[quote="Big_Chris, post:1, topic:275476"]
After off-and-on considering Orthodoxy for roughly four years now - much longer, really, if you consider that I fell in love with the Byzantine Church as an undergrad as a result of my studies - I finally have established contact with the priest of the local Greek Orthodox Church - which is one of the two Orthodox parishes in the area, the other being pan-Orthodox.
I have no immediate plans of converting, though, as there are a number of questions which I must seek out answers to, both from a Catholic and an Orthodox perspective; among those, of course, being a question of the primacy versus supremacy of the Pope. Even as a Catholic all these years, the papal powers are not something I've always agreed with but never something I've studied or researched; rather, I've just ignored the position and the man holding it. My bias is with the Orthodox position; however, given that my girlfriend (and future fiance) and her family is Catholic and given the relationship I've formed with my Catholic parish, accepting papal authority wouldn't be conscientiously gut-wrenching. I must also consider what the differences between the different Orthodox Churches are and why they exist; the varied Orthodox stances on Protestan/Catholic baptism; the question of contraception, divorce and remarriage.
Plus, there's no need to be hasty in making a decision: the holy Spirit calls me to a life of prayer first and foremost, followed by attempting to live virtuously. Of course, when my natural mode of worship has tended to approach the Eastern side of things, crossing the Bosphorus wouldn't be entirely hasty. However, after reading about a Benedictine hermit who, at the age of 70, finally converted to Orthodoxy, I am also confident that living an Eastern spirituality within the confines of my current Franciscan parish is more than possible until it becomes more plainly evident where the holy Spirit will have me continue my journey.
Whatever my decision, I already know that leaving Catholicism will pain me as much as never converting to Orthodoxy. In truth, the schism does infect the souls of men.
I hope we get some more insight into this. I am interested in hearing some answers to your queries, just hope they are not too biased.:rolleyes: