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Author Topic: Would like to hear from former RCC's  (Read 3765 times) Average Rating: 0
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Cassian
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« on: July 04, 2006, 09:50:44 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ,

I'd like to put a question to any former Roman Catholics.  What prompted you to switch to Orthodoxy?  Please also, let me know how you got past breaking communion with the Bishop of Rome.  Do you in some way still feel in communion with the Pope?

I ask because for the first time since becoming a Christian and being received into the Roman Church 15 odd years ago, I'm considering leaving.  Several months ago, I began to attend indult Traditional Latin Masses and I was just shocked at what the RCC gave up.  Previously, I had an intellectual understanding of what damage the modernists had wrought, but attending this TLM was like a slap in the face.  Lately, I can barely bring myself to attend a Novus Ordo Mass (I know, I know, I'm not arguing that the NO isn't valid to any RC apologists lurking).  This though has been causing me to rethink much of what I held true.  I'm having much difficulty holding on to my former beliefs if the modernists could cause so much chaos and change since VII.

I've been a lector, catechist, third order Carmelite, and my heart is just breaking....(apologies for the whinning but the position I'm finding myself in is very uncomfortable and unexpected).
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2006, 10:22:26 PM »

Hi Cassian,

I'm a former Roman Catholic.  I converted to Orthodoxy approximately a year ago. 

My primary 'intellectual' reason for converting was that I came to doubt the papal dogmas.  I couldn't understand why communion with Rome was the most important thing.  I think it's very important but it alone cannot guarantee catholicity. 

My conversion was not entirely due to intellectual reasons.  I came to realize that I could lead a more 'catholic' life as a member of an Orthodox parish than a Roman Catholic parish.  Part of that is due to my disposition.  Legalism is toxic for me. 

I tried attending a trad parish.  I came to love the old Mass (which ruined the new Mass for me, btw).  But I never could be a trad.  My eyes glaze over when I hear about the Magisterium.  I don't particularly like 'sweet' spirituality. 

I understand that heartbreak.  It's hard to break communion with Rome.  I love the Roman Catholic Church. 

I don't have any advice for you.  It's a very personal choice.  There are some things you'll have to accept if you 'dox.'  You will be in communion with people who doubt the existence of Sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church.  If you join some jurisdictions you will be re-baptized.  If you join a SCOBA jurisdiction you'll be received through chrismation and will have to publicly renounce your "former delusions."  There is a certain amount of anti-westernism in Orthodoxy. 

You can't know what it's like to become Orthodox until you become a part of an Orthodox parish, however, once you do that, it will be really hard to walk away. 

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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2006, 11:51:48 PM »

Well my story started with my baptism at age 5 from Protestant Episcopal to Roman Catholic.  My grandmother insisted that since my mother died at an early age, her being Lutheran, that my dad, a luke warm RC have me baptized as soon as possible in the church. Since then I went through all 12 grades of Parochial education.  I got married in the RCC to a wonderful wife who herself is a convert from Presbyterianism.  I entered the Marine Corps at the age of 20 right after high school did eight years in the Corps with a tour in Vietnam. My attending church during this time was spotty at best.  I once said that even though I don't go to church as often as I should I would not abandon my RC faith.  Once out of the service I entered college and got a degree in Engineering - landed an nice job as designer ended up as Project Manager of some 21 years.  Both my wife and I started to attend Mass on a regular basis after I was discharged from the service. 

I became very concerned at the changes that was taking place in my parish, and as I found out was also taking place in other parishes as well.  The altar was now facing the people, organ replaced with guitars, tambourines and folks music not to mention the Novus Ordo now in place, and this was prior to women being introduced to the holy of holies and becoming altar girls. Meat on Friday was ok now,  Indulgences were practically done away with indicating sin was merely a mild discomfort not something serious.  I saw the holiness leaving our church and it becoming something sterile and without awe. 

