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Author Topic: confused about whether I am making the right choice  (Read 1673 times) Average Rating: 0
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Victoria
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« on: February 24, 2012, 03:11:32 PM »

I'm feeling very conflicted at the moment. I have attended OC church in my area for over a year and thought that its where I want to be. However there were several issues that came up within the last few months where I started questioning if I am in the right place.
I have read historical material regarding OC from both RC and OC sides-as far as East/West split, I really don't think its as clear cut as OC claims it is. From my research it appears that both churches have legimate claims to being "true church". Furthermore, after some talks with my priest, I find OC teachings to be as vague as ever. As far as RC teachings, I find myself agreeing with far more of it than OC teachings-for example, divorce. Bible teaches us that there is no divorce other than adultery but yet OC church allows divorce and 3 marriages. this is just an example.
Plus,  for example, the EO say that the Catholic Church changed the Creed by adding the Filioque, but actually what I found out is that while in Greek the Filioque sounds heretical, in Latin it does not. In Latin, it's just a clarification to fight a heresy that was going on at the time. But back then, the Eastern churches that spoke Greek saw it as something heretical because they were looking at the Greek translation. To the Romans, it wasn't wrong.

Then we have all the different churches who are not in communion with one another and various squabling between them. Where is the unity that is clearly seen in RC? I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea. I'm not trying to offend anymore but I am honestly wondering if I have made the right choice. I haven't been baprized yet as our priest doesn't really want to baptize anyone who hasn't been attending for at least several years. I feel like I love the liturgy at EO but nothing else feels right?
if anyone can advise me, I would appreciate it
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 03:15:52 PM »

If you aren't convinced - do not convert. The Church is not a theatre to aatend for the nice play.
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Victoria
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 03:18:30 PM »

If you aren't convinced - do not convert. The Church is not a theatre to aatend for the nice play.
why are talking like that? did i say that its supposed to be "theater"? am genuinely searching and would like any advice other than"if you don't like it, don't covert"
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 03:19:58 PM »

The liturgy is theatre, in a good way, yes, but theatre, none the less. Sacred theatre.
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2012, 03:35:57 PM »


Victoria,  I am sorry you are feeling so confused and torn.

Divorce is not "okay" within the Orthodox Church and is not recommended.  There is no rule that states you can have 3 marriages (and divorces), etc.  However, the Orthodox Church does believe in ecomonia.  If the couple have grown to hate each other, and the marriage is beyond saving....there's no need for those two people to be in such close proximity to each other, as it does not lead them to salvation, but, to further sin.  Even more so if children are involved.  Divorce is NOT an easy option.

Remember, the RC has annullments.  I find that even harder to understand.  Correct me if I am wrong, but, I work with a number of RC women and in order to marry a 2nd or 3rd time, they had their marriages annulled.  It cost them a lot of money, some time...and there you have it....like they were never married in the eyes of the Church.  Never married?  So, what of the children from those marriages?  Are they considered illegitamate? After all, on the books, the parents were never married.

As for the Filioque, did anyone explain to you what they thought it meant in Latin?  I only know it in English, and it doesn't state what I believe in English.

As for the squabbles....these are also in the RC.  It's not strictly reserved to the Orthodox Churches.  The Orthodox Church is One.  The various jursidictions are just that.  We are all brothers in one family and you know that families squabble amongst themselves....however, if anyone from the outside should cause any one of our brothers trouble, we are all there, as one, to defend them.

These are just adminitrative issues....not theological.  Sometimes they are simly ethnic in nature.  I belong to a Ukrainian Church....and I love it.  I have no problem visiting any other Orthodox Church....but, when another Church decides to take over the one that my ancestors have fought to establish...then I have an issue.  However, my issue is NOT with the Orthodox Church herself....but, with one of my brothers.  Does that make sense?

Victoria, you will find many discrepencies in both and all faiths.

I would never tell you to "not get baptized" Orthodox, because I feel that you should be, as everyone else!  The whole world should be Orthodox as far as I am concerned!  Smiley

Just take a deep breath, and take it one step at a time.

Remember, it is God you are looking for.  Look beyond the church buildings, and the people within them.
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2012, 03:37:34 PM »

Victoria,

For the East-West split, I think it is rather clear cut - you have five Patriarchs, one leaves.  But that might just be my weltanschauung.  And as for the filoque, it might be easier to look at it in English rather than Latin.  The filoque states that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.  We believe that He only proceeds from the Father.  I would suggest a look at the last few chapters of the Gospel of John regarding this.  It might clarify some.

As for divorce...well, I'm kind of there with you.  But who am I to judge every person in every circumstance?  There may be times when it really is for the best.  I just don't think this will happen that often.

I guess the only advice I can give you is to pray on it.  I pray that God is with you and helps you to come to the right conclusion.
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2012, 03:41:01 PM »

I also think that the Orthodox claims aren't really stronger than the RC. I'm Orthodox will stay so, but I'm agnostic on those issues. Both sides can make equally sensible claims/.
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2012, 03:48:50 PM »

Dear Victoria,

Orthodoxy is blessedness. 

I would be surprised if you never encountered the temptation to back away from the faith!  Perhaps this is a good time for a conversation with a priest.

Sometimes rationalizations lead me astray.  They seem reasonable until I tell someone else.

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Victoria
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 03:51:14 PM »


Victoria,  I am sorry you are feeling so confused and torn.

Divorce is not "okay" within the Orthodox Church and is not recommended.  There is no rule that states you can have 3 marriages (and divorces), etc.  However, the Orthodox Church does believe in ecomonia.  If the couple have grown to hate each other, and the marriage is beyond saving....there's no need for those two people to be in such close proximity to each other, as it does not lead them to salvation, but, to further sin.  Even more so if children are involved.  Divorce is NOT an easy option.

Remember, the RC has annullments.  I find that even harder to understand.  Correct me if I am wrong, but, I work with a number of RC women and in order to marry a 2nd or 3rd time, they had their marriages annulled.  It cost them a lot of money, some time...and there you have it....like they were never married in the eyes of the Church.  Never married?  So, what of the children from those marriages?  Are they considered illegitamate? After all, on the books, the parents were never married.

As for the Filioque, did anyone explain to you what they thought it meant in Latin?  I only know it in English, and it doesn't state what I believe in English.

As for the squabbles....these are also in the RC.  It's not strictly reserved to the Orthodox Churches.  The Orthodox Church is One.  The various jursidictions are just that.  We are all brothers in one family and you know that families squabble amongst themselves....however, if anyone from the outside should cause any one of our brothers trouble, we are all there, as one, to defend them.

These are just adminitrative issues....not theological.  Sometimes they are simly ethnic in nature.  I belong to a Ukrainian Church....and I love it.  I have no problem visiting any other Orthodox Church....but, when another Church decides to take over the one that my ancestors have fought to establish...then I have an issue.  However, my issue is NOT with the Orthodox Church herself....but, with one of my brothers.  Does that make sense?

Victoria, you will find many discrepencies in both and all faiths.

