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Author Topic: ex-Protestant, thought Catholicism was right, now so unsure and scared  (Read 1861 times) Average Rating: 0
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NotAnHourGoesBy
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« on: December 11, 2013, 05:01:35 PM »

I know Protestantism is wrong.  Or at least does not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.  So it's crossed off on my list.

I thought Catholicism was right.  The saints drew me in first.  If they believed in the Catholic Church, and they were given graces by God with miracles and pious lives, who am I to judge?  And plus, the Blessed Virgin Mary made all these apparitions affirming the Church.

But for reasons I don't want to get in right now (and perhaps selfish reasons), I question the Catholic Church.

The only other option is Orthodoxy.  But I'm scared.

I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2013, 05:19:12 PM »

I know Protestantism is wrong.  Or at least does not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.  So it's crossed off on my list.

I thought Catholicism was right.  The saints drew me in first.  If they believed in the Catholic Church, and they were given graces by God with miracles and pious lives, who am I to judge?  And plus, the Blessed Virgin Mary made all these apparitions affirming the Church.

But for reasons I don't want to get in right now (and perhaps selfish reasons), I question the Catholic Church.

The only other option is Orthodoxy.  But I'm scared.

I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)
Your first thing might be to go to a DL.

God and the Holy Theotokos give private relations to you?  If not, then the Vatican line is that "Private Revelation" is not binding. So, even according to the Vatican's public preaching, you shouldn't have any private guilt."

We Orthodox have something else to say on that.

Since we don't know what your reason is for not submitting to the Vatican, we cannot comment on that. Except "Lord have mercy!"
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NotAnHourGoesBy
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 05:24:37 PM »

I know Protestantism is wrong.  Or at least does not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.  So it's crossed off on my list.

I thought Catholicism was right.  The saints drew me in first.  If they believed in the Catholic Church, and they were given graces by God with miracles and pious lives, who am I to judge?  And plus, the Blessed Virgin Mary made all these apparitions affirming the Church.

But for reasons I don't want to get in right now (and perhaps selfish reasons), I question the Catholic Church.

The only other option is Orthodoxy.  But I'm scared.

I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)
Your first thing might be to go to a DL.

God and the Holy Theotokos give private relations to you?  If not, then the Vatican line is that "Private Revelation" is not binding. So, even according to the Vatican's public preaching, you shouldn't have any private guilt."

We Orthodox have something else to say on that.

Since we don't know what your reason is for not submitting to the Vatican, we cannot comment on that. Except "Lord have mercy!"

Regarding the private revelations:  If I believed in them, but then decide I don't....then it seems like a betrayal....

Nevermind the Church...if God really said them, then it must be true.

I don't want to get into too much detail...but it's always concerned me that "what the Pope says is infallible" but no one has stated *which* statements are ex-cathedra.

I've read the writings of St. Catherine of Siena, who received revelations from God, and the revelations affirm the supremacy/primacy of Rome...and I believed them...I can't just *unbelieve* them...

Spirituality is too difficult of a road for someone like me.
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 05:28:59 PM »

I know Protestantism is wrong.  Or at least does not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.  So it's crossed off on my list.

I thought Catholicism was right.  The saints drew me in first.  If they believed in the Catholic Church, and they were given graces by God with miracles and pious lives, who am I to judge?  And plus, the Blessed Virgin Mary made all these apparitions affirming the Church.

But for reasons I don't want to get in right now (and perhaps selfish reasons), I question the Catholic Church.

The only other option is Orthodoxy.  But I'm scared.

I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)
Your first thing might be to go to a DL.

God and the Holy Theotokos give private relations to you?  If not, then the Vatican line is that "Private Revelation" is not binding. So, even according to the Vatican's public preaching, you shouldn't have any private guilt."

We Orthodox have something else to say on that.

Since we don't know what your reason is for not submitting to the Vatican, we cannot comment on that. Except "Lord have mercy!"

Regarding the private revelations:  If I believed in them, but then decide I don't....then it seems like a betrayal....

Nevermind the Church...if God really said them, then it must be true.

I don't want to get into too much detail...but it's always concerned me that "what the Pope says is infallible" but no one has stated *which* statements are ex-cathedra.

I've read the writings of St. Catherine of Siena, who received revelations from God, and the revelations affirm the supremacy/primacy of Rome...and I believed them...I can't just *unbelieve* them...

Spirituality is too difficult of a road for someone like me.
St. Paul unbelieved what the Rabbis told him.  May his prayers guide you.
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 05:29:50 PM »

I encourage you to attend a Divine Liturgy service.

As for your guilt, pray to God for guidance and healing. He will not lead his sheep astray, even if it sometimes seems like He takes us through some roundabout routes. Perhaps becoming Catholic was a necessary part in your journey to Holy Orthodoxy? We cannot say for certain, but I encourage you to see all phases on your life in this way.

Me, I had to become an Orthodox Jew before I could be an Orthodox Christian. I still struggle sometimes with why I went through all that, but God grants me some wisdom and shows me ways in which that path led me to the True Path. Keep praying, and remember: God forgives!
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 05:34:15 PM »

I'm very new to this forum so take my comments with what weight you will.

I don't know your personal story or what you have going on in your life so I can't and won't comment there but I will say this. I believe spirituality is a difficult road for all and that if it were easy it wouldn't be worth doing. Also, any big decision like yours deserves much thought and prayer.
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2013, 05:44:57 PM »

I've wondered if being Eastern Catholic would be the way.  But I'm not an "ethnic" Catholic, so I don't know how people will view me.  There's a Ukrainian Catholic Church next door to where I'll be moving.

This is all too confusing.  I felt for sure the Catholic Church was right, but I based that entirely on my belief in the private revelations of various saints.

I'm just terrified of being wrong...because that means hell.
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2013, 05:47:15 PM »


Regarding the private revelations:  If I believed in them, but then decide I don't....then it seems like a betrayal....

Nevermind the Church...if God really said them, then it must be true.

I don't want to get into too much detail...but it's always concerned me that "what the Pope says is infallible" but no one has stated *which* statements are ex-cathedra.

I've read the writings of St. Catherine of Siena, who received revelations from God, and the revelations affirm the supremacy/primacy of Rome...and I believed them...I can't just *unbelieve* them...

Spirituality is too difficult of a road for someone like me.

I also have read the writings of St. Catherine of Siena, O.P., but she lived long before 1870, when Papal Supremacy and Papal Infallibility were declared dogmas by Pope Pius IX, so please do not be anxious.

By the way, I was a Dominican tertiary, and I was in a Dominican monastery too for three years, so I studied their history, and learned that the Dominicans had established two priories in Orthodox Christian territory (one in Constantinople and the other in the country of Georgia). These priories were established to see if there were a way to heal the Schism through theologial dialogue. However, shortly after arriving in both of these countries, these Dominicans became Orthodox Christians. The tradition of the "white" Fathers came from these Dominicans who were too poor to afford new monastic garb, so they were allowed by their new Orthodox bishops to continue wearing the white. Incidentally, Saint Seraphim of Sarov also wore white monastic robes and adapted the Dominican Rosary changing the "Hail Mary" to the Orthodox "Rejoice O Virgin Theotokos" for the nuns under his care.
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2013, 05:54:21 PM »

I've wondered if being Eastern Catholic would be the way.  But I'm not an "ethnic" Catholic, so I don't know how people will view me.  There's a Ukrainian Catholic Church next door to where I'll be moving.

This is all too confusing.  I felt for sure the Catholic Church was right, but I based that entirely on my belief in the private revelations of various saints.

I'm just terrified of being wrong...because that means hell.

I also agonized when first considering Orthodoxy, so my husband and I visited a Melkite Eastern Catholic Church. That first evening, we were invited to the rectory for a chat with one of the Priests. We immediately felt that we had made a mistake as the Priest told us to read books written by Father Thomas Hopko and other Orthodox Christian writers telling us, "We Melkites are Orthodox Catholics, and Orthodoxy is not heretical." Thus, we asked him if we could attend the Greek inquiry classes that were just starting. He agreed. Within three years, we were received into the Greek Orthodox Church.
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NotAnHourGoesBy
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2013, 05:55:02 PM »


Regarding the private revelations:  If I believed in them, but then decide I don't....then it seems like a betrayal....

Nevermind the Church...if God really said them, then it must be true.

I don't want to get into too much detail...but it's always concerned me that "what the Pope says is infallible" but no one has stated *which* statements are ex-cathedra.

I've read the writings of St. Catherine of Siena, who received revelations from God, and the revelations affirm the supremacy/primacy of Rome...and I believed them...I can't just *unbelieve* them...

Spirituality is too difficult of a road for someone like me.

