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Author Topic: Catholic seeking guidance  (Read 1953 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #45 on: December 06, 2013, 03:33:08 AM »

I don't know Greek, so I am in the dark mostly. I know he spoke of things like a "work of faith, labour of love" and such in English translation though, so that's sort of what I'm going with. I also don't see a reason to make something not a work just because it is a mental activity. I think St. Paul spoke against trying to be justified by fulfilling the law or doing such deeds as some type of merit-earning act, as St. James also did, but I think that's different than the works that we do as part of the process of our salvation.
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« Reply #46 on: December 07, 2013, 02:13:06 AM »

If someone says we're saved through faith, and someone else freaks out and adds a bunch of disclaimers, I think that's a bit reactionary.
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« Reply #47 on: December 07, 2013, 05:35:32 AM »

But is it reactionary to move the discussion to where it should be- that is, what is "faith" exactly? Is it just a belief, or does it involve actually doing/not doing certain things? I think part of the reason some feel the need to add disclaimers is that the definition of "faith" has become so diluted by this point in history as to not mean what even the translators of (say) the KJV would have meant.

Given the season, think of "Deck the Halls"- doesn't the whole line about "Don we now our gay apparel" almost beg for disclaimers? Would it be possible that someone a hundred years from now might take that line to mean butt-less chaps and Village People costumes are traditional Christmas wear?
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« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2013, 07:15:10 PM »

I have a question.  I know that our faith is expressed in the services of the Church, but to what extent do we believe that the kontakions and other parts of the services for say, the Entrance of the Theotokos, are infallible?  When were these services written, since we know these feasts were not part of the early Church?  I really am curious and not trying to stir up any argument.  The authors often put words into the mouths of Biblical figures; were they inspired by the Holy Spirit as to what they were writing?

We can easily look to the Fathers for a consensus on certain issues, but that process doesn't work with the hymns and written services.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 07:29:04 PM by peteprint » Logged
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« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2013, 11:38:15 PM »


We can easily look to the Fathers for a consensus on certain issues, but that process doesn't work with the hymns and written services.

On the contrary. The hymnography of the Church is indeed proclaiming the consensus patrum, what is believed by all Orthodox everywhere, irrespective of geographic location or jurisdiction. Individual saints and Fathers might differ in their views on many matters, but the hymns and canonical icons of the Church do not, in what they teach and proclaim.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 11:42:36 PM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #50 on: December 08, 2013, 08:12:50 PM »

Hello,  this is my first post although I have been checking out the comments here off and on for a while.  I'm sure my questions have been answered repeatedly, but as I am new and well-intentioned, please be patient and indulge me if possible.

I am currently Catholic, but am interested in becoming Orthodox.  I've thought about conversion to Orthodoxy for some time, first in 1997 after a few horrible, disillusioning years in the seminary, but more seriously since 2008 after reading 3 books that really impacted me: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, the Way of a Pilgrim, and The Mountain of Silence.  Two months ago, I emailed my local Catholic parish priest and did not get a reply.  About a month ago, I emailed the local ROCOR parish, just asking what is involved in the process for a Catholic converting to Orthodoxy, but again I got no answer.  I'm sure both are very busy, so I understand that, but it doesn't help me at all in my discernment, so I thought I would seek advice here.  

For a number of reasons, in my heart, I no longer believe that the Catholic church is the one founded by Christ (no offense intended toward anyone who believes it is).  That being said, I do believe Jesus founded a real, visible, sacramental Church on the Apostles and so looking to the Orthodox Church seems to me to be the next logical step.  

Hey, congrats on looking into the Orthodox Faith.  I too was once Roman Catholic.  Your certainly not alone in that regard.  Are there other Orthodox parishes nearby?  You could email the priest there, or just visit the ROCOR parish.
And don't let any theological debate on this forum discourage you!
Praying for you!
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« Reply #51 on: December 08, 2013, 08:16:18 PM »

Welcome to the forums. As with any community, you'll find disagreements amongst members (see above). The best advice someone can give you at this point in your journey is to open communication with an Orthodox priest. Are there any parishes near by? If so, I'd advise that you visit them (look up their service schedules) and get a feel for the clergy there. When you meet a priest who strikes a chord with you, explain to him your situation and your intentions. He'll be able to best guide you further. That's not to say that getting advice elsewhere is fruitless, but it's important early on to establish a relationship with your priest, as you will be obedient to him (and the bishop under which he serves) as a member of the Church.
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« Reply #52 on: December 09, 2013, 12:41:12 AM »

I have a question.  I know that our faith is expressed in the services of the Church, but to what extent do we believe that the kontakions and other parts of the services for say, the Entrance of the Theotokos, are infallible?