I would never tell you to "not get baptized" Orthodox, because I feel that you should be, as everyone else!  The whole world should be Orthodox as far as I am concerned!  Smiley

Just take a deep breath, and take it one step at a time.

Remember, it is God you are looking for.  Look beyond the church buildings, and the people within them.

Thank you for your response, Lisa. As far as divorce in OC, I’m going by reading materials and conversations with my priest who told me that while divorce is viewed as tragic matter, it is allowed 3 times. Yes. I know about annulments in RC and while I don’t agree with it 100%, I find it easier to swallow than 3 marriages are ok. And while I don’t think RC is perfect and I don’t necessarily agree with EVERTHING they teach, I find many of RC teachings are very similar to OC and also more clear cut which appeals to me. As far as etnic lines in OC, its an issue for me because I can go to any RC church and not wonder whether I will fit in because its either Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian or whatever else. Just my thoughts at the moment
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 04:03:22 PM »

Victoria- while a case could probably be made for either side in the Schism, the fact remains that it was the Latin papal legate who placed the bull of excommunication on the high altar of the Church of the Holy Wisdom during the Divine Liturgy. Mutual recriminations and excommunications followed.

As far as the filioque, have you considered that it wasn't so much the word as it was the fact that the Bishop of Rome added it to the Creed without consultation with the other hierarchs? With the addition of the filioque, he singlehandedly changed both the Nicene Creed and the method of church governance for over a thousand years.

There is also divorce in the RCC - they just pretend that the marriage never happened. The Orthodox approach is pastoral, not legalistic.

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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2012, 04:07:28 PM »

in the coptic church and other oriental orthodox churches, divorce is very rare. it is only allowed in cases of adultery (even then the partners are encouraged to reconcile) and apostasy (leaving the Christian faith altogether, not about leaving orthodoxy).

the eastern and oriental orthodox churches have officially considered each other 'orthodox' since 1990
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2012, 04:15:56 PM »

Bible teaches us that there is no divorce other than adultery but yet OC church allows divorce and 3 marriages. this is just an example.

I would personally prefer acknowledgeing a failure to make an existing marriage work over pretending that a marriage of x amount of years just "never really existed".

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actually what I found out is that while in Greek the Filioque sounds heretical, in Latin it does not.

The creed was written in greek and it's intendeed meaning is what is written in the original greek. Filioque is ok in latin theological writings because the context of those writings is the latin definition of the word, but the context of the creed is the greek, regardless of what language it is translated into, because the fathers at the council chose that specific word to convey a specific idea.

I can go to any RC church and not wonder whether I will fit in because its either Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian or whatever else.

This would have been an issue in RC churches up to as recently as within the last century. A number of towns, at least in the US, had multiple RC churches for the various ethnicities that lived in the town.
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2012, 04:20:02 PM »

I suggest you listen to this two part podcast series on the major differences between EO and RC from a well informed EO perspective:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy/orthodox_and_roman_catholic_differences

I found it to be very enlightening.
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2012, 04:22:47 PM »

I can go to any RC church and not wonder whether I will fit in because its either Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian or whatever else.

This would have been an issue in RC churches up to as recently as within the last century. A number of towns, at least in the US, had multiple RC churches for the various ethnicities that lived in the town.

True. My husband was formerly RC and grew up in an Irish Catholic neighborhood, with an Irish Catholic priest and parish, went to Irish Catholic school etc. He and his brothers used to go to the Polish church for confession. Grin
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2012, 04:24:11 PM »

And how does the strict ban on divorce really work out in practice in the RCC?

If you have some pull, you can get an annulment.

If not, staying married to an estranged spouse is tricky business.

I know a Catholic woman who has not lived with her spouse for 25 years or so. He lives in France and she lives here in the USA. He has a long time girlfriend whom he cant marry and she is all alone and lonely, unable to go out and date and move on.

I think it is shameful to put people into that situation. The Orthodox will tend to exercise a bit a mercy which is often sorely needed.
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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2012, 04:26:13 PM »

in the coptic church and other oriental orthodox churches, divorce is very rare. it is only allowed in cases of adultery (even then the partners are encouraged to reconcile) and apostasy (leaving the Christian faith altogether, not about leaving orthodoxy).

the eastern and oriental orthodox churches have officially considered each other 'orthodox' since 1990

Yeah. Not to stick my neck out too much (as I know the orientation of this website, and respect it), but I will say that as an ex-RC it is easier for me to consider the claims of the OO, as they are not framed in relation to the Great Schism of 1054 AD since they/we had ceased to be in communion with both the Latins and the Greeks for centuries by that point. If I had to choose between the EO and RC only, I'm not so sure it would be as clear to me (especially given the RC indoctrination in my background).

That said, I think RC apologetics muddies the water quite a bit more than is necessary in seeking to defend themselves from the charges of the EO. Whenever the Filioque came up when I was still with the Latins, the response was always as the OP puts it, that it is not heretical in Latin, but is at least open to heretical interpretations in other languages (hence the need for good catechesis). My response was always "fine, but how many Latin Catholics understand ecclesiastical Latin?" It seems like they were far fewer than the number who knew this talking point without being able to explain why a translation (which is what is actually said in 90-whatever % of RC churches) should be kept that allows for possibly heretical interpretations. Eventually I had to admit to myself that there was no good defense for such a thing. This is one of the many things that by that point had built up to make me see that the Roman communion was not a fit spiritual home for me. Your mileage, of course, may vary, and I pray that the Lord will enlighten you with His wisdom on this difficult road that you are traveling, Victoria. Take comfort from God, and in the fact that you are certainly not traveling it alone.

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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2012, 04:26:44 PM »

I also think that the Orthodox claims aren't really stronger than the RC. I'm Orthodox will stay so, but I'm agnostic on those issues. Both sides can make equally sensible claims/.

truth matters, and it is not relative! All faiths are not equal! Christ established one church. There is truth, you have to diligently seek for it.
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2012, 04:39:35 PM »

Victoria,

THe Orthodox Church and the teaching on divorce is very clear. First marriages are very blessed and the service for Crowning of a first marriage is beautiful and joyful. It is not the same for a second marriage or a marriage between two divorced couples or for a widow/widower seekeing  second marriage. In the service for a second marriage, some of the joyful ceremonies are omitted and replaced by penitential prayers. The following is an excerpt from the Greek archdiocese found here  http://aggreen.net/guidelines/guide04.html :

Second Marriage and Marriage Between Divorced Persons
 
The Orthodox norm for those who marry is one marriage. A second marriage is tolerated under certain conditions. A third marriage is extended under certain precise circumstances.
 
The Church does not grant divorces. However, it recognizes that because of human weaknesses and sin marriages sometimes disintegrate and are ended by civil decree (divorce).
 
In her mercy and wisdom, the Church may grant permission to remarry through the diocesan hierarch. Petition is made to the hierarch through the parish priest. A clear statement of repentance from the divorced party, whether or not he/she is considered the culpable one in the divorce, and a clear statement that the reason he/she desires to enter a second marriage is that it is considered necessary for his/her salvation is to be addressed to the diocesan hierarch through the parish priest. (See: Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and Sanctity of Life, Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America, Tenth All-American Council, 1992, page 5.)
 
