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Author Topic: liberal catholicism has damaged my faith  (Read 3896 times) Average Rating: 0
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want-to-convert
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« on: December 20, 2005, 09:00:21 PM »

Hi, I am glad to find this board. This is my first post. I am Catholic but want to convert to the Orthodox. I need some help here.

I have been influenced by Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, Basil Pennington et al, liberal spiritual writers who advocate strange methods of meditation. I just got back from spending a month at a Camaldolese (a Catholic religious order) hermitage on a vocation retreat. All the hermits there were more interested in Buddhism and Taoism than their own Christian religion. Their idea was that as long as someone meditates and reaches a certain state of mind then one has experienced "Christ" and is "saved." Even atheists are allowed to be affiliated with the hermitage as long as they practice "centering prayer" etc. The vocation director told me to do all sorts of weird things, like sit naked and rub baby lotion on my body. He even gave me a bottle of lotion. This has really thrown me off. I have a strong doctrinal foundation but I have lost tons of faith since coming back home. Scripture is now hard to believe because the Asain influences tampered with my ways of thinking. I used to study theology all day, but now, for example, I cannot even discern whether there is a definite moral law. Any advice? Please help.

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Paul
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2005, 09:38:31 PM »

I'm sorry this is going to sound patronizing.

Maybe you should try normal or "conservative" Catholicism first?   I don't mean to dissuade anyone from anything, but what you described is not Catholicism.  (if you're looking for books on Catholicism, I'd recommend the Cathecism or any of the books by Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict).   

By all means go Orthodox if that's what you're called to do.  I'd only recommend that you think it over carefully (and prayerfully), do it in close cooperation with a priest, and know why you're going Orthodox.  This is because I've known too many people who jump religions and jurisdicitons looking for something that they apparently never find.   

If I may ask, why do you choose Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2005, 09:44:18 PM »

Yikes. My advice, stay away from that. It's thinly veiled paganism -- veiled with an idolotrous christ-like garment. Are you familiar with the Desert Fathers and/or the Eastern Christian spiritual tradition(e.g. Philokalia)? I would recommend reading that stuff; although there are others here who are much more qualified to offer suggestions and information than me.

I would also say that this shouldn't be something to look at in a negative light. You are not losing your faith; this is what faith is all about. It's active, growing, progressive; it hurts sometimes, it's frustrating, and sometimes downright ugly. This is an opportunity God has given you that you might grow. The world is a big big big place, and ideas are everywhere -- there is no sense in avoiding them. Indeed, it's most often impossible to avoid the diverse opinions and worldviews in existence today. Should we, as Christians, be afraid? No. To do so would be counteractive to the message of Christ. We are, after all, IN the world; but we are not of it.

That's all I will say...
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2005, 09:54:04 PM »

I'm sorry this is going to sound patronizing.

Maybe you should try normal or "conservative" Catholicism first?  ÃƒÆ’‚ I don't mean to dissuade anyone from anything, but what you described is not Catholicism.  (if you're looking for books on Catholicism, I'd recommend the Cathecism or any of the books by Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict).  ÃƒÆ’‚  

By all means go Orthodox if that's what you're called to do.  I'd only recommend that you think it over carefully (and prayerfully), do it in close cooperation with a priest, and know why you're going Orthodox.  This is because I've known too many people who jump religions and jurisdicitons looking for something that they apparently never find.  ÃƒÆ’‚  

If I may ask, why do you choose Orthodoxy?

Good advice.  Don't become Orthodox just because you don't like the problems in the EOC.  The EOC has problems too.  There are plenty of good parts of the RCC, you just have to find them.  The FSSP is a good group, and is soundly Catholic.  Don't become EO, however, because you are fleeing from something.  Good priests may not allow you to convert if you are only fleeing from the RCC.
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2005, 11:16:45 PM »

Hi, as others here have mentioned you might want to first try traditional true Catholicism (Well some say Orthdoxy is the true Catholicism but neways...) try going to a Trdientine Mass in Latin wth bits of english. Going to Catholic school as a kid also made me feel like the new catholic mass was the most boring unspiritual thign ever. It was kind of like being at the mall or in an auditorium listening to a boring speech with communion at the end. Most of the Catholic teens didn't care a hoot about Mass and would often skip it to go to the cofffee shop or the mall next door.

