancient and Orthodox Church (it's been 40+ years since a very deeply-experienced conversion) continued to become clearer and more hopeful until now, where clarity has overcome dimness/dismay!  I suppose I have a good deal to share, but being a 'newbie" don't want to be presumptuous or verbose  Wink It would be easier to try to answer some questions than to launch out into a "chronicle"  laugh  So please, ask away. I will try to be honest and careful in my replies.

Thank you so much for this thread!



Hi welcome to the forums! Smiley So when did you convert to Orthodoxy, and what made you first start to become dissatisfied with Roman Catholicism and start looking towards "the east"?
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« Reply #128 on: March 22, 2012, 03:33:04 PM »

Thanks for the 'welcomes'! I like to try and find useful analogies at times to keep me from sawing others' sawdust re: reasons I left the RCC. I want to begin writing some about my experiences and God's beautiful nudges and challenges along the way... and plan on doing so later today. So, at first, you need to pray for me that I will use economy of words, measured and honest. The analogy with regard to shared RC experiences, wounds, deceptions etc.: 

2 Middle Eastern families have just settled in to their refugee camp following their "liberation". The men get together for a chat, and one says to the other..."so, what brings you here'?  Grin

I.
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« Reply #129 on: March 22, 2012, 05:58:25 PM »

I wanted to make sure I clarified my last post re: the 'analogy' at the end of it...

I am sure we are each appalled and ashamed and disgusted at the murder and mayhem that have been perpetrated against the innocent citizens in the Middle East by the paranoics and despots of the West. I believe the same horribleness, SPIRITUALLY, has wounded countless souls, even mortally, and created mayhem in the lives of innocent people (Catholics in this instance) seeking to be saved from sin and death and judgment. Wounded and gravely traumatized  by the ever-novel machinations of the  West... the RCC. The spiritual and physical analogies are both as real. I hope no one misunderstood or was offended by the last line of this analogy. It can evoke a smile that is intensely sober and illucidating.

If I offended, please forgive me. What I personally have been through the last 25 years was horrendous and deeply hurtful... and others continue to feel 'caught' in it (ie, Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus) still. I looked to the East, to Orthodoxy, purely as a result of God's mercy and loving Providence.

I.
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« Reply #130 on: March 22, 2012, 09:59:49 PM »

Ah yes, the eeeevil West and the eeeeevil RCC, and the oh so sacred East, which has never perpetuated any evil against anybody. I keep forgetting these things.
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« Reply #131 on: March 22, 2012, 10:25:54 PM »

Ah yes, the eeeevil West and the eeeeevil RCC, and the oh so sacred East, which has never perpetuated any evil against anybody. I keep forgetting these things.
Is this bitterness going to make you feel any better?  Embarrassed

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #132 on: March 23, 2012, 12:05:17 AM »

Ah yes, the eeeevil West and the eeeeevil RCC, and the oh so sacred East, which has never perpetuated any evil against anybody. I keep forgetting these things.
Is this bitterness going to make you feel any better?  Embarrassed

In Christ,
Andrew

I don't think Biro is bitter rather he is using sarcasm to point out what should be obvious. The East has a hard time admitting fault. We have to recognize that we have also committed wrongs not just the west or the rcc.
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« Reply #133 on: March 23, 2012, 12:07:12 AM »

Ah yes, the eeeevil West and the eeeeevil RCC, and the oh so sacred East, which has never perpetuated any evil against anybody. I keep forgetting these things.
Is this bitterness going to make you feel any better?  Embarrassed

In Christ,
Andrew

I don't think Biro is bitter rather he is using sarcasm to point out what should be obvious. The East has a hard time admitting fault. We have to recognize that we have also committed wrongs not just the west or the rcc.

either way, I don't think this type of discussion belongs in this thread.
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« Reply #134 on: March 23, 2012, 12:22:46 AM »

Thank you for your response, Biro. I was asked by another post-er what made me "look East"... so I answered, albeit analogously, using MY experience (context) of 60 years living in the West in order to emphasize that the spiritual wounds, (some mortal) and grave scandal and error perpetuated by those who call themselves 'shepherds' in the Western Roman universe, is a kind of violence (spiritual genocide) as was/is the Western bloodletting in the MidEast...one spiritual, the other physical. The harm done by the innovators and heterodoctors cannot be overstated. I was in no way implying innocence on the part of the 'East'... which had nothing to do with the analogy. I know, as I'm sure you do, that "the WHOLE world lies under the sway of the wicked one." I John 5:19 . I can only speak from my lived context. I "looked East" with the heart of a refugee, and God surprised me with joy and the prospect of a true homecoming as the Ancient New Testament Church came into view. When you have believed over 25 years that your conversion to the "Roman Catholic" church, outside of which there is no salvation (ie. the Roman dogma "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus") was THE homecoming, the surprise of learning otherwise takes on a whole new life-shaking impact.

 I could have written more clearly, so please forgive any misunderstanding I may have caused on your part. If I am guilty of anger or a hidden prejudice, then I ask God's forgiveness... here and now. We must look to one another's edification. Each of us has gathered many wounds and 'shoulder-chips' along the way. May God have mercy on us both! I believe He will...

 

Sincerely yours, in Christ The Lord,

 

I
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« Reply #135 on: March 23, 2012, 08:46:08 AM »

Welcome on board Ivanov,

There are many of us that come from the RCC background, But don't live in the past and hold grudges, Let go, move on and learn from your experiences, only then will you be able to grow spiritually in Holy Orthodoxy.

Peace be with you.

Thank you for your response, Biro. I was asked by another post-er what made me "look East"... so I answered, albeit analogously, using MY experience (context) of 60 years living in the West in order to emphasize that the spiritual wounds, (some mortal) and grave scandal and error perpetuated by those who call themselves 'shepherds' in the Western Roman universe, is a kind of violence (spiritual genocide) as was/is the Western bloodletting in the MidEast...one spiritual, the other physical. The harm done by the innovators and heterodoctors cannot be overstated. I was in no way implying innocence on the part of the 'East'... which had nothing to do with the analogy. I know, as I'm sure you do, that "the WHOLE world lies under the sway of the wicked one." I John 5:19 . I can only speak from my lived context. I "looked East" with the heart of a refugee, and God surprised me with joy and the prospect of a true homecoming as the Ancient New Testament Church came into view. When you have believed over 25 years that your conversion to the "Roman Catholic" church, outside of which there is no salvation (ie. the Roman dogma "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus") was THE homecoming, the surprise of learning otherwise takes on a whole new life-shaking impact.

 I could have written more clearly, so please forgive any misunderstanding I may have caused on your part. If I am guilty of anger or a hidden prejudice, then I ask God's forgiveness... here and now. We must look to one another's edification. Each of us has gathered many wounds and 'shoulder-chips' along the way. May God have mercy on us both! I believe He will...

 

Sincerely yours, in Christ The Lord,

 

I

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« Reply #136 on: March 28, 2012, 01:02:22 AM »

Welcome on board Ivanov,

There are many of us that come from the RCC background, But don't live in the past and hold grudges, Let go, move on and learn from your experiences, only then will you be able to grow spiritually in Holy Orthodoxy.

Peace be with you.

Thank you for your response, Biro. I was asked by another post-er what made me "look East"... so I answered, albeit analogously, using MY experience (context) of 60 years living in the West in order to emphasize that the spiritual wounds, (some mortal) and grave scandal and error perpetuated by those who call themselves 'shepherds' in the Western Roman universe, is a kind of violence (spiritual genocide) as was/is the Western bloodletting in the MidEast...one spiritual, the other physical. The harm done by the innovators and heterodoctors cannot be overstated. I was in no way implying innocence on the part of the 'East'... which had nothing to do with the analogy. I know, as I'm sure you do, that "the WHOLE world lies under the sway of the wicked one." I John 5:19 . I can only speak from my lived context. I "looked East" with the heart of a refugee, and God surprised me with joy and the prospect of a true homecoming as the Ancient New Testament Church came into view. When you have believed over 25 years that your conversion to the "Roman Catholic" church, outside of which there is no salvation (ie. the Roman dogma "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus") was THE homecoming, the surprise of learning otherwise takes on a whole new life-shaking impact.

