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Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: Chad2279] #363342
04/20/11 01:13 PM
04/20/11 01:13 PM
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In making this decision, it would be helpful to read stories of those who converted from Eastern Rite Catholicism to Orthodoxy, and from Orthodoxy to Eastern Rite Catholicism, to understand what factors led other people to choose one instead of the other. Regarding the conversion of Eastern Rite Catholics to Orthodoxy, there is the story of the patristic scholar and abbot Fr. Placide (Desielle) and his monastery in France that joined the Orthodox Church years ago. He is probably one of the most noteworthy, though not the only one to make such a decision. Here are some other accounts of those who made this journey:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/category/convert-stories/non-orthodox-christians/roman-catholics/byzantine-catholics

I am less familiar with Orthodox who have become Eastern Rite Catholics, but perhaps someone else can respond to this message with a link to some such stories so that Chad can see both sides?

Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: sielos ilgesys] #363346
04/20/11 01:53 PM
04/20/11 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys
Well, we've all progressed. We ECs don't bang icons of St. Josaphat upside the heads of our Orthodox brethren and they don't fling censers filled with blazing coals around our necks.
We're on our way to the Kingdom of God and I think we'll arrive there together.


Oh no you shouldn't have said that. Now I will have these silly images in my head all day !

Seraphim grin

Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: Converted Viking] #363356
04/20/11 04:12 PM
04/20/11 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Converted Viking
Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys
My impression is that Catholics who join the Orthodox Church and then, for various reasons, wish to return to the Catholic Church, can do so rather easily. Someone correct me if I am wrong but I believe the return can come about during sacramental confession. NB I do not think Catholics who join the Orthodox Church are necessarily committing a sin by so doing...folks who want to return will not be asked to face west and spit on the Orthodox Church.
What a weird thing to do. One more reason our Churches are perceived as kooky and unappealing by the general public.


The whole thing with turning ones back and spitting on the RC when converting to Orthodoxy is really off the wall. This did not happen when I converted to the Orthodox Church. Frankly I don't know what to think or say other than I am dumbfounded.

In Christ
Seraphim<Converted Viking>


The metaphorical "spitting" comment was probably spawned by the revelations in this thread Hilarion of Volokolamsk-"Schismatic" Sacraments Not Grace-Giving. I, too, was rather dumbfounded by the view of many Orthodox that our Mysteries are not "grace-filled" but to them are an empty ritual.

It makes me glad that I am an Eastern Catholic who can appreciate the graces which God grants upon those of both the Eastern and Western Churches, apostolic but sadly and scandalously divided.

Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: sielos ilgesys] #363357
04/20/11 04:14 PM
04/20/11 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys
Well, we've all progressed. We ECs don't bang icons of St. Josaphat upside the heads of our Orthodox brethren and they don't fling censers filled with blazing coals around our necks.


We don't do that anymore? Gosh, I'm looking for the memo....
I know we stopped crossing the street when passing their church and vice-versa, but no more blazing coals and Icon-banging???? Is outrage! Just kidding!

Actually,I am more convinced than ever that the Almighty has a wonderful sense of humor and a profound understanding of irony.

I learned this weekend that our neighbors from the BCC parish down the street were getting a new pastor, a married man with a family! It was the appointment of a celibate priest by Bishop Takach that was the final straw that led to the bitter, litigious split in the parish community many years ago. The property rights platform came later on as a result of the celibacy dispute.

Like I said on another post, I guess we can't call them 'tselibats'(i.e. 'celibates') any more and since Archbishop Demitrios is ACROD's 'locum tenens', they can't call us 'indypindy' (i.e. independent) either!

I wish that my father and Metropolitan Nicholas had lived long enough to see this appointment occur.

A most blessed Pascha to all!


Last edited by DMD; 04/20/11 04:16 PM.
Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: Chad2279] #363360
04/20/11 04:28 PM
04/20/11 04:28 PM
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I'll say this... in three points. (If this gets long, just read the first two sentences of each point).