But then a couple of my friends experienced the Tridentine Mass and they were blown away. You just have to find the right parishes and priests to associate yourselves with.

Here is a website to find local Tridentine Masses in the US:

http://web2.airmail.net/~carlsch/MaterDei/churches.htm

http://www.sspx.org/chapels.htm
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2005, 11:42:24 PM »

Hi, as others here have mentioned you might want to first try traditional true Catholicism (Well some say Orthdoxy is the true Catholicism but neways...) try going to a Trdientine Mass in Latin wth bits of english. Going to Catholic school as a kid also made me feel like the new catholic mass was the most boring unspiritual thign ever. It was kind of like being at the mall or in an auditorium listening to a boring speech with communion at the end. Most of the Catholic teens didn't care a hoot about Mass and would often skip it to go to the cofffee shop or the mall next door.

But then a couple of my friends experienced the Tridentine Mass and they were blown away. You just have to find the right parishes and priests to associate yourselves with.

Here is a website to find local Tridentine Masses in the US:

http://web2.airmail.net/~carlsch/MaterDei/churches.htm

http://www.sspx.org/chapels.htm


Lol be careful, some consider the SSPX in schism Wink.  I personally don't, but then again, I'm not the Pope lol.
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2005, 12:25:05 AM »

Lol be careful, some consider the SSPX in schism Wink.  I personally don't, but then again, I'm not the Pope lol.

This is true. I read on the forums on www.catholic.com in the ask the apologists section that the only time Catholics should attend anything to do with SSPX is for a funeral. Here is the link if anyone wishes to read it, and the reasons why. http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=89233
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2005, 01:00:36 AM »

Thanks for the replies. One of the disheartening things for me is discovering that there is no more true monasticism in Latin church, except for a few exceptions. But I know that is not a matter of life or death. The main cause of crisis is that the foundations of my theology -- Augustine, Anselm etc -- have been uprooted. The traditionalist Roman Catholics, even though I support them in the old Mass, make things worse for me, because of their scholasticism and papalism. It seems that I must take up a Greek mindset to keep faith. I guess I could go Eastern Catholic, but I don't want to support the pope, because I don't believe in his dogmas. The Orthodox seem to have the fullness of the faith. Would it be wrong to remain in the Catholic church if I know that the Orthodox are more correct? I have another question. Would an Orthodox priest or monk mind being a Spiritual Father to a Catholic? Catholic religious priests have told me to avoid Catholic diocesan priests. But the Catholic religious priests I have known are just as bad.

Has anyone else had to get over the false spiritualities that are found in liberal Catholicism?

Paul
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2005, 02:28:51 AM »

It sounds like you had a negative experience with a vocations retreat.  ÃƒÆ’‚ BIG bummer.  Did you by any chance go here:
http://www.contemplation.com/Hermitage/home.html

Thanks for the replies. One of the disheartening things for me is discovering that there is no more true monasticism in Latin church, except for a few exceptions.

Not true at all.ÂÂ  Benedictine, Carmelite, Franciscan, and Dominican monks/friars exist, are active and many of them are quite good:

http://www.solesmes.com
http://www.fssp.org - they don't even advertise for "vocations" anymore because they can't take all the applicants.  ÃƒÆ’‚Â

Or from my local area:

http://www.saintanselms.org/ - a monastery and top flight secondary school
http://www.icspublications.org/who/ics.html
http://www.myfranciscan.org/
http://www.dhs.edu

Secularism is rampant in modern US culture.  This kills authentic spiritual life in both the home, the parish and the monastery as humans turn to other things for "happiness".  Some people then turn to false gods to make up for the emptiness of the spiritual lives.  ÃƒÆ’‚ This is what's taken place, in my mind, among the "worst" Roman Catholic communities and is the prime cause for what Catholics call the "vocations crisis".   


Quote
But I know that is not a matter of life or death. The main cause of crisis is that the foundations of my theology -- Augustine, Anselm etc -- have been uprooted. Has anyone else had to get over the false spiritualities that are found in liberal Catholicism?ÂÂ  

Yes, ignore them and be assured that they won't exist in 50 years or so; whereas Augustine and Anselm will still be taught, and there will still be good Benedictine Monasteries.  ÃƒÆ’‚ I'll be willing to bet as much as $1M 2005 dollars on this.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Also be aware that God sometimes disrupts our spiritual lives as a test for us, to make us grow deeper in our faith.  The wrong answer would be to despair and do something rash, be it change to another religion or even abandon religion altogether.  I would say the same to a Catholic, an Orthodox, or even a Baptist.  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚Â

My suggestion to you about converting: be 100% sure that that's what you want to do and of the reasons why you're doing it.ÂÂ  Once I was sure, I'd even wait for a few years before actually doing it.