I would say that they aren't "infallible" in the sense that the way the hymns describe a given event is exactly how it happened.  For example, every Tuesday evening in our (Syriac) Vespers, we sing a hymn in which our Lady speaks to her infant Son, asking how it is possible that she has borne him, and asking him to command the cherubim and the seraphim to draw back their wings, with which they protect him, so that she can enter within and nurse him who provides for and nourishes all creation.  Did that happen exactly like that?  Probably not.  But the hymn is conveying truth: that God truly became man through a Virgin Mother, attended by the host of heaven because he is God, and cared for by his Mother because he's human; all of creation depends on him for its very existence, and he depends on his Mother for his life.  

Similarly, the hymns of the Entrance of the Theotokos always give me a bit of trouble in terms of history.  The tradition of the Church is that she was raised not just in the Temple but in the Holy of Holies.  That's not in Scripture, of course, and everything we read in Scripture regarding the Holy of Holies makes this seem impossible: or if it did happen, people would've talked, and it would've been known.  Personally, I don't know what to make of it in terms of history.  But the texts of the service, to me, don't focus on the history as much as they use the story as a sort of springboard to meditate on Mary in the light of Christ.  In teaching us who Mary is, we gain an insight into who Christ is, or we confirm our faith in who Christ is.  

In that sense and in similar senses, yes, the texts are infallible because the truths they teach are infallible, being essential to the gospel or deriving from the gospel.  The texts we sing are the texts we pray as the Church, and when we sing and pray them, they are the voice of the Church, the confession of the Church, the pillar and foundation of the truth.  But are they true in terms of their history?  In some cases, we can and must say yes.  In others, we can't be so sure.  But in both cases, there is something deeper which is or ought to be the focus.        

Quote
When were these services written, since we know these feasts were not part of the early Church?  I really am curious and not trying to stir up any argument.  The authors often put words into the mouths of Biblical figures; were they inspired by the Holy Spirit as to what they were writing?

Depending on the feast, some were indeed part of the early Church.  The texts of the services as we have them may have come later, of course, but Pascha, Pentecost, Christmas, Epiphany, some feasts of martyrs, etc. are fairly early.  

As to how old the services are, it's probably easier to ask about specific services.  For instance, the Paschal Canon was written by St John of Damascus sometime ca. 7th century, the custom of venerating the Cross on Good Friday goes back at least to the 4th century, and so on.  

I don't think the liturgical texts were written by authors inspired by the Holy Spirit in the same way as the Scriptures.  But the texts were written by people of deep faith, profound theological insight, and spiritual and ascetic practice, who prayed as they composed, and gave their prayer to the Church for her to pray.  Whether accepted as is or developed further, the Church made that prayer her own, and the Holy Spirit dwells in the Church, in the saints.  It's a different process from the writing of the Scriptures, but there is still a cooperation of sorts between the Holy Spirit and the Church from which these texts arise.  

Quote
We can easily look to the Fathers for a consensus on certain issues, but that process doesn't work with the hymns and written services.

Actually, I think it's easier to find consensus within the liturgical texts than it is to find consensus in the patristic writings.  But you have to understand what the liturgy is doing, what it is not doing, and how to understand it and use it on its own terms.    
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« Reply #53 on: December 09, 2013, 01:00:52 AM »

Similarly, the hymns of the Entrance of the Theotokos always give me a bit of trouble in terms of history.  The tradition of the Church is that she was raised not just in the Temple but in the Holy of Holies.  That's not in Scripture, of course, and everything we read in Scripture regarding the Holy of Holies makes this seem impossible: or if it did happen, people would've talked, and it would've been known.  Personally, I don't know what to make of it in terms of history.  But the texts of the service, to me, don't focus on the history as much as they use the story as a sort of springboard to meditate on Mary in the light of Christ.  In teaching us who Mary is, we gain an insight into who Christ is, or we confirm our faith in who Christ is.

