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Author Topic: The Sign of the Cross: Roman Catholic vs. Orthodox/Byzantine Catholic  (Read 3763 times) Average Rating: 0
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Robotron 2084
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« Reply #45 on: June 19, 2013, 05:26:53 PM »

Robotron doesn't want to read about your opposite experiences as a Roman Catholic.
His own coerced low church experience is what is the de rigueur for all Roman Catholics.

I've been severely abused by "Good Catholics" throughout my life, and apparently it never ends.
Honestly, I'd rather be regarded as a bad Catholic than a good one. 
Am I required to be a Catholic Altar Boy, to be accepted into the Orthodox faith?
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« Reply #46 on: June 19, 2013, 06:26:56 PM »

Sorry, I should have responded to this post first. 

Most of your description of your situation sounds very "tense".  Have you tried to talk to the priest and maybe explain where you're coming from, how you don't want to appear disrespectful but you're not "there yet"?  I haven't encountered a parish where the priest was so harsh toward visitors or inquirers, no matter how "strict" the parish was.  If you haven't talked to the priest, he might just assume you are an Orthodox visitor and wonder why you're not "falling in"; once you explain it to him, I can't imagine it being a problem. 

Thank you for saying this.  I don't understand Orthodoxy at all, but what you said never occurred to me before.
Perhaps that is what happened, and the priest thought I was an Orthodox Visitor. 
That's explains it in a very positive light.

There is a language barrier present; but my initial response was to try and take it in a positive sense,
that the Orthodox at this particular church, take their religion very seriously.
While it was a frightening experience, for this to happen right out in front of the entire church without any warning;
it motivated me to take this form of Orthodoxy very seriously.

I had previously attended (briefly) another Orthodox Church where nobody crossed themselves before kissing the cross;
so this "error" on my part was inevitable.  However, it made me fearful of taking any additional risks. 

I cannot really address the "talking with the priest" issue yet.
I was hoping for an explanation about Venerating Icons, that would either allow me to do it,
or to feel okay with not doing it.  But, that is hard to come by.

Regarding the other parishioners, you have to understand that they are people; not all people will be welcoming of visitors at first contact, they may be more cautious, more curious, etc., and any "difference" will register in their consciousness.  That's just human behaviour.  I experienced it, for example, when I moved to W. PA and walked into the local Applebee's for dinner and was the only non-white person in the entire restaurant (and I swore at the time, one of maybe ten in the entire town!): I could've sworn it was like those old Westerns where someone walks into the saloon, the music stops, and everyone freezes their gaze upon you.  Tongue  But it settled down eventually, and some people even came up to say hi and get to know me (and that NEVER happens where I'm from).  It would be nice if people, especially "church" people, could be more open and welcoming, but there are a number of reasons why that's not often the case.  You might just have to be ready for a stare or a quizzical look here and there.  But I don't think anyone's going to notice you enough to grab you by the shoulders and start pushing you toward the icon...if they did that to me, I wouldn't accept blame for what I did next.  Tongue     

That's pretty close to how it is sometimes.  If someone grabbed me and started pushing me toward the Icon, I'd view that as being helpful.
Something else entirely happened, which is almost beyond belief.  I can't even explain it.
For several months (years) I thought I was anonymous; but then an event occurred that showed me I never was.
There is nowhere to hide. 

Quote
The only time I've ever seen a priest "correct" someone on the proper procedure for venerating icons or crosses was when he knew it was an Orthodox person who was being lazy (e.g., a member of his parish).  The same priest, when dealing with visitors, would "do his thing" and let them "do theirs".  Some people just walk by without doing anything and he'll introduce himself and ask them to stay for a few minutes so he can chat with them when he's done, and others are from other Orthodox traditions and do what they're used to, which throws him off a bit, but it's all good. 

Are you sure the priest doesn't think you're just a visiting Orthodox from somewhere else?

There is a chance that was possible in the beginning.  I honestly don't know what the issue is now.
I'd just like to know how to Venerate the Icon properly, and not feel bad about it later.
Or else, how to endure a church service, without being required to do it.

Quote
If you're interested, there are a number of threads dealing with icon veneration, including at least one or two that are active now.  Try looking through those and see if they answer your doubts; if not, join in and ask your questions. 

I might have to ask some specific questions, but I would be interested in a helpful thread about it, too.

