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Author Topic: Catholics discovering Orthodoxy  (Read 24874 times) Average Rating: 0
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spartacus
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« on: May 18, 2004, 12:29:43 PM »

May God Bless all who read these words...

This is my first post here. This last Pascha, my wife, three children and I were chrismated into the Orthodox Church in America at ST. Joseph's in Wheaton, IL! What Joy.

My wife and I were both cradle Catholics. Although my wife's faith was very strong as a Catholic, she does not focus too much on the theological aspects of her faith. I on the other hand was considered a rebelious Catholic in Catholic grade schools because I read the Bible without supervision. For me this created some doubts and when I was to be confirmed as a Catholic as a teenager I just could not bring myself to do it....My wife and I were still married in the Catholic Church and tended to be rather devout -- For Catholics in the US anyway. Although I always had issue with some of the Roman DOgma, traditions and practices.

Two years ago a priest in our Parish was accused of sexually abusing two teeneaged girls (This week he pled Guilty and will be getting 8 years). My wife just could no longer bring herself to go that parish anymore. The local diocese would not allow us to register at neighboring Parishes either (trying to stem the exodus).

Eventually, we stopped attending Mass all together and this was accompanied by an emptiness in our hearts.

I was not aware of OCA and had the mistaken impression that to be Orthodox one also would need to be able to indentify with a particular ethnicity here in the US. By the Grace of God and the powerful tool of Google I discovered the OCA! I wrote the website and was shocked to receive a reply in less than an hour inviting us to attend Liturgy in English not 15 minutes from our home. The national Communications Director for OCA happens to be the Rector priest at St. Josephs and happened to be the one replying to my e-mail inviting me to his parish. A quick phone call prior to our first Liturgy set everything up.

We had no idea what to expect.....Our family of five piled into our minivan that Sunday Morning not knowing what to expect...to say we were collectively nervous walking in the front door would be an understatement. What a moving experience that First Liturgy was for us. We were greeted at the door by another priest who happened to be former Catholic Deacon. We had seats reserved up front for us and happened to be -- we discovered later -- surrounded by many other former Catholics.

The congregational singing was absolutely, astoundigly beautiful. I was awestruck witnessing the parishioners receiveing Holy Communion. At Fellowship afterwards we learned about 25% of the Parishioners are former Roman Catholics -- most of them former devout Catholics -- a former Catholic nun, deacon, eucharistic minister, chorul directors...

The Orthodox Liturgy was actually more "Catholic" than any Catholic Mass I have ever attended...many times more reverant without being stiff...

Further exploration revealed that Theologically -- my personal beliefs were actually Orthodox my whole adult life. Where I had problems as a Catholic accepting some things...I found Orthodoxy saw those things as I did in regards to Purgatory, Original sin...and many more.

After our First Divine Liturgy we made it clearly known to the children that my wife and I would make final decsiions about converting...but we wanted to know what their thoughts and feelings were. Overall it was positive (they liked Sunday School asopposed to CCD class) Our oldest one said she felt closer to God at Orthodox Liturgy and everyone agreed.

My point in sharing all this is to find out how common it is in other parts of the US and around the World to have Roman Catholics convert these days. There is a high percentage in our very healthy parish at St. Joseph's...and we have more Catholic visitors and guests all the time...this last Sunday two Catholic Seminarians were at Liturgy. There is now a massive scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church in the US. Legal costs and settlements could actually bankrupt it in the not-too-distant future. This is I think is revealing a funadamental error in Roman Catholic tradition -- that of having a supposedly celibate priesthood where the Church is run entirely by men who lack the benefit of fully experiencing love, family and the responsibility of parenthood as God intended.

I know my Parish is very healthy and growing at Light speed. 16 years ago there were only 12 Parishioners worshipping in private homes. At Pascha this year we must have had well over 700 people and probably about 200-300 attending every week...and some of them driving very great distances to do so. Not all the growth is from former Catholics. St Joseph's ministers to immingrants by offering an ENglish class for them Saturday Mornings, There are converts from other denominations and faiths. Cradle Orthodox are registering into the Parish all the time.

I welcome your feedback on this matter and look forward to reading responses and learning how it is in other areas regarding Catholics converting and the health of individual parishes.
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2004, 12:56:58 PM »

spartacus,
Many Years!
(I'm still wiping the tears from my eyes from reading your post.)

The American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox parish I normally attend is comprised of about 10% converts from the Roman Catholic Church. So, fear not, your experience is not unique in that regard.

Welcome to the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, indeed.

Demetri
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2004, 01:08:01 PM »

Welcome Spartacus to OCNet,

May you & your family find enlightenment and comfort.

Although my particular journey is proceeding as a long and winding road, I walk it humbly and with patience.

james
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2004, 01:09:24 PM »

Many years to you Demetri...

I am curious...given the apparent ethnic identity of your Parish...what do you do to make non-ethnics feel welcome or let them know that ethnicity is not required.

It is this apsect of Orthodoxy in America that prevented my family and me from discovering it sooner. Frankly we thought we had to be and/or speak Armenian, Russian or Greek.

What language is your Liturgy in?
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2004, 01:12:19 PM »

Thank you for the welcome James,

Forgive me for being new and asking stupid questions...but where exactly are you in your journey? Are you Orthodox? Are you a Roman Catholic?
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2004, 01:19:05 PM »

Welcome, spartacus!  Thanks for sharing your journey with us; I look forward to reading your posts.  Smiley

There is at least one formerly Roman Catholic family in the OCA parish I attend, too.  (Actually, I think there are more.)
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2004, 01:25:54 PM »

Spartacus,

Welcome to the forum! It was great to read your story. Although the majority of Orthodox Christians in America attend parishes with an "ethnic" prefix attached to "Orthodox Church", a good number of these parishes do use a good amount of Enlgish, or English exclusively. For example, my parish is of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. However, our services are almost exclusively English. Another example is the Antiochian Archdiocese. Though this jurisdiction has its roots in Antioch, it is hailed by some as being the most active in evangelizing to Americans- through English services and other means. Sometimes the "Russian","Greek" "Antiochian", etc. in the jurisdiction or church's name is just an indicator of the jurisdiction's history or roots, or what tradition this particular church or jurisdiction tends to hold services in. Sometimes though, this "ethnic" title really is an indication that you are going to hear services entirely in Greek or Russian, and that the parish mostly ministers to ethnically Greek, Russian, etc. people. It really depends on the parish!

Anyway, happy to see you here and in the Orthodox Church!

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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2004, 01:37:12 PM »

Spartacus,

Your question is not stupid, I am currently a older RC who began exploring further then the Western Church 2 years ago, after experiencing some painful events in my life.

I have had numerous discussions with Eastern Catholic and Orthodox priests and are following their valued advice.

 My ethic roots are Polish & Italian, with roots deep in the RCC, both groups of grandparents were from the old countries.

At times it is difficult, but nothing comes easy.

Look forward to your posts.

james
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2004, 01:39:45 PM »

Many years to you Demetri...

I am curious...given the apparent ethnic identity of your Parish...what do you do to make non-ethnics feel welcome or let them know that ethnicity is not required.

It is this apsect of Orthodoxy in America that prevented my family and me from discovering it sooner. Frankly we thought we had to be and/or speak Armenian, Russian or Greek.

What language is your Liturgy in?

Well, spartacus, in this area of Pennsylvania "ethnic" is rather the norm ("non-ethnics" are a decided minority) and so this isn't a real issue in the ACROD parish I attend. The Old World Carpatho-Rus area itself spans so many countries itself that ethnicity takes on a different meaning- we've Ukrainians, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Germans, Lemkos, Russians, generic "Americans", and a token Greek(me). All services are 100% English (excepting Panakidas -memorial services- if the family requests Slavonic.) Congregational signing helps a great bit as well. A newcomer or visitor to the parish had best be prepared to be greeted by 30 or 40 people after church with the priest and his wife among them. A returning visitor will find the same welcome, again, and again.
True, other jurisdictions can be more clanish, but that is slowly ending.
You've found a good home in the OCA.

Demetri
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2004, 01:42:52 PM »

Welcome Spartacus...  
Very good story, I highly appreciate it... even though I do prefer Divine Liturgy in Slavonic.  ;-)
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2004, 01:49:49 PM »

Ok now you got me confused...It's my understanding that OCA is the heir of the Russian Orthodox Church that first came to the continent in ALsaka a little more than 200 years ago...WHat exactly is the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia?
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2004, 01:54:25 PM »

Spartacus,

Christ is Risen!

Welcome to the forum.   I too, am a convert from the RCC.  I too was captivated by the beauty of the Liturgy.  I felt then and there that this was the proper way to worship Our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Many Many years!!!

JoeS
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2004, 02:00:36 PM »

I know of which you write James.....

From my perspective, The OCA today is closer to the ROman Catholic Church of my youth than anything The RCC in America is today. I am only 37 and have seen so many changes...changes with little or no explanation...One week it's sinful to eat before Holy Communion...the next week kids are eating crackers in the pews.

I am convinced that most Roman Catholics if they were to be raised from the dead today -- would feel more at home in an Orthodox Liturgy than they would at any Modern Roman Mass. But that is just my perspective.


From my perspective I think it is the Roman Church that has changed....I just found the home where I was always intended to be.

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spartacus
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2004, 02:03:12 PM »

Many Years to you JoeS....

Yes I know what you mean...I think my family undertook one the fastest conversions our Parish had ever seen....It just seemed like we were coming home.
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2004, 02:06:34 PM »

Ok now you got me confused...It's my understand that OCA is the current incarnation of the Russian Orthodox Church that first came to the continenet in ALsak a little more than 200 years ago...WHat exactly is the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia?

Spartacus,
It's a confusing topic. After the Russian Revolution a group of Russian bishops found themselves outside the borders of Russia. St. Tikhon, forseeing this possibility, issued a Ukaze(official statement) saying that if bishops found themselves unable to communicate with the Russian hierarchy in Russia, they would be allowed to set up a temporary church administration which would act to unify and maintain the faithful displaced by the revolution. This group became known as the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, or Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. By St. Tikhon's Ukaze, they would be allowed to exist independently until the time that normal relations could take place between the Church in Russia, and those bishops and faithful outside Russia. This group was first headed by Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky.  The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia(ROCOR) still exists today, scattered throughout the world. The Church's headquarters are presently in New York. Now, since communication is possible between ROCOR and the Church in Russia, dialogue is taking place to heal the wounds caused by the Russian Revolution. The problem is, it's not that simple. During the Soviet period, Metropolitan Sergius(head of the church in Russia) declared that the "Joys and sorrows of the Soviet state are the joys and sorrows of the Church".  This, along with other statements and actions which alligned the Church with the Soviet state, caused the ROCOR to break relations with the Church in Russia, considering it to be enslaved and a tool of the Soviet state. Many in Russia also broke off relations with the official Church headed by Metropolitan Sergius, creating a new kind of Russian catacombs. Having formerly been under the control of the Soviet state, relations between ROCOR and the Church in Russia were not good for many years. Now, however, things are being sorted out.

I would see the "ROCOR in Russia thread", and the "ROCOR and the Russian Church" thread here at OC.net for more info.

Also, the History of ROCOR from St. John Maximovitch:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/resistance/roca_history.aspx


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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2004, 02:06:46 PM »

Is there an over/under yet for how long it will take RB to respond, telling spartacus to go back to the RCC? Grin

Congrats spartacus! and Many Years!
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2004, 02:10:07 PM »

Greetings Spartacus and welcome to OC.net!

We have an interesting mix in this forum spanning multiple jurisdictions, and have a diversity of opinions here.  You will also find a number of people here who share similar backgrounds and experiences as you have.
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2004, 02:10:29 PM »

Spartacus,
It's a confusing topic. After the Russian Revolution a group of Russian bishops found themselves outside the borders of Russia. St. Tikhon, forseeing this possibility, issued a Ukaze(official statement) saying that if bishops found themselves unable to communicate with the Russian hierarchy in Russia, they would be allowed to set up a temporary church administration which would act to unify and maintain the faithful displaced by the revolution. This group became known as the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, or Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. By St. Tikhon's Ukaze, they would be allowed to exist independently until the time that normal relations could take place between the Church in Russia, and those bishops and faithful outside Russia. This group was first headed by Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky.  The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia(ROCOR) still exists today, scattered throughout the world. The Church's headquarters are presently in New York. Now, since communication is possible between ROCOR and the Church in Russia, dialogue is taking place to heal the wounds caused by the Russian Revolution. The problem is, it's not that simple. During the Soviet period, Metropolitan Sergius(head of the church in Russia) declared that the "Joys and sorrows of the Soviet state are the joys and sorrows of the Church".  This, along with other statements and actions which alligned the Church with the Soviet state, caused the ROCOR to break relations with the Church in Russia, considering it to be enslaved and a tool of the Soviet state. Many in Russia also broke off relations with the official Church headed by Metropolitan Sergius, creating a new kind of Russian catacombs. Having formerly been under the control of the Soviet state, relations between ROCOR and the Church in Russia were not good for many years. Now, however, things are being sorted out.

