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Author Topic: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!  (Read 26916 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: October 18, 2011, 02:01:59 PM »

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

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

God bless you on your journey.

In Christ

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

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

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

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

Presbyterian > Catholicism > Coptic Orthodoxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hello William,

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

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

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


Pozdrav......

Do understand and speak Srbski Jezik ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Pozdrav......

Do understand and speak Srbski Jezik ...

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

all u newbies,
welcome and may God bless u and also all those who are 'just looking'
 Smiley
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that is not the teaching of...


« Reply #109 on: January 20, 2012, 06:24:32 PM »

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

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

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

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

PP
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that is not the teaching of...


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

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

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

PP

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

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

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

PP

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

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

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

PP

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

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

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

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

PP

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

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

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

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

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

PP

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

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

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

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

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

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

and the tolerance of contraceptive use by some Orthodox bishops?  

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

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

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

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

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

I am REALLY getting tired of people making such claims.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And:

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

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

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

I don't know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don't know.

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome home, Joseph.

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

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

I don't know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much for this thread!

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

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

Thank you so much for this thread!

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

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

Thank you so much for this thread!



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Christ,
Andrew

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

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

In Christ,
Andrew

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

either way, I don't think this type of discussion belongs in this thread.
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St Theophan the Recluse


« Reply #134 on: March 23, 2012, 12:22:46 AM »

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

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

 

Sincerely yours, in Christ The Lord,

 

I
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"It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me." - John 6;   "I thank you, Father...[  ]that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes." - Luke 10
Tags: Catholic to Orthodoxy Converts 
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