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Author Topic: Why I am no longer a Roman Catholic  (Read 13354 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: January 08, 2005, 12:21:06 AM »

This is just my seven theses, in no particular order, as to why I left Roman Catholicism in favor of Orthodoxy two years ago and why I have not regretted it since then.

1. The Liturgical "Renewal" and the subsequent abandonment of the ancient liturgy.
It would have been much better to have translated the Latin mass in to English than to "update" to a contemporary mass.

2. Co-Redemptrix Mariology

3. The Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal and the supposed years of cover up

4. The priest shortage in the United States. Parishes are crippling as paid parish administrators take over as priests go back and forth from church to church. I hope we could go back to the days where every parish had its own resident priest.

5. The rise of liberal theology in the Church. (Women who think they can become priests, the many who are pushing for a Vatican III because they desire a more "progressive" church, etc.)

6. The fact that married men are not allowed to become priests. Priestly celibacy is ideal but it should be optional, as it was in the early days of the Catholic faith.

7. Every time I go to Catholic mass it hurts. It hurts that we are singing Christmas songs instead of the ancient and poetic liturgy. It hurts that there is no life, joy or sense of fellowship in many Catholic parishes today.
It hurts that Vatican II went too far and that I can do almost nothing about it. It hurts that the Church is abandoning Apostolic Tradition in favor of protestantization and "renewal".

Roughly half the congregants at my church are converts from Roman Catholicism, including two priests and a deacon. In Orthodoxy, we find the liturgical and doctrinal tradition that Catholicism is sadly leaving behind.

I hope I am not offending anyone. I still love the Roman Catholic faith and her people, which is why it saddens me when I see that the Church is going in the wrong direction.

Discuss...
« Last Edit: January 08, 2005, 12:57:25 AM by Matthew777 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2005, 12:32:48 AM »

Matthew777,

My main question for you is: if those are the reasons you left Catholicism, what are your reasons for joining (or having joined) the Orthodox Church? As someone who is currently in praparation for reception into the Orthodox Church, who was raised in the Catholic Church, I learned that these are two very different things...it is the difference between running from something and running to something, the difference between a conversion based on objections and a conversion based on positive assertions about the True Church.

BTW, welcome to the forum. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2005, 12:43:03 AM »

I came to the Orthodox Church because I was looking for something better for me personally than Catholicism and I stayed for the liturgy, apostolic tradition, the wonderful sense of fellowship at my church, the ethnic diversity, Orthodox mysticism, the Jesus prayer, etc.

It is my ambition to join an Orthodox monastery after I finish college. - http://vashonmonks.com/index.php
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2005, 12:52:26 AM »

Well first of all lets set aside the idea that you are no longer Catholic because the Holy Orthodox Church is very Catholic. I can only answer for myself as to the reasons I moved from the RCC to the Orthodox Faith. I saw a more fuller expression of worship and Tradition in the East and the diminising attention to Tradition in the West. I also saw and experienced a greater mystery in the Liturgy and the other Holy Services. Hysechism(sp?) was also something I had no idea about until I converted. After investigating and reading a lot on the OC Faith I was convinced that this was the original ancient faith of our fathers. I also found that there was more devotion to the Blessed St. Mary the Theotokos in the OC.  It is the True church as instituted by Christ Himself. I hold no animosity against my former religion as a matter of fact I thought it was a help or a stepping stone for me in my quest to find the truth.

JoeS (enlightened Spring 2000)

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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2005, 12:55:41 AM »

Well first of all lets set aside the idea that you are no longer Catholic because the Holy Orthodox Church is very Catholic.

I understand that, I should have been more specific.
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2005, 02:19:22 AM »

Hi Matthew777,
Welcome to the forum and prayers for you on your chosen path..
As you progress and grow in the Church, please keep in your heart and your prayers all of your Roman Catholic brothers and sisters.

Demetri
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2005, 12:46:22 PM »

I came to the Orthodox Church because I was looking for something better for me personally than Catholicism and I stayed for the liturgy, apostolic tradition, the wonderful sense of fellowship at my church, the ethnic diversity, Orthodox mysticism, the Jesus prayer, etc.

Welcome, Matthew!  I came from Protestantism and considered the Catholic Church but decided against it for many reasons you mentioned.  It wasn't just because of the things that were WRONG in the Catholic Church that I didn't join it; it had to do with the fact that those things were CORRECTED in the Orthodox Church.

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It is my ambition to join an Orthodox monastery after I finish college. - http://vashonmonks.com/index.php

Quick question: your religion says Malankara Syrian Orthodox -- why are you aspiring to join a ROCOR monastery?

Again, welcome!

Pedro
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2005, 03:12:49 PM »


 Every day that I grow as an Orthodox Christian, I thank God for my Catholic heritage which grounded me in Apostolic Christianity and prepared me for the Orthodox Faith.
 Do NOT come to Orthodoxy out of negativity towards your former Faith.  As my priest has often said "that NEVER works" because you keep trying to search for the "perfect" Church and God knows, I have seen a few Orthodox go from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in search of that elusive perfection!
  May Our Lord guide you safely as HE always does to make the right decision for the right reasons!

