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Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
#378653 04/13/12 12:18 PM
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"As Christians continue to convert to Islam by the thousands each year I wonder when Christianity will wake up and realize that we should stop trying to be "trendy" and "relevant" and instead be genuine. Modern Christianity has catered so much to the culture that we've lost our cassocks, our head coverings, our liturgies, our prayers, our mysticism, our beards... we have fought against persecution by way of conformity. We don't need relevancy, we need orthodoxy." - Fr Nathan Monk, Orthodox priest (Western-rite

Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
Carson Daniel #378673 04/13/12 08:22 PM
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Side note:
Every Easter season my mailbox is bombarded by postcards inviting my residence to this or that Protestant Church's Easter Service. A couple of years ago I rec'd one from a local new church meeting in some country club or school bldg proclaiming "Finally A Truly Relevant Church". I laughed out loud when I read it. Isn't every church trying to be relevant? They all have their cool webpages and trendy logos.
Unfortunately even some Catholic churches have gone this route.


Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
Carson Daniel #378676 04/13/12 08:41 PM
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Here is a comparable trend in at least Roman Catholicism. We need more robust traditional priests. I think people long for them even in the Byzantine Church.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100...sj_share_FB&fb_source=home_multiline

Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
Carson Daniel #378677 04/13/12 08:43 PM
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For Roman Catholics:
1. Popular media like movies such as "Kingdom of Heaven" that appear to be historically based make Christians (especially Catholics) to be hateful, violent, control freaks and Muslims out to be peace-loving, God-fearing people who just want their land back. Combine this with both of the recent King Arthur movies -- that paint a negative light on Catholics. Then throw in the "Luther" movie and you have whole generations of folks that believe the Church is really out to get them and make their lives miserable.
2. Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal and Cover-up
3. Catholic Priests and Deacons being triumphant, unbending in their rules (and I mean ones like a youth needing to be a member of THAT parish for 2 years prior to confirmation class), and un-loving (a deacon saying to the couple "OK now your really married" during a convalidation ceremony).
4. The Sunday drive-thru mentality, i.e. in and out in less than an hour and don't talk to anyone.

Need I say more?

Last edited by Dave in McKinney; 04/13/12 08:43 PM.
Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
Carson Daniel #378678 04/13/12 08:43 PM
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Dave,

I became extraordinarily bored with these hippy dippy protestant churches promising style without substance. They do not satisfy the soul. I haven't liked the comparable trends in the RC Churches. I'm glad that the traditional call at least is partly being heard.

CDL

Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
Carson Daniel #378681 04/13/12 08:55 PM
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CDL,
I had left the Catholic church in the early 2000's for several years and visited quite a few different churches, mostly Episcopal and Methodists... Mainline Protestant churches as they call them are in decline as well. Those that were surviving often operated as two different churches within one building, i.e. a "traditional service" going on the same time as a "contemporary service".
The Non-denoms have to continually re-invent themselves and see fluctuations in their membership #'s. They are reliant on their lead Pastor and the cult-of-personality he generates.
In Europe it seems like former-Christians have given up all together and the Muslim immigrants have moved in. The U.S. still has some Christians but they are just cycling through the various denominations until they become bored I guess.

Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
Carson Daniel #378683 04/13/12 09:11 PM
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Dave,

As good Pope John Paul II used to say "Let not your heart be troubled." Sometimes I think I may be a bit naive or polyanna but as long as there are Traditionalists who respect reverence, beauty, and truth there is always hope. I know it has been disheartening and you are not too many miles of the pukiest of the pukey "churches" I've ever had the misfortune of learning about. That Houston Astrodome excuse for a church is about as bad as I've seen. As you know there are myriads of others nearly as bad. Still, there are some wonderful Churches still around. Did you know that the Notre Dame Chapel in South Bend had been desecrated for several years but has been reclaimed? It is now a chapel worth visiting.

Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
Carson Daniel #378689 04/14/12 12:11 AM
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1. C & O (Catholicism & Orthodoxy) propose complicated & mystical, non-obvious teachings and many modern-day people find them hard to understand and/or grasp;
2. C & O have some moral and disciplinary teachings which are demanding and difficult and challenge contemporary mentalities about the all-importance of physical pleasure/comfort and self-gratification;
3. C & O tend to orient people TOWARD God and Ultimate Metaphysical Realities - and AWAY from being self-centered;
4. C & O worship tends to be perceived as confusing, mystifying & bewildering;
5. Failure of many C & O leaders to live up to the high moral/ethical demands of their respective religions scandalise people and provide excuses for renouncing those religions.
6. In general, C & O faith is fragile and human beings are fallen creatures.
7. C & O are not entertaining in the conventional sense of the term.
8. A lot of contemporary people have very short attention spans and hanker after visible/aural stimuli and C & O, despite Liturgy which appeals to all the senses, can't compete with secular replacements.

