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Author Topic: IS THIS SITE ANTI-CATHOLIC?  (Read 4562 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasios
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« on: March 12, 2003, 11:36:40 PM »

Dear Friends,

Recently the accusation has been made that our site is "anti-Catholic."  I find that strange since although some posters here are strongly opposed to the Catholic Church, they try to back up their opinions with facts, and those who cross the line are corrected by me (who am still Byzantine Catholic*!)  Plus all know that I am ecumenically-minded.  Very strange to me...

So I wanted to ask the ROMAN CATHOLIC or EASTERN CATHOLIC members of this forum if they think that this forum is "anti-Catholic."  We must define what anti-Catholic means though. Anti-Catholic does NOT mean against Roman Catholic doctrine, since Orthodox are naturally opposed to doctrines they consider false, and likewise Roman Catholics are by nature opposed to Orthodox doctrines that conflict with their own.  Instead, anti-Catholic would mean that on this site Catholics are routinely criticized, blamed, misrepresented, and made fun of without justification.

If you are a ROMAN CATHOLIC or EASTERN CATHOLIC then please respond in this thread.  If you are an ORTHODOX (CATHOLIC**) CHRISTIAN then please do not respond until Friday at 2 pm, when Orthodox are invited to respond to any responses from Rmn. or Est. Catholics.

To rephrase: Catholics, from now until Friday at 2 pm you are free to post your comments about whether our site is unfairly critical of you (i.e. critical in the sense of misrepresenting you or attacking you) in this thread.

At 2 pm Friday, Orthodox will have the opportunity to respond to any comments made by Catholics in this thread or make their own observations.

For any Orthodox concerned with this request, I just want to see what RC's and EC's have to say about the board.  Since 85-90% of the registered users here are Orthodox, I think it is a fair request to ask you to wait until Friday at 2 pm to respond.

If anyone from either side wishes to respond to me privately on this matter, please feel free to private message me.

In Christ,

anastasios
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* For anyone who has joined recently, there are three administrators of OC.net--Anastasios, Bobby, and Mor Ephrem, assisted by AmatorDeus and Nicholas.  I am a Byzantine Catholic studying at St. Vladimir's Seminary and am interested in joining the Orthodox Church at the right time.  Bobby is an OCA catechumen, Mor Ephrem is Oriental Orthodox, Nicholas is ROCOR, and AmatorDeus is OCA.

** Term included especially for our friend Orthodoc's sensibilities  Wink



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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2003, 11:43:19 PM »

[** Term included especially for our friend Orthodoc's sensibilities ]

Which is appreciated!  By the time you are ready to convert you will have realized that in doing so, you are not giving up your Catholicity my friend. Just exchanging it for a much older and truer form.  Once you realize that, you will truly become an Orthodox Catholic in every way.

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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2003, 12:06:29 AM »

If anyone from either side wishes to respond to me privately on this matter, please feel free to private message me.


I'd like to echo the sentiment above, and encourage the Roman and Eastern Catholics on this board to take advantage of this opportunity; help us help you.  I am troubled that there are those who think this site is anti-Catholic, and would gladly help to change that if that is indeed the case.  So voice your opinions by all means, either in this thread or privately to one of us.
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2003, 12:51:32 AM »

I don't really think so. If it seems that way to us, then it's probably because we cannot stomach some of the Orthodox positions and historical facts. I come to the website interested in Orthodoxy and its traditions. I think more often than not, the Catholics themselves are more likely to be critical of their church. The same is mostly true for Orthodox *Catholic* converts from Catholicism. I know I certainly get critical at times with regard to the former group. However, I really thank this site for its positive tone and willingness to correct people when they are acting un-Christian. Threads like the Forgiveness Sunday one stand out in my mind when I think about this board, and I am thankful for the good Orthodox men and women who post here.

Matt, a Byzantine Catholic
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2003, 01:20:34 AM »

Well, I guess I should've been more clear, as it seems my remarks have stirred things up.    

In the first post, Anastasios wrote: Anti-Catholic does NOT mean against Roman Catholic doctrine, since Orthodox are naturally opposed to doctrines they consider false, and likewise Roman Catholics are by nature opposed to Orthodox doctrines that conflict with their own.  Instead, anti-Catholic would mean that on this site Catholics are routinely criticized, blamed, misrepresented, and made fun of without justification.