               Prayers,
                   Brian Seraphim

 
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2005, 04:25:46 PM »


Quick question: your religion says Malankara Syrian Orthodox -- why are you aspiring to join a ROCOR monastery?


Vashon Island is the only Orthodox monastery in the state, and there are no Malankarese monasteries in the country.
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2005, 06:54:28 PM »

There is a rather interesting history surrounding the founding of the church in my town. In the 1980's, Father Michael Hatcher was a seminarian at Gonzaga University's Bishop White Seminary but, from what I have heard, he had doubts about celibacy and the Roman church's lack of adherence to Apostolic Tradition. At Gonzaga, he met Gita, a woman from India and a member of India's Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. They eventually fell in love, he left the seminary, and then they got married. Still desiring to become a priest and dissatisfied with Catholicism, he became a priest in the Orthodox Church and founded the first Malankara church in Spokane. Subsequently, two friends he had in Bishop White's Seminary joined Hatcher, one becoming a deacon and the other becoming a priest.
My father's parents were Greek immigrants and I was baptized in to the Greek Orthodox Church as an infant. My mother is Catholic so my father converted to the Roman faith and my brother and I were raised Catholic.
In high school, I started questioning the Roman church after seeing the Pope at World Youth Day and eventually, I was introduced to the Orthodox Syrian Church of India through a friend from school whose father is one of the deacons at the church who converted from Roman Catholicism.
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2005, 07:05:59 PM »

Matthew777,

I noticed in your profile, which is public information, that you are a democrat.

Just curious, do you stand by all beliefs of your political platform?

R
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2005, 07:18:20 PM »

Matthew777,

I noticed in your profile, which is public information, that you are a democrat.

Just curious, do you stand by all beliefs of your political platform?

R

After the election, I renounced political affiliations. I just haven't gotten around to changing my AIM name.

To quote my weblog, "In case I didn't make this clear enough, I have abandoned all political ideologies and parties. It is my opinion that all Christians should see the foolishness of political ideologies and be independents.

I am neither a liberal or a conservative. Conservatism as a political system disgusts me as much as liberalism. The idea of a "compassionate conservative" is as much a confusion of terms as "socialist anarchist".

I am a man who believes in Christian principles and I will support politicians who believe and uphold these principles regardless of party affililiation.

Conservatism as a political system is a man-made ideology. All man-made ideologies should be discarded in favor of Christian principles.

As I said before, being a political independent frees me from having to ignore Bush's mistakes or give him praise where praise isn't due.

He is not a particularly good president, he makes many mistakes and makes many decisions that I disagree with. However, I can still try to see the good in him as a fellow Christian and a fellow human being.

If I could go back in time, I still would not vote for the man. But since there is nothing I can do about him being in office for the next four years, I might as well try to see the good in him instead of allowing hatred to tear away my soul.

I have faith that Bush is the right man for our time because it is ultimately Divine Providence that determines the outcome of an election; whether it be for the good of the nation or the punishment of the nation (Romans 13).

When I refered to myself as a social and religious conservative, I meant that I agree with our founding fathers that the Bible serves as the moral foundation of our society. This goes beyond politics to the very heart of our heritage and the moral integrity of our nation.

(President John Quincy Adams directly addresses the Ten Commandments --"The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal code as well as a moral and religious code. These are laws essential to the existence of men in society and most of which have been enacted by every Nation which ever professed any code of laws. Vain indeed would be the search among the writings of secular history to find so broad, so complete and so solid a basis of morality as the Ten Commandments lay down."

"The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded," James Madison, framer of the Constitution

"Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other," John Adams)

I still strongly oppose the war in Iraq but I no longer see that as a reason to hate our president. As the Dalai Lama has stressed, it is too early to say whether or not this war is a mistake because it may end up benifiting the greater good of the Iraqi people and the world.

Having said that, I still would not have gone to war if I were in Bush's shoes and the current situation in Iraq is much too terrible to call a "victory". This is the reason why I asked that we pray for our troops and the Iraqi people. Without our prayers, it will continue to be a quagmire.

Why can't anyone write anything positive about Bush without being labeled as a Republican?

Even if you do not support the president, you should still pray for him; regardless of who is in office. Remember that Jesus said, "Love your enemies" and "Pray for those who persecute you."

I have not changed my political beliefs, I have abandoned all political beliefs.

I have not changed my religious beliefs, I have been a happy member of the Orthodox Church for two years.

Political ideologies change with the trends of man; Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever."
 


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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2005, 07:43:44 PM »

Every day that I grow as an Orthodox Christian, I thank God for my Catholic heritage which grounded me in Apostolic Christianity and prepared me for the Orthodox Faith.