Markos (who can't believe he's aping the role of a spiritual father and apologizing for Catholicism on an Orthodox internet board)
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with my tears the handwriting of my many sins
And for the rest of my life to please Thee
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against my sould with his cunning

O Lord before I utterly perish do Thou save me!
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2005, 12:09:28 PM »

Thanks for the replies. One of the disheartening things for me is discovering that there is no more true monasticism in Latin church, except for a few exceptions. But I know that is not a matter of life or death. The main cause of crisis is that the foundations of my theology -- Augustine, Anselm etc -- have been uprooted. The traditionalist Roman Catholics, even though I support them in the old Mass, make things worse for me, because of their scholasticism and papalism. It seems that I must take up a Greek mindset to keep faith. I guess I could go Eastern Catholic, but I don't want to support the pope, because I don't believe in his dogmas. The Orthodox seem to have the fullness of the faith. Would it be wrong to remain in the Catholic church if I know that the Orthodox are more correct? I have another question. Would an Orthodox priest or monk mind being a Spiritual Father to a Catholic? Catholic religious priests have told me to avoid Catholic diocesan priests. But the Catholic religious priests I have known are just as bad.

Has anyone else had to get over the false spiritualities that are found in liberal Catholicism?

Paul

If you don't believe in the pope is the head of the church, I can't see where you can remain Catholic. While I agree that one shouldn't flee when the "going gets rough" per se but I have a feeling that this has been brewing inside you for more than this experience? I think it would be worth your time to find an Orthodox priest to commence a dialogue. with and help you sort out what you're going through.

Although I was not a liberal Catholic, I spent several years dabbling in occult/wicca/fluffybunny new age schlock before becoming Byzantine Catholic and eventually Orthodox.  I can relate to what it is like to become disillusioned with false doctorine.



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« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2005, 01:47:39 PM »

The SSPX are in schism? I thought Archbishop Lefebvre (now deaceased) just had an argument with Pope JPII about traditionalism versus modernism and that the Pope was just not really happy with him. I don't see how trying to maintain traditions of the Church makes you a schismatic.
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2005, 02:00:08 PM »

<Scripture is now hard to believe because the Asain influences tampered with my ways of thinking. >

"I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven". If you believe these words of the Lord then you realize that Satan is real.

Centering is pseudo-Christian - infact pagan/buddhist and I suspect its popularity is because there is a dearth of real spirituality and people are seeking meaning to their lives.  This kind of prayer is also popular among Anglicans and it is not surprising when you have Anglican Scholars (on the Church's payroll) denying the Resurrection, miracles and anything remotely other world.  I just found the latest WCC interpretation of the Lord's Prayer - here's their view of Evil.
===============

"And deliver us from evil.
Terrorism is a terrible thing, Lord, for the violent death it seeks to bring, often in your name. Certainly human dignity requires only respect, love and understanding for one another. How do we stop this insanity, and our inclination toward vengeance? "


In Orthodoxy we ask to be delivered from the Evil One.  When you ignore or totally dismiss Satan, then you allow all sorts of unclean spirits i.e.Asian influence to dominate.  My advice is talk to a priest who understand this.  If you would like to continue offline, you may send me an email.
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2005, 02:09:31 PM »

Good advice.  Don't become Orthodox just because you don't like the problems in the EOC.  The EOC has problems too.  There are plenty of good parts of the RCC, you just have to find them.  The FSSP is a good group, and is soundly Catholic.  Don't become EO, however, because you are fleeing from something.  Good priests may not allow you to convert if you are only fleeing from the RCC.

Gotta admit I've always disagreed with this thought process. I don't care why someone is getting to safety, as long as they do. After they're safe there will be plenty of time to purify the heart and motives. This is like telling folks not to invest if they're only worried about their future or go ahead and steal if you're not stealing only because you're afraid of getting caught. Do the right thing FIRST, and worry about the right motives later. Doing the wrong thing out of "right" motives can kill you. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

God is calling *everyone* to the Church, for it is the fullness of faith and the Ark of Salvation. He desires everyone to be saved, and the best (some might say only, though I would not) place to be saved is the Orthodox Church. Yes, you can do it elsewhere, just as you *could* cross the ocean in a row boat, but why try.