I also have read the writings of St. Catherine of Siena, O.P., but she lived long before 1870, when Papal Supremacy and Papal Infallibility were declared dogmas by Pope Pius IX, so please do not be anxious.

By the way, I was a Dominican tertiary, and I was in a Dominican monastery too for three years, so I studied their history, and learned that the Dominicans had established two priories in Orthodox Christian territory (one in Constantinople and the other in the country of Georgia). These priories were established to see if there were a way to heal the Schism through theologial dialogue. However, shortly after arriving in both of these countries, these Dominicans became Orthodox Christians. The tradition of the "white" Fathers came from these Dominicans who were too poor to afford new monastic garb, so they were allowed by their new Orthodox bishops to continue wearing the white. Incidentally, Saint Seraphim of Sarov also wore white monastic robes and adapted the Dominican Rosary changing the "Hail Mary" to the Orthodox "Rejoice O Virgin Theotokos" for the nuns under his care.


Hmm...interesting...St. Catherine's The Dialogue was the real first Catholic literature I read.

And there are a bunch of saints who wrote about purgatory...which the Orthodox Church doesn't firmly state a belief on.

I've also come across Our Lady of Soufanieh (and the apparitions of Christ and the Theotokos), seeming to confirm the Petrine primacy.

Again, not binding...but if Christ did say it, it must be true....

I'm such a great sinner (not just saying that because it seems humble ---- if only you could see my soul, you'd agree), I should focus on reforming my sinful state, regardless of which Church tradition I follow...but I'll be starting a new "chapter" in my life and figured, why not begin my spiritual journey afresh as well?
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2013, 06:10:57 PM »

On a less serious note, I do like the Eastern style of iconography better.  Especially the Coptic style
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2013, 06:12:16 PM »


I also agonized when first considering Orthodoxy, so my husband and I visited a Melkite Eastern Catholic Church. That first evening, we were invited to the rectory for a chat with one of the Priests. We immediately felt that we had made a mistake as the Priest told us to read books written by Father Thomas Hopko and other Orthodox Christian writers telling us, "We Melkites are Orthodox Catholics, and Orthodoxy is not heretical." Thus, we asked him if we could attend the Greek inquiry classes that were just starting. He agreed. Within three years, we were received into the Greek Orthodox Church.

What was the deciding factor in choosing the GOC over the Melkite Catholic Church?
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2013, 06:17:39 PM »

On a less serious note, I do like the Eastern style of iconography better.  Especially the Coptic style

A really good book about the Eastern style: Alfredo Tradigo, Icons and Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Hope you can find it at a library.  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2013, 06:18:45 PM »


I also agonized when first considering Orthodoxy, so my husband and I visited a Melkite Eastern Catholic Church. That first evening, we were invited to the rectory for a chat with one of the Priests. We immediately felt that we had made a mistake as the Priest told us to read books written by Father Thomas Hopko and other Orthodox Christian writers telling us, "We Melkites are Orthodox Catholics, and Orthodoxy is not heretical." Thus, we asked him if we could attend the Greek inquiry classes that were just starting. He agreed. Within three years, we were received into the Greek Orthodox Church.

What was the deciding factor in choosing the GOC over the Melkite Catholic Church?

We chose the GOC because the Melkites kept telling us that the only reason why they had originally left the Orthodox Church and had joined Rome was due to political concerns. They still believed in the teaching of Orthodoxy and they did not like the latinizations that had been imposed upon them by the Vatican. Furthermore, they were incensed that Rome had given them the Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Catholic Churches. This was a violation of their original agreement with Rome. Orthodox Churches that had come under Rome were to be allowed to keep the original Holy Canons, but the new code of Canon Law of 1917, etc. changed these Holy Canons. Any change in these Holy Canons brings down an anathema, so Rome has continued to bring down anathemas upon herself.
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2013, 07:14:14 PM »

@NotAnHourGoesBy

I'm currently Catholic, but have been moving toward Orthodoxy for a while and it has been and continues to be a gut-wrenching struggle of conscience.  I've thought about Eastern-rite Catholic Churches as well.  I've been to a couple Eastern-rite liturgies in my life and they are so much more beautiful and reverent than the awful things one sometimes sees at a Novus Ordo Mass.  But then I think about John Henry Cardinal Newman - the famous convert from Anglicanism to Catholicism.  He didn't want to leave the Anglican Communion, but he eventually came to the conclusion that Anglicanism, even the high-church Anglicanism that he loved was not truly Apostolic but was just another form of Protestantism and in his conscience he had to leave.  If one doesn't believe, for example, that the pope is infallible or some other fundamental teaching of the Catholic Church, then I don't see how going to an Eastern-rite Catholic Church solves the problem, when the hierarchy of that rite ultimately is under the pope.  If your doubts are just about bad liturgies that's one thing, but if they are rooted in more foundational issues, then that is something else I think...
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« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2013, 09:02:07 PM »

I know Protestantism is wrong.  Or at least does not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.  So it's crossed off on my list.

I thought Catholicism was right.  The saints drew me in first.  If they believed in the Catholic Church, and they were given graces by God with miracles and pious lives, who am I to judge?  And plus, the Blessed Virgin Mary made all these apparitions affirming the Church.

But for reasons I don't want to get in right now (and perhaps selfish reasons), I question the Catholic Church.

The only other option is Orthodoxy.  But I'm scared.

I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)

Hi,

I am a Roman Catholic.

What makes you question the Catholic Church? I converted from Protestantism to Catholicism as well.

I know this is an orthodox forum but, I am a semi-professional Catholic apologist and I would be more than happy to have dialogue with you about Catholicism and any of your doubts or I can send you in the right direction to find your answers. I am glad, though, that you narrowed it down to the two original Christianity's between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

God bless!
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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2013, 12:16:58 AM »

I've wondered if being Eastern Catholic would be the way.  But I'm not an "ethnic" Catholic, so I don't know how people will view me.  There's a Ukrainian Catholic Church next door to where I'll be moving.

This is all too confusing.  I felt for sure the Catholic Church was right, but I based that entirely on my belief in the private revelations of various saints.

I'm just terrified of being wrong...because that means hell.

Well, most Orthodox won't tell you you're definitely going to hell for disbelief in Orthodoxy. The idea that God is holding us hostage to eternal hell because of some minor theological dogma is quite personally inane to me, so I don't have so much fear of it. Especially of the Catholic variety, when the RC Church already condemns me as a Protestant, I don't really see all that much a problem with already disregarding them.

I can already see the criticism coming...  Tongue
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2013, 12:19:44 AM »

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

Big thing: take it slow. Do not rush into joining a particular church, regardless of the reasoning. I think taking things slowly and patiently is some of the best advice I've seen on here, and I repeat it when I can. Go to a Catholic Mass and an Orthodox Liturgy for a while with no specific commitment, and in the meantime try to regularly pray in some fashion while continuing to read and learn.
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2013, 01:05:59 AM »

I know Protestantism is wrong.  Or at least does not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.  So it's crossed off on my list.

I thought Catholicism was right.  The saints drew me in first.  If they believed in the Catholic Church, and they were given graces by God with miracles and pious lives, who am I to judge?  And plus, the Blessed Virgin Mary made all these apparitions affirming the Church.

But for reasons I don't want to get in right now (and perhaps selfish reasons), I question the Catholic Church.

The only other option is Orthodoxy.  But I'm scared.

I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)

Hi,

I am a Roman Catholic.

What makes you question the Catholic Church? I converted from Protestantism to Catholicism as well.

I know this is an orthodox forum but, I am a semi-professional Catholic apologist and I would be more than happy to have dialogue with you about Catholicism and any of your doubts or I can send you in the right direction to find your answers. I am glad, though, that you narrowed it down to the two original Christianity's between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

God bless!

Welcome to OC.net, ThePapist! (You've probably already noticed that we have another Roman Catholic poster here with an almost identical username.)

FYI, the Convert Issues board where you posted this is intended to be a place for people to discuss issues regarding conversion to the Orthodox Christian Church, so we have some pretty strict rules on how much you would be permitted to participate here as a Roman Catholic. You might therefore find our Orthodox-Catholic Discussion board a much more hospitable place for the kind of discussions you want. I encourage you to check it out. Smiley

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« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 02:16:00 AM »

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

Big thing: take it slow. Do not rush into joining a particular church, regardless of the reasoning. I think taking things slowly and patiently is some of the best advice I've seen on here, and I repeat it when I can. Go to a Catholic Mass and an Orthodox Liturgy for a while with no specific commitment, and in the meantime try to regularly pray in some fashion while continuing to read and learn.



