Roman Catholic looking into Orthodoxy


#1

I’ve been a devout Roman Catholic for a decade and recently have gone through a period of spiritual desolation. I’ve been looking into the Orthodox Church. I’m having a hard time deciding which one most fully resembles the ancient Church. Any thoughts?


#2

[quote=KFK]I’ve been a devout Roman Catholic for a decade and recently have gone through a period of spiritual desolation. I’ve been looking into the Orthodox Church. I’m having a hard time deciding which one most fully resembles the ancient Church. Any thoughts?
[/quote]

KFK,

just a question. How are you defining right now the “ancient Church”? By what means are you looking into back into time?


#3

I’ve been researching the early fathers and trying to identify the ecclesiology of the early Church. I am having a hard time figuring out if the Roman primacy was understood in the early Church as defined in Vatican I vs. Rome as the “first among equals” as understood by the Orthodox.


#4

The ancient Church was one Church able to make decisions regarding the faith. What is called the “Eastern Orthodox Church” is far from being one Church, and many of these Churches don’t agree with one another. The ancient Church wasn’t slavishly ethnic, but was able to recognize various differences of expression in the unity of the one faith. The ancient Church recognized the authority of Saint Peter; you can’t get much more ancient than the Gospel of Saint Matthew.


#5

But how do you get individual primacy and universal jurisdiction out of Matthew’s gospel? Even St. Augustine wrote that the Rock referred to Christ, not the person of St. Peter.

No, the early church wasn’t slav…it was based on the Greek language. Even in the first centuries of the Roman Church the official language was Greek (the language the Bible was written in). Latin is the language of the pagan Roman Empire in the apostolic age.

Unless you strictly adhere to a faith in doctrinal development, you can not apply the claims of infallibility as defined in Vatican I to the early Church.


#6

Unless you strictly adhere to a faith in scriptural inerrancy, you can not apply the claims of infallibility as defined in Vatican I to the early Church.

John 16:13

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Peace in Christ…Salmon


#7

Before getting involved with the politics of the difference between the West and East of Catholicism, I think that you need to get in touch with your own spirituality.

Having a spiritually dry period is really quite common. It happens to a lot of people. I doubt that you will necessarily find answers within the Orthodox Church, although that might depend upon what you are seeking from the Church.

What do you want from the Church? How do you perceive the Eucharist and the Real Presence? Is this a case of saying “what am I doing here”? This last question is really just a way of growing into spiritual maturity and growth.

Think carefully as to whether you want to attend a service that lasts up to 5 hours :slight_smile:

MaggieOH


#8

I surely, believe in the Real Presence, as do the Orthodox, and think that 2 hours of the Divine Liturgy is a small sacrifice to be in the presence of Jesus.

I think the Augustinian-influenced legal system of western theology is the root of my spiritual crisis. The eastern theology of theosis vs. the western idea of purification for residual sin is what draws me in.


#9

Does this quote from Scripture give the Church a right to develop to that degree. For instance, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas both disagreed with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. How did that develop then? It’s a stretch to find it in Holy Tradition.


#10

[quote=KFK]But how do you get individual primacy and universal jurisdiction out of Matthew’s gospel? Even St. Augustine wrote that the Rock referred to Christ, not the person of St. Peter.

No, the early church wasn’t slav…it was based on the Greek language. Even in the first centuries of the Roman Church the official language was Greek (the language the Bible was written in). Latin is the language of the pagan Roman Empire in the apostolic age.

Unless you strictly adhere to a faith in doctrinal development, you can not apply the claims of infallibility as defined in Vatican I to the early Church.
[/quote]

Well if really go back to the church origins we have to go back to the Aramaic language your Greek is everything Christians is laughable.
THere are Eastern Rite catholics which still us teh aramiac as with the Oriental Orthodox Churches. So if your really looking for the origianl language its out there and its not Greek. Greek was the language of the pagan Roman Empire of the East stop setting up Greek like it was the language of Christ or something your ridiculous both Greek and Latin were languages of the Pagan Roman Empire dead head there bud and a dead end in your conclusions it is merely a language of communication. Considering the OT was written in Hebrew and the apostles and Christ spoke Armaic your hangup on Greek is ridiculous.
to have the Bishop of Constantinople as you figuritive first among equals is so bizarre it can’t qualify as doctrinal development.
The Bishop of Rome as the head was the norm for one thousand years. Sorry you missed out on the last 1000 years of ecunmeical councils or else you would have understood Vatican 1. When your out of class for 1000 years and all of sudden come back no wonder you don’t understand what is being taught.
Maybe you should look into an Eastern Catholic Church.
Read the Catheshism its full of quotes from many church fathers not named Augustine he is certainly an influnetial church father but even Aquinas differed from him in many ways. The catholic church is the consensus of all the fathers not just one. The hatred of everything Augustine is an overreaction from the Orthodox.
They overemphazise the differences they have with him but he very catholic and universal. He not Arius from the East I remind you is Orthodox in doctrine. The Orthodx have short memories that the western Augistine and Athanasius battled the heretical bishops of the East there is much good from these 2 bishops they are not infalliable but they are far better representaives of good doctrine than the Eastern Bishops of a simialr time.


