Author Topic: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!  (Read 100866 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Keelin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 70
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« 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.

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,437
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
  • Jurisdiction: Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« 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  :( 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 »
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline Sam G

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,212
  • One Rome to rule them all.
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« 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.  :)

God bless.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 12:48:55 AM by Sam G »
All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl

Offline liefern

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« 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

Offline Bernardoastur7

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 31
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #184 on: September 15, 2014, 05:20:09 PM »
Hello to all!!  This is my first post in the forum, and I have to admit Im kind of nervous.  Ok then, I am still a RC (at least legally) however have had my heart set to the East, first as a Byzantine Catholic (Melkite) and now attending as much as I can to the GOC in Mexico City.  I think my trip from West to East has been quite"accidented" for saying it somehow.

I am Spaniard, living in Mexico for most of my life, from a very conservative RC family; my dad (may his memory be eternal) was a devout RC, member of the Opus Dei and tried to be fully congruent with his life, of course with his ups and downs.  He made his best efforts to keep the family together in prayer (im an only son), so I recall from early childhood, everynight before dinner the three of us would pray the rosary, have dinner together, blessing the food, Mass every Sunday (my dad would go every day if possible, but never imposed it on my mom or I) and in general I believe he did a great job on preaching by the example.  Funny enough, even though he was Opus Dei and a devout Catholic, he never really accepted some things like Papal Infallibility, Supremacy of Jurisdiction and was quite critical of the changes after VII.  As for my mother, she is also a very devout RC, but never liked Opus Dei and was more critical than my dad in a lot of things.  Anyway, that is my background and I grew very fond on going to Church, even in my early teens I tried to go every afternoon to Mass, and had my own private devotions, always more focused on Our Lord than to the Saints and (Im ashamed to say it) even I was not too devout of the Theotokos.

When I started University, I joined a University that is owned by Opus Dei, but was in that strange stage of late teens when you are rebellious to everything established (as to why I chose an ultra conservative University... I don't know!) and was kind of having some distance from the Church.  On those years I fell in love with a girl, very devout and conservative, we went out for 2 years and she broke up with me.  At such time we started facing a lot of health problems at home, my father some heart problems but the most delicate was my mom that had several brain strokes, she was diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, deep veins stenosis and some other things.  So as you can imagine I fell on a tough emotional situation.  First I tried to get some counsel from the University Priests, but for whatever reason I did not get any help at all, on the contrary, I got that kind of advise as "you must have done something and now you need to atone for your sins", which made me feel even worse.

During those years, the health situation of my parents went up and down, got a bit more stable, but I found myself away from the RC Church, hurt and feeling alienated, so I started looking to other things, started getting into the occult (tarot, runes, "angels", etc.), even "learned" to read the tarot, and I found myself in a trap... I kept on craving for more and more of that kind of things.  I could not understand how, even though we were passing so difficult times (my father had a heart attack, which thanks God he survived at that time, lost his job,) at home both my parents kept praying and all... while I kept going into darker places (thanks God never so dark as to Ouija boards or Satanism).  After I graduated from the University, I joined the Rosicrucians (AMORC) and after my third grade, in the courses and meetings at the Lodge, one of the Teachers gave a long lecture on Jesus, challenging the teachings of the Rosicrucians of Jesus being only a Teacher and not the Christ.  I remember feeling something so strange that day, that when I was driving back home could not stop my tears.  That same night, I got home and strange enough there was a cousin I had not seen in years and she asked me if I could go with her on Sunday to the Divine Liturgy (her father was Russian).  I was surprised and asked her what was the Divine Liturgy and why did she wanted me to go knowing I had gone away from any church.  She just told me "please, I want you to come with me" and I accepted.  I have to admit I was a complete ignorant about the Orthodox Church... I asked my father and he told me that the Orthodox were our "Eastern brethren that have some differences with Rome, but they are Apostolic and Catholic as well, but go, you'll understand later... it's freedom somehow"... honestly I was more confused.

So I went to the Divine Liturgy and I think the only word I can say on how I felt is "shocked".  The Church is small but the candles, the Icons, the bells... it was electric, it was like something or I'd rather say Someone, was welcoming home.  I remember feeling that the Divine Liturgy went extremely fast and I felt hungry for more... I said that to my cousin and she told me I should start coming every Sunday... funny enough I agreed.  So I started attending every Sunday, just staying at the back in a small corner where I would not bother anyone, feeling like I was coming back home.  On my free time I started studying everything I could about Orthodoxy, online mostly, I purchased and read The Orthodox Church and The Orthodox Way of Bishop -Kallistos Ware, and a lot of things started making sense to me, however my RC background still had a HUGE weight on me.

After about a month or so, the Priest came to me at the end of the Divine Liturgy, gave me the antidoron and sat to talk.  I explained him everything I had gone through and told him "I feel I should become Orthodox, but the separation still hurts very much".  He told me that I would find my time, but invited me to go with the Melkites (there is only one Melkite Church in Mexico), and told me that if after being with them, and seeing what it was to be an Eastern under Rome I felt like coming back to the Orthodox, the doors would be open.  So I went to the Melkites, and was received by Abbouna Antoine Mouhanna, the then Apostolic Administrator, with open arms.  I stayed there for several years, and Abbouna after hearing a very long confession, became my spiritual father, until his passing away in 2004.  Thanks to him I started reading other books like The way of a Pilgrim, the Philokalia (Im still struggling studying it) and Byzantine Theology by John Meyendorff as well as the Mystical Theology of the Orthodox Church.

After his passing away, I think I fell into a comfort zone, going to the RC Church but my prayers and beliefs every day turning more and more Orthodox. I believe some of you will understand that the ethnic background, and being raised in a mostly RC country is a huge influence.  However, since last year I started having a huge health crisis with my mother, that ended up in her losing a leg due to gangrene... and during the hardest time of this, I went back to the Greek Orthodox Church and found myself again at home... It is something I can't explain in words, but attending the Divine Liturgy, whenever there are Vespers going as well and being received by the Greek community as one of them (although they laugh at me that I cant speak greek... yet!) has been like being born again.  I spoke with our Auxiliar Bishop Pancratios and with Father Athanasios, and will start Catechism lessons this same month, if the group gathers, if not they will be guiding me on my studies.  I still have a lot of doubts and feel kind of strange and afraid, but after all, I believe that the faith of my father, the strength of my mother and above all, God's grace and the Theotokos loving hands are guiding me towards the East...

Sorry for the long post!  If I didn't make you fall asleep until now, I really appreciate you reading it!  and please forgive if I make silly or non sensical questions... I have been lurking for some months so I will try to focus on whatever has not been asked yet!

May God bless you all

Bernardo

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 21,215
  • Excelsior
    • Archive of Our Own works
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #185 on: September 15, 2014, 07:27:33 PM »
Hi, Bernardo. Welcome.  :)
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist


Warning: stories have mature content.

Offline katherineofdixie

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,719
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #186 on: September 16, 2014, 09:46:29 AM »
... and found myself again at home... It is something I can't explain in words, but attending the Divine Liturgy, whenever there are Vespers going as well and being received by the Greek community as one of them (although they laugh at me that I cant speak greek... yet!) has been like being born again. 

No explanations necessary. We know that feeling ourselves!
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline TheTrisagion

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,814
  • All good things come to an end
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #187 on: September 16, 2014, 10:19:47 AM »
Thank you for sharing, Bernardoastur7! Welcome to the forum.
God bless!

