Author Topic: why are the catholic numbers bigger  (Read 2189 times)

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Offline arrow prayer

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why are the catholic numbers bigger
« on: January 29, 2014, 11:40:31 PM »
there are only a few orthodox countries, there are way more catholics.
isn't that a sign that God is more with Catholics
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Offline LBK

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 11:50:32 PM »
there are only a few orthodox countries, there are way more catholics.
isn't that a sign that God is more with Catholics

No.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline dzheremi

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 11:53:35 PM »
No. Why would you suppose that? The RCC grew outside of Europe as a result of imperial expansion connected to the particular powers that carved up much of the world during the age of exploration (e.g., French in North and Central Africa, Spanish in South America, Portuguese in India, etc.), not because God is somehow more with them than with other religions (just think of all the places where there are very few Catholic churches; not only in predominantly Orthodox countries, but in predominantly Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, etc. ones).

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2014, 12:00:02 AM »
There are more Muslims than there are Catholics, so maybe Islam is the way to go? Though we're all syncretists at heart, so really you just have to find your preferred Frankenstein.

Offline Gunnarr

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2014, 12:59:01 AM »
well it could be interpreted that way I guess...
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Offline lovesupreme

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2014, 01:13:06 AM »
The number of adherents of a religion is proportional to how much God likes that religion.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 01:13:31 AM by lovesupreme »

Offline FormerCalvinist

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2014, 04:04:04 AM »
St. Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

Offline JoeS2

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2014, 04:16:18 PM »
there are only a few orthodox countries, there are way more catholics.
isn't that a sign that God is more with Catholics

The idea of True Faith is determined by the number of adherents?   At one time there were more Eastern Christians than Western Christians but time and the Ottoman Empire made short shrift of the number of countries that were considered Christian in Africa, Balkans, Asia Minor, and the Middle East. 

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2014, 04:57:21 PM »
there are only a few orthodox countries, there are way more catholics.
isn't that a sign that God is more with Catholics

Muslims have more people too, that's a sign that God is with Islam.

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Offline Severian

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2014, 04:58:24 PM »
Like others have said, there are more Muslims than Catholics, this does not mean Islam is true and Christianity is false. Plus, Christ tells us to enter by the narrow gate for wide is the gate that leads to destruction.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 05:00:41 PM by Severian »
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2014, 05:00:38 PM »
there are only a few orthodox countries, there are way more catholics.
isn't that a sign that God is more with Catholics

 No, not by a long shot.  Not to sound triumphalistic, but when you've been under threat from the Muhammadan Turk and atheist regimes, you're chief concern is to live, not proselytize.
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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2014, 05:33:19 PM »
there are only a few orthodox countries, there are way more catholics.
isn't that a sign that God is more with Catholics
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Offline augustin717

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2014, 07:54:25 PM »
No. Why would you suppose that? The RCC grew outside of Europe as a result of imperial expansion connected to the particular powers that carved up much of the world during the age of exploration (e.g., French in North and Central Africa, Spanish in South America, Portuguese in India, etc.), not because God is somehow more with them than with other religions (just think of all the places where there are very few Catholic churches; not only in predominantly Orthodox countries, but in predominantly Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, etc. ones).
Orthodoxy expanded the same way. Really. When it expanded.

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2014, 07:58:11 PM »
Back in the days of the Old Testament the Jews were only a tiny part of the population of this planet while the pagans were everywhere. Does that mean that paganism was the way to go?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 07:58:23 PM by Cyrillic »
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Offline vasily

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2014, 10:09:32 AM »
I unfortunately find this comment being posted by Catholics who think they are making a major point. It isn't quantity or even quality, but who has been steadfast in keeping the true faith, the traditions and teachings.
There exists a number of books that can be helpful in your search and to answer your questions. Three books I find helpful for basic research are:
The Orthodox Church A to Z- by Fr. George Grube-Light and Life Publishing
Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy- by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick-by Conciliar Press
Orthodox Christianity-Volume I & II- by Metro. Hilarion Alfeyev-St. Vladimir's Seminary Press


Offline Jetavan

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2014, 10:25:15 AM »
Back in the days of the Old Testament the Jews were only a tiny part of the population of this planet while the pagans were everywhere. Does that mean that paganism was the way to go?
The Jews had no problems with pagans going the way of paganism.
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Offline JoeS2

