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#306753 - 12/11/08 04:58 PM Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic?  
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Mike L. Offline
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Mike L.  Offline
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We have recently posted at length on the topic Do Most EC Converts Eventually Join The Orthodox Church?

I think that it was a fascinating and sobering discussion. I think it would be a good idea to balance this discussion out and ask the same question in reverse.

Do converts to Eastern Orthodoxy switch over to Easter Catholicism? What reasons are there for doing so? I am sure that Peter and his successors having the keys to the Kingdom might be the main reason for coming into communion with Rome, but what other reasons are there for doing so?

Mike L.

#306764 - 12/11/08 06:27 PM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: Mike L.]  
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The young fogey Offline
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The quick answer is I imagine not: possibly they retain a Protestant aversion to the Pope, and/or intellectually they're convinced and/or they're being fed and just fine where they are. With a few exceptions of course, who like in the EC-to-EO phenom talk themselves into switching after lots of reading and are commoner online than in real life... ex-RCs who change their minds and revert (I've met some... often in those cases it's the pull of emotion, and the anti-Westernism pushed them back), and ex-Protestants who find something in RC apologetics and make another switch.

IRL I've met a born Orthodox who switched many years ago but that was more an example of people floating from Byzantine church to Byzantine church thanks to one of the commonest reasons, marriage.

My guess is there are more cases like that (ethnic marries an RC and joins to fit in) than the intellectual converts.

Like most people don't read their way into becoming Episcopalians or Methodists. They join their spouse's church, it's the main church in town, they like it, etc.

#306765 - 12/11/08 06:38 PM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: The young fogey]  
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Lawrence Offline
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I know of a couple people who went from Ukrainian Orthodox to Ukrainian Catholic because of there marriage, but they did that many years ago.

#306905 - 12/12/08 03:51 PM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: Lawrence]  
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Fr Serge Keleher Offline
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Fr Serge Keleher  Offline
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Over the years, I have met quite a number of people who became Eastern Orthodox and then became Eastern Catholics (I suggest the book Through the East to Rome).

I also had the pleasure of chrismating someone who was subjected to infant Baptism in the Lutheran Church, only because the neighbor lady believed (correctly) that children should be baptized and Chuck's parents simply didn't care. The parents never darkened the door of any religious edifice for other than social reasons; Chuck's father died and was buried by an undertaker.

At University, Chuck almost became Eastern Orthodox until he suddenly discovered, purely through reading, the existence of Greek-Catholicism, and decided this was for him. He then nearly lost his mind, unable to find any Greek-Catholics. Eventually he happened to find a friend of mine, who put him in touch with me.

We arranged to meet in Chicago, for the Divine Liturgy at Saints Volodymyr and Ol'ha - my thought was that if anything would discourage him, that would - the only word of English in the place is the notice 'EXIT' on the fire exits.

Joke on me - it was love at first sight. So he came to Canada at Pentecost and was chrismated. He's still doing fine in the wonderful world of Greek-Catholicism.

Fr. Serge

#307161 - 12/15/08 03:49 AM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: Mike L.]  
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Ruthenian Offline
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Ruthenian  Offline
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I have only seen a few EO to EC...a priest serving us is the most surprising case and there have been a few more I've met but it is by far more common to see the opposite - EC to EO.

#307235 - 12/15/08 07:00 PM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: Ruthenian]  
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Sznieg1986 Offline
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I know what you mean. I have friends who were Byzantine Catholics and converted to Eastern Orthodox. I think one of the big factors is location and the distance in traveling to church. In my area, we're lucky to have both churches. I always considered the option of both depending on how far the drive would be for each church.

#307254 - 12/15/08 10:40 PM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: Sznieg1986]  
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MarkosC Offline
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Quick answer: there are such people. Sometimes the reason is dogmatic along the lines that we usually discuss. Sometimes it relates to dogmatic/moral theological reasons that we would not normally talk about in such a discussion. Sometimes it's because parish life is "better" in one place versus the other.

