Converting to Orthodoxy


#1

What makes Orthodoxy true over Catholicism/vice versa? I’m not sure which church to look into.


#2

I’ve heard that church fathers spoke against Latinism, so I guess that would be one point for Orthodoxy?


#3

Hearing it and it actually being true are two very different things.

Most Church fathers spoke of the necessity and centrality of the papacy, which would be a major point in favor of Catholicism.

Here is some basic information.

In addition to these resources, Jimmy Akin’s book “The Fathers Know Best” give a breakdown of what the ECFs had to say on pretty much any subject, both for and against. If you pick that up you will see that the Fathers spoke overwhelmingly in favor of the primacy of Peter and the centrality / necessity of the Papacy. If you’re interested in the ECFs, I highly recommend picking up a copy. It’s a little expensive ($25), but it’s an exhaustive catalog of almost everything they wrote on any subject. It’s broken down by topic for easy reference. It’s a pretty substantial book, you definitely get your money’s worth.

The Fathers Know Best - Jimmy Akin

I hope this helps.


#4

It is not either/or. Both are true. Both are the Apostolic Christian faith. The grave fact of schism does not make either false or heretical.


#5

You can be Orthodox while Catholic, but not Catholic while Orthodox.

And here’s what I mean: You can fully embrace the Eastern Christianity tradition — of whatever stripe — and still be part of the Catholic Church, united in Rome. The Catholic Church is not only Roman, but also consists of churches formed from the Byzantine tradition as well. Even more! You can be Catholic and appreciate those traditions formed from non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Eastern traditions, like the Syriac and Coptic Catholic churches (whose counterparts are in Oriental Orthodoxy), or like the Chaldean Catholic church (whose counterpart is the Assyrian Church of the East).

The Eastern Orthodox Church, however, is not nearly as inclusive. Besides the fact that the Eastern Orthodox Church is largely Byzantine, many Orthodox are not fans of the Latin tradition at all: There is a distaste for Latin theology, customs, and liturgy in many Orthodox circles.

So basically, be Catholic, where there is a fullness of the Christian Faith: You can have everything you love about Eastern spirituality in the fullness of the Catholic faith.

When it comes down to the main issue that separates us, it would be the role of the Pope. If you don’t find yourself fully persuaded with either side’s understanding of the Pope, I think it should come down to the above: Which Church is more inclusive of the fullness of the ancient Christian Faith?


#6

Huh? There are many Latin Fathers too. The strict anti-Latinism (mostly ant-Augustinism) is a relatively new thing, part of the neo-Palamite revival amongst EOs. Read older, but post schism EO catechisms and synod decisions and they are much more like the Latins than they like to admit nowadays.


#7

As for the original question, as I’ve said before, the main issue is their Churches are not one, as the Creed requires.

They constantly get into situations where EO particular church A is in communion with B, B is in communion with C, but A and C are not in communion with each other (A=B=C≠A) (e.g. ROCOR currently; the Moscow Patriarchate breaking communion with Constantinople over who had jurisdiction over Estonia in 1996 while other Churches remained in communion with both; the Bulgarian schism of the 19th century when most patriarchates, but not Moscow, broke communion with the Bulgarian Churches; etc., etc.). How can one church simultaneously have some parts in communion with other parts, while other parts are separated from each other? That’s not unity. This can only make sense if there is a plurality of Churches–the “one” of the Creed is lacking–and without this oneness, the very concept of one catholic/universal Church becomes untenable.

This was illustrated perfectly by the recent pan-Orthodox Synod (or whatever it ultimately was classified as). It barely even got off the ground because Churches were threatening to boycott (and many did) because they were fighting with other Churches over who had jurisdiction over what. Despite the EO polemics about all bishops being equal, if you look at how that synod was explicitly organized and carried out, the bishops who participated in that synod did not do so as equal bishops of one Church, but as representatives of multiple national Churches and patriarchates. What was sought was not a consensus of the bishops of one Church (or even a consensus of particular Churches), but rather a consensus of independent national Churches–which didn’t happen anyway.


Question about communion in the Orthodox Church
#8

There is, of course, Western Rite Orthodoxy, primarily within the Antiochian Orthodox in the US. They generally use the latin rite, calling it “the Liturgy of St. Gregory”, but add an explicit epiclesis to the Roman Canon.

I believe ROCOR has some, too.

hawk


#9

No. Since the Schism, the two theologies have distanced themselves to the point of becoming irreconcilable and incompatible. If only one Church is true, another must be false.


#10

Right, but that’s why I said the EOO is largely Byzantine. I still maintain the Catholic Church, though greatly Latin-influenced, has more of a “chunk” of Christian expressions. E.g., not only coming from Byzantine Orthodoxy, but Syriac Orthodoxy, Coptic Orthodoxy, the Assyrian Church, and so on.