I say flee from error, flee from heterodoxy, flee from half-truths and flee *to* the Orthodox Church!!

In Christ!

J-D
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2005, 02:37:19 PM »

Gotta admit I've always disagreed with this thought process. I don't care why someone is getting to safety, as long as they do. After they're safe there will be plenty of time to purify the heart and motives. This is like telling folks not to invest if they're only worried about their future or go ahead and steal if you're not stealing only because you're afraid of getting caught. Do the right thing FIRST, and worry about the right motives later. Doing the wrong thing out of "right" motives can kill you. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

God is calling *everyone* to the Church, for it is the fullness of faith and the Ark of Salvation. He desires everyone to be saved, and the best (some might say only, though I would not) place to be saved is the Orthodox Church. Yes, you can do it elsewhere, just as you *could* cross the ocean in a row boat, but why try.

I say flee from error, flee from heterodoxy, flee from half-truths and flee *to* the Orthodox Church!!

In Christ!

J-D

Lol, you are the first I have ever heard to say this.  Some priests may permit this, but I can almost guarantee some won't.  Heck, there are Eastern Catholic priests who won't allow a Roman Rite Catholic to become Eastern Catholic unless they are becoming EC for the right reasons.  If they are becoming EC just because they are fleeing from RC problems, they might not allow the official transfer.  However, if you are switching out of true love for the ECC, then that is fine.   
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2005, 02:42:40 PM »

Lol, you are the first I have ever heard to say this.  Some priests may permit this, but I can almost guarantee some won't.  Heck, there are Eastern Catholic priests who won't allow a Roman Rite Catholic to become Eastern Catholic unless they are becoming EC for the right reasons.  If they are becoming EC just because they are fleeing from RC problems, they might not allow the official transfer.  However, if you are switching out of true love for the ECC, then that is fine.   

I suppose it depends on your definition of "covert". I confess I don't know (and don't really care) about "Eastern Catholic" practices or the relationship between the Latin rit and the Eastern rite. However, I can't see a reason to refuse someone being a catechumen who is fleeing error. Yes, to be chrismated one would have to have come to accept the Church for what she *is*, not simply for what she *isn't*, but that is true for all of us. I believe a person is better off in an environment that fosters the fullness of faith and worship rather than one that continues to foster error.

In Christ,

J-D
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2005, 02:45:27 PM »

True, but I guess I have a problem with someone who becomes EO just because they don't like the problems of the RCC right now.  What happens if in 20 years the RCC cleans up all its problems, and gets rid of all its Protestant liturgical garbage?  What happens if it once again because a staunch defender of its own faith?  Then the person who became EO might want to go back to the RCC, as many of the problems will be cleaned up. 
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« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2005, 03:14:06 PM »

True, but I guess I have a problem with someone who becomes EO just because they don't like the problems of the RCC right now.  What happens if in 20 years the RCC cleans up all its problems, and gets rid of all its Protestant liturgical garbage?  What happens if it once again because a staunch defender of its own faith?  Then the person who became EO might want to go back to the RCC, as many of the problems will be cleaned up. 

Well, I wasn't advocating them being chrismated immediately, just not staying put. My own thought was I would encourage someone like the original poster to become an inquirer or even a catechumen and allow that process to resolve the motivational issues. But I would *not* tell someone to remain where he is because he's not coming to Orthodoxy with the "correct" motives. That is, ISTM, precisely what the catechumate is for.
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« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2005, 03:15:19 PM »

Well, I wasn't advocating them being chrismated immediately, just not staying put. My own thought was I would encourage someone like the original poster to become an inquirer or even a catechumen and allow that process to resolve the motivational issues. But I would *not* tell someone to remain where he is because he's not coming to Orthodoxy with the "correct" motives. That is, ISTM, precisely what the catechumate is for.

Well, I'll just leave it at that the priest will decide what is best Smiley.
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« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2005, 03:55:49 PM »

The SSPX are in schism? I thought Archbishop Lefebvre (now deaceased) just had an argument with Pope JPII about traditionalism versus modernism and that the Pope was just not really happy with him.

