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Author Topic: Destined to Hell for not being Catholic anymore  (Read 6989 times) Average Rating: 0
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Mariama
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« on: October 22, 2011, 06:30:34 AM »

Slava isusu Christu!

This is what my mother-in-law feels right now and it has driven a wedge between us.  I attempted to mend fences with her, but I can still sense a very uncomfortable tension.  She outright said that either one is in the Catholic church or they are not, and anyone outside of it is Hellbound.

She told me that it's odd for me to leave Catholicism because I was a convert, and usually converts have so much zeal for their religion that they don't leave it.  Believe me, if someone had mentioned to me 11 years ago that I'd be Orthodox, I'd have had many choice words for them, as I was truly on fire for Christ and for the RCC.  It was not my plan to leave the RCC and subsequently, the Byzantine CC, but God's plan.  It may have started out as a way for us to escape a negative relationship with our priest, but it has ultimately developed into something more. 

FWIW, my own parent accepts my decision, and is just glad that I'm "in someone's church on Sunday".   Cheesy  (That parent is Baptist, btw.)

A strange thing for me to sort out is that my husband's family is both Byzantine Catholic and Orthodox on both sides.  My MIL grew up with one grandmother being Orthodox and the other BC.  Her very close cousin is and has always been Orthodox -- they are like sisters!  Yet MIL will not accept our conversion as valid.   Huh

Anyone deal with issues with close relatives?  Advice?
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2011, 06:35:40 AM »

But the Vatican cconsider our acraments as 'valid but illicit', are they?
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2011, 07:01:09 AM »

But the Vatican cconsider our acraments as 'valid but illicit', are they?

As I am no longer within the confines of what the Vatican says, whether my sacraments are valid there is not a concern of mine.  Should it be?  I don't honestly think my MIL thinks it through that deeply. 
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2011, 07:40:36 AM »

I mean that according to the Vatican our sacraments are valid and there are (almost) no differences whether you are Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. This should be not a concern of you but maybe for your MIL.
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2011, 09:57:01 AM »

My mother and father were concerned and not concerned - it was weird.  At first, they were upset that I was leaving the church - but they were very glad that if I was leaving I was going to Orthodoxy (for the same reasons Michal mentions.  Their main concern is that I do not follow the Pope - a hell binding event, of course.

But in further conversations, their own frustrations concerning the RC started coming out - and then information concerning how much the Pope wants to reconcile with the Orthodox. . . and changes that are being made there in their parish toward this. 

Now there is a discussion as to whether we Orthodox do not believe that Christ Jesus is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. . .basing this off of our issue with the Creed. 

And on it goes. 

When I look at MY children. . . and hope for their souls. . . I have to admit. . . I get very anxious.  I get anxious because I love them.  I answer questions they may have and PRAY a lot.  But different folks react differently. 

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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2011, 10:00:51 AM »

Knowing very well the part of the country you are from, and knowing the tortured history of the various OCA, ACROD, UOC and BCC parishes which dot the region, I am sure that the hardness in her heart is something that she was 'taught' back in the day when the wounds which ripped so many parishes and families apart were fresh and raw. Many of us , both Orthodox or Greek Catholic, have reconciled what occurred before most of us were born (the period 1900-1945 for the most part) and I am glad to say we don't harbor those feelings.

You should share your concerns with your pastor, who is a great priest and a wonderful person.

You should remind her that you know her own Bishop attended the Divine Liturgy  golden anniversary of your parish's  Orthodox Bishop at one of the larger neighboring Orthodox parishes in your state (formerly a Greek Catholic temple for that matter!) and sat in the nave as a honored guest opposite the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America! (I will also send you the photo link, in case she doesn't believe it. This will challenge her assumptions and as I said, God surely works in mysterious ways!)  Surely he would not have set foot into that church if he harbored such thoughts. (For those of you who are 'scandlized', I can assure you that he politely sat there and at the end embraced the other bishops one of whom was some sort of relative if I recall correctly.)

I will also send you some material via a private message which may help you from the official North American Joint Theological Consultation of the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics .

Keep her in your prayers, God answers them, just not always on our time schedule!
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2011, 10:10:04 AM »

I will also send you some material via a private message which may help you from the official North American Joint Theological Consultation of the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics .

Could you please send this to me as well? 

