Heart is pulling me towards Orthodoxy


#1

Hello, I am posting this in the Traditional Catholicism forum because even though I will welcome any Catholic responses to this, I am especially looking forward to maybe some Traditionalist Catholics who might have gone through the same feelings and maybe could better relate? When I look at the Church and then look at Orthodoxy, I see how they have not changed, they even refer to themselves as the “Ancient Faith” and speak of how none of there traditions and liturgies have radically changed for over a thousand years, while the Catholic Church radically changed in the 1960’s after Vatican II. Regardless of how you feel about Vatican II, we must all recognize that this is indeed the truth, and that the Church did experience many changes in practice after Vatican II. So I keep having this thought: “What if Orthodoxy is the True Faith, I mean, they haven’t radically departed from their traditions like the Catholic Church has”. Now to say some more (and maybe now you’ll understand why I’m especially hoping for Trad talk, even though I’ll welcome anybody’s response in charity) even though I accept that NO Mass is perfectly valid and licit, I do not think that makes it better compared to Latin Mass. Or even NO Mass celebrated with certain Latin parts, the Priest celebrating ad orientem, and people receiving on the tongue (I have actually come to prefer this NO “Latin” Mass as I call it to the old Latin Masses. So as you can see, I’m not just an old fashioned TLM or die person lol). So yes, I I have said I have come to like this “Latin” Novus Ordo a lot and go to a Parish in my area where the Priest does that and I also like TLM and have been there, so those Masses are also valid and licit and accepted by the Church, however the fact remains that by and large the Church did indeed radically change things. And from my perspective many of those changes were bad and seem to be a break with Tradition. So I keep thinking: “Maybe we’re more faithful to Traditional Catholicism. Maybe we are right. But look at us, we’re just a minority in the modern Roman Catholic Church but when you look at Orthodoxy, they all celebrate their ancient traditions and adhere to the same traditional beliefs, styles, practices, and teachings.” Can anybody relate to this? Any thoughts? :woozy_face: :persevere:

Right now, my heart is Orthodox and pulling me towards them, but my mind is saying “No, the Catholic Church is right”. I put facts and logic above feelings, so that is why I’m still Catholic because I have reasons to believe in the Church over Orthodoxy. But as time goes by, I keep getting more and more doubts in my mind and keep thinking maybe I’m making the wrong decision. Orthodox adheres to their unchanging Tradition and look at Patriarch Krill, he is unafraid to stand by those teachings. He doesn’t confuse issues, speak erroneously, or make some of the mistakes as Catholic leaders. Why should I stay Catholic and not go Orthodox?


#2

Hello, if you truly feel like it I welcome you. Welcome is the one who comes from the part of Lord!
But as far as your criticism to Vatican II as proof of inconsistency in the Catholic Church please consider the following (regarding the relationship with the OC). I have read some Traditional Catholic blogs and newspapers online. One of the critics brought to Vatican II is that they no longer consider Eastern Orthodox schismatics. So if you are for Orthodoxy and against Vatican II it really seems to me like you are a struggling Catholic because Vatican II is not anti-Orthodox as anti-Eastern Orthodoxy.
God bless and may He illumine you on what to do.
With love, the above mentioned humble slave of our Lord.


#3

The Orthodox liturgy does seem to be very reverent. And their fasting tradition is pretty severe. The Catholic rule of one hour fasting before receiving Holy Communion seems pretty weak in comparison. Also it seems like it was wrong for Catholics to excommunicate the Orthodox and list the omission of the filioque as one of the reasons for the excommunication. After all the original creed did not contain the filioque and the filioque was added several hundred years later.


#4

This is true, but Vatican II did not overturn Vatican I. And Vatican I presents problems for the Orthodox such as universal papal supremacy over their churches.


#7

My traditional catholic friend wrote a fairly lengthy essay demonstrating why the Eastern Orthodox Church is not the True Church. I will include photos of that essay on this post.

I sympathize with you and your position. I have e had similar doubts in the past. Don’t abondon Holy Mother Church because of the crisis! That will not help anything. I will be praying for you. God bless.


#9

I find it unbelievable that you are attracted to the Orthodox because they have not changed .

What exactly do you mean the Orthodox have not changed ?

Since when have they not changed ?

What have they not changed ?