I can relate; as much as I may disagree with the way my mother thinks in terms of faith (not just her conclusions, but her methods of thinking), I thank God for her influence in my life and for my time spent as a Southern Baptist/"Bapticostal."  Taught me to search the Scriptures and value what they say, to read them and make them a daily part of my life.

It is my opinion that all Christians should see the foolishness of political ideologies and be independents.

I am neither a liberal or a conservative. Conservatism as a political system disgusts me as much as liberalism. The idea of a "compassionate conservative" is as much a confusion of terms as "socialist anarchist".

If I could go back in time, I still would not vote for the man. But since there is nothing I can do about him being in office for the next four years, I might as well try to see the good in him instead of allowing hatred to tear away my soul.

I still strongly oppose the war in Iraq but I no longer see that as a reason to hate our president. As the Dalai Lama has stressed, it is too early to say whether or not this war is a mistake because it may end up benifiting the greater good of the Iraqi people and the world.

I agree with everything you've said here; I need to get around to changing to independent.  While calling myself a "pro-life Democrat" is a very good way to identify myself, with independent I can spare myself the inconsistency in the social policy arena.

Good to hear a familiar voice.
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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2005, 11:14:42 AM »

As a Roman Catholic convert from Protestantism, I thought I'd just give my honest opinion of your reasons for leaving the Roman Catholic Church.

Quote
1. The Liturgical "Renewal" and the subsequent abandonment of the ancient liturgy.
It would have been much better to have translated the Latin mass in to English than to "update" to a contemporary mass.

I am in some agreement with you on this issue. I have no desire to return to the Latin Mass, but I also think some things went too "Protestant". I especially think the priest should face the altar (not the people), and there should be no altar girls. Much of the mystery of the Liturgy has been hidden over the past 40 years.

Quote
2. Co-Redemptrix Mariology

This makes me quite uncomfortable as well. However, two points: (1) this is not official Catholic doctrine; and (2) when understood properly (which is not the case even with some of the adherents), it is not heretical. We are all "co-redemptrix" in the sense that Paul states that he is "making up what is lacking in Christ's sufferings". However, many of the proponents of this mariology make me uncomfortable.

Quote
3. The Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal and the supposed years of cover up

This makes me extremely sad, and angry at the bishops especially. However, I have read enough Church history (both East and West) to know that there have always been terrible scandals of the clergy and hierarchy, both East and West, but that does not diminish the Truth of the Faith in any way.

Quote
4. The priest shortage in the United States. Parishes are crippling as paid parish administrators take over as priests go back and forth from church to church. I hope we could go back to the days where every parish had its own resident priest.

This never bothered me as much, because I have seen that most orthodox bishops do not have this problem (assuming they are in place for long enough), and most non-1st world countries don't have this problem. Especially the younger bishops do not have this problem, as they spend much time and energy and prayer to foster vocations, and it is working. It is a localized problem that can be simply (but not necessarily easily) solved. Yes, there will be some areas in which there will be a priest shortage, but this can be rectified over time.

Quote
5. The rise of liberal theology in the Church. (Women who think they can become priests, the many who are pushing for a Vatican III because they desire a more "progressive" church, etc.)

This is distressing, and used to bother me very much. However, I have seen over the past decade that the pendulum is swinging the other way now - which is common in Church history. Just look at the 1980's: all the rage was Liberation Theology, and it seemed to be taking over the Church. However, just two decades later, it is a ridiculed ideology, even in the Church. The Truth always is victorious, even when heresy seems to be on top (see: 4th century Arianism).

Quote
6. The fact that married men are not allowed to become priests. Priestly celibacy is ideal but it should be optional, as it was in the early days of the Catholic faith.

I am personally very supportive of the celebate priesthood, and I think it would be a terrible time right now to change the discipline in the Latin Church. The reason being that it would be giving in to the sex-dominated culture that can't accept celibacy as a legitimate calling. I'm supportive of married priesthood in the Eastern Church, where there is the celibate witness of the monks. However, I think the celibate priesthood is a wonderful witness to the sex-saturated Western culture.

Quote
7. Every time I go to Catholic mass it hurts. It hurts that we are singing Christmas songs instead of the ancient and poetic liturgy. It hurts that there is no life, joy or sense of fellowship in many Catholic parishes today.
It hurts that Vatican II went too far and that I can do almost nothing about it. It hurts that the Church is abandoning Apostolic Tradition in favor of protestantization and "renewal".

I won't disagree with the singing issue - it is painful to me at times as well. However, I have been in a number of parishes over the past 12 years as a Catholic (I've moved a number of times), and I've always found them to be very joyful and full of life. Most of my closest friends today have come from relationships built in Catholic parishes.

I also think the Church should constantly be having "renewal" in its ranks, and sometimes this means changes to outward signs and actions in order to better reach the modern world. Our Faith cannot be altered, but it can be presented in different forms and ways. However, I will agree that much that fell under "renewal" in the past 40 years has been in actuality a rejection of our sacred Tradition. Often there is a swing to extremes that happens when the Church is attempting to make legitimate changes. But over time, they level out.