 I could have written more clearly, so please forgive any misunderstanding I may have caused on your part. If I am guilty of anger or a hidden prejudice, then I ask God's forgiveness... here and now. We must look to one another's edification. Each of us has gathered many wounds and 'shoulder-chips' along the way. May God have mercy on us both! I believe He will...

 

Sincerely yours, in Christ The Lord,

 

I


Yes. Let us pray and fight for the reorienting of the Carolingian hijacked Church (and now more so with other worldly/demonic forces)  which in spite of that  still at times had wonderful fruits of the spirit in liturature, music, and art, and martyrs for the faith and for the most part orthodox and devout saints. It is time for us to "Withstand him (Peter) to his face, because he is to be blamed." But as Paul was stern he was loving and did so for righteousness sake and for the sake Peter and his flock. Not to point a finger.

For the longest time in the West, that was the only Apostolic Church there was. I doubt grace left it entirely for the sake of the faithful, but its in a very bad way now. Good thing the Orthodox Catholic church is readily available these days to set it straight, or perhaps embrace those who from it truly seek with discerning minds and open hearts.
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« Reply #137 on: May 12, 2012, 03:09:03 PM »

I am going to be made a catechumen very soon. I come from a Roman Catholic background with very traditional and Tridentine leanings. I originally was brought up in a church that had formed a schism within the Catholic Church after Vatican II. They also celebrated the Latin Mass. This is what I grew up with. They believe all post-Vatican II popes as not true popes. I came into full communion with the Catholic Church a couple of months before I got married. I ended up meeting someone at the new church I was attending. He was very dissatisfied with contemporary Catholicism as was I. We decided to research and find the truth. We bounced around quite a bit looking into anything from the Charismatic movement, back to the traditional movement, and finally to Byzantine Catholicism. We got very well acquainted with Eastern spirituality and felt very much at home. We would spend hours talking with the priest. He is actually the one that got me to start questioning Catholicism believe it or not. He was Catholic, but did not believe in the papacy, purgatory, original sin, etc, etc, etc. I asked myself on numerous occasions, "why is he not Orthodox?". I started my quest into Orthodoxy after spending some time within Eastern Catholicism. I have been researching off and on for a couple of years and very intensely of the last 8 months or so. I sincerely ask that you all keep me in your prayers on this journey.
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« Reply #138 on: May 13, 2012, 07:44:25 AM »

I am going to be made a catechumen very soon. I come from a Roman Catholic background with very traditional and Tridentine leanings. I originally was brought up in a church that had formed a schism within the Catholic Church after Vatican II. They also celebrated the Latin Mass. This is what I grew up with. They believe all post-Vatican II popes as not true popes. I came into full communion with the Catholic Church a couple of months before I got married. I ended up meeting someone at the new church I was attending. He was very dissatisfied with contemporary Catholicism as was I. We decided to research and find the truth. We bounced around quite a bit looking into anything from the Charismatic movement, back to the traditional movement, and finally to Byzantine Catholicism. We got very well acquainted with Eastern spirituality and felt very much at home. We would spend hours talking with the priest. He is actually the one that got me to start questioning Catholicism believe it or not. He was Catholic, but did not believe in the papacy, purgatory, original sin, etc, etc, etc. I asked myself on numerous occasions, "why is he not Orthodox?". I started my quest into Orthodoxy after spending some time within Eastern Catholicism. I have been researching off and on for a couple of years and very intensely of the last 8 months or so. I sincerely ask that you all keep me in your prayers on this journey.

Χριστος Ανεστη

Welcome to The OC forum Greek-yogurt.

I will pray for your Journey,

I am also a catechumen and it seems we have made a very similar journey, as in I come from the tradition Catholic background.

Peace in Christ

JR
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« Reply #139 on: May 14, 2012, 04:44:03 PM »

Christ is in our midst.

I was baptised the 24th of June 2011, on the birth of St John the Baptist feast day. I was recieved in a bulgarian local church, being baptised by a russian priest from the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe(very canonical situation, indeed).
My family originaly comes from Romania, an orthodox mother and jew from Romania father. I was not baptised as a baby. I had to research myself, between the Vatican Church and the Catholic Church, and chose the Catholic Church. So i guess i'm a convert.

Slava lui Dumnezeu pentru toate!
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« Reply #140 on: May 14, 2012, 04:56:16 PM »

yes, may God be praised!
there are several romanian speakers here...
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« Reply #141 on: May 15, 2012, 07:28:05 AM »

Yes. Let us pray and fight for the reorienting of the Carolingian hijacked Church (and now more so with other worldly/demonic forces)  which in spite of that  still at times had wonderful fruits of the spirit in liturature, music, and art, and martyrs for the faith and for the most part orthodox and devout saints. It is time for us to "Withstand him (Peter) to his face, because he is to be blamed." But as Paul was stern he was loving and did so for righteousness sake and for the sake Peter and his flock. Not to point a finger.

I think some of your fellow Orthodox here would take issue with your referring to the Pope as "Peter".  Cool
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« Reply #142 on: May 15, 2012, 07:32:27 AM »

I am going to be made a catechumen very soon. I come from a Roman Catholic background with very traditional and Tridentine leanings. I originally was brought up in a church that had formed a schism within the Catholic Church after Vatican II. They also celebrated the Latin Mass. This is what I grew up with. They believe all post-Vatican II popes as not true popes. I came into full communion with the Catholic Church a couple of months before I got married. I ended up meeting someone at the new church I was attending. He was very dissatisfied with contemporary Catholicism as was I. We decided to research and find the truth. We bounced around quite a bit looking into anything from the Charismatic movement, back to the traditional movement, and finally to Byzantine Catholicism. We got very well acquainted with Eastern spirituality and felt very much at home. We would spend hours talking with the priest. He is actually the one that got me to start questioning Catholicism believe it or not. He was Catholic, but did not believe in the papacy, purgatory, original sin, etc, etc, etc. I asked myself on numerous occasions, "why is he not Orthodox?". I started my quest into Orthodoxy after spending some time within Eastern Catholicism. I have been researching off and on for a couple of years and very intensely of the last 8 months or so. I sincerely ask that you all keep me in your prayers on this journey.

Χριστος Ανεστη

Welcome to The OC forum Greek-yogurt.

I will pray for your Journey,

I am also a catechumen and it seems we have made a very similar journey, as in I come from the tradition Catholic background.

Peace in Christ

JR

It's interesting how many traditional Catholics look East -- that is to say, on OCnet I see a lot of signs of traditional Catholics looking East. There's another forum a participate on, which is for traditional Catholics but it's about as anti-Orthodox as you can get.  Sad
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« Reply #143 on: May 15, 2012, 02:19:32 PM »

Quote
There's another forum a participate on, which is for traditional Catholics but it's about as anti-Orthodox as you can get.
Meh, nobody's perfect Wink

PP
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« Reply #144 on: May 16, 2012, 08:14:19 PM »

Slava lui Dumnezeu pentru toate!

Does that mean "Glory to the Lord for all things"?
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« Reply #145 on: May 16, 2012, 08:23:48 PM »

Slava lui Dumnezeu pentru toate!

Does that mean "Glory to the Lord for all things"?
I think it means "I want a can of hash and a cup of joe."
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« Reply #146 on: May 17, 2012, 03:37:03 AM »

Slava lui Dumnezeu pentru toate!

Does that mean "Glory to the Lord for all things"?
I think it means "I want a can of hash and a cup of joe."

 Cheesy
Yes William; that is what it means.
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« Reply #147 on: October 13, 2012, 07:45:00 PM »

Hello,

I am a former Roman Catholic who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy two months ago. I had been pondering over the issue for about ten years and took the plunge only recently.

What made me join Orthodoxy? It is not very clear. A sense that Orthodoxy has kept the greatest continuity with Ancient Christianity.

Another reason (but not a good one): I was appalled by Benedict XVI's encyclical Caritas in Veritate. But this happened to be a strong argument in favour of a conversion.
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« Reply #148 on: October 14, 2012, 06:24:34 AM »

Hello,

I am a former Roman Catholic who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy two months ago. I had been pondering over the issue for about ten years and took the plunge only recently.

What made me join Orthodoxy? It is not very clear. A sense that Orthodoxy has kept the greatest continuity with Ancient Christianity.

Another reason (but not a good one): I was appalled by Benedict XVI's encyclical Caritas in Veritate. But this happened to be a strong argument in favour of a conversion.