I would see the "ROCOR in Russia thread", and the "ROCOR and the Russian Church" thread here at OC.net for more info.

Also, the History of ROCOR from St. John Maximovitch:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/resistance/roca_history.aspx


So why is ROCOR not part of OCA?
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2004, 02:12:59 PM »

Is there an over/under yet for how long it will take RB to respond, telling spartacus to go back to the RCC? Grin

Congrats spartacus! and Many Years!

I use the name Spartacus very intentionally and am known by this handle on other boards....IS RB that guy who thinks he should receive Holy Communion wherever the Spirit moves him? Can't wait to hear from him.....
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2004, 02:13:27 PM »

So why is ROCOR not part of OCA?
Politics.
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2004, 02:13:40 PM »

Well, like I said, I'd take a look at the ROCOR and the Russian Church thread for more on that. In addition to the facts noted in this link, it should also be noted that ROCOR is not just a Church in America, but spans the entire globe. Thus, uniting under the Orthodox Church in America would not make sense.

See here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php?board=7;action=display;threadid=3457
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« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2004, 02:17:14 PM »

Spartacus,

What I have discovered over the last few years is just how much I didnt know about Faith.  Its like a whole new world of learning our there for the grabbing.  After 3 years as an Orthodox Catholic Im still reading as much as I can get my hands on.

Did you experience Lent, Holy Week and/or Pascha?  If you did then you know where Im coming from.

In Christ,

JoeS    Wink

















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« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2004, 02:28:30 PM »

spartacus,

Many years, and welcome to the Faith!  Fr. John Matusiak came to our parish in Fort Worth, TX during Lent to talk about a building plan; sounds like you definitely second his glowing report of St. Joseph's!  Our parish is around 60/40 convert/cradle (Ukranian/Russian) -- though maybe my numbers are off -- and we're really blessed with good relations all around.

Quote
Ok now you got me confused...It's my understanding that OCA is the heir of the Russian Orthodox Church that first came to the continent in ALsaka a little more than 200 years ago...WHat exactly is the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia?

There was a really good explanation of this, I think, from Tikhon29605 in another thread.  Here it is:

Quote
Re:ROCOR and Russian Orthodox Church
-½ Reply #4 on: Sun, May 16, 2004, 04:17:35 PM -+  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The ROCOR and the OCA are BOTH spiritual children of the Moscow Patriarchate.  The Bolshevik Revolution and resulting Communist persecution of the Orthodox Church in Russia after 1917 fragmented Russian Orthodoxy and that still affects us to this day.  What is today the OCA was in 1917 the North American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.  After the Communist Revolution in Russia, Patriarch Tikhon (who had been Bishop of the North American diocese and had a very close connection with the Orthodox in America) told the North American Diocese to "believe NOTHING from Moscow until the Church in Russia is free."  Then the Communists murdered Patriarch Tikhon and installed a puppet bishop in his place who demanded that the Orthodox in America take an oath of allegience to the atheistic Soviet gov't!  The North American diocese snorted at such a notion, and at the Cleveland Sobor declared itself as "temporarily self-governing" until the matter could be settled.
    Our dear ROCOR brethren have a different origin.  They were mostly Russians from Russia who fled to the West when the Communists began killing off all the Orthodox bishops and priests. They included Metropolitan Anthony Krapovitsky, the Bishop of Kiev.  After fleeing to Constantinople, the ROCOR people eventually found refuge in Serbia, where they re-constituted themselves with a Holy Synod of Bishops at Karlovsky. From there, ROCOR moved to Germany for a while, and then finally to Jordanville, New York, where Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary is located.

Hope that answers some questions, and again, a very warm and hearty welcome!  -íCristo ha resucitado!  Christ is risen!
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« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2004, 02:36:03 PM »

I too, am a convert from the RCC.  I too was captivated by the beauty of the Liturgy.  I felt then and there that this was the proper way to worship Our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Yeah...Vatican II has done more to drive people to the Orthodox Church than pretty much anything else.  Now the East pretty much has the only solidly apostolic environment out there...WR Orthodox parishes are coming into their own, though....
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« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2004, 03:32:44 PM »

Spartacus,

A old member of the forum and I discussed the OCA a few times, it was one of the first sites I visited beside the GOA when I started exploring.

Don't pen me in......yet, like I said on another thread, I don't wear blinders nor judge one's path. There are many righteous brethern out there, they are in flux, like me.

I am glad that you & family found the path to Orthodoxy.

james
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« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2004, 04:48:53 PM »

Yeah, ROCOR was/is made up of the people who made it outta Russia during or after the Russian Revolution and their decendants.  Most of the ones in America now didn't make it out of Europe right away, and there are still ROCOR in Europe... and Australia, and South America, etc etc.  The OCA was... well, pretty much what Bogo said.
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« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2004, 04:49:03 PM »

spartacus,

Many years, and welcome to the Faith!  Fr. John Matusiak came to our parish in Fort Worth, TX during Lent to talk about a building plan; sounds like you definitely second his glowing report of St. Joseph's!  

Many Years to you Pedro,

Yes I was truly blessed and fortunate to have Father John Matusiak answer my request for guidance. He is a remarkable man -- and an excellent priest.

The First Liturgy we attended was the First Litury of Lent...My wife and I were immediately struck by the fact that Father John began the liturgy by asking the congregation to forgive him for his failings.....Not exactly something one sees in the RCC!

When I inquired about the process of conversion and how long it would take....he responded by telling me 6-12 months maybe longer...maybe less...My second time asking him this...he was less time specific...and the 3rd time when I asked him less than two weeks before Pascha..."well we could just chrismate you all on Pascha" was his response...You attend regularly. Your family seems confortable with us and mixes with others...and on top of all you get it (i.e. believe and try to follow Orthodox teachings).."

Then he asked me these questions....

Q. If you wanted to talk to a priest who would you call?
A. You

Q. When someone asks where you go to Church what would you say?
A. ST. Joseph's OCA

Q. SO do you want us to chrismate you on Pascha?
A. Let me talk to my wife, we'll have an answer after SUnday Liturgy

At Liturgy that Sunday Fr. John announced to the congregation that our family of five would be Chrismated on PAscha along with three others who also happened to be former Catholics...My wife looked at me with questioning eyes that seemed to say "I thought we were going to give him our answer after Liturgy?"

"Well I guess he just put us in the 'Yes' column," I said without waiting for her to ask.

Father John...perceived what was in our hearts I think more clearly than we did...although he would never claim such a thing.

Oh Father John would not appreciate me tooting his horn so loudly and so I will end this now.
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« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2004, 04:51:20 PM »

Yeah, ROCOR was/is made up of the people who made it outta Russia during or after the Russian Revolution and their decendants.  Most of the ones in America now didn't make it out of Europe right away, and there are still ROCOR in Europe... and Australia, and South America, etc etc.  The OCA was... well, pretty much what Bogo said.  

Well although the Chrism still is not dry on me yet....This ROCOR sure does not seem "orthodox" in their administartive approach.....

Is this based on nationalist pride or patriotism for the motherland?
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« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2004, 04:58:03 PM »

Yeah...Vatican II has done more to drive people to the Orthodox Church than pretty much anything else.  Now the East pretty much has the only solidly apostolic environment out there...WR Orthodox parishes are coming into their own, though....

I think VaticanII was just the beginning....I know in my former parish there are a great number of RCs who feel wounded not only by the pedophile priest that was in our midst...but the day after Pascha (Easter) the Parish Music Director was arrested and charged with the murder of his homosexual lover some years ago in another state....followed some days later by the news that a priest was being charged in Ohio in the ritual slaying of a RC nun in a hospital many years ago...

Again...I think the requirement of celibacy among the RC priests -- a requirement based on earthly concerns more than spiritual...has served to fill the RC priesthood with many priests who are deficient human beings. This I think will be the cause of the eventual total collapse of the RCC in the US....Just my opinion here.
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« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2004, 05:03:01 PM »

Well although the Chrism still is not dry on me yet....This ROCOR sure does not seem "orthodox" in their administartive approach.....

Is this based on nationalist pride or patriotism for the motherland?

What, exatly, is unOrthodox about their approach?
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« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2004, 05:04:31 PM »

Spartacus,

What I have discovered over the last few years is just how much I didnt know about Faith.  Its like a whole new world of learning our there for the grabbing.  After 3 years as an Orthodox Catholic Im still reading as much as I can get my hands on.

Did you experience Lent, Holy Week and/or Pascha?  If you did then you know where Im coming from.

In Christ,

JoeS    Wink

Yes there is nothing that compares to the enthusiasm of a true convert. We did the entire Lenten Journey....My wife balled here eyes at her first Orthodox Confession...it was quite a powerfully moving experience for our children to see their mother like that.

Pascha...Wow!!!

"Christ Is Risen!!!" was shouted in ten different languages!!!
....and answered in more.  







Fixed quotes.   John

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« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2004, 05:07:15 PM »

Well although the Chrism still is not dry on me yet....This ROCOR sure does not seem "orthodox" in their administartive approach.....

Is this based on nationalist pride or patriotism for the motherland?
In defense of ROCOR (of which I am not a member),  they're purpose was to preserve Russian Orthodoxy in exile while the Church in their motherland was under extreme persecution.  This is now no longer the case, and the original reason for the seperation has passed.  They have been faithful in preserving the Russian traditions of Orthodoxy, but the time has now come for a reconcilliation with their mother Church.
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« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2004, 05:26:17 PM »

What, exatly, is unOrthodox about their approach?

Well if I were to move to Greece, I would go to the Greek Orthodox Chruch...In Ethiopia, The Ethiopian Orthodox Church....

I can understand the desire to maintain a "Church-in-exile" if you will....given the circumstances of Russia...it just seems odd to choose to be separate from OCA which was grafted from the Church whose roots go to St. Petersburg...and was severed by the communists.

Again this is the perspective of a new convert...I guess my question is...do Parishioners in ROCOR in the US consider themselves Orthodox Christians who happen to be of Russian descent...Or Russians in-exile who happen to be Orthodox Christians?
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« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2004, 05:39:36 PM »

Well if I were to move to Greece, I would go to the Greek Orthodox Chruch...In Ethiopia, The Ethiopian Orthodox Church....

I can understand the desire to maintain a "Church-in-exile" if you will....given the circumstances of Russia...it just seems odd to choose to be separate from OCA which was grafted from the Church whose roots go to St. Petersburg...and was severed by the communists.

Again this is the perspective of a new convert...I guess my question is...do Parishioners in ROCOR in the US consider themselves Orthodox Christians who happen to be of Russian descent...Or Russians in-exile who happen to be Orthodox Christians?

The Russian Church Abroad is concerned with the same things as the other Orthodox jurisdictions- proclaiming the gospel, ministering to their flock, etc. However, another one of the goals was to maintain the Russian Orthodox tradition so that it would not be lost due to the communist revolution. You will find people in ROCOR who, to a greater or lesser degree, are very concerned with being Russian. In the OCA this mentality is also present...people become obsessed sometimes with creating an "American" Orthodox Church, and lose site of making America Orthodox. The national banners fly just as high in this respect.  In the US, about 1/3 of ROCOR is comprised of converts. So this should tell you something about what ROCOR holds in the highest regard.

You said: "Well if I were to move to Greece, I would go to the Greek Orthodox Chruch...In Ethiopia, The Ethiopian Orthodox Church...."

This makes sense, of course...but history has dealt us a different hand. The OCA is relatively small in America, compared to the combined number of parishes of other jurisdictions in the US. ROCOR is not the only group "out of the loop" in this respect, as there are many "ethnic" jurisdictions here. It does make sense to have one local Church in each country, and many are working towards that. However, many argue that autocephaly in America is pre-mature as we haven't developed the characteristics of an autocephalous Church. Many believe we still need the spiritual support of one of the Patriarchates from the various "mother countries".

The "Church in exile" mentality was not built upon identifying with an ethnic make-up, per se. This mentality was and is about preserving traditional Orthodoxy. As was mentioned, the question of submission to a Soviet dominated Church has played a huge role in this question of preservation. In addition, the question of ecumenism, liturgical innovation, and the calendar have also been devisive issues which many Churches are wrestling with here in America. Some feel the innovations of certain jurisdictions here in America are incompatible with traditional Orthodoxy. That being their mentality, they do not wish to merge with a hierarchy which will compromise their traditional perspective.
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« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2004, 05:43:13 PM »

I'd keep in mind also that it was the OCA who tore apart the unity of the Russian Churches here in America. On two occasions the OCA submitted to ROCOR, and on two occasions the OCA broke away, preferring to govern themselves without canonical basis for doing so. Then, after over 20 years of self-appointed self rule, the OCA gained autocephaly from the Moscow Patriarchate- a move which is still considered uncanonical by a good number of the Autocephalous Churches.
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« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2004, 05:46:35 PM »

Well if I were to move to Greece, I would go to the Greek Orthodox Chruch...In Ethiopia, The Ethiopian Orthodox Church....

I can understand the desire to maintain a "Church-in-exile" if you will....given the circumstances of Russia...it just seems odd to choose to be separate from OCA which was grafted from the Church whose roots go to St. Petersburg...and was severed by the communists.

Again this is the perspective of a new convert...I guess my question is...do Parishioners in ROCOR in the US consider themselves Orthodox Christians who happen to be of Russian descent...Or Russians in-exile who happen to be Orthodox Christians?

Both.  The immigrants/Russions/whatever consider themselves to some degree of both and the converts just consider themselves Orthodox (many, sad to say think they're "more Orthodox than thou", but I digress and don't won't to necessarily point fingers).  ROCOR is considered more conservative on average.
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« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2004, 06:01:44 PM »

I'd keep in mind also that it was the OCA who tore apart the unity of the Russian Churches here in America. On two occasions the OCA submitted to ROCOR, and on two occasions the OCA broke away, preferring to govern themselves without canonical basis for doing so. Then, after over 20 years of self-appointed self rule, the OCA gained autocephaly from the Moscow Patriarchate- a move which is still considered uncanonical by a good number of the Autocephalous Churches.

Well this is all news to me and from my perspective seems like politics....

I believe with every fiber of my being that Orthodoxy is the fullest and truest expression of Christian faith....Speaking from my perspective though...I think this trait of needing to identify with a motherland is a hinderence in spreading the word. If the Church is ever to grow to its fullest extent here in North America...it can not be perceived as being Russian, Armenian, Greek, or anything else...America is all these things and more...Shouldn't the Orthodox Church reflect that? How much of this division internationally is based on a perception that the US and Canada are not long-enough established nations to be worthy of being independant I wonder.

Yes it is wonderful that we have such a mix of ethnic flavors in North America...but like every fine meal...the flavors should be experienced when one begins to smell and taste -- they should not hit you in the face before you even enter the dining establishment.
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« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2004, 06:27:01 PM »

Exactly, spartacus.  This is the ugly stepchild/monkey-on-the-back of Orthodoxy in America (perhaps the world?).  But keep in mind, it happened mainly due to historical geo-political circumstances.  You have to have patience - something converts generally are challenged with.  That's why converts and cradles balance each other well.  If you were born 20 or so years ago, you probably would've been much less likely to become Orthodox.  A lot has happened to Orthodoxy for the better (on the American front) in the last 20 years.  The perception is not that America and Canada are not established enough as nations, but the maturity of the Orthodox presence in those two countries - at least from the viewpoint of the EP (and possibly a few others) regarding the OCA and a couple of other Churches.

Also, tread carefully with that extension regarding Ethiopia.  Even though much progress has been made with many Oriental Orthodox Churches, they aren't in Communion with the Eastern Orthodox yet even though many would say that 1500 yr old discrepancies are being resolved.
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« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2004, 06:33:08 PM »

Well this is all news to me and from my perspective seems like politics....


Some of it is politics, some of it is Church discipline, and some of it is what each group perceives to be taking a stand for the truth and integrity of Orthodoxy. As for your other points, I pretty much agree. There should be one self-governing Church in America, ministering to all peoples. It's just a question of when, and most importantly how. That's the tricky part.
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« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2004, 06:39:48 PM »

Elisha...very good points.  We should not rush ourselves into a premature situation that will cause more division than unity.  We are working towards unification now, and it may take 20-50 years, but it will happen.  The key is to be faithful and pray for God's will to be done, no matter what that is.
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« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2004, 06:54:57 PM »

Also, tread carefully with that extension regarding Ethiopia.  Even though much progress has been made with many Oriental Orthodox Churches, they aren't in Communion with the Eastern Orthodox yet even though many would say that 1500 yr old discrepancies are being resolved.
I said I would go to the Church...I said nothing about Holy Communion...However as a new convert from Catholicism...I think some people here have been tending to focus more on what divides rather than what unites ...Welcome to the OC.Net huh?

I am glad I came here after I converted....I probably would have been turned off if I came before I discovered Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2004, 07:33:27 PM »

Spartacus, I agree that you have an excellent priest.  Whenever I have e-mailed a question to him on the OCA site (he is the one that handles the Q & A section), he has always e-mailed me back with an answer very promptly.  He answers your questions rather or not he decides to post them on his site.  Please let him know that I think his most recent answer on confession (the topic was why we need to confess before a priest) was a masterpiece.
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« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2004, 07:34:34 PM »

By the way, I think his answer on that topic could be a good one to share with Christians who ask why we should have to confess before a priest instead of just confessing it to God.
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« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2004, 08:06:53 PM »

Forgive me, but as a textbook (however closet) pessimist, I'd like to ask the Orthodox here a question.

Do you feel just a wee bit of the beauty of your Divine Liturgy is lost when it is totally English (don't get me wrong, I understand English does not mean loss of incense, degradation of icons or your holy sanctuaries, etc.)?

It seems that things take on somewhat of a different life when things become, well, American (however one wishes to describe it).

Forgive me if this seems somewhat sophmoric, but that's how I somewhat see it.

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« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2004, 08:22:43 PM »

Forgive me, but as a textbook (however closet) pessimist, I'd like to ask the Orthodox here a question.

Do you feel just a wee bit of the beauty of your Divine Liturgy is lost when it is totally English (don't get me wrong, I understand English does not mean loss of incense, degradation of icons or your holy sanctuaries, etc.)?

It seems that things take on somewhat of a different life when things become, well, American (however one wishes to describe it).

Forgive me if this seems somewhat sophmoric, but that's how I somewhat see it.
No.  If anything, I find the liturgy to actually be enhanced when I can clearly understand everything that is said and done.  Frankly, I find it distracting, and find myself not quite as attentive and prayerful when I can't understand what is being said, when attending liturgies in foreign languages.
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« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2004, 08:43:14 PM »

Quote
Do you feel just a wee bit of the beauty of your Divine Liturgy is lost when it is totally English (don't get me wrong, I understand English does not mean loss of incense, degradation of icons or your holy sanctuaries, etc.)?

No.
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« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2004, 09:08:28 PM »

No.

When one hears the Liturgy for the first time in a language which is comprehensible to them (like English) one realizes the  beauty is in the words and their meaning.

Orthodoc
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« Reply #47 on: May 18, 2004, 09:10:29 PM »


I am glad I came here after I converted....I probably would have been turned off if I came before I discovered Orthodoxy.

Indeed, spartacus, indeed.
This is a dreadful display of pettiness. All of us should be ashamed, myself included, to welcome a joyful new convert with this jurisdictional junk. It demeans Christ's Church and is juvenile, unnecessary, and uncalled for.

Demetri   :'(
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« Reply #48 on: May 18, 2004, 09:13:44 PM »

Spartacus,

Greetings!

I am glad that you have found peace. I myself am Roman Catholic and considering Orthodoxy. I do disagree with you on your opinions on celibacy and the Catholic priesthood, but I will say that I am gald you have found peace, and please pray that I may also find peace.

In Christ,
Ben
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« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2004, 09:39:06 PM »

Do you feel just a wee bit of the beauty of your Divine Liturgy is lost when it is totally English (don't get me wrong, I understand English does not mean loss of incense, degradation of icons or your holy sanctuaries, etc.)?

I think that is true. Especially in the Greek church because the services and chanting were originally written in Greek.
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« Reply #50 on: May 18, 2004, 10:39:35 PM »

This is a dreadful display of pettiness. All of us should be ashamed, myself included, to welcome a joyful new convert with this jurisdictional junk. It demeans Christ's Church and is juvenile, unnecessary, and uncalled for.

Well said, Demitri.
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« Reply #51 on: May 18, 2004, 10:41:38 PM »

[I think that is true. Especially in the Greek church because the services and chanting were originally written in Greek. ]

There are plenty of CD's available of Byzantine Chant in English to prove your statement wrong.

The old Baba's in my childhood parish used to say the same thing regarding Slavonic.  You know the ones who children are no longer Orthodox and whose grandchildren refer to the Orthodox Catholic Church as 'Baba's Church!'

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« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2004, 11:09:15 PM »

Indeed, spartacus, indeed.
This is a dreadful display of pettiness. All of us should be ashamed, myself included, to welcome a joyful new convert with this jurisdictional junk. It demeans Christ's Church and is juvenile, unnecessary, and uncalled for.

Demetri   :'(

He asked questions. I tried my best to answer them.
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« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2004, 01:26:12 AM »

I'm sorry if I offended, spartacus. I really was just attempting to answer your questions and define ROCOR and their position for you as you asked.  Please, stick around and help keep poor slobs like me from delving too much into the 'political' side of things.
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« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2004, 01:31:25 AM »

I'm sorry too.  Just wanted to clarify things.
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« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2004, 01:42:37 AM »

I think that is true. Especially in the Greek church because the services and chanting were originally written in Greek.

Greek and other foreing languages are beautiful.....I used to be fluent in French...

From my perspective though...My family has been in this country for centuries....They are a mix of German, Irish, Hungarian, French, and Native American. My wife is 2nd generatiuon Polish and Russian and speaks only English (Her grandfather was Russian Orthodox until he immigrated here and became frustrated with his local parish here in the States).

I think in order for any Liturgical service to have meaningful participation the words must have meaning to the congregation. If Parishes choose only to worship in a foreign language then I dare say most of those parishes will die a slow death as immigrant families assimilate into the American experience. I know very well how family- and tradition-oriented Americans of Greek descent are...Hey that is great...but how many non-Greek converts do they attract?

English, Spanish and French are the primary tongues in North America.  At Pentecost when the Apostles went into the streets speaking in tongues they were speaking languages people the people there could understand.

When I was Catholic I attended a couple nmasses in Latin...it was an interesting experience but it is not something I would to do "religiously". 16 years ago there were no Orthodox Parishes in my area with English Liturgies. I thank God that today there are or otherwise my family would not have discovered Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #56 on: May 19, 2004, 01:56:27 AM »

Spartacus,

Greetings!

I am glad that you have found peace. I myself am Roman Catholic and considering Orthodoxy. I do disagree with you on your opinions on celibacy and the Catholic priesthood, but I will say that I am gald you have found peace, and please pray that I may also find peace.

In Christ,
Ben

Ben I see that you are unabashedly pro-life...That is another big problem I had with the RCC here in the states...before my conversion I wrote my local diocese 5times and two neighboring diocese three times over the course of 14 months asking when they would be finally speak oput about how pro-abrortion politicians should not present themselves for Holy COmmunion...and also asking that if I was seeing things incorrectly...Why they are still allowed to Holy COmmunion....(I asked my parish priest and he told me to task the Diocese) I never once got a response from any Diocese ...until I wrote them telling me to take my name off their mailing list....then I got an immediate reply...but I am still waiting for the answer they promised me. This I think is the height of hypocrasy.

I attribute this to a celibate priesthood...Without the experince of being a parent I do not think most of the priests in the RCC fully grasp this issue -- despite what they might think.


Sorry don't mean to dump on Catholicism -- I still love and pray for it and its parishioners -- but I too am very pro-Life and probably would not be here today if I was conceived a few years later than I was because my mother was only 16 when I was conceived...Most likely I would have become one of the more than 30 million victims of this American Hoplocaust....so I get a little emotional about this....This however was not the case until my wife and I tried to conceive, misscarried twice and finally had three kids. The experience of becoming a parent deepened my understanding of this issue in ways I do not think celibate people ever can.
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« Reply #57 on: May 19, 2004, 02:05:01 AM »

I'm sorry if I offended, spartacus.

