Heart is pulling me towards Orthodoxy


As I am sure you are aware, Pope Francis personally took an interest in the SSPX and made serious steps towards incorporating them back into full Communion with Rome. I would offer to the OP that attending a SSPX Mass may be exactly what he seeks over joining Orthodoxy, especially if joining Orthodoxy will bring a serious spiritual derailment.


Filioque doesn’t deny procession from Father. I told you that already many times.

Annulments are nice theme to debate, but what about Orthodox divorces and “let no man separate what God has joined together” ? Annulments have basis.

Slavery is not dogma. Does not concern me.


I am Orthodox, but having been previously married to a woman who abandoned the marriage, I also had to go through the annulment process in order to marry Catholic wife. In parallel, I also worked with my Orthodox priest and bishop in order to be granted permission to remarry. It was very interesting comparing the two processes.

Contrary to your assertion that the Orthodox allow divorce, my divorce (and all divorces for that matter) are a sin and require confession. My priest and bishop looked at many of the same issues as the Catholic Tribunal did, and based on those considerations, ultimately decided that for the good of my salvation, I would be permitted to remarry.

On the Catholic side, they came to the same conclusion, though using different terminology. The only real difference is the length and bureaucratic nature of the annulment process as compared to the more personal nature of how my clergy handled it.

Having been through both, the process is very similar with identical outcomes. All of which is a long way of saying the issue is not nearly so cut and dry as you would make it.


Divorce is a sin, huh? Well Bible mostly mentions adultery stemming from divorce (because one can not be married twice at once) being a sin and warns against that. Confessing a sin is fine but wouldn’t being in valid marriage and having sexual intercourse outside of it be remaining in sin willingly? That is not one time thing.

While same conclusion might be reached by Catholics, we actually define marriage as non-existent therefore you are not married twice therefore you are free to marry. This matters immensely because instead of allowing two marriages (or pretending two marriages exist, I guess), we declare first null and void. In Orthodox sense either you declare first marriage “over” (not null and void, would be annulment) and separate what God has joined together or you are in two valid marriages. If first is true, why would second marriage be about penance? You wouldn’t be committing sin (sin of divorcing being already over and gone). Therefore I come to logical conclusion that Orthodoxy views it as two marriages at the same time or has no clear concept about it.

Also isn’t prerequisite of confessing a sin an attempt to be free from it or abandon it, and if possible fix damage done? Therefore wouldn’t confessing divorce from existing marriage require an attempt to return to the wife or at least an attempt to not lay with other woman anymore?


I’d argue that until SSPX reaches full communion with Church it would be better to attend other traditional Catholic organizations IN the Church. There are many of them in there.


I would say that, generally speaking, that statement is false. The Church has executed notorious heretics before, and it belongs to Her to do so.


What I struggle with, with regard to how annulments are administered, is this:

Annulments make a declaration on whether a sacramental marriage indeed occurred at the wedding itself, and so only the events leading up to and including the wedding are relevant.

In my case, the reason given for declaring my first marriage null was “grave lack of discretion” on my part. In other words I did not properly consider my wife’s character flaws and how that would impact our marriage so much so that proper consent was not achieved. But the process and indeed the conditions I had to meet to be given permission to (re)marry revolved around communication skills (among others) which were not at issue prior to the wedding. I’m left wondering if I had had better communications skill could my first, null, marriage have somehow turned from null to valid? If that marriage is null, could I have done anything to save it? Is a marriage only null when looking back on a broken marriage in hindsight?

I think what the annulment process intends to accomplish, but has to be very careful so as to avoid saying anything beyond addressing the validity of the marriage in question, is assess and help the applicant be successful in the subsequent marriage. This is the truly pastoral goal.


Would that mean that it is true, even today, that heretics should be burned? And that this is the will of the Holy Spirit? Or has that changed?


Does the will of the Holy Ghost change?


Since it does not change, does that mean that it is true, even today, that heretics should be burned?


You’re right. Orthodoxy is very “national” and “divided”. It calls itself “Catholic”, but it’s anything but “universal”. One can complain about the Latin Church and be right about some of it, but it’s not divided into national groups. EVen the liturgies are different. The Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox were once united, and they sort of claim to be now, but their liturgies are different, their liturgical languages are different, their structure is different. The OO do not accept all of the Ecumenical Councils that the EO do. So Orthodoxy is not united. It is not “universal”.


I believe you answered your own question there.


is it a dogma heretics should be burned? You are exaggerating. Simply speaking you are by definition schismatics but more diplomatically referred to as " separated brethren "


Sure, many Orthodox Churches can be pretty ethnic (which Metropolitan Kalistos Ware admits) but here in the U.S. they are much more diverse. Go into any Antiochian Orthodox Church and you can see that there are not only Middle Easterners in the pews. The local Antiochian Church near me was founded by former Episcopalian priests that went Orthodox. The OCA, very ethnically diverse parishes.

It depends on what part of the country you’re in. There are many Mexican Catholic communities in the south west where the Masses are only in Spanish. Polish, Irish and Italian Catholic communities also exist.

Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and the Latin West were all in communion with each other at one point. The Oriental Orthodox is not synonymous with Eastern Orthodox. They broke communion with Rome and the East after the Fourth Ecumenical Council.

As far as difference in Liturgy, liturgical language and structure that is also seen in the Catholic Church. You have Melkites, Ukrainian and Ruthenian Greek Catholics that practice the Byzantine rite which is different than the Latin West as well as Coptic Catholics that practice the Alexandrian rite which is different than Byzantine and Latin. There are many other Catholic Churches, 24 in all, that practice other rites as well. We are very diverse; liturgically, spirituality and theologically.



That is a problem, because the true teaching today is against capital punishment.


It may have been true in the past that Catholics did not approve of interfaith worship services, but it is true today that Catholics do approve of interfaith worship services under certain conditions. So perhaps the truth has changed. As you know, scripture itself says that God has changed His mind on several occasions.
“Perhaps they will listen and each one will turn back from his evil way, and I will change my mind concerning the calamity that I intend to bring on them because of their evil deeds.”​—[Jeremiah 26:3]
Exodus 32:14 14 Then the LORD changed His mind and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
[Amos 7:3]
The LORD changed His mind about this.
Amos 7:6
[Jeremiah 18:8]
if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will change my mind concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.
Some Translations use “relent” instead of change my mind.


I wholeheartedly agree. While not outright heretical, some statements would require clarification in sense of Catholic Truth. In HBO Series Young Pope, Pope says a phrase “…your methods only worked on old Popes who were afraid of losing consensus. I am the Young Pope, I put no stock in consensus.” Perhaps returning to being protectors of truth rather than public appeasers would be great, but I am not Bishop, Cardinal, nor the Pope to be judge of it. This is just my personal opinion.

This basically implies that religions did take something out of natural order or from Catholic Truth and have some basis on truth, not that they are true. There is a pre-V2 Papal Bull that says Pope has authority over all baptized- therefore to some degree they are in union with Church, though not perfect one. Think of them as disobedient children, but children of God nevertheless. Outside of Church there is no salvation therefore everybody who reaches salvation also reaches status of being fully in Church with that. “subsists” means something along the lines of “dwells within”. Therefore entire Church of Christ is INSIDE the Catholic Church, not the vice versa. That is actually even bolder statement than saying Church of Christ equals Catholic Church. Interesting to me.

Certainly not, I am happy that statement does not dogmatically concern us. This is the consensus part I’ve been issuing above. Instead of leaving the Church though, we should listen to what pre-V2 Church clarified to us:
A general council could not judge the Pope, because, unless convoked or ratified by him, it could not render a valid sentence. Hence nothing is left but an appeal to God, who will take care of His Church and its head.
Therefore, let’s pray and appeal to God. Vatican I basically says “no one can just first See” (meant Roman, first in primacy not Jerusalem). Therefore we can not judge Vatican II because it is decision of “See of Rome” (Cardinals being titular clergy of Rome). We can not judge Conclave of 1952 and their decision because that was decision of Cardinals, only clergy of Roman See at the time. There is no way to bypass this. Pray and hope God’s will comes- not your, not mine, not theirs, but His. God knows much better than we do. Trust me, I am very torn apart by some actions of present hierarchy of Church yet I trust that “gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”.


Would you prefer to return to the older practice of using the term schismatic?


Nope. I think word means the same thing but I find “separated brethren” much more suitable, as term schismatic meant same but over the years came to be used as pejorative. It’s the same with word “uniate” used for Eastern Catholics- term uniate means “in union” and I think it’s beautiful expression of being in union with Pope of Rome and Christ’s Church, but because it was used as pejorative it is not considered inappropriate.

Nazi used to mean “National”, now means something along the lines of racism. Language evolves, we change term “schismatic” which is now viewed badly with something more appropriate. It also gives us Catholics better approach to situation.


I could probably come up with an apologia for Mormonism if I had time to do it and the inclination.

What you’re talking about, e.g., Masses said in Spanish, Polish, (I would question whether any Mass is said anywhere in “Irish”) is nowhere near the same thing as the kind of hostility among the Orthodox that’s going on in Ukraine.

And you apparently agree with me that there is no real unity between the various EO and OO churches. But then, there’s no unity between the Moscow Patriarchate and that of Kiev, either. None whatever. Nor with Constantinople, for that matter.

Liturgical differences are not important so long as there is actual unity among the churches. I mentioned that because the OP seemed to claim there is liturgical unity among the Orthodox, which there is not.

And, sorry, I don’t mean to make light of the situation of Orthodoxy in the U.S., but the Moscow Patriarchate at least formally claims jurisdiction over all of the Americas, to the exclusion not only of the Latin church, but of the other Orthodox as well. Probably their various churchmen get along in the U.S. in the same sort of way Catholic priests “get along” with Baptist ministers.

I am not saying there is nothing good about Orthodoxy. There is. But I think it’s a terrible mistake to assume all is well within it, and “all is well” includes unity.

Again, I’m not talking about EAstern Catholicism here. That’s very different from Orthodoxy.

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