I wrote what I wrote only with this definition of "anti-Catholic" in mind.  There is no justification for that type of thing coming from any Christian, much less an Orthodox Christian.  Legitimate differences are one thing (and I'm definitely not against that), but this latter sense is quite another.  I don't see this on the site, and never have, but if others do, and they are right, I'm willing to help change that because it has no place among Christians.  This is an Orthodox board, and geared toward Orthodox and those interested in Orthodoxy, but that doesn't mean we're allowed to do and say whatever we want and damn everyone who stands in our way.  I'm sorry if that sounds PC (God knows I hate PC), but I don't think it is: I think it sounds like the Gospel.
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2003, 02:24:25 AM »

Friends,

I asked Orthodox to refrain for *1* day until Friday to respond.  That request was not followed, so I deleted the responses from Orthodoc, Bobby, and Nicholas.  I specfically want to hear from Roman Catholics on this FIRST then you all can respond.  Does that mean I am going to favor them? No.  It only means I want to know what they are thinking since as a Christian I want to be Christian towards them.

It doesn't matter that this is an Orthodox forum (which it is and will always be).  We need to be polite to others and not attack them.  Going against the false beliefs of others is one thing; going against persons or misrepresenting them is another.  Do I think that is going on here? NO!  But I want to hear from THEM.

Besides, we have an Orthodox-Catholic discussion sub-forum for this purpose of fair dialogue, but ever notice that relatively few Catholics post here?  It could be a tool for answering their questions politely and leading them to the correct understanding.  Instead, it turns into a bash-a-thon sometimes.

NOW LET US WAIT UNTIL FRIDAY AT 2 PM TO RESPOND TO ANY CATHOLIC POSTS THAT MIGHT ARISE.

anastasios
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2003, 09:32:32 AM »

Oh boy - what a question.

As one of the few RCs around I do feel outnumbered at times [ my fault for being here  Wink]

But the question could equally be posed as "why are you here ?" and the obvious answer is "to learn" - and as far as I am concerned that answer is absolutely correct.

I think Matt's statement <If it seems that way to us, then it's probably because we cannot stomach some of the Orthodox positions and historical facts> is very true.

From time to time things jump out and hit me - usually little things like a seeming intolerance of our feelings - but these are possibly because we can come over as being aggressive in our own defence.[ It's that outnumbered thing again Cheesy]

I don't know about the other RCs and ECs/BCs on the board but I know that I admire our Orthodox Catholic members - they do know an awful lot more about their own Faith than I do. My lack of knowledge , at times, shames me, and therefore I am silent.

What can really irritate is terminology and this can come across as 'anti Catholic' for want of a better term. Take the use of the term 'heretic' - that can hurt. Yes I know when it is applied it is correct - but it does not make the acceptance of it any easier.

Normally I think we accept each other for what we are - Christians on paths leading to the same end , but our paths run side by side - we diverge at times and then converge, sometimes we cross - but sadly we are not together on the same path - maybe one day it will be so.

So what are my final thoughts on Anastasios question "Is this Site anti-Catholic?"

The Site is not anti-catholic but at times I can detect some hostility towards us. I am normally 'listened to' with courtesy, but from time to time the courtesy is only ' just' there.

Thank you for listening to my thoughts
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2003, 01:45:33 PM »

Brethern,

I was baptized Roman Catholic, however as I have posted before, I am one who is unhappy with the present liturgy practiced in the Roman Church and after much research and prayer do find many agreements with my Orthodox Brethern.

The majority of the time I do not think the forum is "Anti-Catholic" more Anti-Rome which is understandable. It is just sometimes the wordings in posts are a little too sharp and not in what I would interpet as being constructive to bringing the Church together.

I do enjoy this forum very much and will continue to participate and do my part to bring us to better understanding and spiritual union.

In Christ,
James
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2003, 12:29:32 PM »

I'm a Roman Catholic with an interest in the Christian East who has been lurking for a while.

I don't sense much anti-RC vitriol on the board.  A few posters may go over-the-top on occasion, but those circumstances are infrequent.  I certainly don't detect any animosity on the part of the board administrators.

People must remember that this is an Orthodox board, and one should expect a certain anti-Catholic sentiment at times.  Also, this is an internet chat room, where protocol allows things to get wild and woolly!  

For my part, I will speak up if I think the RC church is being unfairly treated.  But it will take something pretty extreme to get me going!
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2003, 01:03:57 PM »

Anastasios,

You've GOT to be kidding!!! I've browsed this forum for only a couple of weeks now and it is anything but anti-Catholic. Certainly we disagree and assume our position is correct when we post, but ANTI-Catholic...Not that I've seen. Granted, I haven't read everything, but what I've seen is very charitable considering we disagree on something SO important and care enough to discuss it.

Whoever made that accusation must not have posted in other forums with SOME "born-again" Christians who read Dave Hunt books and surf "jesus-is-lord.com", or ANY athiest. Sheesh those athiests can be down-right vile.

I think sometimes people are too thin-skinned. Just one more opinion.

In Christ,
Mark

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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2003, 02:55:35 PM »

And now that it is 2 pm on Friday, any Orthodox who wish to contribute to the discussion are welcome and encouraged!

We seem to have the answer though that most RC's who have responded publicly or privately to me feel overall comfortable with our forum.  While this is of course an Orthodox forum, I say, May God be praised--our witness to them is solid.