No I am not offended...One must have pride to be offended and that is something I have worked very hard to decrease in my life.

I was though rather put off by the whole thing. I live in what is probably the second or third largest highest concentration of people in the US...I feel blessed to have found a healthy Orthodox Parish (with English Liturgy)...and then I get hit with all these cannonical, political and adminstartive issues -- that I was previously only sligtly aware of and quite frankly -- don't concern my family and I all that much as it relates to our faith and our participation in our very young, healthy and growing Orthodox Parish.

I explored judiasm as an adolescent even going so far as to attend some Hebrew classes and a month-long summer camp in another state -- And I thought Jewish people bickered and argued over every little thing! Roll Eyes
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« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2004, 02:52:52 AM »

I was though rather put off by the whole thing. I live in what is probably the second or third largest highest concentration of people in the US...I feel blessed to have found a healthy Orthodox Parish (with English Liturgy)...and then I get hit with all these cannonical, political and adminstartive issues -- that I was previously only sligtly aware of and quite frankly -- don't concern my family and I all that much as it relates to our faith and our participation in our very young, healthy and growing Orthodox Parish.

I explored judiasm as an adolescent even going so far as to attend some Hebrew classes and a month-long summer camp in another state -- And I thought Jewish people bickered and argued over every little thing! Roll Eyes
First off, welcome and congratulations to you and your family. I too am a convert, but seeing as I currently live in Greece, my journey to Orthodoxy was a little different to yours Grin.

Don't concern yourself too much with the politics and juresdictional bickering. If you read through the history of the church from Acts onwards, you will quickly discover that such struggles have constantly dogged the church. It comes from the fact that the church is made up of sinful people. Satan is also our sworn enemy and does what he does to those he hates and God permits this for our benefit so that we may have greater opportunities to grow in patience, humility and obedience. We are the body of Christ, but the vast majority of us are not perfect yet, and our primary concern is to work on perfecting the bit of the church that we have some control over, namely ourselves Wink.

God bless,

John.
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« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2004, 08:32:07 AM »

Well if I were to move to Greece, I would go to the Greek Orthodox Chruch...In Ethiopia, The Ethiopian Orthodox Church....

I can understand the desire to maintain a "Church-in-exile" if you will....given the circumstances of Russia...it just seems odd to choose to be separate from OCA which was grafted from the Church whose roots go to St. Petersburg...and was severed by the communists.

Again this is the perspective of a new convert...I guess my question is...do Parishioners in ROCOR in the US consider themselves Orthodox Christians who happen to be of Russian descent...Or Russians in-exile who happen to be Orthodox Christians?

From my experience, just Orthodox with maybe the Russian in front of it but more often than not they are just "Eastern Orthodox" or "Orthodox Christian."  Of course where I live, the word "Rusian" can be almost suicidal.  

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« Reply #60 on: May 19, 2004, 08:45:06 AM »

Greek and other foreing languages are beautiful.....I used to be fluent in French...

From my perspective though...My family has been in this country for centuries....They are a mix of German, Irish, Hungarian, French, and Native American. My wife is 2nd generatiuon Polish and Russian and speaks only English (Her grandfather was Russian Orthodox until he immigrated here and became frustrated with his local parish here in the States).

I think in order for any Liturgical service to have meaningful participation the words must have meaning to the congregation. If Parishes choose only to worship in a foreign language then I dare say most of those parishes will die a slow death as immigrant families assimilate into the American experience. I know very well how family- and tradition-oriented Americans of Greek descent are...Hey that is great...but how many non-Greek converts do they attract?

English, Spanish and French are the primary tongues in North America.  At Pentecost when the Apostles went into the streets speaking in tongues they were speaking languages people the people there could understand.

When I was Catholic I attended a couple nmasses in Latin...it was an interesting experience but it is not something I would to do "religiously". 16 years ago there were no Orthodox Parishes in my area with English Liturgies. I thank God that today there are or otherwise my family would not have discovered Orthodoxy.

They are greeks!  noone converts to them for a reason. Wink

Sorry Spartacus this is a long-standing joke between me and a couple of hte ethnic greeks here.  I half-heartingly sling some insult at the greeks (only in jest of course) and they say "poor kid.  It must be so hard for him not being a Greek." (of course in jest again)

Seriously, I find English services to be amazing.  When I was a Roman, I was very deeply intrenched in the traditionalist movement. I am very much used to Latin.  Amazingly, none of the languages Liturgy is served in traditionally (English, Russian, or Greek) actually sound good to my ears, so I might as well be able to understand what is bing said  Tongue.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #61 on: May 19, 2004, 08:52:19 AM »

Spartacus:

Many years and congratulations on your reception into the Holy Orthodox Faith.  

To answer your question, the ROCOR mission parish I attend is made up of all converts with the exception of about five people (all born after their parents and in some cases older siblings converted).  As to how many are former Romans I do not know.  I do know this past Pascha a family of 4 former BC's were Baptized and there may be others as well.  There is also one Catechumen (me) who is also a former Roman.

A note on your terminology.  Neither you nor anyone else who is a convert from the Roman Church is a former Catholic.  In fact you are all in the [Orthodox--that is true] Catholic Church now.

Hmm.  Seems RB has yet to make it over here.  Therefore I am still taking bets. Grin Wink Tongue

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« Reply #62 on: May 19, 2004, 08:56:03 AM »

You will also find a great number of converts from the Roman Church here.  There are some who have finished the conversion process and have already been recieved.  And then there are at least a few here who like me are still somewhere along the path awaiting illumination.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #63 on: May 19, 2004, 09:02:13 AM »

They are greeks!  noone converts to them for a reason. Wink

Sorry Spartacus this is a long-standing joke between me and a couple of hte ethnic greeks here.  I half-heartingly sling some insult at the greeks (only in jest of course) and they say "poor kid.  It must be so hard for him not being a Greek." (of course in jest again)

According to Josef Idiovanovich Zollarovsky  Wink

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« Reply #64 on: May 19, 2004, 09:44:00 AM »

Snort!
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« Reply #65 on: May 19, 2004, 10:04:55 AM »

Hey you just called my Pappy an idiot!  Why I oughta....

very funny, but technically it would be Ivan as my first name is a derivitive of John.

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« Reply #66 on: May 19, 2004, 11:40:43 AM »

Hmm.  Seems RB has yet to make it over here.  Therefore I am still taking bets. Grin Wink Tongue

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Dude, that was my idea - check page 2.
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« Reply #67 on: May 19, 2004, 11:57:46 AM »

Dude, that was my idea - check page 2.

Giving odds or "Even" money?

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« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2004, 12:10:11 PM »

Spartacus --  Welcome.  I'm also a former cradle RC, entered the Orthodox Church about 4 years ago (OCA).  I have found that over the years my views about the RCC have moderated themselves somewhat, probably because I have been away from the RCC for quite some time now (I spent some time in the Eastern Catholic Church before becoming Orthodox).  I would say that most OCA places I have been have some former Roman Catholics there.  Glad to here things are going well at St. Joe's, I've heard good things about that parish.

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« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2004, 12:47:17 PM »

sorry Elisha.  Ddin't mean to steal your idea.  What odds are you giving?

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« Reply #70 on: May 19, 2004, 01:10:20 PM »

sorry Elisha.  Ddin't mean to steal your idea.  What odds are you giving?

Joe Zollars

No need to apologize.  I was hoping the facetiousness in my posts would be obvious.

Anyway, sorry guys, no actual odds or money made/taken.  I'm a low stakes gambler myself (generally <$10).  IMO, any "gambling" money should be money already set aside for entertainment purposes and any other should have been given to the church - and I'm probably liberal for EO in this view!

Sidebar:  I wonder if there are any professional gamblers (their livelihood/main income source) that are members of Orthodox parishes.  Since there is at least one parish in LV and a couple in Reno, I'm curious.    I should probably just create another thread to discuss this.
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« Reply #71 on: May 19, 2004, 01:17:35 PM »

That would be an interesting thread.
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« Reply #72 on: May 19, 2004, 01:33:26 PM »

Dear Spartacus:

I know you, and others, are awaiting expectantly to hear a word or two from RB. Wink

In the meantime, allow me to interject my own welcome to OC.net!  This is THE place for you now that you are Orthodox; the best there is, bar none! (Anastasios, Phil, and all the rest of administration, you owe me one! Cheesy)

Although a cradle (pre-Vatican II) and "devout" Roman Catholic like you were, I am here to learn more about the Eastern Church(es) and not to convert.

I would not convince you and your family to revert to the RCC. This is the "role" some posters here have assigned to RB. Grin

Your journey of faith is personal and I am certain, by the looks of it, you will have a rewarding home in Orthodoxy. The OCA seems to suit RC converts because it is probably the only Orthodox jurisdiction that is consciously open to diversity. (Let's put aside the Antiochian Western Riters.)

There are three things that struck me in your introductory and subsequent posts.

(1) I wonder why you were not, or chose to be not, confirmed into the Catholic Church.

(2) It seems you left your parish in disgust due to many things but culminating in the criminal indiscretion of your parish priest (is he the Pastor?). (BTW, the priest is not a pedophile, the 2 teenage female victims having been beyond pre-pubescence.)

Wheaton has 3 Roman Catholic parishes: St. Daniel, St. Mark, and St. Michael. Even if you were not allowed to transfer your family registration (there are pastoral reasons for this), you could have attended services in either of the other two, or in adjoining cities like Glen Ellyn, Villa Park, or Naperville. Nobody could have prevented you from attending other parishes within your neighborhood.

(3) It's your opinion that the sexual scandals that plagued, and continue to plague, the Roman Catholic Church will eventually lead to the total collapse of the RCC in the U.S., citing the celibate priesthood as the main cause.

I don't agree with the cause you cited and the conclusion you derived therefrom.

In the audit report done by an outside party recently submitted to the USCCB, there is a preponderance of cases of ephebophilia, or sexual attraction from an adult male to a pubescent male or female (up to 18). A lesser number of cases involved sexual attraction to pre-pubescent male or female, which is pedophilia.

The audit confirms many and various psychological studies that found married and unmarried (e.g., celibate priests) males are both likely to commit ephebophilia or pedophilia. This explains the non-exclusivity of these types of sexual indiscretions to celibate priests in the Catholic Church: such activities pervade other religious denominations and society in general. Only the Catholic Church was thrust into the public's eye.

As to the eventual total collapse of the RCC in the U.S., I am skeptical of your dire predictions for I cannot imagine the loss of about 64 million U.S. Catholics, and increasing at the rate of about 2 million (conversions and baptisms) annually.

Let us just examine the State of Illinois, which is divided into 6 dioceses. The Archdiocese of Chicago alone has about 2.4 million, with your former Diocese of Joliet reporting 620,000 Catholics. All told, Illinois has about 4 million Roman Catholics (excluding Eastern Catholics) spread over 1,055 parishes.  

How in heaven do you foresee the collapse of the RCC in Illinois, thus jumpstarting the eventual collapse of the RCC in the U.S.? You will soon discover that the number of parishes of your former diocese, with 133, might have more than the number of Orthodox parishes throughout Illinois.

At any rate, I sincerely wish you and your family a meaningful stay at OCA's St. Joseph in Wheaton.

Christ is Risen!

Amado




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« Reply #73 on: May 19, 2004, 01:36:17 PM »


IMO, any "gambling" money should be money already set aside for entertainment purposes and any other should have been given to the church - and I'm probably liberal for EO in this view!

Or, sort of like when someone wins a 50/50 raffle at our parish and then promptly donates their half (back) to the parish. Been there... Smiley

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« Reply #74 on: May 19, 2004, 01:53:17 PM »

I know you, and others, are awaiting expectantly to hear a word or two from RB. Wink

Not necessarily - just that past behaviour usually predicts future behaviour.
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« Reply #75 on: May 19, 2004, 03:23:19 PM »

There are three things that struck me in your introductory and subsequent posts.

(1) I wonder why you were not, or chose to be not, confirmed into the Catholic Church.

Actually I was eventually confirmed in 2000...I decide to be like most Catholics I know and just try to ignore the personal differences I had with Church teachings. Cheesy It did not work for me.

Quote
(2) It seems you left your parish in disgust due to many things but culminating in the criminal indiscretion of your parish priest (is he the Pastor?). (BTW, the priest is not a pedophile, the 2 teenage female victims having been beyond pre-pubescence.)

