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Author Topic: Why do scholarly converts never hear about Orthodoxy?  (Read 4064 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 12, 2013, 07:33:48 PM »

I listen to "The Journey Home" on EWTN. It's a wonderful program hosted by Marcus Grodi where he interviews converts to Catholicism. The spectrum of guests ranges from reverts to fundamentalist evangelicals to even people like me who were outside of Christianity.

One thing that always bothers me is that when someone (usually from a protestant background) describes their first experience reading the Early Church Fathers, they always come to the conclusion, "There is absolutely no other 'church' that can make the apostolic claims that Rome can."

Now, I can't expect everyone to make the same conclusion that I did: that the Orthodox Church is in fact, the early apostolic church about which the Fathers wrote. But it seems to me like most of these people don't even hear about the Orthodox Church; in other words, upon learning what the early Church was like, they immediately equate that with Rome.

It's true that many Christians in non-Orthodox countries have not heard (or have heard and forgotten) about the Orthodox Church. But some of the people on "The Journey Home" are particularly learned—people like Dr. Scott Hahn (I haven't ever heard him mention the Orthodox Church on the radio, but I admittedly haven't read his books). These sorts of people came from scholarly backgrounds and became Catholic through a period of in-depth study, and yet it seems like they never even got a chance to know that the Orthodox Church was a (imho: THE laugh ) possibility on their journey.

I don't want to speculate too much, but these are my theories:

- These people had no exposure to Orthodoxy before, and instead saw the world as Catholic/Protestant, so when they read about an early church that resembled Catholicism, they naturally assumed it was Catholic Church.
- Some popular anthologies of the Early Church Fathers are compiled by Roman Catholics, who would not want to draw their attention to the schism and so do not mention, explicitly, the present Orthodox Church. Thus, people who read these books might only hear about the Roman Church during their studies.
- Perhaps some people know about the Orthodox Church but regard her as the unpleasant half-sister, who they would rather forget about than have to explain to people (I would hope this is not the case)

Can anyone shine so light on this for me? Essentially, I'd like to know why so many bright people who converted to Catholicism through a "rigorous" study of history never seem to know about or mention the Roman Catholic church.

EDIT: I want to be clear that I don't doubt the sincerity of anyone's personal journey and I know that each person has their own reason for "choosing" where they go. I guess I'm just curious if there's something substantive that can explain this trend that I've observed, based on an admittedly small sampling of people.
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2013, 07:39:03 PM »

I think because they mostly just view Orthodoxy as ethnic Catholicism without a Pope.
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2013, 07:41:12 PM »

I think because they mostly just view Orthodoxy as ethnic Catholicism without a Pope.

Meaning they don't think there's a substantial difference between the two, and so just go with the one that's less "foreign"?

I'm asking you to elaborate your theory, not necessarily agreeing with it.
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2013, 08:08:39 PM »

I think because they mostly just view Orthodoxy as ethnic Catholicism without a Pope.

Meaning they don't think there's a substantial difference between the two, and so just go with the one that's less "foreign"?

I'm asking you to elaborate your theory, not necessarily agreeing with it.

Pretty much. Most people I've seen--if they even know what Orthodoxy is--view it as a form of ethnic Catholicism that was just separated from the Pope due to geography. Plus, the Roman Catholic Church's extremely ecumenical view of the Eastern Orthodox could further contribute to this notion that many Protestant converts have--who don't really see a difference between the two. Thus, they go Roman Catholicism simply because it's MUCH more common.
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2013, 08:57:26 PM »

I think James makes a couple of really good points here.

I will add though, in response to the OP, that at least in our Church and on here I would say there are a fair number of scholarly types who find Orthodoxy. Of course your not going to hear their stories on EWTN.
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 10:31:35 PM »

I listen to "The Journey Home" on EWTN. It's a wonderful program hosted by Marcus Grodi where he interviews converts to Catholicism. The spectrum of guests ranges from reverts to fundamentalist evangelicals to even people like me who were outside of Christianity.