Quote
Um, I don't think you need to stare right back at anyone.  I don't think you ought to be compelled to do things you don't feel comfortable with before converting, so if that means you want to attend church without venerating icons, I think that's fine.  But it might make you stick out in the group.  If the priest knows you and your "story", it really should not be a problem with him (I've received some of the best treatment in parishes where the priests and people actually believe I'm a heretic and maybe just slightly better than a Hindu).  If you get to know some people, that helps too, because people talk, and eventually even people who haven't met you know you're an inquirer.  But you can't always please everyone, so if you get some stares or looks, you might just have to put up with it a little.  Again, that's not a uniquely Orthodox problem, it's a human problem.

Thank you for saying this.  I would rather not Venerate any Icons until it has been thoroughly explained to me,
and I can feel comfortable doing it.

I'm sort of in a Catch-22 where the priest won't talk to me until I attend the services regularly.
However, the more I do attend, the more negative pressure I feel about not venerating the icons.
Then, it gets to the point where I can't deal with it, and have to leave for awhile.
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« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2013, 06:43:06 PM »

I'm not bothered so much by the assertion that Roman Catholics do not venerate icons.  Technically, it's not true as others have demonstrated, but you can't say that they venerate them as universally and ritually as EO do, it's very much a matter of personal devotion except for something like Good Friday's veneration of the Cross.  So it does appear as a difference to some extent. 

I'm more concerned with the idea of being taught to pray TO statues and crosses.  Pray BEFORE them, fine, but TO?  I don't know even one Catholic who thinks they pray to objects.  The Catholic Church certainly doesn't teach people to pray to objects.  Someone somewhere was/is wrong...

I wasn't making a technical statement, just saying that at the weekly RC church services, there is no Icon Veneration (at least the way the Orthodox do it) whatsoever, so there is no way for a Roman Catholic to intuitively know how to Venerate and Icon the Orthodox Way.

Somehow, this got turned into something it was never meant. 

When I was little, I was told to kneel down and pray to the Mary statue (or the Cross on the Wall)
and that was like a substitute for praying to God.

I've since abandoned that practice after looking into the bible a little; but there is no requirement for any of that
at a Roman Catholic weekly mass; so it's not my concern anymore.
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« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2013, 08:10:09 PM »

I'm not bothered so much by the assertion that Roman Catholics do not venerate icons.  Technically, it's not true as others have demonstrated, but you can't say that they venerate them as universally and ritually as EO do, it's very much a matter of personal devotion except for something like Good Friday's veneration of the Cross.  So it does appear as a difference to some extent. 

I'm more concerned with the idea of being taught to pray TO statues and crosses.  Pray BEFORE them, fine, but TO?  I don't know even one Catholic who thinks they pray to objects.  The Catholic Church certainly doesn't teach people to pray to objects.  Someone somewhere was/is wrong...

I wasn't making a technical statement, just saying that at the weekly RC church services, there is no Icon Veneration (at least the way the Orthodox do it) whatsoever, so there is no way for a Roman Catholic to intuitively know how to Venerate and Icon the Orthodox Way.

Somehow, this got turned into something it was never meant. 

When I was little, I was told to kneel down and pray to the Mary statue (or the Cross on the Wall)
and that was like a substitute for praying to God.

I've since abandoned that practice after looking into the bible a little; but there is no requirement for any of that
at a Roman Catholic weekly mass; so it's not my concern anymore.

You inadvertently presented one of the problems visitors to an Orthodox church often encounter. There no uniform answer to "What is THE Orthodox Way." The manner in which to approach the Cross, to approach the Chalice, to approach the priest, to address the priest varies widely. There are regional, ethnic and pastoral differences. People can be cruel and oftentimes they don't realize that their local penitential or pietic practices are neither the norm nor "THE" correct ones. Talk to the priest. If he is a good pastor, there will be no "stupid questions." If not, try another parish. Good luck and keep an open mind.
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« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2013, 08:34:48 PM »

No. The Eastern Catholic Churches have Icon veneration, but few Roman Catholic churches did when I was a Roman Catholic and member of a Melkite Eastern Catholic parish.

I did mention the veneration of the relics of the Holy Cross. Have you ever venerated these relics?

Thanks Maria. 
That's all I was trying to say, that the Roman Catholic churches I've attended have never done any Icon Veneration.
So, there is no intuitive example to follow from Roman Catholicism with how to Venerate Icons in an Orthodox Church.