Offline Altar Server

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 980
  • Holy Father Seraphim, Pray to God for us!
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #188 on: September 16, 2014, 11:32:48 AM »
Thanks for sharing Bernardo, welcome to the forum! may God guide you on your journey  :)
All my hope I place in you, O Mother of God, keep me under your protection!

Offline Inquirer

  • Antihyperaphthartodocetist
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 326
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #189 on: October 13, 2014, 04:00:16 PM »
Hello. I am a Roman Catholic strongly considering converting to Orthodoxy due to a complete loss of faith in the Catholic Bishops. Please pray for me. My struggle is that my wife does not want to convert to Orthodoxy on account of (a) disliking fasting and (b) a fear that when we buy a house, there won't be any Orthodox churches nearby and we'll have to 'convert back' to Catholicism.

Thank you.
"[The Sacred Congregation of Rites'] decisions are made by a crowd of dirty little Monsignori at Rome in utter ignorance of the meaning or reason of anything. To the historian their decisions are simply disgusting nonsense, that people of my kind want simply to ignore." -- Fr. Adrian Fortescue

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 21,215
  • Excelsior
    • Archive of Our Own works
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #190 on: October 13, 2014, 04:06:16 PM »
Hello. I am a Roman Catholic strongly considering converting to Orthodoxy due to a complete loss of faith in the Catholic Bishops. Please pray for me. My struggle is that my wife does not want to convert to Orthodoxy on account of (a) disliking fasting and (b) a fear that when we buy a house, there won't be any Orthodox churches nearby and we'll have to 'convert back' to Catholicism.

Thank you.

Hello and welcome to the board.

Praying for you and your family. Lord have mercy.
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist


Warning: stories have mature content.

Offline mabsoota

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,859
  • Kyrie eleison
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox (Coptic)
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #191 on: October 14, 2014, 01:16:52 PM »
may God help you and guide you.
maybe conversion is a big step to take and you should just visit an orthodox church first (if you didn't already).
maybe you can find practices in the catholic church that help your spiritual life (some people still fast on fridays)
and start to live an 'orthodox' spiritual life in the catholic church.
these things usually are best taken slowly.

i was the only person i knew interested in the orthodox church, so i attended for 2 years before deciding to join,
and then after, it was 1 year before i joined.

Offline gypsyjohn

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 37
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #192 on: October 15, 2014, 10:00:04 AM »
 My conversion from rcc to Orthodoxy was hard and still is. I come from a gypsy/traveller family. They still think I am part of a cult, and they have local rc priest praying for me to convert back. But I hold on to the truth, which is Jesus and his church that he would recognise if he came back this second. I will pray for you.

Offline Inquirer

  • Antihyperaphthartodocetist
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 326
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #193 on: October 15, 2014, 07:11:24 PM »
may God help you and guide you.
maybe conversion is a big step to take and you should just visit an orthodox church first (if you didn't already).
maybe you can find practices in the catholic church that help your spiritual life (some people still fast on fridays)
and start to live an 'orthodox' spiritual life in the catholic church.
these things usually are best taken slowly.

i was the only person i knew interested in the orthodox church, so i attended for 2 years before deciding to join,
and then after, it was 1 year before i joined.

Right now we go to a Byzantine-rite Catholic Church. I try to fast on Fridays but it's difficult because my wife very much dislikes fasting, and even gets annoyed when I do it (she has only *accepted* meatless Lenten Fridays, not enthusiastic about it though).

Right now I am praying parts of the Jordanville Prayer Book. Used to pray all of the Hours of the (pre-1911) Roman Breviary, but I have since given that up due to lethargy. I tried picking up the Byzantine Hours a few months back but it's far too lengthy, and it has way too  many variable parts. (I would like to go to daily Matins/Vespers but right now I'm working 12 hours a day and it's simply not possible).
"[The Sacred Congregation of Rites'] decisions are made by a crowd of dirty little Monsignori at Rome in utter ignorance of the meaning or reason of anything. To the historian their decisions are simply disgusting nonsense, that people of my kind want simply to ignore." -- Fr. Adrian Fortescue

Offline Don Brigante

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 76
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #194 on: October 16, 2014, 12:03:52 PM »
Inquirer, I’ll pray for you. May the Lord help and bless you and your family. Lord, have mercy. Don’t be too much concerned about fasting. It’s very important but it’s still a tool, not the goal. My wife is not Orthodox. At first she laughed at me but now she respects my choice. Study the faith, fight your passions, cleanse your soul, and PRAY ALWAYS.

gypsyjohn, what a faith! Hold on to the truth, brother, and the Lord will help you. God bless.
Brethren, let us also occupy yourselves with noetic prayer…, and seeking God’s mercy, cry out with a humble heart from morning till night and if possible all night long, saying constantly: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.” Saint John Chrysostom

Offline mabsoota

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,859
  • Kyrie eleison
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox (Coptic)
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #195 on: October 18, 2014, 11:27:51 AM »
try cooking on fridays for the family (they'll like that!), then add something meaty
(a few meatballs or some bacon etc.) to the vegetable / bean dish for the people who are not fasting.
this has made fasting in a non fasting house much easier for me.
 :)

Offline HaydenTE

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,248
  • Always honest, occasionally correct.
  • Faith: In theory RCC; in practice OCA
  • Jurisdiction: My annual fall lust for Amer. Puritanism
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #196 on: August 14, 2015, 01:34:19 PM »
In all technicality, I am still a member of the RCC, but in my heart and in my private prayer life, I am Orthodox to the core. I firmly wish to convert, but have yet to be able to find a church to take me in.

I would say that I actually began my faith journey as an atheist, although I am a Cradle Catholic. I was so poorly catechized that I found no reason to believe anything I was being told, because it seemed so groundless and illogical. However, about four years ago, I re-watched Disney's the Hunchback of Notre Dame. For some inexplicable reason, it won me over to the Christian Faith. I began to study all I could about Catholicism, and became a sort of Sedevactantist. I could in no way submit to the liturgical and dogmatic reforms of Vatican II, but I was unaware that any other sort of Christianity existed, so I carried on.

Soon my mother entered a temporary position at an emergency clinic run by a Copt. I was extremely interested by his religious practices. So, that year, we attended the Coptic Festival hosted at St. George Coptic Orthodox Church. I had already studied a very small bit about the Orthodox Church, and found the devotion of the Coptic Congregation to be far greater than that of any RCC parish I had ever attended, even one that held the Latin Mass weekly. So, when the Greek Festival came around, I attended that as well. I was overtaken by the beauty of that parish, and felt so very much at home. I went a purchases a small icon diptych, and began to study iconography, which meant I indirectly studied Orthodoxy as a whole. I was surprised by its ability to provide the Real Presence and Apostolic Succession,which I previously believed only the RCC could produce. I also fell in love with Byzantine Chant, and the consistence of Orthodox Liturgy through the ages.

A few months later, I found a Byzantine Catholic Church, and decided the family should attend. I had my first taste of the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, and I absolutely adored it. I knew my heart belonged to Orthodoxy, but I couldn't leave my mother, a devout catholic, alone without me in the parish, so I've stayed. Confirmation in the RCC was difficult, but again I was confirmed to keep my mother content. When I can drive, I do intend to begin my conversion process. (I'm 14, by the way.) I ask for your prayers as I continue to discern my path.
"For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?" - Mark 8:36 (DRA)

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 21,215
  • Excelsior
    • Archive of Our Own works
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #197 on: August 14, 2015, 03:25:40 PM »
Lord have mercy.

Here is a website which lists a great number of Orthodox parishes throughout the United States. You should be able to pick out some in your area. :)

http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.org/
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist


Warning: stories have mature content.