Under no circumstances can there be a fourth marriage.
 
The Order of Service:
• If one party of the marriage is being married for the first time (even if that person is not Orthodox), the order of the first marriage is used. 
• If both the partners are divorced and/or widowed, the order for the second marriage is used.

end of quote


THOMAS
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2012, 04:50:26 PM »

Victoria,

THe Orthodox Church and the teaching on divorce is very clear. First marriages are very blessed and the service for Crowning of a first marriage is beautiful and joyful. It is not the same for a second marriage or a marriage between two divorced couples or for a widow/widower seekeing  second marriage. In the service for a second marriage, some of the joyful ceremonies are omitted and replaced by penitential prayers. The following is an excerpt from the Greek archdiocese found here  http://aggreen.net/guidelines/guide04.html :

Second Marriage and Marriage Between Divorced Persons
 
The Orthodox norm for those who marry is one marriage. A second marriage is tolerated under certain conditions. A third marriage is extended under certain precise circumstances.
 
The Church does not grant divorces. However, it recognizes that because of human weaknesses and sin marriages sometimes disintegrate and are ended by civil decree (divorce).
 
In her mercy and wisdom, the Church may grant permission to remarry through the diocesan hierarch. Petition is made to the hierarch through the parish priest. A clear statement of repentance from the divorced party, whether or not he/she is considered the culpable one in the divorce, and a clear statement that the reason he/she desires to enter a second marriage is that it is considered necessary for his/her salvation is to be addressed to the diocesan hierarch through the parish priest. (See: Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and Sanctity of Life, Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America, Tenth All-American Council, 1992, page 5.)
 
Under no circumstances can there be a fourth marriage.
 
The Order of Service:
• If one party of the marriage is being married for the first time (even if that person is not Orthodox), the order of the first marriage is used. 
• If both the partners are divorced and/or widowed, the order for the second marriage is used.

end of quote


THOMAS
thank you for info, Thomas
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2012, 04:56:54 PM »

Victoria,

here is an excerpt from a class handout that I do on Marriage, if you want the whole document (it is 14 pages long send me an e-mail address in pribvate meassages and I will be happy to send the whole class handout to you). It specifically addresses the issue of "Church" divorce> It is interesting that except for the grounds of a man or wife separating and ending their marriage to enter the angelic life, all divorce tends to center around a form of adultry (fraud or love for something beyond that of your spouse):

The Orthodox Church recognizes the sanctity of marriage and sees it as a life-long commitment. However, there are certain circumstances in which it becomes evident that there is no love or commitment in a relationship. While the Church stands opposed to divorce, the Church, in its concern for the salvation of its people, does permit divorced individuals to marry a second and even a third time.

The Order of the Second or Third Marriage is somewhat different than that celebrated as a first marriage and it bears a penitential character. Second or third marriages are performed by "economy" -- that is, out of concern for the spiritual well being of the parties involved and as an exception to the rule, so to speak.

To remarry in an Orthodox Christian church, you'll need to meet with a priest and fill out the necessary paperwork. This paperwork will be sent to the Archdiocese for consideration. Your former spouse must be notified in case he wants to contest the procedure.  In some jurisdictions you may have to actually appear before the Ecclesiastical Court to present your case and receive permission to remarry. This process can take anywhere from three to six months.

Most cases in which divorce is an issue rarely do not involve adultery -¬ whether it be a case of giving oneself over to another person, or to another thing, such as alcohol, drugs, work, etc. One can surely put their spouse in a secondary position as a result of becoming infatuated, obsessed and/or controlled with/by another person; one can also surely put their spouse in a secondary position as a result of becoming infatuated, obsessed and/or controlled with/by power, wealth, addictions, careers, etc.
In accordance with Church Canon Law, an Ecclesiastical Divorce is granted only under certain circumstances .  A review of guidance from the various jurisdictions in the United States indicate the following as valid reasons to grant an ecclesiastical divorce:
1.   When a marriage is entered into by force, blackmail or false reasons.
2.   When one or both parties is guilty of adultery.
3.   When one party is proven to be mad, insane or suffers from a social disease which was not disclosed to the spouse prior to the marriage.
4.   When one party has physically assaulted the spouse or conspired against the life of the spouse.
5.   When one party is imprisoned for more than seven years.
6.   When one party abandons the other for more than three years without approval.
7.   When one partner should be absent from home without the other's approval, except in in stances when the latter is assured that such absence is due to psycho-neurotic illness.
8.   When one partner forces the other to engage in illicit affairs with others.
9.   When one partner does not fulfill the responsibilities of marriage, or when it is medically proven that one party is physically impotent or as the result of a social venereal disease.
10.   When one partner is an addict, thereby creating undue economic hardship.
There is one other reason for granting an ecclesiastical divorce, when a couple chooses to separate due to love of the Lord and their desire to mutually enter into the angelic life of the monastic.  This reason is used when a married clergy is called to become a Bishop and must set aside his wife. In this case, both must willingly enter the angelic life.
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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2012, 06:37:31 PM »

as far as East/West split, I really don't think its as clear cut as OC claims it is.

Well there were many factors that went into it that are not given enough attention, such as the invasion of the Balkan Peninsula severing communication with the language barrier and the west adopting Frankish influence. But I think that it is pretty clear who was in the wrong and who was in the right.

Quote
From my research it appears that both churches have legimate claims to being "true church".

I disagree. From my research it seems that Rome only adopted uncanonical heresies and have only recently began picking and choosing writings from the Fathers, taking them out of context and trying to use them to justify heresy. I went through the same issue when I converted as to whether I was going to go Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, and I was actually leaning towards Roman Catholicism but the history entirely changed my mind and won me over to Orthodoxy. I really see no valid claims or historical facts that would support any of the heresies of the Roman Catholic Church that cannot be refuted with basic knowledge.


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Furthermore, after some talks with my priest, I find OC teachings to be as vague as ever. As far as RC teachings, I find myself agreeing with far more of it than OC teachings-

Giving up on something because it is vague and confusing is intellectual laziness and cannot be healthy. Things are not always as simple as we would like them to be. This is God. This is theology. This determines the fate of our sou, the relationship between man and the Divine, the Divine's teachings for humanity. Of course this is going to be confusing. This is at least going to be as confusing as any other branch of knowledge like physics or mathematics, only, we cannot afford 'screw-ups' with this because it can affect the salvation of our souls. I would not choose something just because it is easier to understand or 'I agree with it more' because what we agree with and what seems easy is not always correct and the complex answer may be the truth.

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for example, divorce. Bible teaches us that there is no divorce other than adultery but yet OC church allows divorce and 3 marriages. this is just an example.

This is a misunderstanding. It does not say that there is NO divorce other than adultery, as the Roman Catholic Church would lead you to believe, rather, Jesus actually said that anyone who divorces for reasons other than adultery is guilty. Divorce still exists for other reasons, except the people are still guilty unless the divorce was because of adultery. Hence, this is why the second and third marriages in Orthodoxy are full of prayers of repentance and are a bit gloomier compared to the first.