One thing that always bothers me is that when someone (usually from a protestant background) describes their first experience reading the Early Church Fathers, they always come to the conclusion, "There is absolutely no other 'church' that can make the apostolic claims that Rome can."

Now, I can't expect everyone to make the same conclusion that I did: that the Orthodox Church is in fact, the early apostolic church about which the Fathers wrote. But it seems to me like most of these people don't even hear about the Orthodox Church; in other words, upon learning what the early Church was like, they immediately equate that with Rome.

It's true that many Christians in non-Orthodox countries have not heard (or have heard and forgotten) about the Orthodox Church. But some of the people on "The Journey Home" are particularly learned—people like Dr. Scott Hahn (I haven't ever heard him mention the Orthodox Church on the radio, but I admittedly haven't read his books). These sorts of people came from scholarly backgrounds and became Catholic through a period of in-depth study, and yet it seems like they never even got a chance to know that the Orthodox Church was a (imho: THE laugh ) possibility on their journey.

I don't want to speculate too much, but these are my theories:

- These people had no exposure to Orthodoxy before, and instead saw the world as Catholic/Protestant, so when they read about an early church that resembled Catholicism, they naturally assumed it was Catholic Church.
- Some popular anthologies of the Early Church Fathers are compiled by Roman Catholics, who would not want to draw their attention to the schism and so do not mention, explicitly, the present Orthodox Church. Thus, people who read these books might only hear about the Roman Church during their studies.
- Perhaps some people know about the Orthodox Church but regard her as the unpleasant half-sister, who they would rather forget about than have to explain to people (I would hope this is not the case)
There's another possibility and it is more than theory (as I've seen cases): some are aware of Orthodoxy but shy aware from it, because they cannot explain it away so better to pass over it in silence so it goes away (often this is helped with the idea that its the same as the Vatican, just without the magisterium).  Often this is the route by people put off by the Eastern thing or are alienated by the ethnicity.
Can anyone shine so light on this for me? Essentially, I'd like to know why so many bright people who converted to Catholicism through a "rigorous" study of history never seem to know about or mention the Roman Catholic church.

EDIT: I want to be clear that I don't doubt the sincerity of anyone's personal journey and I know that each person has their own reason for "choosing" where they go. I guess I'm just curious if there's something substantive that can explain this trend that I've observed, based on an admittedly small sampling of people.
I'm not sure Jimmy Atkin fits the bill of "scholarly convert," but he was aware (if not well informed) about Orthodoxy, as he wrote why he didn't convert to it
http://archive.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0504bt.asp

Btw, he mentions up front two very scholarly converts: Bishop Kallistos Ware and Jaroslav Pelikan of blessed memory.  The latter really shook the Lutherans when he left, being one of their major theologians/historians.

A response (but not a terribly good one) to Atkins contentions:
http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/catholicorthodoxdebate1

Btw, the first convert in North America was a scholarly convert-Philip Ludwell III of colonial Virginia, who embraced Orthodoxy in the Russian embassy in London in 1736, translating the DL of St. John Chrysostom (perhaps the first translation into English) and authorized by the Holy Governing Synod of Russia to translate the Orthodox catechism into English (published after his death in London).
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 11:05:34 PM »

What I meant was "Why do scholarly Catholic converts never hear about Orthodoxy?"

I have no doubts that there are many well-read Orthodox converts.
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 11:36:30 PM »

Western theology, however, has differentiated itself from Eastern Orthodox theology. Instead of being therapeutic, it is more intellectual and emotional in character. In the West [after the Carolingian "Renaissance"], scholastic theology evolved, which is antithetical to the Orthodox Tradition. Western theology is based on rational thought whereas Orthodoxy is hesychastic. Scholastic theology tried to understand logically the Revelation of God and conform to philosophical methodology

 Consequently, Scholastics, who are occupied with reason, consider themselves superior to the Holy Fathers of the Church. They also believe that human knowledge, an offspring of reason, is loftier than Revelation and experience.