Offline Seven Councils

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Faith: Orthodox Inquirer
  • Jurisdiction: OCA-Midwest Diocese/RC-Diocese of Joliet
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #198 on: March 23, 2016, 10:30:17 PM »
Hello! This is my first post here and so I thought that I would start by sharing my conversion story. It is not very lengthy but I'll try to summarize it briefly anyways.

I am a Cradle Catholic as I was born into an Irish and Italian family. I went to Catholic schools all my life (Which isn't saying much considering that I can't even drive yet.) I went to Novus Ordo Masses,again, all my life. When we were in 5th grade the teacher told us about how the Mass used to be in Latin. A little voice in my head went "Things should go back to the way that they were." I believe that this was the beginning of my search for the Ancient Church. Now I still had no idea that Orthodoxy was a thing but I began my search for originality at that moment. My Catholic Parish was the poster child for the typical post-Vatican II church. Complete with Protestant hymn books and architecture that was far less than worthy to be in a House of God. It was mandated that the students go to Mass once every week. I went to school there Pre-K through 8th grade. Now in this gap between VII Catholicism and Orthodoxy I had two inquiries. The first was an inquiry into Judaism. I was very enthusiastic about a conversion to Judaism. I honestly have forgotten about most of this but I remember being fascinated with the mystical aspect of Judaism. I wrote much down from various Jewish websites. However, this period went away as fast as it had come into my life. I also believe that this was another step towards the Ancient Church. It was like I was reaching out for a more old and traditional, unchanging faith but finding nothing. I milled about for a few more years, fully embracing RC theology until I entered into the second inquiry. This one was less intense than the first and easier as I was inquiring into traditionalist Catholicism. This was far more recent. I was, once again, very enthusiastic about attending the TLM. I attended it and it was beautiful but it still felt like something was missing. I found it to be more reverent and worshipful but, as before, I just sort of petered out. This was just before I discovered Orthodoxy. I was poking around on the Internet one day (I had seen a monastery that was overlooking a sea perched high on a rock in different videos before and I had thought about this strange monastery and wanted to know it's name and where it was located. Little did I know that this monastery was Simonopetra of Holy Mount Athos) and I stumbled upon a video about Mount Athos by 60 Minutes. It was this video that converted me to Orthodoxy. I fell in love with their unchanging lifestyles and the peacefulness and their unmatched devotion. I LOVED Mount Athos and the beauty of the Divine Liturgy and it brought me closer than I've ever been to Christ. Found the Original Church from this. I saw in the faces of the monks I saw Christ and His Church. I am still technically Catholic but I have been welcomed into Orthodoxy with open arms. I found a small parish near me and attend Divine Liturgy as often as possible. I am peaceful now and it's as if Orthodoxy is medicine for my soul. I am considering a life on Mount Athos or entering the priesthood. I love the tranquility of an ascetic life and the fact that in that lifestyle I can focus COMPLETELY on moving closer to Christ every day.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us!

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 21,215
  • Excelsior
    • Archive of Our Own works
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #199 on: March 24, 2016, 01:21:35 AM »
Welcome aboard! Try the cashews.
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist


Warning: stories have mature content.

Offline RaphaCam

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,845
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #200 on: March 24, 2016, 03:11:29 AM »
I like your story, Seven Councils, you kind of sound like myself half a year ago. Just be calm in your journey, and rely well on your spiritual father. Have you talked to him about being received into the Church?
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Seven Councils

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Faith: Orthodox Inquirer
  • Jurisdiction: OCA-Midwest Diocese/RC-Diocese of Joliet
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #201 on: March 24, 2016, 05:58:04 PM »
I like your story, Seven Councils, you kind of sound like myself half a year ago. Just be calm in your journey, and rely well on your spiritual father. Have you talked to him about being received into the Church?

I talked to the priest at the local Orthodox church but as it turns out he was celebrating his last Liturgy at the parish the day we arrived. As of right now there is a bit of a shortage of priests at the parish. The situation is somewhat unstable so I'd avoided asking too much about it knowing that the celebrant would be gone by next week. Anyways my mother won't let me convert until I'm eighteen years old. She's quite adamant about it and often states that she will never convert. Even though she doesn't believe in essential Roman Catholic doctrines such as papal infallibility, etc. 

I'd also like to apologize for my awful grammar in the previous post.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 06:01:12 PM by Seven Councils »
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us!

Offline immerlein

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 37
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Romanian Orthodox Church in New Zealand
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #202 on: March 26, 2016, 06:04:43 AM »
Hello everyone :)
I converted from Roman Catholicism (I was baptised in the Orthodox Church on September 20 last year) after a year of inquiry, and a year as a catechumen. I found out about Orthodoxy online. I'd been having some theological issues with Catholicism, mainly around teachings on Purgatory, Indulgences, the nature of the Papacy... For a short while I considered Islam, but I loved Christ... Then I found Orthodoxy online and knew it was the Church. So I started to attend a local Greek parish. I moved a while later to a new city and currently attend a Romanian parish here. I was baptised in this parish.
I love Orthodoxy very much and am so happy to be Orthodox.

Offline TheTrisagion

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,814
  • All good things come to an end
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #203 on: March 26, 2016, 07:25:56 PM »
Hello everyone :)
I converted from Roman Catholicism (I was baptised in the Orthodox Church on September 20 last year) after a year of inquiry, and a year as a catechumen. I found out about Orthodoxy online. I'd been having some theological issues with Catholicism, mainly around teachings on Purgatory, Indulgences, the nature of the Papacy... For a short while I considered Islam, but I loved Christ... Then I found Orthodoxy online and knew it was the Church. So I started to attend a local Greek parish. I moved a while later to a new city and currently attend a Romanian parish here. I was baptised in this parish.
I love Orthodoxy very much and am so happy to be Orthodox.
Wonderful! I am very happy to hear your journey has led you to Orthodoxy.  :)
God bless!

Offline byhisgrace

  • AOCB
  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,265
  • Memory Eternal to my Younger Brother
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #204 on: March 26, 2016, 07:59:33 PM »
Hello everyone :)
I converted from Roman Catholicism (I was baptised in the Orthodox Church on September 20 last year) after a year of inquiry, and a year as a catechumen. I found out about Orthodoxy online. I'd been having some theological issues with Catholicism, mainly around teachings on Purgatory, Indulgences, the nature of the Papacy... For a short while I considered Islam, but I loved Christ... Then I found Orthodoxy online and knew it was the Church. So I started to attend a local Greek parish. I moved a while later to a new city and currently attend a Romanian parish here. I was baptised in this parish.
I love Orthodoxy very much and am so happy to be Orthodox.
Welcome home!! :)

Glory to God, and the Lord continue to bless you in your walk with Him.
Oh Holy Apostle, St. John, pray for us

Offline immerlein

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 37
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Romanian Orthodox Church in New Zealand
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #205 on: March 26, 2016, 08:35:38 PM »


Wonderful! I am very happy to hear your journey has led you to Orthodoxy.  :)

Welcome home!! :)

Glory to God, and the Lord continue to bless you in your walk with Him.

Thank you both, very much :)
I honestly cannot even begin to describe the positive effect Orthodoxy has had on my life. I'm sure you understand!