This, although I would caution about the books..   Don't concern yourself with Theological Controversies, Arguments and the like.   Attend Divine Liturgy.   Get into the flow of Church life.   and as has been echoed constantly...PRAY.
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« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2013, 02:18:04 AM »

This, although I would caution about the books..   Don't concern yourself with Theological Controversies, Arguments and the like.   Attend Divine Liturgy.   Get into the flow of Church life.   and as has been echoed constantly...PRAY.

Agreed. Attempting to become an apologist in 6 months like so many (Orthodox or otherwise) try to do is just unnecessary and harmful.
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« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2013, 07:40:05 AM »

i am glad u like our icons.
i think they have the kindest faces of any icons.

i think it's because our fathers spent hundreds of years learning how to love their enemies while being slaughtered for their faith.
may God bless u all on yr spiritual journey and lead u deeper into His love
 Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2013, 07:45:59 AM »

i am glad u like our icons.
i think they have the kindest faces of any icons.

i think it's because our fathers spent hundreds of years learning how to love their enemies while being slaughtered for their faith.
may God bless u all on yr spiritual journey and lead u deeper into His love
 Smiley

That's EXACTLY why I like your icons.  Other icons have very mean-looking faces...There's an icon of Jesus holding a lost sheep on His shoulders, and even then, He looks quite stern.

Even the Theotokos looks more approachable.

I've based all my "trust" in the Catholic Church (when I was deciding between RCC and OC) on private revelations.  They seemed true to me.  And if I were to convert to Orthodoxy, wouldn't that be a sin of going against my conscience?

On the other hand, many Orthodox say RCC is full of innovations, but what if those innovations are just the Holy Spirit working through the Church in historical progression?
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« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2013, 08:19:06 AM »

no it would not be a sin.
take the book of matthew for example.
as you go through it, the disciples get progressive revelations about who Jesus is.
it is not until chapter 16 that saint peter finally realises 'you are the Christ, the son of the living God!'
and even then the disciples kept expecting him to bash the romans and give them seats in government.
they were not completely wrong, but not completely right either.

another e.g. - until 5 years ago, i was a protestant Christian (from early childhood).
until 7 years ago, i would have said that i 'spoke in tongues' (glossolalia).
once i discovered the orthodox church (long story!) i was amazed by the really accurate theological explanations of everything,
and by the depth of love in the people there. but no-one did glossolalia, although there were healings, prophecy etc.

so i put it to one side and didn't worry about it, while learning about all the things i could understand; why apostolic succession was important (most of us view the catholic church as valid as well), why those who die in Jesus Christ are praying for us before God, why we can still pray for people after they die etc.

after many years, i have come to a partial understanding of my previous glossolalia experiences; that they were partly 'baby babble' (talking with love to God in the manner of a small child who uses sounds without words) and partly mass hysteria, and partly some things i don't fully understand yet.

so maybe you should put to one side all that troubles you about your previous experiences; not denying them and not accepting them either.

start afresh (you said u wanted to do this anyway), praying to God as recommended by either church, reading the Bible and attending church.
then, as God leads you deeper in your spiritual journey, you will see the signs that accompany spiritual growth,
namely the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control).

God will lead you into the right church for you.
let me clarify this; in some times and some places, sadly orthodox churches are not always the best places to be.
they can be social clubs, or worse than that, exclusive clubs for a cultural or ethnic elite.
IF this is the case, the catholic church down the road may turn out to be full of love with many spiritual people who can help you grow.
(sometimes protestant churches can be places to grow too, as many on this board have passed through protestant churches on the way to orthodox Christianity)

for this reason, i don't tell every catholic Christian i meet that he / she should immediately become orthodox,
as i am not sure that our churches yet are as good as they should be to take the huge influx of believers.

i am someone who studied the catholic church in some depth before taking the final plunge into orthodoxy
(regular attendance for nearly a year - i was going to the orthodox church on saturdays - and plenty of reading and discussions) and i believe that the orthodox doctrines and practice of the Christian faith are closer to the true way we should live.
i consciously chose the orthodox church because i found people there who were able, through their spiritual growth, to live what they preached.
there, i learnt to accept God's will and to give thanks to him in every situation, for every condition and about all things (from the coptic 'thanksgiving prayer')
there, i learnt how to love my enemy and pray for him (this was a very hard lesson).

people i didn't see for a long time spontaneously remark on how calm and happy i seem (including the muslim colleague who first recommended i visit his best friend's church...) yet, other people i know have made even more progress.
(e.g. my antiochian orthodox friend who is like an angel and only 1 or 2 years older in the orthodox Christian faith)

so if you make God your first priority, and don't try to figure out which bits you did right or wrong before until much later,
then God will have the glory and fill your life with His beauty.

edit: sorry for very long post, i talk too much also!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 08:20:30 AM by mabsoota » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2013, 10:41:03 PM »

I know Protestantism is wrong.  Or at least does not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.  So it's crossed off on my list.

I thought Catholicism was right.  The saints drew me in first.  If they believed in the Catholic Church, and they were given graces by God with miracles and pious lives, who am I to judge?  And plus, the Blessed Virgin Mary made all these apparitions affirming the Church.

But for reasons I don't want to get in right now (and perhaps selfish reasons), I question the Catholic Church.

The only other option is Orthodoxy.  But I'm scared.

I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)

Hi,

I am a Roman Catholic.

What makes you question the Catholic Church? I converted from Protestantism to Catholicism as well.

I know this is an orthodox forum but, I am a semi-professional Catholic apologist and I would be more than happy to have dialogue with you about Catholicism and any of your doubts or I can send you in the right direction to find your answers. I am glad, though, that you narrowed it down to the two original Christianity's between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

God bless!

Welcome to OC.net, ThePapist! (You've probably already noticed that we have another Roman Catholic poster here with an almost identical username.)

FYI, the Convert Issues board where you posted this is intended to be a place for people to discuss issues regarding conversion to the Orthodox Christian Church, so we have some pretty strict rules on how much you would be permitted to participate here as a Roman Catholic. You might therefore find our Orthodox-Catholic Discussion board a much more hospitable place for the kind of discussions you want. I encourage you to check it out. Smiley

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Thank you for your reply back to me. I understand and was thinking that maybe I should not post on this thread. I am questioning as well and who knows, I may one day be convinced towards orthodoxy but, who knows?
I understand but thank you for at least saying something instead of blocking me or removing my comment like I have had happen on some other non-Catholic or non-Christian forums.

God bless!
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« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2013, 01:04:06 AM »

On a less serious note, I do like the Eastern style of iconography better.  Especially the Coptic style

Hey, neat. I like our icons better, too. Wink

I was RC before I converted to Orthodoxy. I know it's hard, I know it's scary, I know that you are worried about stuff that I also worried about...so I can't and won't tell you what you should do, but I can tell you what I did, and phrase it like I am giving advice (because I realized after writing this that it sounds like that anyway...oops; these are really just things I realized over time after being where you've been, too)... Cheesy

- Take a break from attending RC services/Mass (edit: Not to be cut off from religious life period -- I actually spent much more time than usual during this period talking with my father of confession and doing things like going to monasteries and following his advice to read Eastern saints --  but I found that for me the RC concept of "days of obligation" made me feel much worse about the doubts that were already there, to the point that I had to voluntarily remove myself from communion anyway just to quiet the demons that would tell me that I was dooming myself by constantly failing in this "obligation"; your mileage may vary, of course.)
- Take a break from any internet forums, discussion groups, or other religious websites
- Don't read apologetic literature from either "side" you're looking at; everything looks good/bad (often both at the same time), depending on where you are, but your feelings aren't a good guide (the heart is deceitful, remember?)
- Do pray. A lot. Extemporaneous, written/memorized, etc. Pray, pray, and pray some more.
- When you are sufficiently emptied of your own anxiety over the fact that you might have actually been wrong about something (!), begin to study from primary sources. Read the Fathers, read the Scriptures, read the Horologion/Agpeya, etc. Let all of these inform all the praying you're doing. Pray with the saints. They're there for you, and they've obviously gotten to where you hope to go. Smiley
- (Perhaps very important from an RC background) Give yourself the freedom to be a baby. I'm 100% serious. Nothing on an intellectual level feels quite as calming as throwing up your hands and saying "I'm a tiny amoeba trying to comprehend an endless mystery that all the geniuses of Church history and apologia could not approach; I'm not going to 'get it' in a way that will ever satisfy my ego or intellect, and that's okay -- I am going to get what I need from God, because He knows just what that is even though I am completely confused."
- Read the liturgical texts and hymnody of the church you are interested in; at least in the Coptic tradition which I am most familiar with, these are deeply instructive. I inquired into the Church for over two years before I could actually go to a liturgy (there simply aren't OO churches in my home area, so I had to move to another state), and for that period that inquiry involved bothering Coptic friends over the internet (hi, Mabsoota!), buying an Agpeya and praying with it, and listening to hymns 500,000,000,000,000 times. OK, so it helped that I could already read and pronounce Coptic, but still...you'd be surprised what you can learn about the theology, soteriology, Mariology, etc. of a given church by just listening to and reading the texts of their hymns. (Incidentally, this really helped in covering up how ignorant and confused I really was when I started attending the liturgy... Wink More than once people asked me "How do you know these things about Orthodoxy/our church already?" "How do you know Coptic?", and even "Who are you marrying?" Hahaha...Lord knows that's the only way that a non-Egyptian can know about the COC. Grin I just kept repeating "Well, I have memorized the intercessory hymns/congregation responses/etc. by listening to them about a million times..." People still don't believe me, ~2.5 years later)

Or, even better: forget about all the above blather and listen to/read the words of HH Pope Shenouda III about how to pray and come to God: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8Vx1uZxXd0 (I'm not even kidding; I saw an earlier version of this sermon video on the internet when I was studying Arabic in Oregon, and it pretty much did it for me; it was like "Ahhhh...this is the faith I want but don't have!" Oddly enough, even though now I'm Coptic Orthodox I still say that...prayer is a lifetime of striving after this...)