Your whole premise is based on a delusion .


#10

Bear in mind, I am a simple man who can only understand simple things. But it is my understanding there was a time when we all recognized the seat of Peter… in one form or another. Some of us have held fast to recognizing that seat, others have cut ourselves off completely from that seat, as if the gates of hell did exactly what Our Lord explicitly said they will not & can not do.

So the RCC speaks in the language of the people, so the RCC perform their rite facing the people, so the RCC rearranged their furniture.

Those are changes I can live with. I don’t have to like them, after all I’m just a simple man.


#11

The Nicene Creed as said in the Eastern Orthodox Church does not have the filioque which was added later in the Roman Catholic Church.


#12

Nicene Creed itself was a change though. Apostles did not say it.

This, what I did above, is called antiquarianism and it is heresy. We should all abstain from it, don’t you think? Both Catholics and Orthodox changed Creed, they changed celibacy of bishops. Orthodoxy changed holding general synods and ecumenical councils though. We can blame each other all we want, but bottom line is Churches changed discipline, not dogma.


#13

Is the filioque a discipline? The Eastern Orthodox do not view it as such, at least according to the Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs, 1848.
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx
Also, I don’t believe that the Eastern Orthodox would agree with your comment. In particular as it concerns universal papal jurisdiction.
" So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema."
From Vatican I.


#14

Eastern Orthodox spirituality is found in Catholic Church too. There are Eastern Catholics.

For variety of reasons however, it is right to stay Catholic and not go Orthodox. Keep in mind I will write this all from Catholic perspective.

I have studied Orthodoxy a lot, I have been drawn to convert and of course I have been in similar situation to yours. However, what I did in the end was stick with facts. While East certainly appeals to me in a great way, very different way than Latin West (not better, not worse I guess), it does not automatically mean they are right. People are dragged to pre-marital sex too, and it still isn’t right by view of either Church.

While what ZP said is technically true, switching to Orthodoxy would not be benefical to you as in the end, Jesus estabilished One Church. As you said you know this by facts and your mind knows this. I just suggest you to find Eastern Catholic parish nearby. They can provide you everything you need while staying perfectly united to Jesus. Orthodox Church holds valid orders and sacraments by apostolic succession, but through obedience they do not follow Jesus and His Vicar. They also generally deny Latin Doctrines, something Eastern Catholics would not do. I say this after watching Patriarch Kiril’s homilies- perhaps this is not case everywhere.

Vatican 2 did not change that much. Novus Ordo should be celebrated Ad Orientem and with lots of incense. It sounds even more solemn than Tridentine Rite. It is also allowed to celebrate Versus Populum and with no incense- something that became norm. Also keep in mind that Versus Populum seems historically more ancient than Ad Orientem.

If you check liturgy of Novus Ordo, it almost precisely goes along with first even document about liturgy we have- one from Justin Martyr.

Large Church prefers something else, huh? Well I feel same way. But preferences are preferences, people can choose whatever they prefer and do it. We respect authority of Pope and we respect free will, as God always does it too. Even if I sometimes dissagree with present Pope, He is Pope, not me. To be your own Pope and decide what is better for entire Church is to give into temptation of Satan and be sinful of pride. We don’t understand how and why, but we know Church is infallible and gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Have faith, stay united with Christ. Even if current management of Church was not doing best job (if), Church will prevail. In history there were many times where Church (Catholic, but Orthodox too for the record) was corrupted and had bad decisions. But we always overcame them. As people often say it- there was One Judas in 13 Apostles.


#15

Filioque was never changed as a dogma- only discipline of saying it. Not only do Early Church Fathers imply Filioque, modern comissions of Catholic and Orthodox dialogue agreed it may be confusing because of translation but it is not heretical. Orthodox theologians even recommended words “per filio” be used to make it more clear, but not necessarily different.

I agree with Vatican I definition, I don’t honestly think whether Orthodox would or wouldnt agree with it changes anything. Mormons wouldn’t agree with Trinity- proves nothing.