Thanks!
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2011, 10:49:05 AM »

She outright said that either one is in the Catholic church or they are not

The hellbound part is God's business.  However, to some degree the first part is correct, as many Church fathers affirm that outside of the Catholic Church, there is no salvation.  The only question is, what is the Catholic church?  Our modern usage of the two terms as exclusive distinctives referring to two different bodies is a departure from the church's understanding of these names.  For example, neither St. Paisius Velichovsky nor Dositheus of Jerusalem use the term "Orthodox" to refer to the Orthodox Church.  Rather, they use the phrase "Catholic Church."  This is true throughout much of Church history, where "Orthodox Church" and "Catholic Church" were used interchangeably to refer to the Orthodox Church  (cf. St. Gregory the Theologian, St. John of Damascus, St. Mark of Ephesus, St. Symeon the New Theologian, etc.).   The only question for us Orthodox is, do we understand that our Church is truly the Catholic Church in its fullness or not?   If not, we are in trouble.  
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2011, 10:59:34 AM »

She outright said that either one is in the Catholic church or they are not

The hellbound part is God's business.  However, to some degree the first part is correct, as many Church fathers affirm that outside of the Catholic Church, there is no salvation.  The only question is, what is the Catholic church?  Our modern usage of the two terms as exclusive distinctives referring to two different bodies is a departure from the church's understanding of these names.  For example, neither St. Paisius Velichovsky nor Dositheus of Jerusalem use the term "Orthodox" to refer to the Orthodox Church.  Rather, they use the phrase "Catholic Church."  This is true throughout much of Church history, where "Orthodox Church" and "Catholic Church" were used interchangeably to refer to the Orthodox Church  (cf. St. Gregory the Theologian, St. John of Damascus, St. Mark of Ephesus, St. Symeon the New Theologian, etc.).   The only question for us Orthodox is, do we understand that our Church is truly the Catholic Church in its fullness or not?   If not, we are in trouble.  



AMEN FATHER!

I have been fighting this battle regarding the Catholicity of the Orthodox Church both here and elsewhere for years!  Have even been banned on other discussion groups for doing so.  As I told my most recent convert who I sponsore &  whose family is giving him trouble for converting to Orthodoxy -  'You have not left the Catholic Church.  You have just just changed your Catholicity for a truer and more ancient form.

Orthodoc
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2011, 11:18:56 AM »

She outright said that either one is in the Catholic church or they are not

The hellbound part is God's business.  However, to some degree the first part is correct, as many Church fathers affirm that outside of the Catholic Church, there is no salvation.  The only question is, what is the Catholic church?  Our modern usage of the two terms as exclusive distinctives referring to two different bodies is a departure from the church's understanding of these names.  For example, neither St. Paisius Velichovsky nor Dositheus of Jerusalem use the term "Orthodox" to refer to the Orthodox Church.  Rather, they use the phrase "Catholic Church."  This is true throughout much of Church history, where "Orthodox Church" and "Catholic Church" were used interchangeably to refer to the Orthodox Church  (cf. St. Gregory the Theologian, St. John of Damascus, St. Mark of Ephesus, St. Symeon the New Theologian, etc.).   The only question for us Orthodox is, do we understand that our Church is truly the Catholic Church in its fullness or not?   If not, we are in trouble.  



AMEN FATHER!

I have been fighting this battle regarding the Catholicity of the Orthodox Church both here and elsewhere for years!  Have even been banned on other discussion groups for doing so.  As I told my most recent convert who I sponsore &  whose family is giving him trouble for converting to Orthodoxy -  'You have not left the Catholic Church.  You have just just changed your Catholicity for a truer and more ancient form.

Orthodoc

Well said!

I will say that here on this Forum, those who are 'of Rome' are not banned for calling their Church 'Catholic'.

However, I always remind my Roman friends, with a smile,  that we Orthodox do believe, as we have since Nicea, 'in one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church' and that we have never left Her.
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2011, 12:44:28 PM »

I mean that according to the Vatican our sacraments are valid and there are (almost) no differences whether you are Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. This should be not a concern of you but maybe for your MIL.

Yes, but the Vatican also considers exchanging "valid and licit" sacraments for "valid but illicit" sacraments to be detrimental to salvation.

Apostates are some of the only people the Vatican is willing to damn these days.
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2011, 02:51:17 PM »

Apostates are some of the only people the Vatican is willing to damn these days.

Does the Vatican really damn souls or are you just being uncharitable? The Orthodox Church is not willing to damn anyone, thank goodness.  God is judge. 
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2011, 03:13:53 PM »

I mean that according to the Vatican our sacraments are valid and there are (almost) no differences whether you are Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. This should be not a concern of you but maybe for your MIL.