God be with you. Don't be afraid.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 01:08:14 AM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2013, 01:26:35 AM »

By the way, I was a Dominican tertiary, and I was in a Dominican monastery too for three years, so I studied their history, and learned that the Dominicans had established two priories in Orthodox Christian territory (one in Constantinople and the other in the country of Georgia). These priories were established to see if there were a way to heal the Schism through theologial dialogue. However, shortly after arriving in both of these countries, these Dominicans became Orthodox Christians. The tradition of the "white" Fathers came from these Dominicans who were too poor to afford new monastic garb, so they were allowed by their new Orthodox bishops to continue wearing the white. Incidentally, Saint Seraphim of Sarov also wore white monastic robes and adapted the Dominican Rosary changing the "Hail Mary" to the Orthodox "Rejoice O Virgin Theotokos" for the nuns under his care.

Fascinating! Are there any resources I can use to learn more about this?
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« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2013, 07:41:11 AM »

dzheremi,
thanks for posting again, my favourite sermon ever!
the gentleness as our departed patriarch shenouda passes on the Lord's invitation for all sinners to return is amazing.
it melts my heart every time.
 Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2013, 07:52:31 AM »

sometimes i wonder why i even spend so much time worrying about which apostolic Church is right. 

regardless of the Church, i am a habitual sinner --- all mortal sins i commit every day with full knowledge and consent.  i don't want to but i feel powerless.  after so many grave, evil sins, repenting, then committing the same sins again, i wonder if God will ever forgive me again.  i want to believe He can...but i have built up so many evil things in my soul.

i hate my sinful nature and lack of ability to resist temptation.  Catholic or Orthodox, i'm either presumptuous or despairing, always full of selfish, evil desires.
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« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2013, 08:01:42 AM »

do u have access to youtube?
please watch this video that dzheremi posted, it is a short sermon and says far more than we could in little (and not so little) sound bites on here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8Vx1uZxXd0
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« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2013, 12:48:41 PM »

The OP is the only poster here whom reason hasn't totaly deserted . It goes steeply downhill from there. Now as he said, you don't see anything off with changing several" true" churches in a space of few years?! I'd say some more but I'm afraid my take on it won't meet the zealotry levels expected.
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« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2013, 01:48:29 PM »

sometimes i wonder why i even spend so much time worrying about which apostolic Church is right. 

There is one apostolic Church.
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« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2013, 01:57:33 PM »

The OP is the only poster here whom reason hasn't totaly deserted . It goes steeply downhill from there. Now as he said, you don't see anything off with changing several" true" churches in a space of few years?! I'd say some more but I'm afraid my take on it won't meet the zealotry levels expected.

I highly doubt that anyone here doesn't see anything off with changing several "true" churches in the space of a few years, augustin. As someone who has been where the OP is quite recently, I can attest to the fact that this really is a very big concern, and not to be taken lightly. Heck, it's why I took about three years (about half my total time in the RC) from my initial contact with Coptic Orthodoxy to become Orthodox. Certainly rushing into things is bad -- that's what got our OP into this situation in the first place, I'd suspect. But that doesn't mean anyone offering advice or consolation here is being unreasonable.

If you have actual advice for the OP, feel free to share; otherwise take your too-cool-for-school attitude elsewhere.
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« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2013, 02:02:56 PM »

yes, my advice is, look at this pic of my etnarch, his Beatitude Teoctist! Ain't he so cute?
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« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2013, 02:29:32 PM »

i am glad u like our icons.
i think they have the kindest faces of any icons.

i think it's because our fathers spent hundreds of years learning how to love their enemies while being slaughtered for their faith.
may God bless u all on yr spiritual journey and lead u deeper into His love
 Smiley

That's EXACTLY why I like your icons.  Other icons have very mean-looking faces...There's an icon of Jesus holding a lost sheep on His shoulders, and even then, He looks quite stern.

Even the Theotokos looks more approachable.

I've based all my "trust" in the Catholic Church (when I was deciding between RCC and OC) on private revelations.  They seemed true to me.  And if I were to convert to Orthodoxy, wouldn't that be a sin of going against my conscience?

On the other hand, many Orthodox say RCC is full of innovations, but what if those innovations are just the Holy Spirit working through the Church in historical progression?

The Orthodox Church would say that any change in the Holy Tradition is heresy. The early Church echoes this sentiment in the writings of St. Hilary of Poitiers, St. Vincent of Lerins and St. Irenaeus of Lyons et al.

If it's not present in the early Church, that's the reason why it isn't 'orthodox' according to the Orthodox.
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« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2013, 02:38:07 PM »

I know Protestantism is wrong.  Or at least does not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.  So it's crossed off on my list.

I thought Catholicism was right.  The saints drew me in first.  If they believed in the Catholic Church, and they were given graces by God with miracles and pious lives, who am I to judge?  And plus, the Blessed Virgin Mary made all these apparitions affirming the Church.

But for reasons I don't want to get in right now (and perhaps selfish reasons), I question the Catholic Church.

The only other option is Orthodoxy.  But I'm scared.

I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)

Just a quick thought for what it is worth.. We identify ourselves as THE Catholic Church.We are Orthodox and Catholic.. Administratively we do not recognize a single Bishop as sole head of the Church.. etc.


Catholicism and Protestantism are the flip side of each other.For some reason, they both want one sole source, either sola scriptura or the Pope. Same concept.     
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« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2013, 02:45:35 PM »

The OP is the only poster here whom reason hasn't totaly deserted . It goes steeply downhill from there. Now as he said, you don't see anything off with changing several" true" churches in a space of few years?! I'd say some more but I'm afraid my take on it won't meet the zealotry levels expected.

There are two questions that really should be separated. One is which Church is "True" and the other is which is historically the "Original"

Rigorous scrutiny will reveal that the Easter Orthodox Church is factually the same Church ( the same organization) that was founded on Pentecost by the Apostles...

That means that any serious inquirer who accepts that we are Original, should then look at us and see if we have left the faith in some way and are no longer "True" . Original and True can be two different things. But when they are both valid, then your path should be clear.
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« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2013, 02:47:17 PM »

I know Protestantism is wrong.  Or at least does not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.  So it's crossed off on my list.

I thought Catholicism was right.  The saints drew me in first.  If they believed in the Catholic Church, and they were given graces by God with miracles and pious lives, who am I to judge?  And plus, the Blessed Virgin Mary made all these apparitions affirming the Church.

But for reasons I don't want to get in right now (and perhaps selfish reasons), I question the Catholic Church.

The only other option is Orthodoxy.  But I'm scared.

I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)

Just a quick thought for what it is worth.. We identify ourselves as THE Catholic Church.We are Orthodox and Catholic.. Administratively we do not recognize a single Bishop as sole head of the Church.. etc.


Catholicism and Protestantism are the flip side of each other.For some reason, they both want one sole source, either sola scriptura or the Pope. Same concept.     

Christ is the Head of the Church.
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« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2013, 02:49:06 PM »

i hate my sinful nature and lack of ability to resist temptation.  Catholic or Orthodox, i'm either presumptuous or despairing, always full of selfish, evil desires.
You think you're bad?

Cursing people to hell, using God's name in vain, fiddling with the occult, attacking people and insulting people's intelligence; I've done all those things. And I honestly still do the last one.

Recognizing that the mercy and love of God is greater than the sea as St. Isaac the Syrian says is the only reason why I believe in God.