Interestingly, on the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos the bishop was present and gave a short talk after the Liturgy. He univocally said the event as described not historical and completely impossible to have ever happened, but that it did in fact affirm dogmatic truth beyond the described event. IIRC he went on to say part of it was to affirm the Theotokos as the new Ark of the Covenant, etc., but I can't remember too well at the moment.

Either way, just agreeing that they are infallible in the truths taught, even if some are not in terms of literal historicity.
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« Reply #54 on: December 09, 2013, 01:05:39 AM »

Interestingly, on the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos the bishop was present and gave a short talk after the Liturgy. He univocally said the event as described not historical and completely impossible to have ever happened, but that it did in fact affirm dogmatic truth beyond the described event. IIRC he went on to say part of it was to affirm the Theotokos as the new Ark of the Covenant, etc., but I can't remember too well at the moment.

Either way, just agreeing that they are infallible in the truths taught, even if some are not in terms of literal historicity.

I sympathise with the bishop, obviously, but I wouldn't go so far as to say the "history" described in the service is "completely impossible".  On that basis, we'd also have to throw out the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and a bunch of other things.  It certainly seems impossible, but that's about as far as I'm willing to go with that. 
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« Reply #55 on: December 09, 2013, 01:26:09 AM »

I sympathise with the bishop, obviously, but I wouldn't go so far as to say the "history" described in the service is "completely impossible".  On that basis, we'd also have to throw out the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and a bunch of other things.  It certainly seems impossible, but that's about as far as I'm willing to go with that. 

I think the "impossibility" of those points and the Feast are qualitatively different. He, and another priest (a professor and expert in ancient Judaism, who seemed to share his view), might say it's impossible in that the Sadducees simply would never have permitted it or something along those lines. Their reasoning may be more than that, but IDK. It also seems that Fr. Thomas Hopko doesn't view the event as historical either, interestingly.

Honestly, while I definitely lean toward denying its literal historicity, I don't think it really matters so long as the dogmatic purposes of the Feast are affirmed.
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« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2013, 03:48:37 AM »

ROBOTRON, SEE THIS -------^ AND THIS:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum

There is a lot of criticism and conflict and reason within the Orthodox Church. It sounds from all your posts you have had a rather unbalanced sampling.

Hang in there. I like your style!
Thanks for your supportive statement.  I really am trying..., perhaps way too hard.
Could you re-post the above link.  It just takes me back to the forum.


All these subjective discussions seem irrelevant to me at the moment.
Anything could be anything, when your statements are unprovable in the absolute.
Quoting the myth-books, the bible, or the church canons?
It seems all about what audience you are trying to please (what faith you proclaim)
than any absolute essence about anything stated in them.

My issue about converting to Orthodoxy being a "logical step" was meant as a categorical (absolute, objective) statement.
I do not believe it is possible to ever reach that conclusion (logically, that is).
I'm not saying if it is right or wrong to convert or not; I just cannot see it as a "logical step".
If anyone on this board believes that it is, please tell me how it is?  I truly don't know (but I'd like to) [It would really help.]
It seems to me that it could only ever be a subjective choice to convert.  Not a "logical step".

My only question all along is what is the absolute essence of being Orthodox?
Being born into an Orthodox family that baptizes you as an infant is One of them.
Are there any other or none other? 
I see all this Hyperdox Herman stuff that appears to be cradles lording their superiority over converts.
The Original Christians were all converts so this is a violation of Matt 28:19-20 "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Neither the cradles nor the converts seem to know the essential essence of Orthodoxy.
That's what Hyperdox Herman says to me.  This is not for cradles to be proud of, or to make fun of.
Why not at least follow the bible and set an example then, instead of making fun of those you are supposed to be teaching?
(I understand that Hyperdox Herman may have been meant as a joke, and that part is okay; but that's not what I mean.)

