Author Topic: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?  (Read 2285 times)

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Offline finbar

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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   
"Nothing troubles the man who is given over to the will of God.....He knows that the Lord in His mercy is solicitous for us.....But the proud and the self-willed do not want to surrender to God's will.." St Siluan the Athonite

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2010, 11:29:19 AM »
Welcome home, Finbar! I, interestingly enough had the blessing of my Eastern Catholic confessor to become Orthodox. We all have different journeys and stories on our way to the One True Faith.
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Offline Punch

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2010, 12:10:02 PM »
Finbar - My father is a Lutheran pastor, and I was an elder in the Lutheran Church when I converted.  You can imagine that reaction!  Do not doubt.  You are on the correct path.  Continue to pray and the Holy Spirit will continue to guide you.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline Paisius

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2010, 12:33:42 PM »
Welcome home, Finbar! I, interestingly enough had the blessing of my Eastern Catholic confessor to become Orthodox. We all have different journeys and stories on our way to the One True Faith.


That's not all that unusual. I know of a family who was practically encouraged by their Eastern Catholic priest to leave and join the Orthodox. He told them the Eastern Catholic Churches were slowly "dying."
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 12:34:47 PM by Paisius »

Offline finbar

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2010, 01:17:40 PM »
All your comments are greatly welcome....It is difficult to explain, but in a country where the RC church has successfully merged religion with national identity, it is possible to make a genuine decision to embrace orthodoxy as some form of treason...In fact my decision was probably strengthened by the arrogant and supercilious reaction.

One other thing I have noticed on this forum, there is no shortage of roman catholics trying to undermine orthodox posters, I would have thought that they would have had plenty of forums that they could be posting away on rather than be baiting us.

Is the Roman catholic church worried by orthodoxy...since i have converted I have had no less than 6 other practicing RC's who have taken literature from me and expressed an interest in attending a Divine Liturgy...
"Nothing troubles the man who is given over to the will of God.....He knows that the Lord in His mercy is solicitous for us.....But the proud and the self-willed do not want to surrender to God's will.." St Siluan the Athonite

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2010, 01:40:23 PM »
All your comments are greatly welcome....It is difficult to explain, but in a country where the RC church has successfully merged religion with national identity, it is possible to make a genuine decision to embrace orthodoxy as some form of treason...In fact my decision was probably strengthened by the arrogant and supercilious reaction.

One other thing I have noticed on this forum, there is no shortage of roman catholics trying to undermine orthodox posters, I would have thought that they would have had plenty of forums that they could be posting away on rather than be baiting us.

Is the Roman catholic church worried by orthodoxy...since i have converted I have had no less than 6 other practicing RC's who have taken literature from me and expressed an interest in attending a Divine Liturgy...

When I was in the process of converting to Orthodoxy, the RC priests whom I had known were very concerned and told me that I was heading toward damnation.

However, an Eastern Catholic Priest informed me that Orthodoxy was the true faith and that the only reason why many Eastern Catholic Priests did not convert to Orthodoxy was that they feared losing their retirement benefits. In fact, he encouraged me to attend inquiry classes and told me that the Orthodox Church is not heretical at all and does possess valid sacraments.
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Offline Agia Marina

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2010, 02:11:11 PM »
Welcome home, Finbar.   :angel:
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2010, 03:57:22 PM »
Finbar - My father is a Lutheran pastor, and I was an elder in the Lutheran Church when I converted.  You can imagine that reaction!  Do not doubt.  You are on the correct path.  Continue to pray and the Holy Spirit will continue to guide you.
My Lutheran parish has floated the idea to send me to seminary.  They were quite shocked when I left.

I went to a parochial High School of the Vatican's. 4 years they tried to raise doubts of my Lutheranism (my best friend then looks back and says I was "mad dog Lutheran"). They didn't succeed with my Protestantism, what chance do they have now that I have embraced Orthodoxy?  The fathers etc. at the school were schocked too (I converted within a year of graduation from High School). Btw, I had a lot of experience of those in submission to the Vatican belittling every sign of a resurgence of Orthodoxy during the fall of communism.

You're on the right path.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 03:58:54 PM by ialmisry »
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Offline quietmorning

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2010, 04:15:10 PM »
Welcome home finbar!

I grew up with the rant of how the Orthodox split from the RC - in heresy.  There is a lot of misnomer in history depending on who tells the tale.  It's often very difficult to decipher the truth over the propaganda, but generational and cultural beliefs run deep and hard.  The thing is - when we put our hand to the plow, hopefully we do not look back and grieve the loss of what we are leaving behind . . .or feeling guilt we should not feel for responsibilities others put on us, but hopefully, God willing we continue to look forward and keep putting ourselves in His hands so that we might be counted worthy on His day of Glory.