God's love for mankind, to make himself into what we are, to eat with the tax-collectors, the poor, and the sick, is greater than mankind's love for itself. Mankind can only think of killing someone who does wrong, of condemning them, to scorn them. That's why I love God. We are orphans, and He adopted us. He adopts us, even though we don't adopt those among us.

Quote
sometimes i wonder why i even spend so much time worrying about which apostolic Church is right.
I wonder why I do as well, and my answer... because I care. Why would I wonder, if I didn't care?

Quote
I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.
Here's what I'll say. Find Rome in the New Testament. Compare it with the rest of the 'New Testament world' all of it is Orthodox.

In St. Peter's 1st Epistle he writes to Churches in Pontus, Galatia, and Cappadocia. Those are the Orthodox Church. The Church in Jerusalem, Syria, Antioch, and Greece. They are Orthodox. Why is Rome more important than the rest of the entire New Testament Church? That's what I've been asking, I think it's a good question for you to ask as well. I might add that of the councils or important Church conflicts (c.f., Athanasius/Nicholas vs. Arius, Cyril vs. Nestorius etc.) that occurred, nearly all of them happened in the Orthodox Church (or rather, what would become the Orthodox Church) including deciding the canon of Scripture.

Furthermore, as Marc says the Orthodox Church officially is called the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church.
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« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2013, 02:53:23 PM »

I know Protestantism is wrong.  Or at least does not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.  So it's crossed off on my list.

I thought Catholicism was right.  The saints drew me in first.  If they believed in the Catholic Church, and they were given graces by God with miracles and pious lives, who am I to judge?  And plus, the Blessed Virgin Mary made all these apparitions affirming the Church.

But for reasons I don't want to get in right now (and perhaps selfish reasons), I question the Catholic Church.

The only other option is Orthodoxy.  But I'm scared.

I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)

Just a quick thought for what it is worth.. We identify ourselves as THE Catholic Church.We are Orthodox and Catholic.. Administratively we do not recognize a single Bishop as sole head of the Church.. etc.


Catholicism and Protestantism are the flip side of each other.For some reason, they both want one sole source, either sola scriptura or the Pope. Same concept.     

Christ is the Head of the Church.

They want one single mouth that the faith is spoken through.
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« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2013, 03:14:32 PM »

I also read Catholic fora, and their pro-Rome arguments seem just as valid.

I guess the main point is, What's wrong with doctrinal development if Jesus Himself said He did not tell the Apostles everything He wanted to tell before ascending into heaven, and that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth?

Maybe humankind was not ready for certain beliefs....?
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« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2013, 03:15:54 PM »

I know Protestantism is wrong.  Or at least does not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.  So it's crossed off on my list.

I thought Catholicism was right.  The saints drew me in first.  If they believed in the Catholic Church, and they were given graces by God with miracles and pious lives, who am I to judge?  And plus, the Blessed Virgin Mary made all these apparitions affirming the Church.

But for reasons I don't want to get in right now (and perhaps selfish reasons), I question the Catholic Church.

The only other option is Orthodoxy.  But I'm scared.

I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)

Just a quick thought for what it is worth.. We identify ourselves as THE Catholic Church.We are Orthodox and Catholic.. Administratively we do not recognize a single Bishop as sole head of the Church.. etc.


Catholicism and Protestantism are the flip side of each other.For some reason, they both want one sole source, either sola scriptura or the Pope. Same concept.     

Christ is the Head of the Church.

They want one single mouth that the faith is spoken through.

Christ!
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« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2013, 03:42:27 PM »

I know Protestantism is wrong.  Or at least does not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.  So it's crossed off on my list.

I thought Catholicism was right.  The saints drew me in first.  If they believed in the Catholic Church, and they were given graces by God with miracles and pious lives, who am I to judge?  And plus, the Blessed Virgin Mary made all these apparitions affirming the Church.

But for reasons I don't want to get in right now (and perhaps selfish reasons), I question the Catholic Church.

The only other option is Orthodoxy.  But I'm scared.

I believed in my heart that the Catholic Church is true, and now I feel like my doubt is a sin against God.

I'm moving to a different state in less than a month (terrifying in and of itself), and there are both Catholic and Orthodox parishes near me.  I've never been to a Divine Liturgy before.

How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)

Just a quick thought for what it is worth.. We identify ourselves as THE Catholic Church.We are Orthodox and Catholic.. Administratively we do not recognize a single Bishop as sole head of the Church.. etc.


Catholicism and Protestantism are the flip side of each other.For some reason, they both want one sole source, either sola scriptura or the Pope. Same concept.     

Christ is the Head of the Church.

They want one single mouth that the faith is spoken through.

Christ!

...Who speaks for Christ here and now on Earth? The single source of the Bible? The single source of the Pope? Or are there multiple sources that inform the Church about God's will. I can list them if need be,
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« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2013, 03:48:14 PM »

...Who speaks for Christ here and now on Earth? The single source of the Bible? The single source of the Pope? Or are there multiple sources that inform the Church about God's will. I can list them if need be,

I thought ex cathedra statements are only used rarely...and it's proclamation/defining of a spiritual truth, not formulating a truth, per se...Or at least that's what I've read from Catholics...
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« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2013, 03:52:15 PM »

I also read Catholic fora, and their pro-Rome arguments seem just as valid.

I guess the main point is, What's wrong with doctrinal development if Jesus Himself said He did not tell the Apostles everything He wanted to tell before ascending into heaven, and that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth?

Maybe humankind was not ready for certain beliefs....?

Quote
What's wrong with doctrinal development if Jesus Himself said He did not tell the Apostles everything He wanted to tell before ascending into heaven, and that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth?

That is the problem with it.

The Holy Spirit would lead the Church into the fullness of the truth, all at once (i.e., at Pentecost). This is what the Orthodox Church teaches.

Roman Catholics believe that the truth wasn't revealed all at once and continues to be.

Quote
I thought ex cathedra statements are only used rarely...and it's proclamation/defining of a spiritual truth, not formulating a truth, per se...Or at least that's what I've read from Catholics...

If you can find evidence of 'the Immaculate Conception' taught by the Church Fathers, Thomas Aquinas, Anselm of Canterbury, or the Scriptures then I'll buy that claim.
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« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2013, 03:56:46 PM »

Someone made an analogy that the deposit of faith is like a treasure chest.  Everything was given and contained in that chest, but it takes time to go through and discover all that is within.  Some things being revealed later in history....for reasons that we won't know I guess...
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« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2013, 04:23:53 PM »

Someone made an analogy that the deposit of faith is like a treasure chest.  Everything was given and contained in that chest, but it takes time to go through and discover all that is within.  Some things being revealed later in history....for reasons that we won't know I guess...

The Orthodox would again disagree. The Deposit is fully given. It's only fully understood when people are inside the Church, and being sanctified by God. There isn't anything more to discover.
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« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2013, 04:25:07 PM »

Someone made an analogy that the deposit of faith is like a treasure chest.  Everything was given and contained in that chest, but it takes time to go through and discover all that is within.  Some things being revealed later in history....for reasons that we won't know I guess...

The Orthodox would again disagree. The Deposit is fully given. It's only fully understood when people are inside the Church, and being sanctified by God. There isn't anything more to discover.

Exactly, there are no new dogmas. Councils are held to expose heresies and to clarify existing doctrines so that people will not fall into heresies.
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« Reply #48 on: December 13, 2013, 04:26:03 PM »

Catholic means the unchanging Faith once delivered by Christ to His Apostles for all times, all peoples, and all places. This is the Holy Faith of the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #49 on: December 13, 2013, 04:46:33 PM »

Catholic means the unchanging Faith once delivered by Christ to His Apostles for all times, all peoples, and all places. This is the Holy Faith of the Orthodox Church.

Relevant quotes:

Quote from: Didache 4:18
but thou shalt keep those things which thou hast received, neither adding to them nor taking away from them.

Quote from: 2 Thessalonians 3:6
withdraw yourselves from every brother who walketh disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.

Quote from: St. Gregory Nazianzen
We have not added, and we could not add, anything to the faith which the holy Fathers put forth; but we hold and will hold that same identical faith.

Quote from: St. Leo the Great
A great safeguard is the entire faith, the true faith, in which neither anything whatever can be added by anyone nor anything taken away; for, unless faith be one, it is not the faith.

Quote from: St. Basil the Great
Dogmas of faith cannot be altered a single jot or tittle.

