Author Topic: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)  (Read 1499 times)

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Offline PorphyriosK

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Hello,

I posted a few times here several years ago and since then have been lurking on and off as I've continued studying Orthodoxy.  Just hoping to become more active in discussions and to get input from former Catholics as I continue in my discernment. 

Pray for me please!

Offline GREGORIO

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 10:52:33 AM »
Lord have mercy on PorphyriosK.

I was Catholic before joining the Orthodox Church, maybe I can offer some small help.  What is it that you are still not sure of about the Orthodox Church?  Do you live in a city that has Orthodox Churches?

Offline Sethrak

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 12:40:44 PM »
I considered myself Catholic for years ~ Mothers family was from Adana ~ where your tongue would be cut out for speaking Armenian language ~ and worse if you belong to the Armenian Orthodox Church ~ and having attended Catholic school ~ Tho I had been baptized Orthodox as a child ~ I was Catholic in every way ```

I attended Orthodox doings ~ you know ~ Picnics, Weddings, Funerals ~ while talking to an Orthodox Priests at Uncles Funeral I mentioned that Christ Himself had said: "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church " The Priest calmly repeated in Greek the Words of Jesus ~ explaining in Armenian that Christ had told Simon : "You are a stone ~ but ~ Upon This Great Mass of Rock ( That I Am The Christ ) I Will Build My Church" To different words.

I Looked it up in the Greek ~ and ~ indeed there were two different words used ```( Petros Petra ) brothers if I typed the words incorrectly ~ please correct me ```

In study I found and read many other things ~ well ~ anyway glad you came by ~ I found this place myself a year ago ~ when I was in a lonely place that nothing could fill ~ but the companionship of people like me ~ inside ~ in here where I live and look to Our Lord ```

I look forward to seeing, hearing how it goes with you ~ and talking with you ```

your brother in the Christ ```

seth
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 12:42:33 PM by Sethrak »

Offline PorphyriosK

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 03:14:16 PM »
Thank you both for your replies!

For me, what started as simply a strong attraction to the spirituality and theology of the East became a more pressing subject to me as things in Rome have deteriorated more and more.  In studying the history of the Schism and the aftermath, it seemed to become clear that something went very wrong in the West many centuries ago.  It has been a long process to sort through and to try to discern exactly what that mysterious illness is that has brought the West to such corruption.  I still love the West and believe all of this mess could really be the birth pangs of its return to Orthodoxy.  That idea is maybe what has subconsciously kept me from formally crossing over.  That after the current system collapses, maybe Orthodoxy for the West could be just around the corner.  Then I realize what wishful thinking that is. 

I've attended a GOA parish several times, though I'm more drawn to ROCOR.  Not to be critical, but the Greek parish is somewhat Latinized and has female readers, pews with kneelers (for the Epiclesis), and organ music. 

Offline GREGORIO

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2018, 04:20:17 PM »
Your experience is very similar to mine.  I converted to Catholicism because I knew that the Catholic Church has existed from the time of Christ and in the US, Catholic Churches are available, where if I lived in Eastern countries I would have joined the Orthodox Church.  I saw them as sisters, because from the RCC side, we Orthodox are fully Christian and have valid Sacraments.  Learning of all of the influences of the spirit of Vatican 2 and the original way that the liturgy was treated, I began to long for a return to piety.  I was not impressed with the Latin Mass because I feel it important to pray in a language you understand.  All the while I was reading a lot of St. John Chrysostom and St. Cyril of Alexandria and began to see that the eastern Churches emphasize things about Christ differently than the normal Latin Catholic Church.  Most Latin priests that I heard teach did not go to the fathers for their interpretations of Scripture or explanations on other spiritual things.  Most would only go back to the Little Flower and Mother Teresa.  I began to listen to Fr. Josiah Trenham and Fr. John Whiteford on Ancient Faith Radio, and I knew that the Eastern Christian Faith had preserved the early Church's teaching.  I thought at first that the Eastern Catholic Church would be a nice way to be part of both worlds, but I don't live near one and I also realized that I would be choosing communion with the RCC and rejecting the Orthodox Church, which I felt was preserving the faith and piety. 

