Orthodox Vocations

Hi everyone,

I was hoping someone could help me with a conundrum I’m having, name reconciling the idea of the people in the Orthodox Church sensing and pursuing a call to be monks or nuns and the Catholic Church’s teaching on “No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church”. Now there are many incorrect interpretations of this teaching but after reading Tim Staple’s explanation (catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/is-there-really-no-salvation-outside-the-catholic-church), I think I have a pretty firm grasp of it - namely, that, while non-Catholics can be saved, it is only if they are invincibly ignorant and if they have an implicit desire to join the Catholic Church which is animated by perfect charity.

I guess what I’m struggling with is, if the Orthodox Church is not the true Church, then does God really call these young men and women to leave the world and join monasteries or convents not in communion with the Pope? And if they don’t meet the stringent requirements for salvation outlined by Tim Staples, will they really not be saved despite enduring a life of penance and self-denial motivated by love of God? On the flip side, if God doesn’t call these people to be monks or nuns, then is what they perceive to be a call from God merely their own desire? What about those who feel called but are not attracted to the life and still join out of obedience?

My main point of confusion is, if God doesn’t call young men and women to Orthodox monasteries and convents, then how can a young Catholic man or woman, who feels the exact same sense of being called to a Catholic religious order as the Orthodox do to Orthodox orders, really know it’s a supernatural call they’re feeling?

I hope that this all somewhat makes sense. This is from someone who is considering a monastic vocation but who is also struggling with his faith a bit. I’m just terrified of leaving the world and shutting myself up in a monastery for something that was never a vocation to begin with and just my own paranoia or inner struggles.

God is certainly active in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Church has always taught that they have all seven valid sacraments, including Holy Orders. Why then, are they not in Communion with the Catholic Church, you ask? It is because of human error and sin that we have allowed ourselves to fall into division and schism. Just because the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches were created by God does not mean that they are not run by often sinful humans.

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