Offline awsiukiewicz

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Faith: roman catholic
  • Jurisdiction: wichita diocese
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #206 on: March 20, 2018, 12:04:24 PM »
I am a 'cradle Catholic' raised in the faith served the latin Liturgy in the Catholic Church prior to V-2 and as most altar boys at the time seriously considered a Vocation to the Priesthood.  I spent the majority of my adolescence and young adulthood engaging in self destructive behavior (the 70's).  In 1984 I returned to the Sacraments and to my Church.  I remember reading St. Augustine having stated "Lord bring me to You just now quite yet'  or some reasonable wording to this effect.  (now have another thought about St. Augustine but it's beyond the scope of my testimony.  I remember being 'on fire' attending an Ignatian spiritual rereat (the Jesuits)....I remembered returning to Mass and feeling much had been lost.  The general 'back slapping' socialization and the general disregard for any reverence in the church.  I won't even address church architecture. The Sacrament of confession was an enormous disappointment.  The Priest suggested that what I was confessing was not a sin.  I could go on but the general idea is that my disenchantment with the Liturgy increased to the point of attending SSPX (Lefebvre) Latin Liturgy.  fast forward... I felt as a young boy after V-2 feeling in my 'gut' that something was amiss and things were becoming more clear as I began prayerful reading and becoming more knowledgeable regarding the direction the western Church was heading.   Happenstance or Providence I became acquainted with an Orthodox Priest (Hieromonk).  He shared that he left the seminary (western) and began is journey East as a young man initially disenchanted with the direction the West was headed.  This Priest never coerced or encouraged me to come east nor did he discourage me in any way.  I attended the Devine Liturgy (Antiochian and 'felt' immediately at home with the liturgy.  The reverence.  I began my journey east by reading everything I could put my hands on.  Fr. Kallistos Ware..my usual blocks owing in no small measure to the Catholic Catechism as a young boy.  Everything of course from the immaculate conception to indulgences, original sin etc.  These were not easy things to disregard.  I have been studying for over 4 years but could not resolve certain beliefs that were pounded into my head by some very fantastic ladies teaching my catechism as a young boy.  Recently I happened upon an article written by Fr. Victor Novak.  entitled "An appeal to RC from an Orthodox Catholic Priest" wherein he informs the Oxford Dictionary New word for 2017..'post truth' relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.  His article was an historical timeline which enlightened me to the point of finally having myself consider how I wished to worship as the Catholic Church had always worshiped.  I initially struggled with the fact that I did not want to convert to Orthodoxy because of my disenchantment with the direction the western church was headed, the new Pope not withstanding,  but my confliction changed to conviction and I am now a catechumen and look forward to my Chrismation.  I am originally from New Orleans and while on vacation recently I availed myself of being able to attend Devine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. , I happened upon a former colleague (Surgeon) entering the Church for Matins who was ecstatic to see me and made me feel completely at home in the Greek Orthodox Church. Although I worship Antiochian Liturgy...forgive me I'm still learning....I was 'home'....I now realize that I have NOT left the Catholic Church but I have come home to the Catholic Church that has existed for 2000 years.   I have never felt more at ease and comfortable as when attending the Devine Worship.  I mention, respectfully that I am completely puzzled by the ignorance of our very well intended Protestant brethren who believe that because we are not Protestant that we don't have a 'personal relationship' with Christ Jesus.  I just completed Book 2 of 4/Catechism and it has put the Liturgy in perspective for me and now have a total appreciation, as best anyone could, of what is taking place.  Please accept my apology for the lengthy testimonial but I felt like sharing.

Offline Dominika

  • Troublesome Sheep
  • Global Moderator
  • Taxiarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 5,689
  • Serbian/Polish
    • My youtube channel
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: POC, but my heart belongs to Antioch
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #207 on: March 20, 2018, 02:57:43 PM »
^^ your nick sounds as a typical Polish Orthodox surname...
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)

Offline RaphaCam

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,845
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #208 on: March 20, 2018, 03:27:33 PM »
awsiukiewicz, what catechism are you using?
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,135
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #209 on: March 20, 2018, 04:56:59 PM »
Welcome, Awsiukiewicz! What a wonderful testimony.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline platypus

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #210 on: May 15, 2018, 07:15:58 PM »
I grew up Roman Catholic. My parents were very devout, not Trads but definitely very conservative. They brought us to daily Mass frequently, and always Sunday Mass. We were very well catechized, and this is really where the problems began. I was very young when I was first taught the doctrine of hereditary guilt for original sin, and it made no sense at all to me. How could I be guilty for something I had never done?

This thought stayed in my head for a long time. In highschool I started reading a lot about theology, and I looked for a solution to my problem in Protestantism. Unfortunately, the Protestant teaching on original sin was like the Catholic position on steroids. Not only were we born guilty, but we were totally depraved and incapable of doing good. This seemed unlikely.

Having determined that Protestantism was not true, I assumed the Catholic position was true by default, and was confident enough to receive the sacrament of confirmation. About a year after that I lost my faith. I started reading the writings of several atheist or agnostic thinkers, and their arguments made sense to me. Ayn Rand, Richard Dawkins, and A.N. Wilson all played key roles in my conversion to nonbelief.

My natural skepticism made atheism somewhat unsustainable, and I remained very interested in religion but unable to pick one. I think it was Richard Dawkins who first got me interested in Orthodoxy when he mentioned in one of his books that the Orthodox don't typically use logical proofs for the existence of God. I had read the Summa Theologica after reading Ayn Rand speak highly of Aquinas (she said to skip the religious parts of the Summa and just read the section on law. Naturally I ignored this warning), and found the logical proofs to be very unconvincing. The thought that someone could believe in God without needing a logical proof was instantly intriguing to me, and I started investigating Orthodoxy.

Growing up Catholic I was taught that the Orthodox were just schismatic Catholics with basically the same beliefs who just didn't want to listen to the Pope. I realized this was not the case at all after about five minutes of research. I read the dictates of the first seven Ecumenical Councils and noticed that a lot of it didn't sound very Roman Catholic. Then I started reading the history of how the councils were held and my previous belief that Roman Catholicism was the original Christian denomination fell apart. I can't imagine a way to learn the involved history and walk away with the idea that Christians of the first millennia believed in that the Pope was supposed to be in charge. I found Phillip Schaff's compilation of the Ecumenical Councils' decrees to be particularly helpful, as well as the Jesuit priest Fr. Leo Donald Davis' history of the Councils.

At this point, I was at the conclusion that the Orthodox Church was the original Christian Church, but remained unconvinced in Christianity itself. But I began to doubt my own skepticism. In the biography Jesus by A.N. Wilson, the author was agnostic but was quite convinced that the apostles really believed in the resurrection. This position made sense to me. After reading Surprised by Hope by the Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright, I began to seriously doubt that the apostles could've been hallucinating, or mistook someone else for Jesus. I was pretty sure he actually resurrected. This was in my senior year of highschool. Finding out later that A.N. Wilson ended up converting to Christianity was icing on the cake.

Orthodoxy made sense. There was no belief in hereditary guilt for original sin, which instantly piqued my interest. The theology was terribly interesting; especially the concept of deification rather than the notion of “going to heaven” as the spiritual goal. And it was very... orthodox. I was impressed that the most divisive issue in the Church seemed to be which calendar to use. I was more used to debates over whether or not the church should ordain women, marry gays, use a reverent liturgy, or have decorations (now I'd call them icons). But more than just finding the Church pleasant or interesting, I came to believe that it was really the Church. Learning about modern saints like St. John of San Francisco convinced me that the Holy Spirit was alive and well inside Eastern Orthodoxy.

As soon as I moved out, I went to the nearest Orthodox parish and asked the priest if I could become a catechumen. He told me to keep coming to liturgy and reevaluate my decision in a month. I kept coming to liturgy and attending catechism classes, and a few months later I was chrismated.