I became very disappointed at the direction of the church and eventually just started to fall away from attending Mass altogether.  I saw modern churches being built looking more like Protestant churches than the beautiful edifices that I was used to seeing.  I even saw one which there were NO statues and a cross, not even a crucifix and a plane table not an altar.  How sad that this once majestic church had reduced herself to the lowest common denominator in Christian decor.

I believe the eyes, and the rest of the senses play an important part in how you attend Mass or Liturgy as we call it.

Well I started to explore Pentecostal and Evangelical faiths but they really bad mouthed the Blessed Mother whom I was always devoted to. My question:  Wasn't there another faith that is Apostolic, Catholic, Ancient who could trace their lineage back to the first Pentecost out there?   I went on the Internet and surfed thru Christianity and came a cross Eastern Orthodoxy.  I thought for a moment and remembered we had covered this faith in 11 and 12th grade Christian history/ apologetics in high school, but never really delved into just what the Eastern church was all about.  I knew that she and Rome were at one time a single Christian church but never became too interested in the reason why.  Of course the diocesan priests didn't encourage too much investigating into this Eastern religion either.

 

So, I said, I'll look into this religion.  At first I found it somewhat strange in it being quite abit different in style and worship compared to the Roman style of worship. But I also saw similarities that I didnt see in the Protestant churches.  I started reading books on this faith and became more enamored with what I read.  I prayed and prayed to the Holy Spirit for guidance for him to lead me in the truth.  I finally made up my mind to attend a Liturgy and the rest is history.  I met the priest who was very receptive and made a lot of time to explain just  who and what they are.  I read and read and read. The more I read the more I wanted to read.  I saw and experienced a beauty that I felt was missing from the Roman Mass.  This is not to say that the Mass is inadequate as far as it being legitimate but I felt that the Liturgy and all its trappings was the proper (orthodox) way to adore God. I presented a way not knowing if one were here or in heaven during the Liturgy.  I felt that this is what I was seeking all my adult life and that this was the proper way to worship our God, not the sterile 30 minute minimum standard Mass as I like to put it.  I converted on the Saturday preceding Orthodox Sunday in the year 2000.

As far as looking back and wondering if I made the correct discision, well I think anyone who has been used to a certain way of life and it suddenly changes, it would be difficult NOT to look back and wonder if I made a bad move.  Yes, I have looked back and determined from all that I have seen and experienced that my move was the best move for me. This may not be acceptable reasons for some but for me this was a major turning point in my search for my salvation. 

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Thomas
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2006, 12:22:14 AM »

Although I was not a convert from the RCC Church, my wife and I were married in it as she was a Roman Catholic.  She left the church with the Vatican II changes and chaos and we went through a 16 year search before both entering the Orthodox Church.  She like you found the Traditional Mass  warm and familiar but  in our search when we did go to  Traditional Tridentine groups and masses and she said it had lost something become more of museum piece with much anger and bitterness evident in those who were there than  vital agape worship.  When we went to the Orthodox Church she felt she found what she was missing and so did I.  We have now been Orthodox almost 19 years.

May the Holy Spirit guide you in your search.

In Christ,
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2006, 02:36:14 AM »

Pope Benedict is likely to preside over an increase in the availability of the Tridentine Mass through groups like the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter http://www.fssp.com/ As a Cardinal he once wrote-

Quote
I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy, which at times has even come to be conceived of etsi Deus non daretur: in that it is a matter of indifference whether or not God exists and whether or not He speaks to us and hears us. But when the community of faith, the world-wide unity of the Church and her history, and the mystery of the living Christ are no longer visible in the liturgy, where else, then, is the Church to become visible in her spiritual essence? Then the community is celebrating only itself, an activity that is utterly fruitless. And, because the ecclesial community cannot have its origin from itself but emerges as a unity only from the Lord, through faith, such circumstances will inexorably result in a disintegration into sectarian parties of all kinds - partisan opposition within a Church tearing herself apart. This is why we need a new Liturgical Movement, which will call to life the real heritage of the Second Vatican Council.