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2014, 10:28:04 AM »

Most if not all Catholic don't believe in the "numbers" game.  The reason they are bigger is because of many factors.  They have a better Evangelical outreach than the Orthodox.  They use the media better and have a better PR department.....just to name a few.  And they aren't afraid to send hundreds of priests into areas that have need for the Gospels.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 10:28:38 AM by JoeS2 »

Offline Agabus

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2014, 11:05:49 AM »
Back in the days of the Old Testament the Jews were only a tiny part of the population of this planet while the pagans were everywhere. Does that mean that paganism was the way to go?
The Jews had no problems with pagans going the way of paganism.
The Jews had no problems going the way of paganism, either.
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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2014, 11:15:31 AM »

Most if not all Catholic don't believe in the "numbers" game.  The reason they are bigger is because of many factors.  They have a better Evangelical outreach than the Orthodox.  They use the media better and have a better PR department.....just to name a few.  And they aren't afraid to send hundreds of priests into areas that have need for the Gospels.
They also have hundreds of priests to send.

And the PR comment is right on, as well. Find a news story written about an Orthodox mission opening in any part of the U.S. outside of New England and the rust belt, and they all have the same tone of, "Well, gee golly, look how exotic this is -- Russians! In our town! With their own church!"

I hate the crass talk of marketing, but really it falls on us to present ourselves better. Until we figure out what Orthodox mission means in the present-day context  (and just as to the point, in our geographical context), it'll stay that way.
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Offline Christopher McAvoy

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2014, 01:01:08 AM »
Catholics have more because they have more money and politcal freedom.
In Eastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa there was intense political turmoil and poverty that has hindered the growth of the faith there.

Neither roman catholics or orthodox have yet to convert any moslem country entirely back to christian belief.
Most of the native peoples of south america in rurual areas are still pagan to this day.
In the case of Guatemala, where some of my family once lived, they are actually converting some maya for the first time ever in history!

These days the playing field for growth and conversion is gradually more equal again between both sides.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 01:02:31 AM by Christopher McAvoy »
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Offline frjohnmorris

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2014, 01:09:45 AM »
No. Why would you suppose that? The RCC grew outside of Europe as a result of imperial expansion connected to the particular powers that carved up much of the world during the age of exploration (e.g., French in North and Central Africa, Spanish in South America, Portuguese in India, etc.), not because God is somehow more with them than with other religions (just think of all the places where there are very few Catholic churches; not only in predominantly Orthodox countries, but in predominantly Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, etc. ones).
Orthodoxy expanded the same way. Really. When it expanded.

No it did not. We did not send soldiers to colonies like the Spanish in Latin America and force the population to convert to Orthodoxy. No Orthodox country had colonies except for Alaska. We did not have an inquisition to threaten to torture people and burn non-Orthodox at the stake.

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Offline William

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2014, 01:51:13 AM »
They have a solid mergers and acquisitions department.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 01:51:26 AM by William »
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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2014, 03:42:39 AM »
Neither roman catholics or orthodox have yet to convert any moslem country entirely back to christian belief.

Serbia (formerly Ottoman), Russia (formerly Mongol) etc.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 03:45:42 AM by Alpo »
The user should probably be sleeping by now.

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2014, 08:52:13 AM »
No. Why would you suppose that? The RCC grew outside of Europe as a result of imperial expansion connected to the particular powers that carved up much of the world during the age of exploration (e.g., French in North and Central Africa, Spanish in South America, Portuguese in India, etc.), not because God is somehow more with them than with other religions (just think of all the places where there are very few Catholic churches; not only in predominantly Orthodox countries, but in predominantly Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, etc. ones).
Orthodoxy expanded the same way. Really. When it expanded.

No it did not. We did not send soldiers to colonies like the Spanish in Latin America and force the population to convert to Orthodoxy. No Orthodox country had colonies except for Alaska. We did not have an inquisition to threaten to torture people and burn non-Orthodox at the stake.

Fr. John W. Morris

Interesting point you make Father.  The Conquistadors were sent in to take over a country then the priests came in right behind to evangelize.  I don't recall ever this being the system of the Orthodox Christians when they evangelized.....   

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2014, 08:53:37 AM »
Neither roman catholics or orthodox have yet to convert any moslem country entirely back to christian belief.

