Heart is pulling me towards Orthodoxy


Many other Catholics (including Priests) came to my defense and asserted that his interpretations of scripture and the Canons was at best incomplete or at worst flat out wrong by quoting additional scripture and Canon. One Priest apologized profusely for my treatment by this person.


Maybe not but there is still disagreement, which indicates a sort of disunity. For another example, there are various Roman Catholic programs which are now claiming that Pope Francis is not the Pope, and it is wrong to attend the New Mass. Even SSPX advises against the New Mass, although they do accept the Pope. I don’t believe them of course, but it is a sign of disagreement in the Catholic church. Some Catholics say that capital punishment is still allowed, even though the Catechism has come out against it. Some Catholics say you should receive Holy Communion on the tongue; others say it is better to receive in the hand. Some say the New Mass is better, others say that the Tridentine Mass is better. Some say dancing at Mass is fine, others say it is wrong to have dancing at Mass. Some say the use of the guitar is fine at Mass, others say it contradicts what previous popes have said about sacred music at Mass. Some say it is better for the priest to face the people, others say no. Etc. So if someone says that there is disunity in the Eastern Orthodox church, it might be pointed out that there are disagreements in the Catholic Church.


Well, at least one person mentioned it, the Catholic Church has a number of ‘Eastern Orthodox’ Churches which came back or never left, so now they’re called ‘Eastern Catholic’. I imagine that many of their liturgies and Church histories are very similar to various Eastern Orthodox churches. There are actually some which are effectively mirrors. The few differences are that they are in Communion with the Pope, and maybe a few minor things. Filioque obviously.

So, without going into schism yourself, I would look into them. I’m not sure what you mean by “traditionalist Catholic”, I sometimes take that to mean SSPX and sedes. It sounds like you’re just a traditional Catholic who goes to some Latin Mass. And you’re ok with a reverant OF Mass with Latin. Maybe just try to find places which reverently celebrate the OF. They’re growing. Anyways, talk to your priest about it too. I think this would be a radical step to follow just based on your heart. Look into it seriously.

One day the hope is that the Russian Orthodox will also be in Communion with the Catholic Church. So, why leave now?


These two things cannot be reduced to “preferences” because Rome has issued decrees concerning these types of discipline.


I wouldn’t rely too much on emotions or the externals. Pull back and remain in the fold. The Orthodox church is not facing the western “culture” the way we are. And it is not under constant attack from all sides. If you do decide to change, you are likely to discover that not everything that shines is gold.
And, btw, I do enjoy their liturgy.


Yes, and I agree with them.

While that’s polite and all, the person did not in-fact do anything other than quote. I don’t find you mentioning it anything other than being bitter about it. I’ve been called Papist, heretic, pagan and many other things by Orthodox, condemned to Hell and being called supporter of Antichrist. There is virtually no reason for me to mention it. Heck, even word “Christian” became as an insult, now we are proud of it.


Excellent point. I think that not acknowledging annulments disturbs unity of Church and hence should be prevented. Officially though, you either are married in face of Church or are not. That’s it. SSPX are canonically irregular part of Church hence I do not consider their opinions that reject valid matters anything more than outcries of disobedience. Using SSPX to prove disunity in Catholic Church would be as using Old Calendarists to prove disunity in Orthodox Church.


Pope Francis causes great disturbance for me. Again, here are some snapshots.

  1. “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters, and we must act as such.”
    Pope Francis’ official Twitter page

  2. Pope Francis’ novel “ecumenism of blood”, which contradicts a previous Church Council. Source is the official website of the Holy See.

I would also like to remember our martyrs, the martyrs of today. They are witnesses to Jesus Christ, and they are persecuted and killed because they are Christians. Those who persecute them make no distinction between the religious communities to which they belong. They are Christians and for that they are persecuted. This, brothers and sisters, is the ecumenism of blood.


Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls
Sunday, 25 January 2015

His “ecumenism of blood” appears to contradict the Council of Florence.

“[N]o one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” Source.

  1. Pope Francis invented a new sin, a “sin against ecumenism”.

“There is a big sin against ecumenism: proselytism,” said the pontiff. “You must never proselytize the Orthodox. They are our brothers and sisters, disciples of Jesus Christ.”

“Walk together, pray for each other, and do works of charity together when you can,” the pope encouraged. “This is ecumenism. Do not condemn a brother or sister.”

Francis tells Georgia’s Catholic minority of ‘wonders’ God works in smallness
Vatican Radio

  1. Pope Francis apposes conversion of non-Catholics to the Catholic Church

He said, “It is not licit that you convince them of your faith; proselytism is the strongest poison against the ecumenical path.” Source.

There are more. Many more, that cause me pause. But for now, I am off to work.


I’m truly sorry that my fellow Orthodox Christians have called you horrible names. It hurts me to know that such has happened and it doesn’t at all reflect the gentleness and humility we are called to. In fact it does violence to the very Gospel we are commanded to live by. But what good is served by sweeping under the rug such hateful things? How can I hold my brother accountable if I know nothing of the harm they cause? How can you hold your Catholic brothers to account if you know nothing of the hurt they cause? Please don’t mistake this as saying you or I should judge or be angry with them, but rather to exhort them to display the same love for others with which God has loved us. How can East and West be reconciled if we allow hatred of the other to go unchecked?

At the risk of prolonging a conversation that is going nowhere, I’m very confused because you say you agree with those who defended me, but then dismiss the apology I was given by a Priest, since the person “only quoted”. I believe the person in question was very selectively quoting canons to make a specific point, while ignoring other canons and magisterial documents that provide a broader, more complicated picture than what he wanted to portray. It’s very clear according the canon (844 I believe) that as an Orthodox Christian, I am welcome to approach the chalice in a Catholic Church – if I were guilty of mortal sin due to schism by the Orthodox Church, how could such an invitation even be made?


I am interested in this topic because if I enter the RCC my husband will have to go through an annullment process for his former marriage(I was never married before). None of us, myself, my husband or his ex-wife were ever Catholic. I greatly respect the RCC’s teaching on marriage but I must say we find the annullment process very intimidating. On the other hand maybe there is less room for abuse with that process too. but I do respect the Catholic way. Each Church has to deal with this issue.
Protestant churches, of course, do not consider marriage a sacrament so they either completely forbid any remarriage after divorce as long as either party’s former spouse is still living(there are still some fundamentalist churches that do this) or use some form of economia as allowing the innocent party to remarry or allowing remarriage even of the “guilty” party as it prevents worse things.
Someone correct me if I’m wrong please but from what I understand, in the RCC,
the couple are considered the ministers of the Sacrament so in the case of an annulment there must be an investigation to determine if the sacrament was valid? They must go back to the time of the wedding so that is why witnesses, etc, are needed.
I believe in the case of the Orthodox, the priest or Bishop is the minister of the sacrament so then the priest or Bishop can ultimately decide to allow a remarriage as you put it for the good of the salvation of the couple.
So yes in some ways it seems they are arriving at the same conclusion from different ways.
My understanding is the Orthodox only allow 3 marriages the third very reluctantly.
I found your post interesting as you experienced both processes.



I, too, recall the exchange.

Practicing criminal defense, I’d call it “just quoting”.

In the context, it was more a, “here’s an absolute; you do the math.”

I don’t find you mentioning it anything other than being bitter about it. I’ve been called Papist, heretic, pagan and many other things by Orthodox, condemned to Hell and being called supporter of Antichrist.

There’s bad eggs on every ranch.

Working in an apprenticeship program, it was Russian Orthodox who stepped in when my Byzantine Catholic son in law so was being abused for it . . .


No, I don’t mean to dismiss apologies or anything, I’m saying that the guy misinterpreted something, he did not straight up insult you.

That’s alright buddy, we get over it. I don’t mean to say those people don’t hurt unity but I mean to say that they should be treated with love so we teach them by example. I myself like to refute such things if possible, but I guess it’s a bit easier with Orthodoxy because quoting Ecumenical Councils that apply to Catholics is easier than knowing Catechism and Canon Law for Orthodoxy. I’m just saying that playing victim won’t get us anywhere either, I apologize if I misunderstood the intention though.

Easily. If Orthodox does accept Pope as having primacy in his heart and does not reject any Latin doctrines as heretical, he becomes Catholic by virtue. No need to change formally yet. Hence if you do visit Catholic Church, you will find that we pray for Pope in Liturgy. If you partake in Eucharist you are partaking in symbol of unity of Church, hence it is kinda presumption that you do not deny Catholic Church to be true, hence you are Catholic hence you can attend Eucharist. If you do such thing you are NOT guilty of schism.


Pretty much. It can also be something that happened before marriage- for example being tricked to marrying someone, having wrong intention or being kidnapped are all valid reasons.