And as mentioned in the other thread, some people openly claim to be Orthodox but who attend Greek Catholic parishes. Perfectly fine as far as Catholic pastoral practice is concerned; what their home jurisdiction thinks is that person's business not mine.

#307333 - 12/16/08 07:22 PM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: MarkosC]  
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asianpilgrim Offline
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I have a friend who was born of a Filipino Catholic mother and a Greek Orthodox father; he was baptized Orthodox in Greece.

At the age of 13, feeling attracted to Catholicism but unwilling to leave behind his Rite, he went (or so he told me) to the Greek Catholic cathedral in Athens and was received into the Greek Catholic Church.

At present, he lives in the Philippines. Given the complete absence of Eastern Catholicism in the Philippines, he occasionally attends (but does not commune at) the Greek Orthodox cathedral in Paranaque. He is also a Dominican tertiary, and lives as a Latin Catholic. However, he is quite strict about observing the traditional fasts of the Orthodox Church and he frequently says the Jesus Prayer.

#307334 - 12/16/08 07:36 PM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: asianpilgrim]  
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Hieromonk Ambrose Offline
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Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
At the age of 13, feeling attracted to Catholicism but unwilling to leave behind his Rite, he went (or so he told me) to the Greek Catholic cathedral in Athens and was received into the Greek Catholic Church.

Isn't that illegal? It used to be that the conversion of a Greek Orthodox in Greece was illegal under the age of 16. It was not the converted teenager but the (usually) Protestant minister who faced a Greek Court.

#307335 - 12/16/08 07:38 PM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: Hieromonk Ambrose]  
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AMM Offline
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Forget the legality, they let a 13 year old make a decision about conversion and accepted him?

Last edited by AMM; 12/16/08 07:38 PM.
#307339 - 12/16/08 08:30 PM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: asianpilgrim]  
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Hieromonk Ambrose Offline
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Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
IAt present, he lives in the Philippines. Given the complete absence of Eastern Catholicism in the Philippines,

The Church of Antioch has 32 communities in the Philippines. The Greek Orthodox also have some as well as the Russian Church Abroad.

http://www.ocp.uni.cc/

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Orthodoxy_in_the_Philippines

#307388 - 12/17/08 09:38 AM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: Hieromonk Ambrose]  
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asianpilgrim Offline
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Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
IAt present, he lives in the Philippines. Given the complete absence of Eastern Catholicism in the Philippines,

The Church of Antioch has 32 communities in the Philippines. The Greek Orthodox also have some as well as the Russian Church Abroad.

http://www.ocp.uni.cc/

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Orthodoxy_in_the_Philippines


Father Ambrose, I was speaking of the Eastern CATHOLICS. At present, to the best of my knowledge, there is one Filipino Melkite priest and one (or two) Filipino Maronite priests, but they are all in the USA. There are Maronites in the Philippines but they have happily blended into the Latin Rite.

My own spiritual director is biritual, having served in Romania during the 1990's as a Jesuit serving the Greek Catholic communities. However, at present, he does not exercise his faculties.

We have an old monsignor who is authorized to offer the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom on occasion, but he does so only for a select congregation. And I think he does it only once a year, or less.

As for the Orthodox, the state of Orthodoxy in the Philippines is a mess.

There is a tiny Greek Orthodox community, but it hasn't grown much in the past several years, although they do have a trickle of converts. There are four Filipino priests plus the Greek vicar. Their cathedral is in Paranaque City, Metro Manila. They do not actively proselytize, but they do take care of a lot of poor children, who are raised Orthodox. The Sunday Divine Liturgy in the cathedral typically lasts an hour or so.

The recent establishment of an Antiochian jurisdiction in the Philippines has occasioned no small controversy and scandal. In addition to the apparent animosity that developed between the Greek and Antiochian jurisdictions over Met. Paul Saliba's un-publicized visits and mass ordinations of former Protestant and vagante ministers and priests, there is also the question of the liturgy. The new "Antiochian" priests offer the Novus Ordo with all the typical Filipino liturgical abuses (no alb under the chasuble, just street clothes; stole on top of chasuble or chasu-alb, etc.) and this has resulted in not a few people mistaking them for Roman Catholics.