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2003, 05:30:55 PM »

Anastasios,

You've GOT to be kidding!!! I've browsed this forum for only a couple of weeks now and it is anything but anti-Catholic. Certainly we disagree and assume our position is correct when we post, but ANTI-Catholic...Not that I've seen. Granted, I haven't read everything, but what I've seen is very charitable considering we disagree on something SO important and care enough to discuss it.

Whoever made that accusation must not have posted in other forums with SOME "born-again" Christians who read Dave Hunt books and surf "jesus-is-lord.com", or ANY athiest. Sheesh those athiests can be down-right vile.

I think sometimes people are too thin-skinned. Just one more opinion.

In Christ,
Mark



Well, of course.  Compared to what you might encounter on CBBS from posters like Berean, we're definitely more accomodating.
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2003, 06:03:54 PM »

In the "News" section, there have been stories posted about Roman Catholics (and other churches) that are often about bad things in those groups (scandals, misfortunes etc.). This could give an impression of schadenfreude or gloating at others' expense.  Someone seeing those and some of the responses might see it as "anti-".

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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2003, 06:16:24 PM »

Ebor,

I'm not sure I agree.  With most of those threads of scandals in other churches I don't see gloating, but sorrow that things have gotten out of hand.  Of course the Orthodox church will have it's own scandals from time to time I and hope the Catholics and Protestants will not be uncharitable when and if this happens.  

And it is perfectly good Christian news, which is the subject of that particular forum.  We should rejoice in other Christian's successes and lament their failures as long as they attempt to serve God in secular world in which we live.
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2003, 06:17:30 PM »

In the "News" section, there have been stories posted about Roman Catholics (and other churches) that are often about bad things in those groups (scandals, misfortunes etc.). This could give an impression of schadenfreude or gloating at others' expense.  Someone seeing those and some of the responses might see it as "anti-".

Ebor

That's a good point, Ebor.  While certainly we must not conceal the truth, it would seem strange if one went to a Protestant board and started posting posts exclusively about failings of Orthodox monks or priests.  It seems to me though that what makes news in our society is usually the negative aspects of something.  I invite you and others to post more positive news stories if for all to share along with the negative news stories that we as Christians must address.

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2003, 06:32:06 PM »

Ebor,

I'm not sure I agree.  With most of those threads of scandals in other churches I don't see gloating, but sorrow that things have gotten out of hand.  Of course the Orthodox church will have it's own scandals from time to time I and hope the Catholics and Protestants will not be uncharitable when and if this happens.  

And it is perfectly good Christian news, which is the subject of that particular forum.  We should rejoice in other Christian's successes and lament their failures as long as they attempt to serve God in secular world in which we live.

Good point, also, Amator.  Geez I feel like I'm agreeing with everyone today!  Shocked  We shouldn't have to tally up every post and keep a 50-50 balance! Haha.  Maybe more negative news stories is indicative of our fallen world?

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2003, 07:15:27 PM »

Some tact and a little discreteness in the matter of such news items may be used, though I think the ubiquitous nature of such posts does not stem from any anti-Catholic animus, but from the fact that many Orthodox once hailed from a Catholic background, as well as the American identity of the majority of posters--America being a place where the Catholic Church is constantly under the media's microscope.

I am of course used to heavily criticizing Rome from my viewpoints as both an Eastern Catholic "of the Melkite persuasion", and as a sympathizer with Roman traditionalists.  This would not be considered anti-Catholic, but one may argue that a constant barrage of posts and news items of this nature appearing on an Orthodox board may be construed as such by first time lurkers, and all too often this is a board that acts as a meeting ground for a circle of friends rather than as a public (hence the nebulous, cliquish, confusing title of this particular Catholic/Orthodox discussion board, which I still think would be made more accessible if said title were simplified) forum boasting of a very large membership and a generous influx of new regular members. Therefore, being used to the idiosyncracies of this forum, we may find ourselves neglectful in making certain that the context of our posts are clear to the lurker.

I will open up a can of worms here, but the only regular anti-Catholicism or rather routine resorting to rudeness that I would point out in my experience on this board would have to be the crossing of lines that Orthodoc had incessantly engaged in in the past (read Serge's comments on the first post of the following page:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php?board=2;action=display;threadid=530;start=45 )  I am not referring to Orthodoc's favourite term for his religious affiliation, which is perfectly fine, but to the neologisms that he used to employ to identify us and the context in which he used these.  I employ the past tense here because I have noticed that this has stopped since the time of Serge's post, for which Orthodoc has my thanks.  I hope that this will persist.

In IC XC
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« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2003, 09:26:45 PM »

"We should rejoice in other Christian successes and lament in their failures as long as they attempt to serve God in the seculiar world in which we live".

I feel this line from Amator pointed out by Anastasios says it all.

