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Author Topic: Entering the Orthodox Church without hard feelings  (Read 844 times) Average Rating: 0
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Xenia1918
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« on: July 05, 2011, 12:35:53 PM »

It has been my experience that a large number of converts to religions (non-Christian as well as Christian) enter their new faith carrying hostile feelings toward their former one (s). It is my fervent prayer that this not be the case with me, and it seems that God has heard and is answering my prayer.

For many years I harbored much resentment toward the (post-V2) RCC for the way they treated us Traditional RCs back in the 1970s; making us skulk around like lepers, friends refused to attend our baptisms, weddings, etc because they were held in "forbidden" SSPX (and other TradLat) chapels...I resented the way they destroyed the traditions the church had had for hundreds of years, through the actions of  one council (V2).

I also harbored resentment to my childhood faith (Orthodox Judaism), for the ways they lied to me and deceived me, among other things, telling me that the Christians distorted the Jewish Scriptures to make then sound more like Jesus, when I learned through my study that the reverse was true (I refer to the LXX vs Masoretic controversy).....I don't want to enter the Orthodox Church with any resentment. I want to forgive both religions for the way they betrayed me and lied to me. I want to enter Orthodoxy with a clean slate.

I was away from Traditional RCism a long time; I just learned today that in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication against Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (who confirmed me in 1978). I hadn't known or realized. I am glad this was done for the sake of the internal peace of that church.

A Roman Catholic might say that the things I hated about Rome have been changed, so why won't I return? Because in the meantime I have come to understand a  very fundamental difference between the way Rome views church authority and the way the Orthodox Church views it. I was meant to finally understand this difference, and I had to come to this point in order to understand it. The attitude of Rome toward church authority is what caused the liturgical abuses of V2 in the first place: Catholics felt they had to follow whatever Rome did out of obedience, even if they knew it was wrong. Ironically, the 1970s Traditionalist RCs, by thinking for themselves and breaking communion with novus ordo Rome, were behaving in an Orthodox fashion...and by Rome's definition, yes, they were schismatics as the novus ordo church referred to them.

I've come to learn that the Orthodox view of church authority is this: if a metropolitan, priest, etc tells the faithful to adopt a new dogma, doctrine, beliefs, etc that the faithful know is not consistent with the ancient Canons of the church or Scripture, they are dutybound to break communion with him. I have always believed this, which I now realize, is why I never made a "good" (i.e., blindly obeying church authority) RC by their definition. In that sense, I was Orthodox long before I even knew what the Orthodox Church actually was.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 12:49:18 PM by Xenia1918 » Logged

"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

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kodiak
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2011, 02:06:20 PM »

Hello, and thank you for sharing your story about why you have come to join in the orthodox faith.  Like you, I was RCC also, and during my first catechumen session I explained why I came to them and mine is somewhat similar to yours.  I used some words to describe my feelings toward RCC that I thought could have been better chosen.  During my second class, I stopped my priest first and told him and my other catechumens that I wanted to apologize to them if the words I used during our last session made it seem like I was slandering RCC as it was not the impression I wanted to give them.  The other catechumens in my class were protestant and non-christian so if I had not apologized it is likely they too may have possibly harbored very harsh feelings toward RCC in the future.  My priest did not say anything about it but I think he understood my position well enough; he himself has strong positions against papal authority in RCC, which we agree upon.
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Xenia1918
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 02:17:14 PM »

I agree; I think its best not to enter a new religion harboring resentments toward the former one.
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"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

REAL RC: http://www.traditionalmass.org
REAL OC: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com
katherineofdixie
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2011, 03:20:55 PM »

Yes, because, as my grandmother used to say, "no matter where you go, there you are." (it used to drive us crazy as kids - but later on she explained that unless you change first, no matter where you go or how much you try to change your life, your problems and difficulties will remain the same.)

As far as former churches, it's that pesky forgiveness thing. It'll get you every time.