Personally, as an observer on the sidelines, I am deeply troubled by the Antiochian enterprise; not so much because it is an "invasion" of a traditionally Catholic country, but because of the kind of people they are dealing with.

Please realize that the Philippines has a very bad "episcopi vagantes" mania, with dozens of them all over the place, claiming apostolic succession from this or that Patriarch, etc. Most of these groups pose as "Orthodox" or as "Eastern Catholic", and given the general ignorance of people here about Orthodoxy (something that isn't surprising at all), a lot of people do mistake these vagantes as the real Orthodox or Eastern Catholic! Indeed, a few years ago, a man posing as a Byzantine Catholic bishop fooled the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila into granting him an audience and inviting him to an important occasion. Only when another, more suspicious archbishop asked the Vatican to verify did it turn out that the man was a member of an American vagante group trying to establish itself in the Philippines.

Now, to make matters worse, many of these so-called "Orthodox" offer the Novus Ordo or something very similar, not the Byzantine Liturgy or any Eastern liturgy. One big group calling itself the "Byzantine Catholic Church Incorporated" -- its headquarters are a mere 15 minutes away from my house -- offers a "Syrian Qurbono" with "inculturated vestments and language" (go figure) and claims to be part of the "Assyrian Church". I wonder what Mar Dinkha IV will make of their married episcopate and their "Carmelite" friars!

And now, you have (presumably) real Orthodox priests acting just like these vagantes, calling themselves Eastern but offering the usual Filipino Latin Rite mass? I really wonder if the Antiochian Patriarchate knows what it is getting into by accepting marginal Protestants and ex-vagantes! Personally, my fear is that the brand-new Antiochian priests will end up establishing their own vagante community. God forbid that it happen: we have too many vagantes already. I hope that, at the very least, Antioch will insist that these new priests learn the Byzantine Rite asap.

As for the ROCOR, I think that this is an interesting question.

A member of the diakonia in the Greek Orthodox cathedral once told me that "St. John of Shanghai never chrismated any Filipino into Orthodoxy." He did, however, admit that there is a small group of Filipinos in Samar island (in the eastern part of the central Philippines) who claim to have been converted to Orthodoxy by the saint. (Tubabao island is near Samar). I've never had the chance to research the group, but the thought of a "lost Russian Orthodox community" in a remote part of the Philippines should be of interest to you!

There was also a Russian Orthodox presence in Manila in the 1930's and I'd be astounded if indeed not a single Filipino had become Orthodox then.

Incidentally, Deacon Martinian of the Russian Patriarchate in NY is a full-blooded Filipino, born in Bacolod City.

Last edited by asianpilgrim; 12/17/08 09:47 AM.
#307395 - 12/17/08 10:10 AM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: asianpilgrim]  
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asianpilgrim Offline
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asianpilgrim  Offline
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#307399 - 12/17/08 10:21 AM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: asianpilgrim]  
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asianpilgrim Offline
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asianpilgrim  Offline
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Coming back to the topic, lest this thread get shut down because of me:

Are there cases of Eastern Orthodox becoming Eastern Catholic because a nearby Eastern Catholic parish is more "authentically Eastern" than the neighboring Orthodox parishes?

THAT would be very interesting!

#307407 - 12/17/08 10:58 AM Re: Eastern Orthodox switching to Eastern Catholic? [Re: asianpilgrim]  
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Hieromonk Ambrose Offline
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Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
This is what I'm talking about re Antiochians in the Philippines.

Seems unsound. Of course, in the USA the Antiochians have one Novus Ordo parish, in Florida. It is indistinguishable in ethos, liturgy, music, and practice from any Cuban Catholic Novus Ordo parish

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