The Pull Towards Catholicism Keeps Getting Stronger


#1

I continue to feel need to come into full communion with Rome and be Catholic. I am currently Eastern Orthodox and have been for quite awhile now, but I continue to feel that something is “missing” from Orthodoxy. I don’t feel right about it and I am trying to put my finger on what it is that’s bothering me. I think one thing is the lack of Catholicity in the Orthodox tradition. It is very ethnically-centered and there is just this feeling of division that I continue to get from it. I am an American and I feel like a big loner being Orthodox in the West. Not many people in my day to day life even know what it is and even at church I am one of few Americans. It is not this reason alone that I am considering conversion, there are many more, but I can’t help but feel “cut off” from the rest of Christendom. This causing a huge feeling of something “missing”. I feel out of communion, on my own and separated from all other Christians. Then I have to read all these things in Orthodoxy about how it is the one, true faith and how all other Christians are wrong and it is just so bothersome. I know that Catholicism views itself as the one, true church too, but from what I noticed they are at least more accepting of other Christians than the Orthodox are. Orthodoxy is extremely separatist and this just makes me sick to my stomach. We all know that the devil is the author of division, not Christ, and while I am not claiming that the devil is necessarily within Orthodoxy, I do feel very bad about the divisive behavior within the church. It is even divided among itself believe it or not. There is a lot of disunity.

Now, there are other reasons why I am highly drawn towards Catholicism which I don’t have time to mention in one sitting right now, but I am trying to gauge whether my feelings are correct or not. I of course don’t want to make any rash decisions here, but I don’t know if I can keep on going the way I am going. I am going to continue to pray and continue to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but I also need help. Are there any books that you all would recommend me reading? I need to start getting serious about my research on Catholicism so that I can, with God’s help, hopefully make the right decision here and hopefully put an end to this feeling of utter emptiness that I have right now. I know full well that there are going to be challenges no matter where I go and I know that not everything should just be based on a feeling. However, at this point the pull towards Catholicism is so strong that I just cannot deny it anymore.


#2

why not just start going to Catholic Mass.


#3

Become Eastern Catholic the best of both world’s.


#4

Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


#5

I will be doing this on top of my reading.


#6

Yes, that is something I am seriously considering because as you say it would be the best of both worlds and I would also be in full communion with the entire Catholic Church. But even the Latin rite is something I am willing to consider as well.


#7

Good idea, can I find this online?


#8

You can google it and there should an online version.


#9

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM


#10

i would suggest starting with reading the Gospels.


#12

@MatthaiosX

Are there any Byzantine Catholic Churches in your area (Melkite, Ruthenian, Ukrainian)?

ZP


#14

I pray for your inquiry. I don’t have any book recommendations at the moment, but I think the default option would be that, if you did transfer, you’d transfer into an Eastern Catholic community of similar rite. But that would be best discussed with a priest. It is possible to transfer rites (for example, to move to the Roman Rite), but that’s a level of canon law I’m not familiar with.

Before transferring, I’d suggest inquiring about how you feel about things where the RCC and Orthodoxy disagree (the Orthodox seem to take the different approaches as a barrier to unity). For example, the Filioque and Papal Supremacy and Papal Infallibility. What do you think of the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion? Or the Rosary? Our sacramental theology has different emphasis. Are you okay with the RCC’s position on Purgatory and indulgences? What about the RCC’s position on marriage and divorce?

You don’t have to answer. But I’d suggest being comfortable in these topics before making a conversion, if you decided to. And that could take some time to inquire about.

We also have a dedicated Eastern Catholic board if you particularly like Eastern theology and rites. You may get some experienced perspective over there. A lot of us here have a strictly western perspective, some maybe to the point of exclusion. But our resident Eastern Catholics may be willing to also give their perspective on the topics I mentioned above.


#15

It is hard for me to believe that anyone in the Orthodox Church would ever leave it for another version of Christianity, but it is especially hard for me to believe it right now when the RCC is being exposed from the top of all of her corruption, proving that many in the highest positions do not fear or probably even believe in God.

I’m sorry, but if you think the true Church will be without corruption, then I’m afraid you don’t even know the history of your own church – not to mention the history of the unified early church.

There will always be scandal and sin in the Church. Jesus told us so. The idea that the Church is merely the saved only is a Protestant innovation. Christ said the weeds would be with us until the end, but that the “gates of hell” would never prevail against the Church founded on Peter.

Holy Orders — even the direct commissioning of Christ — does not make a Christian leader sinless. Hint hint: Judas, anyone?


#16

@MatthaiosX

As I like to say, you can be fully Orthodox while Catholic, but not fully Catholic while Orthodox. The Catholic Church includes the fullness of the Christian faith. It is not just Roman. It is Syriac. It is Greek Byzantine. It is Coptic. It is Syro-Malabar. It is Chaldean.

You can fully experience the Eastern liturgical, spiritual, and theological tradition in Catholicism.

Catholics generally have no ax to grind with the Orthodox. The Catholic Church embraces the East, while, unfortunately, many Orthodox look to Western Christianity with suspicion.

Come on home, where there is a fullness to the faith!

And, if it is corrupt, as others here have asserted, then come on in and be a reformer! We are called to uplift the Church — all of us. We are a priestly people.


#17

I recommend the book “Upon this Rock” by Stephen K Ray. I haven’t read it, but I heard it’s really good for discerning between Orthodoxy or Catholicism.

I also recommend attending a Latin mass if there’s one near you. It might give you a better idea of our traditions as Catholics.


#18

You talk a lot of trash for being close to advocating same-sex marriage in the Catholic Church. I think before you get on these forums to give advice and opinions you should straighten out your own walk with God.

Why people like you think that the Orthodox Church thinks anything like Protestantism (which literally came from the RCC), is hard to understand. The Church is only the Saved, you should really think about Christ’s words again. Now who will be saved that is still alive is unknown to all but God and whoever He reveals it to.

God also has a tendency to expose the cut off branches so that people will not be misled and so that hopefully some will leave and join the true vine. When you have a innovation like the power the RCC gives to the hierarchy being exposed as being lower than the non-believing, this could be a sign of God’s disapproval.

The Church did not spread through Judas.


#19

You talk a lot of trash for being close to advocating same-sex marriage in the Catholic Church. I think before you get on these forums to give advice and opinions you should straighten out your own walk with God.

You might want to re-read my post before you allege “talking trash.”

I do not advocate for same-sex marriage. Nice accusation. Thanks for the trash talk, sir.

Why people like you think that the Orthodox Church thinks anything like Protestantism

Really? That’s what you got from my post? I said you were nearing the Protestant idea that the Church is purely sinless – only made up of the saved. This is a Protestant idea. Both Catholics AND Orthodox believe in a visible church, which includes more than just those who end up saved.


#20

And what are your beliefs about married gay couples in Heaven again?


#21

I believe that is correct. Rome accepts communion in an orthodox church. The orthodox have not reciprocated. The theological disagreement was over there words “and the Son” in the creed. In fact there are no words that a adequate because all three persons of the Trinity had no beginning.


#22

I’m not even sure what you’re asking, or why. And I don’t see how it has to do with the current thread.


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.