#11

Hi. We’ve actually had several threads dealing with the primacy of Rome (with contributions from Orthodox posters). Take a look at:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=25805 (Father and the Primacy of Rome)
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=25142 (Define Supremacy)
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=27168 (Orthodoxy over Catholicism? Catholicism over Orthodoxy? Why?)
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=28636 (Orthodox? Catholic?)
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=25817 (Converts to Catholicism…why did converts choose Catholicism over Orthodoxy?)

God bless.
In Christ,
Tyler
P.S. There were others as well I think :slight_smile:


#12

[quote=KFK]Does this quote from Scripture give the Church a right to develop to that degree.
[/quote]

Well, that scriptural passage only guarantees that the Holy Spirit will guide the Church in truth.

The following scriptural passage gives the Church the right to develop to that degree:

Matthew 16:19
And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven

For instance, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas both disagreed with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. How did that develop then?

The error you demonstrate is in thinking that infallibility was granted to people other than the head of Christ’s Church. Neither St. Augustine nor St. Thomas Aquinas were granted this privilege, as far as I know.

It’s a stretch to find it in Holy Tradition.

Not really. One might think you did not try very hard. Here are a few examples lifted from:
Immaculate Conception

“He was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle was exempt from putridity and corruption.” Hippolytus, Orations Inillud, Dominus pascit me (ante A.D. 235).

“This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God, is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one.” Origen, Homily 1(A.D. 244).

“Let woman praise Her, the pure Mary.” Ephraim, Hymns on the Nativity, 15:23 (A.D. 370).

“Thou alone and thy Mother are in all things fair, there is no flaw in thee and no stain in thy Mother.” Ephraem, Nisibene Hymns, 27:8 (A.D. 370).

“O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides.” Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, 71:216 (ante AD 373).

“Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin.” Ambrose, Sermon 22:30 (A.D. 388).

“We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin.” Augustine, Nature and Grace,4 2[36] (A.D.415).

“As he formed her without my stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain.” Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 (ante A.D. 446).

“A virgin, innocent, spotless, free of all defect, untouched, unsullied, holy in soul and body, like a lily sprouting among thorns.” Theodotus of Ancrya, Homily VI:11(ante A.D. 446).

“The angel took not the Virgin from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged in the womb, when she was made.” Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140 (A.D. 449).

“[T]he very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary, if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary.” Jacob of Sarug (ante A.D. 521).

“She is born like the cherubim, she who is of a pure, immaculate clay.” Theotokos of Livias, Panegyric for the feast of the Assumption, 5:6 (ante A.D. 650).

“Today humanity, in all the radiance of her immaculate nobility, receives its ancient beauty. The shame of sin had darkened the splendour and attraction of human nature; but when the Mother of the Fair One par excellence is born, this nature regains in her person its ancient privileges and is fashioned according to a perfect model truly worthy of God… The reform of our nature begins today and the aged world, subjected to a wholly divine transformation, receives the first fruits of the second creation.” Andrew of Crete, Sermon I, On the Birth of Mary (A.D. 733).

“[T]ruly elect, and superior to all, not by the altitude of lofty structures, but as excelling all in the greatness and purity of sublime and divine virtues, and having no affinity with sin whatever.” Germanus of Constantinople, Marracci in S. Germani Mariali (ante A.D. 733).

“O most blessed loins of Joachim from which came forth a spotless seed! O glorious womb of Anne in which a most holy offspring grew.” John of Damascus, Homily I (ante A.D. 749).

Peace in Christ…Salmon


#13

[quote=KFK]I’ve been a devout Roman Catholic for a decade and recently have gone through a period of spiritual desolation. I’ve been looking into the Orthodox Church. I’m having a hard time deciding which one most fully resembles the ancient Church. Any thoughts?
[/quote]

KFK,

What I would encourage you to do is to read some information on the office of the Pope. I have some information I can send to you, but I am out of town right now, and don’t have access to it. One thing that I found interesting is what the Church fathers taught about the Bishop of Rome - the successor of Peter: It perfectly corresponds to what is taught today by the Catholic Church.

In one writing, St. Augustine is arguing with the Donatists, who did have apostolic succession. To refute them, he gives a complete list of the Pope up to his day and then says that no Donatist Bishop is found amongst that list.

There is a lot of good information out there for you to read.

My mother is an episcopal. They have some similarities to the Catholic Church. I met with her priest several years ago in an attempt to convert him. During our meeting I found that the main point of disagreement was the Pope. After our meeting I sent him a letter defending the office of the Pope. It has some good information in it. I will try to post that letter here next week for you to read. Keep a look out for it.

In the mean time, read some writings on the Papacy from the Catholic point of view. I think you will find that the arguments are very solid and backed up with a lot of historical evidence.


#14

[quote=KFK]But how do you get individual primacy and universal jurisdiction out of Matthew’s gospel? Even St. Augustine wrote that the Rock referred to Christ, not the person of St. Peter.
[/quote]

I would appreciate you showing me where Saint Augustine wrote this (I do believe you, but I can’t find a relevant quote). At any rate, Saint Augustine also advocated at one point double-predestination.

