I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian. I have ordered a copy of the Second Edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and, on the points where the Orthodox believe the Catholics are incorrectly teaching (i.e. the filioque and Purgatory, Eucharistic adoration), I believe that the Catholics have the more correct teaching; in some issues (removing part of the Eucharistic blessing, celebrating a more traditional liturgy, especially post-Vatican II, but there is a church in full communion with the Pope that celebrates the Tridentine Mass in my area, so that’s not a problem, and Papal superiority), I believe the Orthodox have the correct teaching; but, numerically, I believe the Catholics teach more correct doctrine than the Orthodox, although the differences are minimal (as confirmed by both EC and RC episcopate), and mostly political (e.g. the nature of ecumenical councils that don’t include all of Christendom).
I believe the Catholic way is superior to the Orthodox, but a “via media” is needed: the Orthodox are too unorganised, too organic, and too mystical: I appreciate the organisation and Scholastic philosophy that has helped to form the Catholic faith, myself being a philosophy graduate; I prefer theoretical knowledge - I VASTLY prefer theoretical knowledge - to experiential knowledge, abstractions are superior to existence. Orthodoxy does not agree with this; Catholicism, as I understand, does, to a point, or at least tolerates it.
I believe a more perfect understanding of anything can be found in a book and in reflection and meditation than in experience: to me, the description of something, the philosophy, so to speak, of it, is vastly more beautiful and perfect than experience.
I would go so far to say that I dislike direct experience of anything (even things most find pleasurable, such as sex, for a crude and carnal example), especially in comparison to philosophic abstraction and reflection.
In a way, I never believed in God; no amount of “God is great, these miracles happened, God changed my life” made me believe in God, but once I was presented with the arguments of St Thomas Aquinas, on an abstract and logical, and completely non-experiential and non-existential level, I immediately was convinced of the truth of God: experience doesn’t count for much for me, theory does.
And, although it should have no bearing on my faith, I love Rome, ancient and modern, Italy, and Latin, which I can speak, read, and write fluently, which can’t be said for my limited Greek.
I was formerly a Muslim, but this has no bearing on the thread: I have come to see in fullness the perverted and evil doctrines of that “faith”. After I admitted it may have errors in it, it collapsed under its own weight and that of its false holy books and nearly-satirical/parody legalistic teachings.
My current Father is great: this is a stumbling block in my conversion to Catholicism, where my spiritual Father may not be as par excellence as my current one is. He’s intelligent and educated enough (four bachelor’s, two master’s, two doctorates) to talk with me on my own level: not many people are.
I also hope to one day take Holy Orders, and become a missionary or a minister of some sort, to spread the Word that I have received, and which has changed my life and saved my Immortal Soul; please take this in to consideration.
Please, tell me what the major differences are between EC and RC from a RC perspective?
And, if you care too, why, theoretically or philosophically, are the RC teachings correct? (Although I can likely figure that one out for myself). And anything else you believe may be helpful.
Thank you, and be blessed in God’s Most Holy Name and that of His Son and the Saviour of the World Jesus Christ,
Christophoro Adam John Chrysostom Mayo, formerly Khalid Furqan bin Ya’qub.