Quote from: St. Vincent of Lerins
It never was, is, or shall be lawful for Catholic Christians to teach any doctrine except that which they have received once and for all time; Moreover, in the Church itself, every possible care must be taken to hold fast to that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, and by everyone. For that is truly and in the strictest sense "Catholic" which comprehends all universality... It is therefore an indispensable obligation for all Catholics who are eager to prove that they are true sons of Holy Mother the Church to adhere to the holy faith of the Fathers, to preserve it, to die for it... But the Church of Christ, the careful and watchful guardian of the doctrines deposited in her charge, never changes anything in them, never diminishes, never adds, does not cut off what is necessary, does not add what is superfluous, does not lose her own, does not appropriate what is another's.

St. Irenaeus of Lyons and St. Hilary of Poitiers say similar things, but I cannot find the exact quote.
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« Reply #50 on: December 13, 2013, 04:58:12 PM »

Catholic means the unchanging Faith once delivered by Christ to His Apostles for all times, all peoples, and all places. This is the Holy Faith of the Orthodox Church.

That's not what Greek says.
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« Reply #51 on: December 13, 2013, 06:09:03 PM »

yes, my advice is, look at this pic of my etnarch, his Beatitude Teoctist! Ain't he so cute?
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« Reply #52 on: December 13, 2013, 07:36:07 PM »

Wouldn't the idea of "development of doctrine" be a development itself, as it was only espoused later by Rome? It seems like there's some kind of question-begging in there somewhere.
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« Reply #53 on: December 13, 2013, 07:50:45 PM »

Catholic means the unchanging Faith once delivered by Christ to His Apostles for all times, all peoples, and all places. This is the Holy Faith of the Orthodox Church.

That's not what Greek says.

Different Orthodox traditions believe in different core principles?

How are you Orthodox ("Catholic") but multiple Churches interpret different things?
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« Reply #54 on: December 13, 2013, 07:53:28 PM »

I also read Catholic fora, and their pro-Rome arguments seem just as valid.

I guess the main point is, What's wrong with doctrinal development if Jesus Himself said He did not tell the Apostles everything He wanted to tell before ascending into heaven, and that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth?

Maybe humankind was not ready for certain beliefs....?

You said it very well yourself my brother NotAnHourGoesBy, he would led them, not him (Peter) into all truth. Look historically and through the new testament church if Jesus really meant that, and ask yourself if the Pope could be put in the same process of consolation as the apostles were in.
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« Reply #55 on: December 13, 2013, 07:55:23 PM »

Catholic means the unchanging Faith once delivered by Christ to His Apostles for all times, all peoples, and all places. This is the Holy Faith of the Orthodox Church.

That's not what Greek says.

Different Orthodox traditions believe in different core principles?

How are you Orthodox ("Catholic") but multiple Churches interpret different things?

I mean word "catholic" has different meaning that Maria is saying.
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« Reply #56 on: December 13, 2013, 07:59:39 PM »

I also read Catholic fora, and their pro-Rome arguments seem just as valid.

I guess the main point is, What's wrong with doctrinal development if Jesus Himself said He did not tell the Apostles everything He wanted to tell before ascending into heaven, and that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth?

Maybe humankind was not ready for certain beliefs....?

You said it very well yourself my brother NotAnHourGoesBy, he would led them, not him (Peter) into all truth. Look historically and through the new testament church if Jesus really meant that, and ask yourself if the Pope could be put in the same process of consolation as the apostles were in.

But didn't Peter have a unique role?  *Some* sort of primacy.  What exactly has the Roman Church stated that is *against* the faith?  Not just what is perceived to be an "innovation" but actually against the faith.
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« Reply #57 on: December 13, 2013, 08:01:22 PM »


Quote
Different Orthodox traditions believe in different core principles?

How are you Orthodox ("Catholic") but multiple Churches interpret different things?


The word Catholic in greek derives from katholikos, meaning universal. Any religion which claim that it is for the entire earth can therefore by definition be called a catholic one. The problem is not within the term catholic, but rather what it is that the church universally is preaching for faith. So to be united in the Orthodox, Catholic and Apostolic church during the first millennium would be such a richer faith than joining the Catholic church in 1054. So no church has patent on the term catholic, but rather on what faith that is catholic etc.
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« Reply #58 on: December 13, 2013, 08:02:54 PM »

Quote
But didn't Peter have a unique role?

Christ gave the authority to bind and loose to all of His apostles, not just to Peter.
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« Reply #59 on: December 13, 2013, 08:06:44 PM »

Quote
But didn't Peter have a unique role?

Christ gave the authority to bind and loose to all of His apostles, not just to Peter.

The Catholics would say Peter was given the role of the steward of the kingdom.  and there was only one steward.
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« Reply #60 on: December 13, 2013, 08:08:31 PM »

Quote
But didn't Peter have a unique role?

Christ gave the authority to bind and loose to all of His apostles, not just to Peter.

The Catholics would say Peter was given the role of the steward of the kingdom.  and there was only one steward.

Steward does not mean overlord.
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« Reply #61 on: December 13, 2013, 08:11:44 PM »

I also read Catholic fora, and their pro-Rome arguments seem just as valid.

I guess the main point is, What's wrong with doctrinal development if Jesus Himself said He did not tell the Apostles everything He wanted to tell before ascending into heaven, and that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth?

Maybe humankind was not ready for certain beliefs....?

You said it very well yourself my brother NotAnHourGoesBy, he would led them, not him (Peter) into all truth. Look historically and through the new testament church if Jesus really meant that, and ask yourself if the Pope could be put in the same process of consolation as the apostles were in.

But didn't Peter have a unique role?  *Some* sort of primacy.  What exactly has the Roman Church stated that is *against* the faith?  Not just what is perceived to be an "innovation" but actually against the faith.

Of course he had a unique role, as we assume every other apostle had. John the Theologian, known through nearly every church tradition as the apostle of love, is he the only one now having primacy on that role? A very good tip of advice to start looking at if you´re really searching for the true church.

Look into the Orthodox church before 1054 and after 1054, through Councils, large gatherings of bishops, and see for yourself how much of the faith which was either "clarified, modified or updated" either before, during and after the schism.

The result will be much the same, the schism didn´t affect that much, but only administrative questions. Things were already intact in the faith.

Then look at the Catholic church before 1054 and after 1054, through Councils, large gatherings of bishops, and see for yourself how much of the faith which was either "clarified, modified or updated" either before, during and after the schism.

The result will most definitely not be the same, for some reason after the schism. Things were needed to be taken seriously once again, as if Christ really planned Pentecost in the year 1054.
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« Reply #62 on: December 13, 2013, 08:13:36 PM »

Quote
But didn't Peter have a unique role?

Christ gave the authority to bind and loose to all of His apostles, not just to Peter.

The Catholics would say Peter was given the role of the steward of the kingdom.  and there was only one steward.

Steward does not mean overlord.

I don't suppose forgive and forget would ever happen......

Doesn't it just seem logical that Jesus would want the body of believers to be under one figure who shepherds the flock like Him?
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« Reply #63 on: December 13, 2013, 08:15:15 PM »

History need to speak for itself in this case, if someone wants to believe the the Holy Spirit didn´t guide the church into all truth until 1054, they are more than welcome.

Pray for me and forgive me
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« Reply #64 on: December 13, 2013, 08:16:16 PM »

How much did the Catholic Church dogmas contradict the deposit of faith?  Innovation does not necessarily mean going against what was believed and passed down.  It could just be declaration or clarification....
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« Reply #65 on: December 13, 2013, 08:17:48 PM »

Quote
I don't suppose forgive and forget would ever happen......

Doesn't it just seem logical that Jesus would want the body of believers to be under one figure who shepherds the flock like Him?


It seem more logical to both of us, as we have already discussed a bit my friend. That the Holy Spirit will be the one figure guiding the church into all truth. I rather put my trust to a community shepherding the flock by the Spirit than one man. That idea seems much more deeper, wiser and secure.
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« Reply #66 on: December 13, 2013, 08:21:34 PM »



I don't suppose forgive and forget would ever happen......

Doesn't it just seem logical that Jesus would want the body of believers to be under one figure who shepherds the flock like Him?
Quote
It seem more logical to both of us, as we have already discussed a bit my friend. That the Holy Spirit will be the one figure guiding the church into all truth.

Why are there saints, miracles, and holy people in both Churches?

I'm too ignorant about spiritual matters to dissect what is true, important, and relevant.  The miracles and wonder-workings of the Churches point to the presence of God in both of them.

Also, apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos/Panagia.
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« Reply #67 on: December 13, 2013, 08:31:24 PM »

No, innovation is only bad when it comes at a time where you suspect your faith to already be intact. Look into what was believed/passed in the first millennium. See if that faith was already declared, clarified and accepted throughout the entire church, by the entire church. Through a process which was totally accepted in 7 ecumenical councils.
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« Reply #68 on: December 13, 2013, 08:32:33 PM »

Why are there saints, miracles, and holy people in both Churches?