Protestants do not have a "therapeutic treatment" tradition. They suppose that believing in God, intellectually, constitutes salvation. Yet salvation is not a matter of intellectual acceptance of truth; rather it is a person's transformation and divinisation by grace.

ince Orthodox spirituality differs distinctly from the "spiritualities" of other confessions, so much the more does it differ from the "spirituality" of eastern religions, which do not believe in the Theanthropic nature of Christ and the Holy Spirit. They are influenced by the philosophical dialectic, which has been surpassed by the Revelation of God. These traditions are unaware of the notion of personhood and thus the hypostatic principle.
source: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/hierotheos_difference.aspx


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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 11:49:49 PM »

Western theology, however, has differentiated itself from Eastern Orthodox theology. Instead of being therapeutic, it is more intellectual and emotional in character. In the West [after the Carolingian "Renaissance"], scholastic theology evolved, which is antithetical to the Orthodox Tradition. Western theology is based on rational thought whereas Orthodoxy is hesychastic. Scholastic theology tried to understand logically the Revelation of God and conform to philosophical methodology

 Consequently, Scholastics, who are occupied with reason, consider themselves superior to the Holy Fathers of the Church. They also believe that human knowledge, an offspring of reason, is loftier than Revelation and experience.

Protestants do not have a "therapeutic treatment" tradition. They suppose that believing in God, intellectually, constitutes salvation. Yet salvation is not a matter of intellectual acceptance of truth; rather it is a person's transformation and divinisation by grace.

ince Orthodox spirituality differs distinctly from the "spiritualities" of other confessions, so much the more does it differ from the "spirituality" of eastern religions, which do not believe in the Theanthropic nature of Christ and the Holy Spirit. They are influenced by the philosophical dialectic, which has been surpassed by the Revelation of God. These traditions are unaware of the notion of personhood and thus the hypostatic principle.
source: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/hierotheos_difference.aspx


A bit off topic, but where the author starts talking about eastern religions they fall into the common (and frankly ridiculous) pitfall of assuming Buddhism represents all eastern religions. Most actually do believe in the personhood of God and were talking about it before anyone in the west was (God is adi-purusham, the original person, in Indian religions).
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2013, 01:28:11 AM »

Most actually do believe in the personhood of God and were talking about it before anyone in the west was (God is adi-purusham, the original person, in Indian religions).
Mycenaean/Minoan Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Persia, etc. not being "the west", I assume.
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2013, 02:16:08 AM »

Western theology, however, has differentiated itself from Eastern Orthodox theology. Instead of being therapeutic, it is more intellectual and emotional in character. In the West [after the Carolingian "Renaissance"], scholastic theology evolved, which is antithetical to the Orthodox Tradition. Western theology is based on rational thought whereas Orthodoxy is hesychastic. Scholastic theology tried to understand logically the Revelation of God and conform to philosophical methodology

 Consequently, Scholastics, who are occupied with reason, consider themselves superior to the Holy Fathers of the Church. They also believe that human knowledge, an offspring of reason, is loftier than Revelation and experience.

Protestants do not have a "therapeutic treatment" tradition. They suppose that believing in God, intellectually, constitutes salvation. Yet salvation is not a matter of intellectual acceptance of truth; rather it is a person's transformation and divinisation by grace.

ince Orthodox spirituality differs distinctly from the "spiritualities" of other confessions, so much the more does it differ from the "spirituality" of eastern religions, which do not believe in the Theanthropic nature of Christ and the Holy Spirit. They are influenced by the philosophical dialectic, which has been surpassed by the Revelation of God. These traditions are unaware of the notion of personhood and thus the hypostatic principle.
source: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/hierotheos_difference.aspx




I'm sorry but there is hardly a single sentence which is correct. Have you ever read any Western dogmatics or mystics themselves instead of EO interpretation of them?
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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2013, 03:22:05 AM »

Maybe because Orthodoxy is just far too different for most western Christians to accept or think much of. Different liturgy in different languages with practices they are not very familiar with. Im still learning it all myself.
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2013, 03:22:54 AM »