1. At this moment in history, unfortunately, a Catholic embracing Orthodoxy breaks full communion with Rome. Throughout Christian history, to break full communion with a church is a profoundly significant act (this is, after all, what we lament in the great schism). In my heart, I could never do that to Rome. I love her.

Rome is Rome, and she is incredible. I can think of many changes I would love to see realized in her, but none of her faults ever make me want to break communion with her. She has a unique historical background, and I respect her challenges, struggles, and aspirations. I believe her weaknesses call for honest dialogue, revisiting, and humility, but I don't believe they should force me to break away my hand from hers. I will never believe that issues like the Filioque or uncreated grace should be church-dividing. (And if I don't, why would I divide myself from her?) As for papal authority, I have always suspected from my reading of St. Damasus, Leo, Gregory, Agatho, etc., as well as modern documents like Ut Unim Sint and the Ravenna statement, that the principle of Roman primacy, when finally restored to the East, will be less than what Catholics believe it will be, but more than what the Orthodox believe it will be. In modern times, both seem to tend toward extremes that do injustice to Rome's essential (and I believe legitimate) self-understanding in the first millennium. We have a long way to go, to be sure, but it is a journey I do not believe forces me to abandon Rome. Both sides are in dialogue, and I will be patient in the process, because I believe that both sides have something to learn from one another.

2. Let's be honest: the Eastern Catholic communities need help. They need numbers, especially people with a commitment to Orthodox faith and practice. I don't believe this is the time to leave Eastern Catholicism; it is the time to help restore it, especially after the difficult episodes of centuries past. Eastern Catholicism, for all its unfortunate history, stands for something beautiful--continued unity with Rome and other ancient communities, the eternal preservation of liturgical diversity (which Eastern Orthodoxy lost centuries ago, except for a few modern experiments). I echo one of the previous posts in saying: the ability to experience so many rites in one communion is a unique blessing of being Catholic. I love the Byzantine rite, and would love to be a member of my local Greek church, but I would miss the freedom to experience confession at a Maronite church, anointing at a Roman church, communion at a Chaldean church. In any case, Eastern Catholicism ideally represents everything our communion dream for unity stands for. I want to encourage these communities.

3. Many paint the Orthodox churches as more "legitimate" than the Eastern Catholic churches. Converts to Orthodoxy often express this suspicion/belief. But from a neutral, historical point of view, this is not true. Episodes like the 18th century split of the Melkite and Antiochian patriarchates leave no clear legitimate claim for the modern patriarchate except from a confessional point of view. Also, the latinization of many Eastern Catholic churches makes them no less legitimate as churches than the Byzantinized Antiochian and Jerusalem churches after centuries of Greek influence/domination (is only a Syro/Antiochene-rite church legitimate in Syria?). The fact is, the modern boundaries and distinctions between the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches emerged because of political and social factors that makes modern talk of their legitimacy or illegitimacy vis-a-vis one another rather futile. They are distinct communities with unique histories. They do not require a review of their competing claims; rather, what they need most is unity, reunion, love. Deciding between them not what Christ called for in John 17. He asked for unity.

4. Are you prepared to be re-confirmed/chrismated? You should ask yourself whether you are prepared to deny (or at least undermine) the belief that you received graced sacraments throughout your life. I would love to take Orthodox communion, but I would feel awful receiving chrismation again. It would spite Rome in a way I would never be able to swallow.

My conclusion: you are Catholic, and that is a beautiful thing. I hope you do become Orthodox someday, precisely however in the final reunion of our two churches. It may be a long way off, but it is tantilizingly closer than ever. Encourage that process.

Last edited by Akira; 04/20/11 04:35 PM.
Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: Akira] #363369
04/21/11 12:00 AM
04/21/11 12:00 AM
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Akira:

What an eloquent post!

Amado

Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: Akira] #363372
04/21/11 04:29 AM
04/21/11 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Akira

My conclusion: you are Catholic, and that is a beautiful thing. I hope you do become Orthodox someday, precisely however in the final reunion of our two churches. It may be a long way off, but it is tantilizingly closer than ever. Encourage that process.