These are a few reasons I can think of. My ex-Catholic & ex-Orthodox relatives provided them for me. And they didn't charge me a cent.

Last edited by sielos ilgesys; 04/14/12 12:21 AM. Reason: fractured English from speaking too much French today
Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
sielos ilgesys #378697 04/14/12 03:54 AM
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I think the biggest reason my brother is that humans are in charge of the church structure ... they have turned churches into glorious businesses - where the work of Christ is secondary to the salvation of souls.

I for one am working to change this ...

but look at how many Orthodox have ex communicated each other - including the Latins.

How dare they presume to exommunicate each other as if they know -
they are only human and are denying what I believe Christ wanted most -

A Holy Catholic Apostolic Church - just one - not Latin Catholic - CATHOLIC

John

p.s. it is very sad - pray for me and for them

Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
haydukovich #378713 04/14/12 02:18 PM
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John,
True words.
Out of curiosity How are you trying to change things (you mentioned it in your post)?

Also it seems like we also pigeon-hole others because they are different than us. For example I believe that some Catholic churches don't have bible study or social time because " that's what Protestants do".

Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
sielos ilgesys #378717 04/14/12 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys

2. C & O have some moral and disciplinary teachings which are demanding and difficult and challenge contemporary mentalities about the all-importance of physical pleasure/comfort and self-gratification;


Interesting. Had to think on this one a bit. I can only approach from a former Catholic point-of-view as I don't know any Orthodox (or former Orthodox). Your point would definitely apply to the area of sex (contraception, homosexuality, pre-marital relations, and self-pleasuring).
On the other hand many Protestants view Catholics as hypocrites because Catholics claim to be the "one true Church" but don't act very Christian in their day to day lives.

Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys

3. C & O tend to orient people TOWARD God and Ultimate Metaphysical Realities - and AWAY from being self-centered;


There can be the viewpoint that Mass (Catholic) is all about "me". I get the host, God is now in me, and now I am saved/holy/sanctified, and that is all that is needed. But because you are ______(insert non-Catholic denomination here)____ you aren't saved because you didn't get communion and we're not going to let you get communion either because your not Catholic.
Now obviously that's not what is or should be going on... BUT that is the way many Catholic feel or act and the way it is perceived by non-Catholics.




Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys

1. C & O (Catholicism & Orthodoxy) propose complicated & mystical, non-obvious teachings and many modern-day people find them hard to understand and/or grasp;


It can be that way when trying to nuance Catholic teachings on things such as papal infalibility, Mary's Assumption, etc (Probably items that shouldn't have been proclaimed as required dogma).
On the other hand the Catholic church has the Catechism, and while it's not always 100% clear on what it is trying to say at least most of it is clear and understandable.
To be a Protestant is very difficult to even find out what they believe -- been there done that. Their theology can go through great changes and who do you believe? Calvin, Luther, Piper, Hanegraff, Wesley, Preacher Joe down the street?

Just to clarify I didn't discuss Orthodoxy simply because I don't have the immediate experience with it/them, and wasn't implying any inferiority.

Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
Carson Daniel #378718 04/14/12 03:51 PM
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tell you what, have no interest in converting to Protestantism or Islam; am perfectly content with my Catholic faith, but I have to admit to a bit o exasperation with whiffs here and elsewhere of how spiritually right on we are as the eastern variety - Catholic or Orthodox - while everyone else seems to be oh so lacking; oh so not traditional. Knowing he's not particularly welcome round these parts, but all the same, Voltaire says it for me with, in effect, "tend to your own gardens." Prithee - where are our soup kitchens, our St Vincent de Paul Societies, our outreach to the down trodden and the disenfranchised? Or is this considered hippy dippy stuff? I admire the Protestants and the Roman Catholics for their outreach. I am not a convert, but a cradle eastern Catholic. I know it's odd given the tenor of this forum, but I don't wrestle with becoming an Eastern Catholic - I wrestle with leaving the Eastern Catholic Rite and becoming Roman Catholic. I am half serious about this. I notice there seem to be a lot of converts on this site. Great, and we are fulfilled by having your zeal infusing our eastern faith, I am sure. Me, it seems I am pulled in the direction of counterbalancing ritual with tangible Christian concern for my neighbor. It seems to me, in nourishing Christian spirituality and response - or at least how in how I interpret it - this impulse to tangibly help others as a conspicuous facet of our easter rite needs to be more cogently articulated, developed and operationalized in our Churches. Less trying to assay and incorporate what is "correct'" in how it was done in the 13th century as ritual for ritual's sake, and more on cultivating profoundly caring relationships with those who are not like us. A bit tired of the ghetto mentality. But I am talking from the perception and perspective of my geography. I am open to being corrected on the matter. Perhaps in your area, there are vital outreach societies integral to your Church. Do share. I am aware of such efforts, but these seem to live and die with the specific Priest.

Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
Thessalonius Monk #378719 04/14/12 04:35 PM
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Quote
Interesting. Had to think on this one a bit. I can only approach from a former Catholic point-of-view as I don't know any Orthodox (or former Orthodox). Your point would definitely apply to the area of sex (contraception, homosexuality, pre-marital relations, and self-pleasuring).
On the other hand many Protestants view Catholics as hypocrites because Catholics claim to be the "one true Church" but don't act very Christian in their day to day lives.


This was one thing among many that kept me from any interest in the Catholic faith for years and years. All the Catholics I knew and all that I saw (mostly on media) were hypocrites of the worst kind. Of course, while it was my duty to investigate and find those saints who's lives would have enlightened me and encouraged me towards the Catholic faith, at the same time, LOCAL WITNESS is so very important.

From the book THE INFERNUS FILES (Infernus is teaching his nephew, the demon trainee, Glimslug, how to keep a Protestant from considering conversion to the Catholic faith)

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Of course, one bright spot is that even if we were to suffer such setback in America, we would still have the French, who now pride themselves on being too intellectual to actually believe in and obey the teachings of the Church. They are such typical Catholics of this age. The few you actually attend go mostly for the sake of appearance, then go home and fornicate with the neighbor’s wife. Hot hell, I love that! No wonder observant Protestants aren’t interested in the Church when they see a consistency of behavior like that! You can give those Protestants one thing –which we use against them when they look at the Enemy’s Church – the majority of them are pietistic and moralistic, and our lovely sins offend them right down to their shoelaces. That’s one major reason we do not have to suffer far more defections than we have seen lately – Catholics behaving like anything but Catholics! We have so many good and unwitting supporters in this. There is simply nothing finer than to have a cussin’ and drunken Catholic right next to a devout Protestant in the work place, especially if that Protestant is your personal subject!


Between our lack of holiness as laity and those bishops who have deviated from their course (One thinks of the recent scandal in Washington DC where a good and holy priest was reprimanded for denying the Eucharist to an open lesbian and the lesbian received an apology letter!!!!) it is no wonder that the Church has little in which it appears different from the world. We have lost our way, and I would wager that the Early Fathers would spin in their graves to see the condition of our Church today -- from the schism of East and West to our lack of holiness.

And I am first among sinners in this!! May God forgive me!!

Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
Thessalonius Monk #378720 04/14/12 04:38 PM
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Where do you live, Monk? Where ever you are at, you can find soup kitchens and other good works run by the Latins.

JOIN THEM!!! Do the good works our Master told us to do and do them with the Latins. You will meet wonderful people and your soul will grow.

Re: Why do Catholics or Orthodox convert away from the Church?
Thessalonius Monk #378721 04/14/12 04:43 PM
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Prithee - where are our soup kitchens, our St Vincent de Paul Societies, our outreach to the down trodden and the disenfranchised? Or is this considered hippy dippy stuff? I admire the Protestants and the Roman Catholics for their outreach.


TM:

Christ is Risen!! Indeed He is Risen!!

The Eastern Catholic Churches are small compared to their bigger sister. So what. Go out yourself and volunteer at St. Vincent dePaul's soup kitchen or clothing store or whatever. I guarantee they won't check your membership at the door. Yes, the RCs have done a lot in this area, but they're bigger and they started out small and have grown. I would also bet they wouldn't pass us any of our brethren who wanted to stop and help--that inpulse is not limited by where you are on Sunday morning. There's such a great need that setting up competing programs just dilutes the whole effort.

As far as arguments about ritual, you'll find that no matter where you go. And in the non-liturgical churches, they argue about the music, the length of the sermon and a whole host of other issues that don't surface where you and I are.

Bob

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