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Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115148 11/08/03 05:34 AM
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mardukm Offline
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What and where is the "Catholic Convert" Board? I am relatively new to the I-net, so I am not aware of all these interesting websites. As an Oriental Orthodox thinking of "crossing the Tiber," I am wondering if it will be of interest to me.

Thanks.

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115149 11/08/03 02:11 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by mardukm:
What and where is the "Catholic Convert" Board? I am relatively new to the I-net, so I am not aware of all these interesting websites. As an Oriental Orthodox thinking of "crossing the Tiber," I am wondering if it will be of interest to me.
IMO, I doubt it. It is dominated by lay Latin Catholics with very little insight into the Eastern Churches. I say this as a Latin Catholic myself. If you wish to see it though, here is a link: http://forums.catholic-convert.com/ I rarely post there anymore, though I scan the topics on occasion.

While I would welcome you into the Catholic family if you are led here, I would suggest one of the Eastern Catholic Churches rather than the dominate Latin one. I say this not because I think poorly of my own Church, but just that the, for lack of a better term, "culture shock" would be more extreme to you. I'm not even referring to any problems, but just orthodox Latin Catholicism as compared to what you are probably more familiar with. I do not know which Oriental Orthodox Church you are presently in, but if you wish to "swim the Tiber" as you say, you might prefer one of these:

Chaldean Catholic Church
Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
Armenian Catholic Church
Coptic Catholic Church
Ethiopian Catholic Church
Syrian Catholic Church
Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

You can find information of each of these by typing the Church name into any search engine. Google.com is my personal favorite.

Of course if you still wish to, then come on over.

Just my two cents.

Pax Christi,
John


Pax Christi,
John
Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115150 11/08/03 02:33 PM
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Hello Mardukm,

I see from your profile you are Coptic Orthodox. If you are interested in coming into union with Rome, there is a Coptic Catholic parish in Los Angeles. I checked mapquest and it seems to be 30 minutes from your town. Here is the information:

St. Mary Coptic Catholic Church
San Fernando Pastoral Region, Deanery 6

2701 Newell Street
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Voice phone: (323) 669-2822

In Christ,
Anthony

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115151 11/08/03 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by Anthony:
Hello Mardukm,

I see from your profile you are Coptic Orthodox.
LOL! Now there's something I never thought of doing: check the profile! biggrin


Pax Christi,
John
Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115152 11/10/03 08:32 AM
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Thank you for the responses. I am actually aware of the St. Mary's in the San Fernando Valley. Currently, I attend St. John's in Covina. Some friends moved to the San Fernando Valley area, and they attend Church at St. Mary's, though they are Orthodox.

I have a question: if I decide to come into communion with Rome, will I HAVE to go to St. Mary's? It is really out of the way. With traffic, it will take a little over an hour to drive there. Can I still attend Liturgy at St. John's Coptic Orthodox Church?

Yes, I certainly plan to join a Coptic Church IF I finally decide to become Catholic.

I also have another question. I am very attracted to the Catholic Church because of the authority and indefectibility it represents. Upon studying Coptic history, I discovered that my Church changed the canon of Scripture in the early part of the 20th century. This left me with a feeling of discontent. I am impressed that the Catholic Church has had a stable Canon of Scripture since 382 A.D. and has not changed it since. That is really my only discontent with my Church, but I feel it is a big one. After studying the history of Scripture, I came into contact with the Catholic Church, and there are many things I like about it (but not in the sense of opposition to my Coptic Church). A lot of the things the Catholic Church represents really makes sense to me.

My question is, I am wondering if there are Orthodox here who have come into Communion with Rome - not organizationally, but personally. I would like to hear from you. I guess I need some spiritual support with this move if God leads me there.

I think it was someone named Alex who suggested that I stay in the Coptic Orthodox Church to be a bridge for my family members. That is good advice. But at some point, I imagine I WILL become Catholic. Please pray for me that God guides my thoughts and intentions.

Thank you.

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115153 11/10/03 02:21 PM
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Dear Marduk,

I would stay away from convert boards, Catholic or Orthodox if I were you.

They don't do justice to the authentic lived faith experience of their Churches - but tend to present a rather strident if not distorted view that is a big turn-off.

Or so I say.

