those converting to Catholic or Orthodox Church: ever have lingering doubt about the other Church?

I’m mostly settled on converting to the Catholic Church, but there’s always this “other voice” that wonders whether the Orthodox Church is correct, too.

From what I can gather from limited reading on the internetz, some of the Orthodox are more “eager” to claim that the Roman Church is heretical, whereas the Latins seem to extend an olive branch.

If the Holy Spirit is present in both Churches (as evidenced by holy saints, miracles, Apostolic succession, and Sacraments), does it really matter in the end for attaining theosis/Beatific Vision?

Does God place people in either Church for reasons known only to Him?

If I were to become fully Catholic, I just have a hard time thinking the Orthodox are heretics or even schismatic at the core foundation…

I was a convert to Catholicism, and I always had doubts, not just about Orthodoxy.

Yes. I’ve been Catholic and Orthodox & yes there is always doubt.

By The Holy See’s own teaching the Orthodox Churches are in communion with Rome they are just not part of the Latin Rite. I have even heard the teachers on EWTN council Roman Catholics that it is acceptable to commune with Orthodox peoples if they cannot find a Latin Rite Church.

I would say do not try to unravel the mysteries of the will of God but rather focus on where you are being led and pray for others to the same.

God bless

I was a pentecostal convert to Coptic Orthodox Church, and 1 month ago I joined the Catholic Eastern Rite. I still have doubts often about whether this was the right decision. But the more i think, the more i realise I made the right decision. On this rock I shall build my church. The Orthodox church are catholic, just seperated by their own choice. I respect that. I believe we shall see reunification within the next 2 centuries. The very fact that alot of members on both sides have stopped calling each other heretics is astounding. For myself, being a miaphysite Catholic, for 1550 years the coptic orthodox were viewed as heretical by Rome. No longer, due to christological agreements. We believe the same thing. This is why I became a catholic, the schism is meant to be over. GBU in all you do, and please pray for me.

Good post.

Perhaps this post will help your discernment:
Why I Am Not Eastern Orthodox -Jimmy Akin

It helps me and I often refer to it.


Doubt is one thing, but the type of doubt is another. I only left the Roman communion when it became painfully unavoidable to me that I did not and could not honestly say that I shared the same faith as my coreligionists with regard to various distinctively RCC doctrines (or ever would).

I would say that if you have the kinds of doubts that can be answered and worked through in discussions with your local RC priest, then I would not worry about it too much. You can live with those kinds of doubts, even after baptism. Those are part of growing in the faith. If, however, your doubts are of a more fundamentally irreconcilable character regarding what the church in particular affirms, it would be a good idea to explore those in more depth with people from all the churches you are exploring.


What Dzheremi states here is 100 percent truth. You must follow what you believe. Its its little things, speak to a priest about it. Not all of us go to the extremes of me and dzheremi, but we both had to make the swap because we were being dishonest with ourselves.

Do not be afraid of knowledge, pray, and trust God.

You know, I’ve never considered this question, but if asked I would’ve expected my answer to be the opposite. I don’t think I doubt the question of whether Roman Catholicism might be the True Church.

My experiences with Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy have left me with no questions about the True Church. I don’t expect that to be the same for everyone, but I have no doubts on this subject, which surprises me.

Also this forum is a great place to learn more as you have catholics orthodox, orthodox-catholic converts and catholic-orthodox converts. A bit of everything.

I spent several years in Orthodoxy and am now studying Catholicism. The only doubts will be from lack of knowledge about the other. You will not be missing anything by becoming Catholic and yes, Catholics are much more open to Orthodox people than the other way around. I have heard some very unpleasant things said about Catholics from many Orthodox, but rarely the other way around.

Everything you can find in Orthodoxy is found within Catholicism and more. Ultimately, it’s up to you and where you think the full deposit of faith is to be found. And in the end, it all boils down to the Pope. Seriously! Either you believe the Pope is the successor of Peter who was given the Keys or you don’t. If you do, you’re choice is clear.

I am not sure if you have read Fr. Ray Ryland’s conversion story…he investigated both and made the decision where to go…

Here is an interesting article from him:

Soloviev’s Amen - A Russian Orthodox Argument for the Papacy

Almost ten years ago, Soloviev’s Russia and the Universal Church, published in 1895, appeared in an English abridgement – The Russian Church and the Papacy (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2001). It contains the development of two Solovievan themes: One is an analysis of the harm inflicted on the Russian Church (and therefore on all Eastern Orthodox Churches) by separation from Roman jurisdiction; the other, an apologetic for the papacy, which in my opinion has scarcely been surpassed.

n his argument, Soloviev recalls a popular Russian legend to illustrate the difference in outlook between the Catholic Church and the various Eastern Orthodox Churches. Saints Nicholas and Cassian were once sent from Paradise to visit the earth. They met a peasant whose heavily loaded wagon was stuck in the mud. St. Nicholas proposed that they help the peasant, but St. Cassian objected that he didn’t want to get his coat dirty. St. Nicholas plunged into the mud and by his efforts enabled the peasant’s horses to pull the wagon free.

When they returned to Paradise, St. Nicholas’s clothes were tattered and covered with mud. When St. Peter asked for an explanation, St. Nicholas told him what he had done. St. Peter asked St. Cassian whether he had been with St. Nicholas to help the peasant. St. Cassian’s excuse was, “Yes, but I don’t meddle in things that are no concern of mine, and I was especially anxious not to get my beautiful clean coat dirty.”

Contrary to Fr. Ray’s claim that “those familiar with Orthodoxy well know” that there is no one Eastern Orthodox Church, there are in fact plenty of people familiar with Orthodoxy who know that there is one Orthodox Catholic Church, and who understand that the principle of a communion of autocephalous churches comes straight from the ecclesiology of the First Millennium. Really, the claim I think is nothing more than a bit of polemical bigotry, on par with claims by Protestants that “Catholics worship Mary.”

Now as for so-called “caesaropapism,” Fr. Ray conveniently forgets to mention that Solovyov’s take on Church history is based on 100-year-old biases, which are largely inaccurate. The Eastern Church, for example, often resisted so-called caesaropapism (take the moechian controversies for example, or the resistance to the unionist councils of Lyons and Florence), and there have been times when the Western Church embraced it (for example, when the Northern Italian bishops successfully appealed to the Emperor to protect their historic autonomy from the See of Rome, after Pope St. Gregory had sent armed men in an attempt to obtain the submission of those churches), and even when popes willingly embraced the principle (for example, the entire period known as the Byzantine papacy, when nobody questioned the Emperor or Exarch of Ravenna’s right to confirm a papal candidate’s election, or the numerous times when rival claimants to the papacy would submit appeals to the civil authorities to determine them to be the legitimate claimant).

“Catholics are much more open to Orthodox people than the other way around. I have heard some very unpleasant things said about Catholics from many Orthodox, but rarely the other way around.”

Repetitive point I see come up.

"through an ethical and social standpoint,“converting to Roman Catholicism”

Actually it’s the Eastern Catholic Churches that are in communion with Rome. Orthodoxy denies papal authority, and so reject the practical primacy of Rome. And while the divine liturgies in both the Eastern Catholic and the Orthodox churches use valid sacraments, Orthodox divine liturgies don’t fulfill one’s holy obligation on Sunday. Just wanted to clear things out :smiley:

I disagree here. That’s not true.

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