Most actually do believe in the personhood of God and were talking about it before anyone in the west was (God is adi-purusham, the original person, in Indian religions).
Mycenaean/Minoan Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Persia, etc. not being "the west", I assume.
Could be wrong but I am pretty sure there is nothing from those talking about the personhood of God in any explicit manner. They talked about God/s, they didn't make any big deal about the personhood of God which really only Christianity and Indian religions do.
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2013, 03:56:26 AM »

Could be wrong but I am pretty sure there is nothing from those talking about the personhood of God in any explicit manner. They talked about God/s, they didn't make any big deal about the personhood of God which really only Christianity and Indian religions do.
What would "talking about the personhood of God" entail? using words loosely translatable as "personhood"? What sort of insights are we talking here?
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2013, 06:59:52 AM »

I think I read somewhere that Dr Scott Hahn did look into Orthodoxy, but found it to lack the unity he found in Rome. I don't know about any of the other guests, but from the few times I've seen the show, it's more focused on the guest's previous denomination, their destination (Rome), and reasons for moving from the former to the latter, which doesn't leave much room to talk about Orthodoxy, unless it's where the guest is coming from.
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« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2013, 03:25:31 PM »

There is another possibility: Maybe some of these scholars did look into both and were legitimately convinced that the RCC has a better claim to truth. Dr. Richard Sherlock was the most recent guest on the "Journey Home." I personally know the man and I know that he considered Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Anglicanism, finally concluding that Roman Catholicism is true. I also had a professor that was an atheist convert to Christianity. He first went to an Anglican church, then attended a Greek Orthodox parish before deciding Roman Catholicism is true. I am not here to argue that the RCC is indeed more true, but I have noticed that there is enough ambiguity and nuance to the historical record that one could reasonably side with either the RCC or EOC. For instance, I have been reading and praying everyday for years and I am still torn between the two. The path isn't as clear and obvious as some like to think.
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« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2013, 03:39:30 PM »

The scholarly converts who heard about the Orthodox Church never became Roman Catholic to begin with.
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« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2013, 04:02:58 PM »

Good incites all. Again, my question is why converts to the Roman Catholic Church who come from scholarly backgrounds and did a lot of studying during their conversion never seem to mention the Orthodox Church. My question arose from hearing a guest on "The Journey Home" discuss how she read the Early Church fathers and came to the conclusion that there were absolutely no other churches in history that could make apostolic claims.
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« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2013, 05:27:03 PM »

Good incites all. Again, my question is why converts to the Roman Catholic Church who come from scholarly backgrounds and did a lot of studying during their conversion never seem to mention the Orthodox Church. My question arose from hearing a guest on "The Journey Home" discuss how she read the Early Church fathers and came to the conclusion that there were absolutely no other churches in history that could make apostolic claims.

I believe that a number of good guesses have been offered.  Off the top of my head, the following come to mind:

1) Compared to Roman Catholicism in the U.S. the Orthodox Church is tiny.  It simply lacks visibility, and unless one lives in a metropolitan area, a person could go his whole life without ever meeting an Orthodox believer or having an opportunity to visit an Orthodox congregation.

2) Ethnic Orthodoxy is a real turn-off for most Americans.  They don't want to belong to a "Greek" or whatever church.  They want to belong to an English-speaking "American" church.  The Catholic Church in America over the past forty years has lost much of its ethnic identity and is therefore more hospitable to potential converts.

3) Protestants and Catholics speak a common language, at least up to a point.  Assume, for example, that our scholarly convert really is concerned about justification by faith.  The contemporary Catholic Church can effectively address this issue in terms with which the Protestant is familiar.  See, e.g., the Lutheran/Catholic Joint Declaration on Justification.  But ask an Orthodox about justification and you will get a stare and a shrug.  The same holds true on many issues.  The Catholic Catechism is quite accessible to informed Protestants.  Moreover, Catholic theologians are much more conversant with Protestant theology than Orthodox theologians are. 