Alex

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115154 11/10/03 03:08 PM
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Glory to Jesus Christ!

Hello Mardukm,
Quote
I have a question: if I decide to come into communion with Rome, will I HAVE to go to St. Mary's? It is really out of the way. With traffic, it will take a little over an hour to drive there. Can I still attend Liturgy at St. John's Coptic Orthodox Church?
It is my understanding that you do not have to attend the Coptic Catholic parish if it is not convenient. You may attend any Catholic parish of whatever Sui Iuris church as the need arises.

I also am given to understand that at the time of your reception into the church you will declare which Sui Iuris church you will enter into. I believe that you will automatically be considered a Coptic Catholic unless you decide otherwise, but make sure that this is clearly done correctly at the time.

You may wish to be received at the church of St Mary's by a Coptic Catholic priest. If you really want to attend a more convenient parish elsewhere you could register at another parish later, you would always be considered a Coptic Catholic wherever you worship (if that's what you want).

As to continuing to attend the Coptic Orthodox church, that may be possible, someone more knowledgeable than I will have to answer that. Consult the Catholic priest at Saint Mary's first. If the Catholic priest is agreeable then you would still need the permission of the Coptic Orthodox priest to continue to receive the Holy Mysteries, you may be denied.

You never know, if the Catholic community grows enough you may be able to participate in the founding of another Coptic Catholic parish closer to home!

Peace in Christ,
Michael

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115155 11/10/03 04:20 PM
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Dear Michael,

What you said reminds me of Met. Andrew Sheptytsky and the mother of Bl. Leonid Fyodorov.

She became a Russian Byzantine Catholic and her confessor was a Polish priest who told her she could not attend the Russian Orthodox Church for the celebration of the Horologion - or anything.

When Met. Andrew visited her, she revealed her pain (there were no Russian Catholic parishes anywhere near her to speak of).

And to this, Met. Andrew replied, "Why can't you attend daily Matins and Vespers (as was her custom as an Orthodox Christian) at an Orthodox church? Or kiss the Cross etc.? All these things are holy."

Alex

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115156 11/11/03 12:41 AM
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Originally posted by mardukm:
Upon studying Coptic history, I discovered that my Church changed the canon of Scripture in the early part of the 20th century.
Interesting, I have never run across this myself. What exactly was 'changed' and why? Is there any sources you could provide? I ask because studying the formation of Scripture is a 'hobby' of mine as well. Many find it boring, but I find it to be fascinating.

Quote
I am impressed that the Catholic Church has had a stable Canon of Scripture since 382 A.D. and has not changed it since.
Yes and no. Yes, the Canon did not change and remained the same in just about every ecclesiastical list I am aware of since Carthage and Hippo. However, the exact status of the deuterocanonicals was in dispute for centuries after. Are they equal to the protocanonicals? Below them? Etc. One finds great Western Fathers such as St. Gregory the Great and others like St. Hugo of Victor express doubts about the canonicity of the deuteros, even up to outright rejection of them as being such. Of course, most who did make these statements also quoted from them liberally as being Scripture. So it would seem they viewed the deuteros as inspired but on a level below that of the protocanonicals (I suppose a canon within a canon so to speak). This would be the so-called Jeromist position after St. Jerome. Still many others followed St. Augustine's position and these books remained in the Canon. There was much more to this, but the issue wasn't settled definitavely in the Catholic Church until Trent in response to the Protestants.

Pax Christi,
John


Pax Christi,
John
Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115157 11/12/03 07:28 AM
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Dear Alex,

Thank you for the advice. I just want to look, and I will keep my guard up. I have read many of your posts, and you are a great example of an Eastern Christian in communion with Rome.

Dear John,

The reference to the change in Canon is in the Coptic Encyclopedia. Unfortunately, I do not have the specific reference, but that is where I read it. I am thinking of going to Fuller this weekend, and I will look up the specific reference for you.

Also, from my investigation of the history of Scripture, the fact that the Coptic Jacobites had the same Canon as the Catholic Church during their reunion at the Council of Florence left a favorable impression on me. I also do not accept the commonly perceived notion that Jerome rejected the Deuterocanonicals. I recall in one of his letters that his supposed diminution of the Deuterocanon was not his own opinion - he was simply expressing the opinion of the Jews. I think this explanatory note has often been overlooked. Even of those Fathers, Pope Athanasius particularly, though certainly not singly, who did not include the Deuterocanonicals in their canonical list nevertheless quoted them AS SCRIPTURE elsewhere.

Blessings

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115158 11/12/03 04:51 PM
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Dear Mardukm,

Thank you for the undeserved compliment!

As a potential Coptic Catholic, you will be in communion with TWO Popes, that of Rome and of Alexandria!

The scriptural canons actually vary among the Eastern Churches as you know.

The Ethiopian Church includes the Books of Enoch and Jubilees in its OT canon - and the 8 books of the Apostolic Constitutions in its New Testament Canon (together with the two books of Clement, I believe).

The Byzantine Orthodox tradition basically agrees, I think, on the third book of Maccabees, the Prayer of Mannases, the 151st Psalm and, one or two more books of Esdras as part of the OT canon.

The Assyrian Church has 22 New Testament books in its Canon.

The Roman Catholic Church now places the two books of Clement and the Prayer of Manasses in an appendix, but they, at one, time were read as scripture.

The Celtic Church added the books of the Shepherd of Hermas and the Apostles' Creed in its New Testament long ago.

But, in fact, the Eastern Churches do read the deuterocanonical Gospels etc. and take much from them in its construction of liturgical feasts.

In fact, the New Testament canon as we know it presupposes that we are familiar with the deuterocanonical books that are nowhere in our Bibles today . . .

For example, the first chapter of John talks about Nathaniel and the sycamore tree.

There is a deuterocanonical text that explains that Nathaniel, when he was young, got very sick and that his brother died from the illness.

His mother panicked but then heard of a miracle-working child in the vicinity and His mother, Maryam.

Maryam quickly told Nathaniel's mother to place her ill son on the bedclothes of her baby Jesus under the sycamore tree.

She did so - and Nathaniel was cured.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus praises Nathaniel and Nathaniel asks Him how He knew him . . .

Jesus then mentioned the sycamore tree to Nathaniel - and Nathaniel immediately recognized that Jesus was the "miracle-baby" who had cured him and so praises Christ etc.

A well-balanced Orthodox Catholic life includes reading both the canonical Scriptures and the deuterocanonical texts, as well as the Fathers.

Alex

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115159 11/12/03 06:19 PM
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Alex,

Maybe it's one of my (few) Protestant hangups, but isn't a definite Canon of Scripture of the utmost importance?

Does it not cause a problem for the Oriental, Eastern Orthodox, and Catholic Churches to have slightly different Canons? It seems odd that one Church would consider Book X as the Inspired Word of God whereas another Church would consider Book X as of merely human origin.

Logos Teen

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115160 11/12/03 07:02 PM
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History shows us that the minor variances in the canon have always been a fact of life, even in the undivided church. Even in the NT, just look at the late acceptance of Revelation in the East, or the disagreements on II Peter and Hebrews for many hundreds of years.

Our faith is based on Jesus Christ, not on a book or collection of books, even though they are of singular importance.

Priest Thomas

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115161 11/12/03 07:36 PM
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Dear Teen Logo,

As a potential Catholic, I think you should listen to the Orthodox Father Thomas here!

Actually, the fact that there were slight differences in the scriptural canons among the Churches over the years highlights the role of the Church in establishing the canon - a role that is a continuing one.

Any Christian who adheres to the NT Canon of 27 books, for example, is, at one and the same time making an act of trust in the Church that established the canon.

I don't think there can be any greater counter-argument to the Protestant view of "Scripture vs the Church."

The Bible didn't fall down from Heaven. To deny the role of the Church in establishing its canon is a practical impossibility.

In addition, the deuterocanonical scriptures mentioned are likewise inspired and do contain information about the lives of Our Lord, His Mother and the Apostles that we would otherwise not have.

The Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of the Mother of God is entirely based on those deuterocanonical scriptures.

So is the Feast of the Dormition, the doctrine of Mary's intercession etc.

They are all contained somewhere in books that didn't make it into the Canon of the Scripture, but are still considered inspired and useful.

There are also heretical books that the Church has condemned that we have to be wary of.

Alex

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115162 11/12/03 07:38 PM
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Trent

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