The plain sense of the passage clearly indicates Peter: in Jesus’ language it is Kepha and kepha. There’s no need to go into this; this is a dead horse that has already been beaten to a pulp, and those who still hold to this second rock meaning Jesus are being intellectually dishonest.

Actually, I’m surprised that a Catholic thinking about becoming Eastern Orthodox would be so quick to wield the errors of the Protestants. My Orthodox friends accept the plain meaning of this text the same as Catholics. The Orthodox do not, after all, reject “first among equals”. They reject the sui juris authority of the pope over the Eastern Churches, and that the papacy alone is an organ of infallibility.

[quote=KFK]No, the early church wasn’t slav
[/quote]

Slavishly – adv. Pertaining to or befitting a slave (not Slav); servile. He slavishly followed the crowd.

Now reread my post. :wink:

I wasn’t talking about language, but since you mentioned it…

[quote=KFK]Even in the first centuries of the Roman Church the official language was Greek (the language the Bible was written in). Latin is the language of the pagan Roman Empire in the apostolic age.
[/quote]

Greek was also the pagan language of the Hellenistic world. If you want a language that isn’t connected with paganism, then Hebrew is the way to go. If using a language that was once used by pagans somehow connects one to paganism, then we should all denounce the whole of Christianity and become Orthodox Jews.

[quote=KFK]Unless you strictly adhere to a faith in doctrinal development, you can not apply the claims of infallibility as defined in Vatican I to the early Church.
[/quote]

Even Meyendorff has to accept doctrinal development (properly understood the same as Catholics do). Otherwise, how could the Eastern Orthodox explain the doctrine of the Divine Energies??

For a treatment of doctrinal development, I would suggest an Eastern Orthodox theologian, Jaroslav Pelikan, the first chapter of his A History of the Development of Doctrine; 1. The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600), entitled “Some Definitions”.


#15

Have you evaluated Eastern rite Catholicism as well as orthodoxy? This is an issue I have great questions with at times too.


#16

Let me also add:

You have to go where you are fed.

There is a wondrous diversity of orthodoxy in the Catholic Church, and I’m convinced that you can find a spiritual home here more readily than elsewhere. If Byzantine liturgy and spirituality feds you, why wouldn’t you first experience the Byzantine Catholic Church? I would also suggest that you investigate the Melkite Catholic Church, and the Marionite Catholic Church.

On the other hand, if you are uncomfortable with a doctrine of the Church, then this can very well affect your spiritual life. I suggest that you do all you can to investigate these doctrines as honestly as you can. I invite you to read good Eastern Orthodox writers as well as Catholic theologians.

A few suggestions:

Lossky, Vladimir. The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church.

Meyendorff, John. Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes.

An excellent collection of essays dealing with the papacy from an Eastern Orthodox perspective would be the book edited by Meyendorff, The Primacy of Peter: Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church.

While these books are very insightful, I invite you to juxtapose what is written in these books with your Catechism of the Catholic Church and make comparisons. There are some rather interesting misconceptions made by even the most illustrious Meyendorff, himself.

Finally, I suggest that once you have given our separated brethren a fair and balanced reading, then read just as carefully and critically John Henry Cardinal Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.


#17

In addition to the books already recommended, I would suggest “Upon This Rock” by Stephen Ray.

Have you gone to a Byzantine liturgy, or other Eastern rite Catholic liturgies? Before you jump the barque of Peter, ought you not see if there are parts of the vessel that you would be more comfortable sitting in?


#18

KFK,

I was born and raised Roman Catholic. I recently changed to the Byzantine Catholic Church. There are many similarities with the eastern orthodox. The divine liturgy is amazing! Check it out. Although we are different, we are still in union with Rome. I still love the Roman Catholic Church and attend mass periodically. The Holy Father says that we should learn to breathe with both lungs–east and west. Hopefully, with many prayers, the orthodox will come back into union with the Catholic church again.

:blessyou:


#19

[quote=Mickey]KFK,

I was born and raised Roman Catholic. I recently changed to the Byzantine Catholic Church. There are many similarities with the eastern orthodox. The divine liturgy is amazing! Check it out. Although we are different, we are still in union with Rome. I still love the Roman Catholic Church and attend mass periodically. The Holy Father says that we should learn to breathe with both lungs–east and west. Hopefully, with many prayers, the orthodox will come back into union with the Catholic church again.

:blessyou:
[/quote]

Its a mystery to me why Catholics leave for Orthodoxy when they can have the best of both worlds the Eastern traditions and liturgy.
And they can also take daily communion in the latin rite. And of course you get the Pope and the unifying and authoratative voice that only the office of Peter can provide.
Eastern Catholcism is america’s greatest relgious hidden diamond.


#20

if the pope has no authority over the eastern churches, on what basis then pope clement settled the controversy over the church in corinth?

corinth is an eastern church,yet the pope exercise jurisdiction to settle not doctrinal issue but diciplinary one.


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