Just my perspective as a Roman Catholic - I wish you much joy and peace in Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2005, 12:41:12 PM »

I am personally very supportive of the celebate priesthood, and I think it would be a terrible time right now to change the discipline in the Latin Church. The reason being that it would be giving in to the sex-dominated culture that can't accept celibacy as a legitimate calling. I'm supportive of married priesthood in the Eastern Church, where there is the celibate witness of the monks. However, I think the celibate priesthood is a wonderful witness to the sex-saturated Western culture.

Slight tangent, but I was watching the Bachelorette last night, and two of the guys/contestants/suitors/whatever who were 28 and 29 both admitted that they were virgins.  That's a breath of fresh air.

I also think the Church should constantly be having "renewal" in its ranks, and sometimes this means changes to outward signs and actions in order to better reach the modern world. Our Faith cannot be altered, but it can be presented in different forms and ways. However, I will agree that much that fell under "renewal" in the past 40 years has been in actuality a rejection of our sacred Tradition. Often there is a swing to extremes that happens when the Church is attempting to make legitimate changes. But over time, they level out.

The problem is, it's hard to have renewal w/o discipline.  I've never been RC (my family converted from a searching Ev Prot to Orthodoxy when I was 12 - Dad grew up Lutheran), but the RCC seems to have done away with all discipline.  Where's the fasting?  And I mean like in Orthodoxy, not some wimpy fish on fridays things.  What about confession?  How often is it actually promoted?  I'm sure other former RCers can chime in here.
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2005, 12:52:36 PM »

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The problem is, it's hard to have renewal w/o discipline. I've never been RC (my family converted from a searching Ev Prot to Orthodoxy when I was 12 - Dad grew up Lutheran), but the RCC seems to have done away with all discipline. Where's the fasting? And I mean like in Orthodoxy, not some wimpy fish on fridays things. What about confession? How often is it actually promoted? I'm sure other former RCers can chime in here.

This is me chiming Grin
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2005, 01:07:24 PM »

In my experience with Catholics in two dioceses, Confession actually is promoted; every parish had regular times for Confession on Saturdays, and some had regular times during the work week as well.  The problem, I think, is not so much promoting Confession (although I have no doubt this is the case in some places), but the fact that Catholics do not seem to have any way of denying the Eucharist to anyone except the most public of sinners.  In my Church, if someone has not confessed and presents himself for Communion, he will be turned away...just for that.  In the Catholic Church, from my learning and experience, they don't refuse communicants as a rule: it is for the communicant to know when he is prepared and not prepared to receive Communion, and act accordingly.  The minister, for his part, is to give the Sacrament.  So if you as a communicant think you haven't seriously sinned (maybe fornication, for example, is "not that big a deal"), or if you think you definitely are NOT a sinner, or if you think you're a sinner but none of this is really true anyway, so what's the harm...you could still receive Communion as long as you are in the right line.  What this kind of policy does is effectively negate the vital importance of Confession (in "the old days", the rules were similar to in our Church): why go through all that to receive Communion if you can get It without going through all that?  I think you could promote Confession to high heaven, but if that's the way you approach Communion, in the end, the "lazy" (and most of us would probably fall in that category) will just see it as a nice suggestion, and not a necessity.  If the Orthodox Church doesn't have this problem, it is because the Communion policy is stricter.  That's where discipline comes in.           
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2005, 01:17:52 PM »

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The problem is, it's hard to have renewal w/o discipline.  I've never been RC (my family converted from a searching Ev Prot to Orthodoxy when I was 12 - Dad grew up Lutheran), but the RCC seems to have done away with all discipline.  Where's the fasting?  And I mean like in Orthodoxy, not some wimpy fish on fridays things.  What about confession?  How often is it actually promoted?  I'm sure other former RCers can chime in here.

I'll admit it is spotty in this country (I don't know about other countries, but I've heard it's better in most others). In parishes I've been part of, confession was stressed, as well as fasting (to a lesser degree). For example, where I go to daily Mass (not my home parish), they have confession available every day after Mass, as well as on the weekends. In my own parish, I and my wife meet with my associate pastor every month by appointment for confession -and he doesn't let us let a month slip by without! But I know where my in-laws live, confession is almost never preached or practices. It's an unfair generalization, though, to think this is universal. In fact, I think it was much worse in the 80's.

You may all laugh at my incorrect notions - but I actually thought that the Orthodox Church didn't emphasize confession very much! Clearly, I could be wrong, but it shows how impressions can be lasting, but incorrect.

I am the first to admit that many of the changes since Vatican II have not been for the better - but I think many were, and I think the Catholic Church would be in worse shape if Vatican II did not happen. To me, the problems are just a historical blip that will correct itself over time and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (and there are many signs it is already correcting itself). Forty years of problems are nothing in the life of the Church - there have been eras much worse in the past. So I simply pray for the Holy Spirit to work and let the legitimate renewals from Vatican II take hold, and the illegitimate ones fall away.

