Heart is pulling me towards Orthodoxy


So you are saying that VI, VII, and the last few popes are in error?

I’m checking out of this one before I write something I regret.


The Eastern Catholic Churches of the Byzantine Tradition have the Divine Liturgy too! Why don’t you encourage the OP to attend an Eastern Catholic Church?


Welcome home, GD! Wishing you a fruitful Great Fast (Lent).


17 years ago, God used a SSPX priest to save me from entering into a bad marriage. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be posting here today.


I never said they are in error- I just said I hold to infallibility of Popes and Ecumenical Councils. But not JUST latest ones, all of them. Some quotes hold higher authority than others- some things are reformable, others are not. This concept is very easy- there have been many errors of Age that affected thinking of Church but never it’s dogmatic stance. For example heliocentrism, which was not really condemned just not enforced, is not acknowledged- but not infallibly. This is why infallible statements hold much more authority, because Holy Spirit has much more authority than assembly of several Bishops or words of Pope that do not come through Peter. I am not saying they aren’t true nor am I affirming them by this post, I am saying that in arguments they hold less authority. That’s all.


Does that mean that Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Eastern Orthodox will all go to hell unless they repent of their error?


Is it true that there are some Eastern Catholics who have become members of the Eastern Orthodox Church because they feel slighted by Roman Catholics?


Yes and no. Everyone who gets to Heaven gets full knowledge of truth therefore he converts to Catholicism- that’s it kind of.

Yes, for instance many Orthodox in America are such. Most unfortunate is that Latin Bishop in America screwed up relations with Eastern Catholics. Though, if you want to use that as argument, it’s the same argument people could have for orthodox becoming unionists in wake of Lyons and Florence, who included many Greek Fathers as they realized that despite political circumstances concerning the Council, Latins had a point ( and a big “what if” they were tired of all latin-hate and just wanted unity like Jesus did, etc).

I’m pretty sure that despite no doctrinal differences as Eastern Catholics have from Latin Catholics (theologia secunda) existing between Eastern and “Western-Rite” Eastern Orthodox, Western-Rite Eastern Orthodox actually get bullied for having different Liturgies, being called form of “uniatism”, their continuity of Liturgies being doubted and so on. Also, Western-Rite of Orthodoxy seems to have just different Liturgies that are heavily easternized, but there is no difference in theology or any other interpretation. It seems like many people just want uniformity, which is not beneficial- no matter which Church they adhere to.


I think Martin Luther may have thought something similar.
In fact, I a theologian in Finland on the similarities between Orthodoxy and Lutheranism.


Yes. Look up the history of the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church.

Fr Alexis Thoth was a Byzantine Catholic priest in the US in the early 20th century who got into conflict with the Latin Bishop John Ireland, a rather abusive personality who questioned every eastern distinctive and acted to undermine the Eastern Catholics.

So Fr. Alexis abandoned communion with Rome for communion with Constantinople. Hence the Rusyn (Carpatho-Russian) Orthodox Church.


Do you have a source for these assertions? My experience directly contradicts this.


You’re mixing up your carpatho-rusyns…

In the late 1800s St. Alexis Toth led his flock to communion with the Russian Church (becoming a large part of what is now the Orthodox Church in America) after being forbidden by Archbishop Ireland from serving the very Eastern Catholics in Minneapolis he had been sent to serve.

Several decades later Fr. Orestes Chornock led a group of parishes to communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate after a Papal directive mandated clerical celibacy for Eastern Catholic clergy becoming what is now known as the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese.


For me, it comes down to one huge question: which Orthodox? The most glaring divide being that between the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox. The former accepted Chalcedon and the latter did not. The E Orthodox say Chalcedon was ecumenical because it was accepted by the Church… yet the Orientals rejected it. Catholics say it was ecumenical because it was recognized as such by Pope St Leo and those in communion with him.


New here, but I’d really like to understand the essence energies issue.

First. Does the term ESSENCE? Equate to the term NATURE. Are those identical? Related. Similar?

And what is the difference between eternal existence eternal being and necessary existence necessary being?


Yes essence and nature are synonymous. That which is the divine essence is what all three persons of the trinity have in Common. That’s the same definition as the divine nature.

Nuance- essences are generally the result of mental abstraction. Now nobody has ever seen God and known or comprehended his essence. Therefore when we speak of the divine essence, it can only be analogically- God is LIKE this, but he excels it in perfection, infinitude and comprehension. So the essence of God is Good, but not with a goodness like ours, but our knowledge of goodness is an infinitely pale reflection of what the Good is and means in God.

Nature is more the thing as it is in itself considered in itself via direct experience, not so much mental abstraction. But again you’ll notice we can only speak of it in an analogical way, with similes.

The Orthodox deny the capacity to speak of God analogically, since his essence is beyond knowledge. But here they are wrong and shown to be so by St. Dionysius the Areopagite who calls God Super-Good, Super-Essential, Super-God, and a Host of analogical names while referring to the Divine Essence. Adding the prefix “Super” shows the analogy- for it is like, but unlike for it excels. As Dionysius says-

“The (Names) then, common to the whole Deity, as we have demonstrated from the Oracles, by many instances in the Theological Outlines, are the Super-Good, the Super-God, the Superessential, the Super-Living, the Super-Wise, and whatever else belongs to the superlative abstraction; with which also, all those denoting Cause, the Good, the Beautiful, the Being, the Life-producing, the Wise…”

Now that which is common to persons is the essence. Hence he nominated the essence while admitting its existence beyond name.