Here are 3 specific examples of what I'm trying to say:

1.  The reversal of Hyperdox Herman (that I'm guilty of myself) came up in the Robert Hanssen case, with him being in Opus Dei.
I'll admit to not knowing what Opus Dei even is, but to be a RC Clergy you must be Celibate and that is a major sacrifice.
It does not seem normal for an ordinary parishioner to be that obsessed with the Catholic Church, unless you are clergy material.
It did not add anything to my personal appraisal of him to be that obsessed with the catholic religion as an ordinary person.
It seemed more symptomatic of a problem than a good thing.  Perhaps that is what Hyperdox Herman means?  I don't know.
Most Catholics I know serve under obligation more than by personal choice.  (Not meant to offend anyone, sorry.)
I would just have recommended to him that he is not scoring any points by pretending to be a zealot.

2.  I just ask for the "bare minimum" of Orthodoxy, which got criticism here, but no real clarification that I remember.
What is the "bare minimum" of Orthodoxy?
Here is my 2nd example then.  I was in the hospital and happened to be visited by 2 Orthodox Priests there (for the 1st time)
who showed up dressed as Orthodox priests. 
Either coincident to that or right after they left, a Roman Catholic Priests showed up, and I asked him for communion.
To my shock, (for the 1st and only time ever), he actually challenged me about whether I was Roman Catholic and he didn't believe me.
The way he asked me to prove that I was RC was to recite the "Our Father" prayer.
This is perhaps what I mean about the "essence" or "bare minimum".
(Just to clarify, it was not the prayer he was after but the specific pronunciation of the words he cared about.  You know, saying the prayer the exact Roman Catholic Way, that would have mattered.)
How can you prove what you are, short of presenting a baptismal certificate to a priest that challenges you?
I recited the "Our Father" prayer that I had memorized as a child, and he gave me communion.
What would an Orthodox Priests ask of you, to prove you are Orthodox?     


3.  This is the main example that I have which causes me problems about calling Orthodox conversion a "logical step".
I will quote this directly out of the posting rules, since that's where the issue came up for me:
Academic Discourse -- Practically speaking, academic discussion means not referring to figures on your side as "St. so and so" while referring to figures of the other party as "the heretic so and so."

This gets to the essence of what the problem is.
How is it possible for the determination of whether someone is a Saint or a Heretic to be about which side you are on?
It should be about an objective evaluation of the Saint, themselves.

It seems to me that everything about Orthodoxy is in the eye of the beholder (which side you are on).
What is the basic essence of being Orthodox? 
Is there anything that is not completely subjective?
Can you only be born Orthodox?
If so, then how can you say you are right to someone who was born Roman Catholic,
if you have no available tools to accept them into your own church?



I apologize in advance to anyone I might have offended by this post. 
I'm just seeking the truth, and don't really know how to find it anywhere.
Thanks for you help.  Positive comments are always appreciated.
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« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2013, 05:50:08 AM »

Can you try to work on stylistics? I mean trying to write in paragraphs, not to exclaim single sentences one after another?

Here is my 2nd example then.  I was in the hospital and happened to be visited by 2 Orthodox Priests there (for the 1st time)
who showed up dressed as Orthodox priests. 
Either coincident to that or right after they left, a Roman Catholic Priests showed up, and I asked him for communion.
To my shock, (for the 1st and only time ever), he actually challenged me about whether I was Roman Catholic and he didn't believe me.
The way he asked me to prove that I was RC was to recite the "Our Father" prayer.
This is perhaps what I mean about the "essence" or "bare minimum".
(Just to clarify, it was not the prayer he was after but the specific pronunciation of the words he cared about.  You know, saying the prayer the exact Roman Catholic Way, that would have mattered.)
How can you prove what you are, short of presenting a baptismal certificate to a priest that challenges you?
I recited the "Our Father" prayer that I had memorized as a child, and he gave me communion.

Orthodox priest gave you Communion? Not nice, not nice at all.

Quote
If so, then how can you say you are right to someone who was born Roman Catholic, if you have no available tools to accept them into your own church?

We have, baptism, chrismation and Communion.
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« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2013, 06:14:45 AM »


Orthodox priest gave you Communion? Not nice, not nice at all.


