Why would a Roman Catholic become Orthodox?


The first one got closed, so I’ll re-start it.


… because the nuns didn’t strap them hard enough in grade school? :stuck_out_tongue:


There are lots of reasons why Roman Catholics convert to Orthodoxy. Some of these reasons are subjective, whereas others are objective. In my opinion, one of the best objective reasons for such a conversion is the continuity of appearance of the modern Orthodox Church with the ancient Church. The Holy Fathers were as conservative in practice as they were in doctrine. The holy Elder Paisios of Mount Athos says:

When there is a respect for small things, there will be an even greater respect towards the bigger things. When there is no respect for small things, then neither will there be for the bigger ones. This is how the Fathers maintained Tradition.

I believe that if one reads the writings of the Holy Fathers of the first millennium, they will see the truth in Elder Paisios’ statement. Even though Orthodoxy believes that her expression of Faith may develop in an organic fashion, she doesn’t endorse radical changes of her traditions. From my observation of the Western Church since the Great Schism of 1054, she seems to have disregarded this organic development and has felt no special fidelity to her ancient traditions of iconography, liturgy, fasting, forms of prayer and devotion, style of theology, canonical tradition, ancient hagiographical details and countless other minor traditions of her heritage. This is regretful and really hurts the claim of the Roman Catholic Church to be the Church of the Holy Fathers.

I encourage all people to remember to not disregard what their eyes and ears tell them when looking for the original Church. Any quote by Roman Catholic apologists that is supposed to prove the doctrine of the Papacy is only as convincing as the form of the Church that champions such a quote. The pearl of the ancient Faith will always be enclosed in the shell of the ancient Church.

God bless,




Good one!

:rotfl: :rotfl:


A wide range of causes, from disillusionment with the Catholic Church (or at least, the segment they are involved in), a Church hopping tendency (the endless pursuit of the exotic “new”), to a sincere and persistent doubt about core Catholic doctrines, particularly concerning the Pope. Not to mention, some may be convinced that beyond any intellectual reasons, God is calling them to make such a change.



I think that all the reasons that you just mentioned may be fulfilled in one of the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite, so I don’t think that they are very good reasons to convert to Orthodoxy.


Since the Eastern-rite Catholics are in communion with the Latin Church, they must accept the practices of the Latin Church as approved practices of their Church. If the Latin Church cheapens her claim to be the ancient Church by her lack of fidelity to her ancient traditions, this equally applies to the Eastern-rite Catholics who choose to consider her part of the Church. By choosing communion with Papal Rome, they are affirming that the breaks with tradition in the Latin Church are part of the ancient Church and are thus liable for what I stated in my post.

God bless,




It depends on whether one sees the difference between East and West as two different but equal and complementary perspectives or as orthodox/heterodox. Assuming for a moment that the West has indeed abandoned all the traditions that Adam mentioned, if you see that change as wrong, as infidelity then becoming Eastern Catholic solves nothing, for you are still a part of an unfaithful Church.

You can’t be Eastern Catholic and say (in good conscience) "I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is wrong."


I think I see your point, but you have to realize that even if an individual is disappointed at the supposed changes in the practice of the early Church, if he believes in the papacy as the Catholic Church teaches it, he/she would not convert to Eastern Orthodoxy.

So I think that for an individual to convert to Orthodoxy he/she would also need to reject the papacy --as the Catholic Church teaches it-- in addition to the reasons that you mentioned.


I think that assessment is correct, although I suspect that a thorough disillusionment with the practices of the Catholic Church will lead to a rejection of the papacy, along the lines of “How can the papacy be correct, if the Church-with-papacy has done all these things?”


Pragmatics rather than theology :confused: – the next best compromise, usually associated with marriage. An Orthodox/Roman marriage, where the compromise goes the other direction, and the couple prefers to attend church together. Annullment issue, where for some technical reason, a formal Roman annullment is impossible.


I also think it has to do with issues of trust and credibility. Since we both read the Holy Fathers and seek to live in continuity with the early Church, our different choices of Churches isn’t based on a faulty desire for the truth. It must be based on which Church we trust to be the faithful interpreter of the faith and wisdom of the ancient Church. When I see the form of the ancient Church so well preserved in Holy Orthodoxy, I’m inclined to trust her interpretation of the writings and actions of the early Church over that of the Roman Catholic Church, which looks very different from the Church these quotes came from. Like I said, the pearl of the ancient Faith will always be enclosed in the shell of the ancient Church. The Church that preserves the Faith of the Fathers, will also be able to manifest this continuity in other than solely academic ways. That Church will still look, feel and act like the ancient Church. I believe the evidence shows that the Holy Orthodox Church is that Church.

God bless,



Respectfully, Adam, while I can agree with this in principle, the problem is only certain fathers, namely Greek fathers are represented and respected in such a view. The important contributions, liturgical and theological of the western Fathers and western councils is completely ignored in such an assesment. So one could rightfully said that this is true with selected fathers that the east is/was more exposed to are the ones considered. Netiher was the Byzantine the most ancient liturgical expression and itself required extensive change in liturgical practice that cannot be called organic at that time. But I see nothing wrong with that. But half the pre-schism church is ignored in such an approach is the absolutely essential role of the pre-schism latin west in combatting and overcoming most of the heresies born in the east and effecting most of the eastern bishops at certain times.

In other words, I agree with you if we include the whole church at the time.



One reason I can think of, is the desire to be in a legitimately apostolic church whose practice and expression can tend to overwhelm someone with scrupulosity. I have this type of personality and frankly find freedom in Christ sometimes difficult between confessions, never sure if I am in a state of grace except right after confession. The Orthodox seem seem to not have such a psychological trap for people like me. But is my problem and does not make Orthodoxy the church or Catholicism not the church.



But the entire east was in communion with the Latin church for centuries. Isn’t is a major change to no longer be so?


This raises a question: how does an individual (such as you or I) discover the form of the ancient Church apart from an interpretation of her writings and actions? If I were to interpret these things with Roman Catholic eyes, it would not be surprising if I found them in agreement with Roman Catholic views. Likewise for the Orthodox. It’s possible for that process to be nothing more than saying, “I discovered that a Roman Catholic interpretation is consistent with itself” or “I discovered that an Orthodox interpretation is consistent with itself.”

Is the historical record sufficiently vast and comprehensive to allow us to reconstruct the form of the ancient Church apart from a Catholic or Orthodox bias?


There is nothing wrong with converting to Eastern Catholicism if that is where your cultural ties lay.

To convert to the EO on the other hand is a matter of leaving obedience to authority and for this there should be no reason.

Though dispair may be one reason there is no good theological or scholastic reason to do so.



Untrue. They most certainly may maintain their eastern practices and culture and are encouraged to do so.

There is no break with tradition in the Roman Church.

I think your confusing the practices of men and the Laws of Christ.

Sure we develop methods for devotion out of love for Jesus but they do not then become binding laws.



Well, personally I find it annoying when either Catholics or Orthodox leave their original traditions. I want to say, “You guys have a good thing going, why give it up?” I am reluctant to let go of my Protestant heritage, which is far more dubious in many ways. Why are you so eager to give up your rich and ancient heritage for something you, with your fallible private judgment, think is better?

I’m becoming increasingly hostile to the idea of anyone converting from one religious tradition to another under any circumstances (particularly a Christian tradition, of course–I can’t say as a Christian that it’s wrong for non-Christians to become Christians, though I’m less and less enthusiastic about trying to convert adherents of other religions). But Catholicism and Orthodoxy both have so much truth and goodness that it seems the height of presumption to abandon either.



So, then where is the respect for the biggest Church in the world?


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