Sorry, but I've never heard of the relics of the Holy Cross. 
My coerced low church experience has left me entirely Ignorant of that.
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« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2013, 08:41:55 PM »

You should try another Orthodox church where the priest doesn't flip out at people.
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« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2013, 08:50:20 PM »

You inadvertently presented one of the problems visitors to an Orthodox church often encounter. There no uniform answer to "What is THE Orthodox Way." The manner in which to approach the Cross, to approach the Chalice, to approach the priest, to address the priest varies widely. There are regional, ethnic and pastoral differences. People can be cruel and oftentimes they don't realize that their local penitential or pietic practices are neither the norm nor "THE" correct ones. Talk to the priest. If he is a good pastor, there will be no "stupid questions." If not, try another parish. Good luck and keep an open mind.

Thanks.  Yes, I am hoping to join a specific jurisdiction; but there is little information available about their requirements; apart from a large catechism book that I only recently read most of the way through.

Fortunately, this book did give me the specifics on Icon Veneration that I needed (at least the physical ones of how to do it properly);
however, I kind of need a little bit of Bible Support for it also, to be able to actually go and do it in the church, for real.

There is a priest in another Orthodox jurisdiction that I could try talking to;
and I may have to resort to that, but certain things he did in his own church
would have received severe lectures from some of the older ladies in the other church.

I don't necessarily have the strength to go to any church at the moment;
but it would still be helpful to learn some biblical justifications about Icon Veneration.
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« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2013, 08:55:11 PM »

Does anyone know of some article or the reason why East and West make the sign of the Cross differently? I hear a lot of people say the West used to make the sign in the Orthodox way and changed at some point in Medieval Times. Does anyone confirm that information? What are the sources for that?

It's been my understanding that the Orthodox way is a newer way of doing it. Someone else can bring in sources to confirm one way or the other.

The ancient way of making the sign of the Cross is with two fingers from right to left as attested by Blessed Theodoret of Cyrus and Pope Innocent III (1200). Three fingers and left to right came later.
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« Reply #53 on: June 19, 2013, 08:55:50 PM »

You should try another Orthodox church where the priest doesn't flip out at people.

Unfortunately, that's not really a good solution.
I'm totally committed to joining this particular jurisdiction and it's either them or nothing.

There is another jurisdiction that I could try to get limited information;
but I really prefer the one I've been going to; even if the priests are a little challenging to deal with;
there are other peripheral issues that make it all about this one particular jurisdiction.
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« Reply #54 on: June 19, 2013, 10:28:08 PM »


I'm totally committed to joining this particular jurisdiction and it's either them or nothing.

Why? 
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« Reply #55 on: June 19, 2013, 10:35:43 PM »


I'm totally committed to joining this particular jurisdiction and it's either them or nothing.

Why? 

So he can have something to complain on the internet about, apparently.
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« Reply #56 on: June 20, 2013, 01:14:42 AM »

Schultz,

Back off.
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« Reply #57 on: June 20, 2013, 02:27:16 AM »


I'm totally committed to joining this particular jurisdiction and it's either them or nothing.

Why? 

Why, indeed? How can a specific jurisdictional affiliation be the criterion for conversion? One should be converting because one recognizes Orthodoxy as the true apostolic faith, which is the same everywhere, in all jurisdictions.
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« Reply #58 on: June 20, 2013, 02:36:11 AM »

The ancient way of making the sign of the Cross is with two fingers from right to left as attested by Blessed Theodoret of Cyrus and Pope Innocent III (1200). Three fingers and left to right came later.

Pope Innocent III speaks of three fingers. The fragment from Bl. Theodoret of Cyrus printed in the Old Orthodox Prayerbook might be spurious. 
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« Reply #59 on: June 20, 2013, 06:35:15 PM »

You should try another Orthodox church where the priest doesn't flip out at people.

Unfortunately, that's not really a good solution.
I'm totally committed to joining this particular jurisdiction and it's either them or nothing.

There is another jurisdiction that I could try to get limited information;
but I really prefer the one I've been going to; even if the priests are a little challenging to deal with;
there are other peripheral issues that make it all about this one particular jurisdiction.

