If I convert to orthodoxy will I go to hell?

The more I look into church history the more I’m drawn to orthodoxy. The only reservation I have is that I think it seems like Jesus did establish Peter as the head of the church (though I’m starting to question this as well). I know that Rome lifted excommunication of the East so if I converted and was wrong about orthodoxy being right would I go to hell?

1 Like

As we are not God, we cannot say how he’d judge you or your heart.

However, deliberately choosing to be a schismatic is not a brownie point by any means, and disunity has been condemned since very early times.


Become Eastern Catholic

You get the best of both worlds while still being in communion with Rome.


No one on the forum (or anyone for that matter) can tell you would go after you die. We can tell you, though, that it is objectively a mortal sin to sever communion with the See of Peter and the Catholic Church.


If God is Orthodox, then no. You’d actually get some brownie points for converting to the correct religion.

Moreover, if God is Muslim, then it’s a moot discussion. We’re all doomed.

1 Like

Thank you. :heart:


What do you mean by “go to hell”?

The Orthodox/Eastern Catholic belief is that we all experience God at the end of our lives. It is our disposition towards God’s light that makes it heaven or hell for us individually. They are not separate places where we “go”. I am Catholic, and I expect to share the joy of salvation with the Orthodox.


What matters most is to love the Lord out God with our whole mind, heart and soul. And love our neighbor as ourself. God bless you!


Schism is a mortal sin with the usual conditions, and converting to an EO Church would certainly be the sin of schism.


I guess where I’m struggling is that the schism is pretty much 100% RC fault so I’m struggling to see how it’s the orthodox who are in schism when all they did was retain the tradition from the early church while the Romans began changing and adding things.


Just to add, the common positive view of the chances of salvation of those in the EO Churches is based on the presumption that those born into them who have not made a willful act to separate, should not be charged with the sin of separation, as Vatican II’s decree on ecumenism states: “The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation.” Clearly this does not apply to a Catholic who deliberately separates from the Catholic Church by joining one the separated EO Churches.


If all Orthodox are in a state of mortal sin, why does the Catholic Church allow Orthodox Christians to receive Communion in our churches?


Examples? At the time of the schism, the only issue was the Filioque and perhaps azymes, both of which had a long, uncontested tradition in the west–neither of which was being imposed on the East. They didn’t start opposing Roman primacy until the issues with Photius and who was the rightful Patriarch of Constantinople (that see having any importance was itself a novelty developed in the East) and the Filioque, just like the Alexandrians/Copts didn’t have a problem with it until the Tome of Leo and Chalcedon.

With the Filioque, we’ve clarified over and over that we don’t give it the heretical meaning they ascribe to it and us. The problem is, the EO dogma has basically become Rome is wrong no matter what.

Giorgios Scholarios, an EO Patriarch who was more open than most to Western thought, said the following about our explanations:

for as long as they profess the Filioque in the Creed, even though they deny ten thousand times the Dyarchy (alt. trans; the two principles of Godhead) and Sabellian-like teaching, and other such things, or even should they renounce or state their intent of renouncing their teachings at some point, but still retain the Filioque, they still remain what they are.

It also doesn’t help that many of them just plainly reject many of the Latin Fathers who enunciated this doctrine in the same way. For example, their saint, Mark of Ephesus, said “The words of the western fathers and doctors, which attribute to the Son the cause of the Spirit, I never recognize.”

There’s no reasoning with that kind of anti-Latin stubbornness.

They’ve also come up with new objections born of anti-Latin bias, like to original sin or indulgences, which they held in common with us until recently.


This is a good reason why it’s good to research the relevant claims and try to come to a logical conclusion!
These things not only affect our worldview in this life, but can have consequences in the next! But assuredly God will know our efforts to the utmost!

1 Like

Erm, if you’re even asking this question, then DONT convert.


Would you feel the same way if it were a Muslim asking about converting to Catholicism?


It seems then that the question isn’t the problem.


See my post after that one, just above yours.

For the OP, just something on the EO Churches in general offered for your consideration. They simply are not one as we profess in the Creed.
Many of their theologians even admit that the an ecclesiology that acknowledges one universal Church necessitates the primacy, which is why they try and defend a purely Eucharistic ecclesiology. They are simply a collection of particular Churches (a particular Church being defined as a bishop and flock celebrating a common Eucharist) organized as national synods, that are separated from that one, universal Church.

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 and others; ROCOR’s situation generally; 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 universal/catholic church simultaneously have some particular churches in communion with other particular churches, while other churches 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.

This was illustrated perfectly by the recent pan-Orthodox Synod (or whatever it ultimately was classified as–the Council of Crete). 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, distinct, 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.

The grass has looked greener on either side of the fence depending on what point in history you pick and there is certainly a lifetime’s worth of historical data.The Catholic Church has its problems today, but there is no denying that it is one body–this is obvious to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. The EO Churches simply are not, nor do they function as such. As with any one body, we all share in the suffering and problems of the rest; but we also are able to better carry out the great commission–and have done so better–than any other.


Eastern Orthodoxy has a lot of beauty in it. If I couldn’t be Catholic, I’d be Orthodox. But it is defined by ethnic boundaries. The Russian Orthodox split communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch for purely ethnic, political reasons.

In my city (at the bottom of the world in a small country) we have a Greek Orthodox Cathedral, a Greek Orthodox parish church, a Russian Orthodox Church, a Serbian Orthodox Church, and a Romanian Orthodox Church. Without the pope, they do not have a common source of unity, which is why they are so divided.

Orthodoxy is a.beautiful religion.

But it’s not united with the great source of unity.

Become Eastern Catholic. They have everything the Orthodox do.


I don’t see how it applies. Orthodox converts from Catholicism are also allowed to receive Communion in Catholic churches.

As for the Filioque… Eh. The biggest problem is that the Latin Church had no authority to add it. Doing so was in direct defiance of an ecumenical council.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.