Serbia (formerly Ottoman), Russia (formerly Mongol) etc.

Serbia, converted to Orthodoxy, conquered by the Ottomans, and then back to Orthodoxy after a war.

Offline Ersaia

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2014, 10:12:26 AM »
I think you forgot languages and the number of people who spoke them also


as for colonies etc
in my tiny Greek Orthodox country you will find a few catholics only in places where other countries had power and people in past (Franks), usually some islands
their number is small
The greek catholics are the 0.5%  of people 50.000 as I read in their site and you will find 8.000 in island Syros and 3000 in island Tinos and 2500 in island Corfu. All these islands had many Franks in past


Now we live in another era. The era of internet. And we will see many converts to Orthodoxy in future. But the language is important in this era. English is the "koine" language now and most Orthodox people don't have english as mother tongue. As orthodox english speaking people expand the Orthodoxy will expand



« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 10:13:54 AM by Ersaia »

Offline Skydive

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2014, 10:36:34 AM »
Yes. At least from a certain point of view.
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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2014, 12:46:45 PM »
Catholics have more because they have more money and politcal freedom.
In Eastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa there was intense political turmoil and poverty that has hindered the growth of the faith there.

Neither roman catholics or orthodox have yet to convert any moslem country entirely back to christian belief.
Malta.  Spain. Portugal.  Crete.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2014, 07:57:27 AM »
No. Why would you suppose that? The RCC grew outside of Europe as a result of imperial expansion connected to the particular powers that carved up much of the world during the age of exploration (e.g., French in North and Central Africa, Spanish in South America, Portuguese in India, etc.), not because God is somehow more with them than with other religions (just think of all the places where there are very few Catholic churches; not only in predominantly Orthodox countries, but in predominantly Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, etc. ones).

On a side note, I find the "It's because God is with us" reasoning a particularly interesting one, since the same groups will also say "We're more persecuted than anyone else, so we must have the truth."

:hmmm:
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Offline jah777

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2014, 09:34:32 AM »
From St. Nikolai of Zica, Prologue of Ohrid, March 10th

Quote
When the forty-two Greek commanders from Ammoria were in Agaha's prison (refer to March 6), certain Muslim sages came to counsel them to embrace the faith of Mohammed and thereby receive their freedom. These sages stressed to theseChristian commanders the two advantages of Islam over Christianity: First: Mohammed is a more recent prophet than Christ and, Second: the Muslims were victorious on all sides over Christianity by which God clearly points out the truth of their religion. To the first point, the commanders replied, "If two men are debating over a field, and one has many witnesses that the field is his and the other does not have any witnesses except his own personal statement, what do you think? Whose field is it?" To this the Agha's men replied, "By all means, the field is his who had many witnesses." To that, the commanders replied, "By yourselves you have judged in favor of Christ and against Mohammed for Christ had with Him the witnesses of all the Prophets and Apostles, but Mohammed alone witnesses to himself." To the second point, the commanders replied, "If you would gauge the truth of a faith by victories in wars, then this would mean that all the idolatrous nations, who from time to time have conquered the world, such as the Persians, Greeks, Romans and others, possessed the true faith. This, even you Muslims would never acknowledge. And because you have been victorious over the Christians now, this does not mean that your faith is better; rather, that our sins are greater and because of this, God punishes us, through you."

http://www.stnicholasredbank.org/march9-16.htm
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 09:35:24 AM by jah777 »

Offline Skydive

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2014, 04:51:47 PM »
All this Persians, Greeks and Romans, had a high developed spirituality.
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Offline MichaelTheYounger

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2014, 10:25:00 AM »
there are only a few orthodox countries, there are way more catholics.
isn't that a sign that God is more with Catholics

I would be inclined to agree with dzheremi. Catholicism came to dominate the Western world, and I think you could probably make a strong historical argument that imperial expansion, the fact that the Catholic Church made Latin its official language and was spoken everywhere in the Catholic Roman Empire, and then also the fact that there has always been an imbalance of political power between the Western and Eastern hemispheres to account for the difference in size. An apparent fault of the Orthodox Church has been a certain degree of ethnic parochialism as well, which may be a result of attacks from the West, attempts by the Roman church to force the pre-schism Eastern church to Latinize, the Crusades, and then also attacks from Muslims and the sacking of Constantinople. I don't think its absurd to suppose that because of discrimination and even violence from the Latin West and the Muslim East, the effect has been that the Eastern Church has become somewhat insular - a pretty understandable consequence of its history of relations with other groups (I don't want to indict the Church though - many good efforts to evangelize have taken place. It is, after all, the Church of Peter and Paul. My parish actually is a great mixture of Arabs, Greeks, Ethiopians, a convert from Islam, and other converts and everyone eats together and is in fellowship. We're so lucky to have such a welcoming parish that doesn't take much notice of ethnic boundaries!).