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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2005, 01:28:26 PM »

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I think you could promote Confession to high heaven, but if that's the way you approach Communion, in the end, the "lazy" (and most of us would probably fall in that category) will just see it as a nice suggestion, and not a necessity. If the Orthodox Church doesn't have this problem, it is because the Communion policy is stricter. That's where discipline comes in.  

well, as a former RC, i hafta disagree to an extent. i guess it isnt so much promoting going to Confession in and of itself, but instead instructing on the purpose of Confession in relation to the Eucharist. what i mean is, it wasn't until i came to the Orthodox Church that i was taught that receiving the Eucharist when not fully prepared is spiritually dangerous, that what is lifegiving to one prepared becomes harmful to one unprepared, and in such cases it is better to abstain from communing. if i had known that for most of my time as a RC, and had a full and true understanding of the Eucharist and how It is meant to help me, i would have been to confession a lot more often.

Quote
You may all laugh at my incorrect notions - but I actually thought that the Orthodox Church didn't emphasize confession very much! Clearly, I could be wrong, but it shows how impressions can be lasting, but incorrect.

in my experience, the reason confession *seems* de-emphasized in the Orthodox Church when in fact it is the opposite, is because it is such a normal part of everyone's spiritual life that even the physical act of it often blends in with the services...two of the major times each week when confession takes place at my church are towards the end of the Vigil service on saturday nights (while Vigil is still going on: we have many priests, so one starts taking confessions while the others finish the service), and in the morning on sundays during the half hour before Divine Liturgy begins, which is usually when one or two of the Hours are chanted. Just last month, i witnessed a priest take confessions during the antiphons, after the Liturgy had already begun (because, again, the church had more than one priest serving)!

this, for me, was one of the most encouraging things about the Orthodox Church, for someone who comes from a past of being terrified of Confession (out of a misunderstanding of what it actually is and does for me): watching people confess weekly to a priest they have grown to know and trust, and to seem to do it quite naturally, is an encouraging sight and is something i aspire to one day (once i am Orthodox).
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2005, 01:29:34 PM »

What were all the changes? From what I remember, it sounds like having the Mass in the vernacular was the only good change.
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« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2005, 01:33:24 PM »

well, as a former RC, i hafta disagree to an extent. i guess it isnt so much promoting going to Confession in and of itself, but instead instructing on the purpose of Confession in relation to the Eucharist. what i mean is, it wasn't until i came to the Orthodox Church that i was taught that receiving the Eucharist when not fully prepared is spiritually dangerous, that what is lifegiving to one prepared becomes harmful to one unprepared, and in such cases it is better to abstain from communing. if i had known that for most of my time as a RC, and had a full and true understanding of the Eucharist and how It is meant to help me, i would have been to confession a lot more often.

Unless we're speaking past each other, I don't think you really disagree with what I wrote.  This is exactly what I was saying in my post.   
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« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2005, 01:37:49 PM »

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Unless we're speaking past each other, I don't think you really disagree with what I wrote.  This is exactly what I was saying in my post.   

i guess what i meant was, it seemed like you were separating the issues of "lazy" Communion practices and frequent Confession, stating one was more the issue than the other...when i was an RC, i would have benefitted from instruction about the properties and functions of both. i guess that was all i meant - upon rereading your post, i see how we are in fact saying the same thing.
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« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2005, 02:04:37 PM »

Donna Rose Mary,

I'm glad that you are now able to see the beauty of confession and it's connection with the Eucharist. I would say, however, that this is the teaching and practice of the Roman Catholic Church as well - although there are many American parishes that do not practice it. However, if one truly wants to, he will discover this in the Roman Catholic Church as well. It is only in the past 40 years that this has not been the common practice all through the RCC as well - although it is growing again, praise be to God.

I know that in my circle of RCC friends, there is a deep sense of the need to go to confession on a regular basis, and of not going to communion unless one has been absolved of their sins. But I admit that this is not the norm today for most American Catholics. It will be again one day, however, I believe.




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« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2005, 02:07:10 PM »

Well let's all be honest here; it's not fair to compare the reality of group A to the ideals of group B. Yes, the Orthodox Church as a whole makes confession an integral part of spiritual life. But in America, ask the average Greek Orthodox person (the vast majority of Orthodox in America are GOA) if he goes to confession regularly. Some actually will tell you that confession is for Catholics. A GOA priest who I will not mention by name, upon hearing Fr Ephraim's name mentioned, once said, "It's because of HIM that I have so many people lining up for confession EVERY WEEK!" as if that were a bad thing. However, there are many examples to the contrary in the GOA; my only point is that confession is not univerally being practiced faithfully in Orthodoxy.

