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Author Topic: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!  (Read 24106 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 13, 2010, 01:59:53 PM »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Dear Finbar,

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Kokomoka,

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

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

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

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

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

Indeed, I have found the True Faith.

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

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

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

Can you be more specific?

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

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

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

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

Can you be more specific?

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

This research was done about 14 years ago.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome Adelphos  to the Convert Issues Forum!

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

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

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

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

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


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

favorite desert father maybe?
how bout orthodox liturgies?
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