I have a friend/coworker I’ve known for quite a few years who has been for all of the time I’ve known him a very devout fundamentalist Christian. I know that he was baptized a Catholic, but he was never confirmed. Indeed, his parish priest at the time he was in confirmation as a kid decided to tell his parents that he wasn’t ready for confirmation due to the positions he was taking in the confirmation class at that time. He fell away during college.
But from the point I’ve known him, he has always been a devout Christian, albeit a fundamentalist. Starting here about a year or more ago, he started a very detailed and open minded study of Christian doctrines and the early church, and that has lead him to believe that the Catholic or the Orthodox churches (or maybe both) are truly the true church. I’ve been there to answer his questions when he had them, and provide them with materials when he was looking at them, and I have to really admire and credit him for his bravery in engaging in his journey.
In that journey, he’s arrived at the point at which he feels that the Orthodox Church is the real church. Clearly, I wish he’s see that the Catholic Church is, but at the same time I’m glad that he’s headed at least right now for a church with valid Holy Orders and Sacraments.
So here’s my question. I know that we Catholics find it morally problematic when a Catholic chooses to convert to the Orthodox Church, given as it is our position that the Catholic Church fully and accurately is the Christ’s church. But I also know that we regard the Orthodox as having valid Holy Orders and Sacraments. Do we find it morally problematic when a person baptized in the Catholic Church, and having received First Communion, Reconciliation, etc., but not Confirmation, and then falls away, enters the Orthodox Church?