What is Truth? I consider myself a seeker of truth, and I am sure that most other readers of these forums would consider themselves that, as well. I have viewed and researched the Catholic faith, be it Latin or Eastern Rites, along with Eastern Orthodoxy for a number of years. I was raised in several churches of the Protestant Faith early in my life and during that time did a fair amount of reading and familiarizing myself also with a number of the Eastern religions. I determined that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches offer the closest resemblance of the teachings and practices of the early church. In my estimation they represent the closest to what would be called the “fullness of faith”.
When we try to break it down between the Orthodox and the Catholic churches, it can sometimes get grey, as to who actually holds the “fullness of that truth”. I mean that comment in complete respect for both Churches. The Eastern Orthodox claim they are the true church, the Catholics claim they are the true church. Each saying the other splint from them and are in schism. Are they both right, or is one being mis-represented?
When you read the Orthodox side, they have what appears to be very vaild arguments against the Papacy, while claiming an unchanging faith and practice since the time of the Apostles, with a very aesectic and mystical approach to their worship. They provide a very convincing argument as the true church. However, their lack of number of churches in some areas and sometimes lack of ethinic diversity in some churches (not true in many churches) may prove to be difficult to claim to be the universal church.
The Catholic Church seems to provide equitable evidence for their stance in regard to the authenticity of the Papacy and feel they have adapted to the concerns of modern life while still maintaining traditional teachings. Within the Catholic Church they have what may be more of a claim as a universal church because of numbers and diversity, but yet seem to suffer from differences within the church as to the direction it is going. The post Vatican II Church saw a massive change in its worship and many took the changes as an open door for an “anything goes policy”. The Church seems to be trying to reclaim some of its traditions and clarify a more conservative interpetation. Many conservative Catholic feel they are loyal to the teaching of the magisterium while accepting what guidelines have been given by the Vatican. Others want to return to the traditional form of worship before Vatican II and feel that the moral guidelines and teachings need to be enforced more. Some even go so far as to not recognize any Popes after Vatican II, or other as far back to the beginning of the 20th century.
The Eastern Rite Churches try to provide a bridge between the Orthodox and Catholics but have diffculty at times gaining acceptance by either the Eastern Orthodox or Latin Rite Catholics.
My hope would be for unification of the faiths, but it doesn’t appear that wil take place in the near future.
My point in all this is what I see as a difficulty for many believers knowing what direction to turn. Someone seeking to follow the right path would hope they would not take the wrong road. On the forums I have seen numerous folks who have indicated they have bounced around between the faiths and can’t seem to find their direction.
Each Church posseses many positives, but where does the Truth lie? Is there only one truth, or is there opportunity for more than one truth? Can they both be deemed completely acceptable? I would think there would be one truth, but where is the answer?