#16

That is your opinion, but not the opinion expressed in the Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs, 1848, referred to above:
" 5. The new doctrine, that “the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father and the Son,” is contrary to the memorable declaration of our LORD, emphatically made respecting it: which proceedeth from the Father (John xv. 26), and contrary to the universal Confession of the Catholic Church as witnessed by the seven Ecumenical Councils, uttering “which proceedeth from the Father.” (Symbol of Faith).

i. This novel opinion destroys the oneness from the One cause, and the diverse origin of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity, both of which are witnessed to in the Gospel.

ii. Even into the divine Hypostases or Persons of the Trinity, of equal power and equally to be adored, it introduces diverse and unequal relations, with a confusion or commingling of them.

iii. It reproaches as imperfect, dark, and difficult to be understood, the previous Confession of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

iv. It censures the holy Fathers of the first Ecumenical Synod of Nicea and of the second Ecumenical Synod at Constantinople, as imperfectly expressing what relates to the Son and Holy Ghost, as if they had been silent respecting the peculiar property of each Person of the Godhead, when it was necessary that all their divine properties should be expressed against the Arians and Macedonians.
v. It reproaches the Fathers of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh Ecumenical Councils, which had published over the world a divine Creed, perfect and complete, and interdicted under dread anathemas and penalties not removed, all addition, or diminution, or alteration, or variation in the smallest particular of it, by themselves or any whomsoever. Yet was this quickly to be corrected and augmented, and consequently the whole theological doctrine of the Catholic Fathers was to be subjected to change, as if, forsooth, a new property even in regard to the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity had been revealed.

vi. It clandestinely found an entrance at first in the Churches of the West, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” that is, under the signification not of procession, according to the Greek meaning in the Gospel and the Creed, but under the signification of mission, as Pope Martin explained it to the Confessor Maximus, and as Anastasius the Librarian explained it to John VIII.

vii. It exhibits incomparable boldness, acting without authority, and forcibly puts a false stamp upon the Creed, which is the common inheritance of Christianity.

viii. It has introduced huge disturbances into the peaceful Church of God, and divided the nations."
Continued


#17

Continued:

ix. It was publicly proscribed, at its first promulgation, by two ever-to-be-remembered Popes, Leo III and John VIII, the latter of whom, in his epistle to the blessed Photius, classes with Judas those who first brought the interpolation into the Creed.

x. It has been condemned by many Holy Councils of the four Patriarchs of the East.

xi. It was subjected to anathema, as a novelty and augmentation of the Creed, by the eighth Ecumenical Council, congregated at Constantinople for the pacification of the Eastern and Western Churches.

xii. As soon as it was introduced into the Churches of the West it brought forth disgraceful fruits, bringing with it, little by little, other novelties, for the most part contrary to the express commands of our Savior in the Gospel—commands which till its entrance into the Churches were closely observed. Among these novelties may be numbered sprinkling instead of baptism, denial of the divine Cup to the Laity, elevation of one and the same bread broken, the use of wafers, unleavened instead of real bread, the disuse of the Benediction in the Liturgies, even of the sacred Invocation of the All-holy and Consecrating Spirit, the abandonment of the old Apostolic Mysteries of the Church, such as not anointing baptized infants, or their not receiving the Eucharist, the exclusion of married men from the Priesthood, the infallibility of the Pope and his claim as Vicar of Christ, and the like. Thus it was that the interpolation led to the setting aside of the old Apostolic pattern of well nigh all the Mysteries and all doctrine, a pattern which the ancient, holy, and orthodox Church of Rome kept, when she was the most honored part of the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

xiii. It drove the theologians of the West, as its defenders, since they had no ground either in Scripture or the Fathers to countenance heretical teachings, not only into misrepresentations of the Scriptures, such as are seen in none of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, but also into adulterations of the sacred and pure writings of the Fathers alike of the East and West.


#18

Continued:

xiv. It seemed strange, unheard of, and blasphemous, even to those reputed Christian communions, which, before its origin, had been for other just causes for ages cut off from the Catholic fold.

