Should Orthodox convert?

Thank you.

This is just me speculating- but I’ve had the feeling lately that communion will occur in our lifetime and- perhaps- sooner than we’d think. With the way events have happened this year- and how quickly they’ve happened- I think that when communion is re-established it will also happen (seemingly) quickly. God can work miracles. The signs of the times are there- and I think the East and West will truly be united again before the end.

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Talk to God.

The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity published the controversal “Balamand Document” from the 1993 Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, held at the University of Balamand in Lebanon. The document is controversial because it offends the sentiments of both Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox by affirming the legitimacy of the Eastern Catholic — pejoratively known as “uniate” — particular churches, while criticizing the historical efforts of establishing those churches.

It lists a number of “Practical Rules”:

  1. Pastoral activity in the Catholic Church, Latin as well as Oriental, no longer aims at having the faithful of one Church pass over to the other; that is to say, it no longer aims at proselytizing among the Orthodox. It aims at answering the spiritual needs of its own faithful and it has no desire for expansion at the expense of the Orthodox Church. Within these perspectives, so that there will be no longer place for mistrust and suspicion, it is necessary that there be reciprocal exchanges of information about various pastoral projects and that thus cooperation between bishops and all those with responsibilities in our Churches, can be set in motion and develop.

[…]

  1. By excluding for the future all proselytism and all desire for expansion by Catholics at the expense of the Orthodox Church, the commission hopes that it has overcome the obstacles which impelled certain autocephalous Churches to suspend their participation in the theological dialogue and that the Orthodox Church will be able to find itself altogether again for continuing the theological work already so happily begun.
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I’m sorry, can you explain why remaining in a state of schism until any period in the future is “ideal”?’

Also, there is heresy in Orthodoxy. Unlike some bishops who “go rogue” and “merely” consecrate other bishops without permission (or any individual Catholic who decides he or she will no longer worship with some other group of Catholics on principle - which is lateral schism), there are actual doctrinal problems with Orthodoxy, both credal and moral.

Thank you for posting that.

Can you point to the doctrinal errors of Orthodoxy? And the mutual anathemas/excommunications were lifted by Pope St. Paul VI and His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras (sic) decades ago.

Well, we could start with the obvious, which is the rejection of papal primacy and infallibility. That’s a big one. Then the filioque controversy - and yes, I am familiar with the history, the translation problem, etc., and yet the issue stands - then the problems regarding divorce and remarriage, and from what I understand now a creeping attitude of laxity toward contraception in some corners… But who gets to say what Orthodoxy is anyway? What if some bishops disagree? Who’s right, who’s wrong, and how will we know? So then we come back to the beginning.

-K

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IIRC Balamand was later sacked by CDF for this very reason…

Truth is that while Orthodox Church does not officially teach heresy regarding Filioque, denial of “per Filio” theology is heretical and stems from Patriarch Photius. Those who take his theology are indeed not orthodox in their faith and there are many Orthodox that do so.

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These things were centuries from being defined and accepted in the West, let alone in the East, at the time of the schism. The East can’t be faulted for rejecting something that wasn’t even taught “infallibly” until the 19th century.

This is a non-starter. The majority of Orthodox have no problem with the theology of the filioque, when properly understood. The issue they have is its insertion into the Creed outside of an ecumenical council. So, again, a non-starter.

What problems with divorce and remarriage?

This same attitude of laxity exists in “some corners” of the Catholic Church as well. The laxity of some, even in the hierarchy, doesn’t change the intrinsic immorality of contraception - a truth which was taught by the early Church Fathers of the East (St. Basil the Great if memory serves me correctly).

From where I stand as a (Eastern) Catholic today, you can apply this same logic to the Catholic Church.

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Oh, could you cite that? Is there a CDF statement on it? There’s nothing on the Vatican webpage to indicate. I thought it was still valid. Thanks!

If you claim to rely on God’s word. Listen to Paul. Jesus is THE way.

That more or less begs the question.

Then the “non-majority” will need to correct themselves, at a minimum. But I think you might be making the problem to be a bit less than it really is.

Like that you can do it.

Yes! Exactly! Now, who will be the one to “turn and strengthen the brethren”?

Well, there’s a good candidate for being the one representative and authority overseeing the world’s episcopacy with the ability to interpret the Tradition without error… He wears a white cassock and has a funny looking car.

How is one supposed to know he is on the right mountain, or on a mountain at all?

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Apologies, it appears I was wrong in that CDF officially did that, though there is my source of original post. Conversation also starts above if you’re interested in Chieti or so. None of these documents mean much for either side until consensus is actually reached and authoritatively ratified.