Quote
Plus,  for example, the EO say that the Catholic Church changed the Creed by adding the Filioque, but actually what I found out is that while in Greek the Filioque sounds heretical, in Latin it does not. In Latin, it's just a clarification to fight a heresy that was going on at the time. But back then, the Eastern churches that spoke Greek saw it as something heretical because they were looking at the Greek translation. To the Romans, it wasn't wrong.

It does not matter whether it was really heretical or not. What matters is that the west made an uncanonical addition to the Creed even though the third (or fourth?) Ecumenical Councils condemned any alteration of the Creed unless another Ecumenical Council approved. The west did not do this and in fact was barely involved in any of the Councils. They committed heresy.

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Then we have all the different churches who are not in communion with one another and various squabling between them. Where is the unity that is clearly seen in RC?

The west still does not underestand the meaning of autocepholous.
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You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
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James, you have problemz.
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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2012, 07:31:17 PM »

Johan was questioned by the police about the missing $20 from the cash register.

Maria found out and told Mary,
Mary told Jane,
Jane told Paul,
Paul told Sam,
Sam told Clair;

Clair told YOU...Johan stole $20,000 from work and blew it all on crack cocaine and is going to go to prison for 20 years.
All this happened within a time span of two days. Form being questioned by the police abt $20 to stealing 20k for crack!

How much do you think the story has changed from the original 2000 years ago when the Apostles formed the first Church?
That's why i decided to find the absolute closest source to the very beginning and stick with it.
The absolute closest source to the beginning of the original church is the Orthodox Church.
NOTE: The Catholic Church viered off the Orthodox Church.
Dont get caught up in all the tiny details.

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« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2012, 08:19:22 PM »

I'm feeling very conflicted at the moment. I have attended OC church in my area for over a year and thought that its where I want to be. However there were several issues that came up within the last few months where I started questioning if I am in the right place.
I have read historical material regarding OC from both RC and OC sides-as far as East/West split, I really don't think its as clear cut as OC claims it is. From my research it appears that both churches have legimate claims to being "true church". Furthermore, after some talks with my priest, I find OC teachings to be as vague as ever. As far as RC teachings, I find myself agreeing with far more of it than OC teachings-for example, divorce. Bible teaches us that there is no divorce other than adultery but yet OC church allows divorce and 3 marriages. this is just an example.
Plus,  for example, the EO say that the Catholic Church changed the Creed by adding the Filioque, but actually what I found out is that while in Greek the Filioque sounds heretical, in Latin it does not. In Latin, it's just a clarification to fight a heresy that was going on at the time. But back then, the Eastern churches that spoke Greek saw it as something heretical because they were looking at the Greek translation. To the Romans, it wasn't wrong.

Then we have all the different churches who are not in communion with one another and various squabling between them. Where is the unity that is clearly seen in RC? I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea. I'm not trying to offend anymore but I am honestly wondering if I have made the right choice. I haven't been baprized yet as our priest doesn't really want to baptize anyone who hasn't been attending for at least several years. I feel like I love the liturgy at EO but nothing else feels right?
if anyone can advise me, I would appreciate it

It is pretty clear cut in terms of history.  Not sure what your sources are the the deeper you get the more you realize this it true.  Feelings are deceptive, but you are a free person and must decide as you wish.  The Orthodox Church is more hesitant to dogmatize certain things than the RCC.  For example, although we accept the dormition and translation of the Mother of God, it befuddles us as to why Rome would make it a binding dogma of which any dissention has eternal reprocussions.  One cannot be remarried in the Church after a divorce without penitential excommunication, so not sure where you are coming from there.  But again, you are a free person.
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« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2012, 08:21:37 PM »

as far as East/West split, I really don't think its as clear cut as OC claims it is.

Well there were many factors that went into it that are not given enough attention, such as the invasion of the Balkan Peninsula severing communication with the language barrier and the west adopting Frankish influence. But I think that it is pretty clear who was in the wrong and who was in the right.

Quote
From my research it appears that both churches have legimate claims to being "true church".

I disagree. From my research it seems that Rome only adopted uncanonical heresies and have only recently began picking and choosing writings from the Fathers, taking them out of context and trying to use them to justify heresy. I went through the same issue when I converted as to whether I was going to go Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, and I was actually leaning towards Roman Catholicism but the history entirely changed my mind and won me over to Orthodoxy. I really see no valid claims or historical facts that would support any of the heresies of the Roman Catholic Church that cannot be refuted with basic knowledge.


Quote
Furthermore, after some talks with my priest, I find OC teachings to be as vague as ever. As far as RC teachings, I find myself agreeing with far more of it than OC teachings-

Giving up on something because it is vague and confusing is intellectual laziness and cannot be healthy. Things are not always as simple as we would like them to be. This is God. This is theology. This determines the fate of our sou, the relationship between man and the Divine, the Divine's teachings for humanity. Of course this is going to be confusing. This is at least going to be as confusing as any other branch of knowledge like physics or mathematics, only, we cannot afford 'screw-ups' with this because it can affect the salvation of our souls. I would not choose something just because it is easier to understand or 'I agree with it more' because what we agree with and what seems easy is not always correct and the complex answer may be the truth.

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for example, divorce. Bible teaches us that there is no divorce other than adultery but yet OC church allows divorce and 3 marriages. this is just an example.

This is a misunderstanding. It does not say that there is NO divorce other than adultery, as the Roman Catholic Church would lead you to believe, rather, Jesus actually said that anyone who divorces for reasons other than adultery is guilty. Divorce still exists for other reasons, except the people are still guilty unless the divorce was because of adultery. Hence, this is why the second and third marriages in Orthodoxy are full of prayers of repentance and are a bit gloomier compared to the first.


Quote
Plus,  for example, the EO say that the Catholic Church changed the Creed by adding the Filioque, but actually what I found out is that while in Greek the Filioque sounds heretical, in Latin it does not. In Latin, it's just a clarification to fight a heresy that was going on at the time. But back then, the Eastern churches that spoke Greek saw it as something heretical because they were looking at the Greek translation. To the Romans, it wasn't wrong.

It does not matter whether it was really heretical or not. What matters is that the west made an uncanonical addition to the Creed even though the third (or fourth?) Ecumenical Councils condemned any alteration of the Creed unless another Ecumenical Council approved. The west did not do this and in fact was barely involved in any of the Councils. They committed heresy.

Quote
Then we have all the different churches who are not in communion with one another and various squabling between them. Where is the unity that is clearly seen in RC?