Because SSPX consecrated its own bishops without papal permission, the Vatican judged it to be schismatic several years ago.
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« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2005, 03:59:25 PM »

Because SSPX consecrated its own bishops without papal permission, the Vatican judged it to be schismatic several years ago.

Although, supposedly no formal excommunication was ever written up.  Cardinal Hoyos has also said the SSPX isn't schismatic.  Recently, the SSPX found out Benedict is more of an SSPX enemy than he is friend.  When JP II was alive, he wanted to reconcile the SSPX (for what I don't know, they were never truly excommunicated anyways, but whatever), and then-Cardinal Ratzinger opposed such reconciliation.  Too bad Hoyos didn't become Pope, then this situation would have ended by now.
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« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2005, 06:12:14 PM »

Thanks for the replies.

Phos, the state of Catholic monasticism in the US is horrible. The exception is the Carthusians which has one hermitage in the US, the Carmelite hermits who have two hermitages in the US, the Solesmes Benedictine congregation which has one monastery in the US, and a few Trappist monasteries. The ex-friar monks I know have fled their orders because their orders are anti-contemplative, especially the Franciscans who have become nothing more than social activists. I also know from confessor priests that the Carmelite convents have become materialistic and will not allow serious vocations to enter. Most of the 130 (?) Benedictine monasteries in the US are not monasteries at all. One Benedictine monastery that I went to had the biggest screen television that I have ever seen (probably 6 x 6 feet), and in front of it were thirty lazyboy recliners where all the "monks" watched *at least* an hour of television each day, plus full baseball games. The "monks" were some of the most loud and talkative people I have ever known. I know about all the other Benedictine monasteries in the US as well. I have heard tons of stories about St John's. None of them are monks. Even before V2 Benedictines were barely monks, compared to all Eastern monks. Yes, the link you pasted was the hermitage that I went to. These guys did not even wear habits and they have several huge parties a week with every sort of food (large measures of cakes, icecream etc) and wine (usually 15-20 bottles were brought out) one could think of. But I know monasticism is not an essential to the Church. Just thought I'd describe its absurdities in the US. In Europe they are more contemplative, though even some congregations as a whole are falling apart, like the Camaldolese; their reforms are deforms. The vocation director dismantled my prayer life and told me that traditional asceticism is a waste of time. He said that the new asceticism, instead of "old" penances like fasting, is eating a lot and sun bathing in the nude.

I got brainwashed and now I am all messed up. When I tried to regain faith, I did so on the old Western Augustinian-Anselmian scheme, and have ended up burned. High Romanism just seems absurd now. The only hope is to turn to the Eastern church -- whether Catholic or Orthodox, and there are not many Eastern Catholic churches around, but there is a Greek Orthodox church in town. Would an Orthodox priest or monk have anything against being a Spiritual Father to me while I am Catholic *and not ready to commit to be a Catechumen*?

Thanks,
Paul
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« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2005, 06:54:51 PM »

Welcome to our Board.

By all means look at the Holy Fathers of the Early Church, it is their foundation upon which the Church is built with our Lord Jesus Christ as the Cornerstone.  What you must ask yourself is whether the current Roman Catholic Church or the Eastern Orthodox Church have remained the most true to the foundations laid upon the blood and testimonies of the Apostles and the martyrs of the early church.

I looked into it and  became a member of the Holy Orthodox Church.  Good Luck in your journey towards spiritual truth.

In Christ,
Thomas
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« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2005, 07:29:34 PM »

Even before V2 Benedictines were barely monks, compared to all Eastern monks.

I have to disagree with this, lol.  Before Vatican II, the RC monks lived strict lives as well, with much praying and fasting (although they probably didn't fast as much as the East, they definately fasted).  And they also tended to live very poorly and humbly, like Eastern monks.
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« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2005, 10:58:52 PM »

True, but I guess I have a problem with someone who becomes EO just because they don't like the problems of the RCC right now.ÂÂ  What happens if in 20 years the RCC cleans up all its problems, and gets rid of all its Protestant liturgical garbage?ÂÂ  What happens if it once again because a staunch defender of its own faith?ÂÂ  Then the person who became EO might want to go back to the RCC, as many of the problems will be cleaned up.ÂÂ  

Conversion to Holy Orthodoxy for me was partly the result of liberalization of Catholic traditions and forms.  But the foremost reasons for converting was the realization of the trueness and fullness of the ancient Catholic church I found in Orthodoxy.  If the RCC ever reverted back to the Tridentine Mass and Latin and all the once cherished traditions of the west I would not go back because I believe in my heart I have found the true faith, the faith of our fathers. 