Yes I was ready to find a new home before the sexual abuse charges...and an adult man penetrating the vagina of a 14 year old girl is abhorent no matter how you want to parse it. It was this incident though which caused a change in my wife's heart. We had tried registering our children for CCD in another Parish on two separate occasions and both times were told we could not...and this was before the criminal charges (We did not like either priest at ST. Peter's and indeed reamined registered and active at our old parish for almost six years after we moved here). So when these charges came to light...it was just the final straw for her. Her heart could take no more and she just stopped going. I continued to take our children...but after a while....Well let me just say that my wife and I take our family and our marriage very seriously. I needed to find a new home that would be good for our family. I was willing to practice the faith I was reared in despite my misgivings because my wife was not ready to make the spiritual journey with me.

I'll go all day long with you if you want about the many theological and administartive issues in the RCC, I have problems with.....

Quote
(3) It's your opinion that the sexual scandals that plagued, and continue to plague, the Roman Catholic Church will eventually lead to the total collapse of the RCC in the U.S., citing the celibate priesthood as the main cause.

No it won't be the scandal. It will be the settlement and legal costs. It will also be the loss of credibility through the continued hypocrasy of all but two US diocese that  continue to allow public figures who work against Church teachings...to still receive all the sacrements as if they were actually in Communion in the Church. Huh It will also be the continued need to import priests from foreign countries because they can not attract enough US men to the celibate preisthood. You can talk numbner of cnverts all you want...Parishioners are leaving or have just stopped attending. Registration numbers and donations figures are not the only measure of a healthy Christian community......


Quote
I don't agree with the cause you cited and the conclusion you derived therefrom.

In the audit report done by an outside party recently submitted to the USCCB, there is a preponderance of cases of ephebophilia, or sexual attraction from an adult male to a pubescent male or female (up to 18). A lesser number of cases involved sexual attraction to pre-pubescent male or female, which is pedophilia.

The audit confirms many and various psychological studies that found married and unmarried (e.g., celibate priests) males are both likely to commit ephebophilia or pedophilia. This explains the non-exclusivity of these types of sexual indiscretions to celibate priests in the Catholic Church: such activities pervade other religious denominations and society in general. Only the Catholic Church was thrust into the public's eye.

This is a perfect example of where the RCC makes its fatal error in this issue. It is not the actual act of the criminals. It is the way in which the RCC handles or rather does not handle these issues when they began to arise and continue to arise today. I submit to you that if the RCC had married priests who had children of their own flesh and blood...this would not be the case today!

A child is statistically much more likely to be abused by a public school teacher...but what would happen to the school district administrators who became aware of a possible criminal act(s) against a child and then transferred the suspected teacher to a different school where they continued to teach children? Under Illinois statute they would be guilty of felony charges. So why is it so wrong to expect an even higher standard of accounatability from the Bishops and preists? The First Ammendment and sanctitity of the confessional is no excuse for the Church to commit criminal acts...and failure of school officals to report suspected Child abuse is a crimianl act in Illinois...this is what we saw in Boston and it looks like Boston was not only the opnly place this was ocurring.....Right now the Rockford Diocese is in contempt of court in Kane county for not cooperating fully enough in the investigation...and this matter is not going away just because Father Campobello copped a plea.

 If the RCC wants to reduce its liability it should get out of the education business.


Please continue to throw arguments at me...I used to make the same arguments you are making now...I used to be an apologist for the RCC and still have my Apologetics literature...please continue...Perhaps we can enlighten each other? Smiley

Before we go further though I must ask for your marital status and to know how many children you have...I think that is only fair since I have shared that here...also what if any position do you have in the RCC?


Also since you are so close by I would like to extend an invitation for you to come visit a young, healthy, growing, vibrant Christian Parish like nothing you will ever see in the RCC in or around Chicago...come to our Parish in Wheaton Any Sunday for 9:30 Divine Liturgy...No one will try to sell you.....Just be polite and call ahead so we can reserve you a seat where you see the worship service fully...and don't surprised if you see any Roman Catholic Nuns or Seminarians visiting there too Grin

It is worth the trip if only to experience the Way the Roman Catholic Church worshipped prior to the 11th century.
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« Reply #76 on: May 19, 2004, 03:30:32 PM »

Is there an over/under yet for how long it will take RB to respond, telling spartacus to go back to the RCC? Grin

Congrats spartacus! and Many Years!

Spartacus and any former catholics  are free to go where they please. One judgement day, we will give account of all we have done.

Like I said before, I was born catholic and I will die catholic by the grace of God. People think that switching churches will get them closer to God or to fulfill some empty emotional need.

That is the only good thing about it. That they didn't go protestant.  Orthodoxy is better the protetanism anytime.



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« Reply #77 on: May 19, 2004, 03:41:15 PM »

I was born catholic and I will die catholic

SO will I . Catholic with a small "c".
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« Reply #78 on: May 19, 2004, 03:46:48 PM »

SO will I . Catholic with a small "c".

a catholic is a catholic. no such thing as small "c" big "C"

That is a protestant invention.

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« Reply #79 on: May 19, 2004, 03:51:07 PM »

a troll is a troll, too.

That is not a Protestant invention.
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« Reply #80 on: May 19, 2004, 03:52:35 PM »

Spartacus,

Quote
Well if I were to move to Greece, I would go to the Greek Orthodox Chruch...In Ethiopia, The Ethiopian Orthodox Church....

Well, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is "non-Chalcedonian", to put it gently.

As for overlapping "juristictions", that's a question you could pose to a lot of people in the new world (you will see, quite commonly, an OCA, Antiochian, and a Greek parish in the same city, and/or overlapping diocese.)

Quote
I can understand the desire to maintain a "Church-in-exile" if you will....given the circumstances of Russia...it just seems odd to choose to be separate from OCA which was grafted from the Church whose roots go to St. Petersburg...and was severed by the communists.

According to the "old" ROCOR (their tone and opinion have changed on a lot of things in recent years), the OCA is a schism, as they believed the administration of all Russian Churches Abroad were...well "Russian Orthodox Churchs Abroad" ("ROCA" is another acronym for "ROCOR", with "Abroad" instead of "Outside of Russia" at the end.)   However what is now the "OCA" broke with ROCOR, by appealing to the Moscow Patriarchate as it's "mother Church" and eventually receiving "autecephalus" status from them.  ROCOR did not recognize the MP at all, and saw this as a double betrayal.  A similar situation occured in Europe, when a chunk of ROCOR's presence there broke with her, and was received under the mantle of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (though it lacked the sting that the OCA's appeal to the MP did, for reasons mentioned elsewhere in this thread.)

ROCOR, with time, increasingly distanced itself not only from the MP and it's own breakaways, but also with what most people understand to be the "official" or "canonical" Orthodox churches.  This was very much the case after 1965, when then Patriarch Athenagoras (Patriarch of Constantinople) "lifted" the anathemas of the Orthodox Church against Roman Catholicism.  Of course, no single heirarch could do this - indeed, it's arguable that no one could do this, since truth does not change (the only possible change would be one amongst the Latins themselves, so as to no longer fall under the Church's anathemas.)  However, this did happen, and it created quite a scandal.  The ROCOR also became increasingly concerned with the implications of the "calendar reform" which had occured in some local Orthodox Churches, and aligned herself with those Churches which had broken from these "official churches" over this issue (typically called the "Old Calendarists".)  Up until relatively recently, ROCOR was in communion with the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece (Old Calendarists), for example.

However, with this said, ROCOR has more or less purged herself of those who are not happy with her new course (reproachment with the MP and "world Orthodoxy" in general, which ROCOR once regarded as being comprimised by a heretical ecumenism) and who were unwilling to overlook the doctrinal and canonical "problems" of so called "official/canonical Orthodoxy", and is well on her way towards becoming part of the MP (though ecclessiastical communion would come first.)  This change on ROCOR's part has been met with a change on the part of most other official local churches - up until a few years ago, you'd find most such persons (members of the OCA in particular) having little if nothing nice to say about ROCOR (the terms "uncanonical" and "schismatic" come to mind.)

Seraphim
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« Reply #81 on: May 19, 2004, 03:53:28 PM »

a catholic is a catholic. no such thing as small "c" big "C"

That is a protestant invention.

Ok I will inform my Parish priest and the OCA that RB says we need to remove the word "catholic" when we recite the Nicaen creed ever divine Liturgy. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #82 on: May 19, 2004, 03:54:54 PM »

a troll is a troll, too.

That is not a Protestant invention.

Oh schultz... did I hit a nerve?

But please don'y use flatery on me. Kiss   It won't get you anywhere. Wink
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« Reply #83 on: May 19, 2004, 03:55:23 PM »

Oh come on, the Greek brothers who invented church slavonic translated the word as "soborniyy", and that long before the schism, never mind the Protestant Reformation.
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« Reply #84 on: May 19, 2004, 03:59:21 PM »

Ok I will inform my Parish priest and the OCA that RB says we need to remove the word "catholic" when we recite the Nicaen creed ever divine Liturgy. Roll Eyes

Come on Spartacus. You were a former catholic. You know what your former faith taught in regards to who/is a catholic. why is that a surprise to you. But I believe that my church extends the courtesy to the orthodox because of the recognition of their sacraments and valid orders.

I didn't mean to say that you were not a catholic but just not in the fullest sense of the word as taught by your former church.

The protestants recite the creed. Does that make them catholic? No it does not.
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« Reply #85 on: May 19, 2004, 04:03:36 PM »

Come on Spartacus. You were a former catholic. You know what your former faith taught in regards to who/is a catholic. why is that a surprise to you. But I believe that my church extends the courtesy to the orthodox because of the recognition of their sacraments and valid orders.

I didn't mean to say that you were not a catholic but just not in the fullest sense of the word as taught by your former church.

The protestants recite the creed. Does that make them catholic? No it does not.


just yankin' your chain man Kiss
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« Reply #86 on: May 19, 2004, 04:07:08 PM »

Quote
Oh schultz... did I hit a nerve?

Dude, I'm Catholic and as the song goes, "have been since the day I was born".

Still doesn't change the fact that you're a troll.  

Where's Billy Goat Gruff when you need him?

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« Reply #87 on: May 19, 2004, 04:07:39 PM »

just yankin' your chain man Kiss

I really hope the best for you and your family.  Smiley
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« Reply #88 on: May 19, 2004, 04:09:08 PM »

Dude, I'm Catholic and as the song goes, "have been since the day I was born".

Still doesn't change the fact that you're a troll.  

Where's Billy Goat Gruff when you need him?


Schultz...  "It is the little Euro Troll"

If you are going to use flattery then for goodness sake get it right.
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« Reply #89 on: May 19, 2004, 04:11:52 PM »

I'm not one to make such ethno-cultural distinctions.

A troll is a troll is a troll, no matter where he comes from.

"Dawn take you all and be stone to you!"
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« Reply #90 on: May 19, 2004, 04:18:19 PM »

I'm not one to make such ethno-cultural distinctions.

A troll is a troll is a troll, no matter where he comes from.

"Dawn take you all and be stone to you!"

well, If I am a troll then put be with my own kind. The euros.
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« Reply #91 on: May 19, 2004, 04:21:40 PM »

I am very curous RB and I think it is relevant to the thread topic,,,

Can you please explain why you as an apologist for the RCC hang out here?
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« Reply #92 on: May 19, 2004, 04:22:23 PM »

A Catholic is a Catholic and Orthodox are not only Catholic but IMO the only real Catholics.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #93 on: May 19, 2004, 04:25:09 PM »

A Catholic is a Catholic and Orthodox are not only Catholic but IMO the only real Catholics.

Joe Zollars

Although I would try to not be so prideful as to say Orthodox are the only "real catholics"

I agree with what you are saying.
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« Reply #94 on: May 19, 2004, 04:25:22 PM »

Quote
well, If I am a troll then put be with my own kind. The euros.

...where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.  (Col 3:11)

What a good Catholic you are, wanting to be put with your "own kind".  Silly me to think that as a Christian, I should eschew such arbitrary distinctions.

I'll be sure to keep you far away from the Africans and Asians.  
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« Reply #95 on: May 19, 2004, 04:26:49 PM »

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Can you please explain why you as an apologist for the RCC hang out here?

Once upon a time there were three billy goats, who were to go up to the hillside to make themselves fat, and the name of all three was "Gruff."