Eastern Orthodox Essence-Energies Distinction…

'Catholic philosopher and blogger Dr. Michael Liccione argues that the Essence-Energies Distinction, as expounded by St. Gregory Palamas, is true and is compatible with the Catholic dogma of absolute divine simplicity according to the definition given at the Fourth Council of the Lateran and the First Vatican Council.

Dr. Liccione says that Divine simplicity and the distinction between the Divine Essence and the Divine Energies would be contradictory if Divine Essence is taken “to mean God as what He eternally is” because “God is actus purus, and thus has no unrealized potentialities.”

However, if we define God’s essence as what “He necessarily is apart from what He does,” then God’s “essence is incommunicable” and communication would necessitate Divine actions, or Energies.

Thus there is a real distinction between God’s Essence, what “He necessarily is apart from what He does,” and His Energies, “God as what He eternally does.”’

Understand that to mean:

  • God’s eternal essence = God’s eternal doings = God’s energies = actus purus

  • God’s necessary essence = God’s eternal essence + unrealized potentialities


God has no unrealized potentiality. To have such is to be a creature- a changeable being amongst other beings. But God is beyond being and beyond all creatures and time. Therefore he cannot change and is without potential. How then is he free to act? Because, being beyond all he is beyond any necessary compulsion. Who could tell God what he is to be or do? Therefore he is radically free pure act without potential beyond being and outside time.


I went and studied Orthodoxy for almost 3 years of my life having left RC. I had converted to RC Easter of 2014. I went and followed my heart to Orthodox. Orthodoxy is beautiful, but I found some deep rooted issues that aren’t apparent on the surface and I have since returned to Rome.

I have learned that the EO focus is more on the mystical approach to life, while the Western RC approach is both mystical and scholastic. That being said, it’s been explained to me by my EO priest that the focus of life for an EO, is on what is called the “nous” within the noetic life, “where every Christian should know right from wrong within their own heart”. That is exactly what confuses me, because I am also learned in the Latin theology, and we all here have learned that if God is truth, then anything that is not of God is not; and conversely, anything that is of truth, is in some small way of God.

If 1+1=2 and this tells us in an infinitesimal way about the beauty and truth of God expressed through mathematics, isn’t science and reason (logic) supposed to be complementary in expressing the grandeur of our Almighty God? My Orthodox priest doesn’t think so, and there are no updated teachings on ethics or science in EO I have found.

Example: Isn’t it logic that birth control has a broad range of moral issues, or that it may cause a full on abortion, and is thus considered going against the way creation is made? Doesn’t this go against the deposit of the Christian faith? EO has no teachings on this, I was told, “what is done in the bedroom is between those.”

Without generalizations, it seems as if the EO does not teach that both scholastic and mystical is part of who we are as Christians, and that doesn’t settle with me as an educator. The noetic life within EO teaches that the nous is the organ of understanding, the center of Christian mysticism. Further explained as the center of all understanding, which lies in the heart. But I know for a fact that the Bible says the heart is deceitful. Roman Catholic on the other hand seems extremely developed and current with ethics, as I see the church places a high value on human reason/ethics, how this is reconciled by logic, developed sciences, complementary through what Christ gave His followers in the mystical life.

I feel like EO teaches confusion, lack of education on current issues of morality. Esp since no formal education is available nor wanted about current issues within EO, and instead I’m left being told to use my own confirmation bias… to base moral decisions on my own deceitful heart; leaving me to figure out what is sin/is it not sin or is it? This is truly a quandary.


That was my experience- and here is the gist of what you are trying to say-

The Catholic Church following Aquinas teaches that all truth is one. Therefore all truth is mutually supportive- we give the first place to revelation and use the truths of philosophy and logic to SUPPORT them and integrate them into an holistic worldview FOLLOWING the fathers. Aquinas himself is simply a patristic synthesis.

Now Orthodoxy is suspicious of philosophy and integrating philosophy into the explanations of the faith. Yet they canonize those who do such and follow them, like John of Damascus. They do not practically ACT like truth is a unified body, but that all we have is the God-inspired scriptures and the God-inspired fathers and canons.

The thing here is they draw virtually no distinction between the various levels and kinds of inspiration between Scriptures fathers and councils. This causes them to lump them together and treat them virtually as equal. And their conservatism, and especially their post-Florvsky scholastic self-hating causes them to view anyone connected with the name Augustine with suspicion.


The Greek ουσία = substantia, which if you look at the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed says
ομοούσιος τω Πατρί = consubtantialem Patri" = of the same substance of the Father/Being with the Father

If you look at most theological dictionaries, ουσία = substance, essence, nature

So that’s where we get translations like

“…consubstantial with the Father…”
“…one in substance with the Father…”
“…one in essence with the Father…”

I’ll take the Creed instead of Palamite theology.

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