4) The strong anti-Western, anti-ecumenical, ghetto attitude displayed by some Orthodox, particularly on the internet, can be quite offensive.  I certainly find it offensive.  But not only is it offensive, it's displays a closed-minded mindset that may well drive the scholarly Protestant in a Catholic direction.  All it takes is to come across one or two articles by Fr John Romanides or Met Hierotheos to convince a person that Orthodoxy is a fundamentalist sect.   

5)  Given that we are talking about scholarly Protestants, they will find a lot more--a heck of a lot more--Catholic scholars speaking and writing on various theological, ethical, and social topics than they will find Orthodox scholars.  I can probably count on one hand the English-speaking Orthodox scholars and theologians whom I respect and enjoy reading.     

6) The Catholic Mass, as abysmal as it is today in most parishes, is more congenial to Protestant converts.  This would not have been true a hundred years ago, but it's true today.  The Novus Ordo Mass is just easier to learn and get comfortable with than the Byzantine Liturgy.  Plus, some Protestant converts actually like the Marty Haugen songs that are played in Catholic churches.

     
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« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2013, 07:51:13 PM »

 All it takes is to come across one or two articles by Fr John Romanides or Met Hierotheos to convince a person that Orthodoxy is a fundamentalist sect.      
Now that's odd, I always thought such texts bore witness of our Orthodox belief in a loving God...
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« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2013, 08:59:02 PM »

 All it takes is to come across one or two articles by Fr John Romanides or Met Hierotheos to convince a person that Orthodoxy is a fundamentalist sect.      
Now that's odd, I always thought such texts bore witness of our Orthodox belief in a loving God...

Fr. John Romanides is basically a crank when he talks about the Franks, the West, Orthodoxy as psychotherapy, and all the other bizarre pet theories he advances. He may have been very learned but his talk about spinal fluid, blood flow, etc. is insane. Met. Hierotheos has some very worthwhile writings but his work his marred insofar as he relies on Fr. John. People should spend more time actually reading the Fathers these men draw on rather than just regurgitating  distorted versions of Orthodoxy promulgated by modern theologians.
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2013, 09:06:44 PM »

Western theology, however, has differentiated itself from Eastern Orthodox theology. Instead of being therapeutic, it is more intellectual and emotional in character. In the West [after the Carolingian "Renaissance"], scholastic theology evolved, which is antithetical to the Orthodox Tradition. Western theology is based on rational thought whereas Orthodoxy is hesychastic. Scholastic theology tried to understand logically the Revelation of God and conform to philosophical methodology

 Consequently, Scholastics, who are occupied with reason, consider themselves superior to the Holy Fathers of the Church. They also believe that human knowledge, an offspring of reason, is loftier than Revelation and experience.

Protestants do not have a "therapeutic treatment" tradition. They suppose that believing in God, intellectually, constitutes salvation. Yet salvation is not a matter of intellectual acceptance of truth; rather it is a person's transformation and divinisation by grace.

ince Orthodox spirituality differs distinctly from the "spiritualities" of other confessions, so much the more does it differ from the "spirituality" of eastern religions, which do not believe in the Theanthropic nature of Christ and the Holy Spirit. They are influenced by the philosophical dialectic, which has been surpassed by the Revelation of God. These traditions are unaware of the notion of personhood and thus the hypostatic principle.
source: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/hierotheos_difference.aspx

All of this is rubbish. Put away the websites and pop-Orthodox articles and actually take the time to read the Fathers, East and West. The Church-as-hospital metaphor is useful and true so far as it goes; in the hands of Fr. John Romanides it becomes completely distorted into pseudoscience. It is not a legitimate distinction between East and West; there are enough real differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism without having to invent more.

If I were a scholarly Catholic looking at Orthodoxy, I know I would be immediately put off by the legions of Orthodox prattlers who think they're experts on St. Augustine or Scholasticism because of some articles they read online by Met. Hierotheos. Being actually familiar with the sources they haven't bothered to read, I would immediately recognize they were full of it and be quite comfortable moving on.
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« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2013, 12:01:29 AM »

I think that there is less conversion to Orthodoxy in the Western world because Orthodoxy is a minority religion in Western societies. But even with that minority status one does occasionally see conversions to Eastern Orthodoxy, e.g., Hieromonk Gabriel Bunge, who was a Roman Catholic hermit until he converted to Russian Orthodoxy about three years ago.

