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Author Topic: Dad is considering Roman Catholicism  (Read 1972 times) Average Rating: 0
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#1Sinner
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« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2013, 06:07:58 AM »

Echoing the hands off approach that other posts have advocated. I don't know exactly what your relationship with your father is like, but I, personally, would not feel comfortable proselytizing to either of my folks. Respect his decision, offer your thoughts when solicited, pray, and be a living witness. I think those are the most "Christian" things you can do in a situation like this.

I, for one, would be overjoyed if my protestant father were considering Roman Catholicism. As it is, neither of my parents are religious and may never be, at least in the outward sense. Not all paths lead to Christ, but that doesn't stop Him from walking on them to find us. That said, I definitely believe that the Roman Catholic Church leads people to Christ, and I would dare venture to say that there is a "fullness" in Rome that is lacking in Protestant groups. Of course, the ultimate fullness, I believe, comes from our Holy Orthodox Church. But I'm certain that no amount of reading or arguments will convince someone of that.

I'm quite certain that you are completely wrong. I was a cradle Catholic. I'm in my mid-30's and came to Orthodoxy only after researching the history of the Church, primarily Vatican I and the early Church to see how the Roman church could have gone so off the rails. Reading and research made it obvious that the Orthodox Church is the ancient Faith unaltered.

Reading is good.
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« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2013, 06:08:49 AM »

I'd avoid history definitely, stick with theology or Biblical interpretation. Maximus the Confessor, Philocalia or Origen, etc.

It was the history that made me see the light and convert.  Was a Catholic for 30+ years.

Viking

Absolutely correct.
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« Reply #47 on: July 11, 2013, 09:39:27 AM »

I became a non-believer partly through my going deeper in history.
I hate to ask you to elaborate, but what did you see in history that made you a non-believer?
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« Reply #48 on: July 13, 2013, 10:38:22 PM »

G. K. Chesterton once wrote, "The Church is a house with a hundred gates; and no two men enter at exactly the same angle." 

Gabriel, not knowing your father, I do not know how it might be best to introduce him to Orthodoxy.  A few thoughts:

1)  Be supportive of his search.  Ask him, before he makes a decision, to give Orthodoxy serious consideration.  Don't argue with him.  Few fathers are going to listen to their sons in a matter like this. 

2)  I assume your father has been attending Sunday Mass.  Encourage him to attend the Divine Liturgy.  I hope that a convert-friendly OCA or Antiochian parish is available to him locally.  God help him if the only nearby Orthodox parishes are ethnic-centered where the liturgy is celebrated in Greek or Slavonic or whatever.  It takes a committed person to break through the cultural-linguistic barrier.   The Divine Liturgy and the beauty of holiness is the heart of Orthodoxy. 

3)  Given that your father is a university president, it would certainly be appropriate for you to recommend to him a couple of books.  These books need to be chosen wisely.  Avoid pop-Orthodox polemics.  Your Dad will see right through them.  I recommend the following:

a)  Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World.

I can't think of a better theologian to introduce one to Orthodox liturgical theology and the spirit of Orthodoxy worship than Schmemann. 

b)  Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way.

In my opinion, this is a thoughtful, well-written, and accessible introduction to Orthodoxy.

c)  John Anthony McGuckin, The Orthodox Church

This is a big, serious book.  It certainly is not the first book I would put into an inquirer's hands, but if your father begins to show strong interest in Orthodoxy, this is definitely a book to consider pointing him toward.

d)  St Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ

An Eastern Orthodox classic and the best introduction to the Byzantine understanding of theosis that I know.     

Others have mentioned history as a way into Orthodoxy.  Clearly history can be one of the gates of which Chesterton speaks; but I have to disagree with those who think that the testimony of history clearly and obviously points to the Orthodox Church as the exclusive successor of the apostolic Church.  John Henry Newman knew his history and patristics far better than any of us, and he became convinced that history pointed to the Catholic Church as the Church.  There are plenty of folks who have made similar judgments.  As the physicists have taught us, there is no uninterpreted data.  But perhaps your Dad is interested in Church history.  The Chadwick title, already cited in this thread, might be a good place to begin. 