Why are you appalled with the Benedict XVI's encyclical Caritas in Veritate?
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« Reply #149 on: October 14, 2012, 03:38:29 PM »

I was appalled at his stance on globalization (emphasis mine):

« 67. In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. One also senses the urgent need to find innovative ways of implementing the principle of the responsibility to protect and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. Such an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, to seek to establish the common good, and to make a commitment to securing authentic integral human development inspired by the values of charity in truth. Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights. Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums. Without this, despite the great progress accomplished in various sectors, international law would risk being conditioned by the balance of power among the strongest nations. The integral development of peoples and international cooperation require the establishment of a greater degree of international ordering, marked by subsidiarity, for the management of globalization[149]. They also require the construction of a social order that at last conforms to the moral order, to the interconnection between moral and social spheres, and to the link between politics and the economic and civil spheres, as envisaged by the Charter of the United Nations. »

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.html
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« Reply #150 on: October 14, 2012, 03:50:43 PM »

Oh my, its the NWO!

 Grin
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« Reply #151 on: October 14, 2012, 05:14:02 PM »

You can get your books & reading materials online at www.bn.com, or www.amazon.com...
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« Reply #152 on: November 18, 2012, 02:36:11 AM »

Hi, My Name
was Bassam mohamad farouk Haddad, I was Born in Lebanon 27/03/1966 as a Muslim, my mother was christian Orthodox. I am one of 8 brothers and sisters 3 of us been to the same mother and the rest half brothers and sisters,  my Father was abusive, an alcoholic, a womanizer and used to bash my mother, I also was afraid of him.

My Mother was kicked out several times and ended living my her mother brother and sisters, she would take us to the church sometimes and I was very fond of the virgin Mary and Jesus and the cross, there is a little cave near my uncles house and I use to visit it with my untie and she said If I believe in god the coins will stick to the icons and she would try and they wouldn't stick, then I tried and they stuck, she hit me in a fun way just playing around around.
A lot of things happened to me in Lebanon including sin even though I was 6 or so and the coin will not sick for me after that Sad
My dad died when I was 7 and in Lebanon the women dont have rights the their children especially in Islam even if the father passes away.
Well my dad passed away in an accident and my dads brothers came looking for us me first as they take the children away from the mother when they turn 7 years old but my mother told them to let me finish school and they can have all 3 of us, they agreed, in that time my mother made up passports in her maiden name, apparently a judge knew my dad and didnt like the way he was and let my mother go ahead with papers/passports and she took of to Australia with us.
we arrived in Australia in 1974 were sin continued to eat away at me but I always prayed for Jesus to take me to heaven, my sin grew so bad and rapidly it was frightening, at the age of 19 I met a Greek girl she was 21 at the time and we fell in love but in sin, and I told her about my pas sins, she looked at me and walked away got about 30 meters from me and came back and she said will you ever go back to you sinful ways and I said no, she kissed me and said I cant leave you and want to help you, we got married in 1990 after I got baptized in the Greek orthodox church and changed my name to Vasilios Basil Daaboul.
when my wifes grandmother passed away I went into depression knowing is my turn one day and needed help from our church, I went to confession regularly and in that time I met my dads brother for the first time and spoke with my half siblings for the first time in 20 years I again got confused frightened and continued going to confession about my confusion in religion but never doubted my love for Christianity but just confused all the same,  I ended up going to Jerusalem were we stayed one night in Telaviv , we had no were else to stay after that night, we had our 2 year old son Dimitri with us and we made our way to Jafa gate were we met a deacon named farther arristovolelas , not sure of the spelling, he gave us his room next to mt Golgotha and we seen many great wonders, all the holy sites and I broke down inside Christs tomb.
Wen it was time to leave for Greece the deacon asked if we can drop of a letter in Katterini in Greece to his sister and my wife happily agreed, when we got to Greece my wife went to the deacons sisters house to deliver the letter and was blown away to find the deacons sister is one of her relatives Smiley
we went to Jerusalem with faith and our god Jesus Christ puts us with Family <3 I came back to Australia a new person and sadly drifted away into sin, today I continue to fight and walk and  to confession holy communion , Last year I ended up going to Lebanon and met my Brothers and sisters for the first time in 38 years, I broke down and cried only with the younger of my two older sisters, yes they are Muslim and I made it clear to them we will not speak about religion although my older sister tried, I just walked away, I love them and continue to speak to them, I even took my wife to meet them this year, but in Christ I live and die whether I go to heaven or not its up to our lord Jesus Christ, I have learned a lot about Islam and was shocked to know how it came to be and sad for my Brothers sisters cousins, uncles all of them but Ive never tried talking to them about my faith, I know it wont go down well.
I cant thank Jesus Christ enough for the Angel I married to were her faith is strong and her love for me and our two boys Dimitri and Christo is just amazing, my two older boys are still alter boys at the age of 19 and 16.
I continue to fall and get back up but Im finding more strength to stay away from sin these days and fighting the good fight.
I have seen many wonders and seen things I dont want to speak about, I have so much more to tell and can take up days to wright about them but I wont, I hope you enjoy reading this and this is the first time I shared it publicly .

My New Name since meeting my Brothers and sisters is Vasilios Bassam Haddad I kept my baptized name and my previosn name Bassam Haddad as my middle and last name.

God Bless
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 02:39:24 AM by Basil Haddad » Logged
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« Reply #153 on: November 18, 2012, 03:09:40 AM »

Very powerful testimony! Thank you for sharing it, Vasilios! (or do you prefer Bassam?)

May God continue to guide you. There are many times when our conversions create tension with our families (it happened to me too, between me and my father and grandmother), but through continuing to love them and trying to be good examples of our faith without being harsh toward their belief, we might with much patience see good results. It has been over a year now since I began attending the Coptic Orthodox Church, but my father has recently said "maybe" to going to liturgy sometime...I know it still means "no" (this is one of those things that a son just knows from years of being told "maybe" as a child, when it always meant "no" Wink), but at least it's not saying "no", so it is a little softer than before when he would yell and tell me that I don't know what I'm doing, and that the Church is stupid, and all manner of terrible things. I thank God for even this little bit of improvement, and I pray that you will experience even better with your own family.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 03:10:42 AM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #154 on: November 18, 2012, 04:41:29 AM »

HI dzheremi Vasilios Or Basil is Fine, my mum and imidiate family still call me Bassam but im used to it.
Im afraid Im not very good at examples but Today Im better than yesterday and learning everyday Smiley
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« Reply #155 on: November 19, 2012, 03:35:13 AM »

Hi, My Name
was Bassam mohamad farouk Haddad, I was Born in Lebanon 27/03/1966 as a Muslim, my mother was christian Orthodox. I am one of 8 brothers and sisters 3 of us been to the same mother and the rest half brothers and sisters,  my Father was abusive, an alcoholic, a womanizer and used to bash my mother, I also was afraid of him.

