Thanks Br. Andrew, yes that's helpful.
Though there's few RC bishops, at least those ordained before JPII's pontificate, that I would trust.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Another factor that sent me into this crisis of faith came when EWTN was broadcasting the debate from the recent U.S. Bishops' Conference over the more accurate translations for the Mass in accordance with Liturgicam Authenticam.
Watching Bishop Trautman and other modernists propose their dumb-downed amendments to the changes so the stupid sheep in the pews could understand what was taking place sent me into orbit...
Anyone who wishes to get a sense of Bishop Trautman's position can see: http://www.adoremus.org/1103Trautman.html
I am where you are now but I have been there for about 10 years. I started questioning the Catholic Church shortly after my conversion in 1993. What prompted my concern? A pamphlet from the dissident group called A Call to Action. I probably wouldn't have been so disturbed if it had been a group comprised of the laity but it also counted many priests and some bishops among its members. Mind you, this group advocates, among other things, the ordination of women and homosexual marriage! Priests and bishops in this group! That was the first I heard about problems in the Catholic Church.
Prior to my conversion I had never even heard about the Orthodox Church. It just never stood out as an option. In fact, one of the sources I used to research what denomination I would enter (I grew up in a house devoid of religion) - the title and author escaping me at the moment - stated that the Roman Catholic Church was the original church. Apparently that was enough information for me at the time. Go figure. I started reading about Roman Catholicism. Unfortunately, for me at least, the books I chose to read dealt with the pre-Vatican II Church. Therefore,I was blown away when I encountered the modern Roman Catholic Church. My parish was pretty good until we got a new pastor. Then we started having guitar Masses (electric guitars and drums). I went to the pastor seeking spiritual direction and he directed me to use the Enneagram. The Director of Religious Education and the Director of the Youth Group, both women, are huge advocates of the ordination of women. Enough said about the dynamics of my parish.
In 1996 I met a friend who was an Eastern Orthodox Christian. We started talking and I started reading. I attended Divine Liturgy with him and his family. I instantly knew something was up. I literally felt the presence of the saints at Divine Liturgy, unlike I had ever felt during Mass. I started the process of conversion. Then the priest of the parish left. Actually, the parish council decided that they wanted to have a part-time, instead of a full-time, priest. Of course, he wanted to be a full-time priest so he left for a parish that was looking for a full-time priest. He is now in charge of a parish in Ohio. The parish I was going to enter went without a priest, completely, for awhile and now has a full-time priest serving the parish. However, his departure ended my aspirations of conversion. I remain Roman Catholic to this day.
Yet, I am still exploring conversion. I would have to say that my sticking point is the papacy. I wish the evidence were clear cut and decisive but it isn't. You find Early Church Fathers coming down on both sides of the whole primacy issue and what the role of the pope was/is - authority wise. Yet, one cannot ignore the chaos of the Roman Catholic Church and the fact that being in union with the pope has not stopped it from happening. It really is quite disturbing and has resulted in my absence from Mass more often than my attendance. An interesting occurrance happened in our parish during the recent high school baccalaureate Mass. The high school seniors being honored did a sort of liturgical dance during the presentation of the gifts. I know that most of the parishioners were distracted from the holiness of the Mass when this happened and, truth be told, the seniors could have been honored in a manner that was dignified and still within the beauty of the Mass. I know I would not have witnessed such a scene in any Orthodox Church I would have attended.
Hence, my continued search. I guess I wrote all of this to say that I am coming to the point where I am giving less and less credence to the whole union with the pope thing. The recent arguments during the USCCB meeting over the revisions to the Mass were just the icing on the cake. Okay, the revisions past overwhelmingly but the fact that there were debates at all at making the Mass more closely reflect the Latin were just ludicrous and discouraging. And, unfortunately, just another indication of the trouble within the Roman Catholic Church. It is time to start looking again for the Apostolic Faith.
This probably didn't help you at all or answer your questions but I think, in the end, the papacy doesn't mean squat when it comes to adhering to the Apostolic Faith. The current Roman Catholic Church is a clear indication of this.