Yes, but the Vatican also considers exchanging "valid and licit" sacraments for "valid but illicit" sacraments to be detrimental to salvation.


Those valid-licit distinction is the most illogical thing in the Catholic theology for me.
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2011, 04:03:15 PM »

I mean that according to the Vatican our sacraments are valid and there are (almost) no differences whether you are Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. This should be not a concern of you but maybe for your MIL.

Yes, but the Vatican also considers exchanging "valid and licit" sacraments for "valid but illicit" sacraments to be detrimental to salvation.


Those valid-licit distinction is the most illogical thing in the Catholic theology for me.

It is illogical and the foolish thing crept into civil law via analogy over the centuries as well in several areas and remains there to confound one and all.
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2011, 07:24:33 PM »

Apostates are some of the only people the Vatican is willing to damn these days.

Does the Vatican really damn souls or are you just being uncharitable? The Orthodox Church is not willing to damn anyone, thank goodness.  God is judge. 
I thought we damned Arius and Honorius? Anyway, I had been told the same thing that the OP was told when I made known I was leaving Rome for Orthodoxy. I don't understand their rationale considering they believe we have "valid" sacraments. If we have grace, how can there be damnation? Wink

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« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2011, 10:40:33 PM »

Maybe just remind her that her beliefs are not the Pope's. The Vatican pretty much considers us part of the Catholic Church. If an Orthodox person converts to the Roman Church, there isn't any conversion process, you just go to the chalice. I was told by a Catholic priest that I was more than welcome to approach the chalice for communion and he knew very well that I was Orthodox and what parish I went to. I of course did not go to communion but the example shows that they view us as one of them.
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2011, 03:20:59 PM »

That's odd. When I was Catholic, the idea was always, "we can't know who went where, who is going where, etc." You could say, "this person is on a destructive path" but actually damning someone to hell would have been the sin of presumption.
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2011, 03:27:19 PM »

My still-Catholic parents didn't tell me I was going to hell when I became Orthodox, but they made it very clear how unhappy they were that I was throwing over the Pope!
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2011, 04:33:54 PM »

It was explained to me after I left Rome that it is only those who recognize that the (Roman Catholic) church was "made necessary by Jesus Christ" and yet refused to enter or remain in it that are damned. The rest are not considered with the same level of gravity, being in some sense ignorant of the "truth" regarding the Roman communion.

When I asked where all these people were who believed that the Roman Catholic Church was true and yet refused to enter or remain in it, I received mostly nonsense answers about how the passage that deals with this in the CCC doesn't apply to me anyway. When I asked if there was anything, according to the RC and/or its believers, that was instituted by Christ that was anything less than necessary, they pretended as though I was just being flippant, and that the meaning of their nonsensical statements would be obvious if I weren't just so darn committed to my horrible schism with Rome...

All in all, I wouldn't worry about it. Even those who claim to eat, sleep, and breathe their Roman church can't give a straight answer. Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.
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« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2011, 05:39:04 PM »

Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.

Truest statement I've read today.
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« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2011, 05:56:01 PM »

There is always going to be someone trying to scare you to accept their mindset. Threatening one's opponent's salvation is usually a last ditch effort. Dialogue is over. angel laugh

Honestly, I would just try to get on with your MIL as best you can, and don't give a hoot for her declarations of damnation. Love her, pray for her, treat her with the utmost respect, but when she starts on this, change the subject, make a joke. Humour is great deflection. Make a plan with your spouse on how you both will handle this. But simply don't rise to the bait. If she isn't getting a defensive response, she will eventually get sick of playing judge and jury. (One would hope!)  Wink
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« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2011, 07:21:10 PM »

Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.

Hmm ... I've encountered atheists and other anti-Christians who make the same accusation against Christianity itself, not just one particular branch of it.  Wink
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« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2011, 07:41:22 PM »

And they're right, in as far as the maxim still holds with regard to Christianity. The trouble with atheists is that as they do not recognize God, they do not see any difference between God warning people against misbehavior and false belief and the average televangelist or misguided religious zealot telling everyone that they're destined for hell.

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« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2011, 07:45:41 PM »

Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.

Hmm ... I've encountered atheists and other anti-Christians who make the same accusation against Christianity itself, not just one particular branch of it.  Wink

I'm not sure how Atheists can attempt to frighten their opponent to their side with eternal damnation.  Huh
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« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2011, 07:57:47 PM »

I wouldn't worry about it, whether I were you or your mother-in-law. Both the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch have officially proclaimed that the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches are sister churches. It doesn't matter which one you're in, you'll be saved in either one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XiHOUg1UqM&feature=share

Forward to about 29 minutes in to see the Patriarch proclaiming this teaching.