The west still does not underestand the meaning of autocepholous.
1.   East West split-sorry, not clear cut as you seem to think although I used to feel same way as you. I read historical material from both sides but truth appears somewhere in the middle
2.   Which RC heresies are you referring to?
3.   I resent that anyone who thinks that OC teachings are vague and undefined, is lazy and doesn’t want to learn in your opinion. Vague is vague no matter how you look at it. I’m not thinking “oh, geez, RC teachings are so much EASIER, why didn’t I do this from the beginning?”. If you think that I’m choosing an “easier road”, you need to back up because my husband is very anti-Catholic and I would be choosing much more pain and sorrow if I ever decide to go to RC. On the contrary, it would be hell on earth for me.  As for  Their teachings(in my opinion)have more to do with logic than anything and since I’m logical person, it makes sense to me. Their teachings MAKE SENSE. I have been reading and researching OC position for 1.5 year now and it still VAGUE and my priest did tell me that OC has no official position on many teachings. So, I am being lazy?
4.   I seriously don’t understand what you wrote here. Here is the verse” But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery”. Where does it say that divorce would be acceptable? It appears that this verse is related to the previous one where Jesus condems the Judaic laws of divorce, no? Furthermore, it does say that if you marry someone who has been divorced, you are guilty of adultery. Where is “divorce existing” here?
5.   You are not telling me anything I don’t already know. We can leave the debate what the filioque sounds like in Latin and Greek for another day.  it appears that RC and OC have different definition of heresy-to RC, EO are still brothers in Christ because they have apostolic succession and same Sacraments. To EO, RC are heretics. You can draw your own conclusions, I know I did.
6.   Autocepholous doesn’t equal church unity and that’s where all the squabbles come in
Note: to everyone else-I apologize if my post sounds hostile but I don’t appreciate someone  telling me that I’m trying to choose “easier road” and I am being lazy and make no effort to understand OC teachings when nothing can be further from the truth
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« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2012, 08:28:41 PM »

I'm feeling very conflicted at the moment. I have attended OC church in my area for over a year and thought that its where I want to be. However there were several issues that came up within the last few months where I started questioning if I am in the right place.
I have read historical material regarding OC from both RC and OC sides-as far as East/West split, I really don't think its as clear cut as OC claims it is. From my research it appears that both churches have legimate claims to being "true church". Furthermore, after some talks with my priest, I find OC teachings to be as vague as ever. As far as RC teachings, I find myself agreeing with far more of it than OC teachings-for example, divorce. Bible teaches us that there is no divorce other than adultery but yet OC church allows divorce and 3 marriages. this is just an example.
Plus,  for example, the EO say that the Catholic Church changed the Creed by adding the Filioque, but actually what I found out is that while in Greek the Filioque sounds heretical, in Latin it does not. In Latin, it's just a clarification to fight a heresy that was going on at the time. But back then, the Eastern churches that spoke Greek saw it as something heretical because they were looking at the Greek translation. To the Romans, it wasn't wrong.

Then we have all the different churches who are not in communion with one another and various squabling between them. Where is the unity that is clearly seen in RC? I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea. I'm not trying to offend anymore but I am honestly wondering if I have made the right choice. I haven't been baprized yet as our priest doesn't really want to baptize anyone who hasn't been attending for at least several years. I feel like I love the liturgy at EO but nothing else feels right?
if anyone can advise me, I would appreciate it

It is pretty clear cut in terms of history.  Not sure what your sources are the the deeper you get the more you realize this it true.  Feelings are deceptive, but you are a free person and must decide as you wish.  The Orthodox Church is more hesitant to dogmatize certain things than the RCC.  For example, although we accept the dormition and translation of the Mother of God, it befuddles us as to why Rome would make it a binding dogma of which any dissention has eternal reprocussions.  One cannot be remarried in the Church after a divorce without penitential excommunication, so not sure where you are coming from there.  But again, you are a free person.
I'm sorry what do you mean by " One cannot be remarried in the Church after a divorce without penitential excommunication, so not sure where you are coming from there". I was told that you can get remarried in church after divorce
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« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2012, 08:36:49 PM »

Victoria,

A friend of mine is now Orthodox.  She grew up RC, was married in the RC church, had four children baptized and raised in the RC.  Her husband cheated on her and, with some pull, was granted an annulment so that he could marry his mistress in the church.  The annulment declared the children illegitimate.  She was crushed, as I'm sure you could understand.  Would you defend this as being the appropriate action of the Church?

 With regards to EO marriage and divorce, you should know that there is always a period of excommunication following divorce. The excommunication is not permanent (nor is it meant to be) but gives time for both parties to really understand the gravity of what has just occurred.  Remarriage is never automatically taken for granted. And when remarriage does happen, the aspect of the ceremony radically changes to focus on repentance.  I don't know which Biblical passage you're specifically referring to when it comes to forbidding divorce though I've found plenty which do allow it.  And even in those passages which are permissible, it is never something that one is to do "lightly" or because it's convenient.

Also, with regards to the filioque being added just to clarify the Latin, that is, frankly, just a ridiculous argument.  The creed existed for 500 years in Latin without it needing clarification.  It's an addition which means that the filioque adds something which was NEVER there in the first place.  The Council of Toledo added it to fight against the heresies of the semi-Arian Visigoths in Spain. The Council thought that if "and the Son" were added at the section regarding procession, that would clarify once and for all that the Son was truly God.  All it did was subordinate the Spirit and disrupt the understanding of the communion of love between all members of the Trinity with the Father as the "archos anarchos."

If you're that uneasy, then maybe it's not time.  The catechumenate period used to be for three years.  Why rush? the Church will be here for a long time and it seems evident that you need that time to make some real discernment.  I think your uneasiness is rooted in everything being cut and dry. The Roman Church has that as they seem to have a category for everything under the sun. The Orthodox hesitate to do this.  How can God, even with what He has revealed to us through His Son, be possibly contained in the language and limits of reason of human beings?  It cannot.  Aristotle may have believed that all things known are knowable, but that doesn't mean "in this life."  If you want hard and fast rules and regulations then the RC is the way to go; they excel at that.
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« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2012, 08:44:57 PM »

I don’t appreciate someone  telling me that I’m trying to choose “easier road” and I am being lazy and make no effort to understand OC teachings when nothing can be further from the truth


I don't blame you as it seems you have exercised great patience and consideration.

All those issues you raise, I really can't get worked up too much about them like some.

There were other doctrinal things I had very troubling moment (months?) about. I set them aside. And the answer of where I was to be was clear.

Given your thoughtfulness, I doubt you can go far wrong and most likely very much right.

Don't let the apologetics displace where you feel your heart is. It sounds like you have a very sound one.

FWIW.

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« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2012, 08:47:52 PM »

Victoria,

A friend of mine is now Orthodox.  She grew up RC, was married in the RC church, had four children baptized and raised in the RC.  Her husband cheated on her and, with some pull, was granted an annulment so that he could marry his mistress in the church.  The annulment declared the children illegitimate.  She was crushed, as I'm sure you could understand.  Would you defend this as being the appropriate action of the Church?

 With regards to EO marriage and divorce, you should know that there is always a period of excommunication following divorce. The excommunication is not permanent (nor is it meant to be) but gives time for both parties to really understand the gravity of what has just occurred.  Remarriage is never automatically taken for granted. And when remarriage does happen, the aspect of the ceremony radically changes to focus on repentance.  I don't know which Biblical passage you're specifically referring to when it comes to forbidding divorce though I've found plenty which do allow it.  And even in those passages which are permissible, it is never something that one is to do "lightly" or because it's convenient.