Now if you want to throw in the Oriental Orthodox, the Armenians just don't have confession unless it's for something like murder or adultery and the Malankara don't tend to have it regularly, although both groups offer it and also give absolution w/o confession regularly (in my happy Catholic days it was always fun to go to an Armenian or Malankara Church and partake of the "freebie" absolution! LOL, I was such a legalist).

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« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2005, 02:09:19 PM »

Quote
What were all the changes?  From what I remember, it sounds like having the Mass in the vernacular was the only good change.

A few I can think of off the top of my head:

- A renewed emphasis on studying the Scriptures
- A recognition that the Eastern Churches must return to their own traditions (i.e. remove "Latinizations")
- A renewed emphasis of the authority of the bishop in his own right; and recognition that he is not just a papal agent.

I don't claim that these legitimate renewals from Vatican II have been fully implemented - but they were called for, and there has been renewal in the right direction on each of these points.

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« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2005, 02:13:32 PM »

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Well let's all be honest here; it's not fair to compare the reality of group A to the ideals of group B.  Yes, the Orthodox Church as a whole makes confession an integral part of spiritual life. But in America, ask the average Greek Orthodox person (the vast majority of Orthodox in America are GOA) if he goes to confession regularly. Some actually will tell you that confession is for Catholics.  A GOA priest who I will not mention by name, upon hearing Fr Ephraim's name mentioned, once said, "It's because of HIM that I have so many people lining up for confession EVERY WEEK!" as if that were a bad thing.  However, there are many examples to the contrary in the GOA; my only point is that confession is not univerally being practiced faithfully in Orthodoxy.

That is what I meant by my view of the de-emphasis on confession in Orthodox Churches in America. I mean no disrespect, but I was under the impression that the number of people that go to confession in Orthodox Churches on a regular basis was equivalent to a lame Catholic parish. Again, no disrespect intended, it was just my outsider's view that it was not practiced very much. I pray greatly that my impression is incorrect.


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« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2005, 02:20:16 PM »

Arghh...

Hello from Kingman Ariz.

These items listed by Matthew777 are interesting but one needs to try to assist in their correction before jumping the ship.

Of course , these are my own demented beliefs.

Anybody have a boat that I can borrow to get home tomorrow ?

ps- also a flask of......

JB
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« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2005, 03:07:36 PM »

Now if you want to throw in the Oriental Orthodox, the Armenians just don't have confession unless it's for something like murder or adultery and the Malankara don't tend to have it regularly, although both groups offer it and also give absolution w/o confession regularly (in my happy Catholic days it was always fun to go to an Armenian or Malankara Church and partake of the "freebie" absolution! LOL, I was such a legalist).

Dear Anastasios,

While you are correct about the Armenians, I'm afraid I must correct both of our impressions of the Indian situation.  IN INDIA, according to my family and others I've spoken with, the practice is to confess before each Communion (unless, for example, you're a daily communicant in a parish which does that).  In special circumstances, Absolution without Confession is permitted (the equivalent of general Confession in OCA parishes, but without most of the ritual).  IN AMERICA, however, the exception has become the rule for various reasons.  Full blown Confession is still required during Great Lent, for instance, and whenever a particular sin requires it, as well as whenever the individual feels like it, but most of the time, Absolution is the norm here.  Because of this difference in praxis, the number of communicants in a given American parish on a given Sunday is significantly higher than in India, although the number of times a person goes to full blown Confession in India is probably at least two or three times higher than in America. 

Whatever the reasons for the different practices, most of us who have an informed opinion on this subject tend toward the restoration of regular, full blown Confession in our parishes in America.         
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« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2005, 03:36:07 PM »

In my OCA parish we are encouraged to come to confession at least every 6-8 weeks, and I believe most in the parish follow this "rule." On the other hand, some Orthodox certainly do seem to look for ways to avoid it. Our rector is pretty well known in the local Orthodox community. Before administering the Sacrament he routinely mentions the rules for receiving, including what he would call "the minimum" re: one's last confession -- e.g., "since the beginning of Great Lent" or "since the beginning of the Nativity Fast." Once, however, some members of a sister Orthodox parish heard him say that and soon word got out that "Father X says you only have to go to confession a couple of times a year!"

I'm out of the ECUSA, where individual confession is almost unheard of. My experience of confession since becoming Orthodox has been wonderful. For one thing, the method (for lack of a better word) just feels right. By this I mean such things as having the priest beside you as a witness for the Church, and not on the other side of a grate, and the clear doctrine that the priest is pronouncing God's absolution to you.

Another big difference from the ECUSA is the pre-communion fast. There are some Anglicans who do fast entirely before receiving, but they are very rare. Most, and when I was ECUSA I was definitely among them, don't think about it at all, or if they do, think it's really, really odd. But once I was chrismated I found it was like so much about Orthodoxy: Very strange from the world's point of view, but completely, obviously right-on when lived.