Just found this orthodox-crossing smilie and thought you might enjoy it:

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« Reply #60 on: June 20, 2013, 08:04:04 PM »

Robotron:

Hopefully this article on icons will be of assistance.    http://www.antiochian.org/content/no-graven-image-icons-and-their-proper-use

I will keep you in my prayers that you will be able to resolve your issues.

Viking
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« Reply #61 on: June 22, 2013, 11:12:44 AM »

Robotron:

Hopefully this article on icons will be of assistance.    http://www.antiochian.org/content/no-graven-image-icons-and-their-proper-use

I will keep you in my prayers that you will be able to resolve your issues.

Viking

Dear Viking,

Thanks.  That was a really good article for explaining the reasons in favor of Icon Veneration.

I especially like the part where it said:
"Could this mean there are in the Bible two classifications of image—true images and false images?
Appropriate images and inappropriate images? If so, how do we distinguish between them?"

Just putting it in those terms, makes the point very well.
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« Reply #62 on: June 22, 2013, 11:29:41 AM »

Quote
See The Catechism of the RCC, section 2131 which explicitly confirms the Seventh Ecumenical Council.

This is a very good link that I wanted to thank you for.

I talked to an RC priest a few days ago, and he reminded me that Roman Catholics aren't all that enthused about studying the bible
and it was mostly about the catechism for them, so this quote is more important than I'd initially realized.


2131 Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons - of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new "economy" of images.

2132 The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, "the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype," and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it."70 The honor paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone:

Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.71



For me, this clearly shows there are no Roman Catholic objections toward Venerating Icons,
and that's an important point in and of itself.
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« Reply #63 on: June 22, 2013, 04:01:47 PM »


I'm totally committed to joining this particular jurisdiction and it's either them or nothing.

Why? 

Why, indeed? How can a specific jurisdictional affiliation be the criterion for conversion? One should be converting because one recognizes Orthodoxy as the true apostolic faith, which is the same everywhere, in all jurisdictions.

Why is it so wrong for me to want to attend a particular jurisdiction?
Why are you telling me the reasons why I should be converting?
Isn't that supposed to be my own personal decision?
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« Reply #64 on: June 22, 2013, 04:07:53 PM »

Why is it so wrong for me to want to attend a particular jurisdiction?

Because the Church is the same whatever jurisdiction you want to join. If you join one that means de facto you join all of them and such reasoning has no sense.
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« Reply #65 on: June 22, 2013, 04:33:32 PM »

Why is it so wrong for me to want to attend a particular jurisdiction?

Because the Church is the same whatever jurisdiction you want to join. If you join one that means de facto you join all of them and such reasoning has no sense.

I know you don't know what you are talking about, but do you know you don't know what you are talking about?
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« Reply #66 on: June 22, 2013, 07:16:42 PM »

Why is it so wrong for me to want to attend a particular jurisdiction?
Why are you telling me the reasons why I should be converting?
Isn't that supposed to be my own personal decision?

Well, you put out there that you were "totally committed" to joining that particular jurisdiction, and "it's either them or nothing".  Especially given your description of less than lovey dovey treatment at that parish, it makes sentient beings wonder why.  That's all.  Smiley
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« Reply #67 on: June 22, 2013, 07:44:52 PM »

Well, you put out there that you were "totally committed" to joining that particular jurisdiction, and "it's either them or nothing".  Especially given your description of less than lovey dovey treatment at that parish, it makes sentient beings wonder why.  That's all.  Smiley

Dear Mor,

Sorry, I didn't get a chance to answer your "why?" question yet.
It is very difficult for me to know how to explain it in a public forum.

The shortest possible answer is that I've always wanted to learn the language spoken there
and I also hope to emigrate to that particular country, sometime in the remote future.

I guess that might upset some people who believe Orthodoxy is the same everywhere, in all jurisdictions;
but that hasn't necessarily been my experience, even with the few jurisdictions I've already visited.
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« Reply #68 on: June 22, 2013, 08:28:47 PM »

The shortest possible answer is that I've always wanted to learn the language spoken there
and I also hope to emigrate to that particular country, sometime in the remote future.

I guess that might upset some people who believe Orthodoxy is the same everywhere, in all jurisdictions;
but that hasn't necessarily been my experience, even with the few jurisdictions I've already visited.

If I may, I think you're conflating things. 