My Mother was kicked out several times and ended living my her mother brother and sisters, she would take us to the church sometimes and I was very fond of the virgin Mary and Jesus and the cross, there is a little cave near my uncles house and I use to visit it with my untie and she said If I believe in god the coins will stick to the icons and she would try and they wouldn't stick, then I tried and they stuck, she hit me in a fun way just playing around around.
A lot of things happened to me in Lebanon including sin even though I was 6 or so and the coin will not sick for me after that Sad
My dad died when I was 7 and in Lebanon the women dont have rights the their children especially in Islam even if the father passes away.
Well my dad passed away in an accident and my dads brothers came looking for us me first as they take the children away from the mother when they turn 7 years old but my mother told them to let me finish school and they can have all 3 of us, they agreed, in that time my mother made up passports in her maiden name, apparently a judge knew my dad and didnt like the way he was and let my mother go ahead with papers/passports and she took of to Australia with us.
we arrived in Australia in 1974 were sin continued to eat away at me but I always prayed for Jesus to take me to heaven, my sin grew so bad and rapidly it was frightening, at the age of 19 I met a Greek girl she was 21 at the time and we fell in love but in sin, and I told her about my pas sins, she looked at me and walked away got about 30 meters from me and came back and she said will you ever go back to you sinful ways and I said no, she kissed me and said I cant leave you and want to help you, we got married in 1990 after I got baptized in the Greek orthodox church and changed my name to Vasilios Basil Daaboul.
when my wifes grandmother passed away I went into depression knowing is my turn one day and needed help from our church, I went to confession regularly and in that time I met my dads brother for the first time and spoke with my half siblings for the first time in 20 years I again got confused frightened and continued going to confession about my confusion in religion but never doubted my love for Christianity but just confused all the same,  I ended up going to Jerusalem were we stayed one night in Telaviv , we had no were else to stay after that night, we had our 2 year old son Dimitri with us and we made our way to Jafa gate were we met a deacon named farther arristovolelas , not sure of the spelling, he gave us his room next to mt Golgotha and we seen many great wonders, all the holy sites and I broke down inside Christs tomb.
Wen it was time to leave for Greece the deacon asked if we can drop of a letter in Katterini in Greece to his sister and my wife happily agreed, when we got to Greece my wife went to the deacons sisters house to deliver the letter and was blown away to find the deacons sister is one of her relatives Smiley
we went to Jerusalem with faith and our god Jesus Christ puts us with Family <3 I came back to Australia a new person and sadly drifted away into sin, today I continue to fight and walk and  to confession holy communion , Last year I ended up going to Lebanon and met my Brothers and sisters for the first time in 38 years, I broke down and cried only with the younger of my two older sisters, yes they are Muslim and I made it clear to them we will not speak about religion although my older sister tried, I just walked away, I love them and continue to speak to them, I even took my wife to meet them this year, but in Christ I live and die whether I go to heaven or not its up to our lord Jesus Christ, I have learned a lot about Islam and was shocked to know how it came to be and sad for my Brothers sisters cousins, uncles all of them but Ive never tried talking to them about my faith, I know it wont go down well.
I cant thank Jesus Christ enough for the Angel I married to were her faith is strong and her love for me and our two boys Dimitri and Christo is just amazing, my two older boys are still alter boys at the age of 19 and 16.
I continue to fall and get back up but Im finding more strength to stay away from sin these days and fighting the good fight.
I have seen many wonders and seen things I dont want to speak about, I have so much more to tell and can take up days to wright about them but I wont, I hope you enjoy reading this and this is the first time I shared it publicly .

My New Name since meeting my Brothers and sisters is Vasilios Bassam Haddad I kept my baptized name and my previosn name Bassam Haddad as my middle and last name.

God Bless


Vasilios Bassam Haddad your testimony is an inspiration to us all.

Thank you for sharing and may God bless and guide you always.

JR
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« Reply #156 on: December 10, 2012, 12:38:53 PM »

Hi everyone!

I'm new on this site and also Newly Illumined Orthodox. I was Chrismated this last weekend along my husband and children. I had been RC for 35 years and always felt there was something wrong. Since I was a little child, and then a young Catechist, I had many questions that were always replied with a slap from my Catholic priest. He was Spanish and apparently children are not allowed to ask questions about God in his country. I'd always ask why the Pope was infalible, why the Filioque, where in the Bible (or apocrypha) was the Immaculate Conception, why the schism, etc. He would tell me that I should believe as children do, without questions...but even since I was a child, I had questions  Undecided

My husband and became pregnant before we married, and having studied at a Roman Catholic University, that made us sinners. Soon after we married by the civil law, we tried to have our "wedding" by the church, but I was yelled at and called a concubine at the priest's office.

My husband was in active duty (US Army) so we traveled a lot and never got the chance to settle down in a place. I tried to visit different churches, but it never felt right. In a desperate attempt for belonging I let Jehova Witnesses into my house...big mistake! My mind and heart were Orthodox, but I didn't know yet. They came to teach me and left confused and angry at me because I spoke the "devil's lies" and was trying to "weaken" their faith.

When somebody asked what religion we were, we would always reply, we are Jesus Christ followers so we are pre-denomination :-) I never knew this was actually one of the many descriptions of the EO church!  laugh

Two years ago my husband retired from active duty and we decided to settle. I love to read so I started reading about the local churches in order to find a spiritual home and somehow I came to an article about RC vs. EO and it all made sense. All my questions were finally answered in a way that made sense and was loyal to the scriptures, the tradition and to the HISTORY. We started visiting a Greek Orthodox parish, but it was hard to understand as 50%of the Liturgy is in Greek. A parishioner told us about a very small Russian church closer to our house and where all the services were in English. I contacted the fr. Nectarios and we found our spiritual home. His wife and him Chrismated us last weekend and they are also our Godparents. We feel like we have always belonged to the church...it was as if we were in a loooong trip and finally arrived home. The church is alive in us and is a constant part of our daily lives, I no longer feel the need to look for Jesus as I know I have found Him. My prayers are no longer a desperate call from a Father that seemed far away, but a personal conversation with the Father that called me unto being. I am home!

Wilmary
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"Humbleness is protection, patience is confirmation, love is defence. Where there is love, there is God, there is all the good…" St. Nazary of Valaam
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« Reply #157 on: December 10, 2012, 05:09:33 PM »

welcome, wilma and your family!
may God bless u all.
keep reading the Bible and praying and attending church and may God guide u.
 Smiley
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« Reply #158 on: December 13, 2012, 07:00:31 PM »

I'm new on this site and also Newly Illumined Orthodox. I was Chrismated this last weekend along my husband and children. I had been RC for 35 years and always felt there was something wrong. Since I was a little child, and then a young Catechist, I had many questions that were always replied with a slap from my Catholic priest.

 Sad

Do you mean literally?
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« Reply #159 on: December 13, 2012, 07:45:04 PM »

I'm new on this site and also Newly Illumined Orthodox. I was Chrismated this last weekend along my husband and children. I had been RC for 35 years and always felt there was something wrong. Since I was a little child, and then a young Catechist, I had many questions that were always replied with a slap from my Catholic priest.

 Sad

Do you mean literally?

Sadly, yes. Literally a slap on my face, sometimes ine on each side at the same time so I coulnt dodge. If he meant to hurt me he will respond to God.
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Wilma (Nazarius)

"Humbleness is protection, patience is confirmation, love is defence. Where there is love, there is God, there is all the good…" St. Nazary of Valaam
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« Reply #160 on: December 14, 2012, 02:54:23 AM »

I'm new on this site and also Newly Illumined Orthodox. I was Chrismated this last weekend along my husband and children. I had been RC for 35 years and always felt there was something wrong. Since I was a little child, and then a young Catechist, I had many questions that were always replied with a slap from my Catholic priest.

 Sad

Do you mean literally?

Sadly, yes. Literally a slap on my face, sometimes ine on each side at the same time so I coulnt dodge. If he meant to hurt me he will respond to God.

Lord have mercy, truly shocking behavior !
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« Reply #161 on: December 14, 2012, 08:55:24 AM »


 
[/quote]

Lord have mercy, truly shocking behavior !
[/quote]

I was told by a Spanish lady, whos father used to be a RC priest who decided to break his vow after meeting his now wife, that it was a common way for Spanish RC priests to treat "noisy" children.  Shocked Maybe he thought I asked too much? Huh  I'm a mother now and wouldn't let anyone do something like that to my children.  Angry
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Wilma (Nazarius)

"Humbleness is protection, patience is confirmation, love is defence. Where there is love, there is God, there is all the good…" St. Nazary of Valaam
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« Reply #162 on: July 19, 2013, 03:35:31 PM »

Hi all,

This side of the forum looks a little dead, but I've been lurking on this website for several weeks and would like to finally say hello!

I am a Roman Catholic discerning a conversion to Orthodoxy. My family converted to Catholicism when I was nine or ten years old (I'm now 26) from the Episcopalian church. For years my view of the Catholic faith has gone up and down. Sometimes I didn't agree with their teachings, but I chalked it up to my misunderstanding of the faith and nothing more. Over the past few years, I've felt myself move farther away from Catholicism than I've ever been. My husband and I stopped attending mass for a couple of years (after our son was born in May 2010) and started attending again a couple of years later (after our daughter turned one in December 2012). We've kept going because, regardless of whatever we believe about the Catholic faith, my husband and I wanted show appreciation for our existence by going to Mass. We started taking a deistic view of God, and have become increasingly disillusioned by Catholicism.