What made it challenging to convert was the same observations that you have made between Greek and Rocor parishes.  We visited St. Jonah's Church in Spring, TX where Fr. John Whiteford is Priest, and we fell in love with their Church.  But we live 4 hours away.  We only have a Greek Church for a 100 mile radius and it is very different than St. Jonah's.  It is in 60% Greek, and makes RCC look pious.  People show up as the liturgy ends, 0 people at Vespers, most people ignore you or worse, constant talking by adults during communion, Greek poems read for independence day and other occasions, 2 minute homily or skipped sometimes, etc. 

But if you have the opportunity to go to the ROCOR parish, I would definitely do that.

To me, the big reason to go over to the Orthodox Church had to do with the Sacraments/Mysteries.  The RCC emphasizes it's importance because it preserves the 7 Sacraments, but they have altered all of them in ways that simply do not have any excuse.  The main ones are not doing triple immersions for Baptism and not communing Christ's Blood.  But also baptizing infants but not chrysmating and communing them.  Annulments on marriages to find a loophole to divorce.  etc. 

Offline PorphyriosK

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2018, 07:10:15 PM »
Good post Gregorio, very well put.  The constant changes throughout the history of the RCC seem to be based on the idea that the Fatih evolves as time passes.  I believe that in essence is what Modernism is all about.  The erroneous idea that we "enlightened" ones of today, understand the Faith better than the Apostles and Fathers of the Church.  The unilateral change to the Creed, changing the Sign of the Cross, the idea that Scholasticism surpasses Patristic theology, the development of the Papacy and the Vatican into a socio-political bureaucracy, the dropping of icons in favor of realism (and later modernist art), the altering of the Sacraments as you mentioned, and altering the Liturgy by committee.  The general attitude has always been "new is better".  The Fathers are referred to for academic work or for proof texting, but rarely brought up for their spirituality.  Priests that I would consider 'o'rthodox Roman Catholic seem to refer to the writings of John Paul II or saints like Faustina for their spiritual sustenance.  Things are far worse obviously for the thoroughly Modernist Pope Francis brand of Catholic.  The Pope verbally insults his own faithful that he perceives to be "old-fashioned".  He has even implied that those who cling to the things of old might even be mentally unstable!

The nearest ROCOR parish from me is about 2.5 hours away, so that would be difficult at this time, but who knows what the future holds.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 07:14:49 PM by PorphyriosK »

Offline IXOYE

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2018, 07:22:43 PM »
Lord, have mercy!

Offline Sharbel

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2018, 10:34:51 PM »
If I, as a fellow former Catholic, may suggest, look forward, not backwards.  Rather than dwelling on what is wrong with the Catholic Church, enjoy with what is right with the Orthodox Church.  As for myself, everything that I learned to love in the Catholic Church I found in its fullness in the Orthodox Church.  I am more Catholic, in the Nicean sense, now as an Orthodox.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 10:43:58 PM by Sharbel »
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Offline Isaiah53IsMessiah

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2018, 10:41:18 PM »
I myself am on the edge to becoming Orthodox. I'm still not 100% there yet but close.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 10:41:30 PM by Isaiah53IsMessiah »
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Offline PorphyriosK

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2018, 11:31:02 PM »
Thank you Sharbel and Isaiah.

 

Offline CarolS

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2018, 11:40:47 PM »
When I finally decided to convert to the Orthodox Church, I was not 100% convinced, but I knew it was a better place than the other confessions that I had explored.  I prayed that God would help me to understand and accept the rest... and now I have been Orthodox for 41 years.

May the Lord help you find the best place for your salvation.
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Online MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2018, 11:49:56 PM »
My wife and I are Catholic and beginning to inquire into Orthodoxy – I have wanted to for several years, but she had not shown any interest until recently. I have found that praying Orthodox prayers and attending Orthodox services has done more to convince me than reading and study have, although that has been true as well.

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   and yet I have become occupied in shameful things!

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Offline Halik

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2018, 08:57:27 AM »
Quote
The constant changes throughout the history of the RCC seem to be based on the idea that the Fatih evolves as time passes.  I believe that in essence is what Modernism is all about.  The erroneous idea that we "enlightened" ones of today, understand the Faith better than the Apostles and Fathers of the Church.  The unilateral change to the Creed, changing the Sign of the Cross, the idea that Scholasticism surpasses Patristic theology, the development of the Papacy and the Vatican into a socio-political bureaucracy, the dropping of icons in favor of realism (and later modernist art), the altering of the Sacraments as you mentioned, and altering the Liturgy by committee.  The general attitude has always been "new is better".  The Fathers are referred to for academic work or for proof texting, but rarely brought up for their spirituality.  Priests that I would consider 'o'rthodox Roman Catholic seem to refer to the writings of John Paul II or saints like Faustina for their spiritual sustenance.  Things are far worse obviously for the thoroughly Modernist Pope Francis brand of Catholic.  The Pope verbally insults his own faithful that he perceives to be "old-fashioned".  He has even implied that those who cling to the things of old might even be mentally unstable!