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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2010, 05:50:57 PM »
That's a shame. I don't know if I'd expect him to support you leaving his church, but I'm sorry he was hostile. I still haven't broken the news to the people at my old parish. They keep sending me bulletins and things.  :-[ I should probably have handled that better... still, if you think you have to go, then do so. Try and talk to a priest if you need to.

Offline synLeszka

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2010, 02:13:19 PM »
All your comments are greatly welcome....It is difficult to explain, but in a country where the RC church has successfully merged religion with national identity, it is possible to make a genuine decision to embrace orthodoxy as some form of treason...In fact my decision was probably strengthened by the arrogant and supercilious reaction.

One other thing I have noticed on this forum, there is no shortage of roman catholics trying to undermine orthodox posters, I would have thought that they would have had plenty of forums that they could be posting away on rather than be baiting us.

Is the Roman catholic church worried by orthodoxy...since i have converted I have had no less than 6 other practicing RC's who have taken literature from me and expressed an interest in attending a Divine Liturgy...
I think debate is good. Yes, when the topic is about Roman Catholics, we have no reason to respond and defend ourselves.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2010, 02:13:39 PM by synLeszka »

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2010, 03:02:57 PM »
It is difficult to explain, but in a country where the RC church has successfully merged religion with national identity, it is possible to make a genuine decision to embrace orthodoxy as some form of treason...In fact my decision was probably strengthened by the arrogant and supercilious reaction.

The same merging between Orthodoxy and national identity is present in Greece, Russia, Serbia, etc. If anyone in those countries converted to Roman Catholicism they would receive the same hostile treatment, and rightly so if you believe that yours is the true faith. People that convert to Roman Catholicism or Protestantism in those countries face severe social ostracizing by family and friends who are Orthodox. Just letting you know that the grass isn't always perfectly green on the other side. There is just as much nominalism and laxity present in the Orthodox populations, with only about 10% going to liturgy on a weekly basis. The rest go on Christmas and Pascha.

Anyway, I do think you're making the right decision, but I just wouldn't want the pot (Orthodox) to call the kettle (Catholics) black.

Offline Andrew21091

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2010, 03:20:27 PM »
My mom found Orthodoxy through the influence of a Melkite priest. I guess it really depends.

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2010, 01:28:14 AM »
My mom found Orthodoxy through the influence of a Melkite priest. I guess it really depends.
I found it through a Maronite priest.  :)

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2010, 07:05:16 PM »
My family's Eastern Catholic priest was very supportive of our decision to convert to Orthodoxy.  However, I have an RC friend, with a master's degree in theology, who was irate when I informed her of our decision.  She sounded a lot like the RC priest you mentioned in your original post.

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2010, 08:14:31 PM »
My family's Eastern Catholic priest was very supportive of our decision to convert to Orthodoxy.  However, I have an RC friend, with a master's degree in theology, who was irate when I informed her of our decision.
Was she irate, or just really, really excited?
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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2010, 09:55:17 PM »
My family's Eastern Catholic priest was very supportive of our decision to convert to Orthodoxy.  However, I have an RC friend, with a master's degree in theology, who was irate when I informed her of our decision.
Was she irate, or just really, really excited?

She was very upset.

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2010, 02:18:46 AM »
You mentioned Opus Dei in relation to your priest.  The past two popes have given strong support to Opus Dei.  John Paul II even made Opus Dei a personal prelature.  Maybe the priest, more than others, has a great sense of obedience to the Roman pontiff, and sees any Catholic's decision to leave the RCC as disobedience and therefore sinful.  Without knowing the priest, I can't say for sure. 

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2010, 03:26:46 AM »
You mentioned Opus Dei in relation to your priest.  The past two popes have given strong support to Opus Dei.  John Paul II even made Opus Dei a personal prelature.  Maybe the priest, more than others, has a great sense of obedience to the Roman pontiff, and sees any Catholic's decision to leave the RCC as disobedience and therefore sinful.  Without knowing the priest, I can't say for sure. 

Don't the Orrhodox see leaving the Church as sinful?

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2010, 10:55:29 AM »
You mentioned Opus Dei in relation to your priest.  The past two popes have given strong support to Opus Dei.  John Paul II even made Opus Dei a personal prelature.  Maybe the priest, more than others, has a great sense of obedience to the Roman pontiff, and sees any Catholic's decision to leave the RCC as disobedience and therefore sinful.  Without knowing the priest, I can't say for sure.  

Don't the Orrhodox see leaving the Church as sinful?