On the way up was a bridge over a cascading stream they had to cross; and under the bridge lived a great ugly troll , with eyes as big as saucers, and a nose as long as a poker...
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« Reply #96 on: May 19, 2004, 04:29:28 PM »

I am not meaning anything derogatory to Romans, but from my study of History and Doctrine it is clear to me that the only church to have maintained the original teachings of the Faith *without* subtractions and/or additions is the Orthodox Catholic Church.  

As some have said elsewhere, "We are Catholic, just not Roman."

I should probably state here, that I loved the time I spent in the Roman Church because it was there I was introduced to many of the things (the Theotokos, Liturgy, etc.) that one can only find in their fullest form in the Orthodox Catholic Church.  Without the time in the Roman Chruch, I doupt very seriously that I ever would have come this far in uniting myself to the Orthodox Church.  

An oft used analogy applies, "I've had the baby food and mushed carrots.  Now it is time for the steak dinner."

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #97 on: May 19, 2004, 04:34:47 PM »

I am very curous RB and I think it is relevant to the thread topic,,,

Can you please explain why you as an apologist for the RCC hang out here?

Who says that I am an apologist of my church? I don't need to defend my church, she does that for herself very well.

Nor am I here to convert anyone or be converted. I was born catholic and will die a catholic.

I am here to learn more about orthodoxy but I keep running into obstacles. The only ones that have been helping me with my questions are the moderators. They have been great.

Everyone else have left their manners behind.
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« Reply #98 on: May 19, 2004, 04:37:15 PM »

...where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.  (Col 3:11)

What a good Catholic you are, wanting to be put with your "own kind".  Silly me to think that as a Christian, I should eschew such arbitrary distinctions.

I'll be sure to keep you far away from the Africans and Asians.  


well, you guys were the ones that label me " the little euro troll".  Now it is my fault. and why in the world are you bringing in race. Roll Eyes

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« Reply #99 on: May 19, 2004, 04:39:30 PM »

I never used the word "Euro".  

Who said anything about race?  You're the one who brought up distinctions between the continents, AFTER I said they made no difference to me.  You are the one who wants to be with his "own kind", by which you simply must mean European.

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« Reply #100 on: May 19, 2004, 04:48:18 PM »

no of course he means people who get called by the "spirit" to recieve communion under false pretenses.  Wink

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #101 on: May 19, 2004, 04:56:07 PM »

no of course he means people who get called by the "spirit" to recieve communion under false pretenses.  Wink

Joe Zollars

I would not being called by the holy spirit " false pretenses" if I were you. He might not like that. Shocked

and if you forgot. I did say that the priest knew my family and knew that we were from both traditions.
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« Reply #102 on: May 19, 2004, 05:26:16 PM »

RB,

Relax before you blow a gasket.

I will have to agree with Joe Z & Spartacus RE: the RCC.

I cannot recieve communion from a female Eucharistic Minister & a altargirl .

No way, no how, no mas.

Way too many changes, that is why the RCC is in turmoil, and many are fleeing to Orthodoxy or the ECC.

james
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« Reply #103 on: May 19, 2004, 05:32:20 PM »

RB,

Relax before you blow a gasket.

I will have to agree with Joe Z & Spartacus RE: the RCC.

I cannot recieve communion from a female Eucharistic Minister & a altargirl .

No way, no how, no mas.

Way too many changes, that is why the RCC is in turmoil, and many are fleeing to Orthodoxy or the ECC.

james

what are you talking about blowing a gasket. Smiley  

I only recieve communion from a priest. Btw, you give the wrong impression when you use the word fleeing to orthodoxy. You are still in the church in ECC.
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« Reply #104 on: May 19, 2004, 05:58:23 PM »

OK RB,

I'll rephrase it, there are many migrating to the Eastern Church, be it ICWR( the U word is distasteful) or not.

james
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« Reply #105 on: May 19, 2004, 06:16:33 PM »

OK RB,

I'll rephrase it, there are many migrating to the Eastern Church, be it ICWR( the U word is distasteful) or not.

james

Now why did you do that?

what is ICWR ( the U word is distasteful)?
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« Reply #106 on: May 19, 2004, 06:58:42 PM »

Come on guys...RB seems OK here...why all the hostility? In his defense there are many in the RCC who are under the impression (including some RC priests) that it is OK to recieve Holy Communion in an Orthodox Church....

But then all but two RC diocese in the US also give Holy Communion to publiuc officials who continue to present themselves despite working very publicly and vocally against Church teachings regarding abortion......not naming names or anything here Tongue
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« Reply #107 on: May 19, 2004, 07:28:05 PM »

Come on guys...RB seems OK here...why all the hostility? In his defense there are many in the RCC who are under the impression (including some RC priests) that it is OK to recieve Holy Communion in an Orthodox Church....

But then all but two RC diocese in the US also give Holy Communion to publiuc officials who continue to present themselves despite working very publicly and vocally against Church teachings regarding abortion......not naming names or anything here Tongue

Spartacus,

I am very aware of the policy of receiving in an orthodox church. I know that we need the bishops permission. Read my post on this very issue.

and you are right there are many who are disobedient.
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« Reply #108 on: May 19, 2004, 07:42:50 PM »

RB, I was not calling the HOly Spirit a "false pretense" but rather your actions.  The priest may know your family and know it has some Romans in it, but he did not know that *you* were not Orthodox, and you did not correct him--thus the false pretenses remark.

Spartacus and others who may not know what on earth we are talking about, go to the Orthodox/Catholic* discussion forum and look at the thread "I have been recieving communion in your churches."  It should be on one of the first three pages of threads.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #109 on: May 19, 2004, 07:47:01 PM »

RB,

Manners?  You're the one who started asking rather inflammatory questions, kept on asking them in an inflammatory manner when told that you were and then said that we were being rude for doubting your sincerity when they way you asked your questions would indicate that you hadn't any.  Remember, Shulz is Catholic and doubts your sincerity the most out of anyone here.  Stop being so sensitive to anything anyone tells you, read over and edit what you type before you click on submit and have a humble heart "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth."

Finally, have a nice day. Smiley
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« Reply #110 on: May 19, 2004, 07:56:57 PM »

clearing throat in official sounding moderator voice....

Please, this board is for discussion of issues relating to converts to Orthodox Christianity.  If you would like to discuss the relationship of the Roman Church and the Orthodox Church, please do so on boards designated for that purpose.  

Thanks,

Nektarios
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« Reply #111 on: May 19, 2004, 08:31:24 PM »

RB,

Manners?  You're the one who started asking rather inflammatory questions, kept on asking them in an inflammatory manner when told that you were and then said that we were being rude for doubting your sincerity when they way you asked your questions would indicate that you hadn't any.  Remember, Shulz is Catholic and doubts your sincerity the most out of anyone here.  Stop being so sensitive to anything anyone tells you, read over and edit what you type before you click on submit and have a humble heart "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth."

Finally, have a nice day. Smiley

I have not asked any inflammatory questions at all. Far from it. If you want examples of imflammatory questions just visist CARM.org .

Schulz is not catholic enough for me. Soon enough he will be joining you. You will see. I have seen caths like him, they eventually jump ship.

I am not being sensitive at all, just shocked at the name calling on the part of certain posters here. The only people that have had any sense of decorum are the moderators and several posters.

The rest just react emotinally to some of my questions. That is most unfortunate.
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« Reply #112 on: May 19, 2004, 11:35:56 PM »

I have not asked any inflammatory questions at all. Far from it. If you want examples of imflammatory questions just visist CARM.org .

Riiiiiiight.  Your "I thought the emperor was the head of your church?" wasn't inflammatory Orthodox baiting?  Give me a break!

Schulz is not catholic enough for me. Soon enough he will be joining you. You will see. I have seen caths like him, they eventually jump ship.

I detect some bitterness in your posture towards Schulz.  It's attitudes like yours which may well push him to Orthodoxy.

I am not being sensitive at all, just shocked at the name calling on the part of certain posters here. The only people that have had any sense of decorum are the moderators and several posters.

Shall I assume you to be one of those people with no sense of decorum?

The rest just react emotinally to some of my questions. That is most unfortunate.

Au contraire, we react with reasoned and researched responses, while you viscerally react in a negative manner every time one of your historically inaccurate theories is torn to shreds.
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« Reply #113 on: May 19, 2004, 11:41:04 PM »

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Ben I see that you are unabashedly pro-life...That is another big problem I had with the RCC here in the states...before my conversion I wrote my local diocese 5times and two neighboring diocese three times over the course of 14 months asking when they would be finally speak oput about how pro-abrortion politicians should not present themselves for Holy COmmunion...and also asking that if I was seeing things incorrectly...Why they are still allowed to Holy COmmunion....(I asked my parish priest and he told me to task the Diocese) I never once got a response from any Diocese ...until I wrote them telling me to take my name off their mailing list....then I got an immediate reply...but I am still waiting for the answer they promised me. This I think is the height of hypocrasy.

That is unfortunate. But that shouldn't make you think any less of the Catholic Church. I mean those Bishops did not represent the Catholic Church in their actions. It may interest you to know that some Bishops are fighting the good fight, in fact the Bishop of Colorado Springs recently stated those who support politicians who are pro-abortion, euthanasia, or gay marriage, can not recieve communion in his diocese until they repent of their position. I posted an article from the Denver Post on this in the Free-For-All a little while ago.

Quote
I attribute this to a celibate priesthood...Without the experince of being a parent I do not think most of the priests in the RCC fully grasp this issue -- despite what they might think.

I strongly disagree. Orthodoxy too has celibate priests and, of course, Monks. And I know celibate Orthodox priests who counsel families and guide them in their daily problems. I do not think you have to kids to understand the family, or to give spiritual advice to a family. And certainly you don't have to have a family to be pro-life, if this was true I sure know some Orthodox monks who aren'r going to be too happy.

Quote
The experience of becoming a parent deepened my understanding of this issue in ways I do not think celibate people ever can.

I known a whole monastery of Orthodox Monks who would strongly disagree with this protestant mentality you are endorsing.
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« Reply #114 on: May 19, 2004, 11:53:42 PM »

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I have not asked any inflammatory questions at all. Far from it. If you want examples of imflammatory questions just visist CARM.org .

Riiiiiiight.  Your "I thought the emperor was the head of your church?" wasn't inflammatory Orthodox baiting?  Give me a break!

Schulz is not catholic enough for me. Soon enough he will be joining you. You will see. I have seen caths like him, they eventually jump ship.

I detect some bitterness in your posture towards Schulz.  It's attitudes like yours which may well push him to Orthodoxy.

I am not being sensitive at all, just shocked at the name calling on the part of certain posters here. The only people that have had any sense of decorum are the moderators and several posters.

Shall I assume you to be one of those people with no sense of decorum?

The rest just react emotinally to some of my questions. That is most unfortunate.

Au contraire, we react with reasoned and researched responses, while you viscerally react in a negative manner every time one of your historically inaccurate theories is torn to shreds.



1. have you a heard of caesaropapism ? Are you going to deny that orthodoxy had a church state relationship with the Byzantine empire?  I could give a list of historical text that says the samething and how he had great power within the church. Just because you deny it doesn't mean that he never acted like it or had that much power.  and it is ok that we disagree.

But the funny thing is that you guys deny in your case but make the claim against my church with again the " FRANKISH CONSPIRACY" takeover of the western church.

2. No bitterness. A person who has christ should never be bitter. I was just making an observation. If he jumps ships it is not because of me, friend. I don't force anyone to do anything. Everyone has their fate in their hands. Actually, people who know say that I am more catholic than the pope himself. Some people I know even call me fanatical. I guess it is my involvement with Opus Dei and the like minded groups.

3. I am very well mannered. Thank you very much. Civilized people don't resort to name calling when someone says something that they don't like. It is just barbaric.

4. Do you think that an answer that involves the " FRANKISH/WESTERN" conspiracy is reacting with reasoned and researched responses? I don't think so.  You guys( except the moderaters) love to point out certain historical facts ( which I suspect was gotten from some internet list) and forgetting to mention the total historical context of said incident. I call it selective amnesia symdrome. and the other one is the famous game of acting " victim".


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« Reply #115 on: May 20, 2004, 01:10:40 AM »

That is unfortunate. But that shouldn't make you think any less of the Catholic Church. [/quopte]

So someone should not think less of the RCC 9in the US because it is hypocritical and non-responsive to relevant questions from lifelong Parishioners -- non-responsive that is until they leave?Huh?

Ben you seem to be coming from the perspective that the RCC can do no wrong...history teaches us differently though. Even in the Gospels Christs declaring St. Peter as the "rock" is immediately followed by a passage where Peter is possessed by Satan.