Yes, indeed. Good observation. The Fathers made me catholic again, but it is true that they don't have any pivotal role in catholic church life. Nobody execpt patristic freaks and some monastics know them. In my opinion it is not completly wrong to say, that for most modern catholics the Catholic Church started anew in 1963. The traditional folks in our church are labeled "rigid" by the current pope. God alone knows, what the pope really believes.

But what to do? Here in Germany the orthodox parishes are for the most part invisible for the society and an ethnic "closed shop". Sadly I have never met any convinced orthodox in a real life situation. To be honest: That is not what i understand as "catholic". That's not a solution for me at the moment and not an easy situation. I'm a western christian, for good or ill. I'm not interested in becoming russian, greek, serbian etc. first to enter the church. The phyletism is too strong for me.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 09:05:44 AM by Halik »
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Offline GREGORIO

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2018, 09:41:16 AM »
Quote
But what to do? Here in Germany the orthodox parishes are for the most part invisible for the society and an ethnic "closed shop". Sadly I have never met any convinced orthodox in a real life situation. To be honest: That is not what i understand as "catholic". That's not a solution for me at the moment and not an easy situation. I'm a western christian, for good or ill. I'm not interested in becoming russian, greek, serbian etc. first to enter the church. The phyletism is too strong for me.

That definitely seems to be the biggest hurdle in the Orthodox Church.  As noted above, I have experienced it and it was certainly a small road block for us.  The great thing is that you can still see if there is a strong spiritual Church to travel to once in a while, and maybe do reader services in between.  And if possible maybe move closer to a Church, or start a new mission Church. 

I have a cousin that has been living in Germany for the last 5 or 6 years with his German-native wife and their kids.  He was visiting last year and said that he loves it there and planned to stay there the rest of his life possibly.  We helped him to see that the Orthodox Church is for everyone, not just people who read all of the Patristic writings and devote all their time studying.  He saw his brother and me doing so much reading that helped lead us to the Orthodox Church, and thought that it shouldn't be that difficult to find God's Church, especially for those not able to read all of the Patristic writings.  As soon as he went back to Germany, he and his family began to attend the Orthodox Church nearby.  He fell in love so much with Orthodoxy, but wants to be able to go to an English speaking parish, so they have decided to move back to the US.  He and his wife and three kids were just baptized this last Saturday, June 9, and will be moving back later this year. 

There are plenty in the Church that know the problems with ethnic ties that sometime seem to be given first priority.  It is fixable, but we will probably have to put in a little more work for now, before it is all cleared up.  From what I understand, the RCC use to have the same problems at least here in the US. 

Either way, you are in what I would consider the next best place outside of the Orthodox Church.  God bless you. 

Offline GREGORIO

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2018, 09:47:53 AM »
Isaiah53IsMessiah and MalpanaGiwargis,

That is great that you are also close to joining the Orthodox Church!  Lord have mercy.

God Bless you in your journeys.

Offline Halik

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2018, 09:55:12 AM »
Quote
Either way, you are in what I would consider the next best place outside of the Orthodox Church.  God bless you.

Thanks! May God bless you too!  :)

We'll see what happens in the future. As Father Bunge told me it's perhaps time to overwinter this present crisis. We have the scriptures, the fathers and (still) the catechism.
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Offline GREGORIO

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2018, 09:55:51 AM »
If I, as a fellow former Catholic, may suggest, look forward, not backwards.  Rather than dwelling on what is wrong with the Catholic Church, enjoy with what is right with the Orthodox Church.  As for myself, everything that I learned to love in the Catholic Church I found in its fullness in the Orthodox Church.  I am more Catholic, in the Nicean sense, now as an Orthodox.

I agree with this for us Orthodox.  It is easy to have some kind of hatred for other faiths if you're not careful and we should thank God for allowing us to learn beautiful things from these other faiths that led us to the Orthodox Church.  But when you are trying to decide whether or not the RCC is an acceptable place to stay instead of joining the Orthodox Church, it is necessary to pinpoint the problems and see the Orthodox Church's solutions.  It will help you feel confident that you are not just making a mistake that you will eventually regret.  But yes once you have decided to leave, it is good to look back with love and appreciation and recognize that you have just grown in, not abandoned your old faith.