When people say that "Orthodoxy is the same everywhere, in all jurisdictions", what they primarily mean is that the faith is the same.  All sorts of cultural differences are there, differences in how we celebrate the services, languages, etc., but they don't touch upon the essence of the faith.  In that sense, Orthodoxy really is the same everywhere.  That's why some of us wondered why it was that you were so insistent that it's "this jurisdiction or nothing". 

You don't owe anyone personal information, so if the most you want to say is that you have an interest in the language and in emigrating to the country represented by the jurisdiction you're interested in, that's fine.  But understand that if that's all you want to tell us about your motives, then people are naturally going to wonder, for example, if you're choosing "Serbia" over "Jesus", or "educational and travel opportunities" over "Jesus".  And if that's the case, then your priorities are messed up.       
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« Reply #69 on: June 22, 2013, 11:05:30 PM »


I'm totally committed to joining this particular jurisdiction and it's either them or nothing.

Why? 

Why, indeed? How can a specific jurisdictional affiliation be the criterion for conversion? One should be converting because one recognizes Orthodoxy as the true apostolic faith, which is the same everywhere, in all jurisdictions.

Why is it so wrong for me to want to attend a particular jurisdiction?
Why are you telling me the reasons why I should be converting?
Isn't that supposed to be my own personal decision?

It might have remained your own personal decision had you not publicized it.
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« Reply #70 on: June 22, 2013, 11:18:48 PM »

When people say that "Orthodoxy is the same everywhere, in all jurisdictions", what they primarily mean is that the faith is the same.  All sorts of cultural differences are there, differences in how we celebrate the services, languages, etc., but they don't touch upon the essence of the faith.  In that sense, Orthodoxy really is the same everywhere.  That's why some of us wondered why it was that you were so insistent that it's "this jurisdiction or nothing". 

You don't owe anyone personal information, so if the most you want to say is that you have an interest in the language and in emigrating to the country represented by the jurisdiction you're interested in, that's fine.  But understand that if that's all you want to tell us about your motives, then people are naturally going to wonder, for example, if you're choosing "Serbia" over "Jesus", or "educational and travel opportunities" over "Jesus".  And if that's the case, then your priorities are messed up.       

Dear Mor,

From what I've observed, 99.9% of Orthodoxy is about Venerating Icons.
If I don't go up and Venerate the Icons; nobody seems to care what I think about "Jesus" or anything else for that matter.

I'm not a protestant, so I cannot spew out any nonsense about believing in "Jesus".
I honestly can't comprehend how this (< 0.1%) concern about "Jesus" could matter so much?
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« Reply #71 on: June 22, 2013, 11:31:35 PM »

One should be converting because one recognizes Orthodoxy as the true apostolic faith, which is the same everywhere, in all jurisdictions.
Why are you telling me the reasons why I should be converting?
Isn't that supposed to be my own personal decision?
It might have remained your own personal decision had you not publicized it.
Doesn't every Religious Group believe they are the One True Faith?
It takes something a little more than that to convince me.
You gave me the most worthless possible reason to convert, in my opinion.
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« Reply #72 on: June 23, 2013, 12:05:29 AM »

From what I've observed, 99.9% of Orthodoxy is about Venerating Icons.
If I don't go up and Venerate the Icons; nobody seems to care what I think about "Jesus" or anything else for that matter.

I'm not a protestant, so I cannot spew out any nonsense about believing in "Jesus".
I honestly can't comprehend how this (< 0.1%) concern about "Jesus" could matter so much?

I'm sorry to say it, but if that's your math, you're not adding up. 

Look a little deeper.  Even in the most ethnic Russian "hyperdox" church I've ever visited, this wouldn't be the ratio I would've come up with.  If you hope to learn this people's language and move to their country one day, you'd do well to actually get to know them better than this.       
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« Reply #73 on: June 23, 2013, 04:13:02 AM »

Look a little deeper.  Even in the most ethnic Russian "hyperdox" church I've ever visited, this wouldn't be the ratio I would've come up with.  If you hope to learn this people's language and move to their country one day, you'd do well to actually get to know them better than this.       

Okay, if you insist?  I'll dig a little deeper if the moderators will allow it?  I have 2 examples:

I once studied the bible with a group of people who had the same experience in every meeting place throughout the entire world.
No matter where you attended; they all studied the same material during the same time period.