I'm still a natural skeptic and I do question my decision sometimes, usually on Wednesdays and Fridays when I open the fridge and see beautiful steaks crying out for a stomach to inhabit. But it's been a few years and I'm still Orthodox, still in love with theology, and still quite certain that the path to salvation has been laid out for humanity in the teachings of Christ.

"Eternal truth finds no favorable soil where one encounters at every turn the skeptical, sarcastic query 'what is truth,' where life insurance takes the place of eternal hope." -Hieromonk Antonius

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. -Ecclesiastes 12:8

Offline Volnutt

  • Dull Sublunary Lover
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,249
  • too often left in the payment of false ponchos
  • Faith: Evangelical by default
  • Jurisdiction: Spiritually homeless
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #211 on: May 15, 2018, 07:50:02 PM »
Quote
I think it was Richard Dawkins who first got me interested in Orthodoxy when he mentioned in one of his books that the Orthodox don't typically use logical proofs for the existence of God.

Huh, well that's interesting!

Thanks for sharing and welcome to the forum, you monotreme, you! ;D
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 07:50:48 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Sharbel

  • Glory to God in all things!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,328
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Metropolis of Denver
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #212 on: May 15, 2018, 11:55:10 PM »
I'm still a natural skeptic and I do question my decision sometimes, usually on Wednesdays and Fridays when I open the fridge and see beautiful steaks crying out for a stomach to inhabit...
Your steaks do that too?
Sanctus Deus
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ
Άγιος ο Θεός

Offline Lepanto

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 498
  • Faith: Roman Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Munich and Freising
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #213 on: May 16, 2018, 02:17:19 AM »
I'm still a natural skeptic and I do question my decision sometimes, usually on Wednesdays and Fridays when I open the fridge and see beautiful steaks crying out for a stomach to inhabit...
Your steaks do that too?
If you stayed with the RC church, you could have at least let them inhabit your stomach on Wednesdays  8)
On a more serious note:
Thanks for sharing your story. Food for thought.
It seems that hereditary guilt proves a stumbling block for many Catholics.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 02:17:34 AM by Lepanto »
Sanctus Deus, Sanctus fortis, Sanctus immortalis, miserere nobis.

Offline platypus

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #214 on: May 16, 2018, 09:42:10 PM »
Quote
I think it was Richard Dawkins who first got me interested in Orthodoxy when he mentioned in one of his books that the Orthodox don't typically use logical proofs for the existence of God.

Huh, well that's interesting!

Thanks for sharing and welcome to the forum, you monotreme, you! ;D

Thanks Volnutt!

I'm still a natural skeptic and I do question my decision sometimes, usually on Wednesdays and Fridays when I open the fridge and see beautiful steaks crying out for a stomach to inhabit...
Your steaks do that too?

Constantly! It's a real problem.

I'm still a natural skeptic and I do question my decision sometimes, usually on Wednesdays and Fridays when I open the fridge and see beautiful steaks crying out for a stomach to inhabit...
Your steaks do that too?
If you stayed with the RC church, you could have at least let them inhabit your stomach on Wednesdays  8)
On a more serious note:
Thanks for sharing your story. Food for thought.
It seems that hereditary guilt proves a stumbling block for many Catholics.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. My dad was asking me recently about why I became orthodox, and I got a little too excited and launched into an explanation of the first thousand years of Church history. I probably should've given him the short version...
"Eternal truth finds no favorable soil where one encounters at every turn the skeptical, sarcastic query 'what is truth,' where life insurance takes the place of eternal hope." -Hieromonk Antonius

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. -Ecclesiastes 12:8

Offline Justin Kolodziej

  • Goths and rivetheads are entering the Kingdom of God before me
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,075
  • Screwing up the Church since 2017
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Metropolis of Atlanta
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #215 on: May 16, 2018, 09:50:58 PM »
I'm still a natural skeptic and I do question my decision sometimes, usually on Wednesdays and Fridays when I open the fridge and see beautiful steaks crying out for a stomach to inhabit...
Your steaks do that too?

Constantly! It's a real problem.
That's why there's a meat drawer ;)
Too many theologists, not enough theologians.

Offline Sharbel

  • Glory to God in all things!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,328
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Metropolis of Denver
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #216 on: May 17, 2018, 10:07:16 PM »
If you stayed with the RC church, you could have at least let them inhabit your stomach on Wednesdays  8)
I joked with my Maronite Abouna last Wednesday, after he offered me some ham, that, had I known about the fasting rules in advance, I wouldn't have converted to Orthodoxy! :D

That's why there's a meat drawer ;)
The crying coming from the meat drawer is unbearable! ;D
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 10:10:33 PM by Sharbel »
Sanctus Deus
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ
Άγιος ο Θεός

Offline Justin Kolodziej

  • Goths and rivetheads are entering the Kingdom of God before me
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,075
  • Screwing up the Church since 2017
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Metropolis of Atlanta
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #217 on: May 17, 2018, 10:41:13 PM »
If you stayed with the RC church, you could have at least let them inhabit your stomach on Wednesdays  8)
I joked with my Maronite Abouna last Wednesday, after he offered me some ham, that, had I known about the fasting rules in advance, I wouldn't have converted to Orthodoxy! :D

That's why there's a meat drawer ;)
The crying coming from the meat drawer is unbearable! ;D
touche'  ;D
Too many theologists, not enough theologians.

Offline Justin Kolodziej

  • Goths and rivetheads are entering the Kingdom of God before me
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,075
  • Screwing up the Church since 2017
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Metropolis of Atlanta
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #218 on: May 18, 2018, 01:33:18 AM »
This is probably as short as I can make this:

I was Roman (Vatican II style) Catholic because I am Polish and Slovak. Actually, we were hardly Catholic at all beyond the Mass itself, and I don't remember all of us ever saying a Rosary together, or knowing what Fatima was or going to the 40 Hour Devotion, or "John Paul our Pope" being the most important person in the world, let alone being one day Pope St. John Paul the Great. But what was important was "This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to His Supper", as it was translated back then. That and the organ.

Lurking on the next block was a church of some sort that looked much grander than ours, with its golden dome and angel pictures outside on the walls, and I often wondered what went on in there. Now I know they were icons of St. Michael and Christ -- that is St. Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Pro-Cathedral, it turns out.

Still, the Church was the Catholic Church, and that was that. But eventually as I learned more about Roman Catholicism, Vatican II style just wasn't working for me so I became more trad but didn't break communion, hoping Rome would fix the rest of the world one day. Pope Benedict XVI gave some (false) hope there. Eventually I found out about the first 1000 years of Saints, who seemed different somehow than the second 1000 years of Catholic saints and also largely ignored, if not claimed to be ficticious or their miracles flights of fancy by the hagiographer ::)

Meanwhile I married someone who's decidedly, let's say, Evangelical Catholic plus Eucharist, the Adoration and the Rosary. She really doesn't like icons or even Gregorian Chant, for example, but does love Contemporary Christian Music.

There was also the fact that I have cousins who are an Eastern Catholic nun and priests, so for a while I tried going to the Ukrainian Catholic and Ruthenian Byzantine parishes (currently the same building), bringing the (very young at that time) kids as well, hoping eventually to get some pan-Catholic cooperation going or something.

Problem is, as a trad I became a real jerk so according to the State we are divorced. I don't know if we can get an annulment approved actually, for her sake. The less said, the better.