Of course, you might suspect that what the Pope and the Patriarch are now teaching does not constitute traditional Orthodox (or Catholic) ecclesiology. In that case, I think I might be able to help you. Smiley

Btw, the more traditional Catholic ecclesiology might hold that Orthodox sacraments are "valid", but because we are in schism, the reception of these sacraments is only to our condemnation.
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« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2011, 08:33:11 PM »

Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.

Hmm ... I've encountered atheists and other anti-Christians who make the same accusation against Christianity itself, not just one particular branch of it.  Wink

I'm not sure how Atheists can attempt to frighten their opponent to their side with eternal damnation.  Huh

I'm not sure how you got that from what I wrote, since I meant exactly the opposite.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2011, 08:51:16 PM »

Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.

Hmm ... I've encountered atheists and other anti-Christians who make the same accusation against Christianity itself, not just one particular branch of it.  Wink

I'm not sure how Atheists can attempt to frighten their opponent to their side with eternal damnation.  Huh

I'm not sure how you got that from what I wrote, since I meant exactly the opposite.  Roll Eyes

Sorry for staying with the OP's point and not seeing the connection. It should never happen. What was I thinking? Roll Eyes  laugh
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« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2011, 10:57:19 PM »

Quote

Anyone deal with issues with close relatives?  Advice?

My Brother in law asked me if by my conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy meant that I was still Catholic.  My answer was a resounding YES! 
He then said OK....

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« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2011, 08:53:36 AM »

I wouldn't worry about it, whether I were you or your mother-in-law. Both the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch have officially proclaimed that the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches are sister churches. It doesn't matter which one you're in, you'll be saved in either one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XiHOUg1UqM&feature=share

Forward to about 29 minutes in to see the Patriarch proclaiming this teaching.

Of course, you might suspect that what the Pope and the Patriarch are now teaching does not constitute traditional Orthodox (or Catholic) ecclesiology. In that case, I think I might be able to help you. Smiley

Btw, the more traditional Catholic ecclesiology might hold that Orthodox sacraments are "valid", but because we are in schism, the reception of these sacraments is only to our condemnation.

While I respect JG's knowledge and often find myself in agreement with many of his posts on faith issues, JG and I disagree on this issue as to  what the actual position of the canonical Church is on the matter of Orthodox relations with the Church of Rome. I have previously posted and sent several of you the links from SCOBA and the Consultation which refute what his Church claims in their video through thirty years' worth of published joint papers on Orthodox Catholic relations which clearly outline the large areas of doctrine in which we concur and the more important areas of doctrine and organization in which we remain far apart. These issues have been argued 'ad naseum' in other threads over the years and it is more important for a 'newbie' - especially one coming to us from the Eastern Catholic side of the aisle, to focus on her own faith journey into Orthodoxy and worry less about what her relatives may say or upon the sad, but real divisions within our own home.
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« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2011, 11:28:25 AM »

Advice?

Pray for her.
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« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2011, 05:27:26 PM »

Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.

Hmm ... I've encountered atheists and other anti-Christians who make the same accusation against Christianity itself, not just one particular branch of it.  Wink

I'm not sure how Atheists can attempt to frighten their opponent to their side with eternal damnation.  Huh
They try to frighten us by saying we waste this life.

An agnostic friend of mine used to say that if I was wrong, all eternity wasn't enough for him to laugh. I replied, that if I am wrong, we will never know.
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« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2011, 06:04:36 PM »

Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.

Hmm ... I've encountered atheists and other anti-Christians who make the same accusation against Christianity itself, not just one particular branch of it.  Wink

I'm not sure how Atheists can attempt to frighten their opponent to their side with eternal damnation.  Huh
They try to frighten us by saying we waste this life.

We should listen, because we probably are.
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« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2011, 06:06:47 PM »

Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.

Hmm ... I've encountered atheists and other anti-Christians who make the same accusation against Christianity itself, not just one particular branch of it.  Wink

I'm not sure how Atheists can attempt to frighten their opponent to their side with eternal damnation.  Huh
They try to frighten us by saying we waste this life.

An agnostic friend of mine used to say that if I was wrong, all eternity wasn't enough for him to laugh. I replied, that if I am wrong, we will never know.

Yes, and I get that point. My response is usually that, if someone is doing that which they love to do, how can they be wasting their lives?

I laugh; more than a lot, I think.  Wink I and my fellow theists are often good for a chuckle.
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« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2011, 06:07:38 PM »

Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.

