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Author Topic: Roman Catholic Spirituality vs. Orthodox Spirituality  (Read 463 times) Average Rating: 0
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LewisBosch
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« on: December 10, 2012, 10:45:55 AM »

I'm a former/current Roman Catholic - I currently am a refugee in the Anglican Communion. I found Ancient Faith radio online and eventually landed here.

A)
How many people decided to seriously look into Orthodoxy because of its spirituality rather doctrinal or historical reasons?
(I meant my question for Roman Catholic converts, but certainly the question is open to anyone.)

What I mean:
As a cradle Catholic, once I started to doubt the Church - the final blow was the seeming disregard for the Bible in preference to the Bishops - I realized, looking at other faiths, that Orthodoxy is the most humble and has the most emphasis on the inner journey. This emphasis on the inner journey is what I was desperately seeking. I was even listening to an Islamic sheik since he was far less arrogant and humble before God than any of the Christian speakers I was listening too, until I found Ancient Faith radio.

I certainly respect the historical, doctrinal, and theological differences between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy, but the most powerful thing for me was the humble culture of repentance and self-reflection. Maybe a search to stifle my pride landed me here.

B)
It is my impression the culture of the Roman hierarchy views the laity as their spiritual chattel. Maybe Orthodoxy is similar, but it appears the laity aren't as spiritually bound, as in priests don't take what isn't theirs.

Am I mistaken? Have other people found the same thing?
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jmbejdl
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2012, 11:01:03 AM »

I'm a former/current Roman Catholic - I currently am a refugee in the Anglican Communion. I found Ancient Faith radio online and eventually landed here.

A)
How many people decided to seriously look into Orthodoxy because of its spirituality rather doctrinal or historical reasons?
(I meant my question for Roman Catholic converts, but certainly the question is open to anyone.)

What I mean:
As a cradle Catholic, once I started to doubt the Church - the final blow was the seeming disregard for the Bible in preference to the Bishops - I realized, looking at other faiths, that Orthodoxy is the most humble and has the most emphasis on the inner journey. This emphasis on the inner journey is what I was desperately seeking. I was even listening to an Islamic sheik since he was far less arrogant and humble before God than any of the Christian speakers I was listening too, until I found Ancient Faith radio.

I certainly respect the historical, doctrinal, and theological differences between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy, but the most powerful thing for me was the humble culture of repentance and self-reflection. Maybe a search to stifle my pride landed me here.

B)
It is my impression the culture of the Roman hierarchy views the laity as their spiritual chattel. Maybe Orthodoxy is similar, but it appears the laity aren't as spiritually bound, as in priests don't take what isn't theirs.

Am I mistaken? Have other people found the same thing?

Not quite the same as  you and I wasn't an RC (half my family are but I'm not in that half), but humility and genuine Christian faith in the person of one specific monk did start my journey so I do think I know what you mean. I also agree with you that there seems to be less of a clergy/laiety divide in Orthodoxy than I have seen in Roman Catholicism or even the higher church protestants. The Divine Liturgy really is the work of the people - we're participants not spectators. So, no, I don't think you're mistaken.

Don't, however, end up looking at Orthodoxy through rose-tinted glasses or you're likely to be very disappointed very quickly. We have our problems from rigid legalist to lax 'cultural' Orthodox and everything in between, much like any community. We also have our less than ideal priests, even ones who treat their parishioners as a way to make money, though here in the west my experience suggests that you're much more likely to come across amazing examples of tirelessly working for God whilst having to hold down a secular job as well.

James
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We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
IoanC
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2012, 02:09:41 PM »

Personally, I was baptized Orthodox as an infant, but did not really practice till later in life. When I began to look into Christianity seriously, I also had trouble understanding the many churches available. The hardest part was actually weighing Roman Catholicism against Orthodoxy. The two look very similar at first look, but if you look into their history, it becomes clear that initially there was only one Ancient Church, and The RC broke away from that ancient church and over time became something very different than what the ancient church was meant to be, and remained in the form of The Orthodox Church. There are other logical reasons such as Christ promising to defend His one church, etc. However, I don't find that logical arguments can cover the entire reason why I decided to go with Orthodoxy, though they are important (I can't pretend they're not there). Part of the reason is also that I find God and myself in Orthodoxy, that I believe in what it is practicing. Nowadays, I can say that it really works, that I am very happy for my decision; but this is deeply personal stuff. I cannot offer it as logical argumentation, but only as my own testimony. Ultimately, though, I believe our deep feelings do play a great role and they should, for all of us.

P.S. And, regarding clergy, yes, it is all different. We believe that Christ is leading our Church through The Grace of The Holy Spirit. Even though, there is a hierarchy, we are all equals. The RC has the pope as the infallible vicar of Christ, which is a very serious error, and this and other things limits greatly what The Grace of The Holy Spirit can accomplish.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 02:12:57 PM by IoanC » Logged

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