Should I convert to the Roman Catholic Church or the Eastern Orthodox Church?


#146

I dissagree on your point of binding and loosing being connected with keys. To explain my phrase- I believe they are connected in Peter but not that Apostles received keys also. May I ask why do you believe Our Lord left out this part of phrase said to Peter when he talked to the Apostles? After all, I do not believe he also said “you are Rock and upon this Rock I will build my Church and gates of hell shall not prevail against it” to all Apostles when he implied binding and losing. After all, only one of them received name Peter (Rock)- one with keys, not everyone who would bind and lose. Based on this, I believe that keys are connected to being “Rock” and also Church being built upon Peter instead- of being connected to binding and losing, which was given to all of them. Of course, that is just my impression that right now became a theory.

Also, while Patristic scources claim that Apostles received keys they mostly claim it in context of Church having the keys (therefore all Apostles as guardians of truth having them, but in sense of having them through unity with Peter). Patristic scources also claim that to be united in Church, you should be in unity with See of Rome and submit to Bishop of Rome in his Cathedra estabilished by Our Lord.
Then again, I know Church Fathers are witnesses to the life of Church and are great models for us Christians- yet they are not infallible.


#147

How do you deal with the practice of many Roman Catholic Churches to conditionally baptize Protestant converts before Vatican II? Why did Catholics conditionally rebaptize at that time? In the Baptist Church, the words of Baptism are the same now as they were before Vatican II, so why would the Roman Catholic church change its mind about rebaptizing converts from the Baptist Church? How do you deal with that?


#148

I don’t see how it is counterproductive for a person to want his salvation. You have to be subject to the Roman Pontiff if you want to be saved according to Unam Sanctam: “Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”


#149

It is counter productive to union of Churches and relations between them, but I also feel like we neglect individual’s (or one’s autocephalous Church in some cases) salvation -or rather, deny him full fruits from being in perfect unity with Church, because we want to unite everyone. Time will tell what is right, definitely not approach I would take but this is not my choice to make, we must respect decision of hierarchical Church.


#150

First off, I believe there are quite a few things that are “left out” of Scripture. We are, as you know, not Bible alone believers. Second, Isaiah 22:22 is often used as a proof text when speaking of the keys on Matthew. In Isaiah 22:22, the word used is “key”, singular. Notice in Matthew that Jesus uses the word “keys,” plural. Also, Jesus is making a future promise. He says “I will (future) give you the keys.” So when exactly does he give Saint Peter the keys (plural)? In Matthew 18:18 when all the apostles are given the keys. This is why Jesus used the plural and not the singular.

ZP


#153

I have great respect for the RCC but at this time:
Probably the whole issue of justification vs sanctification (although as a confessional Lutheran I am am NOT OSAS, we believe that salvation can be lost.) I differ from the Orthodox on this issue, too.
I have no problem with Mary, saints, monastic orders, ect. that ,most Protestants reject. I believe the Episcopal
Don’t really agree with the Infalliibity of the Pope, I more agree with the EO view of The Bishop of Rome bchurch structure is even biblical and we agree with the Real Presence.eing first among equals and the conciliar way of doing things(like in the book of Acts)
It’s a learning process for me.


#154

That is a very good point, but while many things are left out in the scriptures for obvious reasons, Church Fathers tend to agree that Peter alone received keys from Jesus and they received keys from Jesus through Peter (in sense of having keys because of being Apostles and being united to Peter). The plural sense of keys might be interpreted that way in my opinion. However, I think your interpretation can be a bit misleading as it seems (to me, I apologize if I missunderstood) equality of jurisdictional power of Pope and other Bishops, or Pope and other Patriarchs. After all there is single Cathedra and Saint Jerome, Saint Ignatius and Saint Augustine all tend to imply that only Bishop of Rome holds it- they also imply that he excercises collegiality (which can seem to be neglected by Papal Supremacy) with other Bishops as successors of Apostles but when needed to defend the truth and lead the Church, Vicar of Christ has supreme power. Explanations of Church Fathers on the topic mostly convince me that while Apostles received keys as individuals, Peter received them in special sense.