Eastern Catholics consider Priest or Bishop to be minister of sacrament as well, but I’m not sure if they allow divorce similarly to Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy arrives to conclusion that they “end” the marriage or “allow second” marriage, whichever it is. Catholics annul the marriage as never existing therefore they do not split what God has joined. Catholics are allowed to divorce but not to have sexual intercourse with anyone else if they do. Though one could argue Church has such authority to “loose and bind”, Orthodoxy either effectively ends up with polygamy or they dissolve the marriage. Orthodoxy also allows up to 4 marriages though, which I consider being a bit too much personally but I am not the Priest, Bishop, Patriarch and definitely not the Pope.


Oh don’t misunderstand me, I don’t lose any respect for Orthodoxy because of that. People can get heated over different matters- all sorts of people, it just happens. I don’t mean to play victim now or seek repercussions or anything like that, I was merely pointing out that we should not generalize with those things, and being bitter about it does not help a lot.


I think justice demands heretics be burned. But Mercy demands leniency.

Same Spirit.


Three, not four.

Also, note that it’s not just divorce, but death as well.

The second is usually allowed (if an appropriate determination is made about the first), a third sometimes, and a fourth never. “Never” is strict to the point that an emperor was deposed for attempting a fourth marriage (and all three ended by death).


That is totally understandable. There are a lot of questions to answer on what can be uncomfortable topics. The former spouse has to be contacted and given the opportunity to participate which can also be unpleasant. The process takes quite a while - in my case about a year and a half. Even though my first marriage had only been seven years long, it was challenging to find enough witnesses to satisfy the Tribunal.

I’m not sure if this counts as an abuse, but the Priest that interviewed me coached me on how to respond so as to strengthen my case.

In Orthodoxy, it is most commonly a Priest who is the minister of the sacrament, though I suppose if the couple is close with their Bishop, the Bishop would be happy to celebrate the marriage. In the case of permission to remarry (and I actually I think even first marriages require the Bishop’s permission), this decision must always be the made by the Bishop. He’ll likely do so in consultation with the parish priest, and perhaps the individual and other witnesses if relevant, but it is ultimately the Bishop’s decision.

That is correct - it’s been said a first is celebrated joyfully, a second reluctantly, and third with great hesitation and concern. This is my own opinion, but the mindset seems to be that since you’ve been granted a mercy through economia to remarry, if you haven’t figured it out after three times, you’re not going to figure it out.

Even in Orthodoxy, the strict rule is no divorce no remarriage, but the rules are “relaxed” when a person’s salvation commends such an approach. Admittedly at times I feel uncomfortable with this approach in light of our Lord’s words in the Gospel of Matthew, but the idea of somehow finding a sacramental marriage somehow never existed also doesn’t sit well with me.

For my first marriage I very much understood it to be permanent, ordered towards welcoming children, etc, but because i took a charitable view of some of my ex-wife’s flaws, that was judged as gross lack of discretionary judgement and grounds for finding a sacramental marriage never existed. In my more cynical moments this really seems like the church stretching to find a way to find nullity.

All that said, take my words (especially anything you perceive as being anti-annulment) with a grain of salt as I’m Orthodox and not Catholic. You and your husband will find going through the annulment to be as positive or as negative of an experience as you want it to be. Best wishes as you draw nearer to the Catholic Church!


With the initial caveat that “allow” is the wrong word (see @Isaac14’s excellent explanation), we should be using that approach, but with the imposition of the Eastern Code of Canon Law, we’re being forcefully latinized on the issue.

And as a side note, in a second Orthodox wedding, some of the parts are changed from joyful to penitential, forthe reasons noted by @Isaac14


[quote=“Isaac14, post:121, topic:536608, full:true”]

This is how I feel, too, about both ways. Both have their pros and cons.
It makes me think of that Bible verse that states that when sin abounds, grace and mercy abound all the more.
I’ve always wondered how the very early Church handled it, I’m assuming they may have allowed non Christians who divorced and remarried to come into the Church, such as pagan Romans and Greeks, and maybe Jews, but baptized Christians were perhaps given one marriage and that was it, as long as either party’s former spouse was still alive?
Doing a search doesn’t bring up much, whether trying to find when the Eastern Church allowed second marriages and when the Latin Church started the annulment process.
I do know that the Orthodox church allows 3 marriages period whether due to divorce or death, as stated by someone above.


Uh that’s harsh, what is even basis of counting death as such though? It makes no sense, Our Lord clearly said death ends marriage and there are no marriages in Heaven- even when asked about 7 brothers marrying one woman, he did not mention such rule. It seems unnecessary burden on faithful to me, similar to circumcision (though this one having even less biblical value). Being harsh on such matter, yet allowing divorce for salvation, is very interesting at best.

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