Do you think most Orthodox are receptive towards Latin theology? I was under the impression that they were not.


#11

Jesus gave Peter the keys to the Church.

We have kept the line of Peter, they have not.

Hence, we are the true Church, they are not.

No other explanations are necessary.


#12

There is no quick easy answer and there are a myriad of ways of going about of finding that answer for yourself. First, let me say that although I sympathize that people seek quick answers on the internet and am myself a semi-active Orthodox blogger who somewhat caters to such demands, I really think that these sorts of questions are best answered in libraries - that is in brick and mortar locations with vast resources for knowledge. Furthermore, although I myself don’t really get why some people choose one church over another solely because of liturgical differences, I suggest that you visit both Catholic churches and Orthodox churches of various liturgical/language traditions. You might find such means to be more instructive than looking at historical debates, etc.

Despite this advice on my part, however, I would like to propose the following links as but small equivalent links to the pro-Catholic links that have been linked above. Full disclaimer, I wrote these:

I wish you well on your spiritual journey, regardless of which if any church you choose.


#13

If you are talking about Western converts of some sort of clerical position (such as Met. Timothy Ware), then the answer is generally yes. Those who are born and raised in it, however, tend to ignore a lot of the Latin tradition post-Gregory the Great, at least in my experience. This is something that I think it gradually changing for the better with more and more Orthodox Christians being more receptive of Latin saints and fathers prior to the schism as a whole.


#14

Actually, that isn’t right. When we look at Eastern Catholicism, which is in communion with Rome, we can compare to Orthodoxy and see that you have to look really hard to find Orthodox beliefs Catholicism disagrees with.


#15

Also, the anti-Augustine stream of Eastern tradition is flatly contrary to the seven earliest ecumenical councils, two of which explicitly support Augustine.

Sixth Ecumenical Council - “On the meaning of [these] divine words blessed Augustine, a most illustrious doctor, thus writes in his book against Maximinus the Arian. He says…[here follows a long quote from St. Augustine].” (Session 4)

Fifth Ecumenical Council - “We further declare that we hold fast to the decrees of the four Councils, and in every way follow the holy Fathers, Athanasius, Hilary, Basil, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Theophilus, John (Chrysostom) of Constantinople, Cyril, Augustine, Proclus, Leo and their writings on the true faith.” (Session 1)

There has always been a large stream of Orthodox tradition which values St. Augustine, and I think the most recent trend in their scholarship is to regard him favorably once again. He is still a saint in their church with a feast day, for example. (The Eastern Orthodox feast day for St. Augustine is June 15th.)


#17

Given that “they” have “kept” two of the three lines of Peter (the sees of Jerusalem and Antioch), it doesn’t even begin to “explain” . . .

This. The supposed incompatibly is surprising to us, as we live both sides on a daily basis . . .

The what? Augustine is respected in the east, and some of his ideas are accepted. Other parts, such as his views on Original Sin, are not.

  1. Rome has repeatedly instructed us not to make statements like “the Orthodox schismatics”
  2. Overal, the statement is untrue. The Orthodox do dispute papal infallibility, at least as formulated by polemicists. That they “fight” the Immaculate Conception is wholly untrue. Rather, they both dispute the ability of one church to pronounce dogma on its own, and deny the necessity of the doctrine in much the same way they would deny the necessity of a dogma for “2+2=4”. The Orthodox do generally accept a need for cleansing of sin after death, just not the western formulation.

hawk


#18

http://www.omhksea.org/2012/09/ecumenical-patriarch-bartholomew-on-the-immaculate-conception/

This from a Patriarch considered “ecumenist” by the Orthodox…

1- Schismatics and heretics are what they are. Not calling them that way is an orientation to the current dialogue, but what is happening here is confusion and not dialogue. Orthodox are separated from the visible communion of the Church, are in error and charity is to bring them back to the Light.
2 - Being separated from the shepherding of the Vicar of Christ for another millennium and preserving the whole Faith, without errors, is almost impossible.
3. You say you deny the need for doctrine. Perhaps because the Orthodox have infamous and prejudiced horror against Scholasticism? They simply do not have the philosophical tools that allowed the West to safely proclaim many of the Dogmas. Not understanding Roman Catholicism is not a merit.
5- The Union of Brest happened because in the West of the Ukrainian Orthodox drank St. Thomas, Duns Scotus, Ignatius of Loyola, etc., definitely renounced the fear and the prejudice and joined the Union;
4- If the present schismatic can achieve some future day accept Catholic dogmas, even with other formulations, great. They will again have visible communion with the Church of Christ and will abandon error. Many have already done it, it is the Eastern Catholics, but these have historically been persecuted by the schismatics, giving the Church many martyrs.


#19

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