Perturbed by Eastern Christianity

I can’t think of a less “gotcha” title, so that’ll have to do.

For years (since college) I have been very interested in Eastern Christian practices, particularly private prayer (using the Publican’s Prayer Book) and liturgy. Lately, I feel just so confused. This is becoming a huge worry for me because I don’t know if I should be living and practicing as a Byzantine Catholic or Eastern Orthodox or…:shrug:

I am reading endlessly on Eastern Christian topics and heavily considering conversion to Orthodoxy, but taking my time. Any advice anyone can give to guide my journey or relieve some of this stress I feel over having to “choose” would help immensely.

Surely there have been others here in this boat. :thumbsup: Maybe here we can share our experiences and talk about any conclusions you came to in your journey.
(Cradle Latin here, by the way.)

Well, there’s a big difference between Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic, since they aren’t in Communion. Any big reasons for considering the Orthodox?

Eastern Catholicism is still in communion with Rome, obviously. If there’s any Eastern Catholic churches around, check them out!

Remember, no matter what, all worship is addressed to the Trinity (and They are one for all of us).

I occasionally go to a Melkite Divine Liturgy. They are in communion with the Pope, Bishop of Rome, but use the same liturgy as the Eastern Orthodox. Depending on where you live, you may not have an Eastern Catholic community that far from you. Heck, I was a little surprised to find one in Augusta, Georgia.

Joining the Eastern Orthodoxy would be a dramatic step against the unity of the Church for you. :frowning: They may have good things, but unity is not their strong side. Neither is flexibility.

What do you mean by “flexibility”? Cultural flexibility (obviously, Catholics can be found in every Christian country)? Locational flexibility (there are Catholic churches everywhere)?

Are you currently a practicing Roman Catholic? If you are you can simply attend a Byzantine Catholic Church and you will be none the worse for wear.

I was also a cradle Latin. My journey through hell started when my parents left the church. I was never able to reconcile with her during my youth or as an adult. I ventured into Eastern Orthodoxy, but Catholics are not welcomed there, either. So the rescue boat for me was Eastern Catholic-Maronite.

I like being a Catholic because we have unity of belief and a pope who unites of all.
The Orthodox Church has many splits.

I had thought about the same thing, so I did some internet searching. I found one post that mirrored an impression I already had. It seems that EO is a bit skewed towards Greek people, American or otherwise.

They have some great monastic literature that I have been reading since April. They have some great things to offer, but I am happy with the Roman Church. I just don’t feel if I ever DID convert that I would never be a “member of the tribe.”

The Orthodox Church does not have any splits and we are united by a common faith and the unity of the eucharist.
I belong to the Greek Archdiocese in Australia but have regularly visited Russian and Serbian parishes in our area and am welcome to receive the Holy Gifts as long as I have prepared myself through prayer, fasting and confession. My son’s godmother is Georgian.
I am a 6th generation Aussie of Scottish and Swedish descent.

Honestly, where do you come up with this nonsense about division.

On a lunch break so cant reply to everyone now individually, but just give a bit more about my situation. I live in Seoul and there are no Byzantine Catholic churches here as far as I know. Ive been to the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea cathedral a couple of times with an Orthodox Korean friend, once for Easter/Pascha. Every time has been a very wonderful experience. The believers and clergy are an open minded global community of almost any origin one can think of (Koreans, Russians, Ethiopians, Greeks, Americans of West and Eastern European descent, etc.) This exposure has led me to believe that Orhodoxy doesnt have to be “tribal” by any means and encouraged me to further explore the beliefs and practices and leave aside the hang-up of Orthodoxy being “for” a certain ethnic group.

Will respond more later after I head home. Thanks for all responses so far!

That was not my experience, at all.

You may want to tell your problem with the Roman Catholic Church.

I am a cradle Catholic. Never got interested in other religions but was nominal while in college and a few years thereafter. I found my love for the Church again and never been more the closer ever since.

I know Orthodox Churches that are situated next door to each other that have nothing to do with each other. Their bishop left them and started his own branch. Several people went with him.

Thanks, I should list that outright, but I was less concerned with getting forum help on the nitty gritty details, and looking for more testimony from any other forum members on their journeys through this issue to guide my own.

Granted, listing out the reasons could provide help in the avenue of literature recommendations and the like, I still am wary of this thread just melting down into an unproductive East-West flame war which I’m sure everyone wants to avoid. (Here’s looking at you moderators.):smiley:

Two very edifying articles. I have read them both and thanks for helping me consider it. Very helpful.

My current worry regarding Orthodoxy is the trouble of autocephaly. Especially amd namely being that there are many situations where certain national churches are regarded as independent by some but not others resulting in a hierarchical spiderweb from a Roman Catholic point of view.

I guess this might not have any direct reflection on these churches’ Orthodoxy.

My main concern is worshipping in the way best suited for salvation in this one life as handed down by the 12 Apostles and their successors. To my view, so much heterodoxy in liturgy (not using icons, change in the Roman Rite, etc.) has come about in Rome which makes me look to the Orthodox Church.

I’m sure some of your Catholic brethren can inform you about similar cases with Catholic Churches in North America, particularly the Polish and the Irish.
As for any bishop who left to form his own Church, he would no longer be Orthodox since by definition he has cut himself off from the Church. If you want to consider that as being splits in the Orthodox Church then you have to acknowledge there are also many splits in the Catholic Church for the same reason.

Malankara Syriac Catholic here, very respectful of our Orthodox sister churches. The positive side of the Catholic Communion is the unity in diversity, both of Patristic Traditions and Patrimony. We have Syriac, Chaldean, Armenian, Byzantines of various stripes, Latins of various stripes… Etc… Speaks to the real Catholicity of the Church.

My opinion of the Latin Church and its changes since V2, its not a reason in and of itself to leave - of course, your particular parish might be very orthodox or unbareable… However, I find Koreans in general to be conservative on these matters. Regarding the changes, every Church has changed, the Russians adopted Nikonian Reforms, the Greeks adopt to local custom, the Antiochians have a WesternRite, Etc etc

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