I lived in Wilkes-Barre, PA. In our parish school [I was Polish Catholic at the time], during my freshman year, we had a student who was Russian Orthodox. Before she arrived the nuns told us about her and her religion and that we were to respect her and her beliefs. At the same time, one of my classmates was Protestant and never did the nuns try to convert him. It was common to see many golden-domed churches with 3-bar crosses, both Orthodox and Eastern rite. Every year on January 7th, our local tv stations always had an announcement greeting those who celebrated Christmas on the Julian calendar. Everyone got along very fine.
Pennsylvania is/was the heartland of American Orthodoxy. I guess that the population has unfortunately declined in recnet years due to the collapse of the coal/steel industry and many young people have moved out of state to more greener pastures. I've heard that there are many beautiful Orthodox parishes which used to have thousands of members in the old days, and now can only clam a few hundred (if that). Same goes for the RC churches. It's a shame.
I remember one monk refering to PA as the "Holy Land of the US" due to all the golden domes and 3-bar crosses. AHH, the good old days.
This is one reason why I consider myself blessed to have been born and raised in PA, and since we plan to move to western PA once my husband retires (where his family is from and still resides), I don't think I will ever have a problem with finding an Orthodox parish!
We once drove through a town called Minersville, when we last went to see his family....3 bar crosses and gold domes EVERYWHERE!
You WILL love it. From my house to your house...future house...is indeed a holy land in America. That is no joke!!...Maybe I'll even come and visit!!...
I'm sure it will be heaven on earth! Where I am now there are a lot of Orthodox churches too, but not as many as in western PA. I might even be able to go to a ROCOR parish out there, since I know there are a lot of them in western PA. Here there is only one and its far from my home.
I think you may be the only person here, poised to leave the Catholic Church, that I can say I am actually sorry that you are leaving the Catholic Church. I suppose it is because I am not following your reasoning for rejecting the Catholic Church. I hope I don't get into trouble for saying so. Generally I will support someone moving for the salvation of their souls regardless of rationale...but I don't hear that from you. I suppose I am curious and have just screwed up the courage to say so...
Its complicated (btw there is an Orthodox Christian poster on here---Marc1152--who asked me to stay with the RCC because he dislikes some of my views on the religion of my birth...Judaism). He felt the Orthodox Church has enough people who are critical of Judaism, and he felt the RCC could better afford to keep me. So you're not the only one who would like me to stay Roman Catholic.
My primary reason for leaving is because I finally came to understand the difference between the way the RCC views church authority and the way the Orthodox church does.
Because of my attachment to the Traditional RC church and Tridentine Mass as opposed to the post-V2 RCC, I came to have issues with the idea of authority, esp. when I feel the church is telling me to believe or do something that goes against centuries of church practice and teaching. Once I understood that in the Orthodox church, the first fidelity is to the Scriptures and the Church Fathers, as opposed to what a modern clergy might be telling us to do, I understood what, in my view, is the "true church".
The RCC stresses obedience above all else. I had issues with that when it came to the Tridentine Mass and the rest of pre-V2 Catholicism. I was not about to switch from the Triderntine Mass to clown Masses, just because an RCC cleric told me to do so. Fidelity to the Truth, to me, is more important than obedience to a clergyman.
In Orthodoxy, if even a metropolitan tells you to believe something different from what the Church Fathers taught or what Scriptures teach, an Orthodox Christian is dutybound to break communion with him.
I find it ironic that my love of TRADITIONAL Catholicism is what led me to this point. I have since come to have other issues too, such as doubting papal infallibility and a few others. But the crux of it is the authority issue.