Since he is now, by the will of God, Pope it is likely that many of your conacerns will be addressed. Not swiftly, the Catholic Church doesnt do swift but in time. The Church has experienced many crises over the past two millennia, so have the Orthodox. Satan will always attack the Christian faith from within and without but he shall never triumph, however much chaos he may sow in the meantime.

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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2006, 12:06:49 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ,

Thank-you all for your kind replies.   Smiley

Just to be a bit clearer of my background, I'm not a tradie in the sense of having any interest in the SSPX.  I'm also reasonably familiar, at least as much a Latin, lookiing in, can be of the Holy Orthodox Church and Eastern Christian Spirituality.  I have my copies of the Philokalia, Climacus' Ladder, Lev's Jesus Prayer, and a host of Bishop Kallistos Ware's works.  I've attended numerous Divine Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom in a Byzantine Rite Catholic Church (and yes, a change of rites is looking very attractive right now).

I'm still curious to know of the process former RCC's have gone through regarding breaking communion with the Bishop of Rome.  One day he's the Rock with the Keys and the next day--what

Where the changes since VII so grevious that it caused you to rethink this?  Because I am doing just that.  If the Pope is truely all that I've held dear as a Catholic, how could Paul VI and to a lesser extent JPII, allow the modernists to devastate the church to the degree that has occurred?  (again, this is new to me, I never considered this till stumbling into a indult Traditional Latin Mass).

Yet C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity compares style of Liturgies to the attractiveness of church doors and one should not pick a church based on how much one likes its door, but on the truth contained insided. If it was purely liturgical style that mattered for me, I'd be off in a heart beat to one of the three Anticohian Orthodox Churches within a 30 minute drive of my house (there's one about four blocks away come to think of it).

Thank-you all again, peace.
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2006, 12:56:08 PM »

Wish I could be of assistance...I've been contemplating many things for 4 years now...an everytime I presume all is in order...all is not.

There is no quick fix nor easy path...just prayer and patience.

PAX

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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2006, 01:08:10 PM »


I'm still curious to know of the process former RCC's have gone through regarding breaking communion with the Bishop of Rome.ÂÂ  One day he's the Rock with the Keys and the next day--what?ÂÂ  


I was born and raised Roman Catholic and never really thought all that much about the pope.  As I learned more about Orthodoxy I learned more about the development of the papacy.  I don't think I ever wholeheartedly accepted it.  I accepted it because the Roman Catholic Church said it was true and I believed in the RCC. 

I was never a neocon Catholic who was "rock solid" about the pope so it wasn't a huge change for me. 

As for the Peter and the keys, I came to understand that the RC position is only one intepretation.  When I was an active RC, I didn't know that the Fathers didn't accept that understanding of St. Peter.  What really brought this home for me was comparing a book recommended by my RC pastor, Jesus, Peter and the Keys, to an Orthodox book containing a series of essays about the papacy.  In the RC book, there were sentences taken completely out of context.  In the Orthodox book, I saw the context. 

Another thing that was important for me to understand was that if being in communion with Rome is the most important thing then how can catholicity exist outside of that communion?  The Orthodox haven't been with the pope for a thousand years and they've done just fine.  This is a cheap comparison but I'll make it nonetheless, which Church has better kept the traditions of the ancient Church?  Rome has squandered her heritage.  Being with the pope didn't prevent that from happening. 

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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2006, 02:02:54 PM »

Peace Jennifer,

Thank-you, that's helpful.ÂÂ  So for you it was more of a learning process of how the Orthodox Church viewed the writings of the Patristic Fathers relating to the Bishop of Rome and also not being totally sold on the Roman position in the first place.ÂÂ  

Quote
...but I'll make it nonetheless, which Church has better kept the traditions of the ancient Church?ÂÂ  Rome has squandered her heritage.ÂÂ  Being with the pope didn't prevent that from happening
.
Point taken.  That's very hard to argue against and seems to be at the heart of my crisis of faith at the moment.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Wink
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2006, 09:52:22 AM »

Hmmm...I still hoping to hear from any former RCC who were die-hard Papists and converted to Orthodoxy.  Any takers? 