Also, the official statistics no doubt include in its ranks many who are not actually believing or practicing Catholics. As a convert coming from the RCC, I know first hand that there are so many poorly-catechized "Catholics" these days who can barely even follow the liturgy, don't know the Creed by heart, don't believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, and some times don't even know that Jesus is both fully man and fully God. I would hazard a guess that there are tens of thousands of these sorts who identify as Catholic, or those who have hardly ever been to Mass but come from a predominantly Catholic family and so think that that makes them Catholic. I think the data are skewed. Anyway, I certainly don't think that the fact that the Catholic Church has more adherents means it is more favoured by God. It's a consequence of history.
"A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, 'You are mad; you are not like us.'" -St. Antony the Great

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2014, 10:51:12 AM »
No. Why would you suppose that? The RCC grew outside of Europe as a result of imperial expansion connected to the particular powers that carved up much of the world during the age of exploration (e.g., French in North and Central Africa, Spanish in South America, Portuguese in India, etc.), not because God is somehow more with them than with other religions (just think of all the places where there are very few Catholic churches; not only in predominantly Orthodox countries, but in predominantly Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, etc. ones).
Orthodoxy expanded the same way. Really. When it expanded.
Oh?  Who conquered the Romanians and converted them?
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Offline frjohnmorris

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2014, 12:31:30 PM »
No. Why would you suppose that? The RCC grew outside of Europe as a result of imperial expansion connected to the particular powers that carved up much of the world during the age of exploration (e.g., French in North and Central Africa, Spanish in South America, Portuguese in India, etc.), not because God is somehow more with them than with other religions (just think of all the places where there are very few Catholic churches; not only in predominantly Orthodox countries, but in predominantly Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, etc. ones).
Orthodoxy expanded the same way. Really. When it expanded.
Oh?  Who conquered the Romanians and converted them?

You can get a lot of converts when you march into a primitive village with an army and tell the people they must people convert to Roman Catholicism or they will be killed, and then make them slaves who are forced to convert which is exactly what the Spanish did.

Fr. John W. Morris
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 12:32:35 PM by frjohnmorris »

Offline Skydive

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2014, 02:59:20 PM »
No. Why would you suppose that? The RCC grew outside of Europe as a result of imperial expansion connected to the particular powers that carved up much of the world during the age of exploration (e.g., French in North and Central Africa, Spanish in South America, Portuguese in India, etc.), not because God is somehow more with them than with other religions (just think of all the places where there are very few Catholic churches; not only in predominantly Orthodox countries, but in predominantly Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, etc. ones).
Orthodoxy expanded the same way. Really. When it expanded.
Oh?  Who conquered the Romanians and converted them?

Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus and colonised a part of it.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2014, 03:42:23 PM »
Traditional Eastern Orthodox lands have been substantially victimized by the conquest of heathens.

-Moslem Arab hordes conquered and have dominated the Mideast beginning in the 7th century.
 Moslem persecution has reduced the Mideast to a handful of Orthodox Christians in the past several decades.
-Rome's 4th Crusade sacked Constantinople in 1204.
-Moslem Turks conquered and suppressed the substantially Orthodox Byzantine Empire for 400+ years,       beginning in the 15th century.
-Bolshevik Communism persecuted Orthodox Russia for 74 years, decimating the number of Orthodox     Christians, beginning in 1917.
-The same Communist barbarians persecuted primarily Orthodox Eastern European States for 44 years beginning in 1946.


Russia---the by far largest nation of Orthodox Christians accounting for perhaps 1/3rd of the Orthodox Christian population, Georgia, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania are still finding their way as relatively free Democratic Republics, 24 years later, having had no history as such a government. This is where the bulk of Orthodox Christians reside.