After that, I was alone and had time to reconsider my life and look into this other Church that even Rome couldn't say wasn't a Church -- the Eastern Orthodox Church. Which says the Creed the way it was written, and has saints of the same spirit as the early ones. ( Why not Oriental? Possibly an oversight.) It even turned out the day I first attended a liturgy was the Sunday of Orthodoxy! Slam dunk, right?

Well...not so fast. Note to choir directors: Please don't pitch everyone 2-3 times before "Amen", it can really throw off the liturgy. Also, I was expecting more than just the Liturgy: the procession, the Synodicon (wrong service I believe, that might be at Sunday night Vespers?) None of which happened that day. It wasn't that "St. Vladimir's envoy's moment" I was expecting, in fact, the Byzantine Catholic liturgies were more externally beautiful. That threw me down the Genuine Orthodox rabbit hole for a while. I met our venerable founder Anastasios once, and a Russian priest of the RTOC and his family, whose parish is their house and it feels like a monastery, and at some point decided the Kyriakos Matthewites (zero parishes in the USA) were the Church, and then changed my mind and met the current HOCNA bishop of Lanham. Immediately after that (like that Wednesday) I got myself fired from the job near there and had to come back where there were only normal Orthodox parishes around.

Providential.

So, I went to almost all the ones around and finally decided I would join the Greek parish because "dibs", so that's where I am. Was Chrismated last year on St. Timothy's Day...as Justin.

Yes, we do have an organ. I and the rest of the choir need to sing louder so it's heard less   ;)  :P I think we should bribe heterodox tenors to sing for us because right now I'm the entire tenor section most of the time, and my voice can hardly handle that :o

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

TL;dr: I became Orthodox because of the Desert Fathers and the Orthodox Saints of the same Spirit as them, which are mostly missing from the Roman Catholics, and the Filioque and St. Photios, and Trad-Cath was for me a one-way ticket to JerkFaceLand. Not Papal Infallibility or even something petty like I wanna remarry and they won't let me.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 01:36:23 AM by Justin Kolodziej »
Too many theologists, not enough theologians.

Offline Sharbel

  • Glory to God in all things!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,328
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Metropolis of Denver
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #219 on: May 18, 2018, 10:00:25 AM »
Eventually I found out about the first 1000 years of Saints, who seemed different somehow than the second 1000 years of Catholic saints and also largely ignored, if not claimed to be ficticious or their miracles flights of fancy by the hagiographer ::)
Sadly, this is pervasive in the West.  When Rome accepted to consider the canonization of St. Sharbel, the one in charge was dismayed by the witnesses reporting miracles throughout his life like those of the Desert Fathers, whose accounts he considered nothing but flights of fancy.
Sanctus Deus
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ
Άγιος ο Θεός

Offline platypus

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #220 on: May 18, 2018, 10:28:25 AM »
... and Trad-Cath was for me a one-way ticket to JerkFaceLand.

The church I went to growing up had a Tridentine Mass as well as the Novus Ordo, so there was a mix of normal people and trads in our catechism classes. I had to listen to occasional rants against piano music in church, women having jobs, and other issues that were important to my trad classmates. Some of them ended up schisming into the SSPX.

I'm glad you found Orthodoxy, Justin! Best of luck drowning out the organ music and finding some more tenors.
"Eternal truth finds no favorable soil where one encounters at every turn the skeptical, sarcastic query 'what is truth,' where life insurance takes the place of eternal hope." -Hieromonk Antonius

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. -Ecclesiastes 12:8

Offline noahzarc1

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • Faith: Western Rite Orthodoxy
  • Jurisdiction: Examining Western Rite of Antiochan
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #221 on: August 01, 2018, 03:57:36 PM »
I am not sure if my story quite belongs here yet, but I’ve desired to tell it as I found myself full circle to where I was 4 years ago, at the doorstep of Orthodoxy. I know this is long, and will probably only appeal to other former Roman Catholics, particularly those that have come out of traditional/sedevacantist Catholicism, but still have struggles and maybe it will help those who are observing here and are at the edge of their crises.  I understand it is not possible to put 20+ or 40+ years of history of my walk in a forum post, so I’ve done my best mindful of the space and if you read it all, thank you.

I was born not long after the Vatican II changes and shortly after the new mass went into effect. I went to Catholic School through 8th grade, served as an alter boy and was in love with the Church. By my late teenage years I became worldy, unconcerned and after my confirmation, eventually left the Church for a time.  While in college, I was out of Church, but later met some fundamentalist Protestants who stirred up a love for the bible. At 20, I began studying the scriptures daily and returned to the Catholic Church, but by the mid 90’s I entered into the Baptist tradition.
 
For the next almost 20 years, I was fully dedicated to Protestantism.  I attended protestant seminary, was married in a protestant church and was engaged in various protestant ministries, to include eventually being a teaching director at a large protestant church. Bible study and ministry within the church was my life, until I hit the proverbial Protestant wall of changes, deceit and lies. One night, as the fall of 2014 was upon us, so much seemed to have crumbled around me within Protestantism.  One night I sat alone in our den and asked myself some questions; “Is this how it was in the early Church?” and, “How would the early Church have handled these issues I’m facing?” and eventually, “Where is the early Church and does it even exist any longer?” I happened upon some information about St. Mark and the Church he found in Alexandria that still existed to this day. Until this point in my life, I had no idea there was even a church owing to the apostles that still stood. I never gave apostolic succession much thought as a Catholic and certainly not as a protestant.

As I began researching, I soon discovered Eastern Orthodox Christianity. I knew so little about Orthodoxy, I had to Google whether there were any Orthodox churches in the U.S.  Soon, night and day after found me headlong delving into all things Orthodoxy.  In December 2014, I decided to attend an early morning liturgy for Advent at a nearby Greek Orthodox Church. The priest later spent over an hour with me after, then we met for coffee and had some great discussions over the coming weeks and months.  Early into 2015 and over the next 6 months, I could no longer teach or even practice Protestantism in the face of Orthodoxy.  Many of my cohorts enjoyed the early Church studies I started compiling in our protestant bible studies, but in the end, they were going in one direction and I in the other.

As I studied Orthodoxy I began to also take a fresh look at historical Roman Catholicism rather than the Protestant view of Rome.  I will say emphatically there is a difference between historical Roman Catholicism and the Protestant claims about historical Roman Catholicism.  Like so many other former Catholics, the question surfaced within me of whether I could become fully Orthodox.   After all, the Catholic Church of my birth was there at the beginning too, right? In 2016, about 18-months after my journey began with Orthodoxy, through much study, I re-entered the Catholic Church.  At this time, a CarpathoRussian Orthodox Priest was very helpful to me, never condemning the West or Rome and helping me as best as he could to really leave Protestantism once and for all.  Once back in Rome, I could never get the Orthodox way out of my mind.  Even at Mass, I crossed myself the Orthodox way and the Orthodox way was something I could not rid myself of.  I began studying as much of the Western Theology as I could, so that I was not unbalanced and only taking on an Eastern perspective.  This included an extensive study of historical Rome and her place among the 5 sees.