Click here to read an interview with Hieromonk Gabriel
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« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2013, 12:16:41 AM »

If I were a scholarly Catholic looking at Orthodoxy, I know I would be immediately put off by the legions of Orthodox prattlers who think they're experts on St. Augustine or Scholasticism because of some articles they read online by Met. Hierotheos. Being actually familiar with the sources they haven't bothered to read, I would immediately recognize they were full of it and be quite comfortable moving on.
As an Eastern Catholic I find it off putting when I read Western sources that evince complete ignorance of Eastern authors too. But that kind of ignorance can be found easily anywhere. For me reading the writings of St. Gregory Palamas was eye opening, and it helped me to understand theology in a completely different way. It even helped me see the writings of the ancient Fathers differently. That said, I would never become Catholic or Orthodox, or refuse to become Catholic or Orthodox, because of a few prattlers on either side. The only reason to convert from one religion to another is because you believe that God has personally called upon you to do so.
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« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2013, 12:25:21 AM »

Western theology is based on rational thought whereas Orthodoxy is hesychastic.

I am confused by this statement. Orthodoxy is rational. Orthodoxy did not start in the 14th century. Are you just trying to say that Hesychasm is compatible with Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2013, 12:44:15 AM »

This is MY experience only, so I am not pushing it off as a universal theory.  From what I have seen in my life, Greeks tend to be on a higher social scale here in the Midwest.  I never even heard of Russian Orthodox until I was already Orthodox (Antiochian).  The "learned ones" probably do not see Greek Orthodoxy as any different than and ethnic Roman Catholicism, particularly with the ethnicity of many (or most) Greek parishes.  Personally, if it were not for may bias against the RC Church from my Lutheran upbringing, I would probably be Roman Catholic since I really don't see that much difference between them and the Greeks, and it seems like the EP would become Roman in a New York Second if they let him be in charge.  Now Russian Orthodoxy is far more "otherworldly".  But in the places where I have lived, they either do not exist, or they are very poor.  Not the kind of Churches that "scholars" that I have known are attending.
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« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2013, 01:45:56 AM »

Opus , Iconodule and Alpo...those are not my words nor did I anywhere say to agree nor to disagree with the article. The only reason I chose it is to include different outlook on this issue and stimulate a more active discussion. I am yet to say what I think abou the topic.
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« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2013, 01:51:58 AM »

Could someone provide a list of 10 to 20intelectual inthe West who converted to Orthodoxy not through marriage or because of their heritage. List can be bigger if possible and could include deceased individuals. Their reasons for converting might shed some more light on this.
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« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2013, 06:39:38 PM »

All of this is rubbish. Put away the websites and pop-Orthodox articles and actually take the time to read the Fathers, East and West. The Church-as-hospital metaphor is useful and true so far as it goes; in the hands of Fr. John Romanides it becomes completely distorted into pseudoscience. It is not a legitimate distinction between East and West; there are enough real differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism without having to invent more.

You are using hard words against two highly respected Orthodox theologians of our time. Care to elaborate?
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« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2013, 12:03:59 AM »

I think I read somewhere that Dr Scott Hahn did look into Orthodoxy, but found it to lack the unity he found in Rome.

Clark Carlton addresses this particular case in his book "The Truth," in the chapter "A Note for Evangelicals Considering Rome" which you can read online here.
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« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2013, 12:24:23 AM »

Could someone provide a list of 10 to 20intelectual inthe West who converted to Orthodoxy not through marriage or because of their heritage. List can be bigger if possible and could include deceased individuals. Their reasons for converting might shed some more light on this.

What criteria defines "intellectual"?