It's a wonder Orthodox Christianity survived this suppression and can claim 270 million adherents today, the second largest Christian denomination in the world.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 03:44:54 PM by Basil 320 »
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Offline Skydive

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2014, 04:53:37 PM »
The Moslems turned around in Romania.
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Offline JoeS2

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2014, 05:10:30 PM »
Truth will survive even if its down to the last church on earth.......

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2014, 05:58:31 PM »
No. Why would you suppose that? The RCC grew outside of Europe as a result of imperial expansion connected to the particular powers that carved up much of the world during the age of exploration (e.g., French in North and Central Africa, Spanish in South America, Portuguese in India, etc.), not because God is somehow more with them than with other religions (just think of all the places where there are very few Catholic churches; not only in predominantly Orthodox countries, but in predominantly Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, etc. ones).
Orthodoxy expanded the same way. Really. When it expanded.
Oh?  Who conquered the Romanians and converted them?

You can get a lot of converts when you march into a primitive village with an army and tell the people they must people convert to Roman Catholicism or they will be killed, and then make them slaves who are forced to convert which is exactly what the Spanish did.

Fr. John W. Morris

To which I might add a good reading of the history of what happened to the refugees that fled pre-1453 Constantinople and environs. Those who went west, notably to Venice but elsewhere in Italy as well, were not allowed to practice as Orthodox Christians (when they were allowed a church at all) and certainly under no Orthodox bishops. Sad reading.
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Offline Bernardoastur7

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2014, 08:14:55 PM »
No. Why would you suppose that? The RCC grew outside of Europe as a result of imperial expansion connected to the particular powers that carved up much of the world during the age of exploration (e.g., French in North and Central Africa, Spanish in South America, Portuguese in India, etc.), not because God is somehow more with them than with other religions (just think of all the places where there are very few Catholic churches; not only in predominantly Orthodox countries, but in predominantly Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, etc. ones).
Orthodoxy expanded the same way. Really. When it expanded.

No it did not. We did not send soldiers to colonies like the Spanish in Latin America and force the population to convert to Orthodoxy. No Orthodox country had colonies except for Alaska. We did not have an inquisition to threaten to torture people and burn non-Orthodox at the stake.

Fr. John W. Morris

Interesting point you make Father.  The Conquistadors were sent in to take over a country then the priests came in right behind to evangelize.  I don't recall ever this being the system of the Orthodox Christians when they evangelized.....   

Im sorry to disagree in part Father.  Indeed, Spain sent the Conquistadores to what now is Latin America (and a huge part of the USA) however what we know as the Spiritual Conquest was very different.  One of the first things that impressed the Indigenous in Mexico was that the all powerful Conquistadores knelt and kissed the hands of the first Franciscan Friars that arrived, and the Friars, Franciscans and Dominicans (a little less the latter) took the trouble of learning the Indigenous Languages, and so it is that even today we have copies of Catechisms in different Indigenous Languages (Nahuatl, Otomi, Purepecha).  The north of Mexico, going well into Arizona, New Mexico and California, was not conquered but colonized by Friars.

Yes, I agree that there was a war of conquest, but very different from the Black Legend.  Now, if we consider the amounts of money that Spain had in the XVth and XVIth Century that could fund huge missions, that it is true and a big reason on why there are so many Catholics in Americas.  Also lets not forget that Spain had just finished an 8 centuries war against the Moors and Islam, and the idea of conquering souls was very deeply ingrained in those Spaniards.

Finally, just want to point out that the relations with Rome have not always been very... warm.  Just remember the sack of Rome with Emperor Charles V.

Hope I did not offend anyone.  Forgive my (sometimes) fanatic Spaniard soul

Bernardo

Offline JoeS2

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #40 on: September 17, 2014, 10:13:37 PM »
there are only a few orthodox countries, there are way more catholics.
isn't that a sign that God is more with Catholics

...................NO..................