I continued to feel something missing from my life. Even though I didn't believe God had anything to do with our lives other than to create the world, I prayed that if he did, intervene in our lives, to please lead me to what I need in my life. To please lead me where I need to be to so I won't be so lackluster about my faith anymore. Somehow, and I'm not even sure when or how it entered into my mind, Orthodoxy came up. Up to six months ago, I had very little bearing on what Orthodoxy was except that "they broke away from the Catholic church over 'and the Son' being in the Creed." I've read more and more about it, and I understand all the "hubbub" about the addition to the Creed by the Roman Catholic Church. The more I research, the more I love what I discover. I'm still not 100% about Orthodoxy, which saddens me, but my journey has only begun about three or four weeks ago. Sometimes I think "Yes, this is it. This is what I've been waiting for," then other times, "No, slow down. Wait. This is not right." I told my mother about considering a conversion, and while she didn't react horribly like I thought she would, she did tell me, "I can only say you might be being led astray. You'd have to understand that to join would be to mean that you believe the Catholic church to be in error." I explained to her that, well, yes, I understood the latter and that would be why I was converting. She did tell me, though, "Well, at least you're not telling me you want to become a Baptist."

On the subject of my husband, he'd either convert with me stop going entirely. He hasn't done any research into Orthodoxy, but what I've told him, he likes the sound of. We live an hour away from the closest Orthodox church (Houston), and to be honest, there are so many options, we don't know which one to choose from! I have not yet gotten in touch with an Orthodox priest yet either. That "wait" part of me is holding me back to be honest.

In any case, I'm very happy to have found this forum! Smiley
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« Reply #163 on: July 19, 2013, 05:35:30 PM »

St Dominica its great to hear your posting....I converted to Orthodoxy from RC, and being an Irish Catholic living in Ireland it was a large cultural as well as religious step. However, I found after a while my relations have come to deeply respect Orthodox Christianity, especially the calibre of the Priests and other Orthodox believers they have inevitably met. Of course the primary thing to do is to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit through prayer, and further to that seek the counsel of an Orthodox priest or monastic ( male or female ) about your discernment.
I can only relate my own experience, I was very concerned that I was in error at first, because you leave behind all the comfortable niceties of the familiar. However, as I attended Divine Liturgy more regularly before Chrismation, I began to experience an awareness of the real presence of the Holy Spirit in a way which I have not experienced in an RC mass for decades. I always felt uncomfortable at the brevity and the emphasis upon making the Mass as " user friendly" as possible over the last two decades, I felt it was missing the point, weren't we here to engage in profound and heartfelt worship? How can this pitch be achieved in a mere 40 minutes at most? In the years after Chrismation I can honestly say that I have been so blessed to have been guided into Orthodoxy, it may be a cliche, but I really feel that I had come " home" at last.
I occasionally attend RC  Mass with my wife, who remains RC, (though she does not attend regularly and says Orthodox daily prayers now, and lights the Icon lampada if she's up before me Smiley) , all I am left with is a sense of sadness that the people around me have never experienced the profound beauty of the Orthodox mystical supper, and I just KNOW that the majority  would absolutely recognise its beauty and sacred profundity were they ever given the chance to experience it. Like a man who has visited and exulted in the fragrance and wealth of growth and blooms in  the hanging gardens of Babylon, it is frustrating to know so many will only ever witness a faded picture of its splendour.
Please persevere with your journey to Orthodoxy, God will guide you if you take the first faltering fearful steps, and you will definitely experience an abundance of coincidences or " God Incidences" that will signal you are on the path to the Church, our Saviour established on Earth. I promise you that you will experience quite remarkable coincidences and providential happen chance events or conversations...I was told I would encounter them in Orthodoxy, now they occur with such frequency that I have rather come to anticipate them. This sense of God being there in my every day life was the thing which " felt " most different about being Orthodox as opposed to RC. I do hope you continue on this wonderful wonderful journey, you will never regret it, so long as you continually pray for the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #164 on: July 20, 2013, 12:31:43 PM »

welcome st dominica, i hope you will find some answers here, as i have done (i was previously protestant).
choose a church that has a website in english (i see u are in usa) and that has spiritual activities advertised, such as Bible study after coffee time (after liturgy) or weekend spiritual retreats etc.

if it is only advertising cultural activities, then look for another. (maybe it will turn out to be an amazing church, but as you are only able to 'judge the book by it's cover' before you visit, then choose one with a spiritual 'cover'!)
check the service times (may not be on the website, don't let this bother you, you can telephone and check if not) and go. if you are the only one interested, then go alone, and report back to your family; hopefully to take them with you next time.
you won't know till you try it!
may God guide u.

finbar, it's good to read your post too, i am glad to hear you are telling your friends and relatives about orthodox Christianity. i didn't hear of my irish catholics becoming orthodox, though i do know of one priest in our church from this background.
may God bless your family and give you much patience.
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« Reply #165 on: July 25, 2013, 04:12:08 PM »

Thank you both very much! I feel as though I'm getting closer and closer to where I'm supposed to be as each day passes. I'm attending my first Divine Liturgy this Sunday, and I'm really looking forward to it! My husband is even softening to the idea of converting which I am very thankful for.

I've contacted a church about converting, and I received an email from the priest (who seemed very affable) stating that we can meet after Liturgy!
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« Reply #166 on: July 27, 2013, 02:23:59 PM »

Hi St_Domnica. Welcome to the forum. I'm Catholic too.

I don't post much on the Converts Issues forum; but if you read other sections of OCnet, you've perhaps heard me say before that, if I were Orthodox, I wouldn't leave Orthodoxy. In other words, I can understand where you're coming from.
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« Reply #167 on: August 10, 2013, 05:00:21 PM »

I was an Old Calendarist since my birth. I had not religion in my life. Just then in the most difficult moment on my life God showed He loves me. Mother Mary the highest saint, our Mother sent me not at the Old Calendarist church which is two-three roads from my house but to an Eastern Orthodox Church further away. And there I began to go only at afternoons at the begin. Then the priest because he had no help asked me if I can help. And so I said yes. He instructed me and knew nothing. I believed that both churches were true. When He learned some months ago, we told him, he explained to us many things and I was sure from the first moment. At 6th April of 2013 I was baptized and so was my brother. At 10th August 2013 my father was baptized. And the proof I made the right choice? I was fought much more by the demons from then until now. God thank you. Smiley
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« Reply #168 on: August 10, 2013, 05:01:59 PM »

Old Calendarists are re-baptized in Greece?
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« Reply #169 on: August 10, 2013, 05:09:14 PM »

Well here is the problem. Old calendarists is the name of a heresy in our country. They split from the church when the Church of Greece began using the New Julian Calendar. Their priests are fake. Old calendarists that are Eastern orthodox are not re-baptized( for example Russians). Those who belong at this heretic group are baptized if they had not been baptized at Eastern orthodox before. If they had and later converted and convert back they only need to say it at repentance.
P.S. I posted on wrong thread  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #170 on: August 10, 2013, 05:10:54 PM »

Ah, thank you for explaining  angel
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« Reply #171 on: September 01, 2013, 05:21:15 PM »

I was born into a Methodist family, and I felt that Methodist worship was empty (so much of it is moving to contemporary worship), so upon discussion with my many Roman Catholic friends, I converted to Catholicism as soon as I left my parents' house. I had considered Orthodoxy, but was told that the Orthodox Church was too "ethnic" for a Scots Irish Czech like myself (from people outside of orthodoxy, of course)! When the previous Pope was elected, I began to have qualms with Catholic doctrine. The concept of the Immaculate Conception always bothered me, because to me it diminished Mary's love for God and her ability to accept His will. The more I reread what I had learned, the more problems that I had with the theology. I do not have problems with the doctrines that align with Orthodoxy, and so I've started looking for Orthodox Parishes in my area. Currently, I'm considering the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #172 on: September 02, 2013, 06:46:56 AM »

welcome!
which country are u in?
i have been to a lovely antiochian church here in uk, and have a good friend who goes there regularly
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« Reply #173 on: September 02, 2013, 10:27:56 AM »

I was raised Methodist and Evangelical.  I discovered the Apostolic Fathers and Eusebius of Caesarea in high school.  Once graduated, I started visiting different churches.  However, I also loved Dante, medieval philosophy and later on G. K. Chesterton.  I met up with some Orthodox Army folk in Germany and fell in love with the Vespers service (all I saw).  While living in Germany however I was enchanted by a lovely Catholic community on my father's Army post.  The relative poverty of Orthodox agit-prop and the superabundance of Catholic agit-prop helped ease me into the Catholic church.  Five years later, my Roman holiday was over.  I had seen too many loony Masses, had met too many loony religious and had utterly failed to find any literature which would lend any support to the trickiest dogma, papal infallibility.  (I had not even learned of Pope Honorius etc.).  I contacted an Orthodox priest I knew through a friend; he fought like a lion to make sure that we had a ride to church and were catechized.
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« Reply #174 on: September 02, 2013, 12:21:57 PM »

welcome!
which country are u in?
i have been to a lovely antiochian church here in uk, and have a good friend who goes there regularly

I lived in the U.S.