1. Jaroslav Pelikan.
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« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2013, 06:39:37 AM »

Could someone provide a list of 10 to 20intelectual inthe West who converted to Orthodoxy not through marriage or because of their heritage. List can be bigger if possible and could include deceased individuals. Their reasons for converting might shed some more light on this.

What criteria defines "intellectual"?

1. Jaroslav Pelikan.

2. ialmisry

3. Napoletani
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« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2013, 07:26:27 AM »

1 Corinthians 1:18-31
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« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2013, 08:44:30 AM »

Could someone provide a list of 10 to 20intelectual inthe West who converted to Orthodoxy not through marriage or because of their heritage. List can be bigger if possible and could include deceased individuals. Their reasons for converting might shed some more light on this.

What criteria defines "intellectual"?

1. Jaroslav Pelikan.

How about the conversion to Orthodoxy of experienced Roman Catholic priest-monks who were also renowned patristic scholars:

Fr. Placide (Deseille) - renowned Byzantine Catholic patristic scholar in France that chose to be received into Orthodoxy by baptism on Mt. Athos.

Fr. Gabriel (Bunge) - Swiss Catholic patristic scholar and hermit
http://www.pravmir.com/article_1220.html
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« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2013, 09:34:47 AM »

I listen to "The Journey Home" on EWTN. It's a wonderful program hosted by Marcus Grodi where he interviews converts to Catholicism.

This isn't the first time I've heard a non-Catholic say they like that show -- indeed I've many times had said experience -- and yet it never fails to amaze me.

I'm a lifelong Catholic, and I've basically never liked The Journey Home -- and I'm including the times of my life when I was more conservative, more traditionalist, less ecumenical, or a much bigger fan of EWTN in general, than I am now.
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« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2013, 09:47:34 AM »

I listen to "The Journey Home" on EWTN. It's a wonderful program hosted by Marcus Grodi where he interviews converts to Catholicism.

This isn't the first time I've heard a non-Catholic say they like that show -- indeed I've many times had said experience -- and yet it never fails to amaze me.

I'm a lifelong Catholic, and I've basically never liked The Journey Home -- and I'm including the times of my life when I was more conservative, more traditionalist, less ecumenical, or a much bigger fan of EWTN in general, than I am now.

I never liked it either and I really wonder how many cradle Catholics do.  It seems to me like a lot of a hot air blowing and "me me me" stories.  I understand that for converts it can be an invaluable source of, "I'm not so alone," but it reeks of triumphalism to me.
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« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2013, 09:59:00 AM »

I listen to "The Journey Home" on EWTN. It's a wonderful program hosted by Marcus Grodi where he interviews converts to Catholicism.

This isn't the first time I've heard a non-Catholic say they like that show -- indeed I've many times had said experience -- and yet it never fails to amaze me.

I'm a lifelong Catholic, and I've basically never liked The Journey Home -- and I'm including the times of my life when I was more conservative, more traditionalist, less ecumenical, or a much bigger fan of EWTN in general, than I am now.

I never liked it either and I really wonder how many cradle Catholics do.  It seems to me like a lot of a hot air blowing and "me me me" stories.  I understand that for converts it can be an invaluable source of, "I'm not so alone," but it reeks of triumphalism to me.
Lots of followers of the Vatican from the cradle like triumphalism. (Lots of cradle Orthodox do as well).
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« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2013, 10:38:59 AM »

I listen to "The Journey Home" on EWTN. It's a wonderful program hosted by Marcus Grodi where he interviews converts to Catholicism.

This isn't the first time I've heard a non-Catholic say they like that show -- indeed I've many times had said experience -- and yet it never fails to amaze me.

I'm a lifelong Catholic, and I've basically never liked The Journey Home -- and I'm including the times of my life when I was more conservative, more traditionalist, less ecumenical, or a much bigger fan of EWTN in general, than I am now.

I never liked it either and I really wonder how many cradle Catholics do.  It seems to me like a lot of a hot air blowing and "me me me" stories.  I understand that for converts it can be an invaluable source of, "I'm not so alone," but it reeks of triumphalism to me.
Lots of followers of the Vatican from the cradle like triumphalism. (Lots of cradle Orthodox do as well).