The only problem with what you say is that the existence of EC churches is seen by EO as a hindrance to achieving unity, and Rome knows of this perception, which is why it gives them fairly scant encouragement.

Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: Otsheylnik] #363391
04/21/11 02:43 PM
04/21/11 02:43 PM
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I certainly understand that tension, but I have difficulty understanding why that would be relevant to his question: namely, should he experience Byzantine spirituality within the Catholic Church of which he is presently a communicant, or within the Orthodox Church?

Also, we need to be clear how we define "fairly scant encouragement," and probe the reasons for each facet of it. Your response (with all due respects!) seems lump sum. Yes, Rome discourages significant moves that would complicate relations with the Orthodox (e.g., the acknowledgement of a Ukrainian patriarchate). The Catholic Church also renounces expansion attempts at the expense of the Orthodox. However, the Catholic-Orthodox dialogues have defended the existence and continued life of the Eastern Catholic churches, as well as their "call" to participate in dialogues between Catholic and Orthodox Christians at the local and universal level (e.g., Balamand Agreement). Furthermore, Rome certainly assists the continued growth of the Eastern Catholic churches (evinced as recently as the establishment of the new Syro-Malankara exarchate in the U.S.). Other issues (e.g., celibacy or married priesthood in the U.S.) reflect controversies that pre-date the modern ecumenical engagement of the Orthodox churches, and hopefully, will be resolved sooner rather than later.

In all this, I see nothing that discourages a Roman Catholic from assisting, encouraging, or joining an Eastern Catholic church.

Last edited by Akira; 04/21/11 02:59 PM.
Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: Chad2279] #363394
04/21/11 06:33 PM
04/21/11 06:33 PM
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I have a question and I ask this with all sincerity.
Why should I become a Byzantine Catholic instead of
becoming Orthodox?


Chad:

As has been said in this forum no one here can tell you which is better or which way you should turn. I can only share with you what I have experienced and while there are many who are upset with me for my decision I had to do what I was lead to do. Be aware that as has been mentioned in this forum that by leaving the Catholic Church and becoming an Orthodox Christian you will be denying the tenants that you where taught and held to for many years, you will have cut yourself off from Rome and will not be able to receive communion with your family. There are Catholic priests who will tell you that is is OK for someone who is an Orthodox Christian to receive communion but I will tell you here and now it is not the view of the Orthodox Church and you will find yourself in major hot water if you do so.

Faced with all of the above I left Catholicism and embraced the Orthodox church. My wife is Roman Catholic and has no intention of changing. Under no circumstances will I try to force my faith on her, if she comes to the Orthodox Church she will do so on her own. That being said it is difficult at times for us but we manage. I was a RC for 30 plus years and eventually put in for a change of rite to the UGCC not because of the beautiful Divine Liturgy or the warm fuzzy feeling I got by being there but rather because that I realized that I was dying a slow spiritual death in the West because I could not wrap my head around the theology. That is not to say that the West is bad but my mind and heart went East. As time went on I began to have severe problems with the papacy and could no longer hold to it and had no choice but to leave the Catholic Church, to not do so would at least have been disingenuous or at worst morally wrong. One other point, my priest would not let me convert to Orthodoxy unless my wife agreed to it. In my parish at least it is preferred that a married couple come into the Church together because of the problems that can ensue and in some cases tear a marriage apart. My wife God bless her saw that I was in deep trouble and knew I had to convert and out of love for me she let me do so. I hope and pray that our mixed marriage will be an example to others that it can work. Developing a spiritual life together is a work in process. My apologies for being so verbose and personal but I am hoping that what you read here while not a refection of your journey will give you some sense of what you are in for. If you do not have a problem with Rome, the Pope having universal jurisdiction, the dogmas of the Catholic Church, and don't have a problem as to the history of the split I guess the choice would be to stay put. I have a problem with all of the above so I had to leave and go to what I see as the true church. Obviously there are those who don't agree with me and it is OK. I pray for them and hopefully they pray for me. (-:

I pray that you will have a joyful Pascha

In Christ:
Seraphim

Last edited by Converted Viking; 04/21/11 06:34 PM.
Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: Chad2279] #363401
04/21/11 07:13 PM
04/21/11 07:13 PM
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I had the choice, and at the time, I thought I had answers that made sense, but which now I see were merely rationalizations of the choice that I made. Today, I believe I became Greek Catholic because that is what God wanted me to be, but I could not give a good reason to anyone asking as to why one should pick one Church over the other. Each has its own joys and its own sorrows.

Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: StuartK] #363403
04/21/11 07:20 PM
04/21/11 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
I had the choice, and at the time, I thought I had answers that made sense, but which now I see were merely rationalizations of the choice that I made. Today, I believe I became Greek Catholic because that is what God wanted me to be, but I could not give a good reason to anyone asking as to why one should pick one Church over the other. Each has its own joys and its own sorrows.


Hello Stuart:

I understand what you are saying. Hopefully I didn't come across as suggesting one church over the other but rather that in aint so easy to make the change. There was a lot of pain that went with my changing but in a way that is a good thing. Keeps the old flash in the pan thing away. How have you been doing?

Prayers for you to have a joyful Pascha.

In Christ:
Seraphim

Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: StuartK] #363418
04/22/11 05:23 AM
04/22/11 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
Each has its own joys and its own sorrows.


So true...

Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: Chad2279] #363429
04/22/11 11:46 AM
04/22/11 11:46 AM
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Well, I never had to reject Orthodoxy to accept Greek Catholicism or vice versa. I was a true convert, a catechumen in need of baptism. So perhaps that makes my perspective different. As a Greek Catholic, I mourn my separation from my Orthodox brethren. If I was Orthodox, I would mourn my separation from my Greek Catholic brethren. I do see the Orthodox as incomplete without communion with the Church of Rome, but then, I also see the Church of Rome as incomplete without communion with the Orthodox. For this reason, I am loathe to advise anyone whether to become Orthodox or Greek Catholic, but to follow one's heart.

Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: Chad2279] #363482
04/23/11 12:08 AM
04/23/11 12:08 AM
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Hi Chad,

As a Latin Catholic contemplating a move towards Eastern Catholicism (I am in the midst of learning about the Melkite tradition as practiced here in So California), I feel the appeal of Orthodoxy, but, as has been stated by others, cannot in good conscience sever ties with Rome. If the East calls to you, explore that call, but do so in a way that allows you to taste the varied flavors that the EC offers (I mean no disrespect with this - each Church within the EC offers their own variations on the theme, just as is seen in different Latin churches around the world). I have some experience with Ruthenian, Romanian, and Melkite Catholic Churches, and I am richer for the diversity that I have experienced there. Attend each more than once, and don't let 1 bad experience turn you off to that Church (it almost did for me, and I am glad that I went back. Perhaps you don't connect with the Ruthenians, but the Melkites answer the calling of your heart. Above all, pray, and remember the first book of James - God will give the wisdom to chose well to he who ask with faith and conviction.

Lech

Re: Byzantine Catholic Church or Orthodox Church? [Re: Chad2279] #363610
04/25/11 09:24 PM
04/25/11 09:24 PM
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I have a question and I ask this with all sincerity.
Why should I become a Byzantine Catholic instead of
becoming Orthodox?


I was on the brink of becoming Orthodox. I can tell you why, thanks to God, I didnt made such pass: I realized that in the Orthodox world there too much the claim to be the best, the only ones with the truth in their pocket, with the only liturgy never touched by St. James forward (historical falsity)..and so on.
On the other side I discovered that the East tradition can be lived as well in the ECCs, which for sure are less high-sounding that the Orthodox brothers.
And because my aim is to look for Christ only, and not to prove to be "the more authentic", I appreciate the ECCs, which give me the access to the beloved Eastern way to Him.

Last edited by antv; 04/25/11 09:25 PM.
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