(I know, I know, Orthodox apologists please cut me some slack, I'm just interested in hearing of other's faith-struggles at this point and not engaging in the usual East-West historical arguments)
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2006, 07:12:23 PM »

I am actually a convert to Orthodoxy, via converting to RC from Protestism.  I can understand the difficulty in breaking with Rome.  It took me three years of intense personal reflection, prayer, attending divine liturgy, study, and spiritual direction, before I finally met with an Orthodox Priest.  For me, while in this period of questioning, I was to some degree worried that I was committing a grevious sin by considering breaking from the Pope of Rome.  I believe a lot of that stemmed from my deep devotion to the Most Holy Theotokos and knowing John Paul II's devotion to her.   I however, through much prayer and study, came to an understanding of the collegiality of Bishops.  That this was the early Church Fathers teaching.  I now hold to the Orthodox belief that the Bishop of Rome is first among equals, but not the end all in matters of Faith, that it takes the "college of Bishops" in unity to help guide the Church of the Apostles.  I hope this helps you in your journey. May God grant you the peace and understanding you seek in your journey. 
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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2006, 08:21:22 AM »

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.ÂÂ  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
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2006, 04:36:32 PM »

Hmmm...I still hoping to hear from any former RCC who were die-hard Papists and converted to Orthodoxy.ÂÂ  Any takers?ÂÂ  


I don't know if I was a die hard papist, but I was raised fairly conservatively at a fair conservative school, and some of my teachers now go to the SSPX parish in town.  So I was definately on the more conservative side of things in the RCC.  While I haven't officially converted to Orthodoxy yet, I know it is the Truth.  What ultimately started to get me interested was when I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I wanted to go to the Greekfest to see what the culture was like.  Then I went into the Church, and saw the beauty, and was amazed.  I ended up going back to Divine Liturgy a few times, but then stopped.  I struggled alot as to where the Truth was: Eastern Catholicism (EC), RCC (Novus Ordo or TLM), Eastern Orthodoxy, and at times Oriental Orthodoxy.  Then, I was invited to a EC Divine Liturgy, which I hadn't been to in years, and when I walked in, I loved the beauty: Orthros, incense, Icons, etc.  I decided I had to come back.  As time went on, I became more and more convinced that the Divine Liturgy was definately the original form of worship, and that I couldn't be in communion with bishops who said the Novus Ordo (and TLM) and the Divine Liturgy were equal.  Even comparing the DL to the TLM, they are two different auras I guess you could say.  Two totally different things.  This left me with one option: Orthodoxy.  I often had struggled with who was preaching the Truth and where I would grow best spiritually, and the Liturgy convinced me of this, that Orthodoxy was the answer. 

Do I still feel in communion with the Pope?  Not at all.  Orthodoxy doesn't see it as mattering who you are in communion with, it matters who is preaching the Truth.  If the Pope preached Orthodoxy, I would be in communion with him.  I was talking to someone yesterday (a RC), and he said just that: that it was more important to be in communion with Rome even though Rome preaches heresy (he is a Conservative/Traditionalist, so he knows Rome is preaching heresy even though he is still very much an RC).  He places unity to a bishop over unity with the Truth.  The Church can only exist where the Truth is taught, so by his definition, he is outside the Church.  But unfortunately, many RC's believe in the all-important communion with Rome or else be damned that they don't dare leave the RCC for anything.  And granted, at one time this made sense to me to, but as I took on an Orthodox mindset, this made no sense.  The Orthodox have no problem being in communion with the Pope, if he preached Orthodoxy that is.  I have really only been convinced of Orthodoxy since January, but as time goes on, there are more and more things I see wrong with Catholicism.   

Good luck to you in your struggle; I had to struggle a lot at times to get where I am, but it was well worth it to find the Truth.  May God help you in this. 
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2006, 05:43:35 PM »

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.ÂÂ  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

Cassian,

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.

Rob
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2006, 08:56:27 PM »

Thanks drew and Rob,

I think we're basically going/have gone through similar things and are wrestling with similar questions.  I'm certain at this point I pretty sure I'm done with the Latin Rite. 