There came a time where they decided to rearrange the territories and split up the group I attended, and send 80% of them to a
different location.  I didn't necessarily like the new group of people that much, and I missed my friends from the old group.
Technically, I was supposed to attend the group that I lived in; but I instead decided to attend the group further away, where my friends were.
Now, this was never regarded as a "faith issue" because all the meetings were the same no matter where you went.
It could only be regarded as a "personal preference"; and had no bearing on matters of faith at all.

My 2nd example, with the RC church.  You have Irish Catholic, Italian Catholic, Lithuanian Catholic, Polish Catholic, ect...
Let's say I'm raised in a Lithuanian Catholic church; and I move to a new neighborhood;
and now my choices are to go to either a Polish Catholic or an Irish Catholic Church.
I say, well maybe I'd rather go to the Irish Catholic Church, than the Polish Catholic Church;
so I go to that one instead.

Now, honestly, I cannot see how deciding to attend an Irish Catholic Church over a Polish Catholic Church;
could ever be regarded as a matter of faith; since all Roman Catholic Masses are mostly the same;
at least with where I've attended.  So, this would only be seen as a personal preference.

So, now you tell me the following:
Quote
When people say that "Orthodoxy is the same everywhere, in all jurisdictions", what they primarily mean is that the faith is the same.  All sorts of cultural differences are there, differences in how we celebrate the services, languages, etc., but they don't touch upon the essence of the faith.  In that sense, Orthodoxy really is the same everywhere.  That's why some of us wondered why it was that you were so insistent that it's "this jurisdiction or nothing". 

Really???  Are you sure???   You don't sound too convincing here.  If Orthodoxy truly was the same everywhere, in all jurisdictions; like you say it is; then why would you ever regard my desire to attend a specific jurisdiction as anything other than a personal preference?

How on earth does it become a matter of faith (or lack thereof) to prefer one jurisdiction over another?
Do you see the logical hole you've dug for yourself here? 
"In that sense, Orthodoxy really is the same everywhere."
In what sense could it "really be the same everywhere";
if my preference for a specific jurisdiction causes you to question my reasons for converting?

Do you understand what's going on here?  You are doubting me because you don't seem to believe that yourself.
What are you hiding here?  Why does a personal preference for a certain location or language of services;
cause you to doubt my reasons for wanting to convert; if they truly are the same and jurisdictions really don't matter?
Are you able to see the logical fallacy in your arguments here?
 
Quote
so if the most you want to say is that you have an interest in the language and in emigrating to the country represented by the jurisdiction you're interested in, that's fine.  But understand that if that's all you want to tell us about your motives, then people are naturally going to wonder, for example, if you're choosing "Serbia" over "Jesus", or "educational and travel opportunities" over "Jesus".  And if that's the case, then your priorities are messed up.

Oh really?  And why are they going to wonder that?  What are YOU choosing over Jesus?
Are YOUR priorities messed up?  Honestly, I don't understand where you come up with this stuff;
just because I prefer to attend a specific type of church.
And this in response to telling me I should leave this church and move to another one?
If they were really all the same; then it wouldn't matter if I moved or not, would it?

How does wanting to attend a specific jurisdiction lead to negative accusations about my motives and beliefs?
How do you even define having a belief in Jesus?
How can you have a belief in Jesus, if you don't know anything about him?
Where do you get information about Jesus except from the bible?
Do the Orthodox have a monopoly on the bible, or can anyone read it?
How much do you have to read, to have the background for an accurate belief in Jesus?
Have you read the bible enough to have an accurate understanding of Jesus?
How much does it take?

Every scripture I've ever heard quoted in an Orthodox Church, I've already read hundreds of times before.
I honestly don't think you need to study every scripture 1000's of times to express a belief in Jesus.
Don't the Orthodox know anything about the bible at all?
How can it be possible to attend the Orthodox Church and NOT believe in Jesus?
What are you saying here, by accusing me of this? 
Does nobody in the Orthodox Church believe in Jesus?

When someone says to me:  "One should be converting because one recognizes Orthodoxy as the true apostolic faith"
my response is: Well, they'd better be or else why would I be converting?
But, how is that called into question by my desire to attend a specific jurisdiction?
It does't sound to me like the person who said that, believes it himself?
Do you understand what I'm saying?  This doesn't sound good.

Why is your default position to assume that people converting don't recognize Orthodoxy as the true apostolic faith?
Why is your default position to assume that someone expressing a jurisdictional preference, has no belief in Jesus?