Michal, please read Robotron's post carefully. He was given communion by an RC priest, not an Orthodox one.
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« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2013, 06:19:07 AM »


Orthodox priest gave you Communion? Not nice, not nice at all.


Michal, please read Robotron's post carefully. He was given communion by an RC priest, not an Orthodox one.

Right.
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« Reply #60 on: December 13, 2013, 11:43:55 AM »


Quote
If so, then how can you say you are right to someone who was born Roman Catholic, if you have no available tools to accept them into your own church?

We have, baptism, chrismation and Communion.

you are being facetious again. As someone who spent two years of their life in serious inquiry and catechesis in the Eastern Orthodox faith, I defend Robotron in his assertions. I believe I was in the hands of ex-protestant converts who aim to 'break' Catholics. The orthodox after supposedly 2000yrs of existance have NO systematic method of converting anyone not born orthodox. As to how those ex-protestants got in, cradles you are allowing your church to be diluted by the vanity of wanting to boost your numbers. Look to a person's character, not their purse when you accept catechumens. If they spew anti-Catholic rhetoric, they may not be orthodox. The foxes are in the hen house.
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« Reply #61 on: December 13, 2013, 01:44:05 PM »

Your posts do not express serious inquiring, quite the contrary.
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« Reply #62 on: December 15, 2013, 01:25:37 PM »

My only question all along is what is the absolute essence of being Orthodox?
Being born into an Orthodox family that baptizes you as an infant is One of them.
Are there any other or none other? 

The Original Christians were all converts so this is a violation of Matt 28:19-20 "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Neither the cradles nor the converts seem to know the essential essence of Orthodoxy.


Your posts do not express serious inquiring, quite the contrary.

Dear Michal:
Thank you for proving my last point about not knowing the essential essence of Orthodoxy.
You try to turn the tables and say it is not the Church's obligation to teach, but the inquirer's obligation to force them to teach?
I'm saying you cannot be a part of a true church if there is no way to receive someone into it.

You must not like the idea that an RC Priest can determine I'm a cradle RC just by reciting one prayer in a specific manner.
All you can do is condemn the fact that he gave me communion?
I guess you have no (absolute/quick) way to prove you are Orthodox to anyone, do you?

I appreciate your response because what you are saying is the church is full of shallow people who can care less about inquirers.
That actually helps me not to fear anyone anymore.  I'm not a mind-reader and they don't care.  Just refuse to teach and only condemn.
That isn't Christianity but according to my prior faith, acting like a bunch of Pharisees.
But it also makes you no better than RC's then, as I would hope for better than an RC mentality. 
I'm not sure if I'm interested in converting to Orthodoxy if it is just another flavor of RC-ism.  That demystifies it.

If you are born into the Orthodox faith, and I am born into the RC faith on what basis can you claim to be superior?
I mean this question rhetorically, not directly to you personally.

What if my immediate family is all RC and firm believers in that,
but I have some distant family several generations ago that was Originally Orthodox but converted to RC.
and now I say that I'm not satisfied with being an RC and may want to undo a family member's conversion to RC.

It is not my fault that I wasn't born into Orthodoxy, but that of ONE relative of mine several generations earlier.
I'll tell you what.  Because I have this great-grandparent who was born Orthodox I want to be considered born Orthodox too.

Why do I have such a greater burden than someone whose immediate parent was Orthodox?
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« Reply #63 on: December 15, 2013, 01:54:45 PM »

Can you try to work on stylistics? I mean trying to write in paragraphs, not to exclaim single sentences one after another?

That is my preferred writing style.  Sorry if you don't like it, but I should have a right to write my posts the way I so choose.
I do it to make my words more understandable.  But, that doesn't always work, unfortunately.

Quote
If so, then how can you say you are right to someone who was born Roman Catholic, if you have no available tools to accept them into your own church?

We have, baptism, chrismation and Communion.
[/quote]

Those only matter if they are accessible.
I am trying to figure out how to make them accessible.
But, I am not a mind reader, and cannot figure out how.
It is a very painful experience to try.