The triumphalism I'm talking about is the convert's own apparent triumphalism (as in, "I found the true church!") and not the regular variety, if you follow me.  In short, I find most of the stories to lack humility or, worse yet, pride disguised as humility.
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« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2013, 10:46:12 AM »

We have a parishioner who is a full on PhD. Byzantine scholar who converted.

If you listen to The Journey Home long enough you will find their attitude towards Orthodoxy is "why go to something so ethnic and foreign. You should stick with your own familiar culture"
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« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2013, 10:57:15 AM »

I think I read somewhere that Dr Scott Hahn did look into Orthodoxy, but found it to lack the unity he found in Rome.

Clark Carlton addresses this particular case in his book "The Truth," in the chapter "A Note for Evangelicals Considering Rome" which you can read online here.

I posted the article on Dr. Hahn's facebook page.  Is that wrong ?
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« Reply #40 on: April 15, 2013, 11:38:04 AM »

Fr. John Romanides is basically a crank when he talks about the Franks, the West, Orthodoxy as psychotherapy, and all the other bizarre pet theories he advances. He may have been very learned but his talk about spinal fluid, blood flow, etc. is insane

I couldn't agree more.
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« Reply #41 on: April 15, 2013, 12:07:38 PM »

All of this is rubbish. Put away the websites and pop-Orthodox articles and actually take the time to read the Fathers, East and West. The Church-as-hospital metaphor is useful and true so far as it goes; in the hands of Fr. John Romanides it becomes completely distorted into pseudoscience. It is not a legitimate distinction between East and West; there are enough real differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism without having to invent more.

You are using hard words against two highly respected Orthodox theologians of our time. Care to elaborate?

The silly East-West dichotomy, Fr. Romanides' goofy ideas about spinal fluid, and other related topics have all been discussed pretty much to death in several other threads.
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« Reply #42 on: April 15, 2013, 12:29:00 PM »

I listen to "The Journey Home" on EWTN. It's a wonderful program hosted by Marcus Grodi where he interviews converts to Catholicism.

This isn't the first time I've heard a non-Catholic say they like that show -- indeed I've many times had said experience -- and yet it never fails to amaze me.

I'm a lifelong Catholic, and I've basically never liked The Journey Home -- and I'm including the times of my life when I was more conservative, more traditionalist, less ecumenical, or a much bigger fan of EWTN in general, than I am now.

I never liked it either and I really wonder how many cradle Catholics do.  It seems to me like a lot of a hot air blowing and "me me me" stories.  I understand that for converts it can be an invaluable source of, "I'm not so alone," but it reeks of triumphalism to me.
Lots of followers of the Vatican from the cradle like triumphalism. (Lots of cradle Orthodox do as well).

The triumphalism I'm talking about is the convert's own apparent triumphalism (as in, "I found the true church!") and not the regular variety, if you follow me. 

I think a lot of cradles do actually eat that stuff up, although I'm not entirely sure why.
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« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2013, 12:30:32 PM »

Fr. George Maloney was a Jesuit priest who converted to Orthodoxy.

http://www.grocefuneralhome.com/_mgxroot/page_10780.php?id=237870
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« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2013, 01:14:49 PM »

All of this is rubbish. Put away the websites and pop-Orthodox articles and actually take the time to read the Fathers, East and West. The Church-as-hospital metaphor is useful and true so far as it goes; in the hands of Fr. John Romanides it becomes completely distorted into pseudoscience. It is not a legitimate distinction between East and West; there are enough real differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism without having to invent more.

You are using hard words against two highly respected Orthodox theologians of our time. Care to elaborate?

The silly East-West dichotomy, Fr. Romanides' goofy ideas about spinal fluid, and other related topics have all been discussed pretty much to death in several other threads.
I only found this short (3 post) thread.  A quick death, evidently.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10071.msg137019.html#msg137019
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