What difference does it make to the country whose language and culture I want to learn; what church I attend?
Why are you being so judgmental about everything I post here?
I'm only asking for information and I don't know very much about Orthodoxy.

What are you hiding from me? 
What are you not telling me about Orthodoxy, to have such a negative set of default assumptions about people
who are already attending an Orthodox Church and are just asking for more information about it?

I'm starting to get very nervous about where these questions are going?
Why are you passing such a negative judgement on me for desiring to attend a specific jurisdiction?
Are you sure all jurisdictions are the same, because it doesn't sound like it by what you've said so far?
Can you please tell me what the Real issues are with jurisdictions, then?
I'd really like to know if I could, okay?

Also, I apologize if what I've said here might sound a bit harsh.  I honestly don't mean it that way.
But, it seems like my motives for converting are being endlessly accused of something;
and I do not know what; but the initial assumptions of the accusers are more of a concern
than ANY possible motive I could ever have to convert; so please explain yourselves, okay?
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« Reply #74 on: June 23, 2013, 04:22:35 AM »

Why is it so wrong for me to want to attend a particular jurisdiction?

Because the Church is the same whatever jurisdiction you want to join. If you join one that means de facto you join all of them and such reasoning has no sense.

I know you don't know what you are talking about, but do you know you don't know what you are talking about?

Just wanted to apologize for this, especially in light of recent posts. I just thought you were oversimplifying things, but I should have been civil and explained what I meant--though since this is in convert issues, I probably shouldn't have said anything at all I guess.
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« Reply #75 on: June 23, 2013, 06:13:22 AM »

You gave me the most worthless possible reason to convert, in my opinion.

No, Sir. You did.

Really???  Are you sure???   You don't sound too convincing here.  If Orthodoxy truly was the same everywhere, in all jurisdictions; like you say it is; then why would you ever regard my desire to attend a specific jurisdiction as anything other than a personal preference?

It's not about your preference. You did not write: "I prefer tradition than the Y one". You wrote: "I only consider X tradition to be the right one" and this is wrong attitude.

Today I've attended a church were music and sermon made me cry. Both were terrible. But that did not change the fact that is was the Divine Liturgy and mine personal tastes are not important at all.
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« Reply #76 on: June 23, 2013, 07:03:53 AM »

Philhellenism is a bad reason to convert.
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« Reply #77 on: June 23, 2013, 02:25:01 PM »

Also, I apologize if what I've said here might sound a bit harsh.  I honestly don't mean it that way.
But, it seems like my motives for converting are being endlessly accused of something;
and I do not know what; but the initial assumptions of the accusers are more of a concern
than ANY possible motive I could ever have to convert; so please explain yourselves, okay?

No, but thanks for asking.  Good luck and God's blessing on your journey to and with him.   
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« Reply #78 on: June 24, 2013, 04:25:45 AM »

Hi Robotron,
Prior to my conversion to Orthodox Christianity from Roman Catholicism 17 years ago, I remember at every Mass, prior to the reading of the Holy Gospel, the priest and people always made three tiny crosses, on their forehead, lips and heart. As cited in Andreopoulos' book in the first page of this thread, this was amongst the first recorded ways of Christians signing themselves with the Cross. This is, I think, the ONLY thing I regret not being practised by Orthodoxy that I would like to have continued to practise, and this before I read Andreopoulos' history of the Sign of the Cross. I also remember observing as a RC the priest kissing the Holy Gospel on his completion of the reading. This is still practised in Orthodoxy, as the Holy Gospel, the Cross, and Holy Icons are all physical reminders of our Faith in Jesus Christ and His Church.
During the All-night Vigil of Sunday and Feasts, the Gospel and/or Icon of the day is placed there for the faithful to venerate. Unfortunately, it seems that some people in the parish, including the priest, do not understand the difficult journey a person makes in coming to a new Faith.
It is regrettable that the priest at your chosen Orthodox jurisdiction has reacted so negatively to your efforts in learning about Orthodoxy; he is, after all, a human sinner the same as we are. Would it be possible for you to ask him personally yet again for an appointment to talk about this and ask his advice on why the Orthodox venerate as we do? If he has received a modicum of seminary education, he should at least be able to steer you towards a Scripture which could explain our strange ways!
God help and protect you on your journey!
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« Reply #79 on: June 25, 2013, 08:57:12 PM »

Dear Adelphi,

Thanks for your polite response.  I'll try to answer below:

I remember at every Mass, prior to the reading of the Holy Gospel, the priest and people always made three tiny crosses, on their forehead, lips and heart.

