Heart is pulling me towards Orthodoxy


Do you say that there is unity and no disagreements at all between the SSPX and charismatic Catholics? Do you see any difference at all between the liturgy of the SSPX, the older Tridentine Mass said in Latin, and some of the newer Masses said today?

I don’t think SSPX and charismatic Catholics have a whole lot of contact, but I would say that when it comes to doctrine there is probably no difference. I am highly doubtful that the weird dancing stuff you showed is “charismatic”. The charismatic Catholics (and the parishes to which they characteristically go) are every bit as orthodox (small “o”) as SSPX. Charismatic catholics I have known are not into doctrinal deviationism at all. They do have that “tongues” thing, and emphasize the “praise” part of worship more than most. But they’re not schismatic at all.


I do not claim such. I only claim that it is difficult to see the similarity between the Masses celebrated at the SSPX and some of the newer Masses celebrated today.


What are you even talking about?

Within 30 years of Muhammad’s death Arabia, Egypt, the Levant and Persia were under the Caliphate… Alexandria (and its patriarch) was quickly under their rule and Antioch would fall just a bit later…

We’re almost 200 years further down the turnpike from the French reintroduction of Catholicism to sub-Saharan Africa, so of course there have been developments in the last two centuries…

Still originated with French colonialism as a matter of historical fact…


Only difference is communion with Rome.



I’ll add this, but then I really have to go.

There are traditional Latin Masses said in SSPX parishes, exclusively. There are TLMs said in non-SSPX parishes. There are NO Masses said in non-charismatic parishes. There are NO Masses said in charismatic parishes. The only real difference I have ever seen in a “charismatic Mass” is that they tend to sing older hymns, sometimes including old Latin hymns, and they seem to keep that “tongues” thing in the singing. It’s hard to detect. Possibly the most noticeable thing is their emphasis on “praise”. They emphasize the word in every prayer that contains it, and their level of emotion is higher. That’s about it except that they’re very big on prayer. When it comes to the solicitations to prayer, it’s not as perfunctory as it often is elsewhere, and it’s more emotional. Charismatics are really big on prayer in their daily lives, too.

I am not SSPX or Charismatic, either one, but I see a lot to admire in both, and when it comes to fidelity to the doctrines of the Church, they’re very similar. The big difference with SSPX is that they don’t accept some of the VII non-doctrinal statements about ecumenism and evangelization and they’re afraid to be under the authority of a lot of the bishops, including in the U.S. Sometimes it’s hard to blame them for that.


The last time I checked, the SSPX did not automatically recognize the marriage annulments granted by the Catholic Church, but had their own marriage tribunals separate from those of the Catholic Church. The SSPX conditions for annulment were more restrictive than the Catholic conditions. How can you say that there is union between the SSPX and the Catholic Church if you are considered to be validly married in one church, but not the other?
One example was the case of a woman’s marriage which was declared invalid by the Catholic tribunal on the grounds of psychological immaturity of both her and her husband. SSPX was asked to study the case and they said that the marriage was valid.
You have mentioned the disunity among the various Orthodox Churches, but you have disunity among Catholics when one branch of the Catholic Church says you are married, whereas another branch of the Catholic Church says you are not married.


The Church is much more than Roman. From Orientalium Ecclesiarium, “The Catholic Church holds in high esteem the institutions, liturgical rites, ecclesiastical traditions and the established standards of the Christian life of the Eastern Churches, for in them, distinguished as they are for their venerable antiquity, there remains conspicuous the tradition that has been handed down from the Apostles through the Fathers (1) and that forms part of the divinely revealed and undivided heritage of the universal Church.



I’m no theologian, but I don’t think that’s quite correct. I believe all Eastern Catholic churches accept all ecumenical councils. Orthodox don’t. The EC participate in them as well, and as having the same rank as Latin bishops. They accept the validity of all Latin sacraments, including Holy Orders. The Orthodox don’t. While numbers make it unlikely, it is entirely possible for an EC to become Pope. Not so with the orthodox.

I do understand there are some “close questions” when it comes to certain obscure theological points. There is a difference when it comes to divorce, but the EC view is closer to the Latin view than it is to Orthodoxy. In the EC there is no “free first divorce” like there is in Orthodoxy. In the EC dissolution of a marriage is not easy even the first time. But there’s a doctrinal difference between the Latins and the EC. In the Latin church marriage is viewed as a sacrament the couple confers on each other. in the EC, it’s viewed as a sacrament the church confers. So the Church has more to say about it, at least theoretically, in the EC view than in the Latin view. In the Latin view, the inquiry is into whether the parties understood marriage and could validly consent. In the EC view, it’s more a matter of whether the Church feels it is spiritually better for the parties to grant it than to deny it.