It wasn’t long after being back with the Novus Ordo, post Vatican II Church, that I on one hand felt quite embarrassed by what I witnessed, but also quite outraged at some of the things I was seeing in comparison to all the history I was reading and the way Rome preserved their faith.  Rome’s orthodoxy, authority and witness of the first 10-12 centuries, even in her counter-reformation stance, I thought was quite beautiful.  I sense it was the church my grandparents who came to America from Italy and my parents still had a chance to experience.  Now I knew why, as a child, my dad always lamented about the church he was raised in and the Latin mass. He was no theologian, but thinking back to the Catholicism even of my youth, most of those priests and bishops were ordained and trained prior to Vatican II.  They seemed to approach the Novus Ordo with the reverence of their pre-Vatican II training.  Having been out of Catholicism for almost 20 years, I felt I had returned to something quite more liberal than what was even among many protestant churches I had been to.  Yes, post-modern liberalism is what eventually drove me from Protestantism in the end, but early on in my Protestant years, I spent time mainly among conservative Baptist and even for a time among a very conservative Assemblies of God parish. Once I reentered the Novus Ordo, armed with the historical church I had just spent almost two years rediscovering, the Novus Ordo of the new millennium seemed drastically different from even the Novus Ordo I was raised in during 70’s and 80’s. This Novus Ordo Catholicism of the new millennium, even in conservative parishes I tried to find, was difficult to accept all the way around.

While trying to wade through and tolerate the modern church, I advocated like many of Rome’s defenders that yesterday’s orthodox Rome was somehow still today’s Rome.  All this to say, as an older, married and much more conservative man who took my walk with Jesus Christ very serious and even more staunchly defended the early church once I discovered it, there was no way I could call this the Catholicism I had been studying from history.  I was already far too orthodox when I went home into modernist post-Vatican II Rome.  As I searched out conservative Catholicism, all I could find and therefore began to consider were the arguments of many traditionalists and sedevacantists.  It felt as though their movements were the only place I could turn in trying to help me make sense of what I was seeing.  The deeper I continued to dig into Rome’s history and the more papal encyclicals I continued to read the harder it became to sit in a Novus Ordo mass or accept the conciliar church held any longer to the long-held teachings of Rome.
 
As I wondered whether sedevacantism and/or a traditionalist movement such as the SSPX or independent Catholic Chapels were the answer, I learned about the Eastern Rite Catholics and figured this must be the answer, i.e. “the Orthodox in communion with Rome.”  After checking out a local Eastern Rite parish, I wanted to settle on the Eastern Catholics because of my love for Orthodoxy I had found. I spent over a year in a Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Church.  Honestly, I never really fit in. Like much of what concerns people who attempt to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, there was a nationalism about the Ukrainian church that felt odd to me that I tried to ignore.  Other than a few converts, mostly everyone was either from Ukraine or raised by Ukrainian parents in the Ukrainian Catholic Church.  I kept trying to fight through because I thought the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church were the answer.  In my opinion, their liturgies were untouched, their priesthoods were still valid and their hierarchy was left intact in the wake of Vatican II.  Eventually it became clear to me I was doing nothing more than, “hiding out in the East.”  Many traditionalists chided me over this in fact.  The Byzantine Rite Ukrainian Catholic Church I was trying to call home was not the church of my birth, Rome was.  Many traditionalists chided me over this fact as well.  I tried to ignore the fact I was hiding out in an Eastern Rite Church, though it was true.  I was also dismissing the ways the Eastern Catholics were in many regards, “recognize and resist” in the way they talked about the Pope, Rome and other issues dear to the Catholic Church.  I soon found what appeared to be the same type of indifference within Eastern Rite Catholicism as what I observed in the Novus Ordo.  There was something strikingly different between an Eastern Catholic Church and an Eastern Orthodox church.  Despite the admonishment of Popes that the Eastern Rites were to be preserved, it was clear my church and many others had become or were becoming completely Latinized. 

I had finally hit a crossroads and I had to finally be honest with myself about my path and desires.  First, was I just hiding out in Eastern Rite Catholicism to avoid the crisis in the Roman Church? Yes, I was.  Even the Eastern Rite priest and others spoke of, “ignoring Rome” and “not agreeing with Rome.” Was this true Catholicism in the sense of the word, particularly of that which was promulgated by Popes for centuries? No. Finally, I became convinced no true, serious Catholic could be Catholic as defined by Rome for centuries while living out, following and being obedient to all that is post-Vatican II Catholicism (east or west). 

However, I had a bigger problem. It was not Vatican II, it was Vatican I.  The nail in the coffin for me was that either the sedevacantists were right (100%), which also meant beyond a shadow of a doubt the indefectible Catholic Church defected at Vatican II.  Otherwise, the sedevacantists were no different than the Old Catholics and yes, even the Eastern Orthodox, in opposing all that is against the orthodoxy of the Church and they would eventually be anathematized (as many have been).  As I came further within sedevacantism, I struggled with the Sedevacantists and Traditionalist calling the Eastern Orthodox, “Schismatics” while recognizing, yet dismissing, they have valid priesthood, valid sacraments and the fact the sedevacantists were saying exactly what the East has said for nearly 9 or more centuries.  They accused the East for rejecting the infallibility and universal jurisdiction of the Pope, something they themselves do with every pope since the death of Pius XII in 1958.  However, how could I disagree with the sedevacantists and traditionalists what they made clear more than once? The conciliar Popes have committed manifest heresies in various manners, the rights of ordination were changed (thus highly doubtful), ecumenism and modernism destroyed every vestige of the church and the Vatican II documents contain blatant heresies, and were considered to be ordinary magisterium of the church by Paul VI.  Heretic Popes were a difficult conversation, especially in light of the writings of doctors of the Church such as St. Robert Bellarmine, who in my opinion, though he stated a heretic pope ipso facto falls, he also seemed to suggest he never thought it would actually happen. So what was my problem with Vatican I? Without Vatican I, and all things being as they are today, the sedevacantists could more clearly deal, in my opinion, especially in light of Robert Bellarmine and others, with heretical popes and a heretical council. This type of resistance, even from within, all but vanished after Vatican I.   

From my study, Vatican I made the line in the sand clear. The Roman church and the Pope of Rome were indefectible, immutable and infallible. I got tired of all the tap dancing by quasi-traditionalists, particularly with the papacies of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and especially Francis, of what was “official promulgation of doctrine” (i.e. infallible) and what was “private teaching.” These were all smoke screens. Vatican II was declared by Paul VI, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be official magisterium of the church and thus it was infallible. Therefore, the post-Vatican II church must be, “Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est” (That Faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all).  This I could not accept. On the flip side, sedevacantists were clear and overt about Rome’s heresies, her modernism and her destruction of the faith. What they refused to accept, however, was a defection in the church and in turn hurled insults and anathemas at anyone who challenged them on this.  I sided with Sedevacantists on the heresies of Rome in the wake of Vatican II.  They have proven their case in many arenas, though not all. But when you’re dealing with heresies, I’d have to say one was enough, particularly against a see that declared its bishop infallible after accepting the election to the papacy.  I disagreed with them on the indefectibility, immutability and perpetuity of Rome and that the church was still infallible despite an all-out defection at Vatican II.

Ultimately, I could not help being struck by the irony that sedevacantists are trying to uphold and defend the very institution they claim has gone into schism and heresy as well as defend the very institution that anathematizes those like them who rebel against Rome.  The sedevacantists were never able to convince me Rome was still indefectible after all the evidence they brought forth to prove her defection as evidence of why one must be a sedevacantist.  While the modernized Post-Vatican II Catholic church was not able to convince me she had not fallen into the very modernism so many of her Popes warned about in her history, sedevacantists refused to address Vatican I and staunchly attacked anyone who was either not a dogmatic sedevacantist or questioned what exactly to call Vatican II if it was not a defection?  Many of them, in fact, use the word defection while still trying to not call it a defection. 

