Orthodoxy? Catholic? Or stay where I am?

I am really conflicted right now between Orthodoxy and Catholicism. Both seem wonderful, but I am finding the differences quite a challenge to understand. I love the Orthodox emphasis on the love of God. Both facets of the Faith have affection for the Mother of God, but I love the Catholic Rosary. I can’t easily get to either a Divine Liturgy or a Mass, so that’s kind of a bind. I’m also not entirely convinced by papal supremacy, even though I have really liked the past three popes.

Oh, I’m just so confused. My protestant friends think I’m out of my mind anyway to be looking seriously at either, and I know no Catholics or Orthodox in real life. The internet and the telly go so far, but I know I need to take further steps and really am conflicted because Orthodoxy and Catholicism, for all their similarities, are also at odds with each other.

I’m going to my Anglican church with my family at the moment and will continue with that until I get the opportunity to do something else (I am disabled and held back from many things) I’ve probably said this before, but I feel a bit like the man Jesus asked ‘Do you want to be healed?’ I want to follow God where He leads me, and feel He has led me to the precipice and I’m not certain at all which direction to take.

Sorry to be boring, I know I have been wrestling with this for a long time, thank you for your patience in reading this.

I know it is only natural that you ask for opinions as to which faith to follow. While you will get many opinions one way or the other, I personally would not let any one person or faith traditions decide where I belong. This is something you need to prayerfully discern through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Attend Mass at both and pray for that guidance. You will get there.

You are quite right, of course. And I am praying, pretty much constantly.

My opinion is largely irrelevant, and I am remiss to even respond because it really isn’t a debate topic. As a lifelong Lutheran, I am moving toward Orthodoxy over and above Roman Catholicism. That’s about all I can say publicly :slight_smile:

Not judging or trying to pry, just curious, is it Byzantine Orthodox or Byzantine Catholic or some other Orthodox Church? I hope I phrased it correctly.

Orthodox Church in America; Russian in liturgical custom.

I would attend an RCIA class and the equivalent in the Orthodox Church. This is an important decision and you should really try to inform yourself as much as possible about both before making any permanent decisions.

You will be in my prayers.

God bless.

Steve

:thumbsup:

Thanks for sharing

What is it you find lacking in Anglicanism which has you searching?

Have you considered Forward in Faith?

The church I am part of is pretty low down the candle, so to speak. It’s a charismatic evangelical baptist church in all but name.

It’s called Faith Enrichment. At least in the Greek custom :slight_smile:

God Bless you in your journey, bro! :highprayer:

Hi Eruvande :slight_smile:

I believe Catholicism and Orthodoxy are very similar, however, for me it comes down to Matthew 16:18 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. (Apostolic Succession). Therefore I believe I will always be Catholic, whether the Church is shining on Mount Tabor or suffering during the Agony in the Garden.

Whether she is surrounded by people being praised as Christ was during His preaching and miracles, Matthew 21:9 “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”, or whether she is alone, abandoned and scandalized like Christ was during His Passion, Matthew 26:62 62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”.

I hope this has helped

God Bless

Thank you for reading
Josh

Well then, start working your way up the candle! :thumbsup: Realistically, if you look at the FiF directory you can find an Anglican Church which offers all that you seem to be looking for in the RCC or Orthodox.

Good luck on your journey.

Thank you my brother!

As a convert to RCC, I get where you are at. Honestly, from my POV, good is good, and both are that. Both are Apostolic, both have valid Sacraments, both are Christ’s Church.

Only you can discern where God is calling you. A mix perhaps, Eastern Catholic? I really do like their approach to all the points you have brought up and perhaps at one time could have gone that direction. For me, it was simply where I fit. Our local Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches are very ethnic/culture oriented. I am neither Greek or Lebanese, which is not a criticism, just part of my own discernment.

You will be in my prayers.

I’ve been both. I love both (overall). You are very lucky to have an OCA parish nearest to you. Having lived in various parts of Canada, often ethnic churches were my only options. However, I wouldn’t move too fast either way, if I were you (but don’t stay where you are, either!). Pray, study, and perhaps most importantly, visit parishes, talk to priests, and undertake some of the spiritual practices of each tradition.

I am now Catholic, but occasionally have wondered if I should convert back to Orthodoxy. What I’ve realized is that both have strengths, and in my opinion, weaknesses. The Orthodox Church has a rich tradition of monasticism and the Prayer of the Heart, as well as amazingly beautiful liturgies, and an unwillingness to “cave in” to the times. It also, alas, is often plagued with a kind of nationalistic and/or ethnocentric focus, anti-Catholic (and anti-western) prejudices, lack of focus on social and charitable causes, and a lack of centrality and universality that the Catholic Church has. The Catholic Church has a variety of spiritual methods and styles (the different orders), the centralizing papacy, a more thorough and dynamic theological and philosophical engagement, a greater variety of learning and spiritual resources, and much greater "approachability"and true universality (if you ask me, at least). But… it has corruption, a legacy of legalistic language and perspective, an oft watered down Mass (the O.F.), and it tends to submit too much to modernity and the spirit of the times (in my opinion).

A clincher for me, though, is that as an Orthodox Christian, I was discouraged from seeing the Catholic saints as being legitimate - in fact, I was often taught that great Catholic saints like St. Francis of Assisi and St. Therese of Lisieux were deluded. As a Catholic, I am encouraged to acknowledge and honor the spirituality of both East and West. I have also spent a lot of hours feeling like a stranger in ethnocentric Orthodox churches where one’s hellenism or slavic-ness was seemingly held in higher esteem than one’s Christianity. This, over time, contributed to my moving to Catholicism. You could do much, much worse than being in either communion, though! God bless you in your journey, and I hope this helps more than hinders.

Personally it came down to the Petrine primacy. If I were to reject the Petrine primacy as understood by Catholics, I would not be able to choose between Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy. In the past the Oriental Orthodox were dismissed as “Monopysite heretics” by most Western Christians, but today the Catholic Church recognizes that their Christology is indeed orthodox. If not for the unity of Peter, I could not decide between those two communions: Byzantine or Oriental? The differences that divide them are far too subtle for me to possibly work out to any level of certainty from a strictly intellectual perspective. I also have never been sold on the Eastern / Oriental understanding of what makes an ecumenical council ecumenical.

That being said, if you accepted Petrine primacy but still felt drawn to Eastern praxis and spirituality, the Eastern Catholic Churches may be an option.

Why don’t you investigate the Byzantine Catholic Church, it has got the wonderful Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox and full communion with the See of Peter.

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