Sure, if they're seen as leaving the Church in joining the Western Church.  

« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 10:55:53 AM by StGeorge »

Offline KBN1

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2010, 01:15:04 PM »
I think hostility is to be expected from a lot of people.  I don't think it has so much to do with being a Roman Catholic.  I have seen Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Methodists...(etc. & et.al.) become angry about people converting to Orthodoxy.  Some people will do that and there probably isn't a whole lot of use trying to figure out why they do.  Best I can figure it out is that some people get angry about stuff.  :)  Do your best to keep in mind the 600 years or so of Orthodox Irish Christianity before the great schism and the multitudes of Saints praying for Ireland.

Offline synLeszka

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2010, 01:21:03 PM »
I think hostility is to be expected from a lot of people.  I don't think it has so much to do with being a Roman Catholic.  I have seen Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Methodists...(etc. & et.al.) become angry about people converting to Orthodoxy.  Some people will do that and there probably isn't a whole lot of use trying to figure out why they do.  Best I can figure it out is that some people get angry about stuff.  :)  Do your best to keep in mind the 600 years or so of Orthodox Irish Christianity before the great schism and the multitudes of Saints praying for Ireland.
The Church before the schism was neither Greek Orthodox nor Roman Catholic. The split was between the Roman and Greek churches.

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2010, 01:28:25 PM »
I think hostility is to be expected from a lot of people.  I don't think it has so much to do with being a Roman Catholic.  I have seen Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Methodists...(etc. & et.al.) become angry about people converting to Orthodoxy.  Some people will do that and there probably isn't a whole lot of use trying to figure out why they do.  Best I can figure it out is that some people get angry about stuff.  :)  Do your best to keep in mind the 600 years or so of Orthodox Irish Christianity before the great schism and the multitudes of Saints praying for Ireland.
The Church before the schism was neither Greek Orthodox nor Roman Catholic. The split was between the Roman and Greek churches.


He's talking about the faith.

The British Isles weren't under direct Papal control until the post-schism Norman Invasions in the late 11th century. Prior to that the Metropolitan See in Canterbury had direct relations with the eastern churches.

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2010, 02:10:33 PM »
He's talking about the faith.

The British Isles weren't under direct Papal control until the post-schism Norman Invasions in the late 11th century. Prior to that the Metropolitan See in Canterbury had direct relations with the eastern churches.
More British church history. :)

The Venerable Bede tells us the Archbishop of Canterbury who first fully united the Church in England was actually an  eastern import. They had to wait a couple of months in Gaul to let his hair grow out so that he could then shave it in the western clerical fashion and thus be accepted in England.
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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2010, 02:28:24 PM »
Greetings Finbar!

The response of the RC priest does not surprise me, except for the comment about homosexuality in Orthodox seminaries!  As others have said, responses from RC priests to such a decision may vary quite widely, though I would not be surprised if the affiliation of this priest with Opus Dei is a clue to his reaction.  On a very human level, if a person is a leader of a group to which you belong, and you express the thought that you wish to leave that group and are no longer confident in that group, it is not surprising that as the group leader he would do his best to convince you that his group is best and you would be mistaken to depart from it.  That being said, the homosexuality remark is really quite surprising because Orthodox seminaries here in America have a very different problem – accommodating all of the married seminarians that arrive with their wives and children.  The seminaries here have a very high percentage of married students with families and they are working very hard to accommodate them by providing married student housing.  It seems that here the problem is that a very high percentage of seminarians are coming in later in life, often after conversion from Protestantism or Roman Catholicism, and after they have established themselves in an occupation and started a family.  I do not know much about seminaries outside of America, but parish priests are almost always married in the Orthodox Church so I think it may be uncomfortable for a man to enter the priesthood if he is not intending to marry.  If seminarians do not marry before seminary graduation, usually they do afterwards and before ordination.  Most parishes would probably consider it very strange to have a young unmarried priest.  I’m not saying that such a phenomenon doesn’t happen, and I’m not implying that unmarried parish priests are necessarily homosexuals; I am just indicating that the common married state of parish priests would not seem to appeal to homosexuals.