xv. It has not yet been even plausibly defended out of the Scriptures, or with the least reason out of the Fathers, from the accusations brought against it, notwithstanding all the zeal and efforts of its supporters. The doctrine bears all the marks of error arising out of its nature and peculiarities. All erroneous doctrine touching the Catholic truth of the Blessed Trinity, and the origin of the divine Persons, and the subsistence of the Holy Ghost, is and is called heresy, and they who so hold are deemed heretics, according to the sentence of St. Damasus, Pope of Rome, who says: “If any one rightly holds concerning the Father and the Son, yet holds not rightly of the Holy Ghost, he is an heretic” (Cath. Conf. of Faith which Pope Damasus sent to Paulinus, Bishop of Thessalonica). Wherefore the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, following in the steps of the holy Fathers, both Eastern and Western, proclaimed of old to our progenitors and again teaches today synodically, that the said novel doctrine of the Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father and the Son is essentially heresy, and its maintainers, whoever they be, are heretics, according to the sentence of Pope St. Damasus, and that the congregations of such are also heretical, and that all spiritual communion in worship of the orthodox sons of the Catholic Church with such is unlawful. Such is the force of the seventh Canon of the third Ecumenical Council.

  1. This heresy, which has united to itself many innovations, as has been said, appeared about the middle of the seventh century, at first and secretly, and then under various disguises, over the Western Provinces of Europe, until by degrees, creeping along for four or five centuries, it obtained precedence over the ancient orthodoxy of those parts, through the heedlessness of Pastors and the countenance of Princes…"
    etc.
    Please see:
    http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx

#19

I appreciate that, but I can quote numerous Catholic scources claiming Filioque to be true. I don’t think this changes much. There was an excellent post by guy on those forums who would explain that denying Filioque means following:

  1. Father is Father because he is Father of Son
  2. Therefore Son is begotten from Father
  3. If Holy Spirit is begotten from Father solely, it means Father has two paternal twins. That united Holy Spirit to be second Son and not a Spirit. Because Spirit and Son share scource and are complete, they can not differ.
  4. This basically defies teachings about Trinity. Can not be true.

I’ll find it if this isn’t sufficient, but this is basically what he implied. He was former Orthodox who converted to Catholicism IIRC.


#20

I understand somewhat where you are coming from, but orthodoxy isn’t without its problems. Their allowing for multiple marriages is a significant difference. Their overlapping churches in the United States is a problem. But I can see the attraction because liturgically they have stayed close to recent tradition whereas today the Catholic Church liturgically looks nothing like the Church of 1960. And the practical, everyday theology reflects that too. The abrupt change in the Catholic Church is hard to reconcile.


#21

Well I would consider attending an Eastern Rite Catholic Church and then maybe making a formal liturgical switch.

I too have come to points in my faith where I was so upset and angry that I considered going to the Orthodox but unfortunately they tend to view a lot of Latin things as heretical.

Catholics on the other hand because we have other liturgical rites don’t view the East as heretical just a different expression of the same faith.

There’s also the fact that I believe in the seat of Peter and I also believe in the writings of Saint Robert Bellarmine.

Personally I don’t like the New Mass I grew up going to it I was born in 1987 I don’t care or agree with much of the theology that comes post-Vatican II it borders on dispensationalism and universalism and it’s very troubling.

However I believe that this is the Ark of salvation and that no matter how rough the storm is and how much it seems like things are spiraling out of control that God’s ultimately in charge and he has set up this Church and her sacraments as the means for salvation.


#22

There are so many loopholes in the Catholic theory of what constitutes a valid marriage, that it is difficult to take this objection seriously. In 1929, there were fewer than 10 marriages annulled in the USA. However in more recent years, after Catholic re-evaluating what constitutes a valid marriage, there have been as many as 60,000 marriages annulled in one year, in the USA. And Cardinal Kasper is quoted as saying that many Catholic annulments are really only Catholic divorces in a dishonest way.


#23

Their adherence to their rites are laudable. But the fact is, those rites didn’t fall from Heaven. They were developed by the Church. If the Church could develop rites back then, and if it is the same Church now, then it can also do so now.

The Eastern Orthodox Churches have changed on some central truths to Christian faith, like original sin. They used to universally teach it like us, as excluding from beatitude, not just as physical death and ailments as they do universally now. This is a relative new change, coming from their modern Neo-Palamite movement.

But 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. the current schism between Constantinople, Moscow, and some Ukrainian Churches; ROCOR; the Moscow-Contantinople schism in 1996; 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. In fact, this is why their modern theologians want to deny any universal ecclesiology at all.

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.

Yes, the Catholic Church has problems (has Christ’s Church ever not?) But, as always, our problems are failing to live up to our principles. The EOs have problems in principle as well.


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