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2018, 10:43:29 AM »
The evolution of liturgical practices and faith tradition exists just the same in Orthodox communities.
They are just less inclined to actually acknowledge that!
It is not as if what you see today in any Orthodox liturgy is exactly what has been practiced in very early Christianity.
A few questions to think about:

- When (and how!) did Christians start to celebrate Christmas (or any other major solemnity)?
What was the first time a fasting period took place before it?
- When was the first time liturgy in Church Slavonic?
Was it admissible at that time or "modernism"?
- etc.

So many things are just a question of how deep you dig and how far you go back.
Orthodox love to point out how this developments were "organic" (whatever that means) on their end whereas the Catholic Church hierarchy "imposes" them on believers. Personally, I would recommend the OP to find a traditional Catholic parish. They will celebrate a liturgy which goes back to St. Gregory (6th century) or even longer back - at least three centuries before the first person was ever baptized in any Slavic country. So we can have a very relaxed view on any accusation of "modernism" within the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church.

Also, I suggest to have a look at the social aspect of things. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Look at how many hospitals, schools, orphanages, etc. are run by the Catholic church. Orthodox are great when it comes to avoid compromising church teaching, holding up tradition or celebrating liturgy. But for the most time, they are really only concerned with that and chiefly for people of the same ethnicity. Where do they go out of their way, look for people at the "fringes" and evangelize among foreigners?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 10:51:13 AM by Lepanto »
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Offline Halik

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2018, 10:56:19 AM »
Quote
They will celebrate a liturgy which goes back to St. Gregory (6th century) or even longer back - at least three centuries before the first person was ever baptized in any Slavic country. So we can have a very relaxed view on any accusation of "modernism" within the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church.

This is true for the old roman rite. The anaphora is much older and more ancient than the byzantine ones. But it is not true for the modern rite. It's absolutly clear, that the new mass a fabricated liturgy. There a so many options in the liturgical books, that a mass can range from "happy/clappy" to "stiffer up lip". Nevertheless, if done properly the new mass is indeed spiritual beneficial. But this is seldom the case in my experience. The very old and the very young priests are celebrating better than the "middle-generation". There is a great dislike of young priests by progressive parshioners.

Quote
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Look at how many hospitals, schools, orphanages, etc. are run by the Catholic church. Orthodox are great when it comes to avoid compromising church teaching, holding up tradition or celebrating liturgy. But for the most time, they are really only concerned with that and chiefly for people of the same ethnicity. Where do they go out of their way, look for people at the "fringes" and evangelize among foreigners?

This is indeed a very good point. I want both. Is this too much?  ;) ;D
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 11:00:20 AM by Halik »
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Online Lepanto

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2018, 10:57:49 AM »
This is indeed a very good point. I want both. Is this too much?  ;) ;D

Without any irony: Yes, this is too much.
If you find such a Church, let me know.
I would be very interested.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2018, 11:21:31 AM »
Where do they go out of their way, look for people at the "fringes" and evangelize among foreigners?

I'm guessing that this is a rhetorical question, but by now you should know that such missions do exist and have for a while. From the older missions to China or Alaska to contemporary missions in Kenya, Uganda, Guatemala, or the Philippines. They may not have the same scale or vigor as Catholic missions  but the Orthodox church has not had the benefit of transatlantic/ pacific colonialism to propel its missionaries to far-off places and bolster them with wealth (and sometimes guns.)
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Offline PorphyriosK

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2018, 05:51:13 PM »

- When (and how!) did Christians start to celebrate Christmas (or any other major solemnity)?
What was the first time a fasting period took place before it?
- When was the first time liturgy in Church Slavonic?
Was it admissible at that time or "modernism"?
- etc.

As I said, the modern Roman Mass was created by a "committee" of churchmen not exactly renowned for great holiness, along with advisers that included Protestant ministers.  It was created with a certain goal in mind: the appeasement of Protestant objections to the Mass.  That's quite different from ancient Liturgies that were composed by Saints and slightly altered from time to time through the centuries. 

Quote
... Personally, I would recommend the OP to find a traditional Catholic parish. They will celebrate a liturgy which goes back to St. Gregory (6th century) or even longer back - at least three centuries before the first person was ever baptized in any Slavic country. So we can have a very relaxed view on any accusation of "modernism" within the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church.