Ireland has a very special place in my heart.  A pilgrimage I took to Ireland years ago was a major influence in my decision to join the Orthodox Church.  We visited the monastic city in Glendalough, St. Kevin’s Cave, Clonmacnoise, the Aran Islands, Skellig Michael (which has particular significance to me), and elsewhere.  Everywhere you could see St. Anthony the Great and St. Paul the Simple on the high crosses.  The way of life of the ascetics on the rock of Skellig Michael which is in the middle of the sea, and the miracles which have occurred there, are astounding.  Those who I spoke with would talk about the hermits and saints of Ireland’s past and I could see there the same tradition of the Desert Fathers of Egypt and of today’s ascetics on Mt. Athos and elsewhere in the Orthodox world.  Even the secular tour guides said that everything changed in the 11th century.  This is when Skellig Michael became uninhabited after about 500 yrs of monastic and ascetic life there, and when the ancient monastic and Orthodox ascetical spirit was replaced by the Papal “monastic orders”.  At the time when I heard of how everything changed in the 11th century, I could only attribute this to the spiritual effect of the Schism, the effect of being cut off from the Church.  

I really enjoyed the book “Egyptian Desert in the Irish Bogs” and am encouraged any time I hear of Orthodoxy being embraced in this once great Orthodox land.

http://www.ctosonline.org/historical/ED.html

http://www.ctosonline.org/sample/ED.pdf    


  

Offline KBN1

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2010, 02:36:33 PM »
I think hostility is to be expected from a lot of people.  I don't think it has so much to do with being a Roman Catholic.  I have seen Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Methodists...(etc. & et.al.) become angry about people converting to Orthodoxy.  Some people will do that and there probably isn't a whole lot of use trying to figure out why they do.  Best I can figure it out is that some people get angry about stuff.  :)  Do your best to keep in mind the 600 years or so of Orthodox Irish Christianity before the great schism and the multitudes of Saints praying for Ireland.
The Church before the schism was neither Greek Orthodox nor Roman Catholic. The split was between the Roman and Greek churches.


He's talking about the faith.

The British Isles weren't under direct Papal control until the post-schism Norman Invasions in the late 11th century. Prior to that the Metropolitan See in Canterbury had direct relations with the eastern churches.

Thank you.  That is what I meant.  I should have been clearer.

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2010, 08:56:36 PM »
I think hostility is to be expected from a lot of people.  I don't think it has so much to do with being a Roman Catholic.  I have seen Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Methodists...(etc. & et.al.) become angry about people converting to Orthodoxy.  Some people will do that and there probably isn't a whole lot of use trying to figure out why they do.  Best I can figure it out is that some people get angry about stuff.  :)  Do your best to keep in mind the 600 years or so of Orthodox Irish Christianity before the great schism and the multitudes of Saints praying for Ireland.
The Church before the schism was neither Greek Orthodox nor Roman Catholic. The split was between the Roman and Greek churches.


He's talking about the faith.

The British Isles weren't under direct Papal control until the post-schism Norman Invasions in the late 11th century. Prior to that the Metropolitan See in Canterbury had direct relations with the eastern churches.

I beieve Ireland was autonomous until King Henry II's invasion in 1172...?

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2010, 09:39:54 PM »
I think hostility is to be expected from a lot of people.  I don't think it has so much to do with being a Roman Catholic.  I have seen Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Methodists...(etc. & et.al.) become angry about people converting to Orthodoxy.  Some people will do that and there probably isn't a whole lot of use trying to figure out why they do.  Best I can figure it out is that some people get angry about stuff.  :)  Do your best to keep in mind the 600 years or so of Orthodox Irish Christianity before the great schism and the multitudes of Saints praying for Ireland.
The Church before the schism was neither Greek Orthodox nor Roman Catholic. The split was between the Roman and Greek churches.


He's talking about the faith.

The British Isles weren't under direct Papal control until the post-schism Norman Invasions in the late 11th century. Prior to that the Metropolitan See in Canterbury had direct relations with the eastern churches.

I beieve Ireland was autonomous until King Henry II's invasion in 1172...?

True. There wasn't just one Norman Invasion but a series. The Normon invasion of Ireland in the twelfth century by Papal order.

Quote
Pope Adrian IV, the only English pope, in one of his earliest acts, had already issued a Papal Bull in 1155, giving Henry authority to invade Ireland as a means of ensuring reform by bringing the Irish Church more directly under the control of the Holy See.[1]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_invasion_of_Ireland


I'm going to need this.

Offline synLeszka

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Re: Converting to orthodoxy from RC- Hostility from RC priest normal?
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2010, 05:58:04 PM »
Rome also had direct relations with the Eastern Church up until 1054, and even later.
Somehow the fact that Italy is closer to Greece eludes you, doesn't it?
 I truly wonder how these relations looked like. I think not many Greeks spoke Old English or Celtic, and not many Celts and Germans spoke Greek. I wonder how many diptychs in Constantinople included the archbishop of Canterbury.. I wonder what proves that the British Isles and Ireland were under direct rule of the Patriarch of Constantinople. It seems to be more an imaginary thing than reality, though.