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« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2005, 03:40:18 PM »



Just my perspective as a Roman Catholic - I wish you much joy and peace in Orthodoxy.


Thank you.
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« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2005, 03:42:44 PM »

The problem, I think, is not so much promoting Confession (although I have no doubt this is the case in some places), but the fact that Catholics do not seem to have any way of denying the Eucharist to anyone except the most public of sinners.    

In the Malankara Church, the priest gives us absolution before we recieve communion so that we do not recieve it unworthily. And we have to fast before recieving it.

I believe that confession should be a minimum of once or twice a year.
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« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2005, 02:51:02 AM »

Why I am no longer a Roman Catholic 


From your post about the Brown Scapular I think you are still a Catholic, just go to a different style of liturgy now.
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« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2005, 03:08:31 AM »

From your post about the Brown Scapular I think you are still a Catholic, just go to a different style of liturgy now.

Do we not all belong to the "One holy Catholic and Apostolic Church"?
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« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2005, 03:44:20 AM »

While I would not go as far as Anastasios on this thread (I am noticing a horrifying trend lately! Afro), as to this question:

Quote
Do we not all belong to the "One holy Catholic and Apostolic Church"?

The answer cannot be anything other than "no". The Catholic and Orthodox faiths differ on at leasta half dozen dogmatic matters*, not to mention many other doctrinal and practical matters which are well above the "custom" or (so-called) "small t tradition" level.



* Purgatory, immaculate conception, papal supremacy, papal infallibility, created grace, filioque, etc.
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« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2005, 04:44:18 AM »

In the OCA my experience has been that priests encourage freq confession, and that most priests help parishoners decide how often thier particular circumstances and level of growth as a Christian dictate. Since many OCA parishes are small, it's possible to do this.
As far as the less freq confessions in some of the "ethnic" churches, such as the GOA, I've noticed they also have a tradition of less freq Communion. Did the less freq Confession lead to less freq Communion? Vice-versa? Chicken or egg?
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« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2005, 12:45:15 PM »

I believe Matthew777 is misunderstanding the use of the term "catholic."  Indeed, in the days of the early church, there was Alexandria, Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem, along with other Apostolic churches in Armenia, Ethiopia, India and so on.  Although the sees were of different nations, they were united in the body of the Lord Christ.  No patriarch/pope claimed preeminence over the other, and were united as brothers in attendance of ecumenical councils.  It was not until after Ephesus and Chalcedon that the start of the unholy claims of primacy were made.  Everyone wanted to knock out Alexandria's wise and rich position within the universal (catholic) body.  Thus today, we have divisions and confusions over who belongs to which church, and squabbles over jurisdiction.  Let us look forward to the day when we all can return to the glory and innocence of the early church, in which we all share the Holy Body of Christ as one.  Until then, Matthew777, we must distinguish what is ours and what is not, and Rome should remain in Rome, Constantinople in her place as well (ala Chalcedon). 

May God preserve the life and standing of our honored father Papa Abba Shenouti III for many years and peaceful times under the tender mercies of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2005, 12:51:45 PM »

I'll make a short list:

1.  Papal primacy
2.  Filioque clause (...proceeds from the Father and the Son...)
3.  Purgatory
4.  Immaculate Conception
5.  Liturgical tradition
6.  Provincial jurisdiction over local Orthodox parishes
7.  Celibate priesthood (as a requirement) 
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« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2005, 03:57:11 PM »

The answer cannot be anything other than "no". The Catholic and Orthodox faiths differ on at leasta half dozen dogmatic matters*, not to mention many other doctrinal and practical matters which are well above the "custom" or (so-called) "small t tradition" level.



The doctrinal traditions and practices that we share in common should be enough to foster a peaceful dialogue and perhaps even fellowship between Orthodox and Catholic Christians. We need not accept their claims to papal supremacy and allow ourselves to be absorbed in to the Latin Church in order to see and appreciate what we do have in common.

And concerning the Roman doctrines of Purgatory, immaculate conception, papal supremacy, papal infallibility, created grace, filioque, etc., one not necessarily need to agree with these doctrines in order to remain a devout Roman Catholic:

"1782 Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. "He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters." The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Furthermore, the differences we have with Roman Catholicism should not prevent us from having peace and understanding together as fellow Christians:

"I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment." - 1 Corinthians 1:10
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« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2005, 04:04:47 PM »

Quote
And concerning the Roman doctrines of Purgatory, immaculate conception, papal supremacy, papal infallibility, created grace, filioque, etc., one not necessarily need to agree with these doctrines in order to remain a devout Roman Catholic:

"1782 Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. "He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters." The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Umm...no.

You're taking that section of CCC out of its context, particularly the quoted section, which is from Dignitatis humanae.  What that document refers to in this section is the right of Man to choose for himself what path to follow, meaning that if he wants to, according to his conscience, be a Baptist, then he should be allowed to do so without fear of physical harm from the government or his neighbors.