The Antiochian parish where I live is very small; but where I plan on moving there's a big one.
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« Reply #175 on: November 01, 2013, 10:30:12 PM »

Greetings friends:

Wow, how to begin:

My name is Isaac. Or at least it will be when I am baptized. For now, my name on this side of regeneration is Daniel. I am a Catechumen in the GOAA and I have a wonderful and very traditional, but humble and moderate priest, Fr. Joseph Chafee.

I was raised Protestant, Southern Baptist, but Reformed Baptist, Calvinistic. My Pastor at the time was very much into fully informing his flock about the truths of their faith. So every Sermon was sort of like a mini-seminary event. I was homeschooled, and my mom read the Bible with us every day. Old Testament, Psalms, then Proverbs, then the letters of Paul. Then we would discuss what we read. So I grew up in a an environment constantly commenting on and ruminating passages of scripture and getting other peoples take on them. As a young man, I fell into darkness; The occult. From about the age of 15 to 20 for sure, and then off and on until about 22. After my deliverance from that (Through the prayer of my younger brother) I was on fire to be a real Christian, so I got back into Protestantism, and I wanted to know the inside out of it. I decided to go to the beginning and work forward. MISTAKE! lol. The historical record destroys Protestantism. However, All I knew was either Protestant or Catholic, the early church LOOKED Catholic, so I became Catholic. Mar. 19th 2004, the feast of St. Joseph the worker, I was "baptized" in the Roman Church. But I entered into Roman Catholicism with a wrong spirit. I was immediately prone to controversy, and dissatisfied with my options. I was always comparing the Old latin Mass to the Novus Ordo Mess, I mean Mass, I was criticizing liturgical innovation, and I was disgusted with the fact that no Catholic, not ONE that I knew took to heart all the dogmatic teachings of the Roman Church, especially the one about every creature, of necessity, and without exception being subject to the Roman Pontiff for salvation. So, I knew that I needed Tradition, but I was deluded because I had placed myself over everything as Judge Jury and Executor.

During this time I had married, and Now have four Children. My wife was intimately involved in my conversion to Romanism, and so when I decided I needed to convert, it was...IS very painful.

So, one day, 8 years after becoming Roman Catholic, I decided to watch a documentary on Mt. Athos. I was amazed. The monks all had depth of heart, sincerity, love and concern (especially for the interviewer). I realized that I had no love. I had no heart. RC confession wasn't working. I knew all the dogmas, but was empty, vapid, hollow. I lived a life of faith that was not faith, but a purely intellectual exercise. These monks I saw had what I needed. It defied logic and all my arguments. How can you argue with reality? How can you argue with the reality of peace just radiating from their faces? So, I decided I needed to abandon my intellectual baggage, and convert.

Fr. Seraphim Rose said something that struck me once. "When I became Orthodox, I crucified my mind, and resolved to believe what the Holy fathers had always taught, regardless of what I thought of it." That is what I am trying to do.

pray for me, a fool.
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« Reply #176 on: November 01, 2013, 11:57:18 PM »

May Lord be with you! Seek and you shall find...
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« Reply #177 on: November 02, 2013, 01:07:45 PM »

Hi, My Name
was Bassam mohamad farouk Haddad, I was Born in Lebanon 27/03/1966 as a Muslim, my mother was christian Orthodox. I am one of 8 brothers and sisters 3 of us been to the same mother and the rest half brothers and sisters,  my Father was abusive, an alcoholic, a womanizer and used to bash my mother, I also was afraid of him.

My Mother was kicked out several times and ended living my her mother brother and sisters, she would take us to the church sometimes and I was very fond of the virgin Mary and Jesus and the cross, there is a little cave near my uncles house and I use to visit it with my untie and she said If I believe in god the coins will stick to the icons and she would try and they wouldn't stick, then I tried and they stuck, she hit me in a fun way just playing around around.
A lot of things happened to me in Lebanon including sin even though I was 6 or so and the coin will not sick for me after that Sad
My dad died when I was 7 and in Lebanon the women dont have rights the their children especially in Islam even if the father passes away.
Well my dad passed away in an accident and my dads brothers came looking for us me first as they take the children away from the mother when they turn 7 years old but my mother told them to let me finish school and they can have all 3 of us, they agreed, in that time my mother made up passports in her maiden name, apparently a judge knew my dad and didnt like the way he was and let my mother go ahead with papers/passports and she took of to Australia with us.
we arrived in Australia in 1974 were sin continued to eat away at me but I always prayed for Jesus to take me to heaven, my sin grew so bad and rapidly it was frightening, at the age of 19 I met a Greek girl she was 21 at the time and we fell in love but in sin, and I told her about my pas sins, she looked at me and walked away got about 30 meters from me and came back and she said will you ever go back to you sinful ways and I said no, she kissed me and said I cant leave you and want to help you, we got married in 1990 after I got baptized in the Greek orthodox church and changed my name to Vasilios Basil Daaboul.
when my wifes grandmother passed away I went into depression knowing is my turn one day and needed help from our church, I went to confession regularly and in that time I met my dads brother for the first time and spoke with my half siblings for the first time in 20 years I again got confused frightened and continued going to confession about my confusion in religion but never doubted my love for Christianity but just confused all the same,  I ended up going to Jerusalem were we stayed one night in Telaviv , we had no were else to stay after that night, we had our 2 year old son Dimitri with us and we made our way to Jafa gate were we met a deacon named farther arristovolelas , not sure of the spelling, he gave us his room next to mt Golgotha and we seen many great wonders, all the holy sites and I broke down inside Christs tomb.
Wen it was time to leave for Greece the deacon asked if we can drop of a letter in Katterini in Greece to his sister and my wife happily agreed, when we got to Greece my wife went to the deacons sisters house to deliver the letter and was blown away to find the deacons sister is one of her relatives Smiley
we went to Jerusalem with faith and our god Jesus Christ puts us with Family <3 I came back to Australia a new person and sadly drifted away into sin, today I continue to fight and walk and  to confession holy communion , Last year I ended up going to Lebanon and met my Brothers and sisters for the first time in 38 years, I broke down and cried only with the younger of my two older sisters, yes they are Muslim and I made it clear to them we will not speak about religion although my older sister tried, I just walked away, I love them and continue to speak to them, I even took my wife to meet them this year, but in Christ I live and die whether I go to heaven or not its up to our lord Jesus Christ, I have learned a lot about Islam and was shocked to know how it came to be and sad for my Brothers sisters cousins, uncles all of them but Ive never tried talking to them about my faith, I know it wont go down well.
I cant thank Jesus Christ enough for the Angel I married to were her faith is strong and her love for me and our two boys Dimitri and Christo is just amazing, my two older boys are still alter boys at the age of 19 and 16.
I continue to fall and get back up but Im finding more strength to stay away from sin these days and fighting the good fight.
I have seen many wonders and seen things I dont want to speak about, I have so much more to tell and can take up days to wright about them but I wont, I hope you enjoy reading this and this is the first time I shared it publicly .

My New Name since meeting my Brothers and sisters is Vasilios Bassam Haddad I kept my baptized name and my previosn name Bassam Haddad as my middle and last name.

