I think it centers on the RCC teaching on the place of the Pope. While Protestant aversion to Papal Authority can be a bit rough shod, they are in the main correct to see it as a heresy that must be avoided. So they come to the Orthodox and find a True Catholic path without the necessity to compromise on that issue.
Good point. I've thought that this might be the case for many evangelical Protestant converts. So many evangelical tracts (okay, yes, Jack Chick, but even much more thoughtful and less insulting ones) tend to not have a very well formed understanding of Catholic sacramentality. The only area of Catholicism that evangelical apologists seem to understand very well is papal supremacy. There seems to be this foreboding fear among a small section of evangelicalism that the Romans have some magical, Illuminati-like special force that will one day turn into a grand persecution of evangelicals that cannot accurately recite the definition of transubstantiation from the Tridentine Catechism in 30 seconds or less. This is, of course, utter crap and completely unrealistic. Still, there is this sort of lingering "no popery" sentiment among some evangelicals. Maybe there are very few evangelical converts to Protestantism that convert solely because of this prejudice (I hope so!)
Perhaps the synodic structure of Orthodoxy is more comforting to those used to congregationalist governance.
Nevertheless, all of us (including me) in one form or another, have prejudices. Interestingly, we young Catholics were always told to dismiss evangelical Christianity as a simplistic, unreasoned, non-intellectual, and liturgically vapid. These prejudices have stuck with me for many years. The train tracks travel both ways.
Yes. I grew up in a very diverse area and I attended Catholic school for my entire life. I am ashamed to say this, but I knew about Jewish people, atheist people, Muslim people, Hindus, etc. and I learned about those faiths (or lack thereof) growing up. I NEVER learned about Orthodoxy and I studied Protestantism very briefly (I'm talking about a lesson in History class about Martin Luther) in high school.
One day I was speaking to a student and she mentioned that she wasn't Catholic. "What are you? Atheist? Muslim?" I asked her. She responded that she was Episcopalian and I had NO idea what that meant. I was in awe when a non-denominational friend told me about dancing in church and drinking grape juice. I thought they were a bunch of freaks. (There may have been more that I met, but they didn't discuss religion with me so I most likely assumed that they weren't believers at all.)
I went to college and I was smack in the northern part of the Bible Belt. I met Protestants for really, the first time in my life. They would ask me if I were Christian, if I were saved. I would respond, "Um, I'm Catholic." The girl who became my best friend pulled me over and said, "Stop saying that you're not Christian, you're Catholic. We're all in this together."
She brought me to a charismatic church. I partly think that I rebelled from Catholicism because I was so angry that I had never been exposed to the "other side" of Christianity, that leaders of the school groups would turn on the televangelist channel and make fun of the preachers saying "Praise the Lord!" and mock the charismatic style of dancing.
And I am dead serious when I say that my award winning, college prep high school did NOT teach one thing about Orthodoxy. I don't remember it. It may have been one brief lesson of the schism. (I wish I had my religion books again) Our religion dept. at the college also didn't offer any classes about it.
I DID learn that many Protestants have a fear of the pope, and I never considered going back to the Catholic Church because I had my doubts about the Papal Authority and Supremacy, even as a child. Sometimes things don't unfold very neatly, and I am not ashamed to admit that I first looked at the Orthodox church as a way to compromise with my husband, who really wanted to become Catholic (although now, I don't think he quite understood what the implications of that were). I prayed about it for months and I started to realize that I was searching for a Church like the Orthodox Church all along. I nearly had to drag HIM to the church the first time.
The super-Protestant friend I mentioned in the beginning? She did not like Catholics very much. She is now in the RCIA program. I never thought this would happen, and sometimes things don't happen as we think they should. But God leads us down certain roads for certain reasons...I understand your complaint, jordanz, and I do sympathize with the anti-Rome sentiment so prevalent in other churches but believe me, my Protestant friends and in-laws are by no means happier about our path to Orthodoxy...