I attended a traditional Catholic parish over the course of several years.  The priests there were pious and I highly respect them.  I realize there are elements of the old Latin Liturgy that go back that far, but with the Filioque in the Creed it's become an issue for me.

Quote
Also, I suggest to have a look at the social aspect of things. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Look at how many hospitals, schools, orphanages, etc. are run by the Catholic church. Orthodox are great when it comes to avoid compromising church teaching, holding up tradition or celebrating liturgy. But for the most time, they are really only concerned with that and chiefly for people of the same ethnicity. Where do they go out of their way, look for people at the "fringes" and evangelize among foreigners?

From what I've seen, the Russian Church is currently outdoing the RCC in its missionary efforts.  Maybe not in the financial aide realm, but in spreading the Orthodox Faith.

Offline PorphyriosK

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2018, 05:57:51 PM »
Quote
Either way, you are in what I would consider the next best place outside of the Orthodox Church.  God bless you.

Thanks! May God bless you too!  :)

We'll see what happens in the future. As Father Bunge told me it's perhaps time to overwinter this present crisis. We have the scriptures, the fathers and (still) the catechism.

Wow, you've met Father Gabriel Bunge?  His book Earthen Vessels had a great influence on me a few years back.

Offline Sharbel

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2018, 06:41:01 PM »
It will help you feel confident that you are not just making a mistake that you will eventually regret. 
Following God's will is the only assured way to never regret anything.

So many things are just a question of how deep you dig and how far you go back.
Orthodox love to point out how this developments were "organic" (whatever that means) on their end whereas the Catholic Church hierarchy "imposes" them on believers. Personally, I would recommend the OP to find a traditional Catholic parish. They will celebrate a liturgy which goes back to St. Gregory (6th century) or even longer back - at least three centuries before the first person was ever baptized in any Slavic country. So we can have a very relaxed view on any accusation of "modernism" within the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church.
Which liturgy, the one on Wednesday evening or the one on Sunday at 9:00?  Or is it the one on Sunday at 17:00?  Can you find the same Roman liturgy in different parishes in the same diocese?  Why should a Catholic have to go around town looking for a traditional liturgy that he can not find in any of the half a dozen Catholic churches in a 5km radius?  Why is a Catholic unable to attend a devout liturgy anywhere at any time?

Also, I suggest to have a look at the social aspect of things. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Look at how many hospitals, schools, orphanages, etc. are run by the Catholic church. Orthodox are great when it comes to avoid compromising church teaching, holding up tradition or celebrating liturgy. But for the most time, they are really only concerned with that and chiefly for people of the same ethnicity. Where do they go out of their way, look for people at the "fringes" and evangelize among foreigners?
This is just not fair.  Most Orthodox churches abroad are mission churches established to serve the faithful in the diaspora.  If you go to the old countries, you'll also find many hospitals, schools, orphanages, etc, run by the Orthodox Church.
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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2018, 07:06:05 PM »
Hello,

I posted a few times here several years ago and since then have been lurking on and off as I've continued studying Orthodoxy.  Just hoping to become more active in discussions and to get input from former Catholics as I continue in my discernment. 

Pray for me please!

I don't know if I told you this already, but seriously get Michael Whelton's "Two Paths"
It goes through the 7 Councils and the Roman church post-schism and explains the contradictions of doctrine and history that occur, while explaining the Orthodox view of history. I recommend it highly.

I also recommend lots of prayer; that is, prayer that is Orthodox (which should be permissible to a Roman Catholic, considering that Byzantine Catholics pray like that).
"Вознеслся еси во славе, Христе Боже наш, радость сотворивый учеником, обетованием Свтаго Духа, извещенным им бывшим благословением, яко Ты еси Сын Божий, Избавитель мира."

May God one day unite me with the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church. And may God forgive me for my consistent sins of the flesh and any blasphemous and carnal desire, as well as forgive me whenever I act prideful, against the desire of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit.

Offline Halik

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2018, 02:35:16 AM »
Quote
Wow, you've met Father Gabriel Bunge?  His book Earthen Vessels had a great influence on me a few years back.