Also, with regards to the filioque being added just to clarify the Latin, that is, frankly, just a ridiculous argument.  The creed existed for 500 years in Latin without it needing clarification.  It's an addition which means that the filioque adds something which was NEVER there in the first place.  The Council of Toledo added it to fight against the heresies of the semi-Arian Visigoths in Spain. The Council thought that if "and the Son" were added at the section regarding procession, that would clarify once and for all that the Son was truly God.  All it did was subordinate the Spirit and disrupt the understanding of the communion of love between all members of the Trinity with the Father as the "archos anarchos."

If you're that uneasy, then maybe it's not time.  The catechumenate period used to be for three years.  Why rush? the Church will be here for a long time and it seems evident that you need that time to make some real discernment.  I think your uneasiness is rooted in everything being cut and dry. The Roman Church has that as they seem to have a category for everything under the sun. The Orthodox hesitate to do this.  How can God, even with what He has revealed to us through His Son, be possibly contained in the language and limits of reason of human beings?  It cannot.  Aristotle may have believed that all things known are knowable, but that doesn't mean "in this life."  If you want hard and fast rules and regulations then the RC is the way to go; they excel at that.
thank you for your advice. I appreciate you clarifying the filioque issue
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« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2012, 08:59:15 PM »

I'm feeling very conflicted at the moment. I have attended OC church in my area for over a year and thought that its where I want to be. However there were several issues that came up within the last few months where I started questioning if I am in the right place.
I have read historical material regarding OC from both RC and OC sides-as far as East/West split, I really don't think its as clear cut as OC claims it is. From my research it appears that both churches have legimate claims to being "true church". Furthermore, after some talks with my priest, I find OC teachings to be as vague as ever. As far as RC teachings, I find myself agreeing with far more of it than OC teachings-for example, divorce. Bible teaches us that there is no divorce other than adultery but yet OC church allows divorce and 3 marriages. this is just an example.
Plus,  for example, the EO say that the Catholic Church changed the Creed by adding the Filioque, but actually what I found out is that while in Greek the Filioque sounds heretical, in Latin it does not. In Latin, it's just a clarification to fight a heresy that was going on at the time. But back then, the Eastern churches that spoke Greek saw it as something heretical because they were looking at the Greek translation. To the Romans, it wasn't wrong.

Then we have all the different churches who are not in communion with one another and various squabling between them. Where is the unity that is clearly seen in RC? I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea. I'm not trying to offend anymore but I am honestly wondering if I have made the right choice. I haven't been baprized yet as our priest doesn't really want to baptize anyone who hasn't been attending for at least several years. I feel like I love the liturgy at EO but nothing else feels right?
if anyone can advise me, I would appreciate it

Hi Victoria. I can see from your posts and profile that you are inquiring into Orthodoxy; but I'm curious where you're coming from. Did you grow up Christian?
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« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2012, 09:02:10 PM »

I don’t appreciate someone  telling me that I’m trying to choose “easier road” and I am being lazy and make no effort to understand OC teachings when nothing can be further from the truth


I don't blame you as it seems you have exercised great patience and consideration.

All those issues you raise, I really can't get worked up too much about them like some.

There were other doctrinal things I had very troubling moment (months?) about. I set them aside. And the answer of where I was to be was clear.

Given your thoughtfulness, I doubt you can go far wrong and most likely very much right.

Don't let the apologetics displace where you feel your heart is. It sounds like you have a very sound one.

FWIW.


thanks for understanding and your kind response Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2012, 09:59:09 PM »

I'm feeling very conflicted at the moment. I have attended OC church in my area for over a year and thought that its where I want to be. However there were several issues that came up within the last few months where I started questioning if I am in the right place.
I have read historical material regarding OC from both RC and OC sides-as far as East/West split, I really don't think its as clear cut as OC claims it is. From my research it appears that both churches have legimate claims to being "true church". Furthermore, after some talks with my priest, I find OC teachings to be as vague as ever. As far as RC teachings, I find myself agreeing with far more of it than OC teachings-for example, divorce. Bible teaches us that there is no divorce other than adultery but yet OC church allows divorce and 3 marriages. this is just an example.
Plus,  for example, the EO say that the Catholic Church changed the Creed by adding the Filioque, but actually what I found out is that while in Greek the Filioque sounds heretical, in Latin it does not. In Latin, it's just a clarification to fight a heresy that was going on at the time. But back then, the Eastern churches that spoke Greek saw it as something heretical because they were looking at the Greek translation. To the Romans, it wasn't wrong.

Then we have all the different churches who are not in communion with one another and various squabling between them. Where is the unity that is clearly seen in RC? I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea. I'm not trying to offend anymore but I am honestly wondering if I have made the right choice. I haven't been baprized yet as our priest doesn't really want to baptize anyone who hasn't been attending for at least several years. I feel like I love the liturgy at EO but nothing else feels right?
if anyone can advise me, I would appreciate it

Hi Victoria. I can see from your posts and profile that you are inquiring into Orthodoxy; but I'm curious where you're coming from. Did you grow up Christian?
no, I didn't grow up Christian. I became Protestant Christian about 5 years ago but experienced major dissatisfaction with their teachings.  Ergo move towards OC. Whatever happens I know I don't want to remain in Protestant church
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« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2012, 10:19:30 PM »

Victoria--The most important thing ought to be your relationship to Christ for, after all, you are called to be His disciple and part of His Body. Thus, the local parish  is the most important thing, that and the ability to truly worship Him. All of the other distinctions IMHO are not all that important.
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« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2012, 10:58:39 PM »


6.   When one party abandons the other for more than three years without approval.


Thomas, I'd always wondered about this one.  Does this take conscription into account, or is de facto State approval considered approval?
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« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2012, 12:05:31 AM »

I'm feeling very conflicted at the moment. I have attended OC church in my area for over a year and thought that its where I want to be. However there were several issues that came up within the last few months where I started questioning if I am in the right place.
I have read historical material regarding OC from both RC and OC sides-as far as East/West split, I really don't think its as clear cut as OC claims it is. From my research it appears that both churches have legimate claims to being "true church". Furthermore, after some talks with my priest, I find OC teachings to be as vague as ever. As far as RC teachings, I find myself agreeing with far more of it than OC teachings-for example, divorce. Bible teaches us that there is no divorce other than adultery but yet OC church allows divorce and 3 marriages. this is just an example.
Plus,  for example, the EO say that the Catholic Church changed the Creed by adding the Filioque, but actually what I found out is that while in Greek the Filioque sounds heretical, in Latin it does not. In Latin, it's just a clarification to fight a heresy that was going on at the time. But back then, the Eastern churches that spoke Greek saw it as something heretical because they were looking at the Greek translation. To the Romans, it wasn't wrong.