As I popped in and out of independent Catholic Chapels, the Latin Mass and the Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church, I witnessed a heady mix of recognize and resist, modernism and worse tragic infighting and attacking of the laity among the laity.  I finally accepted the realization the Vatican II church of today is the Catholic Church and their current Pope in Rome is Francis. That was the end of it. I was no longer going to debate infallibility, magisterium, recognizing, resisting and I was no longer going to comb endlessly through papal encyclicals to either prove or disprove one’s Catholicism, especially the Catholicism of any Pope.  Rome is going to do what Rome is going to do and the faith is unchangeable until Rome decides something needs to be either changed or “explained.”   I could no longer practice Catholicism even in a Byzantine Rite Catholic Church in communion with Rome.  Therefore, at best, I’d have to find a sedevacantist chapel somewhere in the remote recesses of the U.S. (perhaps 300 or more miles away), in order to practice my faith and receive the sacraments from someone who’s orders may be doubtful. I had reached a point the only honest sedevacantism seemed to be at-home sedevacantism.  A deacon, who I came to love from the Ukrainian Church, would always remind me the Bishop stressed, “We are Orthodox.” Finally, I came to the realization, “Why should it not be so?” 

To the Recognize and Resist Catholic Traditionalist out there, trying to make sense of it all, despite your refusal to do so, you must realize the post-Vatican II Catholic Church of today is the Catholic Church, Francis is the Bishop and thus the Pope of Rome. He has Universal, Primary and Ordinary jurisdiction over the Catholic Church and you MUST be obedient to, and in communion with him.  Francis is the Vicar of Christ according to the entire history of Roman Catholicism. 

To the sedevacantist out there, you are saying the very same things the Orthodox have been saying for almost 1000 years.  You also must come to realize your fight really starts at Vatican I, and is the reason sedevacantists really cannot mount an effective challenge to Vatican II.  Many of the websites dedicated to sedevacantism are echo chambers locked on the death of Pius XII, Vatican II and the post-Vatican II church and will not allow any sort of conversation outside the commonly accepted sedevacantist position.  Modern day sedevacantism came too late after Vatican II to mount any real effective resistance or change.  There were over 2,000 Bishops and Cardinals at Vatican II.  Very few resisted, and most of even those who resisted eventually conceded to the conciliar Church.  Rome is not enduring a papal interregnum since 1958.  This is a smoke screen and a lie and you must give up this fallacy.  There was an interregnum after the death of Pius XII, the interregnum ended with the election of John XXIII and the Catholic Church continued from there.  The interregnum heresy led to the conclave heresy. I finally realized, I am not your enemy, Rome is.  Rome left you in the crisis you are in, not me and blaming the laity for what you call modernist post-Vatican II will never solve the issues you are proclaiming.  Dogmatic sedevacantism is a dead end.  Sedevacantism has turned up some well-intended and sincere people, but in the end it offers no hope of a solution to its adherents. 

I faced so much scorn, but worse abandonment, when I walked away from Protestantism. Many of my friends are no more, most of them doing so through a painful cold silence.  I then faced scorn and ridicule from inside of what I thought was the most conservative wings of Catholicism for even daring to raise a question or trying to navigate the crisis.  If you were not willing to be a dogmatic sedevacantist, you were either lumped into the modernist pile or the “schismatic” pile.  As I am in the process of saying goodbye to Rome now for the second time, I feel this time I possess an educated understanding of pursuing the truth I knew all along since I found it in 2014.  As I write this, the persecution continues to mount, but 4 years later, my journey to Orthodoxy continues with much relief, joy, jubilation and fulfillment.  As the dust continues to settle, the glory of Orthodoxy stands for me.  I am indebted to the 2,000 year witness of the East and I refuse to discount and toss away the Orthodoxy of the West. I am a westerner, I have a western mindset. I am not going to try and pretend I have the mind of the east. The whole of the Church was Orthodox, and this included the doctors of East and West before the schism. In fact, though 1054 is used, no one really knows when the “schism” became final. Therefore, I will state emphatically, prior to Vatican I, there was really nothing that would have kept east and west from coming back together.  I am thankful to some bold former sedevacantists who helped me blow the lid off of sedevacantism once and for all and walk away from the mess that is traditional Catholicsm vs. modernist Post-Vatican II Catholicism.  As I was on the precipice of nearly just staying home, these authors eloquently wrote and answered so many questions.  Praise God, only He gave me the persistence for the truth even though I was being accused of heresy and schism among other accusations.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading. It took me a long time to think through this and put it to words. I may continue to do more reading here than posting. I am moving along much slower, not acting impulsively out of guilt or condemnation, but allowing for the first time in my life, the grace of Christ to guide me, teach me and instruct me by his Spirit. I am very thankful to a Western Rite Orthodox Priest who is helping me during this time. Learning, understanding and knowing the development of the Western Rite has been immensely helpful to my journey.  I have no guarantees where I will end up, neither does he. He has never condemned the West or Rome. Neither do I. I have so many I love and respect from these traditions.  Instead he is helping me to move slowly and understand the Church and her historical journey.

Offline Sharbel

  • Glory to God in all things!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,328
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Metropolis of Denver
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #222 on: August 01, 2018, 11:16:27 PM »
I pray that you are blessed with coming home to Orthodoxy.  It is the Church of the New Testament and of the Fathers, alive since and today!

Lord, have mercy!
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 11:16:51 PM by Sharbel »
Sanctus Deus
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ
Άγιος ο Θεός

Offline Frank J

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 37
  • Faith: Russian Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #223 on: August 08, 2018, 12:31:24 PM »
Hello to All,

I converted to the Orthodox Christian faith some 18 years ago ,but was attending the Divine Liturgy for some 22 years of my life. I was Raised Roman Catholic by my parents who were both of Italian of culture and it was a bit of a struggle for me to come to the faith. Because at the time connected the faith and the culture so that was a bump I had to get over. In 1992 when I first attend the Orthodox Church I was very drawn to the Orthodox Christian faith for some reason I didn't understand at that time but I would better understand. But after a year in the Orthodox Church attending the Divine Liturgy , I wanted to give the RCC one more try that lasted 3 year's, after that I would find myself returning to the Orthodox Christian Church. I called the Orthodox Priest and told him I wanted to convert to the Orthodox Christian faith. So I was received into the Orthodox Christian faith on Jan. 7,2001. I've been very very much deep into the Orthodox faith. I will admit that sometimes fasting was a struggle for me,  but you keep working on with God...

I look forward to seeing more of your messages that you leave in this chatroom it great to find like minded people.

God bless you my friend's


Offline platypus

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!
« Reply #224 on: August 08, 2018, 09:11:24 PM »
If you made it this far, thank you for reading. It took me a long time to think through this and put it to words. I may continue to do more reading here than posting. I am moving along much slower, not acting impulsively out of guilt or condemnation, but allowing for the first time in my life, the grace of Christ to guide me, teach me and instruct me by his Spirit. I am very thankful to a Western Rite Orthodox Priest who is helping me during this time. Learning, understanding and knowing the development of the Western Rite has been immensely helpful to my journey.  I have no guarantees where I will end up, neither does he. He has never condemned the West or Rome. Neither do I. I have so many I love and respect from these traditions.  Instead he is helping me to move slowly and understand the Church and her historical journey.

Noahzarc1, thank you very much for sharing this. You're clearly very thoughtful about what you say, and I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

I will admit that sometimes fasting was a struggle for me,  but you keep working on with God...

It's a struggle for me too. Thanks for sharing your story, Frank.
"Eternal truth finds no favorable soil where one encounters at every turn the skeptical, sarcastic query 'what is truth,' where life insurance takes the place of eternal hope." -Hieromonk Antonius

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. -Ecclesiastes 12:8