Offline Sean Chaney

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2014, 02:17:31 PM »
No, my friend, it is not....it means that Catholocism prospered in the West after the Fall of Constantinople, and the Ottoman Occupation.  The Byzantines moved West. The Craftsmen, thinkers, educators, architects, etc greatly influenced the Renaissance in Florence, Venice, and Milan.  Under the Byzantine Empire, before the rise of Islam, Orthodox Christianity flourished throughout Europe.  It began in Greece and Asia Minor.  It is greatly because of the endurance and influernce of the Orthodox Church that the Catholic Church thrives in the West.  Also, Catholicism spread much due to forced conversion and Colonialism.  One could ask, why have more people departed from the Roman Catholic faith?  Protestant Reformation....or one could say, isn't God more with Islam because it is larger than the Roman Catholic Church? No....it means that Islam discourages learning aboutr other beliefs and grows in number due to having many children.  Christ always taught that the gospel is not exactly a numbers game as much as it is to draw the faithful near to him to endure all things.  The Orthodox Faith has thrived, and it has also survived Islamic occupation for centuries, as well as genocide from the Soviet Union, and even into today. The Roman Church is also more flexible with its theology, rather that the transformation one has as an Orthodox Christian.  This would indeed appeal more globally.  There is more accountability as an Orthodox Christian.....and as the faith has more recognition in the West, the more it grows.  Let us try to be right with Christ and become One Holy Catholic Church again. Arguing about numbers is not the same as discerning Truth....and it is that Truth which Christ desires to reach the ends of the Earth. :)

Offline xariskai

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2014, 02:36:27 PM »
there are only a few orthodox countries, there are way more catholics.
isn't that a sign that God is more with Catholics
The idea that the Catholic church is right because it has more people was condemned by Pope Pius IX in his Syllabus of Errors of 1862, which is believed by many Roman Catholics to be ex cathedra (infallible). It is an error to believe "Authority is nothing else but numbers and the sum total of material forces" (see http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9syll.htm).

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"The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples." -Deuteronomy 7:7
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 02:39:02 PM by xariskai »

Offline Wandile

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2014, 03:56:16 AM »
there are only a few orthodox countries, there are way more catholics.
isn't that a sign that God is more with Catholics

nope
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Offline JoeS2

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Re: why are the catholic numbers bigger
« Reply #44 on: November 05, 2014, 09:31:37 PM »
there are only a few orthodox countries, there are way more catholics.
isn't that a sign that God is more with Catholics

I would be inclined to agree with dzheremi. Catholicism came to dominate the Western world, and I think you could probably make a strong historical argument that imperial expansion, the fact that the Catholic Church made Latin its official language and was spoken everywhere in the Catholic Roman Empire, and then also the fact that there has always been an imbalance of political power between the Western and Eastern hemispheres to account for the difference in size. An apparent fault of the Orthodox Church has been a certain degree of ethnic parochialism as well, which may be a result of attacks from the West, attempts by the Roman church to force the pre-schism Eastern church to Latinize, the Crusades, and then also attacks from Muslims and the sacking of Constantinople. I don't think its absurd to suppose that because of discrimination and even violence from the Latin West and the Muslim East, the effect has been that the Eastern Church has become somewhat insular - a pretty understandable consequence of its history of relations with other groups (I don't want to indict the Church though - many good efforts to evangelize have taken place. It is, after all, the Church of Peter and Paul. My parish actually is a great mixture of Arabs, Greeks, Ethiopians, a convert from Islam, and other converts and everyone eats together and is in fellowship. We're so lucky to have such a welcoming parish that doesn't take much notice of ethnic boundaries!).

Also, the official statistics no doubt include in its ranks many who are not actually believing or practicing Catholics. As a convert coming from the RCC, I know first hand that there are so many poorly-catechized "Catholics" these days who can barely even follow the liturgy, don't know the Creed by heart, don't believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, and some times don't even know that Jesus is both fully man and fully God. I would hazard a guess that there are tens of thousands of these sorts who identify as Catholic, or those who have hardly ever been to Mass but come from a predominantly Catholic family and so think that that makes them Catholic. I think the data are skewed. Anyway, I certainly don't think that the fact that the Catholic Church has more adherents means it is more favoured by God. It's a consequence of history.

We still are experiencing a certain amount of parochialism today in our Hyphenated Orthodox churches.  In America we need to wean our selves away from this but it will take some time.  The OCA is in the forefront of Deversifying its parishes.  We have Filipinos, Afro Americans, former Jews, converts from Protestantism and Catholicism, some Hispanics in our parish.  This is the true face of America and as it should be....