Quote
I sure know some Orthodox monks who aren'r going to be too happy.I known a whole monastery of Orthodox Monks who would strongly disagree with this protestant mentality you are endorsing.

Ben I would ask you to ask your children, their RC friends, and the people sitting in the pews what they think of the celibate priesthood and ask them if they think it is a positive thing for the RCC.

Here is why I find this requirement rather silly:

1.) Celibacy was optional until shortly after the Great Schism with East. Historians generally agrre this was based on earthly money matters more than scripoture or tradition. We have two priests in my family...so this discussion came up quite a bit as I was growing up.

2.) Even the RC has released reports detailing how the priesthood has been innundated with a high percetage of homosexuals and men who are socially and sexually immature.

3.) The celibacy requirement is not absolute or uniform. IN parts of Africa RC priests are openly sexually active (but not married)...and if an Anglican priests converts to RC then he can be a married RC priest with kids and everything.....So if a cradle RC wants to be a married RC priest wity kids he can first convert to the Anglican Church, become ordained there and then go back to the RCC. There is such a priest in the Joliet Diocese who is married and has children Huh....Now if Celibacy is such a deal breaker for the priesthood...this should not be allowed to happen...there should not be one rule for cradle Catholics and another rule for Anglican converts to the RCC where the priesthood is concerned.  

Some are called to celibacy...most are not. I challenge though to find any celibate adult without children who can honestly claim they have the full appreciation of what it means to bring life into this world and be parent.

Ben...I see a lot of toeing the company line here with your posts and you strike me as an intelleigent person. In your life is it only when you come to questions about the RCC that you adopt a diiferent set of criteria for analyzing things ... or do you just tend to accpet everything at face value even though it appears hypocritical, unhealthy and in some cases just plain silly?

I know you are older than me and times were different when you were growing up. The RCc priest at the Parish where my wife and I married told us stories of how he was constantly propositioned by homosexuals in his seminary -- during our pre-cana counseling sessions Huh

My wife and I also have more than relative who are priests (one of them actually married us  in that same parish) and they too have related similar stories to us when we broached the subject. The stories of debauchery within the priesthood are just horrible because quite frankly -- they are true.

Ben just because you are Catholic does not mean you are required to check your mind at the door. This is the USA in the 21 st century -- go ahead question how the RCC is being shepherded. I was a voice alone in the wilderness. Indeed I had to leave before anyone even bothered to listen --

But that is behind me now. I am overjoyed to have found what is for my famnily and me

"The One Holy , Catholic and Apostolic Church" -- it's just not centered in Rome.
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« Reply #116 on: May 20, 2004, 01:15:41 AM »

Excuse me RB...the thread title here is "Catholics discovering Orthodoxy" I see from reading your posts you have gotten a little off topic...now people gave you a hard time even before you came to this thread...so some defense is understandable. The general tone of your posts though seem centered on this tension between you and others here on subject not related to the question at ahnd.

May I humbly ask that you post something here that is more on-topic? If you want to argue about how you feel others here are treating you please start your own thread...but right now I am feeling a lot of "heat" and not seeing much "light".  Smiley
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« Reply #117 on: May 20, 2004, 01:51:46 AM »

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Ben you seem to be coming from the perspective that the RCC can do no wrong...history teaches us differently though. Even in the Gospels Christs declaring St. Peter as the "rock" is immediately followed by a passage where Peter is possessed by Satan.


It is a fundemental mark of true Christianity, that the true Church can not err. However if we look at it, that would seem rule out *both* the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, for both churches are full of sinners, and always have been. And memebers of both Churches have committed horrible things, but this in no way damages the essential truth that the true Church can not err in matters in faith. Now as to which Church hasn't erred in matters of faith, I'm still figuring that out.

As for Peter, and the passage that you refer to, where you seem to believe it refers to Peter being possessed by Satan.

Firstly, let me tell you what an Orthodox priest (OCA) told me regarding this pasage. He told me that the word Satan comes from the aramic, greek, or hebrew (can't remember which one  Tongue) word that means 'adversary". So if we understand that verse correctly, the priest told me, we can only mean it to understand Peter as doing something/ saying something that is the opposite of Chirst's plan and/or will. The passge does not mean that Satan and Peter were one, or that Satan possesed Peter. Rather the verse means Peter, as a human, sinned, he failed, he missed the mark.

Secondly, let give my own opinion here. Even if Peter was possesed by Satan it would not hurt Papal Infalliblity. One can not argue against Papal Infalliblty by attacking individuals who held the office of Pope of Rome. To do this shows ignorance on the part of the attacker. For the dogma of Papal Infallibilty does not state that the Pope can not sin, or even hold heretical opinions. It simply means that he is guided by the HS and prevent from all error, when speaking ex cathedra. Sinfull humans, from the RCC view, can not damage the office of the papacy, popes are not sinless saints, they can be of course, but just because they are a Pope doesn't mean the RCC thinks they can do no wrong.

Quote
and the people sitting in the pews what they think of the celibate priesthood and ask them if they think it is a positive thing for the RCC.

I have yet to personally meet a Roman Catholic totally against celibacy as a requirement for the priesthood. In fact, I know many converts to Roman Catholicsm from Orthodoxy who like it because their priest has more time for parishoneers and doesn't have to worry about a family and, in some cases, a secular job.

Quote
Celibacy was optional until shortly after the Great Schism with East. Historians generally agrre this was based on earthly money matters more than scripoture or tradition. We have two priests in my family...so this discussion came up quite a bit as I was growing up.

It is true that for the first part of the Christian Church, celibacy was an option for priests, but of course not for monks, who are the backbone of the faith. But this in no way makes it silly or that is shouldn't be a requirement. Celibacy in so many ways, throughout history has strengthed the Catholic priesthood, and produced great saints.

Quote
The celibacy requirement is not absolute or uniform. IN parts of Africa RC priests are openly sexually active (but not married)...and if an Anglican priests converts to RC then he can be a married RC priest with kids and everything.....So if a cradle RC wants to be a married RC priest wity kids he can first convert to the Anglican Church, become ordained there and then go back to the RCC. There is such a priest in the Joliet Diocese who is married and has children Huh....Now if Celibacy is such a deal breaker for the priesthood...this should not be allowed to happen...there should not be one rule for cradle Catholics and another rule for Anglican converts to the RCC where the priesthood is concerned.  


The Church makes exceptions. Every rule has an exception. For example is it not a rule in Orthodoxy that a healthy Orthodox Christian observe the Nativity fast? However, my local GOA bishop allows an exception, so that his flock may celebrate Thanksgiving. In the Catholic Church celibacy is the norm for the Roman rite, there are exceptions to this, but this does not change the norm, Pope JPII is clear that it is the norm, and will remain that way.

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Some are called to celibacy

I totally agree.

Quote
I challenge though to find any celibate adult without children who can honestly claim they have the full appreciation of what it means to bring life into this world and be parent.

I know Orthodox monks who, as spiritual fathers of many souls, know a heck of a lot more about parenting then any couple with 10 kids!

Quote
Ben...I see a lot of toeing the company line here with your posts and you strike me as an intelleigent person. In your life is it only when you come to questions about the RCC that you adopt a diiferent set of criteria for analyzing things ... or do you just tend to accpet everything at face value even though it appears hypocritical, unhealthy and in some cases just plain silly?

I do not think celibacy is silly or unhealthy. In many cases and for a good number of individuals it is the healthiest life style possible! I understand your objection to it being a requirment, but I actually think this rules keeps priests in line. I mean my God with how outrages the Church has gotten since Vat II, imagine the divorces, the martial problems, the child raising problems, priests trying to make time for the family and the parish. My God the Catholic Church would have a hundred times more scandals if every priest had a family.

Quote
I know you are older than me and times were different when you were growing up.


lol...how old are you? And why do you assume I grew up back in the day?


Quote
Ben just because you are Catholic does not mean you are required to check your mind at the door.


Please get to know me. I most surely haven't check my mind out the door. The fact that I am a traditionalist Catholic, and interested in Orthodoxy testifies to that.

Quote
This is the USA in the 21 st century -- go ahead question how the RCC is being shepherded. I was a voice alone in the wilderness. Indeed I had to leave before anyone even bothered to listen --


The RCC is in the greatest crisis it has ever been in. This is why I am a traditionalist. Telling me that the RCC is a mess, isn't news to me. I've been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt. I know that the Church is in a HUGE mess, a desperate one.
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« Reply #118 on: May 20, 2004, 05:28:41 AM »

1. have you a heard of caesaropapism ? Are you going to deny that orthodoxy had a church state relationship with the Byzantine empire?  I could give a list of historical text that says the samething and how he had great power within the church. Just because you deny it doesn't mean that he never acted like it or had that much power.  and it is ok that we disagree.

Have you heard of papocaesarism?  Also, are you going to deny that Roman Catholicism had a church state relationship with the Roman Empire?  Are you also going to deny that Roman Catholicism had a church state relationship with the Kingdom of France?


But the funny thing is that you guys deny in your case but make the claim against my church with again the " FRANKISH CONSPIRACY" takeover of the western church.

So you deny that Charlemagne and subsequent Frankish rulers held sway over the Roman Catholic Church?  No French or German rulers interfered with the selection of or autonomy of the Popes?  

2. No bitterness. A person who has christ should never be bitter. I was just making an observation. If he jumps ships it is not because of me, friend. I don't force anyone to do anything. Everyone has their fate in their hands. Actually, people who know say that I am more catholic than the pope himself. Some people I know even call me fanatical. I guess it is my involvement with Opus Dei and the like minded groups.

Ah, Opus Dei.  That explains alot.  I do seem to detect your purpose for being here as an attempt to stem the tide of Roman Catholics embracing Holy Orthodoxy.  Odd that while you are trying to disuade Roman Catholics from becoming Orthodox, you yourself have no qualms about receiving Orthodox communion under false pretenses.  Read the Unofficial Opus Dei FAQ: http://www.mond.at/opus.dei/opus.dei.uo.faq.html

3. I am very well mannered. Thank you very much. Civilized people don't resort to name calling when someone says something that they don't like. It is just barbaric.

Well mannered?  That seems to be in the eye of the beholder.  I find it amusing that you say that name calling is not something civilized people do, and then proceed to engage in name calling by saying that those who do so are barbarians!

4. Do you think that an answer that involves the " FRANKISH/WESTERN" conspiracy is reacting with reasoned and researched responses? I don't think so.  You guys( except the moderaters) love to point out certain historical facts ( which I suspect was gotten from some internet list) and forgetting to mention the total historical context of said incident. I call it selective amnesia symdrome. and the other one is the famous game of acting " victim".

Umm, you seem to be the one who can't back your statements with facts.  I can back up my statements with facts, and ironically, use Roman Catholic sources to confirm much of what I write.  You seem to be the one who has selective amnesia, as you hurl the charge of caesaropapism at the Orthodox, while ignoring the fact that there has been a considereable amount of caesaropapism in the Roman Catholic Church's past.  Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

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« Reply #119 on: May 20, 2004, 10:17:53 AM »

I'm terribly sorry but in my opinion it is plain silliness to suggest that those who are unmarried and without children know as much about what it is to be married and to have children as those who are married and have children.  These events are watersheds in life, they change you by the experience, and you cannot learn that in a book.  The advice I have gotten from celibates relating to these matters is pure theory because they have not experienced it themselves.  As a result, I much, much prefer married priests for pastoral reasons.  Celibacy is not to be condemned, we Orthodox have celibates as well ... but for the most part our parish priests are married, and that simply makes good pastoral sense.
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« Reply #120 on: May 20, 2004, 11:23:14 AM »

Brendan....

I can understand what you are saying, to a point, but it is still not a good argument against celibacy. You can go to a phycologist or a therapist, or your married friends, for marital advice! Why do you need a priest to tell you how to deal with your marriage and your kids? Perhaps his idea of how to raise a kid or to deal with an argument is totally different than yours.

I personally understand the logic in having married priests, and I am not against a married celrgy, but just because a priest in celibate doesn't mean that he isn't a good priest or that he isn't able to meet the pastoral needs of his parish.

I think some are called to the married life, and others are not. And we must keep a balance. Which both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches have failed at doing, however it seems that the Orthodox Church is doing a better job at it, though imperfect.