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« Reply #49 on: July 13, 2013, 10:40:52 PM »

Another good book may be The Historical Road of Eastern Orthodoxy by Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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« Reply #50 on: July 14, 2013, 01:11:59 AM »

[The best way to put it is that I'm trying to be a Christian, with very little success.
Sounds like the rest of us.
Maybe we can start a club.
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« Reply #51 on: July 14, 2013, 01:17:20 AM »

I forgot to mention I've suggested AFR.  I'm not sure if he's listened to any of it so I'll need to remind him about it.
did you tell him that the ones running AFR used to run Moody Bible Institute Radio.  They originally learned about Orthodoxy with the idea of "saving" their daughter from getting involved in that "cult."  LOL.
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« Reply #52 on: July 18, 2013, 01:02:15 AM »

I'm quite certain that you are completely wrong. I was a cradle Catholic. I'm in my mid-30's and came to Orthodoxy only after researching the history of the Church, primarily Vatican I and the early Church to see how the Roman church could have gone so off the rails. Reading and research made it obvious that the Orthodox Church is the ancient Faith unaltered.

Reading is good.

I did not mean to suggest that reading was bad. But you already had a desire for orthodoxy before you began to read. My point was that no argument, book, article, or letter is going to convince someone to leave their current faith for orthodoxy if they aren't already seeking. When you began researching orthodoxy, may I presume that you had some issues (even minor ones) with the Catholic Church? You surely weren't just going to daily mass, praying the rosary, and participating in parish life when all of a sudden you read something in a book that shook your foundation to its core, were you?

I don't know the OP's father, but he seems pretty set on pursuing Roman Catholicism. Trying to intervene by showing him Orthodox literature could result in a strained relationship with his son and an even greater resolve to go to Rome. Again, I don't know how "open" he is to other faiths. When I was exploring, there was a period when I held Orthodoxy and Catholicism on equal ground. It doesn't sound to me like that's the case, and the more the father is involved in his Roman Catholic pursuit, the less likely intervention will end up well.
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« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2013, 01:46:06 AM »

G. K. Chesterton once wrote, "The Church is a house with a hundred gates; and no two men enter at exactly the same angle." 

Gabriel, not knowing your father, I do not know how it might be best to introduce him to Orthodoxy.  A few thoughts:

1)  Be supportive of his search.  Ask him, before he makes a decision, to give Orthodoxy serious consideration.  Don't argue with him.  Few fathers are going to listen to their sons in a matter like this. 

2)  I assume your father has been attending Sunday Mass.  Encourage him to attend the Divine Liturgy.  I hope that a convert-friendly OCA or Antiochian parish is available to him locally.  God help him if the only nearby Orthodox parishes are ethnic-centered where the liturgy is celebrated in Greek or Slavonic or whatever.  It takes a committed person to break through the cultural-linguistic barrier.   The Divine Liturgy and the beauty of holiness is the heart of Orthodoxy. 

3)  Given that your father is a university president, it would certainly be appropriate for you to recommend to him a couple of books.  These books need to be chosen wisely.  Avoid pop-Orthodox polemics.  Your Dad will see right through them.  I recommend the following:

a)  Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World.

I can't think of a better theologian to introduce one to Orthodox liturgical theology and the spirit of Orthodoxy worship than Schmemann. 

b)  Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way.

In my opinion, this is a thoughtful, well-written, and accessible introduction to Orthodoxy.

c)  John Anthony McGuckin, The Orthodox Church

This is a big, serious book.  It certainly is not the first book I would put into an inquirer's hands, but if your father begins to show strong interest in Orthodoxy, this is definitely a book to consider pointing him toward.

d)  St Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ

An Eastern Orthodox classic and the best introduction to the Byzantine understanding of theosis that I know.     

Others have mentioned history as a way into Orthodoxy.  Clearly history can be one of the gates of which Chesterton speaks; but I have to disagree with those who think that the testimony of history clearly and obviously points to the Orthodox Church as the exclusive successor of the apostolic Church.  John Henry Newman knew his history and patristics far better than any of us, and he became convinced that history pointed to the Catholic Church as the Church.  There are plenty of folks who have made similar judgments.  As the physicists have taught us, there is no uninterpreted data.  But perhaps your Dad is interested in Church history.  The Chadwick title, already cited in this thread, might be a good place to begin. 



This

I second For the Life of the World by Schmemann. I remember reading this when I was still a Protestant and was blown away. It goes right to the heart of Orthodox spirituality and is a beautifully written work on the faith. Best advice I personally received before becoming Orthodox was by an Orthodox priest that told me to stop be a “typical western Christian” and to put down all my theological books in trying to discern what church was right. He told me to fast, pray, and come to liturgy for the next few months and God would reveal the truth to me. I think we sometimes forget that the faith needs to be experienced first; it’s hard enough trying to figure out what we think is right with the unlimited amount of information available at our fingertips.
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« Reply #54 on: July 18, 2013, 07:22:28 AM »

Pray for him. And pray for the guidance to help him in his search. Worth more than 1,000,000 books.
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