That's one of the few things I was never taught.  I get caught off-guard each time and forget to imitate it even.

Quote
During the All-night Vigil of Sunday and Feasts, the Gospel and/or Icon of the day is placed there for the faithful to venerate.  Unfortunately, it seems that some people in the parish, including the priest, do not understand the difficult journey a person makes in coming to a new Faith.
It is regrettable that the priest at your chosen Orthodox jurisdiction has reacted so negatively to your efforts in learning about Orthodoxy; he is, after all, a human sinner the same as we are. Would it be possible for you to ask him personally yet again for an appointment to talk about this and ask his advice on why the Orthodox venerate as we do? If he has received a modicum of seminary education, he should at least be able to steer you towards a Scripture which could explain our strange ways!
God help and protect you on your journey!
Adelphi

I'm having a difficult time, to say the least.  I don't really have the strength or assertive abilities to press the issue anymore.
I miss the singing and perhaps I can eventually talk myself into going back, just to listen to that and ignoring everything else.
I seriously doubt I will ever be able to become Orthodox.  This church won't accept me, and I see no point in going to another one.
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« Reply #80 on: June 25, 2013, 09:04:22 PM »

You gave me the most worthless possible reason to convert, in my opinion.

No, Sir. You did.

Really???  Are you sure???   You don't sound too convincing here.  If Orthodoxy truly was the same everywhere, in all jurisdictions; like you say it is; then why would you ever regard my desire to attend a specific jurisdiction as anything other than a personal preference?

It's not about your preference. You did not write: "I prefer tradition than the Y one". You wrote: "I only consider X tradition to be the right one" and this is wrong attitude.

Today I've attended a church were music and sermon made me cry. Both were terrible. But that did not change the fact that is was the Divine Liturgy and mine personal tastes are not important at all.

If you don't like the reason I gave you, then you certainly won't like the real reason; as that one's even worse.

You are correct!  I only consider X tradition to be the real one. 
I cannot leave a "real" church to go join a "fake" church.

But, you also have it completely backwards. 
If the "real" church won't accept me; how can joining a "fake" church possibly help anything?
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« Reply #81 on: June 26, 2013, 07:48:09 PM »

Here Catholics also venerate icons. However quite strangely:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqdmmC3YX08
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« Reply #82 on: June 26, 2013, 07:55:02 PM »

Here Catholics also venerate icons. However quite strangely:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqdmmC3YX08

Woah, at 31 seconds that made me jump. Strange indeed.
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« Reply #83 on: June 26, 2013, 08:30:21 PM »

What is this ? !!!!!!!!!

Viking
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« Reply #84 on: June 26, 2013, 08:35:43 PM »

The only explanation I could think of is that they could be using the icon to bless the four corners of the earth.  Could that be it?  Michal, do you know?
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« Reply #85 on: June 26, 2013, 08:40:55 PM »

What is this ? !!!!!!!!!

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Liturgical dancing in its Polish form?

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« Reply #86 on: June 26, 2013, 08:42:32 PM »

The only explanation I could think of is that they could be using the icon to bless the four corners of the earth.

Some people explain it like that.
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« Reply #87 on: June 26, 2013, 09:19:57 PM »

Here Catholics also venerate icons. However quite strangely:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqdmmC3YX08

All right, you got me.  I take back my last post.

I cannot imagine anything like this ever going down too well,
if the Poles tried to import this to my own city.

And the people on this video look too happy, anyways.

You made your point.
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« Reply #88 on: June 26, 2013, 09:42:21 PM »

You are correct!  I only consider X tradition to be the real one. 
I cannot leave a "real" church to go join a "fake" church.

But, you also have it completely backwards. 
If the "real" church won't accept me; how can joining a "fake" church possibly help anything?

I haven't really been following this thread, but are you saying that you only consider one Church within the Orthodox Church to be truthful about something, and that all the other Churches within our communion are incorrect about something?
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« Reply #89 on: June 26, 2013, 10:02:17 PM »

Here Catholics also venerate icons. However quite strangely:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqdmmC3YX08

Strange is right. I can't say I ever would've expected to see that.

EDIT: I see there are a lot of negative votes. Are there people in Poland that don't like it or something?
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