I wrote him a letter for advice and a few weeks after that we had a long phone call. Despite his conversion to orthodoxy he is still counceling roman catholics and that's a very good thing. "Earthen Vessels" has had a deep impact on me, too. IMHO it's one of the best books regarding prayer.
“We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world."
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Offline Halik

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2018, 02:55:28 AM »
Quote
Which liturgy, the one on Wednesday evening or the one on Sunday at 9:00?  Or is it the one on Sunday at 17:00?  Can you find the same Roman liturgy in different parishes in the same diocese?  Why should a Catholic have to go around town looking for a traditional liturgy that he can not find in any of the half a dozen Catholic churches in a 5km radius?  Why is a Catholic unable to attend a devout liturgy anywhere at any time?

No, it's the liturgy on Tuesday morning at 7.45 a.m.!  ;)

Most (german) catholics are not able to find a traditional mass in their town.
If you have a look at the map, you can see that their are only a few traditional masses compared to the NOM:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1EOb52IvT2iiFwZXwYlrmCPAbd-U&ie=UTF8&hl=de&t=h&om=1&msa=0&ll=50.63901000000001%2C10.393065999999976&spn=10.039447%2C13.842773&z=6&source=embed

It's not so easy to find devout masses and priests with a true catholic spirit. In my own parish the new priest abolished the second reading, the psalm, the "orare fratres", the embolism and de facto the creed (occasionally it is spoken; but never the Nicene Creed, only the Apostolic Creed). His "argument" was, that there are too many words in the liturgy and the faithful can't comprehend all the texts. He too abolished the incense. He said, that he is too protestant for that (no joke ...)! Even the Easter Vigil was without any incense. If you join the Family Masses, you can only find rudiments of a catholic liturgy. Most of the priests in the area do the same. I'm so sick of that, because slowly but sureley it destroys the faith. In my parish many people demand a "Wort-Gottes-Feier" (Word-of-God-Liturgy) instead of a eucharistic liturgy on sundays, because there are so many lay people (aka women ...), who should be involved an who have such great talents.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 03:01:23 AM by Halik »
“We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world."
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Online Lepanto

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2018, 10:47:45 AM »
@Halik: As a fellow German Catholic I observe similar things and share your concerns. German bishops are not exactly a stronghold of faithfulness and haven't been for quite some time - consider how they attacked Humanae Vitae or the recent ideas of Card. Marx regarding intercommunion. I feel sad way too often about all this nonsense.
However, we are NOT allowed to jump ship just because it is currently a bit uncomfortable for more traditionally-minded Catholics. Stay true to the one holy church in communion with the bishop of Rome. Try to go to traditional liturgy when you can. Pray and hope for the best. Raise your children in the faith. Orthodoxy looks tempting at times - I have been there - but in the end, they have nothing to offer that you cannot find home, quite to the contrary.
una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro et Antistite nostro et omnibus orthodoxis atque catholicæ et apostolicæ fidei cultoribus

Offline Halik

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2018, 10:59:32 AM »
Quote
Try to go to traditional liturgy when you can. Pray and hope for the best.

Yes. That's what I'm gonna do. I do see the problems in Orthodoxy and that the grass is not always greener there. As I said: I'm a western christian, for good or ill. But I have a certain unease in which direction the Catholic Church is heading. It seems to me that we witness a transforming process into ...tja ... what? I don't know at the moment.

Quote
Orthodoxy looks tempting at times - I have been there - but in the end, they have nothing to offer that you cannot find home, quite to the contrary.

You have been there? Sounds interesting! Will you tell us some details?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 11:01:25 AM by Halik »
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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2018, 12:51:47 PM »
Quote
Try to go to traditional liturgy when you can. Pray and hope for the best.

Yes. That's what I'm gonna do. I do see the problems in Orthodoxy and that the grass is not always greener there. As I said: I'm a western christian, for good or ill. But I have a certain unease in which direction the Catholic Church is heading. It seems to me that we witness a transforming process into ...tja ... what? I don't know at the moment.

Quote
Orthodoxy looks tempting at times - I have been there - but in the end, they have nothing to offer that you cannot find home, quite to the contrary.