Hmm ... I've encountered atheists and other anti-Christians who make the same accusation against Christianity itself, not just one particular branch of it.  Wink

I'm not sure how Atheists can attempt to frighten their opponent to their side with eternal damnation.  Huh
They try to frighten us by saying we waste this life.

We should listen, because we probably are.

Why is it, that the older I get, the more this bothers me?  laugh
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« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2011, 06:12:48 PM »

Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.

Hmm ... I've encountered atheists and other anti-Christians who make the same accusation against Christianity itself, not just one particular branch of it.  Wink

I'm not sure how Atheists can attempt to frighten their opponent to their side with eternal damnation.  Huh
They try to frighten us by saying we waste this life.

We should listen, because we probably are.

Why is it, that the older I get, the more this bothers me?  laugh

Depends on why it bothers you. How was your relationship with your mother? //:=)
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« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2011, 06:46:20 PM »

Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.

Hmm ... I've encountered atheists and other anti-Christians who make the same accusation against Christianity itself, not just one particular branch of it.  Wink

I'm not sure how Atheists can attempt to frighten their opponent to their side with eternal damnation.  Huh
They try to frighten us by saying we waste this life.

We should listen, because we probably are.

Why is it, that the older I get, the more this bothers me?  laugh

Depends on why it bothers you. How was your relationship with your mother? //:=)

 laugh Funny!
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« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2011, 01:33:08 PM »

The OT about the alleged heterodoxy of the Orthodoxy was moved to the Religious Topics.
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« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2011, 03:18:01 PM »

Scare tactics are the armor of a weak faith.

Hmm ... I've encountered atheists and other anti-Christians who make the same accusation against Christianity itself, not just one particular branch of it.  Wink

I'm not sure how Atheists can attempt to frighten their opponent to their side with eternal damnation.  Huh
They try to frighten us by saying we waste this life.

An agnostic friend of mine used to say that if I was wrong, all eternity wasn't enough for him to laugh. I replied, that if I am wrong, we will never know.
Not sure how this life is wasted if one is truly happy.
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« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2011, 10:01:53 PM »

That's odd. When I was Catholic, the idea was always, "we can't know who went where, who is going where, etc." You could say, "this person is on a destructive path" but actually damning someone to hell would have been the sin of presumption.

Do you mean that you are not Catholic now?  The fathers of the 7 ecumenical councils will be disappointed, as will St. Maximos the Confesser, St. Sophronius of Jerusalem, and even the fathers of the synod of 1848.   If you are not Catholic in the true and patristic sense then you are not Orthodox. 
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« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2011, 08:40:23 AM »

Quote
If you are not Catholic in the true and patristic sense then you are not Orthodox. 


What do you mean, "in the true and patristic sense"?
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« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2011, 12:15:21 PM »

But the Vatican cconsider our acraments as 'valid but illicit', are they?

At the expense of seeming triumphalist, I think we should not be concerned as to what Rome thinks of us.  We know who we are and what we are.  Im sure Rome doesnt care what we think of her, but she also knows that we, in come circles, crave her approval...........
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« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2011, 01:22:59 PM »

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If you are not Catholic in the true and patristic sense then you are not Orthodox. 


What do you mean, "in the true and patristic sense"?

Whatever an Orthodox Christian believe at the moment.

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« Reply #42 on: October 28, 2011, 04:02:45 PM »

But the Vatican cconsider our acraments as 'valid but illicit', are they?

At the expense of seeming triumphalist, I think we should not be concerned as to what Rome thinks of us.  We know who we are and what we are.  Im sure Rome doesnt care what we think of her, but she also knows that we, in come circles, crave her approval...........

That was an argument for the OP's parents.
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« Reply #43 on: October 28, 2011, 05:12:28 PM »

Quote
If you are not Catholic in the true and patristic sense then you are not Orthodox. 


What do you mean, "in the true and patristic sense"?

Whatever an Orthodox Christian believe at the moment.


Then why are you Orthodox?
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« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2011, 05:17:54 PM »

But the Vatican cconsider our acraments as 'valid but illicit', are they?

At the expense of seeming triumphalist, I think we should not be concerned as to what Rome thinks of us.  We know who we are and what we are.  Im sure Rome doesnt care what we think of her, but she also knows that we, in come circles, crave her approval...........
LOL.  By and large, my experience has been quite the opposite.  Many, perhaps most?, Ultarmontanists are apoplectic that we can't/won't/shan't (however one wants to characterize it) tell them that their baptism is "valid."
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