Rob wrote:
Quote
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.


Yup, exactly, Brother.  One of the main reasons I haven't totally jumped ship is that I know JPII, despite what the extreme tradies say, spent most of his pontificate trying to put the brakes on the modernist juggernaut (and was hated for his efforts from the liberal wing of the RCC).  Our current Holy Father looks like he's going to take up the challenge of stopping and even rolling back modernism.

Rob, have you attended any Eastern Catholic Churches?  I think I'll be struggling whether to switch to an Eastern Catholic Rite or fully convert into Orthodoxy for the next year or two.
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2006, 09:46:11 PM »

I was born and rasied in a die hard catholic family, had many family members in the priesthood, and convents.  I was for a short time enrolled to attend a Catholic seminary, but converted to the Orthodox faith instead.  (My grandfather actually went to grade school with JP in Poland) Some orthodox folks may not agree with exactly what I'm going to say, but you asked my opinion and I've got allot of those.

For me its not what the Catholic church was teaching was wrong, but it was more of the half-truths they we're teaching.  I don't think there is any teaching that they just made up.  I just don't think they give you the whole story.  You asked about the Papacy specifically.  They are quick to point out the scriptures and teachings of the fathers about Peter.  The fact that the keys we're given to him.  The fact that he has the power to loose or bind, the fact that he sits on the chair of Peter.  While, none of this is wrong- Its only part of the story.  They don't show the apostolic teachings where the keys are in fact given to all the apostles.  They don't show the teachings where all the apostles we're given the power to loose or bind.  They don't point out that apostolic teaching used the chair of Peter as symbolism for the whole episcopacy.  Its the half-truth, not the false teaching.  Similiar half-truths are shown for purgatory, immaculate conception, etc.. They point out the few Fathers that believed them and consider it done without considering what the other 95% of the church fathers believed or what was accepted ecumenically into the life of the church.

The second part for me was the judical primacy they claimed for themselves.  Looking at the items above for example, One can go back and find Fathers who believed in Purgatory or the immaculate conception and they we're much more saintly then I ever will be.  So maybe one is entitled to have certain personal beliefs in their own life, but Rome has no right to force them on others or as church teaching.  That judical primacy didn't exist in the church.

For me it wasn't false teachings.  It was half-teachings and then their insistence others accept them blindly.

I don't consider myself in communion with Rome anymore.

My opinion.  That and $3.48 will buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.




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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2006, 10:09:59 AM »

Great perspective, most salient.

Welcome to OC.net  Smiley


I'll buy the coffee  Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2006, 10:27:18 AM »

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As time went on, I became more and more convinced that the Divine Liturgy was definately the original form of worship, and that I couldn't be in communion with bishops who said the Novus Ordo (and TLM) and the Divine Liturgy were equal.

This part worries me. The Divine Liturgy has changed greatly over the centuries, much more so than the Mass of the Latin rites, as more and more things were added to it. The Tridentine Mass resembles the Latin liturgy of the 5th century much more than the modern Divine Liturgy resembles the 5th century Greek liturgy. The changes are even more profound in the divine office -- the Latin office remains fairly primitive, with psalmody predominating, while the Byzantine office has had layer upon layer of hymnody added to it, while (at least in parish practice) psalmody has almost completely been dropped.

I agree the NO is crap, but there is absolutely nothing un-Orthodox about the TLM, and by entering Orthodoxy, you're still going to be in communion with bishops who believe the Mass is equal to the Divine Liturgy, and permit it to be said by Western Rite parishes under them.
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Cassian
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2006, 08:27:39 PM »

Frank wrote:
Quote
I was for a short time enrolled to attend a Catholic seminary, but converted to the Orthodox faith instead. 


Good stuff, Frank, thank-you.

If I my pry..Smiley..what happened at around the time you were attending the seminary that made you want to explore Orthodoxy?

Peace
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very eastern minded ...


« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2006, 01:10:57 PM »

Well, as a rc I think, that in fact rc church and the orthodox churches are the one and same Church - just different patriachates in schism at the moment...
For me the bishop of Rome is just the first among the equals.
I consider myself a very eastern minded catholic - perhaps even an orthodox in communion with the bishop of Rome - if possible...
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« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2006, 07:55:16 PM »

Cassian,

Never actually went into the seminary, was enrolled and then declined.

Its pretty ugly.  I had to think a bit about how to best convey why without getting into too many details.   Suffice it to say, I'm from a small town and there were multiple sex scandals that rocked the parish and town.  It's not that we should judge a whole church by the crimes of a few bad pastors.  Every church has a few bad seeds.  But it made me question the apostolicness (is that a word?) of the celibacy tradition, so I entered upon a study of the early church traditions/teachings upon the priesthood.

In and of itself I don't believe the celibacy rule is a great big deal.  Its just what opened the door for me to start questioning.

I was born post-vatican II, so I don't understand that whole pre/post vatican II talk that people have.  No views on that subject.
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« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2006, 09:52:56 AM »

Frank wrote:
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Its pretty ugly.  I had to think a bit about how to best convey why without getting into too many details.   Suffice it to say, I'm from a small town and there were multiple sex scandals that rocked the parish and town.  It's not that we should judge a whole church by the crimes of a few bad pastors.  Every church has a few bad seeds.  But it made me question the apostolicness (is that a word?) of the celibacy tradition, so I entered upon a study of the early church traditions/teachings upon the priesthood.

Thanks Frank, 'nuff said.
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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2006, 03:45:28 PM »

yBeryf wrote:
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This part worries me. The Divine Liturgy has changed greatly over the centuries, much more so than the Mass of the Latin rites, as more and more things were added to it. The Tridentine Mass resembles the Latin liturgy of the 5th century much more than the modern Divine Liturgy resembles the 5th century Greek liturgy. The changes are even more profound in the divine office -- the Latin office remains fairly primitive, with psalmody predominating, while the Byzantine office has had layer upon layer of hymnody added to it, while (at least in parish practice) psalmody has almost completely been dropped.

Interesting yBeryf,

I did not know this.  I was under the impression the DL has been essentially unchanged except for language translations for the last 1500 years.  Can you point me to any links that explore this?

Thanks!
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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2006, 03:47:50 PM »

See if you can locate (when the search function works again) a book by Hugh Wybrew - I think- on the Divine Liturgy. Or PM the young fogey who knows the author.
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« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2006, 06:35:15 PM »

Quote
I did not know this.  I was under the impression the DL has been essentially unchanged except for language translations for the last 1500 years.  Can you point me to any links that explore this?

The book you want to get, as mentioned, is The Orthodoxy Liturgy by Hugh Wybrew. Off the top of my head, a few of the most easily noticeable differences between the liturgy of the middle of the first millenium and that of today:

-no prothesis before the liturgy -- the gifts were prepared right before the eucharistic prayers, just like they are today in the Latin rite
-no introductory portion (antiphons) and little entrance -- the liturgy began with the celebrant processing through the middle of the church, ascending to the altar, and greeting the congregation, as is done today in the Latin rite. The antiphons were originally sung at stations in a procession, and were eventually tacked on to the beginning of the liturgy.
-there were 3 readings, not two (as is still done in the Ambrosian rite, and was re-introduced in the Novus Ordo mass of the Roman rite)
-the great litany came after the dismissal of the catechumens
-there was no great entrance -- the gifts were simply transferred from the preparatory area to the altar
-the anaphora was said aloud (though this has come back into fashion in the present day)

I'm not sure if there's an easily-available English work that gives as much detail on the changes in the divine office when the cathedral rite gave way to the monastic rite -- suffice it to say that the cathedral rite divine office looked *nothing* like what is celebrated today. It was mostly sung psalmody with refrains, rather than extended chunks of read psalmody alternating with hymnody. This page has a brief outline of a cathedral-rite vespers.
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« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2006, 06:44:10 PM »