Thank you for letting me know it's not my fault.
 Violation of the purpose of the convert issue forum by taking an adversarial role in the Forum against the
 Violation of the purpose of the Convert Issue Forum by taking on an adversarial role in the Forum against the Orthodox Church. The convert issue forum is not a place for combative debate or arguement. 

 Your post moderation is set at 30 days and started on 12/15/2013, your posts will be moderated and posted in appropriate forums after review by the moderation team. Thomas,
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« Reply #64 on: December 16, 2013, 12:21:24 AM »

Robotron, as a moderator for the Convert Issues Forum, I agree that you have overstep the purpose of the Convert Issues Forum by your adversarial approach to this Forum, as such I will be asking that all posts you do in Convert Issues be reviewed before they will be posted. This is not a place for Roman Catholic apologetics or a place to attack the way the Holy Orthodox chooses to catechize their inquirers or how the various local Orthodox Churches choose to handle their catechumens.

I am sorry that we have to take this step however in view of you inappropriate posts and statements about the Holy Orthodox Church in general, your violation of the Convert Issues Forum Purpose has made strep necessary.

Thomas
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« Reply #65 on: December 18, 2013, 07:58:55 AM »

Ok.  I emailed the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese yesterday asking for information on what would be involved for a Catholic wishing to join the Antiochian Orthodox Church.  They replied saying I needed to contact my local Antiochian Orthodox priest.  I sent him an email and he replied that he would not talk about it via email and that we would need to meet in person.  I know I can't convert over the Internet.  I know I will need to speak in person with a priest, take classes, etc.  But could someone please just outline for me what is involved?  Are there official steps like inquirer, catechumen, etc?  How long is the process?  Is the process the same for a Catholic as opposed to a Jew or Muslim or even a Protestant?  I just want to get a general idea of what is in front of me before moving ahead.  Thanks again. Smiley
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« Reply #66 on: December 18, 2013, 08:20:22 AM »

But could someone please just outline for me what is involved?  Are there official steps like inquirer, catechumen, etc?  How long is the process?  Is the process the same for a Catholic as opposed to a Jew or Muslim or even a Protestant?  I just want to get a general idea of what is in front of me before moving ahead.  Thanks again. Smiley

Not really. Everything is decided on a case-by-case basis. It all depends where the inquirer comes from, where they are in their spiritual life, how much they have to learn as well as unlearn, how they learn, what they have difficulty with, etc.
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« Reply #67 on: December 18, 2013, 08:34:23 AM »

But could someone please just outline for me what is involved?  Are there official steps like inquirer, catechumen, etc?  How long is the process?  Is the process the same for a Catholic as opposed to a Jew or Muslim or even a Protestant?  I just want to get a general idea of what is in front of me before moving ahead.  Thanks again. Smiley

Not really. Everything is decided on a case-by-case basis. It all depends where the inquirer comes from, where they are in their spiritual life, how much they have to learn as well as unlearn, how they learn, what they have difficulty with, etc.

At any rate, I've heard it takes a long time to be fully accepted into the Church.
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« Reply #68 on: December 18, 2013, 09:08:16 AM »

But could someone please just outline for me what is involved?  Are there official steps like inquirer, catechumen, etc?  How long is the process?  Is the process the same for a Catholic as opposed to a Jew or Muslim or even a Protestant?  I just want to get a general idea of what is in front of me before moving ahead.  Thanks again. Smiley

Not really. Everything is decided on a case-by-case basis. It all depends where the inquirer comes from, where they are in their spiritual life, how much they have to learn as well as unlearn, how they learn, what they have difficulty with, etc.

At any rate, I've heard it takes a long time to be fully accepted into the Church.

It takes even longer to realize that one is a sinner and needs Christ in His Church.
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« Reply #69 on: December 18, 2013, 09:34:28 AM »

But could someone please just outline for me what is involved?  Are there official steps like inquirer, catechumen, etc?  How long is the process?  Is the process the same for a Catholic as opposed to a Jew or Muslim or even a Protestant?  I just want to get a general idea of what is in front of me before moving ahead.  Thanks again. Smiley

Not really. Everything is decided on a case-by-case basis. It all depends where the inquirer comes from, where they are in their spiritual life, how much they have to learn as well as unlearn, how they learn, what they have difficulty with, etc.