Then we have all the different churches who are not in communion with one another and various squabling between them. Where is the unity that is clearly seen in RC? I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea. I'm not trying to offend anymore but I am honestly wondering if I have made the right choice. I haven't been baprized yet as our priest doesn't really want to baptize anyone who hasn't been attending for at least several years. I feel like I love the liturgy at EO but nothing else feels right?
if anyone can advise me, I would appreciate it

It is pretty clear cut in terms of history.  Not sure what your sources are the the deeper you get the more you realize this it true.  Feelings are deceptive, but you are a free person and must decide as you wish.  The Orthodox Church is more hesitant to dogmatize certain things than the RCC.  For example, although we accept the dormition and translation of the Mother of God, it befuddles us as to why Rome would make it a binding dogma of which any dissention has eternal reprocussions.  One cannot be remarried in the Church after a divorce without penitential excommunication, so not sure where you are coming from there.  But again, you are a free person.
I'm sorry what do you mean by " One cannot be remarried in the Church after a divorce without penitential excommunication, so not sure where you are coming from there". I was told that you can get remarried in church after divorce

Scamandrius elaborated well, and as he said a remarriage after a divorce cannot be taken for granted, as sometimes it is denied.  A remarriage after a divorce is solely a bishop's call and dispensation.   As already pointed out by others, a person cannot get divorced for just any reason.  As our Lord said, except in the case of adultery, applied in the broader sense meaning that the other person has defiled the marriage by adulterous relations with another, abandonment, or abuse.  The marriage is sanctioned forever.  However, one cannot force the one abandoning the marriage to maintain the eternal relationship and the other is not blamed for this if they are not the one who abandoned it. 
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« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2012, 12:17:44 AM »


6.   When one party abandons the other for more than three years without approval.


Thomas, I'd always wondered about this one.  Does this take conscription into account, or is de facto State approval considered approval?

I believe it refers to a voluntary abandonment. Even one who has been conscripted can correspond withtheir spouse and even send funds from their pay to support them... that is not abandonment.

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« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2012, 01:30:02 AM »

1.   East West split-sorry, not clear cut as you seem to think although I used to feel same way as you. I read historical material from both sides but truth appears somewhere in the middle

So have I, however, I would have to disagree with you. In everything I have read from both sides I have never seen a legitimate reason in favor of the west during the schism.

Quote
2.   Which RC heresies are you referring to?

This could go on forever...But, the filioque, Papal infallibility, legalistic understanding of atonement turning God into an abusive father, original sin etc. The last two are ones I cannot get over and I honestly find them demonic and one of the worst teachings to ever come out of Christendom. In fact, these are probably the biggest reasons why I was always repulsed by western Christianity.

Quote
3.   I resent that anyone who thinks that OC teachings are vague and undefined, is lazy and doesn’t want to learn in your opinion. Vague is vague no matter how you look at it. I’m not thinking “oh, geez, RC teachings are so much EASIER, why didn’t I do this from the beginning?”. If you think that I’m choosing an “easier road”, you need to back up because my husband is very anti-Catholic and I would be choosing much more pain and sorrow if I ever decide to go to RC. On the contrary, it would be hell on earth for me.  As for  Their teachings(in my opinion)have more to do with logic than anything and since I’m logical person, it makes sense to me. Their teachings MAKE SENSE. I have been reading and researching OC position for 1.5 year now and it still VAGUE and my priest did tell me that OC has no official position on many teachings. So, I am being lazy?

I apologize for accusing you of laziness, clearly you are not. However, I disagree with you that the vagueness is a bad thing. I would actually take it as a more positive sign since the truth usually is confusing and can appear vague to us. I think that it is a positive sign that you are at least using logic to guide you, however, I also think that the Roman Catholic Church's emphasis on purely empirical logic has led to many heresies (*cough* Thomas Aquinas *cough*) and that the formalisation of their doctrines can also be a curse because blanket statements never work for anything usually, whereas the Orthodox Church can treat everybody individually. At least that is how I see it. I honestly do hope that you will return to Orthodoxy, however, I wish you luck on your spiritual journey.

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4.   I seriously don’t understand what you wrote here. Here is the verse” But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery”. Where does it say that divorce would be acceptable? It appears that this verse is related to the previous one where Jesus condems the Judaic laws of divorce, no? Furthermore, it does say that if you marry someone who has been divorced, you are guilty of adultery. Where is “divorce existing” here?

Basically, the way I see it is that divorce is something you do at your own risk. Jesus specifically told you that he does not approve of it unless it is because of adultery, however, you can still receive a divorce at your own risk and the clergy will not stop you.

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5.   You are not telling me anything I don’t already know. We can leave the debate what the filioque sounds like in Latin and Greek for another day.  it appears that RC and OC have different definition of heresy-to RC, EO are still brothers in Christ because they have apostolic succession and same Sacraments. To EO, RC are heretics. You can draw your own conclusions, I know I did.

As horrible as it sounds, they are though because they have adopted teachings which we would accept as heretical. Our apostolic roots mean nothing if we are not abiding in the truth that they delivered to us. In fact, Jesus condemned the Pharisees for using their ancestory to justify themselves, stating how He can turn rocks into children of Abraham. I think it is the same with us and our apostolic roots and it is something that both Churches need to work on, however, that is a different topic.


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6.   Autocepholous doesn’t equal church unity and that’s where all the squabbles come in

This is probably the one thing you have said which I would have to agree with. However, I think that you are exaggerating the squabbles. I think that most of these squabbles and little feuds in the Church are mostly the result of the (No offense to anyone here) really traditional Russian/Greek LARpers who turn the externals of the Church into personal dogma and argue over really stupid things like the calendar, way we cross ourselves or alignment of icons or art style etc. And this is not just coming from my own personal speculation, even my Priest told me this. But I think that all in all, we are all still in communion with each other for the most part and share the same views in terms of spiritual dogmas, theology, sacraments and all of the important stuff.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 01:31:29 AM by JamesR » Logged

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You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
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« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2012, 02:17:32 AM »

Everybody has to figure out their own criteria, but since you asked for general advice, I would advise concentrating on two (and only two) doctrinal points.

First and foremost, the Roman theology of the Papacy vs. the episcopal theology of the Orthodox Church. If the Roman Pontiff is who the RC's think he is (the vicar of Christ, the head of the Church on earth, possessed of infallibility and universal jurisdiction) then it doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree with him about divorce and remarriage, birth control, indulgences or anything else--he is the designated authority and you need to be in communion with him. If he is not what the RC's think he is, then he is a usurper of authority that is not rightfully he is and you need to stay away from him--and likewise, if he is not who the RC's think he is and Orthodoxy is right that the Apostolic oversight of the Church was given to the bishops as a whole then it doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree with how those bishops choose to exercise their pastoral authority when it comes to allowing remarriage, etc. They are the ones with the authority to make those decisions and you need to be under one of them.