I remember the first Orthodox priest I met with telling me that he was concerned that celibacy was downplayed a little too much in Orthodoxy, and that it shouldn't just be limited to the Monastic life. He told me he remembers in seminary, young men who had completed their studies and were ready to be ordained, but with the encouragement of their bishop, they spent years trying to find a wife before they'd even think of getting ordained, not because they were called to the married life, but because they felt pressured and obligated to do so.

I think Orthodoxy puts too much emphasis on priests having to be married. And as a result I know some Orthodox parishes who suffer, when their priest has 5 kids, a secular job, and a parish of 60 people.

As I said I see the logic in a married clergy, but we as a result can not downplay celibacy, and its central role in the life of the Church

In Christ,
Ben

P.S.Let us not forget that those who run the Orthodox Church are celibate, and it seems to be working out just fine!
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« Reply #121 on: May 20, 2004, 12:23:13 PM »



P.S.Let us not forget that those who run the Orthodox Church are celibate, and it seems to be working out just fine!

AH ....this is truly the administrative difference between Orthodox Christianity and the RCC. It is I think inaccurate to say the Orthodox Church is "run" by celibate men. Granted the officers of the Church might be almost exclusively monastic -- but the head of the Church is Christ and the Church itself is the Parishioners. Individually Parishes are administartively run by the Parishioners. It is not a democracy -- more like a consenus. The Parishioners very much have a say in administrative matters. Yes this can result in some Parishes "withering on the vine" if you will ....but this is not because the priest is married -- it is because the parishioners have made choices and decsions that resulted in this.

In the Midwest there are a number of very small Parishes where it has been strongly suggested that two or more small Parishes near each other merge...or make some changes like English Liturgies and congregational singing which have been proven to help Parishes attract new members and converts -- but the Parishioners in these Parishes refuse and so suffer the consequences of their decisions.

This is the weakness of the system. The strength however is that Parishioners have the ability to greatly influence administartive decisions for good...and also have the ability and methods by which they can act if they think the Diocese has made an administartive mistake onmatters such as priest assignment, etc.

Unlike Catholicism, Orthodox Parishioners are not subject to the administrative edicts of the local Bishop. Orthodox Christinas are not serfs. Orthodox Christians will not have a priests "forced" upon their Parishes...and very much unlike the RCC there is no shortage of Orthodox priests.

In Litugical matters though -- that is the realm of the priesthood -- and thatis how it should be.

Again this goes back to my point about the inheerant weakness of an entirely celibate priesthood -- autocratically ruling over the Parishioners in matters that are not just liturgical -- but also administrative.

It is impossible for me to imagine an Orthodox priest being accused of crimes against children -- being re-assigned to another parish of unsuspecting victims -- I just can not imagine the Parishioners allowing this to happen -- or the Bishops knowingly doing this -- let alone thinking the parishioners would them get away with it. Yet that is what we have today in the RCC. We saw it with Cardinal Law in Boston...and in Illinois it looks like more than one Diocese is wanting to use the First Ammendment and the Sanctity of the Confessional are being used as justification for refusing to cooperate in criminal investigations -- how sad.
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« Reply #122 on: May 20, 2004, 12:36:19 PM »

Ben,

I think these are the problems Brendan has (which I agree with):

1) Allowing convert married clergy to become RC priests, while cradle RCs can't is a double standard that is completely illogical - it's not just a "different custom/tradition" or for pastoral reasons.  

2) The RCC SYSTEM of requiring celibacy of their priests and considering the sheer size of the Church creates a situation where abuse/pedophilia/molestation/etc. is more likely to occur.  Taking the population of "celibate" adult men, the liklihood of sexual deviancy/abuse/pedophilia/molestation/etc.  When you put a higher risk group in a pastoral situation and then compound this with the negligent behaviour of their bishops, you get the huge mess that the RCC in America has.

We Orthodox are just saying that the RCC is just reaping the harvest of the bad seed of requiring celibate priests.
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« Reply #123 on: May 20, 2004, 12:40:26 PM »

 Ben...

If Celibacy is such a critical role in the life of the Chruch...then why was it optional in the RCC for the first 1,000 + years?

And as far as seeing priests for counseling....This idea that a RC parish priest is only to be seen for purely spritual counseling is a very new facet of the modern RCC. I am not that old but I remember as a child Catholics seeking out their priests for counseling because they wanted that counseling to come from a spiritual source rather than a secular one.

Two years ago when I was still a practicing RC I had some difficulties within my extended family and had some choices to make on how I could approach the dificulties of dealing with relatives who were committing some grievous sins. I called my parish priest and was looking for guidance on these matters from a spiritual perspective -- and was essentially told that due to the size of the parish he really could only spend time with me if someone was dying....unfortuantely my experince is more the rule than the exception in the Chicago area.

Is the job of a priest to shepherd his flock -- or just to celebrate mass, and preside over funerals and confession?

And about your conversation with Orthodox priest...I wonder if perhaps he was making an effort to be polite....if an Orthodox wants to live the celibate life he or she can enter a monatry. However if they want to be a parish priest -- it is better in general if they have the life experince where they can identify with the issues their Parishioners face.

Tis is why the RCC find it necessary for lay people to do most of the pre-cana counseling and education in its chools where matters of sex and marriage are concerned. AT a prominant boys Catholic HS in the Chicago area they had an Orthodox priest who was the head of their religione dept. This Orthodox priest who was hired to teach the RC kids religion -- because he wasa degreed theolgian --was laso asked by the priests there if he could teach on the subject of sex ed. -- because ,the RC priests told him, "they won't listen to us".
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« Reply #124 on: May 20, 2004, 12:43:30 PM »

spartacus,

I hadn't read your new post before I posted.

A couple of corrections:

1) Got news for you - what the bishop says, goes.  They tell the priests where to go.  BUT, if the parishoners don't like said priest, they can protest by...not going to church and not paying tithes.  The bishop would then get the clue and get a more appropriate priest.  This is more of a moderate view between what you described for EO vs RCC.

2)  There definitely IS a shortage of priests.  Ben has a point, as there ARE Orthodox priests with families and full time secular jobs.  Not ideal, but reality.  The shortage may not be as grave as in the RCC, but it is reality.
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« Reply #125 on: May 20, 2004, 12:59:41 PM »

Im going to set up a new thread on this topic in Orthodox -Catholic forum, because we are meandering a bit here.
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« Reply #126 on: May 20, 2004, 01:12:09 PM »

spartacus,

I hadn't read your new post before I posted.

A couple of corrections:

1) Got news for you - what the bishop says, goes.  They tell the priests where to go.  BUT, if the parishoners don't like said priest, they can protest by...not going to church and not paying tithes.  The bishop would then get the clue and get a more appropriate priest.  This is more of a moderate view between what you described for EO vs RCC.

2)  There definitely IS a shortage of priests.  Ben has a point, as there ARE Orthodox priests with families and full time secular jobs.  Not ideal, but reality.  The shortage may not be as grave as in the RCC, but it is reality.

1.) The Parishioners also control the amount of the priest's salary....an extremely powerful tool yes? Compared to the RCC the Orthodox system seems to empower the Parishioners much more in such matters than what RCs could ever hope to be.

2.)Compared to the RCC there is nowhere near a shortage of priests in the OCA that I am aware of.

The last RC parish I was in had more than 2,200 families (more than 6,000 parishioners) and only two priests with one of them having to be shipped in from Africa (a nice man...but very few can understand him given his thick accent). My experience is not at all uncommon for the RCC in urbanized and suburbanized areas in the US.

And as far as Orthodox priests with families and secuilar jobs -- how large are their Parishes? Is it not the Parishioners who determine this situation by their decisions?

Again I am blessed to have such a healthy, strong and growing OCA parish so close to my home.  My perspective I think is that of a new convert whose experience is one of being in an Orthodox Parish that is very healthy...and it does not take long to realize it....you hear it in the congregational singing and see it the faces of young families and tons of little kids.

People of every age and race, with ethnic backgrounds as diverse as the American experience.....Speaking mostly English but also about a dozen other languages...all worshipping together.
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« Reply #127 on: May 20, 2004, 01:20:25 PM »

"Parishioners much more in such matters than what RCs could ever hope to be."

It varies by jurisdiction in North America, I think.  I do not think it operates like this in the Orthodox world, however, I think it exists here because of the history of how parishes were established here (more grass-roots than top-down), but it can lead to problems as well, so we have to be careful.

"Compared to the RCC there is nowhere near a shortage of priests in the OCA that I am aware of."

Probably because we are a lot smaller.  Also remember that we have many convert priests, half or so of our active clergy are converts and the situation is similar at the seminary level.  In terms of generating vocations among cradle Orthodox I don't think we're much better off than the RCC is per capita, for many of the same reasons (ie, our secular, materialist society).

"And as far as Orthodox priests with families and secuilar jobs -- how large are their Parishes? Is it not the Parishioners who determine this situation by their decisions?"

Well this is true, it is up to the parish to support the priest properly financially, and if not, then well he may have to work and Matushka may have to as well.

Brendan

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« Reply #128 on: May 20, 2004, 02:07:04 PM »

The salary thing drillsdown into another inadequacy by jurisdiction.

In the OCA you probably get more service/$$ since more services are offered on average and priest salaries are lower.  While in GOA parishes, you have a less services but better paid priests.  I don't know if this is a function of richer parishioners, the parish sacrificing priest salary for other ministries/projects, different mentality or some combo of this, but this is reality.
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« Reply #129 on: May 20, 2004, 02:54:28 PM »

The salary thing drillsdown into another inadequacy by jurisdiction.

In the OCA you probably get more service/$$ since more services are offered on average and priest salaries are lower.  While in GOA parishes, you have a less services but better paid priests.  I don't know if this is a function of richer parishioners, the parish sacrificing priest salary for other ministries/projects, different mentality or some combo of this, but this is reality.

I think you are right. Elisha.
I think my little ACROD parish gets an awful lot of work out of our priest and his rather meager salary.
I don't know the OCA. I do know there are parish guidelines "suggested" in GOA by the archdiocese. In the ACROD the guidelines are a bit more than just suggestions - but they're pretty small to start with and to pay less is rather sinful in itself.  Both jurisdictions' levels reflect parish size (and age/status - missions being less burdened) and exceptions can be made. The GOA parishes tend to be larger and better able to pay more also. Many Greek priests are again learning that if they offer a fuller liturgical schedule - "we will come", eventually Smiley

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« Reply #130 on: May 20, 2004, 03:09:40 PM »

The salary thing drillsdown into another inadequacy by jurisdiction.

In the OCA you probably get more service/$$ since more services are offered on average and priest salaries are lower.  While in GOA parishes, you have a less services but better paid priests.  I don't know if this is a function of richer parishioners, the parish sacrificing priest salary for other ministries/projects, different mentality or some combo of this, but this is reality.

As far as the OCA this issue came up last Sunday as our Rector Priest was sharing his experiences in the previous week where he spent several days working with an ailing Parish out of state. It is my understanding that in the OCA, the Diocese advises each parish as to what they should be paying the priest -- something comparable to what a professional with a similar level of education and experience would make in the local area...However, it is up to the Parishioners to determine exactly what the salary ends up being....so one ends up with situations like:

To afford a bigger mortgage, roof repairs (insert expense here)  -- "let's lower the priest's salary when the new one comes in next month"

It is a downside to the system....but with freedom comes responsibility...and compared to how the RCC operates Orthodox Christianity allows the Parishioners enough administtaive freedom to succeed or fail as a Parish -- to let the fruits of their tree be known.

In the RCC wealthy Parishes support Parishes with less wealth through the supervision of the diocese...This is in concept a good idea -- stewardship. I know our Parish helps support a mission in another town over 120 miles away. There is also talk of our Parish planting another mission in a town maybe only 20 miles away because we have grown so much and are literally bursting at the seams.

In comparison, the RCC is adminstered with a corporate and almost military-like approach....the effect in my opinion is a Chruch that if judging from the buildings seems healthy....but if all the news in our media today were not enough....

At the end of every RC mass when the congregation is told:

"The Mass is ended...."

and the congregation responds

"Thanks be to God" It very often sounds like a sigh of relief. Roll Eyes

I know there will RCs who smile at this last one because it is so true.

I will galdly take all the jrusidictional issues, and the possibility of being in a parish that might very well fail...if it means being able to worship in a truly reverant way with fellow Parishioners who are not "relievedieved" when the Liturgy is over and not trying to kill each other to see who can get out of the parking lot first. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #131 on: May 20, 2004, 05:47:43 PM »

This thread has drifted from its initial purpose....this board is not intended for debatate - please move those to the Orthodox-Catholic or Free for all board in the future.
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