God Bless



Thank you for sharing this  Smiley
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« Reply #178 on: November 09, 2013, 05:52:22 PM »

OK, here we go!
So I was a nominal Catholic.  I really wanted to love God more.  I became active in Church, and began to learn theology, and even for a while discerned a vocation.  I then heard about the Orthodox Church.  I just read, and believed that they had committed schism.  At this point I was very interested in ecumenism (ughhhh, I know Embarrassed), and hoped that Orthodoxy and Rome would "get together".  I heard about the Tridentine rite of the Roman Church, and became more "high church", but still was interested in ecumenism a la Vatican II.  I also on and off investigated the theology of the Eastern Catholics. 
This is where things get interesting.  Part of me wanted to be Orthodox, but I thought "No, this is a sin!"  I fought it back, and just buried it for some time.  It would resurface, but I buried it again with polemics.  This went on for about a year.  Finally, this past two months, I decided I would finally give Orthodoxy a look see.  I bought Kallistos Ware's "The Orthodox Church", and started reading more about Orthodoxy's view on the schism of 1054.  And guess what; it made sense.  The pope grabbed power he never had.  This is obvious in the way that he suppressed various western rites. I kept quiet as I truly started to become Orthodox "in my heart".  Finally, I contacted a saint of a priest at my local Greek Orthodox Church.  I am not yet a catachumen but God willing it will be done soon!
As an interesting anecdote, my friend (she was the first Greek orthodox I had ever met) said she was not suprised when I told her I was becoming Orthodox; She said she saw it coming!
Amen!
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« Reply #179 on: February 17, 2014, 04:05:27 PM »

I come from a irish traveller half romany gypsy family who are very devoted catholics,but for years i was at odds with the churches teaching and didnt feel it was the truth but i still attended mass. I went to walshinham and found a little orthodox church there but no one was present, but i felt so good like the holy spirt had guiled me there.However i kept putting it off to find out more.Then i said i cannot keep ingorning the holy spirt and started researhing and reading books about church history.14 months ago i woke up on a sunday i was going to go to mass but i said to myself  i cannot  live a lie.so i got on the internet google the orthodox church as i did soo many times  and there was a litury starting in 15 mins around the corner from my home.I went there they were so welcoming but it was in coptic-arbic but i was told saturday they do english services, i went for some  time and then became orthodox. my family still are at odds with me, but by Gods grace they will come to know the true church of christ. amen
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« Reply #180 on: March 24, 2014, 12:42:48 PM »

Wow, I was going to say there sure are alot of Catholics converting before I realized I was in the RC convert thread haha.
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« Reply #181 on: May 19, 2014, 01:32:59 AM »

I'm not sure if this belongs here or not but here's my story.

I was raised in a multi-religious household and was a Buddhist, Protestant, Catholic and as of now, hopeful to convert to Orthodoxy. As a Buddhist, I hardly know anything about the religion at all but didn't bother to give it much thought. Buddhism was also more of a cultural identity rather than a religious one as I never knew anything about it. After a few years, my mother somehow decided that Christianity is a better religion compared to Buddhism and decided to attend a Baptist church since being about 10 years old at the time, many of my schoolmates are part of that church. I just followed my mother and soon learned about the tenets and doctrines of Christianity and quickly adopt it as my own through 'learning' at Sunday School. Most of the time, I would go for socializing with the other kids of my age there and not to learn about God or study the Scriptures but then, I was young.

This continued for about 2 years before my mother moved to Methodism and naturally I followed. Unlike my former Baptist church however, the Methodist Church my mother attended largely caters to the Chinese speaking community which means that its Sunday School classes are all in Chinese which while ironically being a Chinese myself, I could not speak nor understand the language. Because of this, I hardly learned anything during my short stint with the Methodist Church. The only thing I remembered was a Bible Study class about the Prophet Daniel being fed to the lions and emerging alive. I didn't really know the significance of the story and honestly acted indifferently.

Eventually, my mother decided to be a Catholic since she reasoned that the Catholic Church is the oldest denomination and most traditional, it must be the True Church or the best amongst all and soon enrolled me for Catechism Class to get Baptized. This is the place where I finally learned something and during a lesson, it is where I have learned about the Eastern Orthodox Churches, at least in name when one of the teachers were describing about Holy Communion and the Eucharist. I honestly didn't give much thought about it. At 12 years of age, I got Baptized and soon continued Catechism classes be be confirmed into the faith the following year. While I did learned something during those classes, I went just to play and socialize with my friends each week. I only went another three years because at that time, I had a crush on one of the girls there so, I decided to continue on with the classes in hopes of getting close to her. Well, it never happened  but I still did learn a thing or two about Catholicism but still barely enough to even call myself a Cradle Catholic even despite attending Mass weekly which honestly at times, it was just to see whether the girl I had a crush on is there or not. Eventually, I was confirmed into the Church and rather than reading Sacred Scripture or knowing about the Church, I only went to Church because my mother went. Ironically, my mother wasn't Baptized at the time and she was already meditating daily on the Scriptures and spending private times on Devotions to the Virgin Mary.

Fast forward to college, and being enrolled in a Protestant institution(operated by the Methodist Church), I soon gotten involved with the Christian Fellowship there which is sort of like Campus Crusade for Christ for those who don't know. Basically, it is just an hour of praise and worship and then a lecturer or pastor from some church preaching from the Scripture. Being in a majority Protestant environment, I eventually have to learn more about my Faith to defend it. This process of learning began at Catholic Answers, which after a while, I moved on to other Apologetic websites and eventually, History where I learned more about the Church Fathers which being a Catholic at the time, I thought that they are all Catholics, until I naturally came across the Eastern Orthodox Churches in my journey of Learning. From there, I decided to learn and read more about Orthodoxy which in my country, nearly everyone would not even know exist. Even Christians I asked don't even know of its existence but I suppose it's not their fault given that Orthodoxy have a very small presence in my country. Still, I learned about Orthodoxy and naturally, I gotten interested and found myself with a form of Christianity which was to me at the time, foreign to me. Of course, while learning about Orthodoxy, I found myself questioning about my Catholic faith. The only reason why I have a respect for the Catholic Tradition to begin with was because of the intellectual side of it in the form of theologians such as Thomas Aquinas. Though I no longer consider myself a Catholic, I still have respect for him.

Through my study of Orthodox theology through whatever online resources I could find, I could only find myself being drawn to it but yet, I thought nothing could have swayed me away from the Catholic Church, especially given that I have to on a regular basis, cope with listening Protestant doctrine, learn how deprave we are and how we have no Free Will at all. Eventually, however, I found myself slowly desiring for the real Divine Liturgy and slowly become theologically inclined towards Orthodoxy away from Catholicism. I still believe in the Communion of Saints, the Real Presence, Theotokos, Faith + Works, yet, I slowly dropped my belief in the Pope being the head of the Church, transubstantiation, Icons being just a mere image for veneration(It's more than that!!) and Papal Infallibility just to name some Catholic beliefs or doctrines which after knowing more about Orthodoxy, have ceased to believed.

Unlike some of my Former Catholic brothers and sisters here however, my family is actually willing to allow me to be an Orthodox Christian though my mother wasn't particularly happy at one point when I attended a vesper service at an Orthodox Church after contacting a person affiliated with that Church, belonging to the Russian Orthodox, online. Of course, the concern was merely because she thought the Church was not legally recognized church. She rather have me to go to the more recognizable and visible Protestant churches rather than the Orthodox. At that time, it took a lot of explanation to clear up misunderstandings and inform her about the legality of the Church. Eventually, my mother was fine with it after I told her that the Orthodox Churches are all more recognized by the Catholic Church than the Protestant ones. She was fine with it after that. Of course, this may simply be because of the multi religious makeup of my Family since my Family as a whole are evenly divided of Protestants, Catholics and Buddhists.

As of now however, I'm technically still Catholic  Sad I can only begin to attend an Orthodox Church on a regular basis and hopefully be able to become a Catechumen after I further my studies overseas(Most likely UK). I really do hope that by God's Grace, it would happen and I can finally be a member of the True Body of Christ. Until then, I would want to give a round of applause to my former Catholic brothers and sisters here for being able to pull through so much just to be in Union with the True Body of Christ. Your efforts are inspirational and without a doubt, the Holy Spirit must have guided you all into the arms of the Mother Church which have been waiting for her children to come back.


« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 01:37:16 AM by sakura95 » Logged
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All ye Saints, pray to God for me a sinner.


