Tell me all the reasons why my family ought to leave the Greek Orthodox Church and become Eastern Catholic. Convince me.
Funnily enough I do not think you are going to get a rush of people on the Eastern Catholic forums trying to convince you to leave the Greek Orthodox Church and come to an Eastern Catholic Church. I guess the real question is - why are YOU seeking to be convinced?
You may or may not judge anything we might say as convincing.
I looked into the Orthodox Church, but was convinced of the authority of the Catholic Church by Jesus, Peter, and the Keys, which has lots of different sections on the papacy, and lots of quotes from Orthodox and Protestant theologians as well as Catholic.
It took a whole book to convince me
Hello - I would never tell anyone to leave the Orthodox Church. However, I do wonder why the Orthodox churches are separated according to ethnicity, as opposed to being just one church. Also, I think the idea of having one leader is very practical. I also see the missionary work in the Catholic Church to be so incredibly amazing.
Please do take the time to find and read Stanley L. Jaki’s “And on This Rock: The Witness of One Land and Two Covenants”, if you are able. He makes an excellent and short set of arguments in his small book. It convinced me not to go Orthodox when I was discerning my way out of atheism.
One simple reason: the failure of pan-orthodox councils and synods to create unity and authority. Since 1054, not one of them has led to greater unity. Whenever a new one has been proclaimed, there was bickering before it, superficial agreement during it, and disobedience after it. Each jurisdiction is basically its own papacy: whether Russian, Greek, or otherwise. No one agrees on the status of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Almost no one agrees about various degrees of jurisdictions and disciplines. Moscow has excommunicated Kiev, yet there is a split remaining. In my opinion, Orthodoxy as it exists now is doomed to nationalism. The Catholic Church is not.
The Primacy of the Bishop of Rome.
Do you want to be convinced??? Are you (and your family) open to the Holy Spirit moving you from Orthodoxy to the Catholic Church? If not, discussing this would just be an exercise in futility.
You might also want to read this article by Fr. Brian Harrison: catholic.com/magazine/articles/why-i-didn%E2%80%99t-convert-to-eastern-orthodoxy
This is a book I haven’t come across 'til now. Thanks for the link!
It took way more than a whole book to convince me! Like LOTS of books and several well-aimed smacks around the ear hole by the Holy Spirit :eek: :eek:.
That, plus allowing contraception, the authority of the pope
Division by ethnicity is (1) uniquely Eastern Orthodox and (2) it is a byproduct of the Russification of the EO Communion. I think national Churches is an absolutely terrible idea and it really came about through granting every Slavic country that wanted autocephaly exactly that.
But before I provoke someone, all I’ll say is I don’t think one should argue conversion based on hierarchical adherence. If the sacraments of your Church all mediate the grace of God, why would you care who’s approving them? My Church is the Church of God, not the Pope who is its servant. I’m not dismissing Papal authority but the Church is Apostolic in the sense that the transmission of divine truth followed Apostolic lineage - if Orthodox Churches retained this Apostolic succession without the Pope, I see no need to convert even if it isn’t ideal (obviously God would want His body to be without division).
MorEphrem - Thanks for your reply. Could you please explain what you mean by “ethnic division is uniquely Eastern” and “national church”?
Certainly. So comparing the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox the division in the first is based on where Apostolic sees existed and the differing liturgies of those sees (Alexandria, Antioch, etc. - hence why the Indians who use the Syriac liturgy are subject to Antioch). Whereas the Eastern Orthodox divided amongst national lines - there is an autocephalous Church for essentially every country with EO faithful in the Eastern Europe - unnecessarily and many occurring in the 19th century and later as a political decision rather than administrative.
I can’t agree with you on this because if our family were to leave the Greek Orthodox Church for an Eastern Catholic Church, we would have to pick an ethnicity - Ruthenian or Assyrian or Ukrainian or some other ethnicity - that is not part of our ethnic/culture heritage.
If we get over the hurdle of becoming convinced we must become Eastern Catholic rather than Eastern Orthodox, another question that would immediately follow is: Which Eastern Catholic ethnicity ought we select & on what criteria ought we base our ethnic decision on?
I actually have that book, actually somehow I’ve ended up with two of them.
I skimmed through it a while back, but it seemed to me to only address the issue of the Papacy from the Protestant perspective rather than from the Orthodox perspective.
Are there any specific pages or parts that you would especially recommend for us to consider that really addresses from the Orthodox perspective?
I don’t think you actually “pick” an "Eastern Catholic ethnicity when you convert from Orthodoxy. You are assigned to the sui iuris church closest in “ethnicity” to the one you are coming from in Orthodoxy. But…it doesn’t really matter one whit, because as a Catholic you are free to worship in, receive Sacraments in, and be a parish member of ANY church in communion with Rome. Ethnicity should really be the least of your worries!
By Eastern I meant Byzantine. Yes, the ethnic divisions are the same in the eastern Catholic Churches. But I don’t consider your example of Assyrian an analogous one because, again, it’s a mix of Iraqis, Iranians, Syrians and Malabarese.
Not that I’m advocating abandoning Orthodoxy - far from it - but in that case, no, actually you wouldn’t pick. Since you’re Greek Orthodox, the transfers would automatically be to the minuscule Greek Catholic Church, which has no presence in the US (actually, it may not have a presence outside of Greece proper). You could, of course, try to petition for a concurrent change of Church. Either way, you would be free to attend any parish in union with Rome, (the Melkites woulde be the most familiar to you), although without a change of Church, there would be some canonical matters in the case of eventual matrimony or Holy Orders.