However, I might be confusing keys with being the Rock on which Church was built which Bishop of Rome surely is.


#155

Pope is not freed from sin, neither is he freed from error- but when leading the Church as it’s shepherd and being Rock of Truth upon which Church is founded by Our Lord, he exercises supreme power over the Church to reaffirm the truth and protect it- not to create new faith or religion.

Collegiality is strong in Catholicism too- I would argue that even stronger than in Eastern Orthodoxy, as Ecumenical Councils held by Catholic Church (and some of them were trully global) number 21 while Eastern Orthodoxy have not held a council in very long time and their owns number 7. Catholicism is global and therefore needs unity under one authority- but collegiality is not diminished by it. Pope as Vicar of Christ supports himself with Collegiality so the Church stands. There have been Popes who were rulling Church like monarchs- by their right, and there were Popes who were rulling Church through collegiality with bishops- by their very same right. Different times require different approaches, but in the end I do not think there is any Church with as much Collegiality as Catholic Church- and it is precisely because of authority of the Pope.


#156

Latin Catholic church since you are already baptized into it, you only need to come into full communion.


#157

The Church Fathers witness to Saint Peter having the keys, they give witness to all the apostles being given the keys.

I don’t disagree that the Pope of Rome holds a primacy among the bishops but this is not one of universal jurisdiction of the entire Church. The Chieti Document shows is how the Church worked at the local, regional and universal levels during the first millennium and supreme jurisdiction was not one of them. This document by the way is what will be the foundation of further talks between the Latin Church and Orthodox Church to hopefully reestablish full communion.

On thing I think we can both agree on is that since we have fallen out of communion with the Orthodox both Churches are wounded. God willing, if/when full communion is established, the secular world will not have a leg to stand on.

ZP


#158

Food for thought

for your learning process……

To your point,

The reasons the bishop of Rome has always had a special place in Church history, and the Church hierarchy, is because It’s always been accepted historically, that Rome is Peter’s last see. He died (crucified upside down) in Rome on Vatican hill under the rule of emperor Nero.

Meaning, Peter’s successors then, follow him in Rome. THAT is the succession we follow. That point was challenged by Gnostics, and defended by Bp Irenaeus, in “Against Heresies” Bk 3 Ch 3 paragraphs 2-3 where he names 12 bishops in succession from Peter down to his day. That was in ~ a.d. 180. Irenaeus points are already known in his day. In his defense against Gnostics,. Note: his expanded description of the history of the successors to Peter in Rome.

Example: Clement 3rd pope of Rome. How Clement settled sedition between the bishops of Corinth, at Corinth’s request. Why would Corinth in Greece do THAT when Athens is only 60 miles away? Athens has valid bishops. They are mentioned in Acts. Why go all the way to Rome in another country? Already it shows the authority of the bishop of Rome during apostolic times to settle issues of importance … John is still alive. Yet Corinth sought Clement’s intervention. Showing also one bishop has such authority over other bishops. Also note: Irenaeus is a Catholic bishop in the Catholic Church Bk 1 ch 10 para 3 BTW, Irenaeus was from the East. And He went West to be Bp of Lyon, (present day France). Irenaeus learned from Bp Polycarp of Smyrna, a direct disciple of John. Both Polycarp and Irenaeus were from the same town of Smyrna, (present day Turkey). Making Irenaeus one man away from an apostle.

Moving back in history, to ~ a.d. 68, Ignatius of Antioch, was ordained by the apostles and was also a direct disciple of the apostle John. Note he writes 6 letters to the Church in 6 locations. Note also, Ignatius is a Catholic bishop in the Catholic Church. See letter to Smyrnaeans ch 8 & schismatics from the Catholic Church, one can’t be saved. See Philadelphians ch 3

Ignatius letters

Epistle to the Ephesians

Epistle to the Magnesians

Epistle to the Trallians

Epistle to the Romans

Epistle to the Philadelphians

Epistle to the Smyrnæans

Due to space, I’ll just add, there is no Orthodox Church mentioned in the beginning.


