A Roman Catholic with Orthodox weaknesses

Hi everyone,

I hope I will explain well.

I am a devout Roman Catholic, faithful to the Pope and to the Church in Rome- I love our Roman traditions and statues, images and devotions etc. I go to Mass every day and I work in a Parish yet I also have a great weakness, love and admiration of Eastern Practices.

I have a Greek Orthodox friend, who I used to go to Liturgy with very often (as well as my Sunday Mass, on a Saturday evening in the RC Church) and I have spent time in Romania doing charity work where on Sundays I went to the Orthodox Church as there was no Catholic Church where I was. Although I am RC I have this great love and attraction/ weakness for Orthodoxy- I have uploaded in another post a picture of my home altar which is a combination of Russian, Greek & Romanian icons mixed with Catholic images and statues from all over the world (although in the picture mainly focuses on my Roman devotions) which I have collected over time.

I don’t feel “torn” between the two but I was wondering if there were any other people who had experienced this? I don’t want to leave the Roman Rite or anything like that as I know some people might misunderstand me, but when I was offered the chance to move to Romania I was tempted and I know that had I gone there would have been so hard to stay “Roman” in a country that is so devoted to the Sacraments and the Divine Liturgy, although Orthodox. There are no Eastern Rite (in Communion with Rome) options where I live.

I have devotion to many Orthodox Saints and do not feel anything wrong in doing so, I love the Russian Orthodox Romanov Martyrs as I have a family connection to them in the sense that my grandmother was a servant girl to the Tzar’s sister in exile and I loved to hear about them, also the Greek St. Nektarios (of whom I have a relic) who is honoured in the Eastern Catholic Church. When I was in Romania I felt no problem crossing myself in the Orthodox style and was told I do it like a Greek.

I really cannot abide Protestantism and although I love my brothers and sisters as Christ taught me to but I hate Protestantism and its ideology yet love Orthodoxy- Catholic and Apostolic East and West.

I hope that you will join me in praying for greater unity- for our Pope Francis and for His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew.

I just really wanted to know if there are any Catholics who have lived in Orthodox countries, had Orthodox connections/experiences and feel the same way I do? I love the Roman Church and would die for her- I love the Traditional Roman liturgy in Latin and all the Traditional Roman Practices which are not practiced so much today (sadly but I am not complaining) I would love to hear from any Romans who are very comfortable with Eastern Worship and its beautiful traditional liturgies, way of life, icons, practices etc. if there are others in the “same boat” as I?

If you want the Eastern liturgy and don’t want to leave Rome you can have both with Eastern Catholicism. Eastern Catholics have an identical liturgy as the Eastern Orthodox, but the Eastern Catholics are in communion with Rome.

Helpful links:
Catholic Rites
Light of the East
Annunciation Parish

I can relate to your admiration for the Eastern liturgies. I am a Catholic who was lost in time. I grew up with the Latin mass. Then abruptly taken out of it, and as an adult found God in my Bible and sometimes reflected in people I have met wherever I have wandered in different protestant churches. Then in trying to come back to my Catholic roots, I researched the Eastern Orthodox for a few years, experiencing one whole year of their liturgical cycle, but it made me miss my Roman roots. Interestingly enough, I have not found what I remember as a child in today’s mass. I feel lost. But when I attended an Eastern Catholic parish I cried. I think I have finally found where I can be with God, have my incense, Papa Francis, wear my veil,etc.

Out of curiosity did you try going to a Tridentine Mass, also very beautiful. (Just a thought)

That would be my suggestion as well!


Not every city has a Tridentine Mass to go to. The Catholic diocese I live in has no TLM anywhere in the whole diocese.

Our diocese has a Latin mass at the cathedral on Sunday afternoons, but it is about an hour away.

correction: Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine Rite… be they Melkite, Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Italo-albanian, Slovak, Hungarian…

But there are also churches of the Syriac Rites - Maronite, Syrian, Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankar, Chaldean.

And of the Alexandrian Rite: Coptic, Ethiopian

And one of the Armenian Rite.

When I was RC my confirmation saints were Sts. Cyril and Methodius, though that was more because of my belief in the necessity of having liturgy in the language of the people. I also spoke Russian fairly fluently at the time, though.