Secondly, the filioque--I believe others have pointed this out, but the East did not break communion with the West over the existence of the Latin filioque. For at least 5 centuries, they were aware of the Latin filioque, didn't like it, criticized it, but did not break communion over it. In the end it was the West that broke communion over the East's refusal to add it in Greek. This also forms a subcategory of the first because 7 Ecumenical councils repeated the creed without the filioque. It was finally added by the Pope by fiat--an act only justifiable if one accepts that the Pope has more authority than an Ecumenical Council.
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« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2012, 03:24:09 AM »

Victoria, I would chill out and not read the long responses in this thread. Best to discuss these issues in a non-pile on setting where you can have one-on-one conversations about what you are conflicted about.

God is merciful.
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« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2012, 06:33:10 AM »

Victoria,

For the East-West split, I think it is rather clear cut - you have five Patriarchs, one leaves.  But that might just be my weltanschauung.  And as for the filoque, it might be easier to look at it in English rather than Latin.  The filoque states that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.  We believe that He only proceeds from the Father.  I would suggest a look at the last few chapters of the Gospel of John regarding this.  It might clarify some.

As for divorce...well, I'm kind of there with you.  But who am I to judge every person in every circumstance?  There may be times when it really is for the best.  I just don't think this will happen that often.

I guess the only advice I can give you is to pray on it.  I pray that God is with you and helps you to come to the right conclusion.

I'm sorry, but at least the Orthodox are honest and admit that there was a marriage that broke down.  That is better than getting a marriage annulled and pretending that there was no marriage.  Evidently, everyone that was at the wedding just dreamed of the wedding taking place.  Also, Liza brought up a point.  If children were born of the "relationship" since evidently there was no marriage, that makes the children illegitimate correct?  And that does happen.  Joseph Kennedy III was given an annulment even though there were twin boys.  To get around the no divorce rule, the RC just pretend there was no marriage, even though there was.  Christ was (and is) all about reality and truth.  It's better to admit that there was a marriage that broke down than to pretend that there was no marriage (kind of like the show "Dallas" when Bobby was supposedly dead for an entire season, but it turned out it was all a dream). 
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« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2012, 08:58:27 AM »

1.   East West split-sorry, not clear cut as you seem to think although I used to feel same way as you. I read historical material from both sides but truth appears somewhere in the middle

So have I, however, I would have to disagree with you. In everything I have read from both sides I have never seen a legitimate reason in favor of the west during the schism.

Really? Not even one? (Granted, this probably isn't the proper place for me to try and convince you otherwise.)
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« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2012, 09:13:01 AM »

1.   East West split-sorry, not clear cut as you seem to think although I used to feel same way as you. I read historical material from both sides but truth appears somewhere in the middle

So have I, however, I would have to disagree with you. In everything I have read from both sides I have never seen a legitimate reason in favor of the west during the schism.

Really? Not even one? (Granted, this probably isn't the proper place for me to try and convince you otherwise.)

Yeah, that's pretty extreme. Also, considering you'd think there would be more history of the East lamenting over their lost brethren on a whole major section of the world.

THReAD SpLIT!
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« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2012, 12:56:02 PM »

Everybody has to figure out their own criteria, but since you asked for general advice, I would advise concentrating on two (and only two) doctrinal points.

First and foremost, the Roman theology of the Papacy vs. the episcopal theology of the Orthodox Church. If the Roman Pontiff is who the RC's think he is (the vicar of Christ, the head of the Church on earth, possessed of infallibility and universal jurisdiction) then it doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree with him about divorce and remarriage, birth control, indulgences or anything else--he is the designated authority and you need to be in communion with him. If he is not what the RC's think he is, then he is a usurper of authority that is not rightfully he is and you need to stay away from him--and likewise, if he is not who the RC's think he is and Orthodoxy is right that the Apostolic oversight of the Church was given to the bishops as a whole then it doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree with how those bishops choose to exercise their pastoral authority when it comes to allowing remarriage, etc. They are the ones with the authority to make those decisions and you need to be under one of them.

Secondly, the filioque--I believe others have pointed this out, but the East did not break communion with the West over the existence of the Latin filioque. For at least 5 centuries, they were aware of the Latin filioque, didn't like it, criticized it, but did not break communion over it. In the end it was the West that broke communion over the East's refusal to add it in Greek. This also forms a subcategory of the first because 7 Ecumenical councils repeated the creed without the filioque. It was finally added by the Pope by fiat--an act only justifiable if one accepts that the Pope has more authority than an Ecumenical Council.
^
^love the above bold ed post.
-----------------------------------
This is a prob with out world today, we think we are so entitled, we think that we are so smart that we can figure everything out, looking for what is 1 iota more beneficial for us.

You don't shop around for religion!!!

People pick an choose religion like they are looking through a restaurant menu,...do i want the lobster or the steak, oh i know il just get the surf and turf and have both----WELL YOU CANT, its one or the other!

Hate to burst your bubble but here is what religion is really about, ready-------------------SACRIFICE!
NOT what fits best with your opinion.

You don't divide a page and put the pros on one side and the cons on the other and then go with the one that has the most pros (what the heck!) its Not about you!

You should be MOVED SPIRITUALLY (as an earquake moves mountains) towards a religion.
if you are not then you have allot of PRAYING to do, not lists of pros and cons.

That's part of the reason all these confusing religions exist today within Christianity.
I like the divorce from the RC and the Icon veneration from the OC and maybe the mediation form Buddhism.

So i make the alacart  "RomanOrthoBuddists" for Christ religion, yay!

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« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2012, 02:27:41 PM »

I am single so certain issues re marriage & family will not affect me & I feel for those who are. Nonetheless, if you are in a parish that is overall pleasant, observes a simple Orthodox faith and not preoccupied with shiboleths, you should be home. Personally I try to keep a general positive & discerning view towards other Christians & always knowing that the buck stops with the Eucharist. I am plenty busy in parish life being on counsel, choir & janitor alongside the secular day job. Lastly, I pay little attention to the higher archons & realize that humans must fill an eccclesial office for the structure to work somehow.
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« Reply #43 on: February 25, 2012, 03:26:05 PM »

1.   East West split-sorry, not clear cut as you seem to think although I used to feel same way as you. I read historical material from both sides but truth appears somewhere in the middle

So have I, however, I would have to disagree with you. In everything I have read from both sides I have never seen a legitimate reason in favor of the west during the schism.

Really? Not even one? (Granted, this probably isn't the proper place for me to try and convince you otherwise.)

Yeah, that's pretty extreme. Also, considering you'd think there would be more history of the East lamenting over their lost brethren on a whole major section of the world.

THReAD SpLIT!

Personally I think that the schism may have been positive for both the east and the west because tensions had been growing between them for so long that it was only bound to happen. By the time the schism came, they were already practically two Churches. I think that the schism sort of finally freed them from each other.
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You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
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« Reply #44 on: February 25, 2012, 09:24:50 PM »

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Then we have all the different churches who are not in communion with one another and various squabling between them. Where is the unity that is clearly seen in RC?

I have to admit, I myself am puzzled by the argument based on "the unity that is clearly seen in RC". What about the groups that broke away from the RCC, like the SSPX, PNCC, Old Catholics, Anglicans, Anabaptists, and Lutherans?
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