« Reply #182 on: May 20, 2014, 12:33:00 AM »

I've been contemplating telling my story on this thread for awhile, so here it goes:

I was born into a Catholic family and was baptized as an infant.  From that point on things get rather hazy as to what I believed.  The catechists at my home parish were flat out horrible, and I don't remember having a clear grasp of what made us "Catholic", I just knew were weren't like those crazy sola scriptura fundamentalist protestants and I kinda had a thing for Francis of Assisi (not because of his faith, but because he was all about the environment).  To sum up my beliefs upon my confirmation at age 17: Jesus was a good guy who was all about helping the poor (and little else), the Church was only a human institution, only really really evil people like Hitler were actually going to hell, all paths claiming to lead to God lead to God, etc... and all the while I met not one person at my home parish who challenged these beliefs.  In fact, the only reason I went through with the sacrament was to not break the heart of my grandmother, who is still a devout Catholic.

Needless to say, I was only one step away from falling completely away from what little faith had been instilled in me as a child, and shortly after being confirmed I was ready to declare myself a "free-thinker" and became a closet (I was afraid of the backlash from my family) agnostic/atheist.  It felt good for awhile, but over time I just became more cynical.  Music became my God, Neil Young and Bob Dylan were my patrons, science was my bible, and liberal politics was my muse.  From a materialist view, I should have been on top of the world.  I was young and about to enter college with my whole life ahead of me.  But on a spiritual level, outside of losing myself in distractions, I could only feel good about my lack of belief when I was putting down the "unwashed masses" who still clung to their religion.  At the same time however, I never felt comfortable leveling those accusations at people I actually knew whose faith I experienced first hand.  At one point during that summer, I can remember just being completely fed up with it all.  I was miserable.  I needed a reason to believe. 

Coming from a materialist worldview, I started reading books about the relationship between science and God.  The work of Catholic biologist Dr. Ken Miller (who teaches at Brown University) and the Protestant Francis Collins (who headed the human genome project) really made an impact on me.  I had taken my first step from atheist to deism, but I still wasn't completely satisfied.  At this point I turned to the writings of Jewish physicist Gerald Shroeder. Dr. Shroeder was able to harmonize my need for scientific evidence with the god of Genesis, which allowed me to believe in a personal god again.  After this step, I realized I had hit a crossroads, it was either Judaism or Christianity.  In other terms, who was Jesus? On a side note (and because I really didn't know where else to put this in my story), it's worth mentioning that at no point in my search did I ever seriously consider polytheism or Islam.  There was one creation of the physical universe, so from there I reasoned that there must be one god.  Why I never considered Islam is a trickier question, and one I still don't have a concrete answer for.  I have my reasons now, but they came rather late in my conversion process.

The Jesus question was one I straddled for several months. I set about trying to solve it by learning, the same way I had dealt with my earlier questions, but this time I had prayer.  While throughout this whole process I had never stopped attending my home parish for weekly Mass (trying to keep up appearances), in private I only felt comfortable calling upon "the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob".  My major breakthrough came by reading the writings of Anglican New Testament Scholar N.T. Wright.  Wright's book How God Became King, really cemented in me the belief that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament.  It was Jesus or bust from this point out.

Catholicism seemed like a natural home base once I had found Jesus.  At no point had I externally broken away from the Church of Rome (as an atheist, I probably attend Mass more regularly than most Catholics), but internally I still felt no affinity for her hierarchy or her teachings.  I set about solving this by learning as much I could about Catholicism.  It didn't take long for me to be swept off my feet.  I was in love, and for about four months I ate, breathed, and sweated Catholicism.  But even after all this I still wasn't completely satisfied.  No matter where I went, from my "spirit of Vatican II" home parish to the local Cathedral, something was missing.  While intellectually I had assented to Rome's doctrines, I was never able to find my niche in Catholic spirituality.  I eventually realized that what I wanted more liturgical tradition than what was being offered at the college I attended (if I wasn't part of the youth culture, it had no place in the liturgy) or what I could find in town (historic parish building, same bad liturgy).  I became an advocate of the Latin mass, said my daily prayers out of the 1962 missal, would only read from the Douay-Rheims... a "more Catholic than the Pope" attitude.  But then one day, out of the blue, I was browsing a traditionalist Catholic Facebook page and something just felt wrong. Then it hit me: Why were all the things that define traditional Catholicism absent from the church until the 11th century?

I started reading articles on orthodoxinfo.com, attending catechumen classes at a local parish, made myself a makeshift icon corner, and started saying my morning an evening prayers from an Orthodox prayer book... but I still couldn't bring myself to miss Mass with my family (I stayed at home for college) to attend a liturgy.  I was caught between two worlds.  Fate forced my hand rather abruptly when I got the news one morning that my grandfather had been diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer.  Within two months he was dead.  My grandfather really meant a lot to me, and in the wake of his passing I felt the need to be there for my grandmother (who has just buried her own mother eight months earlier) in any way I could.  I felt like that despite all my reservations I had to remain Catholic.  I cobbled together what ever proof I could of Rome's assertions and forced myself to close the case.  Rome had won, end of discussion.

But my questions still remained in the back of my mind, and the spiritual void was in no way filled by my forced conclusions.  I flirted briefly with sedevancantism, and considered joining the Society of St. Pius X.  I stopped praying in front of my icons (despite the fact that I had only Christ, the Theotokos, and my guardian angel) for fear that it would somehow make me Orthodox... it was a rather pitiful state.  Finally I was forced to face the facts, the issue had not been resolved.  I had to defeat the Orthodox position on papal primacy once and for all if I was ever going to get any peace.  So I asked: "If St. John Chysostom appealed to Rome when he was exiled, why don't the Orthodox accuse this beloved Saint of Papism? For if he really saw Rome as the head of the Church as Catholic apologists claim, it would be absolutely erroneous for the Orthodox to venerate him today."

Needless to say, real story of St. John Chrysostom was a lot more complex than I had been led to believe by Catholic apologists.  I consulted the fathers in their proper context, and found that many of the claims for Roman supremacy taken form the writings of the fathers are a mix of half truths, biased translations, and blatant distortion on the part of Catholic apologists.  It was during this time I affirmed another long held suspicion, that many of the spiritual practices of the post-schism Western church were at direct odds with the teachings of the spiritual masters of the undivided Church, yet Orthodoxy had retained these teachings intact.  A straight line ran from St. Anthony of Egypt to Elder Paisios.

I then set up a meeting with the priest who had held the catechumen classes that I had attended several months before.  He rightly viewed my new found enthusiasm with skepticism, but was willing to take me on again.  I let my parents know that this was something I was considering seriously, and after three painful weeks I was finally able to attend my first Vespers.  From that point on I knew that this was something I had to do.  I immersed myself in Orthodoxy, and found that what had been lacking in Catholicism was present in abundance.  Here was everything I had ever wanted, and things I didn't even know were missing.  I felt home for the first time in my life.  Ever step I took from that point on only pulled me in deeper.

I could go on and on at this point, but hopefully you get the idea.  Telling my grandmother was rather painful, but once I got that out of the way things really opened up and she's been respectful and supportive of my decision.  Same with my parents, although I don't think that either of them will be converting anytime soon.  My biggest falling out was with my friends from college who were Catholic, but my new parish family has filled that gap.  Smiley

God bless.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 12:48:55 AM by Sam G » Logged

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« Reply #183 on: August 17, 2014, 04:57:44 PM »

During Catholic RCIA, I realized that the Novus Ordo was pretty wretched. I stuck it out, but became a "trad" almost immediately. About five years into my time as a Catholic, I had an Advent season (either 2010 or 2011) in which I took out some Orthodox icons, read some books about Orthodox people, and felt otherwise strongly inclined to Orthodoxy. In January or February, it left me. That happened one or two more years in a row, and then I missed a year of it. This past Advent (2013) it happened again but it lasted longer, well into February. Then in late May it struck again! Harder than ever! Here in Vienna (Austria) I've been visiting four Orthodox churches in particular: Serbian, Bulgarian, Greek, and Russian. Mainly at the moment I am just trying to sort out where I want to 'come in for a landing'. I dislike pews, organs, and the new calendar; I feel Orthodoxy is better without those things. But in America where I live, they are quite normalized. I am not yet a catechumen, but I am working on figuring out which button on the flashlight to push, to light the way. My favorite prayer book is
http://shop.churchofthenativity.net/collections/books/products/old-orthodox-prayer-book
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