You have been there? Sounds interesting! Will you tell us some details?
It's a long story and I don't want to share it in detail. Only so much: There was a day when I had reached a decision and planned to go to a certain ROCOR parish and ask about catechumenate for serious. I had visited the parish several times for liturgy on Sundays, though it involved some travelling, also talked to the priest, who is by the way a great guy, very friendly and knowledgeable.
Anyway, it did not happen. That same day, other events took place in my life which changed my view on several things. Sorry, cannot be more specific. I only once returned to this parish and talked to this priest again - who really invested a lot of time in a desperate Catholic. But that was it, I now know where I belong. Causa finita.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 12:53:35 PM by Lepanto »
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Offline PorphyriosK

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2018, 11:58:00 AM »
To everyone, I'm posting this on both of the threads I started recently:

This may seem like a dramatic turnaround, but I've decided for certain to remain in the faith of my baptism, in communion with Rome.  As I said before, I identify very strongly in every way with Eastern Orthodox spirituality and theology.  I can't fully explain why I believe God wants me to remain where I am.  It seems as though under the surface He is in the midst of accomplishing something extraordinary in the West that we can't yet comprehend, even as we see the edifices crumbling around us.  Things are shifting and in flux and it's hard to see what the final outcome will be, but "jumping ship" (as another poster stated) is not an answer and is not a decision that my conscience will allow me to make in this time of crisis.  I believe God will make it very clear to me if I'm in any way mistaken as I try to follow His holy will.  In the meantime, I continue to pray fervently for the reunion of our churches.  Thank you all for your kindness and your wisdom and openness to discussion.

Offline Sharbel

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #31 on: June 18, 2018, 12:02:37 PM »
It is a huge decision, so follow God's will as well as you can discern it to the best of your abilities.

May God bless you on your journey to him.
Sanctus Deus
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2018, 12:42:11 PM »
Stay true to the one holy church in communion with the bishop of Rome. Try to go to traditional liturgy when you can. Pray and hope for the best. Raise your children in the faith. Orthodoxy looks tempting at times - I have been there - but in the end, they have nothing to offer that you cannot find home, quite to the contrary.
Except the Truth that comes from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in which the bishop of Rome is in communion.

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2018, 12:53:12 PM »
@PorphyriosK: I am glad that you seem to have found a way back home!  :)
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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2018, 01:06:31 PM »
May God bless your journey to Eastern Orthodoxy!

Gospodi Pomului!

Kyrie Eleison!

Lord Have Mercy!
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Offline PorphyriosK

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2018, 05:07:37 PM »
Thanks to all for your prayers and support.  This is by no means easy.  I don't even want to be on one side vs. the other.  I just want East and West to be one again, period.

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2018, 06:22:10 PM »
Lord, have mercy.

PorphyriosK, leaving the Roman communion is not a decision that can be made lightly, so there's no shame in staying put. In fact, I think there is wisdom in staying where you are for now; changing churches too quickly can be spiritually deleterious - I know from experience!
Woe is me, that I have read the commandments,
   and have become learned in the Scriptures,
and have been instructed in Your glories,
   and yet I have become occupied in shameful things!

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2018, 08:11:29 PM »
Dont worry. I heard hell isn't that hot.

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2018, 08:51:10 PM »
Dont worry. I heard hell isn't that hot.

Very funny.
My only weakness is, well, never mind

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Offline augustin717

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2018, 10:28:22 PM »
Dont worry. I heard hell isn't that hot.
you mean the Kalomiros hell, aka the river of fire ?
"I saw a miracle where 2 people entered church one by baptism and one by chrismation. On pictures the one received by full baptism was shinning in light the one by chrismation no."

Offline Halik

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2018, 03:23:16 AM »
Quote
This may seem like a dramatic turnaround, but I've decided for certain to remain in the faith of my baptism, in communion with Rome.

May God bless your journey and give you strength!
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 03:26:20 AM by Halik »
“We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world."
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Offline Halik

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2018, 03:24:50 AM »
Quote
Dont worry. I heard hell isn't that hot.

Cool. Tell us more, when you've been there.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 03:26:49 AM by Halik »
“We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world."
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2018, 04:03:38 AM »
Thanks to all for your prayers and support.  This is by no means easy.  I don't even want to be on one side vs. the other.  I just want East and West to be one again, period.
They are. "Roman" Catholicism vs. "Eastern" Orthodoxy isn't a matter of Romans vs. Easterners, unlike what the names imply. Most of our posters are Westerners in some sense and Orthodox Christians, and there are millions of people across Asia who are Catholics. One cannot be both anymore, so they cannot be one without either losing their most essential marks. We've tried it hard, but our differences have gone too deep, and I was going to try to be neutral on this, but let me tell you: it's not the Orthodox Church which has stabilished so much dogma that she put her "sister" by default into many formal condemnations. We haven't changed.