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« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2005, 12:32:34 PM »

Would an Orthodox priest or monk have anything against being a Spiritual Father to me while I am Catholic *and not ready to commit to be a Catechumen*?

Probably depends on what you mean by "spiritual father". He probably will not mind giving some advice on your inquiry or seeking; but he certainly won't hear confession and probably wouldn't feel comfortable giving you any specific spiritual direction. There's probably more than a Greek parish in your town, you might want to check around and see. No slight on the Greeks, but they tend to be a bit more "stand-offish" than some others.

May God be with you!

J-D
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« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2005, 01:16:58 PM »

Here is my take on things as a convert to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism:

Noticing that there are problems within the RCC is not bad in and of itself if done in a proper way.  That was the impetus for me to ask a basic question - are the problems in the RCC the result of human failures within a sound church or is the very structure of the church itself not correct and even the cause of these issues?  So yes it was "fleeing" the RCC that caused me to open my mind and search out things.  After doing searching I came to the conclusion that the Orthodox Church is the solely the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church - I converted out of love for the Orthodox faith and ultimately not because of flight from something else. 

As for liberalism and such - even within the Orthodox Church you will find groups that are a little off the mark since the church is composed of humans.  You will not find a utopian Church here.  But you will find a church that will give you what you need to work out your salvation in peace and repentance. 
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« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2005, 08:35:50 PM »

Here is my take on things as a convert to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism:

Noticing that there are problems within the RCC is not bad in and of itself if done in a proper way.  That was the impetus for me to ask a basic question - are the problems in the RCC the result of human failures within a sound church or is the very structure of the church itself not correct and even the cause of these issues?  So yes it was "fleeing" the RCC that caused me to open my mind and search out things.  After doing searching I came to the conclusion that the Orthodox Church is the solely the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church - I converted out of love for the Orthodox faith and ultimately not because of flight from something else. 

As for liberalism and such - even within the Orthodox Church you will find groups that are a little off the mark since the church is composed of humans.  You will not find a utopian Church here.  But you will find a church that will give you what you need to work out your salvation in peace and repentance. 

Well said.
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« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2005, 11:52:09 PM »

Quote
The traditionalist Roman Catholics, even though I support them in the old Mass, make things worse for me, because of their scholasticism and papalism.

The irony is that only the Pope can save the RCC now, i.e. by using his power to get rid of homosexuality and liberalism within the clergy.ÂÂ  Historically, the Pope is responsible for the mess, so it should be up to the Pope to clean it up.ÂÂ  I suppose that there is hope now with Bishop Ratzinger at the helm.

Quote
It seems that I must take up a Greek mindset to keep faith.

If you have problems with Neo-Platonism, then you might encounter difficulties in accepting the teachings of the EO Cappadocian Fathers.ÂÂ  Personally, I find non-Aristotelian Greek philosophy far superior than the empiricist mindset of modern times.

Quote
Has anyone else had to get over the false spiritualities that are found in liberal Catholicism?

Leaving the RCC is not the only solution for people who have become disillusioned.ÂÂ  Let us learn from the mistake of Martin Luther and the consequences of his actions.ÂÂ  As an alternative, Roman Catholics can support groups clamoring for reformation from WITHIN, and Robert Sungenis' CAI happens to be one of them.

http://www.catholicintl.com/

Quote
The only hope is to turn to the Eastern church -- whether Catholic or Orthodox, and there are not many Eastern Catholic churches around, but there is a Greek Orthodox church in town.

You are fortunate because there is virtually no Orthodox presence from where I live in Asia (the Philippines is predominantly Roman Catholic).  I was born and raised a Catholic and for the past 15 years studied Protestant fundamentalism and scholasticism.  Needless to say, there was not a single protestant church that satisfied my spirit and so I was never baptized out of the RC.  It has only been a year now since I've discovered the beauty of Orthodoxy and its mysticism.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Deep in my heart, I know that the Greek Orthodox Church is the One, Holy and Apostolic Church.  If God permits, I will be a catechumen one day.