In Christ,
James
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2003, 12:10:54 AM »

Since the departure of OOD this sight seems quite hospitable.  Rather Christian, I should think.

Dan Lauffer Wink
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2003, 12:41:23 PM »

Friends,

It has come to my attention that one of you wrote another one of you criticizing my administrative decisions regarding this thread with the implication that I am using double standards, etc.

First I'd like to say, why don't you write me personally?  We are supposed to be adults here and yet moreso we are Christians.  If you've got a problem with me, email me. I'm always available!  Grin

To address the mystery poster's and one other poster's concerns, which were that I let Roman/Eastern Catholics post after the 2 pm deadline,  I never made a deadline for when R/E Catholics could STOP responding.  That would not have made sense!  "You Catholics get one day; Orthodox get eternity to respond!"  Nope, never said that.  Only said "hey Orthodox wait one day, then jump in the fun."  I noticed no Orthodox except AmatorDeus responded anyway.  If you are concerned, why don't YOU post?

Someone else remarked "why didn't you erase Mor Ephrem's post?"  Well I didn't erase his post because he was not replying directly to the question but clarifying our position as an administrative team.

Have a blessed day all around!

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2003, 01:06:40 PM »

Goodness gracious me - what a storm in a tea cup. Cheesy

If people can't read what had been posted as regards the deadline of 2 pm then I am sorry - it was perfectly clear to me. Tongue

I had hoped that after the deadline had expired that we would be able to have amicable discussions about this topic. I was actually looking forward to the Orthodox Christians replies Smiley

I must say though that as so few BCs, ECs and RCs actually posted before the deadline  I would have thought that you could take it that the balance was OK. There will always be minor niggles - human nature after all
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« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2003, 04:13:19 PM »

Ebor,

I'm not sure I agree.  With most of those threads of scandals in other churches I don't see gloating, but sorrow that things have gotten out of hand.  Of course the Orthodox church will have it's own scandals from time to time I and hope the Catholics and Protestants will not be uncharitable when and if this happens.  

And it is perfectly good Christian news, which is the subject of that particular forum.  We should rejoice in other Christian's successes and lament their failures as long as they attempt to serve God in secular world in which we live.

Perhaps gloating/sorrow is in the reading. But when there is much about the bad and little or none about the successes a certain view may seem predominant, a tone of Triumphalism, perhaps.

"That which is hateful to you, do not do to others."

Ebor
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« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2003, 04:28:09 PM »

Quote
[quote author=anastasios
Good point, also, Amator.  Geez I feel like I'm agreeing with everyone today!  Shocked  We shouldn't have to tally up every post and keep a 50-50 balance! Haha.  Maybe more negative news stories is indicative of our fallen world?

In Christ,

anastasios

Agreeing shows that you can see more then one side of a question.  We must be careful that your head does not explode. Grin

I think that more negative stories here is like why they're also in papers/radio etc.  It is believed to be more interesting or will get better ratings or that people read/hear about misfortune and can feel glad that it didn't happen to them.  Human nature is complex.

Then again the opening from "Anna Karenina" has just come out of my memory banks:
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way".

Bad news is more varied, thus interesting. But sometimes does it come across as airing other peoples dirty linen? Just some random thoughts.

Ebor
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« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2003, 12:08:10 AM »

Quote
[quote author=anastasios
Good point, also, Amator.  Geez I feel like I'm agreeing with everyone today!  Shocked  We shouldn't have to tally up every post and keep a 50-50 balance! Haha.  Maybe more negative news stories is indicative of our fallen world?

In Christ,

anastasios

Another thought that occurred to me this evening was whether if there were more postings of positive things in other churches it might bring about complaints about "Why are we talking about them?  This is an Orthodox board."   :-  

The quest balances on the edge of a knife...

Ebor
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« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2003, 06:35:12 PM »

...stray but just a little, and it will fail.

Ebor, very good points.  Another thought is that since many of us usually get our religious news from the secular press(which routinely only reports bad news) and from Orthodox sources(which may not be so apt to post good news about RCs and Protestants).  I think it's more of a "sin" of omission than of outright slander.  If you or any of the other RC or BC posters find news we can all rejoice in, I invite you to post it in this forum or in Christian News.  I am not the kind of person to nitpick another's good deeds and I will truly rejoice when Christians excel.  
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« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2003, 08:57:02 PM »

Well, I am certainly NOT anti-Catholic. In fact, I have personally invited a number of my Roman Catholic friends to participate in this site, and a couple of them have come on board.

I owe my conversion to Holy Orthodoxy in part to a very good Roman Catholic friend who introduced me to Church history and the writings of the Fathers. He demolished many of my prejudices.

He could not quite bring me to Rome, but he made it possible for the Lord to lead me into the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church.

I pray for the reunion of the catholics of the East and West.

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The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
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