Imagine how free you would feel if you set down that burden of anger, and you'll have that opportunity when you make your first confession in Orthodox Church.
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Xenia1918
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 06:42:44 PM »

Yes, because, as my grandmother used to say, "no matter where you go, there you are." (it used to drive us crazy as kids - but later on she explained that unless you change first, no matter where you go or how much you try to change your life, your problems and difficulties will remain the same.)

As far as former churches, it's that pesky forgiveness thing. It'll get you every time.

Imagine how free you would feel if you set down that burden of anger, and you'll have that opportunity when you make your first confession in Orthodox Church.

I already have, actually: that's what I was saying in my first post.
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"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

REAL RC: http://www.traditionalmass.org
REAL OC: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2011, 07:18:41 PM »

As they say (and I'm not sure who "they" are), you don't want to run from something, you want to run to the Church. You're right about the Church authority. Everyone comprises the conscious of the Church. I have read times where bishops have said this or that and went back to the people and the people revolted against the bishop, for lack of a better word. The bishops went back and talked it over. I love that about the Church. We are not expected to take the bishop's word as law.
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kodiak
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2011, 09:01:04 PM »

Xenia:  I only today first noticed your thread(s) and read of your story.  I'm curious why you have created so many threads essentially detailing the same thing about your journey to find orthodox christianity?  To me, the fact that you have done this repeatedly, asking for advice on what I've read appears to be the same question feels as if you still have issues within you that you are trying to work out before you feel comfortable moving on and maturing in your spiritual life. 

If there is one thing I have learned in my years is that the internet can be a great place to gather information but it can't really replace that human touch, so to speak, of actually sitting down and talking with someone and discussing your fears or concerns.  Have you considered going to vespers and having confession with your priest?  I think this may be of some benefit to you. 
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Philoumenos
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2011, 10:27:38 PM »

I agree; I think its best not to enter a new religion harboring resentments toward the former one.

I think your story is awesome! Glory to Jesus Christ!

I don't mind hearing it more than once either.

Just one thing... Orthodox Christianity is not so much a "religion" as the fulfillment of religion.

Religions are false.

Orthodoxy is real and true.
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Xenia1918
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2011, 10:30:48 PM »

Thanks to all!
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"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

REAL RC: http://www.traditionalmass.org
REAL OC: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com
Kasatkin fan
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2011, 11:34:49 PM »

While I didn't convert directly from Evangelican Christianity to Orthodoxy, I am a former Evangelical and I had some major hard feelings before I converted. Three weeks before my Chrismation I ended up in Turkey with an Evangelical group. Unexpectedly, this healed me of my issues.
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JimCBrooklyn
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2011, 01:59:04 AM »

I am a convert from the RCC, and I have found that viewing my path to Orthodoxy as just that, a path, has kept me from resenting the RCC, or from becoming overtly anti-catholic. That is, I view my time and my growth within the RCC as steps along the way which brought me to Orthodoxy, just like many of the other experiences in my life.
In Christ,
Jim
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Xenia1918
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2011, 09:53:02 AM »

I am a convert from the RCC, and I have found that viewing my path to Orthodoxy as just that, a path, has kept me from resenting the RCC, or from becoming overtly anti-catholic. That is, I view my time and my growth within the RCC as steps along the way which brought me to Orthodoxy, just like many of the other experiences in my life.
In Christ,
Jim

I'm actually seeing it that way too...esp. the time I spent with the Eastern Catholics. All of it was groundwork for now. Smiley
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"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

REAL RC: http://www.traditionalmass.org
REAL OC: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com
Xenia1918
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2011, 11:14:53 PM »

Boy, you know? Its like an old relationship sometimes..... laugh

As I was preparing to become Orthodox, I began reminiscing about the happier times I had as a Traditional RC many years ago. I decided to take a gander over at a Catholic forum I once posted on, and as I read all the comments by (novus ordo) Catholics, I was reminded of why I left that church in the first place.

Its like an old relationship from many years ago...you break up with the guy, and as the years go by you reminisce and seem to only remember the good aspects of it...and then you happen to run into him on the street and as he talks, and talks, you start to remember why you broke up with him in the first place.... Grin

Oy.
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"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

REAL RC: http://www.traditionalmass.org
REAL OC: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com
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