#159

Most Church Fathers agreed that Pope of Rome had Universal Jurisdiction but it was true that he did not exercise this often, only when absolutely necessary. Communication was not as easy at doay. Chieti Document holds, contrary to Tradition of the Church no dogmatic value- it is very important but if it contradicts any dogmas, it can not be right. It would be wrong to imply Holy Spirit has less value in truth than Cheti Document does. A Catholic is required to believe in supreme and universal jurisdiction of the Pope as dogma if I’m correct.

Also, while I can agree that both Churches are wounded, I do not agree that we are two halves of the same Church as that would mean Satan actually split the Church into two and if no half remained incorrect about dogmas and Papal Supremacy- and that makes no sense. One Church was clearly right about it (of course, only other way would be to imply both Churches are wrong). Christians who were imperfectly united with Bride of Christ left the Church which wounded it, but Church never split into two- that’s very important point of ecclessiology in both Orthodox and Catholic Churches- Eastern too, as they are required to believe same thing about Papal Supremacy as Latins are (CCEO shows this too).

To imply position that both Churches are fully parts of One True Church would not only deny ecclesiology, but would also be indifferentism- heresy. That said, I do not mean to deny apostolicity of Orthodox Church nor valid sacraments, nor that they are Sister Church of Catholic Church (again, both Eastern and Latin) in some sense.


#160

I really dont know anything about the Orthodox Church, so for simplicity sake I’d say go Catholic.

Actually I’m learning here you can go Eastern Catholic & enjoy both worlds. So… go Eastern Catholic.


#161

True.

AND

It’s Eastern canon law.

“The bishop of the Church of Rome, in whom resides the office (munus) given in a special way by the Lord to Peter, first of the Apostles and to be transmitted to his successors, is head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the entire Church on earth; therefore in virtue of his office (munus) he enjoys supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church which he can always freely exercise.” (Canon 43 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches)

As emeritus Melkite Bp John puts it, If an Orthodox subscribes to the Canon quoted above, he/she can be called Catholic and be considered “united to Rome” or in full communion with the Catholic Church.”
source

Eastern Canon law


#162

Yes, the Fathers used flowery language when speaking of Rome, but universal jurisdiction? I’m no church historian but where in the first millennium did the bishop of Rome, without being asked by eastern patriarchs for assistance, meddle in eastern affairs. The Chieti documents admits that the bishop of Rome had no canonical authority over the eastern churches.

Speaking of the Chieti document, this is the basis of continued dialogue with the Orthodox. I know it’s hard for Roman Catholic apologists to swallow, I was once very into apologetics (it’s what lead me to the Byzantine Catholic Church), but again to clearly lays out how the Church functioned. What’s interesting about this document is that I have asked, on social media, about this document to many of the Catholic Answers apologists, and their response? None! Silence! One could hear crickets.

The truth is, Rome historically has held the primacy, and without primacy, there can be no conciliarity. There must be a focus of unity, and none of the other alternatives has worked. Accepting Roman primacy does not mean accepting the current state of the Papacy, as defined and exercised unilaterally by the Church of Rome. But one can disagree with Rome about what the primacy entails, while still recognizing that primacy within its historical limits.

ZP


#163

Interesting.


#164

There’s an unbroken line of Popes from St. Peter to the present whereas the Patriarchate of Constantinople (it was once Catholic) only can be traced back to the 4th century. Byzantium was a little place unheard of until Constantine moved the capital of the Empire from Rome to his city (Constantinople = city of Constantine) in the 4th century. And that’s historical fact, not polemics.


#165

Beautiful. Thank you.


#166

Going back to the original question, I would advise spending time in each Church doing Eucharistic Adoration and posing the question to Our Lord.
Be silent and listen with your heart.


#167

Sts. Cyril & Methodius preached about 200 years before the Great Schism of 1054. Iow, they were Catholic missionaries.

True trivia tidbit: According to the late Solange Hertz, Old Slavonic was the first vernacular language used in the Liturgy. Prior to that, only Hebrew, Greek & Latin - the three languages on the titulus above the Sacred Head of Our Lord on the Cross - were allowed in the Liturgy.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.