Because the Holy Spirit may work as He wills. He is not bound by jurisdiction, nor by any communion's ecclesiology.

Quote
I'm too ignorant about spiritual matters to dissect what is true, important, and relevant.  The miracles and wonder-workings of the Churches point to the presence of God in both of them.

Maybe for Roman Catholics who are so inclined, but Orthodox are not supposed to search after nor place faith in miracles. A faith based on miracles is a weak and immature faith.

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Also, apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos/Panagia.

Not all of which are treated the same. To be blunt, just because someone somewhere claims to have seen the Theotokos somewhere doesn't mean that they actually did, and certainly does not say anything for whatever may follow from that supposed sighting. I'm pretty sure that's even in line with the Vatican's current stance, which (IIRC) is that no Catholic need believe in any particular apparition in order to be considered Catholic (though of course reality on the ground may differ). In fact, couldn't it be said that the appearance of "the Blessed Virgin" to all these churches of differing belief lessens the supposed confirmation that any one apparition is supposed to lend to any one faith? After all, she appeared at Zeitoun just as surely (in fact, more surely) as she did at Lourdes or Fatima, so what is this even supposed to mean -- was the Catholic Church the true church in 1917, but the Coptic Orthodox Church the true Church in 1968? It doesn't mean anything; or rather, it means what it means for the people who believe it, but nothing necessarily about the "truth" of a given church. God is not a magician.
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« Reply #69 on: December 13, 2013, 08:32:43 PM »

Catholic means the unchanging Faith once delivered by Christ to His Apostles for all times, all peoples, and all places. This is the Holy Faith of the Orthodox Church.

That's not what Greek says.

Different Orthodox traditions believe in different core principles?

How are you Orthodox ("Catholic") but multiple Churches interpret different things?

I mean word "catholic" has different meaning that Maria is saying.

Of course, I do not rely on what Webster's says, but on what the living tradition of our Holy Church says.

When I was a catechumen in the Greek Orthodox Church (GOARCH), this is the meaning of "Catholic" that our priests taught us.

BTW, Mike, Webster's and Merriam were not around in 33 AD.
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« Reply #70 on: December 13, 2013, 08:35:30 PM »

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I don't suppose forgive and forget would ever happen......

Doesn't it just seem logical that Jesus would want the body of believers to be under one figure who shepherds the flock like Him?


It seem more logical to both of us, as we have already discussed a bit my friend. That the Holy Spirit will be the one figure guiding the church into all truth. I rather put my trust to a community shepherding the flock by the Spirit than one man. That idea seems much more deeper, wiser and secure.

But that presumes a misunderstanding of papal infallibility.  It makes it seem as though the pope woke up one day with an inspiration to declare something.

As I understand, ex cathedra statement is not just the pope saying, "Hunter green is the best color in the world, and everyone has to agree."  It's clarification of a spiritual fact that was not clear or evident previously.
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« Reply #71 on: December 13, 2013, 08:46:58 PM »

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But that presumes a misunderstanding of papal infallibility.  It makes it seem as though the pope woke up one day with an inspiration to declare something.

As I understand, ex cathedra statement is not just the pope saying, "Hunter green is the best color in the world, and everyone has to agree."  It's clarification of a spiritual fact that was not clear or evident previously.


No my friend, forgive me, I was not even thinking about papal infallibility, but rather his primacy. The process of clarification within the church and its first 1000 years was always within the community of the entire church. Primacy was not even considered for a second during the ecumenical councils. The possibility of how the pope nowadays execute his primacy was never there before 1054, that´s the big issue. The possibility of a single man statement which abides in all of Catholicism is possible today, it was not before 1054. The church was clear on that.
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« Reply #72 on: December 13, 2013, 08:57:43 PM »

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I don't suppose forgive and forget would ever happen......

Doesn't it just seem logical that Jesus would want the body of believers to be under one figure who shepherds the flock like Him?


It seem more logical to both of us, as we have already discussed a bit my friend. That the Holy Spirit will be the one figure guiding the church into all truth. I rather put my trust to a community shepherding the flock by the Spirit than one man. That idea seems much more deeper, wiser and secure.

But that presumes a misunderstanding of papal infallibility.  It makes it seem as though the pope woke up one day with an inspiration to declare something.

As I understand, ex cathedra statement is not just the pope saying, "Hunter green is the best color in the world, and everyone has to agree."  It's clarification of a spiritual fact that was not clear or evident previously.

Christ appointed twelve apostles, and a further seventy, not just one. All of them were led into all truth by the Holy Spirit, not just one.
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« Reply #73 on: December 13, 2013, 09:23:12 PM »

...Who speaks for Christ here and now on Earth? The single source of the Bible? The single source of the Pope? Or are there multiple sources that inform the Church about God's will. I can list them if need be,

I thought ex cathedra statements are only used rarely...and it's proclamation/defining of a spiritual truth, not formulating a truth, per se...Or at least that's what I've read from Catholics...

The problem is that you can't always tell when the Pope is speaking ex cathedra.

And "defining" a spiritual doctrine often looks like something brand new to us.
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« Reply #74 on: December 13, 2013, 09:59:51 PM »

But didn't Peter have a unique role?  *Some* sort of primacy.

Sure, Peter had "some sort" of primacy among the apostles.  We don't reject that at all.  What is at issue is whether or not Christ intended that this primacy continue among their successors by having one specific bishop to whom all other bishops look as "the first", as "the leader".  You don't find this in Scripture.  You have to assign it to the Popes by analogy: since the Bishops of Rome are successors to St Peter in the place where he died, they have this primacy among the bishops of the world.  But you don't find that in Scripture either.  Neither do you find it in the early Church: when I was interested in becoming a RC (a period of a few years), it was reading church history that convinced me this "primacy", as RC's have defined it, simply did not exist before the fifth century.  Even after that, it was much less than what Rome has made it at present. 

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What exactly has the Roman Church stated that is *against* the faith?  Not just what is perceived to be an "innovation" but actually against the faith.

What do you mean, "against the faith"? 

Doesn't it just seem logical that Jesus would want the body of believers to be under one figure who shepherds the flock like Him?

Logical?  Based on what? 

I don't think it's an accident that Rome's claims to primacy increase as it became further and further alienated from the rest of the Church.  First of all, Rome was the only "apostolic see" in the West, and so it was natural for all other bishops in the West to look to Rome (unlike in the East, where there are a number of "apostolic sees").  Gradually, as the West and the East drifted apart, both sides viewed the other as the break-away and themselves as "the true Church", the legitimate heir to the one Church.  As time goes on, Rome continues to proclaim itself as "the true Church", continues to expand through noble and ignoble methods, and by the nineteenth century is found all over the inhabited world.  At that point, you're not dealing with a "local Church" in Western Europe vs a communion of "local Churches" in the East, you're dealing with a global entity vs those "local Churches" in the East.  It's roughly in tandem with this development that you have these ideas about "Catholic" meaning "found everywhere" or the logic of having "one figure who shepherds" what has become a global flock.  None of these things are biblical, apostolic, patristic, or what have you.  They are developments that snowball from the estrangement of the West from the truth. 

As an ex post facto explanation for how the RCC is organised, yes, their Petrine claims are quite nice, logical, "fitting".  But it flies in the face of Scripture and the totality of what we know from history, from patristic writings, conciliar declarations and legislation, etc. 
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« Reply #75 on: December 14, 2013, 08:42:18 AM »

Catholic means the unchanging Faith once delivered by Christ to His Apostles for all times, all peoples, and all places. This is the Holy Faith of the Orthodox Church.

That's not what Greek says.

Different Orthodox traditions believe in different core principles?

How are you Orthodox ("Catholic") but multiple Churches interpret different things?

I mean word "catholic" has different meaning that Maria is saying.

Of course, I do not rely on what Webster's says, but on what the living tradition of our Holy Church says.

When I was a catechumen in the Greek Orthodox Church (GOARCH), this is the meaning of "Catholic" that our priests taught us.

BTW, Mike, Webster's and Merriam were not around in 33 AD.

OK, you believe green means



Fine.
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« Reply #76 on: December 14, 2013, 04:35:03 PM »

Catholic means the unchanging Faith once delivered by Christ to His Apostles for all times, all peoples, and all places. This is the Holy Faith of the Orthodox Church.

That's not what Greek says.

Different Orthodox traditions believe in different core principles?

How are you Orthodox ("Catholic") but multiple Churches interpret different things?

I mean word "catholic" has different meaning that Maria is saying.

Of course, I do not rely on what Webster's says, but on what the living tradition of our Holy Church says.
But even the living Tradition of our Holy Church doesn't define "catholic" the way you do.