Well there are two problems with that;

  1. If Arians converted back to Catholic Faith they can’t be made to accept Chalcedon because it was actually not there for several years after they split… or so would this logic claim.
  2. Church of Rome was viewed as inerrant- it wasn’t explicitly taught in way it is now, but in reality Faith of Rome was always considered pure, and even as late as Great Schism, Georgian Orthodox Saint George the Hagiorite actually professed inerrancy of Rome in front of Emperor and Patriarch of Constantinople when he realized they Schismed from Rome.

Technically that one is also solved quite easily because Churches have ability and authority to make local variations of Creed. Creeds are, as dochawk would say, mutually inclusive. If one denies doctrine of Filioque as properly understood (which was what Cardinal Humbert tried excommunicating Patriarch Michael for), it is a problem on more than problem of Creed. Not saying Filioque in the East is alright and only time West has ever tried forcing that was during Lyons (and that luckily does not persist).

The Magisterium officially disapproves of proselytism.

H.H. Pope Francis:

But at the same time, there is a sort of fear of ‘competition’ — and this is bad: the fear of competition —, that someone may steal new followers, and we are thus unable to appreciate the good that others do: it is not good because he is ‘not one of us’, they say. It is a form of self-referentiality. Actually, there is the root of proselytism here. And the Church — Pope Benedict used to say — does not grow through proselytism; it grows by attraction, that is, it grows by bearing witness to others with the strength of the Holy Spirit.

http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/angelus/2018/documents/papa-francesco_angelus_20180930.html

H.H. Pope Benedict XVI:

The Church considers herself the disciple and missionary of this Love : missionary only insofar as she is a disciple, capable of being attracted constantly and with renewed wonder by the God who has loved us and who loves us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:10). The Church does not engage in proselytism. Instead, she grows by “attraction” : just as Christ “draws all to himself” by the power of his love, culminating in the sacrifice of the Cross, so the Church fulfils her mission to the extent that, in union with Christ, she accomplishes every one of her works in spiritual and practical imitation of the love of her Lord.

http://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/homilies/2007/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20070513_conference-brazil.html

Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Vatican City, 2007

In this context we must be careful because “today many people understand the term mission to mean aggressive activity and behaviour, based on an exclusive claim to truth, which is intolerant towards other concepts and beliefs: a kind of spiritual colonisation that destroys cultures and developed and organised religions. This misunderstanding may certainly lead to wrong behaviour by some individuals”[9]. This is why the Church rejects all forms of proselytism, which are incompatible with the Gospel, as they involve deception, pressure, and promises of benefits, financial or otherwise.

https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/migrants/pom2008_106-suppl-ll/rc_pc_migrants_pom106-suppl-II_manual-aos-en.html

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To to OP: Yes, all of humanity is called by to God to enter into full communion with the Catholics Church:

CCC

845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.334

And while there is certainly is and often has been a focus on achieving unity corporately with the separated Eastern Churches, seeking the reunion of individuals is no less important. From the CDF:

As explicitly recognized in the Decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council, “it is evident that the work of preparing and reconciling those individuals who desire full Catholic communion is of its nature distinct from ecumenical action, but there is no opposition between the two, since both proceed from the marvelous ways of God”.[50] Therefore, the work of ecumenism does not remove the right or take away the responsibility of proclaiming in fullness the Catholic faith to other Christians, who freely wish to receive it.

This is irrelevant to the question of whether all should become Catholic. The answer to that question is an emphatic “yes.” It is God’s will that all–especially all the baptized–be united in faith and hierarchical communion in the one flock Jesus entrusted to Peter and His successors. The question you are addressing is what means are acceptable to achieve that. “Proselytism” in that context implies a kind of undue coercion-we can still exhort, persuade, encourage, etc.–we just can’t force or trick, etc.

From the CDF

The term proselytism originated in the context of Judaism, in which the term proselyte referred to someone who, coming from the gentiles, had passed into the Chosen People. So too, in the Christian context, the term proselytism was often used as a synonym for missionary activity. More recently, however, the term has taken on a negative connotation, to mean the promotion of a religion by using means, and for motives, contrary to the spirit of the Gospel; that is, which do not safeguard the freedom and dignity of the human person. It is in this sense that the term proselytism is understood in the context of the ecumenical movement: cf. The Joint Working Group between the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches, “The Challenge of Proselytism and the Calling to Common Witness” (1995).

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Yeah. What he said :point_up_2:

:grin:

Nice quote from CDF. However mys post it is relevant to the question of “should one”, for one should not become Catholic due to “deception, pressure, and promises of benefits, financial or otherwise”.

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