It does not mean that man can pick and choose which Roman Catholic doctrines he wants to believe in and still call himself a Roman Catholic.  The RCC is quite clear in what is required of its members to believe.  However, unfortunately, some things that are "optional", such as Fatima and Medjugorje, are often believed to be required.
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« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2005, 04:13:47 PM »


It does not mean that man can pick and choose which Roman Catholic doctrines he wants to believe in and still call himself a Roman Catholic.

This is what my mother taught me as one of the teachings of Vatican II but it may not be true. I've also heard Catholics talk about the "right to conscience" in the same way that I just did, John Kerry for example.

The RCC is quite clear in what is required of its members to believe. However, unfortunately, some things that are "optional", such as Fatima and Medjugorje, are often believed to be required.

The commission performed by the bishop of Medjugorje condemned the apparitions as not truly that of the Virgin Mary while many Catholics still believe it, including John Paul II and the late Mother Theresa of Calcutta.
I see no problem with the apparitions as long as the fruits are good, and benificial to the Christian community. The message of Medjugorje is to repent, to have confession, to receieve the Eucharist, to live the Christian life, etc. If it were Satan appearing to these children, I doubt that he request the faithful to partake in the divine mysteries of God.
Remember that Jesus said, "By their fruits, you will know them".
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« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2005, 04:33:31 PM »

I'm confused.  Is Matthew777 Roman Catholic, or is he Oriental Orthodox?  You cannot be both.  Rome is Rome, my friend.
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« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2005, 04:42:11 PM »

I'm confused. Is Matthew777 Roman Catholic, or is he Oriental Orthodox? You cannot be both. Rome is Rome, my friend.

I am definitely not both. I do not believe in papal supremacy and I believe that the liturgy is most beautifully and perfectly expressed, as far as what mere mortals have available, within the Orthodox faith.
However, that does not prevent me from reading Catholic books and attending Catholic youth group, etc.
Heck, some of the best Christian books have been written by protestants but that shouldn't prevent us from reading them.
The best books I have ever read on the historicity of the Gospels were written by protestant authors such as Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell.
I bet everyone on this forum would enjoy reading the best books of C.S. Lewis.
And one of the best Christian devotional books written in the past few years is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, an evangelical pastor.
Being Orthodox does not close my mind to good Christian books and fellowship with non-Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2005, 05:10:31 PM »

Quote
This is what my mother taught me as one of the teachings of Vatican II but it may not be true. I've also heard Catholics talk about the "right to conscience" in the same way that I just did, John Kerry for example.

It certainly is a teaching of Vatican II, but not in the way you are using it.  It means that people are free to choose what form of religion they wish, but it does NOT mean that people get to choose what Catholicism is in a smorgasbord format. 

John Kerry is hardly an example of a good Catholic.

Quote
I see no problem with the apparitions as long as the fruits are good, and benificial to the Christian community. The message of Medjugorje is to repent, to have confession, to receieve the Eucharist, to live the Christian life, etc. If it were Satan appearing to these children, I doubt that he request the faithful to partake in the divine mysteries of God.

This was not my point at all.  My point was that Catholics are free to believe in these apparations or not.  They are not required for one to be a good Catholic.  However, many hardcore Fatimites and, worse yet, Medgegorjites, seem to think that if one does not believe in these apparations, one is not Catholic.  That is simply not the case.



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« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2005, 05:17:25 PM »

I think my fellow Merlunder Schultz has it right. As I understand it (though I was never RC) the RCC is quite clear as to what is and what is not Official Dogma (or is is Doctrine? I can never keep those two straight) that the faithful must believe. The 1950 pronouncement concerning the Immaculate Conception is one of those things, for example.

I bet everyone on this forum would enjoy reading the best books of C.S. Lewis.

I certainly agree with you there. There's a story about him that comes to mind in light of this thread. I submit it hoping that Herr Schultz and all other RCC members will understand that I do not intend it as any sort of Catholic-bashing (God forbid!), but rather because I think it illustrates the perspective of many Orthodox when it comes to some of the matters under discussion here. As most everyone knows, Lewis had many Catholic friends, including Tolkien. They often asked Lewis why he did not covert to Catholicism, as he seemed to agree with most Catholic teachings. During one encounter he supposedly said something to this effect: "I remain Anglican not because I disagree with the doctrines of the Catholic Church, but rather because if I did convert I would have to accept any new doctrines the Church propounded in the future."

Respectfully,
BJohnD

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« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2005, 05:23:44 PM »


  It means that people are free to choose what form of religion they wish, but it does NOT mean that people get to choose what Catholicism is in a smorgasbord format. 


Please back this up. Not that I necessarily disagree with you but I'd like some information on how the right to conscience does not apply to those within the Roman Church.


John Kerry is hardly an example of a good Catholic.


Is that our right to judge? We do not know his heart.


 My point was that Catholics are free to believe in these apparations or not.  They are not required for one to be a good Catholic. 

I agree.
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