The book you want to get, as mentioned, is The Orthodoxy Liturgy by Hugh Wybrew. Off the top of my head, a few of the most easily noticeable differences between the liturgy of the middle of the first millenium and that of today:

-no prothesis before the liturgy -- the gifts were prepared right before the eucharistic prayers, just like they are today in the Latin rite
-no introductory portion (antiphons) and little entrance -- the liturgy began with the celebrant processing through the middle of the church, ascending to the altar, and greeting the congregation, as is done today in the Latin rite. The antiphons were originally sung at stations in a procession, and were eventually tacked on to the beginning of the liturgy.
-there were 3 readings, not two (as is still done in the Ambrosian rite, and was re-introduced in the Novus Ordo mass of the Roman rite)
-the great litany came after the dismissal of the catechumens
-there was no great entrance -- the gifts were simply transferred from the preparatory area to the altar
-the anaphora was said aloud (though this has come back into fashion in the present day)

I'm not sure if there's an easily-available English work that gives as much detail on the changes in the divine office when the cathedral rite gave way to the monastic rite -- suffice it to say that the cathedral rite divine office looked *nothing* like what is celebrated today. It was mostly sung psalmody with refrains, rather than extended chunks of read psalmody alternating with hymnody. This page has a brief outline of a cathedral-rite vespers.

How does Wybrew's book compare to Dom Gregory Dix's book The Shape of the Liturgy (which I should be receiving any day now - I can modify another already-placed order and add Wybrew if it will supplement Dix or add new or contrary information)? Both Dix and Wybrew are Anglicans, and I suspect that Wybrew would have used Dix as one of his sources.
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« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2006, 07:49:27 PM »

Quote
How does Wybrew's book compare to Dom Gregory Dix's book The Shape of the Liturgy (which I should be receiving any day now - I can modify another already-placed order and add Wybrew if it will supplement Dix or add new or contrary information)?

Alas, I have not read Dix's book, so I'm not sure how much common material they both go over. I know that Wybrew's book focuses a lot on medieval development of the Byzantine liturgy (though not on the Nikonian reforms -- you want Meyendorf's Russia, Ritual, and Reform for that), which I'm not sure how much Dix does.
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« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2006, 09:56:56 PM »

The book you want to get, as mentioned, is The Orthodoxy Liturgy by Hugh Wybrew.

Thanks yBeayf,

Ordered it just now...boy that one-click buying at Amazon.com can be deadly for your credit card.   Grin

FWIW, I've read that Rome is considering once again revising the Divine Office with increasing the number of Psalms recited at the various hours.  I doubt this will be a return to the former one-week cycle of the Psalter.  I can't point to anything beyond internet rumor for a source on this.  My biggest beef with the 1976 revision is the censoring of certain verses in a number of Psalms that called for God's curse upon one's enemies.  Just let the Psalmist speak...
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« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2006, 10:45:10 PM »

What really brought this home for me was comparing a book recommended by my RC pastor, Jesus, Peter and the Keys, to an Orthodox book containing a series of essays about the papacy.  In the RC book, there were sentences taken completely out of context.  In the Orthodox book, I saw the context.

What was the Orthodox book that you're referring to? I already have Jesus, Peter and the Keys.
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« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2006, 05:41:02 PM »

The Great entrance while not initially part of the Divine Liturgy but definetely evolved as a pious action of the people as the Gifts were brought from an often external chapel or Prostheisis where the gifts were brought by the people and prepared for use in the Eucharist.  Once prepared these gifts were brought forward thru the church to the Altar, the Laity began to show great reverence toward these elements and began to touch the garments of the Priests and deacons carrying the elements. Eventually a procession developed so that the laity would step aside for the elements as they were brought forth. This evolved, as a living practice of worship does to the final  placement of it into the Divine Liturgy. This occured during the Golden age of Byzantium.  The meanings that were later attached to it evolved from meditations on the Liturgy and  interpretations  developed by varying Saints of the Church.

In Christ,
Thomas
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