It doesn't make any sense to talk about the Schism in terms of East and West, we're not in the Late Middle Ages anymore. Theology, mysticism and ecclesiology speak much louder than ethnicy or cardinal directions in a world that has conversion, mission, immigration, etc... So you should focus on these things to make your decision instead of Latin vs Greek, Germany vs Russia, mitre vs klobuk, etc... It is the traditional and the only coherent teaching of Catholicism that Russia was Catholic before falling, and it is the traditional and only coherent teaching of Orthodoxy that Germany was Orthodox before falling, so these ethnic/geographic differences get really really small when you get head deep in doctrine.

You may think I'm reading too much into your simple statement, but you expressed a concern that is very typical of one who blurs and resumes our differences for the sake of simplicity, so I urge you not to fall into this mistake. I tried to put it in a way neither too watered-down or too harsh, so I'm sorry if I failed as for the latter, but you seem like a person in a really sincere search, so I add what I feel I should add for the sake of clarity.

May God keep you safe wherever you stay and choose. Never mind Tzimis, it's Greek humour, I guess...
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 04:08:59 AM by RaphaCam »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Anyhow when God was asked he said Eastern Orthodox is true Church and not Catholic Church. So come home and enjoy.

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2018, 04:19:27 AM »
The evolution of liturgical practices and faith tradition exists just the same in Orthodox communities.
They are just less inclined to actually acknowledge that!
It is not as if what you see today in any Orthodox liturgy is exactly what has been practiced in very early Christianity.
A few questions to think about:

- When (and how!) did Christians start to celebrate Christmas (or any other major solemnity)?
What was the first time a fasting period took place before it?
- When was the first time liturgy in Church Slavonic?
Was it admissible at that time or "modernism"?
- etc.

So many things are just a question of how deep you dig and how far you go back.
Orthodox love to point out how this developments were "organic" (whatever that means)
It means we're not clapping hands or incorporating, dance and hillsong... Really, you do know the worth of the Tridentine mass isn't just a matter of age and aesthetics. There are things that historical liturgies such as Tridentine and Byzantine share with each other, but not with the New Mass as it is massively celebrated.

Quote
Personally, I would recommend the OP to find a traditional Catholic parish. They will celebrate a liturgy which goes back to St. Gregory (6th century) or even longer back - at least three centuries before the first person was ever baptized in any Slavic country. So we can have a very relaxed view on any accusation of "modernism" within the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church.
So a liturgy that is residual and sometimes even openly persecuted across the Roman Catholic world (and which, BTW, isn't that old at all) proves that Roman Catholicism falls to no accusation of modernism? Makes no sense, man. Also, Slavic Christianity is apostolic, it just wasn't widespread until the Cyrillomethodian missions.

Quote
Also, I suggest to have a look at the social aspect of things. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Look at how many hospitals, schools, orphanages, etc. are run by the Catholic church. Orthodox are great when it comes to avoid compromising church teaching, holding up tradition or celebrating liturgy. But for the most time, they are really only concerned with that and chiefly for people of the same ethnicity. Where do they go out of their way, look for people at the "fringes" and evangelize among foreigners?
How many people have been shot dead in your cathedral in the presence of your archbishop while it was open to serve the local poor? If you ask me, the number will be four. We got the bullets removed from the church's door and are still praying and helping the needed at the same site. It's just one case, many Roman Catholic missionaries probably had it worse, and I don't want to understate the RCC's amazing charitable work, but it's one example that this kind of sacrificial effort is not unknown to us. Iconodule put it well as for missions.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 04:27:28 AM by RaphaCam »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Anyhow when God was asked he said Eastern Orthodox is true Church and not Catholic Church. So come home and enjoy.

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Re: Catholic drawn to Orthodoxy for years (close to conversion)
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2018, 06:24:45 AM »
I will not deny that the Orthodox churches also have been and still are undertaking considerable efforts when it comes to (social) mission.
You always only ever get a local impression of the grand scale of things and the Catholic church is big and spread all over the world - as is yours.
So I concede that what one observes is not all necessarily representative for the world.

I do not claim that the Catholic church is immune to "modernism" - quite to the contrary. Yes, sometimes our liturgy is persecuted, yes there
is a lot of nonsense going on. I am the first one to admit that. Still no reason for the OP to jump ship. We must hold out while we can.
una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro et Antistite nostro et omnibus orthodoxis atque catholicæ et apostolicæ fidei cultoribus