When I was a catechumen in the Greek Orthodox Church (GOARCH), this is the meaning of "Catholic" that our priests taught us.
Then your priests taught you wrong.

BTW, Mike, Webster's and Merriam were not around in 33 AD.
Neither were your priests, Maria.
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« Reply #77 on: December 14, 2013, 11:06:24 PM »

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But didn't Peter have a unique role?

Christ gave the authority to bind and loose to all of His apostles, not just to Peter.

The Catholics would say Peter was given the role of the steward of the kingdom.  and there was only one steward.

Yet James was the bishop of the Church in Jerusalem, which was established on Pentecost.    If Peter was truly the steward of the kingdom as the RC Church says, why wasn't Peter the bishop of the Church in Jerusalem?
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« Reply #78 on: December 14, 2013, 11:09:36 PM »

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But didn't Peter have a unique role?

Christ gave the authority to bind and loose to all of His apostles, not just to Peter.

The Catholics would say Peter was given the role of the steward of the kingdom.  and there was only one steward.

Yet James was the bishop of the Church in Jerusalem, which was established on Pentecost.    If Peter was truly the steward of the kingdom as the RC Church says, why wasn't Peter the bishop of the Church in Jerusalem?

... and James presided over the first Apostolic council, not Peter.  Wink In fact, Peter's Judaizing position on the need for Gentiles to be circumcised before baptism was successfully rebutted by Paul.
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« Reply #79 on: December 14, 2013, 11:10:01 PM »

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But didn't Peter have a unique role?

Christ gave the authority to bind and loose to all of His apostles, not just to Peter.

The Catholics would say Peter was given the role of the steward of the kingdom.  and there was only one steward.

Yet James was the bishop of the Church in Jerusalem, which was established on Pentecost.    If Peter was truly the steward of the kingdom as the RC Church says, why wasn't Peter the bishop of the Church in Jerusalem?

And St. Peter established his See in Antioch before he went to Rome. Antioch is a more ancient Petrine See than Rome is. The sole successor to St. Peter thing is just not true.



Pat. John Yaziji X is the Successor to St. Peter.
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« Reply #80 on: December 14, 2013, 11:29:01 PM »

And St. Peter established his See in Antioch before he went to Rome. Antioch is a more ancient Petrine See than Rome is. The sole successor to St. Peter thing is just not true.



HH Ignatius Zakka I, Patriarch of Antioch, Successor of St Peter.  Wink
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« Reply #81 on: December 14, 2013, 11:32:33 PM »

And St. Peter established his See in Antioch before he went to Rome. Antioch is a more ancient Petrine See than Rome is. The sole successor to St. Peter thing is just not true.



HH Ignatius Zakka I, Patriarch of Antioch, Successor of St Peter.  Wink

Let's not stop there.  Grin



I just had a thought. I was wondering how Nestorian liturgics differ from those of the Orthodox Church? I saw the Catholicos vested in another image, so I just had that thought. Maybe a seperate thread?
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« Reply #82 on: December 14, 2013, 11:37:23 PM »

Let's not stop there.  Grin

No, we need to stop there: he's not a successor of St Peter, but of St Thomas.  Tongue

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I just had a thought. I was wondering how Nestorian liturgics differ from those of the Orthodox Church? I saw the Catholicos vested in another image, so I just had that thought. Maybe a seperate thread?

That's for another thread.  BTW, "Assyrian", not "Nestorian". 
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« Reply #83 on: December 15, 2013, 12:10:41 AM »

Let's not stop there.  Grin

No, we need to stop there: he's not a successor of St Peter, but of St Thomas.  Tongue

Quote
I just had a thought. I was wondering how Nestorian liturgics differ from those of the Orthodox Church? I saw the Catholicos vested in another image, so I just had that thought. Maybe a seperate thread?

That's for another thread.  BTW, "Assyrian", not "Nestorian". 

Quote from: www.peshitta.org/
To His Holiness, Mar Khananya Dinkha IV, Catholicos Patriarch of the Church of the East, and 120th successor to the apostolic throne of St. Peter in Seleucia-Ctestiphon, Babylon

Am I wrong about something, or is this quote wrong? What's wrong?  Undecided Am I confusing the Church of the East with the Assyrian Church of the East?
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« Reply #84 on: December 15, 2013, 12:28:15 AM »

Quote from: www.peshitta.org/
To His Holiness, Mar Khananya Dinkha IV, Catholicos Patriarch of the Church of the East, and 120th successor to the apostolic throne of St. Peter in Seleucia-Ctestiphon, Babylon

Am I wrong about something, or is this quote wrong? What's wrong?  Undecided Am I confusing the Church of the East with the Assyrian Church of the East?

That's weird...this isn't so weird.  Wink
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« Reply #85 on: December 15, 2013, 08:03:32 AM »

So what about the claim about how in the Old Testament, there was only 1 steward of the kingdom?

And how Jesus told Peter specifically to strengthen his brothers?
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« Reply #86 on: December 15, 2013, 11:22:30 AM »

So what about the claim about how in the Old Testament, there was only 1 steward of the kingdom?

And how Jesus told Peter specifically to strengthen his brothers?

I have watched Scott Hahn. I have never understood this argument. The Orthodox believe that the 'Catholic' (whole) Church is in the local Church. So every local Bishop is a steward of the kingdom.

"Wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." (St. Ignatios of Antioch)

But again, the burden of proof is on Rome to prove why their successor to Peter, is better than the Orthodox successor to St. Peter in Antioch.
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« Reply #87 on: December 15, 2013, 11:41:12 AM »

So what about the claim about how in the Old Testament, there was only 1 steward of the kingdom?
Where in the OT do you see that?

And how Jesus told Peter specifically to strengthen his brothers?
Why does that have to be interpreted as a claim for primacy as this concept is defined by Rome?
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« Reply #88 on: December 23, 2013, 03:09:12 PM »

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How can I go against the saints and the private revelations of God and Blessed Virgin Mary/Theotokos?

(One of the reasons I first chose the RCC over OC is that some Orthodox Christians spoke badly about St. Francis, so I thought, OMGosh...how could they say that against a holy servant of God?!)

Even if I were to consider the OC, I could never get away from this guilt that I walked away from potentially joining the Catholic Church.  (And I assure you, it's mostly for selfish reasons, so it's not even a pious, holy reason.)

Quote
I'm such a great sinner (not just saying that because it seems humble ---- if only you could see my soul, you'd agree), I should focus on reforming my sinful state, regardless of which Church tradition I follow...but I'll be starting a new "chapter" in my life and figured, why not begin my spiritual journey afresh as well?

Dear brother(/sister?),
Orthodox saints had also divine revelations about the truth of their faith. If your're too afraid to attend the Divine Liturgy then why don't you read first of all the lives of several orthodox saints and compare them with the rome-catholic saints?! Or any other orthodox book?! I read also some lives of catholic saints and Filippo Neri impressed me most. But on the other hand I've found also a "goldmine" of saints in the Orthodox Church.

If you really want to choose between Orthodoxy and Catholicism you have not only to pray for God's mercy but also fasting is required. Fasting will help you to calm down your spirit, your temper, so that you can hear better, sense the voice of your heart.

Don't be afraid - God is full of mercy, God is love. Even you live an sinful life - the most important thing is to keep struggling, to keep going to confession regularly without hiding anything, and  don't give up - or to quote St. Silouan the Athonite: " Do not be cast down over the struggle- the Lord loves a brave warrior. The Lord loves the soul that is valiant."

In my case the book of Klaus Kenneth: "Born to hate reborn to love: A Spiritual Odyssey from Head to Heart" was a great help. Klaus Kenneth had the privilege to met Mother Theresa personally and to cry in her arms several times. His life helped  me very much to understand God's mercy and how God allows us to doubt or to seek the right path with contrition of heart, humility and patience.
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« Reply #89 on: December 24, 2013, 01:52:29 PM »

Wow. There's a lot of fascinating and important dialogue to respond to. I'm a new member, so take what I say with a grain of salt. This said, I would say to the OP, as a current Protestant investigating the Orthodox Church myself, you will be guided in the right direction if you pray. I am still in that space of waiting myself, and though I confess my prayer life is somewhat undisciplined, I do my best to remember to keep asking God for His will in my life. Second, as several others have said, be not afraid. As long as you are honestly and unceasingly seeking God, He will guide you in the way he wants you to go. As Psalm 91 says, "If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."

We are all sinners, myself not at all least. I have committed plenty of sins with full knowledge of what I was doing and even occasionally in spite of God. But if we are sincere in our repentance and our contrition (a state I have only begun to experience fully), He will extend his mercy. Even a leaning in the right direction is something He can use.

Pray for me, and may the Lord guide you in this time of fear.
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