Anyway, as you can see, I ended up Orthodox, though not Eastern/Byzantine. That said, I fail to see why any of what you’ve written is a “weakness”. When I was RC, my Father of Confession was the one who taught me to love St. Ephrem the Syrian by reading to me from his writings often, inside and outside of confession (he himself had great love for the saint after being introduced to him by a Chaldean seminarian when they were both in seminary together, years earlier before the Chaldeans had their own seminary in the USA). I don’t believe there’s anything in Roman Catholic doctrine or dogma that says you can’t feel especially close to saints outside of your own church, and only a fool would suggest that doing so would necessarily mean compromising your loyalty to Rome. That’s just silly.

Couldn’t agree with you more!!! All the pre-schism saints, both Eastern and Western, are still “Catholic” :thumbsup:.

After attending Norvus Ordo Masses, I used to think the Tridentine Mass was mind-blowingly beautiful! I would go way out of my way each Sunday afternoon to attend a Tridentine Mass.

Then years later, after converting to Orthodoxy and attending Divine Liturgy on a regular basis I moved to an area that had Tridentine Masses. Remembering how amazing they’d been so I made it a point to attend a Tridentine Mass to experience that beauty once again, but came out of there surprised at how dry it had seemed to me. As you can imagine, I was disappointed.

I wonder if the difference that made it seem dry is that the Tridentine Mass is spoken while the Divine Liturgy is chanted/sung? I don’t know. But I’ve never gone back again.

The OP mentioned: “There are no Eastern Rite (in Communion with Rome) options where I live.”

Tridentine High Mass is sung, music from Heaven!

While I’m no longer Catholic, I totally understand how you feel.

While Catholic, I attended daily Mass (usually twice a day), prayed the Rosary & was faithful to the Pope.

My wonderful experiences with the Orthodox Church, especially the Divine Liturgy, triggered me to research how they became separated from the Catholic Church (my perspective of the time). In the meantime, I began regularly attending a couple of different Eastern Catholic Rites/Churches.

Then once I figured out what those dividing issues were, I began to pray & study over those issues, the Church Fathers & the Ecumenical Councils and after years & years, my family & I officially became Orthodox Christians.

I’ve never been to one (they didn’t have them in the areas I lived in in California or Oregon when I was Catholic), but I was under the impression that the Tridentine Mass is sung. Is that not true in all cases?

It is interesting that you should speculate on that difference between the EO Divine Liturgy and the Catholic TLM. I experienced the same sort of different feeling between the EO liturgy and the Coptic liturgy (as well as the Coptic liturgy and the RC mass) after I began attending the Coptic liturgy regularly in August of 2011. And while I never attended the EO liturgy regularly, it’s apparently not just me: Inquirers we’ve had from the Greek Orthodox Church have said the same thing to us after visiting us for the first time, saying that the Byzantine approach to the liturgy, while very beautiful, ultimately left them cold, as it felt much more ‘theatrical’ (their word) than they were apparently comfortable with.

What an interesting world we live in, with all of these different expressions of Christian worship. :slight_smile:

If it is sung, then I don’t know what caused me to walk away feeling it was terribly dry compared to a Divine Liturgy. I just know that there was no comparison between Tridentine Mass & Divine Liturgy.

But I will always remember that as Catholic, I always felt that the Tridentine Mass was a million times more beautiful than the Norvus Ordo Masses I attended once or twice daily.

Low Mass isn’t sung, and at the parish I used to attend it was even mostly silent. You couldn’t hear a lot of what the priest was saying. Still, much better than the NO. A sung High Mass is fairly rare, I believe, when even the Latin Mass is rare.

The WRO sing/chant their Masses. Beautiful :thumbsup:

It is always the case in a High Mass.

The so called “Low Mass” (which is not sung) developed as a result of the medieval practice/belief system of indulgence and offering Mass intentions etc. They needed a quick and easily done Mass that did not require much except for a chapel, some vestments and hopefully an altar server. This way every Priest could say it at least once a day…

Can somebody tell me which, if any, of the eastern churches (Catholic) use anything but English as their liturgical language? I get very confused trying to figure this out.

I find myself really loving Russian Orthodox chant. Not sure why as there is absolutely no cultural connections there.

I went to a Maronite (Eastern Catholic) liturgy once and it contained not a word of English. I was unfamiliar with the language used but believe it was a mix of Arabic and Aramaic.

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