So that’s a difference, but it’s more conceptual, I think, than practical.


That’s a matter of practice. You might go to confession to one priest and be told your sin was not serious. In another, the priest might think it was.

It doesn’t mean SSPX doesn’t approach them in the same way. Their priests are just more strict in some things. They are also better spiritual counselors by and large, or so I’m told by people who have gone to confession to them; something Catholics are free to do.


I would not disagree with this in the slightest. As I said, Catholicism accepts the validity of Orthodox sacraments, for example, notwithstanding that Orthodoxy doesn’t reciprocate. But that doesn’t mean everything about Orthodoxy is fine either with the Church or with me.


Most Byzantine Catholics, including myself, accept only the first 7 councils and recent Popes since Paul VI have referred to councils after the 7th as “general western councils.”

Orthodox priests I know acknowledge the validity of Catholic sacraments as well as many Eastern Orthodox saints.

That was not until recently. As a matter of fact there is a push in the Eastern Catholic Churches to return to the traditional Orthodox teaching on this.

Not at the theologica prima but expresses differently in the theologica secunda. Look at Purgatory, we Byzantine Catholics don’t see eye to eye with Latins on this, theologica secunda, but both East and West believe in purification after death, theologica prima.



The Church sees nothing theologically wrong with the Orthodox. As Byzantine Catholics, we are Orthodox in every sense of the term, but it in communion with Rome.



Sin of schism is a mortal sin, nobody denies it. Question is, are you guilty of it? Only God can answer. Great love erases sins and circumstances matter, so only God is the judge of whether you are in mortal sin or not. Catechism clearly defines this.

According to Catholic theology, in salvation you receive membership of Catholic Church if you don’t have it already and you cherish it, so in the end only Catholic Church is in Heaven. This gets misunderstood a lot. Church is not here to condemn someone to Hell but to raise everyone to Heaven, as far as possible.

Also, one Catholic on other thread told you that you are condemned to Hell using bible verses and catechism verses, so not of his own accord. To prove his point wrong you had to either insert other bible verses or catechism verses or you had to find a fault in his argument. Going around attention-bragging that someone condemned you to Hell and was Catholic literally has no value.


Not in denial of Filioque or Latin doctrines. Orthodox are generally expected to deny all Latin doctrines, as is evident from “vesting” ceremony of converted Roman Catholic Priests. Theologically this is where you should differ.


As Eastern Catholics we acknowledge that the Latin Church can formulate their theology as they see fit without having to adhere to it.

“We are an Eastern Church in communion with Rome and faithfully so, yet which wants to remain faithful to the pure, Orthodox spiritual tradition. I make bold to say that we are an Orthodox Church with the little or big plus of communion with Rome, with the Pope and our Holy Father Benedict XVI who presides in primacy and charity. Treat us as a real Eastern Church, just as you would the Orthodox on the day when the much longed for union takes place!” -Patriarch Gregorios III Laham, on letter “ecclesiology and ecumenism”



Exactly. This is opposite to Mark of Ephesus stance of “Latins are heretics” and " we must not unite with them unless they dismiss the addition from the Creed filioque and confess the Creed as we do" is not compatible with Eastern Catholicism, while Orthodoxy seems to favor it on some occasions. Current Patriarch of Moscow held this stance and I think many Orthodox do too.

This is beautiful.


This is not a difference in DOCTRINE, but in PRUDENTIAL DECISION. The SSPX, just like many canonists in “full communion” with the Church, simply recognise the existence of an annulment fiasco in the Church today. If a diocesan tribunal issues and affirmative decree, and the SSPX disagrees, nothing happens more than having the person NOT attempt marriage again. Since not everyone who gets an annulment necessarily does get married again afterward, So, pretty much no practical contradictions. And if the tribunal issues a negative declaration, and the SSPX disagrees, the SSPX will abide by the diocese’s decision anyway.


I think on this issue the Orthodox carry the day.

For dear of offending the Orthodox here, I’ll just say that their economy is better on the issue IMO.


It has been claimed that the Eastern Orthodox are not united. How can it be that Catholics are united if you are officially declared validly married in one Catholic Church, but if you go to a different Catholic Church you are officially declared not validly married?


First off, the SSPX is NOT a a separate juridical Church.

Because prudential judgements like this are not essential elements of faith which unite the members of the Church in communion with each other. If two canonists disagree on a case, are they out of communion with each other?

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