 Cheesy
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« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2005, 07:11:01 PM »

May I ask: What caused you to seek out exotic forms of prayer? What is it that you're looking for?

If you are looking for methods of Christian prayer within the Catholic tradition, there are existing "schools" if you will, within the Catholic tradition.

One is the "Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola". For more on these, see this: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14224b.htm

I know that (at least in the pre-V2 days) this method was used by all of the Jesuits - in fact, they were required to practice it daily.

I can't speak of its efficacy, however, (never having been RC, just grown up around them). I would advise you probably not to attempt such a sophisticated method of prayer without a spiritual advisor. Since this method is a Jesuit prayer, it's possible that they might instruct you in this prayer.

Or, you could try something much simpler and practice what Serge (a contributor to this board) describes as "mass-and-office Catholicism." It's the daily morning and evening prayers of which variants are said by many RCs, Episcopalians, and Orthodox, both laity and clergy. In fact, this should probably form the basis of your prayer life - other methods should probably form an addition to the "office."

To echo what others have said on this board, if you really want to join Orthodoxy because you love Orthodoxy, then I commend you. However, I would not advise you to join simply because you are unhappy in your present church. If you wish to change, do so for positive reasons - not in reaction to others.

I've met some very bitter ex-Episcopalians and Presbyterians who joined the Orthodox Church because they felt that there was no other place for them to go. And they generally take their bitterness with them into their new church. These are not fun people to be around!

So if you're really interested in Orthodoxy, spend a long time investigating it and then judge it on its own merits - not in relation to other traditions. We have some "liberals" in Orthodoxy too...as well as some people that might be called "fundamentalists." What religion doesn't have both extremes?

And we have controversies aplenty - just different ones. So take some time, don't make hasty conclusions, and practice discernment, wherever you go! Smiley
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« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2005, 02:57:42 AM »

Dear friend (want to convert) merry Christmas.

 I would like to tell you my opinion on this issue.I was born Greek orthodox Christian but i am not an expert in theological issues as are some of the members of this board (both orthodox and RC).So i can speak only from my experience.A church should be based in solid doctrines and no in the infability of a person (even if this person is a holy one) The biggest different between the RC church and the Orthodoxy is that orthodoxy is based in the doctrines and in the tradition as this was formed through the centuries From the apostoles the fathers and the ecumenic councils.The difference between the two churches is that in  the RC the infability is a prerogative of a single person the pope when in the Orthodoxy is only in the church as a hole.In orthodoxy none can change doctrines or practices not even the EP or any other patriarch.
  In orthodox church you may find many unholy persons both from the flock and from the pastorals.You may find sinfull monks and even corrupted Patriarchs.You may find quarrels between the Christians among the different jurisdictions.  BUT YOU Will ALSO FIND A HOLY CHURCH
(i hope that anyone realises that i don't imply that the orthodox priests and the orthodox flock are  corrupted i would like also to stress that i don't have any intention to judge the faith of my RC friends i am more sinfull from them as a person i also belive that is wrong RC church as any other church to be judged by the practices of some people  )
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« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2006, 05:48:53 PM »

What happens if in 20 years the RCC cleans up all its problems, and gets rid of all its Protestant liturgical garbage?ÂÂ  

I lived THAT particular fantasy for too long....
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« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2006, 06:00:19 PM »

Hi, I am glad to find this board. This is my first post. I am Catholic but want to convert to the Orthodox. I need some help here.

I have been influenced by Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, Basil Pennington et al, liberal spiritual writers who advocate strange methods of meditation.......  Any advice? Please help.

Thanks,
Paul


Paul,

As an RC convert to Orthodoxy myself I must say I understand you feelings. I would however like to defend the "concept" of Centering Prayer. In it's original form it is based on the the spiritual classic The Cloud of Unknowing. Has is been co-opted by catholics who are more comfortable with buddhism and/or other forms of eastern meditation? Perhaps. Please remember though that Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation, Pennington's Centering Prayer and The Cloud of Unknowing itself are all fine sources for the 'orthodox' Catholic to utilize in their spiritual attempt to tap into this ancient and fruitful prayer form.

Warm regards,
Alexis 
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Man, learn the sickness of thy soul, for without acknowlegdement of illness there is no healing....Christ alone can heal us, who sigh and pray to him with faith.
- St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
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