At any rate, I've heard it takes a long time to be fully accepted into the Church.

It takes even longer to realize that one is a sinner and needs Christ in His Church.

Not for me it doesn't.
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« Reply #70 on: December 18, 2013, 09:36:44 AM »

But could someone please just outline for me what is involved?  Are there official steps like inquirer, catechumen, etc?  How long is the process?  Is the process the same for a Catholic as opposed to a Jew or Muslim or even a Protestant?  I just want to get a general idea of what is in front of me before moving ahead.  Thanks again. Smiley

Not really. Everything is decided on a case-by-case basis. It all depends where the inquirer comes from, where they are in their spiritual life, how much they have to learn as well as unlearn, how they learn, what they have difficulty with, etc.

At any rate, I've heard it takes a long time to be fully accepted into the Church.

It takes even longer to realize that one is a sinner and needs Christ in His Church.

Not for me it doesn't.

Good for you.
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« Reply #71 on: December 21, 2013, 09:22:31 PM »

My only question all along is what is the absolute essence of being Orthodox?
Being born into an Orthodox family that baptizes you as an infant is One of them.
Are there any other or none other? 

The Original Christians were all converts so this is a violation of Matt 28:19-20 "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Neither the cradles nor the converts seem to know the essential essence of Orthodoxy.


Your posts do not express serious inquiring, quite the contrary.

Dear Michal:
Thank you for proving my last point about not knowing the essential essence of Orthodoxy.
You try to turn the tables and say it is not the Church's obligation to teach, but the inquirer's obligation to force them to teach?
I'm saying you cannot be a part of a true church if there is no way to receive someone into it.

You must not like the idea that an RC Priest can determine I'm a cradle RC just by reciting one prayer in a specific manner.
All you can do is condemn the fact that he gave me communion?
I guess you have no (absolute/quick) way to prove you are Orthodox to anyone, do you?

I appreciate your response because what you are saying is the church is full of shallow people who can care less about inquirers.
That actually helps me not to fear anyone anymore.  I'm not a mind-reader and they don't care.  Just refuse to teach and only condemn.
That isn't Christianity but according to my prior faith, acting like a bunch of Pharisees.
But it also makes you no better than RC's then, as I would hope for better than an RC mentality. 
I'm not sure if I'm interested in converting to Orthodoxy if it is just another flavor of RC-ism.  That demystifies it.

If you are born into the Orthodox faith, and I am born into the RC faith on what basis can you claim to be superior?
I mean this question rhetorically, not directly to you personally.

What if my immediate family is all RC and firm believers in that,
but I have some distant family several generations ago that was Originally Orthodox but converted to RC.
and now I say that I'm not satisfied with being an RC and may want to undo a family member's conversion to RC.

It is not my fault that I wasn't born into Orthodoxy, but that of ONE relative of mine several generations earlier.
I'll tell you what.  Because I have this great-grandparent who was born Orthodox I want to be considered born Orthodox too.

Why do I have such a greater burden than someone whose immediate parent was Orthodox?

Dear friend, don't be off put by anyone who is already Orthodox.  I guarantee you, Orthodoxy is NOT "another flavor of RC-ism".  As someone who used to be RC, I can tell you that Orthodoxy is Christ's Church, and that the RC church broke off.  Stay strong.   angel
Talk to the local Orthodox priest. 
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« Reply #72 on: December 31, 2013, 02:56:51 AM »

But could someone please just outline for me what is involved?  Are there official steps like inquirer, catechumen, etc?  How long is the process?  Is the process the same for a Catholic as opposed to a Jew or Muslim or even a Protestant?  I just want to get a general idea of what is in front of me before moving ahead.  Thanks again. Smiley

Not really. Everything is decided on a case-by-case basis. It all depends where the inquirer comes from, where they are in their spiritual life, how much they have to learn as well as unlearn, how they learn, what they have difficulty with, etc.


THIS.

A poster criticized us for not having a "systematic" way of accepting converts....I would contend that it is a great thing that there is no "systematic" way for the exact reasons above.


Meet with your priest, and they will determine the program that meets YOUR needs.
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